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Saint Louis University School of Law

Case Digest Compilation in

Wills and Succession


Submitted to: Atty. MA. Lulu Reyes

Submitted by:
Angeles, Bernard Allan Atitiw, Victor Banasen, Robert Caoayan, Billy Brian Lawagan, Guillermo Molintas, Jose Mari Nagpala, Carlo benedict Navarro, Erwin Pingawan, Carter Banganan, Kristen Gay De Meza, Phoebie Hoggang, Kathrine

AMELIA P. ARELLANO, represented by her duly appointed guardians, AGNES P. ARELLANO and NONA P. ARELLANO,Petitioner, - versus FRANCISCO PASCUAL and MIGUEL PASCUAL, G.R. No. 189776 December 15, 2010

CARPIO MORALES, J.: FACTS: Angel N. Pascual Jr. died intestate on January 2, 1999 leaving as heirs his siblings, namely: petitioner Amelia P. Arellano who is represented by her daughters Agnes P. Arellano (Agnes) and Nona P. Arellano, and respondents Francisco Pascual and Miguel N. Pascual. During his lifetime, he donated a parcel of land to his sister Amelia. Upon his death, his siblings filed a petition for Judicial Settlement of Intestate Estate and Issuance of Letters of Administration,. The also questioned the validity of the donation of the parcel of land made by the decedent in favor of their sister. They prayed that the same be considered as an advance legitime of petitioner. ISSUE: Whether or not the subject property of the donation is a valid donation inter vivos RULING: Yes, The decedent not having left any compulsory heir who is entitled to any legitime, he was at liberty to donate all his properties, even if nothing was left for his siblings-collateral relatives to inherit. His donation to petitioner, assuming that it was valid, is deemed as donation made to a stranger, chargeable against the free portion of the estate. There being no compulsory heir, however, the donated property is not subject to collation.

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JARABINI G. DEL ROSARIO, Petitioner, vs. ASUNCION G. FERRER, substituted by her heirs, VICENTE, PILAR, ANGELITO, FELIXBERTO, JR., all surnamed G. FERRER, and MIGUELA FERRER ALTEZA, Respondents. G.R. No. 187056.September 20, 2010 ABAD, J.: FACTS: Spouses G executed a "Donation Mortis Causa" the terms of which are as follows: -It is our will that this Donation Mortis Causa shall be irrevocable and shal qt56o]=-p9y6r3wq1 `123456l be respected by the surviving spouse. -It is our will that J and E will continue to occupy the portions now occupied by them. -It is further our will that this DONATION MORTIS CAUSA shall not in any way affect any other distribution of other properties belonging to any of us donors whether testate or intestate and where ever situated. -It is our further will that any one surviving spouse reserves the right, ownership, possession and administration of this property herein donated and accepted and this Disposition and Donation shall be operative and effective upon the death of the DONORS. ISSUE: Whether the disposition of the property is a donation mortis causa , as in fact designated, or actually a donation inter vivos

HELD: IT IS A DONATION INTER VIVOS. That the document in question in this case was captioned "Donation Mortis Causa" is not controlling. This Court has held that, if a donation by its terms is inter vivos, this character is not altered by the fact that the donor styles it mortis causa. In Austria-Magat v. Court of Appeals, the Court held that "irrevocability" is a quality absolutely incompatible with the idea of conveyances mortis causa, where "revocability" is precisely the essence of the act. A donation mortis causa has the following characteristics: 1. It conveys no title or ownership to the transferee before the death of the transferor; or, what amounts to the same thing, that the transferor should retain the ownership (full or naked) and control of the property while alive; 2. That before his death, the transfer should be revocable by the transferor at will, ad nutum; but revocability may be provided for indirectly by means of a reserved power in the donor to dispose of the properties conveyed; and 3|Page

3. That the transfer should be void if the transferor should survive the transferee. The Court thus said in Austria-Magat that the express "irrevocability" of the donation is the "distinctive standard that identifies the document as a donation inter vivos." Here, the donors plainly said that it is "our will that this Donation Mortis Causa shall be irrevocable and shall be respected by the surviving spouse." The intent to make the donation irrevocable becomes even clearer by the proviso that a surviving donor shall respect the irrevocability of the donation. Consequently, the donation was in reality a donation inter vivos. The donors in this case of course reserved the "right, ownership, possession, and administration of the property" and made the donation operative upon their death. But this Court has consistently held that such reservation (reddendum) in the context of an irrevocable donation simply means that the donors parted with their naked title, maintaining only beneficial ownership of the donated property while they lived. Notably, the three donees signed their acceptance of the donation, which acceptance the deed required. This Court has held that an acceptance clause indicates that the donation is inter vivos, since acceptance is a requirement only for such kind of donations. Donations mortis causa, being in the form of a will, need not be accepted by the donee during the donor's lifetime. Finally, as Justice J. B. L. Reyes said in Puig v. Peaflorida, in case of doubt, the conveyance should be deemed a donation inter vivos rather than mortis causa, in order to avoid uncertainty as to the ownership of the property subject of the deed.

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MA. ESTELA MAGLASANG, NICOLAS CABATINGAN and MERLY S. CABATINGAN, petitioners, vs. THE HEIRS OF CORAZON CABATINGAN, namely, LUZ M. BOQUIA, PERLA M. ABELLA, ESTRELLA M. CAETE, LOURDES M. YUSON, and JULIA L. MAYOL, HEIRS OF GENOVIVA C. NATIVIDAD, respondents. G.R. No. 131953. June 5, 2002 AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.: FACTS: Decedent Conchita Cabatingan executed a Deed of Conditional Donation covering one-half of her house and lot to her brother. Other conditional donations were also made in favor of four others. The condition of which states that should the donee die ahead of the donor, the donation shall automatically be rescinded and shall have no force and effect. Upon the death of the donor, respondents sought the annulment of the Deed of Donations made in favor of the four donees alleging that the latter through their sinister machinations and strategies and taking advantage of Conchita Cabatingans fragile condition, caused the execution of the deeds of donation, and, that the documents are void for failing to comply with the provisions of the Civil Code regarding formalities of wills and testaments, considering that these are donations mortis causa. ISSUE: whether or not the assailed donations are valid RULING: No. Donee while the donor is still alive. In determining whether a donation is one ofmortis causa, the following characteristics must be taken into account: (1) It conveys no title or ownership to the transferee before the death of the transferor; or what amounts to the same thing, that the transferor should retain the ownership (full or naked) and control of the property while alive; (2) That before his death, the transfer should be revocable by the transferor at will, ad nutum; but revocability may be provided for indirectly by means of a reserved power in the donor to dispose of the properties conveyed;and (3) That the transfer should be void if the transferor should survive the transferee. In the present case, the nature of the donations as mortis causa is confirmed by the fact that the donations do not contain any clear provision that intends to pass proprietary rights to petitioners prior to Cabatingans death. The phrase to become effective upon the death of the DONOR admits of no other interpretation but that Cabatingan did not intend to transfer the ownership of the properties to petitioners during her lifetime As the donation is in the nature of a mortis causa disposition, the formalities of a will should have been complied with under Article 728 of the Civil Code, otherwise, the donation is void and would produce no effect. The deeds in question although acknowledged before a notary public of the donor and the done, the documents were not executed in the manner provided for under the above-quoted provisions of law. 5|Page

Thus, the trial court did not commit any reversible error in declaring the subject deeds of donation null and void.

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APOLINARIA AUSTRIA-MAGAT, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and FLORENTINO LUMUBOS, DOMINGO COMIA, TEODORA CARAMPOT, ERNESTO APOLO, SEGUNDA SUMPELO, MAMERTO SUMPELO and RICARDO SUMPELO, respondents. G.R. No. 106755. February 1, 2002 DE LEON, JR., J.: FACTS: A Basilisa Comerciante bought a house and lot located in San Antonio, Cavite. During her lifetime, she executed a Deed of Donation in favor of her four surviving children who in turn accepted the donation in the same instrument. Provided in the Deed was that it shall take effect upon the death of the donor. Meanwhile, a separate instrument was also executed by the same parties stipulating that ownership over the parcel of land subject of the donation shall be retained by Basilia while still living. Sometime thereafter, Basilia sold the same to one of her daughters Apolinaria Austria-Magat for Php 5,000.00. The latter then caused the cancellation of the TCT and registered the property in her name. The other heirs of Basilia filed a petition for annulment of the new TCT and the reconveyance of the property alleging that the donation made in their favor was Inter Vivos by virtue of its irrevocability clause. Thus, ownership was already transferred to them upon acceptance. ISSUE: Whether or not there was an effective transfer of the property to the donees upon their acceptance of the donation RULING: Yes, the irrevocable nature of a donation is the distinctive standard of an Inter vivos donation. The Court held that the prohibition to alienate does not necessarily defeat the inter vivos character of the donation. Said prohibition was an assurance of the enjoyment of the beneficial use of the property by the donor during her lifetime. Thus, the intention is to convey the naked ownership of the property only upon the donors death.

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HEIRS OF JUAN BONSATO and FELIPE BONSATO, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and JOSEFA UTEA, ET AL., respondents. G.R. No. L-6600 . July 30, 1954 REYES, J.B.L., J.: FACTS: Herein plaintiffs questioned the validity of the two notarial deeds of donations executed by Domingo Bonsato, then already a widower, in favor of his brother Juan Bonsato and of his nephew Felipe Bonsato. They alleged that the same was obtained through fraud and charged that the donations were mortis causa and void for lack of the requisite formalities. The defendants, Juan Bonsato and Felipe Bonsato, answered averring that the donations made in their favor were voluntarily executed in consideration of past services rendered by them to the late Domingo Bonsato; that the same were executed freely without the use of force and violence, misrepresentation or intimidation.The lower court sustained the validity of the deeds of donation. Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the lower courts ruling and declared the donations as null and void because they were donations mortis causa and were executed without the testamentary formalities prescribed by law, and ordered the defendants-appellees Bonsato to surrender the possession of the properties in litigation to the plaintiffs-appellants. Two justices, however, dissented, claiming that the said donations should be considered as donations inter vivos. RULING: Whether or not the disputed donations are valid.

HELD: Yes. Strictly speaking, the issue is whether the documents in question embody valid donations, or else legacies void for failure to observe the formalities of wills (testaments). Despite the widespread use of the term "donations mortis causa," it is well-established at present that the Civil Code of 1889, in its Art. 620, broke away from the Roman Law tradition, and followed the French doctrine that no one may both donate and retain ("donner at retenir ne vaut"), by merging the erstwhile donations mortis causa with the testamentary dispositions, thus suppressing said donations as an independent legal concept. ART. 620. Donations which are to become effective upon the death of the donor partake of the nature of disposals of property by will and shall be governed by the rules established for testamentary successions. Did the late Domingo Bonsato make donations inter vivos or dispositions post mortem in favor of the petitioners herein? If the latter, then the documents should reveal any or all of the following characteristics: (1) Convey no title or ownership to the transferee before the death of the transferor; or, what amounts to the same thing, that the transferor should retain the ownership (full or naked) and control of the property while alive (Vidal vs. Posadas, 58 Phil., 108; Guzman vs. Ibea, 67 Phil., 633); 8|Page

(2) That before his death, the transfer should be revocable by the transferor at will, ad nutum; but revocability may be provided for indirectly by means of a reserved power in the donor to dispose of the properties conveyed (Bautista vs. Sabiniano, G. R. L-4326, November 18, 1952);

(3) That the transfer should be void if the transferor should survive the transferee. None of these characteristics is discernible in the deeds of donation, Exhibits 1 and 2, executed by the late Domingo Bonsato. The donor only reserved for himself, during his lifetime, the owner's share of the fruits or produce, a reservation that would be unnecessary if the ownership of the donated property remained with the donor. Most significant is the absence of stipulation that the donor could revoke the donations; on the contrary, the deeds expressly declare them to be "irrevocable", a quality absolutely incompatible with the idea of conveyances mortis causa where revocability is of the essence of the act, to the extent that a testator can not lawfully waive or restrict his right of revocation (Old Civil Code, Art. 737; New Civil Code, Art. 828).

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RUPERTO REYES and REYNALDO C. SAN JUAN, in his capacity as Special Administrator, petitioners, vs. HON. LORENZO R. MOSQUEDA, Judge of CFI, Pampanga (Branch VII), and URSULA D.PASCUAL,respondents. G.R. No. L-45262 July 23,1990 GUTIERREZ, JR., J.: FACTS: Deceden Dr. Emilio Pascual died intestate and without issue on November 18, 1972. He was survived by his sister, Ursula Pascual and the children of his late sisters.On December 3, 1973, the heirs of Dr. Pascual filed Special Proceedings in the then Court of First Instance of Pampanga for the administration of his estate. On February 12, 1976, Ursula Pascual filed a motion to exclude some properties from the inventory of Pascual's estate and to deliver the titles thereto to her. Ursula alleged that Dr. Pascual during his lifetime or on November 2, 1966 executed a "Donation Mortis Causa" in her favor covering properties which are included in the estate of Dr. Pascual (subject of Special Proceedings No. 73-30-M) and therefore should be excluded from the inventory. The lower courts ruled that the donation denominated as DONATION MORTIS CAUSA was actually a donation inter vivos. ISSUE: Whether the donation is inter vivos or mortis causa. HELD: There is no doubt that the so-called DONATION MORTIS CAUSA is really a donation inter vivos. The donation was executed by Dr. Pascual in favor of his sister Ursula Pascual out of love and affection as well as recognition of the personal services rendered by the donee to the donor. The transfer of ownership over the properties donated to the donee was immediate and independent of the death of the donor. The provision as regards the reservation of properties for the donor's subsistence in relation to the other provisions of the deed of donation confirms the intention of the donor to give naked ownership of the properties to the donee immediately after the execution of the deed of donation.

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RE: Contractual Succession ROMARICO G. VITUG, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and ROWENA FAUSTINOCORONA, respondents. G.R. No. 82027 March 29, 1990 SARMIENTO, J.:

FACTS: On January 13, 1985, Romarico G. Vitug filed a motion asking for authority from the probate court to sell certain shares of stock and real properties belonging to the estate to cover allegedly his advances to the estate in the sum of P667,731.66, plus interests, which he claimed were personal funds. On April 12, 1985, Rowena Corona opposed the motion to sell on the ground that the same funds withdrawn from savings account No. 35342-038 were conjugal partnership properties and part of the estate, and hence, there was allegedly no ground for reimbursement Vitug insists that the said funds are his exclusive property having acquired the same through a survivorship agreement executed with his late wife and the bank on June 19, 1970. The trial court upheld the validity of this agreement and granted "the motion to sell some of the estate of Dolores L. Vitug, the proceeds of which shall be used to pay the personal funds of Romarico Vitug in the total sum of P667, 731.66." The Court of Appeals, in the petition for certiorari filed by the herein private respondent, held that the above-quoted survivorship agreement constitutes a conveyance mortis causa which "did not comply with the formalities of a valid will as prescribed by Article 805 of the Civil Code," and secondly, assuming that it is a mere donation inter vivos, it is a prohibited donation under the provisions of Article 133 of the Civil Code. ISSUE: Whether the conveyance in question is one of mortis causa, which should be embodied in a will. RULING: The conveyance in question is one of mortis causa, which should be embodied in a will. A will has been defined as "a personal, solemn, revocable and free act by which a capacitated person disposes of his property and rights and declares or complies with duties to take effect after his death." In other words, the bequest or device must pertain to the testator. In this case, the monies subject of savings account No. 35342-038 were in the nature of conjugal funds There is no showing that the funds exclusively belonged to one party, and hence it must be presumed to be conjugal, having been acquired during the existence of the marital relations. 11 | P a g e

Neither is the survivorship agreement a donation inter vivos, for obvious reasons, because it was to take effect after the death of one party. Secondly, it is not a donation between the spouses because it involved no conveyance of a spouse's own properties to the other. They did not dispose of it in favor of the other, which would have arguably been sanctionable as a prohibited donation. And since the funds were conjugal, it can not be said that one spouse could have pressured the other in placing his or her deposits in the money pool. But although the survivorship agreement is per se not contrary to law its operation or effect may be violative of the law. For instance, if it be shown in a given case that such agreement is a mere cloak to hide an inofficious donation, to transfer property in fraud of creditors, or to defeat the legitime of a forced heir, it may be assailed and annulled upon such grounds. No such vice has been imputed and established against the agreement involved in this case. There is no demonstration here that the survivorship agreement had been executed for such unlawful purposes, or, as held by the respondent court, in order to frustrate our laws on wills, donations, and conjugal partnership. Thus, the decision of the respondent appellate court was SET ASIDE.

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Transmission/acquisition through Death LAZARO PASCO and LAURO PASCO,Petitioners, - versus HEIRS OF FILOMENA DE GUZMAN, represented by CRESENCIA DE GUZMANPRINCIPE, Respondents. G.R. No. 165554 . July 26, 2010 DEL CASTILLO, J.: FACTS: Herein respondents alleged that on February 7, 1997, petitioners obtained a loan in the amount of P140,000.00 from Filomena (now deceased). To secure the petitioners loan, Lauro executed a chattel mortgage on his Isuzu Jeep in favor of Filomena. Upon her death, her heirs sought to collect from the petitioners, to no avail. Thus, respondents were constrained to file the collection case. Meanwhile,Filomenas heirs, authorized Cresencia to act as their attorney-in-fact through a Special Power of Attorney. During the pre-trial, the parties agreed verbally and submitted a Compromise Agreement to the courts where the petitioners admitted the loan accommodation extended to Lauro. Petitioners however, raised the validity of the agreement contending that they were not fully informed of the nature and consequences of the agreement and that Crescencia had no authority to represent her co-heirs because Filomenas estate had a personality of its own. ISSUE: Whether the SPA is valid RULING: Yes. In Trinidad case, the heirs of Vicente Trinidad executed a SPA in favor of Nenita Trinidad (Nenita) to be their representative in litigation involving the sale of real property covered by the decedents estate. As here, there was no specific authority to enter into a Compromise Agreement. When a compromise agreement was finally reached, the heirs later sought to invalidate it, claiming that Nenita was not specifically authorized to enter into the compromise agreement. We held then, as we do now, that the SPA necessarily included the power of the attorney-in-fact to compromise the case, and that Nenitas co-heirs could not belatedly disavow their original authorization. This ruling is even more significant here, where the co-heirs have not taken any action to invalidate the Compromise Agreement or assail their SPA.

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Moreover, it is noteworthy that petitioners never assailed the validity of the SPA during the pretrial stage prior to entering the Compromise Agreement. This matter was never even raised as a ground in petitioners Motion to Set Aside the compromise, or in the initial Petition before the RTC. It was only months later, in December 2002, that petitioners rather self-servingly - claimed that the SPA was insufficient. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.

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CELESTINO BALUS, Petitioner, - versus SATURNINO BALUS andLEONARDA BALUS VDA. DE CALUNOD, Respondents. G.R. No. 168970 PERALTA, J.:
FACTS: Herein petitioner and respondents are the children of the spouses Rufo and Sebastiana Balus. On January 3, 1979, Rufo mortgaged a parcel of land, which he owns, as a security for a loan he obtained from the Rural Bank of Maigo, Lanao del Norte. Rufo failed to pay his loan. As a result, the mortgaged property was foreclosed and was sold to the bank as the sloe bidder at a public auction held for that purpose. The property was not redeemed within the period allowed by law. More than two years after the auction, or on January 25, 1984, the sheriff executed a Definite Deed of Sale in favor of the Bank. Thereafter, a new title was issued in the name of the Bank. On October 10, 1989, herein petitioner and respondents executed an Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate adjudicating to each of them a specific one-third portion of the subject property consisting of 10,246 square meters. The Extrajudicial Settlement also contained provisions wherein the parties admitted knowledge of the fact that their father mortgaged the subject property to the Bank and that they intended to redeem the same at the soonest possible time. Three years after the execution of the Extrajudicial Settlement, herein respondents bought the subject property from the Bank. On October 12, 1992, a Deed of Sale of Registered Land was executed by the Bank in favor of respondents. Subsequently, a TCT was issued in the name of respondents. Meanwhile, petitioner continued possession of the subject lot. On June 27, 1995, respondents filed a Complaint for Recovery of Possession and Damages against petitioner, contending that they had already informed petitioner of the fact that they were the new owners of the disputed property, but the petitioner still refused to surrender possession of the same to them. 15 | P a g e

January 15, 2010

The RTC held that the right of petitioner to purchase from the respondents his share in the disputed property was recognized by the provisions of the Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate, which the parties had executed before the respondents bought the subject lot from the Bank. Aggrieved by the Decision of the RTC, herein respondents filed an appeal with the CA. The CA ruled that when petitioner and respondents did not redeem the subject property within the redemption period and allowed the consolidation of ownership and the issuance of a new title in the name of the Bank, their co-ownership was extinguished. Hence, the instant petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45. ISSUE: Whether or not co-ownership by him and respondents over the subject property persisted even after the lot was purchased by the Bank and title thereto transferred to its name, and even after it was eventually bought back by the respondents from the Bank. RULING: The court is not persuaded. At the outset, it bears to emphasize that there is no dispute with respect to the fact that the subject property was exclusively owned by petitioner and respondents' father, Rufo, at the time that it was mortgaged in 1979. This was stipulated by the parties during the hearing conducted by the trial court on October 28, 1996. Evidence shows that a Definite Deed of Sale was issued in favor of the Bank on January 25, 1984, after the period of redemption expired. There is neither any dispute that a new title was issued in the Bank's name before Rufo died on July 6, 1984. Hence, there is no question that the Bank acquired exclusive ownership of the contested lot during the lifetime of Rufo. The rights to a person's succession are transmitted from the moment of his death. In addition, the inheritance of a person consists of the property and transmissible rights and obligations existing at the time of his death, as well as those which have accrued thereto since the opening of the succession. In the present case, since Rufo lost ownership of the subject property during his lifetime, it only follows that at the time of his death, the disputed parcel of land no longer formed part of his estate to which his heirs may lay claim. Stated differently, petitioner and respondents never inherited the subject lot from their father.

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Re: Transmission Through Death BLANQUITA E. DELA MERCED, LUISITO E. DELA MERCED, BLANQUTIA M. MACATANGAY, MA. OLIVIA M. PAREDES, TERESITA P. RUPISAN, RUBEN M. ADRIANO, HERMINIO M. ADRIANO, JOSELITO M. ADRIANO, ROGELIO M. ADRIANO, WILFREDO M. ADRIANO, VICTOR M. ADRIANO, CORAZON A. ONGOCO, JASMIN A. MENDOZA and CONSTANTINO M. ADRIANO, petitioners, vs. JOSELITO P. DELA MERCED, respondent. G.R. No. 126707 February 25, 1999 PURISIMA, J.: FACTS: On March 23, 1987, Evarista M. dela Merced died intestate, without issue. She left five (5) parcels of land situated in Orambo, Pasig City.At the time of her death, Evarista was survived by three sets of heirs, one of which is Francisco M. dela Merced, her legitimate brother. On July 26, 1990, private respondent Joselito P. Dela Merced, illegitimate son of the late Francisco de la Merced, filed a "Petition for Annulment of the Extrajudicial Settlement of the Estate of the Deceased Evarista M. Dela Merced with Prayer for a Temporary Restraining Order", alleging that he was fraudulently omitted from the said settlement made by petitioners, who were fully aware of his relation to the late Francisco. Claiming successional rights, private respondent Joselito prayed that he be included as one of the beneficiaries, to share in the onethird (1/3) pro-indiviso share in the estate of the deceased Evarista, corresponding to the heirs of Francisco. The trial court dismissed the petition, lifted the temporary restraining order earlier issued, and cancelled the notice of lis pendens on the certificates of title covering the real properties of the deceased Evarista. The trial court argued that Francisco Dela Merced, alleged father of the herein plaintiff, is a legitimate child, not an illegitimate. Plaintiff, on the other hand, is admittedly an illegitimate child of the late Francisco Dela Merced. Hence, as such, he cannot represent his alleged father in the succession of the latter in the intestate estate of the late Evarista Dela Merced, because of the barrier in Art. 992 of the New Civil Code which states that:An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother, nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child.

ISSUE: Whether Article 992 of the New Civil Code is applicable in the case.

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RULING: Article 992 of the New Civil Code is not applicable because involved here is not a situation where an illegitimate child would inherit ab intestato from a legitimate sister of his father, which is prohibited by the aforesaid provision of law. Rather, it is a scenario where an illegitimate child inherits from his father, the latter's share in or portion of, what the latter already inherited from the deceased sister, Evarista. As opined by the Court of Appeals, the law in point in the present case is Article 777 of the New Civil Code which provides that the rights to succession are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent. Since Evarista died ahead of her brother Francisco, the latter inherited a portion of the estate of the former as one of her heirs. Subsequently, when Francisco died, his heirs, namely: his spouse, legitimate children, and the private respondent, Joselito, an illegitimate child, inherited his (Francisco's) share in the estate of Evarista. It bears stressing that Joselito does not claim to be an heir of Evarista by right of representation but participates in his own right, as an heir of the late Francisco, in the latter's share (or portion thereof) in the estate of Evarista. The present case, thus, relates to the rightful and undisputed right of an heir to the share of his late father in the estate of the decedent Evarista, ownership of which had been transmitted to his father upon the death of Evarista. There is no legal obstacle for private respondent Joselito, admittedly the son of the late Francisco, to inherit in his own right as an heir to his father's estate, which estate includes a one-third (1/3) undivided share in the estate of Evarista. Thus, for lack of merit, the Petition wass DENIED and the Appealed Decision of the Court of Appeals was AFFIRMED in toto

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NATALIA CARPENA OPULENCIA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ALADIN SIMUNDAC and MIGUEL OLIVAN, respondents. G.R. No. 125835 . July 30, 1998 PANGANIBAN, J.: FACTS: Herein private respondents, Aladin Simundac and Miguel Oliven alleged that Natalia Carpena Opulencia executed in their favor a "CONTRACT TO SELL" a parcel of land at P150.00 per square meter; that plaintiffs paid a downpayment of P300,000.00 but defendant, despite demands, failed to comply with her obligations under the contract. They therefore prayed for specific performance. Petitioner admits the existence of a contract however refuses to perform her contractual obligation because she had realized the lack of approval from the probate court. ISSUE: Whether or not the Contract to Sell executed by the petitioner and private respondents without the requisite probate court approval is valid. RULING: Yes. Petitioner in the case at bar entered into the Contract to Sell in her capacity as an heiress, not as an executrix or administratrix of the estate. In the contract, she represented herself as the "lawful owner" and seller of the subject parcel of land. She also explained the reason for the sale to be "difficulties in her living" conditions and consequent "need of cash." These representations clearly evince that she was not acting on behalf of the estate under probate when she entered into the Contract to Sell. Hereditary rights are vested in the heir or heirs from the moment of the decedent's death. Petitioner, therefore, became the owner of her hereditary share the moment her father died. Thus, the lack of judicial approval does not invalidate the Contract to Sell, because the petitioner has the substantive right to sell the whole or a part of her share in the estate of her late father. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED and the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

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ROMULO A. CORONEL, ALARICO A. CORONEL, ANNETTE A. CORONEL, ANNABELLE C. GONZALES (for herself and on behalf of Floraida C. Tupper, as attorney-in-fact), CIELITO A. CORONEL, FLORAIDA A. ALMONTE, and CATALINA BALAIS MABANAG, petitioners, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, CONCEPCION D. ALCARAZ and RAMONA PATRICIA ALCARAZ, assisted by GLORIA F. NOEL as attorney-in-fact, respondents. G.R. No. 103577 October 7, 1996 MELO, J.: FACTS: On January 19, 1985, defendants-appellants Romulo Coronel, et al. executed a document entitled "Receipt of Down Payment" in favor of plaintiff Ramona Patricia Alcaraz covering the estate of their late father as an heir of said decedent.. On February 18, 1985, the Coronels sold the property covered by TCT No. 327043 to intervenorappellant Catalina B. Mabanag for One Million Five Hundred Eighty Thousand (P1,580,000.00) Pesos after the latter has paid Three Hundred Thousand. On February 22, 1985, Concepcion, et al., filed a complaint for specific performance against the Coronels and caused the annotation of a notice of lis pendens at the back of TCT No. 327403. ISSUE: Whether the defendants-heirs can validly sell the estate of the decedent. RULING:When the "Receipt of Down Payment" is considered in its entirety, it becomes more manifest that there was a clear intent on the part of petitioners to transfer title to the buyer, but since the transfer certificate of title was still in the name of petitioner's father, they could not fully effect such transfer although the buyer was then willing and able to immediately pay the purchase price. Therefore, petitioners-sellers undertook upon receipt of the down payment from private respondent Ramona P. Alcaraz, to cause the issuance of a new certificate of title in their names from that of their father, after which, they promised to present said title, now in their names, to the latter and to execute the deed of absolute sale whereupon, the latter shall, in turn, pay the entire balance of the purchase price. The agreement could not have been a contract to sell because the sellers herein made no express reservation of ownership or title to the subject parcel of land. Furthermore, the circumstance which prevented the parties from entering into an absolute contract of sale pertained to the sellers themselves (the certificate of title was not in their names) and not the full payment of the purchase price. Under the established facts and circumstances of the case, the Court may safely presume that, had the certificate of title been in the names of petitioners-sellers at that time, there would have been no reason why an absolute contract of sale could not have been executed and consummated right there and then. 20 | P a g e

Thus, the parties did not merely enter into a contract to sell where the sellers, after compliance by the buyer with certain terms and conditions, promised to sell the property to the latter. What may be perceived from the respective undertakings of the parties to the contract is that petitioners had already agreed to sell the house and lot they inherited from their father, completely willing to transfer full ownership of the subject house and lot to the buyer if the documents were then in order. It just happened, however, that the transfer certificate of title was then still in the name of their father. the lower courts' ruling on this point.Thus, the petition was DISMISSED and the appealed judgment was AFFIRMED.

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DONATO S. PAULMITAN, JULIANA P. FANESA and RODOLFO FANESA, petitioners, -versusCOURT OF APPEALS, ALICIO PAULMITAN, ELENA PAULMITAN, ABELINO PAULMITAN, ANITA PAULMITAN, BAKING PAULMITAN, ADELINA PAULMITAN and ANITO PAULMITAN, respondents. G.R. No. 61584.November 25, 1992 ROMERO, J.: FACTS: Agatona Sagario Paulmitan, who died sometime in 1953, left Lot No. 1091 with an area of 69,080 square meters. She begot two legitimate children, namely: Pascual Paulmitan, who also died in 1953, and Donato Paulmitan, who is one of the petitioners. Petitioner Juliana P. Fanesa is Donato's daughter while the third petitioner, Rodolfo Donato executed on May 28, 1974 a Deed of Sale over the same in favor of petitioner Juliana P. Fanesa, his daughter. Sometime in 1952, for non-payment of taxes, Lot No. 1091 was forfeited and sold at a public auction, with the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental being the buyer. On May 29, 1974, Juliana P. Fanesa redeemed the property from the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental for the amount of P2,959.09. On learning of these transactions, respondents children of the late Pascual Paulmitan filed on January 18, 1975 with the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental a Complaint against petitioners to partition the properties plus damages. Petitioner Juliana P. Fanesa claimed that she acquired exclusive ownership thereof not only by means of a deed of sale executed in her favor by her father, petitioner Donato Paulmitan, but also by way of redemption from the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental. ISSUE: Whether or not Juliana acquired full ownership over the subject lot May a co-owner acquire exclusive ownership over the property held in common? RULING: When Pascual Paulmitan died intestate in 1953, his children, the respondents, succeeded him in the co-ownership of the disputed property. Pascual Paulmitan's right of ownership over an undivided portion of the property passed on to his children, who, from the time of Pascual's death, became co-owners with their uncle Donato over the disputed decedent 22 | P a g e

estate. When Donato Paulmitan sold on May 28, 1974 Lot No. 1091 to his daughter Juliana P. Fanesa, he was only a co-owner with respondents and as such, he could only sell that portion which may be allotted to him upon termination of the co-ownership. The sale did not prejudice the rights of respondents to one half (1/2) undivided share of the land which they inherited from their father. It did not vest ownership in the entire land with the buyer but transferred only the seller's pro-indiviso share in the property and consequently made the buyer a co-owner of the land until it is partitioned. The sale by petitioner Donato Paulmitan of the land to his daughter, petitioner Juliana P. Fanesa, did not give to the latter ownership over the entire land but merely transferred to her the one half (1/2) undivided share of her father, thus making her the co-owner of the land in question with the respondents, her first cousins. The redemption of the land made by Fanesa did not terminate the co-ownership nor give her title to the entire land subject of the co-ownership. The right of repurchase may be exercised by co-owner with respect to his share alone. While the records show that petitioner redeemed the property in its entirety, shouldering the expenses therefor, that did not make him the owner of all of it. In other words, it did not put to end the existing state of co-ownership. There is no doubt that redemption of property entails a necessary expense. The result is that the property remains to be in a condition of co-ownership. While a vendee a retro, under Article 1613 of the Code, "may not be compelled to consent to a partial redemption," the redemption by one co-heir or co-owner of the property in its totality does not vest in him ownership over it. Failure on the part of all the co-owners to redeem it entitles the vendee a retro to retain the property and consolidate title thereto in his name. But the provision does not give to the redeeming co-owner the right to the entire property. It does not provide for a mode of terminating a co-ownership. Although petitioner Fanesa did not acquire ownership over the entire lot by virtue of the redemption she made, nevertheless, she did acquire the right to reimbursed for half of the redemption price she paid to the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental on behalf of her co-owners. Until reimbursed, Fanesa hold a lien upon the subject property for the amount due her.

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TEODORA A. RIOFERIO, VERONICA O. EVANGELISTA assisted by her husband ZALDYEVANGELISTA, ALBERTO ORFINADA, and ROWENA O. UNGOS, assisted by herhusband BEDA UNGOS,petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ESPERANZA P.ORFINADA, LOURDES P. ORFINADA, ALFONSO ORFINADA, NANCY P.ORFINADA, ALFONSO JAMES P. ORFINADA, CHRISTOPHER P. ORFINADA andANGELO P. ORFINADA,respondents. G.R. No. 129008. January 13, 2004 TINGA, J .: FACTS: On May 13, 1995, Alfonso P. Orfinada, Jr. died without a will in leaving several personal and real properties located in . He also left awidow, respondent Esperanza P. Orfinada, whom he married on July 11, 1960 and with whom he had seven children who are the herein respondents. On November 14, 1995, respondents Alfonso James and Lourdes Orfinada discovered that on June 29, 1995, petitioner Teodora Rioferio and her children executed an Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate of a Deceased Person with Quitclaim involving the properties of the estate of the decedent located in Dagupan City and that accordingly, the Registry of Deeds issued new Certificates of Titles in favor of petitioners Teodora Rioferio, Veronica Orfinada-Evangelista, Alberto Orfinada and Rowena Orfinada-Ungos. Respondents also found out that petitioners were able to obtain a loan of P700,000.00 from the Rural Bank of Mangaldan Inc. by executing a Real Estate Mortgage over the properties subject of the extra-judicial settlement. On December 1, 1995, respondent Alfonso Clyde P. Orfinada III filed a Petition for Letters of Administration. On December 4, 1995, respondents filed a Complaint for the Annulment/Rescission of Extra Judicial Settlement of Estate of a Deceased Person with Quitclaim, Real Estate Mortgage and Cancellation of new Transfer Certificate of Titles and Other Related Documents with Damages against petitioners, the Rural Bank of Mangaldan, Inc. and the Register of Deeds of Dagupan City. The RTC ruled indismissed the petition on the ground that the proper party to file the complaint for the annulment of the extrajudicial settlement of the estate of the deceased is the estate of the decedent and not the respondents. The Court of Appeals sustained the RTC

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ISSUE: Whether the heirs may bring suit to recover property of the estate pending the appointment of an administrator is the issue in this case. HELD: YES. Pending the filing of administration proceedings, the heirs without doubt have legal personality to bring suit in behalf of the estate of the decedent in accordance with the provision of Article 777 of the New Civil Code that (t)he rights to succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent. Even if administration proceedings have already been commenced, the heirs may still bring the suit if an administrator has not yet been appointed. This is the proper modality despite the total lack of advertence to the heirs in the rules on party representation. In fact, in the case of Gochan v. Young this Court recognized the legal standing of the heirs to represent the rights and properties of the decedent under administration pending the appointment of an administrator. Even if there is an appointed administrator, jurisprudence recognizes two exceptions,viz: (1) if the executor or administrator is unwilling or refuses to bring suit; and (2) when the administrator is alleged to have participated in the act complained of and he is made a party defendant. Evidently, the necessity for the heirs to seek judicial relief to recover property of the estate is as compelling when there is no appointed administrator, if not more, as where there is an appointed administrator but he is either disinclined to bring suit or is one of the guilty parties himself. As the appellate court did not commit an error of law in upholding the order of the lower court, recourse to this Court is not warranted. The assailed decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals are hereby AFFIRMED

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EMILIO EMNACE, petitioner, - versusCOURT OF APPEALS, ESTATE OF VICENTE TABANAO,SHERWIN TABANAO, VICENTE WILLIAM TABANAO, JANETTE TABANAODEPOSOY, VICENTA MAY TABANAO VARELA, ROSELA TABANAO and VINCENTTABANAO,Respondents G.R. No. 126334. November 23, 2001 YNARES-SANTIAGO, J .: FACTS: Petitioner Emilio Emnace, Vicente Tabanao and Jacinto Divinagracia were partners in a business concern known as Ma. Nelma Fishing Industry. Sometime in January of 1986, they decided to dissolve their partnership and executed an agreement of partition and distribution of the partnership properties among them, consequent to Jacinto Divinagracias withdrawal from the partnership. Among the assets to be distributed were five (5) fishing boats, six (6) vehicles, two (2) parcels of land located at Sto. Nio and Talisay, Negros Occidental, and cash deposits in the local branches of the Bank of the Philippine Islandsand Prudential Bank.Throughout the existence of the partnership, and even after Vicente Tabanaos untimely demise in 1994, petitioner failed to submit to Tabanaos heirs any statement of assets and liabilities of the partnership, and to render an accounting of the partnerships finances. Consequently, Tabanaos heirs, respondents herein, filed against petitioner an action for accounting, payment of shares, division of assets and damages. Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds of improper venue, lack of jurisdiction over the nature of the action or suit, and lack of capacity of the estate of Tabanao to sue. OnAugust 30, 1994, the trial court denied the motion to dismiss. ISSUE: Whether the heirs of Vicente Tabanao lack the capacity to sue. RUlIN: NO. The surviving spouse does not need to be appointed as executrix or administratrix of the estate before she can file the action. She and her children are complainants in their own right as successors of Vicente Tabanao. From the very moment of Vicente Tabanaos 26 | P a g e

death, his rights insofar as the partnership was concerned were transmitted to his heirs, for rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent .Whatever claims and rights Vicente Tabanao had against the partnership and petitioner were transmitted to respondents by operation of law, more particularly by succession, which is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the property, rights and obligations to the extent of the value of the inheritance of a person are transmitted (Civil Code, Art. 774). Moreover, respondents became owners of their respective hereditary shares from the moment Vicente Tabanao died. A prior settlement of the estate, or even the appointment of Salvacion Tabanao as executrix or administratrix, is not necessary for any of the heirs to acquire legal capacity to sue. As successors who stepped into the shoes of their decedent upon his death, they can commence any action originally pertaining to the decedent. From the moment of his death, his rights as a partner and to demand fulfillment of petitioners obligations as outlined in their dissolution agreement were transmitted to respondents. They, therefore, had the capacity to sue and seek the courts intervention to compel petitioner to fulfill his obligations. WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the instant petition is DENIED for lack of merit, and the case isREMANDED to the Regional Trial Court of Cadiz City, Branch 60, which is ORDERED to determine the proper docket fee based on the estimated amount that plaintiffs therein seek to collect, and direct said plaintiffs to pay the same within a reasonable time, provided the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period has not yet expired. Thereafter, the trial court is ORDERED to conduct the appropriate proceedings in Civil Case No. 416-C.

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Re: Object of Succession ANGEL T. LIMJOCO, petitioner, vs. INTESTATE ESTATE OF PEDRO O. FRAGRANTE, deceased, respondent. G.R. No. L-770 . April 27, 1948 HILADO, J.: FACTS: The Public Service Commission, through Deputy Commissioner Fidel Ibaez, rendered its decision granting the estate of Pedro FRAGRANTE WHO WAS PRIOR TO HIS DEATH AN APPLICANT for a certificate of public convenience to install, maintain and operate an ice plant in San Juan, Rizal.The commission held that the estate of Fragrante is financially capable and the best interest of the public will be best served by the grant of the certificate of public convenience. ISSUE:Whether or not the estate of Pedro O. Fragrante is a "person" within the meaning of the Public Service Act. RULING: YES.The estate of the decedent is a person in legal contemplation. The substitution of a legal representative to the in the application of the deceased is valid.Rule 88, section 2, provides that the executor or administrator may bring or defend actions, among other cases, for the protection of the property or rights of the deceased which survive, and it says that such actions may be brought or defended "in the right of the deceased". If Pedro O. Fragante had not died, there can be no question that he would have had the right to prosecute his application before the commission to its final conclusion. In the instant case there would also be a failure of justice unless the estate of Pedro O. Fragrante is considered a "person", for quashing of the proceedings for no other reason than his death would entail prejudicial results to his investment amounting to P35,000.00.Our jurisdiction has also considered jurisprudence that show that the 28 | P a g e

estate of a deceased person is also considered as having legal personality independent of their heirs. The estate of the deceased person is considered a "person" for the avoidance of injustice or prejudice resulting from the impossibility of exercising such legal rights and fulfilling such legal obligations of the decedent as survived after his death unless the fiction is indulged. Pedro O. Fragrante was a Filipino citizen, and as such, if he had lived, he would have obtained from the commission the certificate for which he was applying. The situation has suffered but one change, and that is, his death. His estate was that of a Filipino citizen. And its economic ability to appropriately and adequately operate and maintain the service of an ice plant was the same that it received from the decedent himself. In the absence of a contrary showing, which does not exist here, his heirs may be assumed to be also Filipino citizens; and if they are not, there is the simple expedient of revoking the certificate or enjoining them from inheriting it. Upon the whole, we are of the opinion that for the purposes of the prosecution of said case No. 4572 of the Public Service Commission to its final conclusion, both the personality and citizenship of Pedro O. Fragrante must be deemed extended, within the meaning and intent of the Public Service Act, as amended, in harmony with the constitution: it is so adjudged and decreed. Decision affirmed, without costs..

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BASILIA ARAYATA, plaintiff-appellant, vs. FLORENTINO JOYA, ET AL., defendants-appellants. G.R. No. L-28067 VILLA-REAL, J.: FACTS: Cecilio Joya, during his lifetime, inherited from his deceased parents the right of lease to six lots of the friar lands at Santa Crus de Malabon, municipality of Tanza, Province of Cavite. On June 4, 1906, Cecilio Joya married the herein plaintiff, Basilia Arayata. When the Insular Government acquired the said land, Cecilio Joya continued his lease in accordance with the provisions of the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902 and Act No. 1120 of the Philippine Commission. While married to the herein plaintiff-appellant, Cecilio Joya purchase the lots he had been leasing, on installments, from the Government, as the number of lots which a purchaser could acquire under the law was limited, lots Nos. 1153 and 2352 were excluded and put up for sale. In order not to lose them, Cecilio Joya had Pedro Tiongco buy them, supplying him with the necessary funds. Subsequently, Pedro Tiongco transferred his right to said lots to Cecilio Joya by donation.These transfers were approved by the Director of Lands and noted in the proper registry book. On April 24 1919, Cecilio Joya conveyed his right to lot No. 1058 to Florentino Joya fOr P2,000 and on May 11, 1919, Cecilio Joya also conveyed his right to lot No. 547 to Marcelina Joya and Francisco Joya in consideration of the sum of P450, On April 27, 1919, Cecilio Joya executed a will devising lot No. 1058 to Florentino Joya, lot No. 1086 to Pablo Joya, lot No. 1031 to Delfin and Felicisima Blancaflor, lot No. 1153 to the brothers Agustin and Pedro Joya, lot No. 2352 to Feliciano and Asuncion Bobadilla, and lot No. 547 (Exhibit Y) to Marcelina and Francisca Joya. At the time of his death, Cecilio Joya had not yet completed the payment of the price of the lots mentioned above to the Insular Government. All the lots in question except lot No. 547, are in the possession of the defendants, who enjoy their products. March 10, 1928

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The executor of the deceaseds estate Florentino Joya presented the will for probate and the will was thus probated by the CFI of Cavite. ISSUES: : (1) Were Cecilio Joya's conveyances of his interest in lot No. 1958 to Florentino Joya and in No. 547 to the sisters Marcelina and Francisca Joya fraudulent? (2) Were Cecilio Joya's legacies of lots Nos. 1031, 1086, 1153 and 2352 to the other defendants null and void? (3) Has the plaintiff-appellant, as the surviving spouse, exclusive right to all the lots in question? (4) In case she has, is she entitled to the possession and products thereof? RULING: (1) NO.The law governing the transaction provides that the holder of a certificate of sale of friar has a right to sell his interest therein, even before having fully paid the purchase price and upon presentation of the certificate of transfer to the Chief of the Bureau of Public Lands for registration, he is subrogated to all the rights of the holder of the certificate.It was found by the court that the conveyances made by Joya were approved and registered in the proper book hence in compliance with the provisions of the law.Hence the transferees were subrogated to all of Cecilio Joya's rights to said lots, and there is nothing in the record to show conclusively that said conveyances were fraudulently obtained (2) YES. The legacies given by Cecilio Joya to the defendants were void. The lands, which are the subject matter of said legacies and which are in the possession of the defendants, still belong to Cecilio Joya's estate, because no judicial partition has as yet been made of the property he left, which is subject, together with its fruits, to the payment of his debts. (3) YES.Since Cecilio Joya's legacies in his will of lot No. 1031 to Delfin and Felicisima Blancaflor, lot No. 1086 to Pablo Joya, lot No. 1152 to the brothers Agustin and Pedro Joya, and lot No. 2352 to Feliciano and Asuncion Bobadilla are null and void, being contrary to the provisions of section 16 of Act No. 1120 which grants his widow, the herein plaintiff-appellant the ownership of the lands purchased and not transferred by him during his lifetime, provided that she complies with the legal requirements for the purchase of the same. (4) YES.The plaintiff-appellant is entitled to the exclusive ownership and possession of the aforementioned lots Nos. 1031, 1086, 1153, and 2352 and to their fruits, after deducting the necessary expenses of preservation, cultivation and production

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For the foregoing, the judgment appealed from is modified, and it is ordered that Feliciano and Pablo Joya, Asuncion Bobadilla, Delfin and Felicisima Blancaflor return lots Nos. 1031, 1086, 1153, and 2352 to the plaintiff-appellant, Basilia Arayata, together with their products, or the latter's equivalent in cash from the year 1920 until their restitution, deducting the necessary expenses of cultivation, preservation, and production. Without any special pronouncement as to costs, it is so ordered.

LAURA ALVAREZ, FLORA ALVAREZ and RAYMUNDO ALVAREZ, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE INTERMEDIATE APELLATE COURT and JESUS YANES, ESTELITA YANES, ANTONIO YANES, ROSARIO YANES, and ILUMINADO YANES, respondents. G.R. No. L-68053 May 7, 1990 FERNAN, C.J.: FACTS: Aniceto Yanes was survived by his children, Rufino, Felipe and Teodora. Herein private respondents, Estelita, Iluminado and Jesus, are the children of Rufino who died in 1962 while the other private respondents, Antonio and Rosario Yanes, are children of Felipe. Teodora was survived by her child, Jovita (Jovito) Alib. The object of the controversy is two parcels of lands registered in the name of the heirs of Aniceto Yanes under Original Certificate of Title No. RO-4858 (8804) issued on October 9, 1917 by the Register of Deeds of Occidental Negros.One of the lots left by Aniceto was later found in the possession of Fortunato Santiago, Fuentebella (Puentevella) and Alvarez were in possession of Lot 773.Santiago sold the lots to Fuentebella and a new TCT was issued.After Fuentebella died, his wife became the administrator.The widow Arsenia Vda. de Fuentebella sold said lots for P6,000.00 to Rosendo Alvarez.A new TCT was also issued in favor of Rosendo Alvarez Two years later or on May 26, 1960, Teodora Yanes and the children of her brother Rufino, namely, Estelita, Iluminado and Jesus, filed in the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental a complaint against Fortunato Santiago, Arsenia Vda. de Fuentebella, Alvarez and the Register of Deeds of Negros Occidental for the "return" of the ownership and possession of Lots 773 and 823. They also prayed that an accounting of the 32 | P a g e

produce of the land from 1944 up to the filing of the complaint be made by the defendants, that after court approval of said accounting, the share or money equivalent due the plaintiffs be delivered to them, and that defendants be ordered to pay plaintiffs P500.00 as damages in the form of attorney's fees. The CFI ruled in favor of the Yaneses.However the execution was problematic since the sheriff found out that Lot 773 was subdivided into Lots 773-A and 773-B; that they were "in the name" of Rodolfo Siason who had purchased them from Alvarez, and that Lot 773 could not be delivered to the plaintiffs as Siason was "not a party per writ of execution. ISSUE: Whether or not the obligations of Rosendo Alvarez arising from the sale of Lots Nos. 773-A and 773-B could be legally passed or transmitted by operation of law to the heirs without violation of law and due process. RULING: YES. It is a settled doctrine in this jurisdiction that rights and obligations of the deceased are generally transmissible to his legitimate children and heirs. The binding effect of contracts upon the heirs of the deceased party is not altered by the provision of our Rules of Court that money debts of a deceased must be liquidated and paid from his estate before the residue is distributed among said heirs (Rule 89). The reason is that whatever payment is thus made from the estate is ultimately a payment by the heirs or distributees, since the amount of the paid claim in fact diminishes or reduces the shares that the heirs would have been entitled to receive."Under our law, therefore, the general rule is that a partys contractual rights and obligations are transmissible to the successors. Petitioners being the heirs of the late Rosendo Alvarez, they cannot escape the legal consequences of their father's transaction, which gave rise to the present claim for damages. That petitioners did not inherit the property involved herein is of no moment because by legal fiction, the monetary equivalent thereof devolved into the mass of their father's hereditary estate, and we have ruled that the hereditary assets are always liable in their totality for the payment of the debts of the estate. CA decision appealed.

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RUFINA LUY LIM petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, AUTO TRUCK TBA CORPORATION, SPEED DISTRIBUTING, INC., ACTIVE DISTRIBUTORS, ALLIANCE MARKETING CORPORATION, ACTION COMPANY, INC. respondents. G.R. No. 124715. January 24, 2000 BUENA, J.: FACTS: Petitioner Rufina Luy Lim is the surviving spouse of the late Pastor Y. Lim who died intestate on 11 June 1994 whose estate is the subject of probate proceedings. Petitioner, as surviving spouse and duly represented by her nephew George Luy, filed on 17 March 1995, a joint petition for the administration of the estate of Pastor Y. Lim before the RTC of Quezon aside City.The deceased left properties and in the amended petition,the widow sought to include properties in the name of several corporations, private respondents Auto Truck Corporation, Alliance Marketing Corporation, Speed Distributing, Inc., Active Distributing, Inc. and Action Company as part of the estate of the deceased.Likewise petitioner averred that not only the properties of private respondent corporations are properly part of the decedents estate but also the private respondent corporations themselves. ISSUE: Whether or not a corporation, in its universality, be the proper subject of and be included in the inventory of the estate of a deceased person? RULING: NO. It is settled that a corporation is clothed with personality separate and distinct from that of the persons composing it. It may not generally be held liable for that of the persons composing it. It may not be held liable for the personal indebtedness of its stockholders or those of the entities connected with it. Inasmuch as the real properties included in the inventory of the 34 | P a g e

estate of the late Pastor Y. Lim are in the possession of and are registered in the name of private respondent corporations, which under the law possess a personality separate and distinct from their stockholders, and in the absence of any cogency to shred the veil of corporate fiction, the presumption of conclusiveness of said titles in favor of private respondents should stand undisturbed. WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing disquisitions, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit and the decision of the Court of Appeals which nullified and set aside the orders issued by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 93, acting as a probate court, dated 04 July 1995 and 12 September 1995 is AFFIRMED.

ESTATE OF ORLANDO LLENADO and WENIFREDA T. LLENADO, inher capacity as (a) Administratrix of the Estate of Orlando A. Llenado and (b) Judicial Guardian of the Minor children of Orlando A. Llenado, and (c) in her Own behalf as the Surviving Spouse and Legal Heir of Orlando A. Llenado, Petitioners, - versus EDUARDO LLENADO, JORGE LLENADO, FELIZA GALLARDO VDA. DE LLENADO and REGISTER OF DEEDS of Valenzuela City Metro Manila, Respondents. G.R. No. 145736 . March 4, 2009 YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: FACTS: The subject of the controversy IS A parcel of land located consisting of 1,554 square meters located in Barrio Malinta, Valenzuela, Metro Manila and registered in the names of Eduardo Llenado (Eduardo) and Jorge Llenado (Jorge) under Transfer of Certificate of Title (TCT) No. V-1689.This land was once part of another lot owned and registered under the name of their father, Cornelio Llenado.The latter leased Lot 491_D to his nephew Romeo Llenado foe 5 years renewable for another 5 years.Romeo in turn, executed an agreement with his cousin Orlando Llenado whereby Romeo assigned all his rights to Orlando over the unexpired portion of the aforesaid lease contract with an additional agreement that at Orlandos option the lease can be extended for another 3 years.Cornello and Orlando entered into another supplementary 35 | P a g e

agreement to amend the lease contract.A gasoline station was operated in the land.After the death of Orlando in Orlando on November 7, 1983, his wife, Wenifreda Llenado (Wenifreda), took over the operation of the gasoline station. Meanwhile, on January 29, 1987, Cornelio sold Lot 249-D to his children, namely, Eduardo, Jorge, Virginia and Cornelio, Jr., through a deed of sale, denominated as Kasulatan sa Ganap Na Bilihan, for the sum of P160,000.00. Eduardo informed the widow of his desire to take over the land,but despite repeated demands the widoe refused.An unlawful detainer case was filed against Winifreda as administrator of the estate of her husband.In her answer the widow cited that there was an agreement between Cornelio and Orlando that while the lease was effective the transfer and conveyance of the subject lot by Cornelio in favor of respondents Eduardo and Jorge, was fraudulent and in bad faith considering that the March 31, 1978 Agreement provided that while the lease is in force, the subject lot cannot be sold, transferred or conveyed to any third party; that the period of the lease was until December 3, 1987 with the option to renew granted to Orlando; that the subject lot was transferred and conveyed to respondents Eduardo and Jorge on January 29, 1987 when the lease was in full force and effect making the sale null and void. The RTC found that upon the death of Orlando on November 7, 1983, his rights under the lease contract were transmitted to his heirs; that since the lease was in full force and effect at the time the subject lot was sold by Cornelio to his sons, the sale violated the prohibitory clause in the said lease contract. Further, Cornelios promise to sell the subject lot to Orlando may be established by parole evidence since an option to buy is not covered by the statute of frauds. Hence, the same is binding on Cornelio and his heirs. The CA reversed the RTC holding that the death of Orlando did not extinguish the lease agreement and had the effect of transmitting his lease rights to his heirs. However, the breach of the non-alienation clause of the said agreement did not nullify the sale between Cornelio and his sons because the heirs of Orlando are mere lessees on the subject lot and can never claim a superior right of ownership over said lot as against the registered owners thereof. ISSUE: Whether or not the rights of the deceased as lessee of the land was transmitted to the hence the heirs of the lessor are bound by the lease contract. RULING: YES. Article 1311 of the Civil Code, the heirs are bound by the contracts entered into by their predecessors-in-interest except when the rights and obligations therein are not transmissible by their nature, by stipulation or by provision of law. A contract of lease is, therefore, generally transmissible to the heirs of the lessor or lessee. It involves a property right and, as such, the death of a party does not excuse non-performance of the contract. The rights and obligations pass to the heirs of the deceased and the heir of the deceased lessor is bound to 36 | P a g e

respect the period of the lease. The same principle applies to the option to renew the lease. As a general rule, covenants to renew a lease are not personal but will run with the land. Consequently, the successors-in-interest of the lessee are entitled to the benefits, while that of the lessor are burdened with the duties and obligations, which said covenants conferred and imposed on the original parties.Hirsowever the records do not show that the heirs of Orlando exercised the right to renew and extend the lease because at the time of said sale on January 29, 1987 the lease agreement had long been terminated for failure of Orlando or his heirs to validly renew the same. As a result, there was no obstacle to the sale of the subject lot by Cornelio to respondents Eduardo and Jorge as the prohibitory clause under the lease contract was no longer in force.

DKC HOLDINGS CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, VICTOR U. BARTOLOME and REGISTER OF DEEDS FOR METRO MANILA, DISTRICT III, respondents. G.R. No. 118248. April 5, 2000 YNARES SANTIAGO, J.: FACTS: On March 16, 1988, petitioner entered into a Contract of Lease with Option to Buy with Encarnacion Bartolome, whereby petitioner was given the option to lease or lease with purchase the subject land, which option must be exercised within a period of two years counted from the signing of the Contract. In turn, petitioner undertook to pay P3,000.00 a month as consideration for the reservation of its option. Within the two-year period, petitioner shall serve formal written notice upon the lessor Encarnacion Bartolome of its desire to exercise its option. The contract also provided that in case petitioner chose to lease the property, it may take actual possession of the premises. In such an event, the lease shall be for a period of six years, renewable for another six years, and the monthly rental fee shall be P15,000.00 for the first six years and P18,000.00 for the next six years, in case of renewal. On March 14, 1990, petitioner served upon Victor, via registered mail, notice that it was exercising its option to lease the property, tendering the amount of P15,000.00 as rent for the month of March. Again, Victor refused to accept the tendered rental fee and to surrender possession of the property to petitioner. Petitioner thus opened Savings Account No. 1-0402558-I-1 with the China Banking Corporation, Cubao Branch, in the name of Victor Bartolome and deposited therein the P15,000.00 rental fee for March as well as P6,000.00 reservation fees for the months of February and March. On April 23, 1990, petitioner filed a complaint for specific performance and damages against Victor and the Register of Deeds. 37 | P a g e

ISSUE: Whether or not the Contract of Lease with Option to Buy entered into by the late Encarnacion Bartolome with petitioner was terminated upon her death or whether it binds her sole heir, Victor, even after her demise.

RULING: As early as 1903, it was held that "(H)e who contracts does so for himself and his heirs." In 1952, it was ruled that if the predecessor was duty-bound to reconvey land to another, and at his death the reconveyance had not been made, the heirs can be compelled to execute the proper deed for reconveyance. This was grounded upon the principle that heirs cannot escape the legal consequence of a transaction entered into by their predecessor-in-interest because they have inherited the property subject to the liability affecting their common ancestor. It is futile for Victor to insist that he is not a party to the contract because of the clear provision of Article 1311 of the Civil Code. Indeed, being an heir of Encarnacion, there is privity of interest between him and his deceased mother. He only succeeds to what rights his mother had and what is valid and binding against her is also valid and binding as against him. Clearly, he stepped into the shoes of the owner-lessor of the land as, by virtue of his purchase, he assumed all the obligations of the lessor under the lease contract. Moreover, he received benefits in the form of rental payments. Furthermore, the complaint, as well as the petition, prayed for the annulment of the sale of the properties to him. Both pleadings also alleged collusion between him and respondent Santos which defeated the exercise by petitioner of its right of first refusal. The death of a party does not excuse nonperformance of a contract which involves a property right and the rights and obligations thereunder pass to the personal representatives of the deceased. Similarly, nonperformance is not excused by the death of the party when the other party has a property interest in the subject matter of the contract.

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JESUS SAN AGUSTIN, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and MAXIMO MENEZ, JR., respondents. G.R. No. 121940. December 4, 2001 FACTS: On February 11, 1974, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) sold to a certain Macaria Vda. de Caiquep, a parcel of residential land with an area of 168 square meters located in Rosario, Pasig City. A day after We issuance of TCT No. 436465, or on February 20, 1974, Macaria Vda. de Caiquep sold the subject lot to private respondent, Maximo Menez, Jr. In December of 1990, he discovered that the subject TCT was missing. He consulted a lawyer but the latter did not act immediately on the matter. Upon consulting a new counsel, an Affidavit of Loss was filed with the Register of Deeds of Pasig and a certified copy of TCT No. 436465 was issued. Private respondent sent notices to the registered owner at her address appearing in the title and in the Deed of Sale. And, with his counsel, he searched for the ,registered owner in Metro Manila and Rizal and as far as Samar, Leyte, Calbayog City, Tacloban City, and in Eastern and Northern Samar. However, their search proved futile. On July 8, 1992 private respondent filed a petition with the RTC, Branch 154, Pasig, Metro Manila for the issuance of owner's duplicate copy of TCT No. 436465 to replace the lost one. To show he was the owner of the contested lot, he showed the Deed of Absolute Sale. The petition was set for hearing and the court's order dated July 10, 1992 was published once in Malaya, a nationally circulated newspaper in the Philippines.During the hearing on September 3, 1992, only Menez and his counsel appeared. The Register of Deeds who was not served notice, and the Office of the Solicitor General and the Provincial Prosecutor who were notified did not attend. On September 18, 1992, there being no opposition, Menez presented his evidence ex-parte. The trial court granted his petition in its decision dated September 30, 1992, the dispositive portion of which reads: On October 13, 1992, herein petitioner, Jesus San Agustin, received a copy of the abovecited decision. He-claimed this was the first time he became aware of the case of her aunt, Macaria Vda. de Caiquep who, according to him, died sometime in 1974. Claiming that he was the present occupant of the property and the heir of Macaria, he filed his "Motion to Reopen 39 | P a g e

Reconstitution Proceedings'' on October 27, 1992. On December 3, 1992, RTC issued an order denying said motion. ISSUE: Is petitioner entitled to notice? RULING: No. Petitioner does not appear to have an interest in the property based on the memorandum of encumbrances annotated at the back of the title. His claim, that he is an heir (nephew) of the original owner of the lot covered by the disputed lot and the present occupant thereof is not annotated in the said memorandum of encumbrances. There was compliance by private respondent of the RTC's order of publication of the petition in a newspaper of general circulation. This is sufficient notice of the petition to the public at large. The court agreed with respondent court that the proscription under Com. Act No. 141 on sale within the 5-year restrictive period refers to homestead lands only. Here the lot in dispute is not a homestead land, as found by the trial and appellate courts. Said lot is owned by GSIS, under TCT No. 10028 in its proprietary capacity. Moreover, as far as the violation of the 5-year restrictive condition imposed by GSIS in its contract with petitioner's predecessor-in-interest is concerned, it is the GSIS and not petitioner who had a cause of action against private respondent. The GSIS has not filed any action for the annulment of Exhibit "D", nor for the forfeiture of the lot in question. In our view, the contract of sale remains valid between the parties, unless and until annulled in the proper suit filed by the rightful party, the GSIS. For now, the said contract of sale is binding upon the heirs of Macaria Vda. de Caiquep, including petitioner who alleges to be one of her heirs, in line with the rule that heirs are bound by contracts entered into by their
predecessors-in-interest.

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JOSE C. LEE AND ALMA AGGABAO, in their capacities as President and Corporate Secretary, respectively, of Philippines Internationl Life Insurance Company, and FILIPINO LOAN ASSISTANCE GROUP, petitioners, vs. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF QUEZON CITY BRANCH 85 presided by JUDGE PEDRO M. AREOLA, BRANCH CLERK OF COURT JANICE Y. ANTERO, DEPUTY SHERIFFS ADENAUER G. RIVERA and PEDRO L. BORJA, all of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City Branch 85, MA. DIVINA ENDERES claiming to be Special Administratrix, and other persons/ public officers acting for and in their behalf, respondents. G.R. No. 146006 . February 23, 2004 CORONA, J.: FACTS: Dr. Ortanez, an owner of a 90% of the subscribed capital stock of the Philippine International Life Insurance Company. He left behind a wife, three legitimate children and five illegitimate children. One of his legitimate children, Rafael Ortanez, filed a petition for letters of administration on the intestate of Dr. Ortanez. On the other hand, his illegitimate children filed an opposition to t he petition and prayed that a special administrator be appointed. Rafael and Jose Ortanez were appointed joint special administrators of their fathers estate. They submitted an inventory which included among other properties 2,029 shares of stock in the Philinterlife. Juliania Ortanez, claiming she owns 1,014 shares of stock as her conjugal share, sold her share to Filipino Loan Assistance Group, which ownership was consolidated by FLAG for failure to repurchase the same. Jose Ortanez, also acting in his personal capacity, claiming that he owned the remaining as his inheritance share, sold said shares to FLAG and also failed to repurchase the same. Prior to that, the wife and her two children entered into a memorandum of agreement for the extrajudicial settlement of the estate of the deceased, partitioning the estate among themselves.

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Private respondent, Ma. Divina Ortanez-Enderes and her siblings filed a motion for the appointment of special administrator of Philinterlife shares of stock which was opposed by Jose. The intestate court on the one hand granted the motion of Enderes and appointed her as the administratrix of the Philinterlife shares of stock. She then files a motion to declare the memorandum of agreement void ab initio and declare the extra judicial settlement partial nullity, and the deeds of sale void ab initio. All of which was opposed by Jose. The intestate court then denied the approval of the sale of Philinterlife shares of stock and granted the annulment of the memorandum of agreement. This was raised by way of petition to the supreme court which was denied with finality for there was no legal justification for the extra judicial partition of the estate. As a result of the orders nullifying the sale, Enderes then filed a motion of execution of the Orders of the intestate court. A copy was then served to petitioners who ignored the same. Enderes also filed a motion asking that the name of Dr. Ortanez be reinstated in the stock and transfer book which petitioners opposed. ISSUE: Whether or not the order of the intestate court nullifying the sale of shares of stock between the legitimate heir and FLAG is valid. RULING: An heir can sell his right, interest, or participation in the property under administration. However, an heir can only alienate such portion of the estate that may be allotted to him in the division of the estate by the probate or intestate court after final adjudication. This means, only his undivided share in the estate, not any specific property therein. In this case, the wife and her sons sold specific properties of the estate in favor of petitioner FLAG without court approval, to the exclusion and extreme prejudice of other heirs. This is unlawful pending the final adjudication of the estate by the intestate court because of the undue prejudice it would cause the other claimants to the estate. Court approval is necessary for the validity of the disposition of the decedents estate. In addition, when the estate of the deceased person is already the subject of a testate or intestate proceeding, the administrator cannot enter into any transaction involving it without any approval of the probate court. Otherwise, it does not bind the estate and is null and void. Thus, the subsequent sale by the wife and Jose to a third part, (FLAG) is void as it was also a result of an invalid memorandum of agreement.

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Re: Forced Succession MILAGROS MANONGSONG, joined by her husband, CARLITO MANONGSONG, petitioners, vs. FELOMENA JUMAQUIO ESTIMO, EMILIANA JUMAQUIO, NARCISO ORTIZ, CELESTINO ORTIZ, RODOLFO ORTIZ, ERLINDA O. OCAMPO, PASTOR ORTIZ, JR., ROMEO ORTIZ BENJAMIN DELA CRUZ, SR., BENJAMIN DELA CRUZ, JR., AURORA NICOLAS, GLORIA RACADIO, ROBERTO DELA CRUZ, JOSELITO DELA CRUZ and LEONCIA S. LOPEZ, respondents. G. R. No. 136773. June 25, 2003 FACTS: The disputed property is a parcel of land owned by Spouses Agatona Guevarra (Guevarra) and Ciriaco Lopez who had 6 children. Subject parcel of land however was unregistered but with improvements thereon in the name of one of the children, Filomena. Milagros Manongsong, granddaughter of decedents, (petitioners) filed a complaint alleging that Manongsong and respondents are the owners pro indiviso of the Property. Invoking Article 494 of the Civil Code, petitioners prayed for the partition and award to them of an area equivalent to one-fifth (1/5) of the Property or its prevailing market value, and for damages. 43 | P a g e

Petitioners alleged that Guevarra was the original owner of the Property. Upon Guevarras death, her children inherited the Property. Since Dominador Lopez died without offspring, there were only five children left as heirs of Guevarra. Each of the five children, including Vicente Lopez, the father of Manongsong, was entitled to a fifth of the Property. As Vicente Lopez sole surviving heir, Manongsong claims her fathers 1/5 share in the Property by right of representation. Most respondents, aunts, uncle and cousins of respondent, entered into a compromise agreement with petitioners. Under the Stipulation of Facts and Compromise Agreement dated 12 September 1992 (Agreement), petitioners and the Ortiz and Dela Cruz families agreed that each group of heirs would receive an equal share in the Property. The signatories to the Agreement asked the trial court to issue an order of partition to this effect and prayed further that those who have exceeded said one-fifth (1/5) must be reduced so that those who have less and those who have none shall get the correct and proper portion. The Jumaquio sisters, daughters of Felomina on the other hand presented a notarized KASULATAN SA BILIHAN NG LUPA executed by their great great grandmother in favor of their mother. ISSUE: Whether or not the alleged sale is valid and thus binds the co-heirs RULING: Yes. The Court finds no basis for the trial courts declaration that the sale embodied in the Kasulatan deprived the compulsory heirs of Guevarra of their legitimes. As opposed to a disposition inter vivos by lucrative or gratuitous title, a valid sale for valuable consideration does not diminish the estate of the seller. When the disposition is for valuable consideration, there is no diminution of the estate but merely a substitution of values, that is, the property sold is replaced by the equivalent monetary consideration.

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SPOUSES BERNARDO BUENAVENTURA and CONSOLACION JOAQUIN, SPOUSES JUANITO EDRA and NORA JOAQUIN, SPOUSES RUFINO VALDOZ and EMMA JOAQUIN, and NATIVIDAD JOAQUIN, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, SPOUSES LEONARDO JOAQUIN and FELICIANA LANDRITO, SPOUSES FIDEL JOAQUIN and CONCHITA BERNARDO, SPOUSES TOMAS JOAQUIN and SOLEDAD ALCORAN, SPOUSES ARTEMIO JOAQUIN and SOCORRO ANGELES, SPOUSES ALEXANDER MENDOZA and CLARITA JOAQUIN, SPOUSES TELESFORO CARREON and FELICITAS JOAQUIN, SPOUSES DANILO VALDOZ and FE JOAQUIN, and SPOUSES GAVINO JOAQUIN and LEA ASIS, respondents. G.R. No. 126376. November 20, 2003 CARPIO, J.: FACTS: Spouses Leonardo Joaquin and Feliciana Landrito are the parents of plaintiffs Consolacion, Nora, Emma and Natividad, as well as of defendants Fidel, Tomas, Artemio, Clarita, Felicitas, Fe and Gavino. Sought to be declared null and void ab initio are certain deeds of sale of real property executed by defendant parents in favour of their co-defendant children. The plaintiff children are claiming that no actual valid consideration for the deeds of sale were made and that the purported sale was the result of a deliberate conspiracy designed to unjustly deprive the rest of the compulsory heirs of their legitime. ISSUE: Were the deeds of sale by the parents to their co-defendant children valid? Yes.

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RULING: The right of children to the properties of their parents, as compulsory heirs, is merely inchoate and vests only upon the parents death. While still alive, parents are free to dispose of their properties, provided such dispositions are not made in fraud of creditors. Compulsory heirs have the right to a legitime but such right is contingent since said right commences only from the moment of death of the decedent. There can be no legitime to speak of prior to the death of their parents. In determining the legitime, the value of the property left at the death of the testator shall be considered. The legitime of a compulsory heir is computed as of the time of the death of the decedent. Plaintiffs cannot claim an impairment of their legitime while their parents live. The testimony of the defendants particularly that of the father will show that the Deeds of Sale were all executed for valuable consideration. Petitioners failed to show that the prices in the Deeds of Sale were absolutely simulated. Moreover, the factual findings of the appellate court are conclusive on the parties and carry greater weight when they coincide with the factual findings of the trial court. This Court will not weigh the evidence all over again unless there has been a showing that the findings of the lower court are totally devoid of support or are clearly erroneous so as to constitute serious abuse of discretion.[20] In the instant case, the trial court found that the lots were sold for a valid consideration, and that the defendant children actually paid the purchase price stipulated in their respective Deeds of Sale. Actual payment of the purchase price by the buyer to the seller is a factual finding that is now conclusive upon us. WHEREFORE, we AFFIRM the decision of the Court of Appeals in toto.

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J.L.T. AGRO, INC., represented by its Manager, JULIAN L. TEVES, petitioner, -versusANTONIO BALANSAG and HILARIA CADAYDAY, respondents. G.R. No. 141882. March 11, 2005 TINGA, J.: FACTS: Don Julian L. Teves contracted two marriages, first with Antonia Baena , and after her death, with Milagros Donio Teves. Don Julian had two children with Antonia, namely: Josefa Teves Escao and Emilio Teves . He had also four (4) children with Milagros Donio, namely: Maria Evelyn Donio Teves, Jose Catalino Donio Teves , Milagros Reyes Teves and Pedro Reyes Teves. The present controversy involves a parcel of land covering nine hundred and fifty-four (954) square meters, known as Lot No. 63 of the Bais Cadastre, which was originally registered in the name of the conjugal partnership of Don Julian and Antonia under Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 5203 of the Registry of Deeds of Bais City. When Antonia died, the land was among the properties involved in an action for partition and damages docketed as Civil Case No. 3443 entitled "Josefa Teves Escao v. Julian Teves, Emilio B. Teves, et al." Milagros Donio, the 47 | P a g e

second wife of Don Julian, participated as an intervenor. Thereafter, the parties to the case entered into a Compromise Agreement which embodied the partition of all the properties of Don Julian. The CFI decision declared a tract of land known as Hacienda Medalla Milagrosa as property owned in common by Don Julian and his two (2) children of the first marriage. The property was to remain undivided during the lifetime of Don Julian. Josefa and Emilio likewise were given other properties at Bais, including the electric plant, the "movie property," the commercial areas, and the house where Don Julian was living. The remainder of the properties was retained by Don Julian, including Lot No. 63. ISSUE: Whether the future legitime can be determined, adjudicated and reserved prior to the death of Don Julian RULING: The Compromise Agreement incorporated in CFI decision dated 31 January 1964, particularly paragraph 13 thereof, determined, adjudicated and reserved to Don Julians two sets of heirs their future legitimes in his estate except as regards his (Don Julians) share in Hacienda Medalla Milagrosa. The two sets of heirs acquired full ownership and possession of the properties respectively adjudicated to them in the CFI decision and Don Julian himself could no longer dispose of the same, including Lot No. 63. The disposition in the CFI decision constitutes res judicata. Don Julian could have disposed of only his conjugal share in the Hacienda Medalla Milagrosa. Nobody in his right judgment would preterit his legal heirs by simply executing a document like the Supplemental Deed which practically covers all properties which Don Julian had reserved in favor of his heirs from the second marriage. It also found out that the blanks reserved for the Book No. and Page No. at the upper right corner of TCT No. T-375, "to identify the exact location where the said title was registered or transferred," were not filled up, thereby indicating that the TCT is "spurious and of dubious origin." Well-entrenched is the rule that all things, even future ones, which are not outside the commerce of man may be the object of a contract. The exception is that no contract may be entered into with respect to future inheritance, and the exception to the exception is the partition intervivos referred to in Article 1080.

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For the inheritance to be considered "future," the succession must not have been opened at the time of the contract. A contract may be classified as a contract upon future inheritance, prohibited under the second paragraph of Article 1347, where the following requisites concur: (1) That the succession has not yet been opened; (2) That the object of the contract forms part of the inheritance; and (3) That the promissor has, with respect to the object, an expectancy of a right which is purely hereditary in nature. The first paragraph of Article 1080, which provides the exception to the exception and therefore aligns with the general rule on future things, reads: ART. 1080. Should a person make a partition of his estate by an act inter vivos, or by will, such partition shall be respected, insofar as it does not prejudice the legitime of the compulsory heirs. In interpreting this provision, Justice Edgardo Paras advanced the opinion that if the partition is made by an act inter vivos, no formalities are prescribed by the Article. The partition will of course be effective only after death. It does not necessarily require the formalities of a will for after all it is not the partition that is the mode of acquiring ownership. Neither will the formalities of a donation be required since donation will not be the mode of acquiring the ownership here after death; since no will has been made it follows that the mode will be succession (intestate succession). Besides, the partition here is merely the physical determination of the part to be given to each heir. WHEREFORE, foregoing premises considered, the Decision dated 30 September 1999 of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner J.L.T. Agro, Inc.

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MARIA GERVACIO BLAS, MANUEL GERVACIO BLAS, LEONCIO GERVACIO BLAS and LODA GERVACIO BLAS, plaintiffs-appellants, vs. ROSALINA SANTOS, in her capacity as Special Administratrix of the Estate of the deceased MAXIMA SANTOS VDA. DE BLAS, in Sp. Proc. No. 2524, Court of First Instance of Rizal, defendants-appellants. MARTA GERVACIO BLAS and DR. JOSE CHIVI, defendants-appellants. G.R. No. L-14070, 111 P 503, March 29, 1961 LABRADOR, J.: FACTS: Simeon Blas contracted a first marriage with Marta Cruz sometime before 1898. They had three children, only one of whom, Eulalio, left children, namely, Maria Gervacio Blas, one of the plaintiffs, Marta Gervacio Blas, one of the defendants, and Lazaro Gervacio Blas. Lazaro died in 1950, and is survived by three legitimate children who are plaintiffs herein, namely, Manuel Gervacio Blas, Leoncio Gervacio Blas and Loida Gervacio Blas. Marta Cruz died in 1898, and the following year, Simeon Blas contracted a second marriage with Maxima Santos. 50 | P a g e

At the time of this second marriage, no liquidation of the properties required by Simeon Blas and Marta Cruz was made. Three of the properties left are fishponds located in Obando, Bulacan. Maxima Santos does not appear to have apported properties to her marriage with Simeon Blas. On December 26, 1936, only over a week before over a week before his death on January 9, 1937, Simeon Blas executed a last will and testament. At the time of the execution of said will, Andres Pascual a son-in-law of the testator, and Avelina Pascual and others, were present. Andres Pascual had married a descendant by the first marriage. The will was prepared by Andres Pascual, with the help of his nephew Avelino Pascual. The testator asked Andres Pascual to prepare a document which was presented in court as Exhibit "A". The reason why the testator ordered the preparation of Exhibit "A" was because the properties that the testator had acquired during his first marriage with Marta Cruz had not been liquidated and were not separated from those acquired during the second marriage. The court below held that said Exhibit "A" has not created any right in favor of plaintiffs which can serve as basis for the complaint; that neither can it be considered as a valid and enforceable contract for lack of consideration and because it deals with future inheritance. The court also declared that Exhibit "A" is not a will because it does not comply with the requisites for the execution of a will; nor could it be considered as a donation, etc. Both the court below in its decision and the appellees in their brief before us, argue vehemently that the heirs of Simeon Blas and his wife Marta Cruz can no longer make any claim for the unliquidated conjugal properties acquired during said first marriage, because the same were already included in the mass of properties constituting the estate of the deceased Simeon Blas and in the adjudications made by virtue of his will, and that the action to recover the same has prescribed. This contention is correct. The descendants of Marta Cruz can no longer claim the conjugal properties that she and her husband may have required during their marriage although no liquidation of such properties and delivery thereof to the heirs of Marta Cruz have been made, no action to recover said propertied having been presented in the proceedings for the settlement of the estate of Simeon Blas. But the principal basis for the plaintiffs' action in the case at bar is the document Exhibit "A". It is not disputed that this document was prepared at the instance of Simeon Blas for the reason that the conjugal properties of me on Blas for the reason his first marriage had not been liquidated; that it was prepared at the same time as the will of Simeon Blas on December 26, 1936, at the 51 | P a g e

instance of the latter himself. It is also not disputed that the document was signed by Maxima Santos and one copy thereof, which was presented in court as Exhibit "A", was kept by plaintiffs' witness Andres Pascual. Issue: Whether the condition stipulated involves a future inheritance Ruling: No. Exhibit "A" is not a contract on future inheritance. It is an obligation or promise made by the maker to transmit one-half of her share in the conjugal properties acquired with her husband, which properties are stated or declared to be conjugal properties in the will of the husband. The conjugal properties were in existence at the time of the execution of Exhibit "A" on December 26, 1936. As a matter of fact, Maxima Santos included these properties in her inventory of her husband's estate of June 2, 1937. The promise does not refer to any properties that the maker would inherit upon the death of her husband, because it is her share in the conjugal assets. That the kind of agreement or promise contained in Exhibit "A" is not void under Article 1271 of the old Civil Code. The properties subject of the contract Exhibit "A" are well defined properties, existing at the time of the agreement, which Simeon Blas declares in his statement as belonging to his wife as her share in the conjugal partnership. Certainly his wife's actual share in the conjugal properties may not be considered as future inheritance because they were actually in existence at the time Exhibit "A" was executed. It will be noted that what is prohibited to be the subject matter of a contract under Article 1271 of the Civil Code is " future inheritance." To us future inheritance is any property or right not in existence or capable of determination at the time of the contract, that a person may in the future acquire by succession. The properties subject of the contract Exhibit "A" are well defined properties, existing at the time of the agreement, which Simeon Blas declares in his statement as belonging to his wife as her share in the conjugal partnership. Certainly his wife's actual share in the conjugal properties may not be considered as future inheritance because they were actually in existence at the time Exhibit "A" was executed. The argument that the failure of the plaintiffs-appellants herein to oppose the project of partition in the settlement of the estate of Simeon Blas, especially that portion of the project which 52 | P a g e

assigned to Maxima Santos one-half of all the conjugal properties bars their present action, is, therefore, devoid of merit. It may be added that plaintiffs-appellants did not question the validity of the project of partition precisely because of the promise made by Maxima Santos in the compromise Exhibit "A"; they acquised in the approval of said project of partition because they were relying on the promise made by Maxima Santos in Exhibit "A", that she would transmit one-half of the conjugal properties that she was going to receive as her share in the conjugal partnership upon her death and in her will, to the heirs and legatees of her husband Simeon Blas. WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby reversed and the defendant-appellee, administratrix of the estate of Maxima Santos, is ordered to convey and deliver one-half of the properties adjudicated o Maxima Santos as her share in the conjugal properties in said Civil Case No. 6707, entitled "Testamentaria del Finado Don Simeon Blas, Maxima Santos Vda. de Blas, Administradora", to the heirs and the legatees of her husband Simeon Blas. Considering that all said heirs and legatees, designated in the will of Simeon Blas as the persons for whose benefit Exhibit "A" had been executed, have not appeared in these proceedings, the record is hereby remanded to the court below, with instructions that, after the conveyance of the properties hereinabove ordered had been effected, the said heirs and legatees (of Simeon Blas) file adversary pleadings to determine the participation of each and every one of them in said properties. Costs against the defendant- appellee Rosalina Santos.

ATTY. PEDRO M. FERRER, Petitioner, - versus SPOUSES ALFREDO DIAZ and IMELDA DIAZ, REINA COMANDANTE and SPOUSES BIENVENIDO PANGAN and ELIZABETH PANGAN
G.R. No. 165300, April 23, 2010 DEL CASTILLO, J.: FACTS: Respondent Comandante alleged that sometime in 1998, she sought the help of petitioner with regard to the mortgage with a bank of petitioners parents lot. As petitioner could not practically comply with her obligation, petitioner and his wife, presented to Comandante sometime in May 1998 a document denominated as Waiver of Hereditary Rights and Interests Over a Real Property (Still Undivided) pertaining to a waiver of her hereditary share over her parents abovementioned property. Purportedly, the execution of said waiver was to secure 53 | P a g e

Comandantes loan with the couple which at that time had already ballooned to P600,000.00 due to interests. Respondent then filed a complaint against the spouses, petitioners parents. However, the spouses asserted that petitioner has no cause of action against them. They claimed that they do not even know petitioner and that they did not execute any SPA in favor of Comandante authorizing her to mortgage for the second time the subject property. They also contested the due execution of the SPA as it was neither authenticated before the Philippine Consulate in the United States nor notarized before a notary public in the State of New York where the Diazes have been residing for 16 years. They claimed that they do not owe petitioner anything. The Diazes also pointed out that the complaint merely refers to Comandantes personal obligation to petitioner with which they had nothing to do. They thus prayed that the complaint against them be dismissed. ISSUE: Whether future inheritance can be the subject of a contract of sale RULING: No. Pursuant to the second paragraph of Article 1347 of the Civil Code, no contract may be entered into upon a future inheritance except in cases expressly authorized by law. For the inheritance to be considered "future", the succession must not have been opened at the time of the contract. A contract may be classified as a contract upon future inheritance, prohibited under the second paragraph of Article 1347, where the following requisites concur: (1) That the succession has not yet been opened. (2) That the object of the contract forms part of the inheritance; and, (3) That the promissor has, with respect to the object, an expectancy of a right which is purely hereditary in nature. In this case, there is no question that at the time of execution of Comandantes Waiver of Hereditary Rights and Interest Over a Real Property (Still Undivided), succession to either of her parents properties has not yet been opened since both of them are still living. W ith respect to the other two requisites, both are likewise present considering that the property subject matter of Comandantes waiver concededly forms part of the properties that she expect to inherit from her parents upon their death and, such expectancy of a right, as shown by the facts, is undoubtedly purely hereditary in nature.

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From the foregoing, it is clear that Comandante and petitioner entered into a contract involving the formers future inheritance as embodied in the Waiver of Hereditary Rights and Interest Over a Real Property (Still Undivided) executed by her in petitioners favor. From the foregoing, it is clear that Comandante and petitioner entered into a contract involving the formers future inheritance as embodied in the Waiver of Hereditary Rights and Interest Over a Real Property (Still Undivided) executed by her in petitioners favor. We similarly declare in this case that the Waiver of Hereditary Rights and Interest Over a Real Property (Still Undivided) executed by Comandante in favor of petitioner as not valid and that same cannot be the source of any right or create any obligation between them for being violative of the second paragraph of Article 1347 of the Civil Code. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals dated December 12, 2003 insofar as it excluded the respondents Spouses Bienvenido Pangan and Elizabeth Pangan from among those solidarily liable to petitioner Atty. Pedro M. Ferrer, is AFFIRMED. The inscription of the adverse claim of petitioner Atty. Pedro M. Ferrer on T.C.T. No. N-209049 is hereby ordered CANCELLED. Insofar as its other aspects are concerned, the assailed Decision is SET ASIDE and VACATED. The case is REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 224 for further proceedings in accordance with this Decision.

Re: No Impairment to the Legitime ELOY IMPERIAL, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF LEGASPI CITY, CESAR VILLALON, JR., TERESA VILLALON, ANTONIO VILLALON, AUGUSTO VILLALON, ROBERTO VILLALON, RICARDO VILLALON and ESTHER VILLALON, respondents. G.R. No. 112483, October 8, 1999

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GONZAGA-REYES, J.: FACTS: Leoncio Imperial was the registered owner of a 32,837-square meter parcel of land covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 200, also known as Lot 45 of the Cadastral Survey of Albay. On July 7, 1951, Leoncio sold the said lot for P1.00 to his acknowledged natural son, petitioner herein, who then acquired title over the land and proceeded to subdivide it into several lots. Petitioner and private respondents admit that despite the contract's designation as one of "Absolute Sale", the transaction was in fact a donation. On July 28, 1953, or barely two years after the donation, Leoncio filed a complaint for annulment of the said Deed of Absolute Sale, docketed as Civil Case No. 1177, in the then Court of First Instance of Albay, on the ground that he was deceived by petitioner herein into signing the said document. The dispute, however, was resolved through a compromise agreement, approved by the Court of First Instance of Albay on November 3, 1961 3, under which terms: (1) Leoncio recognized the legality and validity of the rights of petitioner to the land donated; and (2) petitioner agreed to sell a designated 1,000-square meter portion of the donated land, and to deposit the proceeds thereof in a bank, for the convenient disposal of Leoncio. In case of Leoncio's death, it was agreed that the balance of the deposit will be withdrawn by petitioner to defray burial costs. On January 8, 1962, and pending execution of the above judgment, Leoncio died, leaving only two heirs the herein petitioner, who is his acknowledged natural son, and an adopted son, Victor Imperial. On March 8, 1962, Victor was substituted in place of Leoncio in the abovementioned case, and it was he who moved for execution of judgment. On March 15, 1962, the motion for execution was duly granted. Fifteen years thereafter, or on July 26, 1977, Victor died single and without issue, survived only by his natural father, Ricardo Villalon, who was a lessee of a portion of the disputed land. Four years hence, or on September 25, 1981, Ricardo died, leaving as his only heirs his two children, Cesar and Teresa Villalon. Five years thereafter, or sometime in 1986, Cesar and Teresa filed a complaint for annulment of the donation with the Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City, docketed as Civil Case No. 7646. Petitioner moved to dismiss on the ground of res judicata, by virtue of the compromise judgment rendered by the Court of First Instance of Albay. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss, 56 | P a g e

but the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's order and remanded the case for further proceedings. ISSUE: Whether there is a renunciation of legitime that may be presumed in the case. RULING: None. No renunciation of legitime may be presumed from the foregoing acts. It must be remembered that at the time of the substitution, the judgment approving the compromise agreement has already been rendered. Victor merely participated in the execution of the compromise judgment. He was not a party to the compromise agreement. More importantly, our law on succession does not countenance tacit repudiation of inheritance. Rather, it requires an express act on the part of the heir. Thus, under Article 1051 of Civil Code: The repudiation of an inheritance shall be made in a public or authentic instrument, or by petition presented to the court having jurisdiction over the testamentary or intestate proceedings. Thus, when Victor substituted Leoncio in Civil Case No. 1177 upon the latter's death, his act of moving for execution of the compromise judgment cannot be considered an act of renunciation of his legitime. He was, therefore, not precluded or estopped from subsequently seeking the reduction of the donation, under Article 772. Nor are Victor's heirs, upon his death, precluded from doing so, as their right to do so is expressly recognized under Article 772, and also in Article 1053. If the heir should die without having accepted or repudiated the inheritance, his right shall be transmitted to his heirs. A final word on collation of donations. We observe that after finding the donation to be inofficious because Leoncio had no other property at the time of his death, the RTC computed the legitime of Victor based on the area of the donated property. Hence, in its dispositive portion, it awarded a portion of the property to private respondents as Victor's legitime. This was upheld by the Court of Appeals. Our rules of succession require that before any conclusion as to the legal share due to a compulsory heir may be reached, the following steps must be taken: (1) the net estate of the decedent must be ascertained, by deducting all the payable obligations and charges from the value of the property owned by the deceased at the time of his death; (2) the value of all donations subject to collation would be added to it. 57 | P a g e

Thus, it is the value of the property at the time it is donated, and not the property itself, which is brought to collation. Consequently, even when the donation is found inofficious and reduced to the extent that it impaired Victor's legitime, private respondents will not receive a corresponding share in the property donated. Thus, in this case where the collatable property is an immovable, what may be received is: (1) an equivalent, as much as possible, in property of the same nature, class and quality; (2) if such is impracticable, the equivalent value of the impaired legitime in cash or marketable securities; or (3) in the absence of cash or securities in the estate, so much of such other property as may be necessary, to be sold in public auction. ACCORDINGLY, the decision of the Court of Appeals in C.A. G.R. CV No. 31976, affirming in toto the decision of the Regional Trial Court in Civil Case No. 7646, is reversed and set aside. No costs.

LOURDES L. DOROTHEO, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, NILDA D. QUINTANA, for Herself and as Attorney-in-Fact of VICENTE DOROTHEO and JOSE DOROTHEO, respondents. G.R. No. 108581 December 8, 1999 YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: FACTS: Private respondents were the legitimate children of Alejandro Dorotheo and Aniceta Reyes. The latter died in 1969 without her estate being settled. Alejandro died thereafter. Sometime in 1977, after Alejandro's death, petitioner, who claims to have taken care of Alejandro before he died, filed a special proceeding for the probate of the latter's last will and testament. In 1981, the court issued an order admitting Alejandro's will to probate. Private respondents did not appeal from said order. In 1983, they filed a "Motion To Declare The Will Intrinsically Void." The trial court granted the motion and issued an order. Petitioner moved for reconsideration arguing that she is entitled to some compensation since she took care of Alejandro prior to his death although she admitted that they were not married to each other. Upon denial of her motion for reconsideration, petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals, but the same was dismissed for failure to file appellant's brief within the extended period granted. This dismissal became final and executory on February 3, 1989 and a corresponding entry of judgment was forthwith issued by the Court of Appeals on May 16, 1989. An Order was issued on November 29, 1990 setting aside the final and executory Order dated January 30, 1986, as well as the Order directing the issuance of the writ of execution, on the ground that the order was merely "interlocutory", hence not final in character. The court added that the dispositive portion of the said Order even directs the distribution of the estate of the 58 | P a g e

deceased spouses. Private respondents filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied in an Order dated February 1, 1991. ISSUE: May a last will and testament admitted to probate but declared intrinsically void in an order that has become final and executory still be given effect? HELD: No. A final and executory decision or order can no longer be disturbed or reopened no matter how erroneous it may be. It should be noted that probate proceedings deals generally with the extrinsic validity of the will sought to be probated, particularly on three aspects: - whether the will submitted is indeed, the decedent's last will and testament; - compliance with the prescribed formalities for the execution of wills; - the testamentary capacity of the testator; and - the due execution of the last will and testament. Under the Civil Code, due execution includes a determination of whether the testator was of sound and disposing mind at the time of its execution, that he had freely executed the will and was not acting under duress, fraud, menace or undue influence and that the will is genuine and not a forgery, that he was of the proper testamentary age and that he is a person not expressly prohibited by law from making a will. The intrinsic validity is another matter and questions regarding the same may still be raised even after the will has been authenticated. Thus, it does not necessarily follow that an extrinsically valid last will and testament is always intrinsically valid. The only instance where a party interested in a probate proceeding may have a final liquidation set aside is when he is left out by reason of circumstances beyond his control or through mistake or inadvertence not imputable to negligence, which circumstances do not concur herein. Petitioner was privy to the suit calling for the declaration of the intrinsic invalidity of the will, as she precisely appealed from an unfavorable order therefrom. Although the final and executory Order of January 30, 1986 wherein private respondents were declared as the only heirs do not bind those who are not parties thereto such as the alleged illegitimate son of the testator, the same constitutes res judicata with respect to those who were parties to the probate proceedings. Petitioner cannot again raise those matters anew for relitigation otherwise that would amount to forum-shopping. It should be remembered that forum shopping also occurs when the same issue had already been resolved adversely by some other court. It is clear from the executory order that the estates of Alejandro and his spouse should be distributed according to the laws of intestate succession. It can be clearly inferred from Article 960 of the Civil Code, on the law of successional rights that testacy is preferred to intestacy. But before there could be testate distribution, the will must pass the scrutinizing test and safeguards provided by law considering that the deceased testator is no longer available to prove the voluntariness of his actions, aside from the fact that the transfer of the estate is usually onerous in nature and that no one is presumed to give Nemo praesumitur donare. No intestate distribution of the estate can be done until and unless the will had failed to pass both its extrinsic and intrinsic validity. If the will is extrinsically void, the rules of intestacy apply regardless of the intrinsic validity thereof. If it is extrinsically valid, the next 59 | P a g e

test is to determine its intrinsic validity that is whether the provisions of the will are valid according to the laws of succession. In this case, the court had ruled that the will of Alejandro was extrinsically valid but the intrinsic provisions thereof were void. Thus, the rules of intestacy apply as correctly held by the trial court. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED and the decision appealed from is AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED.

REGINA FRANCISCO AND ZENAIDA PASCUAL, petitioners, vs. AIDA FRANCISCOALFONSO, respondent. G.R. No. 138774 March 8, 2001 PARDO, J.: FACTS: Respondent Aida Francisco-Alfonso (hereafter Aida) is the only daughter of spouses Gregorio Francisco and Cirila de la Cruz, who are now both deceased.

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Petitioners, on the other hand, are daughters of the late Gregorio Francisco with his common law wife Julia Mendoza, with whom he begot seven (7) children. Gregorio Francisco (hereafter Gregorio) owned two parcels of residential land, situated in Barangay Lolomboy, Bocaue, Bulacan, covered by TCT Nos. T-32740 and T-117160. When Gregorio was confined in a hospital in 1990, he confided to his daughter Aida that the certificates of title of his property were in the possession of Regina Francisco and Zenaida Pascual. After Gregorio died on July 20, 1990,3 Aida inquired about the certificates of title from her half sisters. They informed her that Gregorio had sold the land to them on August 15, 1983. After verification, Aida learned that there was indeed a deed of absolute sale in favor of Regina Francisco and Zenaida Pascual. Thus, on August 15, 1983, Gregorio executed a "Kasulatan sa Ganap na Bilihan, whereby for P25,000.00, he sold the two parcels of land to Regina Francisco and Zenaida Pascual. By virtue of the sale, the Register of Deeds of Bulacan issued TCT No. T59.585 to Regina Francisco and TCT T-59.586 to Zenaida Pascual.4 On April 1, 1991, Aida filed with the Regional Trial Court, Bulacan a complaint against petitioners for annulment of sale with damages.5 She alleged that the signature of her late father, Gregorio Francisco, on the Kasulatan sa Ganap na Bilihan dated August 15, 1983, was a forgery. In their joint answer to the complaint, petitioners denied the alleged forgery or simulation of the deed of sale. After due proceedings, on July 21, 1994, the trial court rendered a decision dismissing the complaint. The Court of Appeals promulgated its decision reversing that of the trial court. ISSUE: May a legitimate daughter be deprived of her share in the estate of her deceased father by a simulated contract transferring the property of her father to his illegitimate children? HELD: No. The kasulatan was simulated. There was no consideration for the contract of sale. Felicitas de la Cruz, a family friend of the Franciscos, testified that Zenaida Pascual and Regina Francisco did not have any source of income in 1983, when they bought the property, until the time when Felicitas testified in 1991. As proof of income, however, Zenaida Pascual testified that she was engaged in operating a canteen, working as cashier in Mayon Night Club as well as buying and selling RTW (Ready to Wear) items in August of 1983 and prior thereto. Zenaida alleged that she paid her father the amount of P10,000.00. She did not withdraw money from her bank account at the Rural Bank of Meycauayan, Bulacan, to pay for the property. She had personal savings other than those deposited in the bank. Her gross earnings from the RTW for three years was P9,000.00, and she earned P50.00 a night at the club.

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Regina Francisco, on the other hand, was a market vendor, selling nilugaw, earning a net income of P300.00 a day in 1983. She bought the property from the deceased for P15,000.00. She had no other source of income. We find it incredible that engaging in buy and sell could raise the amount of P10,000.00, or that earnings in selling goto could save enough to pay P15,000.00, in cash for the land. The testimonies of petitioners were incredible considering their inconsistent statements as to whether there was consideration for the sale and also as to whether the property was bought below or above its supposed market value. They could not even present a single witness to the kasulatan that would prove receipt of the purchase price. Since there was no cause or consideration for the sale, the same was a simulation and hence, null and void. Even if the kasulatan was not simulated, it still violated the Civil Code provisions insofar as the transaction affected respondent's legitime. The sale was executed in 1983, when the applicable law was the Civil Code, not the Family Code. Obviously, the sale was Gregorio's way to transfer the property to his illegitimate daughters at the expense of his legitimate daughter. The sale was executed to prevent respondent Alfonso from claiming her legitime and rightful share in said property. Before his death, Gregorio had a change of heart and informed his daughter about the titles to the property. According to Article 888, Civil Code: "The legitime of legitimate children and descendants consists of one-half of the hereditary estate of the father and of the mother. "The latter may freely dispose of the remaining half subject to the rights of illegitimate children and of the surviving spouse as hereinafter provided." Gregorio Francisco did not own any other property. If indeed the parcels of land involved were the only property left by their father, the sale in fact would deprive respondent of her share in her father's estate. By law, she is entitled to half of the estate of her father as his only legitimate child. The legal heirs of the late Gregorio Francisco must be determined in proper testate or intestate proceedings for settlement of the estate. His compulsory heir can not be deprived of her share in the estate save by disinheritance as prescribed by law. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. R. CV No. 48545 is AFFIRMED, in toto.

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REGINA FRANCISCO AND ZENAIDA PASCUAL, petitioners, vs. AIDA FRANCISCO-ALFONSO, respondent. G.R. No. 138774 PARDO, J.: 63 | P a g e March 8, 2001

FACTS: Respondent Aida Francisco-Alfonso (hereafter Aida) is the only daughter of spouses Gregorio Francisco and Cirila de la Cruz, who are now both deceased.Petitioners, on the other hand, are daughters of the late Gregorio Francisco with his common law wife Julia Mendoza, with whom he begot seven (7) children. Gregorio Francisco owned two parcels of residential land, situated in Bulacan. When Gregorio was confined in a hospital in 1990, he confided to his daughter Aida that the certificates of title of his property were in the possession of Regina Francisco and Zenaida Pascual. After Gregorio died on July 20, 1990, Aida inquired about the certificates of title from her half sisters. They informed her that Gregorio had sold the land to them on August 15, 1983. After verification, Aida learned that there was indeed a deed of absolute sale in favor of Regina Francisco and Zenaida Pascual. Thus, on August 15, 1983, Gregorio executed a "Kasulatan sa Ganap na Bilihan, whereby for P25,000.00, he sold the two parcels of land to Regina Francisco and Zenaida Pascual. By virtue of the sale, the Register of Deeds of Bulacan issued TCT No. T59.585 to Regina Francisco and TCT T-59.586 to Zenaida Pascual. On April 1, 1991, Aida filed with the Regional Trial Court, Bulacan a complaint against petitioners for annulment of sale with damages. ISSUE: May a legitimate daughter be deprived of her share in the estate of her deceased father by a simulated contract transferring the property of her father to his illegitimate children? RULING: The testimonies of petitioners were incredible considering their inconsistent statements as to whether there was consideration for the sale and also as to whether the property was bought below or above its supposed market value. They could not even present a single witness to the kasulatan that would prove receipt of the purchase price. Since there was no cause or consideration for the sale, the same was a simulation and hence, null and void.

According to Article 888, Civil Code:"The legitime of legitimate children and descendants consists of one-half of the hereditary estate of the father and of the mother."The latter may freely dispose of the remaining half subject to the rights of illegitimate children and of the surviving spouse as hereinafter provided."

Obviously, the sale was Gregorio's way to transfer the property to his illegitimate daughters20 at the expense of his legitimate daughter. The sale was executed to prevent respondent Alfonso from claiming her legitime and rightful share in said property. Before his death, Gregorio had a change of heart and informed his daughter about the titles to the property. Gregorio Francisco did not own any other property. If indeed the parcels of land involved were the only property left by their father, the sale in fact would deprive respondent of her share in her father's estate. By law, she is entitled to half of the estate of her father as his only legitimate child. 64 | P a g e

The legal heirs of the late Gregorio Francisco must be determined in proper testate or intestate proceedings for settlement of the estate. His compulsory heir cannot be deprived of her share in the estate save by disinheritance as prescribed by law. Thus, the petition was DENIED.

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TESTATE ESTATE OF JOSE EUGENIO RAMIREZ, MARIA LUISA PALACIOS, Administratrix, petitioner-appellee, vs. MARCELLE D. VDA. DE RAMIREZ, ET AL., oppositors, JORGE and ROBERTO RAMIREZ, legatees, oppositors- appellants. G.R. No. L-27952 February 15, 1982 ABAD SANTOS, J.: FACTS: The task is not trouble-free because the widow Marcelle is a French who lives in Paris, while the companion Wanda is an Austrian who lives in Spain. Moreover, the testator provided for substitutions. Jose Eugenio Ramirez, a Filipino national, died in Spain on December 11, 1964, with only his widow as compulsory heir. His will was admitted to probate by the Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch X, on July 27, 1965. Maria Luisa Palacios was appointed administratrix of the estate. In due time she submitted an inventory of the estate as follows: On June 23, 1966, the administratrix submitted a project of partition as follows: the property of the deceased is to be divided into two parts. One part shall go to the widow 'en pleno dominio" in satisfaction of her legitime; the other part or "free portion" shall go to Jorge and Roberto Ramirez "en nuda propriedad." Furthermore, one third (1/3) of the free portion is charged with the widow's usufruct and the remaining two-thirds (2/3) with a usufruct in favor of Wanda. Jorge and Roberto opposed the project of partition on the grounds: (a) that the provisions for vulgar substitution in favor of Wanda de Wrobleski with respect to the widow's usufruct and in favor of Juan Pablo Jankowski and Horacio V. Ramirez, with respect to Wanda's usufruct are invalid because the first heirs Marcelle and Wanda) survived the testator; (b) that the provisions for fideicommissary substitutions are also invalid because the first heirs are not related to the second heirs or substitutes within the first degree, as provided in Article 863 of the Civil Code; (c) that the grant of a usufruct over real property in the Philippines in favor of Wanda Wrobleski, who is an alien, violates Section 5, Article III of the Philippine Constitution; and that (d) the proposed partition of the testator's interest in the Santa Cruz (Escolta) Building between the widow Marcelle and the appellants, violates the testator's express win to give this property to them Nonetheless, the lower court approved the project of partition in its order dated May 3, 1967. It is this order which Jorge and Roberto have appealed to this Court. ISSUE: Whether or not an impairment of legitime occurred in the instant case. HELD: Yes. The appellant's do not question the legality of giving Marcelle one-half of the estate in full ownership. They admit that the testator's dispositions impaired his widow's legitime. Indeed, under Art. 900 of the Civil Code "If the only survivor is the widow or widower, she or he shall be entitled to one-half of the hereditary estate." And since Marcelle alone survived the deceased, she is entitled to one-half of his estate over which he could impose no burden, encumbrance, condition or substitution of any kind whatsoever. (Art. 904, par. 2, Civil Code.) 66 | P a g e

It is the one-third usufruct over the free portion which the appellants question and justifiably so. It appears that the court a quo approved the usufruct in favor of Marcelle because the testament provides for a usufruct in her favor of one-third of the estate. The court a quo erred for Marcelle who is entitled to one-half of the estate "en pleno dominio" as her legitime and which is more than what she is given under the will is not entitled to have any additional share in the estate. To give Marcelle more than her legitime will run counter to the testator's intention for as stated above his dispositions even impaired her legitime and tended to favor Wanda. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the estate of Jose Eugenio Ramirez is hereby ordered distributed as follows: One-half (1/2) thereof to his widow as her legitime; One-half (1/2) thereof which is the free portion to Roberto and Jorge Ramirez in naked ownership and the usufruct to Wanda de Wrobleski with a simple substitution in favor of Juan Pablo Jankowski and Horace V. Ramirez. The distribution herein ordered supersedes that of the court a quo. No special pronouncement as to costs.

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MONICO CONCEPCION, plaintiff-appellant, vs. PACIENCIA STA. ANA, defendant-appellee. G.R. No. L-2277 December 29, 1950 FERIA, J.: FACTS: An action was instituted by Monico Concepcion vs. Paciencia Sta. Ana to annul the sale made by the late Perpetua Concepcion, sister of the plaintiff, of three parcels of land with the improvements thereon to the defendant. The complaint alleges, among others, that the plaintiff is the only surviving legitimate brother of Perpetua Concepcion, who died on or about January 28, 1948, without issue and without leaving any will; that in her life time or on about June 29, 1945, said Perpetua Concepcion, in connivance with the defendant and with intent to defraud the plaintiff, sold and conveyed three parcels of land for a false and fictitious consideration to the defendant, who secured transfer certificates of title of said lands issued under her name; and that the defendant has been in possession of the properties sold since the death of Perpetua Concepcion, thereby causing damages to the plaintiff in the amount of not less than two hundred (P200) pesos. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it does not state a cause of action, because the deceased being the owner of the properties sold had the right to enjoy and dispose of them without further limitation than those established by law. The Court of First Instance of Manila granted the motion to dismiss and dismissed the complaint on the ground that "the plaintiff is not a party to the deed of sale executed by Perpetua Concepcion in favor of the defendant. Even in the assumption that the consideration of the contract is fictitious, the plaintiff has no right of action against the defendant. Under article 1302 of the Civil Code, "the action to annul a contract may be brought by any person principally or subsidiarily bound thereby." The plaintiff is not bound by the deed of sale executed by the deceased in favor of the defendant. He has no obligation under the deed." ISSUE: Can the plaintiff as heir of the deceased contracting party can bring action to annul the contract of sale under consideration. HELD: No. The plaintiff's contention that a simulated or fictitious contract of sale with a false consideration is null and voidper se, or is a contrato inexistente, not merely a contrato nulo, is not correct. Article 1276 of the Civil Code expressly provides that "the statement of a false consideration in contract shall be ground for annulment," and article 1301 of the same code provided for the limitation of actions for annulment of a contract. As to the appellant's contention that under the law, action to annul a contract entered into with all the requisites mentioned in article 1261 whenever they are tainted with the vice which invalidate them in accordance with law, may be brought, not only by any person principally bound or who made them, but also by his heir to whom the right and obligation arising from the contract are transmitted. Hence if no such rights, actions or obligations have been transmitted to the heir, the latter can not bring an action to annul the contract in representation of the contracting party who 68 | P a g e

made it. In Wolfson vs. Estate of Martinez, 20 Phil., 340, this Supreme Court quoted with approval the judgment of the Supreme Court of Spain of April 18, 1901, in which it was held that "he who is not a party to a contract, or an assignee thereunder, or does not represent those who took part therein, has under articles 1257 and 1302 of the Civil Code no legal capacity to challenge the validity of such contract." And in Irlanda vs. Pitargue (22 Phil. 383) we held that "the testamentary or legal heir continues in law as the juridical personality of his predecessor in interest, who transmit to him from the moment of his death such of his rights, actions and obligations as are not extinguished thereby." The question to be resolved is, therefore, whether the deceased Perpetua Concepcion has transmitted to the plaintiff any right arising from the contract under consideration in order that he can bring an action to annul the sale voluntarily made by her to the defendant with a false consideration. We are of the opinion and so hold, that the late Perpetua Concepcion has not transmitted to the plaintiff any right arising from the contract of conveyance or sale of her lands to the defendant, and therefore the plaintiff cannot file an action to annul such contract as representative of the deceased. Even a forced heir of the deceased Perpetua Concepcion would have no right to institute as representative of the decedent, an action of nullity of a contract made by the decedent to defraud his creditors, because such a contract being considered illicit under article 1306 of the Civil Code, Perpetua Concepcion herself had no right of action to annul it and recover the properties she had conveyed to the defendant. But the forced heir could in such case bring an action to rescind the contract under article 1291 (3) of the Civil Code. The reason why a forced heir has the right to institute an action of rescission is that the right to the legitime is similar to a credit of a creditor. As the same Spanish author correctly states in commenting on article 1291 of the Civil Code: "The rights of a forced heir to the legitime are undoubtedly similar to a credit of a creditor in so far as the rights to the legitime may be defeated by fraudulent contracts, and are superior to the will of those bound to respect them. Therefore, as the plaintiff in the present case, not being a forced heir of the late Perpetua Concepcion, can not institute an action to annul under article 1300 or to rescind under article 1291 (3) of the Civil Code the contract under consideration entered into by the deceased with the defendant. In view of the foregoing, the judgment of the lower court is affirmed with costs against the appellant. So ordered.

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Re: Compulsory/ Forced Heirs SPOUSES NICANOR TUMBOKON (deceased), substituted by: ROSARIO SESPEE and their Children, namely: NICANOR S. TUMBOKON, JR., NELIA S. TUMBOKON, NEMIA T. SEGOVIA, NOBELLA S. TUMBOKON, NABIGAIL T. TAAY, NAZARENE T. MONTALVO, NORGEL S. TUMBOKON, NEYSA S. TUMBOKON, SILVESTRE S. TUMBOKON, NORA T. MILCZAREK, NONITA T. CARPIO, NERLYN S. TUMBOKON, and NINFA T. SOLIDUM, Petitioners, vs. APOLONIA G. LEGASPI, and PAULINA S. DE MAGTANUM, Respondents.

G.R. No. 153736 August 12, 2010 BERSAMIN, J.: FACTS: Under contention herein are the ownership and possession of that parcel of land with an area of 12,480 square meters, more or less, situated in Barangay Buenavista (formerly Barangay San Isidro, in the Municipality of Ibajay, Province of Aklan. The land planted to rice, corn, and coconuts was originally owned by the late Alejandra Sespee (Alejandra), who had had two marriages. The first marriage was to Gaudencio Franco, by whom she bore Ciriaca Franco, whose husband was Victor Miralles. The second marriage was to Jose Garcia, by whom she bore respondent Apolonia Garcia (Apolonia), who married Primo Legaspi. Alejandra died without a will in 1935, and was survived by Apolonia and Crisanto Miralles, the son of Ciriaca (who had predeceased Alejandra in 1924) and Victor Miralles; hence, Crisanto Miralles was Alejandras grandson. The ownership and possession of the parcel of land became controversial after Spouses Nicanor Tumbokon and Rosario Sespee (petitioners) asserted their right in it by virtue of their purchase of it from Cresenciana Inog, who had supposedly acquired it by purchase from Victor Miralles. The tug-of-war over the property between the petitioners and the respondents first led to the commencement of a criminal case. The Spouses Nicanor Tumbokon and Rosario Sespee filed a criminal complaint for qualified theft against respondents Apolonia and Paulina S. Magtanum and others not parties herein, namely: Rosendo Magtanum, Antonio Magtanum, Ulpiano Mangilaya, charging them with stealing coconut fruits from the land subject of the present case. After trial, the CFI found the respondents and their co-accused guilty as charged in its decision dated June 10, 1972. The respondents appealed (C.A.-G.R. No. 13830-CR), but the CA affirmed their conviction on February 19, 1975, whereby the CA rejected respondent Apolonias defense of ownership of the land. On February 17, 1994, the RTC, which meanwhile replaced the CFI following the implementation of the Judiciary Reorganization Act, rendered its decision in favor of the petitioners herein On May 15, 2001, the CA reversed the decision of the RTC and dismissed the complaint 70 | P a g e

ISSUE: Whether or not Victor is entitled to the property. HELD: No. A decedents compulsory heirs in whose favor the law reserves a part of the decedents estate are exclusively the persons enumerated in Article 887, Civil Code, viz: Article 887. The following are compulsory heirs: (1) Legitimate children and descendants, with respect to their legitimate parents and ascendants; (2) In default of the foregoing, legitimate parents and ascendants, with respect to their legitimate children and descendants; (3) The widow or widower; (4) Acknowledged natural children, and natural children by legal fiction; (5) Other illegitimate children referred to in article 287. Compulsory heirs mentioned in Nos. 3, 4, and 5 are not excluded by those in Nos. 1 and 2; neither do they exclude one another. In all cases of illegitimate children, their filiation must be duly proved. The father or mother of illegitimate children of the three classes mentioned, shall inherit from them in the manner and to the extent established by this Code. (807a) Only two forced heirs survived Alejandra upon her death, namely: respondent Apolonia, her daughter, and Crisanto Miralles, her grandson. The latter succeeded Alejandra by right of representation because his mother, Ciriaca, had predeceased Alejandra. Representation is a right created by fiction of law, by virtue of which the representative is raised to the place and the degree of the person represented, and acquires the rights which the latter would have if she were living or if she could have inherited. Herein, the representative (Crisanto Miralles) was called to the succession by law and not by the person represented (Ciriaca); he thus succeeded Alejandra, not Ciriaca. The foregoing undeniable facts rendered the hearsay testimony of Nicanor Tumbokon to the effect that he had been informed that Victor Miralles had "bec[o]me automatically the heir" of Alejandra "after the death of his wife," the wife being "the only daughter" and he "the only sonin-law" a plain irrelevancy. Thirdly, Victor Miralles supposed acquisition of the land by oral sale from Alejandra had no competent factual support in the records. For one, the oral sale was incompatible with the petitioners anchor claim that he had acquired the land by inheritance from Alejandra. Also, the evidence that the petitioners adduced on the oral sale was insufficient and incredible, warranting the CAs rejection of the oral sale under the following terms: 71 | P a g e

This also damages and puts to serious doubt their other and contradictory claim that Victor Miralles instead bought the lot from Alejandra Sespee. This supposed sale was oral, one that can of course be facilely feigned. And it is likely to be so for the claim is sweeping, vacuous and devoid of the standard particulars like what was the price, when and where was the sale made, who were present, or who knew of it. The record is bereft too of documentary proof that Victor Miralles exercised the rights and performed the obligations of an owner for no tax declarations nor tax receipt has been submitted or even adverted to. With Victor Miralles lacking any just and legal right in the land, except as an heir of Ciriaca, the transfer of the land from him to Cresenciana Inog was ineffectual. As a consequence, Cresenciana Inog did not legally acquire the land, and, in turn, did not validly transfer it to the petitioners. WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is denied, and the decision rendered on May 15, 2001 by the Court of Appeals is affirmed. Costs of suit to be paid by the petitioners. SO ORDERED.

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LAURO G. VIZCONDE, petitioner vs. COURT OF APPEALS, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT and RAMON G. NICOLAS,respondents

G.R. No. 118449 ; February 11, 1998 FRANCISCO, J:. FACTS: Petitioner Lauro G. Vizconde and his wife Estrellita Nicolas-Vizconde had two children, viz., Carmela and Jennifer. Petitioner's wife, Estrellita, is one of the five siblings of spouses Rafael Nicolas and Salud Gonzales-Nicolas. The other children of Rafael and Salud are Antonio Nicolas; Ramon Nicolas; Teresita Nicolas de Leon, and Ricardo Nicolas, an incompetent. Antonio predeceased his parents and is now survived by his widow, Zenaida, and their four children. On May 22, 1979, Estrellita purchased from Rafael a parcel of land with an area of 10,110 sq. m. located at Valenzuela, Bulacan In view thereof, TCT No. V-554 covering the Valenzuela property was ISSUEd to Estrellita. On March 30, 1990, Estrellita sold the Valenzuela property to Amelia Lim and Maria Natividad Balictar Chiu. In June of the same year, Estrellita bought from Premier Homes, Inc., a parcel of land with improvements situated at Vinzon St., BF Homes, Paraaque using a portion of the proceeds of sale of the Valenzuela property. The remaining amount of the proceeds was used in buying a car while the balance was deposited in a bank. The following year an unfortunate event in petitioner's life occurred. Estrellita and her two daughters, Carmela and Jennifer, were killed on June 30, 1991, an incident popularly known as the "Vizconde Massacre". The findings of the investigation conducted by the NBI reveal that Estrellita died ahead of her daughters. Accordingly, Carmela, Jennifer and herein petitioner succeeded Estrellita and, with the subsequent death of Carmela and Jennifer, petitioner was left as the sole heir of his daughters. Nevertheless, petitioner entered into an "Extra-Judicial Settlement of the Estate of Deceased Estrellita Nicolas-Vizconde With Waiver of Shares", with Rafael and Salud, Estrellita's parents. The extra-judicial settlement provided for the division of the properties of Estrellita and her two daughters between petitioner and spouses Rafael and Salud. The properties include bank deposits, a car and the Paraaque property. The total value of the deposits deducting the funeral and other related expenses in the burial of Estrellita, Carmela and Jennifer, amounts to Three Million Pesos (P3,000,000.00). The settlement gave fifty percent (50%) of the total amount of the bank deposits of Estrellita and her daughters to Rafael, except Savings Account No. 104-111211-0 under the name of Jennifer which involves a token amount. The other fifty percent (50%) was allotted to petitioner. The Paraaque property and the car and were also given to petitioner with Rafael and Salud waiving all their "claims, rights, ownership and participation as heirs" in the said properties.

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On November 18, 1992, Rafael died. To settle Rafael's estate, Teresita instituted an intestate estate proceeding docketed as Sp. Proc. No. C-1679, with Branch 120 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Caloocan City listing as heirs Salud, Ramon, Ricardo, and the wife (Zenaida) and children of Antonio. Teresita prayed to be appointed Special Administratrix of Rafael's estate. Additionally, she sought to be appointed as guardian ad litem of Salud, now senile, and Ricardo, her incompetent brother Herein private respondent Ramon filed an opposition dated March 24, 1993, praying to be appointed instead as Salud and Ricardo's guardian. Barely three weeks passed, Ramon filed another opposition alleging, among others, that Estrellita was given the Valenzuela property by Rafael which she sold for not less than Six Million Pesos (P6,000,000.00) before her gruesome murder. Ramon pleaded for the court's intervention "to determine the legality and validity of the intervivos distribution made by deceased Rafael to his children," Estrellita included. On May 12, 1993, Ramon filed his own petition, docketed as Sp. Proc. No. C-1699, entitled "In The Matter Of The Guardianship Of Salud G. Nicolas and Ricardo G. Nicolas" and averred that their legitime should come from the collation of all the properties distributed to his children by Rafael during his lifetime. Ramon stated that herein petitioner is one of Rafael's children "by right of representation as the widower of deceased legitimate daughter of Estrellita." Sometime on January 13, 1994, the RTC released an Order giving petitioner "ten (10) days . . . within which to file any appropriate petition or motion related to the pending petition insofar as the case is concerned and to file any opposition to any pending motion that has been filed by both the counsels for Ramon Nicolas and Teresita de Leon." In response, petitioner filed a Manifestation, dated January 19, 1994, stressing that he was neither a compulsory heir nor an intestate heir of Rafael and he has no interest to participate in the proceedings. The RTC noted said Manifestation in its Order dated February 2, 1994. Despite the Manifestation, Ramon, through a motion dated February 14, 1994, moved to include petitioner in the intestate estate proceeding and asked that the Paraaque property, as well as the car and the balance of the proceeds of the sale of the Valenzuela property, be collated. ISSUE: Whether or not a spouse of the deceased child of the deceased parent can participate in the intestate estate proceedings of the latter HELD: No. The attendant FACTS herein do not make a case of collation. The Supreme Court find that the probate court, as well as respondent Court of Appeals, committed reversible errors. First: The probate court erred in ordering the inclusion of petitioner in the intestate estate proceeding. Petitioner, a son-in-law of Rafael, is not one of Rafael's compulsory heirs. With respect to Rafael's estate, therefore, petitioner who was not even shown to be a creditor of Rafael is considered a third person or a stranger. As such, petitioner may not be dragged into the intestate estate proceeding. Neither may he be permitted or allowed to intervene as he has no 74 | P a g e

personality or interest in the said proceeding, which petitioner correctly argued in his manifestation. Second: As a rule, the probate court may pass upon and determine the title or ownership of a property which may or may not be included in the estate proceedings. Such determination is provisional in character and is subject to final decision in a separate action to resolve title. In the case at bench, however, the Court note that the probate court went beyond the scope of its jurisdiction when it proceeded to determine the validity of the sale of the Valenzuela property between Rafael and Estrellita and ruled that the transfer of the subject property between the concerned parties was gratuitous. The interpretation of the deed and the true intent of the contracting parties, as well as the presence or absence of consideration, are matters outside the probate court's jurisdiction. These ISSUEs should be ventilated in an appropriate action. Third: The order of the probate court subjecting the Paraaque property to collation is premature. Records indicate that the intestate estate proceedings is still in its initiatory stage. The Court find nothing herein to indicate that the legitime of any of Rafael's heirs has been impaired to warrant collation. Fourth: Even on the assumption that collation is appropriate in this case the probate court, nonetheless, made a reversible error in ordering collation of the Paraaque property. The Court note that what was transferred to Estrellita, by way of deed of sale, is the Valenzuela property. The Paraaque property which Estrellita acquired by using the proceeds of the sale of the Valenzuela property does not become collationable simply by reason thereof. Indeed, collation of the Paraaque property has no statutory basis. The order of the probate court presupposes that the Paraaque property was gratuitously conveyed by Rafael to Estrellita. Records indicate, however, that the Paraaque property was conveyed for and in consideration of P900,000.00, by Premier Homes, Inc., to Estrellita. Rafael, the decedent, has no participation therein, and petitioner who inherited and is now the present owner of the Paraaque property is not one of Rafael's heirs. Thus, the probate court's order of collation against petitioner is unwarranted for the obligation to collate is lodged with Estrellita, the heir, and not to herein petitioner who does not have any interest in Rafael's estate. As it stands, collation of the Paraaque property is improper for, to repeat, collation covers only properties gratuitously given by the decedent during his lifetime to his compulsory heirs which fact does not obtain anent the transfer of the Paraaque property. Moreover, Rafael, in a public instrument, voluntarily and willfully waived any "claims, rights, ownership and participation as heir" in the Paraaque property. Fifth: Finally, it is futile for the probate court to ascertain whether or not the Valenzuela property may be brought to collation. Estrellita, it should be stressed, died ahead of Rafael. In fact, it was Rafael who inherited from Estrellita an amount more than the value of the Valenzuela property. Hence, even assuming that the Valenzuela property may be collated collation may not be allowed as the value of the Valenzuela property has long been returned to the estate of Rafael. 75 | P a g e

Therefore, any determination by the probate court on the matter serves no valid and binding purpose.

Re: Shares/ Legitime of Secondary Heirs SPOUSES MARIANO (a.k.a. QUAKY) and EMMA BOLAOS,Petitioners, - versus ROSCEF ZUIGA BERNARTE, CLARO ZUIGA, PERFECTO ZUIGA, and CEFERINA ZUIGA-GARCIA, Respondents. G.R. No. 180997 November 17, 2010 NACHURA, J.: FACTS: Subject of the controversy is a 238-square-meter lot. Petitioner-spouses Mariano and Emma Bolaos (petitioner-spouses) purchased it from Cresencia Zuiga-Echague (Cresencia) on June 20, 2001. The sale was registered in the name of petitioner-spouses. On October 30, 2001, respondents Roscef Zuiga Bernarte, Claro Zuiga, Perfecto Zuiga, and Ceferina Zuiga-Garcia (Roscef, et al.) filed a complaint for declaration of partial nullity of deeds of transfer and sale alleged that petitioner-spouses started demolishing their ancestral home on the subject property and initiated the construction of a new building thereon, despite pleas to desist from further destroying the ancestral home. The complaint, in essence, alleged that: Roscef, et al., and Flavia and Cresencia are legitimate half-blood brothers and sisters, all children of the deceased Roman Zuiga, Sr. (Roman) from his second and first marriages, respectively; during his lifetime, Roman owned a residential land with improvements, identified in the Tax Declaration for the year 2000; Roman had the lot declared for taxation purposes in the name of Flavia, Sisters and Brothers, per a Sworn Statement he executed in 1973, and filed with the then Assessors Office, which issued Tax Declaration No. 2975; Roman died on August 9, 1976, and his heirs did not settle or partition the subject property; on June 20, 2001, Flavia, without authority from the co-owners of the lot, executed a notarized Deed of Absolute Sale over it in favor of Cresencia; Cresencia, in turn, also without authority from the said co-owners, executed on the same day a notarized Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of petitioner-spouses; on the basis of these notarized deeds, a Tax Declaration was issued to petitioner-spouses as sole declared owners of Lot No. 1-P. In her answer with cross-claim,Flavia denied the genuineness and due execution of the Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of Cresencia, and alleged that the subsequent sale made by the latter was valid and effective only as to her aliquot share, but null and void as to the rest of the property 76 | P a g e

ISSUE: Whether or not the sale is valid RULING: Yes. The RTC correctly ruled that Lot No. 1-P rightfully belongs to the 11 children of Roman, seven (7) from his first marriage with Flavia and four (4) from his second marriage with Ceferina, in equal shares. As there was no partition among Romans children, the lot was owned by them in common. And inasmuch as Flavia did not successfully repudiate her sale of her aliquot share to Cresencia, the transfer stands as valid and effective. Consequently, what Cresencia sold to petitioner spouses was her own share and Flavias share in the property that she acquired by virtue of the notarized deed of sale, which is only 2/11 of Lot No. 1-P. Therefore, the restitution of the property in excess of that portion by petitioner spouses is clearly warranted. Indeed, the findings of the trial court, with respect to the operative facts and the credibility of witnesses, especially when affirmed by the appellate court, are accorded the highest degree of deference and respect by this Court, except when: (1) the findings of a trial court are grounded entirely on speculations, surmises, or conjectures; (2) a lower courts inference from its factual findings is manifestly mistaken, absurd, or impossible; (3) there is grave abuse of discretion in the appreciation of facts; (4) the findings of the court go beyond the issues of the case or fail to notice certain relevant facts which, if properly considered, will justify a different conclusion; (5) there is misapprehension of facts; and (6) the findings of fact are conclusions without mention of the specific evidence on which they are based are premised on the absence of evidence, or are contradicted by evidence on record.[24] Notably, none of these exceptions is attendant in this case. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. Accordingly, the Decision dated March 30, 2007 and the Resolution dated November 26, 2007 of the Court of Appeals in C.A. G.R. CV No. 84452 are AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners.

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GERARDO B. CONCEPCION vs. COURT OF APPEALS and MA. THERESA ALMONTE G.R. No. 123450. August 31, 2005

FACTS: Gerardo and Ma. Theresa were married on December 29, 1989. After their marriage, they lived with Ma. Theresas parents in Fairview, Quezon City. Almost a year later, on December 8, 1990, Ma. Theresa gave birth to Jose Gerardo. Gerardo and Ma. Theresas relationship turned out to be short-lived, however. On December 19, 1991, Gerardo filed a petition to have his marriage to Ma. Theresa annulled on the ground of bigamy. He alleged that nine years before he married Ma. Theresa on December 10, 1980, she had married one Mario Gopiao, which marriage was never annulled. Gerardo also found out that Mario was still alive and was residing in Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Ma. Theresa did not deny marrying Mario when she was twenty years old. She, however, averred that the marriage was a sham and that she never lived with Mario at all. ISSUE: Whether or not Jose Gerado is a legitimate child of Maria Theresa and Mario Gopiao. RULING: Yes. It is, therefore, undeniable established by the evidence in this case that the appellant Ma. Theresa was married to Mario Gopiao, and that she had never entered into a lawful marriage with the appellee Gerardo since the so-called marriage with the latter was void ab initio. It was Gerardo himself who had established these facts. In other words, Ma. Theresa was legitimately married to Mario Gopiao when the child Jose Gerardo was born on December 8, 1990. Therefore, the child Jose Gerardo under the law is the legitimate child of the legal and subsisting marriage between Ma. Theresa and Mario Gopiao; he cannot be deemed to be the illegitimate child of the void and non-existent marriage between Ma. Theresa and Gerardo, but is said by the law to be the child of the legitimate and existing marriage between Ma. Theresa and Mario Gopiao (Art. 164, Family Code). Consequently, she is right in firmly saying that Gerardo can claim neither custody nor visitorial rights over the child Jose Gerardo. Further, Gerardo cannot impose his name upon the child. Not only is it without legal basis (even supposing the child to be his illegitimate child Art. 146, The Family Code); it would tend to destroy the existing marriage between Ma. Theresa and Gopiao, would prevent any possible rapproachment between the married couple, and would mean a judicial seal upon an illegitimate relationship. Article 167 of the Family Code mandates: 78 | P a g e

The child shall be considered legitimate although the mother may have declared again st its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress. Thus, implicit from the above provision is the fact that a minor cannot be deprived of his/her legitimate status on the bare declaration of the mother and/or even much less, the supposed father. In fine, the law and only the law determines who are the legitimate or illegitimate children for ones legitimacy or illegitimacy cannot ever be compromised. Not even the birth certificate of the minor can change his status for the information contained therein are merely supplied by the mother and/or the supposed father. It should be what the law says and not what a parent says it is. Article 164 of the Family Code is clear. A child who is conceived or born during the marriage of his parents is legitimate. The law requires that every reasonable presumption be made in favor of legitimacy. We explained the rationale of this rule in the recent case of Cabatania v. Court of Appeals: The presumption of legitimacy does not only flow out of a declaration in the statute but is based on the broad principles of natural justice and the supposed virtue of the mother. It is grounded on the policy to protect the innocent offspring from the odium of illegitimacy. Having only his best interests in mind, the Court uphold the presumption of his legitimacy. As a legitimate child, Jose Gerardo shall have the right to bear the surnames of his father Mario and mother Ma. Theresa, in conformity with the provisions of the Civil Code on surnames. A persons surname or family name identifies the family to which he belongs and is passed on from parent to child. Hence, Gerardo cannot impose his surname on Jose Gerardo who is, in the eyes of the law, not related to him in any way.

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MARISSA BENITEZ-BADUA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, VICTORIA BENITEZ LIRIO AND FEODOR BENITEZ AGUILAR, respondents. G.R. No. 105625, January 24, 1994 PUNO, J.: FACTS: The spouses Vicente Benitez and Isabel Chipongian owned various properties especially in Laguna. Isabel died on April 25, 1982. Vicente followed her in the grave on November 13, 1989. He died intestate. The fight for administration of Vicente's estate ensued. On September 24, 1990, private respondents Victoria Benitez-Lirio and Feodor Benitez Aguilar (Vicente's sister and nephew, respectively) instituted Sp. Proc. No. 797 (90) before the RTC of San Pablo City, 4th Judicial Region, Br. 30. They prayed for the issuance of letters of administration of Vicente's estate in favor of private respondent Aguilar. They alleged, inter alia, viz.: The decedent is survived by no other heirs or relatives be they ascendants or descendants, whether legitimate, illegitimate or legally adopted; despite claims or representation to the contrary, petitioners can well and truly establish, given the chance to do so, that said decedent and his spouse Isabel Chipongian who predeceased him, and whose estate had earlier been settled extra-judicial, were without ISSUE and/or without descendants whatsoever, and that one Marissa Benitez-Badua who was raised and cared by them since childhood is, in fact, not related to them by blood, nor legally adopted, and is therefore not a legal heir. On November 2, 1990, petitioner opposed the petition. She alleged that she is the sole heir of the deceased Vicente Benitez and capable of administering his estate. The parties further exchanged reply and rejoinder to buttress their legal postures. The trial court then received evidence on the ISSUE of petitioner's heirship to the estate of the deceased. Petitioner tried to prove that she is the only legitimate child of the spouses Vicente Benitez and Isabel Chipongian. On December 17, 1990, the trial court decided in favor of the petitioner. It dismissed the private respondents petition for letters and administration and declared petitioner as the legitimate daughter and sole heir of the spouses Vicente O. Benitez and Isabel Chipongian. The trial court relied on Articles 166 and 170 of the Family Code. 80 | P a g e

ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner is a legally adopted child of the deceased spouses Benitez HELD: No. The Court are constrained to say that appellee's evidence is utterly insufficient to establish her biological and blood kinship with the aforesaid spouses, while the evidence on record is strong and convincing that she is not, but that said couple being childless and desirous as they were of having a child, the late Vicente O. Benitez took Marissa from somewhere while still a baby, and without he and his wife's legally adopting her treated, cared for, reared, considered, and loved her as their own true child, giving her the status as not so, such that she herself had believed that she was really their daughter and entitled to inherit from them as such. The mere registration of a child in his or her birth certificate as the child of the supposed parents is not a valid adoption, does not confer upon the child the status of an adopted child and the legal rights of such child, and even amounts of simulation of the child's birth or falsification of his or her birth certificate, which is a public document. The Supreme Court says odd and strange, for if Marissa Benitez is really the daughter of the spouses Vicente O. Benitez and Isabel Chipongian, it would not have been necessary for Isabel to write and plead for the foregoing requests to her husband, since Marissa would be their legal heir by operation of law. Obviously, Isabel Chipongian had to implore and supplicate her husband to give appellee although without any legal papers her properties when she dies, and likewise for her husband to give Marissa the properties that he would inherit from her (Isabel), since she well knew that Marissa is not truly their daughter and could not be their legal heir unless her (Isabel's) husband makes her so.

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RE: SHARES/LEGITIME ( legitimate children and descendants) TEOFISTA BABIERA, petitioner, vs. PRESENTACION B. CATOTAL, respondent. G.R. No. 138493 PANGANIBAN, J.: FACTS:: Presentacion B. Catotal filed with the Regional Trial Court of Lanao del Node, Branch II, Iligan City, a petition for the cancellation of the entry of birth of Teofista Babiera. From the petition filed, Presentacion asserted "that she is the only surviving child of the late spouses Eugenio Babiera and Hermogena Cariosa, who died on May 26, 1996 and July 6, 1990 respectively; that on September 20, 1996 a baby girl was delivered by "hilot" in the house of spouses Eugenio and Hermogena Babiera and without the knowledge of said spouses, Flora Guinto, the mother of the child and a housemaid of spouses Eugenio and Hermogena Babiera, caused the registration/recording of the facts of birth of her child, by simulating that she was the child of the spouses Eugenio, then 65 years old and Hermogena, then 54 years old, and made Hermogena Babiera appear as the mother by forging her signature . . .; that petitioner, then 15 years old, saw with her own eyes and personally witnessed Flora Guinto give birth to Teofista Guinto, in their house, assisted by "hilot"; that the birth certificate . . . of Teofista Guinto is void ab initio, as it was totally a simulated birth, signature of informant forged, and it contained false entries, to wit: a) The child is made to appear as the legitimate child of the late spouses Eugenio Babiera and Hermogena Cariosa, when she is not; b) The signature of Hermogena Cariosa, the mother, is falsified/forged. She was not the informant; c) The family name BABIERA is false and unlawful and her correct family name is GUINTO, her mother being single; d) Her real mother was Flora Guinto and her status, an illegitimate child; The natural father, the carpenter, did not sign it; that the respondent Teofista Barbiera's birth certificate is void ab initio, and it is patently a simulation of birth, since it is clinically and medically impossible for the supposed parents to bear a child in 1956 because: a) Hermogena Cariosa Babiera, was already 54 years old; b) Hermogena's last child birth was in the year 1941, the year petitioner was born; c) Eugenio was already 65 years old, that the void and simulated birth certificate of Teofista Guinto would affect the hereditary rights of petitioner who inherited the estate of cancelled and declared void and theretofore she prays that after publication, notice and hearing, judgment [be] render[ed] declaring . . . the certificate of birth of respondent Teofista Guinto as declared void, invalid and ineffective and ordering the respondent local civil registrar of Iligan to cancel from the registry of live birth of Iligan City BIRTH CERTIFICATE recorded as Registry No. 16035. TEOFISTA filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that "the petition states no cause of action, it being an attack on the legitimacy of the respondent as the child of the spouses Eugenio Babiera and Hermogena Cariosa Babiera; that plaintiff has no legal capacity to file the instant petition pursuant to Article 171 of the Family Code; and finally that the instant petition is barred by prescription in accordance with Article 170 of the Family Code." The trial court denied the motion to dismiss. 82 | P a g e June 15, 2000

ISSUE: Whether or not a certificate of live birth is sufficient to establish the legitimacy of a child regardless of the fact that the same is obtained by fraud or that it contained some irregularities RULING: No. The present case alleges and shows that Hermogena did not give birth to petitioner. In other words, the prayer herein is not to declare that petitioner is an illegitimate child of Hermogena, but to establish that the former is not the latter's child at all. Verily, the present action does not impugn petitioner's filiation to Spouses Eugenio and Hermogena Babiera, because there is no blood relation to impugn in the first place. While it is true that an official document such as petitioner's Birth Certificate enjoys the presumption of regularity, the specific facts attendant in the case at bar, as well as the totality of the evidence presented during trial, sufficiently negate such presumption. First, there were already irregularities regarding the Birth Certificate itself. It was not signed by the local civil registrar. More important, the Court of Appeals observed that the mother's signature therein was different from her signatures in other documents presented during the trial. The circumstances surrounding the birth of petitioner show that Hermogena is not the former's real mother. For one, there is no evidence of Hermogena's pregnancy, such as medical records and doctor's prescriptions, other than the Birth Certificate itself. In fact, no witness was presented to attest to the pregnancy of Hermogena during that time. Moreover, at the time of her supposed birth, Hermogena was already 54 years old. Even if it were possible for her to have given birth at such a late age, it was highly suspicious that she did so in her own home, when her advanced age necessitated proper medical care normally available only in a hospital. The most significant piece of evidence, however, is the deposition of Hermogena Babiera which states that she did not give birth to petitioner, and that the latter was neither hers nor her husband Eugenio's. WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DENIED and the assailed Decision AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

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RE: Effect of Adoption ELOY IMPERIAL, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF LEGASPI CITY, CESAR VILLALON, JR., TERESA VILLALON, ANTONIO VILLALON, AUGUSTO VILLALON, ROBERTO VILLALON, RICARDO VILLALON and ESTHER VILLALON, respondents. G.R. No. 112483, October 8, 1999

GONZAGA-REYES, J.: FACTS: Leoncio Imperial was the registered owner of a 32,837-square meter parcel of land covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 200, also known as Lot 45 of the Cadastral Survey of Albay. On July 7, 1951, Leoncio sold the said lot for P1.00 to his acknowledged natural son, petitioner herein, who then acquired title over the land and proceeded to subdivide it into several lots. Petitioner and private respondents admit that despite the contract's designation as one of "Absolute Sale", the transaction was in fact a donation. On July 28, 1953, or barely two years after the donation, Leoncio filed a complaint for annulment of the said Deed of Absolute Sale, docketed as Civil Case No. 1177, in the then Court of First Instance of Albay, on the ground that he was deceived by petitioner herein into signing the said document. The dispute, however, was resolved through a compromise agreement, approved by the Court of First Instance of Albay on November 3, 1961 3, under which terms: (1) Leoncio recognized the legality and validity of the rights of petitioner to the land donated; and (2) petitioner agreed to sell a designated 1,000-square meter portion of the donated land, and to deposit the proceeds thereof in a bank, for the convenient disposal of Leoncio. In case of Leoncio's death, it was agreed that the balance of the deposit will be withdrawn by petitioner to defray burial costs. On January 8, 1962, and pending execution of the above judgment, Leoncio died, leaving only two heirs the herein petitioner, who is his acknowledged natural son, and an adopted son, Victor Imperial. On March 8, 1962, Victor was substituted in place of Leoncio in the abovementioned case, and it was he who moved for execution of judgment. On March 15, 1962, the motion for execution was duly granted. Fifteen years thereafter, or on July 26, 1977, Victor died single and without issue, survived only by his natural father, Ricardo Villalon, who was a lessee of a portion of the disputed land. Four years hence, or on September 25, 1981, Ricardo died, leaving as his only heirs his two children, Cesar and Teresa Villalon. Five years thereafter, or sometime in 1986, Cesar and Teresa filed a complaint for annulment of the donation with the Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City, docketed as Civil Case No. 7646. Petitioner moved to dismiss on the ground of res judicata, by virtue of the compromise judgment 84 | P a g e

rendered by the Court of First Instance of Albay. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss, but the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's order and remanded the case for further proceedings. ISSUE: Whether there is a renunciation of legitime that may be presumed in the case. RULING: None. No renunciation of legitime may be presumed from the foregoing acts. It must be remembered that at the time of the substitution, the judgment approving the compromise agreement has already been rendered. Victor merely participated in the execution of the compromise judgment. He was not a party to the compromise agreement. More importantly, our law on succession does not countenance tacit repudiation of inheritance. Rather, it requires an express act on the part of the heir. Thus, under Article 1051 of Civil Code: The repudiation of an inheritance shall be made in a public or authentic instrument, or by petition presented to the court having jurisdiction over the testamentary or intestate proceedings. Thus, when Victor substituted Leoncio in Civil Case No. 1177 upon the latter's death, his act of moving for execution of the compromise judgment cannot be considered an act of renunciation of his legitime. He was, therefore, not precluded or estopped from subsequently seeking the reduction of the donation, under Article 772. Nor are Victor's heirs, upon his death, precluded from doing so, as their right to do so is expressly recognized under Article 772, and also in Article 1053. If the heir should die without having accepted or repudiated the inheritance, his right shall be transmitted to his heirs. A final word on collation of donations. We observe that after finding the donation to be inofficious because Leoncio had no other property at the time of his death, the RTC computed the legitime of Victor based on the area of the donated property. Hence, in its dispositive portion, it awarded a portion of the property to private respondents as Victor's legitime. This was upheld by the Court of Appeals. Our rules of succession require that before any conclusion as to the legal share due to a compulsory heir may be reached, the following steps must be taken: (1) the net estate of the decedent must be ascertained, by deducting all the payable obligations and charges from the value of the property owned by the deceased at the time of his death; (2) the value of all donations subject to collation would be added to it. Thus, it is the value of the property at the time it is donated, and not the property itself, which is brought to collation. Consequently, even when the donation is found inofficious and reduced to the extent that it impaired Victor's legitime, private respondents will not receive a corresponding share in the property donated. Thus, in this case where the collatable property is an immovable, what may be received is: (1) an equivalent, as much as possible, in property of the same nature, class and quality; (2) if such is impracticable, the equivalent value of the impaired legitime in cash or marketable securities; or (3) in the absence of cash or securities in the estate, so much of such other property as may be necessary, to be sold in public auction. 85 | P a g e

MAURICIO SAYSON, ROSARIO SAYSON-MALONDA, BASILISA SAYSON-LIRIO, REMEDIOS SAYSON-REYES and JUANA C. BAUTISTA, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, DELIA SAYSON, assisted by her husband, CIRILO CEDO, JR., EDMUNDO SAYSON AND DORIBEL SAYSON, respondents. GR Nos. 89224-25 January 23, 1992 CRUZ, J.: FACTS:: Eleno and Rafaela Sayson begot five children, namely, Mauricio, Rosario, Basilisa, Remedios and Teodoro. Eleno died on November 10, 1952, and Rafaela on May 15,1976. Teodoro, who had married Isabel Bautista, died on March 23, 1972. His wife died nine years later. Their properties were left in the possession of Delia, Edmundo, and Doribel, all surnamed Sayson, who claim to be their children. Mauricio, Rosario, Basilisa, and Remedios, together with Juana C. Bautista, Isabel's mother, filed a complaint for partition and accounting of the intestate estate of Teodoro and Isabel Sayson. Delia, Edmundo and Doribel filed their own complaint, this time for the accounting and partition of the intestate estate of Eleno and Rafaela Sayson, against the couple's four surviving children. Both cases filed on the Lower Court were decided in favor Delia, et al. on the basis of practically the same evidence. The Lower Court declared that Delia and Edmundo were the legally adopted children of Teodoro and Isabel Sayson by virtue of the decree of adoption. Doribel was their legitimate daughter as evidenced by her birth certificate. Consequently, the three children were entitled to inherit from Eleno and Rafaela by right of representation. Both cases were appealed to the Court of Appeals, where they were consolidated. The appellate court affirmed that Delia, et al. are entitled to the intestate estate of spouses Teodoro and Isabel Sayson. However, Delia and Edmundo are disqualified from inheriting from the estate of the deceased spouses Eleno and Rafaela Sayson. ISSUE: W/N CA is correct in holding that Delia and Edmundo are disqualified to inherit from the estate of the deceased spouses Eleno and Rafaela Sayson. RULING: A different conclusion must be reached in the case of Delia and Edmundo, to whom the grandparents were total strangers. While it is true that the adopted child shall be deemed to be a legitimate child and have the same right as the latter, these rights do not include the right of representation. The relationship created by the adoption is between only the adopting parents and the adopted child and does not extend to the blood relatives of either party. In sum, we agree with the lower courts that Delia and Edmundo as the adopted children and Doribel as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro Sayson and Isabel Bautista, are their exclusive heirs and are under no obligation to share the estate of their parents with the petitioners. The Court of Appeals was correct, however, in holding that only Doribel has the right of 86 | P a g e

representation in the inheritance of her grandparents' intestate estate, the other private respondents being only the adoptive children of the deceased Teodoro. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED, and the challenged decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED in toto, with costs against the petitioners.

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In Re: Adoption of Stephanie Garcia G.R. No. 148311 March 31, 2005

SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.: FACTS: On August 31, 2000, Honorato B. Catindig, herein petitioner, filed a petition to adopt his minor illegitimate child Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia. He alleged therein, among others, that Stephanie was born on June 26, 1994; that her mother is Gemma Astorga Garcia; that Stephanie has been using her mothers middle name and surname; and that he is now a widower and qualified to be her adopting parent. He prayed that Stephanie s middle name Astorga be changed to Garcia, her mothers surname, and that her surname Garcia be changed to Catindig, his surname. On March 23, 2001, the trial court rendered the assailed Decision granting the adoption. Henceforth, Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia is hereby freed from all obligations of obedience and maintenance with respect to her natural mother, and for civil purposes, shall henceforth be the petitioners legitimate child and legal heir. Pursuant to Article 189 of the Family Code of the Philippines, the minor shall be known as STEPHANIE NATHY CATINDIG. On April 20, 2001, petitioner filed a motion for clarification and/or reconsideration praying that Stephanie should be allowed to use the surname of her natural mother (GARCIA) as her middle name. ISSUE: Whether or not an illegitimate child, upon adoption by her natural father, use the surname of her natural mother as her middle name RULING: Yes. For all practical and legal purposes, a man's name is the designation by which he is known and called in the community in which he lives and is best known. It is defined as the word or combination of words by which a person is distinguished from other individuals and, also, as the label or appellation which he bears for the convenience of the world at large addressing him, or in speaking of or dealing with him. It is both of personal as well as public interest that every person must have a name. The name of an individual has two parts: (1) the given or proper name and (2) the surname or family name. The given or proper name is that which is given to the individual at birth or at baptism, to distinguish him from other individuals. The surname or family name is that which identifies the family to which he belongs and is continued from parent to child. The given name may be freely selected by the parents for the child, but the surname to which the child is entitled is fixed by law. Thus, Articles 364 to 380 of the Civil Code provides the substantive rules which regulate the use of surname of an individual whatever may be his status in life, i.e., whether he may be legitimate or illegitimate, an adopted child, a married woman or a previously married woman, or a widow. 88 | P a g e

As correctly submitted by both parties, there is no law regulating the use of a middle name. Even Article 176 of the Family Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 9255, otherwise known as An Act Allowing Illegitimate Children To Use The Surname Of Their Father, is silent as to what middle name a child may use. In the case of an adopted child, the law provides that the adopted shall bear the surname of the adopters. Again, it is silent whether he can use a middle name. What it only expressly allows, as a matter of right and obligation, is for the adoptee to bear the surname of the adopter, upon issuance of the decree of adoption. One of the effects of adoption is that the adopted is deemed to be a legitimate child of the adopter for all intents and purposes pursuant to Article 189 of the Family Code and Section 17 Article V of RA 8552. Being a legitimate child by virtue of her adoption, it follows that Stephanie is entitled to all the rights provided by law to a legitimate child without discrimination of any kind, including the right to bear the surname of her father and her mother, as discussed above. This is consistent with the intention of the members of the Civil Code and Family Law Committees as earlier discussed. In fact, it is a Filipino custom that the initial or surname of the mother should immediately precede the surname of the father. Additionally, as aptly stated by both parties, Stephanies continued use of her mothers surname (Garcia) as her middle name will maintain her maternal lineage. It is to be noted that Article 189(3) of the Family Code and Section 18, Article V of RA 8552 (law on adoption) provide that the adoptee remains an intestate heir of his/her biological parent. Hence, Stephanie can well assert or claim her hereditary rights from her natural mother in the future. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed Decision is partly MODIFIED in the sense that Stephanie should be allowed to use her mothers surname GARCIA as her middle name. Let the corresponding entry of her correct and complete name be entered in the decree of adoption.

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VIOLETA CABATBAT LIM, LIM BIAK CHIAO and CALASIAO BIJON FACTORY, petitioners, vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, CONSORCIA FRIANEZA GOLEA, MARIA FRIANEZA VERGARA, BENEDICTA FRIANEZA MAYUGBA BONIFACIA FRIANEZA HEIRS OF DOMINGO FRIANEZA namely, DECIDERIA Q. VDA. DE FRIANEZA FRANCISCO, DONA, VILMA and DECIDERIA, all surnamed FRIANEZA HEIRS OF DANIEL FRIANEZA namely, ADELA V. VDA. DE FRIANEZA in her behalf and as Guardian ad litem of Minors, DARLENE, DANIEL JR., DUSSEL and DAISY GLEN, all surnamed FRIANEZA respondents. G.R. No. L-69679, 166 S 451, October 18, 1988

GRIO-AQUINO, J.: FACTS: Petitioners Violeta Cabatbat Lim, her husband Liam Biak Chiao, and the Calasiao Bijon Factory assail the decision dated October 25, 1984 of the Intermediate Appellate Court, now Court of Appeals (AC-G.R. No. CV 67055), which affirmed the trial court's decision finding that petitioner Violeta Cabatbat Lim is not the off-spring, hence, not a legal heir of the late Esperanza Cabatbat. The private respondents, sisters of the late Esperanza Frianeza-Cabatbat, filed a complaint in the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan (Civil Case No. D-3841), praying for the partition of the estate of Esperanza Frianeza Cabatbat, who died without issue on April 23, 1977. Part of her estate was her interest in the business partnership known as Calasiao Bijon Factory, now in the possession of Violeta Cabatbat Lim who claims to be the child of the spouses Esperanza and Proceso Cabatbat. Esperanza Frianeza-Cabatbat was survived by her husband, Proceso Cabatbat, her sisters, Consorcia Maria, Benedicta, Bonifacia, all surnamed Frianeza and the children of her deceased brothers Daniel and Domingo. In their complaint, the private respondents alleged that Violeta Cabatbat Lim is not a child of Esperanza, but was only a ward (ampon) of the spouses Esperanza and Proceso Cabatbat who sheltered and supported her from childhood, without benefit of formal adoption proceedings. Upon the evidence, the trial court held on August 10, 1979 that Violeta Cabatbat is not a child by nature of the spouses Esperanza and Proceso Cabatbat and that hence, she is not a legal heir of the deceased Esperanza Cabatbat. Petitioners appealed to the Intermediate Appellate Court which affirmed the decision of the trial court on October 25, 1984. ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner is legally adopted child of the deceased thus making her a compulsory heir of the deceased, and the sole heir hereof 90 | P a g e

RULING: No. As the Court pronounced, this is very strange and odd because the Registry Book of admission of the hospital does not show that Esperanza Frianeza was ever a patient on May 26, 1948. Indeed, Esperanza Frianeza was never admitted in the hospital as an obstetrics case before or after May 26, 1948, that is from December 1, 1947 to June 15, 1948. On May 26, 1948, the day defendant Violeta Cabatbat was alleged to have been delivered by Esperanza Frianeza in the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital, the records of the hospital show that only one woman by the same of the Benita Lastimosa of Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, not Esperanza Frianeza, gave birth to an illegitimate child who was named by her mother Benita Lastimosa as Baby Girl Lastimosa. Furthermore, the record of birth certificates of Pangasinan Provincial Hospital for the years 1947 and 1948 does not carry the birth certificate of defendant Violeta Cabatbat and the only birth certificate in the file of birth certificates of the hospital for May 26, 1948 is that of Baby Girl Lastimosa whose mother's name is Benita Lastimosa. Furthermore, the absence of a record of the birth of petitioner Violeta Cabatbat in the Office of the Civil Registrar General, puts a cloud on the genuineness of her Exhibit 5. Petitioners' recourse to Article 263 of the New Civil Code is not well-taken. This legal provision refers to an action to impugn legitimacy. It is inapplicable to this case because this is not an action to impugn the legitimacy of a child, but an action of the private respondents to claim their inheritance as legal heirs of their childless deceased aunt. They do not claim that petitioner Violeta Cabatbat Lim is an illegitimate child of the deceased, but that she is not the decedent's child at all. Being neither a legally adopted child, nor an acknowledged natural child, nor a child by legal fiction of Esperanza Cabatbat, Violeta is not a legal heir of the deceased. WHEREFORE, the petition is denied for lack of merit. The appealed decision is affirmed, but with modification of paragraphs 2 and 4 of the dispositive portion thereof, by excluding the widows Adela B. Vda. de Frianeza and Decideria Q. Vda. de Frianeza, who are not legal heirs of Esperanza Frianeza Cabatbat from participating with their children and the surviving sisters of the deceased in the one-fourth share of the estate pertaining to the latter under Article 1001 of the Civil Code.

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VICENTE B. TEOTICO, petitioner-appellant, vs. ANA DEL VAL, ETC., oppositor-appellant. GR No. L18753, March 26, 1965

BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.: FACTS: Maria Mortera died on July 1955 leaving properties worth P600,000. She executed a will written in Spanish, affixed her signature and acknowledged before Notary Public by her and the witnesses. Among the legacies made in the will was the P20,000 for Rene Teotico who was married to the testatrixs niece, Josefina Mortera. The usufruct of Marias interest in the Calvo Building were left to the said spouses and the ownership thereof was left in equal parts to her grandchildren, the legitimate children of said spouses. Josefina was likewise instituted, as sole and universal heir to all the remainder of her properties not otherwise disposed by will. Vicente Teotico filed a petition for the probate of the will but was opposed by Ana del Val Chan, claiming that she was an adopted child of Francisca (deceased sister of Maria) and an acknowledged natural child of Jose (deceased brother of Maria), that said will was not executed as required by law and that Maria as physically and mentally incapable to execute the will at the time of its execution and was executed under duress, threat, or influence of fear. ISSUE: Whether or not defendant has right to intervene in this proceeding. HELD: It is a well-settled rule that in order that a person may be allowed to intervene in a probate proceeding is that he must have an interest in the estate, will or in the property to be affected by either as executor or as a claimant of the estate and be benefited by such as an heir or one who has a claim against it as creditor. Under the terms of the will, defendant has no right to intervene because she has no such interest in the estate either as heir, executor or administrator because it did not appear therein any provision designating her as heir/ legatee in any portion of the estate. She could have acquired such right if she was a legal heir of the deceased but she is not under the CIVIL CODE. Even if her allegations were true, the law does not give her any right to succeed the estate of the deceased sister of both Jose and Francisca because being an illegitimate child she is prohibited by law from succeeding to the legitimate relatives of her natural father and that relationship established by adoption is limited solely to the adopter and adopted and does not extend to the relatives of the adopting parents except only as expressly provided by law. As a consequence, she is an heir of the adopter but not of the relatives of the adopter. Hence, defendant has no right to intervene either as testamentary or as legal heir in the probate proceeding. WHEREFORE, with the exception of that portion of the decision which declares that the will in question has been duly executed and admitted the same to probate, the rest of the decision is hereby set aside. This case is ordered remanded to the court a quo for further proceedings. No pronouncement as to costs. 92 | P a g e

RE: Legitimate Parents and Ascendants REMEDIOS NUGUID, petitioner and appellant, vs. FELIX NUGUID and PAZ SALONGA NUGUID, oppositors and appellees. No. L-23445, June 23, 1966 SANCHEZ, J.: FACTS: Rosario died without descendants, legitimate or illegitimate. Surviving her were her legitimate parents Felix and Paz, and 6 brothers and sisters. Remedios, one of the sister filed in court a holographic will allegedly executed by Rosario instituting the former as the sole, universal heir of all her properties. She prayed that said will be admitted to probate and that letter of administration be issued to her. Felix and Paz opposed to the probate of the will on the ground that by the institution of Remedios as universal heir of the deceased, oppositors who are compulsory heirs in the direct ascending line were illegally preterited and that in consequence, the institution is void. Article 854 provides that preterition of one, some or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir. Petitioners contention is that the present is a case of ineffective disinheritance rather than one of preterition drawing the conclusion that Article 854 does not apply in the case at bar. ISSUE: Whether or not the institution of one of the sister of the deceased as the sole, universal heir preterited the compulsory heirs. HELD: Yes. Where the deceased left no descendants, legitimate or illegitimate, but she left forced heirs in the direct ascending line her parents, and her holographic will does not explicitly disinherit them but simply omits their names altogether, the case is one of preterition of the parents, not a case of ineffective disinheritance. Preterition consists in the omission in the testators will of the forced heirs or anyone of them, either because they are not mentioned therein, or, through mentioned, they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited. Disinheritance, in turn, is a testamentary disposition depriving any compulsory heir of his share in the legitime for a cause authorized by law. Where the one sentence will institutes the petitioner as the sole, universal heir and preterits the parents of the testatrix, and it contains no specific legacies or bequests, such universal institution of petitioner, by itself, is void. And intestate succession ensues. WHEREFORE, upon the view we take of this case, the order of November 8, 1963 under review is hereby affirmed. No costs allowed. So ordered. 93 | P a g e

RE: Surviving Spouse Lolita D. Enrico, petitioner -versusHeirs of Eulogio B. Medinaceli, respondents G.R. No. 173614 September 28, 2007

CHICO-NAZARIO, J.: FACTS: Petitioner, Lolita D. Enrico, is the second wife of Eulogio Medinacili. They were married on August 24, 2004. This marriage was celebrated 4 months after Eulogios first wife died on May 2004. On February, 2005, or six months after his second marriage, Eulogio died. The respondents are Eulogios heirs and seek a declaration of nullity of the marriage of Petitioner Lolita and Eulogio on the ground that the marriage was celebrated without a valid marriage license. And that 5-year cohabitation exception could not apply since Eulogio was a bachelor for only 4 months. Petitioner answered the complaint and alleged that they have been living as husband and wife for 21 years as in fact they had 2 children. Further, petitioner contended that it is only the contracting parties while living can file an action for declaration of nullity of their marriage. RTC dismissed the complaint but on reconsideration reinstated the case. Petitioner Enrico directly filed for Rule 65 in the SC. ISSUE: Do the heirs have standing to file the action for the declaration of nullity. HELD: No. SC grants the petition and dismisses the petition for declaration of nullity filed by the heirs. First, Void marriages solemnized under the Family Code are governed by the A.M. 02-11-10 of the SC, that is, marriages entered into on and after August 3, 1988. The A.M. of the SC provides that a petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed solely by the husband or the wife. It is clear. Thus, the heirs have no standing. Case Dismissed! Second, as to the Ninal v. Badayog ruling that allows heirs to file a petition for declaration of nullity, this applies only to those marriages under the Civil Code. What is the remedy now of the heirs? Remember that a void marriage can be collaterally attacked; hence since they only seek to protect their property rights they can always impugn the legitimacy of the marriage of petitioner and their father in the proceeding for the settlement of the estate of their deceased father. 94 | P a g e

WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED. Civil Case No. II-4057 filed before the Regional Trial Court of Aparri, Cagayan, Branch 6, is ORDERED DISMISSED without prejudice to challenging the validity of the marriage of Lolita D. Enrico to Eulogio B. Medinaceli in a proceeding for the settlement of the estate of the latter. No costs.

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FELICITAS AMOR-CATALAN, Petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, MANILA, ORLANDO B. CATALAN and MEROPE E. BRAGANZA, Respondents. G.R. No. 167109, February 6, 2007

YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: FACTS: Felicitas Amor-Catalan married Orlando Catalan on June 1950 in Pangasinan. They migrated to the US and became naturalized American citizens. They divorced in 1988. Two (2) months after the divorce, Orlando married Merope in Pangasinan. Felicitas filed a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage against Merope, contending that she had a subsisting marriage with Eusebio Bristol. She also wanted damages, claiming that the marriage brought her embarrassment. RTC ruled for Felicitas. It declared the Orlando-Merope marriage null and void for being bigamous and awarded damaged to Felicitas. CA reversed. ISSUE: Does Felicitas have standing to question the nullity of the Orlando-Merope marriage. HELD: This issue may not be resolved without first determining whether Felicitas and Orlando had indeed become naturalized American citizens and whether they had actually been divorced. Other than allegations in the complaint, records are bereft of evidence to prove their naturalization. Felicitas merely alleged in her complaint that they had acquired American citizenship and Orlando also only alleged their divorce. A divorce obtained abroad by an alien may be recognized in our jurisdiction, provided such decree is valid according to the national law of the foreigner. However, before it can be recognized by our courts, the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law allowing it, which must be proved considering that our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws. Also, the kind of divorce obtained is important, since there is an absolute divorce (vincula matrimonii) which severs the marital ties, and a limited divorce (mensa et thoro), which leaves the bond in full force. Under the NCC which is the law in force at the time Orlando and Merope were married, and even in the Family Code, there is no specific provision as to who can file a petition to declare the nullity of marriage. Only a party who can demonstrate "proper interest" can file the same. A petition to declare the nullity of marriage, like any other actions, must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest and must be based on a cause of action. Section 2(a) of The Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages, which took effect on March 15, 2003, now provides that only the husband or the wife may file a petition for declaration of absolute nullity. 96 | P a g e

Hence, a remand of the case to the trial court for reception of additional evidence is necessary to determine whether respondent Orlando was granted a divorce decree and whether the foreign law which granted the same allows or restricts remarriage. If it is proved that a valid divorce decree was obtained and the same did not allow respondent Orlandos remarriage, then the trial court should declare respondents marriage as bigamous and void ab initio but reduce the amount of damages. On the contrary, if it is proved that a valid divorce decree was obtained which allowed Orlando to remarry, then the trial court must dismiss the instant petition to declare nullity of marriage on the ground that Felicitas lacks legal personality to file the same. WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, let this case be REMANDED to the trial court for its proper disposition. No costs.

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FE D. QUITA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and BLANDINA DANDAN, * respondents. G.R. No. 124862 December 22, 1998 BELLOSILLO, J.: FACTS: Fe D. Quita, the petitioner, and Arturo T. Padlan, both Filipinos, were married in the Philippines on May 18, 1941. They got divorce in San Francisco on July 23,1954. Both of them remarried another person. Arturo remarried Bladina Dandan,the respondent herewith. They were blessed with six children. On April 16, 1972,when Arturo died, the trial court was set to declared as to who will be the intestate heirs. The trial court invoking Tenchavez vs Escano case held that the divorce acquired by the petitioner is not recognized in our country. Private respondentstressed that the citizenship of petitioner was relevant in the light of the ruling in Van Dorn v. Rommillo Jr that aliens who obtain divorce abroad are recognized in the Philippnes provided they are valid according to their national law. The petitioner herself answered that she was an American citizen since 1954. Through the hearing she also stated that Arturo was a Filipino at the time she obtained the divorce.Implying the she was no longer a Filipino citizen. The Trial court disregarded therespondents statement. The net hereditary estate was ordered in favor the Fe D. Quita and Ruperto, the brother of Arturo. Blandina and the Padlan children moved for reconsideration. On February 15, 1988 partial reconsideration was granted declaring the Padlan children, with the exception of Alexis, entitled to one- half of the estate to the exclusion of Ruperto Padlan, and the other half to Fe Quita. Private respondent was not declared an heir for her marriage to Arturo was declared void since it was celebrated during the existence of his previous marriage to petitioner. Blandina and her children appeal to the Court of Appeals that the case was decided without a hearing in violation of the Rules of Court. ISSUE: (1) Whether or not Blandinas marriage to Arturo void ab initio. (2) Whetheror not Fe D. Quita be declared the primary beneficiary as surviving spouse of Arturo. HELD: No. The marriage of Blandina and Arturo is not void. The citizenship of Fe D. Quita at the time of their divorce is relevant to this case. The divorce is valid here since she was already an alien at the time she obtained divorce, and such is valid in their countrys national law. Thus, Fe D. Quita is no longer recognized as a wife of Arturo. She cannot be the primary beneficiary or will be recognized as surviving spouse of Arturo. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The decision of respondent Court of Appeals ordering the remand of the case to the court of origin for further proceedings and declaring null and void its decision holding petitioner Fe D. Quita and Ruperto T. Padlan as intestate heirs is AFFIRMED. The order of the appellate court modifying its previous decision by granting onehalf (1/2) of the net hereditary estate to the Padlan children, namely, Claro, Ricardo, Emmanuel, 98 | P a g e

Zenaida and Yolanda, with the exception of Alexis, all surnamed Padlan, instead of Arturo's brother Ruperto Padlan, is likewise AFFIRMED. The Court However emphasizes that the reception of evidence by the trial court should be limited to the hereditary rights of petitioner as the surviving spouse of Arturo Padlan.

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Re: Illegitimate children JOSE E. ARUEGO, JR., SIMEONA SAN JUAN ARUEGO, MA. IMMACULADA T. ALANON, ROBERTO A. TORRES, CRISTINA A. TORRES, JUSTO JOSE TORRES and AGUSTIN TORRES, petitioners, vs. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS, THIRTEENTH DIVISION and ANTONIA ARUEGO, respondents. G.R. No. 112193 March 13, 1996 HERMOSISIMA, JR., J.: FACTS: In essence, the complaint avers that the late Jose M. Aruego, Sr., a married man, had an amorous relationship with Luz M. Fabian sometime in 1959 until his death on March 30, 1982. Out of this relationship were born Antonia F. Aruego and Evelyn F. Aruego on October 5, 1962 and September 3, 1963, respectively. The complaint prayed for an Order praying that herein private respondent and Evelyn be declared the illegitimate children of the deceased Jose M. Aruego, Sr.; that herein petitioners be compelled to recognize and acknowledge them as the compulsory heirs of the deceased Jose M. Aruego; that their share and participation in the estate of their deceased father be determined and ordered delivered to them. The main basis of the action for compulsory recognition is their alleged "open and continuous possession of the status of illegitimate children" as stated in paragraphs 6 and 7 of the Complaint, to wit: 6. The plaintiffs' father, Jose M. Aruego, acknowledged and recognized the herein plaintiffs as his children verbally among plaintiffs' and their mother's family friends, as well as by myriad different paternal ways, including but not limited to the following: (a) Regular support and educational expenses; (b) Allowance to use his surname; (c) Payment of maternal bills; (d) Payment of baptismal expenses and attendance therein; (e) Taking them to restaurants and department stores on occasions of family rejoicing; (f) Attendance to school problems of plaintiffs; (g) Calling and allowing plaintiffs to his office every now and then; (h) Introducing them as such children to family friends. 100 | P a g e

7. The plaintiffs are thus, in continuous possession of the status of (illegitimate) children of the deceased Jose M. Aruego who showered them, with the continuous and clear manifestations of paternal care and affection as above outlined. Petitioners denied all these allegations. ISSUE: Whether or not Antonia Aruego is an illegitimate child of the deceased and thus, a compulsory heir of the deceased HELD: YES. Under the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, we hold that the right of action of the minor child has been vested by the filing of the complaint in court under the regime of the Civil Code and prior to the effectivity of the Family Code. The Court herein adopt our HELD in the recent case of Republic of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals, et. al. where it held that the fact of filing of the petition already vested in the petitioner her right to file it and to have the same proceed to final adjudication in accordance with the law in force at the time, and such right can no longer be prejudiced or impaired by the enactment of a new law. Accordingly, Article 175 of the Family Code finds no proper application to the instant case since it will ineluctably affect adversely a right of private respondent and, consequentially, of the minor child she represents, both of which have been vested with the filing of the complaint in court. The trial court is, therefore, correct in applying the provisions of Article 285 of the Civil Code and in holding that private respondent's cause of action has not yet prescribed. Tayag applies four-square with the case at bench. The action brought by private respondent Antonia Aruego for compulsory recognition and enforcement of successional rights which was filed prior to the advent of the Family Code, must be governed by Article 285 of the Civil Code and not by Article 175, paragraph 2 of the Family Code. The present law cannot be given retroactive effect insofar as the instant case is concerned, as its application will prejudice the vested right of private respondent to have her case decided under Article 285 of the Civil Code. The right was vested to her by the fact that she filed her action under the regime of the Civil Code. Prescinding from this, the conclusion then ought to be that the action was not yet barred, notwithstanding the fact that it was brought when the putative father was already deceased, since private respondent was then still a minor when it was filed, an exception to the general rule provided under Article 285 of the Civil Code. Hence, the trial court, which acquired jurisdiction over the case by the filing of the complaint, never lost jurisdiction over the same despite the passage of E.O. No. 209, also known as the Family Code of the Philippines.

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JINKIE CHRISTIE A. DE JESUS and JACQUELINE A. DE JESUS minors, represented by their mother, CAROLINA A. DE JESUS, petitioners, vs. THE ESTATE OF DECEDENT JUAN GAMBOA DIZON, ANGELINA V. DIZON, CARLOS DIZON, FELIFE DIZON, JUAN DIZON, JR. and MARYLIN DIZON and as proper parties: FORMS MEDIA CORP., QUAD MANAGEMENT CORP., FILIPINAS PAPER SALES CO., INC. and AMITY CONSTRUCTION & INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISES, INC. respondents. G.R. No. 142877, October 2, 2001 VITUG, J.: FACTS: Danilo B. de Jesus and Carolina Aves de Jesus got married on 23 August 1964. It was during this marriage that Jacqueline A. de Jesus and Jinkie Christie A. de Jesus, herein petitioners, were born, the former on 01 March 1979 and the latter on 06 July 1982. In a notarized document, dated 07 June 1991, Juan G. Dizon acknowledged Jacqueline and Jinkie de Jesus as being his own illegitimate children by Carolina Aves de Jesus. Juan G. Dizon died intestate on 12 March 1992, leaving behind considerable assets consisting of shares of stock in various corporations and some real property. It was on the strength of his notarized acknowledgement that petitioners filed a complaint on 01 July 1993 for "Partition with Inventory and Accounting" of the Dizon estate with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 88, of Quezon City. Respondent, the surviving spouse and legitimate children of the decedent Juan G. Dizon, including the corporations of which the deceased was a stockholder, sought the dismissal of the case, arguing that the complaint, even while denominated as being one for partition, would nevertheless call for altering the status of petitioners from being the legitimate children of the spouses Danilo de Jesus and Carolina de Jesus to instead be the illegitimate children of Carolina de Jesus and deceased Juan Dizon. The trial court denied, due to lack of merit, the motion to dismiss and subsequent motion for reconsideration on, respectively, 13 September 1993 and 15 February 1994. Respondents assailed the denial of said motions before the Court of Appeals. On 20 May 1994, the appellate court upheld the decision of the lower court and ordered the case to be remanded to the trial court for further proceedings. ISSUE: Whether or not children born out of lawful wedlock can claim to be illegitimate children on the basis of a notarized document that they are such of the deceased thus making them compulsory heirs of the deceased HELD: NO. A scrutiny of the records would show that petitioners were born during the marriage of their parents. The certificates of live would also identify Danilo de Jesus as being their father.

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There is perhaps no presumption of the law more firmly established and founded on sounder morality and more convincing reason than the presumption that children born in wedlock are legitimate. this presumption indeed becomes conclusive in the absence of proof that there is physical impossibility of access between the spouses during the first 120 days of the 300 days which immediately precedes the birth of the child due to (a) the physical incapacity of the husband to have sexual intercourse with his wife; (b) the fact the husband and wife are living separately in such a way that sexual intercourse is not possible; or (c) serious illness of the husband, which absolutely prevents sexual intercourse. Quite remarkably, upon the expiration of the periods set forth in Article 170, and in proper cases Article 171, of the Family Code (which took effect on 03 August 1988), the action to impugn the legitimacy of a child would no longer be legally feasible and the status conferred by the presumption becomes fixed and unassailable. Succinctly, in an attempt to establish their illegitimate filiation to the late Juan G. Dizon, petitioners, in effect, would impugn their legitimate status as being children of Danilo de Jesus and Carolina Aves de Jesus. This step cannot be aptly done because the law itself establishes the legitimacy of children conceived or born during the marriage of the parents. The presumption of legitimacy fixes a civil status for the child born in wedlock, and only the father, or in exceptional instances the latter's heirs, can contest in an appropriate action the legitimacy of a child born to his wife. Thus, it is only when the legitimacy of a child has been successfully impugned that the paternity of the husband can be rejected. The rule that the written acknowledgement made by the deceased Juan G. Dizon establishes petitioners' alleged illegitimate filiation to the decedent cannot be validly invoked to be of any relevance in this instance. This ISSUE, i.e whether petitioners are indeed the acknowledged illegitimate offspring of the decedent, cannot be aptly adjudicated without an action having been first instituted to impugn their legitimacy as being the children of Danilo B. de Jesus and Carolina Aves de Jesus born in lawful wedlock. Jurisprudence is strongly settled that the paramount declaration of legitimacy by law cannot be attacked collaterally, one that can only be repudiated or contested in a direct suit specifically brought for that purpose. Indeed, a child so born in such wedlock shall be considered legitimate although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as having been an adulteress.

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MICHAEL C. GUY, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. SIXTO MARELLA, JR., Presiding Judge, RTC, Branch 138, Makati City and minors, KAREN DANES WEI and KAMILLE DANES WEI, represented by their mother, REMEDIOS OANES, respondents. G.R. No. 163707 YNARES-SANTIAGO, J. FACTS: g On June 13, 1997, private respondent-minors Karen Oanes Wei and Kamille Oanes Wei, represented by their mother Remedios Oanes, filed a petition for letters of administration before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 138. Private respondents alleged that they are the duly acknowledged illegitimate children of Sima Wei, who died intestate in Makati City on October 29, 1992, leaving an estate valued at P10,000,000.00 consisting of real and personal properties. His known heirs are his surviving spouse Shirley Guy and children, Emy, Jeanne, Cristina, George and Michael, all surnamed Guy. Private respondents prayed for the appointment of a regular administrator for the orderly settlement of Sima Wei's estate. They likewise prayed that, in the meantime, petitioner Michael C. Guy, son of the decedent, be appointed as Special Administrator of the estate. Attached to private respondents' petition was a Certification Against Forum Shopping signed by their counsel, Atty. Sedfrey A. Ordoez. In his Comment/Opposition, petitioner prayed for the dismissal of the petition. He asserted that his deceased father left no debts and that his estate can be settled without securing letters of administration pursuant to Section 1, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court. He further argued that private respondents should have established their status as illegitimate children during the lifetime of Sima Wei pursuant to Article 175 of the Family Code. In a Manifestation/Motion as Supplement to the Joint Motion to Dismiss, petitioner and his coheirs alleged that private respondents' claim had been paid, waived, abandoned or otherwise extinguished by reason of Remedios' June 7, 1993 Release and Waiver of Claim stating that in exchange for the financial and educational assistance received from petitioner, Remedios and her minor children discharge the estate of Sima Wei from any and all liabilities. ISSUE: Whether or not the private respondents are barred by prescription from proving their filiation RULING:No. In the present case, private respondents could not have possibly waived their successional rights because they are yet to prove their status as acknowledged illegitimate 104 | P a g e September 15, 2006

children of the deceased. Petitioner himself has consistently denied that private respondents are his co-heirs. It would thus be inconsistent to rule that they waived their hereditary rights when petitioner claims that they do not have such right. Hence, petitioner's invocation of waiver on the part of private respondents must fail. nent the issue on private respondents' filiation, the Court agree with the Court of Appeals that a ruling on the same would be premature considering that private respondents have yet to present evidence. As regards Remedios' Release and Waiver of Claim, the same does not bar private respondents from claiming successional rights. To be valid and effective, a waiver must be couched in clear and unequivocal terms which leave no doubt as to the intention of a party to give up a right or benefit which legally pertains to him. A waiver may not be attributed to a person when its terms do not explicitly and clearly evince an intent to abandon a right. In this case, the Supreme Court find that there was no waiver of hereditary rights. The Release and Waiver of Claim does not state with clarity the purpose of its execution. It merely states that Remedios received P300,000.00 and an educational plan for her minor daughters "by way of financial assistance and in full settlement of any and all claims of whatsoever nature and kind against the estate of the late Rufino Guy Susim." Considering that the document did not specifically mention private respondents' hereditary share in the estate of Sima Wei, it cannot be construed as a waiver of successional rights. Moreover, even assuming that Remedios truly waived the hereditary rights of private respondents, such waiver will not bar the latter's claim. Article 1044 of the Civil Code, provides:

ART. 1044. Any person having the free disposal of his property may accept or repudiate an inheritance. Any inheritance left to minors or incapacitated persons may be accepted by their parents or guardians. Parents or guardians may repudiate the inheritance left to their wards only by judicial authorization.

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MERCEDES CRISTOBAL CRUZ, ANSELMO A. CRISTOBAL and ELISA CRISTOBAL SIKAT, Petitioners, - versus EUFROSINA CRISTOBAL, FLORENCIO CRISTOBAL, JOSE CRISTOBAL, HEIRS OF NORBERTO CRISTOBAL and THE COURT OF APPEALS, Respondents. G.R. No. 140422 August 7, 2006 CHICO-NAZARIO, J.: FACTS: Petitioners Mercedes Cristobal, Anselmo Cristobal, the heirs of the deceased Socorro Cristobal, and Elisa Cristobal-Sikat claim that they are the legitimate children of Buenaventura Cristobal during his first marriage to Ignacia Cristobal. On the other hand, private respondents Norberto, Florencio, Eufrosina and Jose, all surnamed Cristobal are also the children of Buenaventura Cristobal resulting from his second marriage to Donata Enriquez. On 18 June 1926, Buenaventura Cristobal purchased a parcel of land with an area of 535 square meters located at 194 P. Parada St., Sta. Lucia, San Juan, Metro Manila, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 10878-2 (the subject property). Sometime in the year 1930, Buenaventura Cristobal died intestate. More than six decades later, petitioners learned that private respondents had executed an extrajudicial partition of the subject property and transferred its title to their names. Petitioners filed a petition in their barangay to attempt to settle the case between them and private respondents, but no settlement was reached. Thus, a Complaint for Annulment of Title and Damages was filed before the RTC by petitioners against private respondents to recover their alleged pro-indiviso shares in the subject property. In their prayer, they sought the annulment of the Deed of Partition executed by respondents on 24 February 1948; the cancellation of TCTs No. 165132, No. 165133, No. 165134 and No. 165135 issued in the individual names of private respondents; re-partitioning of the subject property in accordance with the law of succession and the payment of P1,000,000.00 as actual or compensatory damages; P300,000.00 as moral damages; P50,000.00 as attorneys fees and P100,000.00 as exemplary damages. To prove their filiation with the deceased Buenaventura Cristobal, the baptismal certificates of Elisa, Anselmo, and the late Socorro were presented. In the case of Mercedes who was born on 31 January 1909, she produced a certification issued by the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of San Juan, Metro Manila, attesting to the fact that records of birth for the years 1901, 1909, 1932 to 1939, 1940, 1943, and 1948 were all destroyed due to ordinary wear and tear. After trial on the merits, the trial court rendered a judgment on 11 July 1997, dismissing the case, ruling that petitioners failed to prove their filiation with the deceased Buenaventura 106 | P a g e

Cristobal as the baptismal and birth certificates presented have scant evidentiary value and that petitioners inaction for a long period of time amounts to laches. Not satisfied, petitioners sought recourse in the Court of Appeals which, in its Decision dated 22 July 1999, ruled that they were able to prove their filiation with the deceased Buenaventura Cristobal thru other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws, but affirmed the ruling of the trial court barring their right to recover their share of the subject property because of laches. ISSUE:Whether or not the petitioners are able to validly prove their filiation with the deceased Buenaventura Cristobal RULING: Yes. Article 172 of the Family Code provides Art. 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the following: (1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or (2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned. In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be proved by: (1) the open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child; or (2) Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws.

Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and Special Laws, may consist of the childs baptismal certificate, a judicial admission, a family bible in which the childs name has been entered, common reputation respecting the childs pedigree, admission by silence, the testimony of witnesses, and other kinds of proof of admission under Rule 130 of the Rules of Court.

In the present case, the baptismal certificates of Elisa, Anselmo, and the late Socorro were presented. Baptismal certificate is one of the acceptable documentary evidence to prove filiation in accordance with the Rules of Court and jurisprudence. In the case of Mercedes, who was born on 31 January 1909, she produced a certification issued by the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of San Juan, Metro Manila, attesting to the fact that records of birth for the years 1901, 1909, 1932 to 1939, 1940, 1943, and 1948 were all destroyed due to ordinary wear and tear. Petitioners likewise presented Ester Santos as witness who testified that petitioners enjoyed that common reputation in the community where they reside as being the children of Buevaventura 107 | P a g e

Cristobal with his first wife. Testimonies of witnesses were also presented to prove filiation by continuous possession of the status as a legitimate child. In contrast, it bears to point out that private respondents were unable to present any proof to refute the petitioners claim and evidences of filiation to Buenaventura Cristobal. The foregoing evidence thus suffice to convince this Court that petitioners are, indeed, children of the late Buenaventura Cristobal during the first marriage. Considering that the Deed of Partition of the subject property does not affect the right of petitioners to inherit from their deceased father, this Court shall then proceed to divide the subject property between petitioners and private respondents, as the rule on succession prescribes.

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HEIRS OF LORETO C. MARAMAG, represented by surviving spouse VICENTA PANGILINAN MARAMAG, Petitioners, - versus EVA VERNA DE GUZMAN MARAMAG, ODESSA DE GUZMAN MARAMAG, KARL BRIAN DE GUZMAN MARAMAG, TRISHA ANGELIE MARAMAG, THE INSULAR LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY, LTD., and GREAT PACIFIC LIFE ASSURANCE CORPORATION,Respondents. G.R. No. 181132 NACHURA, J.: FACTS: H The case stems from a petition filed against respondents with the Regional Trial Court,
Branch 29, for revocation and/or reduction of insurance proceeds for being void and/or inofficious, with prayer for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and a writ of preliminary injunction. The petition alleged that: (1) petitioners were the legitimate wife and children of Loreto Maramag (Loreto), while respondents were Loretos illegitimate family; (2) Eva de Guzman Maramag (Eva) was a concubine of Loreto and a suspect in the killing of the latter, thus, she is disqualified to receive any proceeds from his insurance policies from Insular Life Assurance Company, Ltd. (Insular) and Great Pacific Life Assurance Corporation (Grepalife); (3) the illegitimate children of LoretoOdessa, Karl Brian, and Trisha Angeliewere entitled only to one-half of the legitime of the legitimate children, thus, the proceeds released to Odessa and those to be released to Karl Brian and Trisha Angelie were inofficious and should be reduced; and (4) petitioners could not be deprived of their legitimes, which should be satisfied first. In support of the prayer for TRO and writ of preliminary injunction, petitioners alleged, among others, that part of the insurance proceeds had already been released in favor of Odessa, while the rest of the proceeds are to be released in favor of Karl Brian and Trisha Angelie, both minors, upon the appointment of their legal guardian. Petitioners also prayed for the total amount of P320,000.00 as actual litigation expenses and attorneys fees. Insular admitted that Loreto misrepresented Eva as his legitimate wife and Odessa, Karl Brian, and Trisha Angelie as his legitimate children, and that they filed their claims for the insurance proceeds of the insurance policies; that when it ascertained that Eva was not the legal wife of Loreto, it disqualified her as a beneficiary and divided the proceeds among Odessa, Karl Brian, and Trisha Angelie, as the remaining designated beneficiaries; and that it released Odessas share as she was of age, but withheld the release of the shares of minors Karl Brian and Trisha Angelie pending submission of letters of guardianship. Insular alleged that the complaint or petition failed to state a cause of action insofar as it sought to declare as void the designation of Eva as beneficiary, because Loreto revoked her designation as such in Policy No. A001544070 and it disqualified her in Policy No. A001693029; and insofar as it

June 5, 2009

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sought to declare as inofficious the shares of Odessa, Karl Brian, and Trisha Angelie, considering that no settlement of Loretos estate had been filed nor had the respective shares of the heirs been determined. Insular further claimed that it was bound to honor the insurance policies designating the children of Loreto with Eva as beneficiaries pursuant to Section 53 of the Insurance Code. ISSUE: Are the members of the legitimate family entitled to the proceeds of the insurance for the concubine? RULING: In this case, it is clear from the petition filed before the trial court that, although petitioners are the legitimate heirs of Loreto, they were not named as beneficiaries in the insurance policies issued by Insular and Grepalife. The basis of petitioners claim is that Eva, being a concubine of Loreto and a suspect in his murder, is disqualified from being designated as beneficiary of the insurance policies, and that Evas children with Loreto, being illegitimate children, are entitled to a lesser share of the proceeds of the policies. They also argued that pursuant to Section 12 of the Insurance Code, Evas share in the proceeds should be forfeited in their favor, the former having brought about the death of Loreto. Thus, they prayed that the share of Eva and portions of the shares of Loretos illegitimate children should be awarded to them, being the legitimate heirs of Loreto entitled to their respective legitimes. Pursuant thereto, it is obvious that the only persons entitled to claim the insurance proceeds are either the insured, if still alive; or the beneficiary, if the insured is already deceased, upon the maturation of the policy. The exception to this rule is a situation where the insurance contract was intended to benefit third persons who are not parties to the same in the form of favorable stipulations or indemnity. In such a case, third parties may directly sue and claim from the insurer. Petitioners are third parties to the insurance contracts with Insular and Grepalife and, thus, are not entitled to the proceeds thereof. Accordingly, respondents Insular and Grepalife have no legal obligation to turn over the insurance proceeds to petitioners. The revocation of Eva as a beneficiary in one policy and her disqualification as such in another are of no moment considering that the designation of the illegitimate children as beneficiaries in Loretos insurance policies remains valid. Because no legal proscription exists in naming as beneficiaries the children of illicit relationships by the insured, the shares of Eva in the insurance proceeds, whether forfeited by the court in view of the prohibition on donations under Article 739 of the Civil Code or by the insurers themselves for reasons based on the insurance contracts, must be awarded to the said illegitimate children, the designated beneficiaries, to the exclusion of petitioners. It is only in cases where the insured has not designated any beneficiary, or when the designated beneficiary is disqualified by law to receive the proceeds, that the insurance policy proceeds shall redound to the benefit of the estate of the insured.

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ELOY IMPERIAL, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF LEGASPI CITY, CESAR VILLALON, JR., TERESA VILLALON, ANTONIO VILLALON, AUGUSTO VILLALON, ROBERTO VILLALON, RICARDO VILLALON and ESTHER VILLALON, respondents. G.R. No. 112483 October 8, 1999 GONZAGA-REYES, J.: FACTS: Leoncio Imperial was the registered owner of a 32,837-square meter parcel of land covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 200, also known as Lot 45 of the Cadastral Survey of Albay. On July 7, 1951, Leoncio sold the said lot for P1.00 to his acknowledged natural son, petitioner herein, who then acquired title over the land and proceeded to subdivide it into several lots. Petitioner and private respondents admit that despite the contract's designation as one of "Absolute Sale", the transaction was in fact a donation. On July 28, 1953, or barely two years after the donation, Leoncio filed a complaint for annulment of the said Deed of Absolute Sale, docketed as Civil Case No. 1177, in the then Court of First Instance of Albay, on the ground that he was deceived by petitioner herein into signing the said document. The dispute, however, was resolved through a compromise agreement, approved by the Court of First Instance of Albay on November 3, 1961 3, under which terms: (1) Leoncio recognized the legality and validity of the rights of petitioner to the land donated; and (2) petitioner agreed to sell a designated 1,000-square meter portion of the donated land, and to deposit the proceeds thereof in a bank, for the convenient disposal of Leoncio. In case of Leoncio's death, it was agreed that the balance of the deposit will be withdrawn by petitioner to defray burial costs. On January 8, 1962, and pending execution of the above judgment, Leoncio died, leaving only two heirs the herein petitioner, who is his acknowledged natural son, and an adopted son, Victor Imperial. On March 8, 1962, Victor was substituted in place of Leoncio in the abovementioned case, and it was he who moved for execution of judgment. On March 15, 1962, the motion for execution was duly granted. Fifteen years thereafter, or on July 26, 1977, Victor died single and without issue, survived only by his natural father, Ricardo Villalon, who was a lessee of a portion of the disputed land. Four 111 | P a g e

years hence, or on September 25, 1981, Ricardo died, leaving as his only heirs his two children, Cesar and Teresa Villalon. Five years thereafter, or sometime in 1986, Cesar and Teresa filed a complaint for annulment of the donation with the Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City, docketed as Civil Case No. 7646. Petitioner moved to dismiss on the ground of res judicata, by virtue of the compromise judgment rendered by the Court of First Instance of Albay. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss, but the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's order and remanded the case for further proceedings. ISSUE: Whether there is a renunciation of legitime that may be presumed in the case. RULING: None. No renunciation of legitime may be presumed from the foregoing acts. It must be remembered that at the time of the substitution, the judgment approving the compromise agreement has already been rendered. Victor merely participated in the execution of the compromise judgment. He was not a party to the compromise agreement. More importantly, our law on succession does not countenance tacit repudiation of inheritance. Rather, it requires an express act on the part of the heir. Thus, under Article 1051 of Civil Code: The repudiation of an inheritance shall be made in a public or authentic instrument, or by petition presented to the court having jurisdiction over the testamentary or intestate proceedings. Thus, when Victor substituted Leoncio in Civil Case No. 1177 upon the latter's death, his act of moving for execution of the compromise judgment cannot be considered an act of renunciation of his legitime. He was, therefore, not precluded or estopped from subsequently seeking the reduction of the donation, under Article 772. Nor are Victor's heirs, upon his death, precluded from doing so, as their right to do so is expressly recognized under Article 772, and also in Article 1053. If the heir should die without having accepted or repudiated the inheritance, his right shall be transmitted to his heirs. A final word on collation of donations. We observe that after finding the donation to be inofficious because Leoncio had no other property at the time of his death, the RTC computed the legitime of Victor based on the area of the donated property. Hence, in its dispositive portion, it awarded a portion of the property to private respondents as Victor's legitime. This was upheld by the Court of Appeals. Our rules of succession require that before any conclusion as to the legal share due to a compulsory heir may be reached, the following steps must be taken: (1) the net estate of the decedent must be ascertained, by deducting all the payable obligations and charges from the value of the property owned by the deceased at the time of his death; (2) the value of all donations subject to collation would be added to it. Thus, it is the value of the property at the time it is donated, and not the property itself, which is brought to collation. Consequently, even when the donation is found inofficious and reduced to the extent that it impaired Victor's legitime, private respondents will not receive a 112 | P a g e

corresponding share in the property donated. Thus, in this case where the collatable property is an immovable, what may be received is: (1) an equivalent, as much as possible, in property of the same nature, class and quality; (2) if such is impracticable, the equivalent value of the impaired legitime in cash or marketable securities; or (3) in the absence of cash or securities in the estate, so much of such other property as may be necessary, to be sold in public auction.

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ELINO RIVERA, DOMINADOR CLAUREN, SOLEDAD CLAUREN DE RIVERA, TEOFILA RIVERA and CECILIA RIVERA, petitioners, vs. HEIRS OF ROMUALDO VILLANUEVA represented by MELCHOR VILLANUEVA, ANGELINA VILLANUEVA, VICTORIANO DE LUNA, CABANATUAN CITY RURAL BANK, INC. and REGISTER OF DEEDS OF NUEVA ECIJA,respondents. G.R. No. 141501 July 21, 2006

CORONA, J.: FACTS: H Petitioners are allegedly the half-brothers (Elino and Dominador), the half-sister-inlaw (Soledad), and the children of a half-brother (Teofila and Cecilia) of the deceased Pacita Gonzales (hereinafter Gonzales). Respondents Catalino, Lucia, Purificacion and Melchor, all surnamed Villanueva, and Arnaldo V. Avendano are allegedly the siblings, full and half-blood of Romualdo Villanueva (hereinafter Villanueva). They are denominated as the heirs of Villanueva and are represented by Melchor. They were allowed to substitute for Villanueva upon his death. The remaining respondents, Angelina Villanueva (hereinafter respondent Angelina) and husband Victoriano de Luna, are allegedly the daughter and the son-in-law, respectively, of the late Villanueva. From 1927 until her death in 1980, Gonzales cohabited with Villanueva without the benefit of marriage because the latter was married to one Amanda Musngi who died on April 20, 1963. In the course of their cohabitation, they acquired several properties including the properties contested in this case. Gonzales died on July 3, 1980 without leaving a will. On August 8, 1980, Villanueva and respondent Angelina executed a deed of extrajudicial partition with sale, that is, an extrajudicial settlement of Gonzales' estate comprising a number of the aforementioned properties. In this document, Villanueva, for the amount of P30,000, conveyed his interests in the estate to Angelina. Petitioners (Gonzales' half-brothers, etc.) filed a case for partition of Gonzales' estate and annulment of titles and damages, with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Santo Domingo, Nueva Ecija, Branch 37. It was docketed as Civil Case No. SD-857 (SD-857). In dismissing the complaint, the RTC made two findings: (1) Gonzales was never married to Villanueva and (2) respondent Angelina was her illegitimate child by Villanueva and therefore her sole heir, to the exclusion of petitioners.

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ISSUE: Whether or not Angelina was Gonzales illegitimate daughter RULING : No. Both the trial court and the CA ruled that respondent Angelina was the illegitimate daughter of the decedent, based solely on her birth certificate. According to the assailed decision, "the birth certificate clearly discloses that Pacita Gonzales was the mother of Angelina Villanueva while municipal treasurer Romualdo Villanueva was denominated therein as her father." The CA found this to be adequate proof that respondent Angelina was Gonzales' illegitimate child. However, a closer examination of the birth certificate reveals that respondent Angelina was listed as "adopted" by both Villanueva and Gonzales. Furthermore, it is well-settled that a record of birth is merely a prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein. It is not conclusive evidence of the truthfulness of the statements made there by the interested parties. Following the logic of Benitez, respondent Angelina and her codefendants in SD-857 should have adduced evidence of her adoption, in view of the contents of her birth certificate. The records, however, are bereft of any such evidence. Under the circumstances, the Court hold that it was not sufficiently established that respondent Angelina was Gonzales' biological daughter, nor even her adopted daughter. Thus, she cannot inherit from Gonzales. Since she could not have validly participated in Gonzales' estate, the extrajudicial partition which she executed with Villanueva on August 8, 1980 was invalid. Because the cohabitation of Villanueva and Gonzales from 1927 to 1963 was adulterous, their property relations during those 36 years were not governed by Article 144 of the Civil Code which applies only if the couple living together is not in any way incapacitated from getting married. According to the doctrine laid down by Juaniza v. Jose, no co-ownership exists between parties to an adulterous relationship. In Agapay v. Palang, we expounded on this doctrine by declaring that in such a relationship, it is necessary for each of the partners to prove his or her actual contribution to the acquisition of property in order to be able to lay claim to any portion of it. Presumptions of co-ownership and equal contribution do not apply. In Agapay, Miguel Palang and his paramour Erlinda Agapay bought a parcel of riceland in Pangasinan which they registered in their names. However, because Agapay failed to prove that she contributed money to the purchase price of the riceland, she could not rightfully claim coownership over the same. Here, the records show only four properties acquired by Villanueva and Gonzales between 1927 and 1963 which they registered in both their names. Following Agapay, these can only be apportioned according to the actual contributions of each. Unfortunately, the records are devoid of any evidence that Gonzales contributed anything to the acquisition of these properties. Petitioners merely asserted that she acquired these properties through her own industry without a shred of evidence to support the allegation. On the other hand, it was clearly demonstrated that 115 | P a g e

Villanueva was the municipal treasurer of Talavera for many years and therefore the lone breadwinner. In accordance with Agapay, none of these four parcels of land should accrue to petitioners. There is only one parcel of land registered solely in Gonzales' name, which was acquired between 1927 and 1963. This fact of registration created a conclusiveness of title in favor of the person in whose name it was registered. In SD-857, although Villanueva sought to prove that he alone had purchased the properties and that only he could have done so during the period of cohabitation (since he was the sole breadwinner), he never actually challenged the validity of the registration in her name. Thus the efficacy of the title in Gonzales' name remained unrebutted. As Gonzales' sole property, this should accrue entirely to her heirs.

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OCTAVIO S. MALOLES II, petitioner, vs. PACITA DE LOS REYES PHILLIPS, respondent. ----------------------------G.R. No. 133359 January 31, 2000

OCTAVIO S. MALOLES II, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. FERNANDO V. GOROSPE, JR., in his Official Capacity as Presiding Judge of RTC-Makati, Branch 61, and PACITA PHILLIPS as the alleged executrix of the alleged will of the late Dr. Arturo de Santos, respondents. G.R. No. 129505 MENDOZA, J.: FACTS: On July 20, 1995, Dr. Arturo de Santos, Filipino and a resident of Makati City, filed a petition for probate of his will in the Regional Trial Court, Branch 61, Makati, docketed as Sp. Proc. No. M-4223. In his petition, Dr. De Santos alleged that he had no compulsory heirs; that he had named in his will as sole legatee and devisee the Arturo de Santos Foundation, Inc.; that he disposed by his will his properties with an approximate value of not less than P2,000,000.00; and that copies of said will were in the custody of the named executrix, private respondent Pacita de los Reyes Phillips. A copy of the will was annexed to the petition for probate. On February 16, 1996, Judge Fernando V. Gorospe, Jr. of RTC-Makati, Branch 61 issued an order granting the petition and allowing the will. Petitioner personally appeared before this Court and was placed on the witness stand and was directly examined by the Court through "free wheeling" questions and answers to give this Court a basis to determine the state of mind of the petitioner when he executed the subject will. After the examination, the Court is convinced that petitioner is of sound and disposing mind and not acting on duress, menace and undue influence or fraud, and that petitioner signed his Last Will and Testament on his own free and voluntary will and that he was neither forced nor influenced by any other person in signing it. Petitioner has no compulsory heirs and Arturo de Santos Foundation, Inc., with address at No. 9 Bauhinia corner Intsia Streets, Forbes Park, Makati City has been named as sole legatee and devisee of petitioner's properties, real and personal, approximately valued at not less than P2 million, Ms. Pacita de los Reyes Phillips was designated as executor and to serve as such without a bond. January 31, 2000

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After the death of the testator, on April 3, 1996, petitioner Octavio S. Maloles II filed a motion for intervention claiming that, as the only child of Alicia de Santos (testator's sister) and Octavio L. Maloles, Sr., he was the sole full-blooded nephew and nearest of kin of Dr. De Santos. He likewise alleged that he was a creditor of the testator. Petitioner thus prayed for the reconsideration of the order allowing the will and the issuance of letters of administration in his name. ISSUE: Whether or not a nephew is a compulsory heir of the deceased HELD: No. The private respondent herein is not an heir or legatee under the will of the decedent Arturo de Santos. Neither is he a compulsory heir of the latter. As the only and nearest collateral relative of the decedent, he can inherit from the latter only in case of intestacy. Since the decedent has left a will which has already been probated and disposes of all his properties the private respondent can inherit only if the said will is annulled. His interest in the decedent's estate is, therefore, not direct or immediate. His claim to being a creditor of the estate is a belated one, having been raised for the first time only in his reply to the opposition to his motion to intervene, and, as far as the records show, not supported by evidence. Even if petitioner is the nearest next of kin of Dr. De Santos, he cannot be considered an "heir" of the testator. It is a fundamental rule of testamentary succession that one who has no compulsory or forced heirs may dispose of his entire estate by will. Petitioner, as nephew of the testator, is not a compulsory heir who may have been preterited in the testator's will. Nor does he have any right to intervene in the settlement proceedings based on his allegation that he is a creditor of the deceased. Since the testator instituted or named an executor in his will, it is incumbent upon the Court to respect the desires of the testator.

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Re: Reserva Troncal BEATRIZ L. GONZALES, petitioner, vs. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA (BRANCH V), BENITO F. LEGARDA, ROSARIO L. VALDEZ, ET. AL.,respondents. G.R. No. L-34395 May 19, 1981 AQUINO, J.: FACTS: Benito Legarda y De la Paz, the son of Benito Legarda y Tuason, died [Manila] on June 17, 1933. He was survived by his widow, Filomena Races, and their seven children. The real properties left by Benito Legarda y Tuason were partitioned in three equal portions by his daughters, Consuelo and Rita, and the heirs of his deceased son Benito Legarda y De la Paz who were represented by Benito F. Legarda. Filomena Legarda y Races died intestate and without issue on 1943. Her sole heiress was her mother, Filomena Races Vda. de Legarda. Mrs. Legarda executed an affidavit adjudicating extrajudicially to herself the properties which she inherited from her deceased daughter. Mrs. Legarda executed two handwritten identical documents wherein she disposed of the properties, which she inherited from her daughter, in favor of the children of her sons, Benito, Alejandro and Jose (sixteen grandchildren in all). Mrs. Legarda died on September 22, 1967. Her will was admitted to probate as a holographic will. In the testate proceeding, Beatriz Legarda Gonzales, one of the daughters of the testatrix, filed a motion to exclude from the inventory of her mother's estate the properties which she inherited from her deceased daughter, Filomena, on the ground that said properties are reservable properties which should be inherited by Filomena Legarda's three sisters and three brothers and not by the children of Benito, Alejandro and Jose. ISSUE: Whether or not the subject properties are reservable properties under Article 891 of the Civil Code. RULING: In reserva troncal (1) a descendant inherited or acquired by gratuitous title property from an ascendant or from a brother or sister; (2) the same property is inherited by another ascendant or is acquired by him by operation of law from the said descendant, and (3) the said ascendant should reserve the said property for the benefit of relatives who are within the third degree from the deceased descendant (prepositus) and who belong to the line from which the said property came. The reservor has the legal title and dominion to the reservable property but subject to the resolutory condition that such title is extinguished if the reservor predeceased the reservee. The reservor is a usufructuary of the reservable property. He may alienate it subject to the reservation. The transferee gets the revocable and conditional ownership of the reservor. The transferee's rights are revoked upon the survival of the reservees at the time of the death of the reservor but become indefeasible when the reservees predecease the reservor. Even during the reservista's lifetime, the reservatarios, who are the ultimate acquirers of the property, can 119 | P a g e

already assert the right to prevent the reservista from doing anything that might frustrate their reversionary right, and, for this purpose, they can compel the annotation of their right in the registry of property even while the (reservista) is alive. is likewise clear that the reservable property is no part of the estate of the reservista who may not dispose of them (it) by will, so long as there are reservatarios existing. Hence, upon the reservista's death, the reservatario nearest to the prepositus becomes, "automatically and by operation of law, the owner of the reservable property." In the instant case, the properties in question were indubitably reservable properties in the hands of Mrs. Legarda. Undoubtedly, she was a reservor. The reservation became a certainty when at the time of her death the reservees or relatives within the third degree of the prepositus Filomena Legarda were living or they survived Mrs. Legarda. We hold that Mrs. Legarda could not convey in her holographic will to her sixteen grandchildren the reservable properties which she had inherited from her daughter Filomena because the reservable properties did not form part of her estate. Article 891 clearly indicates that the reservable properties should be inherited by all the nearest relatives within the third degree from the prepositus who in this case are the six children of Mrs. Legarda. She could not select the reservees to whom the reservable property should be given and deprive the other reservees of their share therein.

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LEONA AGLIBOT, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellees, vs. ANDREA ACAY MAALAC, ET AL., defendants-appellants. G.R. No. L-14530, 4 S 1030, April 25, 1962 DIZON, J.: FACTS: The allegations of the complaint are that the Aglibots inherited the property subject matter thereof from their deceased niece Juliana Maalac; that upon the death of Anacleto Maalac, father of Juliana, the defendants took possession of said property, claimed it as their own and had since then appropriated for themselves all the palay annually harvested therefrom amounting to 30 cavanes; that nothwithstanding demands made upon said defendants by the Aglibots, they had refused to surrender the property to the latter. In their answer, after denying some material averments of the complaint, appellants alleged substantially the following as affirmative defense: that the land in question was purchased from Esteban Garcia by the spouses Anacleto Maalac and Maria Aglibot for P1,000.00; that when Maria Aglibot died, only P300.00 of this amount had been paid; that the remaining P700.00 was paid to the vendor during the marriage of Anacleto Maalac and appellant Andrea Acay; that Juliana Maalac, the only daughter of Anacleto and his first wife, died in 1920, while Anacleto died in 1942; that upon his death, his widow, Andrea Acay, and their children acquired the property in question as his sole legal heirs. Their answer likewise claimed the sum of P1,000.00 as attorney's fees by way of counterclaim. ISSUE: Who is entitled to the land which Anacleto Maalac inherited from his daughter, Juliana, as between appellees(sisters of Maria Aglibot, first wife of Anacleto Maalac), on the one hand, and appellants (Anacleto's second wife and their children), on the other? RULING: It is clear from the facts of the case that the land in question is reservable property in accordance with the provisions of Article 811 of the Spanish Civil Code (Art. 891 of the New Civil Code). Both parties now admit that the entire parcel covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 10 belonged to the conjugal partnership of the spouses Anacleto Maalac and Maria Aglibot; that upon the death of the latter on October 2, 1906, their only daughter, Juliana Maalac, inherited one-half of the property, the other pertaining to her father as his share in the conjugal partnership;
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that upon the death of Juliana Maalac on October 2, 1920 without leaving any descendant, her father inherited her one-half portion of said property. In accordance with law, therefore, Anacleto Maalac was obliged to reserve the portion he had thus inherited from his daughter, for the benefit of appellees, Leona and Evarista Aglibot, aunts of Juliana on the maternal side and who are, therefore, her relative within the third degree belonging to the line from which said property came. Appellants' contention that the major portion of the purchase price of the land in question was paid to the original owner, Esteban Garcia, after the death of Maria Aglibot is rendered clearly untenable not only by the lack of sufficient evidence to this effect but also by the very significant circumstance that the property was titled in the name of Anacleto Maalac "married to Maria Aglibot" circumstance that strongly indicates that said spouses had acquired full ownership thereof during the lifetime of Maria Aglibot. The remaining contention of appellants that the lower court should have ordered appellees to refund to them 50% of the annual realty tax paid on the property cannot be sustained, this matter having been raised by them for the first time on appeal. WHEREFORE, modified as above indicated, the decision appealed from is affirmed, with costs.

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Re: Reserva Troncal Elements CELEDONIA SOLIVIO vs. COURT OF APPEALS and CONCORDIA JAVELLANA VILLANUEVA

G.R. No. 83484 February 12, 1990 FACTS: Esteban Javellana, Sr., married Salustia Solivio on December 1916 or barely ten months before his death. Salustia Solivio brought paraphernal properties to the marriage. Salustia died on October 11, 1959, leaving all her properties to her only child, Esteban Jr., including a house and lot where she, her son, and her sister had lived. The titles of all the properties were transferred in the name of Esteban Jr. During the lifetime of Esteban, he expressed his plan to place his estate in a foundation to help the poor and deserving students obtain a college degree to honour his mother. However, he died on February 26, 1977, single and without issue. Petitioner and Private Respondent entered into an agreement to put all the properties of the decedent to a foundation, just as planned by the decedent. Petitioner later filed a petition to declare herself as the sole heir of the deceased on the ground that the properties of the estate of the decedent came from her sister, mother of the decedent, and that she was the decedents nearest relative by degree on his mothers side. After being declared as such, she proceeded to put up the foundation. However on August 7, 1978, respondent filed a motion for reconsideration of the declaration of petitioner as the sole heir claiming that she too, respondent, was a heir of the deceased. ISSUE: Whether or not the property may be subject of reserva troncal? RULING: No, the property of the decedent is not a reservable property. In order for a property to be reservable, the property must be inherited by an ascendant from his descendant which the descendant has acquired such property by gratuitous title from another ascendant or a brother or sister, pursuant to Art. 891 of the Civil Code, which reads: ART. 891. The ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property which the latter may have acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendant, or a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve such property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives who are within the third degree and who belong to the line from which said property came

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The decedent in this case is not an ascendant but a descendant of the origin of the property, mother of the descedent, therefore the principle of reserva troncal does not find applicability in this case.

SEGUNDA MARIA NIEVA with her husband ANGEL ALCALA, vs.MANUELA ALCALA and JOSE DEOCAMPO G.R. No. L-13386 . October 27, 1920 JOHNSON, J.: FACTS: Juliana Nieva, married to Francisco Deocampo, is the alleged natural mother of the plaintiff. Alfeo Deocampo is the son of Juliana. Juliana died on April 19, 1889 and her son inherited parcels of land from her. Alfeo later died on July 7, 1890, therefore the parcels of land was inherited by his father Francisco. Francisco later married defendant Manuela Alcala, of which Jose Deocampo was born. Francisco died on April 15, 1914. Defendants took possession of the parcels of land under the claim that Jose inherited the same ab intestate. On September 30, 1915, plaintiff instituted an action for recovery of the parcels of land pursuant to Art. 811 of the Civil Code. The trial court held that she was not entitled to the property as she was an illegitimate relative of the decedent therefore reserve troncal would not apply. ISSUE: Whether or not reserva troncal is applicable to an illegitimate relative within the third degree? RULING: No, reserva troncal is not applicable in this case because plaintiff is not a legitimate child of Juliana and is thus barred pursuant to Article 943 of the Civil Code which reads:A natural or legitimated child has no right to succeed ab intestate the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother who has acknowledged it; nor shall such children or relatives so inherit from the natural or legitimated child. The Supreme Court held that the appellant is not entitled to the property left behind by her natural brother, who inherited the property by operation of law, as she is expressly prohibited to inherit pursuant to Article 943 of the Civil Code or the Iron Barrier Rule.

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FRANCISCA TIOCO DE PAPA, MANUEL TIOCO, NICOLAS TIOCO and JANUARIO PAPA, vs. DALISAY TONGKO CAMACHO, PRIMO TONGKO and GODOFREDO CAMACHO G.R. No. L-28032 September 24, 1986 NARVASA, J.: FACTS: The stipulated facts are as follows: Plaintiffs are the defendants legitimate grand aunt and grand uncles who have a common ancestor, the late Balbino Tioco, who had a sister named Romana Tioco. Romana Tioco donated parcels of land to her niece Toribia Tioco during her lifetime. She died intestate in 1915 and was survived by her husband Eustacio Dizon and their legitimate children Faustino and Trinidad. In 1928, Balbino died intestate leaving properties which was inherited by Faustino and Trinidad in representation of their late mother, Toribia, who predeceased Balbino. In 1937, Faustino died intestate, single and without issue, which was inherited by his father, Eustacio, as his sole intestate heir subject to reserve troncal. Trinidad died intestate in 1939 and transmitted her rights and interests in the parcels of land to her only legitimate child, defendant Dalisay, subject to the usufructuary of Primo Tongko, husband of Trinidad. Eustacio died intestate in 1965 and survived only by his legitimate descendant, defendant Dalisay. ISSUE: Whether or not all the relatives within the third degree in the appropriate line succeed without distinction to the reservable property upon the death of the reservista as seems implicit in Artcle 891 of the Civil Code. HELD: No, Dalisay Tongko-Camacho is entitled to the entire reversionary property to the exclusion of plaintiffs. Upon the death of the ascendant reservista, the reservable property should pass, not to all the reservatarios as a class but only to those nearest in degree to the prepositus, excluding those reservatarios of more remote degree. As prescribed by law in legitimate succession when there are relatives of the descendant within the third degree, the right of the nearest relative, called reservatarios over the property which the reservista should return to him, excludes that of the one more remote. The right of representation cannot be alleged when the one claiming same as a reservatario of the reservable property is not among the relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which such property came, inasmuch as the right granted by the Civil Code in Article 811 is in the highest degree personal and for the 125 | P a g e

exclusive benefit of designated persons who are within the third degree of the person from whom the reservable property came. Therefore, relatives of the fourth and the succeeding degrees can never be considered as reservatarios, since the law does not recognize them as such. The Supreme Court held that under our laws of succession, a decedent's uncles and aunts may not succeed ab intestato so long as nephews and nieces of the decedent survive and are willing and qualified to succeed. Mariquita Sumaya and Laguna Agro-Industrial Coconut Cooperative, Inc., vs. Intermediate Appellate Court et. al. G.R. No. 68843-44 September 2, 1991 MEDIALDEA, J.: FACTS: The stipulation of facts are as follows: Raul Balantakbo inherited from two different ascendants the two sets of properties subject of this case. On June 13, 1952, Raul died intestate, single, without any issue, and leaving only his mother, Consuelo Joaquin Vda. de Balantakbo, as his sole surviving heir to the real properties above-mentioned. On November 3, 1952, Consuelo adjudicated unto herself the properties in an Affidavit entitled "Caudal Herederario del finado Raul Balantakbo. On December 21, 1959, Consuelo Joaquin vda. de Balantakbo sold the property to Mariquita H. Sumaya which was subsequently sold to Villa Honorio Development Corporation, Inc., on December 30, 1963. On January 23, 1967, Villa Honorio Development Corporation transferred and assigned its rights over the property in favor of Agro-Industrial Coconut Cooperative, Inc. The parties admitted that the certificates of titles covering the above described properties do not contain any annotation of its reservable character. On June 3, 1968, Consuelo Joaquin vda. de Balantakbo died. On March 4, 1970, Amadeo, Sancho, Donato, Luis, and Erasto, all surnamed Balantakbo, brothers in full blood of Raul Balantakbo and Luisa, Jose and Dolores, also all surnamed Balantakbo, surviving children of deceased Jose Balantakbo, Jr., another brother of the first named Balantakbos, filed the above mentioned civil cases to recover the properties described in the respective complaints which they claimed were subject to a reserva troncal in their favor. ISSUE:Whether or not it is a requirement to have the reserva troncal be annotated to bind innocent purchasers? HELD: Yes, citing Dizon and Dizon v. Galang the Supreme Court ruled that the reservable character of a property may be lost to innocent purchasers for value.

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However, In this case, the affidavit of self adjudication executed by Consuelo vda. de Balantakbo which contained a statement that the property was inherited from a descendant, Raul, which has likewise inherited by the latter from another ascendant, was registered with the Registry of Property. The failure of the Register of Deeds to annotate the reservable character of the property in the certificate of title cannot be attributed to Consuelo. Moreover, there is sufficient proof that the petitioners had actual knowledge of the reservable character of the properties before they bought the same from Consuelo. This matter appeared in the deed of sale executed by Consuelo in favor of Mariquita Sumaya: That, I (Consuelo, vendor) am the absolute and exclusive owner of the one-third (1/3) portion of the above described parcel of land by virtue of the Deed of Extra-judicial Partition executed by the Heirs of the deceased Jose Balantakbo dated December 10, 1945 and said portion in accordance with the partition above-mentioned was adjudicated to Raul Balantakbo, single, to (sic) whom I inherited after his death and this property is entirely free from any encumbrance of any nature or kind whatsoever, . . . (p. 42, Rollo)

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BEATRIZ L. GONZALES, petitioner, vs. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA (BRANCH V), BENITO F. LEGARDA, ROSARIO L. VALDEZ, ALEJANDRO LEGARDA, ET. AL.,respondents. G.R. No. L-34395 AQUINO, J.: FACTS: Benito Legarda y De la Paz, the son of Benito Legarda y Tuason, died and was survived by his widow, Filomena Roces, and their seven children. The real properties left by Benito were partitioned in three equal portions by his daughters, Consuelo and Rita, and the heirs of his deceased son Benito Legarda y De la Paz who were represented by Benito F. Legarda. Filomena Legarda y Roces died intestate and without issue. Her sole heiress was her mother, Filomena Roces Vda. de Legarda. Mrs. Legarda executed an affidavit adjudicating extrajudicially to herself the properties which she inherited from her deceased daughter, Filomena Legarda. As a result of the affidavit of adjudication, Filomena Roces succeeded her deceased daughter Filomena Legarda as co-owner of the properties held proindiviso by her other six children. Mrs. Legarda executed two hand-written identical documents wherein she disposed of the properties, which she inherited from her daughter, in favor of the children of her sons, Benito, Alejandro and Jose (sixteen grandchildren in all). She later died and her will was admitted to probate as a holographic will in the Court of First Instance of Manila which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. In the testate proceeding, Beatriz Legarda Gonzalez, a daughter of the testatrix, filed a motion to exclude from the inventory of her mother's estate the properties which she inherited from her deceased daughter, Filomena, on the ground that said properties are reservable properties which should be inherited by Filomena Legarda's three sisters and three brothers and not by the children of Benito, Alejandro and Jose, all surnamed Legarda. That motion was opposed by the administrator, Benito F. Legarda. Without awaiting the resolution on that motion, Mrs. Gonzalez filed an ordinary civil action against her brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces and her mother's estate for the purpose of securing a declaration that the said 128 | P a g e 19 May 1981

properties are reservable properties which Mrs. Legarda could not bequeath in her holographic will to her grandchildren to the exclusion of her three daughters and her three sons. ISSUE: Whether or not the subject properties are reservable properties under Article 891 of the Civil Code. HELD: The properties that are in question were reservable properties in the possession of Mrs. Legarda as the reservor. The reservation became a certainty when at the time of her death the reservees or relatives within the third degree of the prepositus Filomena Legarda were living or they survived Mrs. Legarda. Mrs. Legarda could not convey in her holographic will to her sixteen grandchildren the reservable properties which she had inherited from her daughter Filomena because the reservable properties did not form part of her estate. The reservor cannot make a disposition mortis causa of the reservable properties as long as the reservees survived the reservor. The said properties, by operation of article 891, should go to Mrs. Legarda's six children as reservees within the second degree from Filomena Legarda. The reservable property bequeathed by the reservor to her daughter does not form part of the reservor's estate nor of the daughter's estate but should be given to all the seven reservees or nearest relatives of the prepositus within the third degree. It should be repeated that the reservees do not inherit from the reservor but from the prepositus, of whom the reservees are the heirs mortis causa subject to the condition that they must survive the reservor.

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MARCELINA EDROSO, petitioner-appellant, -versusPABLO and BASILIO SABLAN, opponents-appellees. G.R. No. 6878 ARELLANO, C.J.: FACTS: Marcelina Edroso was married to Victoriano Sablan until his death on September 22, 1882. In this marriage they had a son named Pedro, who was born on August 1, 1881, and who at his father's death inherited the two parcels. Pedro also died on July 15, 1902, unmarried and without issue and by this decease the two parcels of land passed through inheritance to his mother, Marcelina Edroso. She then filed for the registration and issuance of the titles of the lot under her name. Two legitimate brothers of Victoriano Sablan appeared in the case to oppose the registration, claiming one of two things: Either that the registration be denied, "or that if granted to her the right reserved by law to the opponents be recorded in the registration of each parcel." Registration was denied because the trial court held that the parcels of land in question partake of the nature of property required by law to be reserved and that in such a case application could only be presented jointly in the names of the mother and the said two uncles of Pedro Sablan. ISSUE: Whether or not the subject property is reservable. HELD: Yes. The ascendant who inherits from his descendant property which the latter acquired without a valuable consideration from another ascendant, or from a brother or sister, is under obligation to reserve what he has acquired by operation of law for the relatives who are within the third degree and belong to the line whence the property proceeded. (Civil Code, art. 811). Marcelina Edroso, ascendant of Pedro Sablan, inherited from him these two parcels of land which he had acquired without a valuable consideration that is, by inheritance from another ascendant, his father Victoriano. Having acquired them by operation of law, she is obligated to 130 | P a g e September 13, 1913

relatives within the third degree and belong to the line of Mariano Sablan and Maria Rita Fernandez, whence the lands proceeded. The trial court's ruling that they partake of the nature property required by law to be reserved is therefore in accordance with the law. No error has been incurred in holding that the two parcels of land which are the subject matter of the application are required by law to be reserved, because the interested party has not proved that either of them became her inheritance through the free disposal of her son. The ascendant who inherits from a descendant, whether by the latter's wish or by operation of law, requires the inheritance by virtue of a title perfectly transferring absolute ownership. All the attributes of the right of ownership belong to him exclusively use, enjoyment, disposal and recovery. This absolute ownership, which is inherent in the hereditary title, is not altered in the least, if there be no relatives within the third degree in the line whence the property proceeds or they die before the ascendant heir who is the possessor and absolute owner of the property. If there should be relatives within the third degree who belong to the line whence the property proceeded, then a limitation to that absolute ownership would arise. The nature and scope of this limitation must be determined with exactness in order not to vitiate rights that the law wishes to be effective. On the other hand, the relatives within the third degree in whose favor of the right is reserved cannot dispose of the property, first because it is no way, either actually, constructively or formally, in their possession; and, moreover, because they have no title of ownership or of the fee simple which they can transmit to another, on the hypothesis that only when the person who must reserve the right should die before them will they acquire it, thus creating a fee simple, and only then will they take their place in the succession of the descendants of whom they are relatives within the third degree, that it to say, a second contingent place in said legitimate succession in the fashion of aspirants to a possible future legacy. If any of the persons in whose favor the right is reserved should, after their rights has been assured in the registry, dare to dispose of even nothing more than the fee simple of the property to be reserved his act would be null and void.

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CONSTANCIO SIENES, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellants, -versusFIDEL ESPARCIA, ET AL., defendants-appellees. G.R. No. L-12957 DIZON, J.: FACTS: The subject lot was originally owned by the deceased Saturnino Yaeso. With his first wife, Teresa Ruales, he had four children named Agaton, Fernando, Paulina and Cipriana, while with his second wife, Andrea Gutang, he had an only son named Francisco. Upon the death of Saturnino properties were left to all of his children, among which, Lot 3368 to Francisco. Francisco died on May 29, 1932 at the age of 20, single and without any descendant, his mother, as his sole heir, executed the public instrument entitled EXTRAJUDICIAL SETTLEMENT AND SALE whereby, among other things, for and in consideration of the sum of P800.00 she sold the property in question to appellants. When thereafter said vendees demanded from Paulina Yaeso and her husband Jose Esparcia, the surrender of Original Certificate of Title No. 10275 which was in their possession the latter refused. Thereafter, Cipriana and Paulina Yaeso, the surviving half-sisters of Francisco, declared the property in their name executed a deed of sale in favor of the spouses Fidel Esparcia and Paulina Sienes. ISSUE: Whether or not the subject property is reservable. HELD: Yes. It is clear upon the facts already stated, that the land in question was reservable property. Francisco Yaeso inherited it by operation of law from his father Saturnino, and upon Francisco's death, unmarried and without descendants; it was inherited, in turn, by his mother, Andrea Gutang. The latter was, therefore, under obligation to reserve it for the benefit of relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which said property came, if any survived her. The record discloses in this connection that Andrea Gutang died on December 13, 1951, the lone reservee surviving her being Cipriana Yaeso who died only on January 13, 1952. March 24, 1961

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This court has held in connection with this matter that reservista has the legal title and dominion to the reservable property but subject to a resolutory condition; that he is like a life usufructuary of the reservable property; that he may alienate the same but subject to reservation, said alienation transmitting only the revocable and conditional ownership of the reservists, the rights acquired by the transferee being revoked or resolved by the survival of reservatarios at the time of the death of the reservista. WHEREFORE, the appealed decision as above modified is affirmed, with costs, and without prejudice to whatever action in equity the Esparcia spouses may have against the Estate of Cipriana Yaeso for the reconveyance of the property in question. IGNACIO FRIAS CHUA, DOMINADOR CHUA and REMEDIOS CHUA, petitioners, vs. THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, BRANCH V and SUSANA DE LA TORRE, in her capacity as Administratrix of the Intestate Estate of Consolacion de la Torre, respondents. G.R. No. L-29901 August 31, 1977 MARTIN, J.: FACTS: Jose Frias Chua sired three children with his first wife Patricia Militar, namely: Ignacio, Lorenzo and Manuel. When Patricia died, Jose contracted a second marriage with Consolacion de la Torre, with whom he had a child by the name of Juanita Frias Chua. In 1929, Jose died. In the intestate proceeding, the lower court issued an order adjudicating, the one-half (1/2,) portion of the subject property in this case, Lot No. 399 and the sum of P8,000.00 in favor of Consolacion, the other half of the lot in favor of Juanito. On February 27, 1952, Juanito died intestate without any issue. After his death, his mother Consolacion succeeded to his pro-indivisio share of Lot No. 399. Consolacion executed a declaration of heirship adjudicating in her favor the pro-indiviso share of her son Juanito and transfer certificate of title covering the whole property was issued under her name. In 1966, Consolacion died intestate leaving no direct heir either in the descending or ascending line except her brother and sisters. In 1966, Petitioners, Ignacio and Lorenzo, the two surviving children from the first marriage of Juanito, filed the complaint praying that the onehalf (1/2) portion of Lot No. 399 which formerly belonged to Juanito Frias but which passed to Consolacion de la Torre upon the latter's death, be declared as a reservable property for the reason that the lot in questionn was subject to reserval troncal pursuant to Article 981 of the New Civil Code. ISSUE: Whether or not the subject property complied with the requisites to be characterized as reservable. 133 | P a g e

HELD: No. As explained by Manresa which this court quoted with approval in Cabardo v. Villanueva, 44 Phil 186, The transmission is gratuitous title when the recipient does not give anything in return. It matters whether the property transmitted be or not be the sub ject to any prior changes; what is essential is that the transmission be made gratuitously, or by an act of mere liberality of the person making, without imposing any obligation on the part of the recipient; and that the person receiving the property gives or does nothing in return; or, as ably put by an eminent Filipino commentator, the essential thing is that the person who transmits it does so gratuitously, from pure generosity, without requiring from the transferee any prestation.. It is evident from the record that the transmission of the property in question to Juanito Frias Chua of the second marriage upon the death of his father Jose Frias Chua was means of hersditary succession and therefore gratuitous. The obligation of paying the Standard Oil Company of New York the amount of P8, 971.20 is imposed upon Consolacion and Juanito Frias Chua not personally by the deceased Jose Frias Chua in his last will and testament but by an order of the court in the testate proceeding No. 4816. As long as the transmission of the property to the heirs is free from any condition imposed by the deceased himself and the property is given out of pure generosity, it is gratuitous. It is claimed that the complaint of petitioners to recover the one-half portion of Lot 399 which originally belonged to Juanito has already prescribed when it was filed on May 11, 1966. We do not believe so. It must be remembered that the petitioners herein are claiming as reservees did not arise until the time the reservor, Consolacion, died in March 1966. When the petitioners therefore filed their complaint to recover the one-half (1/2) portion of Lot 399, they were very much in time to do so. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision appealed from is hereby set aside. The petitioners Ignacio Frias Chua, Dominador Chua and Remedios Chua are declared owners of 1/2 undivided portion of Lot 399; and the Register of Deeds of Negros Occidental is hereby ordered to cancel. Transfer Certificate of Title No. 31796 covering Lot No. 399 issued in the name of Consolacion de la Torre and to issue a new Certificate of Title in the names of Consolacion de la Torre, 1/2 undivided portion; Ignacio Frias Chua, 1/4 undivided portion; and Dominador Chua and Remedios Chua, 1/4 undivided portion, of said lot. Without pronouncement as to costs.

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RE: WILLS JOHNNY S. RABADILLA, petitioner Vs. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 113725 June 29, 2000 PURISIMA, J:. FACTS: In a Codicil appended to the Last Will and Testament of the deceased Aleja Belleza, Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, predecessor-in-interest of the herein petitioner, Johnny S. Rabadilla, was instituted as a devisee of a big tract of land. The Codicil, was duly probated and contained in substance, among others; that as a condition of the devise, Dr. Rabadilla shall have the obligation until he dies to deliver (one hundred) 100 piculs of sugar (75 export sugar and 25 domestic sugar) to Maria Marlinna Belleza, sister of the deceased; should Dr. Rabadilla die, his heir who shall inherit the subject land shall also oblige to the annual delivery; that should the wish of the deceased be not respected, Maria Marlinna Belleza shall immediately seize the subject lot and deliver the same to the nearest descendant of the deceased who shall also have the same obligation to deliver the 100 sacks of sugar to Belleza. Dr. Rabadilla died in 1983. On August 21, 1989, Belleza brought a complaint against the heirs of Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, alleging violation of the conditions of the Codicil, more specifically their failure to comply with their obligation to deliver 100 piculs of sugar to plaintiff Maria Marlena Coscolluela y Belleza from sugar crop years 1985 up to the filing despite repeated demands for compliance. She prayed that judgment be rendered ordering defendant-heirs to reconvey / return the lot to the surviving heirs of the late Aleja Belleza. Belleza and Alan Azurin, son-in-law of the herein petitioner who was lessee of the property and acting as attorney-in-fact of defendant-heirs, arrived at an amicable settlement and entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with respect to the annual delivery of the one hundred piculs of sugar. However, there was no compliance with the aforesaid agreement except for a partial delivery of 50.80 piculs of sugar corresponding to sugar crop year 1988 -1989. ISSUE: Whether or not the subject property should revert back to the estate of the testatrix Aleja Belleza as provided for in the codicil of her last will and testament. HELD: Yes. Similarly unsustainable is petitioner's submission that by virtue of the amicable settlement, the said obligation imposed by the Codicil has been assumed by the lessee, and whatever obligation petitioner had become the obligation of the lessee; that petitioner is deemed to have made a substantial and constructive compliance of his obligation through the consummated settlement between the lessee and the private respondent, and having 136 | P a g e

consummated a settlement with the petitioner, the recourse of the private respondent is the fulfilment of the obligation under the amicable settlement and not the seizure of subject property. Suffice it to state that a Will is a personal, solemn, revocable and free act by which a person disposes of his property, to take effect after his death. Since the Will expresses the manner in which a person intends how his properties be disposed, the wishes and desires of the testator must be strictly followed. Thus, a Will cannot be the subject of a compromise agreement which would thereby defeat the very purpose of making a Will.

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MANUEL G. REYES, MILA G. REYES, DANILO G. REYES, LYN AGAPE, ESTEBANA GALOLO, and CELSA AGAPE, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS AND JULIO VIVARES, respondent. G.R. No. 12099 October 30, 1997 TORRES, JR., J.: FACTS: The deceased Torcuato J. Reyes executed his last will and testament declaring therein in part, among others; that he is leaving his properties to his wife Asuncion Oning R. Reyes. The will consisted of two pages and was signed by Torcuato Reyes in the presence of three witnesses: Antonio Veloso, Gloria Borromeo, and Soledad Gaputan. Reyes died on May 12, 1992 and on May 21, 1992, private respondent filed a petition for probate of the will. The recognized natural children of Torcuato Reyes with Estebana Galolo, namely Manuel, Mila, and Danilo all surnamed Reyes, and the deceaseds natural children with Celsa Agape, namely Lyn and Marites Agape, filed an opposition with the following allegations: a) That the last will and testament of Reyes was not executed and attested in accordance with the formalities of law; and b) That Asuncion Reyes Ebarle exerted undue and improper influence upon the testator at the time of the execution of the will. The opposition further averred that Reyes was never married to and could never marry Asuncion Reyes, the woman he claimed to be his wife in the will, because the latter was already married to Lupo Ebarle who was still then alive and their marriage was never annulled. Thus Asuncion cannot be a compulsory heir for her open cohabitation with Reyes was violative of public morals.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The trial court admitted the will of Reyes to probate except for paragraph II (a) and (b) of the will which was declared null and void for being contrary to law and morals. ISSUE: Whether or not the assailed provisions should be admitted as part of the last will and testament of the deceased. HELD: Yes. Considering that the oppositors never showed any competent evidence, documentary or otherwise during the trial to show that Asuncion Oning Reyes marriage to the testator was inexistent or void, either because of a pre-existing marriage or adulterous relationship, the trial court gravely erred in striking down paragraph II (a) and (b) of the subject last will and testament, as void for being contrary to law and morals. Said declarations are not sufficient to destroy the presumption of marriage. Nor is it enough to overcome the very declaration of the testator that Asuncion Reyes is his wife.

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A will is the testator speaking after death. Its provisions have substantially the same force and effect in the probate court as if the testator stood before the court in full life making the declarations by word of mouth as they appear in the will. That was the special purpose of the law in the creation of the instrument known as the last will and testament. Men wished to speak after they were dead and the law, by the creation of that instrument, permitted them to do so. xxx All doubts must be resolved in favor of the testators having meant just what he said. (Santos vs. Manarang, 27 Phil. 209). ACCORDINGLY, decision appealed from dated November 29, 1995, is hereby AFFIRMED and the instant petition for review is DENIED for lack of merit.

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Re: Testamentary Succession ANTONIO CASTAEDA, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. JOSE E. ALEMANY, Defendant-Appellant. WILLARD, J.: G.R. No. 1439 March 19, 1904

FACTS: The evidence in this case shows to the satisfaction of the court that the will of Doa Juana Moreno was duly signed by herself in the presence of three witnesses, who signed it as witnesses in the presence of the testratrix and of each other. It was therefore executed in conformity with law. ISSUE: Whether or not the last will and testament was executed in accordance with the requirements of the law RULING: The court held that there is nothing in the language of section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure which supports the claim of the appellants that the will must be written by the testator himself or by someone else in his presence and under his express direction. That section requires (1) that the will be in writing and (2) either that the testator sign it himself or, if he does sign it, that it be signed by someone in his presence and by his express direction. Who does the mechanical work of writing the will is a matter of indifference. The fact that the will was typewritten in the office of the lawyer for the testratrix is of no consequence. It is claimed by the appellants that there was no testimony in the court below to show that the will executed by the deceased was the same will presented to the court and concerning which this hearing was had. It is true that the evidence does not show that the document in court was presented to the witnesses and identified by them, as should have been done. But we think that we are justified in saying that it was assumed by all the parties during the trial in the court below that the will about which the witnesses were testifying was the document then in court. No suggestion of any kind was then made by the counsel for the appellants that it was not the same instrument. In the last question put to the witness Gonzales the phrase "this will" is used by the counsel for the appellants. In their argument in that court, found on page 15 of the record, they treat the testimony of the witnesses as referring to the will probate they were then opposing. The judgment of the court below is affirmed, eliminating therefrom, however, the clause "el cual debera ejecutarse fiel y exactamente en todas sus partes." The costs of this instance will be charged against the appellants.

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Testate Estate of Isabel V. Florendo, deceased. TIRSO DACANAY, Petitioner and Appellant,vs.PEDRO V. FLORENDO ET AL., oppositors and appellee.s GR. No. L-2071 Ozaeta, J.: FACTS: Spouses Isabel V. Florendo and Tirso Dacanay executed a reciprocal will on October 20, 1940. Isabel V. Florendo having died, her surviving spouse Tirso Dacanay is seeking to probate said joint and reciprocal will, which provides in substance that whoever of the spouses, joint testators, shall survive the other shall inherit all the properties of the latter, with an agreement as to how the surviving spouse shall dispose of the properties in case of his or her demise. Relatives of the deceased Isabel V. Florendo opposed the probate of the said will on various statutory grounds.After receiving from counsel for both parties written arguments, the trial court ordered dismissing the petition for probate on the ground that said will is null and void ab initio as having been executed in violation of article 669 of the Civil Code. ISSUE: Whether or not the joint and reciprocal will executed by the spouses may be probated in view of the prohibition in article 669 of the Civil Code. RULING: The court agrees with Tirso Dacanays view, that the prohibition of article 669 of the Civil Code is directed against the execution of a joint will, or the expression by two or more testators of their wills in a single document and by one act, rather than against mutual or reciprocal wills, which may be separately executed. The provision of article 669 of the Civil Code prohibiting the execution of a will by two or more persons conjointly or in the same instrument either for their reciprocal benefit or for the benefit of a third person, is not unwise and is not against public policy. This is to prevent the more aggressive spouse to dictate the terms of the will for his or her own benefit or for those third persons that he or she desires to favor. And where the will is not only joint but reciprocal, either one of the spouses who may happen to be unscrupulous, wicked, faithless or desperate, knowing as she does the terms of the will whereby the whole property of the spouses both conjugal and paraphernal goes to the survivor, may be tempted to kill or dispose of the other. Considering the wisdom of the provisions of article 669 and the fact that it has not been repealed, at least not expressly, as well as the consideration that its provisions are not incompatible with 141 | P a g e September 19, 1950

those of the Code of Civil Procedure on the subject of wills, the court believes and rules that said article 669 of the Civil Code is still in force. In view of the foregoing, the order appealed from is AFFIRMED, with costs against appellant.

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PAULA DE LA CERNA ET. AL., petitioners Vs MANUEL REBACA POTOT ET. AL., AND THE HONORAABLE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents G.R. No. L-20234, December 23, 1964 REYES, J.B.L,. J.: FACTS: On May 9, 1939, the spouses, Bernabe de la Serna and Gervasia Rebaca, executed a joint last will and testament in the local dialect whereby they willed that "our two parcels of land acquired during our marriage together with all improvements thereon shall be given to Manuela Rebaca, our niece, whom we have nurtured since childhood, because God did not give us any child in our union, Manuela Rebaca being married to Nicolas Potot", and that "while each of the testators is yet living, he or she will continue to enjoy the fruits of the two lands aforementioned". Bernabes died in 1939; the will was accepted to probate on October 31, 1939. Upon the death of Gervasia Rebaca on October 14, 1952, another petition for the probate of the same will insofar as Gervasia was concerned was filed. The court declared the testament null and void, for being executed contrary to the prohibition of joint wills in the Civil Code. On appeal by the testamentary heir, the Court of Appeals reversed, on the ground that the decree of probate in 1939 was issued by a court of probate jurisdiction and conclusive on the due execution of the testament. ISSUE: Whether or not the last will and testament of the deceased spouses is null and void for being violative of the express provisions of law on joint wills RULING: The final decree of probate entered in 1939 has a conclusive effect as to his last will and testament. A final judgment rendered on a petition for the probate of a will is binding upon the whole world and public policy and sound practice demand that at the risk of occasional errors judgment of courts should become final at some definite date fixed by law. Petitioners, as heirs and successors of the late Bernabe de la Cerna, are concluded by the 1939 decree admitting his will to probate. But the probate decree in 1939 could only affect the share of the deceased husband, Bernabe de la Cerna. It could not include the disposition of the share of the wife, Gervasia Rebaca, who was then still alive, and over whose interest in the conjugal properties the probate court acquired no jurisdiction, precisely because her estate could not then be in issue. It follows that the validity of 143 | P a g e

the joint will, in so far as the estate of the wife was concerned, must be, on her death, reexamined and adjudicated de novo, since a joint will is considered a separate will of each testator. The undivided interest of Gervasia Rebaca should pass upon her death to her heirs intestate, and not exclusively to the testamentary heir, unless some other valid will in her favor is shown to exist, or unless she be the only heir intestate of Gervasia. WITH THE FOREGOING MODIFICATION, the judgment of the Court of Appeals in CA GR No. 23763-R is AFFIRMED.

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MANUEL G. REYES, MILA G. REYES, DANILO G. REYES, LYN AGAPE, MARITES AGAPE, ESTABANA GALOLO, and CELSA AGAPE, Petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS AND JULIO VIVARES, Respondents. G.R. No. 12099, October 20, 1997 TORRES, JR., J.: FACTS: The deceased Torcuato J. Reyes executed his last will and testament declaring therein in part, among others; that he is leaving his properties to his wife Asuncion Oning R. Reyes. The will consisted of two pages and was signed by Torcuato Reyes in the presence of three witnesses: Antonio Veloso, Gloria Borromeo, and Soledad Gaputan. Reyes died on May 12, 1992 and on May 21, 1992, private respondent filed a petition for probate of the will. The recognized natural children of Torcuato Reyes with Estebana Galolo, namely Manuel, Mila, and Danilo all surnamed Reyes, and the deceaseds natural children with Celsa Agape, namely Lyn and Marites Agape, filed an opposition with the following allegations: a) That the last will and testament of Reyes was not executed and attested in accordance with the formalities of law; and b) That Asuncion Reyes Ebarle exerted undue and improper influence upon the testator at the time of the execution of the will. The opposition further averred that Reyes was never married to and could never marry Asuncion Reyes, the woman he claimed to be his wife in the will, because the latter was already married to Lupo Ebarle who was still then alive and their marriage was never annulled. Thus Asuncion cannot be a compulsory heir for her open cohabitation with Reyes was violative of public morals. The trial court admitted the will of Reyes to probate except for paragraph II (a) and (b) of the will which was declared null and void for being contrary to law and morals. ISSUE: Whether or not the assailed provisions should be admitted as part of the last will and testament of the deceased RULING: Considering that the oppositors never showed any competent evidence, documentary or otherwise during the trial to show that Asuncion Oning Reyes marriage to the testator was inexistent or void, either because of a pre-existing marriage or adulterous relationship, the trial court gravely erred in striking down paragraph II (a) and (b) of the subject last will and testament, as void for being contrary to law and morals. Said declarations are not sufficient to 145 | P a g e

destroy the presumption of marriage. Nor is it enough to overcome the very declaration of the testator that Asuncion Reyes is his wife. A will is the testator speaking after death. Its provisions have substantially the same force and effect in the probate court as if the testator stood before the court in full life making the declarations by word of mouth as they appear in the will. That was the special purpose of the law in the creation of the instrument known as the last will and testament. Men wished to speak after they were dead and the law, by the creation of that instrument, permitted them to do so. xxx All doubts must be resolved in favor of the testators having meant just what he said. (Santos vs. Manarang, 27 Phil. 209). ACCORDINGLY, decision appealed from dated November 29, 1995, is hereby AFFIRMED and the instant petition for review is DENIED for lack of merit.

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Re: Foreign Wills IN RE: IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO APPROVE THE WILL OF RUPERTA PALAGANAS WITH PRAYER FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR, MANUEL MIGUEL PALAGANAS AND BENJAMIN GREGORIO PALAGANAS, Petitioners, v. ERNESTO PALAGANAS, Respondent. G.R. No. 169144, January 26, 2011 ABAD, J.: FACTS: On November 8, 2001 Ruperta C. Palaganas (Ruperta), a Filipino who became a naturalized United States (U.S.) citizen, died single and childless.In the last will and testament she executed in California, she designated her brother, Sergio C. Palaganas (Sergio), as the executor of her will for she had left properties in the Philippines and in the U.S. On May 19, 2003 respondent Ernesto C. Palaganas (Ernesto), anotherbrother of Ruperta, filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malolos, Bulacan, a petition for the probate of Rupertas will and for his appointment as special administrator of her estate. On October 15, 2003, however, petitioners Manuel Miguel Palaganas (Manuel) and Benjamin Gregorio Palaganas (Benjamin), nephews of Ruperta, opposed the petition on the ground that Rupertaswill should not be probated in the Philippines but in the U.S. where she executed it.Manuel and Benjamin added that, assuming Rupertaswill could be probated in the Philippines, it is invalid nonetheless for having been executed under duress and without the testators full understanding of the consequences of such act.Ernesto, they claimed, is also not qualified to act as administrator of the estate. Meantime, since Rupertas foreign-based siblings, Gloria Villaluz and Sergio, were on separate occasions in the Philippines for a short visit, respondent Ernesto filed a motion with the RTC for leave to take their deposition, which it granted.On April, 13, 2004 the RTC directed the parties to submit their memorandum on the issue of whether or not Rupertas U.S. will may be probated in and allowed by a court in the Philippines. On June 17, 2004 the RTC issued an order: (a) admitting to probate Rupertas last will; (b) appointing respondent Ernesto as special administrator at the request of Sergio, the U.S.-based executor designated in the will; and (c) issuing the Letters of Special Administration to Ernesto. Aggrieved by the RTCs order, petitioner nephews Manuel and Benjamin appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA), arguing that an unprobated will executed by an American citizen in the U.S. cannot be probated for the first time in the Philippines. 147 | P a g e

ISSUE: Whether or not a will executed by a foreigner abroad may be probated in the Philippines although it has not been previously probated and allowed in the country where it was executed. RULING: Petitioners Manuel and Benjamin maintain that wills executed by foreigners abroad must first be probated and allowed in the country of its execution before it can be probated here.This, they claim, ensures prior compliance with the legal formalities of the country of its execution.They insist that local courts can only allow probate of such wills if the proponent proves that: (a) the testator has been admitted for probate in such foreign country, (b) the will has been admitted to probate there under its laws, (c) the probate court has jurisdiction over the proceedings, (d) the law on probate procedure in that foreign country and proof of compliance with the same, and (e) the legal requirements for the valid execution of a will. But our laws do not prohibit the probate of wills executed by foreigners abroad although the same have not as yet been probated and allowed in the countries of their execution.A foreign will can be given legal effects in our jurisdiction.Article 816 of the Civil Code states that the will of an alienwho is abroad produces effect in the Philippines if made in accordance with the formalities prescribed by the law of the place where he resides, or according to the formalities observed in his country. Our rules require merely that the petition for the allowance of a will must show, so far as known to the petitioner: (a)the jurisdictional facts; (b) the names, ages, and residences of the heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator or decedent; (c) the probable value and character of the property of the estate; (d) the name of the person for whom letters are prayed; and (e)if the will has not been delivered to the court, the name of the person having custody of it. Jurisdictional facts refer to the fact of death of the decedent, his residence at the time of his death in the province where the probate court is sitting, or if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the estate he left in such province. The rules do not require proof that the foreign will has already been allowed and probated in the country of its execution. In insisting that Rupertas will should have been first probated and allowed by the court of California, petitioners Manuel and Benjamin obviously have in mind the procedure for the reprobate of will before admitting it here.But, reprobate or re-authentication of a will already probated and allowed in a foreign country is different from that probate where the will is presented for the first time before a competent court.Reprobate is specifically governed by Rule 77 of the Rules of Court.Contrary to petitioners stance, since this latter rule applies only to reprobate of a will, it cannot be made to apply to the present case.In reprobate, the local court acknowledges as binding the findings of the foreign probate court provided its jurisdiction over the matter can be established. WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the Court of Appeals decision in CA-G.R. CV 83564 dated July 29, 2005.cralawlibrary 148 | P a g e

FRANCISCA ALSUA-BETTS, JOSEPH O. BETTS, JOSE MADARETA, ESTEBAN P. RAMIREZ, and THE REGISTER OF DEEDS FOR ALBAY PROVINCE, petitioners, -versusCOURT OF APPEALS, AMPARO ALSUA BUENVIAJE, FERNANDO BUENVIAJE, FERNANDO ALSUA, represented by his guardian, CLOTILDE S. ALSUA and PABLO ALSUA, respondents. G.R. Nos. L-46430-31 July 30, 1979 GUERRERO, J.: FACTS: On 1949, Don Jesus Alsua and his wife, Dona Florentina Ralla, together with all their children entered into a duly notarized agreement over the then present and existing properties of the spouses. On 1955, the spouses separately executed their respective holographic wills, the provisions of which were in conformity and in implementation of the extrajudicial partition of November, 1949. Their holographic wills similarly provided for the institution of the other to his or her share in the conjugal properties, the other half already to be partitioned as part of the legitime of the four living children. On 1959, Dona Florentina died. About 2 weeks after the death of his wife, Don Jesus executed a new will, thereby revoking and canceling his previous holographic will which he made on 1955 and also its codicil. On 1962, Don Jesus died. Petitioner herein Alsua-Betts, as the executrix named in the will filed a petition for the probate of said new will of Don Jesus Alsua. Oppositions thereto were filed by his children. ISSUE: Whether or not the questioned will of November, 1959 was validly executed thereby validly revoking the previous will and codicil he executed. HELD: Yes. Don Jesus is not forever bound for his previous holographic will and codicil as such would remain revocable at his will. Art. 828 of the new Civil Code is clear: A will may be revoked by the testator at anytime before his death. Any waiver or restriction of this right is void. There can be no restriction that may be made on his absolute freedom to revoke his holographic will and codicil previously made. Though the law and jurisprudence are clear that only questions about the extrinsic validity of the will may be entertained by the probate court, the Court had, on more than one occasion, passed upon the intrinsic validity of a will even before it had been authenticated. 149 | P a g e

The fact that testator did not cause his will to be probated during his lifetime, while his previous holographic will and codicil were probated while he was alive does not mean said testator lacks the requisite testamentary. WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision appealed from is hereby set aside. The decision of the Court of First Instance Of Albay in Special Proceedings No. 699 and Civil Case No. 3068 is hereby reinstated, with costs against respondents.

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PAULA T. LLORENTE, petitioner, - versusCOURT OF APPEALS and ALICIA F. LLORENTE, respondents. G.R. No. 124371 November 23, 2000 GUERRERO, J.: FACTS: The deceased Lorenzo N. Llorente was an enlisted serviceman of the United States Navy. He and petitioner Paula Llorente were married on February 22, 1937. Lorenzo departed for the United States while Paula stayed in the conjugal home in Camarines Sur. On November 30, 1943, Lorenzo was admitted to United States citizenship. In 1945, Lorenzo visited Paula in the Philippines and discovered that she was pregnant and was living in and having an adulterous relationship with Lorenzos brother, Ceferino Llorente. Lorenzo returned to the United States and filed for divorce. On December 4, 1952, the divorce decree became final. On January 16, 1958, Lorenzo married Alicia F. Llorente in Manila and sired three children with her, namely; Raul, Luz and Beverly, all surnamed Llorente. In 1981, Lorenzo executed his last will and testament and left all his property to Alicia and their three children. On June 11, 1985, before the probate proceedings of the will could be terminated, Lorenzo died. Paula, claiming to be the surviving spouse, filed for letters of administration over Lorenzos estate in her favour contending: Alicia also filed in the testate proceeding a petition for the issuance of letters testamentary. ISSUE: Whether or not Paula is entitled to inherit from the late Lorenzo N. Llorente. HELD: Yes. The fact that the late Lorenzo N. Llorente became an American citizen long before and at the time of: (1) his divorce from Paula; (2) marriage to Alicia; (3) execution of his will; and (4) death, is duly established, admitted and undisputed. As, as a rule, issues arising from these incidents are necessarily governed by foreign law. Intestate and testamentary succession, both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration , whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. True, foreign laws do not prove themselves in our jurisdiction and our courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of them. Like any other fact, they must be alleged and proved. 151 | P a g e

While the substance of the foreign law was pleaded, the Court of Appeals did not admit the foreign law. The Court of Appeals and the trial court called to the fore the renvoi doctrine, where the case was referred back to the law of the decedents domicile, in this case, Philippine law. The hasty application of Philippine law and the complete disregard of the will, already probated as duly executed in accordance with the formalities of Philippine law, is fatal, especially in light of the factual and legal circumstances here obtaining. The clear intent of Lorenzo to bequeath his property to his second wife and children by her is glaringly shown in the will he executed. We do not wish to frustrate his wishes, since he was a foreigner, not covered by our laws on family rights and duties, status, condition and legal capacity. Whether the will is intrinsically valid and who shall inherit from Lorenzo are issues best proved by foreign law which must be pleaded and proved. Whether the will was executed in accordance with the formalities required is answered by referring to Philippine law. In fact, the will was duly probated. As a guide however, the trial court should note that whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our system of legitimes, Congress did not intend to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals. Congress specifically left the amount of successional rights to the decedent's national law. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. R. SP No. 17446 promulgated on July 31, 1995 is SET ASIDE. In lieu thereof, the Court REVERSES the decision of the Regional Trial Court and RECOGNIZES as VALID the decree of divorce granted in favor of the deceased Lorenzo N. Llorente by the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of San Diego, made final on December 4, 1952. Further, the Court REMANDS the cases to the court of origin for determination of the intrinsic validity of Lorenzo N. Llorentes will and determination of the parties successional rights allowing proof of foreign law with instructions that the trial court shall proceed with all deliberate dispatch to settle the estate of the deceased within the framework of the Rules of Court.

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SALUD TEODORO VDA. DE PEREZ, petitioner, vs. HON. ZOTICO A. TOLETE in his capacity as Presiding Judge, Branch 18, RTC, Bulacan, respondent. G.R. No. 76714 QUIASON, J.: FACTS: Dr. Jose F. Cunanan and his wife, Dr. Evelyn Perez-Cunanan, who became American citizens, established a successful medical practice in New York. They had three children. On August 23, 1979, Dr. Cunanan executed a last will and testament, bequeathing to his wife "all the remainder" of his real and personal property at the time of his death "wheresoever situated". In the event he would survive his wife, he bequeathed all his property to his children and grandchildren, Dr. Rafael G. Cunanan, Jr. was the trustee. Dr. Cunanan appointed his wife as executrix of his last will and testament and Dr. Rafael G. Cunanan, Jr. as substitute executor. Four days later, Dr. Evelyn P. Cunanan also executed her own last will and testament. The two wills contained similar provisions pertaining to the situation where the spouses will die at the same time and under the same circumstances that there is not sufficient evidence to determine the order of their deaths, then it shall be presumed that Dr. Cunanan predeceased his wife and their estate shall be administered and distributed, in all respects, in accordance with such presumption". In 1982, Dr. Cunanan and his entire family perished when they were trapped by fire that gutted their home. Thereafter, Dr. Rafael Cunanan, Jr. as trustee and substitute executor of the two wills, filed separate proceedings for the probate thereof with the Surrogate Court of the County of Onondaga, New York. The wills were admitted to probate and letters testamentary were issued in his favor. Salud Teodoro Perez, the mother of Dr. Evelyn P. Cunanan, and petitioner herein, filed for the reprobate of the two wills ancillary to the probate proceedings in New York. The reprobate was not allowed because petitioner failed to prove the of New York on procedure and allowance of wills and the court had no way of telling whether the wills were executed in accordance with the law of New York. In the absence of such evidence, the presumption is that the law on succession of the foreign country is the same as the law of the Philippines. ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner has sufficiently proved the laws of New York on the allowance of wills. June 2, 1994

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HELD: Yes. The respective wills of the Cunanan spouses, who were American citizens, will only be effective in this country upon compliance with the following provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines: "Art. 816. The will of an alien who is abroad produces effect in the Philippines if made with the formalities prescribed by the law of the place in which he resides, or according to the formalities observed in his country, or in conformity with those which this Code prescribes." Thus, proof that both wills conform with the formalities prescribed by New York laws or by Philippine laws is imperative. The evidence necessary for the reprobate or allowance of wills which have been probated outside of the Philippines are as follows: (1) the due execution of the will in accordance with the foreign laws; (2) the testator has his domicile in the foreign country and not in the Philippines; (3) the will has been admitted to probate in such country; (4) the fact that the foreign tribunal is a probate court, and (5) the laws of a foreign country on procedure and allowance of wills Except for the first and last requirements, the petitioner submitted all the needed evidence. The necessity of presenting evidence on the foreign laws upon which the probate in the foreign country is based is impelled by the fact that our courts cannot take judicial notice of them (Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank v. Escolin, 56 SCRA 266 [1974]). Petitioner must have perceived this omission as in fact she moved for more time to submit the pertinent procedural and substantive New York laws but which request respondent Judge just glossed over. While the probate of a will is a special proceeding wherein courts should relax the rules on evidence, the goal is to receive the best evidence of which the matter is susceptible before a purported will is probated or denied probate (Vda. de Ramos v. Court of Appeals, 81 SCRA 393 [1978]). The brothers and sisters of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan, contrary to petitioner's claim are entitled to notices of the time and place for proving the wills. Under Section 4 of Rule 76 of the Revised Rules of Court, the "court shall also cause copies of the notice of the time and place fixed for proving the will to be addressed to the designated or other known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator. WHEREFORE, the questioned Order is SET ASIDE. Respondent Judge shall allow petitioner reasonable time within which to submit evidence needed for the joint probate of the wills of the Cunanan spouses and see to it that the brothers and sisters of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan are given all notices and copies of all pleadings pertinent to the probate proceedings.

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In re: Testate Estate of the deceased JOSE B. SUNTAY. SILVINO SUNTAY, petitionerappellant, vs. In re: Intestate Estate of the deceased JOSE B. SUNTAY, FEDERICO C. SUNTAY, administrator-appellee. G.R. Nos. L-3087 and L-3088 PADILLA, J.: FACTS: In 1934, Jose B. Suntay, a Filipino citizen and a resident of the Philippines, died in Amoy, China. He left real and personal properties in the Philippines and a house in Amoy. During his lifetime, he married twice, the first wife was Manuela Cruz, with whom he had several children. The second marriage was with Maria Natividad Lim Brillian, with whom he had a son, petitioner Silvino Suntay. Intestate proceedings were instituted by the heirs from the first marriage. While the second wife, the surviving widow who remained in Amoy China, filed a petition for the probate of the last will and testament of the deceased which was claimed to have been executed and signed in the Philippines on November, 1929. The petition was denied due to the loss of the will before the hearing thereof. After the pacific war, Silvino, claimed to have found among the records of his father, a last will and testament in Chinese characters executed and signed by the deceased on January, 1931 and probated in the Amoy District Court. He filed a petition in the intestate proceedings for the probate of the will executed in the Philippines on November 1929 or the will executed in Amoy China on November, 1931. ISSUE: Whether or not the will executed in Amoy, China can still be validly probated in the Philippines. HELD: No. The fact that the municipal district court of Amoy, China is a probate court must be proved. The law of China on procedure in the probate or allowance of wills must also be proved. The legal requirements for the execution of the will in China in 1931 should also be established by competent evidence. There is no proof on these points. Moreover, it appears that all the proceedings had in the municipal district court of Amoy were for the purpose of taking the testimony of two attesting witnesses to the will and that the order of the municipal district court of Amoy does not purport to probate the will. The order of the municipal district court of Amoy, China does not purport to probate or allow the will which was the subject of the proceedings. In view thereof, the will and the alleged probate thereof cannot be said to have been done in accordance with the accepted basic and fundamental concepts and principles followed in the probate and allowance of wills. Consequently, the authenticated transcript of proceedings held in the municipal district court of 155 | P a g e July 31, 1954

Amoy, China, cannot be deemed and accepted as proceedings leading to the probate of allowance of a will and therefore, the will referred to therein cannot be allowed, filed and recorded by a competent court of this country.

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IN THE MATTER OF THE INTESTATE ESTATE OF EDWARD E. CHRISTENSEN, deceased. ADOLFO C. AZNAR, executor and appellee, vs. MARIA LUCY CHRISTENSEN DUNCAN, oppositor and appellant. MARIA HELEN CHRISTENSEN, oppositor and appellee. G.R. No. L-24365 MAKALINTAL, J.: FACTS: Edward E. Christensen was a citizen of the United States and of the state of California but was domiciled in the Philippines at the time of his death. He executed his last will and testament in Manila in 1951, which in substance provided for the partition of his estate by payment of P3,600 to Helen Christensen Garcia who he claimed was not in any way related to him, while the rest of the estate will be transferred Maria Lucy Christensen, who he claimed was his only daughter. Opposition to the approval of the project of partition was filed by Helen Christensen Garcia insofar as it deprives her of her legitime as an acknowledged natural child of the deceased Edward E. Christensen based on a prior Supreme Court decision on the matter. It was claimed that the Philippine law should govern the estate of the deceased and that the distribution is contrary thereto insofar as it denies to Helen Christensen, one of two acknowledged natural children, one half of the estate of the deceased. ISSUE: Whether or not the intrinsic validity of the testamentary provisions of the will of the deceased should be governed by the laws of the Philippines. HELD: Yes. Art. 16 of the Civil code of the Philippines provides that the amount of successional rights and the intrinsic validity of the testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be nature of the property and regardless of the country where said property may be found. The decision of the lower court sustained the contention of the executor that under the California Probate Court, a testator may dispose of his property by will in the form and manner he desires. We have checked it in the California Civil Code and it is there. The laws of California have prescribed two sets of laws for its citizens, one for residents therein and another for those domiciled in other jurisdictions. Reason demands that we should enforce the California internal law prescribed for its citizens residing therein, and enforce the conflict of laws rules for the citizens domiciled abroad. If we must enforce the laws of California as in 157 | P a g e June 30, 1966

comity we are bound to go, as so declared in Article 16 of the Civil Code, then we must enforce the law of California in accordance with the express mandate thereof and as above explained. We therefore find that the domicile of the deceased Christensen, a citizen of California, is the Philippines, the validity of the provisions of his will depriving his acknowledged natural child, should be governed by the Philippine Law, the domicile, pursuant to Art. 946 of the Civil Code of California, not by the internal law of California.

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Testate Estate of Amos G. Bellis vs. Edward A. Bellis, et al., G.R. No. L-23678 06 June 1967 BENGZON, J.P., J.: FACTS: Amos G. Bellis, born in Texas, was "a citizen of the State of Texas and of the United States". He had two marriages, with 5 legitimate children from his first wife Mary E. Mallen. 3 legitimate children from his second wife Violet Kennedy and finally, 3 illegitimate children. On August 5, 1952, Amos G. Bellis executed a will in the Philippines, which in substance provided that after all taxes, obligations, and expenses of administration are paid for, his distributable estate should be divided, in trust, in the following order and manner: (a) $240,000.00 to his first wife, Mary E. Mallen; (b) P120,000.00 to his three illegitimate children, Amos Bellis, Jr., Maria Cristina Bellis, Miriam Palma Bellis, or P40,000.00 each and (c) after the foregoing two items have been satisfied, the remainder shall go to his seven surviving children by his first and second wives, namely: Edward A. Bellis, Henry A. Bellis, Alexander Bellis and Anna Bellis Allsman, Edwin G. Bellis, Walter S. Bellis, and Dorothy E. Bellis, in equal shares. On July 8, 1958, Amos G. Bellis died a resident of San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. His will was admitted to probate in the Court of First Instance of Manila on September 15, 1958. In 1964, two of the illegitimate children, Maria Cristina and Miriam filed their respective opposition to the project of partition on the ground that they were deprived of their legitimes as illegitimate children, and therefore, compulsory heirs of the deceased. ISSUE: Whether or not the national law of the decedent must prevail. RULING: Art. 16, par. 2, and Art. 1039 of the Civil Code, render applicable the national law of the decedent, in intestate testamentary, successions, with regard to four items xxx (E) intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will. As indication of legislative intent, Congress added a new provision, under Art. 1039, which decrees that capacity to succeed is to be governed by the national law of the decedent. It is therefore evident that whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our System of legitimes, Congress has not intended to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals. For it has specifically chosen to leave, inter alia, the amount of successional rights, to the decedent's national law. Specific provisions must prevail over general ones. 159 | P a g e

The parties admit that the decedent, Amos G. Bellis, was a citizen of the State of Texas, U.S.A., and that under the laws of Texas, there are no forced heirs or legitimes. Accordingly, since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the amount of successional rights are to be determined under Texas law, the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of Amos G. Bellis.

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Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank (PCIB), Administrator of the Testate Estate of Charles Newton Hodges (Sp. Proc. No. 1672 of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo) vs. The Court of First Instance of Iloilo G.R. Nos. L-27860 and L-27896 BARREDO, J.: FACTS: The instant cases refer to the estate left by the late Charles Newton Hodges as well as that of his wife, Linnie Jane Hodges, who predeceased him by about five years and a half. In their respective wills which were executed on different occasions, each one of them provided mutually as follows: "I give, devise and bequeath all of the rest, residue and remainder (after funeral and administration expenses, taxes and debts) of my estate, both real and personal, wherever situated or located, to my beloved (spouse) to have and to hold unto (him/her) during (his/her) natural lifetime", subject to the condition that upon the death of whoever of them survived the other, the remainder of what he or she would inherit from the other is "give(n), devise(d) and bequeath(ed)" to the brothers and sisters of the latter. Mrs. Hodges died first, on May 23, 1957. Four days later, on May 27, Hodges was appointed special administrator of her estate, and in a separate order of the same date, he was "allowed or authorized to continue the business in which he was engaged, (buying and selling personal and real properties) and to perform acts which he had been doing while the deceased was living." Subsequently, on December 14, 1957, after Mrs. Hodges' will had been probated and Hodges had been appointed and had qualified as Executor thereof, upon his motion in which he asserted that he was "not only part owner of the properties left as conjugal, but also, the successor to all the properties left by the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges", the trial court ordered that "for the reasons stated in his motion dated December 11, 1957, which the Court considers well taken, ... all the sales, conveyances, leases and mortgages of all properties left by the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges executed by the Executor, Charles Newton Hodges are hereby APPROVED. The said Executor is further authorized to execute subsequent sales, conveyances, leases and mortgages of the properties left by the said deceased Linnie Jane Hodges in consonance with the wishes contained in the last will and testament of the latter." On December 25, 1962, Hodges died. The very next day, upon motion of herein respondent and appellee, Avelina A. Magno, she was appointed by the trial court as Administratrix of the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and as Special Administratrix of the estate of Charles Newton Hodges. At the outset, the two probate proceedings appear to have been proceeding jointly, with each administrator acting together with the other, under a sort of modus operandi. PCIB used to secure at the beginning the conformity to and signature of Magno in transactions it wanted to enter into 161 | P a g e 29 March 1974

and submitted the same to the court for approval as their joint acts. So did Magno do likewise. Somehow, however, differences seem to have arisen, for which reason, each of them began acting later on separately and independently of each other, with apparent sanction of the trial court. ISSUE: Whether the distribution of the estate should be governed by the laws of the Philippines or of Texas. RULING: The question of what are the pertinent laws of Texas and what would be the estate of Mrs. Hodges under them is basically one of fact, and considering the respective positions of the parties in regard to said factual issue, it can already be deemed as settled for the purposes of these cases that, indeed, the free portion of said estate that could possibly descend to her brothers and sisters by virtue of her will may not be less than one-fourth of the conjugal estate, it appearing that the difference in the stands of the parties has reference solely to the legitime of Hodges, PCIB being of the view that under the laws of Texas, there is such a legitime of onefourth of said conjugal estate and Magno contending, on the other hand, that there is none. In other words, hereafter, whatever might ultimately appear, at the subsequent proceedings, to be actually the laws of Texas on the matter would no longer be of any consequence, since PCIB would anyway be in estoppel already to claim that the estate of Mrs. Hodges should be less than as contended by it now, for admissions by a party related to the effects of foreign laws, which have to be proven in our courts like any other controverted fact, create estoppel. he estate of Mrs. Hodges inherited by her brothers and sisters could be more than just stated, but this would depend on (1) whether upon the proper application of the principle of renvoi in relation to Article 16 of the Civil Code and the pertinent laws of Texas, it will appear that Hodges had no legitime as contended by Magno, and (2) whether or not it can be held that Hodges had legally and effectively renounced his inheritance from his wife. Under the circumstances presently obtaining and in the state of the record of these cases, as of now, the Court is not in a position to make a final ruling, whether of fact or of law, on any of these two issues, and the Court, therefore, reserve said issues for further proceedings and resolution in the first instance by the court a quo, as hereinabove indicated. The Court reiterates, however, that pending such further proceedings, as matters stand at this stage, the Courts considered opinion is that it is beyond cavil that since, under the terms of the will of Mrs. Hodges, her husband could not have anyway legally adjudicated or caused to be adjudicated to himself her whole share of their conjugal partnership, albeit he could have disposed any part thereof during his lifetime, the resulting estate of Mrs. Hodges, of which Magno is the uncontested administratrix, cannot be less than one-fourth of the conjugal partnership properties, as of the time of her death, minus what, as explained earlier, have been gratuitously disposed of therefrom, by Hodges in favor of third persons since then, for even if it were assumed that, as contended by PCIB, under Article 16 of the Civil Code and applying renvoi the laws of the Philippines are the ones ultimately

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applicable, such one-fourth share would be her free disposable portion, taking into account already the legitime of her husband under Article 900 of the Civil Code. The foregoing considerations leave the Court with no alternative than to conclude that in predicating its orders on the assumption, albeit unexpressed therein, that there is an estate of Mrs. Hodges to be distributed among her brothers and sisters and that respondent Magno is the legal administratrix thereof, the trial court acted correctly and within its jurisdiction. Accordingly, the petition for certiorari and prohibition has to be denied. The Court feels however, that pending the liquidation of the conjugal partnership and the determination of the specific properties constituting her estate, the two administrators should act conjointly as ordered in the Court's resolution of September 8, 1972 and as further clarified in the dispositive portion of its decision. It is thus unquestionable that as far as PCIB is concerned, the application to these cases of Article 16 of the Civil Code in relation to the corresponding laws of Texas would result in that the Philippine laws on succession should control. On that basis, as already explained above, the estate of Mrs. Hodges is the remainder of one-fourth of the conjugal partnership properties, considering that the Court found that there is no legal impediment to the kind of disposition ordered by Mrs. Hodges in her will in favor of her brothers and sisters and, further, that the contention of PCIB that the same constitutes an inoperative testamentary substitution is untenable.

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Re: Testamentary Capacity LETICIA VALMONTE ORTEGA, Petitioner, vs. JOSEFINA C. VALMONTE, Respondent. G.R. No. 157451 December 16, 2005 PANGANIBAN, J.: FACTS: The facts were summarized in the assailed Decision of the CA, as follows: Like so many others before him, Placido toiled and lived for a long time in the United States until he finally reached retirement. In 1980, Placido finally came home to stay in the Philippines, and he lived in the house and lot located at #9200 Catmon St., San Antonio Village, Makati, which he owned in common with his sister Ciriaca Valmonte and titled in their names in TCT 123468. Two years after his arrival from the United States and at the age of 80 he wed Josefina who was then 28 years old, in a ceremony solemnized by Judge Perfecto Laguio, Jr. on February 5, 1982. But in a little more than two years of wedded bliss, Placido died on October 8, 1984 of a cause written down as COR PULMONALE. Placido executed a notarial last will and testament written in English and consisting of two (2) pages, and dated June 15, 1983 but acknowledged only on August 9, 1983. The first page contains the entire testamentary dispositions and a part of the attestation clause, and was signed at the end or bottom of that page by the testator and on the left hand margin by the three instrumental witnesses. The second page contains the continuation of the attestation clause and the acknowledgment, and was signed by the witnesses at the end of the attestation clause and again on the left hand margin. Notary Public Floro Sarmiento, the notary public who notarized the testators will, testified that it was in the first week of June 1983 when the testator together with the three witnesses of the will went to his house cum law office and requested him to prepare his last will and testament. After the testator instructed him on the terms and dispositions he wanted on the will, the notary public told them to come back on June 15, 1983 to give him time to prepare it. After he had prepared the will the notary public kept it safely hidden and locked in his drawer. The testator and his witnesses returned on the appointed date but the notary public was out of town so they were instructed by his wife to come back on August 9, 1983, and which they did. Before the testator and his witnesses signed the prepared will, the notary public explained to them each and every term thereof in Ilocano, a dialect which the testator spoke and understood. He likewise explained that though it appears that the will was signed by the testator and his witnesses on June 15, 1983, the day when it should have been executed had he not gone out of town, the formal execution was actually on August 9, 1983. He reasoned that he no longer changed the typewritten date of June 15, 1983 because he did not like the document to appear dirty. The 164 | P a g e

notary public also testified that to his observation the testator was physically and mentally capable at the time he affixed his signature on the will. ISSUE: Was there a valid will? HELD: The Petition has no merit. We are not convinced. Fraud is a trick, secret device, false statement, or pretense, by which the subject of it is cheated. It may be of such character that the testator is misled or deceived as to the nature or contents of the document which he executes, or it may relate to some extrinsic fact, in consequence of the deception regarding which the testator is led to make a certain will which, but for the fraud, he would not have made. We stress that the party challenging the will bears the burden of proving the existence of fraud at the time of its execution. The burden to show otherwise shifts to the proponent of the will only upon a showing of credible evidence of fraud. Unfortunately in this case, other than the selfserving allegations of petitioner, no evidence of fraud was ever presented. It is a settled doctrine that the omission of some relatives does not affect the due execution of a will. That the testator was tricked into signing it was not sufficiently established by the fact that he had instituted his wife, who was more than fifty years his junior, as the sole beneficiary; and disregarded petitioner and her family, who were the ones who had taken the cudgels of taking care of [the testator] in his twilight years. Moreover, as correctly ruled by the appellate court, the conflict between the dates appearing on the will does not invalidate the document, because the law does not even require that a [notarial] will x x x be executed and acknowledged on the same occasion. More important, the will must be subscribed by the testator, as well as by three or more credible witnesses who must also attest to it in the presence of the testator and of one another. Furthermore, the testator and the witnesses must acknowledge the will before a notary public. In any event, we agree with the CA that the variance in the dates of the will as to its supposed execution and attestation was satisfactorily and persuasively explained by the notary public and the instrumental witnesses. Notably, petitioner failed to substantiate her claim of a grand conspiracy in the commission of a fraud. There was no showing that the witnesses of the proponent stood to receive any benefit from the allowance of the will. The testimonies of the three subscribing witnesses and the notary are credible evidence of its due execution. Their testimony favoring it and the finding that it was executed in accordance with the formalities required by law should be affirmed, absent any showing of ill motives. It must be noted that despite his advanced age, he was still able to identify accurately the kinds of property he owned, the extent of his shares in them and even their locations. As regards the proper objects of his bounty, it was sufficient that he identified his wife as sole beneficiary. As we have stated earlier, the omission of some relatives from the will did not affect its formal validity. There being no showing of fraud in its execution, intent in its disposition becomes irrelevant. 165 | P a g e

WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED, and the assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner. JULIANA BAGTAS, plaintiffs-appellee, vs. ISIDRO PAGUIO, ET AL., defendants-appellants. G.R. No. L-6801 March 14, 1912 TRENT, J.: FACTS: The record shows that the testator, Pioquinto Paguio, for some fourteen of fifteen years prior to the time of his death suffered from a paralysis of the left side of his body; that a few years prior to his death his hearing became impaired and that he lost the power of speech. Owing to the paralysis of certain muscles his head fell to one side, and saliva ran from his mouth. He retained the use of his right hand, however, and was able to write fairly well. Through the medium of signs he was able to indicate his wishes to his wife and to other members of his family. Pioquinto Paguio, the testator, wrote out on pieces of paper notes and items relating to the disposition of his property, and these notes were in turn delivered to Seor Marco, who transcribed them and put them in form. The witnesses testify that the pieces of paper upon which the notes were written are delivered to attorney by the testator; that the attorney read them to the testator asking if they were his testamentary dispositions; that the testator assented each time with an affirmative movement of his head; that after the will as a whole had been thus written by the attorney, it was read in a loud voice in the presence of the testator and the witnesses; that Seor Marco gave the document to the testator; that the latter, after looking over it, signed it in the presence of the four subscribing witnesses; and that they in turn signed it in the presence of the testator and each other. One of the attesting witnesses testified that at the time of the execution of the will the testator was in his right mind, and that although he was seriously ill, he indicated by movements of his head what his wishes were. Another of the attesting witnesses stated that he was not able to say whether decedent had the full use of his mental faculties or not, because he had been ill for some years, and that he (the witnesses) was not a physician. The other subscribing witness, Pedro Paguio, testified in the lower court as a witness for the opponents. He was unable to state whether or not the will was the wish of the testator. The only reasons he gave for his statement were the infirmity and advanced age of the testator and the fact that he was unable to speak. The witness stated that the testator signed the will, and he verified his own signature as a subscribing witness. Doctor Basa testified at more length, but the substance of his testimony is that the testator had suffered a paralysis and that he had noticed some mental disorder. He does not say that the testator was not in his right mind at the time of the execution of the will, nor does he give it at his opinion that he was without the necessary mental capacity to make a valid will. He did not state in what way this mental disorder had manifested itself other than that he had noticed that the testator did not reply to him on one occasion when he visited him. 166 | P a g e

Doctor Viado, the other physician, have never seen the testator, but his answer was in reply to a hypothetical question as to what be the mental condition of a person who was 79 years old and who had suffered from a malady such as the testator was supposed to have had according to the testimony of Doctor Basa, whose testimony Doctor Viado had heard. He replied and discussed at some length the symptoms and consequences of the decease from which the testator had suffered; he read in support of his statements from a work by a German Physician, Dr. Herman Eichost. In answer, however, to a direct question, he stated that he would be unable to certify to the mental condition of a person who was suffering from such a disease. ISSUE: Was the will duly made? HELD: We do not think that the testimony of these two physicians in any way strengthens the contention of the appellants. Their testimony only confirms the fact that the testator had been for a number of years prior to his death afflicted with paralysis, in consequence of which his physician and mental strength was greatly impaired. Neither of them attempted to state what was the mental condition of the testator at the time he executed the will in question. There can be no doubt that the testator's infirmities were of a very serious character, and it is quite evident that his mind was not as active as it had been in the earlier years of his life. However, we can not include from this that he wanting in the necessary mental capacity to dispose of his property by will. The rule of law relating to the presumption of mental soundness is well established, and the testator in the case at bar never having been adjudged insane by a court of competent jurisdiction, this presumption continues, and it is therefore incumbent upon the opponents to overcome this legal presumption by proper evidence. This we think they have failed to do. There are many cases and authorities which we might cite to show that the courts have repeatedly held that mere weakness of mind and body, induced by age and disease do not render a person incapable of making a will. The law does not require that a person shall continue in the full enjoyment and use of his pristine physical and mental powers in order to execute a valid will. If such were the legal standard, few indeed would be the number of wills that could meet such exacting requirements. The authorities, both medical and legal, are universal in statement that the question of mental capacity is one of degree, and that there are many gradations from the highest degree of mental soundness to the lowest conditions of diseased mentality which are denominated as insanity and idiocy. The striking change in the physical and mental vigor of the testator during the last years of his life may have led some of those who knew him in his earlier days to entertain doubts as to his mental capacity to make a will, yet we think that the statements of the witnesses to the execution of the will and statements of the conduct of the testator at that time all indicate that he unquestionably had mental capacity and that he exercised it on this occasion. At the time of the execution of the will it does not appear that his conduct was irrational in any particular. He seems to have comprehended clearly what the nature of the business was in which he was engaged. The evidence show that the writing and execution of the will occupied a period several hours and that the testator was present during all this time, taking an active part in all the proceedings. Again, the will in the case at bar is perfectly reasonable and its dispositions are those of a rational person. 167 | P a g e

For the reasons above stated, the order probating the will should be and the same is hereby affirmed, with costs of this instance against the appellants.

Estate of the deceased Isidra Abquilan. Atanasio Abquilan -versusFeliciana Abquilan

G.R. No. L-24665 STREET, J.:

13 October 1926

FACTS: This court refused to legalize an instrument purporting to be the last will and testament of Isidra Abquilan, the deceased. It appears that the deceased left no forced heirs, and her only heirs, in case of intestacy, are her brother, Atanasio Abquilan, the proponent of the will, and Feliciana Abquilan, a sister, who is the opponent. The denial was based on the finding of the trial court that the document propounded as the will of the deceased is apocryphal, that the purported signatures of the deceased to the supposed will are forgeries, and that the instrument in question was not executed by the deceased. He therefore denied probate, and the proponent appealed. ISSUE: Whether or not the purported last will and testament was executed by the deceased. RULING: A clear preponderance of the evidence shows that on November 6, 1924, the date when the will purports to have been executed, the supposed testatrix was not in a condition such as to enable her to have participated in the act, she being in fact at that time suffering from paralysis to celebral hemorrhage in such degree as completely to discapacitate her for intelligent participation in the act of making a will. A careful comparison of the name of the testatrix as signed in two places to the Exhibit A, with many of her authentic signatures leads to the conclusion that the signatures to the supposed will were made by some other person. Furthermore, the combined testimony of Juan Serato and Alejandro Genito completely demonstrate in our opinion that no will at all was made on November 6, the date attributed to the questioned document, and that, instead an attempt was made on the night of that day to fabricate another will, which failed of completion because of the refusal of Alejandro Genito to be party to the making of a will in which the testatrix took no part. The instrument before us was undoubtedly fabricated later, probably on November 7, at a time when the condition of the deceased was such as to make rational participation on her part in the act of making a will impossible.

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CATALINA BUGNAO, proponent-appellee, -versusFRANCISCO UBAG, ET AL., contestants-appellants. G.R. NO. 4445 CARSON, J.: FACTS: The court admitted to probate a document purporting to be the last will and testament of Domingo Ubag, deceased. The instrument was propounded by his widow, Catalina Bugnao, the sole beneficiary thereunder, and probate was contested by the appellants, who are brothers and sisters of the deceased, and who would be entitled to share in the distribution of his estate, if probate were denied, as it appears that the deceased left no heirs in the direct ascending or descending line. The appellants alleged that the evidence of record is not sufficient to establish the execution of the alleged will in the manner and form prescribed in section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure; and that at the time when it is alleged that the will was executed, Ubag was not of sound mind and memory, and was physically and mentally incapable of making a will. ISSUES: Whether or not the deceased was of sound mind and memory at the time of the execution of his last will and testament. RULINGS: That the testator was mentally capable of making the will is in our opinion fully established by the testimony of the subscribing witnesses who swore positively that, at the time of its execution, he was of sound mind and memory. It is true that their testimony discloses the fact that he was at that time extremely ill, in an advanced stage of tuberculosis complicated with severe intermittent attacks of asthma; that he was too sick to rise unaided from his bed; that he needed assistance even to rise himself to a sitting position; and that during the paroxysms of asthma to which he was subject he could not speak; but all this evidence of physical weakness in no wise establishes his mental incapacity or a lack of testamentary capacity, and indeed the evidence of the subscribing witnesses as to the aid furnished them by the testator in preparing the will, and his clear recollection of the boundaries and physical description of the various parcels of land set out therein, taken together with the fact that he was able to give to the person who wrote the will clear and explicit instructions as to his desires touching the disposition of his property, is strong evidence of his testamentary capacity. 169 | P a g e 18 SEPTEMBER 1909

But when it is considered that the deceased at the time of his death had no heir in the ascending or ascending line; that a bitter family quarrel had separated him from his brothers and sisters, who declined to have any relations with the testator because he and his wife were adherents of the Aglipayano church; and that this quarrel was so bitter that none of his brothers or sisters, although some of them lived in the vicinity, were present at the time of his death or attended his funeral; we think the fact that the deceased desired to leave and did leave all of his property to his widow and made no provision for his brothers and sisters, who themselves are grown men and women, by no means tends to disclose either an unsound mind or the presence of undue influence on the part of his wife, or in anywise corroborates contestants allegation that the will never was executed.

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MANUEL TORRES, petitioner-appellant and LUZ LOPEZ DE BUENO, appellant, vs. MARGARITA LOPEZ, opponent-appellee. G.R. No. L-24569 MALCOLM, J.: FACTS: On January 3,1924, the testator Thomas Rodriquez, who was 76 years of age and was in feeble health for a long time, made his will where he made his cousin Vicente Lopez and his daughter Luz Lopez de Bueno as the only and universal heir of his properties. The probate of the will was opposed by Margarita Lopez, cousin and nearest relative of the deceased. The ground cited for the opposition was that the testator lacked mental capacity, she claimed that at time of the execution of the supposed will, the deceased was suffering from senile dementia and was under guardianship. ISSUE: Whether or not the testator was mentally capacitated during the execution of the will. RULING: The deceased testator had mental capacity to make his will during its execution. The Supreme Court held that at the time of the making of the will, the testator may be of old age, may have been physically decrepit, may have been week of intellect, have suffered a loss of memory, had a guardian over his person and property and may have been eccentric, but he still possessed that spark of reason and of life, that strength of mind to form a fixed intention, and to summon his enfeebled thoughts to enforce that intention which the law terms testamentary capacity. 26 February 1926

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In re will of the late Matea Abella. MONS. SANTIAGO SANCHO, applicant-appellee, vs. MARCIANA ABELLA, opponent-appellant. G.R. No. L-39033 VILLA-REAL, J.: FACTS: Testatrix Matea Abella of Sinait, Ilocos Sur, went to San Fernando, La Union accompanied by her niece, to consult a physician. While in San Fernando, she stayed in a convent under the charge of Father Cordero. After two consultations with the physician, it was found out that Matea was suffering from dyspepsia and cancer of the stomach. Thereafter, Matea talked to Atty. Reinoso to whom she expressed her desire to make a will. She was then interviewed by the lawyer twice on separate days in the presence of four persons at the convent where she was staying. During the interview, the testatrix even directed her niece to bring her the documents in her trunk which she delivered to Atty. Reinoso. After the will has been drafted in Ilocano, Macario Calug, one of of the witnesses, read the same to her and she approved. The will was then copied clean and was again read to her and she expresses her approval thereof but inasmuch as it was rather late at night, she did not care to sign the same suggesting that it be postponed to the following day, April 29, 1932, which was done in the presence of each and every one of the instrumental witnesses thereto and of other persons, including Father Cordero. After the signing, Atty. Reinoso delivered the original copies of the will to the testatrix. On July 3,1932, Matea died of senile debility at the age of 88 years. Thereafter, a petition for probate of Mateas will was filed. The petition was opposed by Marciana Abella, one of the grounds cited was that the testator lacked testamentary capacity since the she was 88 years old and was suffering from senile debility at the time she executed her will. The probate court admitted the will to probate. ISSUE: WON Matea Abella possessed the mental capacity at the time she executed her will. RULING: The Supreme Court believed that based on the circumstances surrounding the execution of the will of the deceased showed that the testatrix was not so physically weak, nor so blind, nor so deaf, nor so lacking in intelligence that she could not, with full understanding 172 | P a g e 13 November 1933

thereof, dispose of her properties and make a will. Neither senile debility, nor blindness, nor deafness, nor poor memory is by itself sufficient to incapacitate a person from making his will. The mere fact that in her will Matea Abella disposed of properties, which she had already donated to other persons at a prior date, is not an indication of mental insanity. At most, it constitutes forgetfulness or a change of mind, due to ignorance of the irrevocability of certain donations. FRANCISCA ALSUA-BETTS, JOSEPH O. BETTS, JOSE MADARETA, ESTEBAN P. RAMIREZ, and THE REGISTER OF DEEDS FOR ALBAY PROVINCE, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, AMPARO ALSUA BUENVIAJE, FERNANDO BUENVIAJE, FERNANDO ALSUA, represented by his guardian, CLOTILDE S. ALSUA and PABLO ALSUA, respondents. G.R. Nos. L-46430-31 July 30, 1979 GUERRERO, J.: FACTS: On 1949, Don Jesus Alsua and his wife, Dona Florentina Ralla, together with all their children entered into a duly notarized agreement over the then present and existing properties of the spouses. On 1955, the spouses separately executed their respective holographic wills, the provisions of which were in conformity and in implementation of the extrajudicial partition of November, 1949. Their holographic wills similarly provided for the institution of the other to his or her share in the conjugal properties, the other half already to be partitioned as part of the legitime of the four living children. On 1959, Dona Florentina died. About 2 weeks after the death of his wife, Don Jesus executed a new will, thereby revoking and canceling his previous holographic will which he made on 1955 and also its codicil. On 1962, Don Jesus died. Petitioner herein Alsua-Betts, as the executrix named in the will filed a petition for the probate of said new will of Don Jesus Alsua. Oppositions thereto were filed by his children. ISSUE: Whether or not the questioned will was executed in accordance with the requisites prescribed by law pertaining to the soundness of mind of the testator during execution of his will. RULING: Don Jesus was of sound mind at the time of the execution of his will. Between the highest degree of soundness of mind and memory which unquestionably carries with it full testamentary capacity, and that degrees of mental aberration generally known as insanity or idiocy, there are numberless degrees of mental capacity and incapacity and while on one hand it has been held that mere weakness of mind, or imbecility from disease of body, or from age, will not render a person from making a will, provided he has understanding and memory sufficient to 173 | P a g e

enable him to know what he is about to do and how and to whom he is disposing his property. To constitute a sound and disposing mind, it is not necessary that the mind be unbroken or unimpaired or unshattered by disease or otherwise. It has been held that testamentary incapacity does not necessarily require that a person shall actually be insane or of unsound mind.

IN THE MATTER OF THE TESTATE ESTATE OF MARIE GARNIER GARREAU. LIRIO PFANNENSCHMIDT RAMIREZ VS. JOSE MA. RAMIREZ G.R. No. L-19910 31 May 1971

FACTS: The testatrix, Maria Garniea Garreau, widow of Ramon Ramirez, was a native of France but a Filipino citizen residing in Spain where she died, childless and 84 years old. She executed before a notary public in Madrid, an open will, instituting her niece Lirio Pfannenschmidt, as her sole and universal heir. Lirion is one of the four children of Jose Ramirez, brother of the testatrix husband Ramon. The probate of the will was opposed by Jose Maria Ramirez, the nephew of Marias husband, being the son of the half brother of Ramon. The Trial Court denied the probate based on the number of letters written by Lirio in which she used quite strong terms to describe the mental infirmity of the testatrix. ISSUE: Whether or not the testatrix had testamentary capacity during the execution of her last will and testament. RULING: The testatrix lack of testamentary capacity was sufficiently shown by the following: (1) although present at her husbands death in 1956 and saw his body before burial, after such burial. She went to her room and upon seeing his bed no longer there, she came out crying asking where her husband was and saying she was going to look for him; (2) She was easily susceptible to any suggestion from others, particularly those close to her, and after doing what she was told would promptly forget all about it; (3) Her lack of memory for certain events and lack of understanding and volition; and (4) That as early 1955, she was already suffering from pre-senile dementia, a degenerative mental infirmity that was a progressive and irreversible process, which condition was described by Lirio herself in her various letters duly admitted in evidence. The cumulative effect of these leads to the definite conclusion that the testatrix was indeed mentally incapacitated to make a will, that is, to know the nature of her estate to be disposed of, the proper objects of her bounty, and the character of the testamentary act.

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THE HEIRS OF THE LATE MATILDE MONTINOLA-SANSON, petitioners, versus. COURT OF APPEALS and EDUARDO F. HERNANDEZ, respondents. G. R. No. 76648, 26 February 1988 GANCAYCO, J.: FACTS: A petition was filed by private respondent Atty. Eduardo F. Hernandez on April 22, 1981 seeking the probate of the holographic will of the late Herminia Montinola executed on January 28, 1980. The testatrix, who died single, parentless and childless on March 29, 1981 at the age of 70 years, devised in this will several of her real properties to specified persons. On April 29, 1981, private respondent who was named executor in the will filed an urgent motion for appointment of special administrator. With the conformity of all the relatives and heirs of the testatrix except oppositor, the court appointed private respondent as Special Administrator of the testate estate of deceased. On June 29, 1981, Matilde Montinola Sanson (petitioner), the only surviving sister of the deceased but who was not named in the said will, filed her Opposition to Probate of Will, 7 alleging inter alia: that the subject will was not entirely written, dated and signed by the testatrix herself and the same was falsely dated or antedated; that the testatrix was not in full possession of her mental faculties to make testamentary dispositions; that undue influence was exerted upon the person and mind of the testatrix by the beneficiaries named in the will; and that the will failed to institute a residual heir to the remainder of the estate. The court admitted the will to probate. ISSUE:Whether or not the testator was of sound mind at the time of the execution of her last will and testament HELD: Yes. The fact that in her holographic will, testatrix disposed of only eleven (11) of her real properties does not invalidate the will, or is it an indication that the testatrix was of unsound mind. The portion of the estate undisposed of shall pass on to the heirs of the deceased in intestate successor. 175 | P a g e

Neither is undue influence present just because blood relatives, other than compulsory heirs have been omitted, for while blood ties are strong in the Philippines, it is the testator's right to disregard non-compulsory heirs. The fact that some heirs are more favored than others is proof of neither fraud or undue influence. Diversity of apportionment is the usual reason for making a testament, otherwise, the decedent might as well die intestate. The exercise of improper pressure and undue influence must be supported by substantial evidence that it was actually exercised. Finally, the Supreme Court quoted with approval the observation of the respondent court- There is likewise no question as to the due execution of the subject Will. The most authentic proof that deceased had testamentary capacity at the time of the execution of the Will, is the Will itself which according to a report of one of the two expert witnesses reveals the existence of significant handwriting characteristics such as spontaneity, freedom and good line quality could not be achieved by the testatrix if it was true that she was indeed of unsound mind/or under undue influence or improper pressure when she executed the Will.

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Re: Forms of Wills In re will of Ana Abangan. GERTRUDIS ABANGAN, executrix-appellee, vs. ANASTACIA ABANGAN, ET AL., opponents-appellants. GR. No. 13431, 12 November 1919 AVANCEA, J.: FACTS: The will of Ana Abangan executed on July, 1916 was duly probated. The opponents appealed. The document consists of two (2) sheets, the first of which contains all of the disposition of the testatrix, duly signed at the bottom by Martin Montalban (in the name and under the direction of the testatrix) and by three witnesses. The following sheet contains only the attestation clause duly signed at the bottom by the three instrumental witnesses. Neither of these sheets is signed on the left margin by the testatrix and the three witnesses, nor numbered by letters; and these omissions, according to appellants contention, are defects whereby the probate of the will should have been denied. Further, appellants alleged records do not show that the testatrix knew the dialect which the will is written. Said document, duly probated as Ana Abangan's will, consists of two sheets, the first of which contains all of the disposition of the testatrix, duly signed at the bottom by Martin Montalban (in the name and under the direction of the testatrix) and by three witnesses. The following sheet contains only the attestation clause duly signed at the bottom by the three instrumental witnesses. Neither of these sheets is signed on the left margin by the testatrix and the three witnesses, nor numbered by letters; and these omissions, according to appellants' contention, are defects whereby the probate of the will should have been denied. We are of the opinion that the will was duly admitted to probate. ISSUE: Whether or not the will was executed in accordance with the formal requisites prescribed by law HELD: YES. In requiring that each and every page of the will should also be signed on the left margin by the testator and three witnesses in the presence of each other, Act no. 2645 (which is the one applicable in the case) evidently has for its object (referring to the body of the will itself) 177 | P a g e

to avoid the substitution of any of said sheets, thereby changing the testators disposition. But when these dispositions are wholly written on only one sheet signed at the bottom by the testator and three witnesses (as the instant case), their signatures on the left margin on the left margin of said sheet would be completely purposeless. In requiring this signature on the margin, the statute took into consideration, undoubtedly, the case of a will written on several sheets and must have referred to the sheets which the testator and the witnesses do not have to sign at the bottom. In requiring that each and every page of a will must be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of the sheet, it is likewise clear that the object of Act No. 2645 is to know whether any sheet of the will has been removed. But when all the dispositive parts of a will are written on one sheet only, the object of the statute disappears because the removal of this single sheet, although unnumbered, cannot be hidden. As to the allegation that the testatrix did not know the dialect in which the will is written, the circumstances appearing in the will itself that the same was executed in the city of Cebu, and the dialect in the locality where the testatrix was a neighbor is enough, in the absence of any proof to the contrary, to presume that she knew this dialect in which the will is written. Synthesizing our opinion, we hold that in a will consisting of two sheets the first of which contains all the testamentary dispositions and is signed at the bottom by the testator and three witnesses and the second contains only the attestation clause and is signed also at the bottom by the three witnesses, it is not necessary that both sheets be further signed on their margins by the testator and the witnesses, or be paged. The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close the door against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and testaments and to guaranty their truth and authenticity. Therefore the laws on this subject should be interpreted in such a way as to attain these primordal ends. But, on the other hand, also one must not lose sight of the fact that it is not the object of the law to restrain and curtail the exercise of the right to make a will. So when an interpretation already given assures such ends, any other interpretation whatsoever, that adds nothing but demands more requisites entirely unnecessary, useless and frustrative of the testator's last will, must be disregarded.

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In re estate of Piraso, deceased. SIXTO ACOP, petitioner-appellant, vs. SALMING PIRASO, ET AL., opponents-appellees. G.R. No. L-28946, January 16, 1929 ROMUALDEZ, J.: FACTS: This appeal was taken from the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Benguet, denying the probate of the last will and testament of the deceased Piraso. The will was written in English which the supposed testator Piraso did not know thus the proponent-appellant contends that the will is not valid for it was not written in a dialect understood by the testator. The proponent-appellant further contends that the will should have been in the Ilocano dialect, the dialect that is known to the testator. The proponent-appellant assigns the following as alleged errors of the lower court: 1. In holding that in order to be valid the will in question should have been drawn up in the Ilocano dialect. 2. In not holding that the testator Piraso did not know the Ilocano dialect well enough to understand a will drawn up in said dialect. 3. In refusing to admit the will in question to probate. The fundamental errors assigned refer chiefly to the part of the judgment which reads as follows: The evidence shows that Piraso knew how to speak the Ilocano dialect, although imperfectly, and could make himself understood in that dialect, and the court is of the opinion that his will should have been written in that dialect. ISSUE: Whether or not the will herein is valid HELD: NO. The fact that the will was written in English which the supposed testator Piraso did not know, is sufficient to invalidate said will according to the clear and positive provisions of the law, and inevitably prevents its probate. Section 628 of the Code of Civil Procedure, strictly provides that: "No will, except as provides in the preceding section" (as to wills executed by a Spaniard or a resident of the Philippine Islands, before the present Code of Civil Procedure went into

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effect), "shall be valid to pass any estate, real or personal, nor charge or affect the same, unless it be written in the language or dialect known by the testator," etc. Moreover, the presumption in favor of the will established by this court in Abangan vs. Abangan (40 Phil., 476), to the effect that the testator is presumed to know the dialect of the locality where he resides, unless there is proof to the contrary, can not be applied in this case because, in the instant case, not only is it not proven that English is the language of the City of Baguio where the deceased Piraso lived and where the will was drawn, but that the record contains positive proof that said Piraso knew no other language than the Igorot dialect, with a smattering of Ilocano.

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PRIMITIVO GONZALEZ Y LAUREL, applicant-appellee, vs. JOVITA LAUREL Y TAPIA, opponent-appellant. G.R. No. L-19079, January 15, 1923 ROMUALDEZ, J.: FACTS: The Court of First Instance of Batangas allowed the probate of the last will and testament of the deceased Maria Tapia. Jovita Laurel now appeals to this court from that ruling of the court below, alleging, among others, that court erred: 1. In holding that the supposed will of the deceased Maria Tapia was executed with the solemnities prescribed by the law, notwithstanding that there was no proof of the dialect known by the said deceased; 2. In not holding that the signatures of Maria Tapia appearing in the will had been obtained through deceit, surprise, fraud, and in an illegal and improper manner ISSUE: Whether or not the will is valid for being written in a dialect not known to the testator. Whether or not the testatrix acted voluntarily and with full knowledge in executing and signing the will HELD: YES. The deceased Maria Tapia was a resident of the Province of Batangas, a Tagalog region, where said deceased had real properties for several years. She requested Modesto Castillo to draw her will in Tagalog. From the record taken as a whole, a presumption arises that said Maria Tapia knew the Tagalog dialect, which presumption is now conclusive for not having been overthrown nor rebutted. YES. With respect to the second issue, the preponderance of evidence established that the will was executed and signed by Maria Tapia voluntarily and with full knowledge, without fraud, deceit, surprise, or undue influence or machinations of anybody, she being then mentally capacitated and free.

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Suroza v. Honrado A.M. No. 2026-CFI, December 19, 1981 FACTS: Mauro Suroza and his wife Marcelina Salvador reared a boy named Agapito who used the surname Suroza. Agapito got married to Nenita and begot a child named Lilia. Agapito became disabled and his wife Nenita was appointed as his guardian when he was declared an incompetent. Meanwhile, a couple entrusted their child Marilyn to Arsenia de la Cruz (apparently a girl friend of Agapito). The child was later delivered to Marcelina Suroza who brought her up as a supposed daughter of Agapito and as her granddaughter. She stayed with Marcelina but was not legally adopted by Agapito. Marcelina supposedly executed a notarial will when she was 73 years old. That will which is in English was thumbmarked by her. She was illiterate. In that will, Marcelina bequeathed all her estate to her supposed granddaughter Marilyn. Upon learning of the existence of a testamentary proceeding for the settlement of Marcelina's estate, Nenita and the other occupants of the decedent's house filed a motion to set aside the order ejecting them. They alleged that the decedent's son Agapito was the sole heir of the deceased, that he has a daughter named Lilia, that Nenita was Agapito's guardian and that Marilyn was not Agapito's daughter nor the decedent's granddaughter. In spite of the fact that Judge Honrado was already apprised that persons, other than Marilyn, were claiming Marcelina's estate, he issued an order probating her supposed will wherein Marilyn was the instituted heiress. In a motion for the consolidation of all pending incidents, Nenita V. Suroza reiterated her contention that the alleged will is void because Marcelina did not appear before the notary and because it is written in English which is not known to her. Judge Honrado in his order of June 8, 1976 "denied" the various incidents "raised" by Nenita. ISSUE: Should disciplinary action be taken against respondent judge for having admitted to probate a will, which on its face is void because it is written in English, a language not known to the illiterate testatrix, and which is probably a forged will because she and the attesting witnesses did not appear before the notary as admitted by the notary himself? HELD: Yes. In this case, respondent judge, on perusing the will and noting that it was written in English and was thumbmarked by an obviously illiterate testatrix, could have readily perceived that the will is void. In the opening paragraph of the will, it was stated that English was a language "understood and known" to the testatrix. But in its concluding paragraph, it was stated that the will was read to the testatrix "and translated into Filipino language". That could only mean that the will was written in a language not known to the illiterate testatrix and, therefore, it is void because of the mandatory provision of article 804 of the Civil Code that every will must be executed in a language or dialect known to the testator. 182 | P a g e

Had respondent judge been careful and observant, he could have noted not only the anomaly as to the language of the will but also that there was something wrong in instituting the supposed granddaughter as sole heiress and giving nothing at all to her supposed father who was still alive. Furthermore, after the hearing conducted by respondent deputy clerk of court, respondent judge could have noticed that the notary was not presented as a witness. In spite of the absence of an opposition, respondent judge should have personally conducted the hearing on the probate of the will so that he could have ascertained whether the will was validly executed. Under the circumstances, we find his negligence and dereliction of duty to be inexcusable.

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Re: Requirement for Validity of Wills GREGORIO MACAPINLAC, petitioner-appellee, vs. MARIANO ALIMURONG, opponent-appellant. G.R. No. L-5149, March 22, 1910 ARELLANO, C. J.: FACTS: Simplicia de los Santos, who was sick but in full possession of all her faculties, executed her will. A rough copy of the said will was made up and when it was read to the testatrix, the latter ordered an additional clause to be added thereto, in connection with a legacy that she desired to make in favor of some of her old servants who and rendered good service. After the rough copy was amended by the additional clause, a clear copy thereof was made up and was again read to the testatrix, who approved it in all of its parts, and as she was unable to sign, she requested Amando de Ocampo to sign for her and the latter wrote the following words with his own hand. "At the request of the testatrix D.a Simplicia de los Santos, I signed Amando de Ocampo." Immediately afterwards and also in the presence of the same testatrix and of each other, the witnesses Jose Juico, Gabino Panopio, Eusebio dayao, Juan Angeles, Jose Torres, Alejo San Pedro, and Gregorio Sangil signed at the bottom of the will. The day after the execution of such will, the testatrix died. ISSUE: Whether or not the form of signing for the testatrix "At the request of the testatrix Da. Simplicio de los Santos, I signed: Amando de Ocampo," is in accordance with the requirements of the law. Whether or not the posterior insertion of the words 'For Simplicia de los Santos' affected the validity of the will. HELD: NO. It is shown by the evidence that the will was wholly written in the handwriting of the subscribing witness, Gregorio Sangil, and at the foot thereof the following words appear in a new paragraph and sufficiently apart: At the request of the testatrix, Da. Simplicia de los Santos, I signed. For Simplicia de los Santos. Amando de Ocampo.

Although the said words "For Simplicia de los Santos" was inserted subsequently, in the Courts opinion, the signature for the testatrix as if she signed the will, and also the signature of the witness who, at her request, wrote the name of the testatrix and signed for her, affirming the truth 184 | P a g e

of this fact, attested by the other witnesses then present. And this fully complies with the provisions of section 618 of the Act. And, as a question of law, it is claimed that the form of signing for the testatrix "At the request of the testatrix Da. Simplicio de los Santos, I signed: Amando de Ocampo," is not in accordance with the requirements of the law. Regarding the first question, the trial court concluded that "the posterior insertion of the words 'For Simplicia de los Santos' can not affect the validity of the will." Therefore, it can be considered as nonexistent, and the other as the only fore of signature by the testatrix, the authenticity of which has not been impugned or which the trial court admits as conclusive, and is only one taken into account in its findings of fact. Although the said words "For Simplicia de los Santos" be considered as inserted subsequently, which we neither affirm nor deny, because a specific determination either way is unnecessary, in our opinion the signature for the testatrix as if she signed the will, and also the signature of the witness who, at her request, wrote the name of the testatrix and signed for her, affirming the truth of this fact, attested by the other witnesses then present. And this fully complies with the provisions of section 618 of the Act.

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TOMAS GUISON, Petitioner-Appellant , vs. MARIA CONCEPCION, Respondent-Appellee. G.R. No. 2586, January 19, 1906 WILLARD, J.: FACTS: Jacoba Concepcion Salcedo made her will in Manila, on January 3, 1904. The last part of the will is as follows: Asi lo otorgo ante los testigosSeoresAmbrosio Reyes, Mariano de Leon y Felix Polintan, de Manila, Islas Filipinas, y por no yopoderfirmar, firma a mi ruego el mismo Feliciano Maglaqui, en mi presencia y de los mencionadostestigos, quienestambiensuscriben, cadauno de ellos en presencia de los otros y la mia. (Firmado) FELICIANO MAGLAQUI. (Firmado) AMBROSIO REYES. (Firmado) MARIANO DE LEON. (Firmado) FELIX POLINTAN. NosotrosAmbrosio Reyes, Mariano de Leon y Felix Polintan, atestiguamosque Feliciano Maglaqui, a ruego de la Sra. Jacoba Concepcion Salcedo y en presencia de la misma y la nuestra, firmo el testamentoque antecede; y quecadauno de nosotros lo firmo en presencia de los otros y de dichatestadora. Manila, tres de Enero de mil novecientoscuatro. (Firmado) AMBROSIO REYES. (Firmado) MARIANO DE LEON. (Firmado) FELIX POLINTAN. Jacoba Concepcion Salcedo made her will. The witness Feliciano Maglaqui, instead of writing the name of the testatrix on the will, wrote his own. Probate of the will was refused in the court below on the ground that the name of the testatrix was not signed thereto, and the petitioner has appealed. ISSUE: Whether or not the will is valid HELD: No. The will is not valid for failure of the person who was supposed to sign the will for the testator, to indicate the name of the testator on behalf of whom he was signing.

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The judgment of the court below refusing the probate of the will is affirmed and after the expiration of twenty days judgment should be entered in accordance herewith and the case remanded to the court below for execution. It will be seen that the witness Feliciano Maglaqui, instead of writing the name of the testatrix on the will, wrote his own. Probate of the will was refused in the court below on the ground that the name of the testatrix was not signed thereto, and the petitioner has appealed.

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MARIANO LEAO, petitioner-appellant, vs. ARCADIO LEAO, objector-appellee.. G.R. No. L-9150, March 31, 1915 CARSON, J.: FACTS: Cristina Valdes, testator, placed a cross opposite her name in the will. The said placing of the cross by the testator was done in the presence of three witnesses whose names are attached to the attesting clause, and they attested and subscribed the instrument in her presence and in the presence of each other. When the will was filed for probate, the trial judge declined to admit the instrument to probate. ISSUE: Whether or not the placing of the cross opposite testators name at the construction of the instrument was a sufficient compliance with the requirements of section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure HELD: Yes. The Court is of the opinion that the placing of the cross opposite her name at the construction of the instrument was a sufficient compliance with the requirements of section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which prescribes that except where wills are signed by some other person than the testator in the manner and from herein indicated, a valid will must be signed by the testator. The right of a testator to sign his will by mark, executed animo testandi has been uniformly sustained by the courts of last resort of the United States in construing statutory provisions prescribing the mode of execution of wills in language identical with, or substantially similar to that found in section 618 of our code, which was taken from section 2349 of the Code of Vermont. The judgment entered in the court below should therefore be reversed and the record remanded to the court below, where judgment will be entered admitting the instrument in question to probate in accordance with the prayer of the petitioner.

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FREDERICK E. MOREY, plaintiff-appellee, vs. LAO LAYCO, ET AL., defendants-appellants. G.R. No. L-4067. November 29, 1951 WILLARD, J.: FACTS: The will of Antero Mercado is written in the Ilocano dialect and contains the following attestation clause: The will appears to have been signed by Atty. Florentino Javier who wrote the name of Antero Mercado, followed below by "A reugo del testator" and the name of Florentino Javier. Antero Mercado is alleged to have written a cross immediately after his name. The Court of Appeals ruled that the attestation clause failed (1) to certify that the will was signed on all the left margins of the three pages and at the end of the will by Atty. Florentino Javier at the express request of the testator in the presence of the testator and each and every one of the witnesses; (2) to certify that after the signing of the name of the testator by Atty. Javier at the former's request said testator has written a cross at the end of his name and on the left margin of the three pages of which the will consists and at the end thereof; (3) to certify that the three witnesses signed the will in all the pages thereon in the presence of the testator and of each other. The herein petitioner argues, however, that there is no need for such recital because the cross written by the testator after his name is a sufficient signature and the signature of Atty. Florentino Javier is a surplusage. ISSUE: Whether or not the attestation clause is defective HELD: YES. The attestation clause is fatally defective for failing to state that Antero Mercado caused Atty. Florentino Javier to write the testator's name under his express direction, as required by section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure Petitioner's theory is that the cross is as much a signature as a thumbmark, the latter having been held sufficient by this Court in previous cases such as De Gala vs. Gonzales and Ona, 53 Phil., 104. The cross appearing on the will is the usual signature of Antero Mercado. After mature reflection, the Court is not prepared to liken the mere sign of the cross to a thumbmark because the cross cannot and does not have the trustworthiness of a thumbmark. What has been said makes it unnecessary for the Court to determine there is a sufficient recital in the attestation clause as to the signing of the will by the testator in the presence of the witnesses, and by the latter in the presence of the testator and of each other. 189 | P a g e

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YAP TUA, petitioner-appellee, vs. YAP CA KUAN and YAP CA KUAN, objectors-appellants. G.R. No. 6845, September 1, 1914 JOHNSON, J.: FACTS: Perfecto Gabriel, representing the petitioner, Yap Tua, presented a petition for the probate of the will of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong. Accompanying said petition and attached thereto was the alleged will of the deceased. It appears that the will was signed by the deceased, as well as Anselmo Zacarias, Severo Tabora, and Timoteo Paez. When called to testify, Severo Tabora testified among others, that he was not sure that he had seen Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong sign the will because there were many people and there was a screen at the door and he could not see; that he was called a witness to sign the second will and was told by the people there that it was the same as the first; that the will was on a table, far from the patient, in the house but outside the room where the patient was; that the will was signed by Paez and himself; that Anselmo Zacarias was there; that he was not sure whether Anselmo Zacarias signed the will or not; that he was not sure whether Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong could see the table on which the will was written at the time it was signed or not; that there were many people in the house; that he remembered the names of Pedro and Lorenzo; that he could not remember the names of any others; that the will remained on the table after he signed it; that after he signed the will he went to the room where Tomasa was lying; that the will was left on the table outside; that Tomasa was very ill; that he heard the people asking Tomasa to sign the will after he had signed it; that he saw Paez sign the will, that he could not remember whether Anselmo Zacarias had signed the will, because immediately after he and Paez signed it, he left because he was hungry; that the place where the table was located was in the same house, on the floor, about two steps down from the floor on which Tomasa was. During the trial, the protestants made a strong effort to show that Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong did not sign her name in the presence of the witnesses and that they did not sign their names in their presence nor in the presence of each other. ISSUE: Whether or not the will was signed by the testator and the witnesses in the presence of one another HELD: YES. A plan of the room or rooms in which the will was signed was presented as proof and it was shown that there was but one room; that one part of the room was one or two steps below the floor of the other; that the table on which the witnesses signed the will was located upon the lower floor of the room. It was also shown that from the bed in which Tomasa was lying, it was possible for her to see the table on which the witnesses signed the will. While the rule is absolute that one who makes a will must sign the same in the presence of the witnesses 191 | P a g e

and that the witnesses must sign in the presence of each other, as well as in the presence of the one making the will, yet, nevertheless, the actual seeing of the signatures made is not necessary. It is sufficient if the signatures are made where it is possible for each of the necessary parties, if they desire to see, may see the signatures placed upon the will. During the trial of the cause the protestants made a strong effort to show that Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong did not sign her name in the presence of the witnesses and that they did not sign their names in their presence nor in the presence of each other. Upon that question there is considerable conflict of proof. An effort was made to show that the will was signed by the witnesses in one room and by Tomasa in another. A plan of the room or rooms in which the will was signed was presented as proof and it was shown that there was but one room; that one part of the room was one or two steps below the floor of the other; that the table on which the witnesses signed the will was located upon the lower floor of the room. It was also shown that from the bed in which Tomasa was lying, it was possible for her to see the table on which the witnesses signed the will. While the rule is absolute that one who makes a will must sign the same in the presence of the witnesses and that the witnesses must sign in the presence of each other, as well as in the presence of the one making the will, yet, nevertheless, the actual seeing of the signatures made is not necessary. It is sufficient if the signatures are made where it is possible for each of the necessary parties, if they desire to see, may see the signatures placed upon the will. In cases like the present where there is so much conflict in the proof, it is very difficult for the courts to reach conclusions that are absolutely free from doubt. Great weight must be given by appellate courts who do not see or hear the witnesses, to the conclusions of the trial courts who had that opportunity. Upon a full consideration of the record, we find that a preponderance of the proof shows that Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong did execute, freely and voluntarily, while she was in the right use of all her faculties, the will dated August 11, 1909.

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SERAPIA DE GALA, petitioner-appellant, versus. APOLINARIO GONZALES and SINFOROSO ONA, opponents-appellants. G.R. No. L-30289, March 26, 1929 OSTRAND, J.: FACTS: Severina Gonzales executed a will in which Serapia de Gala, her niece was designated executrix. When Serapia presented the will for probate, Apolinario Gonzales, a nephew of the deceased, filed an opposition to the will on the ground that it had not been executed in conformity with the provisions of section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Serapia was appointed special administratrix of the estate of the deceased. Sinforoso filed a motion asking the appointment of Serapia de Gala as special administratrix be cancelled and that he, Sinforoso, be appointed in her stead. The motion was opposed by both Apolinario Gonzales and by Serapia de Gala, but it was nevertheless granted, Serapia was removed, and Sinforoso was appointed special administrator in her place, principally on the ground that he had possession of the property in question and that his appointment would simplify the proceedings. The appellants Sinforoso Ona and Apolinario Gonzales argue that the will in question was not executed in the form prescribed by section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure as amended by Act No. 2645. The appeal raised the following: (1) that the person requested to sign the name of the testatrix signed only the latter's name and not her own; (2) that the attestation clause does not mention the placing of the thumb-mark of the testatrix in the will; and (3) that the fact that the will had been signed in the presence of the witnesses was not stated in the attestation clause but only in the last paragraph of the body of the will. ISSUE: Whether or not the will was executed in accordance with the form required by law HELD: YES. When the law says that the will shall be 'signed' by the testator, the law is fulfilled not only by the customary written signature but by the testators thumb-mark. The construction put upon the word 'signed' by most courts is the original meaning of a signum or sign, rather than the derivative meaning of a sign manual or handwriting. A statute requiring a will to be 'signed' is satisfied if the signature is made by the testator's mark. In this case, the testatrixs thumb-mark appears in the center of her name as written by Serapia de Gala on all of the pages of the will. It is not mentioned in the attestation clause that the testatrix signed by thumb-mark, but it does there appear that the signature was affixed in the presence of the witnesses, and the form of the signature is sufficiently described and explained in the last clause of the body of the will. 193 | P a g e

The contention of the appellants Sinforoso Ona and Apolinario Gonzales that the fact that the will had been signed in the presence of the witnesses was not stated in the attestation clause is without merit; the fact is expressly stated in that clause.

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TEODORO CANEDA, LORENZA CANEDA, TERESA CANEDA, JUAN CABALLERO, AUREA CABALLERO, OSCAR LAROSA, HELEN CABALLERO, SANTOS CABALLERO, PABLO CABALLERO, VICTOR RAGA, MAURICIA RAGA, QUIRICA RAGA, RUPERTO ABAPO, represented herein by his Attorney-in-Fact, ARMSTICIA * ABAPO VELANO, and CONSESO CANEDA, represented herein by his heirs, JESUS CANEDA, NATIVIDAD CANEDA and ARTURO CANEDA, petitioners, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and WILLIAM CABRERA, as Special Administrator of the Estate of Mateo Caballero, respondents. G.R. No. 103554, May 28, 1993 REGALADO, J.: FACTS: Mateo Caballero, a widower without any children and already in the twilight years of his life, executed a last will and testament before three attesting witnesses, namely, Cipriano Labuca, Gregorio Cabando and Flaviano Toregosa. It was declared therein, among other things, that the testator was leaving by way of legacies and devises his real and personal properties to Presentacion Gaviola, Angel Abatayo, Rogelio Abatayo, Isabelito Abatayo, Benoni G. Cabrera and Marcosa Alcantara, all of whom do not appear to be related to the testator. The petitioners contend that the attestation clause, in contravention of the express requirements of the third paragraph of Article 805 of the Civil Code for attestation clauses, fails to specifically state the fact that the the testator signed the will and all its pages in the presence of the witnesses and that they, the witnesses, likewise signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of each other. ISSUE: Whether or not the attestation clause contained in the last will and testament of the late Mateo Caballero complies with the requirements of Article 805, in relation to Article 809, of the Civil Code HELD: YES. Article 805 provides that the attestation clause should state (1) the number of the pages used upon which the will is written; (2) that the testator signed, or expressly caused another to sign, the will and every page thereof in the presence of the attesting witnesses; and (3) that the attesting witnesses witnessed the signing by the testator of the will and all its pages, and that said witnesses also signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. Failure to state the said facts shall invalidate the will. In the present case, the attestation clause, while it recites that the testator indeed signed the will and all its pages in the presence of the three attesting witnesses and states as well the number of pages that were used, the same does not expressly state therein the circumstance that said witnesses subscribed their respective signatures to the will in the presence of the testator and of each other. 195 | P a g e

Under Article 809, the defects and imperfections of a will, with respect to the form of the attestation or the language employed therein, would not render a will invalid should it be proved that the will was really executed and attested in compliance with Article 805. The foregoing considerations do not apply where the attestation clause totally omits the fact that the attesting witnesses signed each and every page of the will in the presence of the testator and of each other. In such a situation, the defect is not only in the form or language of the attestation clause but the total absence of a specific element required by Article 805 to be specifically stated in the attestation clause of a will.

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In re the state of the deceased SOTERA BARRIENTOS. SAMUEL PERRY, petitioner, respondent-appellant, vs. VICENTE ELIO, petitioner, respondent-appellee. G.R. No. L-9089, January 5, 1915 ARAULLO, J.: FACTS: When Sotera Barrientos, the wife of Samuel Perry died, two documents were presented, each of which, according to those who respectively presented them, was the last will and testament of the said deceased. The first document was filed by Vicente Elio, son of Soteras first husband, and her brother-inlaw; and the second was filed by Samuel Perry, her surviving husband. The court held that the said two wills were true and authentic, but that the one executed on September 21, 1910, had been revoked by the one subsequently executed on August 26, 1912. He therefore denied the probate of the first, the one executed in favor of Samuel Perry, and ordered that the second will, in favor of the other petitioner, Vicente Elio, be probated as the last will and testament of the said Sotera Barrientos. ISSUE: Whether or not the second will contains the real intent of the testator HELD: NO. It is very doubtful whether the sick woman, in the condition in which she was, understood what Matayabas read to her, nor can the fact of having said "yes" be accepted as an absolute proof that she understood what was read, for, as the same witnesses testified, she made this same reply to all the questions that were then put to her, an answer which could be interpreted as being either approval and agreement in regard to those questions or indifference to all that was happening about her On the other hand it was Elio who, in his own house, in his presence and under his direction, after having shown to the testatrix the rough draft prepared by him, had Santos Matayabas make a clean copy of it and immediately after the document had been written invited the four witnesses and with them and Matayabas went to Sotera Barrientos' house. There Elio took a large if not a principal part in all that was done and in all that happened in the immediate vicinity of the patient. Account must also be taken of the fact that Elio was the only person to be benefited by the execution of the presented will, for, besides his appearing in that document as the sole devisee of all the property of the testatrix, the statement appears in one of its clauses, as being made by the testatrix, that her husband, Samuel Perry, had abandoned her in serious sickness a fact that was not proved and that she revoked and annulled the testamentary provisions previously made by her, which were no others than those contained in the document presented by this same Perry for probate as the will of the said deceased and in which she instituted him as her sole heir. There are, therefore, more than sufficient reasons for holding that the document 197 | P a g e

presented by Vicente Elio for probate as the will of Sotera Barrientos does not express her true and spontaneous desires.

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GERMAN JABONETA, plaintiff-appellant, vs. RICARDO GUSTILO, ET AL., defendants-appellees. G.R. No. 1641, January 19, 1906 CARSON, J.: FACTS: Probate was denied the last will and testament of Macario Jaboneta, deceased, because the lower court was of the opinion from the evidence adduced at the hearing that Julio Javellana, one of the witnesses, did not sign the will in the presence of Isabelo Jena, another of the witnesses, as required by the provisions of section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The testator, calling Julio Javellana, Aniceto Jalbuena, and Isabelo Jena as witnesses, executed his will. They were all together, and were in the room where Jaboneta was, and were present when he signed the document, Isabelo Jena signing afterwards as a witness, at his request, and in his presence and in the presence of the other two witnesses. Aniceto Jalbuena then signed as a witness in the presence of the testator, and in the presence of the other two persons who signed as witnesses. At that moment Isabelo Jena, being in a hurry to leave, took his hat and left the room. As he was leaving the house Julio Javellana took the pen in his hand and put himself in position to sign the will as a witness. ISSUE: Whether or not the will was signed in the presence of all the witnesses HELD: Yes. The fact that Jena was still in the room when he saw Javellana moving his hand and pen in the act of affixing his signature to the will, taken together with the testimony of the remaining witnesses which shows that Javellana did in fact there and then sign his name to the will, convinces us that the signature was affixed in the presence of Jena. The fact that Jena was in the act of leaving, and that his back was turned while a portion of the name of the witness was being written, is of no importance. He, with the other witnesses and the testator, had assembled for the purpose of executing the testament, and were together in the same room for that purpose, and at the moment when the witness Javellana signed the document he was actually and physically present and in such position with relation to Javellana that he could see everything which took place by merely casting his eyes in the proper direction, and without any physical obstruction to prevent his doing so, therefore we are of opinion that the document was in fact signed before he finally left the room.

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TRINIDAD NEYRA, plaintiff-appellant, versus. ENCARNACION NEYRA, defendant-appellee. C.A. No. 8075, March 25, 1946 DE JOYA, J.: FACTS: Severo Neyra died intestate leaving certain properties and two children, by his first marriage, named Encarnacion Neyra and Trinidad Neyra, and other children by his second marriage. After the death of Severo Neyra, the two sisters, Encarnacion Neyra and Trinidad Neyra, had serious misunderstandings, in connection with the properties left by their deceased father. Encarnacion Neyra, who had remained single, and who had no longer any ascendants, executed a will disposing of her properties in favor of the "Congregacion de Religiosas de la Virgen Maria" and her other relatives, making no provision in favor of her only sister of the whole blood, Trinidad Neyra. The two sisters got reconciled and executed a compromise agreement with respect to the properties left by their father. Furthermore, in her new will and testament, Encarnacion named Trinidad Neyra and Eustaquio Mendoza beneficiaries. ISSUE: Whether or not the will was signed by the testator in the presence of the attesting witnesses RULING: The court held that the said witnesses were present, at the time of the signing and execution of the agreement and will in question, in the sala, where the testatrix was lying on her bed. The true test is not whether they actually saw each other at the time of the signing of the documents, but whether they might have seen each other sign, had they chosen to do so; and the attesting witnesses actually saw it all in this case. Teodora and her principal witnesses are all interested parties, as they are children of legatees named in the first will but eliminated from the second will. Their testimony that there could have been no reconciliation between the two sisters, and that the thumb mark of testator was affixed to the documents embodying the agreement, while she was sleeping in their presence; and that her thumb mark was affixed to the will in question, when she was already dead within their view, is absolutely devoid of any semblance of truth. Said testimony is contrary to common sense. It violates all sense of proportion.

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It having been shown that the said compromise or agreement had been legally signed and executed by Encarnacion Neyra on November 3, 1942, in the presence of credible and trustworthy witnesses, and that she was compos mentis and possessed the necessary testamentary and mental capacity of the time; the petition for the reconsideration filed by Atty. Lucio Javillonar, on November 23, 1942, on behalf of a client, Encarnacion Neyra, who had been dead since November 4, 1942, and some of her relatives, who have appeared, in accordance with the provisions of section 17 of Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, is hereby denied; and the decision of the Court of Appeals for Manila, dated November 10, 1942, dismissing the appeal, is hereby reaffirmed, without costs.

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In re will of Ana Abangan. GERTRUDIS ABANGAN, executrix-appellee, vs. ANASTACIA ABANGAN, ET AL., opponents-appellants. GR. No. 13431, 12 November 1919 AVANCEA, J.: Facts: The will of Ana Abangan executed on July, 1916 was duly probated. The opponents appealed. The document consists of two (2) sheets, the first of which contains all of the disposition of the testatrix, duly signed at the bottom by Martin Montalban (in the name and under the direction of the testatrix) and by three witnesses. The following sheet contains only the attestation clause duly signed at the bottom by the three instrumental witnesses. Neither of these sheets is signed on the left margin by the testatrix and the three witnesses, nor numbered by letters; and these omissions, according to appellants contention, are defects whereby the probate of the will should have been denied. Further, appellants alleged records do not show that the testatrix knew the dialect which the will is written. ISSUE: Whether or not the will was executed in accordance with the formal requisites prescribed by law RULING: The Supreme Court held that In requiring that each and every page of the will should also be signed on the left margin by the testator and three witnesses in the presence of each other evidently has for its object to avoid the substitution of any of said sheets, thereby changing the testators disposition. But when these dispositions are wholly written on only one sheet signed at the bottom by the testator and three witnesses, their signatures on the left margin on the left margin of said sheet would be completely purposeless. In requiring this signature on the margin, the statute took into consideration, undoubtedly, the case of a will written on several sheets and must have referred to the sheets which the testator and the witnesses do not have to sign at the bottom. As to the allegation that the testatrix did not know the dialect in which the will is written, the circumstances appearing in the will itself that the same was executed in the city of Cebu, and the dialect in the locality where the testatrix was a neighbor is enough, in the absence of any proof to the contrary, to presume that she knew this dialect in which the will is written. The will consisting of two sheets the first of which contains all the testamentary dispositions and is signed at the bottom by the testator and three witnesses and the second contains only the 202 | P a g e

attestation clause and is signed also at the bottom by the three witnesses, it is not necessary that both sheets be further signed on their margins by the testator and the witnesses, or be paged. For the foregoing considerations, the judgment appealed from is hereby affirmed with costs against the appellants. So ordered.

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EUTIQUIA AVERA, petitioner-appellee, vs. MARINO GARCIA, and JUAN RODRIGUEZ, as guardian of the minors Cesar Garcia and Jose Garcia, objectors-appellants. G.R. No. 15566, September 14, 1921 STREET, J.: FACTS: When the probate of the will of Esteban Garcia was allowed by the court, an appeal was instituted contest was made by Marino Garcia and Juan Rodriguez, the latter in the capacity of guardian for the minors Jose Garcia and Cesar Garcia contesting the validity of the will by reason of the fact that the signature of the testator and of the three attesting witnesses are written on the right margin of each page of the will instead of the left margin. ISSUE: Whether or not there is a need for the marginal signature of the testator and the witnesses to be on the left margin in order for the will to be valid RULING: While the statute says that the testator and the instrumental witnesses shall sign their names on the left margin of each and every page, so far as concerns the authentication of the will, and of every part thereof, it can make no possible difference whether the names appear on the left or on the right margin, provided they are on one or the other. The will in herein case contains the necessary signatures on every page, and the only point of deviation from the requirement of the statute is that these signatures appear in the right margin instead of the left. By the signing of every page of the will, every page and provision of the will is authenticated and guarded from possible alteration in exactly the same degree that it would have been protected by being signed in the left margin; and the resources of casuistry could be exhausted without discovering the slightest difference between the consequences of affixing the signatures in one margin or the other. It results that the legal errors assigned are not sustainable, and the judgment appealed from will be affirmed. It is so ordered, with costs against the appellants.

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VILLACORTE. CELSO ICASIANO, petitioner-appellee, vs. NATIVIDAD ICASIANO and ENRIQUE ICASIANO, oppositors-appellants. G.R. No. L-18979, 11 S 422, June 30, 1964 REYES, J.B.L., J.: FACTS: Petitioner Celso Icasiano filed a petition for the allowance and admission to probate of the alleged will of Josefa Villacorte, deceased. Petitioner also filed a motion for the admission of an amended and supplemental petition, alleging that the decedent left a will executed in duplicate with all the legal requirements, and that he was, on that date, submitting the signed duplicate which he allegedly found only after the filing of the petition. Respondent then filed her opposition; and she petitioned to have herself appointed as a special administrator. The records show that the original of the will, which was surrendered simultaneously with the filing of the petition consists of five pages. While signed at the end and in every page, it does not contain the signature of one of the attesting witnesses, Atty. Jose V. Natividad, on page three thereof; but the duplicate copy attached to the amended and supplemental petition is signed by the testatrix and her three attesting witnesses in each and every page. Witness Natividad who testified on his failure to sign page three of the original, admits that he may have lifted two pages instead of one when he signed the same, but affirmed that page 3was signed in his presence. Oppositors-appellants in turn introduced expert testimony to the effect that the signatures of the testatrix in the duplicate are not genuine nor were they written or affixed on the same occasion as the original, and further aver that granting that the documents were genuine, they were executed through mistake and with undue influence and pressure because the testatrix was deceived into adopting as her last will and testament the wishes of those who will stand to benefit from the provisions of the will. ISSUE: Whether or not the absence of one of the instrumental witnessess signature on a page of the original copy of the will is fatal where the duplicate has the complete signatures of the testator and all witnesses on every page. RULING: The Court held that the testatrix signed both original and duplicate copies of the will spontaneously, on the same in the presence of the three attesting witnesses, the notary public who acknowledged the will; and Atty. Samson, who actually prepared the documents. Moreover, 205 | P a g e

there is no adequate evidence of fraud or undue influence. The fact that some heirs are more favored than others is proof of neither. The failure of one witness to affix his signature to one page of a testament, due to the simultaneous lifting of two pages in the course of signing, is not per se sufficient to justify denial of probate. Impossibility of substitution of this page is assured not only by the fact that the testatrix and two other witnesses did sign the defective page, but also by its bearing the coincident imprint of the seal of the notary public before whom the testament was ratified by testatrix and all three witnesses. Furthermore, that the failure of witness Natividad to sign page three (3) was entirely through pure oversight is shown by his own testimony as well as by the duplicate copy of the will, which bears a complete set of signatures in every page. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision appealed from is affirmed, with costs against appellants.

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In re will of Antonio Vergel de Dios, deceased. RAMON J. FERNANDEZ, petitioner-appellant, HERMELO VERGEL DE DIOS and SEVERINA JAVIER, legatees-appellants, vs. FERNANDO VERGEL DE DIOS, ET AL., opponents-appellees. G.R. No. L-21151, 46 P 922, February 25, 1924 ROMUALDEZ, J.: FACTS: In this case, the validity of the testators will is questioned by the opponents of the will on the following matters: (a) It was not sufficiently proven that the testator knew the contents of the will. (b) The testator did not sign all the pages of the will. (c) He did not request anybody to attest the document as his last will. (d) He did not sign it in the presence of any witness.(e) The witnesses did not sign it in the presence of the testator, or of each other, nor with knowledge on the part of the testator that they were signing his will. (f) The witnesses did not sign the attestation clause before the death of the testator. (g) This clause was written after the execution of the dispositive part of the will and was attached to the will after the death of the testator. (h) The signatures of the testator on page 3 of the will are not authentic. ISSUE: Whether or not the will was executed in accordance with the requirements of law RULING: The evidence sufficiently shows that when Attorney Lopez Lizo read the will to the testator, the latter's mind was perfectly sane and he understood it: that he signed all the pages of the will proper, although he did not sign the page containing the attestation clause; that while he did not personally call the witnesses, yet the latter were invited by Attorney Lopez Lizo to act as such in his presence. The law does not require that the testator precisely be the person to request the witnesses to attest his will. It was also sufficiently established in the record that the testator signed the will in the presence of the three witnesses and that the latter, in turn, signed it in the presence of the testator and of each other; that the witnesses signed the attestation clause before the death of the testator; that this clause, with the names of the witnesses in blank, was prepared before the testator signed the will, and that the sheet containing said clause, just as those of the will proper, and that all the four sheets of which the will was actually composed were kept together and are the very ones presented in this case; and finally, that the signatures of the testator on page 3 of said will are authentic.

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As to the numbering of the sheet containing the attestation clause, it is true that it does not appeal on the upper part of the sheet, but it does appear in its text. It is provided in the clause that the will is of three sheet actually used, correlatively enumerated, besides this sheet . . . . It is clear that such a sheet of the attestation clause is the fourth and that the will, including said sheet, has four sheets. This description contained in the clause constitutes substantial compliance with the requirements prescribed by the law regarding the paging. The law does not require that the sheet containing the attestation clause only, wholly or in part, be numbered or paged. Consequently this lack of paging on the attestation sheet does not take anything from the validity of the will. The judgment appealed from is reversed, and it is ordered that the lower court proceed with the probate of the will Exhibit A in accordance with law, without express pronouncement as to costs.

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Testacy of Sixto Lopez. JOSE S. LOPEZ, petitioner-appellee, vs. AGUSTIN LIBORO, oppositor-appellant. G.R. No. L-1787, 81 P 429, August 27, 1948 TUASON, J.: FACTS: The will of Don Sixto Lopez was submitted for probate but was opposed by the appellant alleging the following grounds to wit: (1) that the deceased never executed the alleged will; (2) that his signature appearing in said will was a forgery; (3) that at the time of the execution of the will, he was wanting in testamentary as well as mental capacity due to advanced age; (4) that, if he did ever execute said will, it was not executed and attested as required by law, and one of the alleged instrumental witnesses was incapacitated to act as such; and it was procured by duress, influence of fear and threats and undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of the beneficiaries instituted therein, principally the testator's sister, Clemencia Lopez, and the herein proponent, Jose S. Lopez; and (5) that the signature of the testator was procured by fraud or trick. The appellant also alleges that the trial court has committed an abuse of discretion when it allowed the appellant to offer evidence to prove knowledge of Spanish by the testator, the language in which the will is drawn, after the petitioner had rested his case and after the opponent had moved for dismissal of the petition on the ground of insufficiency of evidence. The will in question comprises two pages, each of which is written on one side of a separate sheet. The first sheet is not paged either in letters or in Arabic numerals. This, the appellant believes, is a fatal defect. ISSUE: Whether or not the lack of pagination in a 2-page will is fatal RULINGL: The Supreme Court held that the purpose of the law in prescribing the paging of wills is guard against fraud, and to afford means of preventing the substitution or the loss of any of its pages. The omission to put a page number on the first sheet is supplied by other forms of identification more trustworthy than the conventional numerical words or characters. The unnumbered page is clearly identified as the first page by the internal sense of its contents considered in relation to the contents of the second page. By their meaning and coherence, the first and second lines on the second page are undeniably a continuation of the last sentence of the testament, before the attestation clause, which starts at the bottom of the preceding page. By their 209 | P a g e

meaning and coherence, the first and second lines on the second page are undeniably a continuation of the last sentence of the testament, before the attestation clause, which starts at the bottom of the preceding page. Furthermore, the unnumbered page contains the caption "TESTAMENTO," the invocation of the Almighty, and a recital that the testator was in full use of his testamentary faculty, all of which, in the logical order of sequence, precede the direction for the disposition of the marker's property. The order of the lower court ordering the probate of the last will and testament of Don Sixto Lopez is affirmed, with costs.

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In re will of Ana Abangan. GERTRUDIS ABANGAN, executrix-appellee, vs. ANASTACIA ABANGAN, ET AL., opponents-appellants. GR. No. 13431, 12 November 1919 AVANCEA, J.: Facts: The will of Ana Abangan executed on July, 1916 was duly probated. The opponents appealed. The document consists of two (2) sheets, the first of which contains all of the disposition of the testatrix, duly signed at the bottom by Martin Montalban (in the name and under the direction of the testatrix) and by three witnesses. The following sheet contains only the attestation clause duly signed at the bottom by the three instrumental witnesses. Neither of these sheets is signed on the left margin by the testatrix and the three witnesses, nor numbered by letters; and these omissions, according to appellants contention, are defects whereby the probate of the will should have been denied. Further, appellants alleged records do not show that the testatrix knew the dialect which the will is written. Said document, duly probated as Ana Abangan's will, consists of two sheets, the first of which contains all of the disposition of the testatrix, duly signed at the bottom by Martin Montalban (in the name and under the direction of the testatrix) and by three witnesses. The following sheet contains only the attestation clause duly signed at the bottom by the three instrumental witnesses. Neither of these sheets is signed on the left margin by the testatrix and the three witnesses, nor numbered by letters; and these omissions, according to appellants' contention, are defects whereby the probate of the will should have been denied. We are of the opinion that the will was duly admitted to probate. Issue: Whether or not the will was executed in accordance with the formal requisites prescribed by law Ruling: In requiring that each and every page of the will should also be signed on the left margin by the testator and three witnesses in the presence of each other, Act no. 2645 (which is the one applicable in the case) evidently has for its object (referring to the body of the will itself) to avoid the substitution of any of said sheets, thereby changing the testators disposition. But when these dispositions are wholly written on only one sheet signed at the bottom by the testator and three witnesses (as the instant case), their signatures on the left margin on the left margin of said sheet would be completely purposeless. In requiring this signature on the margin, the statute took

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into consideration, undoubtedly, the case of a will written on several sheets and must have referred to the sheets which the testator and the witnesses do not have to sign at the bottom. In requiring that each and every page of a will must be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of the sheet, it is likewise clear that the object of Act No. 2645 is to know whether any sheet of the will has been removed. But when all the dispositive parts of a will are written on one sheet only, the object of the statute disappears because the removal of this single sheet, although unnumbered, cannot be hidden. As to the allegation that the testatrix did not know the dialect in which the will is written, the circumstances appearing in the will itself that the same was executed in the city of Cebu, and the dialect in the locality where the testatrix was a neighbor is enough, in the absence of any proof to the contrary, to presume that she knew this dialect in which the will is written. The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close the door against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and testaments and to guaranty their truth and authenticity. Therefore the laws on this subject should be interpreted in such a way as to attain these primordial ends. But, on the other hand, also one must not lose sight of the fact that it is not the object of the law to restrain and curtail the exercise of the right to make a will. So when an interpretation already given assures such ends, any other interpretation whatsoever, that adds nothing but demands more requisites entirely unnecessary, useless and frustrative of the testator's last will, must be disregarded. For the foregoing considerations, the judgment appealed from is hereby affirmed with costs against the appellants.

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FELIX AZUELA, Petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, GERALDA AIDA CASTILLO substituted by ERNESTO G. CASTILLO, Respondents. G.R. 122880, 12 April 2006 TINGA, J.: FACTS: Petitioner filed a petition with the trial court for the probate of a notarial will purportedly executed by Eugenia E. Igsolo on June 10, 1981 and notarized on the same day. The will consisted of two (2) pages and was written in Filipino. The attestation clause did not state the number of pages and it was not signed by the attesting witnesses at the bottom thereof. The said witnesses affixed their signatures on the left-hand margin of both pages of the will though. Geralda Castillo opposed the petition, claiming that the will was a forgery and that the true purpose of its emergence was so it could be utilized as a defense in several court cases filed by oppositor against petitioner, particularly for forcible entry and usurpation of real property, all centering on petitioners right to occupy the properties of the decedent.3 It also asserted that contrary to the representations of petitioner, the decedent was actually survived by 12 legitimate heirs, namely her grandchildren, who were then residing abroad. She also argued that the will was not executed and attested to in accordance with law. She pointed out that the decedents signature did not appear on the second page of the will, and the will was not properly acknowledged. Azuela argues that the requirement under Article 805 of the Civil Code that the number of pages used in a notarial will be stated in the attestation clause is merely directory, rather than mandatory, and thus susceptible to what he termed as the substantial compliance rule. ISSUE: Whether or not the subject will is valid. RULING: The court held that a will whose attestation clause does not contain the number of pages on which the will is written is fatally defective. A will whose attestation clause is not signed by the instrumental witnesses is fatally defective. And perhaps most importantly, a will which does not contain an acknowledgment, but a mere jurat, is fatally defective. Any one of these defects is sufficient to deny probate. The failure of the attestation clause to state the number of pages on which the will was written remains a fatal flaw. This requirement aims at safeguarding the will against possible interpolation or omission of one or some of its pages and thus preventing any increase or 213 | P a g e

decrease in the pages. In this case, however, there could have been no substantial compliance with the requirements under Art. 805 of the Civil Code since there is no statement in the attestation clause or anywhere in the will itself as to the number of pages which comprise the will. The subject will cannot be considered to have been validly attested to by the instrumental witnesses. While the signatures of the instrumental witnesses appear on the left-hand margin of the will, they do not appear at the bottom of the attestation clause. Art. 805 particularly segregates the requirement that the instrumental witnesses sign each page of the will, from the requisite that the will be attested and subscribed by them. The signatures on the left-hand corner of every page signify, among others, that the witnesses are aware that the page they are signing forms part of the will. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. Costs against petitioner.

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TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE ALIPIO ABADA, BELINDA CAPONONG-NOBLE, petitioner, vs. ALIPIO ABAJA and NOEL ABELLAR, respondents. G.R. No. 147145, January 31, 2005 CARPIO, J.: FACTS: Abada died sometime in May 1940. His widow Paula Toray died in 1943. Both died without legitimate children. Respondent Abaja filed a petition for the probate of the last will and testament of Abada. Abada allegedly named as his testamentary heirs his natural children Eulogio Abaja and Rosario Cordova. Alipio is the son of Eulogio. Nicanor Caponong opposed the petition on the ground that Abada left no will when he died in 1940. Caponong further alleged that the will, if Abada really executed it, should be disallowed for the following reasons: (1) it was not executed and attested as required by law; (2) it was not intended as the last will of the testator; and (3) it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of the beneficiaries. Citing the same grounds invoked by Caponong, the alleged intestate heirs of Abada, namely, Joel, Julian, Paz, Evangeline, Geronimo, Humberto, Teodora and Elena Abada and Levi, Leandro, Antonio, Florian, Hernani and Carmela Tronco also opposed the petition. The oppositors are the nephews, nieces and grandchildren of Abada and Toray. The RTC admitted to probate the will of Toray. Since the oppositors did not file any motion for reconsideration, the order allowing the probate of Torays will became final and executory. Caponong-Noble further alleges that the attestation clause fails to state expressly that the testator signed the will and its every page in the presence of three witnesses. ISSUE: Whether or not the will has an attestation clause, and if so, whether the attestation clause complies with the requirements of the applicable laws RULING: The Supreme Court held that f Abadas will has an attestation clause. While the attestation clause does not state the number of witnesses, a close inspection of the will shows that three witnesses signed it. An attestation clause is made for the purpose of preserving, in permanent form, a record of the facts attending the execution of the will, so that in case of failure of the memory of the subscribing witnesses, or other casualty, they may still be proved. The Court applied the liberal construction in the probate of Abadas will. Abadas will clearly show four signatures: that of Abada and of three other persons. It is reasonable to conclude that there are three witnesses to the will. The question on the number of the witnesses is answered by an examination of the will itself and without the need for presentation of evidence aliunde. 215 | P a g e

With respect to the allegation that the attestation clause does not expressly state the circumstances that the witnesses witnessed and signed the will and all its pages in the presence of the testator and of each other, the Court has ruled that precision of language in the drafting of an attestation clause is desirable. However, it is sufficient if from the language employed it can reasonably be deduced that the attestation clause fulfills what the law expects of it. WHEREFORE, we AFFIRM the Decision of the Court of Appeals of 12 January 2001 in CAG.R. CV No. 47644.

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TEODORO CANEDA, LORENZA CANEDA, TERESA CANEDA, JUAN CABALLERO, AUREA CABALLERO, OSCAR LAROSA, HELEN CABALLERO, SANTOS CABALLERO, PABLO CABALLERO, VICTOR RAGA, MAURICIA RAGA, QUIRICA RAGA, RUPERTO ABAPO, represented herein by his Attorney-in-Fact, ARMSTICIA * ABAPO VELANO, and CONSESO CANEDA, represented herein by his heirs, JESUS CANEDA, NATIVIDAD CANEDA and ARTURO CANEDA, petitioners, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and WILLIAM CABRERA, as Special Administrator of the Estate of Mateo Caballero, respondents. G.R. No. 103554, May 28, 1993 REGALADO, J.: FACTS: Mateo Caballero, a widower without any children and already in the twilight years of his life, executed a last will and testament before three attesting witnesses, namely, Cipriano Labuca, Gregorio Cabando and Flaviano Toregosa. It was declared therein, among other things, that the testator was leaving by way of legacies and devises his real and personal properties to Presentacion Gaviola, Angel Abatayo, Rogelio Abatayo, Isabelito Abatayo, Benoni G. Cabrera and Marcosa Alcantara, all of whom do not appear to be related to the testator. , Mateo Caballero himself filed a petition docketed as Special Proceeding No. 3899-R before Branch II of the then Court of First Instance of Cebu seeking the probate of his last will and testament. The petitioners appeared as oppositors and objected to the allowance of the testator's will on the ground that the attestation clause, in contravention of the express requirements of the third paragraph of Article 805 of the Civil Code for attestation clauses, fails to specifically state the fact that the the testator signed the will and all its pages in the presence of the witnesses and that they, the witnesses, likewise signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of each other. ISSUE: Whether or not the attestation clause contained in the last will and testament complies with the requirements of Article 805, in relation to Article 809, of the Civil Code. RULING: Article 805 provides that the attestation clause should state (1) the number of the pages used upon which the will is written; (2) that the testator signed, or expressly caused another to sign, the will and every page thereof in the presence of the attesting witnesses; and (3) that the attesting witnesses witnessed the signing by the testator of the will and all its pages, and that said witnesses also signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. Failure to state the said facts shall invalidate the will. 217 | P a g e

In the present case, the attestation clause, while it recites that the testator indeed signed the will and all its pages in the presence of the three attesting witnesses and states as well as the number of pages that were used, the same does not expressly state therein the circumstance that said witnesses subscribed their respective signatures to the will in the presence of the testator and of each other. The defects and imperfections of a will, with respect to the form of the attestation or the language employed therein, would not render a will invalid should it be proved that the will was really executed and attested in compliance with Article 805. The foregoing considerations do not apply where the attestation clause totally omits the fact that the attesting witnesses signed each and every page of the will in the presence of the testator and of each other. In such a situation, the defect is not only in the form or language of the attestation clause but the total absence of a specific element required by Article 805 to be specifically stated in the attestation clause of a will. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED and the impugned decision of respondent court is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The court a quo is accordingly directed to forthwith DISMISS its Special Proceeding No. 3899-R (Petition for the Probate of the Last Will and Testament of Mateo Caballero) and to REVIVE Special Proceeding No. 3965-R (In the matter of the Intestate Estate of Mateo Caballero) as an active case and thereafter duly proceed with the settlement of the estate of the said decedent.

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IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR THE PROBATE OF THE WILL OF DOROTEA PEREZ, (deceased): APOLONIO TABOADA, petitioner, vs. HON. AVELINO S. ROSAL, as Judge of Court of First Instance of Southern Leyte, (Branch III, Maasin), respondent. G.R. No. L-36033, November 5, 1982 GUTIERREZ, JR. J.: Facts: The last will and testament of the late Dorotea Perez, written in the Cebuano-Visayan dialect consists of two pages. The first page contains the entire testamentary dispositions and is signed at the end or bottom of the page by the testatrix alone and at the left hand margin by the three (3) instrumental witnesses. The second page which contains the attestation clause and the acknowledgment is signed at the end of the attestation clause by the three (3) attesting witnesses and at the left hand margin by the testatrix. The petition filed for the probate of said will was denied by the trial court for want of a formality in its execution. Issue: For the validity of a formal notarial will, does Article 805 of the Civil Code require that the testatrix and all the three instrumental and attesting witnesses sign at the end of the will and in the presence of the testatrix and of one another? Ruling: Under Article 805 of the Civil Code, the will must be subscribed or signed at its end by the testator himself or by the testator's name written by another person in his presence, and by his express direction, and attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one another. Attestation and subscription are two different things. Attestation consists in witnessing the testator's execution of the will in order to see and take note mentally that those things are, done which the statute requires for the execution of a will and that the signature of the testator exists as a fact. On the other hand, subscription is the signing of the witnesses' names upon the same paper for the purpose of Identification of such paper as the will which was executed by the testator. Insofar as the requirement of subscription is concerned, it is our considered view that the will in this case was subscribed in a manner which fully satisfies the purpose of Identification. The signatures of the instrumental witnesses on the left margin of the first page of the will attested not only to the genuineness of the signature of the testatrix but also the due execution of the will as embodied in the attestation clause. 219 | P a g e

WHEREFORE, the present petition is hereby granted. The orders of the respondent court which denied the probate of tile will, the motion for reconsideration of the denial of probate, and the motion for appointment of a special administrator are set aside. The respondent court is ordered to allow the probate of the wig and to conduct further proceedings in accordance with this decision.

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HON. JOSE F. FERNANDEZ, Judge of the Court of First Instance, Negros Occidental, ASUNCION MARAVILLA, ET AL., petitioners, vs. HERMINIO MARAVILLA, respondent. G.R. No. L-18799, March 31, 1964 BARRERA, J.: FACTS: Respondent Herminio Maravilla filed a petition for probate of the will of his deceased wife Digna Maravilla. In the will the surviving spouse was named as the universal heir and executor. Pedro, Asuncion, and Regina Maravilla filed an opposition to the probate of the will, on the ground that the will was not signed on each page by the testatrix in the presence of the attesting witnesses and of one another. Pedro, Asuncion, and Regina Maravilla, filed with the court a petition for appointment of Eliezar Lopez as special co-administrator to protect their interests, on the ground that the will, having been denied probate, they are the legal heirs of the decedent. They also filed with the court a petition for the removal of respondent as special administrator, as he failed to file an inventory within 3 months from his appointment and qualification as special administrator, as provided for in Section 1, Rule 84, of the Rules of Court. To this petition, respondent filed an opposition, on the ground that said provision of the Rules of Court does not apply to a special administrator, and an inventory had already been submitted by him, before said petition for his removal was filed. Respondent filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari and prohibition to annul the order appointing Eliezar Lopez as special co-administrator, and to prohibit the probate court from further proceeding with the petition for the removal of respondent as special administrator. The Court of Appeals rendered a decision granting the writs (certiorari and prohibition) prayed for by respondent, and declaring null and void the appointment of Eliezar Lopez as special coadministrator. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners claim that the Court of Appeals had no jurisdiction to issue the writs of certiorari and prohibition prayed for by respondent, the same not being in aid of its appellate jurisdiction is correct RULING: We agree with petitioners. The Court of Appeals, in the decision appealed from, assumed jurisdiction over the present case on the theory that "the amount in controversy relative to the appointment of Eliezar Lopez as special co-administrator to protect the interests of respondents (herein petitioners) is only P90,000.00 more or less, i.e., one fourth of the conjugal property" (of respondent and the deceased Digna Maravilla) which, is per inventory submitted by respondent as special administrator is valued at P362,424.90. This theory is untenable. The Court 221 | P a g e

of Appeals has no appellate jurisdiction over said testate proceedings cannot be doubted, considering that the properties therein involved are valued at P362,424,90, as per inventory of the special administrator. Under Section 2, Rule 75, of the Rules of Court, the property to be administered and liquidated in testate or intestate proceedings of the deceased spouse is, not only that part of the conjugal estate pertaining to the deceased spouse, but the entire conjugal estate. This Court has already held that even if the deceased had left no debts, upon the dissolution of the marriage by the death of the husband or wife, the community property shall be inventoried, administered, and liquidated in the testate or intestate proceedings of the deceased spouse. In a number of cases where appeal was taken from an order of a probate court disallowing a will, this Court, in effect, recognized that the amount or value involved or in controversy therein is that of the entire. Not having appellate jurisdiction over the proceedings in probate, considering that the amount involved therein is more than P200,000.00, the Court of Appeals cannot also have original jurisdiction to grant the writs of certiorari and prohibition prayed for by respondent in the instant case, which are merely incidental thereto. WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals of May 16, 1961 is set aside and another one entered also setting aside the order of the trial court of March 5, 1960, appointing Eliezar Lopez as special co-administrator. Without costs.

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ROSARIO FELICIANO VDA. DE RAMOS, MIGUEL DANILA, RAYMUNDO A. DANILA, CONSOLACION SANTOS, MIGUEL G. DANILA, AMOR DANILA, MOISES MARTINEZ, MIGUELA GAVINO, MELITON NISTA, PRIMITIVA NISTA, HEIRS OF DANIEL NISTA, MOISES NISTA, DOMINGO NISTA and ADELAIDA NISTA, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, MARCELINA (MARTINA) GUERRA and THE HEIRS OF BUENAVENTURA GUERRA, respondents. G.R. No. L-40804, January 31, 1978 GUERRERO, J.: FACTS: Adelaida Nista who claimed to be one of the instituted heirs, filed a petition for the probate of the alleged will and testament and codicil of the late Eugenia Danila. Buenaventura and Marcelina both surnamed Guerra filed an opposition alleging among others that they are the legally adopted son and daughter of the late spouses Florentino Guerra and Eugenia Danila; that the purported will and codicil subject of the petition were procured through fraud and undue influence; that the formalities requited by law for the execution of a will and codicil have not been complied with as the same were not properly attested to or executed and not expressing the free will and deed of the purported testatrix; that the late Eugenia Danila had already executed on November 5, 1951 her last will and testament which was duly probated and not revoked or annulled during the lifetime of the testatrix, and that the petitioner is not competent and qualified to act as administration of the estate. ISSUE: Whether or not the last testament and its accompanying codicil were executed in accordance with the formalities of the law RULING: The Supreme Court held that there is ample and satisfactory evidence to prove that the will and codicil were executed in accordance with the formalities required by law. It appears positively and convincingly that the documents were prepared by a lawyer, Atty. Manuel Alvero The execution of the same was evidently supervised by his associate, Atty. Ricardo Barcenas and before whom the deeds were also acknowledged. There is no showing that the above-named lawyers had been remiss in their sworn duty. The object of the formalities required is to close the door against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of the will and testament, and to guarantee their truth and authenticity. While the opposition alleged fraud and undue influence, no evidence was presented to prove their occurrence. There is no question that each and every page of the will and codicil carry the authentic signatures of Eugenia Danila and the three (3) attesting witnesses. Similarly, the attestation claim far from being deficient, were properly signed by the attesting witnesses. Neither is it disputed that these witnesses took turns in signing the will and codicil in the 223 | P a g e

presence of each other and the testatrix. Both instruments were duly acknowledged before a Notary Public who was all the time present during the execution. The fact that the only pictures available are those which show the witnesses signing the will in the presence of the testatrix and of each other does not belie the probability that the testatrix also signed the will before the presence of the witnesses. We must stress that the pictures are worthy only of what they show and prove and not of what they did not speak of including the events they failed to capture. WHEREFORE, the decision of respondent Court of Appeals is hereby reversed in so far its it disallowed the probate of the will and codicil. With costs against respondents.

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In re will of Maria Roque y Paraiso, deceased. CEFERINO ALDABA, petitioner-appellee, vs. LUDOVICO ROQUE, opponent-appellant. G.R. No. L-17304, May 22, 1922 VILLAMOR, J.: FACTS: Maria Roque executed last will and testament in the Tagalog dialect with the help of Vicente Platon and in the presence of three witnesses who signed the attestation clause and each of the four pages of the testament. When her will was filed in court for probate, it was contested by Ludovico Roque on the ground that it had not been prepared nor executed in conformity with the requirements and solemnities prescribed by law. He claimed that "That each and every folio of the said testament is not paged correlatively in letter," and "that the said will lacks the attestation clause required by law." ISSUE: Whether or not the errors assigned by the appellant are correct RULING: With regard to the claim that each of the folios of the said testament is not paged correlatively in letters "one." "two," "three," etc., but only with the letters A, B, C, etc., the Court is of the opinion that this method of indicating the paging of the testament is a compliance with the spirit of the law, since either one of the two ways above-mentioned indicates the correlation of the pages and serves to prevent the loss of any of them. The court held that It is true that the statute says that the testator and the instrumental witnesses shall sign their names on the left margin of each and every page; and it is undeniable that the general doctrine is to the effect that all statutory requirements as to the execution of wills must be fully complied with. The same doctrine is also deducible from cases heretofore decided by this court As to the attestation clause, although it appears that it is the testatrix who made the declaration about the points contained in the attestation clause, since the witnesses, together with the testatrix, have signed the said declaration, the Court is of the opinion said clause constitute a sufficient compliance with the requirements of the law with respect to an attestation clause. Following, therefore, the view maintained by this court in the case of Abangan vs. Abangan, supra, as regards the appreciation of the solemnities of a testament, we decide that the judgment appealed from must be, as is hereby, affirmed with costs against the appellant.

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Fernandez vs. Vergel G.R. No. L-21151 . February 25, 1924 ROMUALDEZ, J.: FACTS: In this case, the validity of the testators will is questioned by the opponents of the will on the following matters: (a) It was not sufficiently proven that the testator knew the contents of the will. (b) The testator did not sign all the pages of the will. (c) He did not request anybody to attest the document as his last will. (d) He did not sign it in the presence of any witness.(e) The witnesses did not sign it in the presence of the testator, or of each other, nor with knowledge on the part of the testator that they were signing his will. (f) The witnesses did not sign the attestation clause before the death of the testator. (g) This clause was written after the execution of the dispositive part of the will and was attached to the will after the death of the testator. (h) The signatures of the testator on page 3 of the will are not authentic. ISSUE: Whether or not the will was executed in accordance with the requirements of law RULING: The evidence sufficiently shows that when Attorney Lopez Lizo read the will to the testator, the latter's mind was perfectly sane and he understood it: that he signed all the pages of the will proper, although he did not sign the page containing the attestation clause; that while he did not personally call the witnesses, yet the latter were invited by Attorney Lopez Lizo to act as such in his presence. The law does not require that the testator precisely be the person to request the witnesses to attest his will. It was also sufficiently established in the record that the testator signed the will in the presence of the three witnesses and that the latter, in turn, signed it in the presence of the testator and of each other; that the witnesses signed the attestation clause before the death of the testator; that this clause, with the names of the witnesses in blank, was prepared before the testator signed the will, and that the sheet containing said clause, just as those of the will proper, and that all the four sheets of which the will was actually composed were kept together and are the very ones presented in this case; and finally, that the signatures of the testator on page 3 of said will are authentic. As to the numbering of the sheet containing the attestation clause, it is true that it does not appeal on the upper part of the sheet, but it does appear in its text. It is provided in the clause that the will is of three sheet actually used, correlatively enumerated, besides this sheet . . . . It is clear that such a sheet of the attestation clause is the fourth and that the will, including said sheet, has four sheets. This description contained in the clause constitutes substantial compliance with the requirements prescribed by the law regarding the paging. The law does not require that the sheet containing the attestation clause only, wholly or in part, be numbered or paged. Consequently this lack of paging on the attestation sheet does not take anything from the validity of the will.

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Concerning the absolute absence of the signature of the testator from the sheet containing the attestation clause, the testator's signature is not necessary in the attestation clause because this, as its name implies, appertains only to the witnesses and not to the testator. WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is reversed, and it is ordered that the lower court proceed with the probate of the will Exhibit A in accordance with law, without express pronouncement as to costs. So ordered.

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Guerrero vs Bihis G.R. No. 174144. APRIL 17, 2007 CORONA, J.; FACTS: Felisa Tamio de Buenaventura, mother of petitioner Bella A. Guerrero and respondent Resurreccion A. Bihis, died. Guerrero filed for probate in the RTC Quezon City. Respondent Bihis opposed her elder sisters petition on the following grounds: the will was not executed and attested as required by law; its attestation clause and acknowledgment did not comply with the requirement of the law; the signature of the testatrix was procured by fraud and petitioner and her children procure the will through undue and improper pressure and influence. Petitioner Guerrero was appointed special administratix. Respondent opposed petitioners appointment but subsequently withdrew her opposition. The trial court denied the probate of the will ruling that Article 806 of the Civil Code was not complied with because the was acknowledged by the testatrix and the witnesses at the testatrixs residence at No. 40 Kanlaon Street, Quezon City before Atty. Macario O. Directo who was a commissioned notary public for and in Caloocan City. ISSUE: Does the will acknowledged by the testatrix and the instrumental witnesses before a notary public acting outside the place of his commission satisfy the requirement under Article 806 of the Civil Code. HELD: No. one of the formalities required by law in connection with the execution of a notarial will is that it must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses. This formal requirement is one of the indispensable requisites for the validity of a will. In other words, a notarial will that is not acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the instrumental witnesses is void and cannot be accepted for probate. The notarial law provides: Section 240. Territorial jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of a notary public in a province shall be coextensive in the province. The jurisdiction of a notary public in the City of Manila shall be coextensive with said city. No notary shall possess authority to do any notarial act beyond the limits of his jurisdiction. The compulsory language of Article 806 of the Civil Code was not complied with and the interdiction of Article 240 of the Notarial Law was breached. Ineluctably, the acts of the testatrix, her witnesses and Atty. Directo were all completely void. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED. 228 | P a g e

LETICIA VALMONTE ORTEGA, Petitioner, - versus JOSEFINA C. VALMONTE, Respondent. G.R. No. 157451, 16 December 2005 PANGANIBAN, J.: FACTSL: Placido toiled and lived for a long time in the United States until he finally reached retirement. In 1980, he finally came home to stay in the Philippines, and lived in the house and lot which he owned in common with his sister Ciriaca Valmonte. Two years after his arrival from the United States, and at the age of 80 he wed Josefina who was then 28 years old. But in a little more than two years of wedded bliss, Placido died on October 8, 1984. Placido executed a notarial last will and testament written in English and consisting of two (2) pages wherein he left all of his properties to his wife Josefina. But the allowance to probate of the will was opposed by Leticia Valmonte, one of the siblings of the deceased. One of the grounds raised in the opposition was the mental capacity of the testator, alleging that at the time of the execution of the will the testator was already 83 years old and was no longer of sound mind. The trial court denied the probate of the will. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the court and admitted the will to probate. ISSUE: Whether or not Placido Valmonte has testamentary capacity at the time he allegedly executed the subject will RULING: According to Article 799, the three things that the testator must have the ability to know to be considered of sound mind are as follows: (1) the nature of the estate to be disposed of, (2) the proper objects of the testator's bounty, and (3) the character of the testamentary act. Applying this test to the present case, the Court finds that the appellate court was correct in holding that Placido had testamentary capacity at the time of the execution of his will. It must be noted that despite his advanced age, he was still able to identify accurately the kinds of property he owned, the extent of his shares in them and even their locations. As regards the proper objects of his bounty, it was sufficient that he identified his wife as sole beneficiary. As stated earlier, the omission of some relatives from the will did not affect its formal validity. There being no showing of fraud in its execution, intent in its disposition becomes irrelevant. Worth reiterating in determining soundness of mind is Alsua-Betts v. CA, which held thus: "Between the highest degree of soundness of mind and memory which unquestionably carries with it full testamentary capacity, and that degrees of mental aberration generally known as insanity or idiocy, there are numberless degrees of mental capacity or incapacity and while on 229 | P a g e

one hand it has been held that mere weakness of mind, or partial imbecility from disease of body, or from age, will not render a person incapable of making a will; a weak or feebleminded person may make a valid will, provided he has understanding and memory sufficient to enable him to know what he is about to do and how or to whom he is disposing of his property. To constitute a sound and disposing mind, it is not necessary that the mind be unbroken or unimpaired or unshattered by disease or otherwise. It has been held that testamentary incapacity does not necessarily require that a person shall actually be insane or of unsound mind." WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED, and the assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals areAFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

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AGAPITA N. CRUZ, petitioner, vs. HON. JUDGE GUILLERMO P. VILLASOR, Presiding Judge of Branch I, Court of First Instance of Cebu, and MANUEL B. LUGAY, respondents. G.R. No. L-32213 November 26, 1973 ESGUERRA, J.: FACTS: Petitioner-appellant Agapita N. Cruz, the surviving spouse of the said decease opposed the allowance of the will alleging the will was executed through fraud, deceit, misrepresentation and undue influence; that the said instrument was execute without the testator having been fully informed of the content thereof, particularly as to what properties he was disposing and that the supposed last will and testament was not executed in accordance with law. Notwithstanding her objection, the Court allowed the probate of the said last will and testament. Hence this appeal by certiorari which was given due course. Of the three instrumental witnesses thereto, namely Deogracias T. Jamaloas Jr., Dr. Francisco Paares and Atty. Angel H. Teves, Jr., one of them, the last named, is at the same time the Notary Public before whom the will was supposed to have been acknowledged. Reduced to simpler terms, the question was attested and subscribed by at least three credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of each other, considering that the three attesting witnesses must appear before the notary public to acknowledge the same. As the third witness is the notary public himself, petitioner argues that the result is that only two witnesses appeared before the notary public to acknowledge the will. On the other hand, private respondent-appellee, Manuel B. Lugay, who is the supposed executor of the will, following the reasoning of the trial court, maintains that there is substantial compliance with the legal requirement of having at least three attesting witnesses even if the notary public acted as one of them. FACTS: Whether the supposed last will and testament of Valente Z. Cruz was executed in accordance with law, particularly Articles 805 and 806 of the new Civil Code, the first requiring at least three credible witnesses to attest and subscribe to the will, and the second requiring the testator and the witnesses to acknowledge the will before a notary public. RULING: After weighing the merits of the conflicting claims of the parties, the Court sustained that of the appellant that the last will and testament in question was not executed in accordance with law. The notary public before whom the will was acknowledged cannot be considered as the third instrumental witness since he cannot acknowledge before himself his having signed the will. To acknowledge before means to avow (Javellana v. Ledesma, 97 Phil. 258, 262; Castro v. Castro, 100 Phil. 239, 247); to own as genuine, to assent, to admit; and "before" means in front 231 | P a g e

or preceding in space or ahead of. (The New Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language, p. 72; Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary of the English Language, p. 252; Webster's New International Dictionary 2d. p. 245.) Consequently, if the third witness were the notary public himself, he would have to avow assent, or admit his having signed the will in front of himself. This cannot be done because he cannot split his personality into two so that one will appear before the other to acknowledge his participation in the making of the will. To permit such a situation to obtain would be sanctioning a sheer absurdity. Furthermore, the function of a notary public is, among others, to guard against any illegal or immoral arrangement Balinon v. De Leon, 50 0. G. 583.) That function would defeated if the notary public were one of the attesting instrumental witnesses. For them he would be interested sustaining the validity of the will as it directly involves him and the validity of his own act. It would place him in inconsistent position and the very purpose of acknowledgment, which is to minimize fraud (Report of Code Commission p. 106-107), would be thwarted. FOR ALL THE FOREGOING, the judgment appealed from is hereby reversed and the probate of the last will and testament of Valente Z. Cruz is declared not valid and hereby set aside.

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Garcia v. Vasquez G.R. No. L-27200 April 30, 1970 REYES, J.B.L.; FACTS: Testatrix Gliceria del Rosario, during her lifetime executed two wills: one on June 9, 1956 and another one on December 29, 1960. She died on September 2, 1956, leaving no descendant, ascendant, brother or sister. On September 17, 1965, the private respondent petitioned the 1960 will for private. This was opposed by petitioner Garcia as a legal legatee in the 1956 will and by the other petitioners as relatives within the fifth civil degree and legatees in the 1956 and 1960 wills The instrumental witnesses of the 1960 will testified that the testatrix first read silently the will before she signed it. However, the ophthalmologist who treated the eye of the deceased from August 1960-1963 testified that her eyesight during that time was mainly for viewing distant objects and not for reading print. ISSUE: Whether or not the testatrix is considered legally blind RULING: The testimony of the ophthalmologist of the deceased who had a first hand knowledge of the actual condition of her eyesight from August 1960 to 1963 is a conclusion which is inescapable that which the condition of her eyesight in August 1960, and there is no evidence that it had improved by December 29,1960. This renders her blind for purposes of Article 808. It is worth noting that the instrumental witnesses stated that she read the instrument silently which is a conclusion and not a fact. Where the testator is blind, the will, must be read to her twice as required by Article 808 of the Civil Code. The reason for this is to make the provisions thereof known to him, so that he may be able to object if they are not in accordance with his wishes. Hence, failure to comply with these requirements makes the will invalid. WHEREFORE, the order of the court below allowing to probate the alleged 1960 will of Gliceria A. del Rosario is hereby reversed and set aside. The petition in G.R. No. L-26615 being meritorious, the appealed order is set aside and the court below is ordered to remove the administratrix, Consuelo Gonzales Vda. De Precilla, and appoint one of the heirs intestate of the deceased Dona Gliceria Avelino del Rosafrio as special administrator for the purpose of instituting action on behalf of her estate to recover the properties allegedly sold by her to the late Alfonso D. Precilla. And in Case G.R. No. L-26864, petition is dismissed. No costs.

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In the Matter of the Probate of the Last Will and Testament of the Deceased Brigido Alvarado, CESAR ALVARADO, petitioner, vs. HON. RAMON G. GAVIOLA, JR., Presiding Justice, HON. MA. ROSARIO QUETULIO LOSA and HON. LEONOR INES LUCIANO, Associate Justices, Intermediate Appellate Court, First Division (Civil Cases), and BAYANI MA. RINO, respondents. G.R. No. 74695, 226 S 347, September 14, 1993 BELLOSILLO, J.: FACTS: Seventy nine year old Brigido Alvarado executed a notarial will entitled "Huling Habilin" wherein he disinherited an illegitimate son (petitioner) and expressly revoked a previously executed holographic will at the time awaiting probate. As testified to by the three instrumental witnesses, the notary public and by private respondent who were present at the execution, the testator did not read the final draft of the will himself. Instead, private respondent, as the lawyer who drafted the eight-paged document, read the same aloud in the presence of the testator, the three instrumental witnesses and the notary public. The latter four followed the reading with their own respective copies previously furnished them. Meanwhile, Brigido's holographic will was subsequently admitted to probate on 9 December 1977. On the 29th day of the same month, a codicil entitled "Kasulatan ng Pagbabago sa Ilang Pagpapasiya na Nasasaad sa Huling Habilin na may Petsa Nobiembre 5, 1977 ni Brigido Alvarado" was executed changing some dispositions in the notarial will to generate cash for the testator's eye operation. Brigido was then suffering from glaucoma. But the disinheritance and revocatory clauses were unchanged. As in the case of the notarial will, the testator did not personally read the final draft of the codicil. Instead, it was private respondent who read it aloud in his presence and in the presence of the three instrumental witnesses (same as those of the notarial will) and the notary public who followed the reading using their own copies. A petition for the probate of the notarial will and codicil was filed upon the testator's death on 3 January 1979 by private respondent as executor. Petitioner, in turn, filed an Opposition. Subsequently, a Probate Order was issued. Upon appeal, it was contended that the deceased was blind within the meaning of the law at the time his "Huling Habilin" and the codicil attached thereto was executed; that since the reading required by Art. 808 of the Civil Code was admittedly not complied with, probate of the deceased's last will and codicil should have been denied. The Court of Appeals rendered the decision under review with the following findings: that Brigido Alvarado was not blind at the time his last will and codicil were executed; that assuming his blindness, the reading requirement of Art. 808 was substantially complied with when both documents were read aloud to the testator with each of the three instrumental witnesses and the notary public following the reading with their respective copies of the instruments. The appellate court then concluded that although Art. 808 was not followed to the letter, there was substantial 234 | P a g e

compliance since its purpose of making known to the testator the contents of the drafted will was served. ISSUE: Was the double-reading requirement of Article 808 complied with? RULING: Article 808 requires that in case of testators like Brigido Alvarado, the will shall be read twice; once, by one of the instrumental witnesses and, again, by the notary public before whom the will was acknowledged. The purpose is to make known to the incapacitated testator the contents of the document before signing and to give him an opportunity to object if anything is contrary to his instructions. That Art. 808 was not followed strictly is beyond cavil. Instead of the notary public and an instrumental witness, it was the lawyer (private respondent) who drafted the eight-paged will and the five-paged codicil who read the same aloud to the testator, and read them only once, not twice as Art. 808 requires. Private respondent however insists that there was substantial compliance and that the single reading suffices for purposes of the law. The Court sustained private respondent's stand. The Court has held in a number of occasions that substantial compliance is acceptable where the purpose of the law has been satisfied, the reason being that the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills are intended to protect the testator from all kinds of fraud and trickery but are never intended to be so rigid and inflexible as to destroy the testamentary privilege. In the case at bar, private respondent read the testator's will and codicil aloud in the presence of the testator, his three instrumental witnesses, and the notary public. Prior and subsequent thereto, the testator affirmed, upon being asked, that the contents read corresponded with his instructions. Only then did the signing and acknowledgement take place. There is no evidence, and petitioner does not so allege, that the contents of the will and codicil were not sufficiently made known and communicated to the testator. On the contrary, with respect to the "Huling Habilin," the day of the execution was not the first time that Brigido had affirmed the truth and authenticity of the contents of the draft. The uncontradicted testimony of Atty. Rino is that Brigido Alvarado already acknowledged that the will was drafted in accordance with his expressed wishes even prior to 5 November 1977 when Atty. Rino went to the testator's residence precisely for the purpose of securing his conformity. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision of respondent Court of Appeals dated 11 April 1986 is AFFIRMED. Considering the length of time that this case has remained pending, this decision is immediately executory. Costs against petitioner.

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RIZALINA GABRIEL GONZALES, petitioner, vs. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and LUTGARDA SANTIAGO, respondents. G.R. No. L-37453, May 25, 1979 GUERRERO, J.: FACTS: Lutgarda Santiago filed a petition for the probate of a will alleged to have been executed by the deceased Isabel Gabriel and designating therein petitioner as the principal beneficiary and executrix. The petition was opposed by Rizalina Gabriel Gonzales, herein petitioner, assailing the document purporting to be the will of the deceased on the following grounds: 1. that the same is not genuine; and in the alternative; 2. that the same was not executed and attested as required by law; 3. that, at the time of the alleged execution of the purported wilt the decedent lacked testamentary capacity due to old age and sickness; and in the second alternative; 4. That the purported Will was procured through undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of the principal beneficiary, and/or of some other person for her benefit. The trial court disallowed the will. On appeal, the Court of Appeals allowed the will to probate. ISSUE: Whether or not the will was executed and attested as required by law RULING: The competency of a person to be an instrumental witness to a will is determined by the statute, that is Art. 820 and 821, Civil Code, whereas his credibility depends on the appreciation of his testimony and arises from the belief and conclusion of the Court that said witness is telling the truth. Thus, in the case of Vda. de Aroyo v. El Beaterio del Santissimo Rosario de Molo, No. L-22005, May 3, 1968, the Supreme Court held and ruled that: "Competency as a witness is one thing, and it is another to be a credible witness, so credible that the Court must accept what he says. Trial courts may allow a person to testify as a witness upon a given matter because he is competent, but may thereafter decide whether to believe or not to believe his testimony." In fine, We state the rule that the instrumental witnesses in Order to be competent must be shown to have the qualifications under Article 820 of the Civil Code and none of the disqualifications under Article 821 and for their testimony to be credible, that is worthy of belief and entitled to credence, it is not mandatory that evidence be first established on record that the witnesses have a good standing in the community or that they are honest and upright or reputed to be trustworthy and reliable, for a person is presumed to be such unless the contrary is established otherwise. In other words, the instrumental witnesses must be competent and their testimonies must be credible before the court allows the probate of the will they have attested. We, therefore, reject petitioner's position that it was fatal for respondent not to have introduced prior and independent proof of the fact that the witnesses were "credible witnesses that is, that they have a good standing in the community and reputed to be trustworthy and reliable. 236 | P a g e

WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED, with costs against the petitioner. In the matter of the testate estate of the deceased JUANA JUAN VDA. DE MOLO. EMILIANA MOLO-PECKSON and PILAR PEREZ-NABLE, Petitioners-Appellees, vs. ENRIQUE TANCHUCO, FAUSTINO GOMEZ, ET AL., Oppositors-Appellants. G.R. No. L-8774, November 26, 1956 MONTEMAYOR, J. FACTS: Spouses Mariano Molo and Juana Juan, not blessed with children, took into their home and custody Emiliana Perez-Molo-Peckson, a niece of Juana, and Pilar Perez-Nable a half sister of Emiliana. Mariano Molo died in January, 1941, and by will bequeathed all his estate to his wife. Juana, his widow, died on May 28, 1950, leaving no forced heirs but only collateral, children and grandchildren of her sisters. She left considerable property worth around a million pesos or more, and to dispose of the same, she was supposed to have executed on May 11, 1948, about two years before her death, a document purporting to be her last will and testament, wherein she bequeathed the bulk of her property to her two foster children, Emiliana and Pilar. These two foster daughters, as Petitioners, presented the document for probate. The other relatives filed opposition to the probate of the will on the ground that the instrument in question was not the last will and testament of Juana; that the same was not executed and attested in accordance with law; that the said supposed will was secured through undue pressure and influence on the part of the beneficiaries therein; that the signature of the testatrix was secured by fraud and that she did not intend the instrument to be her last will; and that at the time the instrument was executed, the testatrix Juana was not of sound and disposing mind. ISSUE: Whether or not the attesting witnesses in the will are qualified under the law RULING: The Court is in favor of the probate of the will. Section 620 of the Old Code of Civil Procedure provides that any person of sound mind and of the age of 18 years or more, and not blind, deaf dumb, and unable to read and write, may be a witness to the execution of a will. The relationship of employer and employee or being a relative to the beneficiary in a will does not disqualify one to be a witness to a will. The main qualification of a witness in the attestation of wills, if other qualifications as to age, mental capacity and literacy are present, is that said witness must be credible, that is to say, his testimony may be entitled to credence. A credible witness is one who is not disqualified to testify or who is competent to testify to the fact of execution of a will. Hence, the law does not bar relatives, either of the testator or of the heirs or legatees, from acting as attesting witnesses to a will.

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IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO APPROVE THE WILL OF MELECIO LABRADOR. SAGRADO LABRADOR (Deceased), substituted by ROSITA LABRADOR, ENRICA LABRADOR, and CRISTOBAL LABRADOR,petitioners-appellants, vs. 1 COURT OF APPEALS, GAUDENCIO LABRADOR, and JESUS LABRADOR, respondents-appellees. G.R. Nos. 83843-44, April 5, 1990 PARAS, J.: FACTS: On June 10, 1972, Melecio Labrador died leaving behind a parcel of land designated as Lot No. 1916 under Original Certificate of Title No. P-1652, and the following heirs, namely: Sagrado, Enrica, Cristobal, Jesus, Gaudencio, Josefina, Juliana, Hilaria and Jovita, all surnamed Labrador, and a holographic will. On July 28, 1975, Sagrado Labrador (now deceased but substituted by his heirs), Enrica Labrador and Cristobal Labrador, filed in the court a quo a petition for the probate of the alleged holographic will of the late Melecio Labrador. Subsequently, on September 30, 1975, Jesus Labrador (now deceased but substituted by his heirs), and Gaudencio Labrador filed an opposition to the petition on the ground that the will has been extinguished or revoked by implication of law, alleging therein that on September 30, 1971, that is, before Melecio's death, for the consideration of P6,000, testator Melecio executed a Deed of Absolute Sale, selling, transferring and conveying in favor of oppositors Jesus and Gaudencio Lot No. 1916 and that as a matter of fact, O.C.T. No. P-1652 had been cancelled by T.C.T. No. T-21178. Earlier however, in 1973, Jesus Labrador sold said parcel of land to Navat for only P5,000. Sagrado thereupon filed, on November 28, 1975, against his brothers, Gaudencio and Jesus, for the annulment of said purported Deed of Absolute Sale over a parcel of land which Sagrado allegedly had already acquired by devise from their father Melecio Labrador under a holographic will executed on March 17, 1968, the complaint for annulment, being premised on the fact that the aforesaid Deed of Absolute Sale is fictitious. Thereafter, the trial court rendered a joint decision allowing the probate of the holographic will and declaring null and void the Deed of Absolute sale. The court a quo had also directed the respondents to reimburse to the petitioners the sum of P5,000.00 representing the redemption price for the property paid by the plaintiff-petitioner Sagrado with legal interest thereon from December 20, 1976, when it was paid to vendee a retro. ISSUE: Whether or not the alleged holographic will of one Melecio Labrador is dated, as provided for in Article 810 of the New Civil Code

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RULING: The petition, which principally alleges that the holographic will is really dated, although the date is not in its usual place, is impressed with merit. The will has been dated in the hand of the testator himself in perfect compliance with Article 810.The law does not specify a particular location where the date should be placed in the will. The only requirements are that the date be in the will itself and executed in the hand of the testator. These requirements are present in the subject will. Anent the second issue of finding the reimbursement of the P5, 000 representing the redemption price as erroneous, respondent court's conclusion is incorrect. When private respondents sold the property (fishpond) with right to repurchase to Navat for P5, 000, they were actually selling property belonging to another and which they had no authority to sell , rendering such sale null and void. Petitioners, thus "redeemed" the property from Navat for P5, 000, to immediately regain possession of the property for its disposition in accordance with the will. Petitioners therefore deserve to be reimbursed the P5, 000. PREMISES CONSIDERED, the decision of the Court of Appeals dated March 10, 1988 is hereby REVERSED. The holographic will of Melecio Labrador is APPROVED and ALLOWED probate. The private respondents are directed to REIMBURSE the petitioners the sum of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00).

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LEON DE JESUS, ETC., ET AL., plaintiffs-appellants, vs. EUSEBIA DE JESUS, ET AL., defendants-appellees. G.R.No. L-16553, November 29, 1961 REYES, J.B.L., J.: FACTS: In the intestate estate proceedings for the settlement of the estate of Melecio de Jesus, the widow Ines Alejandrino, administratrix, filed an inventory of the estate, including therein Lot No. 931 of the Cadastral Survey of Hermosa, Bataan, containing an area of 155.9334 hectares and covered by a TCT in the name of the deceased. Subsequently, Eusebia de Jesus, the deceased's sister, filed a verified claim against the estate for the amount of P7,585.84. This claim was never heard. Instead, the administratrix Ines Alejandrino, claimant Eusebia de Jesus, and the heirs of Cirilo de Jesus, another brother also deceased, entered into a Stipulation of Facts wherein administratrix Alejandrino recognized that Eusebia de Jesus and Cirilo de Jesus are coowners with the deceased Melecio de Jesus of Lot No. 931, and that said parcel was registered in the sole name of the deceased only in trust for all the co-owners. On the same day, administratrix Ines Alejandrino and claimant Eusebia de Jesus entered into another agreement called "Supplementary Stipulation of Facts" wherein the latter agreed to waive and renounce her money claim for P7,585.84 against the estate upon the approval and becoming final of the aforementioned Stipulation of Facts. Both agreements were, on the very day of their execution, presented to the court for approval, on the ground that they "will conserve the family filiation and attachment and will forestall any litigation between them"; and on the day following, the probate court entered an order approving both agreements. Years later, Ines Alejandrino was replaced by her son Leon de Jesus in the administration of the estate of Melecio de Jesus. As such administrator, and joining as plaintiff his mother, Ines Alejandrino, former administratrix, Leon de Jesus filed in the lower court the present action, seeking to annul the stipulations entered by the former administratrix Ines Alejandrino with the defendants Eusebia de Jesus and the heirs of Cirilo de Jesus on the theory that they are null and void for lack jurisdiction on the part of the probate court to act on them, as well as for lack of the requisite notices to all the interested parties, specifically the heirs of the deceased Melecio de Jesus. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint, claiming res judicata and prescription. The trial court sustained the motion and ordered the dismissal of the complaint. ISSUE: Whether or not there is lack of jurisdiction on the part of the probate court to act on them, or lack of notice of their approval to the heirs of the deceased.

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RULING: The probate court had jurisdiction to act on and approve of the stipulations in question, not only as an incident to its power to exclude any property from the inventory of the estate of the deceased, but under section 9, Rule 90, Rules of Court, which permits the probate court, whenever the deceased in his lifetime held real property in trust for another person, to authorize the executor or administrator to deed such property to the person or persons for whose use and benefit it was so held. Section 9, Rule 90, however, provides that authority can be given by the probate court to the administrator to convey property held in trust by the deceased to the beneficiaries of the trust only "after notice given as required in the last preceding section"; i.e., that. "no such conveyance shall be authorized until notice of the application for that purpose has been given personally or by mail to all persons interested, and such further notice has been given, by publication or otherwise, as the court deems proper" (sec. 8, Rule 90). This rule makes it mandatory that notice be served on the heirs and other interested persons of the application for approval of any conveyance of property held in trust by the deceased, and where no such notice is given, the order authorizing the conveyance, as well as the conveyance itself, is completely void. As this question or notice would ultimately decide the validity of invalidity of the entire proceedings in the probate court leading to the approval of the contested stipulations, plaintiffsappellants should be given the opportunity to prove their claim that no such notice was given them. It proved, the claim would likewise dispose of the defense of prescription put up by defendants in their motion to dismiss, for an action to set aside completely void proceedings is imprescriptible and cannot be barred by lapse of time. WHEREFORE, the appealed order dismissing the complaint is reversed, and the case is remanded to the court below for answer and trial on the merits. Costs against defendantsappellees.

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In re estate of MARIA CRISTINA G. CALDERON. BASILISA SALTERAS, POTENCIANA DE LA CRUZ, in their own behalf, and BENIGNO CALDERON, as the natural guardian of the minors Maria and Josefa Calderon, ET AL., petitioners-appellants, vs. LUCAS EUGENIO, as administrator of the said estate, and PETRONILA EUGENIO, respondents-appellees. G.R. No. L-7856, December 26, 1913 TORRES, J.: FACTS: The deceased was a Filipino citizen resident of the City of Manila where he owned real properties assessed at P188,017.81. He traveled abroad for his health and temporarily resided in France. Not feeling very well, but in the full enjoyment of his mental faculties, he decided to make his last will and testament on April 14, 1930, in Paris, France, with the assistance of attorneys F. de Roussy de Sales, Gething C. Miller and Henri Gadd. On July 15, 1930, he died in Switzerland. The herein petitioner-appellee, Francisco Carmelo Varela, filed a petition praying that said will be admitted to probate. Said petition was opposed by the deceased's brother Jose Miguel, Angel, Jesus, Trinidad, Paula, Pilar and Maria, surnamed Varela Calderon, although, later on, the first mentioned opponent withdrew his opposition giving as his reason therefor that it was out of respect for the testator's wishes because the will was executed in his own handwriting. ISSUE: Whether or not the last will and testament of the deceased Francisco Varela Calderon, was a valid holographic will made and executed, in accordance with the laws of the French Republic. RULING: The original will was executed in the French language and had been written, dated and signed by the testator with his own hand, with the exception of the attestation clause which appears at the bottom of the document. This fact is proved by the testimony of the appellee and his other witnesses, including the depositions, and is admitted by the appellants. The petition for the allowance and probate of said will is based on the provisions of article 970 of the French Civil Code which considers as a holographic will that which is made or executed, dated and signed by the testator in his own handwriting without the necessity of any other formality, and on section 635 of the Code of Civil Procedure in force in this jurisdiction which provides that a will made out of the Philippine Islands in accordance with the laws in force in the country in which it was made and which may be allowed and admitted to probate therein, may, also be proved, allowed and recorded in the Philippine Islands in the same manner and with the same effect as if executed in the latter country. 242 | P a g e

As we have already said, it is an admitted fact that the will was written, dated and signed by the deceased testator, for which reason, there is no doubt that it had been made and executed in accordance with article 970 of the French Civil Code were it not for the attestation clause which appears at the bottom of the document. The appellants contend that the addition of said of clause has entirely vitiated the will, because it ceased to be a holographic will, neither does it possess the requisites of a public or open will in accordance with the French law. The court which originally took cognizance of the case decided that such circumstance does not invalidate the will. The Supreme Court concurs in said opinion and hold that a clause drawn up in such manner is superfluous and does not affect in any way the essential requisites prescribed for holographic wills by the French law, and, consequently, it has not invalidated the will nor deprived it of its holographic character. In reaching this conclusion, we base our opinion not only on the clear and conclusive provisions of article 970 of the French Civil Code and on the decisions of the French Court of Appeals cited in the appelee's brief, but principally on the fact established in the depositions made by practicing attorneys F. de Roussy de Sales, Gething C. Miller and Henri Gadd of Paris, France, who emphatically declared that the will in question did not lose its holographic character by the addition of the aforementioned attestation clause and that it may be allowed to probate in conformity with the French laws under which it had been made and executed. For the foregoing reasons we reverse the order of December 6, 1911, and declare that Petronila Eugenio, Filomena Calderon, Encarnacion Gutierrez Calderon, Potenciana de la Cruz, Basilisa Salteras, Candida Reyes, Benita Garcia, Maria Calderon, and Josefa Calderon are entitled to receive pro rata the sale value of the property situated at No. 173, formerly No. 29, Calle Anloague, now Juan Luna. No special finding is made as to costs.

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ROSA K. KALAW, petitioner, vs. HON. JUDGE BENJAMIN RELOVA, Presiding Judge of the CFI of Batangas, Branch VI, Lipa City, and GREGORIO K. KALAW, respondents. G.R. No. L-40207 September 28, 1984 MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.: FACTS: On September 1, 1971, private respondent GREGORIO K. KALAW, claiming to be the sole heir of his deceased sister, Natividad K. Kalaw, filed a petition for the probate of her holographic Will executed on December 24, 1968. The holographic Will, as first written, named ROSA K. Kalaw, a sister of the testatrix as her sole heir. Hence, on November 10, 1971, petitioner ROSA K. Kalaw opposed probate alleging, in substance, that the holographic Will contained alterations, corrections, and insertions without the proper authentication by the full signature of the testatrix as required by Article 814 of the Civil Code. ROSA's position was that the holographic Will, as first written, should be given effect and probated so that she could be the sole heir thereunder. After trial, respondent Judge denied probate. ISSUE: Whether or not the alterations, insertions, and/or additions in the will affect its validity RULING: Ordinarily, when a number of erasures, corrections, and interlineations made by the testator in a holographic Will litem not been noted under his signature, ... the Will is not thereby invalidated as a whole, but at most only as respects the particular words erased, corrected or interlined. However, when as in this case, the holographic Will in dispute had only one substantial provision, which was altered by substituting the original heir with another, but which alteration did not carry the requisite of full authentication by the full signature of the testator, the effect must be that the entire Will is voided or revoked for the simple reason that nothing remains in the Will after that which could remain valid. To state that the Will as first written should be given efficacy is to disregard the seeming change of mind of the testatrix. But that change of mind can neither be given effect because she failed to authenticate it in the manner required by law by affixing her full signature. WHEREFORE, this Petition is hereby dismissed and the Decision of respondent Judge, dated September 3, 1973, is hereby affirmed in toto. No costs. 244 | P a g e

SPOUSES ROBERTO AND THELMA AJERO, petitioners, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS AND CLEMENTE SAND, respondents. G.R. No. 106720, September 15, 1994 PUNO, J.: FACTS: On January 20, 1983, petitioners instituted Sp. Proc. No. Q-37171, for allowance of decedent's holographic will. They alleged that at the time of its execution, she was of sound and disposing mind, not acting under duress, fraud or undue influence, and was in every respect capacitated to dispose of her estate by will. Private respondent opposed the petition on the grounds that: neither the testament's body nor the signature therein was in decedent's handwriting; it contained alterations and corrections which were not duly signed by decedent; and, the will was procured by petitioners through improper pressure and undue influence. The petition was likewise opposed by Dr. Jose Ajero. He contested the disposition in the will of a house and lot located in Cabadbaran, Agusan Del Norte. He claimed that said property could not be conveyed by decedent in its entirety, as she was not its sole owner. Notwithstanding the oppositions, the trial court admitted the decedent's holographic will to probate. On appeal, said Decision was reversed, and the petition for probate of decedent's will was dismissed. The Court of Appeals found that, "the holographic will fails to meet the requirements for its validity." It held that the decedent did not comply with Articles 813 and 814 of the New Civil Code ISSUE: Whether or not the will should be admitted for probate RULING: Respondent court held that the holographic will of Anne Sand was not executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. It held that Articles 813 and 814 of the New Civil Code, ante, were not complied with, hence, it disallowed the probate of said will. This is erroneous. In the case of holographic wills, what assures authenticity is the requirement that they be totally autographic or handwritten by the testator himself, as provided under Article 810 of the New Civil Code, thus: A person may execute a holographic will which must be entirely written, dated, and signed by the hand of the testator himself. It is subject to no other form, and may be made in or out of the Philippines, and need not be witnessed. Failure to strictly observe other formalities will not result in the disallowance of a holographic will that is unquestionably handwritten by the testator. 245 | P a g e

Thus, unless the unauthenticated alterations, cancellations or insertions were made on the date of the holographic will or on testator's signature, their presence does not invalidate the will itself. The lack of authentication will only result in disallowance of such changes. IN VIEW WHEREOF, the instant petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 22840, dated March 30, 1992, is REVERSED and SET ASIDE, except with respect to the invalidity of the disposition of the entire house and lot in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte. The Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 94 in Sp. Proc. No. Q-37171, dated November 19, 1988, admitting to probate the holographic will of decedent Annie Sand, is hereby REINSTATED, with the above qualification as regards the Cabadbaran property. No costs.

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EUGENIA RAMONAL CODOY, and MANUEL RAMONAL, petitioners, vs. EVANGELINE R. CALUGAY, JOSEPHINE SALCEDO, and UEFEMIA PATIGAS, respondents. G.R. No. 123486 August 12, 1999 PARDO, J.: FACTS: Evangeline Calugay, Josephine Salcedo and Eufemia Patigas, devisees and legatees of the holographic will of the deceased Matilde Seo Vda. de Ramonal, filed a petition for probate of the holographic will of the deceased, who died on January 16, 1990. They claimed that the deceased Matilde Seo Vda. de Ramonal, was of sound and disposing mind when she executed the will on August 30, 1978, that there was no fraud, undue influence, and duress employed in the person of the testator, and will was written voluntarily. Eugenia Ramonal Codoy and Manuel Ramonal filed an opposition to the petition for probate, alleging that the holographic will was a forgery and that the same is even illegible. This gives an impression that a "third hand" of an interested party other than the "true hand" of Matilde Seo Vda. de Ramonal executed the holographic will. They argued that the repeated dates incorporated or appearing on will after every disposition is out of the ordinary. If the deceased was the one who executed the will, and was not forced, the dates and the signature should appear at the bottom after the dispositions, as regularly done and not after every disposition. And assuming that the holographic will is in the handwriting of the deceased, it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of the beneficiaries, or through fraud and trickery. Respondents presented six (6) witnesses and various documentary evidence ISSUE: Whether or not the requirement for the probate of a contested holographic will, that at least three witnesses explicitly declares that the signature in the will is the genuine signature of the testator is mandatory. RULING: In this petition, the petitioners ask whether the provisions of Article 811 of the Civil Code are permissive or mandatory. The article provides, as a requirement for the probate of a contested holographic will, that at least three witnesses explicitly declare that the signature in the will is the genuine signature of the testator. The Supreme Court is convinced, based on the language used, that Article 811 of the Civil Code is mandatory. The word "shall" connotes a mandatory order. It ruled that "shall" in a statute commonly denotes an imperative obligation and is inconsistent with the idea of discretion and that the presumption is that the word "shall," when used in a statute is mandatory. Laws are enacted to achieve a goal intended and to guide against an evil or mischief that aims to prevent. In the case at bar, the goal to achieve is to give effect to the wishes of the deceased and 247 | P a g e

the evil to be prevented is the possibility that unscrupulous individuals who for their benefit will employ means to defeat the wishes of the testator. IN VIEW WHEREOF, the decision appealed from is SET ASIDE. The records are ordered remanded to the court of origin with instructions to allow petitioners to adduce evidence in support of their opposition to the probate of the holographic will of the deceased Matilde Seo vda. de Ramonal.

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JOSE RIVERA petitioner, vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and ADELAIDO J. RIVERA, respondents. G.R. Nos. 75005-06 February 15, 1990

CRUZ, J.: FACTS: On May 30, 1975, a prominent and wealthy resident of that town named Venancio Rivera died. On July 28, 1975, Jose Rivera, claiming to be the only surviving legitimate son of the deceased, filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration over Venancio's estate. It was opposed by Adelaido J. Rivera, who denied that Jose was the son of the decedent. Adelaido averred that Venancio was his father and did not die intestate but in fact left two holographic wills. On November 11, 1975, the two cases were consolidated. Adelaido J. Rivera was later appointed special administrator. After joint trial, Judge Eliodoro B. Guinto found that Jose Rivera was not the son of the decedent but of a different Venancio Rivera who was married to Maria Vital. The Venancio Rivera whose estate was in question was married to Maria Jocson, by whom he had seven children, including Adelaido. Jose Rivera had no claim to this estate because the decedent was not his father. The holographic wills were also admitted to probate. ISSUE: Whether or not the decedents holographic wills may be admitted for probate. HELD:Yes. In the probate of a holographic will, it shall be necessary that at least one witness who knows the handwriting and signature of the testator explicitly declare that the will and the signature are in the handwriting of the testator. If the will is contested, at least three of such witnesses shall be required. The flaw in petitioners argument is that, as already determined, Jose Rivera is not the son of the deceased Venancio Rivera whose estate is in question. Hence, being a mere stranger, he had no personality to contest the wills and his opposition thereto did not have the legal effect of requiring the three witnesses. The testimony of Zenaida and Venancio Rivera, Jr., who authenticated the wills as having been written and signed by their father, was sufficient.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED and the challenged decision is AFFIRMED, with costs against the petitioner.

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TESTATE ESTATE OF FELICIDAD ESGUERRA ALTO-YAP deceased. FAUSTO E. GAN, petitioner-appellant, vs. ILDEFONSO YAP, oppositor-appellee. G.R. No. L-12190 BENGZON, J.: FACTS: On November 20, 1951, Felicidad Esguerra Alto Yap died of heart failure leaving properties in Pulilan, Bulacan, and in the City of Manila. On March 17, 1952, Fausto E. Gan initiated a petition for the probate of a holographic will allegedly executed by the deceased. Opposing the petition, her surviving husband Ildefonso Yap asserted that the deceased had not left any will, nor executed any testament during her lifetime. The will itself was not presented. Petitioner tried to establish its contents and due execution by the statements in open court of Felina Esguerra, Primitivo Reyes, Socorro Olarte and Rosario Gan Jimenez, whose testimonies. ISSUE: Whether or not a holographic may be probated upon the testimony of witnesses who have allegedly seen it and who declare that it was in the handwriting of the testator HELD: No. Unlike holographic wills, ordinary wills may be proved by testimonial evidence when lost or destroyed. The difference lies in the nature of the wills. In the first, the only guarantee of authenticity is the handwriting itself; in the second, the testimony of the subscribing or instrumental witnesses (and of the notary, now). The loss of the holographic will entails the loss of the only medium of proof; if the ordinary will is lost, the subscribing witnesses are available to authenticate. The will having been lost the forger may have purposely destroyed it in an "accident" the oppositors have no way to expose the trick and the error, because the document itself is not at hand. And considering that the holographic will may consist of two or three pages, and only one of them need be signed, the substitution of the unsigned pages, which may be the most important ones, may go undetected. Thus, the Court reached the conclusion that the execution and the contents of a lost or destroyed holographic will may not be proved by the bare testimony of witnesses who have seen and/or read such will. Wherefore, the rejection of the alleged will must be sustained. August 30, 1958

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IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO APPROVE THE WILL OF RICARDO B. BONILLA deceased, MARCELA RODELAS, petitioner-appellant, vs. AMPARO ARANZA, ET AL., oppositors-appellees, ATTY. LORENZO SUMULONG, intervenor. G.R. No. L-58509 RELOVA, J.: FACTS: On January 11, 1977, appellant filed a petition for the probate of the holographic will of Ricardo B. Bonilla and the issuance of letters testamentary in her favor. The petition was opposed by the appellees Amparo Aranza Bonilla, Wilferine Bonilla Treyes Expedita Bonilla Frias and Ephraim Bonilla on the following grounds: (1) Appellant was estopped from claiming that the deceased left a will by failing to produce the will within twenty days of the death of the testator as required by Rule 75, section 2 of the Rules of Court; (2) The alleged copy of the alleged holographic will did not contain a disposition of property after death and was not intended to take effect after death, and therefore it was not a will (3) The alleged hollographic will itself,and not an alleged copy thereof, must be produced, otherwise it would produce no effect, as held in Gam v. Yap, 104 Phil. 509; and (4 ) The deceased did not leave any will, holographic or otherwise, executed and attested as required by law. ISSUE: Whether a holographic will which was lost or cannot be found can be proved by means of a photostatic copy. HELD: Yes. A photostatic copy or xerox copy of the holographic will may be allowed because comparison can be made with the standard writings of the testator. Pursuant to Article 811 of the Civil Code, probate of holographic wills is the allowance of the will by the court after its due execution has been proved. If the holographic will has been lost or destroyed and no other copy is available, the will cannot be probated because the best and only evidence is the handwriting of the testator in said will. It is necessary that there be a comparison between sample handwritten statements of the testator and the handwritten will. Even a mimeographed or carbon copy; or by other similar means, if any, whereby the authenticity of the handwriting of the deceased may be exhibited and tested before the probate court," Evidently, the photostatic or xerox copy of the 253 | P a g e December 7, 1982

lost or destroyed holographic will may be admitted because then the authenticity of the handwriting of the deceased can be determined by the probate court. WHEREFORE, the order of the lower court dated October 3, 1979, denying appellant's motion for reconsideration dated August 9, 1979, of the Order dated July 23, 1979, dismissing her petition to approve the will of the late Ricardo B. Bonilla, is hereby SET ASIDE.

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Re: Revocation of Wills Testate Estate of the Deceased MARIANO MOLO Y LEGASPI. JUANA JUAN VDA. DE MOLO, petitioner-appellee, vs. LUZ, GLICERIA and CORNELIO MOLO, oppositors-appellants. G.R. No. L-2538 September 21, 1951 BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.: FACTS: Juana Juan Vda. de Molo sought the probate of the will executed by the deceased on June 20, 1939. There being no opposition, the will was probated. However, upon petition filed by the respondents, the order of the court admitting the will to probate was set aside and the case was reopened. After hearing, at which both parties presented their evidence, the court rendered decision denying the probate of said will on the ground that the petitioner failed to prove that the same was executed in accordance with law. Petitioner filed another petition for the probate of the will executed by the deceased on August 17, 1918. Again, the same oppositors filed an opposition to the petition based on three grounds: (1) that petitioner is now estopped from seeking the probate of the will of 1918; (2) that said will has not been executed in the manner required by law and (3) that the will has been subsequently revoked. But before the second petition could be heard, the battle for liberation came and the records of the case were destroyed. Consequently, a petition for reconstitution was filed, but the same was found to be impossible because neither petitioner nor oppositors could produce the copies required for its reconstitution. As a result, petitioner filed a new petition similar to the one destroyed, to which the oppositors filed an opposition based on the same grounds as those contained in their former opposition. The court issued an order admitting the will to probate. ISSUE: Whether or not the revocatory clause contained in 1939 will of the deceased which was denied probate is valid and still has the effect of nullifying the prior of 1918. HELD:MIt is void. Even in the supposition that the destruction of the original will by the testator could be presumed from the failure of the petitioner to produce it in court, such destruction cannot have the effect of defeating the prior will of 1918 because of the fact that it is founded on the mistaken belief that the will of 1939 has been validly executed and would be given due effect. The theory on which this principle is predicated is that the testator did not intend to die intestate. And this intention is clearly manifest when he executed two wills on two different occasion and instituted his wife as his universal heir. There can therefore be no mistake as to his intention of dying testate.

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Wherefore, the order appealed from is hereby affirmed, with costs against the appellants.

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CRISTINA SAMSON, DELFINA NAVAL, and SOR CONSOLACION EUGENIO, petitioners-appellants, vs. MONICA NAVAL, ROSA NAVAL, and CELESTINA NAVAL, objectors-appellants. G.R. No. L-11823 February 11, 1918 ARAULLO, J.: FACTS: Simeona F. Naval executed a will on February 13, 1915. The will was presented for allowance by the named executor. After hearing, the petition for allowance was denied on the ground that said document was not duly executed by the deceased as her last will and testament, inasmuch as she did not sign it in the presence of three witnesses and the two witnesses did not sign it in the presence of each other. Thereafter, the nieces and legatees of the deceased filed in the same court for allowance of the latters will, another document executed by her on October 31, 1914. The petition for allowance was opposed by Monica Naval, Rosa Naval, and Cristina Naval because of the existence of another will of subsequent date executed during the lifetime of the deceased. Thus, said will has been revoked by the subsequent will. The court admitted the second document and ordered its allowance as the last will and testament of the deceased. From said order, the opponents appealed. ISSUE: Whether or not the will of October 31, 1914 has been revoked by that of February 13, 1915. HELD: NO. In order that a former will may be revoked by operation of law by a subsequent will, it is necessary that the latter should be valid and executed with the formalities required for the making of wills. The 1915 will was declared by the probate court invalid on the ground that it was not executed with the requisites and formalities prescribed by law. Thus, the prior was not validly revoked. Wherefore, the order appealed from is affirmed, with the costs of this instance against the appellants.

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Estate of Miguel Mamuyac, deceased. FRANCISCO GAGO, petitioner-appellant, vs. CORNELIO MAMUYAC, AMBROSIO LARIOSA, FELICIANA BAUZON, and CATALINA MAMUYAC, opponents-appellees. G.R. No. L-26317 January 29, 1927

JOHNSON, J.: FACTS: Miguel Mamuyac died on the 2nd day of January, 1922, in the municipality of Agoo of the Province of La Union. It appears from the record that on or about the 27th day of July, 1918, he executed a last will and testament. On January, 1922, Francisco Gago filed a petition for the probate of that will. The probate was opposed by Cornelio Mamuyac, Ambrosio Lariosa, Feliciana Bauzon, and Catalina Mamuyac. The petition for the probate of said will was denied on the ground that the deceased had on the 16th day of April, 1919, executed a new will and testament. On February 21, 1925, an action was commenced to secure the probate of the 1919 will. The oppositors alleged (a) that the said will is a copy of the second will and testament executed by Miguel Mamuyac, (b) that the same had been cancelled and revoked during the Mamuyacs lifetime and (c) that the said will was not the last will and testament of the deceased. The judge denied the probate of said will on the ground that the same had been cancelled and revoked in the year 1920. The appellant contends that the lower court committed an error in not finding from the evidence that the will in question had been executed with all the formalities required by the law; that the same had been revoked and cancelled in 1920 before his death; that the said will was a mere carbon copy and that the oppositors were not estopped from alleging that fact. ISSUE: Whether or not the will in question was revoked by the testator. HELD: Yes. There is positive proof, not denied, which was accepted by the lower court, that the will in question had been cancelled in 1920. The law does not require any evidence of the revocation or cancellation of a will to be preserved. The fact that such cancellation or revocation has taken place must either remain unproved or be inferred from evidence showing that after due search the original will cannot be found. Where a will which cannot be found is shown to have been in the possession of the testator, when last seen, the presumption is, in the absence of other competent evidence, that the same was cancelled or destroyed. The same presumption arises where it is shown that the testator had ready access to the will and it cannot be found after his death. It will not be presumed that such will has been destroyed by any other person without the 259 | P a g e

knowledge or authority of the testator. The force of the presumption of cancellation or revocation by the testator is never conclusive, but may be overcome by proof that the will was not destroyed by the testator with intent to revoke it. In view of the facts that the original will of 1919 could not be found after the death of the testator and the positive proof that the same had been cancelled, the Court concludes that the conclusions of the lower court are in accordance with the weight of the evidence. In a proceeding to probate a will, the burden of proof is upon the proponent clearly to establish not only its execution but its existence. Having proved its execution by the proponents, the burden is on the contestant to show that it has been revoked.

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In re will of Josefa Zalamea y Abella, deceased. PEDRO UNSON, petitioner-appellee, vs. ANTONIO ABELLA, ET AL., opponents-appellants. G.R. No. 17857 June 12, 1922 VILLAMOR, J.: FACTS: On July 19, 1918, Dona Josefa Zalamea, single, 60 years old, executed her last will and testament with an attached inventory of her properties, in the presence of three witnesses, who signed with her all the pages of said documents. She died on January 6, 1921, and, as the record shows, the executor appointed in the will, Pedro Unson, filed on January 19, 2001 an application for the probate of the will and the issuance of the proper letters of administration in his favor. An opposition was presented by Antonio Abella, Ignacia Abella, Avicencia Abella, and Santiago Vito, alleging that the supposed will of the deceased Zalamea was not executed in conformity with the provisions of the law, inasmuch as it was not paged correlatively in letters; nor was there any attestation clause in it, nor was it signed by the testatrix and the witnesses in the presence of each other. The CFI ordered the probate of the will, and the inventory, holding that both documents contained the true and last will of the deceased. ISSUE: Whether or not the inventory may be probated despite the lack of attestation clause therein. HELD: YES. In the third paragraph of the will, reference is made to the inventory, Exhibit A-1, and at the bottom of said will, the testatrix Josefa Zalamea says: "In witness whereof, I sign this will composed of ten folios including the page containing the signatures and the attestation of the witnesses; I have likewise signed the inventory attached to this will composed of ten folios in the presence of Messrs. Gonzalo Abaya, Eugenio Zalamea, Pedro de Jesus, in this municipality of Pagsanjan, Laguna, Philippine Islands, this 19th of July, 1918." And the attestation clause is as follows: "The foregoing will composed of ten folios including this one whereunto we have affixed our signatures, as well as the inventory of the properties of Dona Josefa Zalamea y Abella, was read to Dona Josefa Zalamea y Abella, and the latter affixed her name to name the last, and each and every page of this will and inventory composed of ten folios in our presence; and she declared this to be her last will and testament and at her request we have affixed hereunto our respective 261 | P a g e

signatures in her presence and in the presence of each other as witnesses to the will and the inventory this 19th of July, 1918, at Pagsanjan, Laguna, P. I.

"GONZALO ABAYA, "EUGENIO ZALAMEA, "PEDRO DE JESUS."

In view of the fact that the inventory is referred to in the will as an integral part of it, the foregoing attestation clause is in compliance with section 1 of Act No. 2645, which requires this solemnity for the validity of a will, and makes unnecessary any other attestation clause at the end of the inventory.

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YAP TUA, petitioner-appellee, vs. YAP CA KUAN and YAP CA KUAN, objectors-appellants. G.R. No. 6845 JOHNSON, J.: FACTS: On August 23, 1909, Perfecto Gabriel, representing the petitioner, Yap Tua, presented a petition in the CFI, Manila, asking that the will of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong be admitted to probate. Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong died in the city of Manila on August 11, 1909. Accompanying said petition and attached thereto was alleged will of the deceased. The will was signed by deceased, as well as Anselmo Zacarias, Severo Tabora, and Timoteo Paez. No further proceedings were had until the 28th of February, 1910, when Yap Ca Kuan and Yap Ca Llu appeared and presented a petition, alleging that they were interested in the matters of the said will and desired to intervene. They contended that the will dated the 11th day of August, 1909, and admitted to probate by order of the court was null. One of the reasons they laid down is that before the execution of the said will, the said Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong had executed another will, with all the formalities required by law, on August 6, 1909. The lower court found the last will and testament of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong, which was attached to the record, as the last will and testament of the said testator and admitted it to probate and ordered that the administrator therefore appointed should continue as such administrator. From that order, the objectors appealed. ISSUE: Whether or not the August 11, 1909 revoked the August 6, 1909. HELD: Yes. There appears to be but little doubt that Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong did execute the will of August 6, 1909. Several witnesses testified to that fact. The mere fact, however, that she executed a former will is no proof that she did not execute a later will. She had perfect right, by will, to dispose of her property, in accordance with the provisions of law, up to the very last moment of her life. She had a perfect right to change, alter, modify or revoke any and all of her former wills and to make a new one. Neither will the fact that the new will fails to expressly revoke all former wills, in any way sustain the charge that she did not make the new will. One of the assigned errors was that the signature of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong in her first will was not identical with that which appears in her second will, thus the inference that she had not signed the second will. Several witnesses testified that they saw her write the name "Tomasa." One of the witnesses testified that she had written her full name. If Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong signed any portion of her name to the will, with the intention to sign the same, such will amount 263 | P a g e September 1, 1914

to a signature. In the present case Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong, if she did not sign her full name, did at least sign her given name "Tomas," and that is sufficient to satisfy the statute.

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ROSA K. KALAW, petitioner, vs. HON. JUDGE BENJAMIN RELOVA, Presiding Judge of the CFI of Batangas, Branch VI, Lipa City, and GREGORIO K. KALAW, respondents. G.R. No. L-40207 September 28, 1984 MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.: FACTS: On September 1, 1971, private respondent Gregorio K. Kalaw, claiming to be the sole heir of his deceased sister, Natividad K. Kalaw, filed a petition for probate of her holographic will executed on December 24, 1968. The holographic will, as first written, named Rosa K. Kalaw, a sister of the testatrix as her sole heir. Hence, petitioner Rosa K. Kalaw opposed probate alleging that the holographic will contained alterations, corrections, insertions without the proper authentication by the full signature of the testatrix as required by Article 814 of the Civil Code. Rosas position was that the holographic will, as first written, should be given effect and probated so that she could be the sole heir. The trial court denied probate. The court adjudged based on the NBI report that the handwriting, the signature, the insertions and/or additions and the initial were made by one and the same person. It was the handwriting of the decedent. However, since the alterations and/or insertions or additions were not authenticated by the full signature of the testatrix based on Article 814 of the Civil Code, the court denied the will to be probated. Gregorio moved for reconsideration but the same was denied. Hence, Rosa filed a petition for review on certiorari. ISSUE: Whether or not the original unaltered text after subsequent alterations and insertions were voided by the Trial Court for lack of authentication by the full signature of the testatrix, should be probated or not, with her as sole heir. HELD: NO. Ordinarily, when a number of erasures, corrections, and interlineations made by the testator in a holographic will have not been noted under his signature, the will is not thereby invalidated as a whole, but at most only as respects the particular words erased, corrected or interlined. However, when as in this case, the holographic will in dispute had only one substantial provision, which was altered by substituting the original heir with another, but which alteration did not carry the requisite of full authentication by the full signature of the testator, the effect must be that the entire will is voided or revoked for nothing remains in the will after that which could remain valid. To state that the will as first written should be given efficacy is to disregard 265 | P a g e

the seeming change of mind of the testatrix. But that change of mind can neither be given effect because she failed to authenticate it in the manner required by law by affixing her full signature. Petition dismissed. Assailed decision affirmed.

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Estate of Miguel Mamuyac, deceased. FRANCISCO GAGO, petitioner-appellant, vs. CORNELIO MAMUYAC, AMBROSIO LARIOSA, FELICIANA BAUZON, and CATALINA MAMUYAC, opponents-appellees. G.R. No. L-26317 January 29, 1927

JOHNSON, J.: FACTS: The purpose of this action was to obtain the probate of a last will and testament of Miguel Mamuyac, who died on January 2, 1922. It appears from the record that on or about the July 27, 1918, the deceased executed a last will and testament in January, 1922, to which Francisco Gago presented a petition for the probate of that will. The probate of the same was opposed by Cornelio Mamuyac, Ambrosio Lariosa, Feliciana Bauzon, and Catalina Mamuyac. The petition for probate of said will was denied upon the ground that the deceased had on the April 16, 1919, executed a new will and testament. On February 21, 1925, the present action was commenced. Its purpose was to secure the probate of the said 1919 will. To said petition Cornelio Mamuyac, Ambrosio Lariosa, Feliciana Bauzon, and Catalina Mamuyac presented their oppositions, alleging (a) that the said will is a copy of the second will and testament executed by the said Miguel Mamuyac; (b) that the same had been cancelled and revoked during the lifetime of Miguel Mamuyac and (c) that the said will was not the last will and testament of the deceased Miguel Mamuyac. The trial court denied the probate of the 1919 will upon the ground that the same had been cancelled and revoked in the year 1920. ISSUE: What is the concept of the presumption of revocation? HELD: The law does not require any evidence of the revocation or cancellation of a will to be preserved. It therefore becomes difficult at times to prove the revocation or cancellation of wills. The fact that such cancellation or revocation has taken place must either remain unproved or be inferred from evidence showing that after due search the original will cannot be found. Where a will which cannot be found is shown to have been in the possession of the testator, when last seen, the presumption is, in the absence of other competent evidence, that the same was cancelled or destroyed. The same presumption arises where it is shown that the testator had ready access to the will and it cannot be found after his death. It will not be presumed that such will has been destroyed by any other person without the knowledge or authority of the testator. The force of the presumption of cancellation or revocation by the testator, while varying greatly,

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being weak or strong according to the circumstances, is never conclusive, but may be overcome by proof that the will was not destroyed by the testator with intent to revoke it.

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TESTATE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED DAMASA CRISOSTOMO. NAZARIO TRILLANA, administrator-appellee, vs. CONSORCIA P. CRISOSTOMO, ET ALS, petitioners-appellants. G.R. No. L-3378 FERIA, J.: FACTS: Damasa Crisostomo executed a will on August 16, 1948. However, she executed another will on October 19, 1948 revoking the former will. The appellants contend that the lower court erred in denying their petition for relief from the judgment of January 5, 1949, admitting to probate the will of October 19, 1948. They submit to the Court three propositions, to wit: (a) "The judgment of January 5, was obtained through fraud;" (b) "The lower court failed to perform its legal duty to set a date for proving the will of August 16, 1948;" and (c) "The failure to set aside a date for proving the will of August 16 jointly with the will of October 19 was entirely due to the lower court's fault or negligence." ISSUE: Whether or not the revoked will of August 16, 1948 should be included in probate of the subsequent will of October 19, 1948. August 22, 1951

HELD: NO. The petitioners-appellants failed to show that the judgment of the lower court probating the October 1948 will of testatrix was obtained through fraud thus the lower court did not commit any error in denying the appellants' petition for relief under Sec. 2, Rule 38 of the Rules of Court, and therefore it is not necessary for the court to discuss and pass upon the other propositions of the appellant. "Where a will is duly probated after publication pursuant to section 630 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the order admitting the will is, in the absence of fraud, effective against all persons. The fact that an heir or other interested party lives so far away as to make it impossible for such party to be present at the date appointed for the probate of the will does not render the order of probate void for "lack of due process." Under Sec. 3 of Rule 77, the court shall set aside a date for proving a will even without petition when it is delivered to the court having jurisdiction. The lower court was right in not setting a date for proving the will of August 16, 1948, because this will was expressly and absolutely revoked by the subsequent will of October 19, 1948, executed by the same executrix, which was filed for allowance on November 1, 1948, with the same probate court. According to the attorneys for the appellant, the will dated August 16, 1948, was sent together with a writing called "Manifestation" by registered mail on October 30, 1948, from Manila to the probate court and said will must have been received by the Clerk of said Court on or after November 1, 1948, 269 | P a g e

the date when the subsequent will of October 19, was filed for probate. It stands to reason that if two wills are presented for allowance but one of them revokes expressly and absolutely the other, the revoked will cannot be included in the probate of the latter subsequent will, because it would be a waste of time to allow the revoked will if the subsequent revoking will is also allowed. The revoked will may be probated and allowed only if the subsequent revoking will is disallowed.

In view of all the foregoing, the order appealed from is affirmed with costs against the appellants.

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RE: allowance and disallowance of wills HEIRS OF ROSENDO LASAM, Represented by Rogelio Lasam and Atty. Edward P. Llonillo, petitioners, vs. VICENTA UMENGAN, respondent. G.R. No. 168156 CALLEJO, SR., J.: FACTS: The subject lots denominated as Lot 5427 and Lot 992 situated in Tugegarao City belonged to the spouses Pedro Cuntapay and Leona Bunagan. The spouses sold the said lots to their children Isabel and Irene Cuntapay. It was agreed that the disputed eastern portion shall belong to Isabel Cuntapay as evidenced by a notarized partition agreement. Isabel was first married to Domingo Turingan, they had four children named Abdon, Sado, Rufo and Maria. When the first husband died, Isabel married Rosendo Lasam. She had two children by him named Trinidad and Rosendo. In 2001 Rosendo Lasam filed a case against the respondent who is the daughter of Abdon Turingan, a son of Isabel Cuntapay, for unlawful detainer. The petitioner anchored their claim on the disputed property on the purported will of Isabel Cuntapay whereby she bequeathed the said property to Rosendo Lasam. The last will and testament relied upon was not probated.The MTCC and RTC ruled in favor of the petitioner on the ground that they are the owners of the property based on the alleged will of Isabel Cuntapay. ISSUE: Whether or not the will of Isabel Cuntapay could be relied upon to establish the petitioners right to possess the subject lot. HELD: No. The purported last will and testament of Isabel Cuntapay could not properly be relied upon to establish petitioners right to possess the subject lot because, without having been probated, the said last will and testament could not be the source of any right. Article 838 of the Civil Code is instructive:Art. 838. No will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance with the Rules of Court.. In Caiza v. Court of Appeals, the Court ruled that: "[a] will is essentially ambulatory; at any time prior to the testators death, it may be changed or revoked; and until admitted to probate, it has no effect whatever and no right can be claimed thereunder, the law being quite explicit: No will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance with the Rules of Court." Dr. Tolentino, an eminent authority on civil law, also explained that "[b]efore any will can have force or validity it must be probated. To probate a will means to prove before some officer or tribunal, vested by law with authority for that purpose, that the instrument offered to be proved is the last will and testament of the deceased person whose testamentary act it is alleged to be, and that it has been executed, attested and published as required by law, and that the testator was of 271 | P a g e December 6, 2006

sound and disposing mind. It is a proceeding to establish the validity of the will." Moreover, the presentation of the will for probate is mandatory and is a matter of public policy. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision dated February 16, 2005 and the Resolution dated May 17, 2005 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 80032 are AFFIRMED.

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SPOUSES RICARDO PASCUAL and CONSOLACION SIOSON, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and REMEDIOS S. EUGENIO-GINO, respondents. G.R. No. 115925 CARPIO, J.: FACTS: Petitioner Consolacion Sioson and respondent Remedios S. Eugenio-Gino are the niece and granddaughter, respectively, of the late Canuto Sioson. Canuto and 11 other individuals, including his sister Catalina and his brother Victoriano, were co-owners of a parcel of land.On November 20, 1951, Canuto had Lot 2 surveyed and subdivided into eight lots. Lot 2-A and Lot 2-E were placed under Canutos name. Three other individuals took the remaining lots. On September 26, 1956, Canuto and Consolacion executed a Kasulatan ng Bilihang Tuluyan. Under the Kasulatan, Canuto sold his 10/70 share in Lot 2 in favor of Consolacion for P2, 250.00. The Kasulatan was duly notarized. Consolacion immediately took possession of Lots 2A and 2-E. She later declared the land for taxation purposes and paid the corresponding real estate taxes.On October 23, 1968, the surviving children of Canuto executed an affidavit affirming the Kasulatan in favor of Consolacion. They also attested that the lots their father had sold to Consolacion were Lots 2-A and 2-E. The Register of Deeds issued a transfer of certificate to Consolacion. On February 4, 1988, Remedios filed a complaint against Consolacion and her spouse Ricardo Pascual for the annulment or cancellation of TCT and damages. Remedios claimed that she is the owner of the lots sold by Canuto to Consolacion because Catalina devised these lots to her in Catalinas last will and testament dated May 29, 1964. Remedios added that Consolacion obtained title to these lots through fraudulent means. On the other hand, the petitioners sought to dismiss the complaint on the ground of prescription. The trial court rendered judgment dismissing the case and ordering Remedios to pay petitioners. The complaint filed by Remedios had already prescribed. The trial court further ruled that Remedios has no right of action against petitioners because Catalinas last will from which Remedios claims to derive her title has not been admitted to probate. ISSUE: Whether or not the will of the deceased should be probated first before the rights of the parties to the case can be ascertained August 15, 2003

HELD: Yes. The probation of the will is essential in order for Remedios to have a cause of action against petitioners. Article 838 of the Civil Code states that [N]o will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance with the Rules of Court. Thus, until admitted to probate, a will has no effect whatever and no right can be claimed thereunder. And since the probate court has not admitted Catalinas last will, Remedios has not 273 | P a g e

acquired any right under the Last Will. Remedios is thus without any cause of action either to seek reconveyance of Lots 2-A and 2-E or to enforce an implied trust over these lots. WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 31 January 1994 and its Resolution dated 15 June 1994 are SET ASIDE. The complaint filed by respondent Remedios Eugenio-Gino, dated 2 February 1988 is DISMISSED.

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MANUEL G. REYES, MILA G. REYES, DANILO G. REYES, LYN AGAPE, ESTEBANA GALOLO, and CELSA AGAPE, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS AND JULIO VIVARES, respondent. G.R. No. 12099 TORRES, JR., J.: FACTS: Torcuato Reyes signed his will in the presence of three witnesses, Antonio Veloso, Gloria Borromeo and Soledad Gaputa. In said will Julio Vivares was named executor and in his default, Roch Alan Vibares. In the will the testator gave all his properties to Asuncion Reyes, which was described by the testator as his wife. Torcuato Reyes died and eventually Julio filed a petition for the probate of the will. There were two families who opposed the probate. First, the children of Torcuato with Estebana GaloloManuel, Mila and Danilo. Second, the children of Torcuato with Celsa Agape- Lyn and Marites. The oppositors alleged the following: (1) Reyes Last Will and Testament was not executed and attested in accordance with the formalities required by law; (2) Asuncion Reyes Ebarle, the wife Torcuato acknowledged in his LWT, exerted undue and improper influence upon Reyes at the time of the execution of the will; and (3) Torcuato Reyes can never be married with Asuncion Reyes because Torcuato was married to Lupo Ebarle who was still alive and his marriage was never annulled. The probate court found out that the LWT was executed in accordance with the formalities of the law; and also ruled that Asuncion and Torcuato were not married. ISSUE: Whether or not the declaration of the testator in the will that Asuncion is his wife is sufficient to prove the fact of marriage HELD: Yes. Justice Moreland said, A will is the testator speaking after death. Its provisions have substantially the same force and effect in the probate court as if the testator stood before the court if full life making the declarations by word of mouth as they appear in the will. That was the special purpose of the law in the creation of the instrument known as the last will and testament. Men wished to speak after they were dead and the law, by the creation of that instrument, permitted them to do so. x x x All doubts must be resolved in favor of the testators having meant just what he said. Wherefore, the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED. October 30, 1997

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ALFREDO G. BALUYUT, petitioner, vs. HON. ERNANI CRUZ PAO, ENCARNACION LOPEZ VDA. DE BALUYUT, JOSE ESPINO and CORAZON ESPINO, respondents. Mary Concepcion-Bautista for petitioner. Santiago, Salunat and Agbayani for respondent Encarnacion Lopez Vda. de Baluyut. G.R. No. L-42088 AQUINO, J.: FACTS: SoteroBaluyut executed a notarial will on April 14, 1973. In that will he bequeathed to Mrs. Baluyut his one-half share in certain conjugal assets and one-fourth of the residue of his estate. The remaining three-fourths were bequeated to his collateral relatives named Irene, Erlinda, Estrellita, Eliseo and Alfredo, all surnamed Baluyut, and Emerita, Emilio and Benjamin, all surnamed Miranda. The testator designated Mrs. Baluyut as executrix. Espino is not mentioned in that will. Alfredo Baluyot, filed in the CFI of Quezon City a verified petition for letters of administration. He alleged that the deceased was survived by his widow, Encarnacion Lopez, who was mentally incapable of acting as administratrix of the decedents estate. Lopez argued and showed proof that the widow was declared an Incompetent by the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. The probate court instituted Mrs. Baluyut as the administrator of the estate, the lower court ratiocinated that as the surviving spouse she has the preferential right to be appointed as administratrix. ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion when it appointed Mrs. Baluyut as administratrix HELD: Yes. While the probate court correctly assumed that the surviving spouse enjoys preference in the granting of letters of administration, it does not follow that she should be named administrator without conducting a full-dress hearing on her competency to discharge that trust. Even the directive of the testator in his will designating that a certain person should act as executor is not binding on the probate court and does not automatically entitle him to the issuance of letters testamentary. A hearing should be held in order to ascertain his fitness to act as executor. He might have been fit to act as executor when the will was executed but supervening circumstances might have rendered him unfit for that position. It was held that a hearing is necessary in order to determine the suitability of the person to be appointed administrator by giving him the opportunity to prove his qualifications and affording oppositors a chance to contest the petition. May 7, 1976

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It is necessary to convert the proceeding in the lower court into a testamentary proceeding. The probate of the will cannot be dispensed with and is a matter of public policy. After the will is probated, the prior letters of administration should be revoked and proceedings for the issuance of letters testamentary or of administration under the will should be conducted. WHEREFORE, the lower court's order of November 27, 1975 appointing Mrs. Baluyut as administratrix is set aside. The letters of administration granted to her are cancelled. The probate court is directed to conduct further proceedings in consonance with the guidelines delineated in this decision. Costs against respondent Mrs. Baluyut.

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ROSA CAYETANO CUENCO, PETITIONERS, VS. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, THIRD DIVISION, MANUEL CUENCO, LOURDES CUENCO, CONCEPCION CUENCO MANGUERRA, CARMEN CUENCO, CONSUELO CUENCO REYES, AND TERESITA CUENCO GONZALEZ, RESPONDENTS. G.R. NO. L-24742 OCTOBER 26, 1973 FACTS: On 25 February 1964 Senator Mariano Jesus Cuenco died at the Manila Doctors' Hospital, Manila. He was survived by his widow, the herein petitioner, and their two (2) minor sons, Mariano Jesus, Jr. and Jesus Salvador, both surnamed Cuenco, and by his children of the first marriage, respondents herein, namely, Manuel Cuenco, Lourdes Cuenco, Concepcion Cuenco Manguera, Carmen Cuenco, Consuelo Cuenco Reyes and Teresita Cuenco Gonzales. On 5 March 1964, respondent Lourdes Cuenco filed a Petition for Letters of Administration, alleging among other things, that the late senator died intestate in Manila on 25 February 1964; that he was a resident of Cebu at the time of his death; and that he left real and personal properties in Cebu and Quezon City. On the same date, the Cebu court issued an order setting the petition for hearing on 10 April 1964, directing that due notice be given to all the heirs and interested persons, and ordering the requisite publication thereof at LA PRENSA, a newspaper of general circulation in the City and Province of Cebu. Instead, respondents filed in the Quezon City court an Opposition and Motion to Dismiss, dated 10 April 1964, opposing probate of the will and assailing the jurisdiction of the said Quezon City court to entertain petitioner's petition for probate and for appointment as executrix in Sp. Proc. No. Q-7898 in view of the alleged exclusive jurisdiction vested by her petition in the Cebu court in Sp. Proc. No. 2433-R. Said respondent prayed that Sp. Proc. No. Q-7898 be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction and/or improper venue. The Quezon City court denied the motion to dismiss, giving as a principal reason the "precedence of probate proceeding over an intestate proceeding." ISSUE: Whether the appellate court erred in law in issuing the writ of prohibition against the Quezon City court ordering it to refrain perpetually from proceeding with the testate proceedings and annulling and setting aside all its orders and actions, particularly its admission to probate of the decedent's last will and testament and appointing petitioner-widow as executrix thereof without bond in compliance with the testator's express wish in his testament. RULING: The Court holds under the facts of record that the Cebu court did not act without jurisdiction nor with grave abuse of discretion in declining to take cognizance of the intestate petition and instead deferring to the testate proceedings filed just a week later by petitioner as surviving widow and designated executrix of the decedent's last will, since the record before it (the petitioner's opposition and motion to dismiss) showed the falsity of the allegation in the 278 | P a g e

intestate petition that the decedent had died without a will. It is noteworthy that respondents never challenged by certiorari or prohibition proceedings the Cebu court's order of April 10, 1964 deferring to the probate proceedings before the Quezon City court, thus leaving the latter free (pursuant to the Cebu court's order of deference) to exercise jurisdiction and admit the decedent's will to probate. For the same reasons, neither could the Quezon City court be held to have acted without jurisdiction nor with grave abuse of discretion in admitting the decedent's will to probate and appointing petitioner as executrix in accordance with its testamentary disposition, in the light of the settled doctrine that the provisions of Rule 73, section 1 lay down only a rule of venue, not of jurisdiction. Since respondents undisputedly failed to appeal from the Quezon City court's order of May 15, 1964 admitting the will to probate and appointing petitioner as executrix thereof, and said court concededly has jurisdiction to issue said order, the said order of probate has long since become final and can not be overturned in a special civic action of prohibition.

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ISIDORA VENTURA, PETITIONER-APPELLANT, VS. AUREA CONSUELO FELIX, ET AL., OPPONENTS-APPELLEES G.R. No. L-8190 31 December 1913

FACTS: On the 17th of October, 1908, Isidora Ventura made a donation of the lands in dispute in this action in favor of her grandchildren Aurea Consuelo, Filomena Natividad, Leonarda Concepcion, and Paz Romana, all surnamed Felix, reserving to herself the life use of said premises, she to be responsible to all taxes and ordinary repairs during the time of her occupation. On the same day and within the same instrument the donation was accepted by the recipients thereof. On the 18th of December of the same year the said Isidora Ventura, notwithstanding the donation which had become effective theretofore in favor of her grandchildren, sold the said lands to Ines Feliciano, reserving to herself the right to repurchase the same. On the 30th of June, 1909 a proceeding having been commenced by Isidora Ventura to register the title to said lands, decree was entered therein registering the title in her name, subject to an incumbrance of P1,400 in favor of Concepcion Enriquez, and subject also to the sale with a right to repurchase hereinabove mentioned. Before that decree became final a motion was made for the revision thereof praying that it be vacated and that a new decree be issued registering the title in the name of those to whom said Isidora Ventura had made the donation. To this motion Isidora Ventura gave her full and free consent and in pursuance thereof the original decree was vacated and a new decreed made and entered registering the title to the lands described therein in the name of the donees. The 18th of December, 1910, being the last day upon which the repurchase could be made by virtue of the terms of the sale with a right to repurchase made between Isidora Ventura and Ines Feliciano, said Isidora Ventura on the 9th of that month paid to Ines Feliciano the sum required by said instrument for the redemption of the lands described therein. Upon receiving payment said Ines Feliciano executed in favor of Isidora Ventura a resale of the premises described in the sale with a right to repurchase, which was duly acknowledged before a notary public on the 18th of February, 1911. Said instrument was presented to the registrar of titles for registration under the Torrens Law, Registration thereof was refused and this proceeding was brought.

ISSUE: Whether or not Isidora Ventura is the absolute owner of the land in litigation. RULING: The Court is clearly of the opinion that the Court of Land Registration correctly decided the case.Isidora Ventura having made in due and legal form a donation of her lands to the donees mentioned in the instrument, and said donation having been duly accepted in accordance with law, title to the lands donated passed immediately to the donees subject to the reserved life interest of the donor. From that time forward Isidora Ventura had no interest in the lands other than that of a life tenant. She has no power to make an absolute sale of the lands in question and, therefore, the sale with a right of repurchase executed in favor of Ines Feliciano on December 18, 1908, was an act wholly beyond her power and conveyed nothing, so far as the donees were concerned, to Ines Feliciano. 280 | P a g e

Nor did the fact that a decree in the Court of Land Registration was issued in favor of Isidora Ventura registering title to said lands in her name confer any permanent rights or interest. That decree before becoming final was vacated and set aside and another decree substituted in its place wherein and whereby the title to the lands described therein was registered in the name of the rightful owners. No benefits could be claimed, therefore, under the original decree either by Isidora Ventura or by her alleged vendee Ines Feliciano. When, therefore, on the 9th of December, 1910, Isidora Ventura paid to Ines Feliciano the purchase price of the lands as provided in their contract of sale with a right to repurchase, she accomplished nothing more than the payment of a personal debt which she owed, the payment of which in nowise affected the lands in litigation. The title to such lands was not in Ines Feliciano nor did she have any interests therein by virtue of the sale with a right to repurchase executed in her favor by Isidora Ventura. As a necessary consequence, the instrument of resale executed by Ines Feliciano in favor of Isidora Ventura was without force or effect so far as the title to the premises therein described was concerned. Having no title or interest therein, she could convey or reconvey none to Isidora Ventura.

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ERNESTO M. GUEVARA, PETITIONER-APPELLANT, VS. ROSARIO GUEVARA AND HER HUSBAND PEDRO BUISON, RESPONDENT-APPELLEES G.R. No. L-48840 OZAETA, J.: FACTS: It appears that on August 26, 1931, Victorino L. Guevara executed a will, apparently with all the formalities of the law. On September 27, 1933, he died. His last will and testament, however, was never presented to the court for probate, nor has any administration proceeding ever been instituted for the settlement of his estate. Ever since the death of Victorino L. Guevara, his only legitimate son Ernesto M. Guevara appears to have possessed the land adjudicated to him in the registration proceeding and to have disposed of various portions thereof for the purpose of paying the debts left by his father. In the meantime Rosario Guevara, who appears to have had her father's last will and testament in her custody, presented the will to the court, not for the purpose of having it probated but only to prove that the deceased Victirino L. Guevara had acknowledged her as his natural daughter. Upon that proof of acknowledgment she claimed her share of the inheritance from him, but on the theory or assumption that he died intestate, because the will had not been probated, for which reason, she asserted, the betterment therein made by the testator in favor of his legitimate son Ernesto M. Guevara should be disregarded. Both the trial court and the Court of appeals sustained that theory. ISSUE: Whether or not probate is necessary for Rosario to be able to claim her legitime as an acknowledged natural daughter. RULING: In the instant case there is no showing that the various legatees other than the present litigants had received their respective legacies or that they had knowledge of the existence and of the provisions of the will. Their right under the will cannot be disregarded, nor may those rights be obliterated on account of the failure or refusal of the custodian of the will to present it to the court for probate. Even if the decedent left no debts and nobody raises any question as to the authenticity and due execution of the will, none of the heirs may sue for the partition of the estate in accordance with that will without first securing its allowance or probate by the court, first, because the law expressly provides that "no will shall pass either real or personal estate unless it is proved and allowed in the proper court"; and, second, because the probate of a will, which is a proceeding in rem, cannot be dispensed with the substituted by any other proceeding, judicial or extrajudicial, without offending against public policy designed to effectuate the testator's right to dispose of his property by will in accordance with law and to protect the rights of the heirs and legatees under the will thru the means provided by law, among which are the publication and the personal notices to each and all of said heirs and legatees. Nor may the court approve and allow the will presented in evidence in such an action for partition, which is one in personam, any more than it could decree the registration under the Torrens system of the land involved in an ordinary action for reinvindicacion or partition. 282 | P a g e 29 December 1943

TESTAMENTARIA DEL FINADO REV. P. ELEUTERIO PILAPIL. ADRIANO MENDOZA, APPELLANT, VS. CALIXTO PILAPIL Y OTROS, OPPOSITORAPPELLEE G.R. No. L-47931 DIAZ, J.: FACTS: El P. Eleuterio Pilapil, siendo Cura de la parroquia de Mualboal de la Provincia de Cebu, fallecio en la ciudad de este nombre el 6 de diciembre de 1935. No habiendose presentado ningun testamento suyo despues de su muerte, por lo menos hasta principios de febrero de 1939, su hermano Calixto Pilapil promovio el dia 6 de dichos mes y ano,el expediente de intestado No. 399 para pedir que fuesenombrado administrador de los bienes relictos de el. Recibida a prueba la solicitud que habia presentado para elindicado fin, previas las publicaciones de los avisos presritos por la ley, y oyendo el Juzgado previamente a los quecomparecieron para oponerse a la misma, entre los cuales estaban el mismo apelado y Simeona Pilapil, el Juzgado se la concedio, nombrandole acto seguido administrador de dicho Intestado. A los pocos dias, o sea el 4 de marzo de 1939, el apelado promovio a su vez el expediente No. 407 de que antes se ha hecho mencion, para pedir la legalizacion como testamento del finado P. Eleuterio Pilapil, del Exhibit A que es el duplicado al carbon del Exhibit C. Hay entre las clausulas de dichos dos documentos. ISSUE: Whether or not probate is necessary in the present case. RULING: Indudablemente no le falto razon al Juzgado de Cebu para nombrar administrador especial en el expediente No. 407, al apelado, porque en los documentos que alli se trataban de legalizar como testamento y disposicion de ultima voluntad del finado P. Eleuterio Pilapil, consta el encargo expreso de que lo fuese. Ademas, no habia ni hay ninguna ley que prohiba a los Tribunales que conocen de un expediente de testamentaria o de intestado, nombrar a mas de un administrador; y, en el caso de que se trata ocurrio que se dejo sin efecto el nombramiento del apelante como administrador, luego que se fundieron los dos referidos expedientes. Mas todavia; si el proposito de los apelantes al proponer la cuestion de que venimos hablando, es dejar sin efecto el nombramiento expedido a favor del apelado como administrador especial, vano es y vano ha de ser dicho proposito, porque el insistir en el equivale a estar apelando de una orden del Juzgado que nombra a un administrador especial; y la ley no permite apelacion contra ordenes de dicha naturaleza. Es terminante la disposicion de ley que dice: "No se permitira la apelacion contra el nombramiento de dicho administrador especial". (Art. 660, Ley No. 190.) En adicion a todo esto debe decirse que, si hubo algun error en el nombramiento del apelado como administrador especial, por la razon de que otro en propiedad ya estaba nombrado por el Juzgado, el error, si tal puede llamarse, no ha sido de tal naturaleza que haya causado perjuicio alguno a nadie, y menos a la Testamentaria del finado P. Eleuterio Pilapil. Las raspaduras y alteraciones que se notan en los exhibits A y C constituyen unos hechos a los que ahora, por primera vez, y en esta instancia, se quiere llamr la atencion, cuando ello debio haberse hecho mientras la causa se hallaba todavia en el Juzgado de su procedencia. No podemos tenerlos en cuenta en el presente estado de las actuaciones porque, suponiendo que entonces ya 283 | P a g e 27 June 1941

existian, puede y debe decirse, aunque no lo dijo en terminos expresos el Juzgado de Cebu, que considero que no viciaban dichos documentos; pues es presuncion juris tantum que "todos los hechos relacionados con los puntos discutidos en un juicio fueron expuestos al juzgado y apreciados por el". (Art. 334, par. 16, Ley No. 190.) Y no lo viciaron en efecto, porque se desprende de las mismas circunstancias del caso, que se hicieron precisamente para poner las cosas en su verdadero lugar. Los dos exhibits A y C fueron preparados por el finado P. Eleuterio Pilapil en Mualboal donde era Cura Parroco, antes de ser transladado para ser tratado de su enfermedad que le causo la muerte, al Southern Islands Hospital de Cebu, donde murio. Fundandose el Juzgado en estos hechos qcion de los tres testigos instrumentales del documento tuvo lugar de una manera casual, en ocasion en que los mismos fueron a visitarle a Eleuterio Pilapil que estaba enfermo en el Southern Islands Hospital, y alli el hoy finado les rogo que actuaran de testigos del documento que ya tenia entonces preparado".

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LOURDES L. DOROTHEO, petitioner VS. COURT OF APPEALS, NILDA D. QUINTANA, FOR HERSELF AND AS ATTORNEYIN-FACT OF VICENTE DOROTHEO AND JOSE DOROTHEO,respondents G.R. No. 108581 YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: FACTS: Private respondents were the legitimate children of Alejandro Dorotheo and Aniceta Reyes. The latter died in 1969 without her estate being settled. Alejandro died thereafter. Sometime in 1977, after Alejandro's death, petitioner, who claims to have taken care of Alejandro before he died, filed a special proceeding for the probate of the latter's last will and testament. In 1981, the court issued an order admitting Alejandro's will to probate. Private respondents did not appeal from said order. In 1983, they filed a "Motion to Declare the Will Intrinsically Void." The trial court granted the motion. ISSUE: Whether or not a will extrinsically valid is also intrinsically valid. RULING: It does not necessarily follow that an extrinsically valid last will and testament is always intrinsically valid. Even if the will was validly executed, if the testator provides for dispositions that deprives or impairs the lawful heirs of their legitime or rightful inheritance according to the laws on succession, the unlawful provisions/dispositions thereof cannot be given effect. This is specially so when the courts had already determined in a final and executory decision that the will is intrinsically void. Such determination having attained that character of finality is binding on this Court which will no longer be disturbed. Not that this Court finds the will to be intrinsically valid, but that a final and executory decision of which the party had the opportunity to challenge before the higher tribunals must stand and should no longer be reevaluated. Failure to avail of the remedies provided by law constitutes waiver. And if the party does not avail of other remedies despite its belief that it was aggrieved by a decision or court action, then it is deemed to have fully agreed and is satisfied with the decision or order. As early as 1918, it has been declared that public policy and sound practice demand that, at the risk of occasional errors, judgments of courts must at some point of time fixed by law become final otherwise there will be no end to litigation. Interes rei publicae ut finis sit litium the very object of which the courts were constituted was to put an end to controversies. To fulfill this purpose and to do so speedily, certain time limits, more or less arbitrary, have to be set up to spur on the slothful. The only instance where a party interested in a probate proceeding may have a final liquidation set aside is when he is left out by reason of circumstances beyond his control or through mistake or inadvertence not imputable to negligence, which circumstances do not concur herein. 8 December 1999

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NELSON NUFABLE, SILMOR NUFABLE AND AQUILINA NUFABLE, petitioner, VS. GENEROSA NUFABLE, VILFLOR NUFABLE, MARCELO NUFABLE AND THE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents G.R. No. 126950 GONZAGA-REYES, J.: FACTS: Edras Nufable owned an untitled parcel of land located at Poblacion, Manjuyod, Negros Oriental, consisting of 948 square meters, more or less. He died on August 9, 1965 and was survived by his children, namely: Angel Custodio, Generosa, Vilfor and Marcelo, all surnamed Nufable. Upon petition for probate filed by said heirs and after due publication and hearing, the then Court of First Instance of Negros Oriental (Branch II) issued an Order dated March 30, 1966 admitting to probate the last will and testament executed by the deceased Edras Nufable. However, one of the heirs, Angel actually mortgaged the entire property to DBP two months prior to the settlement which property was eventually foreclosed. Thereafter, Nelson, son of the mortgagors, purchased said property from DBP. The other heirs now filed for the annulment of sale in favor of Nelson. The Court of Appeals rendered the assailed decision granting one-fourth of the property to Nelson and the other threefourths to the other heirs. Petitioners filed this present petition contending that the probate of the Last Will and Testament of Edras Nufable did not determine the ownership of the land in question as against third parties. ISSUE: Whether or not the Last Will and Testament of Edras Nufable and its subsequent probate pertinent and material to the question of the right of ownership of petitioner Nelson who purchased the land in question from, and as acquired property of DBP. RULING: No, the Last Will and Testament of Edras and its subsequent probate do not affect the title of Nelson. At the time when the entire property was mortgaged, the other heirs of Edras had already acquired successional rights over the said property. This is so because the rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent. Accordingly, for the 286 | P a g e 02 July 1999

purpose of transmission of rights, it does not matter whether the Last Will and Testament of Edras Nufable was admitted to probate, or that the settlement of the estate was approved. It is also to be noted that it was the will of the decedent that the subject property should remain undivided, although the restriction should not exceed 20 years pursuant to Article 870 of the Civil Code. Thus, Angel had no right to mortgage the entire property. His right to the property was limited only to his one-fourth pro indiviso share. Well-entrenched is the rule that a co-owner can only alienate his pro indiviso share in the co-owned propert

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JUAN PALACIOS, PETITIONER AND APPELLANT, VS. MARIA CATIMBANG PALACIOS, OPPOSITOR AND APPELLEE G.R.No. L-12207 BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.: FACTS: Juan Palacio executed his last will and testament and availing himself of the provisions of the new Civil Code, he filed before the Court of First Instance of Batangas a petition for its approval. In said will, he instituted as his sole heirs his natural children Antonio Palacio and Andrea Palacio. Maria Catimbang filed an opposition to the probate of the will alleging that she is the acknowledged natural daughter of petitioner but that she was completely ignored in said will thus impairing her legitimate. After the presentation of petitioners evidence relative to the essential requisites and formalities provided by the Law for the validity of a will, the court issued an order admitting the will to probate. The court, however, set a date for the hearing of the opposition relative to the intrinsic validity of the will and after proper hearing concerning this incident, the court issued another order declaring opposition to be the natural child of petitioner and annulling the will in so far as it impairs her legitimate. ISSUE: Whether or not the opposition to the intrinsic validity of the will is proper. RULING: Opposition to the intrinsic validity or legality of the provisions of the will cannot be entertained in probate proceeding because its only purpose is merely to determine if the will has been executed in accordance with the requirements of the law, much less if the purpose of the opposition is to show that the opposition is an acknowledged natural child who allegedly has been ignored in the will for such issue cannot be raised in said proceeding but in a separate action. This is especially so when the testator is still alive and has merely filed a petition for allowance of his will leaving the effects thereof after his death. 24 December 1959

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ROLANDO SANCHEZ, FLORIDA MERLY SANCHEZ, ALFREDO T. SANCHEZ AND MYRNA T. SANCHEZ, petitioners, VS. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ROSALIA S. LUGOD, ARTURO S. LUGOD, EVELYN LUGOD-RANISES AND ROBERTO S. LUGOD, respondents G.R. No. 108947 29 September 1997 PANGANIBAN, J.: FACTS: Private respondent, Rosalia S. Lugod is the only child spouses Juan C. Sanchez and Maria Villafranca while the other private respondents are the legitimate children of respondent Rosalia. Petitioners are the illegitimate children of Juan C. Sanchez. Following the death of her mother, Maria Villafranca, Rosalia a petition for letters of administration over the estate of her mother and the estate of her father, who was at the time in state of senility. In the instant case, the trial court rendered a decision declaring as simulated and fictitious all the deeds of absolute sale which, on July 26, 1963 and June 26, 1967, Juan C. Sanchez and Maria Villafranca executed in favor of their daughter, Rosalia Sanchez Lugod; and grandchildren, namely, Arturo S. Lugod, Evelyn S. Lugod and Roberto S. Lugod. The trial court ruled further that the properties covered by the said sales must be subject to collation. Citing Article 1409 (2) of the Civil Code, the lower court nullified said deeds of sale and determined with finality the ownership of the properties subject thereof. In doing so, it clearly overstepped its jurisdiction as a probate court. ISSUE: Is a petition for certiorari, in lieu of appeal, the proper remedy to correct orders of a probate court nullifying certain deeds of sale and, thus, effectively passing upon title to the properties subject of such deeds. RULING: As a probate court, the trial court was exercising judicial functions when it issued its assailed resolution. The said court had jurisdiction to act in the intestate proceedings involved in 289 | P a g e

this case with the caveat that, due to its limited jurisdiction, it could resolve questions of title only provisionally. It is hornbook doctrine that in a special proceeding for the probate of a will; the question of ownership is an extraneous matter which the probate court cannot resolve with finality. This pronouncement no doubt applies with equal force to an intestate proceeding as in the case at bar. Jurisprudence teaches: [A] probate court or one in charge of proceedings whether testate or intestate cannot adjudicate or determine title to properties claimed to be a part of the estate and which are claimed to be a part of the estate and which are claimed to belong to outside parties. All that the said court could do as regards said properties is to determine whether they should or should not be included in the inventory or list of properties to be administered by the administrator. If there is not dispute, well and good, but if there is, then the parties, the administrator, and the opposing parties have to resort to an ordinary action for a final determination of the conflicting claims of title because the probate court cannot do so. Furthermore, the trial court parties compromise agreement. Such disregard, on the ground that the compromise agreement was not approved by the court, is tantarmount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation and within the bounds of law.

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JOSE RIVERA,petitioner VS. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT AND ADELAIDO J. RIVERA G.R. Nos. 75005-06 CRUZ, J.: FACTS: On May 30, 1975, a prominent and wealthy resident of the town of Mabalacat named Venancio Rivera died. Jose Rivera, claiming to be the only surviving legitimate son of the deceased, filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration over Venancios estate. It was opposed by Adelaido Rivera who denied that Jose was the son of the decedent. Adelaido averred that Venancio was his father and did not die intestate but in fact left two holographic wills. Adelaido filed a petition for probate of the two holographic wills this was opposed by Jose. Adelaido was later on appointed special administrator. After trial, Jose was found not the son of the decedent but of a different Venancio Rivera who was married to Maria Vital. The Venancio Rivera whose estate was in question was married to Maria Jocson, by whom he had 7 children including Adelaido. The holographic will was also admitted to probate. ISSUE: Whether or not the holographic wills are valid. RULING: Yes. The respondent court considered them valid because it was found them to have been written, dated, signed by the testator himself in accordance with Article 810 of the Civil Code. It also held there was no necessity of presenting the 3 witnesses required under Article 811 because the authenticity of the will had not been in questioned. The existence and therefore the authenticity of the holographic wills were questioned by Jose Rivera. 15 February 1990

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Jose opposed the holographic wills submitted by Adelaido and claimed that they were spurious. Consequently, it may be argued, the respondent court should have applied Art. 811 of the Civil Code, provided as follows: in the probate of a holographic will it shall be necessary that at least 1 witness who knows the handwriting and signature of the testator explicitly declare that the will and the signature are in the handwriting of the testator. If the will contested, at least 3 witnesses shall be required. The flaw in this argument is that as we have already determined, Jose Rivera is not the son of the deceased Venancio whose estate is in question. Hence, being a mere stranger, he had no personality to contest the wills and his opposition thereto did not have the legal effect of requiring the 3 witnesses. The testimony of Zenaida and Venancio who authenticated the wills as having been written and signed by their father, was sufficient.

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VICENTE B. TEOTICO, petitioner-appellant , VS. ANA DEL VAL, ETC., oppositor appellee G.R. No. L-18753 BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.: FACTS: Maria Mortera died in 1955. She left a will, duly acknowledged before a notary public and witnesses. The will stated that she freely executed the will with sound mind, good health. Among the many legacies and devisees made in the will was one P20,000.00 to Rene Teodico, husband of her niece Josefina Mortera. She also instituted Josefina as her sole and universal heir to all the remainder of her properties not otherwise disposed of in the will. Vicente Teodico filed a petition for probate of will before the CFI and a hearing was set. Ana del Val Chan, claiming to be an adopted child of Francisca Mortera, a deceased sister of the testator, as well as an acknowledged natural child of Jose Mortera, deceaseed brother of testator, filed an opposition of the will alleging that: 1.) said will was not executed as required by law; 2.) testator was physically and mentally incapable to execute the will at the time of the execution; 3.) the will was executed under duress, threat or influence of fear. Vicente Teotico filed a motion to dismiss the opposition alleging that the oppositor had no legal personality to intervene. The probate court, however, allowed the oppositor to intervene as the adopted child of Francisca. She amended her opposition, alleging the additional ground that the will is inoperative as to the share of Dr. Rene Teotico because he was the physician who took care of testator during her last illness. Petitioner Teotico, together with Josefina, filed a motion for reconsideration on the decision on the nullity of the legacy made to Dr. Rene Teotico, while the oppositor filed a motion for reconsideration on the decision decreeing the probate of the will. Both motions were denied. Both appealed. 293 | P a g e March 26, 1965

ISSUE: Whether or not the probate court erred passing on the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will and in determining who should inherit the portion to be vacated by the nullification of the legacy made in favor of Dr. Rene Teotico? RULING: The question of whether the probate court could determine the intrinsic validity of the provisions of a will has been decided by this Court in a long line of decisions among which the following may be cited: "Opposition to the intrinsic validity or legality of the provisions of the will cannot be entertained in probate proceeding because its only purpose is merely to determine if the will has been executed in accordance with the requirements of the law." The authentication of a will decides no other questions than such as touch upon the capacity of the testator and the compliance with those requisites or solemnities which the law prescribes for the validity of wills. It does not determine nor even by implication prejudge the validity or efficiency of the provisions; these may be impugned as being vicious or null, notwithstanding its authentication. The questions relating to these points remain entirely unaffected, and may be raised even after the will has been authenticated. "To establish conclusively as against everyone, and once for all, the facts that a will was executed with the formalities required by law and that the testator was in a condition to make a will, is the only purpose of the proceedings under the new code for the probate of a will. (Sec. 625.) The judgment in such proceedings determines and can determine nothing more. In them the court has no power to pass upon the validity of any provisions made in the will. It can not decide, for example, that a certain legacy is void and another one valid."

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TESTATE ESTATE OF FELICIDAD ESGUERRA ALTO-YAP, DECEASED. FAUSTO E. GAN, petitioner appellant, VERSUS ILDEFONSO YAP, oppositor appellee G.R. No. L-12190 BENGZON, J.: FACTS: It was stipulated that Felicidad AltoYap died of heart failure on November 20, 1951, leaving properties in Pulitan, Bulacan and in the City of Manila. Fausto E. Gan, the petitioner and appellant herein, filed a petition for the probate of a holographic will allegedly executed by the deceased on March 17, 1952. In order to justify his claim, he tired to establish the contents and due execution of the will by the statements in open court of Felisa Enguerra, Primitivo Reyes, Socorro Olarte, and Rosario Gan Jimenez, who testified that they have witnessed the execution of the will in question as the same has been read to them when they happen to visit the deceased when she was still at the UST Hospital. The petitioner, however, failed to present in court a copy of the alleged holographic will. On the other hand, her surviving spouse, Ildefonso Yap, the opposite and appellee herein, asserted that the deceased had not left any will nor executed a testament during her lifetime. The Court of First Instance rendered a decision refusing to probate the alleged will and thereafter denied the motion for reconsideration submitted thereto. ISSUE: Whether or not the alleged holographic will of Felicidad Alto Yap be probated. RULING: It was held that in the probate of holographic will a copy thereof must be duly presented in court in order to determine that the will has been written and duly authenticated by 295 | P a g e 30 August 1958

the testator. Therefore, the failure to present a copy thereof will classify the same as lost or destroyed. The court then held that the execution and the contents of the lost or destroyed holographic may not be proved by the bare testimony of witnesses who have seen and/or read such will. The will itself must be presented; otherwise, it shall produce no effect as the law regards the document as a material proof of authenticity.

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO APPROVE THE WILL OF RICARDO B. BONILLA deceased, MARCELA RODELAS, petitioner-appellant, vs. AMPARO ARANZA, ET AL., oppositors-appellees, ATTY. LORENZO SUMULONG, intervenor. G.R. No. L-58509 RELOVA, J.: FACTS: This is a consolidated petition filed by Amparo Aranza Bonilla, Wilferine Bonilla Treyes, Expidite Bonilla Frias, and Ephralm Bonilla, the oppositors and appelles herein, opposing the petition filed by Marcela Rodelas, the petitioner and appellant herein, for the probate of the holographic will of Ricardo Bonilla and the issuance of letters of testamentary in her favor. The latter presented in court an alleged copy of the said holographic will. The probate court ordered the dismissal of appellants petition for the allowance of the holographic will of deceased Ricardo B. Bonilla on the ground that the alleged photostatic copy of the will which was presented for probate, cannot stand in lieu of the lost original, for the law regards the document itself as the material proof of the authenticity of the said will. ISSUE: Whether or not a holographic will that was lost or cannot be found be proved by means of a photostatic copy. RULING: The court held that if a holographic will has been lost or destroyed and no other copy is available, the will cannot be probated because the best and only evidence is the handwriting of the testator in the said will as it is necessary that there be a comparison between sample handwritten statements of the testator and the handwritten will. 296 | P a g e 7 December 1982

However, a photostatic copy or xerox copy of the holographic will may be allowed because comparison can be made with the standard writings of the testator.

RE: Production of Witnesses EUGENIA RAMONAL CODOY AND MANUEL RAMONAL, PETITIONERS, VERSUS EVANGELINE R. CALUGAY, JOSEPHINE SALCEDO, AND EUFEMIA PATIGAS, RESPONDENTS G.R. No. L-123486 12 August 1999 PARDO, J.: FACTS: On April 6, 1990, Evangeline Calugay, Josephine Salcedo, Eufemia Patigas, devisees and legatees of the holographic will of the deceased Matilde Seo Vda. De Ramonal, filed with the Regional Trial Court, a petition for probate of the holographic will of the deceased, who died on January 16, 1990. On June 28, 1990, Eugenia Ramonal Codoy and Manuel Ramonal filed an opposition to the petition for probate, alleging that the holographic will was a forgery and that the same is illegible. This gives an impression that a third hand of an interested party other than the true hand of Matilde Seo Vda. De Ramonal executed the holographic will. Respondent presented six (6) witnesses and various documentary evidence. However, the lower court denied probate of the will for insufficiency of evidence and lack of merits. ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in not analyzing the signatures in the holographic will of Matilde Seo Vda. De Ramonal.

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RULING: The article provides, as a requirement for the probate of a contested holographic will, that at least three witnesses explicitly declare that the signature in the will is the genuine signature of the testator. The Supreme Court was convinced, based on the language used, that Article 811 of the Civil Code is mandatory. The SC ruled that shall in a statue commonly denotes an imperative obligation and is consistent with the idea of discretion and the presumption is that the word shall, when used in a statue is mandatory. It will be noted that not all the witnesses presented by the respondents testified explicitly that they were familiar with the handwriting of the testator. In the case of Augusto Neri, Clerk of Court, Court of First Instance, Misamis Oriental, he merely uidentified the record of said case before said court. He was not presented to declare explicitly that the signature appearing in the holographic was that of the deceased. There was no opportunity for an expert to compare the signature and the handwriting of the deceased with other documents signed and executed by her during her lifetime. The only chance of comparison was when the lawyer of petitioners asked Ms. Binanay during the crossexamination to compare the documents having the signature of the deceased with that of the holographic will and she is not a handwriting expert. Even the former lawyer of the deceased expressed doubts as to the authenticity of the signature in the holographic will.

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ANGELA RODRIGUEZ, MARIA RODRIGUEZ, ET AL., PETITIONERS, VERSUS HONORABLE JUAN DE BORJA, AS JUDGE OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF BULACAN, BRANCH III, ANATOLIA PANGILINAN AND ADELAIDA JACALAN, RESPONDENTS G.R. No. L-21993 REYES, J.B.L., J.: FACTS: Petitioners filed a petition for a writ of certiorari and prohibition against the court of first instance of Bulacan for its refusal to grant their motion to dismiss in especial proceeding No. 1331 which said court is alleged to have taken cognizance of it without jurisdiction. Petitioners contend that the court has no jurisdiction to try the case due to the pendency of another action for for the settlement of the estate of the deceased Rev. Fr. Celestino Rodriguez in the court of First Instance of Rizal namely Special Proceedings no 3907. They contend that since the intestate proceedings in the CFI of Rizal was filed at 8:00 a.m. on March 12, 1963 while the petition for probate was filed in the CFI of Bulacan at 11:00 a.m. an the same date, the latter court has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition for probate, citing as authority in support thereof the case of Vda. De Borja vs. Jan. The respondents, on the other hand, take the stand that the CFI Bulacan acquired jurisdiction over the case upon delivery by them of the will to the clerk of court on March 4, 1963 and that the case in this court therefore has precedence over the case filed in Rizal on March 12, 1963. 21 June 1966

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ISSUE: When did the CFI of Bulacan acquired jurisdiction over the case? RULING: The jurisdiction of the CFI of Bulacan became vested upon the delivery thereto of the will of the late father Rodriguez on March 4, 1963 even if no petition for its allowance was filed until later, because upon the will being deposited, the court could, motu proprio, have taken steps to fix the time and place of proving the will and issued the corresponding notices conformably to what is prescribed by section 3, Rule 76 of the Revised Rules of Court. Accordingly, the use of the disjunctive in the words when a will is delivered to or a petition for the allowance of may act upon the mere deposit therein of a decedents testament even if no petition for its allowance is as yet filed. The estate proceedings having been initiated in the CFI of Bulacan ahead of any other that court is entitled to assume jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts even if it were a case of wrong venue by express provisions of Rule 73 of the Rules of Court. The disposition presupposes that 2 or more courts have been asked to take cognizance of the settlement of the estate of them, only one could be of proper venue yet the rule grants precedence to that court whose jurisdiction is first invoked without taking venue into account. Furthermore, 2 other reasons may be invoked against the petitioners, that is, (1.) Bad faith and (2.) our system of civil law provides that intestate succession is only subsidiary or subordinate to the testate, since intestacy only takes place in the absence of a valid operative will.

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TESTATE ESTATE OF GLICERIA A. DEL ROSARIO, DECEASED. CONSUELO S. GONZALES VDA. DE PRECILLA, PETITIONER-ADMINISTRATRIX, -VERSUSSEVERINA NARCISO, ROSA NARCISO, JOSEFA NARCISO, VICENTE MAURICIO, DELFEN MAURICIO, REMEDIOS NARCISO, ENCARNACIONNARCISO, MARIA NARCISO, EDUARDO NARCISO, FR. LUCIO V. GARCIA, ANTONIO JESUS DE PRAGA, MARIA NATIVIDAD DE JESUS-DR. JAIME ROSARIO, ET. AL., NATIVIDAD DEL ROSARIO-SARMIENTO, AND PASCUALA NARCISO-MANAHAN, OPPOSITORS-APPELLANTS G.R. No.L-27200 18 August 1972

FACTS: A motion for reconsideration/new trial was filed by petitioner appeal praying that the decision of the court promulgated on April 30, 1970 disallowing the purported will of the deceased Gliceria A. Del Rosario be reconsidered and set aside and the judgment of the trial court admitting the same to probate be affirmed or in the alternative, that before finally resolving the said issue of the probate of said purported will , this case be remanded to the court a quo in order that further evidence be admitted relative to the factual question of whether or not the said deceased could have read the said document on December 29, 1960, the date of the alleged execution of her eyes then.

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One of the ground alleged in the support of the present motion was the testimony of Dr. Jesus V. Jamesis upon which the disallowance of the will was based, has no probative value because: (a.) it is permissive upon a grave factual error; (b.) such testimony is contradicted by his own clinical record; and (c.) it is glaringly superficial and evasive. ISSUE: Whether or not the contention of the petitioner appeals is meritorious, thus, a new trail must be held. RULING: A testament may not be disallowed just before the attesting witnesses declare in favor of this legislation. What is decisive is that the court is convinced by evidence before it, not necessarily from the attesting witnesses although they must testify, that the will was or was not duly executed in the manner required by the law because the proponent is not included by the testimonies of the attesting witnesses. Dr. Jamesis testimony was vague and that he testified mere opinion rather than his personal knowledge. There would have been less difficulty in arriving at a safe conclusion as regards the vital fact now in controversy, if he had only been more categorically and definite rather than somehow ambiguous and equivocal in his testimony. In the light of the points raised by appeal in her motion for reconsideration, that the best interest of justice will be better served by reopening this case.

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PEDRO GALLANOSA, CORAZON GRECIA-GALLANOSA AND ADOLFO FORTAJADA, THE DECEASED PEDRO GALLANOSA BEING SUBSTITUTED BY HIS LEGAL HEIRS, NAMELY HIS ABOVE-NAMED WIDOW AND HIS CHILDREN, ISIDRO GALLANOSA, AND LEDY GALLANOSA, AND GRANDCHILDREN NAMED IMELDA TECLA GALLANOSA AND ROSARIO BRIGIDA GALLANOSA, CHILDREN OF THE LATE SIKATUNA GALLANOSA, SON OF PEDRO GALLANOSA, PETITIONERS, VS. HON. UBALDO Y. ARCANGEL, JUDGE OF BRANCH I OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF SORSOGON AND FLORENTINO G. HITOSIS, et.al, RESPONDENTS G.R. No. L-29300 21 June 1978

FACTS: Florentino Hitosis executed a will in Bicol dialect in 1938. He died on 1939. He is survived only by his brother. Thereafter, a petition for probate of his will was filed. He bequeathed his share of the conjugal property to his second wife, Tecla, and should Tecla predecease him, as was the case, it would be assigned to the spouses Pedro Gallanosa and Corazon Grecia. He likewise bequeathed his separate properties to his protg. The probate was opposed by his brother, nephews and nieces. Subsequently, the will was admitted for probate. Thereafter the testamentary heirs submitted a project partition wherein the properties therein were distributed in accordance with the testators will. The same was approved by the judge. 303 | P a g e

However, the heirs of Florentinos deceased brothers and sisters instituted an action for recovery of the land alleging that they have been in continuous possession of the same. As the basis of their complaint, they alleged that the Gallanosa spouses, through fraud, caused the simulation of the document purporting it to be the last will and testament of Florentino. ISSUE: Whether or not the private respondents have a cause of action for the annulment of the will to recover the parcel of land subject of legacy therein. RULING: Our procedural law does not sanction an action for the annulment of a will. In order that a will may take effect, it has to be probated, legalized or allowed in the proper testamentary proceeding. The probate of the will is mandatory. The 1939 decree of probate is conclusive as to the due execution or formal validity of the will. That means that the testator was of sound mind at the time when he executed the will and was not acting under duress, menace, fraud or undue influence; that the will was signed by him in the presence of the required number of witnesses, and that the will is genuine and is not a forgery. Accordingly, these facts cannot again be questioned in a subsequent proceeding, not even in a criminal action for the forgery of the will. After the finality of the allowance of a will the issue as to the voluntariness of its execution cannot be raised anymore. It was held in Austria vs. Ventenilla that under section 625 of Act No. 190, the only time given to parties who are displeased with the order admitting to probate a will, for an appeal is the time given for appeals in ordinary actions; but without deciding whether or not an order admitting a will o probate will be opened for fraud, after the time allowed for an appeal has expired, when no appeal has taken from an order probating a will, the heirs cannot, in subsequent litigation in the same proceedings, raise questions relating to its due execution. The probate of a will is conclusive as to its due execution and as to the testamentary capacit y of the testator.

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IN RE WILL OF SILVESTRA BARON. VIVENCIO CUYUGAN, PETITIONERAPPELLANT, VS. FAUSTINA BARON, ET AL., OPPOSITORS-APPELEES G.R. No. L-41947 BUTTE, J.: FACTS: That on the date of the execution of said will, that is to say, on December 17, 1932, the said testatrix was about 80 years old, more or less, and was of sound and disposing mind, and not acting under duress, menace, fraud or undue influence, and was in every respect competent to dispose of her estate by will.The amended oppositions of Guillermo Baron, brother of the deceased, and Faustina Baron, sister of the deceased, allege in substance first, that at the time of the execution of the alleged will, Silvestra Baron was mentally and physically incapacitated for the execution of a will; and, second, that her signature and alleged consent to the said will was obtained by imposition and undue influence of the said Vivencio Cuyugan and fraudulent confabulation between him and the attorney who prepared the document and the witnesses who affixed their signatures thereto. 305 | P a g e 29 December 1936

ISSUE: Whether or not the will was executed in accordance with law to be admitted for probate. RULING: An instrument purporting to be a will executed and witnessed in accordance with the formalities required by the statute is entitled to the presumption of regularity. But the burden of the evidence passes to the proponent when the oppositors submit credible evidence tending to show that the supposed testator did not possess testamentary capacity at the time or that the document was not the free and voluntary expression of the alleged testator or that the will, for any other reason, is void in law. The finding that the will was executed under undue influence or by the fraud of another presupposes testamentary capacity. The doctrine that where the testator has had an opportunity to revoke his will subsequent to the operation of an alleged undue influence upon him but makes no change in it, the courts will consider this fact as weighing heavily against the testimony of undue influence, has no application to cases in which there has been an initial lack of testamentary capacity. It has no application, moreover, where from the day of execution until the death of the testator his mental condition is such that he cannot judge the propriety of revoking the will. Nor obviously does it apply to a case where the alleged testator harbors the belief that he had not executed the will in question. PASCUAL COSO, PETITIONER AND APPELLANT, VS. FERMINA FERNANDEZ DEZA, ET AL., OBJECTORS AND APPELLEES G.R. No. 16763 22 December 1921 OSTRAND, J.: FACTS: The will gives the tercio de libre disposicion to an illegitimate son had by the testator with Rosario Lopez, and also provides for the payment to her of nineteen hundred Spanish duros by way of reimbursement for expenses incurred by her in taking care of the testator in Barcelna when he is alleged to have suffered from severe illness. It was shown that the testator, a married man became acquainted with Rosario Lopez in Spain and that he had illicit relations with her for many years. She followed him when he returned to the Philippines and in close communication until death of the latter. There is no doubt that she exercised some influence over him. ISSUE: Whether or not the influence exercised by Rosario Lopez was of such character as to vitiate the will.

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RULING: Mere general or reasonable influence over a testator is not sufficient to invalidate a will; to have that effect the influence must be undue; to be sufficient to avoid a will, the influence exerted must be of a kind that so overpowers and subjugates the mind of the testator as to destroy his free agency and make him express the will of another, rather than his own. Such influence must be actually exerted on the mind of the testator in regard to the execution of the will. While the same amount of influence may become undue when exercised by one occupying an improper and adulterous relation to testator, the mere fact that some influence is exercised by a person sustaining that relation does not invalidate a will, unless it is further shown that the influence destroys the testators free agency. While it is shown that the testator entertained strong affections for Rosario Lopez, it does not appear that her influence so overpowered and subjugated his mind as to destroy his free agency and make him express the will of another rather than his own. He was an intelligent man, a lawyer by profession, appears to have known his own mind, and may well have been actuated only by a legitimate sense of duty in making provisions for the welfare of his illegitimate son and by a proper feeling of gratitude in repaying Rosario Lopez for her sacrifices she had made for him. Mere affection, even if illegitimate, is not undue influence and does not invalidate a will. RE: Institution of Heirs

ONESIMA D. BELEN, PETITIONER AND APPELLANT, VS. BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS AND MILAGROS BELEN DE OLAGUERA, OPPOSITORS AND APPELLEES G.R. No. L-14474 REYES, J.B.L., J.: FACTS: When Benigno Diaz died, his will together with the codicil he executed, giving a legacy to Filomena Diaz, were admitted to probate. The proceedings were closed in 1950 and the estate was thereafter put under the administration of the appellee bank. Subsequently, Filomena Diaz died, leaving two legitimate children, Milagros , married with seven legitimate children and Onesima, single. The latter filed a petition contending that the amount that would have appertained to Filomena Diaz under the codicil should now be divided equally only between 307 | P a g e 31 October 1960

herself and Milagros, to the exclusion of the seven legitimate children of the latter. The court denied the petition. ISSUE: Whether or not the property shall be divided equally only between the legitimate children to the exclusion of the grandchildren. RULING: Under Article 846 of the Civil Code, heirs instituted without designation of shares shall inherit in equal parts. The meaning of the word descendants, when used in a will or deed to designate a class to take property passing by the will or deed, has been frequently considered and decided that it means all persons descending lineally from another, to the remotest degree and includes persons so descended, even though their parents are living and that such descendants take per capita and not per stirpes. We conclude that in the absence of other indications of contrary intent, the proper rule to apply in the instant case is that the testator, by designating a class or group of legatees, intended all members therof to succeed per capita, in consonance with Artcile 846. So that the original legacy to Filomena Diaz should be equally divided among her surviving children and grandchildren.

ASUNCION NABLE JOSE, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS AND APPELLANTS, VS. MARIA IGNACIA USON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND APPELLEES G. R. NO. 8927 10 MARCH 1914 MORELAND, J.: FACTS: The codicil to the will of Filomena Uson provided that all the property belonging to her as conjugal property shall be the property if her husband; that in case the same exists at her husbands death, her sisters and nieces named shall succeed her husband as heirs. ISSUE: Whether or not the property shall be divided equally between the living sisters and the children of the deceased sisters. RULING: It was the intention of the testatrix to divide her property equally between her sisters and nieces. The testatrix, in the second paragraph of the codicil, names and identifies each one of 308 | P a g e

her heirs then living, or each one of the persons whom she desires shall succeed her husband in the property. Among those mentioned specifically are the nieces as well as the sisters. The nieces are referred to in no way different from the sisters. The nieces are referred to in no way different from the sisters. Each one stands out as the other under exactly the same conditions. Moreover, in the last clause she says that she names all of the persons whom she desires to take under her will by name so that they may take and enjoy the property in equal parts as go od sisters and relatives.

RUBEN AUSTRIA, CONSUELO AUSTRIA-BENTA AND LAURO AUSTRIA MOZO, PETITIONERS, VS. HON. ANDRES REYES, JUDGE, COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF RIZAL, PERFECTO CRUZ, BENITA CRUZ-MENEZ ISAGANI CRUZ, ALBERTO CRUZ AND LUZ CRUZ-SALONGA RESPONDENTS. G.R. No. L-23079 CASTRO, J.: FACTS: Basilia Austria vda. De Cruz filed with the Court if First Instance of Rizal a petition for probate, ante mortem of her last will and testament. However, the probate was opposed by petitioners: Ruben Austria, Consuelo Austria Benta, Laura Austria Mozo and others- nephews and nieces of Basilia Austria. Their opposition was dismissed by the CFI and the probate was 309 | P a g e 27 February 1970

allowed. The trial court decided that as per provisions in the will, the estate shall pass on to Basilias adopted children, namely: Perfecto, Isagani, Alberto and Luz all surnamed Cruz, as declared assumed and legally adopted children of Basilia Austria vda. De Cruz. After two years from the probate of the will, Basilia died, and Perfecto was appointed as executor. Petitioners Ruben and the others filed an Intervention to Partition, contending that they are the nearest of kin to the decedent, that Perfecto Cruz and siblings were not adopted in accordance with law, thus, they are mere strangers and without right to succeed as heirs. The trial court allowed the intervention, and for the meantime, the authenticity of he adoption papers was debated upon. Ruben Austria referred it to the NBI, which said that it was genuine. They again referred it to the Constabulary who said it is not authentic. Thus, the petitioners moved to set for hearing the genuineness of the adoption papers. However, before the date of the hearing, Benita Cruz filed an alternative relief, to confine the petitioners intervention, should it be permitted, to properties not disposed of in the will of the decedent.

ISSUE: Whether or not the institution of heirs made by Basilia in her will is based on false cause, thus should be annulled. RULING: No, the institution is valid and is not based on false cause. Art. 850 provides for the Annulment of a Will based on a false cause: cause for institution of heirs must be stated in the will; cause must be shown to be false; it appears in the face of the will that the testator would not have made such institution if he had known of the falsity of the cause. It can be inferred from the Will of Basilia that when she instituted her heirs, she was possessed of testamentary capacity and the will was free from falsification, fraud, trickery or undue influence. Also, in her will, she does not specifically state the cause of her institution. Therefore, in the absence of proof that there exists false cause in the institution of heirs, testacy must be favored from intestacy, and the will must be given full express.

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IN RE ESTATE OF JOSE MACROHON TIAHUA. FRANCISCO BARRIOS, ADMINISTRATOR-APPELLEE, VS. EDUARDA ENRIQUEZ, ET AL., HEIRS APPELLANTS. IGNACIO MACROHON, APPELLANT. G.R. No. L-29789 AQUINO, J.: FACTS: Jose Macrohon Tiahua included his adulterous son in his will, bequeathing upon him a part of the estate, together with his nine legitimate children. The institution was opposed by Eduarda Enriquez, surviving spouse of Jose Macrohon Tiahua and their children. 22 December 1928

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The provision in the will reads as follows: After all my debts, obligations, and funeral expenses have been paid, I hereby bequeath and devise all my property, real, personal, and mixed, as follows, to wit: "One-half (1/2) pro indiviso of my whole estate to my wife Eduarda Enriquez, and the other half (1/2) in equal parts pro indiviso to each of my children, including Fernando Quintas and Julia Quintas, son and daughter, respectively, of my deceased daughter, Gregoria Macrohon, who shall receive the portion corresponding to the share of my said daughter, that is, 1/44 for each of the two." Included among the children mentioned by the testator in said will, and to whom he gave the one-half of the property corresponding to him from the conjugal partnership, is the herein appellant Ignacio Macrohon, his adulterous son. Dividing this half, that is ten- twentieth parts (10/20), among his nine legitimate children and his adulterous son, Ignacio Macrohon, into equal parts, each of them will be entitled to one-twentieth of the whole estate. ISSUES: Whether or not the deceased Jose Macrohon Tiahua have a right to dispose of a part of his estate by will in favor of his adulterous son; Whether or not the deceased Jose Macrohon Tiahua infringed the limitations prescribed by the law in putting his adulterous son Ignacio Macrohon on the same footing as his legitimate children by giving him a share equal to that of each of the latter RULING: As to the first issue, YES, the deceased Jose Macrohon Tiahua had a right to dispose of the free third of his estate. It is true that Article 845 of the Civil Code provides that "illegitimate children who have not the status of natural children shall be entitled to support only," and therefore cannot demand anything more of those bound by law to support them, it does not prohibit said illegitimate children from receiving, nor their parents from giving them, something more than support, so long as the legitimate children are not prejudiced. If the law permits a testator to dispose of the free third of his hereditary estate in favor of a stranger (Article 808 of the Civil Code), there is no legal, moral or social reason to prevent him from making over that third to his illegitimate son who has not the status of a natural son. On the contrary, by reason of blood, the son, although illegitimate, has a preferential right over a stranger unless by his behavior he has become unworthy of such consideration. The second issue is answered in the NEGATIVE. The deceased did not infringe upon the rights of his legitimate descendants. According to Article 808 of the Civil Code, the legitime of legitimate children and descendants consists of two-thirds of the hereditary estate of the father 312 | P a g e

and of the mother, the latter being allowed to dispose of one of said two parts in order to give it as betterment to their legitimate children or descendants. In the present case the testator has not disposed of any of the two parts forming the legitime in order to give it as betterment to any of his children, and the said legitime therefore remains intact, and according to Article 806 of the same Code, is by the law reserved for the forced heirs and the testator cannot dispose of it in any other way. Hence, the nine legitimate children are entitled to two-thirds of said half, or two-sixths of the whole, which, divided equally among them would give to each, two fifty fourths or one twentyseventh of the whole estate. When Jose Macrohon Tiahua, therefore, provided in his will that the one-half of the conjugal property belonging to him was to be divided equally among his nine legitimate children and one adulterous son, each to receive one-twentieth part, he did not go beyond the limits provided by law for such cases, because, one-twentieth for each of his legitimate children is more than each of his legitimate children should receive as his legitime, which only amounts to one twenty-seventh. In other words, since Jose Macrohon Tiahua could dispose of the free third of his hereditary estate in favor of his adulterous son, Ignacio Macrohon, and as he only gave a part of said free third to the latter, he did not infringe any legal prohibition and his testamentary disposition to this effect is valid and effective.

TESTATE ESTATE OF FLORENCIA R. MATEO. PERFECTO GABRIEL, PETITIONER-APPELLEE, VS. RITA R. MATEO, ET AL., OPPONENTSAPPELLANTS. G.R. No. L-26545 AVANCEA, C. J.: 16 December 1927

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FACTS: Florencia Mateo executed her last will and testament on two used sheets of paper. It was signed by her and three attesting witnesses. In the body of the will, she bequeathed all her properties to her instituted heir, Tomasa Mateo, a niece. Nothing was instituted for her only sister, Rita Mateo and to her other nephews and nieces. Accordingly, Rita Mateo opposed the probate of the will, interposing that the testator was affectionate to all her nieces and nephews during her lifetime, and that she, Rita Mateo, was in good terms with her sister, thus must be instituted in the will. ISSUE: Whether or not the testator was absolutely free in making all those provisions in favor of Tomasa Mateo, and nothing for her sister, nephews and nieces. RULING: Yes, the Supreme Court held that there is nothing strange in the wishes of the testator not to leave anything for her sister. It is reasonable that the entirety of her estate was left to Tomasa since according to evidence, Tomasa was taken by the testator when the former was only three years old and had never been separated from her ever since. In addition, as can be inferred, Florencia Mateo has no compulsory heirs; thus, she is free to dispose of her property. Collateral relatives are merely intestate heirs.

MARINA DIZON-RIVERA EXECUTOR-APPELLEE, VS. ESTRELLA DIZON ET AL. , OPPOSITORS-APPELLANTS No L-24561 AVANCEA, C. J.: FACTS: The testator, Agripina J. Valdez died in Angeles, Pampanga and was survived by seven compulsory heirs, six legitimate children named Estela Dizon, Tomas V. Dizon, Bernardita Dizon, Marina Dizon, Angelina Dizon and Josefina Dizon, and a legitimate granddaughter 30 June 1970

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named Lilia Dizon, who is the only legitimate child and heir of Ramon Dizon, a pre-deceased legitimate son of the said decedent. The deceased testator left a will written in Pampango dialect. In her will she named her compulsory heirs with seven other legitimate grandchildren as her beneficiaries, amounting to P1, 801,960.00. She divided, distributed and disposed of all her properties. The distribution is as follows: (1) Estela Dizon-P98,474.80; (2) Angelina Dizon-P106,307.06; (3) Bernardita DizonP51,968.17; (4) Josefina Dizon-P52,056.39; (5) Tomas Dizon-P131,987.41; (6) Lilia DizonP72,182.47; (7) marina Dizon-P1,148,063.71; (8) Pablo Rivera, Jr.-P69,280.00; and (9) Lilia Dizon and the other grandchildren-P72,540.00, having a total value of P1,801,960.01. The last will and testament was admitted to probate, and Marina Dizon was appointed executor. She filed the project of partition; however, oppositors Tomas Dizon and the others filed a counter-project of partition. The lower court approved the partition filed by Marina Dizon. ISSUE: Whether or not the testator is correct in her distribution of properties to her compulsory heirs and grandchildren. RULING: Yes, the institution and partition made by the testator is correct. The testator expressly provided for in her will that her property be divided in accordance with her dispositions, where she specified each real property in her estate and designated the particular heir among her seven compulsory heirs and seven other grandchildren to whom she bequeathed the same. Such was a valid partition of her estate, as contemplated and authorized in the first paragraph of Article 1080 of the Civil Code, providing that Should a person make a partition of his estate by an act inter vivos or by will, such partition shall be respected, insofar as it does not prejudice the legitime of compulsory heirs. DY YIENG SEANGIO, BARBARA D. SEANGIO AND VIRGINIA D. SEANGIO, PETITIONERS, VS. HON. AMOR A. REYES, IN HER CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, NATIONAL CAPITAL JUDICIAL REGION, BRANCH 21, MANILA, ALFREDO D. SEANGIO, ALBERTO D. SEANGIO, ELISA D. SEANGIO-SANTOS,

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VICTOR D. SEANGIO, ALFONSO D. SEANGIO, SHIRLEY D. SEANGIO-LIM, BETTY D. SEANGIO-OBAS AND JAMES D. SEANGIO, RESPONDENTS. G.R. Nos. 140371-72 AZCUNA, J.: FACTS: On September 21, 1988, private respondents filed a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of the late Segundo Seangio. Petitioners Dy Yieng, Barbara and Virginia, all surnamed Seangio, opposed the petition. They contended that: 1) Dy Yieng is still very healthy and in full command of her faculties; 2) the deceased Segundo executed a general power of attorney in favor of Virginia giving her the power to manage and exercise control and supervision over his business in the Philippines; 3) Virginia is the most competent and qualified to serve as the administrator of the estate of Segundo because she is a certified public accountant; and, 4) Segundo left a holographic will, dated September 20, 1995, disinheriting one of the private respondents, Alfredo Seangio, for cause. In view of the purported holographic will, petitioners averred that in the event the decedent is found to have left a will, the intestate proceedings are to be automatically suspended and replaced by the proceedings for the probate of the will. ISSUE: Whether or not there was preterition. RULING: A perusal of the document termed as "will" by oppositors/petitioners Dy Yieng Seangio, et al., clearly shows that there is preterition, as the only heirs mentioned thereat are Alfredo and Virginia. [T]he other heirs being omitted, Article 854 of the New Civil Code thus applies. However, insofar as the widow Dy Yieng Seangio is concerned, Article 854 does not apply, she not being a compulsory heir in the direct line. 27 November 2006

J.L.T. AGRO, INC., REPRESENTED BY ITS MANAGER, JULIAN L. TEVES, PETITIONER VS. ANTONIO BALANSAG AND HILARIA CADAYDAY, RESPONDENT G.R. No. 141882 11 March 2005

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TINGA, J.: FACTS:During his lifetime, Don Julian L. Teves (Don Julian) contracted marriage twice. First, with Antonia Baena and second, with Milagros Donio Teves. In the first marriage, he had two children, Josefa and Emilio. In the second marriage, he had four children, Maria, Jose, Milagros and Pedro, all surname Teves. There was a property Lot No. 63 which was originally registered under the names of Julian and Antonia (TCT 5203) forming part of their conjugal partnership. After Antonia died, Lot No. 63 was among the properties involved in an action for partition. The parties entered into a Compromise Agreement which embodied the partition of all the properties of Don Julian. The Agreement showed that a tract of land known as Hacienda Medalla Milagrosa was to be owned in common by Don Julian and his two (2) children of the first marriage which would remain undivided during his lifetime. The two children were given other properties. Lot No. 63 was retained by Don Julian. Paragraph 13 of the Compromise Agreement provided that the properties now selected and adjudicated to Julian L. Teves (not including his share in the Hacienda Medalla Milgrosa) shall exclusively be adjudicated to the wife in second marriage of Julian L. Teves and his four minor children, namely, Milagros Donio Teves, his two acknowledged natural children Milagros Reyes Teves and Pedro Reyes Teves and his two legitimate children Maria Evelyn Donio Teves and Jose Catalino Donio Teves. Subsequently, Don Julian, Emilio and Josefa executed a Deed of Assignment of Assets with Assumption of Liabilities in favor of J.L.T. Agro, Inc. Less than a year later, Don Julian, Josefa and Emilio also executed an instrument which constituted a supplement to the earlier deed of assignment transferred ownership over Lot No. 63, among other properties, in favor of JLT Agro. On 14 April 1974, Don Julian died intestate. On the strength of the Supplemental Deed in its favor, JLT Agro, Inc. sought the registration of the subject lot in its name. A court issued an order canceling OCT No. 5203 in the name of spouses Don Julian and Antonia on 12 November 1979, and on the same date TCT No. T-375 was issued in the name of JLT Agro. Since then, JLT Agro has been paying taxes assessed on the subject lot. Meanwhile, Milagros Donio and her children had immediately taken possession over the subject lot after the execution of the Compromise Agreement. In 1974, they entered into a yearly lease agreement with spouses Antonio Balansag and Hilaria Cadayday. Lot No. 63 was sold to Antonio Balansag and Hilaria Cadayday. After the death of Don Julian, Milagros Donio and her 317 | P a g e

children executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition of Real Estate where Lot No. 63 was allotted to Milagros and her two children, Maria and Jose. Unaware that Lot No. 63 has been registered under the name of JLT Agro, Inc., Antonio and Hilaria tried to register the deed of sale, but failed. They filed a complaint to declare the title of JLT Agro, Inc. void which was dismissed. ISSUE: Whether or not future legitime be determined, adjudicated and reserved prior to the death of the owner of a property without resulting to preterition RULING: The partition inter vivos of the properties of Don Julian is undoubtedly valid pursuant to Article 1347. However, considering that it would become legally operative only upon the death of Don Julian, the right of his heirs from the second marriage to the properties adjudicated to him under the compromise agreement was but a mere expectancy. It was a bare hope of succession to the property of their father. Being the prospect of a future acquisition, the interest by its nature was inchoate. It had no attribute of property, and the interest to which it related was at the time nonexistent and might never exist. At the time of the execution of the deed of assignment covering Lot No. 63 in favor of petitioner, Don Julian remained the owner of the property since ownership over the subject lot would only pass to his heirs from the second marriage at the time of his death. Thus, as the owner of the subject lot, Don Julian retained the absolute right to dispose of it during his lifetime. His right cannot be challenged by Milagros Donio and her children on the ground that it had already been adjudicated to them by virtue of the compromise agreement. Article 854 provides that the preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; but the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious. Manresa defines preterition as the omission of the heir in the will, either by not naming him at all or, while mentioning him as father, son, etc., by not instituting him as heir without disinheriting him expressly, nor assigning to him some part of the properties. It is the total omission of a compulsory heir in the direct line from inheritance. Don Julian did not execute a will since what he resorted to was a partition inter vivos of his properties, as evidenced by the court approved Compromise Agreement. Thus, it is premature if not irrelevant to speak of preterition prior to the death of Don Julian in the absence of a will depriving a legal heir of his legitime. Besides, there are other properties which the heirs from the second marriage could inherit from Don Julian upon his death; the total omission from inheritance of Don Julians

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heirs from the second marriage, a requirement for preterition to exist, is hardly imaginable as it is unfounded.

Constantino C. Acain , petitioner vs. Hon. Intermediate Appellate Court (Third Special Cases Division), Virginia A. Fernandez and Rosa Diongson, respondents. 319 | P a g e

G.R. No. 72706 PARAS, J.:

27 October 1987

FACTS: Constantitno, herein petitioner, filed for probate of the will of his decased brother Nemesio and for the issuance to the same petitioner of letters testamentary on the premise that Nemesio Acain died leaving a will bequeathing all his shares from the conjugal property to his brother Segundo Acain. However, since Segundo predeceased Nemesio, the formers children are claiming to be heir, with Constantino as the petitioner. The spouse and adopted child of the decedent opposed the probate of will because of preterition. RTC dismissed the petition of the wife. CA reversed and the probate thus was dismissed ISSUE: Whether or not there was preterition of compulsory heirs in the direct line thus their omission shall not annul the institution of heirs. RULING: Preterition consists in the omission of the forced heirs because they are not mentioned there in, or trough mentioned they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited. As for the widow there is no preterit ion because she is not in the direct line. However, the same cannot be said for the adopted child whose legal adoption has not been questioned by the petitioner. Adoption gives to the adopted person the same rights and duties as if he where a legitimate child of the adopter and makes the adopted person a legal heir hence, this is a clear case of preterition. The universal institution of petitioner together with his brothers and sisters to the entire inheritance of the testator results in totally abrogating the will because the nullification of such institution of universal heirs without any other testamentary disposition in the will amounts to a declaration that nothing was written. No legacies and devisees having been provided in the will, the whole property of the deceased has been left by universal title to petitioner and his brothers and sisters.

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Eleuterio Neri, et al., petitioners vs. Ignacia Akutin and her children, respondents G.R. No. L-47799 MORAN, J.: FACTS: Agripino Neri contracted two marriages wherein he had by his first marriage six children named: Eleuterio, Agripino, Agapito, Getulia, Rosario and Celerina; and by his second marriage with Ignacia Akutin, five children named: Gracia, Godofredo, Violeta, Estela Maria, and Emma. Her daughter in the first marriage, Getulia, died a little less than eight years before the death of Agripino, and was survived by seven children named Remedios, Encarnacion, Carmen, Trinidad, Luz, Alberto and Minda. Clause 8 in a will left by Agripino was invoked by petitioners, wherein the testator made the statement that the children by his first marriage had already received their shares in his property excluding what he had given them as aid during their financial troubles. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's decision that contrary to what the testator had declared in his will [that all his children by the first and second marriages are intestate heirs of the deceased without prejudice to one-half of the improvements introduced in the properties during the existence of the last conjugal partnership, which should belong to Ignacia Akutin] but with the modification that the will was valid with respect to the two-thirds part which the testator could freely dispose of. It ruled that there is no preterition but disinheritance in this case. Issue:Whether or not there exists preterition with respect to the children by the first marriage of the decedent. Ruling: There is preterition. Preterition consists in the omission in the testator's will of the forced heirs or anyone of them, either because they are not mentioned therein, or, though mentioned, they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited. In the instant case, while the children of the first marriage were mentioned in the will, they were not accorded any share in the hereditary property, without expressly being disinherited. It is, therefore, a clear case of preterition as contended by appellants. The omission of the forced heirs or anyone of them, whether voluntary or 13 June 1941

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involuntary, is a preterition if the purpose to disinherit is not expressly made or is not at least manifest. Preterition avoids the institution of heirs and gives rise to intestate succession except as to "legacies and betterments" which "shall be valid in so far as they are not inofficious" (art. 814 of the Civil Code), In the instant case, no such legacies or betterments have been made by the testator. "Mejoras" or betterments must be expressly provided, according to articles 825 and 828 of the Civil Code, and where no express provision therefore is made in the will, the law would presume that the testator had no intention to that effect. In the will subject of this case, no express betterment is made in favor of the children by the first marriage; neither is there any legacy expressly made in their behalf consisting of the third available for free disposal. The whole inheritance is accorded the heirs by the second marriage upon the mistaken belief that the heirs by the first marriage have already received their shares. Were it not for this mistake, the testator's intention, as may be clearly inferred from his will, would have been to divide his property equally among all his children.

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Remedios Nuguid , petitioner vs. Felix Nuguid and Paz Salonga Nuguid, respondents G.R. No. L-23445 SANCHEZ, J.: Facts: Remedios Nuguid filed a petition for the allowance a holographic will allegedly executed by Rosario Nuguid, her sibling, on November 17, 1951, some 11 years before her demise. Felix Nuguid and Paz Salonga Nuguid, concededly the legitimate father and mother of the deceased Rosario Nuguid, entered their opposition to the probate of her will. They anchored their opposition on the ground that by the institution of petitioner Remedios Nuguid as universal heir of the deceased, oppositors who are compulsory heirs of the deceased in the direct ascending line were illegally preterited and that in consequence the institution is void. Issue:Were the parents of the decedent were preterited? Ruling: Yes. The deceased Rosario Nuguid left no descendants, legitimate or illegitimate. But she left forced heirs in the direct ascending line her parents, now oppositors Felix Nuguid and Paz Salonga Nuguid. And the will completely omits both of them, receiving nothing by the testament; tacitly, they were deprived of their legitime; neither were they expressly disinherited. This is a clear case of preterition. The will consisting of one sentence, institutes petitioner as the sole, universal heir nothing more. No specific legacies or bequests are therein provided for. The nullity of the will is complete; Rosario Nuguid died intestate. However, the petitioner insists that the compulsory heirs ineffectively disinherited are entitled to receive legitimes, but that the institution of her as the universal heir is not invalidated, although such inheritance would only have to be reduced. Such contention is not well-taken. With reference to Article 814, which is the only provision material to the disposition of this case, it must be observed that the institution of heirs is therein dealt with as a thing separate and distinct from legacies. Institution of heirs is a bequest by 323 | P a g e 23 June 1966

universal title of property undetermined. Legacy refers to specific property bequeathed by a particular or special title. Again, institution of heirs cannot be taken as legacy. Rafael E. Maninang and Soledad L. Maninang, petitioner vs. Court of Appeals, Hon. Ricardo L. Pronove, Jr., as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Rizal and Bernardo S. Aseneta, respondents G.R. No. L-57848 MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.: FACTS: Soledad Maninang, petitioner herein, filed for probate the holographic will of the decedent Clemencia Aseneta who died at the Manila Sanitarium Hospital at age 81. Said will left all her property to the petitioner and contained a provision stating: I do not consider Nonoy as my adopted son. He has made me do things against my will. Meanwhile, respondent Bernardo Aseneta Nonoy, the adopted son mentioned in the will, claims to be the sole heir of decedent Clemencia Aseneta, instituted intestate proceedings. He filed a Motion to Dismiss the Testate Case on the ground that the holographic will was null and void because he, as the only compulsory heir, was preterited and, therefore, intestacy should ensue. 19 June 1982

ISSUE: Whether or not the adopted son was preterited or disinherited. RULING: There is no preterition but valid disinheritance in the present case. Preterition and disinheritance are two diverse concepts. Preterition consists in the omission in the testator's will of the forced heirs or anyone of them, either because they are not mentioned therein, or, though mentioned, they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited. Disinheritance, in turn, is a testamentary disposition depriving any compulsory heirs of his share in the legitimate for a cause authorized by law. Disinheritance is always "voluntary", preterition upon the other hand, is presumed to be "involuntary". Moreover, the effects of preterition and disinheritance are also totally different. Pretention under Article 854 of the New Civil Code shall annul the institution of heir. This annulment is in toto, unless in the wail there are, in addition, testamentary dispositions in the form of devises or legacies. In ineffective disinheritance under Article 918 of the same Code, such disinheritance shall also "annul the institution of heirs", but only "insofar as it may prejudice the person 324 | P a g e

disinherited", which last phrase was omitted in the case of preterition. Otherwise stated, in disinheritance the nullity is limited to that portion of the estate of which the disinherited heirs have been illegally deprived. In the matter of the Intestate Estate of Edward Christensen, deceased, Adolfo Aznar,executor-appellee v. Maria Lucy Christensen Duncan et al. No. l-24365 30 June 1966

MAKALINTAL, J.: FACTS: Edward Christensen, whose estate is the subject of the present case, is a Californian citizen domiciled in the Philippines, died leaving a will. The will was admitted for probate by the Davao CFI where it has also declared that Maria Helen Christensen Garcia was a natural child of the deceased. As to the partition of the deceaseds estate, the Court of Appeals, upon appeal of Helen, ruled that the validity of the provisions of the will should be governed by the Philippine law, and returned the case to the lower court with instructions that the partition be made as provided by the said law. A project of partition was submitted by the executor which was approved by the CFI, wherein the properties of estate were divided equally between Maria Lucy Christensen, whom the testator had expressly recognized in his will as his daughter, and Maria Helen Christensen Garcia, who had been judicially declared as such after his death. The said order was based on the proposition that since Helen Garcia had been preterited in the will, the institution of Lucy Duncan as heir was annulled, and hence, the properties passed to both of them as if he died intestate. ISSUES: 1. Was Helen preterited? 2. Should the estate pertain to her and to Helen in equal shares after deducting the legacies, or whether the inheritance of Lucy as instituted heir should be merely reduced to the extent necessary to cover the legitime of Helen equivalent to of the entire estate? Rulings: 1. No, Helen is not preterited. Preterition is the omission of the heir in the will at all or, while mentioning him as father, son, etc., but not instituting him at all as heir without disinheriting him expressly, nor assigning to him some part of the testators estate. 325 | P a g e

Whether the testator gave a legacy to a person whom he characterized as not related to him, but later this person was judicially declared to be his acknowledged natural child, the case is not a case of preterition but a case of completion of legitime. The institution in the will would not be annulled, consequently, intestacy should not follow. 2. The inheritance of Lucy as instituted heir should be merely reduced to the extent necessary to cover the legitime of Helen. In order that the rights of a forced heir may be limited to the completion of his legitime (instead of annulment of the institution of heirs). It is not necessary that what has been left to him in the will by any title, as by legacy, be granted to her in his capacity as heir. As successional rights are vested as of the moment of death, the forced heir is entitled to the fruits and increments of his legitime from the testators death.

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Zonia Solano, petitioner vs. Court of Appeals et al. respondents No. l-41971 MELENCIO HERRERA, FACTS: Bienvenido and Emetria Garcia, claiming to be illegitimate children of Dr. Meliton Solano, filed an action for recognition against him where the latter in his Answer, denied paternity. During the pendency of the case, Solano died. Petitioner Zonia Solano was ordered substituted for the decedent as the only surviving heir mentioned in his Last Will and Testament probated on March 10, 1969, or prior to his death. Zonia entered her formal appearance as a substitute defendant claiming additionally that she was the sole heir of her father, Solano, and asking that she be allowed to assume her duties as executrix of the probated will with the least interference from the Garcias. The Garcias, private respondents herein, filed their Reply to Zonias Appearance Supplemental Cause of Action impugning the recognition of Zonia as an acknowledged natural child with the prayer that she be declared instead, like them, as an adulterous child of the decedent. The trial court also declared that the Garcias are the illegitimate children of Dr. Solano. Issue: Was the institution of Zonia as sole heir by Solano null and void as there was preterition of the other heirs? Ruling: Yes. The Garcias and Zonia were in the same category as illegitimate children; that Zonias acknowledgment as a natural child in a notarial document executed by Solano and Trinidad Tuagnon was erroneous because at the time of her birth in 1941, Solano was still married to Lilly Gorand, his divorce having been obtained only in 1943, and, therefore, did not have the legal capacity to contract marriage at the time of Zonias conception. That being the 327 | P a g e 29 November 1983

compulsory heirs, the Garcias were in fact, preterited from Solanos Last Will and Tes tament; and that as a result of said preterition, the institution of Zonia as sole heir by Solano is null and void under Article 854 of the Civil Code. As provided in the provision, the disposition in the Will giving the usufruct in favor of Trinidad Tuagnon over the five parcels of land is a legacy, recognized in Article 563 of the Civil Code, and it should be respected in so far as it is not inofficious. Contrary to the conclusions of the court holding that the entire Will is void and intestacy ensues, the preterition of the Garcias should annul the institution of Zonia as heir only insofar as the legitime of the omitted heirs is impaired. The Will, therefore, is valid subject to that limitation. It is plain that the intention of the testator was to favor Zonia with certain portions of his property, which, under the law, he had a right to dispose of by Will, so that the disposition in her favor should be upheld as to the one-half portion of the property that the testator could freely dispose of. Since the legitime of the illegitimate children consists of of the hereditary estate, the Garcias and Zonia each have a right to participate therein in the proportion of 1/3 each. Zonias hereditary share will, therefore be + 1/3 of or 4/6 of the estate, while the Garcias will respectively be entitled to 1/3 of or 1/6 of the value of the estate. *Substitution of Heirs- Fideicommissary HILARION, JR. and ENRICO ORENDAIN, represented by FE D. ORENDAIN, Petitioners,- versus TRUSTEESHIP OF THE ESTATE OF DOA MARGARITA RODRIGUEZ, Respondent. NACHURA, J.: FACTS: On July 19, 1960, the decedent, Doa Margarita Rodriguez, died without issues in Manila, leaving a last will and testament. The will was admitted to probate by virtue of the order of the CFI Manila and said court approved the project of partition presented by the executor of Doa Margarita Rodriguezs will. As provided in her will Doa Margarita Rodriguezs testamentary dispositions contemplated the creation of a trust to manage the income from her properties for distribution to beneficiaries specified in the will.After almost 40 years later, herein petitioners Hilarion, Jr. and Enrico Orendain, heirs of Hilarion Orendain, Sr. who was mentioned in Clause 24 of the decedents will, moved to dissolve the trust on the decedents 328 | P a g e

estate, which they argued had been in existence for more than twenty years, in violation of the the law. ISSUE: Whether or not the trusteeship over the properties left by DOA MARGARITA RODRIGUEZ can be dissolved . RULING: YES. The will of the decedent provides for the creation of a perpetual trust for the administration of her properties and the income accruing therefrom, for specified beneficiaries. The trust, only insofar as the first twenty-year period is concerned should be upheld however after 20 years the trust must be dissolved. Petitioners were correct in moving for the dissolution of the trust after the twenty-year period,but they are not necessarily declared as intestate heirs of the decedent. The last will and testament of the decedent did not institute heirs to inherit the properties under the void clause.Hence the case is remanded to the lower court for the determination of the heirship of the intestate heirs of the decedent where petitioners, and all others claiming to be heirs of the decedent, should establish their status. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is GRANTED. The Order of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 4 in SP. PROC. No. 51872 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The trust approved by the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 4 in SP. PROC. No. 51872 is DISSOLVED. We ORDER the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 4 in SP. PROC. No. 51872 to determine the following: 1. the properties listed in Clause 10 of Doa Margarita Rodriguezs will, constituting the perpetual trust, which are still within reach and have not been disposed of as yet; and 2. the intestate heirs of Doa Margarita Rodriguez, with the nearest relative of the decedent entitled to inherit the remaining properties. CARMEN G. DE PEREZ, trustee of the estate of Ana Maria Alcantara, plaintiff-appellee, vs. MARIANO GARCHITORENA, and JOSE CASIMIRO, Sheriff of the Court of First Instance of Manila,defendants-appellants. G.R. No. L-31703 ROMUALDEZ, J.: February 13, 1930

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FACTS: P21,428.58 is on deposit in the plaintiff's name, with the La Urbana in Manila, as the final payment of the liquidated credit of Ana Maria Alcantara, deceased, whose heiress is said plaintiff, against Andres Garchitorena, also deceased, represented by his son, the defendant Mariano Garchitorena.The la atter held a judgement for P7,872.23 for due execution against the husband of Ana Maria, Joaquin Perez Alcantara hence the deposited amount in La Urbana was attached. The plaintiff, alleging that said deposit belongs to the fideicommissary heirs of the decedent Ana Maria Alcantara, secured a preliminary injunction restraining the execution of said judgment on the sum so attached. The defendants contend that the plaintiff is the decedent's universal heiress, and pray for the dissolution of the injunction.The court held that said La Urbana deposit belongs to the plaintiff's children as fideicommissary heirs of Ana Maria Alcantara, and granted a final writ of injunction. ISSUE: Whether or not the testatrix has ordered a simple substitution, or a fideicommissary substitution. RULING:There is a fideicommissary substitution.All the elements of this kind of substitution are present: 1. At first heir primarily called to the enjoyment of the estate. In this case the plaintiff was instituted an heiress, called to the enjoyment of the estate, according to clause IX of the will. 2. An obligation clearly imposed upon the heir to preserve and transmit to a third person the whole or a part of the estate. Such an obligation is imposed in clause X which provides that the "whole estate shall pass unimpaired to her (heiress's) surviving children;" thus, instead of leaving the heiress at liberty to dispose of the estate by will, or of leaving the law to take its course in case she dies intestate, said clause not only disposes of the estate in favor of the heiress instituted, but also provides for the disposition thereof in case she should die after the testatrix. 3. A second heir. Such are the children of the heiress instituted, who are referred to as such second heirs both in clause X and in clause XI. As a consequence, the inheritance in question does not belong to the heiress instituted, the plaintiff herein, as her absolute property, but to her children, from the moment of the death of the testatrix, Ana Maria Alcantara. Therefore, said inheritance, of which the amount referred to at the beginning, which is on deposit with the association known as La Urbana in the plaintiff's name, is a part, does not belong to her nor can it be subject to the execution of the judgment against Joaquin Perez, who is not one of the fideicommissary heirs. The judgment appealed from is affirmed, with costs against the appellant, Mariano Garchitorena. 330 | P a g e

CONSOLACION FLORENTINO DE CRISOLOGO, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellees, vs. DR. MANUEL SINGSON, defendant-appellant. G.R. No. L-13876 DIZON, J.: FACTS: The spouses Consolacion Florentino and Francisco Crisologo commenced an action for partition against Manuel Singson in connection with a residential lot located at Plaridel St., Vigan, Ilocos Sur, with an area of approximately 193 square meters, and the improvements existing thereon, covered by Tax No. 10765-C. Their complaint alleged that Singson owned onehalf pro-indiviso of said property and that Consolacion Florentino owned the other half by virtue of the provisions of the duly probated last will of Da. Leona Singson, the original owner, and the project of partition submitted to, and approved by the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur in special Proceeding No. 453; that plaintiffs had made demands for the partition of said property, but defendant refused to accede thereto, thus compelling them to bring action. It is admitted that Da. Leona Singson, who died single on January 13, 1948, was the owner of the property in question at the time of her death. On July 31, 1951 she executed her last will which was admitted to probate in Special Proceeding No. 453 of the lower court whose decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in G.R. No. 3605-R. At the time of the execution of the will, her nearest living relatives were her brothers Evaristo, Manuel and Dionisio Singson, her nieces Rosario, Emilia and Trinidad, and her grandniece Consolation, all surnamed Florentino. The lower court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs.Defendant appealed. ISSUE: Whether or not the testamentary disposition provided for what is called substitucion vulgar or for a sustitucion fideicomisaria. February 28, 1962

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RULING: The last will of the deceased Da. Leona Singson, established a mere sustitucion vulgar, the substitution Consolacion Florentino by the brothers of the testatrix to be effective or to take place upon the death of the former, whether it happens before or after that of the testatrix.The substitution of heirs provided for in the will is not expressly made of the fideicommissary kind, nor does it contain a clear statement to the effect that appellee, during her lifetime, shall only enjoy usufructuary rights over the property bequeathed to her, naked ownership thereof being vested in the brothers of the testatrix. As already stated, it merely provides that upon appellee's death whether this happens before or after that of the testatrix her share shall belong to the brothers of the testatrix.The appealed judgment is affirmed, with costs.

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TESTATE ESTATE OF JOSE EUGENIO RAMIREZ, MARIA LUISA PALACIOS, Administratrix, petitioner-appellee, vs. MARCELLE D. VDA. DE RAMIREZ, ET AL., oppositors, JORGE and ROBERTO RAMIREZ, legatees, oppositors- appellants. G.R. No. L-27952 February 15, 1982 ABAD SANTOS, J.: FACTS: Jose Eugenio Ramirez, a Filipino national, died in Spain on December 11, 1964, with only his widow, Marcelle Demoron de Ramirez as compulsory heir. His will was admitted to probate by the Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch X, on July 27, 1965. Maria Luisa Palacios was appointed administratrix of the estate.The administratrix submitted a project of partition as follows: the property of the deceased is to be divided into two parts. One part shall go to the widow 'en pleno dominio" in satisfaction of her legitime; the other part or "free portion" shall go to Jorge and Roberto Ramirez "en nuda propriedad." Furthermore, one third (1/3) of the free portion is charged with the widow's usufruct and the remaining two-thirds (2/3) with a usufruct in favor of Wanda, the companion of the deceased. Jorge and Roberto opposed the project of partition on the grounds: (a) that the provisions for vulgar substitution in favor of Wanda de Wrobleski with respect to the widow's usufruct and in favor of Juan Pablo Jankowski and Horacio V. Ramirez, with respect to Wanda's usufruct are invalid because the first heirs Marcelle and Wanda) survived the testator; (b) that the provisions for fideicommissary substitutions are also invalid because the first heirs are not related to the second heirs or substitutes within the first degree, as provided in Article 863 of the Civil Code; (c) that the grant of a usufruct over real property in the Philippines in favor of Wanda Wrobleski, 333 | P a g e

who is an alien, violates Section 5, Article III of the Philippine Constitution; and that (d) the proposed partition of the testator's interest in the Santa Cruz (Escolta) Building between the widow Marcelle and the appellants, violates the testator's express win to give this property to them Nonetheless, the lower court approved the project of partition in its order dated May 3, 1967. It is this order which Jorge and Roberto have appealed to this Court. ISSUE:Whether or not the testamentary dispositions in favor of the heirs are valid and how should the estate of Jose Eugenio Ramirez be partitioned.

RULING: YES.The dispositions to the widow, Marcelle Demoron de Ramirez as compulsory heir is valid.The Court also upheld the usufruct in favor of Wanda because a usufruct, albeit a real right, does not vest title to the land in the usufructuary and it is the vesting of title to land in favor of aliens which is proscribed by the Constitution.Hence the estate of the deceased shall be distributed as follows: One-half (1/2) thereof to his widow as her legitime; One-half (1/2) thereof which is the free portion to Roberto and Jorge Ramirez in naked ownership and the usufruct to Wanda de Wrobleski with a simple substitution in favor of Juan Pablo Jankowski and Horace V. Ramirez. The distribution herein ordered supersedes that of the court a quo. No special pronouncement as to costs.

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IN THE MATTER OF THE TESTATE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED REV. FATHER TEODORO ARANAS, RAMONA B. VDA. DE ARANAS, ADELIA B. ARANASFERNANDEZ, HEIRS OF THE LATE RODULFO B. ARANAS, ETC., ET AL., petitioners, vs. VICENTE B. ARANAS AND HON. LUIS B. MANTA, respondents. G.R. No. L-56249 May 29, 1987 PARAS, J.: FACTS: Fr. Teodoro Aranas, a priest of the Roman Catholic Church, died on January 19, 1953. He had executed on June 6, 1946 his Last Will and Testament which was admitted to probate on August 31, 1956. In said Last Will and Testament, Fr. Teodoro Aranas stipulated that as a reward to his nephew Vicente Aranas for his faithful and unselfish services he is allowed to enjoy onehalf of the fruits of the testator's third group of properties until Vicente's death and/or refusal to act as administrator in which case, the administration shall pass to anyone chosen by Carmelo Aranas among his sons and upon Carmelo's death, his sons will have the power to select one among themselves. ISSUE: Whether or not the institution of Vicente Aranas is valid. RULING:YES.Vicente Aranas was intended as a usufructuary by the Testator and has the right to enjoy the property of his uncle with all the benefits which result from the normal enjoyment (or exploitation) of another's property, with the obligation to return, at the designated time, either the same thing, or in special cases its equivalent. This right of Vicente to enjoy the fruits of the 335 | P a g e

properties is temporary and therefore not perpetual as there is a limitation namely his death or his refusal. Likewise his designation as administrator of these properties is limited by his refusal and/or death and therefore it does not run counter to Art. 870 of the Civil Code relied upon by the petitioners. Be it noted that Vicente Aranas is not prohibited to dispose of the fruits and other benefits arising from the usufruct. Neither are the naked owners (the other heirs) of the properties, the usufruct of which has been given to Vicente Aranas prohibited from disposing of said naked ownership without prejudice of course to Vicente's continuing usufruct. To void the designation of Vicente Aranas as usufructuary and/or administrator is to defeat the desire and the dying wish of the testator to reward him for his faithful and unselfish services rendered during the time when said testator was seriously ill or bed-ridden. JOHNNY S. RABADILLA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS AND MARIA MARLENA COSCOLUELLA Y BELLEZA VILLACARLOS, respondents. G.R. No. 113725. June 29, 2000 PURISIMA, J.: FACTS: In a Codicil appended to the Last Will and Testament of testatrix Aleja Belleza, Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, predecessor-in-interest of the herein petitioner, Johnny S. Rabadilla, was instituted as a devisee of 511, 855 square meters of that parcel of land surveyed as Lot No. 1392 of the Bacolod Cadastre. It was provided that Jorge Rabadilla shall have the obligation until he dies, every year to give to Maria Marlina Coscolluela y Belleza, Seventy (75) (sic) piculs of Export sugar and Twenty Five (25) piculs of Domestic sugar, until the said Maria Marlina Coscolluela y Belleza dies.And upon death of the instituted heir, the rights and obligations shall pass to the heirs of Dr. Rabadilla.The testator also provided in the will that should the property be later sold, leased, mortgaged, the buyer, lessee, mortgagee, shall have also the obligation to respect and deliver yearly ONE HUNDRED (100) piculs of sugar to Maria Marlina Coscolluela y Belleza, on each month of December, SEVENTY FIVE (75) piculs of Export and TWENTY FIVE (25) piculs of Domestic, until Maria Marlina shall die.The failure of the heir or the latters heirs to comply with the will of the decedent they shall be obliged to reconvey title over Lot No. 1392, together with its fruits and interests, to the estate of Aleja Belleza. The said Codicil,was duly probated and admitted by the CFI of Negros Occidental. Dr. Jorge Rabadilla died in 1983 and was survived by his wife Rufina and children Johnny (petitioner), Aurora, Ofelia and Zenaida, all surnamed Rabadilla.The heirs did not comply with the intention of the testator.Hence the sister of the deceased, Maria Marlina Coscolluela y Belleza filed a 336 | P a g e

complaint to reconvey title over Lot No. 1392, together with its fruits and interests, to the estate of Aleja Belleza. ISSUE:Whether or nor there was modal institution. RULING:YES,the heir Dr. Jorge Rabadilla was instituted under a modal substitution. In a modal institution, the testator states (1) the object of the institution, (2) the purpose or application of the property left by the testator, or (3) the charge imposed by the testator upon the heir. A "mode" imposes an obligation upon the heir or legatee but it does not affect the efficacy of his rights to the succession. The non-performance of the said obligation is thus with the sanction of seizure of the property and reversion thereof to the testatrix's near descendants. Since the said obligation is clearly imposed by the testatrix, not only on the instituted heir but also on his successors-ininterest, the sanction imposed by the testatrix in case of non-fulfillment of said obligation should equally apply to the instituted heir and his successors-in-interest.The testatrix intended that subject property be inherited by Dr. Jorge Rabadilla. It is likewise clearly worded that the testatrix imposed an obligation on the said instituted heir and his successors-in-interest to deliver one hundred piculs of sugar to the herein private respondent, Marlena Coscolluela Belleza, during the lifetime of the latter. The manner of institution of Dr. Jorge Rabadilla under subject Codicil is evidently modal in nature because it imposes a charge upon the instituted heir without, however, affecting the efficacy of such institution.It is a general rule under the law on succession that successional rights are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent and compulsory heirs are called to succeed by operation of law. The legitimate children and descendants, in relation to their legitimate parents, and the widow or widower, are compulsory heirs. Thus, the petitioner, his mother and sisters, as compulsory heirs of the instituted heir, Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, succeeded the latter by operation of law, without need of further proceedings, and the successional rights were transmitted to them from the moment of death of the decedent, Dr. Jorge Rabadilla. Whatever rights Dr. Jorge Rabadilla had by virtue of subject Codicil were transmitted to his forced heirs, at the time of his death. And since obligations not extinguished by death also form part of the estate of the decedent; corollarily, the obligations imposed by the Codicil on the deceased Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, were likewise transmitted to his compulsory heirs upon his death. Since the obligation was not complied with, the property shall be turned over to the testatrix's near descendants.

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LEONOR VILLAFLOR VDA. DE VILLANUEVA, plaintiff-appellant, vs. DELFIN N. JUICO, in his capacity as Judicial Administrator of the testate estate of FAUSTA NEPOMUCENO, defendant-appellee. G.R. No. L-15737 REYES, J.B.L., J.: FACTS: On October 9, 1908, Don Nicolas Villaflor, a wealthy man of Castillejos, Zambales, executed a will in Spanish in his own handwriting, devising and bequeathing in favor of his wife, Dona Fausta Nepomuceno, one-half of all his real and personal properties, giving the other half to his brother Don Fausto Villaflor. Clause 6th , contained the institution of heirs. The 12th clause of the will provided, however, that Clauses 6th and 7th thereof would be deemed annulled from the moment he bore any child with Doa Fausta Nepomuceno. Don Nicolas Villaflor died on March 3, 1922, without begetting any child with his wife Doa Fausta Nepomuceno. The latter, already a widow, thereupon instituted Special Proceeding No. 203 of the Court of First Instance of Zambales, for the settlement of her husband's estate and in that proceeding, she was appointed judicial administratrix. On May 1, 1956, Doa Fausta Nepomuceno died without having contracted a second marriage, and without having begotten any child with the deceased Nicolas Villaflor. Her estate is now being settled in Special Proceeding No. Q-1563 in the lower court, with the defendant Delfin N. Juico as the duly appointed and qualified judicial administrator. The plaintiff Leonor Villaflor Vda. de Villanueva is admitted to be the same Leonor Villaflor mentioned by Don Nicolas Villaflor in his will as his "sobrina nieta Leonor Villaflor". February 28, 1962.

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Plaintiff Leonor Villaflor instituted the present action against the administrator of the estate of the widow Fausta Nepomuceno, on February 8, 1958, contending that upon the widow's death, said plaintiff became vested with the ownership of the real and personal properties bequeathed by the late Nicolas Villaflor to clause 7 of his will, pursuant to its eight (8th) clause. Defendant's position, adopted by the trial court, is that the title to the properties aforesaid became absolutely vested in the widow upon her death, on account of the fact that she never remarried. ISSUE: How should the will of the Testator be interpreted. RULING: The intention and wishes of the testator, when clearly expressed in his will, constitute the fixed law of interpretation, and all questions raised at the trial, relative to its execution and fulfillment, must be settled in accordance therewith, following the plain and literal meaning of the testator's words, unless it clearly appears that his intention was otherwise. ART. 790. The words of a will are to be taken in their ordinary and grammatical sense, unless a clear intention to use them in another sense can be gathered, and that other can be ascertained." . Technical words in a will are to be taken in their technical sense, unless the context clearly indicates a contrary intention, or unless it satisfactorily appears that the will was drawn solely by the testator, and that he was unacquainted with such technical sense. In this case the testament of Don Nicolas Villaflor clearly and unmistakably provided that his widow should have the possession and use of the legacies while alive and did not remarry. It necessarily follows that by the express provisions of the 8th clause of his will, the legacies should pass to the testator's "sobrinanieta", appellant herein, upon the widow's death, even if the widow never remarried in her lifetime. Consequently, the widow had no right to retain or dispose of the aforesaid properties, and her estate is accountable to the reversionary legatee for their return, unless they had been lost due to fortuitous event, or for their value should rights of innocent third parties have intervened. PREMISES CONSIDERED, the decision appealed from is reversed, and the appellant Leonor Villaflor Vda. de VILLANUEVA is declared entitled to the ownership and fruits of the properties described in clause 7 of the will or testament, from the date of the death of Doa Fausta Nepomuceno. The records are ordered remanded to the court of origin for liquidation, accounting and further proceedings conformably to this decision. Costs against the Administrator-appellee.

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Testate Estate of Joseph G. Brimo, JUAN MICIANO, administrator, petitioner-appellee, vs. ANDRE BRIMO, opponent-appellant. G.R. No. L-22595 ROMUALDEZ, J.: FACTS: The partition of the estate left by the deceased Joseph G. Brimo is in question in this case. Joseph G. Brimo is a Turkish citizen who was domiciled in the country.The judicial administrator of this estate filed a scheme of partition. Andre Brimo, one of the brothers of the deceased, opposed it. The court, however, approved it. The partition in question puts into effect the provisions of Joseph G. Brimo's will which are not in accordance with the laws of his Turkish nationality, for which reason they are void as being in violation or article 10 of the Civil Code. A perusal of Brimos will provided that he desired to apply the laws of the Philippines to his will and not the laws of Turkey. The institution of legatees in this will is conditional, and the condition is that the instituted legatees must respect the testator's will to distribute his property, not in accordance with the laws of his nationality, but in accordance with the laws of the Philippines. ISSUE:Whether or not the condition to apply the laws of the Philippines to the probate of the deceaseds will is valid. RULING:NO. The said condition is void, being contrary to law, for article 792 of the civil Code provides the following: Impossible conditions and those contrary to law or good morals shall be considered as not imposed and shall not prejudice the heir or legatee in any manner whatsoever, even should the testator otherwise provide. The condition is contrary to law because it expressly ignores the testator's national law when, according to article 10 of the civil Code above quoted, such national law of the testator is the one to govern his testamentary dispositions.Said condition then, in the light of the legal provisions is considered unwritten, and the institution of legatees in said will is unconditional and consequently valid and effective even as to the oppositor. All of the remaining clauses of said 340 | P a g e November 1, 1927

will with all their dispositions and requests are perfectly valid and effective it not appearing that said clauses are contrary to the testator's national law. Therefore, the orders appealed from are modified and it is directed that the distribution of this estate be made in such a manner as to include the herein appellant Andre Brimo as one of the legatees, and the scheme of partition submitted by the judicial administrator is approved in all other respects, without any pronouncement as to costs. TESTACY OF MAXIMA (Executrix), petitioner vs. SANTOS VDA. DE and BLAS. ROSALINA SANTOS appellee,

FLORA BLAS DE BUENAVENTURA (Legatee), oppositor and appellant. G.R. No. L-22797 September 22, 1966 Vicente J. Francisco for oppositor J.T. de los Santos and R.M. Caluag for petitioner and appellee. and appellant.

TESTACY OF MAXIMA SANTOS VDA. DE BLAS. ROSALINA SANTOS (Executrix), petitioner and appellee, vs. FLORA BLAS DE BUENAVENTURA (Legatee), oppositor and appellant. G.R. No. L-22797 September 22, 1966 BENGZON, J.P., J.: FACTS: On October 22, 1956, Rosalina Santos filed a petition with the Court of First Instance of Rizal for the probate of the last will allegedly executed on September 22, 1956 by the deceased Maxima Santos Vda. de Blas. 1The nearest of kin of the deceased were her brothers and a sister, nephews and nieces. Rosalinda Santos, petitioner-appellee herein, is one of said nieces. Among the legatees or more accurately, devisees mentioned in the will is Flora Blas de Buenaventura. She is not related by blood to the deceased. Flora Blas de Buenaventura and Justo Garcia opposed to the probate of said will on grounds that the will was not executed in accordance with law; that undue and improper pressure was exerted upon the testatrix Maxima Santos in the execution thereof; that the signature of Maxima was secured through fraud; and that at the time of the execution of the will Maxima was mentally incapable of making a will.The will likewise contained a "no contest and forfeiture" clause .

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ISSUE: (1) Did Flora's actuations, under the facts and circumstances herein, amount to a violation of the "no-contest and forfeiture" clause of the will; and (2) Is the "no-contest and forfeiture" provision of the will valid? RULING:(1)NO. after realizing her mistake in contesting the will a mistake committed in good faith because grounded on strong doubts she withdrew her opposition and joined the appellee in the latter's petition for the probate of the will. She must not be penalized for rectifying her error. After all, the intentions of the testatrix had been fulfilled, her will had been admitted and allowed probate within a reasonably short period, and the disposition of her property can now be effected. (2) Fourteenth.I request all my heirs, devisees and legatees to look after each other, love and help one another and accept with thanks what I have bequeathed to them, and treasure, love and cherish the same. Any one of them who contests or opposes the probate of my will or the carrying out of its provisions shall lose any right to receive any inheritance or benefit under my will, and their inheritance or share shall pertain to the other heirs who have not opposed. This is the "no-contest and forfeiture" clause of the will. However due to the non-violation of this clause,th court did not bother to discuss the same. ELENA MORENTE, petitioner-appellant, vs. GUMERSINDO DE LA SANTA, respondent-appellee. G.R. No. L-3891 December 19, 1907 WILLARD, J.: FACTS: The will of Consuelo Morente is the subject of the controversy in this case.It provided that all the estate shall pass to the husband.The widower is commanded to not leave the brothers of the deceased and not to marry anyone. The widow however, Gumersindo de la Santa, married again within four months of the death of the testatrix. Elena Morente, a sister of the deceased, filed a petition in the proceeding relating to the probate of the will of Consuelo Morente pending in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Tayabas in which she alleged the second marriage of Gumersindo de la Santa and asked that the legacy to him above-mentioned be annulled. Objection was made in the court below by the husband to the procedure followed by the petitioner. The court below, however, held that the proceeding was proper and from that

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holding the husband did not appeal. From the judgment of the court below, the petitioner, Elena Morente, appealed. ISSUE:Whether or not the husband forfeited his legacy. RULING:NO.by the subsequent marriage of the husband he did not forfeit the legacy given to him by the first part of the will. The testatrix provided conditions but not attached to no none of these orders is a clause that if he fails to comply with them he shall lose the legacy given to him by the first clause of the will. It is nowhere expressly said that if he does leave the testatrix's sisters, or does not continue to dwell in the building mentioned in the will he shall forfeit the property given him in the first clause; nor is it anywhere expressly said that if he marries again he shall incur such a loss. But it is expressly provided that if one event does happen the disposition of the property contained in the first clause of the will shall be changed. It is said that if he has children by anyone, two-thirds of that property shall pass to Vicente, the brother of the testatrix. Hence the will provides no condition for the legacy and no condition should be implied from the will itself.Petition denied.

JOHNNY S. RABADILLA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS AND MARIA MARLENA COSCOLUELLA Y BELLEZA VILLACARLOS, respondents. G.R. No. 113725. June 29, 2000 PURISIMA, J.: FACTS: In a Codicil appended to the Last Will and Testament of testatrix Aleja Belleza, Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, predecessor-in-interest of the herein petitioner, Johnny S. Rabadilla, was instituted as a devisee of 511, 855 square meters of that parcel of land surveyed as Lot No. 1392 of the Bacolod Cadastre. It was provided that Jorge Rabadilla shall have the obligation until he dies, every year to give to Maria Marlina Coscolluela y Belleza, Seventy (75) (sic) piculs of Export sugar and Twenty Five (25) piculs of Domestic sugar, until the said Maria Marlina Coscolluela y Belleza dies.And upon death of the instituted heir, the rights and obligations shall pass to the heirs of Dr. Rabadilla.The testator also provided in the will that should the property be later sold, leased, mortgaged, the buyer, lessee, mortgagee, shall have also the obligation to respect and deliver yearly ONE HUNDRED (100) piculs of sugar to Maria Marlina Coscolluela y Belleza, on each month of December, SEVENTY FIVE (75) piculs of Export and TWENTY 343 | P a g e

FIVE (25) piculs of Domestic, until Maria Marlina shall die.The failure of the heir or the latters heirs to comply with the will of the decedent they shall be obliged to reconvey title over Lot No. 1392, together with its fruits and interests, to the estate of Aleja Belleza. The said Codicil,was duly probated and admitted by the CFI of Negros Occidental. Dr. Jorge Rabadilla died in 1983 and was survived by his wife Rufina and children Johnny (petitioner), Aurora, Ofelia and Zenaida, all surnamed Rabadilla.The heirs did not comply with the intention of the testator.Hence the sister of the deceased, Maria Marlina Coscolluela y Belleza filed a complaint to reconvey title over Lot No. 1392, together with its fruits and interests, to the estate of Aleja Belleza. ISSUE:Whether or nor there was modal institution. RULING:YES,the heir Dr. Jorge Rabadilla was instituted under a modal substitution. In a modal institution, the testator states (1) the object of the institution, (2) the purpose or application of the property left by the testator, or (3) the charge imposed by the testator upon the heir. A "mode" imposes an obligation upon the heir or legatee but it does not affect the efficacy of his rights to the succession. The non-performance of the said obligation is thus with the sanction of seizure of the property and reversion thereof to the testatrix's near descendants. Since the said obligation is clearly imposed by the testatrix, not only on the instituted heir but also on his successors-ininterest, the sanction imposed by the testatrix in case of non-fulfillment of said obligation should equally apply to the instituted heir and his successors-in-interest.The testatrix intended that subject property be inherited by Dr. Jorge Rabadilla. It is likewise clearly worded that the testatrix imposed an obligation on the said instituted heir and his successors-in-interest to deliver one hundred piculs of sugar to the herein private respondent, Marlena Coscolluela Belleza, during the lifetime of the latter. The manner of institution of Dr. Jorge Rabadilla under subject Codicil is evidently modal in nature because it imposes a charge upon the instituted heir without, however, affecting the efficacy of such institution.It is a general rule under the law on succession that successional rights are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent and compulsory heirs are called to succeed by operation of law. The legitimate children and descendants, in relation to their legitimate parents, and the widow or widower, are compulsory heirs. Thus, the petitioner, his mother and sisters, as compulsory heirs of the instituted heir, Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, succeeded the latter by operation of law, without need of further proceedings, and the successional rights were transmitted to them from the moment of death of the decedent, Dr. Jorge Rabadilla. Whatever rights Dr. Jorge Rabadilla had by virtue of subject Codicil were 344 | P a g e

transmitted to his forced heirs, at the time of his death. And since obligations not extinguished by death also form part of the estate of the decedent; corollarily, the obligations imposed by the Codicil on the deceased Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, were likewise transmitted to his compulsory heirs upon his death. Since the obligation was not complied with, the property shall be turned over to the testatrix's near descendants.

RE: COLLATION AMELIA P. ARELLANO, represented by her duly appointed guardians, AGNES P. ARELLANO and NONA P. ARELLANO,Petitioner, - versus FRANCISCO PASCUAL and MIGUEL PASCUAL,Respondents. G.R. No. 189776 December 15, 2010 CARPIO MORALES, J.: FACTS:Angel N. Pascual Jr. died intestate on January 2, 1999 leaving as heirs his siblings, namely: petitioner Amelia P. Arellano who is represented by her daughters Agnes P. Arellano (Agnes) and Nona P. Arellano, and respondents Francisco Pascual and Miguel N. Pascual. The controversy centers on a parcel of land located in Teresa Village, Makati, which was, by Deed of Donation, transferred by the decedent to petitioner the validity of which donation respondents 345 | P a g e

assailed, may be considered as an advance legitime of petitioner. The probate court found the donation valid hence said property is subject to collation.The CA sustained the probate courts ruling that the property donated to petitioner is subject to collation. ISSUE: Whether or not the property donated to petitioner is subject to collation. RULING:NO. Collation is defined as a mere mathematical operation by the addition of the value of donations made by the testator to the value of the hereditary estate and the return to the hereditary estate of property disposed of by lucrative title by the testator during his lifetime to secure equality among the compulsory heirs in so far as is possible, and to determine the free portion, after finding the legitime, so that inofficious donations may be reduced. Considering that the decedent left no primary, secondary, or concurring compulsory heirs and was only survived by his siblings, who are his collateral relatives and, therefore, are not entitled to any legitime no collation should take place. The decedent not having left any compulsory heir who is entitled to any legitime, he was at liberty to donate all his properties, even if nothing was left for his siblings-collateral relatives to inherit. His donation to petitioner, assuming that it was valid is deemed as donation made to a stranger, chargeable against the free portion of the estate.There being no compulsory heir, however, the donated property is not subject to collation.Hence the decedents remaining estate should thus be partitioned equally among his heirs-siblings-collateral relatives, herein petitioner and respondents, pursuant to the provisions of the Civil Code. UNION BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. EDMUND SANTIBAEZ and FLORENCE SANTIBAEZ ARIOLA, respondents.

G.R. No. 149926 CALLEJO, SR., J.:

February 23, 2005

FACTS: On May 31, 1980, the First Countryside Credit Corporation (FCCC) and Efraim M. Santibaez entered into a loan agreement3 in the amount of P128,000.00. The amount was intended for the payment of the purchase price of one (1) unit Ford 6600 Agricultural AllPurpose Diesel Tractor. In view thereof, Efraim and his son, Edmund, executed a promissory note in favor of the FCCC . On December 13, 1980, the FCCC and Efraim entered into another loan agreement, this time in the amount of P123,156.00. It was intended to pay the balance of the purchase price of another unit of Ford 6600 Agricultural All-Purpose Diesel Tractor, with accessories, and one (1) unit 346 | P a g e

Howard Rotamotor Model AR 60K. Again, Efraim and his son, Edmund, executed a promissory note for the said amount in favor of the FCCC. Sometime in February 1981, Efraim died, leaving a holographic will. Subsequently in March 1981, testate proceedings commenced. On April 9, 1981, Edmund, as one of the heirs, was appointed as the special administrator of the estate of the decedent. During the pendency of the testate proceedings, the surviving heirs, Edmund and his sister Florence Santibaez Ariola, executed a Joint Agreement wherein they agreed to divide between themselves and take possession of the three (3) tractors; that is, two (2) tractors for Edmund and one (1) tractor for Florence. Each of them was to assume the indebtedness of their late father to FCCC, corresponding to the tractor respectively taken by them. Meanwhile, a Deed of Assignment with Assumption of Liabilities was executed by and between FCCC and Union Savings and Mortgage Bank, wherein the FCCC as the assignor, among others, assigned all its assets and liabilities to Union Savings and Mortgage Bank. When Edmund defaulted in his payments, Union Bank, started demandingd payment from Florence. ISSUE: Whether or not the obligations of their deceased father likewise passed to them along with the properties. RULING: No. Perusing the records of the case, nothing therein could hold private respondent Florence S. Ariola accountable for any liability incurred by her late father. The documentary evidence presented, particularly the promissory notes and the continuing guaranty agreement, were executed and signed only by the late Efraim Santibaez and his son Edmund. As the petitioner failed to file its money claim with the probate court, at most, it may only go after Edmund as co-maker of the decedent under the said promissory notes and continuing guaranty, of course, subject to any defenses Edmund may have as against the petitioner.

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Natividad P. Nazareno, Maximino P. Nazareno, Jr., petitioners,vs.Court of Appeals, Estate of Maximino A. Nazareno, Sr., Romeo P. Nazareno and Eliza Nazareno, respondents. G.R. No. 138842 18 October 2000

FACTS: Maximino Nazareno, Sr. and Aurea Poblete had five children, Natividad, Romeo, Jose, Pacifico, and Maximino, Jr. Natividad and Maximino, Jr. who are the petitioners, while the estate of Maximino, Sr., Romeo, and his wife Eliza Nazareno are the respondents. Aurea died in 1970 while Maximino, Sr. died in 1980. During their marriage, Nazareno, Sr. and Aurea acquired properties. After the death of Maximino, Sr., Romeo filed an intestate case in the Court of First Instance. Romeo was appointed administrator of his fathers estate. 348 | P a g e

In the course of the intestate proceedings, Romeo discovered that his parents had executed several deeds of sale conveying a number of real properties in favor of his sister, Natividad. One of the deeds involved six lots in Quezon City which were allegedly sold by Maximino, Sr., with the consent of Aurea, to Natividad. He then filed for action for the nullity of such sale. He presented evidence to show that the spouses never intended to sell the six lots to Natividad and that the latter was only to hold the said lots in trust for her siblings. He likewise presented the Deed of Partition and Distribution executed by the spouses and duly signed by all of their children, except Hose, who was then abroad, but represented by their mother, Aurea. Romeo testified that, although the deed of sale executed by his parents in heir favor stated that the sale was for a consideration, they never really paid any amount for the supposed sale. ISSUE: Whether or not lots 10 and 11 belonging to Jose is subject to collation. Ruling: Yes. It cannot be denied that Maximino, Sr. intended to give the six Quezon City lots to Natividad. As Romeo testified, their parents executed the Deed of Sale in favor of Natividad because the latter was the only female and the only unmarried member of the family. She was thus entrusted with the real properties in behalf of her siblings. As she herself admitted, she intended to convey Lots 10 and 11 to Jose in the event the latter returned from abroad. There was thus an implied trust constituted in her favor. Art. 1449 of the Civil Code states: There is also an implied trust when a donation is made to a person but it appears that although the legal estate is transmitted to the donee, he nevertheless is either to have no beneficial interest or only a part thereof. There being an implied trust, the lots in question are therefore subject to collation in accordance with Art. 1061 which states: Every compulsory heir, who succeeds with other compulsory heirs, must bring into the mass of the estate any property or right which he may have received from the decedent, during the lifetime of the latter, by way of donation, or any other gratuitous title, in order that it may be computed in the determination of the legitime of each heir, and in the account of the partition.

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Eloy Imperial, petitioner, vs. Court of Appeals, Regional Trial Court of Legaspi City, Cesar Villalon, Jr., Teresa Villalon, Antonio Villalon, Augusto Villalon, Roberto Villalon, Ricardo Villalon and Esther Villalon, respondents. G.R. No. 112483 8 October 1999

FACTS: Leoncio Imperial was the registered owner of a 32,837-square meter parcel of land which he sold for P1.00 to his acknowledged natural son, Eloy Imperial. Petitioner and private respondents admit that despite the contracts designation as one of Absolute Sale, the transaction was in fact a donation. Two years after the donation, Leoncio filed a complaint for annulment of the said Deed of Sale on the ground that he was deceived by petitioner into signing the said document. The dispute, however, was resolved through a compromise agreement. Pending execution of judgment based on the compromise agreement, Leoncio died, leaving two heirs the petitioner herein, who is the acknowledged natural son, and the adopted son, Victor 350 | P a g e

Imperial. Victor died single and he was survived only by his natural father, Ricardo Villalon, who also died, leaving as his only heirs his two children, Cesar and Teresa, respondents in this case. Cesar and Teresa filed a complaint for annulment of documents, reconveyance and recovery of possession seeking the nullification of the deed of absolute sale affecting the subject lot. The lower court disposed of the case by adjudicating that the sale was indeed a donation and that the same is inoofficious and impairing the legitime of Victor because when Leoncio died, he left no property other than the 32,837 sq.m. lot. Considering that the property donated is 32,837 sq.m., one half of that becomes free portion of Leoncio which could be absorbed in the donation to defendant. The other half is where the legitime of the adopted son Victior has to be taken. Issue:Whether or not the Trial Court is correct in computing the legitime of Victor based on the area of the donated property. RULING: No. The rules of succession require that before any conclusion as to the legal share due to a compulsory heir may be reached, the following steps must be taken: (1) the net estate of the decedent must be ascertained, by deducting all the payable obligations and charges from the value of the property owned by the deceased at the time of his death; (2) the value of all donations subject to collation would be added to it. Thus, it is the value of the property at the time it is donated, and not the property itself, which is brought to collation. Unfortunately for private respondents, a claim for legitime does not amount to a claim of title. In the recent case of Vizconde vs.Court of Appeals that what is brought to collation is not the donated property itself, but the value of the property at the time it was donated. The rationale for this is that the donation is a real alienation which conveys ownership upon its acceptance, hence, any increase in value or any deterioration or loss thereof is for the account of the heir or donee. Consequently, even when the donation is found inofficious and reduced to the extent that it impaired Victor's legitime, private respondents will not receive a corresponding share in the property donated on grounds of prescription and laches [it took private respondents 24 years since the death of Leoncio to initiate the present case]. Thus, in this case where the collatable property is an immovable, what may be received is: (1) an equivalent, as much as possible, in property of the same nature, class and quality; (2) if such is impracticable, the equivalent value 351 | P a g e

of the impaired legitime in cash or marketable securities; or (3) in the absence of cash or securities in the estate, so much of such other property as may be necessary, to be sold in public auction. However, as mentioned, the Court grants the petition on grounds of prescription and laches.

Spouses Florentino Zaragoza and Erlinda Enriquez-Zaragoza, petitioners, vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals, Alberta Zaragoza Morgan, respondents. G.R. No. 106401 29 September 2000

FACTS: Flavio Zaragoza Cano died without a will and was survived by his four children. Gloria, Zacariaz, Florentino and Alberta, all surnamed Zaragoza. On December 28, 1981, private respondent Alberta Zaragoza-Morgan filed a complaint with the Court of First Instance against petitioners Spouses Florentino and Erlinda, for delivery of her inheritance share, consisting of Lots 943 and 871, and for payment of damages. She claims that she is a natural born Filipino citizen and the youngest child of the late Flavio. She further alleged 352 | P a g e

that her father, in his lifetime, partitioned the aforecited properties among his four children. The shares of her brothers and sister were given to them in advance by way of deed of sale, but without valid consideration, while her share, which consists of lots no. 871 and 943, was not conveyed by way of deed of sale then. She averred that because of her marriage, she became an American citizen and was prohibited to acquire lands in the Philippines except by hereditary succession. For this reason, no formal deed of conveyance was executed in her favor covering these lots during her father's lifetime. For their answer, petitioners admitted their affinity with private respondent and the allegations on the properties of their father. They denied knowledge of the alleged intention of their father to convey the cited lots to Alberta, much more, the reason for his failure to do so because she became an American citizen. They denied that there was partitioning of the estate of their father during his lifetime. The Regional Trial Court adjudicated Lot 871 in the name of Flavio Zaragoza Cano to plaintiff Alberta Zaragoza-Morgan as appertaining her share in his estate and ordering petitioners to vacate its premises and deliver immediately the portion occupied by them to private respondent. The Court of Appeals, rendered decision in favor of Private respondent. ISSUE: Can collation be done in this case? RULING:No, collation can not be done in this case where the original petition for delivery of inheritance share only impleaded one of the other compulsory heirs. The petition must therefore be dismissed without prejudice to the institution of a new proceeding where all the indispensable parties are present for the rightful determination of their respective legitime and if the legitimes were prejudiced by the partitioning inter vivos. Private respondent, in submitting her petition for the delivery of inheritance share was in effect questioning the validity of the deed of sale and consequently, the TCT in the name of the petitioner. Could this be done? No. the petition is a collateral attack which is not allowed by the Property Registration Decree.

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LAURO G. VIZCONDE vs. COURT OF APPEALS, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT and RAMON G. NICOLAS, G.R. No. 118449 ; February 11, 1998 FRANCISCO FACTS: Estrellita is the daughter of Spouses Rafael and Salud Nicholas. Her siblings are Antonio, Ramon, Teresita and Ricardo. Antonio predeceased his parents and is survived by his widow Zenaida and their four children. On May 22, 1979, Esrellita purchased a parcel of land from Rafael for P135,000, which she later sold to Amelia Lim and Maria Chiu for P3.4M. In the same year, Estrellita bought from Premier Homes, Inc., a parcel of land and a car using the proceeds of the prior sale. The balance of which was deposited in a bank. On June 30, 1991, Estrellita and her daughters were killed. The NBI conducted investigations and found that 354 | P a g e

Estrellita died ahead of her daughters. Thus, petitioner survived his daughters who died later than their mother, Estrellita. Petitioner executed an Extra-Judicial Settlement of the Estate of Deceased Estrellita NicolasVizconde with Waiver of Shares, with Rafael and Salud, Estrellita's parents which provided for the division of the properties of Estrellita and her two daughters between petitioner and The Paraaque property and the car and were also given to petitioner with Rafael and Salud waiving all their "claims, rights, ownership and participation as heirs" in the said properties. On November 18, 1992, Rafael died. To settle Rafaels estate, Teresita instituted an intestate estate proceedings with the RTC of Caloocan, listing as heirs, Salud, Ramon, Ricardo, the decedents wife Zenaida and children of Antonio. Ramon, however filed an opposition dated March 24, 1993, praying that the property sold by Estrellita should be collated because the sale between Rafael and Estrellita was actually a donation and not a sale. ISSUE: Whether or not the Paranaque property should be collated with the other properties. RULING: No, the records indicate that the intestate estate proceedings is still in its initiatory stage. There is nothing to prove that the legitime of any of Rafael's heirs has been impaired to warrant collation. Pursuant to Article 1035, it is the duty of the plaintiffs to prove that the donations received by Estrellita were inofficious in whole or in part and prejudiced the legitime of hereditary portion to which they are entitled. The probate court's order of collation against petitioner is unwarranted for the obligation to collate is lodged with Estrellita, the heir, and not to herein petitioner who does not have any interest in Rafael's estate. Collation is only required of compulsory heirs. Petitioner, a son-in-law of Rafael, is not one of Rafael's compulsory heirs. Therefore, collation of the Paraaque property is improper for collation covers only properties gratuitously given by the decedent during his lifetime to his compulsory heirs which fact does not obtain anent the transfer of the Paraaque property. For even if collation would be proper, it is not the Paranaque property that is to be collated, but should have been the same property given by the decedent to the heir during his lifetime, which in this case is the Valenzuela property.

RE: Disinheritance Dy Yieng Seangio, Barbara D. Seangio and Virginia Seangio, petitioners versus Hon. Amor A. Reyes, in her capacity as Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region, Branch 21, Manila, et. al., respondents

G.R. Nos. 140371-72 27 November 2006 FACTS: Private respondents filed a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of the late Segundo Seangio on September 21, 1988 to which petitioners Dy Yieng, Barbara and Virginia, all surnamed Seangio, opposed. They contended that Segundo left a holographic will, dated September 20, 1995, disinheriting one of the private respondents, Alfredo Seangio, for cause. In view of the purported holographic will, petitioners averred that in the event the decedent is found 355 | P a g e

to have left a will, the intestate proceedings are to be automatically suspended and replaced by the proceedings for the probate of the will. A petition for the probate of the holographic will of Segundo was filed by petitioners before the RTC on April 7, 1999. They likewise reiterated that the probate proceedings should take precedence over special proceeding because testate proceedings take precedence and enjoy priority over intestate proceedings. Private respondents moved for the dismissal of the probate proceedings primarily on the ground that the document purporting to be the holographic will of Segundo does not contain any disposition of the estate of the deceased and thus does not meet the definition of a will under Article 783 of the Civil Code. According to private respondents, the will only shows an alleged act of disinheritance by the decedent of his eldest son, Alfredo, and nothing else; that all other compulsory heirs were not named nor instituted as heir, devisee or legatee, hence, there is preterition which would result to intestacy. Petitioners filed their opposition to the motion to dismiss contending that disinheritance constitutes a disposition of the estate of a decedent and that the rule on preterition does not apply because Segundos will does not constitute a universal heir or heirs to the exclusion of one or more compulsory heirs. ISSUE: Was there a valid disinheritance? RULING: Yes. Alfredo was disinherited by Segundo. The document, entitled Kasulatan ng Pag-Aalis ng Mana, unmistakably showed Segundos intention of excluding his eldest son, Alfredo, as an heir to his estate for the reasons that he cited therein. Article 916 of the Civil Code requires that, for inheritance to be valid, the same must be effected through a will wherein the legal cause therefore shall be specified. With regard to the reasons for the disinheritance that were stated by Segundo in his document, the Court believes that the incidents, taken as a whole, can be considered a form of maltreatment of Segundo by his son, Alfredo, and that the matter presents a sufficient cause for the disinheritance of a child or descendant under Article 919 of the Civil Code. Segundos document, although it may initially come across as a mere disinheritance instrument conforms to the formalities of a holographic will prescribed by law. It is written, dated and signed by the hand of Segundo himself. An intent to dispose mortis causa can be clearly deduced from the terms of the instrument, and while it does not make an affirmative disposition of the latters property, the disinheritance of Alfredo it an act of disposition in itself. In other words, the disinheritance results in the disposition of the property of the testator in favor of those who would succeed in the absence of Alffredo.

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Isabelita S. Lahom, petitioner vs. Jose Melvin Sibulo, respondent G.R. No. 143989 VITUG, J.: FACTS: The spouses Dr. Diosdado Lahom and Isabelita Lahom decided to file a petition for adoption of Jose Melvin Sibulo. Subsequently, an order granting the petition was issued. In keeping with the court order, the civil registrar of Naga City, changed the name of Jose Melvin Sibulo to Josde Melvin Lahom. Eventually, Mrs. Lahom commenced a petition to rescind the decree of adoption for the reason that respondent, despite the pleadings of said spouses, refused to change his surname to Lahom to the frustrations of the spouses. In all the dealings and 357 | P a g e 14 July 2003

activities he is Jose Melvin Sibulo. That herein petitioner being a widow, and living alone, has yearned for the care and show of concern from a son, but respondent remained indifferent and would only come to Naga to see her once a year. Prior to the institution of the case, RA No. 8552, also known as the Domestic Adoption Act, went into effect. The new statute deleted from the law the right of adopters to rescind a decree of adoption. To this Melvin moved for the dismissal of the petition contending that the petitioner had no cause of action. ISSUES: Whether the adopter, while barred from severing the legal ties of adoption, can always, for a valid reason cause the forfeiture of his inheritance. RULINGS: It was months after the effectively of RA 8552 that herein petitioner filed an action to revoke. By then, the new law, had already abrogated and repealed the right of an adopter under the Civil Code. Consistently, the court held that the action for rescission of the adoption decree no longer could be pursued. However, an adopter, while barred from severing the legal ties of adoption, can always for a valid reason cause the forfeiture of certain benefits otherwise accruing to an undeserving child. Upon the grounds provided for by law, an adopter may deny to an adopted child his legitime, and, by will, may freely exclude him from having a share in the disposable portion of his estate.

Jose Baritua and Edgar Bitancor, petitioners vs. Honorable Court of Appeals, Nicolas Nacario and Victoria ronda Nacario, respondents G.R. No. 82233 SARMIENTO, J.: FACTS: Bienvenido Nacario, driving a tricycle along the national highway figured in an accident with JB Bus No. 80 driven by petitioner Edgar Bitancor and owned and operated by petitioner Jose Baritua. As a result of that accident Bienvenido and his passenger died and the tricycle was damaged. No criminal case arising from the incident was ever instituted. Subsequently, on March 27, 1980, as a consequence of the extra-judicial settlement of the matter negotiated by the petitioners and the bus insurer Philippine First Insurance Company, Incorporated (PFICI for brevity), Bienvenido Nacario's widow, Alicia Baracena Vda. de Nacario, received P18,500.00. In consideration of the amount she received, Alicia executed on March 27, 358 | P a g e 22 March 1990

1980 a "Release of Claim" in favor of the petitioners and PFICI, releasing and forever discharging them from all actions, claims, and demands arising from the accident which resulted in her husband's death and the damage to the tricycle which the deceased was then driving. Alicia likewise executed an affidavit of desistance in which she formally manifested her lack of interest in instituting any case, either civil or criminal, against the petitioners. About one year and ten months from the date of the accident on November 7, 1979, the private respondents, who are the parents of Bienvenido Nacario, filed a complaint for damages against the petitioners with the then Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur. In their complaint, the private respondents alleged that during the vigil for their deceased son, the petitioners through their representatives promised them (the private respondents) that as extra-judicial settlement, they shall be indemnified for the death of their son, for the funeral expenses incurred by reason thereof, and for the damage for the tricycle the purchase price of which they (the private respondents) only loaned to the victim. The petitioners, however, reneged on their promise and instead negotiated and settled their obligations with the long-estranged wife of their late son. ISSUE: Whether or not Alicia, the spouse and the one who received the petitioners' payment, is entitled to it. RULING: Yes. Alicia and her son with the deceased are the successors in interest referred to in law as the persons authorized to receive payment. It is patently clear that the parents of the deceased succeed only when the latter dies without a legitimate descendant. On the other hand, the surviving spouse concurs with all classes of heirs. As it has been established that Bienvenido was married to Alicia and that they begot a child, the private respondents are not successors-ininterest of Bienvenido; they are not compulsory heirs. The petitioners therefore acted correctly in settling their obligation with Alicia as the widow of Bienvenido and as the natural guardian of their lone child. This is so even if Alicia had been estranged from Bienvenido. Mere estrangement is not a legal ground for the disqualification of a surviving spouse as an heir of the deceased spouse. The private respondents could not also, as alleged creditors of Bienvenido, seek relief and compensation from the petitioners. While it may be true that the private respondents loaned to Bienvenido the purchase price of the damaged tricycle and shouldered the expenses for his funeral, the said purchase price and expenses are but money claims against the estate of their deceased son.

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Filomena Pecson, as administratix of the last will and testament of Florencio Pecson, et al., Plaintiffs-appellants vs. Rosario Mediavillo, defendant-appellee G.R. No. 7890 29 September 1914 JOHNSON, J.: FACTS: The last will and testament of Florencio Pecson was presented for probate. Mr. Lorayes, an attorney at law, opposed the legalization of the will on the ground that it had not been authorized nor signed by the deceased, in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure. The court had denied the opposition. The deceased had eight children by his wife Nicolasa Manjares, likewise deceased.

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Teresa, another daughter of Florencio, married Basilio Mediavillo, whom she had two children: one of them is Rosario, who was disinherited by the testator and Joaquin, who died without isssue but is represented by his father, Basilio. Teresa died. Joaquin died before the death of the testator. Rosario is the only living child of Teresa and the latters husband, Basilio, is also living. Evidence shows that Rosario became insane in 1895, when she went to Nueva Caceres to study college, and it has been proved that it was previous to this date that she disobeyed her grandfather and raised her hand against him, and, as the testator stated in his will, he disinherited her. ISSUE: Was Rosario validly disinherited by his grandfather? RULING: The disinheritance was invalid. Disinheritance of a lawful heir can only be made for one of the causes expressly fixed by law. Such disinheritance can only be effected by a will in which shall be mentioned the legal grounds or causes for such disinheritance. Article 850 of the civil code provides that the reason for the disinheritance shall be established by the heirs of the testator. In other words, if the person disinherited shall deny the truthfulness of the cause of disinheritance, he may be permitted to support his allegations by proof. The courts may inquire into the justice of disinheritance, and if they find that the disinheritance was without cause, that part of the will may be pronounced null and void. Taking into consideration of the tender years of Rosario and the fact that she very soon thereafter lost the use of her mental faculties, the Court reached the conclusion that she was not responsible for the disrespect and disobedience shown to her grandfather in the year 1894 or 1895. Inasmuch, however, as there was a descendant in the direct line, surviving, the inheritance could not ascend, and for that reason Basilio can not inherit that share of the estate that would have belonged to Joaquin Mediavillo, had he been living.

Rafael E. Maninang and Soledad L. Maninang, petitioners vs. Court of Appeals, Hon. Ricardo l. Pronove, Jr., as Judge of the CFI of Rizal and Bernardo S. Aseneta, respondents G.R. No. L-57848 MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.: FACTS: Clemencia Aseneta, whose estate was the subject of this case, died single and without issue leaving a will in which she disposed all of her properties to Da. Soledad Maninang. In the said will, she did not acknowledge Bernardo or Nonoy as her adopted. The probate of the will was opposed by herein respondent Bernardo Aseneta, claiming to be the adopted son and therefore the sole heir of the decedent. He further instituted an Intestate Case and move for the dismissal of the Testate Case on the ground that the holographic will was null and void because he, as the only compulsory heir, was preterited and, therefore intestacy should ensue. 361 | P a g e June 19, 1982

The motion was granted by the lower court from which petitioner appealed claiming that the courts inquiry should be limited only to the extrinsic validity of the will and that respondent Bernardo was not preterited but effectively disinherited. ISSUE: Whether under the terms of the decedents will, private respondent had been preterited or disinherited. RULING: Generally, the probate of a will is mandatory. The conclusion of the lower court that Bernardo has been preterited is not indubitable. Preterition and disinheritance are two diverse concepts. Preterition consists in the omission in the testators will of the forced heirs either because they are not mentioned or though mentioned, they ar4 neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited. Disinheritance in turn, is a testamentary disposition depriving any compulsory heirs of his share in the legitime for a cause authorized by law. Disinheritance is always voluntary, preterition is presumed to be involuntary. Preterition results in the total annulment of the institution of heirs unless there are, in addition, testamentary dispositions in favor of devises or legacies. In disinheritance the nullity is limited to that portion of the estate of which the disinherited heirs have been illegally deprived.

RE: Legacies and Devises Trusteeship of the Estate of Benigno Diaz y Heredia, deceased Bank of the Philippine Islands, trustee. Soledad Robles, et. al., petitioners vs. Isabel Manahan de Santiago and Nestor M. Santiago, oppositors and appellants No. L-10111 31 August 1960 BARRERA, J.: FACTS: Benigno Diaz Y Heredia, in his will, created a trust estate out of the properties not otherwise disposed of. After the death of his wife, Diaz caused the preparation of a codicil. The testator died and his will and codicil were accordingly probated. The Bank of the Philippine Islands was appointed Trustee of the trust created by the testator in the will and the codicil, for the purpose of paying the monthly and yearly legacies of the legatees named therein. 362 | P a g e

The trustee then petitioned the court, with the consent of all the legatees, for authority to sell all the properties and liquidate the estate. This petition was granted. The property located at Rosario, Binondo, Manila was sold to legatee Isabel Manahan de Santiago. Legatees Soledad Robles and her children filed a motion praying that the trustee be ordered to deliver to them, in accordance with the will, 90% of the rentals collected from the property in Rosario; which the trustee refused to deliver contending that upon authorization of the court of the sale of the properties, the trusteeship ceased already and the rentals collected thereafter not only from the Rosario property but also from all the other properties of the estate, constitute the mass of the residuary estate to be distributed among the legatees in accordance with the terms of the codicil, that is, only 30% and not 90% to the heirs of Domingo Legarda. The motion was granted by the court and directed the trustee to deliver to Soledad Robles and her children, their shares in rentals ISSUE: May the said legatees-appellees still demand their share of the rentals? RULING: Yes. From the testamentary provisions of the will, the testator intended the enjoyment by the legatees, of their respective legacies for the entire duration of the trust estate, even when the specified properties are sold, the proceeds of which have been directed to be invested in mortgages with interest, or in the purchase of other rental-bearing properties. The legacies should therefore be viewed as one whole, continuing obligation based upon a judgment (the will becomes binding upon probate) and the prescription period is ten years. The fact that the rentals are to be delivered monthly, did not make each delivery a separate, distinct prestation. Considering that the obligation terminated upon the sale of the said property on March 18, 1955, the demand for complete delivery of the inheritance has not yet prescribed.

Brenda J. Debuque, Estrella L. Javelona, Rosendo L. Javelona, Jr., Arturo L. Javelona, Ysmael L. Javelona, Vivian L. Javelona, Roberto L. Javelona and Eduardo L. Javelona, petitioners, vs. Honorable Rafael Climaco, Judge of the Court of First Instance of Silay City, Negros Occidental, Renato Javelona, Edna Javelona, Edmundo Javelona, Erlinda Javelona, and Lilia Liboon, Judicial Guard for the Minors, Camilo Javelona, Bonito Javelona, Belenda Javelona, Armando Javelona and Edwin Javelona, respondents. No. L-30634 27 August 1980 MAKASIAR, J.: FACTS: On June 22, 1962, Rosendo Javelona, Sr. died intestate and left set of heirs. The first consisting of his widow and their seven legitimates children and the second set consisting of his illegitimate children.

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To avoid a protracted and expensive court litigation, the parties entered into an amicable settlement compromise agreement whereby they agreed that the first set of heirs will receive 71.66% of the decedents net estate which shall be equally divided among them, while the second set of heirs will receive 28.38% of the net estate, likewise to be equally divided among them. This was in accordance with the amended project of partition drawn by the judicial administrator and the second set of heirs and approved by respondent Judge. Brenda Javelona Debuque, the youngest legitimate heir, appealed the order after her emancipation by virtue of her marriage to lawyer Jorge Debuque; the former had acquired most of the interest of the other legitime. She prayed that the remaining balance belonging to the estate be proportionately divided between the first and second set of heirs, alleging that because the total balance exceeds the remaining cash deposit of the estate, payment to the two sets of heirs should be proportionately reduced. ISSUE: Who should be liable for the estates losses due to the amounts they have taken and have not restored to the estate? RULING: When the parties entered into an amicable settlement-compromise agreement, they made the agreement as between the two sets. Upon approval and finality of said agreement, the two sets will again become co-owners of their respective shares as among themselves. Legitimate heirs will be co-owners in equal shares of the 71.66% portion of the estate, while the illegitimate heirs will be co-owners of their 28.38% portion until partition. Meanwhile, they are governed by the pertinent laws of co-ownership and succession. The members of the first set are solidarily liable for the estates losses due to the amounts they have taken and have not restored to the estate, pursuant to Article 927 of the New Civil Code. This solidary liability should be understood to cover not only negligence but also fraud and delay.

Misael P. Vera, as Commissioner of Internal Revenue, petitioner vs. Honorable Judge Pedro C. Navarro, in his capacity as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Pasig, Rizal (Branch II); Magdalena Abanto and Camilo Eribal, as voluntary residual heirs of the Estate of the deceased ElsieM. Gaches; Delia P. Medina, as attorney-in-fact of said heirs; Bienvenido A. Tan, Sr., as Executor of the Estate of Elsie M. Gaches; Philippine National Bank; Philippine Banking Corporation; The Overseas Bank of Manila; and Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank, respondents

No. L-27745 CASTRO, C.J.:

18 October 1977

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FACTS: Elsie Gaches died without a child. The deceased left a last will and testament wherein she expressed that her properties be distributed to the persons named therein after payment of her debts and funeral expenses. The herein respondent Judge Bienvenido Tan, Sr filed with the CFI a petition for the probate of the said will and he was appointed as executor. On the other hand, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue filed with the probate court a claim of taxes particularly estate tax, inheritance tax, and income tax.

The voluntary heirs mentioned in the will were held responsible for all taxes of any nature which may be due the government.

ISSUE: Whether or not the heirs should be required to pay first the inheritance tax before the probate court may authorize the delivery of the hereditary share pertaining to each of them RULING: Under the provisions of Rule 90, Section 1, the distribution of the ascendants assets may only be ordered under the following three circumstances namely, (1) when the inheritance tax, among others, is paid, (2) when a sufficient bond is given to meet the payment of the inheritance tax and all the other obligation of the nature enumerated therein, or (3) when the payment of said tax and all the other obligations mentioned in the said rule has been provided for. None of these three cases insofar as the satisfaction of the inheritance due from the estate is concerned were present when the questioned orders were issued in the case at bar; likewise, the record is bereft of any evidence that sufficient bond has been filed to meet the outstanding obligation. The inheritance tax imposed by Section 86 shall, in the absence of contrary disposition by the predecessor, be charged to the account of each beneficiary, in proportion to the value of the benefit received, and in accordance with the scale fixed for the class or group to which is pertains: Provided, That in cases where the heirs divide extrajudicially the property left to them by their predecessor or otherwise convey, sell, transfer, mortgage, or encumber the same without being the estate or inheritance taxes within the period prescribed in the preceding subsections (a) and (b), they shall be solidarity liable for the payment of the said taxes to the extent of the estate they have received.

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TESTACY OF MAXIMA SANTOS VDA. DE BLAS. ROSALINA SANTOS (Executrix), petitioner and appellee, vs. FLORA BLAS DE BUENAVENTURA (Legatee), oppositor and appellant. G.R. No. L-22797. September 22, 1966 BENGZON, J.P., J.: FACTS: On October 22, 1956, Rosalina Santos filed a petition for the probate of the last will allegedly executed on September 22, 1956 by the deceased Maxima Santos Vda. de Blas. Rosalina Santos, petitioner-appellee herein, is one of said nieces. Among the devisees mentioned in the will is Flora Blas de Buenaventura. She is not related by blood to the deceased. Flora Blas de Buenaventura and Justo Garcia filed on November 28, 1956 an opposition to the probate of 366 | P a g e

said will on the grounds of undue and improper pressure and that Maxima was mentally incapable of making a will at the time of its execution. After the probate court had received the evidence for both the petitioner and oppositors, but before the latter could close their evidence, Flora Blas on November 6, 1957 filed a manifestation that she is withdrawing her opposition to the probate of the will. Later, she joined the proponent of the will for probate praying for the delivery of a specific fishpond as a specific devise. Rosalina filed an opposition citing that Flora had lost her right due to the contest and forfeiture clause found in the will whereby any one of the heirs who co ntests or opposes the probate of the will or the carrying out of its provisions shall lose any right to receive any inheritance or benefit, and their inheritance or share shall pertain to the other heirs who have not opposed. ISSUE: Has Flora Buenaventura lost her right to the device owing to the no contest and forfeiture clause? RULING: It should be pointed out that, contrary to the translation accorded to Paragraph Fourteen of the will, the testatrix enjoins not a mere contest or opposition to its probate, but a contest or opposition to the probate of the will and the carrying out of its provisions. This is so because the questioned clause speaks of "pagpapatibay atpag-bibigay-bisa" instead of "pagpapatibay o pag-bibigay-bisa." This furnishes a significant index into the intention of the testatrix, namely, that she was more concerned in insuring the carrying out of her testamentary provisions than in precluding any contest or opposition to it. By the withdrawal of the contest which appellant brought in good faith, no prejudice has been done into the intention of the testatrix. The dispositions of her will can now be safely carried out. Due to appellant's timely withdrawal of her opposition to the probate of the will, it was as if there had been no opposition by her at all, as far as the purpose underlying the aforestated clause is concerned. RESOLUTION AMENDING THE DECISION: Appellant-movant contends that she is entitled to and should be awarded, not only the devised fishpond, but all the fruits or rents of said property from the death of the testatrix on October 5, 1956 up to the time said property will be delivered to her. The provisions of law regarding devised proper are emphatic in stating that a devise of a specific things includes its fruits and income accruing after the testator's death, ordering that these shall be delivered with the thing devised. The obligation to give a determinate thing includes that of delivering all its accessions and accessories, even though they may not have been mentioned.

The next argument is on appellant's claim to interest upon the fruits or rents. The rule is that interest does not run, unless stipulated, where there is yet no delay (Arts. 1169, 2209, Civil Code). And in settlement proceedings, there is no delay on the part of the administratrix until after the court orders her to make delivery of the legacy or devise (Ongpin v. Rivera, 44 Phil. 808). In this case, the court a quo not having issued such an order, appellee has not incurred in delay and is thus not liable for interest. 367 | P a g e

DIONISIO FERNANDEZ, EUSEBIO REYES and LUISA REYES, petitioners, vs. ISMAELA DIMAGIBA, respondent. ---------------------------------------MARIANO REYES, CESAR REYES, LEONOR REYES and PACIENCIA REYES, petitioners, vs. ISMAELA DIMAGIBA, respondent. G.R. No. L-23638. October 12, 1967 REYES, J.B.L., Actg. C.J.: 368 | P a g e

FACTS: On January 19, 1955, Ismaela Dimagiba, now respondent, submitted to the CFI a petition for the probate of the purported will of the late Benedicta de los Reyes, executed on October 22, 1930. The will instituted the petitioner as the sole heir of the estate of the deceased. The petition was set for hearing, and in due time, Dionisio Fernandez, Eusebio Reyes and Luisa Reyes and one month later, Mariano, Cesar, Leonor and Paciencia, all surnamed Reyes, all claiming to be heirs intestate of the decedent, filed oppositions to the probate asked. Grounds advanced for the opposition were forgery, vices of consent of the testatrix, estoppel by laches of the proponent and revocation of the will by two deeds of conveyance of the major portion of the estate made by the testatrix in favor of the proponent in 1943 and 1944, but which conveyances were finally set aside by the Supreme Court. The CFI found that the will genuinely executed but deferred deciding on the issue of estoppel and revocation until such time that the opportunity is presented. Oppositors Fernandez and Reyes petitioned for reconsideration, and/or new trial, insisting that the issues of estoppel and revocation be considered and resolved but were denied. The CA later ruled that the case had become final and executor due to failure to appeal. ISSUE: 1. Are the issues of revocation necessary to be immediately resolved by the CFI? 2. Had the 1930 will by Benedicta Reyes been impliedly revoked? RULING: 1. The alleged revocation implied from the execution of the deeds of conveyance in favor of the testamentary heir is plainly irrelevant to and separate from the question of whether the testament was duly executed. For one, if the will is not entitled to probate, or its probate is denied, all questions of revocation become superfluous in law, there is no such will and hence there would be nothing to revoke. Then, again, the revocation invoked by the oppositors-appellants is not an express one, but merely implied from subsequent acts of the testatrix allegedly evidencing an abandonment of the original intention to bequeath or devise the properties concerned. As such, the revocation would not affect the will itself, but merely the particular devise or legacy. Only the total and absolute revocation can preclude probate of the revoked testament (Trillana vs. Crisostomo, supra.). 2. As observed by the Court of Appeals, the existence of any such change or departure from the original intent of the testatrix, expressed in her 1930 testament, is rendered doubtful by the circumstance that the subsequent alienations in 1943 and 1944 were executed in favor of the legatee herself, appellee Dimagiba. In fact, as found by the Court of Appeals in its decision annulling these conveyances (affirmed in that point by this Supreme Court inReyes vs. Court of Appeals and Dimagiba, L-5618 and L-5620, promulgated on July 31, 1954), "no consideration whatever was paid by respondent Dimagiba" on account of the transfers, thereby rendering it even more doubtful whether in conveying the property to her legatee, the testatrix merely intended to comply in advance with what she had ordained in her testament, rather than an alteration or departure therefrom. Revocation 369 | P a g e

being an exception, in the circumstances of the particular case, Article 957 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, does not apply to the case at bar.

ONESIMA D. BELEN, petitioner-appellant, vs. BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS and MILAGROS BELEN DE OLAGUERA, oppositors-appellees. G.R. No. L-14474 REYES, J.B.L., J.: FACTS:Filomena Diaz died on February 8, 1954, leaving two legitimate children, Milagros Belen de Olsguera, married, with seven (7) legitimate children, and Onesima D. Belen, single. On March 19, 1958, Onesima D. Belen filed a petition in Special Proceedings No. 9226, contending that the amount that would have appertained to Filomena Diaz under the codicil 370 | P a g e October 31, 1960

should now be divided(equally) only between herself and Milagros Belen de Olaguera, as the surviving children of the said deceased, to the exclusion, in other words, of the seven (7) legitimate children of Milagros Belen de Olaguera. According to appellant, the term "sus descendeintes legitimos," as used in the codicil, should be interpreted to mean descendants nearest in the degree to the original legatee Filomena Diaz. In the present case, they are her two daughters (Milagros and Onesima Belen), thereby excluding the seven grandchildren of said legatee. ISSUE: Is the appellant correct in her contention? HELD: As to her first point, the appellant is the correct ion her view that the trial court's interpretation of clause 10 of the codicil to the will of Benigno Diaz has not been affirmed in our previous decision (G.R. No. L-10164). Perusal of that judgment will show that this Court left the issue open at the time, contenting itself with pointing out that the then appellant Administrator of the estate of Folimena Diaz was not the proper party to the raise the particular issue. As the actual meaning of the provision El restro se distribuira a las siguientes personas que aun viven, o a sus descendientes legitimos, it is undeniable that but this clause the testator ordained a simple substitution (sustitucion vulgar) with a plurality of substitutes for each legatee. This form of substitution authorized by the first poart of Article 860 of the Civil Code (Art. 778 of the Code of 1889): Two or more persons may be substituted for one and one person for two or more heirs. The issue is now squarely before us : do the words "sus descendientes legitimos" refer conjointly to all living descendant (children and grandchildren) of the legatee, as a class; or they refer to the descendants nearest in degree? Appellant Onesima Belen contends that the phrase should be taken to mean the relatives nearest in degree to Filomena Diaz; and that the legacy should be therefore divided equally between her and her sister Milagros Belen de Olaguera, to the exclusion of the latter's sons and daughters, grand children of the original legatee, Filomena Diaz. As authority in support of her thesis, appellant invokes Article 959 of the Civil Code of the Philippines (reproducing ne varieter Article 751 of the Code of 1889): A distribution made in general terms in favor of the testator's relatives shall be understood as made in favor of those nearest in degree. The argument fails to note that this article is specifically limited in its application to the case where the beneficiaries are relatives of the testator, not those of the legatee. In such an 371 | P a g e

event, the law assumes that the testator intended to refer to the rules of intestacy, in order to benefit the relatives closest to him. But the ratios legis (that among a testator's relative the closest are dearest) obviously does not supply where the beneficiaries are relatives of another person (the legatee) and noot of the testator . There is no logical reason in this case to presume that the testator intended to refer to the rules of intestacy, for he precisely made a testament and provided substitutes for each legatee; nor can it be said that his affections would prefer the nearest relatives of the legatee to those more distant, since he envisages all of them in a group, and only as mere substitutes for a preferred beneficiary. Should Article 959 (old Art. 751) be applied by analogy? There are various reasons against this. The most important one is that under this article, as recognized by the principal commentators on the Code of 1889, the nearest of exclude all the farther relatives and right of representation does not operate. The result would be that by applying to the descendants of Filorema Diaz the "nearest relatives" rule of Article 959, the inheritance would be limited to her children, or anyone of them, excluding the grandchildren altogether. This could hardly be the intention of the testator who, in the selfsame clause 10 of his council (ante), speaks of "cuatro hijos de mi difunto hermano Fabian" and of "los hijos de Domingo Legarda," as well as of "descendientes legitimos" of the other legates, to us indicating clearly that he understood well that hijos and descendientes are not synonymous terms. We conclude that in the absence of other indications of contrary intent, the proper rule to apply in the instant case is that the testator, by designating a class or group of legatees, intended all members thereof to succeed per capita, in consonance with article 846. So that the original legacy to Filomena Diaz should be equally divided among her surviving children and grandchidren. The order appealed from is affirmed, with costs to the appellant..

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OFELIA HERNANDO BAGUNU, Petitioner. vs. PASTORA PIEDAD, Respondent. G.R. No. 140975 VITUG, J.: FACTS: In this case, there is no doubt nor difference that arise as to the truth or falsehood on alleged facts. The question as to whether intevenor-appellants as a collateral relative within the fifth civil degree, has legal interest in the intestate proceeding which would justify her intervention; the question as to whether the publication of notice of hearing made in this case is defective which would amount to lack of jurisdiction over the persons of the parties and the question as to whether the proceedings has already been terminated when the intestate court issued the order of transfer of the estate of Augusto H. Piedad to petitioner-appellee, in spite the absence of an order of closure of the intestate court, all call for the application and interpretation of the proper law is applicable on a certain undisputed state of facts. Augusto H. Piedad without any direct descendants or ascendants. Respondent is the maternal aunt of the decedent, a third-degree relative of the decedent, while petitioner is the daughter of a first cousin of the deceased, or a fifth-degree relative of the decedent. ISSUE: Can petitioner, a collateral relative of the fifth civil degree, inherit alongside respondent, a collateral relative of the third civil degree? Elsewise stated does the rule of proximity in intestate succession find application among collateral relatives? HELD: The various provisions of the Civil Code on succession embody an almost complete set of law to govern, either by will or by operation of law, the transmission of property, rights and obligations of a person upon his death. Each article is construed in congruity with, rather than in isolation of, the system set out by the Code. The rule on proximity is a concept that favors the relatives nearest in degree to the decedent and excludes the more distant ones except when and to the extent that the right of representation can apply. Thus, Article 962 of the Civil Code provides: "ART. 962. In every inheritance, the relative nearest in degree excludes the more distant ones, saving the right of representation when it properly takes place. "Relatives in the same degree shall inherit in equal shares, subject to the provisions of article 1006 with respect to relatives of the full and half blood, and of article 987, paragraph 2, concerning division between the paternal and maternal lines." 373 | P a g e December 8, 2000

By right of representation, a more distant blood relative of a decedent is, by operation of law, "raised to the same place and degree" of relationship as that of a closer blood relative of the same decedent. The representative thereby steps into the shoes of the person he represents and succeeds, not from the latter, but from the person to whose estate the person represented would have succeeded. The right of representation does not apply to "others collateral relatives within the fifth civil degree" (to which group both petitioner and respondent belong) who are sixth in the order of preference following, firstly, the legitimate children and descendants, secondly, the legitimate parents and ascendants, thirdly, the illegitimate children and descendants, fourthly, the surviving spouse, and fifthly, the brothers and sisters/nephews and nieces, fourth decedent. Among collateral relatives, except only in the case of nephews and nieces of the decedent concurring with their uncles or aunts, the rule of proximity, expressed in Article 962, aforequoted, of the Code, is an absolute rule. In determining the degree of relationship of the collateral relatives to the decedent, Article 966 of the Civil Code gives direction. Respondent, being a relative within the third civil degree, of the late Augusto H. Piedad excludes petitioner, a relative of the fifth degree, from succeeding an intestato to the estate of the decedent. WHEREFORE, the instant Petition is DENIED. No costs. SO ORDERED.

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OLIVIA S. PASCUAL and HERMES S. PASCUAL, petitioners, vs. ESPERANZA C. PASCUAL-BAUTISTA, MANUEL C. PASCUAL, JOSE C. PASCUAL, SUSANA C. PASCUAL-BAUTISTA, ERLINDA C. PASCUAL, WENCESLAO C. PASCUAL, JR., INTESTATE ESTATE OF ELEUTERIO T. PASCUAL, AVELINO PASCUAL, ISOCELES PASCUAL, LEIDA PASCUAL-MARTINES, VIRGINIA PASCUAL-NER, NONA PASCUAL-FERNANDO, OCTAVIO PASCUAL, GERANAIA PASCUAL-DUBERT, and THE HONORABLE PRESIDING JUDGE MANUEL S. PADOLINA of Br. 162, RTC, Pasig, Metro Manila, respondents. G.R. No. 84240 March 25, 1992 PARAS, J.: FACTS: Petitioners Olivia and Hermes both surnamed Pascual are the acknowledged natural children of the late Eligio Pascual, the latter being the full blood brother of the decedent Don Andres Pascual (Rollo, petition, p. 17). Don Andres Pascual died intestate on October 12, 1973 without any issue, legitimate, acknowledged natural, adopted or spurious children and was survived by the following: (a) Adela Soldevilla de Pascual, surviving spouses; (b) Children of Wenceslao Pascual, Sr., a brother of the full blood of the deceased wit: (c) Children of Pedro-Bautista, brother of the half blood of the deceased, to wit: (d) Acknowledged natural children of Eligio Pascual, brother of the full blood of the deceased, (e) Intestate of Eleuterio T. Pascual, a brother of the half blood of the On February 27, 1974, again Adela Soldevilla de Pascual executed an affidavit, to the effect that of her own knowledge, Eligio Pascual is the younger full blood brother of her late husband Don Andres Pascual, to belie the statement made by the oppositors, that they were are not among the known heirs of the deceased Don Andres Pascual On October 16, 1985, all the above-mentioned heirs entered into a COMPROMISE AGREEMENT, over the vehement objections of the herein petitioners Olivia S. Pascual and Hermes S. Pascual, although paragraph V of such compromise agreement provides, to wit: This Compromise Agreement shall be without prejudice to the continuation of the above-entitled proceedings until the final determination thereof by the court, or by another compromise

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agreement, as regards the claims of Olivia Pascual and Hermes Pascual as legal heirs of the deceased, Don Andres Pascual. The said Compromise Agreement had been entered into despite the Manifestation/Motion of the petitioners Olivia Pascual and Hermes Pascual, manifesting their hereditary rights in the intestate estate of Don Andres Pascual, their uncle. ISSUE: Whether or not Article 992 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, can be interpreted to exclude recognized natural children from the inheritance of the deceased. HELD: The petition is devoid of merit. The issue in the case at bar, had already been laid to rest in Diaz v. IAC, supra, where this Court ruled that: Article 992 of the Civil Code provides a barrier or iron curtain in that it prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said legitimate child. They may have a natural tie of blood, but this is not recognized by law for the purposes of Article 992. Between the legitimate family and illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked down upon by the legitimate family; the family is in turn hated by the illegitimate child; the latter considers the privileged condition of the former, and the resources of which it is thereby deprived; the former, in turn, sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin, palpable evidence of a blemish broken in life; the law does no more than recognize this truth, by avoiding further grounds of resentment. Eligio Pascual is a legitimate child but petitioners are his illegitimate children. Applying the above doctrine to the case at bar, respondent IAC did not err in holding that petitioners herein cannot represent their father Eligio Pascual in the succession of the latter to the intestate estate of the decedent Andres Pascual, full blood brother of their father. Clearly the term "illegitimate" refers to both natural and spurious. Finally under Article 176 of the Family Code, all illegitimate children are generally placed under one category, which undoubtedly settles the issue as to whether or not acknowledged natural children should be treated differently, in the negative. It may be said that the law may be harsh but that is the law (DURA LEX SED LEX). PREMISES CONSIDERED, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit and the assailed decision of the respondent Court of Appeals dated April 29, 1988 is AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED. 376 | P a g e

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CRESENCIANO LEONARDO, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, MARIA CAILLES, JAMES BRACEWELL and RURAL BANK OF PARAAQUE, INC.,respondents. G.R. No. L-51263 February 28, 1983 DE CASTRO, J.: FACTS: From the record, it appears that Francisca Reyes who died intestate on July 12, 1942 was survived by two (2) daughters, Maria and Silvestra Cailles and a grandson, Sotero Leonardo, the son of her daughter, Pascuala Cailles who predeceased her. Sotero Leonardo died in 1944, while Silvestra Cailles died in 1949 without any issue. On October 29, 1964, petitioner Cresenciano Leonardo, claiming to be the son of the late Sotero Leonardo, filed a complaint for ownership of properties, sum of money and accounting in the Court of First Instance of Rizal seeking judgment (1) to be declared one of the lawful heirs of the deceased Francisca Reyes, entitled to one-half share in the estate of said deceased jointly with defendant, private respondent herein, Maria Cailles, (2) to have the properties left by said Francisca Reyes, described in the complaint, partitioned between him and defendant Maria Cailles, and (3) to have an accounting of all the income derived from said properties from the time defendants took possession thereof until said accounting shall have been made, delivering to him his share therein with legal interest. ISSUES: Whether or not the properties in question are exclusive properties of private respondents and that petitioner has not established his filiation. HELD: To begin with, the Court of Appeals found the subject properties to be the exclusive properties of the private respondents. Anent the second assignment of error, the Court of Appeals made the following findings: Going to the issue of filiation, plaintiff claims that he is the son of Sotero Leonardo, the son of one of the daughters (Pascuala) of Francisca Reyes. He further alleges that since Pascuala predeceased Francisca Reyes, and that his father, Sotero, who subsequently died in 1944, survived Francisca Reyes, plaintiff can consequently succeed to the estate of Francisca Reyes by right of representation. In support of his claim, plaintiff submitted in evidence his alleged birth certificate showing that his father is Sotero Leonardo, married to Socorro Timbol, his alleged mother. Since his supposed right will either rise or fall on the proper evaluation of this vital evidence, We have minutely scrutinized the same, looking for that vital link connecting him to the family tree 378 | P a g e

of the deceased Francisca Reyes. However, this piece of evidence does not in any way lend credence to his tale. This is because the name of the child described in the birth certificate is not that of the plaintiff but a certain 'Alfredo Leonardo' who was born on September 13, 1938 to Sotero Leonardo and Socorro Timbol. Other than his bare allegation, plaintiff did not submit any durable evidence showing that the 'Alfredo Leonardo' mentioned in the birth certificate is no other than he himself. Thus, even without taking time and space to go into further details, We may safely conclude that plaintiff failed to prove his filiation which is a fundamental requisite in this action where he is claiming to be an heir in the inheritance in question. 4 Referring to the third assignment of error, even if it is true that petitioner is the child of Sotero Leonardo, still he cannot, by right of representation, claim a share of the estate left by the deceased Francisca Reyes considering that, as found again by the Court of Appeals, he was born outside wedlock as shown by the fact that when he was born on September 13, 1938, his alleged putative father and mother were not yet married, and what is more, his alleged father's first marriage was still subsisting. At most, petitioner would be an illegitimate child who has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father, like the deceased Francisca Reyes. (Article 992, Civil Code of the Philippines.) WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals sought to be reviewed in this petition is hereby affirmed, with costs against the petitioner. SO ORDERED.

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MAURICIO SAYSON, ROSARIO SAYSON-MALONDA, BASILISA SAYSONLIRIO, REMEDIOS SAYSON-REYES and JUANA C. BAUTISTA, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, DELIA SAYSON, assisted by her husband, CIRILO CEDO, JR., EDMUNDO SAYSON AND DORIBEL SAYSON, respondents. G.R. Nos. 89224-25 January 23, 1992 CRUZ, J: FACTS: Eleno and Rafaela Sayson begot five children, namely, Mauricio, Rosario, Basilisa, Remedios and Teodoro. Eleno died on November 10, 1952, and Rafaela on May 15, 1976. Teodoro, who had married Isabel Bautista, died on March 23, 1972. His wife died nine years later, on March 26, 1981. Their properties were left in the possession of Delia, Edmundo, and Doribel, all surnamed Sayson, who claim to be their children. On April 25, 1983, Mauricio, Rosario, Basilisa, and Remedios, together with Juana C. Bautista, Isabel's mother, filed a complaint for partition and accounting of the intestate estate of Teodoro and Isabel Sayson. It was docketed as Civil Case No. 1030 in Branch 13 of the Regional Trial Court of Albay. The action was resisted by Delia, Edmundo and Doribel Sayson, who alleged successional rights to the disputed estate as the decedents' lawful descendants. On July 11, 1983, Delia, Edmundo and Doribel filed their own complaint, this time for the accounting and partition of the intestate estate of Eleno and Rafaela Sayson, against the couple's four surviving children. This was docketed as Civil Case No. 1042 in the Regional Trial Court of Albay, Branch 12. The complainants asserted the defense they raised in Civil Case No. 1030, to wit, that Delia and Edmundo were the adopted children and Doribel was the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and Isabel. As such, they were entitled to inherit Teodoro's share in his parents' estate by right of representation. Both cases were decided in favor of the herein private respondents on the basis of practically the same evidence. ISSUES: At issue in this case is the status of the private respondents and their capacity to inherit from their alleged parents and grandparents. The petitioners deny them that right, asserting if for themselves to the exclusion of all others. HELD: The inconsistency of this position is immediately apparent. The petitioners seek to annul the adoption of Delia and Edmundo on the ground that Teodoro and Isabel already had a legitimate 380 | P a g e

daughter at the time but in the same breath try to demolish this argument by denying that Doribel was born to the couple. On top of this, there is the vital question of timeliness. It is too late now to challenge the decree of adoption, years after it became final and executory. That was way back in 1967. Assuming the the petitioners were proper parties, what they should have done was seasonably appeal the decree of adoption, pointing to the birth of Doribel that disqualified Teodoro and Isabel from adopting Delia and Edmundo. They did not. In fact, they should have done this earlier, before the decree of adoption was issued. They did not, although Mauricio claimed he had personal knowledge of such birth. Not having any information of Doribel's birth to Teodoro and Isabel Sayson, the trial judge cannot be faulted for granting the petition for adoption on the finding inter alia that the adopting parents were not disqualified. A no less important argument against the petitioners is that their challenge to the validity of the adoption cannot be made collaterally, as in their action for partition, but in a direct proceeding frontally addressing the issue. On the question of Doribel's legitimacy, we hold that the findings of the trial courts as affirmed by the respondent court must be sustained. Doribel's birth certificate is a formidable piece of evidence. It is one of the prescribed means of recognition under Article 265 of the Civil Code and Article 172 of the Family Code. It is true, as the petitioners stress, that the birth certificate offers only prima facie evidence 9 of filiation and may be refuted by contrary evidence. However, such evidence is lacking in the case at bar. There is no question that as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and thus the granddaughter of Eleno and Rafaela, Doribel has a right to represent her deceased father in the distribution of the intestate estate of her grandparents. Under Article 981, quoted above, she is entitled to the share her father would have directly inherited had he survived, which shall be equal to the shares of her grandparents' other children. But a different conclusion must be reached in the case of Delia and Edmundo, to whom the grandparents were total strangers. While it is true that the adopted child shall be deemed to be a legitimate child and have the same right as the latter, these rights do not include the right of representation. The relationship created by the adoption is between only the adopting parents and the adopted child and does not extend to the blood relatives of either party. In sum, we agree with the lower courts that Delia and Edmundo as the adopted children and Doribel as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro Sayson and Isabel Bautista, are their exclusive heirs and are under no obligation to share the estate of their parents with the petitioners. The Court of Appeals was correct, however, in holding that only Doribel has the right of 381 | P a g e

representation in the inheritance of her grandparents' intestate estate, the other private respondents being only the adoptive children of the deceased Teodoro. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED, and the challenged decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED in toto, with costs against the petitioners.

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VICENTE B. TEOTICO, petitioner-appellant, vs. ANA DEL VAL, ETC., oppositor-appellant. G.R. No. L-18753 BAUTISTA ANGELO, J: FACTS: Maria Mortera y Balsalobre Vda. de Aguirre died on July 14, 1955 in the City of Manila leaving properties worth P600,000.00. She left a will written in Spanish which she executed at her residence at No. 2 Legarda St., Quiapo, Manila. She affixed her signature at the bottom of the will and on the left margin of each and every page thereof in the presence of Pilar Borja, Pilar C. Sanchez, and Modesto Formilleza, who in turn affixed their signatures below the attestation clause and on the left margin of each and every page of the will in the presence of the testatrix and of each other. Said will was acknowledged before Notary Public Niceforo S. Agaton by the testatrix and her witnesses. In said will the testatrix made the following preliminary statement: that she was possessed of the full use of her mental faculties; that she was free from illegal pressure or influence of any kind from the beneficiaries of the will and from any influence of fear or threat; that she freely and spontaneously executed said will and that she had neither ascendants nor descendants of any kind such that she could freely dispose of all her estate. Among the many legacies and devises made in the will was one of P20,000.00 to Rene A. Teotico, married to the testatrix's niece named Josefina Mortera. To said spouses the testatrix left the usufruct of her interest in the Calvo building, while the naked ownership thereof she left in equal parts to her grandchildren who are the legitimate children of said spouses. The testatrix also instituted Josefina Mortera as her sole and universal heir to all the remainder of her properties not otherwise disposed of in the will. ISSUES: (1) Has oppositor Ana del Val Chan the right to intervene in this proceeding?; (2) Has the will in question been duly admitted to probate?; (3) Did the probate court commit an error in passing on the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will and in determining who should inherit the portion to be vacated by the nullification of the legacy made in favor of Dr. Rene Teotico? HELD:1. It is a well-settled rule that in order that a person may be allowed to intervene in a probate proceeding he must have an interest in the estate, or in the will, or in the property to be affected by it either as executor or as a claimant of the estate (Ngo The Hua v. Chung Kiat Hua, et al., L-17091, September 30, 1963); and an interested party has been defined as one who would 383 | P a g e March 26, 1965

be benefited by the estate such as an heir or one who has a claim against the estate like a creditor (Idem). The question now may be asked: Has oppositor any interest in any of the provisions of the will, and, in the negative, would she acquire any right to the estate in the event that the will is denied probate? Under the terms of the will, oppositor has no right to intervene because she has no interest in the estate either as heir, executor, or administrator, nor does she have any claim to any property affected by the will, because it nowhere appears therein any provision designating her as heir, legatee or devisee of any portion of the estate. She has also no interest in the will either as administratrix or executrix. Neither has she any claim against any portion of the estate because she is not a co-owner thereof, and while she previously had an interest in the Calvo building located in Escolta, she had already disposed of it long before the execution of the will. In the supposition that, the will is denied probate, would the oppositor acquire any interest in any portion of the estate left by the testatrix? She would acquire such right only if she were a legal heir of the deceased, but she is not under our Civil Code. It is true that oppositor claims to be an acknowledged natural child of Jose Mortera, a deceased brother of the deceased, and also an adopted daughter of Francisca Mortera, a deceased sister of the testatrix, but such claim cannot give her any comfort for, even if it be true, the law does not give her any right to succeed to the estate of the deceased sister of both Jose Mortera and Francisca Mortera. And this is so because being an illegitimate child she is prohibited by law from succeeding to the legitimate relatives of her natural father. The oppositor cannot also derive comfort from the fact that she is an adopted child of Francisca Mortera because under our law the relationship established by adoption is limited solely to the adopter and the adopted and does not extend to the relatives of the adopting parents or of the adopted child except only as expressly provided for by law. Hence, no relationship is created between the adopted and the collaterals of the adopting parents. It thus appears that the oppositor has no right to intervene either as testamentary or as legal heir in this probate proceeding contrary to the ruling of the court a quo. 2. The next question to be determined is whether the will Exhibit A was duly admitted to probate. Oppositor claims that the same should not have been admitted not only because it was not properly attested to but also because it was procured thru pressure and influence and the testatrix affixed her signature by mistake believing that it contained her true intent. Pursuant to the foregoing precedents the pronouncement made by the court a quo declaring invalid the legacy made to Dr. Rene Teotico in the will Exhibit A must be set aside as having been made in excess of its jurisdiction. Another reason why said pronouncement should be set aside is that the legatee was not given an opportunity to defend the validity of the legacy for he 384 | P a g e

was not allowed to intervene in this proceeding. As a corollary, the other pronouncements touching on the disposition of the estate in favor of some relatives of the deceased should also be set aside for the same reason. WHEREFORE, with the exception of that portion of the decision which declares that the will in question has been duly executed and admitted the same to probate, the rest of the decision is hereby set aside. This case is ordered remanded to the court a quo for further proceedings. No pronouncement as to costs.

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MARIA LANDAYAN, et al., petitioners, vs. HON. ANGEL BACANI, et al., respondents. G.R. No. L-30455 September 30, 1982 VASQUEZ, J.: FACTS: In his lifetime, Teodoro Abenojar owned several parcels of land located in Urdaneta, Pangasinan, and a house and lot in Manila. The said properties were all covered by Torrens Titles in his name. He died intestate in Urdaneta, on March 20, 1948. On February 3, 1949, private respondents Maxima Andrada, the surviving spouse of Teodoro Abenojar, and Severino Abenojar, executed a public document, entitled "Extra-Judicial Agreement of Partition" whereby they adjudicated between themselves the properties left by Teodoro Abenojar. Severino Abenojar represented himself in said document as "the only forced heir and descendant" of the late Teodoro Abenojar. Petitioners Maria, Segundo, Marcial and Lucio, all surnamed LANDAYAN (the rest of the petitioners being their respective spouses), alleged that they are the legitimate children of Guillerma Abenojar, then already deceased, who was the only child of Teodoro Abenojar with his first wife named Florencia Bautista; and that while Teodoro Abenojar contracted a second marriage with Antera Mandap and a third with private respondent Maxima Andrada, he did not have any offspring in any of the said second and third marriages. They aver that private respondent Severino Abenojar is an illegitimate son of Guillerma Abenojar. They accordingly pray that they be declared as among the legal heirs of the deceased Teodoro Abenojar entitled to share in his estate. ISSUE: Was the dismissal of the case valid? HELD:We find the dismissal of the action filed by the petitioners to be precipitious and erroneous. Although the principles relied upon by the respondent Judge are legally correct, he had unqualifiedly assumed the extra-judicial partition to be merely a voidable contract and not a void one. This question may not be resolved by determining alone the ground for the annulment of the contract. It requires an inquiry into the legal status of private respondent Severino Abenojar, particularly as to whether he may be considered as a "legal heir" of Teodoro Abenojar and as such entitled to participate in an extra-judicial partition of the estate of said deceased. This is a most material point on which the parties have asserted conflicting claims. Understandably so, inasmuch as the question of whether the question document is void or merely voidable depends largely on such determination. As stated above, petitioners contend that Severino Abenojar is not a legal heir of Teodoro Abenojar, he being only an acknowledged natural child of Guillerma Abenojar, the mother of 386 | P a g e

petitioners, whom they claim to be the sole legitimate daughter in first marriage of Teodoro Abenojar. If this claim is correct, Severino Abenojar has no rights of legal succession from Teodoro Abenojar in view of the express provision of Article 992 of the Civil Code, which reads as follows: ART. 992. An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child. The right of Severino Abenojar to be considered a legal heir of Teodoro Abenojar depends on the truth of his allegations that he is not an illegitimate child of Guillerma Abenojar, but an acknowledged natural child of Teodoro Abenojar. On this assumption, his right to inherit from Teodoro Abenojar is recognized by law (Art. 998, Civil Code). He even claims that he is the sole legal heir of Teodoro Abenojar inasmuch as the petitioners Landayans, who are admittedly the children of the deceased Guillerma Abenojar, have no legal successional rights from Teodoro Abenojar, their mother being a spurious child of Teodoro Abenojar. Should the petitioners be able to substantiate their contention that Severino Abenojar is an illegitimate son of Guillerma Abenojar, he is not a legal heir of Teodoro Abenojar. The right of representation is denied by law to an illegitimate child who is disqualified to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of Ms father. (Art. 992, Civil Code). On this supposition, the subject deed of extra- judicial partition is one that included a person who is not an heir of the descendant whose estate is being partitioned. Such a deed is governed by Article 1105 of the Civil Code, reading as follows: Art. 1105. A partition which includes a person believed to be an heir, but who is not, shall be void only with respect to such person. It could be gathered from the pleadings filed by the petitioners that they do not seek the nullification of the entire deed of extra-judicial partition but only insofar as the same deprived them of their shares in the inheritance from the estate of Teodoro Abenojar; Should it be proved, therefore, that Severino Abenojar is, indeed, not a legal heir of Teodoro Abenojar, the portion of the deed of extra-judicial partition adjudicating certain properties of Teodoro Abenojar in his favor shall be deemed inexistent and void from the beginning in accordance with Articles 1409, par. (7) and 1105 of the Civil Code. By the express provision of Article 1410 of the Civil Code, the action to seek a declaration of the nullity of the same does not prescribe. WHEREFORE, the Order appealed from is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The respondent Judge is ordered to try the case on the merits and render the corresponding judgment thereon. The private respondents shall pay the costs. SO ORDERED. 387 | P a g e

EUFRACIA VDA. DE CRISOLOGO, EUSTAQUIO, VICENTE, ESTELA, CAMILA, MAXIMO, LITO, FELIX, OMAN, CRISPINA and REY, all surnamed RAMIREZ, TRIUNFO, RUPERTA and CARMEN, all surnamed PASSILAN, and DOMINGO ROQUE, QUIRINO, MANUELA and ANITA, all surnamed LABOG, petitioners, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, HON. ANDRES PLAN and BERNARDO MALLILLIN, respondents. G.R. No. L-44051 June 27, 1985 GUTIERREZ, JR., J.: FACTS: The petitioners filed an action against the private respondent for ownership, annulment of sale, and delivery of possession of various properties, with writ of preliminary injunction and damages. Claiming to be legal heirs of the vendor, they sought the annulment of four deeds of sale covering seventeen (17) parcels of land and a residential house executed by Lutgarda Capiao in favor of respondent Mallillin. The respondent judge rendered a summary judgment dismissing the amended complaint. The judgment was based on the following findings: The original complaint and the amended complaint filed by the plaintiffs alleges in quintessence or in substance the following: 'That Julia Capiao who maintained extra-marital relations with one Victoriano Taccad, begot with him one child and/or forced heir, named Lutgarda (Leogarda) Capiao who was married to Raymundo Zipagan both of whom died at Cauayan, Isabela in 1970 and 1964, respectively, without any children and/or immediate forced heirs' (paragraph 5 of the amended complaint); That Lutgarda (Leogarda) Capiao having died on November 11, 1970 at Cauayan, Isabela, without any will inestate succession took place and the herein plaintiffs, as relatives within the fifth civil degree to her (Lutgarda [Leogarda] Capiao were consequently instituted as Lutgarda's legal heirs and were legally entitled to inherit all the properties which were hers by virtue of the extra- judicial partition, Annex "B", (paragraph 15, amended complaint). The motion to dismiss, particularly the motion is reiteration of defendant's previous motion for summary judgment, contains as Page 2-A diagram of the family tree of the plaintiffs and the defendant, showing that their common ancestor was Pablo Capiao ... As shown by the family, tree or diagram, Julia Capiao deceased. who maintained extra-marital relations with one Victoriano Taccad had one issue, the deceased Leogarda and/or Lutgarda Capiao married to Raymundo Zipagan both having died without any children and/or immediate forced heir ...

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The source of these properties in question deceased Lutgarda Leogarda is undoubtedly an illegitimate child. In fact, her surname is Capiao and not Taccad, retaining the surname or family name of her mother Julia CapiaO. ISSUE:Are the petitioners contentions correct? HELD:We hold that the appellate court correctly dismissed the petition for mandamus on the ground that it had no appellate jurisdiction over the same. It should be noted that the petitioners stated that they were appealing the main case to this Court. Therefore, the Court of Appeals could not have exercised its appellate jurisdiction over the petition for mandamus since it was merely incidental to the main case. In the case of Philippine Product Co. v. Court of Appeals (21 SCRA 874), we ruled: Petitioner's submission that the Court of Appeals had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition for certiorari and prohibition filed Before it is well taken. By statute (Section 30, Republic Act 296 [The Judiciary Act]) the Court of Appeals may only issue writs of certiorari and prohibition "in aid of its appellate jurisdiction." This phrase has been consistently interpreted to mean that should the main case be appealed and the appeal fall under the exclusive appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals, then only can it act on said special civil actions concerning a matter incidental to the main case. Otherwise, i.e., if the main case is not properly appealable to the Court of Appeals, jurisdiction to act on the special civil actions would devolve on the Supreme Court exclusively. (Miailhe v. Halili, 103 Phil. 639; Albar v. Carangdang, L-18003, Sept. 29, 1962; PNB v. Court of Appeals, L-18728, May 31, 1963; and Tuason v. Jaramino, L-18932-34, etc., Sept. 30, 1963) Furthermore, it is an established principle that the writ of mandamus may not be issued to control the discretion of a judge or to compel him to decide a case or motion in a particular way, the writ being available only to compel him to exercise his discretion or jurisdiction. (Phil. Air Lines Employees Association v. Phil. Air Lines, Inc., 111 SCRA 220). The respondent judge, therefore, cannot be compelled by such special civil action to approve the petitioners' appeal which was perfected after the reglementary period to do so had expired. The petitioners contend that the appellate court should have certified the petition to the Supreme Court, thus leaving the resolution of the issues to this Court. Since the main case is manifestly without merit, the action of the appellate court cannot be impugned. No considerations of substantial justice which would warrant the exercise of equity powers exist in this petition. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit, with costs against the petitioners.

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GAUDENCIO BICOMONG, et al., plaintiffs-appellees, vs. GERONIMO ALMANZA, et al., defendant. FLORENTINO CARTENA, defendantappellant. G.R. No. L-37365 November 29, 1977 GUERRERO, J.: FACTS: Simeon Bagsic was married to Sisenanda Barcenas on June 8, 1859 Of this marriage there were born three children namely: Perpetua Bagsic, Igmedia Bagsic, and Ignacio Bagsic. Sisenanda Barcenas died ahead of her husband Simeon Bagsic. On June 3, 1885, Simeon Bagsic remarried Silvestra Glorioso. Of this second marriage were born two children, Felipa Bagsic and Maura Bagsic. Simeon Bagsic died sometime in 1901. Silvestra Glorioso also died. Ignacio Bagsic died on April 18, 1939 leaving the plaintiff Francisca Bagsic as his only heir. Igmedia Bagsic also died on August 19, 1944 survived by the plaintiffs Dionisio Tolentino, Maria Tolentino and Petra Tolentino. Perpetua Bagsic died on July 1, 1945. Surviving her are her heirs, the plaintiffs Gaudencio Bicomong, Felicidad Bicomong, Salome Bicomong, and Gervacio Bicomong. Of the children of the second marriage, Maura Bagsic died also on April 14, 1952 leaving no heir as her husband died ahead of her. Felipa Bagsic, the other daughter of the second Geronimo Almanza and her daughter Cristeta Almanza. But five (5) months before the present suit was filed or on July 23, 1959, Cristeta Almanza died leaving behind her husband, the defendant herein Engracio Manese (Exhibit 1-Manese) and her father Geronimo Almanza. The subject matter of the complaint in Civil Case No. SP-265 concerns the one-half undivided share of Maura Bagsic in the following described five (5) parcels of land which she inherited from her deceased mother, Silvestra Glorioso After the death of Maura Bagsic, the above-described properties passed on to Cristela Almanza who took charge of the administration of the same. Thereupon, the plaintiffs approached her and requested for the partition of their aunt's properties. However, they were prevailed upon by Cristeta Almanza not to divide the properties yet as the expenses for the last illness and burial of Maura Bagsic had not yet been paid. Having agreed to defer the partition of the same, the plaintiffs brought out the subject again sometime in 1959 only. This time Cristeta Almanza acceded to the request as the debts, accordingly, had already been paid. Unfortunately, she died without the division of the properties having been effected, thereby leaving the possession and administration of the same to the defendants. 390 | P a g e

ISSUE: What provisions are applicable in the case at bar? HELD: We hold that the provisions of Art. 975, 1006 and 1008 of the New Civil Code are applicable to the admitted facts of the case at bar. In the absence of defendants, ascendants, illegitimate children, or a surviving spouse, Article 1003 of the New Civil Code provides that collateral relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased. It appearing that Maura Bagsic died intestate without an issue, and her husband and all her ascendants had died ahead of her, she is succeeded by the surviving collateral relatives, namely the daughter of her sister of full blood and the ten (10) children of her brother and two (2) sisters of half blood in accordance with the provision of Art. 975 of the New Civil Code. By virtue of said provision, the aforementioned nephews and nieces are entitled to inherit in their own right. InAbellana-Bacayo vs. Ferraris-Borromeo, L-19382, August 31, I965, 14 SCRA 986, this Court held that "nephews and nieces alone do not inherit by right of representation (that is per stirpes) unless concurring with brothers or sisters of the deceased." Under the same provision, Art. 975, which makes no qualification as to whether the nephews or nieces are on the maternal or paternal line and without preference as to whether their relationship to the deceased is by whole or half blood, the sole niece of whole blood of the deceased does not exclude the ten nephews and n of half blood. The only difference in their right of succession is provided in Art. 1008, NCC in relation to Article 1006 of the New Civil Code (supra), which provisions, in effect, entitle the sole niece of full blood to a share double that of the nephews and nieces of half blood. Such distinction between whole and half blood relationships with the deceased has been recognized in Dionisia Padura, et al. vs. Melanie Baldovino, et al., No. L11960, December 27, 1958, 104 Phil. 1065 (unreported) and in Alviar vs. Alviar, No. L-22402, June 30, 1969, 28 SCRA 610). The contention of the appellant that Maura Bagsic should be succeeded by Felipa Bagsic, her sister of full blood, to the exclusion of the nephews and nieces of half blood citing Art. 1004, NCC is unmeritorious and erroneous for it is based on an erroneous factual assumption, that is, that Felipa Bagsic died in 1955, which as indicated here before, is not true as she died on May 9, 1945, thus she predeceased her sister Maura Bagsic. We find the judgment of the trial court to be in consonance with law and jurisprudence. ACCORDINGLY, the judgment of the trial court is hereby affirmed. No costs.

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BENITA SALAO, assisted by her husband, GREGORIO MARCELO; ALMARIO ALCURIZA, ARTURO ALCURIZA, OSCAR ALCURIZA and ANITA ALCURIZA, the latter two being minors are represented by guardian ad litem, ARTURO ALCURIZA, plaintiffs-appellants, vs. JUAN S. SALAO, later substituted by PABLO P. SALAO, Administrator of the Intestate of JUAN S. SALAO; now MERCEDES P. VDA. DE SALAO, ROBERTO P. SALAO, MARIA SALAO VDA. DE SANTOS, LUCIANA P. SALAO, ISABEL SALAO DE SANTOS, and PABLO P. SALAO, as successors-in-interest of the late JUAN S. SALAO, together with PABLO P. SALAO, Administrator, defendants-appellants. G.R. No. L-26699 March 16, 1976 AQUINO, J.: FACTS: The spouses Manuel Salao and Valentina Ignacio of Barrio Dampalit, Malabon, Rizal begot four children named Patricio, Alejandra, Juan (Banli) and Ambrosia. Manuel Salao died in 1885. His eldest son, Patricio, died in 1886 survived by his only child. Valentin Salao. There is no documentary evidence as to what, properties formed part of Manuel Salao's estate, if any. His widow died on May 28, 1914. After her death, her estate was administered by her daughter Ambrosia. It was partitioned extrajudicially in a deed dated December 29, 1918 but notarized on May 22, 1919. The deed was signed by her four legal heirs, namely, her three children, Alejandra, Juan and Ambrosia, and her grandson, Valentin Salao, in representation of his deceased father, Patricio. To each of the legal heirs of Valentina Ignacio was adjudicated a distributive share valued at P8,135.25. In satisfaction of his distributive share, Valentin Salao was given the biggest fishpond with an area of 50,469 square meters, a smaller fishpond with an area of 6,989 square meters and the riceland with a net area of 9,905 square meters. Those parcels of land had an aggregate appraised value of P13,501 which exceeded Valentin's distributive share. So in the deed of partition he was directed to pay to his co-heirs the sum of P5,365.75. That arrangement, which was obviously intended to avoid the fragmentation of the lands, was beneficial to Valentin. The documentary evidence proves that in 1911 or prior to the death of Valentina Ignacio her two children, Juan Y. Salao, Sr. and Ambrosia Salao, secured a Torrens title, OCT No. 185 of the Registry of Deeds of Pampanga, in their names for a forty-seven-hectare fishpond located at Sitio Calunuran, Lubao, Pampanga (Exh. 14). It is also known as Lot No. 540 of the Hermosa cadastre because that part of Lubao later became a part of Bataan. The Calunuran fishpond is the bone of contention in this case. 392 | P a g e

Plaintiffs' theory is that Juan Y. Salao, Sr. and his sister Ambrosia had engaged in the fishpond business. Where they obtained the capital is not shown in any documentary evidence. Plaintiffs' version is that Valentin Salao and Alejandra Salao were included in that joint venture, that the funds used were the earnings of the properties supposedly inherited from Manuel Salao, and that those earnings were used in the acquisition of the Calunuran fishpond. There is no documentary evidence to support that theory. On the other hand, the defendants contend that the Calunuran fishpond consisted of lands purchased by Juan Y. Salao, Sr. and Ambrosia Salao in 1905, 1906, 1907 and 1908 as, shown in their Exhibits 8, 9, 10 and 13. But this point is disputed by the plaintiffs. ISSUE: Was there an implied trust created by the parties? HELD:There was no resulting trust in this case because there never was any intention on the part of Juan Y. Salao, Sr., Ambrosia Salao and Valentin Salao to create any trust. There was no constructive trust because the registration of the two fishponds in the names of Juan and Ambrosia was not vitiated by fraud or mistake. This is not a case where to satisfy the demands of justice it is necessary to consider the Calunuran fishpond " being held in trust by the heirs of Juan Y. Salao, Sr. for the heirs of Valentin Salao. And even assuming that there was an implied trust, plaintiffs' action is clearly barred by prescription or laches (Ramos vs. Ramos, L-19872, December 3, 1974, 61 SCRA 284; Quiniano vs. Court of Appeals, L-23024, May 31, 1971, 39 SCRA 221; Varsity Hills, Inc. vs. Navarro, 9, February 29, 1972, 43 SCRA 503; Alzona vs. Capunitan and Reyes, 114 Phil. 377). Under Act No. 190, whose statute of limitation would apply if there were an implied trust in this case, the longest period of extinctive prescription was only ten year (Sec. 40; Diaz vs. Gorricho and Aguado, 103 Phil. 261, 266). The Calunuran fishpond was registered in 1911. The written extrajudicial demand for its reconveyance was made by the plaintiffs in 1951. Their action was filed in 1952 or after the lapse of more than forty years from the date of registration. The plaintiffs and their predecessorin-interest, Valentin Salao, slept on their rights if they had any rights at all. Vigilanti prospiciunt jura or the law protects him who is watchful of his rights (92 C.J.S. 1011, citing Esguerra vs. Tecson, 21 Phil. 518, 521). Having reached the conclusion that the plaintiffs are not entitled to the reconveyance of the Calunuran fishpond, it is no longer n to Pass upon the validity of the donation made by Ambrosia Salao to Juan S. Salao, Jr. of her one-half share in the two fishponds The plaintiffs have no right and personality to assil that donation. The trial court's judgment is affirmed. No pronouncement as to costs. 393 | P a g e

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IN RE SUMMARY SETTLEMENT OF THE ESTATE OF MELODIA FERRARIS. FILOMENA ABELLANA DE BACAYO, petitioner-appellant, vs. GAUDENCIA FERRARIS DE BORROMEO, CATALINA FERARIS DE VILLEGAS, JUANITO FERRARIS and CONCHITA FERRARIS, oppositors-appellees. G.R. No. L-19382 REYES, J.B.L., J.: FACTS: Melodia Ferraris was a resident of Cebu City until 1937 when she transferred to Intramuros, Manila. She was known to have resided there continuously until 1944. Thereafter, up to the filing on December 22, 1960 of the petition for the summary settlement of her estate, she has not been heard of and her whereabouts are still unknown. More than ten (10) years having elapsed since the last time she was known to be alive, she was declared presumptively dead for purposes of opening her succession and distributing her estate among her heirs. Melodia Ferraris left properties in Cebu City, consisting of one-third (1/3) share in the estate of her aunt, Rosa Ferraris, valued at P6,000.00, more or less, and which was adjudicated to her in Special Proceeding No. 13-V of the same court. The deceased Melodia Ferraris left no surviving direct descendant, ascendant, or spouse, but was survived only by collateral relatives, namely, Filomena Abellana de Bacayo, an aunt and halfsister of decedent's father, Anacleto Ferraris; and by Gaudencia, Catalina, Conchita, and Juanito, all surnamed Ferraris, her nieces and nephew, who were the children of Melodia's only brother of full blood, Arturo Ferraris, who pre-deceased her (the decedent). These two classes of heirs claim to be the nearest intestate heirs and seek to participate in the estate of said Melodia Ferraris. ISSUE: Who should inherit the intestate estate of a deceased person when he or she is survived only by collateral relatives, to wit an aunt and the children of a brother who predeceased him or her? Otherwise, will the aunt concur with the children of the decedent's brother in the inheritance or will the former be excluded by the latter? HELD: We agree with appellants that as an aunt of the deceased she is as far distant as the nephews from the decedent (three degrees) since in the collateral line to which both kinds of relatives belong degrees are counted by first ascending to the common ancestor and then descending to the heir (Civil Code, Art. 966). Appellant is likewise right in her contention that nephews and nieces alone do not inherit by right of representation (i.e., per stripes) unless concurring with brothers or sisters of the deceased, as provided expressly by Article 975. August 31, 1965

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Nevertheless, the trial court was correct when it held that, in case of intestacy, nephews and nieces of the de cujusexclude all other collaterals (aunts and uncles, first cousins, etc.) from the succession. Under the last article (1009), the absence of brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces of the decedent is a precondition to the other collaterals (uncles, cousins, etc.) being called to the succession. This was also and more clearly the case under the Spanish Civil Code of 1889, that immediately preceded the Civil Code now in force (R.A. 386). It will be seen that under the preceding articles, brothers and sisters and nephews and nieces inherited ab intestato ahead of the surviving spouse, while other collaterals succeeded only after the widower or widow. The present Civil Code of the Philippines merely placed the spouse on a par with the nephews and nieces and brothers and sisters of the deceased, but without altering the preferred position of the latter vis-a-vis the other collaterals. We, therefore, hold, and so rule, that under our laws of succession, a decedent's uncles and aunts may not succeed ab intestato so long as nephews and nieces of the decedent survive and are willing and qualified to succeed. The decision appealed from, in so far as it conforms to this rule, is hereby affirmed. No costs.

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CAROLINA ABAD GONZALES, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HONORIA EMPAYNADO, CECILIA H. ABAD, MARIAN H. ABAD and ROSEMARIE S. ABAD, respondents. G.R. No. 117740 October 30, 1998 ROMERO, J.: FACTS: On April 18, 1972, petitioners Carolina Abad Gonzales, Dolores de Mesa Abad and Cesar de Mesa Tioseco sought the settlement of the intestate estate of their brother, Ricardo de Mesa Abad, before the then Court of First Instance of Manila. In their petition, docketed as Special Proceedings No. 86792, petitioners claimed that they were the only heirs of Ricardo de Mesa Abad, as the latter allegedly died a bachelor, leaving no descendants or ascendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate. On May 9, 1972, petitioners amended their petition by alleging that the real properties covered by TCT Nos. 13530, 53671, and 64021, listed therein as belonging to the decedent, were actually only administered by the latter, the true owner being their late mother, Lucila de Mesa. On June 16, 1972, the trial court appointed Cesar de Mesa Tioseco as administrator of the intestate estate of Ricardo de Mesa Abad. Meanwhile, on May 2, 1972, petitioners executed an extrajudicial settlement of the estate of their late mother Lucila de Mesa, copying therein the technical descriptions of the lots covered by TCT Nos. 13530, 53671, and 64021. By virtue thereof, the Register of Deeds cancelled the above-mentioned TCTs in the name of Ricardo Abad and issued, in lieu thereof, TCT No. 108482 in the name of Dolores de Mesa Abad, TCT No. 108483 in the name of Cesar de Mesa Tioseco and TCT No. 108484 in the name of Carolina Abad Gonzales. The three promptly executed real estate mortgages over the real properties in favor of Mrs. Josefina Viola, the wife of their counsel, Escolastico Viola. ISSUE: Are respondents acknowledged children? HELD: Petitioners, in contesting Cecilia, Marian and Rosemarie Abad's filiation, submit the startling theory that the husband of Honoria Empaynado, Jose Libunao, was still alive when Cecilia and Marian Abad were born in 1948 and 1954, respectively. It is undisputed that prior to her relationship with Ricardo Abad, Honoria Empaynado was married to Jose Libunao, their union having produced three children, Angelita, Cesar, and Maria Nina, prior to the birth of Cecilia and Marian. But while private respondents claim that Jose Libunao died in 1943, petitioners claim that the latter died sometime in 1971. The date of Jose Libunao's death is important, for if he was still alive in 1971, and given that he was legally married to Honoria Empaynado, the presumption would be that Cecilia and 397 | P a g e

Marian are not Ricardo Abad's children with the latter, but of Jose Libunao and Honoria Empaynado. First, the evidence presented by petitioners to prove that Jose Libunao died in 1971 are, to say the least, far from conclusive. Failure to indicate on an enrolment form that one's parent is "deceased" is not necessarily proof that said parent was still living during the time said form was being accomplished. Furthermore, the joint affidavit of Juan Quiambao and Alejandro Ramos as to the supposed death of Jose Libunao in 1971 is not competent evidence to prove the latter's death at that time, being merely secondary evidence thereof. Jose Libunao's death certificate would have been the best evidence as to when the latter died. Petitioners have, however, inexplicably failed to present the same, although there is no showing that said death certificate has been lost or destroyed as to be unavailable as proof of Jose Libunao's death. More telling, while the records of Loyola Memorial Park show that a certain Jose Bautista Libunao was indeed buried there in 1971, this person appears to be different from Honoria Empaynado's first husband, the latter's name being Jose Santos Libunao. Even the name of the wife is different. Jose Bautista Libunao's wife is listed as Josefa Reyes while the wife of Jose Santos Libunao was Honoria Empaynado. Petitioners do not dispute that the affidavit meets the first four requisites. They assert, however, that the finding as to Ricardo Abad's "sterility" does not blacken the character of the deceased. Petitioners conveniently forget that Ricardo Abad's "sterility" arose when the latter contracted gonorrhea, a fact which most assuredly blackens his reputation. In fact, given that society holds virility at a premium, sterility alone, without the attendant embarrassment of contracting a sexually-transmitted disease, would be sufficient to blacken the reputation of any patient. We thus hold the affidavit inadmissible in evidence. And the same remains inadmissible in evidence, notwithstanding the death of Ricardo Abad. Given the above disquisition, it is clearly apparent that petitioners have failed to establish their claim by the quantum of evidence required by law. On the other hand, the evidence presented by private respondents overwhelmingly prove that they are the acknowledged natural children of Ricardo Abad. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is hereby DENIED. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 30184 dated October 19, 1994 is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the affirmance of the Order dated March 21, 1975 denying the appeal of Dolores de Mesa Abad and Cesar de Mesa Tioseco for being filed out of time is SET ASIDE.

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BENIGNO MANUEL, LIBERATO MANUEL, LORENZO MANUEL, PLACIDA MANUEL, MADRONA MANUEL, ESPERANZA MANUEL, AGAPITA MANUEL, BASILISA MANUEL, EMILIA MANUEL and NUMERIANA MANUEL,petitioners, vs. HON. NICODEMO T. FERRER, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 37, Lingayen, Pangasinan, MODESTA BALTAZAR and ESTANISLAOA MANUEL, respondents. G.R. No. 117246 August 21, 1995 VITUG, J.: FACTS: The property involved in this petition for review on certiorari is the inheritance left by an illegitimate child who died intestate without any surviving descendant or ascendant. Petitioners, the legitimate children of spouses Antonio Manuel and Beatriz Guiling, initiated this suit. During his marriage with Beatriz, Antonio had an extra-marital affair with one Ursula Bautista. From this relationship, Juan Manuel was born. Several years passed before Antonio Manuel, his wife Beatriz, and his mistress Ursula finally crossed the bar on, respectively, 06 August 1960, 05 February 1981 and 04 November 1976. Juan Manuel, the illegitimate son of Antonio, married Esperanza Gamba. In consideration of the marriage, a donation propter nuptias over a parcel of land, with an area of 2,700 square meters, covered by Original Certificate of Title ("OCT") No. P-20594 was executed in favor of Juan Manuel by Laurenciana Manuel. Two other parcels of land, covered by OCT P-19902 and Transfer Certificate of Title ("TCT") No. 41134, were later bought by Juan and registered in his name. The couple were not blessed with a child of their own. Their desire to have one impelled the spouses to take private respondent Modesta Manuel-Baltazar into their fold and so raised her as their own "daughter". On 03 June 1980, Juan Manuel executed in favor of Estanislaoa Manuel a Deed of Sale Con Pacto de Retro (with a 10-year period of redemption) over a one-half (1/2) portion of his land covered by TCT No. 41134. Juan Manuel died intestate on 21 February 1990. Two years later, or on 04 February 1992, Esperanza Gamba also passed away. ISSUE: Who can inherit under the law? HELD: Article 992, a basic postulate, enunciates what is so commonly referred to in the rules on succession as the "principle of absolute separation between the legitimate family and the illegitimate family." The doctrine rejects succession ab intestato in the collateral line between legitimate relatives, on the one hand, and illegitimate relatives, on other hand, although it does 399 | P a g e

not totally disavow such succession in the direct line. Since the rule is predicated on the presumed will of the decedent, it has no application, however, on testamentary dispositions. This "barrier" between the members of the legitimate and illegitimate family in intestacy is explained by a noted civilist. The Court, too, has had occasions to explain this "iron curtain", firstly, in the early case of Grey v. Fabie and, then, in the relatively recent cases of Diaz v. Intermediate Appellate Court and De la Puerta v. Court of Appeals. In Diaz, we have said: The rule in Article 992 has consistently been applied by the Court in several other cases. Thus, it has ruled that where the illegitimate child had half-brothers who were legitimate, the latter had no right to the former's inheritance; that the legitimate collateral relatives of the mother cannot succeed from her illegitimate child; 7 that a natural child cannot represent his natural father in the succession to the estate of the legitimate grandparent; that the natural daughter cannot succeed to the estate of her deceased uncle who is a legitimate brother of her natural father; and that an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father. Indeed, the law on succession is animated by a uniform general intent, and thus no part should be rendered inoperative by, but must always be construed in relation to, any other part as to produce a harmonious whole. In her answer to the complaint, Modesta candidly admitted that she herself is not an intestate heir of Juan Manuel. She is right. A ward (ampon), without the benefit of formal (judicial) adoption, is neither a compulsory nor a legal heir. We must hold, nevertheless, that the complaint of petitioners seeking the nullity of the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication executed by Modesta, the three (3) TCT's issued to her favor, as well as the Deed of Renunciation and Quitclaim in favor of Estanislaoa Manuel, was properly dismissed by the trial court. Petitioners, not being the real "parties-in-interest" in the case, had neither the standing nor the cause of action to initiate the complaint. The Court, however, sees no sufficient reason to sustain the award of amounts for moral and exemplary damages, attorney's fees and litigation expenses. An adverse result of a suit in law does not mean that its advocacy is necessarily so wrongful as to justify an assessment of damages against the actor. WHEREFORE, the appealed decision of the Regional Trial Court of Pangasinan (Branch 37) is AFFIRMED, except insofar as it has awarded moral and exemplary damages, as well as attorney's fees and litigation expenses, in favor of private respondents, which portion is hereby DELETED. No special pronouncement on costs. SO ORDERED. 400 | P a g e

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MAURICIO RAMIREZ, administrator of the estate of MOISES RAMIREZ, deceased, plaintiff-appellee, vs. SIMEON BAUTISTA, ET AL., defendants-appellants. G.R. No. L-5075 December 1, 1909 ARELLANO, C. J.: FACTS: The subject of this complaint is two fish ponds, left by Moises Ramirez on his demise, and subsequently illegally sold. This action was brought for the purpose of having the sale declared to be void, to secure the recovery of possession of the fish ponds, their restitution to the administrator of the estate of the deceased owner, and indemnity for damages. Moises Ramirez, who died intestate in February, 1900, was married twice. By the first marriage he had five children, named Rosa, Carmen, Francisco, Mauricia, and Ignacia; by the second marriage three, to wit, Cirila, Isabel, and Serapio, of whom Isabel alone survives. At the time of his death he left two fish ponds in the sitio of Tagalag, in the municipality of Polo, Province of Bulacan, the specific details of which are described and admitted in the case. The two wives are also dead. The children of the first marriage, Rosa, Carmen, Francisco, Mauricia, and Ignacia, sold the two fish ponds on the 28th of November, 1901, to Simeon Bautista and Raymundo Duran for the sum of 1,100 pesos. The only surviving child of the second marriage, Isabel, was not a party to said sale, hence the suit now filed by the administrator of the intestate estate to have the sale declared null and void and the fish ponds restored to the intestate estate of Moises Ramirez. The two purchasers proved their purchase by two documents, one of which was a private and other a notarial one executed for the purpose. When summoned to answer the complaint they requested that the vendors be cited also, but the latter although so summoned did not appear at trial. ISSUE: Are the appellants correct in their contention? HELD: In view of these considerations, the claim of the appellants is entirely legal that thirteensixteenths should be apportioned among the children of the first marriage to wit, eight as their own, already inherited from their mother, Apolinaria Guillermo, and five subsequently inherited from their deceased father, Moises Ramirez and three-sixteenths should be the share of the three children of the second marriage, which accrued to Isabel Ramirez. Therefore, in the succession of Moises Ramirez that is now opened the whole of these fractional parts can not be included, but only the eight which actually constitute his share in the community

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of property maintained by him with his children of the first marriage, Rosa, Carmen, Francisco, Mauricia, and Ignacia, since the death of his first wife. The above children of the first marriage, upon the death of Moises Ramirez, continued the aforesaid community of property with their three half sisters and brother, Cirila, Isabel, and Serapio; that is to say, now with Isabel, their share being thirteen-sixteenths, and that of Isabel three sixteenths. If Rosa, Carmen, Francisco, Mauricia, and Ignacia Ramirez could lawfully alienate their respective shares in the joint ownership of the two parcels of land sold to the defendants, Simeon Bautista and Raymundo Duran, it is evident that the sale of thirteen-sixteenths of the said two lands could not be void; the sale of the three-sixteenths which belonged to Isabel alone is illegal, as alleged in the third assignment of error. Therefore, the sale described in the public instrument of the 29th of November, 1901, of the thirteen-sixteenths which belonged to the vendors is valid, and that of the three-sixteenths which pertain to Isabel, who neither by herself nor by means of another took part in said sale is null. Simeon Bautista and Raymundo Duran succeed to the vendors and are subrogated thereto in the joint ownership of the two fish ponds sold; their shares are the same that were owned by the vendors, that is, thirteen-sixteenths. The whole of the two fish ponds can not pertain to the intestate estate of Moises Ramirez, but merely the half that belonged to him and which at his death became a part of his intestate estate. Intestate succession can not disturb the lawful holder in his possession of property, which it is thought should constitute a part of the hereditary property. Only in the event of a division of the common property, or upon dissolution of the community of property now existing between the purchasers, Simeon Bautista and Raymundo Duran, on the one hand and Isabel Ramirez on the other, can the fruits, rents, or benefits received, and the part thereof, as well as of the expenses, corresponding to the coowner Isabel Ramirez in maintaining the community, be considered, as well as of the rights and actions that may pertain to the purchasers as against the vendors (who have taken no part in these proceedings), by reason of the total consideration paid for the two properties, and other obligations which may have arisen because of the sale. The present cause of action and the complaint based thereon being limited to the recovery of the two properties in question, and the restitution of the possession thereof to the administrator of the intestate estate of Moises Ramirez, in consequence of the latter's hereditary succession, it is evident that neither recovery of possession nor the restitution asked for can be granted, as the defendants are the legitimate proprietors and possessors in joint ownership of the greater portion of the common property claimed. 403 | P a g e

In view of the foregoing, it is our opinion that the judgment appealed from should only be affirmed in so far as it declares that the sale made by Rosa, Carmen, Francisco, Mauricia, and Ignacia Ramirez of the three-sixteenths parts belonging to Isabel Ramirez in the two fish ponds claimed is null and void; in all other respects the said judgment is hereby reversed, without any special ruling as to the costs of both instances. So ordered.

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IN THE MATTER OF THE INTESTATE ESTATE OF PEDRO SANTILLON, CLARO SANTILLON, petitioner-appellant, vs. PERFECTA MIRANDA, BENITO U. MIRANDA and ROSARIO CORRALES, oppositorsappellees. G.R. No. L-19281 BENGZON, C.J.: FACTS:On November 21, 1953, Santillon died without testament in Tayug, Pangasinan, his residence, leaving one son, Claro, and his wife, Perfecta Miranda. During his marriage, Pedro acquired several parcels of land located in that province. About four years after his death, Claro Santillon filed a petition for letters of administration. Opposition to said petition was entered by the widow Perfecta Miranda and the spouses Benito U. Miranda and Rosario Corrales on the following grounds: (a) that the properties enumerated in the petition were all conjugal, except three parcels which Perfecta Miranda claimed to be her exclusive properties; (b) that Perfecta Miranda by virtue of two documents had conveyed 3/4 of her undivided share in most of the properties enumerated in the petition to said spouses Benito and Rosario; (c) that administration of the estate was not necessary, there being a case for partition pending; and (d) that if administration was necessary at all, the oppositor Perfecta Miranda and not the petitioner was better qualified for the post. It appears that subsequently, oppositor Perfecta Miranda was appointed administratrix of the estate. Oppositor Perfecta Miranda, on the other hand, contends that Art. 996 should control, regardless of its alleged inequity, being as it is, a provision on intestate succession involving a surviving spouse and a legitimate child, inasmuch as in statutory construction, the plural word "children" includes the singular "child." ISSUE: How shall the estate of a person who dies intestate be divided when the only survivors are the spouse and one legitimate child? HELD: Art. 892 of the New Civil Code falls under the chapter on Testamentary Succession; whereas Art. 996 comes under the chapter on Legal or Intestate Succession. Such being the case, it is obvious that Claro cannot rely on Art. 892 to support his claim to 3/4 of his father's estate. Art 892 merely fixes the legitime of the surviving spouse and Art. 888 thereof, the legitime of children in testate succession. While it may indicate the intent of the law with respect to the ideal shares that a child and a spouse should get when they concur with each other, it does not fix the amount of shares that such child and spouse are entitled to when intestacy occurs. Because if the latter happens, the pertinent provision on intestate succession shall apply, i.e., Art. 996. Senator Tolentino in his commentaries writes as follows: 405 | P a g e June 30, 1965

One child Surviving. If there is only one legitimate child surviving with the spouse, since they share equally, one-half of the estate goes to the child and the other half goes to the surviving spouse. Although the law refers to "children or descendants," the rule in statutory construction that the plural can be understood to include the singular is applicable in this case. (Tolentino, Civil Code of the Philippines, Vol. III, p. 436.) The theory of those holding otherwise seems to be premised on these propositions: (a) Art. 996 speaks of "Children," therefore it does not apply when there is only one "child"; consequently Art. 892 (and Art. 888) should be applied, thru a process of judicial construction and analogy; (b) Art. 996 is unjust or unfair because, whereas intestate succession, the widow is assigned onefourth only (Art. 892), she would get 1/2 in intestate. A. Children. It is a maxim of statutory construction that words in plural include the singular. 2 So Art. 996 could or should be read (and so applied) : "If the widow or widower and a legitimate child are left, the surviving spouse has the same share as that of the child." Indeed, if we refuse to apply the article to this case on the ground that "child" is not included in "children," In fact, those who say "children" in Art. 996 does not include "child" seem to be inconsistent when they argue from the premise that "in testate succession the only legitimate child gets onehalf and the widow, one-fourth." The inconsistency is clear, because the only legitimate child gets one-half under Art. 888, which speaks of "children," not "child." So if "children" in Art. 888 includes "child," the same meaning should be given to Art. 996. B. Unfairness of Art. 996. Such position, more clearly stated, is this: In testate succession, where there is only one child of the marriage, the child gets one-half, and the widow or widower one-fourth. But in intestate , if Art. 996 is applied now, the child gets one-half, and the widow or widower one-half. Unfair or inequitable, they insist. On this point, it is not correct to assume that in testate succession the widow or widower "gets only one-fourth." She or he may get one-half if the testator so wishes. So, the law virtually leaves it to each of the spouses to decide (by testament, whether his or her only child shall get more than his or her survivor). Our conclusion (equal shares) seems a logical inference from the circumstance that whereas Article 834 of the Spanish Civil Code, from which Art. 996 was taken, contained two paragraphs governing two contingencies, the first, where the widow or widower survives with legitimate children (general rule), and the second, where the widow or widower survives with only one child (exception), Art. 996 omitted to provide for the second situation, thereby indicating the legislator's desire to promulgate just one general rule applicable to both situations. The resultant division may be unfair as some writers explain and this we are not called upon to discuss but it is the clear mandate of the statute, which we are bound to enforce. 406 | P a g e

JESSIE V. PISUEA, petitioner, vs. HEIRS OF PETRA UNATING and AQUILINO VILLAR Represented by Salvador Upod and Dolores Bautista, respondents. G.R. No. 132803 PANGANIBAN, J.: FACTS: The lot in dispute, known as Lot 1201, Cadastral 228 of the Cadastral of Ivisan, Capiz, located at Barangay Cabugao, Municipality of Ivisan, Province of Capiz, is a registered land in the name of Petra Unating married to Aquilino Villar. Petra Unating died on October 1, 1948 while Aquilino Villar died on January 14, 1953. The spouses had two [legitimate] children, namely Felix Villar and Catalina Villar. Felix Villar died on October 24, 1962, while Catalina Villar died on February 21, 1967. For the purpose of this case, Felix Villar is represented by Dolores Villar Bautista, the eldest of his four children while Catalina Villar is represented by Salvador Villar Upod, the eldest of her three (3) children, all as plaintiffs [herein respondents]. Defendant [herein petitioner], Jessie Pisuea, is the son-in-law of Agustin Navarra who was once a [m]unicipal [m]ayor of the Municipality of Ivisan. Agustin Navarra died on October 30, 1958. August 31, 1999

Plaintiffs [respondents herein] contend that during the lifetime of the registered owners, Petra Unating and Aquilino Villar, they enjoyed the absolute ownership and possession of Lot No. 1201. However, sometime in 1950 (after the death of Petra Unating on October 1, 1948) Aquilino Villar entered into an oral partnership agreement for ten (10) years with Agustin Navarra involving the swampy portion of the lot in question consisting of around four (4) hectares. On the other hand, defendant counters that the whole land in dispute was sold by Felix Villar and Catalina Villar to Agustin Navarra on February 2, 1949. The contract in Spanish captioned ESCRITURA DE VENTA ABSOLUTA to evidence such sale was duly notarized by Jose Villagracia, Notary Public, and was entered in his Notarial Register. ISSUE: Whether or not the lot belongs to the petitioners. HELD: Yes. Cadastral proceedings are proceedings in rem; like ordinary registration proceedings, they are governed by the usual rules of practice, procedure and evidence. Thus, the finding of the cadastral court that Petra Unating inherited the lot in question from her mother cannot be dismissed as an obiter, which is an observation made by the court not necessary to the decision rendered. Thus the lot is her paraphernal property. As already shown, the disputed lot was paraphernal. Since Petra Unating did not leave any other property, will or debt upon her demise in 1948, the property in question was thus inherited by her children, Felix and Catalina Villar; and her husband, Aquilino Villar. The two children were 407 | P a g e

entitled to two-thirds of their mothers estate, while the husband was entitled to the remaining one-third. By virtue of the Deed of Sale they executed, Felix and Catalina effectively transferred to Agustin Navarra on February 4, 1949, their title over their two-thirds share in the disputed lot. However, they could not have disposed of their fathers share in the same property at the time, as they were not yet its owners. At the most, being the only children, they had an inchoate interest in their fathers share. When Aquilino Villar died in 1953 without disposing of his one-third share in the disputed property, Felix and Catalinas inchoate interest in it was actualized, because succession vested in them the title to their fathers share and, consequently, to the entire lot. Thus, that title passed to Agustin Navarra, pursuant to Article 1434 of the present Civil Code, which was already in force at the time of Aquilinos death in 1953. Consequently, upon the death of Aquilino Villar, the ownership of the whole of Lot No. 1201 became vested in Jessie Pisuea and his wife as successors-in-interest. WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby GRANTED and the assailed Decision is SET ASIDE. Petitioner Jessie Pisuea and his wife, Rosalie Navarra, are hereby declared the owners of Lot. No. 1201, Cadastral 228 of the Cadastral of Ivisan, Capiz. The Register of Deeds of Capiz is AUTHORIZED to cancel the Original Certificate of Title in the name of Petra Unating and to issue a new Transfer Certificate of Title in the name of Spouses Jessie Pisuea and Rosalie Navarra. No costs.

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JOVENCIO ARCENAS, NEMESIO ACAIN, and ROSA DIONGSON, petitioners, vs. HON. ANTONIO D. CINCO, Presiding Judge, Branch VIII, Court of First Instance of Cebu, and TEODORA VDA. DE ARCENAS, respondents. G.R. No. L-29288 November 29, 1976 ANTONIO, J.: FACTS: On August 11, 1966, respondent Teodora Vda. de Arcenas, widow of the deceased Alfonso Arcenas, filed an action against Jovencio Arcenas, Nemesio Acain and Rosa Diongson for the partial annulment of certain deeds of pacto de retro and or sale executed by her only son, Jovencio Arcenas, in favor of Spouses Nemesio Acain and Rosa Diongson insofar as it encroached upon her rights as co-owner; for the return to her of the possession of the portions of the property taken from her by defendants, the accounting by defendants of her share of the produce, and the partition of the properties by the segregation of the portion belonging to her. The parties in the "Stipulation of Facts" were in agreement that Teodora Vda. de Arcenas had a share in the said properties, they were in disagreement as to the extent of the share of said widow. As a matter of fact, in the respective memoranda of the parties, there was a marked disparity in the view of said parties as to the share of the surviving spouse, the widow insisting on her claim to one-half (1/2) of the estate, while the other party was willing to concede to her only one-fourth (1/4) of said estate. ISSUE: Whether or not Teodora Vda. De Arcenas is entitled to one-half (1/2) of the estate. HELD: Yes. Teodora Vda. de Arcenas is entitled to one-half (1/2) of the estate. This is in accordance with the rule enunciated by this Court in Santillon v. Miranda, supra, to the effect that when intestacy occurs, a surviving spouse concurring with only one legitimate child of the deceased is entitled to one-half (1/2) of the estate of the deceased spouse under Article 996 of the Civil Code. However each and every parcel should be physically divided and apportioned according to the circumstances: It appears to be the settled rule that in an action for partition, where it is practicable to make a division of the property, "the generally if not universally recognized rule is that a court of equity, on ascertaining that one of two or more tenants in common has made permanent and valuable improvements on the property involved, will allot to him that portion on which the improvements are located, or so much thereof as represents his share of the whole tract." Thus, "in keeping with the familiar principle of equity jurisprudence requiring that one who seeks equity must do equity, the rule has been generally adopted that a court of equity should take improvements into account when decreeing partition, and should award to the cotenant in 410 | P a g e

possession who has necessarily and in good faith improved the common property and enhanced its value at his own cost such equitable compensation as will leave only the value of the estate without the improvements to be divided among the tenants in common."

ACCORDINGLY, certiorari is granted and respondent Court's Order of May 18, 1968 is hereby set aside, with costs against the private respondent.

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In Re: Chanliongco A.M. No. 190 October 18, 1977 FACTS: This matter refers to the claims for retirement benefits filed by the heirs of the late ATTY. MARIO V. CHANLIONGCO. It appears from the records that at the time of his death on July 12, 1976, Atty. Chanliongco was more than 63 years of age, with more than 38 years of service in the government. He did not have any pending criminal administrative or not case against him, neither did he have any money or property accountability. The highest salary he received was P18,700.00 per annum. Aside from his widow, Dra. Fidel B. Chanliongco, and an only Intimate child Mario it appears that there are other deceased to namely, Mrs. Angelina C. , Jr., both born out of wedlock to Angelina R Crespo, and duly recognized by the deceased. Except Mario, Jr., who is only 17 years of age, all the claimants are of legal age. The above named filed the appellants for benefits with the accruing and with the Government Service System. From the records, it appears that the GSIS had already the release the life insurance proceeds; and the refund of rent to the claimants. What, therefore, to be settled are the retirement benefits and the money value of leave, both of which are to be paid by this court as the deceased's last employer.ch The record also shows that the late Atty. Chanliongco died ab intestato and that he filed or over to state in his application for membership with the GSIS the beneficiary or benefits of his retirement benefits, should he die before retirement. Hence, the retirement benefits shall accrue to his estate and will be distributed among his Legal heirs in with the benefits on intestate, as in the caw of a fife if no benefit is named in the policy.

ISSUE: How will the hereditary estate be accordingly divided? RULING: There may be instances, like the instant case, where in legal succession the estate is distributed according to the rules on legitime without applying the rules on intestate ion. The reason is that sometimes the estate is not even sufficient to satisfy the legitimes. The legitimes of the primary compulsory heirs, like a child or descendant, should first be satisfied. In this case, to divide the estate between the surviving spouse and the legitimate child would deprive the illegitimate children of their legitimes. So, the decendent's estate is distributed in the proportion of 1/2 for the legitimate child, 1/4 for the widow and 1/8 each for the two illegitimate children. Also not of possible application to this case is the rule that the legal of an acknowledged natural child is 1/2 of the legitime of the legitimate child of that the of the 412 | P a g e

spurious child is 2/5 of that of the of the intimate child or 4/5 of that of that of the acknowledged natural child. The rule cannot be applied because the estate is not sufficient to cover legitimes of all compulsory heirs. That is one of the flaws of the law of succession. A situation as in the instant case may arise where the illegitimate children get less than their legitime. With respect to the decendant's unpaid salary and the money value of his leave, the same are conjugal properties because of the rule that property "obtained by the work, or as salary of the spouses, or either of them", is conjugal in character (Art. 1532, Civil Code). It will be seen from the f distribution that the money value of the unused vacation and sick leave, unpaid will and 10% adjustment due to the has been treated as conjugal property. Accordingly, one-half (l/2) goes to the widow as her share in the conjugal hip and the other half P6,752.725 is to be distributed to the deceased's kill him, using the same one WE used in distributing the retirement benefits. This is so because "Vacation with pay is not a gratuity but is compensation for services rendered."

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EUFRACIA VDA. DE CRISOLOGO, EUSTAQUIO, VICENTE, ESTELA, CAMILA, MAXIMO, LITO, FELIX, OMAN, CRISPINA and REY, all surnamed RAMIREZ, TRIUNFO, RUPERTA and CARMEN, all surnamed PASSILAN, and DOMINGO ROQUE, QUIRINO, MANUELA and ANITA, all surnamed LABOG, petitioners, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, HON. ANDRES PLAN and BERNARDO MALLILLIN, respondents. G.R. No. L-44051 GUTIERREZ, JR., J.: FACTS: The petitioners filed an action against the private respondent for ownership, annulment of sale, and delivery of possession of various properties, with writ of preliminary injunction and damages. Claiming to be legal heirs of the vendor, they sought the annulment of four deeds of sale covering seventeen (17) parcels of land and a residential house executed by Lutgarda Capiao in favor of respondent Mallillin. The original complaint and the amended complaint filed by the plaintiffs alleges in quintessence or in substance the following: 'That Julia Capiao who maintained extra-marital relations with one Victoriano Taccad, begot with him one child and/or forced heir, named Lutgarda (Leogarda) Capiao who was married to Raymundo Zipagan both of whom died at Cauayan, Isabela in 1970 and 1964, respectively, without any children and/or immediate forced heirs' (paragraph 5 of the amended complaint); That Lutgarda (Leogarda) Capiao having died on November 11, 1970 at Cauayan, Isabela, without any will inestate succession took place and the herein plaintiffs, as relatives within the fifth civil degree to her (Lutgarda [Leogarda] Capiao were consequently instituted as Lutgarda's legal heirs and were legally entitled to inherit all the properties which were hers by virtue of the extra- judicial partition. The lower court dismissed the complaint. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners can inherit the properties in question. HELD: No . The decision of the lower court is satisfactorily supported by the records. It is clear from the records that the petitioners cannot inherit the properties in question because of Article 992 of the Civil Code. Being relatives on the legitimate line of Julia Capiao they cannot inherit from tier illegitimate daughter. Their relative Julia Capiao predeceased the daughter, Lutgarda Capiao. As explained by Manresa, whom the private respondents cited: Between the natural child and the legitimate relatives of the father or mother who acknowledged it, the Code denies any right of succession. They cannot be called relatives and they have no right to inherit. Of course, there is a blood tie, but the law does not recognize it. In this Article 943 is based upon the reality of the facts and upon the presumptive will of the interested parties; 414 | P a g e June 27, 1985

the natural child is disgracefully looked down upon by the legitimate family; the legitimate family is, in turn, hated by the natural child; the latter considers the privileged condition of the former and the resources of which it is thereby deprived; the former, in turn, sees in the natural child nothing but the product of sin, a palpable evidence of a blemish upon the family. Every relation is ordinarily broken in life; the law does no more than recognize this truth, by avoiding further grounds of resentment. (7 Manresa, 3rd ed., p. 110).

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit, with costs against the petitioners.

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Intestate Estate of Pablo C. Luce. PIO PORTEA, petitioner-appellant, vs. JACINTO PABELLON, ET AL., oppositors-appellees. G.R. No. L-1367 PARAS, J.: FACTS: This is an appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Quezon holding that upon the death of Pablo Luce, "all his properties were inherited by his legitimate daughter Cristeta Luce who survived him for at least half an hour, she having died about half an hour after" the death of her father. The appellant insists that, since there is no proof as to the definite time of the death of Pablo Luce and his daughter Cristeta Luce, the law applicable is section 69, sub-section ii (5), of Rule 123 of the Rules of Court, under which it is presumed that, in the absence of any showing as to which of two persons (who have perished in the same calamity) died first, the person between the ages of 15 and 60 is presumed to have survived the person under 15 or over 60. In this connection, it is alleged that Pablo Luce was 45 years old, whereas Cristeta Luce was only 13 years of age. ISSUE: Whether or not the property of Luce is included in the intestate proceedings. HELD: Yes. In the face of the factual conclusion of the trial court that Pablo Luce died half an hour before Cristeta Luce died, which finding the appellant is now estopped to controvert and which (in the opinion of the writer hereof) is furthermore supported by the evidence, the rule cited by the appellant regarding the disputable presumption of survivorship cannot apply. The appellant also contends that, even assuming that Cristeta Luce survived her father Pablo Luce, her estate should still be adjudicated to the appellant who is the nephew of Pablo Luce. Reliance is placed on article 925 of the Civil Code providing that the right of representation shall always take place in the direct descending line but never in the ascending, and that in the collateral line it shall take place only in favor of the children of brothers and sisters, whether they may be of the whole or half blood. It is intimated that because the oppositors-appellees are not in the direct descending line, but are only maternal grandparents of Cristeta Luce, they cannot inherit by representation. Aside from the fact that the trial court correctly withheld any adjudications as to the estate of Cristeta Luce, because it is not included in the intestate proceedings instituted by the petitioner-appellant, said oppositors-appellees are claiming inheritance from their grandchild Cristeta Luce in their own rights as ascendants, and not merely by right of presentation, it appearing that the said Cristeta Luce did not leave any legitimate children or ascendants. (Arts. 935 and 937, Civil Code.) August 16, 1949

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FLOCERFINA BARANDA, Assisted by Husband, ELIAS FABON, HERMINIA BARANDA RECATO represented by LILIA R. TORRENTE, as Attorney-in-Fact, TEODORO BARANDA represented by JUANITA VICTORIA as Attorney-in-Fact, ALIPIO VILLARTA and SALVACION BARANDA, petitioners, vs. EVANGELINA G. BARANDA, ELISA G. BARANDA, and THE HONORABLE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, respondents. G.R. No. 73275 May 20, 1987 CRUZ, J.: FACTS: This case raises the all-too-familiar if distasteful controversy: an old woman dying without issue and without a will and her collaterals wrangling over her properties like the soldiers in Mount Calvary casting lots for the seamless robe of Jesus. The difference in this case is that even before the owner's death, two of the claimants had already taken over her properties by virtue of certain supposed transfers which are in fact that reason for this petition. The questioned sales were effected through three deeds denominated "Bilihan ng Lupa" and dated January 29 and February 3, 1977, under which Paulina L. Baranda, a widow, sold five parcels of land to her niece, Evangelina Baranda, and a sixth parcel to her other niece, Elisa, also a daughter of Pedro Baranda, Paulina's brother. The sales were made, according to the documents, for the total consideration of P105,000.00 duly acknowledged as received by the transferor from the vendees. Paulina herself would file suit against the sisters resulting in a compromise agreement where the lands would be reconveyed to Paulina. The transfer was never completed as Paulina died beforehand. This was the factual situation when on April 26, 1982, the herein petitioners, claiming to be the legitimate heirs of the late Paulina Baranda, filed a complaint against Evangelina and Elisa Baranda in the Court of First Instance of Rizal for the annulment of the sale and the reconveyance of the lots, with damages ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners bear legal standing in this case. HELD: Yes. The Supreme Court rejected the fairy tale spun by the sisters on how they obtained the purchase price. Considering that Paulina never had any intent to part with her property. The Sale was void from the beginning and was assailable at any time. It is not disputed that Paulina Baranda died intestate without leaving any direct descendants or ascendants, or compulsory heirs. She was survived, however, by two brothers, namely, Pedro and Teodoro, and several nephews and nieces, including the private respondents, as well as petitioners Flocerfina Baranda, Salvacion Baranda, and Alipio Baranda Villarte, children of two deceased brothers and a sister. The above- named persons, together with Pedro Baranda, who 417 | P a g e

was not joined as a petitioner because he is the father of the private respondents, and the children of another deceased sister, are the legitimate intestate heirs of Paulina Baranda. As heirs, the petitioners have legal standing to challenge the deeds of sale purportedly signed by Paulina Baranda for otherwise property claimed to belong to her estate will be excluded therefrom to their prejudice. This Court has repeatedly held that "the legal heirs of a decedent are the parties in interest to commence ordinary actions arising out of the rights belonging to the deceased, without separate judicial declaration as to their being heirs of said decedent, provided that there is no pending special proceeding for the settlement of the decedent's estate as in this case. The deed of sale was annulled and the defendants were ordered to execute the necessary instrument to transfer the lots in question to the estate of the late Paulina Baranda.

WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby REVERSED and that of the trial court is REINSTATED, with costs against the private respondents.

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IN RE SUMMARY SETTLEMENT OF THE ESTATE OF MELODIA FERRARIS. FILOMENA ABELLANA DE BACAYO, petitioner-appellant, vs. GAUDENCIA FERRARIS DE BORROMEO, CATALINA FERARIS DE VILLEGAS, JUANITO FERRARIS and CONCHITA FERRARIS, oppositors-appellees. G.R. No. L-19382 REYES, J.B.L., J.: FACTS: The deceased Melodia Ferraris left no surviving direct descendant, ascendant, or spouse, but was survived only by collateral relatives, namely, Filomena Abellana de Bacayo, an aunt and half-sister of decedent's father, Anacleto Ferraris; and by Gaudencia, Catalina, Conchita, and Juanito, all surnamed Ferraris, her nieces and nephew, who were the children of Melodia's only brother of full blood, Arturo Ferraris, who pre-deceased her (the decedent). These two classes of heirs claim to be the nearest intestate heirs and seek to participate in the estate of said Melodia Ferraris. ISSUE: Whether or not nieces and nephews exclude uncles and aunts to inherit in the case. HELD: Yes. An aunt of the deceased is as far distant as the nephews from the decedent (three degrees) since in the collateral line to which both kinds of relatives belong degrees are counted by first ascending to the common ancestor and then descending to the heir (Civil Code, Art. 966). Appellant is likewise right in her contention that nephews and nieces alone do not inherit by right of representation (i.e., per stripes) unless concurring with brothers or sisters of the deceased. Nevertheless, the trial court was correct when it held that, in case of intestacy, nephews and nieces of the de cujus exclude all other collaterals (aunts and uncles, first cousins, etc.) from the succession. This is readily apparent from articles 1001, 1004, 1005, and 1009 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. Under our laws of succession, a decedent's uncles and aunts may not succeedab intestato so long as nephews and nieces of the decedent survive and are willing and qualified to succeed. August 31, 1965

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FRANCISCA TIOCO DE PAPA, MANUEL TIOCO, NICOLAS TIOCO and JANUARIO PAPA, plaintiffs-appellees, vs. DALISAY TONGKO CAMACHO, PRIMO TONGKO and GODOFREDO CAMACHO, defendants-appellants. G.R. No. L-28032 September 24, 1986 NARVASA, J.: FACTS: This case involves the application of Article 891 of the Civil Code on reserva troncal. Plaintiffs and defendant Dalisay D. Tongo-Camacho have as a common ancestor the late Balbino Tioco. They stipulate that Romana Tioco during her lifetime gratuitously donated four (4) parcels of land to her niece Toribia Tioco (legitimate sister of plaintiffs). Toribia Tioco died intestate in l9l5, survived by her husband, Eustacio Dizon, and their two legitimate children, Faustino Dizon and Trinidad Dizon (mother of defendant Dalisay D, Tongko-Camacho). In 1928, Balbino Tioco died intestate, survived by his legitimate children by his wife Marciana Felix (among them plaintiffs) and legitimate grandchildren Faustino Dizon and Trinidad Dizon. In 1937, Faustino Dizon died intestate, single and without issue, leaving his one-half (1/2) proindiviso share in the seven (7) parcels of land above-mentioned to his father, Eustacio Dizon, as his sole intestate heir, who received the said property subject to a reserva troncal. In 1939 Trinidad Dizon-Tongko died intestate, and her rights and interests in the parcels of land abovementioned were inherited by her only legitimate child, defendant Dalisay D. TongkoCamacho. On June 14, 1965, Eustacio Dizon died intestate, survived his only legitimate descendant, defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho. Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho now owns one-half (1/2) of all the seven (7) parcels of land abovementioned as her inheritance from her mother, Trinidad Dizon-Tongko. The parties hereby agree to submit for judicial determination in this case the legal issue of whether defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho is entitled to the whole of the seven (7) parcels of land in question, or whether the plaintiffs, as third degree relatives of Faustino Dizon are reservatarios (together with said defendant) of the one-half pro-indiviso share therein which was inherited by Eustacio Dizon from his son Faustino Dizon, and entitled to three-fourths (3/4) of said one-half pro-indiviso share, or three eights (3/8) of said seven (7) parcels of land, and, therefore, to three-eights (3/8) of the rentals collected and to be collected by defendant Dalisay P. Tongko Camacho from the tenants of said parcels of land, minus the expenses and/or real estate taxes corresponding to plaintiffs' share in the rentals. ISSUE: Whether, as contended by the plaintiffs-appellees and ruled by the lower Court, all relatives of the praepositus within the third degree in the appropriate line succeed without distinction to the reservable property upon the death of the reservista. 420 | P a g e

HELD: No. Upon the death of the ascendant reservista, the reservable property should pass, not to all the reservatarios as a class but only to those nearest in degree to the descendant (prepositus), excluding those reservatarios of more remote degree (Florentino vs. Florentino, 40 Phil. 489-490; T.S. 8 Nov. 1894; Dir. Gen. de los Registros, Resol. 20 March 1905). And within the third degree of relationship from the descendant (prepositus), the right of representation operates in favor of nephews (Florentino vs. Florentino, supra). The right of representation cannot be alleged when the one claiming same as a reservatario of the reservable property is not among the relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which such property came, inasmuch as the right granted by the Civil Code in Article 811 is in the highest degree personal and for the exclusive benefit of designated persons who are within the third degree of the person from whom the reservable property came. Therefore, relatives of the fourth and the succeeding degrees can never be considered as reservatarios, since the law does not recognize them as such. Nevertheless there is right of representation on the part of reservatarios who are within the third degree mentioned by law Reversion of the reservable property being governed by the rules on intestate succession, the plaintiffs-appellees must be held without any right thereto because, as aunt and uncles, respectively, of Faustino Dizon (the praepositus), they are excluded from the succession by his niece, the defendant-appellant, although they are related to him within the same degree as the latter. Had the reversionary property passed directly from the praepositus, there is no doubt that the plaintiffs-appellees would have been excluded by the defendant-appellant under the rules of intestate succession. There is no reason why a different result should obtain simply because "the transmission of the property was delayed by the interregnum of the reserva"

Upon the stipulated facts, and by virtue of the rulings already cited, the defendant-appellant Dalisay Tongko-Camacho is entitled to the entirety of the reversionary property to the exclusion of the plaintiffs-appellees. WHEREFORE, the appealed judgment of the lower Court is reversed and set aside and the complaint is dismissed, with costs against the plaintiffs-appellants.

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INTESTATE ESTATE OF PETRA V. ROSALES, IRENEA C. ROSALES, petitioner, vs. FORTUNATO ROSALES, MAGNA ROSALES ACEBES, MACIKEQUEROX ROSALES and ANTONIO ROSALES, respondents. G.R. No. L-40789 February 27, 1987 GANCAYCO, J.: FACTS: It appears from the record of the case that on February 26, 1971, Mrs. Petra V. Rosales, a resident of Cebu City, died intestate. She was survived by her husband Fortunate T. Rosales and their two (2) children Magna Rosales Acebes and Antonio Rosales. Another child, Carterio Rosales, predeceased her, leaving behind a child, Macikequerox Rosales, and his widow Irenea C. Rosales, the herein petitioner. The estate of the dismissed has an estimated gross value of about Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00). On July 10, 1971, Magna Rosales Acebes instituted the proceedings for the settlement of the estate of the deceased. In the course of the intestate proceedings, the trial court issued an Order dated June 16, 1972 declaring the following in individuals the legal heirs of the deceased and prescribing their respective share of the estate Fortunata T. Rosales (husband), 1/4; Magna R. Acebes (daughter), 1/4; Macikequerox Rosales, 1/4; and Antonio Rosales son, 1/4. These Orders notwithstanding, Irenea Rosales insisted in getting a share of the estate in her capacity as the surviving spouse of the late Carterio Rosales, son of the deceased, claiming that she is a compulsory heir of her mother-in-law together with her son, Macikequerox Rosales. ISSUE: Whether or not a widow (surviving spouse) an intestate heir of her mother-in-law. HELD: No. Intestate or legal heirs are classified into two (2) groups, namely, those who inherit by their own right, and those who inherit by the right of representation. Restated, an intestate heir can only inherit either by his own right, as in the order of intestate succession provided for in the Civil Code, or by the right of representation provided for in Article 981 of the same law. There is no provision in the Civil Code which states that a widow (surviving spouse) is an intestate heir of her mother-in-law. The entire Code is devoid of any provision which entitles her to inherit from her mother-in- law either by her own right or by the right of representation. The provisions of the Code which relate to the order of intestate succession (Articles 978 to 1014) enumerate with meticulous exactitude the intestate heirs of a decedent, with the State as the final intestate heir. The conspicuous absence of a provision which makes a daughter-in-law an intestate heir of the deceased all the more confirms our observation. If the legislature intended to 423 | P a g e

make the surviving spouse an intestate heir of the parent-in-law, it would have so provided in the Code. Indeed, the surviving spouse is considered a third person as regards the estate of the parent-inlaw. WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit, with costs against the petitioner. Let this case be remanded to the trial-court for further proceedings.

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CELSO R. HALILI and ARTHUR R. HALILI, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HELEN MEYERS GUZMAN, DAVID REY GUZMAN and EMILIANO CATANIAG, respondents. G.R. No. 113539 March 12, 1998 PANGANIBAN, J.: FACTS: Simeon de Guzman, an American citizen, died sometime in 1968, leaving real properties in the Philippines. His forced heirs were his widow, defendant appellee [herein private respondent] Helen Meyers Guzman, and his son, defendant appellee [also herein private respondent] David Rey Guzman, both of whom are also American citizens. On August 9, 1989, Helen executed a deed of quitclaim, assigning[,] transferring and conveying to David Rey all her rights, titles and interests in and over six parcels of land which the two of them inherited from Simeon. Among the said parcels of land is that now in litigation which was issued in the name of appellee David Rey Guzman. Petitioners, who are owners of the adjoining lot, filed a complaint before the Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan, questioning the constitutionality and validity of the two conveyances -- between Helen Guzman and David Rey Guzman, and between the latter and Emiliano Cataniag -- and claiming ownership thereto based on their right of legal redemption. ISSUE:Whether or not the subject lands in questions be the proper subject of succession. HELD: Yes In view of the finding that the subject land is urban in character, petitioners have indeed no right to invoke Art. 1621 of the Civil Code, which presupposes that the land sought to be redeemed is rural. The provision is clearly worded and admits of no ambiguity in construction: ART. 1621. The owners of adjoining lands shall also have the right of redemption when a piece of rural land, the area of which does not exceed one hectare, is alienated, unless the grantee does not own any rural land. SEC. 7. Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private lands shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain. Non-Filipinos cannot acquire or hold title to private lands or to lands of the public domain, except only by way of legal succession.

If land is invalidly transferred to an alien who subsequently becomes a citizen or transfers it to a citizen, the flaw in the original transaction is considered cured and the title of the 425 | P a g e

transferee is rendered valid. Accordingly, since the disputed land is now owned by Private Respondent Cataniag, a Filipino citizen, the prior invalid transfer can no longer be assailed. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED. The challenged Decision is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

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In re Will of the deceased Felisa Javier, SULPICIO RESURRECCION, vs. AGUSTIN JAVIER, ET AL., G.R. No. L-42539 ; October 23, 1936 AVANCEA (ponente) FACTS: Felisa Francisco Javier made a will instituting her husband Sulpicio Resurrection as her universal heir and left a legacy in favor of her brother Gil Javier on October 18, 1932. She later died on January 22, 1933 and her will was probated March 8, 1934. On October 12, 1933, the probate court discovered that Gil Javier had already died prior to the making of the will. Thus, it ordered that the legacy in his favor be reverted to the estate. The heirs of Gil Javier appealed the courts resolution, claiming that they are entitled to receive the legacy. ISSUE: Whether or not a legacy made in favor of a person who was already dead before the will was made is valid? RULING: No, upon the institution as a legatee by the testatrix, Gil Javier lacked civil personality due to his death thus he may not be capacitated to inherit by will. Further, he may not also be represented because it takes place only during intestate inheritance and no right could have been transmitted because he was already dead at the time of the making of the will. The Supreme Court also observed that even if the testatrix knew that her brother was already dead, her intention cannot be explained why she still left the legacy in favor of her brother and not of her children thus the court cannot admit that it was her intention to leave the legacy to her children.

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Register of Deeds of Manila vs. China Banking Corporation G.R. No. L-11964 ; April 28, 1962 Dizon (ponente) FACTS: On June 16, 1953, an information was filed in the CFI of Manila against Alfonso Pangilinan and Guillermo Chua for qualified theft. On Septmeber 18, 1956, Pangilinan and his wife, Belen Sta. Ana, executed a Deed of Transfer wherein he ceded and transferred to China Banking Corporation, his employer, a parcel of land registered in the name of his wife, Belen Sta. Ana. The Deed of Transfer was executed for the satisfaction of the civil liability of Pangilinan. On October 24, 1956, the deed was presented for registration to the Register of Deeds of the City of Manila but the transferee was an alien-owned thus barred from acquiring lands in the Philippines. Thus, the matter was submitted to the Land Registration Commission for resolution which was denied. ISSUE: Whether the appellant, an alien-owned bank, can acquire ownership of a residential lot by virtue of the deed of transfer. RULING: No, the constitutional prohibition is absolute in its terms so much so that it may not be liberally construed which reads: Save in cases of hereditary succession no private agricultural land shall be transferred or assigned except to individuals, corporations or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain in the Philippines. The reason for this is manifestly the desire and purpose of the Constitution to place and keep in the hands of the people the ownership over private lands in order not to endanger the integrity of the nation. Inasmuch as when an alien buys land he acquires and will naturally exercise ownership over the same, either permanently or temporarily, to that extent his acquisition jeopardizes the purpose of the Constitution.

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SOFIA J. NEPOMUCENO vs.THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, RUFINA GOMEZ, OSCAR JUGO ANG, CARMELITA JUGO. G.R. No. L-62952 ; October 9, 1985 GUTIERREZ, JR., (ponente) FACTS: On July 16, 1974, Martin Jugo died leaving a duly executed will. Under the will, the testator appointed Sofia Nepomuceno as his sole and only executor of his estate. Further, the will expressly stated that he was legally married to Rufina Gomez by whom he had two legitimate children, Oscar and Carmelita, but since 1952, he had been estranged from his lawfully wedded wife and had been living with petitioner as husband and wife. In fact, on December 5, 1952, the testator and Sofia were married in Tarlac before the Justice of the Peace. The testator devised to his forced heirs, namely, his legal wife Rufina and his children Oscar and Carmelita his entire estate and the free portion petitioner. The petitioner filed a petition for probate of the will. The legal wife, Rufina and her children filed an opposition. In 1976, the lower court denied the probate of the Will on the ground that as the testator admitted in his will to cohabiting with the petitioner from December 1952 until his death on July 16, 1974, the Will's admission to probate will be an idle exercise because on the face of the Will, the invalidity of its intrinsic provisions is evident. The petitioner appealed to the respondent-appellate court. The respondent court set aside the decision of the declaring the will to be valid except the devise in favor of the petitioner pursuant to Article 739 in relation with Article 1028 of the Civil Code. ISSUE: Whether the petitioner may validly inherit from the will. RULING: No, the Supreme Court held that the will contained provisions which are dubious and because of the motion to withdraw the petition for probate the trial court acted correctly in passing upon the will's intrinsic validity even before its formal validity had been established. The probate of a will might become an idle ceremony if on its face it appears to be intrinsically void. Where practical considerations demand that the intrinsic validity of the will be passed upon, even before it is probated, the court should meet the issue. The denial of petitioner of not having any knowledge of the previous marriage was held to lack credibility as it was inherently improbable for being contrary to the experience in common life and ordinary instincts which would prompt a person to question why a woman would not bother to inquire if the man that she was going to marry was already married to another, knowing that the testator already had children. The prohibition in Article 739 of the Civil Code is against the making of a donation between persons who are living in adultery or concubinage. It is the donation, which becomes void. The giver cannot give even assuming that the recipient may receive. The very wordings of the Will invalidate the legacy because the testator admitted he was disposing the properties to a person with whom he had been living in concubinage.

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Re: Acceptance and Repudiation MICHAEL C. GUY vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. SIXTO MARELLA, JR., and minors, KAREN DANES WEI and KAMILLE DANES WEI, represented by their mother, REMEDIOS OANES G.R. No. 163707 ; September 15, 2006 YNARES-SANTIAGO (ponente) FACTS: On June 13, 1997, minors Karen and Kamille, represented by their mother Remedios Oanes, filed a petition for letters of administration before the RTC of Makati City, claiming that they are duly acknowledged illegitimate children of Sima Wei, who died on October 29, 1992. Sima Wei was survived by his spouse, Shirley Guy and several children. Petitioner argues that the status of the private respondents should have been established during the lifetime of the putative father pursuant to Art. 175 of the Family Code. The other heirs of Sima Wei filed a Joint Motion to Dismiss, which a Motion as Supplement to the Joint Motion to Dismiss was filed claiming that private respondents have already been paid thus they have already waived, abandoned their claim. This was evidenced by a Release and Waiver of Claim dated June 7, 1993, which states that the private respondents have already received financial and educational assistance. ISSUE: Whether the Release and Waiver of Claim precludes private respondents from claiming their successional rights. RULING: No, the Release and Waiver of Claim executed by Remedios, and not the heirs themselves, does not bar private respondents from claiming successional rights because there can be no waiver of hereditary rights without judicial approval. The waiver merely states that Remedios received Php 300,000.00 and an educational plan for her minor daughters by way of financial assistance and in full settlement of any and all claims of whatsoever nature and kind against the estate of the late Rufino Guy Susim. Parents and guardians may not repudiate the inheritance of their wards without judicial approval. This is because repudiation amounts to an alienation of property which must pass the courts scrutiny in order to protect the interest of the ward. Not having been judicially authorized, the Release and Waiver of Claim in the instant case is void and will not bar respondents from asserting their rights as heirs of the deceased. To be valid and effective, a waiver must be couched in clear and unequivocal terms which leave no doubt as to the intention of a party to give up a right or benefit which legally pertains to him. A waiver may not be attributed to a person when its terms do not explicitly and clearly evince an intent to abandon a right. Considering that the document did not specifically mention private 430 | P a g e

respondents hereditary share in the estate of Sima Wei, it cannot be construed as a waiver of successional rights. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, vs. DAVID REY GUZMAN, represented by his Attorney-in-Fact, LOLITA G. ABELA, and the REGISTER OF DEEDS OF BULACAN, MEYCAUAYAN BRANCH G.R. No. 132964 ; February 18, 2000 BELLOSILLO (ponente) FACTS: Simeon Guzman, a naturalized American citizen, died in 1968 survived by his spouse Helen, an American citizen, and his son David Rey leaving properties located in Bulacan. On December 29, 1970, the heirs executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of his estate. On December 10 1981 and in August 9, 1989 Helen executed a Quitclaim Deed assigning, transferring and conveying to her son David her interest on all the parcels of land subject matter of the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of the Estate of Simeon Guzman in the Philippines. On October 18 1989 David acknowledged ownership over the parcels of land under the Quitclaim of Helen by executing a Special Power of Attorney and empowered Atty. Lolita G. Abela to sell or otherwise dispose of the lots. Later, the Office of the Solicitor General, based on a letter it received from Atty. Batongbacal which informed them of a defect in Davids ownership, filed a Petition for Escheat against David Rey with prayer that the subject parcels of land be forfeited in favor of the government. ISSUE: Whether Helen validly repudiated her interest on the subject parcels of land. RULING: No, the repudiation is not valid because Helen has already accepted her share of the inheritance when she executed executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of the Estate of Simeon Guzman on December 29, 1970, which divided and adjudicated between Helen and David the two (2) of them all the property in Simeon's estate. By virtue of such extrajudicial settlement the parcels of land were registered in her and her son's name in undivided equal share and for eleven (11) years they possessed the lands in the concept of owner. As the Article 1056 of the Civil Code provides, the acceptance or repudiation of an inheritance, once made is irrevocable and cannot be impugned, except when it was made through any of the causes that vitiate consent or when an unknown will appears. Nothing on record shows that Helen's acceptance of her inheritance from Simeon was made through any of the causes which vitiated her consent nor is there any proof of the existence of an unknown will executed by Simeon. Thus, pursuant to Art. 1056, Helen cannot belatedly execute an instrument which has the effect of revoking or impugning her previous acceptance of her one-half (1/2) share of the subject property from Simeon's estate. Hence, the two (2) quitclaim deeds which she executed eleven (11) years after she had accepted the inheritance have no legal force and effect. Nevertheless, the nullity of the repudiation does not ipso facto operate to convert the parcels of land into res nullius to be escheated in favor of the Government. The repudiation being of no effect whatsoever the parcels of land should revert to their private owner, Helen, who, although being 431 | P a g e

an American citizen, is qualified by hereditary succession to own the property subject of the litigation.

RE: Collation/Parification or Equalization LAURO G. VIZCONDE vs. COURT OF APPEALS, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT and RAMON G. NICOLAS, G.R. No. 118449 ; February 11, 1998 FRANCISCO (ponente) FACTS: Estrellita is the daughter of Spouses Rafael and Salud Nicholas. Her siblings are Antonio, Ramon, Teresita and Ricardo. Antonio predeceased his parents and is survived by his widow Zenaida and their four children. On May 22, 1979, Esrellita purchased a parcel of land from Rafael for P135,000, which she later sold to Amelia Lim and Maria Chiu for P3.4M. In the same year, Estrellita bought from Premier Homes, Inc., a parcel of land and a car using the proceeds of the prior sale. The balance of which was deposited in a bank. On June 30, 1991, Estrellita and her daughters were killed. The NBI conducted investigations and found that Estrellita died ahead of her daughters. Thus, petitioner survived his daughters who died later than their mother, Estrellita. Petitioner executed an Extra-Judicial Settlement of the Estate of Deceased Estrellita NicolasVizconde with Waiver of Shares, with Rafael and Salud, Estrellita's parents which provided for the division of the properties of Estrellita and her two daughters between petitioner and The Paraaque property and the car and were also given to petitioner with Rafael and Salud waiving all their "claims, rights, ownership and participation as heirs" in the said properties. On November 18, 1992, Rafael died. To settle Rafaels estate, Teresita instituted an intestate estate proceedings with the RTC of Caloocan, listing as heirs, Salud, Ramon, Ricardo, the decedents wife Zenaida and children of Antonio. Ramon, however filed an opposition dated March 24, 1993, praying that the property sold by Estrellita should be collated because the sale between Rafael and Estrellita was actually a donation and not a sale. ISSUE: Whether or not the Paranaque property should be collated with the other properties. RULING: No, the records indicate that the intestate estate proceedings is still in its initiatory stage. There is nothing to prove that the legitime of any of Rafael's heirs has been impaired to warrant collation. Pursuant to Article 1035, it is the duty of the plaintiffs to prove that the donations received by Estrellita were inofficious in whole or in part and prejudiced the legitime of hereditary portion to which they are entitled. The probate court's order of collation against petitioner is unwarranted for the obligation to collate is lodged with Estrellita, the heir, and not to herein petitioner who does not have any interest in Rafael's estate. Collation is only required of compulsory heirs. Petitioner, a son-in-law of Rafael, is not one of Rafael's compulsory heirs. 432 | P a g e

Therefore, collation of the Paraaque property is improper for collation covers only properties gratuitously given by the decedent during his lifetime to his compulsory heirs which fact does not obtain anent the transfer of the Paraaque property. For even if collation would be proper, it is not the Paranaque property that is to be collated, but should have been the same property given by the decedent to the heir during his lifetime, which in this case is the Valenzuela property. FELIX ADAN vs. AGAPITO CASILI and VICTORIA ADAN, C.A. No. 299 March 18, 1946 OZAETA (ponente) FACTS: Felix Adan filed for the judicial partition of the estate of his deceased mother Simplicia Nepomuceno against his sister Victoria Adan and her husband Agapito Casili. The estate of their deceased mother composed of parcels of land. The defendant interposed the defense that the parcels of land in question was ceded by the decedent to her daughter Victoria as her share in the inheritance and that the plaintiff has already received his share of the inheritance which consisted of money, livestock, palay, and real property. The trial court held that during the lifetime of their mother, Felix received various sums for his expenses while studying surveying in Manila and that one-half of which should be brought into collation. ISSUE: Whether or not collation is proper in the present case. RULING: Yes, pursuant to Art. 1042 of the Civil Code, the expenses incurred by parents in giving their children a professional or artistic career may be brought to collation if the expenses encroach upon the legitime or if the parents orders that the expenses should be collated. In this case, the Supreme Court found that the expenses incurred by Felix had encroached upon the legitime thus the expenses should be collated, one-half of the amount of the expenses would be collated because the other half would be considered as expenses of the parents had Felix lived in the house and company of his mother.

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GLICERIA CARANDANG-COLLANTES and LUZ CARANDANG vs. FELIX CAPUNO, LEONILA COSICO, LYDIA CAPUNO, DIOMEDES ALCANTARA, SIMEON CAPUNO, DOMINGA COSICO, GERARDA COSICO, MARGARITA COCOLE, ANICETO CAPUNO, ALBINA AQUINO and COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. L-55373 July 25, 1983 GUERRERO (ponente) FACTS: On April 8, 1970, Josefa Capuno died survived by Felix, Lydia and Simeon, all surnamed Capuno, nephews and neice of Josefa. On February 8, 1971, private respondents filed a petition for annulment of a donation inter vivos which was executed on March 6, 1970 by the late Josefa in favour of petitioners. The donations consisted of four parcels of real property located in San Pablo, Laguna. The petition was on the ground that the thumb mark appearing in the deed of donation was not that of Josefa and that the same has been secured through undue influence or fraud. Petitioners however contended that the thumbmark was genuine and that the donation was based on valuable consideration because the deceased has lived with petitioners and treated them as her own blood relatives-in-fact as her own grandchildren. The trial court rendered a judgment that the donations were null and void. ISSUE: Whether the donation subject matter of the case is null and void RULING: No. there is no proof to support that the donations were a forgery and that the thumbmark was fictitious, neither by an expert nor by comparison of the thumbprint of Josefa. The Supreme Court held that the testimony of the witnesses for the respondents were inherently weak, they being biased and stand to benefit from the annulment of the donations, compared to the testimony of the notary public who notarized the deed of donation. Thus, since the deed of donation is a duly executed public instrument, it is presumed to be valid absence any proof of fraud alleged by respondents. Neither is there any allegation or proof of concrete facts constituting the supposed fraud. In fact, private respondents have not pointed what undue influence or fraud they have alleged or proved in the case, the mere allegation that the donor and the donees have no relations does not constitute nor show undue influence or fraud. Hence, the second ground for annulment is clearly non-existent.

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BONIFACIA MATEO, ET AL vs. GERVASIO LAGUA, ET AL G.R. No. L-26270 October 30, 1969 REYES, J.B.L (ponente) FACTS: Sometime in 1917, Cipriano Lagua and his wife Alejandra Dumlao donated two lots to their son Alejandra Dumlao in consideration of his marriage to petitioner Bonifavia Mateo. After the marriage, the couple took possession of the lots without transferring the title in their name. In 1923, Alejandro died. Bonifacia and her infant daughter lived with Cipriano who undertook the farming of the donated lots. At the start, Cipriano was giving to Bonifacia the owner's share of the harvest from the land. In 1926, however, Cipriano refused to deliver the said share. This prompted Bonifacia to resort to a legal action from where she obtained a judgment awarding to her possession of the two lots plus damages. On July 31 1941, Cipriano Lagua, executed a deed of sale of the same two parcels of land in favor of his younger son, Gervasio. Bonifacia Mateo then sought the annulment of the deed of sale in favor of Gervasio Lagua and for recovery of possession of the properties from which she obtained a favorable judgment. The CFI of Pangasinan declared the TCT issued to respondent null and void and ordered cancelled by the Registry of Deeds, and for respondent to vacate and deliver the lots to petitioner. In 1957, Gervacio and Cipriano filed with the CFI for the annulment of the donation of the two lots. While the case was pending, Cipriano died in 1958. It was dismissed for prescription, having been filed after the lapse of 41 years. When appealed, the Court of Appeals in 1966 held that the donation to Alejandro of the two lots exceeded his legitime and the disposable portion that Cipriano could have freely given by will, and to the same extent prejudiced the legitime of Ciprianos other heir, Gervacio. The donation was thus declared inofficious and herein petitioners were ordered to reconvey to Gervacio a portion from any convenient part of the lots. ISSUE: Whether the donation is inofficious that would warrant such outright reduction. RULING: No. The infirmity of the reduction lies in the fact that Article 908 of the new Civil Code provides that to determine the legitime, the value of the property left at the death of the testator shall be considered, deducting all debts and charges, which shall not include those imposed in the will. To the value of the hereditary estate, shall be added the value of all donations by the testator that are subject to collation, at the time he made them. Before the legal share due to a compulsory heir may be reached, the net estate of the decedent must be ascertained, by deducting all payable obligations and charges from the value of the property owned by the deceased at the time of his death; then, all donations subject to collation would be added to it. With the partible estate thus determined, the legitimes of the compulsory heirs can be established, and only thereafter can it be ascertained whether or not a donation had prejudiced the legitimes. Certainly, in order that a donation may be reduced for being inofficious, there must be proof that the value of the donated property exceeds that of the disposable free portion plus 435 | P a g e

the donees share as legitime in the properties of the donor. In the present case, it can hardly be seen that, with the evidence then before the court, it was in any position to rule on the inofficiousness of the donation involved here, and to order its reduction and reconveyance of the deducted portion to the respondents. RE: Partition and Distribution- Extrajudicial J.L.T. AGRO, INC vs. ANTONIO BALANSAG and HILARIA CADAYDAY G.R. No. 141882 March 11, 2005 TINGA (ponente) FACTS: Don Julian Teves contracted two marriages. The controversy involves Lot No. 63 of the Bais Cadastre, originally registered in the conjugal partnership of Don Julian and first wife Antonia. When Antonia died, the land was among the properties involved in an action for partition and damages; the second wife of Don Julian, participated as an intervenor. Thereafter, the parties to the case entered into a Compromise Agreement which embodied the partition of all the properties of Don Julian. On the basis of the compromise agreement ,the CFI decision declared a tract of land known as Hacienda Medalla Milagrosa as property owned in common by Don Julian and his children of the first marriage. The property was to remain undivided during the lifetime of Don Julian. Josefa and Emilio likewise were given other properties at Bais. The remainder of the properties was retained by Don Julian, including Lot No. 63. In 1972, Don Julian, Emilio and Josefa executed a Deed of Assignment of Assets with Assumption of Liabilities in favor of petitioner J.L.T. Agro, Inc.Less than a year later, Don Julian, Josefa and Emilio also executed an instrument entitled Supplemental to the Deed of Assignment of Assets with the Assumption of Liabilities dated 31 July 1973,which constitutes a supplement to the earlier deed of assignment transferred ownership over Lot No. 63, among other properties, in favor of petitioner. On 14 April 1974, Don Julian died intestate. ISSUE: Whether the partition inter vivos of the properties of Don Julian is valid. RULING: Yes, future inheritance is any property or right not in existence or capable of determination at the time of the contract, that a person may in the future acquire by succession. Well-entrenched is the rule that all things, even future ones, which are not outside the commerce of man may be the object of a contract. The exception is that no contract may be entered into with respect to future inheritance, and the exception to the exception is the partition inter vivos referred to in Article 1080. The first paragraph of Article 1080, provides the exception to the exception and therefore aligns with the general rule on future things. Justice Edgardo Paras opined that if the partition is made by an act inter vivos, no formalities are prescribed by the Article. The partition will of course be effective only after death. It does not necessarily require the formalities of a will for after all it is not the partition that is the mode of acquiring ownership. Neither will the formalities of a donation be required since donation will not be the mode of acquiring the ownership here after death; since no will has been made it follows that the mode will be intestate succession. Besides, the partition here is merely the physical determination of the part to be given to each heir. Article 1080 of the Civil Code authorizes a testator to partition 436 | P a g e

and distribute inter vivos his propert which is revocable at any time by the causante during his lifetime, and does not operate as a conveyance of title until his death. It derives its binding force on the heirs from the respect due to the will of the owner of the property, limited only by his creditors and the intangibility of the legitime of the forced heirs. The partition inter vivos of the properties of Don Julian is undoubtedly valid pursuant to Article 1347. However, considering that it would become legally operative only upon the death of Don Julian, the right of his heirs from the second marriage to the properties adjudicated to him under the compromise agreement was but a mere expectancy. It was a bare hope of succession to the property of their father. Being the prospect of a future acquisition, the interest by its nature was inchoate. It had no attribute of property, and the interest to which it related was at the time nonexistent and might never exist. Evidently, at the time of the execution of the deed of assignment covering Lot No. 63 in favor of petitioner, Don Julian remained the owner of the property since ownership over the subject lot would only pass to his heirs from the second marriage at the time of his death. Thus, as the owner of the subject lot, Don Julian retained the absolute right to dispose of it during his lifetime. His right cannot be challenged by Milagros Donio and her children on the ground that it had already been adjudicated to them by virtue of the compromise agreement.

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SPOUSES FLORENTINO ZARAGOZA and ERLINDA ENRIQUEZ-ZARAGOZA vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ALBERTA ZARAGOZA MORGAN G.R. No. 106401. September 29, 2000 QUISUMBING, J.: FACTS: Flavio Zaragoza Cano was the registered owner of certain parcels of land situated at the Municipalities of Cabatuan, New Lucena and Sta. Barbara, Province of Iloilo. He had four children: Gloria, Zacariaz, Florentino and Alberta, all surnamed Zaragoza. On December 9, 1964, he died instestave, survived by his four children. On December 28, 1981 Alberta Zaragoza-Morgan, filed a complaint against Spouses Florentino and Erlinda for delivery of her inheritance and damages. She alleged that her father, in his lifetime, partitioned the aforecited properties among his four children. The shares of her brothers and sister were given to them in advance by way of deed of sale, but without valid consideration, while her share, which consists of lots no. 871 and 943, was not conveyed by way of deed of sale then. She averred that because of her marriage, she became an American citizen and was prohibited to acquire lands in the Philippines except by hereditary succession. For this reason, no formal deed of conveyance was executed in her favor covering these lots during her father's lifetime. Petitioners, in their Answer, admitted their affinity with private respondent and the allegations on the properties of their father. They, however, denied knowledge of an alleged distribution by way of deeds of sale to them by their father. They said that lot 871 is still registered in their father's name, while lot 943 was sold by him to them for a valuable consideration. They denied knowledge of the alleged intention of their father to convey the cited lots to Alberta, much more, the reason for his failure to do so because she became an American citizen. They denied that there was partitioning of the estate of their father during his lifetime. ISSUE: Whether the partition inter vivos by Flavio Zaragoza Cano of his properties is valid. RULING: Yes, hat a partition inter vivos may be done for as long as legitimes are not prejudiced pursuant to Art. 1080 of the Civil Code is clear on this. The legitime of compulsory heirs is determined after collation, as provided for in Article 1061, Every compulsory heir, who succeeds with other compulsory heirs, must bring into the mass of the estate any property or right which he may have received from the decedent, during the lifetime of the latter, by way of donation, or any other gratuitous title in order that it may be computed in the determination of the legitime of each heir, and in the account of the partition. Unfortunately, collation cannot be done in this case where the original petition for delivery of inheritance share only impleaded one of the other compulsory heirs. The petition must therefore be dismissed without prejudice to the institution of a new proceeding where all the indispensable 438 | P a g e

parties are present for the rightful determination of their respective legitime and if the legitimes were prejudiced by the partitioning inter vivos. RAQUEL CHAVEZ, GERARDO GIMENEZ and MANUELA BUENAVISTA VDA. DE CHAVEZ, vs. HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ANTONIO CHAVEZ, ROSARIO CHAVEZ and CONCEPCION CHAVEZ G.R. No. L-68282 November 8, 1990 GRIO-AQUINO (ponente) FACTS: Manuela Buenavista assigned her paraphernal property in equal pro-diviso among her 6 children, while possession of such property still remains with her. Three of her children sold each their share to private respondent Concepcion, consolidating 4/6 portion thereof. Deeds of sale were therefor executed with the conformity of Manuela. Despite such transfers, the latter sold the entire property to one of the siblings, herein petitioner Raquel Chavez. Respondent sued for the annulment of the later sale to Raquel which was denied by the trail court but which later decision overturned by the Court of Appeals. On appeal, petitioner also contends that their mother has left a last will and this will supercedes the earlier transfers. ISSUE: Whether or not partition inter-vivos and sale based on such partition valid RULING: Yes. When a person makes a partition by will, it is imperative that such partition must be executed in accordance with the provisions of the law on wills; however, when a person makes the partition of his estate by an act inter vivos, such partition may even be oral or written, and need not be in the form of a will, provided that the partition does not prejudice the legitime of compulsory heirs. xxx The Deeds of Sale are not contracts entered into with respect to future inheritance but a contract perfected and consummated during the lifetime of Manuela Buenavista who signed the same and gave her consent thereto. Such partition inter vivos, executed by the property owner herself, is valid. It would be unjust and inequitable to allow Manuela Buenavista Vda. de Chavez to revoke the sales she herself authorized as well as the sale she herself executed in favor of her son only to execute a simulated sale in favor of her daughter Raquel who had already profited from the sale she made of the property she had received in the partition inter vivos.

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RE: Partition and Distribution- Judicial HEIRS OF CESARIO VELASQUEZ vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS and HEIRS OF ANATALIA DE GUZMAN, namely: SANTIAGO MENESES, ANDRES MENESES, FELICIDAD MENESES, and APOLONIO MENESES G.R. No. 126996 February 15, 2000 GONZAGA-REYES, J.: FACTS: Sometime in 1945 and 1947, Spouses Leoncia de Guzman and Cornelio Aquino died intestate. Leoncia was survived by her sisters Anatalia de Guzman and Tranquilina de Guzman. During the marriage, spouses Aquino acquired various real properties. Sometime in 1989, the heirs of Anatalia de Guzman filed a complaint for annulment, partition and damages against the heirs of Cesario Velasquez due to the refusal of the latter to partition the conjugal properties of the Spouses Aquino. The complaint allege that there was an agreement to divide the properties equally between plaintiffs and defendant before the death of Leoncia however defendants forcibly took possession of all the properties after the death of Leoncia. ISSUE: Whether partition is the proper action in the instant case. RULING: No. In actions for partition, the court cannot properly issue an order to divide the property unless it first makes a determination as to the existence of co-ownership. The court must initially settle the issue of ownership, the first stage in an action for partition. Needless to state, an action for partition will not lie if the claimant has no rightful interest over the subject property. In fact, Section 1 of Rule 69 requires the party filing the action to state in his complaint the "nature and the extent of his title" to the real estate. Until and unless the issue of ownership is definitely resolved, it would be premature to effect a partition of the properties. The Court concluded that the action of partition cannot be maintained. The properties sought to be partitioned by private respondents have already been delivered to petitioners and therefore no longer part of the hereditary estate which could be partitioned. After finding that no coownership exist between private respondents the petition find no support.

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RE: Partition and Distribution- When partition prohibited EMILIA FIGURACION-GERILLA vs. CAROLINA VDA. DE FIGURACION,* ELENA FIGURACION-ANCHETA,* HILARIA A. FIGURACION, FELIPA FIGURACIONMANUEL, QUINTIN FIGURACION and MARY FIGURACION-GINEZ G.R. No. 154322 August 22, 2006 CORONA (ponente) FACTS: On August 23, 1955, Leandro executed a deed of quitclaim over his real properties in favor of his six children. When he died in 1958, he left behind two parcels of land in the name of Leandro Figuracion. The dispute arose when a dispute between petitioner and her sister Mary over the Lot 707. Lot 707 belonged to Eulalio Adviento and upon his death his two daughters, Agripina Adviento and Carolina inherited the property. On November 28, 1961, Agripina executed a quitclaim in favor of petitioner over the one-half eastern portion of Lot 707. Agripina died on July 28, 1963, single and without any issue. Before her death, however, Carolina adjudicated unto herself the entire Lot 707 which she later sold to respondents Felipa and Hilaria. In February 1971, petitioner and her family went to the United States where they stayed for ten years. Returning in 1981, she built a house made of strong materials on the eastern half-portion of Lot 707. She continued paying her share of the realty taxes thereon. On May 23, 1994, petitioner filed a complaint for partition, annulment of documents, reconveyance, quieting of title and damages against respondent. On the other hand, respondents took the position that Leandros estate should first undergo settlement proceedings before partition among the heirs could take place. And they claimed that an accounting of expenses chargeable to the estate was necessary for such settlement. ISSUE: Can petitioner compel the partition at the moment of death of the decedaent? RULING: No. Partition is premature when ownership of the lot is still in dispute. In a situation where there remains an issue as to the expenses chargeable to the estate, partition is inappropriate. While petitioner points out that the estate is allegedly without any debt and she and respondents are Leandro Figuracions only legal heirs, she does not dispute the finding of the CA that certain expenses including those related to her fathers final illness and burial have not been properly settled. Thus, the heirs (petitioner and respondents) have to submit their fathers estate to settlement because the determination of these expenses cannot be done in an action for partition. In estate settlement proceedings, there is a proper procedure for the accounting of all expenses for which the estate must answer. If it is any consolation at all to petitioner, the heirs or distributees of the properties may take possession thereof even before the settlement of accounts, as long as they first file a bond conditioned on the payment of the estates obligations. 441 | P a g e

PACIENCIA DE JESUS, FELINA DE JESUS, ELENA DE JESUS and MARIA DE JESUS, plaintiffs-appellants, vs. JUSTINA S. VDA. DE MANGLAPUS, defendant-appellee. G.R. No. L-527, 28 May 1948 TUASON, J.: FACTS: On April 12, 1944, Sixto de Jesus, from himself and as attorney-in-fact of his mother, Natalia Alfonga, signed an instrument promising to sell their "interests and participation" in four parcels of the land belonging to the testate estate of the deceased Gabino de Jesus and "containing a total area of 730,652 square meters. On August 9, 1944, Sixto de Jesus and Natalia Alfonga executed "a deed of absolute sale" of two of these parcels, then already allotted to them as their shares in a plan of partition agreed upon among Gabino's heirs; and at the time of the absolute sale the plan of partition had been submitted to the court for approval, and it was approved on September 4, 1945. The burden of appellants argument is that before the partition was approved Sixto de Jesus' and his mother's shares, lots Nos. 1292 and 1394, continued to be rights, interest and participation in the estate subject to the right of repurchase by the other heirs under article 1067 of the Civil Code. They contend that the sale of these two parcels was a sale of right and interests. That Sixto de Jesus and Natalia Alfonga sold their rights, interests and participation in the said Testate Estate of the late Gavino de Jesus (before the partition of the Estate), particularly, the two parcels of land covered by O.C.T. Nos. 1292 and 1344 issued by the office of the register of deeds of the Province of Batangas and referred to and described in the original complaint, to the herein defendant, Justina S. Vda. deManglapus, for the sum of P106,997.87, in Japanese War Notes. That the plaintiffs only learned of the sale of the aforesaid rights, interests and participation of Sixto de Jesus and Natalia Alfonga on September 4, 1945; and that upon learning thereof, the plaintiffs demanded upon the defendant Justina S. Vda. deManglapus, within the period provided for by law, to be subrogated to the rights, interests and participation purchased by said Justina S. Vda. deManglapus from Sixto de Jesus and Natalia Alfonga; but said defendant refused and continues refusing the demands of the herein plaintiffs for subrogation. ISSUE: Whether the conveyance made is in accordance with Art. 1067 of the Civil Code. RULING: No. The allegation that the property in question consists of rights and interests of the vendors in the estate is a conclusion of the general import. It is, the Court thinks, a mistake to suppose that the insertion of this allegation brings the case within the provision of article 1067. A conveyance by a tenant in common property marked out by metes and bounds in a partition does not operate, contrary to the expressed declarations and intention of the parties, to convey an 442 | P a g e

estate in common instead on an estate in severalty. A general conclusion and allegation cannot overcome the outstanding facts that the subject matter of the sale were two parcels of land which has been segregated from the mass of property as the vendors' shares. In the face of this facts the words "rights and interests" cannot be considered more than as a description or statement of the source of the sellers' title to the two lots conveyed. After all, rights and interests have a broad signification, and rights and interests in an hereditary estate may mean separate as well as undivided shares therein. In the second assignment of error, the appellants object to the defendants' statement in this motion to dismiss, "that the deed of absolute sale was consummated or confirmed by the lower court on September 4, 1945." It is said that this statement is not in the complaint and "was imported by them (defendants) from the probate proceedings." It is alleged that the court below made use this circumstances as a basis for dismissing the action. This error, if error it be, however does not vitiate the general conclusion at which we have arrived, based alone on the fact that a partition had been made and that the lost sold by Sixto de Jesus and his mother specific parts of the estate adjudicated to them in the agreement.

The allegation that the property in question consists of rights and interests of the vendors in the estate is a conclusion of the general import. It is, we think, a mistake to suppose that the insertion of this allegation brings the case within the provision of article 1067. A conveyance by a tenant in common property marked out by metes and bounds in a partition does not operate, contrary to the expressed declarations and intention of the parties, to convey an estate in common instead on an estate in severalty. A general conclusion and allegation can not overcome the outstanding facts that the subject matter of the sale was two parcels of land which has been segregated from the mass of property as the vendors' shares. In the face of these facts the words "rights and interests" can not be considered more than as a description or statement of the source of the sellers' title to the two lots conveyed. After all, rights and interests have a broad signification, and rights and interests in a hereditary estate may mean separate as well as undivided shares therein.

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ZOSIMA VERDAD, petitioner, vs. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS, SOCORRO C. ROSALES, AURORA ROSALES, NAPOLEON ROSALES, ANTONIO ROSALES, FLORENDA ROSALES, ELENA ROSALES AND VIRGINIA ROSALES, respondents.

G.R. No. 109972 April 29, 1996 VITUG, J.: FACTS: Private respondent, Socorro Cordero Vda. de Rosales, seeks to exercise a right of legal redemption over the subject property against petitioner Verdad who bought a residential lot from the late Macaria Artega whom the former her traces title the latter being her mother-in-law, who died intestate. At the time of her own death, Macaria was survived by her son Ramon A. Burdeos and her grandchild (by her daughter Felicidad A. Burdeos) Estela Lozada of the first marriage and her children of the second marriage, namely, David Rosales, Justo Rosales, Romulo Rosales, and Aurora Rosales. Socorro Rosales is the widow of David Rosales who himself, some time after Macaria's death, died intestate without an issue. In an instrument, dated 14 June 1982, the heirs of Ramon Burdeos, namely, his widow Manuela Legaspi Burdeos and children Felicidad and Ramon, Jr., sold to petitioner Zosima Verdad (their interest on) the disputed lot supposedly for the price of P55,460.00. Upon learning of the sale, Socorro tendered the amount of Php 23,000 to redeem the property. Petitioner,however, refused to accept alleging that the current value at Php 80,000 should be paid instead of the offered payment. There was failure to reconcile so it was submitted to the courts for decision. The trial court dismissed on account of prescription. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the RTC and recognized the right of private respondent to redeem the property. Petitioner averred that Socorro Rosales has no right to redeem the inheritance right she being merely the wife of the decedents son. ISSUE: Whether or not private respondent is entitled to right of redemption of the inheritance right RULING: The SC ruled that Socorro can. It is true that respondent, a daughter-in-law (or, for that matter, a mere relative by affinity), is not an intestate heir of her parents-in-law; 3 however, Socorro's right to the property is not because she rightfully can claim heirship in Macaria's estate but that she is a legal heir of her husband, David Rosales, part of whose estate is a share in his mother's inheritance. David Rosales, irrefutably, survived his mother's death. When Macaria died on 08 March 1956 her estate passed on to her surviving children, among them David Rosales, who thereupon became co-owners of the property. When David Rosales himself later died, his own estate, which 444 | P a g e

included his undivided interest over the property inherited from Macaria, passed on to his widow Socorro and her co-heirs pursuant to the law on succession. On the other hand, Art. 1620. A coowner of a thing may exercise the right of redemption in case the shares of all the other coowners or of any of them, are sold to a third person. If the price of the alienation is grossly excessive, the redemptioner shall pay only a reasonable one. Thus , Socorro may redeem the property sold to third persons by her co-heirs. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED and the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

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FRANCISCO GARCIA, PAZ GARCIA, and MARIA GARCIA, petitioners, vs. JOSE CALALIMAN, PACIENCIA TRABADILLO & HON. COURT OF APPEALS, Third Division, respondents. G.R. No. L-26855 April 17, 1989 SECOND DIVISION PARAS, J.: FACTS: On February 11, 1946, one Gelacio Garcia died intestate, leaving a parcel of unregistered land about 372 sq. meters, situated in the Municipality of Tubungan, Province of Iloilo (Exhibits, p. 19). On his death the property was inherited by his nephews, nieces, grandnephews who are the descendants of his late brothers, Pedro, Simeon, Buenaventura and Marcos. Thus, an extra-judicial partition was executed by the said heirs. Some of the heirs sold their interests in the land to Spouses Calaliman. The other heirs, the herein petitioners, filed against the spouses Calaliman for legal redemption of the 3/4 portion of the parcel of land sold to them. The RTC ruled in the plaintiffs favor. CA reversed the lower courts ruling and dismissed the petition due to plaintiffs failure to exercise their right of redemption on the prescribed period. ISSUE: whether or not the plaintiff failed to exercise their right to redeem within the period prescribed by law RULING: No. In the case at bar, the petitioners were not served notice of the sale by the private respondents. The latters contention that registration in the Register of Deeds is a sufficient notice for the plaintiffs is flawed. Article 1088 of the Civil Code explicitly provides that the notice must be in writing and thus may not be impliedly presumed to have been satisfied by the registration of the Deed with the Register of deed. PREMISES CONSIDERED, the decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED and the decision of the trial court is REINSTATED with the modification that petitioners be awarded damages, attorney's fees and costs in the amount prayed for. SO ORDERED.

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JOSEFA CH. MAESTRADO, as substituted by her daughter LOURDES MAESTRADOLAVIA and CARMEN CH. ABAYA, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, Ninth Division and JESUS C. ROA, JR., RAMON P. CHAVES and NATIVIDAD S. SANTOS, respondents. xl-aw [G.R. No. 133345. March 9, 2000] JOSEFA CHAVEZ MAESTRADO and CARMEN CHAVES ABAYA, petitioners, vs. JESUS C. ROA, JR., RAMON P. CHAVES and NATIVIDAD S. SANTOS, respondents. xsc G.R. No. 133324. March 9, 2000 DE LEON, JR., J.: FACTS: Spouses Ramon and Rosario Chaves died intestate in 1943 and 1944 respectively. They were survived by the following heirs, namely: Carmen Chaves-Abaya, Josefa ChavesMaestrado, Angel Chaves, Amparo Chaves-Roa, Concepcion Chaves-Sanvictores and Salvador Chaves. In A partition was agreed upon under the administration of Angel Chaves. At the time of the actual partition, Salvador Chaves had already died. His share was given to his only son, Ramon. Subsequent to the partition, Concepcion sold her share to Angel, while Ramon sold his share to Amparo. Hence, one-half (1/2) of Lot No. 3046 went to Angel and the other half to Amparo. ISSUE: Whether or not there was a valid oral partition RULING: The most persuasive circumstance pointing to the existence of the oral partition is the fact that the terms of the actual partition and distribution of the estate are identical to the sharing scheme in the oral partition. No one among the heirs disturbed this status quo for a period of twenty-seven (27) years. Since the oral partition has been duly established, the notarized quitclaims confirmed such prior oral agreement as well as the petitioners title of ownership over the subject Lot No. 5872. More importantly, independent of such oral partition, the quitclaims in the instant case are valid contracts of waiver of property rights

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VERONA PADA-KILARIO and RICARDO KILARIO, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and SILVERIO PADA, respondents. G.R. No. 134329 DE LEON, JR., J.: FACTS: Jacinto Pada had six children, namely, Marciano, Ananias, Amador, Higino, Valentina and Ruperta. He died intestate. His estate included a parcel of land of residential and coconut land in Leyte, denominated as Cadastral Lot No. 5581 with an area of 1,301.92 square meters. It is the northern portion of Cadastral Lot No. 5581 which is the subject of the instant controversy. During the lifetime of Jacinto Pada, his half-brother, Feliciano Pada, obtained permission from him to build a house on the northern portion of Cadastral Lot No. 5581. Sometime in May, 1951, the heirs of Jacinto Pada entered into an extra-judicial partition of his estate. For this purpose, they executed a private document which they, however, never registered in the Office of the Registrar of Deeds of Leyte. On February 12, 1996, petitioner spouses averred that the northern portion of Cadastral Lot No. 5581 had already been donated to them by the heirs of Amador Pada. They contended that the extra-judicial partition of the estate of Jacinto Pada executed in 1951 was invalid and ineffectual since no special power of attorney was executed by Marciano, Amador or Higino in favor of their respective children who represented them in the extra-judicial partition. Moreover, it was effectuated only through a private document that was never registered in the office of the Registrar of Deeds of Leyte. ISSUE: What are the effects of the extrajudicial partition executed in 1951 RULING: The extrajudicial partition of the estate of Jacinto Pada among his heirs made in 1951 is valid, albeit executed in an unregistered private document. No law requires partition among heirs to be in writing and be registered in order to be valid. The requirement in Sec. 1, Rule 74 of the Revised Rules of Court that a partition be put in a public document and registered, has for its purpose the protection of creditors and the heirs themselves against tardy claims. The object of registration is to serve as constructive notice to others. It follows then that the intrinsic validity of partition not executed with the prescribed formalities is not undermined when no creditors are involved. Without creditors to take into consideration, it is competent for the heirs of an estate to enter into an agreement for distribution thereof in a manner and upon a plan different from those provided by the rules from which, in the first place, nothing can be inferred that a writing or other formality is essential for the partition to be valid. The partition of inherited property need not be embodied in a public document so as to be effective as regards the heirs that participated therein. January 19, 2000

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Moreso, the extrajudicial partition which the heirs of Jacinto Pada executed voluntarily and spontaneously in 1951 has produced a legal status. When they discussed and agreed on the division of the estate Jacinto Pada, it is presumed that they did so in furtherance of their mutual interests. As such, their division is conclusive, unless and until it is shown that there were debts existing against the estate which had not been paid. No showing, however, has been made of any unpaid charges against the estate of Jacinto Pada. Thus, there is no reason why the heirs should not be bound by their voluntary acts.

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MAURICIA ALEJANDRINO, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, HON. BENIGNO G. GAVIOLA, RTC-9, CEBU CITY, and LICERIO P. NIQUE, respondents. G.R. No. 114151 September 17, 1998 ROMERO, J.: FACTS: KKLThe late spouses Jacinto Alejandrino and Enrica Labunos left their six children a 219-square-meter lot in Cebu City. Upon the demise of the Alejandrino spouses, the property should have been divided among their children with each child having a share of 36.50 square meters. However, the estate of the Alejandrino spouses was not settled in accordance with the procedure outlined in the Rules of Court. Petitioner Mauricia (one of the children) allegedly purchased 12.17 square meters of Gregorios share, 36.50 square meters of Ciriacos share and 12.17 square meters of Abundios share thereby giving her a total area of 97.43 square meters, including her own share of 36.50 square meters. It turned out, however, that a third party named Licerio Nique, the private respondent in this case, also purchased portions of the property, to wit: 36.50 square meters from Laurencia, 36.50 square meters from Gregorio "through Laurencia," 12.17 square meters from Abundio also "through Laurencia" and 36.50 square meters from Marcelino or a total area of 121.67 square meters of the Alejandrino property. However, Laurencia, the alleged seller of most of the 121.67 square meters of the property, later questioned the sale in an action for quieting of title and damages against private respondent Nique. ISSUE: What is the effect of the execution of extrajudicial settlement of estate as between the parties in the case at bar? RULING: The execution of the deed of extrajudicial settlement of the estate reflected the intention of both Laurencia and petitioner Mauricia to physically divide the property. Both of them had acquired the shares of their brothers and therefore it was only the two of them that needed to settle the estate. The fact that the document was not notarized is no hindrance to its effectivity as regards the two of them. The partition of inherited property need not be embodied in a public document. The deed of extrajudicial settlement executed by Mauricia and Laurencia evidence their intention to partition the property. It delineates what portion of the property belongs to each other. That it was not notarized is immaterial. It appears that when a co-owner sells his inchoate right in the co-ownership, he expresses his intention to "put an end to indivision among his co-heirs." Partition among co-owners may thus be evidenced by the overt act of a co-owner of renouncing his right over the property regardless of the form it takes. In effect, Laurencia expressed her intention to terminate the co-owner by selling her share to private respondent. 450 | P a g e

Under the circumstances of this case, the ultimate issue that needs determination is whether or not as an heir of the Alejandrino property, Laurencia may validly sell specific portions thereof to a third party. Art. 1078 of the Civil Code provides that where there are two or more heirs, the whole estate of the decedent is, before partition, owned in common by such heirs, subject to the payment of the debts of the deceased. Under a co-ownership, the ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to different persons. Each co-owner of property which is held pro indiviso exercises his rights over the whole property and may use and enjoy the same with no other limitation than that he shall not injure the interests of his co-owners. The underlying rationale is that until a division is made, the respective share of each cannot be determined and every co-owner exercises, together with his co-participants, joint ownership over the pro indiviso property, in addition to his use and enjoyment of the same. Although the right of an heir over the property of the decedent is inchoate as long as the estate has not been fully settled and partitioned, the law allows a co-owner to exercise rights of ownership over such inchoate right. Thus, the Civil Code provides: Art. 493. Each co-owner shall have the full ownership of his part and of the fruits and benefits pertaining thereto, and he may therefore alienate, assign or mortgage it, and even substitute another person in its enjoyment, except when personal rights are involved. But the effect of the alienation or the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners, shall be limited to the portion which may be allotted to him in the division upon the termination of the co-ownership. With respect to properties shared in common by virtue of inheritance, alienation of a pro indivisoportion thereof is specifically governed by Article 1088 that provides: Art. 1088. Should any of the heirs sell his hereditary rights to a stranger before the partition, any or all of the co-heirs may be subrogated to the rights of the purchaser by reimbursing him for the price of the sale, provided they do so within the period of one month from the time they were notified in writing of the sale by the vendor. In the instant case, Laurencia was within her hereditary rights in selling her pro indivisoshare in Lot No. 2798. However, because the property had not yet been partitioned in accordance with the Rules of Court, no particular portion of the property could be identified as yet and delineated as the object of the sale. Thus, interpreting Article 493 of the Civil Code providing that an alienation of a co-owned property "shall be limited to the portion which may be allotted to (the seller) in the division upon the termination of the co-ownership.

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EUSEBIO QUIZON and FLORDELIZA QUIZON, petitioners, vs. MODESTO CASTILLO, Judge of First Instance of Batangas, ET AL., respondents.

G.R. No. 49286 PERFECTO, J.:

August 16, 1947

FACTS: DD Petitioners Eusebio Quizon and Flordeliza Quizon seek the annulment of the two order of the CFI of Batangas. The second order issued on August 18, 1944, amended the first one issued on June 26, 1944 to the effect that petitioners should deliver 2/3 of the estate to Josefa Mayo Villapando, and Amando, Ciriaco, David and Jose Morada, unless they file a bond in the amount of P2,000, pending the decision of the Supreme Court. Petitioner filed a petition to the court to approve the appeal bond of P60. Respondent judge fixed the appeal bond at P2,000. On appeal, the SC declared the said bond excessive and arbitrary. May 9, Josefa filed a motion for execution upon the ground that the appeal bond at P2,000 having been rejected, her share in the fruits of the estate was left without guarantee. Respondent judge Issued an order on July 26. On August 2, the Morada brothers filed a motion to amend the order of July 26. The court rendered a decision on August 18. The petitioners complained that the orders of July 26 and August 18 were sought to execute the dispositive part of the decision of October 25, 1943. ISSUE: Whether a courts decision declaring the heirs and their respective shares would now warrant the delivery of such shares even before the filing and approval of a project of partition. RULING: No. As the decision of October 25, 1943, provided only for the declaration of heirs and of the shares each set of heirs was entitled to, and nothing was provided therein as to the delivery of shares from one person to another, the respondent judge acted in excess of his jurisdiction in ordering the execution of said decision by directing the delivery of said shares to the heirs. No law nor legal authority has been mentioned in respondent's answer in support of said orders and none can be cited. The decision of October 25, 1943, provided only for the declaration of heirs and of the shares each set of heirs was entitled to. Nothing was provided in said decision as to the delivery of shares from one person to another. The orders of July 26, and August 18, provided for the execution of something supposed to be executed by the decision of October 25, 1943, which in fact is not provided therein. Besides, it was premature to order the delivery of shares to the heirs, when no project of partition has as yet been filed or approved. On July 3, the respondent judge issued an order setting for July 18 the hearings on the motion for execution, on the amended record on appeal and on the motion for reconsideration. On July 14, petitioners filed their opposition to the motion for execution alleging, among other reasons, that the lower court had no power or authority to order the execution during the time for perfecting the appeal and that said decision, being declaratory in nature could not be executed. On August 452 | P a g e

2, the Morada brothers presented a motion to amend the order of July 26, which was opposed to by petitioners because, being in reality a motion for execution, it was filed days after the amended record on appeal was approved on July 31, and that the presentation of said motion was in violation of section 2 of Rule 39. The facts in this case show that the respondent judge acted in excess of its jurisdiction when he issued the orders of July 26 and August 18, 1944. Said orders, purportedly to execute the decision of October 25, 1943, provided for the delivery, at first, of one-third of the estate to Josefa Mayo and later of two-thirds of the estate to Josefa Mayo and to the Morada brothers, unless petitioners should file bond in the amount of P2,000. Neither law nor legal authority has been mentioned in respondent's answer in support of said orders and none can be cited. The decision of October 25, 1943, provided only for the declaration of heirs and of the shares each set of heirs was entitled to. Nothing was provided in said decision as to the delivery of shares from one person to another. The orders of July 26, and August 18, provided for the execution of something supposed to be executed by the decision of October 25, 1943, which in fact is not provided therein. Besides, it was premature to order the delivery of shares to the heirs, when no project of partition has as yet been filed and approved.

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CRESENCIA HERNANDEZ, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ZACARIAS ANDAL, defendant-appellant. QUIRINO DIMASACAT, MARIA HERNANDEZ and AQUILINA HERNANDEZ, intervenors-appellants. G.R. No. L-273 TUASON, J.: FACTS: Plaintiff Cresencia, intervenors Maria and Aquilina, and Pedro and Basilia are brother and sisters who acquired in common by descent from their father a parcel of land known as lot no. 120073 in Batangas. The intervenors sold 1800 square meters of this parcel to Zacarias Andal, the defendant, and Andal's wife in consideration of P860. This portion purports to be the combined shares of the intervenors in the larger parcel, allotted to them in a verbal partition alleged to have been made (time not stated) among the five brother and sisters. After the sale, the plaintiff attempted to repurchase the land sold to Andal but Andal, it is alleged, refused to part with the property. He instead resold the land to the intervenors. The lower court ruled that the resale of the land by Zacarias Andal in favor of Maria and Aquilina Hernandez was illegal and in bad faith. On January 23, 1944, the intervenors sold 1800 square meters of this parcel, a portion which is particularly described in the deed of conveyance Exhibit A, to ZacariasAndal, the defendant, and Andal's wife in consideration of P860. This portion purports to be the combined shares of the intervenors in the larger parcel, allotted to them in a verbal partition alleged to have been made (time not stated) among the five brother and sisters. After the sale, on a date as to which the evidence is in disagreement but which is not now important, the plaintiff attempted to repurchase the land sold to Andal. According to her original complaint, dated February 3, 1944, she offered the purchasers P150 as price of repurchase, this being, according to that complaint, the amount Andal had paid for Maria Hernandez's and Aquilina Hernandez's shares, but Andal, it is alleged, refused to part with the property. On April 8, the plaintiff filed a supplemental complaint. She alleged that when the cause was called for trial on March 8, she announced in open court that she was willing to repurchase her sister's share from Andal for P860 and reimburse Andal for his expense; that Andal asked for continuance until the 29th stating that he had made other expenses; that on 29th she brought P860 to repurchase the land in question but the case was again postponed because the plaintiff's sisters had intervened; and that meanwhile, on the 26th, Andal resold the land fictitiously to the vendors for P970. March 29, 1947

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ISSUE: Whether the partition was valid despite being not in public instrument. RULING: Yes. As a general proposition, transactions, so far as they affect the parties, are required to be reduced to writing either as a condition of jural validity or as a means of providing evidence to prove the transactions. However, Section 1 of Rule 74 contains no such express or clear declaration that the required public instruments is to be constitutive of a contract of partition or an inherent element of its effectiveness as between the parties. The requirement that a partition be put in a public document and registered has, in the Courts opinion, for its purpose the protection of creditors and at the same time the protection of the heirs themselves against tardy claims. The object of registration is to serve as constructive notice, and this means notice to others. It must follow that the intrinsic validity of partition not executed with the prescribed formalities does not come into play when, as in this case, there are no creditors or the rights of creditors are not affected. No rights of creditors being involved, it is competent for the heirs of an estate to enter into an agreement for distribution in a manner and upon a plan different from those provided by law. The requirement that a partition be put in a public document and registered has, in our opinion, for its purpose the protection of creditors and at the same time the protection of the heirs themselves against tardy claims. Note that the last sentence of the section speaks of debts and creditors. The object of registration is to serve as constructive notice, and this means notice to others. It must follow that the intrinsic validity of partition not executed with the prescribed formalities does not come into play when, as in this case, there are no creditors or the rights of creditors are not affected. No rights of creditors being involved, it is competent for the heirs of an estate to enter into an agreement for distribution in a manner and upon a plan different from those provided by law.

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GREGORIO FAVOR, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, PRUDENCIO FAVOR HEIRS: EUFEMIO FAVOR and AGUSTIN FAVOR, respondents. G.R. No. 80821 February 21, 1991 CRUZ, J.: FACTS: Regino Favor died intestate leaving behind three sons. However, one of them died single without issue thus leaving two heirs Gregorio and Prudencio. Gregorio filed a complaint for partition against Prudencio and for the delivery of his inheritance. Private respondent moved to dismiss on the ground that partition of their fathers estate between them has been concluded after their settlement in a Compromise Agreement acknowledged before a justice of peace. Plaintiff assails the validity of the Compromise Agreement as a mode of partition of the estate of their late father.. ISSUE: whether or not the COmpromise Agreement is binding as a means of partition between the parties. RULING: Yes. Under Article 1082 of the Civil Code, it categorically provides that: Every act which is intended to put an end to in division among co-heirs and legatees or devisees is deemed to be a partition, although it should purport to be a sale, an exchange, a compromise, or any other transaction. As for its validity, the Supreme Court agree with the respondent court that the Compromise Agreement must be upheld, the challenge to it not having been substantiated. A public instrument enjoys the presumption of validity that has not been overcome by the petitioner in this case with the full, clear and convincing evidence we have consistently required in similar cases. 2 The document appears to have been duly notarized, and by the then justice of the peace, and ex officio notary public, of the town where it was executed. WHEREFORE, Civil Case No. 5391 is remanded to the Regional Trial Court of Negros Oriental, Branch 41, for the partition, in accordance with Rule 69 of the Rules of Court, of the parcels of land mentioned in Paragraph 2, sub-paragraphs (c) and (e) of the complaint. The rest of the challenged decision is AFFIRMED, with costs to be shared by the petitioner and the private respondents.

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EUGENIO FELICIANO, substituted by his wife CEFERINA DE PALMA- FELICIANO, ANGELINA DE LEON, representing the heirs of ESTEBAN FELICIANO, TRINIDAD VALIENTE, AND BASILIA TRINIDAD, represented by her son DOMINADOR T. FELICIANO, Petitioners, - versus PEDRO CANOZA, DELIA FELICIANO,ROSAURO FELICIANO, ELSA FELICIANO AND PONCIANO FELICIANO, Respondents. G.R. No. 161746 September 1, 2010

FACTS:

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BALUS VS. BALUS G. R. No. 168970, 15 january 2010 FACTS: Petitioner and respondents are the children of the spouses Rufo and Sebastiana Balus. Sebastiana died on September 6, 1978, while Rufo died on July 6, 1984. On January 3, 1979, Rufo mortgaged a parcel of land, which he owns, as security for a loan he obtained from the Rural Bank of Maigo, Lanao del Norte (Bank). Rufo failed to pay his loan. As a result, the mortgaged property was foreclosed and was subsequently sold to the Bank as the sole bidder at a public auction held for that purpose. On October 10, 1989, herein petitioner and respondents executed an Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate adjudicating to each of them a specific one-third portion of the subject property consisting of 10,246 square meters. The Extrajudicial Settlement also contained provisions wherein the parties admitted knowledge of the fact that their father mortgaged the subject property to the Bank and that they intended to redeem the same at the soonest possible time. Three years after the execution of the Extrajudicial Settlement, herein respondents bought the subject property from the Bank. On October 12, 1992, a Deed of Sale of Registered Land was executed by the Bank in favor of respondents. Subsequently, TCT was issued in the name of respondents. Meanwhile, petitioner continued possession of the subject lot. ISSUE: Whether co-ownership by petitioner and respondents over the subject property persisted even after the lot was purchased by the Bank and title thereto transferred to its name, and even after it was eventually bought back by the respondents from the Bank. RULING: No.The rights to a person's succession are transmitted from the moment of his death. In addition, the inheritance of a person consists of the property and transmissible rights and obligations existing at the time of his death, as well as those which have accrued thereto since the opening of the succession. In the present case, since Rufo lost ownership of the subject property during his lifetime, it only follows that at the time of his death, the disputed parcel of land no longer formed part of his estate to which his heirs may lay claim. Stated differently, petitioner and respondents never inherited the subject lot from their father. Petitioner and respondents, therefore, were wrong in assuming that they became coowners of the subject lot. Thus, any issue arising from the supposed right of petitioner as coowner of the contested parcel of land is negated by the fact that, in the eyes of the law, the disputed lot did not pass into the hands of petitioner and respondents as compulsory heirs of Rufo at any given point in time. In the first place, as earlier discussed, there is no co-ownership to talk about and no property to partition, as the disputed lot never formed part of the estate of their deceased father. Furthermore, petitioner's contention that he and his siblings intended to continue their supposed co-ownership of the subject property contradicts the provisions of the subject Extrajudicial Settlement where they clearly manifested their intention of having the subject property divided or partitioned by assigning to each of the petitioner and respondents a specific 1/3 portion of the same. Partition calls for the segregation and conveyance of a determinate portion of the property owned in common. It seeks a severance of the individual interests of each co-owner, vesting in each of them a sole estate in a specific property and giving each one a right to enjoy his estate 458 | P a g e

without supervision or interference from the other. In other words, the purpose of partition is to put an end to co-ownership, an objective which negates petitioner's claims in the present case.

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RE: Partition and Distribution- Nullity and Rescission Non vs. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 137287, 15 February 2000 FACTS: Spouses Julian and Virginia Viado owned several pieces of property, among them a house and lot located in Quezon City. When their parents died, petitioners and respondents, children of the spouses, shared, since 1977, a common residence at the Quezon City property. Soon, however, tension would appear to have escalated between petitioner Rebecca and respondent Alicia after the former had asked that the property be equally divided between the two families to make room for the growing children. Respondents, forthwith, claimed absolute ownership over the entire property and demanded that petitioners vacate the portion occupied by the latter. Hence, petitioners, asserting co-ownership over the property in question, filed a case for partition. Respondents predicated their claim of absolute ownership over the subject property on two documents a deed of donation executed by the late Julian covering his one-half conjugal share of the property. Petitioners, in their action for partition, attacked the validity of the foregoing instruments, contending, among others, that the exclusion of her retardate sister, Delia, in the extrajudicial settlement, resulted in the latter's preterition that should warrant its annulment. ISSUE: Whether there was preterition in the partition which would warrant its rescission. RULING: No. The fact alone that the two deeds were registered five years after the date of their execution did not adversely affect their validity nor would such circumstance alone be indicative of fraud. The registration of the documents was a ministerial act and merely created a constructive notice of its contents against all third persons. Among the parties, the instruments remained completely valid and binding. The exclusion of petitioner Delia Viado, alleged to be a retardate, from the deed of extrajudicial settlement verily has had the effect of preterition. This kind of preterition, however, in the absence of proof of fraud and bad faith, does not justify a collateral attack on Transfer Certificate of Title No. 373646. The relief instead rests on Article 1104 of the Civil Code to the effect that where the preterition is not attended by bad faith and fraud, the partition shall not be rescinded but the preterited heir shall be paid the value of the share pertaining to her.

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