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In the matter of the petition for the probate of the last will and testament of Enrique S.

Lopez, Richard B. Lopez, petitioner v. Diana Jeanne Lopez, Marybeth De Leon and
Victoria Li Tuazon, respondents

G.R. No. 189984 November 12, 2012 SECOND DIVISION

Perlas-Bernabe J.:

FACTS:
Enrique Lopez executed a will on August 10, 1996, and thereafter died on June 21,
1999, leaving his wife Wendy Lopez, and their four legitimate children, Richard Lopez
petitioner herein, Diana Lopez, Marybeth Lopez, and Victoria Lopez respondents herein,
all heirs in the estate left by the testator. In the contested will, Richard Lopez was
designated as the executor of the estate.
On September 27, 1999, Richard presented the will for probate in the RTC of Manila.
Marybeth opposed and said opposition was adopted by the other heirs. Oppositors claim
inter alia, that the will was not executed and attested as required by law and was procured
by undue influence. After due hearing, the RTC disallowed the will for failure to comply
with Article 805 of the NCC requiring a correct statement of the number of pages upon
which the will was written in the attestation clause. Said RTC decision observed that the
acknowledgment portion stated that the will consists of 7 pages including the page on
which the ratification and acknowledgment are written but the actual total number of the
pages is 8, including the acknowledgment portion. Richard then filed with the CA an appeal
but in vain for which the latter court affirmed the decision of the RTC, hence the present
petition.

ISSUE:
Whether the failure in stating the correct number of pages in the attestation clause renders
the disallowance of the will.

RULING:
Yes. Article 805 of the NCC clearly provides:
x x x
x x x
The attestation shall state the number of pages used upon which the will was written,
and the fact that the testator signed the will and every page thereof, or caused some other
person to write his name, under his express direction, in the presence of the instrumental
witnesses, and that the latter witnessed and signed the will and all the pages thereof in the
presence of the testator and of one another.
x x x
The SC held that the law is clear that the attestation must state the number of pages
used upon which the will is written. The purpose of the law is to safeguard against possible
interpolation or omission of one or some of its pages and prevent any increase or decrease
in the pages.
It can also be noted that the provision is strictly observed due to the qualifying word
shall indicating its mandatory character.