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G.R. No.

L-18753

March 26, 1965

VICENTE B. TEOTICO, petitioner-appellant,


vs.
ANA DEL VAL, ETC., oppositor-appellant.
Antonio Gonzales for petitioner-appellant.
J.C. Zulueta, G. D. David and N. J. Quisumbing for oppositor-appellant.
BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.:
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.
On July 17, 1955, Vicente B. Teotico filed a petition for the probate of the will before the Court of
First Instance of Manila which was set for hearing on September 3, 1955 after the requisite
publication and service to all parties concerned.

Ana del Val Chan, claiming to be an adopted child of Francisca Mortera, a deceased sister of the
testatrix, as well as an acknowledged natural child of Jose Mortera, a deceased brother of the same
testatrix, filed on September 2, 1955 an opposition to the probate of the will alleging the following
grounds: (1) said will was not executed as required by law; (2) the testatrix was physically and
mentally incapable to execute the will at the time of its execution; and (3) the will was executed
under duress, threat or influence of fear.
Vicente B. Teotico, filed a motion to dismiss the opposition alleging that the oppositor had no legal
personality to intervene. The probate court, after due hearing, allowed the oppositor to intervene as
an adopted child of Francisca Mortera, and on June 17, 1959, the oppositor amended her opposition
by alleging, the additional ground that the will is inoperative as to the share of Dr. Rene Teotico
because the latter was the physician who took care of the testatrix during her last illness.
After the parties had presented their evidence, the probate court rendered its decision on November
10, 1960, admitting the will to probate but declaring the disposition made in favor of Dr. Rene Teotico
void with the statement that the portion to be vacated by the annulment should pass to the testatrix's
heirs by way of intestate succession.
Petitioner Teotico, together with the universal heir Josefina Mortera, filed a motion for
reconsideration of that part of the decision which declares the portion of the estate to be vacated by
the nullity of the legacy made to Dr. Rene Teotico as passing to the legal heirs, while the oppositor
filed also a motion for reconsideration of the portion of the judgment which decrees the probate of
the will. On his part, Dr. Rene Teotico requested leave to intervene and to file a motion for
reconsideration with regard to that portion of the decision which nullified the legacy made in his
favor.
The motions for reconsideration above adverted to having been denied, both petitioner and
oppositor appealed from the decision, the former from that portion which nullifies the legacy in favor
of Dr. Rene Teotico and declares the vacated portion as subject of succession in favor of the legal
heirs, and the latter from that portion which admits the will to probate. And in this instance both
petitioner and oppositor assign several errors which, stripped of non-essentials, may be boiled down
to the following: (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?
These issues will be discussed separately.

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 be benefited by
the estate such as an heir or one who has a claim against the estate like a creditor (Idem). On the
other hand, in Saguinsin v. Lindayag, et al., L-17750, December 17, 1962, this Court said:
According to Section 2, Rule 80 of the Rules of Court, a petition for letters of administration
must be filed by an "interested person." An interested party has been defined in this
connection as one who would be benefited by the estate, such as an heir, or one who has a
claim against the estate, such as a creditor (Intestate Estate of Julio Magbanwa 40 O.G.
1171). And it is well settled in this jurisdiction that in civil actions as well as special
proceedings, the interest required in order that a person may be a party thereto must be
material and direct, and not merely indirect or contingent (Trillana vs. Crisostomo, G.R. No.
L-3370, August 22, 1951; Rapinosa vs. Barrion, 70 Phil. 311).
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.

1wph1.t

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. Thus, Article 992 of our Civil Code provides: "An illegitimate child has no right to

inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; ... ." And the
philosophy behind this provision is well expressed in Grey v. Fabie, 68 Phil. 128, as follows:
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. On this, article 943 is based upon the reality of the facts and upon the
presumption will of the interested parties; 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, 3d., p. 110.)
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. As a consequence, the adopted is
an heir of the adopter but not of the relatives of the adopter.
The relationship established by the adoption, however, is limited to the adopting parent, and
does not extend to his other relatives, except as expressly provided by law. Thus, the
adopted child cannot be considered as a relative of the ascendants and collaterals of the
adopting parents, nor of the legitimate children which they may have after the adoption,
except that the law imposes certain impediments to marriage by reason of adoption. Neither
are the children of the adopted considered as descendants of the adopter. The relationship
created is exclusively between the adopter and the adopted, and does not extend to the
relatives of either. (Tolentino, Civil Code of the Philippines, Vol. 1, p. 652).
Relationship by adoption is limited to adopter and adopted, and does not extend to other
members of the family of either; but the adopted is prohibited to marry the children of the
adopter to avoid scandal. (An Outline of Philippine Civil Law by Justice Jose B. L. Reyes and
Ricardo C. Puno, Vol. 1, p. 313; See also Caguioa, Comments and Cases on Civil Law 1955,
Vol 1, pp. 312-313; Paras, Civil Code of the Philippines, 1959 ed., Vol. 1, p. 515)

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.
The claim that the will was not properly attested to is contradicted by the evidence of record. In this
respect it is fit that we state briefly the declarations of the instrumental witnesses.
Pilar Borja testified that the testatrix was in perfect state of health at the time she executed the will
for she carried her conversation with her intelligently; that the testatrix signed immediately above the
attestation clause and on each and every page thereof at the left-hand margin in the presence of the
three instrumental witnesses and the notary public; that it was the testatrix herself who asked her
and the other witnesses to act as such; and that the testatrix was the first one to sign and later she
gave the will to the witnesses who read and signed it.
Pilar G. Sanchez also testified that she knew the testatrix since 1945; that it was the testatrix herself
who asked her to be a witness to the will; that the testatrix was the first one to sign and she gave the
will later to the witnesses to sign and afterwards she gave it to the notary public; that on the day of
the execution of the will the testatrix was in the best of health.
Modesto Formilleza also testified that he was asked by the testatrix to be one of the witnesses to the
will; that he read and understood the attestation clause before he signed the document, and all the
witnesses spoke either in Spanish or in Tagalog. He finally said that the instrumental witnesses and
the testatrix signed the will at the same time and place and identified their signatures.
This evidence which has not been successfully refuted proves conclusively that the will was duly
executed because it was signed by the testatrix and her instrumental witnesses and the notary
public in the manner provided for by law.
The claim that the will was procured by improper pressure and influence is also belied by the
evidence. On this point the court a quo made the following observation:
The circumstance that the testatrix was then living under the same roof with Dr. Rene Teotico
is no proof adequate in law to sustain the conclusion that there was improper pressure and

undue influence. Nor is the alleged fact of isolation of the testatrix from the oppositor and her
witnesses, for their supposed failure to see personally the testatrix, attributable to the
vehemence of Dr. Rene Teotico, to exclude visitors, took place years after the execution of
the will on May 17, 1951. Although those fact may have some weight to support the theory of
the oppositor, yet they must perforce yield to the weightier fact that nothing could have
prevented the testatrix, had she really wanted to from subsequently revoking her 1951 will if
it did not in fact reflect and express her own testamentary dispositions. For, as testified to by
the oppositor and her witnesses, the testatrix was often seen at the Escolta, in Quiapo and
Sta. Cruz, Manila, walking and accompanied by no one. In fact, on different occasions, each
of them was able to talk with her.
We have examined the evidence on the matter and we are fully in accord with the foregoing
observation. Moreover, the mere claim that Josefina Mortera and her husband Rene Teotico had the
opportunity to exert pressure on the testatrix simply because she lived in their house several years
prior to the execution of the will and that she was old and suffering from hypertension in that she was
virtually isolated from her friends for several years prior to her death is insufficient to disprove what
the instrumental witnesses had testified that the testatrix freely and voluntarily and with full
consciousness of the solemnity of the occasion executed the will under consideration. The exercise
of improper pressure and undue influence must be supported by substantial evidence and must be
of a kind that would overpower and subjugate the mind of the testatrix as to destroy her free agency
and make her express the will of another rather than her own (Coso v. Deza, 42 0. G. 596). The
burden is on the person challenging the will that such influence was exerted at the time of its
execution, a matter which here was not done, for the evidence presented not only is insufficient but
was disproved by the testimony of the instrumental witnesses.
3. 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." (Palacios v. Palacios, 58 0. G.
220)
... 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. ...
From the fact that the legalization of a will does not validate the provisions therein contained,
it does not follow that such provision lack the efficiency, or fail to produce the effects which
the law recognizes when they are not impugned by anyone. In the matter of wills it is a
fundamental doctrine that the will of the testator is the law governing the interested parties,
and must be punctually complied with in so far as it is not contrary to the law or to public
morals. (Montaano v. Suesa, 14 Phil. 676, 679-680)
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 is valid.
(Castaeda v. Alemany, 3 Phil. 426, 428)
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 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.
Bengzon, C.J., Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Paredes, Regala, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P., and
Zaldivar, JJ., concur.
Dizon, J., took no part.

G.R. Nos. 89224-25 January 23, 1992


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.

CRUZ, J.:
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.
The relevant genealogical facts are as follows.
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.
Judge Rafael P. Santelices declared in his decision dated May 26,
1986, 1 that Delia and Edmundo were the legally adopted children of Teodoro and Isabel Sayson by virtue
of the decree of adoption dated March 9, 1967. 2 Doribel was their legitimate daughter as evidenced by
her birth certificate dated February 27, 1967. 3 Consequently, the three children were entitled to inherit
from Eleno and Rafaela by right of representation.

In his decision dated September 30, 1986, 4 Judge Jose S. Saez dismissed Civil Case No. 1030,
holding that the defendants, being the legitimate heirs of Teodoro and Isabel as established by the
aforementioned evidence, excluded the plaintiffs from sharing in their estate.

Both cases were appealed to the Court of Appeals, where they were consolidated. In its own
decision dated February 28, 1989, 5 the respondent court disposed as follows:
WHEREFORE, in Civil Case No. 1030 (CA-G.R. No. 11541), the appealed decision
is hereby AFFIRMED. In Civil case No. 1042 (CA-G.R. No. 12364), the appealed
decision is MODIFIED in that Delia and Edmundo Sayson are disqualified from
inheriting from the estate of the deceased spouses Eleno and Rafaela Sayson, but is
affirmed in all other respects.
SO ORDERED.
That judgment is now before us in this petition for review by certiorari. Reversal of the respondent
court is sought on the ground that it disregarded the evidence of the petitioners and misapplied the
pertinent law and jurisprudence when it declared the private respondents as the exclusive heirs of
Teodoro and Isabel Sayson.
The contention of the petitioners is that Delia and Edmundo were not legally adopted because
Doribel had already been born on February 27, 1967, when the decree of adoption was issued on
March 9, 1967. The birth of Doribel disqualified her parents from adopting. The pertinent provision is
Article 335 of the Civil Code, naming among those who cannot adopt "(1) Those who have
legitimate, legitimated, acknowledged natural children, or natural children by legal fiction."
Curiously enough, the petitioners also argue that Doribel herself is not the legitimate daughter of
Teodoro and Isabel but was in fact born to one Edita Abila, who manifested in a petition for
guardianship of the child that she was her natural mother. 6

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
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. 7 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.

As the respondent court correctly observed:


When Doribel was born on February 27, 1967, or about TEN (10) days before the
issuance of the Order of Adoption, the petitioners could have notified the court about
the fact of birth of DORIBEL and perhaps withdrew the petition or perhaps petitioners
could have filed a petition for the revocation or rescission of the adoption (although
the birth of a child is not one of those provided by law for the revocation or rescission
of an adoption). The court is of the considered opinion that the adoption of the
plaintiffs DELIA and EDMUNDO SAYSON is valid, outstanding and binding to the
present, the same not having been revoked or rescinded.
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.
The settled rule is that a finding that the requisite jurisdictional facts exists, whether
erroneous or not, cannot be questioned in a collateral proceeding, for a presumption
arises in such cases where the validity of the judgment is thus attacked that the
necessary jurisdictional facts were proven [Freeman on Judgments, Vol. I, Sec. 350,
pp. 719-720]. (Emphasis supplied.)

In the case of Santos v. Aranzanso, 8 this Court declared:


Anent this point, the rulings are summed up in 2 American Jurisprudence, 2nd
Series, Adoption, Sec. 75, p. 922, thus:
An adoption order implies the finding of the necessary facts and the
burden of proof is on the party attacking it; it cannot be considered
void merely because the fact needed to show statutory compliance is
obscure. While a judicial determination of some particular fact, such
as the abandonment of his next of kin to the adoption, may be
essential to the exercise of jurisdiction to enter the order of adoption,
this does not make it essential to the jurisdictional validity of the
decree that the fact be determined upon proper evidence, or
necessarily in accordance with the truth; a mere error cannot affect
the jurisdiction, and the determination must stand until reversed on
appeal, and hence cannot be collaterally attacked. If this were not the
rule, the status of adopted children would always be uncertain, since
the evidence might not be the same at all investigations, and might
be regarded with different effect by different tribunals, and the
adoption might be held by one court to have been valid, while another
court would hold it to have been of no avail. (Emphasis supplied.)
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.

Mauricio's testimony that he was present when Doribel was born to Edita Abila was understandbly
suspect, coming as it did from an interested party. The affidavit of Abila 10 denying her earlier
statement in the petition for the guardianship of Doribel is of course hearsay, let alone the fact that it was
never offered in evidence in the lower courts. Even without it, however, the birth certificate must be upheld
in line with Legaspi v. Court of Appeals, 11 where we ruled that "the evidentiary nature of public documents
must be sustained in the absence of strong, complete and conclusive proof of its falsity or nullity."

Another reason why the petitioners' challenge must fail is the impropriety of the present proceedings
for that purpose. Doribel's legitimacy cannot be questioned in a complaint for partition and
accounting but in a direct action seasonably filed by the proper party.
The presumption of legitimacy in the Civil Code . . . does not have this purely
evidential character. It serves a more fundamental purpose. It actually fixes a civil
status for the child born in wedlock, and that civil status cannot be attacked
collaterally. The legitimacy of the child can be impugned only in a direct action
brought for that purpose, by the proper parties, and within the period limited by law.
The legitimacy of the child cannot be contested by way of defense or as a collateral
issue in another action for a different purpose. . . . 12 (Emphasis supplied.)
In consequence of the above observations, we hold that Doribel, as the legitimate daughter of
Teodoro and Isabel Sayson, and Delia and Edmundo, as their adopted children, are the exclusive
heirs to the intestate estate of the deceased couple, conformably to the following Article 979 of the
Civil Code:
Art. 979. Legitimate children and their descendants succeed the parents and other
ascendants, without distinction as to sex or age, and even if they should come from
different marriages.
An adopted child succeeds to the property of the adopting parents in the same
manner as a legitimate child.
The philosophy underlying this article is that a person's love descends first to his children and
grandchildren before it ascends to his parents and thereafter spreads among his collateral relatives.
It is also supposed that one of his purposes in acquiring properties is to leave them eventually to his
children as a token of his love for them and as a provision for their continued care even after he is
gone from this earth.
Coming now to the right of representation, we stress first the following pertinent provisions of the
Civil Code:
Art. 970. 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 he were living or if he could have
inherited.
Art. 971. The representative is called to the succession by the law and not by the
person represented. The representative does not succeed the person represented
but the one who the person represented would have succeeded.
Art. 981. Should children of the deceased and descendants of other children who are
dead, survive, the former shall inherit in their own right, and the latter by right of
representation.
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. 13
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. 14
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 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.