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CYNTHIA ALABAN V. CA b.

That they are not parties to the case and


therefore, cannot avail the remedies of MR,
Note: Procedural case to. To obtain a reopening (I think MNT, and Relief of judgment.
cinonsider to ng court na annulment of judgment) of the you
have to prove that you were in no position to avail the ISSUE:
remedies of MR, MNT, appeal through no fault of your own. Di 1. WON the petitioners are parties to the case and
sinabi sa case pero as far as I can remember, ganito yun. therefore can avail of the said remedies?
2. Assuming that the action is allowed, WON there was
FACTS: extrinsic fraud (requirement) that allows for the action
1. Respondent filed a petition for the probate of the last to prosper?
will and testament of Soledad. He alleged that he was
the heir of the decedent and the executor of her will. HELD:
2. RTC allowed the probate of t he will and directed the First issue: YES
issuance of the letters testamentary to respondent. 1. Under the Rules of Court, any executor, devisee, or
3. 4 months later, petitioners filed a motion for the legatee named in a will, or any other person interested
reopening of the probate proceedings alleging that: in the estate may, at any time after the death of the
a. They are the intestate heirs of the decedent; testator, petition the court having jurisdiction to have
b. That respondent and petitioners had a meeting the will allowed.
before the probate of the will, them having 2. Notice of the time and place for proving the will must
agreed on a specific portion. be published for three consecutive weeks, in a
4. RTC denied the petition. newspaper of general circulation in the province, as
5. CA: denied the petition. It found that there was no well as furnished to the designated or other known
showing that petitioners failed to avail of or resort to heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator.
the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for a. Thus, it has been held that a proceeding
relief from judgment, or other appropriate remedies for the probate of a will is one in rem, such
through no fault of their own. Moreover, the CA that with the corresponding publication of
declared as baseless petitioners claim that the the petition the court's jurisdiction
proceedings in the RTC was attended by extrinsic extends to all persons interested in said
fraud. will or in the settlement of the estate of
6. a Petitioners maintain that they were not made parties the decedent.
to the case in which the decision sought to be annulled 3. Publication is notice to the whole world that the
was rendered and, thus, they could not have availed of proceeding has for its object to bar indefinitely all who
the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for might be minded to make an objection of any sort
relief from judgment and other appropriate remedies, against the right sought to be established. It is the
contrary to the ruling of the CA. publication of such notice that brings in the whole
a. They aver that respondents offer of a false world as a party in the case and vests the court with
compromise and his failure to notify them of the jurisdiction to hear and decide it.
probate of the will constitute extrinsic fraud that a. Thus, even though petitioners were not
necessitates the annulment of the RTCs mentioned in the petition for probate, they
judgment. eventually became parties thereto as a
consequence of the publication of the notice of
hearing.
4. As parties to the probate proceedings, petitioners 3. The court held that according to the Rules, notice is
could have validly availed of the remedies of motion required to be personally given to known heirs,
for new trial or reconsideration and petition for relief legatees, and devisees of the testator. A perusal of the
from judgment. will shows that respondent was instituted as the sole
5. Conceding that petitioners became aware of the heir of the decedent.
Decision after it had become final, they could have still a. Petitioners, as nephews and nieces of the
filed a petition for relief from judgment after the denial decedent, are neither compulsory nor testate
of their motion to reopen heirs who are entitled to be notified of the
probate proceedings under the Rules.
Second Issue: NO. Respondent had no legal obligation to mention
1. An action to annul a final judgment on the ground of petitioners in the petition for probate, or to
fraud lies only if the fraud is extrinsic or collateral in personally notify them of the same.
character. b. The non-inclusion of petitioners names in the
a. Fraud is regarded as extrinsic where it prevents petition and the alleged failure to personally
a party from having a trial or from presenting his notify them of the proceedings do not constitute
entire case to the court, or where it operates extrinsic fraud.
upon matters pertaining not to the judgment 4. Besides, assuming arguendo that petitioners are
itself but to the manner in which it is procured. entitled to be so notified, the purported infirmity is
2. To sustain their allegation of extrinsic fraud, petitioners cured by the publication of the notice.
assert that as a result of respondents deliberate
omission or concealment of their names, ages and ON THE ISSUE OF FORUM SHOPPING:
residences as the other heirs of the decedent in his 1. The court held that there is forum shopping because
petition for allowance of the will, they were not notified another case was filed although in a different city
of the proceedings, and thus they were denied their (respondent filed in Iloilo while petitioners filed in
day in court. General Santos City). Both cases have the same
contentions and issue.