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MAXIMINA OYOD DE GARCES, et al. v. ESMERALDA BROCE, et al.

G.R. No. L-23758, 20 May 1968, EN BANC, (REYES, J.B.L.,J.)

EXTA-JUDICIAL SETTLEMENT OF ESTATE - Oral EJS can be enforced between


heirs.

FACTS:

Severo Oyod and Bonifacia Mahinay were the original owners of Lot No. 228.
They had four children namely Fortunata, Eugenia, Gregorio and Maxima Oyod.
Eugenia died sometime in 1950 after the death of Severo Oyod. In 1930 the heirs of
Severo Oyod executed a Deed of Extra-Judicial partition. Subsequently, on
September 5, 1951 the heirs of Severo Oyod executed another Deed of Extra-
judicial Settlement. Meanwhile, Fortunata Oyod executed a lease agreement in
favor of Tranquilino Broce on October 28, 1957 and on September 25, 1962, the
heirs of Fortunata Oyod Barbon executed an Extra-Judicial Settlement and Sale in
favor of Esmeralda P. Broce. As a result, Maximina Oyod de Garces, Gregorio Oyod
and Pio V. Garces sought the termination of the lease and annulment of sale, in
favor of defendants Tranquilino Broce and Esmeralda Broce, and the return by the
latter, of a parcel of land described as Lot No. 228-D of the subdivision of Lot No.
228, that plaintiffs claimed to be their property pro-indiviso.

After due hearing, the court rendered judgment upholding the due execution
and validity of the 1930 extrajudicial partition by the heirs of Severo Oyod and
Bonifacia Mahinay of Lot No. 228, and of the sale in 1962 to Esmeralda Broce of Lot
No. 228-D by the heirs of Fortunata Oyod. Both parties appealed the decision. The
controversy lies on the effect of the execution of the extrajudicial partition in 1951,
which was duly recorded in the Registry of Deeds, upon the 1930 agreement which,
although embodied in a public instrument, was admittedly not registered. For, if
there was a valid partition of Lot No. 228 (one of the properties included in the 1930
agreement) and ownership of the portions respectively assigned to the heirs
thereunder had indeed passed to the latter, then the sale of Lot No. 228-D to
Esmeralda Broce in 1962 would also be valid. Upon the other hand, if there was
proper cancellation and substitution of that 1930 settlement, by the extrajudicial
partition of 1951, wherein the heirs agreed to form a co-ownership of the whole Lot
228, then what could be acquired by defendant-appellee Esmeralda Broce would
only be an undetermined share of the same lot.

ISSUE:

Is an unregistered extra-judicial settlement valid?

RULING:
YES. The issue of the effect of an unregistered extrajudicial
settlement among the heirs of the estate of a deceased person is not new. It was
previously resolved by this Court in favor of the validity of the partition in the case
of Hernandez vs. Andal, 78 Phil. 196, in this wise:

Is section 1 of Rule 74constitutiveand not merelyevidentialof partition? In


other words, is writing the act that confers legal validity upon the agreement?
There are no indications in the phraseology of this rule which justify an
affirmative answer to these questions. It must be noted that where the law
intends a writing or other formality to be the essential requisite to the validity
of the transaction, it says so in clear and unequivocal terms. Thus, the statute
of frauds as originally enacted in England and as enacted in some of the
states, uses the words "utterly void" with reference to certain transactions.
Under the terms of such statute transactions required to be in writing are
absolutely void and not merely voidable if not made in the manner indicated.
Again article 633 of the Civil Code says that donation may be valid only when
made in a public document. Article 146 of the Mortgage Law makes known its
intention to have the execution of a public instrument and its registration in
the registry indispensable to the validity of the contract by using this phrase:
"in order that voluntary mortgages may be legally created in a valid manner."
Article 1765 of the Civil Code also employs for the same purpose similar
expression with reference to the execution of a public document: "in order
that mortgage may be validly constituted." And with respect to the
formalities of last wills and testaments, section 618 of Act No. 190 makes this
emphatic statement: "No will shall be valid to pass upon any estate real or
personal nor charge or affect the same, unless it be written etc." Other
examples might be mentioned.

Section 1 of Rule 74 contains no such express or clear declaration that the


required public instrument is to be constitutive of a contract of partition or an
inherent element of its effectiveness as between the parties. And this Court
had no apparent reason, in adopting this rule, to make the efficacy of a
partition as between the parties dependent on the execution of a public
instrument and its registration.... (78 Phil. 204-205).

Touching on the purpose of the registration-requirement in the said provision,


this Court ruled in the same case:

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 a 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 the 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 distrubution in a manner and upon a plan different
from those provided by law. (Cas. cit., pp. 208-209).

There is nothing here on record to indicate that when the first partition
agreement was entered into, there existed any claim against the estate of the
deceased or that prejudice was thereby caused to any third party. Considering that
a voluntary division of the estate of the deceased, by the heirs among themselves,
is conclusive and confers upon said heirs exclusive ownership of the respective
portions assigned to them, the extrajudicial partition made by the heirs of Severo
Oyod in 1930 could not have been cancelled or subtituted by the execution, by
some of these heirs, of another extrajudicial settlement of the same estate in 1951
even if the latter document be registered, particularly since one of the co-signers of
the 1930 agreement, Eugenia Oyod, had died on January 8, 1950, before the second
extrajudicial settlement was made. The lower court, therefore, committed no error
in holding that the sale to defendant-appellee Esmeralda Broce of Lot 228-D in 1962
did not suffer from any infirmity. A second reason is that it is not shown that
appellee Broce had notice or knowledge of the second partition of 1951. As the
1930 partition was operative to vest title in Fortunata Oyod to the lot allotted to her,
even if the agreement was unrecorded, Broce had reason to rely thereon.

CASE NUMBER 2
2 McMicking vs. Sy Conbieng resort to extra-judicial partition can be made even
during judicial settlement.
MARIA BUTIONG AND FRANCISCO VILLAFRIA, SUBSTITUTED BY DR. RUEL B.
VILLAFRIAv. MA. GRACIA RIOZA PLAZO AND MA. FE RIOZA ALARAS

G.R. No. 187524, August 05, 2015

Where partition is possible, either in or out of court, the estate should not be
burdened with an administration proceeding without good and compelling reasons.

FACTS:

Pedro L. Rioza died intestate, leaving several heirs as well as several


properties including a resort and a family home. In their Amended Complaint for
Judicial Partition with Annulment of Title and Recovery of Possession, respondents
alleged that they discovered that their co-heirs, Pedro's second wife, Benita and
other children, had sold the subject properties without their knowledge and consent
to spouses Maria and Francisco Villafria (Sps. Villafria). Thereafter, respondents
learned that a notice of an extra-judicial settlement of estate of their father was
published in a tabloid. Hence, they caused the annotation of their adverse claims
over the subject properties before the Register of Deeds and filed their complaint
praying for the annulment of all documents conveying the subject properties to the
petitioners and certificates of title. During trial, Francisco presented an Extra-Judicial
Settlement with Renunciation, Repudiations and Waiver of Rights and Sale which
provides, among others, that respondents' co-heirs sold the family home to the Sps.
Bondoc as well as a Deed of Sale whereby Benita sold the resort to Sps. Villafria.

The trial court nullified the transfer of the subject properties due to
irregularities in the documents of conveyance offered by Sps. Villafria as well as the
circumstances surrounding the execution of the same. On appeal, the Court of
Appeals (CA) affirmed the decision of the trial court. Aggrieved, Sps. Villafria,
substituted by their son Ruel Villafria (Ruel), filed a Motion for Reconsideration
raising the trial court's lack of jurisdiction. It was alleged that when the Complaint
for Judicial Partition with Annulment of Title and Recovery of Possession was filed,
there was yet no settlement of Pedro's estate, determination as to the nature
thereof, nor was there an identification of the number of legitimate heirs. As such,
the trial court ruled on the settlement of the intestate estate of Pedro in its ordinary
jurisdiction when the action filed was for Judicial Partition. Considering that the
instant action is really one for settlement of intestate estate, the trial court, acting
merely in its probate jurisdiction, exceeded its jurisdiction when it ruled upon the
issues of forgery and ownership. The MR was, however, denied by the CA. On
appeal, this Court denied on June 20, 2007, Ruel's Petition for Review on Certiorari.
On October 2007, the June 20, 2007 Resolution became final and executory as
certified by the Entry of Judgment issued by the Court.
On November 27, 2008, the RTC issued an Order, issuing a Partial Writ of
Execution of its Decision with respect to the portions disposing of petitioner's claims
as affirmed by the CA. The foregoing notwithstanding, Ruel filed a Petition for
Annulment of Judgment and Order before the CA which assailed the Order of the
RTC on the grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction, but the same was
denied. Hence, the present petition.

ISSUE:

Whether the trial court acted without jurisdiction in entertaining the action of
settlement of estate and annulment of title in a single proceeding?

RULING:

No. A complete reading of the complaint would readily show that, based on
the nature of the suit, the allegations therein, and the reliefs prayed for, the action
is clearly one for judicial partition with annulment of title and recovery of
possession. The allegations of respondents in their complaint are but customary, in
fact, mandatory, to a complaint for partition of real estate. Particularly, the
complaint alleged: (1) that Pedro died intestate; (2) that respondents, together with
their co-heirs, are all of legal age, with the exception of one who is represented by a
judicial representative duly authorized for the purpose; (3) that the heirs
enumerated are the only known heirs of Pedro; (4) that there is an account and
description of all real properties left by Pedro; (5) that Pedro's estate has no known
indebtedness; and (6) that respondents, as rightful heirs to the decedent's estate,
pray for the partition of the same in accordance with the laws of intestacy. That the
complaint alleged causes of action identifying the heirs of the decedent, properties
of the estate, and their rights thereto, does not perforce make it an action for
settlement of estate.

It should be noted that recourse to an administration proceeding even if the


estate has no debts is sanctioned only if the heirs have good reasons for not
resorting to an action for partition. Where partition is possible, either in or out of
court, the estate should not be burdened with an administration proceeding without
good and compelling reasons. Thus, respondents committed no error in filing an
action for judicial partition instead of a special proceeding for the settlement of
estate as the same is expressly permitted by law.

Moreover, the fact that respondents' complaint also prayed for the annulment
of title and recovery of possession does not strip the trial court off of its jurisdiction
to hear and decide the case. Asking for the annulment of certain transfers of
property could very well be achieved in an action for partition, as can be seen in
cases where courts determine the parties' rights arising from complaints asking not
only for the partition of estates but also for the annulment of titles and recovery of
ownership and possession of property.

In view of the foregoing, Ruel's argument that the trial court acted without
jurisdiction in entertaining the action of settlement of estate and annulment of title
in a single proceeding is clearly erroneous for the instant complaint is precisely one
for judicial partition with annulment of title and recovery of possession, filed within
the confines of applicable law and jurisprudence. Note that even if the instant action
was one for annulment of title alone, without the prayer for judicial partition, the
requirement of instituting a separate special proceeding for the determination of the
status and rights of the respondents as putative heirs may be dispensed with, in
light of the fact that the parties had voluntarily submitted the issue to the trial court
and had already presented evidence regarding the issue of heirship.
PROBATE PROCEEDINGS

REYNALDO P. BASCARA v. SHERIFF ROLANDO G. JAVIER and EVANGELINE


PANGILINAN
G.R. No. 188069, June 17, 2015, PERALTA, J.

Donation mortis causa must be probated.

FACTS

Evangeline C. Pangilinan filed an ex parte petition for the issuance of a writ of


possession, alleging that Rosalina P. Pardo failed to redeem the foreclosed property,
subject to a Real Estate Mortgage (REM), executed in favor of Pangilinan, for the
payment of a loan in the amount of P200,000.00. The Notice to Vacate and
Surrender Possession was issued by respondent Sheriff Rolando G. Javier. However,
claiming as the true, lawful and absolute owner of the subject property that is in his
possession, Petitioner Reynaldo Bascara filed an Affidavit of Third-Party Claim and a
Motion to Recall Writ of Possession. The motion alleged that his aunt, the late
Rosalina P. Pardo, who owned the land and improvements thereon, executed a duly
notarized deed of donation mortis causa donating the subject property to and in
favor of him. Moreover, Bascara claims that he entrusted to Evangeline Cacalda, a
boarder of the house on the subject land, the owners duplicate of TCT No. 135066
and the amount of P135,000.00 to pay what Cacalda made him believe was the
amount of taxes and other expenses to be incurred to have the title transferred to
his name. However, Bascara later discovered an annotation of REM with special
power to sell mortgage property without judicial proceedings, in favor of Pangilinan.
Bascara then filed a complaint for estafa against Cacalda and annotated his Adverse
Claim on the title.

After exchanges of subsequent pleadings, the trial court eventually ruled in


favor of Pangilinan. The CA affirmed.

ISSUE:

Whether the execution of the donation mortis causa immediately transfers


title to Bascara?

RULING:

NO. Considering that the alleged donation is one of mortis causa, the same
partake of the nature of testamentary provision. As such, said deed must be
executed in accordance with the requisites on solemnities of wills and testaments
under Articles 805 and 806 of the New Civil Code; otherwise, the donation is void
and would produce no effect. Unless and until the alleged donation is probated, i.e.,
proved and allowed in the proper court, no right to the subject property has been
transmitted to petitioner.

(the ruling on the SPEC PRO issue is really short)


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,
vs.
ERNESTO PALAGANAS, Respondent.

G.R. No. 169144 January 26, 2011

A will executed abroad can be probated for the first time in the
Philippines.

FACTS:

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.

Respondent Ernesto C. Palaganas (Ernesto), another brother of Ruperta, filed with


the RTC a petition for the probate of Rupertas will and for his appointment as
special administrator of her estate. However, petitioners Manuel Miguel Palaganas
(Manuel) and Benjamin Gregorio Palaganas (Benjamin), nephews of Ruperta,
opposed the petition on the ground that Rupertas will should not be probated in the
Philippines but in the U.S. where she executed it.

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.

The CA affirmed stating that Section 2, Rule 76 of the Rules of Court does not
require prior probate and allowance of the will in the country of its execution, before
it can be probated in the Philippines. The present case, said the CA, is different from
reprobate, which refers to a will already probated and allowed abroad. Reprobate is
governed by different rules or procedures.

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:
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 alien who 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.

In this connection, Section 1, Rule 73 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides
that if the decedent is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the RTC of the province
where he has an estate may take cognizance of the settlement of such estate.
Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 76 further state that the executor, devisee, or legatee
named in the will, or any other person interested in the estate, may, at any time
after the death of the testator, petition the court having jurisdiction to have the will
allowed, whether the same be in his possession or not, or is lost or destroyed.

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.

Besides, petitioners stand is fraught with impractically. If the instituted heirs do not
have the means to go abroad for the probate of the will, it is as good as depriving
them outright of their inheritance, since our law requires that no will shall pass
either real or personal property unless the will has been proved and allowed by the
proper court.
BALTAZAR vs. LAXA
G.R. No. 174489, April 11, 2012, Del Castillo, J.

TOPIC: Probate Proceedings; Burden to prove that testator is of unsound


mind

FACTS:Paciencia was a 78 y/o spinster when she made her last will and testament
in the Pampango dialect on Sept. 13, 1981. The will, executed in the house of retired
Judge Limpin, was read to Paciencia twice. After which, Paciencia expressed in the
presence of the instrumental witnesses that the document is her last will and
testament. She thereafter affixed her signature at the end of the said document on
page 3 and then on the left margin of pages 1, 2 and 4 thereof.

Childless and without any brothers or sisters, Paciencia bequeathed all her
properties to respondent Lorenzo Laxa and his wife Corazon Laza and their children
Luna and Katherine. Lorenzo is Paciencias nephew whom she treated as her own
son. Conversely, Lorenzo came to know and treated Paciencia as his own mother.
Six days after the execution of the Will (Sept. 19, 1981), Paciencia left for USA.
There, she resided with Lorenzo and his family until her death on Jan. 4, 1996. In the
interim, the Will remained in the custody of Judge Limpin.

More than 4 years after the death of Paciencia or on Apr. 27, 2000, Lorenzo filed a
petition with the RTC of Guagua, Pampanga for the probate of the Will of Paciencia
and for the issuance of Letters of Administration in his favor.

On Jun 23, 2000 one of petitioners, Antonio Baltazar filed an opposition to Lorenzos
petition. Antonio averred that the properties subject of Paciencias Will belong to
Nicomeda Mangalindan, his predecessor-in-interest; hence, Paciencia had no right to
bequeath them to Lorenzo. Also, one of the petitioners, Rosie Mateo testified that
Paciencia is in the state of being mangulyan or forgetful making her unfit for
executing a will and that the execution of the will had been procured by undue and
improper pressure and influence. Petitioners also opposed the issuance of the
Letters of Administration in Lorenzos favor arguing that Lorenzo was disqualified to
be appointed as such, he being a citizen and resident of the USA. Petitioners prayed
that Letters of Administration be instead issued in favor of Antonio.

RTC denies the petition for probate of the will and concluded that when Paciencia
signed the will, she was no longer possessed of the sufficient reason or strength of
mind to have the testamentary capacity. On appeal, CA reversed the decision of the
RTC and granted the probate of the will. The petitioner went up to SC for a petition
for review on Certiorari.

ISSUE:Whether the authenticity and due execution of the will was sufficiently
established to warrant its allowance for probate.
HELD:YES. A careful examination of the face of the Will shows faithful compliance
with the formalities laid down by law. The signatures of the testatrix, Paciencia, her
instrumental witnesses and the notary public, are all present and evident on the
Will. Further, the attestation clause explicitly states the critical requirement that the
testatrix and her instrumental witnesses attested and subscribed to the Will in the
presence of the testator and of one another. In fact, even the petitioners acceded
that the signature of Paciencia in the Will may be authentic although they question
of her state of mind when she signed the same as well as the voluntary nature of
said act.

The burden to prove that Paciencia was of unsound mind at the time of the
execution of the will lies on the shoulders of the petitioners. The SC agree with the
position of the CA that the state of being forgetful does not necessarily make a
person mentally unsound so as to render him unfit to execute a Will. Forgetfulness
is not equivalent to being of unsound mind. Besides, Art. 799 of the NCC states: To
be of unsound mind, it is not necessary that the testator be in full possession of all
his reasoning faculties, or that his mind be wholly unbroken, unimpaired, or
unshattered by disease, injury or other cause. It shall be sufficient if the testator
was able at the time of making the Will to know the nature of the estate to be
disposed of, the proper objects of his bounty, and the character of the testamentary
act.
In the Matter of the Petition to Approve the Will of Leodegaria Julian.
FELIX BALANAY, JR., petitioner,
vs.
HON. ANTONIO M. MARTINEZ, Judge of the Court of First Instance of
Davao, Branch VI; AVELINA B. ANTONIO and DELIA B.
LANABAN, respondents.
G.R. No. L-39247 June 27, 1975

Topic: Probate court can pass upon the intrinsic validity of the will.

Ponente: J. Aquino

FACTS:

Felix Balanay, Jr. appealed by certiorari from the order of the Court of First Instance
of Davao dated February 28, 1974, declaring illegal and void the will of his mother,
Leodegaria Julian, converting the testate proceeding into an intestate proceeding
and ordering the issuance of the corresponding notice to creditors (Special Case No.
1808).

Leodegaria Julian, a native of Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur, died on February 12, 1973 in
Davao City at the age of sixty-seven. She was survived by her husband, Felix
Balanay, Sr., and by their six legitimate children named Felix Balanay, Jr., Avelina B.
Antonio, Beatriz B. Solamo, Carolina B. Manguiob, Delia B. Lanaban and Emilia B.
Pabaonon.

Felix J. Balanay, Jr. filed in the lower court a petition for probate dated February 27,
1973 of his mother's notarial will dated September 5, 1970 which is written in
English. In that will Leodegaria Julian declared as follows: (a) that she was the owner
of the "southern half of nine conjugal lots (par. II); (b) that she was the absolute
owner of two parcels of land which she inherited from her father (par. III), and (c)
that it was her desire that her properties should not be divided among her heirs
during her husband's lifetime and that their legitimes should be satisfied out of the
fruits of her properties (Par. IV).

Then, in paragraph V of the will she stated that after her husband's death her
paraphernal lands and all the conjugal lands (which she described as "my
properties") should be divided and distributed in the manner set forth in that part of
her will. She devised and partitioned the conjugal lands as if they were all owned by
her. She disposed of in the will her husband's one half share of the conjugal assets.

Felix Balanay, Sr. and Avelina B. Antonio opposed the probate of the will on the
grounds of lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, preterition of the
husband and alleged improper partition of the conjugal estate. The oppositors
claimed that Felix Balanay, Jr. should collate certain properties which he had
received from the testatrix.
Felix Balanay, Jr., in his reply to the opposition, attached an affidavit of Felix
Balanay, Sr. dated April 18, 1973 wherein the latter withdrew his opposition to the
probate of the will and affirmed that he was interested in its probate. On the same
date Felix Balanay, Sr. signed an instrument captioned "Conformation (sic) of
Division and Renunciation of Hereditary Rights" wherein he manifested that out of
respect for his wife's will he "waived and renounced' his hereditary rights in her
estate in favor of their six children. In that same instrument he confirmed the
agreement, which he and his wife had perfected before her death, that their
conjugal properties would be partitioned in the manner indicated in her will.

The lower court issued an Order giving effect to the affidavit and conformity of Felix
Balanay, Sr. and "denied" the opposition and reset for hearing the probate of the
will. Meanwhile, another lawyer appeared in the case. David O. Montaa, Sr.,
claiming to be the lawyer of petitioner Felix Balanay, Jr. (his counsel of record was
Atty. Hermenegildo Cabreros), filed a motion for "leave of court to withdraw probate
of alleged will of Leodegaria Julian and requesting authority to proceed by intestate
estate proceeding. He prayed that the probate of the will be withdrawn and that
the proceeding be converted into an intestate proceeding.

The lower court, acting on the motion of Atty. Montaa, assumed that the issuance
of a notice to creditors was in order since the parties had agreed on that point and
adopted the view that the will was void. In an Order dated February 28, 1974, the
lower court dismissed the petition for the probate, converted the testate proceeding
into an intestate proceeding, ordered the issuance of a notice to creditors. Felix
Balanay, Jr. assailed the authority of Atty. Montaa and moved for the
reconsideration of the trial courts Order. The lower court subsequently denied the
motion, and clarified that it declared the will void on the basis of its own
independent assessment of its provisions and not because of Atty. Montaa's
arguments.

ISSUE: Whether the probate court erred in passing upon the intrinsic validity of the
will, before ruling on its allowance or formal validity, and in declaring it void.

RULING:

No. The Supreme Court is of the opinion that in view of certain unusual provisions of
the will, which are of dubious legality, and because of the motion to withdraw the
petition for probate (which the lower court assumed to have been filed with the
petitioner's authorization), 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 (Nuguid
vs. Nuguid, 64 O.G. 1527, 17 SCRA 449).

But the probate court erred in declaring, in its order of February 28, 1974 that the
will was void and in converting the testate proceeding into an intestate proceeding
notwithstanding the fact that in its order of June 18, 1973, it gave effect to the
surviving husband's conformity to the will and to his renunciation of his hereditary
rights which presumably included his one-half share of the conjugal estate.
The rule is that "the invalidity of one of several dispositions contained in a will does
not result in the invalidity of the other dispositions, unless it is to be presumed that
the testator would not have made such other dispositions if the first invalid
disposition had not been made" (Art. 792, Civil Code). "Where some of the
provisions of a will are valid and others invalid, the valid parts will be upheld if they
can be separated from the invalid without defeating the intention of the testator or
interfering with the general testamentary scheme, or doing injustice to the
beneficiaries" (95 C.J.S. 873).

The statement of the testatrix that she owned the "southern half of the conjugal
lands is contrary to law because, although she was a co-owner thereof, her share
was inchoate and pro indiviso (Art. 143, Civil Code; Madrigal and Paterno vs.
Rafferty and Concepcion, 38 Phil. 414). But That illegal declaration does not nullify
the entire will. It may be disregarded. Subject to the foregoing observations and the
rules on collation, the will is intrinsically valid and the partition therein may be given
effect if it does not prejudice the creditors and impair the legitimes. The distribution
and partition would become effective upon the death of Felix Balanay, Sr. In the
meantime, the net income should be equitably divided among the children and the
surviving spouse.

It should be stressed that by reason of the surviving husband's conformity to his


wife's will and his renunciation of his hereditary rights, his one-half conjugal share
became a part of his deceased wife's estate. His conformity had the effect of
validating the partition made in paragraph V of the will without prejudice, of course,
to the rights of the creditors and the legitimes of the compulsory heirs.

In the instant case there is no doubt that the testatrix and her husband intended to
partition the conjugal estate in the manner set forth in paragraph V of her will. It is
true that she could dispose of by will only her half of the conjugal estate (Art. 170,
Civil Code) but since the husband, after the dissolution of the conjugal partnership,
had assented to her testamentary partition of the conjugal estate, such partition
has become valid, assuming that the will may be probated. His preterition did not
produce intestacy. Moreover, he signified his conformity to his wife's will and
renounced his hereditary rights.

It results that the lower court erred in not proceeding with the probate of the will as
contemplated in its uncancelled order of June 18, 1973. Save in an extreme case
where the will on its face is intrinsically void, it is the probate court's duty to pass
first upon the formal validity of the will. Generally, the probate of the will is
mandatory (Art. 838, Civil Code; Guevara vs. Guevara, 74 Phil. 479 and 98 Phil. 249;
Fernandez vs. Dimagiba, L-23638, October 12, 1967, 21 SCRA 428).

WHEREFORE, the lower court's orders of February 28, and June 29, 1974 are set
aside and its order of June 18, 1973, setting for hearing the petition for probate, is
affirmed. The lower court is directed to conduct further proceedings in Special Case
No. 1808 in consonance with this opinion. Costs, against the private respondents.
AMELIA GARCIA-QUIAZON, JENNETH QUIAZON and MARIA JENNIFER
QUIAZON vs.
MA. LOURDES BELEN, for and in behalf of MARIA LOURDES ELISE QUIAZON

G.R. No. 189121 July 31, 2013 PEREZ, J.

Recording of death certificate in another place does not change actual residence of
the decedent.

FACTS:

Elise Quiazon is the daughter of Eliseo Quiazon and his common-law wife Ma.
Lourdes Belen. When Eliseo died intestate, Elise represented by her mother,
Lourdes, filed a Petition for Letters of Administration before the RTC of Las Pias City
in order to preserve the estate of Eliseo and to prevent the dissipation of its value.
She likewise sought her appointment as administratrix of her late fathers estate.

Amelia Quiazon, to whom Eliseo was married, together with her two children,
filed an Opposition/Motion to Dismiss on the ground of improper venue asserting
that Eliseo was a resident of Capas, Tarlac and not of Las Pias City. In addition to
their claim of improper venue, the petitioners averred that there are no factual and
legal bases for Elise to be appointed administratix of Eliseos estate.

RTC rendered a decision directing the issuance of Letters of Administration to


Elise upon posting the necessary bond. On appeal, the decision of the trial court
was affirmed in toto by the Court of Appeals. In validating the findings of the RTC,
the Court of Appeals held that Elise was able to prove that Eliseo and Lourdes lived
together as husband and wife by establishing a common residence at No. 26
Everlasting Road, Phase 5, Pilar Village, Las Pias City, from 1975 up to the time of
Eliseos death in 1992. For purposes of fixing the venue of the settlement of Eliseos
estate, the Court of Appeals upheld the conclusion reached by the RTC that the
decedent was a resident of Las Pias City.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Las Pinas City was the proper venue.

HELD:

YES. Under Section 1, Rule 73 of the Rules of Court, the petition for letters of
administration of the estate of a decedent should be filed in the RTC of the province
where the decedent resides at the time of his death:
Sec. 1. Where estate of deceased persons settled. If the decedent is
an inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or
an alien, his will shall be proved, or letters of administration granted, and his
estate settled, in the Court of First Instance now Regional Trial Court in the
province in which he resides at the time of his death, and if he is an
inhabitant of a foreign country, the Court of First Instance now Regional Trial
Court of any province in which he had estate. The court first taking
cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise
jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. The jurisdiction assumed by a
court, so far as it depends on the place of residence of the decedent, or of the
location of his estate, shall not be contested in a suit or proceeding, except in
an appeal from that court, in the original case, or when the want of
jurisdiction appears on the record.

The term "resides" connotes ex vi termini "actual residence" as distinguished


from "legal residence or domicile." This term "resides," like the terms "residing" and
"residence," is elastic and should be interpreted in the light of the object or purpose
of the statute or rule in which it is employed. In the application of venue statutes
and rules Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court is of such nature
residence rather than domicile is the significant factor. Even where the statute uses
word "domicile" still it is construed as meaning residence and not domicile in the
technical sense.Some cases make a distinction between the terms "residence" and
"domicile" but as generally used in statutes fixing venue, the terms are
synonymous, and convey the same meaning as the term "inhabitant."In other
words, "resides" should be viewed or understood in its popular sense, meaning, the
personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence or place of
abode.It signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat.Venue for
ordinary civil actions and that for special proceedings have one and the same
meaning.As thus defined, "residence," in the context of venue provisions, means
nothing more than a persons actual residence or place of abode, provided he
resides therein with continuity and consistency.

Viewed in light of the foregoing principles, the Court of Appeals cannot be


faulted for affirming the ruling of the RTC that the venue for the settlement of the
estate of Eliseo was properly laid in Las Pias City. It is evident from the records that
during his lifetime, Eliseo resided at No. 26 Everlasting Road, Phase 5, Pilar Village,
Las Pias City. For this reason, the venue for the settlement of his estate may be
laid in the said city.

In opposing the issuance of letters of administration, the petitioners harp on


the entry in Eliseos Death Certificate that he is a resident of Capas, Tarlac where
they insist his estate should be settled. While the recitals in death certificates can
be considered proofs of a decedents residence at the time of his death, the
contents thereof, however, is not binding on the courts. Both the RTC and the Court
of Appeals found that Eliseo had been living with Lourdes, deporting themselves as
husband and wife, from 1972 up to the time of his death in 1995. This finding is
consistent with the fact that in 1985, Eliseo filed an action for judicial partition of
properties against Amelia before the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 106, on the ground
that their marriage is void for being bigamous. That Eliseo went to the extent of
taking his marital feud with Amelia before the courts of law renders untenable
petitioners position that Eliseo spent the final days of his life in Tarlac with Amelia
and her children.

It disproves rather than supports petitioners submission that the lower


courts findings arose from an erroneous appreciation of the evidence on record.
Factual findings of the trial court, when affirmed by the appellate court, must be
held to be conclusive and binding upon this Court.
ROSALINA CUNANAN, in her capacity as administratix of the intestate of
Isaac Cunanan and Candida v. RAFAEL AMPARO, Judge of First Instance of
Nueva Ecija, and BONIFACIO SORIANO

G.R. No. L-1313, 16 February 1948, EN BANC, (Tuason,J.)

Facts:

Pursuant to a prior pacto de retro sale involving two parcels of land between
the Cunanans and the Sorianos, Isaac Cunanan (deceased) received money from
Bonifacio Soriano (Soriano) in the amount of P880. Soriano later filed a money claim
for P880 against the deceaseds estate. Later, Rosalina Cunanan, the administratix,
tendered the money in favor of Soriano however the latter refused to accept the
same since, according to Soriano, the money Cunanan offered was Japanese notes
and had no value. Cunanan prayed that Soriano be ordered to accept the amount
tendered and to execute the necessary deed of cancellation, and to return the
possession of two parcels of land which had been conveyed to him. Then Honorable
Quintin Paredes, Jr., granted the Cunanans prayer. No appeal was taken by Soriano
against this judgment.

Despite the Order promulgated by Judge Paredes, Jr., Soriano failed to comply.
Hence, Cunanan filed a complaint against Soriano for contempt of court. However,
Judge Paredes Jr., in his Order dated August 4, 1944, found Soriano not guilty of
contempt but reiterated his order for Soriano to "deliver the property in question to
the administratix Rosalina Cunanan for the benefit of the Intestate Estate."
Undeterred, Soriano moved for the reconsideration of the order of August 4, 1944
claiming that by virtue of the Deed of Sale issued by the Spouses Cunanan in his
favor, ownership over the subject lot was already transferred and consolidated in
Sorianos name. (Note: Soriano appealed from the Order finding him not guilty of
contempt and not from the Judgment ordering him to deliver the possession of the
two parcels of land)

Honorable Rafael Amparo, who now was presiding over the CFI of Nueva
Ecija, granted Sorianos motion. He justified the refusal of Soriano to accept
Japanese military notes. In fine, he set aside the order of Judge Paredes of August 4,
1944. This prompted Cunanan to file a petition before the Court alleging that the
Orders of Hon. Amparo were issued without and/or in excess of his jurisdiction, with
grave abuse of discretion. In his defense, Soriano averred that Court lacked
jurisdiction to order the delivery of the possession of the lots to the estate.

Issue:

Whether or not the court (CFI) has jurisdiction to order the delivery of the
possession of the lots to the estate?
Ruling:

Yes. The Court does not agreed with the respondents that the court lacked
jurisdiction to order the delivery of the possession of the lots to the estate. This
power is a mere consequence of the power to approve Soriano's claim; a power
which the court undoubtedly had and which Soriano himself invoked with full
knowledge of then facts. As a general rule, with the consent of the parties matters
affecting property under judicial administration may be taken cognizance of by the
court in the course of the intestate proceeding provided the interests of third
persons are not prejudiced. Determination of title to property is within the
jurisdiction of Courts of First Instance. The respondent Soriano's objection relates
exclusively to the procedure, which is distinct from jurisdiction. It affects only
personal rights to a mode of practice which may be waived. Certainly, there is
waiver where, as here, and has been pointed out, the party who raises the objection
was the one who set the court in motion, and who, by failing to disclose the
existence of a sale under pacto de retro, suppressed jurisdictional facts that might
be in the way of his claim's success.
ROSALINA CUNANAN, in her capacity as administratix of the intestate of
Isaac Cunanan and Candida v. RAFAEL AMPARO, Judge of First Instance of
Nueva Ecija, and BONIFACIO SORIANO

G.R. No. L-1313, 16 February 1948, EN BANC, (Tuason,J.)

Facts:

Pursuant to a prior pacto de retro sale involving two parcels of land between
the Cunanans and the Sorianos, Isaac Cunanan (deceased) received money from
Bonifacio Soriano (Soriano) in the amount of P880. Soriano later filed a money claim
for P880 against the deceaseds estate. Later, Rosalina Cunanan, the administratix,
tendered the money in favor of Soriano however the latter refused to accept the
same since, according to Soriano, the money Cunanan offered was Japanese notes
and had no value. Cunanan prayed that Soriano be ordered to accept the amount
tendered and to execute the necessary deed of cancellation, and to return the
possession of two parcels of land which had been conveyed to him. Then Honorable
Quintin Paredes, Jr., granted the Cunanans prayer. No appeal was taken by Soriano
against this judgment.

Despite the Order promulgated by Judge Paredes, Jr., Soriano failed to comply.
Hence, Cunanan filed a complaint against Soriano for contempt of court. However,
Judge Paredes Jr., in his Order dated August 4, 1944, found Soriano not guilty of
contempt but reiterated his order for Soriano to "deliver the property in question to
the administratix Rosalina Cunanan for the benefit of the Intestate Estate."
Undeterred, Soriano moved for the reconsideration of the order of August 4, 1944
claiming that by virtue of the Deed of Sale issued by the Spouses Cunanan in his
favor, ownership over the subject lot was already transferred and consolidated in
Sorianos name. (Note: Soriano appealed from the Order finding him not guilty of
contempt and not from the Judgment ordering him to deliver the possession of the
two parcels of land)

Honorable Rafael Amparo, who now was presiding over the CFI of Nueva
Ecija, granted Sorianos motion. He justified the refusal of Soriano to accept
Japanese military notes. In fine, he set aside the order of Judge Paredes of August 4,
1944. This prompted Cunanan to file a petition before the Court alleging that the
Orders of Hon. Amparo were issued without and/or in excess of his jurisdiction, with
grave abuse of discretion. In his defense, Soriano averred that Court lacked
jurisdiction to order the delivery of the possession of the lots to the estate.

Issue:

Whether or not the court (CFI) has jurisdiction to order the delivery of the
possession of the lots to the estate?
Ruling:

Yes. The Court does not agreed with the respondents that the court lacked
jurisdiction to order the delivery of the possession of the lots to the estate. This
power is a mere consequence of the power to approve Soriano's claim; a power
which the court undoubtedly had and which Soriano himself invoked with full
knowledge of then facts. As a general rule, with the consent of the parties matters
affecting property under judicial administration may be taken cognizance of by the
court in the course of the intestate proceeding provided the interests of third
persons are not prejudiced. Determination of title to property is within the
jurisdiction of Courts of First Instance. The respondent Soriano's objection relates
exclusively to the procedure, which is distinct from jurisdiction. It affects only
personal rights to a mode of practice which may be waived. Certainly, there is
waiver where, as here, and has been pointed out, the party who raises the objection
was the one who set the court in motion, and who, by failing to disclose the
existence of a sale under pacto de retro, suppressed jurisdictional facts that might
be in the way of his claim's success.
BAYANI VASQUEZ v. JUDGE SEVERO MALVAR
A.M. No. 884-CFI August 3, 1978

Appointment of Executor/Administrator, Disqualification

FACTS:

A verified letter-complaint was filed by complainant Bayani Vasquez against


Judge Severo Malvar of the Court of First Instance of Laguna, for alleged serious
misconduct in office on six counts, one of which was appointing his clerk of court,
Atty. Demetrio Hilbero, as special administrator of the Intestate Estate of the late
Maria Pelaez Vda. de Vasquez, despite being repeatedly reminded by the attorneys
of record of the ruling in Medina vs. Court of Appeals (53 SCRA 206) whereby courts
are enjoined to desist from the practice of appointing their Clerk of Court or other
employees as administrators or receivers of estates.

ite the lapse of more than one year from his appointment.

ISSUE:

Whether the appointment of the clerk of court as special administrator was


proper

RULING:

No. Atty. Demetrio Hilbero, clerk of court, was appointed special administrator
by respondent on September 5, 1973. The decision in Medina vs. Court of Appeals
(L-34760, 53 SCRA 206) was handed down by the Supreme Court on September 28,
1973, where it ruled against the practice by probate courts of appointing clerks of
court or other court Personnel as administrators of estates of deceased persons and
enjoined probate courts to desist from such practice. It can be seen that the
appointment of the clerk of court as special administrator was made before the
promotion of said decision. Hence, it could not be true that the appointment was
made despite reminders or admonitions made by the attorneys of the decision in
the Medina case.

However, respondent did overlook and/or ignore this Court's injunction in the
Medina case, for despite the lapse of more than one year from and after the
promulgation of the decision in Medina, and notwithstanding the three motions of
the parties, the first on September 12, 1973 which was heard on October 22, 1973,
and those of January 18, and October 15 in 1974, respondent did not lift a finger to
have his previous orders on the matter rescinded or revoked, which he could have
done even without any motion to that effect. If the appointment of an administrator
was urgent, he could have rescinded his order of September 5, 1973 as early as
September 12, 1973 and/or upon knowing of the decision in the Medina case
promulgated on September 28, 1973 without waiting for any motion therefor; and
soon thereafter he should have appointed the Philippine National Bank branch in
Laguna, as regular administrator, as he had already hinted that day, at least to
forestall any of the parties-litigants from entertaining any wild suspicions as to his
personal motives in the matter. It should be noted that on November 15, 1973, or
over two months after, his clerk of court submitted his partial report as special
administrator.

Judges should be not only men of the highest integrity but they should also at
all times conduct themselves in such a manner as to be above suspicion. Besides,
as a trial court judge, he should always keep himself abreast of the latest laws,
rulings and jurisprudence affecting his jurisdiction.
EMILIO A.M. SUNTAY III v. ISABEL COJUANGCO-SUNTAY
G.R. No. 183053, October 10, 2012.

TOPIC: APPOINTMENT OF ADMINISTRATOR

FACTS:

Cristina Aguinaldo Suntay, who died intestate and was survived by his
spouse, was married to Dr. Federico Suntay. They have a child named Emilio A.
Suntay who predeceased his parents and who was married to Isabel Cojuangco.
They have three legitimate children named Isabel, Margarita and Emilio II. Emilio II
have illegitimate children named Nenita and Emilio III who were reared by their
grandparents Cristina and Federico.

Emilio I and Isabel together with the latters parents and paternal
grandparents were involved in a parricide case filed by Isabel against Emilio I but
the latter was acquitted.

In retaliation, Emilio I filed a complaint for legal separation against alleging


infidelity in which the trial court declared the marriage void and have no effect
based on the finding of Dr. Aramil that Emilio I has schizophrenia which had already
set in even before his marriage with Isabel Cojuanco and that Emilio I lives more in
fancy than reality.

Subsequently, Frederico and Isabel filed a complaint for visitation rights as to


Margarita, Emilio II and Isabel which were granted but later stopped due to
grandparents causing stress and anxiety to them.

Three years after Cristinas death, Frederico adopted the two illegitimate
children Emilio III and Nenita.

Then Isabel filed a petition for issuance of letter of administration before the
trial court.

Federico opposed the petition contending that he is the surviving spouse, a


part owner of the mass of the conjugal property, that Isabel and siblings were
alienated from their grandparents more than 30 years, enumeration of heirs in
petition is incomplete since it excluded the illegitimate children, he had
administered the property even before death of Cristina and that the allegation of
Isabel that some of the properties are in the hands of usurpers is false. Federico
filed a motion to dismiss based on Isabels status as being illegitimate but it was
denied based on Conjuangco vs Cojuangco Suntay case declaring her legitimate
child being born out of voidable marriage. Federico nominated Emilio III as
administrator to which the latter filed an opposition-in-intervention in the case.

RTC appointed Emilio III as sole administrator.


On appeal of Isabel to CA, the latter reversed the ruling of RTC resulting to
appointment of Isabel as Administratix.

On appeal to SC by Federico and Emilioo III, the SC decided to appoint Isabel


and Emilio III as co-administrators based on demonstrable interest in the estate of
both.

Isabel filed a motion for reconsideration as she wanted to be the sole


administratix based on the order of preference for issuance of letter of
administration, Sec. 6 Rule 78 of Rules of Court and Art. 99 of the Civil Code, that
Emilio III is an illegitimate grandchild, not next of kin of Cristina and that theres no
basis for joint administration since theres no opposing parties to be represented.

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not there joint administration is valid.

2. Whether or not the resolution on the issue of heirship should be


resolved in the case.

3. Whether the judgment by Special 2nd Division in Baguio is valid.

RULING:

1. The general rule in the appointment of administrator of the estate of a


decedent is found in Sec. 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court which gives
preference in this order, first to surviving husband or wife or next of kin, or
both, in the discretion of the court, or to such person as surviving husband or
wife or the next of kin request to be appointed, second, one or more principal
creditors and third, such other persons as the court may select.

The primordial consideration in appointment of administrator is the interest of


a candidate which is greater than any other candidate.

The reasons for appointing co-administrators based on Philippine and


American Jurisprudence are, to have various representation of interest,
representation of opposing interest, estate is large and for parties to work in
harmony for the best interest of the estate.

In the case of Matias vs. Gonzales the court held that the two factions should
be represented, in the Vda. de Dayrit vs Ramolete the court held that the
wife as to one half of the conjugal property of gains, is a compulsory heir
entitled to administration of the husbands estate, in the case of Ventura vs
Ventura the court allowed the appointment of surviving spouse and
legitimate children as co-administrators and in the case of Silverio, Sr. vs CA
the court ruled for the legitimate childs appointment as special administrator
against the unsuitable surviving spouse. But these cases cited does not
establish absolute right demandable from probate court to be appointed as
administrator because this is only a precedent of authority of court to
designate 2 or more special co-administrator in an estate. The selection must
be based upon the independent proprietary interest and moral circumstances
of appointee, not based on representation.

Not because one has an interest in the estate he or she must be appointed as
co-administrator, not because there is squabble among heirs the preference
in the appointment of administrator must be disregarded. The long standing
animosity between Isabel and Emilio III and its seeming impossibility of them
to work in harmony and that Emilio III has not looked after the estates welfare
and has acted to the damage and prejudice of estate will not result in
disregarding preference of appointment of administrator but it is for the court
to make a choice between one over the other.

The irrefutable allegation of Isabel as to the inaction of Emilio III on unlawful


adjudication of the estates properties results to his unsuitability to be
appointed as administrator due to failure to make a return and to make a
complete inventory which has become a proven fact when Emilio III has
actually filed partial inventories before the probate court and his inaction to
the exclusion of other Cristinas heir from the list of heirs. But Emilio III still
have remedies to protect his interest which are, to complain to the probate
court if there is concealment, embezzlement or conveyance of assets of the
estate, to have notice as to examination and allowance of administrators
account and to petition the probate court for order of distribution as to
residue.

2. Judicial restraint refrain the court from making a final declaration of heirship
and distribution of it to heirs because the inheritance must first be liquidated.
The estate had hardy been judicially opened and the proceedings has not yet
reached the stage of distribution of the estate which must come after the
inheritance is liquidated. Moreover, Sec. 1, Rule 90 states that no distribution
shall be allowed until the payment of the obligations has been made.

3. The Special Second Division in Baguio is not a different Division created by


the Supreme Court. Such simply a change in venue for the Supreme Courts
summer session held during April that year.
DIOSDADO S. MANUNGAS, petitioner v. MARGARITAAVILALORETO and
FLORENCIAAVILAPARREO, respondents, G.R. No. 193161, THIRD DIVISION, J.
Velasco, Jr.

FACTS

Engracia Manugas was the wife of Florentino Manugas. They had no children
hence they adopted Samuel David Avila(Avila). Florentino died intestate while Avila
predeceased his adoptive mother. Avila was survived by his wife Sarah Abarte Vda.
De Manugas. Engracia filed a Motion for Partition of Estate in the intestate estate
proceedings of Florentino where she stated that there were no other legal and
compulsory heirs of Florentino except herself, Avila and Ramon Manugas whom she
acknowledged as the natural son of Florentino. Avilas widow executed a waiver of
rights and participation renouncing her rights over the property of her husband in
favor of Engracia. Consequently, a Decree of Final Distribution was issued in the
intestate estate of Florentino distributing the properties to Engracia and Ramon.
Thereafter, the RTC of Panabo City appointed Parreo, the niece of Engracia as the
Judicial Guardian of the properties and person of her incompetent aunt. Through
Parreo, Engracia instituted a civil case against the Spouses Diosdado Salinas
Manugas(Diosdado) and Milagros Pacifico for illegal detainer and damages. MTC
issued a summary judgment in favor of Engracia due to the failure of Diosdado to
file an answer. After sometime, Diosdado instituted a petition for the issuance of
letters of administration over Engracias Estate in his favor before the RTC of Tagum.
He alleged that he, being an illegitimate son of Florentino, is an heir of Engracia.
The petition was opposed by Margarita Avila Loreto(Loreto) and Parreo alleging that
Diosdado was incompetent as an administrator as He was not a Manugas and in fact
a debtor of Engracias Estate. RTC ruled in favor of Parreo and appointed her as the
administrator but was later on reversed through the motion for reconsideration filed
by Diosdado which appointed the latter as the administrator. The Court of Appeals
via Rule 65 ruled that RTC acted with Grave abuse of discretion and reinstated
Parreo as the administrator of the estate. Thus this petition.

ISSUES

1. Whether CA erred in disregarding jurisprudence which hold that certiorari


cannot be a substitute for an appeal where the latter remedy is available.

2. Whether CA erred when it ruled to annul the appointment of Diosdado herein


petitioner as judicial administrator and reinstating the appointment of
Parreo.

RULING
1. NO. The Court has considered an appointment of a special administrator as an
interlocutory or preliminary order to the main case for the grant of letters of
administration in a testate or intestate proceeding. In Ocampo v. Ocampo, the
Court succinctly held, that the appointment or removal of special administrators,
being discretionary, is thus interlocutory and may be assailed through a petition
for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Further, notwithstanding the
general rule that a motion for reconsideration should first be filed before availing
the remedy under Rule 65, it is not necessary when the issue raised is one purely
of law or where public interest is involved.

2. YES. The RTC acted with Grave abuse of discretion in appointing Diosdado as the
administrator. The fact that Diosdado is an heir to the estate of Florentino
Manungas does not mean that he is entitled or even qualified to become the
special administrator of the Estate of Engracia. Jurisprudence held that the
appointment of a special administrator lies within the discretion of the court. As
the law does not say who shall be appointed as special administrator and the
qualifications the appointee must have, the judge or court has discretion in the
selection of the person to be appointed, discretion which must be sound, that is,
not whimsical or contrary to reason, justice or equity. It may, therefore, not be
remiss to reiterate that the role of a special administrator is to preserve the
estate until a regular administrator is appointed. In the case at bar, evidence on
record shows that Diosdado is not related to the late Engracia and so he is not
interested in preserving the latters estate while Parreo on the other hand is a
former Judicial guardian of Engracia when she was still alive and who is also the
niece of the latter, is interested in protecting and preserving the estate of her
late aunt Engracia, as by doing so she would reap the benefit of a wise
administration of the decedents estate. It must be remembered that the estate
of Florentino Manungas was already the subject of intestate proceedings that
have long been terminated with the proceeds distributed to the heirs with the
issuance of a Decree of Final Distribution. With the termination of the intestate
estate proceedings of Florentino Manungas, Diosdado, as an illegitimate heir of
Florentino Manungas, is still not an heir of Engracia Manungas and is not entitled
to receive any part of the Estate of Manungas.
LEO ROMERO AND DAVID AMANDO ROMERO v. COURT OF APPEALS,
AURORA ROMERO AND VITTORIO ROMERO
G.R. No. 188921, April 18, 2012

Topic: Powers/restrictions on powers of executor/administrator

Facts:

Petitioners alleged that their mother Aurora Romero was appointed as the
administrator and legal guardian of the properties of their deceeased father upon
his death in 1974. In 2006, petitioners discovered that several Deeds of Sale were
registered over the parcels of land that are conjugal properties of their parents. The
said deeds were executed by their mother in favor of Vittorio, their brother, who
allegedly employed force and threat upon Aurora which resulted to Aurora signing
the deeds without reading or knowing the contents thereof.

Petitioners filed a complaint for annulment of sale, nullification of title and


conveyance of title against Aurora and Vittorio. Vittorio contended that the
properties were acquired long after the death of their father Judge Dante Romero;
hence, they are not conjugal properties. He also claimed that the properties are
paraphernal properties of Aurora which she had mortgaged and which he (Vittorio)
subsequently redeemed.

RTC dismissed the complaint in view of a pending settlement proceeding and


reasoned that since there has been no distribution of assets nor partition of the
estate among the compulsory heirs, the attending claims of the plaintiff and
defendant could not be adjudicated without first getting a pronouncement from the
intestate court as to the share of each of the heirs of the deceased. CA likewise
dismissed the appeal. Before the SC, the petitioners contend that a separate civil
action may be instituted for annulment of sale and reconveyance of title despite
pendency of settlement proceedings since probate court is without jurisdiction to
determine question of ownership. Also, they invoked the doctrine that while heirs
have no standing in court to sue for the recovery of property of the estate
represented by an administrator, these heirs may maintain such action if the
administrator is unwilling to bring thr suit or has allegedly participated in the act
complained of.

Issues:

1) Whether probate court has jurisdiction over the case.

2) Whether the heirs may file the present action.

Ruling:
1. Yes. Although generally a probate court may not decide a question of title or
ownership, yet if the interested parties are all heirs, or the question is one of
collation or advancement, or the parties consent to thr assumption of
jurisdiction by the probate court and the rights of third parties are not
impaired, then the probate court is competent to decide the question on
ownership. In this case, the only interested parties are the heirs who have all
appeared in the intestate proceeding. Hence, it can be treated as an
exception to the general rule. Furthermore, the issue before the court is not
really one of title or owership, but the determination of which particular
properties should be included in the inventory of the estate. The
determination of whether a property is conjugal or paraphernal for purposes
of inclusion in the inventory if the estate rests with the probate court.

2. No. Section 3, Rule 87 bars petitioners from filing the present action. Under
the said provision, when an administraotr is appointed and assumes the trust,
no action to recover the title or possession of lands or damages done to such
shall be maintained against him by an heir or devisee until there is an order
of the court assigning such share to such heir or devisee. The contention of
the petitioners that the exception must apply if the administrator is unwilling
to brin the suit or has allegedly participated in the act of complained of must
fail since there is nothing on the record that would prove that Aurora defied
the orders of the probate court or entered into sale agreements in violation of
her trust. Auroras acts as the administrator of the estate are subject to the
sole jurisdiction of the probate court. Indeed, implicit in the requirement for
judicial approval of sales of property under administration is the recognition
that the probate court has the power to rescind or nullify the disposition of a
property under administration that was effected without its authority.
FELIX UY CHUA, ROBERT IPING CHUA, RICHARD UY CHUA and Atty.
FEDERICO C. CABILAO, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, SOFIA O. SANCHEZ,
assisted by husband FORTUNATO SANCHEZ, G.R. No. 121438, October 23,
2000, QUISUMBING, J.

Powers/Restrictions on Powers of Ex/Adm.

Once the court approved the sale of estate property and the order becomes final,
the court can no longer rescind the sale.

FACTS: Fernando B. Morada owned a Lot located in Cebu City. After his death, the
probate court presided by Judge Abarquez appointed Aida, his wife as administratrix
of her husbands estate. In 1984, the probate court allowed the sale of the lot for
P200,000.00 to the spouses Enriquez but this was later rescinded. In 1988, the
probate court again issued an order allowing the re-sale of said lot, the proceeds of
which shall be used to pay the P200,000.00 already paid by the Enriquez spouses.
A Deed of Absolute Sale thereof was executed in favor of Sofia Sanchez, herein
private respondent. The Court approved the sale on May 3, 1991. On May 7, 1991,
the court, after approving the sale to Sanchez, directed Aida to submit an
accounting within thirty days, deposit the proceeds of the sale, and then inform the
court of the name of the bank where the money was deposited. After more than two
months from the date of approval of the sale, Intervenor Morelos, filed a motion for
reconsideration opposing the sale alleging that the sale was prejudicial to the minor
heirs of Fernando.

Atty. Cabilao, on instructions of Judge Abarquez, filed his Proposal to Purchase


the Property and was opposed by Aida. Judge Abarquez issued an order revoking his
approval of the sale and declared void and without effect the deed of absolute sale
he had earlier approved. Almost immediately after his order, Judge Abarquez also
approved the proposal of Atty. Cabilao to purchase the property. Before Judge
Abarquez inhibited himself and before the case was re-raffled, the Branch Clerk of
Court, issued a certification that the Order of Judge Abarquez declaring the Deed of
Sale executed by Aida in favor of Sofia Sanchez was void and without effect; and
that the Order approving the sale to Atty. Cabilao issued by Judge Abarquez had
become final and executory . Atty. Cabilao filed a motion for execution and Judge
Portia Alio-Hormachuelos, presiding over Branch 12 where the case was re-raffled,
issued an Omnibus Order granting the motion for execution and dismissing the
urgent motion of Sanchez. Sanchez filed a motion for reconsideration and made a
counter-offer but motion was denied. Sanchez filed a petition for certiorari before
the CA alleging that respondent Judges Abarquez and Alio-Hormachelos abused
their discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when they issued the questioned
orders. The appellate court granted the petition in favor of private respondent
Sanchez and the Deed of Absolute Sale in her favor was affirmed and reinstated.
Reconsideration was denied.

ISSUE: Whether the courts order approving the sale to Sofia Sanchez had already
become final and executory and therefor can no longer be rescinded
RULING: Yes. In Pan Realty Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, the Court ruled that
the order of the Probate Court authorizing, or subsequently approving, the absolute
sale of property of the estate in favor of a specified buyer undoubtedly constitutes a
final determination of the rights not only of the buyer and the estate but also of any
heir or party claiming to be prejudiced by the sale. For obviously, once the sale is
consummated and approved by the Court, the buyer will acquire title to the
property to the exclusion of the estate and the heirs or other party participating or
otherwise involved in the proceedings for settlement of the estate, unless the
authority to sell or the approval of the sale by the Court be reversed seasonably and
by the proper adjective mode. After its approval of the sale, nothing is left to be
done by the Probate Court with respect to the merits thereof; and it is thus in this
sense, a final order subject to appeal pursuant to Sec. 2, Rule 41 of the Rules of
Court.

It will be recalled that the probate court declared the sale to Sanchez, null
and void due to fraud and misrepresentation, then it entertained the offer of Atty.
Cabilao to purchase the property at a higher price. The CA ruled that the sale of the
property to Atty. Cabilao was void because the court was already without
jurisdictionto enter the same after the sale to Sanchez, which was previously
approved by the same court, was consummated and the intervenors failed to
seasonably appeal therefrom.

Section 1, Rule 109 of the ROC provides that an interested person may
appeal from an order or judgment rendered by the probate court where such order
constitutes the settlement of the estate of a deceased person. In the case before us,
the probate court approved the Deed of Sale in favor of Sanchez on May 3, 1991. In
special proceedings under Rule 109 of the Rules of Court and in other cases where
multiple appeals are allowed, the period of appeal is thirty days. A record on appeal
is required. Recall that Atty. Rodolfo M. Morelos did not appeal but filed a motion for
reconsideration only on July 16, 1991, while Atty. Cabilao intervened and offered to
buy the property on August 6, 1991. By then, the sale of the property to Sanchez
was already consummated and final. When the probate court allowed Atty. Cabilao
to propose to buy the land and allowed the sale to the latter, the probate court, at
this juncture, had clearly gravely abused its discretion. All other proceedings
thereafter were conducted by the probate court without jurisdiction including the
erroneous nullification of the sale to Sanchez and the subsequent sale to
petitioners. The CA, therefore did not err in its order nullifying and voiding the
orders dated November 15, 1991, January 13, 1992 and February 25, 1992.

The questioned orders of the probate court nullifying the sale to Sanchez
after it approved the sale and after its order of approval had become final and
executory amount to oppressive exercise of judicial authority, a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Further orders stemming therefrom are
also null and without effect.
Sheker vs Estate of Alice O. Sheker
G.R. No. 157912 December 13, 2007

TOPIC: Money claim is not an initiatory pleading nor non-payment of docket fess
warrants its dismissal.

FACTS: The RTC admitted to probate the holographic will of Alice Sheker and
thereafter issued an order for all the creditors to file their respective claims against
the estate. In compliance therewith, petitioner filed on a contingent claim for
agents commission due him in the event of the sale of certain parcels of land
belonging to the estate, and reimbursement for expenses incurred and/or to be
incurred by petitioner in the course of negotiating the sale of said realties.

The executrix of the Estate of Alice Sheker (Medina) moved for the dismissal of said
money claim against the estate on the grounds that (1) the requisite docket fee, as
prescribed in Section 7(a), Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, had not been paid; (2)
petitioner failed to attach a certification against non-forum shopping; and (3)
petitioner failed to attach a written explanation why the money claim was not filed
and served personally.

The RTC-Iligan City issued the assailed Order dismissing without prejudice the
money claim based on the grounds advanced by respondent. Petitioners MR was
denied.Petitioner then filed the present petition for review on certiorari.

Petitioner maintains that the RTC erred in strictly applying to a


probate proceeding the rules requiring a certification of non-forum shopping, a
written explanation for non-personal filing, and the payment of docket fees upon
filing of the claim. He insists that Section 2, Rule 72 of the ROC provides that rules
in ordinary actions are applicable to special proceedings only in
a suppletory manner.

ISSUE/S:

1. Must a contingent claim filed against an estate in a probate proceeding be


dismissed for failing to pay the docket fees at the time of its filing thereat?

2. Must a contingent claim filed in the probate proceeding contain a certification


against non-forum shopping, failing which such claim should be dismissed?

HELD:

1. NO; On the issue of filing fees, the Court ruled in Pascual v. Court of Appeals
that the trial court has jurisdiction to act on a money claim (attorneys fees)
against an estate for services rendered by a lawyer to the administratrix to
assist her in fulfilling her duties to the estate even without payment of
separate docket fees because the filing fees shall constitute a lien on the
judgment pursuant to Section 2, Rule 141 of the ROC, or the trial court may
order the payment of such filing fees within a reasonable time. After all, the
trial court had already assumed jurisdiction over the action for settlement of
the estate. Clearly, therefore, non-payment of filing fees for a money claim
against the estate is not one of the grounds for dismissing a money claim
against the estate.

2. NO; The certification of non-forum shopping is required only for complaints


and other initiatory pleadings. The RTC erred in ruling that a contingent
money claim against the estate of a decedent is an initiatory pleading. In the
present case, the whole probate proceeding was initiated upon the filing of
the petition for allowance of the decedents will. Under Sections 1 and 5,
Rule 86 of the Rules of Court, after granting letters of testamentary or of
administration, all persons having money claims against the decedent are
mandated to file or notify the court and the estate administrator of their
respective money claims; otherwise, they would be barred, subject to certain
exceptions.

Such being the case, a money claim against an estate is more akin to a
motion for creditors claims to be recognized and taken into consideration in
the proper disposition of the properties of the estate. In Arquiza v. Court of
Appeals,[6] the Court explained thus:

x x The office of a motion is not to initiate new litigation, but to bring a


material but incidental matter arising in the progress of the case in which the
motion is filed. A motion is not an independent right or remedy, but is
confined to incidental matters in the progress of a cause. It relates to some
question that is collateral to the main object of the action and is connected
with and dependent upon the principal remedy.xx

A money claim is only an incidental matter in the main action for the
settlement of the decedents estate; more so if the claim is contingent since
the claimant cannot even institute a separate action for a mere contingent
claim. Hence, herein petitioners contingent money claim, not being an
initiatory pleading, does not require a certification against non-forum
shopping.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Orders of the RTC are REVERSED
and SET ASIDE. The RTC is hereby DIRECTED to give due course and take
appropriate action on petitioners money claim in accordance with Rule 82 of the
ROC.
ALFREDO HILADO, LOPEZ SUGAR CORPORATION, FIRST FARMERS HOLDING
CORPORATION v. CA
May 8, 2009, G.R. No. 164108, J. Tinga

Topic: Money Claims vs. Estate

Facts:
Roberto Benedicto died intestate and survived by his wife, Julita Benedicto
and his daughter. At the time of his death, there were two (2) pending civil cases
against Roberto involving the petitioners. Julita filed with the RTC a petition for the
issuance of letters of administration in her favor and was granted. She then
submitted an inventory of the estate with lists of properties and liabilities of the
deceased, and the liabilities include the said pending claims. The petitioners then
filed with a Manifestation/Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela, praying that they be
furnished with the copies of all the processes and orders pertaining to the intestate
proceedings and with specific reliefs, such as to be given notice of hearing on the
petition for letters of administration as creditors, among others.. Julita opposed
such, disputing their personality to intervene in the intestate proceedings.

RTC denied the manifestation/motion as the petitioners are not interested


parties to intervene in the intestate proceedings. Such decision was affirmed by the
CA.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioners can intervene in the settlement proceedings and
shall be given notice.

Ruling:

Claims based on torts entitles claimant to notice but cannot intervene in the
settlement proceedings.

The settlement of estates of deceased persons falls within the Rules of


Special Proceedings, not the Rules on Civil Procedure. Sec. 2, Rule 72 further
provides that in the absence of special provisions, the rules provided for in ordinary
actions shall be, as far as practicable, applicable to special proceedings. Thus,
notwithstanding Sec. 2, Rule 72, intervention under Rule 19 does not extend to
creditors of a decedent whose credit is based on a contingent claim. Rule 19 on
intervention does not accommodate contingent claims, but must be actual and
direct interest.

However, the claims against the deceased were based on tort. Civil actions
for tort or quasi-delict do not fall within the class of claims to be filed under the
notice to creditors required under Rule 86. These actions, being as they are
civil, survive the death of the decedent and may be commenced against the
administrator pursuant to Sec. 1, Rule 87.
Petitioners interests in the estate of Benedicto may be inchoate interests, but
they are viable interests nonetheless. Thus, while there is no general right to
intervene on the part of the petitioners, they may be allowed to seek certain
prayers or reliefs from the intestate court not explicitly provided for under the Rules,
if the prayer or relief sought is necessary to protect their interest in the estate, and
there is no other modality under the Rules by which such interests can be
protected.
PURITA ALIPIO v. COURT OF APPEALS and ROMEO G. JARING
represented by his Attorney-In-Fact RAMON G. JARING
G.R. No. 134100, 29 September 2000, Second Division, J. Mendoza

FACTS: Romeo Jaring was the lessee of a fishpond in Bataan for a period of five
years. After two years, he subleased the same, for the remaining period of his lease,
to the spouses Placido and Purita Alipio and the spouses Bienvenido and Remedios
Manuel. Each of the four sublessees signed the contract.

The first installment was duly paid, but of the second installment, the sublessees
left an unpaid balance. Despite due demand, the sublessees failed to comply with
their obligation, which lead Jaring to sue the Alipio and Manuel spouses for the
collection of the said amount before the RTC. In the alternative, he prayed for the
rescission of the sublease contract should the defendants fail to pay the balance.

Purita Alipio moved to dismiss the case on the ground that her husband had passed
away. She based her action on Rule 3, 21 of the 1964 Rules of Court which then
provided that "when the action is for recovery of money, debt or interest thereon,
and the defendant dies before final judgment in the Court of First Instance, it shall
be dismissed to be prosecuted in the manner especially provided in these rules."
This provision has been amended as Rule 3, 20 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure.

The trial court denied petitioner's motion on the ground that since petitioner was
herself a party to the sublease contract, she could be independently impleaded in
the suit together with the Manuel spouses and that the death of her husband merely
resulted in his exclusion from the case.

The RTC ruled in favor of Jaring. The appellate court dismissed Alipios appeal and
stated that the latters defense, does not apply where there are other defendants
against whom the action should be maintained as decided in the case of Climaco v.
Siy Uy. Moreover, it is noted that all the defendants, including the deceased, were
signatories to the contract of sub-lease. The remaining defendants cannot avoid the
action by claiming that the death of one of the parties to the contract has totally
extinguished their obligation as held in Imperial Insurance, Inc. v. David, further,
when the obligation is a solidary one, the creditor may bring his action in toto
against any of the debtors obligated in solidum. Thus, if husband and wife bound
themselves jointly and severally, in case of his death, her liability is independent of
and separate from her husband's; she may be sued for the whole debt and it would
be error to hold that the claim against her as well as the claim against her husband
should be made in the decedent's estate. (Agcaoili vs. Vda. de Agcaoili, 90 Phil.
97).

ISSUE: Whether a creditor can sue the surviving spouse for the collection of a debt
which is owed by the conjugal partnership of gains and whether such claim must be
filed in proceedings for the settlement of the estate of the decedent.
HELD: NO. The Supreme Court held that a creditor cannot sue the surviving spouse
of a decedent in an ordinary proceeding for the collection of a sum of money
chargeable against the conjugal partnership and that the proper remedy is for him
to file a claim in the settlement of estate of the decedent.

Alipio's husband died on December 1, 1988, more than ten months before private
respondent filed the collection suit in the trial court on October 13, 1989. This case
thus falls outside of the ambit of Rule 3, 21. Rule 3, 20 of the ROC now provides
that the case will be allowed to continue until entry of final judgment. A favorable
judgment obtained by the plaintiff therein will then be enforced in the manner
especially provided in the Rules for prosecuting claims against the estate of a
deceased person.

Alipio and her late husband, together with the Manuel spouses, signed the sublease
contract binding themselves to pay the amount of stipulated rent. Under the law,
the Alipios' obligation is one which is chargeable against their conjugal partnership.
Under Art. 161(1) of the Civil Code, the conjugal partnership is liable for all debts
and obligations contracted by the husband for the benefit of the conjugal
partnership, and those contracted by the wife, also for the same purpose, in the
cases where she may legally bind the partnership.

When Alipio's husband died, their conjugal partnership was automatically


dissolved and debts chargeable against it are to be paid in the settlement of estate
proceedings in accordance with Rule 73, 2 .

As held in Calma v. Taedo, after the death of either of the spouses, no complaint
for the collection of indebtedness chargeable against the conjugal partnership can
be brought against the surviving spouse. Instead, the claim must be made in the
proceedings for the liquidation and settlement of the conjugal property. The reason
for this is that upon the death of one spouse, the powers of administration of the
surviving spouse ceases and is passed to the administrator appointed by the court
having jurisdiction over the settlement of estate proceedings. Indeed, the surviving
spouse is not even a de facto administrator such that conveyances made by him of
any property belonging to the partnership prior to the liquidation of the mass of
conjugal partnership property is void.

In many cases as in the instant one, even after the death of one of the spouses,
there is no liquidation of the conjugal partnership. This does not mean, however,
that the conjugal partnership continues. And private respondent cannot be said to
have no remedy. Under Sec. 6, Rule 78 of the Revised Rules of Court, he may apply
in court for letters of administration in his capacity as a principal creditor of the
deceased . . . if after thirty (30) days from his death, petitioner failed to apply for
administration or request that administration be granted to some other person. 14

It must be noted that for marriages governed by the rules of conjugal partnership of
gains, an obligation entered into by the husband and wife is chargeable against
their conjugal partnership and it is the partnership which is primarily bound for its
repayment. Thus, when the spouses are sued for the enforcement of an obligation
entered into by them, they are being impleaded in their capacity as representatives
of the conjugal partnership and not as independent debtors such that the concept of
joint or solidary liability, as between them, does not apply. But even assuming the
contrary to be true, the nature of the obligation involved in this case, as will be
discussed later, is not solidary but rather merely joint.

From the foregoing, it is clear that Jaring cannot maintain the present suit against
Alipio. Rather, his remedy is to file a claim against the Alipios in the proceeding for
the settlement of the estate of petitioner's husband or, if none has been
commenced, he can file a petition either for the issuance of letters of
administration or for the allowance of will, depending on whether petitioner's
husband died intestate or testate. Aside from Alipio's lack of authority to represent
their conjugal estate, the inventory of the Alipios' conjugal property is necessary
before any claim chargeable against it can be paid. Needless to say, such power
exclusively pertains to the court having jurisdiction over the settlement of the
decedent's estate and not to any other court.
Social Security Commission and Lamboso v Far Alba
G.R No. 165482 July 23, 2008

An action for remittance of SS monthly contributions is not required to be


filed against the estate of the deceased, as this is akin to claims for unpaid taxes
which are not covered by statute of non-claims because these are monetary
obligations created by law.

Facts:

In 1991, Lamboso filed a claim for retirement benefit before SSS, however his
claim was denied on the ground that he could not qualify for monthly pension as he
had only 39 paid contributions.

On appeal to SSC, it ordered Alba (employer of Lamboso) to pay to the SSS


the delinquent monthly contributions and also ordered SSS to pay Lamboso his
retirement benefit.

Alba moved for reconsideration, citing lack of notice and denial of due
process but it was denied.

Alba subsequently filed a Petition for Review (Rule 43) before CA assigning
the ff. errors: a) the order of the Commission was rendered in violation of his
constitutional rights to due process and equal protection; b) he was not obliged by
law to remit the contributions to the SSS prior to 1970 and after 1973 in the
absence of EER; and c) Lambosos claim had already prescribed

CA reversed the said order and held that Alba cannot be considered as an
employer because he was a mere administrator of the family-owned hacienda and
not an employer as defined under SSS Law. Furthermore, it held that it was Alba Sr.
(father of Far) who failed to remit the SS contributions; hence Lamboso should have
asserted his claim before the estate proceedings of his deceased employer in
accordance with Sec. 5, Rule 86 of the ROC. Hence, this case.

Arguments:

SSC insists that Alba is the employer of Lamboso and it asserts that a petition
for the payment of SS contributions and SS retirement benefits may not be filed
before the estate proceedings of Alba Sr., as such claim is not a money claim arising
from contract, express or implied, entered into by the decedent in his lifetime but is
rather akin to claims for taxes which may be enforced against the decedents
Executor, Administrator, or legal heirs within 20 years.

On the other hand, Alba stresses that he was not Lambosos employer prior
to 1970 and neither had been the administrator of the hacienda because in 1960,
he was in Manila studying law.

Issues:
1) Whether Alba had been Lambosos employer prior to 1970. (question of
fact)

2) Whether an action for remittance of SS monthly contributions is a type of


money claim which needs to be filed against the estate proceedings.

Ruling:

1) YES. It was shown in Lambosos clear and direct testimony that Alba
served as the haciendas administrator from 1960 to 1965 and solely ran the place
from 1965 onwards.

Considering such fact, the next thing to be determined is whether an


administrator could be considered as an employer within the scope of SSS Law.
YES. Reasons:

a) ALBA not an ordinary administrator. His interest and his fathers


interests in the business were plainly and inextricably linked by filial bond. He more
than just acted in the interests of his father as employer.

b) Applying the CONTROL TEST in determining the existence of EER.


Lamboso testified that he was selected and his services were engaged by Alba
himself, likewise, he had been paid his wages by Alba as seconded by his co-worker,
Sales.

c) ALBA considered as an employer under Labor Code. An employer is


any person, natural or juridical, employing the services of the employee.

d) SSS Law is broad enough to include those persons acting directly


or indirectly in the interest of the employer.

2) NO. Employers are required to remit the contributions to the SSS by


mandate of law. As such, actions of this type should be treated in much the same
way as taxes that they are not required to be filed against the estate and that they
be claim against the heirs of the errant decedent.

Similarly, claims by government for unpaid taxes are not covered by the
statute of non-claims as these are monetary obligations created by law. Even after
the distribution of the estate, claims for taxes may be enforced against the
distributees in proportion to their shares in the inheritance.
MARIA ELENA RODRIGUEZ PEDROSA, petitioner, vs. THE HON. COURT OF
APPEALS, JOSE, CARMEN, MERCEDES & RAMON, all surnamed RODRIGUEZ,
ROSALINA RODRIGUEZ, et al.

PRESCRIPTION against Heir with respect to EJP - The 2 year period does not
apply to heirs who had no knowledge of and consent to EJP and where partition is
sought to be annulled on the grounds of fraud.

Facts:

Spouses Miguel Rodriguez and Rosalina Rodriguez was able to adopt petitioner
Maria Pedrosa. However, Miguel died intestate. Thereafter, Pedrosa and Rosalina
entered into an extrajudicial settlement of Miguel's estate, adjudicating between
themselves in equal proportion the estate of Miguel.

Subsequently, when respondents filed an action to annul the adoption of petitioner,


CFI denied it and uphold its validity. On March 11, 1983, pending its appeal, the
Rodriguezes entered into an extrajudicial settlement with respondent Rosalina for
the partition of the estate of Miguel. Because of this deed that Rodriguezes were
able to secure new TCTs and were able to sell some parcels to the other third
persons.

Upon the decision of CA upholding the validity of the adoption, the Pedrosa sent her
daughter to claim their share of properties from Rodriguezes, however the latter
refuse to do so. This prompted Pedrosa to file complaint to annul the 1983
Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement and Partition. The said complaint was filed
on January 28, 1987.

RTC dismissed the complaint. On appeal, CA affirm. Hence this petition.

Issue: Whether or not the complaint for annulment of the "Deed of Extrajudicial
Settlement and Partition" had already prescribed

Held:

Section 4, Rule 74 provides for a two year prescriptive period (1) to persons who
have participated or taken part or had notice of the extrajudicial partition, and
in addition (2) when the provisions of Section 1 of Rule 74 have been strictly
complied with, i.e., that all the persons or heirs of the decedent have taken
part in the extrajudicial settlement or are represented by themselves or
through guardians.

Here, Petitioner did not participate in the extrajudicial partition. Thus, the two-year
prescriptive period is not applicable in her case. The applicable prescriptive
period here is four (4) years as provided in Gerona vs. De Guzman, which held
that the action to annul a deed of "extrajudicial settlement" upon the ground of
fraud...may be filed within four years from the discovery of the fraud.
Considering that the complaint of the petitioner was filed on January 28, 1987, or
three years and ten months after the questioned extrajudicial settlement dated
March 11, 1983, was executed, we hold that her action against the respondents on
the basis of fraud has not yet prescribed.

Furthermore, Section 1 of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court states that without the
participation and notice of all persons involved, the extrajudicial settlement cannot
be binding on said persons.

In the case, Maria Pedrosa is an heir of Miguel, she excludes the collateral relatives
of Miguel from participating in his estate. The private respondent Rodriguezes
cannot claim that they were not aware of Maria Elena's adoption since they even
filed an action to annul the decree of adoption. Neither can they claim that their
actions were valid since the adoption of Maria Elena was still being questioned at
the time they executed the deed of partition. The complaint seeking to annul the
adoption was filed only twenty six (26) years after the decree of adoption, patently
a much delayed response to prevent Maria Elena from inheriting from her adoptive
parents. The decree of adoption was valid and existing. With this factual setting, it is
patent that private respondents executed the deed of partition in bad faith with
intent to defraud Maria Elena.

Petition is Granted.
SPS RODOLFO BEROT AND LILIA BEROT vs. FELIPE C. SIAPNO
G.R. No. 188944, July 9, 2014, SERENO, CJ

TOPIC: Action vs. Estate. Estate can be impleaded as defendant if no objection.

FACTS:

On May 23, 2002, Macaria Berot and spouses Rodolfo A. Berot and Lilia P. Berot
obtained a loan from Felipe C. Siapno in the sum of P250,000.00, payable within one
year together with interest thereon at the rate of 2% per annum from that date until
fully paid. As security for the loan, Macaria and Lilia mortgaged to Felipe Siapno a
portion, consisting of 147 square meters (or "contested property"), of that parcel of
land with an area of 718 square meters, situated in Banaoang, Calasiao, Pangasinan
and covered by Tax Declaration No. 1123 in the names of Macaria and her husband
Pedro Berot (or "Pedro"), deceased. On June 23, 2003, Macaria died.

Because of the mortgagors default, appellee filed an action against them for
foreclosure of mortgage and damages on July 15, 2004 in the RTC of Dagupan City.
In answer, Rodolfo Berot and Lilia alleged that the contested property was the
inheritance of the former from his deceased father, Pedro; that on said property is
their family home; that the mortgage is void as it was constituted over the family
home without the consent of their children, who are the beneficiaries thereof; that
their obligation is only joint; and that the lower court has no jurisdiction over
Macaria for the reason that no summons was served on her as she was already
dead.With leave of court, the complaint was amended by substituting the estate of
Macaria in her stead. Thus, the defendants named in the amended complaint are
now the "ESTATE OF MACARIA BEROT, represented by Rodolfo A. Berot, RODOLFO A.
BEROT and LILIA P. BEROT".

The RTC allowed the foreclosure of a mortgaged property despite the objections of
petitioners claiming, among others, that its registered owner was impleaded in the
suit despite being deceased. The Court of Appeals AFFIRMED the decision with
MODIFICATION in that the award of exemplary damages, attorneys fees and
expenses of litigation is DELETED.

ISSUE: Whether intestate estate of Macaria Berot could be a proper party by waiver
expressly or impliedly by voluntary appearance

RULING: YES.

As a rule, a deceased person does not have such legal entity as is necessary to
bring action so much so that a motion to substitute cannot lie and should be denied
by the court. An action begun by a decedents estate cannot be said to have been
begun by a legal person, since an estate is not a legal entity; such an action is a
nullity and a motion to amend the party plaintiff will not, likewise, lie, there being
nothing before the court to amend. Considering that capacity to be sued is a
correlative of the capacity to sue, to the same extent, a decedent does not have the
capacity to be sued and may not be named a party defendant in a court action.
However, it can be gleaned from the records of the case that petitioners did not
object when the estate of Macaria was impleaded as respondent in the foreclosure
case. Petitioner Rodolfo Berot did not object either when the original Complaint was
amended and respondent impleaded him as the administrator of Macarias estate,
in addition to his being impleaded as an individual respondent in the case. Thus, the
trial and appellate courts were correct in ruling that, indeed, petitioners impliedly
waived any objection to the trial courts exercise of jurisdiction over their persons at
the inception of the case. For these reasons, the defendants are deemed to have
waived any objection on the personality of the estate of Macaria Berot. Section 1,
Rule 9 of the Rules of Court provides that, "Defenses and objections not pleaded
either in a motion to dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived.

In this case, Rodolfos continued appearance and participation in the proceedings of


the case dispensed with the formal substitution of the heirs in place of the deceased
Macaria. The failure of petitioners to timely object to the trial courts exercise of
jurisdiction over the estate of Macaria Berot amounted to a waiver on their part.
Consequently, it would be too late for them at this point to raise that defense to
merit the reversal of the assailed decision of the trial court. The Supreme Court is
left with no option other than to sustain the CAs affirmation of the trial courts
Decision on this matter.

In addition, The CA properly upheld respondent's course of action as an availment of


the second remedy provided under Section 7, Rule 86 of the 1997 Revised Rules of
Court. Under the said provision for claims against an estate, a mortgagee has the
legal option to institute a foreclosure suit and to recover upon the security, which is
the mortgaged property.
CASE NUMBER 21
21 People vs. Lipata, April 20, 2016 effect as to the death of the accused.
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, petitioner, vs. HONORABLE ELIAS B. ASUNCION,
FABAR INCORPORATED, JOSE MA. BARREDO, CARMEN B. BORROMEO and
TOMAS L. BORROMEO, respondents. G.R. No. L-46095 November 23, 1977;
Makasiar, J.

Solidary obligation of decedent, creditor can sue surviving debtor.

FACTS

PNB (Petitioner) granted in favor Fabar Incorporated (Respondent) various


credit accommodations and advances. Said credit accommodations had an
outstanding balance of P8,449,169.98. All credit accommodations were secured by
the joint and several signatures of Jose Ma. Barredo, Carmen B. Borromeo and
Tomas L. Borromeo (Private respondents) and Manuel H. Barredo. Despite repeated
demands, private respondents failed to pay their obligations. Petitioner then
instituted a case for collection against all private respondents and Manuel Barredo,
which was filed before the Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch XII (Respondent
Court).

Before the case could be decided, Manuel Barredo died and the
respondent court was duly informed by the counsel for private respondents.
Thereafter, the respondent court issued an Order dismissing the collection case
against private respondents in view of the death of Manuel Barredo pursuant to the
provisions of Section 6, Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court, which provides:

Where the obligation of the decedent is solidary with another debtor,


the claim shall be filed against the decedent as if he were the only
debtor, without prejudice to the right of the estate to recover
contribution from the other debtor ... the claim of plaintiff may be filed
with the estate proceedings of the decedent.

Petitioner then filed a motion for reconsideration contending that the


dismissal should only be against the deceased defendant Manuel Barredo which the
respondent court denied. Hence, a petition for review on certiorari was filed.

ISSUE

Whether the respondent Court erred in dismissing the case against all the
defendants, instead of dismissing the case only as against the deceased defendant.

RULING

The petition is meritorious. Section 6, Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court


reveals that nothing therein prevents a creditor from proceeding against the
surviving solidary debtors. Said provision merely sets up the procedure in enforcing
collection in case a creditor chooses to pursue his claim against the estate of the
deceased solidary debtor. The rule has been set forth that a creditor (in a solidary
obligation) has the option whether to file or not to file a claim against the estate of
the solidary debtor. There is nothing in the said provision making compliance with
such procedure a condition precedent before an ordinary action against the
surviving debtors, should the creditor choose to demand payment from the latter,
could be entertained to the extent that failure to observe the same would deprive
the court jurisdiction to 'take cognizance of the action against the surviving
debtors.

Article 1216 of the New Civil Code is the applicable provision in this matter.
Said provision gives the creditor the night to "proceed against anyone of the
solidary debtors or some or all of them simultaneously. The choice is undoubtedly
left to the solidary creditor to determine against whom he will enforce collection. In
case of the death of one of the solidary debtors, he (the creditor) may, if he so
chooses, proceed against the surviving solidary debtors without necessity of filing a
claim in the estate of the deceased debtors. It is not mandatory for him to have the
case dismissed as against the surviving debtors and file its claim against the estate
of the deceased solidary debtor. For to require the creditor to proceed against the
estate, making it a condition precedent for any collection action against the
surviving debtors to prosper, would deprive him of his substantive rights provided
by Article 1216 of the New Civil Code.

Section 6, Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court cannot be made to prevail


over Article 1216 of the New Civil Code, the former being merely procedural, while
the latter, substantive. Also, the Constitution of the Philippines, in Section 5, Article
X, provides that rules promulgated by the Supreme Court should not diminish,
increase or modify substantive rights.

WHEREFORE, JUDGMENT IS HEREBY RENDERED MODIFYING THE


APPEALED ORDERS OF RESPONDENT COURT IN THE SENSE THAT AS
AGAINST THE DECEASED MANUEL H. BARREDO, THE CASE IS DISMISSED,
BUT AS AGAINST ALL THE OTHER SOLIDARY DEBTORS, THE CASE IS
REMANDED TO RESPONDENT COURT FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS.
ESTATE PROCEEDINGS OF THE DECEASED ANNE FALLON MURHPY AND
THOMAS FALLON VS. BEZORE

Facts:

Escheat proceedings were instituted by three municipalities in the province of


Negros Occidental, in the Court of First Instance of that province praying that the
estates of the deceased Anne Fallon Murphy and Thomas Fallon be escheated in
their favor, respectively, wherever the real estates are situated. Finding that the
petition was in order, the judge of the court ordered the publication of the petition
and set the same for hearing.

Opposition to the petition for escheat was filed by Bezore, Knickerbocker and
McCormick. Bezore claims that he is the a nephew of the decedents because his
mother was their sister. Knickerbocker also claims to be the sole legatee of his wife
Loreta Knickerbocker, who in turn, was the residuary legatee of Anne Fallon Murphy.
Mary Irene Murphy McCormick likewise claims that she is the niece of the decedents
as her father was a brother of said decedents. Conformably to their petitions, all the
oppositors pray that the petition for escheat be dismissed and that the properties of
the decedents be distributed among them.

The court, after hearing denied the petition for escheat of the properties of
the deceased Anne Fallon Murphy and Thomas Fallon, for the reason that Thomas
Fallon died with an heir his wife Julia Fallon, and Anne Fallon Murphy, for her part,
died leaving a will, in which she disposed of all her properties. As to prayers
contained in the opposition asking that the oppositors be declared heirs of the
deceased Thomas Fallon and Anne Fallon Murphy, the court declared that the
evidence submitted was not competent or sufficient to sustain the claim of the
oppositors and, therefore denied said prayers.

The oppositors appealed claiming that the lower court erred in not declaring
them heirs of the decedents Anne Fallon Murphy and Thomas Fallon.

Issue: Can Escheat proceedings be converted into ordinary spec. proceedings or


vice-versa?

Held:

This appeal can not be entertained. While it is possible for the estates of the
deceased Anne Fallon Murphy and Thomas Fallon, who at the time of their death
were residents of San Francisco, California, to be settled here, or more especially in
Negros Occidental where they had properties, these proceedings were instituted as
escheat proceedings and not for the settlement of the estate of deceased persons.

The court acquired jurisdiction to hear the petition for escheat by virtue of
the publication of the petition for escheat. The jurisdiction acquired can not be
converted into one for the distribution of the properties of the said decedents. For
such proceedings (for the distribution of the estate of the decedents) to be
instituted, the proper parties must be presented and the proceedings should comply
with the requirements of the Rule.
Jose Sy Bang, et al. vs. Rolando Sy, et al., Oct. 13, 2009

Topic: Jurisdiction of guardianship court

FACTS:

The case pertains in connection with the settlement of estate of Sy Bang. Sy


Bang died intestate in 1971 leaving behind real and personal properties, including
several businesses. His heirs are:

From his first marriage to Ba Nga - Jose Sy Bang, Julian Sy and Oscar Sy
and Zenaida Tan and Ma. Emma Sy who are the children of petitioner
spouses Jose Sy Bang and Iluminada Tan

From his second marriage to Rosita Ferrera-Sy - Rolando Sy, Rosalino Sy,
Lucio Sy, Enrique Sy, Rosauro Sy, Bartolome Sy, Julieta Sy, Lourdes Sy,
and Florecita Sy

During the conflicting claims of these heirs, Rosita Ferrera-Sy (WIDOWER)


allegedly executed a Sinumpaang Salaysay wherein Rosita and Enrique stated that
they were given P1 million and a 229-square meter parcel of land, for which reason
they were withdrawing their civil claims.

Thus, respondents, except Enrique Sy, filed a Counter-Manifestation and


Opposition to Drop Rosita Sy as a Party. They said that it would be ridiculous for
Rosita to give up her share in Sy Bangs estate, amounting to hundreds of millions of
pesos, which had already been ordered partitioned by the trial court, to the
prejudice of her seven full-blooded children. They alleged that Rosita was not in
possession of her full faculties when she affixed her thumbmark on the Sinumpaang
Salaysay considering her age, her frequent illness, and her lack of ability to read or
write. Hence, they filed a petition before the RTC of Lucena City for guardianship
over her person and properties. They also alleged that Enrique and some of Jose
Sy Bangs children would stealthily visit Rosita in Rosauros house while the latter
was away. On one of those occasions, she was asked to affix her thumbmark on
some documents she could not read and knew nothing about. These were denied by
the opposing party, claiming that the subject document has been duly notarized.

Meanwhile, on September 30, 1996, respondents filed a Joint Petition for the
Guardianship of the Incompetent Rosita Ferrera-Sy before the RTC of Lucena City
(Guardianship court), docketed as Special Proceedings On May 19, 1997, Rosauro
Sy, who sought to be named as the special guardian, filed before the Guardianship
court a Motion to Order Court Deposit of Widows Allowance Ordered by the Supreme
Court.
On July 8, 1997, the Guardianship court issued an Order granting the
appointment of Rosauro as guardian, as well as the payment of the Widows
allowance.

The Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration claiming the guardianship


courts jurisdiction is limited to determining whether Rosita was incompetent and,
upon finding in the affirmative, appointing a guardian. Moreover, under Rule 83,
Section 3, of the Rules of Court, a widows allowance can only be paid in an estate
proceeding. Even if the complaint for partition were to be considered as estate
proceedings, only the trial court hearing the partition case had the exclusive
jurisdiction to execute the payment of the widows allowance.

ISSUE: WON the guardianship court to have exceeded its jurisdiction in directing
the deposit of the widows allowance in a Special Proceeding.

HELD: YES. The court hearing the petition for guardianship had limited jurisdiction.
It had no jurisdiction to enforce payment of the widows allowance ordered by the
SC.

Reviewing the antecedents, we note that the claim for widows allowance was
made before the Supreme Court in a case that did not arise from the guardianship
proceedings. The case subject of the Supreme Court petition (Civil Case No. 8578) is
still pending before the RTC of Lucena City.

Rule 83, Sec. 3, of the Rules of Court states:

SEC. 3. Allowance to widow and family. The widow and minor or


incapacitated children of a deceased person, during the settlement of the
estate, shall receive therefrom, under the direction of the court, such
allowance as are provided by law.

Correlatively, Article 188 of the Civil Code states:

Art. 188. From the common mass of property support shall be given to the
surviving spouse and to the children during the liquidation of the inventoried
property and until what belongs to them is delivered; but from this shall be
deducted that amount received for support which exceeds the fruits or rents
pertaining to them.

Obviously, the court referred to in Rule 83, Sec. 3, of the Rules of Court is the court
hearing the settlement of the estate. Also crystal clear is the provision of the law
that the widows allowance is to be taken from the common mass of property
forming part of the estate of the decedent.
Thus, as evident from the foregoing provisions, it is the court hearing the settlement
of the estate that should effect the payment of widows allowance considering that
the properties of the estate are within its jurisdiction, to the exclusion of all other
courts.

In emphasizing the limited jurisdiction of the guardianship court, this Court has
pronounced that:

Generally, the guardianship court exercising special and limited jurisdiction


cannot actually order the delivery of the property of the ward found to be
embezzled, concealed, or conveyed. In a categorical language of this Court,
only in extreme cases, where property clearly belongs to the ward or where
his title thereto has been already judicially decided, may the court direct its
delivery to the guardian. In effect, there can only be delivery or return of the
embezzled, concealed or conveyed property of the ward, where the right or
title of said ward is clear and undisputable. However, where title to any
property said to be embezzled, concealed or conveyed is in dispute, x x x the
determination of said title or right whether in favor of the persons said to
have embezzled, concealed or conveyed the property must be determined in
a separate ordinary action and not in a guardianship proceedings.

Further, this Court has held that the distribution of the residue of the estate of the
deceased incompetent is a function pertaining properly, not to the guardianship
proceedings, but to another proceeding in which the heirs are at liberty to initiate.
Guerrero v. Teran

Facts:

Antonio Sanchez Munoz died and his estate was administrated by Leopoldo
Teran from Sept. 1901, the latter gave a bond of $10,000 in gold. Antonio Sanchez
Munoz had the minors Maria Manuela and Maria del Carmen Sanchez Munoz as
heirs. Maria Munoz was appointed guardian of the minors. But eventually she was
removed as guardian because she was not a resident of the Philippines at the time
of her appointment. Felix Samson was appointed as guardian for the heirs, executed
a bond for faithful compliance. Then Salvador Guerrero, the present guardian of the
minors filed action for recovery of P4,129.56 and costs from Leopoldo Teran who
only admitted P188.39 plus alleged the plaintiff owed him P482.14 so the plaintiff
even owes him P239.75 .Trial court held that Teran is liable to the plaintiff for only
P3447.46 with 6%.

ISSUES: WON Teran, as the administrator of the estate of Antonio Sanchez Munoz
from September 1901 until October 1906, is liable to the Salvador Guerrero for the
items listed as loans made to different persons for different accounts?

WON it was proper to remove Maria Munos as guardian for she was not residing in
the Philippines

SC:

1St issue. NO.

Teran was the administrator of the estate of the minors only from September 1901
when he was appointed, until March 1902, when Maria Munoz was appointed as
guardians for the minors and the latter's estate. Maria Munoz was the actual
guardian of the minors and their estate she responsible to the minors for the
administration of their interests in the estate

If during this time she allowed other persons to handle the property of her wards,
and if any mismanagement or loss occurred thereby, the responsibility must fall
upon her. The mere fact that she had been removed as said guardian did not relieve
her, nor her bondsmen from liability to the minors during the time that she was duly
acting as said guardian.

2nd issue. Yes.

There is nothing in the law which requires the courts to appoint residents only as
administrators or guardians. However, notwithstanding the fact that there are no
statutory requirements upon this question, the courts, charged with the
responsibilities of protecting the estates of deceased persons, wards of the estate,
etc., will find much difficulty in complying with this duty by appointing
administrators and guardians who are not personally subject to their jurisdiction.
Notwithstanding that there is no statutory requirement, the courts should not
consent to the appointment of persons as administrators and guardians who are not
personally subject to the jurisdiction of our courts here.
CORAZON CATALAN, ET AL v. JOSE BASA, ET AL
G.R. No. 159567, July 31, 2007, PUNO, C.J.

INCOMPETENCE

FACTS:

On October 20, 1948, FELICIANO CATALAN (Feliciano) was discharged from


active military service. The Board of Medical Officers of the Department of Veteran
Affairs found that he was unfit to render military service due to his schizophrenic
reaction, catatonic type, which incapacitates him because of flattening of mood and
affect, preoccupation with worries, withdrawal, and sparce (sic) and pointless
speech. On September 28, 1949, Feliciano married Corazon Cerezo. On June 16,
1951, Feliciano executed a document donating to his sister MERCEDES CATALAN
(Mercedes) one-half of one of his real property, which was registered.

On December 11, 1953, Peoples Bank and Trust Company (now BPI) filed a
petition to declare Feliciano incompetent which was granted by the court and
appointed BPI as Felicianos guardian.

Feliciano and his wife later on donated several properties to their children.
Consequently, Mercedes sold the property in issue in favor of her children Delia and
Jesus Basa. Thereafter, BPI filed a case for Declaration of Nullity of Documents,
Recovery of Possession and Ownership as well as damages against the herein
respondents alleging that the Deed of Absolute Donation to Mercedes was void ab
initio, as Feliciano never donated the property to Mercedes. In addition, BPI averred
that even if Feliciano had truly intended to give the property to her, the donation
would still be void, as he was not of sound mind and was therefore incapable of
giving valid consent. Thus, it claimed that if the Deed of Absolute Donation was void
ab initio, the subsequent Deed of Absolute Sale to Delia and Jesus Basa should
likewise be nullified, for Mercedes Catalan had no right to sell the property to
anyone. BPI raised doubts about the authenticity of the deed of sale, saying that its
registration long after the death of Mercedes Catalan indicated fraud. Thus, BPI
sought remuneration for incurred damages and litigation expenses.

The trial court however found that the evidence presented by the
complainants was insufficient to overcome the presumption that Feliciano was sane
and competent at the time he executed the deed of donation in favor of Mercedes
Catalan. Thus, the court declared, the presumption of sanity or competency not
having been duly impugned, the presumption of due execution of the donation in
question must be upheld. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the decision of
the trial court. Hence, the petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the donation is void by reason of Felicianos alleged


incompetence at the time of such donation.
RULING:

NO. In order for donation of property to be valid, what is crucial is the donors
capacity to give consent at the time of the donation. Certainly, there lies no doubt
in the fact that insanity impinges on consent freely given. However, the burden of
proving such incapacity rests upon the person who alleges it; if no sufficient proof to
this effect is presented, capacity will be presumed.

A thorough perusal of the records of the case at bar indubitably shows that
the evidence presented by the petitioners was insufficient to overcome the
presumption that Feliciano was competent when he donated the property in
question to Mercedes. Petitioners make much ado of the fact that, as early as 1948,
Feliciano had been found to be suffering from schizophrenia by the Board of Medical
Officers of the Department of Veteran Affairs. By itself, however, the allegation
cannot prove the incompetence of Feliciano.

According to several scientific studies, it was shown that a person suffering from
schizophrenia does not necessarily lose his competence to intelligently dispose his
property. By merely alleging the existence of schizophrenia, petitioners failed to
show substantial proof that at the date of the donation, June 16, 1951, Feliciano
Catalan had lost total control of his mental faculties. Thus, the lower courts correctly
held that Feliciano was of sound mind at that time and that this condition continued
to exist until proof to the contrary was adduced. Sufficient proof of his infirmity to
give consent to contracts was only established when the Court of First Instance of
Pangasinan declared him an incompetent on December 22, 1953.

It is interesting to note that the petitioners questioned Felicianos capacity at


the time he donated the property, yet did not see fit to question his mental
competence when he entered into a contract of marriage with Corazon Cerezo or
when he executed deeds of donation of his other properties in their favor. The
presumption that Feliciano remained competent to execute contracts, despite his
illness, is bolstered by the existence of these other contracts. Competency and
freedom from undue influence, shown to have existed in the other acts done or
contracts executed, are presumed to continue until the contrary is shown.

Needless to state, since the donation was valid, Mercedes had the right to sell
the property to whomever she chose. Not a shred of evidence has been presented
to prove the claim that Mercedes sale of the property to her children was tainted
with fraud or falsehood. It is of little bearing that the Deed of Sale was registered
only after the death of Mercedes. What is material is that the sale of the property to
Delia and Jesus Basa was legal and binding at the time of its execution. Thus, the
property in question belongs to Delia and Jesus Basa.
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF STEPHANIE NATHY ASTORGA GARCIA
HONORATO B. CATINDIG, G.R. No. 148311. March 31, 2005

Use of surname of the biological mother as middle name of the adopted child is
allowed.

FACTS:

Honorato B. Catindig filed a petition to adopt his minor illegitimate child


Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia. He alleged, among others, that Stephanies mother
is Gemma Astorga Garcia and that she is using her mothers middle name and
surname; and that he is now a widower and qualified to be her adopting parent. He
prayed that Stephanies middle name Astorga be changed to Garcia, her mothers
surname, and that her surname Garcia be changed to Catindig, his surname. The
trial court granted the adoption. Later on, 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. Trial court denied
petitioners motion for reconsideration holding that there is no law or jurisprudence
allowing an adopted child to use the surname of his biological mother as his middle
name.

Petitioner submits that the trial court erred in depriving Stephanie of a middle
name as a consequence of adoption because (1) there is no law prohibiting an
adopted child from having a middle name in case there is only one adopting parent;
(2) it is customary for every Filipino to have as middle name the surname of the
mother; (3) the middle name or initial is a part of the name of a person; (4)
adoption is for the benefit and best interest of the adopted child, hence, her right to
bear a proper name should not be violated; (5) permitting Stephanie to use the
middle name Garcia (her mothers surname) avoids the stigma of her illegitimacy;
and; (6) her continued use of Garcia as her middle name is not opposed by either
the Catindig or Garcia families. The Republic, through the Office of the Solicitor
General (OSG), agrees with petitioner that Stephanie should be permitted to use, as
her middle name. Hence, the present petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not an illegitimate child may use the surname of her mother as her
middle name when she is subsequently adopted by her natural father.

HELD:

YES. Court held that there is no law prohibiting an illegitimate child adopted by her
natural father, like Stephanie, to use, as middle name her mothers surname.

Adoption is defined as the process of making a child, whether related or not


to the adopter, possess in general, the rights accorded to a legitimate child. It is a
juridical act, a proceeding in rem which creates between two persons a relationship
similar to that which results from legitimate paternity and filiation. The modern
trend is to consider adoption not merely as an act to establish a relationship of
paternity and filiation, but also as an act which endows the child with a legitimate
status. This was, indeed, confirmed in 1989, when the Philippines, as a State Party
to the Convention of the Rights of the Child initiated by the United Nations,
accepted the principle that adoption is impressed with social and moral
responsibility, and that its underlying intent is geared to favor the adopted child.
Republic Act No. 8552, otherwise known as the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998,
secures these rights and privileges for the adopted.

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.
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. It is
a settled rule that adoption statutes, being humane and salutary, should be liberally
construed to carry out the beneficent purposes of adoption. The interests and
welfare of the adopted child are of primary and paramount consideration, hence,
every reasonable intendment should be sustained to promote and fulfill these noble
and compassionate objectives of the law. Article 10 of the Civil Code, which
presumes in the interpretation of application of law that the lawmaking body
intended right and justice to prevail was intended to strengthen the determination
of the courts to avoid an injustice which may apparently be authorized by some way
of interpreting the law. Since there is no law prohibiting an illegitimate child adopted
by her natural father to use, as middle name her mothers surname, the Court finds
no reason why she should not be allowed to do so.

For all practical and legal purposes, a mans 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.
In the Matter of the Petition for Habeas Corpus of Datukan Malang Salibo
v. Warden, Quezon City Jail
G.R. No. 197597, April 08, 2015, J. Leonen

HABEAC CORPUS: DOCTRINE: Habeas Corpus is the proper remedy for a person
deprived of liberty due to mistaken identity. In such cases, the person is not under
any lawful process and is continuously being illegally detained.

FACTS: From Nov. 7, 2009 to December 19, 2009, Salibo and other Filipinos were
allegedly in Saudi Arabia for the Haji Pilgrimage. Salibo returned to the Philippines
on December 20, 2009. On August 3, 2010, Salibo learned that police officers of
Datu Hofer Police Station in Maguindanao suspected him to be Butukan S. Malang.
Malang was one of the 197 accused of 57 counts of murder for allegedly
participating in the November 23, 2009 Maguindanao Massacre and had a pending
warrant of arrest issued by the trial court.

Salibo presented himself before the police officers to clear his name and explain
that he was not Malang and that he could not have participated in the massacre
because he was at Saudi Arabia at that time. He presented his passport, boarding
passes and other documents to prove that Salibo was in Saudi from November 7 to
December 19, 2009. However, the police officers apprehended Salibo and tore off
page 2 of his passport that evidenced his departure for Saudi on November 7, 2009
and detained him at the police station for 3 days. He was transferred to the Criminal
Investigation and Detection Group at Cotabato City and detained for another 10
days and was made to sign and affix his thumbprint on documents. On August 20,
2010, he was transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa where he is currently detained.

On September 17, 2010, Salibo filed with the CA the Urgent Petition for Habeas
Corpus questioning the legality of his detention and deprivation of liberty. The CA
issued a Writ of Habeas Corpus returnable to the RTC of Pasig and ordered the
Warden of the QC Jail to file a Return of the Writ one day before the hearing and
produce the person of Salibo. On Sept. 27, 2010, the jail guards brought him before
the trial court but the Warden failed to file a Return and he appeared without
counsel. It was only on October 1, 2010 that the return was heard. Asst. Solicitors
who appeared on behalf of the Warden argued that the Petition for HC should be
dismissed because Salibo was charged under a valid Information and Warrant of
Arrest, and the petition was no longer availing. Salibo countered the information
by reiterating that the Information and Warrant referred to Butukan S. Malang, not
Datukan Malang Salibo.

The Trial Court found that he was not judicially charged under any Information
because it did not charge Datukan Malang Salibo as an accused. He was not validly
arrested as there was no Warrant of Arrest against Datukan Malang Salibo hence, he
was not restrained of his liberty under process issued by a court. The TC was also
convinced that he was not Butukan Malang who is charged with murder and that
Salibo has established that he was out of the country from November 7, 2009 to
December 19, 2009. The TC granted Salibos Petition for Habeas Corpus and
ordered his immediate release from detention.

The Court of Appeals reversed the TCs decision and found that Salibos arrest and
detention were made under a valid Information and Warrant of Arrest.

ISSUE/S:

1) Whether the decision of the RTC on Salibos petition for HC was appealable to
the CA

2) Whether Salibos proper remedy is to file a Petition for Habeas Corpus

HELD:

1. The Warden correctly appealed before the CA. An application for a writ of HC
may be made through a petition filed before the SC, CA, and the RTC. The
court grants the writ and requires the officer or person having custody of the
person to file a return of the writ. The writ may be heard by a court apart
from that which issued the writ. Should the court issuing the writ designate a
lower court to which the writ is made returnable, the lower court shall
proceed to decide the petition of HC. The decision on the petition is
appealable to the court that has appellate jurisdiction over decisions of the
lower court. Once a superior court makes the writ returnable to a lower court
as allowed, the decision on the petition for HC is a decision of the lower court
and not of the superior court. The Warden correctly filed the appeal before
the CA as it has the appellate jurisdiction over decisions of the TC.

2. The Writ of Habeas Corpus was devised as and exists as a speedy and
effectual remedy to relieve persons from unlawful restraint. Under Rule 102,
Sec. 1 of the ROC, the writ shall extend to all cases of illegal confinement or
detention by which any person is deprived of his liberty, or by which the
rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto. Its
purpose is to inquire into all manner of involuntary restraint and relieve a
person if such restraint is illegal.

Salibo was not arrested by virtue of any warrant charging him of an offense.
He was not restrained under a lawful process or an order of the court. He was
illegally deprived of liberty and has correctly availed himself of a Petition for
Habeas Corpus. The Information and Alias Warrant of Arrest issued by the RTC
charged Butukan S. Malang not Datukan Malang Salibo of the 57 counts of
murder in connection with the Maguindanao Massacre.
Salibo was not validly arrested without a warrant under Rule 113, Sec 5 of the
ROC. Salibo presented himself before the Datu Hofer Police Station to prove
he is not Butukan S. Malang. When he is in the presence of the police officers,
he was neither committing nor attempting to commit an offense. The police
officers had no personal knowledge of any offense that he might have
committed nor was he an escapee prisoner. The police officers had no
probable cause to arrest Salibo without a warrant. They deprived him of his
right to liberty without due process for which a petition for HC may be
issued.

He presented in evidence his PH passport, ID from the Office of Muslim


Affairs, TIN card, clearance from NBI, all bearing his picture and indicating the
name Datukan Malang Salibo. None of these govt-issued documents showed
that Salibo used the alias Butukan S. Malang. The Bureau of Immigration
issued a certification that he departed for Saudi on November 7, 2009 and
only arrived in the PH only on December 20, 2009.
IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS ENGR. ASHRAF
G.R. No. 167193, April 19, 2006

Facts:

In 2001, Kunting was arrested in Malaysia and the Royal Malaysian Police in
Malaysia, turned over Kunting to the PNP-IG and Task Force Salinglahi pursuant to
warrants for his arrest issued by the RTC of Basilan. Kunting was charged with four
counts of Kidnapping for Ransom and Serious Illegal Detention with the RTC. He was
then immediately brought to the PNP-IG at Camp Crame in the Philippines for
custodial investigation.

The RTC issued an Order directing the Police Superintendent of PNP-IG, to


immediately turn over Kunting to the trial court since Kunting filed an Urgent Motion
for Reinvestigation. PNP-IG Director Lomibao wrote a letter to Chief State Prosecutor
Zuo, requesting for a motion to be filed for the transfer of the venue of the trial
from Basilan to Pasig City since several intelligence reports have been received by
the PNP-IG stating that utmost effort will be exerted by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
to recover the custody of Kunting from the PNP and there is a big possibility that
Kunting may be recovered by the ASG if he will be detained in Basilan due to
inadequate security facility in the municipal jail and its proximity to the area of
operation of the ASG.

In 2004, the RTC rendered a decision against petitioners co-accused in the


consolidated criminal case finding 17 of the accused, guilty of the crime/s charged.
In 2005, the RTC issued an Order denying Kuntings Motion to Set Case for
Preliminary Investigation since the PNP-IG has not turned over Kunting. The trial
court reiterated its previous Order directing the Police Superintendent of PNP-IG, to
turn over Kunting to the court. Police Inspector Barbasa, filed with the RTC a Motion
to Defer Implementation of the Order dated citing, among other grounds, the
existence of a pending motion for the transfer of the venue of the trial of a criminal
case against Kunting, which was allegedly filed by the DOJ before this Court. He
prayed that the Order of the RTC directing the turnover of Kunting to the court, be
suspended until the motion for the transfer of venue is resolved.

Kunting filed this petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus stating
that he has been restrained of his liberty since June 12, 2003 by the PNP-IG.

Issue: Whether or not the petition for habeas corpus can prosper.

Ruling:

No. The petition for habeas corpus cannot prosper

Under Section 1, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court, the writ of habeas corpus
extends to "all case of illegal confinement or detention by which any person is
deprived of his liberty, or by which the rightful custody of any person is withheld
from the person entitled thereto. If found illegal, the court orders the release of the
detainee. If, however, the detention is proven lawful, then the habeas corpus
proceedings terminate.

Section 4, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court provides that a writ is not allowed If
it appears that the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of
an officer under process issued by a court or judge or by virtue of a judgment
or order of a court of record, and that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the
process, render the judgment, or make the order, the writ shall not be allowed; In
this case, Kuntings detention by the PNP-IG was under process issued by the RTC.
He was arrested by the PNP by virtue of the alias order of arrest issued by Judge
Bucoy. His temporary detention at PNP-IG, Camp Crame was thus authorized by the
trial court.

Moreover, Kunting was charged with four counts of Kidnapping for Ransom
and Serious Illegal Detention in a consolidated criminal case. In accordance with the
last sentence of Section 4, it states that a writ cannot be issued if a person is
charged with, or convicted of an offense in the Philippines or of a person suffering
imprisonment under lawful judgment. In Bernarte v. Court of Appeals, it holds that
"once the person detained is duly charged in court, he may no longer question his
detention by a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus."
Galvez v. CA

HABEAS CORPUS

Facts:

On November 12, 1993, Honoratp Galvez, the incumbent mayor of San


Ildefonso, Bulacan and Godofredo Diego were charged in three separate
informations with homicide and two counts of frustrated homicide for allegedly
shooting to death Alvin Calma Vinculado, Jr. The cases were raffled to the Regional
Trial Branch 14. Both accused posted bail and were subsequently released.

Subsequently, the Bulacan Provincial Prosecutor Liberato L. Reyes filed a


motion to defer arraignment to enable him to review the evidence on record and
determine once more the proper crimes chargeable against the accused.
Thereafter, Prosecutor Dennis M. Villa-Ignacio was designated acting-provincial
prosecutor of Bulacan and was instructed to conduct a reinvestigation of the
aforesaid criminal cases.

Before the accused could be arraigned, Prosec. Villa-Ignacio filed a an ex-


parte motion to withdraw informations, which was granted by the court. On the
same day, he filed four new informations against the accused for murder, two
counts of frustrated murder, and violation of P.D 1866 for illegal possession of
firearms which was raffled to the sala of Judge Pornillions of RTC branch 10.

Thereafter, a motion to quash on these new informations were filed and was
denied. In the meantime, the motion for reconsideration on the dismissal of the first
information was granted by Judge Villajua, and ordered the reinstatement of the first
criminal cases, however the arraignment was suspended.

Meanwhile, the accused filed a petition for certiorari, and prohibition and
mandamus with CA assailing the order issued by Judge Pornillos which denied the
quashal the 2nd criminal cases which the CA dismissed.

For resolution is the petition for certiorari and mandamus with a petition for
habeas corpus, to review the resolution issued by the CA predicated mainly on the
accuseds asseveration that the court which issued the warrant for their arrest had
no jurisdiction over the case, hence their detention should be deemed illegal.

Issue: May Habeas Corpus and certiorari be ancillary where necessary to give
effect to the supervisory power of higher courts?

Ruling:

YES. We have earlier declared that Branch 10 of the trial court acquired
jurisdiction over the new set of informations. Consequently, the warrant of arrest
issued on the bases of said informations filed therein and the subsequent detention
of herein petitioners pursuant thereto are valid. What instead has to be resolved is
the corollary issue of whether the petition for habeas corpus was properly filed
together with their present petition for certiorari and mandamus.

The writs of habeas corpus and certiorari may be ancillary to each other
where necessary to give effect to the supervisory powers of the higher courts. A writ
of habeas corpus reaches the body and the jurisdictional matters, but not the
record. A writ of certiorari reaches the record but not the body. Hence, a writ of
habeas corpus may be used with the writ of certiorari for the purpose of review. 54
However, habeas corpus does not lie where the petitioner has the remedy of appeal
or certiorari because it will not be permitted to perform the functions of a writ of
error or appeal for the purpose of reviewing mere errors or irregularities in the
proceedings of a court having jurisdiction over the person and the subject matter. 55

Neither can we grant the writ at this stage since a writ of habeas corpus is
not intended as a substitute for the functions of the trial court. In the absence of
exceptional circumstances, the orderly course of trial should be pursued and the
usual remedies exhausted before the writ may be invoked. Habeas corpus is not
ordinarily available in advance of trial to determine jurisdictional questions that may
arise. 56 It has to be an exceptional case for the writ of habeas corpus to be
available to an accused before trial. 57 In the absence of special circumstances
requiring immediate action, a court will not grant the writ and discharge the
prisoner in advance of a determination of his case in court. 58 In the case under
consideration, petitioners have dismally failed to adduce any justification or
exceptional circumstance which would warrant the grant of the writ, hence their
petition therefor has to be denied.

In addition, a petition for habeas corpus is not the appropriate vehicle for
asserting a right to bail or vindicating its denial. In the case of Enrile vs. Salazar,
etc., et al., 59 we held that:

The criminal case before the respondent Judge was the normal venue
for invoking the petitioner's right to have provisional liberty pending
trial and judgment. The original jurisdiction to grant or deny bail rested
with said respondent. The correct course was for petitioner to invoke
that jurisdiction by filing a petition to be admitted to bail, claiming a
right to bail per se by reason of the weakness of the evidence against
him. Only after that remedy was denied by the trial court should the
review jurisdiction of this Court have been invoked, and even then, not
without first applying to the Court of Appeals if appropriate relief was
also available there.
IN THE MATTER OF THEAPPLICATION FOR THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
RECLASSIFYING SENTENCE TO R.A. NO. 8353 IN BEHALF OF, ROGELIO
ORMILLA, et. al v. THE DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF CORRECTIONS
G.R. No. 170497, January 22, 2007, YNARES-SANTIAGO,J.

Topic: Three purposes of Habeas Corpus

Doctrine: InFeria v. Court of Appeals,the Court held that the writ may also be
issued where, as a consequence of a judicial proceeding, (a) there has been a
deprivation of a constitutional right resulting in the restraint of a person;
(b) the court had no jurisdiction to impose the sentence; or (c) an excessive
penalty has been imposed, as such sentence is void as to such excess.

FACTS: Petitioner, together with Rivera and Navarro, were convicted of two counts
of rape and sentenced to reclusion perpetua for each count. He is presently
confined at the National Penitentiary in Muntinlupa and has served approximately
17 years of his sentence.

In his petition, Ormilla alleged that he should be released from confinement by


virtue of R.A. No. 8353 also known as The Anti-Rape Law of 1997.He claimed that
under the new rape law, the penalty for rape committed by two or more persons
was downgraded toprision mayortoreclusion temporal.Thus, the penalty
ofreclusion perpetuaimposed on himis excessive and should be modified in
accordance with R.A. No. 8353.He prayed that he be released so he could apply for
pardon or parole. However, the respondents herein contended that the penalty
imposed under R.A. No. 8353 for rape committed by two or more persons
isreclusion perpetuato death.Under Article 70of the RPC, the duration of perpetual
penalties is 30 years.Since petitioner was sentenced toreclusion perpetuafor each
count of rape, the aggregate of the two penalties is 60 years.Respondents argued
that petitioner has yet to complete the service of his first sentence, as he has been
in confinement for only 17 years and that petitioner is ineligible for parole, because
Section 2 of the Indeterminate Sentence Law prohibits its application to persons
convicted of offenses punished by life imprisonment.

ISSUES:

(1) Whether the enactment of R.A. No. 8353 downgraded the applicable penalties
for rape committed by two or more persons

(2) Whether the writ of habeas corpus may be granted in favor of petitioner

HELD:
1. NO. Under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No.
8353, the penalty for rape committed by two or more persons, using force,
threat or intimidation is reclusion perpetua to death. It must be emphasized
that the same penalties were imposed under Article 335 of the Revised Penal
Code prior to the enactment of R.A. No. 8353. It is clear therefore that R.A. No.
8353 did not downgrade the applicable penalties to petitioners case.
Thus, penalty of reclusion perpetua was properly imposed and that petitioner
is confined under authority of law.

2. NO. Section 1, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court provides that a petition for the
issuance of a writ of habeas corpus may be availed of in cases of illegal
confinement by which any person is deprived of his liberty, or by which the
rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled
thereto. In Feria v. Court of Appeals, the Court held that the writ may also be
issued where, as a consequence of a judicial proceeding, (a) there has been
a deprivation of a constitutional right resulting in the restraint of a
person; (b) the court had no jurisdiction to impose the sentence; or (c)
an excessive penalty has been imposed, as such sentence is void as to
such excess.

None of the above circumstances is present in the instant case.


Office of the Court Administrator vs. Judge Perello
A.M. No. RTJ-05-1952, Dec. 24, 2008

HC cannot be granted without the pertinent copies of detention and judgment of


conviction

FACTS:

The audit team reported that for the period 1998-2004, a total of 219
petitions for habeas corpus were assigned to Branch 276, the subject matters of
which are classified into (a) hospitalization; (b) custody of minors; (c) illegal
possession of firearms; and (d) violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.

The records for 22 of these cases were not presented to the audit team, while
the case folders of about a hundred cases did not contain copies of the decisions of
conviction. The audit team also noted a huge disparity in the number of petitions for
habeas corpus raffled in Branch 276 as against those raffled in the other branches,
which led the team to doubt if the raffle had been conducted with strict regularity
considering the fact that Judge Perello was the Executive Judge that time.

The audit team likewise reported several substantive and procedural lapses
relative to the disposition of habeas corpus cases in Branch 276. Finally, the audit
team observed that in some of the petitions for habeas corpus, respondent Judge
Perello erred in ordering the release of the prisoners before they have served the
full term of their sentence.

The Court of Administrator submitted the his recommendation, that


respondent Judge Norma C. Perello be FOUND GUILTY of GROSS IGNORANCE OF THE
LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE and be meted the penalty of SUSPENSION for three (3)
months without salary and benefit;

The Court thereafter referred the administrative matter to Justice Conrado


Molina, Consultant of OCA, for investigation, report and recommendation which
submitted his report and adopted entirely the recommendations of the Court
Administrator.

Held:

The petition for habeas corpus cannot be granted if the accused has only
served the minimum of his sentence as he must serve his sentence up to its
maximum term. The maximum range of prision correccional is from 4 years, 2
months and 1 day to 6 years. This is the period which the prisoners must have
served before their applications for writs of habeas corpus may be granted.

In obstinately granting the writs of habeas corpus even if the convicted prisoners
had only served the minimum period of their sentence, Judge Perello displayed a
blatant disregard of the rule on graduation of penalties as well as settled
jurisprudence tantamount to gross ignorance of the law.
The record shows that Judge Perello granted the writs of habeas corpus even
without the pertinent copies of detention and judgment of conviction. This is
contrary to the provisions of Section 3(d) of Rule 102 of the Rules of Court, to wit:

Sec. 3. Requisites of application therefor. Application for the writ shall be by


petition signed and verified either by the party for whose relief it is intended,
of by some person in his behalf, and shall set forth:

xxx xxx xxx

(d) A copy of the commitment or cause of detention of such person, if it can


be procured without impairing the efficiency of the remedy; xxx.

The Rules clearly require that a copy of the commitment or cause of detention must
accompany the application for the writ of habeas corpus. Obviously, Judge Perello
deviated from the guidelines laid down in Section 3(d) of Rule 102 of the Rules of
Court. It must be emphasized that rules of procedure have been formulated and
promulgated by this Court to ensure the speedy and efficient administration of
justice. Failure to abide by these rules undermines the wisdom behind them and
diminishes respect for the rule of law. Judges should therefore administer their office
with due regard to the integrity of the system of law itself, remembering that they
are not depositories of arbitrary power, but judges under the sanction of law.
Indeed, Judge Perellos stubborn unwillingness to act in accordance with the rules
and settled jurisprudence shows her refusal to reform herself and to correct a
wrong, tantamount to grave abuse of discretion.

Court finds Judge Norma C. Perello GUILTY of gross ignorance of the law and abuse
of discretion
Edgardo Navia vs. Virginia Pardico
G.R. No. 184467, June 19, 2012, Del Castillo, J.

Topic: What constitute enforced disappearance?

Facts:

The security guards of Asian Land, namely, Dio, Buising and Navia, contended
that they invited Benhur Pardico (Ben) and Enrique Lapore (Bong) in the security
office for the complaint of theft of electric wires and lamps in the subdivision
against them. Ben and Bong explained that they merely intended to transfer it to a
post nearer to the house of Lolita, their mother. Soon, Navia ordered the release of
Bong. Bong along with his mother left the office after they affixed their signature on
the logbook. After brief discussion Navia allowed Ben to leave. Ben also affixed his
signature on the logbook to affirm that he was released without injury. Dio and
Buising went to the house of Lolita to make her signed the logbook as witness that
they indeed release Bong from their custody. Both Ben and Bong, as contended,
were released from their custody.

Subsequently, Virginia Pardico filed a Petition for Writ of Amaparo before the
RTC of Malolos City for the mysterious disappearance of her husband, Ben. The RTC
granted the petition.

On the other hand, petitioners argued that writ of amparo is available only in
cases where the factual and legal bases of the violation or threatened violation of
the aggrieved partys right to life, liberty and security are clear.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioner is liable for enforced disappearance of Ben.

Ruling:

No. The Court ruled not from the contention of the petitioners but based on
the absence of one of the elements of enforced disappearance, the indispensable
requirement of governments participation.

The budding jurisprudence on amparo blossomed in Razon, Jr. v. Tagitis when


this Court defined enforced disappearances. The Court in that case applied the
generally accepted principles of international law and adopted the International
Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances definition
of enforced disappearances, as "the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form
of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons
acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a
refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or
whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the
protection of the law."

A.M. No. 07-9-12-SCs reference to enforced disappearances should be


construed to mean the enforced or involuntary disappearance of persons
contemplated in Section 3(g) of RA No. 9851. Meaning, in probing enforced
disappearance cases, courts should read A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC in relation to RA No.
9851. From the statutory definition of enforced disappearance, thus, we can derive
the following elements that constitute it:

1. that there be an arrest, detention, abduction or any form of deprivation of


liberty;

2. that it be carried out by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence


of, the State or a political organization;

3. that it be followed by the State or political organizations refusal to


acknowledge or give information on the fate or whereabouts of the person
subject of the amparo petition; and,

4. that the intention for such refusal is to remove subject person from the
protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.

As thus dissected, it is now clear that for the protective writ of amparo to
issue, allegation and proof that the persons subject thereof are missing are not
enough. It must also be shown and proved by substantial evidence that the
disappearance was carried out by, or with the authorization, support or
acquiescence of, the State or a political organization, followed by a refusal to
acknowledge the same or give information on the fate or whereabouts of said
missing persons, with the intention of removing them from the protection of the law
for a prolonged period of time. Simply put, the petitioner in an amparo case has the
burden of proving by substantial evidence the indispensable element of government
participation.

But lest it be overlooked, in an amparo petition, proof of disappearance alone


is not enough. It is likewise essential to establish that such disappearance was
carried out with the direct or indirect authorization, support or acquiescence of the
government. This indispensable element of State participation is not present in this
case. The petition does not contain any allegation of State complicity, and none of
the evidence presented tend to show that the government or any of its agents
orchestrated Bens disappearance. In fact, none of its agents, officials, or employees
were impleaded or implicated in Virginia's amparo petition whether as responsible
or accountable persons. Thus, in the absence of an allegation or proof that the
government or its agents had a hand in Bens disappearance or that they failed to
exercise extraordinary diligence in investigating his case, the Court will definitely
not hold the government or its agents either as responsible or accountable persons.

We are aware that under Section 1 of A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC a writ of amparo
may lie against a private individual or entity. But even if the person sought to be
held accountable or responsible in an amparo petition is a private individual or
entity, still, government involvement in the disappearance remains an
indispensable element. Here, petitioners are mere security guards at Grand Royale
Subdivision in Brgy. Lugam, Malolos City and their principal, the Asian Land, is a
private entity. They do not work for the government and nothing has been
presented that would link or connect them to some covert police, military or
governmental operation. As discussed above, to fall within the ambit of A.M. No. 07-
9-12-SC in relation to RA No. 9851, the disappearance must be attended by some
governmental involvement. This hallmark of State participation differentiates an
enforced disappearance case from an ordinary case of a missing person.
Infant JULIAN YUSA Y CARAM, represented by his mother, MA. CHRISTINA
YUSAY CARAM v. Atty. MARIJOY D. SEGUI, Atty. SALLY D. ESCUTIN, VILMA B.
CABRERA, and CELIA C. YANGCO

G.R. No. 193652, 05 August 2014, EN BANC (VILLARAMA, JR., J.)

DOCTRINE:

The Writ of Amparo is confined only to cases of extrajudicial killings and


enforced disappearances, or to threats thereof.

FACTS:

Ma. Christina Yusay Caram (Christina) had an amorous relationship with


Marcelino Gicano Constantino III (Marcelino) and eventually became pregnant with
the latters child without the benefit of marriage. After getting pregnant, Christina
misled Marcelino into believing that she had an abortion when in fact she proceeded
to complete the term of her pregnancy. During this time, she intended to have the
child adopted through Sun and Moon Home for Children (Sun and Moon).

On July 26, 2009, Christina gave birth to Baby Julian at Amang Rodriguez
Memorial Medical Center, Sun and Moon shouldered all the hospital and medical
expenses.

On August 13, 2009, Christina voluntarily surrendered Baby Julian by way of a


Deed of Voluntary Commitment to the Department of Social Welfare and
Development (DSWD).

The DSWD, through Secretary Esperanza I. Cabral, issued a certificate


declaring Baby Julian as "Legally Available for Adoption." A local matching
conference was held and Baby Julian was "matched" with the spouses Vergel and
Filomina Medina (Medina Spouses). Supervised trial custody then commenced.

On May 5, 2010, Christina wrote a letter to the DSWD asking for the
suspension of Baby Julians adoption proceedings.

The DSWD, through respondent Atty. Marijoy D. Segui, sent a Memorandum to


DSWD Assistant Secretary Vilma B. Cabrera informing her that the certificate
declaring Baby Julian legally available for adoption had attained finality on
November 13, 2009, or three months after Christina signed the Deed of Voluntary
Commitment which terminated her parental authority and effectively made Baby
Julian a ward of the State. The said Memorandum was noted by respondent Atty.
Sally D. Escutin, Director IV of the Legal Service, DSWD.

Cabrera said that the DSWD was no longer in the position to stop the
adoption process. She further stated that should Christina wish to reacquire her
parental authority over Baby Julian or halt the adoption process, she may bring the
matter to the regular courts as the reglementary period for her to regain her
parental rights had already lapsed under Section 7 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9523.

Christina filed a petition for the issuance of a writ of amparo before the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) seeking to obtain custody of Baby Julian

Christina accused respondents of "blackmailing" her into surrendering


custody of her child to the DSWD utilizing what she claims to be an invalid
certificate of availability for adoption which respondents allegedly used as basis to
misrepresent that all legal requisites for adoption of the minor child had been
complied with.

RTC issued a Writ of Amparo commanding the four respondents to produce


the body of Baby Julian at a hearing. Respondents appeared before the RTC but
respondents did not bring the child, stating that threats of kidnapping were made
on the child and his caregivers. The RTC reset the hearing. During such, the RTC
acknowledged that the child subject of the case was brought before the court and
the petitioner was allowed to see him and take photographs of him.

RTC dismissed the petition for issuance of a writ of amparo without prejudice
to the filing of the appropriate action in court. The RTC held that Christina availed of
the wrong remedy to regain custody of her child Baby Julian. It further stated that
Christina should have filed a civil case for custody of her child as laid down in the
Family Code and the Rule on Custody of Minors and Writ of Habeas Corpus in
Relation to Custody of Minors. The RTC denied Christinas motion for
reconsideration.

Christina directly elevated the case before the Supreme Court, via a petition
for review on certiorari.

ISSUE:

Is a petition for a writ of amparo the proper recourse for obtaining parental
authority and custody of a minor child?

RULING:

NO. The writ of amparo is confined only to cases of extrajudicial killings and
enforced disappearances, or to threats thereof. The elements constituting "enforced
disappearances" as the term are statutorily defined in Section 3(g) of R.A. No. 9851
to wit:

(a) that there be an arrest, detention, abduction or any form of deprivation


of liberty;
(b) that it be carried out by, or with the authorization, support or
acquiescence of, the State or a political organization;
(c) that it be followed by the State or political organizations refusal to
acknowledge or give information on the fate or whereabouts of the
person subject of the amparo petition;
(d) that the intention for such refusal is to remove subject person from the
protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.

In this case, Christina alleged that the DSWD officers caused her "enforced
separation" from Baby Julian and that their action amounted to an "enforced
disappearance" within the context of the Amparo rule. However, DSWD officers
never concealed Baby Julian's whereabouts. In fact, Christina obtained a copy of the
DSWD's Memorandum explicitly stating that Baby Julian was in the custody of the
Medina Spouses when she filed her petition before the RTC. She even admitted in
her petition for review on certiorari that the respondent DSWD officers presented
Baby Julian before the RTC during the hearing.There is therefore, no "enforced
disappearance" as used in the context of the Amparo rule as the third and fourth
elements are missing.

To reiterate, the privilege of the writ of amparo is a remedy available to


victims of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances or threats of a similar
nature, regardless of whether the perpetrator of the unlawful act or omission is a
public official or employee or a private individual. It is envisioned basically to
protect and guarantee the right to life, liberty and security of persons, free from
fears and threats that vitiate the quality of life.
BENJAMIN H. CABAEZ v. MARIE JOSEPHINE CORDERO SOLANO A.K.A. MA.
JOSEPHINE S. CABAEZ, G.R. No. 200180, June 06, 2016, J. PERALTA

Changes in the citizenship of a person or in his status from legitimate to illegitimate


or from married lo not married are substantial as well as controversial, which can
only be established in an appropriate adversary proceeding as a remedy for the
adjudication of real and justifiable controversies involving actual conflict of rights
the final determination of which depends upon the resolution of issues of
nationality, paternity, filiation or legitimacy of the marital status for which existing
substantive and procedural laws as well as other rules of court amply provide.

FACTS:

On February 12, 2007, respondent Josephine Solano a.k.a. Josephine


CABAEZ filed with the RTC of Muntinlupa City a "Petition for Correction of the
Name and Marital Status of the Registered Owner of Transfer Certificates of Title of
the Registry of Deeds for Muntinlupa City." In the said petition, respondent alleged
as follows:

1. Petitioner is of legal age, single and a resident of #21 Dona Ines St.,
Alabang Hills Village, Muntinlupa City;
2. Petitioner is the owner of two parcels of land situated in Alabang,
Muntinlupa City covered by Transfer Certificates of Title No. 154626 and
154627 issued by the Registry of Deed for Muntinlupa, though the same
were issued under the name Ma Josephine S. Cabaez, married to
Benjamin H. Cabaez. x x x
3. Without knowing the legal implication, Petitioner erroneously made it
appear that she is married to Mr. Benjamin when in truth and in fact they
are not married but merely living a common-law relationship
4. Mr. Benjamin H. Cabaez is actually married to a certain Leandra D.
Cabaez who had previously filed a case against Petitioner, questioning
the ownership of the said properties which case however was terminated
by virtue of a compromise approved by the court in an Order dated
November 23, 2000. xxx
5. Mr. Benjamin H. Cabaez has also declared that he is not actually married
to the Petitioner and that he has no interest or share whatsoever in the
aforesaid properties as evidenced by the hereto attached copy of the
Affidavit of Declaration Against Interest dated January 22, 2007. x x x
6. No interests or rights will be affected by the correction of the name and
status of Petitioner as registered owner of the said properties.

The RTC then conducted hearings where respondent Josephine presented her
evidence ex parte. The RTC granted the petition. Herein petitioner Benjamin
Cabanez filed with the CA a Petition for Annulment of Judgment assailing the above
Decision of the RTC on the ground that the said trial court did not acquire
jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case because respondent's petition was
not published in a newspaper of general circulation and that petitioner and other
persons who may have interest in the subject properties were not served
summons.
The CA initially reversed it but subsequently reinstate the RTC decision upon
Motion for Reconsideration by respondent Josephine. The CA agreed with
respondent and ruled that PD 1529 is the governing law and that there is nothing
under the pertinent provisions of the said law which states that publication is a
requirement for the RTC to acquire jurisdiction over respondent's petition. The CA
also ruled that petitioner failed to prove the existence of extrinsic fraud as a ground
for annulment of the assailed judgment of the RTC.

ISSUE:

Whether the CA is correct in ruling that the applicable law is PD 1529 allowing the
change of entries in this case?

RULING:

NO.Under settled jurisprudence, the enumerated instances for amendment or


alteration of a certificate of title under Section 108 of PD 1529 are non-controversial
in nature. They are limited to issues so patently insubstantial as not to be genuine
issues. The proceedings thereunder are summary in nature, contemplating
insertions of mistakes which are only clerical, but certainly not controversial issues.

From the foregoing, there is no question that there is a serious objection and
an adverse claim on the part of an interested party as shown by petitioner's
Benjamin subsequent execution of his Affidavit of Non-Waiver of Interest. The
absence of unanimity among the parties is also evidenced by petitioner's petition
seeking the annulment of the RTC Decision which granted respondent's petition for
correction of entries in the subject TCTs. These objections and claims necessarily
entail litigious and controversial matters making it imperative to conduct an
exhaustive examination of the factual and legal bases of the parties' respective
positions. Certainly, such objective cannot be accomplished by the court through
the abbreviated action under Section 108 of PD 1529. A complete determination of
the issues in the present case can only be achieved if petitioner and his wife are
impleaded in an adversarial proceeding.

In addition, the Court finds apropos to the instant case the ruling in the
similar case of Martinez v. Evangelista where the petitioner in the said case, being
the registered owner of certain real properties, sought to strike out the words
"married to x x x" appearing in the Transfer Certificates of Title covering the said
properties on the ground that the same was so entered by reason of clerical error or
oversight and in lieu thereof the word "single" be substituted, which according to
the petitioner in the said case is his true and correct civil status. This Court held
that:

x x x x changes in the citizenship of a person or in his status from legitimate


to illegitimate or from married lo not married are substantial as well as
controversial, which can only be established in an appropriate adversary proceeding
as a remedy for the adjudication of real and justifiable controversies involving actual
conflict of rights the final determination of which depends upon the resolution of
issues of nationality, paternity, filiation or legitimacy of the marital status for which
existing substantive and procedural laws as well as other rules of court amply
provide.

In the present case, it is now apparent that before the trial court can alter the
description of the civil status of respondent in the transfer certificates of title in
question, it will have to receive evidence of and determine respondent's civil status.
This requires a full dress trial rendering the summary proceedings envisaged in
Section 108 of PD 1529 inadequate. Finally, it is settled that a land registration case
is a proceeding in rem, and jurisdiction in rem cannot be acquired unless there be
constructive seizure of the land through publication and service of notice. However,
as found by the CA, respondent failed to comply with the said requirements. In all
cases where the authority of the courts to proceed is conferred by a statute, and
when the manner of obtaining jurisdiction is mandatory, it must be strictly complied
with, or the proceedings will be utterly void. It is wrong for the CA to rule in its
Amended Decision that publication is not a jurisdictional requirement for the RTC to
take cognizance of respondent's petition.
NILO V. CHIPONGIAN v. VICTORIA BENITEZ-LIRIO
G.R. No. 162692, August 26, 2015, First Division (Bersamin, J.)

Order dismissing motion for intervention in settlement proceedings is final and


therefore appealable.

FACTS:

Upon the death of Vicente, respondents initiated proceedings for the


settlement of the estate of Vicente. The RTC issued the letters of administration to
Feodor. The petitioner intervened in the settle of estate of Vicente and sought the
partial revocation of the court order in order to exclude the paraphernal properties
of Isabel, petitioners sister and wife of Vicente, from the estate of Vicente.

On August 21, 1998, the RTC rendered judgment dismissing the complaint-in-
intervention. The petitioner filed a notice of appeal but was denied by the RTC. It
conceded that the petitioner had timely filed the notice of appeal, but had not
perfected his appeal because of his failure to pay the appellate court docket fees.
The petitioner instituted his petition for certiorari in the CA, alleging that that on
March 19, 1999, he filed the notice of appeal; that he paid the appellate court
docket fees on March 31, 1999. The CA dismissed the petition for certiorari.

Hence, this appeal, whereby the petitioner argues that he should not be
deprived of his right to appeal solely on the basis of the late payment of the
appellate court docket fees. In contrast, respondents Victoria and Feodor seek the
denial of the petition for review because the petitioner did not file a record on
appeal. In his reply to the respondents' comment, the petitioner submits that it
must be noted that the appeal was from the decision of the trial court to dismiss
petitioner's complaint-in-intervention and not 'the final order or judgment rendered
in the case', obviously referring to the main case, that is, the intestate estate case.
Since the intervention was not an independent proceeding but only ancillary or
supplemental to the main case, the rule on multiple appeals does not apply and the
filing of a record on appeal is not a pre-requisite to the acceptance and
consideration of the appeal by the appellate court.

Issues:

1. Is the dismissal of an intervention in a special proceeding appealable?

2. What is the proper mode to perfect an appeal in such case?

Ruling:

The appeal lacks merit.


1. The dismissal of the petitioner's intervention constituted "a final
determination in the lower court of the rights of the party appealing," that is,
his right in the paraphernal properties of his deceased sister. It was a final
determination in the trial court of his intervention. Thus, the dismissal was
the proper subject of an appeal.

2. The proper mode of appealing a judgment or final order in special


proceedings is by notice of appeal and record on appeal. For the petitioner,
therefore, the period for perfecting the appeal by record on appeal was 30
days from notice of the final order dismissing the intervention. The start of
the period of 30 days happened on September 18, 1998, the date when his
counsel received the decision dismissing his intervention. However, the entire
time from the filing of his Motion for Reconsideration on October 2, 1998 until
his receipt of the denial of the Motion for Reconsideration on March 18, 1999
should be deducted from the reckoning of the period to perfect his appeal. He
filed the notice of appeal on March 19, 1999, and paid the appellate court
docket fees on March 31, 1999.

Considering that the petitioner did not submit a record on appeal, he did not
perfect his appeal of the judgment dismissing his intervention. As a result,
the dismissal became final and immutable. He now has no one to blame but
himself. The right to appeal, being statutory in nature, required strict
compliance with the rules regulating the exercise of the right. As such, his
perfection of his appeal within the prescribed period was mandatory and
jurisdictional, and his failure to perfect the appeal within the prescribed time
rendered the judgment final and beyond review on appeal.

The ostensible reason for requiring a record on appeal instead of only a


notice of appeal is the multipart nature of nearly all special proceedings, with
each part susceptible of being finally determined and terminated
independently of the other parts. An appeal by notice of appeal is a mode
that envisions the elevation of the original records to the appellate court as to
thereby obstruct the trial court in its further proceedings regarding the other
parts of the case. In contrast, the record on appeal enables the trial court to
continue with the rest of the case because the original records remain with
the trial court even as it affords to the appellate court the full opportunity to
review and decide the appealed matter.
ATTY. RICARDO B. BERMUDO, Petitioner, vs. FERMINA TAYAG-ROXAS,
Respondent. G.R. No. 172879; February 2, 2011; J. Abad

FERMINA TAYAG-ROXAS, Petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and ATTY.


RICARDO BERMUDO,Respondents. G.R. No. 173364; February 2, 2011; J. Abad

An order computing Attorneys Fees to administrator to implement a decision is not


appealable under Rule 109. The proper remedy is petition for certiorari under Rule
65.

Facts:

Atty. Ricardo Bermudo (Atty. Bermudo), as executor, filed a petition for his
appointment as administrator of the estate of Artemio Hilario (Hilario) and for the
allowance and probate of the Hilario's will before the Regional Trial Court (RTC).
Hilario instituted Fermina Tayag-Roxas (Roxas) as his only heir but several persons,
who claimed to be Hilarios relatives, opposed the petition. RTC rendered a decision,
allowing the will and recognizing Roxas as Hilarios sole heir. On appeal, the Court of
Appeals (CA) affirmed the RTC decision. SC sustained the CA decision.

When the decision constituting Roxas as the sole heir became final, Atty.
Bermudo who also served as counsel for her in the actions concerning her
inheritance filed a motion to fix his legal fees and to constitute a charging lien
against the estate for the legal services he rendered. RTC granted him fees
equivalent to 20% of the estate and constituted the same as lien on the estates
property. Roxas appealed the order. CA rendered a decision that modified the RTC
Order, limiting Atty. Bermudos compensation as administrator to what Section 7,
Rule 85 of the Rules of Court provides and making his lawyers fees 20% of the
value of the land belonging to the estate. Atty. Bermudo subsequently filed a motion
with the RTC for execution and appraisal of the estate on which his 20%
compensation would be based. RTC granted the motion and ordered Roxas to pay
Atty. Bermudo P12,644,300.00 as attorneys fees with interest at the rate of 6% per
annum. Roxas challenged the order before the CA through a petition for certiorari.

CA ordered Roxas to pay Atty. Bermudo a reduced amount of P4,234,770.00


as attorney's fees with interest at 6% per annum. Atty. Bermudos motion for
reconsideration having been denied, he filed a petition for review. Roxas also filed a
motion for partial reconsideration of the CA decision and when this was denied, she
filed a petition for certiorari.

Issues:

1. Whether Roxas should have undertaken an ordinary appeal under Rule 45 in


contesting the RTC order of execution against her;
2. Whether Atty. Bermudo, as administrator, is entitled to collect attorneys fees;
and

3. Whether there is proper reduction of the attorneys fees from P12,644,300.00


to P4,234,770.00.

Held:

1. NO.

Atty. Bermudo points out that Roxas remedy for contesting the RTC order of
execution against her should be an ordinary appeal to the CA. He invokes Section
1, Rule 109 of the Revised Rules of Court which enumerates the orders or
judgments in special proceedings from which parties may appeal. One of
these is an order or judgment which settles the account of an executor or
administrator. The rationale behind this multi-appeal mode is to enable the rest of
the case to proceed in the event that a separate and distinct issue is resolved by
the court and held to be final. But the earlier award in Atty. Bermudos favor did
not settle his account as administrator. Rather, it fixed his attorneys fees
for the legal services he rendered in the suit contesting Roxas right as
sole heir. Consequently, Section 1 (d) of Rule 109 does not apply.

Actually, the CA decided with finality the award of attorneys fees in Atty.
Bermudos favor when it fixed such fees at 20% of the value of the estates lands.
On remand of the case to the RTC, Atty. Bermudo filed a motion for execution of the
award in his favor which could be carried out only after the RTC shall have
determined what represented 20% of the value of the estates lands. The fixing of
such value at P12,644,300.00 was not appealable since it did not constitute a new
judgment but an implementation of a final one. Indeed, an order of execution is not
appealable. Consequently, Roxas remedy in contesting the RTCs exercise of
discretion in ascertaining what constitutes 20% of the value of the estates lands is
a special civil action of certiorari.

2. YES.

Atty. Bermudo did not only serve as administrator of the estate. He also
served as Roxas counsel in the suit that assailed her right as sole heir. Atty.
Bermudo brought the contest all the way up to this Court to defend her rights to her
uncles estate. And Atty. Bermudo succeeded. Acting as counsel in that suit for
Roxas was not part of his duties as administrator of the estate. Consequently, it was
but just that he is paid his attorneys fees.

Besides, Atty. Bermudos right to attorneys fees had been settled with
finality. This Court can no longer entertain Roxas lament that he is not entitled to
those fees.

3. YES.

In fixing the higher amount, the RTC relied on the advice of an amicus curiae
regarding the value of the lands belonging to the estate. But the CA found such
procedure unwarranted, set aside the RTCs valuation, and used the values
established by the Angeles City Assessor for computing the lawyers fees of Atty.
Bermudo. The Court finds no compelling reason to deviate from the CAs ruling.
Given their wide experience and the official nature of their work, the city assessors
opinions deserve great weight and reliability. Thus, the Court must sustain the CAs
computation based on the market values reflected on the schedule proposed by the
Angeles City Assessor.
Antonio Ambrosio v. IAC and CIR
G.R. No. 75663, January 17, 1990, Narvasa, J.

Topic:

A petition for review instead of a record on appeal timely filed, which comply
the requirements of a record on appeal is permitted. It was held that the 30 days
period can be extended.

Facts:

The Commissioner of Internal Revenue presented a formal claim against the


estate of Juliana Vda. de Gabriel (Motion for allowance of Claim and for an Order of
Payment of Taxes) praying for payment by estate of P318,223.93 representing the
decedents deficiency income tax liability for the year 1978. CIR alleged that a
demand letter and Assessment Notice had been sent to the decedent and received
in due course at the address stated in the return filed for her by the Philippine Trust
Company and for failure of the taxpayer to contest the assessment within the time
fixed by law therefor, the same had become final, executory and incontestable.

CIR was opposed by the estate represented by Ambrosio, as appointed by the


court as estates Auditor-Consultant. He argued that there had been no proper
service of any assessment on the deceased CIRs demand having been sent almost
four years after Mrs. Gabriel died, and addressed not to her but the Philippine Trust
Company, which was not the proper party; and the claim of the BIR was barred by
prescription.

The probate Court denied the CIRs claim. The CIR timely moved to take an
appeal from that denial to the CA. On April 2, 1986, he filed with the Probate Court a
notice of appeal, and with the IAC, a motion for a thirty-day extension to file a
petition for review. The extension sought was granted, as was also, a second, for
another thirty (30) days. A third extension was sought, and acting thereon, the
Appellate Tribunal pointed out that the proper remedy was not a petition for review,
but an ordinary appeal, and accordingly directed that the Commissioner's appeal be
assigned by the Raffle Committee to any of the Civil Divisions of the Court.

On July 2, 1986, the CIR filed his petition for review. Ambrosia filed a Motion
to Dismiss Appeal on July 9, 1986. He contended that since the CIRs remedy was an
ordinary appeal, which should have been taken within thirty (30) days, and since
this period had lapsed without the corresponding record on appeal required by law
having been filed, the CIR's right to appeal had been lost.

IAC decided to give due course to the CIR's appeal and as an act of liberal
interpretation, to consider the petition for review as the record on appeal itself as it
states the errors upon which review is sought

Issue:
Whether or not CA correctly treated the petition for review filed by CIR as a
record on appeal, constituting sufficient requirement as provided by law.

Ruling:

Yes. CA is correct. The petition will have to be dismissed for lack of merit. To
grant it, in the light of the particular facts on record, would be to place too high a
value on technicality and disregard without sufficient cause the desideratum of
deciding cases on their merits whenever possible. Ambrosio's objection that the
petition for review may not be considered a record on appeal because it does not
contain all the orders and pleadings necessary for the evaluation and determination
of the issues on appeal, is quickly exposed as without foundation by a perusal of the
petition for review.

For appended to the latter pleading, in chronological sequence, are copies of


the claim and other pleadings, motions and orders related to the appealed final
order (denying the CIRs claim), which are mentioned and described in said petition
for review, and which are necessary for the proper understanding of the issues
involved. It is in all but name a record on appeal stating the full names of all the
parties in the caption, and including "the order or judgment from which the appeal
is taken, and, in chronological order, copies of only such pleadings, petitions,
motions and all interlocutory orders as are related to the appealed order or
judgment and necessary for the proper understanding of the issue involved . . .
"with the added feature that it contains the arguments relied upon by the
Commissioner for the reversal of the contested Order of the Probate Court.

So, too, Ambrosio's claim that he was not given an opportunity to object to
the petition for review (considered as a record on appeal), which he would have had
if it had been a record on appeal which was drawn up and presented before the
Probate Court, cannot be sustained. He was furnished a copy of the petition, and
nothing prevented him from drawing the attention of the Appellate Court to any
defect therein, considered as a record on appeal.

Now, it is not disputed that the CIR filed his notice of appeal timely, within
thirty (30) days from notice of order denying his claim. It cannot be disputed that a
Trial Court has discretion to grant extension of the same thirty-day period for the
presentation of the requisite record on appeal, just as the CA has discretion to
concede extensions for the filing of a petition for review. Nor is there any issue
raised about the propriety of the grant of extensions by the CA to CIR. Except
therefore, for the CIRs unfortunate misapprehension of the rule for taking an
appeal, of relatively recent effectivity at the time, the motion for extension could
very well have been sought from the Probate Court in relation to a record on appeal,
instead of from the CA with reference to a petition for review. In any event, it is
clear from all these circumstances that the estate had suffered no real injury to its
rights and interests by reason of the imperfection in the mode of taking the appeal.
As already pointed out, strict adherence to technical adjective rules should never be
unexceptionaly required, specially in the context of facts from which substantial
compliance with the rules may be reasonably inferred; a contrary precept would
result in a failure to decide cases on their merits. It should be the function of Courts
to afford parties-litigants the amplest opportunity for the proper and just
determination of their causes, free from the constraint of technicalities. In the
disposition of controversies, reasonable and justifiable liberality in the application of
procedural rules should be the guiding principle, where otherwise substantial justice
would be jeopardized; inadequacies and errors of form should be overlooked when
they would defeat rather than help in arriving at a just and fair result as to the
essential merits of any case. There is then no justification whatever to modify the
impugned Resolution of the Intermediate Appellate Court of July 29, 1986 in AC-G.R.
CV No. 09107