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G.R. No. L-37453
May 25, 1979

Petitioner Rizalina Gonzales and Lutgarda Santiago (private respondent) are the nieces
of the deceased Isabel Gabriel who died a widow. A will was thereafter submitted to probate.
The said will was typewritten, in Tagalog dialect and appeared to have been executed in April
1961 or two months prior to the death of Isabel. It consisted of 5 pages including the attestation
and acknowledgment, with the signature of testatrix on page 4 and in the left margin of all the

Lutgarda was named as the universal heir and executor. The petitioner opposed the

The lower court denied the probate on the ground that the will was not executed and
attested in accordance with law on the issue of the competency and credibility of the witnesses.

Whether or not the credibility of the subscribing witnesses is material to the validity of a

No. The law requires only that the witnesses possess the qualifications under Art. 820
(NCC) and none of the disqualifications of Art. 821. There is no requirement that they are of
good standing or reputation in the community, for trustworthiness, honesty and uprightness in
order that his testimony is believed and accepted in court. For the testimony to be credible, it is
not mandatory that evidence be established on record that the witnesses have good standing in
the community. Competency is distinguished from credibility, the former being determined by
Art. 820 while the latter does not require evidence of such good standing. Credibility depends on
the convincing weight of his testimony in court.