You are on page 1of 4

1. G.R. Nos. 208828-29 August 13, 2014 but the same was denied in an order dated 14 June 2011.

RICARDO C. SILVERIO, SR., Petitioner, Hence, the instant petition.


Subject of review: The CA declared the sales and derivative titles The intestate court in its Omnibus Order dated 31 October
over two properties subject of intestate proceedings as null and 2006, ordered among others, the sale of certain properties
void. belonging to the estate. The portion of the order which is
The late Beatriz S. Silverio died without leaving a will on pertinent to the present petition reads: "WHEREFORE, above
October 7, 1987. She was survived by her legal heirs, premises considered, this Court for the foregoing reasons resolves
namely: Ricardo C. Silverio, Sr. (husband), Edmundo S. to grant the following:
Silverio (son), Edgardo S. Silverio (son), Ricardo S. (1) xxx
Silverio, Jr. (son), Nelia S.Silverio-Dee (daughter), and (2) xxx
Ligaya S. Silverio (daughter). (3) Allowing the sale of the properties located at (1) No.
Subsequently, an intestate proceeding (SP PROC. NO. 82 Cambridge Circle, Forbes Park, Makati City, covered
M-2629) for the settlement of her estate was filed by by T.C.T. No. 137155 issued by Register of Deeds of
SILVERIO, SR. Makati City; (2) No. 3 Intsia Road, Forbes Park, Makati
City covered by T.C.T. No. 4137154 issued by the
Register of Deeds of Makati City; and (3) No. 19 Taurus
The Petitions St., Bel-Air Subd. Makati City covered by TCT No.
137156 issued by the Register of Deeds of Makati City to
CA-G.R. SP No. 121172 partially settle the intestate estate of the late Beatriz S.
Silverio, and authorizing the Administrator to undertake
the proper procedure or transferring the titles involved to
The administrator first appointed by the Court was the name of the estate; and
EDGARDO SILVERIO ("EDGARDO"), but by virtue of a (4) To apply the proceeds of the sale mentioned in
Joint Manifestation dated 3 November 1999 filed by the Number 3 above to the payment of taxes, interests,
heirs of BEATRIZ D. SILVERIO, the motion to withdraw penalties and other charges, if any, and todistribute the
as administrator filed by EDGARDO was approved by the residue among the heirs Ricardo C. Silverio, Sr., Ricardo
intestate court and in his stead, SILVERIO SR. was S. Silverio, Jr., Ligaya S. Silverio represented by Legal
appointed as the new administrator. Thereafter, an active Guardian Nestor S. Dela Merced II, Edmundo S. Silverio
exchange of pleadings to remove and appoint a new and Nelia S. SilverioDee in accordance with the law on
administrator ensued between SILVERIO SR. and intestacy.
SILVERIO JR. The flip-flopping appointment of
administrator is summarized below:
In an Order dated 3 January 2005, SILVERIO SR. was By virtue of the aforesaid Order, SILVERIO, JR. on 16 October
removed as administrator and in his stead, SILVERIO, 2007 executed a Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of CITRINE
JR. was designated as the new administrator. HOLDINGS, Inc. ("CITRINE") over the property located at No. 3
On 12 December 2005 the intestate court acting on the Intsia Road, Forbes Park, Makati City. CITRINE became the
motion filed by SILVERIO SR. recalled the Order granting registered owner thereof on 06 September 2010 as evidenced by
letters of administration to SILVERIO JR. and reinstated TCT No. 006-201000063.
SILVERIO SR. as administrator.
Then again, the intestate court acting on the motion for A Deed of Absolute Sale was likewise executed in favor of Monica
partial consideration to the Order dated 12 December P. Ocampo (notarized on September 16, 2010) for the lot located
2005 filed by SILVERIO JR. issued an Omnibus Order at No. 82 Cambridge Circle, Forbes Park, Makati City. On 23
dated 31 October 2006 upholding the grant of Letters of December 2010, TCT No. 006-2011000050 was issued toMonica
Administration to SILVERIO JR. and removed SILVERIO P. Ocampo. The latter subsequently sold said property to ZEE2
SR., ad administrator for gross violation of his duties and Resources, Inc. (ZEE2) and TCT No. 006-2011000190 was
functions under Section 1, Rule 81 of the Rules of Court. issued on 11 February 2011 under its name.
On 28 August 2008, the Court of Appeals (Seventh
Division) rendered a decision reinstating SILVERIO, SR.
On 14 February 2011, SILVERIO SR. filed an Urgent Omnibus
as administrator.
Motion (a) To Declare as Null and Void the Deed of Absolute Sale
SILVERIO JR. filed a Petition for review on Certiorari dated 16 September 2010; (b) To cancel the Transfer Certificate of
before the Supreme Court docketed as G.R. No. 185619 Title No. 006-2011000050; and (c) To reinstate the Transfer
challenging the 28 August 2008 decision of the Court of Certificate of Title No. 2236121 in the name of Ricardo C.
Appeals. On 11 February 2009, the Supreme Court SilverioSr. and the Intestate Estate of the late Beatriz S. Silverio.
issued a resolution denying the petition for failure to
sufficiently show any reversible error in the assailed
judgment to warrant the exercise by the Court of On 9 March 2011, SILVERIO Sr. filed a Supplement to the Urgent
discretionary appellate jurisdiction. Acting on SILVERIO Omnibus Motion dated 14 February 2011. On 18 August 2011, the
JR.s motion for reconsideration, the Supreme Court on intestate court rendered the now assailed Order the decretal
11 February 2011, denied the motion with finality. An portion of the Order is quoted hereunder:
entry of judgment was made on 29 March 2011. "WHEREFORE, this Court hereby orders that:
1. The Deed of Absolute Sale dated 16 September 2010
as VOID:
CA-G.R. SP No. 121173 2. The Transfer Certificate of Title No. 006-2011000050 in
the name of defendant MONICA OCAMPO or any of her
On 15 March 2011, heirs SILVERIO JR., EDMUNDO and successors-in-interestincluding all derivative titles, as
LIGAYA represented by her legal guardian moved for the NULL AND VOID;
disqualification and/or inhibition of JUDGE GUANLAO, JR 3. The Transfer Certificate of Title TCT No. 006-
On 23 March 2011, JUDGE GUANLAO, JR. issued an 2011000190 in the name of ZEE2 RESOURCES, INC. or
order denying the Motion for Disqualification and/or any of its successors-in-interest including all derivative
Inhibition. The movants filed a motion for reconsideration titles, as NULL AND VOID;
4. (T)he Register of Deeds of Makati City to CANCEL derivative titles over the Cambridge and Intsia properties as null
Transfer Certificate of Title No. 006-2011000050, and void.
Transfer Certificate of Title No. 006-2011000190 and all
of its derivative titles; and 5. Reinstating the Transfer On March 8, 2013, the CA rendered its Decision, the falloff which
Certificate of Title No. 2236121 in the name of RICARDO reads: WHEREFORE, based on the foregoing premises, the Court
C. SILVERIO, SR. AND THE INTESTATE ESTATE OF hereby disposes and orders the following:
PROPERTYxxx 1. The petition in CA G.R. SP No. 121172 is DENIED for
lack of merit. Accordingly, the 16 June 2011 Order of the
The consolidated petitions for certiorari filed by respondent Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 57 reinstating
Ricardo S. Silverio, Jr. ("Silverio, Jr.") before the CA MR. RICARDO C. SILVERIO, SR. as Administrator is
questioned the following issuances of the intestate court: CA-G.R. AFFIRMED.
SP No. 121172 Order dated June 16, 2011 reinstating Silverio, 2. The petition in CA GR. S.P. No. 121173is partly
Sr. as Administrator; CA-G.R. SP No. 121173 (1) Order dated DENIED for lack of merit insofar as it questions the 23
March 23,2011 granting Silverio, Sr.s application for preliminary March 2011 Order denying RICARDO SILVERIO, JRs
injunction enjoining Silverio, Jr. or anyone acting on their behalf Motion for Disqualification and/or Inhibition of Judge
from committing any act that would affect the titles to the subject Honorio E. Guanlao, Jr. The petition is partly GRANTED
properties and enjoining the Register of Deeds of Makati City from in that the Preliminary Injunction issued by the Regional
accepting, admitting, approving, registering, annotating or in any Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 57 is hereby declared
way giving due course to whatever deeds, instruments or any other NULL and VOID for being issued with grave abuse of
documents involving the Cambridge and Intsia properties, (2) Order discretion.
dated March 23, 2011 which denied Silverio, Jr.s motion or 3. The petition in CA G.R.-S.P. No. 122024is GRANTED.
disqualification and/or inhibition of Judge Guanlao, Jr., and (3) Accordingly, the 18 August 2011 Order declaring the
Order dated June 14, 2011 denying the motion for reconsideration Deed of Absolute Sale, Transfer Certificate of Title and all
of the March 23, 2011 Order (granting application for preliminary derivative titles over the Cambridge and Intsia Property
injunction); and in CA-G.R. SP No. 122024 Order dated August null and void is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.
18, 2011 declaring the Deed of Absolute Sale, TCT and all
October 31, 2006. Subsequently, however, the sale was
Hence, this petition contending that the CA committed a reversible annulled by the said court on motion by petitioner.
error in upholding the validity of the Intsia and Cambridgep
roperties upon the ground that the intestate court cannot annul the The October 31, 2006 Omnibus Order of the testate [sic] court in so
sales as it has a limited jurisdiction only and which does not include far as it authorizes the saleof the three properties in question was
resolving issues of ownership. It is asserted that the CA should not not declared by the Court of Appeals, Seventh Division as null and
have stopped there and looked into the nature of the properties void.It is axiomatic that it is the dispositive portion of the decision
sold, which formed part of the conjugal partnership of Ricardo that finally invests rights upon the parties, sets conditions for the
Silverio, Sr. and Beatriz S. Silverio. exercise of those rights, and imposes the corresponding duties or
In their Comment, respondents Silverio, Jr., Monica Ocampo and
Citrine Holdings, Inc. argued that the intestate court should not To reiterate, the injunction order which was made permanent by
have ruled on the validity of the sale of the subject properties to the Court of Appeals (Seventh Division) was declared to be limited
third parties after it itself had authorized their disposal in partial only to the portion ofthe Omnibus Order that upheld the grant of
settlementof the estate, especially so when separate actions letters of administration by SILVERIO, JR. and the removal of
assailing the new titles issued to said third parties were already SILVERIO, SR. as administrator and nothing else.
instituted by petitioner.
The records show that when the preliminary injunction was issued
Respondent ZEE2 Resources Corporation filed its Comment on 23 March 2011 new titles over the disputed properties were
contending that the intestate court improperly nullified the titles already issued to CITRINE HOLDINGS, INC. and ZEE2
despite the fact that the present registered owners, who are RESOURCES INC.7
indispensable parties, were not impleaded. Indeed, a Torrens title
cannot be collaterally attacked and may be cancelled only in a We affirm the CA.
direct proceeding brought for the purpose. Xxx In any case,
respondent maintains that it is a buyer of good faith and for value
The CA did not err in reversing the August 18, 2011 Order of the
intestate court annulling the sale of the subject properties grounded
SC solely on the injunction issued in CA-G.R. SP No. 97196.
Respondents Ocampo, Citrine and ZEE2 should not be
At the outset, we emphasize that the probate court having prejudiced by the flip-flopping appointment of Administrator
jurisdiction over properties under administration has the by the intestate court, having relied in good faith that the sale
authority not only to approve any disposition or was authorized and with prior approval of the intestate court
conveyance, but also to annul an unauthorized sale by under its Omnibus Order dated October 31, 2006 which
the prospective heirs or administrator remained valid and subsisting insofar as it allowed the
Our jurisprudence is therefore clear that (1) any aforesaid sale.
disposition of estate property by an administrator or
prospective heir pending final adjudication requires court
approval and (2) any unauthorized disposition of estate
property can be annulled by the probate court, there
being no need for a separate action to annul the
unauthorized disposition. (Emphasis supplied.)
In this case, the sale of the subject properties was
executed by respondent Silverio, Jr. with prior approval of
the intestate court under its Omnibus Order dated
2. G.R. No. 133743 February 6, 2007 cannot be retroactively applied because it would impair
EDGAR SAN LUIS, Petitioner, the vested rights of Felicisimos legitimate children.
vs.FELICIDAD SAN LUIS, Respondent.
The instant case involves the settlement of the estate of Felicisimo CA- in favor of respondent wife
T. San Luis (Felicisimo), who was the former governor of the
Province of Laguna. During his lifetime, Felicisimo contracted three
marriages. The appellante court ruled that under Section 1, Rule 73
His first marriage was with Virginia Sulit on March 17, of the Rules of Court, the term "place of residence" of the
1942 out of which were born six children, namely: decedent, for purposes of fixing the venue of the
Rodolfo, Mila, Edgar, Linda, Emilita and Manuel. On settlement of his estate, refers to the personal, actual or
August 11, 1963, Virginia predeceased Felicisimo. physical habitation, or actual residence or place of abode
Five years later, on May 1, 1968, Felicisimo married of a person as distinguished from legal residence or
Merry Lee Corwin, with whom he had a son, Tobias. domicile. It noted that although Felicisimo discharged his
However, on October 15, 1971, Merry Lee, an American functions as governor in Laguna, he actually resided in
citizen, filed a Complaint for Divorce 5 before the Family Alabang, Muntinlupa. Thus, the petition for letters of
Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii, USA- administration was properly filed in Makati City.
GRANTED The Court of Appeals also held that Felicisimo had legal
On June 20, 1974, Felicisimo married respondent capacity to marry respondent by virtue of paragraph 2,
Felicidad San Luis, then surnamed Sagalongos, before Article 26 of the Family Code and the rulings in Van Dorn
Rev. Fr. William Meyer, Minister of the United v. Romillo, Jr. 30 and Pilapil v. Ibay-Somera. 31 It found
Presbyterian at Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, that the marriage between Felicisimo and Merry Lee was
California, U.S.A. He had no children with respondent but validly dissolved by virtue of the decree of absolute
lived with her for 18 years from the time of their marriage divorce issued by the Family Court of the First Circuit,
up to his death on December 18, 1992. State of Hawaii.
Respondent alleged that she is the widow of Felicisimo; Therefore, under Article 130 of the Family Code, the
that, at the time of his death, the decedent was residing at petitioner as the surviving spouse can institute the judicial
100 San Juanico Street, New Alabang Village, Alabang, proceeding for the settlement of the estate of the
Metro Manila; that the decedents surviving heirs are deceased.
respondent as legal spouse, his six children by his first
marriage, and son by his second marriage; that the The issues for resolution: (1) whether venue was properly laid,
decedent left real properties, both conjugal and exclusive, and (2) whether respondent has legal capacity to file the
valued at 30,304,178.00 more or less; that the decedent subject petition for letters of administration.
does not have any unpaid debts. Respondent prayed that
the conjugal partnership assets be liquidated and that
letters of administration be issued to her. The petition lacks merit.
On February 4, 1994, petitioner Rodolfo San Luis, one of
the children of Felicisimo by his first marriage, filed a Under Section 1, 39 Rule 73 of the Rules of Court, the
motion to dismiss --- Rodolfo claimed that the petition for petition for letters of administration of the estate of
letters of administration should have been filed in the Felicisimo should be filed in the Regional Trial Court of
Province of Laguna because this was Felicisimos place the province "in which he resides at the time of his death."
of residence prior to his death. He further claimed that ----"resides" should be viewed or understood in its
respondent has no legal personality to file the petition popular sense, meaning, the personal, actual or physical
because she was only a mistress of Felicisimo since the habitation of a person, actual residence or place of
latter, at the time of his death, was still legally married to abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and actual
Merry Lee. On February 15, 1994, Linda invoked the stay thereat. In this popular sense, the term means
same grounds and joined her brother Rodolfo in seeking merely residence, that is, personal residence, not legal
the dismissal of the petition. residence or domicile. Residence simply requires bodily
On February 28, 1994, the trial court issued an presence as an inhabitant in a given place, while domicile
Order 11 denying the two motions to dismiss. requires bodily presence in that place and also an
Unaware of the denial of the motions to dismiss, intention to make it ones domicile. No particular length of
respondent filed on March 5, 1994 her time of residence is required though; however, the
opposition 12 thereto. She submitted documentary residence must be more than temporary. 41 (Emphasis
evidence showing that while Felicisimo exercised the supplied)
powers of his public office in Laguna, he regularly went It is incorrect for petitioners to argue that "residence," for
home to their house in New Alabang Village, Alabang, purposes of fixing the venue of the settlement of the
Metro Manila which they bought sometime in 1982. estate of Felicisimo, is synonymous with "domicile."
Further, she presented the decree of absolute divorce For purposes of fixing venue under the Rules of Court,
issued by the Family Court of the First Circuit, State of the "residence" of a person is his personal, actual or
Hawaii to prove that the marriage of Felicisimo to Merry physical habitation, or actual residence or place of abode,
Lee had already been dissolved. Thus, she claimed that which may not necessarily be his legal residence or
Felicisimo had the legal capacity to marry her domicile provided he resides therein with continuity and
On September 12, 1995, the trial court dismissed the consistency. 43 Hence, it is possible that a person may
petition for letters of administration. It held that, at the have his residence in one place and domicile in another.
time of his death, Felicisimo was the duly elected In the instant case, while petitioners established that
governor and a resident of the Province of Laguna. Felicisimo was domiciled in Sta. Cruz, Laguna,
Hence, the petition should have been filed in Sta. Cruz, respondent proved that he also maintained a residence in
Laguna and not in Makati City. It also ruled that Alabang, Muntinlupa from 1982 up to the time of his
respondent was without legal capacity to file the petition death. Respondent submitted in evidence the Deed of
for letters of administration because her marriage with Absolute Sale 44 dated January 5, 1983 showing that the
Felicisimo was bigamous, thus, void ab initio. It found that deceased purchased the aforesaid property. She also
the decree of absolute divorce dissolving Felicisimos presented billing statements 45 from the Philippine Heart
marriage to Merry Lee was not valid in the Philippines Center and Chinese General Hospital for the period
and did not bind Felicisimo who was a Filipino citizen. It August to December 1992 indicating the address of
also ruled that paragraph 2, Article 26 of the Family Code
Felicisimo at "100 San Juanico, Ayala Alabang, The Filipino spouse should not be discriminated against in his own
Muntinlupa." Respondent also presented proof of country if the ends of justice are to be served.
membership of the deceased in the Ayala Alabang Village
Association 46 and Ayala Country Club, Inc., 47 letter- Applying the above doctrine in the instant case, the divorce decree
envelopes 48 from 1988 to 1990 sent by the deceaseds allegedly obtained by Merry Lee which absolutely allowed
children to him at his Alabang address, and the Felicisimo to remarry, would have vested Felicidad with the legal
deceaseds calling cards 49 stating that his home/city personality to file the present petition as Felicisimos surviving
address is at "100 San Juanico, Ayala Alabang Village, spouse. However, the records show that there is insufficient
Muntinlupa" while his office/provincial address is in evidence to prove the validity of the divorce obtained by Merry Lee
"Provincial Capitol, Sta. Cruz, Laguna." as well as the marriage of respondent and Felicisimo under the
From the foregoing, we find that Felicisimo was a laws of the U.S.A. In Garcia v. Recio, 70 the Court laid down the
resident of Alabang, Muntinlupa for purposes of specific guidelines for pleading and proving foreign law and divorce
fixing the venue of the settlement of his estate. judgments. It held that presentation solely of the divorce decree is
Consequently, the subject petition for letters of insufficient and that proof of its authenticity and due execution must
administration was validly filed in the Regional Trial be presented.
Court 50 which has territorial jurisdiction over Alabang,
Muntinlupa. The subject petition was filed on December
17, 1993. At that time, Muntinlupa was still a municipality With regard to respondents marriage to Felicisimo allegedly
and the branches of the Regional Trial Court of the solemnized in California, U.S.A., she submitted photocopies of the
National Capital Judicial Region which had territorial Marriage Certificate and the annotated text 72 of the Family Law Act
jurisdiction over Muntinlupa were then seated in Makati of California which purportedly show that their marriage was done
City as per Supreme Court Administrative Order No. in accordance with the said law. As stated in Garcia, however, the
3. 51 Thus, the subject petition was validly filed before the Court cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws as they must be
Regional Trial Court of Makati City. alleged and proved. 73

Anent the issue of respondent Felicidads legal personality to file Therefore, this case should be remanded to the trial court for
the petition for letters of administration, we must first resolve the further reception of evidence on the divorce decree obtained by
issue of whether a Filipino who is divorced by his alien spouse Merry Lee and the marriage of respondent and Felicisimo.
abroad may validly remarry under the Civil Code, considering that
Felicidads marriage to Felicisimo was solemnized on June 20, Even assuming that Felicisimo was not capacitated to marry
1974, or before the Family Code took effect on August 3, 1988. In respondent in 1974, nevertheless, we find that the latter has the
resolving this issue, we need not retroactively apply the provisions legal personality to file the subject petition for letters of
of the Family Code, particularly Art. 26, par. (2) considering that administration, as she may be considered the co-owner of
there is sufficient jurisprudential basis allowing us to rule in the Felicisimo as regards the properties that were acquired through
affirmative. their joint efforts during their cohabitation.

In his treatise, Dr. Arturo M. Tolentino cited Van Dorn stating that "if Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court states that letters of
the foreigner obtains a valid foreign divorce, the Filipino spouse administration may be granted to the surviving spouse of the
shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law." 59In Garcia v. decedent. However, Section 2, Rule 79 thereof also provides in
Recio, 60 the Court likewise cited the aforementioned case in part: SEC. 2. Contents of petition for letters of administration. A
relation to Article 26. 61 petition for letters of administration must be filed by an interested
person and must show, as far as known to the petitioner: x x x. An
Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is "interested person" has been defined as one who would be
validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained benefited by the estate, such as an heir, or one who has a claim
abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the against the estate, such as a creditor. The interest must be material
Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine and direct, and not merely indirect or contingent. 75
law. (Emphasis supplied)
In the instant case, respondent would qualify as an interested
Legislative Intent person who has a direct interest in the estate of Felicisimo by virtue
Records of the proceedings of the Family Code deliberations of their cohabitation, the existence of which was not denied by
showed that the intent of Paragraph 2 of Article 26, according to petitioners. If she proves the validity of the divorce and Felicisimos
Judge Alicia Sempio-Diy, a member of the Civil Code Revision capacity to remarry, but fails to prove that her marriage with him
Committee, is to avoid the absurd situation where the Filipino was validly performed under the laws of the U.S.A., then she may
spouse remains married to the alien spouse who, after obtaining a be considered as a co-owner under Article 144 76 of the Civil Code.
divorce, is no longer married to the Filipino spouse. This provision governs the property relations between parties who
live together as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage,
Interestingly, Paragraph 2 of Article 26 traces its origin to the or their marriage is void from the beginning. It provides that the
1985 case of Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr. The Van Dorn case property acquired by either or both of them through their work or
involved a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner. industry or their wages and salaries shall be governed by the rules
The Court held therein that a divorce decree validly obtained on co-ownership. In a co-ownership, it is not necessary that the
by the alien spouse is valid in the Philippines, and property be acquired through their joint labor, efforts and industry.
consequently, the Filipino spouse is capacitated to remarry Any property acquired during the union is prima facie presumed to
under Philippine law. 63 (Emphasis added) have been obtained through their joint efforts. Hence, the portions
belonging to the co-owners shall be presumed equal, unless the
contrary is proven. 77
As such, the Van Dorn case is sufficient basis in resolving a
situation where a divorce is validly obtained abroad by the alien
spouse. With the enactment of the Family Code and paragraph 2, In view of the foregoing, we find that respondents legal capacity
Article 26 thereof, our lawmakers codified the law already to file the subject petition for letters of administration may
established through judicial precedent. arise from her status as the surviving wife of Felicisimo or as
his co-owner under Article 144 of the Civil Code or Article 148
of the Family Code.