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the intrinsic validity of the will be passed upon, even before it is

probated, the court should meet the issues.


Cayetano vs. Leonidas
In this case, it was sufficiently established that Adoracion was an
G.R. No. L-54919, May 30, 1984 American citizen and the law which governs her will is the law of
Pennsylvania, USA, which is the national law of the decedent.
o GENERAL RULE: Limited jurisdiction of the probate court It is a settled rule that as regards the intrinsic validity of the provisions
o EXCEPTION: Where practical considerations demand that the intrinsic of the will, the national law of the decedent must apply.
validity of the will be passed upon, even before it is probated, the court
should meet the issues. As to the issue of jurisdiction --
FACTS: The settlement of estate of Adoracion Campos was correctly filed with
the CFI of Manila where she had an estate since it was alleged and
Adoracion C. Campos died, leaving Hermogenes Campos (father) proven that Adoracion at the time of her death was a citizen and
and her sisters, Nenita Paguia, Remedios Lopez, and Marieta Medina permanent resident of Pennsylvania, USA and not a usual resident of
as the surviving heirs. As the only compulsory heir is Hermogenes, he Cavite.
executed an Affidavit of Adjudication, adjudicating unto himself the
entire estate of Adoracion. Moreover, petitioner is now estopped from questioning the jurisdiction
of the probate court in the petition for relief. It is a settled rule that a
Later that same year, Nenita filed a petition for reprobate of a will, party cannot invoke the jurisdiction of a court to secure affirmative
alleging among others that Adoracion was an American citizen and relief, against his opponent and after failing to obtain such relief,
that the will was executed in teh US. Adoracion died in Manila while repudiate or question that same jurisdiction.
temporarily residing in Malate.

While this case was still pending, Hermogenes died and left a will, http://scire-licet.blogspot.com/2008/06/cayetano-vs-leonidas.html
appointing Polly Cayetano as the executrix. Hence, this case.

ISSUEs:
VIRGINIA GARCIA FULE vs. CA, PRECIOSA B. GARCIA and AGUSTINA
B. GARCIA, 74 SCRA 189 (1976) (SpecPro 2016)
o Whether or not the will was valid
o Whether or not the court has jurisdiction over probate proceedings
FACTS: Virginia G. Fule (illegitimate sister) filed with the CFI of Laguna a
petition for letters of administration alleging that on April 26, 1973, Amado
HELD:
G. Garcia, a property owner of Calamba, Laguna, died intestate in the City of
Manila, leaving real estate and personal properties in Calamba, Laguna, and
As a general rule, the probate court's authority is limited only to the
in other places, within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court. At the same
extrinsic validity of the will, the due execution thereof, the testatrix's
time, she moved ex parte for her appointment as special administratix over
testamentary capacity and the compliance with the requisites or
the estate. Judge Malvar granted the motion.
solemnities prescribed by law. The intrinsic validity normally comes

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only after the court has declared that the will has been duly

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authenticated. However, where practical considerations demand that
A motion for reconsideration was filed by Preciosa B. Garcia, the surviving portion thereof is situated. Venue is the location of the court with
spouse of the deceased, contending that jurisdiction. It is more on convenience purposes. Its more on procedural
aspect of the case. In some cases it may be waived or stipulated by the
parties.
1) The decedent resided in QC for 3 months before his death as shown by Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court provides: If the decedent is
his death certificate and therefore have an improper venue. 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
2) The CFI of Calamba lacks jurisdiction over the petition. estate settled, in the Court of First Instance 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 of any province in which he had estate.
CFI denied the motion. 1. 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. In
CA reversed and affirmed making Preciosa the administratix. this popular sense, the term means merely residence, that is, personal
residence, not legal residence or domicile. Residence simply requires bodily
Thus, Fule elevated the matter to the SC on appeal by certiorari. presence as an inhabitant in a given place, while domicile requires bodily
presence in that place and also an intention to make it ones domicile. No
particular length of time of residence is required though; however, the
residence must be more than temporary.

ISSUES:
1. In the present case, SC ruled that the last place of residence of the deceased
should be the venue of the court. Amado G. Garcia was in Quezon City, and
a.) Are venue and jurisdiction the same? How can it be determined in the not at Calamba, Laguna base on his death certificate. A death certificate is
present case? admissible to prove the residence of the decedent at the time of his death.

b.) What does the word resides in Revised Rules of Court Rule 73 Section
1 Mean? Withal, the conclusion becomes imperative that the venue for Virginia C.
Fules petition for letters of administration was improperly laid in the Court
c.) Who is entitled as special administratix of the estate? of First Instance of Calamba, Laguna. Therefore Preciosa B. Garcia was
granted as a special administratix.

Held:
https://casedigestrequest.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/virginia-garcia-fule-
vs-ca-preciosa-b-garcia-and-agustina-b-garcia-74-scra-189-1976/
1. No, jurisdiction is defined as the authority to try, hear and decide a case base
on the merits or the substance of the facts. It is a substantive aspect of the
trial proceeding. It is granted by law or by the constitution and cannot be
waived or stipulated.

2
On the other hand, Rule 4 of Rules of Court define venue as the proper court

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which has jurisdiction over the area wherein real property involved or a
HELD:
Cuenco vs. CA
The Supreme Court found that CA erred in law in issuing the writ of
prohibition against the Quezon City court from proceeding with the
G.R. No. L-24742, October 26, 1973 testate proceedings and annulling and setting aside all its orders and
actions, particularly its admission to probate of the last will and
testament of the deceased and appointing petitioner-widow as
o The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, executrix thereof without bond pursuant to the deceased testator's
shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts wish.
FACTS: On Venue and Jurisdiction

Senator Mariano Jesus Cuenco died in Manila. He was survived by Under Rule 73, the court first taking cognizance of the settlement of
his widow and two minor sons, residing in Quezon City, and children the estate of a decent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all
of the first marriage, residing in Cebu. Lourdes, one of the children other courts.
from the first marriage, filed a Petition for Letters of Administration
with the Court of First Instance (CFI) Cebu, alleging that the senator The residence of the decent or the location of his estate is not an
died intestate in Manila but a resident of Cebu with properties in Cebu element of jurisdiction over the subject matter but merely of venue. If
and Quezon City. this were otherwise, it would affect the prompt administration of
justice.
The petition still pending with CFI Cebu, Rosa Cayetano Cuenco, the
second wife, filed a petition with CFI Rizal for the probate of the last The court with whom the petition is first filed must also first take
will and testament, where she was named executrix. Rosa also filed cognizance of the settlement of the estate in order to exercise
an opposition and motion to dismiss in CFI Cebu but this court held in jurisdiction over it to the exclusion of all other courts.
abeyance resolution over the opposition until CFI Quezon shall have
acted on the probate proceedings.
http://scire-licet.blogspot.com/2008/06/cuenco-vs-ca.html
Lourdes filed an opposition and motion to dismiss in CFI Quezon, on
ground of lack of jurisdiction and/or improper venue, considering that
CFI Cebu already acquired exclusive jurisdiction over the case. The
opposition and motion to dismiss were denied. Upon appeal CA ruled
in favor of Lourdes and issued a writ of prohibition to CFI Quezon.

ISSUEs:

o Whether or not CA erred in issuing the writ of prohibition


o Whether or not CFI Quezon acted without jurisdiction or grave abuse of
discretion in taking cognizance and assuming exclusive jurisdiction over the

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probate proceedings in pursuance to CFI Cebu's order expressly consenting

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in deference to the precedence of probate over intestate proceedings
G.R. No. L-24742 October 26, 1973 and motion to dismiss were denied. Upon appeal CA ruled in favor of
Lourdes and issued a writ of prohibition to CFI Quezon.
ROSA CAYETANO CUENCO, petitioners,
Issues: 1.)Whether the appellate court erred in law in issuing the writ of
vs. prohibition against the Quezon City court ordering it to refrain perpetually
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, THIRD DIVISION, MANUEL CUENCO, from proceeding with the testate proceedings and annulling and setting
LOURDES CUENCO, CONCEPCION CUENCO MANGUERRA, CARMEN aside all its orders and actions
CUENCO, CONSUELO CUENCO REYES, and TERESITA CUENCO GONZALEZ,
2.) Whether the Quezon City court acted without jurisdiction or with
respondents grave abuse of discretion in taking cognizance and assuming exclusive
Facts: jurisdiction over the probate proceedings in pursuance to CFI Cebu's order
expressly consenting in deference to the precedence of probate over
Senator Mariano Jesus Cuenco died at the Manila Doctors' Hospital, intestate proceedings.
Manila. He was survived by his widow, the herein petitioner, and their two
(2) minor sons, Mariano Jesus, Jr. and Jesus Salvador Cuenco, all residing at Held:
Quezon City, and by his children of the first marriage, respondents herein, 1.) The Court ruled in the affirmative.
namely, Manuel Cuenco, Lourdes Cuenco, Concepcion Cuenco Manguera, According to the Court, Rule 73 specifies that "the court first taking
Carmen Cuenco, Consuelo Cuenco Reyes and Teresita Cuenco Gonzales, all cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise
of legal age and residing in Cebu. jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts." It is equally conceded that
the residence of the deceased or the location of his estate is not an element
Lourdes, one of the children from the first marriage, filed a Petition for
of jurisdiction over the subject matter but merely of venue.
Letters of Administration with the Court of First Instance (CFI) Cebu, alleging
that the Senator died intestate in Manila but a resident of Cebu with A court may, upon learning that a petition for probate of the
properties in Cebu and Quezon City. decedent's last will has been presented in another court where the
decedent obviously had his conjugal domicile and resided with his surviving
While the petition was still pending with CFI Cebu, Rosa Cayetano
widow and their minor children, and that the allegation of the intestate
Cuenco, the second wife, filed a petition with CFI Rizal for the probate of the
petition before it stating that the decedent died intestate may be actually
last will and testament, where she was named executrix. Rosa also filed an
false, may decline to take cognizance of the petition and hold the petition
opposition and motion to dismiss in CFI Cebu but this court held in
before it in abeyance, and instead defer to the second court which has
abeyance resolution over the opposition until CFI Quezon shall have acted
before it the petition for probate of the decedent's alleged last will.
on the probate proceedings.
This is exactly what the Cebu court did. Upon petitioner-widow's filing
Lourdes filed an opposition and motion to dismiss in CFI Quezon, on
with it a motion to dismiss Lourdes' intestate petition, it declined to take
ground of lack of jurisdiction and/or improper venue, considering that CFI
cognizance of the case and deferred it to the Quezon City court.
Cebu already acquired exclusive jurisdiction over the case. The opposition

4
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2.) The Court ruled in the negative.
The Quezon City court can not be deemed to have acted without court having jurisdiction thereof is conclusive as to its due execution and
jurisdiction in taking cognizance of and acting on the probate petition since validity."
under Rule 73, section 1, the Cebu court must first take cognizance over the
estate of the decedent and must exercise jurisdiction to exclude all other It should be noted that in the Supreme Court's exercise of its
courts, which the Cebu court declined to do. Furthermore, as is undisputed, supervisory authority over all inferior courts, it may properly determine, as
said rule only lays down a rule of venue and the Quezon City court it has done in the case at bar, that venue was properly assumed by and
indisputably had at least equal and coordinate jurisdiction over the estate. transferred to the Quezon City court and that it is the interest of justice and
in avoidance of needless delay that the Quezon City court's exercise of
Since the Quezon City court took cognizance over the probate petition jurisdiction over the testate estate of the decedent (with the due deference
before it and assumed jurisdiction over the estate, with the consent and and consent of the Cebu court) and its admission to probate of his last will
deference of the Cebu court, the Quezon City court should be left now, by and testament and appointment of petitioner-widow as administratrix.
the same rule of venue of said Rule 73, to exercise jurisdiction to the
SCRIBD: https://www.scribd.com/document/341031671/Cuenco-vs-CA
exclusion of all other courts.

Under the facts of the case, respondents submitted to the Quezon City
court their opposition to probate of the will, but failed to appear at the
MANG-OY VS CA
scheduled hearing despite due notice, the Quezon City court cannot be
declared, as the appellate court did, to have acted without jurisdiction in G.R. 144 SCRA 35
admitting to probate the decedent's will and appointing petitioner-widow
as executrix thereof in accordance with the testator's testamentary SEPTEMBER 12, 1986
disposition.
CRUZ, J.:
With more reason should the Quezon City proceedings be upheld when
it is taken into consideration that Rule 76, section 2 requires that the FACTS:
petition for allowance of a will must show: "(a) the jurisdictional facts." Such
Old Tumpao begot 3 children (respondents) with his first wife. Upon
"jurisdictional facts" in probate proceedings, as held by the Court in her death, he took himself a second wife but without issues. However
Fernando vs. Crisostomo" are the death of the decedent, his residence at she had adopted 2 children according to the practice of Igorots. On
the time of his death in the province where the probate court is sitting, or if September 4, 1937, Old Tumpao executed what he called last will
he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, his having left his estate in such and testament which were read to and thumb mark affixed by all of
the beneficiaries who at the time were already occupying the portions
province."
respectively allotted to them. After the death of Old Tumpao, the
parties remained to be in possession of the lots assign to them which
This tallies with the established legal concept as restated by Moran that
was in accordance of the wishes of old Tumpao which was also
"(T)he probate of a will is a proceeding in rem. The notice by publication as agreed upon by the parties in a public document.
a pre-requisite to the allowance of a will, is a constructive notice to the

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whole world, and when probate is granted, the judgment of the court is On November 4, 1960, respondents executed an extra-judicial

Page
binding upon everybody, even against the State. The probate of a will by a partition in which they divided the property of Old Tumpao among the
three of them only. Petitioners sued for reconveyance , sustained by agreement recognizing the will and Bandos appointment. 2 days later,
trial court but reversed by CA. Old Man Tumpao died.- The parties remained in possession of the
lots assigned to them, apparently inobedience to the wish of Old Man
ISSUE: Tumpao as expressed in his last will.- However, in 1960, the respondents
executed an extrajudicial partition of the lands of Old Man Tumpao. The
Whether or not the will and testament of Old Tumpao be duly latters title was cancelled and the respondents were given anew one. It
allowed even without being proved in the court is that title which is the being questioned by the petitioners.- The TC
ruled for the petitioners. The CA reversed as it said that the will
RULING: was void since it was not probated.
The agreement of partition among the supposed beneficiaries of
In accordance with the rules of court, no will shall pass either real or the will was nullified because it was a partition inter vivos and had not
personal property unless it is proved or allowed in court. been approved by the Director of the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes.
ISSUE/S
However the document maybe sustained by art 1056 of the Old Civil 1. WON the will was valid
Code which was the law in force at the time the document was made. HELD
The law says: If the testator should make a partition of his properties 1. NO
by an act inter vivors, or by will such partition shall stand in so far as it Ratio
does not prejudice the legitime of the forced heirs. The will is not valid since it was not probated. However, the document
may besustained on the basis of Article 1056 of the Civil Code of 1899,
Such partition is not governed by the rules of wills or donation inter which was in force atthe time the said document was executed by Old
vivos, which is a consequence of its special nature. Thus, the last will Man Tumpao in 1937.
and testament of Old Tumpao is sustained by the provision of Art Reasoning
1056, Old Civil Code, which became a binding law when the - Art. 1056. If the testator should make a partition of his properties
beneficiaries, parties herein, agreed and confirmed with the by an act intervivos, or by win, such partition shall stand in so far
disposition made by Old Tumpao. as it does not prejudice the legitime of the forced heirs- Article 1056
of the Civil Code of 1889 authorizes a testator to partition inter vivos his
http://favesongdiary.blogspot.com/2010/06/case-digest-civil-law.html property, and distribute them among his heirs, and
that this partition is not
MANG-OY v CA necessarily either a donation nor a testament, but
144 SCRA 33CRUZ; September 12, 1986 an instrument of a special character, sui generis, which is
NATURE revocable at any time by the causante during his lifetime, and does
Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 not operate as a conveyance of title until his death. It derives its
FACTS binding force on the heirs from the respect due to the will of
- Old Man Tumpao had a wife and begot 3 children , the respondents in the owner of the property, limited only by his creditors and the
this case. Afterhis wife's death, he married again. His second wife had 2 intangibility of the legitime of the forced heirs- It was sufficient,
children she had adoptedaccodring to the practice of igorots- On Sept 4, therefore, that the partition should be in writing. It does not have to be
1937, Old man tumpao executed a "last will and testament". According to in a public document except to affect third persons (Art. 1280),
such, Bandao Tumpao shall be the one to carry or fulfill the Testament, being valid between the parties who signed it in its present form.- as
and shall have the power to see and dispose of the Old Man Tumpao's the trial court put it: The will alone, would be inoperative for the simple

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property.- The will was read to the beneficiaries who were already reason that it was not probated,However, when the persons

Page
occupying the lands allotted to them. On Sept 7, 1937, they had an who were named therein as heirs and beneficiaries voluntarily
agreed in writing to abide by its terms probably to save the expenses enumerates six different instances when appeal may be taken in special
of probate. and furthermore, carried out its terms after the death of the proceedings.
testator untilnow, then it must be held to be binding between them.
Said agreement was not a disposal of inheritance by a prospective heir
before the death of the testator, but a nagreement to carry out the will. It
2. Mercado v. Santos
was not contested by the defendants and after the lapse of 25 years their
right, if any, to assail it has prescribed under Art. 1144 of the Civil Code. FACTS: Mercado filed a petition for the probate of the will of his deceased
Any formal defect of the deed, was cured by the lapse of time.- The wife. The court admitted the will to probate. 16 months after the probate of
agreement entered into by the parties did not have to be approved the will, the intervenors filed a complaint against Mercado for falsification or
by theDirector of the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes because the forgery of the will probated. Mercado moved to dismiss claiming that the will
Administrative Code of Mindanao and Sulu was not extended to the
alleged to have been forged had already been probated and, further, that the
Mountain Province. Moreover, thedocument was not a conveyance
order probating the will is conclusive as to the authenticity and due execution
of properties or property right.- It remains to state that the property in
thereof.
dispute having been registered in 1917, the presumption is that it was
acquired during the second marriage and so cannot be claimed by
the respondents as the conjugal property of their mother and Old
Man Tumpao. Hence, they are not entitled to retain the entire land ISSUE: w/n the probate of the will bars criminal prosecution for the alleged
as their exclusive inheritance or to collect rentals for the lots occupied forgery of the probated will.
by the petitioners

1. Fernandez v. Dimagiba HELD: YES

Facts:

Ismaela Dimagiba filed a petition for probate of the will of Benedicta de los The decree of probate is conclusive with respect to the due
Reyes. Such petition was opposed by Dionisio Fernandez, et al. The court execution thereof and cannot be impugned on any of the grounds authorized
ruled in favor of probate. Fernandez et al appealed, but it was beyond the by law, except that of fraud, in any separate or independent action or
reglamentary period. They argued that they were entitled to await the other proceeding. The probate of a will by the probate court having jurisdiction
grounds for opposition before appealing. thereof is usually considered as conclusive as to its due execution and
validity, and is also conclusive that the testator was of sound and disposing
mind at the time when he executed the will, and was not acting under duress,
menace, fraud, or undue influence, and that the will is genuine and not a
Issue: Whether the probate of the will become final for lack of appeal forgery.

Ruling: Yes. A probate decree finally and definitively settles all questions The probate of a will is a proceeding in rem. The provision of notice
concerning capacity of the testator and the proper execution and witnessing by publication as a prerequisite to the allowance of a will is constructive
of the will. As such, probate order is final and appealable. They do not have notice to the whole world, and when probate is granted, the judgment of the

7
to await the resolution of its other oppositions since the Rules of Court court is binding upon everybody, even against the State.

Page
was held: That in view of the provisions of sections 306, 333 and 625 of the
Code of Civil Procedure, criminal action will not lie in this jurisdiction
Conclusive presumptions are inferences which the law makes so against the forger of a will which had been duly admitted to probate by a
peremptory that it will not allow them to be overturned by any contrary proof court of competent jurisdiction.
however strong. The will in question having been probated by a competent
court, the law will not admit any proof to overthrow the legal presumption that
it is genuine and not a forgery. FACTS:

On May 28, 1931, the petitioner herein filed in the Court of First Instance of
Atillano Mercado vs. Santos (1938 Case) Pampanga a petition for the probate of the will of his deceased wife, Ines
Basa. Without any opposition, and upon the testimony of Benigno F. Gabino,
Important points: one of the attesting witnesses, the probate court, on June 27, 1931, admitted
the will to probate.
1. WILLS; CONCLUSIVENESS OF THE DUE EXECUTION OF A
PROBATED WILL. Section 625 of the Code of Civil Procedure is explicit
as to the conclusiveness of the due execution of a probated will. It provides: Almost three years later, on April 11, 1934, the five intervenors herein
"No will shall pass either the real or personal estate, unless it is proved and moved ex parte to reopen the proceedings, alleging lack of jurisdiction of the
allowed in the Court of First Instance, or by appeal to the Supreme Court; court to probate the will and to close the proceedings. Because filed ex parte,
and the allowance by the court of a will of real and personal estate shall be the motion was denied. The same motion was filed a second time, but with
conclusive as to its due execution."cralaw virtua1aw library notice to the adverse party. The motion was nevertheless denied by the
probate court on May 24, 1934. On appeal to this court, the order of denial
2. ID.; ID. The probate of a will by the probate court having jurisdiction was affirmed on July 26, 1935. (Basa v. Mercado, 33 off. Gaz., 2521.)
thereof is considered as conclusive as to its due execution and validity, and is
also conclusive that the testator was of sound and disposing mind at the time It appears that on October 27, 1932, i. e., sixteen months after the probate of
when he executed the will, and was not acting under duress, menace, fraud, the will of Ines Basa, intervenor Rosario Basa de Leon filed with the justice
or undue influence, and that the will is genuine and not a forgery. of the peace court of San Fernando, Pampanga, a complaint against the
petitioner herein, for falsification or forgery of the will probated as above
3. ID.; ID.; PROCEEDING "IN REM." The probate of a will in this indicated. The petitioner was arrested. He put up a bond in the sum of P4,000
jurisdiction is a proceeding in rem. The provision of notice by publication as and engaged the services of an attorney to undertake his defense. Preliminary
a prerequisite to the allowance of a will is constructive notice to the whole investigation of the case was continued twice upon petition of the
world, and when probate is granted, the judgment of the court is binding complainant. The complaint was finally dismissed, at the instance of the
upon everybody, even against the State. complainant herself, in an order dated December 8, 1932.

4. ID.; ID.; CONCLUSIVE PRESUMPTION. Conclusive presumptions Three months later, or on March 2, 1933, the same intervenor charged the
are inferences which the law makes so peremptory that it will not allow them petition for the second time with the same offense, presenting the complaint
to be overturned by any contrary proof however strong. The will in question this time in the justice of the peace court of Mexico, Pampanga. The
having been probated by a competent court, the law will not admit any proof petitioner was again arrested, again put up a bond in the sum of P4,000, and
to overthrow the legal presumption that it is genuine and not a forgery. engaged the services of counsel to defend him. This second complaint, after
investigation, was also dismissed, again at the instance of the complainant

8
5. ID.; ID.; CRIMINAL ACTION AGAINST FORGER OF A DULY herself who alleged that the petitioner was in poor health. That was on April

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PROBATED WILL. Upon the facts stated in the opinion of the court, it 27, 1933.
Some nine months later, on February 2, 1934, to be exact, the same Ruling:
intervenor accused the same petitioner for the third time of the same offense.
The information was filed by the provincial fiscal of Pampanga in the justice
of the peace court of Mexico. The petitioner was again arrested, again put up Section 625 of the same Code is more explicit as to the conclusiveness of the
a bond of P4,000, and engaged the services of defense counsel. The case was due execution of a probated will. It says: "SEC. 625. Allowance Necessary,
dismissed on April 24, 1934, after due investigation, on the ground that the and Conclusive as to Execution. No will shall pass either the real or
will alleged to have been falsified had already been probated and there was personal estate, unless it is proved and allowed in the Court of First
no evidence that the petitioner had forged the signature of the testatrix Instance, or by appeal to the Supreme Court; and the allowance by the
appearing thereon, but that, on the contrary, the evidence satisfactorily court of a will of real and personal estate shall be conclusive as to its due
established the authenticity of the signature aforesaid. execution." (Emphasis ours.)

Dissatisfied with the result, the provincial fiscal, on May 9, 1934, moved in In Manahan v. Manahan (58 Phil., 448, 451), we held: ". . . The decree of
the Court of First Instance of Pampanga for reinvestigation of the case. The probate is conclusive with respect to the due execution thereof and it cannot
motion was granted on May 23, 1934, and, for the fourth time, the petitioner be impugned on any of the grounds authorized by law, except that of fraud,
was arrested, filed a bond and engaged the services of counsel to handle his in any separate or independent action or proceeding
defense. The reinvestigation dragged on for almost a year until February 18,
1934, when the Court of First Instance ordered that the case be tried on the In 28 R. C. L., p. 377, section 378, it is said:j"The probate of a will by the
merits. probate court having jurisdiction thereof is usually considered as conclusive
as to its due execution and validity, and is also conclusive that the testator
The petitioner interposed a demurrer on November 25, 1935, on the ground was of sound and disposing mind at the time when he executed the will, and
that the will alleged to have been forged had already been probated. This was not acting under duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence, and that the
demurrer was overruled on December 24, 1935, whereupon an exception was will is genuine and not a forgery." (Emphasis ours.)
taken and a motion for reconsideration and notice of appeal were filed. The
motion for reconsideration and the proposed appeal were denied on January As our law on wills, particularly section 625 of our Code of Civil Procedure
14, 1936. aforequoted, was taken almost bodily from the Statutes of Vermont, the
decisions of the Supreme Court of that State relative to the effect of the
The case proceeded to trial, and forthwith petitioner moved to dismiss the probate of a will are of persuasive authority in this jurisdiction.
case claiming again that the will alleged to have been forged had already
been probated and, further, that the order probating the will is conclusive as
to the authenticity and due execution thereof. The probate of a will in this jurisdiction is a proceeding in rem. The
provision of notice by publication as a prerequisite to the allowance of a will
The motion was overruled and the petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals is constructive notice to the whole world, and when probate is granted, the
a petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction to enjoin the trial court judgment of the court is binding upon everybody, even against the State. This
from further proceedings in the matter. The injunction was issued and court held in the case of Manalo v. Paredes and Philippine Food Co. (47
thereafter, on June 19, 1937, the Court of Appeals denied the petition Phil., 938):
for certiorari, and dissolved the writ of preliminary injunction. Three justices
dissented in a separate opinion. The case is now before this court for review
on certiorari. "The proceeding for the probate of a will is one in rem (40 Cyc., 1265), and
the court acquires jurisdiction over all the persons interested, through the
Issue: Whether or not the probate of the will of Petitioners deceased wife is publication of the notice prescribed by section 630 of the Code of Civil

9
a bar to his criminal prosecution for the alleged forgery of the said will. Procedure, and any order that may be entered therein is binding against all of

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them.
refer to wills of both personal and real estate.
"Through the publication of the petition for the probate of the will, the court
acquires jurisdiction over all such persons as are interested in said will; and Although in the foregoing case (State v. McGlynn) the information filed by
any judgment that may be rendered after said proceeding is binding against the State was to set aside the decree of probate on the ground that the will
the world."virtua1aw library was forged, we see no difference in principle between that case and the case
at bar. A subtle distinction could perhaps be drawn between setting aside a
Section 333, paragraph 4, of the Code of Civil Procedure establishes an decree of probate, and declaring a probated will to be a forgery. it is clear,
incontrovertible presumption in favor of judgments declared by it to be however, that a duly probated will cannot be declared to be a forgery without
conclusive. library disturbing in a way the decree allowing said will to probate. It is at least
anomalous that a will should be regarded as genuine for one purpose and
The will in question having been probated by a competent court, the law spurious for another.
will not admit any proof to overthrow the legal presumption that it is
genuine and not a forgery. The American and English cases show a conflict of authorities on the
question as to whether or not the probate of a will bars criminal prosecution
The majority decision of the Court of Appeals cites English decisions to of the alleged forger of the probated will. We have examined some important
bolster up its conclusion that "the judgment admitting the will to probate is cases and have come to the conclusion that no fixed standard may be adopted
binding upon the whole world as to the due execution and genuineness of the or drawn therefrom, in view of the conflict no less than of diversity of
will insofar as civil rights and liabilities are concerned, but not for the statutory provisions obtaining in different jurisdictions. It behooves us,
purpose of punishment of a crime." therefore, as the court of last resort, to choose that rule most consistent with
our statutory law, having in view the needed stability of property rights and
"A judgment admitting a will to probate cannot be attacked collaterally the public interest in general.
although the will was forged; and a payment to the executor names therein of
a debt due the decedent will discharge the same, notwithstanding the To be sure, we have seriously reflected upon the dangers of evasion from
spurious character of the instrument probated. It has also been held that, upon punishment of culprits deserving of the severity of the law in cases where, as
an indictment for forging a will, the probate of the paper in question is here, forgery is discovered after the probate of the will and the prosecution is
conclusive evidence in the defendants favor of its genuine character. But had before the prescription of the offense. By and large, however, the balance
this particular point has lately been ruled otherwise."cralaw virtua1aw library seems inclined in favor of the view that we have taken. Not only does the law
surround the execution of the will with the necessary formalities and require
The dissenting opinion of the Court of Appeals in the instant case under probate to be made after an elaborate judicial proceeding, but section 113,
review makes a cursory study of the statutes obtaining in England, not to speak of section 513, of our Code of Civil Procedure provides for an
Massachusetts and Florida, and comes to the conclusion that the adequate remedy to any party who might have been adversely affected by the
decisions cited in the majority opinion do not appear to "have been probate of a forged will, much in the same way as other parties against whom
promulgated in the face of statutes similar to ours." The dissenting a judgment is rendered under the same or similar circumstances. (Pecson v.
opinion cites Whartons Criminal Evidence (11th ed., sec. 831), to show Coronel, 43 Phil., 358.)
that the probate of a will in England is only prima facie proof of the
validity of the will (Op. Cit. quoting Marriot v. Marriot, 93 English The aggrieved party may file an application for relief with the proper court
Reprint, 770); and 21 L. R. A. (pp. 686-689 and note), to show that in within a reasonable time, but in no case exceeding six months after said court
Massachusetts there is no statute making the probate of a will has rendered the judgment of probate, on the ground of mistake,
conclusive, and that in Florida the statute (sec. 1810, Revised Statutes) inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect. An appeal lies to review the

10
makes the probate conclusive evidence as to the validity of the will with action of a court of first instance when that court refuses to grant relief.
regard to personal, and prima facie as to real estate. The cases decided

Page
by the Supreme Court of Florida cited by the majority opinion, supra,
After a judgment allowing a will to be probated has become final and CA and on petition for review, the SC dismissed the petition and
unappelable, and after the period fixed by section 113 of the Code of Civil remanded the same to the probate court after denying
Procedure has expired, the law as an expression of the legislative wisdom reconsideration. For two years after remand of the case to the probate
goes no further and the case ends there. court, all pleadings of both parties remained unacted upon. Not long
after, the probate court set the hearing on the intrinsic validity of the
We hold, therefore, that in view of the provisions of sections 306, 333 will but upon objection of Pastor Jr. and Sofia on the ground of
and 625 of our Code of Civil Code Procedure, criminal action will not lie pendency of the reconveyance suit, no hearing was held. Instead, the
in this jurisdiction against the forger of a will which had been duly probate court required the parties to submit their respective position
admitted to probate by a court of competent jurisdiction. papers. While the reconveyance suit was still pending in another
court, the probate court issued Order of Execution and Garnishment,
The resolution of the foregoing legal question is sufficient to dispose of the resolving the question of ownership of the royalties payable by ATLAS
case. and ruling in effect that the legacy to Quemada was not inofficious.
Pursuant to said order, ATLAS was directed to remit directly to
From the view we take of the instant case, the petitioner is entitled to have Quemada the 42% royalties due to decedents estate, of which
the criminal proceedings against him quashed. The judgment of the Court of Quemada was authorized to retain 75% for himself as legatee.
Appeals is hereby reversed, without pronouncement regarding costs. So Further, the 33% share of Pastor Jr. and/or his assignees was
ordered. ordered garnished to answer for the accumulated legacy of Quemada.
Being immediately executory, Quemada succeeded in obtaining a
Writ of Execution and Garnishment. The oppositors sought
Spouses Alvaro PASTOR, Jr. and Ma. Elena Achaval de PASTOR, reconsideration thereof but in the meantime, the probate court
petitioners, vs. ordered suspension of payment of all royalties due Pastor Jr. and/or
The COURT OF APPEALS, Hon. Juan Y. REYES, and Lewellyn his assignees until after resolution of oppositors motion for
QUEMADA, respondents. reconsideration. Pending motion, Pastor Jr. and his wife filed with the
G.R. No. L-56340, June 24, 1983. CA a petition for certiorari and prohibition with a prayer for writ of
preliminary injunction assailing the writ of execution and garnishment
FACTS: issued by the probate court. However, said petition was denied as
well as their motion for reconsideration. Hence, this petition for review
Spouses Alvaro Pastor, Sr. and Sofia Bossio were survived by by certiorari with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction.
their two legitimate children Alvaro Pastor, Jr. (Pastor Jr.) and Sofia
Pastor (Sofia), and an illegitimate child, Lewellyn Quemada. ISSUE:
Quemada filed a petition for the probate and allowance of an alleged
holographic will of Pastor Sr. with the CFI which contained only one Whether or not the Probate Order resolved with finality the
testamentary disposition: a legacy in favor of Quemada consisting of questions of ownership and intrinsic validity.
30% of Pastor Sr.s 42% share in the operation by ATLAS. Thereafter,
the probate court appointed Quemada as special administrator of the RULING:
entire estate of Pastor Sr. whether or not covered or affected by the
holographic will. Consequently, Quemada instituted against Pastor Jr., In a special proceeding for the probate of a will, the issue by and
and his wife an action for reconveyance of alleged properties of estate large is restricted to the extrinsic validity of the will. As a rule, the
which included the properties subject of the legacy which were in the question of ownership is an extraneous matter which the Probate

11
names of spouses Pastor Sr. and Ma. Elena, who claimed to be the Court cannot resolve with finality. Thus, for the purpose of determining
owners in their own rights, and not by inheritance. The probate court whether a certain property should or should not be included in the

Page
issued an order allowing the will to probate. The order was affirmed by inventory of estate properties, the Probate Court may pass upon the
title thereto, but such determination is provisional, not conclusive, and
is subject to the final decision in a separate action to resolve title.
Facts:
The Order sought to be executed by the assailed Order of
execution is the Probate Order allegedly resolved the question of Private respondent filed w/ the Pasig RTC a petition for the probate &
ownership of the disputed mining properties. However, nowhere in the allowance of the will of the late Montserrat Infante. The petition
dispositive portion is there a declaration of ownership of specific specified the names & addresses of herein petitioners as legatees &
properties. On the contrary, it is manifested therein that ownership devisees. The probate court issued an order setting the petition for
was not resolved. For it confined itself to the question of extrinsic
hearing & the order was published in a newspaper of general
validity of the will, and the need for and propriety of appointing a
special administrator. Thus it allowed and approved the holographic circulation in Metro Mla once a week for 3 consecutive weeks. On the
will with respect to its extrinsic validity, the same having been duly date of the hearing, no oppositor appeared. The hearing was reset,
authenticated pursuant to the requisites or solemnities prescribed by on w/c date the probate court issued an order designating the clerk of
law. It declared that the intestate estate administration aspect must court to receive evidence ex-parte of the petitioner as there was no
proceed subject to the outcome of the suit for reconveyance of opposition. During the proceedings, private respondent was
ownership and possession of real and personal properties. appointed executor.
The Probate Court did not resolve the question of ownership of
the properties listed in the estate inventory, considering that the issue
of ownership was the very subject of controversy in the reconveyance 2 Days later, petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the order.
suit that was still pending. It was, therefore, error for the assailed
They alleged that as legatees, no notices were sent to them as
implementing Orders to conclude that the Probate Order adjudged
with finality the question of ownership of the mining properties and required by Sec 4 of Rule 76 ROC. They prayed that they be given
royalties, and that, premised on this conclusion, the dispositive portion 10 days to file their opposition to the probate of the will.
of the said Probate Order directed special administrator to pay the
legacy in dispute.
The probate court denied the motion for reconsideration. The CA
dismissed the petition for certiorari & prohibition consequently filed by
petitioners.

Issue:

Whether the CA erred in holding that the requirement of notice on


individual heirs, devisees & legatees is merely a matter of procedural
De Aranz v. Judge Galing convenience to better satisfy in some instances the requirements of
GR No. 77047, 28 May 1988 due process

12
Page
Padilla, J.
Held: favor. The petition was opposed by the appellees Amparo Aranza
Bonilla, Wilferine Bonilla Treyes Expedita Bonilla Frias and Ephraim
Yes. It is clear from Sec 4 Rule 76 ROC that notice of the time and Bonilla on the following grounds: (1) Appellant was estopped from
place of the hearing for the allowance of a will shall be forwarded to claiming that the deceased left a will by failing to produce the will
the designated or other known heirs, legatees, and devisees residing within twenty days of the death of the testator as required by Rule 75,
in the Philippines at their places of residence, if such places of section 2 of the Rules of Court; (2) The alleged copy of the alleged
residence be known. There is no question that the residences of holographic will did not contain a disposition of property after death
herein petitioners legatees and devisees were known to the probate and was not intended to take effect after death, and therefore it was
court. The petition for the allowance of the will itself indicated the not a will; (3) The alleged hollographic will itself,and not an alleged
names and addresses of the legatees and devisees of the testator. copy thereof, must be produced, otherwise it would produce no effect,
But despite such knowledge, the probate court did not cause copies of as held in Gam v. Yap, 104 Phil. 509; and (4 ) The deceased did not
the notice to be sent to petitioners. The requirement of the law for the leave any will, holographic or otherwise, executed and attested as
allowance of the will was not satisfied by mere publication of the required by law.
notice of hearing for three (3) weeks in a newspaper of general The appellees likewise moved for the consolidation of the
circulation in the province. case. Their motion was granted by the court in an order dated April 4,
1977.
On November 13, 1978, following the consolidation of the
The case cited by the CA in its assailed decision to support its theory cases, the appellees moved again to dismiss the petition for the
is not applicable in the present case. . If the allegation of the petition probate of the will. They argued that: (1) The alleged holographic was
was wrong and the true residence of petitioners was not known, then not a last will but merely an instruction as to the management and
notice upon them individually was not necessary. Individual notice improvement of the schools and colleges founded by decedent
upon heirs, legatees and devisees is necessary only when they are Ricardo B. Bonilla; and (2) Lost or destroyed holographic wills cannot
known or when their places of residence are known. In other be proved by secondary evidence unlike ordinary wills.
instances, such notice is not necessary and the court may acquire Upon opposition of the appellant, the motion to dismiss was denied by
and exercise jurisdiction simply upon the publication of the notice in a the court in its order of February 23, 1979.
newspaper of general circulation. The appellees then filed a motion for reconsideration. On July
23, 1979, the court set aside its order of February 23, 1979 and
G.R. No. L-58509 December 7, 1982 dismissed the petition for the probate of the will of Ricardo B. Bonilla.
IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO APPROVE THE WILL OF It is our considered opinion that once the original copy of the
RICARDO B. BONILLA deceased, MARCELA RODELAS, petitioner- holographic will is lost, a copy thereof cannot stand in lieu of the
appellant, vs. AMPARO ARANZA, ET AL., oppositors-appellees, original.
ATTY. LORENZO SUMULONG, intervenor. In the case of Gam vs. Yap, 104 Phil. 509, 522, the Supreme
Court held that in the matter of holographic wills the law, it is
reasonable to suppose, regards the document itself as the material
FACTS: On January 11, 1977, appellant filed a petition with the Court

13
proof of authenticity of said wills.
of First Instance of Rizal for the probate of the holographic will of
MOREOVER, this Court notes that the alleged holographic will

Page
Ricardo B. Bonilla and the issuance of letters testamentary in her
was executed on January 25, 1962 while Ricardo B. Bonilla died on
May 13, 1976. In view of the lapse of more than 14 years from the Rodelas v. Aranza
time of the execution of the will to the death of the decedent, the fact G.R. No. L-58509 December 7, 1982
that the original of the will could not be located shows to our mind that Relova, J. (Ponente)
the decedent had discarded before his death his allegedly missing
Facts:
Holographic Will. 1. The appellant filed a petition for the probate of the holographic will of
Appellants motion for reconsideration was denied. Hence, an Ricardo Bonilla in 1977. The petition was opposed by the appellees on the
appeal to the Court of Appeals. ground that the deceased did not leave any will, holographic or otherwise.

2. The lower court dismissed the petition for probate and held that since the
RULING: The only question here is whether a holographic will which original will was lost, a photostatic copy cannot stand in the place of the
was lost or cannot be found can be proved by means of a photostatic original.
copy. Pursuant to Article 811 of the Civil Code, probate of holographic
Issue: Whether or not a holographic will can be proved by means of a
wills is the allowance of the will by the court after its due execution
photocopy
has been proved. The probate may be uncontested or not. If
uncontested, at least one Identifying witness is required and, if no RULING: Yes. A photocopy of the lost or destroyed holographic will may be
witness is available, experts may be resorted to. If contested, at least admitted because the authenticity of the handwriting of the deceased can be
three Identifying witnesses are required. However, if the holographic determined by the probate court with the standard writings of the testator.
will has been lost or destroyed and no other copy is available, the will
can not be probated because the best and only evidence is the
handwriting of the testator in said will. It is necessary that there be a
comparison between sample handwritten statements of the testator
and the handwritten will. But, a photostatic copy or xerox copy of the
holographic will may be allowed because comparison can be made
with the standard writings of the testator. In the case of Gam vs. Yap,
104 PHIL. 509, the Court ruled that the execution and the contents of
a lost or destroyed holographic will may not be proved by the bare
testimony of witnesses who have seen and/or read such will. The will
itself must be presented; otherwise, it shall produce no effect. The law
regards the document itself as material proof of authenticity. But, in
Footnote 8 of said decision, it says that Perhaps it may be proved by
a photographic or photostatic copy. Even a mimeographed or carbon
copy; or by other similar means, if any, whereby the authenticity of the
handwriting of the deceased may be exhibited and tested before the
probate court, Evidently, the photostatic or xerox copy of the lost or

14
destroyed holographic will may be admitted because then the
authenticity of the handwriting of the deceased can be determined by

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the probate court.