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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty.

Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

INHERITANCE one arising from a contract, may be pursued only by filing the same in the
NACAR vs. NISTAL administration proceedings to settle the estate of the deceased Isabelo Nacar. If
G.R. No. L-33006 December 8, 1982 || Inheritance such a proceeding is instituted and the subject claim is not filed therein within the
GUTIERREZ, JR., J. period prescribed, the same shall be deemed "barred forever." xxx The carabaos,
if really owned by Isabelo Nacar, pertained to his estate upon his death. The claim
of the private respondents may only be satisfied by a voluntary act on the part of
FACTS: the heirs of Isabelo Nacar, or pursued in the appropriate settlement proceedings.
On various dates since the year 1968, defendant Isabelo Nacar incurred A municipal court may not entertain such a proceeding, it not being vested, under
indebtedness to plaintiff Ildefonso Japitana in the total sum of P2,791.00, and the law then in force, with probate jurisdiction. Xxx
which the defendant had not been able to pay despite repeated demands.
Defendant died in 1970 leaving among other things personal property consisting
ANDERSON v. PERKINS
seven (7) heads of carabaos now in the possession of Nicanor Nacar. Plaintiff filed
G.R. No. L-15388 January 31, 1961
a claim against the estate of the late Isabelo Nacar to recover the aforementioned
FACTS:
sum. Judge Nistal issued an order directing the attachment of seven (7) carabaos
in the possession of Nicanor Nacar. However, only four (4) carabaos were
Petitioner Dora Perkins Anderson filed a petition for the probate of the supposed
attached because three (3) carabaos had earlier been slaughtered during the rites
last will and testament of the late Eugene Arthur Perkins who allegedly possessed
preceding the burial of the late Isabelo Nacar.
of personal and real properties. Petitioner also filed an urgent petition for the
appointment of Alfonso Ponce Enrile as special administrator of the estate. The
ISSUE:
court issued an order appointing Enrile as such special administrator upon his
Whether or not the indebtedness may be enforced against the estate of the late
posting of a bond.
Isabelo Nacar
Oppositor Idonah Slade Perkins, surviving spouse of the deceased, entered an
HELD:
opposition to the probate of the will presented by petitioner.
Indeed, although Japitana may have a legal right to recover an indebtedness due
him, Nicanor Nacar has no correlative legal duty to pay the debt for the simple
The special administrator submitted to the court a petition seeking authority to
reason that there is nothing in the complaint to show that he incurred the debt or
sell, or give away to some charitable or educational institution or institutions,
had anything to do with the creation of the liability.
certain personal effects left by the deceased which were allegedly deteriorating
both physically and in value in order to avoid their further deterioration and to
It is also patent from the complaint that respondent Japitana filed the case against
save whatever value might be obtained in their disposition. The court required
petitioner Nacar to recover seven (7) heads of carabaos allegedly belonging to
the administration to submit a specification of the properties sought to be sold.
Isabelo Nacar which Japitana wanted to recover from the possession of the
The special administrator submitted to the court a copy of the inventory of the
petitioner to answer for the outstanding debt of the late Isabelo Nacar. This
personal properties belonging to the estate with the items sought to be sold.
matter, however, is only ancillary to the main action. The ancillary matter does
not cure a fatal defect in the complaint for the main action is for the recovery of an
Oppositor filed an opposition to the proposed sale on the grounds that (1) most of
outstanding debt of the late lsabelo Nacar due respondent Japitana, a cause of
the properties sought to be sold were conjugal properties of herself and her
action about which petitioner Nacar has nothing to do.
deceased husband; and (2) unauthorized removals of fine pieces of furniture
Separate Opinions
belonging to the estate had been made.
VASQUEZ, J., concurring:
xxx Isabelo Nacar died before the said complaint was filed. It does not appear that
The lower court approved the proposed sale. Oppositor moved to reconsider this
any proceeding has been filed to settle his estate. Under these facts, the filing of an
order on the grounds that (1) said order in effect authorized the special
ordinary action to recover said claim is not allowed in any court. Even if
administrator to sell the entire personal estate of the deceased, contrary to Rule
settlement proceedings had been taken to settle the estate of Isabelo Nacar, the
81, sec. 2, Rules of Court; (2) said order was issued without a showing that the
suit to recover the claim of the private respondents may not be filed against the
goods and chattels sought to be sold were perishable, pursuant to Rule 81, section
administrator or executor of his estate. The claim of private respondents, being
2, Rules of Court; (3) the personality sought to be sold represented the lifetime

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

savings and collections of oppositor; (4) there is evidence on record showing NOTE: Properties not belonging to the estate must be excluded, for they are not
unauthorized withdrawals from the properties of the estate, and the sale of the part of the inheritance. Hence, it is important to determine the ownership of the
inventoried lot would prevent identification and recovery of the articles removed; properties involved.
and (5) there is also evidence showing oppositor's separate rights to a substantial
part of the personal estate. RIGHTS TO THE SUCCESSION ARE TRANSMITTED FROM THE MOMENT OF DEATH
MARIA VDA. DE REYES V. CA
The lower court denied the above motion for reconsideration. G.R. No. 92436 July 26, 1991
FACTS:
Oppositor appealed.
The petitioners in the case are successors-of-interest of the deceased Rafael Reyes
Jr. Rafael Reyes Jr. was the grandson of the late Gavino Reyes and has allegedly
ISSUE:
inherited a parcel of land from the latter.
Whether or not the oppositor’s contention that she is entitled to a large portion of Gavino Reyes owned a 70 hectare parcel of land located at Sangayad, Ulong-Tubig,
the personal properties in question either because they were conjugal property of Carmona, Cavite. When Gavino Reyes died on March 7, 1921, his property was
herself and the deceased, or because they are her own exclusive, personal admittedly not yet covered by a torrens title. The application for Torrens title
property should be entertained. registration then was prosecuted by his son, Marcelo Reyes, who was the
administrator of his property.
HELD:
Gavino's heirs (children) executed oral partition and created a Subdivision Plan in
1936
YES. The Court held that the records show that up to the time the proposed sale
was asked for and judicially approved, no proceedings had as yet been taken, or In 1936, the above property was surveyed and subdivided by Gavino's heirs. They
even started, to segregate the alleged exclusive property of the oppositor- orally settled, subdivided and partitioned Gavino Reyes' landed estate without
appellant from the mass of the estate supposedly left by the deceased, or to formal requirements of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court when a parcel of land is
liquidate the conjugal partnership property of the oppositor-appellant and the covered by a torrens title. Each lot was indicated for and assigned to a specific
deceased. heir.
It appears therein that two lots, one of which is Lot No. I A-14, were allotted to
Before the perishable and other property of the estate of the deceased are sold by
Rafael Reyes, Sr., one of Gavino's children. Per testimony of Juan Poblete, the
the special administrator, it is clear that proceedings must first be taken to
children thereafter secured tax declarations for their respective shares.
segregate the alleged exclusive property of the surviving spouse. The issue of the
ownership of said properties should be decided first, and the conjugal properties In 1941, or about twenty (20) years after the death of Gavino, the original
liquidated, or at least the surviving spouse should agree as to which properties he certificate of title for the whole property — OCT No. 255 — was issued. It was,
or she does not mind to be sold. Any sale done without this requirement should be however, kept by Juan Poblete, son-in-law of Marcelo Reyes, who was by then
considered premature, and the court must therefore refuse to grant permission. already deceased.

After all, most of the items sought to be sold can easily be protected and preserved One of the heirs, Rafael Reyes. Sr., sold his share of land to private respondent.
with proper care and storage measures in either or both of the two residential On 3 December 1943, Rafael Reyes, Sr. (son of deceased Gavino) sold a parcel of
houses left by the deceased, so that no reasons of extreme urgency justify the land with an area of 23,431 square meters, more or less, to private respondent
proposed sale at this time over the strong opposition and objection of oppositor- Dalmacio Gardiola (husband of his niece, Rosario Martillano).
appellant who may later be adjudged owner of a substantial portion of the
personal estate in question. According to the vendee, this parcel corresponds to Lot No. 1-A-14 of the
subdivision plan. The deed of sale, however, did not specifically mention Lot No.
The lower court's order authorizing the special administrator to sell certain 1-A-14. The vendee immediately took possession of the property and started
personal properties of the estate is set aside. paying the land taxes therein.

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

The Grandchildren of the late Gavino Reyes executed Deed of Extrajudicial Existence of Subdivision Plan made in 1936 infers that the heirs made an oral
Settlement of Estate in 1967. TCTs were issued, one of which was given to Rafael partition of the property. This oral partition is valid and binding under the
Reyes Jr (son of Rafael Reyes Sr.) law.
On 21 October 1967, the grandchildren of the late Gavino Reyes executed a Deed The evidence on record bears out the existence of a subdivision plan which was
of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate. Private respondent Rosario Martillano not controverted nor denied by the appellees. With the existence of a subdivision
signed the deed in representation of her mother, Marta Reyes, one of the children plan, and from the uncontroverted testimony of appellants' witness, we can only
of Gavino Reyes. infer that at least an oral partition, which under the law is valid and binding, was
entered into by the heirs of Gavino Reyes regarding his properties in 1936. As
The lots supposedly inherited by the grandchildren named in the deed of 1967
held in a long line of decisions, extrajudicial partition can be done orally, and
were the same lots inherited and given to their respective fathers or mothers in
the same would be valid if freely entered into (Belen v. Belen, 49 O.G. 997,
1936 while the land was not yet covered by the torrens system.
March 1953). The reason for this is because a partition is not exactly a
Hence, in the case of Rafael Reyes, Sr., the land inherited by him was two (2) conveyance for the reason that it does not involve transfer of property from
parcels of land known as Lots Nos. 1-A-3 and 1-A-14 described in the Subdivision one to the other but rather a confirmation by them of their ownership of the
plan of 1936, were the same parcels of land allegedly inherited by Rafael Reyes, Jr. property. On this score, the partition of the said property even without the formal
from Gavino Reyes in representation of his father, pursuant to the Deed of requirements under the rule is valid as held in the case of Hernandez vs. Andal, 78
Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate for which TCT No. 27257 was issued. Phil. 176.
13 and 1/2 years from time of sale of lot in question, Petitioners filed civil case for
recovery of possession (restitution of property) OR in the alternative, relief for
ISSUE: Whether or not respondent Court of Appeals committed any reversible
indemnification against private respondent spouses
error in setting aside the decision of the trial court.
Petitioners herein, as successors-in-interest of Rafael Reyes, Jr., filed on 14 March
1983 with the Regional Trial Court a civil case against private respondents for
recovery of possession or, in the alternative, for indemnification, accounting and HELD: No, the CA did not err in reversing the TC's decision. Petition denied.
damages.
The Court of Appeals correctly held that the partition made by the children of
In their answer, private respondents deny the material averments in the Gavino Reyes in 1936, although oral, was valid and binding. There is no law that
complaint and assert that they are the owners of the lot in question, having requires partition among heirs to be in writing to be valid.
bought the same from Rafael Reyes, Sr., that the issuance of TCT No. 27257 is null
In Hernandez vs. Andal, supra, this Court, interpreting Section 1 of Rule 74 of the
and void, for such sale was known to Rafael Reyes, Jr.; that they have been in
Rules of Court, held that the requirement that a partition be put in a public
possession of the property and have been paying the land taxes thereon; and that
document and registered has for its purpose the protection of creditors and at the
petitioners are barred by prescription and/or laches.
same time the protection of the heirs themselves against tardy claims. The object
Trial Court concluded in favor of petitioners of registration is to serve as constructive notice to others.
Trial court concluded that petitioners' "title over the subject property is valid and It follows then that the intrinsic validity of partition not executed with the
regular and thus they are entitled to its possession and enjoyment." And that the prescribed formalities does not come into play when there are no creditors
continued possession by private respondents, which it found to have started in or the rights of creditors are not affected. Where no such rights are involved,
1943, did not ripen into ownership because at that time, the property was already it is competent for the heirs of an estate to enter into an agreement for
registered, hence it cannot be acquired by prescription or adverse possession. distribution in a manner and upon a plan different from those provided by
law. There is nothing in said section from which it can be inferred that a writing
CA set aside TC's ruling and declared private respondents as lawful owners of the lot.
or other formality is an essential requisite to the validity of the partition.
The Court of Appeals declared that the appealed Judgment is ordered REVERSED Accordingly, an oral partition is valid.
and SET ASIDE and a new one is rendered declaring appellants to be the lawful
Barcelona, et al. vs. Barcelona, et al., supra, provides the reason why oral partition
owners of the lot identified as Lot No. 1-A-14 in the TCT.
is valid and why it is not covered by the Statute of Frauds: partition among heirs

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

or renunciation of an inheritance by some of them is not exactly a conveyance of petitioners as heirs of Rafael Reyes, Jr. The latter cannot give them what he never
real property for the reason that it does not involve transfer of property from one had before. Nemo dare potest quod non habet.
to the other, but rather a confirmation or ratification of title or right of property
Petitioners' immediate predecessor-in-interest, Rafael Reyes, Jr., never took any
by the heir renouncing in favor of another heir accepting and receiving the
action against private respondents from the time his father sold the lot to the
inheritance.
latter. Despite full knowledge that private respondents were in actual physical
Article 493 of the Civil Code provides: possession of the property, it was only about thirteen and one-half (13 1/2) years
later that they decided to file an action for recovery of possession. As stated
Each co-owner shall have the full ownership of his part and the fruits and
earlier, the original complaint was filed in the trial court on 14 March 1983
benefits pertaining thereto, and he may even substitute another person in
its enjoyment, except when personal rights are involved. But the effect of
the alienation or the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners, shall be
SUAREZ VS CA
limited to the portion which may be allotted to him in the division upon
GR No. 94918
the termination of the co-ownership.
FACTS:
In Ramirez vs. Bautista, this Court held that every co-heir has the absolute Herein petitioners are brothers and sisters. Their father died in 1955 and since
ownership of his share in the community property and may alienate, assign, or then his estate consisting of several valuable parcels of land in Pasig, Metro Manila
mortgage the same, except as to purely personal rights, but the effect of any such has been liquidated or partitioned.
transfer is limited to the portion which may be awarded to him upon the partition
of the property. In 1977, petitioners' widowed mother and Rizal Realty Corporation lost in the
consolidated cases for rescission of contract and for damages, and were ordered
In the case at bar, the lot sold by Rafael Reyes, Sr. to private respondent Dalmacio
by Branch 1 of the then Court of First Instance of to pay, jointly and severally,
Gardiola is his share in the estate of his deceased father, Gavino Reyes. It is the
herein respondents the aggregate principal amount of about P70,000 as damages.
same property which was eventually adjudicated to his son and heir, Rafael Reyes,
Jr., represented in turn by his heirs-petitioners herein-in the extrajudicial
The judgment against petitioners' mother and Rizal Realty Corporation having
settlement of 196
become final and executory, five (5) valuable parcel of land in Pasig, Metro Manila,
The participation of private respondent Rosario Gardiola in the Extrajudicial were levied and sold on execution on June 24, 1983 in favor of the private
Settlement did not place private respondents in estoppel to question the issuance respondents as the highest bidder for the amount of P94,170.000. Private
of TCT No. T-27257. As correctly maintained by private respondents, she signed it respondents were then issued a certificate of sale which was subsequently
in representation of her deceased mother, Marta Reyes, a daughter and an heir of registered or August 1, 1983.
Gavino Reyes. She did not sign for and in behalf of her husband, Dalmacio
Gardiola, vendee of the share of Rafael Reyes, Sr. On June 21, 1984 before the expiration of the redemption period, petitioners filed
a reivindicatory action against private respondents and the Provincial Sheriff of
The same did not operate to divest the vendee of the share of Rafael Reyes, Sr. in
Rizal, for the annulment of the auction sale and the recovery of the ownership of
the estate of Gavino. Petitioners, as mere successors-in-interest of Rafael Reyes,
the levied pieces of property. They alleged, among others, that being strangers to
Jr., son of Rafael Reyes, Sr., can only acquire that which Rafael, Jr. could transmit to
the case decided against their mother, they cannot be held liable therefor and that
them upon his death. The latter never became the owner of Lot No. 1-A-14
the five (5) parcels of land, of which they are co-owners, can neither be levied nor
because it was sold by his father in 1943.
sold on execution. The Sheriff issued to private respondents a final deed of sale.
The issuance of TCT No. T-27257 in the name of Rafael Reyes, Jr., in so far as Lot
No. 1-14-A is concerned, was clearly erroneous because he never became its On October 10, 1984, RTC Branch 151 issued in Civil Case Nos. 21736-21739 an
owner. An extrajudicial settlement does not create a light in favor of an heir. Thus, Order directing Teofista Suarez and all persons claiming right under her to vacate
since he never had any title or right to Lot No. 1-14-A, the mere execution of the the lots subject of the judicial sale; to desist from removing or alienating
settlement did not improve his condition, and the subsequent registration of the improvements thereon; and to surrender to private respondents the owner's
deed did not create any right or vest any title over the property in favor of the duplicate copy of the torrens title and other pertinent documents.

4
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Teofista Suarez then filed with the then Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari the latter would seek permission from the Bureau of Lands and have the land
to annul the Orders of Branch 151. The CA granted but reversed its own ruling surveyed.
upon Motion for Reconsideration of herein respondents and ruled therefore that
the petitioners vacate the said properties. Hence, this appeal. However, without the participation of any of the Torres heirs, the property was
subsequently surveyed, subdivided and then covered by 2 TCTs. Petitioner did
ISSUE: not furnish the heirs with copies of the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of
W/N the courts were correct in allowing the sale of all the property Estate with Sale nor of the subdivision plan and the certificates of title. Upon
securing a copy of the deed from the Registry of Deeds, the respondents learned
HELD. that the area of the property purportedly sold to petitioner was much bigger
NO. than that agreed upon by the parties. It already included the portion being
occupied by the Sps. Lim.
The law in point is article 777 of the NCC. Thus, from the foregoing, the legitime of
the surviving spouse is equal to the legitime of each child. Private respondents sent a letter of demand to petitioner (for surrender of the
deed of settlement & conveyance, the subdivision plan and the CTs); but to no
The proprietary interest of petitioners in the levied and auctioned property is avail, so they filed with the RTC of Bulacan an action for annulment of the
different from and adverse to that of their mother. Petitioners became co-owners deed and cancellation of the certificates of title.
of the property not because of their mother but through their own right as
children of their deceased father. Therefore, petitioners are not barred in any way PETITIONER’S CONTENTION: Presented the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement
from instituting the action to annul the auction sale to protect their own interest. of Estate with Sale wherein respondents agreed to divide and adjudicate among
themselves the inherited property (w/ area of 1,503sqm). In the same document,
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals dated July 27, 1990 as well as they caused the subdivision of the property into 2 lots according to a “plan”
its Resolution of August 28, 1990 are hereby REVERSED and set aside; and Civil identified as Lot 4-A (1,096sqm) and Lot 4-B (407sqm), and acknowledged the
Case No. 51203 is reinstated only to determine that portion which belongs to sale to petitioner of said Lot 4-B. As a consequence, on 18 March 1985, the
petitioners and to annul the sale with regard to said portion. Register of Deeds issued TCTs in the name of the heirs of Torres and another in
the name of petitioner.

INTESTATE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS’ CONTENTION: that all the heirs signed the document
Nelia Constantino v. CA before the land was surveyed and subdivided, hence, there was as yet no definite
G.R. No. 116018. November 13, 1996 || Intestate area to be sold that could be indicated in the deed at the time of the signing. They
FACTS: also claimed that they were not notified about the survey and the subdivision of
JOSEFA TORRES died intestate leaving a parcel of land located at Balagtas, the lot and therefore they could not have agreed on the area supposedly sold to
Bulacan. Among her heirs are respondents Aurora S. Roque, Priscilla S. Luna petitioner. The respondent heirs insist that they could not have agreed to the
and Josefina S. Austria. In 1984, the heirs of Josefa Torres (VENDORS), and extent of the area actually reflected in the deed because it included the portion
petitioner Nelia A. Constantino (VENDEE), entered into a contract to sell a being occupied by the Lim spouses, which was already the subject of a previous
parcel of land (250sqm). The lot, owned in common by the Torres heirs, is being agreement to sell between them and their predecessor.
occupied by petitioners' mother and sister. An adjoining lot, also co-owned by
the heirs, is being occupied by Sps. Severino and Consuelo Lim. Pursuant to their RTC’s Decision: RTC had doubts with respect to the preparation and due
agreement, the heirs authorized petitioner to prepare the necessary Deed of execution of the said Deed, taking into account that: petitioner was not able to
Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate with Sale. enumerate all the signatories to the document; while petitioner claimed that the
document was signed only after the survey of the land was completed, or on Oct 10,
After having the document drafted — with several spaces left blank including the 1984, such fact was negated by her own witness who testified that the survey was
specification as to the metes and bounds of the land — petitioner asked the heirs to conducted only on Oct 16,1984; and, while petitioner alleged that the document was
affix their signatures on the document. The heirs signed the document with the signed and notarized in Manila no explanation was offered why the same could not
understanding that respondent Roque, one of the heirs, would be present when

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

have been signed and notarized in Bulacan where notaries public abound which concern here is not whether the notary public had the authority to
could have been less inconvenient to the parties concerned. acknowledge the document executed within his territorial jurisdiction but
Additionally, RTC relied heavily on the assertions of respondents as reflected in whether respondents indeed appeared before him and signed the deed.
their demand letter that they did not give their consent to the sale of Lot 4-B. Thus However, the quantum of evidence shows that they did not.
RTC ordered the annulment and cancellation of the Deed of Extrajudicial
Settlement of Estate with Sale, 2 TCTs and Subdivision Plan. RTC correctly appreciated the fact that the deed was notarized in Manila
when it could have been notarized in Bulacan. This additional detail casts
CA: Sustained the decision of the RTC and denied Mot. To Reconsider doubt on the procedural regularity in the preparation, execution and signing of
the deed. It is not easy to believe that petitioner and the 10 Torres heirs
ISSUE: traveled all the way to Manila to have their questioned document notarized
Whether or not the CA erred in concluding that Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of considering that they, with the exception of respondent Roque, are residents
Estate with Sale did not reflect the true intent of the parties. [NO] of Balagtas, Bulacan, where notaries public are easy to find. Consequently, the
claim of private respondents that they did not sign the document before a notary
HELD: public is more plausible than petitioner's feeble claim to the contrary.
NO MEETING OF THE MINDS BETWEEN PARTIES ON LAND AREA TO BE SOLD; —
Petitioner also insists that the real intent of the parties was to make the entire Lot Apparently, petitioner deceived respondents by filling the blank spaces in
4-B the subject matter of the sale. She claims that during cross-examination the deed, having the lots surveyed and subdivided, and then causing the
respondent Roque admitted that she signed in behalf of her co-heirs a receipt for issuance of transfer certificates of title without their knowledge, much less
P30,000.00 as partial payment for the lot occupied by Ka Baring and Lina consent. Thus all the elements of fraud vitiating consent for purposes of annulling
(relatives of petitioner) and Consuelo Lim. . . . The admission of respondent Roque a contract concur: (a) It was employed by a contracting party upon the other; (b)
cannot prevail in the face of the clear evidence that there was as yet no meeting of It induced the other party to enter into the contract; (c) It was serious; and, (d) It
the minds on the land area to be sold since private respondents were still awaiting resulted in damages and injury to the party seeking annulment. Perhaps, another
the survey to be conducted on the premises. . . . Likewise, we find the allegation compelling reason for the annulment of the document of settlement and
of respondents that they signed the deed prior to the survey, or before conveyance is that the 2nd page thereof clearly manifests that the number of
determination of the area to be sold, worthy of credit as against the the subdivision plan and the respective areas of Lots 4-A and 4-B were
contention of petitioner that they signed after the survey or on 10 October merely HANDWRITTEN while all the rest of the statements therein were
1984. As found by the RTC, such contention was contradicted by petitioner's own TYPEWRITTEN, which leads us to the conclusion that handwritten figures
witness who positively asserted in court that the survey was conducted only on thereon were not available at the time the document was formalized.
16 October 1984 or 6 days after the signing. Quite obviously, when respondents
affixed their signatures on the deed, it was still incomplete since petitioner HEIRS
who caused it to be prepared left several spaces blank, more particularly as Heirs of Guido and Isabel Yaptinchay vs. CA
regards the dimensions of the property to be sold. The heirs were persuaded G.R. No. 124320 March 2, 1999
to sign the document only upon the assurance of petitioner that respondent FACTS:
Roque, pursuant to their understanding, would be present when the property Petitioners claim that they are the legal heirs of spouses Yaptinchay, the owner
would be surveyed after obtaining permission from the Bureau of Lands. As it s-claimants of two lots situated in Bancal, Carmona, Cavite. On March 17, 1994 pet
surfaced, the supposed understanding was merely a ruse of petitioner to itioners executed an Extra-Judicial Settlement of the estate of the deceased spouse
induce respondents to sign the deed without which the latter would not s. On August 26, 1994, petitioners discovered that a portion, if not all, of the afores
have given their conformity thereto. aid properties were titled in the name of respondent Golden Bay Realty and Devel
opment Corporation ("Golden Bay"). With the discovery, petitioners filed a compla
We ruled in the Sales v. CA that the extrinsic validity of a document was not int for annulment of TCTs over the properties.
affected by the fact that it was notarized in a place other than where the subject
matter thereof was located. What is more important under the Notarial Law is that Upon learning that Golden Bay sold portions of the subject land, petitioners file
the notary public has authority to acknowledge the document executed within his d with the RTC an Amended Complaint to mention the TCTs to be annulled. The R
territorial jurisdiction. The ruling in Sales is not applicable to the present case. Our TC granted the same. On August 12, 1995, the private respondents presented a Mo

6
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

tion to Dismiss on the grounds that among others, the plaintiffs did not have a cau Marcelo Sr.'s estate. Despite the partition, title to the properties, explicitly
se of action being that they have not established their status as heirs. The Motion t identified in the Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate as forming part of Marcelo's
o Dismiss was granted, holding that the petitioners have not shown any proof that and Isagon's property regime, remained in the couple's name. In 1975, Rizal
they have been declared legal heirs of the deceased couple. Realty Corporation (Rizal Realty) and Teofista, the latter owning ninety percent
(90%) of the former's shares of stock, were sued by petitioner Valente Raymundo,
Petitioners contend that the respondent court acted with grave abuse of discret his wife Violeta, Virginia Banta and Maria Concepcion Vito (plaintiffs) in
ion in ruling that the issue of heirship should first be determined before trial of th consolidated cases for Rescission of Contract and Damages. Thereafter, in 1975,
e case could proceed. They further contend that the respondent court should have the then Court of First Instance (CFI) rendered judgment: (1) rescinding the
proceeded with the trial and simultaneously resolved the issue of heirship in the s respective contracts of plaintiffs with Rizal Realty and Teofista, and (2) holding
ame case. The Court denied their motion to dismiss. Hence, this petition. the two defendants solidarily liable to plaintiffs for damages in the aggregate
principal amount of about P70,000.00.
ISSUE: When the judgment of the CFI became final and executory, herein subject
Whether or not the trial court can make a declaration of heirship in the civil action properties were levied and sold on execution to satisfy the judgment against
? Teofista and Rizal Realty. The decision for the RTC to have to determine an
already settled issue i.e., herein respondents' status as heirs of Marcelo Sr.
HELD: Moreover, petitioner Valente cannot assail, directly or indirectly, the status of
NO. The Court ruled that the trial court cannot make a declaration of heirship in herein respondents as legitimate children of Marcelo Sr. and Teofista, and likewise
the civil action for the reason that such a declaration can only be made in a special demand that herein respondents first prove their filiation to Marcelo Sr. The
proceeding. The determination of who are legal heirs of the deceased couple must following records bear out Marcelo, Sr.'s and Teofista's paternity of herein
be made in the proper special proceedings in court, and not in an ordinary suit for respondents, and the latter's status as legitimate children:
reconveyance of property. Under Section 3, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court, a civil acti 1. The CA decision where in Teofista, along with herein respondents, questioned
on is defined as one by which a party sues another for the enforcement or protecti the RTC, Branch 151's Orders. Although the CA ruled against Teofista and herein
on of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong while a special proceeding is respondents, it explicitly recognized the latter's status as legitimate children of
a remedy which a party seeks to establish a right, or particular fact. The Court hel Teofista and Marcelo Sr.; and
d that the declaration of heirship can be made only in a special proceeding inasmu 2. The CA decision which incorrectly ruled that herein respondents were, as
ch as the petitioners in the case at bar are seeking the establishment of a status or children of Teofista, merely successors-in- interest of the latter to the property
right. and by virtue thereof, bound by the judgment in a civil case consistent with the
doctrine of res judicata. The SC subsequently reversed this ruling on the wrong
Raymundo v. Vda. De Suarez application of res judicata in the conclusive case of Suarez. The SC retained and
GR No. 149017 || November 28, 2008 affirmed, however, the CA's factual finding of herein respondents' status as heirs
FACTS: of Marcelo Sr. We categorically held therein that "the proprietary interest of
Marcelo and Teofista Isagon Suarez' marriage was blessed with both material [herein respondents] in the levied and auctioned [properties] is different from
wealth and progeny in herein respondents, namely, Danilo, Eufrocina, Marcelo Jr., and adverse to that of [Teofista]. [Herein respondents] became co-owners of the
Evelyn, and Reggineo, all surnamed Suarez. During their marriage, governed by property not because of [Teofista] but through their own right as children of their
the conjugal partnership of gains regime, they acquired numerous properties, deceased father [, Marcelo Sr.]." Clearly, herein respondents' long possessed
which included the following: status of legitimate children of Marcelo Sr. and Teofista cannot be indirectly or
(1) a parcel of land situated in Barrio Caniogan, Pasig with an area of 348 square directly attacked by petitioner Valente in an action to annul a judicial sale.
meters covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 30680; Plaintiffs were the highest bidder, and bought the levied properties for the
(2) property located in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig, with an area of 1,020 square meters amount of P94,170.00. As a result, a certificate of sale was issued to them and
under Tax Declaration No. A-016-01003; and registered in their favor. The Provincial Sheriff of Rizal issued a final deed of sale
(3) Lot Nos. 5, 6 & 7, Block 2 covered by Tax Declaration No. A-01700723 (subject over the subject properties.
properties). Parenthetically, before expiration of the redemption period, herein respondents
After the death of Marcelo Sr. in 1955, Teofista and herein respondents, as well as filed a revindicatory action against petitioner Valente, Violeta, Virginia and Maria
Elpidio Suarez, executed an Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate, partitioning Concepcion for the annulment of the auction sale and recovery of ownership of

7
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

the levied properties. Essentially, respondents alleged in their complaint that they and to annul the sale with regard to said portion." There is clearly no intimation in
cannot be held liable for the judgment rendered against their mother, Teofista, not our decision for the RTC to have to determine an already settled issue i.e., herein
having been impleaded therein; and consequently, the subject properties, which respondents' status as heirs of Marcelo Sr. Moreover, petitioner Valente cannot
they own pro indiviso with their mother, can neither be levied nor be sold on assail, directly or indirectly, the status of herein respondents as legitimate
execution. children of Marcelo Sr. and Teofista, and likewise demand that herein respondents
first prove their filiation to Marcelo Sr. The following records bear out Marcelo,
RTC Ruling: Sr.'s and Teofista's paternity of herein respondents, and the latter's status as
RTC issued an Order against Teofista. Herein respondents, joined by their mother, legitimate children:
Teofista, filed a Motion for Reconsideration arguing that the subject properties are 1. The CA decision where in Teofista, along with herein respondents, questioned
co-owned by them and further informing the RTC of the filing and pendency of the RTC, Branch 151's Orders. Although the CA ruled against Teofista and herein
Civil Case No. 51203. Nonetheless, the trial court denied Teofista's and herein respondents, it explicitly recognized the latter's status as legitimate children of
respondents' motion, reiterated its previous order, which included, among others, Teofista and Marcelo Sr.; and
the order for Teofista and all persons claiming right under her, to vacate the lots 2. The CA decision which incorrectly ruled that herein respondents were, as
subject of the judicial sale. children of Teofista, merely successors-in- interest of the latter to the property
and by virtue thereof, bound by the judgment in a civil case consistent with the
CA Ruling: doctrine of res judicata. The SC subsequently reversed this ruling on the wrong
Denied the petition for certiorari on the grounds that (1) it fails to show how the application of res judicata in the conclusive case of Suarez. The SC retained and
respondent judge had acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave affirmed, however, the CA's factual finding of herein respondents' status as heirs
abuse of discretion and (2) as far as [petitioner] Teofista Suarez is concerned, she of Marcelo Sr. We categorically held therein that "the proprietary interest of
cannot complain about the levy because she was a party in the consolidated cases [herein respondents] in the levied and auctioned [properties] is different from
where judgment was rendered against her in her personal capacity and with and adverse to that of [Teofista]. [Herein respondents] became co-owners of the
respect to the children of Teofista Suarez, who are co-petitioners in this property not because of [Teofista] but through their own right as children of their
proceedings [herein respondents], suffice it to point out that not being parties in deceased father [, Marcelo Sr.]." Clearly, herein respondents' long possessed
the consolidated cases, what they should have done was to immediately file a status of legitimate children of Marcelo Sr. and Teofista cannot be indirectly or
third party claim. directly attacked by petitioner Valente in an action to annul a judicial sale.
Records of this case reveal a document, an Extrajudicial Settlement of Marcelo
ISSUE: Sr.'s estate, which explicitly recognizes herein respondents as Marcelo Sr.'s
Whether or not a separate special proceeding for a declaration of heirship of legitimate children and heirs. The same document settles and partitions the estate
respondents is necessary in order that they can file an action to annul the judicial of Marcelo Sr. specifying Teofista's paraphernal properties, and separates the
sale of what is, undisputedly, conjugal property of Teofista and Marcelo Sr. properties she owns in common with her children, herein respondents. Plainly,
there is no need to re-declare herein respondents as heirs of Marcelo Sr., and
HELD: prolong this case interminably.
NO, it is not necessary. Herein respondents' status as legitimate children of DBP v. Gagarani, et.al.
Marcelo Sr. and Teofista — and thus, Marcelo Sr.'s heirs — has been firmly GR No. 172248
established, and confirmed by this Court in Suarez v. Court of Appeals. True, this Corona, J.:
Court is not a trier of facts, but as the final arbiter of disputes, we found and so FACTS:
ruled that herein respondents are children, and heirs of their deceased father, 1. Spouses Dionesio and Matea S. Asok owned several parcels of land. Upon
Marcelo Sr. This having been settled, it should no longer have been a litigated the Spouses’ death, their eleven children inherited the properties. One of
issue when we ordered a remand to the lower court. In short, petitioner Valente's, the lands inherited was covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No.
Violeta's, Virginia's, and Maria Concepcion's representation in the RTC that our P-4272, a free patent, located at Pagawan, Manticao, Misamis Oriental.
ruling in Suarez required herein respondents to present evidence of their 2. The children executed an Extrajudicial Settlement of the Estate with
affiliation with the deceased, Marcelo Sr., is wrong. Quitclaim. Pursuant to this, Denison Asok (Asok) inherited the subject
As was set forth in the dispositive portion of Suarez, "Civil Case No. 51203 is property. As a result, OCT No. P-4272 was cancelled. TCT No. T-9626 was
reinstated only to determine that portion which belongs to [herein respondents] issued in his name.

8
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

3. Asok and his wife, respondent Ella Gagarani Asok, borrowed P100,000 16. The CA reversed and set aside the RTC decision. (December 14, 2005)
from petitioner DBP. They mortgaged the subject property as collateral to 17. DBP filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the CA.
guarantee payment of the loan. 18. The CA denied the Motion for Reconsideration. It held that the period of
4. On due date, Asok and Ella failed to pay the loan. redemption started from the date of registration of the certificate of
5. The mortgage was extrajudicially foreclosed. DBP was the highest bidder. sale, i.e., December 24, 1992, and not from the date of sale. Thus,
(November 28, 1991) respondents had until December 24, 1998 to repurchase the property
6. A certificate of sale was issued in favor of DBP. This was registered on and the complaint was seasonably filed.
December 24, 1992. 19. DBP filed this Petition for Review on Certiorari before the SC.
7. DBP’s ownership over the property was consolidated. TCT No. T-27172
was issued in its name. ISSUES: (1) Whether Sec. 119 of CA 141 is applicable in this case; (2) Whether
8. Meanwhile, Asok died on October 24, 1993. He was succeeded by his respondents are the legal heirs of the patentees and (3) Whether the right to
surviving spouse and children, the respondents. repurchase has already prescribed.
9. Respondents filed a Complaint for REPURCHASE against DBP in the RTC
of Initao, Misamis Oriental. (May 15, 1998) HELD:
10. Respondents filed an Amended Complaint upon learning that TCT No. T- (1) YES. Sec. 119 is applicable to this case.
9626 had been cancelled by TCT No. T-27172 issued in the name of DBP.
They invoked their right to repurchase the property under Sec. 119 of The plain intent of Sec. 119 is to give the homesteader or patentee every chance
CA 141, as amended: to preserve and keep in the family the land that the State has gratuitously given
Sec. 119. Every conveyance of land acquired under the free patent or him as reward. Hence, the fact that the land was inherited by the patentees’
homestead provisions, when proper, shall be subject to repurchase by the son (and a new title in his name issued) does not bring it outside the
applicant, his widow, or legal heirs, within a period of five years from purview of Sec. 119. In fact, the policy behind the law is fulfilled because the land
date of the conveyance. remains in the family of the patentee. In Ferrer v. Mangente:
11. DBP contends that respondents cannot claim the right under Sec. 119
which covers homesteads and free patents. The free patent issued to Logic thus call for continued adherence to the policy that not the individual
Asok’s parents had already been cancelled. A new TCT had in fact been applicant alone but those so closely related to him as are entitled to legal
issued to him. Thus, the property mortgaged was no longer covered by a succession may take full advantage of the benefits the law confers.
free patent but by a TCT. DBP also argues that respondents are not the
legal heirs of the patentees because respondents are merely their (2) YES. Respondents are the legal heirs of the patentees.
daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Lastly, that even if respondents could
be considered as being entitled to the right under Sec. 119, this had In line with the rationale behind Sec. 119, we reject a restricted definition of legal
already prescribed because the period should be counted from the date of heirs. It is used in a broad sense and the law makes no distinctions. In Madarcos v.
conveyance which means the date of sale and not the date of registration de la Merced:
of the certificate of sale.
12. The RTC dismissed the Complaint. (January 7, 1999) The term "legal heirs" is used in Section 119 in a generic sense. It is broad enough
13. Respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the RTC. to cover any person who is called to the succession either by provision of a
14. The RTC denied the Motion for Reconsideration. It ruled that the one- will or by operation of law. Thus, legal heirs include both testate and intestate
year period for redemption should be reckoned from the date of heirs depending upon whether succession is by the will of the testator or by law.
sale, i.e., November 28, 1991. Then the five-year period provided Legal heirs are not necessarily compulsory heirs but they may be so if the law
under Sec. 119 of CA 141 should be counted from the expiration of reserves a legitime for them.
the redemption period, i.e., November 28, 1992. Therefore, respondents
had until November 28, 1997 to exercise their right to repurchase.
Respondents inherited the property from Asok, their husband and father, who in
However, the complaint was filed on May 15, 1998 which was beyond the
turn inherited it from his parents. Respondent Ella Gagarani Asok, as daughter-in-
prescribed period.
law of the patentees, can be considered as among the legal heirs who can
15. Respondents appealed to the CA.

9
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

repurchase the land in accordance with Salenillas v. CA. In that case, we allowed was survived by her first cousins Catalina Samaniego-Bombay, Manuelita
the daughter and son-in-law of the patentees to repurchase the property because Samaniego Sajonia, Feliza Samaniego, and petitioner.||
this would be "more in keeping with the spirit of the law. We have time and again Before her death, Margarita executed a Last Will and Testament where
said that between two statutory interpretations, that which better serves the she bequeathed one-half of her undivided share of a real property located at
purpose of the law should prevail." Furthermore, the law must be liberally Manila and Makati, to respondent and three others.Margarita also left all her
construed in order to carry out its purpose. personal properties to respondent whom she likewise designated as sole executor
of her will.
(3) NO. The right to repurchase has not prescribed. On August 11, 1987, petitioner filed a petition for letters of
administration of the estate of Margarita.
It was already resolved in Rural Bank of Davao City, Inc. v. CA: On October 27, 1987, respondent filed a petition for probate of the will of
Margarita before the RTC of Makati.
Thus, the rules on redemption in the case of an extrajudicial foreclosure of land On March 2, 1993, the RTC rendered a decision declaring the last will and
acquired under free patent or homestead statutes may be summarized as follows: testament of Margarita probated and respondent as the executor of the will
xxx If the land is mortgaged to parties other than rural banks, the mortgagor Petitioner appealed the RTC decision to the Court of Appeals. But the
may redeem the property within one (1) year from the registration of the Court of Appeals affirmed in toto the RTC ruling.
certificate of sale pursuant to Act No. 3135. If he fails to do so, he or his heirs Hence this petition.
may repurchase the property within five (5) years from the expiration of the Petitioner’s arguments:
redemption period also pursuant to Section 119 of the Public Land Act. 1. Margarita's will failed to comply with the formalities
required under Article 805 of the Civil Code because it is
Under Act 3135, the debtor or his or her successors-in-interest may redeem the fatally defective for the reason that its attestation clause
property within one year. This redemption period should be reckoned from the states that the will is composed of three (3) pages while in
date of registration of the certificate of sale. The five-year period fixed in Sec. 119 truth and in fact, the will consists of two (2) pages.
begins to run from the expiration of the one-year redemption period. Here, the 2. that the will was procured through undue influence and
certificate of sale was registered on December 24, 1992 and the one-year pressure because at the time of execution of the will,
redemption period expired on December 24, 1993. Reckoned from that day, Margarita was weak, sickly, jobless and entirely dependent
respondents had a five-year period, or until December 24, 1998, to exercise upon respondent and her nephews for support, and these
their right to repurchase under Sec. 119 of CA 141. alleged handicaps affected her freedom and willpower to
decide on her own;
Consequently, the CA was correct in holding that the complaint filed on May 15,
1998 was on time. ISSUE:
W/N the Court of Appeals erred in not declaring the will invalid
Petition is DENIED. DBP is ordered to execute a deed of reconveyance in favor for failure to comply with the formalities required by law.
of respondents upon payment by the latter of the redemption price.
HELD:
REQUISITES OF A FORMAL WILL NO. The Supreme Court stated that:
Paz Samaniego – Celada vs Lucia D. Abena 1. While it is true that the attestation clause is not a part of the
G.R. No. 145545, June 30, 2008 || Requisites of a Formal Will will, the court, after examining the totality of the will, is of
the considered opinion that error in the number of pages of
FACTS: the will as stated in the attestation clause is not material to
Petitioner Paz Samaniego-Celada was the first cousin of decedent invalidate the subject will. It must be noted that the subject
Margarita S. Mayores (Margarita) while respondent was the decedent's lifelong instrument is consecutively lettered with pages A, B, and C
companion since 1929. which is a sufficient safeguard from the possibility of an
On April 27, 1987, Margarita died single and without any ascending nor omission of some of the pages. The error must have been
descending heirs as her parents, grandparents and siblings predeceased her. She brought about by the honest belief that the will is the whole

10
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

instrument consisting of three (3) pages inclusive of the In the said will, the decedent supposedly bequeathed his entire estate to his wife
attestation clause and the acknowledgement. The position of Lim Hock Lee, save for a parcel of land which he devised to Vicente Lee, Jr. and
the court is in consonance with the "doctrine of liberal Elena Lee, half-siblings of complainant.
interpretation" enunciated in Article 809 of the Civil Code
which reads: "In the absence of bad faith, forgery or The will was purportedly executed and acknowledged before respondent on June
fraud, or undue [and] improper pressure and influence, 30, 1965. Complainant, however, pointed out that the residence certificate of the
defects and imperfections in the form of attestation or in testator noted in the acknowledgment of the will was dated January 5, 1962.
the language used therein shall not render the will Furthermore, the signature of the testator was not the same as his signature as
invalid if it is proved that the will was in fact executed donor in a deed of donation (containing his purported genuine signature).
and attested in substantial compliance with all the Complainant averred that the signatures of his deceased father in the will and in
requirements of Article 805." the deed of donation were in any way (sic) entirely and diametrically opposed
2. With regard to the contention of the petitioner that the from (sic) one another in all angle[s]
testator was not mentally capable of making a will at the
time of the execution thereof, the same is without merit. The Complainant also questioned the absence of notation of the residence certificates
petitioner failed to establish, by preponderance of evidence, of the purported witnesses Noynay and Grajo. He alleged that their signatures had
said allegation and contradict the presumption that the likewise been forged and merely copied from their respective voters affidavits.
testator was of sound mind.In fact, witness for the
oppositors, Dr. Ramon Lamberte, who, in some occasions, In a resolution dated October 17, 2001, the Court referred the case to the
attended to the testator months before her death, testified Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation, report and
that Margarita Mayores could engage in a normal recommendation.
conversation and he even stated that the illness of the
testator does not warrant hospitalization. . . . Not one of the In his report, the investigating commissioner found respondent guilty of
oppositor's witnesses has mentioned any instance that they violation of pertinent provisions of the old Notarial Law as found in the Revised
observed act/s of the testator during her lifetime that could Administrative Code. The violation constituted an infringement of legal ethics,
be construed as a manifestation of mental incapacity. The particularly Canon 1 and Rule 1.01of the Code of Professional Responsibility
testator may be admitted to be physically weak but it does (CPR). Thus, the investigating commissioner of the IBP Commission on Bar
not necessarily follow that she was not of sound mind. Discipline recommended the suspension of respondent for a period of three
months.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision dated
October 13, 2000 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 41756 is AFFIRMED. The IBP Board of Governors, in its Resolution No. XVII-2006-285 dated May 26,
Costs against petitioner. 2006, resolved:

Lee vs. Tambago [T]o ADOPT and APPROVE, as it is hereby ADOPTED and APPROVED, with
AC No. 5281 modification, the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner
FACTS: and finding the recommendation fully supported by the evidence on record and
In a letter-complaint dated April 10, 2000, complainant Manuel L. Lee charged the applicable laws and rules, and considering Respondents failure to comply with
respondent Atty. Regino B. Tambago with violation of the Notarial Law and the the laws in the discharge of his function as a notary public, Atty. Regino B.
ethics of the legal profession for notarizing a spurious last will and testament. Tambago is hereby suspended from the practice of law for one year and
Respondents notarial commission is Revoked and Disqualified from
In his complaint, complainant averred that his father, the decedent Vicente Lee, reappointment as Notary Public for two (2) years. [14]
Sr., never executed the contested will. Furthermore, the spurious will contained
the forged signatures of Cayetano Noynay and Loreto Grajo, the purported ISSUE:
witnesses to its execution. WON the will was in compliance of the requirements of a will

11
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

HELD: As the acknowledging officer of the contested will, respondent was required to
A will is an act whereby a person is permitted, with the formalities prescribed by faithfully observe the formalities of a will and those of notarization. As we held in
law, to control to a certain degree the disposition of his estate, to take effect after Santiago v. Rafanan:
his death. [15] A will may either be notarial or holographic.
The Notarial Law is explicit on the obligations and duties of notaries public. They
The law provides for certain formalities that must be followed in the execution of are required to certify that the party to every document acknowledged before him
wills. The object of solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close the had presented the proper residence certificate (or exemption from the residence
door on bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and testaments and to tax); and to enter its number, place of issue and date as part of such certification.
guarantee their truth and authenticity. [16]

A notarial will, as the contested will in this case, is required by law to be These formalities are mandatory and cannot be disregarded, considering the
subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself. In addition, it should be degree of importance and evidentiary weight attached to notarized documents. A
attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of notary public, especially a lawyer, is bound to strictly observe these elementary
the testator and of one another. [17] requirements.

The will in question was attested by only two witnesses, Noynay and Grajo. On The Notarial Law then in force required the exhibition of the residence certificate
this circumstance alone, the will must be considered void. [18] This is in upon notarization of a document or instrument:
consonance with the rule that acts executed against the provisions of mandatory
or prohibitory laws shall be void, except when the law itself authorizes their Section 251. Requirement as to notation of payment of [cedula] residence tax.
validity. Every contract, deed, or other document acknowledged before a notary public
shall have certified thereon that the parties thereto have presented their proper
The Civil Code likewise requires that a will must be acknowledged before a notary [cedula] residence certificate or are exempt from the [cedula] residence tax, and
public by the testator and the witnesses. [19] The importance of this requirement there shall be entered by the notary public as a part of such certificate the
is highlighted by the fact that it was segregated from the other requirements number, place of issue, and date of each [cedula] residence certificate as aforesaid.
under Article 805 and embodied in a distinct and separate provision. [20] [25]

An acknowledgment is the act of one who has executed a deed in going before Nevertheless, respondent should be faulted for having failed to make the
some competent officer or court and declaring it to be his act or deed. It involves necessary entries pertaining to the will in his notarial register. The old Notarial
an extra step undertaken whereby the signatory actually declares to the notary Law required the entry of the following matters in the notarial register, in
public that the same is his or her own free act and deed. The acknowledgment in a chronological order:
notarial will has a two-fold purpose: (1) to safeguard the testators wishes long
after his demise and (2) to assure that his estate is administered in the manner nature of each instrument executed, sworn to, or acknowledged before him;
that he intends it to be done. person executing, swearing to, or acknowledging the instrument;
witnesses, if any, to the signature;
A cursory examination of the acknowledgment of the will in question shows that date of execution, oath, or acknowledgment of the instrument;
this particular requirement was neither strictly nor substantially complied with. fees collected by him for his services as notary;
For one, there was the conspicuous absence of a notation of the residence give each entry a consecutive number; and
certificates of the notarial witnesses Noynay and Grajo in the acknowledgment. if the instrument is a contract, a brief description of the substance of the
Similarly, the notation of the testators old residence certificate in the same instrument
acknowledgment was a clear breach of the law. These omissions by respondent
invalidated the will.
In an effort to prove that he had complied with the abovementioned rule,
respondent contended that he had crossed out a prior entry and entered instead
the will of the decedent. As proof, he presented a photocopy of his notarial

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

register. To reinforce his claim, he presented a photocopy of a certification [28] SO ORDERED.


stating that the archives division had no copy of the affidavit of Bartolome
Ramirez.
ALUAD V. ALUAD
A photocopy is a mere secondary evidence. It is not admissible unless it is shown G.R. No. 176943. October 17, 2008
that the original is unavailable. The proponent must first prove the existence and FACTS:
cause of the unavailability of the original, [29] otherwise, the evidence presented · Maria Aluad (the mother of the Petitioners) as well as their Uncle
will not be admitted. Thus, the photocopy of respondents notarial register was not (Respondent: Zenaido) were raised by the childless spouses Matilde and Crispin
admissible as evidence of the entry of the execution of the will because it failed to (crispin is a guy).
comply with the requirements for the admissibility of secondary evidence. · Crispin was the owner of six sexy lots - located in Capiz. When he died
Matilde (da wife) adjudicated the lots to herself.
Defects in the observance of the solemnities prescribed by law render the entire · On November 14, 1981, Matilde executed a "Deed of Donation of Real
will invalid. This carelessness cannot be taken lightly in view of the importance Property Inter Vivos" in favor of petitioners' mother Maria - covering all the six
and delicate nature of a will, considering that the testator and the witnesses, as in lots
this case, are no longer alive to identify the instrument and to confirm its contents. · On August 26, 1991, Matilde sold Lot No. 676 to respondent (Zenaido) by a
[34] Accordingly, respondent must be held accountable for his acts. The validity of Deed of Absolute Sale of Real Property – and on her Last will and Testament she
the will was seriously compromised as a consequence of his breach of duty. [35] devised lot 674 to Zenaido
on 1992, Matilde executed a last will and testament,
Respondent, as notary public, evidently failed in the performance of the o devising Lot Nos. 675, 677, 682, and 680 to Maria,
elementary duties of his office. Contrary to his claims that he exercised his duties o and her "remaining properties" including Lot No. 674 to respondent (Zenaido).
as Notary Public with due care and with due regard to the provision of existing · Matilde died on January 25, 1994,
law and had complied with the elementary formalities in the performance of his · while Maria died on September 24 of the same year.
duties xxx, we find that he acted very irresponsibly in notarizing the will in
question. Such recklessness warrants the less severe punishment of suspension · On August 21, 1995, Maria's heirs-herein petitioners filed before the RTC - a
from the practice of law. It is, as well, a sufficient basis for the revocation of his Complaint for declaration and recovery of ownership and possession of Lot
commission [50] and his perpetual disqualification to be commissioned as a Nos. 674 and 676, and damages against respondent,
notary public. [51]
· As a Defense : Zenaido alleged that
o That Lot 674 is owned by the defendant as this lot was adjudicated to him in
WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Regino B. Tambago is hereby found guilty of the Last Will and Testament of Matilde Aluad
professional misconduct. He violated (1) the Lawyers Oath; (2) Rule 138 of the o while Lot 676 was purchased by him from Matilde Aluad. These two lots are in
Rules of Court; (3) Canon 1 and Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional his possession as true owners thereof.
Responsibility; (4) Art. 806 of the Civil Code and (5) the provisions of the old
Notarial Law. · Petitioners later filed a Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint Already Filed
to Conform to Evidence : to which it annexed an Amended Complaint which
Atty. Regino B. Tambago is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one cited the donation of the six lots via Deed of Donation in favor of their
year and his notarial commission REVOKED. Because he has not lived up to the mother Maria. Branch 15 of the RTC granted the motion and admitted the
trustworthiness expected of him as a notary public and as an officer of the court, Amended Complaint.
he is PERPETUALLY DISQUALIFIED from reappointment as a notary public. ISSUE: won the CA erred when it reversed the decision of the RTC holding that
the deed of donation inter vivos in favor of petitioners' mother is in fact a
Let copies of this Resolution be furnished to all the courts of the land, the donation mortis causa.
Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Office of the Bar Confidant, as well as
made part of the personal records of respondent. RULING: C.A. did not err motherfuckerr.
1. It is Mortis Causa.

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Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

· As did the appellate court, the SC finds the donation to petitioners' On the morning of June 2, 1929, Victorina Villaranda y Diaz, was in a comatose
mother one of mortis causa, it having the following characteristics: condition due to apoplexy, incident to cerebral hemorrage. After examination, she
(1) It conveys no title or ownership to the transferee before the death of the was allowed to be taken to San Juan de Dios Hospital. Four days after June 5, 1929,
transferor; or what amounts to the same thing, that the transferor should retain she died.
the ownership (full or naked) and control of the property while alive;
(2) That before the death of the transferor, the transfer should be revocable by the The contested document produced as her will, was prepared by Perfecto Gabriel.
transferor at will, ad nutum; but revocability may be provided for indirectly by His wife appeared to be related to the named beneficiaries, who were collateral
means of a reserved power in the donor to dispose of the properties conveyed; relatives of the deceased, named Eusebia, Crispina, and Maria Lim.
and
(3) That the transfer should be void if the transferor should survive the At 9 or 10 o'clock on the forenoon of June 5, 1929, upon being informed of the
transferee. condition of the testatrix, he took a sheet from his exercise book, wrote the
/-----------------// instrument in question, and brought it into the sick room for execution. He
· The phrase in the earlier-quoted Deed of Donation "to become effective suggested that the attending physician, Lopez del Castillo to sign as a witness.
upon the death of the DONOR" admits of no other interpretation than to mean However, he refused on the ground of lack of testamentary capacity of the old
that Matilde did not intend to transfer the ownership of the six lots to petitioners' lady. He also asked Marcos Ira, first cousin of the deceased, to sign as one of the
mother during her (Matilde's) lifetime. witnesses, but he refused as well. In the end three persons served as witnesses,
o2. The donation being then mortis causa, the formalities of a will should have and two relatives of his wife. Victorina was not able to affix her signature to the
been observed (it was not) document, and it was signed for her by the attorney.
o it was witnessed by only two, not three or more witnesses following Article
805 of the Civil Code. Eusebia, named as executrix, offered such as probate. However, the sister of the
o Further, the witnesses did not even sign the attestation clause: the deceased, Chinco, opposed. The trial court favored the latter and disallowed the
execution of which clause is a requirement separate from the subscription of the will on the ground that the testatrix did not have testamentary capacity at the
will and the affixing of signatures on the left-hand margins of the pages of the will. time the instrument purports to have been executed by her.
o Furthermore, the witnesses did not acknowledge the will before the
notary public, which is not in accordance with the requirement of Article 806 of ISSUE:
the Civil Code that every will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the WON THE TESTRATIX HAD TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY AT THE TIME THE
testator and the witnesses. PAPER REFERRED TO WAS IGNED
o More. The requirement that all the pages of the will must be
numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page was not HELD:
also followed.
NO. At the time the will was made, the proof showed that the testatrix was in
The Deed of Donation which is, as already discussed, one of mortis causa, not a comatose condition and devoid of the power of articulate speech. Held,
having followed the formalities of a will, it is Void and transmitted no right to that testamentary capacity was lacking and that the purported will was not
petitioners' mother. valid.

TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY As shown a marked preponderance, that the deceased, she was in a comatose
ESTATE OF THE DECEASED VICTORINA VILLARANDA. EUSEBIA LIM condition and incapable of performing any conscious and valid act. The testimony
VS JULIANA CHINCO of these witnesses is convincing to the effect that the patient was in a continuous
G.R. No. 33592. March 31, 1931 state of coma and did not have sufficient command of her faculties to enable her to
do any valid act.
TOPIC: WILLS; LACK OF TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY; COMA RESULTING FROM
CEREBRAL HEMORRHAGE. Barrera v, Tanjoco
Gr no l-5263 Feb. 17, 1954
FACTS: FACTS:

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Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

A will was executed by Oliva Villapaña, leaving properties to her nephews and Petitioner thus appealed the decision of the probate court to the Court of Appeals
nieces and grandchildren. The oppositors alleges that the testatrix was not in a which affirmed in toto the decision.
capacity to execute a will and that Oliva's signature was acquired through fraud On September 24,1986, petitioner filed with the respondent court a motion for
and trickery and the provisions of the will is invalid. The court of first instance of new trial. Attached to her motion was the Affidavit of Merit of Gregorio Montinola
Tarlac ruled that the will was invalid because it was not the personal last will of Sanson, petitioner's son, alleging that witnesses have been located whose
the deceased; that she did not furnish the names of the persons instituted as heirs testimonies could shed light as to the ill health of the testatrix as well as undue
and; that the will was not read to her before she signed it. influence exerted on the latter.
The appellate court in its resolution of October 13, 1986, denied the motion for
ISSUE: new trial of petitioner on the following grounds: (1) the Affidavit of merit attached
whether the will is valid? to the motion alleged that efforts were exerted to locate unnamed witnesses only
after the court's decision was handed down, and (2) the unnamed witnesses
HELD: the court held that the will is valid. Omission of some relatives as would allegedly shed light on the fact of grave illness of the testatrix as well as the
beneficiaries does not affect due execution of the will. As the will was found to be undue influence exerted on her which are merely corroborative or cumulative
free from fraud, trickery or undue influence, with the testatrix having since these facts were brought to light during the trial.
testamentary capacity, the court was compelled to give expression thereto. It is The motion for reconsideration of petitioner dated October 27, 1986 was likewise
also not necessary that the will be read upon its signing and in the presence of the denied by the appellate court in its resolution of November 20, 1986 on the
witnesses. ground that the affidavit of one Patricia Delgado submitted with the motion
constitutes cumulative evidence and the motion being in reality a second motion
Heirs of Sanson vs CA and Hernandez for reconsideration which is prescribed by law.
GR No. 76648
FACTS : ISSUE :
This case arose from a petition filed by private respondent Atty. Eduardo F. Whether or not the testatrix failed to dispose of all of her estate is an indication of
Hernandez on April 22, 1981 with the Court of First Instance of Manila (now the unsoundness of her mind.
Regional Trial Court) seeking the probate of the holographic will of the late
Herminia Montinola executed on January 28, 1980. The testatrix, who died single, HELD :
parentless and childless on March 29,1981 at the age of 70 years, devised in this No. We cannot subscribe to this contention. Art. 841 of the Civil Code provides —
will several of her real properties to specified persons. A will shall be valid even though it should not contain an institution of an heir, or
On April 29,1981, private respondent who was named executor in the will filed an such institution should not comprise the entire estate, and even though the
urgent motion for appointment of special administrator. With the conformity of all person so instituted should not accept the inheritance or should be incapacitated
the relatives and heirs of the testatrix except oppositor, the court in its order of to succeed.
May 5, 1981 appointed private respondent as Special Administrator of the testate In such cases, the testamentary dispositions made in accordance with law shall be
estate of deceased. complied with and the remainder of the estate shall pass to the legal heirs.
On June 29,1981, Matilde Montinola Sanson (petitioner), the only surviving sister Thus, the fact that in her holographic will, testatrix disposed of only eleven (11) of
of the deceased but who was not named in the said win, filed her Opposition to her real properties does not invalidate the will, or is it an indication that the
Probate of Will, alleging inter alia: that the subject will was not entirely written, testatrix was of unsound mind. The portion of the estate undisposed of shall pass
dated and signed by the testatrix herself and the same was falsely dated or on to the heirs of the deceased in intestate succession.
antedated; that the testatrix was not in full possession of her mental faculties to Neither is undue influence present just because blood relatives, other than
make testamentary dispositions; that undue influence was exerted upon the compulsory heirs have been omitted, for while blood ties are strong in the
person and mind of the testatrix by the beneficiaries named in the win; and that Philippines, it is the testator's right to disregard non-compulsory heirs.The fact
the will failed to institute a residual heir to the remainder of the estate. that some heirs are more favored than others is proof of neither fraud or undue
After a hearing on the merits, the probate court, finding the evidence presented in influence. Diversity of apportionment is the usual reason for making a testament,
support of the petition to be conclusive and overwhelming, rendered its decision otherwise, the decedent might as well die intestate.
allowing the probate of the disputed will. The contention of the petitioner that the will was obtained by undue influence or
improper pressure exerted by the beneficiaries of the will cannot be sustained on

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Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

mere conjecture or suspicion; as it is not enough that there was opportunity to disallowance of the will for its failure to comply with the formalities prescribed by
exercise undue influence or a possibility that it may have been exercised. The law nor for lack of testamentary capacity of the testatrix. However, respondent
exercise of improper pressure and undue influence must be supported by court held that the holographic will of Anne Sand was not executed in accordance
substantial evidence that it was actually exercised. with the formalities prescribed by law. It held that Articles 813 and 814 of the
Finally, We quote with approval the observation of the respondent court — New Civil Code, ante, were not complied with, hence, it disallowed the probate of
There is likewise no question as to the due execution of the subject Will. To Our said will.
minds, the most authentic proof that decreased had testamentary capacity at the
time of the execution of the Will, is the Will itself which according to a report of ISSUE
one of the two expert witnesses reveals the existence of significant handwriting Whether or not the non-compliance of the subject holographic will to Articles 813
characteristics such as: and 84 of the New Civil Code makes the will testament void.
1. Spontaneity, freedom, and speed of writing
xxx xxx xxx HELD/RULING
3. good line quality. Petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED and SET
4. presence of natural variation ASIDE, except with respect to the invalidity of the disposition of the entire house
The characteristics of spontaneity, freedom and good line quality could not be and lot in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte.
achieved by the testatrix if it was true that she was indeed of unsound mind
and/or under undue influence or improper pressure when she the Will. No evidence was presented to show sufficient reason for the disallowance of
herein holographic will. The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution
HOLOGRAPHIC WILL of wills is to close the door against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of
SPOUSES ROBERTO AND THELMA AJERO, petitioners, vs. THE COURT OF wills and testaments and to guaranty their truth and authenticity. Therefore, the
APPEALS AND CLEMENTE SAND, respondents. laws on this subject should be interpreted in such a way as to attain these
G.R. No. 106720 September 15, 1994 primordial ends. But, on the other hand, also one must not lose sight of the fact
FACTS that it is not the object of the law to restrain and curtail the exercise of the right to
In the will, decedent named as devisees, the following: petitioners Roberto and make a will. So when an interpretation already given assures such ends, any other
Thelma Ajero, private respondent Clemente Sand, Meriam S. Arong, Leah Sand, interpretation whatsoever, that adds nothing but demands more requisites
Lilia Sand, Edgar Sand, Fe Sand, Lisa S. Sand, and Dr. Jose Ajero, Sr., and their entirely unnecessary, useless and frustrative of the testator's last will, must be
children. disregarded.

On January 20, 1983, petitioners instituted Sp. Proc. No. Q-37171, for allowance of In the case of holographic wills, what assures authenticity is the requirement that
decedent's holographic will. They alleged that at the time of its execution, she was they be totally autographic or handwritten by the testator himself, as provided
of sound and disposing mind, not acting under duress, fraud or undue influence, under Article 810 of the New Civil Code. Failure to strictly observe other
and was in every respect capacitated to dispose of her estate by will. formalities will not result in the disallowance of a holographic will that is
unquestionably handwritten by the testator.
Private respondent opposed the petition on the grounds that: neither the
testament's body nor the signature therein was in decedent's handwriting; it A reading of Article 813 of the New Civil Code shows that its requirement affects
contained alterations and corrections which were not duly signed by decedent; the validity of the dispositions contained in the holographic will, but not its
and, the will was procured by petitioners through improper pressure and undue probate. If the testator fails to sign and date some of the dispositions, the result is
influence. The petition was likewise opposed by Dr. Jose Ajero. He contested the that these dispositions cannot be effectuated. Such failure, however, does not
disposition in the will of a house and lot located in Cabadbaran, Agusan Del Norte. render the whole testament void.
He claimed that said property could not be conveyed by decedent in its entirety,
as she was not its sole owner. Likewise, a holographic will can still be admitted to probate, notwithstanding non-
compliance with the provisions of Article 814.
Notwithstanding the oppositions, the trial court admitted the decedent's
holographic will to probate. The probate court finds no reason at all for the

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Thus, unless the unauthenticated alterations, cancellations or insertions were It was alleged that Section 946 of the California Civil Code, which requires that the
made on the date of the holographic will or on testator's signature, their disposition of the property shall be governed by the law of the domicile of the
presence does not invalidate the will itself. The lack of authentication will only decedent, i.e. Philippine law, should be applicable. It was also alleged that Maria
result in disallowance of such changes. Helen Christensen having been declared an acknowledged natural child of the
decedent, she is deemed for all purposes legitimate from the time of her birth.
The Court of Appeals further held that decedent Annie Sand could not validly The Court of First Instance of Davao ruled that as Edward E. Christensen was a
dispose of the house and lot located in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte, in its citizen of the United States and of the State of California at the time of his death,
entirety. This is correct and must be affirmed. She cannot validly dispose of the the successional rights and intrinsic validity of the provisions in his will are to be
whole property, which she shares with her father's other heirs. governed by the law of California, in accordance with which a testator has the
right to dispose of his property in the way he desires, because the right of absolute
INTRINSIC & EXTRINSIC VALIDITY dominion over his property is sacred and inviolable.
Aznar v. Garcia (Christensen Case) Oppositor Maria Helen Christensen, filed various motions for reconsideration, but
GR No. L-16729 these were denied. Hence this appeal.

FACTS: ISSUE:
In the proceedings for admission of the will to probate, the facts of record show Whether or not
that the deceased Edward E. Christensen was born on November 29, 1875, in New THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO RECOGNIZE
York City, N. Y., U.S.A. His first arrival in the Philippines, as an appointed school THAT UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW, PARTICULARLY
teacher, was on July 1, 1901 and he stayed in the Philippines until 1904. UNDER THE RENVOI DOCTRINE, THE INTRINSIC
In December 1904, Mr. Christensen returned to the United States and resided in VALIDITY OF THE TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITION OR
Sacramento, California for 9 years until 1913. THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED
He came back to the Philippines in July 1913 and since then, he returned to EDWARD E. CHRISTENSEN SHOULD BE GOVERNED BY
California only for year-long visits in 1928 and 1938. He was interned by the THE LAWS OF THE PHILIPPINES.
Japanese Military Forces in the Philippines during World War II. Upon liberation, Or, alternatively,
in April 1945, he left for the United States but returned to the Philippines in What law should govern the intrinsic validity of the will
December, 1945. He never acquired a home or properties in the State of in light of the renvoi doctrine, CA law or Philippine law?
California. HELD:
On March 5, 1951, Edward E. Christensen executed his last will and PHILIPPINE LAW is to be applied, NOT the law of California.
testament at his lawyers' office in Manila. He died at the St. Luke's Appellees argue that the internal law of California shall apply
Hospital in the City of Manila on April 30, 1953. as pointed out in Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.
In accordance with the provisions of the will, the executor in his final account and However, in this case, the State of California prescribes two sets of
project partition ratified the payment of only P3,600 to Maria Helen Christensen laws for its citizens, an internal law for residents therein and another
Garcia, the oppositor-appelant in this case, residing in Davao, Philippines, and for those domiciled in other jurisdictions. Hence, reason demands that
proposed that the residue of the estate be transferred to his daughter, Maria Lucy the California conflict of law rule, i.e., Article 946 of the Civil Code of
Christensen Daney, residing in California, U.S.A. California, which authorizes the reference or return of the question to
Opposition to the approval of the project of partition was filed by Helen the law of the testator's domicile, should be applied (for those
Christensen Garcia, insofar as it deprives her (Helen) of her legitime as an domiciled abroad).
acknowledged natural child, she having been subsequently declared an “Article 946, Civil Code, precisely refers back the case,
acknowledged natural child of the deceased Edward E. Christensen in 1958 [G.R. when a decedent is not domiciled in California, to the law of
Nos. L-11483-84. February 14, 1958]. his domicile, the Philippines in the case at bar. The court of the
The legal grounds of opposition are (a) that the distribution should be governed domicile can not and should not refer the case back to
by the laws of the Philippines, and (b) that said order of distribution is contrary California; such action would leave the issue incapable of
thereto insofar as it denies to Maria Helen Christensen, one of two acknowledged determination because the case will then be like a football,
natural children, one-half of the estate in full ownership. tossed back and forth between the two states, between the

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Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

country of which the decedent was a citizen and the country of


his domicile. The Philippine court must apply its own law as The executor submitted and filed its "Executor's Final Account, Report of
directed in the conflict of law rule of the state of the decedent, Administration and Project of Partition" wherein it reported, that it paid to the
if the question has to be decided, especially as the application heirs/legacies in accordance with the will.
of the internal law of California provides no legitime for
children while the Philippine law, Arts. 887 (4) and 894, Civil In the project of partition, the executor divided the residuary estate into seven
Code of the Philippines, makes natural children legally equal portions for the benefit of the testator's seven legitimate children by his
acknowledged forced heirs of the parent recognizing them.” first and second marriages. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis opposed
Following the renvoi doctrine, the question of the validity of the to the project of partition on the ground that they were deprived of their legitimes
testamentary provision in question should be referred back to the law as illegitimate children and, therefore, compulsory heirs of the deceased.
of the decedent's domicile, which is the Philippines.
As the domicile of the deceased, who was a citizen of California, was Appellants would also point out that the decedent executed two wills — one to
the Philippines at the time of his death, the intrinsic validity of the govern his Texas estate and the other his Philippine estate — arguing from this
provisions of his will depriving his acknowledged natural child of her that he intended Philippine law to govern his Philippine estate
legitime, should be governed by the Philippine law, pursuant to Article
946 of the Civil Code of California. ISSUE:
1. What law should be applied in this case?
BELLIS vs. BELLIS 2. Are the illegitimate children entitled to legitimes?
GR No. L-23678 || Intrinsic & Extrinsic Validity
FACTS: HELD:
Amos G. Bellis, born in Texas, was "a citizen of the State of Texas and of the United 1. The national law of the deceased, that is, the Texas law, should apply in this
States." By his first wife, Mary E. Mallen, whom he divorced, he had five legitimate case.
children (one predeceased him); by his second wife, Violet Kennedy who survived
him, he had three legitimate children; and finally, he had three illegitimate Article 16, par. 2, and Art. 1039 of the Civil Code, render applicable the national
children: Amos Bellis, Jr., Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis. law of the decedent, in intestate or testamentary successions, with regard to four
items: (a) the order of succession; (b) the amount of successional rights; (e) the
On August 5, 1952, Amos G. Bellis executed a will in the Philippines, in which he intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will; and (d) the capacity to succeed.
directed that after all taxes, obligations, and expenses of administration are paid
for, his distributable estate should be divided, in trust, in the following order and Contrary to the contention of the respondents, Art. 17 par. 3 of the Civil Code is
manner: (a) $240,000.00 to his first wife, Mary E. Mallen; (b) P120,000.00 to his NOT an exception to Art. 16 par. 2. For whatever public policy or good customs
three illegitimate children, Amos Bellis, Jr., Maria Cristina Bellis, Miriam Palma may be involved in our System of legitimes, Congress has not intended to extend
Bellis, or P40,000.00 each and (c) after the foregoing two items have been the same to the succession of foreign nationals. For it has specifically chosen to
satisfied, the remainder shall go to his seven surviving children by his first and leave, inter alia, the amount of successional rights, to the decedent's national law.
second wives. (Art. 16, par. 2 and Art. 1039)

On July 8, 1958, Amos G. Bellis died a resident of San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. His will Even assuming that such was decedent's intention in executing a separate
was admitted to probate in the Court of First Instance of Manila on September 15, Philippine will, it would not alter the law. A provision in a foreigner's will to the
1958. effect that his properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine law
and not with his national law, is illegal and void. Art. 16 states that his national
The People's Bank and Trust Company, as executor of the will, paid all the law should govern.
bequests therein including the amount of $240,000.00 in the form of shares of
stock to Mary E. Mallen and to the three (3) illegitimate children, Amos Bellis, Jr., 2. No. Amos G. Bellis, was a citizen of the State of Texas, U.S.A., and that under the
Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis, various amounts totalling laws of Texas, there are no forced heirs or legitimes. Accordingly, since the
P40,000.00 each (120,000.00 in total). intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the amount of successional rights

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

are to be determined under Texas law, the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be - that he had freely executed the will and was not acting under duress,
applied to the testacy of Amos G. fraud, menace or undue influence and
- that the will is genuine and not a forgery,
Dorotheo v. CA - that he was of proper testamentary age and that he is a person not
GR No. 108581 || Intrinsic & Extrinsic Validity expressly prohibited by law from making a will.
FACTS: Intrinsic validity is another matter and questions regarding the same may still be
Aniceta Reyes died in 1969 without her estate being settled. Alejandro Dorotheo raised even after the will has been authenticated. However, even if the will was
died thereafter. Sometime in 1977, after Alejandro’s death, Lourdes Dorotheo validly executed, if the testator provides for dispositions that deprives or impairs
(petitioner) filed a special proceeding for the probate of the latter’s will. In 1981, the lawful heirs of their legitime or rightful inheritance according to the laws on
the court issued an order admitting Alejandro’s will to probate. The legitimate succession, the unlawful provisions / dispositions cannot be given effect. This is
children (Private Respondents) did not appeal from the said order. In 1983 specially so when the courts had already determined in a final and executory
however, private respondents filed a motion to declare the will intrinsically void. decision that the will is intrinsically void. Such determination having attained that
The trial court granted the said motion. Lourdes Dorotheo moved for character of finality is binding on this Court which will no longer be disturbed.
reconsideration arguing that she is entitled to some compensation as she took
care of Alejandro though she admitted that they were not married to each other. If the will is extrinsically void, the rules of intestacy apply regardless of the
Her motion for reconsideration was denied. Lourdes appealed to the CA but was intrinsic validity thereof. If it is extrinsically valid, the next test is to determine its
also dismissed. A writ of execution was issued by the lower court to implement intrinsic validity – that is whether the provisions of the will are valid according to
the final and executory Order. Private Respondents also filed several motion to the laws of succession. In this case, the court had ruled that the will of Alejandro
convey titles to them. An Order was issued by the lower court setting aside the was extrinsically valid but the intrinsic provisions thereof were void. Thus, the
final and executory order. Private respondents filed a motion for reconsideration rules of intestacy apply as correctly held by the trial court.
of such order but were denied. On appeal in the CA, the CA nullified the previous
orders of the lower court in setting aside the final and executory order and the NOTARIAL WILL
issuance of the writ of execution. Petitioner on the other hand, filed a petition for FELIX AZUELA v. CA, GERALDA CASTILLO substituted by ERNESTO
review assailing the Order of the Court of Appeals upholding contending that the CASTILLO
will should be allowed as the will was earlier admitted to probate. GR No. 12280
FACTS:
ISSUE: A petition was filed by petitioner Felix Azuela seeking to admit to probate the
Whether or not a will admitted to probate but declared intrinsically void in an notarial will of the late Eugenia E. Igsolo, which was notarized on 10 June 1981.
order that has become final and executory still be given effect Petitioner is the son of the cousin of the decedent. The will consisted of 2 pages
and was written in the vernacular Pilipino. The three witnesses to the will affixed
HELD: their signatures on the left-hand margin of both pages of the will, but not at the
The court held that it does not necessarily follow that an extrinsically valid las will bottom of the attestation clause. The probate petition adverted to only 2 heirs,
and testament is always intrinsically valid. Probate proceedings deals generally legatees and devisees of the decedent, namely: petitioner himself, and one Irene
with the extrinsic validity of the will sought to be probated. Such proceedings Lynn Igsolo, who was alleged to have resided abroad. Petitioner prayed that the
focus on these aspects: will be allowed, and that letters testamentary be issued to the designated
a. Whether the will submitted is indeed, the decedent’s last will and executor, Vart Prague.
testament The petition was opposed by Geralda Castillo, who represented herself as
b. Compliance with the prescribed formalities for the execution of wills the attorney-in-fact of "the 12 legitimate heirs" of the decedent. Geralda claimed
c. Testamentary capacity of the testator that:
d. Due execution of the last will and testament.  The will is a forgery, and that the true purpose of its emergence was so
Under the Civil Code, due executuion includes: it could be utilized as a defense in several court cases filed by oppositor
- Determination of whether testator was of sound and disposing mind at against petitioner, particularly for forcible entry and usurpation of real
the time of its execution, property, all centering on petitioner's right to occupy the properties of
the decedent.

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

 She also asserted that contrary to the representations of petitioner, the witnesses as to how many pages consisted the will, the execution of
decedent was actually survived by 12 legitimate heirs, namely her which they had ostensibly just witnessed and subscribed to.
grandchildren, who were then residing abroad.
o Per records, it was alleged that decedent was the widow of 2. The attestation clause was not signed by the instrumental witnesses.
Bonifacio Igsolo, who died in 1965, and the mother of a While the signatures of the instrumental witnesses appear on the left-
legitimate child, Asuncion E. Igsolo, who predeceased her mother hand margin of the will, they do not appear at the bottom of the
by 3 months. attestation clause which after all consists of their averments before the
 Oppositor Geralda Castillo also argued that the will was not executed notary public. Article 805 particularly segregates the requirement that
and attested to in accordance with law. She pointed out that decedent's the instrumental witnesses sign each page of the will, from the requisite
signature did not appear on the second page of the will, and the will was that the will be "attested and subscribed by [the instrumental
not properly acknowledged. These twin arguments are among the central witnesses]." The respective intents behind these two classes of signature
matters to this petition. are distinct from each other. The signatures on the left-hand corner of
RTC: It admitted the will to probate. The RTC favorably took into account the every page signify, among others, that the witnesses are aware that the
testimony of the three (3) witnesses to the will: Quirino Agrava, Lamberto Leano, page they are signing forms part of the will. On the other hand, the
and Juanito Estrada. The RTC also called to fore "the modern tendency in respect signatures to the attestation clause establish that the witnesses are
to the formalities in the execution of a will with the end in view of giving the referring to the statements contained in the attestation clause itself.
testator more freedom in expressing his last wishes;" and from this perspective, Indeed, the attestation clause is separate and apart from the disposition
rebutted oppositor's arguments that the will was not properly executed and of the will. An unsigned attestation clause results in an unattested will.
attested to in accordance with law.
CA: The Order was appealed to the Court of Appeals by Ernesto Castillo, who had 3. The requirement under Article 806 that "every will must be
substituted his since deceased mother-in-law, Geralda Castillo. CA reversed the acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the
trial court decision and ordered the dismissal of the petition for probate. CA noted witnesses" has also not been complied with. An acknowledgment is
that the attestation clause failed to state the number of pages used in the will, thus the act of one who has executed a deed in going before some competent
rendering the will void and undeserving of probate. officer or court and declaring it to be his act or deed. It involves an extra
Hence, the present petition. step undertaken whereby the signor actually declares to the notary that
Petitioner’s contention: Petitioner argues that the requirement under Article the executor of a document has attested to the notary that the same is
805 of the Civil Code that "the number of pages used in a notarial will be stated in his/her own free act and deed. A notarial will that is not acknowledged
the attestation clause" is merely directory, rather than mandatory, and thus before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses is fatally
susceptible to what he termed as "the substantial compliance rule." defective, even if it is subscribed and sworn to before a notary
public.
ISSUE:
Whether the notarial will complied with the requirements of the law and should 4. There are two other requirements under Article 805 which were not fully
be admitted to probate. satisfied by the will in question. However they are no longer material to
the disposition of the case. The provision requires that the testator and
RULING: the instrumental witnesses sign each and every page of the will on the left
No. Petition was denied. The court laid down additional defects of the notarial margin, except the last; and that all the pages shall be numbered
will of the deceased. correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page. In this case,
1. The attestation clause fails to state the number of pages of the the decedent, unlike the witnesses, failed to sign both pages of the will
will. The purpose of the law in requiring the clause to state the number of on the left margin, her only signature appearing at the so-called "logical
pages on which the will is written is to safeguard against possible end" of the will on its first page. Also, the will itself is not numbered
interpolation or omission of one or some of its pages and to prevent any correlatively in letters on each page, but instead numbered with Arabic
increase or decrease in the pages. The failure to state the number of pages numerals.
equates with the absence of an averment on the part of the instrumental
BLIND TESTATOR

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Alvarado v. Gaviola Moreover, it was not only Atty. Rino who read the documents on 5 November and
G.R. No. 74695 September 14, 1993 29 December 1977. The notary public and the three instrumental witnesses
FACTS: likewise read the will and codicil, albeit silently. Afterwards, Atty. Nonia de la
79-year old Brigido Alvarado executed a notarial will entitled "Huling Habilin" Pena (the notary public) and Dr. Crescente O. Evidente (one of the three
wherein he disinherited an illegitimate son (petitioner) and expressly revoked a instrumental witnesses and the testator's physician) asked the testator whether
previously executed holographic will at the time awaiting probate. the contents of the document were of his own free will. Brigido answered in the
Brigido was then suffering from glaucoma. But the disinheritance and revocatory affirmative.
clauses were unchanged. As in the case of the notarial will, the testator did not The spirit behind the law was served though the letter was not. Although there
personally read the final draft of the codicil. Instead, it was private respondent should be strict compliance with the substantial requirements of the law in order
who read it aloud in his presence and in the presence of the three instrumental to insure the authenticity of the will, the formal imperfections should be brushed
witnesses and the notary public who followed the reading using their own copies. aside when they do not affect its purpose and which, when taken into account,
A petition for the probate of the notarial will and codicil was filed upon the may only defeat the testator's will.
testator's death.
Petitioner filed an opposition. HEIRS
VDA. DE PEREZ vs. HON. TOLETE
ISSUE: G.R. No. 76714, 2 June 1994 || Heirs
W/N the notarial will is valid. QUIASON, J p:

HELD: FACTS:
Yes, the will is valid. Dr. Jose F. Cunanan and his wife, Dr. Evelyn Perez-Cunanan, who became
Art. 808. States that If the testator is blind, the will shall be read to him twice; American citizens, established a successful medical practice in New York, U.S.A.
once, by one of the subscribing witnesses, and again, by the notary public before with their children, Jocelyn, 18; Jacqueline, 16; and Josephine, 14.
whom the will is acknowledged. Dr. Cunanan executed a last will and testament, bequeathing to his wife "all the
The rationale behind the requirement of reading the will to the testator if he remainder" of his real and personal property at the time of his death
is blind or incapable of reading the will himself (as when he is illiterate), is to "wheresoever situated". In the event he would survive his wife, he bequeathed all
make the provisions thereof known to him, so that he may be able to object if they his property to his children and grandchildren with Dr. Rafael G. Cunanan, Jr. as
are not in accordance with his wishes trustee. He appointed his wife as executrix of his last will and testament and Dr.
Clear from the foregoing is that Art. 808 applies not only to blind testators but Rafael G. Cunanan, Jr. as substitute executor.
also to those who, for one reason or another, are "incapable of reading the(ir) Four days later, Dr. Evelyn P. Cunanan executed her own last will and testament
will(s)." Since Brigido Alvarado was incapable of reading the final drafts of his will containing the same provisions as that of the will of her husband.
and codicil on the separate occasions of their execution due to his "poor," Dr. Cunanan and his entire family perished when they were trapped by fire that
"defective," or "blurred" vision, there can be no other course for us but to gutted their home. Thereafter, Dr. Rafael Cunanan, Jr. as trustee and substitute
conclude that Brigido Alvarado comes within the scope of the term "blind" as it is executor of the two wills, filed separate proceedings for the probate thereof with
used in Art. 808. the Surrogate Court of the County of Onondaga, New York. these two wills were
This Court has held in a number of occasions that substantial compliance is admitted to probate and letters testamentary were issued in his favor.
acceptable where the purpose of the law has been satisfied, the reason being that Salud Teodoro Perez, the mother of Dr. Evelyn P. Cunanan, and petitioner herein,
the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills are intended to protect the filed with the Regional Trial Court a petition for the reprobate of the two wills
testator from all kinds of fraud and trickery but are never intended to be so rigid ancillary to the probate proceedings in New York. The Regional Trial Court issued
and inflexible as to destroy the testamentary privilege. an order, directing the issuance of letters of special administration in favor of
petitioner upon her filing of a bond. The following day, petitioner posted the bond
In the case at bar, private respondent read the testator's will and codicil aloud in and took her oath as special administratrix.
the presence of the testator, his three instrumental witnesses, and the notary Atty. Federico Alday filed a notice of appearance as counsel for the heirs of Dr.
public. Prior and subsequent thereto, the testator affirmed, upon being asked, that Jose F. Cunanan, namely, Dr. Rafael Cunanan, Sr., Priscilla Cunanan Bautista,
the contents read corresponded with his instructions Lydia Cunanan Ignacio, Felipe F. Cunanan and Loreto Cunanan Concepcion

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

(Cunanan heirs). He also manifested that his clients were unaware of the filing need for such recital because the cross written by the testator after his name is a
of the testate estate case and therefore, "in the interest of simple fair play," sufficient signature and the signature of Atty. Florentino Javier is a surplusage.
they should be notified of the proceedings.
Judge de la Llana issued an order, disallowing the reprobate of the two wills, ISSUE:
recalling the appointment of petitioner as special administratrix, requiring the WON the will is valid
submission of petitioner of an inventory of the property received by her as special
administratrix and declaring all pending incidents moot and academic HELD:
The Will is not valid. According to the supreme court It is not here pretended that
ISSUE: the cross appearing on the will is the usual signature of Antero Mercado or even
Whether or not notice of testator's known heirs, legatees, and devisees, is a pre- one of the ways by which he signed his name. After mature reflection, we are not
requisite in the probate of wills. prepared to liken the mere sign of the cross to a thumbmark, and the reason is
obvious. The cross cannot and does not have the trustworthiness of a thumbmark.
HELD:
The rule that the court having jurisdiction over the reprobate of a will shall What has been said makes it unnecessary for us to determine there is a sufficient
"cause notice thereof to be given as in case of an original will presented for recital in the attestation clause.
allowance" (Revised Rules of Court, Rule 27, Section 2) means that with regard to
notices, the will probated abroad should be treated as if it were an "original will" Yap Tua v. Yap Ca Kuan
or a will that is presented for probate for the first time. Accordingly, compliance G.R. No. 6845; September 1, 1914
with Sections 3 and 4 of Rule 76, which require publication and notice by mail or FACTS:
personally to the "known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator resident in Yap Tua presented a petition in the CFI of Manila, asking the will of Tomasa
the Philippines" and to the executor, if he is not the petitioner, are required. L Elizaga YapCaong be admitted to probate. Two witnesses were presented. After
The brothers and sisters of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan, contrary to petitioner's claim are hearing the witnesses, Judge Crossfield ordered that the last will and testament be
entitled to notices of the time and place for proving the wills. Under Section 4 of allowed and admitted to probate. The court further ordered that Yap Tua be
Rule 76 of the Revised Rules of Court, the "court shall also cause copies of the appointed as executor. Yap Ca Kuan and Yap Ca Lu appeared and presented a
notice of the time and place fixed for proving the will to be addressed to the petition, alleging that they were interested in the matters of the said will and
designated or other known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator, . . .". desired to intervene. The court appointed Gabriel Lao as guardian ad litem of said
The questioned Order is SET ASIDE. Respondent Judge shall allow petitioner parties. The pets alleged that the will had not been authorized nor signed by the
reasonable time within which to submit evidence needed for the joint probate of witnesses as the law prescribes; that the testator was not mentally capacitated to
the wills of the Cunanan spouses and see to it that the brothers and sisters of Dr. execute the will; that the signature was obtained through fraud and illegal
Jose F. Cunanan are given all notices and copies of all pleadings pertinent to the influence. They also claimed that the testator executed another will. The pets
probate proceedings. requested the court to annul and set aside the order, and to grant to said minors
an opportunity to present new proof relating to the due execution of the will. The
EXTRINSIC VALIDITY Judge granted the motion for rehearing. At the rehearing, a number of witnesses
Mercado vs Lacuesta were examined. At the close of the rehearing, the court reached the conclusion
GR No. L-4067 that the will was the last will and testament of Tomasa and admitted it to probate.

FACTS: ISSUE:
A will was executed by Antero Mercado which was signed by Atty. Florentino 1. WON the will was duly executed in accordance with law.
Javier who wrote the name of Antero Mercado, followed below by "A reugo del 2. In the presence?
testator" and the name of Florentino Javier. Antero Mercado is alleged to have
written a cross immediately after his name, such will was invalidated by the court RULING:
of appeals due to a defective attestation clause for failure to state the recitals 1. Yes. . Several witnesses testified that they saw her write the name "Tomasa."
mandated by the law. The case was appealed with the contention that there is no One of the witnesses testified that she had written her full name. We are of the
opinion, and we think the law sustains our conclusion, that if Tomasa Elizaga Yap

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Caong signed any portion of her name in the will, with the intention to sign the the bottom by the three witnesses, it is not necessary that both sheets be further
same, that it will amount to a signature. It has been held time and time again that signed on their margins by the testator and the witnesses, or be paged.
one who makes a will may sign the same by using a mark, the name having been
written by others. If writing a mark simply upon a will is sufficient indication of The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close
the intention of the person to make and execute a will, then certainly the writing the door against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and testaments
of a portion or all of her name ought to be accepted as a clear indication of her and to guaranty their truth and authenticity. Therefore the laws on this subject
intention to execute the will. should be interpreted in such a way as to attain these primordial ends. But, on the
2. Yes. An effort was made to show that the will was signed by the witnesses in other hand, also one must not lose sight of the fact that it is not the object of the
one room and by Tomasa in another. A plan of the room or rooms in which the law to restrain and curtail the exercise of the right to make a will. So when an
will was signed was presented as proof and it was shown that there was but one interpretation already given assures such ends, any other interpretation
room; that one part of the room was one or two steps below the floor of the other; whatsoever, that adds nothing but demands more requisites entirely unnecessary,
that the table on which the witnesses signed the will was located upon the lower useless and frustative of the testator’s last will, must be disregarded.
floor of the room. It was also shown that from the bed in which Tomasa was lying,
it was possible for her to see the table on which the witnesses signed the will. LOPEZ vs. LIBORO
While the rule is absolute that one who makes a will must sign the same in the G.R. No. L-1787, August 27, 1948, 81 PHIL 429-434
presence of the witnesses and that the witnesses must sign in the presence of each FACTS:
other, as well as in the presence of the one making the will, yet, nevertheless, the In the Court of First Instance of Batangas the appellant opposed unsuccessfully
actual seeing of the signatures made is not necessary. It is sufficient if the the probate of the last will and testament of Don Sixto Lopez, who died at the age
signatures are made where it is possible for each of the necessary parties, if they of 83 in Balayan, Batangas, on March 3, 1947, almost six months after the
desire to see, may see the signatures placed upon the will. document in question was executed. In the court below, the present appellant
specified five grounds for his opposition, to wit: (1) that the deceased never
Abangan v. Abangan executed the alleged will; (2) that his signature appearing in said will was a
GR No. L-1343 November 12, 1919 forgery; (3) that at the time of the execution of the will, he was wanting in
FACTS: testamentary as well as mental capacity due to advanced age; (4) that, if he did
The Court of First Instance of Cebu admitted to probate the will of the late Ana ever execute said will, it was not executed and attested as required by law, and
Abangan. The said will consists of two sheets of paper, the first of which contains one of the alleged instrumental witnesses was incapacitated to act as such; and it
all of the dispositions of the testatrix, duly signed at the bottom by Martin was procured by duress, influence of fear and threats and undue and improper
Montalban (in the name and under the direction of the testatrix) and by three pressure and influence on the part of the beneficiaries instituted therein,
witnesses. The following sheet contains only the attestation clause duly signed at principally the testator's sister, Clemencia Lopez, and the herein proponent, Jose
the bottom by the three instrumental witnesses. Neither of these sheets is signed S. Lopez; and (5) that the signature of the testator was procured by fraud or trick.
on the left margin by the testatrix and the three witnesses, nor numbered by
letters; and these omissions, according to appellants’ contention, are defects ISSUE:
whereby the probate of the will should have been denied. Whether or not the will is valid.
Whether or not proof aliunde could be presented to establish that
ISSUE: the testator understood the language used in the will.
Whether or not the will is extrinsically valid
HELD:
HELD: 1st issue: YES. The will is valid. The purpose of the law in prescribing
The will is extrinsically valid and there is substantial compliance with the the paging of wills is to guard against fraud, and to afford means of preventing the
formalities required by law. substitution or of detecting the loss of any of its pages. (Abangan vs. Abangan, 40
A will consisting of two sheets the first of which contains all the Phil., 476.) In the present case, the omission to put a page number on the first
testamentary dispositions and is signed at the bottom by the testator and three sheet, if that be necessary, is supplied by other forms of identification more
witnesses and the second contains only the attestation clause and is signed also at trustworthy than the conventional numeral words or characters. The
unnumbered page is clearly identified as the first page by the internal sense

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

of its contents considered in relation to the contents of the second page. By direction of the testator. This fact however was not recited in the attestation
their meaning and coherence, the first and second lines on the second page clause. Mercado also affixed a cross on the will.
are undeniably a continuation of the last sentence of the testament, before
the attestation clause, which starts at the bottom of the preceding page. The lower court admitted the will to probate but this order was reversed by the
The testator affixed his thumbmark to the instrument instead of signing Court of Appeals on the ground that the attestation failed to recite the facts
his name. The reason for this was that the testator was suffering from "partial surrounding the signing of the testator and the witnesses.
paralysis." While another in testator's place might have directed someone else to
sign for him, as appellant contends should have been done, there is nothing ISSUE:
curious or suspicious in the fact that the testator chose the use of mark as the Whether or not the attestation clause in the will is valid
means of authenticating his will. It was a matter of taste or preference. Both ways
are good. A statute requiring a will to be "signed" is satisfied if the signature is HELD:
made by the testator's mark. (De Gala vs. Gonzales and Ona, 53 Phil., 108; 28 R. C. NO the attestation is fatally defective for its failure to state that Antero or the
L., 117.) testator caused Atty. Javier to write the former's name under his express direction
2nd issue: YES. Proof aliunde may be submitted to prove that testator as required by Sec. 618 of the Civil Procedure. Finally, on the cross affixed on the
understood the language with which the will was writted. will by the testator, the Court held that it is not prepared to liken the mere sign of
It is within the discretion of the court whether or not to admit further a cross to a thumbmark for obvious reasons- the cross does not have the
evidence after the party offering the evidence has rested, and this discretion will trustworthiness of a thumbmark so it is not considered as a valid signature.
not be reviewed except where it has clearly been abused. More, it is within the
sound discretion of the court whether or not it will allow the case to Taboada v. Rosal
be reopened for the further introduction of evidence after a motion or request for GR No. L-36033
a nonsuit, or a demurrer to the evidence, and the case may be reopened after the FACTS:
court has announced its intention as to its ruling on the request, motion, or A petition for probate was filed with the respondent court by petitioner attaching
demurrer, or has granted it or has denied the same, or after the motion has been the alleged last will and testament of the late Dorotea Perez. Written in the
granted, if the order has not been written, or entered upon the minutes or signed. Cebuano-Visayan dialect, the will consists of two pages. The first page contains the
After the parties have produced their respective direct proofs, they are allowed to entire testamentary dispositions and is signed at the end or bottom of the page by
offer rebutting evidence only, but, it has been held, the court, for good reasons, in the testatrix alone and at the left hand margin by the three (3) instrumental
the furtherance of justice, may permit them to offer evidence upon their original witnesses. The second page which contains the attestation clause and the
case, and its ruling will not be disturbed in the appellate court where no abuse of acknowledgment is signed at the end of the attestation clause by the three (3)
discretion appears. (Siuliong & Co. vs. Ylagan, 43 Phil., 393; U. S. vs. Alviar, 36 Phil., attesting witnesses and at the left hand margin by the testatrix.
804.) Since no opposition was filed after the petitioner's compliance with the
Although alien to the second assignment of error, the appellant impugns requirement of publication, the trial court commissioned the branch clerk of court
the will for its silence on the testator's understanding of the language used in the to receive the petitioner's evidence. Accordingly, the petitioner submitted his
testament. There is no statutory requirement that such knowledge be expressly evidence and presented Vicente Timkang, one of the subscribing witnesses to the
stated in the will itself. It is a matter that may be established by proof aliunde. will, who testified on its genuineness and due execution.

Garcia v. Lacuesta TRIAL COURT: Then Presiding Judge Ramon C. Pamatian - denied the probate of
90 Phil 489, 29 November 1951 || Extrinsic Validity the will of Dorotea Perez for want of a formality in its execution and petitioner
FACTS: was also required to submit the names of the intestate heirs with their
The CA disallowed the probate of the will of Antero Mercado dated Jan 1943. The corresponding addresses so that they could be properly notified and could
said will was written in Ilocano dialect. intervene in the summary settlement of the estate.
Instead of complying with the order of the trial court, the petitioner filed a
The will appears to have been signed by Atty. Florentino Javier who wrote the manifestation and/or motion, ex parte praying for a thirty-day period within
name of the testator followed below by 'A ruego del testador' and the name of which to deliberate on any step to be taken as a result of the disallowance of the
Florentino Javier. In effect, it was signed by another although under the express will and that the requirement of the submission of names of intestate heirs with

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

their addresses be held in abeyance. A motion for reconsideration of the order Insofar as the requirement of subscription is concerned, it is our considered view
denying the probate of the will and a motion for the appointment of special that the will in this case was subscribed in a manner which fully satisfies the
administrator were also filed by petitioner. purpose of Identification.The signatures of the instrumental witnesses on the left
Since Judge Pamatian was transferred to his new station at Pasig, Rizal, the margin of the first page of the will attested not only to the genuineness of the
motion together with the previous manifestation and/or motion could not be signature of the testatrix but also the due execution of the will as embodied in the
acted upon. attestation clause.While perfection in the drafting of a will may be desirable,
Subsequently, the new Judge denied the motion for reconsideration, the unsubstantial departure from the usual forms should be ignored, especially where
manifestation and/or motion filed ex parte and the motion for the appointment of the authenticity of the will is not assailed.
special administrator was likewise denied because of the petitioner's failure to Report of the Code commission, p. 103 The law is to be liberally construed, "the
comply with the order requiring him to submit the names of' the intestate heirs underlying and fundamental objective permeating the provisions on the law on
and their addresses. wills in this project consists in the liberalization of the manner of their execution
with the end in view of giving the testator more freedom in expressing his last
ISSUE: wishes but with sufficient safeguards and restrictions to prevent the commission
For the validity of a formal notarial will, does Article 805 of the Civil Code require of fraud and the exercise of undue and improper pressure and influence upon the
that the testatrix and all the three instrumental and attesting witnesses sign at the testator. This objective is in accord with the modern tendency in respect to the
end of the will and in the presence of the testatrix and of one another? formalities in the execution of a will."
Singson v. Florentino, et al. (92 Phil. 161, 164) (with respect to the purpose of the
HELD: requirement that the attestation clause must state the number of pages used)
No. The objects of attestation and of subscription were fully met and satisfied in The ratio decidendi of these cases seems to be that the attestation clause must
the present case when the instrumental witnesses signed at the left margin of the contain a statement of the number of sheets or pages composing the will and that
sole page which contains all the testamentary dispositions, especially so when the if this is missing or is omitted, it will have the effect of invalidating the will if the
will was properly Identified by subscribing witness Vicente Timkang to be the deficiency cannot be supplied, not by evidence aliunde, but by a consideration or
same will executed by the testatrix. There was no question of fraud or substitution examination of the will itself.
behind the questioned order. Icasiano v. Icasiano (11 SCRA 422, 429) The law should not be so strictly and
The respondent Judge interprets the above-quoted provision of law to require literally interpreted as to penalize the testatrix on account of the inadvertence of a
that, for a notarial will to be valid, it is not enough that only the testatrix signs at single witness over whose conduct she had no control where the purpose of the
the "end" but an the three subscribing witnesses must also sign at the same place law to guarantee the Identity of the testament and its component pages is
or at the end, in the presence of the testatrix and of one another because the sufficiently attained, no intentional or deliberate deviation existed, and the
attesting witnesses to a will attest not merely the will itself but also the signature evidence on record attests to the fun observance of the statutory requisites.
of the testator. It is not sufficient compliance to sign the page, where the end of the The present petition is granted. The orders of the respondent court which denied
will is found, at the left hand margin of that page. the probate of tile will, the motion for reconsideration of the denial of probate,
Undoubtedly, under Article 805 of the Civil Code, the will must be subscribed or and the motion for appointment of a special administrator are set aside. The
signed at its end by the testator himself or by the testator's name written by respondent court is ordered to allow the probate of the will and to conduct
another person in his presence, and by his express direction, and attested and further proceedings in accordance with the decision.
subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and
of one another. NERA VS RAYMUNDO
It must be noted that the law uses the terms attested and subscribed Attestation 18 Phil 450
consists in witnessing the testator's execution of the will in order to see and take FACTS:
note mentally that those things are, done which the statute requires for the The subscribing witness, Javellana, was in the outer room; while, the testator ,
execution of a will and that the signature of the testator exists as a fact. On the Jaboneta, and the other witnesses were in the (small) inner room when the
other hand, subscription is the signing of the witnesses' names upon the same testator signed the instrument. The witness was probably 8 to 10 ft. away in a
paper for the purpose of Identification of such paper as the will which was large room which was connected to the smaller room by a doorway with a curtain.
executed by the testator.
ISSUE:

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Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Whether the execution and signing of the will was made in the presence of the 11. In Lorenzo’s last will and testament he bequeathed all his properties to
testator and of one another Alicia and their three children.
12. The will was notarized by Notary Public Salvador M. Occiano and was
RULING: duly signed by Lorenzo with attesting witnesses Francis Hugo, Francisco Neibres
YES. and Tito Trajano.
The true test of presence of the testator and witnesses in the execution of a will is 13.
NOT whether they actually saw each other sign, but whether they might have seen Lorenzo filed a petition for probate and allowance of his last will and
each other sign had they chosen to do so considering the mental and physicial testament. Alicia was appointed as Special Administratix of his estate.
condition at the time of inscription of each signature. 14. Initially, the trial court denied the motion saying that the will cannot be
During that time, the witness was actually and physically present. He was in such admitted because Lorenzo was still alive but later on admitted the will to probate.
a position that he could see everything that took place by merely casting his eyes Before the proceedings could be terminated, Lorenzo died.
in the proper direction and without any physical obstruction to prevent him from 15. Paula filed a petition for letters of administration over Lorenzo’s estate in
doing so. her favor.
16. Alicia on the other hand filed in the testate proceeding a petition for the
issuance of letters testamentary.
17. The RTC declared the divorce decree void and therefore the subsequent
marriage of Lorenzo and Alicia is likewise void. Alicia’s petition for the issuance of
SUBSTANTIVE OF INTRINSIC VALIDITY the letters testamentary is denied. She was also not allowed to receive any share
Llorente v. CA from the estate of Lorenzo.
G.R. No. 124371, November 23, 2000
FACTS: ISSUE:
1. Lorenzo N. Llorente was an enlisted serviceman of the United States Whether the will is intrinsically valid
Navy.
2. Lorenzo married Paula Llorente in Camarines Sur. HELD:
3. Before the war started, Lorenzo went back to the United States and Paula The Civil Code provides:
stayed in Camarines Sur. “Art. 17. The forms and solemnities of contracts, wills, and other public
4. Later on, Lorenzo was granted a US citizenship and Certificate of instruments shall be governed by the laws of the country in which they are
Naturalization. executed.
5. After the war, Lorenzo went back t the Philippines and found that his wife “When the acts referred to are executed before the diplomatic or consular officials
was pregnant and was living with Lorenzo’s brother, Ceferino Llorente. of the Republic of the Philippines in a foreign country, the solemnities established
6. When Paula gave birth, she named her son Crisologo Llorente and left the by Philippine laws shall be observed in their execution.”
father’s name blank. The clear intent of Lorenzo to bequeath his property to his second wife and
7. Lorenzo and Paula then executed an agreement saying that he would no children by her is glaringly shown in the will he executed. We do not wish to
longer giver her financial support, that they would dissolve their marital union, frustrate his wishes, since he was a foreigner, not covered by our laws on “family
that they made a separate agreement regarding their conjugal property acquired rights and duties, status, condition and legal capacity.”
during their marital life and that Lorenzo will not prosecute Paula for adultery if Whether the will is intrinsically valid and who shall inherit from Lorenzo are
she would admit her fault and agreed to separate with Lorenzo. issues best proved by foreign law which must be pleaded and proved. Whether
8. Lorenzo returned to the United States and filed a divorce before the the will was executed in accordance with the formalities required is answered by
Superior Court of the State of California and for the County of San Diego. referring to Philippine law. In fact, the will was duly probated.
9. On December 1952, the divorce became final. Lorenzo then returned to As a guide however, the trial court should note that whatever public policy or
the Philippines. good customs may be involved in our system of legitimes, Congress did not intend
10. Thereafter, Lorenzo married Alicia Llorente, who had no knowledge to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals. Congress specifically left
about the first marriage. Lorenzo and Alicia had three children namely Raul, Luz the amount of successional rights to the decedent's national law.
and Beverly. Having thus ruled, we find it unnecessary to pass upon the other issues raised

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Wherefore, the order of the probate court is hereby affirmed in toto, with costs
Bellis v. Bellis against appellant.
20 SCRA 358 || Substantive or intrinsic validity
FACTS: Cayetano v. Leonidas
Amos G. Bellis, born in Texas, was "a citizen of the State of Texas and of the United G.R. No. L-54919 May 30, 1984
States." By his first wife, Mary E. Mallen, whom he divorced, he had five legitimate FACTS:
children (1 died during infancy); by his second wife, Violet Kennedy, who survived On January 31, 1977, Adoracion C. Campos died, leaving her father, petitioner
him, he had three legitimate children; and finally, he had three illegitimate Hermogenes Campos and her sisters, private respondent Nenita C. Paguia,
children. Remedios C. Lopez and Marieta C. Medina as the surviving heirs. As Hermogenes
Amos G. Bellis executed a will in the Philippines, in which he directed that after all Campos was the only compulsory heir, he executed an Affidavit of Adjudication
taxes, obligations, and expenses of administration are paid for, his distributable whereby he adjudicated unto himself the ownership of the entire estate of the
estate should be divided, in trust, in the following order and manner: (a) deceased Adoracion Campos.
$240,000.00 to his first wife, Mary E. Mallen; (b) P120,000.00 to his three Reprobate of the Will
illegitimate children, or P40,000.00 each and (c) after the foregoing two items Nenita C. Paguia filed a petition for the reprobate of a will of the deceased,
have been satisfied, the remainder shall go to his seven surviving children by his Adoracion Campos, which was allegedly executed in the United States and for her
first and second wives. Subsequently, Amos Bel;is died, a resident of San Antonio, appointment as administratrix of the estate of the deceased testatrix.
Texas, U.S.A. His will was admitted to probate in CFI of Manila. Nenita alleged that the testatrix was an American citizen at the time of her death
The People’s Bank and Trust Company, as executor of the will, paid all the and was a permanent resident of 4633 Ditman Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
bequests which it released from time to time according as the CFI approved. U.S.A.; that the testatrix died in Manila on January 31, 1977 while temporarily
2 of the illegitimate children filed their opposition with regards to the project of residing with her sister at 2167 Leveriza, Malate, Manila; that during her lifetime,
partition, (refer to (c) above) on the ground that they were deprived of their the testatrix made her last will and testament on July 10, 1975, according to the
legitimes as illegitimate children and, therefore, compulsory heirs of the deceased. laws of Pennsylvania, U.S.A., that after the testatrix death, her last will and
CFI overruled the opposition relying upon Art. 16 of the Civil Code, it applied the testament was presented, probated, allowed, and registered with the Registry of
national law of the decedent, which in this case is Texas law, which did not Wins at the County of Philadelphia, U.S.A, and that therefore, there is an urgent
provide for legitimes, hence the appeal. need for the appointment of an administratrix to administer and eventually
distribute the properties of the estate located in the Philippines.
ISSUE: Contention of Hermogenes Campos (Father of Adoracion)
WON the Texas law must apply in this case An opposition to the reprobate of the will was filed by herein petitioner alleging
among other things, that he has every reason to believe that the will in question is
HELD: a forgery; that the intrinsic provisions of the will are null and void; and that even
YES if pertinent American laws on intrinsic provisions are invoked, the same could not
The doctrine of RENVOI does not apply in this case. As stated in the case of apply inasmuch as they would work injustice and injury to him.
Aznar vs. Christensen Garcia, said doctrine is usually pertinent where the Petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss Opposition (With Waiver of Rights or
decedent is a national of one country, and a domicile of another. In the present Interests) stating that he "has been able to verify the veracity thereof (of the will)
case, it is not disputed that the decedent was both a national of Texas and a and now confirms the same to be truly the probated will of his daughter
domicile thereof at the time of his death. So that even assuming Texas has a Adoracion."
conflict of law rule providing that the domiciliary system (law of the domicile) Respondent judge issued an order admitting and allowing probate in the
should govern, the same would not result in a reference back (renvoi) to Philippines the Last Will and Testament of the late Adoracion C. Campos and
Philippine law, but would still refer to Texas law. Nenita Campos Paguia is hereby appointed Administratrix of the estate of said
The parties admit that the decedent, Amos G. Bellis, was a citizen of the State of decedent.
Texas, U.S.A., and that under the laws of Texas, there are no forced heirs or Another manifestation was filed by the petitioner on April 14, 1979, confirming
legitimes. Accordingly, since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the withdrawal of his opposition, acknowledging the same to be his voluntary act
the amount of successional rights are to be determined under Texas law, the and deed.
Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of Amos G. Bellis.

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Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

On May 25, 1979, Hermogenes Campos filed a petition for relief, praying that the whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the
order allowing the will be set aside on the ground that the withdrawal of his property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found.
opposition to the same was secured through fraudulent means.
When the case was called for hearing on this date, the counsel for petitioner tried Art. 1039.
to argue his motion to vacate instead of adducing evidence in support of the Capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the decedent.
petition for relief. Thus, the respondent judge issued an order dismissing the The law which governs Adoracion Campo's will is the law of Pennsylvania, U.S.A.,
petition for relief for failure to present evidence in support thereof. Petitioner which is the national law of the decedent. Although the parties admit that the
filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied. Pennsylvania law does not provide for legitimes and that all the estate may be
Meanwhile, on June 6,1982, petitioner Hermogenes Campos died and left a will, given away by the testatrix to a complete stranger, the petitioner argues that such
which, incidentally has been questioned by the respondent, his children and law should not apply because it would be contrary to the sound and established
forced heirs as, on its face, patently null and void, and a fabrication, appointing public policy and would run counter to the specific provisions of Philippine Law.
Polly Cayetano as the executrix of his last will and testament. Cayetano, therefore, It is a settled rule that as regards the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will,
filed a motion to substitute herself as petitioner in the instant case which was as provided for by Article 16(2) and 1039 of the Civil Code, the national law of the
granted by the court decedent must apply.
WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari and prohibition is hereby dismissed for
ISSUE: lack of merit.
Whether or not the reprobation of the will is invalid for it divested the father of
his legitime JOINT WILLS
Alsua-Betts v. CA
HELD: G.R. No.L-4643031, July 30,1979
NO. FACTS:
As a general rule, the probate court's authority is limited only to the extrinsic On November 25, 1949, Don Jesus Alsua and his wife, Doña Florentina Rella, both
validity of the will, the due execution thereof, the testatrix's testamentary capacity of Ligao, Albay, together with all their living children, Francisca Alsua-Betts, Pablo
and the compliance with the requisites or solemnities prescribed by law. The Alsua, Fernando Alsua thru this judicial guardian Clotilde Samson, and Amparo
intrinsic validity of the will normally comes only after the court has declared that Alsua de Buenviaje, entered into a duly notarized agreement, Escritura de
the will has been duly authenticated. However, where practical considerations Particion Extrajudicial , over the then present and existing properties of the
demand that the intrinsic validity of the will be passed upon, even before it is spouses Don Jesus and Doña Florentina.
probated, the court should meet the issue. On Jan. 5, 1955, Don Jesus and Doña Florentina, also known as Doña Tinay
In the case at bar, the petitioner maintains that since the respondent judge separately executed their respective holographic wills, the provisions of which
allowed the reprobate of Adoracion's will, Hermogenes C. Campos was divested of were in conformity and in implementation of the extrajudicial partition of Nov. 25,
his legitime which was reserved by the law for him. 1949.
This contention is without merit. On Aug.14, 1956, the spouses Don Jesus and Doña Tinay executed their mutual
Although on its face, the will appeared to have preterited the petitioner and thus, and reciprocal codicils amending and supplementing their respective holographic
the respondent judge should have denied its reprobate outright, the private wills. On Feb. 19, 1957, their respective holographic wills and the codicils thereto
respondents have sufficiently established that Adoracion was, at the time of her were duly admitted to probate.
death, an American citizen and a permanent resident of Philadelphia, Doña Tinay died in October 1959. In early Nov. 1959, Don Jesus cancelled his
Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Therefore, under Article 16 par. (2) and 1039 of the Civil holographic will and instructed his attorney to draft a new will. This subsequent
Code which respectively provide: last Will and Testament of Don Jesus executed on Nov. 14, 1959 contained an
Art. 16 par. (2). express revocation of his holographic will of Jan. 5, 1955 and the codicil of Aug.14,
xxx xxx xxx 1956; a statement requiring that all of his properties donated to his children in
However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order the Deed of 1949 be collated and taken into account in the partition of his estate;
of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity the institution of all his children as devisees and legatees to certain specific
of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person properties; a statement bequeathing the rest of his properties and all that may be

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

acquired in the future, before his death, to Pablo and Francesca; and a statement Upon the death of Doña Tinay on October 2, 1959, her share in the free portion
naming Francesca as executrix without bond. was distributed in accordance with her holographic will dated January 25, 1955
Don Jesus Alsua died in 1964. Petitioner Francisca Alsua Betts, as the executrix and her codicil dated August 14, 1956. It must be stressed here that the
named in the will of Nov. 14, 1959, filed a petition for the probate of said new will distribution of her properties was subject to her holographic will and codicil,
of Don Jesus Alsua before the CFI Albay and was docketed as. Oppositions thereto independently of the holographic will and codicil of Don Jesus executed by him on
were filed by respondents Pablo, Amparo and Fernando. CFI allowed the the the same date. This is fundamental because otherwise, to consider both wills and
probate of the will of Don Jesus Alsua. CA reversed: denied the probate of the will, codicils jointly would be to circumvent the prohibition of the Civil Code on joint
declared null and void the two sales subject of the complaint and ordered the wills (Art. 818) and secondly because upon the death of Doña Tinay, only her
defendants-petitioners, to pay damages to the plaintiffs-private respondents. estate was being settled, and not that of Don Jesus.
Hence, this petition.
WITNESSES TO WILLS
ISSUE: RIZALINA GABRIEL GONZALES vs COURT OF APPEALS and LUTGARDA
1.Whether or not the will should be probated SANTIAGO
2. Whether or not there was violation of the law regarding the prohibition of joint G.R. No. L-37453 May 25, 1979
wills FACTS:
Lutgarda Santiago filed a petition with the CFI of Rizal , for the probate of a will
HELD: alleged to have been executed by the deceased Isabel Gabriel, who died as a
1. Yes, the will should be probated. The Court of Appeals erred in holding that Don widow at age 85. Lutgarda Santiago and Rizalina Gonzales are nieces of the
Jesus being a party to the extrajudicial partition of 1949 was contractually bound deceased. Lutgarda, with her husband and children, lived with the deceased at the
by the provisions thereof and hence could not revoke his participation therein by latters residence prior and up to the time of her death.
the simple expedience of making a new will with contrary provisions or
dispositions. It is an error because the so-called extrajudicial partition of 1949 is The will provides that legacies in specified amounts be given to her sister, her
void and inoperative as a partition; neither is it a valid or enforceable contract brother and her nephews and nieces, including herein petitioner. To Lutgarda,
because it involved future inheritance; it may only be given effect as a donation were bequeathed all properties and estate, real or personal already acquired, or to
inter vivos of specific properties to the heirs made by the parents. be acquired, in her testatrix name, after satisfying the expenses, debts and legacies
2. No, there was none. Considering that the document, the extrajudicial partition as aforementioned.
of November 25, 1949, contained specific designation of properties allotted to
each child, We rule that there was substantial compliance with the rules on Isabel chose to have her will witnessed by Matilde Orobia, the piano tacher of her
donations inter vivos under the old Civil Code (Article 633). On the other hand, grandchild, Celso Gimpaya, her driver and Maria Gimpaya, the wife of the driver.
there could have been no valid donation to the children of the other half reserved
as the free portion of Don Jesus and Doña Tinay which, as stated in the deed, was The petition was opposed by Rizalina Gabriel Gonzales, herein petitioner,
to be divided equally among the children for the simple reason that the property assailing primarily that the document purporting to be the will of the deceased
or properties were not specifically described in the public instrument, an essential was not executed and attested as required by law. She argues that there was
requirement under Article 633. absolutely no proof that the three instrumental witnesses were credible
This other half, therefore, remained as the disposable free portion of the spouses witnesses. Further, that the requirement in Article 806, Civil Code, that the
which may be disposed of in such manner that either of the spouses would like in witnesses must be credible is an absolute requirement which must be complied
regards to his or her share in such portion, unencumbered by the provision with before an alleged last will and testament may be admitted to probate and
enjoining the last surviving spouse to give equally to the children what belongs or that to be a credible witness, there must be evidence on record that the witness
would pertain to him or her. The end result, therefore, is that Don Jesus and Doña has a good standing in his community, or that he is honest and upright, or reputed
Tinay, in the Deed of 1949, made to their children valid donations of only one-half to be trustworthy and reliable. She alleges that unless the qualifications of the
of their combined properties which must be charged against their legitime and witness are first established, his testimony may not be favorably considered.
cannot anymore be revoked unless inofficious; the other half remained entirely at Petitioner contends that the term "credible" is not synonymous with "competent"
the free disposal of the spouses with regards to their respective shares. for a witness may be competent under Article 820 and 821 of the Civil Code and
still not be credible as required by Article 805 of the same Code. It is further urged

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Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

that the term "credible" as used in the Civil Code should receive the same settled Under the law, there is no mandatory requirement that the witness testify as to
and well- known meaning it has under the Naturalization Law, the latter being a his good standing in the community, his reputation for trustworthythiness and
kindred legislation with the Civil Code provisions on wills with respect to the reliableness, his honesty and uprightness in order that his testimony may be
qualifications of witnesses. believed and accepted by the trial court. It is enough that the qualifications
enumerated in Article 820 of the Civil Code are complied with, such that the
soundness of his mind can be shown by or deduced from his answers to the
RULING OF RTC: questions propounded to him, that his age (18 years or more) is shown from his
After trial, the CFI rendered judgment DISALLOWING THE WILL based on findings appearance, testimony , or competently proved otherwise, as well as the fact that
that sufficient and abundant evidence warrants conclusively the fact that the he is not blind, deaf or dumb and that he is able to read and write to the
purported will of the deceased was not executed and attested as required by law; satisfaction of the Court, and that he has none of the disqualifications under
Article 821 of the Civil Code. We reject petitioner's contention that it must first be
From this judgment of disallowance, Lutgarda Santiago appealed to respondent established in the record the good standing of the witness in the community, his
Court of Appeals, hence, the only issue decided on appeal was whether or not the reputation for trustworthiness and reliableness, his honesty and uprightness,
will in question was executed and attested as required by law. because such attributes are presumed of the witness unless the contrary is proved
otherwise by the opposing party.
RULING OF CA:
The will in question was signed and executed by the deceased Isabel Gabriel on We also reject as without merit petitioner's contention that the term "credible" as
April 15, 1961 in the presence of the three attesting witnesses, Matilde Orobia, used in the Civil Code should be given the same meaning it has under the
Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya, signing and witnessing the document in the Naturalization Law where the law is mandatory that the petition for
presence of the deceased and of each other as required by law, hence ALLOWED naturalization must be supported by two character witnesses who must prove
PROBATE. their good standing in the community, reputation for trustworthiness and
reliableness, their honesty and uprightness. The two witnesses in a petition for
Petitioner appealed to SC. naturalization are character witnesses in that being citizens of the Philippines,
they personally know the petitioner to be a resident of the Philippines for the
ISSUE: period of time required by the Act and a person of good repute and morally
Whether or not the will was executed and attested as required by law irreproachable and that said petitioner has in their opinion all the qualifications
necessary to become a citizen of the Philippines and is not in any way disqualified
HELD: under the provisions of the Naturalization Law.
We find no merit to petitioner's contentions. Article 820 of the Civil Code provides
the qualifications of a witness to the execution of wills while Article 821 sets forth In probate proceedings, the instrumental witnesss are not character witnesses for
the disqualification from being a witness to a win. These Articles state: they merely attest the execution of a will or testament and affirm the formalities
attendant to said execution. The rulings laid down in the cases cited by petitioner
Art. 820. Any person of sound mind and of the age of eighteen years or more, and concerning character witnesses in naturalization proceedings are not applicable
not blind, deaf or dumb, and able to read and write, may be a witness to the to instrumental witnesses to wills executed under the Civil Code of the
execution of a will mentioned in article 806 of this Code. " Philippines.

Art. 821. The following are disqualified from being witnesses to a will: In the case at bar, the finding that each and everyone of the three instrumental
witnesses, namely, Matilde Orobia, Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya, are
(1) Any person not domiciled in the Philippines, competent and credible is satisfactorily supported by the evidence as found by the
respondent Court of Appeals, which findings of fact this Tribunal is bound to
(2) Those who have been convicted of falsification of a document, perjury or false accept and rely upon. Moreover, petitioner has not pointed to any disqualification
testimony. of any of the said witnesses, much less has it been shown that anyone of them is
below 18 years of age, of unsound mind, deaf or dumb, or cannot read or write.

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

- There is no doubt as to the testamentary capacity of the testatrix and the


due execution of the will.
- Art. 830 states that:
REVOCATION OF WILL AND TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITIONS o “ No will shall be revoked except in the following
TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE ADRIANA MALOTO vs. COURT OF APPEALS cases:
GR No. 76464 o (1) By implication of law; or
FACTS: o (2) By some will, codicil, or other writing executed as
- Adriana Maloto died leaving as heirs her niece and nephews, the provided in case of wills: or
petitioners Aldina Maloto-Casiano and Constancio Maloto, and the private o (3) By burning, tearing, cancelling, or obliterating
respondents Panfilo Maloto and Felino Maloto. the will with the intention of revoking it, by the
- Believing that the deceased did not leave behind a last will and testament, testator himself, or by some other person in his
they commenced an intestate proceeding for the settlement of their presence, and by his express direction. If burned,
aunt's estate. torn, cancelled, or obliterated by some other
- However, while the case was still in progress, they executed an person, without the express direction of the
agreement of extrajudicial settlement of Adriana's estate. testator, the will may still be established, and the
- The agreement provided for the division of the estate into four equal estate distributed in accordance therewith, if its
parts among the parties. contents, and due execution, and the fact of its
- Three years later, Atty. Sulpicio Palma, a former associate of Adriana's unauthorized destruction, cancellation, or
counsel, the late Atty. Eliseo Hervas, discovered a document entitled obliteration are established according to the
"KATAPUSAN NGA PAGBULUT-AN (Testamento)," dated January 3, 1940, Rules of Court”
and purporting to be the last will and testament of Adriana. - It is clear that the physical act of destruction of a will, like burning in this
- He found the testament, the original copy, inside the cabinet drawer case, does not per se constitute an effective revocation, unless the
formerly used by Atty. Hervas. destruction is coupled with animus revocandi on the part of the testator.
- In the wil,l Aldina and Constancio are bequeathed much bigger and more - It is not imperative that the physical destruction be done by the testator
valuable shares in the estate of Adriana than what they received by virtue himself. It may be performed by another person but under the express
of the agreement of extrajudicial settlement they had earlier signed. direction and in the presence of the testator. Of course, it goes without
- The will likewise gives devises and legacies to other parties, among them saying that the document destroyed must be the will itself.
being the petitioners Asilo de Molo, the Roman Catholic Church of Molo, - In this case, while animus revocandi, or the intention to revoke, may be
and Purificacion Miraflor. conceded, for that is a state of mind, yet that requisite alone would not
- Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration and annulment of the suffice.
proceedings therein and for the allowance of the will. - Animus revocandi is only one of the necessary elements for the effective
- The Appellate Court found that the will has been revoked upon finding revocation of a last will and testament. The intention to revoke must be
that the will was part of the documents or papers allegedly burned by accompanied by the overt physical act of burning, tearing, oblitemrating,
Adriana’s maid, Guadalupe, upon instructions of the testatrix. or cancelling the will carried out by the testator or by another person in
- However, the Appellate Court is still inconclusive of whether the said his presence and under his express direction.
burned “will”, is in fact Adriana’s will. Nonetheless, The Appellate Court - In this case, there is noncompliance with the requirements.
stated that the presence of animus revocandi in the destruction of the o For one, the document or papers burned by Adriana's maid,
said “will” had, nevertheless, been sufficiently proven. Guadalupe, was not satisfactorily established to be a will at all,
much less the will of Adriana Maloto.
ISSUE: o For another, the burning was not proven to have been done
- Whether or not the will was revoked by Adriana. [NO] under the express direction of Adriana. And then, the burning
was not in her presence.
HELD: o Both witnesses, Guadalupe and Eladio, were one in stating that
they were the only ones present at the place where the stove

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

(presumably in the kitchen) was located in which the papers


proffered as a will were burned. The Civil Code requires it to be protocoled and presented to the judge, (Art. 689)
who shall subscribe it and require its identity to be established by the three
Gan vs Yap witnesses who depose that they have no reasonable doubt that the will was
G.R. No. L-12190. August 30, 1958 || Testamentary Dispositions written by the testator (Art. 691). And if the judge considers that the identity of
the will has been proven he shall order that it be filed (Art. 693). All these, imply
FACTS: presentation of the will itself. Art. 692 bears the same implication, to a greater
On the 20th of November 1951, Felicidad Esguerra Alto Yap died of heart failure degree. It requires that the surviving spouse and the legitimate ascendants and
leaving properties in Pulilan, Bulacan, and in the City of Manila. Four months after, descendants be summoned so that they may make "any statement they may desire
Fausto E. Gan, the nephew of the decedent, filed a petition for the probate of a to submit with respect to the authenticity of the will.”
holographic will allegedly executed by the deceased. The holographic will
provided for the division of decedent’s property intending for her Bulacan In the case at bar, no holographic was presented at all. The execution and
property to be divided upon her relatives and her Manila property to be entirely the contents of a lost or destroyed holographic will may not be proved by
bequeathed to her husband. In the holographic will, she also requested for her the bare testimony of witnesses who have seen and/or read such will.
husband to build a hospital in Pulilan, Bulacan in her name. The will itself must be presented; otherwise, it shall produce no effect.
The law regards the document itself as material proof of authenticity.
The husband opposed the holographic will. He contended that Felicidad – his
wife, the decedent – had left no will, nor executed any testament during her
lifetime. Rodelas v. Aranza
GR No. L-58509
After hearing the parties and considering their evidence, the Hon. Ramon R. San FACTS:
Jose – judge- refused to probate the alleged will. A seventy-page motion for On January 11, 1977, appellant filed a petition with the Court of
reconsideration failed. Hence. the appeal to the Supreme Court. First Instance of Rizal for the probate of the holographic will of Ricardo B.
Bonilla and the issuance of letters testamentary in her favor. It was opposed by the
appellees Amparo Aranza Bonilla, Wilferine Bonilla Treyes Expedita Bonilla Frias
ISSUE: and Ephraim Bonilla on the following grounds:
May a holographic will be probated upon the testimony of witnesses who have (1) Appellant was estopped from claiming that the deceased left a will by
allegedly seen it and who declare that it was in the handwriting of the testator? failing to produce the will within twenty days of the death of the testator
as required by Rule 75, section 2 of the Rules of Court;
HELD:
NO – such holographic will may not be probated. (2) The alleged copy of the alleged holographic will did not contain a
Under the law, a holographic will may be valid if it written, date, and signed in the disposition of property after death and was not intended to take effect after
penmanship of the decedent. In the matter of holographic wills, no witnesses are death, and therefore it was not a will (3) The alleged
needed; provided however, that they are "entirely written, dated, and signed by hollographic will itself,and not an alleged copy thereof, must be produced,
the hand of the testator himself." The law, it is reasonable to suppose, regards the otherwise it would produce no effect, as held in Gam v. Yap, 104 Phil.
document itself as material proof of authenticity, and as its own safeguard, since it 509; and (4 ) The deceased did not leave any will,
could at any time, be demonstrated to be — or not to be — in the hands of the holographic or otherwise, executed and attested as required by law.
testator himself. "In the probate of a holographic will" says the New Civil Code, "it The appellees moved for the consolidation of cases. It was then granted
shall be necessary that at least one witness who knows the handwriting and by the court. On November 13, 1978, following the consolidation of the
signature of the testator explicitly declare that the will and the signature are in the cases, the appellees moved again to dismiss the petition for the probate of
handwriting of the testator. If the will is contested, at least three such witnesses the will. They argued that:
shall be required. In the absence of any such witnesses, (familiar with decedent's (1)The alleged holographic was not a last will but merely an instruction
handwriting) and if the court deem it necessary, expert testimony may be as to the management and improvement of the schools and colleges
resorted to." founded by decedent Ricardo B. Bonilla; and (2)Lost or destroyed

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

holographic wills cannot be proved by secondary evidence unlike


ordinary wills. The lower court denied the probate and held that the same has been annulled and
The lower court ruled that once the original copy of the holographic will revoked.
is lost, a copy thereof cannot stand in lieu of the original. Hence, this appeal
ISSUE:
ISSUE: Whether or not there was a valid revocation of the will
Whether a holographic will which was lost or cannot be found can be proved by
means of a photostatic copy RULING:
Yes. The will was already cancelled in 1920. This was inferred when after due
RULING: search, the original will cannot be found. When the will which cannot be found in
It is necessary that there be a comparison between sample handwritten shown to be in the possession of the testator when last seen, the presumption is
statements of the testator and the handwritten will. But, a that in the absence of other competent evidence, the same was deemed cancelled
photostatic copy or xerox copy of the holographic will may be allowed or destroyed. The same presumption applies when it is shown that the testator
because comparison can be made with the standard writings of the testator. In the has ready access to the will and it can no longer be found after his death.
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 ALLOWANCE & DISALLOWANCE OF WILLS
by the bare testimony of witnesses who have seen and/or read such will. The will LOPEZ v. GONZAGA
itself must be presented; otherwise, it shall produce no effect. The law regards G.R. No. L-18788 || Allowance and Disallowance of Wills
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 FACTS:
photostatic copy. Even a mimeographed or carbon copy; or by other similar  Soledad Gonzaga died leaving real&personal properties worth 400k.
means, if any, whereby the authenticity of the handwriting of the  During her lifetime, she expressed the wish that as long as her brother,
deceased may be exhibited and tested before the probate court," Evidently, the Luis Gonzaga, the principal defendant, was engaged in his coconut oil
photostatic or xerox copy of the lost or destroyed holographic will may be experimentation he could use the products and rentals of her properties
admitted because then the authenticity of the handwriting of the deceased can in furtherance of his experiments.
be determined by the probate court.  Said scientific venture was discontinued when he became totally blind.
 Plaintiffs alleged that Soledad died intestate.
Gago vs. Mamuyac  However, as testified by Atty. Hortillas twice, Soledad left all her
G.R. No. L-26317 January 29, 1927 || Revocation of Will and Testamentary properties in favor of Luis Gonzaga in her will probated in the CFI Iloilo.
Dispositions  Plaintiffs now ask a partition of the estate and the cancellation of titles of
Johnson, J. (Ponente) lands allegedly fraudulently transferred by, and in the name of, the
defendant.
FACTS:  CFI Negros Occidental: ruled in favor of defendant
Previously, Francisco Gago filed a petition for the probate of a will of Miguel
Mamuyac executed on July 27, 1918. The oppositors alleged that the said will was ISSUE:
already annulled and revoked. It appeared that on April 16, 1919, the deceased WON the will should be allowed
executed another will. The lower court denied the probate of the first will on the
ground of the existence of the second will. HELD:
Yes. The order of adjudication is the judicial recognition that in appointing a
Another petition was filed to seek the probate of the second will. The oppositors person as her only heir the testatrix did not contravene the law, and that the heir
alleged that the second will presented was merely a copy. According to was in no way disqualified to inherit; just as a final order admitting a will to
the witnesses, the said will was allegedly revoked as per the testimony of Jose probate concludes all and sundry from thereafter contending that statutory
Tenoy, one of the witnesses who typed the document. Another witness testified formal requirements have not been observed in executing the testament. In the
that on December 1920 the original will was actually cancelled by the testator.

33
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

case at bar, instead of contradicting the testamentary institution of heir, the order Also alleged was that the complaint was "filed within one (1) year from the date of
of adjudication confirms it. first letter of demand dated February 3, 1990."

The failure of the defendant heir, to file with the RD a certified copy of his letters In their Answer with Counterclaim, the defendants declared that they had been
of administration and the will, as provided in Sec. 90, Act 496, and to record the living in Caiza's house since the 1960's; that in consideration of their faithful
attested copies of the will and the allowance, does not negate the validity of the service they had been considered by Caiza as her own family, and the latter had in
judgment or decree of probate nor the rights of the devises under the will, fact executed a holographic will on September 4, 1988 by which she "bequeathed"
because said Sec. 90 refers to the dealings with registered lands by an to the Estradas the house and lot in question.
administrator, and defendant heir, sought and obtained the change in the COT in Judgment was rendered by the MetroTC on April 13, 1992 in Caiza's favor, the
his own behalf and capacity, and the recording of the judicial orders sufficed as Estradas being ordered to vacate the premises and pay Caiza P5,000.00 by way of
notice to interested parties, and was a substantial compliance with the required attorney's fees.
recording of the will itself.
But on appeal, the decision was reversed by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court,
CANIZA vs. CA Branch 96. By judgment rendered on October 21, 1992, the RTC held that the
G.R. No. 110427 || Allowance and Disallowance of Wills "action by which the issue of defendants' possession should be resolved is accion
FACTS: publiciana, the obtaining factual and legal situation demanding adjudication by
On November 20, 1989, being then ninety-four (94) years of age, Carmen Caiza, a such plenary action for recovery of possession cognizable in the first instance by
spinster, a retired pharmacist, and former professor of the College of Chemistry the Regional Trial Court."
and Pharmacy of the University of the Philippines, was declared incompetent by
judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 107, in a Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC's decision. It ruled that (a) the proper remedy
guardianship proceeding instituted by her niece, Amparo A. Evangelista. She was for Caiza was indeed an accion publiciana in the RTC, not an accion interdictal in
so adjudged because of her advanced age and physical infirmities which included the MetroTC, since the "defendants have not been in the subject premises as mere
cataracts in both eyes and senile dementia. tenants or occupants by tolerance, they have been there as a sort of adopted
family of Carmen Caiza," as evidenced by what purports to be the holographic will
Amparo A. Evangelista was appointed legal guardian of her person and estate. of the plaintiff; and (b) while "said will, unless and until it has passed probate by
Caiza was the owner of a house and lot at No. 61 Tobias St., Quezon City. On the proper court, could not be the basis of defendants' claim to the property, it is
September 17, 1990, her guardian Amparo Evangelista commenced a suit in the indicative of intent and desire on the part of Carmen Caiza that defendants are to
Metropolitan Trial Court (MetroTC) of Quezon City (Branch 35) to eject the remain and are to continue in their occupancy and possession, so much so that
spouses Pedro and Leonora Estrada from said premises. The complaint was later Caiza's supervening incompetency can not be said to have vested in her guardian
amended to identify the incompetent Caiza as plaintiff, suing through her legal the right or authority to drive the defendants out.
guardian, Amparo Evangelista.
Through her guardian, Caiza came to this Court praying for reversal of the
The amended Complaint pertinently alleged that plaintiff Caiza was the absolute Appellate Court's judgment.
owner of the property in question, covered by TCT No. 27147; that out of
kindness, she had allowed the Estrada Spouses, their children, grandchildren and ISSUE:
sons-in-law to temporarily reside in her house, rent-free; that Caiza already had
urgent need of the house on account of her advanced age and failing health, "so 1) Whether or not Caiza's legal guardian, Amparo Evangelista, has the authority to
funds could be raised to meet her expenses for support, maintenance and medical bring an ejectment suit.
treatment;" that through her guardian, Caiza had asked the Estradas verbally and
in writing to vacate the house but they had refused to do so; and that "by the 2)Whether or not the Estradas have the right over the property by virtue of the
defendants' act of unlawfully depriving plaintiff of the possession of the house in holographic will of the plaintiff.
question, they were enriching themselves at the expense of the incompetent,
because, while they were saving money by not paying any rent for the house, the HELD:
incompetent was losing much money as her house could not be rented by others." 1) YES.

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

The Estradas insist that the devise of the house to them by Caiza clearly denotes Cebu. Quemada filed for the probate of the said will on the CFI of Cebu City and
her intention that they remain in possession thereof, and legally incapacitated her Quemada was appointed special administrator of the entire estate of Pastor Sr,
judicial guardian, Amparo Evangelista, from evicting them therefrom, since their whether it was covered by the holographic will or not. Thereafter, Quemada
ouster would be inconsistent with the ward's will. instituted an action for reconveyance of the properties of the estate, including the
Amparo Evangelista was appointed by a competent court the general guardian of properties subject of the legacy, against Pastor Jr and his wife. However, the
both the person and the estate of her aunt, Carmen Caiza. By that appointment, it spouses had the subject properties under their names and claimed that they were
became Evangelista's duty to care for her aunt's person, to attend to her physical owners thereof in their own rights and not by inheritance.
and spiritual needs, to assure her well-being, with right to custody of her person
in preference to relatives and friends.It also became her right and duty to get The Probate Court set the hearing on the intrinsic validity of the will but the
possession of, and exercise control over, Caiza's property, both real and personal, spouses opposed on the ground of pendency of the reconveyance suit in another
it being recognized principle that the ward has no right to possession or control of court. Instead, the Probate Court required the parties to submit position papers as
his property during her incompetency.That right to manage the ward's estate to how much inheritance Quemada is entitled to receive. The spouses said that the
carries with it the right to take possession thereof and recover it from anyone who determination is still premature. Atlas submitted a sworn statement of royalties
retains it and bring and defend such actions as may be needful for this purpose. paid to the Pastor Group. As a result, the Probate Court issued an Order for
Execution and Garnishment resolving the question of royalties payable by Atlas
2) NO. and the validity of the legacy of Quemada. This order was issued without resolving
A will is essentially ambulatory; at any time prior to the testator's death, it may be the issues of the mining rights royalties or the intrinsic validity of the will. The
changed or revoked; and until admitted to probate, it has no effect whatever and implementing Orders were assailed because said orders concluded that the
no right can be claimed thereunder, the law being quite explicit: "No will shall Probate Order adjudged with finality the question of ownership of the mining
pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in properties and royalties and that the dispositive portion of the Probate order
accordance with the Rules of Court" (ART. 838, id.). An owner's intention to confer directed the special administrator to pay the legacy in dispute.
title in the future to persons possessing property by his tolerance, is not
inconsistent with the former's taking back possession in the meantime for any RTC Ruling:
reason deemed sufficient. And that in this case there was sufficient cause for the As per the holographic will and a written acknowledgement of Pastor Jr. Of the
owner's resumption of possession is apparent: she needed to generate income 60% interest in the mining claims belonging ti the Pastor Group, 42% of it
from the house on account of the physical infirmities afflicting her, arising from belonged to Pastor Sr. Thereby directing Atlas to remit directly to Quemada the
her extreme age. 42% royalties due to the estate, of which Quemada was entitled to retain 75% of
it.

Sps. Pascual – Urane Maambong CA Ruling:


Motion for reconsideration was denied and the questions of intrinsic validity of
Sps. Pastor vs court of appeals the will and of the ownership over the mining claims had been finally adjudicated
G.r. No. L-56340 || Allowance and Disallowance of Wills by final and executory order of the lower court.

FACTS: ISSUE:
Alvaro Pastor Sr. was a Spanish citizen who died in Cebu city. He has two Whether or not the Probate Order resolved with finality the questions of
legitimate children with his wife Sofia Bossio, who died months after his death. ownership and the intrinsic validity of the holographic will
His children are Alvaro Jr., a naturalized Philippine Citizen, And Sofia, a Spanish
subject. Pastor Sr. Also had an illegitimate child named Lewellyn Quemada, HELD:
Filipino by his mother's citizenship. No, the Probate Order cannot resolve with finality the questions of ownership and
intrinsic validity of the holographic will.
Pastor Sr. Died leaving an alleged holographic will with only one testamentary
disposition: a legacy in favor of Quemada consisting of 30% of Pastor Sr.'s 42% On the issue of ownership, the Probate Court may pass upon the title
share in the operation by Atlas Consolidated Mining of some mining claims in thereto but only provisionally and not conclusive for it is still subject to

35
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

the final decision in a separate action to resolve title. Herein case, a Silvino Suntay, claiming that he had found among the files, records and
Probate Order was issued pending a reconveyance suit in another court documents of his late father a will and testament in Chinese characters executed
where the issue on ownership is under dispute. It is manifested on the and signed by the deceased on 4 January 1931 and that the same was filed,
dispositive portion that the issue on ownership was not resolved because recorded and probated in the Amoy district court, Province of Fookien, China,
the said order confined itself to the question of extrinsic validity of the filed a petition in the intestate proceedings praying for the probate of the will
holographic will. There being no conclusion on the issue on ownership, executed in the Philippines or of the will executed in Amoy, Fookien, China.
the Probate order did not resolve such issue in finality.
Witnesses were presented to prove the existence of the will allegedly left by Jose
On the issue of intrinsic validity of the holographic will, the legitime of the Suntay.
voluntary heirs cannot be determined in concrete figures without the net
assets of the estate being determined. In this case, there have been no RTC: Dissallowed alleged will and testament executed in Manila on November
prior definitive determination of the assets of the estate of Pastor Sr. 1929, and the alleged last will and testament executed in Kulangsu, Amoy, China,
There also have been no appropriate determination of the debts of the on 4 January 1931, by Jose B. Suntay.
decedent and his estate, as well as determination of the estate tax. All the
foregoing deficiencies considered, it was not possible to determine ISSUE:
whether the legacy of Quemada, which is a fixed share in the specific Whether or not the wills allegedly left by Jose Suntay can be probated.
property of the estate, would produce an impairment of the legitime of
the compulsory heirs. It is also concluded that the Probate order did not HELD:
resolve the issue on the intrinsic validity of the will with finality. Upheld decision of the Court of First Instance. Granting that there was a will duly
executed by Jose B. Suntay, and that it was in existence at the time of, and note
In re: Testate Estate of the deceased Jose B. Suntay revoked before his death, the testimonies of the witnesses presented fall falls
GR Nos. L-3087 and L-3088 July 31, 1954 || wills in foreign country or no wills at all short of the legal requirement that the provisions of the lost will must be "clearly
FACTS: and distinctly proved by at least two credible witnesses." Credible witnesses mean
Jose Suntay, a Filipino citizen and resident of the Philippines, died in the city of competent witnesses and those who testify to facts from or upon hearsay are
Amoy, Fookien province, Republic of China, leaving real and personal properties neither competent nor credible witnesses.
in the Philippines and a house in Amoy, Fookien province, China, and children by
his first marriage with Manuela T. Cruz namely, Apolonio, Concepcion, Angel, As to the will claimed to have been executed on 4 January 1931 in Amoy, China,
Manuel, Federico, Ana, Aurora, Emiliano, and children with his second marriage to the law on the point in Rule 78.
Maria Natividad Lim Billian namely Jose, Jr. and Silvino.
Section 1 of the rule provides:
Intestate proceedings were instituted in the Court of First Instance of Wills proved and allowed in a foreign country, according to the
Bulacan. Apolonio Suntay was declared administrator. After his death, Federico C. laws of such country, may be allowed, filed, and recorded by the
Suntay was appointed administrator of the estate. Maria Natividad filed a petition proper Court of First Instance in the Philippines.
in the Court of First Instance of Bulacan for the probate of a last will and Section 2 provides:
testament claimed to have been executed and signed in the Philippines on When a copy of such will and the allowance thereof, duly
November 1929 by the late Jose B. Suntay. This petition was denied because of the authenticated, is filed with a petition for allowance in the
loss of said will and of the insufficiency of the evidence to establish the loss of the Philippines, by the executor or other person interested, in the court
said will. having jurisdiction, such court shall fix a time and place for the
hearing, and cause notice thereof to be given as in case of an
An appeal was taken from said order denying the probate of the will and original will presented for allowance.
the Court held the evidence before the probate court sufficient to prove the loss of Section 3 provides:
the will and remanded the case to the Court of First Instance of Bulacan for the If it appears at the hearing that the will should be allowed in the
further proceedings. Philippines, the court shall so allow it, and a certificate of its
allowance, signed by the Judge, and attested by the seal of the

36
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

courts, to which shall be attached a copy of the will, shall be filed opposed by Chung Kiat Hua, and Chung Liu’s children by his first wife, Tan Hua.
and recorded by the clerk, and the will shall have the same effect as They claim that Ngo The Hua is unfit to be the administratix and that Ngo The Hua
if originally proved and allowed in such court. and Chung Liu have secured an absolute divorce in Taiwan. Chung Kiat Hua also
prayed to be appointed as administrator of the estate of her father. Ngo The Hua
The fact that the municipal district court of Amoy, China, is a probate court must then claimed that the oppositors are not the children of Chung Liu.
be proved. The law of China on procedure in the probate or allowance of wills Chung Kiat Kang, claiming to be the nephew of Chung Lui, filed his opposition to
must also be proved. The legal requirements for the execution of a valid will in the appointment of either Ngo The Hua or Chung Kiat Hu on the ground that to be
China in 1931 should also be established by competent evidence. However, there appointed they must first prove their respective relationship to the deceased
was no evidence presented to prove this point. The unverified answers to the Chung Lui and prayed that he be appointed as administrator instead. However,
questions propounded by counsel for the appellant to the Consul General of the when it was Chung Kiat Kang’s turn to present his evidence during the hearing, he
Republic of China, objected to by counsel for the appellee, are inadmissible, waived his right to present evidence in so far as the appointment of administrator
because apart from the fact that the office of Consul General does not qualify and of the estate is concerned.
make the person who holds it an expert on the Chinese law on procedure in The lower court found that Ngo The Hua and Chung Lui were validly divorced in
probate matters, if the same be admitted, the adverse party would be deprived of Taiwan and Chung Kiat Hua and the other oppositors were the children of Chung
his right to confront and cross-examine the witness. Consuls are appointed to Lui. Chung Kiat Hua was appointed as the administrator of the estate of Chung Lui.
attend to trade matters. Moreover, it appears that all the proceedings had in the Hence this petition.
municipal district court of Amoy were for the purpose of taking the testimony of
two attesting witnesses to the will and that the order of the municipal district ISSUE:
court of Amoy does not purport to probate the will. In the absence of proof that Whether Chung Kiat Kang can be appointed as a co-administrator of the estate
the municipal district court of Amoy is a probate court and on the Chinese law of
procedure in probate matters, it may be presumed that the proceedings in the HELD:
matter of probating or allowing a will in the Chinese courts are the a deposition or No, Chung Kiat Kang cannot be appointed as co-administrator of the estate.
to a perpetuation of testimony, and even if it were so it does not measure same as It is well-settled that for a person to be able to intervene in an administration
those provided for in our laws on the subject. It is a proceeding in rem and for the proceeding concerning the estate of a deceased, it is necessary for him to have
validity of such proceedings personal notice or by publication or both to all interest in such estate. An interested party has been defined in this connection as
interested parties must be made. The interested parties in the case were known to one who would be benefited by the estate such as an heir, or one who has a
reside in the Philippines. The evidence shows that no such notice was received by certain claim against the estate, such as a creditor. Appellant Chung Kiat Kang
the interested parties residing in the Philippines does not claim of to be a creditor of Chung Liu's estate. Neither is he an heir in
accordance with the Civil Code of the Republic of China the law that applies in this
The order of the municipal district court of Amoy, China, does not purport case, Chung Liu being a Chinese citizen (Art. 16, New Civil Code). The appellant
to probate or allow the will which was the subject of the proceedings. In view not having any interest in Chung Liu's estate, either as heir or creditor, he cannot
thereof, the will and the alleged probate thereof cannot be said to have been done be appointed as co-administrator of the estate, as he now prays.
in accordance with the accepted basic and fundamental concepts and principles
followed in the probate and allowance of wills. Consequently, the authenticated HEIRS OF ROSENDO LASAM vs. VICENTA UMENGAN
transcript of proceedings held in the municipal district court of Amoy, China, G.R. NO. 168156 || ALLOWANCE and DISALLOWANCE OF A WILL
cannot be deemed and accepted as proceedings leading to the probate or FACTS:
allowance of a will and, therefore, the will referred to therein cannot be allowed, Isabel Cuntapay had 4 children by her first husband namely Abdon, Sado, Rufo
filed and recorded by a competent court of this country. and Maria. When her husband died, Isabel Cuntapay married Mariano Lasam. She
had two children with Mariano – Trinidad and Rosendo.
Ngo The Hua v. Chung Kiat Kung In 2001, heirs of Rosendo Lasam, son of Isabel Cuntapay by her second marriage,
GR No. L-17091|| ALLOWANCE AND DISALLOWANCE OF WILLS[intervention]
 filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against Vicenta Umengan, daughter of
FACTS: Abdon, son of Isabel Cuntapay by her first marriage. It was alleged that during the
Ngo The Hua, claiming to be the surviving spouse of Chung Liu, filed a lifetime of deceased Lasam, Vicenta Umengan was just temporarily allowed to
petition to be appointed administratix ofthe estate of Chung Liu. The petition was occupy the lot owned by the deceased sometime in 1955. Vicenta Umengan and

37
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

her husband allegedly promised that they would vacate the subject lot upon validity of the will. Moreover, the presentation of the will for probate is
demand but never did. mandatory and is a matter of public policy.
Accordingly, the heirs of Rosendo Lasam were constrained to institute the action Since the will has not yet been probated, it has no effect whatsoever and it cannot
for ejectment. They alleged that they have a better right because they inherited it be the basis of any claim of any right of possession. The defendants have a better
from their father, showing a Last Will and Testament which has not yet been right of possession based on the deed of conveyances executed by the owner in
probated. favor of the children, the defendants herein.
In her defense, Vicenta Umengan alleged that her father, Abdon Turingan,
purchased the subject lot as evidenced by Deed of Sale. Dy Yieng Seangio, et al. v. Hon. Amor Reyes, et al.,
G.R. No. 140371-72, 27 November 2006 || Allowance and Disallowance of Wills
RTC Ruling: FACTS:
The RTC ruled that the heirs of Rosendo Lasam have a better right to possess the Private respondents Alfredo Seangio et. al filed for the settlement of the intestate
land. With the finding that the subject lot was already bequeathed by Cuntapay to estate of the late Segundo Seangio. Petitioners opposed said petition, contending
Lasam, the other siblings Abdon, Sado, Rufo and Maria no longer had any share that Segundo left a holographic will disinheriting Alfredo for cause. The reason for
therein. Consequently, they could not convey to Vicenta Umengan what they did the disinheritance was due to Alfredo’s maltreatment to his father Segundo. In
not own. It also ruled that Vicenta’s possession of the subject land was by mere view of the purported holographic will, petitioners averred that in the event the
tolerance only. decedent is found to have a will, the intestate proceedings are to be automatically
suspended and replaced by the proceedings of the will. Private respondents
CA Ruling: moved for the dismissal of the probate proceedings contending that the alleged
CA reversed the decision of the lower court. It ruled that the last will and will of Segundo does not contain any disposition of the estate of the deceased and
testament of Rosendo Lasam did not effectively conveyed the land to his heirs. CA that all other compulsory heirs were not named nor instituted as heir. Devisee or
found that the pages of the purported last will and testament of Lasam were not legatee hence there is preterition which would result to intestacy. Petitioners
numbered. Neither did it contain the requisite attestation clause. The instrument countered that the rule on preterition does not apply because Segundo’s will
was not also acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the does not constitute a universal heir or heirs to the exclusion of one or more
witnesses. Since the last will and testament did not comply with the formal compulsory heirs. They argued that the testator intended all his compulsory heirs,
requirements of the law on wills then it could be the source of right of the heirs of petitioners and private respondents alike, with the sole exception of Alfredo, to
Lasam. inherit his estate.

ISSUE: RTC RULING:


Whether or not the last will and testament which has not yet probated could be a Dismissing the petition for probate proceedings. A perusal of the document
source of right termed as "will" by oppositors/petitioners Dy Yieng Seangio, et al., clearly shows
that there is preterition, as the only heirs mentioned thereat are Alfredo and
HELD: Virginia. [T]he other heirs being omitted, Article 854 of the New Civil Code thus
NO. The Last Will and Testament cannot be relied upon to establish the right of applies. However, insofar as the widow Dy Yieng Seangio is concerned, Article 854
possession without having been probated, the said last will and testament could does not apply, she not being a compulsory heir in the direct line.
not be the source of any right.
Article 838 of the Civil Code is instructivr on this: “No will shall pass either real or ISSUE:
personal property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance with the Rules of Whether or not the compulsory heirs in the direct line were preterited in the will?
Court.”
Before any will can have force or validity it must be probated. To probate a will HELD:
means to prove before some officer or tribunal, vested by law with authority for No. The compulsory heirs in the direct line were not preterited in the will.
that purpose, that the instrument offered to be proved is the last will and According to the SC, it was Segundo’s last expression to bequeath his estate to all
testament of the deceased person whose testamentary act it is alleged to be, and his compulsory heirs with the sole exception of Alfredo. Also, Segundo did not
that it has been executed, attested and published as required by law, and that the institute an heir to the exclusion of his other compulsory heirs. The mere mention
testator was of sound and disposing mind. It is a proceeding to establish the of the name of one of the petitioners, Virginia, in the document did not operate to

38
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

institute her as the universal heir. Her name was included only as a witness to the
altercation between Segundo and his son, Alfredo. In the instant case there is no showing that the various legatees, other than the
present litigants, had received their respective legacies or had knowledge of the
GUEVARA vs. GUEVARA existence and of the provisions of the will. Their right under the will cannot be
G.R. No. L-48840 December 29, 1943 disregarded, nor may those rights be obliterated on account of the failure or
FACTS: refusal of the custodian of the will to present it to the court for probate.
Ernesto M. Guevarra and Rosario Guevara, legitimate son and natural daughter,
respectively, of the deceased Victorino L. Guevara, are litigating here over their Our conclusion is that the Court of Appeals erred in declaring the action instituted
inheritance from the latter. by the plaintiff to be in accordance with law. It also erred in awarding relief to the
plaintiff in this action on the basis of intestacy of the decedent notwithstanding
Victorino L. Guevara executed a will wherein he made various bequests and the proven existence of a will left by him and solely because said will has not been
devises to different persons, one of which is a parcel of land to be disposed of probated due to the failure of the plaintiff as custodian thereof to comply with the
either by him during his lifetime or by his attorney-in-fact Ernesto M. Guevara in duty imposed upon her by the law.
order to pay all his pending debts and to defray his expenses and those of his
family up to the time of his death. Later on, Victorino died. His last will and
testament, however, was never presented to the court for probate, nor has any
administration proceeding ever been instituted for the settlement of his estate.
Ever since the death of Victorino, his only legitimate son Ernesto appears to have Maloles II vs. Philips
possessed the parcel of land adjudicated to him and to have disposed of various G.R. No. 129505 & 133359 || Allowance and Disallowance of Wills
portions thereof for the purpose of paying the debts left by his father. In the FACTS:
meantime, Rosario appears to have had her father's will in her custody. On July 20, 1995, Dr. Arturo de Santos, Filipino and a resident of Makati City, filed
a petition for probate of his will in the Regional Trial Court, Branch 61, Makati,
A little over four years after the testator's demise, Rosario commenced the docketed as Sp. Proc. No. M-4223. In his petition, Dr. De Santos alleged that he had
present action against Ernesto to recover her legitime as an acknowledged natural no compulsory heirs; that he had named in his will as sole legatee and devisee the
daughter of the deceased. It was only during the trial of this case that she Arturo de Santos Foundation, Inc.; that he disposed by his will his properties with
presented the will to the court, not for the purpose of having it probated but only an approximate value of not less than P2,000,000.00; and that copies of said will
to prove that the deceased Victorino L. Guevara had acknowledged her as his were in the custody of the named executrix, private respondent Pacita de los
natural daughter. Reyes Phillips. A copy of the will was annexed to the petition for probate. It was
granted by Judge Fernando V. Gorospe, Jr. of RTC-Makati, Branch 61 which order
ISSUE: reads that hat petitioner in his lifetime, executed his Last Will and Testament at
Whether or not the probate of a will can be dispensed with. his residence situated at 9 Bauhinia corner Intsia Streets, Forbes Park, Makati
City; said Last Will and Testament was signed in the presence of his three (3)
HELD: witnesses, namely, to wit: Dr. Elpidio Valencia, Edward J. Berenguer and Atty.
We cannot sanction the procedure adopted by the respondent Rosario Guevara, it Victoria C. delos Reyes. Moreover, the court found that that testator at the time of
being in our opinion in violation of procedural law and an attempt to circumvent the execution of the will was of sane mind and/or not mentally incapable to make
and disregard the last will and testament of the decedent. a Will; nor was it executed under duress or under the influence of fear or threats;
that it was in writing and executed in the language known and understood by the
The law enjoins the probate of the will and public policy requires it, because testator duly subscribed thereof and attested and subscribed by three (3) credible
unless the will is probated and notice thereof given to the whole world, the right witnesses in the presence of the testator and of another; that the testator and all
of a person to dispose of his property by will may be rendered nugatory, as is the attesting witnesses signed the Last Will and Testament freely and voluntarily
attempted to be done in the instant case. Absent legatees and devisees, or such of and that the testator has intended that the instrument should be his Will at the
them as may have no knowledge of the will, could be cheated of their inheritance time of affixing his signature. Shortly after the probate of his will, Dr. De Santos
thru the collusion of some of the heirs who might agree to the partition of the died on February 26, 1996. On April 3, 1996, petitioner Octavio S. Maloles II filed a
estate among themselves to the exclusion of others. motion for intervention claiming that, as the only child of Alicia de Santos

39
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

(testators sister) and Octavio L. Maloles, Sr., he was the sole full-blooded nephew The testator himself may, during his lifetime, petition the court having
and nearest of kin of Dr. De Santos. On the other hand, private respondent Pacita jurisdiction for the allowance of his will. In such case, the pertinent
de los Reyes Phillips, the designated executrix of the will, filed a motion for the provisions of the Rules of Court for the allowance of wills after the
issuance of letters testamentary with Branch 61. Upon her motion, Judge Salvador testators death shall govern.
Abad Santos of Branch 65 issued an order, dated June 28, 1996, appointing her as The Supreme Court shall formulate such additional Rules of Court as may
special administrator of Dr. De Santos estate. Petitioner sought to intervene in Sp. be necessary for the allowance of wills on petition of the testator.
Proc. No. M-4343 and to set aside the appointment of private respondent as Subject to the right of appeal, the allowance of the will, either during the
special administrator and that he should be given letters of administration for lifetime of the testator or after his death, shall be conclusive as to its due
the estate of Dr. De Santos. execution.
RTC Ruling: Judge Abad Santos granted petitioners motion for intervention. The rationale for allowing the probate of wills during the lifetime of
CA Ruling: Petitioner had not shown any right or interest to intervene in Sp. Proc. testator has been explained by the Code Commission thus:
No. M-4343. It is far easier for the courts to determine the mental condition of
a testator during his lifetime than after his death. Fraud,
ISSUES: intimidation and undue influence are minimized. Furthermore, if
1. Whether or not the will can be probated even during testator’s lifetime. a will does not comply with the requirements prescribed by law,
2. Whether or not petitioner has a right to intervene the same may be corrected at once. The probate during the
2. Whether or not the Honorable (Regional Trial Court - Makati, testator’s life, therefore, will lessen the number of contest upon
Branch 65) acquired jurisdiction over the petition for issuance of wills. Once a will is probated during the lifetime of the testator,
letters testamentary filed by (private) respondent. the only questions that may remain for the courts to decide after
3. Whether or not the petitioner, being a creditor of the late Dr. the testator’s death will refer to the intrinsic validity of the
Arturo de Santos, has a right to intervene and oppose the petition testamentary dispositions. It is possible, of course, that even
for issuance of letters testamentary filed by the respondent. when the testator himself asks for the allowance of the will, he
4. Whether or not (private) respondent is guilty of forum may be acting under duress or undue influence, but these are
shopping in filing her petition for issuance of letters rare cases.
testamentary with the Regional Trial Court - Makati, Branch 65 After a will has been probated during the lifetime of the testator,
knowing fully well that the probate proceedings involving the it does not necessarily mean that he cannot alter or revoke the
same testate estate of the decedent is still pending with the same before his death. Should he make a new will, it would also
Regional Trial Court - Makati, Branch 61. be allowable on his petition, and if he should die before he has
had a chance to present such petition, the ordinary probate
HELD: proceeding after the testators death would be in order.
1. In cases for the probate of wills, it is well-settled that the authority of the Thus, after the allowance of the will of Dr. De Santos on February 16, 1996, there
court is limited to ascertaining the extrinsic validity of the will, i.e., was nothing else for Branch 61 to do except to issue a certificate of allowance of
whether the testator, being of sound mind, freely executed the will in the will pursuant to Rule 73, 12 of the Rules of Court. There is, therefore, no basis
accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. Ordinarily, probate for the ruling of Judge Abad Santos of Branch 65 of RTC-Makati that Branch 61 of
proceedings are instituted only after the death of the testator, so much so the Regional Trial Court of Makati having begun the probate proceedings of the
that, after approving and allowing the will, the court proceeds to issue estate of the deceased, shall continue to exercise jurisdiction over the said probate
letters testamentary and settle the estate of the testator. The cases cited proceeding.
by petitioner are of such nature. In fact, in most jurisdictions, courts 2. Even if petitioner is the nearest next of kin of Dr. De Santos, he cannot be
cannot entertain a petition for probate of the will of a living testator considered an "heir" of the testator. It is a fundamental rule of testamentary
under the principle of ambulatory nature of wills. However, Art. 838 of succession that one who has no compulsory or forced heirs may dispose of his
the Civil Code authorizes the filing of a petition for probate of the will entire estate by will. Thus, Art. 842 of the Civil Code provides:
filed by the testator himself. It provides:” No will shall pass either real or One who has no compulsory heirs may dispose by will of all his
personal property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance with the estate or any part of it in favor of any person having capacity to
Rules of Court. succeed.

40
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

One who has compulsory heirs may dispose of his estate TC: admitted the decedent's holographic will to probate. It found no reason at all
provided he does not contravene the provisions of this Code with for the disallowance of the will for its failure to comply with the formalities
regard to the legitimate of said heirs. prescribed by law or for lack of testamentary capacity of the testatrix.
Compulsory heirs are limited to the testators -
(1) Legitimate children and descendants, with respect to their It has been found that petitioners have satisfactorily shown in Court that the
legitimate parents and ascendants; holographic will in question was indeed written entirely, dated and signed in the
(2) In default of the foregoing, legitimate parents and ascendants, handwriting of the testatrix. Three (3) witnesses who have convincingly shown
with respect to their legitimate children and descendants; knowledge of the handwriting of the testatrix have been presented and have
(3) The widow or widower; explicitly and categorically identified the handwriting with which the holographic
(4) Acknowledged natural children, and natural children by legal will in question was written to be the genuine handwriting and signature of the
fiction; testatrix.
(5) Other illegitimate children referred to in Article 287 of the
Civil Code. CA: Reversed TC, and the petition for probate of decedent's will was dismissed.
Petitioner, as nephew of the testator, is not a compulsory heir who may have been The Court of Appeals found that, "the holographic will fails to meet the
preterited in the testators will. requirements for its validity."

GROUNDS FOR DISALLOWANCE OF WILLS CA held that the decedent did not comply with Articles 813 and 814 of the New
SPS. AJERO V. CA Civil Code. It alluded to certain dispositions in the will which were either unsigned
G.R. No. 106720 September 15, 1994 and undated, or signed but not dated. It also found that the erasures, alterations
FACTS: and cancellations made thereon had not been authenticated by decedent.

In the will, decedent named as devisees, the following: petitioners Roberto and ISSUES:
Thelma Ajero, private respondent Clemente Sand, Meriam S. Arong, Leah Sand, Whether or not the holographic will is valid and did it comply with the
Lilia Sand, Edgar Sand, Fe Sand, Lisa S. Sand, and Dr. Jose Ajero, Sr., and their requirements provided in the Civil Code.
children.
HELD:
On January 20, 1983, petitioners instituted Sp. Proc. No. Q-37171, for allowance of YES, the holographic will made by decedent Anne Sand is valid. The said
decedent, Annie Sand’s holographic will. They alleged that at the time of its holographic will was executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed by
execution, she was of sound and disposing mind, not acting under duress, fraud or law.
undue influence, and was in every respect capacitated to dispose of her estate by
will. In the case of holographic wills, what assures authenticity is the requirement that
they be totally autographic or handwritten by the testator himself.
Private respondent, Clemente Sand opposed the petition on the grounds that:
neither the testament's body nor the signature therein was in decedent's HOLOGRAPHIC WILL REQUIREMENT
handwriting; it contained alterations and corrections which were not duly signed Article 810 of the New Civil Code:
by decedent; and, the will was procured by petitioners through improper pressure A person may execute a holographic will which must be entirely written,
and undue influence. dated, and signed by the hand of the testator himself. It is subject to no
other form, and may be made in or out of the Philippines, and need not be
The petition was likewise opposed by Dr. Jose Ajero. He contested the disposition witnessed. (Emphasis supplied.)
in the will of a house and lot located in Cabadbaran, Agusan Del Norte. He claimed Failure to strictly observe other formalities will not result in the
that said property could not be conveyed by decedent in its entirety, as she was disallowance of a holographic will that is unquestionably handwritten by
not its sole owner. the testator.

41
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

 Article 813 of the New Civil Code shows that its requirement affects the validity (4) If it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence, on
of the dispositions contained in the holographic will, but not its probate. If the the part of the beneficiary or of some other person;
testator fails to sign and date some of the dispositions, the result is that these (5) If the signature of the testator was procured by fraud;
dispositions cannot be effectuated. Such failure, however, does not render the (6) If the testator acted by mistake or did not intend that the instrument
whole testament void. he signed should be his will at the time of affixing his signature thereto.

Likewise, a holographic will can still be admitted to probate, Thus, in a petition to admit a holographic will to probate, the only issues to
notwithstanding non-compliance with the provisions of Article 814. In the be resolved are:
case of Kalaw vs. Relova 132 SCRA 237 242 (1984), this Court held: (1) Whether the instrument submitted is, indeed, the decedent's last will and
testament;
Ordinarily, when a number of erasures, corrections, and interlineations (2) Whether said will was executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed
made by the testator in a holographic Will have not been noted under his by law;
signature, . . . the Will is not thereby invalidated as a whole, but at most (3) Whether the decedent had the necessary testamentary capacity at the time the
only as respects the particular words erased, corrected or interlined. will was executed; and,
Thus, unless the unauthenticated alterations, cancellations or insertions (4) Whether the execution of the will and its signing were the voluntary acts of the
were made on the date of the holographic will or on testator's decedent.
signature, their presence does not invalidate the will itself. The lack of
authentication will only result in disallowance of such changes. *************
The Court of Appeals further held that decedent Annie Sand could not validly
************* dispose of the house and lot located in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte, in its
THE GROUNDS FOR DISALLOWANCE OF WILLS are provided in the following entirety. This is correct and must be affirmed.
provisions.
These lists are exclusive; no other grounds can serve to disallow a will. As a general rule, courts in probate proceedings are limited to pass only upon the
extrinsic validity of the will sought to be probated. However, in exceptional
Section 9, Rule 76 of the Rules of Court provides that will shall be disallowed instances, courts are not powerless to do what the situation constrains them to do,
in any of the following cases: and pass upon certain provisions of the will.
(a) If not executed and attested as required by law;
(b) If the testator was insane, or otherwise mentally incapable to make a In the case at bench, decedent herself indubitably stated in her holographic will
will, at the time of its execution; that the Cabadbaran property is in the name of her late father, John H. Sand
(c) If it was executed under duress, or the influence of fear, or threats; (which led oppositor Dr. Jose Ajero to question her conveyance of the same in its
(d) If it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence, on entirety). Thus, as correctly held by respondent court, she cannot validly dispose
the part of the beneficiary, or of some other person for his benefit; of the whole property, which she shares with her father's other heirs.
(e) If the signature of the testator was procured by fraud or trick, and he
did not intend that the instrument should be his will at the time of fixing The instant petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals is
his signature thereto. REVERSED and SET ASIDE, except with respect to the invalidity of the
disposition of the entire house and lot in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte. The
In the same vein, Article 839 of the New Civil Code reads: holographic will made by decedent Annie Sand is admitted for probate
Art. 839: The will shall be disallowed in any of the following cases;
(1) If the formalities required by law have not been complied with; Institution of Heirs
(2) If the testator was insane, or otherwise mentally incapable of making Austria vs. Reyes
a will, at the time of its execution; G.R. No. L-23079 || Institution of Heirs
(3) If it was executed through force or under duress, or the influence of FACTS:
fear, or threats; On July 7, 1956 Basilia Austria vda. de Cruz filed with the Court of First Instance of
Rizal a petition for probate, ante mortem, of her last will and testament. The

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

probate was opposed by the present petitioners Ruben Austria, Consuelo Austria- face of the will that the testator would not have made such institution if he had
Benta and Lauro Austria Mozo, and still others who, like the petitioner, are known the falsity of the cause. The petitioners, (Ruben Austria et. al) would have
nephews and nieces of Basilia. This opposition was, however, dismissed and the us imply, from the use of the terms of the will, "sapilitang tagapagmana"
probate of the will allowed after due hearing. The bulk of the estate of Basilia, (compulsory heirs) and "sapilitang mana" (legitime), that the impelling reason or
admittedly, was destined under the will to pass on to the respondents Perfecto cause for the institution of the respondents was the testatrix's belief that under
Cruz, Benita Cruz-Meñez, Isagani Cruz, Alberto Cruz, and Luz Cruz-Salonga, all of the law she could not do otherwise. If this were indeed what prompted the
whom had been assumed and declared by Basilia as her own legally adopted testatrix in instituting the respondents, she did not make it known in her will.
children. More than two years after her will was allowed to probate, Basilia died. Surely if she was aware that succession to the legitime takes place by operation of
The respondent Perfecto Cruz was appointed executor. law, independent of her own wishes, she would not have found it convenient to
On November 5, 1959, the present petitioners filed in the same proceedings a name her supposed compulsory heirs to their legitimes. Her express adoption of
petition in intervention for partition alleging that they are the nearest of kin of the rules on legitimes should very well indicate her complete agreement with that
Basilia, and that the five respondents Perfecto Cruz, et al., had not in fact been statutory scheme. But even this, like the petitioners' own proposition, is highly
adopted by the decedent in accordance with law, in effect rendering these speculative of what was in the mind of the testatrix when she executed her will.
respondents mere strangers to the decedent and without any right to succeed as One fact prevails, however, and it is that the decedent's will does not state in a
heirs. The intervention was allowed. specific or unequivocal manner the cause for such institution of heirs. We cannot
On February 6, 1963, more than three years after they were allowed to intervene, annul the same on the basis of guesswork or uncertain implications.
the petitioners Ruben Austria, let al., moved the lower court to set for hearing the Furthermore, testacy is favored and doubts are resolved on its side, especially
matter of the genuineness of the adoption of the respondents Perfecto Cruz, et al., where the will evinces an intention on the part of the testator to dispose of
by the late Basilia. practically his whole estate, as was done in this case. Moreover, so compelling is
Before the date set by the court for hearing arrived, however, the respondent the principle that intestacy should be avoided and the wishes of the testator
Benita Cruz-Meñez filed a motion asking the lower court to confine the allowed to prevail, that we could even vary the language of the will for the
petitioners' intervention, to properties not disposed of in the will of the decedent. purpose of giving it effect.
The lower court issued an order on June 4, 1963, delimiting the petitioners' At all events, the legality of the adoption of the respondents by the testatrix can be
intervention to the properties of the deceased which were not disposed of in the assailed only in a separate action brought for that purpose, and cannot be the
will. The petitioners moved the lower court to reconsider this latest order. subject of a collateral attack.
RTC: On October 25, 1963 the same court denied the petitioners' motion for ACCORDINGLY, the present petition is denied, at petitioners cost.
reconsideration.
Hence this petition for certiorari, praying this Court to annul the orders of June 4 JLT Agro Inc. V. Antonio Balansag And Hilaria Cadayday
and October 25, 1963 and the order of April 21, 1964, all restricting petitioners' G.R. No. 141882. March 11, 2005 || Institution of Heirs
intervention to properties that were not included in the decedent's testamentary
dispositions. FACTS:
Don Julian L. Teves (Don Julian) contracted 2 marriages, first with Antonia Baena
ISSUE: (Antonia), and after her death, with Milagros Donio Teves (Milagros Donio). Don
Whether or not such institution of heirs would retain efficacy in the event there Julian had two children with Antonia, namely: Josefa Teves Escao (Josefa) and
exists proof that the adoption of the same heirs by the decedent is false. Emilio Teves (Emilio). He had also four (4) children with Milagros Donio, namely:
Maria Evelyn Donio Teves (Maria Evelyn), Jose Catalino Donio Teves (Jose
HELD: Catalino), Milagros Reyes Teves (Milagros Reyes) and Pedro Reyes Teves (Pedro).
The Supreme Court upheld the will of Basilia. Article 850 provides “The statement
of a false cause for the institution of an heir shall be considered as not written, The present controversy involves a parcel of land (954 sqm), known as Lot No. 63
unless it appears from the will that the testator would not have made such of the Bais Cadastre, which was originally registered in the name of the
institution if he had known the falsity of such cause.”Before the institution of heirs conjugal partnership of Don Julian and Antonia under OCT No. 5203 of the
may be annulled under article 850 of the Civil Code, the following requisites must Registry of Deeds of Bais City. When Antonia died, the land was among the
concur: First, the cause for the institution of heirs must be stated in the will; properties involved in an action for partition and damages entitled Josefa Teves
second, the cause must be shown to be false; and third, it must appear from the Escao v. Julian Teves, Emilio B. Teves, et al. Milagros Donio, the second wife of

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Don Julian, participated as an intervenor. Thereafter, the parties to the case became automatically operative upon approval of the Compromise Agreement,
entered into a Compromise Agreement which embodied the partition of all the thereby vesting them the right to validly dispose the lot in question in favor of
properties of Don Julian. respondents.

Paragraph 13 of the Compromise Agreement, at the heart of the present dispute, Before this Court, petitioner assigns as errors the following rulings of the
lays down the effect of the eventual death of Don Julian vis--vis his heirs: appellate court, to wit: (a) that future legitime can be determined, adjudicated and
reserved prior to the death of Don Julian; (b) that Don Julian had no right to
13. That in the event of death of Julian L. Teves, the properties hereinafter dispose of or assign Lot No. 63 to petitioner because he reserved the same for his
adjudicated to Josefa Teves Escaňo and Emilio B. Teves, (excluding the properties heirs from the second marriage pursuant to the Compromise Agreement; (c) that
comprised as Hacienda Medalla Milagrosa together with all its accessories and the Supplemental Deed was tantamount to a preterition of his heirs from the
accessions) shall be understood as including not only their one-half share which second marriage; and (d) that TCT No. T-375 in the name of petitioner is spurious
they inherited from their mother but also the legitimes and other successional for not containing entries on the Book No. and Page No.
rights which would correspond to them of the other half belonging to their father,
Julian L. Teves. In other words, the properties now selected and adjudicated to ISSUE:
Julian L. Teves (not including his share in the Hacienda Medalla Milagrosa) Whether or not Don Julian validly transferred ownership of the subject lot during
shall exclusively be adjudicated to the wife in second marriage of Julian L. Teves his lifetime.
and his four minor children.
HELD:
On 14 April 1974, Don Julian died intestate. No. The decision of the CA is affirmed, that the Supplemental Deed is NOT
VALID, containing as it does a prohibited preterition of Don Julian’s heirs
Meanwhile, Milagros Donio and her children had immediately taken possession from the 2nd marriage.
over the subject lot after the execution of the Compromise Agreement. In 1974,
they entered into a yearly lease agreement with spouses Antonio Balansag and Evidently, at the time of the execution of the deed of assignment covering Lot
Hilaria Cadayday, respondents herein. On Lot No. 63, respondents temporarily No. 63 in favor of petitioner, Don Julian remained the owner of the property
established their home and constructed a lumber yard. Subsequently, Milagros since ownership over the subject lot would only pass to his heirs from the
Donio and her children executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition of Real Estate second marriage at the time of his death. Thus, as the owner of the subject
dated 18 March 1980. In the deed of partition, Lot No. 63 was allotted to Milagros lot, Don Julian retained the absolute right to dispose of it during his lifetime.
Donio and her two (2) children, Maria Evelyn and Jose Catalino. Unaware that the His right cannot be challenged by Milagros Donio and her children on the ground
subject lot was already registered in the name of petitioner in 1979, respondents that it had already been adjudicated to them by virtue of the compromise
bought Lot No. 63 from Milagros Donio as evidenced by the Deed of Absolute Sale agreement.
of Real Estate dated 9 November 1983.
Article 854 provides that the preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the
At the Register of Deeds while trying to register the deed of absolute sale, compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the
respondents discovered that the lot was already titled in the name of petitioner. will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; but the
Thus, they failed to register the deed. devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious.

Respondents, as vendees of Lot No. 63, filed a complaint before the RTC Branch 45 Manresa defines PRETERITION as the omission of the heir in the will, either by not
of Bais City, seeking the declaration of nullity and cancellation of TCT No. T- naming him at all or, while mentioning him as father, son, etc., by not instituting him
375 in the name of petitioner and the transfer of the title to Lot No. 63 in as heir without disinheriting him expressly, nor assigning to him some part of the
their names, plus damages. properties. It is the total omission of a compulsory heir in the direct line from
inheritance. It consists in the silence of the testator with regard to a compulsory
RTC and CA ruling heir, omitting him in the testament, either by not mentioning him at all, or by not
The trial court dismissed the complaint filed by respondents. Court of Appeals giving him anything in the hereditary property but without expressly
reversed by ruling that the adjudication in favor of the heirs from the 2 nd marriage disinheriting him, even if he is mentioned in the will in the latter case. But there is

44
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

no preterition where the testator allotted to a descendant a share less than the until and unless it has been accepted in a public instrument and the donor duly
legitime, since there was no total omission of a forced heir. notified thereof. The acceptance may be made in the very same instrument of
In the case at bar, Don Julian did not execute a will since what he resorted to donation. If the acceptance does not appear in the same document, it must be
was a partition inter vivos of his properties, as evidenced by the court made in another. Where the deed of donation fails to show the acceptance, or
approved Compromise Agreement. Thus, it is premature if not irrelevant to where the formal notice of the acceptance, made in a separate instrument, is
speak of preterition prior to the death of Don Julian in the absence of a will either not given to the donor or else not noted in the deed of donation and in
depriving a legal heir of his legitime. Besides, there are other properties which the the separate acceptance, the donation is null and void.
heirs from the second marriage could inherit from Don Julian upon his death. A
couple of provisions in the Compromise Agreement are indicative of Don Julian’s Nuguid vs. Nuguid
desire along this line. Hence, the total omission from inheritance of Don Julian’s G.R. No. L-23445 June 23, 1966
heirs from the second marriage, a requirement for preterition to exist, is hardly FACTS:
imaginable as it is unfounded. Rosario Nuguid died on December 30, 1962, single, without descendants,
legitimate or illegitimate. Surviving her were her legitimate parents, Felix and Paz
Article 1318 of the New Civil Code enumerates the requisites of a valid contract, Nuguid, and six (6) brothers and sisters, namely: Alfredo, Federico, Remedios,
namely: (1) consent of the contracting parties; (2) object certain which is the Conrado, Lourdes and Alberto, all surnamed Nuguid.
subject matter of the contract; and (3) Cause of the obligation which is On May 18, 1963, petitioner Remedios Nuguid filed in the CFI of Rizal a
established. holographic will allegedly executed by Rosario Nuguid on November 17, 1951,
some 11 years before her demise. Petitioner prayed that said will be admitted to
Thus, Article 1352 declares that contracts without cause, or with unlawful cause probate and that letters of administration with the will annexed be issued to her.
produce no effect whatsoever. Those contracts lack an essential element and they On June 25, 1963, Felix and Paz, the legitimate parents of the deceased Rosario,
are not only voidable but void or inexistent pursuant to Article 1409, paragraph opposed the probate. Ground therefor is that by the institution of petitioner
(2). The absence of the usual recital of consideration in a transaction which Remedios as universal heir of the deceased, oppositors – who are compulsory
normally should be supported by a consideration such as the assignment made by heirs of the deceased in the direct ascending line – were illegally preterited and
Don Julian of all nineteen (19) lots he still had at the time, coupled with the fact that in consequence the institution is void.
that the assignee is a corporation of which Don Julian himself was also the On August 29, 1963, before a hearing was had on the petition for probate,
President and Director, forecloses the application of the presumption of existence oppositors moved to dismiss on the ground of absolute pretirition. On September
of consideration established by law. 6, 1963, petitioner registered her opposition to the motion to dismiss.
On November 8, 1963, the CFI held that “the will in question is a complete
Neither could the Supplemental Deed validly operate as a donation. Article 749 of nullity and will create intestacy of the estate of the deceased Rosario Nuguid” and
the New Civil Code is clear on the point, thus: dismissed the petition. Petitioner’s motion to reconsider was likewise dismissed,
hence the appeal.
Art. 749. In order that the donation of the immovable may be valid, it must be
made in a public document, specifying therein the property donated and the value ISSUE:
of the charges which the donee must satisfy. Whether or not the institution of the petitioner as the sole, universal heir
preterited the compulsory heirs, the oppositors?
The acceptance may be made in the same deed of donation or in a separate public
document, but it shall not take effect unless it is done during the lifetime of the HELD:
donor. YES. The statute we are called upon to apply is Article 854 which states:
“The preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory heirs in the
If the acceptance is made in a separate instrument, the donor shall be notified direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the
thereof in an authentic form, and this step shall be noted in both instruments. death of the testator, shall annul the insitution of the heir; but the devices and
legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious.”
In Sumipat, et al v. Banga, et al., this Court declared that title to immovable The deceased Rosario Nuguid left no descendants, legitimate or
property does not pass from the donor to the donee by virtue of a deed of donation illegitimate. But she left forced heirs in the direct ascending line her parents,

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

oppositors Felix and Paz. And, the will completely omits both of them: they thus she will receive from my executrix and properties composing my hereditary estate,
received nothing by the testament; tacitly, they were deprived of their legitime; that she may enjoy them with God's blessing and my own.
neither were they expressly disinherited. This is a clear case of preterition. The Tenth. Should my heiress Carmen Garchitorena die, I order that my whole estate
one-sentence will institutes petitioner as the sole, universal heir – nothing more. shall pass unimpaired to her surviving children; and should any of these die, his
No specific legacies or bequests are therein provided. It is in this posture that we share shall serve to increase the portions of his surviving
say that the nullity is complete. brothers (and sisters) by accretion, in such wise that my estate shall never pass out
We should not be led astray by the statement in Article 854 that, of the hands of my heiress or her children in so far as it is legally possible.
annulment notwithstanding, ”the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as Eleventh. Should my aforesaid heiress, Carmen Garchitorena, die after me while her
they are not inofficious”. Legacies and devises merit consideration only when they children are still in their minority, I order that my estate be administered by my
are so expressly given in such a will. Nothing in Article 854 suggests that mere executrix, Mrs. Josefa Laplana, and in her default, by Attorney Ramon Salinas and in
institution of a universal heir in a will – void because of preterition – would give his default, by his son Ramon Salinas; xxx.”
the heir so instituted a share in the inheritance. As to him, the will is inexistent.
There must be, in addition to such institution, a testamentary disposition granting
him bequests or legacies apart and separate from the nullified institution of heir.
As aforesaid, there is no other provision in the will before us except the institution Plaintiff’s Contention:
of petitioner as universal heir. That institution, by itself, is null and void. And, The plaintiff, alleging that said deposit belongs to the fideicommissary heirs of the
intestate succession ensues. decedent Ana Maria Alcantara
The disputed order, we observe, declares the will in question “a complete
nullity”. Article 854 of the Civil Code in turn merely nullifies “the institution of Defendant’s Contention:
heir”. Considering, however, that the will before us solely provides for the The defendants contend that the plaintiff is the decedent's universal heiress, and
institution of petitioner as universal heir, and nothing more, the result is the same. pray for the dissolution of the injunction.
The entire will is null.
RTC Ruling:
Substitution of Heirs The court below held that said La Urbana deposit belongs to the plaintiff's
PEREZ vs. GARCHITORENA children as fideicommissary heirs of Ana Maria Alcantara, and granted a final writ
G.R. No: L-31703 February 13, 1930 || Substitution of heirs of injunction.
FACTS:
Ana Maria Alcantara (deceased) left P21,428.58 on deposit in the Carmen's name ISSUE:
with the association known as La Urbana in Manila, as the final payment of her Whether or not a fideicommissary exists.
liquidated credit against Andres Garchitorena, also deceased, represented by his
son, Mariano. Mariano Garchitorena held a judgment for P7,872.23 against HELD:
Joaquin, husband of Carmen. The sheriff pursuant to the writ of execution issued YES. The requisites for a fideicommissary substitution exists, namely:
in said judgment levied an attachment on said amount deposited with La Urbana. 1. At first heir primarily called to the enjoyment of the estate. (In this case the
Carmen secured a preliminary injunction restraining the execution of said plaintiff was instituted an heiress, called to the enjoyment of the estate, according
judgment on the sum so attached because the La Urbana deposit belongs to her to clause IX of the will. )
children as fideicommissary heirs of Ana Maria Alcantara. 2. An obligation clearly imposed upon the heir to preserve and transmit to a third
The question here raised is confined to the scope and meaning of the institution of person the whole or a part of the estate. (Such an obligation is imposed in clause X
heirs made in the will of the late Ana Maria Alcantara already admitted to probate, which provides that the "whole estate shall pass unimpaired to her (heiress's)
and whose legal force and effect is not in dispute. surviving children;" thus, instead of leaving the heiress at liberty to dispose of the
The clauses of said will relevant to the points in dispute, between the parties are estate by will, or of leaving the law to take its course in case she dies intestate,
the ninth, tenth, and eleventh. said clause not only disposes of the estate in favor of the heiress instituted, but
“Ninth. xxx... so that upon my death and after probate of this will, and after the also provides for the disposition thereof in case she should die after the testatrix. )
report of the committee on claims and appraisal has been rendered and approved, 3. A second heir. (Such are the children of the heiress instituted, who are referred
to as such second heirs both in clause X and in clause XI. )

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

4. The fideicommissarius be entitled to the estate from the time the testator dies, the provisions thereof. The will contained a disposition saying “at the death of my
since he is to inherit from the latter and not from the fiduciary. (The children in said husband, I give, devise and bequeath all of the rest, residue and remainder of
this case are the owners of the inheritance by virtue of the testatrix’s death. (the my estate, both real and personal, wherever situated, to be equally divided among
deposit cannot be the subject of execution by Garchitorena as it doesn’t belong to my brothers and sisters, share and share alike.”
Carmen.))
This will certainly provides for a substitution of heirs but not just a simple one The day before the death of Charles Hodges, Atty. Leon P. Gellada, who had been
considering that clause XI in connection with clause X provides for a substitution previously acting as counsel for Charles Hodges filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Motion
where the heiress instituted dies after the testatrix. Clause X doesn’t conflict with for the appointment of a Special Administratix for both the estate of Linnie and
the idea of fideicommisary: Charles. Avelina A. Magno was appointed Administratrix of the estate of Linnie
The word sole does not necessarily exclude the idea of substitute heirs; and taking Jane Hodges and as Special Administratrix of the estate of Charles Newton Hodges,
these three clauses together, such word means that the plaintiff is the sole heiress in the latter case, because the last will of said Charles Newton Hodges is still kept
instituted in the first instance. The testatrix had in mind a fideicommissary in his vault or iron safe. On January 9, 1963, Atty. Gellada filed a petition for the
substitution, since she limits the transmission of her estate to the children of the probate of the will of Hodges, with a prayer for Joe Hodges and Atty. Fernando
heiress in accordance with the limits fixed by A 781 CC which prescribed that Mirasol to be appointed as co-administrators. The court issued the corresponding
fideicommissary substitutions shall be valid "provided they do not go beyond the order of probate and letters of administration to Joe Hodges and Atty. Mirasol.
second degree."
Another indication of fideicommissary substitution is this clause provides that the Co-administrators Joe Hodges and Fernando P. Mirasol were replaced by PCIB on
whole estate shall pass unimpaired to the heiress's children, that is to say the January 24, 1964. With the appointment of the PCIB as the sole administrator of
heiress is required to preserve the whole estate, without diminution, in order to the estate of Charles Hodges in substitution of Joe Hodges and Fernando P.
pass it on in due time to the fideicommissary heirs. Mirasol, the PCIB legally became the only party entitled to the sole and exclusive
The disposition contained in clause IX is not incompatible with a fideicommissary possession of all of the assets of the estate of Charles Hodges.
substitution (it certainly is incompatible with the idea of simple substitution, where
the heiress instituted does not receive the inheritance): PCIB argued that, there are generally only two kinds of substitution provided for
In fact the enjoyment of the inheritance is in conformity with the idea of and authorized by our Civil Code (Articles 857-870), namely, (1) simple or
fideicommissary substitution, by virtue of which the heir instituted receives the common substitution, sometimes referred to as vulgar substitution (Article
inheritance and enjoys it, although at the same time he preserves it in order to 859), and (2) fideicommissary substitution (Article 863). All other
pass it on the second heir. substitutions are merely variations of these. The substitution provided for in the
It should also be noted that said clause IX vests in the heiress only the right to will of Linnie Jane Hodges is not fideicommissary substitution, because there is
enjoy but not the right to dispose of the estate. It says, she may enjoy it, but does clearly no obligation on the part of Charles Hodges as the first heir designated, to
not say she may dispose of it. This is an indication of the usufruct inherent in preserve the properties for the substitute heirs. At most, it is a vulgar or simple
fideicommissary substitution. substitution. However, in order that a vulgar or simple substitution can be valid,
Clause XI more clearly indicates the idea of fideicommissary substitution, when a three alternative conditions must be present, namely, that the first designated
provision is therein made in the event the heiress should die after the testatrix. heir (1) should die before the testator; or (2) should not wish to accept the
That is, said clause anticipates the case where the instituted heiress should die inheritance; or (3) should be incapacitated to do so. None of these conditions
after the testatrix and after receiving and enjoying the inheritance. apply to Charles Hodges, and, therefore, the substitution provided for in the will is
not authorized by the Code, and, therefore, it is void. Manresa, commenting on
PCIB v. Escolin these kisses of substitution, meaningfully stated that: when another heir is
G.R. Nos. L-27936 & L-27937 ||SUBSTITUTION OF HEIRS designated to inherit upon the death of a first heir, the second designation can have
effect only in case the first instituted heir dies before the testator, whether or not
FACTS that was the true intention of said testator. Since Charles Hodges did not die before
Spouses Charles Newton and Linnie Jane Hodges are American citizens domiciled Linnie Jane Hodges, the provision for substitution contained in Linnie Jane
in Iloilo City. On May 23, 1957, Linnie Jane Hodges died in Iloilo City leaving a will Hodges' Willis void. In view of the invalidity of the provision for substitution in
executed on November 22, 1952. This will was probated on June 28, 1957, with the Will, Charles Hodges' inheritance to the entirety of the Linnie Jane Hodges
the widower Charles Newton Hodges being appointed as Executor, pursuant to estate is irrevocable and final.

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

CONDITIONS, MODES & TERMS


ISSUE MICIANO V. BRIMO
W/N there is valid simple or fideicommissary substitution. [NO] GR L-22595 || Void Condition
FACTS:
HELD The particular subject matter here is the testate estate of the deceased Joseph
PCIB's contention that, the testamentary disposition in favor of Mrs. Hodges' Brimo. Joseph Brimo is a Turkish national and was residing in the Philippines at
brothers and sisters, viewed as a substitution, may not be given effect is correct to the time of his death. He left a will detailing how his properties in the Philippines
a certain extent. Legally speaking, Mrs. Hodges' will provides neither for a simple should be disposed of.
or vulgar substitution under Article 859 of the Civil Code nor for a Juan Miciano (petitioner), the judicial administrator of the estate filed a scheme of
fideicommissary substitution under Article 863 thereof. partition of the estate. Andre Brimo (respondent), one of the deceased's brothers,
opposed it.
There is no vulgar substitution therein because there is no provision for either (1) Trial Court, however, approved the petition for partition of estate. The
predecease of the testator by the designated heir or (2) refusal or (3) incapacity of subesequent motion for reconsideration was denied.
the latter to accept the inheritance, as required by Article 859; and neither is there Andre Brimo, one of the named legatees in the will was excluded in the partition
a fideicommissary substitution therein because no obligation is imposed thereby of inheritance. Apparently, this exclusion was rooted in a clause found in the will
upon Hodges to preserve the estate or any part thereof for anyone else. But from of Joseph Brimo which states:
these premises, it is not correct to jump to the conclusion, as PCIB does, that the "I, Joseph Brimo, am a Turkish citizen, this citizenship having been conferred
testamentary dispositions in question are therefore inoperative and invalid. upon me by conquest and not by free choice, nor by nationality and, on the other
hand, having resided for a considerable length of time in the Philippine Islands
The error in PCIB's position lies simply in the fact that it views the said disposition where I succeeded in acquiring all of the property that I now possess.
exclusively in the light of substitutions covered by the Civil Code section on that It is my wish that the distribution of my property and everything in connection
subject, (Section 3, Chapter 2, Title IV, Book III) when it is obvious that with this, my will, be made and disposed of in accordance with the laws in force in
substitution occurs only when another heir is appointed in a will "so that he the Philippine islands, requesting all of my relatives to respect this wish,
may enter into inheritance in default of the heir originally instituted," otherwise, I annul and cancel beforehand whatever disposition found in this will
(Article 857, id.). favorable to the person or persons who fail to comply with this request."
In this disposition of the will, we see that the institution of legatees in this will is
In the present case, no such possible default is contemplated. The brothers and conditional, and the condition is that the instituted legatees must respect the
sisters of Mrs. Hodges are not substitutes for Hodges because, under her will, they testator's will to distribute his property, not in accordance with the laws of his
are not to inherit what Hodges cannot, would not or may not inherit, but what he nationality, but in accordance with the laws of the Philippines.
would not dispose of from his inheritance; rather, therefore, they are also heirs If this condition as it is expressed were legal and valid, any legatee who fails to
instituted simultaneously with Hodges, subject, however, to certain conditions, comply with it, as the herein oppositor Andre Brimo, who by his attitude in these
partially resolutory insofar as Hodges was concerned and correspondingly proceedings has not respected the will of the testator, as expressed, is prevented
suspensive with reference to his brothers and sisters-in-law. It is partially from receiving his legacy.
resolutory, since it bequeaths unto Hodges the whole of her estate to be owned Appellant Andre Brimo's opposition is based on the fact that the partition in
and enjoyed by him as universal and sole heir with absolute dominion over them question puts into effect the provisions of Joseph Brimo's will which are not in
only during his lifetime, which means that while he could completely and accordance with the laws of his Turkish Nationality; thus, making the will void.
absolutely dispose of any portion thereof inter vivos to anyone other than himself,
he was not free to do so mortis causa, and all his rights to what might remain upon ISSUE:
his death would cease entirely upon the occurrence of that contingency, inasmuch Whether or not the condition made in the will is valid
as the right of his brothers and sisters-in-law to the inheritance, although vested
already upon the death of Mrs. Hodges, would automatically become operative HELD:
upon the occurrence of the death of Hodges in the event of actual existence of any NO, the condition made in the will is not valid. Rather, it is null and void.
remainder of her estate then. Art 873 of the Civil Code provides:

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

"Impossible conditions and those contrary to law or good customs shall be In 1989, Maria Belleza sued Johnny Rabadilla in order to compel Johnny to
considered as not imposed and shall in no manner prejudice the heir, even if the reconvey the said land to the estate of Aleja Belleza because it is alleged that
testator should otherwise provide." Johnny failed to comply with the terms of the will; that since 1985, Johnny failed
Art 16 of the Code also provides that the instrinsic validity of testamentary to deliver the fruits; and that the the land was mortgaged to the Philippine
provisions shall be regulated by the national law of the person. National Bank, which is a violation of the will.
Having been made contrary to law, the condition in the will of Joseph Brimo is In his defense, Johnny avers that the term “near descendants” in the will of Aleja
considered unwritten and the institution of said will is unconditional. pertains to the near descendants of Aleja and not to the near descendants of Dr.
Consequently, valid and effective to oppositor Andre Brimo. Rabadilla, hence, since Aleja had no near descendants at the time of his death, no
All of the remaining clauses of said will and testamentary dispositions, insofar as can substitute Dr. Rabadilla on the obligation to deliver the fruits of the devised
they are not contrary to testator's national law are perfectly valid and effective. land.
Therefore, the orders appealed from are modified and it is directed that the In his defense, Johnny avers that the term “near descendants” in the will of Aleja
distribution of this estate be made in such a manner as to include the herein pertains to the near descendants of Aleja and not to the near descendants of Dr.
appellant Andre Brimo as one of the legatees, and the scheme of partition Rabadilla, hence, since Aleja had no near descendants at the time of his death, no
submitted by the judicial administrator is approved can substitute Dr. Rabadilla on the obligation to deliver the fruits of the devised
land.
Rabadilla v. CA RTC dismissed the complaint. CA reversed.
G.R. No. 113725 (2000) || Condition, effect, mode
FACTS: ISSUE:
In a Codicil appended to the Last Will and Testament of testatrix Aleja Belleza, Dr. Whether or not Johnny Rabadilla is not obliged to comply with the terms of the
Jorge Rabadilla, predecessor-in-interest of the herein petitioner, Johnny S. Will left by Aleja Belleza
Rabadilla, was instituted as a devisee of 511, 855 square meters of that parcel of
land surveyed as Lot No. 1392 of the Bacolod Cadastre. The said Codicil, which RULING:
was duly probated and admitted in Special Proceedings No. 4046 before the then No. The contention of Johnny Rabadilla is bereft of merit. The “near descendants”
Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental states: being referred to in the will are the heirs of Dr. Rabadilla. Ownership over the
“That should Jorge Rabadilla die ahead of me, the aforementioned property and devised property was already transferred to Dr. Rabadilla when Aleja died. Hence,
the rights which I shall set forth hereinbelow, shall be inherited and when Dr. Rabadilla himself died, ownership over the same property was
acknowledged by the children and spouse of Jorge Rabadilla” transmitted to Johnny Rabadilla by virtue of succession.
a)….It is also my command, in this my addition (Codicil), that should I die and Under Article 776 of the Civil Code, inheritance includes all the property, rights
Jorge Rabadilla shall have already received the ownership of the said Lot No. 1392 and obligations of a person, not extinguished by his death. Conformably, whatever
of the Bacolod Cadastre, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. RT-4002 rights Dr. Rabadilla had by virtue of the Will were transmitted to his forced heirs,
(10942), and also at the time that the lease of Balbinito G. Guanzon of the said lot at the time of his death. And since obligations not extinguished by death also form
shall expire, Jorge Rabadilla shall have the obligation until he dies, every year to part of the estate of the decedent; corollarily, the obligations imposed by the
give to Maria Marlina Coscolluela y Belleza, Seventy (75) (sic) piculs of Export Will on the deceased Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, were likewise transmitted to his
sugar and TwentyFive (25) piculs of Domestic sugar, until the said Maria Marlina compulsory heirs upon his death. It is clear therefore, that Johnny should have
Coscolluela y Belleza dies. continued complying with the terms of the Will. His failure to do so shall give rise
Should Jorge Rabadilla die, his heir to whom he shall give Lot No. 1392 of the to an obligation for him to reconvey the property to the estate of Aleja.
Bacolod Cadastre, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. RT-4002 (10492),
shall have the obligation to still give yearly, the sugar as specified in the Fourth LEGITIME
paragraph of his testament, to Maria Marlina Coscolluela y Belleza on the month Raymundo v Vda De Suarez
of December of each year. GR No. 149017 || Legitime
If Dr. Rabadilla or his heirs decide to sell, lease or transfer, the buyer, lessee or
transferee shall also have the same obligation to the testator’s sister. Failure to do FACTS
so will forfeit the property to the sister and nearest relatives. This is the Continuation of Vda. De Suarez vs. CA (case #4)
In 1983, Dr. Rabadilla died. He was survived by Johnny Rabadilla.

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Upon the reinstatement of Civil Case No. 51203 – it was re-raffled and The appellate court granted the petition, recalled and set aside RTC, Branch
transferred, for varied reasons (to do some illegal shit) , to the different court 67's Orders dated January 11, 2000 and March 14, 2000, and reinstated Judge
branches in Pasig City. With each transfer of Civil Case No. 51203 -part of the Santos' Orders dated May 29, 1996 and September 6, 1996.
records went missing and were lost. which is a usual occurence in our judiciary.
In this regard, herein respondents filed a Motion for Reconstitution of ISSUE:
Records of the case. is there a need to institute a special proceedings for a declaration of heirship?
Judge Estrella issued an Order requiring the parties to file their respective
position papers due to the "divergent views on the nature of the hearing that HELD :
should be conducted in compliance with" the SC decision in Suarez. No.
Both parties duly filed their position papers, with herein respondents Article 888 further provides: DaHISE
attaching thereto a copy of the Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate executed by the "The legitime of the legitimate children and descendants consists of one-half of
heirs of Marcelo Suarez in 1957. the hereditary estate of the father and of the mother.
The RTC, Branch 67, issued an Order dated January 11, 2000, which reads, The latter may freely dispose of the remaining half, subject to the rights of
in part: illegitimate children and of the surviving spouse as hereinafter provided."
While this Court is of the view that trial on the merits is necessary for the
purpose of giving the plaintiffs [herein respondents] a chance to adduce
evidence to sustain their complaint and the defendants [including petitioner Article 892, par. 2 likewise provides:
Valente] to prove their defense, consistent with the directive of the Honorable "If there are two or more legitimate children or descendants, the surviving spouse
Supreme Court (in its Decision promulgated on September 4, 1992), the Court shall be entitled to a portion equal to the legitime of each of the legitimate
is, however, confronted with the very recent decision of the Honorable children or descendants."
Supreme Court in "Heirs of Guido Yaptinchay, et al. vs. Del Rosario, et al., G.R. Thus, from the foregoing, the legitime of the surviving spouse is equal to the
No. 124320, March 2, 1999" where it held that — AIDTSE legitime of each child.
The declaration of heirship must be made in an administration proceeding, ////
and not in an independent civil action. This doctrine was reiterated in Solve vs. Compulsory succession
Court of Appeals (182 SCRA 119, 128). The trial court cannot make a o is a distinct kind of succession, albeit not categorized as such in Article 778 of
declaration of heirship in the civil action for the reason that such a the Civil Code.
declaration can only be made in a special proceeding. Under Section 3, Rule 1 o It reserves a portion of the net estate of the decedent in favor of certain heirs,
of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court, a civil action is defined as "one by which a or group of heirs, or combination of heirs, prevailing over all kinds of succession.
party sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the o The portion that is so reserved is the legitime.
prevention or redress of a wrong" while a special proceeding is "a remedy by Article 886 of the Civil Code defines legitime as
which a party seeks to establish a status, a right, or a particular fact." It is "that part of the testator's property which he cannot dispose of because the
then decisively clear that the declaration of heirship can be made only in a law has reserved it for certain heirs who are, therefore, called compulsory heirs."
special proceeding inasmuch as the petitioners here are seekingthe Herein respondents are primary compulsory heirs, excluding secondary
establishment of a status or right. compulsory heirs, and preferred over concurring compulsory heirs in the
In as much as the leading case on the matter is that of "Heirs of Yaptinchay v. distribution of the decedent's estate. EaCSTc
Del Rosario, G.R. No. 124320, March 2, 1999" it is left with no choice but to Even without delving into the Extrajudicial Settlement of Marcelo Sr.'s estate in
obey said latter doctrine. 1957, it must be stressed that herein respondents' rights to the succession vested
Consequently, herein respondents filed a petition for certiorari before the from the moment of their father's death.
CA alleging grave abuse of discretion in the trial court's order dismissing Civil Herein respondents' ownership of the subject properties is no longer inchoate; it
Case No. 51203 without prejudice. became absolute upon Marcelo's death, although their respective shares therein
All the defendants in the trial court were impleaded as private respondents remained pro indiviso.
in the petition. Ineluctably, at the time the subject properties were sold on execution sale to
Yet, curiously, only petitioner Valente filed a Comment thereto. answer for Teofista's judgment obligation, the inclusion of herein respondents'
share therein was null and void.

50
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

In fine, Teofista's ownership over the subject properties is not absolute.


Significantly, petitioner Valente does not even attempt to dispute the conjugal An action for legal separation is purely personal. The spouses can stop or abate
nature of the subject properties. Since Teofista owns only a portion of the subject the proceedings and even rescind a decree of legal separation already rendered.
properties, only that portion could have been, and was actually, levied upon and Being personal in character, it follows that the death of one party to the action
sold on auction by the provincial sheriff of Rizal. Thus, a separate declaration of causes the death of the action itself. When one of the spouses is dead, there is no
heirship by herein respondents is not necessary to annul the judicial sale of need for divorce, because the marriage is dissolved. The heirs cannot even
their share in the subject properties. continue the suit, if the death of the spouse takes place during the course of the
All told, under the circumstances, in addition to the already settled status of suit.
herein respondents as heirs of Marcelo Sr., there is no need to dismiss Civil Case
No. 51203 and require herein respondents to institute a separate special Under Article 106 of the Civil Code, the right to the dissolution of the conjugal
proceeding for a declaration of their heirship. partnership of gains, the loss of right by the offending spouse to any share of the
profits earned by the partnership or community, or his disqualification to inherit
COMPULSORY HEIRS by intestacy from the innocent spouse as well as the revocation of testamentary
Lapuz v. Eufemio provisions in favor of the offending spouse made by the innocent one, are all
GR No. L-30977 || Compulsory Heirs rights and disabilities that are vested exclusively in the persons of the spouses;
FACTS: and by their nature and intent, such claims and disabilities are difficult to conceive
In 1953, Carmen filed a petition for legal separation against Eufemio and sought as assignable or transmissible. Hence, a claim to said rights is not a claim that "is
for his deprivation of his share of the conjugal partnership profits. Eufemio filed a not thereby extinguished" after a party dies, under Section 17, Rule 3, of the Rules
counterclaim for the declaration of nullity ab initio of their marriage on the of Court, to warrant continuation of the action through a substitute of the
ground of his prior and subsisting marriage, celebrated according to Chinese law deceased party.
and customs, with one Go Hiok, alias Ngo Hiok. Before trial could be completed,
Carmed died in 1969. Eufemio filed a motion to dismiss the petition for legal An action for legal separation is abated by the death of the plaintiff, even if
separation while Carmen’s counsel moved for the subsitutition by her father property rights are involved because these rights are mere effects of decree of
Macario Lapuz. separation, their source being the decree itself; without the decree such rights do
not come into existence, so that before the finality of a decree, these claims are
Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court: merely rights in expectation. If death supervenes during the pendency of the
 Dismissed the case and stated that the motion to dismiss and the motion action, no decree can be forthcoming, death producing a more radical and
for substitution had to be resolved on the question of whether or not the definitive separation; and the expected consequential rights and claims would
plaintiff's cause of action has survived, which the court resolved in the necessarily remain unborn.
negative.
As to the petition of for a declaration of nullity ab initio of marriage, it is apparent
Hence, the present petition for review by certiorari of an order, dismissing said that such action became moot and academic upon the death of Carmen, and there
case for legal separation on the ground that the death of Carmen, which occurred could be no further interest in continuing the same after her demise, that
during the pendency of the case, abated the cause of action as well as the action automatically dissolved the questioned union.
itself.  Any property rights acquired by either party as a result of Article 144 of
the Civil Code could be resolved and determined in a proper action for
ISSUE: partition by either the appellee or by the heirs of the appellant.
 WON THE DEATH OF CARMEN BEFORE FINAL DECREE IN A LEGAL
SEPARATION ABATE THE ACTION? Appealed judgment of the Manila Court of Juvenile and Domestic Relations is
o IF SO, WILL IT ALSO APPPLY IF THE ACTION INVOLVES hereby affirmed.
PROPERTY RIGHTS?
Baritua and Bitancor vs CA, Sps Nacario
HELD: 183 SCRA 565 || Compulsory Heirs
YES. FACTS:

51
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Bienvenido Nacario died in 1979 when the tricycle he was driving was hit by a bus parcels of lands described in the complaint. Herein respondents, sisters and
driven by Bitancor, owned and operated by Baritua. No criminal case was ever brothers of the deceased Francisco Delgado, claiming that they are the heirs
instituted. entitled to inherit from Francisco, filed an answer denying that the defendant
In 1980, Bitancor and Baritua entered in an extra judicial settlement of the matter Irene Delgado was the illegitimate child of Francisco Delgado. Trial Court
with Bienvenido's widow Alicia Baracena vda de Nacario. In consideration of Php dismissed the action for reconveyance and declared Irene Delgado the lawful
18,500, Alicia discharged the two from all actions, claims, and demands arising owner of the eight parcels of land.
from the accident which resulted in her husband's death.
In 1981, Bienvenido's parents, Nicolas and Victoria Nacario, instituted an action CA reversed the decision of the trial court. The transfer certificates of title issued
for damages against Bitancor and Baritua. They alleged that the two promised to in the name of Irene Delgado are hereby cancelled, and reinstated in the name of
indemnify them for their son's death and for the damage on the tricycle; but, Francisco Delgado. The then Court of Appeals in arriving at this decision found
instead, the two negotiated with the wife, who they allege was not entitled to the that, although Irene Delgado was the spurious daughter of Francisco Delgado, she
indemnification because she had been long-estranged with their son. nevertheless cannot inherit from the estate of the deceased Francisco Delgado
CFI Camarines Sur, dismissed the complaint of spouses Nacario, holding that the because she was not recognized either voluntarily or by court action.
payment made to Alicia, the wife, and to her son as proper as they are the
preferred heirs and successors-in-interest of the deceased Bienvenido, to the ISSUE
exclusion of his parents, the spouses Nacario. WON a spurious child is entitled to the inheritance.
CA reversed the decision of the CFI, holding that payment to Alicia did not
discharge Bitancor and Nacario from their liabilities to the spouses who instituted RULING
the action in their own capacity and not as heirs of Bienvenido. It held that Alicia The Supreme Court denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration. The doctrine
could not have validly waived the damages and indemnification for expenses that that for an illegitimate child other than natural to inherit must be first recognized
she did not suffer. voluntarily or by court action is well settled in our jurisprudence. Petitioners
raised the argument that under Article 287 of the New Civil Code which reads:
ISSUE: "Illegitimate children other than natural in accordance with Article 269 and other
Whether or not a wife ceases to be a compulsory heir by reason of her long than natural children by legal fiction are entitled to support and such successional
estrangement from the deceased husband rights as are granted in this, code." The term "other illegitimate children" refers
not only to those who are not natural or merely adulterous or incestuous but also
HELD: includes natural children who were not acknowledged or recognized. In other
The Supreme Court held in the negative. Alicia and her lone son with the deceased words, unrecognized natural children can inherit not the share of a natural child
Bienvenido are compulsory heirs and successor-in-interest, according to Article but the share of a spurious child so long as his filiation shall be duly proved. So, in
887 of the New Civil Code. Mere estrangement is not a legal ground for the effect, illegitimate children need only to prove his filiation to inherit and such does
disqualification of a surviving spouse as an heir of the deceased spouse. not place him in a more advantageous position than natural children, as they are
placed in the same situation.
Reyes v. CA
GR No. L-39537 (1985) || Compulsory Heirs WE do not find these arguments persuasive.
FACTS
On January 29, 1967, private respondents prayed that the defendant Irene Reyes, There are two (2) general classifications of illegitimate children or those who are
alias Irene Ramero or Irene Delgado, be ordered to execute a deed of conceived and born out of wedlock. They may be either natural (actually or by
reconveyance in their favor over 4 parcels of lands in Quezon and another deed of fiction) or spurious (the incestuous, adulterous or illicit). Natural children are
reconveyance in favor of Maximina Delgado over 3 parcels of land in, Batangas. defined as those born outside of wedlock of parents, who at the time of conception
of the former, were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other
It was alleged that Reyes thru abuse of confidence, fraud, deceit, (Article 269, New Civil Code). On the other hand, spurious children are those born
misrepresentation and other falsifications succeeded in registering with the of parents, who at the time of their conception, are disqualified to marry each
Register of Deeds a document of self-adjudication wherein she alleged that she other on account of certain impediment. Because of this basic distinction between
was the sole child of the deceased Francisco Delgado and entitled to inherit the these children, it is not legally possible to classify unrecognized natural children

52
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

under the class of spurious children. It is an elementary and basic principle under properties are reservable properties which Mrs. Legarda could not bequeath in
the old and new Civil Code, that an unrecognized natural child has no rights her holographic will to her grandchildren to the exclusion of her three daughters
whatsoever against his parent or his estate. His rights spring not from the filiation and three sons.
itself, but from the child's acknowledgment by the natural parent.
Lower Court Ruling: dismissed the complaint as the properties inherited were
WE affirm the findings of the then Court of Appeals that Irene Reyes alias Irene not subject to reserve troncal
Delgado is not an heir of the late Francisco Delgado.
ISSUE:
RESERVA TRONCAL Whether or not the disputed properties are reservable properties under Article
Padura v. Baldovino 891 of the Civil Code

Gonzales v. CFI of Manila HELD:


GR No. L-34395 (1981) || Reserva Troncal The court held that the disputed properties are indeed reservable properties. In
reserve troncal (1) a descendant inherited or acquired by gratuitous title property
*please bear with me, magkakapareho sila ng pangalan… pag kayo nagkaanak from an ascendant or from a brother or sister; (2) the same property is inherited
please lagyan niyo ng second name… -___- by another ascendant or is acquired by him by operation of law from the said
descendant, and (3) the said ascendance should reserve the said property for the
FACTS: benefit of relatives who are within the third degree from the deceased descendant
Benito Legarda y dela Paz, son of Benito Legarda y Tuason, died on 1933. He was (prepositus) and who belong to the line from which the said property came. Three
survived by his widow, Filomena Races and their seven children, one of which is transmissions are involved: (1) a first transmission by lucrative title (inheritance
petitioner Beatriz Gonzales. In 1939, the real properties left by Tuason were or donation) from an ascendant or brother or sister to the deceased descendant;
partitioned in 3 equal portions by his daughters and the heirs of the deceased (2) a posterior transmission, by operation of law (intestate succession or legitime)
Dela Paz. Filomena Legarda (one of their daughters) died intestate and without from the deceased descendant (causante de la reserve) in favor of another
issue with her mother as sole heiress (Filomena Races). Mrs Legarda (Filomena ascendant, the resorvor or reservista, which two transmissions precede the
Races) on 1947 executed an affidavit adjudicating extrajudicially to herself the reservation, and (3) a third transmissions of the same property (in consequence
properties which she inherited from her deceased daughter (Filomena Legarda). of the reservation) from the reservoir to the reserves (reservatarios) or the
As a result of the affidavit of adjudication, Filomena Races succeeded her deceased relatives within the third degree from the deceased descendant belonging to the
daughter Filomena Legarda as co-owner of the properties held pro indiviso by her line of the first ascendant, brother or sister of the deceased descendant. In the
other six children. In 1953, Filomena Races executed 2 handwritten documents instant case, the properties in question were indubitably reservable properties in
wherein she disposed of the properties, which she inherited from her daughter, in the hands of Mrs. Legarda. The reservation became a certainty when at the time of
favor of the children of her sons, Benito, Alejandro and Jose (16 grandchildren in her death the reserves or relatives within the third degree of the prepositus
all). From 1958 to 1959, Mrs. Legarda and her 6 surviving children partitioned the Filomena Legarda were living or they survived Mrs. Legarda. The court held that
properties consisting of the 1/3 share in the estate of Tuason which the children Mrs. Legarda could not convey in her holographic will to her 16 grandchildren the
inherited in representation of their father Del Paz. Mrs. Legarda (Filomena Races) reservable properties which she had inherited from her daughter Filomena
died in 1967 leaving a will which was admitted to probate. In the testate because the reservable properties did not form part of her estate. The reservoir
proceeding, Petitioner Beatriz Legarda Gonzales filed a motion to exclude from cannot make a disposition mortis cause of the reservable properties as long as the
the inventory of her mother’s estate the properties which she inherited from her reserves survived the reservoir.
deceased daughter, Filomena, on the ground that said properties are
reservable properties which should be inherited by Filomena Legarda’s MARCELINA EDROSO vs. PABLO SABLAN, ET AL.
three sisters and 3 brothers and not by children of Benito, Alejandro and G.R. No. 6878 || RESERVA TRONCAL
Jose Legarda. Benito (apparently the son.. since deads na yung ibang benito), FACTS:
opposed the motion. Without awaiting for the resolution of her motion, petitioner Marcelina Edroso was married to Victoriano Sablan until his death in 1882. In
filed an ordinary civil action against her brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces and this marriage they had a son named Pedro, born in 1881, and who at his father's
her mother’s estate for the purpose of securing a declaration that the said death inherited two parcels of land (situated in the municipality of Pagsanjan,

53
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Province of Laguna, one of 1 hectare 77 ares and 63 centares, and the other of 1 a brother or sister, is under obligation to reserve what
hectare 6 ares and 26 centares). Pedro also died in 1902, unmarried and he has acquired by operation of law for the relatives who
without issue, and by his decease the two parcels of land passed through are within the third degree and belong to the line
inheritance to his mother, Marcelina Edroso. Hence Marcelina applied for whence the property proceeded." (Civil Code, art. 811.)
registration and issuance of title to two parcels of land. Marcelina Edroso, ascendant of Pedro Sablan, inherited from
Two legitimate brothers of Victoriano Sablan — that is, two uncles him these two parcels of land which had acquired without a valuable
german of Pedro Sablan — appeared in the case to oppose the registration, consideration — that is, by inheritance from another ascendant, his
claiming one of two things: Either that the registration be denied, "or that if father Victoriano. Having acquired them by operation of law, she is
granted to her the right reserved by law to the opponents be recorded in the obligated to reserve them intact for the claimants, who are uncles or
registration of each parcel." relatives within the third degree and belong to the line of
RTC: Denied. Registration was denied by the trial court, it held that the parcels of Mariano Sablan and Maria Rita Fernandez, whence the lands
land in question partake of the nature of property required by law to be reserved proceeded. The trial court's ruling that they partake of the nature of
and that in such a case application could only be presented jointly in the names of property required by law to be reserved is therefore in accordance with
the mother and the said two uncles of Pedro Sablan. the law.
Hence, the Court of Land Registration denied the registration and the No error has been incurred in holding that the two parcels
applicant appealed through a bill of exceptions. of land which are the subject matter of the application are required
The admitted facts were as follows: by law to be reserved, because the interested party has not proved
(1) The applicant acquired said lands from her descendant that either of them became her inheritance through the free disposal of
Pedro Sablan by inheritance; her son.
(2) Pedro Sablan had acquired them from his ascendant Victoriano
Sablan, likewise by inheritance; 2. The person required by article 811 to reserve the right has, beyond any
(3) Victoriano Sablan had likewise acquired them by inheritance from his doubt at all, the rights of use and usufruct. He has, moreover, for the
ascendants, Mariano Sablan and Maria Rita Fernandez, they having been reasons set forth, the legal title and dominion, although under a
adjudicated to him in the partition of hereditary property had between condition subsequent. Clearly he has, under an express provision of the
him and his brothers. law, the right to dispose of the property reserved, and to dispose of is to
alienate, although under a condition. He has the right to recover it,
ISSUES: because he is the one who possesses or should possess it and have title
1. Whether the property in question is in the nature of a reservable to it, although a limited and revocable one. In a word, the legal title and
property. dominion, even though under a condition, reside in him while he lives.
2. What are the rights in the property of the person who holds it subject to After the right required by law to be reserved has been assured, he can
the reservation of article 811 of the Civil Code? do anything that a genuine owner can do.
3. Whether Marcelina Edroso has the absolute title of the property to cause On the other hand, the relatives within the third degree in
its registration. whose favor the right is reserved cannot dispose of the property, first
because it is no way, either actually, constructively or formally, in their
RULING: possession; and, moreover, because they have no title of ownership or
1. YES. A very definite conclusion of law is that the hereditary title is one of fee simple which they can transmit to another, on the hypothesis that
without a valuable consideration [gratuitous title], and it is so only when the person who must reserve the right should die before
characterized in article 968 of the Civil Code, for he who acquires by them will they acquire it, thus creating a fee simple, and only then will
inheritance gives nothing in return for what he receives; and a very they take their place in the succession of the descendant of whom they
definite conclusion of law also is that the uncles german are within the are relatives within the third degree, that is to say, a second contingent
third degree of blood relationship. place in said legitimate succession in the fashion of aspirants to a
"The ascendant who inherits from his possible future legacy. If any of the persons in whose favor the right is
descendant property which the latter acquired without a reserved should, after their right has been assured in the registry, dare
valuable consideration from another ascendant, or from to dispose of even nothing more than the fee simple of the property to

54
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

be reserved his act would be null and void, for, as was definitely knows very well from the title entered in the registry
decided in the decision on appeal of December 30, 1897, it is impossible that he acquires a title revocable after a fixed period, a
to determine the part "that might pertain therein to the relative at the thing much more certain and to be expected than the
time he exercised the right, because in view of the nature and scope of purely contingent expectation of the person in whose
the right required by law to be reserved the extent of his right cannot favor is reserved a right to inherit some day what
be foreseen, for it may disappear by his dying before the person another has inherited. The purposes of the law would be
required to reserve it, just as it may even become absolute should that defeated in not applying to the person who must make
person die." the reservation the provision therein relative to the
In fine: No act of disposal inter vivos of the person required by vendee under pacto de retracto, since the argument in
law to reserve the right can be impugned by him in whose favor it is his favor is the more powerful and conclusive; ubi eadem
reserved, because such person has all, absolutely all, the rights inherent ratio, eadem legis dispositio.
in ownership, except that the legal title is burdened with a Therefore, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment appealed from,
condition that the third party acquirer may ascertain from the and in lieu thereof decide and declare that the applicant is entitled to register
registry in order to know that he is acquiring a title subject to a in her own name the two parcels of land which are the subject matter of the
condition subsequent. In conclusion, it seems to us that only an act of application, recording in the registration the right required by article 811 to
disposal mortis causa in favor of persons other than relatives within be reserved to either or both of the opponents, Pablo Sablan and
the third degree of the descendant from whom he got the property to Basilio Sablan, should they survive her; without special finding as to costs.
be reserved must be prohibited to him, because this alone has been
the object of the law: "To prevent persons outside a family from securing, Florentino v. Florentino
by some special accident of life, property that would otherwise have GR No. 14856
remained therein." FACTS:
Apolonio Isabelo Florentino executed a will before the notary public of
3. YES. It is well known that the vendee under pacto de retracto acquires Ilocos Sur, instituting as his universal heirs his aforementioned ten children, the
all the rights of the vendor: posthumos Apolonio III and his widow Severina Faz de Leon; that he declared, in
"The vendee substitutes the vendor in all his rights one of the paragraphs of said will, all his property should be divided among all of
and actions." (Civil Code, art. 1511.) his children of both marriages. That, in the partition of the said testator's estate,
If the vendor can register his title, the vendee can also register there as given to Apolonio Florentino III, his posthumos son the property marked
this same title after he has once acquired it. This title, however, in its with the letters A, B, C, D, E, and F in the complaint, a gold rosary, pieces of gold, of
attribute of being disposable, has a condition subsequent annexed — silver and of table service, livestock, palay, some personal property and other
that the alienation the purchaser may make will be terminated, if the objects mentioned in the complaint.
vendor should exercise the right granted him by article 1507, which That Apolonio Florentino III, the posthumos son of the second marriage,
says: died in 1891; that his mother, Severina Faz de Leon, succeeded to all his property
"Conventional redemption shall take place when described in the complaint; that the widow, Severina Faz de Leon died on
the vendor reserves to himself the right to recover the November 18, 1908, leaving a will instituting as her universal heiress her only
thing sold with the obligation to comply with article living daughter, Mercedes Florentino; that, as such heir, said daughter took
1518, and whatever more may have been agreed upon," possession of all the property left at the death of her mother, Severina Faz de
that is, if he recovers the thing sold by repaying the Leon; that among same is included the property, described in the complaint,
vendee the price of the sale and other expenses. which the said Severina Faz de Leon inherited from her deceased son, the
Notwithstanding this condition subsequent, it is a point posthumos Apolonio, as reservable property; that, as a reservist, the heir of the
not at all doubtful now that the vendee may register his said Mercedes Florentino deceased had been gathering for herself alone the fruits
title in the same way as the owner of a thing mortgaged of lands described in the complaint; that each and every one of the parties
— that is to say, the latter with the consent of his mentioned in said complaint is entitled to one-seventh of the fruits of the
creditor and the former with the consent of the vendor. reservable property described therein.
He may alienate the thing bought when the acquirer

55
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

That several times the plaintiffs have, in an amicable manner, asked the third degree, of the line from which such property came. Any ascendant who
defendants to deliver their corresponding part of the reservable property; that inherits from his descendant any property, while there are living, within the third
without any justifiable motive the defendants have refused and do refuse to degree, relatives of the latter, is nothing but a life usufructuary or a fiduciary of
deliver said property or to pay for its value; that for nine years Mercedes the reservable property received.
Florentino has been receiving, as rent for the lands mentioned, 360 bundles of SC reversed the decision appealed from.
palay at fifty pesos per bundle and 90 bundles of corn at four pesos per bundle;
that thereby the plaintiffs have suffered damages in the sum of fifteen thousand Nieva v. Alcala
four hundred and twenty-eight pesos and fifty-eight centavos, in addition to three
hundred and eight pesos and fifty-eight centavos for the value of the fruits not Sumaya v. IAC
gathered, of one thousand pesos (P1,000) for the unjustifiable retention of the
aforementioned reservable property and for the expenses of this suit. Carillo v. De Paz
Wherefore they pray it be declared that all the foregoing property is
reservable property; that the plaintiffs had and do have a right to the same, in the COMPUTATION OF LEGITIME
quantity and proportion mentioned in the aforementioned paragraph 9 of the Pagkatipunan v. IAC
complaint; that the defendants Mercedes Florentino and her husband be ordered GR No. 70722 || Computation of Legitime
to deliver to the plaintiffs their share of the property in question, of the palay and FACTS:
of the corn above mentioned, or their value; and that they be condemned to pay Jose Velasquez, Sr. was married to Victorina Real, they had 5 children.
the plaintiffs the sum of one thousand pesos (P1,000) together with the costs of When Victorina died, Jose contracted marriage with Canuta Pagkatipunan. Canuta
this instance bore him 13 children. The conjugal partnership with Victorina was not liquidated
and Jose enjoyed full possession of the conjugal properties. When Jose Velasquez
RTC: decided the case by absolving the defendants from the complaint on the died, the 2nd conjugal partnership with Canuta was also not liquidated and
ground that art 811 is absolutely inapplicable to the instant case, inasmuch as the Canuta possessed the properties.
defendant Mercedes Florentino survived her brother. That the fundamental object This situation gave rise to the controversies in the instant case spawned
of article 811 of the Code was thereby complied with, inasmuch as the danger that by the parties' conflicting claims from both sides of the two marriages.
the property coming from the same line might fall into the hands of strangers had Commissioners determined 27 lots belonged to conjugal partnership of first
been avoided; and that the hope or expectation on the part of the plaintiffs of the marriage.
right to acquire the property of the deceased Apolonio III never did come into RTC RULING:
existence because there is a forced heiress who is entitled to such property The RTC declared a listed inventory of properties as belonging to the
estate of the conjugal partnership of Jose Velasquez Sr. and Victorina Real. It also
CA: in favor of the defendants -- in the instant case to apply the pretension of the confirmed all the conveyances executed by Jose Velasquez Sr. during his lifetime.
plaintiffs would be permitting the reservable right to reduce and impair the forced Additionally, it declared null and void all conveyances done by Canuta
legitime which exclusively belongs to the defendant Mercedes Florentino. Pagkatipunan in favor of her children and other relatives. The House and lot in
West ave. was partitioned as half belonging to Canuta Pagkatipunan, and the other
ISSUE: half between the other compulsory heirs.
W/N the property inherited by Mercedes from her mother Severina, which CA RULING:
Severina inherited from her son, is in the nature of reservable property The CA modified the Trial court’s ruling. It held that West Ave. house
should be divided into 2, one half to 2nd wife and her children, the other half to
HELD: the husband and his heirs. The trial court also cancelled all donations inter vivos
Yes. even if Severina left in her will said property, together with her own, to her executed by Jose Velasquez to his children with Canuta and decreed as simulated
only daughter and forced heiress, Mercedes Florentino, the had not lost its sale and resale of Canuta to siblings of the property in the name of Sps. Jose and
reservable nature inasmuch as it originated from the common ancestor of the Victorina Velasquez.
litigants, Apolonio Isabelo.
According to article 811 of the Civil Code Severina Faz de Leon was in duty bound ISSUE:
to reserve the property thus acquired for the benefit of the relatives, within the

56
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

The trial and appellate courts properly adjudicated the shares of Jose Velasquez’s left by testator, deduction of debts and charges; and to charge donations received
heirs? by compulsory heirs to their legitimes, those received by strangers to the free
portion.
HELD:
No. The SC ruled that both the trial court and the respondent Intermediate THE HEIRS OF MARCELINO DORONIO vs. THE HEIRS OF FORTUNATO DORONIO
Appellate Court failed to consider some basic principles observed in the law on G.R. No. 169454 || Computation of Legitime
succession. Such an oversight renders the appealed decision defective. The lower FACTS:
courts failed to consider among others, the following provisions of the Civil Code: Spouses Simeon Doronio and Cornelia Gante, now both deceased, were
Art. 908. To determine the legitime, the value of the property left the registered owners of a parcel of land located at Barangay Cabalitaan, Asingan,
at the death of the testator shall be considered, deducting all Pangasinan covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 352. The spouses
debts and charges, which shall not include those imposed in the had children but the records fail to disclose their number. It is clear, however, that
will. Marcelino Doronio and Fortunato Doronio, now both deceased, were among them
To the net value of the hereditary estate, shall be added the value and that the parties in this case are their heirs. Petitioners are the heirs of
of all donations by the testator that are subject to collation, at the Marcelino Doronio, while respondents are the heirs of Fortunato Doronio. A
time he made them. private deed of donation propter nuptias was executed by spouses Simeon
Doronio and Cornelia Gante in favor of Marcelino Doronio and the latter’s wife,
Art. 1061. Every compulsory heir, who succeeds with other Veronica Pico. One of the properties subject of said deed of donation is the one
compulsory heirs, must bring into the mass of the estate any that it described as follows:
property or right which he may have received from the decedent, A piece of residential land located in the barrio of Cabalitian on the east by
during the lifetime of the latter, by way of donation, or any other Fortunato Doronio; on the south by Geminiano Mendoza and on the west by a road
gratuitous title, in order that it may be computed in the to Villasis.Constructed on said land is a house of light materials also a part of the
determination of the legitime of each heir, and in the account of dowry.
the partition. It appears that the property described in the deed of donation is the one
covered by OCT No. 352. However, there is a significant discrepancy with respect
Art. 909. Donations given to children shall be charged to their to the identity of the owner of adjacent property at the eastern side. Based on OCT
legitime. No. 352, the adjacent owners are Zacarias Najorda and Alejandro Najorda,
Donations made to strangers shall be charged to that part of the whereas based on the deed of donation, the owner of the adjacent property is
estate of which the testator could have disposed by his last will. Fortunato Doronio. Furthermore, said deed of donation remained a private
Insofar as they may be inofficious or may exceed the disposable document as it was never notarized.
portion, they shall be reduced according to the rules established According to petitioners, they are now the owners of the entire
by this Code. property in view of the private deed of donation propter nuptias in favor of their
It appears that there was no determination whatsoever of the gross value predecessors, Marcelino Doronio and Veronica Pico.
of the conjugal properties of Jose Velasquez, Sr. and Victorina Real. Obviously it is Respondents, on the other hand, claim that only half of the property
impossible to determine the conjugal share of Jose Velasquez, Sr. from the said was actually incorporated in the said deed of donation because it stated that
property relationship. Likewise, no collation of the donations he executed during Fortunato Doronio, instead of Zacarias Najorda and Alejandro Najorda, is the
his lifetime was undertaken by the trial court. Thus, it would be extremely difficult owner of the adjacent property at the eastern side. Respondents posit that the
to ascertain whether or not such donations trenched on the heirs' legitime so that donors respected and segregated the possession of Fortunato Doronio of the
the same may be considered subject to reduction for being inofficious. eastern half of the land. They are the ones who have been possessing said land
With the avowed specific provisions of the aforesaid laws respecting occupied by their predecessor, Fortunato Doronio.
collation, which are ruled controlling even in intestate succession, this Court finds The heirs of Marcelino Doronio and Veronica Pico filed with the RTC in
that the lower court's ruling adjudicating the remaining portion of the conjugal Urdaneta, Pangasinan a petition For the Registration of a Private Deed of
estate to the private respondents is purely speculative and conjectural. Donation. During the hearings, no one interposed an objection to the petition.
The case was remanded to the RTC in Laguna to determine gross value of the After the RTC ordered a general default, the petition was eventually granted. This
conjugal properties of the 1st marriage; determine the legitime, value of property led to the registration of the deed of donation, cancellation of OCT No. 352 and

57
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

issuance of a new Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 44481 in the names of
Marcelino Doronio and Veronica Pico. ISSUE:
Seven months later, the heirs of Fortunato Doronio filed a pleading before WHETHER OR NOT THE COMPUTATION OF THE LEGITIMES IN THE CASE AT
the RTC. The petition was for the reconsideration of the decision of the RTC that BAR WAS PROPER; WHETHER OR NOT THE DONATION PROPTER NUPTIAS
ordered the registration of the subject deed of donation. It was prayed in the WAS VALID
petition that an order be issued declaring null and void the registration of the
private deed of donation and that TCT No. 44481 be cancelled. However, the HELD:
petition was dismissed since it had already become final as it was not appealed. NOT PROPER.
Respondent heirs of Fortunato Doronio (as plaintiffs) filed an action for COMPUTATION OF LEGITIMES: Petitioners are correct in alleging that the issue
reconveyance and damages with prayer for preliminary injunction against regarding the impairment of legitime of Fortunato Doronio must be resolved in an
petitioner heirs of Marcelino Doronio before the RTC of Urdaneta City, action for the settlement of estates of spouses Simeon Doronio and Cornelia
Pangasinan. Respondents contended, among others, that the subject land is Gante. It may not be passed upon in an action for reconveyance and damages. A
different from what was donated as the descriptions of the property under OCT probate court, in the exercise of its limited jurisdiction, is the best forum to
No. 352 and under the private deed of donation were different. They posited that ventilate and adjudge the issue of impairment of legitime as well as other related
spouses Simeon Doronio and Cornelia Gante intended to donate only one-half of matters involving the settlement of estate.
the property. An action for reconveyance with damages is a civil action, whereas
RTC DECISION: ruled in favor of petitioner heirs of Marcelino Doronio. It matters relating to settlement of the estate of a deceased person such as
concluded that the parties admitted the identity of the land which they all occupy; advancement of property made by the decedent, partake of the nature of a
that a title once registered under the torrens system cannot be defeated by special proceeding. Special proceedings require the application of specific
adverse, open and notorious possession or by prescription; that the deed of rules as provided for in the Rules of Court.
donation in consideration of the marriage of the parents of petitioners is valid, It may accordingly be stated generally that actions include those
hence, it led to the eventual issuance of TCT No. 44481 in the names of said proceedings which are instituted and prosecuted according to the ordinary rules
parents; and that respondent heirs of Fortunato Doronio (plaintiffs) are not and provisions relating to actions at law or suits in equity, and that special
entitled to damages as they are not the rightful owners of the portion of the proceedings include those proceedings which are not ordinary in this sense, but is
property they are claiming. instituted and prosecuted according to some special mode as in the case of
CA DECISION: reversed and set aside the RTC. The appellate court determined proceedings commenced without summons and prosecuted without regular
that (t)he intention to donate half of the disputed property to appellees pleadings, which are characteristics of ordinary actions. A special proceeding
predecessors can be gleaned from the disparity of technical descriptions must therefore be in the nature of a distinct and independent proceeding for
appearing in the title (OCT No. 352) of spouses Simeon Doronio and Cornelia particular relief, such as may be instituted independently of a pending action, by
Gante and in the deed of donation propter nuptias executed in favor of appellees petition or motion upon notice.
predecessors. Taking note that the boundaries of the lot donated to Marcelino Before any conclusion about the legal share due to a compulsory
Doronio and Veronica Pico differ from the boundaries of the land owned by heir may be reached, it is necessary that certain steps be taken first. The net
spouses Simeon Doronio and Cornelia Gante, the CA concluded that spouses estate of the decedent must be ascertained, by deducting all payable
Simeon Doronio and Cornelia Gante donated only half of the property covered by obligations and charges from the value of the property owned by the
OCT No. 352. The CA ruled that the donation of the entire property in favor of deceased at the time of his death; then, all donations subject to collation
petitioner’s predecessors is invalid on the ground that it impairs the legitime of would be added to it. With the partible estate thus determined, the legitime
respondents predecessor, Fortunato Doronio of the compulsory heir or heirs can be established; and only then can it be
Regarding the allegation of petitioners that OCT No. 352 is inadmissible ascertained whether or not a donation had prejudiced the legitimes.
in evidence, the CA pointed out that, while the OCT is written in the Spanish VALIDITY OF DONATION: NOT VALID. Under the provisions of the Civil
language, this document already forms part of the records of this case for failure Code, a void contract is inexistent from the beginning. The right to set up the
of appellees to interpose a timely objection when it was offered as evidence in the defense of its illegality cannot be waived. The right to set up the nullity of a void or
proceedings a quo. It is a well-settled rule that any objection to the admissibility of non-existent contract is not limited to the parties as in the case of annullable or
such evidence not raised will be considered waived and said evidence will have to voidable contracts; it is extended to third persons who are directly affected by the
form part of the records of the case as competent and admitted evidence. contract.

58
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Consequently, although respondents are not parties in the deed of received. She supposedly came to know of the whereabouts of her daughter, only
donation, they can set up its nullity because they are directly affected by the in 1960 when the girl, who was then about three years old, was brought to her by
same.The subject of the deed being the land they are occupying, its enforcement Villareal, who shortly thereafter returned the child to the Cabangbangs allegedly
will definitely affect them. Petitioners cannot use the finality of the RTC decision thru threats intimidation, fraud and deceit. The Cabangbang spouses assert in
in Petition Case No. U-920 as a shield against the verification of the validity of the rebuttal that Mrs. Cabangbang found the child, wrapped in a bundle, at the gate of
deed of donation. According to petitioners, the said final decision is one for their residence; that she reared her as her own and grew very fond of her; and
quieting of title. In other words, it is a case for declaratory relief under Rule 64 that nobody ever molested them until the child was 5-½ years of age
(now Rule 63) of the Rules of Court, which provides that any person interested
under a deed, will, contract or other written instrument, or whose rights are LOWER COURT: That the child was given to the Cabangbang spouses by Villareal
affected by a statute, executive order or regulation, or ordinance, may, before with the knowledge and consent of Pacita Chua.
breach or violation thereof, bring an action to determine any question of By letter dated June 6, 1963 addressed to the Cabangbang spouses, with copy
construction or validity arising under the instrument furnished to Villareal, Pacita Chua thru counsel demanded the surrender to her of
Suits to quiet title are not technically suits in rem, nor are they, strictly the custody of the child. Failing to secure such custody, Pacita Chua filed on June
speaking, in personam, but being against the person in respect of the res, these 14, 1963 a petition for habeas corpus with the CFI of Rizal, praying that the court
proceedings are characterized as quasi in rem.The judgment in such proceedings grant her custody of and recognize her parental authority over the girl. Named
is conclusive only between the parties. Thus, respondents are not bound by the respondents in the petition were Villareal and the spouses Cabangbang.
decision in Petition Case No. U-920 as they were not made parties in the said case. On June 15, 1963 a writ was issued commanding the provincial sheriff of Rizal or
The rules on quieting of title expressly provide that any declaration in a suit to any of his deputies to produce the body of Betty Chua Sy or Grace Cabangbang
quiet title shall not prejudice persons who are not parties to the action. before the court a quo on June 17, 1963, at 8:30 a.m. However, for reasons not
stated in the record, the child was not produced before the lower court as
DISINHERITANCE ordered.
Chua v. Cabangbang On June 21, 1963 Villareal filed his answer to the petition. The Cabangbangs filed
27 SCRA 791 || Disinheritance their answer the next day.
FACTS: CFI OF RIZAL: Petition dismissed. It will be for the welfare of the child Betty Chua
Pacita Chua, when still in the prime of youth, supported herself by working in Sy also known as Grace Cabangbang to be under the custody of respondents Mr.
nightclubs as a hostess. And sexual liaison she had with man after man without and Mrs. Bartolome Cabangbang.
benefit of marriage. She first lived with a certain Chua Ben in 1950 by whom she ISSUES:
had a child who died in infancy. She afterwards cohabited with Sy Sia Lay by (1) The lower court erred when it awarded the custody of petitioner's daughter
whom she had two children named Robert and Betty Chua Sy. The latter child was Betty Chua Sy or Grace Cabangbang, who is less than seven (7) years old, in favor
born on December 15, 1957. Shortly after the birth of Betty, Pacita Chua and Sy of respondents Mr. and Mrs. Bartolome Cabangbang.
Sia Lay separated. Finding no one to fall back on after their separation, Pacita (2) Illegally deprived petitioner of parental authority over her daughter."
Chua lingered in and around nightclubs and gambling joints, until she met Victor HELD:
Tan Villareal. In due time she became the latter's mistress. In 1960 another child, Both issues resolved against the petitioner.
a girl, was born to her. In 1961 when this last child was still an infant, she and I. Whether the petitioner can be legally separated from her child, Betty Chua Sy
Villareal separated. Without means to support the said child, Pacita Chua gave her or Grace Cabangbang, is an issue that is now moot and academic. Having been
away to acomadre in Cebu. born on December 15, 1957, the child is now 11 years of age. Consequently, the
Sometime in May 1958 Bartolome Cabangbang and his wife, a childless couple, second paragraph of art. 363 of the Civil Code, which prohibits the separation of a
acquired the custody of the child Betty who was then barely four months old. They child under seven years of age from her mother, "unless the court finds
have since brought her up as their own. They had her christened as Grace compelling reasons for such measure," has no immediate relevance. The
Cabangbang on September 12, 1958. petitioner correctly argues, however, that the reasons relied upon by the lower
There is some testimonial conflict on how the Cabangbang spouses acquired court —i.e., "petitioner is not exactly an upright woman" and "it will be for the
custody of the girl Betty (or Grace), Pacita Chua avers that in October 1958, while welfare of the child" — are not strictly speaking, proper grounds in law to deprive
she and Villareal were still living together, the latter surreptitiously took the child a mother of her inherent right to parental authority over her child. It must be
away and gave her to the Cabangbangs, allegedly in recompense for favors conceded that minor children — be they legitimate, recognized natural, adopted,

59
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

natural by legal fiction or illegitimate, other than natural as specified in art. 269 of Cabangbangs — should have been to move heaven and earth, to use a worn-out
the Civil Code — are by law under the parental authority of both the father and but still respectable cliche, in order to recover her. Yet she lifted not a finger.
the mother, or either the father or the mother, as the case may be. But the court It is a matter of record — being the gist of her own unadulterated testimony
take the view that on the basis of the aforecited seemingly unpersuasive factual under oath — that she wants the child back so that Sy Sia Lay, the alleged father,
premises, the petitioner can be deprived of her parental authority. For while in would resume providing the petitioner the support which he peremptorily
one breath art. 313 of the Civil Code lays down the rule that "Parental authority withheld and ceased to give when she gave the child away. A woman scorned, she
cannot be renounced or transferred, except in cases of guardianship or adoption desires to recover the child as a means of embarrassing Villareal who retrieved
approved by the courts, or emancipation by concession," it indicates in the next the jeep he gave her and altogether stopped living with and supporting her. But
that "The courts may, in cases specified by law deprive parents of their [parental] the record likewise reveals that at the pre-trial conducted by the court a quo, she
authority." And there are indeed valid reasons, as will presently be expounded, for expressed her willingness that the child remain with the Cabangbangs provided
depriving the petitioner of parental authority over the minor Betty Chua Sy or the latter would in exchange give her a jeep and some money.
Grace Cabangbang. The petitioner's inconsistent demands in the course of the proceedings
It is the lower court's finding that the child was given to the Cabangbangs by below, reveal that her motives do not flow from the wellsprings of a loving
Villareal with the knowledge and consent of the petitioner. In support of this mother's heart. Upon the contrary, they are unmistakably selfish — nay,
finding, it cited the facts that the petitioner did not at all — not ever — report to mercenary. She needs the child as a leverage to obtain concessions — financial
the authorities the alleged disappearance of her daughter, and had not taken any and otherwise — either from the alleged father or the Cabangbangs. If she gets the
step to see the child when she allegedly discovered that she was in the custody of the child back, support for her would be forthcoming so she thinks — from the alleged
Cabangbangs. It discounted the petitioner's claim that she did not make any move father, Sy Sia Lay. On the other hand, if the Cabangbangs would keep the child, she
to recover the child because the Cabangbangs are powerful and influential. The would agree provided they gave her a jeep and some money.
petitioner is bound by the foregoing findings of fact. Having taken her appeal Indeed, the petitioner's attitude,does nothing but confirm her intention to
directly to this Court, she is deemed to have waived the right to dispute any abandon the child — from the very outset when she allowed Villareal to give her
finding of fact made by the trial court. away to the Cabangbangs. It must be noted that the abandonment took place
Art. 332 of the Civil Code provides, inter alia: when the child, barely four months old, was at the most fragile stage of life and
The courts may deprive the parents of their authority or suspend the needed the utmost care and solicitude of her mother. And for five long years
exercise of the same if they should treat their children with excessive thereafter she did not once move to recover the child. She continuously shunned
harshness or should give them corrupting orders, counsels, or examples, the natural and legal obligations which she owed to the child; completely withheld
or should make them beg or abandon them. (emphasis supplied) her presence, her love, her care, and the opportunity to display maternal affection;
Abandonment is therefore one of the grounds for depriving parents of parental and totally denied her support and maintenance. Her silence and inaction have
authority over their children. been prolonged to such a point that her abandonment of the child and her total
Was the petitioner's acquiescence to the giving by Villareal of her child to the relinquishment of parental claim over her, can and should be inferred as a matter
Cabangbangs tantamount to abandonment of the child? To the mind of the court, of law.
mere acquiescence — without more — is not sufficient to constitute Note that this was not the only instance when she gave away a child of her own
abandonment. But the record yields a host of circumstances which, in their flesh and blood. She gave up her youngest child, named Betty Tan Villareal, to
totality, unmistakably betray the petitioner's settled purpose and intention to her comadre in Cebu because she could not support it.
completely forego all parental response possibilities and forever relinquish all Of incalculable significance is the fact that nowhere in the course of the
parental claim in respect to the child. petitioner's lengthy testimony did she ever express a genuine desire to recover
She surrendered the custody of her child to the Cabangbangs in 1958. She waited her child Betty Chua Sy or Grace Cabangbang — or, for that matter, her other child
until 1963, or after the lapse of a period of five long years, before she brought Betty Tan Villareal — because she loves her, cares for her, and wants to smother
action to recover custody. Her claim that she did not take any step to recover her her with motherly affection. Far from it. She wants Betty Chua Sy or Grace
child because the Cabangbangs were powerful and influential, does not deserve Cabangbang back so that the alleged father would resume giving her (the
any modicum of credence. A mother who really loves her child would go to any petitioner) support. She wants her back to humiliate and embarrass the
extent to be reunited with her. The natural and normal reaction of the petitioner respondent Villareal who, with her knowledge and consent, gave the child to the
— once informed, as she alleged, and her child was in the custody of the Cabangbangs. But — "most unkindest cut of all"! — she nevertheless signified her
readiness to give up the child, in exchange for a jeep and some money.

60
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

THE Court therefore affirm the lower court's decision, not on the grounds cited Parenthetically, sections 6 and 7 of Rule 99 of the Rules of Court belie the
by it, but upon a ground which the court overlooked — i.e., abandonment by the petitioner's contention that the first sentence of art. 363 of the Civil Code, which
petitioner of her child. states that
Contrast the petitioner's attitude with that of the respondents Cabangbang — In all questions on the care, custody, education and property of children,
especially the respondent Flora Cabangbang who, from the moment the child was the latter's welfare shall be paramount.....
given to them, took care of her as if she were her own flesh and blood, had her applies only when the litigation involving a child is between the father and the
baptized, and when she reached school age enrolled her in a reputable exclusive mother. That the policy enunciated, in the abovequoted legal provision is of
school, for girls. Ironically enough, the real heart-rending tragedy in this case general application, is evident from the use of the, adjective all — meaning, the
would consist not in taking the child away from the Cabangbangs but in returning whole extent or quantity of, the entire number of, every one of. It is, therefore,
her to the custody of the petitioner. error to argue that if the suit involving a child's custody is between a parent and a
For, by her own admission, the petitioner has no regular source of income, and it stranger, the law must necessarily award such custody to the parent. Sec 7, Rule
is doubtful, to say the very least, that she can provide the child with the barest 99 of the Rules of Court, precisely contemplates, among others, a suit between a
necessities of life, let alone send her to school. There is no insurance at all that the parent and a stranger who, in the words of the provision, is "some reputable
alleged father, Sy Sia Lay — an unknown quantity, as far as the record goes — resident of the province." And under the authority of the said rule, the court — if it
would resume giving the petitioner support once she and the child are reunited. is for the best interest of the child — may take the child away from its parents and
What would then prevent the petitioner from again doing that which she did commit it to, inter alia, a benevolent person.
before, i.e., give her away? These are of course conjectures, but when the welfare Sec. 1, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court provides that "Except as otherwise
of a helpless child is at stake, it is the bounden duty of courts — which they cannot expressly provided by law, the writ of habeas corpus shall extend to all cases of
shirk — to respect, enforce, and give meaning and substance to a child's illegal confinement or detention by which any person is deprived of his liberty, or
natural and legal right to live and grow in the proper physical, moral and by which the rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled
intellectual environment. 5 thereto." The petitioner has not proven that she is entitled to the rightful custody
This is not to say that with the Cabangbang spouses, a bright and secure future is of Betty Chua Sy or Grace Cabangbang. Upon the contrary, by wantonly and
guaranteed for her. For life is beset at every turn with snares and pitfalls. But the completely shunting aside her legal and moral obligations toward her child, she
record indubitably pictures the Cabangbang spouses as a childless couple of must be deemed as having forfeited all legitimate legal and moral claim to her
consequence in the community, who have given her their name and are rearing custody. The lower court acted correctly in dismissing her petition.
her as their very own child, and with whom there is every reason to hope she will
have a fair chance of normal growth and development into respectable LEGACIES V. DEVISES
womanhood. Fuentes v. Canon
Verily, to surrender the girl to the petitioner would be to assume — quite
incorrectly — that only mothers are capable of parental love and affection. Upon Chiong Joc-Soy v. Vano
the contrary, this case precisely underscores the homiletic admonition that GR No. 48840 || Legacies and Devises
parental love is not universal and immutable like a law of natural science. FACTS:
II. Genoveva Rosales, resident of Cebu, in her will, gave Chiong Joc-Soy (petioner
The absence of any kinship between the child and the Cabangbangs alone cannot herein) 50,000 pesos (Mexican Currency), 20,000 as a gift and 30,000 for the
serve to bar the lower court from awarding her custody to them. Indeed, the law burial expenses of her husband. After Genoveva’s death, the will was probated and
provides that in certain cases the custody of a child may be awarded even to was duly proved. Subsequently, Joc-Soy filed a petition for the settlement of the
strangers, as against either the father or the mother or against both. Thus, in estate of the deceased and to pay him the 50,000 mentioned in the will.
proceedings involving a child whose parents are separated — either legally or de CFI RULING: Administrator ordered to pay Joc-Soy 20k. BUT another order was
facto — and where it appears that both parents are improper persons to whom to given, the 30k, Mexican currency, or equivalent in PH currency, be paid at the day
entrust the care, custody and control of the child, "the court may either designate of the decision, with interest of 6%/annum from the presentation of the claim.
the paternal or maternal grandparent of the child, or his oldest brother or sister, Petitioner and some of the heirs, herein respondent, appealed. No appeal was
or some reputable and discreet person to take charge of such child, or commit it to taken by anyone from the order probating the will.
and suitable asylum, children's home, or benevolent society." 6
ISSUE/S:

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

(1) WoN the will was executed in accordance with the law; (2) The opposition of Anna Hartske, her son Charles Robinson, Clara Webber and
(2) WoN needs to pay the respondents bond as security as stated in Art. 882 (Art. her daughter, Gertrude Webber, to the scheme of partition is disallowed together
797 in this case). with every other opposition.
(3) Clara Webber's opposition in the matter of the jewels is also overruled.
HELD: (4) Lastly, Frema Fischler's opposition with reference to the payment of interest
(1) Yes, the judgment of the probate court in such case stands like any other upon the principal of her legacy is also overruled.
decision of a court of competent jurisdiction. Its judgments are binding
upon the parties interested and their validity, in the absence of any proof ISSUE:
of fraud or accidents, or mistakes, can be called in question only by an 1) Whether or not the contention of Webber with regard to the jewelry is correct.
appeal. In this case there is no suggestion of the existence of any of those 2) Whether or not Fischler is entitled to interest upon her legacy.
things. There is no claim made that the heirs were not properly notified
of the hearing upon the probate of the will and nothing to indicate that HELD:
they were not present and took part in that hearing. 1) NO
Mrs. Clara Webber filed an additional opposition to the scheme of partition in
(2) No, from the first paragraph of this article it is apparent that there is a so far as it gives her one-half of the jewelry. She contends that inasmuch as
presumption in cases of this kind that the legacy is not conditional, and the will gives her one-half of said jewelry, and as it value has depreciated
unless it clearly appears in the will that it was the intention of the considerable, being hardly worth P500 at present, it is a serious error and a
testatrix in this case to make the legacy conditional, the words used must manifest lack of equity to appraise its value at P2,995.50, adjudicating to her
be considered as not imposing any condition. That she wished and one-half thereof. She proposes that the jewelry be sold and the proceeds
desired the petitioner to expend the 30,000 pesos as indicated in the will divided equally between her and the other legatee. This contention is not
is apparent, but the question is, did she intend to make her gift well taken; first, because the will of the testratrix must be carried out
conditional, or did she rely upon her confidence in the petitioner that he where it provides that one- half of the jewelry itself is to be given to this
would carry out her suggestion without the necessity of imposing a opponent; and secondly, because there is no need of selling the jewelry;
condition upon him? It appears that the husband of the testatrix was a as for the value, that is reasonable because it was fixed by the committee
Chinaman; that she was a Filipina, and that the legatee was Chinaman. of appraisal, and no proper objection was entered in due time.
The manner in which persons of Chinese descent spend money to
perpetuate the memory of a deceased person of their race does not 2) NO
appear, nor the amount that they are accustomed so to expend, nor the Article 884 of the Code must be applied, which provides that interest
time during which it may be expended. All these circumstances were from the time of the testator's death shall be given the legatee if the
doubtless known to the testatrix and we believe that knowing them she testator has expressly so provided. With reference to the present
intentionally selected a person of Chinese birth to carry out her purposes opponent, it appears that the testratrix has not clearly and expressly provided
in these regard. We hold, therefore, that they legacy is not conditional. for the payment of the interest upon the P10,000 legacy; according to the last-
named article it is clear that the opponent is not entitled to the interest
PHILTRUST COMPANY V. WEBBER claimed.
GR No. L-34480 || Legacies and Devises Generic legacies or legacies of quantity, like the one adjudicated to the
FACTS: opponent, do not draw legal interest until a demand is made for them; and a
This appeal has been taken from an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila legacy cannot be legally demanded before the scheme of partition is duly
entered in the course of the present proceedings and providing as follows: approved by the probate court.
In view of the foregoing (1) the item of two thousand pesos (P2,000) for Cash legacy does not earn interest until the person bound to deliver it — in this
attorney's fees in the final account submitted by the administrator is hereby case the judicial administrator — is in default.
approved; but the scheme of partition must be amended so as to charge this sum
proportionally to the estate of each of the spouses, Herman Frankel and Mrs.
Frankel.

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