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SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

LLB 3 2017-2018
Atty. Maru Ali G. Sanchez
1. General Provisions/Preliminary Matters

RAMON S. CHING AND PO WING PROPERTIES,


INC., Petitioners,
vs. HON. JANSEN R. RODRIGUEZ, in his capacity as Presiding
Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 6, JOSEPH
CHENG, JAIME CHENG, MERCEDES IGNE AND LUCINA SANTOS,
substituted by her son, EDUARDO S. BALAJADIA, Respondents.

Facts:
Sometime between November 25, 2002 and December 3, 2002, the
respondents filed a Complaint against the petitioners and
Stronghold Insurance Company, Global Business Bank, Inc. (formerly
PhilBank), Elena Tiu Del Pilar, Asia Atlantic Resources Ventures, Inc.,
Registers of Deeds of Manila and Malabon, and all persons claiming
rights or titles from Ramon Ching (Ramon) and his successors-in-
interest.

The Complaint, captioned as one for "Disinheritance, Declaration of


Nullity of Agreement and Waiver, Affidavit of Extra-Judicial
Settlement, Deed of Absolute Sale, Transfer Certificates of Title with
Prayer for [the] Issuance of [a] Temporary Restraining Order and [a]
Writ of Preliminary Injunction,". In the complaint, the respondents
alleged six(6) causes of action: that (1) they are the heirs of Antonio
Ching and that Ramon misrepresented himself as Antonios son when
he was, in fact, adopted and his birth certificated merely simulated;
(2) Antonio was killed with Ramon as the prime suspect and prior to
the conclusion of the investigations, Ramon made an inventory of the
formers estate and illegally transferred to his name the titles to
Antonios properties; (3) Ramon sweet-talked respondent Mercedes
into surrendering to him a Certificate of Time Deposit of
P4,000,000.00 in the name of Antonio and the TCTs of two condo
units registered under Ramon’s name; (4) Ramon illegally transferred
to his own name through a forged document 40,000 shares in Po
Wing Corporation; (5) Ramon executed an Affidavit of Extra-Judicial
Settlement of Estate adjudicating solely to himself Antonio's entire
estate to the prejudice of the respondents; and (6) Ramon sold
Antonio's two parcels of land in Navotas to co-defendant Asia Atlantic
Business Ventures, Inc. Another parcel of land, which was part of
Antonio's estate, was sold by Ramon to co-defendant Elena Tiu Del
Pilar at an unreasonably low price.

The respondents thus prayed for the (1) issuance of a TRO to restrain
Ramon or his representatives from disposing or selling any property
that belongs to the estate of Antonio; (2) that Ramon be declared as
disqualified from inheriting from Antonio Ching; and (3) declaring null
the unauthorized transfers made by Ramon.

The petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss the respondents' Amended


Complaint on the alleged ground of the RTC's lack of jurisdiction
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over the subject matter of the Complaint. The petitioners argued that
since the Amended Complaint sought the release of the CPPA to the
respondents, the latter's declaration as heirs of Antonio, and the
propriety of Ramon's disinheritance, the suit partakes of the
nature of a special proceeding and not an ordinary action for
declaration of nullity. Hence, jurisdiction pertains to a probate or
intestate court and not to the RTC acting as an ordinary court.

Issue: Whether or not the RTC should have granted the Motion to
Dismiss as the issues could only be resolved in a special proceeding
and not in an ordinary civil action

Held: NO.

An action for reconveyance and annulment of title with damages


is a civil action, whereas matters relating to settlement of the estate
of a deceased person such as advancement of property made by the
decedent, partake of the nature of a special proceeding, which
concomitantly requires the application of specific rules as provided for
in the Rules of Court. A special proceeding is a remedy by which
a party seeks to establish a status, a right, or a particular
fact. It is distinguished from an ordinary civil action where a
party sues another for the enforcement or protection of a
right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong. To initiate a
special proceeding, a petition and not a complaint should be filed.

Under Article 916 of the NCC, disinheritance can be effected


only through a will wherein the legal cause therefor shall be specified.
This Court agrees with the RTC and the CA that while the respondents
in their Complaint and Amended Complaint sought the disinheritance
of Ramon, no will or any instrument supposedly effecting the
disposition of Antonio's estate was ever mentioned. Hence, despite
the prayer for Ramon's disinheritance, Civil Case No. 02-105251 does
not partake of the nature of a special proceeding and does not call for
the probate court's exercise of its limited jurisdiction.

The petitioners also argue that the prayers in the Amended


Complaint, seeking the release in favor of the respondents of the
CPPA under Metrobank's custody and the nullification of the
instruments subject of the complaint, necessarily require the
determination of the respondents' status as Antonio's heirs.

It bears stressing that what the respondents prayed for was


that they be declared as the rightful owners of the CPPA which was in
Mercedes' possession prior to the execution of the Agreement and
Waiver. The respondents also prayed for the alternative relief of
securing the issuance by the RTC of a hold order relative to the CPPA
to preserve Antonio's deposits with Metrobank during the pendency of
the case. It can thus be said that the respondents' prayer relative to
the CPPA was premised on Mercedes' prior possession of and their
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alleged collective ownership of the same, and not on the declaration
of their status as Antonio's heirs. Further, it also has to be
emphasized that the respondents were parties to the execution of the
Agreement and Waiver prayed to be nullified. Hence, even without
the necessity of being declared as heirs of Antonio, the respondents
have the standing to seek for the nullification of the instruments in
the light of their claims that there was no consideration for their
execution, and that Ramon exercised undue influence and committed
fraud against them. Consequently, the respondents then claimed that
the Affidavit of Extra-Judicial Settlement of Antonios estate executed
by Ramon, and the TCTs issued upon the authority of the said
affidavit, are null and void as well. Ramon's averment that a
resolution of the issues raised shall first require a declaration of the
respondents' status as heirs is a mere defense which is not
determinative of which court shall properly exercise jurisdiction.

In sum, this Court agrees with the CA that the nullification of


the documents subject of Civil Case No. 02-105251 could be achieved
in an ordinary civil action, which in this specific case was instituted to
protect the respondents from the supposedly fraudulent acts of
Ramon.

The respondents' resort to an ordinary civil action before the


RTC may not be strategically sound, because a settlement proceeding
should thereafter still follow, if their intent is to recover from Ramon
the properties alleged to have been illegally transferred in his name.
Be that as it may, the RTC, in the exercise of its general jurisdiction,
cannot be restrained from taking cognizance of respondents'
Complaint and Amended Complaint as the issues raised and the
prayers indicated therein are matters which need not be threshed out
in a special proceeding.

2. Rule 72- Subject Matter and Applicability of General Rules

LUISA KHO MONTAÑER, ALEJANDRO MONTAÑER, JR.,


LILLIBETH MONTAÑER-BARRIOS, AND RHODORA ELEANOR
MONTAÑER-DALUPAN vs. SHARI'A DISTRICT COURT, FOURTH
SHARI'A JUDICIAL DISTRICT, MARAWI CITY, LILING
DISANGCOPAN, AND ALMAHLEEN LILING S. MONTAÑER

Facts:

Private respondents Liling Disangcopan and her daughter, Almahleen


Liling S. Montañer, both Muslims, filed a "Complaint" for the
judicial partition of properties before the Shari’a District Court
n the said complaint, private respondents made the following
allegations: (1) in May 1995, Alejandro Montañer, Sr. died; (2) the
late Alejandro Montañer, Sr. is a Muslim; (3) petitioners are the first
family of the decedent; (4) Liling Disangcopan is the widow of the
decedent; (5) Almahleen Liling S. Montañer is the daughter of the
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decedent; and (6) the estimated value of and a list of the properties
comprising the estate of the decedent. Private respondents prayed for
the Shari’a District Court to order, among others, the following: (1)
the partition of the estate of the decedent; and (2) the appointment
of an administrator for the estate of the decedent.

The Shari’a District Court dismissed the private respondents’


complaint. The district court held that Alejandro Montañer, Sr. was
not a Muslim, and its jurisdiction extends only to the settlement and
distribution of the estate of deceased Muslims.

Private respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration. In its first


assailed order dated August 22, 2006, the Shari’a District Court
reconsidered its order of dismissal dated November 22, 2005. The
district court allowed private respondents to adduce further
evidence. In its second assailed order dated September 21, 2006,
the Shari’a District Court ordered the continuation of trial, trial
on the merits, adducement of further evidence, and pre-trial
conference.

Hence, this Petition

Issue: WON the Complaint filed by the respondents before the


Shari’a District Court is an ordinary civil action

Held: NO. The complaint filed by the respondents in the Shari’a


District Court for the settlement of the estate is a special proceeding.

The underlying assumption in petitioners’ second argument, that the


proceeding before the Shari’a District Court is an ordinary civil action
against a deceased person, rests on an erroneous understanding of
the proceeding before the court a quo. Part of the confusion may be
attributed to the proceeding before the Shari’a District Court, where
the parties were designated either as plaintiffs or defendants and the
case was denominated as a special civil action. We reiterate that the
proceedings before the court a quo are for the issuance of letters of
administration, settlement, and distribution of the estate of the
deceased, which is a special proceeding. Section 3(c) of the Rules of
Court (Rules) defines a special proceeding as "a remedy by which a
party seeks to establish a status, a right, or a particular fact." This
Court has applied the Rules, particularly the rules on special
proceedings, for the settlement of the estate of a deceased
Muslim.31 In a petition for the issuance of letters of administration,
settlement, and distribution of estate, the applicants seek to establish
the fact of death of the decedent and later to be duly recognized as
among the decedent’s heirs, which would allow them to exercise their
right to participate in the settlement and liquidation of the estate of
the decedent. Here, the respondents seek to establish the fact of
Alejandro Montañer, Sr.’s death and, subsequently, for private

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respondent Almahleen Liling S. Montañer to be recognized as among
his heirs, if such is the case in fact.

Petitioners’ argument, that the prohibition against a decedent or his


estate from being a party defendant in a civil action applies to a
special proceeding such as the settlement of the estate of the
deceased, is misplaced. Unlike a civil action which has definite
adverse parties, a special proceeding has no definite adverse party.
The definitions of a civil action and a special proceeding, respectively,
in the Rules illustrate this difference. A civil action, in which "a party
sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the
prevention or redress of a wrong" necessarily has definite adverse
parties, who are either the plaintiff or defendant. On the other hand,
a special proceeding, "by which a party seeks to establish a status,
right, or a particular fact," has one definite party, who petitions or
applies for a declaration of a status, right, or particular fact, but no
definite adverse party. In the case at bar, it bears emphasis that the
estate of the decedent is not being sued for any cause of action. As a
special proceeding, the purpose of the settlement of the estate of the
decedent is to determine all the assets of the estate, pay its
liabilities, and to distribute the residual to those entitled to the same.

ALAN JOSEPH A. SHEKER, Petitioner, vs. ESTATE OF ALICE O.


SHEKER, VICTORIA S. MEDINA-Administratrix, Respondent.

Facts:
The RTC admitted to probate the holographic will of Alice
O. Sheker and thereafter issued an order for all the creditors to file
their respective claims against the estate. In compliance therewith,
petitioner filed on October 7, 2002 a contingent claim for agent's
commission due him amounting to approximately P206,250.00 in the
event of the sale of certain parcels of land belonging to the estate,
and the amount of P275,000.00, as reimbursement for expenses
incurred and/or to be incurred by petitioner in the course of
negotiating the sale of said realties.

The executrix of the Estate of Alice O. Sheker (respondent) moved for


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

Petitioner maintains that the RTC erred in strictly applying to a


probate proceeding the rules requiring a certification of non-forum
shopping, a written explanation for non-personal filing, and the

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payment of docket fees upon filing of the claim. He insists that
Section 2, Rule 72 of the Rules of Court provides that rules in
ordinary actions are applicable to special proceedings only in a
suppletory manner.
Issue: WON rules in ordinary actions are only supplementary to
rules in special proceedings is not entirely correct.
Held: Section 2, Rule 72, Part II of the same Rules of Court
provides:

Sec. 2. Applicability of rules of Civil Actions. - In the absence of


special provisions, the rules provided for in ordinary actions shall
be, as far as practicable, applicable in special proceedings.

Stated differently, special provisions under Part II of the Rules of


Court govern special proceedings; but in the absence of special
provisions, the rules provided for in Part I of the Rules governing
ordinary civil actions shall be applicable to special proceedings, as far
as practicable.

The word "practicable" is defined as: possible to practice or perform;


capable of being put into practice, done or accomplished.4 This means
that in the absence of special provisions, rules in ordinary actions
may be applied in special proceedings as much as possible and where
doing so would not pose an obstacle to said proceedings. Nowhere in
the Rules of Court does it categorically say that rules in ordinary
actions are inapplicable or merely suppletory to special proceedings.

Provisions of the Rules of Court requiring a certification of non-forum


shopping for complaints and initiatory pleadings, a written
explanation for non-personal service and filing, and the payment of
filing fees for money claims against an estate would not in any way
obstruct probate proceedings, thus, they are applicable to special
proceedings such as the settlement of the estate of a deceased
person as in the present case.

ALFREDO HILADO, LOPEZ SUGAR CORPORATION, FIRST


FARMERS HOLDING CORPORATION, Petitioners, vs. THE
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, THE HONORABLE AMOR A.
REYES, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch
21 and ADMINISTRATRIX JULITA CAMPOS
BENEDICTO, Respondents.
Facts:

The well-known sugar magnate Roberto S. Benedicto died intestate


on 15 May 2000. He was survived by his wife, private respondent
Julita Campos Benedicto (administratrix Benedicto), and his only
daughter, Francisca Benedicto-Paulino. At the time of his death, there
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were two pending civil cases against Benedicto involving the
petitioners. The first, Civil Case No. 95-9137, was then pending with
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City, Branch 44, with
petitioner Alfredo Hilado as one of the plaintiffs therein. The second,
Civil Case No. 11178, was then pending with the RTC of Bacolod City,
Branch 44, with petitioners Lopez Sugar Corporation and First
Farmers Holding Corporation as one of the plaintiffs therein.

Thereafter, private respondent Julita Campos Benedicto filed with the


RTC of Manila a petition for the issuance of letters of administration in
her favor, pursuant to Section 6, Rule 78 of the Revised Rules of
Court. The Manila RTC issued an order appointing private respondent
as administrator of the estate of her deceased husband, and issuing
letters of administration in her favor. In January 2001, private
respondent submitted an Inventory of the Estate, Lists of Personal
and Real Properties, and Liabilities of the Estate of her deceased
husband. In the List of Liabilities attached to the inventory, private
respondent included as among the liabilities, the above-mentioned
two pending claims then being litigated before the Bacolod City
courts.

Subsequently, petitioners filed with the Manila RTC a


Manifestation/Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela, praying that they be
furnished with copies of all processes and orders pertaining to the
intestate proceedings. Private respondent opposed the
manifestation/motion, disputing the personality of petitioners to
intervene in the intestate proceedings of her husband. Even before
the Manila RTC acted on the manifestation/motion, petitioners filed
an omnibus motion praying that the Manila RTC set a deadline for the
submission by private respondent of the required inventory of the
decedent’s estate. Petitioners also filed other pleadings or motions
with the Manila RTC, alleging lapses on the part of private respondent
in her administration of the estate, and assailing the inventory that
had been submitted thus far as unverified, incomplete and
inaccurate.

The Manila RTC denied the manifestation/motion, on the


ground that petitioners are not interested parties within the
contemplation of the Rules of Court to intervene in the intestate
proceedings. The CA likewise dismissed the petition.

Issue 1: WON the creditors whose credit is based on contingent


claim have the right to participate in the settlement proceedings by
way of intervention under Rule 119 of the Rules of Court

Issue 2: WON the creditors petitioners, as persons interested in the


intestate estate of the deceased person, are entitled to copies of all
processes and orders pertaining to the intestate proceedings

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Held:

Issue 1: Notwithstanding Section 2 of Rule 72, intervention as set


forth under Rule 19 does not extend to creditors of a decedent whose
credit is based on a contingent claim. The definition of "intervention"
under Rule 19 simply does not accommodate contingent claims.

Section 1 of Rule 19 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure


requires that an intervenor "has a legal interest in the matter in
litigation, or in the success of either of the parties, or an interest
against both, or is so situated as to be adversely affected by a
distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court
x x x" While the language of Section 1, Rule 19 does not literally
preclude petitioners from intervening in the intestate proceedings,
case law has consistently held that the legal interest required of an
intervenor "must be actual and material, direct and immediate, and
not simply contingent and expectant."

Civil actions for tort or quasi-delict do not fall within the class of
claims to be filed under the notice to creditors required under Rule
86.20 These actions, being as they are civil, survive the death of the
decedent and may be commenced against the administrator pursuant
to Section 1, Rule 87.

Issue 2: In the same manner that the Rules on Special Proceedings


do not provide a creditor or any person interested in the estate, the
right to participate in every aspect of the testate or intestate
proceedings, but instead provides for specific instances when such
persons may accordingly act in those proceedings, we deem that
while there is no general right to intervene on the part of the
petitioners, they may be allowed to seek certain prayers or reliefs
from the intestate court not explicitly provided for under the Rules, if
the prayer or relief sought is necessary to protect their interest in the
estate, and there is no other modality under the Rules by which such
interests can be protected.

Allowing creditors, contingent or otherwise, access to the records of


the intestate proceedings is an eminently preferable precedent than
mandating the service of court processes and pleadings upon them.
In either case, the interest of the creditor in seeing to it that the
assets are being preserved and disposed of in accordance with the
rules will be duly satisfied. Acknowledging their right to access the
records, rather than entitling them to the service of every court order
or pleading no matter how relevant to their individual claim, will be
less cumbersome on the intestate court, the administrator and the
heirs of the decedent, while providing a viable means by which the
interests of the creditors in the estate are preserved.1awphi1

Nonetheless, in the instances that the Rules on Special Proceedings


do require notice to any or all "interested parties" the petitioners as

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"interested parties" will be entitled to such notice. The instances
when notice has to be given to interested parties are provided in: (1)
Sec. 10, Rule 85 in reference to the time and place of examining and
allowing the account of the executor or administrator; (2) Sec. 7(b)
of Rule 89 concerning the petition to authorize the executor or
administrator to sell personal estate, or to sell, mortgage or
otherwise encumber real estates; and; (3) Sec. 1, Rule 90 regarding
the hearing for the application for an order for distribution of the
estate residue. After all, even the administratrix has acknowledged in
her submitted inventory, the existence of the pending cases filed by
the petitioners.

Heirs of TEOFILO GABATAN, namely: LOLITA GABATAN,


POMPEYO GABATAN, PEREGRINO GABATAN, REYNALDO
GABATAN, NILA GABATAN AND JESUS JABINIS, RIORITA
GABATAN TUMALA and FREIRA GABATAN, Petitioners,
vs. Hon. COURT OF APPEALS and LOURDES EVERO
PACANA, Respondents.

Facts:

Case Filed: Recovery of Property and Ownership and Possession


commenced by respondent Lourdes Evero Pacana against petitioners,
heirs of Teofilo Gabatan, Jesus Jabinis and Catalino Acantilado.

Subject of the present controversy is a 1.1062 hectare parcel of land,


identified as Lot 3095 C-5 and situated at Calinugan, Balulang,
Cagayan de Oro City. This lot was declared for taxation in the name
of Juan Gabatan. In the complaint before the RTC, respondent alleged
that she is the sole owner of Lot 3095 C-5, having inherited the same
from her deceased mother, Hermogena Gabatan Evero (Hermogena).
Respondent further claimed that her mother, Hermogena, is the only
child of Juan Gabatan and his wife, Laureana Clarito.

Respondent alleged that upon the death of Juan Gabatan, Lot 3095
C-5 was entrusted to his brother, Teofilo Gabatan (Teofilo), and
Teofilo’s wife, Rita Gabatan, for administration. It was also claimed
that prior to her death Hermogena demanded for the return of the
land but to no avail. After Hermogena’s death, respondent also did
the same but petitioners refused to heed the numerous demands to
surrender the subject property. According to respondent, when
Teofilo and his wife died, petitioners Jesus Jabinis and Catalino
Acantilado took possession of the disputed land despite respondent’s
demands for them to vacate the same.

In their answer, petitioners denied that respondent’s mother


Hermogena was the daughter of Juan Gabatan with Laureana Clarito
and that Hermogena or respondent is the rightful heir of Juan

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Gabatan. Petitioners maintained that Juan Gabatan died single in
1934 and without any issue and that Juan was survived by one
brother and two sisters, namely: Teofilo (petitioners’ predecessor-in-
interest), Macaria and Justa. These siblings and/or their heirs,
inherited the subject land from Juan Gabatan and have been in
actual, physical, open, public, adverse, continuous and uninterrupted
possession thereof in the concept of owners for more than fifty (50)
years and enjoyed the fruits of the improvements thereon, to the
exclusion of the whole world including respondent. Petitioners
clarified that Jesus Jabinis and Catalino Acantilado have no interest in
the subject land; the former is merely the husband of Teofilo’s
daughter while the latter is just a caretaker. Petitioners added that a
similar case was previously filed by respondent against Teofilo’s wife,
Rita Vda. de Gabatan, on February 21, 1978, docketed as Civil Case
No. 5840 but the case was dismissed on May 3, 1983 for lack of
interest. Finally, petitioners contended that the complaint lacks or
states no cause of action or, if there was any, the same has long
prescribed and/or has been barred by laches.

Issue: WON the determination of the legal heirs of the deceased


person be made in special proceedings

Held: YES.

Jurisprudence dictates that the determination of who are the


legal heirs of the deceased must be made in the proper special
proceedings in court, and not in an ordinary suit for recovery of
ownership and possession of property. This must take precedence
over the action for recovery of possession and ownership.

The Court has consistently ruled that the trial court cannot
make a declaration of heirship in the civil action for the reason that
such a declaration can only be made in a special proceeding. Under
Section 3, Rule 1 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court, a civil action is
defined as one by which a party sues another for the enforcement or
protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong while a
special proceeding is a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a
status, a right, or a particular fact. It is then decisively clear that the
declaration of heirship can be made only in a special proceeding
inasmuch as the petitioners here are seeking the establishment of a
status or right.

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HEIRS OF MAGDALENO YPON, NAMELY, ALVARO YPON,
ERUDITA Y. BARON, CICERO YPON, WILSON YPON, VICTOR
YPON, AND HINIDINO Y. PEÑALOSA, PETITIONERS,
vs. GAUDIOSO PONTERAS RICAFORTE A.K.A. "GAUDIOSO E.
YPON," AND THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF TOLEDO
CITY, RESPONDENTS.

Facts:

On July 29, 2010, petitioners, together with some of their cousins


filed a complaint for Cancellation of Title and Reconveyance with
Damages (subject complaint) against respondent Gaudioso Ponteras
Ricaforte a.k.a. "Gaudioso E. Ypon" (Gaudioso).

In their complaint, they alleged that Magdaleno Ypon (Magdaleno)


died intestate and childless on June 28, 1968, leaving behind Lot Nos.
2-AA, 2-C, 2-F, and 2-J which were then covered by Transfer
Certificates of Title (TCT) Nos. T-44 and T-77-A. Claiming to be the
sole heir of Magdaleno, Gaudioso executed an Affidavit of Self-
Adjudication and caused the cancellation of the aforementioned
certificates of title, leading to their subsequent transfer in his name
under TCT Nos. T-2637 and T-2638, to the prejudice of petitioners
who are Magdaleno's collateral relatives and successors-in-interest.

In his Answer, Gaudioso alleged that he is the lawful son of


Magdaleno as evidenced by: (a) his certificate of Live Birth; (b) two
(2) letters from Polytechnic School; and (c) a certified true copy of
his passport.[9] Further, by way of affirmative defense, he claimed
that: (a) petitioners have no cause of action against him; (b) the
complaint fails to state a cause of action; and (c) the case is not
prosecuted by the real parties-in-interest, as there is no showing that
the petitioners have been judicially declared as Magdaleno's lawful
heirs.

The RTC ruled for Gaudioso. It held that while the petitioners had
established their relationship with Magdaleno in a previous special
proceeding for the issuance of a letter of administration, this did not
mean that they could already be considered as the decedent’s
compulsory heirs.

Issue: WON heirship may be determined in an ordinary suit

Ruling: NO.

In the early case of Litam, et al. v. Rivera, this Court ruled that the
declaration of heirship must be made in a special proceeding,
and not in an independent civil action. This doctrine was
reiterated in Solivio v. Court of Appeals x x x:

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In the more recent case of Milagros Joaquino v. Lourdes Reyes, the
Court reiterated its ruling that matters relating to the rights of
filiation and heirship must be ventilated in the proper probate
court in a special proceeding instituted precisely for the
purpose of determining such rights. Citing the case of Agapay v.
Palang, this Court held that the status of an illegitimate child who
claimed to be an heir to a decedent's estate could not be adjudicated
in an ordinary civil action which, as in this case, was for the recovery
of property.] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied; citations omitted)
By way of exception, the need to institute a separate special
proceeding for the determination of heirship may be dispensed
with for the sake of practicality, as when the parties in the civil
case had voluntarily submitted the issue to the trial court and already
presented their evidence regarding the issue of heirship, and the RTC
had consequently rendered judgment thereonor when a special
proceeding had been instituted but had been finally closed and
terminated, and hence, cannot be re-opened.[24]

In this case, none of the foregoing exceptions, or those of similar


nature, appear to exist. Hence, there lies the need to institute the
proper special proceeding in order to determine the heirship of the
parties involved, ultimately resulting to the dismissal of Civil Case No.
T-2246.

Verily, while a court usually focuses on the complaint in determining


whether the same fails to state a cause of action, a court cannot
disregard decisions material to the proper appreciation of the
questions before it.[25] Thus, concordant with applicable
jurisprudence, since a determination of heirship cannot be made in an
ordinary action for recovery of ownership and/or possession, the
dismissal of Civil Case No. T-2246 was altogether proper. In this
light, it must be pointed out that the RTC erred in ruling on
Gaudioso's heirship which should, as herein discussed, be threshed
out and determined in the proper special proceeding. As such, the
foregoing pronouncement should therefore be devoid of any legal
effect.
_________________________________________________
_________

JOSE S. MATUTE, petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS (Third


Division) and MATIAS S. MATUTE, respondents.

Facts:

August 20, 1965 when Carlos S. Matute, one of the Matute heirs and
a full-blood brother of both the petitioner and the herein respondent
Matias S. Matute, filed in special proceeding 25876 (settlement of the
Matute estate) a petition praying for the removal of Matias as
co-administrator and his (Carlos') appointment in such
capacity. Carlos alleged that "for a period of more than two years
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from the date of his appointment (on May 29, 1963), said Matias S.
Matute has neglected to render a true, just and complete account of
his administration," and that he "is not only incompetent but also
negligent in his management of the estate under his charge
consisting of five haciendas on account of a criminal charge for
murder filed against him which is occupying most of his time."

The Court removed co-administrator, Matias S. Matute, as such co-


administrator of the estate and orders him to submit a final
accounting of his administration together with his past administration
accounts which have not been approved.

Issue: WON the removal of Matias S. Matute was proper

Ruling: NO.

The settled rule is that the removal of an administrator under section


2 of Rule 82 lies within the discretion of the court appointing him. As
aptly expressed in one case, 3 "The sufficiency of any ground for
removal should thus be determined by the said court, whose
sensibilities are, in the first place, affected by any act or omission on
the part of the administrator not conformable to or in disregard of the
rules or the orders of the court." Consequently, appellate tribunals
are disinclined to interfere with the action taken by a probate court in
the matter of the removal of an executor or administrator unless
positive error or gross abuse of discretion is shown. 4

In the case at bar, we are constrained, however to nullify the


disputed order of removal because it is indubitable that the probate
judge ousted the respondent from his trust without affording him the
full benefit of a day in court, thus denying him his cardinal right to
due process.

It appears that shortly after the reception of evidence for the


movants Carlos Matute and the Candelario-Matute heirs, the
respondent filed on January 8, 1966a verified objection to the
admission in evidence of the movants' exhibits on the ground that the
same were hearsay, self-serving, irrelevant and/or mere photostatic
copies of supposed originals which were never properly identified nor
produced in court. Four days later, or on January 12, 1966, the
respondent filed with leave of court a "Motion to Dismiss and/or
Demurrer to Evidence".

Instead of resolving the foregoing motion, the probate judge issued


the controverted order removing the respondent as co-administrator
without giving him the opportunity to adduce his own evidence
despite his explicit reservation that he be afforded the chance to
introduce evidence in his behalf in the event of denial of his motion to
dismiss and/or demurrer to evidence. We are of the view that the
above actuation of the probate judge constituted grave abuse of

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discretion which dooms his improvident order as a nullity. In fact,
even without the respondent's reservation, it was the bounden duty
of the probate judge to schedule the presentation and reception of
the respondent's evidence before disposing of the case on the merits
because only the movants at that time had presented their evidence.
This duty is projected into bolder relief if we consider, which we must,
that the aforesaid motion is in form as well as in substance
a demurrer to evidence allowed by Rule 35, by virtue of which the
defendant does not lose his right to offer evidence in the event that
his motion is denied. Said Rule states:

After the plaintiff has completed the presentation of his evidence, the
defendant without waiving his right to offer evidence in the event the
motion is not granted, may move for a dismissal on the ground that
upon the facts and law the plaintiff has shown no right to relief.
(emphasis supplied)

The application of the abovecited Rule in special proceedings,


like the case at bar, is authorized by section 2 of Rule 72
which direct that in the "absence of special provisions, the
rules provided for in ordinary civil actions shall be, as far as
practicable, applicable in special proceedings."

PACIFIC BANKING CORPORATION EMPLOYEES


ORGANIZATION, PAULA S. PAUG, and its officers and
members, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS
and VITALIANO N. NAÑAGAS II, as Liquidator of Pacific
Banking Corporation, respondents._

Facts:

On July 5, 1985, the Pacific Banking Corporation (PaBC) was placed


under receivership by the Central Bank of the Philippines pursuant to
Resolution No. 699 of its Monetary Board. A few months later, it was
placed under liquidation1 and a Liquidator was appointed.

On April 7, 1986, the Central Bank filed with the Regional Trial Court
of Manila Branch 31, a petition entitled "Petition for Assistance in the
Liquidation of Pacific Banking Corporation." 3 The petition was
approved, after which creditors filed their claims with the court.

On March 13, 1989 the Pacific Banking Corporation Employees


Organization (Union for short), petitioner in G.R. No. 109373, filed a
complaint-in-intervention seeking payment of holiday pay, 13th
month pay differential, salary increase differential, Christmas bonus,
and cash equivalent of Sick Leave Benefit due its members as
employees of PaBC.

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The Liquidator received a copy of the order on September 16, 1991.
On October 16, 1991, he filed a Motion for Reconsideration and
Clarification of the order. In his order of December 6, 1991, the judge
modified his September 13, 19916 but in effect denied the
Liquidator's motion for reconsideration. This order was received by
the Liquidator on December 9, 1991. The following day, December
10, 1991, he filed a Notice of Appeal and a Motion for Additional
Time to Submit Record on Appeal. On December 23, 1991, another
Notice of Appeal was filed by the Office of the Solicitor General in
behalf of Nañagas.

In his order of February 10, 1992, respondent judge disallowed


the Liquidator's Notice of Appeal on the ground that it was
late, i.e., more than 15 days after receipt of the decision. The
judge declared his September 13, 1991 order and subsequent orders
to be final and executory and denied reconsideration. On March 27,
1992, he granted the Union's Motion for issuance of a writ of
Execution.

In his order dated September 11, 1992, respondent judge of the RTC
directed the Liquidator to pay private respondents the total amount of
their claim as preferred creditors.

The Liquidator received the order on September 16, 1992. On


September 30, 1992 he moved for reconsideration, but his motion
was denied by the court on October 2, 1992. He received the order
denying his Motion for Reconsideration on October 5, 1992. On
October 14, 1992 he filed a Notice of Appeal from the orders of
September 16, 1992 and October 2, 1992. As in the case of the
Union, however, the judge ordered the Notice of Appeal stricken off
the record on the ground that it had been filed without authority of
the Central Bank and beyond 15 days. In his order of October 28,
1992, the judge directed the execution of his September 11, 1992
order granting the Stockholders/ Investors' claim.

The Liquidator filed separate Petitions for Certiorari, Prohibition


and Mandamus in the Court of Appeals to set aside the orders of the
trial court denying his appeal from the orders granting the claims of
Union and of the Stockholders/Investors. The two Divisions of the
Court of Appeals, to which the cases were separately raffled,
rendered conflicting rulings.

In its decision of November 17, 1992 in CA-G.R. SP No. 27751 (now


G.R. No. 09373) the Fifth Division held in the case of the Union that
the proceeding before the trial court was a special proceeding
and, therefore, the period for appealing from any decision or
final order rendered therein is 30 days. Since the notice of
appeal of the Liquidator was filed on the 30th day of his receipt of the
decision granting the Union's claims, the appeal was brought on time.
The Fifth Division, therefore, set aside the orders of the lower court
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and directed the latter to give due course to the appeal of the
Liquidator and set the Record on Appeal he had filed for hearing.

On the other hand, on December 16, 1993, the Fourteenth Division


ruled in CA-G.R. SP No. 29351 (now G.R. No. 112991) in the case of
the Stockholders/Investors that a liquidation proceeding is an
ordinary action. Therefore, the period for appealing from any
decision or final order rendered therein is 15 days and that
since the Liquidator's appeal notice was filed on the 23rd day of his
receipt of the order appealed from, deducting the period during which
his motion for reconsideration was pending, the notice of appeal was
filed late. Accordingly, the Fourteenth Division dismissed the
Liquidator's petition.

Issue: WON liquidation proceeding is an ordinary action or a special


proceeding
Ruling: Special Proceeding

§1. Action defined. — Action means an ordinary suit in a court of


justice, by which the party prosecutes another for the enforcement or
protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong.

§2. Special Proceeding Distinguished. — Every other remedy,


including one to establish the status or right of a party or a particular
fact, shall be by special proceeding.

Elucidating the crucial distinction between an ordinary action and a


special proceeding, Chief Justice Moran states:" 11

Action is the act by which one sues another in a court of justice for
the enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress
of a wrong while special proceeding is the act by which one seeks to
establish the status or right of a party, or a particular fact. Hence,
action is distinguished from special proceeding in that the former is a
formal demand of a right by one against another, while the latter is
but a petition for a declaration of a status, right or fact. Where a
party litigant seeks to recover property from another, his remedy is
to file an action. Where his purpose is to seek the appointment of a
guardian for an insane, his remedy is a special proceeding to
establish the fact or status of insanity calling for an appointment of
guardianship.

Considering this distinction, a petition for liquidation of an


insolvent corporation should be classified a special proceeding
and not an ordinary action. Such petition does not seek the
enforcement or protection of a right nor the prevention or redress of
a wrong against a party. It does not pray for affirmative relief for
injury arising from a party's wrongful act or omission nor state a
cause of action that can be enforced against any person.

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3. Rule 73- Subject Estate of Deceased Persons

AMELIA GARCIA-QUIAZON, JENNETH QUIAZON and MARIA


JENNIFER QUIAZON vs. MA. LOURDES BELEN, for and in behalf
of MARIA LOURDES ELISE QUIAZON

FACTS:

Maria Lourdes Elise Quiazon (Elise), represented by her


mother, Ma. Lourdes Belen (Lourdes), filed a Petition for
Letters of Administration before the RTC of Las Piñas City. Elise
claims that she is the natural child of Eliseo having been conceived
and born at the time when her parents were both capacitated to
marry each other.

Elise impugned the validity of Eliseo’s marriage to Amelia Quizaon by


claiming that it was bigamous for having been contracted during the
subsistence of the latter’s marriage with one Filipito Sandico.
To prove her filiation to the decedent, Elise attached to the Petition
for Letters of Administration her Certificate of Live Birth signed by
Eliseo as her father. It was alleged that Eliseo left real properties
worth P2,040,000 and personal properties worth P2,100,000.

In order to preserve the estate of Eliseo and to prevent the


dissipation of its value, Elise sought her appointment as
administratrix of her late father’s estate.

Claiming that the venue of the petition was improperly laid, Amelia,
with her children, Jenneth and Jennifer, opposed the issuance of the
letters of administration by filing an Opposition/Motion to Dismiss.
The petitioners asserted that as shown by his Death Certificate,
Eliseo was a resident of Capas, Tarlac and not of Las Piñas City, at
the time of his death. Pursuant to Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised
Rules of Court, the petition for settlement of decedent’s estate should
have been filed in Capas, Tarlac and not in Las Piñas City. In addition
to their claim of improper venue, the petitioners averred that there
are no factual and legal bases for Elise to be appointed administratix
of Eliseo’s estate.

The RTC directed the issuance of Letters of Administration to Elise


upon posting the necessary bond. The lower court ruled that the
venue of the petition was properly laid in Las Piñas City, thereby
discrediting the position taken by the petitioners that Eliseo’s last
residence was in Capas, Tarlac, as hearsay.

On appeal, the decision of the trial court was affirmed in toto by the
CA and held that Elise was able to prove that Eliseo and Lourdes lived
together as husband and wife by establishing a common residence in
Las Piñas City, from 1975 up to the time of Eliseo’s death in 1992.
For purposes of fixing the venue of the settlement of Eliseo’s estate,
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CA upheld the conclusion reached by the RTC that the decedent was a
resident of Las Piñas City. The petitioners’ Motion for Reconsideration
was denied by the CA. Hence, this petition.

ISSUES:

Whether or not Eliseo Quiazon was a resident of Las PiÑas and


therefore, the petition for Letter's of Administration was properly filed
with the RTC of Las PiÑas.

RULING: YES We find the petition bereft of merit.

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

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

G.R. No. 95536 March 23, 1992

ANICETO G. SALUDO, JR., MARIA SALVACION SALUDO,


LEOPOLDO G. SALUDO and SATURNINO G. SALUDO, vs. HON.
COURT OF APPEALS, TRANS WORLD AIRLINES, INC., and
PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC.
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(no relevance to Rule 73)

GR No. L-33929 September 02, 1983

PHILIPPINE SAVINGS BANK v. GREGORIO T. LANTIN

(no relevance to Rule 73)

G.R. No. L-57848 June 19, 1982

RAFAEL E. MANINANG and SOLEDAD L. MANINANG vs. COURT


OF APPEALS, HON. RICARDO L. PRONOVE, JR., as Judge of the
Court of First Instance of Rizal and BERNARDO S. ASENETA

(no relevance to Rule 73)

FACTS:
Clemencia, left a holographic will which provides that all her
properties shall be inherited by Dra. Maninang with whose family
Clemencia has lived continuously for the last 30 years. The will also
provided that she does not consider Bernardo as his adopted
son. Bernardo, as the adopted son, claims to be the sole heir of
decedent Clemencia Aseneta, instituted intestate proceedings.

ISSUE:
Was Bernardo preterited?

HELD:
In the instant case, a crucial issue that calls for resolution is whether
under the terms of the decedent's Will, private respondent had been
preterited or disinherited, and if the latter, whether it was a valid
disinheritance. Preterition and disinheritance are two diverse
concepts.
Preterition consists in the omission in the testator's will of the
forced heirs or anyone of them, either because they are not
mentioned therein, or, though mentioned, they are neither instituted
as heirs nor are expressly disinherited. Disinheritance is a
testamentary disposition depriving any compulsory heirs of his share
in the legitime for a cause authorized by law.

By virtue of the dismissal of the testate case, the determination of


that controversial issue has not been thoroughly considered. The
conclusion of the trial court was that Bernardo has been preterited.
The SC is of opinion, however, that from the face of the will, that
conclusion is not indubitable. Such preterition is still
questionable. The Special Proceeding is REMANDED to the lower
court.

G.R. No. L-3039 December 29, 1949


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VICTORIA REYNOSO and JUAN REYNOSO


vs.
VICENTE SANTIAGO, Judge of the Court of First Instance of
Quezon, PIA REYNOSO, AGUSTINA REYNOSO, MELITON
PALABRICA, LEONCIO CADIZ, ET AL.

no relevance to Rule 73 (applies Rules 79, 87)

G.R. No. 174489 April 11, 2012

ANTONIO B. BALTAZAR, SEBASTIAN M. BALTAZAR, ANTONIO


L. MANGALINDAN, ROSIE M. MATEO, NENITA A. PACHECO,
VIRGILIO REGALA, JR., and RAFAEL TITCO vs. LORENZO LAXA

no relevance to Rule 73, (applies Rules 75, 76)

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

Childless and without any brothers or sisters, Paciencia bequeathed


all her properties to respondent Lorenzo Laxa and his wife Corazon
Laza and their children Luna and Katherine. Lorenzo is Paciencia’s
nephew whom she treated as her own son. Conversely, Lorenzo came
to know and treated Paciencia as his own mother.

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

On Jun 23, 2000 one of petitioners, Antonio Baltazar filed an


opposition to Lorenzo’s petition. Antonio averred that the properties
subject of Paciencia’s Will belong to Nicomeda Mangalindan, his
predecessor-in-interest; hence, Paciencia had no right to bequeath
them to Lorenzo. Also, one of the petitioners, Rosie Mateo testified
that Paciencia is in the state of being “mangulyan” or forgetful
making her unfit for executing a will and that the execution of the will
had been procured by undue and improper pressure and influence.

Petitioners also opposed the issuance of the Letters of Administration


in Lorenzo’s favor arguing that Lorenzo was disqualified to be
appointed as such, he being a citizen and resident of the USA.
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Petitioners prayed that Letters of Administration be instead issued in
favor of Antonio.

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

ISSUE: Whether the authenticity and due execution of the will was
sufficiently established to warrant its allowance for probate.

RULING: Yes. A careful examination of the face of the Will shows


faithful compliance with the formalities laid down by law. The
signatures of the testatrix, Paciencia, her instrumental witnesses and
the notary public, are all present and evident on the Will. Further, the
attestation clause explicitly states the critical requirement that the
testatrix and her instrumental witnesses attested and subscribed to
the Will in the presence of the testator and of one another. In fact,
even the petitioners acceded that the signature of Paciencia in the
Will may be authentic although they question of her state of mind
when she signed the same as well as the voluntary nature of said act.
The burden to prove that Paciencia was of unsound mind at the time
of the execution of the will lies on the shoulders of the petitioners.
The SC agree with the position of the CA that the state of being
forgetful does not necessarily make a person mentally unsound so as
to render him unfit to execute a Will. Forgetfulness is not equivalent
to being of unsound mind. Besides, Art. 799 of the NCC states: “To
be of unsound mind, it is not necessary that the testator be in full
possession of all his reasoning faculties, or that his mind be wholly
unbroken, unimpaired, or unshattered by disease, injury or other
cause. It shall be sufficient if the testator was able at the time of
making the Will to know the nature of the estate to be disposed of,
the proper objects of his bounty, and the character of the
testamentary act.”

G.R. Nos. 140371-72 November 27, 2006

DY YIENG SEANGIO, BARBARA D. SEANGIO and VIRGINIA D.


SEANGIO vs.HON. AMOR A. REYES, in her capacity as Presiding
Judge, Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region,
Branch 21, Manila, ALFREDO D. SEANGIO, ALBERTO D.
SEANGIO, ELISA D. SEANGIO-SANTOS, VICTOR D. SEANGIO,
ALFONSO D. SEANGIO, SHIRLEY D. SEANGIO-LIM, BETTY D.
SEANGIO-OBAS and JAMES D. SEANGIO

-no relevance to Rule 73 (applies Rule 76)

FACTS:
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On September 21, 1988, private respondents filed a petition
for the settlement of the intestate estate of the late Segundo
Seangio. Petitioners Dy Yieng, Barbara and Virginia, all surnamed
Seangio, opposed the petition. They contended that: 1) Dy Yieng is
still very healthy and in full command of her faculties; 2) the
deceased Segundo executed a general power of attorney in favor of
Virginia giving her the power to manage and exercise control and
supervision over his business in the Philippines; 3) Virginia is the
most competent and qualified to serve as the administrator of the
estate of Segundo because she is a certified public accountant; and,
4) Segundo left a holographic will, dated September 20, 1995,
disinheriting one of the private respondents, Alfredo Seangio, for
cause. In view of the purported holographic will, petitioners averred
that in the event the decedent is found to have left a will, the
intestate proceedings are to be automatically suspended and replaced
by the proceedings for the probate of the will. On April 7, 1999, a
petition for the probate of the holographic will of Segundo, was filed
by petitioners before the RTC.
The document that petitioners refer to as Segundo’s holographic
will is entitled as: “Kasulatan sa pag-aalis ng mana”

ISSUE:
Whether or not there is preterition in the case at bar

RULING:
The Court believes that the compulsory heirs in the direct line
were not preterited in the will. It was, in the Court’s opinion,
Segundo’s last expression to bequeath his estate to all his
compulsory heirs, with the sole exception of Alfredo. Also, Segundo
did not institute an heir to the exclusion of his other compulsory
heirs. The mere mention of the name of one of the petitioners,
Virginia, in the document did not operate to institute her as the
universal heir. Her name was included plainly as a witness to the
altercation between Segundo and his son, Alfredo. Considering that
the questioned document is Segundo’s holographic will, and that the
law favors testacy over intestacy, the probate of the will cannot be
dispensed with. Article 838 of the Civil Code provides that no will
shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and
allowed in accordance with the Rules of Court. Thus, unless the will is
probated, the right of a person to dispose of his property may be
rendered nugatory.

G.R. No. L-40502 November 29, 1976


VIRGINIA GARCIA FULE, and HONORABLE SEVERO A. MALVAR,
Presiding Judge, Court of First Instance of Laguna, Branch Vl
vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, * PRECIOSA B. GARCIA
and AGUSTINA B. GARCIA

G.R. No. L-42670 November 29, 1976


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VIRGINIA GARCIA FULE
vs.
HONORABLE ERNANI C. PAÑO, Presiding Judge of Court of
First Instance of Rizal, Quezon City, Branch XVIII, and
PRECIOSA B. GARCIA

FACTS:

On May 2, 1973, Virginia G. Fule filed with the Court of First Instance
of Laguna, at Calamba, presided over by Judge Severo A. Malvar, a
petition for letters of administration, alleging, inter alia, "that on April
26, 1973, Amado G. Garcia, a property owner of Calamba, Laguna,
died intestate in the City of Manila, leaving real estate and personal
properties in Calamba, Laguna, and in other places, within the
jurisdiction of the Honorable Court." At the same time, she moved
ex parte for her appointment as special administratrix over the
estate. On even date, May 2, 1973, Judge Malvar granted the motion.

On July 19, 1973, Preciosa B. Garcia filed an opposition to the original


and supplemental petitions for letters of administration, raising the
issues of jurisdiction, venue, lack of interest of Virginia G. Fule in the
estate of Amado G. Garcia, and disqualification of Virginia G Fule as
special administratrix.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the petition was filed in the proper court with
jurisdiction considering the residence of the decedent.

RULING: NO.
We rule that the last place of residence of the deceased Amado G.
Garcia was at 11 Carmel Avenue, Carmel Subdivision, Quezon City,
and not at Calamba, Laguna. A death certificate is admissible to
prove the residence of the decedent at the time of his death.

We lay down the doctrinal rule that the term "resides" connotes ex vi
termini "actual residence" as distinguished from "legal residence or
domicile." This term "resides," like, the terms "residing" and
"residence," is elastic and should be interpreted in the light of the
object or purpose of the statute or rule in which it is employed. In the
application of venue statutes and rules — Section 1, Rule 73 of the
Revised Rules of Court is of such nature — residence rather
than domicile is the significant factor. Even where the statute uses
the word "domicile" still it is construed as meaning residence and not
domicile in the technical sense. Some cases make a distinction
between the terms "residence" and "domicile" but as generally used
in statutes fixing venue, the terms are synonymous, and convey the
same meaning as the term "inhabitant." In other words, "resides"
should be viewed or understood in its popular sense, meaning, the
personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence
or place of abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and actual
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stay thereat. In this popular sense, the term means merely
residence, that is, personal residence, not legal residence or domicile.
Residence simply requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given
place, while domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also
an intention to make it one's domicile. No particular length of time of
residence is required though; however, the residence must be more
than temporary.

G.R. No. 128314 May 29, 2002

RODOLFO V. JAO vs. COURT OF APPEALS and PERICO V. JAO

FACTS:

Rodolfo and Perico Jao were the only sons of the spouses Ignacio Jao
Tayag and Andrea V. Jao, who died intestate in 1988 and 1989,
respectively.The decedents left real estate, cash, shares of stock and
other personal properties.

On April 17, 1991, Perico instituted a petition for issuance of letters of


administration before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch
99, over the estate of his parents. Rodolfo moved to dismiss the
petition on the ground of improper venue. He argued that their
parents did not reside in Quezon City either during their lifetime or at
the time of their deaths. Their actual residence was in Angeles City,
Pampanga, and moved to Rodolfo’s residence at 61 Scout Gandia
Street, Quezon City, solely for medical treatment and hospitalization
purposes.

Perico countered that their parents actually resided in Rodolfo’s house


in Quezon City at the time of their deaths. As a matter of fact, it was
conclusively declared in their death certificates that their last
residence before they died was at 61 Scout Gandia Street, Quezon
City. Rodolfo himself even supplied the entry appearing on the death
certificate of their mother, Andrea, and affixed his own signature on
the said document. The RTC denied Rodolfo’s motion to dismiss. The
CA affirmed the RTC’s order.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the proper venue for the settlement proceedings
should be held in Quezon City.

RULING: YES.
In determining residence at the time of death, the following factors
must be considered, namely, the decedent had:
(a) capacity to choose and freedom of choice;
(b) physical presence at the place chosen; and
(c) intention to stay therein permanently.

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There is substantial proof that the decedents have transferred to
petitioner’s Quezon City residence. Petitioner failed to sufficiently
refute respondent’s assertion that their elderly parents stayed in his
house for some three to four years before they died in the late 1980s.
The decedents’ respective death certificates state that they were both
residents of Quezon City at the time of their demise. Significantly, it
was petitioner himself who filled up his late mother’s death
certificate. This unqualifiedly shows that at that time, at
least, petitioner recognized his deceased mother’s residence
to be Quezon City. Moreover, petitioner failed to contest the entry
in Ignacio’s death certificate, accomplished a year earlier by
respondent.

InGarcia-Fule v. Court of Appeals, the Court clarified that the term


“resides” means “the personal, actual or physical habitation of a
person, actual residence or place of abode. It signifies physical
presence in a place and actual stay thereat.
In this popular sense, the term means merely residence, that is,
personal residence, not legal residence or
domicile.” In addition, there is no distinction between venue for
ordinary civil actions and that for special proceedings. They have one
and the same meaning. As thus defined, “residence”, in the context
of venue provisions, means nothing more than a person’s actual
residence or place of abode, provided he resides therein
with continuity and consistency.

G.R. No. L-6379 September 29, 1954

In the matter of the petition of WILFRED UYTENGSU to be


admitted a citizen of the Philippine. WILFRED UYTENGSU vs.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

no relevance to Rule 73

FACTS:

Petitioner-appellee was born, of Chinese parents, in Dumaguete,


Negros Oriental on October 6, 1927. Early in 1946, he studied, for
one semester, in the Mapua Institute of Technology, in Manila. Soon
after, he went to the United States, where, from 1947 to 1950, he
was enrolled in the Leland Stanford Junior University, in California,
and was graduated, in 1950, with the degree of Bachelor of Science.
In April of the same year he returned to the Philippines for four (4)
months vacation. Then, to be exact, on July 15, 1950, his present
application for naturalization was filed. Forthwith, he returned to the
United States and took a post-graduate course, in chemical
engineering, in another educational institution, in Fort Wayne,
Indiana. He finished this course in July 1951; but did not return to
the Philippines until October 13, 1951. Hence, the hearing of the

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case, originally scheduled to take place on July 12, 1951, had to be
postponed on motion of counsel for the petitioner.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the application for naturalization may be granted,
notwithstanding the fact that petitioner left the Philippines
immediately after the filing of his petition and did not return until
several months after the first date set for the hearing thereof.

RULING: NO.
Immediately after the filing of his application — and notwithstanding
the explicit promise therein made by him, under oath, to the effect
that he would reside continuously in the Philippines "from the date of
the filing of his petition up to the time of his admission to Philippine
citizenship" — he returned to the United States, where he stayed,
continuously, until October 13, 1951.

There is a difference between domicile and residence. "Residence" is


used to indicate the place of abode, whether permanent or
temporary; "domicile" denotes a fixed permanent residence to which,
when absent, one has the intention of returning. A man may have a
residence in one place and a domicile in another." "Residence is not
domicile, but domicile is residence coupled with intention to remain
for an unlimited time. A man can have but one domicile for one and
the same purpose at any time, but he may have numerous places of
residence. His place of residence generally is his place of domicile,
but is not by any means necessarily as, since no length of residence
without intention of remaining will constitute domicile.

Petitioner has not complied with the requirements of section 7 of


Commonwealth Act No. 473, and with the aforementioned promise
made by him in his application, and, accordingly, is not entitled, in
the present proceedings, to a judgment in his favor.

VALERA vs OFILADA, G.R. No. L-27526, Sep. 12, 1974


FACTS:
Civil Case No. 64, R-1 of the Court of First Instance of Abra is a
special proceeding for the settlement of the intestate estate of
Francisco Valera. Virgilio Valera was the administrator of the estate,
He died on March 21, 1961. He was survived by his widow, Angelita
Garduque Vda. de Valera and their ten (10) children, named Amanda,
Oscar, Dionisio, Benito, Felixberto, Eva, Lita, Toniette, Vicenta and
Teresita, all petitioners herein, except Vicenta and Teresita, who were
abroad.
Later, Adoracion Valera Bringas, who claims to be an acknowledged
natural child of Francisco Valera, was appointed administratrix. She
filed on April 16, 1964 in the intestate proceeding a petition to
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require "Celso Valera and family and Angelita de Valera and family to
pay P100.00" as monthly rental for the one-third pro-indiviso portion
of the Valera residence located in Bangued, Abra.
Celso Valera interposed an opposition to it on the ground that
Francisco Valera had no interest in the Valera residence, that the
property was never leased and that the remedy of Mrs. Bringas was
"in a appropriate remedy and/or procedure" and not in the intestate
proceeding. The lower court subsequently granted the petition.
The said heirs, through Atty. Angel V. Colet, a son-in-law of Mrs.
Valera, filed a motion for the reconsideration of that order. They
contended that the Valera residence "should be excluded from the
inventory," because that was their "absolute property of which they
have been in complete possession and occupation". Mrs. Bringas
replied that Francisco Valera's estate had "already consolidated" its
ownership over that one-third partition "through the submission of
the inventory and its approval" by the probate court.
In an order dated April 15, 1966, respondent Judge Macario M.
Ofilada denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the heirs of
Virgilio Valera and granted the motion of Mrs. Bringas for execution
and for the delivery of certain funds and properties.
In this present case, petitioners assail the brief, three-sentence order
of July 10, 1964 on the following grounds: (a) that it decided the
issue of ownership as to the one-third pro-indiviso share of Francisco
Valera in the Valera residence, an issue, which according to them, is
beyond the court's probate jurisdiction; (b) that it was issued without
the benefit of a trial on the merits and without hearing all the parties
involved; (c) that it does not contain findings of fact and law; (d) that
it is a judgment for a money claim which should have been filed in
the proceedings for the settlement of the estate of the deceased
debtor, Virgilio Valera, and (e) that the order has no basis in
substantive law.
The petitioners attack Judge Ofilada's order of April 15, 1966 on the
following grounds: (a) that, as a probate judge, he had no jurisdiction
to require the heirs of Virgilio Valera to account for the fruits of the
six parcels of land administered by him and that a separate action
should be filed or the proper claim should be made against his estate;
(b) that he had no jurisdiction to order the heirs of Virgilio Valera to
deliver to Mrs. Bringas the sum of P4,784.98 as "insurance and war
damage monies collected by Virgilio Valera"; (c) that Section 8, Rule
87 of the Rules of Court contemplates that "double the value of the
fruits and monies" should be recovered in an "action" and not in an
intestate proceeding, and (d) that the order was issued without any
trial on the merits and it does not contain findings of fact and law.
ISSUE: Whether the lower court, sitting as a probate court in
the intestate proceeding for the estate of Francisco Valera,
could hold the heirs of Virgilio Valera answerable for certain
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supposed monetary liabilities of the latter to the estate and
enforce said liabilities against the properties of the deceased
Virgilio Valera.
HELD:
We hold that the trial court, as a probate court, erred in adjudging in
the said intestate proceeding the monetary liabilities of the late
Virgilio Valera to the estate of Francisco Valera and in issuing a writ
of execution against his properties to enforce the supposed liabilities.
There is merit in the petitioners' contention that the probate court
generally cannot issue a writ of execution. It is not supposed to issue
a writ of execution because its orders usually refer to the adjudication
of claims against the estate which the executor or administrator may
satisfy without the necessity of resorting to a writ of execution. The
probate court, as such, does not render any judgment enforceable by
execution.
The circumstance that the Rules of Court expressly specifies that the
probate court may issue execution (a) to satisfy the contributive
shares of devisees, legatees and heirs in possession of the decedent's
assets (Sec. 6, Rule 88), (b) to enforce payment of the expenses of
partition (Sec. 3, Rule 90), and (e) to satisfy the costs when a person
is cited for examination in probate proceedings (Sec. 13, Rule 142)
may mean, under the rule of inclusion unius est exclusion alterius,
that those are the only instances when it can issue a writ of
execution.
The record reveals that there is a dispute between Mrs. Bringas and
the heirs of Virgilio Valera as to whether one-third of the Valera
residence and the six parcels of land listed in the "Amended
Incomplete Inventory, etc." dated August 31, 1965 belong to the
estate of Francisco Valera. The tax declarations for those properties
are in the name of the deceased Virgilio Valera.
Their inclusion in the inventory is not conclusive as to the ownership.
"Questions on title to real property cannot be determined in testate or
intestate proceedings. It has, however, been held that for the
purpose of determining whether a certain property should or should
not be included in the inventory, the probate court may pass upon
the title thereto, but such determination is not conclusive and is
subject to the final decision in a separate action to he instituted
between the parties."
MACIAS vs UY KIM, G.R. No. L-31174, May 30, 1972
FACTS:
Petitioner-appellant Manuel Y. Macias filed on December 2, 1969 a
petition for review by certiorari against respondents Uy Kim, Andres
Co, Nemesio Co, Nicasio Co, Manuel Sosantong, Reliable Realty
Corporation, and Branch X of the Manila Court of First Instance. It
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appearing from the complaint that there is presently pending in
Branch VIII of this Court Special Proceeding No. 63866 for the
settlement of the inheritance of the deceased Rosina Marguerite
Wolfson. That the plaintiff claims to be a beneficiary by hereditary
title of her estate. It being unquestionable that the authority to
distribute the inheritance of a deceased person and determine the
persons entitled thereto belongs exclusively to the court or branch
thereof taking cognizance of the proceedings for its settlement
(Branch VIII) in this case. The orders sought to be annulled and set
aside by herein petitioner-appellant in his complaint against private
respondents which was assigned to Branch X of the Manila Court of
First Instance presided over by Judge Jose L. Moya, were issued by
Judge Barcelona presiding over Branch VIII of the same court. The
Petitoner filed a separate civil case in Branch X, seeks to recover his
distributive share of the estate of the decedent Rosina.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Judge of Branch X of the Manila
Court of First Instance can legally interfere with, or pass upon
the validity of said orders of the Judge of Branch VIII, as the
probate court.
HELD:
No, Branch VIII as the probate court has exclusive jurisdiction over
the estate of the decedent, including the validity of the will, the
declaration of heirs, the disposition of the estate for the payment of
its liabilities, and the distribution among the heirs of the residue
thereof. Under Section 1 of Rule 73, Rules of Court, "the court first
taking cognizance of the settlement of the estates of the deceased,
shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts."
Pursuant to this provision, therefore all questions concerning the
settlement of the estate of the deceased Rosina Marguerite Wolfson
should be filed before Branch VIII of the Manila Court of First
Instance, then presided over by former Judge, now Justice of the
Court of Appeals, Manuel Barcelona, where Special Proceedings No.
63866 for the settlement of the testate estate of the deceased Rosina
Marguerite Wolfson was filed and is still pending. The reason for this
provision of the law is obvious. The settlement of the estate of a
deceased person in court constitutes but one proceeding. For the
successful administration of that estate it is necessary that there
should be but one responsible entity, one court, which should have
exclusive control of every part of such administration. To intrust it to
two or more courts, each independent of the other, would result in
confusion and delay. The Court cannot ignore the proclivity or
tendency of appellant herein to file several actions covering the same
subject matter or seeking substantially identical relief, which is
unduly burdening the courts.
VALERA vs INSERTO, G.R. No. L-56504, May 17, 1987
FACTS:

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Rafael Valera was granted leasehold rights over an 18hectare
fishpond in Iloilo by the government to last during his lifetime.
He transferred it by “fictitious sale” to his daughter Teresa to support
her children with the agreement that when the children finishes
schooling, the fishpond will be returned to him.
Valera and his spouse Consolacion Sarosa and their child Teresa died.
The heirs of Teresa- her husband Jose Garin and their children bought
the fishpond from the government, acquiring title thereto.
The administrators of the spouses Rafael Valera and Consolacion
Sarrosa claim that the fishpond should be returned to the spouses’
estates.
The Probate Court presided by Judge Adil held that there has been an
implied trust created, therefore the fishpond should be restored to
the estate of the spouses pursuant to Arts. 1453 and 1455 of the Civil
Code
.Pursuant thereto, he directed the sheriff to enforcere conveyance of
the fishpond to the estate. The fishpond was leased by the Garin
Heirs to Fabiana, who although willingly surrendered it to the sheriff,
later filed a complaint-in-intervention. This was dismissed so he
instituted a separate action for injunction and damages.
Court of Appeals reversed (fishpond to be returned to Garin Heirs and
their lessee Fabiana) saying that:
(1) Probate Court had no jurisdiction;
(2) that the Title of the Garin Heirs is a stronger claim that rebuts the
presumption that the estate owns the fishpond; and
(3) that assuming the Probate Court had competence toresolve
ownership, a separate action has to be filed.
Issue:
WON Probate Court had authority to order reconveyance of the
fishpond?
Held:
NO.
Ratio:
The CFI (now RTC), acting as Probate Court, exercises but limited
jurisdiction, and thus has no power to take cognizance of and
determine the issue of title to property claimed by a third person
adversely to the decedent, unless the claimant and all the Other
parties having legal interest in the property consent, expressly
or impliedly, to the submission of the question to the Probate Court
for adjudgment, or the interests of third persons are not thereby
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prejudiced. This is issue is not a jurisdictional, but procedural,
involving a mode of practice which may be waived.
The facts obtaining in this case, however, do not call for the
application of the exception to the rule. It was at all times clear to the
Court as well as to the parties that if cognizance was being taken of
the question of title over the fishpond, it was not for the purpose of
settling the issue definitely and permanently, and writing "finis"
thereto, the question being explicitly left for determination "in an
ordinary civil action," but merely to determine whether it should or
should not be included in the inventory. This function of resolving
whether or not property should be included in the estate inventory is,
to be sure, one clearly within the Probate Court's competence,
although the Court's determination is only provisional in character,
not conclusive, and is subject to the final decision in a separate action
that may be instituted by the parties.
Since the determination by the Probate Court of the question of title
to the fishpond was merely provisional, the fishpond cannot be the
subject of execution, as against its possessor who has set up title in
himself (or in another) adversely to the decedent, and whose right to
possess has not been ventilated and adjudicated in an appropriate
action. These considerations assume greater cogency where, as here,
the Torrens title to the property is not in the decedents' names but in
others.
A separate action must be instituted by the administrator to recover
the property.
Decision of the CA AFFIRMED.
CUIZON vs RAMOLETE, G.R. No. L-51291, May 29, 1984
FACTS:
As early as 1961, Marciano Cuizon applied for the registration of
several parcels of land in Mandaue City docketed as L.R. Case No. N-
179. In 1970, he distributed his property between his two daughters,
Rufina and Irene, to whom the salt beds subject of the controversy
was given. In 1971, Irene executed a Deed of Sale with Reservation
of Usufruct involving the said salt beds in favor of petitioners Franciso
et al.
Although the decision in L.R. Case No. N-179 was rendered way back
in 1972, the decree of registration and the corresponding O.C.T. was
issued only in 1976 in the name of Marciano Cuizon. In that same
year, T.C.T No. 10477 covering the property in question was issued
to Irene. The latter died in 1978.
During the extrajudicial settlement of the estate, Rufina, the mother
of Francisco et al., adjudicated to herself all the property of Irene
including the salt beds in question. She then executed a deed of
Confirmation of Sale wherein she confirmed and ratified the 1971
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deed of sale and renounced and waived whatever rights and interests
and participation she may have in the property in question in favor of
the petitioners. The deed was annotated in T.C.T. No. 10477.
Subsequently, T.C.T. No. 12665 was issued in favor of the
petitioners.
In 1978, Domingo Antigua, who allegedly was chosen by the heirs of
Irene to act as administrator, was appointed administrator by the CFI
of Cebu. Antigua included the salt bed in the inventory of Irene’s
estate and asked the Cebu CFI to order petitioners to deliver the salt
to him. The Cebu CFI granted the same.
ISSUE: Whether a court handling the intestate proceedings
has jurisdiction over parcels of land already covered by a TCT
issued in favor owners who are not parties to the intestate
proceedings if the said parcels of have been?
HELD:
No. It is a well-settled rule that a probate court or one in charge of
proceedings whether testate or intestate cannot adjudicate or
determine title to properties claimed to be a part of the estate and
which are equally claimed to belong to outside parties. All said court
could do is to determine whether they should or should not be
included in the inventory of properties to be administered by the
administrator. If there is dispute, then the administrator and the
opposing parties have to resort to an ordinary action for a final
determination of the conflicting claims of title because the probate
court cannot do so.
In the instant case, the property involved is not only claimed by
outside parties but it was sold seven years before the death of the
decedent and is duly titled in the name of the vendees who are not
party to the proceedings.
In Bolisay vs. Alcid, the Court held that “if a property covered by
Torrens Title is involved, the presumptive conclusiveness of such title
should be given due weight, and in the absence of strong compelling
evidence to the contrary, the holder thereof should be considered as
the owner of the property in controversy until his title is nullified or
modified in an appropriate ordinary action.”
Having been apprised of the fact that the property in question was
covered by a TCT issued in the name of third parties, the respondent
court should have denied the motion of the respondent administrator
and excluded the property in question from the inventory of the
property of the estate.
Doctrine: Probate court cannot adjudicate or determine title to
properties claimed to be part of the estate and equally claimed to
belong to outside parties.

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REYES vs YSIP, G.R. No. L-7516, May 12, 1955
FACTS:
This is a petition for a writ to compel the judge of the CFI of Bulcan to
permit and allow petitioner to submit evidence of her claim that she is
a natural daughter of the deceased, Juan Reyes Panlilio. Probate of
the last will and testament of decedent was filed in the CFI. Leonor P.
Reyes, herein petitioner filed an opposition. The special administratix,
who had presented the will for probate, object to the personality and
right of the petitioner herein to contest the will and asked that the
court resolve her right to contest the will before the hearing thereon.
The Honorable Judge held that only the probate of the will was at
issue and that the question of the presentation of evidence as to the
filiation of the oppositor, petitioner herein was out of place. Counsel
for petitioner made attempts to have the court reconsider its order
but the court refused to do so.
ISSUE: Whether or not the natural child is allowed to
intervene in the proceedings for the probate of the will.
HELD:
In distribution proceedings where a will is sought to be admitted to
probate, a person who can have no interest in the succession cannot
be allowed to intervene and oppose such probate. A person
intervening in the proceedings should be required to show interest in
the will or the property affected thereby. For such purpose, it is
sufficient that he shows or produces prima facie evidence of his or
her relationship to the testator. The court did not amount to a
prohibition to take part in the hearing for the probate of the will and
was motivated by desire to avoid multiplicity of the issues and the
limitation thereof to the execution of the will. The court did not
therefore deprive the petitioner of any right which she is entitled to
under the rules of law.
GAAS ET AL vs FORTICH, G.R. No. L-31454, December 28,
1929
FACTS:
On January 23, 1926, Francisco Arquiza, of Cebu, made his last will
and testament in which, subject to certain devises, he bequeathed all
of his property to Pilar Fortich his then wife. Later, upon his death,
this will was admitted to probate as his last will and testament.
Pending the adminisrration of his estate, Isidra Gaas filed a petition
alleging among others that he was previously married to Federico
Arquiza during the year 1908 and as a result of said marriage there
were born to said Federico Arquiza and this petitioner three children
namely Felicisimo Arquiza, Dioscoro Arquiza deceased, and Soledad
Arquiza.; That the deceased Francisco Arquiza is survived by his
widow, Pilar Fortich but left no legitimate children or descendants nor
did the said deceased leave legitimate parents or ascendants; and
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that the minors, Felicisimo Arquiza and Soledad Arquiza are therefore
the legitimate children of the deceased, Federico Arquiza and the
petitioner herein, Isidra Gaas and as such are by representation the
duly constituted legal heirs of the deceased Don Francisco Arquiza as
provided by the Civil Code. Isidra as natural guardian of the minors,
Felicisimo Arquiza and Soledad Arquiza, respectfully prays this
honorable court to declare said minors to be the legal heirs of the
deceased Francisco Arquiza and for such other and further relief to
which they may be entitled.
To which the executrix made a general and specific denial, and
alleged the following special defences:
1. That the petitioners Soledad and Felicisimo, surnamed Arquiza,
alleged acknowledged natural children of the deceased Francisco
Arquiza, represented by their guardian ad litem Isidra Gaas,
have no right to succeed in the properties of the herein
deceased Francisco Arquiza;
2. That assuming that there is merit in the petition which is
objected to by this pleading, the action to acknowledge the
aforesaid minors Soledad and Felicisimo, surnamed Arquiza, as
natural children, has prescribed.
The lower court sustained the petition and found that all of the legal
rights of Federico Arquiza was vested in the petitioners, who were his
legitimate children, and that, as such, they were entitled to one-third
of the estate left by Francisco Arquiza.
ISSUE: Whether or not the lower court erred in declaring them
entitled to one-third of the estate left by Francisco Arquiza,
and in not dismissing the petition of the appellees.
HELD:
As to the fifth assignment of error, the lower court cites and relies
upon the case of Larena and Larena vs. Rubio (43 Phil., 1017), and
says:
This is not an action to compel the recognition of Federico Arquiza
under the provisions of the Civil Code. Such an action is barred. This
is a proceeding to obtain a declaration of the rights of the petitioners
as the legitimate children of Federico Arquiza to inherit in
representation of their father from their grandfather. It was not
necessary for Federico Arquiza to bring an action for recognition
because he had acquired the status of a recognized natural child
under Law 11 of Toro by the tacit recognition of his father. His vested
rights were transmitted to his legitimate children, and they had no
need to bring an action against Francisco Arquiza or his heirs to
compel the recognition of their father, Federico Arquiza, as the
natural son of Francisco Arquiza.
If Federico Arquiza were still living, he could intervene in these
proceedings for the distribution of the estate of his natural father,
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without the necessity of a proceeding to compel his recognition, as is
required by the Civil Code; and Francisco Arquiza having left no
legitimate descendants, or ascendants, Federico Arquiza, if he had
survived his father, would have been entitled to one-third of the
latter's estate.
Article 842 of the Civil Code provides:
If the testator leaves no legitimate ascendants or descendants, the
acknowledged natural children shall be entitled to a third of the
estate.
And article 843 provides:
The rights granted natural children by the preceding articles are
transmitted on their death to their legitimate descendants.
The facts found by the trial court and sustained by the evidence bring
the appellees within those provisions.
In the matter of administration of the estate of Tan Po Pic-
TORRES vs JAVIER, G.R. No. L-10560, March 24, 1916
FACTS:
This is an appeal in proceeding to appoint an administrator of the
estate of Tan Po Pic, deceased. The trial court refused to appoint
Marta Torres who claimed to be the lawful wife of the deceased, and,
instead, appointed Juan L. Javier administrator. The appeal is taken
by Marta Torres from that order of appointment.
It appears that two women are claiming to be the legal wife of Tan Po
Pic, deceased, Marta Torres and a Chinese woman named Yu Teng
New. Marta Torres objected to the appointment of any one except
herself, while Juan Cailles Tan Poo, on behalf of the Chinese woman,
opposed the appointment of Marta Torres. The probate court being
unable to determine who, if either, was the lawful wife of the
deceased, appointed a disinterested third person to act as
administrator.
ISSUE: Whether or not the decision of the probate court was
correct.
HELD:
We are of the opinion that the decision of the probate court is so far
correct that it must be affirmed. Section 642 of the Code of Civil
Procedure requires that letters of administration should be granted,
first, to the surviving husband or wife; second, to other relatives in
the order named; third, in case the surviving wife or next of kin or
person selected by them be unsuitable, the administration may be
granted to some other person, such as one of the principal creditors;
and fourth, if there is no such creditor competent and willing to serve,
the administration may go to such person as the court may appoint.
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The first error assigned is that the court erred in allowing Tan Y. Soc
to appear in the proceeding. It appears that Tan Y. Soc was
appointed administrator of the said Tan Po Pic, deceased, the Court of
First Instance of Manila under the misapprehension that Tan Po Pic
was a resident of the city of Manila at the time of his death. After it h-
ad been ascertained that the deceased was a resident of the Province
of Rizal, the Court of First Instance of Manila transferred the case to
the Court of First Instance of Rizal. In that court, as we have already
seen, the appointment by the Court of First Instance of Manila was
disregarded the proceedings were begun for the appointment of an
administrator by the Court of First Instance of Rizal. Tan Y. Soc and
Juan Cailles Tan Poo appeared in those proceedings, apparently
representing the interests of Yu Teng New, the alleged Chinese wife
of the deceased. Messrs. Crossfield & O'Brien, attorneys for the
appellee in this case, appeared for the alleged Chinese wife and acted
in conjunction with Tan Y. Soc and Juan Cailles Tan Poo in protecting
her interests.
The second error assigned is that the court erred in taking into
consideration the claim that Tan Po Pic, deceased, had a Chinese wife
in China. It must be remembered that the probate court did not find
as a fact that there was a wife in China; nor does his appointment of
a third person determine the fact of the existence of another wife in
China. The court considered the facts and circumstances as they were
presented in the proceedings and upon the whole believed it for the
best interest of all concerned to appoint as administrator a
disinterested third person, particularly in view of the fact that there
was likely to be litigation between Marta Torres and the Chinese wife
as to which is in fact his legal wife and entitled to an interest in the
estate of the deceased Tan Po Pic. We do not find the errors assigned
sufficient to warrant any action on the part of this court.
The third error assigned is to the effect that the trial court erred in
not finding that Marta Torres was the lawful wife of the deceased Tan
Po Pic. We do not believe the court erred in this respect. The court
had a right in view of the controversy between the women to name a
disinterested third person as administrator and leave the controversy
between them to be settled in the administration proceedings at the
proper time.

BOROMEO-HERERA VS BOROMEO ET. AL.

JULY 23, 1987

FACTS:

Vito Boromeo, a widower died without forced heirs. Jose Junquera


filed with the CFI of Cebu a petition for the probate of a one page
document as the last will and testament left by the said deceased.
The case was docketed as Special Proceedings No. 916-
R. Oppositions to the probate of the will were filed. After due trial,
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the probate court held that the document presented as the will of the
deceased was a forgery. On appeal to this Court, the decision of the
probate court disallowing the probate of the will was affirmed. The
testate proceedings was converted into an intestate proceedings.
Several parties came before the court filing claims or petitions
alleging themselves as heirs of the intestate estate of Vito Borromeo.
The court also ordered that the assets of the intestate estate of Vito
Borromeo shall be divided into 4/9 and 5/9 groups and distributed in
equal and equitable shares among the 9 declared intestate heirs.

Respondent Fortunato Boromeo, who was originally one of the heirs


in the will, filed a motion to be declared as one of the heirs of the
deceased, alleging that he is an illegitimate child and that he was
omitted in the declared heirs. As an acknowledged illegitimate child,
he asserts that he is entitled to 4/5 of the legitime of an
acknowledged natural child. The court dismissed the motion. He then
filed a motion for reconsideration changing the basis for his claims to
the portion on the estate. He asserted and incorporated a Waiver of
Hereditary Rights. In the waiver, 5 of the 9 heirs relinquished their
shares to Fortunato their shares in the disputed estate. The trial court
concluding that the five heirs who signed the waiver agreement
assigning their shares to Fortunato Boromeo has lost the same rights,
declared the latter as entitled to 5/9 of the estate of the decedent.

ISSUES:

1. Whether or not the Waiver of Hereditary Rights executed is valid


to entitle Fortunato to the estate of Vito Borromeo.
2. Whether or not the Trial Court has jurisdiction to pass upon the
validity of the waiver.

RULING:

1. In this case, however, the purported "Waiver of Hereditary


Rights" cannot be considered to be effective. For a waiver to
exist, three elements are essential: (1) the existence of a right;
(2) the knowledge of the existence thereof; and (3) an intention
to relinquish such right. (People v. Salvador, (CA) 53 O.G. No.
22, p. 8116, 8120). The intention to waive a right or advantage
must be shown clearly and convincingly, and when the only
proof of intention rests in what a party does, his act should be
so manifestly consistent with, and indicative of an intent to,
voluntarily relinquish the particular right or advantage that no
other reasonable explanation of his conduct is possible.
2. The trial court had jurisdiction to pass upon the validity of the
waiver agreement. It must be noted that in Special Proceedings
No. 916-R the lower court disallowed the probate of the will and
declared it as fake. Upon appeal, this Court affirmed the
decision of the lower court on March 30, 1967. Subsequently,
several parties came before the lower court filing claims or
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petitions alleging themselves as heirs of the intestate estate of
Vito Borromeo. There is no impediment to the trial court in
exercising jurisdiction and trying the said claims or petitions.
Moreover, the jurisdiction of the trial court extends to matters
incidental and collateral to the exercise of its recognized powers
in handling the settlement of the estate.

Republic v. Cantor

G.R. No. 184621; December 10, 2013

FACTS:
Sometime in January 1998, Jerry F. Cantor left his wife Maria Fe
Espinosa Cantor after a violent quarrel. After more than four years of
not seeing or hearing from Jerry, Maria Fe filed a petition for the
declaration of presumptive death of her husband. She alleged that
she conducted a diligent search for her husband and exerted earnest
efforts to find him. The RTC granted her petition. Dissatisfied with the
ruling, the OSG filed the present petition for review on certiorari.

ISSUES:

1. Did Maria Fe have a well-founded belief that Jerry was dead in


pursuant with Article 41 of the Family Code?

2. Whether or not certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to


question the RTC’s order declaring Jerry presumptively dead
was proper.

HELD:

1. No. A “well-founded belief” that his or her spouse is dead


depends on the unique circumstance of each case and that there
is no set standard or procedure in determining the same. Maria
Fe’s alleged “well-founded” belief arose when: 1) Jerry’s
relatives and friends could not give her any information on his
whereabouts; and 2) she did not find Jerry’s name in the
patient’s directory whenever she went to a hospital. It appears
that Maria Fe did not actively look for her husband in hospitals
and it may be sensed that her search was not intentional or
planned. Her search for Jerry was far from diligent. Were it not
for the finality of the RTC ruling, the declaration of presumptive
death should have been recalled and set aside for utter lack of
factual basis.
2. Yes. By express provision of law, the judgment of the court in a
summary proceeding shall be immediately final and executory.
As a matter of course, it follows that no appeal can be had of
the trial court's judgment ina summary proceeding for the

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declaration of presumptive death of an absent spouse under
Article 41 of the Family Code. It goes without saying, however,
that an aggrieved party may file a petition for certiorari to
question abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.
Such petition should be filed in the Court of Appeals in
accordance with the Doctrine of Hierarchy of Courts. To be sure,
even if the Court's original jurisdiction to issue a writ of
certiorari is concurrent with the RTCs and the Court of Appeals
in certain cases, such concurrence does not sanction an
unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum

Republic of the Philippines vs. Nolasco

FACTS:

Nolasco, a seaman, first met Janet Monica Parker in a bar in England.


After that, she lived with him on his ship for 6 months. After his
seaman's contract has expired, he brought her to his hometown in
San Jose, Antique. They got married in January 1982.

After the marriage celebration, he got another employment contract


and left the province. In January 1983, Nolasco received a letter from
his mother that 15 days after Janet gave birth to their son, she left.
He cut short his contract to find Janet. He returned home in
November 1983.

He did so by securing another contract which England is one of its


port calls. He wrote several letters to the bar where he and Janet first
met, but all were returned to him. He claimed that he inquired from
his friends but they too had no news about Janet. In 1988, Nolasco
filed before the RTC of Antique a petition for the declaration of
presumptive death of his wife Janet.

RTC granted the petition. The Republic through the Solicitor-General,


appealed to the CA, contending that the trial court erred in declaring
Janet presumptively dead because Nolasco had failed to show that
there existed a well-founded belief for such declaration. CA affirmed
the trial court's decision.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Nolasco has a well-founded belief that his wife is


already dead.

RULING:

No. Nolasco failed to prove that he had complied with the third
requirement under the Article 41 of the Family Code, the existence of
a "well-founded belief" that Janet is already dead.

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Under Article 41, the time required for the presumption to arise has
been shortened to 4 years; however, there is a need for judicial
declaration of presumptive death to enable the spouse present to
marry. However, Article 41 imposes a stricter standard before
declaring presumptive death of one spouse. It requires a "well-
founded belief" that the absentee is already dead before a petition for
declaration of presumptive death can be granted.

In the case at bar, the Court found Nolasco's alleged attempt to


ascertain about Janet's whereabouts too sketchy to form the basis of
a reasonable or well-founded belief that she was already dead.

Nolasco, after returning from his employment, instead of seeking help


of local authorities or of the British Embassy, secured another
contract to London. Janet's alleged refusal to give any information
about her was too convenient an excuse to justify his failure to locate
her. He did not explain why he took him 9 months to finally reached
San Jose after he asked leave from his captain. He refused to identify
his friends whom he inquired from. When the Court asked Nolasco
about the returned letters, he said he had lost them. Moreover, while
he was in London, he did not even dare to solicit help of authorities to
find his wife.

The circumstances of Janet's departure and Nolasco's subsequent


behavior make it very difficult to regard the claimed belief that Janet
was dead a well-founded one.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, v.


THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents.
G.R. No. 159614. December 9, 2005.

FACTS:

On March 29, 2001, Alan B. Alegro filed a petition in the Regional


Trial Court for the declaration of presumptive death of his wife,
Rosalia “Lea” A. Julaton.

At the hearing, Alan adduced evidence that he and Lea were married
on January 20, 1995 in Catbalogan, Samar. He testified that, on
February 6, 1995, Lea arrived home late in the evening and he
berated her for being always out of their house. He told her that if
she enjoyed the life of a single person, it would be better for her to
go back to her parents. Lea did not reply. Alan narrated that, when
he reported for work the following day, Lea was still in the house, but
when he arrived home later in the day, Lea was nowhere to be found.
Alan thought that Lea merely went to her parents’ house in Bliss, Sto.
Niño, Catbalogan, Samar. However, Lea did not return to their house
anymore.

Alan further testified that, he inquired Lea’s whereabouts but to no


avail.
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Sometime in June 1995, he decided to go to Manila to look for Lea,
but his mother asked him to leave after the town fiesta of
Catbalogan, hoping that Lea may come home for the fiesta. Alan
agreed. However, Lea did not show up. Alan then left for Manila on
August 27, 1995. He went to a house in Navotas where Janeth, Lea’s
friend, was staying. When asked where Lea was, Janeth told him that
she had not seen her. He failed to find out Lea’s whereabouts despite
his repeated talks with Janeth. Alan decided to work as a part-time
taxi driver. On his free time, he would look for Lea in the malls but
still to no avail. He returned to Catbalogan in 1997 and again looked
for his wife but failed.

On June 20, 2001, Alan reported Lea’s disappearance to the local


police station. The police authorities issued an Alarm Notice on July 4,
2001. Alan also reported Lea’s disappearance to the National Bureau
of Investigation on July 9, 2001.

On January 8, 2002, the court rendered judgment granting the


petition.The OSG appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals which
rendered judgment on August 4, 2003, affirming the decision of the
trial court.

Issue:

Whether or not the declaration of presumptive death of the wife is


valid

Ruling:

No. In view of the summary nature of proceedings under Article 41 of


the Family Code for the declaration of presumptive death of one’s
spouse, the degree of due diligence set by the Court in locating the
whereabouts of a missing spouse must be strictly complied with. It is
the policy of the State to protect and strengthen the family as a basic
social institution. Marriage is the foundation of the family. Since
marriage is an inviolable social institution that the 1987 Constitution
seeks to protect from dissolution at the whim of the parties. For
respondent’s failure to prove that he had a well-founded belief that
his wife is already dead and that he exerted the required amount
of diligence in searching for his missing wife, the petition for
declaration of presumptive death should have been denied by the trial
court and the Honorable Court of Appeals. For the purpose of
contracting the subsequent marriage, the spouse present must
institute a summary proceeding as provided in this Code for the
declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice
to the effect of reappearance of the absent spouse. The spouse
present is, thus, burdened to prove that his spouse has been absent
and that he has a well-founded belief that the absent spouse is
already dead before the present spouse may contract a subsequent
marriage. The law does not define what is meant by a well-grounded

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belief. Cuello Callon writes that “es menester que su creencia sea
firme se funde en motivos racionales.” The Court finds and so holds
that the respondent failed to prove that he had a well-founded belief,
before he filed his petition in the trial court, that his spouse Rosalia
“Lea” Julaton was already dead. The Decision of the Court
of Appeals is reversed and set aside.

REPUBLIC V. GRANADA

G.R. No. 187512, [June 13, 2012]

DOCTRINE:

Even if the RTC erred in ruling that the respondent was able to prove
her “well-founded belief” that her absent spouse was already dead,
such order already final and can no longer be modified or reversed.
Indeed, “[n]nothing is more settled in law than that when a judgment
becomes final and executory, it becomes immutable and unalterable.
The same may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the
modification is meant to correct what is perceived to be an erroneous
conclusion of fact or law.”

FACTS:

Cyrus and Yolanda Granada, both employees of Sumida Electric


Company, got married in 1993.

Sometime in May 1994, when Sumida Electric Philippines closed


down, Cyrus went to Taiwan to seek employment. Yolanda claimed
that from that time, she did not receive any communication from her
husband, notwithstanding efforts to locate him. Her brother testified
that he had asked the relatives of Cyrus regarding the latter’s
whereabouts, to no avail. After nine (9) years of waiting, Yolanda
filed a Petition to have Cyrus declared presumptively dead with the
RTC Lipa City. On 7 February 2005, the RTC rendered a Decision
declaring Cyrus as presumptively dead. On 10 March 2005, petitioner
Republic of the Philippines, represented by the OSG, filed a Motion for
Reconsideration of this Decision. Petitioner argued that Yolanda had
failed to exert earnest efforts to locate Cyrus and thus failed to prove
her well-founded belief that he was already dead. The motion was
denied. The OSG then elevated the case on appeal to the Court
of Appeals. Yolanda filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the
CA had no jurisdiction over the appeal. She argued that her Petition
for Declaration of Presumptive Death, based on Article 41 of the
Family Code, was a summary judicial proceeding, in which the
judgment is immediately final and executory and, thus, not
appealable. The appellate court granted Yolanda’s Motion to Dismiss
on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. Citing Republic v. Bermudez-
Lorino, the CA ruled that a petition for declaration of presumptive
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death under Rule 41 of the Family Code is a summary proceeding.
Thus, judgment thereon is immediately final and executory upon
notice to the parties.Petitioner moved for reconsideration, which was
denied. Hence, the present petition under Rule 45.

ISSUES:

1. Whether the order of the RTC in a summary proceeding for the


declaration of presumptive death is immediately final and executory
upon notice to the parties and, hence, is not subject to ordinary
appeal.

2. Whether the CA erred in affirming the RTC’s grant of the petition


for declaration of presumptive death based on evidence that
respondent had presented.

HELD:

Yes, the declaration of presumptive death is fina land immediately


executory. Even if the RTC erred in granting the petition, such order
can no longer be assailed.

RATIO:

1. A petition for declaration of presumptive death of an absent spouse


for the purpose of contracting a subsequent marriage under Article 41
of the Family Code is a summary proceeding “as provided for” under
the Family Code. Taken together, Articles 41, 238, 247 and 253 of
the Family Code provide that since a petition for declaration of
presumptive death is a summary proceeding, the judgment of the
court therein shall be immediately final and executory.

By express provision of law, the judgment of the court in


a summary proceeding shall be immediately final and executory. As a
matter of course, it follows that no appeal can be had of the trial
court’s judgment in a summary proceeding for the declaration of
presumptive death of an absent spouse under Article 41 of the Family
Code. It goes without saying, however, that an aggrieved party
may file a petition for certiorari to question abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Such petition should be filed in the
Court of Appeals in accordance with the Doctrine of Hierarchy of
Courts. To be sure, even if the Court’s original jurisdiction to issue a
writ of certiorari is concurrent with the RTCs and the Court
of Appeals in certain cases, such concurrence does not sanction
an unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum. From the decision
of the Court of Appeals, the losing party may then file a petition for
review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court with the
Supreme Court. This is because the errors which the court may
commit in the exercise of jurisdiction are merely errors of judgment
which are the proper subject of an appeal.

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In sum, under Article 41 of the Family Code, the losing party in
a summary proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death
may file a petition for certiorari with the CA on the ground that, in
rendering judgment thereon, the trial court committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. From the decision of the
CA, the aggrieved party may elevate the matter to this Court via a
petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

2. Petitioner also assails the RTC’s grant of the Petition for


Declaration of Presumptive Death of the absent spouse of respondent
on the ground that she had not adduced the evidence required to
establish a well-founded belief that her absent spouse was already
dead, as expressly required by Article 41 of the Family Code.

For the purpose of contracting the subsequent marriage under the


preceding paragraph, the spouse present must institute
a summary proceeding as provided in this Code for the declaration of
presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice to the effect of
reappearance of the absent spouse.

The spouse present is, thus, burdened to prove that his spouse has
been absent and that he has a well-founded belief that the absent
spouse is already dead before the present spouse may contract a
subsequent marriage. The law does not define what is meant by a
well-grounded belief is a state of the mind or condition prompting the
doing of an overt act. It may be proved by direct evidence or
circumstantial evidence which may tend, even in a slight degree, to
elucidate the inquiry or assist to a determination probably founded in
truth. Any fact or circumstance relating to the character, habits,
conditions, attachments, prosperity and objects of life which usually
control the conduct of men, and are the motives of their actions, was,
so far as it tends to explain or characterize their disappearance or
throw light on their intentions, competence evidence on the ultimate
question of his death.

The belief of the present spouse must be the result of proper and
honest to goodness inquiries and efforts to ascertain the whereabouts
of the absent spouse and whether the absent spouse is still alive or is
already dead. Whether or not the spouse present acted on a well-
founded belief of death of the absent spouse depends upon the
inquiries to be drawn from a great many circumstances occurring
before and after the disappearance of the absent spouse and the
nature and extent of the inquiries made by present spouse.
(Footnotes omitted, underscoring supplied.)

Applying the foregoing standards to the present case, petitioner


points out that respondent Yolanda did not initiate a diligent search to
locate her absent husband. While her brother Diosdado Cadacio
testified to having inquired about the whereabouts of Cyrus from the
latter’s relatives, these relatives were not presented to corroborate
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Diosdado’s testimony. In short, respondent was allegedly not diligent
in her search for her husband. Petitioner argues that if she were, she
would have sought information from the Taiwanese Consular Office or
assistance from other government agencies in Taiwan or the
Philippines. She could have also utilized mass media for this end, but
she did not. Worse, she failed to explain these omissions. The
Republic’s arguments are well-taken. Nevertheless, we are
constrained to deny the Petition. The RTC ruling on the issue of
whether respondent was able to prove her “well-founded belief” that
her absent spouse was already dead prior to her filing of the Petition
to declare him presumptively dead is already final and can no longer
be modified or reversed. Indeed, “[n]othing is more settled in law
than that when a judgment becomes final and executory, it becomes
immutable and unalterable. The same may no longer be modified in
any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct what is
perceived to be an erroneous conclusion of fact or law.

ROSE BUSH MALIG and JOE, THOMAS, and JOHN all surnamed
BUSH, represented in this suit by their attorney-in-fact, ROSE
BUSH MALIG vs MARIA SANTOS BUSH

May 31, 1969

FACTS:

On September 19, 1962 the plaintiffs filed the complaint, alleging


that they were the acknowledged natural children and the only heirs
in the direct line of the deceased John T. Bush, having been born of
the common-law relationship of their father with Apolonia Perez from
1923 up to August, 1941. John T. Bush and Apolonia Perez, during
the conception of the plaintiffs, were not suffering from any disability
to marry each other; that they lived with their alleged father during
his lifetime and were considered and treated by him as his
acknowledge natural children and at the time of his death left several
real and personal properties.

Defendant falsely alleging that she was the legal wife of the deceased
was able to secure her appointment as administratrix of the estate of
the deceased in Testate Proceedings No. 29932 of the Court of First
Instance of Manila. She submitted to the court for approval a project
of partition, purporting to show that the deceased left a will whereby
he bequeathed his estate to three persons, namely: Maria Santos
Bush, Anita S. Bush and Anna Berger. Defendant then knew that the
plaintiffs were the acknowledged natural children of the deceased;
and that they discovered the fraud and misrepresentation perpetrated
by the defendant only in July, 1962.

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Petitioners prayed that the partition be annulled; submit a complete
inventory and accounting of all the properties left by the deceased
and another project of partition adjudicating to the plaintiffs their
legal participation in the said estate and/or in the event that the
defendant had disposed of all or part of the estate, that she be
ordered to pay them the market value thereof.

The defendant moved to dismiss the case, alleging lack of


jurisdiction, res judicata, and statute of limitations. However, said
motion was denied by the trial court. When the case was set foe
hearing, defendant then filed another motion to dismiss challenging
the jurisdiction of court stating that since the action was one to annul
a project of partition duly approved by the probate court it was that
court alone which could take cognizance of the case, citing Rule 75,
Section 1, of the Rules of Court. On October 31, 1963 the lower court
granted the motion and dismissed the complaint, not on the ground
relied upon by the defendant but because the action had prescribed.
The plaintiffs moved to reconsider but were turned down; hence, this
appeal.

Issues:

1. Whether or not an action may be dismissed based on the


grounds not alleged in a motion to dismiss.

Ruling:

1. In dismissing a complaint upon a ground not relied upon by the


defendant in the motion to dismiss, the lower court in effect did
so motu proprio without offering the plaintiffs a chance to argue
the point, without any arguments or evidences on the question.
This the court cannot do. The only instance on which the court
may dismiss upon the court’s own motion an action is when the
plaintiff fails to appear at the time of the trial or to prosecute his
action for an unreasonable length of time or to comply with the
Rules or any other order of the court.

Ratio:

Sec 1, Rule 73 of Rules of Court fixes jurisdiction for purposes of the


special proceeding for the settlement of the estate of a deceased
person, "so far as it depends on the place of residence of the
decedent, or of the location of his estate." The matter really concerns
venue, as the caption of Rule cited indicates, and in order to preclude
different courts which may properly assume jurisdiction from doing
so, the Rule specifies that "the court first taking cognizance of the
settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to
the exclusion of all other courts."

RODRIGUEZ vs. BORJA

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17 SCRA 41

FACTS:

In this case, there were 2 proceedings. First was an intestate


proceeding instituted meaning, a proceeding to settle the estate of a
deceased person who died without a will. But subsequently, a will was
found and again another proceeding was instituted, this time, testate
proceeding wherein the estate of the deceased person is settled if
that person has left a will. We are confronted here of 2 proceedings,
one was instituted ahead of the other.

ISSUE:

Which proceeding should be preferred?

RULING:

As long as there is a will, even if that will is found later and


even if the proceeding for the settlement of the estate of a
person with a will is filed later, that should be preferred. The
will should be probated. The will should be given effect as much as
possible in order to give effect to the wishes of the testator. The
wishes of the testator must be given such preference first. Probate of
the will is needed in order to determine whether or not the will was
indeed valid, whether or not the will was executed in observance with
the formalities required by law and whether or not the testator
executed it with a sound mind.

If later on in the probate proceeding, the will is found not to have


validly executed, then you go to intestate proceeding. But first you
go to testate.

CUENCO VS. CA G.R. No. L-24742 October 26, 1973

The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a


decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all
other courts.

FACTS: This is a Petition for certiorari to review the decision of


respondent CA in CA-G.R. No. 34104-R and its subsequent Resolution
denying petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration.

Senator Mariano Jesus Cuenco died in Manila. He was survived by his


widow and two minor sons, residing in Quezon City, and children
of the first marriage, residing in Cebu. Lourdes, one of the children
from the first marriage, filed a Petition for Letters of Administration
with the Court of First Instance (CFI) Cebu, alleging that the senator
died intestate in Manila but a resident of Cebu with properties in Cebu
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and Quezon City. The petition still pending with CFI Cebu,
Rosa Cayetano Cuenco, the second wife, filed a petition with CFI Rizal
for the probate of the last will and testament, where she was named
executrix. Rosa also filed an opposition and motion to dismiss in
CFI Cebu but this court held in abeyance resolution over the
opposition until CFI Quezon shall have acted on the
probate proceedings. Lourdes filed an opposition and motion
to dismiss in CFI Quezon, on ground of lack of jurisdiction and/or
improper venue, considering that CFI Cebu already acquired exclusive
jurisdiction over the case. The opposition and motion to dismiss were
denied. Upon appeal CA ruled in favor of Lourdes and issued a writ of
prohibition to CFI Quezon.

ISSUES: (1) Whether or not CA erred in issuing the writ


of prohibition;
(2) Whether or not CFI Quezon acted without jurisdiction or
grave abuse of discretion in taking cognizance and assuming
exclusive jurisdiction over the probate proceedings in pursuance to
CFI Cebu's order expressly consenting in deference to the precedence
of probate over intestate proceedings.

RULING: (1) Yes. The Supreme Court found that the CA erred in law
in issuing the writ of prohibition against the Quezon City court
from proceeding with the testate proceedings and annulling and
setting aside all its orders and actions, particularly its admission to
probate of the last will and testament of the deceased and appointing
petitioner-widow as executrix thereof without bond pursuant to the
deceased testator's wish for the following considerations:

1. The Judiciary Act concededly confers original jurisdiction upon all


Courts of First Instance over "all matter of probate, both of testate
and intestate estates." On the other hand, Rule 73, section of the
Rules of Court lays down the rule of venue, as the very caption of the
Rule indicates, and in order to prevent conflict among the different
courts which otherwise may properly assume jurisdiction from doing
so, the Rule specifies that "the court first taking cognizance of the
settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to
the exclusion of all other courts."

It is equally conceded that the residence of the deceased or the


location of his estate is not an element of jurisdiction over the subject
matter but merely of venue. It should be noted that the Rule on
venue does not state that the court with whom the estate or intestate
petition is first filed acquires exclusive jurisdiction. The Rule precisely
and deliberately provides that "the court first taking cognizance of the
settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to
the exclusion of all other courts." A fair reading of the Rule — since it
deals with venue and comity between courts of equal and co-ordinate
jurisdiction — indicates that the court with whom the petition is first
filed, must also first take cognizance of the settlement of the
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estate in order to exercise jurisdiction over it to the exclusion of all
other courts.

Conversely, such court, may, upon learning that a petition


for probate of the decedent's last will has been presented in another
court where the decedent obviously had his conjugal domicile and
resided with his surviving widow and their minor children, and that
the allegation of the intestate petition before it stating that the
decedent died intestate may be actually false, may decline to take
cognizance of the petition and hold the petition before it in abeyance,
and instead defer to the second court which has before it the petition
for probate of the decedent's alleged last will.

2. This exactly what the Cebu court did. Upon petitioner-widow's


filing with it a motion to dismiss Lourdes' intestate petition, it issued
its order holding in abeyance its action on the dismissal motion and
deferred to the Quezon City court, awaiting its action on the petition
for probate before that court. the residence of the decedent within its
territory and venue.

3. Under these facts, the Cebu court could not be held to have acted
without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of jurisdiction in declining to
take cognizance of the intestate petition and deferring to the Quezon
City court. Necessarily, neither could the Quezon City court be
deemed to have acted without jurisdiction in taking cognizance of and
acting on the probate petition since under Rule 73, section 1, the
Cebu court must first take cognizance over the estate of the decedent
and must exercise jurisdiction to exclude all other courts, which the
Cebu court declined to do. Furthermore, as is undisputed, said rule
only lays down a rule of venue and the Quezon City court indisputably
had at least equal and coordinate jurisdiction over the estate.

4. The relatively recent case of Uriarte vs. Court of First Instance of


Negros Occidental 12 with facts analogous to the present case 13 is
authority against respondent appellate court's questioned decision. In
said case, the Court upheld the doctrine of precedence of probate
proceedings over intestate proceedings.

It cannot be denied that a special proceeding intended to


effect the distribution of the estate of a deceased person,
whether in accordance with the law on intestate succession
or in accordance with his will, is a "probate matter" or a
proceeding for the settlement of his estate. It is equally
true, however, that in accordance with settled
jurisprudence in this jurisdiction, testate proceedings for
the settlement of the estate of a deceased person take
precedence over intestate proceedings for the same
purpose. Thus it has been held repeatedly that, if in the
course of intestate proceedings pending before a court of
first instance it is found that the decedent had left a last
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will, proceedings for the probate of the latter should
replace the intestate proceedings even if at that state an
administrator had already been appointed, the latter being
required to render final account and turn over the estate in
his possession to the executor subsequently
appointed. This however, is understood to be without
prejudice that should the alleged last will be rejected or is
disapproved, the proceeding shall continue as an
intestacy. As already adverted to, this is a clear indication
that proceedings for the probate of a will enjoy priority
over intestate proceedings.

(2) On Venue and Jurisdiction under Rule 73, the court first taking
cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decent, shall exercise
jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. The residence of the
decent or the location of his estate is not an element of jurisdiction
over the subject matter but merely of venue. If this were otherwise,
it would affect the prompt administration of justice. The court with
whom the petition is first filed must also first take cognizance of the
settlement of the estate in order to exercise jurisdiction over it to the
exclusion of all other courts.

This tallies with the established legal concept as restated by Moran


that "(T)he probate of a will is a proceeding in rem. The notice by
publication as a pre-requisite to the allowance of a will, is a
constructive notice to the whole world, and when probate is granted,
the judgment of the court is binding upon everybody, even against
the State. The probate of a will by a court having jurisdiction thereof
is conclusive as to its due execution and validity." 19 The Quezon City
court acted regularly within its jurisdiction (even if it were to be
conceded that Quezon City was not the proper venue notwithstanding
the Cebu court's giving way and deferring to it,) in admitting the
decedent's last will to probate and naming petitioner-widow as
executrix thereof. Hence, the Quezon city court's action should not be
set aside by a writ of prohibition for supposed lack of jurisdiction as
per the appellate court's appealed decision, and should instead be
sustained in line with Uriarte, supra, where the Court, in dismissing
the certiorari petition challenging the Manila court's action admitting
the decedent's will to probate and distributing the estate in
accordance therewith in the second proceeding, held that "it must be
remembered that this Court is not inclined to annul proceedings
regularly had in a lower court even if the latter was not the proper
venue therefor, if the net result would be to have the same
proceedings repeated in some other court of similar jurisdiction."

Finally, it should be noted that in the Supreme Court's exercise of its


supervisory authority over all inferior courts, it may properly
determine, as it has done in the case at bar, that venue was properly
assumed by and transferred to the Quezon City court and that it is
the interest of justice and in avoidance of needless delay that the
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Quezon City court's exercise of jurisdiction over the testate estate of
the decedent (with the due deference and consent of the Cebu court)
and its admission to probate of his last will and testament and
appointment of petitioner-widow as administratrix without bond in
pursuance of the decedent's express will and all its orders and actions
taken in the testate proceedings before it be approved and authorized
rather than to annul all such proceedings regularly had and to repeat
and duplicate the same proceedings before the Cebu court only to
revert once more to the Quezon City court should the Cebu court find
that indeed and in fact, as already determined by the Quezon City
court on the strength of incontrovertible documentary evidence of
record, Quezon City was the conjugal residence of the decedent.

ACCORDINGLY, judgment is hereby rendered reversing the appealed


decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals and the petition
for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction originally filed
by respondents with the CA ordered dismissed.

DE SANDOVAL VS. SANTIAGO,


G.R. No. L1723
May 30, 1949

FACTS: This is a special civil action of certiorari filed by the


petitioner against the respondent Judge Hon. Vicente Santiago.

Petitioner instituted a special proceeding in the CFI of Quezon


Province for then probate of the will and codicil executed by the
deceased Daniel Marquez in which she was designated as executrix.
The will and codicil were allowed and the petitioner was appointed as
executrix in accordance with the will. But before the petitioner
qualified as executrix, the three heirs instituted in the will made an
extrajudicial partition of all the properties of the deceased on October
5, 1946 and entered into the possession of their respective share
without the authority and approval of the court. One year after the
probate of the will and appointment of the petitioner as executrix, the
respondent judge required the petitioner to qualify as such and file a
bond of P5,000. In response thereto the petitioner informed the
respondent judge that it was not necessary for her to qualify because
the heirs had already made an extrajudicial partition in accordance
with the will as shown by the copy of the said partition which she
submitted to the court. In view of the answer of the petitioner the
respondent judge ordered the executrix to qualify as such within
forty-eight hours and declared the extrajudicial agreement of
partition entered into by the heirs null and void, on the ground that
the probate proceedings having been commenced judicially it must
also be terminated judicially. A motion for reconsideration was filed
by the petitioner and denied by the court hence, the filing of the
present petition for certiorari.

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ISSUE: Whether or not the CFI Judge of Quezon Province, wherein
the deceased was residing at the time of his death has acquired
exclusive jurisdiction to settle the estate of the deceased.

RULING: The court ruled that the respondent Judge of Court CFI
Quezon Province, wherein the deceased was residing at the time of
his death, has acquired exclusive jurisdiction to settle the testate
estate of the deceased Daniel Marquez and over the heirs and other
person interested in the estate of the deceased from the moment the
application for the probate of the decedent's will was filed with the
said court and the publication required by law were made; and the
heirs of the deceased Marquez could not divest the CFI of its already
acquired jurisdiction by the mere fact of dividing extrajudicially the
estate of the deceased among themselves.

An extrajudicial partition of the estate of a deceased by the heirs


becomes a judicial partition after its approval by the court which had
previously acquired jurisdiction of the estate by the filing of an
application for the probate of the decedent's will; but as the testate
proceeding is terminated in such case without the necessary
publication of notices to creditors and other persons interested in the
estate required ina required in a regular judicial administration, the
effect of such judicial partition would be the same as if it had been
effected extrajudicially without the intervention of the court under the
provisions of section1,of Rule 74, that is, subject to the claims
against the distributees by persons mentioned in sections 4 and 5, of
the same rule.

Thus, the petition for certiorari is denied with costs against the
petitioner, because the respondent judge did not exceed his
jurisdiction in not giving the deed of extrajudicial settlement or
partition of the estate of the deceased the effect of terminating the
testate proceeding over which the court has acquired exclusive
jurisdiction since said partition was not submitted to said court for
approval.

BERNARDO, executor of the testate estate of the deceased


EUSEBIO CAPILI; and the instituted heirs, namely: ARMANDO
CAPILI and ARTURO BERNARDO, ET AL. VS. HON. COURT OF
APPEALS
G.R. No. L-18148 February 28, 1963

FACTS: This is a petition by certiorari for the review of the decision of


the CA affirming that of the CFI Bulacan holding that the probate
court in Special Proceeding 1101 had jurisdiction to determine the
validity of the deed of donation in question and to pass upon the
question of title or ownership of the properties mentioned therein.

Eusebio Capili and Hermogena Reyes were husband and wife. The
first died in 1958 and a testate proceeding for the settlement of his

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estate was instituted in the CFI of Bulacan. His will was admitted to
probate on that same year disposing of his properties in favor of his
widow and his cousins all surnamed Capili and Bernardo. Hermogena
Reyes herself died in 1959. Upon petition of Bernardo, executor of
the estate of the deceased Eusebio Capili, she was substituted by her
collateral relatives and intestate heirs all surnamed Reyes and four
others all surnamed Isidoro.

In 1959, the executor filed a project of partition in the testate


proceeding in accordance with the terms of the will, adjudicating the
estate of Eusebio Capili among the testamentary heirs with the
exception of Hermogena Reyes, whose share was alloted to her
collateral relatives aforementioned. These relatives filed an opposition
to the executor's project of partition and submitted a counter-project
of partition of their own, claiming 1/2 of the properties mentioned in
the will of the deceased Eusebio Capili on the theory that they
belonged not to the latter alone but to the conjugal partnership of the
spouses.

The probate court set the two projects of partition for hearing. In the
memorandum for the executor and the instituted heirs it was
contended: (1) that the properties disposed of in the will of the
deceased Eusebio Capili belonged to him exclusively and not to the
conjugal partnership, because Hermogena Reyes had donated to him
her half share of such partnership; (2) that the collateral heirs of
Hermogena Reyes had no lawful standing or grounds to question the
validity of the donation; and (3) that even assuming that they
could question the validity of the donation, the same must be
litigated not in the testate proceeding but in a separate civil
action.

The oppositors and heirs of Hermogena Reyes, on their part, argued


that the deed of donation itself was determinative of the original
conjugal character to the properties and that since the donation was
null and void the deceased Eusebio Capili did not become owner of
the share of his wife and therefore could not validly dispose of it in
his will.

The probate court issued an order declaring the donation void without
making any specific finding as to its juridical nature, that is, whether
it was inter vivos or mortis causa, for the reason that, considered
under the first category, it falls under Article 133 of the Civil Code,
which prohibits donations between spouses during the marriage; and
considered under the second category, it does not comply with the
formalities of a will as required by Article 728 in relation to Article
805 of the same Code, there being no attestation clause. In the same
order the court disapproved both projects of partition and directed
the executor to file another," dividing the property mentioned in the
last will and testament of the deceased Eusebio Capili and the
properties mentioned in the deed of donation, Exhibit B, between the
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instituted heirs of the deceased Eusebio Capili and the legal heirs of
the deceased Hermogena Reyes, upon the basis that the said
properties were conjugal properties of the deceased spouses." On
September 27, 1960, the executor filed a motion for new trial,
reiterating and emphasizing the contention previously raised in their
memorandum that the probate court had no jurisdiction to take
cognizance of the claim of the legal heirs of Hermogena Reyes
involving title to the properties mentioned in the will of Eusebio Capili
and taking exception to the court's declaration of the nullity of the
donation "without stating facts or provision of law on which it was
based." The motion for new trial was denied in an order dated
October 3, 1960.

On appeal to the Court of Appeals the order appealed from being


affirmed, petitioners filed this present petition for review by certiorari.

ISSUES: (1) Whether or not the appellate court erred in not


declaring that the probate court, having limited and special
jurisdiction, had generally no power to adjudicate title and erred in
applying the exception to the rule.

(2) Whether or not the trial court as well as the CA erred in


upholding the power of the probate court in this case to adjudicate in
the testate proceedings the question of title or ownership of the
properties mentioned therein.

RULING: (1) In a line of decisions, this Court consistently held that


as a general rule, question as to title to property cannot be passed
upon on testate or intestate proceedings "except where one of the
parties prays merely for the inclusion or exclusion from the inventory
of the property, in which case the probate court may pass
provisionally upon the question without prejudice to its final
determination in a separate action. However, we have also held that
when the parties interested are all heirs of the deceased, it is optional
to them to submit to the probate court a question as to title to
property, and when so submitted, said probate court may definitely
pass judgment thereon (Pascual v. Pascual, 73 Phil. 561; Manalac v.
Ocampo, et al., 73 Phil. 661); and that with the consent of the
parties, matters affecting property under judicial administration may
be taken cognizance of by the court in the course of intestate
proceeding, provided interests of third persons are not prejudiced
(Cunanan v. Amparo, 80 Phil. 229, 232).

(2) As has been stated in the case of Cunanan v. Amparo (supra) the
Supreme Court speaking through Mr. Justice Tuason: "Determination
of title to property is within the jurisdiction of CFI. The responding
Soriano's objection (that the probate court lacked jurisdiction to order
the delivery of the possession of the lots to the estate) relates
exclusively to the procedure, which is distinct from jurisdiction. It

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affects only personal rights to a mode of practice (the filing of an
independent ordinary action) which may be waived".

In the case now before us, the matter in controversy is the question
of ownership of certain of the properties involved — whether they
belong to the conjugal partnership or to the husband exclusively. This
is a matter properly within the jurisdiction of the probate court which
necessarily has to liquidate the conjugal partnership in order to
determine the estate of the decedent which is to be distributed
among his heirs who are all parties to the proceedings, including, of
course, the widow, now represented because of her death, by her
heirs who have been substituted upon petition of the executor himself
and who have appeared voluntarily. There are no third parties whose
rights may be affected. It is true that the heirs of the deceased widow
are not heirs of the testator-husband, but the widow is, in addition to
her own right to the conjugal property. And it is this right that is
being sought to be enforced by her substitutes.

Petitioners contend additionally that they have never submitted


themselves to the jurisdiction of the probate court, for the purpose of
the determination of the question of ownership of the disputed
properties. This is not borne by the admitted facts. On the contrary, it
is undisputed that they were the ones who presented the project of
partition claiming the questioned properties as part of the testator's
asset. The respondents, as representatives or substitutes of the
deceased widow opposed the project of partition and submitted
another. As the Court of Appeals said, "In doing so all of them must
be deemed to have submitted the issue for resolution in the same
proceeding. Certainly, the petitioners cannot be heard to insist, as
they do, on the approval of their project of partition and, thus, have
the court take it for granted that their theory as to the character of
the properties is correct, entirely without regard to the opposition of
the respondents". In other words, by presenting their project of
partition including therein the disputed lands (upon the claim that
they were donated by the wife to her husband), petitioners
themselves put in issue the question of ownership of the properties —
which is well within the competence of the probate court — and just
because of an opposition thereto, they cannot thereafter withdraw
either their appearance or the issue from the jurisdiction of the court.
Certainly, there is here a waiver where the parties who raise the
objection are the ones who set the court in motion. They cannot be
permitted to complain if the court, after due hearing, adjudges
question against them.

Finally, petitioners-appellants claim that appellees are estopped to


raise the question of ownership of the properties involved because
the widow herself, during her lifetime, not only did not object to the
inclusion of these properties in the inventory of the assets of her
deceased husband, but also signed an extra-judicial partition of those
inventoried properties. But the very authorities cited by appellants
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require that to constitute estoppel, the actor must have knowledge of
the facts and be appraised of his rights at the time he performs the
act constituting estoppel, because silence without knowledge works
no estoppel. In the present case, the deceased widow acted as she
did because of the deed of donation she executed in favor of her
husband not knowing that such deed was illegal, if inter-vivos, and
ineffectual if mortis-causa, as it has not been executed with the
required formalities similar to a will.

Thus, the decision of the CA being in accordance with law, the same
is hereby affirmed with costs against appellants.

G.R. Nos. L-27860 and L-27896 March 29, 1974


PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL BANK,
Administrator of the Testate Estate of Charles Newton Hodges
(Sp. Proc. No. 1672 of the Court of First Instance of
Iloilo), petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE VENICIO ESCOLIN, Presiding Judge of the
Court of First Instance of Iloilo, Branch II, and AVELINA A.
MAGNO, respondents.

G.R. Nos. L-27936 & L-27937 March 29, 1974


TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE LINNIE JANE HODGES (Sp.
Proc. No. 1307). TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE CHARLES
NEWTON HODGES (Sp. Proc. No. 1672). PHILIPPINE
COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL BANK, administrator-appellant,
vs.
LORENZO CARLES, JOSE PABLICO, ALFREDO CATEDRAL,
SALVADOR GUZMAN, BELCESAR CAUSING, FLORENIA
BARRIDO, PURIFICACION CORONADO, GRACIANO LUCERO,
ARITEO THOMAS JAMIR, MELQUIADES BATISANAN, PEPITO
IYULORES, ESPERIDION PARTISALA, WINIFREDO ESPADA,
ROSARIO ALINGASA, ADELFA PREMAYLON, SANTIAGO
PACAONSIS, and AVELINA A. MAGNO, the last as
Administratrix in Sp. Proc. No. 1307, appellees, WESTERN
INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, INC., movant-appellee.

SETTLEMENT OF ESTATE OF DECEASED PERSONS

FYI: March 29, 1974; Barredo, J.*This case is lengthy. Court


admitted several times that it was clueless as to some facts so it
copied into the decision entire pleadings. Plus, PCIB raised 78
assignment of errors.

FACTS: Charles Newton Hodges and Linnie Jane Hodges were


originally from Texas, USA. During their marriage, they had acquired
and accumulated considerable assets and properties in the Philippines
and in Oklahoma and Texas in the US. They both lived, worked and
were domiciled in Iloilo City for around 50 years. Before her
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death, Linnie Jane executed a will leaving her estate, less her
debts and funeral expenses, to her husband Charles. Should Charles
die, the will provided that the remainder of her estate go to her
brothers and sisters, share and share alike. Should any of the
brothers and sisters die before the husband, Linnie willed that the
heirs of the said sibling be substituted in the deceased’s sibling’s
place. When Linnie died, Charles took the will to probate court,
and was appointed Executor, then later, Special Administrator. He
moved to be allowed to continue administering the family
business, as per Linnie Jane’s wishes, and to engage in sales,
conveyances, leases, mortgages and other necessary transactions. He
also filed the necessary and appurtenant administration/accounting
records, and income tax returns for the estate. Charles named seven
brothers and sisters of Linnie Jane as his heirs but the order
admitting the will to probate unfortunately omitted one of the heirs,
Roy Higdon, so Charles filed a verified motion to have Roy’s name
included. As an executor, he was bound to file tax returns for
the estate he was administering under American law. He did file such
as estate tax return in 1958. In Schedule "M" of such return, he
answered "Yes" to the question as to whether he was contemplating
"renouncing the will". On the question as to what property interests
passed to him as the surviving spouse, he answered “None, except
for purposes of administering the Estate, paying debts, taxes and
other legal charges.” It is the intention of the surviving husband of
deceased to distribute the remaining property and interests of the
deceased in their Community estate to the devisees and legatees
named in the will when the debts, liabilities, taxes and expenses of
administration are finally determined and paid.

Charles died in Iloilo in December 1962 without having liquidated


Linnie’s estate, which includes her share in the conjugal partnership.
A longtime employee of the Hodges, Avelina Magno, was appointed
Administratrix (for Linnie’s estate) and a Special Administratrix (for
Charles’). Magno was appointed, but later Davies (representative of
Charles’ heirs in the US) was designated Co-Special Administrator,
who was then replaced by one Joe Hodges, Charles’ nephew. One
Atty. Mirasol was also appointed as co-administrator, and an order of
probate and letters of administration were issued to Hodges
and Mirasol. At this point, the SC was already very much confused
about the gaps in the facts, convinced that the parties representing
both estates had cooked up a modus operandi to settle money
matters (a settlement with records the Court never saw which,
however, went awry, with more and more heirs from the US flocking
to the Iloilo shores, and Lawyers filing their respective claims for
retainer fees. Later, PCIB became the administrator of Charles’
estate, asserting a claim to all of his estate, including those
properties/assets that passed to him upon Linnie Jane’s death. Magno
naturally opposed this, as Linnie Jane’s other heirs (the Higdons)
would be prejudiced, so she continued acting in her capacity as
administrator. For these acts, the PCIB dismissed her as an employee
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of Charles’ estate, to which she responded by locking up the premises
being used by PCIB as offices, which were among the estate’s
properties. PCIB’s Claims Linnie Jane’s will should be governed by
Philippine Law, with respect to the order of succession, the amount of
successional rights, and the intrinsic validity of its testamentary
provisions. Linnie intended Philippine laws to govern her Will.

ISSUES: (1) Whether or not the provision in Mrs. Hodges’ will in


favor of her brothers and sisters constitutes ineffective hereditary
substitutions.
(2) Whether or not a Special Proceeding for the settlement of
Mrs. Hodges estate should already be closed, based on the December
1957 Court Order allegedly adjudicating Mr. Hodges as the sole heir?

RULING: (1) NO. The court overruled PCIB’S contention that the
provision in Mrs. Hodges’ will in favor of her brothers and sisters
constitutes ineffective hereditary substitutions. The Court ruled that
by said provision, Mrs. Hodges simultaneously instituted her brothers
and sisters as co-heirs with her husband, with the condition,
however, that the latter would have complete rights of dominion over
the whole estate during his lifetime and what would go to the former
would be only the remainder thereof at the time of Hodge’s death. In
other words, whereas they are not only to inherit only in case of
default of Hodges, on the other hand, Hodges was not obliged to
preserve anything for them. Clearly then, the essential elements of
testamentary substitution are absent. The provision in question is a
simple case of conditional simultaneous institution of heirs, whereby
the institution of Hodges is subject to a partial resolutory condition,
the operative contingency of which is coincidental with that of the
suspensive condition of the institution of his brothers and sisters-in-
law, which manner of institution is not prohibited by law.

Contrary to Avelina’s view, however, it was not the usufruct alone of


Linnie’s estate, as contemplated in Article 869, that she bequeathed
to Charles during his lifetime, but the full ownership thereof, although
the same was to last also during his lifetime only, even as there was
no restriction whatsoever against his disposing or conveying the
whole or any portion thereof to anybody other than himself. The
Court saw no legal impediment to this kind of institution, except that
it cannot apply to the legitime of Charles as the surviving spouse,
consisting of one-half of the estate, considering that Linnie had no
surviving ascendants nor descendants. (Arts. 872, 900, and 904.)
Hodges’ acts of administration and accounting strongly negate PCIB’s
claims that he had adjudicated to himself all of Linnie’s estate. While
he may have used language like ―herein executor (being) the only
devisee or legatee of the deceased, in accordance with the last will
and testament already probated… there is no other person interested
in the Philippines of the time and place of examining herein account
to be given notice, he would’ve known that doing so would impute
bad faith unto him.
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(2) NO. No final distribution yet made to all parties concerned to the
estate. After the residue has been assigned to the parties entitled to
it, the Special Proceeding is deemed ready for Final Closure.
a) Order issued for distribution/assignment of estate among
those entitled.
b) Debts such as funeral expenses, taxes, widow allowance, etc.
should be paid already.
Until the estate is finally settled and adjudicated to the heirs who may
be found entitled to it, the administration must continue to cover
Linnie's entire conjugal share.

INTESTATE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED GELACIO SEBIAL.


BENJAMINA SEBIAL VS. ROBERTA SEBIAL, JULIANO SEBIAL
and HEIRS OF BALBINA SEBIAL.
G.R. No. L-23419 June 27, 1975

Matters affecting property under the administration may be taken


cognizance of by the probate court in the course of the intestate
proceedings provided that the interest of third persons are not
prejudiced. However, the third person to whom the decedent's assets
had been fraudulently conveyed may be cited to appear in court and
may be examined under oath as to how they came into the
possession of the decedent's assets but a separate action is
necessary to recover said assets.
FACTS: Gelacio Sebial died intestate in 1943 in Pinamungajan Cebu.
According to the appellants, Gelacio Sebial, by his first wife Leoncia
Manikis, who allegedly died in 1919, begot three children named
Roberta, Balbina and Juliano. By his second wife, Dolores Enad,
whom he allegedly married in 1927, he supposedly begot six children
named Benjamina, Valentina, Ciriaco, Gregoria, Esperanza and
Luciano. Benjamina Sebial filed a petition for settlement and prayed
that she be appointed administratrix thereof. Roberta Sebial opposed
the petition on the ground that the estate of Gelacio Sebial had
already been partitioned among his children and that, if an
administration proceeding was necessary, she, Roberta Sebial, a
resident of Guimbawian, a remote mountain barrio of Pinamungajan,
where the decedent's estate was supposedly located, should be the
one appointed administratrix and not Benjamina Sebial, a housemaid
working at Talisay, Cebu which is about seventy kilometers away
from Pinamungajan. In a supplemental opposition the children of the
first marriage contended that the remedy of Benjamina Sebial was an
action to rescind the partition. The lower court appointed Benjamina
Sebial as administratrix. It found that the descedent left an estate
consisting of lands with an area of twenty-one hectares, valued at
more than six thousand pesos, and that the alleged partition of the
decedent's estate was invalid and ineffective. The oppositors moved
for the reconsideration of the order appointing Benjamina Sebial as

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administratrix. They insisted that the decedent's estate had been
partitioned on August 29, 1945. On April 27, 1961 Benjamina Sebial
filed an inventory and appraisal of the decedent's estate allegedly
consisting of seven unregistered parcels of land. The oppositors
registered their opposition to the inventory on the ground that the
seven parcels of land enumerated in the inventory no longer formed
part of the decedent's estate. On May 6, 1961, the administratrix
filed a motion to require Lorenzo Rematado, Demetrio Camillo and
the spouses Roberta Sebial and Lazaro Recuelo to deliver to her the
parcels of land. The lower court required the administratrix to furnish
the court with another inventory. The administratrix reproduced her
earlier inventory but added two houses allegedly received by the
children of the first marriage. An opposition was interposed to the
said inventory. Oppositors-appellants appealed from the two orders of
the probate court both dated December 11, 1961, one approving the
amended inventory of the decedent's estate filed by the duly
appointed administratrix and the other directing the heirs or persons
in possession of certain properties of the estate to deliver them to the
administratrix. Oppositors- appellants claim, among many points,
that the valuation of the inventoried properties were fake, fictitious
and fantastic; that the inventory is not supported by documentary
evidence; and that an ordinary civil action is necessary to recover the
lands in possession of third persons.
ISSUE: Whether an ordinary civil action for recovery of property and
not an administration proceeding is the proper remedy, considering
oppositors' allegation that the estate of Gelacio Sebial was partitioned
in 1945 and that some of his heirs had already sold their respective
shares
RULING: The probate court should ascertain what assets constituted
the estate of Gelacio Sebial, what happened to those assets and
whether the children of the second marriage (the petitioner was a
child of the second marriage and the principal oppositor was a child of
first marriage) could still have a share, howsoever small, in the
decedent's estate. The said order is erroneous and should be set
aside because the probate court failed to receive evidence as to the
ownership of the said parcels of land. The general rule is that
questions of title to property cannot be passed upon in a testate or
intestate proceeding. However, when the parties are all heirs of the
decedent, it is optional upon them to submit to the probate court the
question of title to property and, when so submitted, the probate
court may definitely pass judgment thereon. Lorenzo Rematado and
Lazaro Recuelo are not heirs of the decedent. They are third persons.
The rule is that matters affecting property under administration may
be taken cognizance of by the probate court in the course of the
intestate proceeding provided that the interests of third persons are
not prejudiced. However, third persons to whom the decedent's
assets had been fraudulently conveyed may be cited to appear in
court and be examined under oath as to how they came into the

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possession of the decedent's assets (Sec. 6, Rule 87, Rules of Court)
but a separate action would be necessary to recover the said assets.
The probate court should receive evidence on the discordant
contentions of the parties as to the assets of decedent's estate, the
valuations thereof and the rights of the transferees of some of the
assets. The probate court should require the parties to present
further proofs on the ownership of the seven parcels of land and the
materials of the two houses enumerated in the amended inventory of
November 17, 1961, on the alleged partition effected in 1945 and on
the allegations in oppositors' inventory dated November 7, 1961.
Probate court’s order set aside. Case remanded for further
proceedings.
G.R. No. L-27082 January 31, 1978
Intestate Estate of the Spouses Juan C. Pangilinan and Teresa
Magtuba. FILOMENO COCA, Administrator, PRIMA
PANGILINAN, and HEIRS OF CONCEPCION PANGILINAN-
YAMUTA, namely, MARIA P. YAMUTA DE ATAY, EUSEBIO P.
YAMUTA, and APOLINAR P. YAMUTA,
VS.
GUADALUPE PIZARRAS VDA. DE PANGILINAN, HEIRS OF
FRANCISCO PANGILINAN, namely, FRANCIS, ALGERIAN,
BENJAMIN, PERLA and FRANCISCO, JR., all surnamed
PANGILINAN, and CRISPIN BORROMEO

G.R. No. L-29545 January 31, 1978


FILOMENO COCA VS. CRISPIN BORROMEO and GUADALUPE
PIZARRAS VDA. DE PANGILINAN and her Children

FACTS: The spouses Juan Pan and Teresa Magtuba died intestate in
1943 and 1948, respectively. They possession a homestead,
consisting of two parcels of land, located at Barrio Bunawan or
Mauswagon, Calamba, Misamis Occidental. The spouses were
survived by the following heirs: (1) Prima Pangilinan, (2) Maria,
Eusebio and Apolinar all surnamed Yamuta, the children of
Concepcion Pangilinan Yamuta and (3) Francis, A Benjamin Perla and
Francisco, Jr., all surnamed Pan the children of Francisco Pangilinan
and who was also survived by his widow, Guadalupe Pizarras. (It is
not clear whether Roseller, Demosthenes and Eliza, all surnamed
Japay, were the children of the deceased Helen Pangilinan,
presumably a daughter of Francisco Pangilinan and Teresa Magtuba.

A Special Proceeding in CFI of Misamis Occidental was instituted for


the settlement of the estate of the deceased spouses, Juan C.
Pangilinan and Teresa Magtuba. The administrator presented a
project of partition wherein the combined areas of Lots Nos. 1112 and
1927 were partitioned. It was also provided in the project of partition
that the alleged debt of the estate to Concepcion Pangilinan should be
divided equally among the three sets of heirs and that Prima

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Pangilinan and the heirs of Francisco Pangilinan should pay that
amount to the heirs of Concepcion Pangilinan.

The heirs of Francisco Pangilinan opposed that project of partition.


They contended that the proposed partition contravened the lower
court's order which recognized the right of the heirs of Francisco
Pangilinan to a twelve-hectare portion of Lot No. 1112; that Prima
Pangilinan, who sold her share to Francisco Pan should be excluded
from the partition; that the total share of the heirs of Francisco
Pangilinan in Lot No. 1112 is 12.6720 hectares, while that of the heirs
of Concepcion Pangilinan is 6.3360 hectares, and that the claim of the
heirs of Concepcion Pangilinan for 115,088.50 had not been properly
allowed.

The lower court directed the administrator to pay the debt of the
estate to the heirs of Concepcion Pangilinan. It deferred action on the
project of partition until the ownership of the twelve hectares, which
were claimed by the heirs of Francisco Pangilinan and the six
hectares, which were claimed by Crispen Borromeo is determined in
an ordinary action. The lower court reiterated its order of October 2,
1965 that the administrator should pay the heirs of Concepcion
Pangilinan the amount to be reimbursed to her estate. The court
further directed the administrator to account for the income of the
estate, to recover any amount due from the special administrator,
and to pay the claim of Crispin Borromeo and the amount due to the
heirs of Concepcion Pangilinan as directed in its order of August 31,
1966 and in its approval of the accounting of the special
administrator.

The appellant contend that the lower court, as a probate court, has
no jurisdiction to decide the ownership of the twelve-hectare portion
of Lot No. 1112. On the other hand, the appellees" or the heirs of
Francisco Pangilinan counter that the lower court did not decide the
ownership of the twelve hectares when it ordered their exclusion from
the project of partition. So, the problem is how the title to the twelve
hectares should be decided, whether in a separate action or in the
intestate. proceeding. It should be clarified that whether a particular
matter should be resolved by the Court of First Instance in the
exercise of its general jurisdiction or of its limited probate jurisdiction
is in reality not a jurisdictional question.

ISSUE: Whether or not the ownership of a parcel of land, whether


belonging to the deceased spouses or to their heirs, should be
decided in the intestate proceeding or in a separate action.

RULING: As a general rule, the question as to title to property should


not be passed upon in the estate or intestate proceeding. That
question should be ventilated in a separate action. (Lachenal vs.
Salas, L-42257, June 14, 1976, 71 SCRA 262, 266). That general rule

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has qualifications or exceptions justified by expediency and
convenience.

Thus, the probate court may provisionally pass upon in an intestate


or testate proceeding the question of inclusion in, or exclusion from,
the inventory of a piece of property without prejudice to its final
determination in a separate action Lachenal vs. Salas, supra).

Although generally, a probate court may not decide a question of title


or ownership, yet if the interested parties are all heirs or the question
is one of collation or advancement, or the parties consent to the
assumption of jurisdiction by the probate court and the rights of 'third
parties are not impaired, then the probate court is competent to
decide the question of ownership.

We hold that the instant case may be treated as an exception


to the general rule that questions of title should be ventilated
in a separate action.

Here, the probate court had already received evidence on the


ownership of the twelve-hectare portion during the hearing of the
motion for its exclusion from title inventory .The only interested
parties are the heirs who have all appeared in the intestate
proceeding.

Thus, (1) the lower court's amended order of August 31, 1966,
excluding twelve hectares from the partition of the estate of the
deceased Pangilinan spouses (L-27082) and (2) the two orders dated
May 11, 1968, regarding the claim of Guadalupe.

The case is remanded to the lower court for further proceedings in


accordance with the guidelines already set forth.

MORALES VS. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF CAVITE, BR. V,


ATTY. ROLANDO DIAZ, in his capacity as Administrator of the
Intestate Estate of SIMONA PAMUTI, ROBERTO MELGAR and
FELISA JARDIN
G.R. No. L-47125 December 29, 1986

As gleaned from the pleadings together with the annexes filed by the
parties to this petition, the property is a salt bed fishpond located at
Bacoor, Cavite, Simona Pamuti mortgaged the property in favor of
petitioner Princesita Santero Morales in consideration of the sum of
P15,000.00. The property, following extrajudicial foreclosure
proceedings, was sold at public auction to Princesita.

FACTS: Simona Pamuti was the spouse of Pascual Santero with


whom she begot a son named Pablo Santero. During the lifetime of
Pablo, he cohabited and had children with three women, namely,
Adela, Anselma and Feliberta. Pablo had a child with Adela, seven
children with Anselma and five with Feliberta. The petitioner
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Princesita Santero Morales is Pablo's eldest natural child with
Feliberta. Simona survived both her husband Pascual and son Pablo.
Petitions for letters of administration of the intestate estate of Pascual
and Pablo Santero, Special Proceedings Nos. N-2061 and N-2062
were filed by Juanito Santero, Pablo's eldest natural child with
Anselma as petitioner. Princesita was an oppositor in these
proceedings whereas the respondent Clerk of Court, Atty. Rolando
Diaz, was appointed, first, as special administrator and later as
regular administrator.

During the pendency of the proceedings for the settlement of the


intestate estates of Pascual and Pablo, Juanito filed a petition for
guardianship over the properties of Simona Pamuti. ln this
guardianship proceeding, the respondent Clerk of Court was
appointed legal guardian of Simona Pamuti. As such guardian, he
filed a motion to use the funds of the estates of Pascual and Pablo to
redeem Simona's property that had been sold at auction to petitioner
Princesita.. Princesita opposed the motion on the ground that the
funds that are in the possession of the respondent Clerk of Court in
his capacity as administrator are held by him in trust for the benefit
of Pascual's and Pablo's heirs who "have not yet been judicially
determined".

In 1976, Simona Pamuti died intestate. In the special proceeding for


the settlement of the estate of Simona, where one Felisa Pamuti-
Jardin who claimed to be Simona's sole surviving heir was the
petitioner, the herein petitioner Princesita was allowed to intervene
not as heir but as "creditors of the intestate estate of the late Simona
Pamuti, or as co-owners, together with said intestate estates, of
certain properties as the interests of said oppositors may appear".
The respondent Clerk of Court in his capacity as administrator of the
intestate estate of Simona Pamuti, filed a "Motion to Order the
Provincial Sheriff of Cavite To Issue Certificate of Redemption"
alleging that before the expiration of the redemption period on
August 4, 1975, payment of the redemption amount had been
tendered and accepted by the Provincial Sheriff of Cavite; that upon
request of the sheriff, another amount was tendered and accepted by
the sheriff's deputy and that the sheriff, having received the full
redemption price, is duty bound to issue a certificate of redemption in
favor of the estate of Simona. The provincial sheriff was the only
party furnished with a copy of the motion.

In 1977, the petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration on


the grounds that the respondent probate court does not have
jurisdiction to resolve the validity of the redemption of the
property in question; that there was no valid redemption and
that the motion was resolved without giving the herein
petitioners a chance to be heard.

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The petitioners' motion for reconsideration was denied. The
respondent Court reiterated the facts mentioned in its January 13,
1977 Order, and justified its order for the issuance of the certificate
of redemption as within its power "to inquire regarding the proper
implementation" of the previous order of August 4, 1975 requiring
the immediate redemption of the property. This Court, sitting as a
probate court was acting upon a mere incident of redemption that
arose in the settlement of the estates under reference and that, as
such, this Court did not rule categorically as to which party is the
rightful owner of the property in question as the right of ownership
could and should be ruled upon in case of any dispute in a separate
action before the proper court.

ISSUE: The instant petition was filed questioning the validity of the
Orders of January 13, 1977, May 17, 1977 and June 16, 1977 on the
principal ground that the issue regarding the validity of the
redemption involves a question of ownership which is outside the
jurisdiction of the respondent court as a probate court and that the
petitioners may be deprived of possession of the property only
through a separate civil action.

RULING: The petition is meritorious. As stated in Cuizon vs.


Ramolete, 129 SCRA 495, 499 - It is a well-settled rule that a
probate court or one in charge of proceedings whether testate or
intestate cannot adjudicate or determine title to properties claimed to
be a part of the estate and which are equally claimed to belong to
outside parties. All that the said court could do as regards said
properties is to determine whether they should or should not be
included in the inventory or list of properties to be administered by
the administrator. If there is no dispute, well and good; but if there
is, then the parties, the administrator, and the opposing parties have
to resort to an ordinary action for a final determination of the
conflicting claims of title because the probate court cannot do so.

Similarly, in Valero Vda. de Rodriguez v. Court of Appeals, (91 SCRA


540) we held that for the purpose of determining whether a certain
property should or should not be included in the inventory, the
probate court may pass upon the title thereto but such determination
is not conclusive and is subject to the final decision in a separate
action regarding ownership which may be instituted by the parties.

In the case at bar, the question regarding the validity of the


redemption which was supposed to have been made by the
respondent clerk of court as guardian and then later as administrator
of the estate of Simona Pamuti, is determinative of the ownership of
the property in question. The Order wherein the validity of the
redemption was upheld is effectively a judgment that the property is
owned by the estate of Simona Pamuti. At that time, the petitioners
had already asserted ownership having executed the affidavit of
consolidation on August 8, 1975, and the administrator of Simona's
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estate, on the other hand had likewise asserted his redemption of the
property, having deposited with the sheriff the check in the amount
which was believed to be the proper redemption price. Since the
sheriff did not issue a final deed in favor of the petitioners, and
neither did he issue a certificate of redemption in favor of the estate
of Simona, there was, then, a clearly existing ownership contest
between the parties.

According to settled jurisprudence, such controversy is outside the


jurisdiction of the probate court. Parenthetically, it must be
mentioned that the respondent court itself had, at that time, already
determined that the petitioners are intervenors in the settlement
proceedings of Simona's estate not as heirs but as "co-owners" with
the intestate estates, and the respondent court in fact would later
state in the January 13, 1977 order that the petitioners have "not
been called to participate in the proceedings." The petitioners, are,
therefore, outside parties claiming title to property included in the
inventory of properties under administration.

To use the language of Bolisay vs. Alcid, 85 SCRA 213, it does appear
strange that the respondent court, after saying that it "did not rule
categorically as to which party is the rightful owner of the property in
question", proceeded to Order thereafter that the possession should
be surrendered by the petitioners. Such latter Order clearly indicated
that the respondent court stated the opposite of what it meant.

Thus, the questioned Orders are declared VOID for having been
issued beyond the jurisdiction of the probate court.

G.R. No. 171206 September 23, 2013


HEIRS OF THE LATE SPOUSES FLA VIANO MAGLASANG and
SALUD ADAZA-MAGLASANG, namely, OSCAR A. MAGLASANG,
EDGAR A. MAGLASANG, CONCEPCION CHONA A. MAGLASANG,
GLENDA A. MAGLASANG-ARNAIZ, LERMA A. MAGLASANG,
FELMA A. · MAGLASANG, FE DORIS A. MAGLASANG, LEOLINO
A. MAGLASANG, MARGIE LEILA A. MAGLASANG,MA. MILALIE A.
MAGLASANG, SALUD A. MAGLASANG, and MA. FLASALIE A.
MAGLASANG, REPRESENTING THE ESTATES OF THEIR AFORE-
NAMEDDECEASED PARENTS VS. MANILA BANKING
CORPORATION, now substituted by FIRST SOVEREIGN ASSET
MANAGEMENT SPV-AMC, INC. FSAMI,

DOCTRINE: There are 3 remedies/options by secured creditor under


Sec. 7, Rule 86: (a) waive the mortgage and claim the entire debt
from the estate of the mortgagor as an ordinary claim; (b) foreclose
the mortgage judicially and prove the deficiency as an ordinary claim;
and (c) rely on the mortgage exclusively, or other security and
foreclose the same before it is barred by prescription, without the
right to file a claim for any deficiency. These may be
ALTERNATIVELY adopted for the satisfaction of his
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indebtedness. However, these remedies are distinct,
independent and mutually EXCLUSIVE from each other; the
election of one effectively BARS the exercise of the others.

FACTS: On June 16, 1975, Sps. Flaviano and Salud Maglasang


obtained a credit line from Manila Banking Corp. for P350,000 which
was secured by a real estate mortgage executed over 7 of their
properties in Ormoc City and Kananga, Leyte. They availed of their
credit line by securing two loans both due and demandable within 1
year with interest at 12% per annum and additional 4% penalty
charged upon default. When Flaviano Maglasang died, his son Edgar
was appointed as Atty-in-fact by Flaviano’s heirs. He filed a petition
for letters of administration of Flaviano’s intestate estate w/c the
probate court granted. Court issued a Notice to Creditors for filing of
money claims against the estate. MBC notified the court of its claim.
When the Court terminated the proceedings and executed an extra-
judicial partition over the properties, the loan obligations owed to
MBC remained unsatisfied though the court recognized the rights of
MBC to foreclose the mortgage.
During the pendency of the intestate proceedings, Edgar and Oscar
were able to obtain several loans from Manila Banking Corp, secured
by promissory notes which they signed.
MBC extrajudicially foreclosed the mortgage; however, after auction
sale, a deficiency remained on Maglasangs’ obligation. Thus, it filed a
suit to recover the deficiency. RTC-former probate court directed the
Maglasangs to pay Manila Banking Corp. jointly and severally,
P434,742.36 representing the deficiency of the former’s total loan
obligation to the latter after the extra-judicial foreclosure of the REM
with interest at the rate of 12% p.a., plus a 4% penalty charge,
reckoned from Sept. 5, 1984 until fully paid + attys. fees (10% of the
outstanding obligation).
The Maglasangs appealed to CA contending that under Remedies
available to Manila Banking Corp. under Sec. 7, Rule 86 of ROC are
alternative and exclusive, such that the election of one operates as a
waiver of the others and since MBC filed a claim in the probate court,
it has abandoned its right to foreclose the property and is barred from
recovering any deficiency. CA denied the appeal and contended that
Act. 3135 applies w/c allows MBC to extrajudicially foreclose and
recover the deficiency. Maglasang’s MR was subsequently denied;
hence, this petition for review on certiorari by Heirs of Sps.
Maglasang contending that it is not Act No. 3135 but Sec. 7, Rule 86
of ROC which applies in this case. The extra-judicial foreclosure of the
subject properties was null and void, not having been conducted in
the capital of the Province of Leyte in violation of the stipulations in
the real estate mortgage contract.

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ISSUES: 1) Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the RTC’s award
of the deficiency amount in favor of Manila Banking Corporation?
(YES) [corollarily, Whether Sec. 7, Rule 86 of ROC and not Act. 3135
applies in this case? (Both apply concordantly)]
2) Whether extrajudicial foreclosure of the subject properties
was null and void? (NO)
RULING: The petition is partly meritorious.
(1) Both Sec. 7, Rule 86 of ROC and Act. 3135 apply complementarily
in the case at bar. Foreclosure under the 3rd remedy in Sec. 7, Rule
86 of ROC includes extrajudicial foreclosure under Act. 3135.
However, upon choosing said remedy, creditor waives his right to
recover the deficiency. Claims against deceased persons should
be filed during the settlement proceedings of their estate.
Such proceedings are primarily governed by special rules
found under Rules 73 to 90 of the Rules, although rules
governing ordinary actions may, as far as practicable, apply
suppletorily. Among these special rules, Sec. 7, Rule 86 of ROC
provides the rule in dealing with secured claims against the estate.
Sec. 7, Rule 86 of ROC: Mortgage debt due from estate. – A creditor
holding a claim against the deceased secured by a mortgage or other
collateral security, may abandon the security and PROSECUTE his
claim in the manner provided in this rule, and share in the general
distribution of the assets of the estate; OR he may FORECLOSE his
mortgage or realize upon his security, by ACTION in court, making
the executor or administrator a party defendant, and if there is a
judgment for a deficiency, after the sale of the mortgaged premises,
or the property pledged, in the foreclosure or other proceeding to
realize upon the security, he may CLAIM HIS DEFICIENCY judgment
in the manner provided in the preceding section; OR he may rely
upon his mortgage or other security alone, and FORECLOSE the same
at any time within the period of the statute of limitations, and in that
event he shall not be admitted as a creditor, and shall receive no
share in the distribution of the other assets of the estate; but nothing
herein contained shall prohibit the executor or administrator from
redeeming the property mortgaged or pledged, by paying the debt for
which it is held as security, under the direction of the court, if the
court shall adjudged it to be for the best interest of the estate that
such redemption shall be made.
The application of the procedure under Act No. 3135 must be
concordant with Sec. 7, Rule 86 as the latter is a special rule
applicable to claims against the estate. At the same time, since Sec.
7, Rule 86 does not detail the procedure for extra-judicial
foreclosures, the formalities governing the manner of availing of the
3rd option – such as the place where the application for extra-judicial
foreclosure is filed, the requirements of publication and posting and
the place of sale – must be governed by Act No. 3135.

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Hence, Extra-judicial foreclosure subject of this case was properly
conducted in accordance with the formalities of Act No. 3135. The
same was a valid exercise of Manila Banking's third option under
Section 7, Rule 86. Manila Banking cannot, however, file any suit to
recover any deficiency amount since it effectively waived its right
thereto when it chose to avail of extra-judicial foreclosure as
jurisprudence instructs. DISPOSITIVE: Petition PARTLY GRANTED.
The complaint for the recovery of the deficiency amount after extra-
judicial foreclosure.
ROBERTS VS. JUDGE TOMAS R. LEONIDAS, Branch 38, Court of
First Instance of Manila; MAXINE TATE-GRIMM, EDWARD
MILLER GRIMM II and LINDA GRIMM
G.R. No. L-55509 April 27, 1984

FACTS: Edward M. Grimm an American resident of Manila, died on


November 27, 1977. He was survived by his second wife, Maxine Tate
Grimm and their two children, named Pete and Linda and by Juanita
and Ethel his two children by a first marriage which ended in divorce.
He executed in 1959 two wills in San Francisco, California. One will
disposed of his Philippine estate which he described as conjugal
property of himself and his second wife. The second will disposed of
his estate outside the Philippines. In both wills, the second wife and
two children were favored. The two children of the first marriage were
given their legitimes in the will disposing of the estate situated in this
country. In the will dealing with his property outside this country, the
testator said: “I purposely have made no provision in this will for my
daughter, Juanita Grimm Morris, or my daughter, Elsa Grimm
McFadden (Ethel Grimm Roberts), because I have provided for each
of them in a separate will disposing of my Philippine property.”

The two wills and a codicil were presented for probate by Maxine Tate
Grimm in Utah. Maxine admitted that she received notice of
the intestate petition filed in Manila by Ethel. In its order, the Third
Judicial District Court of Utah admitted to probate the two wills and
the codicil.

Maxine and her two children as the first parties, and Ethel, Juanita
and their mother as the second parties, with knowledge of the
intestate proceeding in Manila, entered into a compromise
agreement in Utah regarding the estate. It was signed by the lawyers
of the parties, by Pete and Linda and the attorney-in-fact of Maxine
and by the attorney-in-fact of Ethel, Juanita Grimm Morris and
Juanita Kegley Grimm. In that agreement, it was stipulated that
Maxine, Pete and Ethel would be designated as personal
representatives (administrators) of Grimm's Philippine estate. It was
also stipulated that Maxine's one-half conjugal share in the estate
should be reserved for her and that would not be less than
$1,500,000 plus the homes in Utah and Santa Mesa, Manila. The
agreement indicated the computation of the "net distributable

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estate". It recognized that the estate was liable to pay the fees of the
Angara law firm.

It was stipulated in paragraph 6 that the decedent's four children


"shall share equally in the Net Distributable Estate" and that Ethel
and Juanita Morris should each receive at least 12-1/2% of the total
of the net distributable estate and marital share. A supplemental
memorandum also dated April 25, 1978 was executed by the parties.

At this juncture, it should be stated that forty-three days after


Grimm's death, his daughter of the first marriage, Ethel, 49, through
lawyers filed with Branch 20 of the Manila CFI intestate proceeding
No. 113024 for the settlement of his estate. She was named special
administratrix.

The second wife, Maxine filed an opposition and motion to dismiss the
intestate proceeding on the ground of the pendency of Utah of a
proceeding for the probate of Grimm's will. She also moved that she
be appointed special administratrix. She submitted to the court a
copy of Grimm's will disposing of his Philippine estate.

The intestate court noted that Maxine, through a new lawyer,


withdrew that opposition and motion to dismiss and, at the behest of
Maxine, Ethel and Pete, appointed them joint administrators.
Apparently, this was done pursuant to the aforementioned Utah
compromise agreement. The court ignored the will already found in
the record.

The three administrators submitted an inventory. With the authority


and approval of the court, they sold the so-called Palawan Pearl
Project, a business owned by the deceased. Also with the court's
approval and the consent of Linda and Juanita, they sold 193,267
shares of RFM Corporation.

Acting on the declaration of heirs and project of partition signed and


filed by lawyers Limqueco and Macaraeg (not signed by Maxine and
her two children), Judge Molina adjudicated to Maxine onehalf (4/8)
of the decedent's Philippine estate and one-eighth (1/8) each to his
four children. Six days later, or on August 2, Maxine and her two
children replaced Limqueco with Octavio del Callar as their
lawyer who moved to defer approval of the project of partition. The
court considered the motion moot considering that it had already
approved the declaration of heirs and project of partition.

Lawyer Limqueco in a letter to Maxine dated August 2, 1979 alleged


that he was no longer connected with Makiling Management Co., Inc.
when the Palawan Pearl Project was sold: that it was Maxine's son
Pete who negotiated the sale with Rex Roberts and that he
(Limqueco) was going to sue Maxine for the lies she imputed to him
(Annex H, p. 78, testate case).

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On September 8, 1980, Atty. Vinluan of the Angara law firm in behalf
of Maxine, Pete and Linda, filed in Branch 38 of the lower court a
petition praying for the probate of Grimm's two wills (already
probated in Utah), that the 1979 partition approved by the intestate
court be set aside and the letters of administration revoked, that
Maxine be appointed executrix and that Ethel and Juanita Morris be
ordered to account for the properties received by them and to return
the same to Maxine.

Grimm's second wife and two children alleged that they were defraud
due to the machinations of the Roberts spouses, that the 1978 Utah
compromise agreement was illegal, that the intestate proceeding is
void because Grimm died testate and that the partition was contrary
to the decedent's wills.

Ethel filed a motion to dismiss the petition. Judge Leonidas denied it


for lack of merit. Ethel then filed a petition for certiorari and
prohibition in this Court, praying that the testate proceeding be
dismissed, or. alternatively that the two proceedings be consolidated
and heard in Branch 20 and that the matter of the annulment of the
Utah compromise agreement be heard prior to the petition for
probate.

ISSUE: The question in this case is whether a petition for allowance


of wills and to annul a partition, approved in an intestate proceeding
by Branch 20 of the Manila Court of First Instance, can be entertained
by its Branch 38 (after a probate in the Utah district court).

RULING: YES. A testate proceeding is proper in this case because


Grimm died with two wills and "no will shall pass either real or
personal property unless it is proved and allowed". The probate of the
will is mandatory. It is anomalous that the estate of a person who
died testate should be settled in an intestate proceeding. Therefore,
the intestate case should be consolidated with the testate proceeding
and the judge assigned to the testate proceeding should continue
hearing the two cases. Hence, the respondent judge did not commit
any grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack of jurisdiction, in
denying Ethel's motion to dismiss.

Ethel may file within twenty days from notice of the finality of this
judgment an opposition and answer to the petition unless she
considers her motion to dismiss and other pleadings sufficient for the
purpose. Juanita G. Morris, who appeared in the intestate case,
should be served with copies of orders, notices and other papers in
the testate case.

WHEREFORE the petition is dismissed. The temporary restraining


order is dissolved. No costs.

SO ORDERED.

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URIARTE VS. THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF NEGROS
OCCIDENTAL (12th Judicial District) THE COURT OF FIRST
INSTANCE OF MANILA, BRANCH IV, JUAN URIARTE
ZAMACONA and HIGINIO URIARTE,
G.R. Nos. L-21938-39 May 29, 1970

FACTS: On November 6, 1961, Vicente Uriarte filed with the CFI


Negros a petition for the settlement of the estate of the late Don Juan
Uriarte alleging therein that as a natural son of the latter, he was the
sole heir and that during the lifetime of said decedent, Vicente had
instituted a civil case in CFI Negros for his compulsory
acknowledgment as such natural son CFI Negros appointed the PNB
as special administrator and later set the date for the hearing of the
petition and ordered that the requisite notices be published in
accordance with law. The record discloses, however, that, for one
reason or another, PNB never actually qualified as special
administrator. On December 19, 1961, Higinio Uriarte filed an
opposition to the petition alleging that he was a nephew of the
deceased Juan Uriarte who had executed a Last Will and Testament in
Spain, a duly authenticated copy whereof has been requested and
which shall be submitted to the court upon receipt and further
questioning Vicente’s capacity and interest to commence the intestate
proceeding.
On August 28, 1962, Juan Uriarte Zamacona commenced a special
proceeding in CFI Manila for the probate of a document alleged to be
the last will of the deceased Juan Uriarte and filed with CFI Negros a
Motion to Dismiss on these grounds:
 As a deceased left a last will, there was no basis to proceed
with the intestate proceedings
 Vicente Uriarte had no legal personality and interest to initiate
the intestate proceedings, he not being an acknowledged natural son
of the decedent.
Vicente opposed the Motion to Dismiss contending that, as CFI
Negros was first to take cognizance of the settlement of the estate of
Juan Uriarte, it had acquired exclusive jurisdiction over the same. CFI
Negros granted Juan Uriarte Zamacona’s Motion and dismissed the
proceeding before it. The Motion for Reconsideration was denied. He
filed a notice of appeal, appeal bond and record on appeal. The
administrator appointed by CFI Manila objected to the approval of the
record on appeal. While this was pending, Vicente Uriarte filed a
petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court.
Therefore, the CFI of Negros disapproved the record on appeal to
give way to the certiorari. Vicente Uriarte filed an Omnibus Motion in
CFI Manila asking for leave to intervene therein, for the dismissal of
the petition and for the annulment of the proceedings had in the
special proceeding therein but the Motion was denied. It appears
from the records that Vicente had filed a civil case in the CFI of
Negros during the lifetime of Juan Uriarte to obtain judgment for his
compulsory acknowledgement as his natural child. It is likewise clear
that at the time he filed the action, as well as when he commenced
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the petition for settlement of estate, he had not yet been
acknowledged as natural son of Juan Uriarte. The record further
discloses that the special proceeding before CFI Negros has not gone
further than the appointment of PNB as special administrator (who
failed to qualify).
On the other hand, CFI Manila admitted to probate the document
submitted to it, as the last will of Juan Uriarte, the petition for
probate appearing not to have been contested.

ISSUE: Whether Juan Uriarte Zamacona should have filed the


petition for probate of the last will of Juan Uriarte with CFI Negros or
was entitled to commenced the corresponding separate proceedings
in CFI Manila.

RULING: Rule 73, Section: the estate of a decedent inhabitant of the


Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien,
shall be in the court of first instance in the province in which he
resided at the time of his death, and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign
country, the court of first instance of any province in which he had
estate.
The deceased Juan Uriarte was a non-resident alien. Therefore, the
CFIs in provinces where he left any property have concurrent
jurisdiction to take cognizance of the proper special proceedings for
the settlement of his estate. Vicente argues that when CFI Negros
took cognizance, CFI Manila no longer had jurisdiction to take
cognizance of the special proceeding. It cannot be denied that a
special proceeding intended to effect the distribution of the estate of
a deceased person, whether in accordance with the law on intestate
succession or in accordance with his will, is a "probate matter" or a
proceeding for the settlement of his estate. It is equally true,
however, that in accordance with settled jurisprudence in this
jurisdiction, testate proceedings, for the settlement of the estate of a
deceased person take precedence over intestate proceedings for the
same purpose. Thus it has been held repeatedly that, if in the course
of intestate proceedings pending before a court of first instance it is
found that the decedent had left a last will, proceedings for the
probate of the latter should replace the intestate proceedings even if
at that stage an administrator had already been appointed, the latter
being required to render final account and turn over the estate in his
possession to the executor subsequently appointed. These facts
support the view that Juan Uriarte Zamacona should have submitted
the will for probate in CFI Negros either in a separate special
proceeding or in an appropriate motion in the already pending special
proceeding: 1. It is not in accord with public policy and the orderly
and inexpensive administration of justice to unnecessarily multiply
litigation, especially if several courts would be involved. 2. When
Higinio Uriarte filed an opposition to Vicente’s petition for the
issuance of letters of sdministration, he had already informed the
Negros Court that the deceased Juan Uriarte had left a will in Spain,
of which a copy had been requested for submission to CFI Negros.
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When Juan Uriarte Zamacona filed his MTD in CFI Negros, he had
submitted there a copy of the alleged will of the decedent, from which
fact it may be inferred that he knew before filing the petition for
probate with the Manila Court that there was already a special
proceeding pending in CFi negros for the settlement of the estate of
the same deceased person. It is well settled that wrong venue is
merely a waivable procedural defect, and in the light of the
circumstances obtaining in this case, Vicente has waived the right to
raise such objection or is precluded from doing so by laches. He knew
of the existence of the will since 1961 when Higinio Urirate opposed
the initial petition in CFI Negros. He was also served with notice of
the alleged will and of the filing of petition for its probate when Juan
Uriarte Zamacona filed an MTD in CFI Negros on 1962. He only filed
the omnibus motion in the Manila Court on April 1963. By then, The
Manila Court had already appointed an administrator and had
admitted the will to probate. Toa llow him now to assail the exercise
of jurisdiction over the probate of the will by the Manila court and the
validity of all the proceedings therein would put a premium on his
negligence. SC is not inclined to annul proceedings regularly had in a
lower court even if the latter was not the proper venue therefor, if the
net result would be to have the same proceedings repeated in some
other court of similar jurisdiction; more so in a case like the present
where the objection against said proceedings is raised too late.
DISPOSITIVE petition dismissed.

Codoy v. Calugay
312 SCRA 333

FACTS:
On 6 April 1990, Evangeline Calugay, Josephine Salcedo and Eufemia
Patigas, devisees and legatees of the holographic will of
the deceased Matilde Seño Vda. de Ramonal, filed a petition for
probate of the said will. They attested to the genuineness and due
execution of the will on 30 August 1978.
Eugenio Ramonal Codoy and Manuel Ramonal filed their opposition
claiming that the will was a forgery and that the same is even
illegible. They raised doubts as regards the repeated appearing on
the will after every disposition, calling the same out of the ordinary. If
the will was in the handwriting of the deceased, it was improperly
procured.
Evangeline Calugay, etc. presented 6 witnesses and various
documentary evidence.
The first witness was the clerk of court of the probate court who
produced and identified the records of the case bearing the signature
of the deceased.
The second witness was election registrar who was made to produce
and identify the voter’s affidavit, but failed to as the same was
already destroyed and no longer available.

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The third, the deceased’s niece, claimed that she had acquired
familiarity with the deceased’s signature and handwriting as she used
to accompany her in collecting rentals from her various tenants
of commercial buildings and the deceased always issued receipts. The
niece also testified that the deceased left a holographic will entirely
written, dated and signed by said deceased.
The fourth witness was a former lawyer for the deceased in the
intestate proceedings of her late husband, who said that the
signature on the will was similar to that of the deceased but that he
can not be sure.
The fifth was an employee of the DENR who testified that she was
familiar with the signature of the deceased which appeared in the
latter’s application for pasture permit. The fifth, respondent
Evangeline Calugay, claimed that she had lived with
the deceased since birth where she had become familiar with her
signature and that the one appearing on the will was genuine.
Codoy and Ramonal’s demurrer to evidence was granted by the lower
court. It was reversed on appeal with the Court of Appeals which
granted the probate.

ISSUE:
1. W/N Article 811 of the Civil Code, providing that at least three
witnesses explicitly declare the signature in a contested will as the
genuine signature of the testator, is mandatory or directory.
2. Whether or not the witnesses sufficiently establish the authenticity
and due execution of the deceased’s holographic will.

HELD:
1. YES. The word “shall” connotes a mandatory order, an imperative
obligation and is inconsistent with the idea of discretion and that the
presumption is that the word “shall”, when used in a statute, is
mandatory.
In the case at bar, the goal to be achieved by the law, is to
give effect to the wishes of the deceased and the evil to be prevented
is the possibility that unscrupulous individuals who for their benefit
will employ means to defeat the wishes of the testator.
The paramount consideration in the present petition is to determine
the true intent of the deceased.
2. NO. We cannot be certain that the holographic will was in the
handwriting of the deceased.
The clerk of court was not presented to declare explicitly that the
signature appearing in the holographic will was that of the deceased.
The election registrar was not able to produce the voter’s affidavit
for verification as it was no longer available.
The deceased’s niece saw pre-prepared receipts and letters of the
deceased and did not declare that she saw the deceased sign a
document or write a note.
The will was not found in the personal belongings of the deceased but
was in the possession of the said niece, who kept the fact about the
will from the children of the deceased, putting in issue her motive.
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Evangeline Calugay never declared that she saw the decreased write
a note or sign a document.
The former lawyer of the deceased expressed doubts as to the
authenticity of the signature in the holographic will.
(As it appears in the foregoing, the three-witness requirement was
not complied with.)
A visual examination of the holographic will convinces that the
strokes are different when compared with other documents written by
the testator.
The records are remanded to allow the oppositors to adduce evidence
in support of their opposition.
The object of solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close
the door against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and
testaments and to guaranty their truth and authenticity. Therefore,
the laws on this subject should be interpreted in such a way as to
attain these primordial ends. But, on the other hand, also one must
not lose sight of the fact that it is not the object of the law to restrain
and curtail the exercise the right to make a will.
However, we cannot eliminate the possibility of a false document
being adjudged as the will of the testator, which is why if the
holographic will is contested, the law requires three witnesses to
declare that the will was in the handwriting of the deceased.
Article 811, paragraph 1. provides: “In the probate of a holographic
will, it shall be necessary that at least one witness who knows the
handwriting and signature of the testator explicitly declare that the
will and the signature are in the handwriting of the testator. If the will
is contested, at least three of such witnesses shall be required.”
The word “shall” connotes a mandatory order, an imperative
obligation and is inconsistent with the idea of discretion and that the
presumption is that the word “shall”, when used in a statute, is
mandatory.

Gerilla v. Carolina vda. de Figuracion, et. al.,


G.R. No.154322, August 22, 2006;

Facts:
Spouses Leandro and Carolina Figuracion, now both deceased, had
six children: the petitioner and respondents herein. Leandro executed
a deed of quitclaim over his real properties in favor of his six children.
When Leandro died, he left behind two parcels of land, a portion of
Lot 2299 and 705 in Urdaneta, both of which he inherited from his
deceased parents. Another parcel of land, Lot 707, was inherited by
Carolina and her half-sister Agripina when their father Eulalio
Adviento died. Agripina then executed a quitclaim over the one-half
eastern portion of the lot in favor of petitioner, Emilia, who died
single and without any issue. Before her half-sister’s death, however,
Carolina adjudicated unto herself, via affidavit under Rule 74 of the
Rules of Court the entire Lot 707 which she later sold to respondents
Felipe and Hilaria. Petitioner and her family went to the United States
where they stayed for ten years. When she returned, she built a
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house made of strong materials on the eastern half-portion of Lot
707. Sometime later, petitioner sought the extrajudicial partition of
all properties held in common by her and respondents. The Regional
Trial Court of Urdaneta City, upon a complaint filed by petitioner,
rendered judgment nullifying Carolina’s affidavit of self-adjudication
and deed of absolute sale of Lot 707. The RTC, however, dismissed
the complaint for partition, reconveyance and damages on the ground
that reliefs prayed for cannot be granted without any prior settlement
proceedings. The CA upheld the dismissal of petitioner’s action for
partition for being premature but reversed the decision with respect
to the nullification and the deed of absolute sale. Hence, this present
petition.

Issue: Whether or not there needs to be a prior settlement of


Leandro’s intestate estate (that is, an accounting of the income of
Lots 2299 and 705, the payment of expenses and liabilities and
taxes, etc.) before the properties can be partitioned or distributed

Ruling:
Yes. Partition is inappropriate in a situation where there remains an
issue as to the expenses chargeable to the estate. Although petitioner
points out that the estate is allegedly without any debt and
respondents are the only legal heirs, she does not dispute the finding
of the CA that certain expenses including those related to her father’s
final illness and burial have not been properly settled. Thus, with
respect to Lot 2299, the heirs have to submit their father’s estate to
settlement because the determination of these expenses cannot be
done in an action for partition. The heirs or distributees, however,
may take possession of the estate even before the settlement of
accounts as long as they file a bond conditioned on the payment of
the estate’s obligations.With respect to the partition of Lot 705,
partition was deemed premature since ownershipof the lot is still in
dispute. As regards Lot 707, the Court made no ruling on the validity
of Carolina’s affidavit of self-adjudication and deed of sale since a
separate case is still pending in the same Division of the Court.

RULE 74
G.R. No. 204029 June 4, 2014
AVELINA ABARIENTOS REBUSQUILLO [substituted by her
heirs, except Emelinda R. Gualvez] and SALVADOR A. OROSCO,
Petitioners,
vs.
SPS. DOMINGO and EMELINDA REBUSQUILLO GUALVEZ and
the CITY ASSESSOR OF LEGAZPI CITY,Respondents.
FACTS:
Petitioner Avelina was one of the children of Eulalio who died
intestate. On his death, Eulalio left behind an untitled parcel of land in
Legazpi City.

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In 2001, Avelina was supposedly made to sign two documents by her
daughter Emelinda and her son-in-law Domingo, respondents in this
case, on the pretext that the documents were needed to facilitate the
titling of the lot. It was only in 2003, so petitioners claim, that
Avelina realized that what she signed was an Affidavit of Self-
Adjudication and a Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of respondents.
Petitioners filed a complaint for annulment and revocation of an
Affidavit of Self-Adjudication and a Deed of Absolute Sale. After trial,
RTC held the annulment of the subject documents. CA reversed RTC’s
decision. CA held that the RTC erred in annulling the Affidavit of Self-
Adjudication simply on petitioners’ allegation of the existence of the
heirs of Eulalio, considering that issues on heirship must be made in
administration or intestate proceedings, not in an ordinary civil
action. Further, the appellate court observed that the Deed of
Absolute Sale cannot be nullified as it is a notarized document that
has in its favor the presumption of regularity and is entitled to full
faith and credit upon its face.

ISSUE: Whether or not the issue on heirship in this case must be


raised in a separate administration or intestate proceedings.
RULING: No.
The Court ruled that this case falls under the exception of the rule on
separate intestate proceedings.
The general rule is that the declaration of heirship must be made in a
special proceeding, not in an independent civil action. However, the
Court also ruled that recourse to administration proceedings to
determine who heirs are is sanctioned only if there is a good and
compelling reason for such recourse.
The Court had allowed exceptions to the rule requiring administration
proceedings as when the parties in the civil case already presented
their evidence regarding the issue of heirship, and the RTC had
consequently rendered judgment upon the issues it defined during
the pre-trial.
Similar to the case of Portugal v. Portugal-Beltran, in the present
case, there appears to be only one parcel of land being claimed by
the contending parties as the inheritance from Eulalio.
It would be more practical, as Portugal teaches, to dispense with a
separate special proceeding for the determination of the status of
petitioner Avelina as sole heir of Eulalio, especially in light of the fact
that respondents spouses Gualvez admitted in court that they
knew for a fact that petitioner Avelina was not the sole heir of
Eulalio and that petitioner Salvador was one of the other living
heirs with rights over the subject land.
Accordingly, the court a quo had properly rendered judgment on the
validity of the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication executed by Avelina. As
pointed out by the trial court, an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication is only
proper when the affiant is the sole heir of the decedent.

MARIA SOCORRO AVELINO, petitioner,


vs.
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COURT OF APPEALS, ANGELINA AVELINO, SHARON AVELINO,
ANTONIO AVELINO, JR., TRACY AVELINO, PATRICK MICHAEL
AVELINO and MARK ANTHONY AVELINO, respondents.
FACTS:
Petitioner Maria Socorro Avelino is a daughter and compulsory heir of
the late Antonio Avelino, Sr., and his first wife private respondent
Angelina Avelino.
The other private respondents, Sharon, Antonio Jr., Tracy, Patrick
and Mark Anthony all surnamed Avelino are likewise compulsory heirs
of Avelino, Sr. Sharon, an American, is the second wife of Avelino Sr.
The other private respondents are siblings of petitioner Ma. Socorro.
Ma. Socorro filed before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City,
Branch 78, a petition for the issuance of letters of administration of
the estate of Antonio Avelino, Sr., who died intestate on She asked
that she be appointed the administrator of the estate.
On December 3, 1992, Angelina, and the siblings filed their
opposition by filing a motion to convert the said judicial proceedings
to an action for judicial partition which petitioner duly opposed.
Trial Court ruled that the petition is converted into judicial partition of
the estate of deceased Antonio Avelino, Sr. The parties are directed
to submit a complete inventory of all the real and personal properties
left by the deceased.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied in an
Order dated June 16, 1993.
Ma. Socorro filed before the Court of Appeals, a petition for certiorari,
prohibition, and mandamus alleging grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the trial
court, in granting private respondents' motion to convert the judicial
proceeding for the issuance of letters of administration to an action
for judicial partition.

ISSUE: w/n respondent appellate court committed an error of law


and gravely abused its discretion in upholding the trial court's finding
that a partition is proper.

RULING:
When a person dies intestate, or, if testate, failed to name an
executor in his will or the executor so named is incompetent, or
refuses the trust, or fails to furnish the bond required by the Rules of
Court, then the decedent's estate shall be judicially administered and
the competent court shall appoint a qualified administrator in the
order established in Section 6 of Rule 78.5 The exceptions to this rule
are found in Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 746
The heirs succeed immediately to all of the rights and properties of
the deceased at the moment of the latter's death. Section 1, Rule 74
of the Rules of Court, allows heirs to divide the estate among
themselves without need of delay and risks of being dissipated. When
a person dies without leaving pending obligations, his heirs, are not
required to submit the property for judicial administration, nor apply
for the appointment of an administrator by the court.
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The basis for the trial court's order is Section 1, Rule 74 of the Rules
of Court. It provides that in cases where the heirs disagree as to the
partition of the estate and no extrajudicial settlement is possible,
then an ordinary action for partition may be resorted to, as in this
case. We have held that where the more expeditious remedy of
partition is available to the heirs, then the heirs or the majority of
them may not be compelled to submit to administration proceedings.
The trial court appropriately converted petitioner's action for letters of
administration into a suit for judicial partition, upon motion of the
private respondents. No reversible error may be attributed to the
Court of Appeals when it found the trial court's action procedurally in
order.

G.R. No. 161220 July 30, 2008


SPOUSES GORGONIO BENATIRO and COLUMBA CUYOS-
BENATIRO substituted by their heirs, namely: Isabelita,
Renato, Rosadelia and Gorgonio, Jr., surnamed Benatiro, and
SPOUSES RENATO C. BENATIRO and ROSIE M. BENATIRO,
Respondents,
vs.
HEIRS OF EVARISTO CUYOS, namely: Gloria Cuyos-Talian,
Patrocenia Cuyos-Mijares, Numeriano Cuyos, and Enrique
Cuyos, represented by their attorney-in-fact, Salud Cuyos,
Respondents.
FACTS:
Spouses Evaristo Cuyos and Agatona Arrogante Cuyos were blessed
with nine children, namely: Francisco, Victoria, Columba, Lope, Salud,
Gloria, Patrocenia, Numeriano, and Enrique. On August 28, 1966,
Evaristo died leaving six parcels of land, all under the name of
Agatona Arrogante.
On July 13, 1971, one of the heirs, Gloria Cuyos-Talian represented
by Atty. Victor Elliot Lepiten, filed before the CFI a petition 4 for
Letters of Administration. The petition was opposed by Gloria’s
brother, Francisco, who was represented by Atty. Jesus Yray.
In the hearing, both parties together with their respective counsels
appeared. Both counsels manifested that the parties had come to an
agreement to settle their case. Both counsels suggested that the
Clerk of Court, Atty. Andres C. Taneo (Atty. Taneo), be appointed to
act as Commissioner to effect the agreement of the parties and to
prepare the project of partition for the approval of the court. Hence,
Atty Taneo was appointed.
In Atty Taneo’s Commissioner's Report, he stated that he issued
subpoenae supplemented by telegrams to all the heirs to cause their
appearance on February 28 and 29, 1976 in Tapilon, Daanbantayan,
Cebu, where the properties are located, for a conference or meeting
to arrive at an agreement; that out of the nine heirs, only
respondents Gloria, Salud and Enrique Cuyos failed to attend; that
per return of the service, these three heirs could not be located in
their respective given addresses; that since some of the heirs present

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resided outside the province of Cebu, they decided to go ahead with
the scheduled meeting.
Quoting the Commissioner’s Report, the CFI issued the assailed Order
ruling that the compromise agreement as embodied in the report of
the commissioner is hereby approved.
Respondents, Salud Cuyos, for herself and in representation16 of the
other heirs of Evaristo Cuyos, filed with the CA a petition for
annulment of the Order of the CFI under Rule 47 of the Rules of
Court. They alleged that the CFI Order was null and void and of no
effect, the same being based on a Commissioner's Report, which was
patently false and irregular; that such report practically deprived
them of due process in claiming their share of their father's estate.

ISSUE: whether the heirs were notified before the compromise


agreement was arrived at.

Ruling: No
In Cua v. Vargas, in which the issue was whether heirs were deemed
constructively notified of and bound by an extra-judicial settlement
and partition of the estate, regardless of their failure to participate
therein, when the extra-judicial settlement and partition has been
duly published, we held:
The procedure outlined in Section 1 of Rule 74 is an ex parte
proceeding. The rule plainly states, however, that persons
who do not participate or had no notice of an extrajudicial
settlement will not be bound thereby. It contemplates a notice
that has been sent out or issued before any deed of settlement
and/or partition is agreed upon (i.e., a notice calling all
interested parties to participate in the said deed of
extrajudicial settlement and partition), and not after such an
agreement has already been executed as what happened in
the instant case with the publication of the first deed of
extrajudicial settlement among heirs.
The publication of the settlement does not constitute constructive
notice to the heirs who had no knowledge or did not take part in it
because the same was notice after the fact of execution. The
requirement of publication is geared for the protection of creditors
and was never intended to deprive heirs of their lawful participation
in the decedent's estate. In this connection, the records of the
present case confirm that respondents never signed either of the
settlement documents, having discovered their existence only shortly
before the filing of the present complaint. Following Rule 74, these
extrajudicial settlements do not bind respondents, and the partition
made without their knowledge and consent is invalid insofar as they
are concerned36 (Emphasis supplied)
Nothing in the records that would show that the heirs were called to a
hearing to validate the Report. The CFI adopted and approved the
Report despite the absence of the signatures of all the heirs showing
conformity thereto. The CFI adopted the Report despite the
statement therein that only six out of the nine heirs attended the
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conference, thus, effectively depriving the other heirs of their chance
to be heard. The CFI's action was tantamount to a violation of the
constitutional guarantee that no person shall be deprived of property
without due process of law. We find that the assailed Order dated
December 16, 1976, which approved a void Commissioner's Report,
is a void judgment for lack of due process.

Utulo v. Pasion vda. de Garcia, 66 Phil. 303

Facts:
Juan Sanchez died intestate leaving his widow and 3 children as
heirs. His widow, Vda. de Garcia was appointed administratix. One of
their children Luz, died leaving her spouse Pablo Utulo and her
mother as forced heirs. Utulo commenced the judicial administration
of her properties where Vda. de Garcia opposed arguing that there is
no need for judicial administration and in case it should be granted by
court that she be appointed administratix. The CFI appointed Utulo as
judicial administrator hence this appeal.

Issue: W/N there was need of judicial administration

Held: NO
The general rule as provided for in Sec. 642 of the Code of Civil
Procedure is that that “if no executor is named in the will, or if a
person dies intestate, administration shall be granted”. However this
is subject to 2 exceptions provided by Secs. 596 and 597 of the same
Code. Sec. 596 provides that when all the heirs are of lawful age, and
there are no debts due from the estate, they may agree in writing to
partition the property without instituting the judicial administration or
applying for the appointment of an administrator. Sec. 597 provides
that if the property left does not exceed P6,000, the heirs may apply
to the competent court to proceed with the summary partition
without instituting the judicial administration and the appointment of
an administrator.
When a person dies without leaving pending obligations to be
paid, his heirs, whether of age or not, are not bound to submit
the property to a judicial administration, which is always long
and costly or to apply for the appointment of an administrator
by the court. Rights to the succession of a person are transmitted
from the moment of death hence his heirs succeed immediately to all
the property of the deceased. It is at their option if they want to
enter upon the administration of the property or if they want to
partition it. When there are no debts existing against the estate,
there is no need for the intervention of an administrator.

Delgado vs. Heirs of Damian


Facts:
On May 8, 1975, Luisa Delgado, the sister of Josefa, filed a Petition
on Letters of Administration of the estate of deceased spouses Josefa
Delgado and Guillermo Rustia (died 1972 and 1974 respectively).
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Such letter was opposed by Marciana Rustia, a sister of Guillermo,
claiming that they should be the beneficiaries of the estate. The trial
court then allowed Guillerma Rustia, a legitimate child of Guillermo,
to intervene in the case as she claimed that she possessed the status
of an acknowledged legitimate natural child, hence, she should be the
sole heir of the estate. Later, Luisa Delgado said that the spouses
were living together without marriage. Luisa Delgado died and was
substituted dela Rosa (herein petitioner) in this case. The RTC
appointed dela Rosa as the administrator of the estates of the
deceased.

Issue: Whether or not dela Rosa should be the sole administrator of


the estate

Ruling: No
The petitioners are already the nephews, nieces, grandnephews and
grandnieces of Josefa Delgado. Under Article 972 of the new Civil
Code, the right of representation in the collateral line takes place only
in favor of the children of brothers and sisters (nephews and nieces).
Consequently, it cannot be exercised by grandnephews and
grandnieces.54 Therefore, the only collateral relatives of Josefa
Delgado who are entitled to partake of her intestate estate are her
brothers and sisters, or their children who were still alive at the time
of her death on September 8, 1972. They have a vested right to
participate in the inheritance.55 The records not being clear on this
matter, it is now for the trial court to determine who were the
surviving brothers and sisters (or their children) of Josefa Delgado at
the time of her death. Together with Guillermo Rustia,56 they are
entitled to inherit from Josefa Delgado in accordance with Article
1001 of the new Civil Code.
Since Josefa Delgado had heirs other than Guillermo Rustia,
Guillermo could not have validly adjudicated Josefa’s estate all to
himself. Rule 74, Section 1 of the Rules of Court is clear. Adjudication
by an heir of the decedent’s entire estate to himself by means of an
affidavit is allowed only if he is the sole heir to the estate:
SECTION 1. Extrajudicial settlement by agreement between heirs. –
If the decedent left no will and no debts and the heirs are all of age,
or the minors are represented by their judicial or legal
representatives duly authorized for the purpose, the parties may,
without securing letters of administration, divide the estate among
themselves as they see fit by means of a public instrument filed in
the office of the register of deeds, and should they disagree, they
may do so in an ordinary action of partition. If there is only one
heir, he may adjudicate to himself the estate by means of an
affidavit filed in the office of the register of deeds. x x x
(emphasis supplied)

FERNANDEZ, ET AL V. DIMAGIBA, L-23638, OCTOBER 12, 1967

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FACTS: Ismaela Dimagiba filed a petition for probate of the will of
Benedicta de los Reyes. Such petition was opposed by Dionisio
Fernandez, et al. The court ruled in favor of probate. Fernandez et al
appealed, but it was beyond the reglamentary period. They argued
that they were entitled to await the other grounds for opposition
before appealing.

ISSUE: Whether the probate of the will become final for lack of
appeal

HELD: Yes. A probate decree finally and definitively settles all


questions concerning capacity of the testator and the proper
execution and witnessing of the will. As such, probate order is final
and appealable. They do not have to await the resolution of its other
oppositions since the Rules of Court enumerates six different
instances when appeal may be taken in special proceedings.

MUNSAYAC-DE VILLA V. COURT OF APPEALS, 414 SCRA 436

FACTS: DE VILLA, SUNGA and ROY, three of the five children of the
late Spouses GELACIO and VICENTA MUNSAYAC filed for a petition for
letters of administration nominating DE VILLA as administratrix of the
intestate estate of their parents.

DE VILLA’s nomination was opposed by the two (2) other children


namely MUNSAYAC, JR. and VISPERAS, who nominated MUNSAYAC,
JR. as administrator of the late Munsayac Couple’s intestate estate.

"MUNSAYAC, JR. was eventually appointed administrator pursuant to


respondent Judge’s Order thus, replacing Atty. Ceasar G. Oracion as
special administrator of the said intestate estate.

Subsequently, DE VILLA and SUNGA filed for a Request to Inhibit


Respondent Judge. Barely a week after such request and before
respondent Judge could act on it, DE VILLA filed a petition for
certiorari, prohibition and mandamus questioning respondent Judge’s
Order in directing/ordering him (DE VILLA) to produce certain bank
time deposit certificates/documents; and the order of arrest for
failure to produce the said bank certificates/documents.

Pending the resolution, DE VILLA filed an administrative case before


the Supreme Court, which prayed for respondent Judge’s suspension
and his permanent removal from office on grounds of grave
misconduct and serious inefficiency.

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Acting on the Omnibus Motion which was filed by the administrator of
the intestate estate, respondent Judge issued the Order to surrender,
under pain of contempt, (a) the amount of the bank investment
discovered in the names of the late VICENTA, DE VILLA and SUNGA
made with the United Coconut Planter’s Bank, Baguio City (‘UCPB’)
worth P13,506,343.33, and which amount was not disclosed by the
petitioners in the estate return tax, (b) as well as the surrender of all
the pieces of jewelry given by the late VICENTA to DE VILLA and
SUNGA, subject of the ‘freeze order’ with the China Banking
Corporation.

For their failure to comply with the Order the petitioners DE VILLA,
SUNGA and ROY were arrested and were likewise ORDERED to
surrender in custodia legis amount of P15,298,835.95 and
P3,010,822.02 plus the legal interest.

A Petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus filed before


the CA. CA nullified the arrest order only. Hence this petition,
arguing that the inhibition is still needed as the issue on
withdrawal/release of the money deposited in custodia legis and
the lifting of the freeze order on certain jewelry is pending.

ISSUE: Whether properties in custodia legis must be released. YES

HELD: The Court ordered the TC to lift the freeze order and cause
the return of property or money still in custodia legis. The inhibition
of the respondent judge became moot and academic.

It should be clear that the CA Decision terminating Special


Proceedings No. 704-R found that the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition
executed by all the parties was the "final, complete and absolute
settlement of their respective shares and claims as heirs of deceased
spouses Gelacio Munsayac, Sr. and Vicenta Munsayac." As such, any
and all incidents relating to the special proceedings should also be
deemed to have been terminated.

When Judge Reyes issued his Orders commanding the bank manager
of the China Bank branch in Baguio City to freeze the safety deposit
box of petitioners and to deposit certain amounts in custodia legis, he
did so as the presiding judge in the probate court that was hearing
Special Proceedings No. 704-R. Now that the case has finally been
terminated, it follows that neither he nor his court has any more right
to hold the properties that were the subject of his Orders in the
special proceedings.

Needless to say, the lifting of any freeze order and the return of any
property previously deposited with the court should be effected. The
judge had no more discretion to decide whether the amounts and the
property deposited should be released. Likewise, any standing order
on any property in relation to the special proceedings should be lifted.
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This ruling reiterates the long-standing principle that a tribunal acting
as a probate court exercises limited jurisdiction. However, the
determination of whether a property should be included in the
inventory is within its probate jurisdiction. Such determination is only
provisional -- not conclusive -- in character and subject to the final
decision in a separate action that may be instituted by the parties.

Neither are we unmindful of the rule that questions on an advance


made or allegedly made by the deceased to any heir may be heard
and determined by the court that has jurisdiction over the estate
proceedings; and that the final order of the court thereon shall be
binding on the person raising the questions and on the heirs.

In a train of decisions, this Court has consistently enunciated this


settled, corollary principle: generally, a probate court may not decide
a question of title or ownership, but it may do so if the interested
parties are all heirs; or the question is one of collation or
advancement; or the parties consent to its assumption of jurisdiction
and the rights of third parties are not impaired. These principles,
however, have no more application in this case, since the main
proceedings for the settlement of the intestate estate of the deceased
couple have already been decided and terminated. Indeed, every
litigation must come to an end.

To be sure, this Court is not tasked to look into the ownership of the
properties deposited with or ordered frozen by the lower court during
the progress of the special proceedings. Neither can Judge Reyes do
so now. Whether those properties should have been adjudicated by
the legal heirs of the Munsayac spouses is beside the point at this
time. The former have already entered into an Extrajudicial Partition
representing the final, complete and absolute settlement of their
shares as heirs of the latter. What is left to be done is simply the
lifting of any freeze order and the release of any property originally
deposited by petitioners in custodia legis.

In view of the above ruling, we deem it necessary to direct Judge


Reyes to immediately lift any freeze order still pending and to order
the release of any property deposited in custodia legis. It is already
an accepted rule of procedure for this Court to strive to settle the
entire controversy in a single proceeding, leaving no root or branch to
bear the seeds of future litigation. To achieve that end and to
expedite the case in the interest of substantial justice, a directive to
the trial judge to lift the freeze order and release the property
deposited with the court becomes indispensable.

FELIX AZUELO V. COURT OF APPEALS, GR NO. 122880, APRIL


12, 2006
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FACTS: Petitioner Felix Azuela sought to admit to probate the


notarial will of Eugenia E. Igsolo. However, this was opposed by
Geralda Castillo, who was the attorney-in-fact of “the 12 legitimate
heirs” of the decedent. According to her, the will was forged, and
imbued with several fatal defects. Particularly, the issue relevant in
this subject is that the will was not properly acknowledged. The
notary public, Petronio Y. Bautista, only wrote “Nilagdaan ko at
ninotario ko ngayong 10 ng Hunyo 10 (sic), 1981 dito sa Lungsod ng
Maynila.”

ISSUE: Whether or not the will is fatally defective as it was not


properly acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the
witnesses as required by Article 806 of the Civil Code.

HELD: Yes, the will is fatally defective. By no manner of


contemplation can those words be construed as an acknowledgment.

An acknowledgement is the act of one who has executed a deed in


going before some competent officer or court and declaring it to be
his act or deed. It involves an extra step undertaken whereby the
signore actually declares to the notary that the executor of a
document has attested to the notary that the same is his/her own
free act and deed.

It might be possible to construe the averment as a jurat, even though


it does not hew to the usual language thereof. A jurat is that part of
an affidavit where the notary certifies that before him/her, the
document was subscribed and sworn to by the executor.

Yet even if we consider what was affixed by the notary public as a


jurat, the will would nonetheless remain invalid, as the express
requirement of Article 806 is that the will be “acknowledged,” and not
merely subscribed and sworn to. The will does not present any
textual proof, much less one under oath that the decedent and the
instrumental witnesses executed or signed the will as their own free
act or deed. The acknowledgment made in a will provides for another
all-important legal safeguard against spurious wills or those made
beyond the free consent of the testator.

ANG V. LEE, GR NO. 176831, JANUARY 5, 2010

FACTS: Respondent Nixon Lee filed a petition for mandamus with


damages against his mother Uy Kiao Eng, herein petitioner, before
the RTC of Manila to compel petitioner to produce the holographic will
of his father so that probate proceedings for the allowance thereof
could be instituted. Respondent had already requested his mother to
settle and liquidate the patriarch’s estate and to deliver to the legal
heirs their respective inheritance, but petitioner refused to do so
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without any justifiable reason. Petitioner denied that she was in
custody of the original holographic will and that she knew of its
whereabouts. The RTC heard the case. After the presentation and
formal offer of respondent’s evidence, petitioner demurred,
contending that her son failed to prove that she had in her custody
the original holographic will. The RTC, at first, denied the demurrer to
evidence. However, it granted the same on petitioner’s motion for
reconsideration. Respondent’s motion for reconsideration of this latter
order was denied. Hence, the petition was dismissed. Aggrieved,
respondent sought review from the appellate court. The CA initially
denied the appeal for lack of merit. Respondent moved for
reconsideration. The appellate court granted the motion, set aside its
earlier ruling, issued the writ, and ordered the production of the will
and the payment of attorney’s fees. It ruled this time that respondent
was able to show by testimonial evidence that his mother had in her
possession the holographic will. Dissatisfied with this turn of events,
petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. The appellate court
denied this motion. Left with no other recourse, petitioner brought
the matter before this Court, contending in the main that the petition
for mandamus is not the proper remedy and that the testimonial
evidence used by the appellate court as basis for its ruling is
inadmissible.

ISSUE: Whether or not mandamus is the proper remedy of the


respondent.

HELD: The Court cannot sustain the CA’s issuance of the writ.

Mandamus is a command issuing from a court of law of competent


jurisdiction, in the name of the state or the sovereign, directed to
some inferior court, tribunal, or board, or to some corporation or
person requiring the performance of a particular duty therein
specified, which duty results from the official station of the party to
whom the writ is directed or from operation of law. This definition
recognizes the public character of the remedy, and clearly excludes
the idea that it may be resorted to for the purpose of enforcing the
performance of duties in which the public has no interest. The writ is
a proper recourse for citizens who seek to enforce a public right and
to compel the performance of a public duty, most especially when the
public right involved is mandated by the Constitution. As the quoted
provision instructs, mandamus will lie if the tribunal, corporation,
board, officer, or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an
act which the law enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust or
station.

The writ of mandamus, however, will not issue to compel an official to


do anything which is not his duty to do or which it is his duty not to
do, or to give to the applicant anything to which he is not entitled by
law. Nor will mandamus issue to enforce a right which is in
substantial dispute or as to which a substantial doubt exists, although
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objection raising a mere technical question will be disregarded if the
right is clear and the case is meritorious. As a rule, mandamus will
not lie in the absence of any of the following grounds: [a] that the
court, officer, board, or person against whom the action is taken
unlawfully neglected the performance of an act which the law
specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from office, trust, or station; or
[b] that such court, officer, board, or person has unlawfully excluded
petitioner/relator from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to
which he is entitled. On the part of the relator, it is essential to the
issuance of a writ of mandamus that he should have a clear legal
right to the thing demanded and it must be the imperative duty of
respondent to perform the act required.

Recognized further in this jurisdiction is the principle that mandamus


cannot be used to enforce contractual obligations. Generally,
mandamus will not lie to enforce purely private contract rights, and
will not lie against an individual unless some obligation in the nature
of a public or quasi-public duty is imposed. The writ is not appropriate
to enforce a private right against an individual.] The writ of
mandamus lies to enforce the execution of an act, when, otherwise,
justice would be obstructed; and, regularly, issues only in cases
relating to the public and to the government; hence, it is called a
prerogative writ. To preserve its prerogative character, mandamus is
not used for the redress of private wrongs, but only in matters
relating to the public.

Moreover, an important principle followed in the issuance of the writ


is that there should be no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law other than the remedy of mandamus being
invoked. In other words, mandamus can be issued only in cases
where the usual modes of procedure and forms of remedy are
powerless to afford relief. Although classified as a legal remedy,
mandamus is equitable in its nature and its issuance is generally
controlled by equitable principles. Indeed, the grant of the writ of
mandamus lies in the sound discretion of the court.

In the instant case, the Court, without unnecessarily ascertaining


whether the obligation involved here—the production of the original
holographic will—is in the nature of a public or a private duty, rules
that the remedy of mandamus cannot be availed of by respondent
Lee because there lies another plain, speedy and adequate remedy in
the ordinary course of law. Let it be noted that respondent has a
photocopy of the will and that he seeks the production of the original
for purposes of probate. The Rules of Court, however, does not
prevent him from instituting probate proceedings for the allowance of
the will whether the same is in his possession or not.

There being a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary


course of law for the production of the subject will, the remedy of
mandamus cannot be availed of. Suffice it to state that respondent
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Lee lacks a cause of action in his petition. Thus, the Court grants the
demurrer.

BALANAY, JR. V. MARTINEZ, ET AL, L- 39247, JUNE 27, 1975

FACTS: Leodegaria Julian, a native of Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur, died on


February 12, 1973 in Davao City at the age of sixty-seven. She was
survived by her husband, Felix Balanay, Sr., and by their six
legitimate childrenincluding herein petitioner Felix Balanay Jr. Felix J.
Balanay, Jr. filed in the lower court a petition dated February 27,
1973 for the probate of his mother's notarial will dated September 5,
1970 which is written in English. In that will Leodegaria Julian
declared (a) that she was the owner of the "southern half of nine
conjugal lots (par. II); (b) that she was the absolute owner of two
parcels of land which she inherited from her father (par. III), and (c)
that it was her desire that her properties should not be divided
among her heirs during her husband's lifetime and that their
legitimes should be satisfied out of the fruits of her properties.

Although initially opposing, Felix Balanay, Sr. signed a Conformation


of Division and Renunciation of Hereditary Rights manifesting that out
of respect for his wife's will he waived and renounced his hereditary
rights in her estate in favor of their 6 children. In that same
instrument he confirmed the agreement, which he and his wife had
perfected before her death, that their conjugal properties would be
partitioned in the manner indicated in her will.

Avelina B. Antonio, an oppositor, in her rejoinder contended that the


affidavit and conformation" of Felix Balanay, Sr. were void for illegally
claiming the conjugal lands while David O. Montaña, Sr., claiming to
be the lawyer of Felix Balanay, Jr., Beatriz B. Solamo, Carolina B.
Manguiob and Emilia B. Pabaonon filed a motion for leave of court to
withdraw probate of the will and requesting authority to proceed by
intestate estate proceeding also referring to the provisions relating to
the conjugal assets as compromising the future legitimes.

The lower Court ruled that the will was void and converted to
intestate proceedings. Felix Balanay, Jr., through a new counsel,
Roberto M. Sarenas, asked for the reconsideration of the lower
court's order on the ground that Atty. Montaña had NO authority to
withdraw the petition for the allowance of the will but the lower court
denied and clarified that it declared the will void on the basis of its
own independent assessment of its provisions and not because of
Atty. Montaña's arguments.

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

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HELD: No. The SC are of the opinion that in view of certain unusual
provisions of the will, which are of dubious legality, and because of
the motion to withdraw the petition for probate (which the lower
court assumed to have been filed with the petitioner's authorization),
the trial court acted correctly in passing upon the will's intrinsic
validity even before its formal validity had been established. But the
probate court erred in declaring, in its order of February 28, 1974
that the will was void and in converting the testate proceeding into an
intestate proceeding notwithstanding the fact that in its order of June
18, 1973 , it gave effect to the surviving husband's conformity to the
will and to his renunciation of his hereditary rights which presumably
included his one-half share of the conjugal estate.

Ratio: The rule is that "the invalidity of one of several dispositions


contained in a will does not result in the invalidity of the other
dispositions, unless it is to be presumed that the testator would not
have made such other dispositions if the first invalid disposition had
not been made". "Where some of the provisions of a will are valid and
others invalid, the valid parts will be upheld if they can be separated
from the invalid without defeating the intention of the testator or
interfering with the general testamentary scheme, or doing injustice
to the beneficiaries"

The statement of the testatrix that she owned the "southern half of
the conjugal lands is contrary to law because, although she was a co-
owner thereof, her share was inchoate and pro indiviso. But That
illegal declaration does not nullify the entire will. It may be
disregarded.

The provision of the will that the properties of the testatrix should not
be divided among her heirs during her husband's lifetime but should
be kept intact and that the legitimes should be paid in cash is
contrary to article 1080.

Felix Balanay, Sr. could validly renounce his hereditary rights and his
one-half share of the conjugal but insofar as said renunciation
partakes of a donation of his hereditary rights and his one-half share
in the conjugal, it should be subject to the limitations prescribed in
articles 750 and 752 of the Civil Code. A portion of the estate should
be adjudicated to the widower for his support and maintenance. Or at
least his legitime should be respected.

Subject to the foregoing observations and the rules on collation, the


will is intrinsically valid and the partition therein may be given effect
if it does not prejudice the creditors and impair the legitimes. The
distribution and partition would become effective upon the death of
Felix Balanay, Sr. In the meantime, the net income should be
equitably divided among the children and the surviving spouse.

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

The instant case is different from the Nuguid case, where the
testatrix instituted as heir her sister and preterited her parents. Her
will was intrinsically void because it preterited her compulsory heirs in
the direct line. Article 854 of the Civil Code provides that "the
preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory heirs in
the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will
or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of
heir; but the devises and legacies, shall be valid insofar as they are
not inofficious." Since the preterition of the parents annulled the
institution of the sister of the testatrix and there were no legacies and
devises, total intestacy resulted.

In the instant case, the preterited heir was the surviving spouse. His
preterition did not produce intestacy. Moreover, he signified his
conformity to his wife's will and renounced his hereditary rights.

It results that the lower court erred in not proceeding with the
probate of the will as contemplated in its uncancelled order of June
18, 1973. Save in an extreme case where the will on its face is
intrinsically void, it is the probate court's duty to pass first upon the
formal validity of the will. Generally, the probate of the will is
mandatory.

WHEREFORE, the lower court's orders of February 28, and June 29,
1974 are set aside and its order of June 18, 1973, setting for hearing
the petition for probate, is affirmed. The lower court is directed to
conduct further proceedings in Special Case No. 1808.

ACAIN V. IAC, ET AL., GR NO. 72706, OCTOBER 27, 1987

FACTS: On May 1984, Constantino Acain (petitioner hereinafter


Acain) filed on the RTC of Cebu City, a petition for the probate of the
will of the late Nemesio Acain and for the issuance to Acain of letters
testamentary. When Nemesio died, he left a will in which Acain and
his siblings were instituted as heirs. The will allegedly executed by
Nemesio was submitted by petitioner without objection raised by
private respondents.

Segundo, the brother of Nemesio, was initially instituted as the heir,


in case Segundo pre-deceases Nemesio, Segundo’s children would
then succeed.

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After the petition was set for hearing, the respondents (Virginia
Fernandez, legally adopted daughter of Nemesio, and the latter's
widow, Rosa Acain) filed a motion to dismiss on the following
grounds: for the petitioner has no legal capacity to institute these
proceedings; he is merely a universal heir and the Rosa and
Fernandez have been pretirited. Motion was denied.

After the denial, respondents filed with the SC a petition for certiorari
and prohibition with preliminary injunction which was subsequently
referred to the IAC. The IAC granted the private respondents' petition
and ordered the TC to dismiss the petition for the probate of the will
of Nemesio.

His MR having been denied, Acain filed this present petition for the
review of IAC’s decision.

ISSUES:
1. Whether private respondents have been preterited. No for the
widow, yes for Fernandez.
2. Whether Acain has legal standing to intervene in the probate
proceedings. No.
**3. Whether the probate court went beyond its authority. No.

HELD:
1. Preterition consists in the omission in the testator's will of the
forced heirs or anyone of them either because they are not
mentioned therein, or, though mentioned, they are neither instituted
as heirs nor are expressly disinherited. Insofar as the widow is
concerned, there is no preterition, for she is not in the direct line.
However, the same cannot be said for Fernandez. It cannot be denied
that she was totally omitted and preterited in the will of the testator.
Neither can it be denied that she was not expressly disinherited.
Hence, this is a clear case of preterition of the Fernandez. The
universal institution of Acain and his siblings to the entire inheritance
of the testator results in totally abrogating the will.

2. In order that a person may be allowed to intervene in a probate


proceeding he must have an interest in the estate, or in the will, or in
the property to be affected by it either as executor or as a claimant of
the estate and an interested party is one who would be benefited by
the estate. Acain, at the outset, appears to have an interest in the
will as an heir, however, intestacy having resulted from the
preterition of Fernandez and the universal institution of heirs, Acain is
in effect not an heir of the testator. He has no legal standing to
petition for the probate of the will left by the deceased and must then
be dismissed.

**3. The general rule is that the probate court's authority is limited
only to the extrinsic validity of the will, the due execution thereof, the
testator's testamentary capacity and the compliance with the
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requisites or solemnities prescribed by law. The intrinsic validity of
the will normally comes only after the Court has declared that the will
has been duly authenticated. The rule, however, is not inflexible and
absolute. Under exceptional circumstances, the probate court is not
powerless to do what the situation constrains it to do and pass upon
certain provisions of the will. Where circumstances demand that
intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions be passed upon even
before the extrinsic validity of the will is resolved, the probate court
should meet the issue.

The remedies of certiorari and prohibition were properly availed of by


private respondents. The petition is hereby DENIED for lack of
merit.

NEPOMUCENO V. CA, ET AL., GR NO. 62952, OCTOBER 9, 1985

FACTS: Martin Jugo left a duly executed and notarized Last Will and
Testament before he died. Petitioner was named as sole executor. It
is clearly stated in the Will that he was legally married to a certain
Rufina Gomez by whom he had two legitimate children, but he had
been estranged from his lawful wife. In fact, the testator Martin Jugo
and the petitioner were married despite the subsisting first marriage.
The testator devised the free portion of his estate to petitioner. On
August 21, 1974, the petitioner filed a petition for probate. On May
13, 1975, Rufina Gomez and her children filed an opposition alleging
undue and improper influence on the part of the petitioner; that at
the time of the execution of the Will, the testator was already very
sick and that petitioner having admitted her living in concubinage
with the testator.

The lower court denied the probate of the Will on the ground that as
the testator admitted in his Will to cohabiting with the petitioner.
Petitioner appealed to CA. On June 2, 1982, the respondent court set
aside the decision of the Court of First Instance of Rizal denying the
probate of the will. The respondent court declared the Will to be valid
except that the devise in favor of the petitioner is null and void.

ISSUE: W/N the CA acted in excess of its jurisdiction when after


declaring the last Will and Testament of the deceased Martin Jugo
validly drawn, it went on to pass upon the intrinsic validity of the
testamentary provision.

HELD: No. The respondent court acted within its jurisdiction when
after declaring the Will to be validly drawn, it went on to pass upon
the intrinsic validity of the Will and declared the devise in favor of the
petitioner null and void. The general rule is that in probate
proceedings, the court’s area of inquiry is limited to an examination
and resolution of the extrinsic validity of the Will. The rule, however,
is not inflexible and absolute. Given exceptional circumstances, the
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probate court is not powerless to do what the situation constrains it
to do and pass upon certain provisions of the Will.

The probate of a will might become an idle ceremony if on its face it


appears to be intrinsically void. Where practical considerations
demand that the intrinsic validity of the will be passed upon, even
before it is probated, the court should meet the issue (Nuguid v.
Nuguid)

The Will is void under Article 739. The following donations shall be
void: (1) Those made between persons who were guilty of adultery or
concubinage at the time of the donation; and Article 1028. The
prohibitions mentioned in Article 739, concerning donations inter
vivos shall apply to testamentary provisions.

There is no question from the records about the fact of a prior


existing marriage when Martin Jugo executed his Will. The very
wordings of the Will invalidate the legacy because the testator
admitted he was disposing the properties to a person with whom he
had been living in concubinage.

4. Rule 74 – SUMMARY SETTLEMENT OF ESTATES

MANINANG vs. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. L-57848, June 19, 1982
FACTS:
Clemencia Aseneta, single, died and left a holographic will. The will
states that all her properties shall be inherited by Dra. Maninang and
her family whose family the testatrix has lived with continuously for
30 years. The will further stated that she is troubled with her
nephews and that she did not consider Bernardo as her adopted son
for letting her do acts against her will.

Maninag filed a petition for the probate of the holographic will while
the adopted son instituted intestate proceedings. Bernardo filed a
Motion to Dismiss the testate case on the ground that as the only
compulsory heir, he was preterited in the holographic will. The testate
proceeding was dismissed by the trial court following the court’s
reasoning that the adopted son was preterited and intestacy should
ensue. Maninag filed a petition for certiorari arguing that the court’s
findings should be limited to the extrinsic validity of the will and not
the intrinsic validity.

Issue:
Whether or not the trial court judge acted in grave abuse of discretion
in dismissing the testate case.
Ruling: YES.
Generally, the probate of the will is mandatory. Unless the will is
probated and notice thereof is given to the whole world, the right of a
person to dispose of his properties by will may be rendered nugatory.
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Moreover, the probate of the will, normally, does not look into its
intrinsic validity. Opposition to the validity or legality of the provisions
of the will cannot be entertained in a probate proceeding; its only
purpose is merely to determine if the will has been executed in
accordance with the requirements of the law.
However, by way of exception, the intrinsic validity of a will may be
passed upon even before probate because of “practical
considerations”. Such considerations include those enunciated in the
cases of Nuguid vs Nuguid and Balanay vs Hon. Martinez relied upon
by Bernardo in his argument which was favored by the trial court.
The Supreme Court, however, stated that the aforementioned cases
provide for the exception rather than the rule. For instance, in the
Nuiguid case, the will was found to be intrinsically invalid as it
completely preterited the testator’s parents. In the case at hand, the
crucial issue to be resolved first is whether under the terms of the
decedent’s will, Bernardo had been preterited or disinherited.
By virtue of the dismissal of the testate case by the trial court judge,
the determination of that controversial issue has not been thoroughly
considered. The Court gathered from the order of the trial court which
concluded that Bernardo had been preterited. As for the Court, such
conclusion is not indubitable.
Therefore, in ordering the dismissal of the testate case, the trial court
has acted in grave abuse of its discretion in excess of its jurisdiction.
DELGADO VS HEIRS OF MARCIANA
480 SCRA 334
Facts:
On May 8, 1975, Luisa Delgado, the sister of Josefa, filed a Petition
on Letters of Administration of the estate of deceased spouses Josefa
Delgado and Guillermo Rustia (died 1972 and 1974 respectively).
Such letter was opposed by Marciana Rustia, a sister of Guillermo,
claiming that they should be the beneficiaries of the estate. The trial
court then allowed Guillerma Rustia, a legitimate child of Guillermo,
to intervene in the case as she claimed that she possessed the status
of an acknowledged legitimate natural child, hence, she should be the
sole heir of the estate. Later, Luisa Delgado said that the spouses
were living together without marriage. Luisa Delgado died and was
substituted dela Rosa (herein petitioner) in this case. The RTC
appointed dela Rosa as the administrator of the estates of the
deceased.

Issue:
Whether or not Dela Rosa should be the sole administrator of the
estate noting that Josefa and Guillermo did not contract marriage.
Ruling:
The Supreme Court held that through the testimonies of the of the
witnesses, that marriage between Josefa and Guillermo never took
place. Although it is presumed that a man and a woman departing
themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract
of marriage, such testimonies shall prevail. Since no marriage had
occurred between the two, the estate must be settled in different
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proceedings. Therefore, dela Rosa cannot be appointed as the sole
administrator of the estate of the deceased.
In this case, the Court also ruled that in the appointment of
administrator, the principal consideration is the interest in the estate
of the one to be appointed. The order of preference does not rule out
the appointment of co-adminstrators, especially in cases where
justice and equity demand that opposing parties or factions be
represented in the management of the estates.

SAMPIO V. CA.
103 Phil 71
RE: Raising an Objection to an Extrajudicial Partition After the
Expiration of Two (2) Year Prescriptive Period
There are two significant provisions in Sections 1 and 4 of Rule 74.
In Section 1, it is required that if there are two or more heirs, both or
all of them should take part in the extrajudicial settlement. This
requirement is made more imperative in the old law (Section 596, Act
No. 190) by the addition of the clause "and not otherwise."
By the title of Section 4, the "distributees and estate" indicates the
persons to answer for rights violated by the extrajudicial settlement.
On the other hand, it is also significant that no mention is made
expressly of the effect of the extrajudicial settlement on persons who
did not take part therein or had no notice or knowledge thereof.
There cannot be any doubt that those who took part or had
knowledge of the extrajudicial settlement are bound thereby. As to
them the law is clear that if they claim to have been in any manner
deprived of their lawful right or share in the estate by the
extrajudicial settlement, they may demand their rights or interest
within the period of two (2) years, and both the distributes and estate
would be liable to them for such rights or interest. Evidently, they are
the persons in accordance with the provision who may seek to
remedy the prejudice to their rights within the two-year period.
On the other hand, as to those who did not take part in the
settlement or had no notice of the death of the decedent or of the
settlement, there is no direct or express provision that is
unreasonable and unjust that they also be required to assert their
claims within the period of two years. To extend the effects of the
settlement to them, to those who did not take part nor had no
knowledge thereof, without any express legal provision to that effect,
would be violative of the fundamental right to due process of law.
The procedure outlined in Section 1 of Rule 74 of extrajudicial
settlement, or by affidavit, is an ex parte proceeding. It cannot by
any reason or logic be contended that such settlement or distribution
would affect third persons who had no knowledge either of the death
of the decedent or of the extrajudicial settlement or affidavit,
especially as no mention of such effect is made, either directly or by
implication.
The provisions of Section 4 of Rule 74, barring distributees or heirs
from objecting to an extrajudicial partition after the expiration of two
years from such extrajudicial partition, is applicable only (1) to
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persons who have participated or taken part or had notice of the
extrajudicial partition, and, in addition, (2) when the provisions of
Section 1 of Rule 74 have been strictly complied with, i.e., that all the
persons or heirs of the decedent have taken part in the extrajudicial
settlement or are represented by themselves or through guardians.
There is nothing in Section 4 of Rule 74, or in its source (Section 596
of Act 190), which shows clearly a statute of limitations and a bar of
action against third persons. It is only a bar against the parties who
had taken part in the extrajudicial proceedings but not against third
persons not parties thereto.

5. Rule 75 – PRODUCTION OF WILL; ALLOWANCE OF WILL


NECESSARY

EMILIO PACIOLES V. MIGUELA CHUATOCO-CHING

Question of Title of Ownership; YES, for the purpose of inventory,


that is incidental and provisional.

Facts:
Miguelita died intestate. She was survived by her huband, Emilio
Pacioles, herein petitioner, and two minor children. Emilio filed a
verified petition for the settlement of Miguelita’s estate.
Miguelita’s mother filed an opposition to the petition for issuance of
letters of administration; contending that the bulk of the estate is
composed of paraphernal properties. She also said that she has direct
and material interest in the estate because she gave half of her
inherited properties to the deceased on condition that they would
undertake a business endeavor as partners. The mother asked that
one Emmanuel be appointed.
The trial court, acting as an intestate court appointed Emilio and
Emmanuel as joint-administrator. No claims were filed. Thereafter,
Emilio filed an inventory; meanwhile, Emmanuel failed to file one.
The court declared Emilio and his children as the only compulsory
heirs of the deceased. Emilio then petitioned the court for the
payment of estate tax and the partition and distribution of the estate.
The trial court denied the petition as to the partition and distribution;
the Court of Appeals affirmed the same.
Issue:
Whether or not a trial court, acting as an intestate court, hear and
pass upon questions of ownership involving properties claimed to be
part of the decedent’s estate.
Ruling: NO.
As a rule, the question of ownership is an extrataneous matter which
the probate court cannot resolve with finality. Thus, for the purpose
of determining whether a certain property should or should not be
included in the inventory of estate properties, the probate court may
pass upon the title thereto, but such determination is provisional, not
conclusive, and is subject to the final decision in a separate action to
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resolve title. The Court of Appeals relied heavily on the above
principle in sustaining the jurisdiction of the intestate court to conduct
a hearing on respondent’s claim.
However, the Supreme Court finds that such reliance is misplaced.
Under the said principle, the key consideration is that the purpose of
the intestate or probate court in hearing and passing upon questions
of ownership is merely to determine whether or not a property should
be included in the inventory. The facts of this case show that such
was not the purpose of the intestate court.
First, the inventory was not disputed. Respondent could have
opposed petitioner’s inventory and sought the exclusion of the
specific properties which she believed or considered to be hers. But
instead of doing so, she expressly adopted the inventory, taking
exception only to the low valuation placed on the real estate
properties.
Second, Emmanuel did not file an inventory. He could have submitted
an inventory, excluding there from those properties which respondent
considered to be hers. The fact that he did not endeavor to submit
one shows that he acquiesced with petitioner’s inventory.
Clearly, the RTC, acting as an intestate court, had overstepped its
jurisdiction. Its proper course should have been to maintain a hands-
off stance on the matter. It is well- settled in this jurisdiction,
sanctioned and reiterated in a long line of decisions, that when a
question arises as to ownership of property alleged to be a part of the
estate of the deceased person, but claimed by some other person to
be his property, not by virtue of any right of inheritance from the
deceased but by title adverse to that of the deceased and his estate,
such question cannot be determined in the course of an intestate or
probate proceedings.
The intestate or probate court has no jurisdiction to adjudicate such
contentions, which must be submitted to the court in the exercise of
its general jurisdiction as a regional trial court.
Jurisprudence states that: probate court or one in charge of
proceedings whether testate or intestate cannot adjudicate or
determine title to properties claimed to be a part of the estate and
which are claimed to belong to outside parties. All that the said court
could do as regards said properties is to determine whether they
should or should not be included in the inventory or list of properties
to be administered by the administrator. If there is no dispute, well
and good, but if there is, then the parties, the administrator, and the
opposing parties have to resort to an ordinary action for a final
determination of the conflicting claims of title because the probate
court cannot do so.
Hence, respondent’s recourse is to file a separate action with a court
of general jurisdiction. The intestate court is not the appropriate
forum for the resolution of her adverse claim of ownership over
properties ostensibly belonging to Miguelita's estate.
MANAHAN V. MANAHAN
58 Phil. 4448, 45

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Facts:
Tiburcia Manahan, the niece of testatrix Donata and her named
executrix, instituted special proceedings for the probate of the will of
the deceased. The will was admitted to probate. One year and seven
months later, Engracia, the sister of Donata, filed a motion for
reconsideration and new trial praying that the order to probate be
vacated and the will be declared null and void ab initio. Trial Court
denied the motions. Engracia, under the pretext of appealing the last
order, likewise appealed from the judgement admitting the will to
probate. She assigns the following errors:
1. That she was an interested party and as such, was entitled to be
notified of the probate of the will;
2. That the court did not really probate but merely authenticated
the will; and
3. That the will is null and void as the external formalities have not
been complied with.

Issue: Whether or not Engarcia’s contentions are meritorious?


Held: NO.
First contention is untenable. The appellant was not entitled to
notification of the probate of the will and neither had she the right to
expect it, inasmuch as she was not an interested party, not having
filed an opposition to the petition for the probate thereof. Her
allegation that she had the status of an heir, being the deceased's
sister, did not confer on her the right to be notified on the ground
that the testatrix died leaving a will in which the appellant has not
been instituted heir. Furthermore, not being a forced heir, she did not
acquire any successional right.

Second contention is puerile. There is no essential difference between


the authentication of the will and the probate thereof.

Once the will has been admitted to probate, questions as to its


validity can no longer be raised on appeal. The decree of probate is
conclusive with respect to the due execution thereof and cannot be
impugned, except on the ground of fraud. Moreover, proceedings in a
testamentary case are in rem, hence it is binding upon her.

In the phraseology of the procedural law, there is no essential


difference between the authentication of a will and the probate
thereof. The words authentication and probate are synonymous in
this case. All the law requires is that the competent court declared
that in the execution of the will the essential external formalities have
been complied with and that, in view thereof, the document, as a will,
is valid and effective in the eyes of the law.

The decree admitting a will to probate is conclusive with respect to


the due execution thereof and it cannot be impugned on any of the
grounds authorized by law, except that of a fraud, in any separate or
independent action or proceeding. The proceedings followed in a
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testamentary case being in rem, the decree admitting the will to
probate was effective and conclusive against her, in accordance with
the provisions of section 306 of the said Code of Civil Procedure.

The appellant could not appeal from the trial court’s order denying
the motion for reconsideration and a new trial in view of the fact that
said order was interlocutory in character.

PASTOR V. CA,
G.R. No. L-56340, June 24, 1983 (122 SCRA 85)
Facts:
When PASTOR, SR. died in 1966, he was survived by his wife, his two
legitimate children and one illegitimate son. There is therefore a need
to liquidate the conjugal partnership and set apart the share of
PASTOR, SR.'s wife in the conjugal partnership preparatory to the
administration and liquidation of the estate of PASTOR, SR. which will
include, among others, the determination of the extent of the
statutory usufructuary right of his wife until her death.

A Probate Order was issued on December 5, 1972 by the probate


court. The said order held that private respondent is entitled to the
payment of his legacy pursuant to the will of the deceased.

However, there had been no liquidation of the community properties


of PASTOR, SR. and his wife. Hence, there was no prior definitive
determination of the assets of the estate of PASTOR, SR. Although
there was an inventory of his properties presumably prepared by the
special administrator, but it does not appear that it was ever the
subject of a hearing or that it was judicially approved. In addition,
there are properties allegedly owned, but not in the name of PASTOR,
SR. The reconveyance or recovery of those properties was still being
litigated in another court. There was no appropriate determination,
much less payment, of the debts of the decedent and his estate as
well.

Issue:
Whether or not a trial court, acting as an intestate court, hear and
pass upon questions of ownership involving properties claimed to be
part of the decedent’s estate

Ruling:

As a general rule, the jurisdiction of the trial court either as an


intestate or a probate court relates only to matters having to do with
the settlement of the estate and probate of will of deceased persons;
it does not extend to the determination of questions of ownership
that arise during the proceedings. The patent rationale for this rule is
that such court exercises special and limited jurisdiction.

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On the other hand, a well-recognized deviation to the rule is the
principle that an intestate or a probate court may hear and pass upon
questions of ownership when its purpose is to determine whether or
not a property should be included in the inventory.
In a special proceeding for the probate of a will, the issue by and
large is restricted to the extrinsic validity of the will. (Rules of Court,
Rule 75, Section 1; Rule 76, Section 9.)

As a rule, the question of ownership is an extraneous matter which


the Probate Court cannot resolve with finality. Thus, for the purpose
of determining whether a certain property should or should not be
included in the inventory of estate properties, the Probate Court may
pass upon the title thereto, but such determination is provisional, not
conclusive, and is subject to the final decision in a separate action to
resolve title.

The main consideration is the purpose of the intestate or probate


court in hearing and passing upon questions of ownership is merely to
determine whether or not a property must be included in the
inventory of the estate of the deceased.

IN RE ESTATE OF JOHNSON
39 Phil. 156
Facts:
On February 4, 1916, Emil H. Johnson, a native of Sweden and a
naturalized citizen of the United States, died in the city of Manila,
leaving a will by which he disposed of an estate valued at Php
231,800.
This document is a holographic instrument, being written in the
testator's own handwriting, and is signed by himself and two
witnesses only, instead of three witnesses required by Section 618 of
the Code of Civil Procedure. This will, therefore, was not executed in
conformity with the provisions of law generally applicable to wills
executed by inhabitants of the Philippines.
Thereafter a petition was presented in the Court of First Instance of
the City of Manila for the probate of the said will on the ground that
Johnson was, at the time of his death, a citizen of the State of Illinois,
United States of America; that the will was duly executed in
accordance with the laws of that State; and hence could properly be
probated here pursuant to Section 636 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
Thereafter the document was declared to be legal and was admitted
to probate.
Three months after the will had been probated, the attorneys for
Ebba Ingeborg Johnson entered an appearance in her behalf and
asserted that Ebba is a legitimate heir of the testator. Thus, she
cannot be deprived of the legitime to which she is entitled under the
law governing testamentary successions in the Philippines. She,
therefore, moved to annul the decree of probate and put the estate
into intestate administration in order for her to claim the estate as
the sole legitimate heir of her father.
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Issue:
W/N the order of the probate can be set aside on the ground that
the testator was not a resident of the State of Illinois and that the will
was not made in conformity with the laws of that State.

Ruling: NO.
The court finds that it was impossible for the testator, to expatriate
himself from the United States and change his political status from a
citizen of the United States to a citizen of the Philippines because
there is no law in force at that time by virtue of which any person of
foreign nativity can become a naturalized Filipino citizen.
Although he remained in the Philippines for some time after he came
as a soldier in the United States Army to the Philippine Islands, there
was no evidence adduced showing that at the time he returned to the
United States, in the autumn of 1902, he had then abandoned Illinois
as the State of his permanent domicile. This being true, it is to be
presumed that he retained his his status as a citizen of the United
States

The Supreme Court held that the probate of the will does not affect
the intrinsic validity of its provisions, the decree of probate being
conclusive only as regards the due execution of the will.

Furthermore, the intrinsic validity of the provisions of this will must


be determined by the law of Illinois and not of the Philippines. In
paragraph 2 of article 10 of the Civil Code it is declared that "legal
and testamentary successions, with regard to the order of succession,
as well as to the amount of the successional rights and to the intrinsic
validity of their provisions, shall be regulated by the laws of the
nation of the person whose succession is in question, whatever may
be the nature of the property and the country where it may be
situate."

In this case, the petition submitted to the lower court was insufficient
to warrant the setting aside of the order, probating the will in
question, whether said petition be considered as an attack on the
validity of the decree for error apparent. Thus, the trial court
committed no error in denying the relief sought. The order appealed
from is accordingly affirmed

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FERNANDEZ V. DIMAGIBA
G.R. No. L-23638, October 12, 1967

Facts:
Ismaela Dimagiba (respondent) submitted petition for probate of
purported will of Benedicta delos Reyes as the sole heir of deceased.
Later, heirs Dionisio Fernandez, et. al. filed opposition to the probate
on grounds of forgery, vices of consent, laches, and revocation of the
will on deeds of sale.
The Court of First Instance found will genuine and properly executed
but deferred resolution on estoppel and revocation grounds until
intrinsic validity will be passed upon. Oppositors insisted that estoppel
and revocation issues be considered but CFI overruled claim until
opportune time. Later, CFI ruled that Benedicta’s will was unrevoked
by deeds of sale. The court ruled in favor of probate.
Fernandez et al appealed, but it was beyond the reglamentary period.
The Court of Appeals admitted will to probate and upheld finality for
lack of opportune appeal. Accordingly, it was appealable
independently of issue of revocation, affirmed CFI. They argued that
they were entitled to await the other grounds for opposition before
appealing.
Issue: Whether the probate of the will become final for lack of
appeal.
Ruling: Yes.
A probate decree finally and definitively settles all questions
concerning capacity of the testator and the proper execution and
witnessing of the will. As such, probate order is final and appealable.
They do not have to await the resolution of its other oppositions since
the Rules of Court enumerates six different instances when appeal
may be taken in special proceedings.

MUNSAYAC DE VILLA V CA
G.R. No. 148597, October 24, 2003

Facts:
Three of the five children of the deceased Spouses Gelacio and
Vicenta Munsayac filed for a petition for letters of administration
nominating De Villa as administratrix of the intestate estate of their
parents.
De Villa’s nomination was opposed by the two (2) other children
namely Munsayac, Jr. and Visperas, who nominated Munsayac, Jr. as
administrator of the late Munsayac Couple’s intestate estate.
Munsayac, Jr. was eventually appointed administrator pursuant to
respondent Judge’s order.
Acting on the Omnibus Motion which was filed by the administrator of
the intestate estate, respondent Judge issued the Order to surrender,
under pain of contempt, (a) the amount of the bank investment
discovered in the names of the late VICENTA, DE VILLA and SUNGA
made with the United Coconut Planter’s Bank, Baguio City (‘UCPB’),
and which amount was not disclosed by the petitioners in the estate
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return tax, (b) as well as the surrender of all the pieces of jewelry
given by the late VICENTA to DE VILLA and SUNGA, subject of the
‘freeze order’ with the China Banking Corporation.
For their failure to comply with the Order the petitioners De Villa,
Sunga and ROY were arrested and were likewise ordered to surrender
in custodia legis amount of P15,298,835.95 and P3,010,822.02 plus
the legal interest.
Issue:
Whether or not a probate court may decide on a question of title or
ownership.
Ruling:
In a train of decisions, this Court has consistently enunciated this
settled, corollary principle: generally, a probate court may not decide
a question of title or ownership, but it may do so if the interested
parties are all heirs; or the question is one of collation or
advancement; or the parties consent to its assumption of jurisdiction
and the rights of third parties are not impaired. These principles,
however, have no more application in this case, since the main
proceedings for the settlement of the intestate estate of the deceased
couple have already been decided and terminated. Indeed, every
litigation must come to an end.
To be sure, this Court is not tasked to look into the ownership of the
properties deposited with or ordered frozen by the lower court during
the progress of the special proceedings. Neither can Judge Reyes do
so now. Whether those properties should have been adjudicated by
the legal heirs of the Munsayac spouses is beside the point at this
time. The former have already entered into an Extrajudicial Partition
representing the final, complete and absolute settlement of their
shares as heirs of the latter. What is left to be done is simply the
lifting of any freeze order and the release of any property originally
deposited by petitioners in custodia legis.
In view of the above ruling, the Supreme Court directed Judge Reyes
to immediately lift any freeze order still pending and to order the
release of any property deposited in custodia legis. It is already an
accepted rule of procedure for this Court to strive to settle the entire
controversy in a single proceeding, leaving no root or branch to bear
the seeds of future litigation.

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PIO BARRETTO REALTY DEVELOPMENT, INC. vs. CA
G.R. No. L-62431-33 August 31, 1984

Facts:
Nicolai Drepin died testate on August 23, 1972. He left behind
threeparcels of titled land. Since the filing of the petition for probate
of the Drepin’s will nine offers had been made for the purchase of the
Drepin lands, among them, that of GM Management Phils through its
President Honor P. Moslares.
Moslares alleged that on October 9,1970, Despin executed a deed of
sale with mortgage executed by the decedent in hisfavor. He also
alleged that on June 25, 1971, Drepin and Moslares entered into a
"Joint Venture Agreement" where it was agreed that Drepin shall be
the registered "owner" of the lots and denominated Moslares
as "developer" tasked with converting the lands into
a residential subdivision.
However before the agreement could be implemented, Drepin died.
Upon learning of the existence of Special Proceedings, Moslares
informed the Judicial Administrator that he is already the owner of
the properties made subject matter of the Special Proceedings and
proposed that he be permitted to pay the balance on the sale with
mortgage in accordance with the terms of his written proposal.
On September 25,1979, with the court’s permission, a Deed
of Undertaking was entered into by respondent Moslares and
the Administrator to implement the Contract of Sale with Mortgage.
Such deed provided for the mode of payment which Moslares was to
follow. Moslares failed to pay as agreed. Thus, the administrator
reported the matter to the probate court which approved the sale of
the property to Pio Barretto Realty, Inc.
The deed of sale was duly registered. Mosrales filed a motion for
reconsideration, but the same was not acted by the probate
court. Under the theory of Moslares, it is insisted
that the probate court has no authority to cancel his
unfulfilled offer to buy, notwithstanding the fact that he failed
miserably to comply with the terms of his own offer to buy. On May
18, 1981, Pio Barreto Realty filed Civil Case No. 41287 before the CFI
of Rizal to determine title and ownership over the Drepin lands. A
petition for certiorari was filed by respondent Moslares before the
Court of Appeals.
Issues:
(1) Can the probate court order the execution of the deed of sale with
Pio Barreto?
Ruling: YES.
The actions of the probate court, in the case at bar, do not refer to
the adjudication of rights under the contract entered into by the
deceased during his lifetime. It is to be noted that the dealings of the
respondent with the court arose out of the latter's bid to sell property
under its authority to sell, mortgage or otherwise encumber property
of the estate to pay or settle against the estate. Thus, by estoppel,
respondent bound himself under an agreement with the court
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separate and distinct from that which he had with the decedent. In
rescinding such contract, the court merely seeks to enforce its right
to put an end to an agreement which had ceased to be a working
proposition. Surely, this is well within the power of the probate court.
We cannot allow an absurd situation to arise where the Drepin estate
will never be settled and liquidated because even if Moslares cannot
pay the agreed purchase price of the Drepin lands, still the probate
court can no longer sell the lands to other prospective buyers. It is
also to be emphasized that it was not respondent's contract of sale
with decedent that had been invalidated but rather the
administrator's authority to sell to respondent. Moreover, the
respondent is not without remedy if truly his claim of ownership is
proper and meritorious. Since the probate court has no jurisdiction
over the question of title and ownership of the properties, the
respondents may bring a separate action if they wish to question the
petitioner's titles and ownership.

ONGSINGCO vs. TAN

Tasiana Ongsingco vs. Hon. Bienvenido Tan and Jose de Borja


97 Phil. 330

Petitioner Tasiana Ongsingco is the wife and judicial guardian of


Francisco de Borja, who was declared incompetent by the CFI of Rizal
in Spec. Pro. No. 1764. Francisco de Borja is the surviving spouse of
Josefa Tangco whose estate is being settled in Spec. Pro. No. 7866 in
the same court. Respondent Jose de Borja is the son of Francisco de
Borja and administrator of the estate of Josefa Tangco.
After Francisco was declared incompetent, Tasiana took possession of
two parcels of land situated in Santa Rosa, Nueva Ejica and
commenced the threshing of the palay crop standing thereon. Jose
filed a motion in the estate proceedings of Josefa praying that
Tasiana be restrained from threshing the palays until the ownership
of the lands has been resolved by the court or by agreement of the
parties.
Tasiana opposed the motion and stated that the question of
ownership can only be threshed out elsewhere and not by the probate
court. She then filed an action in the CFI of Nueva Ecija to prevent
Jose from interfering with the harvest. The CFI of Nueve Ecija granted
the preliminary injunction prayed for by Tasiana.
Meanwhile, the CFI of Rizal issued an order restraining Tasiana in the
threshing of the palay harvested in the disputed lands. Tasian filed a
motion for reconsideration but the same was denied. She then filed a
petition for certiorari with prohibition in the Supreme Court.

ISSUE:
Whether the CFI of Rizal has jurisdiction to resolve the ownership
dispute between Tasiana Ongsingco and Jose de Borja?

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HELD:
No. In Franco vs. O’Brien, it was held that “the question of ownership
is one which should be determined in an ordinary action and not in
probate proceedings, and this whether or not the property is alleged
to belong to the estate”. In another case it was held that “the general
rule is that questions as to title to property cannot be passed upon in
testate or intestate proceedings”[1] or stating the rule more
elaborately, “When questions arise as to the ownership of property
alleged to be a part of the estate of a deceased person but claimed by
some other person to be his property, not by virtue of any right of
inheritance from the deceased, but by title adverse to that of the
deceased and his estate, such questions cannot be determined in the
courts of administrative proceedings”.[2]

Based from the foregoing, it thus appears obvious that the CFI of
Rizal exceeded its jurisdiction in acting upon the question of
ownership in its capacity as probate court. Such question has been
squarely raised in an action pending in the CFI of Nueva Ecija. It is of
no consequence that what respondent court merely did was look into
the identity of said properties. This question is necessarily imbibed in
the greater issue of ownership and being interwoven one can hardly
draw the line of demarcation that would separate one from the other.

Doctrine: A probate court cannot act on questions of ownership lest


it exceeds its jurisdiction.

POMPILLO VALERA and CABADO vs. HON. JUDGE SANCHO Y.


INSERTO

Nos. L-59867-68 May 7, 1987

The fishpond originally belonged to the Government, and had been


given in lease to Rafael Valera in his lifetime. Rafael Valera ostensibly
sold all his leasehold rights in the fishpond to his daughter, Teresa
Garin; but the sale was fictitious, having been resorted to merely so
that she might use the property to provide for her children's support
and education, and was subject to the resolutory term that the
fishpond should revert to Rafael Valera upon completion of the
schooling of Teresa Garin's Children; and with the income generated
by the fishpond, the property was eventually purchased from the
Government by the Heirs of Teresa Garin, collectively named as such
in the Original Certificate of Title issued in their favor.

In the proceedings for the settlement of the intestate estate of the


decedent spouses, Rafael Valera and Consolacion Sarrosa 1 — in
which Eumelia Cabado and Pompiro Valera had been appointed
administrators 2 — the heirs of a deceased daughter of the spouses,
Teresa Garin, filed a motion asking that the Administratrix, Cabado,
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be declared in contempt for her failure to render an accounting of her
administration. Cabado replied that no accounting could be submitted
unless Jose Garin, Teresa's husband and the movant heirs' father,
delivered to the administrator an 18-hectare fishpond in Baras,
Barotoc Nuevo, Iloilo, belonging to the estate and she in turn moved
for the return thereof to the estate, 4 so that it might be partitioned
among the decedents' heirs. Jose Garin opposed the plea for the
fishpond's return to the estate, asserting that the property was
owned by his children and this was why it had never been included in
any inventory of the estate

The Court, presided over by Hon. Judge Midpantao Adil, viewed the
Garin Heirs' motion for contempt, as well as Cabado's prayer for the
fishpond's return to the estate, as having given rise to a claim for the
recovery of an asset of the estate within the purview of Section 6,
Rule 87 of the Rules of Court. Thereafter, the Court issued an Order
dated September 17, 1980 commanding the Heirs of Teresa Garin "to
reconvey immediately the fishpond in question * * to the intestate
Estate of the Spouses.

Thereafter, the Court issued an Order dated September 17, 1980


commanding the Heirs of Teresa Garin "to reconvey immediately the
fishpond in question * * to the intestate Estate of the Spouses. Judge
Adil afterwards granted the administrators' motion for execution of
the order pending appeal, and directed the sheriff to enforce the
direction for the Garin Heirs to reconvey the fishpond to the estate.

Later however, Fabiana filed a complaint-in-intervention with the


Probate Court seeking vindication of his right to the possession of the
fishpond, based on a contract of lease between himself, as lessee,
and Jose Garin, as lessor

G.R. No. 56504

Fabiana thereupon instituted a separate action for injunction and


damages, with application for a preliminary injunction. This was
docketed as Civil Case No. 13742 and assigned to Branch I of the
Iloilo CFI, Hon. Sancho Y. Inserto, presiding. The estate
administrators filed a motion to dismiss the complaint and to dissolve
the temporary restraining order, averring that the action was barred
by the Probate Court's prior judgment which had exclusive jurisdiction
over the issue of the lease, and that the act sought to be restrained
had already been accomplished, Fabiana having voluntarily
surrendered possession of the fishpond to the sheriff

G.R. Nos. 59867-68

In the meantime, Jose Garin — having filed a motion for


reconsideration of the above mentioned order of Judge Adil (declaring
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the estate to be the owner of the fishpond), in which he asserted that
the Probate Court, being of limited jurisdiction, had no competence to
decide the ownership of the fishpond,

These two special civil actions were jointly decided by the Court of
Appeals. The Court granted the petitions

ISSUE:
WON Probate Court had authority to order reconveyance of
the fishpond?

HELD :
As regards the first issue, settled is the rule that a Court of First
Instance (now Regional Trial Court), acting as a Probate Court,
exercises but limited jurisdiction, 28 and thus has no power to take
cognizance of and determine the issue of title to property claimed by
a third person adversely to the decedent, unless the claimant and all
the Other parties having legal interest in the property consent,
expressly or impliedly, to the submission of the question to the
Probate Court for adjudgment, or the interests of third persons are
not thereby prejudiced

The facts obtaining in this case, however, do not call for the
application of the exception to the rule. As already earlier stressed, it
was at all times clear to the Court as well as to the parties that if
cognizance was being taken of the question of title over the fishpond,
it was not for the purpose of settling the issue definitely and
permanently, and writing "finis" thereto, the question being explicitly
left for determination "in an ordinary civil action," but merely to
determine whether it should or should not be included in the
inventory.Parenthetically, in the light of the foregoing principles, the
Probate Court could have admitted and taken cognizance of Fabiana's
complaint in intervention after obtaining the consent of all interested
parties to its assumption of jurisdiction over the question of title to
the fishpond, or ascertaining the absence of objection thereto. But it
did not. It dismissed the complaint in intervention instead. And all
this is now water under the bridge.

Since the determination by the Probate Court of the question of title


to the fishpond was merely provisional, not binding on the property
with any character of authority, definiteness or permanence, having
been made only for purposes of in. conclusion in the inventory and
upon evidence adduced at the hearing of a motion, it cannot and
should not be subject of execution, as against its possessor who has
set up title in himself (or in another) adversely to the decedent, and
whose right to possess has not been ventilated and adjudicated in an
appropriate action. These considerations assume greater cogency
where, as here, the Torrens title to the property is not in the
decedents' names but in others, a situation on which this Court has
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already had occasion to rule Since, too, both the Probate Court and
the estate administrators are one in the recognition of the proposition
that title to the fishpond could in the premises only be appropriately
determined in a separate action, 36 the actual firing of such a
separate action should have been anticipated, and should not
therefore have come as a surprise, to the latter. And since moreover,
implicit in that recognition is also the acknowledge judgment of the
superiority of the authority of the court in which the separate action
is filed over the issue of title, the estate administrators may not now
be heard to complain that in such a separate action, the court should
have issued orders necessarily involved in or flowing from the
assumption of that jurisdiction.

FELIX AZUELA v. COURT OF APPEALS and GERALDA AIDA


CASTILLO
G.R. 122880, 12 April 2006

Felix Azuela filed a petition with the trial court for the probate of a
notarial will purportedly executed by Eugenia E. Igsolo on June 10,
1981 and notarized on the same day. The will consisted of two (2)
pages and was written in Filipino. The attestation clause did not state
the number of pages and it was not signed by the attesting witnesses
at the bottom thereof. The said witnesses affixed their signatures on
the left-hand margin of both pages of the will though. Geralda Castillo
opposed the petition, claiming that the will was a forgery. She also
argued that the will was not executed and attested to in accordance
with law. She pointed out that the decedent’s signature did not
appear on the second page of the will, and the will was not properly
acknowledged.
The trial court held the will to be authentic and to have been
executed in accordance with law and, thus, admitted it to probate,
calling to fore “the modern tendency in respect to the formalities in
the execution of a will…with the end in view of giving the testator
more freedom in expressing his last wishes.” According to the trial
court, the declaration at the end of the will under the sub-title,
“Patunay Ng Mga Saksi,” comprised the attestation clause and the
acknowledgement, and was a substantial compliance with the
requirements of the law. It also held that the signing by the
subscribing witnesses on the left margin of the second page of the
will containing the attestation clause and acknowledgment, instead of
at the bottom thereof, substantially satisfied the purpose of
identification and attestation of the will. The Court of Appeals,
however, reversed the trial court’s decision and ordered the dismissal
of the petition for probate. It noted that the attestation clause failed
to state the number of pages used in the will, thus rendering the will
void and undeserving of probate.
Azuela argues that the requirement under Article 805 of the Civil
Code that “the number of pages used in a notarial will be stated in
the attestation clause” is merely directory, rather than mandatory,
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and thus susceptible to what he termed as “the substantial
compliance rule.”

ISSUE:
Whether or not the subject will complied with the requirements of the
law and, hence, should be admitted to probate

HELD:
The petition is DENIED.
A will whose attestation clause does not contain the number of pages
on which the will is written is fatally defective. A will whose
attestation clause is not signed by the instrumental witnesses is
fatally defective. And perhaps most importantly, a will which does not
contain an acknowledgment, but a mere jurat, is fatally defective.
Any one of these defects is sufficient to deny probate. A notarial will
with all three defects is just aching for judicial rejection.
Prior to the New Civil Code, the statutory provision governing the
formal requirements of wills was Section 618 of the Code of Civil
Procedure. Extant therefrom is the requirement that the attestation
state the number of pages of the will. The enactment of the New Civil
Code put in force a rule of interpretation of the requirements of wills,
at least insofar as the attestation clause is concerned, that may vary
from the philosophy that governed the said Section 618. Article 809
of the Civil Code, the Code Commission opted to recommend a more
liberal construction through the “substantial compliance rule.”
However, Justice J.B.L. Reyes cautioned that the rule “must be
limited to disregarding those defects that can be supplied by an
examination of the will itself: whether all the pages are consecutively
numbered; whether the signatures appear in each and every page;
whether the subscribing witnesses are three or the will was
notarized...But the total number of pages, and whether all persons
required to sign did so in the presence of each other must
substantially appear in the attestation clause, being the only check
against perjury in the probate proceedings.” The Court suggested in
Caneda v. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 103554, May 28, 1993, 222
SCRA 781): “the rule, as it now stands, is that omission which can be
supplied by an examination of the will itself, without the need of
resorting to extrinsic evidence, will not be fatal and, correspondingly,
would not obstruct the allowance to probate of the will being assailed.
However, those omissions which cannot be supplied except by
evidence aliunde would result in the invalidation of the attestation
clause and ultimately, of the will itself.”
The failure of the attestation clause to state the number of pages on
which the will was written remains a fatal flaw, despite Art. 809. This
requirement aims at safeguarding the will against possible
interpolation or omission of one or some of its pages and thus
preventing any increase or decrease in the pages. Following Caneda,
there is substantial compliance with this requirement if the will states
elsewhere in it how many pages it is comprised of, as was the
situation in Singson and Taboada. In this case, however, there could
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have been no substantial compliance with the requirements under
Art. 805 of the Civil Code since there is no statement in the
attestation clause or anywhere in the will itself as to the number of
pages which comprise the will. There was an incomplete attempt to
comply with this requisite, a space having been allotted for the
insertion of the number of pages in the attestation clause. Yet the
blank was never filled in.
The subject will cannot be considered to have been validly attested to
by the instrumental witnesses. While the signatures of the
instrumental witnesses appear on the left-hand margin of the will,
they do not appear at the bottom of the attestation clause. Art. 805
particularly segregates the requirement that the instrumental
witnesses sign each page of the will, from the requisite that the will
be attested and subscribed by them. The signatures on the left-hand
corner of every page signify, among others, that the witnesses are
aware that the page they are signing forms part of the will. On the
other hand, the signatures to the attestation clause establish that the
witnesses are referring to the statements contained in the attestation
clause itself. An unsigned attestation clause results in an unattested
will. Even if the instrumental witnesses signed the left-hand margin of
the page containing the unsigned attestation clause, such signatures
cannot demonstrate these witnesses’ undertakings in the clause,
since the signatures that do appear on the page were directed
towards a wholly different avowal.
The notary public who notarized the subject will wrote, “Nilagdaan ko
at ninotario ko ngayong 10 ng Hunyo 10 (sic), 1981 dito sa Lungsod
ng Maynila.” By no manner of contemplation can these words be
construed as an acknowledgment. An acknowledgment is the act of
one who has executed a deed in going before some competent officer
or court and declaring it to be his act or deed. It might be possible to
construe the averment as a jurat, even though it does not follow to
the usual language thereof. A jurat is that part of an affidavit where
the notary certifies that before him/her, the document was
subscribed and sworn to by the executor.
It may not have been said before, but a notarial will that is not
acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the
witnesses is fatally defective, even if it is subscribed and sworn to
before a notary public. The importance of the requirement of
acknowledgment is highlighted by the fact that it had been
segregated from the other requirements under Art. 805 and
entrusted into a separate provision, Art. 806. The express
requirement of Art. 806 is that the will be “acknowledged”, and not
merely subscribed and sworn to. The acknowledgment coerces the
testator and the instrumental witnesses to declare before an officer of
the law that they had executed and subscribed to the will as their
own free act or deed. Such declaration is under oath and under pain
of perjury, thus allowing for the criminal prosecution of persons who
participate in the execution of spurious wills, or those executed
without the free consent of the testator. It also provides a further
degree of assurance that the testator is of certain mindset in making
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the testamentary dispositions to those persons he/she had
designated in the will.

UY KIAO vs NIXON LEE


GR NO. 176831 January 15, 2010

Respondent Nixon Lee filed a petition for mandamus with damages


against his mother Uy Kiao Eng, herein petitioner, before the RTC of
Manila to compel petitioner to produce the holographic will of his
father so that probate proceedings for the allowance thereof could be
instituted. Respondent had already requested his mother to settle
and liquidate the patriarch’s estate and to deliver to the legal heirs
their respective inheritance, but petitioner refused to do so without
any justifiable reason. Petitioner denied that she was in custody of
the original holographic will and that she knew of its whereabouts.
The RTC heard the case. After the presentation and formal offer of
respondent’s evidence, petitioner demurred, contending that her son
failed to prove that she had in her custody the original holographic
will. The RTC, at first, denied the demurrer to evidence. However, it
granted the same on petitioner’s motion for reconsideration.
Respondent’s motion for reconsideration of this latter order was
denied. Hence, the petition was dismissed. Aggrieved, respondent
sought review from the appellate court. The CA initially denied the
appeal for lack of merit. Respondent moved for reconsideration. The
appellate court granted the motion, set aside its earlier ruling, issued
the writ, and ordered the production of the will and the payment of
attorney’s fees. It ruled this time that respondent was able to show
by testimonial evidence that his mother had in her possession the
holographic will. Dissatisfied with this turn of events, petitioner filed a
motion for reconsideration. The appellate court denied this motion.
Left with no other recourse, petitioner brought the matter before this
Court, contending in the main that the petition for mandamus is not
the proper remedy and that the testimonial evidence used by the
appellate court as basis for its ruling is inadmissible.

ISSUE:
Whether or not mandamus is the proper remedy of the respondent.

HELD:
The Court cannot sustain the CA’s issuance of the writ.
Mandamus is a command issuing from a court of law of competent
jurisdiction, in the name of the state or the sovereign, directed to
some inferior court, tribunal, or board, or to some corporation or
person requiring the performance of a particular duty therein
specified, which duty results from the official station of the party to
whom the writ is directed or from operation of law. This definition
recognizes the public character of the remedy, and clearly excludes
the idea that it may be resorted to for the purpose of enforcing the
performance of duties in which the public has no interest. The writ is
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a proper recourse for citizens who seek to enforce a public right and
to compel the performance of a public duty, most especially when the
public right involved is mandated by the Constitution. As the quoted
provision instructs, mandamus will lie if the tribunal, corporation,
board, officer, or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an
act which the law enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust or
station.

The writ of mandamus, however, will not issue to compel an official to


do anything which is not his duty to do or which it is his duty not to
do, or to give to the applicant anything to which he is not entitled by
law. Nor will mandamus issue to enforce a right which is in
substantial dispute or as to which a substantial doubt exists, although
objection raising a mere technical question will be disregarded if the
right is clear and the case is meritorious. As a rule, mandamus will
not lie in the absence of any of the following grounds: [a] that the
court, officer, board, or person against whom the action is taken
unlawfully neglected the performance of an act which the law
specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from office, trust, or station; or
[b] that such court, officer, board, or person has unlawfully excluded
petitioner/relator from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to
which he is entitled. On the part of the relator, it is essential to the
issuance of a writ of mandamus that he should have a clear legal
right to the thing demanded and it must be the imperative duty of
respondent to perform the act required.
Recognized further in this jurisdiction is the principle that mandamus
cannot be used to enforce contractual obligations. Generally,
mandamus will not lie to enforce purely private contract rights, and
will not lie against an individual unless some obligation in the nature
of a public or quasi-public duty is imposed. The writ is not appropriate
to enforce a private right against an individual.] The writ of
mandamus lies to enforce the execution of an act, when, otherwise,
justice would be obstructed; and, regularly, issues only in cases
relating to the public and to the government; hence, it is called a
prerogative writ. To preserve its prerogative character, mandamus is
not used for the redress of private wrongs, but only in matters
relating to the public.
Moreover, an important principle followed in the issuance of the writ
is that there should be no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law other than the remedy of mandamus being
invoked. In other words, mandamus can be issued only in cases
where the usual modes of procedure and forms of remedy are
powerless to afford relief. Although classified as a legal remedy,
mandamus is equitable in its nature and its issuance is generally
controlled by equitable principles. Indeed, the grant of the writ of
mandamus lies in the sound discretion of the court.
In the instant case, the Court, without unnecessarily ascertaining
whether the obligation involved here—the production of the original
holographic will—is in the nature of a public or a private duty, rules
that the remedy of mandamus cannot be availed of by respondent
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Lee because there lies another plain, speedy and adequate remedy in
the ordinary course of law. Let it be noted that respondent has a
photocopy of the will and that he seeks the production of the original
for purposes of probate. The Rules of Court, however, does not
prevent him from instituting probate proceedings for the allowance of
the will whether the same is in his possession or not.
There being a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary
course of law for the production of the subject will, the remedy of
mandamus cannot be availed of. Suffice it to state that respondent
Lee lacks a cause of action in his petition. Thus, the Court grants the
demurrer.

BALUYOT v. PANIO
(1976)

Soltero Baluyut died on January 6, 1975 at the age of 86, leaving an


estate valued at not less than Php2M. A few weeks later, his nephew
Alfredo Baluyut filed before the CFI of Quezon City a verified petition
for the issuance of letters of administration in his favor, alleging that
Encarnacion Lopez Baluyut, Soltero’s widow, was mentally incapable
of acting as administratrix of the decedent’s estate. Believing that
Soltero executed a will, Alfredo prayed that he be appointed as
special administrator in the meantime. The CFI granted Alfredo’s
petition.

Mrs. Baluyut filed an opposition to the appointment. She claimed that


the allegation as to her mental incapacity was libelous, and that she
was unaware that her husband executed a will. Finding that Mrs.
Baluyut was mentally qualified, the CFI cancelled Alfredo’s
appointment. However, upon filing of a motion for reconsideration,
Alfredo’s appointment was again appointed as special administrator,
together with Jose Espino, an acknowledged natural child of Soltero.

Mrs. Baluyut again countered, arguing that Jose effectively rid Alfredo
of any interest in the estate of Soltero by exclusion, he being a
collateral relative. Alfredo naturally opposed, arguing that Jose was
not a natural child of the decedent, at the same time insisting that
Mrs. Baluyut was incapable of becoming an administratrix, as
declared by another court in a separate guardianship proceeding.

Based on the testimony of Mrs. Baluyut herself, the probate court


terminated the appointment of Jose and Alfredo as adminstrators and
ordered that the former be appointed as administratrix, due to her
preferential right to be appointed as such. Letters of administration
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were issued in her favor after posting a Php20,000.00 bond. In
appointing Mrs. Baluyut as administratrix, the court proceeded upon
the assumption that as a collateral relative, Alfredo had no interest in
the estate of Soltero.

Aggrieved, Alfredo elevated the matter to the Supreme Court via a


special civil action for certiorari.

During the course of the proceedings, the alleged will of the decedent
was apparently discovered and presented to the court. Although the
decision did not dwell on the contents of the will and the manner
through which it was discovered, the decision did mention that
Alfredo was named a legatee therein, giving him standing to question
the qualifications of the administratrix.

ISSUES:
1. W/N the court erred in finding Mrs. Baluyut mentally capable of
becoming an administratrix on the basis of her testimony
2. W/N the proceeding in the lower court must be converted into a
testamentary proceeding after the alleged will has been
presented

HELD:
1. Yes.
A hearing is necessary in order to determine the suitability of the
person to be appointed administrator by giving him the opportunity to
prove his qualifications and affording oppositors a chance to contest
the petition. Whether Sotero Baluyut died testate or intestate, it is
imperative in the interest of the orderly administration of justice that
a hearing be held to determine Mrs. Baluyut's fitness to act as
executrix or administratrix. Persons questioning her capacity should
be given an adequate opportunity to be heard and to present
evidence.

2. Yes.
It is necessary to convert the proceeding in the lower court into a
testamentary proceeding. The probate of the will cannot be dispensed
with and is a matter of public policy. After the will is probated, the
prior letters of administration should be revoked and proceedings for
the issuance of letters testamentary or of administration under the
will should be conducted.

BALTAZAR vs. LAXA


G.R. No. 174489 April 11, 2012

Paciencia was a 78 y/o spinster when she made her last will and
testament in the Pampango dialect on Sept. 13, 1981. The will,
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executed in the house of retired Judge Limpin, was read to Paciencia
twice. After which, Paciencia expressed in the presence of the
instrumental witnesses that the document is her last will and
testament. She thereafter affixed her signature at the end of the said
document on page 3 and then on the left margin of pages 1, 2 and 4
thereof.
Childless and without any brothers or sisters, Paciencia bequeathed
all her properties to respondent Lorenzo Laxa and his wife Corazon
Laza and their children Luna and Katherine. Lorenzo is Paciencia’s
nephew whom she treated as her own son. Conversely, Lorenzo came
to know and treated Paciencia as his own mother.
Six days after the execution of the Will (Sept. 19, 1981), Paciencia
left for USA. There, she resided with Lorenzo and his family until her
death on Jan. 4, 1996. In the interim, the Will remained in the
custody of Judge Limpin.
More than 4 years after the death of Paciencia or on Apr. 27, 2000,
Lorenzo filed a petition with the RTC of Guagua, Pampanga for the
probate of the Will of Paciencia and for the issuance of Letters of
Administration in his favor.
On Jun 23, 2000 one of petitioners, Antonio Baltazar filed an
opposition to Lorenzo’s petition. Antonio averred that the properties
subject of Paciencia’s Will belong to Nicomeda Mangalindan, his
predecessor-in-interest; hence, Paciencia had no right to bequeath
them to Lorenzo. Also, one of the petitioners, Rosie Mateo testified
that Paciencia is in the state of being “mangulyan” or forgetful
making her unfit for executing a will and that the execution of the will
had been procured by undue and improper pressure and influence.
Petitioners also opposed the issuance of the Letters of Administration
in Lorenzo’s favor arguing that Lorenzo was disqualified to be
appointed as such, he being a citizen and resident of the USA.
Petitioners prayed that Letters of Administration be instead issued in
favor of Antonio.
RTC denies the petition for probate of the will and concluded that
when Paciencia signed the will, she was no longer possessed of the
sufficient reason or strength of mind to have the testamentary
capacity. On appeal, CA reversed the decision of the RTC and granted
the probate of the will. The petitioner went up to SC for a petition for
review on Certiorari.

ISSUE:
Whether the authenticity and due execution of the will was
sufficiently established to warrant its allowance for probate.

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

The burden to prove that Paciencia was of unsound mind at the time
of the execution of the will lies on the shoulders of the petitioners.
The SC agree with the position of the CA that the state of being
forgetful does not necessarily make a person mentally unsound so as
to render him unfit to execute a Will. Forgetfulness is not equivalent
to being of unsound mind. Besides, Art. 799 of the NCC states: “To
be of unsound mind, it is not necessary that the testator be in full
possession of all his reasoning faculties, or that his mind be wholly
unbroken, unimpaired, or unshattered by disease, injury or other
cause. It shall be sufficient if the testator was able at the time of
making the Will to know the nature of the estate to be disposed of,
the proper objects of his bounty, and the character of the
testamentary act.”

COCA vs. PANGILINAN


G.R. No. L-27082 January 31, 1978

These two cases involve the question of whether the ownership of a


parcel of land, whether belonging to the deceased spouses or to their
heirs, should be decided in the intestate proceeding or in a separate
action. Also in issue in these two cases is the liability of the
decedents' estate for the litigation expenses allegedly incurred in a
case regarding that same land.

Being related cases, their adjudication in a single decision was


allowed in this Court's resolution.
Spouses Juan Pangilinan and Teresa Magtuba had 3 children named:
1. Concepcion (deceased) has 3 children Maria, Eusebio and Apolinar
all surnamed Yamuta
2. Prima
3. Francisco (deceased) married to Guadalupe Pizarras has 7 children
named Francis, Algeran, Benjamin, Perla, Francisco Jr. and Helen
(deceased) with children named Roseller, Demosthenes and Eliza

The spouses died intestate in 1943 and 1948, respectively. They


possess a homestead, consisting of two parcels of land, located at
Misamis Occidental. 1st parcel has an area of 3.9791 hectares in the
name of Juan Pangilinan, 2nd parcel has an area of 18.0291 hectares
in the name of the Heirs of Juan Pangilinan, represented by
Concepcion P. de Yamuta. According to Guadalupe Pizarras , a 3rd
parcel with an area of 8 hectares which was surveyed in the name of
Concepcion P and which adjoins the 1st and 2nd lot
Special Proceeding was instituted in the Court of First Instance of
Misamis Occidental for the settlement of the estate of the deceased
spouses, Juan C. Pangilinan and Teresa Magtuba.
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The administrator presented a project of partition for lot 1 and 2.

The heirs of Francisco Pangilinan (Guadalupe Pizarras, et al.) opposed


that project of partition. They contended that the proposed partition
contravened the lower court's order of December 6, 1963 which
recognized the right of the heirs of Francisco Pan to a twelve-hectare
portion of Lot No. 1112; that Prima Pangilinan, who sold her share to
Francisco Pan should be excluded from the partition; that the total
share of the heirs of Francisco Pangilinan in Lot No. 1112 is 12.6720
hectares, while that of the heirs of Concepcion Pangilinan is 6.3360
hectares, and that the claim of the heirs of Concepcion Pangilinan for
115,088.50 had not been properly allowed.

CFI ordered - partitioned the properties:


1. Giving atty’s fees to Crispin Borromeo
2. Without taking into consideration ownership of a 12-hec land
claimed by the heirs of Francisco Pangilinan, of a 6 hec land claimed
by Crispin Borromeo and
a. ) Debt to Concepcion’s estate
b. ) If Prima sold her share to Francisco WON Prima was excluded as
an heir.

CFI ordered that a separate ordinary action is needed to determine


ownership of theland in dispute. Later on, they approved the project
of partition but excluded the 12 ha and did not bother to decide how
the remainder should be partitioned and WON Prima had a share in
that remainder.

CA sustained CFI.

ISSUE:

Whether or not separate proceedings should be filed to determine


ownership.

HELD:

No, the case is an exception. The probate court may provisionally


pass upon the question of inclusion in, or exclusion from, the
inventory of a piece of property without prejudice to its
finaldetermination in a separate action.

The general rule is that Probate Court may not pass upon ownership.
Except: If the interested parties are all heirs, (case at bar)-or if the
question is one of collation or advancement, or the parties consent to
the assumption of jurisdiction by the probate court, and the rights of
3rd parties are not impaired, then the probate court is competent to
decide the question of ownership.The appellees belong to the poor
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stratum of society. They should not be forced to incur additional
expenses by bringing a separate action to determine ownership of the
12 hectare portion.

EMILIO B. PACIOLES, Jr. et. al. vs. MIGUELA CHUATOCO-


CHING
G.R. No. 12790 [DATE] August 9, 2005

On 1992, Miguelita died intestate, leaving real properties with an


estimated value of P10.5M, stock investments worth P518,783.00,
bank deposits amounting to P6.54M, and interests in certain
businesses. She was survived by her husband (Petitioner) and their 2
minor children.

Consequently, petitioner filed with the RTC a verified petition for the
settlement of Miguelita’s estate. He prayed that (a) letters of
administration be issued in his name, and (b) that the net residue of
the estate be divided among the compulsory heirs.

Miguelita’s mother, Miguela Chuatoco-Ching (Respondent) filed an


opposition, specifically to petitioner’s prayer for the issuance of
letters of administration on the grounds that (a) petitioner is
incompetent and unfit to exercise the duties of an administrator; and
(b) the bulk of Miguelita’s estate is composed of “paraphernal
properties.” Respondent prayed that the letters of administration be
issued to her instead. Afterwards, she also filed a motion for her
appointment as special administratrix.

Petitioner’s allegations: That the resp. had no direct and material


interest in the estate, she not being a compulsory heir, and that he,
being the surviving spouse, has the preferential right to be appointed
as administrator under the law.

Respondent’s contentions: That she has direct and material interest


in the estate because she gave half of her inherited properties to
Miguelita on condition that both of them “would undertake whatever
business endeavor they decided to, in the capacity of business
partners.” In her omnibus motion, she nominated her son Emmanuel
to act as special administrator.

The RTC appointed petitioner and Emmanuel as joint regular


administrators of the estate. Both were issued letters of
administration after taking their oath and posting the requisite bond.

No claims were filed against the estate within the period set.
Thereafter, petitioner submitted to the intestate court an inventory of
Miguelita’s estate. Emmanuel did not submit an inventory.

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The RTC declared petitioner and his 2 minor children as the only
compulsory heirs of Miguelita.

Petitioner filed with the intestate court an omnibus motion praying,


among others, that an Order be issued directing the: 1) payment of
estate taxes; 2) partition and distribution of the estate among the
declared heirs; and 3) payment of attorney’s fees.

The intestate court partially allowed the motion. It denied petitioner’s


prayer for partition and distribution of the estate, holding that it is
“premature.” The intestate court ratiocinated as follows: The Court
finds the prayer of petitioner in this regard to be premature. Thus, a
hearing is necessary to determine, whether the properties listed in
the amended complaint filed by petitioner are entirely conjugal or the
paraphernal properties of the deceased, or a co-ownership between
the oppositor and the petitioner in their partnership venture.‟

Petitioner filed with the CA a petition for certiorari seeking to annul


and set aside the intestate court’s Order and Resolution. (CA
dismissed)

ISSUE:
Whether or not a trial court (acting as an intestate court) can hear
and pass upon questions of ownership involving properties claimed to
be part of the decedents estate?

HELD:
No, the question of ownership of properties alleged to be part of the
estate must be submitted to the Regional Trial Court in the exercise
of its general jurisdiction. (Petition GRANTED. CA Reversed)
The general rule is that the jurisdiction of the trial court either as an
intestate or a probate court relates only to matters having to do with
the settlement of the estate and probate of will of deceased persons
but does not extend to the determination of questions of ownership
that arise during the proceedings. The patent rationale for this rule is
that such court exercises special and limited jurisdiction.
A well-recognized deviation to the rule is the principle that an
intestate or a probate court may hear and pass upon questions of
ownership when its purpose is to determine whether or not a
property should be included in the inventory. In such situations the
adjudication is merely incidental and provisional.
The Court of Appeals relied heavily on the above principle in
sustaining the jurisdiction of the intestate court to conduct a hearing
on respondent’s claim. Such reliance is misplaced. Under the said
principle, the key consideration is that the purpose of the intestate or
probate court in hearing and passing upon questions of ownership is
merely to determine whether or not a property should be included in
the inventory.
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The facts of this case show that such was not the purpose of the
intestate court. Respondent’s purpose here was not to obtain from
the intestate court a ruling of what properties should or should not be
included in the inventory. She wanted to secure from the intestate
court a final determination of her claim of ownership over properties
comprising the bulk of Miguelita’s estate.
Clearly, the RTC, acting as an intestate court, had overstepped its
jurisdiction. Its proper course should have been to maintain a hands-
off stance on the matter. It is well settled in this jurisdiction,
sanctioned and reiterated in a long line of decisions, that when a
question arises as to ownership of property alleged to be a part of the
estate of the deceased person, but claimed by some other person to
be his property, not by virtue of any right of inheritance from the
deceased but by title adverse to that of the deceased and his estate,
such question cannot be determined in the course of an intestate or
probate proceedings. The intestate or probate court has no
jurisdiction to adjudicate such contentions, which must be submitted
to the court in the exercise of its general jurisdiction as a regional
trial court. Jurisprudence teaches us that:
A probate court or one in charge of proceedings whether testate or
intestate cannot adjudicate or determine title to properties claimed to
be a part of the estate and which are claimed to belong to outside
parties. All that the said court could do as regards said properties is
to determine whether they should or should not be included in the
inventory or list of properties to be administered by the
administrator. If there is no dispute, well and good, but if there is,
then the parties, the administrator, and the opposing parties have to
resort to an ordinary action for a final determination of the conflicting
claims of title because the probate court cannot do so.

Hence, respondent’s recourse is to file a separate action with a court


of general jurisdiction. The intestate court is not the appropriate
forum for the resolution of her adverse claim of ownership over
properties ostensibly belonging to Miguelita’s estate.

Doctrine: When a question arises as to ownership of property


alleged to be a part of the estate of the deceased person, but claimed
by some other person to be his property, not by virtue of any right of
inheritance from the deceased but by title adverse to that of the
deceased and his estate, such question cannot be determined in the
course of an intestate or probate proceedings.

Sanchez vs CA GR No 108947
Facts:
“[Herein private respondent] Rosalia S. Lugod is the only child of
spouses Juan C. Sanchez and Maria Villafranca while [herein private
respondents] Arturo S. Lugod, Evelyn L. Ranises and Roberto S.
Lugod are the legitimate children of [herein private respondent]
Rosalia.
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[Herein petitioners] Rolando, Florida Mierly, Alfredo and Myrna, all
surnamed Sanchez, are the illegitimate children of Juan C. Sanchez.
On October 30, 1969, however, [herein private respondent] Rosalia
and [herein petitioners] assisted by their respective counsels
executed a compromise agreement (Annex ‘D’, Petition) wherein they
agreed to divide the properties enumerated therein of the late Juan
C. Sanchez.

This compromise agreement was not approved by the probate court.

Issue:

Is the Compromise Agreement partitioning the property of the estate


without approval of the probate court valid?

Held:

Yes.
Petitioners contend that, because the compromise agreement was
executed during the pendency of the probate proceedings, judicial
approval is necessary to shroud it with validity. They stress that the
probate court had jurisdiction over the properties covered by said
agreement. They add that Petitioners Florida Mierly, Alfredo and
Myrna were all minors represented only by their mother/natural
guardian, Laureta Tampus.
These contentions lack merit. Article 2028 of the Civil Code defines a
compromise agreement as “a contract whereby the parties, by
making reciprocal concessions, avoid a litigation or put an end to one
already commenced.” Being a consensual contract, it is perfected
upon the meeting of the minds of the parties. Judicial approval is not
required for its perfection. Petitioners’ argument that the compromise
was not valid for lack of judicial approval is not novel; the same was
raised in Mayuga vs. Court of Appeals,] where the Court, through
Justice Irene R. Cortes, ruled:
“It is alleged that the lack of judicial approval is fatal to the
compromise. A compromise is a consensual contract. As such, it is
perfected upon the meeting of the minds of the parties to the
contract. (Hernandez v. Barcelon, 23 Phil. 599 [1912]; see also De
los Reyes v. de Ugarte, 75 Phil. 505 [1945].) And from that moment
not only does it become binding upon the parties (De los Reyes v. De
Ugarte, supra ), it also has upon them the effect and authority of res
judicata (Civil Code, Art. 2037), even if not judicially approved
(Meneses v. De la Rosa, 77 Phil. 34 [1946]; Vda. De Guilas v. David,
132 Phil. 241, L-24280, 23 SCRA 762 [May 27, 1968]; Cochingyan v.
Cloribel, L-27070-71 [April 22, 1977], 76 SCRA 361).” (Italics found
in the original.)
In the case before us, it is ineludible that the parties knowingly and
freely entered into a valid compromise agreement. Adequately
assisted by their respective counsels, they each negotiated its terms
and provisions for four months; in fact, said agreement was executed
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only after the fourth draft. As noted by the trial court itself, the first
and second drafts were prepared successively in July, 1969; the third
draft on September 25, 1969; and the fourth draft, which was finally
signed by the parties on October 30, 1969, followed. Since this
compromise agreement was the result of a long drawn out process,
with all the parties ably striving to protect their respective interests
and to come out with the best they could, there can be no doubt that
the parties entered into it freely and voluntarily. Accordingly, they
should be bound thereby. To be valid, it is merely required under the
law to be based on real claims and actually agreed upon in good faith
by the parties thereto.
Indeed, compromise is a form of amicable settlement that is not only
allowed but also encouraged in civil cases. Article 2029 of the Civil
Code mandates that a “court shall endeavor to persuade the litigants
in a civil case to agree upon some fair compromise.”
In opposing the validity and enforcement of the compromise
agreement, petitioners harp on the minority of Florida Mierly, Alfredo
and Myrna. Citing Article 2032 of the Civil Code, they contend that
the court’s approval is necessary in compromises entered into by
guardians and parents in behalf of their wards or children.
It is also significant that all the parties, including the then minors,
had already consummated and availed themselves of the benefits of
their compromise. This Court has consistently ruled that “a party to a
compromise cannot ask for a rescission after it has enjoyed its
benefits.”By their acts, the parties are ineludibly estopped from
questioning the validity of their compromise agreement.

Heirs of Reyes vs Reyes GR No. 139587 2000


Facts:
Leoncia Reyes and three out of four children decided to execute a
deed denominated Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli, where they
sold land to the Spouses Benedicto Francia and Monica Ajoco
(Spouses Francia) for P500.00, subject to the vendors right to
repurchase for the same amount sa oras na sila'y makinabang.
Leoncia and her children did not repay the amount of P500.00.
Alejandro Reyes, one Leoncia’ grandchildren, repaid the P500.00 from
the Spouses Francia. By virtue of his payment, Alejandro executed a
Kasulatan ng Pagmeme-ari, wherein he declared that he had acquired
all the rights and interests of the heirs of the Spouses Francia,
including the ownership of the property, after the vendors had failed
to repurchase within the given period. Nevertheless, Alejandro,
Leoncia, and his father Jose, Sr. executed an additional document
Magkakalakip na Salaysay, by which Alejandro acknowledged the
right of Leoncia, Jose, Jr., and Jose, Sr. to repurchase the property at
any time for the same amount of P500.00.
After Alejandro’s death, Amanda Reyes, the wife of Alejandro Reyes,
asked his deceased husband’s cousins to vacate the property because
she and her children already needed it. Respondents alleged that
their predecessor Alejandro had acquired ownership of the property
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by virtue of the deed Pagsasa-ayos ng Pag-aari at Pagsasalin; that on
the basis of such deed of assignment, Alejandro had consolidated his
ownership of the property via his Kasulatan ng Pagmeme-ari; and
that under the Magkasanib na Salaysay, Alejandro had granted to
Leoncia, his father Jose, Sr., and his uncles, Teofilo and Jose, Jr. the
right to repurchase the property, but they had failed to do so.
The petitioners averred that the Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli
was an equitable mortgage, not a pacto de retro sale; that the
mortgagors had retained ownership of the property; that the heirs of
the Spouses Francia could not have validly sold the property to
Alejandro through the Pagsasaayos ng Pag-aari at Pagsasalin; that
Alejandros right was only to seek reimbursement of the P500.00 he
had paid from the co-owners.
The RTC ruled in favor of the respondents declaring that Alejandro
had acquired ownership of the property in 1965 by operation of law
upon the failure of the petitioners predecessors to repurchase the
property; that the joint affidavit executed by Alejandro, Leoncia and
Jose, Jr. and Jose, Sr., to extend the period of redemption was
inefficacious, because there was no more period to extend due to the
redemption period having long lapsed by the time of its execution.
The CA reversed the finding of the trial court and ruled that that the
transaction covered by the Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli was
not a pacto de retro sale but an equitable mortgage under Article
1602 of the Civil Code; that even after the deeds execution, Leoncia,
Teofilo, Jose, Jr. and their families had remained in possession of the
property and continued paying realty taxes for the property; that the
purported vendees had not declared the property for taxation
purposes under their own names; and that such circumstances
proved that the parties envisaged an equitable mortgage in the
Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioners are now barred from


claiming that the transaction under the Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling
Muli was an equitable mortgage by their failure to redeem the
property for a long period of time?

Held: No, considering that sa oras na silay makinabang, the


period of redemption stated in the Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli,
signified that no definite period had been stated, the period to
redeem should be ten years from the execution of the contract,
pursuant to Articles 1142 and 1144 of the Civil Cod. The acceptance
of the payments even beyond the 10-year period of redemption
estopped the mortgagees heirs from insisting that the period to
redeem the property had already expired. Their actions impliedly
recognized the continued existence of the equitable mortgage. The
conduct of the original parties as well as of their successors-in-
interest manifested that the parties to the Kasulatan ng Biling
Mabibiling Muli really intended their transaction to be an equitable
mortgage, not a pacto de retro sale.

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ALABAN VS. CA G.R. NO. 156021, SEPT. 23, 2005

DOCTRINE:
Extrinsic Fraud. – An action to annul a final judgment on the
ground of fraud lies only if the fraud is extrinsic or collateral in
character. Fraud is regarded as extrinsic where it prevents a party
from having a trial or from presenting his entire case to the court, or
where it operates upon matters pertaining no to the judgment itself
but to the manner in which it is procured. The overriding
consideration when extrinsic fraud is alleged is that the fraudulent
scheme of the prevailing litigant prevented a party from having his
day in court.

FACTS:
1. Respondent Francisco Provido (respondent) filed a petition for
the probate of the Last Will and Testament of the late Soledad
ProvidoElevencionado (decedent), who died on Oct. 26, 2000 in
Janjuay, Iloilo. Respondent that he was the heir of the decedent
and the executor of her will. The RTC allowed the probate of the
will of the decedent and directed the issuance of letters
testamentary to respondent.

2. More than 4 months later or on Oct. 4, 2001, petitioners filed a


motion for reopening of the probate proceedings. Likewise, they
filed an opposition to the allowance of the will of the decedent.
As well as the issuance of letters testamentary to respondent,
claiming that they are the intestate heirs of the decedent. On
Jan. 11, 2002, RTC issued an order denying the petitioners’
motion for being unmeritorious. Moreover, the RTC’s decision
was already final and executory even before petitioner’s filing of
the motion to reopen.

3. Petitioners thereafter filed a petition with an application for


preliminary injunction with the CA, seeking the annulment of
the RTC’s Decision and Order. They argued that the RTC
decision should be annulled and set aside on the ground of
extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction on the part of the RTC.

4. CA dismissed the petition. It found that there was no showing


that petitioners failed to avail of or resort to the ordinary
remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief from judgment,
or other appropriate remedies through no fault of their own.
Moreover, the CA declared as baseless petitioners’ claim that
the proceedings in the RTC was attended by extrinsic fraud.
Neither was there any showing that they availed of this ground
in a motion for new trial or petition for relief from judgment in
the RTC. Petitioner sought reconsideration but the same was
denied.

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5. Petitioner maintains that they were not made parties to the case
in which the decision sought to be annulled was rendered and,
thus could not have availed of the ordinary remedies of new
trial, appeal, petition for relief from judgment and other
appropriate remedies, contrary to the ruling of the CA. They
aver that respondent’s offer of a false compromise and his
failure to notify them of the probate of the will constitute
extrinsic fraud that necessitates the annulment of the RTC’s
judgment.

ISSUE: Whether or not the proceedings in the RTC was attended by


extrinsic fraud that necessitates the annulment of the RTC’s
judgment.

HELD: Petition is devoid of merit.


An action for annulment of judgment is a remedy in law independent
of the case where the judgment sought to be annulled was rendered.
The purpose of such action is to have the final and executory
judgment set aside so that there will be a renewal of litigation. It is
resorted to in cases where the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal,
petition for relief from judgment, or other appropriate remedies are
no longer available through no fault of the petitioner, and is based
only on two grounds: extrinsic fraud, and lack of jurisdiction or denial
of due process. A person need not be a party to the judgment sought
to be annulled, and it is only essential that he can prove his allegation
that the judgment was obtained by the use of fraud and collusion and
he would be adversely affected thereby.

An action to annul a final judgment on the ground of fraud only lies if


the fraud is extrinsic or collateral in character. Fraud is regarded as
extrinsic where it prevents a party from having a trial or from
presenting his entire case to the court, or where it operates upon
matters pertaining not to the judgment itself but to the manner in
which it is procured. The overriding consideration when extrinsic is
alleged is that the fraudulent scheme of the prevailing litigant
prevented a party from having his day in court.

In the present case, to sustain their allegation of extrinsic fraud,


petitioners assert that as a result of respondent’s deliberate omission
or concealment of their names, ages and residences as the other
heirs of the decedent in his petition for allowance of the will, they
were not notified of the proceedings, and thus they were denied their
day in court. In addition, they claim that respondent’s offer of a false
compromise even before the filing of the petition prevented them
from appearing and opposing the petition for probate.

The Court is not convinced. According to the Rules, notice is required


to be personally given to known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the
testator. A perusal of the will shows that respondent was instituted as
the sole heir of the decedent. Petitioners, as nephews and nieces of
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the decedent, are neither compulsory nor testate heirs who are
entitled to be notified of the probate proceedings under the Rules.
Respondent had no legal obligation to mention petitioners in the
petition for probate, or to personally notify them of the same.

Besides, assuming arguendo that petitioners are entitled to be so


notified, the purported infirmity is cured by the publication of the
notice. After all, personal notice upon the heirs is a matter of
procedural convenience and not a jurisdictional requisite.

The non-inclusion of petitioners’ names in the petition and alleged


failure to personally notify them of the proceedings do not constitute
extrinsic fraud. Petitioners were not denied their day in court, as they
were not prevented from participating in the proceedings and
presenting their case before the probate court.

SUMILANG V. RAMAGOSA 21 SCRA 1369

FACTS
Mariano Sumilang filed a petition for theprobate of a document
alleged to be thelast will and testament of HilarionRamagosa. Said
document institutesMariano as the sole heir of the testator.The
petition was opposed by two SaturninaRamagosa, et. al, who
questioned the dueexecution of the document, claiming thatit was
made under duress and was notreally intended by the deceased to be
hislast will and testament. Saturnino andSantiago Ramagosa also
claimed thatthey, instead of Mariano, were entitled toinherit the
estate of the deceased.After Mariano presented evidence andrested
his case, oppositors moved for thedismissal of the petition on the
ground thatdecedent revoked his will by implication oflaw six years
before his death by selling theparcels of land to Mariano Sumilang
andhis brother Mario so that at the time of thetestator's death, the
titles to said landswere no longer in his name.On the other hand,
Mariano moved tostrike out oppositors pleadings on theground that
the oppositors have no interestin the probate of the will as they have
norelationship with the decedent within thefifth degree. The lower
court ruled in favor of Mariano stating that the allegations ofthe
oppositors go to the very intrinsic valueof the will and since the
oppositors have nostanding to oppose the probate of the willas they
are strangers, their pleadings areordered stricken out from the
record.

ISSUE
Whether the probate court should passupon the intrinsic validity of
the will.

HELD
The petition being for the probate of a will,the court's area of inquiry
is limited to theextrinsic validity only. The testator'stestamentary
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capacity and thecompliance with the formal requisites or solemnities
prescribed by law are the onlyquestions presented for the resolution
ofthe court. Any inquiry into the intrinsicvalidity or efficacy of the
provisions of thewill or the legality of any devise or legacy
ispremature (Nuguid vs. Nuguid).To establish conclusively as
againsteveryone and once for all, the facts that awill was executed
with the formalitiesrequired by law and that the testator wasin a
condition to make a will, is the onlypurpose of the proceedings . . .
for theprobate of a will. The judgment in suchproceedings determines
and candetermine nothing more. (Alemany, et al.vs. CFI of
Manila)True or not, the alleged sale is no groundfor the dismissal of
the petition for probate.Probate is one thing the validity of
thetestamentary provisions is another. The firstdecides the execution
of the documentand the testamentary capacity of thetestator; the
second relates to descentand distributionThe revocation invoked by
the oppositors isnot an express one, but merely impliedfrom
subsequent acts of the testatrixallegedly evidencing an abandonment
ofthe original intention to bequeath or devisethe properties
concerned. As such, therevocation would not affect the will itself,but
merely the particular devise or legacy

Guevara v. Guevara Digest 98 Phil 249

Facts:
1. Victorino Guevara executed a will in 1931 wherein he made various
bequests t his wife, stepchildren, wife in the 2nd marriage. He has a
legitimate son Ernesto and a natural daughter Rosario. Therein, he
acknowledged Rosario as his natural daughter.

2. In 1933, Victorino died but his last will was never presented for
probate nor was there any settlement proceeding initiated. It
appeared that only his son Ernest possessed the land which he
adjudicated to himself. While Rosario who had the will in her custody,
did nothing to invoke the acknowledgment, as well as the devise
given to her.

3. Subsequently, Rosario filed an action for the recovery of her


legitime from Ernesto, a portion of a large parcel of land invoking the
acknowledgment contained in the will and based on the assumption
that the decedent died intestate because his will was not probated.
She alleged that the disposition in favor of Ernesto should be
disregarded.

4. The lower court and the Court of Appeals sustained Rosario's


theory.

Issue: Whether or not the probate of a will can be dispensed


with

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RULING: No. Rosario's contention violates procedural law and
considered an attempt to circumvent the last will and testament of
the decedent. The presentation of a will to the court for probate is
mandatory and its allowance is essential and indispensable to its
efficacy.

Suppression of the will is contrary to law and public policy for without
probate, the right of a person to dispose of his property by will may
be rendered nugatory.

Cuenco vs. CA G.R. No. L-24742, October 26, 1973

FACTS:

Senator Mariano Jesus Cuenco died in Manila. He was survived by his


widow and two minor sons, residing in Quezon City, and children of
the first marriage, residing in Cebu. Lourdes, one of the children from
the first marriage, filed a Petition for Letters of Administration with
the Court of First Instance (CFI) Cebu, alleging that the senator died
intestate in Manila but a resident of Cebu with properties in Cebu and
Quezon City.

The petition still pending with CFI Cebu, Rosa Cayetano Cuenco, the
second wife, filed a petition with CFI Rizal for the probate of the last
will and testament, where she was named executrix. Rosa also filed
an opposition and motion to dismiss in CFI Cebu but this court held in
abeyance resolution over the opposition until CFI Quezon shall have
acted on the probate proceedings.

Lourdes filed an opposition and motion to dismiss in CFI Quezon, on


ground of lack of jurisdiction and/or improper venue, considering that
CFI Cebu already acquired exclusive jurisdiction over the case. The
opposition and motion to dismiss were denied. Upon appeal CA ruled
in favor of Lourdes and issued a writ of prohibition to CFI Quezon.

ISSUEs:
 Whether or not CA erred in issuing the writ of prohibition
 Whether or not CFI Quezon acted without jurisdiction or grave
abuse of discretion in taking cognizance and assuming exclusive
jurisdiction over the probate proceedings in pursuance to CFI
Cebu's order expressly consenting in deference to the
precedence of probate over intestate proceedings

HELD:

The Supreme Court found that CA erred in law in issuing the writ of
prohibition against the Quezon City court from proceeding with the
testate proceedings and annulling and setting aside all its orders and
actions, particularly its admission to probate of the last will and
testament of the deceased and appointing petitioner-widow as
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executrix thereof without bond pursuant to the deceased testator's
wish.

On Venue and Jurisdiction

Under Rule 73, the court first taking cognizance of the settlement of
the estate of a decent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of
all other courts.

The residence of the decent or the location of his estate is not an


element of jurisdiction over the subject matter but merely of venue.
If this were otherwise, it would affect the prompt administration of
justice.

The court with whom the petition is first filed must also first take
cognizance of the settlement of the estate in order to exercise
jurisdiction over it to the exclusion of all other courts.

SALAZAR vs. CFI OF LAGUNA AND RIVERA, 64 PHIL 78 (1937)

FACTS:
Crispin Oben instituted special proceeding and prayed for the probate
of the will allegedly made by his deceased mother on May 13, 1924.
The petition was opposed by Sabina Rivera and prayed for the
probate of the will of the deceased alleged made on May 11, 1930,
copy of which was attached thereto, and for the issuance, to that
effect, of the order setting the hearing thereof and directing such
publications as required by law.
The court denied the motion for publication and ordered the Rivera to
institute another proceeding and apply separately for the probate of
the alleged will. The respondent filed a motion for reconsideration and
the court, on March 31, 19937, issued an order setting aside the
former one and directing that the will presented by the respondent be
set for hearing, that the publications required by law be made and
that said will be heard jointly with the will presented by the petitioner
in the same proceeding instituted by the latter. Sometime later, the
court ordered that the expenses for the publications made in the
newspapers be defrayed by the respondent.
The petitioner filed two motions for reconsideration which were
denied and, finally, instituted this certiorari proceeding. In order that
the hearing and publications ordered by the court may be carried out,
the respondent, on July 20, 1937, deposited P24 and filed the original
of the will the probate of which had been sought by her.

ISSUE/S:
Whether the court acquired no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the
counter-petition for the probate of the second will, or to set the same
for hearing of said will to be held in the same proceeding jointly with
the first will, on the ground that the respondent had not previously
filed her pleading nor paid the fees of the clerk of court.
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HELD:
YES. Court of First Instance acquires jurisdiction to probate a will
when it is shown by evidence before it:
(1) That a person has died leaving a will;
(2) in the case of a resident of this country, that he died
in the province where the court exercises territorial
jurisdiction;
(3) in the case of a nonresident, that he has left a estate
in the province where the court is situated, and (4) that
the testament or last will of the deceased has been
delivered to the court and is in the possession thereof.
According to the facts alleged and admitted by the parties, it is
evident that the court has acquired jurisdiction to probate the second
will, in view of the presence of all the jurisdictional facts above-
stated. The respondent's counter-petition should, in this case, be
considered as a petition for the probate of the second will, the
original of which was filed by her on July 20, 1937.
The payment of the fees of the clerk of court for all services to be
rendered by him in connection with the probate of the second will and
for the successive proceedings to be conducted and others to be
issued is not jurisdiction in the sense that its omission does not
deprive the court of its authority to proceed with the probate of a will

IN RE: IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO APPROVE THE


WILL OF RUPERTA PALAGANAS WITH PRAYER FOR THE
APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR, MANUEL
MIGUEL PALAGANAS AND BENJAMIN GREGORIO PALAGANAS
VS. ERNESTO PALAGANAS

G.R. No. 169144, January 26, 2011

FACTS:
Ruperta C. Palaganas (Ruperta), a Filipino who became a naturalized
United States (U.S.) citizen, died single and childless. In the last will
and testament she executed in California, she designated her brother,
Sergio C. Palaganas (Sergio), as the executor of her will for she had
left properties in the Philippines and in the U.S.
Respondent Ernesto C. Palaganas (Ernesto), another brother of
Ruperta, filed with the a petition for the probate of Ruperta’s will and
for his appointment as special administrator of her estate. However,
petitioners Manuel Miguel Palaganas (Manuel) and Benjamin Gregorio
Palaganas (Benjamin), nephews of Ruperta, opposed the petition on
the ground that Ruperta’s will should not be probated in the
Philippines but in the U.S. where she executed it
The RTC issued an order: (a) admitting to probate Ruperta’s last
will; (b) appointing respondent Ernesto as special administrator at the
request of Sergio, the U.S.-based executor designated in the will; and
(c) issuing the Letters of Special Administration to Ernesto.
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Manuel and Benjamin appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA),
arguing that an unprobated will executed by an American citizen in
the U.S. cannot be probated for the first time in the Philippines.
The CA affirmed order of the RTC, holding that the RTC
properly allowed the probate of the will. The CA pointed out that
Section 2, Rule 76 of the Rules of Court does not require prior
probate and allowance of the will in the country of its execution,
before it can be probated in the Philippines. The present case is
different from reprobate, which refers to a will already probated and
allowed abroad. Reprobate is governed by different rules or
procedures.
ISSUE:
Whether or not a will executed by a foreigner abroad may be
probated in the Philippines although it has not been previously
probated and allowed in the country where it was executed.
HELD:
Section 1, Rule 73 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
if the decedent is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the RTC of the
province where he has an estate may take cognizance of the
settlement of such estate. Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 76 further state
that the executor, devisee, or legatee named in the will, or any other
person interested in the estate, may, at any time after the death of
the testator, petition the court having jurisdiction to have the will
allowed, whether the same be in his possession or not, or is lost or
destroyed.
Our rules require merely that the petition for the allowance of
a will must show, so far as known to the petitioner: (a) the
jurisdictional facts; (b) the names, ages, and residences of the heirs,
legatees, and devisees of the testator or decedent; (c) the probable
value and character of the property of the estate; (d) the name of the
person for whom letters are prayed; and (e) if the will has not been
delivered to the court, the name of the person having custody of
it. Jurisdictional facts refer to the fact of death of the decedent, his
residence at the time of his death in the province where the probate
court is sitting, or if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the
estate he left in such province. The rules do not require proof that
the foreign will has already been allowed and probated in the country
of its execution.
In insisting that Ruperta’s will should have been first probated
and allowed by the court of California, petitioners Manuel and
Benjamin obviously have in mind the procedure for the reprobate of
will before admitting it here. But, reprobate or re-authentication of a
will already probated and allowed in a foreign country is different
from that probate where the will is presented for the first time before
a competent court. Reprobate is specifically governed by Rule 77 of
the Rules of Court. Contrary to petitioners’ stance, since this latter
rule applies only to reprobate of a will, it cannot be made to apply to
the present case. In reprobate, the local court acknowledges as
binding the findings of the foreign probate court provided its
jurisdiction over the matter can be established.
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Besides, petitioners’ stand is fraught with impractically. If the
instituted heirs do not have the means to go abroad for the probate
of the will, it is as good as depriving them outright of their
inheritance, since our law requires that no will shall pass either real
or personal property unless the will has been proved and allowed by
the proper court.

G.R. No. L-9633 January 29, 1957


EMILIO SORIANO, vs. ANTONIO ASI,
Facts:
On April 22, 1952, Emilio Soriano filed a petition to vacate the order
admitting his aunt's will to probate, on the ground that, because of
the omission of his name as detailed above, and because of his
unfamiliarity with Spanish, petitioner had been deprived of his day in
court, and of opportunity to object to the probate; and that he
learned of the questioned proceedings only on April 4, 1952, through
a communication from the lawyer of Antonio Asi.
Now appellant first alleges that, notwithstanding the lack of personal
notice, the Court of First Instance acquired jurisdiction over the case,
by virtue of the newspaper publication, probate proceedings being
proceedings in rem. The objection is improperly raised, because
Emilio Soriano does not question the jurisdiction of the probate court;
his petition for relief on the ground of fraud precisely assumes that
the Court had jurisdiction to issue the order complained of. Without
jurisdiction, said order would be a total nullity, and no petition for
relief would be required.
Because of the facts aforesaid, Judge Edilberto Soriano, then of the
Court of First Instance of Batangas, overruled the objections of
Antonio Asi, and vacated the probate order complained of as obtained
through extrinsic fraud to the detriment of Emilio Soriano. It is next
averred that the petition for relief was filed out of time, because the
order admitting the will to probate was rendered on October 10,
1951, while the petition for relief only six (6) months and twelve (12)
days afterward, on April 22, 1952.
Issue: Whether or not the petition filed out of time?

Held: No, the petition was not filed out of time.


The period of six months is incorrectly computed by the appellant
from the rendition of the judgment or order complained of; it should
be counted from the entry of such judgment or order. This is evident
from section 3 of Rule 38:
SEC. 3. When petition filed; contents and verification. — A petition
provided for in either of the preceding sections of this rule must be
verified, filed within sixty days after the petition learns of the
judgment, order, or other proceeding to be set aside, and not more
than six months after such judgment or order was entered, or such
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proceeding was taken; and must be accompanied with affidavits
showing the fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence relied
upon, and the facts constituting the petitioner's good and substantial
cause of action or defense, as the case may be, which he may prove
if his petition be granted.
Under Rule 35, section 2, a judgment or order is entered by the clerk
after expiration of the period for appeal or motion for new trial, i.e.,
after thirty days (Rule 37 and 41). This means that the probate order
of October 10, 1951, could be entered, at the earliest, on November
9, 1951; wherefore, the petition for relief, filed on April 22, 1952, was
within the six months allowed by law.

EMBODO
Maloles II vs. Philips GR No. 129505
FACTS: In 1995, Dr. Arturo De Los Santos filed a petition for
probate of his will. He declared that he has no compulsory heirs and
that he is naming as sole devisee and legatee the Arturo de Santos
Foundation, Inc. (ASF). The named executrix is Pacita De Los Reyes
Phillips. The petition was filed in RTC Makati Branch 61. Judge
Fernando Gorospe of said court determined that Arturo is of sound
mind and was not acting in duress when he signed his last will and
testament and so Branch 61 allowed the last will and testament on
February 16, 1996.
Ten days from the allowance, Arturo died. Thereafter, Pacita, as
executrix, filed a motion for the issuance of letters of testamentary
with Branch 61. She however withdrew the motion but later on
refilled it with RTC Makati Branch 65.
Meanwhile, a certain Octavio Maloles II filed a motion for intervention
with Branch 61 claiming that as a next of kin (him being the full
blooded nephew of Arturo) he should be appointed as the
administrator of the estate and that he is an heir.
Judge Abad Santos of Branch 65 issued an order transferring the
motion filed by Pacita to Branch 61. Judge Santos ratiocinated that
since the probate proceeding started in Branch 61, then it should be
the same court which should hear Pacita’s motion. Branch 61
however refused to consolidate and referred the case back to Branch
65. Branch 65 subsequently consolidated the case per refusal of
Branch 61. Eventually, Branch 65 allowed the motion for intervention
filed by Octavio.
ISSUE: Whether or not Octavio Maloles II has the right to intervene
in the probate proceeding.
HELD: No. The Supreme Court first clarified that the probate of will
filed in Branch 61 has already terminated upon the allowance of the
will. Hence when Pacita filed a motion with Branch 65, the same is
already a separate proceeding and not a continuance of the now
concluded probate in Branch 61. There is therefore no reason for

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Branch 65 to refer back the case to Branch 61 as it initially did.
Further even if the probate was terminated, under Rule 73 of the
Rules of Court concerning the venue of settlement of estates, it is
provided that when a case is filed in one branch, jurisdiction over the
case does not attach to the branch or judge alone, to the exclusion of
the other branches.
Anent the issue of Octavio being an heir, such contention has no
merit. He is not an heir. Arturo died testate. Next of kins may only
inherit if a person dies intestate. In this case, Arturo left a valid will
which expressly provided that ASF is the sole legatee and devisee of
his estate.

Tan vs Gedorio G.R. No. 166520 March 14, 2008

FACTS: Upon the death of Gerardo Tan on Oct. 14, 2000, private
respondents Rogelo Lim Suga and Helen Tan Racoma, who were
claiming to be the children of the decedent moved for the
appointment of their attorney-in-fact, Romualdo Lim as special
administrator. This was opposed by the petitioner Vilma Tan, Jake
Tan and Geraldine Tan, claiming that none of the respondents can be
appointed since they are not residing in the country, that Romualdo
does not have the same competence as Vilma Tan who was already
acting as the de facto administratrix of the estate, and that the
nearest of kin, being the legitmate children, is preferred in the choice
of administrator (claiming that the respondent were illegitmate
children).

However, upon failure of Vilma to follow a court directive to account


for the income of the estate, the court granted Romualdo's
appointment as special administrator.

Petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals and was denied, hence


the petition for review on certiorari.

ISSUE: Whether or not the court violated Sec. 6, Rule 78 of the


Rules of Court in their selection of a special administrator.

RULING: The preference under Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of


Court for the next of kin refers to the appointment of a regular
administrator, and not of a special administrator, as the appointment
of the latter lies entirely in the discretion of the court, and is not
appealable.

If petitioners really desire to avail themselves of the order of


preference , they should pursue the appointment of a regular
administrator and put to an end the delay which necessitated the
appointment of a special administrator.

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G.R. No. 187879 July 5, 2010
DALISAY E. OCAMPO, VINCE E. OCAMPO, MELINDA CARLA E.
OCAMPO, and LEONARDO E. OCAMPO, JR.,
vs.
RENATO M. OCAMPO and ERLINDA M. OCAMPO,

FACTS: Petitioners Dalisay E. Ocampo (Dalisay), Vince E. Ocampo


(Vince), Melinda Carla E. Ocampo (Melinda), and Leonardo E.
Ocampo, Jr. (Leonardo, Jr.) are the surviving wife and the children of
Leonardo Ocampo (Leonardo), who died on January 23, 2004.
Leonardo and his siblings, respondents Renato M. Ocampo (Renato)
and Erlinda M. Ocampo (Erlinda) are the legitimate children and only
heirs of the spouses Vicente and Maxima Ocampo, who died intestate
on December 19, 1972 and February 19, 1996, respectively. Vicente
and Maxima left several properties, mostly situated in Biñan, Laguna.
Vicente and Maxima left no will and no debts.

On June 24, 2004, five (5) months after the death of Leonardo,
petitioners initiated a petition for intestate proceedings, entitled In
Re: Intestate Proceedings of the Estate of Sps. Vicente Ocampo and
Maxima Mercado Ocampo, and Leonardo M. Ocampo, in the RTC,
Branch 24, Biñan, Laguna, docketed as Spec. Proc. No. B-3089. The
petition alleged that, upon the death of Vicente and Maxima,
respondents and their brother Leonardo jointly controlled, managed,
and administered the estate of their parents. Under such
circumstance, Leonardo had been receiving his share consisting of
one-third (1/3) of the total income generated from the properties of
the estate. However, when Leonardo died, respondents took
possession, control and management of the properties to the
exclusion of petitioners. The petition prayed for the settlement of the
estate of Vicente and Maxima and the estate of Leonardo. It, likewise,
prayed for the appointment of an administrator to apportion, divide,
and award the two estates among the lawful heirs of the decedents.

After long side by side filing of motions, petitions and oppositions,


Renato and Erlinda were appointed as special administrators but
refused to give an inventory of properties as petitioned by herein
petitioners until after the court ruled in their petition for exemption
in posting a bond. Meanwhile, petitioners subsequently learned that
respondents has disposed of real properties for P2,700,000.00 saying
it was only for P1,500,000.00 then move the court through a petition
in removing the respondents as administrators and proceed to
partitioning the estate. The RTC ruled in the affirmative and
appointed Melinda as regular administrator conditioned with the
posting of P200,000.00 as bond which the later complied. The
respondents appealed in the CA and they received a favorable
decision reversing and setting aside the decision of the RTC.

ISSUE: Whether the court should have acted with grave abuse of
discretion in revoking and terminating the appointment of Renato and
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Erlinda as joint special administrators, on account of their failure to
comply with its Order, particularly the posting of the required bond,
and to enter their duties and responsibilities as special administrators
and in appointing Melinda as regular administratrix, subject to the
posting of a bond in the amount of P200,000.00.

RULING: The court ruled that the trial court did not act with grave
abuse of discretion in revoking the appointment of the respondents as
special administrators and otherwise in appointing Melinda as regular
administrator opining and ordering that she should instead be
appointed as special administration as according to the rules.

A special administrator is an officer of the court who is subject to its


supervision and control, expected to work for the best interest of the
entire estate, with a view to its smooth administration and speedy
settlement. When appointed, he or she is not regarded as an agent or
representative of the parties suggesting the appointment. The
principal object of the appointment of a temporary administrator is to
preserve the estate until it can pass to the hands of a person fully
authorized to administer it for the benefit of creditors and heirs,
pursuant to Section 2 of Rule 80 of the Rules of Court.

While the RTC considered that respondents were the nearest of kin
to their deceased parents in their appointment as joint special
administrators, this is not a mandatory requirement for the
appointment. It has long been settled that the selection or removal of
special administrators is not governed by the rules regarding the
selection or removal of regular administrators. The probate court may
appoint or remove special administrators based on grounds other
than those enumerated in the Rules at its discretion, such that the
need to first pass upon and resolve the issues of fitness or unfitness
and the application of the order of preference under Section 6 of Rule
78, as would be proper in the case of a regular administrator, do not
obtain. As long as the discretion is exercised without grave abuse,
and is based on reason, equity, justice, and legal principles,
interference by higher courts is unwarranted. The appointment or
removal of special administrators, being discretionary, is thus
interlocutory and may be assailed through a petition for certiorari
under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

Pursuant to Section 1 of Rule 81, the bond secures the performance


of the duties and obligations of an administrator namely: (1) to
administer the estate and pay the debts; (2) to perform all judicial
orders; (3) to account within one (1) year and at any other time
when required by the probate court; and (4) to make an inventory
within three (3) months. More specifically, per Section 4 of the same
Rule, the bond is conditioned on the faithful execution of the
administration of the decedents estate requiring the special
administrator to (1) make and return a true inventory of the goods,
chattels, rights, credits, and estate of the deceased which come to his
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possession or knowledge; (2) truly account for such as received by
him when required by the court; and (3) deliver the same to the
person appointed as executor or regular administrator, or to such
other person as may be authorized to receive them.

Verily, the administration bond is for the benefit of the creditors and
the heirs, as it compels the administrator, whether regular or special,
to perform the trust reposed in, and discharge the obligations
incumbent upon, him. Its object and purpose is to safeguard the
properties of the decedent, and, therefore, the bond should not be
considered as part of the necessary expenses chargeable against the
estate, not being included among the acts constituting the care,
management, and settlement of the estate. Moreover, the ability to
post the bond is in the nature of a qualification for the office of
administration.

G.R. No. L-21917 November 29, 1966


TESTATE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED CARLOS GURREA Y
MONASTERIO. MARCELO PIJUAN, special administrator-appellee,
vs.
MANUELA RUIZ VDA. DE GURREA, movant-appellant.

FACTS:
Appellant Manuela Ruiz (Mrs. Gurrea) and Carlos Gurrea were
married in Spain, where they lived together until 1945, when he
abandoned her and came, with their son Teodoro, to the Philippines.
Here he lived maritally with Rizalina Perez by whom he had two (2)
children. Having been informed by her son that his father was
residing in Pontevedra, Negros Occidental, Manuela came to the
Philippines but, Carlos Gurrea refused to admit her to his residence.

She instituted, against Carlos Gurrea, Civil Case No. 5820 of the
CFI of Negros Occidental, for support and the annulment of some
alleged donations of conjugal property, in favor of his common-law
wife. Said court issued an order granting Mrs. Gurrea a monthly
alimony, pendente lite, of P2,000.00 which was reduced by the Court
of Appeals to P1,000.00.

Carlos Gurrea died leaving a document purporting to be his last


will and testament, in which he named Marcelo Pijuan as executor
thereof and disinherited Mrs. Gurrea and their son, Teodoro. Pijuan
instituted Special Proceedings No. 6582 , for the probate of said will.
Thereafter Pijuan was, upon his ex parte motion, appointed special
administrator of the estate, without bond. Oppositions to the probate
of the will were filed by Mrs. Gurrea, her son, Teodoro.

Mrs. Gurrea filed in said Special Proceedings No. 6582, a motion


praying that the Special Administrator be ordered to continue paying
it pending the final determination of the case. This motion was
denied. Mrs. Gurrea moved for a reconsideration. She further moved
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for her appointment as administratrix of the estate of the deceased.
But the same was denied.

Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE: W/N the the lower court erred in denying her petition for
appointment as administratrix (for, as widow of the deceased, she
claims a right of preference under Section 6 of Rule 78 of the Revised
Rules of Court.)

RULING: Said preference exists "if no executor is named in the


will or the executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the
trust, or fail to give bond, or a person dies intestate." None of
these conditions obtains, however, in the case at bar. The deceased
Carlos Gurrea has left a document purporting to be his will,
seemingly, is still pending probate. So, it cannot be said, as yet, that
he has died intestate. Again, said document names Marcelo Pijuan as
executor thereof, and it is not claimed that he is incompetent
therefor. What is more, he has not only not refused the trust, but,
has, also, expressly accepted it, by applying for his appointment as
executor, and, upon his appointment as special administrator, has
assumed the duties thereof. It may not be amiss to note that the
preference accorded by the aforementioned provision of the Rules of
Court to the surviving spouse refers to the appoint of a regular
administrator or administratrix, not to that of a special administrator,
and that the order appointing the latter lies within the discretion of
the probate court, and is not appealable.

Co vs Rosario
G.R. No. 160671, April 30, 2008

FACTS: Petitioner Luis Co and Vicente Yu were appointed by the


Regional Trial Court of Makati on March 4, 1998, as special co-
administrators of the estate of petitioner's father. However, upon
motion of other heirs, petitioner's appointment was set aside,
whereby petitioner nominated his son, Alvin Co, in his place, which
was granted by the court.

Four years later, however, the RTC, upon motion of one the heirs,
revoked the appointment of Alvin in view of the several criminal cases
filed against the latter. Petitioner files petition for review on certiorari
under Rule 45.

ISSUE: Whether or not the court erred in revoking Alvin Co's


appointment as special co-administrator.

RULING: The trial court did not act with grave abuse of discretion in
revoking Alvin’s appointment as special co-administrator. Settled is
the rule that the selection or removal of special administrators is not
governed by the rules regarding the selection or removal of regular
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administrators. Courts may appoint or remove special administrators
based on grounds other than those enumerated in the Rules, at their
discretion.

The special administrator is an officer of the court who is subject to


its supervision and control and who is expected to work for the best
interest of the entire estate, especially with respect to its smooth
administration and earliest settlement.

G.R. No. 193161 August 22, 2011


DIOSDADO S. MANUNGAS, Petitioner,
vs.
MARGARITA AVILA LORETO and FLORENCIA AVILA
PARREÑO, Respondents.

FACTS: Engracia Manungas was the wife of Florentino Manungas.


They had no children. Florentino Manungas died intestate.Thereafter,
Engracia Manungas filed a Motion for Partition of Estate in the
intestate estate proceedings of Florentino Manungas, of which she
was the administratrix. There, she stated that there are no other
legal and compulsory heirs of Florentino Manungas except for herself,
and a Ramon Manungas, an acknowledged natural child. Thereafter, a
Decree of Final Distribution was issued distributing the properties to
Engracia Manungas and Ramon Manungas, the surviving heirs.
The RTC Panabo City, appointed Parreño, the niece of Engracia
Manungas, as the Judicial Guardian of the properties and person of
her incompetent aunt. Engracia Manungas, through Parreño, then
instituted Civil Case No. 5196-96 against the spouses Diosdado
Manungas for illegal detainer and damages. In their answer, the
spouses Salinas claimed that Diosdado is the illegitimate son of
Florentino Manungas. However, the answer was filed beyond the
reglementary period. Thus, the MTC issued a summary judgment in
favor of Engracia Manungas, ordering the spouses to vacate the
premises and to restore possession to Engracia Manungas.
Thereafter, Diosdado instituted a petition for the issuance of
letters of administration over the Estate of Engracia Manungas in his
favor. He alleged that he, being an illegitimate son of Florentino
Manungas, is an heir of Engracia Manungas.
The petition was opposed by Margarita Avila Loreto (Loreto) and
Parreño alleging that Diosdado was incompetent as an administrator
of the Estate of Manungas claiming that 1he was not a Manungas,
that 2he was not an heir of Engracia Manungas, 3he was not a creditor
of Engracia Manungas or her estate and that 4he was in fact a debtor
of the estate having been found liable to Engracia Manungas by virtue
of the illegal detainer case. Thus, RTC issued an Order appointing
Parreño as the administrator of the Estate of Manungas.

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Diosdado filed a Motion for Reconsideration. In his motion,
Diosdado argued that Parreño’s appointment as special administrator
of the Estate of Manungas was by virtue of her being the judicial
guardian of the latter but which relation ceased upon Engracia
Manungas’ death. The RTC issued an Order reversing itself and
ordering the revocation of its earlier appointment of Parreño as the
administrator of the Estate of Manungas while appointing Diosdado as
the Special Administrator.
Parreño and Loreto appealed to the CA. CA: RTC acted with
grave abuse of discretion.
ISSUE: W/N The Court a Quo committed a grave error when it ruled
to annul the appointment of petitioner, Diosdado Manungas as judicial
administrator and reinstating the appointment of Florencia Parreño as
special administrator.

RULING: Yes. The fact that Diosdado is an heir to the estate of


Florentino Manungas does not mean that he is entitled or even
qualified to become the special administrator of the Estate of
Manungas.

Jurisprudence teaches us that the appointment of a special


administrator lies within the discretion of the court. In Heirs of
Belinda Dahlia A. Castillo v. Lacuata-Gabriel,24 it was stated that:

It is well settled that the statutory provisions as to the prior or


preferred right of certain persons to the appointment of administrator
under Section 1, Rule 81, as well as the statutory provisions as to
causes for removal of an executor or administrator under section 653
of Act No. 190, now Section 2, Rule 83, do not apply to the selection
or removal of special administrator. x x x As the law does not say
who shall be appointed as special administrator and the qualifications
the appointee must have, the judge or court has discretion in the
selection of the person to be appointed, discretion which must be
sound, that is, not whimsical or contrary to reason, justice or equity.
The role of a special administrator is to preserve the estate until
a regular administrator is appointed. Given this duty on the part of
the special administrator, it would, therefore, be prudent and
reasonable to appoint someone interested in preserving the estate for
its eventual distribution to the heirs. Such choice would ensure that
such person would not expose the estate to losses that would
effectively diminish his or her share. There is no logical reason to
appoint a person who is a debtor of the estate and otherwise a
stranger to the deceased. To do so would be tantamount to grave
abuse of discretion.
The trial court erred in revoking the appointment of Florencia
Avila Parreño as Special Administrator on the ground that it found
merit in Diosdado’s contention that he is the illegitimate child of the

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late Florentino Manangus. In fact, Diosdado is a debtor of the estate
and would have no interest in preserving its value. There is no reason
to appoint him as its special administrator.
Vicente Uriarte vs. CFI Negros Occidental, CFI Manila, Juan
UriarteZamanoca and HiginioUriarte ;May 29, 1970
SIEFACTS: November 6, 1961 – Vicente filed with CFI Negros a
petition for the settlement of the estate of the late Don Juan Uriarte
alleging therein that as a natural son of the latter, he was the sole
heir and that during the lifetime of said decedent, Vicente had
instituted a civil case in CFI Negros for his compulsory
acknowledgment as such natural son
CFI Negros appointed the PNB as special administrator and later set
the date for the hearing of the petition and ordered that the requisite
notices be published in accordance with law.
The record discloses, however, that, for one reason or another, PNB
never actually qualified as special administrator.
December 19, 1961 – HiginioUriarte filed an opposition to the petition
alleging that he was a nephew of the deceased Juan Uriarte who had
executed a Last Will and Testament in Spain, a duly authenticated
copy whereof has been requested and which shall be submitted to the
court upon receipt and further questioning Vicente’s capacity and
interest to commence the intestate proceeding.
August 28, 1962 – Juan UriarteZamacona commenced a special
proceeding in CFI Manila for the probate of a document alleged to be
the last will of the deceased Juan Uriarte and filed with CFI Negros a
Motion to Dismiss on these grounds:
 As a deceased left a last will, there was no basis to proceed with
the intestate proceedings
 Vicente Uriarte had no legal personality and interest to initiate
the intestate proceedings, he not being an acknowledged
natural son of the decedent.
Vicente opposed the MTD contending that, as CFI Negros was first to
take cognizance of the settlement of the estate of Juan Uriarte, it had
acquired exclusive jurisdiction over the same.
CFI Negros granted Juan UriarteZamacona’s MTD and dismissed the
proceeding before it. MR denied. He filed a notice of appeal, appeal
bond and record on appeal. The administrator appointed by CFI
Manila objected to the approval of the record on appeal. While this
was pending, Vicente Uriarte filed a petition for certiorari with the
Supreme Court. Therefore, CFI Negros disapproved the record on
appeal to give way to the certiorari.
Vicente Uriarte filed an Omnibus Motion in CFI Manila asking for leave
to intervene therein, for the dismissal of the petition and for the
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annulment of the proceedings had in the special proceeding therein.
Motion was denied.
It appears from the records that Vicente had filed a civil case in CFi
Negros during the lifetime of Juan Uriarte to obtain judgment for his
compulsory acknowledgement as his natural child. It is likewise clear
that at the time he filed the action, as well as when he commenced
the petition for settlement of estate, he had not yet been
acknowledged as natural son of Juan Uriarte.
The record further discloses that the special proceeding before CFI
Negros has not gone further than the appointment of PNB as special
administrator (who failed to qualify).
On the other hand, CFI Manila admitted to probate the document
submitted to it, as thelast will of Juan Uriarte, the petition for probate
appearing not to have been contested.
ISSUE: Whether Juan UriarteZamacona should have filed the petition
for probate of the last will of Juan Uriarte with CFI Negros or was
entitled to commenced the corresponding separate proceedings in CFI
Manila
RULING: Rule 73, Section: the estate of a decedent inhabitant of
the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien,
shall be in the court of first instance in the province in which he
resided at the time of his death, and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign
country, the court of first instance of any province in which he had
estate.
The deceased Juan Uriarte was a non-resident alien. Therefore, the
CFIs in provinces where he left any property have concurrent
jurisdiction to take cognizance of the proper special proceedings for
the settlement of his estate.
Vicente argues that when CFI Negros took cognizance, CFI Manila no
longer had jurisdiction to take cognizance of the special proceeding.
It cannot be denied that a special proceeding intended to effect the
distribution of the estate of a deceased person, whether in
accordance with the law on intestate succession or in accordance with
his will, is a "probate matter" or a proceeding for the settlement of
his estate.
It is equally true, however, that in accordance with settled
jurisprudence in this jurisdiction, testate proceedings, for the
settlement of the estate of a deceased person take precedence over
intestate proceedings for the same purpose. Thus it has been held
repeatedly that, if in the course of intestate proceedings pending
before a court of first instance it is found that the decedent had left a
last will, proceedings for the probate of the latter should replace the
intestate proceedings even if at that stage an administrator had
already been appointed, the latter being required to render final
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account and turn over the estate in his possession to the executor
subsequently appointed.
These facts support the view that Juan UriarteZamacona should have
submitted the will for probate in CFI Negros either in a separate
special proceeding or in an appropriate motion in the already pending
special proceeding:
1. It is not in accord with public policy and the orderly and
inexpensive administration of justice to unnecessarily multiply
litigation, especially if several courts would be involved.
2. When HiginioUriarte filed an opposition to Vicente’s petition for
the issuance of letters of sdministration, he had already
informed the Negros Court that the deceased Juan Uriarte had
left a will in Spain, of which a copy had been requested for
submission to CFI Negros. When Juan UriarteZamacona filed his
MTD in CFI Negros, he had submitted there a copy of the
alleged will of the decedent, from which fact it may be inferred
that he knew before filing the petition for probate with the
Manila Court that there was already a special proceeding
pending in CFinegros for the settlement of the estate of the
same deceased person.
It is well settled that wrong venue is merely a waivable procedural
defect, and in the light of the circumstances obtaining in this case,
Vicente has waived the right to raise such objection or is precluded
from doing so by laches. He knew of the existence of the will since
1961 when HiginioUrirate opposed the initial petition in CFI Negros.
He was also served with notice of the alleged will and of the filing of
petition for its probate when Juan UriarteZamacona filed an MTD in
CFI Negros on 1962. He only filed the omnibus motion in the Manila
Court on April 1963. By then, The Manila Court had already appointed
an administrator and had admitted the will to probate. Toa llow him
now to assail the exercise of jurisdiction over the probate of the will
by the Manila court and the validity of all the proceedings therein
would put a premium on his negligence.
SC is not inclined to annul proceedings regularly had in a lower court
even if the latter was not the proper venue therefor, if the net result
would be to have the same proceedings repeated in some other court
of similar jurisdiction; more so in a case like the present where the
objection against said proceedings is raised too late. DISPOITIVE
petition dismissed.
Luzon Surety v Quebrar & Kilayko G.R. No. L-40517 January
31, 1984
FACTS:
Luzon Surety issued two administrator's bond in behalf of defendant
Quebrar as administrator of 2 estates (Chinsuy and Lipa). The
plaintiff and both Quebrar and Kilayko bound themselves solidarily
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after executing an indemnity agreement where both the defendants
agreed to pay the premiums every year. In the years 1954-55, the
defendants paid the premiums and the documnetary stamps. In
1957, the Court approved the project of partition, while in 1962,
Luzon Surety demanded payments of premiums from 1955 onwards.
It was also in the same year when the court granted the motion of
the defendants to have both bonds cancelled. Hence, plaintiff file a
case in the CFI. The court (CFI) allowed the plaintiff to recover since
the bonds were in force and effect from the filing until 1962. The
Court of Appeals certified the case to the Supreme Court on questions
of law.
ISSUE: Are the bonds still in force and effect from 1955 to 1962?
RULING: YES. Under Rule 81 (Sec.1) of the Rules of COurt, the
administrator is required to put up a bond for the purpose of
indemnifying creditors, heirs, legatees and the estate. It is
conditioned uponthe faithful performance of the administrator's trust.
Hence, the surety is then liable udner the administrator's bond.
Even after the approved project of partitio, Quebrar as administrator
still had something to do. The administration is for the purpose of
liquidation of the estate and the distribution of the residue among the
heirs and legatees. Liquidation means the determination of all the
assets of the estate and the payment of all debts and expenses. it
appears that there are still deblts and expenses to be paid after 1957.
Moreover, the bond stipulationdd not provide that it will terminate at
the end of the 1st year if the premium remains unpaid. Hence, it does
not necessariy extinguish or terminate the effectivity of the coutner
bond in the absence of an express stipualtion to this effect. As such,
as long as the defendant remains the administrator of the estate, the
bond will be held liable and the plaintiff's liabilities subsist being the
co-extensive with the administrator.
COTIA VS JIMENEZ, 104 PHIL 966

FACTS:

Elena Cotia was appointed administratrix of the estate of the


deceased Mariano Cotia. Failing to submit an account of her
administration, she was ordered by the lower court to submit said
accounting. During the hearing of the statement of accounts
subsequently presented by Elena Cotia, it was established that she
spent for family expenses and attorney’s fees the total sum of
P64,650 without prior judicial authority. The oppositors-appellees
therefore filed a motion for her removal as administratrix not only
because she neglected to submit the accounting required by the
Rules and to settle the estate, but because she had made
unauthorized disbursements.

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ISSUE: Whether or not Elena Cotia should be removed as an
administrator of the subject estate?

RULE: Yes, Elena Cotia should be removed as an administrator


of the estate of the deceased Mariano Cotia.

Under Section 2, Rule 83, of the Rules of Court, the court may
remove an administrator who neglects to render his account and
settle the estate according to law. As the administratrix herein not
only neglected to submit an accounting of her administration and
settle the estate according to law but also had made unauthorized
disbursements in violation of Section 3, Rule 84, of the Rules of
Court, the lower court did not abuse its discretion in removing her.

COBARRUBIAS VS DIZON, 76 PHIL 209 (full text written in


Spanish but found a digest in English. sorry)

The petitioner Magdalena Cobarrubias filed an urgent motion, alleging


that the deceased Pilar Leyba had deposited an amount worth P4,500
in the Bank
of the Philippine Islands; That said bank notified all interested parties
that they withdraw the contents of their section within the shortest
possible time, so she asked to be appointed special administrator and
that she was authorized to withdraw said jewelry from the bank. In
her application Magdalena Cobarrubias stated that she was the only
forced heiress of the late Pilar Leyba. Accepting as good these
allegations, the Honorable Judge Dizon on the same date, July 5,
1945, appointed Magdalena Cobarrubias special administrator on bail
of P200. The petitioner filed a brief alleging that since the Court "has
rescinded its order dated 5 of said month and year," requested that
the Court order the cancellation of the bond of P200 and its return to
the lawyer of the applicant.

Issue: Whether or not appointed special administrator can be


revoked?

Held: Yes.

Revoking the appointment of the appellant as special administrator


and revoking the order authorizing her to withdraw the deposited
jewels, the Court does not abuse its discretion, nor work outside its
jurisdiction. The power of the Court of First Instance to render
ineffective the appointment of an administrator, when the
appointment has been obtained through false or incorrect
representations, is indisputable. When the Court appointed the
appellant special administrator with authorization to withdraw from
the bank jewels valued at P4,500 under a P200 bond, it took into
account its essential claim that "it was the sole forced heiress of the

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deceased." There was no danger of possible embezzlement. They
could even name it without bail. But upon receiving a report that this
allegation was inaccurate. Which was confirmed by the motion of the
same petitioner who requested the "suspension of publication and
postponement of the hearing" because he wished to "have time to
arrange an extrajudicial partition with his
co-heirs," the court had ample grounds to revoke those orders even
without notification to the administrator: the intestate is not initiated
for the benefit of the administrators but of the heirs. The court should
act immediately and not put in danger. With his indifference, the
jewels. If he allowed a few hours to pass, without taking drastic
action, the jewels valued at P4,500 could be withdrawn by the special
administrator who was only secured in P200 to the detriment of the
interests of the minors. The zeal shown by the court was well
founded. The position of special administrator is one of trust. As soon
as it lost its confidence in the integrity of the applicant, the Court was
fully justified in revoking its appointment as special administrator and
withdrawing its authorization to remove the jewels from the bank.

GARCIA VS. VASQUEZ, 32 SCRA 490

FACTS:

Gliceria Avelino del Rosario died unmarried leaving no descendents,


ascendants, brother or sister. Consuelo S. Gonzales Vda. de Precilla,
a niece of the deceased, petitioned the Court of First Instance of
Manila for probate of the alleged last will and testament of Gliceria A.
del Rosario and for her appointment as special administratrix of the
latter’s estate pending the appointment of a regular administrator
thereof.

The petition was opposed separately by several groups of alleged


heirs who invariably charged that the instrument was not intended by
the deceased to be her true will. Oppositor Lucio V. Garcia, who also
presented for probate the 1956 will of the deceased registered
opposition to the appointment of petitioner Consuelo S. Gonzales
Vda. de Precilla as special administratrix, on the ground that the
latter possesses interest adverse to the estate.

The probate court granted petitioner Consuelo’s prayer and appointed


her special administratrix. Said oppositors petitioned the court for the
immediate removal of the special administratrix. It was their claim
that the special administratrix and her deceased husband, Alfonso
Precilla, had caused Gliceria A. del Rosario to execute a simulated
and fraudulent deed of absolute sale dated allegedly conveying unto
said spouses for the paltry sum of P30,000.00 ownership of 3 parcels
of land and the improvements. Oppositors contended that since it is
the duty of the administrator to protect and conserve the properties
of the estate, and it may become necessary that, an action for the
annulment of the deed of sale and for recovery of the aforementioned
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parcels of land be filed against the special administratrix, as wife and
heir of Alfonso Precilla, the removal of the said administratrix was
imperative.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Elena should be removed as special


administratrix for annulment of the deed of sale and for
recovery of the subject parcels of land?

RULE: Yes, Elena should be removed as special administratrix for


annulment of the deed of sale and for recovery of the same.

The alleged deed of sale having been executed by Gliceria del


Rosario, when she was already practically blind; and that the
consideration of P30,000.00 seems to be unconscionably small for
properties with a total assessed value of P334,050.00, there was
likelihood that a case for annulment might indeed be filed against the
estate or heirs of Alfonso Precilla. And the administratrix, being the
widow and heir of the alleged transferee, cannot be expected to sue
herself in an action to recover property that may turn out to belong
to the estate. Not only this, but the conduct of the special
administratrix in securing new copies of the owner’s duplicates of TCT
Nos. 66201, 66202, and 66204, without the court’s knowledge or
authority, and on the pretext that she needed them in the
preparation of the inventory of the estate, when she must have
already known by then that the properties covered therein were
already "conveyed" to her husband by the deceased, being the
latter’s successor, and having the contract bind the land through
issuance of new titles in her husband’s name cannot but expose her
to the charge of unfitness or unsuitableness to discharge the trust,
justifying her removal from the administration of the estate.
_______________________________________________________
______

DE BORJA VS. TAN, 93 PHIL 167

FACTS:
Petitioner Francisco de Borja filed a petition in the lower court for the
probate of the Last Will and Testament of his deceased wife Josefa
Tangco. The will was probated and named Francisco de Borja as
executor thereof. One of the heirs who is now one of the respondents
herein Jose de Borja appealed the case to the Court of Appeals but
later his motion for dismissal of the appeal was granted. Due to
Francisco's physical inability to fully administer the estate he being
quite weak and unable to see, the lower court appointed Crisanto de
Borja, another heir, as co-administrator. Crisanto qualified as co-
administrator.
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Trial court appointed respondent Jose de Borja as co-administrator.
Francisco, Matilde and Crisanto moved for reconsideration of the
appointment of Jose de Borja. The heirs of Jose, Crisanto, Cayetano
and Matilde, all surnamed De Borja, revoked the appointment of
Crisanto as co-administrator and directed administrator Jose de Borja
to comment on the amended account filed by Francisco de Borja.
An order appointing a regular administrator is appealable. On the
other hand, according to Rule 105, section 1 (e) an order appointing
a special administrator is not appealable. Respondents contend that a
co-administrator is not a regular or general administrator, and his
duties and functions rather partake those of a special administrator;
consequently, his appointment is not subject to appeal.
ISSUE: Whether or not De Borja is a special administrator,
thus, his appointment not appealable?
RULE: No, Jose De Borja is a co-administrator. A co-administrator
performs all the functions and duties and exercises all the powers of a
regular administrator, only that he is not alone in the administration.
Further taking into consideration the circumstances obtaining in this
case, that petitioner Francisco de Borja though originally designated
administrator, is and has for several years been one only in name due
to his physical and mental disability, as a result of which respondent
Jose de Borja is now practically the sole administrator there is no
question that for all practical and legal purposes the appointment of
Jose de Borja as co-administrator is equivalent to and has the same
effect as a sole regular or general administrator. Such appointment is
appealable.
On the other hand, the powers and functions of a special
administrator are quite limited. Under Rule 81, section 1, a special
administrator is appointed only when there is a delay in granting
letters testamentary or of administration occasioned by an appeal
from allowance or disallowance of a will or from any other cause, and
such special administrator is authorized to collect and take charge of
the estate until the questions causing the delay are decided and an
executor or administrator thereon appointed. Under Rule 87 section
8, a special administrator is also appointed when the regular executor
or administrator has a claim against the estate he represents and
said special administrator shall have the same power and subject to
the same liability as a regular executor or administrator. In other
words, a special administrator is appointed only for a limited time and
for a specific purpose. Naturally, because of the temporary and
special character of his appointment, it was deemed by the law not
advisable for any party to appeal from said temporary appointment.
_______________________________________________________
______
BORROMEO VS BORROMEO, 97 PHIL 549, 551

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FACTS:

Dr. Maximo Borromeo died without ascendants or descendants, but


leaving his widow Johanna Hofer Borromeo, and a will wherein he
designated the Borromeo Bros. Estate Inc. as his sole heir, even as
he named his brother Canuto O. Borromeo as the executor. The said
corporation is owned entirely by the deceased and his brothers and
sisters.

Proceedings having been instituted, the court of first instance of that


province probated the will in due course, and granted letters
testamentary to Canuto O. Borromeo, who duly qualified as such
executor.

The attorneys for the widow submitted an "Urgent Motion" whereby


they prayed for the removal of the executor on the grounds of
negligence in the performance of his duties and unfitness to continue
discharging the powers of the office.

However, taking advantage of the postponement and after a


subpoena had been served on the Bank of the Philippine Islands
seeking information on the cash deposits therein of the deceased
Maximo Borromeo, the executor withdrew, without authority from the
court, the total amount of P23,930.39 from a joint current account, in
said Bank, of Canuto Borromeo and Maximo Borromeo, and then
deposited portion of the sum thus withdrawn in the joint account of
said Canuto Borromeo and his brother Exequiel.

In time the petition was heard, and voluminous evidence, oral and
documentary, was submitted. The Judge, for several reasons, one of
them the above withdrawal of funds, decreed the removal of the
executor. On motion for reconsideration the executor’s attorney
prayed that the order be revoked.

ISSUE: Whether or not there is sufficient ground to remove


Canuto O. Borromeo as the executor?

RULE: Yes, there is sufficient ground for the removal of Canuto O.


Borromeo as the executor. An executor or administrator should be
removed where his personal interests conflict with his official duties,
but a mere hostile feeling towards persons interested in the estate is
not ground for removal unless it prevents the management of the
estate according to the dictates of prudence.

He claims, in effect, that the money deposited was his at the time he
withdrew it. But would the Bank have allowed him to withdraw the
whole amount if he were not the executor? He got it then as
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executor, and should have kept it in his account as executor. Instead,
he deposited it in a joint account with his brother Exequiel, thereby
placing it at the latter’s disposal, and hiding it from the widow.

Another reason is that the executor claimed as his own certain shares
of the Interisland Gas Service, in the name of Maximo Borromeo.
Conflict between the interest of the executor and the interest of the
deceased is ground for removal or resignation of the former, who was
thereby become unsuitable to discharge the trust. (Section 2, Rule
83.)

An executor will be removed where it appears that he asserts claims


against the estate of the testator to the extent of two thirds of the
value of the estate, and such claims are disputed by the beneficiary
under the will.

ARANAS VS MERCADO
FACTS:
Emigdio S. Mercado (Emigdio) died intestate survived by his second
wife, Teresita V. Mercado (Teresita), and their five children which
includes petitioner Thelma M. Aranas (Thelma).

Emigdio inherited and acquired real properties during his lifetime. He


owned corporate shares in Mervir Realty Corporation (Mervir Realty)
and Cebu Emerson Transportation Corporation (Cebu Emerson). He
assigned his real properties in exchange for corporate stocks of
Mervir Realty, and sold his real property in to Mervir Realty.

Thelma filed a petition for the appointment of Teresita as the


administrator of Emigdio’s estate (Special Proceedings No. 3094–
CEB) which the RTC granted. As the administrator, Teresita submitted
an inventory of the estate of Emigdio and indicated therein the
inventory that at the time of his death, Emigdio had “left no real
properties but only personal properties”. Thelma again moved to
require Teresita to be examined under oath on the inventory, and
that she (Thelma) be allowed 30 days within which to file a formal
opposition to or comment on the inventory and the supporting
documents Teresita had submitted. Thelma opposed the approval of
the inventory, and asked leave of court to examine Teresita on the
inventory.

RTC ordered finding and holding that the inventory submitted by


Teresita had excluded properties that should be included. Teresita
sought the reconsideration of the order on the ground that one of the
real properties affected, Lot No. 3353 located in Badian, Cebu, had
already been sold to Mervir Realty, and that the parcels of land
covered by the deed of assignment had already come into the
possession of and registered in the name of Mervir Realty.Thelma
opposed the motion.
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ISSUE: Whether or not the real property sold by the decedent herein
to Mervir Realty Corporation be included in the inventory of the
estate?

RULE: Yes, the subject property must be included in the inventory of


the estate.

The probate court is authorized to determine the issue of ownership


of properties for purposes of their inclusion or exclusion from the
inventory to be submitted by the administrator, but its determination
shall only be provisional unless the interested parties are all heirs of
the decedent, or the question is one of collation or advancement, or
the parties consent to the assumption of jurisdiction by the probate
court and the rights of third parties are not impaired. Its jurisdiction
extends to matters incidental or collateral to the settlement and
distribution of the estate, such as the determination of the status of
each heir and whether property included in the inventory is the
conjugal or exclusive property of the deceased spouse.

Under Section 6(a), Rule 78 of the Rules of Court, the letters of


administration may be granted at the discretion of the court to the
surviving spouse, who is competent and willing to serve when the
person dies intestate. Upon issuing the letters of administration to the
surviving spouse, the RTC becomes duty–bound to direct the
preparation and submission of the inventory of the properties of the
estate, and the surviving spouse, as the administrator, has the duty
and responsibility to submit the inventory within three months from
the issuance of letters of administration pursuant to Rule 83 of
the Rules of Court, viz:

Section 1. Inventory and appraisal to be returned within three


months. – Within three (3) months after his appointment every
executor or administrator shall return to the court a true inventory
and appraisal of all the real and personal estate of the deceased
which has come into his possession or knowledge. In the
appraisement of such estate, the court may order one or more of the
inheritance tax appraisers to give his or their assistance.

The usage of the word all in Section 1, supra, demands the inclusion
of all the real and personal properties of the decedent in the
inventory. However, the word all is qualified by the phrase which has
come into his possession or knowledge, which signifies that the
properties must be known to the administrator to belong to the
decedent or are in her possession as the administrator. Section 1
allows no exception, for the phrase true inventory implies that no
properties appearing to belong to the decedent can be excluded from
the inventory, regardless of their being in the possession of another
person or entity.

The objective of the Rules of Court in requiring the inventory and


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appraisal of the estate of the decedent is “to aid the court in revising
the accounts and determining the liabilities of the executor or the
administrator, and in making a final and equitable distribution
(partition) of the estate and otherwise to facilitate the administration
of the estate.”23 Hence, the RTC that presides over the administration
of an estate is vested with wide discretion on the question of what
properties should be included in the inventory.

The determination of which properties should be excluded from or


included in the inventory of estate properties was well within the
authority and discretion of the RTC as an intestate court. In making
its determination, the RTC acted with circumspection, and proceeded
under the guiding policy that it was best to include all properties in
the possession of the administrator or were known to the
administrator to belong to Emigdio rather than to exclude properties
that could turn out in the end to be actually part of the estate.

HEIRS OF JOSE SY BANG V. SY


FACTS:
Sy Bang died intestate in leaving behind real and personal properties,
including several businesses.
Respondent Rolando Sy filed a Complaint for Partition against
spouses Jose Sy Bang and Iluminada Tan, spouses Julian Sy and Rosa
Tan, Zenaida Sy, Ma. Emma Sy, Oscar Sy, Rosalino Sy, Lucio Sy,
Enrique Sy, Rosauro Sy, Bartolome Sy, Florecita Sy, Lourdes Sy,
Julieta Sy, Rosita Ferrera-Sy, and Renato Sy.
Respondents Rolando Sy, Rosalino Sy, Lucio Sy, Enrique Sy, Rosauro
Sy, Bartolome Sy, Julieta Sy, Lourdes Sy, and Florecita Sy are the
children of Sy Bang by his second marriage to respondent Rosita
Ferrera-Sy, while petitioners Jose Sy Bang, Julian Sy and Oscar Sy
are the children of Sy Bang from his first marriage to Ba Nga, and
petitioners Zenaida Tan and Ma. Emma Sy are the children of
petitioner spouses Jose Sy Bang and Iluminada Tan.
Herein petitioners and respondents agreed that the income of the
three cinema houses, namely, Long Life, SBS and Sy-Co Theaters,
shall exclusively pertain to respondents for their support and
sustenance and the income from the vast parts of the entire estate
and other businesses of their common father, to pertain exclusively
to petitioners. Hence, since the year 1980, private respondents,
through respondent Rosauro Sy, had taken charge of the operation
and management of the three cinema houses, with the income
derived therefrom evenly divided among themselves for their support
and maintenance.
The Judge rendered a First Partial Decision based on the Compromise
Agreement. Petitioners filed a Motion to Suspend Proceedings and for

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Inhibition, alleging, among others, that the Judge had patently shown
partiality in favor of their co-defendants in the case.
Rosita Ferrera-Sy filed a Motion for Payment of Widow’s Allowance.
She alleged that her deceased husband, Sy Bang, left an extensive
estate. The properties of the estate were found by the trial court to
be their conjugal properties. From the time of Sy Bang’s death in
1971 until the filing of the motion, Rosita was not given any widow’s
allowance as provided in Section 3, Rule 83 of the Rules of Court by
the parties in possession and control of her husband’s estate, or her
share in the conjugal partnership.
Petitioners argued that Section 3, Rule 83 of the Rules of Court
specifically provides that the same is granted only "during the
settlement of the estate" of the decedent, and this allowance, under
Article 188 of the Civil Code (now Article 133 of the Family Code),
shall be taken from the "common mass of property" during the
liquidation of the inventoried properties.
The Court granted the Motion for Payment of Widow’s Allowance and
ordered petitioners jointly and severally to pay Rosita ₱25,000.00 as
the widow’s allowance to be taken from the estate of Sy Bang.
Petitioners informed the Court that Rosita and co-petitioner Enrique
Sy had executed a waiver of past, present and future claims against
petitioners and, thus, should be dropped as parties to the case.
Petitioners said that the trial court, acting as a Guardianship Court,
and limited jurisdiction, had no authority to enforce payment of
widow’s allowance. The payment of widow’s allowance cannot be
implemented at [the] present because the estate of Sy Bang – the
source from which payment is to be taken – has not been determined
with finality.
ISSUE: Whether or not allowance of the widow Rosita is chargeable
to the estate of the deceased?
RULE: Yes, allowance of the widow Rosita is chargeable to the estate
of the deceased despite having not determined with finality yet.
Rule 83, Sec. 3, of the Rules of Court states:
SEC. 3. Allowance to widow and family. – The widow and minor or
incapacitated children of a deceased person, during the settlement of
the estate, shall receive therefrom, under the direction of the court,
such allowance as are provided by law.
Correlatively, Article 188 of the Civil Code states:
Art. 188. From the common mass of property support shall be given
to the surviving spouse and to the children during the liquidation of
the inventoried property and until what belongs to them is delivered;
but from this shall be deducted that amount received for support
which exceeds the fruits or rents pertaining to them.
Obviously, "the court" referred to in Rule 83, Sec. 3, of the Rules of
Court is the court hearing the settlement of the estate. Also crystal
clear is the provision of the law that the widow’s allowance is to be
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taken from the common mass of property forming part of the estate
of the decedent.
Thus, as evident from the foregoing provisions, it is the court hearing
the settlement of the estate that should effect the payment of
widow’s allowance considering that the properties of the estate are
within its jurisdiction, to the exclusion of all other courts. It has been
13 years since this Court ordered petitioners to pay Rosita Ferrera-Sy
her monthly widow’s allowance. Petitioners Iluminada, Zenaida and
Ma. Emma have since fought tooth and nail against paying the said
allowance, grudgingly complying only upon threat of incarceration.
We remind petitioners again that they are duty-bound to comply with
whatever the courts, in relation to the properties under litigation,
may order. The widow’s allowance, as discussed above, is chargeable
to Sy Bang’s estate. That the full extent of Sy Bang’s estate has not
yet been determined is no excuse from complying with this Court’s
order. Properties of the estate have been identified – i.e., those in the
names of petitioners – thus, these properties should be made to
answer for the widow’s allowance of Rosita. In any case, the amount
Rosita receives for support, which exceeds the fruits or rents
pertaining to her, will be deducted from her share of the estate.

ESTATE OF RUIZ VS. CA, 118671, 252 SCRA 541


FACTS:
Hilario M. Ruiz executed a holographic will naming as his heirs his
only son, Edmond Ruiz, his adopted daughter, private respondent
Maria Pilar Ruiz Montes, and his three granddaughters, private
respondents Maria Cathryn, Candice Albertine and Maria Angeline, all
children of Edmond Ruiz. The testator bequeathed to his heirs
substantial cash, personal and real properties and named Edmond
Ruiz executor of his estate.
Hilario Ruiz died. Immediately thereafter, the cash component of his
estate was distributed among Edmond Ruiz and private respondents
in accordance with the decedent's will. Edmond moved for the release
of P50,000.00 to pay the real estate taxes on the real properties of
the estate. Petitioner Testate Estate of Hilario Ruiz, with Edmond Ruiz
as executor, filed an "Ex-Parte Motion for Release of Funds." It
prayed for the release of the rent payments deposited with the
Branch Clerk of Court. Respondent Montes opposed the motion and
concurrently filed a "Motion for Release of Funds to Certain Heirs" and
"Motion for Issuance of Certificate of Allowance of Probate Will."
Montes prayed for the release of the said rent payments to Maria
Cathryn, Candice Albertine and Maria Angeline and for the distribution
of the testator's properties in accordance with the provisions of the
holographic will.
The probate court ordered the release of the funds to Edmond but
only "such amount as may be necessary to cover the expenses of
administration and allowances for support" of the testator's three
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granddaughters subject to collation and deductible from their share in
the inheritance. Edmond M. Ruiz is hereby ordered to submit an
accounting of the expenses necessary for administration including
provisions for the support Of Maria Cathryn Veronique Ruiz, Candice
Albertine Ruiz and Maria Angeli Ruiz before the amount required can
be withdrawn.
Edmond assails the order of the CA disallowing him, as executor, to
take possession of all the real and personal properties of the estate.
ISSUE: Whether or not Edmond, as the executor, has the absolute
right in the possession and administration of the real and personal
properties of the deceased?

RULE: No, the right of an executor or administrator to the possession


and management of the real and personal properties of the deceased
is not absolute and can only be exercised "so long as it is necessary
for the payment of the debts and expenses of administration," Section
3 of Rule 84 of the Revised Rules of Court explicitly provides:
Sec. 3. Executor or administrator to retain whole estate to pay
debts, and to administer estate not willed. — An executor or
administrator shall have the right to the possession and
management of the real as well as the personal estate of the
deceased so long as it is necessary for the payment of the debts
and expenses for administration.28
When petitioner moved for further release of the funds deposited with
the clerk of court, he had been previously granted by the probate
court certain amounts for repair and maintenance expenses on the
properties of the estate, and payment of the real estate taxes
thereon. But petitioner moved again for the release of additional
funds for the same reasons he previously cited. It was correct for the
probate court to require him to submit an accounting of the
necessary expenses for administration before releasing any further
money in his favor.
It was relevantly noted by the probate court that petitioner had
deposited with it only a portion of the one-year rental income from
the Valle Verde property. Petitioner did not deposit its succeeding
rents after renewal of the lease. Neither did he render an accounting
of such funds.
Petitioner must be reminded that his right of ownership over the
properties of his father is merely inchoate as long as the estate has
not been fully settled and partitioned. As executor, he is a mere
trustee of his father's estate. The funds of the estate in his hands are
trust funds and he is held to the duties and responsibilities of a
trustee of the highest order. He cannot unilaterally assign to himself
and possess all his parents' properties and the fruits thereof without
first submitting an inventory and appraisal of all real and personal
properties of the deceased, rendering a true account of his
administration, the expenses of administration, the amount of the
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obligations and estate tax, all of which are subject to a determination
by the court as to their veracity, propriety and justness.
_______________________________________________________
___

MANANQUIL V. ATTY. VILLEGAS, A.M. No. 2430


FACTS:
Atty. Villegas was counsel of record of one Felix LEONG, the
administrator for the testate estate of one Felomina Zerna. LEONG,
as administrator of Zerna’s estate, entered into a lease contract with
the partnership of HIJOS DE VILLEGAS over several lots included in
Zerna’s estate. The said lease contract was renewed several times
henceforth. It is important to note at this point that VILLEGAS was
both counsel of LEONG and a partner in the partnership of HIJOS DE
VILLEGAS. When LEONG died, this disbarment suit was filed by
MANANQUIL, the appointed administrator for LEONG’s estate.
MANANQUIL alleged that the lease contracts were made under
iniquitous terms and conditions. Also, MANANQUIL alleged that
VILLEGAS should have first notified and secured the approval of the
probate court in Zerna’s estate before the contracts were renewed,
VILLEGAS being counsel of that estate’s administrator.
ISSUE: Whether VILLEGAS should have first secured the probate
court’s approval regarding the lease?
RULING:
NO. Pursuant to Section 3 of Rule 84 of the Revised Rules of Court, a
judicial executor or administrator has the right to the possession and
management of the real as well as the personal estate of the
deceased so long as it is necessary for the payment of the debts and
the expenses of administration. He may, therefore, exercise acts of
administration without special authority from the court having
jurisdiction of the
estate. For instance, it has long been settled that an administrator
has the power to enter into lease contracts involving the properties of
the estate even without prior judicial authority and approval. Thus,
considering that administrator Felix Leong was not required under the
law and prevailing jurisprudence to seek prior authority from the
probate court in order to validly lease real properties of the estate,
respondent, as counsel of Felix Leong, cannot be taken to task for
failing to notify the probate court of the various lease contracts
involved herein and to secure its judicial approval thereto.
However, the Court sustains the Solicitor General's holding that there
is no sufficient evidence on record to warrant a finding that
respondent allowed the properties of the estate of Filomena Zerna
involved herein to be leased to his family partnership at very low
rental payments. At any rate, it is a matter for the court presiding
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over Special Proceedings No. 460 to determine whether or not the
agreed rental payments made by respondent's family partnership is
reasonable compensation for the use and occupancy of the estate
properties.
Considering thus the nature of the acts of misconduct committed by
respondent, and the facts and circumstances of the case, the Court
finds sufficient grounds to suspend respondent from the practice of
law for a period of three (3) months.

RULE 85 – ACCOUNTABILITY AND COMPENSATION OF


EXECUTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS

3.
MOISES SAN DIEGO, SR. vs. ADELO NOMBRE and PEDRO
ESCANLAR
G.R. No. L-19265, May 29, 1964, PAREDES, J.

FACTS:
On May 1, 1960, Nombre, in his capacity was judicial administrator of
the intestate estate subject of the Sp. Proc. stated above, leased one
of the properties of the estate (a fishpond identified as Lot No. 1617
of the cadastral survey of Kabankaban, Negros Occidental), to Pedro
Escanlar, the other respondent.
The terms of the lease was for three (3) years, with a yearly
rental of P3,000.00 to expire on May 1, 1963, the transaction having
been done, admittedly, without previous authority or approval of the
Court where the proceedings was pending.
On January 17, 1961, Nombre was removed as administrator by
Order of the court and one Sofronio Campillanos was appointed in his
stead.
On March 20, 1961, Campillanos filed a motion asking for
authority to execute a lease contract of the same fishpond, in favor of
petitioner herein, Moises San Diego, Sr., for 5 years from 1961, at a
yearly rental of P5,000.00.
Nombre, the deposed administrator, presented a written
opposition to the motion of Campillanos on April 11, 1964, pointing
out that the fishpond had been leased by him to Escanlar for 3 years,
the period of which was going to expire on May 1, 1963.

ISSUE:
1. Whether a judicial administrator can validly lease property of
the estate without prior judicial authority and approval.
2. Whether the provisions of the New Civil Code on Agency
should apply to judicial administrators.
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RULING:
1. YES. We believe that the Court of Appeals was correct in
sustaining the validity of the contract of lease in favor of Escanlar,
notwithstanding the lack of prior authority and approval.
The Rules of Court provide that —
An executor or administrator shall have the right to the possession of
the real as well as the personal estate of the deceased so long as it is
necessary for the payment of the debts and the expenses of
administration, and shall administer the estate of the deceased not
disposed of by his will. (Sec. 3, Rule 85, old Rules).
Lease has been considered an act of administration (Jocson v. Nava;
Gamboa v. Gamboa; Rodriguez v. Borromeo; Ferraris v.
Rodas, supra).
2. NO. While it may be admitted that the duties of a judicial
administrator and an agent (petitioner alleges that both act in
representative capacity), are in some respects, identical, the
provisions on agency (Art. 1878, C.C.), should not apply to a judicial
administrator.
A judicial administrator is appointed by the Court. He is not only
the representative of said Court, but also the heirs and creditors of
the estate (Chua Tan v. Del Rosario, 57 Phil. 411). A judicial
administrator before entering into his duties, is required to file a
bond. These circumstances are not true in case of agency. The agent
is only answerable to his principal. The protection which the law gives
the principal, in limiting the powers and rights of an agent, stems
from the fact that control by the principal can only be thru
agreements, whereas the acts of a judicial administrator are subject
to specific provisions of law and orders of the appointing court.
4.
LUZ CARO vs. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and BASILIA
LAHORRA VDA. DE BENITO, AS ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE
INTESTATE ESTATE OF MARIO BENITO
G.R. No. L-4600, March 25, 1982, GUERRERO, J.

FACTS:
Alfredo Benito, Mario Benito and Benjamin Benito were the
original co-owners of two parcels of land covered by Transfer
Certificates of Title Nos. T-609 and T-610 of the Registry of Deeds of
Sorsogon.
Mario died sometime in January, 1957. His surviving wife,
Basilia Lahorra and his father, Saturnino Benito, were subsequently
appointed in Special Proceeding No. 508 of the Court of First Instance
of Sorsogon as joint administrators of Mario's estate.

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On August 26, 1959, one of the co-owners, Benjamin Benito,
executed a deed of absolute sale of his one-third undivided portion
over said parcels of land in favor of herein petitioner, Luz Caro, for
the sum of P10,000.00.
Subsequently, with the consent of Saturnino Benito and Alfredo
Benito as shown in their affidavits both dated September 15, 1960,
Exhibits G and F respectively, a subdivision title was issued to
petitioner Luz Caro over Lot I-C, under T.C.T. No. T-4978.
Sometime in the month of May, 1966, private respondent
Basilia Lahorra Vda. de Benito learned from an allegation in a
pleading presented by petitioner in Special Proceeding No. 508 that
the latter acquired by purchase from Benjamin Benito the aforesaid
one-third undivided share in each of the two parcels of land.
Private respondent, thus, filed the present case as an
independent one and in the trial sought to prove that as a joint
administrator of the estate of Mario Benito, she had not been notified
of the sale as required by Article 1620 in connection with Article 1623
of the New Civil Code.

ISSUE:
Whether respondent Basilia Lahorra Vda. de Benito exercise the
right of legal redemption with respect to the lots in question.

RULING:
NO. The fact is that as early as 1960, co-ownership of the
parcels of land covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. T-609
and T-610 was terminated when Alfredo Benito, Luz Caro and the
Intestate Estate of Mario Benito, represented by administrators
Saturnino Benito, as trustee and representative of the heirs of Mario
Benito, agreed to subdivide the property.
Even on the assumption that there still is co-ownership here and
that therefore, the right of legal redemption exists, private
respondent as administratrix, has no personality to exercise said right
for and in behalf of the intestate estate of Mario Benito. She is on the
same footing as co-administrator Saturnino Benito. Hence, if
Saturnino's consent to the sale of the one-third portion to petitioner
cannot bind the intestate estate of Mario Benito on the ground that
the right of redemption was not within the powers of administration,
in the same manner, private respondent as co-administrator has no
power exercise the right of redemption — the very power which the
Court of Appeals ruled to be not within the powers of administration.
While under Sec. 3, Rule 85, Rules of Court, the administrator has
the right to the possession of the real and personal estate of the
deceased, so far as needed for the payment of the expenses of
administration, and the administrator may bring and defend action for
the recovery or protection of the property or right of the deceased
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(Sec. 2, Rule 88), such right of possession and administration do not
include the right of legal redemption of the undivided share sold to a
stranger by one of the co-owners after the death of another, because
in such case, the right of legal redemption only came into existence
when the sale to the stranger was perfected and formed no part of
the estate of the deceased co-owner; hence, that right cannot be
transmitted to the heir of the deceased co-owner. (Butte vs. Manuel
Uy and Sons, Inc., 4 SCRA 526).
5.
ESTATE OF AMADEO MATUTE OLAVE, as represented by JOSE
S. MATUTE, Judicial Co-Administrator in Sp. Proc. No. 25876,
Court of First Instance of Manila
vs. HONORABLE MANASES G. REYES, Presiding Judge of
Branch III, Court of First Instance of Davao, Davao City;
SOUTHWEST AGRICULTURAL MARKETING CORPORATION also
known as (SAMCO); CARLOS V. MATUTE, as another
Administrator of the Estate of Amadeo Matute Olave, Sp. Proc.
No. 25876 CFI, Manila; and MATIAS S. MATUTE, as former Co-
Administrator of the Estate of Amadeo Matute Olave, Sp. Proc.
No. 25876, CFI, Manila
G.R. No. L-29407, July 29, 1983, RELOVA, J.

FACTS:
The petition alleged that the estate of Amadeo Matute Olave is
the owner in fee simple of a parcel of land containing an area of
293,578 square meters, situated in sitio Tibambam, barrio
Tibambam, municipality of Sigaboy (now Governor Generoso),
province of Davao.
In April 1965 herein private respondent Southwest Agricultural
Marketing Corporation (SAMCO), as plaintiff, filed Civil Case No. 4623
with the respondent Court of First Instance of Davao against
respondents, Carlos V. Matute and Matias S. Matute, as defendants,
in their capacities as co-administrators of the estate of Amadeo
Matute Olave, for the collection of an alleged indebtedness of
P19,952.11 and for attorney's fees of P4,988.02.
On October 20, 1967, the parties (plaintiff and defendants) in
Civil Case No. 4623 of the Court of First Instance of Davao, submitted
to the respondent court an Amicable Settlement whereby the
property of the estate covered by OCT No. 0-27 of Davao was
conveyed and ceded to SAMCO as payment of its claim.
The said Amicable Settlement signed by the herein respondents
was not submitted to and approved by the then Court of First
Instance of Manila, Branch IV, in Sp. Proc. No. 25876, nor notice
thereof made to the beneficiaries and heirs in said special
proceedings.

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That on November 10, 1967, respondent court, despite the opposition
of the other parties who sought to intervene in Civil Case No. 4623
and despite the utter lack of approval of the probate court in Manila,
approved the said Amicable Settlement and gave the same the
enforceability of a court decision which, in effect, ceded the property
covered by OCT No. 0-27, containing an area of 293,578 square
meters and with an assessed value of P31,700.00 to SAMCO in
payment of its claim for only P19,952.11.
Made to answer, herein respondent SAMCO and respondent judge,
among others, contend that the Amicable Settlement need not be
approved by the probate court, "the same having been entered into
in another independent action and in another court of co-equal rank.

ISSUE:
Whether the administrator can enter into an amicable
settlement involving the estate of the decedent without prior approval
of the probate court.

RULING:
NO. Section 1, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court, provides that "no action
upon a claim for the recovery of money or debt or interest thereon
shall be commenced against the executor or administrator; ..." The
claim of private respondent SAMCO being one arising from a contract
may be pursued only by filing the same in the administration
proceedings in the Court of First Instance of Manila (Sp. Proc. No.
25876) for the settlement of the estate of the deceased Amadeo
Matute Olave; and the claim must be filed within the period
prescribed, otherwise, the same shall be deemed "barred forever."
(Section 5, Rule 86, Rules of Court).
The purpose of presentation of claims against decedents of the estate
in the probate court is to protect the estate of deceased persons.
That way, the executor or administrator will be able to examine each
claim and determine whether it is a proper one which should be
allowed. Further, the primary object of the provisions requiring
presentation is to apprise the administrator and the probate court of
the existence of the claim so that a proper and timely arrangement
may be made for its payment in full or by pro-rata portion in the due
course of the administration, inasmuch as upon the death of a
person, his entire estate is burdened with the payment of all of his
debts and no creditor shall enjoy any preference or priority; all of
them shag share pro-rata in the liquidation of the estate of the
deceased.
It is clear that the main purpose of private respondent SAMCO in
filing Civil Case No. 4623 in the then Court of First Instance of Davao
was to secure a money judgment against the estate which eventually
ended in the conveyance to SAMCO of more than twenty-nine (29)
hectares of land belonging to the estate of the deceased Amadeo
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Matute Olave in payment of its claim, without prior authority of the
probate court of Manila, in Sp. Proc. No. 25876, which has the
exclusive jurisdiction over the estate of Amadeo Matute Olave. It was
a mistake on the part of respondent court to have given due course
to Civil Case No. 4623, much less issue the questioned Order, dated
November 10, 1967, approving the Amicable Settlement.
Section 1, Rule 73 of the Rules of Court, expressly provides that "the
court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a
decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other
courts." (Emphasis supplied). The law is clear that where the estate
of the deceased person is already the subject of a testate or intestate
proceeding, the administrator cannot enter into any transaction
involving it without prior approval of the probate court.
6.
SOCIEDAD DE LIZARRAGA HERMANOS vs. FELICISIMA ABADA,
ET AL.
G.R. No. 13910, September 17, 1919, MOIR, J.

FACTS:
Francisco Caponong died in October, 1906, owing the plaintiffs a sum
of money which was then less than the amount allowed by the
commissioners.
His widow, Felicisima Abada, was appointed administratrix of the
estate, commissioners to appraise the estate and to pass on the
claims against the estate were duly appointed, and plaintiffs
presented their claim which was allowed by the commissioners in the
sum of P12,783.74. The commissioner's report was dated in
February, 1909.
The administratrix leased the hacienda [farm] known
as "Coronacion" to Hilario Zayco for a term of years, but afterwards
she married Vicente Alvarez, one of the defendants, and the lease
was transferred to Alvarez by Zayco, October 2, 1908.
On the 11th of April, 1913, nearly seven years after the death of
Caponong, the plaintiffs herein filed a suit in the Court of First
Instance of Occidental Negros against Felicisima Abada personally
and as administratrix of the estate of Francisco Caponong, alleging
that Francisco Caponong owed plaintiffs P12,783.74, and that
Felicisima Abada in her own name and as administratrix, had been
receiving from the plaintiffs money and effects from 1908 to 1912
which money and effects were used by the defendant in "the expense
of cultivation and the exploitation of the Hacienda 'Coronacion,' "and
that defendant had delivered to plaintiffs the sugar produced until the
last crop which she refused to deliver to them.
On the 25th of August, 1914, the parties, including the guardian of
the minors, presented a motion in court stating that they had made

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an amicable settlement of the litigation, and prayed the court to
dismiss the action, which was done.
The settlement agreed upon was, briefly, that the defendants,
including the guardian of the minor children, "recognized that the
deceased Francisco Caponong's estate was indebted to the plaintiffs,
according to a liquidation of the accounts on the 30th of June, 1913,
in the sum of P68,611.01, which was to be paid with 10 per cent
interest in seven equal annual installments;" and to secure this debt,
the defendants agreed to give plaintiffs a first mortgage on all the
property of Francisco Caponong, except the growing sugar cane, and
on all the property belonging exclusively to Felicisima Abada, and the
defendants agreed to secure judicial approval of the settlement. The
defendants also agreed to mortgage the carabaos then on the
hacienda to plaintiffs.

ISSUE:
Whether the court in approving the compromise intended to
hold the defendant estate liable only for the original debt, which was
only P12,783.74.

RULING:
YES. The law declares that commissioners shall pass upon all
claims against the estate. They had done so in this case. The law
fixed the limit of the estate's liability. The court could not charge it
with debts that were never owed by it. The administratrix could only
charge the estate with the reasonable and proper expenses of
administration.
The estate owed plaintiffs less than P13,000 when the commissioners
passed on their claim. Part of this has been paid, and there was a
balance due plaintiffs of P8,555.78 at the time of the trial, plus
interest. The plaintiffs, after their claim had been presented and
allowed by the commissioners, made advances to the administratrix
till their claim was more than P68,000.
It is urged that the major part of this debt of P68,000
is administration expenses, and as such is chargeable against the
assets of the estate. No reason is given why the expense of
administration should be so great, and the evidence fails to sustain
this position.
The administration expense would be the necessary expenses of
handling the property, of protecting it against destruction or
deterioration, and possibly producing a crop, but if plaintiffs, holding
a claim originally for less than P13,000 against the estate, let the
administratrix have money and effects till their claim grow to P68,000
they cannot be permitted to charge this amount as expense of
administration. They might be allowed to charge it against the current
revenue from the hacienda or the net proceeds of the "exploitation of

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the hacienda" for which it was obtained and used, as plaintiffs allege,
but it cannot relate back to the presenting of their claim to the
commissioners, and be a charge against the inheritance of the heirs,
or even a claim to prorate with other creditors' claims allowed by the
commissioners. By expense of administration we understand to be
the reasonable and necessary expense of caring for the property and
managing it till the debts are paid, as provided by law, and of dividing
it, if necessary, so as to partition it and deliver to the heirs.
The court could not approve a settlement saddling upon the estate
debts it never owed, and if it did, its approval would be a nullity.
To give effect to the compromise as written would result in great
wrong, and destroy every chance the minor children had to
participate in the inheritance of their father.
That the mortgage given at the same time and as a result of the
agreement was without legal warrant is equally clear. No mortgage
can be placed by an administrator on the estate of a descendant,
unless it is specifically authorized by statute.
7.
Testate Estate of the Late Felix J. de Guzman. VICTORINO G.
DE GUZMAN vs. CRISPINA DE GUZMAN-CARILLO, ARSENIO DE
GUZMAN and HONORATA DE GUZMAN-MENDIOLA
G.R. No. L-29276, May 18, 1978, AQUINO, J.

FACTS:
The deceased testator was survived by eight children named
Victorino, Librada, Severino, Margarita, Josefina, Honorata, Arsenio
and Crispina. His will was duly probated. Letters of administration
were issued to his son, Doctor Victorino G. de Guzman.
One of the properties left by the dent was a residential house located
in the poblacion. In conformity with his last will, that house and the
lot on which it stands were adjudicated to his eight children, each
being given a one-eighth proindiviso share in the project of partition
dated March 19, 1966, which was signed by the eight heirs and which
was approved in the lower court's order of April 14, 1967 but without
prejudice to the final outcome of the accounting.
The administrator submitted four accounting reports for the period
from June 16, 1964 to September, 1967. Three heirs Crispina de
Guzmans-Carillo Honorata de Guzman-Mendiola and Arsenio de
Guzman interposed objections to the administrator's disbursements in
the total sum of P13,610.48:
I. Expense for the improvement and renovation of the decedent's
residential house.
1. Construction of fence — P3,082.07
2. Renovation of bathroom — P1,389.52
3. Repair of terrace and interior of house — P5,928.00 — P10,399.59
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II. Living expenses of Librada de Guzman while occupying the family
home without paying rent:
1. For house helper — P1,170.00
2. Light bills — 227.41
3. Water bills — 150.80
4. Gas oil, floor wax and switch nail — 54.90 — P 1,603.11
III. Other expenses:
1. Lawyer's subsistence — P 19.30
2. Gratuity pay in lieu
of medical fee — 144.00
3. For stenographic notes — 100.00
4. For food served on decedent's first death anniversary — 166.65
5. Cost of publication of death anniversary of decedent — 102.00
6. Representation expenses — 26.25 — P558.20
IV. Irrigation fee P1.049.58
TOTAL P13,610.48

ISSUE:
Whether the above-mentioned expenses allowed as items for
legitimate expenses of administration.

RULING:
An executor or administrator is allowed the necessary expenses
in the care, management, and settlement of the estate. He is entitled
to possess and manage the decedent's real and personal estate as
long as it is necessary for the payment of the debts and the expenses
of administration. He is accountable for the whole decedent's estate
which has come into his possession, with all the interest, profit, and
income thereof, and with the proceeds of so much of such estate as is
sold by him, at the price at which it was sold (Sec. 3, Rule 84; Secs.
1 and 7, Rule 85, Rules of Court).
One of the Conditions of the administrator's bond is that he
should render a true and just account of his administration to the
court.
As clarified in the Lizarraga case, administration expenses
should be those which are necessary for the management of the
estate, for protecting it against destruction or deterioration, and,
possibly, for the production of fruits. They are expenses entailed for
the preservation and productivity of the estate and its management
for purposes of liquidation, payment of debts, and distribution of the
residue among the persons entitled thereto.

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It should be noted that the family residence was
partitioned proindiviso among the decedent's eight children. Each one
of them was given a one-eighth share in conformity with the
testator's will. Five of the eight co-owners consented to the use of the
funds of the estate for repair and improvement of the family home. It
is obvious that the expenses in question were incurred to preserve
the family home and to maintain the family's social standing in the
community.
Obviously, those expenses redounded to the benefit of an the co-
owners. They were necessary for the preservation and use of the
family residence. As a result of those expenses, the co-owners,
including the three oppositors, would be able to use the family home
in comfort, convenience and security.
We are of the opinion that those expenses were personal
expenses of Librada de Guzman, inuring only to her benefit. Those
expenses, not being reasonable administration expenses incurred by
the administrator, should not be charged against the income of the
estate.
Librada de Guzman, as an heir, is entitled to share in the net income
of the estate. She occupied the house without paying rent. She
should use her income for her living expenses while occupying the
family residence.
Among these expenses is the sum of P100 for stenographic
notes which, as admitted by the administrator on page 24 of his brief,
should be disallowed. Another item, "representation expenses" in the
sum of P26.25 (2nd accounting), was not explained. It should
likewise be disallowed.
The probate court erred in allowing as expenses of ad. administration
the sum of P268.65 which was incurred during the celebration of the
first death anniversary of the deceased. Those expenses are
disallowed because they have no connection with the care,
management and settlement of the decedent's estate (Nicolas vs.
Nicolas 63 Phil 332).
The other expenses, namely, P19.30 for the lawyer's subsistence and
P144 as the cost of the gift to the physician who attended to the
testator during his last s are allowable expenses.
The explanation is not quite clear but it was not disputed by the
appellants. The fact is that the said sum of P1,049.58 was paid by the
administrator to the Penaranda Irrigation System as shown in Official
Receipt No. 3596378 dated April 28, 1967. It was included in his
accounting as part of the farming expenses. The amount was properly
allowed as a legitimate expense of administration.
8.
TEODORICO UY TIOCO vs. CARLOS IMPERIAL, Judge of First
Instance of Manila, and ALEJANDRO M. PANIS
G.R. No. L-29414, July 17, 1928, OSTRAND, J.

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FACTS:
Respondent Panis was counsel for the administration of said
estate and that he on October 31, 1927, before the final settlement
of accounts, presented a motion in the probate proceedings for the
allowance of attorney's fees in the sum of P15,000.
On December 5, 1927, the respondent judge, over the
objections in writing presented by the administrator, granted the
motion and allowed the fees claimed by Panis.
The administrator, the herein petitioner, did not appeal from the
order of the court, but on February 8, 1928, Jacinto Yangco, in his
capacity as guardian ad litem of the minors Pedro and Bruno Uy
Tioco, the sons and then the only heirs of the deceased, presented a
motion for reconsideration under section 113 of the Code of Civil
Procedure on the grounds that he was not notified of the motion for
the allowance of fees and had no knowledge thereof or of the order
granting the motion until a few days before the filing of there motion
for reconsideration.

ISSUE:
Whether the allowance of attorney’s fees be directly charged to
the estate.

RULING:
The attorney can therefore not hold the estate directly liable for
his fees; such fees are allowed to the executor or administrator and
not to the attorney.
The liability for the payment rests on the executor or
administrator, but if the fees paid are beneficial to the estate and
reasonable, he is entitled to the reimbursement from the estate. Such
payment should be included in his accounts and the reimbursement
therefore settled upon the notice prescribed in section 682 of the
Code of Civil Procedure.
For the reasons stated the respondent judge is hereby
prohibited from enforcing the payment of the attorney's fees above-
mentioned until the appeal taken by Jacinto Yangco, as guardian ad
litem for the minor Pedro Uy Tioco, has been passed upon by this
court or dismissed.
9.
HUGO P. RODRIGUEZ vs. JOSE YNZA
97 Phil 1003, 1955
(unreported; cannot find a full text of this case online)

FACTS:
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CFI Iloilo authorized the payment for Atty Tirol's legal services.
Ynza opposed and appealed arguing that Atty Tirol's service was
rendered to a trustee and admin of the estate and NOT the estate
itself.

ISSUE:
Whether the payment for Atty Tirol's services is chargeable to
the estate.

RULING:
YES. In this case, Atty Tirol was counsel for the trustee in 8
cases all of which involved estate property. Atty Tirol's success in
those 8 cases undoubtedly benefited the estate.
10.
GAVINO ALDAMIZ, as administrator of the estate of the
deceased Santiago Rementeria y Aldamizcogeascoa vs. THE
JUDGE OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MINDORO, THE
PROVINCIAL SHERIFF OF MINDORO and JUAN L. LUNA
G.R. No. L-2360, December 29, 1949, MORAN, C.J.

FACTS:
Santiago Rementeria y Aldamizcogeascoa, the decedent was a
Spaniard and member of the commercial partnership "Aldamiz y
Rementeria." The other members were the brothers, Gavino and
Jose, surnamed Aldamiz.
Santiago Rementeria died in Spain in 1937, and probate
proceeding No. 705 was instituted in the same year in the Court of
First Instance of Mindoro by Gavino Aldamiz represented by Atty.
Juan L. Luna.
Gavino Aldamiz was appointed administrator and as such was
represented by respondent Atty. Juan Luna up to January 21, 1947,
when the order complained for was issued. In that order it is said that
"said attorney is the one who instituted this testate proceeding ten
years ago and has from its incipiency to the present stage of the
proceedings actively intervened in the same.
On January 15, 1947, After ten years from the date of his
appointment, Gavino Aldamiz, as administrator, through his attorney,
Juan L. Luna, submitted his accounts for the years 1944, 1945 and
1946 and also a project of partition with a view to closing the
proceedings. On said date, the court approved the accounts by
refused to approve the project of partition unless all debts including
attorney's fees be first paid.
In the project of partition, it was expressly stated that
attorney's fees, debts and incidental expenses would be
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proportionately paid by the beneficiaries after the closure of the
testate proceedings, but the court refused to sanction this clause of
the project. It is for this reason that right then and there, Attorney
Luna, to comply with the wishes of the court, without previously
preparing and filing a written petition to have his professional fees
fixed, and without previous notice to all the interested parties,
submitted evidence of his services and professional standing so that
the court might fix the amount of his compensation and the
administrator may make payment thereof. This failure to file a written
claim and to notify the interested parties thereof was not due to bad
faith or fraudulent purpose but to an honest belief on the part of the
respondent attorney that such requirements were not necessary
under the circumstance.
At the time respondent's evidence was submitted to the court,
the interested parties who were residing in the Philippines were
Gavino Aldamiz and his brother Jose Aldamiz. The others were then
residing in Spain. No written claim had ever been filed for
respondent's fees, and the interested parties had not been notified
thereof nor of the hearing, not even Gavino Aldamiz who did not
know when he was called to testify that he would testify in connection
with respondent's fees.
The Court, after considering the whole evidence presented,
issued its order of January 21, 1947, awarding respondent Attorney
Luna, in payment of his professional services, an aggregate sum of
P28,000.
The Court ordered payment of these amounts within thirty days.
Petitioner Gavino Aldamiz received copy of this order on February
21,1948. Out of the total amount of P28,000, petitioner was able to
pay P5,000 only, and upon his failure to pay the balance of P23,000
after several demands made upon him by respondent attorney, the
latter on April 17, 1948, filed an ex-parte motion for execution which
was granted by the respondent Court on April 19,1948.

ISSUE:
Whether the procedure of fixing the amount of respondent
attorney’s fees is proper.

RULING:
NO. We believe and so hold that the order of the respondent
court issued on January 21,1948, fixing the amount of respondent
attorney's fees is null and void.
The correct procedure for the collection of attorney's fees, is for the
counsel to request the administrator to make payment and file an
action against him in his personal capacity and not as an
administrator should he fail to pay (Palileo vs. Mendoza, G.R. No.
47106, 40 Off. Gaz. [8th Supp.], 132.)
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If the judgment is rendered against the administrator and he pays, he
may include the fees so paid in his account to the court. (Uy Tioco vs.
Imperial, 53 Phil., 802.) The attorney also may, instead of bringing
such an action, file a [petition in the testate or intestate proceeding
"asking that the court, after notice to all persons interested, allow his
claim and direct the administrator to pay it as an expense of
administration." (Emphasis ours.) (Escueta vs. Sy Juilliong, 5 Phil.,
405.)
In the instant case, as above stated, no written petition for the
payment of attorney's fees has ever been filed by the respondent
attorney and the interested parties had not been previously notified
thereof nor of the hearing held by the court. Consequently, the order
issued by the respondent court on January 21, 1947, and all
subsequent orders implementing it, are null and void, as having been
issued on excess of jurisdiction.
We also hold that the order of execution issued on April 19,1948, is
null and void, not only because it was intended to implement the
order of January 21, 1947, which in itself was null and void, but
because a writ of execution is not the proper procedure allowed by
the Rules of the Court for the payment of debts and expenses of
administration.
The proper procedure is for the court to order the sale of personal
estate or the sale of mortgaged of real property of the deceased and
all debts or expenses of administration should be paid out of the
proceeds of the sale or mortgage. The order for the sale or mortgage
should be issued upon motion of the administrator and with the
written notice to all the heirs, legatees and devisees residing in the
Philippines, according to Rule 89, section 3, and Rule 90, section 2.
And when sale or mortgage of real estate is to be made, the
regulations contained in Rule 90, section 7, should be complied with.
Execution may issue only where the devisees, legatees or heirs have
entered into possession of their respective portions in the estate prior
to settlement and payment of the debts and expenses of
administration and it is later ascertained that there are such debts
and expenses to be paid, in which case "the court having jurisdiction
of the estate may, by order for that purpose, after hearing, settle the
amount of their several liabilities, and order how much and in what
manner each person shall contribute, and may issue execution if
circumstances require" (Rule 89, section 6; see also Rule 74, section
4; Emphasis ours). And this is not the instant case.
11.
ALFREDO HILADO, LOPEZ SUGAR CORPORATION, FIRST
FARMERS HOLDING CORPORATION vs. THE HONORABLE
COURT OF APPEALS, THE HONORABLE AMOR A. REYES,
Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 21 and
ADMINISTRATRIX JULITA CAMPOS BENEDICTO
G.R. No. 164108, May 8, 2009, TINGA, J.

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FACTS:
The well-known sugar magnate Roberto S. Benedicto died intestate
on 15 May 2000. He was survived by his wife, private respondent
Julita Campos Benedicto (administratrix Benedicto), and his only
daughter, Francisca Benedicto-Paulino.
At the time of his death, there were two pending civil cases against
Benedicto involving the petitioners.
The first, Civil Case No. 95-9137, was then pending with the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City, Branch 44, with petitioner Alfredo
Hilado as one of the plaintiffs therein. The second, Civil Case No.
11178, was then pending with the RTC of Bacolod City, Branch 44,
with petitioners Lopez Sugar Corporation and First Farmers Holding
Corporation as one of the plaintiffs therein.
On 25 May 2000, private respondent Julita Campos Benedicto
filed with the RTC of Manila a petition for the issuance of letters of
administration in her favor.
On 2 August 2000, the Manila RTC issued an order appointing private
respondent as administrator of the estate of her deceased husband,
and issuing letters of administration in her favor.
In January 2001, private respondent submitted an Inventory of the
Estate, Lists of Personal and Real Properties, and Liabilities of the
Estate of her deceased husband. In the List of Liabilities attached to
the inventory, private respondent included as among the liabilities,
the above-mentioned two pending claims then being litigated before
the Bacolod City courts. Private respondent stated that the amounts
of liability corresponding to the two cases as ₱136,045,772.50 for
Civil Case No. 95-9137 and ₱35,198,697.40 for Civil Case No.
11178. Thereafter, the Manila RTC required private respondent to
submit a complete and updated inventory and appraisal report
pertaining to the estate.
On 24 September 2001, petitioners filed with the Manila RTC a
Manifestation/Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela,praying that they be
furnished with copies of all processes and orders pertaining to the
intestate proceedings.
On 2 January 2002, the Manila RTC issued an order denying the
manifestation/motion, on the ground that petitioners are not
interested parties within the contemplation of the Rules of Court to
intervene in the intestate proceedings.
On 27 February 2004, the Court of Appeals promulgated a
decision dismissing the petition and declaring that the Manila RTC did
not abuse its discretion in refusing to allow petitioners to intervene in
the intestate proceedings.
The Court of Appeals cited the fact that the claims of petitioners
against the decedent were in fact contingent or expectant, as these

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were still pending litigation in separate proceedings before other
courts.

ISSUE:
Whether petitioner has the right to intervene in the intestate
proceedings of the estate of Roberto Benedicto.

RULING:
Section 1 of Rule 19 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure requires that
an intervenor "has a legal interest in the matter in litigation, or in the
success of either of the parties, or an interest against both, or is so
situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other
disposition of property in the custody of the court x x x" While the
language of Section 1, Rule 19 does not literally preclude petitioners
from intervening in the intestate proceedings, case law has
consistently held that the legal interest required of an intervenor
"must be actual and material, direct and immediate, and not simply
contingent and expectant."
Nonetheless, it is not immediately evident that intervention under the
Rules of Civil Procedure necessarily comes into operation in special
proceedings. The settlement of estates of deceased persons fall
within the rules of special proceedings under the Rules of Court, 18 not
the Rules on Civil Procedure. Section 2, Rule 72 further provides that
"[i]n the absence of special provisions, the rules provided for in
ordinary actions shall be, as far as practicable, applicable to special
proceedings."
We can readily conclude that notwithstanding Section 2 of Rule 72,
intervention as set forth under Rule 19 does not extend to creditors
of a decedent whose credit is based on a contingent claim. The
definition of "intervention" under Rule 19 simply does not
accommodate contingent claims.
However, it appears that the claims against Benedicto were based on
tort, as they arose from his actions in connection with Philsucom,
Nasutra and Traders Royal Bank. Civil actions for tort or quasi-delict
do not fall within the class of claims to be filed under the notice to
creditors required under Rule 86.20 These actions, being as they are
civil, survive the death of the decedent and may be commenced
against the administrator pursuant to Section 1, Rule 87. Indeed, the
records indicate that the intestate estate of Benedicto, as represented
by its administrator, was successfully impleaded in Civil Case No.
11178, whereas the other civil case21 was already pending review
before this Court at the time of Benedicto’s death.
Evidently, the merits of petitioners’ claims against Benedicto are to
be settled in the civil cases where they were raised, and not in the
intestate proceedings.

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In the same manner that the Rules on Special Proceedings do not
provide a creditor or any person interested in the estate, the right to
participate in every aspect of the testate or intestate proceedings, but
instead provides for specific instances when such persons may
accordingly act in those proceedings, we deem that while there is no
general right to intervene on the part of the petitioners, they may be
allowed to seek certain prayers or reliefs from the intestate court not
explicitly provided for under the Rules, if the prayer or relief sought is
necessary to protect their interest in the estate, and there is no other
modality under the Rules by which such interests can be protected. It
is under this standard that we assess the three prayers sought by
petitioners.
Nonetheless, in the instances that the Rules on Special Proceedings
do require notice to any or all "interested parties" the petitioners as
"interested parties" will be entitled to such notice. The instances
when notice has to be given to interested parties are provided in: (1)
Sec. 10, Rule 85 in reference to the time and place of examining and
allowing the account of the executor or administrator; (2) Sec. 7(b)
of Rule 89 concerning the petition to authorize the executor or
administrator to sell personal estate, or to sell, mortgage or
otherwise encumber real estates; and; (3) Sec. 1, Rule 90 regarding
the hearing for the application for an order for distribution of the
estate residue. After all, even the administratrix has acknowledged in
her submitted inventory, the existence of the pending cases filed by
the petitioners.
Section 1 of Rule 83 requires the administrator to return to the court
a true inventory and appraisal of all the real and personal estate of
the deceased within three (3) months from appointment, while
Section 8 of Rule 85 requires the administrator to render an account
of his administration within one (1) year from receipt of the letters
testamentary or of administration. We do not doubt that there are
reliefs available to compel an administrator to perform either duty,
but a person whose claim against the estate is still contingent is not
the party entitled to do so. Still, even if the administrator did delay in
the performance of these duties in the context of dissipating the
assets of the estate, there are protections enforced and available
under Rule 88 to protect the interests of those with contingent claims
against the estate.
RULE 86 – CLAIMS AGAINST THE ESTATE
1.
SUILIONG & CO., as liquidators of The Yek Tong Lim Fire,
Marine, and Insurance Co., Ltd. vs. SILVINA CHIO-
TAYSAN, FRANCISCA JOSE
G.R. No. L-4777, November 11, 1908, CARSON, J.

FACTS:

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Avelina Caballero, deceased, owned during her lifetime a certain
tract of land, which was duly inscribed in her name in the land
registry of the city of Manila. On March 27, 1903, she borrowed from
Francisca Jose, the intervener and appellant in this action, 1,000
pesos, Mexican currency, and turned over her title deeds to this tract
of land to the lender as security for the loan, but no entry touching
the transaction was noted in the land registry.
Avelina Caballero died on the 5th day of June, 1903, and thereafter
Silvina Chio-Taysan, the defendant in this action, instituted in the
Court of First Instance of Manila an action, known, under the system
of civil procedure in existence prior to the adoption of the present
code, as an "action for the declaration of heirship" and on the 5th day
of August, 1903, the following order declaring her to be the only and
exclusive heir of Avelina Caballero, deceased.
On the 26th day of May, 1904, the said Silvina Chio-Taysan borrowed
the sum of P2,500 from the Fire and Marine Insurance and Loan Co.,
of which the plaintiff is the lawfully appointed liquidator, and
mortgaged the land in question as security for the repayment of the
loan.
Thereafter the husband of Silvina Chio-Taysan instituted special
proceedings under the provisions of the present Code of Civil
Procedure, for the administration of the estate of Avelina Caballero,
deceased, and on the 16th day of October, 1905, he was, in
accordance with his petition, appointed administrator; and thereupon,
submitted as such administrator, an inventory of the property of the
estate, in which was included the land in question.
On the 28th of November, 1905, Francisca Jose, the intervener in this
action, submitted her claim to the commissioner appointed in these
proceedings, for the sum of 1,000 pesos, Mexican currency, loaned
the deceased, as above set out, on the 28th day of March, 1904,
which claim was duly approved on the 31st of August, 1906.

ISSUE:
Whether the claim of intervenor, Francisca Jose, against the
estate prosper.

RULING:
YES. The prayer of her complaint in intervention, however, is
merely for the rescission and annulment of the mortgage contract
between the loan company and the defendant and of the inscription
in the land registry of the title of the defendant, and a declaration
that as a creditor of the estate she has a superior right to that of the
plaintiff company in the proceeds of any sale of the land in question.
She does not seek to enforce her claim and recover her debt in this
proceeding, but merely to prevent the plaintiff from securing a
judgment in this action which would take out of the estate property

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which she believes to be subject to her claim set up in the
administration proceedings. If her contentions are well founded, and
if the estate of the deceased is subject to the payment of the debts of
the deceased in such form that the heirs of the deceased could not
alienate this land free of the claims of the creditors of the deceased
against the land, for the payment of their claims against the
deceased, the intervener is clearly entitled to at least so much of the
relief she seeks in this action as will have the effect of preventing the
sale of this land under the plaintiff's foreclosure proceedings, free of
the claims of creditors of the deceased, because, if the plaintiffs in
this action were permitted to foreclosure their mortgage and to
recover their debt from the sale of the land in question, it might well
be that there would not be sufficient property in the estate to pay the
amount of the claim of the intervener against the estate.
It appears also from an examination of these provisions that the
legislature has provided no machinery whereby an absolute right on
the part of the heir to succeed by the mere fact of death to all the
rights and property of the deceased may be enforced, without
previous payment or provision of the payment of the debts.
It has provided machinery for the enforcement of the debts and
other obligations of the deceased, not as debts or obligations of the
heir, but as debt or obligations of the deceased, to the payment of
which the property of the deceased may be subjected wherever it be
found.
The new Code of Procedure furnishing no remedy whereby the
provisions of article 661 of the of the Civil Code may be enforced, in
so far as they impose upon the heredero (heir) the duty of assuming
as a personal obligation all the debts of the deceased, at least to the
extent of the value of the property received from the estate; or in so
far as they give to the heredero the reciprocal right to receive the
property of the deceased, without such property being specifically
subjected to the payment of the debts to the deceased by the very
fact of his deceased, these provisions of article 661 may properly be
held to have been abrogated; and the new code having provided a
remedy whereby the property of the deceased may always be
subjected to the payment of his debts in whatever hands it may be
found, the right of a creditor to a lien upon the property of the
deceased, for the payment of the debts of the deceased, created by
the mere fact of his death, may be said to be recognized and created
by the provisions of the new code. (Pavia vs. De la Rosa, 8 Phil. Rep.,
70).
It is evident that her death created a lien upon her property in favor
of the intervener Francisca Jose, for the payment of the debt
contracted by her during her lifetime, and that this lien ought to have
and has priority to any lien created upon this property by the heir of
the deceased; that the judicial declaration of heirship in favor of
Silvina Chio-Taysan, could not and did not furnish a basis for an entry
in the land registry of the name of Silvina Chio-Taysan as the

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absolute owner of the property of Avelina Caballero; that such entry,
improperly made, could not and did not prejudice the lien of the
intervener, Francisca Jose, for the debt due her by the deceased
(Mortgage Law, art. 33); and that the mortgage of the property of
the deceased by her heir, Silvina Chio-Taysan, was subject to the
prior lien of the intervener, Francisca Jose, for the payment of her
debt.

SUILIONG & CO. vs. SILVINA CHIO-TAYSAN

FACTS: Avelina Caballero, deceased, owned during her lifetime a


certain tract of land, which was duly inscribed in her name in the land
registry of the city of Manila. On March 27, 1903, she borrowed from
Francisca Jose, the intervener and appellant in this action, 1,000
pesos, Mexican currency, and turned over her title deeds to this tract
of land to the lender as security for the loan, but no entry touching
the transaction was noted in the land registry.
Avelina Caballero died on the 5th day of June, 1903, and thereafter
Silvina Chio-Taysan (daughter of deceased), the defendant in this
action, instituted in the Court of First Instance for the declaration of
heirship" and on the 5th day of August, 1903, the following order
declaring her to be the only and exclusive heir of Avelina Caballero,
deceased, was issued in that proceeding.
On March 9, 1904, the registrar of deeds of the city of Manila by
virtue of this order entered inscription in the land registry whereby
Silvina Chio-Taysan is made to appear as the owner of the land in
question:
On the 26th day of May, 1904, the said Silvina Chio-Taysan borrowed
the sum of P2,500 from the Fire and Marine Insurance and Loan Co.,
of which the plaintiff is the lawfully appointed liquidator, and
mortgaged the land in question as security for the repayment of the
loan.
Thereafter the husband of Silvina Chio-Taysan instituted special
proceedings under the provisions of the present Code of Civil
Procedure, for the administration of the estate of Avelina Caballero,
deceased, and on the 16th day of October, 1905; and on the 28th of
November, 1905, Francisca Jose, the intervener in this action,
submitted her claim to the commissioner appointed in these
proceedings, for the sum of 1,000 pesos, Mexican currency, loaned
the deceased, as above set out, on the 28th day of March, 1904,
which claim was duly approved on the 31st of August, 1906.
On the 10th day of October, 1906, the plaintiff in this action filed its
complaint against the defendant, Silvina Chio-Taysan, praying for
judgment for the amount loaned her as above set out, and the
foreclosure of its mortgage upon the land. On the 30th of October,

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1907, Francisca Jose was permitted to intervene and file her separate
"complaint in intervention" wherein she set out the facts touching the
loan made by her to Avelina Caballero, deceased, and prayed that the
court declare the mortgage executed by Silvina Chio-Taysan
rescinded and of no effect; and further that it annul the inscription in
the land registry of the title of Silvina Chio-Taysan to the land in
question; and declare this land subject to her claim against the estate
of Avelina Caballero, deceased.
The trial court entered judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against
both the defendant and the intervener in conformity with the prayer
of the complaint, and the intervener brings that judgment before this
court for review upon her bill of exceptions duly signed and certified.

ISSUE: whether or not the relief sought by Jose must be denied

HELD: NO.
We do not think that the judgment of the trial court can be sustained
in so far as it wholly denies relief to the intervener, Francisca Jose.
The trial judge denied the relief prayed for by the intervener, on the
ground that her intervention in this action was for the purpose of the
written title deeds on the land, and that, since she admitted that she
had admitted her claim against the estate of Avelina Caballero,
deceased, to the committee appointed in the administration
proceedings, she must be taken to have abandoned, whatever lien
she may have held as security therefor, in accordance with the
provisions of section 708 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
The prayer of her complaint in intervention, however, is merely for
the rescission and annulment of the mortgage contract between the
loan company and the defendant and of the inscription in the land
registry of the title of the defendant, and a declaration that as a
creditor of the estate she has a superior right to that of the plaintiff
company in the proceeds of any sale of the land in question. She
does not seek to enforce her claim and recover her debt in this
proceeding, but merely to prevent the plaintiff from securing a
judgment in this action which would take out of the estate property
which she believes to be subject to her claim set up in the
administration proceedings. If her contentions are well founded, and
if the estate of the deceased is subject to the payment of the debts of
the deceased in such form that the heirs of the deceased could not
alienate this land free of the claims of the creditors of the deceased
against the land, for the payment of their claims against the
deceased, the intervener is clearly entitled to at least so much of the
relief she seeks in this action as will have the effect of preventing the
sale of this land under the plaintiff's foreclosure proceedings, free of
the claims of creditors of the deceased, because, if the plaintiffs in
this action were permitted to foreclosure their mortgage and to
recover their debt from the sale of the land in question, it might well

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be that there would not be sufficient property in the estate to pay the
amount of the claim of the intervener against the estate.

FRANCISCO QUISUMBING vs. MARIANO GUISON

FACTS: The deceased, Consuelo Syyap, during her life time executed
a promissory note dated November 9, 1940 for P3,000 in favor of
Leonardo Guison payable sixty (60) days from the date thereof, with
interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum.
The debtor Consuelo Syyap died on November 30, 1940. On
December 5 of the same year, intestate proceedings were instituted
and notice given to creditors to file their claim within six (6) months,
which period for filing claims expired on August 31, 1941.
In the inventory filed on April 30, 1941, by the administrator of the
estate of the deceased, the said obligation of P3,000 was
acknowledged as one of the liabilities of the decedent.
The creditor Leonardo Guison died on December 31, 1941, and his
son Mariano Guison, who was appointed as administrator of the
intestate estate of his deceased father, filed the claim of P3,000
against the estate on March 9, 1943.
The attorney for the claimant, in his reply to the answer of the
attorney for the administrator of the estate of Consuelo Syyap, stated
that the claimant believed in good faith that he was relieved of the
obligation to file a claim with the court, because said administrator
had assured him that he should not worry about it, since the debt
was in the inventory and he would pay it as soon as he was
authorized by the court to do so, and that the same administrator
had been paying the interest due on the note up to January, 1943.
The lower court taking into consideration that the appellant
administrator did not deny in his answer to the claim the existence if
the debt, that the latter was admitted in the inventory submitted by
said administrator to the court, and that the appellant had been
paying interest on the debt up to January, 1943, allowed the
appellees claim and ordered the appellant to pay the claimant the
sum of P3,000 with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum
from February 1, 1943.

ISSUE: (1) whether the claim filed by the claimant may be allowed by
the court after hearing both parties, without necessity on the part of
the claimant to file a previous application for, and on the part of the
court to grant, an extension of time not exceeding one month within
which the claim may be filed; and (2) whether cause was shown by
the claimant why he did not file the claim within the time previously
limited..

HELD:
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While it is true that under section 5 of Rule 87, "all claims for money
against the decedent, arising from contract, express or implied,
whether the same be due, not due, or contingent, ... must be filed
within the time limited in the notice," it is also true that, under
section 2 of the same Rule, "at any time before an order of
distribution is entered, on application of a creditor, who has failed to
file his claim within the time previously limited, the court may, for
cause shown and on such terms as are equitable, allow such claim to
be filed within a time not exceeding one month.".
(1) the claim filed by the appellee may be considered as implying an
application for time within which to file said claim, and the order of
the lower court allowing such claim impliedly granted said appellee an
extension of time within which to file said claim. It would have been a
waste of time on the part of the court and the parties in this case, if
the court had dismissed the claim and required the appellee to file,
first, an application for a period not exceeding one month within
which to file his claim, and then to file his claim within the time
granted by the court, when the latter would allow the claim after all.
Strict compliance with the said requirement of section 2 of Rule 87
would be necessary if a claim had to be presented to and passed
upon by the committee on claims according to the old law; but now
as it is to be filed with and passed upon by the court itself, no harm
would be caused to the adverse party by such a procedure as was
followed in the present case.
Moreover, the appellant, in his answer to the claim filed by the
appellee, did not object to it on the ground that the former had not
previously applied for an extension of time not exceeding one month
within which to present his claim. It is to be presumed that both the
attorneys for the appellant as well as for the appellee knew that the
claim was being filed under the provisions of section 2, Rule 87, of
the Rules of Court, because the time previously limited had then
already expired, and had appellant objected to the claim on the
above-mentioned ground and the court considered it necessary for
the appellee to do so, the latter would have complied literally with the
law.
Section 2, Rule 87, of the Rules of Court contains a more liberal
provision regarding the time for the filing of a claim by a creditor who
has failed to file his claim within the time previously limited, than
section 690 of the old Code of Civil Procedure on which the rulings in
the cases quoted by the appellant are based.
Under said section 690, the court may, on application of a creditor
who has failed to present his claim, renew the commission and allow
further time not exceeding one month for the committee to examine
such claim if the application is filed within six months after the time
previously limited had expired, or if the committee has failed to give
the notice required by law, provided that such application be
presented before the final settlement of the estate. So, although the
estate has not yet been finally settled, if such application is filed after

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six months from the expiration of the time previously limited, or if the
committee has not failed to give the notice required by law, the court
has no power to renew the commission and allow further time not
exceeding one month for the filing and examination by the committee
of such claim, whatever might be the cause for such failure to file the
claim in time.
While, under section 2 of Rule 87, there is no limitation as to the time
within which a creditor who has failed to file his claim within the time
previously limited, may file an application for extension of time within
which to file his claim, and the court may for cause shown grant such
application fixing a period not exceeding one month for that purpose,
provided that the application is presented before an order of
distribution has been entered..
(2) The last sentence of section 2, Rule 87, provides that the court
may, for cause shown and on such terms as are equitable, allow such
claim to be filed within a time not exceeding one month. As it does
not state what cause shall be considered sufficient for the purpose, it
is clear that it is left to the discretion of the court to determine the
sufficiency thereof; and when the court allows a claim to be filed for
cause or causes which it considers as sufficient, on appeal this court
can not reverse or set aside the action of the court below unless the
latter has abused its discretion, which has not been shown by the
appellant in this case.
. . . .Whether the period fixed by law for the presentation of claims
may be extended is within the sound discretion of the court, and the
decision of the trial judge in this regard should not be disturbed until
it is clearly shown that he abused such discretion.
That nothing is more equitable than what was done by the lower
court in this case, is evident. Appellant does not only acknowledge in
the inventory the existence of the debt, but does not deny it in his
answer to the claim filed by the appellee in the court below, and had
been paying interest due thereon up to January, 1943, that is, two
months before the filing of the claim. Attorney for appellant, in
opposing the claim and appealing to this court from the decision of
the court below, relies only on the technicality that no previous
application for extension of time has been filed by the claimant-
appellee.

VILLANUEVA
vs.
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK

For the administration of the estate of her deceased husband, Pascual


Villanueva, the widow Mauricia G. Villanueva, on December 19, 1949,
petitioned the Court of First Instance of Agusan, for letters of
Administration (Sp. Proc. No. 67). The petition was set for hearing
and Notice thereof was published. The name of Atty. Teodulo R.
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Ricaforte, suggested as administrator and all the parties agreed. After
the taking the required oath, Atty. Ricaforte entered upon the
performance of his duties. Under date of November 9, 1950 the Clerk
of the Agusan CFI, issued a Notice to Creditors requiring them to file
their claims with the clerk of court within six but not beyond twelve
months after date of the first publication of this notice, serving copies
of such claims upon administrator, the said Teodulo R. Ricaforte.
On July 20, 1953, the defendant-appellant Philippine National Bank
filed in the administration proceedings, Creditor's Claim.
Original amount thru Agusan Agency on Dec. 20, 1939
........................................................ P600.00
To int. at 10%: on P600.00 fr. 12-20-39 to 6-5-53
...................................................................... 747.45
Total due as of June 5, 1953 (Daily int. of P0.1644 after June 5,
1953) .......................... P1,347.45
That the said obligation has been due demandable since Dec. 20,
1940; that the same is true and just claim and that it is still unpaid
without any set-off.
On October 12, 1954, the Philippine National Bank filed a Motion for
Admission of claim.
The administrator, on November 5, 1954, opposed the alleging that
he had no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to
the truth of the allegations therein. As special defenses, he
interposed —
That the same indebtedness, if it existed, has already been paid;
That the caused action for the recovery of the aforesaid amount of
P1,847.45 is barred by the statute of limitations, for more than ten
(10) Years have elapsed since the cause of action accrued up to
present time;
That the said claim is barred forever on the ground that notice to
creditors having been published in the MORNING TIMES of Cebu City,
a newspaper of general circulation in on November 16, 23 and 30,
1950, ... the Philippine National Bank failed to file its claim within the
time limited in the notice, ....
The appellant PNB, on November 14, 1958, more than four (4) Years
after the opposition of the claim presented by the administrator, filed
a pleading captioned "Petition for an Extension of time within which to
File the Claim of Philippine National Bank", alleging, among others,
that Sec. 2, Rule 87 of the Rules, allows the filing of claims even if
the period stated in the notice to creditors elapsed, upon cause
shown and on such terms as equitable; that its failure to present the
claiming with the period stated in the notice, was its lack of
knowledge of administration proceedings, for while said maintains a
branch office in Agusan, the employees did not come to know of the
proceedings, the notice has been published in the Morning Times, a
newspaper very limited circulation.
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ISSUE: Whether or not PNB may still be allowed to institute its claim

HELD: NO
The important issue presented is whether or not the in question is
already barred. Admittedly, the claim was filed outside of the period
provided for in the Order of the lower court, within which to present
claims against the estate. The period fixed in the notice lapsed on
November 16, 1951 and the claim was filed on July 20, 1953 or about
1 year and 8 months late. This notwithstanding, appellant contends
that it did not know of such administration proceedings, not even its
employees in the Branch Office in Butuan City, Agusan. It is to be
noted that the petition for Letters of Administration and the Notice to
Creditors were duly published in the Manila Daily Bulletin and in the
Morning Times, respectively, which was a full compliance with the
requirements of the Rules. Moreover, the supposed lack of knowledge
of the proceedings on the part of appellant and its employees had
been belied by uncontested and eloquent evidence, consisting of a
deposit of an amount of money by the administrator Of the estate in
said Bank (Agusan Agency). The deposit was made on December 1,
1951, inspite of which the appellant Bank only filed its claim on July
20, 1953. It is quite true that the Courts can extend the period within
Which to present claims against the estate, even after the period
limited has elapsed; but such extension should be granted under
special circumstances. The lower did not find any justifiable reason to
give the extension and for one thing, there was no period to extend,
the same had elapsed.
Having reached the above conclusions, We deem it necessary to
determine the question as to whether or not the Moratorium Law had
suspended the prescriptive period for filing of the claim under
consideration
METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST COMPANY v. ABSOLUTE
MANAGEMENT CORPORATION

FACTS: On October 5, 2000, Sherwood Holdings Corporation, Inc.


(SHCI) filed a complaint for sum of money against Absolute
Management Corporation (AMC).
SHCI alleged in its complaint that it made advance payments to AMC
for the purchase of 27,000 pieces of plywood and 16,500 plyboards in
the sum of P12,277,500.00, covered by Metrobank Check Nos.
1407668502, 140768507, 140768530, 140768531, 140768532,
140768533 and 140768534. These checks were all crossed, and were
all made payable to AMC. They were given to Chua, AMCs General
Manager, in 1998.
Chua died in 1999, 8 and a special proceeding for the settlement of
his estate was commenced before the RTC of Pasay City. This

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proceeding was pending at the time AMC filed its answer with
counterclaims and third-party complaint.9
SHCI made demands on AMC, after Chuas death, for allegedly
undelivered items worth P8,331,700.00. According to AMC, these
transactions could not be found in its records. Upon investigation,
AMC discovered that in 1998, Chua received from SHCI 18 Metrobank
checks worth P31,807,500.00. These were all payable to AMC and
were crossed or "for payees account only."
In its answer with counterclaims and third-party complaint, AMC
averred that it had no knowledge of Chuas transactions with SHCI
and it did not receive any money from the latter. AMC also asked the
RTC to hold Metrobank liable for the subject checks in case it is
adjudged liable to SHCI.
In the meantime, Metrobank filed a motion to dismiss 14 against AMC
on the ground that the latter engaged in prohibited forum shopping.
According to Metrobank, AMCs claim against it is the same claim that
it raised against Chuas estate in Special Proceedings.
In its answer23 dated December 1, 2003, Metrobank admitted that it
deposited the checks in question to the account of Ayala Lumber and
Hardware, a sole proprietorship Chua owned and managed. The
deposit was allegedly done with the knowledge and consent of AMC.
According to Metrobank, Chua then gave the assurance that the
arrangement for the handling of the checks carried AMCs consent.
Chua also submitted documents showing his position and interest in
AMC. These documents, as well as AMCs admission in its answer that
it allowed Chua to manage AMC with a relative free hand, show that it
knew of Chuas arrangement with Metrobank. Further, Chuas records
show that the proceeds of the checks were remitted to AMC which
cannot therefore now claim that it did not receive these proceeds.
Metrobank also raised the defense of estoppel. According to
Metrobank, AMC had knowledge of its arrangements with Chua for
several years. Despite this arrangement, AMC did not object to nor
did it call the attention of Metrobank about Chuas alleged lack of
authority to deposit the checks in Ayala Lumber and Hardwares
account. At this point, AMC is already estopped from questioning
Chuas authority to deposit these checks in Ayala Lumber and
Hardwares account.
Lastly, Metrobank asserted that AMC gave Chua unbridled control in
managing AMCs affairs. This measure of control amounted to gross
negligence that was the proximate cause of the loss that AMC must
now bear.
Subsequently, Metrobank filed a motion for leave to admit fourth-
party complaint24 against Chuas estate. It alleged that Chuas estate
should reimburse Metrobank in case it would be held liable in the
third-party complaint filed against it by AMC.
ISSUE:

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are quasi-contracts included in claims that should be filed pursuant to
Rule 86, Section 5 of the Rules of Court? Second, if so, is Metrobanks
claim against the Estate of Jose Chua based on a quasi-contract?
HELD: Quasi-contracts are included inbclaims that should be filed
under Rule 86, Section 5 of the Rules of Court
Metrobanks fourth-party complaint is based on quasi-contract
Both the RTC and the CA described Metrobanks claim against Chuas
estate as one based on quasi-contract. A quasi-contract involves a
juridical relation that the law creates on the basis of certain
voluntary, unilateral and lawful acts of a person, to avoid unjust
enrichment.42 The Civil Code provides an enumeration of quasi-
contracts,43 but the list is not exhaustive and merely provides
examples.44?r?l1
According to the CA, Metrobanks fourth-party complaint falls under
the quasi-contracts enunciated in Article 2154 of the Civil
Code.45 Article 2154 embodies the concept "solutio indebiti" which
arises when something is delivered through mistake to a person who
has no right to demand it. It obligates the latter to return what has
been received through mistake.46?r?l1
Solutio indebiti, as defined in Article 2154 of the Civil Code, has two
indispensable requisites: first, that something has been unduly
delivered through mistake; and second, that something was received
when there was no right to demand it.47?r?l1
In its fourth-party complaint, Metrobank claims that Chuas estate
should reimburse it if it becomes liable on the checks that it deposited
to Ayala Lumber and Hardwares account upon Chuas instructions.
This fulfills the requisites of solutio indebiti. First, Metrobank acted in
a manner akin to a mistake when it deposited the AMC checks to
Ayala Lumber and Hardwares account; because of Chuas control over
AMCs operations, Metrobank assumed that the checks payable to
AMC could be deposited to Ayala Lumber and Hardwares account.
Second, Ayala Lumber and Hardware had no right to demand and
receive the checks that were deposited to its account; despite Chuas
control over AMC and Ayala Lumber and Hardware, the two entities
are distinct, and checks exclusively and expressly payable to one
cannot be deposited in the account of the other. This disjunct created
an obligation on the part of Ayala Lumber and Hardware, through its
sole proprietor, Chua, to return the amount of these checks to
Metrobank.
The Court notes, however, that its description of Metrobanks fourth-
party complaint as a claimclosely analogous to solutio indebiti is only
to determine the validity of the lower courts orders denying it. It is
not an adjudication determining the liability of Chuas estate against
Metrobank. The appropriate trial court should still determine whether
Metrobank has a lawful claim against Chuas estate based on quasi-
contract.

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Metrobanks fourth-party complaint, as a contingent claim, falls within
theclaims that should be filed under Section 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of
Court
A distinctive character of Metrobanks fourth-party complaint is its
contingent nature the claim depends on the possibility that Metrobank
would be adjudged liable to AMC, a future event that may or may not
happen. This characteristic unmistakably marks the complaint as a
contingent one that must be included in the claims falling under the
terms of Section 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court:cralawlibrary
Sec. 5. Claims which must be filed under the notice. If not filed,
barred; exceptions. All claims for money against the decedent, arising
from contract, express or implied, whether the same be due, not due,
or contingent, all claims for funeral expenses and expenses for the
last sickness of the decedent, and judgment for money against the
decedent, must be filed within the time limited in the notice. [italics
ours]
Specific provisions of Section 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court prevail
over general provisions of Section 11, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court
Metrobank argues that Section 11, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court
should apply because it impleaded Chuas estate for reimbursement in
the same transaction upon which it has been sued by AMC. On this
point, the Court supports the conclusion of the CA, to
wit:cralawlibrary
Notably, a comparison of the respective provisions of Section 11, Rule
6 and Section 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court readily shows that
Section 11, Rule 6 applies to ordinary civil actions while Section 5,
Rule 86 specifically applies to money claims against the estate. The
specific provisions of Section 5, Rule 86 x x x must therefore prevail
over the general provisions of Section 11, Rule 6.48?r?l1
We read with approval the CAs use of the statutory construction
principle of lex specialis derogat generali, leading to the conclusion
that the specific provisions of Section 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court
should prevail over the general provisions of Section 11, Rule 6 of the
Rules of Court; the settlement of the estate of deceased persons
(where claims against the deceased should be filed) is primarily
governed by the rules on special proceedings, while the rules
provided for ordinary claims, including Section 11, Rule 6 ofthe Rules
of Court, merely apply suppletorily.49?r?l1
In sum, on all counts in the considerations material to the issues
posed, the resolution points to the affirmation of the assailed CA
decision and resolution. Metrobank's claim in its fourth-party
complaint against Chua's estate is based on quasi-contract. It is also
a contingent claim that depends on another event. Both belong to the
category of claims against a deceased person that should be filed
under Section 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Comi and, as such, should
have been so filed in Special Proceedings No. 99-0023.

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STRONGHOLD INSURANCE COMPANY, INC.,
vs.
REPUBLIC-ASAHI GLASS CORPORATION,

FACTS: "On May 24, 1989, [respondent] Republic-Asahi Glass


Corporation (Republic-Asahi) entered into a contract with x x x Jose
D. Santos, Jr., the proprietor of JDS Construction (JDS), for the
construction of roadways and a drainage system in Republic-Asahi’s
compound in Barrio Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City, where [respondent]
was to pay x x x JDS five million three hundred thousand pesos
(P5,300,000.00) inclusive of value added tax for said construction,
which was supposed to be completed within a period of two hundred
forty (240) days beginning May 8, 1989. In order ‘to guarantee the
faithful and satisfactory performance of its undertakings’ x x x JDS,
shall post a performance bond of seven hundred ninety five thousand
pesos (P795,000.00). x x x JDS executed, jointly and severally with
[petitioner] Stronghold Insurance Co., Inc. (SICI) Performance Bond.
"On May 23, 1989, [respondent] paid to x x x JDS seven hundred
ninety five thousand pesos (P795,000.00) by way of downpayment.
"Several times prior to November of 1989, [respondent’s] engineers
called the attention of x x x JDS to the alleged alarmingly slow pace
of the construction, which resulted in the fear that the construction
will not be finished within the stipulated 240-day period. However,
said reminders went unheeded by x x x JDS.
"On November 24, 1989, dissatisfied with the progress of the work
undertaken by x x x JDS, [respondent] Republic-Asahi extrajudicially
rescinded the contract pursuant to Article XIII of said contract, and
wrote a letter to x x x JDS informing the latter of such rescission.
Such rescission, according to Article XV of the contract shall not be
construed as a waiver of [respondent’s] right to recover damages
from x x x JDS and the latter’s sureties.
"[Respondent] alleged that, as a result of x x x JDS’s failure to
comply with the provisions of the contract, which resulted in the said
contract’s rescission, it had to hire another contractor to finish the
project, for which it incurred an additional expense of three million
two hundred fifty six thousand, eight hundred seventy four pesos
(P3,256,874.00).
"On January 6, 1990, [respondent] sent a letter to [petitioner] SICI
filing its claim under the bond for not less than P795,000.00. On
March 22, 1991, [respondent] again sent another letter reiterating its
demand for payment under the aforementioned bond. Both letters
allegedly went unheeded.
"[Respondent] then filed [a] complaint against x x x JDS and SICI. It
sought from x x x JDS payment of P3,256,874.00 representing the
additional expenses incurred by [respondent] for the completion of
the project using another contractor, and from x x x JDS and SICI,
jointly and severally, payment of P750,000.00 as damages in
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accordance with the performance bond; exemplary damages in the
amount of P100,000.00 and attorney’s fees in the amount of at
least P100,000.00.
"On July 10, 1991, [petitioner] SICI filed its answer, alleging that the
[respondent’s] money claims against [petitioner and JDS] have been
extinguished by the death of Jose D. Santos, Jr. Even if this were not
the case, [petitioner] SICI had been released from its liability under
the performance bond because there was no liquidation, with the
active participation and/or involvement, pursuant to procedural due
process, of herein surety and contractor Jose D. Santos, Jr., hence,
there was no ascertainment of the corresponding liabilities of Santos
and SICI under the performance bond.

ISSUE: Whether or not the obligation is extinguished

HELD:
As a general rule, the death of either the creditor or the debtor does
not extinguish the obligation.8 Obligations are transmissible to the
heirs, except when the transmission is prevented by the law, the
stipulations of the parties, or the nature of the obligation. 9 Only
obligations that are personal10 or are identified with the persons
themselves are extinguished by death.11
Section 5 of Rule 8612 of the Rules of Court expressly allows the
prosecution of money claims arising from a contract against the
estate of a deceased debtor. Evidently, those claims are not actually
extinguished.13 What is extinguished is only the obligee’s action or
suit filed before the court, which is not then acting as a probate
court.14
In the present case, whatever monetary liabilities or obligations
Santos had under his contracts with respondent were not
intransmissible by their nature, by stipulation, or by provision of law.
Hence, his death did not result in the extinguishment of those
obligations or liabilities, which merely passed on to his
estate.15 Death is not a defense that he or his estate can set up to
wipe out the obligations under the performance bond. Consequently,
petitioner as surety cannot use his death to escape its monetary
obligation under its performance bond.
The liability of petitioner is contractual in nature, because it executed
a performance bond worded as follows:
"KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:
"That we, JDS CONSTRUCTION of 208-A San Buena Building,
contractor, of Shaw Blvd., Pasig, MM Philippines, as principal and the
STRONGHOLD INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. a corporation duly
organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the
Philippines with head office at Makati, as Surety, are held and firmly
bound unto the REPUBLIC ASAHI GLASS CORPORATION and to any
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individual, firm, partnership, corporation or association supplying the
principal with labor or materials in the penal sum of SEVEN HUNDRED
NINETY FIVE THOUSAND (P795,000.00), Philippine Currency, for the
payment of which sum, well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves,
our heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns, jointly
and severally, firmly by these presents.
"The CONDITIONS OF THIS OBLIGATION are as follows;
"WHEREAS the above bounden principal on the ___ day of
__________, 19__ entered into a contract with the REPUBLIC ASAHI
GLASS CORPORATION represented by _________________, to fully
and faithfully. Comply with the site preparation works road and
drainage system of Philippine Float Plant at Pinagbuhatan, Pasig,
Metro Manila.
"WHEREAS, the liability of the Surety Company under this bond shall
in no case exceed the sum of PESOS SEVEN HUNDRED NINETY FIVE
THOUSAND (P795,000.00) Philippine Currency, inclusive of interest,
attorney’s fee, and other damages, and shall not be liable for any
advances of the obligee to the principal.
"WHEREAS, said contract requires the said principal to give a good
and sufficient bond in the above-stated sum to secure the full and
faithfull performance on its part of said contract, and the satisfaction
of obligations for materials used and labor employed upon the work;
"NOW THEREFORE, if the principal shall perform well and truly and
fulfill all the undertakings, covenants, terms, conditions, and
agreements of said contract during the original term of said contract
and any extension thereof that may be granted by the obligee, with
notice to the surety and during the life of any guaranty required
under the contract, and shall also perform well and truly and fulfill all
the undertakings, covenants, terms, conditions, and agreements of
any and all duly authorized modifications of said contract that may
hereinafter be made, without notice to the surety except when such
modifications increase the contract price; and such principal
contractor or his or its sub-contractors shall promptly make payment
to any individual, firm, partnership, corporation or association
supplying the principal of its sub-contractors with labor and materials
in the prosecution of the work provided for in the said contract, then,
this obligation shall be null and void; otherwise it shall remain in full
force and effect. Any extension of the period of time which may be
granted by the obligee to the contractor shall be considered as given,
and any modifications of said contract shall be considered as
authorized, with the express consent of the Surety.
"The right of any individual, firm, partnership, corporation or
association supplying the contractor with labor or materials for the
prosecution of the work hereinbefore stated, to institute action on the
penal bond, pursuant to the provision of Act No. 3688, is hereby
acknowledge and confirmed."16

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BIENVENIDO P. BUAN
vs.
SYLVINA C. LAYA, ET AL.

FACTS; On December 15, 1953, petitioners herein filed a contingent


claim for more than P500,000 against the intestate estate of the
deceased spouses Florencio P. Buan and Rizalina Paras Buan. The
contingent claim was based on the fact that on August 3, 1952, a
Philippine Rabbit Bus, owned and operated by the deceased spouses
Buan, collided with a car in which Juan C. Laya, Rodolfo Escosa, Jose
S. Palma, and Juan de Leon, were riding.
The heirs of Juan C. Laya, petitioners herein, reserved the civil action
for damages, and on October 12, 1953, they filed an independent
civil action in the Court of First Instance of Manila against the
administrator of the deceased spouses Buan. The petition for the
admission of a contingent claim was accompanied with a copy of the
complaint filed in the civil case above-mentioned and a sentence in
the criminal case filed against Ernesto Triguero, driver of the
Philippine Rabbit Bus.
When the administrators learned of the filing of the contingent claim
in the Court of First Instance of Tarlac, they filed an opposition
thereto on the ground that the same was not filed before the death of
the spouses Florencio Buan and Rizalina Paras Buan, which took place
on January 3, 1953, and that it was also not filed within the period
prescribed by Rule 89, Section 4 of the Rules of Court.
The Court of First Instance of Tarlac admitted the claim in an order
dated December 16, 1953, but denied the prayer that a portion of the
estate be set aside to respond for the amount of the contingent.
In the meantime and on January 7, 1954, the Court of First Instance
of Tarlac, on a motion for reconsideration filed by the administrators
dated January 2, 1954, set aside its previous order of December 16,
1953, admitting the contingent claim of petitioners. The reason for
the admission of the claim, according to the court, had ceased to
exist and even the plaintiffs had filed the amended complaint in the
Court of First Instance of Manila, the same has not yet been acted
upon by the said court. A motion to reconsider this order of the Court
of First Instance of Tarlac having been denied, petitioners have
prosecuted this appeal to Us.

ISSUE: Whether or not the claim should be dismissed.

HELD: NO. A contingent claim is one which, by its nature, is


necessarily dependent upon an uncertain event for its existence or
validity. It may or may not develop into a valid and enforceable
claim, and its validity and enforceability depending upon an uncertain
event.

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A 'contingent claim' against an estate within the statute providing for
the settlement hereof, as one where the absolute liability depends on
some future event which may never happen, and which therefore
renders such liability uncertain and indeterminable. . . It is where the
liability depends on some future event after the debtor's death which
may or may not happen, and therefore makes Words and Phrases, p.
113.).
A 'contingent claim' against an estate is one in which liability depends
on some future event which may or may not occur, so that duty to
pay may never become absolute.
Whether or not the heirs of the deceased, Juan C. Laya, would
succeed in the action brought in Manila against the administrators of
the estate of the deceased spouses Florencio Buan and Rizalina P.
Buan, is the uncertain event or contingency upon which the validity of
the claim presented in the administration proceedings depends. While
the said action has not yet been finally decided or determined to the
effect that the petitioners herein, heirs of the deceased Juan C. Laya,
have no right of action against the estate of the deceased spouses
Florencio P. Buan and Rizalina P. Buan, the contingent claim that
petitioners have filed in the Court of First Instance of Tarlac in the
proceedings for the administration of the deceased spouses Florencio
P. Buan and Rizalina P. Buan, may not be dismissed. The order of the
court dismissing the claim and declaring that the same may again be
entertained if another valid complaint by the petitioners herein is filed
in the Court of First Instance of Manila, is inconsistent with the nature
and character of a contingent claim. A contingent claim does not
follow the temporary orders of dismissal of an action upon which it is
based; it awaits the final outcome thereof and only said final result
can cause its termination. The rules provide that a contingent claim is
to be presented in the administration proceedings in the same
manner as any ordinary claim, and that when the contingency arises
which converts the contingent claim into a valid claim, the court
should then be informed that the claim had already matured. (Secs.
5. 9, Rule 87.) The order of the court subject of the appeal should,
therefore, be set aside.
The first order of the court admitted the claim but denied the petition
for the setting aside of a certain amount from the estate to respond
therefor. The validity of the contingent claim is apparent; as the
driver of the bus belonging to the deceased spouses, Florencio P.
Buan and Rizalina P. Buan, was found guilty of negligence, as a result
of which Juan C. Laya died, the said deceased spouses—the
employers of the driver—can be made responsible, as masters of a
servant, for damages for the death of the petitioner's father. A
portion of the estate should therefore, be set aside to respond for
such damages as petitioners herein may subsequently recover in the
action they have brought in the Court of First Instance of Manila. This
amount should be fixed in the court below.

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THE FIRST NATIONAL CITY BANK OF NEW YORK
vs.
SILVIO CHENG TAN alias SILVIO CHENG PAN

FACTS: On July 2, 1947 the Court of First Instance of Manila rendered


judgment in an action to foreclose a real estate mortgage — ordering
the defendants therein, — Silvio Cheng Tan alias Silvio Cheng Pan
amongst them — to pay, jointly and severally, The First National City
Bank of New York the sum of P142,000.56, with the stipulated
interest on the sum of P129,361.13, plus costs, and providing that in
case of default of payment within the period of time therein given,
the properties mortgaged by said defendants be sold at Public auction
to satisfy the judgment. After the sale of the mortgaged properties a
deficiency judgment was rendered on March 25, 1950 for P98,256.13.
After the issuance of the corresponding writ of execution and the sale
of two parcels of land located in San Miguel, Bulacan, there remained
unsatisfied the sum of P38,090.06, with the 7% stipulated interest
thereon from October 3, 1941, until paid.
As the other defendants in the case had died or could nowhere be
found, and the five-year period for the enforcement of the deficiency
judgment by mere motion had elapsed without the same having been
satisfied, on June 26, 1957 The First National City Bank of New York
instituted the present action against Silvio Cheng Tan in the Court of
First Instance of Manila to revive the judgment aforesaid.
During the pendency of the case Cheng Tan died and was substituted
by his legal representative, Serafin Cheng, who filed a motion to
dismiss the action on the ground that under Section 21, Rule 3 and
Section 5, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court, plaintiff should file its claim
in the intestate estate proceedings for the settlement of the estate of
said deceased pending in the Court of First Instance of Rizal since
February 27, 1958, an administrator having been appointed by said
court on April 7, 1958.

ISSUE: Whether or not the claim must be filed against the estate.

HELD:
We have heretofore held in Bank of the Philippine Islands vs.
Concepcion e Hijos, 53 Phil. 806, and Government, etc. vs. Concuya
et al., G.R. No. L-45994, promulgated on January 20, 1944, that
deficiency judgment is a contingent claim and must be filed with the
probate court where the settlement of the estate of the deceased
mortgagor is pending, within the period of time fixed for the filing of
claims. On the other hand, Section, 5 Rule 87 of the Rules of Court,
provides that, among others, judgments for money against the
decedent whose estate is in the process of judicial settlement must
be filed with the private court within the time limited in the notice
given for that purpose, otherwise they will be deemed barred forever,
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except that they may be set forth as counterclaim in any action that
the executor or administrator may bring against the judgment
creditor.
It is true that a judgment rendered in a civil action remaining
unsatisfied after 5 years from its date of entry, is reduced to the
condition of a mere right of action, but this, in our opinion, does not
argue against the proposition that it should be filed with the probate
court for corresponding action. To the contrary, reduced, as it has
been, to the condition of a mere right of action, it can well be likened
to a promissory note. Like the latter, therefore, it should be
submitted as a claim to the probate court where the settlement of the
estate of the deceased debtor is pending.
Even reasons of expediency militate in favor of our conclusion. Were
the present preceedings allowed to continue, they could end with
nothing more than a judgment reviving the one subject matter of the
action. Thus revived said judgment could not be enforced except
through the probate court because the judgment debtor died before
execution could be actually levied upon any of his properties (Section
7, Rule 39, Rules of Court). There is, therefore, no need to prosecute
the present action the herein plaintiff-appellee having the right to go
directly to the probate court to file his claim based on the deficiency
judgment mentioned heretofore.

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ALLAN M.


CHUA
FACTS:
The spouses Antonio M. Chua and Asuncion M. Chua were the owners
of a parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. P-142
and registered in their names. Upon Antonios death, the probate
court appointed his son, private respondent Allan M. Chua, special
administrator of Antonios intestate estate. The court also authorized
Allan to obtain a loan accommodation of five hundred fifty thousand
(P550,000.00) pesos from petitioner Philippine National Bank to be
secured by a real estate mortgage over the above-mentioned parcel
of land.
On June 29, 1989, Allan obtained a loan of P450,000.00 from
petitioner PNB evidenced by a promissory note, payable on June 29,
1990, with interest at 18.8 percent per annum. To secure the loan,
Allan executed a deed of real estate mortgage on the aforesaid parcel
of land.
On December 27, 1990, for failure to pay the loan in full, the bank
extrajudicially foreclosed the real estate mortgage, through the Ex-
Officio Sheriff, who conducted a public auction of the mortgaged
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property pursuant to the authority provided for in the deed of real
estate mortgage. During the auction, PNB was the highest bidder with
a bid price P306,360.00. Since PNBs total claim as of the date of the
auction sale was P679,185.63, the loan had a payable balance of
P372,825.63. To claim this deficiency, PNB instituted an action with
the RTC, against both Mrs. Asuncion M. Chua and Allan Chua in his
capacity as special administrator of his fathers intestate estate.
Despite summons duly served, private respondents did not answer
the complaint. The trial court declared them in default and received
evidence ex parte.
Petitioner contends that under prevailing jurisprudence, when the
proceeds of the sale are insufficient to pay the debt, the mortgagee
has the right to recover the deficiency from the debtor.[5] It also
contends that Act 3135, otherwise known as An Act to Regulate the
Sale of Property under Special Powers Inserted in or Annexed to Real
Estate Mortgages, is the law applicable to this case of foreclosure sale
and not Section 7 of Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court [6] as held
by the Court of Appeals.[7]
Private respondents argue that having chosen the remedy of
extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgaged property of the deceased,
petitioner is precluded from pursuing its deficiency claim against the
estate of Antonio M. Chua. This they say is pursuant to Section 7,
Rule 86 of the Rules of Court.

ISSUE: whether or not petitioner may no longer pursue by civil action


the recovery of the balance of indebtedness after having foreclosed
the property securing the same.

HELD: NO

Section 7, Rule 89, that once the deed of real estate mortgage is
recorded in the proper Registry of Deeds, together with the
corresponding court order authorizing the administrator to mortgage
the property, said deed shall be valid as if it has been executed by
the deceased himself. Section 7 provides in part:
Sec. 7. Rule 89. Regulations for granting authority to sell, mortgage,
or otherwise encumber estate The court having jurisdiction of the
estate of the deceased may authorize the executor or administrator
to sell personal estate, or to sell, mortgage, or otherwise encumber
real estate, in cases provided by these rules when it appears
necessary or beneficial under the following regulations:
xxx
(f) There shall be recorded in the registry of deeds of the province in
which the real estate thus sold, mortgaged, or otherwise encumbered
is situated, a certified copy of the order of the court, together with
the deed of the executor or administrator for such real estate, which
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shall be valid as if the deed had been executed by the deceased in his
lifetime.
In the present case, it is undisputed that the conditions under the
aforecited rule have been complied with. It follows that we must
consider Sec. 7 of Rule 86, appropriately applicable to the
controversy at hand.
Case law now holds that this rule grants to the mortgagee three
distinct, independent and mutually exclusive remedies that can be
alternatively pursued by the mortgage creditor for the satisfaction of
his credit in case the mortgagor dies, among them:
(1) to waive the mortgage and claim the entire debt from the estate
of the mortgagor as an ordinary claim;
(2) to foreclose the mortgage judicially and prove any deficiency as
an ordinary claim; and
(3) to rely on the mortgage exclusively, foreclosing the same at any
time before it is barred by prescription without right to file a claim for
any deficiency.[9]
In Perez v. Philippine National Bank,[10] reversing Pasno vs.
Ravina,[11] we held:
The ruling in Pasno vs. Ravina not having been reiterated in any other
case, we have carefully reexamined the same, and after mature
deliberation have reached the conclusion that the dissenting opinion
is more in conformity with reason and law. Of the three alternative
courses that section 7, Rule 87 (now Rule 86), offers the mortgage
creditor, to wit, (1) to waive the mortgage and claim the entire debt
from the estate of the mortgagor as an ordinary claim; (2) foreclose
the mortgage judicially and prove any deficiency as an ordinary
claim; and (3) to rely on the mortgage exclusively, foreclosing the
same at any time before it is barred by prescription, without right to
file a claim for any deficiency, the majority opinion in Pasno vs.
Ravina, in requiring a judicial foreclosure, virtually wipes out the third
alternative conceded by the Rules to the mortgage creditor,
and which would precisely include extra-judicial foreclosures by
contrast with the second alternative.
The plain result of adopting the last mode of foreclosure is that the
creditor waives his right to recover any deficiency from the
estate.[12] Following the Perez ruling that the third mode includes
extrajudicial foreclosure sales, the result of extrajudicial foreclosure is
that the creditor waives any further deficiency claim. The dissent
in Pasno, as adopted in Perez, supports this conclusion, thus:
When account is further taken of the fact that a creditor who elects to
foreclose by extrajudicial sale waives all right to recover against the
estate of the deceased debtor for any deficiency remaining unpaid
after the sale it will be readily seen that the decision in this case
(referring to the majority opinion) will impose a burden upon the
estates of deceased persons who have mortgaged real property for
the security of debts, without any compensatory advantage.
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Clearly, in our view, petitioner herein has chosen the mortgage-
creditors option of extrajudicially foreclosing the mortgaged property
of the Chuas. This choice now bars any subsequent deficiency claim
against the estate of the deceased, Antonio M. Chua. Petitioner may
no longer avail of the complaint for the recovery of the balance of
indebtedness against said estate, after petitioner foreclosed the
property securing the mortgage in its favor. It follows that in this
case no further liability remains on the part of respondents and the
late Antonio M. Chuas estate.

Heirs of Maglasang vs Manila Banking Corp

Facts:

The spouses Flaviano and Salud Maglasang (Sps.Maglasang) obtained


a credit line from respondent in the amount of ₱350,000.00 which
was secured by a real estate mortgage executed over seven of their
properties. They availed of their credit line by securing loans in the
amounts of ₱209,790.50 and ₱139,805.83 on October 24, 1975 and
March 15, 1976, respectively, both of which becoming due and
demandable within a period of one year.

After Flaviano Maglasang (Flaviano) died intestate, his widow Salud


Maglasang (Salud) and their surviving children, herein petitioners
appointed their brother petitioner Edgar Maglasang (Edgar) as their
attorney-in-fact. Edgar filed a verified petition for letters of
administration of the intestate estate of Flaviano before the then
Court of First Instance.

The probate court, issued a Notice to Creditors for the filing of money
claims against Flaviano’s estate. Accordingly, as one of the creditors
of Flaviano, respondent notified the probate court of its claim in the
amount of ₱382,753.19.

During the pendency of the intestate proceedings, Edgar and


Oscar were able to obtain several loans from respondent,
secured by promissory notes which they signed.

In an order, the probate court terminated the proceedings with


the surviving heirs executing an extra-judicial partition of the
properties of Flaviano’s estate. The loan obligations owed by the
estate to respondent, however, remained unsatisfied due to
respondent’s certification that Flaviano’s account was
undergoing a restructuring. Nonetheless, the probate court
expressly recognized the rights of respondent under the
mortgage and promissory notes executed by the Sps.

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Maglasang, specifically, its "right to foreclose the same within
the statutory period."

In this light, respondent proceeded to extra-judicially foreclose


the mortgage covering the Sps. Maglasang’s properties and
emerged as the highest bidder at the public auction. There,
however, remained a deficiency on Sps. Maglasang’s obligation
to respondent. Thus respondent filed a suit to recover the
deficiency amount of ₱250,601.05 as of May 31, 1981 against
the estate of Flaviano.

The RTC decided in favor of the respondent.

The petitioners elevated the case to the CA on appeal,


contending, inter alia, that the remedies available to respondent
under Section 7, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court (Rules) are
alternative and exclusive, such that the election of one operates
as a waiver or abandonment of the others. Thus, when
respondent filed its claim against the estate of Flaviano in the
proceedings before the probate court, it effectively abandoned
its right to foreclose on the mortgage.

The CA denied the petitioners’ appeal and affirmed the RTC’s


Decision.

Issue: Whether or not, after the respondent foreclosed the


mortgage, the respondent may still file a claim against the
estate? (No)

Held:

Claims against deceased persons should be filed during the


settlement proceedings of their estate. Such proceedings are
primarily governed by special rules found under Rules 73 to 90
of the Rules, although rules governing ordinary actions may, as
far as practicable, apply suppletorily. Among these special rules,
Section 7, Rule 86 of the Rules (Section 7, Rule86) provides the
rule in dealing with secured claims against the estate:

SEC. 7. Mortgage debt due from estate. – A creditor holding a


claim against the deceased secured by a mortgage or other
collateral security, may abandon the security and prosecute his
claim in the manner provided in this rule, and share in the
general distribution of the assets of the estate; or he may
foreclose his mortgage or realize upon his security, by action in
court, making the executor or administrator a party defendant,
and if there is a judgment for a deficiency, after the sale of the
mortgaged premises, or the property pledged, in the foreclosure
or other proceeding to realize upon the security, he may claim
his deficiency judgment in the manner provided in the preceding
section; or he may rely upon his mortgage or other security
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alone, and foreclose the same at any time within the period of
the statute of limitations, and in that event he shall not be
admitted as a creditor, and shall receive no share in the
distribution of the other assets of the estate; but nothing herein
contained shall prohibit the executor or administrator from
redeeming the property mortgaged or pledged, by paying the
debt for which it is held as security, under the direction of the
court, if the court shall adjudged it to be for the best interest of
the estate that such redemption shall be made.

As the foregoing generally speaks of "a creditor holding a claim


against the deceased secured by a mortgage or other collateral
security" as above-highlighted, it may be reasonably concluded that
the aforementioned section covers all secured claims, whether by
mortgage or any other form of collateral, which a creditor may
enforce against the estate of the deceased debtor.

In our jurisdiction, the remedies available to the mortgage creditor


are deemed alternative and not cumulative. Notably, an election of
one remedy operates as a waiver of the other. For this purpose, a
remedy is deemed chosen upon the filing of the suit for collection or
upon the filing of the complaint in an action for foreclosure of
mortgage, pursuant to the provision of Rule 68 of the 1997 Rules of
Civil Procedure. As to extrajudicial foreclosure, such remedy is
deemed elected by the mortgage creditor upon filing of the petition
not with any court of justice but with the Office of the Sheriff of the
province where the sale is to be made, in accordance with the
provisions of Act No. 3135, as amended by Act No.4118.

In this case, respondent sought to extra-judicially foreclose the


mortgage of the properties previously belonging to Sps.
Maglasang (and now, their estates) and, therefore, availed of
the third option. Lest it be misunderstood, it did not exercise the
first option of directly filing a claim against the estate, as
petitioners assert, since it merely notified the probate court of
the outstanding amount of its claim against the estate of
Flaviano and that it was currently restructuring the account.
Thus, having unequivocally opted to exercise the third option of
extra-judicial foreclosure under Section 7, Rule 86, respondent
is now precluded from filing a suit to recover any deficiency
amount as earlier discussed.

Union Bank of the Philippines vs Ariola


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Facts:

On May 31, 1980, the First Countryside Credit Corporation (FCCC)


and Efraim M. Santibañez entered into a loan agreement in the
amount of ₱128,000.00. The amount was intended for the payment
of the purchase price of one (1) unit Ford 6600 Agricultural All-
Purpose Diesel Tractor. In view thereof, Efraim and his son, Edmund,
executed a promissory note in favor of the FCCC, the principal sum
payable in five equal annual amortizations. In 1980, the FCCC and
Efraim entered into another loan agreement, this time in the amount
of ₱123,156.00. It was intended to pay the balance of the purchase
price of another unit of Ford 6600 Agricultural All-Purpose Diesel
Tractor.

Again, Efraim and his son, Edmund, executed a promissory note for
the said amount in favor of the FCCC. Aside from such promissory
note, they also signed a Continuing Guaranty Agreement for the loan.

Sometime in February 1981, Efraim died, leaving a holographic


will. Subsequently in March 1981, testate proceedings
commenced before the RTC of Iloilo City. Edmund, as one of the
heirs, was appointed as the special administrator of the estate
of the decedent. During the pendency of the testate
proceedings, the surviving heirs, Edmund and his sister Florence
Santibañez Ariola, executed a Joint Agreement dated July 22,
1981, wherein they agreed to divide between themselves and
take possession of the three (3) tractors; Each of them was to
assume the indebtedness of their late father to FCCC,
corresponding to the tractor respectively taken by them.

Demand letters for the settlement of his account were sent by


petitioner Union Bank of the Philippines (UBP) to Edmund, but
the latter failed to heed the same and refused to pay. Thus, on
February 5, 1988, the petitioner filed a Complaint for sum of
money against the heirs of Efraim Santibañez, Edmund and
Florence, before the RTC.

Ariola filed her Answer and alleged that the loan documents did
not bind her since she was not a party thereto. Considering that
the joint agreement signed by her and her brother Edmund was
not approved by the probate court, it was null and void; hence,
she was not liable to the petitioner under the joint agreement.

The trial court found that the claim of the petitioner should have
been filed with the probate court as the sum of money being
claimed was an obligation incurred by the said decedent.

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Issue: 1st issue: Whether or not the partition in the Agreement
executed by the heirs is valid? (No)

2nd Issue: whether the petitioner can hold the heirs liable on the
obligation of the deceased (No)

Held:

1st Issue: In our jurisdiction, the rule is that there can be no


valid partition among the heirs until after the will has been
probated:

In testate succession, there can be no valid partition among the


heirs until after the will has been probated. The law enjoins the
probate of a will and the public requires it, because unless a will
is probated and notice thereof given to the whole world, the
right of a person to dispose of his property by will may be
rendered nugatory.

It must be stressed that the probate proceeding had already


acquired jurisdiction over all the properties of the deceased,
including the three (3) tractors. To dispose of them in any way
without the probate court’s approval is tantamount to divesting
it with jurisdiction which the Court cannot allow.Thus, in
executing any joint agreement which appears to be in the
nature of an extra-judicial partition, as in the case at bar, court
approval is imperative, and the heirs cannot just divest the
court of its jurisdiction over that part of the estate.

2nd Issue:

The question that now comes to fore is whether the heirs’


assumption of the indebtedness of the decedent is binding.
We rule in the negative. Perusing the joint agreement, it
provides that the heirs as parties thereto "have agreed to
divide between themselves and take possession and use
the above-described chattel and each of them to assume
the indebtedness corresponding to the chattel taken as
herein after stated which is in favor of First Countryside
Credit Corp." The assumption of liability was conditioned
upon the happening of an event, that is, that each heir
shall take possession and use of their respective share
under the agreement. It was made dependent on the
validity of the partition, and that they were to assume the
indebtedness corresponding to the chattel that they were
each to receive. The partition being invalid as earlier
discussed, the heirs in effect did not receive any such
tractor. It follows then that the assumption of liability
cannot be given any force and effect.

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The Court notes that the loan was contracted by the
decedent. The petitioner, purportedly a creditor of the late
Efraim Santibañez, should have thus filed its money claim
with the probate court in accordance with Section 5, Rule
86 of the Revised Rules of Court, which provides:

Section 5. Claims which must be filed under the notice. If


not filed barred; exceptions. — All claims for money
against the decedent, arising from contract, express or
implied, whether the same be due, not due, or contingent,
all claims for funeral expenses for the last sickness of the
decedent, and judgment for money against the decedent,
must be filed within the time limited in the notice;
otherwise they are barred forever, except that they may
be set forth as counterclaims in any action that the
executor or administrator may bring against the claimants.
Where an executor or administrator commences an action,
or prosecutes an action already commenced by the
deceased in his lifetime, the debtor may set forth by
answer the claims he has against the decedent, instead of
presenting them independently to the court as herein
provided, and mutual claims may be set off against each
other in such action; and if final judgment is rendered in
favor of the defendant, the amount so determined shall be
considered the true balance against the estate, as though
the claim had been presented directly before the court in
the administration proceedings. Claims not yet due, or
contingent, may be approved at their present value.

The filing of a money claim against the decedent’s estate in the


probate court is mandatory.

Perusing the records of the case, nothing therein could hold


private respondent Florence S. Ariola accountable for any
liability incurred by her late father. The documentary evidence
presented, particularly the promissory notes and the continuing
guaranty agreement, were executed and signed only by the late
Efraim Santibañez and his son Edmund. As the petitioner failed
to file its money claim with the probate court, at most, it may
only go after Edmund as co-maker of the decedent under the
said promissory notes and continuing guaranty, of course,
subject to any defenses Edmund may have as against the
petitioner.

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Saligumba vs Palanog

Facts:

Monica Palanog, assisted by her husband Avelino Palanog (spouses


Palanogs), filed a complaint for Quieting of Title with Damages
against defendants, spouses Valeria Saligumba and Eliseo Saligumba,
Sr. (spouses Saligumbas), before the Regional Trial Court.

The RTC decided in favor of the spouses Palanogs. Monica Palanog


(respondent), now a widow, filed a Complaint seeking to revive and
enforce the Decision. Petitioner Generoso Saligumba, for himself and
in representation of his brother Ernesto who was out of the country,
filed an Answer, contending that the spouses Saligumbas died while
Civil Case No. 2570 was pending and no order of substitution was
issued and hence, the trial was null and void.

Issue: Whether or not the respondent may file a claim against the
petitioners? (Yes)

Held:

Civil Case No. 2570 is an action for quieting of title with damages
which is an action involving real property. It is an action that survives
pursuant to Section 1, Rule 87 as the claim is not extinguished by the
death of a party. And when a party dies in an action that survives,
Section 17 of Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court provides for the
procedure, thus:

Section 17. Death of Party. - After a party dies and the claim is
not thereby extinguished, the court shall order, upon proper
notice, the legal representative of the deceased to appear and
to be substituted for the deceased, within a period of thirty (30)
days, or within such time as may be granted. If the legal
representative fails to appear within said time, the court may
order the opposing party to procure the appointment of a legal
representative of the deceased within a time to be specified by
the court, and the representative shall immediately appear for
and on behalf of the interest of the deceased. The court charges
involved in procuring such appointment, if defrayed by the
opposing party, may be recovered as costs. The heirs of the
deceased may be allowed to be substituted for the deceased,
without requiring the appointment of an executor or
administrator and the court may appoint guardian ad litem for
the minor heirs. (Emphasis supplied)

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Civil Case No. 2570 is an action for quieting of title with
damages which is an action involving real property. It is an
action that survives pursuant to Section 1, Rule 87 16 as the
claim is not extinguished by the death of a party. And when a
party dies in an action that survives, Section 17 of Rule 3 of the
Revised Rules of Court17 provides for the procedure, thus:

Section 17. Death of Party. - After a party dies and the claim is
not thereby extinguished, the court shall order, upon proper
notice, the legal representative of the deceased to appear and
to be substituted for the deceased, within a period of thirty (30)
days, or within such time as may be granted. If the legal
representative fails to appear within said time, the court may
order the opposing party to procure the appointment of a legal
representative of the deceased within a time to be specified by
the court, and the representative shall immediately appear for
and on behalf of the interest of the deceased. The court charges
involved in procuring such appointment, if defrayed by the
opposing party, may be recovered as costs. The heirs of the
deceased may be allowed to be substituted for the deceased,
without requiring the appointment of an executor or
administrator and the court may appoint guardian ad litem for
the minor heirs. (Emphasis supplied)

Under the express terms of Section 17, in case of death of a party,


and upon proper notice, it is the duty of the court to order the legal
representative or heir of the deceased to appear for the deceased. In
the instant case, it is true that the trial court, after receiving an
informal notice of death by the mere notation in the envelopes, failed
to order the appearance of the legal representative or heir of the
deceased.

It appears that Eliseo Saligumba, Sr. died on 18 February 1984


while Valeria Saligumba died on 2 February 1985. No motion for
the substitution of the spouses was filed nor an order issued for
the substitution of the deceased spouses Saligumbas in Civil
Case No. 2570. Atty. Miralles and petitioner Eliseo Saligumba,
Jr., despite notices sent to them to appear, never confirmed the
death of Eliseo Saligumba, Sr. and Valeria Saligumba. The
record is bereft of any evidence proving the death of the
spouses, except the mere notations in the envelopes enclosing
the trial court’s orders which were returned unserved.

Section 17 is explicit that the duty of the court to order the legal
representative or heir to appear arises only "upon proper notice." The
notation "Party-Deceased" on the unserved notices could not be the
"proper notice" contemplated by the rule. As the trial court could not
be expected to know or take judicial notice of the death of a party

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without the proper manifestation from counsel, the trial court was
well within its jurisdiction to proceed as it did with the case.
Moreover, there is no showing that the court’s proceedings were
tainted with irregularities.

Rivera vs Ramirez

Facts: The spouses Adolfo Ramirez (Adolfo) and Rosita Rivera


(Rosita) owned the Sta. Teresita General Hospital and other
properties. Rosita died in September 1990, followed by her husband
Adolfo. In 1995 petitioner Eleuterio P. Rivera (Eleuterio) filed a
petition for issuance of letters of administration with the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) covering the estate of Rosita, who allegedly died
without a will and with no direct ascendants or descendants.Eleuterio
claimed that he was Rosita’s nephew. Eleuterio submitted to the
intestate court a list of the names of the decedent’s other nephews
and nieces all of whom expressed conformity to Eleuterio’s
appointment as administrator of her estate.

In 1995 the RTC issued letters of administration appointing Eleuterio


as Rosita’s estate administrator.In 1996 he filed in his capacity as
administrator a motion with the court to compel the examination and
production of documents relating to properties believed to be a part
of her estate, foremost of which was the Sta. Teresita General
Hospital that respondent Robert Ramirez (Robert) had been
managing.Robert claims, together with Raymond Ramirez (Raymond)
and Lydia Ramirez (Lydia), that they were children of Adolfo by
another woman. Robert opposed the issuance of the subpoena.

Subsequently, Robert filed a special civil action of certiorari before


the Court of Appeals (CA), imputing grave abuse of discretion by the
RTC for allowing the production and examination of the subject
documents and for not inhibiting Atty. Pacheo from the case.
Essentially, the CA ruled that Eleuterio and Rosita’s other collateral
relatives were not her heirs since she had an adopted child in
Raymond and that, consequently, Eleuterio, et al. had no standing to
request production of the hospital’s documents or to institute the
petition for the settlement of her estate.

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Issue: Whether or not Eleuterio had a legal standing to subpoena the
documents in Robert’s possession? (Yes)

Held:

As for the right of the administrator of Rosita’s estate to the


production and examination of the specified documents believed
to be in Robert’s possession, Section 6, Rule 87 of the Rules of
Court provides that these can be allowed based on the
administrator’s belief that the person named in the request for
subpoena has documents in his possession that tend to show
the decedent’s right to real or personal property. Thus:

Section 6. Proceedings when property concealed, embezzled, or


fraudulently conveyed. – If an executor or administrator, heir,
legatee, creditor, or other individual interested in the estate of
the deceased, complains to the court having jurisdiction of the
estate that a person is suspected of having concealed,
embezzled, or conveyed away any of the money, goods or
chattels of the deceased, or that such person has in his
possession or has knowledge of any deed, conveyance, bond,
contract or other writing which contains evidence of or tends to
disclose the right, title, interest, or claim of the deceased to real
or personal estate, or the last will and testament of the
deceased, the Court may cite such suspected person to appear
before it and may examine him on oath on the matter of such
complaint; and if the person so cited refuses to appear, or to
answer on such examination or such interrogatories as are put
to him, the court may punish him for contempt, and may
commit him to prison until he submits to the order of the court.
The interrogatories put to any such person, and his answers
thereto, shall be in writing and shall be filed in the clerk’s office.
(Emphasis supplied)

The production and examination is nothing to be afraid of since


the intestate court has no authority to decide who the
decedent’s heirs are in connection with such incident which is
confined to the examination of documents which may aid the
administrator in determining properties believed to belong to
the decedent’s estate. What is more, that court has no authority
to decide the question of whether certain properties belong to
the estate or to the person sought to be examined.

In fact, if after the examination the court has good reason to believe
that the person examined is in possession of properties that belong to
the deceased, the administrator cannot detain the property. He has to
file an ordinary action for recovery of the properties.The purpose of
the production and examination of documents is to elicit information
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or secure evidence from persons suspected of having possession of,
or knowledge of properties suspected of belonging to the estate of
the deceased. The procedure is inquisitorial in nature, designed as an
economical and efficient mode of discovering properties of the estate.

Lopez vs Olbes

Facts:

On October 13, 1908, Ricardo Lopez et al. brought suit against Adolfo
Olbes, the testamentary executor of the deceased Martina Lopez (the
mother of Ricardo and grandmother of the other plaintiffs), alleging in
their complaint that Martina executed a public instrument whereby
she donated to plaintiffs a parcel of hemp land situated at the place
called Ali, in the pueblo of Guinobatan, Albay and that the said Olbes,
as executor, claimed to have rights of ownership and possession to
the said land adverse to those then held by the plaintiffs, inasmuch
as the said estate still continued to belong to the deceased Martina
Lopez and was then in charge of a trustee by virtue of an agreement
had between the attorneys of the executor and the plaintiff Ricardo,
and of the order issued by the court in the aforesaid probate
proceedings. The complaint concluded by asking that judgment be
rendered in the latter’s favor and against the defendant for the
ownership and possession of the said land.

The defendant filed a demurrer in writing alleging that the plaintiffs,


as the heirs or donees could not maintain any suit against the
testamentary executor to recover the title or possession of the land
so long as the court had not adjudicated the estate to them or until
the time allowed for paying the debts should have expired, unless
they be given possession of the said land by the executor. The trial
court sustained the demurrer of the defendant and dismissed the
case.

Issue:
Whether or not the plaintiffs have the right of ownership and
possession over the parcel of hemp land?

Held:

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Yes. The action exercised by Ricardo et al is based on the rights
which as such donees had acquired by virtue of the donation inter
vivos made by Martina Lopez during her lifetime on favor of plaintiffs
by an instrument the donor, a donation expressly accepted on the
same date by the donees and of which acceptance the donor was also
informed on the same date; wherefore, these requirements of the law
having been complied with, it is unquestionable that the dominion
over the land donated was properly transmitted to the donees who in
fact and by operation of law acquired the ownership of the property,
as customarily occurs in all contracts of transfer of dominion.

Property of the testate estate of the deceased Martina Lopez is not


here concerned. During her lifetime she gave away the land
mentioned, in the exercise pertained to her as owner. By virtue of the
said donation the sole and true owners of the land donated are the
plaintiffs, so long as said donation is not proven null, inefficacious, or
irregular. All the questions which by reason of the same are raised by
the interested parties must be heard in a regular trial and decided by
a final judgment absolutely independent of the probate proceedings
concerning the estate of the deceased, who was the previous owner
of the land concerned; and therefore the complaint of the donees
should not have been dismissed, but the trial should have been
proceeded with to final judgment.

Rioferio vs CA

Facts:

Alfonso P. Orfinada, Jr. died without a will leaving several personal


and real properties. He also left a widow, respondent Esperanza P.
Orfinada. and with whom he had seven children who are the herein
respondents, namely: Lourdes P. Orfinada, Alfonso "Clyde" P.
Orfinada, Nancy P. Orfinada-Happenden, Alfonso James P. Orfinada,
Christopher P. Orfinada, Alfonso Mike P. Orfinada (deceased) and
Angelo P. Orfinada.

Apart from the respondents, the demise of the decedent left in


mourning his paramour and their children. They are petitioner
Teodora Riofero, and co-petitioners Veronica, Alberto and
Rowena.

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Respondents Alfonso James and Lourdes Orfinada discovered
that on June 29, 1995, petitioner Teodora Rioferio and her
children executed an Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate of a
Deceased Person with Quitclaim involving the properties of the
estate of the decedent.

Respondents filed a Complaint for the Annulment/Rescission of


Extra Judicial Settlement of Estate of a Deceased Person with
Quitclaim, Real Estate Mortgage with Damages against
petitioners.

Petitioners also raised the affirmative defense that respondents


are not the real parties-in-interest but rather the Estate of
Alfonso O. Orfinada, Jr. in view of the pendency of the
administration proceedings.The petitioners filed a Motion to Set
Affirmative Defenses for Hearing.

The lower court denied the motion in its Order dated June 27,
1996, on the ground that respondents, as heirs, are the real
parties-in-interest especially in the absence of an administrator
who is yet to be appointed. Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals
rendered a decision affirming the RTC decision.

Issue: Whether or not the heirs may bring a suit involving the
estate of the deceased pending the appointment of an
administrator? (Yes)

Held:

Even if administration proceedings have already been


commenced, the heirs may still bring the suit if an administrator
has not yet been appointed. This is the proper modality despite
the total lack of advertence to the heirs in the rules on party
representation, namely Section 3, Rule 3 and Section 2, Rule 87
of the Rules of Court. In fact, in the case of Gochan v. Young,28
this Court recognized the legal standing of the heirs to represent
the rights and properties of the decedent under administration
pending the appointment of an administrator. Thus:

The above-quoted rules,29 while permitting an executor or


administrator to represent or to bring suits on behalf of the
deceased, do not prohibit the heirs from representing the
deceased. These rules are easily applicable to cases in
which an administrator has already been appointed. But
no rule categorically addresses the situation in which
special proceedings for the settlement of an estate have
already been instituted, yet no administrator has been
appointed. In such instances, the heirs cannot be expected to
wait for the appointment of an administrator; then wait further
to see if the administrator appointed would care enough to file a

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suit to protect the rights and the interests of the deceased; and
in the meantime do nothing while the rights and the properties
of the decedent are violated or dissipated.

Even if there is an appointed administrator, jurisprudence


recognizes two exceptions, viz: (1) if the executor or
administrator is unwilling or refuses to bring suit;30 and (2)
when the administrator is alleged to have participated in the act
complained of31 and he is made a party defendant.32 Evidently,
the necessity for the heirs to seek judicial relief to recover
property of the estate is as compelling when there is no
appointed administrator, if not more, as where there is an
appointed administrator but he is either disinclined to bring suit
or is one of the guilty parties himself.

All told, therefore, the rule that the heirs have no legal standing
to sue for the recovery of property of the estate during the
pendency of administration proceedings has three exceptions,
the third being when there is no appointed administrator such
as in this case.

REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE RELATIVE TO SPECIAL


PROCEEDINGS NO. 28 PENDING AT REGIONAL TRIAL
COURT OF HIMAMAYLAN, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, BRANCH
55, PRESIDED BY JUDGE JOSE Y. AGUIRRE, JR.

Facts:

The complainant Constancia Amar requested assistance relative to


Special Proceedings No. 28, entitled "Intestate Estate of Spouses
Dioscoro & Emperatriz Rubin," assigned to Judge Jose Y. Aguirre.

Complainant states that she obtained a favorable decision for


wage differentials in a labor case. A writ of execution was issued
by the NLRC against the Estate of Spouses Rubin. In relation
thereto, in Special Proceedings No. 28, respondent judge issued
an order directing the judicial administrator of the Estate of
Spouses Rubin to settle Amar's claim.

Subsequently the complainant filed a motion for the issuance of


an order of contempt against the judicial administrator,
Feliciano Rubin, for not heeding the court order. Respondent
judge failed to resolve the motion for more than three years.
Suspecting a possible collusion between respondent judge and
the judicial administrator, complainant sought the assistance of
the Office of the Court Administrator.

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Respondent judge, in his letter, explained that the court could
not direct the sheriff to sell the property of the estate for being
inconsistent with Section 3, Rule 88, of the Rules of Court.

The OCA ruled stating that Judge Aguirre is correct when he


said that Amar's motion to order the sheriff to sell in public
auction or to mortgage the properties of the estate is contrary
to law. The motion contravenes Section 3, Rule 88 of the
Revised Rules of Court which specifically provides that it is only
the executor or administrator of the estate whom the court may
authorize to dispose of the properties of the estate so that the
proceeds of the sale or mortgage may be applied to its
obligations. However, Judge Aguirre still has the duty to resolve
the motion within the 90-day reglementary period. What he
should have done was simply to deny the motion on the ground
that it is contrary to law.

Issue: Whether or not the act of Judge Aguirre in failing to


resolve the motion by virtue of Sec 3, Rule 88 is valid? (No)

Held:

The motion to cite the judicial administrator for contempt was


never resolved by respondent judge. The explanation that he
could not grant the motion because the judicial administrator
was sickly certainly is no excuse. The motion to require the
sheriff to sell or mortgage the real properties of the estate was
also not resolved by respondent judge, stating that to grant the
motion would be contrary to Section 3, Rule 88, of the Revised
Rules of Court. If respondent judge indeed felt so, then he
should have forthwith issued an order denying the motion
instead of allowing the motion to remain unresolved.

WHEREFORE, for his failure to timely resolve the two pending


incidents in Special Proceedings No. 28, Judge Jose Y. Aguirre of
the Regional Trial Court of Himamaylan, Negros Occidental,
Branch 55 is meted a FINE

Pahamotang vs PNB

Facts:

Melitona Pahamotang died. She was survived by her husband


Agustin Pahamotang, and their eight (8) children.Agustin filed with
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the then Court of First Instance of Davao City a petition for issuance
of letters administration over the estate of his deceased wife.In his
petition, Agustin identified petitioners Josephine and Eleonor as
among the heirs of his deceased spouse. It appears that Agustin was
appointed petitioners' judicial guardian.The intestate court issued an
order granting Agustin’s petition.

Respondent Philippine National Bank (PNB) and Agustin executed an


Amendment of Real and Chattel Mortgages with Assumption of
Obligation. It appears that earlier, or on December 14, 1972, the
intestate court approved the mortgage to PNB of certain assets of the
estate to secure an obligation. Agustin signed the document in behalf
of the estate of Melitona.

Meanwhile, the obligation secured by mortgages on the subject


properties of the estate was never satisfied hence mortgagor
PNB filed a petition for the extrajudicial foreclosure of the
mortgage.

The petitioners Josephine and Eleanor, together with their sister


Susana, filed their complaint for Nullification of Mortgage
Contracts and Foreclosure Proceedings and Damages
against Agustin and PNB.

It is petitioners’ posture that the mortgage contracts entered


into by Agustin with respondent PNB, as well as his subsequent
sale of estate properties to PLEI and Arguna are void because
they [petitioners] never consented thereto. They assert that as
heirs of their mother Melitona, they are entitled to notice of
Agustin's several petitions in the intestate court seeking
authority to mortgage and sell estate properties. Without such
notice,which the 4 orders that allowed Agustin to mortgage and
sell estate properties, are void on account of Agustin’s non-
compliance with the mandatory requirements of Rule 89 of the
Rules of Court.

Issue: Whether or not petitioners can obtain relief from the


effects of contracts of sale and mortgage entered into by
Agustin without first initiating a direct action against the orders
of the intestate court authorizing the challenged contracts.(Yes)

Held:

The action filed by the petitioners before the trial court is for the
annulment of several contracts entered into by Agustin for and
in behalf of the estate of Melitona, namely: (a) contract of
mortgage in favor of respondent PNB, (b) contract of sale in
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favor of Arguna involving seven (7) parcels of land; and (c)
contract of sale of a parcel of land in favor of PLEI.

The trial court acquired jurisdiction over the subject matter of


the case upon the allegations in the complaint that said
contracts were entered into despite lack of notices to the heirs
of the petition for the approval of those contracts by the
intestate court.

In the exercise of its jurisdiction, the trial court made a


factual finding in its decision that petitioners were, in fact,
not notified by their father Agustin of the filing of his
petitions for permission to mortgage/sell the estate
properties. The trial court made the correct conclusion of
law that the challenged orders of the intestate court
granting Agustin’s petitions were null and void for lack of
compliance with the mandatory requirements of Rule 89 of
the Rules of Court, particularly Sections 2, 4, 7 thereof,
which respectively read:

"Sec. 2. When court may authorize sale, mortgage, or


other encumbrance of realty to pay debts and legacies
through personalty not exhausted. - When the personal
estate of the deceased is not sufficient to pay the debts,
expenses of administration, and legacies, or where the
sale of such personal estate may injure the business or
other interests of those interested in the estate, and where
a testator has not otherwise made sufficient provision for
the payment of such debts, expenses, and legacies, the
court, on the application of the executor or administrator
and on written notice to the heirs, devisees, and
legatees residing in the Philippines, may authorize the
executor or administrator to sell, mortgage, or otherwise
encumber so much as may be necessary of the real estate,
in lieu of personal estate, for the purpose of paying such
debts, expenses, and legacies, if it clearly appears that
such sale, mortgage, or encumbrance would be beneficial
to the persons interested; and if a part cannot be sold,
mortgaged, or otherwise encumbered without injury to
those interested in the remainder, the authority may be
for the sale, mortgage, or other encumbrance of the whole
of such real estate, or so much thereof as is necessary or
beneficial under the circumstances".

"Sec. 4. When court may authorize sale of estate as


beneficial to interested persons. Disposal of proceeds. -
When it appears that the sale of the whole or a part of the
real or personal estate, will be beneficial to the heirs,
devisees, legatees, and other interested persons, the court
may, upon application of the executor or administrator and
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on written notice to the heirs, devisees and legatees
who are interested in the estate to be sold, authorize the
executor or administrator to sell the whole or a part of said
estate, although not necessary to pay debts, legacies, or
expenses of administration; but such authority shall not be
granted if inconsistent with the provisions of a will. In case
of such sale, the proceeds shall be assigned to the persons
entitled to the estate in the proper proportions".

"Sec. 7. Regulations for granting authority to sell,


mortgage, or otherwise encumber estate. - The court
having jurisdiction of the estate of the deceased may
authorize the executor or administrator to sell personal
estate, or to sell, mortgage, or otherwise encumber real
estate; in cases provided by these rules and when it
appears necessary or beneficial, under the following
regulations:

(a) The executor or administrator shall file a written


petition setting forth the debts due from the deceased, the
expenses of administration, the legacies, the value of the
personal estate, the situation of the estate to be sold,
mortgaged, or otherwise encumbered, and such other
facts as show that the sale, mortgage, or other
encumbrance is necessary or beneficial;

(b) The court shall thereupon fix a time and place for
hearing such petition, and cause notice stating the
nature of the petition, the reason for the same, and the
time and place of hearing, to be given personally or by
mail to the persons interested, and may cause such
further notice to be given, by publication or otherwise, as
it shall deem proper; (Emphasis supplied)".

xxx xxx xxx

Settled is the rule in this jurisdiction that when an order


authorizing the sale or encumbrance of real property was issued
by the testate or intestate court without previous notice to the
heirs, devisees and legatees as required by the Rules, it is not
only the contract itself which is null and void but also the order
of the court authorizing the same.

Silverio vs CA and Silverio-Dee

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Facts:

The instant controversy stemmed from the settlement of estate of the


deceased Beatriz Silverio. After her death, her surviving spouse,
Ricardo Silverio, Sr., filed an intestate proceeding for the settlement
of her estate.

During the pendency of the case, Ricardo Silverio, Jr. filed a petition
to remove Ricardo C. Silverio, Sr. as the administrator of the subject
estate.The RTC subsequently issued an order against private
respondent to vacate the premises of the property located at No. 3,
Intsia, Forbes Park, Makati City.Private respondent filed a Petition for
Certiorari and Prohibition with the CA (With Prayer for TRO and Writ
of Preliminary Injunction). The CA granted the prayer for the issuance
of a TRO.

Issue: Whether or not the occupancy of private respondent Nelia


Silverio-Dee is valid, despite without any authority from the intestate
court? (No)

Held:

The alleged authority given by SILVERIO, SR. for Nelia S. Silverio-


Dee to occupy the property is null and void since the possession of
estate property can only be given to a purported heir by virtue of an
Order from this Court (see Sec. 1 Rule 90. In fact, the Executor or
Administrator shall have the right to the possession and management
of the real as well as the personal estate of the deceased only when it
is necessary for the payment of the debts and expenses of
administration.

With this in mind, it is without an iota of doubt that the


possession by Nelia S. Silverio-Dee of the property in question
has absolutely no legal basis considering that her occupancy
cannot pay the debts and expenses of administration, not to
mention the fact that it will also disturb the right of the new
Administrator to possess and manage the property for the
purpose of settling the estate’s legitimate obligations.

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Similarly, under Rule 90, Sec. 1 of the Rules of Court, the
properties of the estate shall only be distributed after the
payment of the debts, funeral charges, and other expenses
against the estate, except when authorized by the Court.

Verily, once an action for the settlement of an estate is filed


with the court, the properties included therein are under the
control of the intestate court. And not even the administrator
may take possession of any property that is part of the estate
without the prior authority of the Court.

In the instant case, the purported authority of Nelia Silverio-Dee,


which she allegedly secured from Ricardo Silverio, Sr., was never
approved by the probate court. She, therefore, never had any real
interest in the specific property located at No. 3 Intsia Road, Forbes
Park.

UY

ESCHEAT

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. REGISTER OF DEEDS OF


ROXAS CITY
JULY 16, 2008
J. CARPIO

SUMMARY: The Republic filed for reversion of title against the heirs of
a Chinese citizen, since aliens were disqualified by the Constitution to
own real property in the Philippines. Court ruled that reversion could
no longer prosper. Although the sale of the lot to the Chinese citizen
violated the constitutional prohibition on aliens acquiring land, the lot
had already been acquired by Elizabeth and Pacita through
succession. The transfer of Lot No. 398 to Elizabeth and Pacita, who
are Filipino citizens qualified to acquire lands, can no longer be
impugned on the basis of the invalidity of the initial transfer. The flaw
in the original transaction is considered cured and the title of the
transferee is deemed valid considering that the objective of the
constitutional proscription against alien ownership of lands, that is to
keep our lands in Filipino hands, has been achieved.

FACTS:

In 1936, Lee Liong, a Chinese citizen, bought Lot No. 398 (1,574 sq.
m. located at the corner of Roxas Ave. and Pavia St. in Roxas City)
from the Dinglasans. Subsequently, Lee Liong died intestate and was
survived by his widow and his sons Lee Bing Hoo and Lee Bun Ting.

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The heirs extrajudicially settled the estate and partitioned among
themselves the lot.

When the sons of Lee Liong died, Lot No. 398 was transferred by
succession to their respective wives, Elizabeth Lee (Elizabeth) and
Pacita Yu-Lee (Pacita).
The sellers Dingalasans wanted to recover the lot on the ground that
Lee Liong was an alien; thus, their sale to him was void.
In the 1956 case Dinglasan v. Lee Bun Ting, the Court held that even
if the sale of the property was null and void for violating the
constitutional prohibition on the sale of land to an alien, still the
doctrine of in pari delicto barred the sellers from recovering the title
to the property.
11 years later, in Lee Bun Ting v. Judge Aligaen, the Court ordered
the trial court to dismiss the complaint of the Dinglasans for recovery.
Applying the doctrine of res judicata, the Court held that the case was
a mere relitigation of the same issues previously adjudged with
finality in the Dinglasan case, involving the same parties or their
privies and concerning the same subject matter.
In 1993, Elizabeth and Pacita (Lee Liong’s daughters-in-law) filed a
petition for reconstitution of title of the lot because the records of the
Register of Deeds, Roxas City were burned during the war.
Court held that the reconstitution was void for lack of factual support
because it was based merely on the plan and technical description
approved by the Land Registration Authority.
In 1995, the Republic of the Philippines, through the OSG, filed with
the Regional Trial Court of Roxas City a Complaint for Reversion of
Title against Elizabeth, Pacita, and the Register of Deeds of Roxas
City, praying that the sale of Lot No. 398 to Lee Liong be set aside for
being null and void ab initio; andLot No. 398 be reverted to the public
domain for the State’s disposal in accordance with law.
Pacita and Elizabeth invoked as affirmative defenses: prescription;
private ownership of Lot No. 398; and Lee Liong’s being a buyer in
good faith and for value. Furthermore, they claimed that as Filipino
citizens, they are qualified to acquire Lot No. 398 by succession.
The trial court rendered a decision ordering the reversion of the lot to
the State. It held that Elizabeth and Pacita could not have acquired a
valid title over the lot because the sale of the lot to their predecessor-
in-interest Lee Liong was null and void.
Being an innocent purchaser in good faith and for value did not cure
Lee Liong’s disqualification as an alien who is prohibited from
acquiring land under the Constitution.

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Lastly, Prescription cannot be invoked against the State as regards an
action for reversion or reconveyance of land to the State.
The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decision and declared
Elizabeth and Pacita as the absolute and lawful owners of Lot No.
398.
It reasoned that it is true that the State is not barred by prescription.
However, reversion was still not proper.
Although the sale of the lot to Lee Liong violated the constitutional
prohibition on aliens acquiring land, the lot had already been acquired
by Elizabeth and Pacita through succession. The transfer of Lot No.
398 to Elizabeth and Pacita, who are Filipino citizens qualified to
acquire lands, can no longer be impugned on the basis of the
invalidity of the initial transfer. The flaw in the original transaction is
considered cured and the title of the transferee is deemed valid
considering that the objective of the constitutional proscription
against alien ownership of lands, that is to keep our lands in Filipino
hands, has been achieved.
The Republic moved for reconsideration, which the Court of Appeals
denied. Hence, this petition for review.
ISSUE:
Are Elizabeth and Pacita the absolute and lawful owners and
possessors of Lot No. 398, considering that their predecessor-in-
interest Lee Liong, an alien constitutionally prohibited to own real
property in the Philippines, acquired no right or title over the lot
which he could have transmitted by succession?
RULING: YES.
The Republic argues that since the sale of the lot to Lee Liong was
void, Lot No. 398 never became part of the deceased Lee Liong’s
estate. Hence, Lot No. 398 could not be transmitted by succession to
Lee Liong’s surviving heirs and eventually to Elizabeth and Pacita.
This position cannot be sustained.
De Castro v. Teng Queen Tan: A residential lot was sold to a Chinese
citizen. Upon the death of the alien vendee, his heirs entered into an
extrajudicial settlement of the estate of the deceased and the subject
land was transferred to a son who was a naturalized Filipino.
Subsequently, the vendor of the lot filed a suit for annulment of sale
for alleged violation of the Constitution prohibiting the sale of land to
aliens. Independently of the doctrine of in pari delicto, the Court
sustained the sale, holding that while the vendee was an alien at the
time of the sale, the land has since become the property of a
naturalized Filipino citizen who is constitutionally qualified to own
land.

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Similarly, in this case, upon the death of the original vendee who was
a Chinese citizen, his widow and two sons extrajudicially settled his
estate, including Lot No. 398. When the two sons died, Lot No. 398
was transferred by succession to their respective spouses Elizabeth
and Pacita who are Filipino citizens.
ISSUE:
Are reversion proceedings still viable considering that Lot 398 has
already been transferred to Filipino citizens? NO.
RULING:
In Lee v. Republic of the Philippines involving Lot No. 398, the Court
explained that the OSG may initiate an action for reversion or escheat
of lands which were sold to aliens disqualified from acquiring lands
under the Constitution. However, in the case of Lot No. 398, the fact
that it was already transferred to Filipinos militates against escheat
proceedings, thus: Although ownership of the land cannot revert to
the original sellers, because of the doctrine of pari delicto, the
Solicitor General may initiate an action for reversion or escheat of the
land to the State, subject to other defenses, as hereafter set forth.
In this case, subsequent circumstances militate against escheat
proceedings because the land is now in the hands of Filipinos. The
original vendee, Lee Liong, has since died and the land has been
inherited by his heirs and subsequently their heirs, Elizabeth and
Pacita. They are Filipino citizens, a fact not disputed.
The constitutional proscription on alien ownership of lands of the
public or private domain was intended to protect lands from falling in
the hands of non-Filipinos. In this case, however, there would be no
more public policy violated since the land is in the hands of Filipinos
qualified to acquire and own such land. If land is invalidly transferred
to an alien who subsequently becomes a citizen or transfers it to a
citizen, the flaw in the original transaction is considered cured and
the title of the transferee is rendered valid. Thus, the subsequent
transfer of the property to qualified Filipinos may no longer be
impugned on the basis of invalidity of the initial transfer. The
objective of the constitutional provision to keep our lands in Filipino
hands has been achieved.
In this case, the reversion proceedings was initiated only after almost
40 years from the promulgation of the court that the sale was null
and void for violating the constitutional prohibition on the sale of land
to an alien. If Republic had commenced reversion proceedings when
Lot No. 398 was still in the hands of the original vendee who was an
alien disqualified to hold title thereto, then reversion of the land to
the State would undoubtedly be allowed. However, this is not the
case here. When Republic instituted the action for reversion of title in
1995, Lot No. 398 had already been transferred by succession to
private respondents who are Filipino citizens.
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Since Lot No. 398 has already been transferred to Filipino citizens,
the flaw in the original transaction is considered cured. As held
in Chavez v. Public Estates Authority: Thus, the Court has ruled
consistently that where a Filipino citizen sells land to an alien who
later sells the land to a Filipino, the invalidity of the first transfer is
corrected by the subsequent sale to a citizen. Similarly, where the
alien who buys the land subsequently acquires Philippine citizenship,
the sale was validated since the purpose of the constitutional ban to
limit land ownership to Filipinos has been achieved. In short, the law
disregards the constitutional disqualification of the buyer to hold land
if the land is subsequently transferred to a qualified party, or the
buyer himself becomes a qualified party.
Clearly, since Lot No. 398 has already been transferred Elizabeth and
Pacita who are Filipino citizens, the prior invalid sale to Lee Liong can
no longer be assailed. Hence, reversion proceedings will no longer
prosper since the land is now in the hands of Filipino citizens.
Petition denied. CA decision affirmed.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Petitioner, vs.Hi-Tri


Development Corporation and Luz R. Bakunawa, Respondents.
June 13, 2012
SERENO, J.:

FACTS:

Luz and Manuel Bakunawa are registered owners of 6 parcels of land.


Sometime in 1990,Teresita Millan offered to buy said lots for P 6,
724,085.71 with a promise that she will take care of clearing
whatever preliminary obstacles to effect completion of sale. Millan
failed to comply with the condition. Spouses Bakunawa rescinded the
sale and filed a complaint docketed as Civil Case No. Q-91-10719
against Millan to return the copies of Transfer of Certificate Titles and
ordered to receive the Manager’s check of P 1,019,514.29 for the
down payment made by the latter. Upon advice of their counsel, the
spouses retained the custody of the check and are refrained from
negotiating and canceling it. Millan was informed that it was available
for her withdrawal.

On January 31, 2003, during pendency of the above mentioned case


and without the knowledge of Hi tri, RCBC reported P 1,019,514.29-
credit existing in favor “Rosmil” to Bureau of Treasury as among its
unclaimed balances.

On December 14, 2006, OSG filed in the RTC for escheat


proceedings. On April 30, 2008,Bakunawa and Millan settled
amicably, the former agreed to pay Rosmil and Millan P 3,000,000.00
inclusive of the P 1,019,514.29. However when Bakunawa inquired

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from RCBC the availability of P1,019,514.29 the amount was already
subject for escheat proceedings. On May 19, 2008, the RTC rendered
a decision pursuant to PD 679 declaring the amount as subject for
escheat proceedings and ordered the amount to be deposited in favor
of the Republic. Consequently, respondents filed an Omnibus Motion
seeking partial reconsideration contending that the said amount was
subject to an ongoing dispute and that they be include as party
defendants allowed to intervene. Motion was denied.

The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of RTC and ruled that the
bank’s failure to notify respondents deprived them of an opportunity
to intervene in the escheat proceedings and to present evidence to
substantiate their claim, in violation of their right to due process.
Furthermore, the CA pronounced that the Makati City RTC Clerk of
Court failed to issue individual notices directed to all persons claiming
interest in the unclaimed balances, as well as to require them to
appear after publication and show cause why the unclaimed balances
should not be deposited with the Treasurer of the Philippines. Thus,
herein a petition for Review on Certiorari.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the allocated funds may be escheated in favor of the


Republic

RULING:

Petitioner asserts that the CA committed a reversible error when it


required RCBC to send prior notices to respondents about the
forthcoming escheat proceedings involving the funds allocated for the
payment of the Manager’s Check. It explains that, pursuant to the
law, only those "whose favor such unclaimed balances stand" are
entitled to receive notices. Petitioner argues that, since the funds
represented by the Manager’s Check were deemed transferred to the
credit of the payee upon issuance of the check, the proper party
entitled to the notices was the payee – Rosmil – and not respondents.
Petitioner then contends that, in any event, it is not liable for failing
to send a separate notice to the payee, because it did not have the
address of Rosmil. Petitioner avers that it was not under any
obligation to record the address of the payee of a Manager’s Check.

In contrast, respondents Hi-Tri and Bakunawa allege that they have


a legal interest in the fund allocated for the payment of the Manager’s
Check. They reason that, since the funds were part of the
Compromise Agreement between respondents and Rosmil in a
separate civil case, the approval and eventual execution of the
agreement effectively reverted the fund to the credit of respondents.
Respondents further posit that their ownership of the funds was
evidenced by their continued custody of the Manager’s Check.

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An ordinary check refers to a bill of exchange drawn by a depositor
(drawer) on a bank (drawee), requesting the latter to pay a person
named therein (payee) or to the order of the payee or to the bearer,
a named sum of money. The issuance of the check does not of itself
operate as an assignment of any part of the funds in the bank to the
credit of the drawer. Here, the bank becomes liable only after it
accepts or certifies the check. After the check is accepted for
payment, the bank would then debit the amount to be paid to the
holder of the check from the account of the depositor-drawer.

There are checks of a special type called manager’s or cashier’s


checks. These are bills of exchange drawn by the bank’s manager or
cashier, in the name of the bank, against the bank itself. Typically, a
manager’s or a cashier’s check is procured from the bank by
allocating a particular amount of funds to be debited from the
depositor’s account or by directly paying or depositing to the bank the
value of the check to be drawn. Since the bank issues the check in its
name, with itself as the drawee, the check is deemed accepted in
advance. Ordinarily, the check becomes the primary obligation of the
issuing bank and constitutes its written promise to pay upon demand.

Nevertheless, the mere issuance of a manager’s check does not ipso


facto work as an automatic transfer of funds to the account of the
payee. In case the procurer of the manager’s or cashier’s check
retains custody of the instrument, does not tender it to the intended
payee, or fails to make an effective delivery, we find the following
provision on undelivered instruments under the Negotiable
Instruments Law applicable:

Sec. 16. Delivery; when effectual; when presumed. – Every contract


on a negotiable instrument is incomplete and revocable until delivery
of the instrument for the purpose of giving effect thereto. As between
immediate parties and as regards a remote party other than a holder
in due course, the delivery, in order to be effectual, must be made
either by or under the authority of the party making, drawing,
accepting, or indorsing, as the case may be; and, in such case, the
delivery may be shown to have been conditional, or for a special
purpose only, and not for the purpose of transferring the property in
the instrument. But where the instrument is in the hands of a holder
in due course, a valid delivery thereof by all parties prior to him so as
to make them liable to him is conclusively presumed. And where the
instrument is no longer in the possession of a party whose signature
appears thereon, a valid and intentional delivery by him is presumed
until the contrary is proved. (Emphasis supplied.)

Petitioner acknowledges that the Manager’s Check was procured by


respondents, and that the amount to be paid for the check would be
sourced from the deposit account of Hi-Tri. When Rosmil did not
accept the Manager’s Check offered by respondents, the latter
retained custody of the instrument instead of cancelling it. As the
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Manager’s Check neither went to the hands of Rosmil nor was it
further negotiated to other persons, the instrument remained
undelivered. Petitioner does not dispute the fact that respondents
retained custody of the instrument.

Since there was no delivery, presentment of the check to the bank for
payment did not occur. An order to debit the account of respondents
was never made. In fact, petitioner confirms that the Manager’s
Check was never negotiated or presented for payment to its Ermita
Branch, and that the allocated fund is still held by the bank. As a
result, the assigned fund is deemed to remain part of the account of
Hi-Tri, which procured the Manager’s Check. The doctrine that the
deposit represented by a manager’s check automatically passes to
the payee is inapplicable, because the instrument – although
accepted in advance – remains undelivered. Hence, respondents
should have been informed that the deposit had been left inactive for
more than 10 years, and that it may be subjected to escheat
proceedings if left unclaimed.1âwphi1

After a careful review of the RTC records, we find that it is no longer


necessary to remand the case for hearing to determine whether the
claim of respondents was valid. There was no contention that they
were the procurers of the Manager’s Check. It is undisputed that
there was no effective delivery of the check, rendering the instrument
incomplete. In addition, we have already settled that respondents
retained ownership of the funds. As it is obvious from their foregoing
actions that they have not abandoned their claim over the fund, we
rule that the allocated deposit, subject of the Manager’s Check,
should be excluded from the escheat proceedings. We reiterate our
pronouncement that the objective of escheat proceedings is state
forfeiture of unclaimed balances. We further note that there is
nothing in the records that would show that the OSG appealed the
assailed CA judgments. We take this failure to appeal as an indication
of disinterest in pursuing the escheat proceedings in favor of the
Republic.

Petition is DENIED. The 26 November 2009 Decision and 27 May


2010 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 107261
are hereby AFFIRMED.

LUIS B. MANESE, ANTONIA ELLA, HEIRS OF ROSARIO M.


ORDOñEZ, represented by CESAR ORDOñEZ, SESINANDO
PINEDA and AURORA CASTRO, Petitioners, vs. SPOUSES
DIOSCORO VELASCO and GLICERIA SULIT, MILDRED
CHRISTINE L. FLORES TANTOCO and SYLVIA L. FLORES,
Respondents

January 29, 2009

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FACTS:

Dioscoro Velasco was granted a property which is a foreshore land


based on Homestead Patent. Velaco sold the property and it had a
series of transfers through the subsequent buyers.

Manese and his co-petitioners or the Manese group filed a Complaint


for Annulment of Title and Damages against Velasco and the
subsequent buyers alleging that the issuance of the homestead
patent and the series of transfers of the same property were null and
void. They claimed that they were in open, continuous, exclusive and
notorious possession and use of said foreshore land.

Velasco et al moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the


Manese group does not have the legal personality to file the
complaint since the property forms part of the public domain and only
the Solicitor General could bring any action which may have the
effect of cancelling a free patent and the corresponding certificate of
title issued on the basis of the patent.

ISSUE:

WON Manese group are real parties in interest with authority to file a
complaint for annulment of title of foreshore land.

RULING: NO.

It is admitted by both parties that the subject matter of controversy


is foreshore land which is a part of the public domain. Section 101 of
Commonwealth Act No. 141 provides that in all actions for the
reversion to the Government of lands of the public domain or
improvements thereon, the Republic of the Philippines is the real
party in interest. The action shall be instituted by the Solicitor
General or the officer acting in his stead, in behalf of the Republic of
the Philippines. As the Manese group is not the real party in interest
in this case, it is only proper to dismiss the case pursuant to Sec. 2,
Rule 3, of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

And Section 2, Rule 3 of Rules of Civil Procedure provides: x x x


Unless otherwise authorized by law or these Rules, every action must
be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest.

ON CONTENTION OF EQUITY:

As to petitioners’ contention that they should be deemed real parties


in interest based on the principle of equity, we rule otherwise. Equity,
which has been aptly described as "justice outside legality," is applied
only in the absence of, and never against, statutory law or judicial
rules of procedure. Positive rules prevail over all abstract arguments
based on equity contra legem.

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CATALINA BALAIS-MABANAG v. THE REGISTRY OF DEEDS OF


QUEZON CITY, CONCEPTION D. ALCARAZ AND RAMONA
ALCARAZ

G.R. No. 153142, March 29, 2010

FACTS:

The Coronel brothers executed a document entitled “Receipt of Down


payment” in favor of Ramona Alcaraz upon the receiving P50,000.00
as a down payment for the sale of their inherited house and lot in
Quezon City. In the agreement with Ramona, they will execute a
deed of absolute sale immediately upon the transfer of the TCT to the
name of the brothers Coronel because the same was named to their
father. On Feb.18, 1985, they sold the same property to petitioner
herein for a higher contract price than that of Ramona. For this
reason, Coronel rescinded the first agreement with Ramona by
depositing to her the down payment of P50, 000.00. Consequently,
respondents filed a case for specific performance and caused the
annotation of lis pendens over the property. On June 5, 1985, TCT
351382 was issued in the name of petitioner herein.

RTC ruled in favor of respondents herein ordering the


cancellation of the TCT in the name of petitioner. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in sustaining the


registration by the Registry of Deeds of the DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE
despite the lack of indication of citizenship of the buyer.

RULING:

The High Court ruled that it should be pointed out that the petitioner
was not the proper party to challenge Ramona’s qualification to
acquire land. Only the Government through the Solicitor General has
the personality to file the case challenging the capacity of person to
acquire or own land based on non-citizenship. The limitation is based
on the fact that the violation is committed against the State and not
against individual. And that in the event that the transferee is
adjudged to be not a Filipino citizen, the affected property reverts to
the State, not to the previous owner or individual. It will not inure to
the benefit of the petitioner, instead the subject property will be
escheated in favor of the State according to BP Blg. 185.

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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES REPRESENTED BY THE
REGISTER OF DEEDS OF PASAY CITY, PETITIONER, VS. COURT
OF APPEALS (SPECIAL FORMER 3RD DIVISION) AND AMADA
H. SOLANO, ASSISTED BY HER HUSBAND ROMEO SOLANO,
RESPONDENTS.
JANUARY 31, 2002
BELLOSILLO , J.

FACTS:

Private respondent Amada Solano, for more than 3 decades, served


as the all-around personal domestic helper of the late Elizabeth
Hankins, a widow and a French national.

During Ms. Hankins' lifetime and most especially during the waning
years of her life, respondent Solano was her faithful girl Friday and a
constant companion since no close relative was available to tend to
her needs.

Because of Solano’s faithfulness and dedication, Ms. Hankins


executed in her favor 2 deeds of donation involving 2 parcels of land
(TCT Nos. 7807 and 7808)

Private respondent alleged that she misplaced the deeds of donation


and were nowhere to be found.

Republic filed a petition for the escheat of the estate of Hankins


before the RTC of Pasay City.

During the proceedings, a motion for intervention was filed by Romeo


Solano, spouse of private respondent, and one Gaudencio Regosa.

But on June 24, 1987 the motion was denied by the trial court for the
reason that "they miserably failed to show valid claim or right to the
properties in question.”

Since it was established that there were no known heirs and persons
entitled to the properties of decedent Hankins, the lower court
escheated the estate in favor of petitioner Republic of the Philippines.

The Registry of Deeds of Pasay City cancelled TCT Nos. 7807 and
7808 and issued new ones in the name of Pasay City, by virtue of the
decision of the trial court.

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In the meantime, private respondent claimed that she accidentally
found the deeds of donation she had been looking for a long time.

In view of this development, respondent Solano filed on January 28,


1997 a petition for annulment of judgment before the Court of
Appeals.

CONTENTIONS:

The deceased Elizabeth Hankins having donated the subject


properties to the petitioner, did not and could not form part of her
estate when she died on1985. Consequently, they could not validly be
escheated to the Pasay City Government;

Even assuming arguendo that the properties could be subject of


escheat proceedings, the decision is still legally infirm for escheating
the properties to an entity, the Pasay City Government, which is not
authorized by law to be the recipient thereof. The property should
have been escheated in favor of the Republic of the Philippines under
Rule 91, Section 1 of the New Rules of Court.

The Office of the Solicitor General, on March 1997, representing


public respondents RTC and the Register of Deeds (petitioner) filed an
answer setting forth their affirmative defenses, to wit: (a) lack of
jurisdiction over the nature of the action; and, (b) the cause of action
was barred by the statute of limitations.

The Court of Appeals, on November 1998, issued the assailed


Resolution upholding the theory of respondent Solano.

CA’S RULING:

Petitioner (Solano) invokes lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter


on the part of respondent RTC to entertain the escheat proceedings
because the parcels of land have been earlier donated to herein
petitioner prior to the death of said Hankins; and therefore,
respondent court could not have ordered the escheat of said
properties in favor of the Republic of the Philippines x x x

The 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure specifically laid down the grounds
of annulment filed before this Court, to wit: extrinsic fraud and lack of
jurisdiction.

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Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred by law and this
jurisdiction is determined by the allegations of the complaint. It is
axiomatic that the averments of the complaint determine the nature
of the action and consequently the jurisdiction of the courts.
The issues presented in the petition can only be resolved only after a
full blown trial.
It is for the same reason that respondent’s espousal of the statute of
limitations against herein petition for annulment cannot prosper at
this stage of the proceedings.

Sec 4, Rule 91 of the Rules of Court which provides for the


period for filing claim in escheat proceeding (5 years) is not
applicable.

Petitioner (Solano) is not claiming anything from the estate of the


deceased at the time of her death; rather she is claiming that the
subject parcels of land should not have been included as part of the
estate of the said decedent as she is the owner thereof by virtue of
the deeds of donation in her favor.

Petitioner is claiming ownership of the properties in question and the


consequent reconveyance thereof in her favor which cause of action
prescribes ten (10) years after the issuance of title in favor of
respondent Pasay City on August 7, 1990. Therefore, the petition was
seasonably filed on February 3, 1997.
The CA likewise denied the motion for reconsideration filed by public
respondents.

Petitioner contends that the lower court had jurisdiction when it


escheated the properties in question in favor of the city government
and the filing of a petition for annulment of judgment on the ground
of subsequent discovery of the deeds of donation did not divest the
lower court of its jurisdiction on the matter.

Petitioner also insists that notwithstanding the execution of the deeds


of donation in favor of private respondent, the 5-year statute of
limitations within which to file claims before the court as set forth in
Rule 91 of the Revised Rules of Court has set in.

ISSUES:

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1. Whether or not private respondent Solano, allegedly a
donee, have the personality to be a claimant within the
purview of Sec. 4, Rule 91 of the Rules of Court.

2. Whether or not the petition for annulment of judgment filed by


private respondent is barred by prescription.

RULING:

In the case of Municipal Council of San Pedro, Laguna v. Colegio de


San Jose, Inc.

“In a special proceeding for escheat the petitioner is not the


sole and exclusive interested party. Any person alleging to have a
direct right or interest in the property sought to be escheated is
likewise an interested party and may appear and oppose the
petition for escheat.”

Escheat is a proceeding, unlike that of succession or assignment,


whereby the state, by virtue of its sovereignty, steps in and claims
the real or personal property of a person who dies intestate leaving
no heir. In the absence of a lawful owner, a property is claimed by
the state to forestall an open "invitation to self-service by the first
comers.“

Since escheat is one of the incidents of sovereignty, the state may,


and usually does, prescribe the conditions and limits the time within
which a claim to such property may be made. The procedure by
which the escheated property may be recovered is generally
prescribed by statue, and a time limit is imposed within which such
action must be brought.

In this jurisdiction, a claimant to an escheated property must file his


claim "within five (5) years from the date of such judgment, such
person shall have possession of and title to the same, or if sold, the
municipality or city shall be accountable to him for the proceeds, after
deducting the estate; but a claim not made shall be barred forever.“

The 5-year period is not a device capriciously conjured by the state to


defraud any claimant; on the contrary, it is decidedly prescribed to
encourage would-be claimants to be punctilious in asserting their
claims, otherwise they may lose them forever in a final judgment.

In the instant petition, the escheat judgment was handed down by


the lower court as early as June 1989 but it was only on January
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1997, more or less seven (7) years after, when private respondent
decided to contest the escheat judgment in the guise of a petition for
annulment of judgment before the Court of Appeals.

Obviously, private respondent's belated assertion of her right over


the escheated properties militates against recovery.

In the mind of this Court the subject properties were owned by the
decedent during the time that the escheat proceedings were being
conducted and the lower court was not divested of its jurisdiction to
escheat them in favor of Pasay City notwithstanding an allegation
that they had been previously donated.

The certificates of title covering the subject properties were in the


name of the decedent indicating that no transfer of ownership
involving the disputed properties was ever made by the deceased
during her lifetime.

In the absence therefore of any clear and convincing proof showing


that the subject lands had been conveyed by Hankins to Solano, the
same still remained part of the estate of the decedent and the lower
court was right not to assume otherwise.

DISPOSITION: Petition is granted, the CA’s resolutions are SET ASIDE


and the RTC’s decision is REINSTATED.

VENUE

MARTIN NERY and LEONCIA L. DE LEON, petitioners, vs.


ROSARIO, ALFREDO, MARIANO, PACIFICO, ONOFRE, TEOFILO,
LOLOY and TRINIDAD, all surnamed LORENZO, respondents.
G.R. No. L-23096 April 27, 1972

DIONISIO, PERFECTO, MARIA REBECCA, ASUNCION, MAURO,


and, LOURDES, all surnamed LORENZO, petitioners, vs.
MARTIN NERY and LEONCIA L. DE LEON, respondents.
G.R. No. L-23376 April 27, 1972
FERNANDO, J.

FACTS:

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Bienvenida de la Isla (“Bienvenida”), the guardian of her minor
children sold a parcel of land to Spouses Martin Nery and Leoncia L.
de Leon (hereafter, the “Spouses”). The validity of the sale was
however challenged by her two elderly children on the ground that
they were not informed of such a move notwithstanding the order
issued by the court. Moreover, they contended that the guardianship
proceeding was heard without them being notified although.

In the said case the heirs of Silvestra Ferrer, who originally owned
one-fourth of the property in question filed an intervetion.

The lower court ruled that it acquired no jurisdiction over the


guardianship proceedings of the minors over 14 years of age who
were not notified of the proceedings and the court did not acquire
jurisdiction over the real property of the minors and could not have
validly authorized its sale.

Petitioner spouses elevated the case to the respondent Court of


Appeals which decided the case in its insofar as the undivided 3/4
portion of the land in question is concerned and declared the
intervenors as owners in common of the remaining undivided 1/4
portion of the said land. Dissatisfied, both parties instituted the
petitions for review to this Court.

ISSUE:

Whether the CA is correct in ignoring the jurisdictional defects that


tainted the guardianship proceeding

RULING: NO.

The CA is not correct in ignoring the jurisdictional defects that tainted


the guardianship proceeding. Service of the notice upon the minor if
above 14 years of age or upon the incompetent, is jurisdictional.
Without such notice, the court acquires no jurisdiction to appoint a
guardian.

The failure of respondent Court of Appeals to give due weight to the


grave jurisdictional defect that tainted the guardianship proceeding
resulted in its judgment suffering the corrosion of substantial legal
error.
The rights of the children of Leoncio as upheld by the lower court
must, to repeat, be maintained.

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“When a petition for the appointment of a general guardian is filed,


the court shall fix a time and place for hearing the same, and shall
cause reasonable notice thereof to be given to the persons mentioned
in the petition residing in the province, including the minor if above
14 years of age or the incompetent himself, and may direct other
general or special notice thereof to be given."

LUIS PARCO and VIRGINIA BAUTISTA, petitioners, vs.


HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, HON. UNION C. KAYANAN,
Judge, COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF QUEZON (BRANCH IV),
CALAUAG, and FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ, JR., Legal Guardian of
the Incompetent SOLEDAD RODRIGUEZ, respondents.
G.R. No. L-33152 January 30, 1982
DE CASTRO, J.:

FACTS:

The Judge of CFI Quezon, Branch IV, Calauag authorized and


approved, upon motion of Francisco Rodriguez Jr, guardian of
Soledad Rodriguez, the sale to spouses Luis Parco and Virginia
Bautista 3 parcels of land to answer for the medical expenses of the
ward Rodriguez.

Almost a year and five months later, the guardian of Rodriguez filed a
petition in the CFI invoking Sec. 6 Rule 96, praying that an order be
issued requiring the couple Parco and Bautista to appear before the
court so that they can be examined as regards to the 3 lots which are
allegedly in danger of being lost, squandered, concealed, and
embezzled and upon failure to do so or to comply with any order that
may be issued in relation therewith. The guardian alleges that the
transaction was in fact a loan to be paid in 3 months but upon the
expiration of the period thereof, the couple refused to sell back such
property of the ward.

CFI judge, exercising limited and special jurisdiction as a


guardianship court under Sec 6 Rule 96 ruled in favor of the of the
guardian and ordered the reconveyance and delivery of the property
to the ward.

ISSUE:

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Whether or not the CFI judge, exercising limited and special
jurisdiction as a guardianship court had jurisdiction to adjudicate the
issue of ownership and order the reconveyance and delivery of the
property to the ward?

RULING: NO.

Generally, the guardianship court exercising special and limited


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

Apparently, there is a cloud of doubt as to who has a better right or


title to the disputed properties. This, the Court believes, requires the
determination of title or ownership of the three parcels of land in
dispute which is beyond the jurisdiction of the guardianship court and
should be threshed out in a separate ordinary action not in a
guardianship proceeding.
ENCARNACION LOPEZ VDA. DE BALUYUTvs. HON. JUDGE
LEONOR INES LUCIANO, G.R. No. L-42215. July 13, 1976

FACTS:

In the Court of First Instance of Quezon City, probate proceeding for


the settlement of the estate of the deceased Sotero Baluyut was
instituted by his alleged nephew, Alfredo Baluyut claiming mental
incapacity of the surviving widow, Encarnacion vda. de Baluyut, to
administer her affairs and that of the decedent's estate. He prayed
for appointment as administrator. However, upon a counter petition,
the widow was appointed administratrix and qualified as such. This
appointment, was set aside by the Supreme Court in Baluyut vs.
Judge Paño, etc., G.R. L-42088, May 7, 1976, because the persons
contesting her capacity to act were not given an adequate
opportunity to be heard and to present evidence.
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Meantime, in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of Quezon
City, two successive petitions were filed to declare Mrs. Baluyut an
incompetent and to place her under guardianship. The first petition,
which was filed by Alfredo Baluyut, was dismissed. The second, which
was filed by her sisters, were given due course. Acting on the latter
petition, the court summarily declared the widow as incompetent on
the basis of a report of a psychiatrist who was not cross-examined,
and without hearing the evidence of the parties, particularly Mrs.
Baluyut. The court denied a motion for reconsideration of the order
making such declaration. Hence, this petition.

ISSUES:

1. Whether the resolution in the guardianship proceeding of the


question as to Mrs. Baluyut's alleged incompetency should await the
adjudication in the administration proceeding (pending in the probate
court) of the issue as to her competency to act as administratrix.

2. Whether Mrs. Baluyot was denied due process of law when the
guardianship court summarily announced its verdict on her
incompetency notwithstanding that her lawyer had not cross-
examined the psychiatrist.

Ruling:

1. Yes. In consonance with the last sentence of section 29-A of the


Charter of Quezon City which divests the Juvenile and Domestic
Relation Court of jurisdiction or authority to resolve questions already
in issue as an incident in any case pending in the ordinary court, the
guardianship proceeding should be suspended and should await the
jurisdiction of the issue of petitioner's competency to act as
administratrix pending with the probate court.

2. Yes. A finding that a person is incompetent should be anchored on


clear, positive and definite evidence (Yangco vs. Court of First
Instance of Manila, 29 Phil. 183, 190). That kind of proof has not yet
been presented to the guardianship court to justify its precipitate
conclusion that Mrs. Baluyut is an incompetent.

In the nature of things, the guardianship court should have first set
for hearing the psychiatrist's report and examined Mrs. Baluyut
before prematurely adjudging that she is an incompetent. Its hasty
and premature pronouncement, with its derogatory implications, was
not the offspring of fundamental fairness which is the essence of due
process.

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Moreover, the lower court should have adhered strictly to the
procedure laid down in Rule 93 of the Rules of Court for appointment
of guardians. Rule 93 provides that after the filing of the petition, the
court should fix a time and place for hearing and give the proper
notices. At the hearing, "the alleged incompetent must be present if
able to attend, and it must be shown that the required notice has
been given. Thereupon, the court shall hear the evidence of the
parties in support of their respective allegations" (Sec. 5, Rule 93).

FELICIANO FRANCISCO vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. L-


57438 January 31, 1984

FACTS:

Feliciano Francisco (“Feliciano”) is the duly appointed guardian of the


incompetent Estefania San Pedro (“Estefania”) in Special Proceedings
No. 532 of CFI Bulacan presided over by respondent Judge. On
August 30, 1974 Pelagio Francisco (“Pelagio”), claiming to be a first
cousin of Estefania, petitioned the court for the removal of Feliciano
and for the appointment in his stead. Among other grounds, the
petition was based on the failure of the guardian to submit an
inventory of the estate of his ward and to render an accounting. The
respondent judge found the claim to be true, ordered the retirement
on the ground of old age. Petitioner filed a motion for
reconsideration, contending that he was still fit to continue with the
management of the estate of his ward but the court denied the
motion. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the trial court is correct in ordering the retirement of


petitioner on the ground of old age.

RULING:

YES. In determining the selection of a guardian, the court may


consider the financial situation, the physical condition, the sound
judgment, prudence and trustworthiness, the morals, character and
conduct, and the present and past history of a prospective appointee,
as well as the probability of his being able to exercise the powers and
duties of guardian for the full period during which guardianship will be
necessary. A guardian, once appointed may be removed in case he
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becomes insane or otherwise incapable of discharging his trust or
unsuitable therefor, or has wasted or mismanaged the estate, or
failed for thirty (30) days after it is due to render an account or make
a return.

There is need for petitioner Feliciano Francisco to be retired from the


guardianship over the person and property of incompetent Estefania
San Pedro. As correctly pointed out by the appellate court, this finds
direct support in the delay of the accounting and inventory made by
petitioner. To sustain petitioner as guardian would, therefore, be
detrimental to the ward. While age alone is not a controlling criterion
in determining a person's fitness or qualification to be appointed or
be retained as guardian, it may be a factor for consideration.

LOLITA R. ALAMAYRI vs. ROMMEL, ELMER, ERWIN, ROILER


and AMANDA, all surnamed PABALE G.R. No. 151243 April 30,
2008

FACTS:

A handwritten "Kasunduan Sa Pagbibilihan" (Contract to Sell) was


entered into by and between Sesinando M Fernando (“Fernando”) and
Nelly S. Nave (“Nave”) involving a piece of land in Calamba, Laguna.
However, Nave reneged on their agreement when the latter refused
to accept the partial down payment because she did not want to sell
her property to him anymore. Thereafter, Fernando filed a Complaint
for Specific Performance with Damages before RTC Laguna. Nave filed
a Motion to Dismiss averring that she could not be ordered to execute
the corresponding Deed of Sale in favor of Fernando because she
repudiated the contract and besides she already sold the property in
good faith to the Pabale siblings before she received a copy of the
complaint. Subsequently, the Pabale siblings filed a Motion to
Intervene alleging that they are now the land owners of the subject
property. Unfortunately, the trial court denied Nave’s Motion to
Dismiss.

Unsatisfied, Nave and Atty. Vedasto Gesmundo (“Atty. Gesmundo”)


filed another motion, this time including the fact of her incapacity to
contract for being mentally deficient based on the psychological
evaluation report conducted by Dra. Virginia P. Panlasigui, M. A., a
clinical psychologist. Finding the motion unmeritorious, the same was
denied by the court a quo. Temporarily, the proceedings in this case

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was suspended in view of the filing of a Petition for Guardianship of
Nave with the RTC, Branch 36 of Calamba, Laguna with Atty.
Gesmundo as the petitioner. Subsequently, a decision was rendered
in the said guardianship proceedings, finding Nave an incompetent
placing her and her estate under guardianship. Accordingly, Atty.
Leonardo C. Paner (“Atty. Paner”) is appointed as her regular
guardian without need of bond, until further orders from the Court.

On December 9, 1992, Nave died. Upon her death, Atty. Vedasto


Gesmundo, Nave’s sole heir, executed an Affidavit of Self-
Adjudication pertaining to his inherited properties from Nave. In this
connection, Atty. Gesmundo filed an issuance of a writ of execution of
the petition for guardianship. The Pabale siblings filed their
Opposition on the grounds that they were not made a party to the
guardianship proceedings and thus cannot be bound by the Decision
and that the validity of the Deed of Absolute Sale was never raised in
the guardianship case. Surprisingly, out of nowhere, Lolita R.
Alamayri (“Alamayri”) filed a motion for substitution alleging that the
subject property was sold to her by Atty. Gesmundo. In his answer,
Atty. Gesmundo refuted by stating that what he executed is a Deed
of Donation and not a Deed of Absolute Sale and the same was
already revoked. Subsequently, the trial court rendered its Decision
recognizing Alamayri as the owner of the property. Fernando filed an
appeal with the Court of Appeals. CA, granted the appeals and uphold
the VALIDITY of the Deed of Absolute Sale. Alamayri and Atty.
Gesmundo sought reconsideration of the Decision of the appellate
court but were denied for lack of merit. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Nave was an incompetent when she executed a Deed


of Sale of the subject property in favor of the Pabale siblings
rendering the said sale void.

RULING:

NO, Nave was not incompetent when she executed a Deed of Sale of
the subject property in favor of the Pabale siblings.

A finding that she was incompetent in 1986 does not automatically


mean that she was so in 1984. Hence, the significance of the two-
year gap herein cannot be gainsaid since Nave’s mental condition in
1986 may vastly differ from that of 1984 given the intervening
period. Capacity to act is supposed to attach to a person who has not
previously been declared incapable, and such capacity is presumed to
continue so long as the contrary be not proved; that is, that at the
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moment of his acting he was incapable, crazy, insane, or out of his
mind.23 The burden of proving incapacity to enter into contractual
relations rests upon the person who alleges it; if no sufficient proof to
this effect is presented, capacity will be presumed. Nave was
examined and diagnosed by doctors to be mentally incapacitated only
in 1986 and she was not judicially declared an incompetent until 22
June 1988 when a Decision in said case was rendered by the RTC,
resulting in the appointment of Atty. Leonardo C. Paner as her
guardian. Thus, prior to 1986, Nave is still presumed to be
capacitated and competent to enter into contracts such as the Deed
of Sale over the subject property, which she executed in favor of the
Pabale siblings on 20 February 1984. The burden of proving otherwise
falls upon Alamayri, which she dismally failed to do. Alamayri did not
bother to establish with her own evidence that Nave was mentally
incapacitated when she executed the Deed of Sale over the subject
property in favor of the Pabale siblings, so as to render the said deed
void.

BONIFACIA P. VANCIL vs. HELEN G. BELMES G.R. No. 132223


June 19, 2001

FACTS:

Reeder Vancil, the father of the minors Valerie (6 yrs. Old) and
Vincent (2 yrs old) died as a US navy serviceman. Bonfacia Vancil,
the mother of Reeder and the grandmother of the minors, filed
guardianship proceedings over the persons and properties of the said
minors consisting of proceeds from their fathers pension benefits with
a probable value of P100,000.00 in the RTC of Cebu City. Helen
Belmes, the natural mother of the minors, opposed to the
guardianship proceedings asserting that she is the natural mother in
actual custody of and exercising parental authority over the subject
minors in Zamboanga del Sur where they are permanently residing.
She further alleged that Bonifacia Vancil is a naturalized American
citizen and a resident of Colorado, USA.

The trial court rejected the opposition and appointed the grandmother
as the guardian of the minors. On appeal, the CA reversed the
decision. Hence, this present petition alleging that Helen is unfit to be
a guardian of the minors considering that Valerie was raped seven
times by the mother’s live-in partner while under her custody.

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ISSUE:

Who between the biological mother and the grandmother should be


appointed guardian of the minors.

RULING:

As to Valerie, the issue has become moot since she has attained the
age of majority.

As to Vincent, respondent being the natural mother of the minor, has


the preferential right over that of petitioner to be his guardian. Art.
211 of the Family Code provide that the father and the mother shall
jointly exercise parental authority over the persons of their common
children. Indeed, being the natural mother of the minor Vincent,
respondent has the corresponding natural and legal right to his
custody.

Petitioner’s claim to be the guardian of the same minor can only be


realized by way of substitute parental authority pursuant to Art. 214
of the Family Code, which is only available in case of parent’s death,
absence or unsuitability. In the case at bar, petitioner did not show
proof that Helen is an unsuitable guardian for the minor Vincent.

Further, notwithstanding the fact that there is nothing in the law


which requires the courts to appoint residents only as administrators
or guardians, this Court has held that courts should not appoint
persons as guardians those who are not within the jurisdiction of the
courts for they will find it difficult to protect the wards.

SALVACION LOPEZ vs. JOSE TEODORO, SR EULALIO LOPEZ,


JR., and JESUS JALBUENA G.R. No. L-3071. May 29, 1950

FACTS:

Eulalio Lopez Sr., an incapacitated under the judicial guardianship of


Eulalio Lopez Jr. was the exclusive and absolute owner of a 100-
hectare land in Silay, Negros Occidental. Acting upon the motions
filed in the proceedings for guardianship, the court ordered the
guardian to pay the movants the loans properly authorized by the
court for the support and maintenance of the incapacitated.

In pursuance of this authority, the guardian sold the only property of


the incapacitated to Jesus Jalbuena. However, in authorizing the said
sale, the court did not follow the requirement of Sec. 2 of Rule 96
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that the court shall direct the next of kin of the ward, and all persons
interested in the estate, to appear at a reasonable time and place to
show cause why the prayer for the sale should not be granted.

Although Lopez Jr. was the judicial guardian, the incapacitated was
and is under the actual care and custody of his sister, Salvacion
Lopez. Believing the sale is prejudicial to her brother’s interest,
Salvacion filed a petition for certiorari/mandamus praying that the
sale be revoked after the motion for recon was denied.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the sale of the property should be declared null and
void.

RULING:

The guardianship court where the proceeding was pending had the
jurisdiction to order the questioned sale. It was also undisputed that
the outstanding indebtedness of the guardianship was property and
legally incurred for the support and maintenance of the incapacitated.

Petitioner has no legal interest in the complaint. The incapacitated


has children, all of age, one of whom is the judicial guardian, while
the petitioner is only the ward’s sister. Not being the ward’s forced
heir, she was not prejudiced by the sale she seeks to impugn.
Petitioner is wrong in asserting that she is “next of kin”. “Next of Kin”
within the meaning of Rule 96 are relatives whose relationship is such
that they are entitled to share in the estate as distributes.

VICENTE G. SINCO, PILAR G. SINCO vs. AGAPITO LONGA and


AGUEDA LONGA. G.R. No. 27962. February 14, 1928

FACTS:

Hacienda Rosario was originally owned by Don Rafael Sinco y Librado,


the plaintiff’s great grandfather, from whom it is passed to his son
Escolastic Sinco who died during the Spanish regime. The latter left a
widow, Saturnina Lopez and 3 children, Sergio, Maria Paz and Coloma
all surnamed Sinco. Of these, Sergio and Maria Paz are still living, but
Coloma died leaving 3 children who are the plaintiffs in this case,
namely Vicente, Pilar and Desemparados.

The estate of Escolastico appears to have been encumbered with


debts and in order to liquidate this indebtedness, the widow and
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three children leased the property. The lease was continually
extended until Saturnina died in 1904. After the death of the mother,
Sergio was hard pressed for money to sustain numerous family and
sold his undivided 1/3 share in the hacienda. The buyer, Longa
insisted in acquiring the whole property and subsequently the 1/3
share of Maria Paz was included in the sale.

In order to accomplish the said end, Emilio Tevez, the guardian of the
then minor plaintiffs petitioned for the approval of the sale alleging
that the estate was heavily encumbered and that the minors had no
cash assets to meet their subsistence and education. Subsequently,
the court issued its order authorizing the guardian to make the sale
as requested.

After the minors attained majority age, they instituted this petition
seeking to annul the said sale pertaining to their 1/3 undivided
interest in the hacienda alleging that the subject sale was attended
with fraud. Emilio Tevez, the guardian, was anxious for the sale to
obtain money for his own uses.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the sale should be annulled.

RULING:

In passing upon controversies involving charges of fraud alleged to


have been committed many years before the litigation was begun,
the proof of such fraud, to be accepted by the court, should be full
and convincing. Experience teaches the danger of lightly accepting
charges of fraud made many years after the transaction which is the
subject of question was accomplished, when death may have sealed
the lips of the principal actors and changes affected by time may
have given a totally different color to the questioned transaction.In
this case, the participants to the alleged fraud such as the guardian
Emilio Tevez, were already dead.

As to the irregularity in the guardianship proceedings, the jurisdiction


of the court to authorize the sale of the property of minors rests upon
the averments of the petition and adequate publication or appearance
of the parties interested. The fact that the statements of the petition
may be untrue with respect to the existence of encumbrances on the
property and necessity of the sale, does not affect the jurisdiction of
the court, which rests upon the averments and not upon the truth of
those averments.

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J. ANTONIO ARANETA vs. ANTONIO PEREZ G.R. No. L-18872


July 15, 1966

FACTS:

A trust was established pursuant to the will of the late Angela S.


Tuason. J. Antonio Araneta was appointed trustee and he qualified
when he took his oath of office. The beneficiaries of the trust are
Benigno, Angela and Antonio, all surnamed Perez y Tuason, the last
two being represented by appellant Antonio Perez, who is their father
and judicial guardian. In the order appealed from the lower court
approved, upon petition of the trustee, a deed of donation executed
by him in favor of the City of Manila covering a lot pertaining to the
trusteeship. Such approval was given over the opposition of
appellant Antonio Perez. On the lot in question the trustee had been
paying an annual realty tax.

Appellant does not deny the beneficial aspects of the donation. But he
maintains that it is invalid on the ground that under Article 736 of the
Civil Code "guardians and trustees cannot donate the properties
entrusted to them".

ISSUE:

Whether guardians and trustees cannot donate the properties


entrusted to them.

RULING:

In this case, the guardian may donate the properties entrusted to


him. Although Article 736, New Civil Code provides that, "guardians
and trustees cannot donate the properties entrusted to them", the
same cannot be applied considering that the aforecited provision only
took effect on August 30, 1950 (Rep. Act No. 386) and does not
apply retroactively to the testamentary trust established upon the
death of Angela S. Tuason on March 20, 1948.

There being nothing in the old Civil Code which prohibits a trustee
from donating properties under trusteeship, and considering that the
powers given to herein appellee as trustee are of a plenary character,
subject only to the limitation that they should be permissible under
the law; considering further that when the testatrix conferred such
powers she must have had in mind the law that was in force at the
time; and considering finally that after all a trust is created for the

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benefit of the cestuis que trust and that in this particular case the
acts of the trustee are subject to the supervision of the Court.

Tonog vs CA

Facts: On February 4, 2002, Diwata Ramos Landingin, a citizen of


the United States of America (USA), of Filipino parentage and a
resident of Guam, USA, filed a petition for the adoption of minors
Elaine Dizon Ramos who was born on August 31, 1986;Elma Dizon
Ramos, who was born on September 7, 1987; and Eugene Dizon
Ramos who was born on August 5, 1989.The minors are the natural
children of Manuel Ramos, petitioners brother, and Amelia Ramos.

Landingin, as petitioner, alleged in her petition that when Manuel died


on May 19, 1990, the children were left to their paternal
grandmother, Maria Taruc Ramos; their biological mother, Amelia,
went to Italy, re-married there and now has two children by her
second marriage and no longer communicated with her children by
Manuel Ramos nor with her in-laws from the time she left up to the
institution of the adoption; the minors are being financially supported
by the petitioner and her children, and relatives abroad; as Maria
passed away on November 23, 2000, petitioner desires to adopt the
children; the minors have given their written consent to the adoption;
she is qualified to adopt as shown by the fact that she is a 57-year-
old widow, has children of her own who are already married, gainfully
employed and have their respective families; she lives alone in her
own home in Guam, USA, where she acquired citizenship, and works
as a restaurant server. She came back to the Philippines to spend
time with the minors; her children gave their written consent to the
adoption of the minors. Petitioners brother, Mariano Ramos, who
earns substantial income, signified his willingness and commitment to
support the minors while in petitioners custody.

The Social Welfare Officer of the DSWD of Tarlac submitted a Child


Study Report, recommending that Elain, Elma and & Eugene are
eligible for adoption.The petitioner, however, failed to present
Pagbilao as witness and offer in evidence the voluntary consent of
Amelia Ramos to the adoption; petitioner, likewise, failed to present
any documentary evidence to prove that Amelia assents to the
adoption.

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The RTC granted the petition for adoption. The OSG, appealed to the
CA. The CA reversed the RTC’s ruling.

Issue: WON the CA erred when it reversed the RTC’s ruling.

Held: NO. Statute sets certain rules to assist the court in making an
informed decision. Insofar as illegitimate children are concerned,
Article 176 of the Family Code provides that illegitimate children shall
be under the parental authority of their mother. Likewise, Article 213
of the Family Code provides that “[n]o child under seven years of age
shall be separated from the mother, unless the court finds compelling
reasons to order otherwise.” It will be observed that in both
provisions, a strong bias is created in favor of the mother. This is
specially evident in Article 213 where it may be said that the law
presumes that the mother is the best custodian. This is not intended,
however, to denigrate the important role fathers play in the
upbringing of their children. Indeed, we have recognized that both
parents “complement each other in giving nurture and providing that
holistic care which takes into account the physical, emotional,
psychological, mental, social and spiritual needs of the child.” Neither
does the law nor jurisprudence intend to downplay a father’s sense of
loss when he is separated from his child.

For these reasons, even a mother may be deprived of the custody of


her child who is below seven years of age for “compelling reasons.”
Instances of unsuitability are neglect, abandonment, unemployment
and immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment
of the child, insanity, and affliction with a communicable illness. If
older than seven years of age, a child is allowed to state his
preference, but the court is not bound by that choice. The court may
exercise its discretion by disregarding the child’s preference should
the parent chosen be found to be unfit, in which instance, custody
may be given to the other parent, or even to a third person.

Pablo-Gualberto vs Gualberto

Facts: Crisanto Rafaelito G. Gualberto V filed before the RTC a


petition for declaration of nullity of his marriage to Joycelyn w/ an
ancillary prayer for custody pendent lite of their almost 4 year old

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son, Rafaello, whom her wife took away w/ her from their conjugal
home and his school when she left him.
The RTC granted the ancillary prayer for custody pendente lite, since
the wife failed to appear despite notice.

A house helper of the spouses testified that the mother does not care
for the child as she very often goes out of the house and even saw
her slapping the child.

Another witness testified that after surveillance he found out that the
wife is having lesbian relations.

Court of Appeals - The judge issued the assailed order reversing her
previous order, and this time awarded the custody of the child to the
mother.
Finding that the reason stated by Crisanto not to be a compelling
reason as provided in Art 213 of the Family Code.

Issue: Whether or not the custody of the minor child should be


awarded to the mother.

Held: Yes, Crisanto did not present sufficient evidence against the
fitness of the mother that will compel the court to rule against the
mandatory character of Art. 213

Article 213 of the Family Code provided: “Art 213. In case of


separation of parents parental authority shall be exercised by the
parent designated by the court. The court shall take into account all
relevant consideration, especially the choice of the child over seven
years of age, unless the parent chosen is unfit.”

No child under seven years of age shall be separated from the mother
unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise,” This
Court has held that when the parents separated, legally or otherwise,
the foregoing provision governs the custody of their child. Article 213
takes its bearing from Article 363 of the Civil Code, w/c reads:

Art 363. In all question on the care, custody, education and property
of children, the latter welfare shall be paramount. No mother shall be
separated from her child under seven years of age, unless the court
finds compelling reason for such measure.”

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Order of the RTC only temporary custody

Provisional & subject to change as circumstance may warrant Art.


213 mandatory in character

No evidence that the son was exposed to the mother’s alleged sexual
proclivities (lesbian) or that his proper moral and psychological
development suffered as a result.

Caniza v. CA

Facts: Carmen Cañiza was declared incompetent because of her


advanced age, so her niece, Amparo Evangelista, was appointed her
legal guardian. Pursuant to her authority, Amparo commenced an
ejectment suit against Spouses Estrada who were occupying a house
belonging to Carmen. The Spouses argued that they have been
occupying the house in consideration of their faithfully service to
Carmen, and that, in fact, Carmen had already executed a will
bequeathing to them the disputed property. When the case reached
the CA, it ruled in favor of the Spouses, holding that though not yet
probated, the will was indicative of intent and desire on Carmen’s
part that the Spouses were to remain and continue in their occupancy
and possession, so much so that Carmen’s supervening incompetency
cannot be said to have vested in Amparo, her guardian, the
right/authority to drive them out.

Issue: Whether or not the holographic will, though not yet


probated, vested title to the Spouses Estrada.

Ruling:No. Under law, no will shall pass either real or personal


property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance with the Rules
of Court. An owner's intention to confer 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 reason
deemed sufficient. In this case, that there was sufficient cause for the
owner's resumption of possession is apparent: she needed to
generate income from the house on account of the physical infirmities
afflicting her, arising from her extreme age.

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The general rule is that in probate proceedings, the court's area of
inquiry is limited to an examination and resolution of the extrinsic
validity of the will.

Neri vs Heirs of Uy

FACTS: Anunciacion Neri had seven children: first marriage with


Gonzalo Illut, namely: Eutropia and Victoria and second marriage
with Enrique Neri, namely: Napoleon, Alicia, Visminda, Douglas and
Rosa.

Throughout the marriage of spouses Enrique and Anunciacion, they


acquired several homestead properties located inSamal, Davao del
Norte.
In 1977, Anunciacion died intestate. Enrique, in his personal capacity
and as natural guardian of his minor childrenRosa and Douglas, with
Napoleon, Alicia, and Visminda executed an

Extra-Judicial Settlement of the Estate withAbsolute Deed of Sale on


7/7/1979, adjudicating among themselves the said homestead
properties and thereafter, conveying them to the late spouses Uy for
a consideration of P 80,000.00.
In June 1996, the children of Enrique filed a complaint for annulment
of sale of the homestead properties against spouses Uy before the
RTC, assailing the validity of the sale for having been sold within the
prohibited period. The complaint was later amended to include
Eutropia and Victoria additional plaintiffs for having been excluded
and deprived of their legitimes as children of Anunciacion from her
first marriage.

RTC RULING:
Rendered the sale void because Eutropia and Victoria were deprived
of their hereditary rights and that Enrique had no judicial authority to
sell the shares of his minor children, Rosa and Douglas.

CA RULING:
Reversed the RTC ruling and declared the extrajudicial settlement and
sale valid. While recognizing Rosa and Douglas to be minors at that
time, they were deemed to have ratified the sale when they failed to

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question it upon reaching the age of majority. It also found laches to
have set in because of their inaction for a long period of time.

ISSUES: Whether the father or mother, as the natural


guardian of the minor under parental authority, has the power
to dispose or encumber the property of the minor?

Held: All the petitioners are legitimate children of Anunciacion from


her first and second marriages and consequently, they are entitled to
inherit from her in equal shares, pursuant to Articles 979 and 980 of
the Civil Code. In the execution of the Extra-Judicial Settlement of
the Estate with Absolute Deed of Sale in favor of spouses Uy, all the
heirs of Anunciacion should have participated. Considering that
Eutropia and Victoria were admittedly excluded and that then minors
Rosa and Douglas were not properly represented therein, the
settlement was not valid and binding upon them. While the
settlement of the estate is null and void, the subsequent sale of the
properties made by Enrique and his children, Napoleon, Alicia and
Visminda, in favor of the spouses is valid but only with respect to
their proportionate shares.
With respect to Rosa and Douglas who were minors at the time of the
execution of the settlement and sale, their natural guardian and
father, Enrique, represented them in the transaction.

However, on the basis of the laws prevailing at that time, Enrique


was merely clothed with powers of administration and bereft of any
authority to dispose of their 2/16 shares in the estate of their mother.
Administration includes all acts for the preservation of the property
and the receipt of fruits according to the natural purpose of the thing.

Any act of disposition or alienation, or any reduction in the substance


of the patrimony of child, exceeds the limits of administration.

Thus, A FATHER OR MOTHER, as the natural guardian of the minor


under parental authority, does not have the power to dispose or
encumber the property of the latter. Such power is granted by law
only to a judicial guardian of the ward’s property and even then only
with courts’ prior approval secured in accordance with the
proceedings set forth by the Rules of Court.

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O’ Laco vs Co Cho Chit

Breach of Trust; Half-Sisters; Resulting and Constructive Trusts.

Facts: Emila is the half-sister of O Lay Kia who is, as is her husband
Co Cho Chit, a Chinese nationaland cannot own property in the
Philippines. O lay kia bought a piece of land and had it named under
her sister, Emilia. Emilia on the other hand sold the property to the
Church without the knowledge of her sister. When O Lay Kia found
out, they immediately filed a case for breach of contract.

Issue: WON there was a trust relationship between the


sisters.

Held: Yes. ”… trust relations between parties may either be express


or implied. Express trusts are those which are created by the direct
and positive acts of the parties, by some writing or deed, or will, or
by words evincing an intention to create a trust.

Implied trusts are those which, without being express, are deducible
from the nature of the transaction as matters of intent, or which are
super induced on the transaction by operation of law as matters of
equity, independently of the particular intention of the parties.
Implied trusts may either be resulting or constructive trusts, both
coming into being by operation of law. Resulting trusts are based on
the equitable doctrine that valuable consideration and not legal title
determines the equitable title or interest and are presumed always to
have been contemplated by the parties. They arise from the nature or
circumstances of the consideration involved in a transaction whereby
one person thereby becomes invested with legal title but is obligated
in equity to hold his legal title for the benefit of another. On the other
hand, constructive trusts are created by the construction of equity in
order to satisfy the demands of justice and prevent unjust
enrichment.

They arise contrary to intention against one who, by fraud, duress or


abuse of confidence, obtains or holds the legal right to property which
he ought not, in equity and good conscience, to hold.” In this case,
the court cited five instances that prove a trust relationship. First, sps
O Lay Kia were in possession of all the pertinent documents of the
sale from the beginning until the end of the transaction. Second,

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there is a previous case of similar facts involving O lay kia and her
brother on a different parcel of land decided in her favor. Third, the
circumstances leading to Emilia acquiring a title to the landwas
dubius. Fourth, until the sale to the church, Emilia actually recognized
the trust (by promising to take care of the transfer to the actual
owners as soon as she is able.)

A resulting trust is repudiated if the following requisites concur:


(a)the trustee has performed unequivocal acts of repudiation
amounting to an ouster of the cestui qui trust; (b) such positive acts
of repudiation have been made known to the cestui qui trust ; and,
(c) the evidence thereon is clear and convincing.
And finally, fifth, Emilia actually had no source of income to show how
it was possible for her to purchase the land.

Ceniza vs CA

FACTS: This is a petition for review dismissing the petitioners'


complaint for reconveyance of their shares in co-ownership property
and reversing the decision of the trial court in their favor.
Petitioners are the descendants of Manuel Ceniza while the private
respondents are the descendants of his sister, Sofia Ceniza. Sofia
Ceniza was childless but she had an adopted daughter named
Flaviana Ceniza, who begot a daughter named Marced Ceniza and
who in turn had a daughter named Marcelina (or Marcela) Ceniza who
married Vicente Dabon. Private respondents are the children of this
marriage and they are the great-great-grandchildren of Sofia Ceniza.
On the other hand, Manuel Ceniza had an only son, Pablo, who had
two sons, Santiago and Jose Ceniza. Petitioners Restituto and Jesus
Ceniza and a certain Nemesia Ceniza-Albina are their children and the
great-grandchildren of Manuel Ceniza.
The records disclose that when Hacienda de Mandaue was subdivided
for resale to the occupants in 1929, Jose Ceniza and Vicente Dabon,
who were residing in the hacienda, jointly purchased Lot 627 on
installment basis and they agreed, for convenience, to have the land
registered in the name of Dabon. Since then, Jose Ceniza, Vicente
Dabon, and their heirs have possessed their respective portions of the
land, declared the same for taxation, paid real estate taxes on their
respective shares, and made their respective installment payments to
the Seminario de San Carlos de Cebu.

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The present controversy arose because the private respondents
refused to convey Lots Nos. 627-B and 627-C to the petitioners. They
claimed that their predecessor-in-interest, Vicente Dabon, was the
sole and exclusive owner of Lot 627, by purchase from the Seminario
de San Carlos de Cebu. In their answer to the petitioners' complaint
for reconveyance in June 1967, they alleged that the petitioners' right
of action had already prescribed.
Petitioners replied that Vicente Dabon held the land in trust for them,
as co-owners, hence, their action for reconveyance was
imprescriptible.

ISSUE: whether the registration of the title of the land in the


name of one of the co-owner, constituted a repudiation of the
co-ownership for purposes of acquisitive prescription.

HELD: The trial court correctly ruled that since a trust relation and
co-ownership were proven to exist between the predecessors- in-
interest of both petitioners and private respondents, prescription did
not run in favor of Dabon's heirs except from the time that they
repudiated the co-ownership and made the repudiation known to the
other co-owners, Restituto and Jesus Ceniza.
The registration of Lot No. 627 in the name of Vicente Dabon created
a trust in favor of his co-owner Jose Ceniza, and the latter's heirs.
This Court has ruled in numerous cases involving fiduciary relations
that, as a general rule, the trustee's possession is not adverse and
therefore cannot ripen into a title by prescription. Adverse possession
requires the concurrence of the following circumstances:
a) that the trustee has performed unequivocal acts of repudiation
amounting to the ouster of the cestui que trust;
b) that such positive acts of repudiation have been made known to
the cestui que trust; and
c) that the evidence thereon should be clear and conclusive.
The above elements are not present here for the petitioners/ co-
owners have not been ousted from the land. They continue to
possess their respective shares of Lot 627 and they have been paying
the realty taxes thereon. Restituto's house stands on his portion of
the Land. Assuming that the private respondents' rejection of the
subdivision plan for the partition of the land was an act of repudiation
of the co-ownership, prescription had not yet set in when the
petitioners instituted the present action for reconveyance. These
circumstances were overlooked by the Court of Appeals.

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In this case, since the statutory period of limitation within which to
file an action for reconveyance, after the defendants had repudiated
the co-ownership in 1961, had not yet run its course when the
petitioners filed said action in 1967, the action was not barred by
prescription.

WHEREFORE. the decision of the Court of appeals is hereby


REVERSED AND SET ASIDE

Lazatin vs Campos

Facts: Margarita de Asis, widow of Dr. Mariano Lazatin, died leaving


a holographic will providing for a legacy of cash, jewelry, and stocks
to respondents Arlene de Leon, a granddaughter; a legacy of support
to Rodolfo Gallardo, a son of her late sister; and a legacy of education
to Ramon Sta. Clara, son of petitioner Renato Lazatin alias Renato
Sta. Clara.

During her lifetime, the deceased kept a safety deposit box at the
bank that could only be opened by her and her adopted daughter,
respondent Nora de Leon.

Five days after her death, Nora opened the safety deposit box and
removed its contents. After learning of this, petitioners filed a motion
in the probate court, claiming that the deceased had executed a will
and demanded for its production.

Petitioner Lazatin filed a motion to intervene in the estate of


Margarita de Asis as an adopted child, on the basis of an affidavit
executed by Benjamin Lazatin, brother-in-law of the deceased, that
the petitioner was an illegitimate son of Dr. Lazatin and was later
adopted by him.

Renato failed to present a decree of adoption. Instead, he attempted


to prove that he had recognized the deceased spouses as his parents;
that he was formerly known as “Renato Lazatin” before he was forced
to change his surname to “Renato Sta. Clara”; that he and his wife
are staying at the Mercy Hospital at Taft Avenue, Manila, which is
owned by the deceased spouses.

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Issue: WON Renato has established his status as an adopted
child.

Held: NO. The absence of proof of such order of adoption by the


court, as provided by the statute, cannot be substituted by parol
evidence that a child has lived with a person, not his parent, and has
been treated as a child to establish such adoption. Even evidence of
declaration of the deceased, made in his lifetime, that he intended to
adopt a child as his heir, and that he had adopted him, and of the
fact that the child resided with the deceased, as a member of his
family, from infancy until he attained his majority, is not sufficient to
establish the fact of adoption. Nor does the fact that the deceased
spouses fed, clothed, educated, recognized and referred to one like
petitioner as an adopted child, necessarily establish adoption of the
child. Withal, the attempts of petitioner to prove his adoption by acts
and declarations of deceased do not discharge the mandatory
presentation of the judicial decree of adoption. The thrust of
petitioner’s evidence is rather to establish his status as an admitted
illegitimate child, not an adopted child—which statuts of an admitted
illegitimate child was the very basis of his petition for intervention in
the estate proceedings of the late Dr. Lazatin, as above stated.

Republic vs CA and Bobiles

Facts: On February 2, 1988, Zenaida Corteza Bobiles filed a petition


to adopt Jason Condat, then six (6) years old and who had been
living with her family since he was four (4) months old, before the
Regional Trial Court of Legaspi City, docketed therein as Special
Proceeding No. 1386.

The court a quo, finding the petition to be sufficient in form and


substance, issued an order dated February 15, 1988 setting the
petition for hearing on March 28, 1988. The order was duly published,
with copies thereof seasonably served on the Solicitor General;
Assistant Provincial Fiscal Mediavillo, Jr. of Albay; Salvador Condat,
father of the child; and the social worker assigned to the court. A
copy of said order was posted on the bulletin board of the court and
in the other places it hadmrequired for that purpose. Nobody
appeared to oppose the petition.

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The RTC ruled that Jason was to be freed from all legal obligations of
obedience and maintenance with respect to his natural parents, and
be, to all intents and purposes, the child of the spouses Dioscoro and
Zenaida Bobiles, and the surname of the child be changed to
"Bobiles" which is the surname of the petitioner. The CA affirmed
such ruling.

Issue: WON the Family Code can be applied retroactively to


the petition for adoption by Zenaida Bobiles.
Held: NO. When private respondent filed her petition in Special
Proceeding No. 1386, the trial court acquired jurisdiction thereover in
accordance with the governing law. Jurisdiction being a matter of
substantive law, the established rule is that the jurisdiction of the
court is determined by the statute in force at the time of the
commencement of the action. We do not find in the present case such
facts as would constitute it as an exception to the rule.

We see no reason why the following doctrines in American law should


not apply to this case and, for that matter, in our jurisdiction. It is a
settled rule therein that adoption statutes, as well as matters of
procedure leading up to adoption, should be liberally construed to
carry out the beneficent purposes of the adoption institution and to
protect the adopted child in the rights and privileges coming to it as a
result of the adoption. The modern tendency of the courts is to hold
that there need not be more than a substantial compliance with
statutory requirements to sustain the validity of the proceeding; to
refuse would be to indulge in such a narrow and technical
construction of the statute as to defeat its intention and beneficial
results or to invalidate proceedings where every material requirement
of the statute was complied with.

Republic vs Vergara

Facts: On June 25, 1990, the spouses Samuel R. Dye, Jr. and
Rosalina Due Dye filed a petition before the Regional Trial Court of
Angeles City to adopt Maricel R. Due and Alvin R. Due, ages 13 and
12 years old, respectively, younger siblings of Rosalina. Samuel R.
Dye, Jr. a member of the United States Air Force, is an American
citizen who resided at the Clark Air Base in Pampanga. His wife
Rosalina is a former Filipino who became a naturalized American.

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They have two children. Both Maricel and Alvin Due, as well as their
natural parents, gave their consent to the adoption.

The trial court granted the petition, granting Alvin and Maricel to be
the children of the spouses Dye by adoption. The RTC disregarded the
16-year age gap requirement of the law. The spouses were only 15
years and 3mos and 15 years and 9mos older than Maricel Due,
respectively. The court’s reason for doing is that a literal
implementation of the law would defeat the very philosophy behind
adoption statues, namely to promote the welfare of the child.

The republic filed the petition for review on a pure question of law,
contending that the Spouses Dye are not qualifed to adopt Maricel
and Alvin Due.

Issue: WON the Republic’s contention is meritorious.

Held: YES. The main purpose of adoption statutes is the promotion


of the welfare of children. Accordingly, the law should be construed
liberally, in a manner that will sustain rather than defeat said
purpose. The law must also be applied with compassion,
understanding and less severity in view of the fact that it is intended
to provide homes, love, care and education for less fortunate
children. Regrettably, the SC is not in a position to affirm the trial
court’s decision favoring adoption in the case at bar, for the law is
clear and it cannot be modified without violating the proscription
against judicial legislation. Until such time however, that the law on
the matter is amended, we cannot sustain the respondent-spouses’
petition for adoption.

Landingin vs Republic

Facts: Diwata Ramos Landingin, a US citizen of Filipino parentage


filed a petition for the adoption of 3 minors, natural children of
Manuel Ramos, the former’s brother, and Amelia Ramos. She alleged
in her petition that when her brother died, the children were left to
their paternal grandmother for their biological mother went to Italy,
re-married there and now has 2 children by her second marriage and
no longer communicates from the time she left up to the institution of
the adoption. After the paternal grandmother passed away, the

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minors were being supported by the petitioner and her children
abroad and gave their written consent for their adoption.

A Social Worker of the DSWD submitted a Report recommending for


the adoption and narrated that Amelia, the biological mother was
consulted with the adoption plan and after weighing the benefits of
adoption to her children, she voluntarily consented.

However, petitioner failed to present the said social worker as witness


and offer in evidence the voluntary consent of Amelia Ramos to the
adoption. Petitioner also failed to present any documentary evidence
to prove that Amelia assent to the adoption.

Issue: WON a petition for adoption be granted without the


written consent of the adoptee’s biological mother.

Held: NO. Section 9, par (b) of RA 8552, provides that the consent
of the biological parent(s) of the child, if known is necessary to the
adoption. The written consent of the legal guardian will suffice if the
written consent of the biological parents cannot be obtained.

The general requirement of consent and notice to the natural parents


is intended to protect the natural parental relationship from
unwarranted interference by interlopers, and to insure the
opportunity to safeguard the best interests of the child in the manner
of the proposed adoption.

The written consent of the biological parents is indispensable for the


validity of the decree of adoption. Indeed, the natural right of a
parent to his child requires that his consent must be obtained before
his parental rights and duties may be terminated and re-establish in
adoptive parents. In this case, petitioner failed to submit the written
consent of Amelia Ramos to the adoption.

Moreover, abandonment means neglect and refusal to perform the


filial and legal obligations of love and support. Merely permitting the
child to remain for a time undisturbed in the care of others is not
such abandonment. To dispense with the requirements of consent,
the abandonment must be shown to have existed at the time of
adoption.

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