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I.

RULES OF SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

RULE 72 SUBJECT MATTER AND APPLICABILITY OF GENERAL RULES

MEANING AND SCOPE OF SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS


SP1.0 Vda de Manalo v. CA, 349 SCRA 135 (2001)
SP2.0 Natcher v. CA, 366 SCRA 385
FACTS: Spouses Graciano del Rosario and Graciana Esguerra were registered owners of a parcel of land. Upon the death
of Graciana in 1951, Graciano, together with his six children, entered into an extrajudicial settlement of Graciana's estate
adjudicating and dividing among themselves the mentioned real property. In 1980, Graciano married herein petitioner
Patricia Natcher. During their marriage, Graciano sold the land covered by TCT No. 107443 to his wife Patricia as a result
of which TCT No. 1860594 was issued in the latter's name. On 1985, Graciano died leaving his second wife Patricia and
his six children by his first marriage, as heirs. The private respondents filed a civil case against the petitioner before RTC
Manila. They alleged that upon Graciano's death, petitioner Natcher, through the employment of fraud, misrepresentation
and forgery, acquired TCT No. 107443, by making it appear that Graciano executed a Deed of Sale in favor herein
petitioner resulting in the cancellation of TCT No. 107443 and the issuance of TCT no. 186059 in the name of Patricia
Natcher. Similarly, herein private respondents alleged in said complaint that as a consequence of such fraudulent sale,
their legitimes have been impaired.

The RTC ruled deed of sale executed by the late Graciano del Rosario in favor of Patricia Natcher is prohibited by law
and thus a complete nullity as there is no evidence that a separation of property was agreed upon in the marriage
settlements or that there has been decreed a judicial separation of property between them, the spouses are prohibited from
entering into a contract of sale; thus it was not a valid donation. However, it can be regarded as an extension of advance
inheritance of Patricia Natcher being a compulsory heir of the deceased.

On appeal, the CA set aside the RTC’s decision and stated that 1) it is a probate court that has exclusive jurisdiction to
make a just and legal distribution of the estate; and 2) trying an ordinary action for reconveyance / annulment of title,
went beyond its jurisdiction when it performed the acts proper only in a special proceeding for the settlement of estate of a
deceased person.

Questioning the CA’s decision Natcher appealed through Rule 45 the decision of the CA in dismissing the case as it
should have been a probate court and not an ordinary court deciding the estate.

ISSUE: May a Regional Trial Court, acting as a court of general jurisdiction in an action for reconveyance annulment of
title with damages, adjudicate matters relating to the settlement of the estate of a deceased person particularly on questions
as to advancement
of property made by the decedent to any of the heirs?

RULING: No. The court ruled that 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. Matters which involve settlement and distribution of the estate of the decedent fall
within the exclusive province of the probate court in the exercise of its limited jurisdiction. Thus, under Section 2, Rule 90
of the Rules of Court, questions as to advancement made or alleged to have been made by the deceased to any heir may be
heard and determined by the court having jurisdiction of the estate proceedings; and the final order of the court thereon
shall be binding on the person raising the questions and on the heir. In the case at hand, RTC is acting in its general
jurisdiction is devoid of authority to render an adjudication and resolve the issue of advancement of the real property in
favor of herein petitioner. Moreover, the RTC of Manila, Branch 55 was not properly constituted as a probate court so as
to validly pass upon the question of advancement made by the decedent Graciano Del Rosario to his wife, herein
petitioner Natcher.

Moreover, there lies a marked distinction between an action and a special proceeding. An action is a formal demand of
one's right in a court of justice in the manner prescribed by the court or by the law. It is the method of applying legal
remedies according to definite established rules. The term "special proceeding" may be defined as an application or
proceeding to establish the status or right of a party, or a particular fact. Usually, in special proceedings, no formal
pleadings are required unless the statute expressly so provides. In special proceedings, the remedy is granted generally
upon an application or motion.

NATURE OF SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS


SP3.0 Tabuada v. Ruiz, GR 168799, June 27, 2008
FACTS: The parties in SP No. 5198, the proceedings for the settlement of the intestate estate of the late Jose and
Paciencia Calaliman, manifested to the RTC Iloilo their desire to amicably settle the case. The trial court ordered the
parties to submit a Motion for Judgment Based on an Amicable Settlement before December 25, 2004.However, the RTC
terminated the proceedings because the parties failed to comply with the said order and likewise denied all the motions
filed by the parties. Petitioner, the administratix of the estate and private respondents separately moved for the
reconsideration arguing that the termination of the case was premature there being yet no apyment of debts and
distribution of the estate and they had already prepared all the necessary papers for the amicable settlement.
ISSUE: Whether the trial court erred in terminating the proceedings on account of the parties failure to comply with its
order

RULING: No. While a compromise agreement or an amicable settlement is very strongly encouraged, the failure to
consummate one does not warrant any procedural sanction, much less provide an authority for the court to jettison the
case. Sp. Proc. No. 5198 should not have been terminated by the trial court on account of the mere failure of the parties to
submit the promised amicable settlement and/or the Motion for Judgment Based On An Amicable Settlement. Given the
non-contentious nature of special proceedings (which do not depend on the will of an actor, but on a state or condition of
things or persons not entirely within the control of the parties interested), its dismissal should be ordered only in the
extreme case where the termination of the proceeding is the sole remedy consistent with equity and justice, but not as a
penalty for neglect of the parties therein.

APPLICABILITY OF RULES OF CIVIL ACTION


SP4.0 Hilado v. CA, GR 164108, may 8 2009
FACTS:

-Roberto S. Benedicto died intestate on 15 May 2000. He was survived by his wife, private respondent Julita Campos
Benedicto, and his only daughter, Francisca.

-At the time of his death, there were two pending civil cases against him involving the petitioners. The first, was then
pending with the RTC of Bacolod City, with petitioner Alfredo Hilado as one of the plaintiffs therein. The second, was
then pending with the RTC of Bacolod City, 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.

-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.

-Private respondent opposed the manifestation/motion, disputing the personality of petitioners to intervene in the intestate
proceedings of her husband.

-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.

-After the Manila RTC had denied petitioners motion for reconsideration, a petition for certiorari was filed with the Court
of Appeals. The petition argued in general that petitioners had the right to intervene in the intestate proceedings of
Roberto Benedicto, the latter being the defendant in the civil cases they lodged with the Bacolod RTC.

-Tha CA denied their petition. Hence, the present petition.

ISSUE: Whether the lower courts erred in denying them the right to intervene in the intestate proceedings of the estate of
Roberto Benedicto

RULING: No. 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. In the event the claims for damages of petitioners are granted, they would
have the right to enforce the judgment against the estate.

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, the Court deemed 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.

II. SETTLEMENT OF ESTATE OF DECEASED PERSONS

RULE 73 VENUE AND PROCESS

VENUE AND MEANING OF RESIDENCE


SP5.0 Eusebio v. Eusebio, 100 Phil 593 (1956)
FACTS: It is not disputed that Andres Eusebio was, and had always been, domiciled in San Fernando, Pampanga, where
he had his home, as well as some other properties. His heart was in a bad condition and his son, Dr. Jesus Eusebio, who
treated him, resided at Quezon City. Andres Eusebio bought a house and lot in said City. While transferring his
belongings to this house, soon thereafter, the decedent suffered a stroke (probably heart failure), for which reason Dr.
Eusebio took him to his (Dr. Eusebio's) aforementioned residence, where the decedent remained until he was brought to
the UST Hospital, in the City of Manila, sometimes before November 26, 1952. On this date, he contracted marriage
in articulo mortis with his common law wife, Concepcion Villanueva, in said hospital. Two (2) days later, he died therein
of "acute left ventricular failure secondary to hypertensive heart disease", at the age of seventy-four (74) years.
Consequently, he never stayed or even slept in said house at Quezon City.
On November 16, 1953, Eugenio Eusebio filed with the Court of First Instance of Rizal, a petition for his appointment as
administrator of the estate of his father, Andres Eusebio, who died on November 28, 1952, residing, according to said
petition, in the City of Quezon. On December 4, 1953, Amanda, Virginia, Juan, Delfin, Vicente and Carlos, all surnamed
Eusebio, objected to said petition, stating that they are illegitimate children of the deceased and that the latter was
domiciled in San Fernando, Pampanga, and praying, therefore, that the case be dismissed upon the ground that venue had
been improperly filed. By an order, dated March 10, 1954, said court overruled this objection and granted said petition.
Hence, the case is on appeal taken, from said order, by Amanda Eusebio, and her aforementioned sister and brothers.

ISSUE: Whether the venue has been improperly laid

RULING: Yes. It being apparent from the foregoing that the domicile of origin of the decedent was San Fernando,
Pampanga, where he resided for over seventy (70) years, the presumption is that he retained such domicile, and, hence,
residence, in the absence of satisfactory proof to the contrary, for it is well-settled that "a domicile once acquired is
retained until a new domicile is gained". Under the circumstances surrounding the case at bar, if Andres Eusebio
established another domicile, it must have been one of choice, for which the following conditions are essential, namely:
(1) capacity to choose and freedom of choice; (2) physical presence at the place chosen; and (3) intention to stay therein
permanently. There is no direct evidence of such intent. Neither does the decedent appear to have manifested his wish to
live indefinitely in said city.

The marriage contract, signed by the deceased when he was married, in articulo mortis, to Concepcion Villanueva, at the
UST Hospital two (2) days prior to his demise, stated that his residence is San Fernando, Pampanga. Consequently, apart
from appellee's failure to prove satisfactory that the decedent had decided to establish his home in Quezon City, the acts of
the latter, shortly and immediately before his death, prove the contrary. At any rate, the presumption in favor of the
retention of the old domicile — which is particularly strong when the domicile is one of the origin as San Fernando,
Pampanga, evidently was, as regards said decedent — has not been offset by the evidence of record. In conclusion, Court
ruled that the decedent was, at the time of his death, domiciled in San Fernando, Pampanga; that the Court of First
Instance of Rizal had no authority, therefore, to appoint an administrator of the estate of the deceased, the venue having
been laid improperly; and that it should, accordingly, have sustained appellants' opposition and dismissed appellee's
petition.

SP6.0 Garcia Fule v. CA, 74 SCRA 109 (1976)

SP7.0 Cuenco v. CA, 53 SCRA 360 (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: 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.

ISSUE: 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: Yes. 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.

SP8.0 San Luis v. San Luis, February 6, 2007

LIMITED JURISDICTION OF PROBATE COURT


SP9.0 Camaya v. Patulandon, Gr 144915, February 23, 2004
FACTS: Rufina Reyes executed a notarized will wherein she devised Lot no. 288-A to her grandson Anselmo Mangulabnan.
During her lifetime, Rufina herself filed the Petition for the Probate of her Will before the CFI. Later, she executed a codicil
modifying her will by devising the said Lot in favor of her four children and her grandson Mangulabnan.

Mangulabnan filed an action for partition in the RTC. The court in this partition ordered the partitioning of the property.
However, it further holds that the partition is without prejudice to the probate of the codicil in accordance with the Rules
of Court. Hence the executor filed before the RTC of Nueva Ecija a petition for probate of the codicil of the testatrix.
Meanwhile, by virtue of the decision in the partition case, Mangulabnan caused the cancellation of the title of the testatrix
over Lot No. 288-A and a new TCT was issued in his name. He later on sold the lot to herein petitioner, Camayas.

Finally, when the RTC ruled on admitting the petition for probate of the codicil, the RTC likewise declared that the sale
between Mangulabnan and Camayas, null and void.
The Camayas and Mangulabnan filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was dismissed both by the Probate Court and
the CA. Thus, the case was brought to the SC via a petition for review on certiorari.

ISSUE: Whether the RTC Nueva Ecija as probate court have jurisdiction to declare the sale between Mangulabnan and
Camayas null and void

RULING: No. It is 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 said court could do as regards said properties is to determine whether they should not be included in
the inventory. 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 final determination of the conflicting claims of title because the probate court cannot
do so.

Having been apprised of the fact that the property in question was in the possession of third parties and more important,
covered by a transfer certificate of title issued in the name of such 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.
It had no authority to deprive such third persons of their possession and ownership of the property. The probate court
exceeded its jurisdiction when it declared the deed of sale and the titles of the Camayas as null and void, it having had the
effect of depriving them possession and ownership of the property.

SP10.0 Pacioles v. Chuatoco-Ching. GR 127920, August 9, 2005


FACTS: Miguelita died intestate. She was survived by her husband, petitioner herein, and their two minor children.
Consequently, petitioner filed with the RTC a verified petition for the settlement of Miguelitas 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.

Miguelitas mother, Miguela Chuatoco-Ching, herein respondent, filed an opposition on the grounds that (a)
petitioner is incompetent and unfit to exercise the duties of an administrator; and (b) the bulk of Miguelitas estate is
composed of paraphernal properties. Respondent alleged 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. Respondent prayed that the letters of administration be
issued to her instead.

The intestate court issued an order appointing petitioner and Emmanuel (son of Miguela) as joint regular
administrators of the estate. Both were issued letters of administration after taking their oath and posting the requisite
bond. Thereafter, petitioner submitted an inventory of Miguelitas estate. Emmanuel did not submit an inventory.

The intestate court declared petitioner and his two minor children as the only compulsory heirs of Miguelita.
Petitioner filed a partition and distribution of the estate among the declared heirs. Respondent opposed petitioners motion
on the ground that the partition and distribution of the estate is premature and precipitate, considering that there is yet no
determination whether the properties specified in the inventory are conjugal, paraphernal or owned in a joint venture.
Respondent claimed that she owns the bulk of Miguelitas estate as an heir and co-owner. Thus, she prayed that a hearing
be scheduled.

ISSUE: May a trial court, acting as an intestate court, hear and pass upon questions of ownership involving properties
claimed to be part of the decedents estate?

RULING: No. 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.

SP11.0 Reyes v. Sotero, et al., GR No. 167405, February 16, 2006


FACTS: Respondent Chichioco filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration and settlement of estate of the
late Elena Lising claiming that she was the niece and heir of Lising who died intestate. Respondent claims that real and
personal properties were allegedly in the possession of petitioner Ana Joyce S. Reyes, a grandniece of the deceased.
Petitioner Reyes filed an Opposition to the petition, claiming that she was an adopted child of Lising and the latter’s
husband and asserting that the petition be dismissed since she was the only heir of Lising who passed away without
leaving any debts. Subsequently, petitioner filed a Supplement to the Opposition attaching thereto the certification of her
adoption from the local civil registrar’s office that the adoption decree was registered therein and also a copy of a Judicial
Form and a certification issued by the clerk of court that the decree was on file in the General Docket of the RTC-Tarlac.
Respondents filed a Comment to the opposition stating that reasonable doubts have been cast on Petitioner’s claim that
she was legally adopted due allegedly to certain “badges of fraud.” The appellate court refused to dismiss the proceeding
because it was incumbent upon the petitioner to prove before the trial court that she was indeed adopted by the Delos
Santos spouse since, “imputations of irregularities permeating the adoption decree render its authenticity under a cloud of
doubt.”

ISSUE: WON petitioner had to prove the validity of her adoption due to imputations of irregularities.

RULING: No. Petitioner need not prove her legal adoption by any evidence other than those which she had already
presented before the trial court. Documents consisting of entries in public records made in the performance of a duty by a
public officer are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. These certifications suffice as proof of the fact of
petitioner’s adoption by the Delos Santos spouses until contradicted or overcome by sufficient evidence.

Such contrary proof can be presented only in a separate action brought principally for the purpose of nullifying the
adoption decree. The latter cannot be assailed collaterally in a proceeding for the settlement of a decedent’s estate. Absent
a categorical pronouncement in an appropriate proceeding that the decree of adoption is void, the certifications regarding
the matter should be deemed legitimate, genuine and real.

EXCEPTIONS TO LIMITED JURISDICTION


SP12.0 Coca v. Borromeo, 81 SCRA 278 (1978)
MP: 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.

FACTS: The spouses Juan Pangilinan and Teresa Magtuba died intestate in 1943 and 1948, respectively. They possessed
a homestead, consisting of two parcels of land, located at Barrio Bunawan or Mauswagon, Calamba, Misamis Occidental.
The Pangilinan spouses were survived by the following heirs: (1) Prima Pangilinan, (2) Maria, Eusebio and Apolinar, all
surnamed Yamuta, the children of Concepcion Pangilinan-Yamuta who died in 1961, and (3) Francis, Algerian,
Benjamin, Perla and Francisco, Jr., all surnamed Pangilinan, the children of Francisco Pangilinan who died in 1948 and
who was also survived by his widow, Guadalupe Pizarras. Special Proceeding No. 508 of the Court of First Instance of
Misamis Occidental was instituted on September 5, 1963 for the settlement of the estate of the deceased spouses, Juan C.
Pangilinan and Teresa Magtuba. The lower court in its order of October 2, 1965 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
Crispin Borromeo (eighteen hectares in all which were excluded from the inventory in the court’s order of December 6,
1963) is determined in an ordinary action. On May 14, 1966 the heirs of Francisco Pangilinan filed a supplemental
opposition wherein they asked that Lot No. 1920, with an area of eight hectares, which lot was surveyed at the instance of
Concepcion Pangilinan, should be included in the project of partition. 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.

ISSUE: Whether the ownership of a parcel of land, whether belonging to the deceased spouses or to their heirs, can be
decided in the intestate proceeding ?

RULING: YES. As a general rule, the question as to title to property should not be passed upon in the testate or intestate
proceeding. That question should be ventilated in a separate action. That general rule 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. Although generally, a probate court may net 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.

SP13.0 Portugal v. Portugal-Beltran, GR 155555, August 16, 2005


FACTS: Jose Portugal Sr contracted two marriages. The first with Paz Lazo in 1942 whom he had a daughter named
Leonila Perpetua Aleli Portugal, the respondent, and the second marriage with Isabel de la Puerta, who gave birth to Jose
Douglas Portugal, Jr., the petitioners. By virtue of a Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition and Waiver of Rights executed by
Portugal Sr. and his 4 siblings, over the estate of their father, a parcel of land n Caloocan was issued a TCT in the name of
“Jose Q. Portugal, married to Paz C. Lazo”. Paz died in 1984, while Portugal Sr. died intestate in 1985. Leonila executed
an “Affidavit of Adjudication by Sole Heir of Estate of Deceased Person”, adjudicating to herself the Caloocan parcel of
land, and was subsequently registered (1988) in her name “Leonila Portugal Beltran, married to Merardo M. Beltran, Jr.”

In 1996, Isabel and Portugal, Jr. (petitioners) filed a complaint against Leonila for cancellation of Affidavit of
Adjudication and TCT issued in her name, alleging that Leonila is not related whatsoever to the deceased Portugal, Sr.,
hence, not entitled to inherit the Caloocan parcel of land, and accordingly prayed that said TCT be cancelled and a new
one be issued in their (petitioner’s) name. A Pre-Trial Order was issued but was dismissed for lack of cause of action and
lack of jurisdiction without resolving the issues as stated in the pre-trial order, on the ground that petitioner’s status and
right as putative heirs had not been established before a probate court. On appeal, the petitioners cite the case of Carino
vs. Carino. In this case, the SC ratiocinates that the court may pass upon the validity of marriage even after the death of
the parties thereto, and even in a suit not directly instituted to question the validity of said marriage, so long as it is
essential to the determination of the case. However, the CA found Carino to be inapplicable. The appellate court held that
in Carino case, the main issue was the validity of the two marriages, whereas in the instant case, the main issue is the
annulment of title to property. Thus, the CA affirmed the TC’s dismissal of the case.

ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners have to institute a special proceeding to determine their status as heirs before they
can pursue the case for annulment of respondent’s Affidavit of Adjudication and of the TCT issued in her name.

RULING: NO. Respondent, believing rightly or wrongly that she was the sole heir to Portugal’s estate, executed on
February 15, 1988 the questioned Affidavit of Adjudication under the second sentence of Rule 74, Section 1 of the
Revised Rules of Court. Said rule is an exception to the general rule that when a person dies leaving a property, it should
be judicially administered and the competent court should appoint a qualified administrator, in the order established in
Sec. 6, Rule 78 in case the deceased left no will, or in case he did, he failed to name an executor therein.

Petitioners claim to be the exclusive heirs of Portugal. A probate or intestate court, no doubt, has jurisdiction to declare
who are the heirs of a deceased.

It appearing, however, that in the present case the only property of the intestate estate of Portugal is the Caloocan parcel of
land, to still subject it, under the circumstances of the case, to a special proceeding which could be long, hence, not
expeditious, just to establish the status of petitioners as heirs is not only impractical; it is burdensome to the estate with the
costs and expenses of an administration proceeding. And it is superfluous in light of the fact that the parties to the civil
case – subject of the present case, could and had already in fact presented evidence before the trial court which assumed
jurisdiction over the case upon the issues it defined during pre-trial.

Under the circumstances of the case, there being no compelling reason to still subject Portugal’s estate to administration
proceedings since a determination of petitioners’ status as heirs could be achieved in the civil case filed by petitioners, the
trial court should proceed to evaluate the evidence presented by the parties during the trial and render a decision thereon
upon the issues it defined during pre-trial, which bear repeating, to wit:

1. Which of the two (2) marriages contracted by the deceased Jose Q. Portugal, is valid;
2. Which of the plaintiff, Jose Portugal Jr. and defendant Leonila P. Beltran is the legal heir of the deceased Jose Q.
Portugal (Sr.);
3. Whether or not TCT No. 159813 was issued in due course and can still be contested by plaintiffs;
4. Whether or not plaintiffs are entitled to their claim under the complaint.
The petition is GRANTED. The assailed September 24, 2002 Decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby SET ASIDE.

SP14.0 Bernardo et al., v. CA at al., L-18148, 28 February 1963


FACTS: Eusebio Capili and Hermogena Reyes were husband and wife.

Eusebio Capili died on July 27, 1958 and a testate proceeding for the settlement of his estate was instituted in the CFI of
Bulacan. His will was admitted to probate on October 9, 1958, disposing of his properties in favor of his widow; his
cousins Armando, Ursula, and Buenaventura, all surnamed Capili; and Arturo, Deogracias and Eduardo, all surnamed
Bernardo.

Hermogena Reyes herself died on April 24, 1959. Upon petition of Deogracias Bernardo, executor of the estate of the
deceased Eusebio Capili, she was substituted by her collateral relatives and intestate heirs, namely, Marcos, Vicente,
Francisco and Dominga, all surnamed Reyes; and Jose, Constancia, Raymunda and Elena, all surnamed Isidoro.

On June 12, 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. On June 16, 1959 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 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, aside from the legal presumption laid down in Article 160 of the Civil
Code, 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.

CFI Bulacan (Probate court): 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.

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."

CFI Bulacan: denied the motion for new trial.

CA (review for certiorari, Rule 42): affirmed CFI order.

ISSUE: WN petitioners-appellants are correct that 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.
[whether the properties herein involved belong to the conjugal partnership of Eusebio Capili and Hermogena Reyes, or to
the deceased husband exclusively].

RULING: No.

In the case at bench, 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. Therefore, the claim that is
being asserted is one belonging to an heir to the testator and, consequently, it complies with the requirement of the
exception that the parties interested (the petitioners and the widow, represented by dents) are all heirs claiming title under
the testator.

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. XXX 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 can not 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 can not be permitted to complain if the court, after due hearing, adjudges question against them.
XXX 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 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.

WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals being in accordance with law, the same is hereby affirmed with costs
against appellants.

CLAIMS FOR OR AGAINST CONJUGAL PARTNERSHIP


SP1.1 Calma v. Taneda, 66 Phil 594
SP2.1 Ocampo v. Potenciano, 89 Phil 159

RULE 74 SUMMARY SETTLEMENT OF ESTATES

EXTRAJUDICIAL SETTLEMENT BY AGREEMENT AND TWO-YEAR LIEN


SP3.1 Malahacan v. Ignacio, 19 Phil 434 (1911)
SP4.1 Arcillas v. Montejo, 26 SCRA 197 (1968)
FACTS:

-Filed before the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga on November 12 and 16, 1962, respectively, are two separate
petitions having direct and special reference to Lot No. 276. This lot, covered by TCT RT-244, forms a major part of the
estate of the late Eustaquio Arcillas who died intestate on March 8, 1958 in the City of Zamboanga.

-In the petition dated November 12 Geronimo Arcillas, one of the heirs of the deceased, sought the cancellation of TCT
No. RT-244 in the name of the deceased and prayed for the issuance of a new certificate of title in the names of the
heirs in the enumerated proportions alleged in the petition.

-Before any other material pleading could be filed with respect to this petition, five 5 other children of the deceased filed
the November 16 petition aforementioned. This later petition, docketed as Special Proceeding No. 632, prayed for the
issuance of letters of administration in favor of herein petitioner preparatory to the final settlement of the
deceased's estate.

-On November 23 herein petitioner filed his opposition to the November 12 petition on the ground that a petition for
administration had actually been filed and was awaiting resolution, that petition (the one dated November 12) should be
held in abeyance until after Special Proceeding No. 632 was closed and terminated. Respondent Judge then issued an
order on December 1, 1963 temporarily holding in abeyance resolution of the November 12 petition until the termination
of the intestate proceedings.

- Geronimo Arcillas in his answer opposed the issuance of letters of administration to herein petitioner, arguing that
inasmuch as Lot No. 276 was the only property left by the deceased and the deceased left no debts, the petition for
administration was improper.

-However petitioner, in his reply, insisted that there were still other properties of the estate of the deceased besides Lot
No. 276; he likewise took issue with respondents' view that administration proceedings could be dispensed with asserting,
firstly, that there was no unanimity among the heirs for extrajudicial partition and, secondly, that some of the heirs had
been unduly deprived of their participation in the estate.

-On March 8, 1963 respondent court denied the November 16 petition for the issuance of letters of administration and at
the same time gave due course to the November 12 petition.

-Petitioner filed the instant petition for certiorari with mandamus and preliminary injunction.

ISSUE: Whether respondent Judge acted properly (1) in dismissing the administration proceedings under the authority of
section 1, rule 74 of the New Rules of Court upon averments that the estate left no debts and all the heirs entitled to share
in its distribution are all of age and (2) in maintaining that the "cadastral motion" brought under the provision of section
112 of the Land Registration Act was the more proper proceeding under the circumstances.

RULING: (1) No. Section I, rule 74 does not preclude the heirs from instituting administration proceedings, even if the
estate has no debts or obligation, if they do not desire to resort for good reasons to an ordinary action of partition. While
section 1 allows the heirs to divide the estate among themselves as they may see fit, or to resort to an ordinary action of
partition, it does not compel them to do so if they have good reasons to take a different course of action. Said section is
not mandatory or compulsory as may be gleaned from the use made therein of the word may. Note that the word may its
used not only once but in the whole section which indicates an intention to leave the matter entirely to the discretion of the
heirs.

(2)No. In the instant case the obvious lack of unanimity among the parties in interest, manifestly demonstrated by
petitioners' express objection to the cancellation of TCT No. RT-244, sufficiently removes the November 12 petition from
the scope of section 112 of Act 496. Besides, the proceedings provided in the Land Registration Act are summary in
nature and hence inadequate for the litigation of issues which properly pertain to the case where the incident belongs.

SP5.1 Pereira v. CA, 174 SCRA 154 (1989)


FACTS: Andres de Guzman Pereira, an employee of the Philippine Air Lines, passed away without a will. He was
survived by his legitimate spouse of ten months, the herein petitioner Victoria Bringas Pereira, and his sister Rita Pereira
Nagac, private respondent. Private respondent instituted a special for the issuance of letters of administration in her favor
pertaining to the estate of Andres. In her verified petition, private respondent alleged the following: that she and Victoria
Bringas Pereira are the only surviving heirs of the deceased; that the deceased left no will; that there are no creditors of
the deceased; that the deceased left several properties, namely: death benefits from the Philippine Air Lines (PAL), the
PAL Employees Association (PALEA), the PAL Employees Savings and Loan Association, Inc. (PESALA) and the
Social Security System (SSS), as well as savings deposits with the Philippine National Bank (PNB) and the Philippine
Commercial and Industrial Bank (PCIB), and a 300 square meter lot located at Barangay Pamplona, Las Pinas,
Rizal, which has been extrajudicially settled between the petitioner and the private respondent as the only surviving heirs
of the deceased.

Petitioner filed her opposition and motion to dismiss the petition of private respondent alleging that there exists no estate
of the deceased for purposes of administration and praying in the alternative, that if an estate does exist, the letters of
administration relating to the said estate be issued in her favor as the surviving spouse. The RTC appointed private
respondent as administratrix of the intestate estate of Andres. Not satisfied with the resolution of the lower court,
petitioner brought the case to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the appointment of private respondent as
administratrix.

ISSUE: Whether or not a judicial administration proceeding is necessary where there are no debts left by the decedent

RULING: The Court finds the administration proceedings instituted by private respondent to be unnecessary. The general
rule is that when a person dies leaving property, the same should be judicially administered and the competent court
should appoint a qualified administrator, in the order established in Section 6, Rule 78, in case the deceased left no will, or
in case he had left one, should he fail to name an executor therein. An exception to this rule is established in Section 1 of
Rule 74. Under this exception, 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. Section 1, Rule 74 of the Revised Rules of Court, however, does not preclude the heirs from instituting
administration proceedings, even if the estate has no debts or obligations, if they do not desire to resort for good reasons to
an ordinary action for partition.

The parties admit that there are no debts of the deceased to be paid. What is at once apparent is that these two heirs are not
in good terms. The only conceivable reason why private respondent seeks appointment as administratrix is for her to
obtain possession of the alleged properties of the deceased for her own purposes, since these properties are presently in
the hands of petitioner who supposedly disposed of them fraudulently. We are of the opinion that this is not a compelling
reason, which will necessitate a judicial administration of the estate of the deceased. To subject the estate of Andres de
Guzman Pereira, which does not appear to be substantial especially since the only real property left has been
extrajudicially settled, to an administration proceeding for no useful purpose would only unnecessarily expose it to the
risk of being wasted or squandered. In most instances of a similar nature, he claims of both parties as to the properties left
by the deceased may be properly ventilated in simple partition proceedings where the creditors, should there be any, are
protected in any event. The letters of administration issued to Rita Pereira Nagac are hereby revoked and the
administration proceeding dismissed.

SP6.1 Pada-Kilario, et al. vs. CA et al., GR. 134329, January 19, 2000

REMEDIES AGAINST EXTRAJUDICIAL SETTLEMENT

CONTRIBUTION FROM DISTRIBUTION, EXECUTION AGAINST BOND OR SALE OF REALTY OD


DECEDENT
SP7.1 McMicking v. Sy Conbieng, 21 Phil 211 (1912)
FACTS: One Engracio Palanca was appointed administrator of the estate of Margarita Jose. Mariano Ocampo became
one of the sureties of Engracio Palanca. After the execution of the bond, said Palanca took possession of all the property
of Margarita Jose. Later on, Mariano Ocampo died, testate. Doroteo Velasco was appointed administrator of the estate of
Mariano Ocampo while Pio de la Guardia Barretto (defendant) qualified as one of the sureties of said Doroteo Velasco.

Doroteo Velasco, as administrator, filed with the court a complete report and inventory of the property of the deceased,
together with a statement of all his debts and liabilities. The Court of First Instance affirmed and approved the partition.
Pursuant to such agreement and order of the court approving the same, Doroteo Velasco, delivered to the devisees and
legatees of Mariano Ocampo, all of the property of said decedent leaving in the hands of said administrator no property or
thing of value whatever belonging to said estate.

Meanwhile, Engracio Palanca was removed from office as administrator of the estate of Margarita Jose, and Jose
McMicking (plaintiff) was appointed in his stead. Said Palanca was removed from office by reason of the fact that he
failed and refused to render an account of the property and funds of the estate of the said Margarita Jose. At the time of his
removal he was indebted to the estate in the sum of P41,960.15.

For the default of Engracio Palanca, Mcmicking filed a claim in the amount of 30,000 to the estate of Pio de la Guardia
Barretto as the surety of Doroteo Velasco who is the administrator of the estate of Mariano Ocampo who in turn is the
surety of said Engracio Palanca.

The court having heard the evidence and the arguments of counsel, rendered judgment in favor of the defendant and
against the plaintiff, dismissing the complaint upon merits, without costs. This appeal is from that judgment.

ISSUE: Whether plaintiff may claim against the defendant as the surety of Doroteo Velasco.

HELD: No. SC affirmed the lower court’s decision. The Court based their decision upon the ground that Doroteo
Velasco, for whom the deceased Pio de la Guardia Barretto was surety, would not have been liable himself had this action
been commenced against him. If the principal is not liable upon the obligation, the surety cannot be.

As the Court have already indicated, the basis of the liability of a surety on an administrator's bond is the fault or failure of
the principal. The liability of the principal precedes that of the surety. If Velasco incurred no liability, then his surety
incurred none.

NEW ACTION TO ANNUL SETTLEMENT WITHIN REGLEMENTARY PERIOD


SP8.1 Gerona v. de Guzman, 11 SCRA 153 (1964)

SP9.1 Pedrosa v. CA, 353 SCRA 620 (2001)


FACTS: Miguel Rodriguez died intestate survived by his wife Rosalina and their legally adopted daughter Maria Pedrosa,
the petitioner. Rosalina and Maria entered into an extra judicial settlement of his estate. The other Private respondents,
the Rodriguezes, however filed an action to annul Maria’s adoption. The RTC upheld the validity of the adoption.

While the case is pending on appeal in the Court of Appeals, the Rodriguezes entered into a Deed of Extrajudicial
Settlement and Partition with respondent Rosalina for the partition of the estate of Miguel and of another sister, Pilar.
Rosalina acted as the representative of the heirs of Miguel Rodriguez. New TCTs under the name of the respondents were
subsequently issued.

Petitioner Maria tried to claim their share of the properties and after being unable to do so, filed a complaint to annul the
partition. Her complaint was dismissed by the RTC and on appeal was also dismissed by the CA since the complaint of
the petitioner was filed only on January 28, 1987, or three years and ten months after the questioned extrajudicial
settlement dated March 11, 1983 was executed.

ISSUE: Whether or not the complaint for annulment of the “Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement and Partition” had already
prescribed
RULING: No. The complaint for the annulment has not prescribed.
Section 4, Rule 74 provides for a two year prescriptive period (1) to persons who have participated or taken part or had
notice of the extrajudicial partition, and in addition (2) when the provisions of Section 1of 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.
Petitioner, as the records confirm, did not participate in the extrajudicial partition. So the two-year prescriptive period is
not applicable in her case. The applicable prescriptive period here is four (4) years. A deed of extrajudicial partition
executed without including some of the heirs, who had no knowledge and consent to the same, is fraudulent.
The partition in the present case was invalid because it excluded six of the nine heirs who were entitled to equal shares in
the partitioned property. Under the rule, “no extrajudicial settlement shall be binding upon any person who has not
participated therein or had no notice thereof.” As the partition was a total nullity and did not affect the excluded heirs, it
was not correct for the trial court to hold that their right to challenge the partition had prescribed after two years from its
execution.

SUMMARY SETTLEMENT OF ESTATES OF SMALL VALUE


SP10.1 Estate of Francisco v. Carreon, 95 Phil. 237 (1954)
FACTS: Rosa Aldana Francisco petitioned the CFI summarily to settle the estate of her husband Jose Francisco. The
petition was approved declaring that petitioner Rosa and her children as the only heirs of the deceased and adjudicating
unto the said heirs the parcel of land and the house thereon in the proportion of one-half undivided share to the widow,
and the other half in equal parts, to the said children.

Rosa her share of the realty to the Carreon sisters. Afterwards, she conveyed by absolute deed of sale, to the
aforesaid creditors, her interest and participation in the land.

However, in a motion, Tiburcia Magsalin, mother of the deceased Jose M. Francisco, allegedly in representation
of the minor Jose Francisco y Palumpon, 17y/o, averred that this minor was a recognized natural son of the deceased, with
legal right to participate in his estate.

Now, when the motion to annul or reopen was called for hearing, Macaria Palumpon requested in open court the
dismissal, without prejudice, of Jose Francisco y Palumpon's demand for recognition. Her request was granted; but the
court announced that the three minor children's petition for reopening of the order adjudicating one-half to Rosa Aldana
Francisco, with all consequent effects upon the mortgage and sale, will be taken up later.

Both Rosa Aldana and the Carreons moved for reconsideration, contending that, inasmuch as Jose Francisco y
Palumpon had withdrawn, there was no authority to continue, for the matter became a closed incident.

ISSUE 1: Whether the court erred in continuing to hear the motion for reopening, even after the natural child had
withdrawn from the litigation.

RULING 1: No. A careful examination of the motion of Tiburcia Magsalin, she asked for appointment as guardian ad
item for the natural child and for the three legitimate children. She asked for remedial measures beneficial to the four
children. Hence, the motion may be regarded in a spirit of liberality, as interposed on behalf of the said four children —
not only a motion of the natural child. Precisely, because the complaint also prayed for relief beneficial to the three
legitimate children — contrary to the interests of the natural child as hereinbefore related — the court declined to permit
Tiburcia Magsalin to represent the four children, but allowed her to act for three only.

ISSUE 2: Whether Tiburcia's moves should have been initiated within two years after distribution (Sec. 4 Rule 74)
RULING 2: The answer is section 5 of Rule 74 which provides that such motion may be lodged with the court within one
year after the minors have reached majority; and they are still minors now.

SP11.1 Sampilo et al. v. CA et al., 103 Phil 70 (1958)


FACTS: Teodoro Tolete died intestate and survived by his wife, Leoncia de Leon, and several nephews and nieces. The
decedent left parcels of land. Leoncia executed an affidavit stating that the decedent left no children or ascendants and that
she is the only person to inherit the said properties; and a deed of sale of all the said properties in favor of Benny Sampilo,
who in turn sold it to Honorato Salacup.

Felisa Sinopera secured her appointment as administratix of the estate of the decedent and brought the instant case
alleging that Leoncia had no right to execute the affidacit of adjudication. The trial court held the affidavit of adjudication
and deeds of sale void and declared Leoncia as owner of one-half portion of the properties in question. Petitioners argue
that as the action was instituted almost four years after the affidavit of adjudication was registered in the Office of the
Register of Deeds the right of action of the administratrix has prescribed and lapsed because the same was not brought
within the period of two years as prescribed in Section 4 of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court.

ISSUE: Whether the right to recover of the administratix has prescribed

RULING: No. 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. Not all the heirs interested have participated in the
extrajudicial settlement, the Court of Appeals having found that the decedent left aside from his widow, nephews and
nieces living at the time of his death.

RULE 75 PRODUCTION OF WILL. ALLOWANCE OF WILL NECESSARY

PROBATE MANDATORY
SP12.1 US v. Chiu Guimco, 36 Phil 917 (1917)
MP: Court cannot make a valid order committing a person to jail for failure to produce the will of a deceased person,
pursuant to section 629 of the Code of Civil Procedure, .except when acting in the exercise of its jurisdiction over the
estates of deceased persons.

FACTS: Joaquin Cruz, a chinese merchant living for many years in the municipality of Gingoog, Province of Misamis,
died while visiting China. Before his departure from the Philippines he had executed a will before Anastacio Servillon, a
notary public, in which Chiu Guimco and Co-Iden were named as executors. Chiu Guimco is Joaquin Cruz’s brother.
Guimco, as attorney in fact and manager of the estate of his deceased brother, entered into an agreement with his brother’s
Filipina wife, whereby she relinquished her claims to the estate for a consideration. He also entered into an agreement
with Uy Cuan, his brother’s Chinese wife, for the distribution of the estate and for the payment of rentals on her interest in
the real estate. No payments have, however, been made by Guimco. Ramon Contreras, acting on behalf of Uy Cuan, wrote
a letter to Guimco urging him to produce the will of the decedent for the institution of lawful proceedings in accordance
therewith. Guimco replied that the will in question had never been in his possession and that he had never seen it. A
complaint was filed under section 628 of the Code of Civil Procedure charging Guimco with the failure to produce the
will within the time required by law. The court found the accused guilty and imposed upon him a fine of P1800.
Subsequently, the court, believing that the will was in his possession, ordered him to produce it but Guimco still failed to
do so. The court ordered the confinement of Guimco in the provincial jail.

ISSUE: Whether the judge was acting within his power when he ordered the commitment of Guimco to the provincial
jail?

RULING: No. Section 629 of the Code of Civil Procedure (now section 5 of Rule 75), which allows imprisonment of a
person who neglects to deliver a will after the death of the testator without reasonable cause, can only be applied when a
court is acting in the exercise of its jurisdiction over the administration of the estates of deceased persons. Where
administration proceedings are not already pending, the court, before taking action under this section, should require that
there be before it some petition, information, or affidavit of such character as to make action by the court under this
section appropriate. The remedy provided in section 629 of the Code of Procedure is clearly a totally different remedy,
having no relation with that provided in section 628 (now section 4 of Rule 75). It is not permissible in a prosecution
under Sec. 628 to superimpose upon the penalty of fine therein prescribed the additional penalty of imprisonment
prescribed under Sec. 629. To enforce the production of the will by the accused at a trial under Sec. 628 would virtually
compel him to convict himself, since the mere production of the will by him would be conclusive that he had possession
of it as charged in the criminal complaint. This would constitute an infringement of the provision of law which says that in
a criminal action the defendant shall be exempt from testifying against himself.

SP13.1 Guevarra v. Guevarra, 98 Phil. 249 (1956)


FACTS: Victorino Guevara executed a will, distributing assorted movables and a residential lot among his children and
stepchildren. Victorino bequeathed to his wife, Augustia Posadas, in addition to various movables, a portion (25 hectares)
out of a 259-hectare parcel of land + five hectares in settlement of her widow’s usufruct. The rest of said parcel was
distributed as follows:
 100 hectares reserved for disposal during Victorino’s lifetime and for payment of his debts and family expenses
 108.08+ hectares to his legitimate son Ernesto Guevara, and 21.6 hectares for his “hija natural reconocida”
[Recognized natural daughter? Yo no hablo Español.], Rosario Guevara.
Victorino executed a deed of sale in favor of Ernesto, conveying to the latter the southern half of the 259-hectare lot, and
expressly recognized him [Ernesto] as owner of the northern half. Later on, a TCT was issued in the name of Ernesto for
the whole tract of land. Soon, Victorino died. Victorino’s last will was never presented for probate, nor was there any
settlement proceeding initiated. 4 years later, Rosario, on the assumption that Victorino had died intestate, brought suit
against Ernesto to recover 423,492 square meters of the land as the portion that should correspond to her by way of
legitime. THE case reached the CA and was decided in Rosario’s favor, but upon certiorari, the SC modified the
judgment, holding that the lower court’s ruling that one-half of the land belongs to Victorino’s estate, and the other half,
to Ernesto, in consideration of his assumption of the obligation to pay all the debts of the deceased is affirmed, but the
judgment of the CA insofar as it awarded any relief to Rosario is reversed and set aside, and that the parties are ordered to
present the will to the proper court for probate in accordance with law. Claiming to act pursuant to the foregoing decision,
Rosario commenced Spec. Proc. No. 2646 in the Pangasinan CFI for the probate of Victorino's will Ernesto opposed the
probate, and filed a motion to dismiss, grounded on:

(a) the petition itself alleging that the will was revoked;
(b) that whatever right to probate the parties may have had has already prescribed; and
(c) the purpose of the probate being solely to have Rosario be declared an acknowledged natural child of the deceased
CFI denied the motion to dismiss. Ernesto filed a motion for reconsideration = approved, petition dismissed grounds:

 petition did not ask for the probate in toto of the will, contrary to the SC’s order; and
 her right to petition for the probate of the will had prescribed
Rosario appealed to the CA w/c affirmed the lower court’s decision, w/ modification. Hence this petition.

ISSUES:

1. Can probate proceedings be dispensed with?

2. Is the petition for probate of Victorino’s will barred by the statute of limitations (having been filed 12 years after his
death)?

RULING: NO, and NO. SC affirmed CA ruling in toto. The presentation of a decedent’s will to the competent court has
always been deemed by the law as more of a duty than a right. The neglect of such obligation carries with it the
corresponding penalty and it is inconsistent with that policy that the court should refuse to admit wills to probate, without
inquiry into their validity. The authority given to testators to dispose freely of a portion of their estate would be
imperfectly safeguarded, unless adequate measures were provided by the state to assure that the wishes of the deceased
would be carried out.

Sec. 1, Rule 74, cc. Rule 76: if the decedent left a will and no debts and the heirs and legatees desire to make an
extrajudicial partition of the estate, they must first present that will to the court for probate and divide the estate in
accordance with the will. The heirs may not disregard the provisions of the will unless those provisions are contrary to
law. Neither may they do away with the presentation of the will to the court for probate, because such suppression of the
will is contrary to law and public policy. The law enjoins the probate of the will and public policy requires it, because
unless the 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, as is attempted to be done in the instant case

Also: The law on the probate of wills excludes the proceeding from the purview of the statute of limitations: any 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

SP14.1 Palacios v. Catimbang Palacios, 106 Phil 739 (1959)


FACTS:

Juan Palacios executed his last will and testament on June 25, 1946 and availing himself of the provisions of the new Civil
Code, he filed on May 23, 1956 before the Court of First Instance of Batangas a petition for its approval. In said will, he
instituted as his sole heirs his natural children Antonio C. Palacios and Andrea C. Palacios.

On June 21, 1956, Maria Catimbang filed a opposition to the probate of the will alleging that she is the acknowledged
natural daughter of petitioner but that she was completely ignored in said will thus impairing here legitime.

After the presentation of petitioner's evidence relative to the essential requisites and formalities provided by law for the
validity of a will, the court on July 6, 1956 issued an order admitting the will to probate. The court, however, set a date for
the hearing of the opposition relative to the intrinsic validity of the will and, after proper hearing concerning this incident,
the court issued another order declaring oppositor to be the natural child of petitioner and annulling the will insofar as it
impairs her legitime, with costs against petitioner.

ISSUE: WN the CFI Batangas is correct annulling the will on the ground of intrinsic invalidity considering the opposition
of an acknowledged natural child.
RULING: No.

Such opposition cannot be entertained in this proceeding because its only purpose is merely to determine if the will has
been executed in accordance with the requirements of the law, much less if the purpose of the opposition is to show that
the oppositor is an acknowledged natural child who allegedly has been ignored in the will for issue cannot be raised here
but in a separate action. This is especially so when the testator, as in the present case, is still alive and has merely filed a
petition for the allowance of his will leaving the effects thereof after his death.

It is clear that the trial court erred in entertaining the opposition and in annulling the portion of the will which allegedly
impairs the legitime of the oppositor on the ground that, as it has found, she is an extraneous matter which should be
treshed out in a separate action.

Wherefore, the order appealed from is set aside.

SP1.2 Fernandez v. Dimagiba, 21 SCRA 428 (1967)


SP2.2 Pascual v. CA, 409 SCRA 105

PROBATE PROCEEDING IN REM


SP3.2 In re Johnson, 39 Phil 156 (1918)
SP4.2 Manahan v. Manahan, 58 Phil 448 (1933)
FACTS: On August 29, 1930, Tiburcia Manahan instituted special proceedings No. 4162, for the probate of the will of
the deceased Donata Manahan, who died in Bulacan, Province of Bulacan, on August 3, 1930. The petitioner herein, niece
of the testatrix, was named the executrix in said will.
On the day of the hearing of the petition, no opposition thereto was filed and, after the evidence was presented, the court
entered the decree admitting the will to probate as prayed for.

One year and seven months later, the appellant herein filed a motion for reconsideration and a new trial, praying that the
order admitting the will to probate be vacated and the authenticated will declared null and void ab initio.

ISSUE: In this instance, the appellant assigns seven (7) alleged errors as committed by the trial court. Essentially, her
claim narrows down to the following: (1) That she was an interested party in the testamentary proceedings and, as such,
was entitled to and should have been notified of the probate of the will; (2) that the court, in its order of September 22,
1930, did not really probate the will but limited itself to decreeing its authentication; and (3) that the will is null and
void ab initio on the ground that the external formalities prescribed by the Code of Civil Procedure have not been
complied with in the execution thereof.

RULING: (1) The appellant's first contention is obviously unfounded and untenable. She 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.

(2)The second contention is puerile. The court really decreed the authentication and probate of the will in question, which
is the only pronouncement required of the trial court by the law in order that the will may be considered valid and duly
executed in accordance with the law.

(3) The last contention of the appellant may be refuted merely by stating that, once a will has been authenticated and
admitted to probate, questions relative to the validity thereof can no more be raised on appeal. The decree of probate is
conclusive with respect to the due execution thereof and it cannot impugned on any of the grounds authorized by law,
except that of fraud, in any separate or independent action or proceedings

**As the Court already said, this question can no more be raised in this case on appeal. After due hearing, the court found
that the will in question was valid and effective and the order admitting it to probate, thus promulgated, should be
accepted and respected by all. The probate of the will in question now constitutes res judicata.

SP5.2 Alaban v. CA, GR 156021, September 23, 2005


FACTS: Respondent Francisco Provido (respondent) filed a petition, for the probate of the Last Will and Testament of the
late Soledad Provido Elevencionado (decedent), who died in Iloilo. Respondent alleged that he was the heir of the
decedent and the executor of her will. The RTC of Iloilo, allowed the probate of the will of the decedent and directing the
issuance of letters testamentary to respondent. Four months later herein petitioners filed a motion for the 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. Petitioners claimed
that the RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over the petition due to non-payment of the correct docket fees, defective
publication, and lack of notice to the other heirs.

RTC denied the motion for being unmeritorious. Resolving the issue of jurisdiction, the RTC held that petitioners were
deemed notified of the hearing by publication and that the deficiency in the payment of docket fees is not a ground for the
outright dismissal of the petition. Thus, petitioners sought the annulment of the decision with the CA, which dismissed
their petition.
ISSUE: Whether petitioners even if they were not mentioned in the petition for probate, eventually became parties thereto
as a consequence of the publication of the notice of hearing

RULING: Yes. It has been held that a proceeding for the probate of a will is one in rem, such that with the corresponding
publication of the petition the court's jurisdiction extends to all persons interested in said will or in the settlement of the
estate of the decedent. Publication is notice to the whole world that the proceeding has for its object to bar indefinitely all
who might be minded to make an objection of any sort against the right sought to be established. It is the publication of
such notice that brings in the whole world as a party in the case and vests the court with jurisdiction to hear and decide it.
Thus, even though petitioners were not mentioned in the petition for probate, they eventually became parties thereto as a
consequence of the publication of the notice of hearing.

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 Court denied their petition.

RULE 76 ALLOWANCE OR DISALLOWANCE OF WILL

JURISDICTIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR PROBATE OF WILL


SP6.2 Santos v. Castillo, 64 Phil 211 (1937)

SP7.2 Perez v. Perez, 105 Phil 1132 (1959)


FACTS: This is a case involving a summary settlement of a testate estate worth P6,000 which was filed in the CFI of
Iloilo and was appealed in Supreme Court via Rule 65 over which the latter Court denied to hear and decide on the merit
of the case as it involves several questions of fact are raised in relation with testimonial evidence: for example, the
soundness of the mind of the testatrix and her freedom from constraint in signing the will. According from the SC, it
should have been filed directly to the CFI of Iloilo.

On the printed brief of the parties although there was no assignment expressly challenging the court’s jurisdiction; but in
discussing their second error, oppositors-appellants insist the lower court did not "acquire jurisdiction to receive the
evidence for the allowance of the alleged will" because two heirs (Melanio Perez, Jr. and Milagros Perez) had not been
notified in advance of such will.

In reply to this, the petitioner-appellee says the persons mentioned were not entitled to notice, since they were not forced
heirs — grandnephew and niece — and had not been mentioned as legatees or devisees in the will of the deceased
(Manahan vs. Manahan, 58 Phil., 448). And as to Milagros Perez, petitioner asserts that notice had been addressed to her
last known residence in this country.

ISSUE: Whether or not the notice to the parties is a jurisdictional requirement for the probate of a will

RULING: No. That such "no notice" argument has no legal foundation. At any rate the omission, if any, did not affect the
jurisdiction of the court: it constituted a mere procedural error that may or may not be the basis of reversal. Indeed, this
Tribunal has ruled that the court acquires jurisdiction over all persons interested in the estate through the publication of
the petition in the newspapers— which in this case admittedly took place.

Service of notice on individual heirs or legatees or devisees is a matter of procedural convenience, not jurisdictional
requisite. So much so that even if the names of some legatees or heirs had been omitted from the petition for allowance of
the will and therefore were not adviced — the decree allowing the will does not ipso facto become void for want of
jurisdiction.

he result is that the matter of "jurisdiction" discussed by oppositors appears to be so unsubstantial as to furnish no reason
to bypass the Court of Appeals authority to appraise the factual issues in the litigation.

Needless, to add, in fine, the jurisdictional question directly appealable to this Court refers to jurisdiction over the subject
matter, not mere jurisdiction over the persons.

Wherefore, this record will be referred to the Court of Appeals for disposition in accordance with law.

SP8.2 De Aranz v. Galing, 161 SCRA 628 (1988)

SP9.2 Basa v. Mercado, 61 Phil 632 (1935)


FACTS: Honorable Hermogenes Reyes, Judge of the CFI of Pampanga, allowed and probated the last will and testament
of Ines Basa. The judge approved the account of the administrator of the estate, declared him the only heir of the deceased
under the will and closed the administration proceedings.

Later, the herein petitioners-appellants filed a motion in which they prayed that said proceedings be reopened and alleged
that the court lacked jurisdiction to act in the matter because there was a failure to comply with requirements as to the
publication of the notice of hearing. Appellants claim that the provisions of section 630 of the Code of Civil Procedure
have not been complied with in view of the fact that although the trial judge, on May 29, 1931, ordered the publication of
the required notice for "three weeks successively" previous to the time appointed for the hearing on the will, the first
publication was on June 6, 1931, the third on June 20, 1931, and the hearing took place on the 27th of that month, only
twenty-one days after the date of the first publication instead of three full weeks before the day set for the hearing. The
appellants also contend that the trial court erred in ruling that the weekly newspaper, Ing Katipunan, in which the notice of
hearing was published, was a newspaper of general circulation in the Province of Pampanga.

ISSUES:

(1) Whether there was compliance with the publication requirement


(2) Whether the said Ing Katipunan is a newspaper of general circulation

RULING:

(1) Yes. In view of the foregoing, it is held that the language used in section 630 of the Code of Civil Procedure does not
mean that the notice, referred to therein, should be published for three full weeks before the date set for the hearing on the
will. In other words the first publication of the notice need not be made twenty-one days before the day appointed for the
hearing.

(2) The record shows that Ing Katipunan is a newspaper of general circulation in view of the fact that it is published for
the dissemination of local news and general information; that it has a bona fide subscription list of paying subscribers; that
it is published at regular intervals and that the trial court ordered the publication to be made inIng Katipunan precisely
because it was a "newspaper of general circulation in the Province of Pampanga." The law does not require that
publication of the notice, referred to in the Code of Civil Procedure, should be made in the newspaper with the largest
number is necessary to constitute a newspaper of general circulation.

The assignments of error of the appellants are overruled and the appealed order of the trial court is affirmed with costs in
this instance against the appellants.

SCOPE OF INQUIRY OF PROBATE PROCEEDING


SP10.2 Maninang v. CA, 114 SCRA 478 (1982)
FACTS: Clemencia Aseneta, single, died at the Manila Sanitarium Hospital at age 81. She left a holographic will where
she bequeath all her property to Dr. Soledad Maninang as her sole heir. Petitioner Soledad Maninang filed a Petition for
probate of the Will of the decedent with the CFI. respondent Bernardo Aseneta, who, as the adopted son, claims to be the
sole heir of decedent Clemencia Aseneta, instituted intestate proceedings. The Testate and Intestate Cases were ordered
consolidated.

Respondent Bernardo then filed a Motion to Dismiss the Testate Case on the ground that the holographic will was
null and void because he, as the only compulsory heir, was preterited and, therefore, intestacy should ensue. Respondent
Bernardo, however, relies on the pronouncement in Nuguid vs. Nuguid, reading where practical considerations demand
that the intrinsic validity of the will be passed upon, even before it is probated, the Court should meet that issue.

In her Opposition to said Motion to Dismiss, petitioner Soledad averred that it is still the rule that in a case for
probate of a Will, the Court's area of inquiry is limited to an examination of and resolution on the extrinsic validity of the
will; and that respondent Bernardo was effectively disinherited by the decedent.

The lower Court ordered the dismissal of the Testate Case.

ISSUE: Whether the lower court acted in excess of its jurisdiction when it dismissed the Testate Case.

RULING: Yes. The law enjoins the probate of the Will and public policy requires it, because unless the 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.

In the Nuguid case, the "meat of the controversy" was the intrinsic validity of the Will; in fact, the parties in that
case "shunted aside the question of whether or not the Will should be allowed probate." Not so in the case before us now
where the probate of the Will is insisted on by petitioners and a resolution on the extrinsic validity of the Will demanded.

SP11.2 Acain v. IAC, 155 SCRA 100 (1987)


FACTS: Constantino Acain filed for the probate of the will of the deceased Nemesio Acain. The will contained
provisions on burial rites, payment of debts and bequeathing to Segundo, brother of the deceased, all his share of their
conjugal properties. Segundo predeceased the decedent. Segundo's children, petitioners herein are claiming to be heirs.
The wife and legally adopted daughter of the deceased moved to dismiss the proceedings on the ground that they have
been preterited.

The respondent appellate court ordered the trial court to dismiss the petition for probate of the will. Petitioners contend
that the authority of the probate court is limited only to inquiring into the extrinsic validity of the will and it cannot pass
upon the intrinsic validity before it is admitted to probate.

ISSUE: Whether the probate court cannot pass upon the intrinsic validity of the will before it is admitted to probate

HELD: Yes. 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 requisites or solemnities prescribed
by law. However, under exceptional circumstances, when on its face the will appeared to have preterited the petitioner the
respondent judge should have denied its probate outright. 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.

PROOF REQUIRED ON PROBATE HEARING


SP12.2 Gan v. Yap, 104 Phil 509 (1958)
FACTS: On November 20, 1951, Felicidad Esguerra Alto Yap died of heart failure in the University of Santo Tomas
Hospital, leaving properties in Pulilan, Bulacan, and in the City of Manila. On March 17, 1952, Fausto E. Gan initiated
these proceedings in the Manila court of first instance with a petition for the probate of a holographic will allegedly
executed by the deceased. Opposing the petition, her surviving husband Ildefonso Yap asserted that the deceased had not
left any will, nor executed any testament during her lifetime. After hearing the parties and considering their evidence, the
Hon. Ramon R. San Jose, Judge, refused to probate the alleged will. A seventy-page motion for reconsideration failed.
Hence this appeal.

ISSUE: WON a holographic will be probated upon the testimony of witnesses who have allegedly seen it and who declare
that it was in the handwriting of the testator?

RULING: NO. The court ruled that the execution and the contents of a lost or destroyed holographic will may not be
proved by the bare testimony of witnesses who have seen and/or read such will. The loss of the holographic will entails
the loss of the only medium of proof. Even if oral testimony were admissible to establish and probate a lost holographic
will, we think the evidence submitted by herein petitioner is so tainted with improbabilities and inconsistencies that it fails
to measure up to that “clear and distinct” proof required by Rule 77, sec. 6. 11.

SP13.2 Rodelos v. Aranza, 119 SCRA 16 (1982)


FACTS: Marcela Rodelas filed a petition with the CFI of Rizal for the probate of the holographic will of Ricardo B.
Bonilla and the issuance of letters testamentary in her favor. The petition was opposed by the respondents, among others,
on the ground that the alleged holographic will itself ,and not an alleged copy thereof, must be produced, otherwise it
would produce no effect, as held in Gan v. Yap. Lost or destroyed holographic wills cannot be proved by secondary
evidence unlike ordinary wills.

The CFI ruled in favor of the respondents. It held that the alleged holographic will was executed on January 25, 1962
while Ricardo B. Bonilla died on May 13, 1976. In view of the lapse of more than 14 years from the time of the execution
of the will to the death of the decedent, the fact that the original of the will could not be located shows that the decedent
had discarded before his death his allegedly missing Holographic Will. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Whether a holographic will which was lost or cannot be found can be proved by means of a photo-static copy.

RULING: YES. Pursuant to Article 811 of the Civil Code, probate of holographic wills is the allowance of the will by the
court after its due execution has been proved. The probate may be uncontested or not. If uncontested, at least one
Identifying witness is required and, if no witness is available, experts may be resorted to. If contested, at least three
Identifying witnesses are required. However, if the holographic will has been lost or destroyed and no other copy is
available, the will cannot be probated because the best and only evidence is the handwriting of the testator in said
will. It is necessary that there be a comparison between sample handwritten statements of the testator and the
handwritten will. But, a photo-static copy or Xerox copy of the holographic will may be allowed because
comparison can be made with the standard writings of the testator.

In the case of Gan vs. Yap, the Court ruled that "the execution and the contents of a lost or destroyed holographic will
may not be proved by the bare testimony of witnesses who have seen and/or read such will. The will itself must be
presented; otherwise, it shall produce no effect. The law regards the document itself as material proof of authenticity."
But, in Footnote 8 of said decision, it says that "Perhaps it may be proved by a photographic or photo-static copy.
Even a mimeographed or carbon copy; or by other similar means, if any, whereby the authenticity of the
handwriting of the deceased may be exhibited and tested before the probate court," Evidently, the photo-static or
Xerox copy of the lost or destroyed holographic will may be admitted because then the authenticity of the handwriting of
the deceased can be determined by the probate court.

GROUNDS FOR DISALLOWANCE (SECS. 9, 10, &13)

RULE 77 ALLOWANCE OF WILL PROVED OUTSIDE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND


ADMIINISTRATION OF ESTATE THEREUNDER

SP14.2 Leon & Ghezzie v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 90 Phil 459
FACTS: Basil Gordon Butler, formerly a resident of the Philippines, died in Brooklyn, New York City, in 1945, leaving a
will which was duly probated in the Surrogate's Court of New York County on August 3 of the same year, and of which
James Ross, Sr., James Madison Ross, Jr. and Ewald E. Selph were named executors. The estate having been settled, the
proceedings were closed on July 17, 1947.

The will contained this residuary clause:


After payment of these legacies and my just debts, including funeral expenses, I devise, give and bequeath all of my
remaining estate and personal effects of which I may die possessed to Mercedes de Leon, of Maypajo, Caloocan, Rizal
XXX Since the said Mercedes de Leon is not of sound judgment, and discretion in the handling of money, it is not my
wish that she be given any sums of money other than for her current needs, except as my executors in their judgment
deem advantageous to her. In case the amount available for this bequest be sufficient to purchase an adequate annuity, the
executors in their discretion may do so. And I attest and direct that I do not wish to intend that the action of my executors
upon their discretion in this matter be questioned by anyone whatsoever.

For the purpose of carrying the testamentary provision, Ross bought an annuity from the Manufacturer's life Insurance Co.
at its head office in Toronto, Canada, paying in advance $17,091.03 as the combined premiums. The contract stipulates
for a monthly payment of $57.60 to Mercedes Benz during her lifetime, with the proviso that in the event of her death, the
residue, if any, of the capital sum shall be paid in one sum to James Madison Ross or his successor as trustee. And
beginning May 27, 1948, Mercedes de Leon has been receiving the stipulated monthly allowance through the Insurance
Company's Manila Office.

Mercedes de Leon wants to get the entire amount of the annuity so presented Butler's will for probate in the CFI of
Manila, and secured the appointment of Ada Loggey Ghezzi as administratrix with the will annexed early in 1949. The
motion prayed for the citation of the Manager of the Manila Branch of the Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. of Toronto,
Canada, to appear and under a complete accounting of certain funds the said Branch allegedly has in its possession and
claimed to belong to the estate. (James Madison Ross and Ewald E. Selph had expressly declined appointment as
executors "on the ground that the probate proceedings of the above estate were terminated by the Surrogate's Court of the
County of New York, New York City, U. S. A., and that there are no properties of the estate left to be administered.")

CFI Manila: denied the motion - held that these funds "came into the possession of the Manufacturers Life Insurance Co.,
Inc., regularly and in due course and, therefore, sees no justifiable ground to require said company to render an accounting
thereon."

Mercedes and Ghezzi filed an appeal directly with SC.

ISSUE: WN Philippine probate court has jurisdiction over the administration of Buttler’s estate, specifically the funds
involved in the annuity.

RULING: no.

The administration of Butler's estate granted in New York was the principal or domiciliary administration, while the
administration taken out in the Philippines is ancillary. However, the distinction serves only to distinguish one
administration from the other, for the two proceedings are separate and independent.

The general rule universally recognized is that administration extends only to the assets of a decedent found within the
state or country where it was granted, so that an administrator appointed in one state or country has no power over
property in another state or country (embodied in section 4 of Rule 78 ROC).

It is manifest from the facts before set out that the funds in question are outside the jurisdiction of the probate court of
Manila. Having been invested in an annuity in Canada under a contract executed in the country, Canada is the suits of the
money. The party whose appearance the appellant seeks is only a branch or agency of the company which holds the funds
in its possession, the agency's intervention being limited to delivering to the annuitant the checks made out and issued
from the home office. There is no showing or allegation that the funds have been transferred or removed to the Manila
Branch.

Even if the money were in the hands of the Manila Branch, yet it no longer forms part of butler's estate and is beyond the
control of the court. It has passed completely into the hands of the company in virtue of a contract duly authorized and
validly executed. Whether considered as a trust or as simple consideration for the company's assumed obligation, which it
has been religiously performing, of paying periodical allowances to the annuitant, the proceeds of the sale cannot be
withdrawn without the consent of the company, except, upon the death of the annuitant, the residuary legatee may claim
the remainder, if there be any. Neither the domiciliary or ancillary executor of Butler's will, nor the trustee, nor the
annuitant has disposition of any of these funds beyond the amounts and except upon the conditions agreed upon in the
contract for annuity.

XXX the motion and the appeal are utterly groundless and ill-advised.

SP1.3 Suntay v. Suntay, 95 Phil 500 (1954)


SP2.3 Vda. De Perez v. Tolete, 232 SCRA 722 (1994)
SP3.3 Ancheta v. Guersay-Dalaygon, GR No. 139868, June 8, 2006

RULE 78 LETTERS TESTAMENTARY AND OF ADMINISTRATION, WHEN AND TO WHOM ISSUED

QUALIFICATIONS
SP4.3 Ngo The Hua v. Chung Kiat Hua, 9 SCRA 113 (1963)
Facts: -Ngo The Hua, claiming to be surviving spouse of the deceased Chung Liu, filed a petition to be appointed
administratrix of the estate of aforementioned deceased.
-Her petition was opposed Chung Kiat Hua et al. all claiming to be children of the deceased Chung Liu by his first wife.
They claim that Ngo The Hua and the deceased have secured an absolute divorce in Taiwan, both being Chinese citizens,
confirmed a legalized by the Taipei District Court. In this same opposition they prayed the Chung Kiat Hua, allegedly the
eldest child of the deceased, be appointed administrator instead.

-These oppositors prayer was in turn opposed by Ngo The Hua who claim that the oppositors are not children of Chung
Liu.

-Chung Kiat Kang, claiming be a nephew of the deceased, filed his opposition to the appointment of either Ngo The Hua
or Chung Kiat Hu on the ground that to be appointed they must first prove their respective relationship to the deceased
Chung Li and prayed that he be appointed administrator.

-The low court found that Ngo The Hua and the deceased were validly divorced by the aforementioned Taipei District
Court, and that Chung Kiat Hua et al. are children of the deceased. So it issued the order appointing Chung Kiat Hua as
administrator of the estate of Chung Liu.

-From this order, both the petitioner and Chung Kiat Kang appealed. Petitioner Ngo The Hua later on filed a petition to
withdraw her appeal stating that she had entered into an amicable settlement with the oppositors-appellees. Her petition
was granted by this Court.

-Hence only the appeal of oppositor Chung Kiat Kang remains for the consideration of this Court.

-Appellant now contends that the lower court erred in passing upon the validity of the divorce obtained by the petitioner
and the deceased and upon the filiation of the oppositors-appellees, such being a prejudgment "since it is well-settled that
the declaration of heirs shall only take place after all debts, expenses and taxes have been paid" in accordance with See. 1,
Rule 91 of the Rules of Court.

Issue: Whether lower court erred in passing upon the validity of the divorce obtained by the petitioner and the deceased
and upon the filiation of the oppositors-appellees, such being a prejudgment in accordance with See. 1, Rule 91 of the
Rules of Court.

Ruling: No. What the court is enjoined from doing is the assignment or distribution of the residue of the deceased's estate
before the obligations chargeable to the estate are first paid. Nowhere from See. 1, Rule 91 of the Rules of Court may it be
inferred that the court cannot make a declaration of heirs prior to the satisfaction of these obligations.

it is clear from the facts of this case that is was deemed necessary by the lower court is to determine the relationship of the
parties, as advanced by petitioner and the oppositors-appellees, to be able to appoint an administrator in accordance with
the order preference established in Section 5, Rule 79 of the Rules of Court. Said section provides that letters of
administration shall be granted to the surviving spouse the next of kin, or to any principal creditor, in this order.

SP5.3 Medina et al. v. CA, 53 SCRA 206 (1973)


FACTS: In this review by certiorari of the appellate court's resolution dismissing the petition filed by petitioners
challenging the lower court's orders appointing private respondent Beda Gonzales as special administrator of the intestate
estate of the decedent Agustin Medina. Gonzales had been interfering in the possession and enjoyment of the harvests of
the property known as "Bitukang Manok" by petitioner Rosalia M. del Carmen to whom the said property had been sold,
and full payment therefor received, by the estate through Gonzales' predecessor with the approval of the lower court,
which overruled Gonzales' opposition thereto as an assignee of some heirs of the estate, and as one personally interested
in the purchase of the property for himself.

The Court's action is based on the established doctrine that a person with an adverse conflicting interest is unsuitable for
the trust reposed in an administrator of an estate. Respondent Gonzales, whose appeal of the lower court's order of
approval of the sale to the Court of Appeals is pending, cannot be at the same time an appellant in his personal capacity
opposing the sale of the property and an appellee representing the estate and upholding the same sale as made by the
estate through Gonzales' predecessor as special administrator with the due approval and confirmation of the lower court.

ISSUE: Whether Gonzales should be disqualified as a special administrator

RULING: Court ruled that Gonzales’ appointment as special administrator will stand, insofar as taking care temporarily
of the other properties of the estate are concerned, but to the exclusion of the Bitukang Manok property previously sold by
the estate to petitioner Rosalia M. del Carmen, who is entitled to the enjoyment of said property as the vendee thereof.
The established doctrine that an administrator is deemed unsuitable and should be removed where his personal interests
conflict with his official duties, by virtue of the equally established principle that an administrator is a quasi-trustee,
disqualified from acquiring properties of the estate, and who should be indifferent between the estate and claimants of the
property except to preserve it for due administration, and who should be removed when his interest conflicts with such
right and duly.
As restated by the Court in Lim vs. Dias-Millares, "(I)n this jurisdiction, one is considered to be unsuitable for
appointment as administrator when he has adverse interest of some kind of hostility to those immediately interested in the
estate.".

SP6.3 Maloles II v. Phillips, 324 SCRA 172 (2000)


SP7.3 Republic v. Marcos et al., 595 SCRA 43 (2009)
Convictions to crimes will not warrant for the disqualifications of Spouses Marcos as executors of the of the last will and
testament of the late Ferdinand E. Marcos

FACTS: On January 11, 1996, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig City Branch 156, acting as a probate court, in
Special Proceeding No. 10279, issued an Order[4] granting letters testamentary in solidum to respondents Ferdinand R.
Marcos II and Imelda Trinidad Romualdez-Marcos as executors of the last will and testament of the late Ferdinand E.
Marcos.

On June 6, 1996, petitioner filed with this Court a Petition for Review on Certiorari, under Ruled 45 of the Rules of Court,
questioning the aforementioned RTC Orders granting letters testamentary to respondents.

On March 13, 1997, the CA issued a Decision, dismissing the referred petition for having taken the wrong mode of
appeal, the pertinent portions of which reads:

Consequently, for having taken the wrong mode of appeal, the present petition should be dismissed in accordance with the
same Supreme Court Circular 2-90 which expressly provides that:

Erroneous Appeals An appeal taken to either the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals by the wrong or
inappropriate mode shall be dismissed.

Petitioner, hence, filed a MR assigning various errors, one of which is the issue below.

ISSUE: Whether or not the probate court gravely erred in failing to consider that respondents Imelda R. Marcos and
Ferdinand R. Marcos ii should be disqualified to act and serve as executors

RULING: No. Based on the foregoing, this Court stresses that an appellate court is disinclined to interfere with the action
taken by the probate court in the matter of removal of an executor or administrator unless positive error or gross abuse of
discretion is shown.[32] The Rules of Court gives the lower court the duty and discretion to determine whether in its
opinion an individual is unfit to serve as an executor. 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 of orders of the court.

Hence, in order to reverse the findings of the RTC, this Court must evaluate the evidence presented or alleged by
petitioner in support of its petition for disqualification. However, after a painstaking review of the records and evidence
on hand, this Court finds that the RTC committed no error or gross abuse of discretion when it ruled that petitioner failed
to substantiate its allegation.

Petitioner conveniently omits to state that the two cases against respondent Imelda Marcos have already been reversed by
this Court. Her conviction in Criminal Case No. 17453 was reversed by this Court in Dans, Jr. v. People. Likewise, her
conviction in Criminal Case No. 17450 was reversed by this Court in Marcos v. Sandiganbayan. Hence, the so-called
convictions against respondent Imelda Marcos cannot serve as a ground for her disqualification to serve as an executor.

On the other hand, the eight cases filed against respondent Ferdinand Marcos II involve four charges for violation of
Section 45 (failure to file income tax returns) and four charges for violation of Section 50 (non-payment of deficiency
taxes) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1977 (NIRC).

It is a matter of record, that in CA-G.R. CR No. 18569, the CA acquitted respondent Ferdinand Marcos II of all the four
charges for violation of Section 50 and sustained his conviction for all the four charges for violation of Section 45. It,
however, bears to stress, that the CA only ordered respondent Marcos II to pay a fine for his failure to file his income tax
return. Moreover, and as admitted by petitioner,[37] said decision is still pending appeal.

Therefore, since respondent Ferdinand Marcos II has appealed his conviction relating to four violations of Section 45 of
the NIRC, the same should not serve as a basis to disqualify him to be appointed as an executor of the will of his father.
More importantly, even assuming arguendo that his conviction is later on affirmed, the same is still insufficient to
disqualify him as the failure to file an income tax return is not a crime involving moral turpitude.

ORDER OF PREFERENCE
SP8.3 Torres v. Javier, 34 Phil 382 (1916)

SP9.3 De Guzman v. Limcolioc, 67 Phil 404 (1939)


FACTS: Proceso de Guzman married Agatona Santos, with whom he had four children: Nicolasa (herein appellee),
Apolinario, Ana and Tomasa. During the marriage the couple acquired properties. After the death of Agatona, Proceso
married herein appellant Angela Limcolioc with whom he had no child. After the death of Proceso, Nicolasa was
appointed by the court as administrator of the properties. Angela opposed, contending that as the widow, she must be
preferred.

ISSUE: Whether or not in all cases the widow must be preferred as administrator.

RULING: No. The principal consideration reckoned with in the appointment of the administrator of the estate of a
deceased person is the interest in said estate of the one to be appointed as such administrator. This is the same
consideration which the law takes into account in establishing the preference of the widow to administer the estate of her
husband, upon the latter’s death, because she is supposed to have an interest therein as a partner in the conjugal
partnership. But this preference established by law is not absolute, if there are other reasons justifying the appointment of
an administrator other than surviving spouse. If the interest in the estate is what principally determines the preference in
the appointment of an administrator of the estate of a deceased person, and if, under the circumstances of each case, it
develops that there is another who has more interest therein than the surviving spouse, the preference established in the
latter’s favor becomes untenable.

The application filed by Nicolasa de Guzman for her appointment alleges that during the marital life of the deceased with
his first wife Agatona Santos, both, through their mutual labor, acquired all the properties left by the deceased, not having
acquired any property during his second marriage with Angela Limcolioc. If the properties left by the deceased Proceso de
Guzman were acquired during his marriage with Agatona Santos, his children, among them Nicolasa, have more interest
therein than his now widow, Angela Limcolioc, who would only be entitled, by way of usufruct, to a portion equal to that
corresponding to one of the children who has received no betterment.

The appealed decision is affirmed, with costs to the appellant. So ordered.

SP10.3 Tores v. Sicat, 93 Phil 155 (1953)


FACTS: Luis Morales, married to Hermenegilda Sicat, died. Seven days later, Jose Torres alleging to be a creditor of the
conjugal partnership commenced this special proceeding petitioning for the issuance of letter of administration in favor of
Atty. Pedro B. De Jesus, for the purpose of settling the estate of the deceased.

Twelve days afterwards the widow voiced her opposition, and claimed preference to be appointed as
administratrix.

The petitioner presented evidence. The oppositor submitted none. Then the trial judge, disregarding the preference
established by law for the surviving widow, entered an order appointing Atty. Pedro B. De Jesus as administrator. The
lower court reasoned that the order of preference provided in Sec. 6 Rule 79 is founded on the assumption that the persons
preferred are suitable. If they are not, the court may entirely disregard the preference thus provided. The trial judge stated
his reason for disregarding it, saying in effect: the amount of credits exceeds the value of the conjugal assets; therefore the
interest of the creditors deserves paramount consideration.

ISSUE: Whether this appointment should be upheld, ignoring the surviving widows preferential right.

RULING: No. The administration of the intestate is undertaken for the benefit of both the heirs and the creditors. But by
creditors we mean those declared to be so in appropriate proceedings. Before their credits are fully established they are
not "creditors" within the purview of the above principle. Creditors’ claims may be filed, and considered, only after the
regular administrator has been appointed. Hence, in selecting the administrator, the court could not yet normally accord
priority treatment to the interests of those whose credits were in dispute.

SP11.3 Emilio Suntay III v. Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay, GR 183053, October 10, 2012
FACTS: Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay married to petitioner Dr. Federico Suntay, died intestate. Their only son, Emilio
Aguinaldo Suntay (Emilio I), predeceased them. At the time of her death, Cristina was survived by her husband, Federico,
and several grandchildren, including herein petitioner Emilio A.M. Suntay III (Emilio III) and respondent Isabel
Cojuangco-Suntay

Emilio I was married to Isabel Cojuangco, and they begot three children, namely: herein respondent, Isabel; Margarita;
and Emilio II. Their marriage was annulled. Thereafter, Emilio I had two children out of wedlock, Emilio III and Nenita
Suntay.

Parenthetically, after the death of Emilio I, Federico filed a petition for visitation rights over his grandchildren. It was
altogether stopped because of a manifestation filed by respondent Isabel, articulating her sentiments on the unwanted
visits of her grandparents.

After the death of Cristina, Federico adopted Emilio III and Nenita.

Respondent filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration in her favor. Federico filed his opposition being the
surviving spouse of Cristina, he is capable of administering her estate and he should be the one appointed as its
administrator; that as part owner of the mass of conjugal properties left by Cristina, he must be accorded legal preference
in the administration.
Federico filed a Manifestation nominating his adopted son, Emilio III, as administrator of the decedent’s estate on his
behalf which was granted by TC when Federico died. Aggrieved, respondent filed an appeal before the CA, which
reversed and set aside the decision of the RTC, revoked the Letters of Administration issued to Emilio III.

In marked contrast, the CA zeroed in on Emilio III’s status as an illegitimate child of Emilio I and, thus, barred from
representing his deceased father in the estate of the latter’s legitimate mother, the decedent.

ISSUE: Who between Emilio and Isabel has preference in the appointment as administrator?

HELD: Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court lists the order of preference in the appointment of an administrator of an
estate. However, the order of preference is not absolute for it depends on the attendant facts and circumstances of each
case. Jurisprudence has long held that the selection of an administrator lies in the sound discretion of the trial court.

In the main, the attendant facts and circumstances of this case necessitate, at the least, a joint administration by both
respondent and Emilio III of their grandmother’s estate. The subject estate in this case calls to the succession other
putative heirs, including Nenita and the two siblings of respondent Isabel, Margarita and Emilio II.

In all, considering the conflicting claims of the putative heirs, and the unliquidated conjugal partnership of Cristina and
Federico which forms part of their respective estates, the Court is impelled to move for joint administration of the subject
estate.

RULE 79 OPPOSING ISSUANCE OF LETTER TESTAMENTARY. PETITION AND CONTEST FOR


LETERS OF ADMINISTRATION

INTERESTED PARTY
SP12.3 Gutierrez v. Villegas, L-11848, 31 May 1962
MP: The judicial approval of the partition on the basis of the alleged deed of assignment did not have the effect of making
the party making the assignment lose his standing in the proceedings.

FACTS: On November 11, 1954, Irene Santos died intestate, leaving as her only heirs her surviving spouse Jose D.
Villegas and two nieces — daughters of a deceased brother, Rizalina Santos Rivera and Adela Santos Gutierrez.
Thereafter, the surviving spouse filed with the Rizal CFI, Pasay City Branch, a petition for Letters of Administration and
was appointed administrator of the estate. Respondent presented in the probate court an unverified manifestation signed
by Adela Gutierrez, accompanied by a public instrument entitled "Kasulatan ng Bilihan at Salinan. The said kasulatan
states that that all her rights, interests and participation in the estate subject of this proceeding now belong to her sister,
Rizalina Santos Rivera, and that hereafter she will not take part in the above-entitled proceedings and is not entitled to the
service of any pleadings, motion, order or decision filed or promulgated therein.

In a verified manifestation presented before the probate Court on January 25, 1955, Adela averred that the deed of
assignment of her rights, participation and interest in the estate of Irene Santos and the first manifestation were obtained
thru fraud practiced by the administrator upon her and were vitiated by mistake or undue influence. Alleging that she was
made to sign said documents without knowing the contents thereof.

Adela sought for the nullity of the deed of assignment and asked the court to furnish her all copies of pleadings filed or to
be filed in the intestate proceedings, it appearing that the administrator presented pleadings in Court without serving her
copies thereof.

An opposition was interposed by the administrator, who alleged that the movant, although originally a party to the probate
proceeding, has voluntarily and expressly desisted from being so, and that having assigned by sale, all her rights, interests
and participations in the estate, she has no longer any legal standing in the case.

ISSUE: The only question for determination in this incident is whether or not Adela Santos Gutierrez has a right in this
probate proceeding.

RULING: it cannot be successfully denied that Adela Santos Gutierrez is an indispensable party to the proceedings in
question. Her interest in the estate is not inchoate, While it is true that she executed a deed of assignment, it is also a fact
that she asked the same to be annulled. Although Adela had filed a manifestation dropping herself from the proceedings
and presenting therewith the supposed Deed of Assignment, the record, nevertheless fails to show that action thereon had
been taken by the probate Court. Every act intended to put an end to indivision among co-heirs and legatees or devisees is
deemed to be a partition, although it should purport to be a sale, an exchange, a compromise, or any other transaction (Art.
1082, NCC). No serious argument can be offered to deny the co-heirship of appellee in the estate under probate. It
appearing (if We assume the due execution of the Deed of Assignment), that the transaction is in the nature of
extrajudicial partition, court approval is imperative, and the heirs cannot just divest the court of its jurisdiction over the
estate and over their persons, by the mere act of assignment and desistance.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, We find the Order appealed from to be in conformity with the law and jurisprudence.
The same should be, as it is hereby affirmed, in all respects, with costs against the appellants Jose D. Villegas and
Rizalina Santos Rivera, in both instances.
SP13.3 Duran v. Duran, 20 SCRA 379 (1967)
FACTS: Pio Duran died without testament on February 28, 1961 in Guinobatan, Albay. Among his alleged heirs are
Josefina Duran, as surviving spouse; several brothers and sisters; nephews and nieces. Subsequent to his death, Cipriano
Duran, one of the surviving brothers, executed a public instrument assigning and renouncing his hereditary rights to the
decedent's estate in favor of Josefina Duran, for the consideration of P2,500.00. A year later, Cipriano Duran filed in the
CFI of Albay a petition for intestate proceedings to settle Pio Duran's estate, further asking that he be named the
administrator. An ex parte motion to be appointed special administrator was also filed by him.

Josefina Duran filed an opposition for its dismissal upon the ground that the petitioner is not an "interested person" in the
estate, in view of the deed of transfer and renunciation. She asked to be appointed administratrix. Cipriano alleged that
Josefina was not the decedent's wife. The deed of assignment was procured thru fraud, with gross inadequacy of price and
vitiated by lesion. Another brother of the decedent, Miguel Duran, filed as co-petitioner of Cipriano. Josefina moved to
strike out as an improper attempt to intervene in the case. Miguel filed an opposition to Josefina's motion to strike out. CFI
issued an order dismissing the petition of Cipriano for his lack of interest in the estate premised on the deed of transfer
executed by him, regarding which the court declared itself without power to examine in said proceedings, collaterally, the
alleged fraud, inadequacy of price and lesion that would render it resistible or voidable. Miguel's petition to be joined as
co-petitioner was deemed without leg to stand on. They appealed.

RULING: The ROC provides that a petition for administration and settlement of an estate must be filed by an "interested
person" (Sec. 2, Rule 79). Appellants relying on In Re Irene Santos, they argue that an assignment by one heir of his
share in the estate to a co-heir amounts to a partition needing approval by the settlement court to be effective; and that the
assigning heir does not lose his status as a person interested in the estate, even after said assignment is approved by the
court.

The situation in the Santos case involves an assignment between co-heirs pendente lite, during the course of settlement
proceedings, properly and validly commenced. At the time of said assignment, the settlement court had already acquired
jurisdiction over the properties of the estate. As a result, any assignment regarding the same had to be approved by said
court. And since the approval of the court is not deemed final until the estate is closed, the assigning heir remains an
interested person in the proceedings even after said approval, which can be vacated, is given.

In the present case, however, the assignment took place when no settlement proceedings was pending. The properties
subject matter of the assignment were not under the jurisdiction of a settlement court. Allowing that the assignment must
be deemed a partition as between the assignor and assignee, the same does not need court approval to be effective as
between the parties. An extrajudicial partition is valid as between the participants even if the requisites of Sec. 1, Rule 74
for extrajudicial partition are not followed, since said requisites are for purposes of binding creditors and nonparticipating
heirs only (Hernandez v. Andal, 78 Phil. 196). Should it be contended that said partition was attended with fraud, lesion
or inadequacy of price, the remedy is to rescind or to annul the same in an action for that purpose. And in the meanwhile,
the assigning heir cannot initiate a settlement proceeding, for until the deed of assignment is annulled or rescinded, it is
deemed valid and effective against him, so that he is left without that "interest" in the estate required to petition for
settlement proceedings.

Anent appellant Miguel Duran, he sought in his petition below to "join petitioner Cipriano Duran as co-petitioner in the
latter's petition x x x and incorporates herein by adoption all the allegations made in said petition." (Record on Appeal, pp.
45-46). The same, therefore, amounted to a petition to intervene in the settlement proceedings. As aptly ruled by the
court a quo, since there was really no settlement proceedings in the first place, the petition to intervene must be denied.
Finally, although Josefina prayed to be appointed administratrix, her doing so did not admit to ratification of the petition
for settlement under the ruling in Eusebio v. Valmores, 97 Phil. 163, since she did so merely by way of an alternative
prayer, should her motion to dismiss fail. And said motion to dismiss was properly sustained. The dismissal order
appealed from is affirmed, with costs against appellants.

SP14.3 Tayag v. Tayag-Gallor, 549 SCRA 368 (2008)


FACTS:

Felicidad A. Tayag-Gallor, filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration over the estate of Ismael Tayag.
Felicidad claimed that she is one of the 3 illegitimate children. The decedent was married to petitioner herein, Victoria C.
Tayag, but the two allegedly did not have any children of their own. Ismael Tayag died intestate, leaving behind two (2)
real properties both of which are in the possession of petitioner, and a motor vehicle which the latter sold preparatory to
the settlement of the decedents estate. Petitioner allegedly promised to give respondent and her brothers P100,000.00 each
as their share in the proceeds of the sale. However, petitioner only gave each of them half the amount she promised.

Petitioner opposed the petition, asserting that she purchased the properties subject of the petition using her own money.
She claimed that she and Ismael Tayag got married in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on 25 October 1973, and that they have
an adopted daughter, Carmela Tayag, who is presently residing in the USA. It is allegedly not true that she is planning to
sell the properties. Petitioner prayed for the dismissal of the suit because respondent failed to state a cause of action.

In a Motion dated 31 August 2001, petitioner reiterated her sole ownership of the properties and presented the transfer
certificates of title thereof in her name. She also averred that it is necessary to allege that respondent was acknowledged
and recognized by Ismael Tayag as his illegitimate child. There being no such allegation, the action becomes one to
compel recognition which cannot be brought after the death of the putative father. To prevent further encroachment upon
the courts time, petitioner moved for a hearing on her affirmative defenses.
The petitioner’s motion was denied. Motion for reconsideration also was denied.

CA upheld the denial of the petitioner’s denial directed the trial court to proceed with the case. [In essence, that the
allegation that respondent is an illegitimate child suffices for a cause of action, without need to state that she had been
recognized and acknowledged as such. However, respondent still has to prove her allegation and, correspondingly,
petitioner has the right to refute the allegation in the course of the settlement proceedings].

ISSUE:

Whether respondents petition for the issuance of letters of administration sufficiently states a cause of action considering
that respondent merely alleged therein that she is an illegitimate child of the decedent, without stating that she had been
acknowledged or recognized as such by the latter. The appellate court held that the mere allegation that respondent is an
illegitimate child suffices.

RULING:

Rule 79 of the Rules of Court provides that a petition for the issuance of letters of administration must be filed by an
interested person. XXX an interested party as one who would be benefited by the estate, such as an heir, or one who has a
claim against the estate, such as a creditor. This interest, furthermore, must be material and direct, not merely indirect or
contingent.

Hence, where the right of the person filing a petition for the issuance of letters of administration is dependent on a fact
which has not been established or worse, can no longer be established, such contingent interest does not make her an
interested party.

Essentially, the petition for the issuance of letters of administration is a suit for the settlement of the intestate estate of
Ismael Tayag. The right of respondent to maintain such a suit is dependent on whether she is entitled to successional
rights as an illegitimate child of the decedent which, in turn, may be established through voluntary or compulsory
recognition.

SC finds that the allegation that respondent is an illegitimate child of the decedent suffices even without further stating
that she has been so recognized or acknowledged. A motion to dismiss on the ground of failure to state a cause of action
in the complaint hypothetically admits the truth of the facts alleged therein. XXX The appellate court was, therefore,
correct in allowing the proceedings to continue, ruling that, respondent still has the duty to prove the allegation (that she is
an illegitimate child of the decedent), just as the petitioner has the right to disprove it, in the course of the settlement
proceedings.

Petition is denied.

RULE 80 SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR

CIRCUMSTANCES WARRANTING APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR


SP1.4 Garcia Fule v. CA, 74 SCRA 189 (1976) supra
SP2.4 De Guzman v. Guadit Jr., et al., L-48585, 96 SCRA 938 (1980)
SP3.4 Relucio v. San Jose, 91 Phil 365 (1952)
SP4.4 De Guzman v. Angeles, 162 SCRA 347 (1988)
Facts:- Private respondent Elaine G. de Guzman filed a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of Manolito de
Guzman, before the RTC of Makati. The Petition includes that as the surviving spouse of the decedent, She is most
qualified and entitled to the grant of letters of administration.

-The private respondent filed a motion for writ of possession over five (5) — vehicles registered under the name of
Manolito de Guzman, alleged to be conjugal properties of the de Guzman's but which are at present in the possession of
the private respondent's father-in- law, herein petitioner Pedro de Guzman.

-The motion stated that as co-owner and heir, the private respondent must have the possession of said vehicles in order to
preserve the assets of her late husband.

-The scheduled May 27, 1987 hearing was postponed on motion of petitioner's counsel. The hearing was reset to June 15,
1987 at 2:00 in the afternoon.

-In the meantime, the private respondent filed her "Ex-Parte Motion to Appoint Petitioner as Special Administratrix of the
Estate of Manolito de Guzman."

-In an order dated May 28,1987, the aforesaid motion was set for hearing on June 5, 1987. In this same order, the lower
court directed that all parties in the case be notified. However, no notice of the order was given to the petitioner.

-In an order dated June 5, 1987, the lower court granted the private respondent's motion to be appointed as special
administratrix
-The petitioner contends that the June 5, 1987 order is a patent nullity, the respondent court not having acquired
jurisdiction to appoint a special administratrix because the petition for the settlement of the estate of Manolito de Guzman
was not yet set for hearing and published for three consecutive weeks, as mandated by the Rules of Court. The petitioner
also stresses that the appointment of a special administratrix constitutes an abuse of discretion for having been made
without giving petitioner and other parties an opportunity to oppose said appointment.

Issue: Whether or not a probate court may appoint a special administratrix and issue a writ of possession of alleged
properties of a decedent for the preservation of the estate in a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of the said
deceased person even before the probate court causes notice to be served upon all interested parties pursuant to section 3,
Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court.

Ruling: No. In the instant case, there is no doubt that the respondent court acquired jurisdiction over the proceedings upon
the filing of a petition for the settlement of an intestate estate by the private respondent since the petition had alleged all
the jurisdictional facts, the residence of the deceased person, the possible heirs and creditors and the probable value of the
estate of the deceased Manolito de Guzman pursuant to Section 2, Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court.

However Section 3, Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court provides that the probate court must cause notice through
publication of the petition after it receives the same. The purpose of this notice is to bring all the interested persons within
the court's jurisdiction so that the judgment therein becomes binding on all the world. Verily, notice through publication
of the petition for the settlement of the estate of a deceased person is jurisdictional, the absence of which makes court
orders affecting other persons, subsequent to the petition void and subject to annulment.

SP5.4 Heirs of Castillo v. Gabriel, GR 162934, November 11, 2005


(Summary ng facts: Namatay si Crisanta, so gusto ng following persons maging special administrator:

1. Mariano Jr, brother ni Crisanta


2. Belinda, claimed to be the legit child of Crisanta and Lorenzo
3. Roberto, legally adopted child of Crisanta, na namatay later on, replaced by Dolores, widow

Nadismiss request ni Mariano so X na siya. Namatay si Belinda so ang heirs led by Bena Jean ang nag continue. Namatay
si Roberto so si Dolores and nag continue. Court appointed Dolores as the Special administrator pursuant to Section 1, of
Rule 80. Nagreklamo sina Bena Jean, hence, this petition. For full details, see digest below.)

FACTS: On January 25, 2989, Crisanta Yanga-Gabriel, wife of Lorenzo B. Almoradie, died in Malabon City, Metro
Manila, leaving behind a sizable inheritance consisting mostly of real estate and shares of stock. After Crisanta’s death,
her mother, Crisanta Santiago Vda. de Yanga, commenced an intestate proceeding where she alleged that her daughter
died intestate leaving an estate with an estimated net value of P1,500,000.00 and that such estate was being managed by
her wastrel and incompetent son-in-law, Lorenzo, and by two other equally incompetent persons.

She prayed that letters of administration be issued to her son, Mariano Yanga, Jr., also the brother of the deceased, and
that she be awarded her share of the estate of her daughter after due hearing. However, the RTC appointed Lorenzo as
administrator. Meantime, the marriage between Crisanta Yanga-Gabriel and Lorenzo Almoradie was declared void for
being bigamous. The RTC then removed Lorenzo as administrator and appointed Mariano, Jr. in his stead.

On October 16, 1989, one Belinda Dahlia Y. Almoradie Castillo, claiming to be the only legitimate child of Lorenzo and
Crisanta, filed a motion for intervention. Resolution on this motion was, however, held in abeyance pending some
incidents in the CA.

On November 3, 1989, Roberto Y. Gabriel, the legally adopted son of Crisanta Y. Gabriel, filed a petition for probate of
an alleged will and for the issuance of letters testamentary in his favor. He alleged that he discovered his mother’s will on
October 25, 1989 in which he was instituted as the sole heir of the testatrix, and designated as alternate executor for the
named executor therein, Francisco S. Yanga, a brother of Crisanta, who had predeceased the latter sometime in 1985 or
1986.

On June 2, 1990, Belinda Castillo died.

The two (2) special proceedings were consolidated. RTC dismissed the intestate proceedings. Mariano Yanga, Jr.
questioned the dismissal of the intestate proceedings before the appellate court via a petition for certiorari.

On July 8, 1991, the probate court appointed Roberto Y. Gabriel as special administrator of his mother’s estate.

On May 23, 2001, the heirs of Belinda, namely, Bena Jean, Daniel, Melchor, Michael, and Danibel, all surnamed Castillo,
filed a Motion praying that they be substituted as party-litigants in lieu of their late mother Belinda, who died in 1990.

On April 16, 2001, Roberto Gabriel died. His widow, Dolores L. Gabriel, filed a Manifestation and Motion where she
informed the probate court of her husband’s death and prayed that she be admitted as substitute in place of her late
husband, and be appointed as administratrix of the estate of Crisanta Gabriel as well. She alleged that she had a bachelor’s
degree in law and had worked for several years in a law office.

On August 14, 2001, the heirs of Belinda opposed Dolores manifestation and motion. They averred that Dolores was not
Crisanta Gabriels next of kin, let alone the lawful wife of the late Roberto.

On August 24, 2001, Bena Jean filed a Motion for Appointment as Administrator of the Estate of Crisanta Y. Gabriel
praying that she be appointed administratrix of the estate of her grandmother Crisanta.

On October 11, 2001, Dolores opposed the motion of Bena Jean, claiming that the latter has neither proven her kinship
with Crisanta Gabriel nor shown any particular qualification to act as administratrix of the estate.

On November 28, 1991, the CA dismissed the petition for certiorari of Mariano Yanga.

December 5, 2001, the lower court appointed Dolores as special administratrix upon a bond of P200, 000.00. The probate
court merely noted the motion for substitution filed by the heirs of Belinda, stating that they were mere strangers to the
case and that their cause could better be ventilated in a separate proceeding. Hence , this petition.

ISSUE: Whether the appointment of a special administrator lies in the sound discretion of the probate court

RULING: Yes. The Court has repeatedly held that the appointment of a special administrator lies in the sound discretion
of the probate court. A special administrator is a representative of a decedent appointed by the probate court to care for
and preserve his estate until an executor or general administrator is appointed. As enunciated above, the probate court has
ample jurisdiction to appoint respondent as special administratrix. The deceased Crisanta Yanga-Gabriel left a document
purporting to be her will where her adopted son, Roberto, was named as the sole heir of all her properties. However,
pending probate of the will, Roberto died leaving his widow, the respondent herein, as his sole heir. Thus, the respondent
has much stake in Crisantas estate in case the latters will is allowed probate. It needs to be emphasized that in the
appointment of a special administrator (which is but temporary and subsists only until a regular administrator is
appointed), the probate court does not determine the shares in the decedents estate, but merely appoints who is entitled to
administer the estate. Section 1, Rule 80 applies to the appointment of a special administrator. It has long been settled that
the appointment of special administrators is not governed by the rules regarding the appointment of regular administrators.
The Court affirmed the appointment of Dolores as special administrator.

QUALIFICATIONS
SP6.4 Corona v. CA, 116 SCRA 316 (1982)
SP7.4 Matias v. Gonzales, 101 Phil 852 (1957)
Appointment of Basilia as special administrator, when she was obviously unfit for said office due to her advanced age of
80 and blindness, amounts to grave abuse of discretion on the part of respondent judge.

FACTS: Aurea Matias, being the universal heiress and named executrixin the purported will of her Aunt Gabina Raquel
who died single, instituted probate proceeding. However, Basilia, cousin of the deceased and was over 80 years old,
totally blind opposed its probate and pray for the appointment of her niece Victorina, a pharmacist, as special
administrator.

Opposition was sustained by the lower court. So Matias appealed, and while pending appeal, it was Horacio Rodriguez, a
practicing lawyer, former prosecutor and Mayor of Cavite was appointed special administrator. Basilia the cousin again
opposed and insist his removal and pray that special administration be issued to Ramon Plata.

The Lower court under the respondent judge granted the opposition and appoint Basilia, Victorina, and Ramon Plata as
special administrator and remove Horacio. Matias questioned the order and inisist that Basilia was made special
administratrix despite obvious unfitness, due to old age and blindness, with said disability borne by the fact of her
resignation upon such ground, but was denied. Later on, due to inability to perform duties, Basilia withrew. Hence this
petition by Matias against the judge, Victorina and Plata.

ISSUE: Whether or not the judge committed grave abuse of discretion for not appointing the named executrix and the
propriety of appointing more than 1 special administratrix.

HELD: Yes. SC found the actions of respondent judge cannot be supported with 1. While the probate of the will was
denied, the order to this effect is not yet final and executory. Matias being universal heiress and executrix still has special
interest to protect. 2. While generally, there should only be 1 special administrator maybe appointed, probate court in its
discretion, when it deems best, and whenever there are at least two factions among heirs, may appoint more than 1 special
administrator or a special co-adminstrator but to administer the whole single estate exercising jointly powers of
administration temporaily and not independently. 3. On technical side, there was late notice of hearing for the removal of
Rodriguez as special administrator, and lack of notice that Basilia and Victorina be appointed as special administrator
while in their motion, it only seek removal of Rodriguez and appointment of Plata.

Wherefore, the orders complained of are hereby annulled and set aside. The lower court should re-hear the matter of
removal of Horacio Rodriguez and appointment of special administrators, after due notice to all parties concerned, for
action in conformity with the views expressed herein, with costs against respondents Victorina Salud and Ramon Plata. It
is so ordered.

SP8.4 Roxas v. Pecson, 82 Phil 407 (1948)

POWERS AND DUTIES OF SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR


SP9.4 De Gala v. Gonzales, 53 Phil 104
FACTS: Severina Gonzales executed a will in which Serapia de Gala (niece) was designated executrix. When Severina
died, the will was presented for probate. Serapia was then appointed special administratix of the estate of the deceased.
She returned an inventory of the estate and made several demands upon Sinforoso Ona, the surviving husband of the
deceased, for the delivery to her of the property inventoried and of which he was in possession.

Sinforoso filed a motion asking the appointment of Serapia de Gala as special administratrix be cancelled and that he,
Sinforoso, be appointed in her stead. The motion was opposed but it was nevertheless granted, Serapia was removed, and
Sinforoso was appointed special administrator in her place, principally on the ground that he had possession of the
property in question and that his appointment would simplify the proceedings. Serapia appealed

ISSUE: Whether the court erred in removing Serapia as administrator of the estate of the deceased

RULING: No. Serapia's appeal requires but little discussion. The burden of the argument of her counsel is that a special
administrator cannot be removed except for one or more of the causes stated in section 653 of the Code of Civil
Procedure. But that section can only apply to executors and regular administrators, and the office of a special
administrator is quite different from that of regular administrator. The appointment of a special administrator lies entirely
in the sound discretion of the court; the function of such an administrator is only to collect and preserve the property of
the deceased and to return an inventory thereof; he cannot be sued by a creditor and cannot pay any debts of the deceased.
The fact that no appeal can be taken from the appointment of a special administrator indicates that both his appointment
and his removal are purely discretionary, and we cannot find that the court below abused its discretion in the present case.
In removing Serapia de Gala and appointing the present possessor of the property pending the final determination of the
validity of the will, the court probably prevented useless litigation.

SP10.4 Liwanag v. Reyes, 12 SCRA 43 (1964)


FACTS: The late Pio D. Liwanag executed in favor of the Rotegaan Financing, Inc., a real estate mortgage on a parcel of
residential land with the building and improvements thereon to secure the payment of a loan. Before the loan was paid, the
mortgagor Pio D. Liwanag died intestate.

The mortgagee Rotegaan Financing, Inc. instituted in the CFI a complaint for foreclosure against the Estate of Pio
D. Liwanag and Gliceria Liwanag as administratrix of the estate. The defendant Gliceria Liwanag filed a motion to
dismiss the complaint for foreclosure, on the theory that she may not be sued as special administratrix.

ISSUE: Whether the petitioner herein can be sued as special administratrix.

RULING: Yes. The Rules of Court do not expressly prohibit making the special administratrix a defendant in a suit
against the estate. Otherwise, creditors would find the adverse effects of the statute of limitations running against them in
cases where the appointment of a regular administrator is delayed. So that if We are now to deny the present action on this
technical ground alone, and the appointment of a regular administrator will be delayed, the very purpose for which the
mortgage was constituted will be defeated.

SP11.4 Anderson v. Perkins, 1 SCRA 387 (1961)


FACTS: Dora Perkin Anderson filed for probate of the will of the late Eugene Arthur Perkins and appointment of
Alfonso Ponce Enrile as special administrator of the estate. The court appointed Alfonso as special administrator. Idonah
Slade Perkins, surviving spouse of the deceased opposed the probate of the will. Alfonso submitted an inventory of all
assets belonging to the deceased at the time of his death. Two years after, Alfonso submitted a petition seeking authority
to sell/give away to charitable institutions, certain personal effects left by the deceased which were allegedly deteriorating
physically and in value, in order to save whatever value might be obtained in their disposition. Idonah claims that the
personal properties sought to be sold not being perishable, the special administrator has no legal authority to sell them.

ISSUE: Whether the special administrator's power to sell is limited to "perishable" property only.

HELD: No. It is true that the function of a special administrator is only to collect and preserve the property of the
deceased until a regular administrator is appointed. But it is not alone the specific property of the estate which is to be
preserved, but its value as well, as shown by the legal provision for the sale by a special administrator of perishable
property. It is in line with this general power of the special administrator to preserve not only the property of the estate but
also its value, that section 2, Rule 81, also empowers such administrator to sell "other proerty as the court ordered sold;" .

REMOVAL OF SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR


SP12.4 Co v. Rosario et al., GR No. 160671, April 30, 2008
MP: 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 administrators; Courts may appoint or remove special administrators based on grounds
other than those enumerated in the Rules; The exercise of such discretion must be based on reason, equity, justice and
legal principles

FACTS: Luis Co(petitioner) and Vicente Yu was appointed as special administrator by the RTC of Makati City of the
estate of the petitioners’ father, Co Bun Chun but the heirs opposed the petitioners appointment as special administrator.
So, the petitioner nominated son, Alvin Milton Co for appointment as co-administrator of the estate.

The RTC appointed Alvin as special co-administrator.

After 4 years, the RTC revoked and set aside the appointment of Alvin on the basis that that Alvin had become unsuitable
to discharge the trust given to him as special co-administrator because his capacity, ability or competence to perform the
functions of co-administrator had been beclouded by the filing of several criminal cases against him, which, even if there
was no conviction yet, had provided the heirs ample reason to doubt his fitness to handle the subject estate with utmost
fidelity, trust and confidence.

Petitioner sought for motion for reconsiderationbut was denied. Subsequently, the petitioner filed a petition for certiorari
to the CA but the CA dismissed the petition.

Hence, the instant case.

ISSUE: Is the removal by the lower court of Alvin to be a special administrator proper?

RULING: YES. The High Court ruled that 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 administrators. Courts may appoint or
remove special administrators based on grounds other than those enumerated in the Rules, at their discretion. As long as
the said discretion is exercised without grave abuse, higher courts will not interfere with it. This, however, is no authority
for the judge to become partial, or to make his personal likes and dislikes prevail over, or his passions to rule, his
judgment. The exercise of such discretion must be based on reason, equity, justice and legal principles.

Thus, even if a special administrator had already been appointed, once the court finds the appointee no longer entitled to
its confidence, it is justified in withdrawing the appointment and giving no valid effect thereto. 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.

In this case, we find that the trial courts judgment on the issue of Alvins removal as special co-administrator is grounded
on reason, equity, justice and legal principle. It is not characterized by patent and gross capriciousness, pure whim and
abuse, arbitrariness or despotism, as to be correctible by the writ of certiorari.

SP13.4 Alcasid v. Samson, 102 Phil 735 (1957)


FACTS: Respondents filed an application in the CFI of Albay for the issuance of letters of administration in favor in one
of them, Jesus V. Samson, for the estate of the late Jose V. Samson. On the same date, Jesus V. Samson was appointed
special administrator of the estate. The application was opposed by petitioners Josefina N. Samson, the widow of Jose V.
Samson and her three minor children Glenda N. Samson, Manuel N. Samson and Felix N. Samson. They asked for the
granting of letters of administration in favor of Josefina N. Samson, in the place of Jesus V. Samson. Judge Alcasid, on
March 12, 1956, issued an order appointing Antonio Conda, Municipal Treasurer of Libon, Albay, as regular
administrator. In that order the special administrator Jesus V. Samson was instructed at the same time, the "twenty (20)
days from the receipt of this order he shall turn over all the properties and funds of the estate in his possession to the
regular administrator as soon as the latter qualified." Antonio Conda put up the bond fixed by the court and letters of
administration were issued in his favor. On April 3, 1956, upon motion of the widow, the court issued an order requiring
the special administrator to "deliver the properties and funds of the estate now in his possession to the regular
administrator within three (3) days from receipt of this order". It also appears that on March 27, 1956, respondents filed an
appeal from the order of the court granting letters of administration in favor of Antonio Conda and their record on appeal
was approved on April 17, 1956. On April 20, 1956, they filed a motion seeking to set aside the approval of the bond
posted by Antonio Conda as well as the letters of administration issued in his favor. This motion having been denied
through an order issued on May 9, 1956, respondents resorted to the appellate courts. On Appeal, the CA set aside the
appointment of Conda and annulled his bond. Hence this petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not the CFI judge (Alcasid) committed abuse of discretion

RULING: Negative. It is well to mark that, in the present case, the special administrator was not actually removed by the
court, but that he was superseded by the regular administrator by operation of law. Rule 81, section 3, of the Rules of
Court specifically provides that— When letters testamentary or of administration are granted on the estate of the
deceased, the power of the special administrator shall cease, and shall forthwith deliver to the executor or administrator
the goods, chattels, money and estate of the deceased in his hands. All told, the case boils down to this: The removal of
the special administrator is at the court's sound discretion, and the orders of March 12, and May 9, 1956 show that there
were good reasons to terminate the special administration. This being so, the heirs cannot seek to prolong the tenure of the
removed special administrator by appealing Conda's appointment as regular administrator. It may be argued that during
the appeal, the estate should be under special administration; but it does not appear that Amadeo Samson and his partisans
have so asked the court nor have they proposed another administrator and therefore, their complaint against the court's
action is unmeritorious. We see no abuse of discretion in the orders of the Court of First Instance complained of. The
decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed and the original petition for certiorari filed by the special administrator is
ordered dismissed, and the writ denied, with costs against the respondents in this Court, Jesus V. Samson at al. So
ordered.

SP14.4 Junquera v. Borromeo, 99 Phil 276 (1956)


FACTS:

Vito Borromeo, a widower and permanent resident of the City of Cebu, died on March 13, 1952, in Parañaque, Rizal, at
the age of 88 years, without forced heirs but leaving extensive properties in the province of Cebu.

On April 19 of the same year, Jose H. Junquera, filed with the Court of First Instance of said province a petition for the
probate of a one page document as the last will left by said deceased, devising all his properties to Tomas, Fortunato and
Amelia, all surnamed Borromeo, in equal and undivided shares, and designating Junquera as executor thereof.

On November 14 of the same year, Teofilo Borromeo filed an opposition to the probate of the will based on the following
grounds: (1) that the formalities required by law had not been complied with; (2) that the testator was mentally incapable
of making a will at the time of its execution; (3) that the will was procured by undue and improper influence, on the part
of the beneficiaries and/or some other person; (4) that the signature of the testator was procured by fraud; and (5) that the
testator acted by mistake or did not intend the instrument he signed to be his will at the time he affixed his signature
thereto.

Upon motion of the abovenamed oppositor, on June 9, 1953, the Court removed Junquera as special administrator and
appointed Dr. Patricio Beltran in his place.

On November 27, 1953, Vitaliana Borromeo, a niece of the deceased, filed her own opposition to the probate of the will,
on the ground that the signature "Vito Borromeo" appearing thereon was a forgery. Other oppositions were subsequently
filed by Patrocinio Borromeo de Tabotabo (her opposition was later withdrawn), Lilia Morre de Tabotabo, Lamberto
Morre, Patricia Morre de Ranario, Aurora Morre de Borromeo, Ramon Ocampo, Isagani Morre and Rosario Morre,
invoking substantially the same grounds mentioned heretofore.

Tomas, Amelia and Fortunato Borromeo, manifestly on behalf of the "Cebu Arcade Company, T. L. Borromeo y Cia.", a
duly organized partnership controlled by them, filed a motion to exclude from the inventory of the Estate previously filed
by the new special administrator, thirteen parcels of land situated in the City of Cebu with a total area of 2,148 square
meters, alleging that during his lifetime the deceased testator had sold said lots to them.

On October 28, 1955, the Republic of the Philippines filed a motion for leave to intervene and join the oppositors in
contesting the probate of the will, on the ground that, should the estate be adjudicated the latter by intestacy, it stood to
collect a considerable amount by way of estate and inheritance taxes.

The proponents of the disputed will, mainly with the testimony of the three attesting witnesses, Cornelio Gandionco,
Filiberto Leonardo and Eusebio Cabiluna, sought to prove their facts;

On the other hand, the oppositors presented several witnesses who testified that the signatures purporting to be those of
Vito Borromeo on the document and its copies were forgeries xxx. The oppositors also presented Felipe Logan of the
National Bureau of Investigation and Jose G. Villanueva, as handwriting experts xxx.

CFI Cebu ruling: 1) refused to believe the testimony of the attesting witnesses and, as a result, denied the petition for
probate, because, in its opinion, they appeared not to be "wholly disinterested persons" and because of the serious
discrepancies in their testimonies with respect to the number of copies made of the disputed document. 2) also found that
the physical condition of the deceased at the time of the execution of the questioned document was such that it was highly
improbable, if not impossible, for him to have affixed his signatures on the documents in the spontaneous and excellent
manner they appear to have been written.

ISSUE:

1. When can the court appoint a special administrator?

2.WN CFI Cebu is correct in refusing to give credit to the testimony of the attesting witnesses.

RULING:

1. When there is delay in granting letter testamentary or of administration occasioned by an appeal from the allowance or
disallowance of a will or some other cause, the court may appoint the same.

A special administrator may be appointed by a court when:

a. the executor cannot post a bond;

b. the executor fails to render an account;

c. regular administrator has a claim against the estate he represents;


d. a motion for reconsideration is filed with respect to decision disallowing probate of a will.

2. No. The CFI erred in refusing to give full credit to the testimony of the three subscribing witnesses.

It must be conceded that in this jurisdiction, the subscribing witnesses to a contested will are regarded as the best
witnesses in connection with its due execution. It is similarly true, however, that to deserve full credit, their test, testimony
must be reasonable and unbiased, and that, as in the case of any other witness, their testimony may be overcome by any
competent evidence — direct or circumstantial.

It is also an appellate practice of long standing in this jurisdiction to accord great weight to the findings of fact made by
the trial court and not to disturb them unless said court had failed to consider material facts and circumstances or had
given undue weight to, or misconstrued the testimony of particular witnesses, the reason for this being that the trial judge
had full opportunity to hear and observe the conduct and demeanor of the witnesses while testifying and was consequently
in a better position than the reviewing court to determine the question of their credibility. While this is not applicable to
the present case because His Honor, the judge who penned the appealed decision was not the same judge before whom the
evidence of the parties was presented, it must be stated that, judging from the carefully written decision under review, it
was only after a thorough study of the record that His Honor arrived at the conclusion that the subscribing witnesses do
not appear to be wholly disinterested persons.

XXX the decision appealed from is affirmed.

RULE 81 BONDS OF EXECUTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS

CONDITIONS OF THE BOND


SP1.5 Cosme de Mendoz v. Pacheco, 64 Phil 134 (1937)