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10 Volataire ARBOLARIO et al. v. Court of Appeals et al purchased the disputed portion of Lot No.

purchased the disputed portion of Lot No. 323 from the deceased lessor in
G.R. No. 129163. April 22, 2003 1978.
Topic: Settlement of Decedents’ Estates; how do you initiate probate proceedings 8. 2nd case = Before the abovementioned case was heard and tried on the
merits, the Arbolarios) and Spouses Salhay filed for Cancellation of Title with
Doctrine: Questions as to the determination of the heirs of a decedent, the proof of Damages, against Colincos. Petitioners contend that the Declaration of
filiation, and the determination of the estate of a decedent and claims thereto should Heirship and Partition Agreement executed by the Colincos was defective
be brought up before the proper probate court or in special proceedings instituted for and thus voidable as the Arbolarios were excluded therein.
the purpose. Such issues cannot be adjudicated in an ordinary civil action for the 9. RTC = In favor of ARBOLARIOS…and in the 2nd case, DISMISSED the
recovery of ownership and possession. case filed by Colincos.1
10. CA = REVERSED.2
Facts:
1. The original owners of the controverted lot, Spouses Anselmo Baloyo and Issue:
Macaria Lirazan (Spouses Baloyo) had 5 children: Agueda, Catalina, 1. WON the CA erred when it declared petitioners as illegitimate children and
Eduardo, Gaudencia, and Julian. (All are dead) were not entitled to inherit (NO)
2. Agueda Colinco (1st child) was survived by her 2 children: Antonio and 2. WON the CA erred when it declared that the court a quo had no right to
respondent Irene Colinco. Antonio Colinco predeceased his three daughters, distribute the property (NO)
herein respondents Ruth, Orpha, and Goldelina.
3. Catalina Baloyo (2nd child) was married to Juan Arbolario. Their union was Held:
blessed with the birth of one child, Purificacion Arbolario (died in 1985) 1. Petitioners’ maintain that Catalina Baloyo had long been dead before the
a. Juan Arbolario consorted with another woman (Francisca Malvas) notarized declaration of heirship was ever executed, thus conclude that the
by the name of Francisca Malvas. From this cohabitation was born Arbolarios are legitimate half-brothers and half-sisters of Purificacion.
the petitioners Voltaire, Lucena, Fe, Exaltacion, and Carlos
(Arbolarios). All the petitioners were born well before the year 1951. The SC said: The 1951 Declaration reveals that the year of Catalina’s death
4. In 1946, it appears that Eduardo Baloyo (3 rd child) sold his entire interest in was intercalated. The first two numbers (1 and 9) and the last digit (3) are
Lot 323 to his sister, Agueda Colinco, by virtue of a notarized document. legible; but the third digit has been written over to make it look like a 0. The
5. In 1951, a notarized declaration of heirship was executed by and between paragraph (in the declaration) quoted by petitioners should show a
Agueda, Catalina, Gaudencia, and their brothers Eduardo and Julian, who chronological progression in the heirs years of death. If Catalina had indeed
extrajudicially declared themselves to be the only heirs of the late Spouses died in 1903, why then was her name written after Aguedas and not before
Baloyo it? Moreover, it does not follow that just because his first wife has died, a
a. Gaudencia (4th child) conveyed her interest in the said lot in favor of man is already conclusively married to the woman who bore his children. A
her two nieces, Irene Colinco to 1/2 and Purificacion Arbolario to marriage certificate or other generally accepted proof is necessary to
the other half. establish the marriage as an undisputable fact.
6. Respondents Irene, Ruth, Orpha, and Goldelina (Colincos) believing
themselves to be the only surviving heirs of Anselmo Baloyo and Macaria Paternity or filiation, or the lack of it, is a relationship that must be judicially
Lirazan, executed a Declaration of Heirship and Partition (Irene Colinco, ½ established. It stands to reason that children born within wedlock are
while the surviving daughters of her late brother Antonio namely Ruth, legitimate. Petitioners failed to prove the fact of marriage between their
Orpha, and Goldelina, to share in equal, ideal proportions to the remaining
½). This forthwith brought about the cancellation of the OCT and the
issuance of a TCT in their names and conformably with the aforesaid 1
Arbolarios were the brothers and the sisters of the deceased Purificacion Arbolario, while the Colincos
distribution. were her cousins and nieces. Pursuant to Article 1009 of the Civil Code, the Colincos could not inherit
7. 1st case = Colincos filed against Spouses Salhay a case seeking to recover from her, because she had half-brothers and half-sisters.
possession of a portion of the aforesaid lot occupied by the latter since 1970. 2
When Juan Arbolario cohabited with another woman, the union was extramarital. Consequently, their
The Salhays alleged in their defense that they have been the lawful lessees children (respondent Arbolarios) are illegitimate half-brothers and half-sisters of Purificacion and thus
of the late Purificacion Arbolario since 1971 up to 1978. And that they barred by Article 992 from inheriting intestate from the legitimate children and relatives of their father
or mother. There is no impediment for respondents to declare themselves as the sole and forced heirs.
Also, there is no clear evidence to support the allegation of the Salhays that they purchased the lot.
parents, Juan Arbolario and Francisca Malvas; hence, they cannot invoke a
presumption of legitimacy in their favor.

2. Petitioners contend that the CA overstepped its bounds when it ruled that
the RTC had no jurisdiction to divide the disputed lot since respondents did
not raise the issue of partition on appeal. The CA (as agreed by the SC)
held that the partition of the property had not been contemplated by the
parties, because respondents merely sought recovery of possession of the
parcel held by the Salhays, while petitioners sought the annulment of the
Deed of Partition respondents had entered into. The purpose of partition is to
put an end to co-ownership. It seeks a severance of the individual interests
of co-owners, vesting in each of them a sole estate in a specific property and
a right to enjoy the allotted estate without supervision or interference

Petitioners in this case were unable to establish any right to partition,


because they had failed to establish that they were legitimate half-brothers
and half-sisters of the deceased Purificacion (read doctrine after).

Note: The SC in agreement with the CA ruled that the acquisition of the property by
the Salhay’s was improper as there was no clear and reliable evidence introduced to
prove such allegation. Also, no favorable supporting evidence was cited by petitioners
in their Memorandum.

Dispositive Portion: WHEREFORE the Petition is DENIED, and the appealed


Decision AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners.