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Preterition RATIO:
- The old civil code (art.1081) states that: A partition in which a person
2. Reyes Y. Barreto vs. Lucia Milagro Barretto-Datu, G.R. No. L-17818, was believed to be an heir, without being so, has been included, shall
January 25, 1967 be null and void.
- Salud had been instituted heir in the late Barretto's will
FACTS: together with defendant Milagros;
- Barretto died with a will and his properties were divided among the - The legal precept (Article 1081) does not speak of children,
heirs through a project partition. The partition was entered between or descendants, but of heirs (without distinction between
the heirs- Salud and Milagros forced, voluntary or intestate ones)
- However, the widow, Gerardo, died with 2 wills. The first one - The institution was valid since the ½ share could be obtained from
instituted Salud and Milagros; while the second one left all properties the free portion
to Milagros alone. - The fact that Milagros was allotted in her father's will a share
- The second will was allowed while the first will was revoked; the smaller than her legitime DOES NOT invalidate the institution
ruling was affirmed by the SC of Salud as heir, since there was here no preterition, or total
- The petitioner (Reyes) is a legitimate heir of Gerado. She lost the fight omission of a forced heir.
for a share in Gerado’s estate so Reyes filed an action for recovery - It was also alleged that the Partition is invalid because Milagros is a
based on Baretto’s will giving Gerado a usufructuary right over a minor; but Milagros not only was a party by publication, but actually
fishpond appeared and participated in the proceedings through her guardian
- However, Reyes’ petition backfired because Milagros now contends - Also, Milagros cannot claim that Salud committed Fraud since the 4
that the Project of Partition where Salud acquired the fishpond in year prescription already ran out.
question is void ab initio and Salud did not acquire any valid title - EVEN IF the Project Partition was invalid; a project of
thereto, and that the court did not acquire any jurisdiction of the partition is a merely a proposal for distribution of the estate,
person of the defendant, who was then a minor. that the court may accept or reject, it is the court alone that
- The lower courts voided the partition since Salud was not a daughter makes the distribution of the estate and determines the
of Baretto and Gerado. Further, the Court ordered them to return persons entitled thereto and the parts to which each is
the properties received under the project of partition previously entitled
mentioned - It is that judicial decree of distribution, once final, that vests
- To simplify; since plaintiffs could not get anything from the estate of title to those being distributed upon. If the decree was
the mom (since mom revoked the 1st will), they attacked the erroneous or not in conformity with law or the testament, it
partition under Dad’s estate; however they were unsuccessful since should have been corrected by appeal; but once it had
defendants are now claiming the partition was invalid become final, its binding effect is like that of any other
- judgment in rem
ISSUE: Whether the Project partition was valid - If a court has validly issued a decree of distribution of the
estate, and the same has become final, the validity or
HELD: Yes invalidity of the project of partition becomes irrelevant.

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