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Republic of the Philippines

UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN
PHILIPPINES
College of
Law Vigan
City

Special Proceedings
Prosecutor Elizabeth Garcia
Bringas, JD Every Mondays,
5:30 – 7:30 pm

I. Rule 72

REPUBLIC VS CA,

MADRONA G.R. NO.

163604 6 MAY 2005

SHEKER VS SHEKER

G.R. NO. 157912 13 DECEMBER 2007

REYES VS ENRIQUEZ

G.R. No. 12956 10 APRIL 2008

CHING ET.AL VS
RODRIGUEZ GR 192828
28 NOVEMBER 2011

II. Rule 73, Section 1

MENDOZA VS TEH et.al

G.R. No. 122646 March 14, 1997


REPUBLIC VS VILLARAMA
G.R. No. 117733. September 5, 1997

MALOLES II VS PHILIPPS

G.R. No. 129505. January 31, 2000

MALOLES II VS COURT OF APPEALS,

Gorospe GR No. 129505. 31 January

2000

NITTSCHER VS DR NITTSCHER

G.R. No. 160530 20 November 2007

III. Rule 73, Section 2

CORTES VS CA & RESELVA

G.R. No. 117417 21 September 21 2000

IV. Rule 74, Section 1


NERI, ET AL. VS HEIRS OF UY
GR NO. 194366 10 OCTOBER 2012

HEIRS OF TEVES VS CA, HEIRS OF IT – IT


G.R. No. 109963. October 13, 1999

TAN VS. BENOLIRAO


GR NO. 153820 16 OCTOBER 2009

REILLO et. al vs SAN


JOSE GR 166393 18
JUNE 2009

V. Rule 75, Section 1


ANTONIO BALTAZAR et al. VS. LORENZO LAXA
GR NO. 174489, 11 APRIL 2012

VI. Rule 75, Sections 2 – 5


UY KIAO ENG vs. NIXON
LEE G.R.No. 176831 15
January 2010

VII. Rule 76, Sections 1 -2


PALAGANAS VS PALAGANAS
G.R. No. 169144 26 JANUARY 2011

VIII. Rule 76, Sections 3 -5


DY YIENG SEANGIO, et al. vs. REYES,
et al. G.R. NO. 140371-72 / 27
NOVEMBER 2006

REPUBLIC vs. COURT OF APPEALS,


MADRONA G.R. No. 163604. May
6, 2005

FACTS: In In the Matter of Declaration of Presumptive Death of Absentee


Spouse Clemente P. Jomoc, Apolinaria Malinao Jomoc, petitioner, the Ormoc
City, Regional Trial Court, Branch 35, by Order of September 29, 1999, granted
the petition on the basis of the Commissioners Report and accordingly declared
the absentee spouse, who had left his petitioner-wife nine years earlier,
presumptively dead.

In granting the petition, the trial judge, Judge Fortunito L. Madrona, cited
Article 41, par. 2 of the Family Code. Said article provides that for the purpose of
contracting a valid subsequent marriage during the subsistence of a previous
marriage where the prior spouse had been absent for four consecutive years, the
spouse present must institute summary proceedings for the
declaration of presumptive death of the absentee spouse, without prejudice to
the effect of the reappearance of the absent spouse.

ISSUE: Whether a petition for declaration of the presumptive death of a person is


in the nature of a special proceeding

HELD: Considering the aforementioned distinction, this Court finds that the
instant petition is in the nature of a special proceeding and not an ordinary
action. The petition merely seeks for a declaration by the trial court of the
presumptive death of absentee spouse Clemente Jomoc. It does not seek the
enforcement or protection of a right or the prevention or redress of a wrong.
Neither does it involve a demand of right or a cause of action that can be
enforced against any person.

On the basis of the foregoing discussion, the subject Order dated January 13,
2000 denying OSGs Motion for Reconsideration of the Order dated November
22, 1999 disapproving its Notice of Appeal was correctly issued. The instant
petition, being in the nature of a special proceeding,OSG should have filed,
in addition to its Notice of Appeal, a record on appeal in accordance with
Section 19 of the Interim Rules and Guidelines to Implement BP Blg. 129 and
Section 2(a), Rule 41 of the Rules of Court .

SHEKER VS SHEKER

G.R. NO. 157912 13 DECEMBER 2007


FACTS: Alice Sheker died and her estate was left under the administration of
Victoria Medina. Alice left a holographic will which was admitted to probate by the
Regional Trial Court of Iligan City. The trial court issued an order for all creditors
to file their claims against the estate. In compliance therewith, Alan Joseph
Sheker filed a contingent money claim in the amount of P206,250.00
representing the amount of his commission as an agent for selling some
properties for Alice; and another P275k as reimbursements for expenses he
incurred.
Medina moved for the dismissal of Alan Sheker’s claim alleging among others
that the money claim filed by Alan Sheker is void because the latter did not
attach a certification of non-forum shopping thereto.
ISSUE: Whether or not the money claim filed by Alan Sheker is void.
HELD: No. The Supreme Court emphasized that the certification of non-forum
shopping is required only for complaints and other initiatory pleadings. In the
case at bar, the probate proceeding was initiated NOT by Alan Sheker’s money
claim but rather upon the filing of the petition for allowance of the Alice Sheker’s
will. Under Sections 1 and 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court, after granting letters
of testamentary or of administration, all persons having money claims against the
decedent are mandated to file or notify the court and the estate administrator of
their respective money claims; otherwise, they would be barred, subject to
certain exceptions.
A money claim in a probate proceeding is like a creditor’s motion for claims
which is to be recognized and taken into consideration in the proper disposition
of the properties of the estate. And as a motion, its office is not to initiate new
litigation, but to bring a material but incidental matter arising in the progress of
the case in which the motion is filed. A motion is not an independent right or
remedy, but is confined to incidental matters in the progress of a cause. It relates
to some question that is collateral to the main object of the action and is
connected with and dependent upon the principal remedy.
REYES VS ENRIQUEZ

G.R. No. 12956 10 APRIL 2008

FACTS: The present case involves a parcel of land known as Lot No. 1851 Flr-
133 with an aggregate area of 2,017 square meters located in Talisay, Cebu. The
petitioners contended that they are the legal heirs of Dionisia Reyes who co-
owned the subject parcel of land with Anacleto Cabrera as evidenced by Transfer
Certificate of Title (TCT) No. RT-3551 (T-8070). On April 17, 1996, petitioners
executed an Extrajudicial Settlement with Sale of the Estate of Dionisia Reyes
involving a portion of the subject parcel of land. On March 21, 1997, the
petitioners and the known heirs of Anacleto Cabrera executed a Segregation of
Real Estate and Confirmation of over the same property. By virtue of the
aforestated documents, TCT No. RT-35551 (T-8070) was cancelled and new
TCTs were issued. Respondents alleges that their predecessor-in-interest
Anacleto Cabrera and his wife Patricia Seguera Cabrera owned pro-indiviso
share in the subject parcel of land or 1051 sq. m They further allege that
Spouses Cabrera were survived by two daughters Graciana, who died single and
without issue, and Etta, the wife of respondent Peter and mother of respondent
Deborah Ann. who succeeded their parents rights and took possession of the
1051 sq.
m. of the subject parcel of land.During her lifetime, Graciana sold her share
over the land to Etta. Thus, making the latter the sole owner of the one-half
share of the subject parcel of land. Subsequently, Etta died and the property
passed on to petitioners Peter and Deborah Ann by virtue of an Extra-Judicial
Settlement of Estate. On June 19, 1999, petitioners Peter and Deborah Ann sold
200 sq. m. out of the 1051 sq. m. for P200,000.00 to Spouses Dionisio and
Catalina Fernandez , also their co-respondents. After the sale, Spouses
Fernandez took possession of the said area in the subject parcel of land. When
Spouses Fernandez, tried to register their share in the subject land, they
discovered that certain documents prevent them from doing so, which are the
following: (1) Affidavit by Anacleto Cabrera dated March 16, 1957 stating that his
share in Lot No. 1851, the subject property, is approximately 369 sq. m.; (2)
Affidavit by Dionisia Reyes dated July 13, 1929 stating that Anacleto only owned
of Lot No. 1851, while 302.55 sq. m. belongs to Dionisia and the rest of the
property is co-owned by Nicolasa Bacalso, Juan Reyes, Florentino Reyes and
Maximiano Dico; (3) Extra-Judicial Settlement with Sale of the Estate of Dionisia
Reyes dated April 17, 1996; (4) certificates of title in the name of the herein
petitioners; and (5) Deed of Segregation of Real Estate and Confirmation of Sale
dated March 21, 1997 executed by the alleged heirs of Dionisia Reyes and
Anacleto Cabrera. Alleging that the foregoing documents are fraudulent and
fictitious, the respondents filed a complaint for annulment or nullification of the
aforementioned documents and for damages. They likewise prayed for the
repartition and resubdivision of the subject property. Upon the motion of the
petitioners, The RTC dismissed the case on the ground that the respondents-
plaintiffs were actually seeking first and foremost to be declared heirs of
Anacleto Cabrera since they cannot demand the partition of the real property
without first being declared as legal heirs and such may not be done in an
ordinary civil action, as in this case, but through a special proceeding specifically
instituted for the purpose. The case was elevated to the CA who reversed the
decision of the RTC. Hence this petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not the respondents have to institute a special proceeding to


determine their status as heirs of Anacleto Cabrera before they can file an
ordinary civil action to nullify the affidavits of Anacleto Cabrera and Dionisia
Reyes, the Extra-Judicial Settlement with the Sale of Estate of Dionisia Reyes,
and the Deed of Segregation of Real Estate and Confirmation of Sale executed
by the heirs of Dionisia Reyes and the heirs of Anacleto Cabrera, as well as to
cancel the new transfer certificates of title issued by virtue of the above-
questioned documents.

HELD: The Court has consistently ruled that a declaration of heirship is improper
in an ordinary civil action since the matter is within the exclusive competence of
the court in a special proceeding. In the instant case, while the complaint was
denominated as an action for the Declaration of Non- Existency[sic], Nullity of
Deeds, and Cancellation of Certificates of Title, etc., a review of the allegations
therein reveals that the right being asserted by the respondents are their right as
heirs of Anacleto Cabrera who they claim co-owned one-half of the subject
property and not merely one- fourth as stated in the documents the respondents
sought to annul. Now, the determination of who are the legal heirs of the
deceased couple must be made in the proper special proceedings in court, and
not in an ordinary suit for reconveyance of property. This must take precedence
over the action for reconveyance. In the same manner, the respondents herein,
except for their allegations, have yet to substantiate their claim as the legal heirs
of Anacleto Cabrera who are, thus, entitled to the subject property. Neither is
there anything in the records of this case which would show that a special
proceeding to have themselves declared as heirs of Anacleto Cabrera had been
instituted. As such, the trial court correctly dismissed the case for there is a lack
of cause of action when a case is instituted by parties who are not real parties in
interest. While a declaration of heirship was not prayed for in the complaint, it is
clear from the allegations therein that the right the respondents sought to protect
or enforce is that of an heir of one of the registered co-owners of the property
prior to the issuance of the new transfer certificates of title that they seek to
cancel. Thus, there is a need to establish their status as such heirs in the proper
forum. In the present case, nothing in the records of this case shows that the only
property left by the deceased Anacleto Cabrera is the subject lot, and neither had
respondents Peter and Deborah Ann presented any evidence to establish their
rights as heirs, considering especially that it appears that there are other heirs of
Anacleto Cabrera who are not parties in this case that had signed one of the
questioned documents. Hence, under the circumstances in this case, this Court
finds that a determination of the rights of respondents Peter and Deborah Ann as
heirs of Anacleto Cabrera in a special proceeding is necessary.
CHING ET.AL VS
RODRIGUEZ GR 192828
28 NOVEMBER 2011

FACTS: The respondents filed a Complaint against the petitioners and Stroghold
Insurance Company, Global Business Bank, Inc. (formerly PhilBank), Elena Tiu
Del Pilar, Asia Atlantic Resources Ventures, Inc., Registers of Deeds of Manila
and Malabon, and all persons claiming rights or titles from Ramon Ching
(Ramon).
The Complaint was captioned as one for "Disinheritance, Declaration of Nullity of
Agreement and Waiver, Affidavit of Extra-Judicial Settlement, Deed of Absolute
Sale, Transfer Certificates of Title with Prayer for [the] Issuance of [a] Temporary
Restraining Order and [a] Writ of Preliminary Injunction." In the complaint, the
respondents alleged that (1) they are the heirs of Antonio Ching and that Ramon
misrepresented himself as Antonios son when he was, in fact, adopted and his
birth certificated merely simulated; (2) Antonio was killed with Ramon as the
prime suspect and prior to the conclusion of the investigations, Ramon made an
inventory of the formers estate and illegally transferred to his name the titles to
Antonios properties; (3) Ramon sweet-talked respondent Mercedes into
surrendering to him a Certificate of Time Deposit of P4,000,000.00 in the name
of Antonio and the TCTs of two condo units registered under Ramons name; (4)
Ramon illegally transferred to his own name through a forged document 40,000
shares in Po Wing Corporation; (5) Ramon executed an Affidavit of Extra-Judicial
Settlement of Estate adjudicating solely to himself Antonio's entire estate to the
prejudice of the respondents; and (6) Ramon sold Antonio's two parcels of land
in Navotas to co-defendant Asia Atlantic Business Ventures, Inc. Another parcel
of land, which was part of Antonio's estate, was sold by Ramon to co-defendant
Elena Tiu Del Pilar at an unreasonably low price.
The respondents thus prayed for the (1) issuance of a TRO to restrain Ramon or
his representatives from disposing or selling any property that belongs to the
estate of Antonio; (2) that Ramon be declared as disqualified from inheriting from
Antonio Ching; and (3) declaring null the unauthorized transfers made by Ramon.
The RTC denied the petitioners Motion to Dismiss and subsequent Motion for
Reconsideration.
ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC should have granted the Motion to Dismiss with
regard to the issues which could only be resolved in a special proceeding and
not in an ordinary civil action
HELD: No reversible errors were committed by the RTC and the CA when they
both ruled that the denial of the petitioners' second motion to dismiss was proper.
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.
Under Article 916 of the NCC, disinheritance can be effected only through a will
wherein the legal cause therefor shall be specified. This Court agrees with the
RTC and the CA that while the respondents in their Complaint and Amended
Complaint sought the disinheritance of Ramon, no will or any instrument
supposedly effecting the disposition of Antonio's estate was ever mentioned.
Hence, despite the prayer for Ramon's disinheritance, the case filed does not
partake of the nature of a special proceeding and does not call for the probate
court's exercise of its limited jurisdiction.
Even without the necessity of being declared as heirs of Antonio, the
respondents have the standing to seek for the nullification of the instruments in
the light of their claims that there was no consideration for their execution, and
that Ramon exercised undue influence and committed fraud against them.
Consequently, the respondents then claimed that the Affidavit of Extra-Judicial
Settlement of Antonios estate executed by Ramon, and the TCTs issued upon
the authority of the said affidavit, are null and void as well. Ramon's averment
that a resolution of the issues raised shall first require a declaration of the
respondents' status as heirs is a mere defense which is not determinative of
which court shall properly exercise jurisdiction.
In sum, this Court agrees with the CA that the nullification of the documents
subject of the civil case could be achieved in an ordinary civil action, which in this
specific case was instituted to protect the respondents from the supposedly
fraudulent acts of Ramon. In the event that the RTC will find grounds to grant the
reliefs prayed for by the respondents, the only consequence will be the reversion
of the properties subject of the dispute to the estate of Antonio. The civil case
was not instituted to conclusively resolve the issues relating to the administration,
liquidation and distribution of Antonio's estate, hence, not the proper subject of a
special proceeding for the settlement of the estate of a deceased person under
Rules 73-91 of the Rules of Court.
The respondents' resort to an ordinary civil action before the RTC may not be
strategically sound, because a settlement proceeding should thereafter still
follow, if their intent is to recover from Ramon the properties alleged to have
been illegally transferred in his name. Be that as it may, the RTC, in the exercise
of its general jurisdiction, cannot be restrained from taking cognizance of
respondents' Complaint and Amended Complaint as the issues raised and the
prayers indicated therein are matters which need not be threshed out in a special
proceeding.
MENDOZA VS TEH

et.al G.R. No. 122646

March 14, 1997

FACTS: On October 28, 1994, petitioner for herself and as administratrix of the
intestate estate of her deceased husband Norberto Mendoza filed before the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Batangas a complaint for reconveyance of title
(involving parcels of lot in Batangas) and damages with petition for preliminary
injunction, complaint states: that Adelia C. Mendoza likewise represents her co-
plaintiff, the Intestate Estate of the late Norberto B. Mendoza in her capacity as
the surviving wife of the deceased Norberto B. Mendoza who died on December
29, 1993; that Adelia C. Mendoza should be appointed by this Honorable Court
as the judicial administratrix of her co- plaintiff for purposes of this case. Private
respondents filed their answer with motion to dismiss alleging that the complaint
states no cause of action and that petitioner’s demand had already been paid. On
February 17, 1995, private respondents filed another pleading entitled motion to
dismiss invoking, this time, lack of jurisdiction, lack of cause of action, estoppel,
laches and prescription. In support of their argument of lack of jurisdiction, private
respondents contend that a special proceedings case for appointment of
administratrix of an estate cannot be incorporated in the ordinary action for
reconveyance. In her opposition to the motions, petitioner asserts among others,
that the allegation seeking appointment as administratrix is only an incidental
matter which is not even prayed for in the complaint. Replying to the opposition,
private respondents argued that since petitioners husband resided in Quezon
City at the time of his death, the appointment of the estate administratrix should
be filed in the RTC of that place in accordance with Section 1 Rule 73 of the
Rules of Court. Accordingly, it is their argument that the RTC of Batangas has no
jurisdiction over the case.
ISSUE: Whether or not in an action for reconveyance, an allegation seeking
appointment as administratrix of an estate, would oust the RTC of its jurisdiction
over the whole case?
HELD: No. Section 19 of B.P. 129 as amended by RA 7691 provides:
Jurisdiction in Civil Cases - Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original
jurisdiction: (1) In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable
of pecuniary estimation; (2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or
possession of, real property, or any interest therein, where the assessed value of
property involved exceeds Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) (4) In all
matters of probate, both testate and intestate
Likewise, Section 33 of the same law provides that: Metropolitan Trial Court shall
exercise:
(1)Exclusive original jurisdiction over civil actions and probate proceedings,
testate and intestate.
The above law is clear. An action for reconveyance, which involves title title to
property worth millions of pesos, such as the lots subject of this case, is
cognizable by the RTC. Likewise falling within its jurisdiction are actions
incapable of pecuniary estimation, such as the appointment of an administratrix
for an estate. Even the Rules on venue of estate proceedings impliedly recognize
the jurisdiction of the RTC over petitions for granting of letters of administration.
On the other hand, probate proceedings for the settlement of estate are within
the ambit of either the RTC or MTC depending on the net worth of the estate. By
arguing that the allegation seeking such appointment as administratrix ousted the
RTC of its jurisdiction, both public and private respondents confuses jurisdiction
with venue. Section 2 of Rule 4 as revised by Circular 13-95[8] provides that
actions involving title to property shall be tried in the province where the property
is located, in this case, - Batangas. The mere fact that petitioners deceased
husband resides in Quezon City at the time of his death affects only the venue
but not the jurisdiction of the Court.
REPUBLIC VS VILLARAMA

G.R. No. 117733. September 5, 1997

FACTS: Republic of the Philippines is the petitioner in Special Proceedings No.


10279. The petition, filed on 16 October 1992, alleged that during his exile the
late President Ferdinand E. Marcos executed his last will and testament in
Hawaii, United States of America, with his wife Imelda Trinidad R. Marcos and
son Ferdinand R. Marcos II as executors. Petitioner justified its action in filing the
petition by claiming neglect on the part of the testators heirs to initiate testate
proceedings and the need to protect the interest of the Philippine government in
assessing and collecting the taxes due the estate. It moved that Mrs. Marcos and
Ferdinand II be declared incompetent as executors and prayed that letters of
administration be issued in favor of petitioners nominee.
Mrs. Imelda Marcos and Ferdinand Marcos II opposed the motion claiming that
the Commissioner of Internal Revenue was not a suitable person to act as
administrator of the estate.
After establishing the jurisdictional facts and concluding its presentation of
evidence in the probate court, petitioner filed an Urgent Motion for Appointment
of Special Administrator/s
In its Order of 9 September 1994, the probate court, per public respondent Judge
Villarama, granted the motion and appointed Commissioner Liwayway Vinzons-
Chato as Special Administrator of the estate of Ferdinand E. Marcos. Citing
Section 1 of Rule 73 of the Rules of Court, the order also declared that upon the
filing of the petition for probate of the will, the probate court acquired jurisdiction
over the estate to the exclusion of all other courts; and that the U.S. District Court
of Hawaii cannot assert its jurisdiction over the assets of the estate and exclude
the jurisdiction already vested in [the probate court].
In his Opposition Atty. Domingo also contended that the motion for issuance of a
writ of preliminary injunction was grossly insufficient both in form and substance,
since it was not verified and was deficient and baseless.; and that petitioners
reliance on Section 1, Rule 73 of the Rules of Court is misplaced. The words
exclusive jurisdiction found therein should be limited to proceedings concerning
the probate of the will and settlement of the estate of the decedent and should
not
include other litigation for or against the estate. He argued that MDL No. 840 is
an action for recovery of damages arising out of the late President's tortuous
violation of international law. The action is totally unrelated to the probate
proceedings. He reasoned that the probate court is of limited jurisdiction and that
it can only exercise jurisdiction over the property of the estate in the Philippines.
Mrs. Marcos subsequently filed a motion for leave to intervene and to admit its
petition in intervention, citing that petitioner failed to defend the interest of the
estate of her late husband. She claims that the proceeding undertaken by the
special masters by virtue of the reference order was a continuation of the trial of
MDL No. 840, considering that (1) a reference is the trial and determination of
questions arising in litigation by a person appointed for that purpose by the court
wherein the case is pending; (2) a special master is an officer of the appointing
court; and (3) the applicable law pertaining to a reference and a master is
Section 53 of the U.S. Rules of Civil Procedure for the District Courts. Public
respondent Judge then erred in considering the proceeding as one for deposition
as a mode of discovery. Accordingly, in denying the petition for injunction he
abdicated the jurisdiction of the probate court in favor of the U.S. District Court of
Hawaii; he even made a turn-about since earlier, in his 9 September 1994 Order,
he ruled that the Hawaii Court could not assert jurisdiction over the Marcos
assets.
ISSUE: Whether or not the court acquired jurisdiction.
HELD: We dismiss the petition not only on the ground of mootness which,
generally, would justify dismissal. We dismiss it also for lack of merit.
It is settled that where the ground invoked in a special civil action for certiorari
under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is abuse of discretion --as in this case -- the
abuse must be grave as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic
manner by reason of passion or personal hostility; or, it must be so patent and
gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform
the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law. This remedy then is
extraordinary, and its use is restricted to truly extraordinary cases.
For another, Section 1 of Rule 73 refers to courts in the Philippines and simply
means that once a special proceeding for the settlement of the estate of a
decedent is filed in one of such courts, that court has exclusive jurisdiction over
said estate and no other special proceedings involving the same subject matter
may be filed before any other court. Since foreign courts are not contemplated in
Section 1, in no way then can it be validly maintained that the District Court of
Hawaii has encroached upon, or impinged on, the jurisdiction of the probate court
by the issuance of the Reference Order. The Reference Order cannot be
construed as concerning or affecting the Marcos estate within the exclusive
jurisdiction of the probate court. The duties of the special masters as defined in
the Reference Order were to prepare written findings for submission to the jury
regarding
(a) whether the victims identified in the claim forms suffered torture, summary
execution or
disappearance, and (b) the extent of the damages sustained. No extravagant
imagination can lead us to a conclusion that such duties do not involve any issue
cognizable by the probate court.
Neither is there merit to the claim that the issuance and implementation of the
Reference Order violated the sovereignty of the Philippines. The decision of the
lower court is affirmed.

MALOLES II VS PHILIPPS

G.R. No. 129505. January 31, 2000

FACTS: On July 20, 1995 Dr. Arturo De Santos filed for the probate of his will.
He claimed he had no compulsory heirs and had named in his will as sole
legatee and devisee the Arturo de Santos Foundation, Inc.; that he disposed by
his will his properties with an approximate value of not less than P2,000,000.00;
and that copies of said will were in the custody of the named executrix, private
respondent Pacita de los Reyes Phillips.
On Feb. 16 1996, Makati RTC Branch-61 under judge Gorospe issued an order
granting the petition and allowing the will, the court found that the testator was of
sound mind and freely executed said will.
Shortly after on Feb. 26, 1996 Dr. De Santos died
Petitioner (testator’s nephew) claiming to be the only son of the deceased’s sister
Alicia de santos, filed a motion for intervention as the nearest of kin, and also as
a creditor of the deceased.
Defendant filed a motion for the issuance of letters testamentary in Makati
Branch 61, but then withdrew the same. Later defendant then filed the motion in
Makati RTC Branch 65.
Petitoner then filed a motion for intervention also with Branch 65, stating again
he was a full blooded nephew and that a case already related to the subject
matter was pending in Branch 61. Judge Abad Santos, referred the case to
Branch 61.
Meanwhile Judge Gorospe in Branch 61 denied the petitioner’s motion to
intervene, and denied taking cognizance of the case forwarded by Branch 65,
because the case in Branch 65 involved the Estate of Decent Arturo De Santos,
while the one in Branch 61 was filed by Arturo de Santos Himself when he was
alive and had already been decided back in Feb. 16 1996, when it allowed the
will.
Branch 65 did not want to take the case, but reversed it’s decision and again
took cognizance of the case to expedite proceedings.
ISSUES:

1. Whether or not Makati, Branch 61 has lost jurisdiction to proceed with the
probate proceedings upon its issuance of an order allowing the will of Dr. Arturo
de Santos.

2. Whether or not Makati, Branch 65 acquired jurisdiction over the petition for
issuance of letters testamentary filed by (private) respondent.

3. Whether or not the petitioner, being a creditor of the late Dr. Arturo de Santos,
has a right to intervene and oppose the petition for issuance of letters
testamentary filed by the respondent.

HELD: Branch 65 now has jurisdiction. Petitioner’s contention that that the
proceedings must continue until the estate is fully distributed to the lawful heirs,
devisees, and legatees of the testator, pursuant to Rule 73, sec. 1 of the Rules of
Court is without merit.

In cases for the probate of wills, it is well-settled that the authority of the court is
limited to ascertaining the extrinsic validity of the will, i.e., whether the testator,
being of sound mind, freely executed the will in accordance with the formalities
prescribed by law. This was already done in the ante-mortem probate of Dr. De
Santos’ will during his lifetime.

Thus, after the allowance of the will of Dr. De Santos on February 16, 1996,
there was nothing else for Branch 61 to do except to issue a certificate of
allowance of the will pursuant to Rule 73, §12 of the Rules of Court.

Petitioner, who defends the order of Branch 65 allowing him to intervene, cites
Rule 73, §1 which states:

Where estate of deceased persons settled. — If the decedent is an inhabitant of


the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien, his will shall
be proved, or letters of administration granted, and his estate settled, in the
Court of First Instance in the province in which he resides at the time of his
death, and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the Court of First
Instance of any province in which he had estate. The court first taking
cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise
jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts…

The above rule, however, actually provides for the venue of actions for the
settlement of the estate of deceased persons. It could not have been intended to
define the jurisdiction over the subject matter, because such legal provision is
contained in a law of procedure dealing merely with procedural matters.
Procedure is one thing, jurisdiction over the subject matter is another.

Indeed, the jurisdiction over probate proceedings and settlement of estates with
approximate value of over P100,000.00 (outside Metro Manila) or P200,000.00
(in Metro Manila) belongs to the regional trial courts. The different branches
comprising each court in one judicial region do not possess jurisdictions
independent of and incompatible with each other.

It is noteworthy that, although Rule 73, sec. 1 applies insofar as the venue of the
petition for probate of the will of Dr. De Santos is concerned, it does not bar other
branches of the same court from taking cognizance of the settlement of the
estate of the testator after his death.

Lastly, regarding petitioner’s claim as heir and creditor the Court said that

“The private respondent herein is not an heir or legatee under the will of the
decedent Arturo de Santos. Neither is he a compulsory heir of the latter. As the
only and nearest collateral relative of the decedent, he can inherit from the latter
only in case of intestacy. Since the decedent has left a will which has already
been probated and disposes of all his properties the private respondent can
inherit only if the said will is annulled. His interest in the decedent's estate is,
therefore, not direct or immediate. His claim to being a creditor of the estate is a
belated one, having been raised for the first time only in his reply to the
opposition to his motion to intervene, and, as far as the records show, not
supported by evidence.”

Thus, the Petition was denied.


MALOLES II VS COURT OF APPEALS, Gorospe

GR No. 129505. 31 January 2000

NATURE OF THE CASE: These are petitions for review on certiorari of the
decisions of the Thirteenth and the Special Eighth Divisions of the Court of
Appeals which ruled that petitioner has no right to intervene in the settlement of
the estate of Dr. Arturo de Santos. The cases were consolidated considering that
they involve the same parties and some of the issues raised are the same.
FACTS: Dr. Arturo de Santos, Filipino and a resident of Makati City, filed a
petition for probate of his will[1] in the Regional Trial Court, Branch 61, Makati,
docketed as Sp. Proc. No. M-4223. In his petition, Dr. De Santos alleged that he
had no compulsory heirs; that he had named in his will as sole legatee and
devisee the Arturo de Santos Foundation, Inc.

The Trial Court then granted the petition allowing the will. Arturo de Santos died
shortly thereafter.

Petitioner filed a motion for intervention claiming that, as the only child of Alicia
de Santos (testators sister) and Octavio L. Maloles, Sr., he was the sole full-
blooded nephew and nearest of kin of Dr. De Santos. He likewise alleged that he
was a creditor of the testator. Petitioner thus prayed for the reconsideration of the
order allowing the will and the issuance of letters of administration in his name.

The Trial Court however appointed Private Respondent as executor of the estate
in which petitioner sought to intervene reiterating his allegations. The Trial Court
granted the Motion for intervention by the Petitioner.

Aggrieved, Private Respondent sought recourse with the Court of Appeals


through Petition for Certiorari which was granted accordingly.

ISSUE: Whether or not Petitioner has the right to intervene.

RULING: Rule 79 states that any person interested in a will may state in writing
the grounds why letters testamentary should not issue to the persons named
therein as executors, or any of them, and the court, after hearing upon notice,
shall pass upon the sufficiency of such grounds.

Under this provision, it has been held that an "interested person" is 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, and whose interest is material and direct,
not merely incidental or contingent. Thus, even if petitioner is the nearest next of
kin of Dr. De Santos, he cannot be considered an "heir" of the testator. It is a
fundamental rule of testamentary succession that one who has no compulsory or
forced heirs may dispose of his entire estate by will.

Nor does he have any right to intervene in the settlement proceedings based on
his allegation that he is a creditor of the deceased. Since the testator instituted or
named an executor in his will, it is incumbent upon the Court to respect the
desires of the testator. The choice of his executor is a precious prerogative of a
testator, a necessary concomitant of his right to dispose of his property in the
manner he wishes. It is natural that the testator should desire to appoint one of
his confidence, one who can be trusted to carry out his wishes in the disposal of
his estate. The curtailment of this right may be considered a curtailment of the
right to dispose.
Only if the appointed executor is incompetent, refuses the trust, or fails to give
bond may the court appoint other persons to administer the estate. None of
these circumstances is present in this case.

RATIO DECIDENDI: The petition is DENIED and the decisions of the Court of
Appeals are hereby AFFIRMED.
NITTSCHER VS DR NITTSCHER

G.R. No. 160530 20 November 2007

FACTS: 31 January 1990, Dr. Nittscher filed with the RTC of Makati City a
petition for the probate of his holographic will and for the issuance of letters
testamentary to herein respondent Atty. Rogelio P. Nogales. On September 19,
1991, after hearing and with due notice to the compulsory heirs, the probate
court issued an order allowing the said holographic will.
26 September 1994, Dr. Nittscher died. Hence, Atty. Nogales filed a petition for
letters testamentary for the administration of the estate of the deceased. Dr.
Nittschers surviving spouse, herein petitioner Cynthia V. Nittscher, moved for the
dismissal of the said petition. However, the court in its September 29, 1995 Order
denied petitioners motion to dismiss, and granted respondents petition for the
issuance of letters testamentary.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration, but motion was denied for lack of merit. On
May 9, 1996, Atty. Nogales was issued letters testamentary and was sworn in as
executor.
Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals alleging that respondents petition for
the issuance of letters testamentary should have been dismissed outright as the
RTC had no jurisdiction over the subject matter and that she was denied due
process. The appellate court dismissed the appeal
Petitioner contends that respondents petition for the issuance of letters
testamentary lacked a certification against forum-shopping. She adds that the
RTC has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case because Dr.
Nittscher was allegedly not a resident of the Philippines; neither did he leave real
properties in the country. Petitioner claims that the properties listed for
disposition in her husbands will actually belong to her. She insists she was
denied due process of law because she did not receive by personal service the
notices of the proceedings.
ISSUES: (1)Whether or not certificate of non_forum shopping is required. (2)
Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction over the case. (3) Whether or not
petitioner was denied due process.
HELD:
(1) Revised Circular No. 28-9 and Administrative Circular No. 04-94 of the Court
require a certification against forum-shopping for all initiatory pleadings filed in
court. However, in this case, the petition for the issuance of letters testamentary
is not an initiatory pleading, but a mere continuation of the original petition for the
probate of Dr. Nittschers will. Hence, respondents failure to include a certification
against forum-shopping in his petition for the issuance of letters testamentary is
not a ground for outright dismissal of the said petition.
(2) Section 1, Rule 73 of the Rules of Court provides:
SECTION 1. Where estate of deceased persons settled. If the decedent is an
inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or an
alien, his will shall be proved, or letters of administration granted, and his
estate settled, in the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) in
the province in which he resides at the time of his death , and if he is an
inhabitant of a foreign country, the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial
Court) of any province in which he had estate. (Emphasis supplied.)
In this case, the RTC and the Court of Appeals are one in their finding that Dr.
Nittscher was a resident of Las Pias, Metro Manila at the time of his death. Such
factual finding, which we find supported by evidence on record, should no longer
be disturbed. Time and again we have said that reviews on certiorari are limited
to errors of law. Unless there is a showing that the findings of the lower court are
totally devoid of support or are glaringly erroneous, this Court will not analyze or
weigh evidence all over again.
Hence, applying the aforequoted rule, Dr. Nittscher correctly filed in the RTC of
Makati City, which then covered Las Pias, Metro Manila, the petition for the
probate of his will and for the issuance of letters testamentary to respondent.
(3) Section 4, Rule 76 of the Rules of Court states: SEC. 4. Heirs, devisees,
legatees, and executors to be notified by mail or personally. If the testator asks
for the allowance of his own will, notice shall be sent only to his compulsory
heirs.
In this case, records show that petitioner, with whom Dr. Nittscher had no child,
and Dr. Nittschers children from his previous marriage were all duly notified, by
registered mail, of the probate proceedings. Petitioner even appeared in court to
oppose respondents petition for the issuance of letters testamentary and she
also filed a motion to dismiss the said petition. She likewise filed a motion for
reconsideration of the issuance of the letters testamentary and of the denial of
her motion to dismiss. We are convinced petitioner was accorded every
opportunity to defend her cause. Therefore, petitioners allegation that she was
denied due process in the probate proceedings is without basis.
Petitioner should realize that the allowance of her husbands will is conclusive
only as to its due execution. The authority of the probate court is limited to
ascertaining whether the testator, being of sound mind, freely executed the will in
accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. Thus, petitioners claim of title
to the properties forming part of her husbands estate should be settled in an
ordinary action before the regular courts.
CORTES VS CA & RESELVA

G.R. No. 117417 21 September 21 2000

FACTS: Petitioner Menandro A. Reselva, private respondent Milagros R. Cortes,


and Florante Reselva are brothers and sister and children - heirs of the late
spouses Teodoro T. Reselva and Lucrecia Aguirre Reselva, who died on April 11,
1989 and May 13, 1987, respectively. During their lifetime, they acquired a
property particularly a house and lot consisting of 100 square meters, more or
less, with address at 173 Ilaw St., Balut, Tondo, Manila. As can be gleaned from
the records, Lucrecia Aguirre Reselva died ahead of Teodoro T. Reselva. The
latter executed a holographic will which was probated in this case on July 31,
1991, with Milagros R. Cortes, as the appointed Executrix. After having been
appointed and qualified as Executrix, she filed a motion before respondent
probate court praying that Menandro A. Reselva, the occupant of the property, be
ordered to vacate the property and turn over to said Executrix the possession
thereof. This is the motion which the respondent court granted in the assailed
order of October 18, 1993. The Regional Trial Court's order was set aside for
having been issued beyond the latter's limited jurisdiction as a probate court.
ISSUE: Whether or not the property in issue belongs to the conjugal partnership
or exclusively to the decedent.
HELD: Probate courts, or those in charge of proceedings whether testate or
intestate, cannot adjudicate or determine title to properties claimed to be part of
the estate and which are claimed to belong to outside parties. Stated otherwise,
"claims for title to, or right of possession of, personal or real property, made by
the heirs themselves, by title adverse to that of the deceased, or made by third
persons, cannot be entertained by the (probate) court.

Reselva, who refused to vacate the house and lot being eyed as part of the
estate of the late Teodoro T. Reselva, cannot be considered an "outside party" for
he is one of the three compulsory heirs of the former. As such, he is very much
involved in the settlement of Teodoro's estate. By way of exception to the above-
mentioned rule, when the parties are all heirs of the decedent, it is optional upon
them to submit to the probate court the question of title to property. Here, the
probate court is competent to decide the question of ownership. More so, when
the opposing parties belong to the poor stratum of society and a separate action
would be most expensive and inexpedient. When the controversy is whether the
property in issue belongs to the conjugal partnership or exclusively to the
decedent, the same is 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 the heirs. The case at
bar falls squarely under Rule 73,
Section 2 of the Revised Rules of Court: “Where estate upon dissolution of
marriage. - When the marriage is dissolved by the death of the husband or wife,
the community property shall be inventoried, administered, and liquidated, and
the debts thereof paid, in the testate or intestate proceedings of the deceased
spouse. If both spouses have died, the conjugal partnership shall be liquidated in
the testate or intestate proceedings of either."

NERI, ET AL. VS HEIRS OF


UY GR NO. 194366 10
OCTOBER 2012

FACTS: Anunciacion Neri, during her lifetime, had seven children, two 2 from her
first marriage with Gonzalo namely: Eutropia and Victoria, and five 5 from her
second marriage with Enrique Neri Enrique, namely: Napoleon, Alicia, Visminda,
Douglas and Rosa. Spouses Enrique and Anunciacion, they acquired several
homestead properties with a total area of 296,555 square meters located in
Samal, Davao del Norte. On September 21, 1977, Anunciacion died intestate.
Her husband, Enrique, in his personal capacity and as natural guardian of his
minor children Rosa and Douglas, together with Napoleon, Alicia, and Visminda
executed an Extra-Judicial Settlement of the Estate with Absolute Deed of Sale
adjudicating among themselves the said homestead properties, and thereafter,
conveying them of the late spouses Uy for a consideration of
₱80,000.00. On June 11, 1996, the children of Enrique filed a complaint for
annulment of sale of
the said homestead properties against spouses Uy before the RTC assailing the
validity of the sale for having been sold within the prohibited period. The
complaint was later amended to include Eutropia and Victorias additional
plaintiffs for having been excluded and deprived of their legitimes as children of
Anunciacion from her first marriage. In their amended answer with counterclaim,
the heirs of Uy countered that the sale took place beyond the 5-year prohibitory
period from the issuance of the homestead patents. They also denied knowledge
of Eutropia and Victoria’s exclusion from the extrajudicial settlement and sale of
the subject properties, and interposed further the defenses of prescription and
laches. The RTC rendered a decision ordering the annulment of the Extra-
Judicial Settlement of the Estate with Absolute Deed of Sale. It ruled that while
the sale occurred beyond the year prohibitory period, the sale is still void
because Eutropia and Victoria were deprived of their hereditary rights and that
Enrique had no judicial authority to sell the shares of his minor children, Rosa
and Douglas. Consequently, it rejected the defenses of laches and prescription
raised by spouses Uy, who claimed possession of the subject properties for 17
years, holding that co-ownership rights are imprescriptible. The CA reversed and
set aside the ruling of the RTC and dismissed the complaint of the petitioners.
ISSUE: Whether or not the natural guardian under parental authority, has the
power to dispose or encumber the property of the minor.
HELD: No. Children of Anunciacion from her first and second marriages are
entitled to inherit from her in equal shares. In the execution of the Extra-Judicial
Settlement of the Estate with Absolute Deed of Sale in favor of spouses Uy, all
the heirs of Anunciacion should have participated. Considering that Eutropia and
Victoria were admittedly excluded and that then minors Rosa and Douglas were
not properly represented therein, the settlement was not valid and binding upon
them. While the settlement of the estate is null and void, the subsequent sale of
the properties made by Enrique and his children, Napoleon, Alicia and Visminda,
in favor of the spouses is valid but only with respect to their proportionate shares.
With respect to Rosa and Douglas who were minors at the time of the execution
of the settlement and sale, their natural guardian and father, Enrique,
represented them in the transaction. A father or mother, as the natural guardian
of the minor under parental authority, does not have the power to dispose or
encumber the property of the latter such power is granted by law only to a judicial
guardian of the ward’s property and even then only with courts’ prior approval
secured in accordance with the proceedings set forth by the Rules of Court.
HEIRS OF TEVES VS CA, HEIRS OF IT – IT
G.R. No. 109963. October 13, 1999

FACTS: Marcelina Cimafranca and Joaquin Teves had nine children, namely
Teotimo, Felicia, Pedro, Andres, Asuncion, Gorgonio, Cresenciano, Arcadia and
Maria. After they died, intestate and without debts, in 1943 and 1953,
respectively, their children executed extrajudicial settlements purporting to
adjudicate unto themselves the ownership over two parcels of land belonging to
their deceased parents and to alienate their shares thereto in favor of their sister
Asuncion Teves. On May 9, 1984, plaintiffs-appellants Ricardo, son of
Cresenciano, and Arcadia Teves filed a complaint with the RTC of Negros
Oriental for the partition and reconveyance of two parcels of land located in
Dumaguete, designated as Lots 769-A and 6409, against the heirs of Asuncion
Teves. The complaint was subsequently amended to include Maria Teves and the
heirs of Teotimo, Felicia, Pedro, and Gorgonio Teves as plaintiffs. They alleged
that defendantsappellees, without any justifiable reason, refused to partition the
said parcels of land and to convey to plaintiffs their rightful shares. The present
controversy involves only Marcelina Cimafranca's one-fourth (1/4) share in the
land, designated as Lot 769-A. On June 13, 1956, Teotimo, Felicia, Pedro,
Asuncion, Gorgonio and Arcadia Teves executed a document entitled
"Settlement of Estate and Sale," adjudicating unto themselves, in equal shares,
Lot 769-A and conveying their shares, interests and participations over the same
in favor of Asuncion Teves for the consideration of P425.00. A similar deed
denominated "Extrajudicial Settlement and Sale” was signed by Maria Teves on
April 21, 1959. Under such deed, Maria conveys her own share over Lot 769-A in
favor of Asuncion Teves for the consideration of P80.00. The two settlements
were denounced by the plaintiffs as spurious. In answer to plaintiffs-appellants'
charges of fraud, defendants-appellees maintained that the assailed documents
were executed with all the formalities required by law and are therefore binding
and legally effective as bases for acquiring ownership or legal title over the lots in
question. Furthermore, it is contended that plaintiffs-appellants have slept on
their rights and should now be deemed to have abandoned such rights. The trial
court ruled in favor of defendants-appellees and rendered judgment dismissing
the complaint with costs against plaintiffs-appellants. The Court of Appeals
upheld the trial court's decision.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the extrajudicial settlements executed by the heirs of
Teves valid?
2. Whether or not the non-registration of an extrajudicial settlement affect
its intrinsic validity?
HEL
D:
1. YES. For a partition pursuant to section 1 of Rule 74 to be valid, the following
conditions must concur: (1) the decedent left no will; (2) the decedent left no
debts, or if there were debts left, all had been paid; (3) the heirs are all of age, or
if they are minors, the latter are represented by their judicial guardian or legal
representatives; (4) the partition was made by means of a public instrument or
affidavit duly filed with the Register of Deeds. We uphold, finding no cogent
reason to reverse, the trial and appellate courts' factual finding that the evidence
presented by plaintiffs- appellants is insufficient to overcome the evidentiary
value of the extrajudicial settlements. The deeds are public documents and it has
been held by this Court that a public document executed with all the legal
formalities is entitled to a presumption of truth as to the recitals contained therein.
In order to overthrow a certificate of a notary public to the effect that the grantor
executed a certain document and acknowledged the fact of its execution before
him, mere preponderance of evidence will not suffice. Rather, the evidence must
be so clear, strong and convincing as to exclude all reasonable dispute as to the
falsity of the certificate. When the evidence is conflicting, the certificate will be
upheld. The appellate court's ruling that the evidence presented by plaintiffs-
appellants does not constitute the clear, strong, and convincing evidence
necessary to overcome the positive value of the extrajudicial settlements
executed by the parties, all of which are public documents, being essentially a
finding of fact, is entitled to great respect by the appellate court and should not
be disturbed on appeal. The division of Lot 769-A was embodied in two deeds.
The first extrajudicial settlement was entered into by Teotimo, Felicia, Pedro,
Gorgonio, Arcadia and Asuncion Teves in 1956 , while the second deed was
executed in 1959 by Maria Teves. Cresenciano was not a signatory to either
settlement. However, in contrast to the extrajudicial settlement covering Lot 6409,
the two extrajudicial settlements involving Lot 769-A do not purport to exclude
Cresenciano from his participation in Lot 769-A or to cede his share therein in
favor of Asuncion. The settlement clearly adjudicated the property in equal
shares in favor of the eight heirs of Marcelina Cimafranca. Moreover, the deeds
were intended to convey to Asuncion Teves only the shares of those heirs who
affixed their signatures in the two documents.
2. No. In the case of Vda. de Reyes vs. CA, the Court, interpreting section 1 of
Rule 74 of the Rules of Court, upheld the validity of an oral partition of the
decedent's estate and declared that the non-registration of an extrajudicial
settlement does not affect its intrinsic validity. It was held in this case that — [t]he
requirement that a partition be put in a public document and registered has for its
purpose the protection of creditors and at the same time the protection of the
heirs themselves against tardy claims. The object of registration is to serve as
constructive notice to others. It follows then that the intrinsic validity of partition
not executed with the prescribed formalities does not come into play when there
are no creditors or the rights of creditors are not affected. Where no such
rights are involved, it is competent for the heirs of an estate to enter into an
agreement for distribution in a manner and upon a plan different from those
provided by law. Thus, despite its non-registration, the extrajudicial settlements
involving Lot 769-A are legally effective and binding among the heirs of
Marcelina Cimafranca since their mother had no creditors at the time of her
death.

TAN VS. BENOLIRAO


GR NO. 153820 16 OCTOBER 2009

FACTS: Spouses Lamberto and Erlinda Benolirao and the Spouses Reynaldo
and Norma Taningco were the co-owners of a 689-square meter parcel of land
(property) located in Tagaytay City and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title
(TCT) No. 26423.

On October 6, 1992, the co-owners executed a Deed of Conditional Sale over


the property in favor of Tan for the price of P1,378,000.00. \

Pursuant to the Deed of Conditional Sale, Tan issued and delivered to the co-
owners/vendors Metrobank Check No. 904407 for P200,000.00 as down
payment for the property, for which the vendors issued a corresponding receipt.

On November 6, 1992, Lamberto Benolirao died intestate. Erlinda Benolirao (his


widow and one of the vendors of the property) and her children, as heirs of the
deceased, executed an extrajudicial settlement of Lambertos estate. On the
basis of the extrajudicial settlement, a new certificate of title over the property,
TCT No. 27335, was issued on March 26, 1993 in the names of the Spouses
Reynaldo and Norma Taningco and Erlinda Benolirao and her children. As stated
in the Deed of Conditional Sale, Tan had until March 15, 1993 to pay the balance
of the purchase price. By agreement of the parties, this period was extended by
two months, so Tan had until May 15, 1993 to pay the balance.

Tan failed to pay and asked for another extension, which the vendors again
granted. Notwithstanding this second extension, Tan still failed to pay the
remaining balance due on May 21, 1993. The vendors thus wrote him a letter
demanding payment of the balance of the purchase price within five (5) days
from notice; otherwise, they would declare the rescission of the conditional sale
and the forfeiture of his down payment based on the terms of the contract. Tan
refused to comply with the vendors demand and instead wrote them a letter
claiming that the annotation on the title, made pursuant to Section 4, Rule 74 of
the Rules, constituted an encumbrance on the property that would prevent the
vendors from delivering a clean title to
him. Thus, he alleged that he could no longer be required to pay the balance of
the purchase price and demanded the return of his down payment.

ISSUE: Whether or not an annotation made pursuant to Section 4, Rule 74 of the


Rules of Court on a certificate of title covering real property considered an
encumbrance on the property?

HELD: Yes. While Tan admits that he refused to pay the balance of the purchase
price, he claims that he had valid reason to do so the sudden appearance of an
annotation on the title pursuant to Section 4, Rule 74 of the Rules, which Tan
considered an encumbrance on the property. The annotation placed on TCT No.
27335, the new title issued to reflect the extrajudicial partition of Lamberto
Benoliraos estate among his heirs. |

This annotation was placed on the title pursuant to Section 4, Rule 74 of the
Rules. Sec.
4. Liability of distributees and estate. - If it shall appear at any time within two (2)
years after the settlement and distribution of an estate in accordance with the
provisions of either of the first two sections of this rule, that an heir or other
person has been unduly deprived of his lawful participation in the estate, such
heir or such other person may compel the settlement of the estate in the courts in
the manner hereinafter provided for the purpose of satisfying such lawful
participation. And if within the same time of two (2) years, it shall appear that
there are debts outstanding against the estate which have not been paid, or
that an heir or other person has been unduly deprived of his lawful participation
payable in money, the court having jurisdiction of the estate may, by order for that
purpose, after hearing, settle the amount of such debts or lawful participation and
order how much and in what manner each distributee shall contribute in the
payment thereof, and may issue execution, if circumstances require,against
the bond provided in the preceding section or against the real estate belonging to
the deceased, or both.

Such bond and such real estate shall remain charged with a liability to creditors,
heirs, or other persons for the full period of two (2) years after such distribution,
notwithstanding any transfers of real estate that may have been made. The
annotation, therefore, creates a legal encumbrance or lien on the real property in
favor of the excluded heirs or creditors. Where a buyer purchases the real
property despite the annotation, he must be ready for the possibility that the title
could be subject to the rights of excluded parties.

The cancellation of the sale would be the logical consequence where: (a) the
annotation clearly appears on the title, warning all would-be buyers; (b) the sale
unlawfully interferes with the rights of heirs; and (c) the rightful heirs bring an
action to question the transfer within the two-year period provided by law.
REILLO et. al vs SAN
JOSE GR 166393 18
JUNE 2009

FACTS: Quiterio San Jose and Antonina Espiritu Santo are husband and wife.
Both died intestate in 1970 and 1976 respectively. They have five children, to wit:
Virginia, Virgilio, Galicano, Victoria, and Catalina.
In 1998, Virginia with the help of her husband (Zosimo Fernando, Sr.) and her
children (Cristina Reillo et al) executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of
Estate where they made it appear that Virginia was the only heir of the spouses
Quiterio and Antonina. They adjudicated among themselves the estate and then
later sold it to Ma. Teresa Piñon.
Later, the other siblings found out about what Virginia did and so in October
1999, they filed a complaint in RTC-Rizal for the annulment of the deed of
extrajudicial settlement as well as the subsequent deed of sale.
In their answer, Reillo et al (children of the now deceased Virginia) admitted that
their grandparents (Quiterio and Antonina) indeed had five children and that their
mom isn’t the only heir. However, they alleged that what their mom adjudicated to
herself is her inheritance; that other than the parcel of land their mom
adjudicated to herself, their grandparents have 12 other parcels of land which are
under the possession of Galicano et al; that as such, they are filing a
“compulsory” counterclaim for the partition of the other 12 parcels of land.
Galicano et al then filed a motion for the court to render judgment on the
pleadings. The trial court granted the motion. The RTC ruled that the admission
of Reillo et al that there are 4 other heirs is proof that the extrajudicial settlement
is void because the other heirs were excluded. The RTC also ruled that Reillo et
al’s counterclaim is not compulsory but rather it is a permissive counterclaim. As
such, Reillo et al should have paid docket fees therefor but they failed to do so
hence their counterclaim is dismissed. The RTC then ordered the heirs to
partition the estate according to the laws of intestate succession. On appeal, the
Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the decision of the RTC.
Reillo et al appealed the decision of the CA on the ground that the judgment on
the pleading is void; that it is the RTC’s fault why they failed to pay the docket
fees for its failure to direct them; and that the order for partition is void because it
does not come with an order of publication pursuant to Rule 74 of the Rules of
Court.
ISSUE: Whether or not the order for partition issued by the trial court is void
because there was no corresponding order for publication pursuant to the
provisions of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court.
HELD: No. The applicable rule is Rule 69 of the Rules of Court. Since the
extrajudicial settlement is void, the property is reverted back to its previous state
which is: that it is part of the estate of Quiterio and Antonina. As such, the estate
is deemed undivided among the heirs. And every action to end an in division
among heirs is deemed an action for partition. Therefore Rule 69 applies and
under this rule, there is no need to publish the partition in a newspaper of general
circulation.
Anent the issue of the judgment on the pleadings, the same is valid because
Reillo et al failed to raise an issue when they already admitted that there are
other heirs which were excluded in the deed of extrajudicial settlement. Their
allegation that the parcel of land adjudicated by their mother is her inheritance is
not tenable because the same was not indicated in the deed of extrajudicial
settlement. In fact, what was stated was that she was the sole heir.
Anent the issue of the counterclaim, Reillo et al’s counterclaim is permissive in
nature and not a compulsory one because their claim is not “necessarily
connected with the transaction or occurrence constituting the subject matter of
the opposing party’s claim”. Their counterclaim consists of a claim that there are
12 other parcels of land owned by Quiterio and Antonina. Such allegation is
already entirely different from the action brought by Galicano et al., hence it is
permissive and it can even be brought in a separate proceeding. As a permissive
pleading, it requires the payment of docket fees and the RTC cannot be faulted
for not directing Reillo et al to do so. The payment is incumbent upon Reillo et al
and the obligation cannot be shifted to the RTC.
ANTONIO BALTAZAR et al. VS.
LORENZO LAXA GR NO. 174489,
11 APRIL 2012

FACTS: Pacencia Regala is the testator in this case. She took in and took care
of her nephew, Lorenzo Laxa, who is a resident and citizen of the US. Before
going to the US. Pacencia, executed her will bequeathing all her known and also
unkown to Lorenzo, his wife and two daughters. The will was executed in the
house of retired judge Limpin and was witnessed by 3 witnesses, it was also read
to Pacencia twice, after whic, Pacencia signed all the pages of the will together
with her witnesses. Six days after the execution of the will, Pacencia went to the
US to stay with the family of Lorenzo and there stayed until her death. Four years
after Pacencia’s death, Lorenzo filed for the Probate of the Will of Paceencia and
for issuance of Letters of Administration in his favor. After publication and there
being no opposition, RTC of Guagua, Pampanga allowed Lorenzo to present
evidence. The next day, however, petitioner Antonio Baltazar filed an opposition
claiming that the properties subject of Pacencia’s will belong to Nicomeda Regala
Mangalindan, his predecessor-in- interest and Pacencia had no right to bequeath
them to Lorenzo and was later joined by the other petitioners. They claim that:
the will was not executed and attested to in accordance with the requirements of
the law; that Pacencia was mentally incapable of making the will and that she
was influenced tricked, and was under duress when she executed the will.
The RTC denied the request of both Lorenzo and Antonio to be appointed as
administrator since Lorenzo is a resident of the US and Antonio’s claim as co-
owner of the properties has not yet been established.
The RTC later ruled denying the petition and disallowed the notarized will and
gave credence to the testimony of one of the petitioners that Pacencia was no
longer possesed of sufficient reason or strength of mind to have testamentary
capacity.
The petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals which reversed the ruling of the
RTC.
ISSUE:Whether the authenticity and due execution of the notarial will was
sufficiently established to warrant its allowance for probate.
HELD: Yes. Faithful compliance with the formalities laid down by law is clear and
evident from the face of the will. All the signatures of the testatrix, her witnesses
and the notary public are present and evidence and signed in the presence of
one another. Likewise, the burden to prove that Pacencia was of unsound mind
at the time of the execution of the will lies on the shoulder of the petitioner. The
state of being forgetful, as in the case of Pacencia does not render a person
mentally unsound and unable and unfit to execute a will. Forgetfulness is not
equivalent to being of unsound mind. Further, bare allegations of duress or
influence of fear of threats, undue and improper influence and pressure, fraud of
trickery cannot be used as basis to deny the probate of a will. It is clear and
undisputed fact that Pacencia took care and treated Lorenzo as her own son.
This kind of relationship is unusual and goes againt the allegations of petitioners.
Likewise, on the allegation of the petitioners that all of the witnesses, as well as,
the notary public be presented is court, the Court disagrees. It was thoroughly
explained why the other witnesses were not presented. It is established rule that
a testament may not be disallowed just because the attesting witneeses declare
against its due execution. The probate of the will may be allowed on the basis of
the testimony of one of the witnesses proving Pacencia’s sanity and due
execution of the will, as well as on the proof of her handwriting. Lastly, the very
existence of the will is in itself prima facie proof that the supposed testatrix has
willed that her estate be distributed in the manner she wills. This, together with
the close and established relationship of Pacencia and Lorenzo, the evidence
and testimonies of witnesses, as opposed to the total lack of evidence from the
oppositor, constrained the Court to favor the authenticity of the will and the
allowance for probate.
UY KIAO ENG vs. NIXON
LEE G.R.No. 176831 15
January 2010

FACTS: Respondent Nixon Lee filed a petition for mandamus with damages
against his mother Uy Kiao Eng, herein petitioner, before the RTC of Manila to
compel petitioner to produce the holographic will of his father so that probate
proceedings for the allowance thereof could be instituted. Respondent had
already requested his mother to settle and liquidate the patriarch’s estate and to
deliver to the legal heirs their respective inheritance, but petitioner refused to do
so without any justifiable reason. Petitioner denied that she was in custody of the
original holographic will and that she knew of its whereabouts. The RTC heard
the case. After the presentation and formal offer of respondent’s evidence,
petitioner demurred, contending that her son failed to prove that she had in her
custody the original holographic will. The RTC, at first, denied the demurrer to
evidence. However, it granted the same on petitioner’s motion for
reconsideration. Respondent’s motion for reconsideration of this latter order was
denied. Hence, the petition was dismissed. Aggrieved, respondent sought review
from the appellate court. The CA initially denied the appeal for lack of merit.
Respondent moved for reconsideration. The appellate court granted the motion,
set aside its earlier ruling, issued the writ, and ordered the production of the will
and the payment of attorney’s fees. It ruled this time that respondent was able to
show by testimonial evidence that his mother had in her possession the
holographic will. Dissatisfied with this turn of events, petitioner filed a motion for
reconsideration. The appellate court denied this motion. Left with no other
recourse, petitioner brought the matter before this Court, contending in the main
that the petition for mandamus is not the proper remedy and that the testimonial
evidence used by the appellate court as basis for its ruling is inadmissible.
ISSUE: Whether or not mandamus is the proper remedy of the respondent.
HELD: The Court cannot sustain the CA’s issuance of the writ.
Mandamus is a command issuing from a court of law of competent jurisdiction, in
the name of the state or the sovereign, directed to some inferior court, tribunal, or
board, or to some corporation or
person requiring the performance of a particular duty therein specified, which
duty results from the official station of the party to whom the writ is directed or
from operation of law. This definition recognizes the public character of the
remedy, and clearly excludes the idea that it may be resorted to for the purpose
of enforcing the performance of duties in which the public has no interest. The
writ is a proper recourse for citizens who seek to enforce a public right and to
compel the performance of a public duty, most especially when the public right
involved is mandated by the Constitution. As the quoted provision instructs,
mandamus will lie if the tribunal, corporation, board, officer, or person unlawfully
neglects the performance of an act which the law enjoins as a duty resulting from
an office, trust or station.
The writ of mandamus, however, will not issue to compel an official to do
anything which is not his duty to do or which it is his duty not to do, or to give to
the applicant anything to which he is not entitled by law. Nor will mandamus issue
to enforce a right which is in substantial dispute or as to which a substantial
doubt exists, although objection raising a mere technical question will be
disregarded if the right is clear and the case is meritorious. As a rule, mandamus
will not lie in the absence of any of the following grounds: [a] that the court,
officer, board, or person against whom the action is taken unlawfully neglected
the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting
from office, trust, or station; or [b] that such court, officer, board, or person has
unlawfully excluded petitioner/relator from the use and enjoyment of a right or
office to which he is entitled. On the part of the relator, it is essential to the
issuance of a writ of mandamus that he should have a clear legal right to the
thing demanded and it must be the imperative duty of respondent to perform the
act required.
Recognized further in this jurisdiction is the principle that mandamus cannot be
used to enforce contractual obligations. Generally, mandamus will not lie to
enforce purely private contract rights, and will not lie against an individual unless
some obligation in the nature of a public or quasi-public duty is imposed. The writ
is not appropriate to enforce a private right against an individual.] The writ of
mandamus lies to enforce the execution of an act, when, otherwise, justice would
be obstructed; and, regularly, issues only in cases relating to the public and to the
government; hence, it is called a prerogative writ. To preserve its prerogative
character, mandamus is not used for the redress of private wrongs, but only in
matters relating to the public.
Moreover, an important principle followed in the issuance of the writ is that there
should be no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law
other than the remedy of mandamus being invoked. In other words, mandamus
can be issued only in cases where the usual modes of procedure and forms of
remedy are powerless to afford relief. Although classified as a legal remedy,
mandamus is equitable in its nature and its issuance is generally controlled by
equitable principles. Indeed, the grant of the writ of mandamus lies in the sound
discretion of the court.
In the instant case, the Court, without unnecessarily ascertaining whether the
obligation involved here—the production of the original holographic will—is in the
nature of a public or a private duty,
rules that the remedy of mandamus cannot be availed of by respondent Lee
because there lies another plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary
course of law. Let it be noted that respondent has a photocopy of the will and that
he seeks the production of the original for purposes of probate. The Rules of
Court, however, does not prevent him from instituting probate proceedings for the
allowance of the will whether the same is in his possession or not.
There being a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law
for the production of the subject will, the remedy of mandamus cannot be availed
of. Suffice it to state that respondent Lee lacks a cause of action in his petition.
Thus, the Court grants the demurrer.

PALAGANAS VS PALAGANAS
G.R. No. 169144 26 JANUARY 2011

FACTS: On November 8, 2001 Ruperta C. Palaganas, a Filipino who became a


naturalized United States citizen, died single and childless. In the last will and
testament she executed in California, she designated her brother, Sergio C.
Palaganas, as the executor of her will for she had left properties in the
Philippines and in the USA. On May 19, 2003 respondent Ernesto C. Palaganas,
another brother of Ruperta, filed with the Regional Trial Court of Malolos,
Bulacan, a petition for the probate of Ruperta’s will and for his appointment as
special administrator of her estate.
On October 15, 2003, however, petitioners Manuel Miguel Palaganas and
Benjamin Gregorio Palaganas, nephews of Ruperta, opposed the petition on the
ground that Ruperta’s will should not be probated in the Philippines but in the
U.S. where she executed it. Manuel and Benjamin added that, assuming
Ruperta’s will could be probated in the Philippines, it is invalid nonetheless for
having been executed under duress and without the testator’s full understanding
of the consequences of such act. Ernesto, they claimed, is also not qualified to
act as administrator of the estate. Meantime, since Ruperta’s foreign-based
siblings, Gloria Villaluz and Sergio, were on separate occasions in the Philippines
for a short visit, respondent Ernesto filed a motion with the RTC for leave to take
their deposition, which it granted. On April, 13, 2004 the RTC directed the parties
to submit their memorandum on the issue of whether or not Ruperta’s U.S. will
may be probated in and allowed by a court in the Philippines. Â On June 17,
2004 the RTC issued an order: (a) admitting to probate Ruperta’s last will; (b)
appointing respondent Ernesto as special administrator at the request of Sergio,
the U.S.-based executor designated in the will; and (c) issuing the Letters of
Special Administration to Ernesto. Â Aggrieved by the RTC’s order, petitioner
nephews Manuel and Benjamin appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA), arguing
that an unprobated will executed by an American citizen in the U.S. cannot be
probated for the first time in the Philippines. Â On July 29, 2005 the CA
rendered a decision, affirming the assailed order of the
RTC, holding that the RTC properly allowed the probate of the will, subject to
respondent Ernesto’s submission of the authenticated copies of the documents
specified in the order and his posting of required bond. The CA pointed out that
Section 2, Rule 76 of the Rules of Court does not require prior probate and
allowance of the will in the country of its execution, before it can be probated in
the Philippines. The present case, said the CA, is different from reprobate, which
refers to a will already probated and allowed abroad. Reprobate is governed by
different rules or procedures. Unsatisfied with the decision, Manuel and Benjamin
came to this Court.
ISSUE :Whether or not a will executed by a foreigner abroad may be probated in
the Philippines although it has not been previously probated and allowed in the
country where it was executed.
RULING: Yes. Our laws do not prohibit the probate of wills executed by
foreigners abroad although the same have not as yet been probated and allowed
in the countries of their execution. A foreign will can be given legal effects in our
jurisdiction. Article 816 of the Civil Code states that the will of an alien who is
abroad produces effect in the Philippines if made in accordance with the
formalities prescribed by the law of the place where he resides, or according to
the formalities observed in his country. In insisting that Ruperta’s will should have
been first probated and allowed by the court of California, petitioners Manuel and
Benjamin obviously have in mind the procedure for the reprobate of will before
admitting it here. But, reprobate or re-authentication of a will already probated
and allowed in a foreign country is different from that probate where the will is
presented for the first time before a competent court. Reprobate is specifically
governed by Rule 77 of the Rules of Court. Contrary to petitioner’s stance, since
this latter rule applies only to reprobate of a will, it cannot be made to apply to the
present case. In reprobate, the local court acknowledges as binding the findings
of the foreign probate court provided its jurisdiction over the matter can be
established.
DY YIENG SEANGIO, et al. vs. REYES,
et al. G.R. NO. 140371-72 / 27
NOVEMBER 2006

FACTS: Petitioners Alfredo Seangio et. al filed for the settlement of the intestate
estate of the late Segundo Seangio. Petitioners opposed said petition,
contending that Segundo left a holographic will disinheriting Alfredo for cause.
The reason for the disinheritance was due to Alfredo’s maltreatment to his father
Segundo. In view of the purported holographic will, petitioners averred that in the
event the decedent is found to have a will, the intestate proceedings are to be
automatically suspended and replaced by the proceedings of the will. PRs moved
for the dismissal of the probate proceedings contending that the alleged will of
Segundo does not contain any disposition of the estate of the deceased and that
all other compulsory heirs were not named nor instituted as heir. Devisee or
legatee hence there is preterition which would result to intestacy. Petitioners
countered that the rule on preterition does not apply because Segundo’s will
does not constitute a universal heir or heirs to the exclusion of one or more
compulsory heirs. They argued that the testator intended all his compulsory
heirs, petitioners and PRs alike, with the sole exception of Alfredo, to inherit his
estate.

ISSUE: Whether or not the compulsory heirs in the direct line were preterited in
the will

HELD: No. The compulsory heirs in the direct line were not preterited in the will.
According to the SC, it was Segundo’s last expression to bequeath his estate to
all his compulsory heirs with the sole exception of Alfredo. Also, Segundo did not
institute an heir to the exclusion of his other compulsory heirs. The mere mention
of the name of one of the petitioners, Virginia, in the document did not operate to
institute her as the universal heir. Her name was included only as a witness to
the altercation between Segundo and his son, Alfredo