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BERNARDO v CAGR L-18148 | 7 SCRA 367 | February 28, 1963 | BARRERA, J.

:
At the time of his death on February 14, 1992, Troadio Manalo left several real properties located
FACTS: The properties in the will of testator Eusebio was disposed to his wife Hermogena and in Manila and in the province of Tarlac including a business under the name and style Manalos
his cousins. The wife died and was substituted by her collateral Machine Shop with offices at No. 19 Calavite Street, La Loma, Quezon City and at No. 45 Gen.
relatives, upon executor Bernardo's petition. Petitioner Tinio Street, Arty Subdivision, Valenzuela, Metro Manila.
-executor filed his project of partition, but was opposed by collateral relatives claiming that ½ of
the properties disposed of in the will are part of the spouses conjugal partnership. Probate court On November 26, 1992, herein respondents, who are eight (8) of the surviving children of the late
heard evidence. Petitioner contended that it was donated by the wife to the husband so it was not Troadio Manalo, namely: Purita, Milagros, Belen, Rosalina, Romeo, Roberto, Amalia, and Imelda
part of CPG and that the oppositors cannot question the validity of the donation in the probate filed a petition[6] with the respondent Regional Trial Court of Manila[7] for the judicial settlement
proceedings. of the estate of their late father, Troadio Manalo, and for the appointment of their brother, Romeo
Manalo, as administrator thereof.
Oppositors rebutted that since it was donated during marriage, it was void; hence, the husband
did not own it and cannot dispose it by will. Probate court ordered the donation voided and that On December 15, 1992, the trial court issued an order setting the said petition for hearing on
executor submit another project of partition. February 11, 1993 and directing the publication of the order for three (3) consecutive weeks in a
newspaper of general circulation in Metro Manila, and further directing service by registered mail
Petitioner filed Motion for New trial (MNT) on the ground that probate court had no jurisdiction, but of the said order upon the heirs named in the petition at their respective addresses mentioned
was denied. Petitioner filed for appeal to CA, but was also denied. therein.

Hence, this petition for review by certiorari before the SC. On February 11, 1993, the date set for hearing of the petition, the trial court issued an order
declaring the whole world in default, except the government, and set the reception of evidence of
ISSUE: Whether or not a probate court can determine a question of ownership over property the petitioners therein on March 16, 1993. However, this order of general default was set aside by
during distribution. the trial court upon motion of herein petitioners (oppositors therein) namely: Pilar S. Vda. De
Manalo, Antonio, Isabelita and Orlando who were granted ten (10) days within which to file their
HELD: YES. Probate court has to liquidate the conjugal partnership to determine the testator's opposition to the petition.
estate to be distributed to
the heirs who are partiesto the proceedings. Several pleadings were subsequently filed by herein petitioners, through counsel, culminating in
the filing of an Omnibus Motion[8] on July 23, 1993 seeking: (1) to set aside and reconsider the
As a general rule, question as to title to property cannot be passed upon on testate or intestate Order of the trial court dated July 9, 1993 which denied the motion for additional extension of time
proceedings, to file opposition; (2) to set for preliminary hearing their affirmative defenses as grounds for
• except:a. where a party prays merely for inclusion or exclusion from inventory of the property; dismissal of the case; (3) to declare that the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the persons
and b. when interested parties are all heirs and submit a question as to title to property, provided of the oppositors; and (4) for the immediate inhibition of the presiding judge.
third persons are not prejudiced
On July 30, 1993, the trial court issued an order[9] which resolved, thus:
2_PILAR S. VDA. DE MANALO, ANTONIO S. MANALO, ORLANDO S. MANALO, and
ISABELITA MANALO, petitioners, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. REGIONAL TRIAL A. To admit the so-called Opposition filed by counsel for the oppositors on July 20, 1993, only for
COURT OF MANILA (BRANCH 35), PURITA S. JAYME, MILAGROS M. TERRE, BELEN M. the purpose of considering the merits thereof;
ORILLANO, ROSALINA M. ACUIN, ROMEO S. MANALO, ROBERTO S. MANALO, AMALIA
MANALO and IMELDA MANALO, respondents. B. To deny the prayer of the oppositors for a preliminary hearing of their affirmative defenses as
ground for the dismissal of this proceeding, said affirmative defenses being irrelevant and
DECISION immaterial to the purpose and issue of the present proceeding;

DE LEON, JR., J.: C. To declare that this court has acquired jurisdiction over the persons of the oppositors;

This is a petition for review on certiorari filed by petitioners Pilar S. Vda. De Manalo, et. al., seeking D. To deny the motion of the oppositors for the inhibition of this Presiding Judge;
to annul the Resolution[1] of the Court of Appeals[2] affirming the Orders[3] of the Regional Trial
Court and the Resolution[4]which denied petitioners motion for reconsideration. E. To set the application of Romeo Manalo for appointment as regular administrator in the intestate
estate of the deceased Troadio Manalo for hearing on September 9, 1993 at 2:00 oclock in the
The antecedent facts[5] are as follows: afternoon.

Troadio Manalo, a resident of 1966 Maria Clara Street, Sampaloc, Manila died intestate on Herein petitioners filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court with the Court
February 14, 1992. He was survived by his wife, Pilar S. Manalo, and his eleven (11) children, of Appeals, docketed as CA-G.R. SP. No. 39851, after their motion for reconsideration of the
namely: Purita M. Jayme, Antonio Manalo, Milagros M. Terre, Belen M. Orillano, Isabelita Manalo, Order dated July 30, 1993 was denied by the trial court in its Order[10] dated September 15, 1993.
Rosalina M. Acuin, Romeo Manalo, Roberto Manalo, Amalia Manalo, Orlando Manalo, and Imelda In their petition for certiorari with the appellate court, they contend that: (1) the venue was
Manalo, who are all of legal age. improperly laid in SP. PROC. No. 92-63626; (2) the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over their
persons; (3) the share of the surviving spouse was included in the intestate proceedings; (4) there petitioners claim that the same is in the nature of an ordinary civil action. The said petition contains
was absence of earnest efforts toward compromise among members of the same family; and (5) sufficient jurisdictional facts required in a petition for the settlement of estate of a deceased person
no certification of non-forum shopping was attached to the petition. such as the fact of death of the late Troadio Manalo on February 14, 1992, as well as his residence
in the City of Manila at the time of his said death. The fact of death of the decedent and of his
Finding the contentions untenable, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for certiorari in its residence within the country are foundation facts upon which all the subsequent proceedings in
Resolution[11] promulgated on September 30, 1996. On May 6, 1997 the motion for the administration of the estate rest.[17] The petition in SP. PROC. No. 92-63626 also contains
reconsideration of the said resolution was likewise dismissed.[12] an enumeration of the names of his legal heirs including a tentative list of the properties left by the
deceased which are sought to be settled in the probate proceedings. In addition, the reliefs prayed
The only issue raised by herein petitioners in the instant petition for review is whether or not the for in the said petition leave no room for doubt as regard the intention of the petitioners therein
respondent Court of Appeals erred in upholding the questioned orders of the respondent trial court (private respondents herein) to seek judicial settlement of the estate of their deceased father,
which denied their motion for the outright dismissal of the petition for judicial settlement of estate Troadio Manalo, to wit:
despite the failure of the petitioners therein to aver that earnest efforts toward a compromise
involving members of the same family have been made prior to the filing of the petition but that PRAYER
the same have failed.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed for of this Honorable Court:
Herein petitioners claim that the petition in SP. PROC No. 92-63626 is actually an ordinary civil
action involving members of the same family. They point out that it contains certain averments (a) That after due hearing, letters of administration be issued to petitioner ROMEO MANALO for
which, according to them, are indicative of its adversarial nature, to wit: the administration of the estate of the deceased TORADIO MANALO upon the giving of a bond in
such reasonable sum that this Honorable Court may fix.
xxx
(b) That after all the properties of the deceased TROADIO MANALO have been inventoried and
Par. 7. One of the surviving sons, ANTONIO MANALO, since the death of his father, TROADIO expenses and just debts, if any, have been paid and the legal heirs of the deceased fully
MANALO, had not made any settlement, judicial or extra-judicial of the properties of the deceased determined, that the said estate of TROADIO MANALO be settled and distributed among the legal
father, TROADIO MANALO. heirs all in accordance with law.

Par. 8. xxx the said surviving son continued to manage and control the properties aforementioned, c) That the litigation expenses o these proceedings in the amount of P250,000.00 and attorneys
without proper accounting, to his own benefit and advantage xxx. fees in the amount of P300,000.00 plus honorarium of P2,500.00 per appearance in court in the
hearing and trial of this case and costs of suit be taxed solely against ANTONIO MANALO.[18]
xxx
Concededly, the petition in SP. PROC. No. 92-63626 contains certain averments which may be
Par. 12. That said ANTONIO MANALO is managing and controlling the estate of the deceased typical of an ordinary civil action. Herein petitioners, as oppositors therein, took advantage of the
TROADIO MANALO to his own advantage and to the damage and prejudice of the herein said defect in the petition and filed their so-called Opposition thereto which, as observed by the
petitioners and their co-heirs xxx. trial court, is actually an Answer containing admissions and denials, special and affirmative
defenses and compulsory counterclaims for actual, moral and exemplary damages, plus attorney's
xxx fees and costs[19] in an apparent effort to make out a case of an ordinary civil action an ultimately
seek its dismissal under Rule 16, Section 1(j) of the Rules of Court vis--vis, Article 222 of the Civil
Par. 14. For the protection of their rights and interests, petitioners were compelled to bring this Code.
suit and were forced to litigate and incur expenses and will continue to incur expenses of not less
than, P250,000.00 and engaged the services of herein counsel committing to pay P200,000.00 as It is our view that herein petitioners may not be allowed to defeat the purpose of the essentially
and for attorneys fees plus honorarium of P2,500.00 per appearance in court xxx.[13] valid petition for the settlement of the estate of the late Troadio Manalo by raising matters that are
irrelevant and immaterial to the said petition. It must be emphasized that the trial court, sitting, as
Consequently, according to herein petitioners, the same should be dismissed under Rule 16, a probate court, has limited and special jurisdiction[20] and cannot hear and dispose of collateral
Section 1(j) of the Revised Rules of Court which provides that a motion to dismiss a complaint matters and issues which may be properly threshed out only in an ordinary civil action. In addition,
may be filed on the ground that a condition precedent for filing the claim has not been complied the rule has always been to the effect that the jurisdiction of a court, as well as the concomitant
with, that is, that the petitioners therein failed to aver in the petition in SP. PROC. No. 92-63626, nature of an action, is determined by the averments in the complaint and not by the defenses
that earnest efforts toward a compromise have been made involving members of the same family contained in the answer. If it were otherwise, it would not be too difficult to have a case either
prior to the filing of the petition pursuant to Article 222[14] of the Civil Code of the Philippines. thrown out of court or its proceedings unduly delayed by simple strategem.[21] So it should be in
the instant petition for settlement of estate.
The instant petition is not impressed with merit.
Herein petitioners argue that even if the petition in SP. PROC. No. 92-63626 were to be considered
It is a fundamental rule that, in the determination of the nature of an action or proceeding, the as a special proceeding for the settlement of estate of a deceased person, Rule 16, Section 1(j)
averments[15] and the character of the relief sought[16] in the complaint, or petition, as in the case of the Rules of Court vis-a-vis Article 222 of the Civil Code of the Philippines would nevertheless
at bar, shall be controlling. A careful scrutiny of the Petition for Issuance of Letters of apply as a ground for the dismissal of the same by virtue of Rule 1, Section 2 of the Rules of Court
Administration, Settlement and Distribution of Estate in SP. PROC. No. 92-63626 belies herein which provides that the rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their object and to
assist the parties in obtaining just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action and settlement of the estate of their late father and for appointment of their brother Romeo Manalo as
proceeding. Petitioners contend that the term proceeding is so broad that it must necessarily administrator thereof. Hearing was set on February 11, 1993 and the herein petitioners were
include special proceedings. granted 10 days within which to file their opposition to the petition.

The argument is misplaced. Herein petitioners may not validly take refuge under the provisions of ISSUE: WON the case at bar is covered under Article 151 where earnest efforts toward
Rule 1, Section 2, of the Rules of Court to justify the invocation of Article 222 of the Civil Code of compromise should first be made prior the filing of the petition.
the Philippines for the dismissal of the petition for settlement of the estate of the deceased Troadio
Manalo inasmuch as the latter provision is clear enough, to wit: HELD:

Art. 222. No suit shall be filed or maintained between members of the same family unless it should It is a fundamental rule that in the determination of the nature of an action or proceeding, the
appear that earnest efforts toward a compromise have been made, but that the same have failed, averments and the character of the relief were sought in the complaint or petition, shall be
subject to the limitations in Article 2035 (underscoring supplied).[22] controlling. The careful scrutiny of the petition for the issuance of letters of administration,
settlement and distribution of the estate belies herein petitioners’ claim that the same is in the
The above-quoted provision of the law is applicable only to ordinary civil actions. This is clear from nature of an ordinary civil action. The provision of Article 151 is applicable only to ordinary civil
the term suit that it refers to an action by one person or persons against another or others in a actions. It is clear from the term “suit” that it refers to an action by one person or persons against
court of justice in which the plaintiff pursues the remedy which the law affords him for the redress another or other in a court of justice in which the plaintiff pursues the remedy which the law affords
of an injury or the enforcement of a right, whether at law or in equity.[23] A civil action is thus an him for the redress of an injury or enforcement of a right. It is also the intention of the Code
action filed in a court of justice, whereby a party sues another for the enforcement of a right, or Commission as revealed in the Report of the Code Commission to make the provision be
the prevention or redress of a wrong.[24] Besides, an excerpt from the Report of the Code applicable only to civil actions. The petition for issuance of letters of administration, settlement,
Commission unmistakably reveals the intention of the Code Commission to make that legal and distribution of estate is a special proceeding and as such a remedy whereby the petitioners
provision applicable only to civil actions which are essentially adversarial and involve members of therein seek to establish a status, a right, or a particular fact. Hence, it must be emphasized that
the same family, thus: herein petitioners are not being sued in such case for any cause of action as in fact no defendant
was pronounced therein.
It is difficult to imagine a sadder and more tragic spectacle than a litigation between members of
the same family. It is necessary that every effort should be made toward a compromise before a
litigation is allowed to breed hate and passion in the family. It is known that lawsuit between close 3
relatives generates deeper bitterness than strangers.[25] G.R. No. L-40804 January 31, 1978

It must be emphasized that the oppositors (herein petitioners) are not being sued in SP. PROC. ROSARIO FELICIANO VDA. DE RAMOS, MIGUEL DANILA, RAYMUNDO A. DANILA,
No. 92-63626 for any cause of action as in fact no defendant was impleaded therein. The Petition CONSOLACION SANTOS, MIGUEL G. DANILA, AMOR DANILA, MOISES MARTINEZ,
for Issuance of Letters of Administration, Settlement and Distribution of Estate in SP. PROC. No. MIGUELA GAVINO, MELITON NISTA, PRIMITIVA NISTA, HEIRS OF DANIEL NISTA, MOISES
92-63626 is a special proceeding and, as such, it is a remedy whereby the petitioners therein seek NISTA, DOMINGO NISTA and ADELAIDA NISTA, petitioners,
to establish a status, a right, or a particular fact.[26] The petitioners therein (private respondents vs.
herein) merely seek to establish the fact of death of their father and subsequently to be duly COURT OF APPEALS, MARCELINA (MARTINA) GUERRA and THE HEIRS OF
recognized as among the heirs of the said deceased so that they can validly exercise their right to BUENAVENTURA GUERRA, respondents.
participate in the settlement and liquidation of the estate of the decedent consistent with the limited
and special jurisdiction of the probate court. DOCTRINE: The law requires at least three attesting witnesses to a notarial will. The witnesses
shall be called upon, during probate, to recount the incidents which occurred thereat. To a large
WHEREFORE, the petition in the above-entitled case, is DENIED for lack of merit. Costs against extent, admission to or denial of probate depends on the testimony of these instrumental
petitioners. witnesses. However, if contrary to expectation, these witnesses, or some of them, should testify
against the formal validity of the will, the proponent of the will may use other evidence, direct or
SO ORDERED. circumstantial, to establish compliance with the formalities prescribed by law. A will is not
necessarily void because the witnesses declared against its validity.
Bellosillo, (Chairman), Mendoza, Quisumbing, and Buena, JJ., concur.
FACTS:
Manalo vs CA • Eugenia Danila allegedly executed a will and testament dated March 9, 1963 and a
GR No. 129242, January 16, 2001 codicil dated April 18, 1963.
• Adelaida Nista, one of the instituted heirs filed a petition for the probate of the two
FACTS: documents.
• Buenaventura and Marcelina (Martina) both surnamed Guerra filed an opposition to the
Troadic Manalo who died on February 1992, was survived by his Pilar and his 11 children. The petition alleging among others that they are the legally adopted son and daughter of the late
deceased left several real properties in Manila and a business in Tarlac. In November 1992, spouses Florentino Guerra and Eugenia Danila.
herein respondents, 8 of the surviving children, filed a petition with RTC Manila for the judicial • RESPONDENTS’S CONTENTION: The adopted children alleged that the will and
codicil were procured through fraud and undue influence. They further contend that the formalities
required by law for the execution of a will and codicil have not been complied with as the same DOCTRINE: The law requires at least three attesting witnesses to a notarial will. The witnesses
were not properly attested to or executed and not expressing the free will and deed of the testatrix. shall be called upon, during probate, to recount the incidents which occurred thereat. To a large
They also claim that Eugenia had already executed on November 5, 1951 her last will and extent, admission to or denial of probate depends on the testimony of these instrumental
testament which was duly probated and not revoked or annulled during her lifetime. witnesses. However, if contrary to expectation, these witnesses, or some of them, should testify
• PETITIONERS’ CONTENTION: The will and codicil are valid since it complied with the against the formal validity of the will, the proponent of the will may use other evidence, direct or
formalities required by law for the execution of a will and codicil. circumstantial, to establish compliance with the formalities prescribed by law. A will is not
ISSUE: Whether or not the last will and codicil were executed in accordance with the formalities necessarily void because the witnesses declared against its validity.
of the law, considering two of the attesting witnesses testified against their due execution while
other non-subscribing witnesses testified to the contrary – YES FACTS:
• Eugenia Danila allegedly executed a will and testament dated March 9, 1963 and a
RULING: codicil dated April 18, 1963.
• Adelaida Nista, one of the instituted heirs filed a petition for the probate of the two
The last will and codicil were executed in accordance with the formalities required by law. There documents.
is no question that each and every page of the will and codicil carry the authentic signatures of • Buenaventura and Marcelina (Martina) both surnamed Guerra filed an opposition to the
Eugenia Danila and the three (3) attesting witnesses. Similarly, the attestation claim far from being petition alleging among others that they are the legally adopted son and daughter of the late
deficient, were properly signed by the attesting witnesses. Neither is it disputed that these spouses Florentino Guerra and Eugenia Danila.
witnesses took turns in signing the will and codicil in the presence of each other and the testatrix. • RESPONDENTS’S CONTENTION: The adopted children alleged that the will and
Both instruments were duly acknowledged before a Notary Public who was all the time present codicil were procured through fraud and undue influence. They further contend that the formalities
during the execution. There is no showing that the lawyers had been remiss in their sworn duty. required by law for the execution of a will and codicil have not been complied with as the same
Consequently, respondent court failed to consider the presumption of regularity in the execution were not properly attested to or executed and not expressing the free will and deed of the testatrix.
of the questioned documents. There were no incidents brought to the attention of the trial court to They also claim that Eugenia had already executed on November 5, 1951 her last will and
arouse suspicion of anomaly. While the opposition alleged fraud and undue influence, no testament which was duly probated and not revoked or annulled during her lifetime.
evidence was presented to prove their occurrence. • PETITIONERS’ CONTENTION: The will and codicil are valid since it complied with the
With regard to the testimonies of the witnesses against the due execution of a will, it does not formalities required by law for the execution of a will and codicil.
necessarily disallow its probate. Although the subscribing witnesses to a contested will are the ISSUE: Whether or not the last will and codicil were executed in accordance with the formalities
best witnesses in connection with its due execution, to deserve full credit, their testimony must be of the law, considering two of the attesting witnesses testified against their due execution while
reasonable, and unbiased; if otherwise, it may be overcome by any competent evidence, direct or other non-subscribing witnesses testified to the contrary – YES
circumstantial.
As a rule, if any or all of the subscribing witnesses testify against the due execution of the will, or RULING:
do not remember having attested to it, or are otherwise of doubtful credibility, the will may,
nevertheless, be allowed if the court is satisfied from the testimony of other witnesses and from The last will and codicil were executed in accordance with the formalities required by law. There
all the evidence presented that the will was executed and attested in the manner required by the is no question that each and every page of the will and codicil carry the authentic signatures of
law. Eugenia Danila and the three (3) attesting witnesses. Similarly, the attestation claim far from being
deficient, were properly signed by the attesting witnesses. Neither is it disputed that these
It has been regarded that the function of the Notary Public is, among others, to guard against any witnesses took turns in signing the will and codicil in the presence of each other and the testatrix.
illegal or immoral arrangements in the execution of a will. In the absence of any showing of self- Both instruments were duly acknowledged before a Notary Public who was all the time present
interest that might possibly have warped his judgment and twisted his declaration, the intervention during the execution. There is no showing that the lawyers had been remiss in their sworn duty.
of a Notary Public, in his professional capacity, in the execution of a will deserves grave Consequently, respondent court failed to consider the presumption of regularity in the execution
consideration. of the questioned documents. There were no incidents brought to the attention of the trial court to
WHEREFORE, the decision of the respondent Court of Appeals is hereby reversed insofar as it arouse suspicion of anomaly. While the opposition alleged fraud and undue influence, no
disallowed the probate of the will and codicil. with costs against respondent. evidence was presented to prove their occurrence.
With regard to the testimonies of the witnesses against the due execution of a will, it does not
4 necessarily disallow its probate. Although the subscribing witnesses to a contested will are the
G.R. No. L-40804 January 31, 1978 best witnesses in connection with its due execution, to deserve full credit, their testimony must be
reasonable, and unbiased; if otherwise, it may be overcome by any competent evidence, direct or
ROSARIO FELICIANO VDA. DE RAMOS, MIGUEL DANILA, RAYMUNDO A. DANILA, circumstantial.
CONSOLACION SANTOS, MIGUEL G. DANILA, AMOR DANILA, MOISES MARTINEZ, As a rule, if any or all of the subscribing witnesses testify against the due execution of the will, or
MIGUELA GAVINO, MELITON NISTA, PRIMITIVA NISTA, HEIRS OF DANIEL NISTA, MOISES do not remember having attested to it, or are otherwise of doubtful credibility, the will may,
NISTA, DOMINGO NISTA and ADELAIDA NISTA, petitioners, nevertheless, be allowed if the court is satisfied from the testimony of other witnesses and from
vs. all the evidence presented that the will was executed and attested in the manner required by the
COURT OF APPEALS, MARCELINA (MARTINA) GUERRA and THE HEIRS OF law.
BUENAVENTURA GUERRA, respondents.
It has been regarded that the function of the Notary Public is, among others, to guard against any
illegal or immoral arrangements in the execution of a will. In the absence of any showing of self-
interest that might possibly have warped his judgment and twisted his declaration, the intervention province,[37] as well as furnished to the designated or other known heirs, legatees, and devisees
of a Notary Public, in his professional capacity, in the execution of a will deserves grave of the testator
consideration. b. Petitioners became parties due to the publication of the notice of hearing
WHEREFORE, the decision of the respondent Court of Appeals is hereby reversed insofar as it 2. The filing of motion to reopen is similar to a motion for new trial
disallowed the probate of the will and codicil. with costs against respondent. a. The ruling became final and executor because the motion was filed out of time
b. Given that they knew of the decision 4 months after they could have filed a petition for
5 relief from judgment after the denial of their motion to reopen.
12. CYNTHIA C. ALABAN, et al. Petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and FRANCISCO H. 3. petition for annulment of judgment must still fail for failure to comply with the substantive
PROVIDO, Respondents. requisites,
[G.R. No. 156021, September 23, 2005, TINGA, J.:] a. An action for annulment of judgment is a remedy in law independent of the case where
the judgment sought to be annulled was rendered
FACTS: b. PURPOSE: to have the final and executory judgment set aside so that there will be a
1. respondent Francisco Provido filed a petition for the probate of the Last Will and renewal of litigation.
Testament of the late Soledad Provido Elevencionado c. 2 Grounds: extrinsic fraud, and lack of jurisdiction or denial of due process
A. ALLEGATION: he was the heir of the decedent and the executor of her will. d. An action to annul a final judgment on the ground of fraud lies only if the fraud is extrinsic
B. RTC’s RULING: allowed the probate of the will and directed the issuance of letters or collateral in character
testamentary to respondent i. Extrinsic if it prevents a party from having a trial or from presenting his entire case to
2. Petitioners after 4 months filed a motion for the reopening of the probate proceedings the court, or where it operates upon matters pertaining not to the judgment itself but to the manner
A. CLAIMs: in which it is procured.
1) they are the intestate heirs of the decedent. 4. notice is required to be personally given to known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the
2) RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over the petition due to non-payment of the correct testator
docket fees, defective publication, and lack of notice to the other heirs. a. the will states that the respondent was instituted as the sole heir of the decedent thus
3) will could not have been probated because: he has no legal obligation to mention petitioners in the petition for probate or personally notify
A) the signature of the decedent was forged; them.
B) the will was not executed in accordance with law, that is, the witnesses failed to sign
below the attestation clause; FACTS:
C) the decedent lacked testamentary capacity to execute and publish a will;
D) the will was executed by force and under duress and improper pressure; Petitioners maintain that they were not made parties to the case in which the decision sought to
E) the decedent had no intention to make a will at the time of affixing of her signature; and be annulled was rendered and, thus, they could not have availed of the ordinary remedies of new
F) she did not know the properties to be disposed of, having included in the will properties trial, appeal, petition for relief from judgment and other appropriate remedies, contrary to the ruling
which no longer belonged to her. of the CA.
B. RTC’s Ruling: denied motion
1) petitioners were deemed notified of the hearing by publication and that the deficiency in
the payment of docket fees is not a ground for the outright dismissal of the petition.
2) RTC’s Decision was already final and executory even before petitioners’ filing of the ISSUE:
motion to reopen
3. Petitioners filed a petition to annule RTC’s decision W/N Petitioners were made parties in the proceedings
A. CLAIM: there was a compromise agreement between petitioners and respondents and
they learnt the probate proceeding only in July 2001
B. CA’s RULING: petition dismissed
1) no showing that petitioners failed to avail of or resort to the ordinary remedies of new HELD:
trial, appeal, petition for relief from judgment, or other appropriate remedies through no fault of
their own Petitioners in this case are mistaken in asserting that they are not or have not become parties to
the probate proceedings.
ISSUE: W/N the allowance of the will to probate should be annulled for failure to mention the
petitioners as parties Thus, it has been held that a proceeding for the probate of a will is one in rem, such that with the
corresponding publication of the petition the court’s jurisdiction extends to all persons interested
HELD: No in said will or in the settlement of the estate of the decedent.
1. Probate of a will is considered action in rem
a. Under the Rules of Court, any executor, devisee, or legatee named in a will, or any other Thus, even though petitioners were not mentioned in the petition for probate, they eventually
person interested in the estate may, at any time after the death of the testator, petition the court became parties thereto as a consequence of the publication of the notice of hearing.
having jurisdiction to have the will allowed.[36] Notice of the time and place for proving the will
must be published for three (3) consecutive weeks, in a newspaper of general circulation in the On the other hand, according to the Rules, notice is required to be personally given to known
heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator.
Petitioners, as nephews and nieces of the decedent, are neither compulsory nor testate heirs who
are entitled to be notified of the probate proceedings under the Rules. Respondent had no legal
obligation to mention petitioners in the petition for probate, or to personally notify them of the
same.

Besides, assuming arguendo that petitioners are entitled to be so notified, the purported infirmity
is cured by the publication of the notice.

PALAGANAS v. PALAGANASG.R. No. 169144 January 26, 2011Our rules require merely that
the petition for the allowance of a will must show, so far as known to thepetitioner: (a) the
jurisdictional facts; (b) the names, ages, and residences of the heirs, legatees, and devisees ofthe
testator or decedent; (c) the probable value and character of the property of the estate; (d) the
name of theperson for whom letters are prayed; and (e) if the will has not been delivered to the
court, the name of the personhaving custody of it. Jurisdictional facts refer to the fact of death of
the decedent, his residence at the time of hisdeath in the province where the probate court is
sitting, or if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the estatehe left in such province. The rules
do not require proof that the foreign will has already been allowed andprobated in the country of
its execution.