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G.R. No. 174489. April 11, 2012.

petitioners, vs. LORENZO LAXA, respondent.

Pacencia was a 78-year-old spinster when she made her last will and testament entitled
"Tauli Nang Bilin o Testamento Miss Pacencia Regala" (September 13,1981). The will was
executed in the house of retired Judge Limpin, witnessed by Dra. Maria Limpin, Francisco Garcia
and Faustino Mercado.

The will was read twice to the testatrix. Her signature was affixed at the end of the
said document on page 3 and on the left margin of 1,2 and 4 thereof. The witnesses affixed their
signatures below its attestation clause and on the left margins of page 1,2 and 4 thereof in the
presence of Pacencia and of Judge Limpin who acted as notary public.

All properties were bequeathed to respondent Lorenzo Laxa, and his wife Corazon Laxa
and their children Luna and Katherine. Lorenzo is Pacencia's nephew whom she treated as her
own son.

Six days after the execution of the will, Pacencia left for the United States, there, she
resided with Lorenzo and his family until her death on January 4, 1996

On April 27,2000, Lorenzo filed a petition with the RTC of Guagua, Pampanga for
the probate of will of Pacencia and the issuance of the letters of administration in his

the RTC issued an Order allowing Lorenzo to present evidence on June 22, 2000 wherein
Dra. Limpin testified as to the execution of the last will of Pacencia and attested to the present
condition of his father retired Judge Limpin who acted as the notary public.

On June 23,2000, petitioner Antonio filed an opposition which was joined by the other
petitioners contending that Pacencia's will was null and void and because ownership of the
properties had not been transferred to Pacencia before her death and that Lorenzo is disqualified
to be appointed, he being a citizen and resident of USA.

On January 29, 2001, the RTC issued an order denying both of their requests hence
proceedings on the petition for the probate of will continued, and Dra Limpin was called again for

Monico Mercado testified as to his father's(Faustino) condition that his father

can no longer talk and express himself due to brain damage. On the part of Antonio, he presented
Rosie who testified that Pacencia is in the state of being "magulyan" or forgetful based on her
personal assessment. Antonio testified that the execution of will was attended with force.

The RTC rendered its Decision denying the petition. The trial court gave considerable
weight to the testimony of Rosie and concluded that at the time Paciencia signed the Will, she was
no longer possessed of sufficient reason or strength of mind to have testamentary capacity.

On appeal to the CA, it was reversed. The CA ruled that" the state of being magulyan or
forgetful does not make a person mentally unsound so as to render Pacencia unfit for executing a
1. Whether or not the will complied with the requirements of law
2. Whether or not the will complied with requirements set forth in Section 11, Rule 76
of the Rules of Court
3. WON the authenticity and due execution of the notarial Will was sufficiently established to
warrant its allowance for probate.

1. YES. Under Section 1, Rule 75:" Allowance necessary. Conclusive as to the execution. No will
shall be passed either real or personal estate unless it is proved and allowed in the proper court.

Subject to the right of appeal, such allowance of the will shall be valid as to its execution. "
Due execution of the will or its extrinsic validity pertains to whether the testator, being of sound
mind freely executed the will in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. Upon
examination of the will, it shows that the formalities laid down by the law is faithfully complied with.
Furthermore, 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 petitioners. There was no substantial evidence presented
that will show that Pacencia was of unsound mind at the time of the execution of the will.

2. Yes. Section 11, Rule 76 states that " If the will is contested, all the subscribing witnesses and
the notary public in the case of the wills executed under the Civil Code of the Philippines, if
present in the Philippines and not insane, must be produced and examined, and the death,
absence, or insanity of any of them must be satisfactorily shown to the court. " Applying it to the
foregoing, the inability of Faustino and Judge Limpin to appear and testify before the court was
satisfactorily explained during the probate proceedings. Thus, the SC hold that, for all intents and
purposes, Lorenzo was able to satisfactorily account for the incapacity and failure of the said
subscribing witness and of the notary public to testify in court. It is an established rule, that a
testament, may not be disallowed just because the attesting witnesses declare against its
due execution; neither does it have to be necessarily allowed just because all the
attesting witnesses declare in favor of its legalization.