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RULE 73 |1

RULE 73: VENUE AND PROCESS No. The probate court is authorized to determine the issue of
ownership of properties for purposes of their inclusion or
1. THELMA M. ARANAS, petitioner, vs. TERESITA V. exclusion from the inventory to be submitted by the
MERCADO, FELIMON V. MERCADO, CARMENCITA M. administrator, but its determination shall only be provisional
SUTHERLAND, RICHARD V. MERCADO, MA. TERESITA M. unless the interested parties are all heirs of the decedent, or
ANDERSON, and FRANKLIN L. MERCADO, respondents. the question is one of collation or advancement, or the parties
consent to the assumption of jurisdiction by the probate court
FACTS: and the rights of third parties are not impaired. Its jurisdiction
extends to matters incidental or collateral to the settlement and
Emigdio S. Mercado (Emigdio) died intestate on January 12, distribution of the estate, such as the determination of the
1991, survived by his second wife, Teresita V. Mercado status of each heir and whether property included in the
(Teresita), and their five children, namely: Allan V. Mercado, inventory is the conjugal or exclusive property of the deceased
Felimon V. Mercado, Carmencita M. Sutherland, Richard V. spouse.
Mercado, and Maria Teresita M. Anderson; and his two children
by his first marriage, namely: respondent Franklin L. Mercado Under Section 6 (a), Rule 78 of the Rules of Court, the letters
and petitioner Thelma M. Aranas (Thelma). of administration may be granted at the discretion of the court
to the surviving spouse, who is competent and willing to serve
Emigdio inherited and acquired real properties during his when the person dies intestate. Upon issuing the letters of
lifetime. He owned corporate shares in Mervir Realty administration to the surviving spouse, the RTC becomes duty-
Corporation (Mervir Realty) and Cebu Emerson Transportation bound to direct the preparation and submission of the inventory
Corporation (Cebu Emerson). He assigned his real properties of the properties of the estate, and the surviving spouse, as the
in exchange for corporate stocks of Mervir Realty, and sold his administrator, has the duty and responsibility to submit the
real property in Badian, Cebu (Lot 3353 covered by Transfer inventory within three months from the issuance of letters of
Certificate of Title No. 3252) to Mervir Realty. administration pursuant to Rule 83 of the Rules of Court, viz.:

Thelma filed in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cebu City a Section 1. Inventory and appraisal to be returned within three
petition for the appointment of Teresita as the administrator of months. — Within three (3) months after his appointment every
Emigdio's estate. The RTC granted the petition considering executor or administrator shall return to the court a true
that there was no opposition. The letters of administration were inventory and appraisal of all the real and personal estate of
issued in favor of Teresita. the deceased which has come into his possession or
knowledge. In the appraisement of such estate, the court may
As the administrator, Teresita submitted an inventory of the order one or more of the inheritance tax appraisers to give his
estate of Emigdio for the consideration and approval by the or their assistance.
RTC. She indicated in the inventory that at the time of his
death, Emigdio had "left no real properties but only personal The usage of the word all in Section 1, demands the inclusion
properties". of all the real and personal properties of the decedent in the
inventory. However, the word all is qualified by the phrase
Claiming that Emigdio had owned other properties that were which has come into his possession or knowledge, which
excluded from the inventory, Thelma moved that the RTC signifies that the properties must be known to the administrator
direct Teresita to amend the inventory, and to be examined to belong to the decedent or are in her possession as the
regarding it. Teresita filed a compliance with the order. administrator. Section 1 allows no exception, for the phrase
true inventory implies that no properties appearing to belong to
Thelma again moved to require Teresita to be examined under the decedent can be excluded from the inventory, regardless of
oath on the inventory. The RTC issued an order expressing the their being in the possession of another person or entity.
need for the parties to present evidence and for Teresita to be
examined to enable the court to resolve the motion for The objective of the Rules of Court in requiring the inventory
approval of the inventory. Thelma opposed the approval of the and appraisal of the estate of the decedent is "to aid the court
inventory, and asked leave of court to examine Teresita on the in revising the accounts and determining the liabilities of the
inventory. executor or the administrator, and in malting a final and
equitable distribution (partition) of the estate and otherwise to
The RTC issued on March 14, 2001 an order finding and facilitate the administration of the estate." Hence, the RTC that
holding that the inventory submitted by Teresita had excluded presides over the administration of an estate is vested with
properties that should be included. The RTC denied the wide discretion on the question of what properties should be
administratrix's motion for approval of inventory and orders the included in the inventory.
said administratrix to re-do the inventory of properties which The determination of which properties should be
are supposed to constitute as the estate of the late Emigdio S. excluded from or included in the inventory of estate properties
Mercado. The RTC also directed the administratrix to render an was well within the authority and discretion of the RTC as an
account of her administration of the estate of the late Emigdio intestate court. In making its determination, the RTC acted with
S. Mercado which had come to her possession. circumspection, and proceeded under the guiding policy that it
was best to include all properties in the possession of the
Teresita, joined by other heirs of Emigdio, timely sought the administrator or were known to the administrator to belong to
reconsideration of the order of March 14, 2001 on the ground Emigdio rather than to exclude properties that could turn out in
that one of the real properties affected, Lot No. 3353 located in the end to be actually part of the estate. As long as the RTC
Badian, Cebu, had already been sold to Mervir Realty. commits no patent grave abuse of discretion, its orders must
be respected as part of the regular performance of its judicial
On appeal, the CA reversed the RTC decision insofar as the duty. Grave abuse of discretion means either that the judicial or
inclusion of the inclusion of parcels of land located at Badian, quasi-judicial power was exercised in an arbitrary or despotic
Cebu in the revised inventory to be submitted by the manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, or that the
administratrix is concerned. respondent judge, tribunal or board evaded a positive duty, or
virtually refused to perform the duty enjoined or to act in
ISSUE: contemplation of law, such as when such judge, tribunal or
board exercising judicial or quasi-judicial powers acted in a
Whether or not he RTC committed grave abuse of discretion capricious or whimsical manner as to be equivalent to lack of
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in directing the jurisdiction.
inclusion of certain properties in the inventory notwithstanding
that such properties had been either transferred by sale or 2. HEIRS OF MAGDALENO YPON, NAMELY, ALVARO
exchanged for corporate shares in Mervir Realty by the YPON, ERUDITA Y. BARON, CICERO YPON, WILSON
decedent during his lifetime? YPON, VICTOR YPON, AND HINIDINO Y.
RULE 73 |2

sake of practicality, as when the parties in the civil case had

voluntarily submitted the issue to the trial court and already
presented their evidence regarding the issue of heirship, and
FACTS: the RTC had consequently rendered judgment thereon,or
when a special proceeding had been instituted but had been
This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the finally closed and terminated, and hence, cannot be re-opened.
Rules of Court. Petitioners assail the July 27, 2011 and August
31, 2011 Orders of the RTC, dismissing Civil Case No. T-2246 3. AVELINA ABARIENTOS REBUSQUILLO and SALVADOR
for lack of cause of action. A. OROSCO, Petitioners, vs. SPS. DOMINGO and
On July 29, 2010, petitioners filed a complaint for Cancellation ASSESSOR OF LEGAZPI CITY, Respondents.
of Title and Reconveyance with Damages against respondent
Gaudioso Ponteras Ricaforte a.k.a. "Gaudioso E. Ypon," they
alleged that Magdaleno Ypon (Magdaleno) died intestate and FACTS:
childless on June 28, 1968, leaving behind a property covered
by Transfer Certificates of Title. Petitioner Avelina was one of the children of Eulalio who died
intestate. On his death, Eulalio left behind an untitled parcel of
Claiming to be the sole heir of Magdaleno, Gaudioso executed land in Legazpi City.
an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication and caused the cancellation of
the aforementioned certificates of title, leading to their
subsequent transfer in his name to the prejudice of petitioners In 2001, Avelina was supposedly made to sign two documents
who are Magdaleno’s collateral relatives and successors-in- by her daughter Emelinda and her son-in-law Domingo,
interest. Gaudioso alleged that he is the lawful son of respondents in this case, on the pretext that the documents
Magdaleno. Further, by way of affirmative defense, he claimed were needed to facilitate the titling of the lot. It was only in
that: (a) petitioners have no cause of action against him; (b) 2003, so petitioners claim, that Avelina realized that what she
the complaint fails to state a cause of action; and (c) the case signed was an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication and a Deed of
is not prosecuted by the real parties-in-interest, as there is no Absolute Sale in favor of respondents.
showing that the petitioners have been judicially declared as
Magdaleno’s lawful heirs. Petitioners filed a complaint for annulment and revocation of an
Affidavit of Self-Adjudication and a Deed of Absolute Sale.
RTC issued on July 27, 2011 an Order finding that the subject After trial, RTC held the annulment of the subject documents.
complaint failed to state a cause of action against Gaudioso. It CA reversed RTC’s decision. CA held that the RTC erred in
observed that while the plaintiffs therein had established their annulling the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication simply on petitioners’
relationship with Magdaleno in a previous special proceeding allegation of the existence of the heirs of Eulalio, considering
for the issuance of letter of administration, this did not mean that issues on heirship must be made in administration or
that they could already be considered as the decedent’s intestate proceedings, not in an ordinary civil action. Further,
compulsory heirs. the appellate court observed that the Deed of Absolute Sale
cannot be nullified as it is a notarized document that has in its
ISSUE: favor the presumption of regularity and is entitled to full faith
and credit upon its face.
Whether or not the determination of who are the legal heirs of
the deceased must be made in the proper special proceedings
in court, and not in an ordinary suit for recovery of ownership
and possession of property.
Whether or not the issue on heirship in this case must be
RULING: raised in a separate administration or intestate proceedings.

Yes. Jurisprudence dictates that the determination of who are RULING:

the decedent’s lawful heirs must be made in the proper special
proceeding for such purpose, and not in an ordinary suit for
No. The Court ruled that this case falls under the exception of
recovery of ownership and/or possession, as in this case.
the rule on separate intestate proceedings.
Thus, concordant with applicable jurisprudence, since a
determination of heirship cannot be made in an ordinary action The general rule is that the declaration of heirship must be
for recovery of ownership and/or possession, the dismissal of made in a special proceeding, not in an independent civil
Civil Case No. T-2246 was altogether proper. In this light, it action. However, the Court also ruled that recourse to
must be pointed out that the RTC erred in ruling on Gaudioso’s administration proceedings to determine who heirs are is
heirship which should, as herein discussed, be threshed out sanctioned only if there is a good and compelling reason for
and determined in the proper special proceeding. As such, the such recourse.
foregoing pronouncement should therefore be devoid of any
legal effect. The Court had allowed exceptions to the rule requiring
administration proceedings as when the parties in the civil case
As stated in the subject complaint, petitioners, who were already presented their evidence regarding the issue of
among the plaintiffs therein, alleged that they are the lawful heirship, and the RTC had consequently rendered judgment
heirs of Magdaleno and based on the same, prayed that the upon the issues it defined during the pre-trial.
Affidavit of Self-Adjudication executed by Gaudioso be
declared null and void and that the transfer certificates of title
issued in the latter’s favor be cancelled. While the foregoing Similar to the case of Portugal v. Portugal-Beltran, in the
allegations, if admitted to be true, would consequently warrant present case, there appears to be only one parcel of land
the reliefs sought for in the said complaint, the rule that the being claimed by the contending parties as the inheritance
determination of a decedent’s lawful heirs should be made in from Eulalio.
the corresponding special proceeding precludes the RTC, in an
ordinary action for cancellation of title and reconveyance, from It would be more practical, as Portugal teaches,
granting the same. to dispense with a separate special proceeding for the
determination of the status of petitioner Avelina as sole heir of
In the case of Heirs of Teofilo Gabatan v. CA, the Court, citing Eulalio, especially in light of the fact that respondents
several other precedents, held that the determination of who spouses Gualvez admitted in court that they knew for a
are the decedent’s lawful heirs must be made in the proper fact that petitioner Avelina was not the sole heir of Eulalio
special proceeding for such purpose, and not in an ordinary and that petitioner Salvador was one of the other living
suit for recovery of ownership and/or possession, - By way of heirs with rights over the subject land.
exception, the need to institute a separate special proceeding
for the determination of heirship may be dispensed with for the
RULE 73 |3

Accordingly, the court a quo had properly rendered judgment the corporate veil was applied in the case considering that
on the validity of the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication executed by Rosario had no other properties that comprised her estate
Avelina. As pointed out by the trial court, an Affidavit of Self- other than Primrose.
Adjudication is only proper when the affiant is the sole heir of
the decedent. On January 22, 2009, Remedios and Manuela filed their
Motion for Inhibition on the ground of their loss of trust and
4. MANUELA AZUCENA MAYOR, Petitioner confidence in RTC-Br. 9 Presiding Judge Rogelio C.
vs. EDWIN TIU and DAMIANA CHARITO MARTY, Sescon (Judge Sescon) to dispense justice. Later, they also
Respondents filed their Motion for Reconsideration Ad Cautelam, dated
February 3, 2009, arguing that Rosario's estate consisted
only of shares of stock in Primrose and not the
FACTS: corporation itself. Thus, the probate court could not order the
lessees of the corporation to remit the rentals to the Estate's
On May 25, 2008, Rosario Guy-Juco Villasin administrator.
Casilan (Rosario), the widow of the late Primo
Villasin (Primo), passed away and left a holographic Last Will
and Testament, wherein she named her sister, Remedios In its October 16, 2009 Decision, the CA reversed the
Tiu (Remedios), and her niece, Manuela Azucena assailed orders of the RTC Br. 9, except as to the appointment
Mayor (Manuela), as executors. Immediately thereafter, of a special administrator insofar as this relates to properties
Remedios and Manuela filed a petition for the probate of specifically belonging to the "Estate." It held that Primrose had
Rosario's holographic will with prayer for the issuance of letters a personality separate and distinct from the estate of the
testamentary (probate proceedings). decedent and that the probate court had no jurisdiction to
apply the doctrine of piercing the corporate veil.
On May 29, 2008, respondent Damiana Charito
Marty (Marty) claiming to be the adopted daughter of Rosario, ISSUE:
filed a petition for letters of administration but it was not given
due course because of the probate proceedings. Per records, Whether or not the shares of stocks in Primrose should be
this dismissal is subject of a separate proceeding filed by Marty included in Rosario’s estate or the doctrine of piercing the
with the CA Cebu City. corporate veil applies in the case at bar.

On June 12, 2008, in its Order, the RTC found the petition for RULING:
probate of will filed by Remedios and Manuela as sufficient in
form and substance and set the case for hearing. No. The doctrine of piercing the corporate veil has no relevant
application in this case. Under this doctrine, the court looks at
Consequently, Marty filed her Verified Urgent Manifestation the corporation as a mere collection of individuals or an
and Motion, dated June 23, 2008, stating that Remedios kept aggregation of persons undertaking business as a group,
the decedent Rosario a virtual hostage for the past ten (10) disregarding the separate juridical personality of the
years and her family was financially dependent on her which corporation unifying the group. Another formulation of this
led to the wastage and disposal of the properties owned by her doctrine is that when two business enterprises are owned,
and her husband, Primo. Marty averred that until the alleged conducted and controlled by the same parties, both law and
will of the decedent could be probated and admitted, Remedios equity will, when necessary to protect the rights of third parties,
and her ten (10) children had no standing to either possess or disregard the legal fiction that two corporations are distinct
control the properties comprising the estate of the Villasins. entities and treat them as identical or as one and the same.
She prayed for the probate court to: 1) order an immediate The purpose behind piercing a corporation's identity is to
inventory of all the properties subject of the proceedings; 2) remove the barrier between the corporation and the persons
direct the tenants of the estate, namely, Mercury Drug and comprising it to thwart the fraudulent and illegal schemes of
Chowking, located at Primrose Hotel, to deposit their rentals those who use the corporate personality as a shield for
with the court; 3) direct Metro bank, P. Burgos Branch, to undertaking certain proscribed activities.
freeze the accounts in the name of Rosario, Primrose
Development Corporation (Primrose) or Remedios; and 4) lock Here, instead of holding the decedent's interest in the
up the Primrose Hotel in order to preserve the property until corporation separately as a stockholder, the situation was
final disposition by the court. reversed. Instead, the probate court ordered the lessees of the
corporation to remit rentals to the estate's administrator without
On July 8, 2008, Remedios and Manuela filed their taking note of the fact that the decedent was not the absolute
Comment/Opposition to the urgent manifestation averring that owner of Primrose but only an owner of shares thereof. Mere
Marty was not an adopted child of the Villasins based on a ownership by a single stockholder or by another corporation of
certification issued by the Office of the Clerk of Court of all or nearly all of the capital stocks of a corporation is not of
Tacloban City, attesting that no record of any adoption itself a sufficient reason for disregarding the fiction of separate
proceedings involving Marty existed in their records. They also corporate personalities.49 Moreover, to disregard the separate
argued that the probate court had no jurisdiction over the juridical personality of a corporation, the wrongdoing cannot be
properties mistakenly claimed by Marty as part of Rosario's presumed, but must be clearly and convincingly established.50
estate because these properties were actually owned by, and
titled in the name of, Primrose. Anent the prayer to direct the
tenants to deposit the rentals to the probate court, Remedios A probate court is not without limits in the determination of the
and Manuela countered that the probate court had no scope of property covered in probate proceedings. In a litany of
jurisdiction over properties owned by third persons, particularly cases, the Court had defined the parameters by which a
by Primrose, the latter having a separate and distinct probate court may extend its probing arms in the determination
personality from the decedent's estate. of the question of title in probate proceedings. In Pastor, Jr. vs.
Court of Appeals, the Court explained that, as a rule, the
In her Reply, dated July 15, 2008, Marty cited an order of the question of ownership was an extraneous matter which the
Court of First Instance of Leyte claiming that as early as March probate court could not resolve with finality. Thus, for the
3, 1981, the veil of corporate entity of Primrose was pierced on purpose of determining whether a certain property should, or
the ground that it was a closed family corporation controlled by should not, be included in the inventory of estate properties,
Rosario after Primo's death. Thus, Marty alleged that the probate court may pass upon the title thereto, but such
"piercing" was proper in the case of Rosario's estate determination is provisional, not conclusive, and is subject to
because the incorporation of Primrose was founded on a the final decision in a separate action to resolve title. It is a
fraudulent consideration, having been done in well-settled rule that a probate court or one in charge of
contemplation of Primo's death. proceedings, whether testate or intestate, cannot adjudicate or
determine title to properties claimed to be part of the estate but
In its January 14, 2009 Order, the RTC-Br. 9 granted the which are equally claimed to belong to outside parties. It can
motion of Marty and appointed the OIC Clerk of Court as only determine whether they should, or should not, be included
special administrator of the Estate. The doctrine of piercing in the inventory or list of properties to be overseen by the
administrator. If there is no dispute, well and good; but if there
RULE 73 |4

is, then the parties, the administrator and the opposing parties WON the RTC had no jurisdiction on the ground that the
have to resort to an ordinary action for a final determination of complaint filed is for the settlement of the estate of Pedro and
the conflicting claims of title because the probate court cannot not of Partition.
do so.
In this case, respondent Marty argues that the subject
properties and the parcel of land on which these were erected Yes. The RTC had jurisdiction. Petitioner is mistaken. It is true
should be included in the inventory of Rosario's estate. More that some of respondents' causes of action pertaining to the
so, the arrears from the rental of these properties were later on properties left behind by the decedent Pedro, his known heirs,
ordered to be remitted to the administrator of the estate and the nature and extent of their interests thereon, may fall
grounded on the allegation that Rosario had no other under an action for settlement of estate. However, a complete
properties other than her interests in Primrose. To the Court's reading of the complaint would readily show that, based on the
mind, this holding of the probate court was in utter disregard of nature of the suit, the allegations therein, and the reliefs prayed
the undisputed fact the subject land is registered under the for, the action is clearly one for judicial partition with annulment
Torrens system in the name of Primrose, a third person who of title and recovery of possession. Section 1, Rule 69 of the
may be prejudiced by the orders of the probate court. Thus, the Rules of Court provides: Section 1. Complaint in action for
probate court should have recognized the incontestability partition of real estate. — A person having the right to compel
accorded to the Torrens title of Primrose over Marty's the partition of real estate may do so as provided in this Rule,
arguments of possible dissipation of properties setting forth in his complaint the nature and extent of his title
and an adequate description of the real estate of which
partition is demanded and joining as defendants all other
5. SPOUSES MARIA BUTIONG and VILLAFRlA, DR. RUEL persons interested in the property. Here, the complaint alleged:
B. SPOUSES MARIA FRANCISCO substituted by (1) that Pedro died intestate; (2) that respondents, together
VILLAFRIA, Petitioners, vs. with their co-heirs, are all of legal age, with the exception of
MA. GRACIA RINOZA PLAZO and MA. FE RINOZA one who is represented by a judicial representative duly
ALARAS, Respondents. authorized for the purpose; (3) that the heirs enumerated are
the only known heirs of Pedro; (4) that there is an account and
description of all real properties left by Pedro; (5) that Pedro's
FACTS: estate has no known indebtedness; and (6) that respondents,
as rightful heirs to the decedent's estate, pray for the partition
Pedro L. Riñoza died intestate, leaving several heirs, including of the same in accordance with the laws of intestacy. It is clear,
his children with his first wife, respondents Ma. Gracia R. Plazo therefore, that based on the allegations of the complaint, the
and Ma. Fe Alaras, his second wife Benita Tenorio and other case is one for judicial partition. That the complaint alleged
children, as well as several properties including a resort causes of action identifying the heirs of the decedent,
covered by Transfer Certificates of Title (TCT) No. 51354 and properties of the estate, and their rights thereto, does not
No. 51355, each with an area of 351 square meters, and a perforce make it an action for settlement of estate.
family home, the land on which it stands is covered by TCT
Nos. 40807 and 40808, both located in Nasugbu, Batangas.
Respondents Plazo filed an action for Judicial Partition with 6. DE BORJA VS. DE BORJA 101 PHIL 911
Annulment of Title and Recovery of Possession dated
September 15, 1993, on the ground their coheirs, Pedro's
second wife, Benita Tenorio and other children, had sold
Pedro’s resort and family home to petitioners, spouses
Francisco Villafria and Maria Butiong, who are now deceased Quintin, Francisco, Crisanta and Juliana, all surnamed de
and substituted by their son, Dr. Ruel B. Villafria, without their Borja, are the legitimate children of Marcelo de Borja, who,
knowledge and consent. When confronted about the sale, upon his demise sometime in 1924 or 1925, left a considerable
Benita acknowledged the same, showing respondents a amount of property. Intestate proceedings must have followed,
document she believed evidenced receipt of her share in the and the pre-war records of the case either burned, lost or
sale, which, however, did not refer to any sort of sale but to a destroyed during the last war, because the record shows that
previous loan obtained by Pedro and Benita from a bank.
in 1930 Quintin de Borja was already the administrator of the
Subsequently, respondents learned that on July 18, 1991, a
notice of an extrajudicial settlement of estate of their late father Intestate Estate of Marcelo de Borja. In the early part of 1938,
was published in a tabloid called Balita. Because of this, they Quintin de Borja died and Crisanto de Borja, son of Francisco
caused the annotation of their adverse claims over the subject de Borja, was appointed and took over as administrator of the
properties before the Register of Deeds of Nasugbu and filed Estate. Francisco de Borja, on the other hand, assumed his
their complaint praying, among others, for the annulment of all duties as executor of the will of Quintin de Borja, but upon
documents conveying the subject properties to the petitioners petition of the heirs of said deceased on the ground that his
and certificates of title issued pursuant thereto. RTC ruled in
favor of the respondents due to the irregularities irregularities interests were conflicting with that of his brother’s estate, he
in the documents of conveyance offered by petitioners as well was later required by the Court to resign as such executor and
as the circumstances surrounding the execution of the same. was succeeded by Rogelio Limaco, a son-in-law of Quintin de
Specifically, the Extra-Judicial Settlement was notarized by a Borja. Francisco was later required by the court to resign as
notary public who was not duly commissioned as such on the such executor and was succeeded by Rogelio Limaco, a son-
date it was executed. The Deed of Sale was undated, the date in-law of Quintin de Borja, while the intestate remained under
of the acknowledgment therein was left blank, and the 2
the administration of Crisanto de Borja until the then outbreak
typewritten name "Pedro Riñoza, Husband" on the left side of
the document was not signed. The CA affirmed RTC’s of the war.
decision. Before the SC, petitioners contended that the RTC
had no jurisdiction. According to them, the allegations in the After the war or in 1945, the court ordered the reconstitution of
complaint filed by the respondents show that the cause of the records of this case, requiring the administrator to submit
action is actually one for settlement of estate of decedent his report and a copy of the project of partition. The heirs of
Pedro. Considering that settlement of estate is a special Quintin de Borja opposed to the approval of the statements of
proceeding cognizable by a probate court of limited jurisdiction, accounts rendered by the administrator of the intestate estate
while judicial partition with annulment of title and recovery of
of Marcelo de Borja on the ground that it was not detailed
possession are ordinary civil actions cognizable by a court of
general jurisdiction, the trial court exceeded its jurisdiction in enough to enable the interested parties to verify the same. On
entertaining the respondent’s complaint. July 6, 1950, herein oppositors-appellees, filed a motion for the
delivery to them of their inheritance in the estate, pursuant to
ISSUE: the provisions of the project of Partition and expressing their
willingness to put up a bond if required to so by the Court. On
July 28, 1950, the special administratrix of the estate of Juliana
RULE 73 |5

de Borja, then deceased, filed an answer to the motion of counterclaim for moral damages against the oppositors,
these two heirs, denying the allegation that said heir received particularly against Marcela de Borja who allegedly uttered
any product of the lands mentioned from Quintin de Borja, and derogatory remarks intended to cast dishonor to said
informed the Court that the Mayapyap property had always administrator sometime in 1950 or 1951, his Honor’s ground
been in the possession of Francisco de Borja himself and being that the court exercising limited jurisdiction cannot
prayed the Court that the administrator be instructed to entertain claims of this kind which should properly belong to a
demand all the fruits and products of said property from court of general jurisdiction. From whatever angle it may be
Francisco de Borja. looked at, a counterclaim for moral damages demanded by an
administrator against the heirs for alleged utterances,
On July 28, 1950, the heirs of Quintin de Borja also filed their pleadings and actuations made in the course of the
opposition to the said motion of Francisco de Borja and Miguel proceeding, is an extraneous matter in a testate or intestate
B. Dayco on the ground that the petition was superfluous proceedings. The injection into the action of incidental
because the present proceeding was only for the approval of questions entirely foreign in probate proceedings should not be
the statement of accounts filed by the administrator; that said encouraged for to do otherwise would run counter to the clear
motion was improper because it was asking the Court to order intention of the law. "The speedy settlement of the estate of
the administrator to perform what he was duty bound to do; deceased persons for the benefit of the creditors and those
and that said heirs were already barred or estopped from entitled to the residue by way of inheritance or legacy after the
raising that question in view of their absolute ratification of and debts and expenses of administration have been paid, is the
assent to the statement of accounts submitted by the ruling spirit of our probate law" (Magbanua v. Akel, 72 Phil.,
administrator. On August 27, 1951, the administrator filed his 567, 40 Off. Gaz., 1871).
amended statement of accounts covering the period from
March 1, 1945, to July 31, 1949,. 7. ROMERO VS. HON. COURT OF APPEALS (G.R. NO.
188921, APRIL 18, 2012)
The heirs of Quintin de Borja again opposed the approval of
these statements of accounts charging the administrator with FACTS:
having failed to include the fruits which the estate should have
accrued from 1941 to 1951 amounting to P479,429.70, but as Petitioners allege that upon their father’s death, their mother,
the other heirs seemed satisfied with the accounts presented respondent Aurora, was appointed as legal guardian who held
by said administrator and as their group was only one of the 4 several real and personal properties in trust for her children
heirs of Intestate Estate, they prayed that the administrator be comprising the estate of her late husband. Petitioners Leo and
held liable for only P119,932.42 which was 1/4 of the amount Amando discovered that several Deeds of Sale in favor of their
alleged to have been omitted. On October 4, 1951, the brother, Vittorio, were registered over parcels of land that are
administrator filed a reply to said opposition containing a purportedly conjugal properties of their parents. Petitioners
counterclaim for moral damages against all the heirs of Quintin filed a complaint for Annulment of Sale, Nullification of Title,
de de Borja in the sum of P30,000 which was admitted by the and Conveyance of Title (Amended) against private
Court over the objection of the heirs of Quintin de Borja that respondents Aurora and Vittorio. Respondents filed their
the said pleading was filed out of time. answer, arguing that the properties in question were acquired
long after the death of their father, Judge Dante Romero
hence, the properties cannot be considered conjugal, that they
The oppositors, the heirs of Quintin de Borja, then filed their were paraphernal properties of Aurora which she had
answer to the counterclaim denying the charges therein, but mortgaged. Vittorio purportedly had to shell out substantial
later served interrogatories on the administrator relative to the amounts in order to redeem them. The lots covered by TCT
averments of said counterclaim. Nos. 77223, 77224, and 77225 were sold by Aurora herself as
attorney-in-fact of her children on 23 November 2006, since
ISSUE: her authority to do so had never been revoked or modified. The
RTC dismissed the petitioners’ complaint since the case under
W/N the court litigating the probate proceeding can entertain Special Proceedings for the intestate distribution and partition
collateral matters of the same case with respect to other issues of the estate of their deceased father is still pending. The RTC
of the property in the disputed estate. denied their MR. Petitioners filed for certiorari under Rule 65
with the CA but was dismissed, hence this petition.
No. Special Proceedings No. 6414 of the Court of First
Instance of Rizal (Pasig branch) was instituted for the purpose W/N petitioners in this case may file a separate civil action for
of settling the Intestate Estate of Marcelo de Borja. In taking annulment of sale and reconveyance of title, despite the
cognizance of the case, the Court was clothed with a limited pendency of the settlement proceedings for the estate of the
jurisdiction which cannot expand to collateral matters not late Judge Dante Y. Romero.
arising out of or in any way related to the settlement and
adjudication of the properties of the deceased, for it is a settled RULING:
rule that the jurisdiction of a probate court is limited and special
(Guzman v. Anog, 37 Phil. 361). Although there is a tendency No. In the case now before us, the matter in controversy is the
now to relax this rule and extend the jurisdiction of the probate question of ownership of certain of the properties involved
court in respect to matters incidental and collateral to the whether they belong to the conjugal partnership or to the
exercise of its recognized powers (14 Am. Jur. 251-252), this husband exclusively. This is a matter properly within the
should be understood to comprehend only cases related to jurisdiction of the probate court which necessarily has to
those powers specifically allowed by the statutes. "Probate liquidate the conjugal partnership in order to determine the
proceedings are purely statutory and their functions limited to estate of the decedent which is to be distributed among his
the control of the property upon the death of its owner, and heirs who are all parties to the proceedings. In the present
cannot extend to the adjudication of collateral questions" case, petitioners assume that the properties subject of the
(Woesmes, The American Law of Administration, Vol. I, p. 514, allegedly illegal sale are conjugal and constitute part of their
662- 663). It was in the acknowledgment of its limited share in the estate. To date, there has been no final inventory
jurisdiction that the lower court dismissed the administrator’s of the estate or final order adjudicating the shares of the heirs.
RULE 73 |6

Thus, only the probate court can competently rule on whether b.) The partition shall be done in the civil case rather than in
the properties are conjugal and form part of the estate. 9t is the settlement proceedings because the law mandates the
only the probate court that can liquidate the conjugal dissolution and liquidation of the property regime of the
partnership and distribute the same to the heirs, after the debts spouses upon finality of the decree annulling the marriage.
of the estate have been paid. Wherefore, the petition is denied, Such dissolution and liquidation are necessary consequences
as the properties herein are already subject of an intestate of the final decree of nullity. The legal effect of the decree of
annulment of marriage ipso facto or automatically follows as an
inevitable incident of the judgment decreeing annulment of the
8. LEDESMA VS. INTESTATE ESTATE OF CIPRIANO marriage for the purpose of determining the share of each
spouse in their assets. A division of the property in a
supplemental decision is a mere incident to the decree
of annulment.” The court when acting as testate or intestate
court is a court of limited jurisdiction. It is so limited in the
Petitioner Angelica Ledesma's marriage to Cipriano Pedrosa sense that it is only confined in the issue of settlement or
division of the properties of the deceased. It cannot extend to
was declared a nullity by the RTC of Negros Occidental. The
collateral matters which are not related. The law on intestate
Court ordered that the properties acquired by the parties at the
succession should take over in the disposition of whatever
time they were living together as common-law husband and
remaining properties have been allocated to petitioner, this
wife are owned by them as co-owners. With respect to the procedure involves details which properties have been
properties acquired by them during marriage which was allocated to the deceased petitioner by virtue of the liquidation
subsequently annulled by the Court, they will form part of the of the conjugal assets, shall be distributed in accordance with
conjugal partnership of the spouses, to be dissolved and the laws of intestate succession.
liquidated in accordance with the provision of the Civil Code.
Pending the order of inventory of the properties, Pedrosa 9. LIMJOCO VS. INTESTATE ESTATE FRAGRANTE, 80
died leaving a last will and testament. A separate petition for PHIL 776
probate of the said will was filed. Nelson Jimena was named
executor in the said proceeding and substituted the deceased FACTS:
in the partition proceeding with regard to the annulled marriage
Pedro Fragrante, a Filipino citizen at the time of his death,
of the latter. Respondent Judge Katalbas-
applied for a certificate of public convenience to install and
Moscardon considered the supplemental action for partition
maintain an ice plant in San Juan, Rizal. His intestate estate is
(after annulment of the marriage) TERMINATED due to the
financially capable of maintaining the proposed service. The
death of one of the spouses (Pedrosa) and the pendency of
Public Service Commission issued a certificate of public
intestate proceedings over his estate.
convenience to Intestate Estate of the deceased through its
Petitioner argues that respondent judge reneged in the special or judicial administrator appointed by the proper court
performance of a lawful duty when she refrained from of competent jurisdiction to maintain and operate the said
rendering a decision in the partition case (RE: dissolution and plant. Petitioner claims that the granting of certificate applied to
distribution of conjugal properties) and considered the same the estate is a contravention of law.
closed and terminated, due to the pendency of intestate
proceedings over the deceased husband's estate.
ISSUES: a.) Whether or not it is proper to terminate the W/N the estate of Fragrante may be extended an artificial
partition proceeding on account of the death of one of the judicial personality
spouses and the pendency of intestate proceeding of the
deceased spouse’s estate; b.) Where will the partition of the HELD:
properties be made – in the civil case where the marriage was
annulled? or in the proceeding for the settlement of estate? Yes, because under the Civil Code, “estate of a dead person
could be considered as artificial juridical person for the purpose
of settlement and distribution of his properties.” Fragante has
rights and fulfillment of obligation which survived after his
death. One of those rights involved the pending application for
RULING: a.) NO. The Court cited the case of Macadangdang
public convenience before the PSC. The state or the mass of
vs. Court of Appeals, where a similar issue was involved — the property, rights left by the decedent, instead of heirs directly,
husband also died after the legal separation of the spouses become vested and charged with his rights and obligations.
had been finally decreed but before the actual liquidation Under the present legal system, rights and obligations which
of their community of properties. In the said case, the Court survived after death have to be exercised and fulfilled only by
ruled that upon the finality of the decree of legal separation, the the estate of the deceased.
absolute conjugal community property of the spouses shall be
dissolved and liquidated. Upon the liquidation and distribution
L-42670, NOV. 29, 1976
conformably with the law governing the effects of the final
decree of legal separation, the law on intestate succession
should take over in the disposition of whatever remaining FACTS:
properties have been allocated to petitioner. This procedure
involves details which properly pertain to the lower court. The Virginia G. Fule (illegitimate sister) filed with the CFI of Laguna
Macadangdang decision involved legal separation but the a petition for letters of administration alleging “that on April 26,
doctrine enunciated therein should be applied to a marriage 1973, Amado G. Garcia, a property owner of Calamba,
Laguna, died intestate in the City of Manila, leaving real estate
annulment which is the situation at bar. The respondent
and personal properties in Calamba, Laguna, and in other
presiding judge is directed to decide the partition (liquidation) places, within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court.” At the
case and determine which of the properties of the conjugal same time, she moved ex parte for her appointment as special
partnership should be adjudicated to the husband and the wife. administratix over the estate. Judge Malvar granted the motion.
Any properties that may be adjudicated to the deceased A motion for reconsideration was filed by Preciosa B. Garcia,
husband Pedrosa can then be distributed in accordance with the surviving spouse of the deceased, contending that: 1) The
his last will and testament in the special proceedings involving decedent “resided” in QC for 3 months before his death as
shown by his death certificate and therefore have an improper
his estate. venue; 2) The CFI of Calamba lacks jurisdiction over the
RULE 73 |7

petition. CFI denied the motion. CA reversed and affirmed will; that on March 11, 1963 before the Court could act on the
making Preciosa the administratix. Thus, Fule elevated the petition, the same was withdrawn; that on March 12, 1963,
matter to the SC on appeal by certiorari. aforementioned petitioners filed before the Court of First
Instance of Rizal a petition for the settlement of the intestate
ISSUES: estate of Fr. Rodriguez alleging, among other things, that Fr.
Rodriguez was a resident of Parañaque, Rizal, and died
a.) Are venue and jurisdiction the same? How can it be without leaving a will and praying that Maria Rodriguez be
determined in the present case?; appointed as Special Administratrix of the estate; and that on
March 12, 1963 Apolonia Pangilinan and Adelaida Jacalan filed
b.) What does the word “resides” in Revised Rules of Court a petition in this Court for the probation of the will delivered by
Rule 73 Section 1 Mean?; them on March 4, 1963. It was stipulated by the parties that Fr.
Rodriguez was born in Parañaque, Rizal; that he was Parish
c.) Who is entitled as special administratix of the estate? priest of the Catholic Church of Hagonoy, Bulacan, from the
year 1930 up to the time of his death in 1963; that he was
Held: a.) No, jurisdiction is defined as the authority to try, hear buried in Parañaque, and that he left real properties in Rizal,
and decide a case base on the merits or the substance of the Cavite, Quezon City and Bulacan. The movants contend that
facts. It is a substantive aspect of the trial proceeding. It is since the intestate proceedings in the Court of First Instance of
granted by law or by the constitution and cannot be waived or Rizal was filed at 8:00 A.M. on March 12, 1963 while the
stipulated. On the other hand, Rule 4 of Rules of Court define petition for probate was filed in the Court of First Instance of
venue as the proper court which has jurisdiction over the area Bulacan at 11:00 A.M. on the same date, the latter Court has
wherein real property involved or a portion thereof is situated. no jurisdiction to entertain the petition for probate, citing as
Venue is the location of the court with jurisdiction. It is more on authority in support thereof the case of Ongsingco Vda. de
convenience purposes. It’s more on procedural aspect of the Borja vs. Tan and De Borja, G.R. No. 7792, July 27, 1955.
case. In some cases it may be waived or stipulated by the The petitioners Pangilinan and Jacalan, on the other hand,
parties. Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court take the stand that the Court of First Instance of Bulacan
provides: “If the decedent is an inhabitant of the Philippines at acquired jurisdiction over the case upon delivery by them of the
the time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien, his will shall will to the Clerk of Court on March 4, 1963, and that the case in
be proved, or letters of administration granted, and his estate this Court therefore has precedence over the case filed in Rizal
settled, in the Court of First Instance in the province in which on March 12, 1963.
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 ISSUE:
which he had estate.
Whether or not the Court of First Instance of Bulacan has
b.) “Resides” should be viewed or understood in its popular
jurisdiction to try the case?
sense, meaning, the personal, actual or physical habitation of a
person, actual residence or place of abode. It signifies physical
presence in a place and actual stay thereat. In this popular RULING:
sense, the term means merely residence, that is, personal
residence, not legal residence or domicile. Residence simply YES. The estate proceedings having been initiated in the
requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place, Bulacan Court of First Instance ahead of any other, that court
while domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also is entitled to assume jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other
an intention to make it one’s domicile. No particular length of courts, even if it were a case of wrong venue by express
time of residence is required though; however, the residence provisions of Rule 73 (old Rule 75) of the Rules of Court, since
must be more than temporary. the same enjoins that: The Court first taking cognizance of the
settlement of the estate of a decedent shall exercise
c.) In the present case, SC ruled that the last place of jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. (Sec. 1).
residence of the deceased should be the venue of the court.
Amado G. Garcia was in Quezon City, and not at Calamba, This disposition presupposes that two or more courts have
Laguna base on his death certificate. A death certificate is been asked to take cognizance of the settlement of the estate.
admissible to prove the residence of the decedent at the time Of them only one could be of proper venue, yet the rule grants
of his death. Withal, the conclusion becomes imperative that precedence to that Court whose jurisdiction is first invoked,
the venue for Virginia C. Fule’s petition for letters of without taking venue into account. As for the petitioners
administration was improperly laid in the Court of First Instance commencing intestate proceedings in Rizal, after they learned
of Calamba, Laguna. Therefore Preciosa B. Garcia was of the delivery of the decedent's will to the Court of Bulacan,
granted as a special administratix. was in bad faith, patently done with a view to divesting the
latter court of the precedence awarded it by the Rules.
Certainly the order of priority established in Rule 73 (old Rule
11. RODRIGUEZ VS. HON. JUAN DE BORJA G.R. NO. L- 75) was not designed to convert the settlement of decedent's
21993, JUNE 21, 1966 estates into a race between applicants, with the administration
of the properties as the price for the fleetest. Therefore, as
ruled in Castro, et al. vs. Martinez, 10 Phil. 307, "only after final
decision as to the nullity of testate succession could an
FACTS: Petitioners Angela, Maria, Abelardo and Antonio, intestate succession be instituted in the form of pre-established
surnamed Rodriguez, petition this Court for a writ of certiorari action". The institution of intestacy proceedings in Rizal may
and prohibition to the Court of First Instance of Bulacan, for its not thus proceed while the probate of the purported will of
refusal to grant their motion to dismiss its Special Proceeding Father Rodriguez is pending. We rule that the Bulacan Court of
No. 1331, which said Court is alleged to have taken First Instance was entitled to priority in the settlement of the
cognizance of without jurisdiction. A motion to dismiss was filed estate in question, and that in refusing to dismiss the probate
by the petitioners through counsel that the Court has no proceedings, said court did not commit any abuse of discretion.
jurisdiction to try the above entitled case in view of the It is the proceedings in the Rizal Court that should be
pendency of another action for the settlement of the estate of discontinued. Wherefore, the writ of certiorari applied for is
the deceased Rev. Fr. Celestino Rodriguez in the Court of First denied. Costs against petitioners Rodriguez.
Instance of Rizal, namely, Sp. Proceedings No. 3907 entitled
'In the matter of the Intestate Estate of the deceased Rev. Fr.
12. EUSEBIO VS. EUSEBIO 100 PHIL 593 (1956)
Celestino Rodriguez which was filed ahead of the instant case.
The records show that Fr. Celestino Rodriguez died on
February 12, 1963 in the City of Manila; that on March 4, 1963,
Apolonia Pangilinan and Adelaida Jacalan delivered to the FACTS: On November 16, 1953, when Eugenio Eusebio filed
Clerk of Court of Bulacan a purported last will and testament of with the Court of First Instance of Rizal, a petition for his
Fr. Rodriguez; that on March 8, 1963, Maria Rodriguez and appointment as administrator of the estate of his father, Andres
Angela Rodriguez, through counsel filed a Eusebio, who died on 1952, residing, in the City of Quezon. On
petition for leave of court to allow them to examine the alleged December 4, 1953, Amanda, Virginia, Juan, Delfin, Vicente and
Carlos, all surnamed Eusebio, objected to said petition, stating
RULE 73 |8

that they are illegitimate children of the deceased and that the provision refers mainly to non-resident decedents who have
latter was domiciled in San Fernando, Pampanga, and praying properties in several provinces in the Philippines, for the
that the case be dismissed upon the ground that venue had settlement of their respective estates may undertaken before
been improperly filed. the court of first instance of either one of said provinces, not
only because said courts then have concurrent jurisdiction —
TC: court overruled this objection and granted said petition. and, hence, the one first taking cognizance of the case shall
exclude the other courts — but, also, because the statement
to this effect in said section 1 of Rule 75 of the Rules of the
Hence, this appeal. The appeal hinges on the situs of the Court immediately follows the last part of the next preceding
residence of Andres Eusebio on: sentence, which deals with non-resident decedents, whose
estate may settled the court of first instance of any province in
November 28, 1952, for Rule 75, section 1, of the Rules of which they have properties.
Court, provides: Where estate of deceased persons settled. —
If the decedent is an inhabitant of the Philippines in the CFI in
the province in which he resides at the time of his death, and if In view, however, of the last sentence of said section, providing
he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the Court of First that:
Instance of any province in which he had estate. The court first xXX The jurisdiction assumed by a court, so far as it depends
taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a on the place of residence of the decedent, or of the location of
decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other his estate, shall not be contested in a suit or proceedings,
courts. XXX. Andres Eusebio was, and had always been, except in an appeal from that court, in the original case, or
domiciled in San Fernando, Pampanga, where he had his when the want of jurisdiction appears on the record.xxX
Inasmuch as his heart was in bad condition and his son, Dr.
Jesus Eusebio, who treated him, resided at No. 41 P. If proceedings for the settlement of the estate of a deceased
Florentino St., Quezon City, on October 29, 1952, Andres resident are instituted in two or more courts, and the question
Eusebio bought a house and lot at 889-A España Extention of venue is raised before the same, the court in which the first
(EXHIBIT 2). case was filed shall have exclusive jurisdiction to decide said
issue. Should it be decided, in the proceedings before the said
court, that venue had been improperly laid, the case pending
As proof of his residence the deed of conveyance and
therein should be dismissed and the corresponding
marriage contracts was presented where he it stated therein
proceedings may, thereafter, be initiated in the proper court. In
that he made Pampanga as his residence. The lower court,
conclusion, the court find that the decedent was, at the time of
however, rejected said Exhibits 1 and 2, upon being offered in
his death, domiciled in San Fernando, Pampanga; that the
evidence, it believed that said documents should not be
Court of First Instance of Rizal had no authority, therefore, to
admitted in evidence before appellants had established their
appoint an administrator of the estate of the deceased, the
"personality" to intervene in the case, because of their alleged
venue having been laid improperly; and that it should,
lack of "personality", but, when tried to establish such
accordingly, have sustained appellants' opposition and
"personality", they were barred from doing so on account of the
dismissed appellee's petition. Order appealed from is hereby
question of venue raised by him. In this case the the trial Judge
reversed and appellee's petition is dismissed.
had taken inconsistent positions. While, on the one hand, he
declared that appellants could not be permitted to introduce
evidence on the residence of the decedent, for they contested
the jurisdiction of
court, on the other hand, he held, in the order appealed from,
that, by cross-examining the appellee, said appellants had FACTS: The instant case involves the settlement of the estate
submitted themselves to the authority of the court. of Felicisimo T. San Luis (Felicisimo), who was the former
governor of the Province of Laguna. Felicisimo contracted
ISSUE: SUPPOSE, Settlement of estate proceedings were three marriages. His first marriage was with Virginia Sulit on
situated in two courts, then the question of Improper venue March 17, 1942 out of which were born six children, namely:
was raised. Where shall the motion questioning the venue be Rodolfo, Mila, Edgar, Linda, Emilita and Manuel. On August 11,
filed? 1963, Virginia predeceased Felicisimo; Merry Lee Corwin, with
whom he had a son, Tobias; and Felicidad San Luis, then
surnamed Sagalongos. After the death of Virginia Sulit,
RULING: It appears that on November 14, 1953, the Clerk of Felicisimo married Merry Lee Corwin who was an American
the CFI of Pampanga received a petition of appellants herein, citizen. However, on October 1971, Merry Lee Corwin filed a
dated November 4, 1953, for the settlement of the "Intestate Complaint for Divorce before the Family Court of the First
Estate of the late Don Andres Eusebio". Attached to said Circuit, State of Hawaii, United States of America (U.S.A.),
petition was petition for the docketing thereof free charge, which issued a Decree Granting Absolute Divorce and
pursuant to Rule 3, section 22, of the Rules of Court. The latter Awarding Child Custody on December 14, 1973.
petition was granted by an order dated November 16, 1953,
which was received by the cashier of said court on November On June 20, 1974, Felicisimo married respondent Felicidad
17, 1953, on which date the case was docketed as Special San Luis, then surnamed Sagalongos, at Los Angeles,
Proceedings No. 957. On December 14, 1953, Jesus, Eugenio, California, U.S.A. He had no children with respondent but lived
Amando and Alfonso, all surnamed Eusebio (the children of the with her for 18 years from the time of their marriage up to his
decedent by first marriage, including petitioner herein), moved death on December 18, 1992. Thereafter, respondent sought
for the dismissal of said proceedings, owing to the pendency of the dissolution of their conjugal partnership assets and the
the present case, before the Court of First Instance of Rizal, settlement of Felicisimo’s estate. On December 17, 1993, she
since November 16, 1953. This motion was granted in an order filed a petition for letters of administration before the Regional
dated December 21, 1953, relying upon the above Rule 75, Trial Court of Makati City. In February 1994, both Rodolfo and
section 1, of the Rules of Court, pursuant to which "the court Linda San Luis filed for the dismissal the respondent’s prayer
first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a of letter of administration of the said conjugal assets before the
decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other Trial Court which were dismissed respectively. Upon submitting
courts." Although said order is now final, it cannot affect the documentary evidences in support of the respondent’s claim,
outcome of the case at bar. Said order did not pass upon the the petitioners and herein petitioner Edgar San Luis, separately
question of domicile or residence of the decedent. Moreover, in filed motions for reconsideration from the Order denying their
granting the court first taking cognizance of the case exclusive motions to dismiss. On September 12, 1995, the trial court
jurisdiction over the same, said provision of the Rules of Court dismissed the petition for letters of administration. Respondent
evidently refers to cases triable before two or more courts with appealed to the Court of Appeals which reversed and set aside
concurrent jurisdiction. It could not possibly have intended to the orders of the trial court in its assailed Decision dated
deprive a competent court of the authority vested therein by February 4, 1998.The petition was DENIED. The Decision of
law, merely because a similar case had been previously filed the Court of Appeals reinstating and affirming the February 28,
before a court to which 1994 Order of the Regional Trial Court which denied
jurisdiction is denied by law, for the same would then be petitioners’ motion to dismiss and its October 24, 1994 Order
defeated by the will of one of the parties. More specially, said which dismissed petitioners’ motion for reconsideration is
RULE 73 |9

AFFIRMED. The records of the case was REMANDED to the On January 9, 1978, Ethel filed with the Manila Court of First
trial court for further proceedings. Instance Branch 20 an intestate proceeding for the settlement
of his estate where she was named special administratrix.
ISSUE: Whether or not the letter of administration was filed in
the proper venue. On March 11, the second wife, Maxine, filed an opposition and
motion to dismiss the intestate proceeding on the ground of the
RULING: YES. Under Section 1, Rule 73 of the Rules of pendency of Utah of a proceeding for the probate of Grimm's
Court, the petition for letters of administration of the estate of will. She also moved that she be appointed special
Felicisimo should be filed in the Regional Trial Court of the administratrix. She submitted to the court a copy of Grimm's
province “in which he resides at the time of his death.” In the will disposing of his Philippine estate.
case of Garcia Fule v. Court of Appeals, the doctrinal rule was
laid down for determining the residence – as
contradistinguished from domicile – of the decedent for The intestate court noted that Maxine withdrew the opposition
purposes of fixing the venue of the settlement of his estate. In and motion to dismiss pursuant to the aforementioned Utah
the instant case, while petitioners established that Felicisimo compromise agreement. The court ignored the will already
was domiciled in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, respondent proved that he found in the record, and the estate was partitioned.
also maintained residence in Alabang, Muntinlupa from 1982
up to the time of his death.In the foregoing, it was found that On April 18, 1980 Juanita Grimm Morris, through Ethel's
Felicisimo was a resident of Alabang, Muntinlupa for purposes lawyers, filed a motion for accounting "so that the Estate
of fixing the venue of the settlement of his estate. properties can be partitioned among the heirs and the present
Consequently, the subject petition for letters of administration intestate estate be closed." Del Callar, Maxine's lawyer was
was validly filed in the Regional Trial Court which has territorial notified of that motion.
jurisdiction over Alabang, Muntinlupa. The subject petition was
filed on December 17, 1993. At that time, Muntinlupa was still a In 1980, Maxine filed in Branch 38 of the lower court a petition
municipality and the branches of the Regional Trial Court of the praying for the probate of Grimm's two wills (already probated
National Capital Judicial Region which had territorial in Utah), that the 1979 partition approved by the intestate court
jurisdiction over Muntinlupa were then seated in Makati City as be set aside and the letters of administration revoked, that
per Supreme Court Administrative Order No. 3. Thus, the Maxine be appointed executrix and that Ethel and Juanita
subject petition was validly filed before the Regional Trial Court Morris be ordered to account for the properties received by
of Makati City. them and to return the same to Maxine.

She alleged that they were defrauded due to the machinations

14. G.R. No. L-55509 April 27, 1984 of Ethel, that the 1978 Utah compromise agreement was
illegal, that the intestate proceeding is void because Grimm
ETHEL GRIMM ROBERTS, petitioner, vs. died testate, and that the partition was contrary to the
JUDGE TOMAS R. LEONIDAS, Branch 38, Court of First decedent's wills.
MILLER GRIMM II and LINDA GRIMM, respondents. Ethel filed a motion to dismiss the petition which was denied
for lack of merit. Ethel then filed a petition for certiorari and
FACTS: Edward Grimm, an American resident of Manila, died prohibition in this Court, praying that the testate proceeding be
in 1977. He was survived by his second wife, Maxine, and their dismissed, or alternatively that the two proceedings be
two children, Pete and Linda, and by his two children by a first consolidated and heard in Branch 20 and that the matter of the
marriage, Juanita and Ethel. annulment of the Utah compromise agreement be heard prior
to the petition for probate.
He executed on January 23, 1959 two wills in San Francisco,
California. One will disposed of his Philippine estate which he In short: A petition for probate for the two wills (already
described as conjugal property of himself and his second wife. probated in Utah) was filed before Manila CFI Branch 38 while
The second will disposed of his estate outside the Philippines. intestate proceedings for the same estate were ongoing in
Manila CFI Branch 20.
In both wills, the second wife and two children were favored.
The two children of the first marriage were given their legitimes ISSUE: Whether or not the intestate case should be
in the will disposing of the estate situated in this country. In the consolidated with the testate proceeding.
will dealing with his property outside this country, the testator
said: RULING: Yes. We hold that respondent judge did not commit
any grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack of jurisdiction,
I purposely have made no provision in this in denying Ethel’s motion to dismiss.
will for my daughter, Juanita Grimm Morris,
or my daughter, Elsa Grimm McFadden A testate proceeding is proper in this case because Grimm
(Ethel Grimm Roberts), because I have died with two wills and "no will shall pass either real or
provided for each of them in a separate will personal property unless it is proved and allowed" (Art. 838,
disposing of my Philippine property. Civil Code; sec. 1, Rule 75, Rules of Court).

The two wills and a codicil were presented for probate on The probate of the will is mandatory. It is anomalous that the
March 7, 1978 in the Judicial District Court of Tooele County, estate of a person who died testate should be settled in an
Utah. Maxine admitted that she received notice of the intestate intestate proceeding. Therefore, the intestate case should be
petition. The Utah Court then admitted the two wills and codicil consolidated with the testate proceeding and the judge
to probate on April 1978. assigned to the testate proceeding should continue hearing the
two cases.
On April 25, 1978, Maxine and her two children Linda and
Pete, as the first parties, and Ethel, Juanita and their mother Ethel may file within 20 days from notice of the finality of this
Juanita as the second parties, with knowledge of the intestate judgment an opposition and answer to the petition unless she
proceeding in Manila, entered into a compromise agreement in considers her motion to dismiss and other pleadings sufficient
Utah regarding the estate. for the purpose. Juanita, who appeared in the intestate case,
should be served with copies of orders, notices and other
In that agreement, it was stipulated that Maxine, Pete and papers in the testate case.
Ethel would be designated as administrators of Grimm's
Philippine estate. 15. G.R. Nos. L-21938-39 May 29, 1970
R U L E 7 3 | 10

VICENTE URIARTE, petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF FIRST as the last will of Juan Uriarte, the petition for probate
INSTANCE OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL (12th Judicial appearing not to have been contested.
BRANCH IV, JUAN URIARTE ZAMACONA and HIGINIO Likewise, it is not denied that to the motion to dismiss the
URIARTE, respondents. special proceeding pending before the Negros Court filed by
Higinio Uriarte were attached a copy of the alleged last will of
FACTS: On November 6, 1961 petitioner Vicente filed with the Juan Uriarte and of the petition filed with the Manila Court for
Negros Court a petition for the settlement of the estate of the its probate. It is clear, therefore, that almost from the start of
late Don Juan Uriarte (Special Proceeding No. 6344) alleging Special Proceeding No. 6344, the Negros Court and petitioner
that as a natural son of the latter, he was his sole heir, and Vicente Uriarte knew of the existence of the aforesaid last will
that, during the lifetime of said decedent, petitioner had and of the proceedings for its probate.
instituted Civil Case No. 6142 in the same Court for his
compulsory acknowledgment as such natural son. Upon ISSUES: (a) whether or not the Negros Court erred in
petitioner's motion, the Negros Court appointed Philippine dismissing Special Proceeding No. 6644, on the one hand, and
National Bank as special administrator. The record discloses, on the other, (b) whether the Manila Court similarly erred in not
however, that PNB never actually qualified as special dismissing Special Proceeding No. 51396 notwithstanding
administrator. proof of the prior filing of Special Proceeding No. 6344 in the
Negros Court.
On December 19, 1961, Higinio Uriarte, one of the two private
respondents herein, filed an opposition to the petition alleging RULING:
that he was a nephew of the deceased Juan Uriarte who had
"executed a Last Will and Testament in Spain, a duly
authenticated copy whereof has been requested and which a. No. Under the Judiciary Act of 1948 [Section 44, paragraph
shall be submitted to this Honorable Court upon receipt (e)], Courts of First Instance have original exclusive jurisdiction
thereof," and further questioning petitioner's capacity and over "all matters of probate," that is, over special proceedings
interest to commence the intestate proceeding. for the settlement of the estate of deceased persons —
whether they died testate or intestate.
On August 28, 1962, Juan Uriarte Zamacona, the other private
respondent, commenced Special Proceeding No. 51396 in the While their jurisdiction over such subject matter is beyond
Manila Court for the probate of a document alleged to be the question, the matter of venue, or the particular Court of First
last will of the deceased, and on the same date he filed in Instance where the special proceeding should be commenced,
Special Proceeding No. 6344 of the Negros Court a motion to is regulated by Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of
dismiss the same on the following grounds: (1) that, as the Court, which provides that the estate of a decedent inhabitant
deceased had left a last will, there was no legal basis to of the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or
proceed with said intestate proceedings, and (2) that petitioner an alien, shall be in the court of first instance in the province in
Vicente Uriarte had no legal personality and interest to initiate which he resided at the time of his death, and if he is an
said intestate proceedings, he not being an acknowledged inhabitant of a foreign country, the court of first instance of any
natural son of the decedent. A copy of the Petition for Probate province in which he had estate.
and of the alleged Will were attached to the Motion to Dismiss.
Accordingly, when the estate to be settled is that of a non-
Petitioner opposed the aforesaid motion to dismiss contending resident alien — like the deceased Juan Uriarte — the Courts
that, as the Negros Court was first to take cognizance of the of First Instance in provinces where the deceased left any
settlement of the estate of the deceased, it had acquired property have concurrent jurisdiction to take cognizance of the
exclusive jurisdiction over same pursuant to Rule 75, Section 1 proper special proceeding for the settlement of his estate. In
of the Rules of Court. the case before Us, these Courts of First Instance are the
Negros and the Manila Courts — province and city where the
deceased Juan Uriarte left considerable properties. From this
The Negros Court sustained Juan Uriarte Zamacona's motion premise petitioner argues that, as the Negros Court had first
to dismiss and dismissed the Special Proceeding No. 6344. taken cognizance of the special proceeding for the settlement
His motion for reconsideration of said order having been of the estate of said decedent (Special Proceeding No. 6344),
denied, petitioner proceeded to file his notice of appeal which the Manila Court no longer had jurisdiction to take cognizance
was disapproved. of Special Proceeding No. 51396 intended to settle the estate
of the same decedent in accordance with his alleged will, and
In view of the above-quoted order, petitioner filed the that consequently, the first court erred in dismissing Special
supplemental petition for mandamus mentioned heretofore. Proceeding No. 6344, while the second court similarly erred in
not dismissing Special Proceeding No. 51396.
Vicente Uriarte filed an Omnibus Motion in Special Proceeding
No. 51396 pending in the Manila Court, asking for leave to It cannot be denied that a special proceeding intended to effect
intervene therein; for the dismissal of the petition and the the distribution of the estate of a deceased person, whether in
annulment of the proceedings had in said special proceeding. accordance with the law on intestate succession or in
This motion was denied by said court. It is admitted that, as accordance with his will, is a "probate matter" or a proceeding
alleged in the basic petition filed in Special Proceeding No. for the settlement of his estate. It is equally true, however, that
6344 of the Negros Court, Vicente Uriarte filed in the same in accordance with settled jurisprudence in this jurisdiction,
court, during the lifetime of Juan Uriarte, Civil Case No. 6142 testate proceedings, for the settlement of the estate of a
to obtain judgment for his compulsory acknowledgment as his deceased person take precedence over intestate proceedings
natural child. Clearly inferrable from this is that at the time he for the same purpose. Thus it has been held repeatedly that, if
filed the action, as well as when he commenced the aforesaid in the course of intestate proceedings pending before a court
special proceeding, he had not yet been acknowledged as of first instance it is found it that the decedent had left a last
natural son of Juan Uriarte. Up to this time, no final judgment will, proceedings for the probate of the latter should replace the
to that effect appears to have been rendered. intestate proceedings even if at that stage an administrator had
already been appointed, the latter being required to render final
The record further discloses that the special proceeding before account and turn over the estate in his possession to the
the Negros Court has not gone farther than the appointment of executor subsequently appointed. This, however, is understood
a special administrator in the person of PNB who, as stated to be without prejudice that should the alleged last will be
heretofore, failed to qualify. rejected or is disapproved, the proceeding shall continue as an
intestacy. As already adverted to, this is a clear indication that
proceedings for the probate of a will enjoy priority over
On the other hand, it is not disputed that, after proper intestate proceedings.
proceedings were had in Special Proceeding No. 51396, the
Manila Court admitted to probate the document submitted to, it
R U L E 7 3 | 11

Upon the facts before Us the question arises as to whether 6142 for compulsory acknowledgment by the decedent such
Juan Uriarte Zamacona should have filed the petition for the action justifies the institution by him of this proceedings. If the
probate of the last will of Juan Uriarte with the Negros Court — petitioner is to be consistent with the authorities cited by him in
particularly in Special Proceeding No. 6344 — or was entitled support of his contention, the proper thing for him to do would
to commence the corresponding separate proceedings, as he be to intervene in the testate estate proceedings entitled
did, in the Manila Court. Special Proceedings No. 51396 in the Court of First Instance of
Manila instead of maintaining an independent action, for
The following considerations and the facts of record would indeed his supposed interest in the estate of the decedent is of
seem to support the view that he should have submitted said his doubtful character pending the final decision of the action
will for probate to the Negros Court, either in a separate for compulsory acknowledgment."
special proceeding or in an appropriate motion for said
purpose filed in the already pending Special Proceeding No. Petitioner is entitled to prosecute Civil Case No. 6142 until it is
6344. In the first place, it is not in accord with public policy and finally determined, or intervene in Special Proceeding No.
the orderly and inexpensive administration of justice to 51396 of the Manila Court, if it is still open, or to ask for its
unnecessarily multiply litigation, especially if several courts reopening if it has already been closed, so as to be able to
would be involved. This, in effect, was the result of the submit for determination the question of his acknowledgment
submission of the will aforesaid to the Manila Court. In the as natural child of the deceased testator, said court having, in
second place, when respondent Higinio Uriarte filed an its capacity as a probate court, jurisdiction to declare who are
opposition to Vicente Uriarte's petition for the issuance of the heirs of the deceased testator and whether or not a
letters of administration, he had already informed the Negros particular party is or should be declared his acknowledged
Court that the deceased Juan Uriarte had left a will in Spain, of natural child.
which a copy had been requested for submission to said court;
and when the other respondent, Juan Uriarte Zamacona, filed 16. G.R. No. L-24742 October 26, 1973
his motion to dismiss Special Proceeding No. 6344, he had
submitted to the Negros Court a copy of the alleged will of the
decedent, from which fact it may be inferred that, like Higinio ROSA CAYETANO CUENCO, petitioners, vs.
Uriarte, he knew before filing the petition for probate with the THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, THIRD DIVISION,
Manila Court that there was already a special proceeding MANUEL CUENCO, LOURDES CUENCO, CONCEPCION
pending in the Negros Court for the settlement of the estate of CUENCO MANGUERRA, CARMEN CUENCO, CONSUELO
the same deceased person. As far as Higinio Uriarte is CUENCO REYES, and TERESITA CUENCO
concerned, it seems quite clear that in his opposition to GONZALEZ, respondents.
petitioner's petition in Special Proceeding No. 6344, he had
expressly promised to submit said will for probate to the The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate
Negros Court. of a decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all
other courts.
But the fact is that instead of the aforesaid will being presented
for probate to the Negros Court, Juan Uriarte Zamacona filed FACTS: On February 25, 1964, Senator Mariano died at the
the petition for the purpose with the Manila Court. We cannot Manila Doctor’s Hospital, Manila. He was survived by his
accept petitioner's contention in this regard that the latter court widow and two minor sons, residing in Quezon City, and
had no jurisdiction to consider said petition, albeit we say that it children of the first marriage, residing in Cebu. Lourdes, one of
was not the proper venue therefor. the children from the first marriage, filed a Petition for Letters of
Administration with the Court of First Instance (CFI) Cebu,
It is well settled in this jurisdiction that wrong venue is merely alleging that the senator died intestate in Manila but a resident
a waiveable procedural defect, and, in the light of the of Cebu with properties in Cebu and Quezon City.
circumstances obtaining in the instant case, we are of the
opinion, and so hold, that petitioner has waived the right to The petition still pending with CFI Cebu, Rosa Cayetano
raise such objection or is precluded from doing so by laches. Cuenco, the second wife, filed a petition with CFI Rizal for the
Petitioner knew of the existence of a will executed by Juan probate of the last will and testament, where she was named
Uriarte since December 19, 1961 when Higinio Uriarte filed his executrix. Rosa also filed an opposition and motion to dismiss
opposition to the initial petition filed in Special Proceeding No. in CFI Cebu but this court held in abeyance resolution over the
6344. opposition until CFI Quezon shall have acted on the probate
proceedings. Lourdes filed an opposition and motion to dismiss
Petitioner likewise was served with notice of the existence in CFI Quezon, on the ground of lack of jurisdiction and/or
(presence) of the alleged last will in the Philippines and of the improper venue, considering that CFI Cebu already acquired
filing of the petition for its probate with the Manila Court since exclusive jurisdiction over the case. The opposition and motion
August 28, 1962 when Juan Uriarte Zamacona filed a motion to dismiss were denied. Upon appeal CA ruled in favor of
for the dismissal of Special Proceeding No. 6344. All these Lourdes and issued a writ of prohibition to CFI Quezon.
notwithstanding, it was only on April 15, 1963 that he filed with
the Manila Court in Special Proceeding No. 51396 an Omnibus ISSUES: a. Whether or not CA erred in issuing the writ of
motion asking for leave to intervene and for the dismissal and prohibition. - Yes
annulment of all the proceedings had therein up to that date;
thus enabling the Manila Court not only to appoint an b. Whether or not CFI Quezon acted without jurisdiction or
administrator with the will annexed but also to admit said will to grave abuse of discretion in taking cognizance and assuming
probate more than five months earlier, or more specifically, on exclusive jurisdiction over the probate proceedings. - Yes
October 31, 1962. To allow him now to assail the exercise of
jurisdiction over the probate of the will by the Manila Court and
the validity of all the proceedings had in Special Proceeding RULING: The Supreme Court found that CA erred in law in
No. 51396 would put a premium on his negligence. issuing the writ of prohibition against the Quezon City court
from proceeding with the testate proceedings and annulling
and setting aside all its orders and actions, particularly its
The Court is not inclined to annul proceedings regularly had in admission to probate of the last will and testament of the
a lower court even if the latter was not the proper deceased and appointing petitioner-widow as executrix thereof
venue therefor, if the net result would be to have the same without bond pursuant to the deceased testator's wish.
proceedings repeated in some other court of similar
jurisdiction; more so in a case like the present where the
objection against said proceedings is raised too late. On Venue and Jurisdiction

In his order of April 19, 1963 dismissing Special Proceeding Under Rule 73, the court first taking cognizance of the
No. 6344, Judge Fernandez of the Negros Court said that he settlement of the estate of a decent, shall exercise jurisdiction
was "not inclined to sustain the contention of the petitioner that to the exclusion of all other courts. The residence of the decent
inasmuch as the herein petitioner has instituted Civil Case No. or the location of his estate is not an element of jurisdiction
R U L E 7 3 | 12

over the subject matter but merely of venue. If this were As held in Calma v. Taedo, after the death of either of the
otherwise, it would affect the prompt administration of justice. spouses, no complaint for the collection of indebtedness
The court with whom the petition is first filed must also first chargeable against the conjugal partnership can be brought
take cognizance of the settlement of the estate in order to against the surviving spouse. Instead, the claim must be made
exercise jurisdiction over it to the exclusion of all other courts. in the proceedings for the liquidation and settlement of the
conjugal property.
Unlike a civil action which has definite adverse parties, a
special proceeding has no definite adverse party. The The reason for this is that upon the death of one spouse, the
definitions of a civil action and a special proceeding, powers of administration of the surviving spouse ceases and is
respectively, in the Rules illustrate this difference. A civil action, passed to the administrator appointed by the court having
in which "a party sues another for the enforcement or jurisdiction over the settlement of estate proceedings. Indeed,
protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong" the surviving spouse is not even a de facto administrator such
necessarily has definite adverse parties, who are either the that conveyances made by him of any property belonging to
plaintiff or defendant. On the other hand, a special proceeding, the partnership prior to the liquidation of the mass of conjugal
"by which a party seeks to establish a status, right, or a partnership property is void.
particular fact," has one definite party, who petitions or applies
for a declaration of a status, right, or particular fact, but no 18. G.R. No. L-39532 July 20, 1979
definite adverse party. In the case at bar, it bears emphasis
that the estate of the decedent is not being sued for any cause
of action. As a special proceeding, the purpose of the Testate Estate of Jose M. Valero, FLORA VALERO VDA. DE
settlement of the estate of the decedent is to determine all the RODRIGUEZ and ROSIE VALERO DE
assets of the estate, pay its liabilities, and to distribute the GUTIERREZ, petitioners-appellants, vs. COURT OF
residual to those entitled to the same. APPEALS and CARMEN VALERO-RUSTIA, respondents-
17. G.R. No. 134100 September 29, 2000
FACTS: Beatriz Bautista and Jose Valero did not beget any
child during their marriage. In 1951, Beatriz adopted Carmen
PURITA ALIPIO, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and Bautista. Jose wanted also to adopt her but because, by his
ROMEO G. JARING, represented by his Attorney-In-Fact first marriage, he had two children named Flora Valero Vda. de
RAMON G. JARING, respondents. Rodriguez and Rosie Valero Gutierrez, he was disqualified to
adopt Carmen. Jose manifested in the adoption proceeding
FACTS: Respondent Romeo Jaring subleased a fishpond, for that he consented to the use by Carmen of his surname
the remaining period of his lease, to the spouses Placido and Valero.
Purita Alipio and the spouses Bienvenido and Remedios
Manuel. The stipulated amount of rent was P485,600.00, On September 18, 1964, Jose Valero donated to Carmen
payable in two installments of P300,000.00 and P185,600.00. Valero his one-half pro indiviso share (apparently his inchoate
share) in two conjugal lots located at San Lorenzo Village,
However, both the sub lessees failed to pay the second Makati, Rizal. His wife, Beatriz, consented to the donation.
installment. Hence, on October 13, 1989, private respondent However, the deed of donation was not registered.
sued the Alipio and Manuel spouses for the collection of the
said amount. On January 13, 1966, Jose Valero, who was then 73 years old,
executed his last will and testament wherein he enumerated
Petitioner Purita Alipio moved to dismiss the case on the the conjugal properties of himself and his wife, including the
ground that her husband, Placido Alipio, had passed away on two San Lorenzo Village lots. In that will, he did not mention
December 1, 1988.She based her action on Rule 3, 21 of the the donation.
1964 Rules of Court which then provided that "when the action
is for recovery of money, debt or interest thereon, and the On February 15, 1966, the Valero spouses, by means of a
defendant dies before final judgment in the Court of First deed of absolute sale, conveyed the San Lorenzo Village lots
Instance, it shall be dismissed to be prosecuted in the manner to Carmen for the sum of 120K. She mortgaged the two lots to
especially provided in these rules." This provision has been the Quezon City Development Bank as security for a loan of
amended so that now Rule 3, 20 of the 1997 Rules of Civil 50k.
Procedure provides: When the action is for the recovery of
money arising from contract, express or implied, and the
defendant dies before entry of final judgment in the court in Beatriz died intestate on September 12, 1972, survived by her
which the action was pending at the time of such death, it shall husband and her adopted child. Her estate is pending
not be dismissed but shall instead be allowed to continue until settlement in Special Proceeding No. 88896 of the CFI of
entry of final judgment. Manila. Carmen was named administratrix of her adopted
mother's estate.
The trial court denied petitioner's motion. The CA affirmed trial
court’s ruling. On October 18, 1972, Jose Valero died testate, survived by his
two children, Mrs. Rodriguez and Mrs. Gutierrez. His will was
duly probated in Special Proceeding No. 88677, also of the CFI
ISSUE: Whether a creditor can sue the surviving spouse for of Manila. Atty. Unson, the executor, submitted an inventory
the collection of a debt which is owed by the conjugal wherein, following the list of conjugal assets in the testator's
partnership of gains, or whether such claim must be filed in will, the two San Lorenzo Village lots were included as part of
proceedings for the settlement of the estate of the decedent. the testate estate.

RULING: No. When petitioner's husband died, their conjugal That inclusion provoked Carmen and the legitimate children of
partnership was automatically dissolved and debts chargeable the testator Jose Valero, to file in the testate proceeding a
against it are to be paid in the settlement of estate proceedings motion for the exclusion of the two San Lorenzo Village lots
in accordance with Rule 73, 2 which states: Where estate from the testator's inventoried estate due to the fact that
settled upon dissolution of marriage. When the marriage is Carmen has been the registered owner of the lots.
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 The executor opposed the motion on the ground that the two
of the deceased spouse. If both spouses have died, the lots were donated to Carmen and the donation would allegedly
conjugal partnership shall be liquidated in the testate or involve collation and the donee's title to the lots.
intestate proceedings of either.
The probate court excluded the two lots from the inventory of
the testator's estate but with the understanding "that the same
are subject to collation".
R U L E 7 3 | 13

Carmen filed a motion for its reconsideration. She insisted that We found that the proceedings have not yet reached the stage
she is the owner of the two San Lorenzo Village lots as when the question of collation or advancement to an heir may
indicated in the Torrens titles. No one opposed that motion. be raised and decided. The numerous debts of the decedents
are still being paid. The net remainder (remanente liquido) of
The probate court in its order of December 14, 1973 ruled that their conjugal estate has not yet been determined. On the
the two lots were unconditionally excluded from the inventory other hand, up to this time, no separate action has been
of Jose M. Valero's estate, meaning "that they are not subject brought by the appellants to nullify Mrs. Rustia's Torrens titles
to collation". to the disputed lots or to show that the sale was in reality a
Mrs. Rodriguez filed a motion for the reconsideration of the
order. She alleged that the two San Lorenzo Village lots were In this appeal, it is not proper to pass upon the question of
really conveyed to Carmen by way of donation because the collation and to decide whether Carmen’s titles to the disputed
consideration for the sale was allegedly only 1/5 of the true lots are questionable. The proceedings below have not
value of the lots. reached the stage of partition and distribution when the
legitimes of the compulsory heirs have to be determined.
In reply, Carmen countered that the true value of the two lots
was around P120,000 and that their value increased 19. G.R. No. L-56340 June 24, 1983
considerably in 1973 or 1974.
The probate court denied the motion for reconsideration. Mrs. ACHAVAL DE PASTOR, petitioners, vs. THE COURT OF
Rodriguez and Mrs. Gutierrez, in their petition for certiorari in APPEALS, JUAN Y. REYES, JUDGE OF BRANCH I, COURT
the CA assailed the probate court's order declaring that the two OF FIRST INSTANCE OF CEBU and LEWELLYN BARLITO
lots were not subject to collation. QUEMADA, respondents.

The Court of Appeals held that the order of exclusion dated FACTS: Spouses Alvaro Pastor, Sr. (PASTOR, SR.) and his
August 9, 1973 was interlocutory and that it could be changed wife Sofia Bossio were survived by their two legitimate
or Modified at anytime during the course of the administration children, Alvaro Pastor, Jr. (PASTOR, JR.) and Sofia Pastor de
proceedings. It further held that it was immaterial whether the Midgely (SOFIA), as well as an illegitimate child Lewellyn
two lots were donated or sold to Carmen as "a mere Barlito Quemada (QUEMADA PASTOR, JR.).
subterfuge to avoid payment of the donor's and donee's taxes"
because under article 1061 of the Civil Code, only compulsory QUEMADA filed a petition for the probate and allowance of an
heirs are required to make collation for the determination of alleged holographic will of PASTOR, SR. with the CFI of Cebu,
their legitimes and, under section 2, Rule 90 of the Rules of (PROBATE COURT). The will contained only one testamentary
Court, only heirs are involved in questions as to advancement disposition: a legacy in favor of QUEMADA consisting of 30%
and Carmen is not an heir of the testator, Jose Valero. of PASTOR, SR.'s 42% share in the operation by Atlas
Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation (ATLAS).
From that decision, an appeal was made to this Court.
The PROBATE COURT appointed QUEMADA as a special
ISSUES: Whether the RTC order of exclusion is final? - No administrator of the entire estate of PASTOR, SR.

Whether the order of collation is proper? - No, premature QUEMADA instituted against PASTOR, JR. and his wife an
action for reconveyance of alleged properties of the estate,
which included the properties subject of the legacy which were
RULING: We hold that the order of exclusion dated August 9, in the names of PASTOR, JR. and his wife, Maria Elena
1973 was not a final order. It was interlocutory in the sense that Achaval de Pastor, who claimed to be the owners thereof in
it did not settle once and for all the title to the San Lorenzo their own rights, and not by inheritance.
Village lots. The probate court in the exclusion incident could
not determine the question of title.
PASTOR, JR. and his sister SOFIA filed their opposition to the
petition for probate and the order appointing QUEMADA as
The prevailing rule is that for the purpose of determining special administrator.
whether a certain property should or should not be included in
the inventory, the probate court may pass upon the title thereto
but such determination is not conclusive and is subject to the The PROBATE COURT issued an order allowing the will to
final decision in a separate action regarding ownership which probate. The CA affirmed the said decision. On petition for
may be instituted by the parties. review, the SC dismissed the petition in a minute resolution
and remanded the same to the PROBATE COURT after
denying reconsideration.
We hold further that the dictum of the CA and the probate court
that the two disputed lots are not subject to collation was a
supererogation and was not necessary to the disposition of the QUEMADA asked for payment of his legacy and seizure of the
case which merely involved the issue of inclusion in, or properties subject of said legacy. PASTOR, JR. and SOFIA
exclusion from, the inventory of the testator's estate. The issue opposed these pleadings on the ground of pendency of the
of collation was not yet justifiable at that early stage of the reconveyance suit. All pleadings remained unacted upon by
testate proceeding. It is not necessary to mention in the order the PROBATE COURT.
of exclusion the controversial matter of collation.
Later on, the PROBATE COURT required the parties to submit
Whether collation may exist with respect to the two lots and their respective position papers as to how much inheritance
whether Carmen's Torrens titles thereto are indefeasible are QUEMADA was entitled to receive. PASTOR. JR. and SOFIA
matters that may be raised later or may not be raised at all. manifested that determination of how much QUEMADA should
How those issues should be resolved, if and when they are receive was still premature. ATLAS, upon order of the Court,
raised, need not be touched upon in the adjudication of this submitted a sworn statement of royalties paid to the Pastor
appeal. Group. The statement revealed that of the mining claims being
operated by ATLAS, 60% pertained to the Pastor Group
distributed as follows:
The intestate and testate proceedings for the settlement of the
estates of the deceased Valero spouses were consolidated, as
ordered by the lower court, so that the conjugal estate of the 1. A. Pastor, Jr. ...................................40.5%
deceased spouses may be properly liquidated, as
contemplated in section 2, Rule 73 of the Rules of Court and 2. E. Pelaez, Sr. ...................................15.0%
Act No. 3176.
R U L E 7 3 | 14

3. B. Quemada .......................................4.5% the issue of ownership was the very subject of controversy in
the reconveyance suit that was still pending.
On August 20, 1980, while the reconveyance suit was still
being litigated, the PROBATE COURT issued the assailed It was, therefore, error for the assailed implementing Orders to
Order of Execution and Garnishment, resolving the question of conclude that the Probate Order adjudged with finality the
ownership of the royalties payable by ATLAS and ruling in question of ownership of the mining properties and royalties,
effect that the legacy to QUEMADA was NOT INOFFICIOUS. and that, premised on this conclusion, the dispositive portion of
the said Probate Order directed the special administrator to
The PROBATE COURT directed ATLAS to remit directly to pay the legacy in dispute.
QUEMADA the 42% royalties due decedent's estate, of which
QUEMADA was authorized to retain 75% for himself as legatee 20. G.R. No. L-81147 June 20, 1989
and to deposit 25% with a reputable banking institution for
payment of the estate taxes and other obligations of the estate. VICTORIA BRINGAS PEREIRA, petitioner, vs.
The 33% share of PASTOR, JR. and/or his assignees was PEREIRA NAGAC, respondents.
ordered garnished to answer for the accumulated legacy of
QUEMADA from the time of PASTOR, SR.'s death. Is a judicial administration proceeding necessary when the
decedent dies intestate without leaving any debts? May the
The order being "immediately executory", QUEMADA probate court appoint the surviving sister of the deceased as
succeeded in obtaining a Writ of Execution and Garnishment, the administratrix of the estate of the deceased instead of the
serving the same on ATLAS on the same day. The oppositors surviving spouse? These are the main questions which need to
sought reconsideration thereof on the ground that the be resolved in this case.
PROBATE COURT gravely abused its discretion when it
resolved the question of ownership of the royalties and ordered Andres de Guzman Pereira, an employee of Philippine Air
the payment of QUEMADA's legacy after prematurely passing Lines, passed away without a will. He was survived by his
upon the intrinsic validity of the will. legitimate spouse of 10 months, herein petitioner Victoria
Bringas Pereira, and his sister Rita Pereira Nagac, herein
In the meantime, the PROBATE COURT ordered suspension private respondent.
of payment of all royalties due PASTOR, JR. and/or his
assignees until after resolution of oppositors' motion for On March 1, 1983, private respondent instituted before Branch
reconsideration. 19 of the RTC of Bacoor, Cavite, a Special Proceeding for the
issuance of letters of administration in her favor pertaining to
Before the Motion for Reconsideration could be resolved, the estate of the deceased Andres de Guzman Pereira.
PASTOR, filed with the Court of Appeals a Petition for certiorari In her verified petition, private respondent alleged that: she and
and Prohibition with a prayer for writ of preliminary injunction, Victoria Bringas Pereira are the only surviving heirs of the
assailing the writ of execution and garnishment issued by the deceased; that the deceased left no will; there are no creditors
Probate Court. Said petition was denied as well as their motion of the deceased; the deceased left several properties, namely:
for reconsideration. death benefits from the Philippine Air Lines (PAL), the PAL
Employees Association (PALEA), the PAL Employees Savings
Hence, this Petition for Review by certiorari. and Loan Association, Inc. (PESALA) and the Social Security
System (SSS), as well as savings deposits with the Philippine
ISSUE: Whether or not questions of ownership and the National Bank (PNB) and the Philippine Commercial and
intrinsic validity of the holographic were resolved by the Industrial Bank (PCIB), and a 300 square meter lot located at
Probate Court with finality in the case at bar? Barangay Pamplona, Las Pinas, Rizal and finally, that the
spouse of the deceased (herein petitioner) had been working in
London as an auxiliary nurse and as such, one-half of her
RULING: No, it was not resolved by the Probate Court in the salary forms part of the estate of the deceased.
case at bar.
On March 23, 1983, petitioner filed an opposition and a motion
In a special proceeding for the probate of a will, the issue by to dismiss the petition of private respondent, alleging that there
and large is restricted to the extrinsic validity of the will, i.e., exists no estate of the deceased for purposes of administration
whether the testator, being of sound mind, freely executed the and praying in the alternative, that if an estate does exist, the
will in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. (Rules letters of administration relating to the said estate be issued in
of Court, Rule 75, Section 1; Rule 76, Section 9.) her favor as the surviving spouse.

As a rule, the question of ownership is an extraneous matter The Regional Trial Court, appointed private respondent Rita
which the Probate Court cannot resolve with finality. Pereira Nagac administratrix of the intestate estate of Andres
de Guzman Pereira upon a bond posted by her in the amount
Thus, for the purpose of determining whether a certain of P 1,000.00. The trial court ordered her to take custody of all
property should or should not be included in the inventory of the real and personal properties of the deceased and to file an
estate properties, the Probate Court may pass upon the title inventory thereof within 3 months after receipt of the order.
thereto, but such determination is provisional, not conclusive,
and is subject to the final decision in a separate action to Not satisfied with the resolution of the lower court, petitioner
resolve title. brought the case to the CA and the latter affirmed the
appointment of private respondent as administratrix of the
Nowhere in the dispositive portion is there a declaration of estate in question.
ownership of specific properties. It confined itself to the
question of extrinsic validity of the will, and the need for and ISSUE: Whether or not a judicial administration proceeding is
propriety of appointing a special administrator. It allowed and necessary when the decedent dies intestate without leaving
approved the holographic will with respect to its extrinsic any debts?
validity and declared that the intestate estate administration
aspect must proceed “subject to the outcome of the suit for
reconveyance of ownership and possession of real and RULING: The general rule is that when a person dies leaving
personal properties.” property, the same should be judicially administered and the
competent court should appoint a qualified administrator, in the
order established in Section 6, Rule 78, in case the deceased
The Probate Order did not resolve the question of ownership of left no will, or in case he had left one, should he fail to name an
the properties listed in the estate inventory, considering that executor therein.
R U L E 7 3 | 15

An exception to this rule is established in Section 1 of Rule 74. a homestead consisting of 2 parcels of land, located at Barrio
Under this exception, when all the heirs are of lawful age and Bunawan or Mauswagon, Calamba, Misamis Occidental.
there are no debts due from the estate, they may agree in
writing to partition the property without instituting the judicial One parcel is Identified as Lot No. 1927 with an area of 3.9791
administration or applying for the appointment of an hectares. It is now covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No.
administrator. 86 (T-10) of the registry of deeds of Misamis Occidental The
other parcel is identified as Lot No. 1112 with an area of
Section 1, Rule 74 of the Revised Rules of Court, however, 18.0291 hectares and is covered by OCT No. P-8419 in the
does not preclude the heirs from instituting administration name of the Heirs of Juan Pangilinan, represented by
proceedings, even if the estate has no debts or obligations, if Concepcion Pangilinan de Yamuta.
they do not desire to resort to an ordinary action for partition.
While Section 1 allows the heirs to divide the estate among According to Guadalupe Pizarras and her children, a third
themselves as they may see fit, or to resort to an ordinary parcel, Lot No. 1920, with an area of 8 hectares and which was
action for partition, the said provision does not compel them to surveyed in the name of Concepcion Pangilinan adjoins Lots
do so if they have good reasons to take a different course of Nos. 1927 and 1112. She alleged that it forms part of the estate
action. of the deceased Pangilinan spouses.

It should be noted that recourse to an administration The Pangilinan spouses were survived by the following heirs:
proceeding even if the estate has no debts is sanctioned only if
the heirs have good reasons for not resorting to an action for
partition. Where partition is possible, either in or out of court, (1) Prima Pangilinan
the estate should not be burdened with an administration
proceeding without good and compelling reasons. (2) Maria, Eusebio and Apolinar all surnamed Yamuta, the
children of Concepcion Pangilinan Yamuta who died in 1961,
In the case at bar, there are only two surviving heirs, a wife of and
10 months and a sister, both of age. The parties admit that
there are no debts of the deceased to be paid. What is at once (3) Francis, A Benjamin Perla and Francisco, Jr., all surnamed
apparent is that these two heirs are not in good terms. The Pangilinan the children of Francisco Pangilinan who died in
only conceivable reason why private respondent seeks 1948 and who was also survived by his widow, Guadalupe
appointment as administratrix is for her to obtain possession of Pizarras.
the alleged properties of the deceased for her own purposes,
since these properties are presently in the hands of petitioner A Special Proceeding was instituted on September 5, 1963 for
who supposedly disposed of them fraudulently. the settlement of the estate of the deceased spouses, Juan C.
Pangilinan and Teresa Magtuba.
We are of the opinion that this is not a compelling reason
which will necessitate a judicial administration of the estate of On September 25, 1965 the administrator presented a project
the deceased. To subject the estate of Andres de Guzman of partition wherein the combined areas of Lots Nos. 1112 and
Pereira, which does not appear to be substantial especially 1927, or 22.0082 hectares, were partitioned as follows among
since the only real property left has been extrajudicially settled, Crispin Borromeo, the heirs of Francisco Pangilinan, Prima
to an administration proceeding for no useful purpose would Pangilinan, and heirs of Concepcion Pangilinan.
only unnecessarily expose it to the risk of being wasted or
It was also provided in the project of partition that the sum of
P5,088.50, as the alleged debt of the estate to Concepcion
The court below before which the administration proceedings Pangilinan, should be divided equally among the heirs.
are pending was not justified in issuing letters of
administration, there being no good reason for burdening the
estate of the deceased Andres de Guzman Pereira with the The heirs of Francisco Pangilinan opposed that project of
costs and expenses of an administration proceeding. partition. They contended that the proposed partition Prima
Pangilinan, who sold her share to Francisco Pangilinan should
be excluded from the partition; that the total share of the heirs
WHEREFORE, the letters of administration issued by the of Francisco Pangilinan in Lot No. 1112 is 12.6720 hectares,
Regional Trial Court of Bacoor to Rita Pereira Nagac are while that of the heirs of Concepcion Pangilinan is 6.3360
hereby revoked and the administration proceeding dismissed hectares, and that the claim of the heirs of Concepcion
without prejudice to the right of private respondent to Pangilinan for 115,088.50 had not been properly allowed.
commence a new action for partition of the property left by
Andres de Guzman Pereira. No costs.
The lower court directed the administrator to pay the debt of
the estate to the heirs of Concepcion Pangilinan. It deferred
21. G.R. No. L-27082 January 31, 1978 action on the project of partition until the ownership of the 12
hectares, which were claimed by the heirs of Francisco Pan
Intestate Estate of the Spouses Juan C. Pangilinan and and the 6 hectares, which were claimed by Crispin Borromeo is
Teresa Magtuba. FILOMENO COCA, Administrator, PRIMA determined in an ordinary action.
YAMUTA, namely, MARIA P. YAMUTA DE ATAY, EUSEBIO P. On May 14,1966, the heirs of Francisco Pangilinan filed a
YAMUTA, and APOLINAR P. YAMUTA, petitioners- supplemental opposition to include in the partition, Lot No.
appellants, vs. GUADALUPE PIZARRAS VDA. DE 1920, with an area of 8 hectares.
FRANCISCO, JR., all surnamed PANGILINAN, and CRISPIN On August 31, 1966 the lower court, after noting that no
BORROMEO, oppositors-appellees. separate action had been filed to determine the ownership of
the 12 hectares, issued an order approving the project of
partition but excluding the 12 hectares claimed by the heirs of
G.R. No. L-29545 January 31, 1978 Francisco Pangilinan.

FILOMENO COCA, administrator-appellant, vs. CRISPIN The administrator, Filomeno Coca, Prima Pangilinan and the
BORROMEO and GUADALUPE PIZARRAS VDA. DE heirs of Concepcion Pan appealed from the lower court’s
PANGILINAN and her Children, claimants-appellees. orders, contending that the latter, as a probate court, has no
jurisdiction to decide the ownership of the twelve-hectare
FACTS: The spouses Juan Pangilinan and Teresa Magtuba portion of Lot No. 1112. On the other hand, the appellees" or
died intestate in 1943 and 1948, respectively. They possessed the heirs of Francisco Pangilinan counter that the lower court
R U L E 7 3 | 16

did not decide the ownership of the twelve hectares when it Arturio Trinidad filed, an action for partition of four parcels of
ordered their exclusion from the project of partition. land. Defendantsdenied that plaintiff was the son of the late
Inocentes Trinidad. Defendantscontended that Inocentes was
ISSUE: Whether or not the ownership of a parcel of land single when he died in 1941, before plaintiff’s
belonging to the deceased spouses or to their heirs, should be birth. Defendants also denied that plaintiff had lived with them,
decided in the intestate proceeding or in a separate action? and claimed that the parcels of land described in the complaint
had been in their possession since the death of their father in
1940 and that they had not given plaintiff a share in the
RULING: As a general rule, the question as to title to property produce of the land.
should not be passed upon in the estate or intestate
proceeding. That question should be ventilated in a separate
action. That general rule, however, has qualifications or Arturio presented witnesses to prove his position. Jovita
exceptions justified by expediency and convenience. Gerardo testified that Inocentes Trinidad and Felicidad Molato
are the parents of Arturio; that Felix and Lourdes as the uncle
and aunt of Arturio; and also identified pictures where the
The probate court may provisionally pass upon in an intestate respondents were with Arturio and his family.(At this stage of
or testate proceeding the question of inclusion in, or exclusion the trial, Felix Trinidad [died] without issue and he was survived
from, the inventory of a piece of property without prejudice to by his only sister, Lourdes Trinidad.) Another witness, ISABEL
its final determination in a separate action. MEREN, 72 years old and a widow testified that she knows
Inocentes Trinidad as the father of Arturio Trinidad; that she
Although generally, a probate court may not decide a question knew Inocentes Trinidad and Felicidad Molato as the parents
of title or ownership, yet if the interested parties are all heirs or of Arturio and that she was present when they were married in
the question is one of collation or advancement, or the parties New Washington, Aklan, by a protestant pastor by the name of
consent to the assumption of jurisdiction by the probate court Lauriano Lajaylajay. She further testified that upon the death of
and the rights of 'third parties are not impaired, then the Inocentes, Lourdes took Arturio and cared for him. ARTURIO
probate court is competent to decide the question of TRINIDAD, himself, was presented as witness. As proof that
ownership. he is the son of Inocentes Trinidad and Felicidad Molato, he
showed a certificate of baptism, and a certificate of loss issued
We hold that the instant case may be treated as an exception by the LCR that his birth certificate was burned during World
to the general rule that questions of title should be ventilated in War 2. He also testified that he lived with Felix and Lourdes
a separate action. and provided for his needs.

Here, the probate court had already received evidence on the On the other hand, defendants presented Pedro Briones who
ownership of the twelve-hectare portion during the hearing of testified that Inocentes was not married when he died in 1940s.
the motion for its exclusion from title inventory. The only Lourdes Trinidad also testified that she was not aware that his
interested parties are the heirs who have all appeared in the brother married anybody and denied that Arturio lived with
intestate proceeding. them. Beatriz Sayon also testified that Inocentes died in 1941,
and that Felicidad Molato had never been married to
Inocentes. The trial court rendered a twenty-page decision in
After the issues have been joined and in case no amicable favor of Arturio. The CA reversed the decision.
settlement has been reached, the probate court should receive
evidence for a full-dress hearing to be held.

Crispin Borromeo may set forth also his claim for the three
hectares but only for the purpose of deciding what portion of Whether or not the petitioner presented sufficient evidence of
the estate should be given to him in satisfaction of his share. his parent’s marriage and his filation.

After trial, the lower court's decision on the issues as to what Ruling:
constitutes the estate of the Pangilinan spouses should include
the partition thereof and should indicate what portion of the The partition of the late Patricios real properties requires
estate should be allocated to Crispin Borromeo. If necessary, preponderant proof that petitioner is a co-owner or co-heir of
the validity of the donation or partition of Lot No. 1112, made by the decedent’s estate. His right as a co-owner would, in turn,
Juan C. Pangilinan during his lifetime, should be passed upon. depend on whether he was born during the existence of a valid
and subsisting marriage between his mother (Felicidad) and
The case is remanded to the lower court for further his putative father (Inocentes).
proceedings in accordance with the guidelines already set
forth. When the question of whether a marriage has been contracted
arises in litigation, said marriage may be proven by relevant
evidence. To prove the fact of marriage, the following would
constitute competent evidence: the testimony of a witness to
the matrimony, the couple’s public and open cohabitation as
22. ARTURIO TRINIDAD, petitioner, vs. COURT OF husband and wife after the alleged wedlock, the birth and
APPEALS, FELIX TRINIDAD (deceased) and LOURDES the baptismal certificates of children born during such union,
TRINIDAD,, respondent. and the mention of such nuptial in subsequent documents.
G.R. No. 118904 April 20, 1998
In the case at bar, petitioner secured a certification from the
Facts: Office of the Civil Registrar of Aklan that all records of births,
deaths and marriages were lost, burned or destroyed during
Patricio Trinidad and Anastacia Briones were the parents of the Japanese occupation of said municipality. Although the
three (3) children, namely, Inocentes, Lourdes and Felix. When marriage contract is considered the primary evidence of the
Patricio died in 1940, survived by the above named children, marital union, petitioner’s failure to present it is not proof that
he left four (4) parcels of land, all situated at Barrio Tigayon, no marriage took place, as other forms of relevant evidence
Kalibo Aklan. may take its place. In place of a marriage contract, two
witnesses were presented by petitioner: Isabel Meren and
Jovita Gerardo. It further gives rise to the disputable
Arturio Trinidad, born on July 21, 1943, claimed to be the
presumption that a man and a woman deporting themselves as
legitimate son of the late Inocentes Trinidad. Sometime after
husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of
the marriage, he demanded from the defendants to partition
marriage. Petitioner also presented his baptismal certificate in
the land into three equal shares and to give him the (1/3)
which Inocentes and Felicidad were named as the child’s
individual share of his late father, but the defendants refused.
father and mother, and family pictures.
R U L E 7 3 | 17

The totality of petitioner’s positive evidence clearly

preponderates over private respondent’s self- serving

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the assailed

Decision and Resolutionare REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The
trial courts decision is REINSTATED.

23. SOLIVIO vs. CA February 12, 1990


Celedonia, maternal aunt of the deceased, was declared as

the sole heir. 4 months later, Concordia, sister of the
deceased’s father file a MFR claiming that she too was an heir
of the deceased. Instead of appealing, Concordia sued
Celedonia for partition, recovery of possession, ownership and
damages. The suit was initiated while the probate proceedings
were still pending


WON the court has the proper jurisdiction over the case.
pending. Branch 26 granted Concordia’s prayers.


Branch 26 was incorrect in taking cognizance of the case

because it was the probate court that had the exclusive
jurisdiction to make a just and legal distribution of the estate.

It is the order of distribution directing the delivery of the

residue of the estate to the persons entitled thereto that brings
to a close the intestate proceedings. The order declaring
Celedonia as the sole heir of the estate did not toll the end of
the proceedings.
In the interest of orderly procedure and to avoid confusing and
conflicting dispositions of a decedent’s estate, a court should
not interfere with probate proceedings pending in a co-equal