- Judge Honrado "denied" the various incidents "raised" by Nenita.- Nenita "filed a case to annul" the probate proceedings which was assigned to JudgeHonrado. It was dismissed.- Judge Honrado closed the testamentary proceeding.- About ten months later, Nenita charged Judge Honrado with having probated thefraudulent will of Marcelina. Nenita further alleged that Judge Honrado, in spite of hisknowledge that the testatrix had a son named Agapito, who was preterited in the will,did not take into account the consequences of such a preterition.- Nenita filed in the CA against Judge Honrado a petition for certiorari and prohibitionwherein she prayed that the will, the decree of probate and all the proceedings in theprobate case be declared void. Attached to the petition was the affidavit of DomingoP. Aquino, who notarized the will.
He swore that the testatrix and the three attestingwitnesses did not appear before him and that he notarized the will "just toaccommodate a brother lawyer on the condition" that said lawyer would bring to thenotary the testatrix and the witnesses but the lawyer never complied with hiscommitment.
- The CA dismissed the petition because Nenita's remedy was an appeal and herfailure to do so did not entitle her to resort to the special civil action of certiorari .
- We hold that disciplinary action should be taken against respondent judge for hisimproper disposition of the testate case which might have resulted in a miscarriage of justice because the decedent's legal heirs and not the instituted heiress in the voidwin should have inherited the decedent's estate.- A judge may be criminally liable or knowingly rendering an unjust judgment orinterlocutory order or rendering a manifestly unjust judgment or interlocutory order byreason of inexcusable negligence or ignorance.- Administrative action may be taken against a judge of the court of first instance forserious misconduct or inefficiency. Misconduct implies malice or a wrongful intent, nota mere error of judgment. "For serious misconduct to exist, there must be reliableevidence showing that the judicial acts complained of were corrupt or inspired by anintention to violate the law, or were in persistent disregard of well-known legal rules"- In this case, respondent judge, on perusing the will and noting that it was written inEnglish and was thumbmarked by an obviously illiterate testatrix, could have readilyperceived that the will is void.- In the opening paragraph of the will, it was stated that English was a language"understood and known" to the testatrix. But in its concluding paragraph, it was statedthat the will was read to the testatrix "and translated into Filipino language". Thatcould only mean that the will was written in a language not known to the illiteratetestatrix and, therefore, it is void because of the mandatory provision of article 804 of the Civil Code that every will must be executed in a language or dialect known to thetestator. Thus, a will written in English, which was not known to the Igorot testator, isvoid and was disallowed.Under the circumstances, we find his negligence and dereliction of duty to beinexcusable.
KALAW v RELOVA
132 SCRA 237MELENCIO-HERRERA; September 28, 1984
- On September 1, 1971, private respondent GREGORIO K. KALAW, claiming to be thesole heir of his deceased sister, Natividad K. Kalaw, filed a petition before the Court of First Instance of Batangas, Branch VI, Lipa City, for the probate of her holographic Willexecuted on December 24, 1968.- The holographic Will, as first written, named ROSA K. Kalaw, a sister of the testatrixas her sole heir. Hence, on November 10, 1971, petitioner ROSA K. Kalaw opposedprobate alleging, in substance, that the holographic Will contained alterations,corrections, and insertions without the proper authentication by the full signature of the testatrix as required by Article 814 of the Civil Code reading:Art. 814. In case of any insertion, cancellation, erasure or alteration in a holographicwill the testator must authenticate the same by his full signature.- ROSA's position was that the holographic Will, as first written, should be given effectand probated so that she could be the sole heir thereunder.- After trial, respondent Judge denied probate in an Order, dated September 3, 197 3,citing that the NBI reported that the handwriting, the signature, the insertions and/oradditions and the initial were made by one and the same person. Consequently, thewill was in the handwriting of the decedent, Natividad K. Kalaw. However the Courtfinds, that the provision of Article 814 of the Civil Code is applicable to Exhibit "C".Finding the insertions, alterations and/or additions in the not to be authenticated bythe full signature of the testatrix Natividad K. Kalaw, the Court will deny the admissionto probate.- From that Order, GREGORIO moved for reconsideration arguing that since thealterations and/or insertions were the testatrix, the denial to probate of herholographic Will would be contrary to her right of testamentary disposition.Reconsideration was denied in an Order, dated November 2, 1973, on the ground thatArticle 814 of the Civil Code being clear and explicit requires no necessity forinterpretation.- From that Order, dated September 3, 1973, denying probate, and the Order datedNovember 2, 1973 denying reconsideration, ROSA filed this Petition for Review oncertiorari
text after subsequent alterations and insertions werevoided by the Trial Court for lack of authentication by the full signature of the testatrix
- Ordinarily, when a
of erasures, corrections, and interlineations made by thetestator in a holographic Will litem not been noted under his signature... the Will is notthereby invalidated as a whole, but at most only as respects the particular wordserased, corrected or interlined.- However, when as in this case, the holographic Will in dispute had only onesubstantial provision, which was altered by substituting the original heir with another,but which alteration did not carry the requisite of full authentication by the fullsignature of the testator, the effect must be that the entire Will is voided or revokedfor the simple reason that nothing remains in the Will after that which could remainvalid. To state that the Will as first written should be given efficacy is to disregard theseeming change of mind of the testatrix. But that change of mind can neither be giveneffect because she failed to authenticate it in the manner required by law by affixingher full signature.
ROUNDS 2 and 3
VII. REVOCATION OF WILLS AND TESTAMENTARY