IN RE PROBATE OF THE WILL OF GABINA RAQUEL, deceased, AUREA MATIAS, PetitionerAppellant, - versus – BASILIA SALUD, Oppositor-Appellee. G. R. NO.

L-10751 , June 23, 1958 Appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Cavite (issued in its Special Proceedings No. 5253 on February 10, 1956) denying probate of the purported will of the late Gabina Raquel. Admittedly the deceased left no ascendants or descendants, and according to the proponents she executed the testamentary document on January 27, 1950, in the City of Cavite, in the presence of Modesta Gonzales, Felipa Samala and Lourdes Samonte, who signed as instrumental witnesses, and of attorney Ricardo Agbunag, who prepared the instrument. The document in question appears to be composed of three pages. On the lower half of the second page, preceding the attestation clause, appears the signature “Gabina Raquel” which is apparently of admitted authenticity. Alongside it is a smudge in violet ink, with blurred ridge lines, claimed by the proponents to be a thumbmark affixed by the testatrix. On the third page, at the end of the attestation clause appear the signatures appearing on the left margin of each page; and on the upper part of each page‟s left margin appears a violet ink smudge similar to the one previously described, accompanied by the written words “Gabina Raquel” and underneath said name “by Lourdes Samonte.” In the purported testament, most of the properties of the testatrix (appraised at over P160,000.00) are bequeathed to her niece Aurea Matias, “in recompense for the services rendered to me for more than 30 years;” some legacies are made to her other nephews and nieces surnamed Salud and Matias ; Aurea Matias is appointed executrix without bond. Below the signature Gabina Raquel set at the foot of the will proper, is an attestation clause in the Spanish language (like the will itself) and reading as follows: The testamentary capacity of the testatrix Gabina Raquel despite her ninety years of age and her disease (herpes zoster), is conceded. It is also undisputed that she mastered Spanish (the language in which the document is drawn) and that she could sign her name. The proponent‟s evidence is to the effect that the deceased instructed attorney Agbunag to draft her will; that it was brought to her in the morning of January 27, 1950; that she had the witnesses summoned and received them in the “ante sala” of her house; that when the witnesses were seated around a table with her and attorney Agbunag, the will was read by the latter; that Gabina Raquel manifested conformity thereto and thumbmarked the foot of the document and the left margin of each page. Allegedly upon Agbunag‟s insistence, she attempted to sign with his fountain pen, but was only able to affix the signature at the end of the testamentary dispositions (in the lower half of page two) because immediately after, she dropped the pen, grasping her right shoulder and complaining of pain. After 20 minutes, attorney Agbunag, seeing that Gabina Raquel could not proceed, instructed Lourdes Samonte to write “Gabina Raquel by Lourdes Samonte” next to each thumbmark, and thereafter witnesses Lourdes Samonte, Felipa Samala and Modesta Gonzalez signed, in that order, at the foot of the attestation clause and at the left margin of each page. It is to be noted that witness Modesta Gonzalez, a 64-year old woman did not testify, as she was found to be suffering from high blood pressure, and proponent‟s expert evidence was to the effect that her memory was impaired, and unusual excitement might cost her life. The probate having been opposed by Basilia Salud, a niece of Gabina Raquel, the case was set for trial. After hearing, Judge Primitivo Gonzales of the Court of First Instance of Cavite rendered judgment

upholding the contentions of the oppositor and denied the document‟s admission to probate, principally on the following grounds: (1) That the attestation clause did not state that the testatrix and the witnesses signed each and every page of the will; and while the left margins of each page exhibit the words “Gabina Raquel by Lourdes Samonte,” the attestation does not express that Lourdes was expressly directed to sign for the testatrix; (2) That the proponent did not adequately explain the non- production of witness Modesta Gonzalez, contrary to sec. 11, Rule 77 of the Rules of Court; (3) That the alleged signing and thumbmarking by the deceased was not done in the presence of the witnesses, nor did the latter sign in the presence of Gabina Raquel; (4) That fraud and bad faith attended the execution of the will. From the adverse decision of the trial court, the proponent appealed directly to this Court, because the value of the properties involved in the litigation exceeded P50,000.00. The trial court refused credence to the evidence for the proponents on the basis of the expert testimony of Captain José Fernandez of the Philippine Constabulary‟s Criminal Laboratory, to the ef fect that (1) the fingerprints appearing at the end and left margins of the will were impressed over the name of the testatrix, and after the name was written, contrary to what the proponent‟s witnesses asserted; (2) that the words “Gabina Raquel by Lourdes Samonte” on the upper left hand margin of page two of the will were falsified and appear to have been written over a previous tracing; (3) that the person who wrote “Gabina Raquel by Lourdes Samonte” is different from the one who wrote “Lourdes Samonte” as signature of an attesting witness; (4) that the signature “Lourdes Samonte” on the left margin of page 3 of the testament was written only after that of Felipa Samala when the testimony for the proponent was that they were written in the reverse order; and (5) that the pen used in signing “Gabina Raquel” at the foot of the will had separated nibs, while the other signatures in the document were written with a round point pen, again contrary to the contention for the proponent that only one pen was used. After careful consideration of the testimony on record, we are of the opinion that the facts adverted to by the expert for the contestant do not clearly support the conclusions drawn by him. Thus, his assertion that the fingerprints were affixed after writing the name of the testatrix appears to be an inference drawn from the fact that the ink of the writing failed to spread along the ridge lines of the fingerprints. This conclusion obviously failed to take into account the fact that the evidence is that some 10 or 20 minutes elapsed between the affixing of the fingerprints and the writing of the marginal signatures, due to the fact that they were not written until after a long wait for the testatrix‟s attack of pain to subside. There was sufficient ti me for the fingerprint (which was made in rubber stamp ink) to dry, and recognized authorities on the matter point out that “ink lines over rubber stamps will spread out if the stamp is not dry” (Soderman O‟Connel, Modern Criminal Investigation, 2d Ed., p. 453); and “if the stamp impression is allowed to dry thoroughly before the writing is written over it, the ink will not run out as it does on a damp ink line” (Osborn, Questioned Documents, 2d Ed., p. 514). To such effect, the only composition of the rubber stamp ink no doubt contributes. Thus, while the spreading out or running out of the writing ink along the stamping ink lines proves that the writing was made later, the absence of spread does not prove that stamping ink lines were made after the writing was done.

As to the alleged forgery of Samonte‟s signature in page 3, the lighter shade of the underlying characters strongly indicates that the overwriting was made to correct ink failure or other imperfection in the first writing. The expert‟s opinion is also discredited by the fact that Samonte being available to the proponent (since she testified in favor of the will), there would be no sense in forging Samonte‟s signature, when an authentic one was at proponent‟s disposal all the time. And assuming it to be true that in page 3 of the will Exh. “D”, Samonte signed after Samala, while in the other pages she had signed ahead, such occasional departure from the order usually followed does not signify that the execution of the testament was in any way abnormal or fraudulent. As to the alleged use of two different pens, expert Fernandez‟ conclusions are backed more by opinion than by facts, besides being contradicted by expert Espinosa, and the proponent‟s other witnesses. The basis for the conclusions of expert Fernandez, who admitted having been engaged on a contingent basis, not being satisfactorily established and his testimony being contradicted by the two witnesses to the will and the expert for the defense, the lower court erred in considering that the preponderance of the evidence lay with contestants (Roxas vs. Roxas, 48 O. G. 2177; cf Galvez vs. Galvez, 26 Phil. 243; Samson vs. Tan Quintin, 44 Phil. 573). “We do not venture to impute bias to the experts introduced during the trial, but we hasten to state that the positive testimony of the three attesting witnesses ought to prevail over the expert opinions which cannot be mathematically precise but which on the contrary, are „subject to inherent infirmities‟. x x x” “Speculations on these matters should give way to the positive declarations of the attesting witnesses. The law impliedly recognizes the almost conclusive weight of the testimony of attesting witnesses when it provides that „if the will is contested, all the subscribing witnesses present in the Philippines and not insane, must be produced and examined, and the death, absence, or insanity or any of them must be satisfactorily shown to the court.‟ (Section 11, Rule 77, Rules of Court.)” (Roxas vs. Roxas, supra) We are aware that the bequest of the greater portion of decedent‟s estate in favor of proponent Aurea Matias is contained in the first page of the contested will, while the only authentic signature of the deceased appeared in the second page; but the appointment of proponent as executrix of the will without bond (con relevacion de fianza) appearing in the very same page (page 2) fully bespeaks the affection of the testatrix for the proponent, who had lived with the deceased, helped and served her for thirty years, and morally confirms the contested bequest. The court below likewise held against the proponent the fact that the subscribing witness Modesta Gonzalez was not a witness; claiming that such failure was a violation of sec. 11, Rule 77 of the Rules of Court. But while Modesta Gonzalez was not placed on the stand, the proponent made no secret of her whereabouts, nor of the reason why she was not asked to testify: the record shows that both Dr. Bellaflor and Dr. Sanchez agreed that Gonzalez was suffering from hypertension, that she was in the danger zone, and might collapse and die as a consequence of a little excitement on her part. The trial court, having expressly made of record that “it would not like to assume responsibility for whatever might happen to this woman” (t.s.n. p. 301), could not logically hold proponent to account for not risking Modesta‟s death. At any rate, contestants were free to call her as their own witness, had they felt justified in so doing; so that no unfavorable inference can be drawn from the fact that Modesta Gonzalez was not called by the proponent to the witness stand.

such silence is a factor to be considered against the authenticity of the testament. Lopez vs. should be held defective because it fails to state that Lourdes Samonte signed for the testator. Dolor vs.) as to require a dexterity that can be expected of very few persons. Diancin. and we do not believe testators should be required to possess the skill of trained officers. In the case now before us. and both the attestation clause and the will are silent on the matter. “D” ordered admitt ed to probate. 55 Phil. it is unnecessary to state in the attestation clause that another person wrote the testator‟s name at his request (Payad vs. Let the records be returned to the court of origin for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion. Nov. to the extent that. Ona. she dropped the pen because of an attack of pain that lasted many minutes and evidently discourage attempts to sign. overinking. . L. Tolentino. While in some of these cases the signing by mark was described in the will or in the attestation clause. (Supp. and thence. it was shown that the herpes zoster that afflicted the right arm and shoulder of testatrix made writing a difficult and painful act. Appellant relies on the case of Garcia vs. But in that case no showing was made that the cross mark was the testator‟s habitual signature nor was any explanation given why he should use a cross when he knew how to sign.Finally. R. but the failure to describe the unusual signature by itself alone is not sufficient to refuse probate when the evidence for the proponent fully satisfies the court (as it does satisfy us in this case) that the will was executed and witnessed as required by law. G. 849). Liboro. transcribed earlier in this opinion. it is so dependent on aleatory circumstances (consistency of the ink. etc. WHEREFORE. 62 Phil. 46 O. after writing one signature on the second page. G. Neyra vs. it does not appear that the Court ever held that the absence of such description is a fatal defect.4067. that the attestation clause. As to the clarity of the ridge impressions. 1) 211). and that where such mark is affixed by the decedent. Costs against appellees. slipping of the finger. 2817. Lacuesta. the judgment appealed from is reversed. It is to be conceded that where a testator employs an unfamiliar way of signing. 1951. and the document Exh. 53 Phil. 105. the contestant urges that the fingermark of the testatrix can not be regarded as her valid signature since it does not show distinct identifying ridge lines. wherein this Court denied probate holding that a will signed with a cross written after the testator‟s name is not a sufficient signature. This Court has repeatedly held that the legal requisite that the will should be signed by the testator is satisfied by a thumbprint or other mark affixed by him (De Gala vs. G. 42 O. to No. Neyra. 479. 29.

followed below by "A ruego del testador" and the name of Florentino Javier.. and it bears the corresponding number in letter which compose of three pages and all of them were signed in the presence of the testator and witnesses. "In testimony. SIGNATURE OF TESTATOR. Petitioner. the will is fatally defective. No. we sign this testament. JULIANA LACUESTA.) "NUMERIANO EVANGELISTA (Sgd. ATTESTATION CLAUSE. SIGNING BY ANOTHER OF TESTATOR‟S NAME AT LATTER‟S DIRECTION. This is an appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeals disallowing the will of Antero Mercado dated January 3. CROSS. v. the undersigned. reversing the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Norte. Respondents. ID. deceased. 2. that cross cannot be considered a valid signature. WILLS.[G. The will is written in the Ilocano dialect and contains the following attestation clause: "We. this the third day of January. Florentino Javier at the express request of the testator in the presence of the testator and each and every one of the witnesses. (1943) A. Otherwise. by these presents do declare that the foregoing testament of Antero Mercado was signed by himself and also by us below his name and of this attestation clause and that of the left margin of the three pages thereof. Florentino Javier who wrote the name of Antero Mercado. Antero Mercado is alleged to have written a cross immediately after his name. and the witnesses in the presence of the testator and all and each and every one of us witnesses. that there is no need for such recital because the cross written by the testator after his name is a sufficient signature and the signature of Atty. 1951] In the Matter of the Will of ANTERO MERCADO. SYLLABUS 1.) BIBIANA ILLEGIBLE" The will appears to have been signed by Atty. 1943. November 29. one thousand nine hundred forty three. this fact must be recited in the attestation clause. Page three the continuation of this attestation clause.D.) ROSENDO CORTES (Sgd. The herein petitioner (who is appealing by way of certiorari from the decision of the Court of Appeals) argues. Florentino Javier is a . (Sgd. (3) to certify that the three witnesses signed the will in all the pages thereon in the presence of the testator and of each other. as required by section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. the attestation clause is fatally defective for failing to state that Antero Mercado caused Atty. this will is written in Ilocano dialect which is spoken and understood by the testator. L-4067. ET AL. Florentino Javier to write the testator‟s name under his express direction. In our opinion. — When the testator expressly caused another to sign the former‟s name. (2) to certify that after the signing of the name of the testator by Atty.R.. — Where the cross appearing on a will is not the usual signature of the testator or even one of the ways by which he signed his name. however. The Court of Appeals. ruled that the attestation clause failed (1) to certify that the will was signed on all the left margins of the three pages and at the end of the will by Atty. ROSARIO GARCIA. Javier at the former‟s request said testator has written a cross at the end of his name and on the left margin of the three pages of which the will consists and at the end thereof. whereof.

It is not here pretended that the cross appearing on the will is the usual signature of Antero Mercado or even one of the ways by which he signed his name. 479. with costs against the petitioner. What has been said makes it unnecessary for us to determine whether there is a sufficient recital in the attestation clause as to the signing of the will by the testator in the presence of the witnesses. Diancin. 296 and Lopez v. 53 Phil. 62 Phil. Dolar v. 429. 55 Phil. and by the latter in the presence of the testator and of each other. 104. the appealed decision is hereby affirmed. Petitioner‟s theory is that the cross is as much a signature as a thumbmark. 81 Phil.. and the reason is obvious. Neyra v.. Payad v. Neyra. Tolentino. So ordered.. Gonzales and Ona.surplusage. we are not prepared to liken the mere sign of a cross to a thumb mark. Liboro. the latter having been held sufficient by this Court in the cases of De Gala v.. . After mature reflection. Wherefore. 76 Phil.. The cross cannot and does not have the trustworthiness of a thumb mark. 848.

Juan A." is practically the same as the provisions of Section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Act No. The facts as found by the trial court are as follows: "It appears on record that the last Will and Testament (Exhibit ‟A‟).. Attorney Timoteo de los Santos. ET AL. Ciudad de Zamboanga." comply with the requirements of the law prescribing the manner in which a will shall be executed? The present law. . On the second page. ] In the matter of the summary settlement of the Estate of the deceased Anacleta Abellana." (Italics supplied. and in admitting the will to probate. is written in the Spanish language and consists of two (2) typewritten pages (pages 4 and 5 of the record) double space. de los Santos and below his signature is his official designation as the notary public who notarized the said testament. Enero 20. WILLS. LUCIO BALONAN. v.) The clause "must be subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself or by the testator‟s name written by some other person in his presence and by his express direction. Petitioner-Appellee. Appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga City admitting to probate the will of one Anacleta Abellana. On the first page on the left margin of the said instrument also appear the signatures of the instrumental witnesses. at the bottom of which appears the signature of T. Exh. Faustino Macaso and Rafael Ignacio. The will is duly acknowledged before Notary Public. August 31. Oppositors-Appellants.. . The case was originally appealed to the Court of Appeals where the following assignment of error is made: "The appellants respectfully submit that the Trial Court erred in holding that the supposed testament. The first page is signed by Juan Bello and under his name appears typewritten ‟Por la testadora Anacleta Abellana. other than a holographic will.) The appeal squarely presents the following issue: Does the signature of Dr. which is sought to be probated.‟A‟. No. ‟Por la Testadora Anacleta Abellana‟. Article 805 of the Civil Code. which is the last page of the said last Will and Testament." In view of the fact that the appeal involves a question of law the said court has certified the case to us. SUBSCRIBED AT THE END BY SOME PERSON OTHER THAN THE TESTATOR. also appears the signature of the three (3) instrumental witnesses and on that second page on the left margin appears the signature of Juan Bello under whose name appears handwritten the following phrase. and on the second page appears the signature of the three (3) instrumental witnesses Blas Sebastian. L-15153." (Italics supplied. EUSEBIA ABELLANA.R. was signed in accordance with law. . and attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one another. 1960. Ciudad de Zamboanga‟. residence Certificate A-1167629. — A will subscribed at the end thereof by some person other than the testator in such manner that the signature of said person appears above the typewritten statement "Por la Testadora Anacleta Abellana . INSUFFICIENT COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW. Abello above the typewritten statement "Por la Testadora Anacleta Abellana . must be subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself or by the testator‟s name written by some other person in his presence. 1. 190) which reads as follows: . EXECUTION OF WILL. 1951. Ciudad de Zamboanga. and by his express direction.[G. in part provides as follows: "Every will." may not be admitted to probate for failure to comply with the express requirement of the law that the testator must himself sign the will or that his name be affixed thereto by some other person in his presence and by his express direction. .

With costs against petitioner. John Doe. Anacleta Abellana. or is unable. Concepcion. Applying this provision this Court said in the case of Ex Parte Pedro Arcenas. "Where a testator does not know how. a failure to comply with the express requirement in the law that the testator must himself sign the will. Vidal should have written at the bottom of the will the full name of the testator and his own name in one of the forms given above. . 700:jgc:chanrobles... unless it be in writing and signed by the testator. .. 5 Phil. Lacuesta. so that a will signed in a manner different than that prescribed by law shall not be valid and will not be allowed to be probated. Cabacungan.com. 90 Phil. it will not be sufficient that one of the attesting witnesses signs the will at the testator‟s request. which. It appearing that the above provision of the law has not been complied with. Domingo. Garcia v. Cases of the same import are as follows: (Ex Parte Juan Ondevilla.. In the case at bar the name of the testatrix. Richard Roe. In the case of Barut v. and this in the testator‟s presence and by his express direction. nor charge or affect the same.‟ All this must be written by the witness signing at the request of the testator. . we are constrained to declare that the said will of the deceased Anacleta Abellana may not be admitted to probate. Caluya v. or in this form: ‟By the testator. it is unimportant whether the person who writes the name of the testatrix signs his own or not. it shall be signed in the following manner: 1aw library „John Doe by the testator. or by the testator‟s name written by some other person in his presence." virtua1aw library The same ruling was laid down in the case of Cuison v."No will. 330. 461. 479. 21 Phil.. but it is necessary that the testa tor‟s name be written by the person signing in his stead in the place where he would have signed if he knew how or was able so to do. the testator‟s name must be written by some other person in his presence and by his express direction. Wherefore. and attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of each other. Et Al. the witness Naval A. under the law now in force.. and this failure to comply with the law is a substantial defect which affects the validity of the will and precludes its allowance. does not appear written under the will by said Abellana herself. to sign the will himself. . we held that the important thing is that it clearly appears that the name of the testatrix was signed at her express direction. 4 Phil. He did not do so. the decision appealed from is hereby set aside and the petition for the probate of the will denied. except as provided in the preceding section shall be valid to pass any estate." ( Italics supplied) Note that the old law as well as the new require that the testator himself sign the will. Richard Roe. however. was modified by section 618 above referred to. 552. or if he cannot do so. to sign. 27 Phil. the notary certifying thereto as provided in article 695 of the Civil Code. real or personal. or that his name be affixed thereto by Some other person in his presence and by his express direction.ph "It will be noticed from the above-quoted section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure that where the testator does not know how. Juan Abello. or is unable for any reason. 13 Phil. "Therefore. in this respect. notwithstanding the fact that no one appeared to oppose it. therefore. There is. or by Dr.. and by his express direction. 489).

1. TEST OF. neither old age. and to comprehend the manner in which the instrument will distribute his property among the objects of his bounty. NOT SUFFICIENT TO DESTROY MENTAL CAPACITY. 400. like the testatrix in this case remain unimpaired. Calderon. the testator intelligently and intelligibly conversed with other persons. And like patients suffering from tuberculosis. as they were allegedly in the caida. PILAR DE GUZMAN and MARIA JACOBO VDA. 2. DEFINED. TEODORA NEYRA. in spite of the testimony of two doctors who testified for the opponents of the probate of a will. 44 Phil.. PetitionerAppellee. ID.. these circumstances show that the testator was in a perfectly sound mental condition at the time of executing the will. to recollect the property to be disposed of. WILLS. SLEEPING SICKNESS (ADDISON‟S DISEASE) DOES NOT IMPAIR MENTAL FACULTIES. 5. ID. ID. v. 4. 1946. ID. 20 Phil. Oppositors-Appellees. they necessarily receive the benefit of physical and mental rest.. — The mental faculties of persons suffering from Addison‟s disease. DE BLANCO. 579. but could still effect the sale of property belonging to him.. — Testamentary capacity is the capacity to comprehend the nature of the transaction in which the testator is engaged at the time. March 21. — Where the mind of the testator is in perfectly sound condition. in the sala of the house.. although lying down and unable to move or stand up unassisted.. inspite of the physician‟s testimony to the contrary.. — Insomnia.. and the persons who would naturally be supposed to have claims upon the testator. they preserve their mental faculties until the moments of their death. nor the fact that somebody had to guide his hand in order that he might sign. — The oppositors also claim that the attesting witnesses were not present.) 3. TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY. D. being in the third or last stage of tuberculosis. 573. 6. TUBERCULOSIS. DE BLANCO.[Adm. But it has been fully shown that the attesting witnesses were present at the time of the signing and execution of the agreement and will in question. in view of the positive statement of several credible witnesses that he was conscious and able to understand what was said to him and to communicate his desires.) The testimony of the attending physician that the deceased was suffering from diabetes and had been in a comatose condition for several days. on her bed.. insomnia or diabetes.) The testatrix was held to have been compos mentis. ] In the matter of the testate estate of the late Encarnacion Neyra. DIABETES. Yap Ca Kuan and Yap Ca Llu. PetitionersAppellants. TRINIDAD NEYRA. v. PRESENCE OF ATTESTING WITNESSES. 4. — Where it appears that a few hours and also a few days after the execution of the will. (Caguioa v. was held not to affect the full possession of the mental faculties deemed necessary and sufficient for its execution. ID. Case No. partly due to the fact that. to the effect that she was very weak. on account of the sleep they enjoy. prior to his death. PILAR DE GUZMAN and MARIA JACOBO VDA. was held not sufficient to establish testamentary incapacity. SIGNING BY THUMBMARK. INSOMNIA. TRINIDAD NEYRA and EUSTAQUIO MENDOZA. (Samsan v. ID. at the time of the signing of the will. is sufficient to invalidate his will. where the testatrix was lying on her bed. ID. EVIDENCE OF SOUND MIND. The true test is not whether they actually saw each other.. TEODORA NEYRA. Oppositors-Appellants. in the sala. ID. Corrales Tan Quintin. (Yap Tua v. 27 Phil. but whether they might have .. OLD AGE OR ILL HEALTH INSUFFICIENT TO INVALIDATE WILL. nor ill health. at the time that the testatrix thumbmarked the will in question. who stated that it tended to destroy mental capacity..

and Maria Jacobo Vda. Eladio A. a petition in the Court of First Instance of Manila. the testatrix Encarnacion Neyra no longer possessed testamentary capacity. 1939. 1942. alleging (1) that at the time of the alleged execution of the said will. 1939. Subsequently. alleged to have been executed by the said testatrix. an alleged medical expert. executed by the deceased Encarnacion Neyra. Aldecoa. filed on opposition to the probate of the said will dated November 3. 1942. presented evidence. Dr. 1942. 1943. on September 15. petitioner Trinidad Neyra herself. dated November 3. Dr. the attesting witnesses actually saw it in this case. de Blanco. on December 3. 1939. Fr. Gustilo. the legatees Trinidad Neyra and Eustaquio Mendoza filed their opposition to the probate of said will marked as Exhibit 16. 1942. on September 20. and that Encarnacion Neyra never intended to consider said document as will. (2) that her thumb marks on said instrument had been procured by means of fraud by petitioner Trinidad Neyra. Teodora Neyra. Ricardo Sikat. Abad. (Jaboneta v.) 7. Atty. On March 16. (3) that the alleged will.) And the thumbmark placed by the testatrix on the will is equivalent to her signature. at the same time denying the probate of a previous will dated September 14. Vicente Fernandez. On December 26. 1943. Alejandro M. and amended said opposition. and (4) that Encarnacion Neyra. the principal among whom were Presentacion Blanco. The witnesses presented by the petitioner Trinidad Neyra were Mons. 1942. beneficiary in the will executed on November 3. 1943. and that said will had never been revoked or amended in any manner whatsoever. to which Teodora Neyra and the others filed a reply. had not been executed in the manner and form prescribed by law. said oppositors filed a counter petition. who testified in the presence of the trial judge. 1943. testimonial and documentary. Andrea Montejo. Rev. filed. 1942. This is an appeal from a decree rendered by the Hon. On the dates set for the hearing on the petition filed by Trinidad Neyra. said petitioner as well as the oppositors. . Dionisio Parulan. had executed a will naming as beneficiaries said oppositors and others. and the counter petition mentioned above. unless the court below failed to take into consideration some material facts or circumstances or to weigh accurately all of the material facts and circumstances presented to it for consideration. Trinidad Neyra. since September 14. Ceferina de la Cruz. 541. Gervasio Diaz. Acislo Manuel. Judge of the Court of First Instance of the City of Manila.. asking for the probate of the first will executed by Encarnacion Neyra. Pilar de Guzman. APPEAL. Teodoro Garcia. and Atty. marked as Exhibit 16. 1942. 1942. on November 10. On December 19. petitioner Trinidad Neyra filed a reply denying the allegations in the opposition. admitting to probate a will dated November 3. Sor. Yap Ca Kuan and Yap Ca Llu. Moises B. Panis. who had acted as scrivener in the preparation of said will dated November 3. (Yap Tua v. had they chosen to do so and. Teodora Neyra and the other oppositors also presented several witnesses. on September 14. who had not been named as beneficiaries in said will. for the probate of said will. FINDINGS OF FACT OF TRIAL COURT. Dr.seen each other sign. supra. and the oppositors Teodora Neyra and Pilar de Guzman themselves. WHEN TO BE REVERSED. — This court will not reverse any findings of fact by the trial court made upon conflicting testimony and depending largely upon the credibility of witnesses. 5 Phil.

leaving certain properties and two children. Pilar de Guzman and Maria Jacobo Vda. No. making no provision whatsoever in said will in favor of her only sister Trinidad Neyra. about one week before her death. on December 21. who had remained single. The evidence. R. 1939. but at the same time awarded in favor of the defendant P727. 366 Raon Street. 8075) Exhibit 8. 1943 (G. and who had no longer any ascendants. they had two litigations in the Court of First Instance of Manila. and said decision of the Congregation was duly communicated to her. at the same time denying the probate of the will dated September 14. as beneficiary. (4) in ignoring the evidence submitted by the oppositors. . sent for one Ricardo Sikat. and the Court of First Instance decided in favor of the plaintiff. and the petition for reconsideration filed therein still remains undecided. instead of preparing a new will. named Encarnacion Neyra and Trinidad Neyra. executed a will on September 14. pursuant to the document of compromise marked as Exhibit D. R. concerning said properties (Exhibits 8 and 9): In the first case. 1939. marked as Exhibit M. filed on March 31. Feria and Lao. the lower court rendered a decree admitting to probate the will dated November 3. in connection with the properties left by their deceased father. Exhibit 9). Manila. Trinidad Neyra demanded from Encarnacion Neyra. in accordance with the express instructions given by Encarnacion Neyra merely prepared a draft in the form of a codicil. Trinidad Neyra and others demanded from Encarnacion Neyra Et. that after the death of Severo Neyra. the annulment of the sale of the property located at No. (2) in declaring that there was reconciliation between Encarnacion Neyra and her sister Trinidad.77 under her counterclaim. assigning several errors. dated September 14. 8162. and gave him instructions for the preparation of a new will. disposing of her properties in favor of the "Congregacion de Religiosas de la Virgen Maria" and her other relatives named Teodora Neyra. That Encarnacion Neyra. adduced during the trial of the case in the court below. and said draft of a codicil was also forwarded to the authorities of said religious organization. and several other relatives. for their consideration and acceptance. and so serious were their dissensions that. and (5) in not admitting to probate the will dated September 14. 1939. From said decision Teodora Neyra and the other oppositors appealed to the Court Appeals for the City of Manila. after due deliberation and consideration. and it was finally decided in favor of the defendants in the Court of First instance and in the Court of Appeals. and Trinidad Neyra again elevated the case to the Court of Appeals for Manila (G. Encarnacion Neyra and Trinidad Neyra. 1939. amending said will. No. has satisfactorily and sufficiently established the following facts:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library That Severo Neyra died intestate in the City of Manila. an attorney working in the Law Offices of Messrs. the two sisters. the trial court erred (1) in finding that Encarnacion Neyra wanted to make a new will. who had become her bitter enemy. after March 31. and for that purpose. In the second case. which was decided. 1942. Al. on May 6. among others.After considering the evidence. and one-half (1/2) of the rents. by his first marriage. de Blanco. one-half (1/2) of the property described therein. that in order to overcome the difficulties encountered by said religious organization in not accepting the generosity of Encarnacion Neyra. filed on October 25. again naming said religious organization. testimonial and documentary. which may be reduced to the following. 1939. that when the said will was brought to the attention of the authorities of said Congregation. marked Exhibit 16. to wit. 1939. 1939. had serious quarrels. that Attorney Sikat. (3) in accepting as satisfactory the evidence submitted by the petitioner. said religious organization declined the bounty offered by Encarnacion Neyra. 1938. the latter decided to make a new will.

Eladio Aldecoa. and others. pursuant to the express instructions given by Encarnacion Neyra. On November 4. to prepare the necessary document embodying the said agreement. after which he asked her if its terms were in accordance with her wishes. after which she expressed her desire to make a mass celebrated in her house at No. and as a matter of fact. Mons. while under the administration of Encarnacion Neyra. and as Encarnacion Neyra stated that the terms of said will were in accordance with her wishes and express instructions. Panis. and became reconciled. It was also agreed between the two sisters to send for Atty. 1942. took holy communion. Encarnacion Neyra. 1942. 1942). after which the attesting witnesses signed at the foot of the document. so that she might take holy communion. Dr. that after said religious ceremony had been terminated. on which occasion. holy mass was solemnized in her house. in the presence of the testatrix Encarnacion Neyra. and Atty. due to a heart attack. Ricardo Sikat. by . Fernandez caused the necessary arrangements to be made for the celebration of holy mass in the house of Encarnacion Neyra. Encarnacion Neyra accepted said advice and at about noon of the same day (November 1. November 3. Alejandro M. Moises B. as well as the new will and testament marked as Exhibit C. Vicente Fernandez of the Quiapo Church to make confession. Encarnacion Neyra and Trinidad Neyra. in the course of which the two sisters also talked about the properties left by their deceased father and their litigations which had reached the Court of Appeals for the City of Manila. Abad. that the two had a long and cordial conversation. Teodoro Garcia. Dr. Dr. and they agreed to have the said appeal dismissed. Teodoro Garcia and petitioner Trinidad Neyra and several others were also present. 1942. with the help of a son of herein petitioner. 1942. City of manila. she sent for her religious adviser and confessor. Aldecoa. and that the two should renounce their mutual claims against one another. Father Garcia talked to Encarnacion Neyra and advised reconciliation between the two sisters. 366 Raon Street. the testatrix Encarnacion Neyra. on the condition that the latter should waive her claim for her share in the rents of said property. if she had anything else to add. suffering from Addison‟s disease. in the presence of the three attesting witnesses. Although the "Congregacion de Religiosas de la Virgen Maria" had again decided not to accept the provision made in its favor by testatrix Encarnacion Neyra in the proposed codicil prepared by Atty. or anything to be changed in said will. the two greeted each other in a most affectionate manner. herein petitioner Trinidad Neyra. in the presence of Fr. Attorney Panis read said will and testament marked as Exhibit D to Encarnacion Neyra slowly and in a loud voice. Teodoro Garcia. sent Eustaquio Mendoza to fetch her sister Trinidad Neyra. in view of her condition. when Encarnacion gave him instructions for the preparation of the document embodying their agreement. said decision could not be communicated to the testatrix. Alejandro M.In the meanwhile. Mons. before her death. that on seeing one another. that Attorney Panis prepared said document of compromise or agreement marked as Exhibit D. but Attorney Panis could come only in the afternoon of the following day. consisting of a small house and lot. and other instructions relative to the disposition she wanted to make of her properties in her last will and testament. 1942. should be given exclusively to Trinidad Neyra. that following the request of Encarnacion Neyra. Abad. unexpectedly died. naming Trinidad Neyra and Eustaquio Mendoza beneficiaries therein. that in the afternoon of that day. on the condition that the property involved therein. officiating in said ceremony. Fr. on November 1. and said instruments were ready for signature on November 3. 1942. who came at about @:30 that same afternoon. also of the Quiapo Church. and of each and everyone of the other attesting witnesses. Encarnacion Neyra had become seriously ill. Moises B. Eladio R. Dr. Fr. who remained in bed. 1942. placed her thumb mark at the foot of said will. Vicente Fernandez and Fr. and on October 31. Teodoro Garcia testified as to the request made on October 31. November 2. Mons. she asked for the pad and the will Exhibit C and. Panis.

concerning a certain house and lot. Aldecoa. testified. in the course of which the testatrix Encarnacion Neyra took holy communion. on that date. Panis should be called to prepare the necessary papers for the settlement of said case. also testified substantially to the foregoing facts. which were both thumb marked. as they were in the caida. dated November 3. that said mass was in fact solemnized in her house. Encarnacion held a long conversation with Father Garcia. with reference to the signing of documents. Panis. 1942. Encarnacion Neyra expired.77 against Trinidad. Presentacion Blanco and Ceferina de la Cruz. who signed in the presence of the testatrix and of each other. in the presence of the attesting witnesses. November 1. that on the same day. that when the thumb mark of Encarnacion Neyra was affixed. at about 2:30 o‟ clock in the afternoon that same day. Alejandro M. at the same time. at about 3 o‟clock in the morning. Father Teodoro Garcia was also present at the signing of the will. who was then of sound mind. Alejandro M. after which they talked about the property left by their deceased father and the litigation pending between them. November 2. By the testimony of Trinidad Neyra and Atty. Panis. on November 1. on the understanding that said property should be given exclusively to Trinidad. with said Eustaquio Mendoza. 1942. that on seeing one another. she was sleeping on her bed in the sala. Encarnacion renounced her claim for P727. Abad. Presentacion Blanco. 1942. daughter of oppositor Maria Jacobo Vda. Panis came in the afternoon of the following day. and the other attesting witnesses. witness for the oppositors. de Blanco. said priest advised her to have reconciliation with her sister Trinidad. Eladio R. and received instructions from Encarnacion Neyra. a witness for the oppositors. Alejandro M. By the testimony of Trinidad Neyra. and Atty. and the two sisters agreed to settle their case. Oppositor Teodoro Neyra. aided by a son of Trinidad Neyra. also stated that the attesting witnesses signed the . in the bedroom of Encarnacion Neyra. due to a heart attack as a consequence of Addision‟s disease. on November 3. 1942. for her share in the rents collected on said property. and so was Trinidad Neyra. in the course of which. and consequently Attorney Panis prepared said document of compromise and the will. in the afternoon of that day. in duplicate. perhaps. it has also been shown that Atty. as stated above.Encarnacion Neyra for the celebration of holy mass in her house. and. and that the attesting witnesses were not present. which had been elevated to the Court of Appeals for the City of Manila. But Ceferina de la Cruz. 1942. at the request of Encarnacion Neyra. and that said advise was accepted by Encarnacion. but also for the preparation of a new will. and that the latter should renounce her claim against Encarnacion. Dr. however. after the mass. as shown by her appearance and conversation. it has been shown that Encarnacion sent Eustaquio Mendoza to fetch her. practically corroborated the testimony of the witnesses of the petitioner. and Presentacion Blanco. and that in fact she came to the house of Encarnacion. not only for the preparation of said agreement. 1942. to the document of compromise in question. Moises B. Dr. Alejandro M. Teodora Neyra. forgiving one another. 1942. by Encarnacion Neyra. dated November 3. and at it was also agreed between the two sisters that Atty. on her bed in the sala. witnesses for the oppositors. On November 4. Encarnacion and Trinidad Neyra greeted each other most affectionately. her young daughter Ceferina de la Cruz.

) . 1942. The testimony of Dr. (Bugnao v. According to medical authorities. to recollect the property to be disposed of. pp.) Where it appears that a few hours and also a few days after the execution of the will. Ubag.documents thumb marked by Encarnacion Neyra. is absolutely unreliable. prior to his death. died on November 4. that persons attacked by said disease often live as long as ten (10) years after the first attack. being in the third or last stage of tuberculosis. is sufficient to invalidate his will. known as Addison‟s disease. Teodora Neyra. who had known and talked to the testators. in spite of physician‟s testimony to the contrary. 3d ed. MaCrae. alleged medical expert. (Amata v. and to comprehend the manner in which the instrument will distribute his property among the objects of his bounty. (Yap Tua v.) Where the mind of the testator is in perfectly sound condition. Strange to say. V pp. while others die after a few weeks only. Tablizo. although lying down and unable to move or stand up unassisted. 1252. Presentacion Blanco and Ceferina de la Cruz also testified that Encarnacion Neyra‟s thumb mark was affixed to the will. 27 Phil. and complications of the heart also appear. and that as the disease progresses. was held not sufficient to establish testamentary incapacity. more trustworthy than the testimony of alleged medical experts.) The testimony of the attending physician that the deceased was suffering from diabetes and had been in a comatose condition for several days. Yap Ca Kuan and Yap Ca Llu. Corrales Tan Quintin. 163. in the sala near her bed. the testator intelligently and intelligibly conversed with other persons. only in the morning of November 4. Textbook of Medicine. and the persons who would naturally be supposed to have claims upon the testator. but could still effect the sale of property belonging to him. these circumstances show that the testator was in a perfectly sound mental condition at the time of executing the will. 1253. (Caguioa v. Insomnia. 20 Phil. in spite of the testimony of two doctors who testified for the opponents to the probate of a will. 272-279). 3d ed. He had never seen or talked to the testatrix Encarnacion Neyra. And it has been conclusively shown in this case that the testatrix Encarnacion Neyra. as to the nature and effects of Addison‟s disease. 1250. to the effect that she was very weak. (Amata and Almojuela . 14 Phil.. 44 Phil. and from 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the patients develop tuberculosis. Vol.. 1935. (Samson v. Dionisio Parulan. are not yet fully known. neither old age. 579.. after an illness of about two (2) years. Osler‟s Modern Medicine. in view of the positive statement of several credible witnesses that he was conscious and able to understand what said to him and to communicate his desires. by Trinidad Neyra and Ildefonso del Barrio.. asthenia sets in.. the cause or causes of the sleeping sickness. 573. Testamentary capacity is the capacity to comprehend the nature of the transaction in which the testator is engaged at the time. In connection with testamentary capacity. in several cases.) The testatrix was held to have been compos mentis. 485. thus contradicting herself and Teodora Neyra and Presentacion Blanco. when Encarnacion was already dead. at the age of 48.. nor ill health. 48 Phil. (Cecil. who stated that it tended to destroy mental capacity. was held not to affect the full possession of the mental faculties deemed necessary and sufficient for its execution. nor the fact that somebody had to guide his hand in order that he might sign. due to a heart attack. 400.. Calderon. this court has considered the testimony of witnesses. 1942.

) The oppositors as well as their principal witnesses are all interested parties. therefor. who had absolutely no interest in the final outcome of this case. Judging by the authorities above cited. and the attesting witnesses actually saw it in this case. The oppositors and their witnesses could not have told the truth. like the testatrix in this case. dated November 3. who had known and seen and talked to the testatrix... while she was sleeping. The oppositors also claim that the attesting witnesses were not present. they have testified to brazen falsehoods. in the morning of November 4. and that the thumb mark of Encarnacion Neyra was affixed to the document embodying the agreement. they have erroneously placed great reliance on the fact that up to October 31. as said oppositors had been named legatees in the will dated September 14. Tablizo. (Jaboneta v. 1942. the testimony of the oppositors and their witnesses. Mauricio. in the sala. 1942. falsus in omnibus. 1942. Gustilo. but whether they might have seen each other sign. It violates all sense of proportion. at the time that the testatrix thumb marked the will in question.. (Yap Tua v. It may. On the other hand. 728. 53 Phil. the two sisters Encarnacion and Trinidad Neyra were bitter enemies. within their view. at the time of the signing of the will. 541. cannot be properly disturbed. in the sala of the house. and they are. 48 Phil. 735. 485. the witnesses for the petitioner are all trustworthy men. on her bed. be reasonably concluded that the mental faculties of persons suffering from Addison‟s disease. Encarnacion Neyra talked to her and that they understood each other clearly. is preposterous. 5 Phil. Two of them are ministers of the Gospel.) And the thumbmark placed by the testatrix on the will is equivalent to her signature. they preserve their mental faculties until the moments of their death. when she was already dead. and the execution of the will. partly due to the fact. remains unimpaired. Furthermore. They were banking evidently on the common belief that the hatred of . 1942. in the morning and also at about 6 o‟clock in the afternoon of November 3. and that her thumb mark was affixed to the will in question. to say the least. while the three attesting witnesses are professional men of irreproachable character. (Gonzalez v..v. to show the alleged improbability of the reconciliation of the two sisters. 579. 1942. The true test is not whether they actually saw each other. 27 Phil. Said testimony is contrary to common sense.) . they necessarily receive the benefit of physical and mental rest. But it has been fully shown that the attesting witnesses were present at the time of the signing and execution of the agreement and will in question. Yap Ca Kuan and Yap Ca Llu. therefore. to the effect that there could have been no reconciliation between the two sisters. at the time of the execution of the will. absolutely unworthy of belief. frankly admitted that. And to the evidence of the oppositors is completely applicable the rule falsus in uno. the conclusion made by the trial court that the testatrix Encarnacion Neyra was of sound mind and possessed of testamentary capacity. in the course of her cross-examination. but eliminated from the will dated November 3. And that like patients suffering from tuberculosis. had they chosen to do so. as they were allegedly in the caida. on November 3.) Presentacion Blanco. insomnia or diabetes. thus showing that the testatrix was really of sound mind. where the testatrix was lying on her bed. 1939. 1942. In the brief presented by counsel for the oppositors and appellants. in their presence. on account of the sleep they enjoy. at the time of the signing and execution of the agreement and will in question.

After a careful consideration of the evidence and the law in this case. As for Eustaquio Mendoza. Alberto. 53 Phil. which is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. she naturally wanted to follow "the path of the just. always understand. had served Encarnacion Neyra for so many years and so well. In the present case. 63 Phil. and that Trinidad had been demanding tenaciously her share. The conduct of Encarnacion Neyra. or to weigh accurately all of the material facts and circumstances presented to it for consideration. and that she had not always been fair to her sister. Garcia v. As Encarnacion Neyra. Towle. mercy and truth and to follow the law. therefore. 1939.) . her only sister of the whole blood. had successively instituted two suits against her. we find it legally impossible to sustain any of the errors assigned by the appellants. of the two. This court will not reverse any findings of fact by the trial court made upon conflicting testimony and depending largely upon the credibility of witnesses. and provide for her in her last will and testament. natural that Encarnacion should desire reconciliation with her sister Trinidad. may really seem strange and unusual. felt the advent of immortality. 336. as the latter is the nearest relative of the former. and that it was godly to forgive and better still to forget. . 34 Phil. Caragay v. It was almost natural that there should have been reconciliation between the two sisters. dated September 14. so that she might depart in peace. Encarnacion must have known that no one has any right to enrich himself unjustly. she must have loved justice. (Baltazar v. Melliza v. with new beneficiaries named therein. 33 Phil. as it has been truly said. for this is the whole duty of man. But they have forgotten the fact that Encarnacion Neyra was a religious and pious woman instructed in the ancient virtues of Christian faith and hope and charity. And it was. The record shows that. to recover what was her due. including principally her bitterest enemy of late.relatives is the most violent.." so that her memory may be blessed. The approach of imminent death must have evoked in her the tenderest recollections of childhood. The judgment appealed from is. 79. and as a Christian woman. who. and difficult the reconciliation. who. with costs against the appellants. it was also natural that she should make some provision for him. but. in making altogether a new will. she finally decided upon reconciliation. And believing perhaps that her little triumphs had not always brought her happiness. Encarnacion lived in great opulence. Garcia de Bartolome.. Urquiza. Dreadful indeed are the feuds of relatives. So ordered. therefore. which is completely uncompatible with the will. the court cannot find any reason or justification to alter the conclusions set forth in the decree appealed from. according to the evidence.. 345. and for which Encarnacion believed she must atone. at the expense of another. 419. as gratituted is the noblest sentiment that springs from the heart. affirmed. 72. unless the court below failed to take into consideration some of material facts or circumstances. as in the case of intuitive knowledge of eternal verity. above the logic of the head is the feeling of the heart. Encarnacion and Trinidad Neyra.. in fact. As a Christian woman. who testified in the presence of trial judge.

" (Yo. firmo en presencia de los testigos este testamento que ha escrito D. in addition to their signatures at the end of the will. It is a manuscript signed by the alleged testatrix and three witnesses on October 3. "FOLIOS" OR "HOJAS. . the court declared that the document attached to the record could not be allowed as a will. and said pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each sheet. Certain persons who allege themselves to be legatees appealed jointly with the lawyer for the petitioner.)—Then follows a signature and then these expressions: "The testatrix signed in our presence and each of us signed in the presence of the others. the manuscript is continued. upon which the will is written. the testatrix. ID... then and in that case the testator and witnesses must also sign on the left margin of each page. and the latter witnessed and signed the will and all pages thereof in the presence of the testator and of each other. the conclusion of which says: "I. the second folio not containing anything but the date and the end of the manuscript. unless the testator or the person requested by him to write his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will shall also sign each and every page of the will on the left margin of each page. in the presence of three witnesses. except as provided in the preceding section. — Section 618 of Act No. REQUISITES OF. These three signatures together with that of the alleged testatrix are written also on the left margin of the first page or folio and on the third page or second folio. The attestation shall state the number of sheets or pages used. but not on the second page or reverse side of the first page where. — Held: That under the provisions of said law no will shall be valid.. nor charge or affect the same.APPLICANT AND APPELLANT VS. 2646 provides that: "No will. 2645. shall be valid to pass any estate. and attended and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of each other. 15025. that the phrase "hojas o folios. INTERPRETED. under his express direction. The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will."cralaw virtua1aw library 2.)—"Witness who wrote this will at the request and under the free and voluntary personal direction of the testatrix herself. DECEASED. each and every page thereof. unless it be written in the language or dialect known by the testator and signed by him.) (Sgd." (La testadora ha firmado en nuestra presencia y cada uno de nosotros en presencia de los demas. or caused some other person to write his name. ID. ARCADIO DEL ROSARIO. as is seen. must be interpreted to mean each page of the sheet upon which the will is written. real or personal. Lino Mendoza at my request and under my direction. WILLS. 190 AS AMMENDED BY ACT No. NECESSITY OF SIGNING LEFT MARGIN OF EACH PAGE OF A WHO. shall also sign. March 15. that when the will is written on both sides of the sheet. la testadora. No. RUFINA SAGUINSIN SYLLABUS 1. SECTION 618 OF ACT NO. Under these conditions the instrument was -impugned by a sister of the alleged testatrix and after the taking of the declaration of the authors of the signatures which appear three times and in different parts of the manuscript. ID. ID. except as provided in the preceding section. as aforesaid. Lino Mendoza a mi ruego y bajo mi direccion. 1918.) Lino Mendoza—"Attesting witnesses. and by his express direction.) Then come three signatures. where it is written on both sides of the same sheet. 1920 ] IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF REMIGIA SAGUINSIN.R." AND PAGE DISTINGUISHED." (Testigo que escribio este testamento a ruego y bajo la libre y voluntaria direccion personal de la misma testadora. 190 as amended by Act No. or by the testator‟s name written by some other person in his presence." (Testigos del testamento.[ G." used in the Spanish term of the law. and the fact that the testator signed the will and every page thereof. sign in the presence of the witnesses this will written by D. There was presented in the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila for allowance an instrument which the petitioner calls the will of Remigia Saguinsin. on the left margin.

The second page. 2645 it is impossible to allow the so-called will which violates said law. "hoja" and "pagina" are used indifferently as may be seen in the following part which says: "El atestiguamiento hara constar el numero de hojas o paginas utiles en que esta extendido el testamento. the testatrix. as aforesaid. a result for the prevention of which this manner of authenticity by affixing the signature on each page and not merely on each folio was provided for by law." According to the same dictionary "pagina (page) is each one of the two faces or planes of the leaf of a book or notebook: that which is written or printed on each page. in conformity with Act No. the authenticity of all three of them should be guaranteed with the signatures of the alleged testatrix and her witnesses. the concluding part of the will does not express what that law. three pages having been written.And upon considering the case on appeal. amendatory to section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The English text which requires the signing of pages and not merely leaves or folios should prevail. requisite the law has been obviously violated. This defect is radical and totally vitiates the testament. and the second page would then have been included in the citation. on the left margin. "Hoja. y su uto. The judgment appealed from is affirmed." None of these requirements appear in the attesting clause at the end of the document presented." according to the Diccionario de la Academia. It may very well be that it was subsequently added thereby substituting the will of the testatrix. In the English texi the word "pages" does not leave any room for doubt and i1 is invariably used in the text of the law. 1918. 2711). what is written on the reverse side of the first." Two pages constitute one leaf. P200" (A mi sobrino Catalino Ignacio doscientos pesos) and from that part then immediately follows folio No. under pain of nullity." The English text differs from the Spanish text: the former says only pages (paginas) while the latter puts (hojas). It is so provided in section 15 of the Administrative Code (Act No. "is with respect to books or notebooks folio. 2645. There is nothing which gives the assurance that the testatrix ordered the insertion of all the contents of page 2. engenders the doubt whether what is written thereon was ordered written by the alleged testatrix or was subsequently added by the same hand that drew the first page and the date that appears on the third. as amended. One page represents only one-half of one leaf." This failure to comply with the law also vitiates the will and invalidates it. should have been stated. It is possible that this document consists of only the two folios numbered 1 and 2. this court decides: That. This is a defect so radical that there is no way by which what is written on the reverse side of the first folio may be held valid. for example I have read only two pages of this book. 2645 provides: "The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will shall also sign. the testament ending at the foot of the first folio with the legacy "To my nephew Catalino Ignacio. .. By the failure to comply with this. whereas in the Spanish text. The English text requires that the signature which guarantees the genuineness of the testament shall be placed on the left hand margin of each page and that each page should be numbered by letter in the upper part This requirement is entirely lacking on the second page that is. Section 618. first folio and the reverse side.) There is nothing which guarantees all the contents of page 2. Said Act No. and said pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each sheet." that is. It is not enough that the signatures guaranteeing authenticity should appear upon two folios or leaves. The margin of this page is absolutely blank. That besides this violation there is another as evident as the preceding. 2— "Manila a tres de Octubre de mil novecientos diez y ocho—Yo la testadora firmo en presencia etc. October 3. requires. According to the old method of paging "folio 1. each and every page thereof. and that on the reverse side of number 1 nothing may have been written upon the order of the testatrix. sign in the presence of etc. says: "The attestation shall state the number of sheets or pages used upon which the will is written * * *. on the reverse side of the first. as the second page is lacking in authenticity. with costs of thin instance against the appellant." (Manila.—I. e. With this non-fulfillment alone of Act No. i.

ANASTACIA ABANGAN ET AL. DIALECT IN WHICH WRITTEN.R. In requiring this signature on the margin. We are of the opinion that the will was duly admitted to probate. duly probated as Ana Abangan‟s will. 1. the case of a will written on several sheets and must have referred to the sheets which the testator and the witnesses do not have to sign at the bottom. ID. November 12. if repeated on the margin. 13431. their signatures on the left margin of said sheet would be completely purposeless. executrix-appellee. if the signatures at the bottom of the sheet guaranties its authenticity. 3. TESTATOR‟S SIGNATURE. and if they do not guaranty. duly signed at the bottom by Martin Montalban (in the name and under the direction of the testatrix) and by three witnesses. A different interpretation would assume that the statute requires that this sheet. thereby changing the testator‟s dispositions. it is not necessary that both sheets be further signed on their margins by the testator and the witnesses. the first of which contains all of the disposition of the testatrix. But when these dispositions are wholly written on only one sheet signed at the bottom by the testator and three witnesses (as the instant case).[G. As these signatures must be written by the testator and the witnesses in the presence of each other. already signed at the bottom. consists of two sheets. GERTRUDIS ABANGAN. as its name implies. give sufficient security. No. undoubtedly. Act No. In requiring that each and every sheet of the will should also be signed on the left margin by the testator and three witnesses in the presence of each other. We cannot attribute to the statute such an intention. would add nothing. In requiring that each and every page of a will must be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper . — The testator‟s signature is not necessary in the attestation clause because this. affixed on another part of same sheet. and these omissions. From this decision the opponents appealed. to presume that she knew this dialect in which her will is written. v. another signature on its left margin would be unnecessary. 2. be signed twice. are defects whereby the probate of the will should have been denied. nor numbered by letters. The following sheet contains only the attestation clause duly signed at the bottom by the three instrumental witnesses. WILLS.. or be paged. Said document. ID. PRESUMPTION. ATTESTATION. according to appellants‟ contention. in the absence of any proof to the contrary. it appears that. ] In re will of Ana Abangan.. On September 19. same signatures. 1919. the statute took into consideration. opponents-appellants.. ID. Neither of these sheets is signed on the left margin by the testatrix and the three witnesses. 1917. the Court of First Instance of Cebu admitted to probate Ana Abangan‟s will executed July. 1916. 2645 (which is the one applicable in the case) evidently has for its object (referring to the body of the will itself) to avoid the substitution of any of said sheets. We cannot assume that the statute regards of such importance the place where the testator and the witnesses must sign on the sheet that it would consider that their signatures written on the bottom do not guaranty the authenticity of the sheet but. — In a will consisting of two sheets the first of which contains all the testamentary dispositions and is signed at the bottom by the testator and three witnesses and the second contains only the attestation clause and is signed also at the bottom by the three witnesses. appertains only to the witnesses and not to the testator. — The circumstance appearing in the will itself that same was executed in the city of Cebu and in the dialect of this locality where the testatrix was a neighbor is enough.

that adds nothing but demands more requisites entirely unnecessary. it is likewise clear that the object of Act No. the judgment appealed from is hereby affirmed with costs against the appellants.part of the sheet. or be paged. the will. must be disregarded. any other interpretation whatsoever. on the other hand. Wherefore. . as its name implies. For the foregoing considerations. the signatures of the testatrix and of the three witnesses on the margin and the numbering of the pages of the sheet are formalities not required by the statute. useless and frustrative of the testator‟s last will. 2645 is to know whether any sheet of the will has been removed. The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close the door against bad faith and fraud. cannot be hidden. to presume that she knew this dialect in which this will is written. it is not necessary that both sheets be further signed on their margins by the testator and the witnesses. but executes. So when an interpretation already given assures such ends. when all the dispositive parts of a will are written .on one sheet only. referring specially to the signature of the testatrix. But. without considering whether or not this clause is an essential part of the will. we hold that in a will consisting of two sheets the first of which contains all the testamentary dispositions and is signed at the bottom by the testator and three witnesses and the second contains only the attestation clause and is signed also at the bottom by the three witnesses. But. also one must not lose sight of the fact that it is not the object of the law to restrain and curtail the exercise of the right to make a will. Therefore the laws on this subject should be interpreted in such a way as to attain these primordial ends. in the absence of any proof to the contrary. the object of the statute disappears because the removal of this single sheet. As another ground for this appeal. So ordered. we hold that in the one accompanying the will in question. What has been said is also applicable to the attestation clause. it is alleged the records do not show that the testatrix knew the dialect in which the will is written. to avoid substitution of wills and testaments and to guaranty their truth and authenticity. we can add that same is not necessary in the attestation clause because this. Moreover. Synthesizing our opinion. But the circumstance appearing in the will itself that same was executed in the city of Cebu and in the dialect of this locality where the testatrix was a neighbor is enough. although unnumbered. appertains only to the witnesses and not to the testator since the latter does not attest.

. — contradictions in the testimony of the instrumental witnesses as are set out in the appellant‟s brief are incidents. DISCRETION OF COURT. AGUSTIN LIBORO. and its ruling will not be disturbed in the appellate court where no abuse of discretion appears.. ADMISSION OF FURTHER EVIDENCE AFTER MOTION FOR NONSUIT OF DEMURRER TO EVIDENCE. U. PAGING. for good reasons. CONTRADICTIONS ON INCIDENTS. or where the purpose of the evidence is to correct evidence previously offered. 804. or a demurrer to the evidence.[G. may be supplied by other forms of identification more trustworthy than the conventional numeral words or characters. PROOF "ALIUNDE. JOSE S. — The purpose of the law in prescribing the paging of wills is to guard against fraud. DISCRETION OF COURT. LANGUAGE. (Siuliong & Co. if that be necessary... and the case may be reopened after the court has announced its intention as to its ruling on the request. but the court.. Abangan. 3. OMISSION OF PAGE NUMBER SUPPLIED BY OTHER MEANS OF IDENTIFICATION. WITNESSES.. Far from being an evidence of falsehood. Oppositor-Appellant. (Abangan v. SIGNATURE BY MARK. PURPOSE. S... WILLS. August 27. CREDIBILITY OF. 2. 393. EVIDENCE. . Ylagan.) So. additional evidence is allowed when it is newly discovered.. or where it has been omitted through inadvertence or mistake.. ID. Alviar. v. or to recall in the same order in which they occurred. generally. or entered upon the minutes or signed. and this discretion will not be reviewed except where it has clearly been abused. the contradictions constitute an evidence of good faith. ID. 5.. KNOWLEDGE OF TESTATOR NEED NOT BE EXPRESSED IN WILL. 6. 40 Phil. EVIDENCE ALLOWABLE AFTER DIRECT PROOFS. ID. or demurrer. in the furtherance of justice. and to afford means of preventing the substitution or of detecting the loss of any of its pages. may permit them to offer evidence upon their original case. ID. 7. 476. No. SYLLABUS 1. L-1787. if the order has not been written. ID. — It is within the sound discretion of the court whether or not it will allow the case to be reopened for the further introduction of evidence after a motion or request for a nonsuit. ] Testacy of Sixto Lopez. LOPEZ v. It is a matter that may be established by proof aliunde. 1948. ID. — It is within the discretion of the court whether or not to admit further evidence after the party offering the evidence has rested. — A statute requiring a will to be "signed" is satisfied if the signature is made by the testator‟s mark. ADMISSION OF FURTHER EVIDENCE AFTER PARTY HAS RESTED. v." — There is no statutory requirement that the testator‟s understanding of the language used in the will be expressed therein. they are allowed to offer rebutting evidence only. not all of which every one of the witnesses can be supposed to have perceived. 36 Phil. ID. or has granted it or has denied the same. motion. or after the motion has been granted.R.) The omission to put a page number on a sheet. 4. EVIDENCE. ID. — After the parties have produced their respective direct proofs. 43 Phil.

the attestation clause. 922 are decisive of this issue. This. or to recall in the same order in which they occurred. the matter of the credibility of the witnesses is assailed under this heading." the invocation of the Almighty. Abangan v. to wit: (1) that the deceased never executed the alleged will."cralaw virtua1aw library The will in question comprises two pages. each of which is written on one side of a separate sheet. Such contradictions in the testimony of the instrumental witnesses as are set out in the appellant‟s brief are incidents not all of which every one of the witnesses can be supposed to have perceived. and (5) that the signature of the testator was procured by fraud or trick. and a recital that the testator was in full use of his testamentary faculty. 46 Phil. and the herein proponent. is a fatal defect. almost six months after the document in question was executed. and it was procured by duress. the other sheet can not by any possibility be taken for other than page one. Furthermore. Clemencia Lopez. it was not executed and attested as required by law. (4) that. in the logical order of sequence. the first and second lines on the second page are undeniably a continuation of the last sentence of the testament. he was wanting in testamentary as well as mental capacity due to advanced age. Vergel de Dios." To this objection is added the alleged error of the court "in allowing the petitioner to introduce evidence that Exhibit "A" was written in a language known to the decedent after petitioner rested his case and over the vigorous objection of the oppositor. and far from being an evidence of falsehood constitute a demonstration of good faith. the present appellant specified five grounds for his opposition. Abangan. the appellant believes. The first sheet is not paged either in letters or in Arabic numerals. and one of the alleged instrumental witnesses was incapacitated to act as such.In the Court of First Instance of Batangas the appellant opposed unsuccessfully the probate of what purports to be the last will and testament (Exhibit A) of Don Sixto Lopez. and Fernandez v. supra. who died at the age of 83 in Balayan. Jose S. The unnumbered page is clearly identified as the first page by the internal sense of its contents considered in relation to the contents of the second page. Batangas. on March 3. influence of fear and threats and undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of the beneficiaries instituted therein. Although not falling within the purview and scope of the first assignment of error. the mark of the testator and the signatures of the witnesses. (Abangan v. 1947. Abangan. the omission to put a page number on the first sheet. The purpose of the law in prescribing the paging of wills is to guard against fraud. as page two contains only the two lines above mentioned. 476. which starts at the bottom of the preceding page.. (3) that at the time of the execution of the will. (2) that his signature appearing in said will was a forgery. formulated in these words: "That the court a quo erred in holding that the document Exhibit "A" was executed in all particulars as required by law. the unnumbered page contains the caption "TESTAMENTO. if that be necessary. "Everyday life and the result of investigations made in the field of experimental psychology show that the contradictions of witnesses generally occur in the details of a certain incident. precede the direction for the disposition of the maker‟s property. Inasmuch as not all those who witness an incident are impressed in like manner. In the court below. In this instance only one of these objections is reiterated. before the attestation clause. is supplied by other forms of identification more trustworthy than the conventional numeral words or characters. Lopez. after a long series of questionings. Again. it is but natural that in . and to afford means of preventing the substitution or of detecting the loss of any of its pages.. 40 Phil. By their meaning and coherence. On the merits we do not believe that the appellant‟s contention deserves serious consideration.) In the present case. principally the testator‟s sister. — all of which. if he did ever execute said will.

. for good reasons. U. 64 C. A statute requiring a will to be "signed" is satisfied if the signature is made by the testator‟s mark. It was due to a misapprehension or oversight. and this discretion will not be reviewed except where it has clearly been abused. 804. J. as appellant contends should have been done.. It is a matter that may be established by proof aliunde. or entered upon the minutes or signed. v.. v. Gonzales and Ona. it is within the sound discretion of the court whether or not it will allow the case to be reopened for the further introduction of evidence after a motion or request for a nonsuit. hence. with costs. if the order has not been written. and its ruling will not be disturbed in the appellate court where no abuse of discretion appears. after the petitioner had rested his case and after the opponent had moved for dismissal of the petition on the ground of insufficiency of evidence. In fact. in the furtherance of justice.) In this jurisdiction this rule has been followed.) So. (Siuliong & Co.. or after the motion has been granted.) More. or a demurrer to the evidence. There is no statutory requirement that such knowledge be expressly stated in the will itself. 160. Ylagan. 49 Phil." (People v. in which the probate of a will written in Tagalog was ordered although it did not say that the testator knew that idiom.) The omission to present evidence on the testator‟s knowledge of Spanish had not been deliberate. 43 Phil. (64 C. motion. S.) With reference to the second assignment of error. the appellant impugns the will for its silence on the testator‟s understanding of the language used in the testament. After the parties have produced their respective direct proofs. It was a matter of taste or preference. 117. 108. additional evidence is allowed when it is newly discovered. but. 164. there was not even extraneous proof on the subject other than the fact that the testator resided in a Tagalog region. The reason for this was that the testator was suffering from "partial paralysis. 53 Phil. C. It is within the discretion of the court whether or not to admit further evidence after the party offering the evidence has rested. generally. we do not share the opinion that the trial court committed an abuse of discretion in allowing the appellant to offer evidence to prove knowledge of Spanish by the testator. 545. from which the court said "a presumption arises that said Maria Tapia knew the Tagalog dialect. Although alien to the second assignment of error.. or has granted it or has denied the same. (64 C.relating their impressions they should not agree in the minor details. . the court. or where it has been omitted through inadvertence or mistake.. they are allowed to offer rebutting evidence only. (I Moran‟s Comments on the Rules of Court. Alviar. may permit them to offer evidence upon their original case. Limbo. the contradictions in their testimony. 28 R. This Court so impliedly ruled in Gonzales v."cralaw virtua1aw library The order of the lower court ordering the probate of the last will and testament of Don Sixto Lopez is affirmed.) The testator affixed his thumbmark to the instrument instead of signing his name. Laurel. (De Gala v. 46 Phil. J. 36 Phil. the language in which the will is drawn.... there is nothing curious or suspicious in the fact that the testator chose the use of mark as the means of authenticating his will. 393. 781. 99." While another in testator‟s place might have directed someone else to sign for him. or where the purpose of the evidence is to correct evidence previously offered. L. 2d ed. J. it has been held. and the case may be reopened after the court has announced its intention as to its ruling on the request. Both ways are good.. 160-163. or demurrer.

Pambujan. LACK OF SIGNATURES OF ATTESTING WITNESSES AT BOTTOM OF ATTESTATION CLAUSE. 1953. The main objection insisted upon by the appellants is that the will is fatally defective. This is untenable. The attestation clause is "a memorandum of the facts attending the execution of the will" required by law to be made by the attesting witnesses. ET AL SYLLABUS 1. L-5826. We are of the opinion that the position taken by the appellant is correct. An unsigned attestation clause cannot be considered as an act of the witnesses. If an attestation clause not signed by the three witnesses at the bottom thereof. the appealed decision is reversed and the probate of the will in question denied. There is no question that the signatures of the three witnesses to the will do not appear at the bottom of the attestation clause. The petitioner and appellee contends that signatures of the three witnesses on the left-hand margin conform substantially to the law and may be deemed as their signatures to the attestation clause. although the page containing the same is signed by the witnesses on the left-hand margin. although the page containing the same is signed by the witnesses on the left-hand margin. PELAGIO CAGRO. it would be easy to add such clause to a will on a subsequent occasion and in the absence of the testator and any or all of the witnesses. 1949. ] Testate estate of the late VICENTE CAGRO. WILLS. The attestation clause is "a memorandum of the facts attending the execution of the will" required by law to be made by the attesting witnesses. So ordered with costs against the petitioner and appellee. ATTESTATION CLAUSE. Wherefore. because its attestation clause is not signed by the attesting witnesses. — Inasmuch as the signatures of the three witnesses to the will do not appear at the bottom of the attestation clause.R. and it must necessarily bear their signatures. and it must necessarily bear their signatures. JESUSA CAGRO v. because said signatures are in compliance with the legal mandate that the will be signed on the left-hand margin of all its pages. April 29. No. the will is fatally defective. Samar. . IS FATAL DEFECT. since the omission of their signatures at the bottom thereof negatives their participation. admitting to probate the will allegedly executed by Vicente Cagro who died in Laoangan. on February 14. This is an appeal interposed by the oppositors from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Samar.[G. be admitted as sufficient.

838) for the probate of another alleged will executed by the testatrix on May 5. oppositors-appellants.. 1948 (Exhibit 2-Alejandro and Juan Gonzales). STATEMENT OF SHEETS OR PAGES IN BODY OF WILL HELD SUFFICIENT WHEN CONSIDERED IN CONNECTION WITH ATTESTATION CLAUSE. L-3272-73 November 29. the children of the testatrix filed mutual oppositions to one or the other instruments tending to negative their respective positions.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library . Manuel Ibarra Vda. ID. with the result that her estate should be distributed as if she died intestate. 1951 MANUEL GONZALES vs. Jr.. substantially complies with the requirements of law. — The statement in the penultimate paragraph of the will as to the number of the sheets or pages used is sufficient attestation which may be considered in conjunction with the last paragraph which was herein held as the attestation clause. without impairing the legitimes of the other children.. The estate left by her is estimated at P150. Alejandro Gonzales. Leopoldo Gonzales. Manuel Gonzales filed in the Court of First Instance of Rizal a petition (Special Proceeding No.. — Where the family physician attended the testatrix during her last illness and saw her on the day when the alleged document of revocation was executed. namely. the testimony of the attesting witnesses tending to imply that the testatrix was of sound mind at the time said document was executed. they had been revoked by the testatrix in an instrument executed by her on November 18. devising to Manuel Gonzales the greater portion of the estate. and JUAN GONZALES. ID. leaving five children. 1942.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library In his opposition filed on February 16. ID. — An attestation clause made by the testator himself more than by the instrumental witnesses. JR. petitioner-appellee. leaving to Manolita G. ALEJANDRO GONZALES. WILLS.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library On December 22. 837) for the probate of an alleged will executed by the testatrix on November 16. and May 5. ATTESTATION CLAUSE MADE BY TESTATOR AND SIGNED BY WITNESSES.G. 3. 2. 1949. SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLIES WITH LAW. Manolita G.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library With the exception of Leopoldo Gonzales. MANOLITA GONZALES DE CARUNGCONG. assuming their validity. de Carungcong the greater bulk of the estate. sought the disallowance of the wills executed on November 16. 1948. Nos. 1948. de Gonzales (hereafter to be referred to as testatrix) died at the age of about seventy-eight years. without impairing the legitimes of the other children. TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY. On November 27. Carungcong).000. de Carungcong filed in the same court a petition (Special Proceeding No. 1945 (Exhibit 1Manolita G. SYLLABUS 1. and Juan Gonzales. 1942 (Exhibit B-Manuel Gonzales). Manolita Gonzales de Carungcong. 1945. Alejandro Gonzales. but signed by the latter right under the signature of the testator. 1948.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library On December 31.R. TESTIMONY OF ATTENDING PHYSICIAN PREVAILS OVER THAT OF TESTAMENTARY WITNESSES. cannot prevail over the contrary testimony of the attending physician. The law does not require the attestation to be contained in a single clause. on the ground that.

is of the following form and tenor: IKALABING-DALAWA.) BIENVENIDO DE LOS REYES (Sgd.) TAHIMIK T. SAYOC (Sgd.) LUIS GAERLAN . DE GONZALES MANUELA IBARRA VDA.After a joint hearing. From this judgment petitioner Manuel Gonzales and oppositors Alejandro Gonzales. and said will is hereby admitted probate.Manuel Gonzales.Manolita G. DE GONZALES Mga Saksi o Testigos: (Sgd. the will executed by the testatrix on May 5. na nakaharap dito sa ating paglagda o pagfirma ang tatlong saksi o testigos.Alejandro and Juan Gonzales being executed without the knowledge and testamentary capacity of the testatrix and being contrary to the provisions of section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. (Sgd. Carungcong in accordance with the provisions of section 623 of the Code of Civil Procedure. the Court of First Instance of Rizal rendered a decision with the following dispositive pronouncements: All facts considered in the light of the evidence presented and in the manner in which the witnesses testified the court concludes and holds: chanrobles virtual law library First: That Exhibit B . the said document is hereby declared null and void. Na ang aking HULING BILIN AT TESTAMENTONG ito ay binubuo ng PITONG (7) dahon o pagina na may bilang na sunud-sunod at ang bawa't dahon o pagina ay mayroong tunay kong lagda o firma. and Juan Gonzales have appealed. 1945. at ganoon din silang mga saksi ko ay nangag-lagda o nagsi-firma sa tagilirang kaliwa ng lahat at bawa't isa sa mga dahon o pagina nitong aking testamento. though validly executed on November 16. Carungcong having been executed in accordance with law the same is hereby declared as the true and last will and testament of the deceased Manuela Ibarra Viuda de Gonzales. was revoked by Exhibit 1-Manolita G. 1942.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Third: That Exhibit 1 . At aking ding nilagdaan o pinirmahan ang tagilirang kaliwa ng lahat at bawa't dahon o pagina nitong testamento kong ito sa harap ng lahat at bawa't isang saksi o testigos at ang lahat at bawa't isa naman sa kanila ay nangagsilagda o nagsifirma din dito bilang saksi ko sa harap ko at sa harap ng lahat at bawa't isa sa kanila. gayon din ang lahat ng aking saksi o testigos.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library In the parts material to the present appeal. Jr.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Second: That Exhibit 2 . Kavite.) MANUELA Y. VDA. Filipinas ngayong ika-5 ng Mayo ng taong 1945.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library SA KATUNAYAN ng lahat ng isinasaysay ko dito ay aking nilagdaan ito dito sa Imus. The appeal as to Juan Gonzales was dismissed in view of his failure to pay the proportionate share of the printing cost of the record on appeal.

Justice Bautista. "in the possibility that the testator in the present case. as the witnesses. 1945. is sufficient attestation which may be considered in conjunction with the last paragraph. the statement in the penultimate paragraph of the will hereinabove quoted as to the number of sheets or pages used. or the person or persons who prepared the will had relied upon the ruling laid down in the case of Aldaba vs.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Instrumental witnesses. This apparent anomaly. Roque. it is not valid because it is the act of the testatrix and not of the witnesses. shows that they have in fact attested not only to the genuineness of his signature but also to the due execution of the will as embodied in the attestation clause. 807. have signed the said declaration. 378. Vol. however. 45 Phil. 1951 * we sustained. finding a precedent in Aldaba vs.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The attestation clause contained in the body of the will being thus valid.It is contended for the appellants that this will does not contain any attestation clause.. While perfection in the drafting of a will may be desirable. assuming the concluding paragraph to be the attestation clause.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library In the very recent case of Valentina Cuevas vs. L-3497. there appear the signatures of the three instrumental witnesses. an attestation clause made by the testator and forming part of the body of the will.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The result reached in respect of the sufficiency of the will (Exhibit 1-Manolita G. supra. we are of the opinion and so hold that the words above quoted of the testament constitute a sufficient compliance with the requirements of Act No.. therefore. The only apparent anomaly we find is that it appears to be an attestation made by the testator himself more than by the instrumental witnesses. The fact that the three instrumental witnesses have signed the will immediately under the signature of the testator. is not in our opinion serious nor substantial as to affect the validity of the will. Pilar Achacoso. as in this case. Carongcong) having been executed on May 5. we held: The clause above quoted is the attestation clause referred to in the law which. the will (Exhibit 1Manolita G. 1115. In upholding the validity of the will. Of course three of the Justices of this Court concurred in the result. however. and because it does not state the number of sheets or pages of the will. Roque. it appearing that right under the signature of the testator. is on who takes part in the execution of an instrument or writing" (in re will of Tan Diuco. Roque. It is significant that the law does not require the attestation to be contained in a single clause.. 378). the court said: chanrobles virtual law library In reality. as defined by Escriche in his Diccionario Razobada de Legislacion. unsubstantial departure from the usual forms should be ignored. especially when the authenticity of the will is not assailed.R. together with the testatrix." But the case at bar still falls within this view. In that case. substantially complies with its requirements. Carongcong) necessarily disposes of the contention of the appellant Manuel Gonzales that the trial court erred in not admitting to . An instrumental witness. 4. G. No. in our opinion. it appears that it is the testatrix who makes the declaration about the points in the last paragraph of the will. the attestation clause formed part of the body of the will and its recital was made by the testatrix herself and was signed by her and by the three instrumental witnesses. 43 Phil. and that it would now be unfair to reject the present will when in its preparation a ruling of this Court has been followed. Through Mr. 2465. decided May. y Jurisprudencia. p.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The attestation clause in question bears also similarity with the attestation clause in the will involved in Aldaba vs. 809). that. (43 Phil. does not merely attest to the signature of the testator but also to the proper execution of the will.

Leveriza. to avoid hypostatic pneumonia. 20 Phil. contends that the testatrix lacked the testamentary capacity when she allegedly executed the instrument of revocation. the latters's testimony remains uncontradicted. that he had a hunch that "they were taking advantage of the last moment of the deceased and they were trying to make me an instrument in the accomplishment of their aims. Dr. since the latter will must be considered revoked by the subsequent will (Exhibit 1-Manolita G. Leveriza has given the reason for this prescription. de Carungcong. The following is the testimony of Dr. Carongcong) has been revoked by the testatrix in the instrument of November 18. In the letter introducing her to the hospital authorities (Exhibit E-Manuel Gonzales). namely. 1948: While appellant Alejandro Gonzales. Appellee Manolita G. she had aphasia and on November 15. the following considerations amply support the appealed decision:. Leveriza was not an expert.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library 1. Leveriza.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library It is also argued that if the testatrix was in a comatose condition. because even Dr. has attempted to show that Dr. Dr. Jr. dito sa ciudad ng Pasay. may sapat na gulang at naninirahan sa ciudad ng Rizal. DE GONZALES. that the will (Exhibit 1Manolita G. reliance is placed on the case of Caguioa vs. Ramon C.". 1948. Particularly on November 18. Dr. . Dr. Dr. Leveriza stated that the testatrix was suffering from hypertension and cerebral thrombosis. Calderon. Carongcong).chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Sa katunayan ng lahat ng ito at sa pagkat hindi ako makalagda ngayon ang pina-kiusapan si Constancio Padilla na ilagda ako sa kasulatang ito ngayon ika-17 ng Noviembre ng taong ito 1948. Jr. the testatrix had suffered from hypertension. Leveriza portraying the physical condition of the testatrix up to November 18." and that he had the idea that the testatrix was in doubtful condition because he "could only judge from the people going there. On November 14. For more than ten years prior to her death.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library What remains to be discussed is the claim of appellant Alejandro Gonzales." However. 1948 (Exhibit 2-Alejandro and Juan Gonzales) which provides as follows: Ako.. 400. her case appeared serious. when the alleged instrument of revocation was executed by her. We have examined the record and found no valid reason for reversing the finding of said court which had the benefit of observing and hearing the witnesses testify.probate the will (Exhibit B-Manuel Gonzales). cannot prevail over the findings of the attending physician.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library In support of the contention that the testimony of the attesting witnesses should be given more credence than the opinion of an expert witness. Upon the other hand. like Manuel Gonzales (as appellee). The fact that the testimony of the attesting witnesses tends to imply that the testatrix was of sound mind at the time the alleged instrument of revocation was executed. Jose C. 1948. 1948. Leveriza would not have ordered to "let her sit on bed or on chair and let her turn on her side sometime. MANUEL YBARRA VDA. she was taken to the hospital upon advice of the family physician. may mahusay at wastong pag-iisip at mabuting pagtatanda. Talavera (an attesting witness) testified that although he had not examined the testatrix. and their contention was sustained by the trial court. sa pamamagitan ng kasulatang ito at bilang huling kapasiyahan ay sinasaysay ko ito at ipinahahayag sa ngayon sa alin mang testamento o huling habilin na napirmahan kong una sa kasulatang ito ay pinawawalan ko ng saysay at kabuluhang lahat pagkat hindi iyong tunay kong kalooban ngayon. the testatrix was in a comatose and unconscious state and could not talk or understand.

contrary to the recital of the attestation clause. some documents of transfer which he wanted to examine in connection with the preparation of the desired instrument of revocation. In the first place. and Neyra vs.. to which two questions the testatrix allegedly answered "Yes". We are inclined to state that these excuses are rather poor. The former refer to situations in which the doctors were not in a position to certify definitely as the testamentary capacity of the testators at the time the wills therein involved were executed. if she was agreeable to the instrument of revocation prepared by Jose Padilla. 22 Phil. since the instrument of revocation could be prepared without any reference to the details of her estate. So ordered. Off. Galvez.Bagtas vs. if really desirous of revoking her former wills. It is not pretended that the testatrix said more about the matter or gave any further instruction. The second excuse is that he was not able to secure soon enough from Alejandro Gonzales. it is obviously doubtful whether the testatrix understood the meaning and extent of the ceremony. first.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary . if she was agreeable to the signing of said document by Constancio Padilla. Neyra. right then and there. without more. the testatrix cannot rightly be said to have published her last will to the attesting witnesses. the instrument (Exhibit 2-Alejandro and Juan Gonzales) is couched in general terms. Gaz. and secondly. he could have very easily informed the testatrix and the latter. Galvez vs. Assuming that the testatrix answered in the affirmative the two questions of Constancio Padilla. affirmed without costs. would have employed another to prepare the requisite document. 44 Phil. and for the third time several days before the latter date (November 1. 1948. 2790 ** These cases are notably distinguishable from the case at bar. 485. the latter was asked by the testatrix to prepare the necessary document as early as in the month of May. Jr. The fact that there were disputes between the children of the testatrix certainly was not an obstacle to the accomplishment of the wish of the testatrix. therefore. it is hard to rule that the testatrix had sufficient testamentary capacity at the time of the execution of the alleged instrument of revocation. according to the testimony of Jose Padilla. We cannot help expressing our surprise at the fact that the instrument of revocation was allegedly executed on November 18. Samson vs. and reminded about it for the second time weeks before November 1. 26 Phil. 1948. whereas the case now before us involves a family physician who attended the testatrix during her last illness and saw her on the day when the alleged instrument of revocation was executed. The first excuse given by Jose Padilla for the delay is that he was busy and the children of the testatrix had certain disputes which he tried to settle. we cannot fairly attribute to her manifestation of her desire to proceed.. 42. 48 Phil.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library 3. Paguio.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library 2. If Jose Padilla was too busy to give attention to the matter. Jr. Tablizo. with the signing of the questioned instrument. Constancio Padilla (brother of Jose Padilla) merely asked the testatrix. because they had not observed the testators on said dates or never saw them... when..chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The appealed decision is. Even under the theory of the appellant Alejandro Gonzales. Indeed. Corrales Tan Quintin. 227. 573. 1948). In other words. 1948. 243. and their presence was not even mentioned to her. Amata vs. Neither was it necessary to examine the documents relating to the properties of the testatrix. The attesting witnesses were not introduced to the testatrix.

Igsolo. the Court is provided the opportunity to assert a few important doctrinal rules in the execution of notarial wills. Any one of these defects is sufficient to deny probate.R. Block 24 na pag-aari ng Pechaten Corporation. all self-evident in view of Articles 805 and 806 of the Civil Code. In refusing to give legal recognition to the due execution of this document. Petitioner is the son of the cousin of the decedent. A will whose attestation clause does not contain the number of pages on which the will is written is fatally defective. The case stems from a petition for probate filed on 10 April 1984 with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. And perhaps most importantly. nasa hustong pagi-isip. numero 43. Sampaloc. . v. a will which does not contain an acknowledgment. at binabali wala ko lahat ang naunang ginawang habilin o testamento: Una-Hinihiling ko na ako ay mailibing sa Sementerio del Norte. There is a distinct and consequential reason the Civil Code provides a comprehensive catalog of imperatives for the proper execution of a notarial will. A notarial will executed with indifference to these two codal provisions opens itself to nagging questions as to its legitimacy. Lot 42. which was notarized on 10 June 1981. who died on 16 December 1982 at the age of 80.. AMEN: AKO. Article 806 likewise imposes another safeguard to the validity of notarial wills . La Loma sang-ayong sa kaugalian at patakaran ng simbahang katoliko at ang taga-pag-ingat (Executor) ng habiling ito ay magtatayo ng bantayog upang silbing ala-ala sa akin ng aking pamilya at kaibigan.that they be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses. 2006] FELIX AZUELA. na siyang nag-alaga sa akin sa mahabang panahon. but a mere jurat.. si EUGENIA E. IGSOLO SA NGALAN NG MAYKAPAL. COURT OF APPEALS The core of this petition is a highly defective notarial will. ganoon din ibinibigay ko ang lahat ng karapatan sa bahay na nakatirik sa inoopahan kong lote. A will whose attestation clause is not signed by the instrumental witnesses is fatally defective. Petitioner. pag-unawa at memoria ay nag-hahayag na ito na ang aking huling habilin at testamento. Full and faithful compliance with all the detailed requisites under Article 805 of the Code leave little room for doubt as to the validity in the due execution of the notarial will. consisting of two (2) pages and written in the vernacular Pilipino.[G. Ipinagkakaloob kong buong buo ang lahat ng karapatan sa bahay at lupa na nasa 500 San Diego St. Igsolo (decedent). NO. purportedly executed by Eugenia E. read in full: HULING HABILIN NI EUGENIA E. yaong mga bahay na nakatirik sa lote numero 28. nakatira sa 500 San Diego St. Manila. Pangalawa-Aking ipinagkakaloob at isinasalin ang lahat ng karapatan sa aking pamangkin na si Felix Azuela. Block 24 at nakapangalan sa Pechaten Korporasyon. is fatally defective. The petition filed by petitioner Felix Azuela sought to admit to probate the notarial will of Eugenia E. pitongput siyam (79) na gulang. A notarial will with all three defects is just aching for judicial rejection. IGSOLO. 122880 : April 12. The will.

A-7717-37 Issued at Manila on March 10. Sampaloc. sa ilalim ng nasabing kasulatan at sa kaliwang panig ng lahat at bawa't dahon ng kasulatan ito. tagapagmana na siya niyang Huling Habilin. Cavite Res. Cavite on Feb. Cert. 1981 LAMBERTO C.) EUGENIA E. Aking nilagdaan ang Huling Habilin na ito dito sa Maynila ika 10 ng Hunyo. 1981.MA. 3. No. Cert. A-458365 Issued at Manila on Jan. EUGENIA E. Cert. G. San Gabriel. A574829 Issued at Manila on March 2. 1981 JUANITO ESTRERA address: City Court Compound. Kahilum Pandacan. Blcok 7. Manila Res.Na ninunumbrahan ko si VART PAGUE na siyang nagpapatupad ng huling habiling ito at kagustuhan ko rin na hindi na kailanman siyang mag-lagak ng piyansiya. Lot 61.Block 24. (Sgd. IGSOLO address: 500 San Diego St. City of Manila Res. 1981. No. LEAÄO address: Avenue 2. A-768277 issued at Carmona. Igsolo. na binubuo ng ____ dahon pati ang huling dahong ito. QUIRINO AGRAVA address: 1228-Int. na ipinahayag sa amin ni Eugenia E. Pangatlo . at kami namang mga saksi ay lumagda sa harap ng nasabing tagapagmana at sa harap ng lahat at bawa't isa sa amin. Manila kay Felix Azuela at ang pagkakaloob kong ito ay walang pasubali't at kondiciones. No. ay nilagdaan ng nasabing tagapagmana sa ilalim ng kasulatang nabanggit at sa kaliwang panig ng lahat at bawa't dahon.. 7. Sampaloc. No. Manila Res. 1981. . Cert. sa harap ng lahat at bawa't sa amin. ngayon ika-10 ng Hunyo 1981. IGSOLO (Tagapagmana) PATUNAY NG MGA SAKSI Ang kasulatang ito. 21.

1981 dito sa Lungsod ng Maynila. the RTC admitted the will to probate. These twin arguments are among the central matters to this petition. (Sgd. 86 . and having in mind the modern tendency in respect to the formalities in the execution of a will. After due trial. and that letters testamentary be issued to the designated executor. Igsolo. The RTC also called to fore "the modern tendency in respect to the formalities in the execution of a will x x x with the end in view of giving the testator more freedom in expressing his last wishes. and that the true purpose of its emergence was so it could be utilized as a defense in several court cases filed by oppositor against petitioner. The probate petition adverted to only two (2) heirs. "Patunay Ng Mga Saksi": . i.3 It also asserted that contrary to the representations of petitioner. who represented herself as the attorney-in-fact of "the 12 legitimate heirs" of the decedent. NOTARIO PUBLIKO Page No.6 The RTC favorably took into account the testimony of the three (3) witnesses to the will. particularly for forcible entry and usurpation of real property. 31.. 1981 Book No. Per records. who were then residing abroad. She pointed out that decedent's signature did not appear on the second page of the will. the following statement is made under the sub-title. who predeceased her mother by three (3) months. PTR-152041-1/2/81-Manila Series of 1981 TAN # 1437-977-81 The three named witnesses to the will affixed their signatures on the left-hand margin of both pages of the will. The petition was opposed by Geralda Aida Castillo (Geralda Castillo). but not at the bottom of the attestation clause. 43 . rebutted oppositor's arguments that the will was not properly executed and attested to in accordance with law.4 and the mother of a legitimate child. in an Order dated 10 August 1992. namely her grandchildren."7 and from this perspective.Nilagdaan ko at ninotario ko ngayong 10 ng Hunyo 10.2 Geralda Castillo claimed that the will is a forgery. 1232 . Until Dec. BAUTISTA Doc.e. Asuncion E. it was subsequently alleged that decedent was the widow of Bonifacio Igsolo. the liberalization of the interpretation of the law on the formal requirements of a will with the end in view of giving the testator more freedom in expressing his last wishes.5 Oppositor Geralda Castillo also argued that the will was not executed and attested to in accordance with law. who was alleged to have resided abroad. all centering on petitioner's right to occupy the properties of the decedent. this Court has noted that at the end of the will after the signature of the testatrix. the decedent was actually survived by 12 legitimate heirs. No. Quirino Agrava. this Court is persuaded to rule that the will in question is authentic and had been executed by the testatrix in accordance with law. and the will was not properly acknowledged.) PETRONIO Y. On the issue of lack of acknowledgement. and one Irene Lynn Igsolo. Petitioner prayed that the will be allowed. and Juanito Estrada. legatees and devisees of the decedent. Vart Prague. Lamberto Leano. After a careful examination of the will and consideration of the testimonies of the subscribing and attesting witnesses. namely: petitioner himself. who died in 1965.

sa harap ng lahat at bawa't sa amin. and by his express direction. the failure of the testatrix to affix her signature on the left margin of the second page. na binubuo ng _____ dahon pati ang huling dahong ito. other than a holographic will. ngayong ika-10 ng Hunyo 1981. Such being so. the testimonies of the three subscribing witnesses to the will are convincing enough to establish the genuineness of the signature of the testatrix and the due execution of the will.9 The Court of Appeals noted that the attestation clause failed to state the number of pages used in the will. the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and ordered the dismissal of the petition for probate. Igsolo. For the same reason."Ang kasulatang ito. and the second page contains the last portion of the attestation clause and acknowledgement."11 The solution to this case calls for the application of Articles 805 and 806 of the Civil Code. ay nilagdaan ng nasabing tagapagmana sa ilalim ng kasulatang nabanggit at sa kaliwang panig ng lahat at bawa't dahon. substantially satisfies the purpose of identification and attestation of the will. Art. it is worthy to note that the will is composed of only two pages. the present petition. . rather than mandatory. the defects are not of a serious nature as to invalidate the will. 805. who had substituted his since deceased mother-in-law. which contains only the last portion of the attestation clause and acknowledgment is not a fatal defect. and attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one another. In a Decision dated 17 August 1995. sa ilalim ng nasabing kasulatan at sa kaliwang panig ng lahat at bawa't dahon ng kasulatan ito.10 Hence. Every will. and thus susceptible to what he termed as "the substantial compliance rule. this Court is of the view that the signing by the subscribing witnesses on the left margin of the second page of the will containing the attestation clause and acknowledgment. Geralda Castillo. must be subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself or by the testator's name written by some other person in his presence. The first page contains the entire text of the testamentary dispositions. With regard to the oppositor's argument that the will was not numbered correlatively in letters placed on upper part of each page and that the attestation did not state the number of pages thereof.8 The Order was appealed to the Court of Appeals by Ernesto Castillo. thus rendering the will void and undeserving of probate. instead of at the bottom thereof." The aforequoted declaration comprises the attestation clause and the acknowledgement and is considered by this Court as a substantial compliance with the requirements of the law. at kami namang mga saksi ay lumagda sa harap ng nasabing tagapagmana at sa harap ng lahat at bawa't isa sa amin. na ipinahayag sa amin ni Eugenia N. As regards the oppositor's assertion that the signature of the testatrix on the will is a forgery. On the oppositor's contention that the attestation clause was not signed by the subscribing witnesses at the bottom thereof. tagapagmana na siya niyang Huling Habilin. which we replicate in full. Petitioner argues that the requirement under Article 805 of the Civil Code that "the number of pages used in a notarial will be stated in the attestation clause" is merely directory.

on the left margin. The notary public shall not be required to retain a copy of the will.14 In Uy Coque. and as the Legislature has seen fit to prescribe this requirement. each and every page thereof."16 The case of In re Will of Andrada concerned a will the attestation clause of which failed to state the number of sheets or pages used. As admitted by petitioner himself.12 There was an incomplete attempt to comply with this requisite. citing in the process Uy Coque v. in its Decision. a matter attended with much greater difficulty. in the presence of the instrumental witnesses. If. the Court made the following consideration which remains highly relevant to this day: "The purpose of requiring the number of sheets to be stated in the attestation clause is obvious. But an examination of the will itself reveals several more deficiencies. considered only one defect. a space having been allotted for the insertion of the number of pages in the attestation clause. Sioca13 and In re: Will of Andrada. Yet the appellate court itself considered the import of these two cases.20 wherein the Court allowed probate to the wills concerned therein despite the fact that the attestation clause did not state the number of pages of the will. 806. the requisite was left uncomplied with. The Court of Appeals pounced on this defect in reversing the trial court. the total number of sheets is stated in the attestation clause the falsification of the document will involve the inserting of new pages and the forging of the signatures of the testator and witnesses in the margin."17 It was further observed that "it cannot be denied that the x x x requirement affords additional security against the danger that the will may be tampered with. it shall be interpreted to them."18 Against these cited cases. The attestation shall state the number of pages used upon which the will is written. Every will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses.The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will. and that the latter witnessed and signed the will and all the pages thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. petitioner cites Singson v.15 In ruling that the will could not be admitted to probate. shall also sign. or caused some other person to write his name. it must be considered material. Art. the attestation clause fails to state the number of pages of the will. and the fact that the testator signed the will and every page thereof. the Court noted that among the defects of the will in question was the failure of the attestation clause to state the number of pages contained in the will. under his express direction. as aforesaid. the document might easily be so prepared that the removal of a sheet would completely change the testamentary dispositions of the will and in the absence of a statement of the total number of sheets such removal might be effected by taking out the sheet and changing the numbers at the top of the following sheets or pages. and which we adopt with approval: . and all the pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page. Florentino19 and Taboada v. Hon. Yet the blank was never filled in. This consideration alone was sufficient for the Court to declare "unanim[ity] upon the point that the defect pointed out in the attesting clause is fatal. or file another with the office of the Clerk of Court. the failure of the attestation clause to state the number of pages of the will. The appellate court. If the attestation clause is in a language not known to the witnesses. Rosal. and made the following distinction which petitioner is unable to rebut. hence. on the other hand. Navas L. except the last.

However.. The ratio decidendi of these cases seems to be that the attestation clause must contain a statement of the number of sheets or pages composing the will and that if this is missing or is omitted. While the attestation clause does not state the number of sheets or pages upon which the will is written. in this case. Echevarria v. 30. supra) (Underscoring supplied) In "Apolonio Tabaoda v. 50 Phil. as amended by Act No. however. Sarmiento. Sioca. the Will is void and undeserving of probate. The acknowledgment itself states that "this Last Will and Testament consists of two pages including this page" (pages 200-201. in the appeal at bench.Even a cursory examination of the Will (Exhibit "D"). the same was found in the last part of the body of the Will: The law referred to is article 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Hon. 54 Phil. Avelino Rosal. 405. Quinto v. 161 and Apolonio [Taboada] v. the Decisions of the Supreme Court are not applicable in the aforementioned appeal at bench. 118 SCRA 195. Morata. Hence. supra. Uy Coque v. Gorcho. 611). however.21 Both Uy Coque and Andrada were decided prior to the enactment of the Civil Code in 1950. Emilia Florentino. As earlier stated." supra. the last part of the body of the will contains a statement that it is composed of eight pages. will readily show that the attestation does not state the number of pages used upon which the will is written.. et al. which requires that the attestation clause shall state the number of pages or sheets upon which the will is written. et al. at a time when the statutory provision governing the formal requirement of wills was Section . Hon. Emilia Florentino. 43 Phil.. 92 Phil. 2645. Avelino Rosal. The will does not even contain any notarial acknowledgment wherein the number of pages of the will should be stated. which circumstance in our opinion takes this case out of the rigid rule of construction and places it within the realm of similar cases where a broad and more liberal view has been adopted to prevent the will of the testator from being defeated by purely technical considerations. the first page which contains the entirety of the testamentary dispositions is signed by the testatrix at the end or at the bottom while the instrumental witnesses signed at the left margin. which requirement has been held to be mandatory as an effective safeguard against the possibility of interpolation or omission of some of the pages of the will to the prejudice of the heirs to whom the property is intended to be bequeathed (In re Will of Andrada. Navas L." (page 165-165. However. 481." although the attestation in the subject Will did not state the number of pages used in the will. it will have the effect of invalidating the will if the deficiency cannot be supplied. et al. the notarial acknowledgement in the Will states the number of pages used in the: We have examined the will in question and noticed that the attestation clause failed to state the number of pages used in writing the will. not by evidence aliunde. but by a consideration or examination of the will itself. the number of pages used in the will is not stated in any part of the Will. supra) (Underscoring supplied). The other page which is marked as "Pagina dos" comprises the attestation clause and the acknowledgment." to the effect that a will may still be valid even if the attestation does not contain the number of pages used upon which the Will is written.. We are not impervious of the Decisions of the Supreme Court in "Manuel Singson v. et al. 42 Phil. it is discernible from the entire will that it is really and actually composed of only two pages duly signed by the testatrix and her instrumental witnesses. 180. This would have been a fatal defect were it not for the fact that. 66 Phil. But here the situation is different. Gumban v. This is so because. in the case of "Manuel Singson v.

petitioner cites the report of the Civil Code Commission. Article 809 of the Civil Code states: "In the absence of bad faith.L. Reyes in its assailed decision. along with several other cases. However.B." In the same vein. Caneda suggested: "[I]t may thus be stated that the rule. or undue and improper pressure and influence. correspondingly. as it now stands. and defects or even omissions concerning them in the attestation clause can be safely disregarded.618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Court of Appeals26 features an extensive discussion made by Justice Regalado. . This objective is in accord with the [modern tendency] in respect to the formalities in the execution of wills. In Caneda itself.) The Court of Appeals did cite these comments by Justice J. considering that the failure to state the number of pages of the will in the attestation clause is one of the defects which cannot be simply disregarded. is that omission which can be supplied by an examination of the will itself. of the will itself.30 the other omission cited by Justice J."24 However. that such liberalization be "but with sufficient safeguards and restrictions to prevent the commission of fraud and the exercise of undue and improper pressure and influence upon the testator. would not obstruct the allowance to probate of the will being assailed. since that fact can be checked by a visual examination.22 Reliance on these cases remains apropos. the Court refused to allow the probate of a will whose attestation clause failed to state that the witnesses subscribed their respective signatures to the will in the presence of the testator and of each other.23 However.B.B."31 Thus. petitioner conveniently omits the qualification offered by the Code Commission in the very same paragraph he cites from their report. the enactment of the Civil Code in 1950 did put in force a rule of interpretation of the requirements of wills.L. Reyes which to his estimation cannot be lightly disregarded.27 Uy Coque and Andrada are cited therein. Reyes as to how Article 809 should be applied: x x x The rule must be limited to disregarding those defects that can be supplied by an examination of the will itself: whether all the pages are consecutively numbered. which stated that "the underlying and fundamental objective permeating the provisions on the [law] on [wills] in this project consists in the [liberalization] of the manner of their execution with the end in view of giving the testator more [freedom] in [expressing] his last wishes. those omissions which cannot be supplied except by evidence aliunde would result in the invalidation of the attestation clause and ultimately. whether the subscribing witnesses are three or the will was notarized. forgery. speaking for the Court on the conflicting views on the manner of interpretation of the legal formalities required in the execution of the attestation clause in wills. or fraud.28 However. But the total number of pages. being the only check against perjury in the probate proceedings. without the need of resorting to extrinsic evidence. whether the signatures appear in each and every page."25 Caneda v. a failure by the attestation clause to state that the testator signed every page can be liberally construed.29 (Emphasis supplied. that may vary from the philosophy that governed these two cases. and whether all persons required to sign did so in the presence of each other must substantially appear in the attestation clause. All these are facts that the will itself can reveal. as examples of the application of the rule of strict construction. defects and imperfections in the form of attestation or in the language used therein shall not render the will invalid if it is proved that the will was in fact executed and attested in substantial compliance with all the requirements of article 805. considering that the requirement that the attestation state the number of pages of the will is extant from Section 618. will not be fatal and. A cautionary note was struck though by Justice J. the Code Commission opted to recommend a more liberal construction through the "substantial compliance rule" under Article 809. at least insofar as the attestation clause is concerned.L.

and it must necessarily bear their signatures. While the signatures of the instrumental witnesses appear on the left-hand margin of the will. For one.33 The failure to state the number of pages equates with the absence of an averment on the part of the instrumental witnesses as to how many pages consisted the will. although the page containing the same is signed by the witnesses on the left-hand margin. even as expressed in the cited comments of the Code Commission. Cagro v.35 The transcendent legislative intent. The purpose of the law in requiring the clause to state the number of pages on which the will is written is to safeguard against possible interpolation or omission of one or some of its pages and to prevent any increase or decrease in the pages. Following Caneda. rendering the will fatally defective. however picayune in impression.while a failure by the attestation clause to state that the witnesses signed in one another's presence should be considered a fatal flaw since the attestation is the only textual guarantee of compliance. a majority of six (6). an examination of the will itself reveals a couple of even more critical defects that should necessarily lead to its rejection. the attestation clause was not signed by the instrumental witnesses. in this case.34 Compliance with these requirements. convinced that these remained effective safeguards against the forgery or intercalation of notarial wills. An unsigned attestation clause cannot be considered as an act of the witnesses."37 While three (3) Justices38 considered the signature requirement had been substantially complied with. and not for the indulgent admission of wills to probate. as was the situation in Singson and Taboada. ruled that the attestation clause had not been duly signed. As in this case. There is no question that the signatures of the three witnesses to the will do not appear at the bottom of the attestation clause. We are of the opinion that the position taken by the appellant is correct. However. speaking through Chief Justice Paras. "the signatures of the three witnesses to the will do not appear at the bottom of the attestation clause. there is substantial compliance with this requirement if the will states elsewhere in it how many pages it is comprised of. affords the public a high degree of comfort that the testator himself or herself had decided to convey property post mortem in the manner established in the will. However. . The Court could thus end here and affirm the Court of Appeals. although the page containing the same is signed by the witnesses on the left-hand margin.32 The failure of the attestation clause to state the number of pages on which the will was written remains a fatal flaw. is for the fruition of the testator's incontestable desires. the fact remains that they saw fit to prescribe substantially the same formal requisites as enumerated in Section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. the execution of which they had ostensibly just witnessed and subscribed to. there could have been no substantial compliance with the requirements under Article 805 since there is no statement in the attestation clause or anywhere in the will itself as to the number of pages which comprise the will. Whatever the inclinations of the members of the Code Commission in incorporating Article 805. Article 809 should not deviate from the need to comply with the formal requirements as enumerated under Article 805. despite Article 809. At the same time. they do not appear at the bottom of the attestation clause which after all consists of their averments before the notary public. The attestation clause is "a memorandum of the facts attending the execution of the will" required by law to be made by the attesting witnesses. Cagro36 is material on this point. since the omission of their signatures at the bottom thereof negatives their participation.

be admitted as sufficient. 1981 dito sa Lungsod ng Maynila. the attestation clause is separate and apart from the disposition of the will.The petitioner and appellee contends that signatures of the three witnesses on the left-hand margin conform substantially to the law and may be deemed as their signatures to the attestation clause. Yet." The respective intents behind these two classes of signature are distinct from each other. and should be treated as of equivalent import. and not the testator. wrote "Nilagdaan ko at ninotario ko ngayong 10 ng Hunyo 10 (sic). Even if the instrumental witnesses signed the left-hand margin of the page containing the unsigned attestation clause. the fact that the testator had signed the will and every page thereof. An acknowledgment is the act of one who has executed a deed in going before some competent officer or court and declaring it to be his act or deed. The importance of this requirement is highlighted by the fact that it had been segregated from the other requirements under Article 805 and entrusted into a separate provision."40 By no manner of contemplation can those words be construed as an acknowledgment. On the other hand. from the requisite that the will be "attested and subscribed by [the instrumental witnesses]. because said signatures are in compliance with the legal mandate that the will be signed on the left-hand margin of all its pages. It might be possible to construe the averment as a jurat. who are required under Article 805 to state the number of pages used upon which the will is written. the notary public. since the signatures that do appear on the page were directed towards a wholly different avowal. and that they witnessed and signed the will and all the pages thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. there is another fatal defect to the will on which the denial of this petition should also hinge. The Court may be more charitably disposed had the witnesses in this case signed the attestation clause itself. An unsigned attestation clause results in an unattested will. Petronio Y. as they failed to sign the attestation clause. The non-observance of Article 806 in this case is equally as critical as the other cited flaws in compliance with Article 805. even though it does not hew to the usual language thereof. Article 805 particularly segregates the requirement that the instrumental witnesses sign each page of the will. it would be easy to add such clause to a will on a subsequent occasion and in the absence of the testator and any or all of the witnesses. A jurat is that part of an affidavit where the notary certifies that before him/her. Article 806. The requirement under Article 806 that "every will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses" has also not been complied with. but not the left-hand margin of the page containing such clause. If an attestation clause not signed by the three witnesses at the bottom thereof. It is the witnesses. Without diminishing the value of the instrumental witnesses' signatures on each and every page. The only proof in the will that the witnesses have stated these elemental facts would be their signatures on the attestation clause. This is untenable. the subject will cannot be considered to have been validly attested to by the instrumental witnesses. that the witnesses are aware that the page they are signing forms part of the will. Thus. the signatures to the attestation clause establish that the witnesses are referring to the statements contained in the attestation clause itself. the document was . The signatures on the left-hand corner of every page signify.41 It involves an extra step undertaken whereby the signor actually declares to the notary that the executor of a document has attested to the notary that the same is his/her own free act and deed. In lieu of an acknowledgment. Indeed. Bautista. such signatures cannot demonstrate these witnesses' undertakings in the clause. among others. the fact must be noted that it is the attestation clause which contains the utterances reduced into writing of the testamentary witnesses themselves.39 The Court today reiterates the continued efficacy of Cagro.

the notary public averred that he himself "signed and notarized" the document. A notarial will that is not acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses is fatally defective. Costs against petitioner. as they are no longer material to the disposition of this case. may not be sufficient to deny probate to a will. and that all the pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page. We need not discuss them at length.subscribed and sworn to by the executor. . The will does not present any textual proof. which in this case would involve the decedent and the instrumental witnesses. There is a line of thought that has disabused the notion that these two requirements be construed as mandatory.45 Taken in isolation. except the last. the decedent. these omissions. The provision requires that the testator and the instrumental witnesses sign each and every page of the will on the left margin. the string of mortal defects which the will in question suffers from makes the probate denial inexorable. WHEREFORE. unlike the witnesses. the word "ninotario" or "notarized" encompasses the signing of and swearing in of the executors of the document. even if it is subscribed and sworn to before a notary public. failed to sign both pages of the will on the left margin. All told. while in this case.43 The acknowledgment coerces the testator and the instrumental witnesses to declare before an officer of the law that they had executed and subscribed to the will as their own free act or deed. the will would nonetheless remain invalid. that the decedent and the instrumental witnesses executed or signed the will as their own free act or deed. the language of the jurat should avow that the document was subscribed and sworn before the notary public. In this case. An acknowledgement is not an empty meaningless act. and not merely subscribed and sworn to. The acknowledgment made in a will provides for another all-important legal safeguard against spurious wills or those made beyond the free consent of the testator. the will itself is not numbered correlatively in letters on each page. her only signature appearing at the so-called "logical end"44 of the will on its first page. It also provides a further degree of assurance that the testator is of certain mindset in making the testamentary dispositions to those persons he/she had designated in the will. by themselves. There are two other requirements under Article 805 which were not fully satisfied by the will in question. Yet even if we consider what was affixed by the notary public as a jurat. much less one under oath. It may not have been said before. they need not be dwelt on. Possibly though. self-evident as it is under Article 806. but instead numbered with Arabic numerals. Such declaration is under oath and under pain of perjury. the petition is DENIED. but we can assert the rule. though indicative as they may be of a general lack of due regard for the requirements under Article 805 by whoever executed the will. Also. Yet even as these omissions are not decisive to the adjudication of this case. thus allowing for the criminal prosecution of persons who participate in the execution of spurious wills. or those executed without the free consent of the testator.42 Ordinarily. as the express requirement of Article 806 is that the will be "acknowledged".

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