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CA This petition, filed under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, assails the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision and Resolution in CA-G.R. SP No. 58090 which reversed, set aside and recalled the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Orders in Civil Case No. 51203. First, the long settled facts. Marcelo and Teofista Isagon Suarez’  marriage was blessed with both material wealth and progeny in herein respondents, namely, Danilo, Eufrocina, Marcelo Jr., Evelyn, and Reggineo, all surnamed Suarez. During their marriage, governed by the conjugal partnership of gains regime, they acquired numerous properties, which included the following: (1) a parcel of land situated in Barrio Caniogan, Pasig with an area of 348 square meters covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 30680; (2) property located in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig, with an area of 1,020 square meters under Tax Declaration No. A-016-01003; and (3) Lot Nos. 5, 6 & 7, Block 2 covered by Tax Declaration No. A-01700723 (subject properties). After the death of Marcelo Sr. in 1955, Teofista and herein respondents, as well as Elpidio Suarez, executed an Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate, partitioning Marcelo Sr.’s estate, thus: WHEREAS, the said deceased is survived by the parties hereto who are his only legal heirs: TEOFISTA ISAGON, being the surviving spouse, and EUFROCINA S. ANDRES, ELPIDIO SUAREZ, DANILO SUAREZ, EVELYN SUAREZ, MARCELO SUAREZ, JR. and REGGINEO SUAREZ, being the legitimate children of the deceased with the said TEOFISTA ISAGON; WHEREAS, the minors ELPIDIO, SUAREZ, DANILO SUAREZ, EVELYN SUAREZ, MARCELO SUAREZ, JR. and REGGINEO SUAREZ are represented herein by EUFROCINA S. ANDRES, in her capacity as the guardian and legal administrator of the property of the said minors; WHEREAS, there are no known debts or financial obligations of whatever nature and amount against the estate of the deceased; NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing premises, the Parties have agreed to settle and liquidate the assets of the conjugal partnership between the deceased and TEOFISTA ISAGON, and to settle and adjudicate the estate of the said deceased, by and pursuance to these presents, in the following manner, to wit: 1. That TEOFISTA ISAGON, as the surviving spouse and partner of the deceased, shall receive in absolute and exclusive ownership the following properties as her lawful share in the assets of the conjugal partnership of gains between her and the deceased, to wit: (a) Half (1/2) interest and participation in the parcel of land covered by Tax Declaration No. 6938, situated at Sitio Pantayan, Municipality of Taytay, Province of Rizal; Half (1/2) interest and participation in the parcel of land covered by Tax Declaration No. 6939, situated at Sitio Pantayan, Municipality of Taytay, Province of Rizal; Half (1/2) interest and participation in the parcel of land covered by TCT No. 38291, situated at Barrio Rosario, Municipality of Pasig, Province of Rizal; Half (1/2) interest and participation in the parcel of land covered by TCT No. 38290, situated at Barrio Rosario, Municipality of Pasig, Province of Rizal; TWELVE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED THIRTY PESOS AND NINETY (P12,530.90) deposited with the Commercial Bank and Trust Company of the Philippines, and THIRTY-NINE PESOS (P39.00) deposited with Prudential Bank.
2. That the Parties TEOFISTA ISAGON, EUFROCINA S. ANDRES, ELPIDIO SUAREZ, DANILO SUAREZ, EVELYN SUAREZ, MARCELO SUAREZ, JR. and REGGINEO SUAREZ, shall each and all receive and be entitled to a share equivalent to oneseventh (1/7) of the estate of the deceased MARCELO SUAREZ, which estate is comprised of the following properties, to wit: (a) A parcel of land covered by TCT No. 30680, situated at Barrio Kaniogan, Municipality ofPasig, Province of Rizal, with an assessed value of P4,150.00. Three (3) parcels of land covered by TCT Nos. 33982, 33983 and 33984, situated at Barrio Pineda, Municipality of Pasig, Province of Rizal, with an assessed value of P560.00. A parcel of land covered by TCT 33986, situated at Barrio Pineda, Municipality of Pasig,Province of Rizal, with an assessed value of P440.00.
(d) Two (2) parcels of land, being Lots Nos. 42 and 44 of the amendment-subdivision plan TY-4653-Amd., being a portion of Lot 2 described on the original plan II-4653, G.L.R.O. Record No. _____, situated at Barrio Santolan, Municipality of Pasig, Province of Rizal, with a total assessed value of P590.00. (e) Two parcels of land, being Lots Nos. 43 and 45 of the amendmentsubdivision plan TY-4653-Amd., being a portion of Lot 2 described on the original plan II-4653, G.L.R.O. Record No. _______, situated at Barrio Santolan, Municipality of Pasig, Province of Rizal, with a total assessed value of P1,190.00. A parcel of land, being Lot No. 6, Block 269 of the subdivision plan pos-112, being a portion of Lot 2, Block 348, Psd-3188, G.L.R.O. Record Nos. 375,699 and 917, situated at San Felipe Neri, Province of Rizal, with an assessed value of P6,340.00. A parcel of land covered by OCT No. 391, situated in the Municipality of Taytay, Province of Rizal, with an assessed value of P1,840.00. TWELVE THOUSAND (12,000) shares of stock of the Consolidated Mines, Inc. represented by Certificate No. 71-5-B (for 1,000 shares) and Certificate No. 12736 (for 11,000 shares).
PROVIDED, that their title to the properties hereinabove mentioned shall be in common and the share of each heir being pro indiviso.
Curiously, despite the partition, title to the foregoing properties, explicitly identified in the Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate as forming part of Marcelo’s and Isagon’s property regime, remained in the couple’s name. Not surprisingly, Teofista continued to administer and manage these properties. On the whole, apart from those now owned exclusively by Teofista, all the properties were held pro indiviso by Teofista and her children; and respective titles thereto were not changed, with Teofista as de facto administrator thereof. In 1975, Rizal Realty Corporation (Rizal Realty) and Teofista, the latter owning ninety percent (90%) of the former’s shares of stock, were sued by petitioner Valente Raymundo, his wife Violeta,Virginia Banta and Maria Concepcion Vito (plaintiffs) in consolidated cases for Rescission of Contract and Damages, docketed as Civil Case Nos. 21736 to 21739. Thereafter, in 1975, the then Court of First Instance (CFI) of Rizal, Branch 1, rendered judgment: (1) rescinding the respective contracts of plaintiffs with Rizal Realty and Teofista, and (2) holding the two defendants solidarily liable to plaintiffs for damages in the aggregate principal amount of about P70,000.00. When the judgment of the CFI became final and executory, herein subject properties were levied and sold on execution on June 24, 1983 to satisfy the judgment against Teofista and Rizal
Realty. The aforementioned plaintiffs were the highest bidder, and bought the levied properties for the amount of P94,170.00. As a result, a certificate of sale was issued to them and registered in their favor on August 1, 1983. On July 31, 1984, the Provincial Sheriff of Rizal issued a final deed of sale over the subject properties. Parenthetically, before expiration of the redemption period, or on June 21, 1984, herein respondents filed a revindicatory action against petitioner Valente, Violeta, Virginia and Maria Concepcion, docketed as Civil Case No. 51203, for the annulment of the auction sale and recovery of ownership of the levied properties. Essentially, respondents alleged in their complaint that they cannot be held liable for the judgment rendered against their mother, Teofista, not having been impleaded therein; and consequently, the subject properties, which they own pro indiviso with their mother, can neither be levied nor be sold on execution. Meanwhile, the RTC, Branch 151, formerly the CFI, Branch 1, in Civil Case Nos. 21376 to 21379, issued an Order directing Teofista: (1) to vacate the subject properties, (2) to desist from despoiling, dismantling, removing or alienating the improvements thereon, (3) to place petitioner Valente, Violeta, Virginia and Maria Concepcion in peaceful possession
thereof, and (4) to surrender to them the owner’s duplicate copy of the torrens title and other pertinent documents. Herein respondents, joined by their mother, Teofista, filed a Motion for Reconsideration arguing that the subject properties are co-owned by them and further informing the RTC of the filing and pendency of Civil Case No. 51203. Nonetheless, the trial court denied Teofista’s and herein respondents’ motion, reiterated its previous order, which included, among others, the order for Teofista and all persons claiming right under her, to vacate the lots subject of the judicial sale. Undaunted, Teofista and herein respondents filed a petition for certiorari before the CA to annul the foregoing orders. The appellate court, on July 6, 1987, dismissed Teofista’s and herein respondents’ petition, thus: We believe this petition cannot prosper for two reasons. First, as purported case for certiorari it fails to show how the respondent judge had acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion. The two orders being assailed were preceded by a final judgment, a corresponding writ of execution, a levy on execution and a judicial sale, all of which enjoy a strong sense presumption of regularity. Secondly, as far as [petitioner] Teofista Suarez is concerned, she cannot complain about the levy because she was a party in the consolidated cases where judgment was rendered against her in her personal capacity. Since she did not appeal from the decision, she cannot say that the judgment is erroneous for an obligation that belong to the corporation. And with respect to the children of Teofista Suarez, who are co-petitioners in this proceedings [herein respondents], suffice it to point out that not being parties in the consolidated cases, what they should have done was to immediately file a third party claim. The moment levy was made on the parcels of land, which they claim are theirs by virtue of hereditary succession, they should have seasonably filed such claim to protect their rights. As the record discloses, however, the children chose to remain silent, and even allowed the auction sale to be held, filing almost a year later a half-hearted complaint to annul the proceedings which they allowed to be dismissed by not diligently prosecuting it. In Santos v. Mojica (10 SCRA 318), a partition case with third- party claimants, the Supreme Court came out with the following ruling: “The procedure (a petition for certiorari) followed by him (a petitioner not party to the original partition case) in vindicating his right is not the one sanctioned by law, for he should have filed a separate and independent action making parties therein the sheriff and the plaintiffs responsible for the execution xxx. It can, therefore, be said that (he) acted
the action to annul the judicial sale filed by herein private respondents is not the reinvindicatory suit. not only where the parties in both actions are the same.improperly in filing the present petition because his remedy was to file a separate and independent action to vindicate his ownership over the land. But in yet another turn of events. the law applicable at the time of the institution of the case: The rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent. who is the real partyin-interest in the previous final judgment. thus: And the fact that herein private respondents. 51203 was dismissed by the RTC. but where there is privity with them as in the cases of successors-ininterest by title subsequent to the commencement of the action or where there is substantial identity. Virginia and Maria Concepcion] and the developments subsequent to the filing of the complaint. Finally. private respondents merely stepped into the shoes of their mother in regard to the levied pieces of property. 1989 and February 26. apart from the requisites constitutive of this procedural tenet. Branch 155. Thus. Virginia’s and Maria Concepcion’s turn to file a petition for certiorari with the CA. enjoining petitioner Valente. Court of Appeals. WHEREFORE. much less the third party claim contemplated by Section 17 of Rule 39. 21376 . Violeta’s. WHEREFORE. . at the instance of petitioner Valente for failure of herein respondents to prosecute. only one-half of the 5 parcels of land [subject properties] should have been the subject of the auction sale. with costs against petitioners. 1990 issued in Civil Case No. thus: Even without touching on the incidents and issues raised by both petitioner [herein respondents] and private respondents [petitioner Valente. In Suarez v. Violeta. 51203. From this ruling. Verily. a writ of preliminary injunction was issued by the RTC Pasig. the RTC. on February 25. there is identity of parties. herein respondents appealed to the Supreme Court. 51203 are hereby annulled. May 19. Civil Case No.21379 does not preclude the application of the doctrine of res judicata since. which all rejected their bid to dismiss Civil Case No. Branch 155. Subsequently. 1985. however. [w]e cannot but notice the glaring error committed by the trial court.” Article 888 further provides: “The legitime of the legitimate children and descendants consists of onehalf of the hereditary estate of the father and of the mother. To start with. we reversed the appellate court. the petition for certiorari is hereby granted and the questioned orders dated February 25. lifted its previous order of dismissal and directed the issuance of alias summons. further respondent judge is ordered to dismiss Civil Case No. As successors-in-interest of Teofista Suarez. The law in point is Article 777 of the Civil Code. It would be useless to discuss the procedural issue on the validity of the execution and the manner of publicly selling en masse the subject properties for auction. they were admittedly the children of Teofista Suarez. as the legal heirs of Teofista Vda. Violeta. The CA granted their petition. Virginia and Maria Concepcion from transferring to third parties the levied properties based on its preliminary finding that the auctioned properties are co-owned by Teofista and herein respondents. Branch 155. 1985. it was now petitioner Valente’s. assailing the various orders of the RTC. On the other litigation front concerning Civil Case No. 51203. the petition is denied and the restraining order previously issued is DISSOLVED. de Suarez and supposedly not parties in Civil Case Nos. 51203. Branch 155.
” Thus. The proprietary interest of petitioners [herein respondents] in the levied and auctioned property is different from and adverse to that of their mother [Teofista]. 1990. part of the records went missing and were lost. Therefore. 1990 from the Court of Appeals that ruled the dismissal of the above-entitled case. repeatedly filed a Motion to Dismiss Civil Case No. the Clerk of Court of RTC. culminating in the present petition. the room was demolished before the undersigned could make a last check to see if everything was transferred. That just before the Christmas vacation in 1991. . par. 2 likewise provides: “If there are two or more legitimate children or descendants. the judge to which the case was raffled had to study the records anew.]. the legitime of the surviving spouse is equal to the legitime of each child.The latter may freely dispose of the remaining half. Most of these Motions to Dismiss were denied. Petitioners [herein respondents] became co-owners of the property not because of their mother [Teofista] but through their own right as children of their deceased father [Marcelo Sr. to the different court branches in Pasig City. 3. when the case had been remanded with a directive to “determine that portion which belongs to [herein respondents] and to annul the sale with regard to said portion.” Civil Case No. Branch 71 moved to the staffroom of Branch 159 at the Second Floor of the Justice Hall. With each transfer of Civil Case No. as plaintiffs therein.” Article 892. That unfortunately. ReyesClaravall. each and every pleading filed by herein respondents. Moreover. Loquinario. it had no equipment or furniture of its own. On April 12. Branch 71. 1990. because of the unexpected notice we received that the room we were occupying was to be demolished in order to meet the schedule for the renovation of the building. Upon our reinstatement of Civil Case No. to wit: 1. the branch was forced to hastily move all of its records and equipment to branch 69. That the staff of Branch 71 at this time was sharing a small room with Branch 161 at the First Floor of the Justice Hall. WHEREFORE. petitioners [herein respondents] are not barred in any way from instituting the action to annul the auction sale to protect their own interest. 51203 for the purported failure of herein respondents to prosecute the case. 51203. to which Civil Case No. the decision of the Court of Appeals dated July 27. filed a report on the records of the case. the same was bound as volume 2 of the case. 1990 as well as its Resolution of August 28. along with the other defendants. 51203 had to be re-raffled and transferred. 4. 6. That on October 25. 5. 1993. 51203 is reinstated only to determine that portion which belongs to petitioners and to annul the sale with regard to said portion. petitioner Valente. this Court received a Notice of Judgment dated October 22. In between all these. 2. The first volume of the record in the above-entitled case was recorded as received on June 20. 51203 was remanded. the surviving spouse shall be entitled to a portion equal to the legitime of each of the legitimate children or descendants. from the foregoing. and Civil Case No. and was still undermanned. 1990 are hereby REVERSED and set aside. for varied reasons. That sometime in August 1990. by Sheriff Alejandro O. including petitioner Valente. It was at this point when another series of events transpired. even at that stage. and as per standing instructions of Judge Graduacion A. Expectedly. 51203. and as the Branch was newly formed. was hotly contested and opposed by therein defendants. subject to the rights of illegitimate children and of the surviving spouse as hereinafter provided.
as the bid price was unconscionable and grossly inadequate to the current value of the subject properties. An Urgent Motion [to direct compliance by plaintiffs (herein respondents) with Supreme Court Decision or to consider the matter submitted without evidence on the part of plaintiffs] filed by therein defendants. 12. married to Teofista Isagon. herein respondents filed a Motion for Reconstitution of Records  of the case. Initially. the branch moved its Office to its present location. it prayed that TCT No. That it was at this time that the first volume of this case. anywhere.opposed the motion. Finally. 10.  In this regard. Judge Claravall ordered that a search for the same be made in all of the offices wherein this branch was forced to share a room with.00. That on March 8. 1992 of the Supreme Court) filed by herein respondents pointing out that the Supreme Court itself had noted the current increased value of the subject properties and that petitioner Valente. and the other defendants -. to wit: 1. which was bundled along with other cases which were decided and/or archived. this Court received a copy of a Decision of the Supreme Court reversing the earlier ruling of the Court of Appeals. and ordered petitioner Valente and the other defendants to submit a copy of their Answer filed thereat and copies of other pleadings pertinent to the case.Violeta. That it was only later on that this office discovered that important documents were indeed lost. including herein petitioner Valente. 6509 in the name of petitioner Valente. 8. 11. or documents entered as exhibits in other Courts. three (3) incidents.00. pointing out that plaintiffs (herein respondents) have yet to comply with the RTC. The Supplemental Complaint additionally prayed that the levy and sale at public auction of the subject properties be annulled and set aside. set off by the parties’ pleadings. A Manifestation and Motion (to Execute/Enforce Decision dated September 4. among numerous others. That all the efforts were in vain. That sometime in May 1992. That the undersigned now concludes that the first volume of the above-entitled case was probably lost during the renovation of the Justice Hall Building. in the event that the same was transmitted to said Court. 2. for a judgment obligation worth onlyP70. was reported as missing. for a measly bid price of P94.000. A Motion for Leave to File and Admit Supplemental Complaint  filed by herein respondents.  Thereafter. petitioner Valente. Virginia and Maria Concepcion be cancelled and TCT No. However. Virginia and Maria Concepcion unjustly enriched themselves in appropriating the subject properties worth millions then. Branch 67 Order commanding them to submit (to the RTC) any evidence showing settlement of the estate of the . and will have to be reconstituted with the use of documents in the possession of the parties. including transcripts of stenographic notes in a case that was submitted for decision. the trial court eventually granted the motion for reconstitution. 1993.170. 9. That from the time the same was found to be missing. 3. are worth mentioning. be reinstated. The Supplemental Complaint further sought a re-bidding with respect to Teofista’s share in the subject properties. as said record could not be located 13.7. Virginia and Maria Concepcion -. as well as the Court of Appeals. Violeta. Violeta. 30680 in the name of Marcelo Suarez.
may be levied on execution. and (b) therein defendants’ (including herein petitioner Valente’s) Request for Answer to Written Interrogatories. 1992 which mandates that: “xxx and Civil Case No. The Urgent Motion stated in paragraph 2. and the Register of Deeds of Rizal. is ordered to issue a new one in the name of the deceased Marcelo Suarez or to reinstate Transfer Certificate of Title No. and after being able to do so. . thus: 2. plus legal interest from the date of issuance of this order. 1992 of the Supreme Court). this Court is convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that the Decision of the Supreme Court of September 4. Lorenzo of Branch 266.” In order to enforce such mandate of the Supreme Court. In its decision of September 4. The defendants [including herein petitioner Valente] did everything possible to expedite the disposition of this case while the plaintiffs [herein respondents] did everything possible to DELAY the disposition of the same obviously because the plaintiffs [herein respondents] are in full possession and enjoyment of the property in dispute. implements the decision of the Supreme Court dated September 4. the answer sought to be elicited through written interrogatories. 6509 in the name of defendant Valente Raymundo is also declared null and void. issued by Judge Apolinario B. this court orders that: a. therefore. thus: From the foregoing uncontroverted facts. the Supreme Court ordered the plaintiffs [herein respondents] to establish with evidence their personality as heirs of Marcelo Suarez. premises considered.  2. Teofista Suarez. c. 51203 is reinstated only to determine that portion which belongs to petitioner and to annul the sale with regard to said portion. Santos resolving: (a) herein respondents’ Manifestation and Motion (to execute/enforce Decision dated September 4. it is obvious that at this stage of the proceedings where the Supreme Court had already pronounced the undisputed facts. being the final arbiter in any judicial dispute.170. 1992. b. admitting herein respondents’ Supplemental Complaint. 1992. The RTC. 1996. Teofista Suarez is ordered to reimburse the amount of P94. should be implemented for the following reasons: xxxx On the request for Answers to Written Interrogatories filed by the defendants. In said decision. WHEREFORE. issued by Presiding Judge Rodrigo B. which binds this court.deceased Marcelo Suarez. this court. resolved the incidents. the SUPREME COURT nullified TWO final and executory DECISIONS of the Court of Appeals in an unprecedented action. 1995. are entirely irrelevant. to adduce evidence that would determine what portion belongs to plaintiffs hence the above matters need be litigated upon before the RTC can “annul the sale with regard to said portion” (belonging to the plaintiffs alleged heirs). The auction sale of the five (5) parcels of land and all prior and subsequent proceedings in relation thereto are declared null and void.00. Branch 67. the records reveal the following Orders issued by the different branches of the RTC: 1. Order dated January 22. Pasig City. the portion of the estate of Marcelo Suarez belonging to the surviving spouse. On these incidents. in order for the court to determine the portion in the estate which belongs to Teofista. and failing which. Order dated March 17. aside from having been filed way out of time. 30680 in the name of Marcelo Suarez. Pasig City. Transfer Certificate of Title No.
consistent with the directive of the Honorable Supreme Court (in its Decision promulgated on September 4. Order dated April 8. In resolving this latest crossfire between the parties. not appealable. 51203. It is in this context that the Honorable Supreme Court reinstated the “action [of herein respondents] to annul the auction sale to protect their [herein respondents] own interest. 1996 and May 29. issued by Pairing Judge Santiago Estrella which declared. Branch 67. Naturally. 2000. 3. issued an Order dated January 11. counsel for plaintiffs [herein respondents] is advised to secure all the documentary evidence she needs material to this case which will expedite the disposition of this case. confronted with the very recent decision of .  4. there was no trial on the merits before this Court that allowed the parties to adduce evidence to establish their respective claims in the plaintiffs’ [herein respondents] complaint and in the defendants’ [including petitioner Valente] counter-claim. Therein defendants. including Teofista Suarez. [Herein respondents]. in order for this court to determine the portion in the estate which belongs to Teofista Suarez. Marcelo Suarez. ruling that these are interlocutory orders. filed a Motion for Reconsideration which the trial court denied on May 29. in part: This Court is of the view that the Honorable Supreme Court is not a trier of facts. While this Court is of the view that trial on the merits is necessary for the purpose of giving the plaintiffs [herein respondents] a chance to adduce evidence to sustain their complaint and the defendants [including petitioner Valente] to prove their defense. issued by Judge Santos denying the appeal interposed by petitioner Valente from the January 22. 1999 at 8:30 a. 1999. This last Order and therein defendants’ Urgent Motion spawned another contentious issue between the parties. xxx The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals and ordered the reinstatement of Civil Case No. 1996 Orders. with herein respondents attaching thereto a copy of the Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate executed by the heirs of Marcelo Suarez in 1957. the Court is. Both parties duly filed their position papers. and. are hereby ordered to submit to this court any evidence showing settlement of the estate of the deceased. therefore. In this connection. 1996.d. the RTC. Order dated September 10. precisely it directed that the records of this case be remanded to the Regional Trial Court for further proceedings.m. however. In this connection. including petitioner Valente. today’s scheduled pre-trial is re-set for the last time to May 19. which reads. 1992). thus: Considering that counsel for the plaintiffs does not have the birth certificates of the heirs of the plaintiff to prove their affiliation with the deceased which is one of the matters written in the decision of the higher court which must be complied with. Judge Estrella issued an Order  requiring the parties to file their respective position papers due to the “divergent views on the nature of the hearing that should be conducted in compliance with” our decision in Suarez. and in order for counsel for the plaintiffs [herein respondents] to have the opportunity to complete all documentary evidence and in view of abbreviating the proceedings and as prayed for. 1996. xxxx It is a matter of record that there was no trial on the merits completed in the Regional Trial Court. respectively.
the Supreme Court (G. No. Branch 67 on March 14. 1999” this case is dismissed without prejudice to the plaintiffs’ [herein respondents’] filing a special proceeding consistent with said latest ruling. only petitioner Valente filed a Comment thereto. 1992. 67. this Court holds that in the light of the doctrine laid down in the case of “Heirs of Yaptinchay vs. curiously. This doctrine was reiterated in Solve vs. 1996 and September 6. Herein respondents moved for reconsideration thereof which. the decision of the Supreme Court had become final and executory. All the defendants in the trial court were impleaded as private respondents in the petition. issued an order to execute/enforce the decision of the Supreme Court xxx.” It is then decisively clear that the declaration of heirship can be made only in a special proceeding inasmuch as the petitioners here are seeking the establishment of a status or right. xxxx [Petitioner Valente. Yet. 51203 be reinstated in order to determine the portion in the estate which belongs to Teofista Suarez.R..Obviously. The appellate court granted the petition. Branch 67’s Orders dated January 11. 124320. March 2. Under Section 3. et al.R. Necessarily. In as much as the leading case on the matter is that of “Heirs of Yaptinchay v. G. Del Rosario. March 2. however. 94918) reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals and mandates that Civil Case No. Virginia and Maria Concepcion] filed a notice of appeal on the order of Judge Santos. vs. Apolinario Santos of Br. . 1996 and on motion of [herein respondents]. Regional Trial Court. 124320. 1996. 1999” it is left with no choice but to obey said latter doctrine. and reinstated Judge Santos’ Orders dated May 29. 2000. 1999” where it held that – The declaration of heirship must be made in an administration proceeding. Consequently. recalled and set aside RTC. The trial court cannot make a declaration of heirship in the civil action for the reason that such a declaration can only be made in a special proceeding. or a particular fact. the foregoing premises considered. The denial of petitioner Valente’s Motion for Reconsideration prompted the filing of this present petition for certiorari.R. The appeal. No. 1996 had also become final and executory. March 2. and not in an independent civil action. on January 22. It disposed of the petition. on motion of [herein respondents] was denied on September 10. WHEREFORE. G. No. 128). was denied by the RTC. thus: We agree with [herein respondents]. Likewise. et al. herein respondents filed a petition for certiorari before the CA alleging grave abuse of discretion in the trial court’s order dismissing Civil Case No. Court of Appeals (182 SCRA 119. a right. xxx xxxx Hon. G. 2000 and March 14. 1996. the title (TCT No. No. 124320. 1996 denying the motion for reconsideration and the denial of the notice of appeal dated September 6. or the prevention or redress of a wrong” while a special proceeding is “a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a status. Del Rosario. Violeta. both orders of Judge Santos dated May 29. The sale of the parcels of land was declared null and void. 5809) in the name of respondents was also declared null and void. 51203 without prejudice. Rule 1 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court. 2000. Del Rosario. a civil action is defined as “one by which a party sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right.the Honorable Supreme Court in “Heirs of Guido Yaptinchay.R. On September 4. Pasig City.
1996 issued by Judge Santos were final and executory. we note that petitioner Valente incorrectly filed a petition for certiorari to appeal the CA decision. we have disregarded this procedural flaw and now resolve this case based on the merits or lack thereof. appealable to.. 1996 and September 6. The key test to what is interlocutory is when there is something more to be done on the merits of the case. it is interlocutory. such as petitioner Valente. not appealable. “Does it leave something to be done in the trial court with respect to the merits of the case?” If it does. an original petition.  It does not terminate or finally dismiss or finally dispose of the case. as they leave something more to be done on the merits of the case. Simply imputing in a petition that the decision sought to be reviewed is tainted with grave abuse of discretion does not magically transform a petition into a special civil action forcertiorari.  The Orders dated May 29. and may be questioned before.” We reject petitioner’s paltry contention. On more than one occasion. At the outset. On this score alone. and therefore. we laid down the test to ascertain whether an order is interlocutory or final i. and yet the latter did not allow an appeal to be taken therefrom ratiocinating that the questioned orders were interlocutory. The CA decision disposed of the merits of a special civil action. The CA ruled that the Orders dated May 29.Petitioner Valente posits that the appellate court committed grave abuse of discretion in recalling and setting aside the Orders of Judge Estrella and reinstating those of Judge Santos because: 1. Petitioner apparently does not comprehend the distinction between an interlocutory order which is final and executory. this Court by persons aggrieved thereby. Upon the other hand. and 2. Del Rosario which held that a declaration of heirship must be made in a special proceeding and not in a civil action. The CA ignored and violated the Supreme Court’s ruling in Heirs of Yaptinchay v. However. 1996 issued by Judge Santos are interlocutory. understand the available remedies therefrom. Petitioner should have filed a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. not appealable. That disposition is a final and executory order. much less. and a final order which disposes of the controversy or case. if it does not.e. but leaves something to be done by the court before the case is finally decided on the merits. 1996 and September 6. Petitioner asseverates that the assailed CA ruling “is unfair and it amounts to a trickery to prevent an appeal against a final order by claiming that the appealed order is merely interlocutory and later maintain that the same order has become final after declaring it to be interlocutory. the petition should have been dismissed outright. We find the petition bereft of merit. filed thereat by herein respondents. In . and therefore. a final order is one which leaves to the court nothing more to do to resolve the case. it is final. via Rule 45. We have defined an interlocutory order as referring to something between the commencement and the end of the suit which decides some point or matter but it is not the final decision on the whole controversy.
SP No. No interlocutory or incidental judgment or order shall stay the progress of an action. from the final order of the CA. the RTC properly denied his Notice of Appeal. as previously discussed. It is a final order which completely disposed of the merits of the case with nothing more left to be done therein. 1996 and September 6.fact. Judgments or orders subject to appeal . Indeed. 2. the denial of therein defendants’ (including petitioner Valente’s) appeal from the Orders dated May 29. Thus. Contrary to petitioner Valente’s stance. nor shall it be the subject of appeal until final judgment or order is rendered for one party or the other. thus: SECTION 1. Further. a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. An interlocutory order. Section 1. xxxx With the advent of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. 1996 was in order. We cannot overemphasize the rule that the correct identification of the nature of an assailed order determines the remedies available to an aggrieved party. there is no trickery or chicanery in the CA’s distinction between an interlocutory and a final order. He should have filed a petition forcertiorari. No appeal may be taken from: xxx (c) xxx In all the above instances where the judgment or final order is not appealable. Rule 41 now provides for the appropriate remedy to be taken from an interlocutory order. In fine. or of a particular matter therein when declared by these Rules to be appealable. which is not an interlocutory order.—Only final judgments or orders shall be subject to appeal. the RTC Order denying petitioner Valente’s Notice of Appeal attained finality when he failed to file a petition forcertiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Subject of appeal. The correct and available remedy available to petitioner Valente was. in paragraph (d) of Judge Santos’ Order dated May 29. Thus. Rule 41 reads. In the recent case of Jan-Dec Construction Corporation v. as ruled by the CA. Clearly. thus: SEC.R. when the proper remedy is an appeal by certiorariunder Rule 45. petitioner Valente filed a petition forcertiorari from the CA decision in CA-G. On the other hand. 1996. Court of Appeals  we ruled in this wise: . — An appeal may be taken from a judgment or final order that completely disposes of the case. the CA decision affirming the RTC’s denial was correct. 58090. petitioner Valente erroneously sought relief through reversed remedies. he comes before this Court on a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. the aggrieved party may file an appropriate special civil action under Rule 65. under Rule 65. herein respondents were directed to submit evidence showing settlement of the estate of the deceased Marcelo Sr. on this crucial distinction as applied to this case. and the CA correctly upheld the RTC. He tried to appeal the interlocutory orders of the RTC which are unappealable. The old Rules of Court in Section 2.
Del Rosario . The CA decision in CA-G. In contrast. and Maria Concepcion’s representation in the RTC that our ruling in Suarez required herein respondents to present evidence of their affiliation with the deceased.R. Violeta’s. the status of herein respondents as legitimate children of Marcelo Sr. petitioner Valente’s. and  2. The CA decision in CA-G. “Civil Case No. True. before they can file an action to annul the judicial sale of what is. may be appealed to the Court by filing a petition for review. Marcelo Sr. 20320 which incorrectly ruled that herein respondents were. herein respondents’ status as heirs of Marcelo Sr. Although the CA ruled against Teofista and herein respondents. and heirs of their deceased father. or officer.. and Teofista ― and thus. We subsequently reversed this ruling on the wrong application of res . It seeks to correct errors of judgment committed by the court. following our ruling in Heirs of Yaptinchay v. merely successors-in-interest of the latter to the property and by virtue thereof.. Moreover. Sr. is wrong..e. this Court is not a trier of facts.  herein respondents must first be declared heirs of Marcelo Sr. It must be dismissed for lack of merit. Marcelo Sr.R.As a rule. and the latter’s status as legitimate children: 1. decisions.’s and Teofista’s paternity of herein respondents. a special civil action for certiorariunder Rule 65 is an independent action based on the specific grounds therein provided and proper only if there is no appeal or any plain. 21376 to 21379 consistent with the doctrine of res judicata. undisputedly. final orders or resolutions of the CA in any case. along with herein respondents. the remedy from a judgment or final order of the CA is appeal via petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules. as children of Teofista. This having been settled. the petition does not fare otherwise. regardless of the nature of the action or proceedings involved. SP No. Court of Appeals. Our ruling in Heirs of Yaptinchay is not applicable. SP Nos. questioned the RTC. 51203 is reinstated only to determine that portion which belongs to [herein respondents] and to annul the sale with regard to said portion. 10646 to 10649 where Teofista. and confirmed by this Court in Suarez v. and Teofista. As was set forth in the dispositive portion of Suarez. directly or indirectly. it should no longer have been a litigated issue when we ordered a remand to the lower court. petitioner Valente cannot assail.. which would be but a continuation of the appellate process over the original case. conjugal property of Teofista and Marcelo Sr. and likewise demand that herein respondents first prove their filiation to Marcelo Sr. Herein respondents’ status as legitimate children of Marcelo Sr. 1984 and October 14.e. Marcelo Sr. Virginia’s. Petitioner Valente insists that. We disagree. bound by the judgment in Civil Case Nos. Independently of this procedural infirmity.  we found and so ruled that herein respondents are children. i. The following records bear out Marcelo. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. even on the merits of the case.’s heirs ― has been firmly established. Branch 151’s Orders dated October 10. 1986. Under Rule 45.  but as the final arbiter of disputes. In short.” There is clearly no intimation in our decision for the RTC to have to determine an already settled issue i. It is an extraordinary process for the correction of errors of jurisdiction and cannot be availed of as a substitute for the lost remedy of an ordinary appeal. it explicitly recognized the latter’s status as legitimate children of Teofista and Marcelo Sr. tribunal.
’s death. without having desisted from the same. and payment therefor cannot be made through an execution sale of properties not absolutely owned by her. 262.. even titled in the name of Marcelo. 263. In the absence of the titles indicated in the preceding article. and Teofista cannot be indirectly or directly attacked by petitioner Valente in an action to annul a judicial sale. the term shall be counted from the discovery of the fraud. Petitioner Valente. Art. the records of this case reveal a document. the period shall be eighteen months if they should reside in thePhilippines.’s share in the conjugal partnership was transmitted by operation of law to his compulsory heirs. The same document settles and partitions the estate of Marcelo Sr. Plainly. Sr. If he or his heirs are absent.’s legitimate children and heirs. The action to impugn the legitimacy of the child shall be brought within one year from the recording of birth in the Civil Register. Articles 262. 266. Art. Art. 265 and 266 of the Civil Code.’s estate. the spouses Yaptinchay. (2) If the husband should die after the filing of the complaint. . the applicable law at the time of Marcelo’s death. Marcelo Sr. This judgment obligation is solely Teofista’s. the CA’s factual finding of herein respondents’ status as heirs of Marcelo Sr. if the husband should be in the same place. in fact. Virginia and Maria Concepcion. which explicitly recognizes herein respondents as Marcelo Sr. 263. by virtue of compulsory succession. however. and two years if abroad. support the foregoing conclusion. became owners of the subject properties only by virtue of an execution sale to recover Teofista’s judgment obligation. the filiation shall be proved by the continuous possession of status of a legitimate child. Marcelo Sr. These properties were evidently conjugal properties and were. The heirs of the husband may impugn the legitimacy of the child only in the following cases: (1) If the husband should die before the expiration of the period fixed for bringing his action. there is no need to re-declare herein respondents as heirs of Marcelo Sr. In stark contrast. an Extrajudicial Settlement of Marcelo Sr.]. 265. [Herein respondents] became co-owners of the property not because of [Teofista] but through their own right as children of their deceased father [. (3) If the child was born after the death of the husband. any of his heirs. If the birth of the child has been concealed. specifying Teofista’s paraphernal properties. along with Violeta. married to Teofista. In Heirs of Yaptinchay. The filiation of legitimate children is proved by the record of birth appearing in the Civil Register. We retained and affirmed. Thus.judicata in the conclusive case of Suarez. the complaint for annulment and/or declaration of nullity of certain TCT’s was dismissed for failure of the petitioners to demonstrate “any proof or even a semblance of it” that they had been declared the legal heirs of the deceased couple. or by an authentic document or a final judgment. and separates the properties she owns in common with her children. and prolong this case interminably. herein respondents. upon Marcelo Sr. herein respondents’ long possessed status of legitimate children of Marcelo Sr. or in a proper case. We categorically held therein that “the proprietary interest of [herein respondents] in the levied and auctioned [properties] is different from and adverse to that of [Teofista]. to wit: Art.” Clearly.
CFI Judge of Pampanga  cited inSolivio. petitioner Valente does not even attempt to dispute the conjugal nature of the subject properties. executed on February 15. and was actually.’s estate in 1957. Thus. then the determination of. xxx It appearing. Section of the Revised Rules of Court. Teofista’s ownership over the subject properties is not absolute.  The portion that is so reserved is the legitime. Rivera and Solivio v. it is burdensome to the estate with the costs and expenses of an administration proceedings. Even without delving into the Extrajudicial Settlement of Marcelo Sr. And it is superfluous in light of the fact that the parties to the civil case —subject of the present case. it must be stressed that herein respondents’ rights to the succession vested from the moment of their father’s death. called compulsory heirs. at the time the subject properties were sold on execution sale to answer for Teofista’s judgment obligation. where we scrutinized our rulings in Heirs of Yaptinchay and the cited cases of Litam v. the inclusion of herein respondents’ share therein was null and void.Compulsory succession is a distinct kind of succession. 6. then an ordinary civil action can be filed for his declaration as heir in order to bring about the annulment of the partition or distribution or adjudication of a property or properties belonging to the estate of the deceased. however. In the case at bar. Since Teofista owns only a portion of the subject properties. a need to file one. believing rightly or wrongly that she was the sole heir to Portugal’s estate. Where special proceedings had been instituted but had been finally closed and terminated. We note the recent case of Portugal v. Portugal-Beltran. in the order established in Sec. and Guilas v. Court of Appeals .” Herein respondents are primary compulsory heirs. could and had already in fact presented evidence . In fine. although their respective shares therein remained pro indiviso. respondent. excluding secondary compulsory heirs. to still subject it. that in the present case the only property of the intestate estate of Portugal is the Caloocan parcel of land. or combination of heirs. to a special proceeding which could be long. not expeditious. Article 886 of the Civil Code defines legitime as “that part of the testator’s property which he cannot dispose of because the law has reserved it for certain heirs who are. prevailing over all kinds of succession. albeit not categorized as such in Article 778 of the Civil Code. and preferred over concurring compulsory heirs in the distribution of the decedent’s estate. Herein respondents’ ownership of the subject properties is no longer inchoate. among other issues. levied upon and sold on auction by the provincial sheriff of Rizal. or in case he did. 1988 the questioned Affidavit of Adjudication under the second sentence of Rule 74. under the circumstances of the case. only that portion could have been. he failed to name an executor therein. We ruled thus: The common doctrine in Litam. or if there are no special proceedings filed but there is. Solivio and Guilas in which the adverse parties are putative heirs to the estate of a decedent or parties to the special proceedings for its settlement is that if the special proceedings are pending. therefore. hence. heirship should be raised and settled in said special proceedings. under the circumstances of the case. It reserves a portion of the net estate of the decedent in favor of certain heirs. Significantly. Rule 78 in case the deceased left no will. or if a putative heirs has lost the right to have himself declared in the special proceedings as co-heir and he can no longer ask for its re-opening. a separate declaration of heirship by herein respondents is not necessary to annul the judicial sale of their share in the subject properties. however. or group of heirs. Said rule is an exception to the general rule that when a person dies leaving property. it became absolute upon Marcelo’s death. just to establish the status of petitioners as heirs is not only impractical. it should be judicially administered and the competent court should appoint a qualified administrator. Ineluctably.
In case the compulsory heirs are only 1 legitimate child and 1 surviving spouse. All told. Jottings and Jurisprudence in Civil Law (2002). paragraph 1 of the Civil Code: The following are compulsory heirs: (1) Legitimate children and descendants. in addition to the already settled status of herein respondents as heirs of Marcelo Sr. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. administrator. SO ORDERED.R. the share of the latter is only ¼ of the estate of the decedent.. the petition is DENIED. 1927 Testate Estate of Joseph G. The Orders dated May 29. JUAN MICIANO. vs. Costs against the petitioner. ANDRE BRIMO. 1996 issued by Judge Santos are REINSTATED.  Balane. WHEREFORE.  The legitime of the legitimate children/descendants of the decedent shall be satisfied first before that of the surviving spouse. there being no compelling reason to still subject Portugal’s estate to administration proceedings since a determination of petitioners’ status as heirs could be achieved in the civil case filed by petitioners xxx.  Art..  See Art. In fine. (2) Legal or intestate. 887. with respect to their legitimate parents and ascendants. paragraph 2: (2) In default of the foregoing. or (3) Mixed.  See Article 777 of the Civil Code: The rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent. under the circumstances. under the circumstances of the present case. opponent-appellant.R. No.before the trial court which assumed jurisdiction over the case upon the issues it defined during pre-trial. petitioner-appellee. Brimo. 278. The legitime of the surviving spouse. 51203 and require herein respondents to institute a separate special proceeding for a declaration of their heirship. L-22595 November 1. premises considered. with respect to their legitimate children and descendants.  G. . p. 778. Succession may be: (1) Testamentary. 58090 is AFFIRMED. never exceeds the share of a legitimate child when there is more than 1 legitimate child to inherit. SP No. in the maximum portion allotted by law. there is no need to dismiss Civil Case No. Articles 265 and 266 of the Civil Code are now Article 172 of the Family Code. 1996 and September 6.  Id. legitimate parents and ascendants.
no evidence in the record that the national law of the testator Joseph G. But the fact is that the oppositor did not prove that said testimentary dispositions are not in accordance with the Turkish laws. provides the following: Nevertheless. it must be taken into consideration that such exclusion is based on the last part of the second clause of the will. . for which reason they are void as being in violation or article 10 of the Civil Code which. but in accordance with the laws of the Philippines. whatever may be the nature of the property or the country in which it may be situated. There is. acknowledges it when he desires to be given an opportunity to present evidence on this point. inasmuch as he is one of the persons designated as such in will.: The partition of the estate left by the deceased Joseph G. He. this citizenship having been conferred upon me by conquest and not by free choice. however. The judicial administrator of this estate filed a scheme of partition. it is my wish that the distribution of my property and everything in connection with this. Brimo's will which are not in accordance with the laws of his Turkish nationality. Brimo was violated in the testamentary dispositions in question which. the approval of the scheme of partition in this respect was not erroneous.ROMUALDEZ. having resided for a considerable length of time in the Philippine Islands where I succeeded in acquiring all of the property that I now possess. must be complied with and executed. as the herein oppositor who. and.net Therefore. and in the absence of evidence on such laws. requesting all of my relatives to respect this wish. and the condition is that the instituted legatees must respect the testator's will to distribute his property. one of the brothers of the deceased. as expressed. nor by nationality and. If this condition as it is expressed were legal and valid. Collector of Customs. and the failure not to postpone the approval of the scheme of partition and the delivery of the deceased's business to Pietro Lanza until the receipt of the depositions requested in reference to the Turkish laws. Andre Brimo. I annul and cancel beforehand whatever disposition found in this will favorable to the person or persons who fail to comply with this request. (4) the approval of the purchase made by the Pietro Lana of the deceased's business and the deed of transfer of said business. legal and testamentary successions. is prevented from receiving his legacy. inasmuch as he did not present any evidence showing what the Turkish laws are on the matter. In regard to the first assignment of error which deals with the exclusion of the herein appellant as a legatee. therefore. not being contrary to our laws in force. on the other hand. J. my will. 36 Phil. among other things. taking into consideration that the oppositor was granted ample opportunity to introduce competent evidence. by his attitude in these proceedings has not respected the will of the testator. so much so that he assigns as an error of the court in not having deferred the approval of the scheme of partition until the receipt of certain testimony requested regarding the Turkish laws on the matter. in respect to the order of succession as well as to the amount of the successional rights and the intrinsic validity of their provisions. lawphil. The court. I am a Turkish citizen. not in accordance with the laws of his nationality. opposed it. approved it. The refusal to give the oppositor another opportunity to prove such laws does not constitute an error. any legatee who fails to comply with it. we find no abuse of discretion on the part of the court in this particular. be made and disposed of in accordance with the laws in force in the Philippine islands. (Lim and Lim vs. which says: Second. The institution of legatees in this will is conditional. (3) the denial of the motion for reconsideration of the order approving the partition. otherwise. 472. and (5) the declaration that the Turkish laws are impertinent to this cause.) It has not been proved in these proceedings what the Turkish laws are. I like desire to state that although by law.. It is discretionary with the trial court. The appellant's opposition is based on the fact that the partition in question puts into effect the provisions of Joseph G. they are presumed to be the same as those of the Philippines. Brimo is in question in this case. shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is in question. (2) denial of his participation in the inheritance. The errors which the oppositor-appellant assigns are: (1) The approval of said scheme of partition. himself.
G. is considered unwritten.The court approved the scheme of partition submitted by the judicialadministrator. that the said condition is void. HELD: Though the last part of the second clause of the will expressly said that ―it be made and disposed of in accordance with the laws in force in the Philippine Island‖. one of the brothers of the deceased (Joseph Brimo) opposed Miciano’s participation in the inheritance. even should the testator otherwise provide. PEOPLE'S BANK and TRUST COMPANY. L-23678 June 6. Miciano vs Brimo | 50 Phil 867 FACTS: Juan Miciano. All of the remaining clauses of said will with all their dispositions and requests are perfectly valid and effective it not appearing that said clauses are contrary to the testator's national law. And said condition is contrary to law because it expressly ignores the testator's national law when. So ordered. shall be considered as not imposed and shall not prejudice the heir or legatee in anymanner whatsoever. even should the testator otherwise provide. in the light of the legal provisions above cited. Impossibleconditions are further defined as those contrary to law or good morals. .R. No. ISSUE: Whether Turkish law or Philippine law will be the basis on the distribution of Joseph Brimo’s estates. such national law of the testator is the one to govern his testamentary dispositions. executor. for article 792 of the civil Code provides the following: Impossible conditions and those contrary to law or good morals shall be considered as not imposed and shall not prejudice the heir or legatee in any manner whatsoever. and the scheme of partition submitted by the judicial administrator is approved in all other respects. Andre Brimo. being contrary to law. and to the condition imposed upon the legatees. without any pronouncement as to costs. Said condition then. oppositors-appellants. described as impossible conditions. Joseph Brimo is aTurkish citizen. this condition. judicial administrator of the estate in question. the orders appealed from are modified and it is directed that the distribution of this estate be made in such a manner as to include the herein appellant Andre Brimo as one of the legatees. is null and void. as one of thelegatees. in such manner as to include Andre Brimo. according to article 10 of the civil Code above quoted. deceased.The fact is. Thus. and the institution of legatees in said will is unconditional and consequently valid and effective even as to the herein oppositor. BELLIS.national law of the testator shall govern in his testamentary dispositions. however. filed a schemeof partition. It results from all this that the second clause of the will regarding the law which shall govern it. Therefore. 1967 TESTATE ESTATE OF AMOS G. MARIA CRISTINA BELLIS and MIRIAM PALMA BELLIS. being contrary to law.
he had three illegitimate children: Amos Bellis.000. renvoi would arise. he had five legitimate children: Edward A. Amos Bellis. the parties do not submit the case on. Amos Bellis. Bellis and Dorothy Bellis. Jr. 37089 therein. BELLIS. it is not disputed that the decedent was both a national of Texas and a domicile thereof at the time of his death. born in Texas. on April 30. and a domicile of another. obligations.2 So that even assuming Texas has a conflict of law rule providing that the domiciliary system (law of the domicile) should govern. 1964. Bellis. upon a question purely of law. Bellis. and expenses of administration are paid for.vs. various amounts totalling P40. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis. Violet Kennedy. Bellis.00. January 31. Bellis. Edwin G. Walter S.000. inter alia. paid all the bequests therein including the amount of $240. his distributable estate should be divided. by his second wife. George Bellis (who pre-deceased him in infancy). Bellis executed a will in the Philippines. therefore. since the properties here involved . applied by this Court in Aznar v. This is a direct appeal to Us.. Jr. the lower court. Jr. Bellis. 1958." By his first wife. Bellis. Maria Cristina Bellis. Mary E.ñët The facts of the case are as follows: Amos G. but would still refer to Texas law. Mallen.000. Walter S. Bellis. On January 17. in which he directed that after all taxes. Relying upon Art. compulsory heirs of the deceased. or P40.1äwphï1. oppositors-appellants appealed to this Court to raise the issue of which law must apply — Texas law or Philippine law. In the project of partition. heirs-appellees. Bellis.00 to his first wife. Alexander Bellis and Anna Bellis Allsman. Bellis. in trust.000. 1963. approving the project of partition filed by the executor in Civil Case No. His will was admitted to probate in the Court of First Instance of Manila on September 15. Bellis died a resident of San Antonio.000. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis. Their respective motions for reconsideration having been denied by the lower court on June 11. In the present case. in the following order and manner: (a) $240.000.000. namely: Edward A. from an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila dated April 30. 1958. 1964.. the same would not result in a reference back (renvoi) to Philippine law.000. in equal shares. the doctrine of renvoi.. or a total of P120.. which it released from time to time according as the lower court approved and allowed the various motions or petitions filed by the latter three requesting partial advances on account of their respective legacies. he had three legitimate children: Edwin G. Texas. On August 5. whom he divorced. report and administration and project of partition. as executor of the will. the executor — pursuant to the "Twelfth" clause of the testator's Last Will and Testament — divided the residuary estate into seven equal portions for the benefit of the testator's seven legitimate children by his first and second marriages. Mallen. Mallen by the delivery to her of shares of stock amounting to $240. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis in the amount of P40. Mallen and to the three (3) illegitimate children. the executor submitted and filed its "Executor's Final Account. was "a citizen of the State of Texas and of the United States.00 each in satisfaction of their respective legacies. L-16749. 1964. On January 8. Said doctrine is usually pertinent where the decedent is a national of one country.00 each and (c) after the foregoing two items have been satisfied. and Dorothy E. Christensen Garcia. which in this case is Texas law. 1964 by the executor. Jr. it applied the national law of the decedent. (b) P120. Miriam Palma Bellis. 1952. Amos Bellis. U. 1 After the parties filed their respective memoranda and other pertinent pleadings. preparatory to closing its administration. or on July 8. Alexander Bellis and Anna Bellis Allsman.00 to his three illegitimate children.ñët Subsequently.1äwphï1. 1964. Jr.00 each or a total of P120. interposed no opposition despite notice to him. Henry A. and finally. EDWARD A. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis filed their respective oppositions to the project of partition on the ground that they were deprived of their legitimes as illegitimate children and.. Report of Administration and Project of Partition" wherein it reported.A.00. Amos G. In this regard.00 in the form of shares of stock to Mary E. Mary E.S. if Texas has a conflicts rule adopting the situs theory (lex rei sitae) calling for the application of the law of the place where the properties are situated. Henry A. the remainder shall go to his seven surviving children by his first and second wives. and the legacies of Amos Bellis. issued an order overruling the oppositions and approving the executor's final account. which did not provide for legitimes. Amos G.000. 16 of the Civil Code.00. the satisfaction of the legacy of Mary E. nor even discuss. 1964. proof of service of which is evidenced by the registry receipt submitted on April 27. ET AL. The People's Bank and Trust Company. who survived him. Nonetheless.
shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration. their acts or property. Regala. with regard to four items: (a) the order of succession.S. ART. (b) the amount of successional rights. to file or adopt the opposition of his sisters to the project of partition. the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of Amos G. both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions. the order of the probate court is hereby affirmed in toto. they argue that their case falls under the circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Article 17 in relation to Article 16 of the Civil Code. Assuming that such was the decedent's intention in executing a separate Philippine will. since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the amount of successional rights are to be determined under Texas law. 867. to submit his brief after paying his proportionate share in the expenses incurred in the printing of the record on appeal. they never invoked nor even mentioned it in their arguments. The parties admit that the decedent.J. "notwithstanding the provisions of this and the next preceding article" when they incorporated Art. Wherefore. Article 16. U. 2. Brimo. for as this Court ruled in Miciano v. Congress added a new provision. 2 San Antonio.B. under Art. par. 50 Phil. Congress has not intended to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals. Amos G. Sanchez and Castro. paragraph three. of proof as to the conflict of law rule of Texas. render applicable the national law of the decedent. Zaldivar. 1039. there are no forced heirs or legitimes. They provide that — ART.are found in the Philippines. 17 of the new Civil Code. concur. it would not alter the law. (e) the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will.. Texas was his legal residence. J. So ordered. It must have been their purpose to make the second paragraph of Art.3Appellants' position is therefore not rested on the doctrine of renvoi. however. the amount of successional rights. However. in intestate or testamentary successions. and (d) the capacity to succeed. 1039 of the Civil Code. of the Civil Code. which decrees that capacity to succeed is to be governed by the national law of the decedent. This is not correct. intestate and testamentary successions. Appellants would however counter that Art. 2 of the Civil Code afore-quoted. 10 of the old Civil Code as Art. prevails as the exception to Art. it should not be presumed different from ours.A. 16. Bellis. 870. public policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated. and those which have for their object public order. a provision in a foreigner's will to the effect that his properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine law and not with his national law. Rather. As further indication of this legislative intent. 1039. inter alia. or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. was a citizen of the State of Texas. In the absence. 16. whatever may he the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. and Art. 11 of the old Civil Code as Art. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is situated. For it has specifically chosen to leave. for his national law cannot be ignored in regard to those matters that Article 10 — now Article 16 — of the Civil Code states said national law should govern.L. Precisely. is illegal and void. Dizon. Specific provisions must prevail over general ones... par. Appellants would also point out that the decedent executed two wills — one to govern his Texas estate and the other his Philippine estate — arguing from this that he intended Philippine law to govern his Philippine estate. 16 in the new. Footnotes 1 He later filed a motion praying that as a legal heir he be included in this case as one of the oppositors-appellants. Concepcion. C. As stated. with costs against appellants. while reproducing without substantial change the second paragraph of Art. Bellis.. JJ. and that under the laws of Texas. Congressdeleted the phrase. to the decedent's national law. Accordingly. It is therefore evident that whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our System of legitimes. 16 a specific provision in itself which must be applied in testate and intestate succession. . Capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the decedent. Makalintal. Reyes. or to allow him to adopt the briefs filed by his sisters — but this Court resolved to deny the motion. 17. stating that — Prohibitive laws concerning persons.
the recognized illegitimate children were not given any share. 500. Facts: Amos G.3 Lim vs. the other disposing his Philippine properties. there are no compulsory heirs. will govern the properties for succession even if it is stated in his testate that it shall be governed by the Philippine law. Before he died. Held: The said illegitimate children are not entitled to their legitimes. Under Texas law. still. Even if the other will was executed in the Philippines. his national law. Texas has no conflict rule (Rule of Private International Law) governing successional rights. Bellis was a citizen and resident of Texas at the time of his death. Collector. 36 Phil. In both wills. 95 Phil. under Texas law. Furthermore. one disposing his Texas properties. In re Testate Estate of Suntay. he made two wills. there are no legitimes. 472. Issue: Whether or not such illegitimate children of Bellis be entitled to successional rights. .
LELA G. opositor-apelado. Wills proved outside islands may be allowed here. solicitante-apelante. DALTON. L-4113 June 30. Territory. may be allowed. may be allowed. or country. No. — SECTION 1. Wills proved outside Philippines may be allowed here. SEC. 637. Giberson. vs. or in a foreign state or country. — Wills proved and allowed in a foreign country. filed. or any State or Territory thereof. SPRING GIBERSON.according to the laws of such country.R. 1952 Testamentaria del finado William R. filed.G. .and recorded in the Court of First Instance of the province in which the testator has real or personal estate on which such will may operate. and recorded by the proper Court of First Instance in the Philippines. according to the laws of such State. — Wills proved and allowed in the United States. RULE 78.
R. mother of the three children who are principal beneficiaries of the will. 1926. B. is dependent upon the place of residence. and son. The petition in this case was filed in the Court of First Instance of Manila on September 8. such domicile had been lost under the conditions presently to be discussed. as required by section 636 of our Code of Civil Procedure. she removed a year later to Manila where she lived with her son. since the trial court deduced from her acts and statements the conclusion that she had acquired a domicile in California. R. as well as her jewelry and personal effects "for their support until the youngest is of age. resist the probate of the will on the ground that the testatrix had never acquired a legal domicile in the State of California. Templeton. During these years W. WILLIAM RIDER BABCOCK. and the question before us ultimately resolves itself into a contention over the point whether the testatrix had ever acquired a legal domicile in the State of California and whether. Templeton. Mr. Beatrice Babcock Templeton. when she joined the family of her daughter.. Mrs. and which might be proved under the law of such state or country. Appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila admitting to probate the holographic will of Jennie Rider Babcock. with reference to the post mortem disposition of all her property. as was the testatrix in this case. petitioner-appellee." The aforesaid instrument is admittedly of a testamentary character. had acquired stock in the company and had no other independent source of income than the dividends derived therefrom. Inc. or domicile. As a branch office had been opened in San Francisco requiring the presence of an officer of the company. This paper bears date of May 26. son and son-inlaw. G.. and that such domicile was never lost. by Beatrice Babcock Templeton to secure probate of a paper writing purporting to express the wishes of Jennie Rider Babcock. The sole question in controversy therefore now is. It is alleged in the petition that the testatrix was at the time of her death a resident of the State of California. with Babcock as president of the company and Templeton as its vice-president. The purport of the paper is to the effect that the writer leaves her stock and money to her three grandchildren. The testatrix. 1920. Jr. The proponent of the will. Among the features of importance which characterize the incident we note the following: . until in 1917. Mrs. During this stay in Manila she occupied an apartment in the house of her son. which authorizes probate by our courts of a will made within the Philippine Islands by a citizen or subject of another state or country.R. it was contained in an envelope indorsed with the name of her daughter. her husband having died in 1908. Templeton. R. Constance Babcock Templeton. 1926. or that. she may not have lost it as a result of her removal from that state. Babcock and G. the testatrix returned to Manila in July. personal effects and money. D. the citizenship of a person born in the United States. 1918. namely. opponent-appellant. were running a business in Manila. 1928 In the matter of the will of Jennie Rider Babcock. where she remained until August. is written wholly in the handwriting of the deceased and bears her proper signature. L-28328 October 2. After remaining with the Templetons in San Francisco for several months. Douglas Templeton. D. It appears that Jennie Rider Babcock had spent her married life in the State of Massachusetts. respectively. California. deceased. 1926. but. which occurred on September 3. bearing the surname Templeton. of the testatrix. When found. William Rider Babcock. From a legal point of view. Templeton in San Francisco. But. it may be noted. The instrument therefore is not offered for probate under section 618 and related provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure but under section 636. consisting of corporate stock. B. G. BEATRICE BABCOCK TEMPLETON. the brother of the proponent. if she had. at the time will was made.G. vs. under the first paragraph of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. 1923. jewelry. which had been incorporated under the style of Babcock & Templeton. W. Babcock. Templeton took up his abode in San Francisco for the purpose of managing the business of said branch. but it is not executed as a will under the provisions of law generally governing the execution of the wills made in the Philippine Islands. supposing such domicile to have been acquired. No. Babcock. whether the testatrix. W. She then returned to San Francisco and lived with the Templetons until May. It was found among the effects of the deceased shortly after her death. when such will is executed in accordance with the law of the state or country of which the testator is a citizen of subject. had the status of a citizen of the State of California. but the writer further states that all interest and dividends are to be given to her only daughter. and the parties have agreed that this paper could be proved in the State of California as the holographic will of the deceased. contends that the testatrix acquired a legal domicile in the State of California by residence therein over two periods of time between 1917 and 1923. the character and incidents of this second sojourn in San Francisco constitute the most important fact in the case. and Billy Babcock Templeton. Mrs. though temporarily residing in Manila at the time of her death.
are the numerous conversations. but she suggested to friends here. apart from her dislike to the environment in New York. her motive being found in her desire to be with her daughter and grandchildren. . In particular. owned a home in San Francisco in which he lived. Upon arriving in New York State. that a desire to economize the cost of living may have had a part in her course. after her return to Manila in 1924. and what we consider the more critical question is whether or not the domicile thus acquired was subsequently lost by removal from said state. sufficiently explains why she claimed to be a resident of Manila in that declaration without making any conclusive commitment as to the place of her domicile in law. He accordingly sold his home in San Francisco and went to live in New York." What really brought her back to the Philippine Islands. who gathered her personal effects together and accompanied them to New York.. we are of the opinion that the conclusion of the trial court. she returned to Manila. voting in a place is an important circumstance and. and in no other act of his life does the citizen identify his interests with the state in which he lives more than in the act of voting. fourthly. a cult to which she was attached: thirdly she engaged in political activities. This step on the part of the Templetons determined the course of the testatrix. arriving at this place in January. Not long thereafter. Papers of this character are not commonly written with legal precision. and in many conversations thereafter with intimate friends.First. "Deliver me from living in New York. made on the same voyage before disembarking at Manila. Indeed. Templeton. The sojourn of the testatrix in New York was apparently not congenial. This made it necessary for G. she formed an attachment for California. where the evidence is scanty. But upon this point also. in the Passenger Manifest of the vessel upon which she came to Manila. is not certain. The Passenger Manifest gave the passenger no choice about indicating whether New York was the place of last residence or the place of last permanent residence. but she appears to have supplied the furniture necessary for her own use. the testatrix established herself as a practitioner in Christian Science. As little importance is to be attached to her Baggage Declaration and Entry. her son-in-law. after a few months of experience in that city. A circumstance to which importance is attached by the appellant is that. 1924. and she voted in at least one general election that occurred in that state. without any apparent intention of removing from the state. decided to close its office in San Francisco and to open a branch in New York City. leaving behind in the care of friends three pieces of furniture to which she was especially attached and which she perhaps thought she might use later in California. the testatrix announced herself again in the Christian Science Journal as a practitioner of Christian Science in White Plains. Of some importance. and intention is revealed only in the acts and declaration of the person concerned. it appears in evidence that only a short time before her death in Manila she was acquiring a few pieces of Spanish furniture to take back to her to California. the Templetons established themselves in White Plains. The finding of the trial court to the effect that the deceased had acquired a domicile in the State of California is in our opinion based upon facts which sufficiently support said finding. the name of this place necessarily had to go down in the column mentioned. 1awph!l. she referred to California as her home state expressed her intention of returning there and building a home in which to live. Inc. may have decisive weight. Here the testatrix occupied part of the apartment which the Templetons had taken. It is evident from the proof that the removal of the testatrix from California to New York did not proceed from her volition but resulted from circumstances over which she had no primary control. in which she stated that she was a resident of Manila. she caused New York City to be entered opposite her name in the column indicating "Last Permanent Residence. taking part in a parade advertising a cause in which she was interested. as throwing light upon the state of her mind towards California and the intention with which she removed from that state. is in conformity with the evidence. and she appears to have inherited some property from a sister who had been living in New York and who died before the return of the testatrix to the Philippine Islands. secondly. and of course when she told the ship's official that she was from New York City. and the circumstances that she had lived many years in Manila and was coming back to this city." it being insisted that this is an admission on her part tending to show the acquisition by her of a domicile in New York State. It is a recognized rule that the intention with which removal is made from a particular state determines whether or not the domicile is abandoned. In the year 1923. to the effect that acquired domicile had not been lost. after arriving. near New York City.D. since. Babcock & Templeton. upon arriving in San Francisco. Though not of course conclusive of acquisition of domicile. in which she revealed an intention of returning to live in California.net This record supplies no material with which to refute the conclusion of the trial court that a domicile was thus acquired by the testatrix in the state of California. The impression that conditions in New York made upon her may be gauged by a statement subsequently made by her to one of her friends in Manila. We consider this circumstance of no probative force in connection with the issues of this lawsuit. we are of the opinion that the trial court committed no error in attaching importance to the circumstance that the deceased had voted in California elections. Templeton to remove with his family to New York State. The exercise of the franchise is one of the highest prerogatives of citizenship. It may also be here stated that the testatrix had kin in New York State whom she had visited more than once during her above in California.
As between these two states. The judgment will therefore be affirmed. . In the contrary.. Certainly in this case it cannot be said with any propriety that the domicile of the testatrix in California was suppressed by the acquisition on a new domicile in New York State. which. and we must decide between California and New York. or citizenship. The acquisition of the new legal domicile extinguishes the old. with as good right as the State of California. even supposing that the testatrix had not acquired a domicile in New York. however long continued (In Re Estate of Johnson. But it is said that. which state of the American Union has the best claim to her citizenship. has not been entered in the competition. Massachusetts. this California domicile has not been supplanted by a later domicile acquired in New York. and that. the place of her marital abode. Furthermore. It results that the trial court committed no error in considering the testatrix a citizen of the State of California. Her will is therefore provable under section 636 of the Code of Civil Procedure as the will of a citizen of another state or country. California was surely the state of her legal domicile. for the purpose of admitting this will to probate. as we have already seen. The testatrix therefore remained at the time of her death a citizen of the United States. and the only question to be determined in this case is. and it is so ordered. yet she was a resident of the Philippine Islands at the same time of her death. upon removal to New York. she at no time had any intention of residing here permanently. in the state of his new abode. her will should not be admitted to probate as the will of a citizen of another state. As was pointed out by this court in In Re Estate of Johnson (39 Phil. according the evidence in this record. a person transferring his domicile from one state of the American Union to another loses his domicile in the state of his earlier abode upon acquiring a domicile. 39 Phil.. turns upon domicile. a question. it is a rule that a citizen of the United States cannot acquire citizenship in the Philippine Islands by residence here. But the proof shows that however long the testatrix had resided in the Philippine Islands.In the case before us there are no declarations of the testatrix in evidence which would tend to show that. acquired by choice and by residing therein. having established herself in these Islands as a place of permanent abode. 156). 156). On the contrary her short stay there and her repeated statements made thereafter show that she could not possibly have had any intention of making that state a place of permanent abode. she had any intention of acquiring a legal domicile in that state. Again. and there is no other state whose citizenship she can claim. her repeated declarations reveal a fixed intention of returning ultimately to the United States. with costs against the appellant.
35342-038 of the Bank of America. Makati." 7 On the other hand. Makati.99 as "increment thereto. .731. No.749. pending probate.731. 1985. that all money now or hereafter deposited by us or any or either of us with the BANK in our joint savings current account shall be the property of all or both of us and shall be payable to and collectible or withdrawable by either or any of us during our lifetime. 35342-038 were conjugal partnership properties and part of the estate. Vitug. P518. She also sought his ouster for failure to include the sums in question for inventory and for "concealment of funds belonging to the estate. We further agree with each other and the BANK that the receipt or check of either." 3 According to Mr.A. 5 The trial courts 6 upheld the validity of this agreement and granted "the motion to sell some of the estate of Dolores L.G. This case is a chapter in an earlier suit decided by this Court 1 involving the probate of the two wills of the late Dolores Luchangco Vitug. 82027 March 29. On January 13. Vitug's estate with her (Mrs.27 as deficiency estate tax. naming private respondent Rowena Faustino-Corona executrix. In addition. As found by the Court of Appeals. In our said decision. Vitug. the proceeds of which shall be used to pay the personal funds of Romarico Vitug in the total sum of P667. 35342-038 with the Bank of America... on November 10." 4 Vitug insists that the said funds are his exclusive property having acquired the same through a survivorship agreement executed with his late wife and the bank on June 19. he withdrew the sums of P518. and shall be payable to and collectible or withdrawable by such survivor or survivors. vs. 2the alleged advances consisted of P58. Vitug's) widower. petitioner Romarico G. who died in New York. the Court of Appeals. but the same order is sustained in all other respects. 1980. petition) is hereby set aside insofar as it granted private respondent's motion to sell certain properties of the estate of Dolores L. assuming that it is a mere donation inter vivos. S. VITUG." 8 and secondly.66. for any payment or withdrawal made for our above-mentioned account shall be valid and sufficient release and discharge of the BANK for such payment or withdrawal. there was allegedly no ground for reimbursement.834.99 from savings account No. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and ROWENA FAUSTINO-CORONA.27 and P90. plus interests. 1970.834. 9 The dispositive portion of the decision of the Court of Appeals states: WHEREFORE. it is a prohibited donation under the provisions of Article 133 of the Civil Code. which he claimed were personal funds. Vitug for reimbursement of his alleged advances to the estate. petitioner. Vitug. and P90. Vitug filed a motion asking for authority from the probate court to sell certain shares of stock and real properties belonging to the estate to cover allegedly his advances to the estate in the sum of P667. the order of respondent Judge dated November 26. Rowena Corona opposed the motion to sell on the ground that the same funds withdrawn from savings account No. The agreement provides: We hereby agree with each other and with the BANK OF AMERICAN NATIONAL TRUST AND SAVINGS ASSOCIATION (hereinafter referred to as the BANK). in the inventory of .40 spent for the payment of estate tax. we upheld the appointment of Nenita Alonte as co-special administrator of Mrs.R. respondents. held that the above-quoted survivorship agreement constitutes a conveyance mortis causa which "did not comply with the formalities of a valid will as prescribed by Article 805 of the Civil Code. 1985 (Annex II. and hence.147.. 1985.749. Metro Manila.66 . U. respondent Judge is directed to include provisionally the deposits in Savings Account No. or the receipt or check of the survivor or survivors. any or all of us during our lifetime. On April 12. and after the death of either or any of us shall belong to and be the sole property of the survivor or survivors. Romarico G. in the petition for certiorari filed by the herein private respondent. 1990 ROMARICO G.
and in the instant case it also appears that Ana Rivera served her master for about nineteen years without actually receiving her salary from him.actual properties possessed by the spouses at the time of the decedent's death. People's Bank and Trust Co. one of mortis causa. and Leonarda would become the owner of the automobile and the furniture if Juana were to die first. and the balance. Gatmaitan. the bequest or device must pertain to the testator. A will has been defined as "a personal. . 15 In this case. Vitug. the monies subject of savings account No. 10 In his petition. Rivera v. that they were joint (and several) owners thereof. 20 Neither is the survivorship agreement a donation inter vivos. it is not a donation between the spouses because it involved no conveyance of a spouse's own properties to the other. is binding upon the parties thereto. having been acquired during the existence of the marita. and hence it must be presumed to be conjugal. according to article 1790 of the Civil Code. Secondly. when the spouses Vitug opened savings account No. as held by the Court of Appeals. assails the appellate court's ruling on the strength of our decisions inRivera v. Gatmaitan 12 in which we sustained the validity of "survivorship agreements" and considering them as aleatory contracts. 16 we rejected claims that a survivorship agreement purports to deliver one party's separate properties in favor of the other. 35342-038. And since the funds were conjugal. one of the parties or both reciprocally bind themselves to give or do something as an equivalent for that which the other party is to give or do in case of the occurrence of an event which is uncertain or will happen at an indeterminate time. relations. Such conclusion is evidently predicated on the assumption that Stephenson was the exclusive owner of the funds-deposited in the bank. upon the death of either. and that either of them could withdraw any part or the whole of said account during the lifetime of both. if any. 13 The petition is meritorious. which would have arguably been sanctionable as a prohibited donation. say. as any other contract. their joint holdings: . 17 In Macam v. In the absence. 18 it was held: This Court is of the opinion that Exhibit C is an aleatory contract whereby. The conveyance in question is not. By virtue of Exhibit C. it can not be said that one spouse could have pressured the other in placing his or her deposits in the money pool. belonged to the survivor. With costs against private respondent. revocable and free act by which a capacitated person disposes of his property and rights and declares or complies with duties to take effect after his death. the spouses are not prohibited by law to invest conjugal property. As already stated. solemn. more commonly denominated in banking parlance as an "and/or" account. The fact that subsequently Stephenson transferred the account to the name of himself and/or Ana Rivera and executed with the latter the survivorship agreement in question although there was no relation of kinship between them but only that of master and servant. we must give full faith and credit to the certificate of deposit which recites in effect that the funds in question belonged to Edgar Stephenson and Ana Rivera. for obvious reasons. the surviving spouse. Certainly. by way of a joint and several bank account. In this manner Leonarda and Juana reciprocally assigned their respective property to one another conditioned upon who might die first. first of all. which assumption was in turn based on the facts (1) that the account was originally opened in the name of Stephenson alone and (2) that Ana Rivera "served only as housemaid of the deceased. 21 by "mere stipulation" 22 and that it is no "cloak" 23 to circumvent the law on conjugal property relations. 11 and Macam v. Inasmuch as Leonarda had died before Juana.. 19 xxx xxx xxx There is no showing that the funds exclusively belonged to one party. People's Bank and Trust Co. They did not dispose of it in favor of the other. the latter thereupon acquired the ownership of the house. 35342-038 were in the nature of conjugal funds In the case relied on. of clear proof to the contrary. Leonarda was the owner of the house and Juana of the Buick automobile and most of the furniture. in the same manner as Leonarda would have acquired the ownership of the automobile and of the furniture if Juana had died first.. which should be embodied in a will. the time of death determining the event upon which the acquisition of such right by the one or the other depended." 14 In other words. It is also our opinion that the agreement involves no modification petition of the conjugal partnership." But it not infrequently happens that a person deposits money in the bank in the name of another. because it was to take effect after the death of one party. Juana would become the owner of the house in case Leonarda died first. then. they merely put what rightfully belonged to them in a money-making venture. In the case at bar. This contract. nullifies the assumption that Stephenson was the exclusive owner of the bank account.. but simply.
and its resolution. donations. 1988. dated June 29. 35342-038 of the Bank of America. Insofar as the respondent court ordered their inclusion in the inventory of assets left by Mrs. the decision of the respondent appellate court. a transaction stipulating on the value of currency. in order to frustrate our laws on wills. For instance. 133. or which is to occur at an indeterminate time. the term being death. By an aleatory contract. donation between the spouses during the marriage. as held by the respondent court. and insurance have been held to fall under the first category." A survivorship agreement. the nature. except that which takes effect after the death of the donor. Being the separate property of petitioner. Vitug. in which case. SO ORDERED. the element of risk is present. are SET ASIDE. it forms no more part of the estate of the deceased. their property relationship was that of conjugal partnership governed by the Civil Code. 1987. the donation shall comply with the formalities of a will (Arts. one of the parties or both reciprocally bind themselves to give or to do something in consideration of what the other shall give or do upon the happening of an event which is uncertain. 2010. 24 Under Article 2010 of the Code: ART. or to defeat the legitime of a forced heir. has been categorized under the second. it may be assailed and annulled upon such grounds. No such vice has been imputed and established against the agreement involved in this case. we hold that the court was in error. and not subject to stipulation. 25 In either case." (2) "which is to occur at an indeterminate time. 21 In the words of the Appellate Court: "Since private respondent and his late wife did not enter into a marriage settlement before marriage. No costs. et sequentia. or.The validity of the contract seems debatable by reason of its "survivor-take-all" feature. while a contract for life annuity or pension under Article 2021. that contract imposed a mere obligation with a term. the risk was the death of one party and survivorship of the other. consequences and incidents of marriage. WHEREFORE. Such agreements are permitted by the Civil Code. To allow the prohibited donation by giving it a cloak of aleatory contract would sanction a (modification) of a marriage settlement during marriage by a mere stipulation. the latter has acquired upon her death a vested right over the amounts under savings account No. the fulfillment of an aleatory contract depends on either the happening of an event which is (1) "uncertain. Vitug having predeceased her husband. but in reality. 52." . the sale of a sweepstake ticket. The system of conjugal partnership prohibits. Under the aforequoted provision. as we have warned: xxx xxx xxx But although the survivorship agreement is per se not contrary to law its operation or effect may be violative of the law. dated February 9. In the case at bar. which is not a mere contract but an inviolable social institution are governed by law. 728. 26 xxx xxx xxx There is no demonstration here that the survivorship agreement had been executed for such unlawful purposes. The conclusion is accordingly unavoidable that Mrs. to transfer property in fraud of creditors. and conjugal partnership. However. as already mentioned. As mandated by Art. 805). if it be shown in a given case that such agreement is a mere cloak to hide an inofficious donation.
ON QUESTIONS OF LAW. pp. 71939 January 25. to wit: I. the petition was given due course and the parties were required to file their respective memoranda (Ibid.. 1987 (Ibid. vs. RESPONDENT INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT ERRED GRAVELY. The pivotal issue in this case is who.R. IN HOLDING THAT LAIZ HAS A BETTER RIGHT TO THE PROPERTY BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN A POSSESSOR THEREIN IN GOOD FAITH SINCE 1954. al. 1988 ELIGIO T. failed to file her memorandum. p. PSU-124647-AMD TO LEYVA. CV-62591.. V. "Francisco Laiz vs. . ON QUESTIONS OF LAW. 1-H-3 which is the property in question. ON QUESTIONS OF LAW. and the August 21. pp. 132). et. The instant petition is without merit. Petitioner raised seven (7) assignments of error. RESPONDENT INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT ERRED GRAVELY. IN NOT HOLDING THAT LEYVA'S RIGHTS OF OWNERSHIP OF LOT 1-H-3 PREVAIL OVER LAIZ'S CLAIMS THERETO. 187210). AND RESPONDENT INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT ERRED GRAVELY. RESPONDENT INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT ERRED GRAVELY. Manuela Jandoc. respondents. VI. III.G. THE LATTER WAS TO RECOGNIZE THE CLAIM OF LEYVA OVER THE SAME PROPERTY WHICH SHE SOUGHT TO BE REGISTERED IN HER NAME. No. 1985 Resolution ** of the same Court denying herein petitioner's motion for reconsideration. II. IN HOLDING THAT THE LAND IN QUESTION COULD NOT BE THE SUBJECT OF A CONTRACT BETWEEN JANDOC AND LEYVA BECAUSE IT WAS THEN STILL GOVERNMENT LAND. LEYVA. No. IN NOT HOLDING THAT LEYVA'S 1963 COMPROMISE PREVAILS OVER LAIZ'S 1970 DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE. IN NOT ORDERING JANDOC TO RECONVEY LOT 4. 1977 Decision of the then Court of First Instance of South Cotabato. 157-184). This is a petition for review on certiorari of the April 14. ON QUESTIONS OF LAW. 1987. petitioner on June 18. as between petitioner Leyva and private respondent Laiz. ON QUESTIONS OF LAW. has a preferred right of ownership over Lot. UNDER THE ESTABLISHED AND UNDISPUTED FACTS. 1981 Decision * of the then Intermediate Appellate Court in AC-G. while private respondent Jandoc. AND NOT RENDERING JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF LEYVA. FRANCISCO LAIZ and MANUELA JANDOC. COURT OF APPEALS.R. RESPONDENT INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT ERRED GRAVELY. IV. Private respondent Francisco Laiz filed his Memorandum on June 2." affirming in toto the July 6. petitioner. ON QUESTIONS OF LAW. RESPONDENT INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT ERRED GRAVELY. IN NOT REVERSING THE DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT.. VII. 1987 (Ibid. In the Resolution dated April 8. ON QUESTIONS OF LAW. RESPONDENT INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT ERRED GRAVELY. IN HOLDING THAT UNDER THE COMPROMISE AGREEMENT OF 1963 BETWEEN LEYVA AND JANDOC.
). p. 87) and by the Notary Public Victorio Versoza. annotated on the back of his Transfer Certificate of Title No. Laiz was mentioned as one of the adverse possessors but not Leyva. In evaluating the authenticity and due execution of the aforesaid documents of the contending parties. Petitioner anchors his claim on his alleged Compromise Agreement with Manuela Jandoc. at the instance of petitioner LEYVA in the Office of the Register of Deeds of General Santos. Upon consideration of the foregoing.This case was originally filed by private respondent LAIZ in the then Court of First Instance of Cotabato as a petition for the Cancellation of Adverse Claim. (3) Its due execution was testified to by Provincial Fiscal Jose B. the findings of fact of both the trial court and the Court of Appeals are as follows: I. obviously in violation of the terms of the alleged compromise agreement thereby negating bad faith (Rollo. (4) It has been established that the lot in question has been occupied by Laiz since 1954 although disturbed off and on by Eligio T. . 1972. (2) The claim that the compromise agreement was executed in 1963 was belied by Leyva himself when in his letter dated February 6. he did not mention any such agreement but only of conflicting claims between him and Jandoc. Camp Crame who testified that the purported signature of Jandoc appeared to be of another person and of Col. AMD-2 registered in the name of Manuela Jandoc. 1968 requiring Laiz to vacate the premises. 1959 to Francisco Laiz per Agreement of Sale. p. Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals gave more weight to the testimony of Fiscal Sarinas as corroborated by Catolico and Versoza. Jr. 76). (2) Said agreement was confirmed by a deed of transfer executed by Jandoc on February 2. and (6) It is incredible that after Jandoc won in the Land Case No. T-7225. 1959 is a valid and binding contract between the parties. N-78 (filed by applicant Jandoc) on the condition that upon the issuance of the title in favor of Jandoc. p. p. 71). This land is a portion of a bigger parcel known as Lot 1-H PSU 124647. It provides among others. General Santos City *** in an action for Specific Performance whereby Jandoc was compelled to execute the necessary documents which led to the issuance of the Transfer Certificate of Title on the lot in question. Garcia.. 7376). (5) In his testimony Leyva himself declared that despite the Compromise Agreement. His rights thereto were confirmed not only by Manuela Jandoc herself in a Deed of Transfer executed on February 2. 78). thereby confirming that the conflict in the land registration case still subsists. one of the signatories therein (Record on Appeal. she will still enter into a Compromise Agreement with Leyva either in 1963 or in 1972 (Rollo.00 as earnest money considered as part of the price and proof of the perfection of the contract (Record on Appeal. that the Leyva spouses will withdraw their opposition to the Land Registration Case No. in favor of private respondent Laiz. N-78 in the lower court. 75). against all of whom there is no evidence on record that they are biased witnesses who would fabricate a tale in support of the authenticity and due execution of aforesaid document (Rollo. certain properties covered thereunder which include Lot 1-H-3 will automatically belong to the former. the same having been previously sold by Jandoc on April 2. 81). a handwriting expert of the PC Crime Laboratory. he continued opposing the registration of the property in favor of Jandoc. which is undated although claimed to have been executed in 1963 but actually notarized on September 4. p. Sarinas whose testimony was corroborated by Jose Catolico. formerly Chief of the Chemistry Branch in the PC Crime Laboratory who testified that the Agreement could have been written within the years 1964 to 1967 (Rollo. 1959 regarding the same lot. as it was duly executed with the receipt of P200. private respondent Francisco Laiz bases his claim on a private agreement of sale executed between him and Manuela Jandoc on April 3. the Court of appeals concluded that the Compromise Agreement whether executed in 1963 or 1972 between Leyva and Jandoc cannot prevail over the Agreement of Sale between Laiz and Jandoc and that Laiz has a better right over the property in question than Leyva (Ibid. p. 28). is null and void for lack of subject matter. 67). On the Agreement of Sale between Jandoc and Laiz: (1) The transfer of rights executed on April 2. (3) In the application for registration of Manuela Jandoc. II. pp. Crispin B. (4) Leyva's opposition to said registration proceedings on the basis of a foreshore lease contract with the government was disallowed by the trial court whose ruling was sustained by the Court of Appeals and finally by the Supreme Court (Rollo. 1970. 1 970 but also by a final judgment of the Court of First Instance of South Cotabato. On the Compromise Agreement between Leyva and Jandoc : (1) The agreement besides being undated with a belated notarization. p. in the Court of Appeals and in the Supreme Court. covering Lot 1-H-3. Leyva (Record on Appeal. P. and (5) Laiz was issued a Transfer Certificate of Title over Lot 1-H-3 by virtue of a final judgment in the Specific Performance Case (Rollo. upholding the validity of the assailed Sale Agreement. On the other hand. But Leyva lays much stress on the findings of Francisco Cruz.
Adones. In holding that in order to be valid the will in question should have been drawn up in the Ilocano dialect. and could make himself understood in that dialect. although imperfectly. in the instant case. PREMISES CONSIDERED. G. is drawn. Roxas (87 Phil." etc. 3. as the last will and testament of the deceased Piraso. In not holding that the testator Piraso did not know the Ilocano dialect well enough to understand a will drawn up in said dialect. petitioner-appellant. even he invoked in support of the probate of said document Exhibit A. It is evident that what petitioner seeks from this Court is a review of the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals which affirmed the findings of the trial court. alleged to be his will. 137 SCRA 166 . 1929 In re estate of Piraso. Jr. to the effect that the testator is presumed to know the dialect of the locality where he resides. (Emphasis supplied. 144 SCRA 364 . nor charge or affect the same. 141 SCRA 240 ). Abangan (40 Phil. People v. once it has been proved without contradiction. The proponent-appellant assigns the following as alleged errors of the lower court: 1. People v.) Nor can the presumption in favor of the will established by this court in Abangan vs. but that the record contains positive proof that said Piraso knew no other language than the Igorrote dialect. and the court is of the opinion that his will should have been written in that dialect. Pasco. not only is it not proven that English is the language of the City of Baguio where the deceased Piraso lived and where Exhibit A was drawn. because. SO ORDERED. strictly provides that: "No will. 476). 692 ) 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. People v. the petition is DENIED and the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED.." In any event.This Court has ruled in the case of Vda. 132 SCRA 189 . Indeed. denying the probate of the instrument Exhibit A. This appeal was taken from the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Benguet. deceased. as a will. before the present Code of Civil Procedure went into effect). Tala. that the said deceased Piraso did not know English.R. The fundamental errors assigned refer chiefly to the part of the judgment which reads as follows: The evidence shows that Piraso knew how to speak the Ilocano dialect. in which language the instrument Exhibit A. it has long been established to the point of being elementary. 2. Such statements were not unnecessary for the decision of the case. unless it be written in the language or dialect known by the testator . vs. unless there is proof to the contrary. Mercado. it is well established that the appellate court will not disturb the factual findings of the lower court for the latter is in a better position to gauge credibility of witnesses (People v. SIXTO ACOP. No. L-28946 January 16. except as provides in the preceding section" (as to wills executed by a Spaniard or a resident of the Philippine Islands. opponents-appellees. ET AL. People v. "shall be valid to pass any estate.. de Roxas v. People v. People v. SALMING PIRASO. are subject to inherent infirmities. Jones. 131 SCRA 501 . Section 628 of the Code of Civil Procedure. 137 SCRA 137 . Lopez. real or personal.. that the factual findings of the Court of Appeals are final and may not be reviewed by this Court except in certain instances which have no application here. In refusing to admit the will in question to probate. Danes 131 SCRA 286 . with a .
at the bottom of which appears the signature of T. as it was. The fact is. So ordered. was signed in accordance with law. EUSEBIA ABELLANA. whether or not the Igorrote or Inibaloi dialect is a cultivated language and used as a means of communication in writing. Faustino Macaso and Rafael Ignacio. (Emphasis supplied) The appeal squarely presents the following issue: Does the signature of Dr. residence Certificate A1167629. G. that the instrument in question could not be probated as the last will and testament of the deceased Piraso. Abello above the typewritten statement "Por la Testadora Anacleta Abellana . "Por la Testadora Anacleta Abellana'. it having been. is written in the Spanish language and consists of two (2) typewritten pages (pages 4 and 5 of the record) double space. The judgment appealed from is affirmed. and in admitting the will to probate. No. On the second page. that is. In view of the fact that the appeal involves a question of law the said court has certified the case to us. must be written in the Ilocano dialect. which is sought to be probated. and whether or not the testator Piraso knew the Ilocano dialect well enough to understand a will written in said dialect. Ciudad de Zamboanga. 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. oppositors-appellants. petitioner-appellee. The will is duly acknowledged before Notary Public Attorney Timoteo de los Santos. and this is sufficient to invalidate said will according to the clear and positive provisions of the law. L-15153 August 31. The first page is signed by Juan Bello and under his name appears typewritten "Por la testadora Anacleta Abellana. that it is quite certain that the instrument Exhibit A was written in English which the supposed testator Piraso did not know. 1951. and on the second page appears the signature of three (3) instrumental witnesses Blas Sebastian. Enero 20. in order to be valid. On the first page on the left margin of the said instrument also appear the signatures of the instrumental witnesses.. Juan A. We consider the other question raised in this appeal needless and immaterial to the adjudication of this case. . proven. et al. vs. and inevitably prevents its probate. The facts as found by the trial court are as follows: It appears on record that the last Will and Testament (Exhibit "A")." comply with the requirements of law prescribing the manner in which a will shall be executed? .. 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. which is the last page of said last Will and Testament. LUCIO BALONAN. Appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga City admitting to probate the will of one Anacleta Abellana. Ciudad de Zamboanga'.smattering of Ilocano.R. de los Santos and below his signature is his official designation as the notary public who notarized the said testament. Such a result based upon solidly established facts would be the same whether or not it be technically held that said will. with the costs of this instance against the appellant. So that even if such a presumption could have been raised in this case it would have been wholly contradicted and destroyed. 1960 In the Matter of the summary settlement of the Estate of the deceased ANACLETA ABELLANA. he did not know the English language in which Exhibit A is written. . having been written in the English language with which the latter was unacquainted. "A". Exh. we repeat.
under the law now in force. Richard Doe. Therefore. the notary certifying thereto as provided in Article 695 of the Civil Code. or in this form: "By the testator.. 5 Phil. in part provides as follows: Every will. 479.. it shall be signed in the following manner: John Doe by the testator. There is. nor charge or affect the same. et al. or is unable for any reason. 461. 21 Phil. 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. or that his name be affixed thereto by some other person in his presence and by his express direction. and by his express direction. we held that the important thing is that it clearly appears that the name of the testatrix was signed at her express direction. Applying this provision this Court said in the case of Ex Parte Pedro Arcenas. it will not be sufficient that one of the attesting witnesses signs the will at the testator's request. therefore. however. the decision appealed from is hereby set aside and the petition for the probate of the will denied. 700: It will be noticed from the above-quoted section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure that where the testator does not know how. 190) which reads as follows: No will. and by his express direction. does not appear written under the will by said Abellana herself. or if he cannot do so.) 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. The same ruling was laid down in the case of Cuison vs. 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. or by Dr. Caluya vs.. Richard Doe. notwithstanding the fact that no one appeared to oppose it. unless it be in writing and signed by the testator.. (Emphasis supplied. John Doe. was modified by section 618 above referred to. 552." is practically the same as the provisions of Section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Act No. except as provided in the preceding section shall be valid to pass any estate. we are constrained to declare that the said will of the deceased Anacleta Abellana may not be admitted to probate.. it is unimportant whether the person who writes the name of the testatrix signs his own or not. in this respect. and attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of each other. and this is failure to comply with the law is a substantial defect which affects the validity of the will and precludes its allowance. . Cases of the same import areas follows: (Ex Parte Juan Ondevilla.. which. Anacleta Abellana. to sign. Note that the old law as well as the new require that the testator himself sign the will. but it is necessary that the testator's name be written by the person signing in his stead in the place where he could have signed if he knew how or was able to do so. the witness Naval A. Juan Abello. Where a testator does not know how. Vidal should have written at the bottom of the will the full name of the testator and his own name in one forms given above. In the case of Barut vs. Article 805 of the Civil Code. . . WHEREFORE. Cabacungan. or is unable. With costs against petitioner. Concepcion. the testator's name must be written by some other person in his presence and by his express direction. other than a holographic will. to sign the will himself. 27 Phil. 330. or by the testator's name written by some other person in his presence. (Emphasis supplied). real or personal. Lacuesta. 489). It appearing that the above provision of the law has not been complied with.The present law. He did not do so. . 90 Phil.Domingo. a failure to comply with the express requirement in the law that the testator must himself sign the will." All this must be written by the witness signing at the request of the testator. and this in the testator's presence and by his express direction. In the case at bar the name of the testatrix. and attested and subscribed by three or more credible witness in the presence of the testator and of one another. 13 Phil. Garcia vs. Phil..
Ann V. Respondent.GONZALES NEYRA v. he told them so and refused to comply with their demands any longer. A divided BIA denied his application.S. . he received threats on his business and his life. Marco Antonio Gonzales-Neyra is a native and citizen of Peru who petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals' denial of his application for asylum and withholding of deportation. Petitioner paid “protection” money to “Sendero Luminoso” (also known as “Shining Path”) guerrillas while he believed that they were Peruvian police officers. the majority of the BIA. 1158(a). Petitioner. and he fled the country. U.C. 1997. overlooked the uncontradicted evidence that petitioner's life and business had been threatened only after he expressed his political disagreement with the guerrilla organization. San Francisco.September 15. 1997 Before: SCHROEDER. IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE. -. DC.Marshall Tamor Golding. KLEINFELD. 1253(h). Circuit Judges. §§ In so holding. Court of International Trade Judge. 8 U.* Randall Caudle. and only after he made clear that his refusal to make further payments was on account of that disagreement. CA. Argued and Submitted June 10. and WALLACH. IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE Marco Antonio GONZALES-NEYRA. 96-70467. for Respondent. and the immigration judge. Washington.S. Upon concluding that they were revolutionaries whose cause he politically opposed. United States Department of Justice. holding that he had not established a well-founded fear of persecution on account of political opinion. No. for Petitioner. As a result. Crowley. v.
GonzalesNeyra fled his home and business.” As of December of 1990. he learned from a newspaper that the police had detained two men whom he recognized as the men who had first come to his establishment in 1990. Gonzales-Neyra told them that he would no longer give money to support their “armed struggle. or that they would do whatever possible to harass [him] in [his] business or close [his] business. made them stupid. They were going to destroy [his] business and [him] inside of it. Before fleeing. Petitioner testified that he paid the $300 to the guerrillas that day because he was afraid he would be killed on the spot. whose ideas “were to enrich and increment democracy ․ within the country[. saying that it was . to obtain money from business persons. but rather members of the Shining Path. his brother went into hiding for a year. The press reported that the police had identified them as members of the Shining Path. “they were going to see to it that [his] business was [declared] illegal. BACKGROUND The immigration judge expressly found his testimony credible because there were no inconsistencies in that testimony and no contradictory evidence regarding the events that took place before petitioner fled Peru. because that was not part of [his] idea. demanded that he provide protection money “for police use.” Petitioner operated a video game business in Lima. Gonzales-Neyra decided that he would no longer make the payments. that [he] was not going to collaborate with a group that was trying to destroy [his] country. he became the target of extortion demands. When they demanded that he pay $300 per month. Gonzales-Neyra's father began observing unknown people loitering on several occasions on the street in front of the family home.]” in stark contrast to the goals of the Shining Path. Gonzales-Neyra began hearing rumors that the Shining Path guerrillas were using the same kind of extortionist tactics as the police. his fear of future persecution was reasonable. they were going to kill him. Every month thereafter. Gonzales-Neyra's fear became even stronger.” The demands upon him began in April of 1990. purporting to be members of the Peruvian national police. and in fact. we grant Gonzales-Neyra's petition for review. In addition. Soon after the incident. however. because it “was not in accordance with their ideology. After his departure from Peru. that given Gonzales-Neyra's showing of past persecution. would be compelled to reach a contrary conclusion: that the persecution Gonzales-Neyra suffered was on account of political opinion. At that point. but that he specifically told them that he was not going to “collaborate [with] them [anymore]. the guerrillas chastised him for being involved in the video game business.” When he demanded to know if they were in fact Shining Path guerrillas.” In January of 1991. The men also ordered him to close his business soon. they “clarified [his] suspicions. Because he did not share the Shining Path guerrillas' ideology. as a university student had been a member of the Christian Popular Party. because they confirmed ․ that they were members of the Sendero Luminoso Communist Party.” They said that in their opinion. as the BIA was required to do in this case. Gonzales-Neyra was told by his family that people would call his parents' home. from May 1990 until January 1991. In February of 1991. These men told Gonzales-Neyra that if he did not pay. Therefore. and that if [he] didn't do it. a video game business such as his distracted the youth. Gonzales-Neyra complied. Like many other business people in Peru.” Because of that threat. Believing that the guerrilla group might now retaliate against him thinking that he was the one who had reported the men to the police. He testified this meant that “they were destroying businesses and killing people.We conclude that any rational factfinder who took that evidence into account. when two men dressed in police uniform. two men dressed in police uniforms came to Gonzales-Neyra's video store to demand payment. his younger brother would be harmed. and “diverted their attention from national problems. The facts are as petitioner testified. Gonzales-Neyra confronted the men who came to get the protection payment. they were going to kill [him].” They responded that if he “didn't do it. He began to suspect that the men to whom he was paying the protection money were not members of the national police force.” In addition. GonzalesNeyra's family was threatened that if it did not disclose his whereabouts. and that there is a clear probability that Gonzales-Neyra will be persecuted if he were returned to Peru.
Ct. Unknown persons. businessmen. including government officials. 58 F. 815 n. 47 F. some asylum applicants may have difficulty providing evidence that they were threatened or abused on Convention-covered grounds. applicants with credible cases of guerrilla mistreatment may merit administrative discretion. supports petitioner's claim of continued Shining Path insurrection in the country at least as strongly as it supports the BIA's position that conditions have changed for the better. 103 F. industrialists.Ct. development and human rights workers. Elias-Zacarias. The BIA relied upon portions of a State Department report. 1428 (9th Cir. 812. [Kamla Prasad]. peasants. 478. Sangha. (3) his political opinion is known to his persecutors. educators and students. Indians. 112 S. an asylum seeker claiming to be a victim of persecution on account of political opinion must offer evidence that (1) he has been a victim of persecution.3d 1425.C. § An alien is eligible for asylum and may be granted asylum at the discretion of the Attorney General. The burden of proof is on the alien to establish eligibility for asylum. 478. INS. 338 (9th Cir.3d at 1487. 112 S. Sangha. ANALYSIS Prasad v.2d 38 (1992).” 1158(a). Sometime soon after his confrontation with the guerrillas. Because Gonzales-Neyra's family knew who his friends were. and while Gonzales-Neyra was living in hiding at his girlfriend's house before his departure from Peru. his family reported disturbing incidents. The breadth of the guerrilla efforts to destabilize the country was reflected in the variety of targets of their violence. who dissented from the BIA's decision.3d at 1487. military and police personnel.Ed. 117 L. 8 U. 812. We therefore conclude that petitioner proved through compelling and undisputed evidence that the threats to his life and business constituted persecution causally connected to his political . third and fourth elements. INS.C.S. INS v. direct. The alien must do this by offering “credible.S. 502 U. the BIA rested on similar reasoning. asking for him.urgent that he be in touch.1995)). and demanding that the family provide information as to his whereabouts. Peru: Profile of Asylum Claims and Country Conditions (February 1995). 1487 (9th Cir. § A “refugee” is an alien who is unable or unwilling to return to the country of his nationality “because of persecution or a wellfounded fear of persecution on account of ․ political opinion. 103 F. INS. 103 F. they did not believe that these people had innocent motives. labor leaders and workers. and specific evidence [. which.S. Because so many categories of Peruvians have been targeted. (2) he holds a political opinion.1997) (citing Ghaly v. In certain cases. precisely because any person or group perceived by the Shining Path as in a position to aid or thwart its efforts to overthrow the government is a potential target of its threats or violence. 816-17.3d 336. Likewise an asylum seeker claiming well-founded fear of persecution must show the second. We may reverse the BIA's decision only if the evidence presented by Gonzales-Neyra is such that a reasonable factfinder would be compelled to conclude that the requisite fear of persecution existed. 1. if he establishes that he is a statutory “refugee”. 481 n.Ed. though not necessarily the first.3d 1482. Elias-Zacarias.” This point was brought out dramatically by BIA member Rosenberg. who claimed to be his friends. and (4) the persecution has been or will be on account of his political opinion. bankers and other professionals. After the Supreme Court's decision in INS v. The BIA also found that Gonzales-Neyra had not established a well-founded fear of future persecution because conditions in Peru had changed. The immigration judge concluded that Gonzales-Neyra had failed to show that his fear was “on account of political opinion.S.1995) (citation omitted). 8 U. 502 U. started coming to his family's house. 483-84. when reviewed as a whole.]” Sangha v. 1. religious personnel and foreigners. In affirming the immigration judge's order. 1101(a)(42)(A). they had not targeted him for extortion because of his political opinion. 117 L.2d 38 (1992). politicians. The judge reasoned that while the guerrillas may have extorted money from Gonzales-Neyra in order to fund their armed struggle.
Ct. 107 S. Because Gonzales-Neyra's evidence was not rebutted by the INS. 95 F.C.1995). does not automatically entitle an alien to asylum: the grant of asylum is discretionary. 480 U. INS v. 101 F.Ed. In addition. as was the immigration judge's and the BIA's.opposition to the Shining Path. § Eligibility. INS. The persecution of which Gonzales-Neyra complains is not the extortion. The BIA stated that even if Gonzales-Neyra had shown past persecution on account of political opinion. 467 U.3d at 1429 (citations omitted).3d at 1486. does not relate to their subsequent motivation for persecuting him.]” and given the fact that Gonzales-Neyra had failed to “establish[ ] that any mistreatment of him was so severe as to merit ․ a discretionary grant of asylum to him particularly in light of the [changed political climate in Peru. See Sangha. that he expressed it to his persecutors. Surita v. 46 F.S. at 427-32.1996) (quoting to 8 C.1996) (citing 8 C. was economically viable.Ed. 480 U.2d 321 (1984).3d 614. at 1210-13 “[s]ome forms of past persecution trigger a presumption that the applicant is entitled to withholding of deportation. 905 (9th Cir. Kazlauskas v.” If the applicant is determined to have suffered persecution in the past such that his life or freedom was threatened in the proposed country of deportation on account of ․ political opinion.S.S. we find no basis for the government's suggestion that the threats were on account of Gonzales-Neyra's economic inability to provide payments. 58 F. Stevic.]” This hypothetical exercise of discretion rests on no firmer ground than the BIA's conclusion that petitioner was ineligible for asylum consideration. and that they threatened him only after he expressed his opinion.3d 902. 208. The government's focus on the Shining Path's economic motivation for the extortion demands is misplaced. Gonzales-Neyra provided evidence that he was persecuted.F.Ct.S. § While the granting of asylum is discretionary.” Ghaly. and constitutes an abuse of discretion. 1253(h). we hold that petitioner was eligible for asylum on account of political opinion. 81 L. A petitioner's deportation must be withheld if the petitioner has established a “clear probability of persecution. much of the report supports petitioner's claim that he has reason to fear similar persecution in the future. 94 L. 8 U. however.2d 434 (1987). As noted earlier. 8 U. Thus. 2489. 1158(a). See Prasad v. does not rebut the presumption raised by GonzalesNeyra's evidence of past persecution. § Because we conclude that Gonzales-Neyra established past persecution on account of his political opinion. INS. withholding of deportation to a particular country is mandatory if the Attorney General determines that the alien's “life or freedom would be threatened in such country on account of ․ political opinion.3d 814. It ignores the evidence that the Shining Path representatives made it quite clear to Gonzales-Neyra that his political views motivated their hostility and threats after the January 1991 confrontation. 421. we also hold that he was entitled to a rebuttable presumption that he had a well-founded fear that he would be similarly persecuted in the future. The State Department report. 617 (9th Cir. .C. which was derided by the guerrillas. and pointed out by the dissenting BIA member. everything in the record suggests that he was financially able to pay and that his business. that he had a political opinion.S. the BIA would still not exercise its discretion in his favor “given the unlikelihood of future persecution[.R. Indeed. 821 (9th Cir. 107 S. INS [Gaya Prasad]. Cardoza-Fonseca. Cardoza-Fonseca. 104 S. but the threats upon his life and business that were made after the guerrillas learned of his political orientation.F.Ct. INS v. on which the BIA selectively relied to find that the situation in Peru had changed. it shall be presumed that his life or freedom would be threatened on return to that country unless a preponderance of the evidence establishes that conditions in the country have changed to such an extent that it is no longer more likely than not that the applicant would be so persecuted there. the fact that the guerrillas may have initially chosen Gonzales-Neyra as a target for money because he was a successful businessman. 1207. 407.” in other words that it is “more likely than not” that the alien would be persecuted if he were returned to his country.R.13(b)(1)(i)). The regulation provides: 208. § Even though the standard for withholding of deportation is more stringent than the wellfounded fear of persecution standard.16(b)(2)). 103 F.
and was hunted thereafter. we hold that Gonzales-Neyra has met the requirements for withholding of deportation. As a result of the Shining Path threats. this petitioner left his business. REMANDED for further proceedings. The INS did not establish by a preponderance of the evidence that conditions in Peru have changed to such an extent that it is no longer more likely than not that Gonzales-Neyra would be persecuted upon his return. 1141 (9th Cir. .16(b)(2).1988). 8 C. INS. § PETITION GRANTED.” 208.F. We have observed that “[a] key factor in finding evidence sufficient for withholding of deportation is whether harm or threats of harm were aimed against petitioner specifically.R.Thus. went into hiding. 852 F. Vilorio-Lopez v.2d 1137.
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