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THE PARISH PRIEST OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF VICTORIA, TARLAC, Petitioner-Appellant, v. BELINA RIGOR, NESTORA RIGOR, FRANCISCA ESCOBAR DE RIGOR and JOVITA ESCOBAR DE FAUSTO, RespondentsAppellees. SYNOPSIS In his will, the late Father Pascual Rigor of Victoria, Tarlac, devised forty-four hectares of ricelands to his nearest male relative who would study for the priesthood and provided that the administration of the ricelands would be under the responsibility of the parish priest of Victoria during the time that there is no qualified devisee as contemplated in the will. During the testate proceedings, the trial court approved the project of partition and directed the administratrix to deliver to the devisees their respective shares. Inasmuch as no nearest male relative of the testator claimed the devise and as the administratrix and the legal heirs believed that the parish priest of Victoria had no right to administer the ricelands, the same were not delivered to him. The latter, however, petitioned for delivery of the ricelands to the church. The lower court, after first declaring the bequest inoperative, later reconsidered its findings in an order, on the ground that the testator had a grandnephew (born after the testator’s death), who was a seminarian, and directed the administrator of the estate to deliver the ricelands to the parish priest of Victoria as trustee. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the order. The Supreme Court ruled that the will referred to the nearest male relative of the testator who was living at the time of his death and not to any indefinite time thereafter, because in order to be capacitated to inherit, the devisee must be living at the moment the succession opens, except in case of representation, when it is proper. Decision affirmed. SYLLABUS 1. TESTAMENTARY SUCCESSION; TESTATOR’S INTENT IS THE LAW OF THE CASE. — In testamentary succession cases, as in cases involving the law of contracts and statutory construction, where the intention of the contracting parties or of the lawmaking body is to be ascertained, the primary issue is the determination of the t estator’s intention which is the law of the case (dicat estor et eirt lex). The will of the testator is the first and principal law in the matter of testaments. When his intention is clearly and precisely expressed, any interpretation must be in accord with the plain and literal meaning of his words, except when it may certainly appear that his intention was different from that literally expressed. 2. ID.; CAPACITY TO INHERIT. — In order to be capacitated to inherit, the heir, devisee or legatee must be living at the moment the succession opens, except in case of representation, when it is proper (Art. 1025, Civil Code). 3. ID.; WHERE BEQUEST IS INOPERATIVE. — If the bequest for any reason should be inoperative, it shall be merged into the estate, except in cases of substitution and those in which the right of accretion exists (Art. 956, New Civil Code). The Civil Code recognizes that a person may die partly testate and partly intestate, or that there may be mixed succession. The old rule as to the indivisibility of the testator’s will is no longer valid. Thus, if a conditional legacy does not take effect, there will be intestate succession as to the property covered by the said legacy. 4. ID.; WHERE WILL DOES NOT DIPOSE OF ALL PROPERTIES. — Legal succession takes place when the will "does not dispose of all that belongs to the testator (Art. 960(2), New Civil Code). This case is about the efficaciousness or enforceability of a devise of ricelands located at Guimba, Nueva Ecija, with a total area of around forty-four hectares. That devise was made in the will of the late Father Pascual Rigor, a native of Victoria, Tarlac, in favor of his nearest male relative who would study for the priesthood. The parish priest of Victoria, who claimed to be a trustee of the said lands, appealed to this Court from the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the order of the probate court declaring that the said devise was inoperative (Rigor v. Parish Priest of the Roman Catholic Church of Victoria, Tarlac, CA-G.R. No. 24319-R, August 1, 1963).
The record discloses that Father Rigor, the parish priest of Pulilan, Bulacan, died on August 9, 1935, leaving a will executed on October 29, 1933 which was probated by the Court of First Instance of Tarlac in its order of December 5, 1935. Named as devisees in the will were the testator’s nearest relatives, namely, his three sisters: Florencia Rigor Escobar, Belina Rigor-Manaloto and Nestora Rigor-Quiambao. The testator gave a devise to his cousin, Fortunato Gamalinda. In addition, the will contained the following controversial bequest (paragraphing supplied to facilitate comprehension of the testamentary provisions): To implement the foregoing bequest, the administratrix in 1940 submitted a project of partition containing the following item: "5. LEGACY OF THE CHURCH "That it be adjudicated in favor of the legacy purported to be given to the nearest male relative who shall take the priesthood, and in the interim to be administered by the actual Catholic Priest of the Roman Catholic Church of Victoria, Tarlac, Philippines, or his successors, the real properties hereinbelow indicated, to wit: "Title No. Lot No. Area in Has. Tax Dec. Ass. Value T-6530 3663 1.6249 18740 P340.00 T-6548 3445-C 24.2998 18730 7,290.00 T-6525 3670 6.2665 18736 1,880.00 T-6521 3666 11.9251 18733 3,580.00 ———— ————— "Total area and value — 44.1163 P13,090.00" Judge Roman A. Cruz in his order of August 15, 1940, approving the project of partition, directed that after payment of the obligations of the estate (including the sum of P3,132.26 due to the church of the Victoria parish) the administratrix should deliver to the devisees their respective shares. It may be noted that the administratrix and Judge Cruz did not bother to analyze the meaning and implications of Father Rigor’s bequest to his nearest male relative who would study for the priesthood. Inasmuch as no nephew of the testator claimed the devise and as the administratrix and the legal heirs believed that the parish priest of Victoria had no right to administer the ricelands, the same were not delivered to that ecclesiastic. The testate proceeding remained pending. About thirteen years after the approval of the project of partition, or on February 19, 1954, the parish priest of Victoria filed in the pending testate proceeding a petition praying for the appointment of a new administrator (succeeding the deceased administratrix, Florencia Rigor), who should deliver to the church the said ricelands, and further praying that the possessors thereof be ordered to render an accounting of the fruits. The probate court granted the petition. A new administrator was appointed. On January 31, 1957 the parish priest filed another petition for the delivery of the ricelands to the church as trustee. The intestate heirs of Father Rigor countered with a petition dated March 25, 1957 praying that the bequest be declared inoperative and that they be adjudged as the persons entitled to the said ricelands since, as admitted by the parish priest of Victoria, "no nearest male relative of" the testator "has ever studied for the priesthood" (pp. 25 and 35, Record on Appeal). That petition was opposed by the parish priest of Victoria. Finding that petition to be meritorious, the lower court, through Judge Bernabe de Aquino, declared the bequest inoperative and adjudicated the ricelands to the testator’s legal heirs in his order of June 28, 1957. The parish priest file d two motions for reconsideration. Judge De Aquino granted the second motion for reconsideration in his order of December 10, 1957 on the ground that the testator had a grandnephew named Edgardo G. Cunanan (the grandson of his first cousin) who was a seminarian in the San Jose Seminary of the Jesuit Fathers in Quezon City. The administrator was directed to deliver the ricelands to the parish priest of Victoria as trustee.
The legal heirs appealed to the Court of Appeals. It reversed that order. It held that Father Rigor had created a testamentary trust for his nearest male relative who would take the holy orders but that such trust could exist only for twenty years because to enforce it beyond that period would violate "the rule against perpetuities." It ruled that since no legatee claimed the ricelands within twenty years after the testator’s death, the same should pass to his legal heirs, citing articles 888 and 912(2) of the old Civil Code and article 870 of the new Civil Code. The parish priest in this appeal contends that the Court of Appeals erred in not finding that the testator created a public charitable trust and in not liberally construing the testamentary provisions so as to render the trust operative and to prevent intestacy. As refutation, the legal heirs argue that the Court of Appeals declared the bequest inoperative because no one among the testator’s nearest male relatives had studied for the priesthood and not because the trust was a private charitable trust. According to the legal heirs, that factual finding is binding on this Court. They point out that appellant priest’s change of theory cannot be countenanced in this appeal.chanrobles.com.ph : virtual law library In this case, as in cases involving the law of contracts and statutory construction, where the intention of the contracting parties or of the lawmaking body is to be ascertained, the primary issue is the determination of the testator’s intention which is the law of the case (dicat testor et erit lex. Santos v. Manarang, 27 Phil. 209, 215; Rodriguez v. Court of Appeals, L-28734, March 28, 1969, 27 SCRA 546). The will of the testator is the first and principal law in the matter of testaments. When his intention is clearly and precisely expressed, any interpretation must be in accord with the plain and literal meaning of his words, except when it may certainly appear that his intention was different from that literally expressed (In re Estate of Calderon, 26 Phil. 333). "The intent of the testator is the cardinal rule in the construction of wills." It is "the life and soul of a will." It is "the first greatest rule, the sovereign guide, the polestar, in giving effect to a will." (See Dissent of Justice Moreland in Santos v. Manarang, 27 Phil. 209, 223, 237-8.) One canon in the interpretation of the testamentary provisions is that "the testator’s intention is to be ascertained from th e words of the will, taking into consideration the circumstances under which it was made", but excluding the testator’s oral declarations as to his intention (Art. 789, Civil Code of the Philippines). To ascertain Father Rigor’s intention, it may be useful to make the following restatement of the provisions of his will: s virtual 1aw library 1. that he bequeathed the ricelands to anyone of his nearest male relatives who would pursue an ecclesiastical career until his ordination as a priest. 2. That the devisee could not sell the ricelands. 3. That the devisee at the inception of his studies in sacred theology could enjoy and administer the ricelands, and once ordained as a priest, he could continue enjoying and administering the same up to the time of his death but the devisee would cease to enjoy and administer the ricelands if he discontinued his studies for the priesthood. 4. That if the devisee became a priest, he would be obligated to celebrate every year twenty masses with prayers for the repose of the souls of Father Rigor and his parents. 5. That if the devisee is excommunicated, he would be divested of the legacy and the administration of the ricelands would pass to the incumbent parish priest of Victoria and his successors. 6. That during the interval of time that there is no qualified devisee, as contemplated above, the administration of the ricelands would be under the responsibility of the incumbent parish priest of Victoria and his successors, and 7. That the parish priest-administrator of the ricelands would accumulate annually the products thereof, obtaining or getting from the annual produce five percent thereof for his administration and the fees corresponding to the twenty masses with prayers that the parish priest would celebrate for each year, depositing the balance of the income of the devise in the bank in the name of his bequest. From the foregoing testamentary provisions, it may be deduced that the testator intended to devise the ricelands to his nearest male relative who would become a priest, who was forbidden to sell the ricelands, who would lose the devise if he discontinued his studies for the priesthood, or having been ordained a priest, he was excommunicated, and who would be obligated to say annually twenty masses with prayers for the repose of the souls of the testator and his parents.
On the other hand, it is clear that the parish priest of Victoria would administer the ricelands only in two situations: one, during the interval of time that no nearest male relative of the testator was studying for the priesthood and two, in case the testator’s nephew became a priest and he was excommunicated. What is not clear is the duration of "el intervalo de tiempo que no haya legatario acondicionado", or how long after the testator’s death would it be determined that he had a nephew who would pursue an ecclesiastical vocation. It is that patent ambiguity that has brought about the controversy between the parish priest of Victoria and the testator’s legal heirs. Interwoven with that equivocal provision is the time when the nearest male relative who would study for the priesthood should be determined. Did the testator contemplate only his nearest male relative at the time of his death? Or did he have in mind any of his nearest male relatives at anytime after his death? We hold that the said bequest refers to the testator’s nearest male relative living at the time of his death and not to any indefinite time thereafter. "In order to be capacitated to inherit, the heir, devisee or legatee must be living at the moment the succession opens, except in case of representation, when it is proper" (Art. 1025, Civil Code). The said testamentary provisions should be sensibly or reasonably construed. To construe them as referring to the testator’s nearest male relative at anytime after his death would render the provisions difficult to apply and create uncertainty as to the disposition of his estate. That could not have been his intention. In 1935, when the testator died, his nearest legal heirs were his three sisters or second-degree relatives, Mrs. Escobar, Mrs. Manaloto and Mrs. Quiambao. Obviously, when the testator specified his nearest male relative, he must have had in mind his nephew or a son of his sister, who would be his third-degree relative, or possibly a grandnephew. But since he could not prognosticate the exact date of his death or state with certitude what category of nearest male relative would be living at the time of his death, he could not specify that his nearest male relative would be his nephew or grandnephews (the sons of his nephew or niece) and so he had to use the term "nearest male relative." It is contended by the legal heirs that the said devise was in reality intended for Ramon Quiambao, the testator’s nephew and godchild, who was the son of his sister, Mrs. Quiambao. To prove that contention, the legal heirs presented in the lower court the affidavit of Beatriz Gamalinda, the maternal grandmother of Edgardo Cunanan, who deposed that after Father Rigor’s death, her own son, Valentin Gamalinda, Jr., did not claim the devise, although he was studying for the priesthood at the San Carlos Seminary, because she (Beatriz) knew that Father Rigor had intended that devise for his nearest male relative belonging to the Rigor family (pp. 105-114, Record on Appeal). Mrs. Gamalinda further deposed that her own grandchild, Edgardo G. Cunanan, was not the one contemplated in Father Rigor’s will and that Edgardo’s father told her that he was not consulted by the parish priest of Victori a before the latter filed his second motion for reconsideration which was based on the ground that the testator’s grandnephew, Edgardo, was studying for the priesthood at the San Jose Seminary. Parenthetically, it should be stated at this juncture that Edgardo ceased to be a seminarian in 1961. For that reason, the legal heirs apprised the Court of Appeals that the probate court’s order adjudicating the ricelands to the parish priest of Victoria had no more leg to stand on (p. 84, Appellant’s brief). Of course, Mrs. Gamalinda’s affidavit, which is tantamount to evidence aliunde as to the testator’s intention and which is hearsay, has no probative value. Our opinion that the said bequest refers to the testator’s nephew who was living at the time of his death, when his succession was opened and the successional rights to his estate became vested, rests on a judicious and unbiased reading of the terms of the will. Had the testator intended that the "cualquier pariente mio varon mas cercano que estudie la carrera eclesiastica" would include indefinitely anyone of his nearest male relatives born after his death, he could have so specified in his will. He must have known that such a broad provision would suspend for an unlimited period of time the efficaciousness of his bequest. What then did the testator mean by "el intervalo de tiempo que no haya legatario acondicionado" ? The reasonable view is that he was referring to a situation whereby his nephew living at the time of his death, who would like to become a priest,
Therefore. 51 Phil. Thus. in this case because no nephew of the testator manifested any intention to enter the seminary or ever became a priest. then he would be entitled to enjoy and administer the ricelands and receive the fruits thereof. who desired to become a priest. He unequivocally alleged therein that "no nearest male relative of the late (Father) Pascual Rigor has ever studied for the priesthood" (pp. 267). which provides that if "the bequest for any reason should be inoperative.was still in grade school or in high school or was not yet in the seminary. Saavedra. 1954 and January 31. That contention is untenable. or that there may be mixed succession. The appellant in contending that a public charitable trust was constituted by the testator in is favor assumes that he was a trustee or a substitute devisee. which provides that legal succession takes place when the will "does not dispose of all that belongs to the testator. except in cases of substitution and those in which the right of accretion exists" ("el legado . the unavoidable conclusion is that the bequest in question was ineffectual or inoperative. the trusteeship would be terminated. and could not have arisen. A reading of the testamentary provisions regarding the disputed bequest not support the view that the parish priest of Victoria was a trustee or a substitute devisee in the event that the testator was not survived by a nephew who became a priest. . had not yet entered the seminary or. This case is also covered by article 912(2) of the old Civil Code. The effect is as if the testator had made no disposition as to the said ricelands." There being no substitution nor accretion as to the said ricelands. now article 956. In that case. fuera de los casos de sustitucion y derecho de acrecer"). Record on Appeal). now article 960(2). there will be intestate succession as to the property covered by the said legacy (Macrohon Ong Ham v. Inasmuch as the testator was not survived by any nephew who became a priest. the administration of the ricelands by the parish priest of Victoria. having been ordained a priest. 1957. the parish priest of Victoria would administer the ricelands before the nephew entered the seminary. Following that interpretation of the will. se refundir en la masa de la herencia. That query is categorically answered in paragraph 4 of appellant priest’s petitions of February 19. por qualquier causa. he was excommunicated. It should be understood that the parish priest of Victoria could become a trustee only when the testator’s nephew living at the time of his death. the same should be distributed among the testator’s legal heirs. The old rule as to the indivisibility of the testator’s will is no longer valid. was likewise inoperative. no tenga efecto. . But the moment the testator’s nephew entered the seminary. In that event. 25 and 35. the inquiry would be whether at the time Father Rigor died in 1935 he had a nephew who was studying for the priesthood or who had manifested his desire to follow the ecclesiastical career. The Civil Code recognizes that a person may die partly testate and partly intestate. it shall be merged into the estate. Those two contingencies did not arise. . if a conditional legacy does not take effect. as envisaged in the will. The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that this case is covered by article 888 of the old Civil Code.
the right of the lessee to continue the lease or to terminate it is so circumscribed by the term of the contract that it cannot be said that the continuance of the lease depends upon his will.. CONTRACTS. 43 Phil. But the sale made by an heir of his share in an inheritance. No. Such a stipulation. 628). but also an option to buy. this case would at most justify the fixing of a period but not the annulment of the contract. the owner would never be able to discontinue it. If this can be done.. the cancellation of a contract in accordance with conditions agreed upon beforehand is fulfillment (Taylor v. solong as defendants elected to continue the lease by continuing the payment of the rentals. Register of Deeds. ID. 3. In the case of Singson Encarnacion v. and the prohibition by law is designed for the protection of the plaintiff. Thus. although the owner should desire the lease to continue. 470. LEASE CONTRACT. a piece of land by virtue of which the Filipino owner cannot sell or otherwise dispose of his property. It is claimed that this stipulation offends article 1308 of the Civil Code. CUSTODIA LEGIS. he may. VALIDITY OF. 73 Phil.] PHILIPPINE BANKING CORPORATION. the lessee could effectively thwart his purpose if he should prefer to terminate the contract by the simple expedient of stopping payment of the rentals. 1967. in no wise stands in the way of such administration. just fruendi and jus abutendi) but also of the right to dispose of it (jus disponendi) — rights the sum total of which make up ownership.. This is of course untenable. 1256 (now 1308) of the Civil Code in our opinion creates no impediment to the insertion in a contract of a resolutory condition permitting the cancellation of the contract by one of the parties." (Jakosalem v. conversely. for where the contracting parties have agreed that such option shall exist. Indeed. RESOLUTORY CONDITION. for as this Court said. 4. — It does not follow that because the parties are in pari delicto they will be left where they are without relief. 2. if public policy is thereby enhanced. CONSTITUTIONAL PROHIBITION. September 12. SYLLABUS 1. CONSIDERATION. L-17587. TRANSFER OR ASSIGNMENT OF PRIVATE AGRICULTURAL LAND. ID. Esfols. the consideration need not pass from one party to the other at the time a contract is executed because the promise of one is the consideration of the other. even if no term had been fixed in the agreement. in her own behalf and as administratrix of the intestate of Wong Heng. Article 1416 of the Civil Code provides as an exception to the rule in pari delicto that "when the agreement is not illegal per se but is merely prohibited. EFFECT OF. then the Constitutional ban against alien landholding in the Philippines. ID. — Where a scheme to circumvent the Constitutional prohibition against the transfer of lands to aliens is readily revealed as the purpose for the contracts then the illicit purpose becomes the illegal cause rendering the contracts void. What is more. deceased. Paragraph 5 of the lease contract states that the lessee may at any time withdraw from the agreement. ALIENS. subject to the result of the pending administration. as announced in Krivenko v.. — The fact that no money was paid at the time of the execution of the document does not rule out the possibility that the considerations were paid some other time as the contracts in fact recite.R. the lessees argued that they could occupy the premises as long as they paid the rent. ID. REMEDY OF PARTIES.. recover what he has paid or delivered. v. if an alien is given not only a lease of. Held: Art. 77 Phil.[G. VALIDITY OF. The ordinary execution of property in custodia legis is prohibited in order to avoid interference with the possession by the court. "If this defense were to be allowed."cralaw virtua1aw library 6. this to last for 50 years. 5. then it becomes clear that the arrangement is a virtual transfer of ownership whereby the owner divests himself in stages not only of the right to enjoy the land (jus possidendi jus utendi. 873). PURCHASE AND SALE. OPTION. is indeed in grave peril. Baldomar. ID. as can be readily seen. LUI SHE. does not make either the validity or the fulfillment of the contract upon the will of the party to whom is conceded the privilege of cancellation. CIRCUMVENTION OF. REASON . Tang Pao. Plaintiff-Appellant. deceased. SALE. — That the land could not ordinarily be levied upon while in custodia legis does not mean that one of the heirs may not sell the right. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. representing the estate of JUSTINA SANTOS Y CANON FAUSTINO." Here in contrast. the exercise of the option is as much in the fulfillment of the contract as any other act which may have been the subject of agreement. — Plaintiff-appellant assails the validity of the lease agreement for want of mutuality. interest or participation which he had or might have in the land under administration. At any rate.
. as it ought to be given. or by approving an implementary law as above suggested. ID.. That way the Constitution would be given. ID. 526. the parties being in pari delicto.. if it could be shown that in the utmost good faith. both parties are equally guilty of evasion of the Constitution. while Wong Heng. Thus: "By following either of these remedies. ID. On September 22. 1. The only remedy to prevent this continuing violation of the Constitution which the decision impliedly sanctions by allowing the alien vendees to retain the lots in question is either escheat or reversion. 4. — Since the sales in question took place prior to the Krivenko decision. It appears to ignore a postulate of a constitutional system. ID." This statement that the sales entered into prior to the Krivenko decision were at that time already vitiated by a guilty knowledge of the parties may be too extreme a view. it would not be doing violence to reason to free them from the imputation of evading the Constitution. He thought he could transfer the property to an alien and did so. ID. Alien-vendee should thus be made to restore the property with its fruits and rents to Filipinovendor. 2. 3). respect and deference. RECOVERY OF PROPERTY IN SALES ENTERED INTO PRIOR TO THE KRIVENKO DECISION NOT AVAILABLE IN VIEW OF THE PARE DELICTO DOCTRINE. ID: ID. par. 3. APPLICATION OF THE PARI DELICTO RULE IN PREVIOUS CASES TOO EXTREME.. in the absence of a definite decision by the Supreme Court. Wong had been a long-time lessee of a portion of the property.30 square meters. ID.. The new Civil Code expressly provides: "Mistakes upon a doubtful or difficult question of law may be the basis of good faith. ID. In it are two residential houses with entrance on Florentino Torres street and the Hen Wah Restaurant with entrance on Rizal Avenue. however. To give the constitutional provision full force and effect. the restoration to Filipino-vendor upon the payment of a price fixed by the court is the better remedy. — The doctrine as announced in the case of Rellosa v. ID. REACQUISITION OF PROPERTY SOLD THE BETTER REMEDY IN CONSONANCE WITH THE DICTATES OF JUSTICE AND EQUITY. we can enforce the fundamental policy of our Constitution regarding our natural resources without doing violence to the principle of pari delicto." (Art. Sec. its previous owner. upon restitution of the purchase price of course. wherein the words of the Constitution acquire meaning through Supreme Court adjudication.FOR PROVISION. Gaw Chee Hun. ID. cannot be allowed to continue owning and exercising acts of ownership over said property. LANDS OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN. he transferred his title over the same to alien-vendee. having a monthly rental of P2. 1957 Justina Santos became the owner of the entire property as her sister died with no other heir. That in capacity and that disqualification. when it is clearly included within the constitutional prohibition. Justina Santos y Canon Faustino and her sister Lorenza were the owners in common of a piece of land in Manila. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. — Alien-vendee is incapacitated or disqualified to acquire and hold real estate. — The constitutional provision that ’save in cases of hereditary succession. ID.. 5) is an expression of public policy to conserve lands for the Filipinos. a Chinese.. with an area of 2.582.. no private agricultural land shall be transferred or assigned except individuals.. or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain in the Philippines (Art. 827 is that while the sale by a Filipino-vendor to an alien-vendee of a residential or a commercial lot is null and void as held in the Krivenko case. lived with his family in the restaurant. is located on Rizal Avenue and opens into Florentino Torres street at the back and Katubusan street on one side. was made known to Filipino-vendor and to alienvendee only upon the promulgation of the Krivenko decision on November 15. Restoration of the property upon payment of price received by Filipino vendor or its reasonable equivalent as fixed by the court is the answer. ID. According to the Rellosa opinion. ID. The sisters lived in one of the houses. For evidently evasion implies at the very least knowledge of what is being evaded. in consonance with the dictates of equity and justice. XIII. ID. based on the broader principle that "both parties are presumed to know the law.620. This parcel.. still the Filipino-vendor has no right to recover under a civil law doctrine.. corporations. That incapacity and that disqualification should date from the adoption of the Constitution on November 15. PROHIBITION AGAINST ALIEN LANDHOLDING. Then . the obvious solution would be for him to reacquire the same. RESTORATION BY ALIEN-VENDEE OF PROPERTY TO FILIPINO-VENDOR MAY BE ALLOWED UPON RESTITUTION OF PURCHASE PRICE... 1935.. — The Constitution frowns upon the title remaining in the alienvendees. 93 Phil. at a time when the assumption could be honestly entertained that there was no constitutional prohibition against the sale of commercial or residential lots by Filipinovendor to alien-vendee. After the Krivenko case had made clear that he had no right to sell nor an alien-vendee to purchase the property in question. 1947 Alien-vendee therefore.
27 (Nov. crippled and an invalid. the Security . payable within ten years at a monthly installment of P1. In two wills executed on August 24 and 29. however. undue influence and abuse of confidence and trust of and (by) taking advantage of the helplessness of the plaintiff and were made to circumvent the constitutional prohibition prohibiting aliens from acquiring lands in the Philippines and also of the Philippine Naturalization Laws.000 and P3. "In grateful acknowledgment of the personal services of the Lessee to her.210. 3) in favor of Wong.000. The complaint alleged that the contracts were obtained by Wong "through fraud. at an additional monthly rental of P360. 1957. P7. 6. On December 21 she executed contract (Plff Exh.120. P10. a petition for which was then pending in the Court of First Instance of Rizal. Ten days later (November 25). 1958 she executed two other contracts.000 (as admitted in his answer). 1958 she filed a petition to adopt him and his children on the erroneous belief that adoption would confer on them Philippine citizenship. Her otherwise already existence was brightened now and then by the visits of Wong’s four children who had become the joy of her life. 1960.800 a month." The court was asked to direct the Register of Deeds of Manila to cancel the registration of the contracts and to order Wong to pay Justina Santos the additional rent of P3. 5) extending the term of the lease to 99 years. that this application for naturalization was withdrawn when it was discovered that he was not a resident of Rizal.240 a month. including the portion on which the house of Justina Santos stood. the monthly rental was P3.000 and P3. 1957). But he denied having taken advantage of her trust in order to secure the execution of the contracts in question. including rentals from her property at the corner of Ongpin and Salazar streets and the rentals which Wong himself paid as lessee of a part of the Rizal Avenue property. and her household expenses. The lease was for 50 years. An accounting of the rentals from the Ongpin and Rizal Avenue properties was also demanded. salaries of maids and security guard.000 was the cue for the filing of an amended complaint. out of the rental due from him.already well advanced in years. another sum of P22. the charge not to exceed P1. 17) of a later date (November 4. 1957). P22.000. 1957 on the allegation that the reasonable rental of the leased premises was P6. misrepresentation. As counterclaim he sought the recovery of P9. Wong’s himself was the trusted man to whom she delivered various amounts for safekeeping. funeral expenses. 4) so as to make it cover the entire property. 4. On October 28.120 a month from November 15. For his part Wong undertook to pay. In the meantime as a result of a petition for guardianship filed in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. 6) fixing the term of the option at 50 years. one (Plff Exh. the collection of various amounts allegedly delivered on different occasions was sought.000 (Dec. The option. On November 18 the present action was filed in the Court of First Instance of Manila. Exhs. lawyers’ fees. the contract was amended (Plff Exh. covering the portion then already leased to him and another portion fronting Florentino Torres street.000 which he said she had delivered to him for safekeeping. 1959 (Def. It appears. in her behalf. Wong admitted that he enjoyed her trust and confidence as proof of which he volunteered the information that. and another (Plff Exh. an amount not exceeding P1.344. but in a codicil (Plff Exh.000 a month for the food of her dogs and the salaries of her maids.724." Justina Santos executed on November 15. Wong also look care of the payment. The option was conditioned on his obtaining Philippine citizenship. 1959) she appears to have a change of heart. The error was discovered and the proceedings were abandoned. she now directed her executor to secure the annulment of the contracts. imposed on him the obligation to pay for the food of the dogs and the salaries of the maids in her household. in addition to the sum of P3. Wong’s admission of the receipt of P22. Her only companions in the house were her 17 dogs and 8 maids. 1957). aside from the nullity of the contracts.124 square meters. she was left with no other relative to live with. inequitable conduct. masses. Claiming that the various contracts were made by her because of machinations and inducements practised by him. although the lessee was given the right to withdraw at any time from the agreement. 1.49 which he said she owed him for advances.000 had been deposited in a joint account which he had with one of her maids. Both contracts are written in Tagalog. a contract of lease (Plff Exh.42 (Dec. On November 18. 7) giving Wong the option to buy the leased premises for P120. These amounts and the dates of their delivery are P33. being at the time 90 years old. 285 & 279). In his answer. Thus on June 9. The contract covered an area of 1. of taxes. written in Tagalog. she bade her legatees to respect the contracts she had entered into with Wong. blind.
.120. he expressed readiness to comply with any order that the court might make with respect to the sum of P22. Wong insisted that the various contracts were freely and voluntarily entered into by the parties. 1962 and Justina Santos on December 28." library We have had occasion to delineate the scope and application of article 1308 in the early case of Taylor v. but contended that these amounts had been spent in accordance with the instructions of Justina Santos. as can be readily seen.00 for every month of his occupation as lessee under the document of lease herein sustained. for as this Court said "If this defense were to be allowed. from 15 November 1959. the cancellation of a contract in accordance with conditions agreed upon beforehand is fulfillment. its validity or compliance cannot be left to the will of one of them. 4-7) because it lacks mutuality." virtua1aw library From this judgment both parties appealed directly to this Court. He likewise disclaimed knowledge of the sum of P33. can hardly be regarded as a violation of article 1256 [now art. Lui She.344.000. the exercise of the option is as much in the fulfillment of the contract as any other act which may have been the subject of agreement. are declared null and void. although the owner should desire the lease to continue the lessees could effectively thwart his purpose if they should prefer to terminate the contract by the simple expedient of stopping payment of the rentals. Paragraph 5 of the lease contract states that "The lessee may at any time withdraw from this agreement.Bank & Trust Co.000 in the bank and P3. After the case was submitted for decision. with the exception of the first which is the lease contract of 15 November 1957." Here. in contrast. Baldomar cannot be cited in support of the claim of want of mutuality. This is of course untenable. Gochangco was appointed guardian of her person. was in custodia legis.554.724.000 in his possession.42 and P10. The case was heard. At any rate. the owner would never be able to discontinue it. both parties died. he is also ordered to pay the sum of P3. the right of the lessee to continue the lease or to terminate it is so circumscribed by the term of the contract that it cannot be said that the continuance of the lease depends upon his will. Justina Santos maintained — now reiterated by the Philippine Banking Corporation — that the lease contract (Plff Exh. and because the lease contract. 1308] of the Civil Code. and the moneys he had consigned since then shall be imputed to that. for where the contracting parties have agreed that such option shall exist. because of a difference in factual setting. admitted receipt of P7. like the rest of the contracts.25 with legal interest from the date of the filing of the amended complaint. Wong Heng is condemned to pay unto plaintiff thru guardian of her property the sum of P55. Indeed. does not make either the validity or the fulfillment of the contract dependent upon the will of the party to whom is conceded the privilege of cancellation.27. While Justina Santos was substituted by the Philippine Banking Corporation. because the contract was obtained in violation of the fiduciary relations of the parties. costs against Wong Heng. the lessees argued that they could occupy the premises as long as they paid the rent." It is claimed that this stipulation offends article 1308 of the Civil Code which provides that "the contract must bind both contracting parties. Such a stipulation. even if no term had been fixed in the agreement. at the time. 3) should have been annulled along with the four other contracts (Plff Exhs. while Ephraim G. fraud and misrepresentation. was appointed guardian of the properties of Justina Santos. Wong was substituted by his wife." library The case of Singson Encarnacion v. because it included a portion which. 1964. is absolutely simulated. this case would at most justify the fixing of a period 5 but not the annulment of the contract. 2 And so it was held in Melencio v. In his answer. might rescind the lease. after which the lower court rendered judgment as follows: " [A]ll the documents mentioned in the first cause of action. Uy Tiong Piao. the other defendant in this case. because her consent was obtained through undue influence. so long as defendants elected to continue the lease by continuing the payment of the rentals. conversely. 1308] of the Civil Code in our opinion creates no impediment to the insertion in a contract for personal service of a resolutory condition permitting the cancellation of the contract by one of the parties. Dy Tiao Lay 3 that a "provision in a lease contract that the lessee at any time before he erected any building on the land. Wong Heng on October 21. We said in the case:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library Article 1256 [now art. In that case.
1957 by force of article 777 of the Civil Code." 7 The testimony of Atty. Just the same. in relation to article 1941 of the Civil Code. it is argued that Wong so completely dominated her life and affairs that the contracts express not her will but only his." 6 It is next contended that the lease contract was obtained by Wong in violation of his fiduciary relationship with Justina Santos. he tried to persuade her to enter instead into a lease on a month-to-month basis. she ordered him. "Q Agreed what? "A Agreed with my objections that it is really onerous and I was really right. As this Court explained in upholding the sale made by an heir of a property under judicial administration: "That the land could not ordinarily be levied upon while in custodia legis does not mean that one of the heirs may not sell the right. I am the only . I don’t really know if I have expressed my opinion. The relationship of the parties. "Just follow Mr. I was called again by her and she told me to follow the wishes of Mr. but to hold it as it was before. Counsel for Justina Santos cites the testimony of Atty.’ In Particular reference to this contract of lease. One incident. contrary to article 1646. as far as consent is concerned." 9 Recounting the incident Atty. I would say she is not. you were satisfied that this document was perfectly proper? "A. This witness said that the original term fixed for the lease was 99 years but that as he doubted the validity of a lease to an for that length of time. . but to say this is not to detract from the binding force of the contract.’ she said — "You just go ahead. Tomas S. The ordinary execution of property in custodia legis is prohibited in order to avoid interference with the possession by the court. Wong Heng. She was. she did so already as owner thereof. and she went with the contract just the same? "A She agreed first .Nor is there merit in the claim that as the portion of the property formerly owned by the sister of Justina Santos was still in the process of settlement in the probate court at the time it was leased. For the contract was fully explained to Justina Santos by her own lawyer. and if there is any illegality. Wong wants must be followed. because. related by the same witness. she did not follow your advice. subject to the result of the pending administration. if I have to express my personal opinion. did not amount to an agency so as to bring the case within the prohibition of the law. Wong wants must be followed. Hence. on a verbal month to month contract of lease. Your Honor.’" 8 Wong might indeed have supplied the data which Yumol embodied in the lease contract. but after that. . however. "Q So. in no wise stands in the way of such administration. but I told her that we would rather not execute any contract anymore. Wong Heng. Yumol who said that he prepared the lease contract on the basis of the data given to him by Wong and that she told him that "what ever Mr. What his witness said was: "Q Did you explain carefully to your client. which disqualifies "agents (from leasing) the property whose administration or sale may have been entrusted to them. it is just natural when she said ’This is what I want and this will be done. the lease is invalid as to such portion. although admittedly close and confidential. interest or participation which he has or might have in the lands under administration. she told me — "Whatever Mr. I am the owner. ninety (90) years old at the time and her condition. she is a wealthy woman. when I said ’This is not proper. Instead of heeding the advice of the lawyer. But the sale made by an heir of his share in an inheritance. Doña Justina the contents of this document before she signed it? "A I explained to her each and every one of these conditions and I also told her these conditions were quite onerous for her. Justina Santos became the owner of the entire property upon the death of her sister Lorenza on September 22." But Wong was never an agent of Justina Santos. you prepare that. makes clear that she voluntarily consented to the lease contract. Yumol cannot be read out of context in order to warrant a finding that Wong practically dictated the terms of the contract. firm and unyielding. as I said before. Yumol declared on cross examination: "Considering her age. "Q But. when she leased the property on November 15.
and her maid. 11 Any of them could have testified on the undue influence that Wong supposedly wielded over Justina Santos. she was made to believe. but neither of them was presented as a witness. 1957." Atty.one that can question the illegality. near or far. I would always ask the old woman about them and invariably the old woman used to tell me: ’That’s okay.000 as consideration for each of the contracts (namely. by Wong Heng because Doña Justina told me that she did not have any relatives. and she considered Wong Heng as a son and his children her grandchildren. and she told me to see to it that no one could disturb Wong Heng from those properties. the consideration need not pass from one party to the other at the time a contract is executed because the promise of one is the consideration for the other. Alonzo. as well as to the rest of the contracts in question. Wong stated in his deposition that he did not pay P360 a month for the additional premises leased to him because she did not want him to. Wong Heng or Judge Torres and/or both. The truth is that even after giving his client time to think the matter over. especially her consolation in life was when she would hear the children reciting prayers in Tagalog. was to see to it that these properties be enjoyed. 3). as I said." and the equally emphatic avowal of gratitude in the lease contract (Plff Exh. 4-7) in question. the extension of the lease to 99 years. and the fixing of the term of the option at 50 years). the option to buy the leased premises. Alonzo in reaching the conclusion that the contracts are void for want of consideration. Indeed. so it was with the rest of the contracts (Plff Exhs. Hermenegilda Lao. testifying for her." "She was very emphatic in the care of the seventeen (17) dogs and of the maids who helped her much. suffice it to quote the testimony of her own witness and lawyer who prepared the contracts (Plff Exhs. but his negative testimony does not rule out the possibility that the consideration were paid at some other time as the contracts in fact recite. Atty. What is more. Alonzo declared that he saw no money paid at the execution of the documents. As it was with the lease contract (Plff Exh. As Atty. on the ground that they are contrary to the expressed wish of Justina Santos and that their considerations are fictitious. 14 Hence the recital in the deed of conditional option (Plff Exh. Alonzo. according to her revelation to me. we thought of the adoption. It’s all right. That is why we thought of the ninety-nine (99) years lease." But the lower court set aside all the contracts. it was either Mr. Nor is there merit in the claim that her consent to the lease contract. said "very emphatically" that she and her sister would have perished in the fire had it been for Wong. 4-7) — the consent of Justina Santos was given freely and voluntarily. believing that thru adoption Wong Heng might acquire Filipino citizenship. 16 With respect to the lower court’s finding that in all probability Justina Santos could not have intended to part with her property while she was alive nor even to lease it in its entirety as her house was built on it. Benjamin C. When we had conferences they used to tell me what the documents should contain. Natividad Luna. the court relied on the testimony of Atty. Ana) 13 it was Justina Santos herself who according to her own witness. This persuaded the lower court to uphold the validity of the lease contract against the claim that it was procured through undue influence. being the adopted child of Filipino citizen. the charge of undue influence in this case rests on a mere inference 12 drawn from the fact that Justina Santos could not read (as she was blind) and did not understand the English language in which the contract is written. Instead. Atty. 7) that" [I]tong si Wong Heng ang siyang nagligtas sa aming dalawang magkapatid sa halos ay tiyak na kamatayan." 18 . had saved her and her sister from a fire that destroyed their house during the liberation of Manila. 3). said: " [I]n nearly all documents. who was constantly by her side. For while a witness claimed that the sisters were saved by other persons (the brothers Edilberto and Mariano Sta. but the trial court did not believe him. was given out of a mistaken sense of gratitude to Wong who. Alonzo: "The ambition of the old woman before her death. even to own them. but that the amount was returned to him by her for safekeeping. But. the lawyer could not make her change her mind. Neither did it believe his statement that he paid P1. with the exception of the lease contract of November 15. but that inference has been overcome by her own evidence. Yumol testified that she signed the lease contract in the presence of her close friend.
article 1416 of the Civil Code provides. But if this is the solemn mandate of the Constitution we will not attempt to compromise it even in the name of amity or equity. they may be granted temporary rights such as a lease contract which is not forbidden by the Constitution. until ultimately all the rights of which ownership is made up are consolidated in an alien. or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain in the Philippines 24 is an expression of public policy to conserve lands for the Filipinos. as an exception to the rule on pari delicto. the contracts show nothing that is necessarily illegal. and another pertaining to rentals from the Ongpin property and from the Rizal Avenue property. at the same time gives the clue to what we view as a scheme to circumvent the Constitutional prohibition against the transfer of land of aliens. As this said in Krivenko v. a piece of land. is not illegal per se but is merely prohibited and the prohibition by law is designed for the protection of the plaintiff. and so on. Taken singly. 3-7) are valid. then it becomes clear that the arrangement is a virtual transfer of ownership whereby the owner divests himself in stages not only of the right to enjoy the land (jus possidendi. and is not only cogent but also important. the use. Filipino citizenship is not impossible to acquire." But if an alien is given not only a lease of. 22 is indeed in grave peril. "The illicit purpose then becomes the illegal cause rendering the contracts void. the next day. As this Court said in Krivenko: "It is well to note at this juncture that in the present case we have no choice. . And what of the various amounts which Wong received in trust from her? It appears that he kept two classes of accounts. For one thing. with the result that Justina Santos’ ownership of her property was reduced to a hollow concept. as announced in Krivenko v. Gaw Chee Hun 26 and subsequent similar cases. The claim for increased rentals and attorney’s fees made in behalf of Justina Santos. For the testimony just quoted while dispelling doubt as to the intention of Justina Santos. then the Constitutional ban against alien landholding in the Philippines. no private agricultural land shall be transferred or assigned except to individuals. the original parties who were guilty of a violation of the fundamental charter have died and have since been substituted by their administrators to whom it would be unjust to impute their guilt. but also an option to buy." The Constitutional provision that "Save in cases of hereditary succession. however.This is not to say." That policy would be defeated and its continued violation sanctioned if. judgment is affirmed. the latter must be considered as pro tanto qualified. this Court should apply the general rule of pari delicto. And yet this is just exactly what the parties in this case did within this pace of one year. accordingly. we hold that under the Constitution aliens may not acquire private or public agricultural lands. jus utendi. Should they desire to remain here forever and share our fortunes and misfortunes. the disposition. jus fruendi and jus abutendi) but also of the right to dispose of it (jus disponendi) — rights the sum total of which make up ownership. tomorrow. To the extent that our ruling in this case conflicts with that laid down in Rellosa v. 23 For another thing. but considered collectively. If this can be done. that because the parties are in pari delicto they will be left where they are. It is just as if today the possession is transferred. that ’When the agreement. Perhaps the effect of our construction is to preclude aliens admitted freely into the Philippines from owning sites where they may build their homes. 21 this to last for 50 years. instead of setting the contracts aside and ordering the restoration of the land to the estate of the deceased Justina Santos. a lease to an alien for a reasonable period is valid. one pertaining to amounts which she entrusted to him from to time. which he himself was leasing. if public policy is thereby enhanced. recover what he has paid or delivered. Register of Deeds: " [A]liens are not completely excluded by the Constitution form the use of lands for residential purposes. however. It does not follow from what has been said. must be denied for lack of merit. without costs. corporations. by virtue of which the Filipino owner cannot sell or otherwise dispose of his property. they reveal an insidious pattern to subvert by indirection what the Constitution directly prohibits. Register of Deeds. without relief. including residential lands and. We are construing the Constitution as it is and not as we may desire it to be. he may. So is an option giving an alien the right to buy real property on condition that he is granted Philippine citizenship. that the contracts (Plff Exhs. "For all the foregoing. To be sure. Since their residence in the Philippines is temporary.
Costs against the defendant-appellant.35 28 in favor of Justina Santos.49 in favor of Wong. therefore.50 was in fact payment to him of what in the liquidation was found to be due to him.235 as rentals due to her after deducting various expenses.000 and that from the Rizal Avenue property. as a matter of fact.120. Rule 123 for in the ordinary course of things. ACCORDINGLY.50 on August 26. 31 His claim for P9. The lower court did not allow either party to recover against the other. however. leaves a balance of P56. on the contrary if the result of that was a deficit as alleged and sought to be there shown. a person will live within his income so that the conclusion of the Court will be that there is neither deficit nor superavit and will let the matter rest here. 69.84 27 Besides. Exh. there is a difference of P31. He made disbursements from this account to discharge Justina Santos’ obligations for taxes. on the other hand. Exhs. Sec. In his answer. and P18. . Against this account the household expenses and disbursements for the care of the 17 dogs and the salaries of the 8 maids of Justina Santos were charged. 247-278) drawn by him for this purpose amount to only P38.42 on December 1. for this reason. 6) which shows a balance of P9. . Exh.19 (receipts). of which Wong was the lessee. Exh. or a total of P25.With respect to the first account. Aside from the reasons given by the court.354. there should be a balance in her favor.000 in his possession. 246).35.442. the land subject-matter of the contracts is ordered returned to the estate of Justina Santos as represented by the Philippine Banking Corporation.007. . 16). should be rejected s the evidence is none too clear about the amounts spent by Wong for food. .19.000 in his possession. while it is claimed that the expenses were much less than the rentals and there in fact should be a superavit.000 on December 6. if he had really settled his accounts with her on August 26. . 3-7) are annulled and set aside. and the amounts consigned in court by Wong Heng shall be applied to the payment of rental from November 15.724. with legal interest from the date of the filing of the amended complaint. But it is claimed that the rental from both the Ongpin and Rizal Avenue properties was more than enough to pay for her monthly expenses and that. — which was the way she signed the loose sheets. his claim of liquidation and settlement of accounts must be rejected.928. attorneys’ fees. the trouble is that they were made only be Francisco Wong and Antonia Matias. Said court: " [T]he documents bear the earmarks of genuineness. .84 (expenditures) from P70.000. This account is contained in a notebook (Def.564. 1957 (Plff.27 on November 8. 1959 until the premises shall have been vacated by his heirs.000 in the bank and P3.310.210.49. and there is no clear proof that Doña Justina had authorized these two to act for her in such liquidation. of P9. Wong Heng (as substituted by the defendant-appellant Lui She) is ordered to pay the Philippine Banking Corporation the sum of P56. the Court will not adjudicate in favor of Wong Heng on his counterclaim. 14)." Both parties on appeal reiterate their respective claims but we agree with the lower court that both claims should be denied.. nick-name Toning.564 which. 29 masses 30 salaries of of her maid. . 1959 (Def. He claims. 1959.007. or a total of P70.49 must likewise be rejected as his averment of liquidation is belied by his own admission that even as late as 1960 he still had P22. Exh. P7. this being the case. this Court must concede that daily expenses are not easy to compute.442. 1959 was P1.567. After subtracting P38. the evidence shows that the monthly income from the Ongpin property until its sale in July. that he settled his accounts and that last amount of P18. . the Court faced with the choice of the two alternatives will choose the middle course which after all is permitted by the rules of proof. 1957 (Plff.210. we cannot understand why he still had P22.000. 10. We think that the claim of Justina Santos totalling P37. funeral services and security guard services. he offered to pay this amount if the court so directed him. but the checks (Def. added to the amount of P25. was P3. 1957 (Plff. the reason why she preferred to stay in her home was because there she did not incur in any debts . . the contracts in question (Plff Exhs.000 in the bank and P3. On these two grounds. 13). that was not what Doña Justina apparently understood for as the court understands her statement to the Honorable Judge of the Juvenile Court .928. Exh. the evidence shows that he received P33. As to the second account.
and four nieces. 1938. oppositors-appellees." In this connection appellants invoke article 751 of the Civil Code. which provides that "a disposition made in general terms in favor of the testator’s relatives shall be understood as made in favor of those nearest in degree. on the ground that under clause 8 of the will. clause 8 of which reads as follows: The widow. as in legal succession. Ilocos Sur. the children of a deceased sister. So ordered. four brothers. INTERPRETATION OF TESTAMENTARY PROVISION IN CONNECTION WITH ARTICLE 751 OF THE CIVIL CODE. with costs. No. died without any descendant or ascendant. who was a lawyer. his nearest surviving relatives being his widow. which formed part of the properties not disposed of and which under clause 8 of the will "should be distributed in equal parts to all who are entitled thereto.. EMILIA FLORENTINO ET AL. while others." Article 751 of the Civil Code. Oppositors-Appellants.[G. as in legal succession.R. did not use the word "relatives" in the clause in question. a lawyer of Vigan. DE SINGSON. hold that said article excludes nephews and nieces when brothers and sisters survive. a lawyer. without any descendant or ascendant. The order appealed from is affirmed. He left a will which was duly probated." the nieces would be excluded. four brothers. alleging that certain other specified properties had been omitted therefrom. VDA. — Don Vicente Singson Pablo. his nearest surviving relatives being his widow Doña Rosalia Rosario. Manresa among them." precisely meant to avoid the uncertainty of the interpretation of article 751 and to indicate his wish that the residue of his estate be distributed in equal parts to all who would have been entitled to inherit from him had he died intestate. in relation to article 751 of the Civil Code.. ] TESTATE ESTATE OF VICENTE SINGSON PABLO. He left a will which was duly probated." The trial court sustained the contention of the nieces (appellees herein) and ordered the administratrix "to amend the project of partition so as to include therein the said properties and that all of those not disposed of in the will be adjudicated in equal parts to the brothers and nieces of the deceased. as administratrix. Held: That the testator. We do not need to decide here whether." precisely meant to avoid the uncertainty of the interpretation of article 751 and to indicate his wish that the residue of his estate be distributed in equal parts to all who would have been entitled to inherit from him had he died intestate. had the testator used the word "relatives." instead of referring to his "relatives. died on April 15." The authorities differ on the interpretation of article 751. the children of a deceased sister. oppositor-appellee. 1943. appellants herein. clause 8 of which provides that "all of my properties not disposed of otherwise in this testament shall be distributed in equal parts to all who are entitled thereto. Some hold that under said article the nephews and nieces inherit by representation together with the brothers and sisters of the testator. DE LIM. Said clause provides that "all of my properties not disposed of otherwise in this testament shall be distributed in equal parts to all who are entitled thereto. Some hold that under said article the nephews and nieces inherit by representation together with the brothers and sisters of the testator. hold that said article excludes nephews and nieces when brothers and sisters survive. Manresa among them." virtua1aw library The trial court noted that the testator. EVARISTO SINGSON ET AL. 48627. by referring to "all who are entitled thereto. JOSEFINA F. provides that "a disposition made in general terms in favor of the testator’s relatives shall be understood as made in favor of those nearest in degree. Petitioner-Appellee. by referring to "all who are entitled thereto. . Don Vicente Singson Pablo. and four nieces. they were not entitled to any share." The brothers. objected to the project of partition insofar as it includes the nieces of the deceased. presented a project of partition in which the properties not disposed of in the will were adjudicated to the four brothers and the four nieces of the deceased "in the proportion provided in paragraph 8 of the will. v." instead of referring to his "relatives. We think the testator. SYLLABUS DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION. while others. deceased. February 19. The authorities differ on the interpretation of article 751. in turn." library The only question raised in this appeal is the interpretation of clause 8 of the will above quoted. ROSALIA ROSARIO VDA. The nieces also objected to the project of partition.
allowed the oppositor to intervene as an adopted child of Francisco Mortera. Teotico. customs and traditions. March 26.R. Rene Teotico void with the statement that the portion to be vacated by the annulment should pass to the testatrix’s heirs by way of intestate succession. ID. irrespective of moral character.000. 1965.000. REASON FOR RULE. To said spouses the testatrix left the usufruct of her interest in the Calvo building. that she was free from illegal pressure or influence of any kind from the beneficiaries of the will and from any influence of fear or threat. Maria Mortera y Balsalobre Vda. ETC. — The alien wife of a Filipino citizen does not automatically become a Philippine citizen upon her husband’s naturalization. ALIEN WIFE OF CITIZEN NOT AUTOMATICALLY CITIZEN BUT MUST PROVE COMPLIANCE WITH REQUIREMENTS. Agaton by the testatrix and her witnesses. No.. TEOTICO. and identification with Filipino ideals. Petitioner-Appellant. CITIZENSHIP. 1955. ANA DEL VAL CHAN. . (2) the testatrix was physically and mentally incapable to execute the will at the time of its execution. — The rule laid down by this Court in this and in other cases heretofore decided is believed to be in line with the national policy of selective admission to Philippine citizenship which after all is a privilege granted only to those who are found worthy thereof. Teotico filed a motion to dismiss the opposition alleging that the oppositor had no legal personality to intervene. the probate court rendered its decision on November 10.. a deceased brother of the same testatrix.[G. SYLLABUS 1. after due hearing. Rene Teotico because the latter was the physician who took care of the testatrix during her last illness.00 to Rene A. Vicente B. v. 1955 an opposition to the probate of the will alleging the following grounds: (1) said will was not executed as required by law. Vicente B. ID. Quiapo. In said will the testatrix made the following preliminary statement: that she was possessed of the full use of her mental faculties. She affixed her signature at the bottom of the will and on the left margin of each and every page thereof in the presence of Pilar Borja. ID.00. Said will was acknowledged before Notary Public Niceforo S. ideological belief. The testatrix also instituted Josefina Mortera as her sole and universal heir to all the remainder of her properties not otherwise disposed of in the will. Manila. The probate court. Ana del Val Chan. She left a will written in Spanish which she executed at her residence in No. POLICY OF SELECTIVE ADMISSION TO PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP. married to the testatrix’s niece named Josefina Mortera. as well as an acknowledged natural child of Jose Mortera. filed on September 2. the oppositor amended her opposition by alleging the additional ground that the will is inoperative as to the share of Dr.. a deceased sister of the testatrix. On July 17. while the naked ownership thereof she left in equal parts to her grandchildren who are the legitimate children of said spouses. She must first prove that she has all the qualifications required by Section 2 and none of the disqualifications enumerated in Section 4 of the Naturalization Law before she may be deemed a Philippine citizen. that she freely and spontaneously executed said will and that she had neither ascendants nor descendants of any kind such that she could dispose of all her estate. NATURALIZATION. and on June 17. 1955 after the requisite publication and service to all parties concerned. Among the many legacies and devises made in the will was one of P20. Teotico filed a petition for the probate of the will before the Court of First Instance of Manila which was set for hearing on September 3. and not indiscriminately to anybody at all on the basis alone of marriage to a man who is a citizen of the Philippines. Sanchez. 1960 admitting the will to probate but declaring the disposition made in favor of Dr. 1955 in the City of Manila leaving properties worth P600. de Aguirre died on July 14. After the parties had presented their evidence. 2 Legarda St. claiming to be an adopted child of Francisca Mortera.] VICENTE B.. threat or influence of fear. L-18753. Oppositor-Appellant. Pilar G. and Modesto Formilleza. 2.. and (3) the will was executed under duress. who in turn affixed their signatures below the attestation clause and on the left margin of each and every page of the will in the presence of the testatrix and of each other. 1959.
the former from that portion which nullifies the legacy in favor of Dr. 1171). and an interested party has been defined as one who would be benefitted by the estate such as an heir or one who has a claim against the estate like a creditor (Idem. R. even if it be true. the interest required in order that a person may be a party thereto must be material and direct. legatee or devisee of any portion of the estate. or in the property to be affected by it either as executor or as a claimant of the estate (Ngo The Hua v. In the supposition that the will is denied probate. and the latter from that portion which admits the will to probate. oppositor has no right to intervene because she has no interest in the estate either as heir. Barrion. And it is well settled in this jurisdiction that in civil actions as well as special proceedings. The motions for reconsideration above adverted to having been denied. On his part. 68 Phil. Neither has she any claim against any portion of the estate because she is not a co-owner thereof. and while she previously had an interest in the Calvo building located in Escolta. or administrator. And in this instance both petitioner and oppositor assign several error which. No. . It is a well-settled rule that in order that a person may be allowed to intervene in a probate proceeding he must have an interest in the estate. because it nowhere appears therein any provision designating her as heir. Rene Teotico requested leave to intervene and to file a motion for reconsideration with regard to that portion of the decision which nullified the legacy made in his favor. as follows: "‘Between the natural child and the legitimate relatives of the father or mother who acknowledged it.).. nor does she have any claim to any property affected by the will. Chung Kiat Hua. and (3) Did the probate court commit an error in passing on the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will and in determining who should inherit the portion to be vacated by the nullification of the legacy made in favor of Dr. Thus. 311). 1963). and not merely indirect or contingent. while the oppositor filed also a motion for reconsideration of the portion of the judgment which decrees the probate of the will. Rene Teotico as passing to the legal heirs. In this. may be boiled down to the following: (1) Has oppositor Ana del Val Chan the right to intervene in this proceeding?. hated by the natural child. would she acquire any right to the estate in the event that the will is denied probate? Under the terms of the will. or in the will. Rule 80 of the Rules of Court. . the latter considers the privileged condition of the former and the resources of which it is . executor. the natural child is disgracefully looked down upon by the legitimate family. there is a blood tie. Dr. September 30. the legitimate family is. L-3370. Of course.’ An interested party has been defined in this connection as one who would be benefitted by the estate. Fabie. such as a creditor (Intestate Estate of Julio Magbanwa 40 O. It is true that oppositor claims to be an acknowledged natural child of Jose Mortera. And this is so because being an illegitimate child she is prohibited by law from succeeding to the legitimate relatives of her natural father. (Trillana v. would the oppositor acquire any interest in any portion of the estate left by the testatrix? She would acquire such right only if she were a legal heir of the deceased. a deceased brother of the deceased. such as an heir. They cannot be called relatives and they have no right to inherit. 128. but such claim cannot give her any comfort for. the law does not give her any right to succeed to the estate of the deceased sister of both Jose Mortera and Francisca Mortera.. a deceased sister of the testatrix. Et Al. in turn. L-17750. or one who has a claim against the estate. . 1962. Crisostomo. Rene Teotico and declares the vacated portion as subject of succession in favor of the legal heirs." library The question now may be asked: Has oppositor any interest in any of the provisions of the will. L-17091. filed a motion for reconsideration of that part of the decision which declares the portion of the estate to be vacated by the nullity of the legacy made to Dr. she had already disposed of it long before the execution of the will. 1951.G.Petitioner Teotico. in the negative. She has also no interest in the will either as administratrix or executrix.. 70 Phil. but the law does not recognize it. in Saguinsin v. Rapinosa v. Rene Teotico? These issues will be discussed separately. a petition for letters of administration must be filed by an ’interested person. 1. Article 992 of our Civil Code provides: "An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother. August 22. Et Al. (2) Has the will in question been duly admitted to probate?." And the philosophy behind this provision is well expressed in Grey v. the Code denies any right of succession. but she is not under our Civil Code. December 17. G. Lindayag. and. together with the universal heir Josefina Mortera. both petitioner and oppositor appealed from the decision. this Court said: "According to Section 2. stripped of non-essentials. and also an adopted daughter of Francisca Mortera.. On the other hand. article 943 is based upon the reality of the facts and upon the presumptive will of the interested parties.
312-313. 652) "Relationship by adoption is limited to adopter and adopted. and that the testatrix was the first one to sign and later she gave the will to the witnesses who read and signed it. 1955. The claim that the will was not properly attested to is contradicted by the evidence of record. Paras. The next question to be determined is whether the will Exhibit A was duly admitted to probate. As a consequence. The relationship created is exclusively between. the adopted is an heir of the adopter but not of the relatives of the adopter. that it was the testatrix herself who asked her to be a witness to the will. 2. Oppositor claims that the same should not have been admitted not only because it was not properly attested to but also because it was procured thru pressure and influence and the testatrix affixed her signature by mistake believing that it contained her true intent. Civil Code of the Philippines. the law does no more them recognize this truth. is limited to the adopting parent. On this point the court a quo made the following observation: "The circumstance that the testatrix was then living under the same roof with Dr. by avoiding further grounds of resentment. Rene Teotico is no proof adequate in law . 515) It thus appears that the oppositor has no right to intervene either as testamentary or as legal heir in this probate proceeding contrary to the ruling of the court a quo. a palpable evidence of a blemish upon the family. 1. Pilar Borja testified that the testatrix was in perfect state of health at the time she executed the will for she carried her conversation with her intelligently. He finally said that the instrumental witnesses and the testatrix signed the will at the same time and place and identified their signatures. that on the day of the execution of the will the testatrix was in the best of health. except as expressly provided by law. Every relation is ordinarily broken in life. Vol. "The relationship established by the adoption. p. and that all the witnesses spoke either in Spanish or in Tagalog." (Tolentino. except that the law imposes certain impediments to marriage by reason of adoption." (An Outline of Philippines Civil law by Justice Jose B. that the testatrix was the first one to sign and she gave the will later to the witnesses to sign and afterwards she gave it to the notary public. 3d ed. no relationship is created between the adopted and the collaterals of the adopting parents. Sanchez also testified that she knew the testatrix since 1945. Vol. Vol. 1. Comments and Cases on Civil law. that it was the testatrix herself who asked her and the other witnesses to act as such. Pilar G.thereby deprived. Reyes and Ricardo C. that the will was duly executed because it was signed by the testatrix and her instrumental witnesses and the notary public in the manner provided for by law. 1. the adopter and the adopted. Vol. sees in the natural child nothing but the product of sin. pp. 1. 1959 ed.. that he read and understood the attestation clause before he signed the document. Modesto Formilleza also testified that he was asked by the testatrix to be one of the witnesses to the will. p. and does not extend to other members of the family of either. nor of the legitimate children which they may have after the adoption. Puno. See also Caguioa. the former. 313. however. L. The claim that the will was procured by improper pressure and influence is also belied by the evidence. in turn.)" The oppositor cannot also derive comfort from the fact that she is an adopted child of Francisca Mortera because under our law the relationship established by adoption is limited solely to the adopter and the adopted does not extend to the relatives of the adopting parents or of the adopted child except only as expressly provided for by law. and does not extend to the relatives of either.’ (7 Manresa. Civil Code of the Philippines. p. This evidence which has not been successfully refuted proves conclusively. Thus. In this respect it is fit that we state briefly the declarations of the instrumental witnesses.. Neither are the children of the adopted considered as descendants of the adopter. 110. and does not extend to his other relatives. Hence. the adopted child cannot be considered as a relative of the ascendants and collaterals of the adopting parents. p. but the adopted is prohibited to marry the children of the adopter to avoid scandal. that the testatrix signed immediately above the attestation clause and on each and every page thereof at the left-hand margin in the presence of the three instrumental witnesses and the notary public.
The burden is on the person challenging the will that such influence was exerted at the time of its execution. . In fact. that a certain legacy is void and another one valid. on different occasions. Although those facts may have some weight to support the theory of the oppositor. 220) ". Another reason why said pronouncement should be set aside is that the legatee was not given an opportunity to defend the validity of the legacy for he was not allowed to intervene in this proceeding. It does not determine nor even by implication prejudge the validity or efficiency of the provisions. attributable to the vehemence of Dr. and must be punctually complied with in so far as it is not contrary to the law or to public morals." (Palacios v. . The questions relating to these points remain entirely unaffected. . it does not follow that such provisions lack of efficiency.. Nor is the alleged fact of isolation of the testatrix from the oppositor and her witnesses. or fail to produce the effects which the law recognizes when they are not impugned by anyone. for example. 679-680) "To establish conclusively as against everyone. 3. Cruz. Manila. as testified to by the oppositor and her witnesses. 426. for their supposed failure to see personally the testatrix. 42 Phil.) The judgment in such proceedings determines and can determine nothing more. notwithstanding its authentication. yet they must perforce yield to the weightier fact that nothing could have prevented the testatrix.G. from subsequently revoking her 1951 will if it did not in fact reflect and express her own testamentary dispositions. Palacios. 625. The exercise of improper pressure and undue influence must be supported by substantial evidence and must be of a kind that would overpower and subjugate the mind of the testatrix as to destroy her free agency and make her express the will of another rather than her own (Coso v. (Sec. 3 Phil. "From the fact that the legalization of a will does not validate the provisions therein contained. a matter which here was not done. Moreover. had she really wanted to. In the matter of wills it is a fundamental doctrine that the will of the testator is the law governing the interested parties. 1951. 14 Phil. for the evidence presented not only is sufficient but was disproved by the testimony the instrumental witnesses. and once for all. Rene Teotico in the will Exhibit A must be set aside as having been made in excess of its jurisdiction. The authentication of a will decides no other questions than such as touch upon the capacity of the testator and the compliance with those requisites or solemnities which the law prescribes for the validity of wills. In them the court has no power to pass upon the validity of any provisions made in the will. the other pronouncements. This case is ordered remanded to the court a quo for further proceedings... As a corollary. walking and accompanied by no one. the mere claim that Josefina Mortera and her husband Rene Teotico had the opportunity to exert pressure on the testatrix simply because she lived in their house several years prior to the execution of the will and that she was old and suffering from hypertension in that she was virtually isolated from her friends for several years prior to her death is insufficient to disprove what the instrumental witnesses had testified that the testatrix freely and voluntarily and with full consciousness of the solemnity of the occasion executed the will under consideration. 596). WHEREFORE. 676. with the exception of that portion of the decision which declares that the will in question has been duly executed and admitted the same to probate. each of them was able to talk with her. No pronouncement as to costs. and may be raised even after the will has been authenticated. pp. Deza. For. ." (Montañano v. the testatrix was often seen at the Escolta. . the rest of the decision is hereby set aside." We have examined the evidence on the matter and we are fully in accord with the foregoing observation." Castañeda v. 58 O. took place years after the execution of the will on May 17. Alemany. these may be impugned as being vicious or null. in Quiapo and in Sta. the facts that a will was executed with the formalities required by law and that the testator was in a condition to make a will. is the only purpose of the proceedings under the new code for the probate of a will. It can not decide. 428) Pursuant to the foregoing precedents the pronouncement made by the court a quo declaring invalid the legacy made to Dr. . The question of whether the probate court could determine the intrinsic validity of the provisions of a will has been decided by this Court in a long line of decisions among which the following may be cited: "Opposition to the intrinsic validity or legality of the provisions of the will cannot be entertained in probate proceeding because its only purpose is merely to determine if the will has been executed in accordance with the requirements of the law. Suesa. Rene Teotico to exclude visitors.to sustain the conclusion that there was improper pressure and undue influence. touching on the disposition of the estate in favor of some relatives of the deceased should also be set aside for the same reason.
[G. she is entitled to the same share in the estate as the direct niece. who was of the same degree as Maria Juana Ugarte e Iturralde. 1 of the Civil Code). when. should have succeeded Ramon.R. 2599. Her mother. Maria Juana Ugarte e Iturralde asked that she be judicially declared the legitimate heir of the deceased. Maria Juana Iturralde y Gonzalez. but the daughter of a son of a sister of the deceased. a granddaughter of another sister of the deceased: Held. 921. COLLATERAL HEIRS. was not alleged. the error which the appellant claims was committed in the court below is very clearly shown. much less proved.) 2. yet she is entitled to a share of the estate of the deceased through her father. The court below on the 24th of February. Carmen Linart does not claim that her father. It would have been quite different had it been shown that . another sister of Ramon Iturralde y Gonzalez. to be the heir of the deceased. that even though a grandniece. such as is the appellant. this court finds: (1) That the relative nearest in degree excludes those more distant. Ramon Iturralde y Gonzalez. as the legitimate niece of the deceased. 2). the father of Carmen Linart. by representation — that is to say. and C. v. 1900. The petition of Maria Juana Ugarte e Iturralde. This. 921. intestate proceedings were instituted. INTESTATE SUCCESSION. from disposing of any part thereof until such accounting had been made and the estate distributed. through her guardian.that is to say. entered judgment declaring that the petitioner had the same right to participate in the inheritance as had Maria Juana Ugarte e Iturralde. October 27. Maria Juana Ugarte excepted to the judgment and has brought the case to this court. ID. the daughter of a sister of the deceased. Ramon Iturralde y Gonzales. Pablo Linart. and she was declared. as well as the deceased. 1904. and (2) that the right of representation in the collateral line shall take place only in favor of children of brothers or sisters whether they be of whole or half blood (art. as a matter of law. What she claims is that. par. Maria Juana Iturralde y Gonzalez. — The intestate left as heirs T.. In the month of December. Rafaela Pavia. and asked at the same time that Maria Juana Ugarte e Iturralde. however. claimed one-half of all the estate of the deceased. and Maria Juana Iturralde y Gonzalez are the common trunk from which the three branches issue. That C. Carmen Linart.. then the only claimant to the estate. Ramon Iturralde y Gonzalez. — The word children in intestate estates can not include "grandchildren. at the same time. In the light of the foregoing. was entitled to no part of the inheritance. and the plaintiff in this case is not a daughter of one of the sisters of the deceased. enjoining her. (Arts. 1905. Pablo Linart. After a consideration of the case. and ordered the latter to render an account of the estate. No. with the exception of the right of representation in proper cases (art. the right of representation in the collateral line can only take place in favor of the children of brothers or sisters of the intestate. Plaintiff-Appellee. CHILDREN. MARIA JUANA UGARTE Y ITURRALDE. They. Maria Juana Ugarte e Iturralde. GRANDCHILDREN. REPRESENTATIONS. DefendantSYLLABUS 1. The court below held that the grandniece was entitled to the same share of the estate that the niece was entitled to.. in an order made on the 31st of January. without prejudice to third parties. Civil Code. the petitioner presented herself as a collateral descendant . par. The father of the petitioner was in the same collateral degree of succession as Maria Juana Ugarte e Iturralde. 1901. 1905. 925. 925. was the legitimate son of Maria Josefa Iturralde y Gonzalez. although she is one degree lower in the line of succession that her aunt. Pablo. were children of Manuel Iturralde and Josefa Gonzalez. who had been declared the lawful heir of the deceased — a fact which this new relative did not deny — be required to render an account of the property of the estate. ] CARMEN LINART Y PAVIA. having been heard in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure in force at the time. for the reason that the latter died first." Ramon Iturralde y Gonzalez having died intestate on the 28th of December. There being no legitimate heirs to the estate either in the direct ascendant line of succession. however.
Pablo Linart. prior to the operation of the Civil Code. hold that in an intestate succession a grandniece of the deceased can not participate with a niece in the inheritance. and let the record be remanded to the Court of First Instance from whence it came for execution of the said judgment. and December 31. they failing. 1899. without special provisions as to the costs of this instance. the father of the plaintiff. being a nearer relative. the more distant grandniece is excluded. which would have been the case if Pablo Linart. might have inherited the portion of the estate corresponding to her father’s.her father. we hereby reverse the judgment of the court below. who was once declared to be the lawful heir. is not sufficient to deny to the appellant a right which he had under the terms of the will." There is no precedent in our jurisprudence to warrant such a conclusion. therefore. had survived his deceased uncle. because the latter. . and then." and pointed out in the last decision referred to. "the fact that it was stated with more or less correctness in the prayer of the complaint that the action was based upon the right of representation. she. properly speaking. We. and in many others decided by the supreme court of Spain. After the expiration of twenty days let judgment be entered in accordance herewith. In both cases. Maria Juana Ugarte. So ordered. we must take into consideration and give force to the intention of the testator when he substitutes the children for the heirs first named by him. The descendants are ordinarily considered as included in the term "children. For the reasons above stated. It is not an error to consider that the word "children" in this connection does not include "grandchildren. had survived the deceased. And. Those decisions were rendered in cases relating to testate and not to intestate successions. it was held that "grandchildren" were necessarily included in the word "children." and that in such a case the grandchild does not." unless they are expressly excluded. that in the case of a testamentary succession. inherit by representation. where a testator had named certain persons as heirs and. as to whom we hereby dissolve the injunction issued from the Court of First Instance. In that case he would have succeeded to the estate with his cousin. the plaintiff. relied upon. are not applicable to this case. "for the reason that he must in any event succeed the child in the natural and regular order. The decisions of the supreme court of Spain of October 19." The difference is this. In the collateral line the right of representation does not obtain beyond sons and daughters of the brothers and sisters. and who is now in possession of the estate. as is also pointed out in the first decision. reference should only be had to the provisions of the law under which it is evident that the rights of representation in the collateral line do not obtain beyond the sons and daughters of brothers or sisters. that the property should pass to their children. by representation. whereas in intestate successions. 1895. and declare that Carmen Linart has no right to succeed the deceased with said Maria Juana Ugarte e Iturralde.
PATERNITY AND FILIATION. It is also supposed that one of his purposes in acquiring properties is to leave them eventually to his children as a token of his love for them and as a provision for their continued care even after he is gone from this earth. It serves a more fundamental purpose. I. SUCCESSION. vol. — On the question of Doribel’s legitimacy. RATIONALE. ID.. The affidavit of Abila denying her earlier statement in the petition for the guardianship of Doribel is of course hearsay. coming as it did from an interested party. ID. It is true. LEGITIMACY OF CHILD CAN BE QUESTIONED ONLY IN A DIRECT ACTION.. the birth certificate must be upheld in line with Legaspi v. CIVIL LAW. what they should have done was seasonably appeal the decree of adoption. LEGITIMATE AND ADOPTED CHILDREN SUCCEED THE PARENTS AND ASCENDANTS. January 23. and that civil status cannot be attacked collaterally. ADOPTION PROCEEDINGS. does not have this purely evidential character. 4. before the decree of adoption was issued. Doribel has a right to represent her deceased father in the distribution of the intestate estate of her grandparents.. and within the period limited by law. Civil Code of the Philippines. The settled rule is that a finding that the requisite jurisdictional facts exists. REMEDIOS SAYSONREYES and JUANA C. ID. — A no less important argument against the petitioners is that their challenge to the validity of the adoption cannot be made collaterally. such evidence is lacking in the case at bar. p. 7. Assuming that the petitioners were proper parties. ROSARIO SAYSON-MALONDA. ID. RIGHT OF REPRESENTATION. ID.) 6. . ONE OF THE PRESCRIBED MEANS OF RECOGNITION. ID. 350. however. The presumption of legitimacy in the Civil Code . — It is too late now to challenge the decree of adoption. where we ruled that "the evidentiary nature of public documents must be sustained in the absence of strong. 3. 559.. Sec. BASILISA SAYSON-LIRIO. That was way back in 1967. as the petitioners stress. 719-720]. COMPLETE AND CONCLUSIVE PROOF OF ITS FALSITY OR NULLITY.] MAURICIO SAYSON. They did not. REMEDIAL LAW. Nos. The legitimacy of the child can be impugned only in a direct action brought for that purpose. It actually fixes a civil status for the child born in wedlock. pointing to the birth of Doribel that disqualified Teodoro and Isabel from adopting Delia and Edmundo. They did not. The legitimacy of the child cannot be contested by way of defense or as a collateral issue in another action for a different purpose. — The philosophy underlying this article is that a person’s love descends first to his children and grandchildren before it ascends to his parents and thereafter spreads among his collateral relatives. . CHALLENGE TO THE VALIDITY OF ADOPTION CANNOT BE MADE COLLATERALLY. BIRTH CERTIFICATE."cralaw virtua1aw library 5. cannot be questioned in a collateral proceeding. Doribel’s birth certificate is a formidable piece of evidence. she is entitled to the share her father would have directly inherited had he survived. ID. they should have done this earlier. JUDGMENT. ID. Under Article 981.. I. In fact. years after it became final and executory.. — There is no question that as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and thus the granddaughter of Eleno and Rafaela. by the proper parties. . whether erroneous or not. v. PETITIONERS SHOULD HAVE SEASONABLY APPEALED THE DECREE OF ADOPTION. However. complete and conclusive proof of its falsity or nullity. Even without it... quoted above. 2. although Mauricio claimed he had personal knowledge of such birth. Doribel’s legitimacy cannot be questioned in a complaint for partition and accounting but in a direct action seasonably filed by the proper party. Vol. we hold that the findings of the trial courts as affirmed by the respondent court must be sustained. — Mauricio’s testimony that he was present when Doribel was born to Edita Abila was understandably suspect. FINAL AND EXECUTORY. Court of Appeals. (Tolentino.R. pp. — Another reason why the petitioners’ challenge must fail is the impropriety of the present proceedings for that purpose. 89224-25. It is one of the prescribed means of recognition under Article 265 of the Civil Code and Article 172 of the Family Code. BAUTISTA. let alone the fact that it was never offered in evidence in the lower courts. ID. as in their action for partition but in a direct proceeding frontally addressing the issue. 1992. for a presumption arises in such cases where the validity of the judgment is thus attacked that the necessary jurisdictional facts were proven [Freeman on Judgments. GRANDDAUGHTER HAS A RIGHT TO REPRESENT HER DECEASED FATHER. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SYLLABUS 1. EVIDENTIARY NATURE OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS TO BE SUSTAINED ABSENT STRONG..[G. that the birth certificate offers only prima facie evidence of filiation and may be refuted by contrary evidence. Petitioners. which shall be equal to the shares of her grandparents’ other children.
but is affirmed in all other respects. 1989. At issue in this case is the status of the private respondents and their capacity to inherit from their alleged parents and grandparents. On April 25. The complainants asserted the defense they raised in Civil Case No. who claim to be their children. they were entitled to inherit Teodoro’s share in his parents’ estate by right of represe ntation. Edmundo and Doribel Sayson. 1030. Mauricio. Branch 12. who manifested in a petition for guardianship of the child that she was her natural . RELATIONSHIP CREATED BY ADOPTION DOES NOT EXTEND TO THE BLOOD RELATIVES OF EITHER PARTIES. the three children were entitled to inherit from Eleno and Rafaela by right of representation.. namely. this time for the accounting and partition of the intestate estate of Eleno and Rafaela Sayson. In his decision dated September 30. Both cases were decided in favor of the herein private respondents on the basis of practically the same evidence. 1952. The action was resisted by Delia. Their properties were left in the possession of Delia. or natural children by legal fiction. 3 Consequently. Sañez dismissed Civil Case No. 4 Judge Jose S. As such. Teodoro. That judgment is now before us in this petition for review by certiorari. and Rafaela on May 15. all surnamed Sayson. 1 that Delia and Edmundo were the legally adopted children of Teodoro and Isabel Sayson by virtue of the decree of adoption dated March 9. 1983. when the decree of adoption was issued on March 9. legitimated. The petitioners deny them that right. and Doribel. The contention of the petitioners is that Delia and Edmundo were not legally adopted because Doribel had already been born on February 27. 1967. Remedios and Teodoro. 1972. 1042 in the Regional Trial Court of Albay. No. Delia. Rosario. Isabel’s mother. His wife died nine years later. 1967. Edmundo.R. 1030. the appealed decision is MODIFIED in that Delia and Edmundo Sayson are disqualified from inheriting from the estate of the deceased spouses Eleno and Rafaela Sayson.. Bautista. On July 11." Curiously enough. who had married Isabel Bautista. and Remedios.8. where they were consolidated. 1030 (CA-G. holding that the defendants. Both cases were appealed to the Court of Appeals. died on March 23. Rosario. who alleged successional rights to the disputed estate as the decedent’s lawful descendants. these rights do not include the right of representation. The relevant genealogical facts are as follows. naming among those who cannot adopt" (1) Those who have legitimate. 1986. the petitioners also argue that Doribel herself is not the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and Isabel but was in fact born to one Edita Abila. In Civil Case No. against the couple’s four surviving children. 1976. 1986. 1030 in Branch 13 of the Regional Trial Court of Albay. ID. Basilisa. The relationship created by the adoption is between only the adopting parents and the adopted child and does not extend to the blood relatives of either party. ID. Reversal of the respondent court is sought on the ground that it disregarded the evidence of the petitioners and misapplied the pertinent law and jurisprudence when it declared the private respondents as the exclusive heirs of Teodoro and Isabel Sayson. the appealed decision is hereby AFFIRMED. The pertinent provision is Article 335 of the Civil Code. The birth of Doribel disqualified her parents from adopting. No. 1983.. excluded the plaintiffs from sharing in their estate. 1981. In its own decision dated February 28. — While it is true that the adopted child shall be deemed to be a legitimate child and have the same right as the latter. Eleno died on November 10. Basilisa. that Delia and Edmundo were the adopted children and Doribel was the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and Isabel. 1042 (CA-G. 1967. Mauricio. 12364). in Civil Case No. ID. This was docketed as Civil Case No. Judge Rafael P. Edmundo and Doribel filed their own complaint. being the legitimate heirs of Teodoro and Isabel as established by the aforementioned evidence.R. acknowledged natural children. to wit. on March 26. together with Juana C. filed a complaint for partition and accounting of the intestate estate of Teodoro and Isabel Sayson. asserting it for themselves to the exclusion of all others. 11541). 1967. SO ORDERED. It was docketed as Civil Case No. 2 Doribel was their legitimate daughter as evidenced by her birth certificate dated February 27. Santelices declared in his decision dated May 26. Eleno and Rafaela Sayson begot five children. 5 the respondent court disposed as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library WHEREFORE.
Court of Appeals. Doribel’s birth certificate is a formidable piece of evidence. before the decree of adoption was issued. On top of this. That was way back in 1967. Vol. this Court declared:chanrob1es virtual 1aw An adoption order implies the finding of the necessary facts and the burden of proof is on the party attacking it. however. there is the vital question of timeliness. such as the abandonment of his next of kin to the adoption. It is too late now to challenge the decree of adoption. such evidence is lacking in the case at bar. In fact." . for a presumption arises in such cases where the validity of the judgment is thus attacked that the necessary jurisdictional facts were proven [Freeman on Judgments. and hence cannot be collaterally attacked. although Mauricio claimed he had personal knowledge of such birth. They did not. pointing to the birth of Doribel that disqualified Teodoro and Isabel from adopting Delia and Edmundo. 7 Assuming that the petitioners were proper parties. years after it became final and executory. may be essential to the exercise of jurisdiction to enter the order of adoption. while another court would hold it to have been of no avail. While a judicial determination of some particular fact. Mauricio’s testimony that he was present when Doribel was born to Edita Abila was understandably suspect. and the determination must stand until reversed on appeal. complete and conclusive proof of its falsity or nullity. coming as it did from an interested party. pp. or about TEN (10) days before the issuance of the Order of Adoption. (Emphasis supplied. I. 1967. The affidavit of Abila 10 denying her earlier statement in the petition for the guardianship of Doribel is of course hearsay. The inconsistency of this position is immediately apparent. The petitioners seek to annul the adoption of Delia and Edmundo on the ground that Teodoro and Isabel already had a legitimate daughter at the time but in the same breath try to demolish this argument by denying that Doribel was born to the couple. 719-720]. they should have done this earlier.) On the question of Doribel’s legitimacy. Sec. what they should have done was seasonably appeal the decree of adoption. However. outstanding and binding to the present. that the birth certificate offers only prima facie evidence 9 of filiation and may be refuted by contrary evidence. 11 where we ruled that "the evidentiary nature of public documents must be sustained in the absence of strong. we hold that the findings of the trial courts as affirmed by the respondent court must be sustained. the trial judge cannot be faulted for granting the petition for adoption on the finding inter alia that the adopting parents were not disqualified.mother. as in their action for partition but in a direct proceeding frontally addressing the issue. it cannot be considered void merely because the fact needed to show statutory compliance is obscure. as the petitioners stress. or necessarily in accordance with the truth. a mere error cannot affect the jurisdiction. The settled rule is that a finding that the requisite jurisdictional facts exists. The court is of the considered opinion that the adoption of the plaintiffs DELIA and EDMUNDO SAYSON is valid. In the case of Santos v. whether erroneous or not. and might be regarded with different effect by different tribunals. As the respondent court correctly observed:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library When Doribel was born on February 27. They did not. If this were not the rule. Not having any information of Doribel’s birth to Teodoro and Isabel Sayson. this does not make it essential to the jurisdictional validity of the decree that the fact be determined upon proper evidence. A no less important argument against the petitioners is that their challenge to the validity of the adoption cannot be made collaterally. Aranzanso. It is one of the prescribed means of recognition under Article 265 of the Civil Code and Article 172 of the Family Code. the status of adopted children would always be uncertain. Even without it. the petitioners could have notified the court about the fact of birth of DORIBEL and perhaps withdrew the petition or perhaps petitioners could have filed a petition for the revocation or rescission of the adoption (although the birth of a child is not one of those provided by law for the revocation or rescission of an adoption). It is true. the birth certificate must be upheld in line with Legaspi v. let alone the fact that it was never offered in evidence in the lower courts. cannot be questioned in a collateral proceeding. the same not having been revoked or rescinded. 350. since the evidence might not be the same at all investigations. and the adoption might be held by one court to have been valid.
and acquires the rights which the latter would have if he were living or if he could have inherited. The Court of Appeals was correct however. by the proper parties. Legitimate children and their descendants succeed the parents and other ascendants. The representative is called to the succession by the law and not by the person represented. conformably to the following Article 979 of the Civil Code:. to whom the grandparents were total strangers. The philosophy underlying this article is that a person’s love descends first to his children and grandchildren before it ascends to his parents and thereafter spreads among his collateral relatives. by virtue of which the representative is raised to the place and the degree of the person represented. WHEREFORE. Should children of the deceased and descendants of other children who are dead. Doribel has a right to represent her deceased father in the distribution of the intestate estate of her grandparents. The representative does not succeed the person represented but the one whom the person represented would have succeeded. In consequence of the above observations. Coming now to the right of representation. While it is true that the adopted child shall be deemed to be a legitimate child and have the same right as the latter. and that civil status cannot be attacked collaterally. are the exclusive heirs to the intestate estate of the deceased couple. the former shall inherit in their own right.Another reason why the petitioners’ challenge must fail is the impropriety of the present proceedings for that purpose. as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and Isabel Sayson. ARTICLE 979. . 13 But a different conclusion must be reached in the case of Delia and Edmundo. Representation is a right created by fiction of law. are their exclusive heirs and are under no obligation to share the estate of their parents with the petitioners. and the challenged decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED in toto. ARTICLE 981. and the latter by right of representation. does not have this purely evidential character. and within the period limited by law. in holding that only Doribel has the right of representation in the inheritance of her grandparents’ intestate estate. the other private respondents being only the adoptive children of the deceased Teodoro. she is entitled to the share her father would have directly inherited had he survived. Under Article 981. The legitimacy of the child can be impugned only in a direct action brought for that purpose. these rights do not include the right of representation. we stress first the following pertinent provisions of the Civil Code:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library ARTICLE 970. It is also supposed that one of his purposes in acquiring properties is to leave them eventually to his children as a token of his love for them and as a provision for their continued care even after he is gone from this earth. It serves a more fundamental purpose. ARTICLE 971. we agree with the lower courts that Delia and Edmundo as the adopted children and Doribel as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro Sayson and Isabel Bautista. survive. . we hold that Doribel. and even if they should come from different marriages. . as their adopted children. The presumption of legitimacy in the Civil Code . the petition is DENIED. The relationship created by the adoption is between only the adopting parents and the adopted child and does not extend to the blood relatives of either party. quoted above. It actually fixes a civil status for the child born in wedlock. which shall be equal to the shares of her grandparents’ other children. An adopted child succeeds to the property of the adopting parents in the same manner as a legitimate child. 14 In sum. without distinction as to sex or age. and Delia and Edmundo. with costs against the petitioners. There is no question that as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and thus the granddaughter of Eleno and Rafaela. The legitimacy of the child cannot be contested by way of defense or as a collateral issue in another action for a different purpose . Doribel’s legitimacy cannot be questioned in a complaint for partition and accounting but in a direct action seasonably filed by the proper party.
ABANDONMENT OF CHILD. Sec. of May 19... Jur.) 3. 717. notice is not required in adoption cases in regard to the abandoning parent (Parsons v.) 9. — Personal signature by the petition of the petition to adopt is not among the requisites of the law. 74 Pac. February 28. ID.. ID. — The parental consent required by the law in adoption proceedings refers to parents who have not abandoned their child (Sec. or a direct suit . regardless of actual intention. ID. the findings of abandonment by the adoption court had totally no support in the evidence. Republic. given it to another." (2 Am. SYLLABUS 1. 47 Phil. 52 Off. 3. Jur. 63 Pac. pp.. not by way of collateral attack (Gomez v. Moreover. — The philosophy behind adoption statutes is to promote the welfare of the child. the determination of the adoption court that the parents of the adopted children had abandoned them. such as the publication duly made in a newspaper of general circulation. It follows. Parson.) 10. If the natural parents have abandoned their children. Adoption. — A strong basis for a finding of the parent’s abandonment of his or her child is found in the case where the parent has left the child permanently or indefinitely in the care of others. E. — Adoption is a proceeding in rem (Jacinto. 32. Rules of Court. SETTING ASIDE JUDGMENT ON GROUND OF EXTRINSIC FRAUD. Res. 131 Cal. therefore. 886-887. 101 Wis. 56 p. ABANDONMENT BY PARENTS. but only in a direct action for that purpose. consent by the guardian ad litem suffices." It means "neglect or refusal to perform the natural and legal obligations of care an support which parents owe to their children. 6. CONSENT OF PARENTS NOT AN ABSOLUTE REQUISITE. and it cannot do so in a collateral suit. 906).. 133 NE 2d 56. PARENTAL CONSENT. Rule 100. 5. 628). — Movants contends that according to the Court of Appeals. FAILURE TO PERFORM DUTIES OF PARENTHOOD.. 1040. 2. (Emmons v.. 1965 Ed. or surrendered it entirely. 2d 888. the modern trend is to encourage adoption (Prasnik v. Concepcion.R. 403. Jur. Mañalac. 469. that in the case at bar.[G. 1966. PERSONAL SIGNATURE BY PETITIONER NOT REQUIRED.. 7. 1966. 270). Ramos v. 1039. Gaz. 235 Ind. Sankey. In re Camp’s Estate. ADOPTION. CASE AT BAR. however. WHEN NOTICE NOT REQUIRED. 4. CASE AT BAR. — A judgment can be set aside on the ground of extrinsic fraud only in a separate action brought for that purpose. W. ADOPTION. 736). Special Proceedings. L-23828. 2d. ID. under a collateral attack.. 141 Cal. SEPARATE ACTION NECESSARY. ID. 147. Adoption. 36 N. PHILOSOPHY BEHIND ADOPTION STATUTES. ID. FINDINGS OF ADOPTION COURT CANNOT BE ATTACKED COLLATERALLY. 249. ID. p. NATURE OF PROCEEDING. 89 Phil. ID. Sec. Dinelli. it had to pass under review the entire proceedings in the adoption court.. ID. Accordingly.) 8. ID. the determination of the fact by the tribunal cannot be questioned in a collateral attack upon its order (In re Mckeag’s Estate. GREGORIA ARANZANSO and DEMETRIA VENTURA. 76 77 N. 148 111. ID. For the Court of Appeals to arrive at such a conclusion. Van Matre v. 536. 148). (2 Am.. — The settled rule is that even when the jurisdiction of an inferior or special tribunal depends upon the existence of a fact to be established before it.] PAULINA SANTOS and AURORA SANTOS v. REVIEW OF TRIAL COURT’S FINDING OF ABANDONMENT. MEANING OF ABANDONMENT. No. — In adoption proceedings abandonment imports "any conduct on the part of the parent which evinces a settled purpose to forgo all parental duties and relinquish all parental claims to the child. JUDGMENTS. 1942) and every reasonable intendment should be sustained to promote that objective. is enough where the residence of the parents is unknown (2 Am. ID. 347. What was before the Court of Appeals was not an appeal from the decision of the adoption court. LEAVING CHILD IN CARE OF OTHERS CONSTITUTES ABANDONMENT. — Negligent and careless failure to perform the duties of parenthood is a significant element of abandonment. — Consent by the parents to the adoption is not an absolute requisite. 2d. 11. the Court of Appeals erred in reviewing. and constructive notice.....
were unknown. that the necessary jurisdictional facts were proven. Santos to adopt the minors Paulina Santos Reyes and Aurora Santos Reyes and in accordance with Rule 100 of the Rules of Court in the Philippines. They desire to adopt the minors Paulina Santos Reyes and Aurora Santos Reyes. since their infancy. "NOW ORDERED. filed on January 2. . the Court hereby grants the petition of the spouses Simplicio Santos and Juliana R. Gregoria Aranzanso. 8 years old. "Manila. An answer to the opposition was filed by Simplicio Santos on Mar 7.assailing the adoption. 3 In said petition he stated among other things that the surviving heirs of the deceased are: he as surviving spouse. a newspaper of general circulation in the City of a Manila. that since the outbreak of the war said minors have been abandoned by their respective parents. hereunder quoted in full: "This is a petition for the adoption of the minors Paulina Santos Reyes and Aurora Santos Reyes by the spouses Simplicio Santos and Juliana R. he asked that he be appointed administrator of the estate. A guardian ad litem Crisanto de Mesa. and that the adoption of Paulina Santos and Aurora Santos was likewise void ab initio for want of the written consent of their parents. On November 25. Juliana Reyes died. the adoption court (CFI) rendered on August 25. After due publication in the ’National Weekly. The consent to the adoption has been given by the guardian ad litem appointed by the Court. likewise gave her written consent thereto. since she was barely three months old has already been taken cared of by them up to the present time. Philippines. particularly their parents. The petition. the minors are freed from all legal obligations of obedience and maintenance with respect to their natural parents and are. hence forth. "From the evidence presented at the hearing. to all legal intents and purposes the children of the petitioners. cannot be questioned in a collateral proceedings. and the latter has been cared for since she was only fifteen days old. 1958 and oppositor Aranzanso filed a reply thereto on Mar 17. both of whom are and for years have been living under their care and custody. it appears that the petitioners have been married for the past twenty-seven years and have no children of their own. alleging that she is first cousin to the deceased. said children have continuously been in petitioners’ care and custody. 2 After due publication and hearing. The Court is of the opinion that this adoption will be for the best interest and welfare of the minors. August 25. (Freeman on Judgments. Paulina Santos. She ratified the same in open Court. The petitioners are both proprietors and have substantial income. for a presumption arises in such cases. In the same petition. whether erroneous or not. Sec.) A petition for adoption of Paulina Santos and Aurora Santos was filed by Simplicio Santos and Juliana Reyes in the Court of First Instance of Manila on June 4. Accordingly. that the whereabouts of the minors’ nearest of kin. who were then living and had not abandoned them. Subsequently — eight years later — on October 21. 719-720. which was under oath. 1958. respectively. 1957 Simplicio Santos filed in the Court of First Instance of Manila a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of Juliana Reyes. the case was then set for trial. being over fourteen years of age. Vol. and that for years. in Manila. Santos. where the validity of the judgment is thus attacked. once a week for three consecutive weeks. alleged inter alia. they could not be found. 27 and 17 years of age. Paulina Santos Reyes is now seventeen years old and has given her consent to the adoption as shown by her signature at the foot of the petition. more than enough to support and educate the minors. 1958 an opposition to the petition for appointment of administrator. but an appeal from an order in the settlement proceedings where the adoption was sought to be collaterally attacked. Both parents of the minor have long been unheard from and in spite of diligent efforts of the petitioners to locate them. Paulina Santos and Aurora Santos. 1949. Said guardian ad litem forthwith gave his written consent to the adoption. 1 Paulina Santos was then 17 years old and Aurora Santos. 1949 a decision. 1949. For even assuming that the finding of abandonment is jurisdictional. I."cralaw virtua1aw library No appeal was taken from the aforesaid decision. 1957. WHEREFORE. the settled rule is that a finding that the requisite jurisdictional facts exist. without testament. said Court was not in a position to determine that the findings of the adoption court had totally no support in the evidence. 350. For her grounds she asserted that Simplicio Santos’ marriage to the late Juliana Reyes was bigamous and thus void. The office of the Solicitor General was duly notified of the petition and at the hearing did not offer any objection. pp. was thereafter appointed for the minors. that the former.
1965 said court issued an order allowing. 1965 two strangers to the proceedings — the aforesaid sisters Consuelo and Pacita Pasion — filed a motion. 1965 respondents. said consent was not properly dispensed with. Paulina Santos and Aurora Santos appealed to this Court by way of petition for review. After denial of their motion for reconsideration by the Court of Appeals. 435. finding instead that the adoption was null and void ab initio due to the absence of consent thereto by the natural parents of the minor children. to receive any advance. as her own. The point to remember. is that under our law on the matter. 1959 an opposition to the petition of Simplicio Santos to be named administrator. a supplemental petition therefor. No. not only because the evidence adduced in the adoption proceedings was insufficient to support a finding that the parents had abandoned the children. but also since the adoption court fatally omitted to expressly and specifically find that such abandonment in fact occurred. 1965. the Court of First Instance decided the point in dispute. including Gregoria Aranzanso and Demetria Ventura. In sustaining their right to make such a collateral attack. and. It was alleged in the petition and supplemental petition for preliminary injunction that on September 22. 1959. 1965 we ordered modification of the preliminary injunction. or Consuelo and Pacita Pasion. consent by the parents to the adoption is not an absolute requisite: . promulgated on September 14. 1964.S. 1965.J. the writ was modified so as to enjoin the probate court. alleging likewise that she is the first cousin of the deceased Juliana Reyes and adding that she is the mother of the child Paulina Santos. Pilapil). Adoption of Children. 670). withdrawal of the sum of P7. Gregoria Aranzanso and Demetria Ventura. ruling that the validity of the adoption in question could not be assailed collaterally in the intestate Gregoria Aranzanso and Demetria Ventura appealed to the Court of Appeals. The principal issue on the merits in this appeal is whether respondents-oppositors Aranzanso and Ventura. 34354). 2 C. as well as of two other persons. 1965 the probate court issued an order allowing the Pasion sisters to intervene in the settlement proceedings and allowing them to withdraw under bond the sum P7. Respondents however moved for reconsideration or modification thereof on November 23. On November 4. that on October 18.000 each. On November 15. (2) from allowing any sale. 1965 the same Pasion sisters filed a supplemental motion in the same proceedings praying that their motion of October 7 be treated as a motion to intervene. 1965. "for purposes of expediency. cash or otherwise.Demetria Ventura. and (3) from allowing respondents. In its decision. Section 45 [a] p. stating inter alia that they would now be precluded from taking part in the scheduled hearing for settlement of the accounts of the special administratrix (Araceli A.000 each under bond. together with Consuelo and Pacita Pasion — who thereby submitted themselves to this Court’s jurisdiction and stated that they. under bond. 1965 this Court granted the prayer for preliminary injunction and the writ was issued upon posting of a bond of a bond of P5. however. 1965 the probate court issued an order allowing Gregoria Aranzanso and Demetria Ventura to intervene in the settlement proceedings of Juliana Reyes’ estate (Sp.. opposing the aforesaid petition for preliminary injunction. November 26. are also denominated respondents" — filed their "Comment". disposition or disbursement of the estate except when essential for strictly maintenance purposes. on previous motions therefor. namely. 1964. the respondent Court of Appeals rested as abovementioned on the premise that failure to obtain the consent of the natural parents was a jurisdictional defect rendering the adoption void ab initio. to intervene in the settlement proceedings or to withdraw cash advances from the estate. from the funds of the intestate estate. that on October 7.000 each from the funds of the estate. moreover. to which due course was given. In this regard it should be stated the Court of Appeals completely relied on American jurisprudence and authorities to the effect that parental consent to the adoption is a jurisdictional requisite (E. to all the parties. that on October 2.g. or any of them. on October 26. the pleadings filed by Gregoria Aranzanso. 1965 — petitioners herein filed a petition for preliminary injunction. Whetmore v. In its view. until further orders: (1) from hearing and/or approving the settlement of special administratrix’s accounts. 282 P2d 667.. Five months after submission of this case for decision — or on October 14. Consuelo and Pacita Pasion. Fratello. filed on November 18. could assail in the settlement proceedings the adoption decree in favor of Paulina and Aurora Santos. and later. so that on November 29.000 on November 20. thereunder adopted. which it deemed a jurisdictional defect still open to collateral attack. that on October 13. By order of April 6. as required by this Court. Proc. to stop the trial court from allowing Gregoria Aranzanso and Demetria Ventura. filed on March 19. stating that they are also first cousins of the decedent and praying that an order be issued allowing them to withdraw the sum of P7. the Court of Appeals reversed the appealed order.
Coming now to the power of the Court of Appeals to review in this case the finding of abandonment made by the adoption court. If this were not the rule. Old Rules of Court) 4 Stated otherwise. where the right of the court to assume jurisdiction of a cause and proceed to judgment depends upon the ascertainment of facts in pais and the court retains jurisdiction it thereby impliedly adjudges that the requisites jurisdictional facts exist and having found such facts in favor of jurisdiction. 3. and the determination must stand until reversed on appeal. 922. . but if the child is illegitimate and has not been recognized the consent of its father to the adoption shall not be required. 469. As quoted earlier. Adoption.) It can thus readily be seen that altho the CFI judgment approving the adoption does not use the word "abandoned". children’s home." It means "neglect or refusal to perform the natural and legal obligations of care and support which parents owe to their children. pp. such as the abandonment of the minor by his parent. consent to the adoption by the guardian ad litem suffices. and might be regarded with different effect by different tribunals. and hence can not be collaterally attacked. 1039. 74 Pac. — There shall be filed with the petition a written consent to the adoption signed by the child. Adoption. and the adoption might be held by one court to have been valid. 75 p. if over fourteen years of age and not incompetent. 1040. its findings sufficiently contain a set of facts and circumstance which truly constitutes a finding of abandonment." library Freeman on Judgments says the same thing: "In general. This brings us to the question whether in the proceedings at bar the Court of Appeals can still review the evidence in the adoption case and conclude that it was not sufficiently established therein that the parents of Paulina and Aurora Santos had abandoned them. or necessarily in accordance with the truth. that: "From the evidence presented at the hearing it appears that the petitioners have been married for the past twenty-seven years and have no children of their own. First of all. or the consent of his next of kin to the adoption. They desire to adopt the minors Paulina Santos [y] Reyes and Aurora Santos [y] Reyes. 403. and the latter has been cared for since she was only fifteen days old. it cannot be considered void merely because the fact needed to show statutory compliance is obscure. as stated. Paulina Santos [y] Reyes is now seventeen years old . this does not make it essential to the jurisdictional validity of the decree that the fact be determined upon proper evidence. While a judicial determination of some particular fact. 2d. by the proper officer or officers of such asylum. 63 Pac. we find that even under American jurisprudence — relied upon. or society. 131 Cal. may be essential to the exercise of jurisdiction to enter the order of adoption. In re: Camp’s Estate. they could not be found. thus: "An adoption order implies the finding of the necessary facts and the burden of proof is on the party attacking it. or by such person. Jur. . or if the child is in the custody of an orphan asylum. therefore. or if there are no such parents by the general guardian or guardian as litem of the child. it is stated in the decision of the adoption court. 736). 2nd Series." (Rule 100. Consent to adoption. both of whom are and for years have been living under their care and custody: that the former. home." (Italics supplied). a mere error cannot affect the jurisdiction. . Both parents of the minors have long been unheard from and in spite of diligent efforts of the petitioners to locate them. Anent this point the rulings are summed up in 2 American Jurisprudence. and by each of its known living parents who is not insane or hopelessly intemperate or has not abandoned such child. . or benevolent society or person. while another court would hold it to have been of no avail. if the natural parents have abandoned their children. it is not quite accurate to say that the adoption court made no determination of the fact of abandonment. by said Court — the settled rule is that even when the jurisdiction of an inferior or special tribunal depends upon the existence of a fact by the tribunal cannot be questioned in a collateral attack upon its order (In re: McKaeg’s Estate. Sec. 886-887. its decision in this respect." (2 Am. Abandonment — under persuasive American rulings — imports "any conduct on the part of the parent which evinces a settled purpose to forgo all parental duties and relinquish all parental claims to the child. 32. 141 Cal. Sec. since the evidence might not be the same at all investigations. since she was barely three months old has already been taken care of by them up to the present time."SEC. The consent to the adoption has been given by the guardian ad litem appointed by the Court . whether erroneous . the status of adopted children would always be uncertain.
not married. 101 Wis. the determination of the adoption court that the parents. 350. 77 N. 76. Republic. as the main purpose of adoption statutes is the promotion of the welfare of children." (Vol. necessarily. there is a tendency on the part of the courts. said in Parsons v. 906). Attack. or without any evidence. 89 Phil. 665. this purpose. of Paulina and Aurora Santos had abandoned them. rather than defeat. to the exclusion of respondents. Parsons. as allegedly married to another person (a point that we do not decide in this case).’ Thus it will be seen that upon the fact being established that the living parent had abandoned his child. The fact of abandonment. For the same reason. suffice it to mark that adoption is a proceeding in rem 5 and that constructive enough where the residence of the parents is unknown (2 Am. . Coll. a point which we need not — and do not — rule upon in this case. That is deemed to be elementary. G. . Rev. or in accordance with the truth. which reads as follows: ’No such adoption shall be made without the written consent of the living parents of such child unless the court shall find that one of the parents had abandoned the child or gone to parts unknown. whenever possible without doing violence to the terms of the statute. From 2 Corpus Juris Secundum 375-376 we quote: "Accordingly. or legal evidence. 5 O. is not required in adoption cases in regard to the abandoning parent (Parsons v. not essential that it should be determined on proper evidence. 147. I. 719-720). The term ’abandon’ obviously means no more than neglect or refusal to perform the natural and legal obligations of care and support which parents owe to their children.com. This is do even if such fact of abandonment is deemed jurisdictional.W. was essential to the jurisdiction. Assuming that Simplicio Santos was not validly married to Juliana Reyes. . as against the interests of the child. could not adopt without joining his wife in the petition. Mañalac. bereft of the benefits of the home and care of their real parents. when the validity of the judgment is attacked. Notice. The defect would then lie only as to Simplicio Santos. 663. pp. Anent the alleged lack of notice of the adoption proceedings on the natural parents. 47 Phil. Adoption. because mere error in that regard does not affect jurisdiction. 1942) and every reasonable intendment should be sustained to promote that objective. if any. 270). 2d. 1878. . 56. . p. "Although. If jurisdiction be obtained to determine a fact. Accordingly. not by way of collateral attack (Gomez v. Sec. yet cannot be impeached for want of jurisdiction. that the necessary jurisdictional facts were proven . .of not. the flaw. 148:jgc:chanrobles. cannot be questioned in a collateral proceedings. the proceedings must be strictly in accordance with the statute. Sec. The rule is well recognized that a judgment can be set aside on the ground of extrinsic fraud only in a separate action brought for that purpose. Concepcion. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin. A judicial determination may be contrary to conclusive evidence. . its determination wrong or on the insufficient or improper evidence is immaterial on the question of legal right to proceed judicially to the next step. who. therefore. under a collateral attack. it is not in point to argue here that Simplicio Santos in fact concealed the adoption proceedings from the natural parents thereby rendering the judgment obtained therein null and void for being secured by extrinsic fraud. Juliana Reyes should then be deemed to have filed the petition for adoption as a person whose status is single. and his consent to the adoption is therefore dispensed with.ph "The statute to be considered is section 4022. Secs. construing a statute akin to our law in this regard. judicially determined. where the adoption has been fully consummated." library It follows. however. supra). Parsons. moreover. he is deemed by the statute to have thereby relinquished all parental right to be consulted in respect to the child’s welfare. it will not make any difference as far as the right of respondents to intervene in the intestate proceedings is concerned. That rule applies to all judicial proceedings . St. Ramos v. Van Fleet. It must not be forgotten that the philosophy behind adoption statutes is to promote the welfare of the child. to construe the statute with a reasonable degree of liberality. to the end that the assumed relationship and the intention of the parties be upheld. the modern trend is to encourage adoption (Prasnik v. 6 It being the estate of Juliana Reyes that is the subject matter of the settlement proceedings. that the Court of Appeals erred in reviewing. would not affect the consideration of the right of Paulina and Aurora Santos to succeed as adopted children of Juliana Reyes. such a construction should be given adoption laws as will sustain. 717. for a presumption arises in such cases. . Jur.
as such. The same holds true as long as the adoption must be — as in the instant case — considered valid. claim an interest in the estate or Juliana Reyes as alleged first cousins. Consuelo and Pacita Pasion. So ordered. in view of the fact that in the order of intestate succession adopted children exclude first cousins (Articles 979 and 1003. The preliminary injunction heretofore issued is dissolved.particularly as against strangers to the proceedings collaterally attacking them ." library From all the foregoing it follows that respondents-oppositors Aranzanso and Ventura and those who. 1959. like them (Pasion sisters). is affirmed. Demetria Ventura. New Civil Code). . . . dated April 6. except insofar as it enjoins the intervention or allowance of withdrawals of properly from the estate by Gregoria Aranzanso. No costs. Respondents Gregoria Aranzanso and Demetria Ventura as well as Consuelo and Pacita Pasion are declared without right to intervene as heirs in the settlement of the intestate estate of Juliana Reyes. as to which it is hereby made permanent. Wherefore. in the concept of heirs. in the settlement proceedings. cannot intervene. the judgment of the Court of Appeals is hereby reversed and the order of the probate court a quo sustaining the adoption.
at the age of 92. Moreover. Alfredo. In 1962. To prove her point. Vicente died." 8 On appeal. 6 On November 20. 5 However.[G. Genoveva de la Puerta. with a will leaving her properties to her three surviving children. Moreover. . No. During the pendency of the appeal. who averred that their mother was already senile at the time of the execution of the will and did not fully comprehend its meaning. who testified that he was a neighbor of Austrial and Jordan. Vicente de la Puerta filed with the Court of First Instance of Quezon a petition to adopt Carmelita de la Puerta. who was married to Genoveva de la Puerta in 1938 and remained his wife until his death in 1978. 2 Meantime." presumably Carmelita. the probate court granted the motion. 7 At the hearing on her motion. . 1974. she argues that Carmelita was the legitimate child of Juanito Austrial and Gloria Jordan. the decision was appealed by Isabel to the Court of Appeals. After hearing. who were legally or presumably married. prompting her to move for the dismissal of the case.] ISABEL DE LA PUERTA v. including a girl named "Puti. leaving Vicente the lone oppositor. the order of the lower court was affirmed by the respondent court. who claims successional rights to the estate of her alleged grandmother. Dominga Revuelta died on July 3. but was separated from. that Vicente de la Puerta was married to. Carmelita. Isabel was appointed special administratrix by the probate court. By her evidence. filed a motion for the payment to her of a monthly allowance as the acknowledged natural child of Vicente de la Puerta. 1962 per her birth certificate (Exh. Invoking the presumption of legitimacy. it was shown to the satisfaction of the Court that she was born on December 18. namely. 10 Another witness. 3 Alfredo subsequently died. The petitioner’s main argument is that Carmelita was not the natural child of Vicente de la Puerta. Gloria Jordan started living with Vicente de la Puerta in his house. 4 On August 1. all surnamed de la Puerta. which was only five or six houses away from where she herself was staying. Isabel was given the free portion in addition to her legitime and was appointed executrix of the will. 1966. The court added that "the evidence presented by the petitioner against it (was) too weak to discredit the same. 9 which is now in turn being challenged in this petition before us. identified herself as Vicente de la Puerta’s wife but said they separated two years after their marriage in 1938 and were never reconciled. Isabel presented Amado Magpantay. . February 6. Carmelita could not have been a natural child of Vicente de la Puerta because he was already married at the time of her birth in 1962. Genoveva said that the relationship between her husband and Gloria was well known in the community. 1981.chanrobles law library : red On November 12. 1990. 1 The petition for the probate of the will filed by Isabel was opposed by her brothers. According to him. He said though that he was not sure if the couple was legally married. the lower court declared that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library . Carmelita presented evidence to prove her claimed status to which Isabel was allowed to submit counterevidence. 11 In finding for Carmelita. the two were living as husband and wife and had three children. the petition was granted. Carmelita’s real parents are Juanito Austrial and Gloria Jordan. that her father was Vicente de la Puerta and her mother is Gloria Jordan who were living as common law husband and wife until his death on June 14. 1978. A). some of the properties listed in the inventory of her estate belonged to them exclusively. 1982.R. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and CARMELITA DE LA PUERTA The basic issue involved in this case is the filiation of private respondent Carmelita de la Puerta. 77867. having been allowed to intervene in the probate proceedings. declaring that it was satisfied from the evidence at hand that Carmelita was a natural child of Vicente de la Puerta and was entitled to the amounts claimed for her support. Vicente and Isabel.
— The following presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted. The petitioner insists on the application of the following provisions of the Civil Code to support her thesis that Carmelita is not the natural child of Vicente de la Puerta but the legitimate child of Juanito Austrial and Gloria Jordan:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library Art. Quezon. that the fact that she was treated as a child of Vicente de la Puerta is shown by the family pictures showing movant with Vicente de la Puerta (Exhs. surmise and conjecture. there was testimony from Vicente’s own wife that her husband and Gloria lived together as a married couple. These rules are in turn based on the presumption that Juanito and Gloria were married at the time of Carmelita’s birth in 1962. B and B-1). pursuant to Rule 131. in such a way that access was not possible. The child shall be presumed legitimate. although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress. 5. such evidence has been sufficiently established in the case at bar. . (2) the inference made is manifestly mistaken. 255. (9) the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioner’s main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondents. 1978 without leaving a last will and testament. As the Court sees it. (2) By the fact that the husband and wife were living separately. This physical impossibility may be caused:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library (1) By the impotence of the husband. thereby rebutting the presumption that Gloria was herself the lawful wife of Juanito Austrial. Children born after one hundred and eighty days following the celebration of the marriage. (3) By the serious illness of the husband. and before three hundred days following its dissolution or the separation of the spouses shall be presumed to be legitimate. E and E-1). (3) there is grave abuse of discretion. providing that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library Sec. Art. (8) said findings of facts are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based. that during the hearing of her adoption case in Special Proceeding No. 0041 in Branch V of this Court at Mauban. 256. In the case before us. (6) the Court of Appeals went beyond the issues of the case and its findings are contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellees. D-1 and D-2) and school records wherein he signed the report cards as her parent (Exh. she was the only child who survived him together with his spouse Genoveva de la Puerta with whom he did not beget any child. The cases 14 cited by the petitioner are not exactly in point because they involve situations where the couples lived continuously as husband and wife and so could be reasonably presumed to be married. that upon the death of Vicente de la Puerta on June 14. absent any of those circumstances we have laid down in a long line of decisions that will justify reversal. Such testimony would for one thing show that Juanito and Gloria did not continuously live together as a married couple. support and education. This is a factual finding that we do not see fit to disturb. 13 Among these circumstances are: (1) the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation. that she was treated by Vicente de la Puerta as a true child from the time of her birth until his father died. but may be contradicted and overcome by other evidence:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library (b) That a man and woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage. (5) the findings of fact are conflicting. Against this presumption no evidence shall be admitted other than that of the physical impossibility of the hus band’s having access to his wife within the first one hundred and twenty days of the three hundred which preceded the birth of the child. Sec. and (10) the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on the supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by the evidence on record. Vicente de la Puerta categorically stated in court that Carmelita de la Puerta is his daughter with Gloria Jordan (Exhs. But this last-quoted presumption is merely disputable and may be refuted with evidence to the contrary. (7) the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the trial court. (4) the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts. 5(bb) of the Rules of Court. D. Disputable presumptions.his legal wife Genoveva de la Puerta. that it was Vicente de la Puerta during his lifetime who spent for her subsistence.
That was unnatural. since there is a vacancy in the inheritance. (Ibid. On the contrary. it has long been settled that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library The so-called spurious children or illegitimate children other than natural children. or any authentic writing. include adulterous children or those born out of wedlock to a married woman cohabiting with a man other than her husband or to a married man cohabiting with a woman other than his wife. It is settled that — In testamentary succession. to say the least. however. the right of representation can take place only in the following cases: first. and in the same neighborhood at that. It is a fact that at the time of the death of the testatrix. 18 The law is clear that there is representation only when relatives of a deceased person try to succeed him in his rights which he would have had if still living. 887) How should their filiation be proven? Article 289 of the Civil Code allows the investigation of the paternity or maternity of spurious children under the circumstances specified in Articles 283 and 284 of the Civil Code. where he categorically declared as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library Q What relation if any do you have with Carmelita de la Puerta? A She is my daughter. the petitioners he rein Elisa Cuison Et. Turning now to the evidence required to prove the private respondent’s filiation. . Art. when the person represented is disinherited by the testator. 287. She did not. and the second is that Carmelita is a spurious child. And upon his death. It is error to contend that as she is not a natural child but a spurious child (if at all) she cannot prove her status by the record of birth. 1976. Reynaldo Cuison was still alive. when the person represented dies before the testator. it is not explained why. we need not rule now on the admissibility of the private respondent’s certificate of birth as proof of her filiation. . In fact. . he transmitted to his heirs. . a statement before a court of record. to wit: May Carmelita de la Puerta claim support and successional rights to the estate of Dominga Revuelta? According to Article 970 of the Civil Code:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library Art. if he was really married to her. when the person represented is incapable of succeeding the testator. said deceased had already succeeded his aunt. They are entitled to support and successional rights (Art. 16 This being so. In the present case. It was different with Genoveva for she herself swore that she had separated from Vicente two years after their marriage and had long lost interest in her husband. Spurious children should not be in a better position than natural children. second. That status was sufficiently established by the sworn testimony of Vicente de la Puerta at the hearing of the petition for adoption on September 6. In all of these cases. by virtue of which the representative is raised to the place and the degree of the person represented. it became necessary for the petitioner to submit additional proof to show that the two were legally married. The answer to the question posed must be in the negative. The first reason is that Vicente de la Puerta did not predecease his mother. Finally. The implication is that the rules on compulsory recognition of natural children are applicable to spurious children. and acquires the rights which the latter would have if he were living or if he could have inherited. Juanito did not object when Gloria left the conjugal home and started openly consorting with Vicente. 15 The presumption of marriage between Juanito and Gloria having been destroyed. the testatrix herein. we move to the most crucial question. a will.Moreover. we reject the petitioner’s contention that Article 278 of the Civil Code is not available to Carmelita. she even renounced in open court any claim to Vice nte’s estate. the law calls the children or descendants of the person represented to succeed by right of representation. CC). and third. The rules on proof of filiation of natural children or the rule on voluntary and compulsory acknowledgment for natural children may be applied to spurious children. He died two months after her (testatrix’s) death. But their filiation must be duly proven. 970 Representation is a right created by fiction of law. commonly known as bastards.
he was born outside wedlock as shown by the fact that when he was born. Not having predeceased Dominga Revuelta. the petition is GRANTED and the appealed decision is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. . and what is more. the adopters can make for themselves an heir. the law does no more than recognize this truth. the latter considers the privileged condition of the former. But herein lies the crux." 23 The result is that Carmelita. Arturo M. assuming the private respondent was a lawful heir. as the spurious daughter of Vicente de la Puerta. but rather to the right of the legatee Reynaldo Cuison in said property. in turn. . It is so ordered. As aptly pointed out by Dr. In other words. The adopted child is not related to the deceased in that case. still he cannot. claim a share of the estate left by the deceased Francisca Reyes considering that. for she is not. An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother. his alleged father’s first marriage was still subsisting. but they cannot thus make one for their kindred. with costs against the private Respondent. The reason for this rule was explained in the recent case of Diaz v. . The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked down upon by the legitimate family. like the deceased Francisca Reyes. Applying this rule in Leonardo v. "By adoption. the family is in turn. . WHEREFORE. No right of representation was involved. 21 thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library Article 992 of the New Civil Code provides a barrier or iron curtain in that it prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said legitimate child. Carmelita would still be barred from inheriting from Dominga Revuelta for there would be no natural kindred ties between them and consequently. Tolentino:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library If the adopting parent should die before the adopted child. 20 this Court declared:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library . the latter cannot represent the former in the inheritance from the parents or ascendants of the adopter. hated by the illegitimate child. nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child. her son Vicente had the right to inherit from her directly or in his own right. sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin. They may have a natural tie of blood. by avoiding further ground of resentment. the herein petitioners-appellants are not trying to succeed to the right to the property of the testatrix. by right of representation. Her claims for support and inheritance should therefore be filed in the proceedings for the settlement of her own father’s estate 24 and cannot be considered in the probate of Dominga Revuelta’s will. Carmelita is barred from inheriting from Dominga because of Article 992 of the Civil Code. Carmelita could then have inherited from her in representation of her father Vicente. . has successional rights to the intestate estate of her father but not to the estate of Dominga Revuelta. the legacy or the right to succeed to the legacy. nor could it be invoked by Carmelita upon her father’s death. no legal ties to bind them either. which c ame after his own mother’s death. and the resources of which it is thereby deprived. . which lays down the barrier between the legitimate and illegitimate families. This article provides quite clearly:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library Art. the former. It would have been different if Vicente was already dead when Dominga Revuelta died. as found again by the Court of Appeals. As a spurious child of Vicente. petitioner would be an illegitimate chil d who has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father. Court of Appeals. because the filiation created by fiction of law is exclusively between the adopter and the adopted." 22 Indeed. even if it is true that petitioner is the child of Sotero Leonardo. At most. Between the legitimate family and the illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility. palpable evidence of a blemish broken in life. 992.. his alleged putative father and mother were not yet married.Al. Intermediate Appellate Court. but this is not recognized by law for the purpose of Article 992. even as an adopted child.
.R. The law does not recognize the blood tie and seeks to avoid further grounds of resentment... is legitimate". himself a legitimate child. dated June 14. No. October 23. 5. That will is now part of a public or official judicial record. petitioner Tomas Corpus filed an action in the Court of First Instance to recover his mother’s supposed share in the Yangco’s intestate estate. L-22469. The authenticity of that will which had been admitted and duly probated is incontestable.[G. 922 NEW CIVIL CODE). The rule is now found in article 992 of the new Civil Code which provides that "an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother. there being no divorce. — Under Article 944 and 945 of the Spanish Civil Code. Yangco. DULY PROBATED WILL FORM PART OF JUDICIAL OR PUBLIC RECORDS." 4. ID. ID. The trial court dismissed the action on the ground of res judicata stating that the intrinsic validity of Teodoro R. ARTICLE 943. if an acknowledged natural or legitimated child should die without issue. (Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio) "that a child born in lawful wedlock. 1907 which states that Teodoro R. BASIS OF. The appeal was certified to the Supreme Court as it involved more than P50. the father or mother who acknowledged such child shall succeed to his entire estate and if both acknowledged it and are alive. NO SUCCESSIONAL RECIPROCITY BETWEEN LEGITIMATE AND ILLEGITIMATE RELATIVES. Yangco’s will had already been passed upon in a special proceedings approving the project of partition. and "that things have happened according to the ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life.. namely that since Teodoro R. in turn. 2.. In default of natural ascendants. CASE AT BAR. either legitimate or acknowledged. CIVIL LAW. claiming that the project of partition made pursuant to the order of the probate court as invalid and hence. Yangco was his acknowledged natural son. — The rule found in Article 943 of the old Civil Code prohibiting successional reciprocity between legitimates and illegitimates is based on the theory that the illegitimate child is disgracefully looked upon by the legitimate family. ID.. SYLLABUS 1. we hold that appellant Tomas Corpus has no cause of action for the recovery of the supported hereditary share of his mother. the widow of Tomas Corpus.. the estate should be disposed of under the rules of intestacy. The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s judgment on another ground. Jose Corpus had a daughter. nor shall such children and relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child.. AMALIA CORPUS SYNOPSIS Teodoro R. Yangco. CHILD BORN OUT OF A UNION OF A MAN AND A WOMAN IS PRESUMED LEGITIMATE. Plaintiff appealed to the Court of Appeals. — Article 943 of the old Civil Code "prohibits all successory reciprocity mortis causa between legitimate and illegitimate relatives. WILL. while the legitimate family is. ID. and since Juanita Corpus was the legitimate child of Jose Corpus. Yangco was the acknowledged natural son of Luis Rafael Yangco and Ramona Arguelles.] TOMAS CORPUS v." 3. Rule 123 of the old Rules of Court and the statement of Teodoro Yangco’s biographer that Luis Yangco had two marriages. FILIATION. ID. 1978. cannot prevail over the presumption of legitimacy found in Section 69.. RULE ON SUCCESSION OF ACKNOWLEDGED OR LEGITIMATE CHILDREN. hated by the illegitimate child. one of whom was Jose Corpus. As the sole heir of Juana Corpus. ADMINISTRATOR and/or EXECUTOR of the Estate of Teodoro R. Yangco was an acknowledged natural child. PRESUMPTION OF LEGITIMACY. OLD CIVIL CODE (ART. — Appellant’s contentions that the probative value of the will of Luis R. Juana Corpus. RAFAEL CORPUS. absolute or from bed and board. ID. — It is disputably presumed "that a man and a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage" .. SUCCESSION. . Before her union with Luis Rafael Yangco. Petitioner Tomas Corpus is the son of Juana Corpus. Ramona had begotten five children with Tomas Corpus. they shall inherit from it share and share like. because there is no reciprocal succession between legitimate and illegitimate relatives. ID. ID. the first with Ramona Arguelles (Teodoro’s mother) and the second with Victoria Obin have no merit.00 pursuant to the Judiciary Law before it was amended. ID. ID.. ID.
and Ramon L. The estate of Luis R. the children of his half brother.000) "as settlement in full of my share of the compromise agreement as per understanding with Judge Roman Cruz. Tuason. At the time of his death. On September 20. Pedro Martinez. His will dated August 29. Zambales. Yangco had no forced heirs. D or 17). Juanita died in October. the legatees executed an agreement for the settlement and physical partition of the Yangco estate. Tomas Corpus signed a receipt dated October 24. Cruz.) From that order. the daughter of his half brother Jose Corpus. 73 Phil.chanrobles law library . It was also opposed by Atty. the heirs of Pio V. filed an action in the Court of First Instance of Manila to recover her supposed share in Yangco’ intestate estate. The probate court in its order of December 26. the wife of Miguel Ossorio. V. Teodoro R. 27 SCRA 546. that condition would be regarded "como no puesta o no existente. Juliana de Castro. Pablo Corpus. (3) Amalia Corpus." (See Barretto v. his nearest relatives were (1) his half brother. as the sole heir of Juanita Corpus. Yangco. 50 Phil. the widow of Tomas Corpus. Yangco sea declarada intestada. 1934 was probated in the Court of First Instance of Manila in Special Proceeding No. As the resolutions dismissing the appeals became final and executory on October 14 and November 4. entries of judgment were made on those dates. 1947 the legatees agreed to pay P35. the heirs of Isabel Corpus and the heir of Juanita Corpus. 54863. which cites article 785 of the Spanish Civil Code as prohibiting perpetual entails. The probate court approved that agreement and noted that the 1945 project of partition was pro tanto modified. It held that in certain clauses of the will the testator intended to conserve his properties not in the sense of disposing of them after his death but for the purpose of preventing that "tales bienes fuesen malgastados o desfilpar rados por los legatarios" and that if the testator intended a perpetual prohibition against alienation. 527. Yangco was the son of Luis Rafael Yangco and Ramona Arguelles. 1946 approved the project of partition. Pedro Martinez and Juliana de Castro.decedents’ natural and legitimated children shall be succeeded by their natural brothers and sisters in accordance with the rules established for legitimate brothers and sisters. and Rodriguez v. our attorney in this case" (Exh. Atty. Luis R. Teodoro R. Roman A. The complete text of the will is quoted in that decision. Cruz alleged in his opposition that the proposed partition was not in conformity with the will because the testator intended that the estate should be "conserved" and not physically partitioned. 1947. therefore. Paz Yangco. L-28734. The decree of probate was affirmed in this Court’s 1941 decision in Corpus v. Corpus. That project of partition was opposed by the estate of Luis R. Yangco. Herein appellant Tomas Corpus signed that compromise settlement as the sole heir of Juanita Corpus. (2) his half sister. Before her union with Luis Rafael Yangco. March 28. In the compromise dated October 7. 888. 1947 wherein he acknowledge that he received from the Yangco estate the sum of two thousand pesos (P2. Yangco died in Manila on April 20. Ramona had begotten five children with Tomas Corpus. Juanita Corpus (deceased) and the estate of Luis R.000 to Pedro Martinez. the decedent’s estate should be distributed according to the rules on intestacy. Yangco whose counsel contended that an intestacy should be declared because the will does not contain an institution of heir. Those appeals were dismissed in this Court’s resolutions of October 10 and 31. Court of Appeals. Corpus. Yangco appealed to this Court (L-1476). 1945 was submitted by the administrator and the legatees named in the will. Tomas Corpus. 1944 at Palauig. On October 5. Corpus. who represented Juanita Corpus. Juanita Corpus was already dead when Atty. two of whom were the aforenamed Pablo Corpus and Jose Corpus. Yangco entered into a similar compromise agreement. Cruz appeared as her counsel. 1969. He alleged ill his complaint that the disp ositions in Yangco’s will imposing perpetual prohibitions upon alienation rendered it void under article 785 of the old Civil Code and that the 1949 partition is invalid and. Pursuant to the order of the probate court. a project of partition dated November 26. and (4) Juana (Juanita) Corpus. That did not set at rest the controversy over the Yangco estate. Jose A." It concluded that "no hay motivos legales o morales para que la sucession de Don Teodoro R. 1939 at the age of seventy-seven years. Pursuant to the compromise agreement. 1947 after the legatees and the appellants entered into compromise agreements. 1949. 1951.
" Article 943 "prohibits all successory reciprocity mortis causa between legitimate and illegitimate relatives" (6 Sanchez Roman. himself a legitimate child. 996-997 cited in Director of Lands v. "that a child born in lawful wedlock. That will was attested by Rafael del Pan." (Exh. Yangco. that Luis Rafael Yangco made a second marital venture with Victoria Obin. 1907. 2613). it is necessary to ascertain Yangco’s filiation. it is not necessary to resolve whether Yangco’s will had been duly legalized and whether the action of Tomas Corpus is barred by res judicata and laches. 4th Ed. Tomas Corpus appealed to the Court of Appeals which in its resolution dated January 23. The said will is part of a public or official judicial record. the mother of appellant Tomas Corpus. It held that the intrinsic validity of Yangco’s will was passed upon in its order dated December 26. 287. 279. in incontestable. as a legal heir. A marriage is presumed to have taken place between Ramona and Tomas. Yangco was an acknowledged natural child or was illegitimate and since Juanita Corpus was the legitimate child of Jose Corpus. No. we hold that appellant Tomas Corpus has no cause of action for the recovery of the supposed hereditary share of his mother. pp. He contends that it should not prevail over the presumption of legitimacy found in section 69. Paz. in Yangco’s estate. there being no divorce. Luisa y Luis. and (3) that plaintiff’s action is barred by res judicata and laches. 18720-R certified the appeal to this Court because it involves real property valued at more than fifty thousand pesos (Sec. which he says is a mere copy of Exhibit 20. Appellant Corpus assails the probative value of the will of Luis R. These contentions have no merit. Yangco was a natural child. [bb] and [cc]. 5[z]. Yangco. implying that he had a first marital venture with Ramona Arguelles. His exact words are: "Primera. was a legal heir of Yangco. Since Teodoro R. The appeal may be resolved by determining whether Juanita Corpus. Has Tomas Corpus a cause of action to recover his mother’s supposed intestate share in Yangco’s estate? To answer that question. is legitimate". Appellant Corpus contends in this appeal that the trial court erred in holding (1) that Teodoro R. that Teodoro and his three other children were his acknowledged natural children. los cuales son mis unicos herederos forzosos. Article 943 of the old Civil code provides that "el hijo natural y el legitimado no tienen derecho a suceder abintestato a los hijos y parientes legitimos del padre o madre que lo haya reconocido. as found in the record on appeal in Special Proceeding No. hermanos naturales reconocidos por su padre natural Luis R. absolute or from bed and board.R. Declaro que tengo cuatro hijos naturales reconocidos. ni ellos al hijo natural ni al legitimado. 1964 in CA-G. Francisco Ortigas. 17. .. 54863. identified as Exhibit 1 herein.. Rule 123 of the old Rules of Court and over the statement of Samuel W." The basis of the trial court’s conclusion that Teodoro R. The trial court found that Yangco "a su muerte tambien le sbrevivieron Luis y Paz appellidados Yangco. llamados Teodoro. Codigo Civil. The authenticity of the will of Luis Rafael Yangco. Yangco was an acknowledged natural child and not a legitimate child was the statement in the will of his father. 63 Phil. (2) that his will had been duly legalized. as reproduced in Exhibit 1 herein and as copied from Exhibit 20 in the proceeding for the probate of Teodoro R. Juanita Corpus was not a legal heir of Yangco because there is no reciprocal succession between legitimate and illegitimate relatives. Yangco. 1956 dismissed the action on the grounds of res judicata and laches. Judiciary Law before it was amended by Republic Act No. 1946 in Special Proceeding No. Rules of Court). Juanita Corpus. the mother of Teodoro. Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio. Yangco’s will. Manuel Camus and Florencio Gonzales Diez. Aguas. The trial court did not err in dismissing the complaint of Tomas Corpus. the children of Ramona Arguelles and Tomas Corpus are presumed to be legitimate. It is disputably presumed "That a man and a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage" . On the other hand. and "that things have happened according to the ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life" (Sec. 465-6) . 54863 approving the project of partition for the testator’s estate. Stagg in his biography of Teodoro R. Rule 131. . dated June 14. See 16 Scaevola. 1 in Testate Estate of Teodoro Yangco). Luis Rafael Yangco. In the disposition of this appeal. Civil Code.The trial court in its decision of July 2.
Under articles 944 and 945 of the spanish Civil Code. the two acknowledged natural children of her uncle. Rosario Fabie. had no right to succeed to his estate under the rules of intestacy. Ramon Fabie. the father or mother who acknowledged such child shall succeed to its entire estate. Fabie. formerly article 943. appellant’s brief). . Where the testatrix. Teodoro R. See De Guzman v. No costs. Yangco was a natural child. 57 Phil. the natural child cannot represent his natural father in the succession to the estate of the legitimate grandparent (Llorente v. pp. Aquino and Ortiz. 322. were held not to be her legal heirs (Grey v. hated by the illegitimate child. Rodriguez. 29). The law does not recognize the blood tie and seeks to avoid further grounds of resentment (7 Manresa. Centeno. April 30. 38 Phil. they shall inherit from it share and share alike. 10 Phil. Yangco’s half brothers on the Corpus side." Hence. 88 Phil. 52 Phil. her father’s brother. "if an acknowledged natural or legitimated child should die without issue. In default of natural ascendants. Abaya. who were legitimate. The rule in article 943 is now found in article 992 of the Civil Code which provides that "an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother. and if both acknowledged it and are alive. By reason of that same rule. 13 SCRA 693. 185-6). Following the rule in article 992. Codigo Civil. 8. Sevilla. The natural daughter cannot succeed to the estate of her deceased uncle. nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child. 7th Ed. Centeno v. 585. it was held that the legitimate relatives of the mother cannot succeed her illegitimate child (Cacho v. was the legitimate daughter of Jose Fabie. a legitimate brother of her natural mother (Anuran v.. in turn. Udan. 128). 909). he (Tomas Corpus) would have no legal personality to intervene in the distribution of Yangco’s estate (p. Allarde v. L-19996. 991).Appellant Corpus concedes that if Teodoro R. natural and legitimated children shall be succeeded by their natural brothers and sisters in accordance with the rules established for legitimate brothers and sisters.chanrobles law library : red WHEREFORE the lower court’s judgment is affirmed." That rule is based on the theory that the illegitimate child is disgracefully looked upon by the legitimate family while the legitimate family is. 47 Phil. either legitimate or acknowledged. 1965.
those articles." Such a conclusion is erroneous. ID. v. however. CASE AT BAR. ID. ID. ID.. If the person to be represented is an illegitimate child. Between the legitimate family and the illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility. if the person to be represented is legitimate. LEGITIMACY OR ILLEGITIMACY OF PERSON TO BE REPRESENTED. the latter considers the privileged condition of the former. and FELIXBERTA PACURSA. as done by petitioners. Puno. . guardian of VICTOR. all surnamed SANTERO.R. in turn. RIGHT OF REPRESENTATION." (7 Manresa 110 cited in Grey v. Respondents. They may have a natural tie of blood... GENERAL RULE WHILE ARTICLE 992 OF SAME CODE. 4. — "Article 992 of the New Civil Code provides a barrier or iron curtain in that it prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said illegitimate child. Petitioners. INTESTATE SUCCESSION. NOT AVAILABLE TO ILLEGITIMATE DESCENDANTS OF LEGITIMATE CHILDREN IN INHERITANCE OF A LEGITIMATE GRANDPARENT. In whatever manner.. one should not overlook the fact that the persons to be represented are themselves illegitimate. sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin. the law does no more than recognize this truth. The three named provisions are very clear on this matter. SUCCESSION.[G.. SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATION THAT AN ILLEGITIMATE CHILD HAS NO RIGHT TO INHERENT AB INTESTATO FROM LEGITIMATE CHILDREN AND RELATIVES OF HIS FATHER OR MOTHER. which provides that "the grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation. and 990 clearly speak of successional rights of illegitimate children. ID. 5. ID. whether legitimate or illegitimate are subject to the limitation prescribed by Article 992 to the end that ‘an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother. EXCEPTION. hated by the illegitimate child. by avoiding further ground of resentment. Fabie 40 OG (First S) No. 196). L-66574. his illegitimate descendants cannot represent him because the law provides that only his legitimate descendants may exercise the right of representation by reason of the barrier imposed in Article 992. ARTICLE 982 OF NEW CIVIL CODE. ID. ID. ID. 2. ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED. 12) 3. Needless to say..] ANSELMA DIAZ. SYLLABUS 1. — While the New Civil Code may have granted successional rights to illegitimate children... in conjunction with Article 992. and the family is in turn. p. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and FELISA PAMUTI JARDIN.. ANSELMINA and MIGUEL. No. the determining factor is the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the person to be represented. . RODRIGO. however. It may not be amiss to state that Article 982 is the general rule and Article 992 the exception. the former. RATIONALE. then his descendants.. ID. Et Al. BROAD ENOUGH TO COMPREHEND ALL KINDRED OF PERSON SPOKEN OF.. CIVIL LAW. 989. may represent him. WORD "RELATIVE" IN ARTICLE 992 OF NEW CIVIL CODE. and the resources of which it is thereby deprived.. whether legitimate or illegitimate. 1990. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked down upon by the legitimate family. Article 982 is inapplicable to instant case because Article 992 prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother. ID. 3. ID. SUCCESSION AB INTESTATO BETWEEN ILLEGITIMATE CHILD AND LEGITIMATE CHILDREN AND RELATIVES OF FATHER OR MOTHER OF SAID ILLEGITIMATE CHILD. a situation which would set at naught the provisions of Article 992. prohibit the right of representation from being exercised where the person to be represented is a legitimate child. but this is not recognized by law for the purpose of Article 992. The right of representation is not available to illegitimate descendants of legitimate children in the inheritance of a legitimate grandparent. ID. The descendants (of these illegitimate children) who may inherit by virtue of the right of representation may be legitimate or illegitimate.’ (Amicus Curiae’s Opinion by former Justice Minister Ricardo C. are transmitted upon their death to their descendants. which rights are transmitted to their descendants upon their death. DETERMINING FACTOR. palpable evidence of a blemish broken in life.. It may be argued.. — It is therefore clear from Article 992 of the New Civil Code that the phrase "legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother" includes Simona Pamuti . — The rules laid down in Article 982 that ‘grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation’ and in Article 902 that the rights of illegitimate children . — Articles 902. p. February 21. ARTICLES 982 AND 902 OF NEW CIVIL CODE.. that the illegitimate descendant of a legitimate child is entitled to represent by virtue of the provisions of Article 982. ID. It would allow intestate succession by an illegitimate child to the legitimate parent of his father or mother. guardian of FEDERICO SANTERO.
L.who are the legal heirs of Simona Pamuti Vda. Third Revision. de Santero who together with Felisa’s mother Juliana were the only legitimate children of the spouses Felipe Pamuti and Petronila Asuncion. Arturo Tolentino. 139 Rollo citing p. library Petitioners claim that the amendment of Articles 941 and 943 of the old Civil Code (Civil Code of Spain) by Articles 990 and 992 of the new Civil Code (Civil Code of the Philippines) constitute a substantial and not merely a formal change. 982. 5 in the order of intestate succession). would in point of fact reveal that such right to this time does not exist. de Santero. Eight Edition) The record reveals that from the commencement of this case the only parties who claimed to be the legitimate heirs of the late Simona Pamuti Vda. especially Articles 902. In connection therewith. the Court. nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child. and its Resolution of February 24. II. 1988." library include the legitimate parents of the father or mother of the illegitimate children? Invited to discuss as amici curiae during the hearing were the following: Justice Jose B. promulgated June 17. Dr. We are tasked with determining anew whether petitioners as illegitimate children of Pablo Santero could inherit from Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero. Let us take a closer look at the above-cited provisions. No. Et. they are now considered as compulsory primary heirs under Article 887 of the new Civil Code (No. de Santero.Vda. de Santero. 1988 denying the Motion for Reconsideration dated July 2. v. and Professor Ruben Balane. the real issue in the instant case is this . de. Santero.R. de Santero. Since petitioners herein are barred by the provisions of Article 992. In fact. 6) that Pablo Santero. at the time of his death was survived by his mother Simona Santero and his six minor natural children to wit: four minor children with Anselma Diaz and two minor children with Felixberta Pacursa. by right of representation of their father Pablo Santero who is a legitimate child of Simona Pamuti Vda. 989. de Santero . are as follows: "It is undisputed: 1) that Felisa Pamuti Jardin is a niece of Simona Pamuti Vda.her niece Felisa Pamuti-Jardin or her grandchildren (the natural children of Pablo Santero)? The present controversy is confined solely to the intestate estate of Simona Pamuti Vda. But that is all. We do not dispute the fact that the New Civil Code has given illegitimate children successional rights. de Santero is the widow of Pascual Santero and the mother of Pablo Santero. former Justice Minister Ricardo C. Again. They were during that time merely entitled to support. resolved to grant the request of the petitioners for oral argument before the court en banc. 1988. former Justice Eduardo Caguioa. . as synthesized in the assailed decision. and 990. 5) that Pascual Santero died in 1970. and the case was set for hearing on November 17. The facts of the case. Et Al. A careful evaluation of the New Civil Code provisions. The decision of the Second Division of this Court in the case of Anselma Diaz. These are only some of the many rights granted by the new Code to illegitimate children. 1987. Puno. p. claimed by petitioners to have conferred illegitimate children the right to represent their parents in the inheritance of their legitimate grandparents. de Santero are Felisa Pamuti Jardin and the six minor natural or illegitimate children of Pablo Santero. are being challenged in this Second Motion for Reconsideration dated July 5. which grants illegitimate children certain successional rights. 3) that Simona Pamuti Vda." library Briefly stated.. which rights were never before enjoyed by them under the Old Civil Code. de Santero as the word "relative" is broad enough to comprehend all the kindred of the person spoken of (Comment. 1987 declaring Felisa Pamuti-Jardin to be the sole legitimate heir to the intestate estate of the late Simona Pamuti Vda. G. After the parties had filed their respective pleadings. Intermediate Appellate Court. Al. We do not deny that fact. the respondent Intermediate Appellate Court did not commit any error in holding Felisa Pamuti Jardin to be the sole legitimate heir to the intestate estate of the late Simona Pamuti Vda. 6574. Reyes. 2862 Bouvier’s Law Dictionary vol. 2) that Juliana married Simon Jardin and out of their union were born Felisa Pamuti and another child who died during infancy. in a resolution dated October 27. Pablo Santero in 1973 and Simona Santero in 1976. 4) that Pablo Santero was the only legitimate son of his parents Pascual Santero and Simona Pamuti Vda. 1988 to resolve the question: Does the term "relatives" in Article 992 of the New Civil Code which reads: "An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children or relatives of his father or mother.
The descendants (of these illegitimate children) who may inherit by virtue of the right of representation may be legitimate or illegitimate. a situation which would set at naught the provisions of Article 992. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked down upon by the legitimate family. in . there should survive descendants of another illegitimate child who is dead. 989. which was a reproduction of Article 943 of the Civil Code of Spain.. Fabie 40 OG (First S) No. The grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation. cited by former Justice Minister Justice Puno. 52 Phil. 196). p. which identically held that an illegitimate child has no right to succeed ab intestato the legitimate father or mother of his natural parent (also a legitimate child himself). . the former shall succeed in their own right and the latter by right of representation. Articles 902. and if any one of them should have died. Balane. The hereditary lights granted by the two preceding articles to illegitimate children shall be transmitted upon their death to their descendants. are transmitted upon their death to their descendants. hated by the illegitimate child. but this is not recognized by law for the purpose of Article 992. 10 Phil. According to petitioners. by the said substantial change. In whatever manner. the commentaries of Manresa as above-quoted are based on Articles 939 to 944 of the old Civil Code and are therefore inapplicable to the New Civil Code and to the case at bar. leaving several heirs. as done by petitioners. 12) "Article 992 of the New Civil Code provides a barrier or iron curtain in that it prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said illegitimate child. which provides that "the grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation. Puno. one should not overlook the fact that the persons to be represented are themselves illegitimate. 585. who shall inherit by right of representation from their deceased grandparent. 990. If. We are fully aware of certain substantial changes in our law of succession." (7 Manresa 110 cited in Grey v. Art. 902. It would allow intestate succession by an illegitimate child to the legitimate parent of his father or mother. 204. It may not be amiss to state that Article 982 is the general rule and Article 992 the exception. Art.. 322. Justice Caguioa."Art. together with illegitimate children. (940a). p. whether legitimate or illegitimate are subject to the limitation prescribed by Article 992 to the end that ‘an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother. but there is no change whatsoever with respect to the provision of Article 992 of the Civil Code. those articles. "The rules laid down in Article 982 that ‘grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation’ and in Article 902 that the rights of illegitimate children . should have been suppressed or at least modified to clarify the matters which are now the subject of the present controversy. Otherwise. and Prof. palpable evidence of a blemish broken in life. While the New Civil Code may have granted successional rights to illegitimate children. sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin. and 990 clearly speak of successional rights of illegitimate children. Et Al. The three named provisions are very clear on this matter. They may have a natural tie of blood. Oyao. Art. the latter considers the privileged condition of the former. The right of representation is not available to illegitimate descendants of legitimate children in the inheritance of a legitimate grandparent. (933). We decline to agree with petitioner. which rights are transmitted to their descendants upon their death." Such a conclusion is erroneous. 3. however. 982. Article 992. It may be argued. The rights of illegitimate children set forth in the preceding articles are transmitted upon their death to their descendants. the former. Between the legitimate family and the illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility. whether legitimate or illegitimate. that the illegitimate descendant of a legitimate child is entitled to represent by virtue of the provisions of Article 982. and Oyao v. Once more. 94 Phil. the portion pertaining to him shall be divided among the latter in equal portions. and the family is in turn. in turn. the law does no more than recognize this truth." ‘ (Amicus Curiae’s Opinion by former Justice Minister Ricardo C. by avoiding further ground of resentment. Rodriguez. (941a)" Emphasis for emphasis). Centeno v. is already abrogated by the amendments made by the New Civil Code and thus cannot be made to apply to the instant case. 989. Centeno. . Petitioners further argue that the consistent doctrine adopted by this Court in the cases of Llorente v. Article 982 is inapplicable to instant case because Article 992 prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother. and the resources of which it is thereby deprived.
then his descendants. nec nos distinguera debemus. are still very much applicable to the New Civil Code because the amendment. Since petitioners herein are barred by the provisions of Article 992.L.. The Civil Code of the Philippines apparently adhered to this principle since it reproduced Article 943 of the Spanish Code in its own Art. his illegitimate descendants cannot represent him because the law provides that only his legitimate descendants may exercise the right of representation by reason of the barrier imposed in Article 992. if the person to be represented is legitimate. 992 must be suppressed. Reyes which also find support from other civilists. That the law does not make a distinction prevents us from making one: Ubi lex non distinguit. although substantial. the word "relatives" is a general term and when used in a statute it embraces not only collateral relatives but also all the kindred of the person spoken of. the commentaries of Manresa on the matter in issue. Volume 4. but with fine inconsistency. he further states that when the law intends to use the term in a more restrictive sense. so much so that Article 943 of that Code prescribed that an illegitimate child can not inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father and mother. to interpret the term relatives in Article 992 in a more restrictive sense than it is used and intended is not warranted by any rule of interpretation. the illegitimates of an illegitimate child can now do so. de Santero are Felisa Pamuti Jardin and the six minor natural or illegitimate children of Pablo Santero. 40-41). however. It is with the same line of reasoning that the three aforecited cases may be said to be still applicable to the instant case. Number 1. (p. If the person to be represented is an illegitimate child. To recapitulate. We quote: "In the Spanish Civil Code of 1889 the right of representation was admitted only within the legitimate family. 139 Rollo citing p. JOURNAL of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. de Santero as the word "relative" is broad enough to comprehend all the kindred of the person spoken of (Comment. It is Our shared view that the word "relatives" should be construed in its general acceptation. II. is not so in the case at bar. Amicus curiae Prof. We quote this: .conjunction with Article 992. First Quarter. In accordance therefore with the canons of statutory interpretation. 1976. Equally important are the reflections of the Illustrious Hon. Ruben Balane has this to say: "The term relatives. In this wise. pp. Balane. may represent him.chanrobles." According to Prof. even though based on the old Civil Code. as in Articles 1003 and 1009 of the New Civil Code. Besides. p. the respondent Intermediate Appellate Court did not commit any error in holding Felisa Pamuti Jardin to be the sole legitimate heir to the intestate estate of the late Simona Pamuti Vda. 2862 Bouvier’s Law Dictionary vol. whether legitimate or illegitimate. prohibit the right of representation from being exercised where the person to be represented is a legitimate child. unless the context indicates that it was used in a more restrictive or limited sense which. in subsequent articles (990. de Santero.com : virtual law library Thus. is not defined by it. 992. 995 and 998) our Code allows the hereditary portion of the illegitimate child to pass to his own descendants. 196. it should be understood to have a general and inclusive scope. inasmuch as the term is a general one. So that while Art. Third Revision. in which case Art. or contrariwise maintain said article and modify Articles 992 and 998. (Reflections on the Reform of Hereditary Succession. Needless to say. This difference being indefensible and unwarranted. Eight Edition) The record reveals that from the commencement of this case the only parties who claimed to be the legitimate heirs of the late Simona Pamuti Vda. Justice Jose B. Decision. whether legitimate or illegitimate. Generalia verba sunt generaliter intelligenda. p. 7. did not consist of giving illegitimate children the right to represent their natural parents (legitimate) in the intestate succession of their grandparents (legitimate). although used many times in the Code. in the future revision of the Civil Code we shall have to make a choice and decide either that the illegitimate issue enjoys in all cases the right of representation. The first solution would be more in accord with an enlightened attitude vis-a-vis illegitimate children. as already discussed earlier. 992 prevents the illegitimate issue of a legitimate child from representing him in the intestate succession of the grandparent. Rollo) It is therefore clear from Article 992 of the New Civil Code that the phrase "legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother" includes Simona Pamuti Vda. the determining factor is the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the person to be represented. it qualifies the term with the word collateral.
"The lines of this distinction between legitimates and illegitimates. de Santero. and the assailed decision is hereby AFFIRMED. (Amicus Curiae’s Opinion by Prof. p. III. Even the Family Code of 1987 (EO 209) has not abolished the gradation between legitimate and illegitimate children (although it has done away with the sub classification of illegitimates into natural and ‘spurious’). Civil Code of the Philippines. WHEREFORE. there is no other alternative but to apply the law literally. It would thus be correct to say that illegitimate children have only those rights which are expressly or clearly granted to them by law (vide Tolentino. 1987 and declare Felisa Pamuti-Jardin to be the sole heir to the intestate estate of Simona Pamuti Vda. 1973 ed. to the exclusion of petitioners. In the light of the foregoing. We conclude that until Article 992 is suppressed or at least amended to clarify the term "relatives". the second Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED. 291). 12). which goes back very far in legal history. Thus. have been softened but not erased by present law. We hereby reiterate the decision of June 17.. Ruben Balane. p. Our legislation has not gone so far as to place legitimate and illegitimate children on exactly the same footing. . vol.
2. the surviving spouse Perfecta Miranda shall inherit ONE-HALF (1/2) share and the remaining ONE-HALF (1/2) share for the only son. No. . Claro filed a "Motion to Declare Share of Heirs" and to resolve the conflicting claims of the parties with respect to their respective rights in the estate. ORDER OF COURT DETERMINING DISTRIBUTIVE SHARE OF HEIRS APPEALABLE. On March 22. (b) that Perfecta Miranda by virtue of two documents had conveyed 3/4 of her undivided share in most of the properties enumerated in the petition to said spouses Benito and Rosario." virtua1aw library From this order. 1. and his wife. raised in Perfecta’s Motion to Dismiss Appeal. to another 1/2 of the remaining half. 1965. Pedro acquired several parcels of land located in that province. 892 of the New Civil Code. Miranda and Rosario Corrales on the following grounds: (a) that the properties enumerated in the petition were all conjugal. Opposition to said petition was entered by the widow Perfecta Miranda and the spouses Benito U. the remaining 1/2 must be divided as follows: 1/4 for her and 3/4 for him. he insisted that after deducting 1/2 from the conjugal properties as the conjugal share of Perfecta. claimed that besides her conjugal half. Claro Santillon. June 30. It appears that subsequently. 1961. the court. leaving one son Claro. a surviving spouse concurring with only one legitimate child of the deceased is entitled to one-half of the estate of the deceased spouse under Article 996 of the Civil Code. Claro claimed 3/4 of Pedro’s inheritance. there being a case for partition pending. sec. petitioner Claro Santillon has appealed to this Court. On November 21. while Perfecta claimed 1/2. — When intestacy occurs. and (d) that if administration was necessary at all. is: How shall the estate of a person who dies intestate be divided when the only survivors are the spouse and one legitimate child? The First Issue:— It is clear that the order of the lower court is final and therefore appealable to this Court. is whether the order of the lower court is appealable. Under Rule 109. 996 of the New Civil Code. issued an order. . PERFECTA MIRANDA SYLLABUS 1. Santillon died without testament in Tayug. Oppositor Perfecta. Two questions of law are involved. Atty. This is an appeal from the order of the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. L-19281. the dispositive portion of which reads: "IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS it is hereby ruled and ordered that in the intestate succession of the deceased Pedro Santillon. 1953. Claro Santillon filed a petition for letters of administration. she was entitled under Art. This is after deducting the share of the widow as co-owner of the conjugal properties. In other words.[G. on June 28.] IN THE MATTER OF THE INTESTATE ESTATE OF PEDRO SATILLON. oppositor Perfecta Miranda was appointed administratrix of the estate. his residence. .R. on the other hand. Pangasinan. Invoking Art. a person may appeal in special proceedings from an order of the Court of First Instance where . (c) that administration of the estate was not necessary. 1961. 1961. After due notice and hearing. About four years after his death. CLARO SANTILLON v. During his marriage. The first. a project of partition and distribution of all the properties of the deceased Pedro Santillon. the oppositor Perfecta Miranda and not the petitioner was better qualified for the post. APPEALS IN SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS. the court appointed commissioners to draft within sixty days. And the second. SURVIVING SPOUSE CONCURRING WITH A LEGITIMATE CHILD ENTITLED TO ONEHALF OF THE INTESTATE ESTATE. — An order of the Court of First Instance which determines the distributive shares of the heirs of a deceased person is appealable. SUCCESSION. specifying the respective shares of the principal parties herein in the intestate estate of Pedro Santillon. except three parcels which Perfecta Miranda claimed to be her exclusive properties. raised in appellant’s lone assignment of error. On April 25. Perfecta Miranda.
This is. seems to be premised on these propositions: (a) Art. inasmuch as in statutory construction. whereas in testate. is quoted as having expressed the opinion that under this article. the widow or widower shall be entitled to one-fourth of the hereditary estate.’ As she gets one-fourth. 892 merely fixes the legitime of the surviving spouse and Art. In the New Civil Code’s chapter in legal or intestate succession. 887. since they share equally. A." therefore it does not apply when there is only one "child" . professor of Civil Law. the only article applicable is Art. 996. . says Claro. the legitime of children in testate succession.such order determines . Perfecta. 888) should be applied. 1 Senator Tolentino in his commentaries writes as follows: "One child Surviving. whereas Art. intestate proceedings. 996 speaks of "children. contends that Art. . 996. the widow is assigned one-fourth only (Art. But others confirm the half and half idea of the Pangasinan court. of the New Civil Code which provides that: "If only the legitimate child or descendant of the deceased survives. Although the law refers to "children or descendants. cites Art. Art. . Oppositor Perfecta Miranda. 892 of the New Civil Code falls under the chapter on Testamentary Succession. one-half of the estate goes to the child and the other half goes to the surviving spouse. thru a process of judicial construction and analogy. Such being the case. the pertinent provision on intestate succession shall apply. 892 (and Art. . (b) Art. B." Indeed." the rule in statutory construction that the plural can be understood to include the singular is applicable in his case. regardless of its alleged inequity. being as it is. 996 is unjust or unfair because whereas in testate succession. the plural word "children" includes the singular." The theory of those holding otherwise. 996 which provides: "If a widow or widower and legitimate children or descendants are left. on the other hand. Justice J. 888 thereof. she would get 1/2 in intestate. . — If there is only one legitimate child surviving with the spouse. Because if the latter happens. — The following are compulsory heirs: (1) legitimate children and descendants . a provision on intestate succession involving a surviving spouse and a legitimate child. e. she is given 1/4 and the only child 1/2. Children:— It is a maxim of statutory construction that words in plural include the singular. because "children" will not include "child" in the following articles:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library Art. his objection to fifty-fifty sharing. . i. if we refuse to apply the article to this case on the ground that "child" is not included in "children". — The legitime of legitimate children and descendants consists of one-half of the hereditary estate . the surviving spouse has in the succession the same share as that of each of the children. 888. "child. . they share the estate in equal parts. . the consequences would be tremendous. the surviving spouse has the same share as that of the child. "the distributive share of the estate to which such person is entitled. While it may indicate the intent of the law with respect to the ideal shares that a child and a spouse should get when they concur with each other. at least. 996 should control. when the widow survives with only one legitimate child. I get 3/4. Our colleague Mr. 892 to support his claim to 3/4 of his father’s estate. it is obvious that Claro cannot rely on Art. L. 996 could or should be read (and so applied): "if the widow or widower and a legitimate child are left. Art. 996 comes under the chapter on Legal or Intestate Succession. consequently Art. ART." library The Second Issue:— Petitioner rests his claim to 3/4 of his father’s estate on Art. 892. 892). it does not fix the amount of shares that such child and spouse are entitled to when intestacy occurs. on the other hand." library Replying to Perfecta’s claim. ." Art. remember. Reyes. therefore. Some commentators of our New Civil Code seem to support Claro’s contention. Claro says the article is unjust and inequitable to the extent that it grants the widow the same share as that of the children in intestate succession. 2 So Art. .
the first. where the widow or widower survives with legitimate children (general rule). — Illegitimate children who may survive . Art. Our conclusion (equal shares) seems a logical inference from the circumstance that whereas Article 834 of the Spanish Civil Code.) In fact. No costs in this instance." The inconsistency is clear. . But in intestate. . from which Art. where there is only one child of the marriage. where the widow or widower survives with only one child (exception). those who say. . the same meaning should be given to Art. 888 includes "child". it is not correct to assume that in testate succession the widow or widower "gets only one-fourth. B. the law virtually leaves it to each of the spouses to decide (by testament) whether his or her only child shall get more than his or her survivor. and the widow or widower one-fourth. The resultant division may be unfair as some writers explain. one-fourth. Unfairness of Art. On this point. and the widow or widower one-half. . The appealed decision is affirmed. 901. Unfair or inequitable. "children" in Art. 996 was taken. contained two paragraphs governing two contingencies. 888. if Art. . which speaks of "children". — Such position. 996. are entitled to one-fourth of the hereditary estate . because the only legitimate child gets one-half under Art. So. more clearly stated is this: In testate succession. they insist. (See also Art. 896." She or he may get one-half — if the testator so wishes. — and this we are not called upon to discuss — but it is the clear mandate of the statute. thereby indicating the legislator’s desire to promulgate just one general rule applicable to both situations." So if "children" in Art. not "child. 996 does not include "child" seem to be inconsistent when they argue from the premise that "in testate succession the only legitimate child gets one-half and the widow. and the second.ART. the child gets one-half. 996. the child gets one-half. which we are bound to enforce. 996 omitted to provide for the second situation. 996 is applied now.
as well as to recover the possession thereof and the title thereto. In pursuance of said deed. CONCURRENCE OF FULL BROTHER AND HALF BROTHERS IN INTESTATE ESTATE OF DECEASED FULL SISTER. partitioned among his aforesaid half brothers and sisters and subdivided into lots Nos. participation and interest over" the three (3) lots left by Belen Alviar. Zenaida and Castor Alviar. and submitted the case for the determination of .] CLEMENTE ALVIAR. whereas the second was covered by TCT No. or on September 4. 15307 and 15308 to said lots 2 and 3 of subdivision plan Psu-3720 in Calamba Laguna. On June 28. upon the ground that only questions of law are involved therein. SUCCESSION. 1578 of the Province of Rizal. waived his share in said residential land. Clemente Alviar secured TCT Nos. Belen Alviar died intestate. 1955. all surnamed Alviar. CESAREO ALVIAR.R. as well as "taking advantage of plaintiff’s lack of education. Calamba.. Laguna. the execution of the deed of extrajudicial partition and the steps taken to carry out its provisions. for. otherwise known as lots 2 and 3 of subdivision plan Psu-3720. Defendants-Appellants. otherwise. namely: Cesareo. 223-D-1 and 223-D-2.[G. SYLLABUS 1. the properties constituting her estate.199 and 6. Paulina Pamulaklakin and their children. and more particularly described in TCT No. Sometime after the latter’s death on January 30. and Belen Alviar were legitimate children of Florentino Alviar and Bibiana Carillo. and to the five (5) half brothers and sisters of the deceased the residential lot in Pasay City. who begot him five (5) children. Flora Erasga. substituted him as plaintiff in this case. RULE. ET AL. his sister Fabiana having renounced her share therein in his favor. his widow. and his step-mother. and five (5) half brothers and sisters. but subsequently certified by the latter to the Supreme Court. the lower court decided correctly in holding that Clemente Alviar does not exclude their half brothers and sisters from the intestate estate of said Belen Alviar. Article 1006 of the Civil Code leaves no room for doubt that brothers and sisters of full blood do not exclude those of half blood. Luisa. Clemente Alviar had entered into a contract with his half brothers and sisters for the extrajudicial partition of the properties of the deceased Belen Alviar and there is nothing in the stipulation of facts submitted by the parties to warrant the annulment or rescission of said agreement. illiteracy and ignorance. the civil status of Belen Alviar.422 square meters. 8495 in their names. Laguna. Zenaida and Castor. L-22402. likewise. Inasmuch as Clemente Alviar died soon thereafter. No. 1951. Clemente Alviar. of about 237 square meters. Florentino Alviar married Flora Erasga. these six (6) brothers and sisters executed a deed of extrajudicial partition adjudicating to Clemente Alviar the two (2) parcels of agricultural land in Calamba. in turn. 8496 in the name of Cesareo Alviar. 223-D of subdivision plan Psd-18972. 1962. 1901. The residential land in Pasay City was. Ramon and Norma Alviar. v. Clemente Alviar commenced the present action. CIVIL LAW. more or less. said Cesareo. Fabiana. the facts having been stipulated by the parties. Fabiana. who were children of her father by his second marriage. otherwise known as Lot No. Luisa. upon the ground that. Moreover. originally taken to the Court of Appeals. Plaintiff-Appellee. — Where at the time Belen Alviar died intestate. On September 6. Fabiana. June 30. covering the residential lot in Pasay City. confederating and conniving with each other. Cesareo. to annul the deed of extrajudicial partition above referred to and the aforementioned TCT Nos. acting in bad faiths and conspiring. Appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Rizal. and more particularly described in TCT No. the original plaintiff herein. Their brother Castor had. and knowing full well that" the "children by second marriage of Florentino Alviar had no rights. The first was alloted to Luisa and Zenaida Alviar. She was single and had been survived by her brother Clemente Alviar. Moreover. respectively. Over five (5) years later. there would be no occasion for the concurrence of both classes and the application of said Article 1006. Belen’s estate consisted of two (2) parcels of agricultural land situated in the Barrio of Sukol. INTESTACY. who secured thereto TCT No. both parties later filed a stipulation of facts on the relationship between them. 3033 of the Province of Laguna. and a residential lot in Pasay City. 8495 and 8496. the defendants had "misled" the plaintiff "into signing" said deed. The defendants having filed an answer denying specifically the allegations of the complaint regarding the irregularities allegedly attending the execution of the deed of extrajudicial partition. and five other half brothers and sisters. Luisa and Zenaida Alviar and their mother. the parties took possession of their respective shares. with an area. against his half brother and sisters. of 17. she was single and had been survived by her full brother Clemente Alviar. 1969.
is. in the same degree of relationship as their half brothers and sisters. as it is hereby reversed. subsequently certified the case to the Supreme Court. namely: "who are the parties entitled to participate in the inheritance of Belen Alviar. the defendants appealed to the Court of Appeals. but. they shall inherit in equal shares. this rationalization is rendered superfluous. her full brother. Florentino Alviar. and he is entitled to succeed to the entire estate of Belen. It is so ordered. not only of the lot in Pasay City. the aforementioned defendants. plaintiffs to receive two-seventh (2/7)" of the residential lot in Pasay City. 1003 and 1004 and 1006 of our Civil Code. ascendants. also. the decision appealed from should be. Castor and Zenaida Alviar — "one-seventh (1/7) thereof. This motion having been denied. so that they (defendants) are excluded by Clemente. The validity thereof thus being indubitable. however. there is absolutely no reason why the same should be disturbed.appellants from the complaint. which. the former shall be entitled to a share double that of the latter. "proximity of relationship is determined by the number of generations" and "each generation forms a degree. 1006. particularly the last.only one question." library These provisions. Luisa. with no pronouncement as to costs. as above pointed out. 1006. The lower court decided this question in the negative and correctly. and "each of the defendants" — Cesareo. upon the ground that the same should have ordered the redistribution. there would be no occasion for the concurrence of both classes and the application of said Art. with costs against the plaintiffs-appellees. by the explicit language of Art." virtua1aw library "ART. . for all of them constitute the first generation of descendants of their common father. WHEREFORE. . In fact. and he excluded them in the succession to her estate. illegitimate children. Clemente Alviar. Clemente is a relative of Belen nearer in degree than said defendants. or a surviving spouse. ." 1 In relation to Belen Alviar. 1003. Indeed. More important that this. Fabiana. who are more distant to her. otherwise. Should brothers and sisters of the full blood survive together with brothers and sisters of the half blood. for. the children of their father by second marriage." library The defendants moved for a reconsideration of this decision. of the two (2) parcels of agricultural land in Laguna. is the fact that Clemente Alviar had entered into a contract with his half brothers and sisters for the extrajudicial partition of the properties of the deceased Belen Alviar and that there is nothing in the stipulation of facts submitted by the parties to warrant the annulment of rescission of said agreement. and in what proportion?" Plaintiffs maintained that since Clemente Alviar was a full brother of Belen Alviar. therefore. If there are no descendants. The trial court in effect overruled this pretense and rendered a decision holding that both parties "are entitled to inherit from Belen Alviar. leave no room for doubt that brothers and sisters of full blood do not exclude those of half blood. and another one shall be entered absolving the defendants. the collateral relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased in accordance with the following articles. and dismissing the same. as a full brother of Belen Alviar. the degree of relationship to her of the deceased Clemente Alviar was nearer than that of their half brothers and sisters. . 1004. apart from being confirmed. whereas the main defendants herein are merely her half brother and sisters. The main issue raised by the parties in this case is whether or not. Should the only survivors be brothers and sisters of the full blood." virtua1aw library "ART. reading: "ART.
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