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De Borja vs. Vda. de Borja 46 SCRA 577

FACTS

This case is compilation of three cases including:

CASE A: G.R. No. L-28040 appeal by Tasiana Vda. de de Borja from approval of compromise agreement by CFI Rizal

CASE B: G.R. No L-28568 appeal Jose de Borja from the disapproval of compromise agreement by CFI Nueva Ecija

CASE C: G.R. No. L-28611 appeal by Jose de Borja from the decision of CFI Rizal that the main object of the compromise agreement is a separate and exclusive property of Francisco de Borja and not a conjugal asset

Family Tree

Francisco de Borja #1 Josefa Tangco #2 Tasiana Vda. de de Borja Jose de Borja Cayetano
Francisco de Borja
#1 Josefa Tangco
#2 Tasiana Vda. de de Borja
Jose de Borja
Cayetano de Borja
Matilde de Borja
Crisanto de Borja

Francisco de Borja filed a petition for the probate of the will of her wife Josefa Tangco upon her death (CFI Rizal). He was appointed executor and administrator while Jose de Borja (their son) was appointed co-administrator. When Francisco died, Jose became sole administrator

Francisco had taken a 2nd wife Tasiana before he died and she instituted testate proceedings with the CFI of Nueva Ecija upon his death and was appointed special administatrix.

The relationship between the children of the first marriage and Tasiana Ongsingco has been plagued with several court

suits and counter-suits. Thus, Jose and Tasiana entered into a compromise agreement to put an end to all of the pending litigations.

However, Tasiana argues that compromise agreement was not valid, because the heirs cannot enter into such kind of agreement without first probating the will of Francisco, and at the time the agreement was made, the will was still being probated with the CFI of Nueva Ecija.

ISSUE

W/N the compromise agreement is valid, even if the will of Francisco has not yet been probated.

RULING

COMPROMISE AGREEMENT VALID

  • Doctrine in Guevara vs. Guevara: “presentation of a will for probate is mandatory and that the settlement and distribution of an estate on the basis of intestacy when the decedent left a will, is against the law and public policy.” – NOT APPLICABLE

o

There was here no attempt to settle or distribute the estate of Francisco de Borja among the heirs thereto before the probate of his will.

o

The clear object of the contract was merely the conveyance by Tasiana Ongsingco of any and all her individual share and interest, actual or eventual in the estate of Francisco de Borja and Josefa Tangco.

o

There is no stipulation as to any other claimant, creditor or legatee.

And as a hereditary share in a

 

decedent's estate is transmitted or vested immediately from the moment of the death of

 

such causante or predecessor in interest (Civil Code of the Philippines, Art. 777) 3

there is no legal

bar to a successor (with requisite contracting capacity) disposing of her or his hereditary share immediately after such death, even if the actual extent of such share is not determined until the subsequent liquidation of the estate.

 

o

Tasiana was Francisco’s compulsory heir and her successional interest existed independent of

 

o

Francisco de Borja's last will and testament and would exist even if such will were not probated at all. Case A: affirmed Case B: reversed

  • Hacienda de Jalajala (Poblacion) should be declared property of the conjugal partnership of Francisco de Borja and Josefa Tangco

o

Art. 160. All property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it be proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife.

o

Reasons:

  • Witness’s testimony considered hearsay and inadmissible

  • Francisco’s testimony does not refer precisely to the Hacienda in question

o

The legal presumption in favor of the conjugal character of the Hacienda de Jalajala (Poblacion) now in dispute has not been rebutted but actually confirmed by proof.

o

CASE C: reversed