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19 June1982 Melencio-Herrera, J. G.R. No. 57848
TOPIC : Production and Probate of Will [Rule 75]
SUMMARY: Clemencia Aseneta died leaving a holographic will in which she left her properties to Soledad Maninang and
mentioned her displeasure towards her nephew Bernardo. Soledad sought the probate of the will, while
Bernardo, claiming to be the decedents adopted son and sole heir, filed an intestate case (argument: he was
preterited from the will, hence intestacy should ensue). The cases were consolidated, but Bernardo later had the
testate case dismissed. SC held that the dismissal was not proper; generally, the probate of a will is MANDATORY.
NATURE : Petition to Review the CAs decision in the consolidated Petition for Probate and Intestate Cases

May 21, 1977 Clemencia Aseneta, 81, single, died at the Manila Sanitarium Hospital. Her holographic will left her
real and personal properties to Dra. Soledad Maninang, with whose family she had lived for the last 30 years.
o In the will, she said, I have found peace and happiness with them even during the time when my sisters
were still alive and especially now when I am now being troubled by my nephew Bernardo and niece
Salvacion. I am not incompetent as Nonoy would like me to appear. I know what is right and wrong. I can
decide for myself. I do not consider Nonoy as my adopted son. He has made me do things against my will.
June 1977 Soledad filed a Petition for Probate of the Will at CFI QC (the Testate Case).
July 1977 Bernardo Aseneta, claiming to be the adopted son and sole heir of Clemencia, instituted intestate
proceedings with the CFI Pasig, Rizal (the Intestate Case).
Dec. 1977 - the Testate and Intestate Cases were ordered consolidated before CFI Pasig.
Bernardo filed a Motion to Dismiss the Testate Case on the ground that the holographic will was null and void
because he, as the only compulsory heir, was preterited and, therefore, intestacy should ensue.
o In her Opposition, Soledad averred in a case for probate of a will, the Courts area of inquiry is limited to the
extrinsic validity of the will, and that Bernardo was effectively disinherited (not preterited).
CFI DISMISSED the Testate Case. It later denied Soledads MR and appointed Bernardo as administrator of the estate.
Soledad filed a petition for certiorari before the CA. CA denied it, ruling that the order of dismissal was final in nature.
Even granting that CFI committed errors, those are errors of judgment reviewable only by appeal, not by certiorari.

W/N the Testate Case was properly dismissed NO. REMANDED to CFI for further proceedings.
Generally, the probate of a will is mandatory.
o NCC Art. 838: "No will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in
accordance with the Rules of Court."
o The law enjoins the probate of the will and public policy requires it, because unless the will is probated and
notice thereof given to the whole world, the right of a person to dispose of his property by will may be
rendered nugatory.
Normally, the probate of a Will does not look into its intrinsic validity (capacity of the testator and the compliance
with those requisites or solemnities which the law prescribes for the validity of wills).
o Bernardo relies on Nuguid v. Nuguid, where the Court held that where practical considerations demand that
the intrinsic validity of the will be passed upon, even before it is probated, the Court should meet that
issue. However, this is the exception rather than the rule. In the cited case, the meat of the controversy was
the intrinsic validity. Here, probate is being insisted on.
o In Nuguid, the will was invalid because it completely preterited the testators parents who were her
compulsory heirs. In the instant case, a crucial issue that calls for resolution is whether under the terms of
the decedent's will, Bernardo had been preterited or disinherited, and if the latter, whether it was a valid
disinheritance. Preterition and disinheritance are two diverse concepts.
PRETERITION the omission in the testator's will of the forced heirs or anyone of them, either
because they are not mentioned therein, or, though mentioned, they are neither instituted as heirs
nor are expressly disinherited. Preterition annuls the institution of heirs.
DISINHERITANCE a testamentary disposition depriving any compulsory heir of his share in the
legitime for a cause authorized by law.
By virtue of the dismissal of the Testate Case, the determination of that controversial issue (whether Bernardo was
preterited/ disinherited) has not been thoroughly considered. SC is of the opinion that, contrary to CFIs findings,
from the face of the will, there can be no certainty that Bernardo was preterited.
Note on procedure: Certiorari is a proper remedy, in view of the finding that the CFI Judge acted in excess of his
jurisdiction in dismissing the Testate Case. Even assuming appeal is available, in the broader interests of justice, a
petition for certiorari may be entertained, particularly where appeal would not afford speedy and adequate relief.