Azaola vs Singson Facts: On September 9, 1957, Fortunata S. Vda.

de Yance died at 13 Luskot, Quezon City, the known the last residence of said testatrix. Francisco Azaola (petitioner) submitted the said holographic will whereby Maria Milagros Azaola was made the sole heir as against the nephew of deceased Cesario Singson (respondent). Francisco Azaola testified that he saw the holographic will a month, more or less, before the death of the testatrix, as the same was handed to him and his wife; he also testified that he recognized all the signatures appearing in the holographic will as the handwriting of the testatrix. To reinforce said statement, Azaola presented the mortgage, the special power of the attorney and the general power of attorney, besides the deeds of sale including an affidavit and that there were further exhibited in court two residence certificates, to show the signatures of the testatrix, for comparison purposes; Azaola, testified that the penmanship appearing in the aforesaid documentary evidence is in the handwriting of the testatrix as well as the signatures appearing in the aforesaid documentary evidence is in the handwriting of the testatrix The probate was denied on the ground that under Article 811 of the Civil Code, the proponent must present three witnesses who could declare that the will and the signature are in the writing of the testatrix, the probate being contested; and because the lone witness presented by the proponent "did not prove sufficiently that the body of the will was written in the handwriting of the testatrix." The proponent of the probate contended that Article 811 does not mandatorily require the production of three witnesses to identify the handwriting and signature of a holographic will, even if its authenticity should be denied by the adverse party. Issue: WON three witnesses are necessary to establish the handwriting/ signature contained in a will. Held: No. Art. 811, Civil Code: “In the probate of a holographic will, it shall be necessary that at least one witness who knows the handwriting and signature of the testator explicitly declare that the will and the signature are in the handwriting of the testator. If the will is contested, at least three of such witnesses shall be required. In the absence of any competent witnesses referred to in the preceding paragraph, and if the court deems it necessary, expert testimony may be resorted to.” Where the will is holographic, no witnesses need to be present (Art. 10), and the rule requiring production of three witnesses must be deemed merely permissive if absurd results

Where the prescribed number of witnesses is produced and the court is convinced by their testimony that the will is genuine. Romeo. with instructions to hold a new trial in conformity with this opinion. And because the law leaves it to the trial court to decide if experts are still needed. They had five children. 1980. Maximino Nazareno. Jr. under penalty of having the probate denied. while Maximino. namely. and the records ordered remanded to the Court of origin. the proponent was not required to produce more than one witness. The resort to expert evidence is conditioned by the words "if the Court deem it necessary". For it is not merely a question of finding and producing any three witnesses. which reveal that what the law deems essential is that the Court should be convinced of the will's authenticity. Even if the genuineness of the holographic will were contested. The law foresees the possibility that no qualified witness may be found (or may refuse to testify). Since no witness may have been present at the execution of a holographic will (none being required by law) the existence of witnesses possessing the requisite qualifications is a matter beyond the control of the proponent. and provides for resort to expert evidence to supply the deficiency. and Aurea Poblete acquired properties in Quezon City and in the Province of Cavite. Pacifico. they must be witnesses "who know the handwriting and signature of the testator" and who can declare truthfully "that the will and the signature are in the handwriting of the testator.) Nazareno vs CA Facts: During their marriage. This is evidently the reason for the second paragraph of Art. it may consider it unnecessary to call for expert evidence. until and unless the court expresses dissatisfaction with the testimony of the lay witnesses. Since the authenticity of the will was not contested." Compliance with the rule of paragraph 1 of Article 811 may even be impossible.are to be avoided. Jose. and Maximino. precisely because the presence of at least three witnesses at the execution of ordinary wills is made by law essential to their validity. Sr. (The decision appealed from is set aside. no unfavorable inference can be drawn from a party's failure to offer expert evidence. The requirement can be considered mandatory only in the case of ordinary testaments. 811. The rule of the first paragraph of Article 811 of the Civil Code is merely directory and is not mandatory. . the Court is of the opinion that Article 811 of our present Civil Code cannot be interpreted as to require the compulsory presentation of three witnesses to identify the handwriting of the testator. 1970. Natividad. died on December 18. Sr. Aurea died on April 15.

Jr.R. Natividad and Maximino. Jr.to show that Maximino and Aurea Nazareno never intended to sell the six lots to Natividad and that Natividad was only to hold the said lots in trust for her siblings. .. Instead.. and his wife Eliza Nazareno are the respondents. transfer certificates of title were issued to Natividad. Natividad admitted that Romeo and the latter’s wife were occupying Lot 3-B at that time and that she did not tell the latter about the sale she had made to Maximino..00. Romeo filed an intestate case in the Court of First Instance of Cavite.G. they were made owners of LOT 3-B. Jr. Jr.800. the Court of Appeals upheld the right of Maximino. Jr. When Romeo found out about the sale to Maximino. on behalf of the estate of Maximino. In the trial. The judgment was rendered by the lower court declaring the nullity of the Deed of Sale. out of the house. Jr. final by this Court in G. both sales were void for lack of consideration. averring that the sales made to Natividad and Maximino Jr. By virtue of this deed of sale. the present case for annulment of sale with damages against Natividad and Maximino. his wife Eliza. Natividad and Maximino. are the petitioners while the estate of Maximino. Unknown to Romeo. Jr. Maximino. claimed that the Deed of Partition and Distribution executed was not really carried out. CV No. since 1969. and by Maximino. Sr.R. No. After the death of Maximino.A. Romeo in turn filed. CV No. Romeo. Natividad.A. Sr. he and his wife Eliza locked Maximino.However..R. Jr for which reason the latter was issued TCT. Natividad sold Lot 3-B on July 31. Jr. their parents offered to sell to them the six lots in Quezon City (Including Lot 3-B) . Among the lots covered by the above Deed of Sale is Lot 3-B which is registered and had been occupied by Romeo. contended that the fact that in C. Romeo presented evidence – Deed of Partition . 12932). One of the deeds involved six lots in Quezon City which were allegedly sold by Maximino to Natividad for an amount of P47. Issue: whether the Deed of Sale was valid. The trial court ruled in favor of Maximino.-G. Sr. In the course of the intestate proceedings. 107684. it was only Natividad who bought the six properties because she was the only one financially able to do so. Jr. in December of 1969. Jr.Natividad and Maximino. Romeo discovered that his parents had executed several deeds of sale conveying a number of real properties in favor of his sister. to recover possession of Lot 3-B. Jr. 12932. 1982 to Maximino. therefter brought an action for recovery of possession and damages with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City (C.

Jr. as plaintiff.. . CV No. Natividad admitted that Romeo and the latter’s wife were occupying Lot 3 -B at that time and that she did not tell the latter about the sale she had made to Maximino. Sr. and Natividad and Maximino. the judgment in CA-GR CV No.R. to recover possession of Lot 3-B. as defendants. 12932 regarding the ownership of Maximino. as defendants. 12932 was for recovery of possession based on ownership of Lot 3-B.-G.A. The parties in that case were Maximino. as plaintiff.. the parties in the present case for annulment of sale are the estate of Maximino.. Jr. Sr. Jr.R. 107684. the latter has a separate and distinct personality from the former. which also has a right to recover properties which were wrongfully disposed. Jr. The judgment was rendered by the lower court declaring the nullity of the Deed of Sale.A.. and not the estate of Maximino. No. over Lot 3-B binds Romeo and Eliza only. Hence. Jr. The estate of a deceased person is a juridical entity that has a personality of its own. the Court of Appeals upheld the right of Maximino. CV No. Petitioners make capital of the fact that in C.R. Sr.. Though Romeo represented at one time the estate of Maximino. On the other hand.The case in C. 12932.-G. and the spouses Romeo and Eliza. which was declared final by this Court in G.