Portugal vs. Portugal-Beltran Facts: Jose Portugal married Paz Lazo.

Subsequently, he contracted another marriage with Isabel de la Puerta. Isabel gave birth to a boy named Jose Douglas Portugal Jr., while Paz gave birth to a girl, Aleli, who was later on baptized as Leonila Perpetua Aleli Portugal. Jose and his four siblings executed a Deed of Extra-judicial Partition and Waiver of Rights over the estate of their father, Mariano, who died intestate. Jose’s siblings waived their rights, interests and participation over a parcel of land in his favor. The TCT which covered the said parcel of land was in the name of “Jose Q. Portugal, married to Paz C. Lazo.” Paz died, and later on Jose also died intestate. Aleli executed an Affidavit of Adjudication by Sole Heir of Estate of Deceased Person adjudicating to herself the parcel of land, and later on, a new TCT was issued in the name of Aleli. After finding out about Jose’s death and the transfer of the property to Aleli’s name, Isabel and Douglas filed a complaint for annulment of the Affidavit of Execution and the TCT issued in Aleli’s name. They contended that Aleli is not related to Jose; hence she was not entitled to inherit the parcel of land. Issue: Whether Isabel and Douglas have to institute a special proceeding to determine their status as heirs before they can pursue the case for annulment of Aleli’s Affidavit of Adjudication and of the TCT issued in her name Ruling: The common doctrine in Litam, Solivio, and Guilas in which the adverse parties are putative heirs to the estate of a decedent or parties to the special proceedings for its settlement is that if the special proceedings are pending, or if there are no special proceedings filed but there is, under the circumstances of the case, a need to file one, then the determination of, among other issues, heirship should be raised and settled in said special proceedings. Where special proceedings had been instituted but had been finally closed and terminated, however, or if a putative heir has lost the right to have himself declared in the special proceedings as co-heir and he can no longer ask for its re-opening, then an ordinary civil action can be filed for his declaration as heir in order to bring about the annulment of the partition or distribution or adjudication of a property or properties belonging to the estate of the deceased. In the case at bar, Aleli, believing rightly or wrongly that she was the sole heir to Jose’s estate, executed the questioned Affidavit of Adjudication under the second sentence of Rule 74, Section 1. Petitioners claim, however, to be the exclusive heirs of Jose. A probate or intestate court, no doubt, has jurisdiction to declare who are the heirs of a deceased. It appearing, however, that in the present case the only property of the intestate estate of Portugal is the Caloocan parcel of land, to still subject it, under the circumstances of the case, to a special proceeding which could be long, hence not expeditious, just to establish the status of petitioners as heirs is not only impractical; it is burdensome to the estate with the costs and expenses of an administration proceeding. And it is superfluous in light of the fact that the parties to the civil case – subject of the present case, could and had already in fact presented evidence before the trial court which assumed jurisdiction over the case upon the issued it defined during pre-trial. In fine, under the circumstances of the present case, there being no compelling reason to still subject Portugal’s estate to administration proceedings since a determination of petitioners’ status as heirs could be achieved in the civil case filed by petitioners, the trial court should proceed to evaluate the evidence presented by the parties during the trial and render a decision thereon upon the issues it defined during pre-trial.

Bernardo vs. CA Facts: Eusebio Capili and Hermogena Reyes were husband and wife. Eusebio died and a testate proceeding for the settlement of his estate was instituted. His will was admitted to probate, disposing of his properties in favor of his widow and his cousins. Hermogena later on died, and upon the petition of Deogracias Bernardo, executor of the estate of Eusebio, she was substituted by her collateral relatives and intestate heirs. Deogracias filed a project of partition in the testate proceeding in accordance with the terms of the will, adjudicating the estate of Eusebio among the testatmentary heirs with the exception of Hermogena, whose share was allotted to her collateral relatives. Later on the relatives filed an opposition to the project of partition and submitted a counter-project of partition of their own, claiming ½ of the properties mentioned in the will of Eusebio on the theory that they belonged not to the latter alone but to the conjugal partnership of the spouses. In the memorandum for the executor and the instituted heirs, it was contended that the properties disposed of in the will of Eusebio belonged to him exclusively because Hermogena had donated to him her half share of the conjugal partnership, that the collateral heirs of Hermogena had no lawful grounds to question the validity of the donation, and that even assuming that they could question the validity of the donation, the same must be litigated not in the testate proceeding but in a separate civil action. Issue: Whether the trial court as well as the CA erred in upholding the power of the probate court in this case to adjudicate in the testate proceedings, the question as to whether the properties herein involved belong to the conjugal partnership of Eusebio and Hermogena, or to the deceased husband exclusively Ruling: In the case now before us, the matter in controversy is the question of ownership of certain properties involved – whether they belong to the conjugal partnership or to the husband exclusively. This is a matter properly within the jurisdiction of the probate court which necessarily has to liquidate the conjugal partnership in order to determine the estate of the decedent which is to be distributed among his heirs who are all parties to the proceedings, including, of course, the widow, now represented because of her death, by her heirs who have been substituted upon petition of the executor himself and who have appeared voluntarily. There are no third parties whose rights may be affected. It is true that the heirs of the deceased widow are not the heirs of the testator-husband, but the widow is, in addition to her won right to the conjugal property. And it is this right that is being sought to be enforced by her substitutes. Therefore, the claim that is being asserted is one belonging to an heir to the testator and, consequently, it complies with the requirement of the exception that the parties interested are all heirs claiming title under the testator. Petitioners contend additionally that they have never submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the probate court, for the purpose of the determination of the question of ownership of the disputed properties. However, by presenting their project of partition including therein the disputed lands, petitioners themselves put in issue the question of ownership of the properties – which is well within the competence of the probate court – and just because of an opposition thereto, they cannot thereafter withdraw either their appearance or the issue from the jurisdiction of the court. There is here a waiver where the parties who raise the objection are

the ones who set the court in motion. They cannot be permitted to complain if the court, after due hearing, adjudges question against them.

Calma vs. Tanedo Facts: Spouses Eulalio Calma and Fausta Macasaquit were the owners of a property, being their conjugal property. They were also indebted to Esperanza Tanedo, chargeable against the conjugal property, in the sums of P948.34 and P247, with interest at 10% per annum. Fausta died leaving a will wherein she appointed her daughter, Maria Calma, as administratrix of her properties. While the probate proceedings of Fausta were pending, Tanedo filed a complaint against Eulalio for the recovery of the sums of money, and the CFI rendered judgment for the payment of the debt. In the execution of the judgment, despite the third party claim filed by Fausta, the property was sold by the sheriff. Issue: WON the sale of the property was valid; WON the estate of Fausta is the sole and absolute owner of the property in question Ruling: The amendment introduced by Act No. 3176 consists in authorizing the institution of testate or intestate proceedings for the settlement of the estate of a deceased spouse or of an ordinary action for the liquidation and partition of the property of a conjugal partnership. It should be understood that these remedies are alternative, and not cumulative, in the sense that they cannot be availed of at the same time. Consequently, the testamentary proceedings of Fausta having been instituted, the liquidation and partition of the conjugal property by reason of her marriage to Eulalio should be made in these proceedings, to the exclusion of any other proceeding for the same purpose. The SC also decided in another case that when the marriage is dissolved by death of the wife, the legal power of management of the husband ceases, passing to the administrator appointed by the court in the testate or intestate proceedings instituted to that end if there be any debts to be paid. From the foregoing, it follows that when Esperanza Tanedo brought suit against Eulalio for the payment of the debt, which were debts chargeable against the conjugal property, the power of Eulalio as legal administrator of the conjugal property while Fausta was living, had ceased and passed tot eh administratrix Maria. Hence, this being an indebtedness chargeable against conjugal property, no complaint for its payment can be brought against Eulalio, who had already ceased as administrator of the conjugal property. The claim for this amount had to be filed in the testamentary proceedings of Fausta.

Ocampo vs. Potenciano Facts: Edilberto Ocampo, married to Paz Yatco, executed a deed purporting to convey to his relative, Conrado Potenciano and his wife Rufina Reyes, by way of sale with pacto de retro for the sum of P2,500, a town lot with a house as strong materials standing thereon. On the same day Ocampo signed another document, making it appear that, for an annual rental of P300, which is equivalent to 12% of the purchase price, the vendees were leasing to him the house and lot for the duration of the redemption period. Though registered in the name of Ocampo alone, it in reality belonged to him and his wife as conjugal property. The period originally fixed for the repurchase was one year, “extendible to another year,” but several extensions were granted, with the vendor paying part of the principal in addition to

interests. The last extension granted was for a year from February 3, 1937, and the period having elapsed without the repurchase having been made, Potenciano filed with the Register of Deeds of Laguna an affidavit for the consolidation of title, and the RD issued a TCT in the name of Potenciano and his wife. Subsequently, with Edilberto Ocampo and Rufina Reyes already dead, Potenciano gave Paz Yatco an option to repurchase the property for P2,500 within 5 years, plus an annual rental of P300, which is equivalent to 12% of the purchase price. Paz sought to exercise the option by tendering to Potenciano at his clinic the sum of P4000, an amount sufficient to cover both principal and interest, and upon the tender being rejected, deposited the money in court and brought an action in her own name and as judicial administratrix of the estate of her deceased husband to compel Potenciano to accept it and to have the title to the property reinstated in her name and that of her husband. Intervening in the case, Potenciano’s children, Victor and Lourdes, filed a crosscomplaint, alleging that the option to purchase granted by their father to plaintiff was null and void as to the share of Rufina, which share passed to them by right of inheritance, and that as to their father’s share in the property they were exercising the right of redemption accorded by law to co-owners of property held in common, for which purpose they had already tendered him the sum of P1250. Yatco alleged that the pacto de retro sale was in reality a mortgage to secure a pre-existing debt, with the rental contract thrown in to cover the stipulated interest of 12%, and that the tender of payment was valid, the same having been made within the extended period of 5 years. The CFI gave judgment in favor of the children of Ocampo and Yatco, who had substituted the latter after her death. Issue: WON Potenciano had the authority to enter into the agreement for the repurchase of the property mortgaged after the death of his wife Ruling: The CA erred in supposing that the surviving spouse had such authority as de factor administrator of the conjugal estate. The decisions relied on by the CA in support of its view are now obsolete in view of the enactment of Act No. 3176, which provides that when the marriage is dissolved by the death of either husband or wife, the partnership affairs must be liquidated in the testate or intestate proceedings of the deceased spouse. Furthermore, there is ground to believe that the option agreement in question was nothing more than a mere extension of time for the payment of the mortgage debt, since inn the mind of the parties the real transaction between them was that of loan with security, or equitable mortgage. It follows that at the time Paz Yatco made the tender of payment and consigned the necessary amount in court, the said contract of loan with security was still in effect, and as the tender was made in legal currency, the tender and consignation must be held to produce their legal effect, which is that of relieving the debtor from liability. Under this view of the case, it is not necessary to consider the claim of Victor and Lourdes and that the CA erred in not declaring them owners of the property in question, they having inherited ½ of it from their mother and acquired the other half from their father in the exercise of their right of legal redemption as co-owners. As ownership in the property never passed to their parents, they acquired nothing.

Malahacan vs. Ignacio

Facts: The action is brought by Simon Malahacan, as administrator of the goods, chattels and credits of Guillerma Martinez, deceased, against defendants Ignacio, the only heirs at law of said deceased, to recover possession of the real estate of which Guillerma Martinez died seized, which said real estate the defendants had been occupying for some years before the commencement of this action. Issue: WON the administrator can demand to recover possession of the property in question Ruling: Under the provisions of the Civil Code the ownership of real estate passes to the heirs of the owner instantly in his death. Guillerma Martinez, having died seized of the lands involved in this suit, leaving the defendants as her only heirs at law, it follows that said heirs instantly became the owners and were entitled to immediate possession thereof. It is not alleged in the complaint nor does it appear from the record or the evidence in this case that there were debts outstanding against Guillerma Martinez at the time of her death. The only ground upon which an administrator can demand of the heirs at law possession of the real estate of which his intestate died seized is that such land will be required to be sold to pay the debt of the deceased. “Where there are no debts existing against the estate, there is certainly no occasion for the intervention of an administrator in the settlement and partition of the estate among the heirs. The property belonging absolutely to the heirs, in the absence of existing debts against the estate, the administrator has no right to intervene in any way whatever in the division of the estate among the heirs.”

Arcillas vs. Montejo Facts: Geronimo Arcillas, one of the heirs of Eustaquio Arcillas who died intestate, filed a petition (November 12) and sought the cancellation of the TCT in the name of the deceased and prayed for the issuance of a new certificate of title in the names of the heirs in the enumerated proportions alleged in the petition. It was claimed that at various dates after the death of the deceased, several transactions affecting the property transpired, prominent among which were the separate sales of their respective shares and participation in the property executed by 4 other children of the deceased in favor of co-heir Vicente Arcillas. But before any other material could be filed with respect to this petition, 5 other children of the deceased filed another petition (November 16), which prayed for the issuance of letters of administration in favor of Aurelio Arcillas preparatory to the final settlement of the deceased’s estate. Aurelio filed an opposition to the November 12 petition on the ground that inasmuch as the deceased for which a petition for administration had actually been filed and was awaiting resolution, the November 12 petition should be held in abeyance until after the intestate proceedings were closed and terminated. Geronimo, joined by Vicente and the widow Modesta Alfaro, opposed the issuance of the letters of administration and alleged that since the parcel of land was the only property left by the deceased and the deceased left no debts, the petition for administration was improper. Respondent court denied the November 16 petition for the issuance of letters of administration and at the same time gave due course to the November 12 petition. Issue: WON the reliance of the respondent judge upon the authority of Section 1, Rule 74 was proper

Ruling: Respondents apparently view Section 1, Rule 74 as mandatory upon the heirs so long as the deceased left no will nor any pending obligations to be paid and his heirs are all of age. However, the Court has already ruled in the past that the said provision does not preclude the heirs from instituting administration proceedings, even if the estate has no debts or obligation, if they do not desire to resort for good reasons to an ordinary action of partition. While Section 1 allows the heirs to divide the estate among themselves as they may see fit, or to resort to an ordinary action of partition, it does not compel them to do so if they have good reasons to take a different course of action. Said section is not mandatory or compulsory as may be gleaned from the use made therein of the word may. Having decided to institute administrative proceedings instead of resorting to less expensive modes of settlement of the estate, i.e., extrajudicial settlement or ordinary action for partition, the heirs may not then be rebuffed in the exercise of their discretion granted under Section 1 of Rule 74 merely on the ground that the expenses usually common in administration proceedings may deplete the funds of the estate.

Pereira vs. CA Facts: Andres de Guzman Pereira passed away without a will. He was survived by his legitimate spouse of ten months, Victoria Bringas Pereira, and his sister Rita Pereira Nagac. Rita instituted a petition for the issuance of letters of administration in her favor pertaining to the estate of Andres. Among her contentions are that Andres left no will, that he left several properties and that Victoria had been working in London as an auxiliary nurse and as such ½ of her salary forms part of the estate of the deceased. Victoria filed her opposition to the petition, alleging that there exists no estate of the deceased for purposes of administration and praying in the alternative, that if an estate does exist, the letters of administration relating to said estate be issued in her favor as surviving spouse. The RTC appointed Rita administratrix of the intestate estate of Andres and ordered her to take custody of all the real and personal properties of the deceased and to file an inventory within 3 months from receipt of the order. Issue: 1. WON there exists an estate of the deceased for purposes of administration 2. WON a judicial administration proceeding is necessary where there are no debts left by the decedent 3. Who has the better right to be appointed as administratrix of the estate of the deceased, the surviving spouse Victoria or the surviving sister Rita? Ruling: 1. The question as to whether or not there exists an estate of the deceased because the resolution of this issue is better left to the probate court before which the administration proceedings are pending. The trial court is in the best position to receive evidence on the discordant contentions of the parties as to the assets of the decedent’s estate, the valuations thereof and the rights of the transferees of some of the assets, if any. The function of resolving whether or not a certain property should be included in the inventory or list of properties to be administered by the administrator is one clearly within the competence of the probate court. However, the court’s

determination is only provisional in character, not conclusive, and is subject to the final decision in a separate action which may be instituted by the parties. 2. Assuming that there exist assets of the deceased for purposes of administration, nonetheless the administration proceedings instituted by Rita are unnecessary as contended by Victoria. The general rule is that when a person dies leaving property, the same should be judicially administered and the competent court should appoint a qualified administrator in case the deceased left no will, or in case he had left one, should he fail to name an executor therein. An exception to this rule is established in Section 1 of Rule 74. Under this exception, when all the heirs are of lawful age and there are no debts due from the estate, they may agree in writing to partition the property without instituting the judicial administration or applying for the appointment of an administrator. It should be noted that recourse to an administration proceeding even if the estate has no debts is sanctioned only if the heirs have good reasons for not resorting to an action for partition. Where partition is possible, either in or out of court, the estate should not be burdened with an administration proceeding without good and compelling reasons. What constitutes “good reason” to warrant a judicial administration of the estate of the deceased when the heirs are all of legal age and there are no creditors will depend on the circumstances of each case. The Court sees no reason to apply the exception to the case at bar. There are only two surviving heirs, a wife of ten months and a sister, both of age. The parties admit that there are no debts of the deceased to be paid. What is at once apparent is that these two heirs are not in good terms. The only conceivable reason why Rita seeks appointment as administratrix is for her to obtain possession of the alleged properties of the deceased for her own purposes, since these properties are presently in the hands of Victoria who supposedly disposed of them fraudulently. This is not a compelling reason which will necessitate a judicial administration of the estate of the deceased. To subject the estate of Andres, which does not appear to be substantial especially since the only real property left has been extrajudicially settled, to an administration proceeding for no useful purpose would only unnecessarily expose it to the risk of being wasted or squandered.

Pada-Kilario vs. CA Facts: Jacinto Pada had 6 children (Marciano, Ananias, Amador, Higino, Valentina, Ruperta). He died intestate. His estate included a parcel of land of residential and coconut land. During the lifetime of Jacinto, his half-brother, Feliciano Pada, obtained permission from him to build a house on the northern portion of the land. When Feliciano died, his son, Pastor, continued living in the house together with his eight children. Verona Pada-Kilario, one of Pastor’s children, has been living in that house since 1960. Sometime in May 1951, the heirs of Jacinto entered into an extrajudicial partition of his estate. For this purpose, they executed a private document which they, however never registered in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Leyte. At the execution of the extrajudicial partition, Ananias himself was present while his other brothers were represented by their children. It was to both Ananias and Marciano, represented by his daughter, Maria, to whom the parcel of land was allocated during the said partition. When Ananias died, his daughter, Juanita succeeded to his right as co-owner of said property.

Juanita sold to Engr. Ernesto Paderes, the right of his father as co-owner of the property. Maria also sold the co-ownership right of her father, Marciano to Silverio Pada, the first cousin of Maria. Silverio thereafter demanded that Verona and her husband Ricardo vacate the northern portion of the parcel of land so his family can utilize the said area. Silverio filed a complaint for ejectment against the spouses Kilario. The heirs of Amador Pada executed a Deed of Donation transferring to Verona Pada-Kilario their respective shares as co-owners of the land. The Spouses field their answer averring that the northern portion of the land had already been donated to them by the heirs of Amador Pada, and that the extrajudicial partition of the estate of Jacinto was invalid and ineffectual since no SPA was executed by either Marciano, Amador or Higino in favor of their children who represented them in the extrajudicial partition. Also it was effectuated only through a private document that was never registered in the office of the RD of Leyte. Issue: 1. WON the extrajudicial settlement executed by the heirs of Jacinto is valid 2. WON Spouses Kilario can be ejected from the premises considering that the heirs of Jacinto Pada donated to them their undivided interest in the property in dispute Ruling: 1. The extrajudicial partition of the estate of Jacinto Pada among his heirs made in 1951 is valid, albeit executed in an unregistered private document. No law requires partition among heirs to be in writing and be registered in order to be valid. The requirement in Sec. 1, Rule 74 that a partition be put in a public document and registered has for its purpose the protection of creditors and the heirs themselves against tardy claims. Without creditors to take into consideration, it is competent for the heirs of an estate to enter into an agreement for distribution thereof in a manner and upon a plan different from those provided by the rules. The partition of inherited property need not be embodied in a public document so as to be effective as regards the heirs that participated therein. The 1951 extrajudicial partition of Jacinto Pada’s estate being legal and effective as among his heirs, Juanita and Maria Pada validly transferred their ownership rights over the property to Engr. Paredes and Silverio Pada. 2. The belated act of the heirs of Amador Pada of donating the subject property to petitioners after 44 years of never having disputed the validity of the 1951 extrajudicial partition that allocated the subject property to Mariano and Ananias, produced no legal effect. In the partition, what was allocated to Amador was not the subject property which was a parcel of residential land in Sto. Nino, Matalom, Leyte, but rather, ½ of a parcel of coconut land in the interior of Sabang, Matalom, Leyte, and ½ parcel of rice land in Sta. Fe, Matalom, Leyte. The donation made by his heirs to spouses Kilario of the subject property is thus void for they were not the owners thereof. 3. Petitioners are stopped from impugning the extrajudicial partition executed by the heirs of Jacinto Pada after explicitly admitting in their answer that they had been occupying the subject property since 1960 without ever paying any rental as they only relied on the liberality and tolerance of the Pada family. They knew that their occupation of the premises may be terminated any time. Persons who occupy the land of another at the latter’s tolerance or permission, without any contract between them, is necessarily bound by an

implied promise that they will vacate the same upon demand, failing in which a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against them. Thus, they cannot be considered possessors nor builders in good faith.

McMicking vs. Sy Conbieng Facts: Margarita Jose, a native of the Philippine Islands, died at Amoy, in the empire of China, leaving an estate consisting of personal property partly in Hong Kong and partly in the Philippines. Engracio Palanca was appointed administrator by the CFI of Manila with the will annexed of the estate of the said Margarita Jose. Mariano Ocampo Lao Sempco and Dy Cunyao became his sureties and qualified as such in the sum of P60,000. After the execution of the bond, Palanca, as administrator, took possession of all the property of Margarita Jose, amounting in all to HKD58,820.29. Mariano Ocampo Lao Sempco died in Manila, testate. One of the legatees of Margarita Jose filed an application for an order directing Palanca to furnish a new bond, and the CFI issued an order directing Palanca to furnish a bond in the sum of P60,000 to take the place of the undertaking upon which said Ocampo and Cunyao were sureties. A new bond was filed, the new sureties being Juan Fernandez, Luis Saenz de Vismanos and Alejandro Palanca. Doroteo Velasco was appointed administrator of the testate estate of Ocampo, and Mariano Velasco and Pio de la Guardia Barretto qualified as sureties for the sum of P30,000. As part of the report and inventory submitted by Velasco, he filed an instrument signed by all of the persons interested in the estate of Ocampo agreeing to the partition of the estate among themselves without proceedings in court, at the same time assuming the payment of all obligations against the estate. The court then delivered to the devisees and legatees of Ocampo all the properties of the decedent pursuant to the terms of said agreement of partition. From that time forward Velasco has not had in his possession or control any of the assets of the estate and has not had any participation in the management thereof. At the time the agreement for participation was made and signed and at the time of the distribution of the property of the estate, no committee had been appointed to hear claims against the estate of Ocampo, and no notice had been published to creditors of Ocampo to present their claims against the estate in the manner prescribed by law. Upon application of all parties interested, Palanca was removed from office as administrator of the estate of Jose, because he failed and refused to render an account of the property and funds of the estate of Jose, and failed and refused, on order of the court, to deliver said property and funds or any portion thereof to the court, or to Jose McMicking, who replaced him as administrator. Palanca retained possession of the property and funds of the estate of Jose, absconded with the same, and never returned to the Philippine Islands. McMicking made an application to the court for the appointment of commissioners of the estate of Mariano Ocampo for the purpose of hearing claims against the estate. The commission having been appointed and qualified, a claim was presented by McMicking based upon the defalcation of Palanca, which claim was allowed by said commission and later approved by the court, which directed that the said claim be paid by Velasco, if he had sufficient funds to make such payment. No part of the sum found to be due by the commission has been paid to the representative of the estate of Margarita Jose.

Pio de la Guardia Barretto, who was one of the sureties when Velasco was appointed administrator of the estate of Ocampo, died testate, and letters of administration were issued to Benito Sy Conbieng. In the committee appointed to hear the claims presented against Barretto’s estate, McMicking presented a claim for the sum of P30,000 based upon the estate of Ocampo failed to pay said claim. The committee disallowed the claim, and on appeal, the trial court dismissed his complaint. Issue: WON McMicking can claim from Barretto’s estate Ruling: No. Doroteo Velasco, for whom Barretto was surety, would not have been liable himself had this action been commenced against him. If the principal is not liable upon the obligation, the surety cannot be. The basis of the liability of a surety on an administrators’ bond is the fault or failure of the principal. The liability of the principal precedes that of the surety. If Velasco incurred no liability, then his surety incurred none. When the persons interested in the estate of Mariano Ocampo agreed voluntarily upon a partition and division of the property of said estate and the actual partition followed, the matter passed out of the hands of Velasco as administrator. The parties to the partition stood invoking their rights to extrajudicially settle the estate of Ocampo. In giving his consent to the partition and in assisting the parties to obtain the approval of the court he did no wrong. The instant that the petition occurred, in the form and manner stated, he stood stripped of all responsibility to the estate, to its creditors, to the heirs and to the court. In law, he was no longer administrator of the will annexed of the estate of Ocampo. While at any time within two years after the partition the property, or a portion thereof, then in the possession of the partitioning persons could have been placed in administration upon the happening of certain events, it would not have been the same estate that had been represented by Velasco, nor would Velasco have been the administrator by virtue of his appointment in the old. It would have been necessary to appoint a new administrator. An administrator cannot be held to any accountability for property over which he has absolutely no power or jurisdiction and in which he has not the slightest legal interest. Moreover, the sureties of an administrator cannot be held liable for property which by force of law has been taken from the principal and its ownership and control turned over to others. Their obligation is that their principal shall obey the law in the handling and distribution of the estate. Their obligation is discharged when the estate is legally turned over to those entitled thereto. Without their consent another obligation could not be imposed upon them in relation to the same principal, and the same property, or apart thereof, especially after the lapse of two years. It is only debts discovered within the prescribed period that can be made the reason for an administration of the estate subsequent to its partition. The necessary result is that a debt not discovered within that period cannot be made the reason for an administration of the estate. The debt in the case at bar having first discovered more than four years after the partition of the estate of Mariano Ocampo, an administrator, even though appointed, would have no authority in law, over the objection of one interested, to pay the debt in question or to maintain an action or other proceeding for the recovery of property for that purpose. As to the contention that a partition is void unless every debt is paid or provided for by the petitioning parties, and may therefore be entirely disregarded by the creditor holding a claim either unpaid or provided for, in the first place, the partition

proceedings in question are proceedings out of court. Consequently there is no prescribed method of ascertaining and settling claims. The method of ascertaining claims against the defendant’s estate not being prescribed, it is apparent that no objection to a partition can be urged by a creditor whose claim has not been paid, due to the faulty method adopted by the partitioning parties to ascertain claims, or even, the absence of any effort at all to ascertain them.

Lajom vs. Viola Facts: Donato Lajom filed a complaint, praying that he be declared a natural child of the late Dr. Maximo Viola and therefore a co-heir of Jose Viola, Rafael Viola and Silvio Viola, legitimate children of Dr. Viola, and that after collation, payment of debts and accounting of fruits, a new partition be ordered, adjudicating 1/7 of the estate to Lajom and 2/7 to each of the legitimate children. The CFI of Nueva Ecija dismissed the complaint on the ground that it did not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action because its allegation called for the exercise of the probate jurisdiction of the court and consequently did not constitute a cause of action in an ordinary civil case. Moreover, the CFI of Nueva Ecija does not and cannot assume jurisdiction over the case because the will of the deceased had already been probated in the CFI of Bulacan and has already taken cognizance of the settlement of the estate. Issue: WON the CFI of Nueva Ecija has jurisdiction over the complaint Ruling: The allegations in the complaint as to the promise of the defendants to deliver to Lajom his share in the estate of Dr. Viola and their subsequent nonobservance of such promise clearly denounce a breach of trust which, if proven at the trial, the courts could not for a moment countenance. Regardless of any legal title to the plaintiff’s share, declared by the CFI of Bulacan in favor of the defendants in the testate proceeding, high considerations of equity vehemently demand that the defendants shall not take advantage of such legal title, obtained by them through a betrayal of confidence placed in them by the plaintiff. So far as plaintiff’s share in the inheritance is concerned, the defendants are trustees for the plaintiff, who may bring an action in Nueva Ecija for breach of trust. The CFI of Nueva Ecija had jurisdiction over the case because the complaint contains allegations which, if shown at the trial, would be sufficient to support and warrant an action for reivindication of his right as a co-owner of the 16 parcels of land situated in Nueva Ecija. The plaintiff’s dominion over his share of the estate was automatically and by operation of law vested in him upon the death of his natural father, subject of course to the lien of the creditors of the decedent. This being true it is difficult to ignore the right of the plaintiff to recover his charge in the lands in Nueva Ecija, by an action of reivindication because of the defendant’s refusal to deliver said share to him. The SC cited the case of Ramirez vs. Gmur, and held that a judicial partition in probate proceedings does not bind the heirs who were not parties thereto, and that in such cases, the heir who has been deprived of his share in the estate may bring an action for reivindication with the prescriptive period against the persons put in possession by the probate court.

Jerez vs. Nietes

Facts: Nicolas Jalandoni died. Before the end of that month, a special proceeding for the settlement of his estate was filed before Judge Emigdio Nietes, Lucrecia Jerez, the widow of Jalandoni, being appointed as administratrix. A project of partition and final accounting was submitted, resulting in an order from Judge Nietes approving the same. Lucilo Jalandoni, alleging that he is an acknowledged natural child of the late Nicolas Jalandoni, and Victoria Jalandoni de Gorriceta, alleging that she is an illegitimate daughter, sought to be allowed to intervene on the ground that they were preterited in the project of partition which they wanted Judge Nietes to reject for being contrary to law. Judge Nietes subsequently issued an order allowing intervention and reopening the proceedings to permit the movants “to present whatever evidence they may have to show their right to participate in the estate of the deceased. Issue: WON Lucilo and Victoria should be allowed to intervene and WON the proceedings should be reopened Ruling: Rather than require a party who can allege a grievance that his interest was not recognized in a testate or intestate proceeding to file a separate and independent action, he may within the reglementary period secure the relief that is his due by a reopening of the case even after a project of partition and final accounting had been approved. It is understandable why the resolution of the CA upholding the power of Nietes to reopen the proceedings and allow intervention is not vulnerable to attack. It was within his competence to do so. The question remains, however, whether he did so in the appropriate manner. Judge Nietes acted too soon. There must be proof beyond allegations in such motion to show the interest of the private movants. In the absence thereof, the action taken by respondent Judge could be considered premature.

Gerona vs. De Guzman Facts: Ignacio, Maria Concepcion, Francisco and Delfin, all surnamed Gerona, alleged that they are the legitimate children of Domingo Gerona and Placida de Guzman. Placida was a legitimate daughter of Marcelo de Guzman with his first wife, Teodora dela Cruz. After the death of Teodora, Marcelo married Camila Ramos, who begot him several children. Marcelo de Guzman died, and his children by Ramos executed a deed of “extrajudicial settlement of the estate of the deceased Marcelo de Guzman”, fraudulently misrepresenting therein that they were the only surviving heirs of Marcelo, although they well knew that petitioners were also his forced heirs. Respondents had also allegedly succeeded fraudulently in causing the transfer to 7 parcels of land to their names, in the proportion of 1/7 individual interest for each. Petitioners also allege that they only discovered such fraud only the year before the institution of the case. Respondents, on the other hand, allege that Placida was not entitled to share in the estate of Marcelo because she was merely a spurious child of the latter, and that petitioners’ action is barred by the statute of limitations. Issue: WON the petitioners’ action has already prescribed Ruling: Yes. Although, as a general rule, an action for partition among co-heirs does not prescribe, this is true only as long as the defendants do not hold the property in question under an adverse title. The statute of limitations operates as in other cases from the moment such adverse title is asserted by the possessor of the

property. Inasmuch as petitioners seek to annul the deed of extrajudicial settlement upon the ground of fraud in the execution thereof, the action therefor may be filed within 4 years from the discovery of the fraud. Such discovery is deemed to have taken place, in the case at bar, on June 25, 1948, when said instrument was filed with the RD and new certificates of title were issued in the name of respondents, for the registration of the deed of extrajudicial settlement constitute constructive notice to the whole world. Plaintiffs, however, did not file the complaint until November 4, 1958, or more than 10 years thereafter.

Pedrosa vs. CA Facts: Spouses Miguel Rodriguez and Rosalina de Rodriguez initiated proceedings for the legal adoption of Maria Elena Rodriguez Pedrosa. The CFI granted the petition and declared Pedrosa the adopted child of Miguel and Rosalina. Miguel died intestate, and thereafter Pedrosa and Rosalina entered into an extrajudicial settlement of Miguel’s estate, adjudicating between themselves in equal proportion the estate of Miguel. Private respondents filed an action to annul the adoption of Pedrosa, which the CFI denied. Private respondents filed an appeal. While the appeal was pending, the Rodriguezes (respondents) entered into an extrajudicial settlement for the partition of the estate of Miguel and of another sister, Pilar. Rosalina acted as the representative of the heirs of Miguel. Pilar had no heirs except his brother and sisters. The Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement and Partition covered 14 parcels of land which were divided among Jose, Carmen, Mercedes, Ramos, and the heirs of Miguel. Pedrosa sent her daughter Loreto Jocelyn, to claim their share of the properties from the Rodriguezes, but the latter refused, saying that Maria Elena and Loreto were not heirs since they were not their blood relatives. Pedrosa filed a complaint to annul the partition, which was dismissed by the RTC. Issue: 1. WON the complaint for annulment of the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement and Partition had already prescribed 2. WON said deed is valid 3. WON the petitioner is entitled to recover the lots which had already been transferred to respondent buyers Ruling: 1. Section 4, Rule 74 provides for a 2-year prescriptive period to persons who have participated or taken part or had notice of the extrajudicial partition, and in addition when the provisions of Section 1, Rule 74 have been strictly complied with, i.e., that all the persons or heirs of the decedent have taken part in the extrajudicial settlement or are represented by themselves or through guardians. Petitioner, as the records confirm, did not participate in the extrajudicial partition; hence the 2-year prescriptive period is not applicable in her case. The applicable prescriptive period here is 4 years from the discovery of the fraud. Considering that the complaint of the petitioner was filed three years and ten months after the extrajudicial settlement was executed, her action against the respondents on the basis of fraud has not yet prescribed. Under Section 1, Rule 74, without the participation of all the persons involved in the proceedings, the extrajudicial settlement cannot be binding on said persons.

2. Section 4 of the same rule will also not apply when the deed of extrajudicial partition is sought to be annulled on the ground of fraud. A deed of extrajudicial partition executed without including some of the heirs, who had no knowledge of and consent to the same, is fraudulent and vicious. Also, to say that Maria Elena was represented by Rosalina in the partitioning is imprecise, because Maria Elena was no longer a minor at the time Miguel died. Rosalina only represented her own interests and not those of Maria Elena 3. Given the circumstances in this case, the Court held that it was not the proper forum to decide the issue. The properties sought to be recovered by Pedrosa are all now registered under the names of third parties. Well settled is the doctrine that a Torrens title cannot be collaterally attacked.

Estate of Francisco vs. Carreon Facts: Rosa Aldana Francisco petitioned the CFI of Rizal summarily to settle the estate of her husband Jose M. Francisco who had died in 1944. Alleging under oath that they had three minor children who were his legal heirs, and that the deceased left a parcel of land with a house thereon, and no creditors, she asked for declaration that the persons entitled to share in his estate are the said three children, with herself as usufructuary. After the requisite publication, the petition was heard and later approved by an order declaring Rosa and the three children as the only heirs of the deceased, and adjudicating unto the heirs the property in the proportion of ½ undivided share to the widow, and the other half in equal parts to the children. Rosa mortgaged her share of the property to sisters Fausta and Catalina Carreon for the sum of P13,000, and afterwards, she conveyed by absolute deed of sale her interest and participation in the land. However, on motion, Tiburcia Magsalin Vda. De Francisco, mother of the deceased Jose Francisco, allegedly in representation of the minor Jose Francisco y Palumpon, 17, averred that the minor was a recognized natural son of the deceased, with legal right to participate in his estate, and that the previous proceedings were void because Rosa had concealed such fact, and because she had interests in conflict with those of her three sons, the truth being that the land was private property of Jose of which she could not have been awarded a portion in fee simple. Oppositions to the motion were presented by Rosa and sisters Carreon. Issue: 1. WON the court should continue hearing the motion for reopening even after the natural child had withdrawn from the litigation 2. WON a probate court can take cognizance of the annulment of the mortgage and sale Ruling: 1. Yes. In the motion of Tiburcia, she asked for appointment as guardian ad litem for the natural child and for the three legitimate children. Hence, the motion may be regarded in a spirit of liberality, as interposed on behalf of the said four children – not only a motion of the natural child. Precisely, because the complaint also prayed for relief beneficial to the three legitimate children – contrary to the interests of the natural child – the court declined to permit Tiburcia to represent the four children, but allowed her to act for three only.

At any rate, parties may be dropped or added by the court on motion of any party or of its own initiative at any state of the action and on such terms as are just. Appellants may not justly complain that they thought such petition for readjustment or reopening could only take place within 2 years as prescribed by Section 4, Rule 74 and as annotated in the certificate of title because they are conclusively presumed to know the existence and provisions of Section 5, Rule 74. We take judicial notice of the fact that in the adjudication of summary settlements more often than not, the order merely states that the sale shall be subject to the provisions of Section 4, Rule 74. This is the case because the Court cannot foresee whether the movant will be affected; but section 5 being an imposition of the law, and being a mere sequence to the provisions of section 4, we hold that where the title on its face shows that it was subject to the provisions of Section 4, Rule 74, a third person who accepts it must take notice that he is running the risk of interfering with the rights of minors as provided in Section 5, Rule 74. 2. If during the summary proceedings some of the heirs claim, by title adverse to that of the decedent, some parcels of land, the probate court has no jurisdiction to pass upon the issue which must be decided in a separate suit. But in this case there is no question that the realty belonged to the decedent; and a separate suit was unnecessary, specially remembering that in these summary settlements the judge is expected to “proceed summarily” and “without delay” to determine who are the persons legally entitled to participate in the estate, and to apportion and divide it among them.

Sampilo vs. CA Facts: Teodoro Tolete died intestate. He left four parcels of land. He left as heirs his widow, Leoncia de Leon, and several nephews and nieces, children of deceased brothers and sisters. Without any judicial proceedings, Leoncia executed an affidavit stating that Teodoro left no children or respondent neither ascendants or acknowledged natural children, nor brother, sisters, nephews or nieces, but the widow Leoncia de Leon, the legitimate wife of the deceased. The affidavit was registered in the Office of the RD of Pangasinan, and on the same day, she executed a deed of sale of all 4 parcels of land in favor of Benny Sampilo for the sum of P10,000. Sampilo in turn sold the said parcels of land to Honorato Salacup for P50,000. Felisa Sinopera instituted proceedings for the administration of the estate of Teodoro, and having secured her appointment as administratrix, brought the present action. Notice of lis pendens was filed in the RD and said notice was recorded on certificates of title covering the properties. This notice, however, was subsequent to the registration of the deed of sale in favor of Salacup. Issue: WON Sinopera’s right of action to recover her and her co-heirs’ participation to the lands in question had not prescribed at the time the action to recover was filed Ruling: No mention is made expressly of the effect of the extrajudicial settlement on persons who did not take part therein or had no notice or knowledge thereof. There cannot be any doubt that those who took part or had knowledge thereof are bound thereby. As to them the law is clear that if they claim to have been in any manner deprived of their lawful right in the estate by the extrajudicial settlement, they may demand their rights or interests within the period of two years. But as to

those who did not take part in the settlement or had no notice of the death of the death of the decedent or of settlement, there is no direct or express provision. It is unreasonable and unjust that they also be required to assert their claims within a period of two years. The provisions of Section 4, Rule 74, barring distributes or heirs from objecting to an extrajudicial partition after the expiration of two years is applicable only (1) to persons who have participated or taken part or had notice of the extrajudicial partition, and, in addition, (2) when the provisions of Section 1, Rule 74 have been strictly complied with, i.e., that all the persons or heirs of the decedent have taken part in the extrajudicial settlement or are represented by themselves or through guardians. The case at bar fails to comply with both requirements because not all the heirs interested have participated in the extrajudicial settlement, the CA having found out that the decedent left aside from his widow, nephews and nieces living at the time of his death.

US vs. Chiu Guimco Facts: Joaquin Cruz had for many years resided in Misamis, where he lived as a Chinese merchant and amassed a considerable estate. Cruz visited China and was there married to a Chinese woman, Uy Cuan, and by her had one child. After his return from China, he was married in Gingoog to a Filipina woman named Maria Villafranca. Cruz again visited China, leaving his brother, Chiu Guimco, in tharge of his property and business in Gingoog as agent. While on the visit to China, Cruz died. Before his departure he had executed a will before Anastacio Servillon, in which Chiu Guimco and Co-Iden were named as executors. Chiu Guimco and CoIden appeared before Servillon and at their request the latter drew up a petition for the probate of the will. The will itself was not produced before the notary public upon this occasion, and he was not informed by them as to who then had possession of the will. Nothing further was done in the probate of the will and CoIden subsequently died. Chiu Guimco entered into an arrangement with Villafranca, whereby, in consideration of the conveyance of certain property to her, she relinquished in favor of the other persons interested in the estate of the deceased all her claims in respect to the same property. When Uy Cuan went to the Philippines to settle the estate of her husband, Chiu claimed that he and his brother had been business partners, along with another brother, Chiu Tamco. They then agreed that Uy Cuan and her child were to receive 40% of the estate of the deceased, Chiu Guimco was to receive another 40%, and Chiu Tamco 20%. Later on, Uy Cuan entered into a contract with Chiu Guimco whereby he agreed to pay the sum of P350 per quarter by way of rental on their interest in the real estate of the decedent. No payments have been made by him in compliance with the contract. Ramon Contreras, a Chinese merchant acting on behalf of Uy Cuan and her child, began to make inquiries into the affairs of the estate, and wrote Chiu Guimco urging him to produce the will of the decedent for the institution of the lawful proceedings in accordance therewith. The letter called his attention to the penalty denounced by Sections 628 and 629 of the Code of Civil Procedure for withholding a will, but assured him that if he would then produce the will no penalty would be incurred. Still, Chiu Guimco asserted that the will had never been in his possession and that he had never seen it.

A complaint was filed charging him with the failure to produce the will within the time required by law. The CFI found Chiu Guimco guilty and imposed upon him a fine of P1,800. During the hearing, the trial judge formed the opinion that Chiu Guimco still had the will, and so ordered the latter to produce the will or make a reasonable explanation as to why he cannot do so. However, Chiu Guimco still failed to produce the will, and the judge was not satisfied with his explanation as to why he cannot produce the will, thus the judgment also included an order to place him in jail until he should produce the will. Issue: WON the judge had the authority to make the order in question Ruling: No. Article 629 can only be applied when a court is acting in the exercise of its jurisdiction over the administration of the estates of deceased persons; and where administration proceedings are not already pending, the court, before taking action under this section, should require that there be before it some petition, information, or affidavit of such character as to make action by the court under this section appropriate. The proceeding in this case, under section 628, is an ordinary criminal prosecution. The act penalized in that section is a special statutory offense and is properly prosecuted upon complaint or information as other criminal offenses created by law. The remedy provided in section 629 is a totally different remedy, having no relation with that provided in section 628; and it is not permissible in a prosecution under Section 628 to superimpose upon the penalty of fine therein prescribed the additional penalty of imprisonment prescribed in section 629.

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