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1. FOREIGN LAWS; PRESUMPTION. — In the absence of evidence to the contrary foreign laws on a particular subject are presumed to be the same as those of the Philippines. (Lim and Lim v. Collector of Customs, 36 Phil., 472.) 2. POSTPONEMENT OF PROCEEDING; DISCRETION. — It is discretionary on the part of the court to postpone or not to postpone a particular proceeding in a case, and when the person applying for it has already been given ample opportunity to present the evidence that he wishes to introduce, the court commits no abuse of discretion in denying it. 3. SUCCESSIONS; CONDITIONAL LEGACY; CONDITION CONTRARY TO LAW; NULLITY OF. — If the condition imposed upon the legatee is that he respect the testator’s order that his property be distributed in accordance with the laws of the Philippines and not in accordance with the laws of his nation, said condition is illegal, because, according to article 10 of the Civil Code, said laws govern his testamentary disposition, and, being illegal, shall be considered unwritten, thus making the institution unconditional. The partition of the estate left by the deceased Joseph G. Brimo is in question in this case. The judicial administrator of this estate filed a scheme of partition. Andre Brimo, one of the brothers of the deceased, opposed it. The court, however, approved it. The errors which the oppositor-appellant assigns are: (1) The approval of said scheme of partition; (2) denial of his participation in the inheritance; (3) the denial of the motion for reconsideration of the order approving the partition; (4) the approval of the purchase made by the Pietro Lana of the deceased's business and the deed of transfer of said business; and (5) the declaration that the Turkish laws are impertinent to this cause, and the failure not to postpone the approval of the scheme of partition and the delivery of the deceased's business to Pietro Lanza until the receipt of the depositions requested in reference to the Turkish laws. The appellant's opposition is based on the fact that the partition in question puts into effect the provisions of Joseph G. Brimo's will which are not in accordance with the laws of his Turkish nationality, for which reason they are void as being in violation or article 10 of the Civil Code which, among other things, provides the following: Nevertheless, legal and testamentary successions, in respect to the order of succession as well as to the amount of the successional rights and the intrinsic validity of their provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is in question, whatever may be the nature of the property or the country in which it may be situated. But the fact is that the oppositor did not prove that said testimentary dispositions are not in accordance with the Turkish laws, inasmuch as he did not present any evidence showing what the Turkish laws are on the matter, and in the absence of evidence on such laws, they are presumed to be the same as those of the Philippines. (Lim and Lim vs. Collector of Customs, 36 Phil., 472.) It has not been proved in these proceedings what the Turkish laws are. He, himself, acknowledges it when he desires to be given an opportunity to present evidence on this point; so much so that he assigns as an error of the court in not having deferred the approval of the scheme of partition until the receipt of certain testimony requested regarding the Turkish laws on the matter. The refusal to give the oppositor another opportunity to prove such laws does not constitute an error. It is discretionary with the trial court, and, taking into consideration that the oppositor was granted ample opportunity to introduce competent evidence, we find no abuse of discretion on the part of the court in this particular. There is, therefore, no evidence in the record that the national law of the testator Joseph G. Brimo was violated in the testamentary dispositions in question which, not being contrary to our laws in force, must be complied with and executed.
my will. any legatee who fails to comply with it. otherwise. In regard to the first assignment of error which deals with the exclusion of the herein appellant as a legatee. So ordered. the approval of the scheme of partition in this respect was not erroneous. inasmuch as he is one of the persons designated as such in will. All of the remaining clauses of said will with all their dispositions and requests are perfectly valid and effective it not appearing that said clauses are contrary to the testator's national law. I like desire to state that although by law. that the said condition is void. Therefore. as expressed. and the institution of legatees in said will is unconditional and consequently valid and effective even as to the herein oppositor. even should the testator otherwise provide. I am a Turkish citizen. it is my wish that the distribution of my property and everything in connection with this. Said condition then. for article 792 of the civil Code provides the following: Impossible conditions and those contrary to law or good morals shall be considered as not imposed and shall not prejudice the heir or legatee in any manner whatsoever. And said condition is contrary to law because it expressly ignores the testator's national law when. being contrary to law. this citizenship having been conferred upon me by conquest and not by free choice. as the herein oppositor who. The fact is. Andre Brimo. filed a scheme of partition.Therefore. The institution of legatees in this will is conditional. ISSUE: Whether Turkish law or Philippine law will be the basis on the distribution of Joseph Brimo’s estates. nor by nationality and. which says: Second. being contrary to law. It results from all this that the second clause of the will regarding the law which shall govern it. it must be taken into consideration that such exclusion is based on the last part of the second clause of the will. FACTS: Juan Miciano. the orders appealed from are modified and it is directed that the distribution of this estate be made in such a manner as to include the herein appellant Andre Brimo as one of the legatees. is null and void. requesting all of my relatives to respect this wish. one of the brothers of the deceased (Joseph Brimo) opposed Miciano’s participation in the inheritance. judicial administrator of the estate in question. . without any pronouncement as to costs. is prevented from receiving his legacy. in the light of the legal provisions above cited. according to article 10 of the civil Code above quoted. having resided for a considerable length of time in the Philippine Islands where I succeeded in acquiring all of the property that I now possess. be made and disposed of in accordance with the laws in force in the Philippine islands. on the other hand. and the scheme of partition submitted by the judicial administrator is approved in all other respects. however. is considered unwritten. Joseph Brimo is a Turkish citizen. I annul and cancel beforehand whatever disposition found in this will favorable to the person or persons who fail to comply with this request. If this condition as it is expressed were legal and valid. and the condition is that the instituted legatees must respect the testator's will to distribute his property. such national law of the testator is the one to govern his testamentary dispositions. and to the condition imposed upon the legatees. by his attitude in these proceedings has not respected the will of the testator. not in accordance with the laws of his nationality. but in accordance with the laws of the Philippines.
Bellis. the remainder shall go to his seven surviving children by his first and second wives.. On January 8.divided the residuary estate into seven equal portions for the benefit of the testator's seven legitimate children by his first and second marriages. as executor of the will.00 in the form of shares of stock to Mary E. namely: Edward A.R. U. DECEASED PEOPLE'S BANK& TRUST COMPANY.G. the executor . from an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila dated April 30. Alexander Bellis. Bellis." By his first wife. Mallen. June 06. in the following order and manner: (a) $240.000. Amos Bellis. Amos G. the satisfaction of the legacy of Mary E. The facts of the case are as follows: Amos G. No. Texas. Bellis.00 each or a total of P120. and Dorothy E.00 to his three illegitimate children. George Bellis (who predeceased him in infancy). and Miriam Palma Bellis. and expenses of administration are paid for. Edwin G. who survived him. Henry A. Mallen by the delivery to her of shares of stock amounting to $240. a resident of San Antonio. compulsory heirs of the deceased. in equal shares. or a total of P120.000. Mary E.00.. and Anna Bellis Allsman. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis in the amount of P40. Mary E. In the project of partition. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis.. whom he divorced. 1958. HEIRS-APPELLEES. was "a citizen of the State of Texas and of the United States. Violet Kennedy. Jr. and finally. Subsequently. he had five legitimate children: Edward A. which it released from time to time according as the lower court approved and allowed the various motions or petitions filed by the latter three requesting partial advances on account of their respective legacies. approving the project of partition filed by the executor in Civil Case No.000. Bellis and Dorothy Bellis.00. therefore. Amos G. Henry A. Maria Cristina Bellis.. BELLIS. Bellis. by his second wife. he had three illegitimate children: Amos Bellis.000. BELLIS. Mallen. 1958. Bellis died. or P40. Jr. Report of Administration and Project of Partition" wherein it reported.S. OPPOSITORS-APPELLANTS. in which he directed that after all taxes. Mallen and to the three (3) illegitimate children.00 each and (c) after the foregoing.000.00 each in satisfaction of their respective legacies. Alexander Bellis and Anna Bellis Allsman. 37089 therein.. upon a question purely of law. 1952. or on July 8. Bellis. in trust. The People's Bank and Trust Company. 1964. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis filed their respective oppositions to the project of partition on the ground that they were deprived of their legitimes as illegitimate children and. On January 17. paid all the bequests therein including the amount of $240. His will was admitted to probate in the Court of First Instance of Manila on September 15. obligations. Bellis. VS. born in Texas. Bellis executed a will in the Philippines. two items have been satisfied. L-23678.000. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis. inter alia. Bellis. Bellis. various amounts totalling P40. Walter S. (b) P120.000. his distributable estate should be divided.000. ET AL. Jr. preparatory to closing its administration. 1964. Amos Bellis. the executor submitted and filed its "Executor's Final Account. he had three legitimate children: Edwin G. This is a direct appeal to Us. 1964. and the legacies of Amos Bellis.000. EXECUTOR MARIA CRISTINA BELLIS AND MIRIAM PALMA BELLIS. 1967 ] TESTATE ESTATE OF AMOS G. On August 5. Walter S.00.A.pursuant to the "Twelfth" clause of the testator's Last Will and Testament . Bellis.00 to his first wife. EDWARD A. Jr. .
In the absence. Their respective motions for reconsideration having been denied by the lower court on June 11. of the Civil Code. 1964. and a domicile of another. proof of service of which is evidenced by the registry receipt submitted on April 27. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is situated. Christensen Garcia. renvoi would arise. par. (c) the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will.Amos Bellis. In this regard. They provide that "Art. 17. report and administration and project of partition. which in this case is Texas law. Nonetheless. on April 30. "However. however. intestate and testamentary successions. Jr. issued an order overruling the oppositions and approving the executor's final account. render applicable the national law of the decedent. So that even assuming Texas has a conflict of law rule providing that the domiciliary system (law of the domicile) should govern. 16 of the Civil Code.Texas law or Philippine law. interposed no opposition despite notice to him. Relying upon Art. but would still refer to Texas law. they argue that their case falls under the circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Article 17 in relation to Article 16 of the Civil Code. both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions. stating that - . it is not disputed that the decedent was both a national of Texas and a domicile thereof at the time of his death. L-16749. Rather. the lower court. they never invoked nor even mentioned it in their arguments. 1039 of the Civil Code. 1964. In the present case. in intestate or testamentary successions. January 31. the doctrine of renvoi. 16. since the properties here involved are found in the Philippines. 1963. Article 16. of proof as to the conflict of law rule of Texas. (b) the amount of successional rights. whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. nor even discuss. with regard to four items: (a) the order of succession. applied by this Court in Aznar v. if Texas has a conflicts rule adopting the situs theory (lex rei sitae) calling for the application of the law of the place where the properties are situated. the same would not result in a reference back (renvoi) to Philippine law. and (d) the capacity to succeed. and Art. As stated. Appellants' position is therefore not rested on the doctrine of renvoi. it should not be presumed different from ours. oppositors-appellants appealed to this Court to raise the issue of which law must apply ." "Art. which did not provide for legitimes. shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration. paragraph three. Said doctrine is usually pertinent where the decedent is a national of one country. 2. it applied the national law of the decedent. 1039. 1964 by the executor After the parties filed their respective memoranda and other pertinent pleadings. the parties do not submit the case on." Appellants would however counter that Art. Capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the decedent.
is illegal and void.S. The illegitimate children opposed the will on the ground that they have been deprived of their legitimes to which they should be entitled. for his national law cannot be ignored in regard to those matters that Article 10 . and those which have for their object public order. par. to the decedent's national law. For it has specifically chosen to leave. he made two wills. HELD: The Supreme Court held that the said children are not entitled to their legitimes under the Texas Law. Congress deleted the phrase. under Art. ISSUE: Whether or not the national law of the deceased should determine the successional rights of the illegitimate children. for as this Court ruled in the Miciano v. Bellis.one to govern his Texas estate and the other his Philippine estate . since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the amount of successional rights are to be determined under Texas law. Amos G. 1039." prevails as the exception to Art. the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of Amos G. It must have been their purpose to make the second paragraph of Art. it would not alter the law. Bellis vs Bellis. inter alia. with costs against appellants. In both wills. Before he died. Precisely. and of the United States. by his second wife. while reproducing without substantial change the second paragraph of Art. 870.arguing from this that he intended Philippine law to govern his Philippine estate. Accordingly. his illegitimate children were not given anything. who survived him. The parties admit that the decedent. and three illegitimate children. one disposing of his Texas properties and the other disposing his Philippine properties. Congress has not intended to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals. 50 Phil. Congress added a new provision."Prohibitive laws concerning persons. there are no forced heirs or legitimes. public policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated. WHEREFORE. 16 a specific provision in itself which must be applied in testate and intestate successions. Appellants would also point out that the decedent executed two wills . Assuming that such was the decedent's intention in executing a separate Philippine will. there are no legitimes. or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. their acts or property. was a citizen of the State of Texas. Specific provisions must prevail over general ones. . 16. Bellis. 867. the amount of successional rights. Brimo. This is not correct. 11 of the old Civil Code as Art. he had three legitimate children. the order of the probate court is hereby affirmed in toto. and that under the laws of Texas.A. It is therefore evident that whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our system of legitimes. As further indication of this legislative intent. 10 of the old Civil Code as Art.now Article 16 . 16 in the new. U.of the Civil Code states said national law should govern. which decrees that capacity to succeed is to be governed by the national law of the decedent. By his first wife whom he divorced he had five legitimate children. if Philippine law were to be applied. “notwithstanding the provisions of this and the next preceding article' when they incorporated Art. 20 scra 358 Amos Bellis was a citizen of the State of Texas. 2 of the Civil Code afore-quoted. being the national law of the deceased. a provision in a foreigner's will to the effect that his properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine law and not with his national law. 17 of the new Civil Code..
under the first paragraph of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. G. 1928 ] TEMPLETON. D. Douglas Templeton. October 02. personal effects and money. by Beatrice Babcock Templeton to secure probate of a paper writing purporting to express the wishes of Jennie Rider Babcock. But.[ G. is dependent upon the place of residence. when she joined the family of her daughter. consisting of corporate stock. and which might be proved under the law of such state or country. in San Francisco. but it is not executed as a will under the provisions of law generally governing the execution of the wills made in the Philippine Islands. W. R. which authorizes probate by our courts of a will made within the Philippine Islands by a citizen or subject of another state or country. when such will is executed in accordance with the law of the state or country of which the testator is a citizen or subject. mother of the three children who are principal beneficiaries of the will. of the testatrix. W. It is alleged in the petition that the testatrix was at the time of her death a resident of the State of California. at the time the will was made. were running a business in . Babcock. supposing such domicile to have been acquired. as well as her jewelry and personal effects "for their support until the youngest is of age" The aforesaid instrument is admittedly of a testamentary character. or that. Babcock and G. Constance Babcock Templeton. whether the testatrix. VS. jr. During these years W. Templeton. Templeton. R. Mrs. Babcock. B. had the status of a citizen of the State of California. if she had. she removed a year later to Manila where she lived with her son. namely. 1926. It appears that Jennie Rider Babcock had spent her married life in the State of Massachusetts. Beatrice Babcock Templeton. 28328. APPELLANT. The sole question in controversy therefore now is. respectively. it was contained in an envelope indorsed with the name of her daughter. with reference to the post mortem disposition of all her property.R. as required by section 636 of our Code of Civil Procedure. but. Appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila admitting to probate the holographic will of Jennie Rider Babcock. or domicile. William Rider Babcock. deceased. as was the testatrix in this case. the brother of the proponent. her husband having died in 1908. such domicile had been lost under the conditions presently to be discussed.. WILLIAM RIDER BABCOCK. she may not have lost it as a result of her removal from that state. which occurred on September 3. Mrs. is written wholly in the handwriting of the deceased and bears her proper signature. jewelry. R. California. PETITIONER. son and son-inlaw. and the parties have agreed that this paper could be proved in the State of California as the holographic will of the deceased. The petition in this case was filed in the Court of First Instance of Manila on September 8. It was found among the effects of the deceased shortly after her death. resists the probate of the will on the ground that the testatrix had never acquired a legal domicile in the State of California. and the question before us ultimately resolves itself into a contention over the point whether the testatrix had ever acquired a legal domicile in the State of California and whether. Templeton. D. until in 1917. This paper bears date of May 26. and Billy Babcock Templeton. B. Templeton. though temporarily residing in Manila at the time of her death. and that such domicile was never lost. bearing the surname Templeton. and son. G. 1926. 1926. but the writer further states that all interest and dividends are to be given to her only daughter. the citizenship of a person born in the United States. The proponent of the will. When found. No. contends that the testatrix acquired a legal domicile in the State of California by residence therein over two periods of time between 1917 and 1923. Mrs. The purport of the paper is to the effect that the writer leaves her stock and money to her three grandchildren. Mr. The instrument therefore is not offered for probate under section 618 and related provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure but under section 636.
made on the same voyage before disembarking at Manila. near New York City. with Babcock as president of the company and Templeton as its vice-president. owned a home in San Francisco in which he lived. Here the testatrix occupied part of the apartment which the Templetons had taken. she engaged in political activities. which had been incorporated under the style of Babcock & Templeton. D. had acquired stock in the company and had no other independent source of income than the dividends derived therefrom. In the year 1923. as throwing light upon the state of her mind towards California and the intention with which she removed from that state. thirdly.. since the trial court deduced from her acts and statements the conclusion that she had acquired a domicile in California. she referred to California as her home state and expressed her intention of returning there and building a home in which to live. This made it necessary for G. it may be noted. The testatrix. Templeton took up his abode in San Francisco for the purpose of managing the business of said branch. decided to close its office in San Francisco and to open a branch in New York City. upon arriving in San Francisco. Indeed. 1920. the name of this place necessarily had to go down in the column mentioned. and in many conversations thereafter with intimate friends. in which she . the testatrix announced herself again in the Christian Science Journal as a practitioner of Christian Science in White Plains. Among the features of importance which characterize the incident we note the following: First. This step on the part of the Templetons determined the course of the testatrix. 1924. The Passenger Manifest gave the passenger no choice about indicating whether New York was the place of last residence or the place of last permanent residence. is not certain. she returned to Manila. in which she stated that she was a resident of Manila. Not long thereafter. As little importance is to be attached to her Baggage Declaration and Entry. after her return to Manila in 1924. taking part in a parade advertising a cause in which she was interested. She then returned to San Francisco and lived with the Templetons until May. Papers of this character are not commonly written with legal precision. the Templetons established themselves in White Plains. a cult to which she was attached. Babcock & Templeton. and she voted in at least one general election that occurred in that state. arriving at this place in January. Templeton. since. leaving behind in the care of friends three pieces of furniture to which she was especially attached and which she perhaps thought she might use later in California. During this stay in Manila she occupied an apartment in the house of her son.. A circumstance to which importance is attached by the appellant is that. after a few months of experience in that city. but she suggested to friends here. the character and incidents of this second sojourn in San Francisco constitute the most important fact in the case. The impression that conditions in New York made upon her may be gauged by a statement subsequently made by her to one of her friends in Manila. He accordingly sold his home in San Francisco and went to live in New York. fourthly. where she remained until August. after arriving. The sojourn of the testatrix in New York was apparently not congenial. who gathered her personal effects together and accompanied them to New York. Of some importance.Manila. in the Passenger Manifest of the vessel upon which she came to Manila. she formed an attachment for California. she caused New York City to be entered opposite her name in the column indicating "Last Permanent Residence. Inc. After remaining with the Templetons in San Francisco for several months. Templeton to remove with his family to New York State. that a desire to economize the cost of living may have had a part in her course. and the circumstance that she had lived many years in Manila and was coming back to this city. and of course when she told the ship's official that she was from New York City. Upon arriving in New York State. sufficiently explains why she claimed to be a resident of Manila in that declaration without making any conclusive commitment as to the place of her domicile in law. apart from her dislike to tie environment in New York. without any apparent intention of removing from the state. As a branch office had been opened in San Francisco requiring the presence of an officer of the company." What really brought her back to the Philippine Islands. 1918. 1923." it being insisted that this is an admission on her part tending to show the acquisition by her of a domicile in New York State. her sonin-law. but she appears to have supplied the furniture necessary for her own use. the testatrix returned to Manila in July. "Deliver me from living in New York. secondly. From a legal point of view. We consider this circumstance of no probative force in connection with the issues of this lawsuit. it appears in evidence that only a short time before her death in Manila she was acquiring a few pieces of Spanish furniture to take back with her to California. are the numerous conversations. Inc. the testatrix established herself as a practitioner in Christian Science.
In particular. this California domicile has not been supplanted by a later domicile acquired in New York. The testatrix therefore remained at the time of her death a citizen of the United States. is in conformity with the evidence. and we must decide between California and New York. may have decisive weight. with costs against the appellant. Again. Certainly in this case it cannot be said with any propriety that the domicile of the testatrix in California was suppressed by the acquisition of a new domicile in New York State. her motive being found in her desire to be with her daughter and grandchildren. As was pointed out by this court in In Re Estate of Johnson (39 Phil. her will should not be admitted to probate as the will of a citizen of another state.revealed an intention of returning to live in California. the place of her marital abode. 39 Phil. even supposing that the testatrix had not acquired a domicile in New York. But the proof shows that however long the testatrix had resided in the Philippine Islands. according to the evidence in this record. On the contrary her short stay there and her repeated statements made thereafter show that she could not possibly have had any intention of making that state a place of permanent abode. 156). In the case before us there are no declarations of the testatrix in evidence which would tend to show that. having established herself in these Islands as a place of permanent abode. acquired by choice and by residing therein.. which state of the American Union has the best claim to her citizenship. 156). and that. Though not of course conclusive of acquisition of domicile. where the evidence is scanty. It is evident from the proof that the removal of the testatrix from California to New York did not proceed from her volition but resulted from circumstances over which she had no primary control. On the contrary. Furthermore. Massachusetts. it is a rule that a citizen of the United States cannot acquire citizenship in the Philippine Islands by residence here. As between these two states. for the purposes of admitting this will to probate. and in no other act of his life does the citizen identify his interests with the state in which he lives more than in the act of voting.. a question. upon removal to New York. as we have already seen. It is a recognized rule that the intention with which removal is made from a particular state determines whether or not the domicile is abandoned. It may also be here stated that the testatrix had kin in New York State whom she had visited more than once during her abode in California. voting in a place is an important circumstance and. and she appears to have inherited some property from a sister who had been living in New York and who died before the return of the testatrix to the Philippine Islands. The acquisition of the new legal domicile extinguishes the old. to the effect that acquired domicile had not been lost. Her will is therefore provable under section 636 of the Code of Civil Procedure as the will of a citizen of another state or country. with as good right as the State of California. we are of the opinion that the conclusion of the trial court. turns upon domicile. yet she was a resident of the Philippine Islands at the time of her death. and there is no other state whose citizenship she can claim. she at no time had any intention of residing here permanently. which. California was surely the state of her legal domicile. and intention is revealed only in the acts and declarations of the person concerned. her repeated declarations reveal a fixed intention of returning ultimately to the United States. or citizenship. The judgment will therefore be affirmed. and what we consider the more critical question is whether or not the domicile thus acquired was subsequently lost by removal from said state. has not been entered in the competition. But it is said that. The exercise of the franchise is one of the highest prerogatives of citizenship. This record supplies no material with which to refute the conclusion of the trial court that a domicile was thus acquired by the testatrix in the State of California. But upon this point also. . The finding of the trial court to the effect that the deceased had acquired a domicile in the State of California is in our opinion based upon facts which sufficiently support said finding. we are of the opinion that the trial court committed no error in attaching importance to the circumstance that the deceased had voted in California elections. and the only question to be determined in this case is. however long continued (In Re Estate of Johnson. a person transferring his domicile from one state of the American Union to another loses his domicile in the state of his earlier abode upon acquiring a domicile. and it is so ordered. in the state of his new abode. It results that the trial court committed no error in considering the testatrix a citizen of the State of California. she had any intention of acquiring a legal domicile in that state.
. March 29. VS.66 x x x. 35342-038 of the Bank of America. Rowena Corona opposed the motion to sell on the ground that the same funds withdrawn from savings account No. for any payment or withdrawal made for our above–mentioned account shall be valid and sufficient release and discharge of the BANK for such payment or withdrawal. PETITIONER. petitioner Romarico G. VITUG. pending probate. U. and shall be payable to and collectible or withdrawable by such survivor or survivors. plus interests. In our said decision.147. The trial court upheld the validity of this agreement and granted "the motion to sell some of the estate of Dolores L. Vitug's estate with her (Mrs. We further agree with each other and the BANK that the receipt or check of either. NO. Vitug filed a motion asking for authority from the probate court to sell certain shares of stock and real properties belonging to the estate to cover allegedly his advances to the estate in the sum or P667.749. or the receipt or check of the survivor or survivors. Vitug. RESPONDENTS. Metro Manila. 82027. who died in New York. Vitug's) widower.99 from savings account No.731. 1985. The agreement provides: We hereby agree with each other and with the BANK OF AMERICAN NATIONAL TRUST AND SAVINGS ASSOCIATION (hereinafter referred to as the BANK).40 spent for the payment of estate tax. which he claimed were personal funds.A. any or all of us during our lifetime.834. On January 13. that all money now or hereafter deposited by us or any or either of us with the BANK in our joint savings current account shall be the property of all or both of us and shall be payable to and collectible or withdrawable by either or any of us during our lifetime. the alleged advances consisted of P58.749. and P90.” Vitug insists that the said funds are his exclusive property having acquired the same through a survivorship agreement executed with his late wife and the bank on June 19.99 as "increment thereto. the proceeds of which shall be used to pay the personal funds of Romarico Vitug in the total sum of P667. Makati. On April 12.731.66. Vitug. 1985." . Vitug. She also sought his ouster for failure to include the sums in question for inventory and for "concealment of funds belonging to the estate. Romarico G." According to Mr. and hence.27 as deficiency estate tax. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS AND ROWENA FAUSTINO-CORONA.27 and P90.[ G. we upheld the appointment of Nenita AIonte as cospecial administrator of Mrs.834. there was allegedly no ground for reimbursement. and after the death of either or any of us shall belong to and be the sole property of the survivor or survivors. he withdrew the sums of P518. 1980. 1990 ] ROMARICO G. This case is a chapter in an earlier suit decided by this Court involving the probate of the two wills of the late Dolores Luchangco Vitug. As found by the Court of Appeals. naming private respondent Rowena Faustino-Corona executrix.S. on November 10. 35342-038 were conjugal partnership properties and part of the estate. P518.R. 1970.
” But it not infrequently happens that a person deposits money in the bank in the name of another. The petition is meritorious. In the absence. The dispositive portion of the decision or the Court of Appeals states: WHEREFORE.. their joint holdings: xxx Such conclusion is evidently predicated on the assumption that Stephenson was the exclusive owner of the funds deposited in the bank. then. the Court of Appeals. in the inventory of actual properties possessed by the spouses at the time of the decedent's death. petition) is hereby set aside insofar as it granted private respondent's motion to sell certain properties of the estate of Dolores L." and secondly. first or all. the monies subject of savings account No. Gatmaitan in which we sustained the validity of "survivorship agreements" and considering them as aleatory contracts. respondent Judge is directed to include provisionally the deposits in Savings Account No. that they were joint (and several) owners thereof. In Macam v. In his petition. People’s Bank and Trust Co. and in the instant case it also appears that Ana Rivera served her master for about nineteen years without actually receiving her salary from him. it is a prohibited donation under the provisions of Article 133 of the Civil Code. in the petition for certiorari filed by the herein private respondent. As already stated. according to article 1790 of the Civil Code. In this manner Leonarda and Juana reciprocally assigned their respective property to one another conditioned upon who might die first. we rejected claims that a survivorship agreement purports to deliver one party's separate properties in favor of the other. revocable and free act by which a capacitated person disposes of his property and rights and declares or complies with duties to take effect after his death. nullifies the assumption that Stephenson was the exclusive owner of the bank account. of clear proof to the contrary. which should be embodied in a will. but simply. the time of death determining the event upon which the . Rivera v. the order of respondent Judge dated November 26. A will has been defined as "a personal." In other words. In addition. In the case relied on. By virtue of Exhibit C. With costs against private respondent. assuming that it is a mere donation inter vivos. the surviving spouse. one of the parties or both reciprocally bind themselves to give or do something as an equivalent for that which the other party is to give or do in case of the occurrence of an event which is uncertain or will happen at an indeterminate time. solemn. Juana would become the owner of the house in case Leonarda died first. and Leonarda would become the owner of the automobile and the furniture if Juana were to die first. held that the above-quoted survivorship agreement constitutes a conveyance mortis causa which "did not comply with the formalities of a valid will as prescribed by Article 805 of the Civil Code. upon the death of either. The fact that subsequently Stephenson transferred the account to the name of himself and/or Ana Rivera and executed with the latter the survivorship agreement in question although there was no relation of kinship between them but only that of master and servant. 1985 (Annex II. and that either of them could withdraw any part or the whole of said account during the lifetime of both.On the other hand. the bequest or device must pertain to the testator. one of mortis causa. Leonarda was the owner of the house and Juana of the Buick automobile and most of the furniture. and Macam v. is an aleatory contract whereby. People’s Bank and Trust Co. and the balance. but the same order is sustained in all other respects. which assumption was in turn based on the facts (1) that the account was originally opened in the name of Stephenson alone and (2) that Ana River ”served only as housemaid of the deceased. Vitug. The conveyance in question is not. Makati. assails the appellate court's ruling on the strength of our decisions in Rivera v. In this case. 35342038 were in the nature of conjugal funds. we must give full faith and credit to the certificate of deposit which recites in effect that the funds in question belonged to Edgar Stephenson and Ana Rivera. it was held: This Court is of the opinion that Exhibit C. if any. 35342-038 with the Bank of America. Gatmaitan. Vitug for reimbursement of his alleged advances to the estate. belonged to the survivor.
as any other contract. the latter thereupon acquired the ownership of the house. or as held by the respondent court. it forms no more part of the estate of the deceased. while a contract for life annuity or pension under Article 2021. a transaction stipulating on the value of currency. more commonly denominated in banking parlance as an "and/or" account. by "mere stipulation. having been acquired during the existence of the marital relations.” and that it is no "cloak" to circumvent the law on conjugal property relations. and hence it must be presumed to be conjugal. . in the same manner as Leonarda would have acquired the ownership of the automobile and of the furniture if Juana had died first. or which is to occur at an indeterminate time. but in reality. the sale of a sweepstake ticket. Vitug having predeceased her husband. say. Neither is the survivorship agreement a donation inter vivos. By an aleatory contract. No such vice has been imputed and established against the agreement involved in this case. is binding upon the parties thereto. The validity of the contract seems debatable by reason of its "survivor-take-all" feature. in order to frustrate our laws on wills. Under the aforequoted provision. It is also our opinion that the agreement involves no modification of the conjugal partnership. And since the funds were conjugal. by way of a joint and several bank account. There is no showing that the funds exclusively belonged to one party. has been categorized under the second. as we have warned: But although the survivorship agreement is per se not contrary to law its operation or effect may be violative of the law. one of the parties or both reciprocally bind themselves to give or to do something in consideration of what the other shall give or do upon the happening of an event which is uncertain. the spouses are not prohibited by law to invest conjugal property. and insurance have been held to fall under the first category. 2010. the latter has acquired upon her death a vested right over the amounts under savings account No. et sequenta. that contract imposed a mere obligation with a term. the risk was the death of one party and survivorship of the other. the element of risk is present. However. because it was to take effect after the death of one party.” or (2) "which is to occur at an indeterminate time. when the spouses Vitug opened savings account No. In either case. the term being death. Under Article 2010 of the Code: ART. the fulfillment of an aleatory contract depends on either the happening of an event which is (1)"uncertain. it can not be said that one spouse could have pressured the other in placing his or her deposits in the money pool. they merely put what rightfully belonged to them in a money-making venture. it may be assailed and annulled upon such grounds. Certainly. There is no demonstration here that the survivorship agreement had been executed for such unlawful purposes.acquisition of such right by the one or the other depended. Such agreements are permitted by the Civil Code. This contract. Vitug. Insofar as the respondent court ordered their inclusion in the inventory of assets left by Mrs." A survivorship agreement. for obvious reasons. The conclusion is accordingly unavoidable that Mrs. it is not a donation between the spouses because it involved no conveyance of a spouse's own properties to the other. and conjugal partnership. to transfer property in fraud of creditors. Inasmuch as Leonarda had died before Juana. or to defeat the legitime of a forced heir. For instance. donations. if it be shown in a given case that such agreement is a mere cloak to hide an inofficious donation. we hold that the court was in error. In the case at bar. In the case at bar. Secondly. 35342-038. 35342-038 of the Bank of America. They did not dispose of it in favor of the other which would have arguably been sanctionable as a prohibited donation. as held by the Court of Appeals. Being the separate property of petitioner.
Ana. single space. to the writing of the attestation clause on the same typewriter which was used in typewriting the body of the will. devising all his properties to Natividad Icasiano and Reynaldo Roxas (an adulterous son). nor was the page numbered in letters on the upper part of the sheet. Natividad Icasiano (the widow) filed in the Court of First Instance of Bulacan a petition for the probate of a will alleged to have been left by Pablo Roxas. An opposition was filed by Maria Roxas and Pedro Roxas (sister and brother of Pablo Roxas) on the ground that the alleged will was not executed and attested as required by law. The lower court concluded that the body of the will was typewritten and signed by the testator on a date or occasion different from and anterior to the date or occasion when the attestation clause was typewritten and signed by the attesting witnesses. Upon motion for bill of particulars filed by the petitioner (Natividad Icasiano). and that. (b) The testator and the instrumental witnesses did not sign the only page of the will on the left margin. 1987. Enriquez. as required in section 618 of Act No. The will is dated. (d) That the attestation clause was typewritten." The petitioner has appealed. preparatory. oppositors-appellees. municipality of . No date is given in the attestation clause. but the tell-tale letter "o" and the inequality of the marginal alignments of both the body and the attestation clause have betrayed the vain effort.WHEREFORE. 1946. Exhibit D. the oppositors (Maria and Pedro Roxas) alleged that the will is vitiated by the following formal defects: "(a) The alleged last will and testament was not attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of each other.MARIA ROXAS. upon the other hand. de Icasiano (mother-in-law of Gupit) in barrio Sta. G. Enriquez and Martin Rodrigo (the attesting witnesses) tends to show that they were in the house of Rosario Vda. (e) That the texture and fiber of the paper on the portion on which the signature of the attesting witnesses were affixed had been disturbed and affected by the interval of time and the ordinary exposure of the paper to the atmosphere between the signing of the testator and the attesting witnesses. which fact is revealed by the greater penetrations of the ink in the signature of Pablo M. Pablo Roxas died in the municipality of Bulacan. On August 10. Gupit and Martin Rodrigo. The testimony of Fortunato Gupit. dated February 9. 1945. is written has been folded and crumpled.. the decision of the respondent appellate court. (c) The attestation clause does not state that the alleged witnesses thereto witnessed and signed the will in the presence of the testator and of each other. it was intended as a mere formal request which was. VDA. should prevail. DE ROXAS. in conjunction with the opinions of experts. unanimous in all essential points." After trial. January 1. (c) That after it had been folded and crumpled. (b) That the body of the will was typewritten before the signature of Pablo M. ( f ) That had the testator and the attesting witnesses signed on the same occasion. dated June 29. subsequently revoked as shown by the fact that it was crumpled with intent to destroy. Roxas had been affixed thereon and before it had been folded and crumpled. Roxas.R. Counsel for oppositors. it was smoothened in order to eliminate or minimize as much as possible the folds and wrinkles. of the three attesting witnesses should be given controlling weight. ET AL. however. The will is typewritten and worded in Tagalog and the attesting witnesses are Jacinto Y. NATIVIDAD I. This conclusion was motivated by the following circumstances enumerated in the decision: "(a) That the paper on which the alleged will. Fortunato R. Jacinto Y. on July 14. No. vs. Province of Bulacan. in any event. Her counsel insist that the testimony. and by the latter in the presence of the testator and of each other. in the body. and a deliberate effort was exerted to make it appear that it was written by the testator himself at the same time with the body thereof. 1988. Roxas. 2645. and its resolution. are SET ASIDE. 190 as amended by Act No. the probability was that one or two fountain pens only should have been used instead of three as testified to unanimously by the expert witnesses both for the proponent and the oppositors. 1950 In the matter of the petition for the probate of the will of the deceased Pablo M. argue that the testimony of Maria Roxas. with the result that the will was not signed by the testator in the presence of the witnesses. the Court of First Instance of Bulacan rendered a decision disallowing the probate of the will. 1946. L-2396 December 11.
on January 1. But. Martin Rodrigo is a businessman and landowner. as attesting witnesses. Roxas. After a careful examination of the record in the light of the contentions of the parties. and without any attestation clause. This expert opinion is based more or less on the circumstance enumerated in the appealed decision hereinbefore quoted. and Rodrigo is the husband of a deceased cousin of the petitioner. the question that arises. naturally interested in having the probate of said will disallowed. whereas the three attesting witnesses have no direct interest in the subject matter of the will. if not for his brother and sister (herein oppositors) in the will. Province of Bulacan. Fortunato A. Pablo executed the will as it was shown to Maria. In the meantime Roxas proceeded to the dining hall where a mahjong game was being played and called Enriquez and Rodrigo who thereupon went to the sala and were asked to read the will previously handed to Gupit. is one merely of credibility of witnesses. Roxas refolded the document and inserted the same in his hip pocket. Jacinto Y. does not bar relatives either of the testator of the heirs or legatees from acting as witnesses. and (2) its failure to analyze the oral evidence. 1944. that the sheet was subsequently removed from the typewriter and signed by the testator. relatives of such beneficiaries. as a mere ruse to make the petitioner continue loving Reynaldo Roxas (adulterous son of Pablo Roxas). Roxas then made the request for the three to act as witnesses. in the first place. Enriquez and Rodrigo. Cabe and Jose C. are entitled to great weight. In the fourth place. not only because of their qualifications (hereinbefore pointed out) but because their reputation for probity has not been impeached. far from requiring the intervention of experts. Between two and three in the afternoon Pablo Roxas showed up and. after being crumpled and folded. if the testator really intended to dispose of his properties under said will. using the pen of Gupit. the testimony of the three attesting witnesses — confirmatory of the due execution of the will — deserves full credit. Espinosa) were employed by the oppositors and their testimony tends to support the theory that the body of the will up to the signature of Pablo Roxas was typewritten on a plain sheet of paper. if not wholly disinterested persons. and this is obvious from (1) its recital of the circumstances that led it to believe that the will was not executed in accordance with law. Gupit then signed with his own pen and. Pablo Roxas asked from her a sheet of typewriting paper." Espinosa and Cabe found that there is greater diffusion of ink in the signatures of the attesting witnesses. This case is one in which the will is couched in a language known and spoken by the testator and the signatures of the three attesting witnesses are admittedly genuine. and it is unnatural that he would have failed to provide for said child. The fact that they may have some relationship with the petitioner is not sufficient to warrant the belief that they did not tell the truth. asked him to go to the sala with Roxas. signed it in the presence of Gupit. Pablo Roxas came back to the house of Maria and showed the will in question signed by Pablo. He is the dean of the College of Business Administration and the comptroller of the Arellano University. Gupit is the husband of a half-sister of the petitioner. that the sheet. the testator may be inclined to employ. asked for a blotter. like the other oppositor Pedro Roxas. because of the benefit of having seen and heard the witnesses. 1945. In the third place. In our opinion. under the will. In the second place. clean and uncrumpled. Such being the situation. Enriquez comes from a distinguished family in Bulacan and is a student in the University of Santo Tomas. 1945. At about one in the afternoon of January 1. we have no hesitancy in holding that the appealed decision is erroneous. Gupit is a certified public accountant. is an intestate heir of Pablo Roxas and. noticing that the ink in his signature was spreading. Thereafter. the findings of fact of a trial court. sister of Reynaldo. The testimony of oppositor Maria Roxas tends to show that on December 30. Two handwriting experts (Amadeo M. This is again a mere conjecture which should not prevail over the testimony of the attesting witnesses. Enriquez is a second cousin of petitioner. the blotter being also applied. lawphil. Reynaldo Roxas (adulterous son of Pablo Roxas) is named a legatee on equal footing with the petitioner.Bulacan. was reinserted in the typewriter for the insertion of the attestation clause which was signed afterwards by the three attesting witnesses. and the attesting witnesses are not related whatsoever with him. using his fountain pen. not to mention the fact that there is nothing in the record to show . except that while the trial court observed that there are "greater penetrations of the ink in the signature of Pablo M. The latter got from his hip pocket a folded sheet of paper (the will here in question) and asked Gupit to read it. oppositor Maria Roxas. therefore. the lower court relied on the conclusions of experts. took their turns in signing the will. Enriquez and Rodrigo.net Ordinarily. It is alleged that the testator had another adulterous child (Aida). Roxas got a blotter from a nearby writing desk and gave it to Gupit who accordingly applied it. Roxas. in this case. in the normal course of things and to be sure that the witnesses would not let the beneficiaries down. The law. approaching Gupit who was then reading a book.
the appealed judgment is reversed and the will in question is hereby declared probated. We do not venture to impute bias to the experts introduced during the trial. The law does not require that the will should be written in one continuous act. in view of their failure to show that the crumpling was caused with the intention to revoke.) The contention made by the appellees in their opposition that the will was revoked by the testator when he crumpled the same. It should be borne in mind that the will was executed in January. Rule 77. all the subscribing witnesses present in the Philippines and not insane. but on such other factors as class of ink.conclusively that the testator ever admitted that Aida is another adulterous child. Appellees' reference to other formal defects of the will (other than that hereinbefore disposed of) also needs no inquiry. Aside from the fact that a will need not be prepared by or acknowledged before a notary public. before the date of the will in question. For the difference in the ink diffusions and penetrations between the signatures of the testator and those of the three attesting witnesses may not be due solely to the folding and crumpling of the sheet on which the will is written. much less conclusively. must be produced and examined. condition of paper. and another pen for the signatures of the witnesses. habit of writing. prove that the signing was not done on one occasion. when everything was practically in confusion due to the impending battles for the liberation of the Philippines. it is not improbable that the testator. it is significant that while Amadeo M." In the instant case. on the contrary." (Section 11. is of no moment. through experts Cabe and Espinosa. and that due to the abnormal time he undertook to prepare said will without the aid of a lawyer or notary public and without making copies thereof. after having been folded and crumpled. the sheet was removed from the machine and. there might have been a reason known only to the testator why they should be excluded. As to the omission of the herein oppositors. and when paper supply was almost exhausted. had prepared or seen previous wills and therefore was familiar with its wording and legal formalities. it was replaced in the typewriter for the insertion of the attestation clause. absence. and the use of blotter. had been placed on the supposition that after the body of the will had been typewritten. Otley Beyer believes that one pen was used for the testator's signature. because it is not pressed herein. Too much emphasis and effort. or why they need no participation. class of pens. coupled with the circumstance that the latter did not live with the testator. Cabe observed that four different fountain pens were used in signing the will. So ordered. Upon the other hand. are "subject to inherent infirmities. Jose C. Speculations on these matters should give way to the positive declarations of the attesting witnesses. Espinosa was unable to determine whether the same pen was used for all the signatures. The law impliedly recognizes the almost conclusive weight of the testimony of attesting witnesses when it provides that "if the will is contested. That the will in question was written on poor kind of stationery. H. . Rules of Court. with costs against the appellees. Wherefore. but we hasten to state that the positive testimony of the three attesting witnesses ought to prevail over the expert opinions which cannot be mathematically precise but which. Prof. and the supposition does not necessarily. 1945. or insanity of any of them must be satisfactorily shown to the court. or that no copies were made. and the death. requires no serious consideration. or that it was not prepared by a lawyer or notary public.
once it has been proved without contradiction. and could make himself understood in that dialect. and could make himself understood in that dialect. not only is it not proven the English is the language of the City of Baguio where the deceased Piraso lived and where the will was drawn. nor charge or affect the same. that is. unless there is proof to the contrary.) Nor can the presumption in favor of the will established by this court in Abangan vs. 2. alleged to be his will. with a smattering of Ilocano. before the present Code of Civil Procedure went into effect). ISSUE: Should the will be probated? HELD: The testator is presumed to know the dialect of the locality where he resides. although imperfectly. 3. 3. denying the probate of the instrument Exhibit A. as the last will and testament of the deceased Piraso. that the said deceased Piraso did not know English.ACOP VS. "shall be valid to pass any estate. Proponent-appellant Sixto Acop alleged that the lower court erred in not holding that the testator did not know the Ilocano dialect well enough to understand a will drawn up in said dialect. in which language the instrument Exhibit A. In holding that in order to be valid the will in question should have been drawn up in the Ilocano dialect." etc. 2. The fundamental errors assigned refer chiefly to the part of the judgment which reads as follows: The evidence shows that Piraso knew how to speak the Ilocano dialect. In not holding that the testator Piraso did not know the Ilocano dialect well enough to understand a will drawn up in said dialect. 52 Phil 660 FACTS: 1. The proponent-appellant assigns the following as alleged errors of the lower court: 1. This appeal was taken from the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Benguet. but the record contains positive proof that said Piraso knew no other language than the Igorot dialect. strictly provides that: "No will. real or personal. In the instant case. and the court is of the opinion that his will should have been written in that dialect. Such statements were not unnecessary for the decision of the case. Section 628 of the Code of Civil Procedure. . unless it be written in the language or dialect known by the testator. Evidence showed that Piraso knew how to speak the Ilocano dialect. In refusing to admit the will in question to probate. is drawn. The CFI of Benguet denied the probate of the last will and testament of the deceased Piraso because the will sought to be probated was written in English. PIRASO. he did not know the English language in which the will is written. although imperfectly. except as provides in the preceding section" (as to wills executed by a Spaniard or a resident of the Philippine Islands. (Emphasis supplied.
with the costs of this instance against the appellant. and this is sufficient to invalidate said will according to the clear and positive provisions of the law. it having been. in order to be valid. The judgment appealed from is affirmed. we repeat. The fact is. even he invoked in support of the probate of said document Exhibit A. to the effect that the testator is presumed to know the dialect of the locality where he resides. that the instrument in question could not be probated as the last will and testament of the deceased Piraso. and whether or not the testator Piraso knew the Ilocano dialect well enough to understand a will written in said dialect. Such a result based upon solidly established facts would be the same whether or not it be technically held that said will. proven. must be written in the Ilocano dialect. . with a smattering of Ilocano. that is. unless there is proof to the contrary.. So ordered. and inevitably prevents its probate. 476). in the instant case. whether or not the Igorrote or Inibaloi dialect is a cultivated language and used as a means of communication in writing. that it is quite certain that the instrument Exhibit A was written in English which the supposed testator Piraso did not know. as a will. but that the record contains positive proof that said Piraso knew no other language than the Igorrote dialect. he did not know the English language in which Exhibit A is written. because. not only is it not proven that English is the language of the City of Baguio where the deceased Piraso lived and where Exhibit A was drawn. So that even if such a presumption could have been raised in this case it would have been wholly contradicted and destroyed. as it was. We consider the other question raised in this appeal needless and immaterial to the adjudication of this case.Abangan (40 Phil. having been written in the English language with which the latter was unacquainted.
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