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Article 788 Dizon rivera vs dizon FACTS: The testatrix, Agripina J.

Valdez, a widow, died and was survived by seven compulsory heirs, and a legitimate granddaughter named Lilia Dizon, who is the only legitimate child and heir of Ramon Dizon, a pre-deceased legitimate son of the said decedent. Six of these seven compulsory heirs (except Marina Dizon, the executrix-appellee) are the oppositors-appellants. The deceased testatrix left a last will, there distributed her properties to her heirs. It turns out that some of the heirs were prejudiced of their legitime because the property actually given to them were not approximate to their correct legitime. So these heirs wanted that to complete their rightful share, certain other properties should be given to them. Issue: W/O the will executed by Agripina Valdez is valid Held: The testamentary dispositions of the testatrix, being dispositions in favor of compulsory heirs, do not have to be taken only from the free portion of the estate. The devisee who is entitled to a legitime may retain the entire property, provided its value does not exceed that of the disposable portion and of the share pertaining to him as legitime. the primacy of the testators last will and testament, have to be respected insofar as they do not prejudice the legitime of the other compulsory heirs. The right was merely to demand completion of their legitime under Article 906 of the Civil Code and this has been complied with in the approved project of partition, wherein the five oppositors-appellants namely Estela, Bernardita, Angelina, Josefina and Lilia, were adjudicated the properties respectively distributed and assigned to them by the testatrix in her will, and the differential to complete their respective legitimes of P129,362.11 each were taken from the cash and/or properties of the executrix-appellee, Marina, and their co-oppositor-appellant, Tomas, who admittedly were favored by the testatrix and received in the partition by will more than their respective legitimes, and they can no longer demand a further share from the remaining portion of the estate, as given and partitioned by the testatrix principally to the executrix-appellee.

It is very clear in the will of the testatrix that she wanted to give certain properties to certain persons and those dispositions or those persons should be respected. If the legitime or the rightful shares of the other heirs are prejudiced, then that should be completed by the delivery of cash in accordance with the wishes of the testator.
The issues raised present a matter of determining the avowed intention of the testatrix which is "the life and soul of a will." 5 In consonance therewith, our Civil Code included the new provisions found in Articles 788 and 791 thereof that "(I)f a testamentary disposition admits of different interpretations, in case of doubt, that interpretation by which the disposition is to be operative shall be preferred" and "(T)he words of a will are to receive an interpretation which will give to every expression some effect, rather than one which will render any of the expressions inoperative; and of two modes of interpreting a will, that is to be preferred which will prevent intestacy." The testator's wishes and intention constitute the first and principal law in the matter of testaments, and to paraphrase an early decision of the Supreme Court of Spain, 9 when expressed clearly and precisely in his last will amount to the only law whose mandate must imperatively be faithfully obeyed and complied with by his executors, heirs and devisees and legatees, and neither these interested parties nor the courts may substitute their own criterion for the testator's will. Article 912 Civil Code covers precisely the case of the executrix-appellee, who admittedly was favored by the testatrix with the large bulk of her estate in providing that "(T)he devisee who is entitled to a legitime may retain the entire property,provided its value does not exceed that of the disposable portion and of the share pertaining to him as legitime."


FACTS: Don Nicolas Villaflor executed a will in Spanish in his own handwriting, devising and bequeathing in favor of his wife, Dona Fausta of all his real and personal properties giving the other half to his brother Don Fausto. Don
Nicolas Villaflor died on March 3, 1922, without begetting any child with his wife Doa Fausta Nepomuceno. The latter, already a widow, thereupon instituted Special Proceeding No. 203 of the Court of First Instance of Zambales, for the settlement of her husband's estate and in that proceeding, she was appointed judicial administratrix.

In due course of administration, she submitted a project of partition. She received the use and possession of all the real and personal properties mentioned and referred to in the will. The order approving the project of partition (Exh. "C"), however, expressly provided that approval thereof was "sin perjuicio de lo dispuesto en la clausula 8.o del testamento de Nicolas Villaflor." . Doa Fausta Nepomuceno died without having contracted a second marriage, and without having begotten any child with the deceased Nicolas Villaflor. Her estate is now being settled in Special Proceeding, with the defendant Delfin N. Juico as the duly appointed and qualified judicial administrator. The plaintiff Leonor Villaflor Vda. de Villanueva is admitted to be the same Leonor Villaflor mentioned by Don Nicolas Villaflor in his will as his "sobrina nieta Leonor Villaflor".

Petitioner filed an action against the administrator contending that upon the widows death, she became vested with the ownership of the properties bequeathed under clause 7 pursuant to its 8th clause of the will.

ISSUE: WON the petitioner is entitled to the ownership of the properties upon the death of Dona Fausta.

HELD: The intention of Don Nicolas Villaflor,the testator, was to merely give usufructuary right to his wife Doa Fausta because in his will he provided that Doa Fausta shall forfeit the properties if she remarried, her rights would thereupon cease,
even during her own lifetime. That the widow was meant to have no more than a life interest in those properties, even if she did not remarry at all, is evident from the expressions used by the deceased "uso y posesion mientras viva" (use and possession while alive) in which the first half of the phrase "uso y posesion" instead of "dominio" or "propiedad") reinforces the second ("mientras viva"). The testator plainly did not give his widow the full ownership of these particular properties, but only the right to their possession and use (or enjoyment) during her lifetime.

Upon her death, because she never acquired ownership over the property, the said properties are not included in her estate. Those properties actually belong to Villaflor. That was the intention of the testator. Otherwise, if the testator wanted to give the properties to Doa Fausta then he should have specifically stated in his will that ownership should belong to Doa Fausta without mentioning any condition. Article 791

The lower court, in holding that the appellant Leonor Villaflor, as reversionary(connected with the reversion of an estate) legatee, could succeed to the properties bequeathed by the testament, only in the event that the widow remarried, the SC held that the Lower court has unreasonably discarded the expression "mientras viva," and considered the words "uso y posesion" as equivalent to (ownership). In so doing, the trial court violated Article 791 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, as well as section 59 of Rule 123 of the Rules of Court. ART. 791. The words of a will are to receive an interpretation which will give to every expression some effect, rather than one which will render any of the expressions inoperative; and of two modes of interpreting a will, that one is to be preferred which will prevent intestacy." . ART. 790. The words of a will are to be taken in their ordinary and grammatical sense, unless a clear intention to use them in another sense can be gathered, and that other can be ascertained." . Technical words in a will are to be taken in their technical sense, unless the context clearly indicates a contrary intention, or unless it satisfactorily appears that the will was drawn solely by the testator, and that he was unacquainted with such technical sense. the intention and wishes of the testator, when clearly expressed in his will, constitute the fixed law of interpretation, and all questions raised at the trial, relative to its execution and fulfillment, must be settled in accordance therewith, following the plain and literal meaning of the testator's words, unless it clearly appears that his intention was otherwise. It necessarily follows that by the express provisions of the 8th clause of his will, the legacies should pass to the testator's "sobrina nieta", appellant herein, upon the widow's death, even if the widow never remarried in her lifetime. Consequently, the widow had no right to retain or dispose of the aforesaid properties, and her estate is accountable to the reversionary legatee for their return, unless they had been lost due to fortuitous event, or for their value should rights of innocent third parties have intervened.

Del Rosario vs Del Rosario Facts: Don Nicolas del Rosario died leaving a last will. On his last Will the testator declares that the 5,000 pesos which he brought to his marriage be hereby bequeathes to his nephew Enrique Gloria y Rosario and Ramon del Rosario, natural children of his brother Clemente del Rosario, notwithstanding the fact that they purport to be the issue of the marriage of Escolastico Gloria and Rosendo del Rosario, successively.

Don Ramon del Rosario, one of the persons mentioned in the will, brought an action, claiming that he is now entitled, by virtue of both wills, to a certain part of the share of the
estates left to said Doa Luisa during her life, and he asks that the defendant be directed to render

accounts and to proceed to the partition of the said estates. The plaintiff claims that such evidence was proper, that both wills state that Don Ramon del Rosario is the natural son of Don Clemente, and that in any event the bequests are made to the plaintiff by name.

Issue: W/O Ramon Del Rosario is entitled by virtue of will to a certain share of the estate RULING: The child even if he is not a natural child would still get the property. The fact that he is designated as the natural child is not a condition but merely a description. They are pointed out by name as the legatees. It is true that they are called the natural sons of Don Clemente. But this is merely a further description of persons already well identified, and, if false, can be rejected in accordance with the provision of article 773 of the Civil Code, which by article 789 is applicable to legatees.
The legatee can demand his legacy from the heir or from the executor, when the latter is authorized to give it. (Art. 885.) The fact that the plaintiff under the will of Doa Honorata is a legatee of an aliquot part of the estate, having become entitled to receive one-third of it on the death of Doa Luisa, does not prevent him from maintaining this action against the executor. Though such a legatee closely resembles an heir, yet, like all other legatees, he must seek his share from the heir or executor. While in this action he has a right to have his interest as legatee declared, yet it can not be delivered to him without a partition of the estate.
The plaintiff was entitled to one-half of this legacy in his own right. This has been paid to him. Don Enrique Gloria died before his testatrix. By the provisions of articles 982 and 983 of the Civil Code the right of accretion exists as to the other half in favor of the plaintiff and he is entitled to have it paid to him.

BALANAY, JR. vs. MARTINEZ 64 SCRA 452 FACTS: Leodegaria Julian died in davao city. She was survived by her husband, Felix Balanay, Sr., and six legitimate children. Felix Balanay, Jr. filed a petition for the probate of his mothers notarial will, which was written in English. In that will, Leodegaria declared that it was her desire that her properties should not be divided among her heirs during her husband's lifetime and that their legitimes should be satisfied out of the fruits of her properties. She devised and partitioned the conjugal lands as if they were all owned by her. She disposed of in the will her husband's one-half share of the conjugal assets. Felix Balanay, Sr. and Avelina B. Antonio opposed the probate of the will.

Thereafter, Felix Balanay, Sr. signed an instrument waiving and renouncing his right in Leodegarias estate in favor of their 6 children. ISSUE: Whether or not the probate court erred in passing upon the intrinsic validity of the will, before ruling on its allowance or formal validity, and in declaring it void. RULING: The trial court acted correctly in passing upon the will's intrinsic validity even before its formal validity had been established. (because of the motion
to withdraw the petition for probate). The probate of a will might become an idle ceremony if on its face it appears to be intrinsically void. Where practical considerations demand that the intrinsic validity of the will be passed upon, even before it is probated.

But the probate court erred in declaring that the will was void and in converting the testate proceeding into an intestate proceeding. The will is intrinsically valid and the partition therein may be given effect if it does not prejudice the creditors and impair the legitimes. The distribution and partition would become effective upon the death of Felix Balanay, Sr. In the meantime, the net income should be equitably divided among the children and the surviving spouse. (Relate to Articles 779 and 780 : In this case, there is testamentary succession because it resulted from the designation of heirs by the testatrix, made in a will executed in the form prescribed by law. It can be considered as a mixed succession because there is partly by will (execution of the will and execution of the waiver) and by operation of law (as to the share of the husband of the conjugal party of which he eventually waived buot buot ni na answer ha ) Article 789 ESTATE OF RIGOR vs. RIGOR 89 SCRA 493

FACTS: Father Pascual Rigor died. In his will he devised 44-hectares of Riceland to his nearest male relative who would study for the priesthood. Inasmuch as no nearest male relative of the testator claimed the devise, the parish priest of Victoria claimed the Riceland.

ISSUE: How should you interpret the statement in the will, should it refer only to the nearest male relative at the time when the testator died or should it be construed to mean all nearest male relative who would study for priesthood and you have to wait forever until that male relative occurs?

RULING: It should be construed to refer to the nearest male relative living at the moment of death of the decedent because that is the time when transmission occurs. You cannot wait until the nearest male relative who would study for the priesthood occurs long after the priest died. The most reasonable construction is the nearest male relative living at the time of the death of the testator.

The will of the testator is the first and principal law in the matter of testaments. When his intention is clearly and precisely expressed, any interpretation must be in accord with the plain and literal meaning of his words, except when it may certainly appear that his intention was different from that literally expressed. One canon in the interpretation of the testamentary provisions is that "the testator's intention is to be ascertained from the words of the wilt taking into consideration the circumstances under which it was made", but excluding the testator's oral declarations as to his intention (Art. 789, Civil Code of the Philippines). Inasmuch as the testator was not survived by any nephew who became a priest, the unavoidable conclusion is that the bequest in question was ineffectual or inoperative. Therefore, the administration of the ricelands by the parish priest of Victoria, as envisaged in the wilt was likewise inoperative. The appellant in contending that a public charitable trust was constituted by the testator in is favor assumes that he was a trustee or a substitute devisee That contention is untenable. A reading of the testamentary provisions regarding the disputed bequest not support the view that the parish priest of Victoria was a trustee or a substitute devisee in the event that the testator was not survived by a nephew who became a priest. It should be understood that the parish priest of Victoria could become a trustee only when the testator's nephew living at the time of his death, who desired to become a priest, had not yet entered the seminary or, having been ordained a priest, he was excommunicated. Those two contingencies did not arise, and could not have arisen in this case because no nephew of the testator manifested any intention to enter the seminary or ever became a priest. The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that this case is covered by article 888 of the old Civil Code, now article 956, which provides that if "the bequest for any reason should be inoperative, it shall be merged into the estate, except in cases of substitution and those in which the right of accretion exists" ("el legado ... por qualquier causa, no tenga efecto se refundira en la masa de la herencia, fuera de los casos de sustitucion y derecho de acrecer").

This case is also covered by article 912(2) of the old Civil Code, now article 960 (2), which provides that legal succession takes place when the will "does not dispose of all that belongs to the testator." There being no substitution nor accretion as to the said ricelands the same should be distributed among the testator's legal heirs. The effect is as if the testator had made no disposition as to the said ricelands. The Civil Code recognizes that a person may die partly testate and partly intestate, or that there may be mixed succession. The old rule as to the indivisibility of the testator's win is no longer valid. Thus, if a conditional legacy does not take effect, there will be intestate succession as to the property recovered by the said legacy (Macrohon Ong Ham vs. Saavedra, 51 Phil. 267). We find no merit in the appeal The Appellate Court's decision is affirmed. Costs against the petitioner.


FACTS: Maria Gonzales executed a will bequeathing to appellees all her properties. Delfin Yambao, appellant in this case, went to Angelina Gonzales and Maria Pablo to
request that he be placed as tenant of the riceland which, by an express provision of said will, they were directed to give to him for cultivation, as tenant, and when they refused alleging that they had already given it to another tenant Yambao filed the present action. In their answer, defendants averred that the provisions of the will relied upon by plaintiff is not mandatory.

The trial court dismissed the complaint for lack of sufficient cause of action. It held that the provisions of the will relied upon by plaintiff merely amount to a suggestion to the defendants who, though morally bound, are not legally compelled to follow said suggestion

ISSUE: WON Yambao is entitled to be employed as tenant pursuant to the will.

HELD: that the will contains a clear directive to employ appellant as may be seen from the words preceding the word pahihintulutan, which say: Dapat din naman malaman ng dalawa kong tagapagmana na sila MARIA PABLO at ANGELINA GONZALES na sila ay may dapat TUNGKULIN O GANGPANAN GAYA ng mga sumusunod. The words dapat TUNGKULIN O GANGPANAN mean to do or to carry out as a mandate or directive, and having reference to the word

pahihintulutan, can convey no other meaning than to impose a duty upon appellees. To follow the interpretation given by the trial court would be to devoid the wish of the testatrix of its real and true meaning. Article 797 of the old Civil Code, invoked by the trial court, is inapplicable. That refers to an institution of an heir intended to be conditional by providing that a statement to the effect cannot be considered as a condition unless it appears clearly that such is the intention of the testator. We are not faced here with any conditional institution of heirship. What we have is a clear-cut mandate which the heirs cannot fail to carry out.


In the matter of the probation of the will of Jose Riosa.

39 PHIL 23 FACTS: The testator, Jose Riosa died with a will, in which he disposed his property. He executed a will in 1908 in accordance with the laws enforced at that time wherein there was no requirement of signing and attestation of the will. In 1917 the testator died wherein the laws enforced at that time already required that the will must be signed by the testator and attested. Issue: whether in the Philippine Islands the law existing on the date of the execution of a will, or the
law existing at the death of the testator, controls.

HELD: It does not matter that when he died, the laws required signing and attestation because the extrinsic validity of his will should be measured by the laws enforced at the time of the execution of the will not at the time of the death of the testator. So the legislature by providing certain formalities CANNOT INVALIDATE A WILL VALIDLY MADE at the time when the testator executed his will.
The plausible reasoning of the authorities which back the first proposition is, we think, fallacious. The act of bequeathing or devising is something more than inchoate or ambulatory. In reality, it becomes a completed act when the will is executed and attested according to the law, although it does not take effect on the property until a future time. It is, of course, a general rule of statutory construction, as this court has said, that all statute s are to be construed as having only a prospective operation unless the purpose and intention of the Legislature to give them a retrospective effect is expressly declared or is necessarily implied from

the language used. In every case of doubt, the doubt must be resolved against the restrospective effect. Statute law, as found in the Civil Code, is corroborative; article 3 thereof provides that laws shall not have a retroactive effect, unless therein otherwise prescribed. The language of Act No. 2645 gives no indication of retrospective effect.

ENRIQUEZ vs. ABADIA August 9, 1954

FACTS: In 1923, when holographic wills were not allowed,

Father Sancho Abadia, parish priest of Talisay, Cebu, executed a document purporting to be his Last Will and Testament. He executed a holographic will. One Andres Enriquez, one of the legatees in purported Last will and testament, filed a petition for its probate in the Court of First Instance of Cebu. Some cousins and nephews who would inherit the estate of the deceased if he left no will, filed

It was presented in 1946. In 1952, the trial court allowed the will on the ground that under the new Civil Code, holographic wills are now allowed.

Issue: W/N the holographic will HELD: The will should not be allowed because under Article 795, the extrinsic validity of a will should be judged not by the law existing at the time of the testators death nor the law at the time of probate, but by the law existing at the time of the execution of the instrument. Although the will becomes operative only after the testators death, still his wishes are given expression at the time of the execution.
When one executes a will which is invalid for failure to observe and follow the legal requirements at the time of its execution then upon his death he should be regarded and declared as having died intestate, and his heirs will then inherit by intestate succession, and no subsequent law with more liberal requirements or which dispenses with such requirements as to execution should be allowed to validate a defective will and thereby divest the heirs of their vested rights in the estate by intestate succession. The general rule is that the Legislature cannot validate void wills. executed by Father Abadia is valid.

IBARLE vs. PO February 27, 1953 (not related under this provision)

FACTS: Leonard died in June 1946 leaving his surviving spouse, Catalina, and some minor children as his heirs. Catalina sold an entire parcel of land, which is a conjugal property, to spouses Canoy. It was then sold to Ibarle. The Deeds of Sale were not registered. In 1948, Catalina sold of the said land to Po, which portion belongs to the children. Issue: W/N the sale to Esperanza M. Po, the last purchaser is valid.

HELD: The moment of death is the determining factor when the heirs acquire a definite right to the inheritance, whether such right be pure or contingent. It is immaterial whether a short or long period of time lapses between the death of the predecessor and the entry into possession of the property of the inheritance because the right is always deemed to be retroactive from the moment of death. When Catalina sold the entire parcel of land to the Canoy spouses, of it already belongs to the children. Thus, the first sale was null and void in so far as it included the childrens share. On the other hand, the sale to the Po having been made by authority of the competent court was undeniably legal and effective.


FACTS: Abada died sometime in May 1940. His widow Paula Toray ("Toray") died sometime in September 1943. Both died without legitimate children. On 13 September 1968, Alipio C. Abaja ("Alipio") filed with the then Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental (now RTC-Kabankalan) a petition, for the probate of the last will and testament ("will") of Abada. Abada allegedly named as his testamentary heirs his natural children Eulogio Abaja ("Eulogio") and Rosario Cordova. Alipio Abaja is the son of Eulogio. Abada executed his will in 1932. Abada died in 1940. Caponong-Noble asserts that the will of Abada does not indicate that it is written in a language or dialect known to the testator. Further, she asserted that the will was not acknowledged before a notary public, citing Articles 804 and 806 of the New Civil Code. Issue: W/N there is a law requiring the testator to know the language or dialect he used in the will W/N Abadas Will require acknowledgement before a notary public. HELD: Caponong-Noble points out that nowhere in the will can one discern that Abada knew
the Spanish language. She alleges that such defect is fatal and must result in the disallowance of the will. On this issue, the Court of Appeals held that the matter was not raised in the motion to dismiss, and that it is now too late to raise the issue on appeal. SC agree with Caponong-Noble that the doctrine of estoppel does not apply in probate proceedings. In addition, the language used in the will is part of the requisites under Section 618of the Code of Civil Procedure and the Court deems it proper to pass upon this issue. Nevertheless, Caponong-Nobles contention must still fail. There is no statutory requirement to state in the will itself that the testator knew the language or dialect used in the will. This is a matter that a party may establish by proof aliunde (evidence xtrinsic from the source). The law that governs the validity of the will of Abada is the Code of Civil Procedure. Although the laws in force at that time are the Civil Code of 1889 and Act No. 190 or the Code of Civil Procedure (which governed the execution of wills before the enactment of the New Civil Code), the Code of Civil Procedure repealed Article 685 of the Old Civil Code. Under the Code of Civil

Procedure, the intervention of a notary is not necessary in the execution of any will. Abadas will does not require acknowledgement before a notary public.

Article 16 MICIANO vs. BRIMO 50 PHIL 867 FACTS:

Joseph G. Brimo, the testator, executed

a will provided that his estate should be disposed of in accordance with the Philippine law and not in accordance with the Turkish laws. The testator further provided that whoever would oppose his wishes that his estate should be distributed in accordance with Philippine laws would forfeit their inheritance. Issue: W/n the provisions in the Will executed by testator Brimo should be given effect, distributing his property, not in accordance with the laws of his nationality, but in
accordance with the laws of the Philippines.

HELD: ARTICLE 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is situated. However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. Even if the testators wishes must be given paramount importance, if the wishes of the testator contravene a specific provision of law, then that provision in a will should not be given effect. A persons will is merely an instrument which is PERMITTED, so his right is not absolute. It should be subject to the provisions of the Philippine laws. The estate of a decedent shall be distributed in accordance with his national law. He cannot provide otherwise. The SC held that those who opposed would not forfeit their inheritance because that provision is not legal.

BELLIS vs. BELLIS June 6, 1967 FACTS: AMOS G. BELLIS was a citizen and resident of Texas at the time of his death. He executed a will in the Philippines, in which he directed that after all taxes, obligations, and expenses of administration are paid for, his properties in the Philippines should be distributed in accordance with the Philippine law on succession. 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, therefore, compulsory heirs of the deceased. Issue: W/n the properties of Amos Bellis should be distributed in accordance with the Philippine law on succession.

HELD: The provision in the Will of AMOS G. BELLIS is to be regarded as void because it contravenes Article 16, paragraph 2 provides that

ARTICLE 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is situated. However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. Said provisions render applicable the national law of the decedent, in intestate and testamentary successions, with regard to four items: (a) the order of succession, (b) the amount of successional rights, (c) the intrinsic validity of provisions of will, and (d) the capacity to succeed. The renvoi doctrine cannot be applied, Said doctrine is usually pertinent where the decedent
is a national of one country, and a domicile of another. In the present case, it is not disputed that the decedent was both a national of Texas and a domicile thereof at the time of his death.

The provision in the Will of AMOS G. BELLIS is to be regarded as void because it contravenes Article 16, which provides that with respect to the intrinsic validity of testamentary and intestate succession, the national law of the decedent shall prevail. If the Texan, under the Texan law, has no compulsory heirs, the said illegitimate children are not entitled to their legitimes, and the Philippines law on the legitimes of compulsory heirs cannot be applied. TESTATE ESTATE OF CHRISTENSEN January 31, 1963
FACTS: Edward E. Christensen, though born in New York, migrated to California, where he resided and consequently was considered a California citizen. In 1913, he came to the Philippines where he became a domiciliary until his death. However, during the entire period of his residence in this country he had always considered himself a citizen of California. In his will executed on March 5, 1951, he instituted an acknowledged natural daughter, Maria Lucy Christensen as his only heir, but left a legacy of sum of money in favor of Helen Christensen Garcia who was rendered to have been declared acknowledged natural daughter. Counsel for appellant claims that California law should be applied; that under California law, the matter is referred back to the law of the domicile; that therefore Philippine law is ultimately applicable; that finally, the share of Helen must be increased in view of the successional rights of illegitimate children under Philippine law. On the other hand, counsel for the heir of Christensen contends that inasmuch as it is clear that under Article 16 of our Civil Code, the national law of the deceased must apply, our courts must immediately apply the internal law of California on the matter; that under California law there are no compulsory heirs and consequently a testator could dispose of any property possessed by him in absolute dominion and that finally, illegitimate children not being entitled to anything and his will remain undisturbed. ISSUE: Whether or not the Philippine law should prevail in administering the estate of Christensen?

HELD: Philippine law should govern. The conflict of law rule in California refers back the case when a decedent is not domiciled in California to the law of his domicile, which in the case at bar is the Philippine law.
The court of the domicile can not and should not refer the case back to California; such action would leave the issue incapable of determination because the case will then be like a football, tossed back and forth between the two states, between the country of which the decedent was a citizen and the country of his domicile. The Philippine court must apply its own law as directed in the conflict of laws rule of the state, as the application of the internal law of California, it provides no legitime for children while the Philippine law, Arts. 887(4) and 894, Civil Code of the Philippines, makes natural children legally acknowledged forced heirs of the parent recognizing them.

This is the proper application of the doctrine of renvoi-the question of the validity of the
testamentary provision in question should be referred back to the law of the decedent's domicile, which is the Philippines. The theory of the doctrine of renvoiis that the court of the forum, in determining the question before it, must take into account the whole law of the other jurisdiction, but also its rules as to conflict of laws, and then apply the law to the actual question which the rules of the other jurisdiction prescribe. This may be the law of the forum.

CAYETANO vs. LEONIDAS May 30, 1984 FACTS: Adoracion C. Campos died, leaving Hermogenes Campos (father) and her sisters, Nenita Paguia, Remedios Lopez, and Marieta Medina as the surviving heirs. As the only compulsory heir is Hermogenes, he executed an Affidavit of Adjudication, adjudicating unto himself the entire estate of Adoracion. Later that same year, Nenita filed a petition for reprobate of a will, alleging among others that Adoracion was an American citizen and that the will was executed in the US. Adoracion died in Manila while temporarily residing in Malate. While this case was still pending, Hermogenes died and left a will, appointing Polly Cayetano as the executrix. Issue: W/n the Will of Adoracion is valid. HELD: yes.The law which governs Adoracions will is the law of Pennsylvania, USA, which is the national law of the decedent. While it would seem that Philippine laws would make the will invalid because there seems to be an omission of a compulsory heir, still, the will was considered to be valid because it was measured in accordance with law of the US wherein no legitimes are recognized. If there are no legitmes, there could be no case of preterition. The will in this case is valid. PCIB vs. ESCOLIN 56 SCRA 266 FACTS: Charles & Linnie Hodges, both TEXAN nationals. Linnie Jane, a married woman and a citizen of Texas, USA, was a domiciliary of the Philippines at the moment of her death. With respect to the validity of certain testamentary provisions she had made in favor of her husband, a question arose as to what exactly were the laws of Texas on the matter at the precise moment of her death ( one group contended that the Texan law should result to renvoi, the other group contended that no renvoi was possible).
ISSUE: Whether or not Texas Law should apply. HELD:

The distribution of her estate should be governed by the laws of Texas. Foreign laws may not be taken judicial notice and have to be proven like any other

fact in dispute between the parties in any proceeding with the rare exception in instances when said laws are already within the actual knowledge of the court. If you allege that this certain provision is what is provided in the national law of the decedent, then you must prove that law as a fact like you prove any other fact in dispute. Exception: 1. If the foreign laws are within the actual knowledge of the court; or 2. When these laws have been considered before by the court in a previous case and the parties do not oppose as to the consideration of the court as to the existence of the foreign law. PCIBs representation in regards to the law of Texas virtually constitutes admissions of fact which other parties and the court are being made to rely and act upon. PCIB is not permitted to contradict them or subsequently take position contradictory to or inconsistent with them