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CANIZA v CA 268 SCRA 640, February 24, 2007

FACTS: 94 years old Carmen Caniza, a spinter, a retired pharmacist and former professor was declared incompetent by judgment of the RTC- Quezon City in a guardianship proceeding instituted by her niece, Amparo Evangelista, who was the appointed legal guardian. The former was adjudged as such by the court because of her advanced age and physical infirmities, which included cataracts in both eyes and senile dementia. Evangelista, acting as the legal guardian, filed a complaint with the MTC to eject the defendants Estrada in the house and lot owned by Caneza. Based on the amended complaint, it was alleged that Caniza, out of kindness, allowed the defendants to temporarily reside, rent-free in the subject house and lot. But because of the urgent need to meet her expenses for support, maintenance and medical treatment due to her advanced age, Caniza requested the defendants to vacate the subject property but no to avail. In their answer, the defendants declared that they have been living in Caniza’s house since 1960’s and the latter executed a holographic will, wherein she bequeathed to the defendants the house and lot in question. The MTC rendered a judgment in favor of Caniza, However, on appeal, the RTC reversed the decision of the MTC and held that action by which the issue of defendants’ possession should be resolved not in accion interdictal but rather in accion publiciana , which is cognizable in the first instance by the RTC. CA affirmed the RTC’s judgment in toto. During the pendency of the case with the SC, Caniza died and her heirs, Amparo Evagelista (niece) and Ramon Nevado (nephew) substituted for her. ISSUES: (1) Whether the defendants established the right of possession of the subject property without the holographic will having been probated. (2) Assuming the ejectment suit is proper, whether or not Evangelista, as Caniza’s legal guardian had authority to bring said action. HELD: (1) NO. A will is essentially ambulatory which means that at any time prior to the testator's death, it may be changed or revoked; and until admitted to probate, it has no effect whatever and no right can be claimed thereunder. Art. 838 of the NCC explicitly provides that "No will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance with the Rules of Court.” An owner's intention to confer title in the future to persons possessing property by his tolerance, is not inconsistent with the former's taking back possession in the meantime for any reason deemed sufficient. And that in this case there was sufficient cause for the owner's resumption of possession is apparent, which is she needed to generate income from the house on account of the physical infirmities afflicting her, arising from her extreme age. (2) YES. Evangelista was appointed by a competent court the general guardian of both the person and the estate of her aunt, Carmen Cañiza. Her Letters of Guardianship clearly installed her as the "guardian over the person and properties of the incompetent Caniza with full authority to take possession of the property of said incompetent in any province or provinces in which it may be situated and to perform all other acts necessary

and bring and defend such actions as may be needful for this purpose. By that appointment. Zenaida and Rosario signed it. After knowing of the sale of the 55 sq. The MTC and RTC ruled in favor of the petitioners but the CA reversed the decision of the lower courts and declared that the Extra-judicial Settlement Among Heirs and Extrajudicial Settlement Among Heirs with Sale were void and without legal effect. regardless of their failure to participate therein. Florentino. she came to know of the Extra Judicial Settlement Among Heirs with Saleonly when the original house built on the lot was being demolished sometime and she likewise claimed she was unaware that an earlier Extra Judicial Settlement Among Heirs involving the same property had been published in the Catanduanes Tribune. Juan. October 31. Caniza's property. however. only Ester. did not sign the document. it became Evangelista's duty to care for her aunt's person. Zenaida and Rosario signed the document and their respective shares totaling 55 square meters were sold to Joseph Cua. The Extra Judicial Settlement Among Heirs was published in the Catanduanes Tribune. The rule plainly states. petitioner herein. CUA v VARGAS 506 SCRA 374. Antonina Vargas and Florentino Vargas. Visitacion. Thus. it being recognized principle that the ward has no right to possession or control of his property during her incompetency. with right to custody of her person in preference to relatives and friends. to assure her well-being. portioning and adjudication among themselves the lot in question in equal shares. to attend to her physical and spiritual needs. Andres. Only Ester. 14. Rosario Forteza. Catanduanes. Gloria Vargas tried to redeem the property but to no avail. Visitacion Vargas. A Notarized Extra-judicial Settlement Among Heirs was executed by Paulina’s nine (9) heirs. by an extrajudicial settlement and partition of estate when the extrajudicial settlement and partition has been duly published. namely: Ester Vargas. that persons who do not participate or had no notice of an extrajudicial settlement will not be bound thereby.for the management of her properties. Juan. Andres Vargas. ISSUE: Whether heirs are deemed constructively notified and bound. It contemplates a notice that has been . Visitacion. and exercise control over. An Extra-judicial Settlement Among Heirs with Sale was again executed by the same heirs over the same property and also with the same equal sharings. Once more. one of respondents herein. however. 2006 FACTS: The late Paulina Vargas left behind a parcel of residential land with an area of 99 square meters in Virac. Juan Vargas. The procedure outlined in Section 1 of Rule 74 is an ex parte proceeding. Antonina and Gloria. It also became her right and duty to get possession of. meters to the petitioner. That right to manage the ward's estate carries with it the right to take possession thereof and recover it from anyone who retains it. According to Gloria Vargas. Zenaida Matienzo. she filed a case for the annulment of Extra-judicial Sale and Legal Redemption of the lot. Gloria Vargas. HELD: NO. both real and personal.

The Partition Agreement which was allegedly entered into pursuant to the Huling Habilin at Testamento should not also be considered. On October 27. RODRIGUEZ v RODRIGUEZ 532 SCRA 642. on June 14. and not after such an agreement has already been executed as what happened in the instant case with the publication of the first deed of extrajudicial settlement among heirs. 2007 FACTS: Juanito Rodriguez owned a five-door apartment. on the other hand. though. Also. Buenaventura and Belen. September 11. out of kindness and tolerance. which included the sale to petitioner of their pro indiviso shares in the subject property.. are bound by the same. This is not to say. 15. who despite repeated demands. respondents separately leased the units to lessees.sent out or issued before any deed of settlement and/or partition is agreed upon (i. Morover. Also.00 after knowing that only two apartments were given to her in the Huling Habilin at Testamento. it was held by the RTC that MTC erred when it relied heavily on the “Huling Habilin at Testamento.e.000. to occupy units A. and pursuant . Respondents. and respondent Belen Rodriguez. Petitioner filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against the respondents. failed and refused to vacate the premises and to pay rentals. The heirs who actually participated in the execution of the extrajudicial settlements. MTC rendered a judgment on favor of the respondents and held that the Deed of Sale was simulated. apartment C. that respondents' co-heirs cannot validly sell their hereditary rights to third persons even before the partition of the estate. apartments D and E and his children Benjamin Rodriguez (the decease husband of respondent Evangeline Rodriguez). respondent Buenaventura Rodriguez. 1983. without her knowledge and consent. they maintained that petitioner exerted undue influence over their father. who at that time was seriously ill.” which was not probated hence has no effect and no right can be claimed therein. claimed ownership over the subject property by succession and alleged that the petitioner is not the lawful owner because the Deed of Absolute Sale was simulated and void. a notice calling all interested parties to participate in the said deed of extrajudicial settlement and partition). 1984. apartment A. his live-in partner. However. apartment B. Juanito executed a Deed of Absolute Sale over the property in favor of petitioner. respectively. B and D. alleging that she was the lawful and registered owner of the property and she only allowed the respondents Evangelin. CA reversed the decision of the RTC further held that he Huling Habilin at Testamento transmitted ownership of the specific apartments not only to the respondents but also to the petitioner. they alleged that petitioner has no cause of action against them for being a party to thePartition Agreement wherein they recognized each other as co-owners and partitioned the property in accordance with the provision of the last will and testament. to agree to the sale of the property for only P20. However. he executed a “Huling Habilin at Testamento” giving petitioner Cresenciana Tubo Rodriguez. The RTC reversed the decision of the MTC and held that petitioner’s certificate of title is a conclusive evidence of ownership of the subject property.

the Partition Agreement which was executed pursuant thereto can not be given effect. Before any will can have force or validity it must be probated. Respondents failed to prove their right of possession. This cannot be dispensed with and is a matter of public policy. ISSUE: Whether the respondents have right of possession over the subject property in the absence of probate of the will. . HELD: NO. the fact that petitioner was a party to said agreement becomes immaterial in the determination of the issue of possession. the parties executed the Partition Agreement in accordance with the wishes of the testator. as the Huling Habilin at Testamento and the Partition Agreement have no legal effect since the will has not been probated. Article 838 of the Civil Code mandates that “[n]o will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance with the Rules of Court.thereto.” As the will was not probated. Thus.