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Pecson v Mediavillo (G.R. NO.

7890) Facts: The last will and testament of Florencio Pecson was presented to the Court of First Instance of the Province of Albay for probate. Mr. Tomas Lorayes, an attorney at law, opposed the legislation of the will on the ground that it had not been authorized nor signed by the deceased. After hearing the respective parties, the Honorable Percy M. Moir (judge) found that the will had been signed and executed in accordance with the provisions of law, and denied the opposition . Lorayes, representing Basiliso Mediavillo and Rosario Mediavillo, presented a motion averring: That Rosario is and Joaquin was the grandchild of the testator, Florencio Pecson That Rosario, was disinherited by Florencio, according to clause 3 of the will, because she failed to show him due respect and on a certain occasion raised her hand against him Paragraph 3 of the will disinherited Rosario Mediavillo states: I declare that one of my daughters, named Teresa, now deceased, left a legitimate daughter named Rosario Mediavillo. I also declare that I disinherit my granddaughter, Rosario, because she was grossly disrespectful to me and because on one occasion, when it was I do not remember, she raised her hand against me. Therefore, it is my will that the said Rosario Mediavillo shall have no share in my property. That the interested party did not commit such an act, and if perhaps she did, it was due to the derangement of her mental faculties which occurred a long time ago and from which she now suffers in periodical attacks. It also appears from the evidence that Teresa (daughter of Florencio, mother of Rosario) also died. Her son Joaquin died, unmarried and childless, before the death of the testator. The lower court found out that the evidence shows that Rosario became insane in 1895, when she went to Nueva Caceres to study in college, and it has been proved that it was previous to this date that she disobeyed her grandfather and raised her hand against him. But since she was 14 years old, and shortly afterwards became insane, she was not responsible for her acts and should not have been disinherited by her grandfather. The court therefore decreed that clause 3 of the will is contrary to law and is set aside for being of no force or value whatever. Issue: Whether or not the courts, when a parent disinherits his children, may inquire into the cause of the disinheritance and decide that there was or was not ground for such disinheritance. Held: Yes. The Civil Code (Art. 848) provides that disinheritance shall only take place for one of the causes expressly fixed by law. Article 849 of the Civil Code provides that the disinheritance can only be effected by the testament, in which shall be mentioned the legal grounds or causes for such disinheritance. The right of the courts to inquire into the causes and whether there was sufficient cause for the disinheritance or not, seems to be supported by express provisions of the Civil Code. Disinheritance made without statement of the reason, or for a cause the truth of which, if contradicted, should not be proven shall annul the designation of heirship, in so far as it prejudices the person disinherited.

In the case, It appears from the record that when Rosario Mediavillo was about 14 years of age, she had received some attentions from a young man that she had received a letter from him and that her grandfather, Florencio, took occasion to talk to her about the relations between her and the said young man. It was upon that occasion when the disobedience and disrespect were shown to her grandfather, and that was the cause for her disinheritance by her grandfather. The record shows that after said event, she lost the use of her mental powers and that she has never regained them, except for very brief periods, up to the present time. The lower court is correct in taking into consideration her tender years, that she was probably not responsible for the disrespect and disobedience shown to her grandfather in the year 1894 or 1895.

G.R. No. L-48627 February 19, 1943 TESTATE ESTATE OF VICENTE SINGSON PABLO, deceased. ROSALIA ROSARIO VDA. DE SINGSON, petitioner-appellee, vs. JOSEFINA F. VDA. DE LIM, oppositor-appellee, EMILIA FLORENTINO, ET AL., oppositors-appellees, EVARISTO SINGSON, ET AL., oppositors-appellants. M.H. de Joya and Evaristo Singson for appellants. Teofilo Mendoza and Vicente Paz for appellees. OZAETA, J.: Don Vicente Singson Pablo, a lawyer of Vigan, Ilocos Sur, died on April 15, 1938, without any descendant or ascendant, his nearest surviving relatives being his widow Doa Rosalia Rosario, four brothers, and four nieces, the children of a deceased sister. He left a will which was duly probated, clause 8 of which reads as follows: Octavo. - Orderno y mando que todos mis bienes no dispuestos de otro modo en este testamento, se distribuiran en partes iguales a todos los que tienen derecho a ello. The widow, as administratrix, presented a project of partition in which the properties not disposed of in the will were adjudicated to the four brothers and the four nieces of the deceased "in the proportion provided in paragraph 8 of the will." The brothers, appellants herein, objected to the project of partition insofar as it includes the nieces of the deceased, on the ground that under clause 8 of the will, in relation to article 751 of the Civil Code, they were not entitled to any share. The nieces also objected to the project of partition, alleging that certain other specified properties had been omitted therefrom, which formed part of the properties not disposed of and which under clause 8 of the will "should be distributed in equal parts to all who are entitled thereto." The trial court sustained the contention of the nieces (appellees herein) and ordered the administratrix "to amend the project of partition so as to include therein the said properties and that all of those not disposed of in the will be

adjudicated in equal parts to the brothers and nieces of the deceased."chanrobles virtual law The only question raised in this appeal is the interpretation of clause 8 of the will above quoted. Said clause provides that "all of my properties not disposed of otherwise in this testament shall be distributed in equal parts to all who are entitled thereto." In this connection appellants invoke article 751 of the Civil Code, which provides that "a disposition made in general terms in favor of the testator's relatives shall be understood as made in favor of those nearest in degree."chanrobles virtual law library The trial court noted that the testator, who was a lawyer, did not use the word "relatives" in the clause in question. We do not need to decide here whether, had the testator used the word "relatives," the nieces would be excluded. The authorities differ on the interpretation of article 751. Some hold that under said article the nephews and nieces inherit by representation together with the brothers and sisters of the testator, as in legal succession; while others. Manresa among them, hold that said article excludes nephews and nieces when brothers and sisters survive. We think the testator, by referring to "all who are entitled thereto," instead of referring to his "relatives," precisely meant to avoid the uncertainty of the interpretation of article 751 and to indicate his wish that the residue of his estate be distributed in equal parts to all who would have been entitled to inherit from him had he dies intestate.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The order appealed from is affirmed, with costs. So ordered.chanroblesvirtualawlibraryvirtual law library Yulo, C.J., Moran, Paras and Bocobo, JJ., concur.