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Nacar v Nistal GR L-3306, December 8, 1982 Facts: Nacar filed a petition for certiorari etc to annul order of respondent

judge Nistal.The order directed attachment of seven carabaos & stop judge from proceeding with case. Japitana filed a claim against estate of Nacar with preliminary attachment. It was said that Nacar about to dispose the property with intent to defraud. Nicar filed motion to dismiss to dissolve writ of the preliminary injunction & attachment, Judge denied the motion. The Supreme Court directed issuance of preliminary mandatory injunction. Issue: Whether or not Japitana can file claims against estate of Isabelo Nacar. Held: No filing of money claim, ex-contracts by action against the admin is not allowed. It should be filed in the administration proceeding of the estate of the deceased in the case at bar, the claim of the respondent arising from a contract may be pursued only in the same administrative proceeding tha t maybe taken to settle the estate of the deceased.

the assets of the deceased at the time of his death.

Dora Perkins Anderson vs. Idonah Slade Perkins GR L-15388 January 31, 1961

FACTS

Two years later, the special administrator submitted to the court a petition seeking authority to sell or give away to some charitable institution/s certain personal properties. Court required the administrator to submit an inventory of the properties and thus, he likewise submitted it. Idonah Perkins opposed to the said proposed sale.

On May 10, 1956, Dora Perkins Anderson filed a petition for the probate of the supposed last will and testament of the late Eugene Arthur Perkins who allegedly possessed of personal and real properties with a probate value of P5,000.00 and Dora also filed an urgent petition for the estate. On the same day, the court issued an order appointing Alfonso Ponce Enrile as special administrator.

Plaintiffs contention: The special administrator has the authority to sell the properties of the late Eugene Arthur Perkins. That the special administrator claims that oppositor/defendant should allege on the properties which she did not want to sell and that her refusal to do so is an indication of her unmeritorious claim.

Idonah Slade Perkins, surviving spouse of the deceased, opposed to the said probate and the special administrator submitted an inventory of

Defendants contention: Idorah Perkins contention was that the special administrator has no legal authority to

sell the properties because it was perishable in nature. . That such properties sought to be sold were conjugal properties of herself and her deceased husband and the unauthorized removal of fine pieces of furniture belonging to the estate had been made. because it was perishable in nature.

No, the Supreme Court held that the special administrator can not sell the property of the late Arthur Perkins. It is true that the function of a special administrator is only to collect and preserve the property of the deceased until a regular administrator is appointed. Both the estate and and its value should be preserved.

Lower courts decision: The lower court approved the proposed sale and also authorized the Sheriff of Manila to conduct the same. Despite of the defendants Motion for Reconsideration, the lower court denies such MR. (Motion for Reconsideration)

Records show that up to the time the proposed sale was asked for and judicially approved, no proceeding has yet been taken or even started, to segregate the alleged execusive property of the defendant from the mass of the estate supposedly left by the deceased or to liquidate the conjugal partnership property.

ISSUE Whether or not the special administrator may sell the properties of the late Eugene Arthur Perkins HELD

It does not appear that defendant was given a reasonable opportunity to point out in which items in the inventory she did not want to sold. Also, it did not even show that an inquirty was made as to the validity of the grounds of her opposition.

Lower courts decision was set aside and with costs against the special administrator. Wills and Succession Rights to Succession transmitted from the moment of death

DANILO I. SUAREZ, EUFROCINA SUAREZ-ANDRES, MARCELO I. SUAREZ, JR.,EVELYN SUAREZ-DE LEON AND REGINIO I. SUAREZ, PETITIONERS, VS. THECOURT OF APPEALS, VALENTE RAYMUNDO, VIOLETA RAYMUNDO, MA.CONCEPCION VITO AND VIRGINIA BANTA RESPONDENTS.

G.R. No. 94918, September 02, 1992

Facts: Petitioners are brothers and sisters. Their father, Marcelo Suarez died in 1955, leaving five parcels of land located in Pasig and Metro Manila. Unfortunately, the estate of Marcelo Suarez has not been liquidated or partitioned. In 1977, petitioners widowed mother and Rizal Realty

Corporation lost in the consolidated cases for rescission of contract, and were ordered by the Court of First Instance of Rizal to pay, jointly and severally, herein respondents the aggregate principal amount of about P70,000 as damages. Thus, the five the parcels of land in Pasig and Metro Manila, were levied and sold, in favor of the private respondents as the highest bidder. In 1984, before the expiration of the redemption period, petitioners filed a an action against private respondents for the annulment of the auction sale and the recovery of the ownership of the levied pieces of property. Petitioners allege that their rights were prejudiced when the parcels of land are levied and sold. Because being strangers to the case decided against their mother, they cannot be held liable and that the five parcels of land, of which they are co-owners, can neither be levied nor sold on execution. On the contrary, Private respondents claim that the sale was valid and that petitioners do not have the legal capacity to annul the sale because they dont exercise any right over the property. The Court of first instance ruled in favor of the respondents, ordering petitioners to vacate the lots subject of the judicial sale; to desist from removing or alienating improvements thereon; and to surrender to private respondents the owner's duplicate copy of the torrens title and other pertinent documents. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the lower court.

Issue: Whether or not petitioners acquire rights over the property?

Decision: The Supreme Court ruled that petitioners are co-owners of the parcels of land, and they have rights over the property. Thus, the auction sale is invalid. Article 777 of the Civil Code provides that The rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent. Hence, Petitioners became co-owners of the property not because of their mother but through their own right as children of their deceased father. Furthermore, Article 888 of the civil code provides that The legitime of the legitimate children and descendants consists of one-half of the hereditary estate of the father and of the mother. The latter may freely dispose of the remaining half, subject to the rights of illegitimate children and of the surviving spouse as hereinafter provided. Article 892 par. 2 likewise provides: If there are two or more legitimate children or descendants, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to a portion equal to the legitime of each of the legitimate children or descendants. Therefore, from the foregoing, the legitime of the surviving spouse is equal to the legitime of each child. The proprietary interest of petitioners in the levied and auctioned property is different from and adverse to that of

their mother. Petitioners are not barred in any way from instituting the action to annul the auction sale to protect their own interest.

Nelia Constantino, petitioner vs CA, respondent. FACTS: JOSEFA TORRES died intestate leaving a parcel of land located at Balagtas, Bulacan. Sometime in 1984, the heirs of Josefa Torres, as vendors, and petitioner Nelia A. Constantino, as vendee, entered into a contract to sell a parcel of land with a total land area of two hundred and fifty (250) square meters. The lot, owned in common by the Torres heirs, is being occupied by petitioners mother and sister. An adjoining lot, also co-owned by the heirs, is being occupied by spouses Severino and Consuelo Lim. Pursuant to their

agreement, the heirs authorized petitioner to prepare the necessary Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate with Sale. After having the document drafted - with several spaces left blank including the specification as to the metes and bounds of the land - petitioner asked the heirs to affix their signatures on the document. The heirs signed the document with the understanding that respondent Aurora S. Roque, one of the heirs, would be present when the latter would seek permission from the Bureau of Lands and have the land surveyed. However, without the participation of any of the Torres heirs, the property was subsequently surveyed, subdivided. Petitioner did not furnish the heirs with copies of the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate with Sale nor of the subdivision plan and the certificates of title. Upon securing a copy of the deed from the Registry of Deeds, the respondents learned that the area of the property purportedly sold to petitioner was much bigger than that agreed upon by the parties. It already included the portion being occupied by the spouses Severino and Consuelo Lim. On 2 June 1986, private respondents sent a letter to petitioner demanding the surrender to them of the deed of settlement and conveyance, the subdivision plan and the certificates of title; but to no avail. Thus, the case for annulment of the sale PLAINTIFFS CONTENTION:

Petitioner presented the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate with Sale dated 10 October 1984 wherein respondents agreed to divide and adjudicate among themselves the inherited property. In the same document, they caused the subdivision of the property into two (2) lots and acknowledged the sale to petitioner of the said lot. As a consequence, on 18 March 1985, the Register of Deeds issued TCTs in the name of the heirs of Josefa Torres and of petitioner. DEFENDANTS CONTENTION: Private respondents said that all the heirs signed the document before the land was surveyed and subdivided, hence, there was as yet no definite area to be sold that could be indicated in the deed at the time of the signing. They also claimed that they were not notified about the survey and the subdivision of the lot and therefore they could not have agreed on the area supposedly sold to petitioner. The respondent heirs insist that they could not have agreed to the extent of the area actually reflected in the deed because it included the portion being occupied by the Lim spouses, which was already the subject of a previous agreement to sell between them and their predecessor. LOWER COURTS DECISION: The trial court had doubts with respect to the preparation and due execution of the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate with Sale taking

into account that she was not able to enumerate all the signatories to the document; while petitioner claimed that the document was signed only after the survey of the land was completed, or on 10 October 1984, such fact was negated by her own witness who testified that the survey was conducted only on 16 October 1984; and, while petitioner alleged that the document was signed and notarized in Manila no explanation was offered why the same could not have been signed and notarized in Bulacan where notaries public abound which could have been less inconvenient to the parties concerned. Additionally, the trial court relied heavily on the assertions of respondents as reflected in their demand letter that they did not give their consent to the sale of Lot 4-B. Thus, on 27 September 1990 ordered the annulment and cancellation of the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate with Sale. APPELLATE COURTS DECISION: On 16 March 1994 respondent Court of Appeals sustained the decision of the trial court, and on 20 June 1994 denied the motion to reconsider its decision. ISSUE: Whether or not the sale of the subject property was valid HELD:

The Supreme Court stated that it is not whether the notary public had the authority to acknowledge the document executed within his territorial jurisdiction but whether respondents indeed appeared before him and signed the deed. However, evidence shows that they did not. They also found the allegation of respondents that they signed the deed prior to the survey, or before determination of the area to be sold, worthy of credit as against the contention of petitioner that they signed after the survey or on 10 October 1984. As found by the trial court, such contention was contradicted by petitioners own witness who positively asserted in court that the survey was conducted only on 16 October 1984 or six (6) days after the signing. Quite obviously, when respondents affixed their signatures on the deed, it was still incomplete since petitioner who caused it to be prepared left several spaces blank, more particularly as regards the dimensions of the property to be sold. The heirs were persuaded to sign the document only upon the assurance of petitioner that respondent Roque, pursuant to their understanding, would be present when the property would be surveyed after obtaining permission from the Bureau of Lands. As it surfaced, the supposed understanding was merely a ruse of petitioner to induce respondents to sign the deed without which the latter would not have given their conformity thereto. Apparently, petitioner deceived respondents by filling the blank spaces in the deed, having the

lots surveyed and subdivided, and then causing the issuance of transfer certificates of title without their knowledge, much less consent. Thus all the elements of fraud vitiating consent for purposes of annulling a contract concur: (a) It was employed by a contracting party upon the other; (b) It induced the other party to enter into the contract; (c) It was serious; and, (d) It resulted in damages and injury to the party seeking annulment. Another compelling reason for the annulment of the document of settlement and conveyance is that the second page thereof clearly manifests that the number of the subdivision plan and the respective areas of Lots 4-A and 4-B were merely handwritten while all the rest of the statements therein were typewritten, which leads us to the conclusion that handwritten figures thereon were not available at the time the document was formalized. The petition was DENIED.

Bay Realty and Development Corporation G.R. No. 124320. March 2, 1999. Facts: The petitioners in the present claim alleged that they are the legal heirs of the late Guido and Isabel Yaptinchay, the owners-claimants of Lot No. 1131 and Lot No. 1132 with an located in Carmona, Cavite. They executed an Extra-Judicial Settlement of the estate of the deceased Guido and Isabel Yaptinchay on March 17, 1994. They also discovered that a portion, of the mentioned properties were titled in the name of respondent Golden Bay Realty and Development Corporation or Golden Bay under Transfer Certificates of Title, on August 26 1994. Due to this, they filed a complaint for ANNULMENT and/or DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF Regional Trial Court in Imus, Cavite. They filed with the RTC an Amended Complaint to implead new and additional defendants and to mention the TCTs to be annulled upon learning that Golden Bay sold portions of the parcels of land in question. The Amended Complaint was dismissed by the respondent court. They moved for reconsideration of the Order dismissing the Amended Complaint. The motion was granted by the. The private respondents presented a Motion to Dismiss on

CASE DIGEST of Heirs of Yaptinchay et al v. Court of Appeals, Hon. Del Rosario, Golden

August 12, 1995, [3] on the grounds that the complaint failed to state a cause of action, they have not established their status as heirs, that the land is different from that of the defendants and that the claim was barred by laches. The said Motion to Dismiss was granted by the respondent court dated October 25, 1995. The petitioners Petition for Certiorari before this Court is an improper recourse. Appeal should have been made. The trial court cannot make a declaration of heirship in the civil action for the reason that such a declaration can only be made in a special proceeding. Plaintiff's contentions: The petitioners claimed are the legal heirs of the late Guido and Isabel Yaptinchay, the owners-claimants of Lot No. 1131 and Lot No. 1132 in Carmona, Cavite. They discovered that a portion, of the aforesaid properties were titled in the name of respondent Golden Bay Realty and Development Corporation (Golden Bay). They learned that Golden Bay sold portions of the parcels of land in question. They also contended that the respondent court acted with grave abuse of discretion in ruling that the issue of heirship should first be determined before trial of the case could proceed. It is their submission that the

respondent court should have proceeded with the trial and simultaneously resolved the issue of heirship in the same case Defendant's contentions: The private respondents presented a Motion to Dismiss on the grounds that the complaint failed to state a cause of action, that plaintiffs did not have a right of action, that they have not established their status as heirs, that the land being claimed is different from that of the defendants, and that plaintiffs claim was barred by laches. Lower Court's decision: The Regional Trial Court dismissed the Amended Complaint. . The motion for reconsideration by the plaintiffs was granted by the RTC in an Order dated July 7, 1995, which further allowed the herein petitioners to file a Second Amended Complaint. The petitioners interposed a Motion for Reconsideration but to no avail. The same was denied by the RTC in its Order of February 23, 1996. Appellate Court's decision: The appellate court held that petition is not impressed with merit. To begin with, petitioners

Petition for Certiorari before this Court is an improper recourse. Their proper remedy should have been an appeal. An order of dismissal, be it right or wrong, is a final order, which is subject to appeal and not a proper subject of certiorari. Where appeal is available as a remedy, certiorari will not lie. Neither did the respondent court commit grave abuse of discretion in issuing the questioned Order dismissing the Second Amended Complaint of petitioners. Issue: Whether or not petitioners are legal heirs of said deceased and that they have a right of the subject property. Held: The Court ruled that hold that the respondent court did the right thing in dismissing the Second Amended Complaint, which stated no cause of action. In Travel Wide Associated Sales (Phils.), Inc. v. Court of Appeals, it was ruled that: xxx If the suit is not brought in the name of or against the real party in interest, a motion to dismiss may be filed on the ground that the complaint states no cause of action. In the case at bar, the petitioners are not heirs and that they do not have a right over the subject property. The

petitioners were not able to present sufficient evidence to prove that they are the legal heirs of the deceased and that they were entitled to inherit said property. The trial court cannot make a declaration of heirship in the civil action for the reason that such a declaration can only be made in a special proceeding. Under Section 3, Rule 1 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court, a civil action is defined as one by which a party sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong while a special proceeding is a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a status, a right, or a particular fact. It is then decisively clear that the declaration of heirship can be made only in a special proceeding inasmuch as the petitioners here are seeking the establishment of a status or right.The Petition under consideration is hereby dismissed.

VALENTE RAYMUNDO, PETITIONER, VS. TEOFISTA ISAGON VDA. DE SUAREZ, DANILO I. SUAREZ, EUFROCINA SUAREZ, MARCELO I. SUAREZ, JR, EVELYN SUAREZ, ET AL., RESPONDENTS. FACTS: Marcelo and Teofista Isagon Suarez' marriage was blessed with both material wealth and progeny in herein respondents, namely, Danilo,Eufrocina, Marcelo Jr., Evelyn, and Reggineo, all surnamed Suarez. During their marriage, governed by the conjugal partnership of gains regime, they acquired numerous properties, After the death of Marcelo Sr. in 1955, Teofista and herein respondents, as well as Elpidio Suarez, executed an Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate, partitioning Marcelo Sr.'s estate, Curiously, despite the partition, title to the

foregoing properties, explicitly identified in the Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate as forming part of Marcelo's and Isagon's property regime, remained in the couple's name. In 1975, Rizal Realty Corporation (Rizal Realty) and Teofista, the latter owning ninety percent (90%) of the former's shares of stock, were sued by petitioner Valente Raymundo, his wife Violeta, Virginia Banta and Maria Concepcion Vito in consolidated cases for Rescission of Contract and Damages, docketed as Civil Case Nos. 21736 to 21739. Thereafter, in 1975, the then Court of First Instance (CFI) of Rizal, Branch 1, rendered judgment against Teofista. When the judgment of the CFI became final and executory, herein subject properties were levied and sold on execution on June 24, 1983 to satisfy the judgment against Teofista and Rizal Realty. Parenthetically, before expiration of the redemption period, or on June 21, 1984, herein respondents filed a revindicatory action against petitioner Valente, Violeta, Virginia and Maria Concepcion, for the annulment of the auction sale and recovery of ownership of the levied properties. PETITONERS CONTENTION: Petitioner Valente insists however that, following our ruling in Heirs of Yaptinchay v. Del Rosario, herein respondents must first be declared heirs of Marcelo Sr. before they can file an action to annul the judicial sale of what is, undisputedly, conjugal property of Teofista and Marcelo Sr. RESPONDENTS CONTENTION: Article 777 of the Civil Code, the law applicable at the time of the institution of

the case: The rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent." LOWER COURT: issued an Order directing Teofista: (1) to vacate the subject properties, (2) to desist from despoiling, dismantling, removing or alienating the improvements thereon, (3) to place petitioner Valente, Violeta, Virginia and Maria Concepcion in peaceful possession thereof, and (4) to surrender to them the owner's duplicate copy of the torrens title and other pertinent documents. COURT OF APPEALS: CA dismissed Teofista's and herein respondents' petition for two reasons. First, as purported case for certiorari it fails to show how the respondent judge had acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion. Secondly, as far as Teofista Suarez is concerned, she cannot complain about the levy because she was a party in the consolidated cases where judgment was rendered against her in her personal capacity. Since she did not appeal from the decision, she cannot say that the judgment is erroneous for an obligation that belong to the corporation. Issue: Whether or not respondents must first be declared heirs of Marcelo Sr. before they can file action to annul the judicial sale of what is the conjugal property of teofista and Marcelo, Sr.

Held: SC reversed the decision of RTC and Court of Appeals. It is no longer needed. In Heirs of Yaptinchay, the complaint for annulment and/or declaration of nullity of certain TCT's was dismissed for failure of the petitioners to demonstrate "any proof or even a semblance of it" that they had been declared the legal heirs of the deceased couple, the spouses Yaptinchay. In stark contrast, the records of this case reveal a document, an Extrajudicial Settlement of Marcelo Sr.'s estate, which explicitly recognizes herein respondents as Marcelo Sr.'s legitimate children and heirs. The same document settles and partitions the estate of Marcelo Sr. specifying Teofista's paraphernal properties, and separates the properties she owns in common with her children, herein respondents. Plainly, there is no need to re-declare herein respondents as heirs of Marcelo Sr., and prolong this case interminably. Petitioner Valente, along with Violeta, Virginia and Maria Concepcion, became owners of the subject properties only by virtue of an execution sale to recover Teofista's judgment obligation. This judgment obligation is solely Teofista's, and payment therefor cannot be made through an execution sale of properties not absolutely owned by her. These properties were evidently conjugal properties and were, in fact, even titled in the name of Marcelo, Sr. married to Teofista. Thus, upon Marcelo Sr.'s death, by virtue of compulsory succession, Marcelo Sr.'s share in the conjugal partnership was transmitted by operation of law to his compulsory heirs.

DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES V. ELLA GAGARANI ASOK et.al. G.R. No. 172248 | September 17, 2008 FACTS: The spouses Dionesio and Matea S. Asok owned several parcels of land which were inherited by their eleven children upon their death. One of the lands inherited was a lot covered by a free patent issued on July 19, 1967, located at Misamis Oriental with an area of 39,552 sq. m.

Pursuant to the extrajudicial settlement of the estate with quitclaim executed by the spouses children, the subject property was inherited by Denison Asok (Asok). As a result, the title was cancelled a new one was issued and registered in his name. On August 31, 1989, Asok and his wife, respondent Ella Gagarani Asok, borrowed P100,000 from petitioner DBP and mortgaged the subject lot as collateral to guarantee payment of the loan. On due date, however, they failed to pay the loan and the mortgage was extrajudicially foreclosed pursuant to Act 3135. DBP emerged as the highest bidder with a bid of P163,297. Asok died on in 1993 and was succeeded by his surviving spouse and children (respondents). Respondents filed a complaint for repurchase against DBP invoking their right to repurchase the property under Sec. 119 of CA 141 which states that every conveyance of land acquired under the free patent or homestead provisions, when proper, shall be subject to repurchase by the applicant, his widow, or legal heirs, within a period of five years from date of the conveyance. It was later on dismissed by the RTC stating that the one-year-period should be reckoned from the date of sale or on August 28, 1991 then the five-year period should be counted from the expiration of the redemption period, i.e., November 28, 1992.

Therefore, respondents had until November 28, 1997 to exercise their right to repurchase. However, the complaint was filed on May 15, 1998 which was beyond the prescribed period. Aggrieved, respondents appealed to the CA which reversed and set aside the RTC decision. It held that the period of redemption started from the date of registration of the certificate of sale, i.e., December 24, 1992, and not from the date of sale. Thus, respondents had until December 24, 1998 to repurchase the property and the complaint was seasonably filed. DBP contends that Asoks cannot claim the right under Sec. 119 which covers homesteads and free patents because the free patent issued to Asoks parents had already been cancelled and a new TCT had in fact been issued to him. Thus, the property mortgaged to it was no longer covered by a free patent but by a TCT. ISSUES: (1) whether Sec. 119 of CA 141 is applicable in this case; (2) whether respondents are the legal heirs of the patentees and (3) whether the right to repurchase has already prescribed. HELD:

1. YES. The plain intent of Sec. 119 is to give the homesteader or patentee every chance to preserve and keep in the family the land that the State has gratuitously given him as a reward for his labor in cleaning, developing and cultivating it. Hence, the fact that the land had been inherited by the patentees son (and a new title in his name issued) does not bring it outside the purview of Sec. 119. In fact, the policy behind the law is fulfilled because the land remains in the family of the patentee. Logic, the sense of fitness and of right, as well as pragmatic considerations thus call for continued adherence to the policy that not the individual applicant alone but those so closely related to him as are entitled to legal succession may take full advantage of the benefits the law confers. 2. YES. DBP argues that respondents are not the legal heirs of the patentees because respondents are merely their daughter-in-law and grandchildren. This is not true. In line with the rationale behind Sec. 119, we reject a restricted definition of legal heirs. It is used in a broad sense and the law makes no distinctions. The term "legal heirs" is used in Section 119 in a generic sense. It is broad enough to cover any person who is called to the succession either by provision of a will or by operation of law. Thus, legal heirs include both testate and intestate heirs depending upon whether succession is by the will of the testator or

by law. Legal heirs are not necessarily compulsory heirs but they may be so if the law reserves a legitime for them. Respondents inherited the property from Asok, their husband and father, who in turn inherited it from his parents. Respondent Ella Gagarani Asok, as daughter-in-law of the patentees, can be considered as among the legal heirs who can repurchase the land. 3. NO. The issue was already resolved in Rural Bank of Davao City, Inc. v. CA: Thus, the rules on redemption in the case of an extrajudicial foreclosure of land acquired under free patent or homestead statutes may be summarized as follows: xxx If the land is mortgaged to parties other than rural banks, the mortgagor may redeem the property within one (1) year from the registration of the certificate of sale pursuant to Act No. 3135. If he fails to do so, he or his heirs may repurchase the property within five (5) years from the expiration of the redemption period. There is no dispute that in extrajudicial foreclosures under Act 3135, the debtor or his or her successors-in-interest may redeem the property within one year. This redemption period should be reckoned from the date of registration of the certificate of sale. The five-year period fixed in Sec. 119 begins to run from the expiration of the one-year redemption period. Here, the

certificate of sale was registered on December 24, 1992 and the one-year redemption period expired on December 24, 1993. Reckoned from that day, respondents had a five-year period, or until December 24, 1998, to exercise their right to repurchase under Sec. 119 of CA 141. Consequently, the CA was correct in holding that the complaint filed on May 15, 1998 was on time.

Aluad vs. Aluad FACTS: Petitioners mother, Maria Aluad (Maria), and respondent Zenaido Aluad were raised by the childless spouses Crispin and Matilde Aluad. Crispin was the owner of six lots identified as Lot Nos. 674, 675, 676, 677, 680, and 682 of the Pilar Cadastre, Capiz. After Crispin died, his wife Matilde adjudicated the lots to herself. On November 14, 1981, Matilde executed a "Deed of Donation of Real Property Inter Vivos" (Deed of Donation) in favor of petitioners mother Maria covering all the six lots which Matilde inherited from her husband Crispin on the condition that it will be effect upon Matildes death and that she will retain the right to use and dispose of such properties during her lifetime. On August 26, 1991, Matilde sold Lot 676 to Zenaido. Subsequently or on January 14, 1992, Matilde executed a last will and testament, devising Lot Nos. 675, 677, 682, and 680 to Maria, and her "remaining properties" including Lot No. 674 to respondent. Matilde died on January 25, 1994, while Maria died on September 24 of the same year. On August 21, 1995, Marias heirs-herein petitioners filed a complaint with the RTC, for declaration and recovery of ownership and possession of Lot Nos. 674 and 676, and damages against respondent.

RESPONDENTS CONTENTION: That Lot 674 is owned by the respondent as this lot was adjudicated to him in the Last Will and Testament of Matilde Aluad while Lot 676 was purchased by him from Matilde Aluad. These two lots are in his possession as true owners thereof

LOWER COURT DECISION: Matilde could have not transmitted any right over Lot 674 and 676 over to respondent, Zenaido, because she have previously alienated said lots over to Maria via Deed of Donation. The donation is inter vivos. APPELLATE DECISION: The CA reversed the trial courts decision, it holding that the Deed of Donation was actually a donation mortis causa, not inter vivos, and as such it had to, but did not, comply with the formalities of a will (Art. 805). While the appellate court declared respondent as the rightful owner of Lot No. 676, it did not so declare with respect to Lot No. 674, as Matildes last will and testament had not yet been probated.

PLAINTIFFS CONTENTION: That Maria Aluad is the sole daughter of Crispin and Matilde Aluad and that they succeeded their right by inheritance and that the six lots have been donated inter vivos to their mother.

ISSUE/S: WON the donation is mortis causa and should comply with the formalities of a will.

Respondent is the rightful owner of lot 674. HELD: The Court finds the donation to petitioners mother one of mortis causa, it having the following characteristics: (1) It conveys no title or ownership to the transferee before the death of the transferor; (2) That before the death of the transferor, the transfer should be revocable; (3) That the transfer should be void if the transferor should survive the transferee. The phrase in the earlier-quoted Deed of Donation "to become effective upon the death of the DONOR" admits of no other interpretation than to mean that Matilde did not intend to transfer the ownership of the six lots to petitioners mother during her (Matildes) lifetime. Matilde also continued to exercise acts of possession over the property while she was still alive. The donation being then mortis causa, the formalities of a will should have been observed but they were not, as: (a) it was witnessed by only two, not three or more witnesses following Article 805 of the Civil Code (b) the witnesses did not even sign the attestation clause the execution of which clause is a requirement separate from the subscription of the will and the affixing of signatures on the left-hand margins of the pages of the will; and (c) the requirement that all the pages of the will must be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page was not also followed.

Agustin Barrera, et. al. vs. Jose Tampoco, et. al. G.R. No. L-5263, February 17, 1954

Facts: Olivia Villapaa died in Tarlac, Tarlac, on December 13, 1948. On December 31, 1948, a petition was filed by Agustin Barrera in the Court of First Instance of Tarlac for the probate of the will executed by Olivia Villapaa and for the appointment of the petitioner as executor. According to the petition the properties left by the testatrix are worth P94,852.96, and the heirs instituted are nephews and nieces and grandchildren in the collateral line. Oppositors - Appellees Contention : Jose Tampoco and Victoriano Tampoco, alleged grandchildren of the testatrix in the direct line, filed an opposition, claiming that the will was not executed and attested in accordance with the law, that the testatrix lacked testamentary capacity, that there was undue influence and pressure in its execution, that the signature of Olivia Villapaa was obtained by fraud and trickery, and that the testamentary provisions are illegal. Appelants Contention:

It was established through evidence that the niece of the decedent, Pilar Taedo asked and requested Modesto Puno, a lawyer and justice of the peace of Concepcion Tarlac, to have a conference with her aunt Olivia Villapaa in Manila. In their meeting, Villapaa sought the assistance of Atty. Puno in the preparation of her will, giving him the names of the heirs and the properties to be left. She then asked Atty. Puno to secure the description of the properties from Agustin Barrera, herein petitioner and Pilars husband. Atty. Puno noted the wishes of Villapaa and prepared the will in his office in Concepcion as there was then no available typewriter. On July 17, 1948, Atty. Puno returned to the house of Villapaa carrying with him one original and three copies, in typewritten form, of the will he drafted in accordance to the instructions of Villapaa. He read the will to Villapaa and she said that it was all right. After lunch, Atty. Puno manifested that two other witnesses were necessary. Hence, Honorio Lacson and Laureano Antonio, who were then living in the first floor of the house, were requested to serve as witnesses. Both of them agreed. All four of them, the testatrix Villapaa, Atty. Puno, Lacson and Antonio, were seated around a small rectangular table in the sala. At this juncture, Atty. Puno gave a copy of the will to Villapaa, Lacson and Antonio while he retained one. The lawyer again read the will out loud, advising the rest to check their respective copies. As Villapaa agreed to the will, she proceeded to sign all the four copies on the lines previously placed by Atty. Puno, followed

successively by Lacson, Atty. Puno and Antonio, all in the presence of each other. After the signing, Atty. Puno gave the two copies to the testator and retained the two other copies. The testator left her will to Barrera for safekeeping on October 17, 1948 when she was taken to the UST Hospital. Lower Courts Decision: After protracted trial, and more than a year after submission of the case, a decision was rendered by the Court of First Instance of Tarlac on August 11, 1951, disallowing the will. The court found that Olivia Villapaa had testamentary capacity, that there was no forgery, fraud, trickery or undue influence in the execution of the will, and that petition of forced heirs is not a ground for denying probate; but the will was disallowed because it was not the personal last will and testament of the deceased and it was not based on the finding that Olivia Villapaa did not furnish the names of the persons instituted as heirs and that the will was not read to her before she signed it. The second ground is premised on the conclusion that attesting witness Laureano Antonio was not present when Olivia Villapaa and attesting witness Honorio Lacson signed the will; that Antonio only partially saw the signing by attesting witness Modesto Puno; and that Olivia Villapaa saw Antonio sign only two or three times. Issue:

Whether or not the denial of the probate of the will proper? Appelate Courts Decision & Decision: No. After a thorough study of the record and mature reflection on the conflicting evidence, we are constrained to conclude that the trial court erred in denying probate of the will. Of the three attesting witnesses, namely, Atty. Modesto Puno, Honorio Lacson, and Laureano Antonio, the first two testified positively that the will was signed by the testatrix and the three witnesses in the presence of each other, and that it was read to the testatrix before being signed. Antonio testified that when he arrived, Atty. Puno was half through affixing his signatures, and that the testatrix left before Antonio finished signing all the copies. Intrinsically, we cannot state that Antonio spoke the truth, since, in the first place, the attestation clause signed by him contradicts his pretense and, in the second place, there is enough evidence on the record to show that Antonio never gave the slightest indication that he was not present when the testatrix left before Antonio finished signing. Modesto Puno is a lawyer and at the time a justice of the peace, and it is improbable that he would unnecessarily risk his honor and reputation. Indeed, the trial court gave the impression that Atty. Puno was anxious to strictly meet the requirements of the law and in the absence, as in the case at bar, of any reason

for a hasty completion, we do not believe that Atty. Puno would have allowed the signing of the will to be proceeded with unless three attesting witnesses were already present. In deciding against the probate of the will, the trial court believed the testimony of Antonio to the effect that he arrived at the place of the signing at about 2:30 in the afternoon, and thereby found that a greater part of the proceeding was already finished. We are of the opinion that the specification of the time of the signing refers to an immaterial or unimportant detail which, in view of the lapse of time, might have been a mistake by one or the other participant in the execution of Oliva's will. What is important and decisive and this should be impressed in the mind of an attorney preparing and taking charge of the signing of will, is that the testatrix and each of the three attesting witnesses must affix their signatures in the presence of one another. In the case before us, Atty. Puno and Honorio. Another point invoked by the trial court against the probate of the will is the circumstance that, while Atty. Puno testified that he placed the lines on which the testatrix and the witnesses were to sign before he read the document to the testatrix whom he gave the original witness Lacson testify that Atty. Puno read the original after giving a copy to the testatrix, and after reading Atty. Puno placed the lines for signatures. The discrepancy again refers to a minor detail which is not sufficient to

negative the truthfulness of Atty. Puno and Honorio Lacson on the main and important fact that the will was signed by the testatrix and the three attesting witnesses in the presence of each other. In the holding that the will was not that of Oliva Villapaa, the trial court found that it was not read to her; and this finding was premised on the alleged contradiction of Atty. Puno and Honorio Lacson regarding the sequence of the reading of the will and the placing of the lines for signatures, and regarding the question whether a copy or the original was handed to the testatrix. As we have already observed, the discrepancy relates to an insignificant matter which cannot vitally detract from the credibility of Atty. Puno to the effect that upon arrival at the house of Oliva Villapaa at about noon, he read the will to her with a view to finding whether she was agreeable thereto. It is not necessary that said will be read upon its signing and in the presence of the witnesses. As a closing observation, it is not for us to discover the motives of Oliva Villapaa in leaving her properties to the person named in the will, and omitting therefrom the oppositors-appellees. Suffice it to state that the trial court itself found the will to have been executed free from falsification, fraud, trickery or undue influence, with Oliva having testamentary capacity; and in such a situation it becomes our duty to give expression to her will.

Wherefore, the appealed order is reversed and the will executed by Oliva Villapaa on July 17, 1948, is hereby allowed. Montinola vs CA FACTS: This case arose from a petition filed by private respondent Atty. Eduardo F. Hernandez on April 22, 1981 with the Court of First Instance of Manila (now Regional Trial Court) seeking the probate of the holographic will of the late Herminia Montinola executed on January 28, 1980. The testatrix, who died single, parentless and childless on March 29,1981 at the age of 70 years, devised in this will several of her real properties to specified persons. On April 29,1981, private respondent who was named executor in the will filed an urgent motion for appointment of special administrator. With the conformity of all the relatives and heirs of the testatrix except oppositor, the court in its order of May 5, 1981 6 appointed private respondent as Special Administrator of the testate estate of deceased. PLAINTIFFS CONTENTION: Atty. Eduardo F. Hernandez contended that the will was executed according to the formalities set by law without undue influence. (not really stated on the case. Assumed lang bec. wala naman siyang contention. hehe)

DEFENDANTS CONTENTION: Matilde Montinola Sanson (petitioner) who passed away during the pendency of the case and was substituted by her heirs , the only surviving sister of the deceased but who was not named in the said will, filed her Opposition to Probate of Will, alleging that the subject will was not entirely written, dated and signed by the testatrix herself and the same was falsely dated or antedated; that the testatrix was not in full possession of her mental faculties to make testamentary dispositions; that undue influence was exerted upon the person and mind of the testatrix by the beneficiaries named in the win; and that the will failed to institute a residual heir to the remainder of the estate. LOWER COURTS DECISION: The probate court, finding the evidence presented in support of the petition to be conclusive and overwhelming, rendered its decision allowing the probate of the disputed will. APPELLATE COURTS DECISION: It affirmed the decision of the probate court. It also subsequently denied the motions for new trial and reconsideration by the petitioner. ISSUE: Whether or not the will was executed according to the formalities of law without any undue influence.

HELD: (Since petitioner's motion was filed on September 24,1986, the fifteenth or last day of the period to appeal, the decision of the respondent court became final on the following day, September 25. And when the motion for reconsideration of petitioner was filed on October 30,1986, it was obviously filed out of time.) Since the questioned decision has already become final and executory because of the expiration of the period to appeal by the petitioner, it is no longer within the province of this Court to review it. This being so, the findings of the probate court as to the due execution of the will and the testamentary capacity of testatrix are now conclusive. But assuming that the case can still be reviewed on merits, the Supreme Court ruled that the petition is bound to fail. Petitioner alleges that her exclusion from the alleged holographic will was without rhyme or reason, being the only surviving sister of the testatrix with whom she shares an intimate relationship, thus demonstrating the lack of testamentary capacity of testatrix. In the case of Pecson v. Coronel, 24 it was held The appellants emphasize the fact that family ties in this country are very strongly knit and that the exclusion of a relative from

one's estate is an exceptional case. It is true that the ties of relationship in the Philippines are very strong, but we understand that cases of preterition of relatives from the inheritance are not rare. The liberty to dispose of one's estate by will when there are no forced heirs is rendered sacred by the Civil Code in force in the Philippines since 1889... (baka itanong niya lang to hehe) Article 842 of the Civil Code provides that one who has no compulsory heirs may dispose by will of all his estate or any part of it in favor of any person having capacity to succeed. With regard to petitioners insistence that the fact that in her holographic will the testatrix failed to dispose of all of her estate is an indication of the unsoundness of her mind, the court ruled on the negative, citing Art. 841 of the Civil Code which provides that A will shall be valid even though it should not contain an institution of an heir, or such institution should not comprise the entire estate, and even though the person so instituted should not accept the inheritance or should be incapacitated to succeed. In such cases, the testamentary dispositions made in accordance with law shall be complied with and the remainder of the estate shall pass to the legal heirs.

Thus, the fact that in her holographic will, testatrix disposed of only eleven (11) of her real properties does not invalidate the will, or is it an indication that the testatrix was of unsound mind. The portion of the estate not disposed of shall pass on to the heirs of the deceased in intestate succession. Neither is undue influence present just because blood relatives, other than compulsory heirs have been omitted, for while blood ties are strong in the Philippines, it is the testator's right to disregard non-compulsory heirs. The fact that some heirs are more favored than others is proof of neither fraud or undue influence. Diversity of apportionment is the usual reason for making a testament, otherwise, the decedent might as well die intestate. The contention of the petitioner that the will was obtained by undue influence or improper pressure exerted by the beneficiaries of the will cannot be sustained on mere conjecture or suspicion; as it is not enough that there was opportunity to exercise undue influence or a possibility that it may have been exercised. The exercise of improper pressure and undue influence must be supported by substantial evidence that it was actually exercised. The petition was DENIED.

devisees, the following: petitioners Roberto and Thelma Ajero, private respondent Clemente Sand, Meriam S. Arong, Leah Sand, Lilia Sand, Edgar Sand, Fe Sand, Lisa S. Sand, and Dr. Jose Ajero, Sr., and their children. PLAINTIFFS CONTENTION: On January 20, 1983, petitioners instituted Sp. Proc. No. Q-37171, for allowance of decedent's holographic will. They alleged that at the time of its execution, she was of sound and disposing mind, not acting under duress, fraud or undue influence, and was in every respect capacitated to dispose of her estate by will. DEFENDANTS CONTENTION: Private respondent opposed the petition on the grounds that neither the testament's body nor the signature therein was in decedent's handwriting; it contained alterations and corrections which were not duly signed by decedent; and, the will was procured by petitioners through improper pressure and undue influence. The petition was also opposed by Dr. Jose Ajero, who contested the disposition in the will of a house and lot located in Cabadbaran, Agusan Del Norte. He claimed that said property could not be conveyed by decedent in its entirety, as she was not its sole owner. LOWER COURTS DECISION: G.R. No. 106720 September 15, 1994 FACTS: On November 25, 1982 Annie Sand died, leaving behind a holographic will. In the will, decedent named as The trial court admitted the decedent's holographic will to probate. This probate court finds no reason at all for the disallowance of the will for its failure to comply with the formalities prescribed by law nor for lack of testamentary capacity of the testatrix. While the fact that

SPOUSES ROBERTO AND THELMA AJERO vs. CA AND CLEMENTE SAND

it was entirely written, dated and signed in the handwriting of the testatrix has been disputed, the petitioners, however, have satisfactorily shown in Court that the holographic will in question was indeed written entirely, dated and signed in the handwriting of the testatrix. Three (3) witnesses who have convincingly shown knowledge of the handwriting of the testatrix have been presented and have explicitly and categorically identified the handwriting with which the holographic will in question was written to be the genuine handwriting and signature of the testatrix. Given then the aforesaid evidence, the requirement of the law that the holographic will be entirely written, dated and signed in the handwriting of the testatrix has been complied with. Likewise, no evidence was presented to show sufficient reason for the disallowance of herein holographic will. While it was alleged that the said will was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of the beneficiary or of some other person, the evidence adduced have not shown any instance where improper pressure or influence was exerted on the testatrix. APPELLATE COURTS DECISION: On appeal, said Decision was reversed, and the petition for probate of decedent's will was dismissed. The Court of Appeals found that, "the holographic will fails to meet the requirements for its validity." It held that the decedent did not comply with Articles 813 and 814 of the New Civil Code, which read, as follows: Art. 813: When a number of dispositions appearing in a holographic will are signed

without being dated, and the last disposition has a signature and date, such date validates the dispositions preceding it, whatever be the time of prior dispositions. Art. 814: In case of insertion, cancellation, erasure or alteration in a holographic will, the testator must authenticate the same by his full signature. ISSUE: Whether or not Annie Sands holographic will was executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law? HELD: YES. In the case of holographic wills, what assures authenticity is the requirement that they be totally autographic or handwritten by the testator himself, as provided under Article 810 of the New Civil Code, thus: A person may execute a holographic will which must be entirely written, dated, and signed by the hand of the testator himself. It is subject to no other form, and may be made in or out of the Philippines, and need not be witnessed. Likewise, a holographic will can still be admitted to probate, notwithstanding non-compliance with the provisions of Article 814. In the case of Kalaw vs. Relova, this Court held:

Ordinarily, when a number of erasures, corrections, and interlineations made by the testator in a holographic Will have not been noted under his signature, . . . the Will is not thereby invalidated as a whole, but at most only as respects the particular words erased, corrected or interlined. Thus, unless the unauthenticated alterations, cancellations or insertions were made on the date of the holographic will or on testator's signature, their presence does not invalidate the will itself.

declared as acknowledged natural daughter. It is in accordance with the provisions that the executor in his final account and project partition ratified the payment of only P3,600 to Helen Christensen Garcia. and proposed that the residue of the estate be transferred to his daughter, Maria Lucy Christensen. Appellants Contention: Opposition to the approval of the project of partition was filed by Helen Christensen Garcia, insofar as it deprives her (Helen) of her legitime as an acknowledged natural child. The legal grounds of opposition are (a) that the distribution should be governed by the laws of the Philippines, and (b) that said order of distribution is contrary thereto insofar as it denies to Helen Christensen Garcia, one of two acknowledged natural children, onehalf of the estate in full ownership. But appellant invokes the provisions of Article 946 of the Civil Code of California, which is as follows: "If there is no law to the contrary, in the place where personal property is situated, it is deemed to follow the person of its owner, and is governed by the law of his domicile." Lower Courts Decision: The court ruled that Edward Christensen was a citizen of the United States and of the State of California at the time of his death, the successional rights and intrinsic validity of the provisions in his will are to be governed by the law of California, in accordance with which a testator has the right to dispose of his property in the way he desires, because the right of absolute dominion over his property is sacred and inviolable. Issue: WON the Philippine laws will govern in the succession Held: There is no question that Edward Christensen was a citizen of the United States and of the State of California at the time of his death. But there is also no question that at the time of his death he

Testate of Edward Christensen 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. 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

was domiciled in the Philippines, as witness the following facts admitted by the executor himself. In arriving at the conclusion that the domicile of the deceased is the Philippines, we are persuaded by the fact that he was born in New York, migrated to California and resided there for nine years, and since he came to the Philippines in 1913 he returned to California very rarely and only for short visits (perhaps to relatives), and considering that he appears never to have owned or acquired a home or properties in that state, which would indicate that he would ultimately abandon the Philippines and make home in the State of California. The law that governs the validity of his testamentary dispositions is defined in Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. What is the law in California governing the disposition of personal property? It is argued on executor's behalf that as the deceased Christensen was a citizen of the State of California, the internal law thereof, which is that given in the above-cited case, should govern the determination of the validity of the testamentary provisions of in which he was a citizen. Appellant, on the other hand, insists that Article 946 should be applicable, and in accordance therewith and following 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 laws of California have prescribed two sets of laws for its citizens, one for residents therein and another for those domiciled in other jurisdictions. Reason demands that the court should enforce the California internal law prescribed for its citizens residing therein, and enforce the conflict of law rules law for the citizens domiciled abroad. If we must enforce the law of California as in comity we are bound to do, as so declared in Article 16 of our Civil Code, then we must enforce the law of California in accordance with the express mandate. The Philippine court must apply its own law as directed in the conflict of law rule of the state of the decedent, if the question has to be decided, especially as the application of the internal law of California 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. We therefore find that as the domicile of the deceased Christensen is the Philippines, the validity of the provisions of his will depriving his acknowledged natural child, the appellant, should be governed by the Philippine law, the domicile, pursuant to Art. 946 of the Civil Code of California, not by the internal law of California.

Philippines, in which he directed that after all taxes, obligations, and expenses of administration are paid for, his distributable estate should be divided, in trust, in the following order and manner a) $240,000.00 to his first wife MARY E. MALLEN b) $120,000.00 to his three illegitimate childrenAMOS BELLIS, JR., MARIA CRISTINA BELLIS, MIRIAM PALMA BELLIS,or $40,000.00 each, and c) After foregoing the two items have been satisfied, the remainder shall go to his seven surviving children by his first and second wives EDWARD A. BELLIS, HENRY A. BELLIS, ALEXANDER BELLIS, and ANNA BELLISALLSMAN, EDWARD G. BELLIS, WA LTER S. BELLIS, and DOROTHY E. BELLIS in equal shares. 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. The LOWER COURT issued an order overruling the oppositions and approving the executors final account, report and administration, and project of partition. Relying upon Article 16 of the Civil Code, it applied the national law of the decedent, which in this case is which did not

Bellis vs. Bellis G.R. No. L-23678 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

provide for legitimes ISSUE: Which law must apply in executing the will of the deceased Texas Law or Philippine Law? HELD: The said illegitimate children are not entitled to their legitimes under the Texas Law(which is the national law of the deceased), here are no legitimes. The renvoi doctrinecannot be applied. Said doctrine is usually pertinent where the decedent is a national of one country ad a domiciliary of another. In the said case, it is not disputed that the deceased was both a national of Texas and a domicile thereof at the time of his death. Article 16, Paragraph 2 of Civil code 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. They provide that ART.16 Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country to where it is

situated.However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of successions 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.

Legaspi/Dorotheo, who claims to have taken care of Alejandro before he died, filed a special proceeding for the probate of the latter's will and testament. The probate court admitted the will to probate. Private respondents did not appeal from said order. In 1983, they filed a "Motion to Declare The Will Intrinsically Void." Lower Courts Decision: The trial court granted the motion. Petitioner moved for reconsideration. Upon denial of her motion for reconsideration. Appellate courts decision: Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals but the same was dismissed for failure to file appellant's brief within the extended period granted. The dismissal become final and executory and a corresponding entry of judgment was forthwith issued by the Court of Appeals. The lower court, to implement the final and executory order, issued a writ of execution. Judge Zain B. Angas set aside the Order directing the issuance of the writ of execution, on the ground that the order was merely "interlocutory", hence, not final in character. Private respondents filed a petition before the Court of Appeals which nullified the assailed Orders of Judge Zain. Hence, the present petition. Petitioners Contention:

Lourdes Dorotheo vs. CA Facts: Private respondents, Vicente Dorotheo, Jose Dorotheo and Nilda Dorotheo Quintanawere are the legitimate children of Alejandro Dorotheo and Aniceta Reyes. Aniceta died in 1969 without her estate being settled. After Alejandro's death, petitioner, Lourdes

Petitioner contended that in issuing the assailed orders, Judge Angas cannot be said to have no jurisdiction because he was particularly designated to hear the case.Petitioner moved for reconsideration arguing that she is entitled to some compensation since she took care of Alejandro prior to his death although she admitted that they were not married to each other. Defendants Contention: That a last will and testament admitted to probate court that was declared intrinsically void in an order and has become final and executory cannot be given effect

orders of a superior court, for to do so would be to negate the hierarchy of the courts and nullify the essence of review. The Court also reiterated the rule that a judgment on a probated will, albeit erroneous, is binding on the whole world. With respect to the last will and testament, the Court upheld the trial court in holding that the rules of intestacy shall apply. According to the Court, although the will is extrinsically valid, its provisions however are not in accordance with the laws of succession rendering it intrinsically void, hence, the law mandates that the rules of intestacy shall apply. In addition to this, under the law of Succession, EVEN IF A WILL WAS VALIDLY EXECUTED, IF THE TESTATOR PROVIDES FOR DISPOSITIONS THAT DEPRIVES OR IMPAIRS THE LAWFUL HEIRS OF THEIR LEGITIME OR RIGHTFUL INHERITANCE ACCORDING TO THE LAWS ON SUCCESSION, THE UNLAWFUL PROVISION/DISPOSITIONS THEREOF CANNOT BE GIVEN EFFECT. Under the Civil Code, due execution includes a determination of whether the testator was of sound and disposing mind at the time of its execution, that he had freely executed the will and was not acting under duress, fraud, menace or undue influence and that the will is genuine and not a forgery, that he was of the proper testamentary age and that he is a person not expressly prohibited by law from making a will. The

Issue: May a last will and testament admitted to probate but declared intrinsically void in an order that has become final and executory still be given effect? Held: The Supreme Court dismissed the petition. The Court ruled that a final decision or order can no longer be disturbed or reopened no matter how erroneous it may be. In setting aside the Order that had attained finality, the trial court in effect nullified the entry of judgment made by the Court of Appeals. The Court stressed that a lower court cannot reverse or set aside decisions or

intrinsic validity is another matter and questions regarding the same may still be raised even after the will has been authenticated. Thus, it does not necessarily follow that an extrinsically valid last will and testament is always intrinsically valid. Even if the will was validly executed, if the testator provides for dispositions that deprives or impairs the lawful heirs of their legitime or rightful inheritance according to the laws on succession, the unlawful provisions/dispositions thereof cannot be given effect. This is specially so when the courts had already determined in a final and executory decision that the will is intrinsically void. Such determination having attained that character of finality is binding on this Court which will no longer be disturbed. Not that this Court finds the will to be intrinsically valid, but that a final and executory decision of which the party had the opportunity to challenge before the higher tribunals must stand and should no longer be reevaluated. Failure to avail of the remedies provided by law constitutes waiver. And if the party does not avail of other remedies despite its belief that it was aggrieved by a decision or court action, then it is deemed to have fully agreed and is satisfied with the decision or order.

FELIX AZUELA v. COURT OF APPEALS and GERALDA AIDA CASTILLO, substituted by ERNESTO G. CASTILLO G.R. 122880, 12 April 2006, Tinga, J. (Third Division) The core of this petition is a highly defective notarial will, purportedly executed by Eugenia E. Igsolo (decedent), who died on 16 December 1982 at the age of 80. In refusing to give legal recognition to the due execution of this document, the Court is provided the opportunity to assert a few important doctrinal rules in the execution of notarial wills, all selfevident in view of Articles 805 and 806 of the Civil Code. A will whose attestation clause does not contain the number of pages on which the will is written is fatally defective. A will whose attestation clause is not signed by the instrumental witnesses is fatally defective. And perhaps most importantly, a will which does not contain an acknowledgment, but a mere jurat, is fatally defective. Any one of these defects is sufficient to deny probate. A notarial will with all three defects is just aching for judicial rejection. FACTS: Felix Azuela filed a petition with the trial court for the probate of a notarial will purportedly executed by Eugenia E. Igsolo on June 10, 1981 and notarized on the same day. The will consisted of two (2) pages and was written in Filipino. The case stems from a petition for probate filed on 10 April 1984 with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. The petition filed by petitioner Felix Azuela sought to

admit to probate the notarial will of Eugenia E. Igsolo, which was notarized on 10 June 1981. Petitioner is the son of the cousin of the decedent. The will, consisting of two (2) pages and written in the vernacular Pilipino, read in full: HULING HABILIN NI EUGENIA E. IGSOLO SA NGALAN NG MAYKAPAL, AMEN: AKO, si EUGENIA E. IGSOLO, nakatira sa 500 San Diego St., Sampaloc, Manila, pitongput siyam (79) na gulang, nasa hustong pagi-isip, pag-unawa at memoria ay nag-hahayag na ito na ang aking huling habilin at testamento, at binabali wala ko lahat ang naunang ginawang habilin o testamento: Una-Hinihiling ko na ako ay mailibing sa Sementerio del Norte, La Loma sang-ayong sa kaugalian at patakaran ng simbahang katoliko at ang taga-pag-ingat (Executor) ng habiling ito ay magtatayo ng bantayog upang silbing alaala sa akin ng aking pamilya at kaibigan; Pangalawa-Aking ipinagkakaloob at isinasalin ang lahat ng karapatan sa aking pamangkin na si Felix Azuela, na siyang nag-alaga sa akin sa mahabang panahon, yaong mga bahay na nakatirik sa lote numero 28, Block 24 at nakapangalan sa Pechaten Korporasyon, ganoon din ibinibigay ko ang lahat ng karapatan sa bahay na nakatirik sa inoopahan kong lote, numero 43, Block 24 na pag-aari ng Pechaten Corporation. Ipinagkakaloob kong buong buo ang lahat ng karapatan sa bahay at lupa na nasa 500 San Diego St., Lot 42, Block 24, Sampaloc,

Manila kay Felix Azuela at ang pagkakaloob kong ito ay walang pasubalit at kondiciones; Pangatlo- Na ninunumbrahan ko si VART PAGUE na siyang nagpapatupad ng huling habiling ito at kagustuhan ko rin na hindi na kailanman siyang mag-lagak ng piyansiya. Aking nilagdaan ang Huling Habilin na ito dito sa Maynila ika 10 ng Hunyo, 1981. (Sgd.) EUGENIA E. IGSOLO (Tagapagmana) PATUNAY NG MGA SAKSI Ang kasulatang ito, na binubuo ng ____ dahon pati ang huling dahong ito, na ipinahayag sa amin ni Eugenia E. Igsolo, tagapagmana na siya niyang Huling Habilin, ngayon ika-10 ng Hunyo 1981, ay nilagdaan ng nasabing tagapagmana sa ilalim ng kasulatang nabanggit at sa kaliwang panig ng lahat at bawat dahon, sa harap ng lahat at bawat sa amin, at kami namang mga saksi ay lumagda sa harap ng nasabing tagapagmana at sa harap ng lahat at bawat isa sa amin, sa ilalim ng nasabing kasulatan at sa kaliwang panig ng lahat at bawat dahon ng kasulatan ito. EUGENIA E. IGSOLO address: 500 San Diego St. Sampaloc, Manila Res. Cert. No. A-7717-37 Issued at Manila on March 10, 1981.

QUIRINO AGRAVA address: 1228-Int. 3, Kahilum Pandacan, Manila Res. Cert. No. A-458365 Issued at Manila on Jan. 21, 1981 LAMBERTO C. LEAO address: Avenue 2, Blcok 7, Lot 61, San Gabriel, G.MA., Cavite Res. Cert. No. A-768277 issued at Carmona, Cavite on Feb. 7, 1981 JUANITO ESTRERA address: City Court Compound, City of Manila Res. Cert. No. A574829 Issued at Manila on March 2, 1981. Nilagdaan ko at ninotario ko ngayong 10 ng Hunyo 10, 1981 dito sa Lungsod ng Maynila. (Sgd.) PETRONIO Y. BAUTISTA Doc. No. 1232 ; NOTARIO PUBLIKO Page No. 86 ; Until Dec. 31, 1981 Book No. 43 ; PTR-152041-1/2/81-Manila Series of 1981 TAN # 1437-977-81 The three named witnesses to the will affixed their signatures on the left-hand margin of both pages of the will, but not at the bottom of the attestation clause. The probate petition adverted to only two (2) heirs, legatees and devisees of the decedent, namely: petitioner himself, and one Irene Lynn Igsolo, who was alleged to have resided abroad. Petitioner prayed that the

will be allowed, and that letters testamentary be issued to the designated executor, Vart Prague. PLAINTIFFS CONTENTION: The plaintiff and appellee contends that the attestation clause is "a memorandum of the facts attending the execution of the will" required by law to be made by the attesting witnesses, and it must necessarily bear their signatures. An unsigned attestation clause cannot be considered as an act of the witnesses, since the omission of their signatures at the bottom thereof negatives their participation. Azuela also contends that the signatures of the three witnesses on the left-hand margin conform substantially to the law and may be deemed as their signatures to the attestation clause. This is untenable, because said signatures are in compliance with the legal mandate that the will be signed on the left-hand margin of all its pages. If an attestation clause not signed by the three witnesses at the bottom thereof, be admitted as sufficient, it would be easy to add such clause to a will on a subsequent occasion and in the absence of the testator and any or all of the witnesses. He also argues that the requirement under Article 805 of the Civil Code that the number of pages used in a notarial will be stated in the attestation clause is merely directory, rather than mandatory, and thus susceptible to what he termed as the substantial compliance rule. DEFENDANTS CONTENTION:

The attestation clause did not state the number of pages and it was not signed by the attesting witnesses at the bottom thereof. The said witnesses affixed their signatures on the left-hand margin of both pages of the will though. Geralda Castillo opposed the petition, claiming that the will was a forgery. She also argued that the will was not executed and attested to in accordance with law. She pointed out that the decedents signature did not appear on the second page of the will, and the will was not properly acknowledged. Oppositor Geralda Castillo also argued that the will was not executed and attested to in accordance with law. She pointed out that decedents signature did not appear on the second page of the will, and the will was not properly acknowledged. These twin arguments are among the central matters to this petition. LOWER COURTS DECISION: The trial court held the will to be authentic and to have been executed in accordance with law and, thus, admitted it to probate, calling to fore the modern tendency in respect to the formalities in the execution of a willwith the end in view of giving the testator more freedom in expressing his last wishes. According to the trial court, the declaration at the end of the will under the sub-title, Patunay Ng Mga Saksi, comprised the attestation clause and the acknowledgement, and was a substantial compliance with the requirements of the law. It also held that the signing by the subscribing witnesses on the left margin of the second page of the will containing the attestation clause and acknowledgment,

instead of at the bottom thereof, substantially satisfied the purpose of identification and attestation of the will. APPELATE COURTS DECISION: The Court of Appeals, however, reversed the trial courts decision and ordered the dismissal of the petition for probate. It noted that the attestation clause failed to state the number of pages used in the will, thus rendering the will void and undeserving of probate. ISSUE: 1. Whether or not the will was not executed and attested to in accordance with law (attestation clause did not state the number of pages and it was not signed by the attesting witnesses at the bottom thereof, and it was not acknowledge before a notary public) and, hence, should be admitted to probate HELD: The petition is DENIED. A will whose attestation clause does not contain the number of pages on which the will is written is fatally defective. A will whose attestation clause is not signed by the instrumental witnesses is fatally defective. And perhaps most importantly, a will which does not contain an acknowledgment, but a mere jurat, is fatally defective. Any one of these defects is sufficient to deny probate. A

notarial will with all three defects is just aching for judicial rejection. RECENT JURISPRUDENCE CIVIL LAW Prior to the New Civil Code, the statutory provision governing the formal requirements of wills was Section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Extant therefrom is the requirement that the attestation state the number of pages of the will. The enactment of the New Civil Code put in force a rule of interpretation of the requirements of wills, at least insofar as the attestation clause is concerned, that may vary from the philosophy that governed the said Section 618. Article 809 of the Civil Code, the Code Commission opted to recommend a more liberal construction through the substantial compliance rule. However, Justice J.B.L. Reyes cautioned that the rule must be limited to disregarding those defects that can be supplied by an examination of the will itself: whether all the pages are consecutively numbered; whether the signatures appear in each and every page; whether the subscribing witnesses are three or the will was notarized...But the total number of pages, and whether all persons required to sign did so in the presence of each other must substantially appear in the attestation clause, being the only check against perjury in the probate proceedings. The Court suggested in Caneda v. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 103554, May 28, 1993, 222 SCRA 781): the rule, as it now stands, is that omission which can be supplied by an examination of the will itself, without the need of resorting to extrinsic evidence, will not be fatal

and, correspondingly, would not obstruct the allowance to probate of the will being assailed. However, those omissions which cannot be supplied except by evidence aliunde would result in the invalidation of the attestation clause and ultimately, of the will itself. The failure of the attestation clause to state the number of pages on which the will was written remains a fatal flaw, despite Art. 809. This requirement aims at safeguarding the will against possible interpolation or omission of one or some of its pages and thus preventing any increase or decrease in the pages. Following Caneda case, there is substantial compliance with this requirement if the will states elsewhere in it how many pages it is comprised of, as was the situation in Singson and Taboada. In this case, however, there could have been no substantial compliance with the requirements under Art. 805 of the Civil Code since there is no statement in the attestation clause or anywhere in the will itself as to the number of pages which comprise the will. There was an incomplete attempt to comply with this requisite, a space having been allotted for the insertion of the number of pages in the attestation clause. Yet the blank was never filled in. The subject will cannot be considered to have been validly attested to by the instrumental witnesses . While the signatures of the instrumental witnesses appear on the left-hand margin of the will, they do not appear at the bottom of the attestation clause. Art. 805 particularly segregates the requirement that the instrumental witnesses sign each page of the will, from

the requisite that the will be attested and subscribed by them. The signatures on the left-hand corner of every page signify, among others, that the witnesses are aware that the page they are signing forms part of the will. On the other hand, the signatures to the attestation clause establish that the witnesses are referring to the statements contained in the attestation clause itself. An unsigned attestation clause results in an unattested will. Even if the instrumental witnesses signed the left-hand margin of the page containing the unsigned attestation clause, such signatures cannot demonstrate these witnesses undertakings in the clause, since the signatures that do appear on the page were directed towards a wholly different avowal. The notary public who notarized the subject will wrote, Nilagdaan ko at ninotario ko ngayong 10 ng Hunyo 10 (sic), 1981 dito sa Lungsod ng Maynila. By no manner of contemplation can these words be construed as an acknowledgment. An acknowledgment is the act of one who has executed a deed in going before some competent officer or court and declaring it to be his act or deed. The case of Cagro v. Cagro is material on this point. As in this case, "the signatures of the three witnesses to the will do not appear at the bottom of the attestation clause, although the page containing the same is signed by the witnesses on the left-hand margin." While three (3) Justices considered the signature requirement had been substantially complied with, a majority of six (6), speaking through Chief Justice Paras, ruled that the attestation

clause had not been duly signed, rendering the will fatally defective. It might be possible to construe the averment as a jurat, even though it does not follow to the usual language thereof. A jurat is that part of an affidavit where the notary certifies that before him/her, the document was subscribed and sworn to by the executor. It may not have been said before, but a notarial will that is not acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses is fatally defective, even if it is subscribed and sworn to before a notary public. The importance of the requirement of acknowledgment is highlighted by the fact that it had been segregated from the other requirements under Art. 805 and entrusted into a separate provision, Art. 806. The express requirement of Art. 806 is that the will be acknowledged, and not merely subscribed and sworn to. The acknowledgment coerces the testator and the instrumental witnesses to declare before an officer of the law that they had executed and subscribed to the will as their own free act or deed. Such declaration is under oath and under pain of perjury, thus allowing for the criminal prosecution of persons who participate in the execution of spurious wills, or those executed without the free consent of the testator. It also provides a further degree of assurance that the testator is of certain mindset in making the testamentary dispositions to those persons he/she had designated in the will. The rule must be limited to disregarding those defects that can be supplied by an examination of the will itself:

whether all the pages are consecutively numbered; whether the signatures appear in each and every page; whether the subscribing witnesses are three or the will was notarized. All these are facts that the will itself can reveal, and defects or even omissions concerning them in the attestation clause can be safely disregarded. But the total number of pages, and whether all persons required to sign did so in the presence of each other must substantially appear in the attestation clause, being the only check against perjury in the probate proceedings. The provision requires that the testator and the instrumental witnesses sign each and every page of the will on the left margin, except the last; and that all the pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page. In this case, the decedent, unlike the witnesses, failed to sign both pages of the will on the left margin, her only signature appearing at the socalled "logical end" of the will on its first page. Also, the will itself is not numbered correlatively in letters on each page, but instead numbered with Arabic numerals. There is a line of thought that has disabused the notion that these two requirements be construed as mandatory. Taken in isolation, these omissions, by themselves, may not be sufficient to deny probate to a will. Yet even as these omissions are not decisive to the adjudication of this case, they need not be dwelt on, though indicative as they may be of a general lack of due regard for the requirements under Article 805 by whoever executed the will.

All told, the string of mortal defects which the will in question suffers from makes the probate denial inexorable. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Art. 805. Every will, other than a holographic will, must be subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself or by the testator's name written by some other person in his presence, and by his express direction, and attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one another. Article 806. Every will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses.

SALUD TEODORO VDA. DE PEREZ vs TOLETE G.R. No. 76714 FACTS: Dr. Jose F. Cunanan and his wife, Dr. Evelyn PerezCunanan, who became American citizens, established a successful medical practice in New York, U.S.A. The Cunanans lived at No. 2896 Citation Drive, Pompey, Syracuse, New York, with their children, Jocelyn, 18; Jacqueline, 16; and Josephine, 14. On August 23, 1979, Dr. Cunanan executed a last will and testament, bequeathing to his wife "all the remainder" of his real and personal property at the time of his death "wheresoever situated. In the event he would survive his wife, he bequeathed all his property to his children and grandchildren with Dr. Rafael G. Cunanan, Jr. as trustee. He appointed his wife as executrix of his last will and testament and Dr. Rafael G. Cunanan, Jr. as substitute executor. Four days later, on August 27, Dr. Evelyn P. Cunanan executed her own last will and testament containing the same provisions as that of the will of her husband. On January 9, 1982, Dr. Cunanan and his entire family perished when they were trapped by fire that gutted their home. Thereafter, Dr. Rafael G. Cunanan, Jr. as trustee and substitute executor of the two wills, filed separate proceedings for the

probate thereof with the Surrogate Court of the County of Onondaga, New York. On April 7, these two wills were admitted to probate and letters testamentary were issued in his favor. Later, Evelyns mother, Salud Perez, filed a petition for reprobate in Bulacan. PLAINTIFFS CONTENTION: Salud said she was the sole heir of her daughter, Evelyn, and that the two wills were in accordance with New York law. But before she could present evidence to prove the law of New York, the reprobate court already issued an order, disallowing the wills. DEFENDANTS CONTENTION: Defendant Rafael opposed, arguing that Salud was not an heir according to New York law. He contended that since the wills were executed in New York, New York law should govern. He further argued that, by New York law, he and his brothers and sisters were Joses heirs and as such entitled to notice of the reprobate proceedings, which Salud failed to give. LOWER COURTS DECISION: The last will and testament was subsequently denied probate and on April 30, 1985, the respondent Judge of Branch 18 of the Regional Trial Court, Malolos, to which the reprobate case was reassigned, issued an order stating that

"(W)hen the last will and testament . . . was denied probate," the case was terminated and therefore all orders theretofore issued should be given finality. The same Order amended the February 21, 1984 Order by requiring petitioner to turn over to the estate the inventoried property. It considered the proceedings for all intents and purposes, closed. On March 31, 1986, respondent Judge to which the case was reassigned denied the motion for reconsideration holding that the documents submitted by petitioner proved "that the wills of the testator domiciled abroad were properly executed, genuine and sufficient to possess real and personal property; that letters testamentary were issued; and that proceedings were held on a foreign tribunal and proofs taken by a competent judge who inquired into all the facts and circumstances and being satisfied with his findings issued a decree admitting to probate the wills in question." However, respondent Judge said that the documents did not establish the law of New York on the procedure and allowance of wills. APPELLATE COURTS DECISION: None, it was filed directly to the Supreme Court. ISSUE: Whether or not the reprobate of the wills should be allowed. HELD:

The Supreme Court ruled that the respective wills of the Cunanan spouses, who were American citizens, will only be effective in this country upon compliance with the following provision of the Civil Code of the Philippines: Art. 816. The will of an alien who is abroad produces effect in the Philippines if made with the formalities prescribed by the law of the place in which he resides, or according to the formalities observed in his country, or in conformity with those which this Code prescribes. Thus, proof that both wills conform with the formalities prescribed by New York laws or by Philippine laws is imperative. The evidence necessary for the reprobate or allowance of wills which have been probated outside of the Philippines are as follows: (1) the due execution of the will in accordance with the foreign laws; (2) the testator has his domicile in the foreign country and not in the Philippines; (3) the will has been admitted to probate in such country; (4) the fact that the foreign tribunal is a probate court, and (5) the laws of a foreign country on procedure and allowance of wills. Except for the first and last requirements, the petitioner submitted all the needed evidence. The necessity of presenting evidence on the foreign laws upon which the probate in the foreign country is based is impelled by the fact that our courts cannot take judicial notice of them.

There is merit in petitioners insistence that the separate wills of the Cunanan spouses should be probated jointly. Respondent Judges view that the Rules on allowance of wills is couched in singular terms and therefore should be interpreted to mean that there should be separate probate proceedings for the wills of the Cunanan spouses is too literal and simplistic an approach. What the law expressly prohibits is the making of joint wills either for the testators reciprocal benefit or for the benefit of a third person (Civil Code of the Philippines, Article 818). In the case at bench, the Cunanan spouses executed separate wills. Since the two wills contain essentially the same provisions and pertain to property which in all probability are conjugal in nature, practical considerations dictate their joint probate. The rule that the court having jurisdiction over the reprobate of a will shall "cause notice thereof to be given as in case of an original will presented for allowance" (Revised Rules of Court, Rule 27, Section 2) means that with regard to notices, the will probated abroad should be treated as if it were an "original will" or a will that is presented for probate for the first time. Accordingly, compliance with Sections 3 and 4 of Rule 76, which require publication and notice by mail or personally to the "known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator resident in the Philippines" and to the executor, if he is not the petitioner, are required. The order of the respondent Judge was SET ASIDE.