Legacies and Devises [G.R. No. L-22036. April 30, 1979. !"#!A!" "#!A!" $% !&" LA!" R"'"R"ND %A!&"R (A#)*AL R+G$R. !&" (AR+#& (R+"#! $% !&" R$,AN )A!&$L+) )&*R)& $% '+)!$R+A, !ARLA), Petitioner-Appellant, v. -"L+NA R+G$R, N"#!

$RA R+G$R, %RAN)+#)A "#)$-AR D" R+G$R and .$'+!A "#)$-AR D" %A*#!$, RespondentsAppellees. #/N$(#+#

In his will, the late Father Pascual Rigor of Victoria, Tarlac, devised forty-four hectares of ricelands to his nearest male relative who would study for the priesthood and provided that the administration of the ricelands would be under the responsibility of the parish priest of Victoria during the time that there is no qualified devisee as contemplated in the will !uring the testate proceedings, the trial court approved the pro"ect of partition and directed the administratri# to deliver to the devisees their respective shares Inasmuch as no nearest male relative of the testator claimed the devise and as the administratri# and the legal heirs believed that the parish priest of Victoria had no right to administer the ricelands, the same were not delivered to him The latter, however, petitioned for delivery of the ricelands to the church The lower court, after first declaring the bequest inoperative, later reconsidered its findings in an order, on the ground that the testator had a grandnephew $born after the testator%s death&, who was a seminarian, and directed the administrator of the estate to deliver the ricelands to the parish priest of Victoria as trustee 'n appeal, the (ourt of )ppeals reversed the order The *upreme (ourt ruled that the will referred to the nearest male relative of the testator who was living at the time of his death and not to any indefinite time thereafter, because in order to be capacitated to inherit, the devisee must be living at the moment the succession opens, e#cept in case of representation, when it is proper !ecision affirmed #/LLA-*# + T,*T)-,.T)R/ *0((,**I'.1 T,*T)T'R%* I.T,.T I* T2, 3)4 'F T2, ()*, 5 In testamentary succession cases, as in cases involving the law of contracts and statutory construction, where the intention of the contracting parties or of the lawma6ing body is to be ascertained, the primary issue is the determination of the testator%s intention which is the law of the case $dicat estor et eirt le#& The will of the testator is the first and principal law in the matter of testaments 4hen his intention is clearly and precisely e#pressed, any interpretation must be in accord with the plain and literal meaning of his words, e#cept when it may certainly appear that his intention was different from that literally e#pressed 7 I! 1 ()P)(IT/ T' I.2,RIT 5 In order to be capacitated to inherit, the heir, devisee or legatee must be living at the moment the succession opens, e#cept in case of representation, when it is proper $)rt +879, (ivil (ode& : I! 1 42,R, ;,<0,*T I* I.'P,R)TIV, 5 If the bequest for any reason should be inoperative, it shall be merged into the estate, e#cept in cases of substitution and those in which the right of accretion e#ists $)rt =9>, .ew (ivil (ode& The (ivil (ode recogni?es that a person may die partly testate and partly intestate, or that there may be mi#ed succession The old rule as to the indivisibility of the testator%s will is no longer valid Thus, if a conditional legacy does not ta6e effect, there will be intestate succession as to the property covered by the said legacy @ I! 1 42,R, 4I33 !',* .'T !IP'*, 'F )33 PR'P,RTI,* 5 3egal succession ta6es place when the will Adoes not dispose of all that belongs to the testator $)rt =>8$7&, .ew (ivil (ode& This case is about the efficaciousness or enforceability of a devise of ricelands located at Buimba, .ueva ,ci"a, with a total area of around forty-four hectares That devise was made in the will of the late Father Pascual Rigor, a native of Victoria, Tarlac, in favor of his nearest male relative who would study for the priesthood The parish priest of Victoria, who claimed to be a trustee of the said lands, appealed to this (ourt from the decision of the

(ourt of )ppeals affirming the order of the probate court declaring that the said devise was inoperative $Rigor v Parish Priest of the Roman (atholic (hurch of Victoria, Tarlac, ()-B R .o 7@:+=-R, )ugust +, +=>:& The record discloses that Father Rigor, the parish priest of Pulilan, ;ulacan, died on )ugust =, +=:9, leaving a will e#ecuted on 'ctober 7=, +=:: which was probated by the (ourt of First Instance of Tarlac in its order of !ecember 9, +=:9 .amed as devisees in the will were the testator%s nearest relatives, namely, his three sistersC Florencia Rigor,scobar, ;elina Rigor--analoto and .estora Rigor-<uiambao The testator gave a devise to his cousin, Fortunato Bamalinda In addition, the will contained the following controversial bequest $paragraphing supplied to facilitate comprehension of the testamentary provisions&C To implement the foregoing bequest, the administratri# in +=@8 submitted a pro"ect of partition containing the following itemC A9 3,B)(/ 'F T2, (20R(2 AThat it be ad"udicated in favor of the legacy purported to be given to the nearest male relative who shall ta6e the priesthood, and in the interim to be administered by the actual (atholic Priest of the Roman (atholic (hurch of Victoria, Tarlac, Philippines, or his successors, the real properties hereinbelow indicated, to witC ATitle .o 3ot .o )rea in 2as Ta# !ec )ss Value T->9:8 :>>: + >7@= +DE@8 P:@8 88 T->9@D :@@9-( 7@ 7==D +DE:8 E,7=8 88 T->979 :>E8 > 7>>9 +DE:> +,DD8 88 T->97+ :>>> ++ =79+ +DE:: :,9D8 88 5555 55555 ATotal area and value 5 @@ ++>: P+:,8=8 88A Fudge Roman ) (ru? in his order of )ugust +9, +=@8, approving the pro"ect of partition, directed that after payment of the obligations of the estate $including the sum of P:,+:7 7> due to the church of the Victoria parish& the administratri# should deliver to the devisees their respective shares It may be noted that the administratri# and Fudge (ru? did not bother to analy?e the meaning and implications of Father Rigor%s bequest to his nearest male relative who would study for the priesthood Inasmuch as no nephew of the testator claimed the devise and as the administratri# and the legal heirs believed that the parish priest of Victoria had no right to administer the ricelands, the same were not delivered to that ecclesiastic The testate proceeding remained pending )bout thirteen years after the approval of the pro"ect of partition, or on February +=, +=9@, the parish priest of Victoria filed in the pending testate proceeding a petition praying for the appointment of a new administrator $succeeding the deceased administratri#, Florencia Rigor&, who should deliver to the church the said ricelands, and further praying that the possessors thereof be ordered to render an accounting of the fruits The probate court granted the petition ) new administrator was appointed 'n Fanuary :+, +=9E the parish priest filed another petition for the delivery of the ricelands to the church as trustee The intestate heirs of Father Rigor countered with a petition dated -arch 79, +=9E praying that the bequest be declared inoperative and that they be ad"udged as the persons entitled to the said ricelands since, as admitted by the parish priest of Victoria, Ano nearest male relative ofA the testator Ahas ever studied for the priesthoodA $pp 79 and :9, Record on )ppeal& That petition was opposed by the parish priest of Victoria Finding that petition to be meritorious, the lower court, through Fudge ;ernabe de )quino, declared the bequest inoperative and ad"udicated the ricelands to the testator%s legal heirs in his order of Fune 7D, +=9E The parish priest filed two motions for reconsideration Fudge !e )quino granted the second motion for reconsideration in his order of !ecember +8, +=9E on the ground that the

testator had a grandnephew named ,dgardo B (unanan $the grandson of his first cousin& who was a seminarian in the *an Fose *eminary of the Fesuit Fathers in <ue?on (ity The administrator was directed to deliver the ricelands to the parish priest of Victoria as trustee The legal heirs appealed to the (ourt of )ppeals It reversed that order It held that Father Rigor had created a testamentary trust for his nearest male relative who would ta6e the holy orders but that such trust could e#ist only for twenty years because to enforce it beyond that period would violate Athe rule against perpetuities A It ruled that since no legatee claimed the ricelands within twenty years after the testator%s death, the same should pass to his legal heirs, citing articles DDD and =+7$7& of the old (ivil (ode and article DE8 of the new (ivil (ode The parish priest in this appeal contends that the (ourt of )ppeals erred in not finding that the testator created a public charitable trust and in not liberally construing the testamentary provisions so as to render the trust operative and to prevent intestacy )s refutation, the legal heirs argue that the (ourt of )ppeals declared the bequest inoperative because no one among the testator%s nearest male relatives had studied for the priesthood and not because the trust was a private charitable trust )ccording to the legal heirs, that factual finding is binding on this (ourt They point out that appellant priest%s change of theory cannot be countenanced in this appeal chanrobles com ph C virtual law library In this case, as in cases involving the law of contracts and statutory construction, where the intention of the contracting parties or of the lawma6ing body is to be ascertained, the primary issue is the determination of the testator%s intention which is the law of the case $dicat testor et erit le# *antos v -anarang, 7E Phil 78=, 7+91 Rodrigue? v (ourt of )ppeals, 3-7DE:@, -arch 7D, +=>=, 7E *(R) 9@>& The will of the testator is the first and principal law in the matter of testaments 4hen his intention is clearly and precisely e#pressed, any interpretation must be in accord with the plain and literal meaning of his words, e#cept when it may certainly appear that his intention was different from that literally e#pressed $In re ,state of (alderon, 7> Phil :::& AThe intent of the testator is the cardinal rule in the construction of wills A It is Athe life and soul of a will A It is Athe first greatest rule, the sovereign guide, the polestar, in giving effect to a will A $*ee !issent of Fustice -oreland in *antos v -anarang, 7E Phil 78=, 77:, 7:E-D & 'ne canon in the interpretation of the testamentary provisions is that Athe testator%s intention is to be ascertained from the words of the will, ta6ing into consideration the circumstances under which it was madeA, but e#cluding the testator%s oral declarations as to his intention $)rt ED=, (ivil (ode of the Philippines& To ascertain Father Rigor%s intention, it may be useful to ma6e the following restatement of the provisions of his willC s virtual +aw library + that he bequeathed the ricelands to anyone of his nearest male relatives who would pursue an ecclesiastical career until his ordination as a priest 7 That the devisee could not sell the ricelands : That the devisee at the inception of his studies in sacred theology could en"oy and administer the ricelands, and once ordained as a priest, he could continue en"oying and administering the same up to the time of his death but the devisee would cease to en"oy and administer the ricelands if he discontinued his studies for the priesthood @ That if the devisee became a priest, he would be obligated to celebrate every year twenty masses with prayers for the repose of the souls of Father Rigor and his parents 9 That if the devisee is e#communicated, he would be divested of the legacy and the administration of the ricelands would pass to the incumbent parish priest of Victoria and his successors > That during the interval of time that there is no qualified devisee, as contemplated above, the administration of the ricelands would be under the responsibility of the incumbent parish priest of Victoria and his successors, and E That the parish priest-administrator of the ricelands would accumulate annually the products thereof, obtaining or getting from the annual produce five percent thereof for his administration and the fees corresponding to the twenty masses with prayers that the parish priest would celebrate for each year, depositing the balance of the income of the devise in the ban6 in the name of his bequest From the foregoing testamentary provisions, it may be deduced that the testator intended to devise the ricelands to his

nearest male relative who would become a priest, who was forbidden to sell the ricelands, who would lose the devise if he discontinued his studies for the priesthood, or having been ordained a priest, he was e#communicated, and who would be obligated to say annually twenty masses with prayers for the repose of the souls of the testator and his parents 'n the other hand, it is clear that the parish priest of Victoria would administer the ricelands only in two situationsC one, during the interval of time that no nearest male relative of the testator was studying for the priesthood and two, in case the testator%s nephew became a priest and he was e#communicated 4hat is not clear is the duration of Ael intervalo de tiempo que no haya legatario acondicionadoA, or how long after the testator%s death would it be determined that he had a nephew who would pursue an ecclesiastical vocation It is that patent ambiguity that has brought about the controversy between the parish priest of Victoria and the testator%s legal heirs Interwoven with that equivocal provision is the time when the nearest male relative who would study for the priesthood should be determined !id the testator contemplate only his nearest male relative at the time of his deathG 'r did he have in mind any of his nearest male relatives at anytime after his deathG 4e hold that the said bequest refers to the testator%s nearest male relative living at the time of his death and not to any indefinite time thereafter AIn order to be capacitated to inherit, the heir, devisee or legatee must be living at the moment the succession opens, e#cept in case of representation, when it is properA $)rt +879, (ivil (ode& The said testamentary provisions should be sensibly or reasonably construed To construe them as referring to the testator%s nearest male relative at anytime after his death would render the provisions difficult to apply and create uncertainty as to the disposition of his estate That could not have been his intention In +=:9, when the testator died, his nearest legal heirs were his three sisters or second-degree relatives, -rs ,scobar, -rs -analoto and -rs <uiambao 'bviously, when the testator specified his nearest male relative, he must have had in mind his nephew or a son of his sister, who would be his third-degree relative, or possibly a grandnephew ;ut since he could not prognosticate the e#act date of his death or state with certitude what category of nearest male relative would be living at the time of his death, he could not specify that his nearest male relative would be his nephew or grandnephews $the sons of his nephew or niece& and so he had to use the term Anearest male relative A It is contended by the legal heirs that the said devise was in reality intended for Ramon <uiambao, the testator%s nephew and godchild, who was the son of his sister, -rs <uiambao To prove that contention, the legal heirs presented in the lower court the affidavit of ;eatri? Bamalinda, the maternal grandmother of ,dgardo (unanan, who deposed that after Father Rigor%s death, her own son, Valentin Bamalinda, Fr , did not claim the devise, although he was studying for the priesthood at the *an (arlos *eminary, because she $;eatri?& 6new that Father Rigor had intended that devise for his nearest male relative belonging to the Rigor family $pp +89-++@, Record on )ppeal& -rs Bamalinda further deposed that her own grandchild, ,dgardo B (unanan, was not the one contemplated in Father Rigor%s will and that ,dgardo%s father told her that he was not consulted by the parish priest of Victoria before the latter filed his second motion for reconsideration which was based on the ground that the testator%s grandnephew, ,dgardo, was studying for the priesthood at the *an Fose *eminary Parenthetically, it should be stated at this "uncture that ,dgardo ceased to be a seminarian in +=>+ For that reason, the legal heirs apprised the (ourt of )ppeals that the probate court%s order ad"udicating the ricelands to the parish priest of Victoria had no more leg to stand on $p D@, )ppellant%s brief& 'f course, -rs Bamalinda%s affidavit, which is tantamount to evidence aliunde as to the testator%s intention and which is hearsay, has no probative value 'ur opinion that the said bequest refers to the testator%s nephew who was living at the time of his death, when his succession was opened and the successional rights to his estate became vested, rests on a "udicious and unbiased reading of the terms of the will 2ad the testator intended that the Acualquier pariente mio varon mas cercano que estudie la carrera eclesiasticaA would include indefinitely anyone of his nearest male relatives born after his death, he could have so specified in his will 2e must have 6nown that such a broad provision would suspend for an unlimited period of time the efficaciousness of his bequest

4hat then did the testator mean by Ael intervalo de tiempo que no haya legatario acondicionadoA G The reasonable view is that he was referring to a situation whereby his nephew living at the time of his death, who would li6e to become a priest, was still in grade school or in high school or was not yet in the seminary In that case, the parish priest of Victoria would administer the ricelands before the nephew entered the seminary ;ut the moment the testator%s nephew entered the seminary, then he would be entitled to en"oy and administer the ricelands and receive the fruits thereof In that event, the trusteeship would be terminated Following that interpretation of the will, the inquiry would be whether at the time Father Rigor died in +=:9 he had a nephew who was studying for the priesthood or who had manifested his desire to follow the ecclesiastical career That query is categorically answered in paragraph @ of appellant priest%s petitions of February +=, +=9@ and Fanuary :+, +=9E 2e unequivocally alleged therein that Ano nearest male relative of the late $Father& Pascual Rigor has ever studied for the priesthoodA $pp 79 and :9, Record on )ppeal& Inasmuch as the testator was not survived by any nephew who became a priest, the unavoidable conclusion is that the bequest in question was ineffectual or inoperative Therefore, the administration of the ricelands by the parish priest of Victoria, as envisaged in the will, was li6ewise inoperative The appellant in contending that a public charitable trust was constituted by the testator in is favor assumes that he was a trustee or a substitute devisee That contention is untenable ) reading of the testamentary provisions regarding the disputed bequest not support the view that the parish priest of Victoria was a trustee or a substitute devisee in the event that the testator was not survived by a nephew who became a priest It should be understood that the parish priest of Victoria could become a trustee only when the testator%s nephew living at the time of his death, who desired to become a priest, had not yet entered the seminary or, having been ordained a priest, he was e#communicated Those two contingencies did not arise, and could not have arisen, in this case because no nephew of the testator manifested any intention to enter the seminary or ever became a priest The (ourt of )ppeals correctly ruled that this case is covered by article DDD of the old (ivil (ode, now article =9>, which provides that if Athe bequest for any reason should be inoperative, it shall be merged into the estate, e#cept in cases of substitution and those in which the right of accretion e#istsA $Ael legado por qualquier causa, no tenga efecto, se refundir en la masa de la herencia, fuera de los casos de sustitucion y derecho de acrecerA& This case is also covered by article =+7$7& of the old (ivil (ode, now article =>8$7&, which provides that legal succession ta6es place when the will Adoes not dispose of all that belongs to the testator A There being no substitution nor accretion as to the said ricelands, the same should be distributed among the testator%s legal heirs The effect is as if the testator had made no disposition as to the said ricelands The (ivil (ode recogni?es that a person may die partly testate and partly intestate, or that there may be mi#ed succession The old rule as to the indivisibility of the testator%s will is no longer valid Thus, if a conditional legacy does not ta6e effect, there will be intestate succession as to the property covered by the said legacy $-acrohon 'ng 2am v *aavedra, 9+ Phil 7>E&

sfols. @: Phil DE:& In the case of *ingson .R.! *)3. L-17017. solong as defendants elected to continue the lease by continuing the payment of the rentals.ITI'.1 . v. No.R)TI'.BI*1 *)3.*I!.-. the right of the lessee to continue the lease or to terminate it is so circumscribed by the term of the contract that it cannot be said that the continuance of the lease depends upon his will )t any rate.* 5 It does not follow that because the parties are in pari delicto they will be left where they are without relief )rticle +@+> of the (ivil (ode provides as an e#ception to the rule in pari delicto that Awhen the agreement is not illegal per se but is merely prohibited.TR)(T1 R. although the owner should desire the lease to continue. E: Phil >7D& : ('.1 'PTI'. #/LLA-*# + 3. then it becomes clear that the arrangement is a virtual transfer of ownership whereby the owner divests himself in stages not only of the right to en"oy the land $"us possidendi "us utendi..*#!+NA #AN!$# / )AN$N %A*#!+N$. sub"ect to the result of the pending administration. if an alien is given not only a lease of.ncarnacion v . but also an option to buy.TR)(T*1 ('. ('..*TIT0TI'.*1 ('. the lessee could effectively thwart his purpose if he should prefer to terminate the contract by the simple e#pedient of stopping payment of the rentals A 2ere in contrast...ut the sale made by an heir of his share in an inheritance. "ust fruendi and "us abutendi& but also of the right to dispose of it $"us disponendi& 5 rights the sum total of which ma6e up ownership If this can be done. and the prohibition by law is designed for the protection . interest or participation which he had or might have in the land under administration The ordinary e#ecution of property in custodia legis is prohibited in order to avoid interference with the possession by the court .*'30T'R/ ('. V)3I!IT/ 'F 5 Plaintiff-appellant assails the validity of the lease agreement for want of mutuality Paragraph 9 of the lease contract states that the lessee may at any time withdraw from the agreement It is claimed that this stipulation offends article +:8D of the (ivil (ode 2eldC )rt +79> $now +:8D& of the (ivil (ode in our opinion creates no impediment to the insertion in a contract of a resolutory condition permitting the cancellation of the contract by one of the parties *uch a stipulation.FF. a piece of land by virtue of which the Filipino owner cannot sell or otherwise dispose of his property. as can be readily seen.)3 PR'2I. even if no term had been fi#ed in the agreement. in no wise stands in the way of such administration A $Fa6osalem v . the owner would never be able to discontinue it1 conversely. the cancellation of a contract in accordance with conditions agreed upon beforehand is fulfillment $Taylor v Tang Pao.!ITI'. 1967. (&+L+((+N" -AN5+NG )$R($RA!+$N.1 (0*T'!I) 3.)*. the lessees argued that they could occupy the premises as long as they paid the rent This is of course untenable.[G. AIf this defense were to be allowed. #ep2e34er 12. EE Phil @E8.(T 'F 5 The fact that no money was paid at the time of the e#ecution of the document does not rule out the possibility that the considerations were paid some other time as the contracts in fact recite 4hat is more.aldomar. (IR(0-V. the consideration need not pass from one party to the other at the time a contract is e#ecuted because the promise of one is the consideration of the other @ I! 1 )3I.. ). this to last for 98 years. as announced in Hriven6o v Register of !eeds. Plaintiff-Appellant. this case would at most "ustify the fi#ing of a period but not the annulment of the contract 7 P0R(2)*. deceased.!/ 'F P)RTI. 'F 5 4here a scheme to circumvent the (onstitutional prohibition against the transfer of lands to aliens is readily revealed as the purpose for the contracts then the illicit purpose becomes the illegal cause rendering the contracts void Thus. for as this (ourt said. V)3I!IT/ 'F 5 That the land could not ordinarily be levied upon while in custodia legis does not mean that one of the heirs may not sell the right.TI'. represen2ing 26e es2a2e o7 . then the (onstitutional ban against alien landholding in the Philippines. in 6er o8n 4e6al7 and as ad3inis2ra2ri9 o7 26e in2es2a2e o7 :ong &eng. is indeed in grave peril 9 I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 R. does not ma6e either the validity or the fulfillment of the contract upon the will of the party to whom is conceded the privilege of cancellation1 for where the contracting parties have agreed that such option shall e#ist. L*+ #&". the e#ercise of the option is as much in the fulfillment of the contract as any other act which may have been the sub"ect of agreement Indeed. deceased.

VI. respect and deference Fustina *antos y (anon Faustino and her sister 3oren?a were the owners in common of a piece of land in -anila This parcel. 'F T2. with an area of 7.).!* 'F T2.4 'F T2. recover what he has paid or delivered Acralaw virtua+aw library > ('. +=:9 That in capacity and that disqualification. when it is clearly included within the constitutional prohibition )lien-vendee should thus be made to restore the property with its fruits and rents to Filipinovendor.*TIT0TI'.*'. we can enforce the fundamental policy of our (onstitution regarding our natural resources without doing violence to the principle of pari delicto 7 I! 1 I!C I! 1 I! 1 )PP3I()TI'.! 0P'. 5 )lien-vendee is incapacitated or disqualified to acquire and hold real estate That incapacity and that disqualification should date from the adoption of the (onstitution on .T 'F PRIV)T.!. PRI(.. !I(T)T.-. still the Filipino-vendor has no right to recover under a civil law doctrine.3I( !'-)I. )BRI(03T0R)3 3). the parties being in pari delicto The only remedy to prevent this continuing violation of the (onstitution which the decision impliedly sanctions by allowing the alien vendees to retain the lots in question is either escheat or reversion ThusC A.VI'0* ()*. HRIV. in consonance with the dictates of equity and "ustice.-V.*F. he transferred his title over the same to alien-vendee. P)R..TT. PR. 5 *ince the sales in question too6 place prior to the Hriven6o decision.*TIT0TI'.<0IT/ 5 The (onstitution frowns upon the title remaining in the alienvendees Restoration of the property upon payment of price received by Filipino vendor or its reasonable equivalent as fi#ed by the court is the answer To give the constitutional provision full force and effect. in the absence of a definite decision by the *upreme (ourt.* .-.T.R R.)3 3)41 3).T' PRI'R T' T2. 'F PR'P. *)3..1 PR'2I. cannot be allowed to continue owning and e#ercising acts of ownership over said property. no private agricultural land shall be transferred or assigned e#cept individuals. corporations.RT/ *'3! T2. I. +=@E )lien-vendee therefore.y following either of these remedies.9D7 :8 square meters. ). *ec 9& is an e#pression of public policy to conserve lands for the Filipinos + ('.. upon restitution of the purchase price of course @ I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 R. .)3 3)41 TR). )B)I... . 5 The constitutional provision that %save in cases of hereditary succession.! . or by approving an implementary law as above suggested. or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain in the Philippines $)rt IIII. 5 The doctrine as announced in the case of Rellosa v Baw (hee 2un.ITI'. =: Phil D7E is that while the sale by a Filipino-vendor to an alien-vendee of a residential or a commercial lot is null and void as held in the Hriven6o case.! I. the restoration to Filipino-vendor upon the payment of a price fi#ed by the court is the better remedy 2e thought he could transfer the property to an alien and did so )fter the Hriven6o case had made clear that he had no right to sell nor an alien-vendee to purchase the property in question. both parties are equally guilty of evasion of the (onstitution.ovember +9.R 'R )**IB. F'R PR'VI*I'. is located on Ri?al )venue and opens into Florentino Torres street at the bac6 and Hatubusan street on one side In it are two residential houses with entrance on Florentino Torres street and the 2en 4ah Restaurant with entrance on Ri?al )venue The sisters lived in one of the houses. .*T'R)TI'.ovember +9.. par :& )ccording to the Rellosa opinion. I.!1 R.'T )V)I3).'-V.ITR. 4IT2 T2.R. 'F PR'P.3..R/ 'F PR'P.!'R -)/ .3I(T' R03. if public policy is thereby enhanced. P)RI !.* T'' .)*'.!2'3!I. it would not be doing violence to reason to free them from the imputation of evading the (onstitution For evidently evasion implies at the very least 6nowledge of what is being evaded The new (ivil (ode e#pressly providesC A-ista6es upon a doubtful or difficult question of law may be the basis of good faith A $)rt 97>. its previous owner. 3). a (hinese. was made 6nown to Filipino-vendor and to alienvendee only upon the promulgation of the Hriven6o decision on .* 'F F0*TI(.('V.. 'F P0R(2)*..RT/ T' FI3IPI.*TIT0TI'. !.of the plaintiff. if it could be shown that in the utmost good faith. as it ought to be given.(I*I'.B1 R.3I(T' !'(TRI. however. . P0. wherein the words of the (onstitution acquire meaning through *upreme (ourt ad"udication : I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 R. the obvious solution would be for him to reacquire the same That way the (onstitution would be given. while 4ong 2eng.*T )3I. ('.)(<0I*ITI'.-.(.H' !..RT/ I. based on the broader principle that Aboth parties are presumed to 6now the law A This statement that the sales entered into prior to the Hriven6o decision were at that time already vitiated by a guilty 6nowledge of the parties may be too e#treme a view It appears to ignore a postulate of a constitutional system.!/ I. he may. )33'4./ )3I. R. at a time when the assumption could be honestly entertained that there was no constitutional prohibition against the sale of commercial or residential lots by Filipinovendor to alien-vendee.

ovember 79&. 4ong admitted that he en"oyed her trust and confidence as proof of which he volunteered the information that.ov @. +=9= $!ef . misrepresentation. undue influence and abuse of confidence and trust of and $by& ta6ing advantage of the helplessness of the plaintiff and were made to circumvent the constitutional prohibition prohibiting aliens from acquiring lands in the Philippines and also of the Philippine . in her behalf.E7@ 7E $.7@8 a month In his answer.888.#h +E& of a later date $. +=9=& she appears to have a change of heart (laiming that the various contracts were made by her because of machinations and inducements practised by him. the contract was amended $Plff .888 had been deposited in a "oint account which he had with one of her maids . a contract of lease $Plff .#h E& giving 4ong the option to buy the leased premises for P+78. of ta#es. salaries of maids and security guard. covering the portion then already leased to him and another portion fronting Florentino Torres street The lease was for 98 years. an amount not e#ceeding P+.888 was the cue for the filing of an amended complaint Thus on Fune =.#h >& fi#ing the term of the option at 98 years .+78 The contract covered an area of +. +=9D she filed a petition to adopt him and his children on the erroneous belief that adoption would confer on them Philippine citi?enship The error was discovered and the proceedings were abandoned 'n . one $Plff .888 a month for the food of her dogs and the salaries of her maids 'n !ecember 7+ she e#ecuted contract $Plff . lawyers% fees.888 The option. and her household e#penses AIn grateful ac6nowledgment of the personal services of the 3essee to her.888 which he said she had delivered to him for safe6eeping.ut he denied having ta6en advantage of her trust in order to secure the e#ecution of the contracts in question )s counterclaim he sought the recovery of P=. payable within ten years at a monthly installment of P+. however. . funeral e#penses.>78 'n *eptember 77.#h @& so as to ma6e it cover the entire property. that this application for naturali?ation was withdrawn when it was discovered that he was not a resident of Ri?al 'n 'ctober 7D.D88 a month The option was conditioned on his obtaining Philippine citi?enship.888 and P:.ovember @. +=9E Fustina *antos became the owner of the entire property as her sister died with no other heir Then already well advanced in years. inequitable conduct. although the lessee was given the right to withdraw at any time from the agreement1 the monthly rental was P:.#h 9& e#tending the term of the lease to == years. a petition for which was then pending in the (ourt of First Instance of Ri?al It appears. including rentals from her property at the corner of 'ngpin and *ala?ar streets and the rentals which 4ong himself paid as lessee of a part of the Ri?al )venue property 4ong also loo6 care of the payment. including the portion on which the house of Fustina *antos stood. and another $Plff . she now directed her e#ecutor to secure the annulment of the contracts 'n . +=9E on the allegation that the reasonable rental of the leased premises was P>.+7@ square meters Ten days later $. at an additional monthly rental of P:>8 For his part 4ong undertoo6 to pay.+78 a month from . +=9E.#h :& in favor of 4ong.A Fustina *antos e#ecuted on . +=>8. crippled and an invalid.#hs 7D9 J 7E=&. +=9E&1 PE. the collection of various amounts allegedly delivered on different occasions was sought These amounts and the dates of their delivery are P::. +=9D she e#ecuted two other contracts.ovember +D.ovember +D the present action was filed in the (ourt of First Instance of -anila The complaint alleged that the contracts were obtained by 4ong Athrough fraud. being at the time =8 years old. the charge not to e#ceed P+.oth contracts are written in Tagalog In two wills e#ecuted on )ugust 7@ and 7=.lived with his family in the restaurant 4ong had been a long-time lessee of a portion of the property. masses. having a monthly rental of P7.ovember +9. aside from the nullity of the contracts. out of the rental due from him.:@@ @7 $!ec +.aturali?ation 3aws A The court was as6ed to direct the Register of !eeds of -anila to cancel the registration of the contracts and to order 4ong to pay Fustina *antos the additional rent of P:. another sum of P77. she was left with no other relative to live with 2er only companions in the house were her +E dogs and D maids 2er otherwise already e#istence was brightened now and then by the visits of 4ong%s four children who had become the "oy of her life 4ong%s himself was the trusted man to whom she delivered various amounts for safe6eeping. blind. in addition to the sum of P:. written in Tagalog. imposed on him the obligation to pay for the food of the dogs and the salaries of the maids in her household.ovember +9. she bade her legatees to respect the contracts she had entered into with 4ong. but in a codicil $Plff .7+8 @= which he said she owed him for advances 4ong%s admission of the receipt of P77.

phraim B Bochangco was appointed guardian of her person In his answer. fraud and misrepresentation1 and because the lease contract.+78 88 for every month of his occupation as lessee under the document of lease herein sustained. although the owner should desire the lease to continue the lessees could effectively thwart his purpose if they should . was in custodia legis. and the moneys he had consigned since then shall be imputed to that1 costs against 4ong 2eng A virtua+aw library From this "udgment both parties appealed directly to this (ourt )fter the case was submitted for decision. might rescind the lease. the owner would never be able to discontinue it1 conversely.#h :& should have been annulled along with the four other contracts $Plff . +=>@ 4ong was substituted by his wife.888 in the ban6 and P:.an6ing (orporation 5 that the lease contract $Plff .888 and P:.an6 J Trust (o was appointed guardian of the properties of Fustina *antos.#hs @-E& because it lac6s mutuality1 because it included a portion which.+=9E&1 P+8. while . as can be readily seen. after which the lower court rendered "udgment as followsC A K)Lll the documents mentioned in the first cause of action. with the e#ception of the first which is the lease contract of +9 . so long as defendants elected to continue the lease by continuing the payment of the rentals. the e#ercise of the option is as much in the fulfillment of the contract as any other act which may have been the sub"ect of agreement.99@ 79 with legal interest from the date of the filing of the amended complaint1 he is also ordered to pay the sum of P:. the *ecurity . 3ui *he. 4hile Fustina *antos was substituted by the Philippine . li6e the rest of the contracts. the cancellation of a contract in accordance with conditions agreed upon beforehand is fulfillment 7 )nd so it was held in -elencio v !y Tiao 3ay : that a Aprovision in a lease contract that the lessee at any time before he erected any building on the land. but contended that these amounts had been spent in accordance with the instructions of Fustina *antos1 he e#pressed readiness to comply with any order that the court might ma6e with respect to the sum of P77.888 $as admitted in his answer& )n accounting of the rentals from the 'ngpin and Ri?al )venue properties was also demanded In the meantime as a result of a petition for guardianship filed in the Fuvenile and !omestic Relations (ourt. 4ong insisted that the various contracts were freely and voluntarily entered into by the parties 2e li6ewise disclaimed 6nowledge of the sum of P::. because of a difference in factual setting In that case.ovember +=9=. both parties died.aldomar cannot be cited in support of the claim of want of mutuality. admitted receipt of PE. +=>7 and Fustina *antos on !ecember 7D. +=9E&1 P77. because the contract was obtained in violation of the fiduciary relations of the parties1 because her consent was obtained through undue influence.888. are declared null and void1 4ong 2eng is condemned to pay unto plaintiff thru guardian of her property the sum of P99. 4ong 2eng on 'ctober 7+.an6ing (orporation Fustina *antos maintained 5 now reiterated by the Philippine . can hardly be regarded as a violation of article +79> Know art +:8DL of the (ivil (ode A library The case of *ingson .ncarnacion v . the other defendant in this case. is absolutely simulated Paragraph 9 of the lease contract states that AThe lessee may at any time withdraw from this agreement A It is claimed that this stipulation offends article +:8D of the (ivil (ode which provides that Athe contract must bind both contracting parties1 its validity or compliance cannot be left to the will of one of them A library 4e have had occasion to delineate the scope and application of article +:8D in the early case of Taylor v 0y Tiong Piao 4e said in the caseCchanrob+es virtual +aw library )rticle +79> Know art +:8DL of the (ivil (ode in our opinion creates no impediment to the insertion in a contract for personal service of a resolutory condition permitting the cancellation of the contract by one of the parties *uch a stipulation. does not ma6e either the validity or the fulfillment of the contract dependent upon the will of the party to whom is conceded the privilege of cancellation1 for where the contracting parties have agreed that such option shall e#ist.ovember +=9E.888 $!ec >.E7@ 7E. from +9 .:@@ @7 and P+8. Indeed. at the time.888 in his possession The case was heard. for as this (ourt said AIf this defense were to be allowed. the lessees argued that they could occupy the premises as long as they paid the rent This is of course untenable.

but I told her that we would rather not e#ecute any contract anymore. even if no term had been fi#ed in the agreement. in relation to article +=@+ of the (ivil (ode. in no wise stands in the way of such administration A > It is ne#t contended that the lease contract was obtained by 4ong in violation of his fiduciary relationship with Fustina *antos. she ordered him. in contrast. +=9E by force of article EEE of the (ivil (ode 2ence.ut 4ong was never an agent of Fustina *antos The relationship of the parties. you were satisfied that this document was perfectly properG A) /our 2onor.ut. related by the same witness. I would say she is not. contrary to article +>@>. the right of the lessee to continue the lease or to terminate it is so circumscribed by the term of the contract that it cannot be said that the continuance of the lease depends upon his will )t any rate. on a verbal month to month contract of lease A< . when she leased the property on . this case would at most "ustify the fi#ing of a period 9 but not the annulment of the contract . AFust follow -r 4ong 2eng A = Recounting the . !oMa Fustina the contents of this document before she signed itG A) I e#plained to her each and every one of these conditions and I also told her these conditions were quite onerous for her. she did not follow your advice. the lease is invalid as to such portion Fustina *antos became the owner of the entire property upon the death of her sister 3oren?a on *eptember 77. ma6es clear that she voluntarily consented to the lease contract This witness said that the original term fi#ed for the lease was == years but that as he doubted the validity of a lease to an for that length of time. it is argued that 4ong so completely dominated her life and affairs that the contracts e#press not her will but only his (ounsel for Fustina *antos cites the testimony of )tty Tomas * /umol who said that he prepared the lease contract on the basis of the data given to him by 4ong and that she told him that Awhat ever -r 4ong wants must be followed A E The testimony of )tty /umol cannot be read out of conte#t in order to warrant a finding that 4ong practically dictated the terms of the contract 4hat his witness said wasC A< !id you e#plain carefully to your client. did not amount to an agency so as to bring the case within the prohibition of the law Fust the same. and she went with the contract "ust the sameG A) *he agreed first A< )greed whatG A) )greed with my ob"ections that it is really onerous and I was really right. because. but after that. as far as consent is concerned. he tried to persuade her to enter instead into a lease on a month-to-month basis *he was. I don%t really 6now if I have e#pressed my opinion.prefer to terminate the contract by the simple e#pedient of stopping payment of the rentals A 2ere. she did so already as owner thereof )s this (ourt e#plained in upholding the sale made by an heir of a property under "udicial administrationC AThat the land could not ordinarily be levied upon while in custodia legis does not mean that one of the heirs may not sell the right. however. but to say this is not to detract from the binding force of the contract For the contract was fully e#plained to Fustina *antos by her own lawyer 'ne incident.ovember +9. which disqualifies Aagents $from leasing& the property whose administration or sale may have been entrusted to them A .ut the sale made by an heir of his share in an inheritance. but to hold it as it was before. she told me 5 A4hatever -r 4ong wants must be followed %A D 4ong might indeed have supplied the data which /umol embodied in the lease contract. as I said before. if I have to e#press my personal opinion. sub"ect to the result of the pending administration.or is there merit in the claim that as the portion of the property formerly owned by the sister of Fustina *antos was still in the process of settlement in the probate court at the time it was leased. although admittedly close and confidential. interest or participation which he has or might have in the lands under administration The ordinary e#ecution of property in custodia legis is prohibited in order to avoid interference with the possession by the court . firm and unyielding Instead of heeding the advice of the lawyer. I was called again by her and she told me to follow the wishes of -r 4ong 2eng A< *o.

she is a wealthy woman.#h E& thatA KILtong si 4ong 2eng ang siyang nagligtas sa aming dalawang mag6apatid sa halos ay tiya6 na 6amatayan. with the e#ception of the lease contract of .#h :&. but that the amount was returned to him by her for safe6eeping Instead. and she considered 4ong 2eng as a son and his children her grandchildren1 especially her consolation in life was when she would hear the children reciting prayers in Tagalog A . as well as to the rest of the contracts in question. I am the owner. the lawyer could not ma6e her change her mind This persuaded the lower court to uphold the validity of the lease contract against the claim that it was procured through undue influence Indeed. so it was with the rest of the contracts $Plff . said Avery emphaticallyA that she and her sister would have perished in the fire had it been for 4ong +@ 2ence the recital in the deed of conditional option $Plff .incident )tty /umol declared on cross e#aminationC A(onsidering her age. suffice it to quote the testimony of her own witness and lawyer who prepared the contracts $Plff . even to own them. testifying for her. the option to buy the leased premises. near or far. you prepare that. +=9E. saidC A KILn nearly all documents. . was to see to it that these properties be en"oyed.en"amin ( )lon?o.either did it believe his statement that he paid P+. who was constantly by her side ++ )ny of them could have testified on the undue influence that 4ong supposedly wielded over Fustina *antos. but neither of them was presented as a witness The truth is that even after giving his client time to thin6 the matter over. I would always as6 the old woman about them and invariably the old woman used to tell meC %That%s o6ay It%s all right A . by 4ong 2eng because !oMa Fustina told me that she did not have any relatives. was given out of a mista6en sense of gratitude to 4ong who. . ninety $=8& years old at the time and her condition.888 as consideration for each of the contracts $namely. it is "ust natural when she said %This is what I want and this will be done % In Particular reference to this contract of lease.A and the equally emphatic avowal of gratitude in the lease contract $Plff .ut. the e#tension of the lease to == years. the charge of undue influence in this case rests on a mere inference +7 drawn from the fact that Fustina *antos could not read $as she was blind& and did not understand the . when I said %This is not proper.ut the lower court set aside all the contracts. but the trial court did not believe him . and her maid. as I said.or is there merit in the claim that her consent to the lease contract. it was either -r 4ong 2eng or Fudge Torres andNor both 4hen we had conferences they used to tell me what the documents should contain . I am the only one that can question the illegality A )tty /umol testified that she signed the lease contract in the presence of her close friend 2ermenegilda 3ao. but that inference has been overcome by her own evidence . had saved her and her sister from a fire that destroyed their house during the liberation of -anila For while a witness claimed that the sisters were saved by other persons $the brothers . on the ground that they are contrary to the e#pressed wish of Fustina *antos and that their considerations are fictitious 4ong stated in his deposition that he did not pay P:>8 a month for the additional premises leased to him because she did not want him to.#hs @-E& 5 the consent of Fustina *antos was given freely and voluntarily )s )tty )lon?o.dilberto and -ariano *ta )na& +: it was Fustina *antos herself who according to her own witness.% she said 5 A/ou "ust go ahead. )tty )lon?oC AThe ambition of the old woman before her death. and if there is any illegality.ovember +9.#h :& )s it was with the lease contract $Plff . and the fi#ing of the term of the option at 98 years&.atividad 3una. but his negative testimony does not rule out the possibility that the consideration were paid at some other time as the contracts in fact recite 4hat is more. the consideration need not pass from one party to the other at the time a contract is e#ecuted because the promise of one is the consideration for the other +> 4ith respect to the lower court%s finding that in all probability Fustina *antos could not have intended to part with her property while she was alive nor even to lease it in its entirety as her house was built on it. according to her revelation to me. she was made to believe. the court relied on the testimony of )tty )lon?o in reaching the conclusion that the contracts are void for want of consideration )tty )lon?o declared that he saw no money paid at the e#ecution of the documents.#hs @-E& in question.nglish language in which the contract is written.

is not illegal per se but is merely prohibited and the prohibition by law is designed for the protection of the plaintiff. the original parties who were guilty of a violation of the fundamental charter have died and have since been substituted by their administrators to whom it would be un"ust to impute their guilt 7: For another thing. that the contracts $Plff . without costs A That policy would be defeated and its continued violation sanctioned if. the use. Filipino citi?enship is not impossible to acquire A .ut if this is the solemn mandate of the (onstitution we will not attempt to compromise it even in the name of amity or equity AFor all the foregoing. the contracts show nothing that is necessarily illegal. they reveal an insidious pattern to subvert by indirection what the (onstitution directly prohibits To be sure. instead of setting the contracts aside and ordering the restoration of the land to the estate of the deceased Fustina *antos. that because the parties are in pari delicto they will be left where they are. without relief For one thing. we hold that under the (onstitution aliens may not acquire private or public agricultural lands. the disposition. "us fruendi and "us abutendi& but also of the right to dispose of it $"us disponendi& 5 rights the sum total of which ma6e up ownership It is "ust as if today the possession is transferred. as an e#ception to the rule on pari delicto. at the same time gives the clue to what we view as a scheme to circumvent the (onstitutional prohibition against the transfer of land of aliens AThe illicit purpose then becomes the illegal cause rendering the contracts void Ta6en singly. that %4hen the agreement. and she told me to see to it that no one could disturb 4ong 2eng from those properties That is why we thought of the ninety-nine $==& years lease1 we thought of the adoption. "us utendi. 7+ this to last for 98 years. tomorrow. this (ourt should apply the general rule of pari delicto To the e#tent that our ruling in this case conflicts with that laid down in Rellosa v Baw (hee 2un 7> and subsequent similar cases. however.#hs :-E& are valid For the testimony "ust quoted while dispelling doubt as to the intention of Fustina *antos. the latter must be considered as pro tanto qualified . however.ut if an alien is given not only a lease of. but also an option to buy. by virtue of which the Filipino owner cannot sell or otherwise dispose of his property. a piece of land. but considered collectively. corporations. they may be granted temporary rights such as a lease contract which is not forbidden by the (onstitution *hould they desire to remain here forever and share our fortunes and misfortunes. "udgment is affirmed. then it becomes clear that the arrangement is a virtual transfer of ownership whereby the owner divests himself in stages not only of the right to en"oy the land $"us possidendi. article +@+> of the (ivil (ode provides. recover what he has paid or delivered A The (onstitutional provision that A*ave in cases of hereditary succession. he may. accordingly. a lease to an alien for a reasonable period is valid *o is an option giving an alien the right to buy real property on condition that he is granted Philippine citi?enship )s this said in Hriven6o v Register of !eedsC A K)Lliens are not completely e#cluded by the (onstitution form the use of lands for residential purposes *ince their residence in the Philippines is temporary. as announced in Hriven6o v Register of !eeds. if public policy is thereby enhanced.A*he was very emphatic in the care of the seventeen $+E& dogs and of the maids who helped her much. then the (onstitutional ban against alien landholding in the Philippines. including residential lands and. believing that thru adoption 4ong 2eng might acquire Filipino citi?enship1 being the adopted child of Filipino citi?en A +D This is not to say. or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain in the Philippines 7@ is an e#pression of public policy to conserve lands for the Filipinos )s this (ourt said in Hriven6oC AIt is well to note at this "uncture that in the present case we have no choice 4e are construing the (onstitution as it is and not as we may desire it to be Perhaps the effect of our construction is to preclude aliens admitted freely into the Philippines from owning sites where they may build their homes . until ultimately all the rights of which ownership is made up are consolidated in an alien )nd yet this is "ust e#actly what the parties in this case did within this pace of one year. the ne#t day. and so on. 77 is indeed in grave peril It does not follow from what has been said. and is not only cogent but also important. no private agricultural land shall be transferred or assigned e#cept to individuals. with the result that Fustina *antos% ownership of her property was reduced to a hollow concept If this can be done.

he offered to pay this amount if the court so directed him 'n these two grounds.an6ing (orporation1 4ong 2eng $as substituted by the defendant-appellant 3ui *he& is ordered to pay the Philippine . that was not what !oMa Fustina apparently understood for as the court understands her statement to the 2onorable Fudge of the Fuvenile (ourt the reason why she preferred to stay in her home was because there she did not incur in any debts this being the case. was P:. +=9= $!ef . therefore. that he settled his accounts and that last amount of P+D. 4e thin6 that the claim of Fustina *antos totalling P:E.#h >& which shows a balance of P=. should be re"ected s the evidence is none too clear about the amounts spent by 4ong for food.#h 7@>&.:+8 @= in favor of 4ong . +=9=. must be denied for lac6 of merit )nd what of the various amounts which 4ong received in trust from herG It appears that he 6ept two classes of accounts. or a total of PE8. funeral services and security guard services. +=9E $Plff .@@7 D@ $e#penditures& from PE8. 7= masses :8 salaries of of her maid :+ 2is claim for P=. this (ourt must concede that daily e#penses are not easy to compute. +=9E $Plff .#hs :-E& are annulled and set aside1 the land sub"ect-matter of the contracts is ordered returned to the estate of Fustina *antos as represented by the Philippine . added to the amount of P79.88E += $receipts&.=7D 98 was in fact payment to him of what in the liquidation was found to be due to him 2e made disbursements from this account to discharge Fustina *antos% obligations for ta#es.The claim for increased rentals and attorney%s fees made in behalf of Fustina *antos.ut it is claimed that the rental from both the 'ngpin and Ri?al )venue properties was more than enough to pay for her monthly e#penses and that. which he himself was leasing 4ith respect to the first account. the contracts in question $Plff .#h +:&1 +8. +=9E $Plff .an6ing (orporation the sum of P9>. and another pertaining to rentals from the 'ngpin property and from the Ri?al )venue property. his claim of liquidation and settlement of accounts must be re"ected )fter subtracting P:D. and there is no clear proof that !oMa Fustina had authori?ed these two to act for her in such liquidation1 on the contrary if the result of that was a deficit as alleged and sought to be there shown. *ec >=. a person will live within his income so that the conclusion of the (ourt will be that there is neither deficit nor superavit and will let the matter rest here A . the evidence shows that he received P::.888 in the ban6 and P:.888. nic6-name Toning. attorneys% fees.888 in the ban6 and P:.88E += 2e claims. but the chec6s $!ef .B3/. however.#hs 7@E-7ED& drawn by him for this purpose amount to only P:D. of which 4ong was the lessee. Rule +7: for in the ordinary course of things.888 and that from the Ri?al )venue property.#h +@&1 and P+D.+78 )gainst this account the household e#penses and disbursements for the care of the +E dogs and the salaries of the D maids of Fustina *antos were charged This account is contained in a noteboo6 $!ef . +=9= was P+. while it is claimed that the e#penses were much less than the rentals and there in fact should be a superavit.=7D 98 on )ugust 7>.888 in his possession )(('R!I.9>@ which. there should be a balance in her favor The lower court did not allow either party to recover against the other *aid courtC A KTLhe documents bear the earmar6s of genuineness1 the trouble is that they were made only be Francisco 4ong and )ntonia -atias. +=9= until the premises shall have been vacated by his heirs (osts against the defendant-appellant .9>E :9.oth parties on appeal reiterate their respective claims but we agree with the lower court that both claims should be denied )side from the reasons given by the court. of P=.esides.888 on !ecember >.888 In his answer. the (ourt faced with the choice of the two alternatives will choose the middle course which after all is permitted by the rules of proof. as a matter of fact. if he had really settled his accounts with her on )ugust 7>. or a total of P79.7+8 @= must li6ewise be re"ected as his averment of liquidation is belied by his own admission that even as late as +=>8 he still had P77. there is a difference of P:+. 5 which was the way she signed the loose sheets.888 in his possession.E7@ 7E on .ovember +9. one pertaining to amounts which she entrusted to him from to time. we cannot understand why he still had P77.#h +>&1 PE. with legal interest from the date of the filing of the amended complaint1 and the amounts consigned in court by 4ong 2eng shall be applied to the payment of rental from . leaves a balance of P9>.:9@ @7 on !ecember +. the evidence shows that the monthly income from the 'ngpin property until its sale in Fuly.7:9 as rentals due to her after deducting various e#penses. for this reason.7+8 @=.9>@ :9 7D in favor of Fustina *antos )s to the second account.ovember D.@@7 D@ 7E . the (ourt will not ad"udicate in favor of 4ong 2eng on his counterclaim1 on the other hand.

5 !on Vicente *ingson Pablo. !"#!A!" "#!A!" $% '+)"N!" #+NG#$N (A-L$. a lawyer. who was a lawyer. appellants herein. four brothers. ". (IVI3 ('!. the children of a deceased sister 2e left a will which was duly probated. ('..[G. four brothers.$#"%+NA %.. D" #+NG#$N. did not use the word ArelativesA in the clause in question 4e do .. D" L+. hold that said article e#cludes nephews and nieces when brothers and sisters survive 2eldC That the testator. as in legal succession1 while others. . E9+ 'F T2. the children of a deceased sister 2e left a will which was duly probated. provides that Aa disposition made in general terms in favor of the testator%s relatives shall be understood as made in favor of those nearest in degree A The authorities differ on the interpretation of article E9+ *ome hold that under said article the nephews and nieces inherit by representation together with the brothers and sisters of the testator. in relation to article E9+ of the (ivil (ode.! !I*TRI.RPR. "'AR+#!$ #+NG#$N "! AL. Petitioner-Appellee. died without any descendant or ascendant. without any descendant or ascendant. #/LLA-*# !.+L+A %L$R"N!+N$ "! AL.T.3.T)TI'.A instead of referring to his Arelatives. 'F T.1627.0TI'.T)R/ PR'VI*I'. alleging that certain other specified properties had been omitted therefrom.*(. 'DA. in turn. ob"ected to the pro"ect of partition insofar as it includes the nieces of the deceased. a lawyer of Vigan. clause D of which reads as followsC The widow. his nearest surviving relatives being his widow !oMa Rosalia Rosario.. Oppositors-Appellants. I. on the ground that under clause D of the will. opposi2ors-appellees. 19.T ).(TI'. which formed part of the properties not disposed of and which under clause D of the will Ashould be distributed in equal parts to all who are entitled thereto A The trial court sustained the contention of the nieces $appellees herein& and ordered the administratri# Ato amend the pro"ect of partition so as to include therein the said properties and that all of those not disposed of in the will be ad"udicated in equal parts to the brothers and nieces of the deceased A library The only question raised in this appeal is the interpretation of clause D of the will above quoted *aid clause provides that Aall of my properties not disposed of otherwise in this testament shall be distributed in equal parts to all who are entitled thereto A In this connection appellants invo6e article E9+ of the (ivil (ode. clause D of which provides that Aall of my properties not disposed of otherwise in this testament shall be distributed in equal parts to all who are entitled thereto A )rticle E9+ of the (ivil (ode. which provides that Aa disposition made in general terms in favor of the testator%s relatives shall be understood as made in favor of those nearest in degree A virtua+aw library The trial court noted that the testator. deceased. 4IT2 )RTI(3. and four nieces. as administratri#.*T)-.. died on )pril +9.A precisely meant to avoid the uncertainty of the interpretation of article E9+ and to indicate his wish that the residue of his estate be distributed in equal parts to all who would have been entitled to inherit from him had he died intestate !on Vicente *ingson Pablo. his nearest surviving relatives being his widow. opposi2or-appellee. and four nieces.1 I. R$#AL+A R$#AR+$ 'DA. No.R. they were not entitled to any share The nieces also ob"ected to the pro"ect of partition. -anresa among them. %e4r<ar= 19. presented a pro"ect of partition in which the properties not disposed of in the will were ad"udicated to the four brothers and the four nieces of the deceased Ain the proportion provided in paragraph D of the will A The brothers. . by referring to Aall who are entitled thereto.. +=:D.. v. Ilocos *ur.

*2IP 5 The rule laid down by this (ourt in this and in other cases heretofore decided is believed to be in line with the national policy of selective admission to Philippine citi?enship which after all is a privilege granted only to those who are found worthy thereof.arc6 26. Teotico filed a petition for the probate of the will before the (ourt of First Instance of -anila which was set for hearing on *eptember :. <uiapo.-.. who in turn affi#ed their signatures below the attestation clause and on the left margin of each and every page of the will in the presence of the testatri# and of each other *aid will was ac6nowledged before .. customs and traditions -aria -ortera y . 1960. ideological belief.o 7 3egarda *t . ANA D"L 'AL )&AN.A the nieces would be e#cluded The authorities differ on the interpretation of article E9+ *ome hold that under said article the nephews and nieces inherit by representation together with the brothers and sisters of the testator. (ITIO. while the na6ed ownership thereof she left in equal parts to her grandchildren who are the legitimate children of said spouses The testatri# also instituted Fosefina -ortera as her sole and universal heir to all the remainder of her properties not otherwise disposed of in the will 'n Fuly +E. and -odesto Formille?a. as in legal succession1 while others.otary Public .iceforo * )gaton by the testatri# and her witnesses In said will the testatri# made the following preliminary statementC that she was possessed of the full use of her mental faculties1 that she was free from illegal pressure or influence of any 6ind from the beneficiaries of the will and from any influence of fear or threat1 that she freely and spontaneously e#ecuted said will and that she had neither ascendants nor descendants of any 6ind such that she could dispose of all her estate )mong the many legacies and devises made in the will was one of P78.<0IR.)*'. . Pilar B *anche?. +=99. +=99 in the (ity of -anila leaving properties worth P>88.. "!).R.. Petitioner-Appellant.. Oppositor-Appellant. ..not need to decide here whether. with costs *o ordered [G.alsalobre Vda de )guirre died on Fuly +@. !"$!+)$. 4IF.'T )0T'-)TI()33/ (ITIO.. -anresa among them.or"a. v.0T -0*T PR'V. hold that said article e#cludes nephews and nieces when brothers and sisters survive 4e thin6 the testator. ('-P3I). )!-I**I'. 4IT2 R.. -anila *he affi#ed her signature at the bottom of the will and on the left margin of each and every page thereof in the presence of Pilar .1 P'3I(/ 'F *. F'R R03. married to the testatri#%s niece named Fosefina -ortera To said spouses the testatri# left the usufruct of her interest in the (alvo building. and not indiscriminately to anybody at all on the basis alone of marriage to a man who is a citi?en of the Philippines. #/LLA-*# + (ITIO.T* 5 The alien wife of a Filipino citi?en does not automatically become a Philippine citi?en upon her husband%s naturali?ation *he must first prove that she has all the qualifications required by *ection 7 and none of the disqualifications enumerated in *ection @ of the .888 88 *he left a will written in *panish which she e#ecuted at her residence in . T' P2I3IPPI. No.1 )3I. irrespective of moral character. . L-11703. had the testator used the word Arelatives. +=99 after the requisite publication and service to all parties concerned .(TIV.3.(.888 88 to Rene ) Teotico.A instead of referring to his Arelatives.A precisely meant to avoid the uncertainty of the interpretation of article E9+ 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 died intestate The order appealed from is affirmed. by referring to Aall who are entitled thereto. and identification with Filipino ideals.*2IP1 .)T0R)3IO)TI'.aturali?ation 3aw before she may be deemed a Philippine citi?en 7 I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 R. 'F (ITIO. '+)"N!" -. Vicente .

+=99 an opposition to the probate of the will alleging the following groundsC $+& said will was not e#ecuted as required by law1 $7& the testatri# was physically and mentally incapable to e#ecute the will at the time of its e#ecution1 and $:& the will was e#ecuted under duress. in *aguinsin v 3indayag.t )l . threat or influence of fear Vicente .arrion. !r Rene Teotico requested leave to intervene and to file a motion for reconsideration with regard to that portion of the decision which nullified the legacy made in his favor The motions for reconsideration above adverted to having been denied. because it nowhere appears therein any provision designating her as heir. legatee or devisee of any portion of the estate *he has also no interest in the will either as administratri# or e#ecutri# . .t )l . together with the universal heir Fosefina -ortera. B R . after due hearing. ++E+& )nd it is well settled in this "urisdiction that in civil actions as well as special proceedings.o 3-::E8. allowed the oppositor to intervene as an adopted child of Francisco -ortera. oppositor has no right to intervene because she has no interest in the estate either as heir. Teotico filed a motion to dismiss the opposition alleging that the oppositor had no legal personality to intervene The probate court. or administrator. such as a creditor $Intestate . a deceased brother of the same testatri#. +=9+1 Rapinosa v .state of Fulio -agbanwa @8 ' B . may be boiled down to the followingC $+& 2as oppositor )na del Val (han the right to intervene in this proceedingG1 $7& 2as the will in question been duly admitted to probateG1 and $:& !id the probate court commit an error in passing on the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will and in determining who should inherit the portion to be vacated by the nullification of the legacy made in favor of !r Rene TeoticoG These issues will be discussed separately + It is a well-settled rule that in order that a person may be allowed to intervene in a probate proceeding he must have an interest in the estate.scolta. stripped of non-essentials. and the latter from that portion which admits the will to probate )nd in this instance both petitioner and oppositor assign several error which. claiming to be an adopted child of Francisca -ortera. the probate court rendered its decision on .go The 2ua v (hung Hiat 2ua. the oppositor amended her opposition by alleging the additional ground that the will is inoperative as to the share of !r Rene Teotico because the latter was the physician who too6 care of the testatri# during her last illness )fter the parties had presented their evidence. )ugust 77. or one who has a claim against the estate. both petitioner and oppositor appealed from the decision. *eptember :8. the interest required in order that a person may be a party thereto must be material and direct. the former from that portion which nullifies the legacy in favor of !r Rene Teotico and declares the vacated portion as sub"ect of succession in favor of the legal heirs. +=>:&1 and an interested party has been defined as one who would be benefitted by the estate such as an heir or one who has a claim against the estate li6e a creditor $Idem & 'n the other hand. as well as an ac6nowledged natural child of Fose -ortera. and on Fune +E. would she acquire any right to the estate in the event that the will is denied probateG 0nder the terms of the will.either has she any claim against any portion of the estate because she is not a co-owner thereof. while the oppositor filed also a motion for reconsideration of the portion of the "udgment which decrees the probate of the will 'n his part.)na del Val (han. a deceased sister of the testatri#. this (ourt saidC A)ccording to *ection 7. E8 Phil :++& A library The question now may be as6edC 2as oppositor any interest in any of the provisions of the will. or in the will. nor does she have any claim to any property affected by the will. filed a motion for reconsideration of that part of the decision which declares the portion of the estate to be vacated by the nullity of the legacy made to !r Rene Teotico as passing to the legal heirs. Rule D8 of the Rules of (ourt. +=>8 admitting the will to probate but declaring the disposition made in favor of !r Rene Teotico void with the statement that the portion to be vacated by the annulment should pass to the testatri#%s heirs by way of intestate succession Petitioner Teotico. filed on *eptember 7. . in the negative. and while she previously had an interest in the (alvo building located in . 3-+EE98. and. a petition for letters of administration must be filed by an %interested person % )n interested party has been defined in this connection as one who would be benefitted by the estate. such as an heir. +=9=. 3-+E8=+.ovember +8. e#ecutor. and not merely indirect or contingent $Trillana v (risostomo. or in the property to be affected by it either as e#ecutor or as a claimant of the estate $. +=>7. she had already . !ecember +E.

even if it be true. and does not e#tend to his other relatives. a palpable evidence of a blemish upon the family . the (ode denies any right of succession They cannot be called relatives and they have no right to inherit 'f course. Vol +. 3. >D Phil . p 9+9& It thus appears that the oppositor has no right to intervene either as testamentary or as legal heir in this probate proceeding contrary to the ruling of the court a quo 7 The ne#t question to be determined is whether the will .disposed of it long before the e#ecution of the will In the supposition that the will is denied probate. in turn. and does not e#tend to other members of the family of either1 but the adopted is prohibited to marry the children of the adopter to avoid scandal A $)n 'utline of Philippines (ivil law by Fustice Fose . p ++8 &A The oppositor cannot also derive comfort from the fact that she is an adopted child of Francisca -ortera because under our law the relationship established by adoption is limited solely to the adopter and the adopted does not e#tend to the relatives of the adopting parents or of the adopted child e#cept only as e#pressly provided for by law 2ence. a deceased sister of the testatri#. nor of the legitimate children which they may have after the adoption. Vol +.etween the natural child and the legitimate relatives of the father or mother who ac6nowledged it. but the law does not recogni?e it In this. p :+:1 *ee also (aguioa. pp :+7-:+:1 Paras. is limited to the adopting parent. +7D. in turn. the adopter and the adopted. as followsC AP. hated by the natural child1 the latter considers the privileged condition of the former and the resources of which it is thereby deprived1 the former. and also an adopted daughter of Francisca -ortera. (ivil (ode of the Philippines. p >97& ARelationship by adoption is limited to adopter and adopted. Vol +. there is a blood tie. however.or"a testified that the testatri# was in perfect state of health at the time she e#ecuted the will for she carried her conversation with her intelligently1 that the testatri# signed immediately above the attestation clause and on each and every page thereof at the left-hand margin in the presence of the three instrumental witnesses and the notary public1 that it was the testatri# herself who as6ed her and the other witnesses to act as such1 and that the testatri# was the first one to sign and later she gave the will to the witnesses who read and signed it . no relationship is created between the adopted and the collaterals of the adopting parents )s a consequence. the adopted is an heir of the adopter but not of the relatives of the adopter AThe relationship established by the adoption. )rticle ==7 of our (ivil (ode providesC A)n illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother1 A )nd the philosophy behind this provision is well e#pressed in Brey v Fabie. article =@: is based upon the reality of the facts and upon the presumptive will of the interested parties1 the natural child is disgracefully loo6ed down upon by the legitimate family1 the legitimate family is. but such claim cannot give her any comfort for.either are the children of the adopted considered as descendants of the adopter The relationship created is e#clusively between. +=99. the law does not give her any right to succeed to the estate of the deceased sister of both Fose -ortera and Francisca -ortera )nd this is so because being an illegitimate child she is prohibited by law from succeeding to the legitimate relatives of her natural father Thus. but she is not under our (ivil (ode It is true that oppositor claims to be an ac6nowledged natural child of Fose -ortera. Vol +. e#cept as e#pressly provided by law Thus. and does not e#tend to the relatives of either A $Tolentino.#hibit ) was duly admitted to probate 'ppositor claims that the same should not have been admitted not only because it was not properly attested to but also because it was procured thru pressure and influence and the testatri# affi#ed her signature by mista6e believing that it contained her true intent The claim that the will was not properly attested to is contradicted by the evidence of record In this respect it is fit that we state briefly the declarations of the instrumental witnesses Pilar . :d ed . by avoiding further grounds of resentment % $E -anresa.very relation is ordinarily bro6en in life1 the law does no more them recogni?e this truth. (ivil (ode of the Philippines. Reyes and Ricardo ( Puno. the adopted child cannot be considered as a relative of the ascendants and collaterals of the adopting parents. (omments and (ases on (ivil law. +=9= ed . a deceased brother of the deceased. e#cept that the law imposes certain impediments to marriage by reason of adoption . would the oppositor acquire any interest in any portion of the estate left by the testatri#G *he would acquire such right only if she were a legal heir of the deceased. sees in the natural child nothing but the product of sin.

as testified to by the oppositor and her witnesses. from subsequently revo6ing her +=9+ will if it did not in fact reflect and e#press her own testamentary dispositions For.or is the alleged fact of isolation of the testatri# from the oppositor and her witnesses. had she really wanted to. in <uiapo and in *ta (ru?. the mere claim that Fosefina -ortera and her husband Rene Teotico had the opportunity to e#ert pressure on the testatri# simply because she lived in their house several years prior to the e#ecution of the will and that she was old and suffering from hypertension in that she was virtually isolated from her friends for several years prior to her death is insufficient to disprove what the instrumental witnesses had testified that the testatri# freely and voluntarily and with full consciousness of the solemnity of the occasion e#ecuted the will under consideration The e#ercise of improper pressure and undue influence must be supported by substantial evidence and must be of a 6ind that would overpower and sub"ugate the mind of the testatri# as to destroy her free agency and ma6e her e#press the will of another rather than her own $(oso v !e?a. +=9+ )lthough those facts may have some weight to support the theory of the oppositor. notwithstanding its authentication The questions relating to these points remain entirely unaffected. on different occasions. and must be punctually complied with in so far as it is not contrary to the law or to public morals A $-ontaMano v . a matter which here was not done. 9D ' B 778& A The authentication of a will decides no other questions than such as touch upon the capacity of the testator and the compliance with those requisites or solemnities which the law prescribes for the validity of wills It does not determine nor even by implication pre"udge the validity or efficiency of the provisions1 these may be impugned as being vicious or null. -anila.scolta. attributable to the vehemence of !r Rene Teotico to e#clude visitors. or fail to produce the effects which the law recogni?es when they are not impugned by anyone In the matter of wills it is a fundamental doctrine that the will of the testator is the law governing the interested parties. wal6ing and accompanied by no one In fact. for the evidence presented not only is sufficient but was disproved by the testimony the instrumental witnesses : The question of whether the probate court could determine the intrinsic validity of the provisions of a will has been decided by this (ourt in a long line of decisions among which the following may be citedC A'pposition to the intrinsic validity or legality of the provisions of the will cannot be entertained in probate proceeding because its only purpose is merely to determine if the will has been e#ecuted in accordance with the requirements of the law A $Palacios v Palacios. and that all the witnesses spo6e either in *panish or in Tagalog 2e finally said that the instrumental witnesses and the testatri# signed the will at the same time and place and identified their signatures This evidence which has not been successfully refuted proves conclusively. it does not follow that such provisions lac6 of efficiency. and may be raised even after the will has been authenticated AFrom the fact that the legali?ation of a will does not validate the provisions therein contained. the testatri# was often seen at the . yet they must perforce yield to the weightier fact that nothing could have prevented the testatri#.Pilar B *anche? also testified that she 6new the testatri# since +=@91 that it was the testatri# herself who as6ed her to be a witness to the will1 that the testatri# was the first one to sign and she gave the will later to the witnesses to sign and afterwards she gave it to the notary public1 that on the day of the e#ecution of the will the testatri# was in the best of health -odesto Formille?a also testified that he was as6ed by the testatri# to be one of the witnesses to the will1 that he read and understood the attestation clause before he signed the document. that the will was duly e#ecuted because it was signed by the testatri# and her instrumental witnesses and the notary public in the manner provided for by law The claim that the will was procured by improper pressure and influence is also belied by the evidence 'n this point the court a quo made the following observationC AThe circumstance that the testatri# was then living under the same roof with !r Rene Teotico is no proof adequate in law to sustain the conclusion that there was improper pressure and undue influence . for their supposed failure to see personally the testatri#. @7 Phil . too6 place years after the e#ecution of the will on -ay +E. 9=>& The burden is on the person challenging the will that such influence was e#erted at the time of its e#ecution. each of them was able to tal6 with her A 4e have e#amined the evidence on the matter and we are fully in accord with the foregoing observation -oreover.

for e#ample. as the legitimate niece of the deceased 2er mother.**I'. That ( was entitled to no part of the inheritance $)rts =7+. and once for all. Defendant#/LLA-*# + I. Rafaela Pavia. the daughter of a sister of the deceased. Plaintiff-Appellee. that a certain legacy is void and another one valid A (astaMeda v )lemany. >E=->D8& ATo establish conclusively as against everyone. were children of -anuel Iturralde and Fosefa Bon?ale? The petition of -aria Fuana 0garte e Iturralde. +=88. the other pronouncements. . +=8+. v.F'R. Pablo... the rest of the decision is hereby set aside This case is ordered remanded to the court a quo for further proceedings .. claimed one-half of all the estate of the deceased.AR+A . then the only claimant to the estate. another sister of Ramon Iturralde y Bon?ale? They. and -aria Fuana Iturralde y Bon?ale? are the common trun6 from which the three branches issue (armen 3inart does not claim that her father. and ( .1 BR). -aria Fuana 0garte e Iturralde as6ed that she be "udicially declared the legitimate heir of the deceased There being no legitimate heirs to the estate either in the direct ascendant line of succession.* 5 The intestate left as heirs T . the facts that a will was e#ecuted with the formalities required by law and that the testator was in a condition to ma6e a will. . the father of (armen 3inart.T)TI'. @7>.*ANA *GAR!" / +!*RRALD".1 ('33)T. *0((. is the only purpose of the proceedings under the new code for the probate of a will $*ec >79 & The "udgment in such proceedings determines and can determine nothing more In them the court has no power to pass upon the validity of any provisions made in the will It can not decide.that is to say. Ramon Iturralde y Bon?ale?. having been heard in accordance with the provisions of the (ode of (ivil Procedure in force at the time. however. and she was declared. with the e#ception of that portion of the decision which declares that the will in question has been duly e#ecuted and admitted the same to probate. Ramon Iturralde y Bon?ales.*uesa.IR*1 R. -aria Fuana Iturralde y Bon?ale?.*T)T.o pronouncement as to costs [G. the petitioner presented herself as a collateral descendant .R. through her guardian. (ivil (ode & 7 I! 1 (2I3!R. 1900. +=8@.. (armen 3inart. +@ Phil . Ramon Iturralde y Bon?ale? In the month of !ecember.#hibit ) must be set aside as having been made in e#cess of its "urisdiction )nother reason why said pronouncement should be set aside is that the legatee was not given an opportunity to defend the validity of the legacy for he was not allowed to intervene in this proceeding )s a corollary.R. : Phil . was the legitimate son of -aria Fosefa Iturralde y Bon?ale?. without pre"udice to third parties."N L+NAR! / (A'+A. intestate proceedings were instituted. pp >E>. $c2o4er 27. who was of the same degree as -aria Fuana 0garte e Iturralde. )AR. in an order made on the :+st of Fanuary. to be the heir of the deceased. =79. a granddaughter of another sister of the deceasedC 2eld.!(2I3!R. 5 The word children in intestate estates can not include Agrandchildren A Ramon Iturralde y Bon?ale? having died intestate on the 7Dth of !ecember. who had been declared the lawful heir of the deceased 5 a fact which this new relative did not deny 5 be required to render an account of the property of the estate The father of the petitioner was in the same collateral degree of succession as -aria Fuana 0garte e Iturralde Pablo 3inart. as well as the deceased. and as6ed at the same time that -aria Fuana 0garte e Iturralde. No.R)3 2. touching on the disposition of the estate in favor of some relatives of the deceased should also be set aside for the same reason 42.*. @7D& Pursuant to the foregoing precedents the pronouncement made by the court a quo declaring invalid the legacy made to !r Rene Teotico in the will . 2099.PR.T.

by representation. being a nearer relative.A and pointed out in the last decision referred to )nd. that even though a grandniece. and ordered the latter to render an account of the estate. for the reason that the latter died first This. -aria Fuana Iturralde y Bon?ale?.A unless they are e#pressly e#cluded. at the same time. we hereby reverse the "udgment of the court below. +D=9. as a matter of law. with the e#ception of the right of representation in proper cases $art =7+. although she is one degree lower in the line of succession that her aunt. inherit by representation. en"oining her. the father of the plaintiff. therefore. the more distant grandniece is e#cluded In the collateral line the right of representation does not obtain beyond sons and daughters of the brothers and sisters. and declare that (armen 3inart has no right to succeed the deceased with said -aria Fuana 0garte e Iturralde. reference should only be had to the provisions of the law under which it is evident that the rights of representation in the collateral line do not obtain beyond the sons and daughters of brothers or sisters 4e. prior to the operation of the (ivil (ode. the error which the appellant claims was committed in the court below is very clearly shown The court below held that the grandniece was entitled to the same share of the estate that the niece was entitled to. much less proved 4hat she claims is that. might have inherited the portion of the estate corresponding to her father%s It is not an error to consider that the word AchildrenA in this connection does not include Agrandchildren A There is no precedent in our "urisprudence to warrant such a conclusion The decisions of the supreme court of *pain of 'ctober +=. Pablo 3inart. because the latter. had survived his deceased uncle For the reasons above stated. but the daughter of a son of a sister of the deceased It would have been quite different had it been shown that her father. was not alleged. Pablo 3inart. the right of representation in the collateral line can only ta6e place in favor of the children of brothers or sisters of the intestate. the plaintiff. had survived the deceased In that case he would have succeeded to the estate with his cousin. that the property should pass to their children. as is also pointed out in the first decision. properly spea6ing. and !ecember :+. we must ta6e into consideration and give force to the intention of the testator when he substitutes the children for the heirs first named by him The descendants are ordinarily considered as included in the term Achildren. when. -aria Fuana 0garte e Iturralde The court below on the 7@th of February. are not applicable to this case Those decisions were rendered in cases relating to testate and not to intestate successions In both cases. which would have been the case if Pablo 3inart. and the plaintiff in this case is not a daughter of one of the sisters of the deceased. relied upon.A and that in such a case the grandchild does not. she is entitled to the same share in the estate as the direct niece. it was held that AgrandchildrenA were necessarily included in the word Achildren. Athe fact that it was stated with more or less correctness in the prayer of the complaint that the action was based upon the right of representation. such as is the appellant. and in many others decided by the supreme court of *pain. where a testator had named certain persons as heirs and. whereas in intestate successions. by representation 5 that is to say. as to whom we hereby dissolve the in"unction issued from the (ourt of First Instance )fter the e#piration of twenty days let "udgment be entered in accordance herewith. is not sufficient to deny to the appellant a right which he had under the terms of the will A The difference is this. par + of the (ivil (ode&1 and $7& that the right of representation in the collateral line shall ta6e place only in favor of children of brothers or sisters whether they be of whole or half blood $art =79. +=89. and let the record be remanded to the (ourt of First Instance from whence it came for e#ecution of the said "udgment *o ordered . who was once declared to be the lawful heir. yet she is entitled to a share of the estate of the deceased through her father. par 7& In the light of the foregoing. they failing. and then. from disposing of any part thereof until such accounting had been made and the estate distributed -aria Fuana 0garte e#cepted to the "udgment and has brought the case to this court )fter a consideration of the case.should have succeeded Ramon. she. this court findsC $+& That the relative nearest in degree e#cludes those more distant. however. -aria Fuana 0garte. +D==. Afor the reason that he must in any event succeed the child in the natural and regular order. and who is now in possession of the estate. without special provisions as to the costs of this instance. that in the case of a testamentary succession. hold that in an intestate succession a grandniece of the deceased can not participate with a niece in the inheritance. entered "udgment declaring that the petitioner had the same right to participate in the inheritance as had -aria Fuana 0garte e Iturralde.

. R".B*1 (2)33.[G. what they should have done was seasonably appeal the decree of adoption. *ec :98. R$#AR+$ #A/#$N-. 'F )!'PTI'....R)33/ 5 ) no less important argument against the petitioners is that their challenge to the validity of the adoption cannot be made collaterally. !. pp E+=-E78L . cannot be questioned in a collateral proceeding.!I)3 3)41 F0!B-."D+$# #A/#$NR"/"# and .)*'.AL$NDA. years after it became final and e#ecutory That was way bac6 in +=>E )ssuming that the petitioners were proper parties.R. as in their action for partition but in a direct proceeding frontally addressing the issue The settled rule is that a finding that the requisite "urisdictional facts e#ists.)3... V)3I!IT/ 'F )!'PTI'. ('33)T.TITI'. .R* *2'03! 2)V.*ANA ). ().'T . PR'(.B.!I.(R.A*R+)+$ #A/#$N. v. 5 It is too late now to challenge the decree of adoption. for a presumption arises in such cases where the validity of the "udgment is thus attac6ed that the necessary "urisdictional facts were proven KFreeman on Fudgments. 1922. Vol I. Petitioners.dmundo They did not In fact. !&" &$N$RA-L" )$*R! $% A(("AL# #/LLA-*# + R.)3 ).I. although -auricio claimed he had personal 6nowledge of such birth 7 I! 1 )!'PTI'.! . -)!. before the decree of adoption was issued They did not. -A#+L+#A #A/#$N-L+R+$.-20.). *.T1 FI.-. 1992. whether erroneous or not. Nos.! T2. -A*!+#!A.(0T'R/1 P. . pointing to the birth of !oribel that disqualified Teodoro and Isabel from adopting !elia and . they should have done this earlier.3/ )PP. T' T2.an<ar= 23..

IT2. who claim to be their children 'n )pril 79.ven without it. !'..TI)R/ . filed a complaint for partition and accounting of the intestate estate of Teodoro and Isabel *ayson It was doc6eted as (ivil (ase .asilisa. ./ )!'PTI'. 5 'n the question of !oribel%s legitimacy.! F)T2. she is entitled to the share her father would have directly inherited had he survived.! (2I3!R.3)TI'. quoted above. P)R.R 5 There is no question that as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and thus the granddaughter of ...3''! R. complete and conclusive proof of its falsity or nullity Acralaw virtua+aw library 9 I! 1 I! 1 3..leno and Rafaela.BITI-)(/ 'F (2I3! ().! '.* 'F R. and Remedios.IT.)T. such evidence is lac6ing in the case at bar @ I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 . these rights do not include the right of representation The relationship created by the adoption is between only the adopting parents and the adopted child and does not e#tend to the blood relatives of either party )t issue in this case is the status of the private respondents and their capacity to inherit from their alleged parents and grandparents The petitioners deny them that right. 'F T2.*TI'. . p 99= & > I! 1 *0((.*. .(30*IV. .. together with Fuana ( .VI!. +=E> Teodoro.PR.ranch +: of the Regional Trial (ourt of )lbay The action was resisted by !elia. all surnamed *ayson. (ivil (ode of the Philippines. PR. and within the period limited by law The legitimacy of the child cannot be contested by way of defense or as a collateral issue in another action for a different purpose $Tolentino. asserting it for themselves to the e#clusion of all others The relevant genealogical facts are as follows . Remedios and Teodoro .! T' T2. which shall be equal to the shares of her grandparents% other children D I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 R. let alone the fact that it was never offered in evidence in the lower courts .. ). 'F P0.IRT2 (..asilisa. ).1 BR)..033IT/ 5 -auricio%s testimony that he was present when !oribel was born to . however.! ).! FI3I)TI'.R. .autista.3/ I.*2IP (R.T*1 R)TI'.! T2. who had married Isabel .*. !oribel has a right to represent her deceased father in the distribution of the intestate estate of her grandparents 0nder )rticle =D+. 5 The philosophy underlying this article is that a person%s love descends first to his children and grandchildren before it ascends to his parents and thereafter spreads among his collateral relatives It is also supposed that one of his purposes in acquiring properties is to leave them eventually to his children as a to6en of his love for them and as a provision for their continued care even after he is gone from this earth E I! 1 I! 1 RIB2T 'F R.leno died on .dmundo and !oribel .. <0.R P)RTI.dita )bila was understandably suspect.. where we ruled that Athe evidentiary nature of public documents must be sustained in the absence of strong. ) !IR. 5 )nother reason why the petitioners% challenge must fail is the impropriety of the present proceedings for that purpose !oribel%s legitimacy cannot be questioned in a complaint for partition and accounting but in a direct action seasonably filed by the proper party The presumption of legitimacy in the (ivil (ode does not have this purely evidential character It serves a more fundamental purpose It actually fi#es a civil status for the child born in wedloc6.T 2.1 '..).B. Rosario.T)TI'. vol I. +=E7 2is wife died nine years later. +=D+ Their properties were left in the possession of !elia.! )*(. PR''F 'F IT* F)3*IT/ 'R .! .BITI-)T. -auricio.. by the proper parties.autista.leno and Rafaela *ayson begot five children.!). Isabel%s mother. -auricio. . died on -arch 7:.. *0*T)I.(.1 3.T. we hold that the findings of the trial courts as affirmed by the respondent court must be sustained !oribel%s birth certificate is a formidable piece of evidence It is one of the prescribed means of recognition under )rticle 7>9 of the (ivil (ode and )rticle +E7 of the Family (ode It is true.3)TIV.* 5 4hile it is true that the adopted child shall be deemed to be a legitimate child and have the same right as the latter. as the petitioners stress.**I'..: (IVI3 3)41 P)T.* 'F .*.)3..*(RI.R !.(T )(TI'. Rosario.. on -arch 7>. and that civil status cannot be attac6ed collaterally The legitimacy of the child can be impugned only in a direct action brought for that purpose. that the birth certificate offers only prima facie evidence of filiation and may be refuted by contrary evidence 2owever. and Rafaela on -ay +9.ITI'.!!)0B2T. *0((.! ('. coming as it did from an interested party The affidavit of )bila denying her earlier statement in the petition for the guardianship of !oribel is of course hearsay.ovember +8.IT/ ). +=D:.T* ). +=97.('B.1 .T *TR'. and !oribel.* .! )!'PT.3I( !'(0-. ('-P3.T* T' .'T .)T0R.dmundo.R 2)* ) RIB2T T' R.PR. namely.o +8:8 in . the birth certificate must be upheld in line with 3egaspi v (ourt of )ppeals.RTIFI()T.)*.! -.

o ++9@+&. they should have done this earlier. the three children were entitled to inherit from . before the decree of adoption was issued They did not.dmundo were the adopted children and !oribel was the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and Isabel )s such. although -auricio claimed he had personal 6nowledge of such birth )s the respondent court correctly observedCchanrob+es virtual +aw library 4hen !oribel was born on February 7E. there is the vital question of timeliness It is too late now to challenge the decree of adoption.. who manifested in a petition for guardianship of the child that she was her natural mother The inconsistency of this position is immediately apparent The petitioners see6 to annul the adoption of !elia and .oth cases were appealed to the (ourt of )ppeals. the appealed decision is -'!IFI.! That "udgment is now before us in this petition for review by certiorari Reversal of the respondent court is sought on the ground that it disregarded the evidence of the petitioners and misapplied the pertinent law and "urisprudence when it declared the private respondents as the e#clusive heirs of Teodoro and Isabel *ayson The contention of the petitioners is that !elia and . e#cluded the plaintiffs from sharing in their estate .leno and Rafaela by right of representation In his decision dated *eptember :8. what they should have done was seasonably appeal the decree of adoption. that !elia and .oth cases were decided in favor of the herein private respondents on the basis of practically the same evidence Fudge Rafael P *antelices declared in his decision dated -ay 7>. naming among those who cannot adoptA $+& Those who have legitimate.o +7:>@&. against the couple%s four surviving children This was doc6eted as (ivil (ase . holding that the defendants. +=D>. +=>E The birth of !oribel disqualified her parents from adopting The pertinent provision is )rticle ::9 of the (ivil (ode.leno and Rafaela *ayson. the appealed decision is hereby )FFIR-.! In (ivil (ase .*ayson. to wit.o +8@7 in the Regional Trial (ourt of )lbay. the petitioners could have notified the court about the fact of birth of !'RI.! in that !elia and .. +=D=. +=>E. +=>E. + that !elia and ..o +8@7 $()-B R . this time for the accounting and partition of the intestate estate of .o +8:8. or natural children by legal fiction A (uriously enough. years after it became final and e#ecutory That was way bac6 in +=>E E )ssuming that the petitioners were proper parties.R.dmundo and !oribel filed their own complaint. pointing to the birth of !oribel that disqualified Teodoro and Isabel from adopting !elia and .dita )bila.R.F'R.dmundo were not legally adopted because !oribel had already been born on February 7E.leno and Rafaela *ayson.o +8:8 $()-B R . @ Fudge Fose * *aMe? dismissed (ivil (ase . where they were consolidated In its own decision dated February 7D. the petitioners also argue that !oribel herself is not the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and Isabel but was in fact born to one .dmundo were the legally adopted children of Teodoro and Isabel *ayson by virtue of the decree of adoption dated -arch =. !elia. being the legitimate heirs of Teodoro and Isabel as established by the aforementioned evidence. +=>E : (onsequently. .dmundo on the ground that Teodoro and Isabel already had a legitimate daughter at the time but in the same breath try to demolish this argument by denying that !oribel was born to the couple 'n top of this.dmundo They did not In fact.3 and perhaps withdrew the petition or perhaps petitioners could have filed a petition for the revocation or rescission of the adoption $although the birth of a child is not one of those provided by law for the revocation or rescission of an adoption& The court is of the considered opinion that . +=D>. legitimated. when the decree of adoption was issued on -arch =.ranch +7 The complainants asserted the defense they raised in (ivil (ase . but is affirmed in all other respects *' 'R!. ac6nowledged natural children. +=>E 7 !oribel was their legitimate daughter as evidenced by her birth certificate dated February 7E. or about T.dmundo *ayson are disqualified from inheriting from the estate of the deceased spouses . in (ivil (ase . +=D:. . they were entitled to inherit Teodoro%s share in his parents% estate by right of representation . who alleged successional rights to the disputed estate as the decedent%s lawful descendants 'n Fuly ++.o +8:8. $+8& days before the issuance of the 'rder of )doption. 9 the respondent court disposed as followsCchanrob+es virtual +aw library 42.

outstanding and binding to the present. as their adopted children. may be essential to the e#ercise of "urisdiction to enter the order of adoption.ot having any information of !oribel%s birth to Teodoro and Isabel *ayson. the birth certificate must be upheld in line with 3egaspi v (ourt of )ppeals. *ec :98. as the petitioners stress. and that civil status cannot be attac6ed collaterally The legitimacy of the child can be impugned only in a direct action brought for that purpose. and hence cannot be collaterally attac6ed If this were not the rule. and even if they should come from different marriages .!' *)/*'. we hold that !oribel. complete and conclusive proof of its falsity or nullity A )nother reason why the petitioners% challenge must fail is the impropriety of the present proceedings for that purpose !oribel%s legitimacy cannot be questioned in a complaint for partition and accounting but in a direct action seasonably filed by the proper party The presumption of legitimacy in the (ivil (ode does not have this purely evidential character It serves a more fundamental purpose It actually fi#es a civil status for the child born in wedloc6. and !elia and .3I) and . this does not ma6e it essential to the "urisdictional validity of the decree that the fact be determined upon proper evidence. that the birth certificate offers only prima facie evidence = of filiation and may be refuted by contrary evidence 2owever. however. is valid. for a presumption arises in such cases where the validity of the "udgment is thus attac6ed that the necessary "urisdictional facts were proven KFreeman on Fudgments. Vol I.dmundo. and the adoption might be held by one court to have been valid. or necessarily in accordance with the truth1 a mere error cannot affect the "urisdiction. since the evidence might not be the same at all investigations.!-0.ven without it. this (ourt declaredCchanrob+es virtual +aw )n adoption order implies the finding of the necessary facts and the burden of proof is on the party attac6ing it1 it cannot be considered void merely because the fact needed to show statutory compliance is obscure 4hile a "udicial determination of some particular fact. ++ where we ruled that Athe evidentiary nature of public documents must be sustained in the absence of strong. coming as it did from an interested party The affidavit of )bila +8 denying her earlier statement in the petition for the guardianship of !oribel is of course hearsay. the trial "udge cannot be faulted for granting the petition for adoption on the finding inter alia that the adopting parents were not disqualified ) no less important argument against the petitioners is that their challenge to the validity of the adoption cannot be made collaterally. while another court would hold it to have been of no avail $ Emphasis supplied & 'n the question of !oribel%s legitimacy. and might be regarded with different effect by different tribunals. =E= 3egitimate children and their descendants succeed the parents and other ascendants.dita )bila was understandably suspect. without distinction as to se# or age. the status of adopted children would always be uncertain. by the proper parties. and the determination must stand until reversed on appeal. such as the abandonment of his ne#t of 6in to the adoption. and within the period limited by law The legitimacy of the child cannot be contested by way of defense or as a collateral issue in another action for a different purpose In consequence of the above observations.the adoption of the plaintiffs !. pp E+=-E78L In the case of *antos v )ran?anso. such evidence is lac6ing in the case at bar -auricio%s testimony that he was present when !oribel was born to . whether erroneous or not. let alone the fact that it was never offered in evidence in the lower courts . we hold that the findings of the trial courts as affirmed by the respondent court must be sustained !oribel%s birth certificate is a formidable piece of evidence It is one of the prescribed means of recognition under )rticle 7>9 of the (ivil (ode and )rticle +E7 of the Family (ode It is true. as in their action for partition but in a direct proceeding frontally addressing the issue The settled rule is that a finding that the requisite "urisdictional facts e#ists. are the e#clusive heirs to the intestate estate of the deceased couple. cannot be questioned in a collateral proceeding. the same not having been revo6ed or rescinded . conformably to the following )rticle =E= of the (ivil (odeC )RTI(3. as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and Isabel *ayson.

I. the petition is !.<0I*IT.leno and Rafaela.T 5 In adoption proceedings abandonment imports Aany conduct on the part of the parent which evinces a settled purpose to forgo all parental duties and relinquish all parental claims to the child A It means Aneglect or refusal to perform the natural and legal obligations of care an support which parents owe to their children A $7 )m Fur 7d.'T ).*'30T. survive.R. we agree with the lower courts that !elia and . pp DD>-DDE & : I! 1 I! 1 R. L-23121."!R+A '"N!*RA. (A*L+NA #AN!$# and A*R$RA #AN!$# v. =D+ *hould children of the deceased and descendants of other children who are dead. 1966. which shall be equal to the shares of her grandparents% other children +: .T .T 'F P)R..!.I. quoted above.). )doption. )T .)n adopted child succeeds to the property of the adopting parents in the same manner as a legitimate child The philosophy underlying this article is that a person%s love descends first to his children and grandchildren before it ascends to his parents and thereafter spreads among his collateral relatives It is also supposed that one of his purposes in acquiring properties is to leave them eventually to his children as a to6en of his love for them and as a provision for their continued care even after he is gone from this earth (oming now to the right of representation.T* .).-.. by virtue of which the representative is raised to the place and the degree of the person represented.).F'R.*.!I.ut a different conclusion must be reached in the case of !elia and . with costs against the petitioners [G.dmundo.-. consent by the guardian ad litem suffices 7 I! 1 I! 1 -.. in holding that only !oribel has the right of representation in the inheritance of her grandparents% intestate estate./ P)R. No. she is entitled to the share her father would have directly inherited had he survived. !oribel has a right to represent her deceased father in the distribution of the intestate estate of her grandparents 0nder )rticle =D+.B 'F ).!'. we stress first the following pertinent provisions of the (ivil (odeCchanrob+es virtual +aw library )RTI(3. are their e#clusive heirs and are under no obligation to share the estate of their parents with the petitioners The (ourt of )ppeals was correct however.4 'F TRI)3 ('0RT%* FI. 5 (onsent by the parents to the adoption is not an absolute requisite If the natural parents have abandoned their children..dmundo as the adopted children and !oribel as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro *ayson and Isabel . =E+ The representative is called to the succession by the law and not by the person represented The representative does not succeed the person represented but the one whom the person represented would have succeeded )RTI(3.. %e4r<ar= 21. and acquires the rights which the latter would have if he were living or if he could have inherited )RTI(3. #/LLA-*# + )!'PTI'.autista. the determination of the fact by the tribunal cannot be questioned in a collateral attac6 upon its order $In re . and the latter by right of representation There is no question that as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and thus the granddaughter of .)R 5 The settled rule is that even when the "urisdiction of an inferior or special tribunal depends upon the e#istence of a fact to be established before it.T1 ()*.B 'F ). ). the former shall inherit in their own right.. to whom the grandparents were total strangers 4hile it is true that the adopted child shall be deemed to be a legitimate child and have the same right as the latter.1 ).T*1 ('.-.R.. *ec :7.! in toto. R. these rights do not include the right of representation The relationship created by the adoption is between only the adopting parents and the adopted child and does not e#tend to the blood relatives of either party +@ In sum.!'.). the other private respondents being only the adoptive children of the deceased Teodoro 42.!'.. and the challenged decision of the (ourt of )ppeals is )FFIR-. =E8 Representation is a right created by fiction of law. GR"G$R+A ARAN>AN#$ and D".VI.

B* 'F )!'PTI'. p :@E1 Van -atre v *an6ey.!'. hereunder quoted in fullC .**)R/ 5 ) "udgment can be set aside on the ground of e#trinsic fraud only in a separate action brought for that purpose1 not by way of collateral attac6 $Bome? v (oncepcion. D= Phil 7E8& Res of -ay +=.T 5 ) strong basis for a finding of the parent%s abandonment of his or her child is found in the case where the parent has left the child permanently or indefinitely in the care of others. and constructive notice.T2''! 5 . regardless of actual intention $.R)33/1 ()*. D years old The petition.)R 5 -ovants contends that according to the (ourt of )ppeals.(. the modern trend is to encourage adoption $Prasni6 v Republic.TTI. said (ourt was not in a position to determine that the findings of the adoption court had totally no support in the evidence For even assuming that the finding of abandonment is "urisdictional. +=@7& and every reasonable intendment should be sustained to promote that ob"ective > F0!B-.. said children have continuously been in petitioners% care and custody ) guardian ad litem (risanto de -esa..). +:: .).*TIT0T.state..egligent and careless failure to perform the duties of parenthood is a significant element of abandonment.*I( FR)0!1 *. that the necessary "urisdictional facts were proven $Freeman on Fudgments. the determination of the adoption court that the parents of the adopted children had abandoned them @ I! 1 . however. which was under oath. E@ Pac +8:=.T '.*.d . under a collateral attac6. +:+ (al @>=.2I.R . is enough where the residence of the parents is un6nown $7 )m Fur .. 7d. Rules of (ourt & +8 I! 1 I! 1 P. )TT)(H.'T R..T*1 *.R* ('.T 'F (2I3!1 F)I30R. )T . +8@81 In re (amp%s .)T0R.state.. li6ewise gave her written consent thereto 7 )fter due publication and hearing. particularly their parents. since their infancy. that the whereabouts of the minors% nearest of 6in. 'F 'T2. )doption.! ('33)T. .<0IR. pp E+=-E78 & ) petition for adoption of Paulina *antos and )urora *antos was filed by *implicio *antos and Fuliana Reyes in the (ourt of First Instance of -anila on Fune @.)VI.-c6eag%s .. given it to another.. +=@= + Paulina *antos was then +E years old and )urora *antos.. and it cannot do so in a collateral suit. being over fourteen years of age. 'F PR'(.!I.B (2I3! I. +@D +++ 9:>1 :> . @E Phil E+E1 Ramos v -aMalac. 4 +@E./ P.* 5 The philosophy behind adoption statutes is to promote the welfare of the child )ccordingly.! 'F .-.B )*I!. +@+ (al @8:.P)R)T.. F0!B-.RF'R. cannot be questioned in a collateral proceedings..T 5 The parental consent required by the law in adoption proceedings refers to parents who have not abandoned their child $*ec :. alleged inter alia.* 'F P)R. Vol I.! )!'PTI'.TITI'.R*'. such as the publication duly made in a newspaper of general circulation.T)3 ('. were un6nown1 that since the outbrea6 of the war said minors have been abandoned by their respective parents1 and that for years. where the validity of the "udgment is thus attac6ed. +=>9 .!0TI.<0IR.ITRI. or surrendered it entirely $7 )m Fur 7d DDD & = I! 1 P)R.)T0R. the (ourt of )ppeals erred in reviewing. . >: Pac E:>& It follows. Rule +88.mmons v !inelli. the adoption court $(FI& rendered on )ugust 79.! 5 Personal signature by the petition of the petition to adopt is not among the requisites of the law ++ I! 1 FI. or a direct suit assailing the adoption. +=@= a decision. but an appeal from an order in the settlement proceedings where the adoption was sought to be collaterally attac6ed )ccordingly.'TI(.. whether erroneous or not.'T R. .)3 *IB. the findings of abandonment by the adoption court had totally no support in the evidence For the (ourt of )ppeals to arrive at such a conclusion. notice is not required in adoption cases in regard to the abandoning parent $Parsons v Parson.* ). )(TI'. that in the case at bar. >7D&.! 5 )doption is a proceeding in rem $Facinto. ('0RT (). *pecial Proceedings. +8+ 4is E> EE . T' P. it had to pass under review the entire proceedings in the adoption court. *ec :98.. BR'0. therefore. *T)T0T. the settled rule is that a finding that the requisite "urisdictional facts e#ist.-.!I. .!'.'T . but only in a direct action for that purpose 4hat was before the (ourt of )ppeals was not an appeal from the decision of the adoption court. +=>> E )!'PTI'.B1 42. 97 'ff Ba? . *ec 9> p =8>& -oreover. was thereafter appointed for the minors *aid guardian ad litem forthwith gave his written consent to the adoption Paulina *antos. ()R.. for a presumption arises in such cases. +@D& 9 I! 1 P2I3'*'P2/ . 7d 9> & D I! 1 I! 1 3. 7:9 Ind 7@=. ..1 ).

+=>@. Paulina *antos and )urora *antos appealed to this (ourt by way of petition for review.ational 4ee6ly.F'R. Paulina *antos and )urora *antos. to which due course was given Five months after submission of this case for decision 5 or on 'ctober +@.! A-anila. the case was then set for trial The office of the *olicitor Beneral was duly notified of the petition and at the hearing did not offer any ob"ection AFrom the evidence presented at the hearing.ovember 79. (onsuelo and Pacita Pasion. he as6ed that he be appointed administrator of the estate Bregoria )ran?anso. Philippines. moreover. )ugust 79. +=9E. +=9=.oth parents of the minor have long been unheard from and in spite of diligent efforts of the petitioners to locate them. +=9E *implicio *antos filed in the (ourt of First Instance of -anila a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of Fuliana Reyes : In said petition he stated among other things that the surviving heirs of the deceased areC he as surviving spouse. which it deemed a "urisdictional defect still open to collateral attac6 )fter denial of their motion for reconsideration by the (ourt of )ppeals. who were then living and had not abandoned them )n answer to the opposition was filed by *implicio *antos on -ar E. more than enough to support and educate the minors The (ourt is of the opinion that this adoption will be for the best interest and welfare of the minors 42. as well as of two other persons. without testament 'n . the (ourt of First Instance decided the point in dispute. Fuliana Reyes died. alleging that she is first cousin to the deceased. +=>@. and the latter has been cared for since she was only fifteen days old Paulina *antos Reyes is now seventeen years old and has given her consent to the adoption as shown by her signature at the foot of the petition *he ratified the same in open (ourt . alleging li6ewise that she is the first cousin of the deceased Fuliana Reyes and adding that she is the mother of the child Paulina *antos. they could not be found The consent to the adoption has been given by the guardian ad litem appointed by the (ourt The petitioners are both proprietors and have substantial income.R. both of whom are and for years have been living under their care and custody1 that the former. +=>9 5 petitioners herein filed a petition for preliminary in"unction. the (ourt of )ppeals reversed the appealed order. respectively In the same petition. filed on -arch +=. and later. ruling that the validity of the adoption in question could not be assailed collaterally in the intestate Bregoria )ran?anso and !emetria Ventura appealed to the (ourt of )ppeals In its decision. 7E and +E years of age. and. on 'ctober 7>. to intervene in the . +=9D and oppositor )ran?anso filed a reply thereto on -ar +E. as her own.'4 'R!. +=9D !emetria Ventura. thereunder adopted.ovember +D. +=@= Acralaw virtua+aw library .R. in -anila. filed on . +=9D an opposition to the petition for appointment of administrator For her grounds she asserted that *implicio *antos% marriage to the late Fuliana Reyes was bigamous and thus void1 and that the adoption of Paulina *antos and )urora *antos was li6ewise void ab initio for want of the written consent of their parents. it appears that the petitioners have been married for the past twenty-seven years and have no children of their own They desire to adopt the minors Paulina *antos Reyes and )urora *antos Reyes. finding instead that the adoption was null and void ab initio due to the absence of consent thereto by the natural parents of the minor children. +=>9. hence forth. a newspaper of general circulation in the (ity of a -anila. a supplemental petition therefor. namely.y order of )pril >. +=9= an opposition to the petition of *implicio *antos to be named administrator. the minors are freed from all legal obligations of obedience and maintenance with respect to their natural parents and are.o appeal was ta6en from the aforesaid decision *ubsequently 5 eight years later 5 on 'ctober 7+. to all legal intents and purposes the children of the petitioners A.. filed on Fanuary 7. to stop the trial court from allowing Bregoria )ran?anso and !emetria Ventura. the pleadings filed by Bregoria )ran?anso . promulgated on *eptember +@. since she was barely three months old has already been ta6en cared of by them up to the present time. the (ourt hereby grants the petition of the spouses *implicio *antos and Fuliana R *antos to adopt the minors Paulina *antos Reyes and )urora *antos Reyes and in accordance with Rule +88 of the Rules of (ourt in the Philippines.AThis is a petition for the adoption of the minors Paulina *antos Reyes and )urora *antos Reyes by the spouses *implicio *antos and Fuliana R *antos )fter due publication in the %. once a wee6 for three consecutive wee6s.

888 each under bond1 that on 'ctober +:.o :@:9@&1 that on 'ctober 7. and by each of its 6nown living parents who is not insane or hopelessly intemperate or has not abandoned such child. or any of them. consent to the adoption by the guardian ad litem suffices This brings us to the question whether in the proceedings at bar the (ourt of )ppeals can still review the evidence in the adoption case and conclude that it was not sufficiently established therein that the parents of Paulina and )urora *antos had abandoned them First of all. but also since the adoption court fatally omitted to e#pressly and specifically find that such abandonment in fact occurred In this regard it should be stated the (ourt of )ppeals completely relied on )merican "urisprudence and authorities to the effect that parental consent to the adoption is a "urisdictional requisite $. home. or society.888 each from the funds of the estate 'n . it is stated in the decision of the adoption court.settlement proceedings or to withdraw cash advances from the estate It was alleged in the petition and supplemental petition for preliminary in"unction that on *eptember 77. stating that they are also first cousins of the decedent and praying that an order be issued allowing them to withdraw the sum of PE. +=>9 the same Pasion sisters filed a supplemental motion in the same proceedings praying that their motion of 'ctober E be treated as a motion to intervene1 that on 'ctober +D. so that on . however. could assail in the settlement proceedings the adoption decree in favor of Paulina and )urora *antos In sustaining their right to ma6e such a collateral attac6. +=>9 this (ourt granted the prayer for preliminary in"unction and the writ was issued upon posting of a bond of a bond of P9. children%s home. the respondent (ourt of )ppeals rested as abovementioned on the premise that failure to obtain the consent of the natural parents was a "urisdictional defect rendering the adoption void ab initio In its view. +=>9 said court issued an order allowing. Bregoria )ran?anso and !emetria Ventura. said consent was not properly dispensed with. including Bregoria )ran?anso and !emetria Ventura1 that on 'ctober E. +=>9 respondents. it is not quite accurate to say that the adoption court made no determination of the fact of abandonment )s quoted earlier.ovember 7=. or benevolent society or person. or (onsuelo and Pacita Pasion. on previous motions therefor. as required by this (ourt. 'ld Rules of (ourt& @ *tated otherwise. +=>9 we ordered modification of the preliminary in"unction. 7 ( F * . consent by the parents to the adoption is not an absolute requisiteC A*. or by such person1 but if the child is illegitimate and has not been recogni?ed the consent of its father to the adoption shall not be required A $Rule +88. +=>9 the probate court issued an order allowing the Pasion sisters to intervene in the settlement proceedings and allowing them to withdraw under bond the sum PE. is that under our law on the matter. opposing the aforesaid petition for preliminary in"unction 'n .( : (onsent to adoption 5 There shall be filed with the petition a written consent to the adoption signed by the child. or if the child is in the custody of an orphan asylum. not only because the evidence adduced in the adoption proceedings was insufficient to support a finding that the parents had abandoned the children. *ection @9 KaL p @:91 4hetmore v Fratello. +=>9 two strangers to the proceedings 5 the aforesaid sisters (onsuelo and Pacita Pasion 5 filed a motion.ovember 7>.ovember @. if the natural parents have abandoned their children.ovember 78. +=>9 the probate court issued an order allowing Bregoria )ran?anso and !emetria Ventura to intervene in the settlement proceedings of Fuliana Reyes% estate $*p Proc . thatC AFrom the evidence presented at the hearing it appears that the petitioners have been married for the past twenty-seven . are also denominated respondentsA 5 filed their A(ommentA. disposition or disbursement of the estate e#cept when essential for strictly maintenance purposes1 and $:& from allowing respondents. >E8& The point to remember. to receive any advance. stating inter alia that they would now be precluded from ta6ing part in the scheduled hearing for settlement of the accounts of the special administratri# $)raceli ) Pilapil& .888 each. g . the writ was modified so as to en"oin the probate court. 7D7 P7d >>E. from the funds of the intestate estate The principal issue on the merits in this appeal is whether respondents-oppositors )ran?anso and Ventura. by the proper officer or officers of such asylum. cash or otherwise. until further ordersC $+& from hearing andNor approving the settlement of special administratri#%s accounts1 $7& from allowing any sale. )doption of (hildren. Afor purposes of e#pediency. under bond. +=>9. together with (onsuelo and Pacita Pasion 5 who thereby submitted themselves to this (ourt%s "urisdiction and stated that they. withdrawal of the sum of PE.ovember +9. if over fourteen years of age and not incompetent.888 on . to all the parties. +=>9 Respondents however moved for reconsideration or modification thereof on .ovember 7:. or if there are no such parents by the general guardian or guardian as litem of the child.

when the validity of the "udgment is attac6ed. +8@81 In reC (amp%s . E@ Pac +8:=. ) "udicial determination may be contrary to conclusive evidence. *ec :7. since she was barely three months old has already been ta6en care of by them up to the present time. its determination wrong or on the insufficient or improper evidence is immaterial on the question of legal right to proceed "udicially to the ne#t step That is deemed to be elementary. or in accordance with the truth.years and have no children of their own They desire to adopt the minors Paulina *antos KyL Reyes and )urora *antos KyL Reyes. *ec E9 p =77.oth parents of the minors have long been unheard from and in spite of diligent efforts of the petitioners to locate them. while another court would hold it to have been of no avail A library Freeman on Fudgments says the same thingC AIn general. +:+ (al @>=. EE . +@DC"gcCchanrobles com ph AThe statute to be considered is section @877. by said (ourt 5 the settled rule is that even when the "urisdiction of an inferior or special tribunal depends upon the e#istence of a fact by the tribunal cannot be questioned in a collateral attac6 upon its order $In reC -cHaeg%s . because mere error in that regard does not affect "urisdiction If "urisdiction be obtained to determine a fact. "udicially determined. and might be regarded with different effect by different tribunals. cannot be questioned in a collateral proceedings. therefore. )doption. pp DD>-DDE & It can thus readily be seen that altho the (FI "udgment approving the adoption does not use the word AabandonedA. >: Pac E:>& )nent this point the rulings are summed up in 7 )merican Furisprudence. that the necessary "urisdictional facts were proven A $Vol I.state. and his consent to the adoption is therefore dispensed with The term %abandon% obviously means no more than neglect or refusal to perform the natural and legal obligations of care and support which parents owe to their children The fact of abandonment. its findings sufficiently contain a set of facts and circumstance which truly constitutes a finding of abandonment (oming now to the power of the (ourt of )ppeals to review in this case the finding of abandonment made by the adoption court. they could not be found The consent to the adoption has been given by the guardian ad litem appointed by the (ourt A $ Italics supplied& )bandonment 5 under persuasive )merican rulings 5 imports Aany conduct on the part of the parent which evinces a settled purpose to forgo all parental duties and relinquish all parental claims to the child A It means Aneglect or refusal to perform the natural and legal obligations of care and support which parents owe to their children A $7 )m Fur 7d. thusC A)n adoption order implies the finding of the necessary facts and the burden of proof is on the party attac6ing it1 it cannot be considered void merely because the fact needed to show statutory compliance is obscure 4hile a "udicial determination of some particular fact. construing a statute a6in to our law in this regard. necessarily. as stated. may be essential to the e#ercise of "urisdiction to enter the order of adoption. and hence can not be collaterally attac6ed If this were not the rule. he is deemed by the statute to have thereby relinquished all parental right to be consulted in respect to the child%s welfare. Rev *t +DED. 7nd *eries. its decision in this respect. *ec :98.o such adoption shall be made without the written consent of the living parents of such child unless the court shall find that one of the parents had abandoned the child or gone to parts un6nown % Thus it will be seen that upon the fact being established that the living parent had abandoned his child. for a presumption arises in such cases. and the determination must stand until reversed on appeal. the status of adopted children would always be uncertain. said in Parsons v Parsons. pp E+=-E78& The *upreme (ourt of 4isconsin. or legal evidence. and the adoption might be held by one court to have been valid. +@+ (al @8:. such as the abandonment of the minor by his parent. 4 +@E. since the evidence might not be the same at all investigations. this does not ma6e it essential to the "urisdictional validity of the decree that the fact be determined upon proper evidence. was essential to the "urisdiction1 not essential that it should be determined on proper evidence. and the latter has been cared for since she was only fifteen days old Paulina *antos KyL Reyes is now seventeen years old . or . or necessarily in accordance with the truth1 a mere error cannot affect the "urisdiction. which reads as followsC %. or the consent of his ne#t of 6in to the adoption. whether erroneous of not. where the right of the court to assume "urisdiction of a cause and proceed to "udgment depends upon the ascertainment of facts in pais and the court retains "urisdiction it thereby impliedly ad"udges that the requisites "urisdictional facts e#ist and having found such facts in favor of "urisdiction. we find that even under )merican "urisprudence 5 relied upon. both of whom are and for years have been living under their care and custodyC that the former.state. )doption. +8+ 4is E>.

this purpose A)lthough. the "udgment of the (ourt of )ppeals is hereby reversed and the order of the probate court a quo sustaining the adoption. is affirmed Respondents Bregoria )ran?anso and !emetria Ventura as well as (onsuelo and Pacita Pasion are declared without right to intervene as heirs in the settlement of the intestate estate of Fuliana Reyes The preliminary in"unction heretofore issued is dissolved. (onsuelo and Pacita Pasion. however. *ecs >>:.ew (ivil (ode& The same holds true as long as the adoption must be 5 as in the instant case 5 considered valid 4herefore. it will not ma6e any difference as far as the right of respondents to intervene in the intestate proceedings is concerned Fuliana Reyes should then be deemed to have filed the petition for adoption as a person whose status is single.otice. !emetria Ventura. where the adoption has been fully consummated. rather than defeat. @E Phil E+E1 Ramos v -aMalac. in the concept of heirs. under a collateral attac6. to construe the statute with a reasonable degree of liberality. therefore. is not required in adoption cases in regard to the abandoning parent $Parsons v Parsons. a point which we need not 5 and do not 5 rule upon in this case For the same reason. bereft of the benefits of the home and care of their real parents. as such. that the (ourt of )ppeals erred in reviewing. *ec 9>.without any evidence. who. to the end that the assumed relationship and the intention of the parties be upheld. as to which it is hereby made permanent . the flaw. particularly as against strangers to the proceedings collaterally attac6ing them A library From all the foregoing it follows that respondents-oppositors )ran?anso and Ventura and those who. 9 ' B +=@7& and every reasonable intendment should be sustained to promote that ob"ective From 7 (orpus Furis *ecundum :E9-:E> we quoteC A)ccordingly. moreover. li6e them $Pasion sisters&. suffice it to mar6 that adoption is a proceeding in rem 9 and that constructive enough where the residence of the parents is un6nown $7 )m Fur 7d. in view of the fact that in the order of intestate succession adopted children e#clude first cousins $)rticles =E= and +88:. dated )pril >. whenever possible without doing violence to the terms of the statute. as against the interests of the child. >>9 That rule applies to all "udicial proceedings A library It follows. to the e#clusion of respondents It must not be forgotten that the philosophy behind adoption statutes is to promote the welfare of the child )ccordingly. yet cannot be impeached for want of "urisdiction Van Fleet. if any. cannot intervene. would not affect the consideration of the right of Paulina and )urora *antos to succeed as adopted children of Fuliana Reyes. not married The defect would then lie only as to *implicio *antos. supra& )ssuming that *implicio *antos was not validly married to Fuliana Reyes. the modern trend is to encourage adoption $Prasni6 v Republic. claim an interest in the estate or Fuliana Reyes as alleged first cousins. of Paulina and )urora *antos had abandoned them This is do even if such fact of abandonment is deemed "urisdictional. e#cept insofar as it en"oins the intervention or allowance of withdrawals of properly from the estate by Bregoria )ran?anso. in the settlement proceedings. . +=9=. p =8>& . the determination of the adoption court that the parents. it is not in point to argue here that *implicio *antos in fact concealed the adoption proceedings from the natural parents thereby rendering the "udgment obtained therein null and void for being secured by e#trinsic fraud The rule is well recogni?ed that a "udgment can be set aside on the ground of e#trinsic fraud only in a separate action brought for that purpose1 not by way of collateral attac6 $Bome? v (oncepcion. the proceedings must be strictly in accordance with the statute. as the main purpose of adoption statutes is the promotion of the welfare of children. (oll )ttac6. D= Phil 7E8& )nent the alleged lac6 of notice of the adoption proceedings on the natural parents. )doption. such a construction should be given adoption laws as will sustain. there is a tendency on the part of the courts. as allegedly married to another person $a point that we do not decide in this case&. could not adopt without "oining his wife in the petition > It being the estate of Fuliana Reyes that is the sub"ect matter of the settlement proceedings.o costs *o ordered .

leaving Vicente the lone oppositor @ . all surnamed de la Puerta Isabel was given the free portion in addition to her legitime and was appointed e#ecutri# of the will + The petition for the probate of the will filed by Isabel was opposed by her brothers.R.[G. at the age of =7. )lfredo. 77167. +#A-"L D" LA (*"R!A v. Isabel was appointed special administratri# by the probate court : )lfredo subsequently died. No. Vicente and Isabel."L+!A D" LA (*"R!A The basic issue involved in this case is the filiation of private respondent (armelita de la Puerta. who claims successional rights to the estate of her alleged grandmother !ominga Revuelta died on Fuly :. 1990. +=>>. some of the properties listed in the inventory of her estate belonged to them e#clusively 7 -eantime. who averred that their mother was already senile at the time of the e#ecution of the will and did not fully comprehend its meaning -oreover. %e4r<ar= 6. !&" &$N$RA-L" )$*R! $% A(("AL# and )AR. with a will leaving her properties to her three surviving children. namely.

o 88@+ in . !-+ and !-7& and school records wherein he signed the report cards as her parent $. which was only five or si# houses away from where she herself was staying Benoveva said that the relationship between her husband and Bloria was well 6nown in the community ++ In finding for (armelita.y her evidence. (armelita presented evidence to prove her claimed status to which Isabel was allowed to submit counterevidence chanrobles law library C red 'n .#hs !. the petition was granted 9 2owever. identified herself as Vicente de la Puerta%s wife but said they separated two years after their marriage in +=:D and were never reconciled In +=>7. it was shown to the satisfaction of the (ourt that she was born on !ecember +D. the probate court granted the motion. the lower court declared thatCchanrob+es virtual +aw library . she was the only child who survived him together with his spouse Benoveva de la Puerta with whom he did not beget any child1 that she was treated by Vicente de la Puerta as a true child from the time of her birth until his father died1 that the fact that she was treated as a child of Vicente de la Puerta is shown by the family pictures showing movant with Vicente de la Puerta $. the two were living as husband and wife and had three children. but was separated from. = which is now in turn being challenged in this petition before us The petitioner%s main argument is that (armelita was not the natural child of Vicente de la Puerta. +=E@. who was married to Benoveva de la Puerta in +=:D and remained his wife until his death in +=ED (armelita%s real parents are Fuanito )ustrial and Bloria Fordan Invo6ing the presumption of legitimacy. support and education1 This is a factual finding that we do not see fit to disturb. (armelita. filed a motion for the payment to her of a monthly allowance as the ac6nowledged natural child of Vicente de la Puerta E )t the hearing on her motion. surmise and con"ecture1 $7& the inference made is manifestly mista6en1 $:& there is grave abuse of discretion1 $@& the "udgment is based on a misapprehension of facts1 $9& the findings of fact are conflicting1 $>& the (ourt of )ppeals went beyond the issues of the case and its findings are contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellees1 $E& the findings of fact of the (ourt of )ppeals are contrary to those of the trial court1 $D& said findings of facts are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based1 $=& the facts set forth in the petition as well . Bloria Fordan started living with Vicente de la Puerta in his house.ovember +7. Vicente de la Puerta filed with the (ourt of First Instance of <ue?on a petition to adopt (armelita de la Puerta )fter hearing. Isabel presented )mado -agpantay. <ue?on. Vicente died. having been allowed to intervene in the probate proceedings.ranch V of this (ourt at -auban. the decision was appealed by Isabel to the (ourt of )ppeals !uring the pendency of the appeal. who were legally or presumably married -oreover.-+&1 that it was Vicente de la Puerta during his lifetime who spent for her subsistence.-+&1 that during the hearing of her adoption case in *pecial Proceeding . the order of the lower court was affirmed by the respondent court.A presumably (armelita 2e said though that he was not sure if the couple was legally married +8 )nother witness. +=D7. his legal wife Benoveva de la Puerta1 that upon the death of Vicente de la Puerta on Fune +@. +=ED1 that Vicente de la Puerta was married to. who testified that he was a neighbor of )ustrial and Fordan )ccording to him.#hs . Benoveva de la Puerta. Vicente de la Puerta categorically stated in court that (armelita de la Puerta is his daughter with Bloria Fordan $. declaring that it was satisfied from the evidence at hand that (armelita was a natural child of Vicente de la Puerta and was entitled to the amounts claimed for her support The court added that Athe evidence presented by the petitioner against it $was& too wea6 to discredit the same A D 'n appeal. including a girl named APuti. prompting her to move for the dismissal of the case > 'n . (armelita could not have been a natural child of Vicente de la Puerta because he was already married at the time of her birth in +=>7 To prove her point. +=>7 per her birth certificate $. +=D+. and . she argues that (armelita was the legitimate child of Fuanito )ustrial and Bloria Fordan.ovember 78. and . absent any of those circumstances we have laid down in a long line of decisions that will "ustify reversal +: )mong these circumstances areC $+& the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation.'n )ugust +. +=ED without leaving a last will and testament.#h )&1 that her father was Vicente de la Puerta and her mother is Bloria Fordan who were living as common law husband and wife until his death on Fune +@.#h .

and before three hundred days following its dissolution or the separation of the spouses shall be presumed to be legitimate )gainst this presumption no evidence shall be admitted other than that of the physical impossibility of the husband%s having access to his wife within the first one hundred and twenty days of the three hundred which preceded the birth of the child This physical impossibility may be causedCchanrob+es virtual +aw library $+& .y the impotence of the husband1 $7& . a will. but may be contradicted and overcome by other evidenceCchanrob+es virtual +aw library $b& That a man and woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage1 . providing thatCchanrob+es virtual +aw library *ec 9 !isputable presumptions 5 The following presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted. she even renounced in open court any claim to Vicente%s estate +9 The presumption of marriage between Fuanito and Bloria having been destroyed. commonly 6nown as bastards. it has long been settled thatCchanrob+es virtual +aw library The so-called spurious children or illegitimate children other than natural children. Fuanito did not ob"ect when Bloria left the con"ugal home and started openly consorting with Vicente. in such a way that access was not possible1 $:& . thereby rebutting the presumption that Bloria was herself the lawful wife of Fuanito )ustrial *uch testimony would for one thing show that Fuanito and Bloria did not continuously live together as a married couple -oreover. pursuant to Rule +:+. if he was really married to her. we re"ect the petitioner%s contention that )rticle 7ED of the (ivil (ode is not available to (armelita It is error to contend that as she is not a natural child but a spurious child $if at all& she cannot prove her status by the record of birth.y the fact that the husband and wife were living separately. it is not e#plained why. to say the least It was different with Benoveva for she herself swore that she had separated from Vicente two years after their marriage and had long lost interest in her husband In fact. a statement before a court of record.ut this last-quoted presumption is merely disputable and may be refuted with evidence to the contrary )s the (ourt sees it. or any authentic writing 'n the contrary. and in the same neighborhood at that That was unnatural. it became necessary for the petitioner to submit additional proof to show that the two were legally married *he did not Turning now to the evidence required to prove the private respondent%s filiation. although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress These rules are in turn based on the presumption that Fuanito and Bloria were married at the time of (armelita%s birth in +=>7. . there was testimony from Vicente%s own wife that her husband and Bloria lived together as a married couple. such evidence has been sufficiently established in the case at bar The cases +@ cited by the petitioner are not e#actly in point because they involve situations where the couples lived continuously as husband and wife and so could be reasonably presumed to be married In the case before us.y the serious illness of the husband )rt 79> The child shall be presumed legitimate. include adulterous children or those born out of wedloc6 to a married woman cohabiting with a man other than her husband or to a married man cohabiting with a woman other than his wife They are entitled to support and successional rights $)rt 7DE.as in the petitioner%s main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondents1 and $+8& the findings of fact of the (ourt of )ppeals are premised on the supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by the evidence on record The petitioner insists on the application of the following provisions of the (ivil (ode to support her thesis that (armelita is not the natural child of Vicente de la Puerta but the legitimate child of Fuanito )ustrial and Bloria FordanCchanrob+es virtual +aw library )rt 799 (hildren born after one hundred and eighty days following the celebration of the marriage. *ec 9$bb& of the Rules of (ourt.

we move to the most crucial question. however. when the person represented dies before the testator1 second. which came after his own mother%s death It would have been different if Vicente was already dead when !ominga Revuelta died (armelita could then have inherited from her in representation of her father Vicente. we need not rule now on the admissibility of the private respondent%s certificate of birth as proof of her filiation That status was sufficiently established by the sworn testimony of Vicente de la Puerta at the hearing of the petition for adoption on *eptember >. nor could it be invo6ed by (armelita upon her father%s death. said deceased had already succeeded his aunt.lisa (uison . when the person represented is incapable of succeeding the testator1 and third. since there is a vacancy in the inheritance. assuming the private respondent was a lawful heir .o right of representation was involved.ot having predeceased !ominga Revuelta. her son Vicente had the right to inherit from her directly or in his own right . the petitioners herein . to witC -ay (armelita de la Puerta claim support and successional rights to the estate of !ominga RevueltaG )ccording to )rticle =E8 of the (ivil (odeCchanrob+es virtual +aw library )rt =E8 Representation is a right created by fiction of law. and acquires the rights which the latter would have if he were living or if he could have inherited The answer to the question posed must be in the negative The first reason is that Vicente de la Puerta did not predecease his mother1 and the second is that (armelita is a spurious child It is settled that 5 In testamentary succession. the herein petitioners-appellants are not trying to succeed to the right to the property of the testatri#. the testatri# herein It is a fact that at the time of the death of the testatri#. he transmitted to his heirs.ut their filiation must be duly proven $Ibid. but rather to the right of the legatee Reynaldo (uison in said property . which lays down the barrier between the legitimate and illegitimate families This article provides quite clearlyCchanrob+es virtual +aw library )rt ==7 )n illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother1 nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child . when the person represented is disinherited by the testator In all of these cases. (armelita is barred from inheriting from !ominga because of )rticle ==7 of the (ivil (ode.((& . Reynaldo (uison was still alive 2e died two months after her $testatri#%s& death )nd upon his death. the law calls the children or descendants of the person represented to succeed by right of representation +D The law is clear that there is representation only when relatives of a deceased person try to succeed him in his rights which he would have had if still living In the present case.ut herein lies the cru#. the right of representation can ta6e place only in the following casesC first. by virtue of which the representative is raised to the place and the degree of the person represented.t )l . the legacy or the right to succeed to the legacy In other words. for she is not )s a spurious child of Vicente. +=E>. )rt DDE& 2ow should their filiation be provenG )rticle 7D= of the (ivil (ode allows the investigation of the paternity or maternity of spurious children under the circumstances specified in )rticles 7D: and 7D@ of the (ivil (ode The implication is that the rules on compulsory recognition of natural children are applicable to spurious children *purious children should not be in a better position than natural children The rules on proof of filiation of natural children or the rule on voluntary and compulsory ac6nowledgment for natural children may be applied to spurious children +> This being so. where he categorically declared as followsCchanrob+es virtual +aw library < 4hat relation if any do you have with (armelita de la PuertaG ) *he is my daughter Finally.

69.ew (ivil (ode provides a barrier or iron curtain in that it prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said legitimate child They may have a natural tie of blood. the estate should be disposed of under the rules of intestacy The trial . and what is more. by right of representation. in turn. palpable evidence of a blemish bro6en in life1 the law does no more than recogni?e this truth.T )*I!.R. Fuana (orpus Petitioner Tomas (orpus is the son of Fuana (orpus )s the sole heir of Fuana (orpus. but this is not recogni?ed by law for the purpose of )rticle ==7 . no legal ties to bind them either )s aptly pointed out by !r )rturo . claim a share of the estate left by the deceased Francisca Reyes considering that. petitioner Tomas (orpus filed an action in the (ourt of First Instance to recover his mother%s supposed share in the /angco%s intestate estate. the petition is BR). one of whom was Fose (orpus Fose (orpus had a daughter. petitioner would be an illegitimate child who has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father. as found again by the (ourt of )ppeals. AD.! and the appealed decision is hereby R.y adoption.. L-22. as the spurious daughter of Vicente de la Puerta.F'R.. his alleged putative father and mother were not yet married. claiming that the pro"ect of partition made pursuant to the order of the probate court as invalid and hence.AL+A )$R(*# #/N$(#+# Teodoro R /angco was the ac6nowledged natural son of 3uis Rafael /angco and Ramona )rguelles. /angco. A.V. has successional rights to the intestate estate of her father but not to the estate of !ominga Revuelta 2er claims for support and inheritance should therefore be filed in the proceedings for the settlement of her own father%s estate 7@ and cannot be considered in the probate of !ominga Revuelta%s will 42. but they cannot thus ma6e one for their 6indred A 7: The result is that (armelita. and the resources of which it is thereby deprived1 the former.A# )$R(*# v. still he cannot. by avoiding further ground of resentment A 77 Indeed. with costs against the private Respondent It is so ordered [G. he was born outside wedloc6 as shown by the fact that when he was born. the adopters can ma6e for themselves an heir.+N+#!RA!$R and?or "@")*!$R o7 26e "s2a2e o7 !eodoro R. !$. li6e the deceased Francisca Reyes The reason for this rule was e#plained in the recent case of !ia? v Intermediate )ppellate (ourt.TolentinoCchanrob+es virtual +aw library If the adopting parent should die before the adopted child. 7+ thusCchanrob+es virtual +aw library )rticle ==7 of the .etween the legitimate family and the illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility The illegitimate child is disgracefully loo6ed down upon by the legitimate family1 the family is in turn.! and *. 78 this (ourt declaredCchanrob+es virtual +aw library even if it is true that petitioner is the child of *otero 3eonardo. No. his alleged father%s first marriage was still subsisting )t most. Ramona had begotten five children with Tomas (orpus.efore her union with 3uis Rafael /angco.)pplying this rule in 3eonardo v (ourt of )ppeals. the widow of Tomas (orpus . RA%A"L )$R(*#. sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin. the latter cannot represent the former in the inheritance from the parents or ascendants of the adopter The adopted child is not related to the deceased in that case.T. because the filiation created by fiction of law is e#clusively between the adopter and the adopted A.R. even as an adopted child. 1971. (armelita would still be barred from inheriting from !ominga Revuelta for there would be no natural 6indred ties between them and consequently. $c2o4er 23.R*. hated by the illegitimate child1 the latter considers the privileged condition of the former.

$:& )malia (orpus.BITI-)T. they shall inherit from it share and share li6e In default of natural ascendants.'R.!B. ). I* PR. the father or mother who ac6nowledged such child shall succeed to his entire estate and if both ac6nowledged it and are alive. himself a legitimate child. Rule +7: of the old Rules of (ourt and the statement of Teodoro /angco%s biographer that 3uis /angco had two marriages. is legitimateA.**I'.! 'R 3.! ) 4'-).**I'.* 5 )rticle =@: of the old (ivil (ode Aprohibits all successory reciprocity mortis causa between legitimate and illegitimate relatives The rule is now found in article ==7 of the new (ivil (ode which provides that Aan illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother1 nor shall such children and relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child A @ I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 )RTI(3. if an ac6nowledged natural or legitimated child should die without issue.' *0((. (2I3!R. cannot prevail over the presumption of legitimacy found in *ection >=.o 9@D>: The decree of probate was affirmed in this (ourt%s +=@+ decision in (orpus v /angco.1 PR. +=:@ was probated in the (ourt of First Instance of -anila in *pecial Proceeding . the wife of -iguel 'ssorio.('R!*1 ()*.*0-PTI'. his nearest relatives were $+& his half brother. Pa? /angco.! 3..BITI-)T.(IPR'(IT/ . there being no divorce.)T.*0-.3I( R. we hold that appellant Tomas (orpus has no cause of action for the recovery of the supported hereditary share of his mother.)R 5 )ppellant%s contentions that the probative value of the will of 3uis R /angco. R. 5 It is disputably presumed Athat a man and a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriageA 1 $*emper praesumitur pro matrimonio& Athat a child born in lawful wedloc6. the first with Ramona )rguelles $Teodoro%s mother& and the second with Victoria 'bin have no merit The authenticity of that will which had been admitted and duly probated is incontestable That will is now part of a public or official "udicial record 7 I! 1 FI3I)TI'. and $@& Fuana $Fuanita& (orpus.BITI-)T. and since Fuanita (orpus was the legitimate child of Fose (orpus. absolute or from bed and board.court dismissed the action on the ground of res "udicata stating that the intrinsic validity of Teodoro R /angco%s will had already been passed upon in a special proceedings approving the pro"ect of partition Plaintiff appealed to the (ourt of )ppeals The appeal was certified to the *upreme (ourt as it involved more than P98. and Ramon 3 (orpus. dated Fune +@. the daughter of his half brother Fose (orpus . 'F 3..&1 . 'F ) -). +=:= at the age of seventy-seven years 2is will dated )ugust 7=.**I'.4 (IVI3 ('!. *0((. hated by the illegitimate child The law does not recogni?e the blood tie and see6s to avoid further grounds of resentment 9 I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 R03.! I33. and Athat things have happened according to the ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life A : I! 1 I! 1 *0((.BITI-)(/1 (2I3! . because there is no reciprocal succession between legitimate and illegitimate relatives #/LLA-*# + (IVI3 3)41 4I331 !03/ PR'. '0T 'F ) 0.1 . either legitimate or ac6nowledged.88 pursuant to the Fudiciary 3aw before it was amended The *upreme (ourt affirmed the trial court%s "udgment on another ground.P)RT 'F F0!I(I)3 'R P0. namely that since Teodoro R /angco was an ac6nowledged natural child. 5 0nder )rticle =@@ and =@9 of the *panish (ivil (ode. while the legitimate family is. 'F )(H. the children of his half brother. Pablo (orpus. $)RT =77 .)*I* 'F 5 The rule found in )rticle =@: of the old (ivil (ode prohibiting successional reciprocity between legitimates and illegitimates is based on the theory that the illegitimate child is disgracefully loo6ed upon by the legitimate family. '. in turn. ). 3. )T .! 4I33 F'R. Fose ) V (orpus.. +=8E which states that Teodoro R /angco was his ac6nowledged natural son. 3uis R /angco.'43.3)TIV.. $7& his half sister.T4.BITI-)T. =@:.)3 R. decedents% natural and legitimated children shall be succeeded by their natural brothers and sisters in accordance with the rules established for legitimate brothers and sisters Teodoro R /angco died in -anila on )pril 78..I'. E: Phil 97E The complete te#t of the will is quoted in that decision /angco had no forced heirs )t the time of his death. '3! (IVI3 ('!.

that condition would be regarded Acomo no puesta o no e#istente A It concluded that Ano hay motivos legales o morales para que la sucession de !on Teodoro R /angco sea declarada intestada A $*ee . Pedro -artine?. the legatees e#ecuted an agreement for the settlement and physical partition of the /angco estate The probate court approved that agreement and noted that the +=@9 pro"ect of partition was pro tanto modified That did not set at rest the controversy over the /angco estate 'n 'ctober 9. two of whom were the aforenamed Pablo (orpus and Fose (orpus Pursuant to the order of the probate court. as the sole heir of Fuanita (orpus. Tomas (orpus signed a receipt dated 'ctober 7@. Pedro -artine? and Fuliana de (astro Fuanita (orpus was already dead when )tty (ru? appeared as her counsel )tty (ru? alleged in his opposition that the proposed partition was not in conformity with the will because the testator intended that the estate should be AconservedA and not physically partitioned The probate court in its order of !ecember 7>. +=@> in *pecial Proceeding . and Rodrigue? v (ourt of )ppeals. which cites article ED9 of the *panish (ivil (ode as prohibiting perpetual entails. +=@E wherein he ac6nowledge that he received from the /angco estate the sum of two thousand pesos $P7. who represented Fuanita (orpus. the decedent%s estate should be distributed according to the rules on intestacy chanrobles law library The trial court in its decision of Fuly 7.o 7>+:& )ppellant (orpus contends in this appeal that the trial court erred in holding $+& that Teodoro R /angco was a natural child. -arch 7D. our attorney in this caseA $. the heirs of Isabel (orpus and the heir of Fuanita (orpus 2erein appellant Tomas (orpus signed that compromise settlement as the sole heir of Fuanita (orpus The estate of 3uis R /angco entered into a similar compromise agreement )s the resolutions dismissing the appeals became final and e#ecutory on 'ctober +@ and . entries of "udgment were made on those dates Pursuant to the compromise agreement. +=@@ at Palauig. +=9> dismissed the action on the grounds of res "udicata and laches It held that the intrinsic validity of /angco%s will was passed upon in its order dated !ecember 7>.o +DE78-R certified the appeal to this (ourt because it involves real property valued at more than fifty thousand pesos $*ec +EK9L. $7& that his will had been duly legali?ed.efore her union with 3uis Rafael /angco. +=>=. +=@E. +=@=. +=@> approved the pro"ect of partition It held that in certain clauses of the will the testator intended to conserve his properties not in the sense of disposing of them after his death but for the purpose of preventing that Atales bienes fuesen malgastados o desfilpar rados por los legatariosA and that if the testator intended a perpetual prohibition against alienation. +=@E after the legatees and the appellants entered into compromise agreements In the compromise dated 'ctober E.ovember @.ovember 7>. 2e alleged ill his complaint that the dispositions in /angco%s will imposing perpetual prohibitions upon alienation rendered it void under article ED9 of the old (ivil (ode and that the +=@= partition is invalid and. filed an action in the (ourt of First Instance of -anila to recover her supposed share in /angco% intestate estate. Oambales Teodoro R /angco was the son of 3uis Rafael /angco and Ramona )rguelles.#h ! or +E& 'n *eptember 78. +=>@ in ()-B R . the widow of Tomas (orpus . 7E *(R) 9@> & From that order. Ramona had begotten five children with Tomas (orpus. Fudiciary 3aw before it was amended by Republic )ct . therefore. 98 Phil DDD. +=@E the legatees agreed to pay P:9. Fuanita (orpus $deceased& and the estate of 3uis R /angco appealed to this (ourt $3-+@E>& Those appeals were dismissed in this (ourt%s resolutions of 'ctober +8 and :+.arretto v Tuason. +=9+. and $:& that plaintiff%s action is barred by res "udicata and laches .888& Aas settlement in full of my share of the compromise agreement as per understanding with Fudge Roman (ru?. 3-7DE:@.o 9@D>: approving the pro"ect of partition for the testator%s estate Tomas (orpus appealed to the (ourt of )ppeals which in its resolution dated Fanuary 7:.Fuanita died in 'ctober.888 to Pedro -artine?. the heirs of Pio V (orpus. +=@9 was submitted by the administrator and the legatees named in the will That pro"ect of partition was opposed by the estate of 3uis R /angco whose counsel contended that an intestacy should be declared because the will does not contain an institution of heir It was also opposed by )tty Roman ) (ru?. Tomas (orpus. Fuliana de (astro. a pro"ect of partition dated .

absolute or from bed and board. it is not necessary to resolve whether /angco%s will had been duly legali?ed and whether the action of Tomas (orpus is barred by res "udicata and laches The appeal may be resolved by determining whether Fuanita (orpus. pp +D9->& . Rule +:+. hated by the illegitimate child The law does not recogni?e the blood tie and see6s to avoid further grounds of resentment $E -anresa.#hibit 78 in the proceeding for the probate of Teodoro R /angco%s will. was a legal heir of /angco 2as Tomas (orpus a cause of action to recover his mother%s supposed intestate share in /angco%s estateG To answer that question.#h + in Testate . and Athat things have happened according to the ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of lifeA $*ec 9K?L.d . (odigo (ivil.#hibit 78. it is necessary to ascertain /angco%s filiation The trial court found that /angco Aa su muerte tambien le sbrevivieron 3uis y Pa? appellidados /angco. -anuel (amus and Florencio Bon?ales !ie? )ppellant (orpus assails the probative value of the will of 3uis R /angco. he $Tomas (orpus& would have no legal personality to intervene in the distribution of /angco%s estate $p D. 3uisa y 3uis. llamados Teodoro. Fuanita (orpus. in incontestable The said will is part of a public or official "udicial record 'n the other hand. Rule +7: of the old Rules of (ourt and over the statement of *amuel 4 *tagg in his biography of Teodoro R /angco. the children of Ramona )rguelles and Tomas (orpus are presumed to be legitimate ) marriage is presumed to have ta6en place between Ramona and Tomas *emper praesumitur pro matrimonio It is disputably presumed AThat a man and a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriageA 1 Athat a child born in lawful wedloc6. identified as .state of Teodoro /angco& That will was attested by Rafael del Pan. >: Phil 7E=. los cuales son mis unicos herederos for?osos A $. +=8E. as reproduced in . the mother of Teodoro These contentions have no merit The authenticity of the will of 3uis Rafael /angco. KbbL and KccL.#hibit + herein and as copied from . Francisco 'rtigas. @th . pp ==>-==E cited in !irector of 3ands v )guas. hermanos naturales reconocidos por su padre natural 3uis R /angco A The basis of the trial court%s conclusion that Teodoro R /angco was an ac6nowledged natural child and not a legitimate child was the statement in the will of his father. as found in the record on appeal in *pecial Proceeding . that Teodoro and his three other children were his ac6nowledged natural children 2is e#act words areC APrimera !eclaro que tengo cuatro hi"os naturales reconocidos. 7DE *ee +> *caevola. in /angco%s estate Fuanita (orpus was not a legal heir of /angco because there is no reciprocal succession between legitimate and illegitimate relatives The trial court did not err in dismissing the complaint of Tomas (orpus )rticle =@: of the old (ivil code provides that Ael hi"o natural y el legitimado no tienen derecho a suceder abintestato a los hi"os y parientes legitimos del padre o madre que lo haya reconocido.o 9@D>: 2e contends that it should not prevail over the presumption of legitimacy found in section >=. ni ellos al hi"o natural ni al legitimado A )rticle =@: Aprohibits all successory reciprocity mortis causa between legitimate and illegitimate relativesA $> *anche? Roman. (ivil (ode. (odigo (ivil. @>9->& )ppellant (orpus concedes that if Teodoro R /angco was a natural child. Rules of (ourt& *ince Teodoro R /angco was an ac6nowledged natural child or was illegitimate and since Fuanita (orpus was the legitimate child of Fose (orpus.d . 3uis Rafael /angco.#hibit + herein. that 3uis Rafael /angco made a second marital venture with Victoria 'bin. Pa?. the mother of appellant Tomas (orpus. is legitimateA. which he says is a mere copy of . Eth .In the disposition of this appeal. implying that he had a first marital venture with Ramona )rguelles. there being no divorce. in turn. appellant%s brief& The rule in article =@: is now found in article ==7 of the (ivil (ode which provides that Aan illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother1 nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child A That rule is based on the theory that the illegitimate child is disgracefully loo6ed upon by the legitimate family while the legitimate family is. as a legal heir. himself a legitimate child. we hold that appellant Tomas (orpus has no cause of action for the recovery of the supposed hereditary share of his mother. dated Fune +@.

+: *(R) >=: *ee !e Bu?man v *evilla. Teodoro R /angco%s half brothers on the (orpus side. :D Phil 7=& chanrobles law library C red 42. the two ac6nowledged natural children of her uncle. the natural child cannot represent his natural father in the succession to the estate of the legitimate grandparent $3lorente v Rodrigue?.o costs . either legitimate or ac6nowledged.R. had no right to succeed to his estate under the rules of intestacy Following the rule in article ==7. it was held that the legitimate relatives of the mother cannot succeed her illegitimate child $(acho v 0dan. 97 Phil :771 )llarde v )baya. Ramon Fabie. 3-+===>. natural and legitimated children shall be succeeded by their natural brothers and sisters in accordance with the rules established for legitimate brothers and sisters A 2ence. @E Phil ==+& 4here the testatri#. the lower court%s "udgment is affirmed .F'R. +8 Phil 9D91 (enteno v (enteno. )pril :8. a legitimate brother of her natural mother $)nuran v )quino and 'rti?. Aif an ac6nowledged natural or legitimated child should die without issue.y reason of that same rule. the father or mother who ac6nowledged such child shall succeed to its entire estate1 and if both ac6nowledged it and are alive. Rosario Fabie. +=>9. DD Phil +7D& . her father%s brother. were held not to be her legal heirs $Brey v Fabie. they shall inherit from it share and share ali6e In default of natural ascendants.0nder articles =@@ and =@9 of the spanish (ivil (ode. was the legitimate daughter of Fose Fabie. formerly article =@:. who were legitimate. 9E Phil =8=& The natural daughter cannot succeed to the estate of her deceased uncle.

those articles.3/ PR'2I..[G.T4...ARD+N..**I'. AN#"L.T.T1 )RTI(3. g<ardian o7 %"D"R+)$ #AN!"R$."D+A!" A(("LLA!" )$*R! and %"L+#A (A.R 'R -'T2.3.T..R-I. I.R 'R -'T2.)3.3)TIV.PTI'. in con"unction with )rticle ==7.!P)R. ==7 'F *)-. p +=>& @ I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 3..F. which provides that Athe grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation A *uch a conclusion is erroneous It would allow intestate succession by an illegitimate child to the legitimate parent of his father or mother.. T2)T ).(T T' T2.*T)T' FR'..ew (ivil (ode provides a barrier or iron curtain in that it prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said illegitimate child They may have a natural tie of blood.BITI-)T. !. *0..BITI-)T.. hated by the illegitimate child1 the latter considers the privileged condition of the former. and ==8 clearly spea6 of successional rights of illegitimate children. which rights are transmitted to their descendants upon their death The descendants $of these illegitimate children& who may inherit by virtue of the right of representation may be legitimate or illegitimate In whatever manner.T. BR).+NA and .*T)T.* 'F F)T2. (2I3!. +N!"R. %e4r<ar= 21.**I'.!. "2 Al. I. (2I3! 2)* . B. Petitioners.A D+A>. (2I3!R. I33. ).3. by avoiding further ground of resentment A $E -anresa ++8 cited in Brey v Fabie @8 'B $First *& .BITI-)T.T* 'F 3.eedless to say. a situation which would set at naught the provisions of )rticle ==7 )rticle =D7 is inapplicable to instant case because )rticle ==7 prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother It may not be amiss to state that )rticle =D7 is the general rule and )rticle ==7 the e#ception 7 I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 )RTI(3.ew (ivil (ode may have granted successional rights to illegitimate children. g<ardian o7 '+)!$R.RIT). ).'T )V)I3). p +7& : I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 *0((. if the person to be represented is legitimate.BITI-)(/ 'R I33.! =87 'F . R$DR+G$. in turn.BITI-)T. (2I3!R.. (2I3!R..T)TI'.*.. sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin.! 3..**I'.R)3 R03. !. whether legitimate or illegitimate are sub"ect to the limitation prescribed by )rticle ==7 to the end that Pan illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother % $)micus (uriae%s 'pinion by former Fustice -inister Ricardo ( Puno.* 'F 2I* F)T2.T..*T)T' .T ).4 (IVI3 ('!. ('!. may represent him1 however.1 RIB2T 'F R. his illegitimate descendants cannot . 3I-IT)TI'. I.3)TIV. )RTI(3. but this is not recogni?ed by law for the purpose of )rticle ==7 .+G*"L.2. T' . #/LLA-*# + (IVI3 3)41 *0((. *0((. all s<rna3ed #AN!"R$. ).! R.R*'. I..T. as done by petitioners. T' I33.2. that the illegitimate descendant of a legitimate child is entitled to represent by virtue of the provisions of )rticle =D7.BITI-)T.I(. and %"L+@-"R!A (A)*R#A. L-6607. R.. ).1 I.PR.BITI-)T. No..R. palpable evidence of a blemish bro6en in life1 the law does no more than recogni?e this truth. (2I3! ).BITI-)T. =D7 'F .! R.*!+ . 42I3.etween the legitimate family and the illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility The illegitimate child is disgracefully loo6ed down upon by the legitimate family1 and the family is in turn..4 (IVI3 ('!. and the resources of which it is thereby deprived1 the former.*(.R. whether legitimate or illegitimate.o :.!1 R)TI'. Respondents.BITI-)T.' RIB2T T' I.R 'F *)I! I33.!).PR.*. 'F ) 3.R 5 The rules laid down in )rticle =D7 that Pgrandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation% and in )rticle =87 that the rights of illegitimate children are transmitted upon their death to their descendants. AN#"L. however. . 1990. prohibit the right of representation from being e#ercised where the person to be represented is a legitimate child .IT.I. v.(.*'30T.B F)(T'R 5 4hile the . one should not overloo6 the fact that the persons to be represented are themselves illegitimate The three named provisions are very clear on this matter The right of representation is not available to illegitimate descendants of legitimate children in the inheritance of a legitimate grandparent It may be argued. =D=..1 .BITI-)(/ 'F P. then his descendants. 5 )rticles =87. I33.* =D7 ).. the determining factor is the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the person to be represented If the person to be represented is an illegitimate child. 5 A)rticle ==7 of the .

duardo (aguioa. p +:= Rollo citing p 7D>7 . 4e do not deny that fact These are only some of the many rights granted by the new (ode to illegitimate children . the real issue in the instant case is this .! 'F P.. former Fustice . and Professor Ruben . )RTI(3.2.who are the legal heirs of *imona Pamuti Vda de *antero .t )l . ==7 'F .o 9 in the order of intestate succession& )gain. *P'H. as synthesi?ed in the assailed decision.4 (IVI3 ('!.ut that is all ) careful evaluation of the .. which grants illegitimate children certain successional rights 4e do not dispute the fact that the . )T .'0B2 T' ('-PR. +=DD to resolve the questionC !oes the term ArelativesA in )rticle ==7 of the .ew (ivil (ode has given illegitimate children successional rights. at the time of his death was survived by his mother *imona *antero and his si# minor natural children to witC four minor children with )nselma !ia? and two minor children with Feli#berta Pacursa A library .R')! .ovember +E. by right of representation of their father Pablo *antero who is a legitimate child of *imona Pamuti Vda de *antero library Petitioners claim that the amendment of )rticles =@+ and =@: of the old (ivil (ode $(ivil (ode of *pain& by )rticles ==8 and ==7 of the new (ivil (ode $(ivil (ode of the Philippines& constitute a substantial and not merely a formal change. and the case was set for hearing on . former Fustice -inister Ricardo ( Puno.ight .. which rights were never before en"oyed by them under the 'ld (ivil (ode They were during that time merely entitled to support In fact.. !r )rturo Tolentino.represent him because the law provides that only his legitimate descendants may e#ercise the right of representation by reason of the barrier imposed in )rticle ==7 9 I! 1 I! 1 I! 1 4'R! AR. the (ourt. are as followsC AIt is undisputedC +& that Felisa Pamuti Fardin is a niece of *imona Pamuti Vda de *antero who together with Felisa%s mother Fuliana were the only legitimate children of the spouses Felipe Pamuti and Petronila )suncion1 7& that Fuliana married *imon Fardin and out of their union were born Felisa Pamuti and another child who died during infancy1 :& that *imona Pamuti Vda de *antero is the widow of Pascual *antero and the mother of Pablo *antero1 @& that Pablo *antero was the only legitimate son of his parents Pascual *antero and *imona Pamuti Vda de *antero1 9& that Pascual *antero died in +=E81 Pablo *antero in +=E: and *imona *antero in +=E>1 >& that Pablo *antero. the respondent Intermediate )ppellate (ourt did not commit any error in holding Felisa Pamuti Fardin to be the sole legitimate heir to the intestate estate of the late *imona Pamuti Vda de *antero The decision of the *econd !ivision of this (ourt in the case of )nselma !ia?.ew (ivil (ode that the phrase Alegitimate children and relatives of his father or motherA includes *imona Pamuti Vda de *antero as the word ArelativeA is broad enough to comprehend all the 6indred of the person spo6en of $(omment. .ew (ivil (ode which readsC A)n illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children or relatives of his father or mother1 nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child A library include the legitimate parents of the father or mother of the illegitimate childrenG Invited to discuss as amici curiae during the hearing were the followingC Fustice Fose .her niece Felisa Pamuti-Fardin or her grandchildren $the natural children of Pablo *antero&G The present controversy is confined solely to the intestate estate of *imona Pamuti Vda de *antero In connection therewith.ouvier%s 3aw !ictionary vol II.riefly stated. in a resolution dated 'ctober 7E. . +=DE. +=DD )fter the parties had filed their respective pleadings.! )33 HI. .alane The facts of the case.o >9E@.R*'.A I. +=DE declaring Felisa Pamuti-Fardin to be the sole legitimate heir to the intestate estate of the late *imona Pamuti Vda de *antero..3)TIV.)R 5 It is therefore clear from )rticle ==7 of the . 4e are tas6ed with determining anew whether petitioners as illegitimate children of Pablo *antero could inherit from *imona Pamuti Vda de *antero. .dition& The record reveals that from the commencement of this case the only parties who claimed to be the legitimate heirs of the late *imona Pamuti Vda de *antero are Felisa Pamuti Fardin and the si# minor natural or illegitimate children of Pablo *antero *ince petitioners herein are barred by the provisions of )rticle ==7. 'F1 ()*. 3 Reyes.t )l v Intermediate )ppellate (ourt. they are now considered as compulsory primary heirs under )rticle DDE of the new (ivil (ode $. Third Revision. +=DD denying the -otion for Reconsideration dated Fuly 7.!R. are being challenged in this *econd -otion for Reconsideration dated Fuly 9. +=DD. and its Resolution of February 7@. B R . promulgated Fune +E. resolved to grant the request of the petitioners for oral argument before the court en banc.

hated by the illegitimate child1 the latter considers the privileged condition of the former. which identically held that an illegitimate child has no right to succeed ab intestato the legitimate father or mother of his natural parent $also a legitimate child himself&. and the resources of which it is thereby deprived1 the former. +8 Phil . Fustice (aguioa. whether legitimate or illegitimate are sub"ect to the limitation prescribed by )rticle ==7 to the end that Pan illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother A P $)micus (uriae%s 'pinion by former Fustice -inister Ricardo ( Puno. together with illegitimate children. one should not overloo6 the fact that the persons to be represented are themselves illegitimate The three named provisions are very clear on this matter The right of representation is not available to illegitimate descendants of legitimate children in the inheritance of a legitimate grandparent It may be argued. and if any one of them should have died. 97 Phil :77. that the illegitimate descendant of a legitimate child is entitled to represent by virtue of the provisions of )rticle =D7. =D=. as done by petitioners. =D7. =D=.ew (ivil (ode and to the case at bar Petitioners further argue that the consistent doctrine adopted by this (ourt in the cases of 3lorente v Rodrigue?. who shall inherit by right of representation from their deceased grandparent $=@+a&A . whether legitimate or illegitimate )rt =D7 The grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation. which rights are transmitted to their descendants upon their death The descendants $of these illegitimate children& who may inherit by virtue of the right of representation may be legitimate or illegitimate In whatever manner. a situation which would set at naught the provisions of )rticle ==7 )rticle =D7 is inapplicable to instant case because )rticle ==7 prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother It may not be amiss to state that )rticle =D7 is the general rule and )rticle ==7 the e#ception AThe rules laid down in )rticle =D7 that Pgrandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation% and in )rticle =87 that the rights of illegitimate children are transmitted upon their death to their descendants. and ==8. sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin. in turn. which provides that Athe grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation A *uch a conclusion is erroneous It would allow intestate succession by an illegitimate child to the legitimate parent of his father or mother.ew (ivil (ode provides a barrier or iron curtain in that it prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said illegitimate child They may have a natural tie of blood. but this is not recogni?ed by law for the purpose of )rticle ==7 . there should survive descendants of another illegitimate child who is dead. =@ Phil 78@.t )l . would in point of fact reveal that such right to this time does not e#ist 3et us ta6e a closer loo6 at the above-cited provisions A)rt =87 The rights of illegitimate children set forth in the preceding articles are transmitted upon their death to their descendants. p +7& A)rticle ==7 of the . by avoiding further ground of resentment A $E -anresa ++8 cited in Brey v Fabie @8 'B $First *& ..etween the legitimate family and the illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility The illegitimate child is disgracefully loo6ed down upon by the legitimate family1 and the family is in turn. leaving several heirs.mphasis for emphasis& )rticles =87. 9D91 (enteno v (enteno. the former shall succeed in their own right and the latter by right of representation $=@8a& )rt ==8 The hereditary lights granted by the two preceding articles to illegitimate children shall be transmitted upon their death to their descendants. palpable evidence of a blemish bro6en in life1 the law does no more than recogni?e this truth.ew (ivil (ode provisions. the commentaries of -anresa as above-quoted are based on )rticles =:= to =@@ of the old (ivil (ode and are therefore inapplicable to the . the portion pertaining to him shall be divided among the latter in equal portions $=::& )rt =D= If. and 'yao v 'yao. claimed by petitioners to have conferred illegitimate children the right to represent their parents in the inheritance of their legitimate grandparents. is already abrogated by the amendments made by the . especially )rticles =87.ew (ivil (ode and thus cannot be made to apply to the instant case . cited by former Fustice -inister Fustice Puno. p +=>& )ccording to petitioners. .alane. and ==8 clearly spea6 of successional rights of illegitimate children. and Prof .o :.

)3 of the Integrated . in the future revision of the (ivil (ode we shall have to ma6e a choice and decide either that the illegitimate issue en"oys in all cases the right of representation. p +:= Rollo citing p 7D>7 . 3 Reyes which also find support from other civilists 4e quoteC AIn the *panish (ivil (ode of +DD= the right of representation was admitted only within the legitimate family1 so much so that )rticle =@: of that (ode prescribed that an illegitimate child can not inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father and mother The (ivil (ode of the Philippines apparently adhered to this principle since it reproduced )rticle =@: of the *panish (ode in its own )rt ==7. which was a reproduction of )rticle =@: of the (ivil (ode of *pain. the illegitimates of an illegitimate child can now do so This difference being indefensible and unwarranted. it qualifies the term with the word collateral. in subsequent articles $==8. the respondent Intermediate )ppellate (ourt did not commit any error in holding Felisa Pamuti Fardin to be the sole legitimate heir to the intestate estate of the late *imona Pamuti Vda de *antero It is 'ur shared view that the word ArelativesA should be construed in its general acceptation )micus curiae Prof Ruben . !ecision1 p +=>. however.alane. may represent him1 however. as in )rticles +88: and +88= of the . by the said substantial change. +=E>. the commentaries of -anresa on the matter in issue.ew (ivil (ode that the phrase Alegitimate children and relatives of his father or motherA includes *imona Pamuti Vda de *antero as the word ArelativeA is broad enough to comprehend all the 6indred of the person spo6en of $(omment.ew (ivil (ode may have granted successional rights to illegitimate children. but with fine inconsistency. even though based on the old (ivil (ode. First <uarter. in con"unction with )rticle ==7. his illegitimate descendants cannot represent him because the law provides that only his legitimate descendants may e#ercise the right of representation by reason of the barrier imposed in )rticle ==7 In this wise. nec nos distinguera debemus A )ccording to Prof . did not consist of giving illegitimate children the right to represent their natural parents $legitimate& in the intestate succession of their grandparents $legitimate& It is with the same line of reasoning that the three aforecited cases may be said to be still applicable to the instant case .ight . in which case )rt ==7 must be suppressed1 or contrariwise maintain said article and modify )rticles ==7 and ==D The first solution would be more in accord with an enlightened attitude vis-a-vis illegitimate children $Reflections on the Reform of 2ereditary *uccession.ar of the Philippines. )rticle ==7. to interpret the term relatives in )rticle ==7 in a more restrictive sense than it is used and intended is not warranted by any rule of interpretation . the determining factor is the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the person to be represented If the person to be represented is an illegitimate child. he further states that when the law intends to use the term in a more restrictive sense. F'0R. inasmuch as the term is a general one Beneralia verba sunt generaliter intelligenda That the law does not ma6e a distinction prevents us from ma6ing oneC 0bi le# non distinguit. it should be understood to have a general and inclusive scope. are still very much applicable to the . .ew (ivil (ode because the amendment. Rollo& It is therefore clear from )rticle ==7 of the .ew (ivil (ode chanrobles com C virtual law library . Volume @. is not defined by it In accordance therefore with the canons of statutory interpretation.esides.alane has this to sayC AThe term relatives. but there is no change whatsoever with respect to the provision of )rticle ==7 of the (ivil (ode 'therwise. ==9 and ==D& our (ode allows the hereditary portion of the illegitimate child to pass to his own descendants. whether legitimate or illegitimate. should have been suppressed or at least modified to clarify the matters which are now the sub"ect of the present controversy 4hile the . whether legitimate or illegitimate *o that while )rt ==7 prevents the illegitimate issue of a legitimate child from representing him in the intestate succession of the grandparent.'nce more. those articles.qually important are the reflections of the Illustrious 2on Fustice Fose . . prohibit the right of representation from being e#ercised where the person to be represented is a legitimate child . although used many times in the (ode.umber +.eedless to say. if the person to be represented is legitimate. pp @8-@+& $p E. then his descendants.dition& The record reveals that from the commencement of this case the only parties who claimed to be the legitimate heirs of the late *imona Pamuti Vda de *antero are Felisa Pamuti Fardin and the si# minor natural or illegitimate children of Pablo *antero *ince petitioners herein are barred by the provisions of )rticle ==7.ouvier%s 3aw !ictionary vol II. although substantial. 4e decline to agree with petitioner 4e are fully aware of certain substantial changes in our law of succession. Third Revision.

+=E: ed .ven the Family (ode of +=DE $.. there is no other alternative but to apply the law literally Thus.R. 4e conclude that until )rticle ==7 is suppressed or at least amended to clarify the term ArelativesA.! . p +7& In the light of the foregoing. p 7=+& $)micus (uriae%s 'pinion by Prof Ruben .!. as already discussed earlier. which goes bac6 very far in legal history. is not so in the case at bar To recapitulate. 4e hereby reiterate the decision of Fune +E. to the e#clusion of petitioners 42. the word ArelativesA is a general term and when used in a statute it embraces not only collateral relatives but also all the 6indred of the person spo6en of.I.F'R.alane. 4e quote thisC AThe lines of this distinction between legitimates and illegitimates.' 78=& has not abolished the gradation between legitimate and illegitimate children $although it has done away with the sub classification of illegitimates into natural and Pspurious%& It would thus be correct to say that illegitimate children have only those rights which are e#pressly or clearly granted to them by law $vide Tolentino.. vol III.Thus. have been softened but not erased by present law 'ur legislation has not gone so far as to place legitimate and illegitimate children on e#actly the same footing . and the assailed decision is hereby )FFIR-. +=DE and declare Felisa Pamuti-Fardin to be the sole heir to the intestate estate of *imona Pamuti Vda de *antero. unless the conte#t indicates that it was used in a more restrictive or limited sense which. the second -otion for Reconsideration is !. (ivil (ode of the Philippines.

L-19211. . ('.B 4IT2 ) 3..(0RRI. . No.R 'F ('0RT !.*T)T.TIT3.3.*T)T.+RANDA #/LLA-*# + )PP.B *P'0*.)3). *2)R. +N !&" . 5 4hen intestacy occurs.1 *0RVIVI.[G. ("R%")!A .T.I. *P. (2I3! .IR* )PP.! T' '.**I'.BITI-)T.)3* I.T.2)3F 'F T2.A!!"R $% !&" +N!"#!A!" "#!A!" $% ("DR$ #A!+LL$N.<ne 30. I.R-I. 'F 2. a surviving spouse concurring with only one legitimate child of the deceased is entitled to one-half of the estate of the deceased spouse under )rticle ==> of the (ivil (ode This is an appeal from the order of the (ourt of First Instance of Pangasinan.!I...(I)3 PR'(.R. 5 )n order of the (ourt of First Instance which determines the distributive shares of the heirs of a deceased person is appealable 7 *0((.B !I*TRI.B*1 'R!. )LAR$ #AN!+LL$N v. 1960.0TIV. specifying the respective shares of the principal parties herein in the intestate estate of Pedro *antillon .

ew (ivil (ode which provides thatC AIf only the legitimate child or descendant of the deceased survives. regardless of its alleged inequity. contends that )rt ==> should control.-2)3F $+N7& share and the remaining '. petitioner (laro *antillon has appealed to this (ourt Two questions of law are involved The first. .ew (ivil (ode.. on the other hand. is whether the order of the lower court is appealable )nd the second. there being a case for partition pending1 and $d& that if administration was necessary at all. the dispositive portion of which readsC AI. his residence. issued an order. leaving one son (laro.-2)3F $+N7& share for the only son. whereas in testate. sec +. )tty (laro *antillon This is after deducting the share of the widow as co-owner of the con"ugal properties A virtua+aw library From this order. she was entitled under )rt ==> of the . oppositor Perfecta -iranda was appointed administratri# of the estate 'n -arch 77. raised in Perfecta%s -otion to !ismiss )ppeal.'n . (laro claimed :N@ of Pedro%s inheritance.ovember 7+. isC 2ow shall the estate of a person who dies intestate be divided when the only survivors are the spouse and one legitimate childG The First IssueC5 It is clear that the order of the lower court is final and therefore appealable to this (ourt 0nder Rule +8=.4 'F T2. +=9:. therefore. +=>+. a person may appeal in special proceedings from an order of the (ourt of First Instance where such order determines Athe distributive share of the estate to which such person is entitled A library The *econd IssueC5 Petitioner rests his claim to :N@ of his father%s estate on )rt D=7. of the . on Fune 7D. raised in appellant%s lone assignment of error.enito and Rosario1 $c& that administration of the estate was not necessary. (laro *antillon filed a petition for letters of administration 'pposition to said petition was entered by the widow Perfecta -iranda and the spouses . he insisted that after deducting +N7 from the con"ugal properties as the con"ugal share of Perfecta. the court.enito 0 -iranda and Rosario (orrales on the following groundsC $a& that the properties enumerated in the petition were all con"ugal.*I!. Perfecta -iranda !uring his marriage. and his wife. claimed that besides her con"ugal half. the oppositor Perfecta -iranda and not the petitioner was better qualified for the post It appears that subsequently..ew (ivil (ode.B ('. the surviving spouse Perfecta -iranda shall inherit '. (laro says the article is un"ust and inequitable to the e#tent that it grants the widow the same share as that of the children in intestate succession. the remaining +N7 must be divided as followsC +N@ for her and :N@ for him 'ppositor Perfecta. VI. Pedro acquired several parcels of land located in that province )bout four years after his death. *antillon died without testament in Tayug. a pro"ect of partition and distribution of all the properties of the deceased Pedro *antillon 'n )pril 79. she is given +N@ and the only child +N7 'ppositor Perfecta -iranda. F'R. e#cept three parcels which Perfecta -iranda claimed to be her e#clusive properties1 $b& that Perfecta -iranda by virtue of two documents had conveyed :N@ of her undivided share in most of the properties enumerated in the petition to said spouses . Pangasinan. the surviving spouse has in the succession the same share as that of each of the children A library Replying to Perfecta%s claim. to another +N7 of the remaining half In other words. while Perfecta claimed +N7 )fter due notice and hearing.R)TI'. the court appointed commissioners to draft within si#ty days.* it is hereby ruled and ordered that in the intestate succession of the deceased Pedro *antillon. I get :N@. says (laro Perfecta. the widow or widower shall be entitled to one-fourth of the hereditary estate % )s she gets one-fourth. on the other hand. on the other hand. +=>+. cites )rt ==> which providesC AIf a widow or widower and legitimate children or descendants are left.B'I. (laro filed a A-otion to !eclare *hare of 2eirsA and to resolve the conflicting claims of the parties with respect to their respective rights in the estate Invo6ing )rt D=7 of the . +=>+.

one-half of the estate goes to the child and the other half goes to the surviving spouse )lthough the law refers to Achildren or descendants. the same meaning should be given to )rt ==> . the widow is assigned one-fourth only $)rt D=7&. the legitime of children in testate succession 4hile it may indicate the intent of the law with respect to the ideal shares that a child and a spouse should get when they concur with each other. the child gets one-half.A therefore it does not apply when there is only one AchildA 1 consequently )rt D=7 $and )rt DDD& should be applied. they insist 'n this point. where there is only one child of the marriage. it is not correct to assume that in testate succession the widow or widower Agets only one-fourth A *he or he may get one-half 5 if the testator so wishes *o. because AchildrenA will not include AchildA in the following articlesCchanrob+es virtual +aw library )rt DDE 5 The following are compulsory heirsC $+& legitimate children and descendants )RT DDD 5 The legitime of legitimate children and descendants consists of one-half of the hereditary estate )RT D=> 5 Illegitimate children who may survive )rt =8+ & are entitled to one-fourth of the hereditary estate $*ee also In fact. Achild A )rt D=7 of the . the only article applicable is )rt ==> 'ur colleague -r Fustice F . the plural word AchildrenA includes the singular. the child gets one-half. if )rt ==> is applied now. it is obvious that (laro cannot rely on )rt D=7 to support his claim to :N@ of his father%s estate )rt D=7 merely fi#es the legitime of the surviving spouse and )rt DDD thereof.A the rule in statutory construction that the plural can be understood to include the singular is applicable in his case A The theory of those holding otherwise. 0nfairness of )rt ==> 5 *uch position.ut others confirm the half and half idea of the Pangasinan court This is. more clearly stated is thisC In testate succession. a provision on intestate succession involving a surviving spouse and a legitimate child. those who say.ew (ivil (ode seem to support (laro%s contention1 at least.ecause if the latter happens. they share the estate in equal parts + *enator Tolentino in his commentaries writes as followsC A'ne child *urviving 5 If there is only one legitimate child surviving with the spouse. not Achild A *o if AchildrenA in )rt DDD includes AchildA. which spea6s of AchildrenA. AchildrenA in )rt ==> does not include AchildA seem to be inconsistent when they argue from the premise that Ain testate succession the only legitimate child gets one-half and the widow. remember. because the only legitimate child gets one-half under )rt DDD. the law virtually leaves it to each of the spouses to decide $by testament& whether his or her only child shall get more than his or her survivor 'ur conclusion $equal shares& seems a logical inference from the circumstance that whereas )rticle D:@ of the *panish . and the widow or widower one-half 0nfair or inequitable. it does not fi# the amount of shares that such child and spouse are entitled to when intestacy occurs . the consequences would be tremendous. intestate proceedings In the . 3 Reyes. professor of (ivil 3aw. thru a process of "udicial construction and analogy1 $b& )rt ==> is un"ust or unfair because whereas in testate succession. the surviving spouse has the same share as that of the child A Indeed. is quoted as having e#pressed the opinion that under this article. his ob"ection to fifty-fifty sharing . one-fourth A The inconsistency is clear. she would get +N7 in intestate ) (hildrenC5 It is a ma#im of statutory construction that words in plural include the singular 7 *o )rt ==> could or should be read $and so applied&C Aif the widow or widower and a legitimate child are left. since they share equally. when the widow survives with only one legitimate child.ew (ivil (ode%s chapter in legal or intestate succession. the pertinent provision on intestate succession shall apply1 i e )rt ==> *ome commentators of our . inasmuch as in statutory construction. and the widow or widower one-fourth . seems to be premised on these propositionsC $a& )rt ==> spea6s of Achildren.ut in intestate.being as it is. if we refuse to apply the article to this case on the ground that AchildA is not included in AchildrenA.ew (ivil (ode falls under the chapter on Testamentary *uccession1 whereas )rt ==> comes under the chapter on 3egal or Intestate *uccession *uch being the case.

thereby indicating the legislator%s desire to promulgate "ust one general rule applicable to both situations The resultant division may be unfair as some writers e#plain. the first. )rt ==> omitted to provide for the second situation.o costs in this instance . contained two paragraphs governing two contingencies. which we are bound to enforce The appealed decision is affirmed .(ivil (ode. and the second. where the widow or widower survives with only one child $e#ception&. 5 and this we are not called upon to discuss 5 but it is the clear mandate of the statute. from which )rt ==> was ta6en. where the widow or widower survives with legitimate children $general rule&.

substituted him as plaintiff in this case The defendants having filed an answer denying specifically the allegations of the complaint regarding the irregularities .os D@=9 and D@=>. upon the ground that. #/LLA-*# + (IVI3 3)41 *0((.T. partitioned among his aforesaid half brothers and sisters and subdivided into lots .R* I. and more particularly described in T(T .+== and >. and to the five $9& half brothers and sisters of the deceased the residential lot in Pasay (ity In pursuance of said deed. Florentino )lviar married Flora . respectively. 3aguna.orma )lviar.o 77:-! of subdivision plan Psd-+D=E7.(.*T)T.ibiana (arillo *ometime after the latter%s death on Fanuary :8.o D@=> in the name of (esareo )lviar. Fabiana. (lemente )lviar commenced the present action.R.*T)T. and a residential lot in Pasay (ity. and 6nowing full well thatA the Achildren by second marriage of Florentino )lviar had no rights. L-22. Paulina Pamula6la6in and their children. +=8+. otherwise..elen )lviar and there is nothing in the stipulation of facts submitted by the parties to warrant the annulment or rescission of said agreement )ppeal from a decision of the (ourt of First Instance of Ri?al. . and five $9& half brothers and sisters. Oenaida and (astor )lviar . Oenaida and (astor.(. but subsequently certified by the latter to the *upreme (ourt.arrio of *u6ol. who secured thereto T(T . she was single and had been survived by her full brother (lemente )lviar. whereas the second was covered by T(T .02. 3uisa and Oenaida )lviar and their mother. and his step-mother.T. (esareo. )L". the facts having been stipulated by the parties (lemente )lviar.1 I. as well as Ata6ing advantage of plaintiff%s lac6 of education. who begot him five $9& children. his widow.os 77:-!-+ and 77:-!-7 The first was alloted to 3uisa and Oenaida )lviar.elen%s estate consisted of two $7& parcels of agricultural land situated in the . +=99. who were children of her father by his second marriage. the original plaintiff herein. said (esareo. his sister Fabiana having renounced her share therein in his favor Their brother (astor had.! F033 *I*T. Fabiana. there would be no occasion for the concurrence of both classes and the application of said )rticle +88> -oreover. 5 4here at the time .elen )lviar died intestate *he was single and had been survived by her brother (lemente )lviar. upon the ground that only questions of law are involved therein. confederating and conniving with each other. otherwise 6nown as 3ot . waived his share in said residential land 'ver five $9& years later. these si# $>& brothers and sisters e#ecuted a deed of e#tra"udicial partition ad"udicating to (lemente )lviar the two $7& parcels of agricultural land in (alamba. participation and interest overA the three $:& lots left by . "! AL. and five other half brothers and sisters.elen )lviar )rticle +88> of the (ivil (ode leaves no room for doubt that brothers and sisters of full blood do not e#clude those of half blood. 'F F033 . )"#AR"$ AL'+AR.rasga.elen )lviar died intestate.os +9:8E and +9:8D to said lots 7 and : of subdivision plan Psu-:E78 in (alamba 3aguna The residential land in Pasay (ity was. acting in bad faiths and conspiring. and .@77 square meters. all surnamed )lviar 'n *eptember >. I. No.o +9ED of the Province of Ri?al 'n Fune 7D.rasga. 'F !. v. the defendants had AmisledA the plaintiff Ainto signingA said deed Inasmuch as (lemente )lviar died soon thereafter.! 2)3F .R ). otherwise 6nown as lots 7 and : of subdivision plan Psu-:E78. Ramon and . in turn. originally ta6en to the (ourt of )ppeals. covering the residential lot in Pasay (ity.R'T2.o :8:: of the Province of 3aguna. and more particularly described in T(T . the lower court decided correctly in holding that (lemente )lviar does not e#clude their half brothers and sisters from the intestate estate of said . of about 7:E square meters. against his half brother and sisters.elen )lviar."N!" AL'+AR. of +E.)*. as well as to recover the possession thereof and the title thereto. .<ne 30. with an area.(0RR. the parties too6 possession of their respective shares -oreover. for.[G. Plaintiff-Appellee. . Fabiana. to annul the deed of e#tra"udicial partition above referred to and the aforementioned T(T . +=9+.R'T2. 3uisa. (lemente )lviar secured T(T .elen )lviar were legitimate children of Florentino )lviar and . (lemente )lviar had entered into a contract with his half brothers and sisters for the e#tra"udicial partition of the properties of the deceased . +=>7. 3uisa. more or less. Defendants-Appellants. 1969.. (alamba. illiteracy and ignorance.R1 R03.*T)(/1 ('. 3aguna. namelyC (esareo. Flora . or on *eptember @.o D@=9 in their names.**I'. li6ewise.

R. and submitted the case for the determination of only one question. 3uisa. (lemente )lviar..elen )lviar. her full brother. the aforementioned defendants. there is absolutely no reason why the same should be disturbed 42. so that they $defendants& are e#cluded by (lemente. (lemente is a relative of . and in what proportionGA Plaintiffs maintained that since (lemente )lviar was a full brother of . the civil status of . the e#ecution of the deed of e#tra"udicial partition and the steps ta6en to carry out its provisions. Florentino )lviar In fact. of the two $7& parcels of agricultural land in 3aguna This motion having been denied. (astor and Oenaida )lviar 5 Aone-seventh $+NE& thereof. and he e#cluded them in the succession to her estate The lower court decided this question in the negative and correctly Indeed. is. for all of them constitute the first generation of descendants of their common father. therefore. ascendants. also. both parties later filed a stipulation of facts on the relationship between them. this rationali?ation is rendered superfluous. plaintiffs to receive two-seventh $7NE&A of the residential lot in Pasay (ity. by the e#plicit language of )rt +88: and +88@ and +88> of our (ivil (ode. upon the ground that the same should have ordered the redistribution. the children of their father by second marriage. and Aeach of the defendantsA 5 (esareo.appellants from the complaint.elen )lviar.elen The trial court in effect overruled this pretense and rendered a decision holding that both parties Aare entitled to inherit from . Apro#imity of relationship is determined by the number of generationsA and Aeach generation forms a degree A + In relation to .elen )lviar. in the same degree of relationship as their half brothers and sisters. with costs against the plaintiffs-appellees It is so ordered . readingC A)RT +88: If there are no descendants. apart from being confirmed. or a surviving spouse. otherwise. as it is hereby reversed.elen )lviar and that there is nothing in the stipulation of facts submitted by the parties to warrant the annulment of rescission of said agreement The validity thereof thus being indubitable. namelyC Awho are the parties entitled to participate in the inheritance of . Fabiana. but. and another one shall be entered absolving the defendants. which. subsequently certified the case to the *upreme (ourt The main issue raised by the parties in this case is whether or not. and dismissing the same.F'R. is the fact that (lemente )lviar had entered into a contract with his half brothers and sisters for the e#tra"udicial partition of the properties of the deceased . the collateral relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased in accordance with the following articles A virtua+aw library A)RT +88@ *hould the only survivors be brothers and sisters of the full blood. who are more distant to her.elen )lviar. the decision appealed from should be. not only of the lot in Pasay (ity. the degree of relationship to her of the deceased (lemente )lviar was nearer than that of their half brothers and sisters. they shall inherit in equal shares A virtua+aw library A)RT +88> *hould brothers and sisters of the full blood survive together with brothers and sisters of the half blood.elen )lviar. for. with no pronouncement as to costs A library The defendants moved for a reconsideration of this decision. the properties constituting her estate. the former shall be entitled to a share double that of the latter A library These provisions. however. particularly the last. whereas the main defendants herein are merely her half brother and sisters. there would be no occasion for the concurrence of both classes and the application of said )rt +88> -ore important that this. leave no room for doubt that brothers and sisters of full blood do not e#clude those of half blood. the defendants appealed to the (ourt of )ppeals.elen )lviar. illegitimate children. as above pointed out.elen nearer in degree than said defendants. and he is entitled to succeed to the entire estate of . as a full brother of .allegedly attending the e#ecution of the deed of e#tra"udicial partition.