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G.R. No. L-40502 November 29, 1976 VIRGINIA GARCIA FULE, and HONORABLE SEVERO A.

MALVAR, Presiding Judge, Court of First Instance of Laguna, Branch Vl, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, * PRECIOSA B. GARCIA and AGUSTINA B. GARCIA, respondents. FACTS: 1. On May 2, 1973, Virginia Fule, creditor, filed with CFI of Laguna, at Calamba presided over by Judge Malvar, a petition for letters of administration alleging that Amado Garcia, a property owner of Calamba, Laguna died intestate in the City of Manila, leaving real estate and personal properties in Calamba, Laguna and in other places, within the jurisdiction of this Court. She also moved ex parte to be appointed as special administratrix over the estate. She was appointed as such by Judge Malvar. 2. A motion for reconsideration was filed by Preciosa Garcia on May 8, 1973 contending that the order appointing Virginia was issued without jurisdiction since no notice of the petition for letter of administration has been served upon all persons interested in the estate. As the surviving spouse of Amado, she claimed that she should be preferred in the appointment as special administratrix. She filed a petition for letters of administration before the CFI of Rizal, QC branch over the same intestate estate of Amado. 3. As claimed by Fule in her supplemental petition for the appointment of regular administration the original petition was modified in these respect: a. that Amado was elected as Constitutional delegate to the first district of Laguna and his last place of residence was Calamba, Laguna b. the deletion of the names of Preciosa Garcia and Agustina Garcia (child) as legal heirs of Amado c. that Carolina Carpio, who was simply listed as heir in the original petition, is the surviving spouse of Amado and that she has expressly renounced her preferential right to the administration of the estate in favor of Virginia d. That Virginia be appointed as regular administratrix. This supplemental petition was opposed by Preciosa since it attempts to confer jurisdiction on the CFI of Laguna. Preciosa then filed an opposition to the original and supplemental petitions for letters of administration raising the issue of jurisdiction, venue, lack of interest of Virginia in the estate and her disqualification as special administratrix. ISSUES/ HELD: 1. Where is the proper venue for this action, in Quezon City where Amado died or in Calamba, Laguna where he has properties?

Under Sec. 1, Rule 73, it is provided that: Section 1. Where estate of deceased persons settled. If the decedents is an inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien, his will shall be proved, or letters of administration granted, and his estate settled, in the Court of First Instance in the province in which he resides at the time of his death, and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the Court of First Instance of any province in which he had estate. The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. The jurisdiction assumed by a court, so far as it depends on the place of residence of the decedent, or of the location of his estate, shall not be contested in a suit or proceeding, except in an appeal from that court, in the original case, or when the want of jurisdiction appears on the record. a. The submitted death certificate shows that Amado resided in QC at the time of his death. b. Amados residence certificate which was taken three months before his death showed his residence as QC. c. The Marketing Agreement and Power of Attorney dated Nov. 12, 1971 turning over the administration of his two parcels of sugar land to Calamba Sugar Planters Cooperative and the Deed of Donation dated Jan. 8, 1973 transferring part of his interest in certain parcels of land to Agustina Garcia (child) showed his residence as QC. These documents all showed his residence as QC. Thus, the proper venue is QC. 2. Who is the proper adnministratrix of the estate? The consideration that overrides is the beneficial interest of the appointee of the Court in the estate of the decedent. The Court ruled that Preciosa is prima facie entitled to the appointment as special administratrix, being the wife of Amado. Virginia, who is the illegitimate sister of Amado is incapable of any successional right. In the donation inter vivos in favor of the child, Amado indicated Preciosa as his wife. Also in his certificate of candidacy as constitutional delegate, Preciosa was indicated as the wife. It needs to be emphasized that the appointment is merely temporary and subsists only until a regular administrator is appointed by the Court.