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Vda. De Salazar vs.

CA, Primitivo Nepomuceno and Emerenciana Nepomunceno Facts: Both Nepomuceno filed separate complaints with the court of agrarian relations of malolos, bulacan, for ejectment on the ground of personal cultivation and conversion of land for useful non-agricultural purposes against petitioner's deceased husband, Benjamin Salazar. The case went through the agrarian court and RTC from 1970 to 1993 and decided in favour of the nepomucenos. Which an appeal was interposed in the name of Benjamin Salazar on the ground of that nepomucenosfailed to satisfy the requirements pertaining to personal cultivation and conversion of the landholdings into non-agricultural uses. However it was rejected. A year later, petitioner assailed the decision of the trial court before the CA by way of petition for annulment of judgement. That it did not have jurisdiction over her and the other heirs of her husband that said husband had already died on oct 3 1991 which the trial still proceeded and rendered its decision on aug 23 1993 w/o affecting the substitution under rule 3 sec 17 Rules of court. CA ruled in favor of the validity of the challenged decision. Issues: W/N there formal substitution of heirs in not necessary? Held: Yes.theCA correctly ruled that formal substitution of heirs is not necessary when the heirs themselves voluntarily appeared, participated in the case and presented evidence in defense of deceased defendant. As expounded by CA: jurisprudential rule is that failure to make the substitution is a jurisdictional defect, purpose of this procedural rule is to comply with due process requirements. For the case to continue, the real party in interest must be substituted for the deceased. The real party in interest is the one who would be affected by the judgment. It could be the administrator or executor or the heirs. In the instant case, the heirs are the proper substitutes. Substitution gives them the opportunity to continue the defense for the deceased. Substitution is important because such opportunity to defend is a requirement to comply with due process. The following are the active participation of the heirs in the defence after the death of Salazar: 1. lawyer did not stop representing the deceased which lasted for about two more years, counsel was allowed by the petitioner who was well aware of the instant litigation to continue appearing as counsel until August 23, 1993 when the challenged decision was rendered. 2. The wife testified in court and declared that her husband is already deceased. She new therefore that there was a litigation against her husband, which her and her childrens interest are involve. 3. The petition for judgement was filed 1 and after the decision was rendered. 4. Jurisdiction by estoppel, which jurisdiction over the person may be acquired by simple appearance of the person in court. Consequently, it undeniably being evident that the heirs themselves sought their day in court and exercise their right to due process. The ejectment being an action involving recovery of real property, is a real action which is not extinguished by death. And that a judgement in an ejectment case is conclusive between the parties and their successors in interest by title subsequent to the commencement of the action. Petition dismiss.