Rufina Lim vs Court of Appeals

323 SCRA 102 – Business Organization – Corporation Law – Piercing the Veil o Corporate !iction

In 1994, Pastor Lim died. His wife, Rufina Lim petitioned with the lower court, actin as a pro!ate court, for the inclusion of " corporations into the inventor# of the estate of Pastor Lim. $he " corporations were% Auto $ruc& Corporation, Alliance 'ar&etin Corporation, (peed )istri!utin , Inc., Active )istri!utin , Inc. and Action Compan#. Rufina alle ed that the assets of these corporations were owned wholl# !# Pastor* that these corporations themselves are owned !# Pastor and the# are mere dummies of Pastor. $he corporations filed a motion for e+clusion from the estate. $he# presented proof ,$orrens $itles- showin that the assets of the corporations are in their respective names and titles. $he pro!ate court denied their motion. $he Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the pro!ate court. ISSUE: .hether or not the corporations and/or their assets should !e included in the inventor# of the estate. HELD: 0o. As re ards the assets, the corporations were a!le to present their respective $orrens $itles over the disputed assets. It is true that a pro!ate court ma# pass upon the 1uestion ownership al!eit in a provisional manner !ut still, a $orrens $itle cannot !e attac&ed collaterall# in a pro!ate proceedin , it must !e attac&ed directl# in a separate proceedin . As re ards the corporations, to include them in the inventor# is tantamount to the piercin of the veil of corporate fiction !ecause the pro!ate court effectivel# adopted the theor# of Rufina. $his cannot !e done. 2irstl#, the pro!ate court is sittin in a limited capacit#. (econdl#, Rufina was not a!le to present sufficient evidence that indeed the corporations are mere conduits of Pastor. 'ere ownership !# a sin le stoc&holder or !# another corporation of all or nearl# all of the capital stoc& of a corporation is not of itself a sufficient reason for disre ardin the fiction of separate corporate personalities. $he veil can3t !e pierced without an# showin that indeed the corporation is !ein used merel# as a dumm#. $o disre ard the separate 4uridical personalit# of a corporation, the wron 5doin must !e clearl# and convincin l# esta!lished. It cannot !e presumed.

G.R. No. 124715

January 24, 2000 RUFINA LUY LIM, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS

May a corporation, in its universality, be the proper subject of and be included in the inventory of the estate of a deceased person? Petitioner disputes before us through the instant petition for review on certiorari, the decision of the !ourt of "ppeals pro#ulgated on $ "pril %%&, in !"'() *P +o. ,$& -, which nullified and set aside the orders dated 04 July %%. 2, 2 *epte#ber %%., and . *epte#ber %%.4 of the )egional /rial !ourt of 0ue1on !ity, 2ranch %,, sitting as a probate court. Petitioner )ufina 3uy 3i# is the surviving spouse of late Pastor 4. 3i# whose estate is the subject of probate proceedings in *pecial Proceedings 0'%.'2,,,4, entitled, 56n )e7 6ntestate 8state of Pastor 4. 3i# )ufina 3uy 3i#, represented by (eorge 3uy, Petitioner9. Private respondents "uto /ruc: !orporation, "lliance Mar:eting !orporation, *peed ;istributing, 6nc., "ctive ;istributing, 6nc. and "ction !o#pany are corporations for#ed, organi1ed and e<isting under Philippine laws and which owned real properties covered under the /orrens syste#. =n June %%4, Pastor 4. 3i# died intestate. >erein petitioner, as surviving spouse and duly represented by her

nephew (eorge 3uy, filed on - March %%., a joint petition . for the ad#inistration of the estate of Pastor 4. 3i# before the )egional /rial !ourt of 0ue1on !ity. Private respondent corporations, whose properties were included in the inventory of the estate of Pastor 4. 3i#, then filed a #otion& for the lifting of lis pendens and #otion- for e<clusion of certain properties fro# the estate of the decedent. 6n an order$ dated 0$ June %%., the )egional /rial !ourt of 0ue1on !ity, 2ranch %,, sitting as a probate court, granted the private respondents? twin #otions, in this wise7 @herefore, the )egister of ;eeds of 0ue1on !ity is hereby ordered to lift, e<punge or delete the annotation of lis pendens on /ransfer !ertificates of /itle +os. &- &, &- -, &- $, &- % and . $2 and it is hereby further ordered that the properties covered by the sa#e titles as well as those properties by A sicB /ransfer !ertificate of /itle +os. & ,4%4, ,&, 2,, 2,&2,& and 2&,2,& are e<cluded fro# these proceedings. *= =);8)8;.

& . however will sub#it to this >onorable !ourt the identities thereof and the necessary docu#ents covering the sa#e as soon as possible. 2-$%& Prance. 3i# which petitioner could not as yet identify.&2. the )egional /rial !ourt acting on petitioner?s #otion issued an order 0.o#ingo /2" !orporation !ainta. having been acCuired by hi# during the e<istence of his #arriage with petitioner. and they were listed therein only for purposes of registration with the *ecurities and 8<change !o##ission. *= =). 2. )i1al !o##ercial 2an:ing !orporation and in other ban:s whose identities are yet to be deter#ined. .. 2$2. after which letters of ad#inistration were accordingly issued. !aloocan !ity and 0ue1on "venue. 3i# personally owned during his lifeti#e the following business entities. & --2& .&. /he afore#entioned properties andEor real interests left by the late Pastor 4.$. 3i# during his #arriage with petitioner. to wit7 Corporation Title Location *to. *avings and !urrent . )i1al C. the probate court appointed )ufina 3i# as special ad#inistrator and Miguel 3i# and 3awyer .. as co'special ad#inistrators of the estate of Pastor 4. 3i#. /hat the following real properties. /he late Pastor 4. 4. 3i#. "lliance Mar:eting /!/ +o.. &. Durther#ore AsicB. had /i#e. Pastor 3i#. -.onald 3ee. Metro Manila !opies of the above'#entioned /ransfer !ertificate of /itle andEor /a< . "lthough the above business entities dealt and engaged in business with the public as corporations.& and 2..8)8. . $. >ence the alleged stoc:holders and officers appearing in the respective articles of incorporation of the above business entities were #ere du##ies of Pastor 4. all their capital. (race Par:.&.% and . assets and eCuity were however. =n 04 July %%. 0ue1on !ity 2ranches and AbB Dirst 6ntestate 2an: Afor#erly Producers 2an:B.*ubseCuently.. &.by virtue of the petitioner are included in the instant petition. "uto /ruc: /!/ +o. &. the order dated 0$ June %%..-.. &. were actually acCuired by Pastor 4. are all conjugal in nature. Petitioner. )ufina 3uy 3i# filed a verified a#ended petition % which contained the following aver#ents7 .eposits with the following ban:s7 AaB Metroban:.&2.4%4. thus7 @herefore. although registered in the na#e of the above entities.. 2. :. . to wit7 . 3i#. personally owned by the late Pastor 4 3i#.eclarations are hereto attached as "nne<es 5!9 to 5@9. is hereby set aside and the )egistry of .eeds of 0ue1on !ity is hereby directed to reinstate the annotation of lis pendens in case said annotation had already been deleted andEor cancelled said /!/ +os. /here are other real and personal properties owned by Pastor 4. said properties covered by /!/ +os. li:ewise. =n 04 *epte#ber %%.

/hus. the i#pugned orders issued by respondent court on July 4.B five days fro# receipt of this order their respective records of the savingsEcurrent accountsEti#e deposits and other deposits in the na#es of Pastor 3i# andEor corporations above'#entioned. %%.. the decretal portion of which declares7 @herefore.. =n $ "pril %%&. the instant special civil action for certiorari is hereby granted. sitting as a probate court. the !ourt of "ppeals. through this >onorable !ourt within A. =n .8)8. *= =). the law relied upon by oppositors. to disobey or to ignore the clear and e<plicit provisions of )ules $ .$4 and $. of the )ules of !ourt. issued an order . before the !ourt of "ppeals Cuestioning the orders of the )egional /rial !ourt. the !ourt ruled that the assets of the corporation are also assets of the estate. %%. petitioner prays that we affir# the orders issued by the probate court which were subseCuently set aside by the !ourt of "ppeals. *= =).. with an urgent prayer for a restraining order or writ of preli#inary injunction. in the case of Cease vs. finding in favor of herein private respondents. 6t is si#ply a suit to settle the intestate estate of a deceased person who.of the )ules of !ourt and thereby preventing the petitioner. showing all the transactions #ade or done concerning savingsEcurrent accounts fro# January %%4 up to their receipt of this court order. a #atter that is clearly within the jurisdiction of this >onorable !ourt and not the *ecurities and 8<change !o##ission. and *epte#ber 2. shows that the *8!?s e<clusive A sicB applies only to intra' corporate controversy.. the issue involves the piercing of the corporate veil. fro# perfor#ing her duty as special ad#inistrator of the estate as e<pressly provided in the said )ules... acCuired several properties and put up corporations as his instru#entalities.8)8. 3i# with the respondent !ourt of "ppeals arrogating unto itself the power to repeal. %%. the parties and the following ban:s concerned herein under enu#erated are hereby ordered to co#ply strictly with this order and to produce and sub#it to the special ad#inistrators. /he i#pugned order issued by respondent on *epte#ber . %02. herein petitioner )ufina 3uy 3i# now co#es before us with a lone assign#ent of error &7 /he respondent !ourt of "ppeals erred in reversing the orders of the lower court which #erely allowed the preli#inary or provisional inclusion of the private respondents as part of the estate of the late deceased A sicB Pastor 4. pre#ises considered. the probate court acting on an ex parte #otion filed by petitioner. are hereby nullified and set aside.8)8. rendered the assailed decision .$. *epte#ber %%. during his lifeti#e.6n an order 2 dated 2 *epte#ber %%. Court of Appeals . %. *!)" 4$.. the crucial issue decided by the regular court was whether the corporation involved therein was the #ere e<tension of the decedent. *= =). is nullified insofar as petitioner corporations9 ban: accounts and records are concerned.. in this wise7 /he issue precisely raised by the petitioner in her petition is whether the corporations are the #ere alter egos or instru#entalities of Pastor 3i#... . =therwise A sicB stated. "fter finding in the affir#ative.. the probate court denied anew private respondents? #otion for e<clusion. the dispositive portion of which reads7 @herefore. " reading of P. /hrough the e<pediency of )ule 4. Petitioner?s contentions tread on perilous grounds. 6n the instant petition for review. Private respondent filed a special civil action for certiorari 4.

4et. where the value of the personal property. are pertinent7 *ec. where the gross value of the estate e<ceeds =ne >undred /housand Pesos AP 00. *ection % of 2atas Pa#bansa 2lg.. in probate #atters in Metro Manila. testate and intestate. Provided. 6n a litany of cases. COURT OF APPEALS %7 . *ection . %.. JR. @e reiterated the rule in PERE RA vs. otherwise :nown as the 5Judiciary )eorgani1ation "ct of %$0F. "s to the power and authority of the probate court. including the grant of provisional re#edies in proper cases. the court?s - . for the purpose of deter#ining whether a certain property should or should not be included in the inventory. of the sa#e law is hereby a#ended to read as follows7 *ec. Municipal /rial !ourts and Municipal !ircuit /rial !ourts in !ivil !ases. Provided further.. @e defined the para#eters by which the court #ay e<tend its probing ar#s in the deter#ination of the Cuestion of title in probate proceedings. a review of the rules on jurisdiction over probate proceedings is indeed in order.000B or..000B or. /hus. not conclusive. in PASTOR. but such deter#ination is provisional. >owever. the a#ount of which #ust be specifically alleged. that interest. that where there are several clai#s or causes of actions between the sa#e or different parties. Municipal /rial !ourts and Municipal !ircuit /rial !ourts shall e<ercise7 . /his !ourt. both testate and intestate.000B. . Jurisdiction in civil cases. . estate or a#ount of the de#and does not e<ceed =ne >undred /housand Pesos AP 00. da#ages of whatever :ind. COURT OF APPEALS. /he function of resolving whether or not a certain property should be included in the inventory or list of properties to be ad#inistered by the ad#inistrator is one clearly within the co#petence of the probate court. the Cuestion of ownership is an e<traneous #atter which the probate court cannot resolve with finality. before we delve into the #erits of the case. petitioner relies heavily on the principle that a probate court #ay pass upon title to certain properties.000BG *ec. attorney?s. litigation e<penses and costs. . which introduced a#end#ents to 2atas Pa#bansa 2lg. /he provisions of )epublic "ct -&% a#ended to read as follows7 *ec. in Metro Manila where such personal property. the deter#ination of which court e<ercises jurisdiction over #atters of probate depends upon the gross value of the estate of the decedent. da#ages of whatever :ind. 2%. . the a#ount of the de#and shall be the totality of the clai#s in all the causes of action. 8<clusive original jurisdiction over civil actions and probate proceedings. )egional /rial !ourts shall e<ercise e<clusive jurisdiction7 A4B 6n all #atters of probate. attorney?s fees. estate or a#ount of the de#and does not e<ceed /wo >undred /housand Pesos AP200. H Metropolitan /rial !ourts. for the purpose of deter#ining whether a certain property should or should not be included in the inventory of estate properties. e<clusive of interest. e#bodied in the sa#e co#plaint. litigation e<penses and costs shall be included in the deter#ination of the filing fees. albeit provisionally. 2%. . irrespective of whether the causes of action arose out of the sa#e or different transactionsG *i#ply put. where such gross value e<ceeds /wo >undred /housand Pesos AP200. the Probate !ourt #ay pass upon the title thereto. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan /rial !ourts. vs. . is hereby . and is subject to the final decision in a separate action to resolve title. . $ held7 . "s a rule.

Ae#phasis =ursB Petitioner. . Durther. the presu#ptive conclusiveness of such title should be given due weight. . probate. $SERTO22. acting as a probate court. bringing up the #atter as a #ere incident in special proceedings for the settle#ent of the estate of deceased persons..B. . argues that the parcels of land covered under the /orrens syste# and registered in the na#e of private respondent corporations should be included in the inventory of the estate of the decedent Pastor 4. thus. CF OF CA" TE20 citing CU #O$ vs. . possession of the property itself is in the persons na#ed in the title. 4et. land registration. . to the sub#ission of the Cuestion to the probate court for adjudg#ent. petitioners have a /orrens title in their favor. which of course. . . in "ALERA vs. thus7 6t does not #atter that respondent'ad#inistratri< has evidence purporting to support her clai# of ownership. . Justice "ndres +arvasa 2. in the present case. e<ercises but li#ited jurisdiction.deter#ination is only provisional in character. /hese considerations assu#e greater cogency where.7 *ettled is the rule that a !ourt of Dirst 6nstance Anow )egional /rial !ourtB. "gain. . the jurisprudence pronounced in &OL SA' vs. etc. @e had occasion to elucidate. 6n regard to such incident of inclusion or e<clusion. for. "ll that the said court could do as regards said properties is to deter#ine whether they should or should not be included in the inventory or list of properties to be ad#inistered by the ad#inistrator. and in the absence of strong co#pelling evidence to the contrary. which under the law is endowed with incontestability until after it has been set aside in the #anner indicated in the law itself. . . and is subject to the final decision in a separate action which #ay be instituted by the parties. in !ORALES vs. does not include. on the other hand. @e #ade an e<position on the probate court?s li#ited jurisdiction7 6t is a well'settled rule that a probate court or one in charge of proceedings whether testate or intestate cannot adjudicate or deter#ine title to properties clai#ed to be a part of the estate and which are eCually clai#ed to belong to outside parties. . ALC ( 24 is of great essence and finds applicability. . . . then the parties. e<pressly or i#pliedly. a situation on which this !ourt has already had occasion to rule . particularly. . 3i#. the /orrens title is not in the decedent?s na#e but in others. 6f there is no dispute. the ad#inistrator and the opposing parties have to resort to an ordinary action for a final deter#ination of the conflicting clai#s of title because the probate court cannot do so. as here. not conclusive. unless the clai#ant and all other parties having legal interest in the property consent. well and goodG but if there is. . through Mr. the holder thereof should be considered as the owner of the property in controversy until his title is nullified or #odified in an appropriate ordinary action. is in reality not a jurisdictional but in essence of procedural one. the reason for the e<ception being that the Cuestion of whether or not a particular #atter should be resolved by the court in the e<ercise of its general jurisdiction or of its li#ited jurisdiction as a special court Ae. @e hold that if a property covered by /orrens title is involved. . and thus has no power to ta:e cogni1ance of and deter#ine the issue of title to property clai#ed by a third person adversely to the decedent. . alleging that after all the deter#ination by the probate court of whether these properties should be included or not is #erely provisional in nature. . under the peculiar circu#stances. RA!OLETE2 . . where the parcels of land are registered in the na#e of private respondent corporations. involving a #ode of practice which #ay be waived.%. not conclusive and subject to a final deter#ination in a separate action brought for the purpose of adjudging once and for all the issue of title. or the interests of third persons are not thereby prejudiced. when as in the case at bar.

#odified or cancelled e<cept in a direct proceeding in accordance with law. albeit. 3i# over the properties. . 2y its denial of the #otion for e<clusion.2%. /he affiants added that the persons whose na#es appeared on the articles of incorporation of Iniwide . with due regard and caution to the peculiar circu#stances of each individual case.. H " certificate of title shall not be subject to collateral attac:. 6t had no authority to deprive such third persons of their possession and ownership of the property. . it is no less true that such authority conferred upon by law and reinforced by jurisprudence. the probate court in effect acted in utter disregard of the presu#ption of conclusiveness of title in favor of private respondents. P. which under the law possess a personality separate and distinct fro# their stoc:holders. proscribes collateral attac: on /orrens /itle. !ertainly. 6nc. is co#petent to issue orders involving inclusion or e<clusion of certain properties in the inventory of the estate of the decedent. Certificate not su)*ect to collateral attac+ . are #ere du##ies since they have not actually contributed any a#ount to the capital stoc: of the corporation and have been #erely as:ed by the late Pastor 4. included on the list had no actual and participation in the organi1ation and incorporation of the said corporation. 6t cannot be altered. contained aver#ents that the incorporators of Iniwide . the property subject of the controversy was duly registered under the /orrens syste#. the respondent court should have denied the #otion of the respondent ad#inistrator and e<cluded the property in Cuestion fro# the inventory of the property of the estate. >aving been apprised of the fact that the property in Cuestion was in the possession of third parties and #ore i#portant. Petitioner thus attached as "nne<es 5D9 2& and 5(92. 3i# are in the possession of and are registered in the na#e of private respondent corporations. the presu#ption of conclusiveness of said titles in favor of private respondents should stand undisturbed.. 2. where si#ilarly as in the case at bar. the probate court was re#iss in denying private respondents? #otion for e<clusion. . acting in a restricted capacity and e<ercising li#ited jurisdiction as a probate court. 5/he Property )egistration .. petitioner cited that the late Pastor 4.of the petition for review affidavits e<ecuted by /eresa 3i# and 3ani @enceslao which a#ong others.istributing. and to adjudge. . /o rivet such fli#sy contention. @hile it #ay be true that the )egional /rial !ourt. which are the private respondents in the instant case. 6nc. and in the absence of any cogency to shred the veil of corporate fiction. 3i# to affi< their respective signatures thereon. petitioner urges that not only the properties of private respondent corporations are properly part of the decedent?s estate but also the private respondent corporations the#selves. "ccordingly. RA!OLETE." perusal of the records would reveal that no strong co#pelling evidence was ever presented by petitioner to bolster her bare assertions as to the title of the deceased Pastor 4. 6nas#uch as the real properties included in the inventory of the estate of the 3ate Pastor 4. @e categorically stated7 . provisionally the Cuestion of title over properties. as incorporators thereof. . . Moreover. organi1ed and wholly'owned the five corporations. 8ven so. hence7 *ec. 4$. otherwise :nown as.ecree9.istributing. 6n CU #O$ vs. and as such were to be afforded the presu#ptive conclusiveness of title. . the probate court obviously opted to shut its eyes to this glea#y fact and still proceeded to issue the i#pugned orders. the probate court through such bra1en act transgressed the clear provisions of law and infringed settled jurisprudence on this #atter. +otwithstanding that the real properties were duly registered under the /orrens syste# in the na#e of private respondents. covered by a transfer certificate of title issued in the na#e of such third parties. should be e<ercised judiciously. 3i# during his lifeti#e.

@here badges of fraud e<ist. /ruly.. the veil with which the law covers and isolates the corporation fro# the #e#bers or stoc:holders who co#pose it will be lifted to allow for its consideration #erely as an aggregation of individuals. +onetheless. Durther. will or e<istence of its ownG A2B *uch control #ust have been used by the defendant to co##it fraud or wrong. Moreover. . LEO$ (AS. to perpetuate the violation of a statutory or other positive legal duty. 6t cannot be presu#ed. the test in deter#ining the applicability of the doctrine of piercing the veil of corporate fiction is as follows7 B !ontrol.6t is settled that a corporation is clothed with personality separate and distinct fro# that of the persons co#posing it. which #ay thus be either o#itted or #isunderstood by the one writing the#. or distinguishes one corporation fro# a see#ingly separate one. 6t #ay not be held liable for the personal indebtedness of its stoc:holders or those of the entities connected with it.vs. the wrong'doing #ust be clearly and convincingly established. the circu#vention of statutes. . the shield is not at all ti#es invincible. or dishonest and unjust act in contravention of plaintiffs legal rightG and A. Moreover. not #ere #ajority or co#plete stoc: control. Dor this reason.0 /he corporate #as: #ay be lifted and the corporate veil #ay be pierced when a corporation is just but the alter ego of a person or of another corporation. were it not for the e<isting corporate fiction. where public convenience is defeatedG where a wrong is sought to be justified thereby.A$( TRUST CO!PA$' vs.. =ur pronounce#ent in PEOPLE &A$.4 (ranting ar%uendo that the )egional /rial !ourt in this case was not #erely acting in a li#ited capacity as a probate court. . @hen the fiction is urged as a #eans of perpetrating a fraud or an illegal act or as a vehicle for the evasion of an e<isting obligation. /hus. not only of finances but of policy and business practice in respect to the transaction attac:ed so that the corporate entity as to this transaction had at the ti#e no separate #ind.2 Mere ownership by a single stoc:holder or by another corporation of all or nearly all of the capital stoc: of a corporation is not of itself a sufficient reason for disregarding the fiction of separate corporate personalities. the adverse party is deprived of the opportunity to cross'e<a#ine the affiants. . COURT OF APPEALS2%. a corporation by legal fiction and convenience is an entity shielded by a protective #antle and i#bued by law with a character alien to the persons co#prising it. 6n the sa#e vein. /o put it differently. affidavits are generally rejected for being hearsay. .B /he aforesaid control and breach of duty #ust pro<i#ately cause the injury or unjust loss co#plained of. for this !ourt to uphold the ad#issibility of said docu#ents would be to relegate fro# =ur duty to apply such basic rule of evidence in a #anner consistent with the law and jurisprudence.. . L PP $E $TER$AT O$AL &A$. @e enunciated7 .. in F RST P. . unless the affiant the#selves are placed on the witness stand to testify thereon. but co#plete do#ination. petitioner nonetheless failed to adduce co#petent evidence that would have justified the court to i#pale the veil of corporate fiction. . to disregard the separate juridical personality of a corporation. /he absence of any of these ele#ents prevent 5piercing the corporate veil9. 2$ )udi#entary is the rule that a corporation is invested by law with a personality distinct and separate fro# its stoc:holders or #e#bers. 6t #ay not generally be held liable for that of the persons co#posing it. the corporate fiction or the notion of legal entity should co#e to naught. 2esides it is i#perative for us to stress that such affidavits are inad#issible in evidence inas#uch as the affiants were not at all presented during the course of the proceedings in the lower court. they could be subject to. the achieve#ent or perfection of a #onopoly or generally the perpetration of :navery or cri#e. finds pertinence7 "ffidavits are classified as hearsay evidence since they are not generally prepared by the affiant but by another who uses his own language in writing the affiant?s state#ents. . Piercing the veil of corporate entity reCuires the court to see through the protective shroud which e<e#pts its stoc:holders fro# liabilities that ordinarily. the reliance reposed by petitioner on the affidavits e<ecuted by /eresa 3i# and 3ani @enceslao is unavailing considering that the afore#entioned docu#ents possess no weighty probative value pursuant to the hearsay rule.

+-+)+(. NO. /r. SP No. Petitioner. (onsi#erin% that ?e#eri(o Casa. 1688.rit of Preli$inar& 'n-un(tion of petitioner . 0@@0. Respondents.. and 2 *epte#ber %%. 68-. was not the e2e(utor or a#$inistrator of the estate of the #evisee.hile the petition was pen#in%. 8 !"8 #is$issin% the Petition for Certiorari with Pra&er for 'ssuan(e of a )e$porar& Restrainin% *r#er an#+or . A7uino file# a petition for the pro5ate of the will in the Re%ional )rial Court (R)C) of 8ue9on Cit&. )he fir$ of A7uino..pifanio San /uan. )eo#ori(o A. in view of the foregoing disCuisitions.. Galan%. 2ranch %. (annot 5e su5stitute# for the #e(ease# as his representative as re7uire# 5& Se(tion 1<. 3pon 1oreto4s #eath on *(to5er 0". JUDGE RAMON A. "RANC# 22$. Rule .<118. *epte#ber %%. REGIONA !RIA COUR!. )he (ase was raffle# to Bran(h 00! of the (ourt an# was #o(:ete# as Spe(ial Pro(ee#in%s No. acted without jurisdiction in issuing said orderG /he probate court had no authority to de#and the production of ban: accounts in the na#e of the private respondent corporations. acting as a probate court. the instant petition is hereby . hen(e... v. JR. /r. dated 04 July %%. !EODORICO A.6*M6**8. 167321 : July 31. =iran#a > Asso(iates entere# their appearan(e as (ounsel of ?e#eri(o Casa. *s(ar Casa #ie# intestate on =a& 0!. Att&. . /r. 1666.R. !*+ A(. the pro5ate (ourt issue# an *r#er #en&in% the entr& of appearan(e of sai# law fir$. [G. of the Rules of Court. *n Au%ust 1!. %UEZON CI!& '() A!!&. the !ourt of "ppeals correctly observed that the )egional /rial !ourt.R.spino9a."s to the order. is AFFIRMED. for lac: of #erit and the decision of the !ourt of "ppeals which nullified and set aside the orders issued by the )egional /rial !ourt. WHEREFORE. 1u(as. Before the Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari of the Resolution1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. *n .& of the lower court. dated .. CRUZ. A%UINO. 2006] EPIFANIO SAN JUAN. . 2ranch %. 1oreto Sa$ia San /uan e2e(ute# a 1ast . as well as its Resolution 0 #en&in% the $otion for re(onsi#eration thereof. who (lai$e# to 5e one of the heirs of *s(ar Casa an# their representative.ill an# )esta$ent na$in% *s(ar Casa as one of the #evisees therein.

Rafael an# =a. 0@@0 an# Nove$5er 00. the alle%e# heirs of *s(ar Casa #i# not file an& petition for the appoint$ent of an a#$inistrator of his estateD hen(e.. . /R.. Be opine# that this #o(trine is in line with Arti(le 1@"8 of the New Civil Co#e. there $ust 5e a prior #eter$ination 5& the pro5ate (ourt of who the ri%htful heirs are. 5e #esi%nate# as a#$inistrator of the estate of the #e(ease# an# that he 5e su5stitute# for the #e(ease#. *n Ce(e$5er 0.?*R. however. on Ce(e$5er . Rule .)* SA='A SAN /3AN.. is not 7ualifie# to 5e appointe# as su5stitute for the #e(ease# #evisee. that a representative 5e appointe# as provi#e# in Se(tion 1<... on the hearin% of the pro5ate of the will of the testatri2 an# to perfor$ su(h #uties as $i%ht 5e re7uire# 5& the Pro5ate CourtD to ta:e possession of the properties #esi%nate# in the . the e2e(utor or a#$inistrator of the estate.C. Rule . the (ourt hel# that there was.e authori9e hi$ to represent us the heirs of the #e(ease# *SCAR CASA. unani$ousl& #esi%nate an# appoint ?.'11 of the late 1*R. in (ase the heirs of the #e(ease# will 5e su5stitute#. pra&in% that one of the$. (ite# a5ove.< he averre# that. ?e#eri(o. Rule 8 an# Se(tion 0. /r. after all. 'n (o$plian(e with the or#er of the (ourt. un#er Se(tion 1<.pifanio San /uan file# a A=otion to Ce(lare Appoint$ent of A#$inistrator As 'na#e7uate or 'nsuffi(ient. 0@@0 *r#ers. ( emphasis supplied). /esus. while the (ourt $a& allow the heirs of the #e(ease# to 5e su5stitute# in (ases of unreasona5le #ela& in the appoint$ent of an e2e(utor or a#$inistrator.R. 'n this (ase. 0@@. the heirs of *s(ar Casa $a& 5e su5stitute# for the #e(ease# without nee# for appoint$ent of an a#$inistrator or e2e(utor of the estate. N*. 0@@. /r. in (o$plian(e with the *RC. ?e#eri(o Casa. or where the heirs resort to an e2tra-u#i(ial settle$ent of the estate.R'C* CASA. 't is enou%h.state of 1*R. (onsi#erin% that ?. is the nearest a((essi5le heir to atten# the hearin% of the pro5ate of the will an# is $ost (o$petent to assu$e the responsi5ilities an# the #uties of the AC='N'S)RA)*R. Citin% the rulin% of this Court in Lawas v.@. 0@@.. A7uino file# a plea#in% entitle# AAppoint$ent of A#$inistratorA si%ne# 5& Can#elaria. of the Rules of Court.A! Be $aintaine# that the heirs shoul# present an a#$inistrator of the estate of *s(ar Casa as the representative of the estate in the (ase. .'11 upon #istri5ution 5& the appointe# AC='N'S)RA)*R of the . /R. . the (ourt #e(lare#. . *r#er of the pro5ate (ourt (ontravene# its Au%ust 1!. 0@@. . un#er Se(tion 1<. of the Rules of Court.)* SA='A SAN /3AN. Be also (lai$e# that the (ourt is en-oine# to re7uire the representative to appear 5efore the (ourt an# 5e su5stitute# within the pres(ri5e# perio#.R'C* CASA. all surna$e# Casa. " San /uan re(eive# a (op& of the Ce(e$5er 0. *n ?e5ruar& 0<. an# file#. a $otion for re(onsi#eration thereof. *r#er on Ce(e$5er 1". 0@@0. 0@@. priorit& is still %iven to the le%al representative of the #e(ease#. no nee# for the appoint$ent of an a#$inistrator or e2e(utor as su5stitute for the #e(ease# #evisee. as the AC='N'S)RA)*R of the propert& to 5e inherite# 5& the #e(ease# *SCAR CASA. of the Rules of Court.#en. Court of Appeals. Rule . in the . we. 0@@.. 0@@. )B. 'n his repl&. Rule 6 of the Rules of Court.C.. =oreover. 0@@0. Arl&n. the le%al heirs of the #e(ease# *SCAR CASA. ?e#eri(o Casa. Nestor. the (ourt issue# an or#er #ire(tin% A7uino to se(ure the appoint$ent of an a#$inistrator or e2e(utor of the estate of *s(ar Casa in or#er that the appointee 5e su5stitute# in lieu of the sai# #e(ease#. San /uan pointe# out that the Ce(e$5er 0.Nove$5er 00. an# the provisions of Se(tion <. Benhur. Contrar& to its *r#er #ate# Nove$5er 00.R of the Pro5ate Court. the R)C issue# an *r#er #en&in% the $otion of San /uan. that is.#na. A7uino state# that. on ?e5ruar& 0!.

an# the e2er(ise of -u#i(ial power to hear an# #eter$ine a (ause presupposes that the trial (ourt a(7uires -uris#i(tion over the persons of the parties. 't note# that the $otion $erel& reiterate# the sa$e ar%u$ents in his first $otion for re(onsi#eration whi(h ha# alrea#& 5een passe# upon.1< it (on(lu#e# that there was no nee# for the appoint$ent of an a#$inistrator of the estate of the #e(ease# *s(ar Casa at that sta%e of the pro(ee#in%s sin(e a le%atee is not (onsi#ere# either as an in#ispensa5le or ne(essar& part& in the pro5ate of a will. appen#in% thereto the Ce(e$5er 0. 0@@. as (lai$in% that sai# rulin%s were not relevant to the issue of the vali#it& of the appoint$ent of ?e#eri(o Casa /r. 0@@!. !uesa1" an# Riera v. Palmanori. whi(h is (ontrar& to the re7uire$ent of a prior hearin% for the (ourt to as(ertain who the ri%htful heirs are. 1! *n /une 11. Jr. 0@@.)he $otion for re(onsi#eration was #enie# on ?e5ruar& 0 . Be pra&e# that the ?e5ruar& 0 . 0@@! *r#er of the trial (ourt. on /ul& 0. 5& the alle%e# heirs of *s(ar Casa. 0@@!. *r#er of the R)C. Court of Appeals10 an# Lawas v. Be averre# that the purporte# heirs si$pl& a%ree# a$on% the$selves to appoint a representative to 5e su5stitute# for the #e(ease#.1. *n =a& . 1 . Citin% the rulin%s in Montaà ano v. 0@@! $a& 5e use# 5& purporte# heirs in or#er to AinheritA properties fro$ estates of #e(ease# parties. an# ?e5ruar& 0 . whether or not a su5stitution of a le%atee un#er the will who #ie# #urin% the pro5ate pro(ee#in%s $a& 5e #one 5& si$pl& su5$ittin% an AAppoint$ent of A#$inistrator. 0@@!. that (ourt pro(ee#in%s (on#u(te# or (ontinue# without a vali# su5stitution of a #e(ease# part& (annot 5e a((or#e# vali#it& an# 5in#in% effe(t. San /uan file# a =otion to A#$it his se(on# $otion for re(onsi#eration #ate# =a& <. Be insiste# that the (ases #ealt onl& with the 7uestion of whether or not the pro5ate (ourt (an rule on the vali#it& of the provisions of the willD the& #o not involve the sa$e issue presente# 5& the oppositor. Court of Appeals. to ensure that the #e(ease# part& woul# (ontinue to 5e properl& represente# in the suit throu%h the #ul& appointe# le%al representative of his estate. *ppositor pra&s for other an# further reliefs whi(h $a& 5e -ust an# e7uita5le.hen San /uan re(eive# a (op& of the /une 11. 0@@. as a#$inistrator an# su5stitute for the #e(ease# #evisee. 0@@!. *r#er... 0@@! *r#er 5e re(onsi#ere# an# a new or#er 5e issue# as followsE (a) #e(larin% the AAppoint$ent of A#$inistratorA #ate# ?e5ruar& 1!. )he nee# for su5stitution of heirs is 5ase# on the ri%ht to #ue pro(ess a((ruin% to ever& part& in an& pro(ee#in%. whi(h will then allow the rules of pro(e#ure to 5e use# as an instru$ent for frau# an# un#er$inin% #ue pro(ess. the pro5ate (ourt issue# an or#er #en&in% the se(on# $otion for re(onsi#eration of San /uan. San /uan e$phasi9e# that it is onl& in the a5sen(e of an e2e(utor or a#$inistrator that the heirs $a& 5e allowe# 5& the (ourt to su5stitute the #e(ease# part&. 6 Be (ite#Torres. he file#. Be too: e2(eption to the pro5ate (ourt4s relian(e in the Montaà ano an# Riera (ases.1@ where it was hel# that the purpose 5ehin# the rule on su5stitution of parties is the prote(tion of the ri%ht of ever& part& to #ue pro(ess. 0@@.A or . na$el&. )he *r#ers of the Court #ate# Ce(e$5er 0. 0@@! where the pro5ate (ourt #e(lare# that it ha# (arefull& evaluate# the ar%u$ents raise# 5& the parties an# foun# no (o$pellin% %roun# or (o%ent reason to set asi#e its Ce(e$5er 0. 0@@!. v.8 Petitioner re(eive# a (op& of the *r#er on =ar(h 18. Court of Appeals. a $otion for re(onsi#eration thereof. 11 San /uan reiterate# the rulin%s of this Court in Dela Cruz v. insuffi(ient or ina#e7uate (o$plian(e with the rules of pro(e#ure on su5stitution of a #e(ease# part&D (5) #ire(tin% petitioner to se(ure fro$ the appropriate (ourt the appoint$ent of an a#$inistrator of the estate of the #e(ease# *s(ar CasaD an# (ralawli5rar& (() #ire(tin% that further pro(ee#in%s in the (ase 5e #eferre# until after the su5stitution of the #e(ease# *s(ar Casa 5& the (ourt-appointe# a#$inistrator or e2e(utor of his estate.

C3R.RA)'*N .18 A7uino oppose# the $otion. on ?e5ruar& 0!. le%atees an# #evisees for the purpose of settlin% the estate of the testator.C*NS'C.0" an# the (ases (ite# in the latter #e(ision.S *N C'H'1 PR*C.0! Phil(reen Tradin( Constru%tion Corporation v.SP*NC.1G AB3S. 0@@!.0@ San /uan. R.N) R. )B.)')'*N. Petitioner file# a $otion for re(onsi#eration of the resolution of the CA. #oes not onl& #e(i#e on the 7uestions of i#entit& an# testa$entar& (apa(it& of the testator an# the #ue e2e(ution of the willD it is li:ewise (har%e# with the settle$ent of the estate of the testator after the will has 5een approve#. !e%retar# of La&or and 'mplo#ment.G'*NA1 )R'A1 C*3R) *? 83. for the reversal of the resolutions of the appellate (ourt.B'CB A=*3N)S )* 1ACI. #i# not toll the runnin% of the <@-#a& perio#.whether or not there is a nee# for a #e(ease# le%atee to 5e su5stitute# 5& his+her #ul& appointe# le%al representative or a#$inistrator of his estate. AAPP*'N)=.R S3BS)')3)'*N *? PAR)'.C ')S C'SCR.B'CB A=*3N)S )* 1ACI.JC. Court of Appeals. R.')B )B.SS. Be raises the followin% issuesE (A) . *N PR*P.)'*N .0< Bowever.SP*NC. a prohi5ite# plea#in% un#er Se(tion .N) R.. now petitioner. R. 01 *n Ce(e$5er 1. R31.C P1.)'*N . hen(e.00 )he appellate (ourt (ite# the rulin% of this Court in "niversit# of $mma%ulate Con%ep%ion v. . R31. =AC.N) *? AC='N'S)RA)*RA CA).SP*NC.RA)'*N *N )B. 0@@!. 0@@. (onten#in% that it was.1G AB3S. 0@@! $otion for re(onsi#eration of petitioner was a pro forma $otion 5e(ause it was a se(on# $otion for re(onsi#eration whi(h sou%ht the sa$e relief as the first $otion.SS.F*N C')G GRAH. the pro5ate (ourt $ust not onl& #eter$ine the vali#it& of the will. via a Petition for Review on Certiorari. *R 'N . .C. the CA resolve# to #en& the $otion of petitioner. )* P.S. *? /3R'SC'C)'*N 'N R31'NG )BA) )B. 0@@". a thir# $otion for re(onsi#eration. *? /3R'SC'C)'*N 'N C. 16 *n Septe$5er 8.JC. 5ut also the ri%htful heirs. (annot 5e (onsi#ere# pro for$a or for5i##en 5& the Rules of Court. R31. )hus.B'CB 'S A PR*B'B'). *R 'N . in fa(t.NG'NG C3.C ')S C'SCR.0. Court of Appeals.N) 'S 'N ACC*RCANC. B. of the 166 Rules of Civil Pro(e#ure. file# a Petition for Certiorari with the CA on Nove$5er 00.C ?. C*3RS.C*NS'C. hen(e. the CA #is$isse# the petition on the %roun# that it was file# 5e&on# the <@-#a& perio# (ounte# fro$ noti(e to petitioner of the trial (ourt4s ?e5ruar& 0 . )he appellate (ourt #e(lare# that the =a& <.0 Petitioner now see:s relief fro$ this Court. GR*3NC )BA) SA'C =*)'*N 'S A )B'RC =*)'*N ?*R R. the pro5ate (ourt issue# an *r#er sustainin% A7uino4s ar%u$ent an# #enie# the $otion for re(onsi#eration of San /uan. Be (ite# the rulin%s of this Court in Dizon v.BR3ARG 1!. Rule . ". BG PR'HA).AC'NG 3NC.F*N C')G GRAH. San /uan further posite# that the estate (ourt.R4S =*)'*N ?*R R. 0@@! for the nullifi(ation of the or#ers issue# 5& the pro5ate (ourt on the followin% %roun#sE A. sittin% as a pro5ate (ourt.S *? C*3R). *? )B. 0@@! *r#er.G'*NA1 )R'A1 C*3R) *? 83. )B.R S. (onten#in% that the or#ers sou%ht to 5e re(onsi#ere# 5& hi$ were interlo(utor&.

S'J)G-CAG P.H'S.N )B*3GB A S.R1*C3)*RG *RC.R *R N*) A P.. (onsi#erin% that there is no prohi5ition in the filin% of a se(on# $otion for re(onsi#eration of an interlo(utor& or#er..R R31.GA). ?'RS) =*)'*N ?*R R.B'CB AR. *? )B. 'N )B.. SA=. Rule . 1oreto San /uan.)B.B. 06 't (annot also 5e sai# that the se(on# $otion for re(onsi#eration #i# not toll the runnin% of the re%le$entar& perio# for filin% a Petition for Certiorari.R'*C ?*R ?'1'NG A P. there is no intention on the part of petitioner to #ela& pro(ee#in%s 5efore the lower (ourt when he file# the thir# $otion for re(onsi#eration. *R 1. or or#er.SP'). Petitioner e$phasi9es that he file# the Petition for Certiorari with the CA in view of the %rave a5use of #is(retion whi(h a$ounte# to la(: of or e2(ess of -uris#i(tion (o$$itte# 5& respon#ent trial (ourt when it wron%full& assu$e# in its *r#er #en&in% the thir# $otion for re(onsi#eration that the or#er sou%ht to 5e re(onsi#ere# is a final or#er on the $erits of the (ase an# that the $otion for re(onsi#eration is a thir# $otion for re(onsi#eration of a final or#er. ?AC) )BA) S3CB AAC='N'S)RA)*RA 'S N*) )B.C ANC . C..H'S. as he onl& sou%ht to (orre(t the pro5ate (ourt4s patentl& erroneous appli(ation of the law.R. PR*BA). (B) .R)'*RAR' 3NC.H'S. Bowever.C ?R*= N*)'C. 'N A .C*NS'C. .. ?e5ruar& 0 . C*3R)-APP*'N).e a%ree with the rulin% of the CA that the Petition for Certiorari file# 5& petitioner in the appellate (ourt was ti$e5arre#. the perio# for filin% a Petition for Certiorari $a& not 5e re(:one# fro$ noti(e of #enial of su(h se(on# an# prohi5ite# $otion for re(onsi#eration.@ )he petition is #enie# for la(: of $erit. <" *? )B. .RA)'*N (. =AG HA1'C1G S3BS)')3).C. PR*C. 0@@. Petitioner asserts that a se(on# (or even a thir#) $otion for re(onsi#eration of an interlo(utor& or#er is not prohi5ite#D hen(e. ?urther$ore. 08 *n the first issue.C B. *R 1. the raison d)etre for its rulin% is in(orre(t. )he& #eal solel& with the issue (on(ernin% the proper su5stitution of the #e(ease# *s(ar Casa who is one of the #evisees an# le%atees na$e# in the purporte# will of the testatri2. )he assaile# or#ers #o not %o into the $erits of the pro5ate (ase..'RS *? A C.)B. . 0@@! issue# 5& the R)C are onl& interlo(utor& or#ers.GA).H.R . 0@@! an# Septe$5er 8. 't #oes not appl& if the su5-e(t of the petition is $erel& an interlo(utor& or#er. parti(ularl& on the #ue e2e(ution an# vali#it& of the will.C*NC ANC )B'RC =*)'*N ?*R R. the or#ers are not final or#ers fro$ whi(h no se(on# or thir# $otion for re(onsi#eration $a& 5e file#.'11 3NC.R BAC B.S)A).S *? C*3R) 'S R.AS.N ?'1. A se(on# $otion for re(onsi#eration of a -u#%$ent or final or#er is a prohi5ite# plea#in%D hen(e..R1*C3)*RG *RC.)')'*N ?*R C. the <@-#a& perio# for filin% a Petition for Certiorari $a& 5e re(:one# fro$ noti(e of #enial of su5se7uent $otions for re(onsi#eration.N'A1 *? )B. Sai# or#ers #i# not ter$inate or finall& #ispose of the (ase 5ut left so$ethin% to 5e #one 5& the respon#ent (ourt 5efore the (ase is finall& #e(i#e# on the $erits..C*NS'C. Petitioner further (lai$s that the *r#ers #ate# Ce(e$5er 0. 1A).C AS AAC='N'S)RA)*RA BG P3RP*R). R31. petitioner avers that the re(:onin% of the <@-#a& perio# for filin% a Petition for Certiorari un#er Rule <" of the Rules of Court fro$ the noti(e of #enial of the first $otion for re(onsi#eration is appli(a5le onl& if the su5-e(t of the petition is a -u#%$ent. )hus. 't pertains onl& to the proper su5stitution of the parties.C C. whi(h is the su5-e(t $atter of the pro5ate pro(ee#in%s pen#in% with the respon#ent (ourt.RS*N N*='NA).C AC='N'S)RA)*R *? )B.C =*)'*NS) *? )B.RA)'*N *? AN 'N).B. Be points out that the reason for this is that onl& one $otion for re(onsi#eration of a -u#%$ent or final or#er is allowe# un#er Se(tion ".C. *? C. 0@@!..R C.C'NGS C. N*) PR*B'B').N'.. 'N). .R PR*BA). ?*R )BA) C. /une 11. final resolution.GA). of the Rules of Court.R *R N*) )B. )B..CI*N. *R 1..

) #ates in a Petition for Certiorari un#er Rule <" of the Rules of Court is for the purpose of #eter$inin% its ti$eliness. 0@@. resolution or or#er was re(eive#D (0) when a $otion for a new trial or re(onsi#eration of the -u#%$ent. )he rulin% of this Court in "niversit# of $mma%ulate Con%ep%ion v. @@-0@. or#er or resolution was su5$itte#D an# (. an# #oes not en# the tas: of the (ourt of a#-u#i(atin% the parties4 (ontentions an# #eter$inin% their ri%hts an# lia5ilities as re%ar#s ea(h other 5ut o5viousl& in#i(ates that other thin%s re$ain to 5e #one. su(h se(on# $otion for re(onsi#eration (an nevertheless 5e #enie# on the %roun# that it is $erel& a rehash or a $ere reiteration of %roun#s an# ar%u$ents alrea#& passe# upon an# resolve# 5& the (ourt.)he petition shall 5e file# not later than si2t& (<@) #a&s fro$ noti(e of the -u#%$ent. !e%retar# of La&or and 'mplo#ment. )he or#er #oes not finall& #ispose of the (ase. . or in the San#i%an5a&an if it is in ai# of its appellate -uris#i(tion.1 involve# a final or#er of the N1RC an# not an interlo(utor& or#er. )he petition shall 5e file# in the Supre$e Court or. unless otherwise provi#e# 5& law or these rules. resolution or or#erE (1) the #ate when noti(e of the -u#%$ent. 5oar#.e a%ree with the rulin% of the CA that the Petition for Certiorari file# 5& petitioner with the CA on Nove$5er 00. !. Petitioner re(eive#. )hus.. 0@@. *r#er.! . Se(tion !. rea#sE Se(. 't $a& also 5e file# in the Court of Appeals whether or not the sa$e is in the ai# of its appellate -uris#i(tion. Rule <" of the Rules of Civil Pro(e#ure as a$en#e# 5& the resolution of the Court in Bar =atter No. in the Re%ional )rial Court e2er(isin% -uris#i(tion over the territorial area as #efine# 5& the Supre$e Court. 0@@@.) when noti(e of the #enial thereof was re(eive# 5& petitioner. 'n this (ase. the ?e5ruar& 0 . or#er or resolution. )he re7uire$ent of settin% forth the three (. the si2t& (<@) #a& perio# shall 5e (ounte# fro$ noti(e of the #enial of the sai# $otion. Petitioner ha# <@ #a&s fro$ . on =ar(h 18.Contrar& to the rulin% of the CA. . *here and when petition filed. Su(h a $otion (annot 5e re-e(te# on the %roun# that a se(on# $otion for re(onsi#eration of an interlo(utor& or#er is for5i##en 5& law or 5& the Rules of Court. there are three essential #ates that $ust 5e state# in a Petition for Certiorari 5rou%ht un#er Rule <" of the Rules of Court for the nullifi(ation of a -u#%$ent. *r#er of the trial (ourt 5ase# on the sa$e %roun#s as those alle%e# in his first $otion is not pro forma. 0@@! *r#er of the (ourt #en&in% his $otion for re(onsi#eration of the Ce(e$5er 0. the Ce(e$5er 0.. or#er or resolution sou%ht to 5e nullifie#. if it relates to the a(ts or o$issions of a lower (ourt or of a (orporation. 0@@! was file# 5e&on# the <@-#a& perio# therefor. offi(er or person. 'f it involves the a(ts or o$issions of a 7uasi--u#i(ial a%en(&.0 't 5ears stressin% however that while the $otion for re(onsi#eration file# 5& petitioner assailin% the Ce(e$5er 0. 0@@. *r#er of the trial (ourt #en&in% the $otion of petitioner to (onsi#er insuffi(ient or ina#e7uate respon#ent4s (o$plian(e with its Nove$5er 00. 0@@0 *r#er is interlo(utor&. the petition shall 5e file# in an# (o%ni9a5le onl& 5& the Court of Appeals. Su(h or#er $a& not 5e 7uestione# e2(ept onl& as part of an appeal that $a& eventuall& 5e ta:en fro$ the final -u#%$ent ren#ere# in the (ase.-SC whi(h too: effe(t on Septe$5er 1. No e2tension of ti$e to file the petition shall 5e %rante# e2(ept for (o$pellin% reason an# in no (ase e2(ee#in% fifteen (1") #a&s. (onsi#erin% that a petition is re7uire# to 5e file# not later than <@ #a&s fro$ noti(e of the -u#%$ent. the pros(ription a%ainst a pro forma $otion applies onl& to a final resolution or or#er an# not to an interlo(utor& one. 'n (ase a $otion for re(onsi#eration or new trial is ti$el& file#.. whether su(h $otion is re7uire# or not. 0@@!.

*r#inaril&. without re7uirin% the appoint$ent of an e2e(utor or a#$inistrator an# the (ourt $a& appoint %uar#ian a# lite$ for the $inor heirs.After a part& #ies an# the (lai$ is not there5& e2tin%uishe#. the (ourt $a& or#er the opposin% part&. Rule . or if the one so na$e# shall fail to appear within the spe(ifie# perio#. Bowever. 0@@! of the #enial of his =a& . )he heirs of the #e(ease# $a& 5e allowe# to 5e su5stitute# for the #e(ease#. 'f no le%al representative is na$e# 5& the (ounsel for the #e(ease# part&.@) #a&s after su(h #eath of the fa(t thereof. it shall 5e the #ut& of his (ounsel to infor$ the (ourt within thirt& (. without re7uirin% the appoint$ent of an e2e(utor or a#$inistrator an# the (ourt $a& appoint a %uar#ian a# lite$ for the $inor heirs. of the 166 Rules of Civil Pro(e#ure rea#sE Se(. the le%al representative of the #e(ease# to appear an# to 5e su5stitute# for the #e(ease#. $a& 5e re(overe# as (osts. )he (ourt (har%es in pro(urin% su(h appoint$ent. petitioner file# his Petition for Certiorari with the CA onl& on Nove$5er 00.@) #a&s.@) #a&s fro$ noti(e. or whether it is enou%h that he 5e su5stitute# 5& his heirs. to pro(ure the appoint$ent of an e2e(utor or a#$inistrator for the estate of the #e(ease# an# the latter shall i$$e#iatel& appear for an# on 5ehalf of the #e(ease#. an# to %ive the na$e an# a##ress of his le%al representative or representatives. ." . )he (ourt (har%es involve# in pro(urin% su(h appoint$ent. 0@@. in view of the #is$issal of the petition 5e(ause it was ti$e-5arre#. )he heirs of the #e(ease# $a& 5e allowe# to 5e su5stitute# for the #e(ease#. )he <@-#a& perio# shall 5e re(:one# fro$ the trial (ourt4s #enial of his first $otion for re(onsi#eration.. )he (ourt shall forthwith or#er sai# le%al representative or representatives to appear an# 5e su5stitute# within a perio# of thirt& (. Bowever. . upon proper noti(e. 'f the le%al representative fails to appear within sai# ti$e. an# the representative shall i$$e#iatel& appear for an# on 5ehalf of the interest of the #e(ease#. otherwise in#efinite #ela&s will ensue. or within su(h ti$e as $a& 5e %rante#. the (ourt shall or#er. Se(tion 1<. . ?ailure of (ounsel to (o$pl& with this #ut& shall 5e a %roun# for #is(iplinar& a(tion. $a& 5e re(overe# as (osts. 0@@! se(on# $otion for re(onsi#eration. Death of part#+ dut# of %ounsel. )he rule is a revision of Se(tion 1 . if #efra&e# 5& the opposin% part&. within a spe(ifie# ti$e. we fin# it appropriate an# ne(essar& to resolve on(e an# for all the issue of whether there is a nee# for the appoint$ent of an a#$inistrator of the estate of *s(ar Casa.< .e note that the parties arti(ulate# their stan(e in their respe(tive plea#in%s not onl& on the ti$eliness of the Petition for Certiorari in the CA 5ut also on the vali#it& of the assaile# Ce(e$5er 0. )he <@-#a& perio# shoul# not 5e re(:one# fro$ petitioner4s re(eipt on /une 11. 1<. 0@@!. 0@@! within whi(h to file his Petition for Certiorari. in this (ase. the Court will no lon%er #elve into an# resolve the other issues raise# in the petition. of the Rules of Court whi(h rea#sE Ceath of part&. within a perio# of thirt& (.=ar(h 18. the (ourt $a& or#er the opposin% part& to pro(ure the appoint$ent of a le%al representative of the #e(ease# within a ti$e to 5e spe(ifie# 5& the (ourt. if #efra&e# 5& the opposin% part&. .henever a part& to a pen#in% a(tion #ies. *r#er of the trial (ourt. 0@@! or until =a& 1 . an# the (lai$ is not there5& e2tin%uishe#. Rule .

8(relie# upon 5& petitioner). that priorit& is %iven to the le%al representative of the #e(ease# (the e2e(utor or a#$inistrator) an# that it is onl& in (ase of unreasona5le #ela& in the appoint$ent of an e2e(utor or a#$inistrator. )hus. the Court rule# as followsE )he a5ove-7uote# rules. )he& (annot 5e interprete# in su(h a wa& as to unne(essaril& put un#ue har#ships on liti%ants. a prior appoint$ent of an a#$inistrator or e2e(utor of the estate of *s(ar Casa is not ne(essar& for his heirs to a(7uire le%al (apa(it& to 5e su5stitute# as representatives of the estate. &et no a#$inistrator has 5een appointe#. IN IG#! OF A !#E FOREGOING. is no lon%er true. as in this %ase. the heirs (annot 5e e2pe(te# to wait for the appoint$ent of an a#$inistratorD then wait further to see if the a#$inistrator appointe# woul# (are enou%h to file a suit to prote(t the ri%hts an# the interests of the #e(ease#D an# in the $eanti$e #o nothin% while the ri%hts an# the properties of the #e(e#ent are violate# or #issipate#. ?or the prote(tion of the interests of the #e(e#ent. But no rule (ate%ori(all& a##resses the situation in whi(h spe(ial pro(ee#in%s for the settle$ent of an estate have alrea#& 5een institute#. *hen no administrator has &een appointed.!@ a (ase of fairl& re(ent vinta%e. within a spe(ifie# perio#. the (ourt $a& or#er the opposin% (ounsel. or in (ases where the heirs resort to an e2tra-u#i(ial settle$ent of the estate that the (ourt $a& a#opt the alternative of allowin% the heirs of the #e(ease# to 5e su5stitute# for the #e(ease#. )he Rules are to 5e interprete# li5erall& in or#er to pro$ote their o5-e(tive of se(urin% a -ust. there is all the more reason to re%o(nize the heirs as the proper representatives of the de%eased. if within the spe(ifie# perio# a le%al representative fails to appear. even on the threshol# issue raise# in the R)C an# in the Petition for Certiorari in the CA. spee#& an# ine2pensive #isposition of ever& a(tion an# pro(ee#in%. . -oun(. Costs a%ainst petitioner. . 'n su(h instan(es. )he pronoun(e$ent of this Court in Lawas v. who represented his estate in the %ase filed &efore the !'C . -oun(. the& steppe# into his shoes an# a(7uire# his ri%hts as #evisee+le%atee of the #e(ease# 1oreto San /uan. Bowever. to pro(ess the appoint$ent of an a#$inistrator or e2e(utor who shall i$$e#iatel& appear for the estate of the #e(ease#. #o not prohi&it the heirs fro$ representin% the #e(ease#. Ben(e. we see nothin( wron( with the fa%t that it was the heirs of John D. the assaile# or#er of the R)C is (orre(t.6 'n . !r. while permittin( an e2e(utor or a#$inistrator to represent or to 5rin% suits on 5ehalf of the #e(ease#. Court of Appeals. !in%e the Rules do not spe%ifi%all# prohi&it them from representin( the de%eased.o%han v. 5e(ause fro$ the ver& $o$ent of his #eath. ('mphasis supplied)!1 )he heirs of the estate of *s(ar Casa #o not nee# to first se(ure the appoint$ent of an a#$inistrator of his estate.)he se(on# para%raph of the rule is plain an# e2pli(itE the heirs $a& 5e allowe# to 5e su5stitute# for the #e(ease# without re7uirin% the appoint$ent of an a#$inistrator or e2e(utor. the petition is DENIED.. !0 Sai# heirs $a& #esi%nate one or so$e of the$ as their representative 5efore the trial (ourt. even when there is alrea#& an a#$inistrator appointe# 5& the (ourt. and sin%e no administrator had as #et &een appointed at the time of the institution of the Complaint with the !'C. )hese rules are easil& appli(a5le to (ases in whi(h an a#$inistrator has alrea#& 5een appointe#. this Court has in previous instan(es re(o%ni9e# the heirs as proper representatives of the #e(e#ent.

1121...D 'N). DE RE&ES. 'n this petition for review on %ertiorari.=. 't woul# 5e a5sur# for the heirs to intentionall& e2(lu#e# or leave a par(el of lan# or a portion thereof un#istri5ute# or un#ivi#e# 5e(ause the pro(ee#in% is pre(isel& #esi%ne# to en# the (o$$unit& of interests in properties hel# 5& (o-partners pro in#iviso without #esi%nation or se%re%ation of shares.state of Con .16 -R 1 whi(h affir$e# the or#er of the Court of ?irst 'nstan(e of Ri9al. AN!ONIO DE ZUZUARREGUI. )he (ourt $a& $a:e this a$en#$ent e2 parte an#. )he (orre(tion of a (leri(al error is an e2(eption to the %eneral rule that no a$en#$ent or (orre(tion $a& 5e $a#e 5& the (ourt in its -u#%$ent on(e the latter ha# 5e(o$e final. pro$ul%ate# on Septe$5er 16.R. 4. K )hat a spe(ial pro(ee#in% for the settle$ent of an estate is file# an# inten#e# to settle the entire estate of the #e(ease# is o5vious an# ele$entar&. (leri(al errors or $ista:es or o$ission plainl& #ue to ina#verten(e or ne%li%en(e $a& 5e (orre(te# or supplie# even after the -u#%$ent has 5een entere#. for this purpose.S)A).RR*RS. DE ZUZUARREGUI.C. N/.C'A1 1A. it $a& resort to the plea#in%s file# 5& the parties.. K 't is well settle# that even if a #e(ision has 5e(o$e final.R.D SP. *? C.C )* S. J'(u'0y 27.C'A1 PR*C. S& A"US 1. Respondents. 'C.AS.N)'R. ".N)D C*RR. #ONORA" E COUR! OF APPEA S.N) *? .=.R'CA1 .D /3CG=.e are as:e# to set asi#e the #e(ision of the Court of Appeals. the (ourtLs fin#in%s of fa(ts an# its (on(lusions of law as e2presse# in the 5o#& of the #e(ision.78. A)67(7. . 16 in CA-G.NC. ENRI%UE DE ZUZUARRE%UI '() PACI!A JA3IER. No.C'NGSD S.] "EA!RIZ DE ZUZUARREGUI 3DA.C. 8ue9on Cit& #ate# =ar(h 0<. JR. .C)'*N *? C1. R.0". 16 .))1. issue# in Spe(ial Pro(ee#in%s 8-. $7027. .S)A). PI AR I"A5EZ 3DA. A11*. entitle# A'ntestate . Bran(h 'H.C 'N ?'NA1 C. 0.))1.C'S'*NS.0'.[G. Petitioner...

$eters to (onfor$ with the #es(ription of lan# area in ). their $other 5ein% Pa(ita /avier who was the nie(e of the herein respon#ent a#$inistratri2.nri7ue. 81.) sons. #e Re&es an# the other heirs of sai# estate.Antonio #e Fu9uarre%ui. ! A$on% the real properties in the pro-e(t of partition is a par(el of lan# (overe# 5& an# #es(ri5e# in )ransfer Certifi(ate of )itle No. No. 81 s7.. 'n sai# pro-e(t of partition.).@@. in(lusive of 1+0 of sai# assets whi(h pertains to her share in the (on-u%al partnershipD Beatri9. 8-.. (1+1"). )he parties herein are the onl& heirs of the #e(ease# whose estate was the su5-e(t of sai# settle$ent pro(ee#in%s. No. 10+1< thereof. 6 )he (ourt a 7uo issue# the (onteste# or#er. <. Ri9al.0" for the purpose of (orre(tin% an alle%e# t&po%raphi(al error in the #es(ription of the par(el of lan# (overe# 5& )ransfer Certifi(ate of )itle No. #e Fu9uarre%ui. !0<!.ph .A 1@ As alrea#& state#. (leri(al errors or $ista:es or o$ission plainl& #ue to ina#verten(e or ne%li%en(e $a& 5e (orre(te# or supplie# even after the -u#%$ent has 5een entere#. " that is. Ri9al.R. /r. Antonio. with an assesse# value of P<.@.0" entitle#. 1@. < )he petitioner #i# not have a share in the aforesai# par(el of lan# 5e(ause she relin7uishe# her ri%ht thereto Ain lieu of her 5i%%er share in Antipolo. Petitioner was the #au%hter of the #e(ease# 5& a $other #ifferent fro$ that of his aforesai# three (.. Sr. 81. the (ourtLs fin#in%s of fa(ts an# its (on(lusions of law as e2presse# in -%(E(hanro5le s. )his state$ent of sai# area was repeate# in sai# #o(u$ent four ti$es. .D (. while petitioner Beatri9 #e Fu9uarre%ui H#a. the affir$an(e of sai# or#er 5& the Court of Appeals eventuate# in the elevation of the (ontrovers& to 3s un#er the present re(ourse. 1+1<D . Pro(ee#in% No.D (0) )he area of lan# (overe# 5& ).). it $a& resort to the plea#in%s file# 5& the parties."1 s7uare $eters an# not 8. )he 'ntestate . /r. 8 )he heirs of Beatri9 #e Fu9uarre%ui H#a. lo(ate# in Antipolo. 1+1<. !0<!.. its area is state# as 8. Pilar '5aMe9 H#a. sin(e. the (orre(t lan# area is 8@. Sr.C. for this purpose. in a#-u#i(atin% the (orrespon#in% portions of sai# lan# to Pilar (10+1"). 16"8 an# approve# 5& the pro5ate (ourt.). 16 .) )hat sai# (orre(tions 5e $a#e as pa%es .!. 81 s7uare $eters. 6.C.B. 81 s7uare $eters. ..A *n /anuar& 06.C. an# 10 of the pro-e(t of Partition. !0<!. #e Fu9uarre7ui.nri7ue #e Fu9uarre%ui an# /ose #e Fu9uarre%ui. !0<!. is or#ere# opene# for the purpose of (orre(tin% a (leri(al error in the #es(ription of the par(el of lan# (overe# 5& ). (1) Sp. 8-.?*R.nri7ue (1+1") an# /ose (1+1"). the respe(tive shares of sai# heirs in the real estate left 5& the #e(ease# are as followsE Pilar '5aMe9 H#a. !0<!. A((or#in% to the pro-e(t of partition #ate# /une 1 .state of Con Antonio #e Fu9uarre%ui... Antonio #e Fu9uarre%ui. 11 )he (ourt $a& $a:e this a$en#$ent e2 parte an#.."1 s7. with the followin% #ispositive portionE A. is the survivin% spouse of Antonio #e Fu9uarre%ui. /r. 't is well settle# that even if a #e(ision has 5e(o$e final. .A 0 Respon#ent a#$inistratri2. 1+1<D Antonio.. $eters an# (han%in% it to 8@. the respon#ent a#$inistratri2 an# the other three #istri5utees file# a $otion to reopen Spe(ial Pro(ee#in%s No. real estate propert&. No. #e Re&es file# their opposition to sai# $otion.. a((or#in% to the$.(o$. 5e (orre(te# 5& (an(elin% 8. are the ille%iti$ate (hil#ren of the #e(e#ent. )he (orre(tion of a (leri(al error is an e2(eption to the %eneral rule that no a$en#$ent or (orre(tion $a& 5e $a#e 5& the (ourt in its -u#%$ent on(e the latter ha# 5e(o$e final. Sr. na$el&.. 1+1<D an# /ose.

A 1..h& woul# the parties #eli5eratel& (reate su(h an unli:el& $athe$ati(al situation whi(h woul# (o$pli(ate the a(tual ph&si(al se%re%ation of the area suppose# to 5e #istri5ute#N (hanro5les virtualawli5rar& (hanro5les. Petitioner has not offere# an& plausi5le (ontrar& e2planation... ne(essaril& in(lu#in% the entire area of the lan# (overe# 5& )ransfer Certifi(ate of )itle No. 81 s7uare $eters. !0<!.@@@ s7uare $etersN . petitioner su%%ests that she an# the $ale heirs (oul# not see e&e to e&e 5e(ause the& #i# not have a (o$$on $other. therefore. *n top of this..1" s7uare $eters.(o$E(ralawEre# )hat a spe(ial pro(ee#in% for the settle$ent of an estate is file# an# inten#e# to settle the entire estate of the #e(ease# is o5vious an# ele$entar&. 81 s7uare $eters was the one inten#e# for #istri5ution.<O of the total lan# area (overe# 5& )ransfer Certifi(ate of )itle No. a pro#u(t purel& of (leri(al oversi%ht. )here is. As herein5efore in#i(ate#. 16 .. Sr.!0. the petitioner insists that Athe area inten#e# 5& the heirs of Con Antonio #e Fu9uarre%ui. 81 s7."1 s7. she ha# the assistan(e of le%al (ounsel in the intestate pro(ee#in%s an# in the . 'f .. as in fa(t it is. $u(h less to reverse.(o$. 16"8. (hanro5le s. 81 s7uare $eters was repeate# several ti$es is suffi(ient evi#en(e to show that su(h was the area inten#e# in the pro-e(t of partition. Parentheti(all&..(o$ E(hanro5les. 81A.. She (lai$s that she woul# not have relin7uishe# her share in sai# par(el of lan# if the true area was not frau#ulentl& (on(eale# fro$ her at the ti$e the pro-e(t of partition was e2e(ute#. then the irresisti5le 7uestion woul# 5e how an# wh& the parties arrive# at that parti(ular latter fi%ure. no reason to #istur5. 1! She further (onten#s that the fa(t that the #es(ription of the area as 8. 81 s7uare $eters was t&pewritten in the #o(u$ent as 8. 81. is 8@.hile it is not #ispute# that the area (overe# 5& )ransfer Certifi(ate of )itle No. 't is rea#il& apparent fro$ the pro-e(t of partition that it was $eant to 5e. a((or#in% to the petitioner. 1" Su(h (ontentions are without $erit. in the Pro-e(t of Partition as approve# 5& the trial (ourt is the area of 8... the pro-e(t of partition is #ate# /une 1 . 81 s7uare $eters has still to 5e #ivi#e# into fifteen (1") parts to arrive at the ali7uot portions of 10+1" an# 1+1" of the other heirs in this parti(ular propert&.. .A in the first three #i%its 5ut 5e(ause the latter area of onl& 8. a full an# (o$plete a#-u#i(ation an# partition of all properties of the estate. 't woul# 5e a5sur# for the heirs to intentionall& e2(lu#e# or leave a par(el of lan# or a portion thereof un#istri5ute# or un#ivi#e# 5e(ause the pro(ee#in% is pre(isel& #esi%ne# to en# the (o$$unit& of interests in properties hel# 5& (o-partners pro in#iviso without #esi%nation or se%re%ation of shares. )hus as per(eptivel& pose# 5& the 7ueries of the respon#ents. 10 Bowever. rather than for the$ to re$ain as (o-owners for a lon% ti$e.. wh& is it that the& #i# not $a:e an& further #isposition of the re$ainin% 5alan(e of 0@. $.. 1 'f so. this suppose# anta%onis$ woul# even 5e a (o$pellin% reason for the parties to insist on the total partition of all the properties in the first instan(e. 81. the fa(tual fin#in% of the lower (ourt that a t&po%raphi(al or (leri(al error was (learl& (o$$itte# 5& ina#verten(e in the pro-e(t of partition. !0<!.the 5o#& of the #e(ision. an# not 8@.@@@ s7uare $etersN 1< Besi#es. therefore. $. the assu$e# area of 8. . a lo%i(al an# (re#i5le e2planation that the o$ission of the 9ero 5etween the fi%ures A8A an# A.hat soun# reason woul# the heirs have in hol#in% in suspense the #istri5ution of the #ifferen(e of 0@. 18 while the $otion to re-open the pro(ee#in%s was file# onl& on /anuar& 06. not 5e(ause of the t&pistLs error in o$ittin% the nu$5er A@A 5etween the nu$5ers A8A an# A. !0<!..e were to in#ul%e petitioner in her stan# that the area of 8@.A (onverte# A8@. there was no su(h (leri(al error..ph 't is. 81A to A8. 't will 5e o5serve# that su(h a portion woul# (onstitute onl& 1@. if the intention of the heirs was to $a:e onl& a partial a#-u#i(ation an# #istri5ution of the su5-e(t par(el of lan#.

the (ourt a 7uo an# the respon#ent (ourt (o$$itte# no error pre-u#i(ial to petitioner.@@@ s7uare $eters (o$pare# to . 0@ she re(eive# her 1+1< share in the estate (onsistin% of 0 6. s7uare $eters of lan#. 't will 5e o5serve# that a((or#in% to her own (o$putation. 5ut $ore than Antonio. ".@6.N'.11 s7uare $eters ea(h. the share of ea(h 5rother woul# 5e onl& 0@0. 5oth in law an# e7uit&.8@. s7uare $eters as a%ainst their in#ivi#ual $eters.C an# the #e(ision of the respon#ent (ourt is A??'R=.ven if the suppose# shares of the respon#ents in the re$ainin% 0@.R. she re(eive# $ore than her half 5rothers.<01 s7uare .. @ s7uare $eters.preparation of the pro-e(t of partition.B. !0<!. !. )here woul# not 5e a su5stantial #ifferen(e in value sin(e the petitioner re(eive# 16@.?*R. 8ue9on Cit&.6 ".Ls 1. while her half 5rothers re(eive# on the avera%e 1"!. Ri9alD while in Balara. /r.. were to 5e a##e#. )he inelu(ta5le (onse7uen(e of the fore%oin% (onsi#erations is that..11 s7uare $eters.C.@@@ s7uare $eters of lan# lo(ate# also in Antipolo. that is.@@@ s7uare $eters in the lot (overe# 5& )ransfer Certifi(ate of )itle No. 1!. 't was onl& in Pason% )a$o where she re(eive# sli%htl& less. %ertiorari is C.nri7ueLs an# /oseLs 1!. .8@. 16 PetitionerLs la$entations of in-usti(e in the partition are #e$onstra5l& unfoun#e#.6 ".11" s7uare $eters ea(h. .

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