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1|Succession – Art.

992 full text
G.R. No. 28265
NATIVIDAD CENTENO, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellants,
vs.
MARTINA CENTENO, ET AL., defendants-appellees.
NICOLAS CENTENO, ET AL., intervenors-appellants.

The pious legacy of parcel No. 104 made by the testatrix
Melchora Arroyo, is upheld.
It is ordered that each of the parties, plaintiffs, intervenors, and
defendants, pay a third part of the costs of the trial.

VILLA-REAL, J.:
It is so ordered.
This is an appeal taken by the plaintiffs Natividad Centeno in
her own behalf and as administratrix of the estate of her
deceased father, Valentin Centeno, Jesus Centeno First,
Rosalia and Rosario Centeno, and by the intervenors Nicolas,
Emilio, Isaac and Jesus Centeno Second, from the judgment of
the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur, of which the following
is the dispositive part:
The agreement of partition in question is hereby upheld, with
the adjudications to the parties thereto, and therefore the
partition prayed for in this civil case by plaintiffs and
intervenors respecting the realty described in the sixth
paragraph of the original complaint is denied. The other
petition that said partition be held void and of no effect in so far
as it refers only to the said portion adjucated to defendants, is
also denied.
It is held parcels Nos. 70, 86, and 95, described in the
aforementioned sixth paragraphs of the original complaint, are
held by defendants pro indiviso; and the others, Nos. 53, 54,
55, 60, 62, and 69, with the metes and bounds given in the
said sixth paragraph, which are in possession of the plaintiff
Jesus Centeno First, as well as the others, Nos. 82, 85, and
99, which are in the possession of the defendant Telesforo
Centeno.
The defendants' petition that the first 51 parcels of land
described in the said sixth paragraph of the original complaint,
reproduced in the last amendatory complaint, be partitioned in
this case and parcel No. 116 described in the inventory Exhibit
F of the plaintiffs, and 6 of the defendants, as well as the said
parcels Nos. 53, 54, 55, 60, 62, and 69, and the credits is
denied; all of which are considered and declared to the pro
indiviso (Exhibit 7 of the defendants), without prejudice to said
partition being made in such manner as they may agree upon.
It is ordered that the plaintiffs deliver to defendants the two
parcels of land described in the latters' cross complaint in their
second cause of action, and said two mares and harness
cannot be ordered delivered, because they are not formally
detailed and difficulties would arise in the execution of such an
order.
As Fabian Cabanilla and Simplicio Gaberto possessors of
parcels Nos. 76, 77, 59, and 100 claimed by plaintiffs and
intervenorst, were not made defendants in this case, no
pronouncement is here made against them, nor as to parcels
Nos. 52, 66, 94, and 61, the possessors of which are unknown.
Defendants are absolved from the claims with respect to
parcels Nos. 105, 106, 107, 11, 57, 75, 93, 102, 112, 115, 56,
58, 63, 64, 65, 67, 68, 71, 72, 73, 74, 78, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84,
87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 96, 97, 98, 101, 103, 108, 109, 110, 113,
and 114 (43) described in the complaint.

Plaintiffs support their appeal by assigning nineteen alleged
errors, and the intervenors another nineteen, to the trial court
in its judgment, which we shall discuss hereinafter:
In their second and last amended complaint, the plaintiffs pray
for judgment on the cause of action therein set forth: (a)
Ordering the partion between plaintiffs and intervenors in
accordance with the law and the wills of Isaac Centeno and
Melchora Arroyo of all properties described in the sixth
paragraph of the original complaint, together with the property
constituting the portion then adjudicated to the defendants in
the said partition; (b) holding the said partion to be void and of
no effect, only insofar as it refers to the portion adjudicated to
the defendants and ordering the latter to deliver the property in
their possession numbered from 52 to 115, with all its fruits,
and to return what they have unduly received in said erroneous
partition; (c) ordering the defendants to pay the costs of the
action; and (d) granting plaintiffs such further remedy not
herein prayed for as may be just and equitable.
In their second amended complaint the intervenors pray for the
causes of action therein set forth that the voluntary partition of
the property left by the deceased spouses Isaac Centeno and
Melchora Arroyo be declared null and void, in so far as it
respect the portion adjudicated to the defendants, ordering the
latter to return to said plaintiffs and intervenors what they have
unduly received in said partition.
In their amended answer, the defendants generally and
specifically deny each and every one of the allegations of the
complaints of the plaintiffs and the intervenors, with a special
defense and cross-complaint and pray the court: (a) To absolve
the said defendants from the complaint entirely; (b) to order the
partition of the property under Nos. 1 to 51, 53, 54, 55, 60, 61,
69, 116, 119 and 120 with their corresponding fruits or their
equivalent in money, and that their respective portions be
adjucated and delivered to these defendants, and that the
credits of the deceased so far collected be equally distributed
among the heirs; (c) that the plaintiff Valentin Centeno be
ordered to deliver to said defendants Martina Jose and
Telesforo Centeno, the property specified in paragraph 3 of the
cross-complaint, with all the fruits they produced or should
have produce from 1911 up to present date, or in default
thereof, to pay the value of said fruits with the proper legal
interest; (d) that the plaintiff Valentin Centeno be ordered to
pay the costs of this action; and (e) grant said defendants all
such further remedies with respect to their rights as may be
just and equitable.
The case having passed though all the proper proceeding and
after hearing the evidence presented by the parties in support
of their respective claims, the lower court rendered judgment,
the dispositive part of which is quoted above.

2|Succession – Art. 992 full text
The preponderance of the evidence establishes the following
pertinent facts necessary to the solution of the questions of fact
and of law raised in the present appeal.
Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo were husband and wife
who brought no property to the marriage but acquired much
property during their married life.
Isaac Centeno died on October 7, 1905, and was survived by
his wife Melchora Arroyo, and their three son, Valentin,
Faustino and Antonio Centeno. Before his death, that is, on
June 30, 1904, Isaac Centeno executed a will, one of the
clauses of which contained the following provision: "I hereby
named and institute as my sole and universal heirs my three
sons Antonio, Valentin and Faustino Centeno or their heirs, if
any, to one-half of the above-named property, provided, that
the same be divided equally among my three said sons."
(Exhibit D of plaintiffs and Exhibit 4 of defendants.) The will
having been admitted to probate and his widow Melchora
Arroyo, appointed administratrix of the property left by him,
said Melchora Arroyo, as such administrator, filed with the
court a detailed inventory of all the property left by her
deceased husband which had come into her possession.
(Exhibit F of plaintiffs and Exhibit 6 of defendants.)
On October 30, 1907, Antonio Centeno died leaving a widow,
Gabriela Fernadez, and a will executed on October 9, 1907,
clauses 3 and 8 of which are as follows:
Third. I declare that I was married once, being still married to
Dna. Gabriela Fernandez y Bribiesca, and during our union we
had not a single child; I also declared that although I said I
have no child, the God of pity has given me eight, who are my
children by another woman, three of whom are called natural,
who are Martina, Jose (alias Pepe), and Telesforo Centeno,
because they were born even before I married my aforesaid
wife, Dna. Gabriela the five are Sisenando, Antonina, Gregorio,
Jose (alias Peping), and Gabriel Centeno, and are called
illegitimate, because they were born after my marriage;
nevertheless I acknowledge them all for I have had them since
theit birth supporting and bringing all of them, up until now.
Eight. Of my portion from my deceased father Isaac Centeno
Purugganan, and of my future portion from my mother Dna.
Melchora Arroyo, I institute as my universal heirs my three
children called natural, to have and to hold in fee simple during
their lives, under God's blessing and my own. (Exhibit 9-b of
defendants.)
This will was probated on petition of his mother Melchora
Arroyo de Centeno, and his widow, Gabriela Fernandez de
Centeno.

This will was probated upon petition of Valentin Centeno, one
of the executors named therein.
While testamentary proceedings for the settlement of the
estates of Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo were being had,
the heirs of both, desiring a just and lawful partition in
accordance with the wills of both, submitted for its approval to
the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur, in November, 1910
and agreement of partition executed in October, 1910 wherein
Valentin Centeno, Gabriela Fernandez de Centeno widow of
Antonio Centeno, and the latter's acknowledged natural
children, Martina and Emilio A. Centeno, and Asuncion
Arcebal, widow of Faustino Centeno, for herself and in behalf
of her minor son Jesus Centeno, jr., interverned as parties.
(Exhibit 7 of defendants.)
On March 10, 1911, the court, acting on the motion presented
by said heirs, ordered the publication in newspaper of the
largest circulation in the locality once a week for three
consecutive weeks, of a notice of the filing in said court of the
agreement of partition of the testate estate of the deceased
spouses, Isaac Centeno and Melchor Arroyo, so that each and
every person interested in said property and those who might
have claims thereto may present themselves before the court
on the day appointed and show cause if any, why said
agreement of partition should not be approved or why said
estate should not be declared closed. (Exhibit 8-b of
defendants.) On March 8, 1911 in pursuance of said order, the
clerk of the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur set the 8th of
April 1911 for the hearing of the approval of the said
agreement of partition. On April 20, 1911, the Court of First
Instance of Ilocos Sur issued the following order:
All the heirs in this case and in No. 264 having bound
themselves to answer for all just claims agaist the estates the
subject matter of the aforesaid two cases, and having complied
with the order of March 10, 1911 issued in the present case
with respect to the publication in the newspapers of the proper
notification to those interested in the estate or those holding
any claim against said estate, for the approval of the scheme
of partition filed by the heirs the court, notwithstanding the
opposition of Pedro Arroyo to such approval, hereby approves
said scheme of partition declaring said two cases closed,
without prejudice to the oppositor, Pedro Arroyo, claiming his
rights and legal fees from said heirs.
It is so ordered. (Exhibit FF of plaintiffs and Exhibit 8-c of
defendants.)
On October 22, 1913 the said Court of First Instance of Ilocos
Sur issued also the following order:

Melchora Arroyo de Centeno died on December 8, 1909,
leaving one son named Valentin Centeno, and a will executed
on November 3, 1909, clause 3 of which provides:

The present case being called for trial for the approval of the
account presented by the administratrix Gabriela F. de
Centeno, the latter appeared with the heirs name Telesforo and
Sisenando Centeno, and the legatee Antonina Centeno, minor.

(c) The third part shall be divided equally, neither more nor
less, among my sons Antonio and Faustino Centeno, may they
rest in peace, and Valentin Centeno. (Exhibit E of plaintiffs and
Exhibit 5 of defendants.)

Inasmuch as said administratrix declares that the aforesaid
heirs Telesforo and Sisenando, as well as the other heirs not
present, Martina and Jose Centeno, have already received
their corresponding share of the inheritance; and as the said

destined to pious purposes by the deceased Melchora Arroyo. 88. 107 and 111. are the same parcels of land referred to in the said partition made in the month of October. were in the possession of the plaintiff Valentin Centeno and is now held by his sons. The parcels of land Nos. two. the property mentioned in plaintiffs' account Exhibit G. of which fiftyone. As to the parcels of land Nos. Sisenando Centeno be appointed guardian of the said minors with his consent. 113 and 114. 54. So ordered. designated Nos. there is no evidence showing who holds and possesses them. These four parcels of land are not included in the inventory of the conjugal property left by said deceased spouses. 1910 (Exhibit 7). 52. 10549. who have been gathering their fruits and enjoying them exclusively. 145. respectively. who has been in possession thereof from time immemorial without any interruption of any kind. 72. 83. inherited them from his father. is the same parcel bearing the same tax number included in the partion made in October. 108. otherwise. two others. 102. 76 and 77 were in the power and possession of Fabian Cabanilla who has had them in his possession as owner for more than ten years previous to the filing of the complaint having inherited them from his father. It is likewise ordered that the said heirs file a statement showing those who have already received their proper share of the inheritance. were adjudicated to the defendants in the said partition made in October. 59 and 100. 55. Two of said parcels. marked Nos. which are the subject matter of the defendants' cross-complaint said three parcels belonged to the spouses Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo during their lifetime and are now in the possession of the plaintiffs. It does not appear in whose posssession said parcels are. Jose (alias Peping). who hold them). 66 and 94. those designated by Nos. 10318. according to her will (Exhibit E of the plaintiffs). 86 and 95. who have been enjoying their products exclusively. Neither does it appear how the latter acquired them. have been in possession of the herein defendants since the death of the spouses Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo. 10328. having paid the land tax on the same. The parcels of land bearing Nos. 87. As they are not included in the partition they should be considered as part of the undivided share of Melchora Arroyo de Centeno in the estate. 104. These three parcels of land are in possession of the herein defendants. 74. 10533. As to those marked Nos. 119 and 120. said exhibit being singed by all the heirs who took part in said agreement of partition. The parcels of land designated in the complaint by Nos. 91. 58. 70. 106. 82. and identified by sworn declarations of ownership Nos. and as the latter further declares that she holds the legacy corresponding to said Antonina and her three brothers Gregorio. 105. 1910 (Exhibit 7 of defendants. 10474. 65. 10410. 85 and 99. 89. 60. 10367. 97. Moreover the two alleged possessors named are not parties in the present suit. which took place on October 7. and Gabriela. and identified by sworn declarations of ownership Nos. The parcel of land marked No. 101 and 103 in the complaint have been in possession of the herein defendants Telesforo and Martina Centeno since the death of the deceased spouses Isaac Centeno since the death of the deceased spouses Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo. 10374. who must have known all the property of the conjugal partnership. was adjudicated to Antonio Centeno. The four parcels of land marked Nos. Melchora Arroyo. respectively (Exhibit 1 of the defendants). 71. 57. 84. but it is to be presumed that they are held by Telesforo Centeno in whose name the new declarations were made. Besides the property left by the deceased spouses. . 81. 116. respectively. are the same ones designated by Nos. 64. 1909. The declarations of ownership in the name of Melchora Arroyo de Centeno of the parcels designated by Nos. having inherited them from his father. 10337. 80. tax No. all surnamed Centeno. are held by Jesus Centeno First. 1 to 51. and with the acquiescence of the minor Antonio Centeno. The parces of land marked Nos. who took his place after his death which occured in the course of the present proceeding in the lower court. the amount of which is to be fixed according to the aforementioned inventory. 92. 112 and 115 and identified by sworn declarations of ownership Nos. designated Nos. designated as the legacy of Martina Centeno one of the defendants according to the will of the deceased Isaac Centeno (Exhibit D of plaintiffs). 992 full text present heirs confirm this declaration of the administratrix. 1910 (Exhibit G of defendants. 39333 and 21058. The parcel of land marked Nos. The administratrix is also ordered to present the inventory of the property given as a legacy to said minors. which was partitioned among the heirs. 78. but which were not included in the partition agreement. 63. the herein plaintiffs. in the complaint were cancelled and substituted by those numbered 37522. but it does not appear that said possession meets all the requirements prescribed by law in order that it may ripen into title. are held by Simplicio Gaberto. which gives rise to the presumption that said four parcels do not belong to their share in the estate. in turn. 90. 109 and 110 also are not mentioned in the aforesaid inventory and are possessed by the defendants. 132 and 135 in said inventory. would have included them in said inventory which she submitted to the court. 53. which are also enumerated in the said inventory. 56. which will be turned over to the guardian appointed upon his giving bond.3|Succession – Art. respectively. The parcels of land designated by Nos. 10333. 79. respectively. and mentioned in defendants' answer. 62 and 69. 1905 and December 8. 98. 75. 10425 and 10459. 10388 and 10429. 10329. 73. 93. who have been gathering their products and enjoying their fruits exclusively. In the partition agreement submitted by the heirs to the court and approved by the latter. 96. Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo. 68. who. 10330 and 10335. 115 parcels of land described in the sixth paragraph of plaintiffs' complaint remained undistributed. the court orders that Mr.

85 and 99. and providing that unless it so appears. Is the partition made among the plaintiffs. 120 is the same parcel No. 1 to 51. those designated in said original complaint by Nos. to the reservation of one-half of said hereditary portion which Melchora Arroyo inherited from her legitimate son Antonio Centeno which hereditary portion the latter had inherited from his likewise legitimate father Isaac Centeno? 3. the two last of which are designated in the complaint as Nos. The purpose of requiring such conditions is doubtless to give sufficient time and opportunity to the adverse party to become informed of any motion which may be presented in which he may be interested. 55. leaving P8. 70. in accordance with section 110 of the Code of Civil Procedure. no action shall be taken on them. Are the defendants entitled. we may say at the outset that with respect to the questions of fact raised by the plaintiffs-appellants and intervenorsappellants in their repective briefs. and they are the same as set forth above. 116 must be added to the one hundred and fifteen parcels claimed in the complaint as having belonged to the deceased spouses Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo and is pro indiviso. to inherit from his legitimate father Isaac Centeno? 2. to represent their natural father Antonio Centeno in the inheritance of their natural grandmother Melchora Arroyo. as acknowledged natural children of Antonio Centeno. 23 and 60. the plaintiffs-appellants invoke the provisions of articles 10 and 11 of the Rules of Courts of First Instance. we have examined the evidence.950 according to the partition agreement Exhibit 7 of the defendants. legitimate mother of Antonio Centeno? 4. 10375 and 10386. it is not necessary to make it in writing nor that the adverse party be notified thereof. Since the defendants made the motion for the admission of their answer to the second amended complaint in open court and in the presence of all the parties. and the collection of which was intrusted to Valentin Centeno. With respect to the uncollected credits which amount to P8. The parcel of land 119 is the same parcel land No. Entering now upon the discussion of the question on the merit. which are in the possession of Telesforo Centeno. the trial court did not err in granting it and admitting said answer and in not declaring them in default. To summarize. which appear in the list of the properties adjudicated to Antonio Centeno (Exhibit G of plaintiffs) and which are in the possession of the plaintiffs.4|Succession – Art. Touching the questions of law raised also by the plaintiffsappellants and intervenors-appellants in their respective briefs. and which are in possession of the plaintiffs. 54. There are two more parcels of land with sworn declarations of ownership Nos. The chattels and cattle adjudicated to Antonio Centeno in the scheme of partition and which were in the possession of Valentin Centeno have not yet been delivered to the defendants. The credits should also be partitioned. as such acknowledged natural children of Antonio Centeno. and the adverse party has an opportunity to become informed of said motion and of its nature and may object to it at once if he so desires. 119 and 120. of the conjugal property left by the deceased spouses Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo. Did the defendants acquire by prescription the ownership of the parcels of land adjudicated to them in the partition. Are said defendants entitled. which is pro indiviso. which are in the possession of the plaintiffs. and may interpose his objection should he so desire. upon oral motion made in open court. 53. 82.650 uncollected. In maintaining the affirmative. it appears that the only parcels of land which may be the subject matter of the partition among the parties are the following: Those designated in the original complaint by Nos. both documentary and oral. then. Are the defendants entitled. adduced at the trial by the respective parties in support of their respective contentions. When a motion is made in open court and in the presence of all the parties. those designated in said original complaint by Nos. and of the parcels of land included in the inventory of the properties left by Isaac Centeno and not adjudicated to them in the partition but which are in the possession of said defendants? . it is well to decide the legal question of procedure raised by said parties as to whether or not the trial court erred in not declaring the defendants in default for not having answered the plaintiffs' second amended complaint and in permitting said defendants to present their answer on the day of the trial. or may ask the court for a period within which to file his opposition. Before entering fully into a discussion of the question of law raised by the plaintiffs and the intervenors in their respective briefs. they may be reduced to the following: 1. as well as the house and lot valued at P300 and adjudicated in part payment of said credit. are reduced to writing by the official court stenographer. which require that all motions shall be in writing and shall be filed with the proper court making it appear that the adverse party had notice thereof three days before the time set for the hearing thereof. valid? 5. those designated in said original complaint by Nos. and duly approved by the court. since proceedings in Courts of First Instance as courts of record. The parcel of land No. intervenors and defendants. 60. and have found the preponderance of the evidence fully justifies the findings of fact made by the trial court in its judgment. 992 full text 116 and 120 are identified with Nos. 23 is the same complaint. the latter collected P300 owed by Pedro Biloria. 86 and 95. respectively. as such acknowledged natural children of Antonio Centeno. The parcel of land No. which are in the possession of the defendants. and those designated in the cross-complaint by Nos. 62 and 69 which are in possession of Jesus Centeno First. 60 mentioned in the complaint. 116. 57 and 251 in the inventory of the estate of Isaac Centeno.

without prejudice to the legitime of his widow Gabriela Fernandez. to participate in the conjugal property left by Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo included in the inventory but not included in the partition? 8. a right to inherit from his deceased father. according to the doctrine laid down by the Supreme Court of Spain. and for a like reason. which he would inherit. nevertheless said testamentary disposition with regard to the property of this mother is void and of no effect. — the doctrine laid down by this court in its decision of February 13. "the heirs of the deceased Isaac Centeno and his wife Melchora Arroyo de Centeno. who is his mother Melchora Arroyo. but a legitimate ascendants. The latter's right. 1918. and the publication of a notice for the appearance of all who might have an interest therein. vol. Said partition agreement having been submitted to the court. even if the latter should die without any surviving legitimate decendants is a necessary consequence of the aforecited legal provisions. as acknowledged natural children of Antonio Centeno. Ruiz.. who stated that they bound themselves to answer for all the just claims against the two estates of Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo. the herein defendants. since it is a rule of law that no one can dispose of anything that does not belong to him. as provided in article 809 of the same Code. 992 full text 6. supra. as follows: RESERVABLE RIGHTS IN PROPERTY. Are said defendants entitled. he had not acquired any right to her inheritance and therefore could not dispose of said property. are not entitled to more than the half of the part of the inheritance which could be freely disposed of by their natural father. ILLEGITIMATE RELATIVES. cannot inherit from the granchild. The day for the hearing having arrived. as such acknowledged natural children of Antonio Centeno. did not prevent him from acquiring during his lifetime. sixth and seventh assignments of errors. as children inherit in their own right and grandchildren by representation. p. which is as follows: Considering that the truth of this doctrine. as acknowledged natural children of said Antonio Centeno have no right to represent their deceased father. also deceased. in accordance with article 841 in connection with article 836 of the Civil Code. 944 of the same Code. articles 843 and 941 in connection with natural children specifically provide that the portion corresponding to them in the hereditary estate of the parents who acknowledged them is transmitted upon the death of these children to their legitimate or natural decendants. 1918. said defendants. also acquired it gratuitously. Encarnacion. as acknowledged natural children of Antonio Centeno. and 941 thereof. from his legitimate father Isaac Centeno. not only with respect to the hereditary portion given him in the will of his father Isaac Centeno. the latter ordered the fixing of a day for the hearing of the accompanying motion. the court . (See also the decision of the Supreme Court of Spain rendered of June 10. by that of articles 836. who had died before him. according to article 945. (Sy Joc Lieng vs. Melchora Arroyo having died. but from their natural father Antonio Centeno.) Touching the fourth question. because.' does not apply to illegitimate relatives. since article 657 plainly provides that the rights to succession of any person are transmitted from the moment of his death. As to the second question. 16 Phil. in default of parents acknowledging the natural child. and that the judgment appealed from has not violated the laws cited in the fifth. is obliged to reserve such of the property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which such property came. desiring to make a just and lawful partition. 1903. 41 Phil. and never those who are in a different legal status. Are the defendants entitled. — Article 811 of the Civil Code which provides that any ascendants who inherits from his descendants any property acquired by the latter gratuitously from some other ascendant. while it is true that in his will Antonio Centeno named the herein defendants as his heirs. in comparison with articles 808. 915). Civil Code. 843. however. INHERITANCE BY RELATIVES WITHIN THE THIRD DEGREE. in turn. in dealing with the legitime due to legitimate children includes the legitimate decendants thereof. who acknowledged them in his will and named them heirs to the property he had inherited from his deceased father Isaac Centeno. to represent their natural father in the hereditary estate of their grandfather is not admitted because the law does not call them to participate in the latter's estate. the other half of his estate going to his mother Melchora Arroyo as her legitime.5|Succession – Art. because while the first of these. according to the doctrine laid down and Deocampo ([1920]. is shown. as acknowledged natural children of Antonio Centeno. besides the text of article 807 already cited. has no right to inherit from his grandfather. the defendants-appellees did not inherit from their natural granfather Isaac Centno by intestate succession. 137.) Although Melchora Arroyo in her will named her son Antonio Centeno as one of her heirs. but also with respect to the hereditary portion of the property left by his mother Melchora Arroyo." submitted to the consideration and approval of the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur an agreement of partition of the pro indiviso conjugal property left by the deceased spouses as appearing in instrument Exhibit 7 of the defendants. to the effect that a natural child whose deceased father was legitimate. cattle and credits which were adjudicated to them in said partition and which remained in the possession of said Valentin Centeno? 7. The fact the inheritance left by Isaac Centeno remained pro indiviso when Antonio Centeno died.) Passing now to the third question. since he died before her. the grandfather. the defendants. it is clear that such representation of the grandchildren only refers to and includes those who are in the same legal status as the person represented. and the presentation of the claims and objections they might have. or from a brother or sister. because since his mother still lived. in the judgment rendered on June 10. are not entitled to the reservation of the hereditary portion which said Melchora Arroyo acquired gratuitously from her legitimate son Antonio Centeno who. and in accord with the wills of both. and all the parties having been heard. (M. 7. the latter not having left any legitimate decendants.175.. May the partition of the conjugal property left by the spouses Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo and still remaining pro indiviso be ordered in these proceedings? With regard to the first question. to recover from the heirs of Valentin Centeno the personal and real property.

More than six years having elapsed from the date the order of the court approving the extrajudicial agreement of partition became final until the filing of the first complaint praying for the annulment of said partition.. Rosello [1927] 50 Phil. 190). and we shall limit ourselves to considering the conjugal property left by the deceased spouses Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo. which was included in the inventory of the property left by the latter and which was not included in the agreement of partition. deeming it just. and credits claimed by the defendants in their cross-complaint are included in said partition. As will be seen. as natural children of Antonio Centeno. 41. render said partition void. and in conformity with the wills of their predecessors in interest. for this condition appeared from the will of Antonio Centeno. Casanas vs. As to the fifth question. but that. the other half of said hereditary portion of Antonio Centeno belonging to his mother Melchora Arroyo who survived him. whom they succeeded in his rights to the hereditary portion which should have gone to him from the unsettled estate left by his deceased father Isaac Centeno. publicly and as owners thereof for a period of ten years. the action instituted by the plaintiffs and the intervenors. they have acquired the ownership threof by prescription. It follows. having arrived at the conclusion that the partition made among the plaintiffs. 62. and that it be ordered likewise that in accordance with the wills of Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo. but was not. the property mentioned in paragraph six of the original complaint be partitioned between the plaintiffs and intervenors. 119 and 120. 1910.) Taking up now the sixth question after the fourth has been solved by holding that the partition among the plaintiffs. and since the personal and real property. acknowledged by the latter as such and named as his heirs in his will. and 6 of the defendants. but which is in the latters' possession. together with the property constituting the portion adjudicated in the said partition. are entitled to one-half of the the hereditary portion belonging to their natural father from the estate of the deceased Isaac Centeno. it is needless to discuss whether. then. (Sec. 1 to 51. and in being approved by the latter after having announced the hearing through publication in the newspapers. and to have another partition made. and when the court approved said agreement. and acquiesced therein. respectively. Furthermore. that it be ordered that said defendants return to said plaintiffs and intervenors what they have received in excess. 553. said extrajudicial agreement of partition became judicial. As to the eight question. and their corresponding fruits or their equivalent in money. in accordance with the wills of the deceased spouses Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo. or in its default thereof to pay value of said fruits. or which it should have produced from the year 1911 up to the present time. 118. the plaintiffs and intervenors adjudicated to them the property appearing in the agreement of partition. 69. It cannot be doubted that if the defendants have been in possession of said property adversely. the intervenors. the defendants. said defendants acquired rights of ownership to the goods ajudicated to them and appearing in Exhibit G of the plaintiffs. continuously. although without the right to the custody of his property unless so authorized by the court (sec. is for the recovery of property through the annulment of the partition. and said partition is therefore legal and valid. in addition. they desired to do so. included in inventory Exhibit F of the plaintiffs. Act No. 116. 992 full text approved the partition and declared said two testamentary proceedings closed by its order dated April 20. and the defendants is valid and irrevocable. because he was represented by his mother Asuncion Arcebal. and that plaintiff Valentin Centeno be ordered to deliver to said defendants the property specified in paragraph three of the cross-complaint. and therefore without the right of equal participation with the legitimate children. legal. and defendants is legal and valid. and in making the partition in the form in which they made it. that the defendants-appellees not only were not strangers to the inheritance. with all the fruits produced. 117. The herein defendants-appellees were not strangers to the inheritance for they were named as heirs by their natural father. and not included in the scheme of partition. said representation was impliedly approved and the acts of the mother were validated. in so far only as it refers to the portion adjudicated to the latter. with said natural children. in a just. who was his natural guardian by law. With respect to the seventh question. the plaintiffs and intervenors in their respective complaints pray for the annulment and setting aside of the agreement of partition entered into by and between them and the defendants in October. Exhibit 7 of the defendants. 60.6|Succession – Art. The fact that Jesus Centeno Second was a minor at the time said agreement of partition was entered into. 97. does not render it void with respect to him. became final and absolute. and the costs of the action. and binding upon all the parties who took part in the said partition agreement. 1911. 53. Exhibit 7 of the defendants. and heir shall be void. the plaintiffs and intervenors cannot allege ignorance of the condition of the defendants-appellees as acknowledged natural children. plus the proper legal interest thereon. be partitioned. and the order of the court approving it and declaring the respective testamentary proceedings involving the estates of the deceased spouses closed. with full knowledge of their status of acknowledge natural children. The defendants' cross-complaint is for the recovery and partition of undivided property. The ownership of the property which is the subject matter of the action for recovery having . 190. there is absolutely no legal reason for setting aside said order which must therefore be considered irrevocable. While it is true that the partition agreement was made by all the heirs extrajudicially. in submitting it to the court for approval. Neither does the fact that the defendants were mere acknowledged natural children. Article 1081 of the Civil Code provides that a partition made with the inclusion of any person who was believed. and they made it appear so in the preable to the scheme of partition. and the partition made in accordance with the agreement valid. the cattle. they are entitled to claim them from the plaintiffs who now have them in their possession. Act No. by acquisitive prescription. lawful manner. The defendants in their cross-complaint pray that the property designated by Nos. intervenors.

as we have said. Summarizing all the above. (10) that the action for the recovery of the undivided property is not incompatible with the action for partition. the action for partition loses its character as such and becomes one for the recovery of property. ACTION FOR. (8) that the defendants. The conjugal property which has just been declared to be pro indiviso. (5) that the partition made between the heirs. namely. having acquired title thereto by prescription. as crosscomplaint. The defendants. it became final and irrevocable. There being three children who survived Isaac Centeno. and when said agreement was approved by the court. the defendants are exclusive owners of the parcels of land designated by Nos. even though it is so entitled and the prayer of the complaint is to this effect. one-sixth of the whole. either positive or adjective. another legitimate brother of said deceased Antonio Centeno. In such case the action becomes one for the recovery of property in so far as the property claimed exclusively by any of the parties is concerned. and the property belonging in common and pro indiviso to the parties determined. respectively. are entitled to the ownership and possesion of the two parcels of land described in the third paragraph of the second cause of action of the cross-complaint. and not to the conjugal property left by Melchora Arroyo. to the partition thereof. this court enunciated the following doctrine: 1. are only entitled to the one-half of the hereditary portion which belonged to their natural father Antonio Centeno of the conjugal property left by Isaac Centeno. even though it is so entitled and the prayer of the complaint is to this effect. For the foregoing. one-half. (7) that in the absence of a preponderance of evidence to the contrary. Valentin. No. one-third pertaining pro indiviso to the children of Valentin Centeno. 1978 . So ordered. thought they are acknowledged natural children of Antonio Centeno. without special pronoucement as to costs. to his legitimate mother Melchora Arroyo. the judgment appealed from is affirmed in all other respects. or to any part thereof. was a minor at the time the agreement of partition was entered into. if any party to the suit denies the pro indiviso character of the estate of coownership is not recognized by all the parties. father and mother Antonio. Valentin and Faustino Centeno. took part. that is. (6) that the fact that Jesus Centeno Second. In the case of Africa vs. and Antonio Centeno. son of Faustino Centeno. Faustino. and all her acts became validated ipso facto. and claims exclusive title thereto. once the court has declared that the property. and Faustino Centeno. PARTITION. said representation was implied approved. as acknowledged natural children and named heirs of Antonio Centeno in his will. does not make the partition void. 113 and 114. — An action cannot be considered as one for the partition of an inheritance. which is yet to be partitioned. since there is no incompatibility between the action for the recovery of property and for partition of an inheritance. left by Isaac Centeno. which are included in the inventor of the estate of Isaac Centeno. as well as the two mares and the harness which are in possession of the plaintiffs. 934). together with Valentin Centeno. we are of the opinion. who inherited from her legitimate son Antonio Centeno. in the partition of the estates left by Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo. and which must be divided into two equal parts for the purpose of ascertaining the participation of the defendants separating the one-half which corresponds to Isaac Centeno from the other half that belongs to Melchor Arroyo. the recovery of which is sought. as surviving spouse of Antonio Centeno. and once all the periods have elapsed within which the law permits its revocation for any reason. is what belongs to the defendants. the only ones entitled to it are the plaintiffs and intervenors. 992 full text been settled. it is not improper to order the partition of the estate which has been declared to be undivided common property.. or the other sixth part. are not entiltled to the reservation of the one-half which Melchora Arroyo received as her legitimate from the hereditary portion which her son had received from his father. and the other half. does not make said agreement void. becuase he died before her saving always the rights of Gabriela Fernandez. Of the one-third which belongs to Antonio Centeno. has been declared. since he was represented by his mother Asuncion ARcebal. Africa (42 Phil. if any party to the suit denies the pro indiviso character of the estate whose partition is sought. though they are acknowledged natural children of Antonio Centeno. belongs to the parties in common and pro indiviso. are not entitled to represent the latter in the inheritance of his legitimate mother Melchora Arroyo. and so hold: (1) That the defendants. (9) that the defendants are entitled to one-sixth part of the undivided conjugal property left by Isaac Centeno. and with the sole modification of orderinfg the partition of the conjugal property left by the deceased spouses Isaac Centeno and Melchora Arroyo declared by lower court to be pro indiviso. RECOVERY OF PROPERTY. (4) that the fact that defendants. there in no bar in law. As to the one-half of the undivided conjugal property which belongs to Melchora Arroyo. and with the children of Faustino Centeno.7|Succession – Art. are entitled to inherit the one-half of hereditary portion which their deceased natural father had inherited from his legitimate father by will. G.R. but when the action is for the recovery of property based upon the annulment of a partition and at the same time for the partition of the property declared to be undivided common property. legitimate brother of said Antonio Centeno. (2) that said defendants. and its delivery to the proper party ordered. must be divided into three parts. L-22469October 23. (3) that the defendants. said one-half of the conjugal property which still remains undivided. Isaac Centeno also legitimate. and it is found that there is no property to partition. as acknowledged natural children of Antonio Centeno. but that some claim to be exclusive owners thereof. while extrajudicial at the beginning became judicial on being approved by the court after complying with the proper requirements prescribed by the law. once the existence of the community of the property of the estate whose recovery and partition are sought. What this court meant in saying that an action cannot be considered as one for the partition of an inheritance.

defendants-appellees. Zambales. (2) his half sister.8|Succession – Art. 1949. 527. Juliana de Castro . which cites article 785 of the Spanish Civil Code as prohibiting perpetual entails. R. Pablo Corpus. 54863 approving the project of partition for the testator's estate." The Probate court in its order of December 26. 1934 was probated in the Court of First Instance of Manila in Special Proceeding No. two of whom were the aforenamed Pablo Corpus and Jose Corpus. plaintiff-appellant. STAGG. the heirs of Pio V. March 28. Yangco. Herein appellant Tomas Corpus signed that compromise settlement as the sole heir of Juanita Corpus. AQUINO. it concluded that "no hay motives legales o morales para que la sucession de Don Teodoro R. It was also opposed by Atty. 17151 Judiciary Law before it was amended by Republic Act No. 27 SCRA 546. V. a project of partition dated November 26. AMALIA CORPUS. Cruz. as the sole heir of Juanita corpus. entries of judgment were made on those dates. Yangco whose counsel contended that an intestacy should be declared Because the will does not contain an institution of heir. Corpus. 50 Phil. ADMINISTRATOR and/or EXECUTOR of the Estate of Teodoro R. He alleged in his complaint that the dispositions in his Yangcos will sing perpetual prohibitions upon alienation rendered it void under article 785 of the old Civil Code and that the 1949 partition is invalid and. therefore. should be "conserved" and not physically partitioned. 1947 wherein he acknowledge that he received from the Yangco estate the sum of two thousand pesos (P2. (2) that his will had been duly legalized and (3) that plaintiff's action is barred by res judicata and laches. the legatees executed an agreement for the settlement and physical partition of the Yangco estate. RAMON L. 1964 in CA-G. 1947 the legatees agreed to pay P35. Cruz alleged in his opposition that the proposed partion was not in conformity with the will because the testator intended that the estate. D or 17). and (4) Juana (Juanita) Corpus. Juanita Corpus (deceased) and the estate of Luis R. 1951. Court of Appeals. 992 full text TOMAS CORPUS. Atty. W. 1947. his nearest relatives were (1) his half brother. JOSE A. Juanita died in October.000 to Pedro Martinez. Pursuant to the order of the probate court. CORPUS. The estate of Luis R. Yangco was the son of Luis Rafael Yangco and Ramona Arguelles. Juanita Corpus was already dead when Atty. On October 5. that conch tion would be regarded "como no puesta o no existents". J. The probate court approved that agreement and noted that the 1945 project of partition was pro tanto modified. vs. Cruz appeared as her counsel. Atty.000) "as settlement in full of my share of the compromise agreement as per understanding with Judge Roman Cruz. Pedro Martinez and Juliana de Castro. 1946 in Special Proceeding No. In the compromise dated October 7. Tomas Corpus Signed a receipt dated October 24. RAFAEL CORPUS. Roman A. Corpus. Corpus. Teodoro R. Ramona had begotten five children with Tomas Corpus.) From that order. and Rodriguez vs. 1956 dismissed the action on the grounds of res judicata and laches. Yangco sea declarada intestada (See Barretto vs. At the time of his death. 888. Yangco. That project of partition was opposed by the estate of Luis R. Before her union with Luis Rafael Yangco. who represented Juanita Corpus. 1939 at the age of seventy-seven years. 1969. The decree of probate was affirmed in this Court's 1941 decision in Corpus vs. Jose A. On September 20. Tomas Corpus. SOLEDAD ASPRER and CIPRIANO NAVARRO. Pedro Martinez. S. final and executory on October 14 and November 4. That did not set at rest the controvery over the Yangco's estate. 1944 at Palauig. 1946 approved the project of partition. 2613). No.: Teodoro R. Yangco entered into a similar compromise a ment A the resolution dismissing the appeal became. Yangco died in Manila on April 20. Appellant Corpus contends in this appeal that the trial court erred in holding (1) that Teodoro R. The complete text of the will is quoted in that decision. V. 1947 after the legatees and the appellants entered into compromise agreements. Yangco had no forced heirs. Tomas Corpus appealed to the Court of Appeals which in its resolution dated January 23. Luis R. the widow of Tomas Corpus. ENRIQUE J. Cruz prayed "que declare que el finado no dispuso en su testamento de sus bienes y negocios y que ha lugar a sucession intestado con respecio a los raismos y que same un dia en esta causa para la recepcion de pruebas previa a la declaracion de quienes son los herederos legales o abintestato del difunto. our attorney in this case" (Exh. . Yangco. It held that the intrinsic validity of Yangco's will was passed upon in its order dated December 26. The trial court in its decision of July 2. 1945 was submitted by the administrator and the legatees named in the will. 73 Phil. 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 "tales bienes fuesen malgastados o desfilpar radios por los legatarios" and that if the testator intended a Perpetual prohibition against alienation. Yangco aped to this Court (L-1476). the daughter of his half brother Jose Corpus. His will dated August 29. and Ramon L. filed an action in the Court of First Instance of Manila to recover her supposed share in Yangco intestate estate. Yangco was a natural child. L-28734. the decedent's estate should be distributed according to the rules on intestacy. Those appeals were dismissed in tills Court's resolutions of October 10 and 31. 54863. the heirs of Isabel Corpus and the heir of Juanita Corpus. 18720-R certified the appeal to this Court because it involves real property valued at more than fifty thousand pesos (Sec. the children of his half brother. CORPUS. Pursuant to the compromise agreement. the wife of Miguel Ossorio (3) Amalia Corpus. Tuason. CORPUS. Paz Yangco.

Yangco. 52 Phil. 287. 996-997 cited in Director of Lands vs. had no right to succeed to his estate under the rules of intestacy. he (Tomas Corpus) would have no legal personality to intervene in the distribution of Yangco's estate (p. Udan L. himself a legitimate child. 4th Ed. hermanos naturales reconocidos por su padre natural Luis R. 909). "that a child born in lawful wedlock. In default of natural ascendants. were held not to be her legal heirs (Grey vs. 585. Aguas. the mother of Teodoro. The rule in article 943 is now found in article 992 of the Civil Code which provides that "an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother. Article 943 of the old Civil code provides that "el hijo natural y el legitimado no tienen derecho a suceder abintestato a los hijos y parientes legitimos del padre o madre que to haya reconocido. absolute or from bed and board. The trial court did not err in dismissing the complaint of Tomas Corpus. Rules of Court). Rule 123 of the old Rules of Court and over the statement of Samuel W. 7th Ed. Hamados Teodoro. 991). they shall inherit from it share and share alike. His exact words are: Primera. The law does not recognize the blood tie and seeks to avod further grounds of resentment (7 Manresa. These contentions have no merit. and if both acknowledged it and are alive. Declaro que tengo cuatro hijos naturales reconocidos. Manuel Camus and Florencio Gonzales Diez Appellant Corpus assails the probative value of the will of Luis R.6).19996. Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio. That rule is based on the theory that the illegitimate child is disgracefully looked upon by the legitimate family while the legitimate family is. 1 in Testate Estate of Teodoro Yangco). That will was attested by Rafael del Pan Francisco Ortigas. Yangco was an acknowledged natural child or was illegitimate and since Juanita Corpus was the legitimate child of Jose Corpus. Sevilla. 279. Rosario Table was the legitimate daughter of Jose Table the two acknowledged natural children of her uncle. in turn. The appeal may be resolved by de whether Juanita Corpus. it is necessary to ascertain Yangco's filiation The trial court found that Yangco "a su muerte tambien le sbrevivieron Luis y Paz appellidados Yangco. Where the testatrix. By reason of that same rule. Civil Code. and "that things have happened according to the ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life" (Sec. Yangco's wilt in incontestable. nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child". 5[z]. it was held that the legitimate relatives of the mother cannot succeed her illegitimate child (Cacho vs. that Luis Rafael Yangco made a second marital venture with Victoria Obin implying that he had a first marital venture with Ramona Arguelles. hated by the illegitimate child. ni ellos al hijo natural ni al legitimado". 1965. Ramon Table her father's brother.. Rodriguez. Centeno vs. 4556).. 57 Phil. Appellant Corpus concedes that if 'Teodoro R. formerly article 943. He contends that it should not prevail over the presumption of legitimacy found in section 69. . Luisa y Luis. los cuales son mis unicos herederos forzosos (Exh. See 16 Scaevola Codigo Civil. we hold that appellant Tomas Corpus has no cause of action for the recovery of the supposed hereditary share of his mother. Teodoro R. 54863. 322.. 10 Phil. 47 Phil. Stagg in his biography of Teodoro R. there being no divorce. as a legal heir. The said will is part of a public or official judicial record. 13 SCRA 693. A marriage is presumed to have taken place between Ramona and Tomas." Hence. Abaya. in Yangco's estate. as reproduced in Exhibit I herein and as copied from Exhibit 20 in the proceeding for the probate of Teodoro R. 185. which he says is a mere copy of Exhibit 20. The authenticity of the will of Luis Rafael Yangco. the father or mother who acknowledged such child shall succeed to its entire estate. 1907. Following the rule in article 992. 63 Phil. Table 88 Phil. Juanita Corpus. Yangco's half brothers on the Corpus side. is legitimate". the mother of apt Tomas Corpus was a legal heir of Yangco. On the other hand. [bb] and cc Rule 131. pp. natural and legitimated children shall be succeeded by their natural brothers and sisters in accordance with the rules established for legitimate brothers and sisters. See De Guzman vs.9|Succession – Art. either legitimate or acknowledged. Centeno. Under articles 944 and 945 of the Spanish Civil Code. Yangco was an acknowledged natural child and not a legitimate child was the statement in the will of his father. the children of Ramona Arguelles and Tomas Corpus are presumed to be legitimate. Codigo Civil. Juanita Corpus was not a legal heir of Yangco because there is no reciprocal succession between legitimate and illegitimate relatives. The basis of the trial court's conclusion that Teodoro R. . who were legitimate. 128). Yangco". Paz. 992 full text In the disposition of this appeal it is not necessary to resolve whether Yangco's will had been duly legalized and whether the action of Tomas Corpus is barred by res judicata and laches. April 30. as found in the record on appeal in Special Proceeding No. Identified as Exhibit 1 herein.. Article 943 "prohibits all successory reciprocity mortis causa between legitimate and illegitimate relatives" 16 Sanchez Roman. Since Teodoro R. appellant's brief). that Teodoro and his three other children were his acknowledged natural children. Has Tomas Corpus a cause of action to recover his mother's supposed intestate share in Yangco's estate? To answer that question. "if an acknowledged natural or legitimated child should die without issue. the natural child cannot represent his natural father in the succession to the estate of the legitimate grandparent (Llorente vs. It is disputably presumption "That a man and a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage". Yangco. 8. dated June 14. Yangco was a natural child. Allarde vs. pp. Luis Rafael Yangco.

000. petitioner Cresenciano Leonardo. . On October 29. Aquino and Ortiz. respondents. the son of her daughter. AS THE GREAT GRANDSON OF FRANCISCA REYES. as already stated. 1983 CRESENCIANO LEONARDO. WHEREFORE the lower court's judgment is affirmed. entitled to one-half share in the estate of said deceased jointly with defendant.: Petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. II RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT PETITIONER HAS NOT ESTABLISHED HIS FILIATION.00 as attorney's fees. delivering to him his share therein with legal interest. vs. (f) Ordering defendants Maria Cailles and James to pay jointly and severally plaintiff Cresenciano Leonardo the amount of P2. For his part. DE CASTRO. of the properties subject of this litigation. These properties were allegedly mortgaged to respondent Rural Bank of Paranaque. sometime in September 1963. it appears that Francisca Reyes who died intestate on July 12. and 30 days thereafter to pay to plaintiff Cresenciano Leonardo his one-half share thereof with interest of 6% per annum. jointly with defendant Maria Cailles. partitioned between him and defendant Maria Cailles. this petition for review was filed of the following assignment of errors: I RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT PROPERTIES IN QUESTION ARE THE EXCLUSIVE PROPERTIES OF PRIVATE RESPONDENTS. (g) Ordering defendants to pay the costs. claiming to be the son of the late Sotero Leonardo. the other defendant. and (3) to have an accounting of all the income derived from said properties from the time defendants took possession thereof until said accounting shall have been made. described in the complaint. filed a complaint for ownership of properties. (2) to have the properties left by said Francisca Reyes. L-51263February 28. a legitimate brother of her natural mother (Anuran vs. HAS NO LEGAL RIGHT TO INHERIT BY REPRESENTATION. 29). Pascuala Cailles who predeceased her. 1964. within 30 days from the finality of this decision. 38 Phil. (b) Declaring the properties. to render an accounting of the fruits of the properties. Inc. To begin with. After hearing on the merits. promulgated on February 21. (d) Ordering the partition within 30 days from the finality of this decision. sum of money and accounting in the Court of First Instance of Rizal seeking judgment (1) to be declared one of the lawful heirs of the deceased Francisca Reyes. while Silvestra Cailles died in 1949 without any issue. No. share and share alike. reversed the decision of the trial court. Maria and Silvestra Cailles and a grandson. (e) Ordering defendants Maria Cailles and James Bracewell.R. 43476-R. INC. reversing the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Rizal in favor of petitioner: (a) Declaring plaintiff Cresenciano Leonardo as the great grandson and heir of deceased FRANCISCA REYES. to be the properties of the deceased FRANCISCA REYES and not of defendants Maria Cailles and James Bracewen (c) Declaring null and void any sale of these properties by defendant Maria Cailles in so far as the share of Cresenciano Leonardo are affected. 1942 was survived by two (2) daughters. III RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT PETITIONER. and (h) Dismissing defendants' counterclaim. private respondent James Bracewell. 1979. G. JAMES BRACEWELL and RURAL BANK OF PARAÑAQUE. 1 From the record.. subject of this complaint. the trial court rendered judgment in favor of the petitioner. MARIA CAILLES.10 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . No costs. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t The natural daughter cannot succeed to the estate of her deceased uncle. private respondents appealed to the Court of Appeals which. COURT OF APPEALS. entitled to one-half share in the estate of said deceased. the dispositive portion of which was earlier quoted. the Court of Appeals found the subject properties to be the exclusive properties of the private respondents. thereby dismissing petitioner's complaint. Maria Cailles. SO ORDERED. petitioner. between defendant Maria Cailles and plaintiff Cresenciano Leonardo. private respondent Maria Cailles asserted exclusive ownership over the subject properties and alleged that petitioner is an illegitimate child who cannot succeed by right of representation. claimed that said properties are now his by virtue of a valid and legal deed of sale which Maria Cailles had subsequently executed in his favor.R. No. J. reconsideration having been denied by the appellate court. finding the evidence of the private respondent insufficient to prove ownership of the properties in suit. Sotero Leonardo died in 1944. From said judgment. Answering the complaint. private respondent herein. Sotero Leonardo.

left for Nueva Ecija. '60'). the son of one of the daughters (Pascuala) of Francisca Reyes. However. and that his father. '3') which describes the property as follows: . Narciso Bracewell. . 1948. in making its findings.') With the exception of the area which was not disclosed in the deed. . As earlier stated. there is no reason to disturb the findings of facts of the Court of Appeals. which describes it as follows: . Since his supposed right will either rise or fall on the proper evaluation of this vital evidence. forgetting that since the present petition is one for review on certiorari. por Sur con los de Domingo Lozada y Fruto Silverio y por Oeste con el de Fruto Silverio y Linea Ferrea de una extension superficial de 1229. hence. The first was bought in 1908 by Maria Cailles under a deed of sale (Exh. Anent the second assignment of error. y la frente la dicha calle Desposorio After declaring it in her name. Francisco Reyes administered the property and like in the first case. which is now being sought after by the plaintiff. We believe that the trial judge misinterpreted the evidence as to the identification of the lands in question. '60') of 1908 clearly states that the land sold to Maria Cailles is en la cane Desposorio in Las Pinas Rizal which was bounded by adjoining lands owned by persons living at the time.11 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . Maria Cailles began paying the realty taxes thereon on July 24. una parcela de terreno destinado al beneficio de la sal. and (5) when the Court of Appeals.00 metros cuadrados. Carefully going over the evidence.R. plaintiff claims that he is the son of Sotero Leonardo. Thereafter as she and her son Narciso Bracewell. she paid and declared the same in her own name. Maria Cailles paid the realty taxes starting from 1918 up to 1948. In support of his claim. as this property is also located in Desposorio St. the description fits the land now being sought by the plaintiff. looking for that vital link connecting him to the family . Because of this. generally. Co. Hence. 3 None of the above exceptions. plaintiff can consequently succeed to the estate of Francisca Reyes by right of representation. only questions of law may be raised. (Reference to Exhibits omitted. (2) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken. as each has its own distinct factual setting. he had some proprietary right over the same. including the railroad track of the Manila Railroad Co. 1914 up to May 28. 1917 until 1948. radicada en la calle Desposorio de este dicho Municipio dentro de los limites y linderos siquientes: Por la derecha a la entrada el solar de Teodorico Reyes por la izquierda el solar de Maria Calesa (Cailles) arriba citada por la espalda la via ferrea del Railroad Co. Thereafter when she and her son. absurd or impossible. Thinking that the property is the property of Francisca Reyes. was purchased by Maria Cailles in 1917 under a deed of sale (Exh. final and conclusive upon this Court. Besides. his alleged mother. and is bounded by the M. it is true that there is no similar boundaries to be relied upon. there is no reason to doubt that this property is the same. por Este con los de Narciso Mayuga y Domingo Lozada. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t There being two properties in this case both will be discussed separately. for unexplained reasons. We have minutely scrutinized the same. married to Socorro Timbol. who subsequently died in 1944. With these natural boundaries. there is indeed an assurance that the property described in the deed and in the tax declaration is one and the same property. erroneously thinking that as the great grandson of Francisca Reyes. To begin with. plaintiff decided to run after this property. It is a well-established rule laid down by this Court in numerous cases that findings of facts by the Court of Appeals are. He further alleges that since Pascuala predeceased Francisca Reyes. (4) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts. It is however undeniable that after declaring it in her name. Francisca Reyes managed the property and paid the realty tax of the land. The change of owners of the adjoining lands is immaterial since several decades have already passed between the deed and the declaration and 'during that period. Maria Cailles likewise paid the realty tax in 1917 and continued paying the same up to 1948.. however. ('la via ferrea del Railroad Co. . declared in 1949 the property in her own name. and they have paid the realty taxes of this property from May 29. The exceptions are: (1) when the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation. the Court of Appeals made the following findings: Going to the issue of filiation. are the same as the properties sought by the plaintiff. established their residence in Nueva Ecija. it is a fact that defendants have only one property in Desposorio St. if not Identical to the property in Desposorio St. The second parcel on the other hand. survived Francisca Reyes. exists in the case at bar. que linda por Norte con la linea Ferrea y Salinar de Narciso Mayuga. . Sotero. (3) when there is a grave abuse of discretion. went beyond the issues of the case and the same are contrary to the submission of both appellant and appellee. claiming a portion thereof as the same allegedly represents the share of his father. many changes of abode would likely have occurred. the deed of sale (Exh. plaintiff filed the instant complaint.R. After declaring it in her name. the court a quo decided the case in favor of the plaintiff principally because defendants' evidence do not sufficiently show that the 2 properties which they bought in 1908 and 1917.) 2 Petitioner takes issue with the appellate court on the above findings of fact. With respect to the other parcel which Maria Cailles bought from Tranquilino Mateo in 1917. plaintiff submitted in evidence his alleged birth certificate showing that his father is Sotero Leonardo.

Moreover. J. petitioner would be an illegitimate child who has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father. filed a motion for the payment to her of a monthly allowance as the acknowledged natural child of Vicente de la Puerta. Referring to the third assignment of error. 2 Meantime. she argues that Carmelita was the legitimate child of Juanita Austrial and Gloria Jordan. 7 At the hearing on her motion. Vicente de la Puerta filed with the Court of First Instance of Quezon a petition to adopt Carmelita de la Puerta. who averred that their mother was already senile at the time of the execution of the will and did not fully comprehend its meaning. After hearing. However. leaving Vicente the lone oppositor. In 1962. with costs against the petitioner. claim a share of the estate left by the deceased Francisca Reyes considering that. petitioner. who were legally or presumably married. including a girl named "Puti. We may safely conclude that plaintiff failed to prove his filiation which is a fundamental requisite in this action where he is claiming to be an heir in the inheritance in question. 4 On August 1. vs. The petitioner's main argument is that Carmelita was not the natural child of Vicente de la Puerta. Carmelita presented evidence to prove her claimed status to which Isabel was allowed to submit counter-evidence.12 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . who testified that he was a neighbor of Austrial and Jordan. respondents. Isabel presented Amado Magpantay. prompting her to move for the dismissal of the case 6 On November 20. declaring that it was satisfied from the evidence at hand that Carmelita was a natural child of Vicente de la Puerta and was entitled to the amounts claimed for her support. plaintiff did not submit any durable evidence showing that the 'Alfredo Leonardo' mentioned in the birth certificate is no other than he himself. According to him. who claims successional lights to the estate of her alleged grandmother. Identified herself as Vicente de la Puerta's wife but said they separated two years after their marriage in 1938 and were never reconciled. 1 The petition for the probate of the will filed by Isabel was opposed by her brothers. On November 12. still he cannot. 1966.R. the petition was granted. 1974. CRUZ. (Article 992. who was married to Genoveva de la Puerta in 1938 and remained his wife until his death in 1978. During the pendency of the appeal. At most. the two were living as husband and wife and had three children. 1938. Dominga Revuelta died on July 3. Vicente and Isabel. SO ORDERED. even if it is true that petitioner is the child of Sotero Leonardo. 1990 ISABEL DE LA PUERTA. which was only five or six houses away from where she herself was staying. This is because the name of the child described in the birth certificate is not that of the plaintiff but a certain 'Alfredo Leonardo' who was born on September 13. No. his alleged father's first marriage was still subsisting. the decision was appealed by Isabel to the Court of Appeals. G. all surnamed de la Puerta. Other than his bare allegation. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t tree of the deceased Francisca Reyes. some of the properties listed in the inventory of her estate belonged to them exclusively. Carmelita. 3 Alfredo subsequently died. Isabel was appointed special administratrix by the probate court. Genoveva said that the relationship . as found again by the Court of Appeals. Vicente died. To prove her point. his alleged putative father and mother were not yet married. he was born outside wedlock as shown by the fact that when he was born on September 13. Carmelita could not have been a natural child of Vicente de la Puerta because he was already married at the time of her birth in 1962. Moreover. Carmelita's real parents are Juanita Austrial and Gloria Jordan. like the deceased Francisca Reyes. or that there was a grave abuse of discretion on the part of the court making the finding of fact. Gloria Jordan started living with Vicente de la Puerta in his house. 8 On appeal. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and CARMELITA DE LA PUERTA. Isabel was given the free portion in addition to her legitime and was appointed executrix of the will. this piece of evidence does not in any way lend credence to his tale. 10 Another witness.1982. 1981. by right of representation. and what is more. even without taking time and space to go into further details. Civil Code of the Philippines." presumably Carmelita. namely. 1938 to Sotero Leonardo and Socorro Timbol.: The basic issue involved in this case is the filiation of private respondent Carmelita de la Puerta. Thus. at the age of 92. the probate court granted the motion. the order of the lower court was affirmed by the respondent court. 9 which is now in turn being challenged in this petition before us. Invoking the presumption of legitimacy. with a will leaving her properties to her three surviving children.) WHEREFORE. 5 However. the decision of the Court of Appeals sought to be reviewed in this petition is hereby affirmed. Alfredo. He said though that he was not sure if the couple was legally married. 77867 February 6. The court added that "the evidence presented by the petitioner against it (was) too weak to discredit the same. Genoveva de la Puerta. 4 That is likewise a factual finding which may not be disturbed in this petition for review in the absence of a clear showing that said finding is not supported by substantial evidence. having been allowed to intervene in the probate proceedings.

It was different with Genoveva for she herself swore that she had separated from Vicente two years after their marriage and had long lost interest in her husband. But this last-quoted presumption is merely disputable and may be refuted with evidence to the contrary. (2) the inference made is manifestly mistaken. to say the least. These rules are in turn based on the presumption that Juanito and Gloria were married at the time of Carmelita's birth in 1962. the lower court declared that: (1) . Vicente de la Puerta categorically stated in court that Carmelita de la Puerta is his daughter with Gloria Jordan (Exhs. 13 Among these circumstances are: (1) the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation. By her evidence. Turning now to the evidence required to prove the private respondent's filiation. The child shall be presumed legitimate. 1978. and in the same neighborhood at that. In the case before us. that she was treated by Vicente de la Puerta as a true child from the time of her birth until his father died. . As the Court sees it. . Against 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. that her father was Vicente de la Puerta and her mother is Gloria Jordan who were living as common law husband and wife until his death on June 14. 256. . The petitioner insists on the application of the following provisions of the Civil Code to support her thesis that Carmelita is not the natural child of Vicente de la Puerta but the legitimate child of Juanito Austrial and Gloria Jordan: Art. it was shown to the satisfaction of the Court that she was born on December 18. Quezon. Moreover. D. Juanito did not object when Gloria left the conjugal home and started openly consorting with Vicente. and before three hundred days following its dissolution or the separation of the spouses shall be presumed to be legitimate. that it was Vicente de la Puerta during his lifetime who spent for her subsistence. 255. 15 The presumption of marriage between Juanito and Gloria having been destroyed. absent any of those circumstances we have laid down in a long line of decisions that will justify reversal. B and B-1). (3) By the impotence of the husband. In fact. but was separated from. . surmise and conjecture. . Disputable presumptions. (6) the Court of Appeals went beyond the issues of the case and its findings are contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellees.13 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . providing that: Sec. 1978 without leaving a last will and testament. The cases 14 cited by the petitioner are not exactly in point because they involve situations where the couples lived continuously as husband and wife and so could be reasonably presumed to be married. (3) there is grave abuse of discretion. 1962 per her birth certificate (Exh. This is a factual finding that we do not see fit to disturb. A). such evidence has been sufficiently established in the case at bar. (8) said findings of facts are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based. 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 (Exhs. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t between her husband and Gloria was well known in the community. Such testimony would for one thing show that Juanito and Gloria did not continuously live together as a married couple. there was testimony from Vicente's own wife that her husband and Gloria lived together as a married couple. his legal wife Genoveva de la Puerta. 0041 in Branch V of this Court at Mauban. D-1 and D-2) and school records wherein he signed the report cards as her parent (Exh. 5.—The following presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted. she was the only child who survived him together with his spouse Genoveva de la Puerta with whom he did not beget any child. 11 This physical impossibility may be caused: In finding for Carmelita. By the serious illness of the husband. (9) the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioner's main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondents. E and E-1). (4) the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts. support and education. that upon the death of Vicente de la Puerta on June 14. she even renounced in open court any claim to Vicente's estate. 5(bb) of the Rules of Court. 12 (2) By the fact that the husband and wife were living separately in such a way that access was not possible. that during the hearing of her adoption case in Special Proceeding No. pursuant to Rule 131. if he was really married to her. we reject the petitioner's contention that Article 278 of the Civil Code is not available to Carmelita. (7) the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the trial court. Art. Sec. but may be contradicted and overcome by other evidence: xxx xxx xxx (bb) That a man and woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage. (5) the findings of fact are conflicting. She did not. although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress. thereby rebutting the presumption that Gloria was herself the lawful wife of Juanita Austrial. that Vicente de la Puerta was married to. Children born after one hundred and eighty days following the celebration of the marriage. it is not explained why. It is . it became necessary for the petitioner to submit additional proof to show that the two were legally married. That was unnatural. and (10) the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on the supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by the evidence on record.

when the person represented is disinherited by the testator. . as found again by the Court of Appeals. the legacy or the right to succeed to the legacy. But their filiation must be duly proven. nor could it be invoked by Carmelita upon her father's death. . Court of Appeals. As a spurious child of Vicente. where he categorically declared as follows: Q What relation if any do you have with Carmelita de la Puerta? A She is my daughter. and third. commonly known as bastards. by virtue of which the representative is raised to the place and the degree of the person represented. for she is not. the testatrix herein. Applying this rule in Leonardo v. . we move to the most crucial question. They may have a natural tie of blood. nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child. The answer to the question posed must be in the negative. .14 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . 1976. since there is a vacancy in the inheritance. In the present case. the petitioners herein Elisa Cuison et al. by right of representation. 287. when the person represented dies before the testator. 18 The so-called spurious children or illegitimate children other than natural children. he was born outside wedlock as shown by the fact that when he was born. the herein petitioners-appellants are not trying to succeed to the right to the property of the testatrix. At most. An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother. when the person represented is incapable of succeeding the testator. and acquires the rights which the latter would have if he were living or if he could have inherited. but this is not recognized by law for the purpose of Article 992. second. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t 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. Representation is a right created by fiction of law. The first reason is that Vicente de la Puerta did not predecease his mother. assuming the private respondent was a lawful heir. a will. 20 this Court declared: .. 19 How should their filiation be proven? Article 289 of the Civil Code allows the investigation of the paternity or maternity of spurious children under the circumstances specified in Articles 283 and 284 of the Civil Code. 970. it has long been settled that: the law calls the children or descendants of the person represented to succeed by right of representation. but rather to the right of the legatee Reynaldo Cuison in said property. said deceased had already succeeded his aunt. Carmelita is barred from inheriting from Dominga because of Article 992 of the Civil Code. his alleged putative father and mother were not yet married. he transmitted to his heirs. even if it is true that petitioner is the child of Sotero Leonardo. petitioner would be an illegitimate child who has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father. her son Vicente had the right to inherit from her directly or in his own right. . his alleged father's first marriage was still subsisting. Carmelita 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. like the deceased Francisca Reyes. They are entitled to support and successional rights (Art. to wit: May Carmelita de la Puerta claim support and successional rights to the estate of Dominga Revuelta? According to Article 970 of the Civil Code: Art. It would have been different if Vicente was already dead when Dominga Revuelta died. which lays down the barrier between the legitimate and illegitimate families. Between the legitimate . Intermediate Appellate Court. 17 Finally. But herein lies the crux. still he cannot. It is a fact that at the time of the death of the testatrix. which came after his own mother's death. Reynaldo Cuison was still alive. Spurious children should not be in a better position than natural children. . No right of representation was involved. the right of representation can take place only in the following cases: first. . The rules on proof of filiation of natural children or the rule on voluntary and compulsory acknowledgment for natural children may be applied to spurious children. 21 thus: In testamentary succession. and the second is that Carmelita is a spurious child. or any authentic writing. It is settled that — The reason for this rule was explained in the recent case of Diaz v. however. In other words. In all of these cases. This article provides quite clearly: Art.(Ibid. He died two months after her (testatrix's) death. a statement before a court of record. 992. include adulterous children or those born out of wedlock 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. 16 This being so. Article 992 of the New Civil Code 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. That status was sufficiently established by the sworn testimony of Vicente de la Puerta at the hearing of the petition for adoption on September 6. xxx xxx xxx Not having predeceased Dominga Revuelta. On the contrary. 887) 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. The implication is that the rules on compulsory recognition of natural children are applicable to spurious children. CC). Art. and what is more. claim a share of the estate left by the deceased Francisca Reyes considering that. . And upon his death.

de Santero. 1980. Proc. de Santero. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked down upon by the legitimate family. Pablo Santero in 1973 and Simona Santero in 1976. Simona Pamuti Vda. not an heir of the deceased Simona Pamuti Vda. ANSELMINA and MIGUEL. Carmelita would still be barred from inheriting from Dominga Revuelta for there would be no natural kindred ties between them and consequently. 4) that Pablo Santero was the only legitimate son of his parents Pascual Santero and Simona Pamuti Vda.R. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t family and the illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and FELISA PAMUTI JARDIN. no legal ties to bind them either. It is undisputed: 1) that Felisa Pamuti Jardin is a niece of Simona Pamuti Vda. Arturo M. that the corresponding letters of Administration be issued in her favor and that she be appointed as special Administratrix of the properties of the deceased Simona Pamuti Vda. 3) that Simona Pamuti Vda. "In The Matter of the Intestate Estate of the late Simona Pamuti Vda. "By adoption. B-7 — is the Petition for Guardianship over the properties of an Incompetent Person. there were 4 interrelated cases filed to wit: a) Sp. the law does no more than recognize this truth. No. Before the trial court. Felisa Jardin upon her Motion to Intervene in Sp. No. has successional rights to the intestate estate of her father but not to the estate of Dominga Revuelta. de Santero. Proceedings Nos. filed by Anselma Diaz. B-21 — is the Petition for Settlement of the Intestate Estate of Simona Pamuti Vda. G. even as an adopted child. Felisa P. de Santero. de Santero. Judge Ildefonso M. 1987 ANSELMA DIAZ. As aptly pointed out by Dr. Her claims for support and inheritance should therefore be filed in the proceedings for the settlement of her own father's estate 24 and cannot be considered in the probate of Dominga Revuelta's Will. the latter cannot represent the former in the inheritance from the parents or ascendants of the adopter. WHEREFORE. 6) that Pablo Santero. because the filiation created by fiction of law is exclusively between the adopter and the adopted.15 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . the former in turn sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin. hated by the illegitimate child the latter considers the privileged condition of the former. Bleza issued an order excluding Felisa Jardin "from further taking part or intervening in the settlement of the intestate estate of Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero. B-4 and B-5. Case No." praying among other things. at the time of his death was survived by his mother Simona Santero and his six minor natural children to wit: four minor children with Anselma Diaz and two minor children with Felixberta Pacursa. PARAS. Proc. with costs against the private respondent. No. 1980. respondents. all surnamed SANTERO. as well as in the intestate estate of Pascual Santero and Pablo Santero. de Santero is the widow of Pascual Santero and the mother of Pablo Santero. J. Jardin filed her appeal to the Intermediate Appellate Court in CA-G. de Santero. mother Juliana were the only legitimate children of the spouses Felipe Pamuti and Petronila Asuncion. 1980. 23 The result is that Carmelita. B21. Proc.: Private respondent filed a Petition dated January 23. as the spurious daughter of Vicente de la Puerta. and FELIXBERTA PACURSA guardian of FEDERICO SANTERO. 1980 adopting the Opposition and Motion to Exclude Felisa Pamuti.. et al. vs. 5) that Pascual Santero died in 1970. by avoiding further ground of resentment. 69814-R. filed her "Opposition and Motion to Exclude Felisa Pamuti Jardin dated March 13." 3 After her Motion for Reconsideration was denied by the trial court in its order dated November 1. Petitioner Anselma Diaz. Judge Jose Raval in his Orders dated December 1. from further taking part or intervening in the settlement of the intestate estate of Simona Pamuti Vda. the family is in turn. 2) that Juliana married Simon Jardin and out of their union were born Felisa Pamuti and another child who died during infancy. 1976 with the Court of First Instance of Cavite in Sp. c) Sp.R. as well as in the intestate estates of Pascual Santero and Pablo Santero and declared her to be. L-66574June 17. and the resources of which it is thereby deprived. Tolentino: If the adopting parent should die before the adopted child. d) Sp. petitioners. de Santero who together with Felisa's On May 20. B-5 — is the Petition for the Letters of Administration of the Intestate Estate of Pascual Santero. guardian of VICTOR. 1977. No. A decision 4 was rendered by the Intermediate . The adopted child is not related to the deceased in that case. the adopters can make for themselves an heir. It is so ordered. but they cannot thus make one for their kindred. B-4 — is the Petition for the Letters of Administration of the intestate Estate of Pablo Santero. RODRIGO. No. de Santero. 1976 1 and December 9. Felixberta Pacursa guardian for her minor children. Proc. the petition is GRANTED and the appealed decision is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. palpable evidence of a blemish broken in life. de Santero. as guardian of her minor children. No. 1976 2 declared Felisa Pamuti Jardin as the sole legitimate heir of Simona Pamuti Vda. her Manifestation of March 14. 22 Indeed. b) Sp. filed thru counsel. Proc. was allowed to intervene in the intestate estates of Pablo Santero and Pascual Santero by Order of the Court dated August 24.

but this is not recognized by law for the purposes of Art. and the resources of which it is thereby deprived. Reyes which also finds full support from other civilists. Spanish Civil Code denied illegitimate children the right to represent their deceased parents and inherit from their deceased grandparents. sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin. On the other hand. hated by the illegitimate child. 941. An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother. 1984 hence.L. who is the legitimate mother of Pablo Santero. de Santero. The Decision erred in ruling that petitioner-appellant Felisa P. Jardin who is a niece and therefore a collateral relative of Simona Pamuti Vda. petitioners herein cannot represent their father Pablo Santero in the succession of the letter to the intestate estate of his legitimate mother Simona Pamuti Vda. the family is in turn. he is not an illegitimate child. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked down upon by the legitimate family. the former. 992. de Santero. whether legitimate or illegitimate and that Art. 6 Thus. Between the legitimate family and the illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility. The Motion for Reconsideration filed by oppositors-appellees (petitioners herein) was denied by the same respondent court in its order dated February 17. The Decision erred in applying Art. de Santero — her niece Felisa Pamuti Jardin or her grandchildren (the natural children of Pablo Santero)? The dispute at bar refers only to the intestate estate of Simona Pamuti Vda. The Decision erred in mistaking the intestate estate of the grandmother Simona Pamuti Vda. 992 of the Civil Code which reads as follows: ART. de Santero. We are reproducing herewith the Reflections of the Illustrious Hon. but that Rule was expressly changed and/or amended by Art. Article 992 of the New Civil Code 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. V. the latter considers the privileged condition of the former. 1983 (reversing the decision of the trial court) the dispositive portion of which reads — WHEREFORE. 992.16 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . They may have a natural tie of blood. 990 of the New Civil Code is the applicable law on the case. de Santero and the issue here is whether oppositors-appellees (petitioners herein) as illegitimate children of Pablo Santero could inherit from Simona Pamuti Vda. 988) and prefering a niece. II. 992. de Santero. The Decision erred in denying the right of representation of the natural grandchildren Santero to represent their father Pablo Santero in the succession to the intestate estate of their grandmother Simona Pamuti Vda. The Decision erred in ignoring the right to intestate succession of petitioners grandchildren Santero as direct descending line (Art. 989 and 990 are the applicable provisions of law on intestate succession. the oppositors (petitioners herein) are the illegitimate children of Pablo Santero. in turn. by right of representation of their father Pablo Santero who is a legitimate child of Simona Pamuti Vda. and VI. (943a) Pablo Santero is a legitimate child. by avoiding further grounds of resentment. 978) and/or natural/"illegitimate children" (Art. 990 New Civil Code which expressly grants the illegitimate children the right to represent their deceased father (Pablo Santero) in the estate of their grandmother Simona Pamuti). her son and father of the petitioners' grandchildren Santero. de Santero. palpable evidence of a blemish broken in life. de Santero excludes the natural children of her son Pablo Santero. III. who are her direct descendants and/or grand children. the same is hereby set aside and another one entered sustaining the Orders of December 1 and 9. 1003). the applicable law is the provision of Art. The real issue in this case may be briefly stated as follows — who are the legal heirs of Simona Pamuti Vda. In answer to the erroneous contention of petitioners that Article 941 of the Spanish Civil Code is changed by Article 990 of the New Civil Code. 1976 which are provisional and interlocutory as final and executory. de Santero and ordering oppositors-appellees not to interfere in the proceeding for the declaration of heirship in the estate of Simona Pamuti Vda. so much so that Article 943 of that Code prescribed that an illegitimate child can . Costs against the oppositors-appellees. de Santero (Art. 970) to descendants. de Santero as the estate of "legitimate child or relative" of Pablo Santero. the law does no more than recognize this truth. IV. 1976 declaring the petitioner as the sole heir of Simona Pamuti Vda. to wit: In the Spanish Civil Code of 1889 the right of representation was admitted only within the legitimate family. because of the barrier provided for under Art. the present petition for Review with the following: ASSIGNMENT OF ERRORS I. They contend that said provision of the New Civil Code modifies the rule in Article 941 (Old Civil Code) and recognizes the right of representation (Art. who is a collateral relative (Art. when Arts. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t Appellate Court on December 14. Now then what is the appropriate law on the matter? Petitioners contend in their pleadings that Art. 988." 5 Petitioners' contention holds no water. nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child. finding the Order appealed from not consistent with the facts and law applicable. Since the heridatary conflict refers solely to the intestate estate of Simona Pamuti Vda. The Decision erred in considering the orders of December 1 and December 9. Justice Jose B. 982). 992 of the New Civil Code.

Judge Jose Raval issued an order. PASCUAL. ISOCELES PASCUAL. No. Sr. Erlinda C. The first solution would be more in accord with an enlightened attitude vis-a-vis illegitimate children. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t riot inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father and mother. G. The Civil Code of the Philippines apparently adhered to this principle since it reproduced Article 943 of the Spanish Code in its own Art. acknowledged natural. 1988 in CA-G. JOSE C.. Susana C. J. in subsequent articles (990. This is a petition for review on certiorari which seeks to reverse and set aside: (a) the decision of the Court of Appeals 1 dated April 29. 1976 are final and executory. Pascual-Bautista Erlinda C. PascualBautista. The only power retained by the lower court. Pascual. petitioners claim that the respondent Intermediate Appellate Court erred in ruling that the Orders of the Court a quo dated December 1. brother of the half blood of the deceased. the illegitimates of an illegitimate child can now do so. petitioners. Pascual Susana C. SO ORDERED. 992 must be suppressed. ESPERANZA C. dated December 9. PASCUAL-BAUTISTA. surviving spouses. in the future revision of the Civil Code we shall have to make a choice and decide either that the illegitimate issue enjoys in all cases the right of representation. after a judgment has become final and executory is to order its execution. INTESTATE ESTATE OF ELEUTERIO T. (b) Children of Wenceslao Pascual. Such contention is without merit.: It is therefore clear from Article 992 of the New Civil Code that the phrase "legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother" includes Simona Pamuti Vda. Pascual-Bautista Manuel C. a brother of the full blood of the deceased. The Hon. 1980 excluding Felisa Pamuti Jardin as intestate heir of the deceased Simona Pamuti Vda. Pascual Jose C. PASCUALBAUTISTA.. legitimate. Jr. RTC. Pascual v. and THE HONORABLE PRESIDING JUDGE MANUEL S. VIRGINIA PASCUAL-NER. 992. SUSANA C. PASCUAL and HERMES S. 1988 denying petitioners' motion for reconsideration. ERLINDA C. PARAS. MANUEL C. 162. Pascual. OCTAVIO PASCUAL. 1973 without any issue. (c) Children of Pedro-Bautista. 1976 and December 9. et al. Number 1. WENCESLAO C. Pascual. Metro Manila. No. JOURNAL of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. GERANAIA PASCUAL-DUBERT. Pascual-Bautista. this petition is hereby DISMISSED. Jose Pascual. Pascual and Hermes S. PASCUAL. First Quater. (Reflections on the Reform of Hereditary Succession. Since petitioners herein are barred by the provisions of Article 992. whether legitimate or illegitimate. to wit: Avelino Pascual Isoceles Pascual Loida Pascual-Martinez . 17). Don Andres Pascual died intestate on October 12. SP. adopted or spurious children and was survived by the following: (a) Adela Soldevilla de Pascual. " WHEREFORE. p. So that while Art.17 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . Volume 4. PASCUAL. in which case Art. Hence. 7 The record shows that from the commencement of this case the only parties who claimed to be the legitimate heirs of the late Simona Pamuti Vda. Judge Jose Raval in his order dated December 1. the latter being the full blood brother of the decedent Don Andres Pascual (Rollo. 84240 March 25. petition. The undisputed facts of the case are as follows: Petitioners Olivia and Hermes both surnamed Pascual are the acknowledged natural children of the late Eligio Pascual. de Santero are Felisa Pamuti Jardin and the six minor natural or illegitimate children of Pablo Santero. PASCUAL. 1992 OLIVIA S. de Santero "is clearly a total reversal of an Order which has become final and executory.. de Santero. 14010 entitled "Olivia S. Pascual. said orders which long became final and executory are already removed from the power of jurisdiction of the lower court to decide anew. or contrariwise maintain said article and modify Articles 995 and 998. and the assailed decision is hereby AFFIRMED." which dismissed the petition and in effect affirmed the decision of the trial court and (b) the resolution dated July 14. Subsequently. hence null and void. 992 prevents the illegitimate issue of a legitimate child from representing him in the intestate succession of the grandparent. Lastly. This difference being indefensible and unwarranted. Jr. Pascual Wenceslao C.R. respondents. pp. NONA PASCUAL-FERNANDO. the respondent Intermediate Appellate Court did not commit any error in holding Felisa Pamuti-Jardin to be the sole legitimate heir to the intestate estate of the late Simona Pamuti Vda. 1976 held that the oppositors (petitioners herein) are not entitled to intervene and hence not allowed to intervene in the proceedings for the declaration of the heirship in the intestate estate of Simona Pamuti Vda. The said Orders were never made the subjects of either a motion for reconsideration or a perfected appeal. The respondent Court did not err therefore in ruling that the Order of the Court a quo dated May 30. PADOLINA of Br. 995 and 998) our Code allows the hereditary portion of the illegitimate child to pass to his own descendants. Esperanza C. LEIDA PASCUAL-MARTINES. Manuel C. PASCUAL. 40-41). 1976. but with fine inconsistency. JR. Pasig. vs.R. Wenceslao C. which declared Felisa Pamuti-Jardin to be the sole legitimate heir of Simona Pamuti. to wit: Esperanza C. PASCUAL. de Santero. 1976. de Santero as the word "relative" includes all the kindred of the person spoken of. AVELINO PASCUAL.

Pascual and Hermes S. Pascual Mamerta P. to wit: Olivia S. 1987. 42). for administration of the intestate estate of her late husband (Rollo. 99-101). pp. their uncle (Rollo. are among the heirs of Don Andres Pascual (Rollo. 15. SO ORDERED. the surviving spouse of the late Don Andres Pascual. filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC). Pascual Eleuterio M. again Adela Soldevilla de Pascual executed an affidavit. Hence. Costs against the petitioners. IAC is applicable to them. The main issue to be resolved in the case at bar is whether or not Article 992 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. that they were are not among the known heirs of the deceased Don Andres Pascual (Rollo. XXIII). No. p. Petitioner appealed their case to the Court of Appeals docketed as CA-G. 418). 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t Virginia Pascual-Ner Nona Pascual-Fernando Octavio Pascual Geranaia Pascual-Dubert. a Special Proceeding. (Rollo. can be interpreted to exclude recognized and of the doctrine laid down in Diaz v. After all the requirements had been filed. 1973. presided over by Judge Manuel S. Pascual.). Sarmiento Domiga P.R. 7554. Sarmiento. petitioners filed their Motion to Reiterate Hereditary Rights (Rollo. On Aril 29. Pascual. On January 13. the Regional Trial Court. this Court resolves as it is hereby resolved to Deny this motion reiterating the hereditary rights of Olivia and Hermes Pascual (Rollo. p. the petition is DISMISSED. (Rollo. 1987. 38) Petitioners filed their motion for reconsideration of said decision and on July 14. Fugoso Abraham S. the case was given due course. 113-114) and the Memorandum in Support of Motion to reiterate Hereditary Rights (Rollo. Marquez Silvestre M. 47). p. On December 18. Padolina issued an order. Adela soldevilla de Pascual filed a Supplemental Petition to the Petition for letters of Administration. 1988. Branch 162 (CFI of Rizal. (d) Acknowledged natural children of Eligio Pascual. On December 18. . although paragraph V of such compromise agreement provides. 1988. Case No. Pascual (Rollo. pp. where she expressly stated that Olivia Pascual and Hermes Pascual. their illegitimacy is not due to the subsistence of a prior marriage when such children were under conception (Rollo. 14010 (Rollo. Otherwise stated they say the term "illegitimate" children as provided in Article 992 must be strictly construed to refer only to spurious children (Rollo. all the above-mentioned heirs entered into a COMPROMISE AGREEMENT. to wit: This Compromise Agreement shall be without prejudice to the continuation of the above-entitled proceedings until the final determination thereof by the court. p. as regards the claims of Olivia Pascual and Hermes Pascual as legal heirs of the deceased. this petition for review on certiorari. manifesting their hereditary rights in the intestate estate of Don Andres Pascual. a brother of the half blood of the deceased and represented by the following: Dominga M. Pascual (e) Intestate of Eleuterio T. The petition is devoid of merit. On the other hand. III Regina Sarmiento-Macaibay Eleuterio P. over the vehement objections of the herein petitioners Olivia S. 111-112). 46-47) Adela Soldevilla de Pascual. to belie the statement made by the oppositors. p. 1988. 1974. the respondent Court of Appeals rendered its decision the decision the dispositive part of which reads: WHEREFORE. petitioners filed their motion for reconsideration (Rollo. Br. brother of the full blood of the deceased. Pascual Hermes S. 102). or by another compromise agreement. 136). p. 116-130). IAC (150 SCRA 645 [1987]) because being acknowledged natural children. premises considered. and such motion was denied. to the effect that of her own knowledge. p. Don Andres Pascual. 108) The said Compromise Agreement had been entered into despite the Manifestation/Motion of the petitioners Olivia Pascual and Hermes Pascual.18 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . San Diego Nelia P. the Court of Appeals issued its resolution denying the motion for reconsideration (Rollo. pp. can be interpreted to exclude recognized natural children from the inheritance of the deceased. pp. p. Eligio Pascual is the younger full blood brother of her late husband Don Andres Pascual. 419). p. On February 27. Petitioners contend that they do not fall squarely within the purview of Article 992 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. 1985. On September 30. 515-526). the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. pp. private respondents maintain that herein petitioners are within the prohibition of Article 992 of the Civil Code and the doctrine laid down in Diaz v. pp. On October 16.

It may be argued. in turn. PREMISES CONSIDERED. Article 992 of the civil Code. Intermediate Appellate Court. The descendants (of these illegitimate children) who may inherit by virtue of the right of representation may be legitimate or illegitimate. but this is not recognized by law for the purposes of Article 992. the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit and the assailed decision of the respondent Court of Appeals dated April 29. The courts may not speculate as to the probable intent of the legislature apart from the words (Aparri v. It would allow intestate succession by an illegitimate child to the legitimate parent of his father or mother. it is not susceptible of interpretation. It must be applied regardless of who may be affected. SO ORDERED. 165 SCRA 758-759 [1988]). In their memorandum. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked down upon by the legitimate family. supra. When the law is clear. (Amicus Curiae's Opinion by former Justice Minister Ricardo C. the latter considers the privileged condition of the former. where a general rule is established by statute. they extend only so far as their language fairly warrants. provides: An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t Pertinent thereto. . Applying the above doctrine to the case at bar. The right of representation is not available to illegitimate descendants of legitimate children in the inheritance of a legitimate grandparent. The rules laid down in Article 982 that "grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation" and in Article 902 that the rights of illegitimate children . whether legitimate or illegitimate are subject to the limitation prescribed by Article 992 to the end that an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother. which squarely answers the questions raised by the petitioner on this point. and all doubts should be resolved in favor of the general provisions rather than the exception. this Court further elucidated the successional rights of illegitimate children. v. where this Court ruled that: Article 992 of the Civil Code 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. Gustilo. Between the legitimate family and illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility. by avoiding further grounds of resentment. 145 SCRA 654 [1986]). 42). palpable evidence of a blemish broken in life. They may have a natural tie of blood." Such a conclusion is erroneous. are transmitted upon their death to their descendants. Diaz v. which provides that "the grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation. IAC. which rights are transmitted to their descendants upon their death. the former. even if the law may be harsh or onerous. CA. full blood brother of their father. Verily. petitioners insisted that Article 992 in the light of Articles 902 and 989 of the Civil Code allows them (Olivia and Hermes) to represent Eligio Pascual in the intestate estate of Don Andres Pascual. 431-432. . nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child. 127 SCRA 233 [1984]).19 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . the court will not curtail the former nor add to the latter by implication (Samson v. IAC. The Court held: Article 902. p. [1990]). a situation which would set at naught the provisions of Article 992. Clearly the term "illegitimate" refers to both natural and spurious. should be strictly but reasonably construed. And even granting that exceptions may be conceded. 110 Phil. It may not be amiss to state Article 982 is the general rule and Article 992 the exception. one should not overlook the fact that the persons to be represented are themselves illegitimate. (Nepomuceno. and 990 clearly speaks of successional rights of illegitimate children. 12). Finally under Article 176 of the Family Code. pp. C. the interpretation of the law desired by the petitioner may be more humane but it is also an elementary rule in statutory construction that when the words and phrases of the statute are clear and unequivocal. On motion for reconsideration of the decision in Diaz v. the law does no more than recognize this truth. (Baranda v. 1988 is AFFIRMED. their meaning must be determined from the language employed and the statute must be taken to mean exactly what is says. The three named provisions are very clear on this matter. all illegitimate children are generally placed under one category. Thus. 989.A. had already been laid to rest in Diaz v. It may be said that the law may be harsh but that is the law (DURA LEX SED LEX). Puno. . et al. FC. the same as a general rule. The issue in the case at bar.. In whatever manner. Article 982 is inapplicable to the instant case because Article 992 prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother. sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin. respondent IAC did not err in holding that petitioners herein cannot represent their father Eligio Pascual in the succession of the latter to the intestate estate of the decedent Andres Pascual. which undoubtedly settles the issue as to whether or not acknowledged natural children should be treated differently. the family is in turn hated by the illegitimate child. as done by petitioners. and the resources of which it is thereby deprived. Eligio Pascual is a legitimate child but petitioners are his illegitimate children. that the illegitimate descendant of a legitimate child is entitled to represent by virtue of the provisions of Article 982. in the negative. 182 SCRA 427.

whose succession is under consideration. LUISITO E. On April 20. as such. Corazon Adriano-Ongoco and Jasmin Adriano-Mendoza. dela Merced. 1996. DELA MERCED. MA. in CA-G. CV No. JOSELITO P. and cancelled the notice of lis pendens on the certificates of title covering the real properties of the deceased Evarista. J. which reversed the decision. dela Merced. Francisco (Evarista's brother) died. to be precise. JOSELITO M. 1989. and (3) the legitimate children of Eugenia dela Merced-Adriano (another sister of Evarista who died in 1965).20 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . Pasig City. VICTOR M. Hence. ADRIANO. however. the trial court dismissed the petition. filed a "Petition for Annulment of the Extrajudicial Settlement of the Estate of the Deceased Evarista M. namely: Herminio. on the other hand. dela Merced. 41283. HERMINIO M. the three sets of heirs of the decedent. 1992. MENDOZA and CONSTANTINO M. . (2) Teresita P. TERESITA P. Wilfredo. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t G. ADRIANO. WILFREDO M. ADRIANO. Rogelio. Rupisan and (3) the nine [9] legitimate children of Eugenia. No. without issue. ADRIANO. ADRIANO. Blanquita M. which estate includes one-third (1/3) pro indiviso of the latter's inheritance from the deceased Evarista. PURISIMA. the trial court issued the temporary restraining order prayed for by private respondent Joselito. 1992. ADRIANO. or on June 10. (Rollo. to share in the one-third (1/3) pro-indiviso share in the estate of the deceased Evarista. namely. xxx xxx It is to be noted that Francisco Dela Merced. In its Decision of October 17. so as to include private respondent Joselito as a co-heir to the estate of Francisco. On August 3. 1996. 1999 BLANQUITA E. ONGOCO. her niece who is the only daughter of Rosa dela Merced-Platon (a sister who died in 1943). RUPISAN. PAREDES. Dela Merced. 59705. each set with a share of onethird (1/3) pro-indiviso. Francisdo Dela Merced. referring to (1) the abovenamed heirs of Francisco. OLIVIA M. in Civil Case No. not an illegitimate. of the Regional Trial Court. vs. Victor and Constantino. 87-88) Not satisfied with the dismissal of his petition. Evarista M. Ruben. Evarista was survived by three sets of heirs. the private respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals. alleged father of the herein plaintiff. 126707 February 25. the trial court stated: This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Appeals. BLANQUTIA M.R. 992 of the New Civil Code which states that: An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother. dela Merced died intestate. viz: (1) Francisco M. On July 26. to be definite. is admittedly an illegitimate child of the late Francisco Dela Merced. to wit: "Whether or not the plaintiff may participate in the intestate estate of the late Evarista M. executed an extrajudicial settlement. it is clearly worded in such a way that there can be no room for any doubts and ambiguities. He was survived by his wife Blanquita Errea dela Merced and their three legitimate children. 1990. The facts of the case are. Evarista M. Macatangay and Ma. Pasig City. dated October 17. private respondent Joselito P. lifted the temporary restraining order earlier issued. DELA MERCED. Rupisan. 1990. the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court of origin and ordered the petitioners to execute an amendatory agreement which shall form part of the original settlement. The application of Art. Plaintiff. dela Merced" adjudicating the properties of Evarista to them. enjoining the sale of any of the real properties of the deceased Evarista. RUBEN M. The relevant and dispositive part of the Decision of the Court of Appeals. p. respondent. illegitimate son of the late Francisco de la Merced. ADRIANO. dated June 10. is a legitimate child. corresponding to the heirs of Francisco. Branch 67. all surnamed Adriano. Almost a year later or on March 19. Luisito E. entitled "Extrajudicial Settlement of the Estate of the Deceased Evarista M. After trial. because of the barrier in Art. alleging that he was fraudulently omitted from the said settlement made by petitioners. her legitimate brother. Olivia M. The factual setting of the instant motion after considering the circumstances of the entire case and the other evidentiary facts and documents presented by the herein parties points only to one issue which goes into the very skeleton of the controversy. private respondent Joselito prayed that he be included as one of the beneficiaries. petitioners. xxx At the time of her death. . Dela Merced with Prayer for a Temporary Restraining Order". 1988. he cannot represent his alleged father in the succession of the latter in the intestate estate of the late Evarista Dela Merced. 1987. This provision of the law imposes a barrier between the illegitimate and the legitimate family. JASMIN A. Joselito. brother of the deceased. CORAZON A. ROGELIO M. nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child.R. 992 cannot be ignored in the instant case. MACATANGAY. Dela Merced in his capacity as representative of his alleged father. Claiming successional rights. (2) Teresita P.: In dismissing the petition. DELA MERCED. . who were fully aware of his relation to the late Francisco. She left five (5) parcels of land situated in Orambo. reads: . as follows: On March 23. Paredes.

among whom is appellant as his illegitimate child. SO ORDERED. she should have commenced an action for the settlement of the estate of her husband. As opined by the Court of Appeals. The Petition is devoid of merit. admittedly the son of the late Francisco.R. dela Merced dated April 20. The said case involved a claim for support filed by one Elpedia Gutierrez against the estate of the decedent. MADRONA MANUEL. legitimate children. The present case. BASILISA MANUEL. With costs against defendantsappellees. which estate includes a one-third (1/3) undivided share in the estate of Evarista. petitioners.21 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . which lays down an impassable barrier between the legitimate and illegitimate families. as this Court held in the case of Gutierrez vs. SO ORDERED. EMILIA MANUEL and NUMERIANA MANUEL. an illegitimate child. for lack of merit. WHEREFORE. The extrajudicial settlement therefore is void insofar as it deprives plaintiff-appellant of his share in the estate of Francisco M. what the latter already inherited from the deceased sister. to inherit in his own right as an heir to his father's estate. It bears stressing that Joselito does not claim to be an heir of Evarista by right of representation but G. the Petition is hereby DENIED and the Appealed Decision of the Court of Appeals AFFIRMED in toto. the cancellation of the notice of lis pendens is not in order because the property is directly affected. Joselito. Article 992 of the New Civil Code is not applicable because involved here is not a situation where an illegitimate child would inherit ab intestato from a legitimate sister of his father. and the decedent had no obligation whatsoever to give her support. 41) In the Petition under consideration. which is prohibited by the aforesaid provision of law. so that Francisco dela Merced inherited 1/3 of his sister's estate at the moment of the latter's death. however. The amendatory agreement/settlement shall form part of the original Extrajudicial Settlement. Since Evarista died ahead of her brother Francisco. Rather. namely: his spouse. 1989.. . Macandog (supra) is misplaced. There is no legal obstacle for private respondent Joselito. premises considered. petitioners insist that being an illegitimate child. Subsequently. the proper forum should be in the settlement of his own father's intestate estate. LORENZO MANUEL. the law in point in the present case is Article 777 of the New Civil Code which provides that the rights to succession are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent. New Civil Code that the rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent. the latter's share in or portion of. in the latter's share (or portion thereof) in the estate of Evarista. Thus. Appellant has the right to demand a partition of his father's estate which includes 1/3 of the property inherited from Evarista dela Merced. LIBERATO MANUEL. Said 1/3 of Evarista's estate formed part of Francisco's estate which was subsequently transmitted upon his death on March 23. the appealed decision is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. when Francisco died. in which case she could receive whatever allowance the intestate court would grant her. 1987 to his legal heirs. (Rollo. Petitioners argue that if Joselito desires to assert successional rights to the intestate estate of his father. vs. Sr. Agustin Gutierrez. Evarista. PLACIDA MANUEL. When Mauricio (her husband) died. Defendants-appellees are hereby ordered to execute an amendatory agreement/settlement to include herein plaintiff-appellant Joselito dela Merced as co-heir to the estate of Francisco dela Merced which includes 1/3 of the estate subject of the questioned Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of the Estate of Evarista M. 117246 August 21. it is a scenario where an illegitimate child inherits from his father. No. 1995 BENIGNO MANUEL. this Court ruled that Elpedia should have asked for support pendente lite before the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in which court her husband (one of the legal heirs of the decedent) had instituted a case for legal separation against her on the ground of an attempt against his life. As a consequence. his heirs. dela Merced. the latter inherited a portion of the estate of the former as one of her heirs. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t xxx xxx xxx It is a basic principle embodied in Article 777. at the time. relates to the rightful and undisputed right of an heir to the share of his late father in the estate of the decedent Evarista. as an heir of the late Francisco. p. and the private respondent. when she was not even an heir to the estate in question. inherited his (Francisco's) share in the estate of Evarista. ownership of which had been transmitted to his father upon the death of Evarista. Appellant became entitled to his share in Francisco's estate from the time of the latter's death in 1987. Macandog (150 SCRA 422 [1987]) Petitioners' reliance on the case of Gutierrez vs. ESPERANZA MANUEL. WHEREFORE. AGAPITA MANUEL. participates in his own right. private respondent Joselito is barred from inheriting from Evarista because of the provision of Article 992 of the New Civil Code.

with an area of 2. An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother. Pangasinan. was submitted to the court a quo for summary judgment. TCT No. providing thusly: Art. covered by Original Certificate of Title ("OCT") No.00 for moral damages. Juan Manuel died intestate on 21 February 1990. In a complaint filed before the Regional Trial Court of Lingayen. Two other parcels of land.700 square meters. dismissed the complaint holding that petitioners. initiated this suit. Juan Manuel was born. Following the registration of the document of adjudication with the Office of the Register of Deeds. Two years later. TO ENFORCE ONE'S RIGHT WHEN THEY ARE VIOLATED IS NEVER A LEGAL WRONG. in turn.00 for exemplary damages. Branch 37. the illegitimate son of Antonio. nor shall such children or relative inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child. 41134. submit that Article 994 should be read in conjunction with Article 992 of the Civil Code. The trial court. respondents. P5. 992. AND VOIDING ALL DOCUMENTS EXECUTED BY.000. Regional Trial Court. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t HON. which reads: Art. RESPONDENT MODESTA BALTAZAR. 184225) that was sold to the latter by Juan Manuel under the 1980 Deed of Sale Con Pacto de Retro. a month after the death of Esperanza. OCT P-19902 and TCT No. 41134) in the name of Juan Manuel were canceled and new titles. In consideration of the marriage. in its now assailed 15th August 1994 decision. From this relationship. If the widow or widower should survive with brothers and sisters. 41134. The petition before us raises the following contentions: That — 1. (Emphasis supplied) Respondents. The couple were not blessed with a child of their own.000. NICODEMO T. Petitioners were also ordered to jointly and severally (solidarily) pay (a) respondent Modesta Manuel-Baltazar the sum of P5. enunciates what is so commonly referred to in the rules on succession as the "principle of absolute separation between the legitimate family and the illegitimate family. (Emphasis supplied) Article 992. were issued in the name of Modesta Manuel-Baltazar. During his marriage with Beatriz. she or he shall inherit one-half of the estate. respectively. 184225. Antonio had an extra-marital affair with one Ursula Bautista.000. OCT P-19902 and TCT No. or on 04 February 1992. IN NOT ANNULLING ALL THE ACTS OF. who shall be entitled to the entire estate.000. 41134 (all still in the name of Juan Manuel). 184223. Their desire to have one impelled the spouses to take private respondent Modesta Manuel-Baltazar into their fold and so raised her as their own "daughter". P-20594 was executed in favor of Juan Manuel by Laurenciana Manuel. Presiding Judge. a donation propter nuptias over a parcel of land. On 05 March 1992. AS THE CONTROLLING LAW APPLICABLE BY VIRTUE OF THE ADMITTED FACTS. not being heirs ab intestato of their illegitimate brother Juan Manuel. Esperanza Gamba also passed away. On 03 June 1980. were later bought by Juan and registered in his name. 05 February 1981 and 04 November 1976. These acts of Modesta apparently did not sit well with petitioners.00 for attorney's fees and P500. MODESTA BALTAZAR and ESTANISLAOA MANUEL. 184224 and TCT No. (HAS) VIRTUALLY GRANTED SAID RESPONDENT THE STATUS OF AN HEIR MANIFESTLY CONTRARY TO LAW." The doctrine rejects succession ab intestato in the collateral line between legitimate relatives. Juan Manuel. on . a basic postulate.00 for litigation expenses and (b) Estanislaoa Manuel the sum of P5. an illegitimate child shall be succeeded by his or her surviving spouse. Petitioners' motion for reconsideration was denied by the trial court. 3. Pangasinan. THE LOWER COURT (HAS) FAILED TO CONSIDER THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF ARTICLE 994 OF THE NEW CIVIL CODE. there being no material dispute on the facts. Modesta executed in favor of her co-respondent Estanislaoa Manuel a Deed of Renunciation and Quitclaim over the unredeemed one-half (1/2) portion of the land (now covered by TCT No. Lingayen.22 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . nephews and nieces. 1 Petitioners argue that they are the legal heirs over one-half of Juan's intestate estate (while the other half would pertain to Juan's surviving spouse) under the provision of the last paragraph of Article 994 of the Civil Code. P5. In default of the father or mother. his wife Beatriz. married Esperanza Gamba. Several years passed before Antonio Manuel. covered by OCT P-19902 and Transfer Certificate of Title ("TCT") No. the legitimate children of spouses Antonio Manuel and Beatriz Guiling. Modesta executed an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication claiming for herself the three parcels of land covered by OCT P-20594.000. FERRER. 994. Petitioners. the three titles (OCT P-20594. and his mistress Ursula finally crossed the bar on.00 for attorney's fees. On 19 October 1992. The property involved in this petition for review on certiorari is the inheritance left by an illegitimate child who died intestate without any surviving descendant or ascendant. AND NOT ARTICLE 992 OF THE SAME CODE. 06 August 1960.00 for exemplary damages and P500.00 for moral damages. Juan Manuel executed in favor of Estanislaoa Manuel a Deed of Sale Con Pacto de Retro (with a 10-year period of redemption) over a one-half (1/2) portion of his land covered by TCT No. MORALS AND PUBLIC POLICY. were not the real parties-in-interest to institute the suit. and the latter the other half. P5. 2. THE LOWER COURT. The case. WHO ARROGATED UNTO HERSELF THE RIGHTS OF AN HEIR TO THE ESTATE OF DECEDENT JUAN MANUEL. TCT No. the petitioners sought the declaration of nullity of the aforesaid instruments.

in turn. there is a barrier dividing members of the illegitimate family from members of Legitimate Parents and the legitimate family. Intermediate Appellate Nephews and Court 4 and De la Puerta v. 10 Indeed. but this is admitted that she herself is not an intestate heir of not recognized by law for the purposes of Article 992. prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the State (g) Alone illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said legitimate In her answer to the complaint. 6 that the legitimate collateral relatives of expenses. and thus no part should be rendered . we might. nephews and nieces. that the complaint of illegitimate child. however. Renunciation and Quitclaim in favor of Estanislaoa palpable evidence of a blemish broken in life. in easy graphic presentation. 5 InDiaz. sees in the TCT's issued to her favor. They may have a natural tie of blood. when the law speaks of"brothers and sisters. was properly dismissed by the trial court. intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his except insofar as it has awarded moral and exemplary father. then. any other part as to produce a harmonious whole. in the early case of Grey v. the legitimate family is. nevertheless. It is clear that by virtue of this barrier. Illegitimate Children and Descendants. 2 His thesis: inoperative 11 by. in turn. by avoiding Petitioners. the whether legitimate or illegitimate. inclusive. although it does not totally disavow such succession in the direct line. the case. cannot inherit from the illegitimate child. as well as the Deed of illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin. 9 and that an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab Trial Court of Pangasinan (Branch 37) is AFFIRMED. the former. without Between the legitimate family and the illegitimate the benefit of formal (judicial) adoption. attorney's fees and litigation former's inheritance. Court of Appeals. however. does no more than recognize this truth. firstly. Thus. This "barrier" between the members of the legitimate and illegitimate family in intestacy is explained by a noted civilist. She is right. of such brothers Illegitimate Parents) and sisters. but must always be construed in relation to. of the Civil Code. 13 antagonism and incompatibility. the latter considers the privileged petitioners seeking the nullity of the Affidavit of Selfcondition of the former. as well as attorney's fees and litigation uniform general intent. not being the real "parties-in-interest" 14 in further grounds of resentment.23 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . it refers to illegitimate Descendants (in the absence brothers and sisters as well as to the children. the legitimate brothers and sisters as well as Ascendants the children. in the Brothers and Sisters/ relatively recent cases of Diaz v. . Modesta candidly child. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t the one hand. An adverse result of a suit in law does not the mother cannot succeed from her illegitimate child. and illegitimate relatives. (Emphasis supplied) Surviving Spouse Order of Concurrence (a) Legitimate Children and Descendants. of such brothers and sisters. viz. Since the rule is predicated on the presumed will of the decedent. whether legitimate or illegitimate. is neither a family there is presumed to be an intervening compulsory nor a legal heir. has had occasions to explain this "iron curtain". the latter had no right to the exemplary damages. 8 that actor. and Surviving Spouse (b) Legitimate Parents and Ascendants Illegitimate Children and Descendants. had neither the standing nor the cause of action to initiate the complaint.: Order of Preference Legitimate Children and What is meant by the law when it speaks of brothers and sisters. The rule in Article 992 has consistently been applied by the Court in several other cases. Juan Manuel. of ICDs and LPAs. hated by the We must hold. nephews and nieces" as legal Illegitimate Children and heirs of an illegitimate child. it has ruled that where the The Court. the law Manuel. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked down upon by the legitimate family. sees no sufficient reason to illegitimate child had sustain the award of amounts for moral and half-brothers who were legitimate. on testamentary dispositions. the appealed decision of the Regional father. we have Nieces said: Other Collateral Relatives (within the fifth civil degree) Article 992 of the New Civil Code . 12 In passing. 992 of the Code. Consequently. 7 that a mean that its advocacy is necessarily so wrongful as natural child cannot represent his natural father in the to justify an assessment of damages against the succession to the estate of the legitimate grandparent. A ward (ampon). on other hand. and Surviving Spouse (c) Illegitimate Children and Descendants and Surviving Spouse (d) Surviving Spouse and Illegitimate Parents (e) Brothers and Sisters/ Nephews and Nieces and Surviving Spouse (f) Alone The Court. the three (3) is thereby deprived. too. as legal or intestate Descendants heirs of an illegitimate child? It must be noted that under Art. it has no application. and the resources of which it Adjudication executed by Modesta. 15 the natural daughter cannot succeed to the estate of her deceased uncle who is a legitimate brother of her natural WHEREFORE. . Fabie 3 and. the law on succession is animated by a damages. collate the order of preference and concurrence in intestacy expressed in Article 978 through Article 1014.

00. [she] was a resident of the Municipality of Hagonoy. Cristina was survived by her husband. (2) Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay. Emilio I’s marriage to Isabel Cojuangco was subsequently annulled. CV No. Quezon City. (3) Margarita Cojuangco-Suntay. alleging that Federico. Although the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in Quezon City granted the petition and allowed Federico one hour of visitation monthly. by two different women. that Isabel and her family had been alienated from their grandparents for more than thirty (30) years. alleging. all too familiar tale of another family imbroglio over the estate of a decedent. with a probable gross value of P29. lived with their mother on Balete Drive. adopted their illegitimate grandchildren. the decedent left no debts or obligation at the time of her death. their only son. ages and residences of the surviving heirs of the [decedent] are: (1) Federico C. Federico Suntay (Federico). IN THE MATTER OF THE INTESTATE ESTATE OF CRISTINA AGUINALDO. after a failed attempt by the parties to settle the proceedings amicably. he is capable of administering her estate and he should be the one appointed as its administrator. and that Isabel’s allegation that some of the properties are in the hands of usurpers is untrue.M. Thereafter. No special pronouncement on costs. died intestate.000. respectively. articulating her sentiments on the unwanted visits of her grandparents. Concepcion Mendoza and Isabel Santos. Subsequently. in Special Proceeding Case No. 1999. Province of Bulacan. Parenthetically. predeceased both Cristina and Federico. that: [B]eing the surviving spouse of Cristina.[6] Consequently.SUNTAY. and they begot three children. and that as far as [respondent] knew. containing the following allegations: [A]t the time of [the decedent’s] death. all surnamed CojuangcoSuntay. 1995.[3] This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Margarita. that the probable value of the estate as stated in the petition was grossly overstated (sic). Emilio III and Nenita Suntay Tañedo (Nenita). On June 4. which essentially echoed the allegations in his grandfather’s opposition. and several grandchildren. Tañedo. Nenita is an acknowledged natural child of Emilio I and was likewise brought up by the spouses Federico and Cristina.[9] Meanwhile.[2] we are confronted with the difficult. and Emilio II.[5] Before anything else. Margarita. nine months old. albeit. Emilio III filed his Opposition-In-Intervention. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t expenses. in favor of private respondents. namely: herein respondent. we disentangle the facts. surviving spouse and a resident of x x x. As previously adverted to. he must be accorded legal preference in the administration thereof. faced with the impasse between Spain and Portugal. and (4) Emilio Cojuangco-Suntay. vs. Branch 78. that the enumeration of heirs in the petition was incomplete as it did not mention the other children of his son[. married to Dr. as administrator of the decedent’s estate on his behalf. Federico filed a Manifestation dated March 13.R. Federico filed his opposition on December 21. 117-M-95.[4] reversing the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). deftly and literally divided the exploration. EMILIO A.M. 36 years old. 1990. that the [decedent] left an estate of real and personal properties. Emilio I was married to Isabel Cojuangco. Despite the illegitimate status of Emilio III. 1995.[8] Disavowing the allegations in the petition of his grandchild. 35 years old. legitimate granddaughter and a resident of x x x. SO ORDERED. he was reared ever since he was a mere baby. Suntay. 39 years old.000. . respondent filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration in her favor. including herein petitioner Emilio A. 1993. During his lifetime. 89 years old. Bulacan. it was altogether stopped because of a manifestation filed by respondent Isabel. At the time of her death. the riches of the New World by issuing the Inter Caetera. or more appropriately. legitimate grandson and a resident of x x x. that as part owner of the mass of conjugal properties left by Cristina. Federico filed a petition for visitation rights over his grandchildren: respondent Isabel.[7] On October 26. respondent and her siblings Margarita and Emilio II. the trial court granted Emilio III’s Motion for Leave to Intervene considering his interest in the outcome of the case. after the death of his spouse. respondent Isabel. Malolos. that the names. Respondent. which portion is hereby DELETED. Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay (Cristina). after the death of Emilio I.] he was already the one who managed their conjugal properties.] namely: Emilio III and Nenita S. SUNTAY III Petitioner. among others. Emilio III. and Emilio II. Emilio III. legitimate granddaughter and a resident of x x x. or on September 27. in the event he would be adjudged as the one with a better right to the letters of administration. Suntay III (Emilio III) and respondent Isabel CojuangcoSuntay. In 1979. Isabel. Federico. Significantly. the decedent. that he is better situated to protect the integrity of the estate of Cristina as even before the death of his wife[. Cristina. Federico. the marriage between Emilio I and Isabel was annulled. Emilio III and Nenita. Emilio I had two children out of wedlock.24 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . initially reduced to thirty minutes. or in his stead. by the spouses Federico and Cristina and was an acknowledged natural child of Emilio I. separately from their father and paternal grandparents. 74949. Unlike Pope Alexander VI[1] who. ISABEL COJUANGCO-SUNTAY. assailing the Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. nominating his adopted son. Emilio Aguinaldo Suntay (Emilio I).

[12] The motion for reconsideration of Emilio III having been denied.”[10] Aguinaldo Suntay.[13] In ruling against the petition of herein respondent. conditioned as follows: (1) To make and return within three (3) months. absent any valid and justifiable reason.C. Corporations and Hagonoy Rural Bank. from the viewpoint of the estate.00. 2001 of Branch 78. the trial court rendered a decision on November 9. Suntay III. which reversed and set aside the decision of the RTC. Cristina. and at any other time when required by the court. the Intervenor. In the course of the proceedings. Emilio III averred his own qualifications that: “[he] is presently engaged in aquaculture and banking. respondent filed an appeal before the CA.25 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t was better equipped than respondent to administer and manage the estate of the decedent. is not for this court to ascertain nor is this the right time and the proper forum to dwell upon. Based on the evidence and demeanor of the parties in court. he was trained by the decedent to work in his early age by involving him in the activities of the Emilio Aguinaldo Foundation which was established in 1979 in memory of her grandmother’s father. appointing herein petitioner. and (4) To perform all orders of the Court. Moreover. even after the oppositor [Federico] has passed away. the assailed decision dated November 9. 117-M-95 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the letters of administration issued by the said court to Emilio A. A. Petitioner Isabel Cojuangco[-]Suntay is hereby appointed administratrix of the intestate estate of Cristina No pronouncement as to costs. and charge on the same. both testimonial and documentary. Emilio III. the RTC ratiocinated. who shall enter upon the execution of his trust upon the filing of a bond in the amount of P200. WHETHER ARTICLE 992 OF THE CIVIL CODE APPLIES. the court opines that it is to the best interest of the estate of the decedent and all claimants thereto. he vigorously opposed the appointment of the petitioner and instead nominated [Emilio III]. Federico died. Rule 78. and appointed respondent as administratrix of the intestate estate of the decedent. his grandchild and adopted child. should not be imperiously set aside and insouciantly ignored. be appointed administrator of the estate in the above-entitled special proceedings. Suntay III.M. SO ORDERED. and After the testimonies of both parties’ witnesses were heard and evidence on their respective allegations were adduced. let Letters of Administration be issued in his favor. SO ORDERED. raising the following issues: B. in view of all the foregoing. the latter is accorded preference as the surviving spouse under Sec 6(a). in order to give effect to the order of preference mandated by law.[11] Aggrieved. the significant work experiences outside the family group are included in his curriculum vitae. he appeals by certiorari to this Court. legatees. Additionally.M. on November 13. Accordingly. Emilio A. as administrator of decedent Cristina’s intestate estate.M. he was employed by the oppositor [Federico] after his graduation in college with management degree at F. Cristina. III is hereby appointed administrator of the estate of the decedent Cristina Aguinaldo Suntay. x x x. a true and complete inventory. Such nomination. What matters most at this time is the welfare of the estate of the decedent in the light of such unfortunate and bitter estrangement.000. The Court honestly believes that to appoint the petitioner would go against the wishes of the decedent who raised [Emilio III] from infancy in her home in Baguio City as her own child. are consequently revoked. it would go against the wishes of the surviving spouse x x x who nominated [Emilio III] for appointment as administrator. On the basis of such preference. Suntay. to wit: WHEREFORE. Certainly. Once the said bond is approved by the court. WHETHER ARTICLE 992 OF THE NEW CIVIL CODE APPLIES SO AS TO BAR HIM FROM BEING APPOINTED ADMINISTRATOR OF THE DECEDENT’S ESTATE. [respondent’s immediate] family and that of the decedent are apparently estranged. to wit: WHEREFORE. Emilio A. (3) To render a true and just account within one (1) year.000. Regional Trial Court of Malolos. Bulacan in SPC No. 2001. the petition of Isabel Cojuangco[-]Suntay is DENIED and the Opposition[-]in[-]Intervention is GRANTED. thus: Evidence objectively assessed and carefully evaluated. 2000. UNDER THE UNDISPUTED FACTS WHERE HEREIN PETITIONER WAS REARED BY THE DECEDENT AND HER SPOUSE SINCE INFANCY. if any. or dividends thereon. Rules of Court. IN THE APPOINTMENT OF AN ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE UNDER SECTION 6 OF RULE 78 OF THE RULES OF COURT. The root cause of which. that the Intervenor. Let letters of administration be issued in her favor upon her filing of a bond in the amount of Two Hundred Thousand (P200.E.00) Pesos. the nomination of [Emilio III] appear[s] intrinsically meritorious. (2) To administer the estate and to pay and discharge all debts. As between [respondent] and the oppositor [Federico]. . revoked the Letters of Administration issued to Emilio III.

or fail to give bond. administration shall be granted: (a) To the surviving husband or wife. Emilio III was reared from infancy by the decedent. Rule 78 of the Rules of Court lists the order of preference in the appointment of an administrator of an estate: SEC. As between the legitimate offspring (respondent) and illegitimate offspring (Emilio III) of decedent’s son. the decedent. being the surviving spouse. entitled to share in the distribution of the latter’s estate as a direct heir. respondent is as much competent as Emilio III to administer and manage the subject estate for she possesses none of the disqualifications specified in Section 1. Federico. considering that the CA even declared that “under the law. The death of Federico before his appointment as administrator of Cristina’s estate rendered his nomination of Emilio III inoperative. From the foregoing. the CA glosses over several undisputed facts and circumstances: 1. 3. as the case may be. as well as heirs. and Emilio III. and her husband. 3. academically and by experience.26 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t . While [respondent]. or both.[18] is quite the opposite scenario in the facts obtaining herein for the actual relationship between Federico and Cristina. one degree from Federico. if competent and willing to serve. as forming part of their conjugal partnership of gains during the subsistence of their marriage. Contrary to the RTC’s finding. Emilio III is a legally adopted child of Federico. 4. neglects for thirty (30) days after the death of the person to apply for administration or to request that administration be granted to some other person. absent a valid and effective will. The appointment of Emilio III was subject to a suspensive condition. he being the surviving spouse of Cristina. who was merely nominated by Federico. it is patently clear that the CA erred in excluding Emilio III from the administration of the decedent’s estate. being the “next of kin” referred to by Section 6. The basis for Article 992 of the Civil Code. The underlying philosophy of our law on intestate succession is to give preference to the wishes and presumed will of the decedent. Federico. i. When and to whom letters of administration granted.e. refuse the trust. (b) If such surviving husband or wife. and 6.[14] In marked contrast. and entitled to share in the distribution of Cristina’s estate as an heir. be incompetent or unwilling. creditors. [Federico]. Federico claimed half of the properties included in the estate of the decedent. the CA zeroed in on Emilio III’s status as an illegitimate child of Emilio I and. who both acknowledged him as their grandchild. – If no executor is named in the will. or a person dies intestate. or next of kin. the administrator should be one who is prepared. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t For the benefit of the estate and its claimants. 6. is in a position to better handle the preservation of the estate. or next of kin. the decedent. it is clear to the court that when it comes to management of real estate and the processing and payment of debts. 5. it may be granted to one or . The pivotal issue in this case turns on who. Thus. Jurisprudence has consistently held that Article 992[16] of the Civil Code bars the illegitimate child from inheriting ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother. respondent is preferred. Federico’s appointment as administrator of the estate. barred from representing his deceased father in the estate of the latter’s legitimate mother. 2. a businessman with an established track record as a manager has a decided edge and therefore. Mistakenly. remains undetermined and unliquidated. in the discretion of the court. or the executor or executors are incompetent. the decedent. Emilio I. Cristina’s properties forming part of her estate are still commingled with that of her husband. a practicing physician. and which nomination hinged upon the latter’s appointment as administrator of the decedent’s estate. as between Emilio III and respondent. Cristina. would have the right of succession over a portion of the exclusive property of the decedent. thus. aside from his share in the conjugal partnership. Section 6. not simply representing his deceased illegitimate father. Emilio III. [Emilio III]. on one hand. Cristina. the CA pronounced that Emilio III. for the demands and responsibilities of the position. because her share in the conjugal partnership.. or next of kin. as the case may be. 2. referred to as the iron curtain bar rule. we are puzzled why the CA resorted to a strained legal reasoning – Emilio III’s nomination was subject to a suspensive condition and rendered inoperative by reason of Federico’s death – wholly inapplicable to the case at bar. on the other. requests to have appointed.[17] Rule 78 of the Rules of Court. was akin to the normal relationship of legitimate relatives. cannot be appointed as the administrator of the decedent’s estate for the following reasons:[15] 1. On the whole. and 4. who is barred from inheriting from his grandmother.” Thus. is not unqualified. Emilio III’s interest in the estate of Cristina is as much apparent to this Court as the interest therein of respondent. or to such person as such surviving husband or wife. albeit terminated upon her death. or if the husband or widow. or next of kin. is better qualified to act as administrator of the decedent’s estate. Emilio I. We cannot subscribe to the appellate court’s ruling excluding Emilio III in the administration of the decedent’s undivided estate. Rule 78 of the Rules of Court. or the person selected by them. As Federico’s adopted son. cannot be preferred over respondent in the administration of the estate of their grandmother.

beginning with the eminent Justice J. if competent and willing to serve. 992 prevents the illegitimate issue of a legitimate child from representing him in the intestate succession of the grandparent. One final note. Reyes: In the Spanish Civil Code of 1889 the right of representation was admitted only within the legitimate family.[24] Indeed. i. joint administration of the subject estate. Our holding in Capistrano v. in default of anyone called to succession or bound to the decedent by ties of blood or affection. including another illegitimate grandchild of Cristina and Federico. first descends. considering that the question on who will administer the properties of the long deceased couple has yet to be settled. and the unliquidated conjugal partnership of Cristina and Federico which forms part of their respective estates. and thus contribute to the welfare of humanity. Nonetheless.e. The first solution would be more in accord with an enlightened attitude vis-à-vis illegitimate children. in fact.[20] In the main. de De la Rosa v. although the evidence sufficiently shows who are entitled to succeed the deceased. the law first calls the descendants. 992. a joint administration by both respondent and Emilio III of their grandmother’s. and the proceeding has not as yet reached . de Damian[22] that: [i]n the appointment of an administrator. but with fine inconsistency. the original oppositor to respondent’s petition for letters of administration. then the ascendants. Cristina’s. always preferring those closer in degree to those of remoter degrees. in which case Art. then ascends. the successional bar between the legitimate and illegitimate relatives of a decedent. and finally the collaterals. educated and trained in their businesses. so much so that Article 943 of that Code prescribed that an illegitimate child can not inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father and mother. a situation which obtains here. In the case of Uy v. The estate had hardly been judicially opened. in the future revision of the Civil Code we shall have to make a choice and decide either that the illegitimate issue enjoys in all cases the right of representation. Counsel for petitioner meticulously argues that Article 992 of the Civil Code. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t more of the principal creditors. at the least. or contrariwise maintain said article and modify Articles 995 and 998. Cristina. finally. did not distinguish between her legitimate and illegitimate grandchildren. In the same vein. in subsequent articles (990. we declared in Delgado Vda. on the assumption that the deceased would have done so had he manifested his last will… Lastly. Federico. and eventually legally adopted by decedent’s husband. spreads sideways. 995 and 998) our Code allows the hereditary portion of the illegitimate child to pass to his own descendants. and. an illegitimate grandchild of the decedent. who. and the two (2) siblings of respondent Isabel. the order of preference is not absolute for it depends on the attendant facts and circumstances of each case. we are impelled to move in only one direction. legally raised the status of Emilio III from an illegitimate grandchild to that of a legitimate child. Heirs of Marciana Rustia Vda.[21] we upheld the appointment by the trial court of a co-administration between the decedent’s son and the decedent’s brother. love first descends. So that while Art. it must be pointed out that judicial restraint impels us to refrain from making a final declaration of heirship and distributing the presumptive shares of the parties in the estates of Cristina and Federico.L. Court of Appeals. it is in accordance with his presumed will that his property be given to charitable or educational institutions. estate. Margarita and Emilio II. reared from infancy. painstakingly pointed out by counsel for petitioner. it is said. i. considering the conflicting claims of the putative heirs. 992 must be suppressed. We are not unmindful of the critiques of civilists of a conflict and a lacuna in the law concerning the bone of contention that is Article 992 of the Civil Code. overthrow the legal presumption in Article 992 of the Civil Code that there exist animosity and antagonism between legitimate and illegitimate descendants of a deceased. The Civil Code of the Philippines apparently adhered to this principle since it reproduced Article 943 of the Spanish Code in its own Art. was actually treated by the decedent and her husband as their own son. However. but who was likewise adopted by Federico. Thus. the attendant facts and circumstances of this case necessitate.B. Similarly. Nadurata[25] on the same issue remains good law: [T]he declaration of heirs made by the lower court is premature. This difference being indefensible and unwarranted. the factual antecedents of this case accurately reflect the basis of intestate succession. it may be granted to such other person as the court may select. the illegitimates of an illegitimate child can now do so. the principal consideration is the interest in the estate of the one to be appointed.27 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t ..[23] Manresa explains the basis for the rules on intestate succession: The law [of intestacy] is founded… on the presumed will of the deceased… Love. In all. Nenita Tañedo. who was likewise a creditor of the decedent’s estate. Neither did her husband. whether legitimate or illegitimate.. (c) If there is no such creditor competent and willing to serve. does not apply in this instance where facts indubitably demonstrate the contrary – Emilio III. the subject estate in this case calls to the succession other putative heirs.e. The order of preference does not rule out the appointment of co-administrators.[19] Jurisprudence has long held that the selection of an administrator lies in the sound discretion of the trial court. for the decedent. The peculiar circumstances of this case. specially in cases where justice and equity demand that opposing parties or factions be represented in the management of the estates.

Bulacan is likewise directed to make a determination and to declare the heirs of decedent Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay according to the actual factual milieu as proven by the parties. CV No. in a sum to be fixed by the court. Branch 78. – x x x. 1. If there is a controversy before the court as to who are the lawful heirs of the deceased person or as to the distributive shares to which each person is entitled under the law. Rule 90 of the Rules of Court does not depart from the foregoing admonition: Sec. The Regional Trial Court. or any of them. and all other persons with legal interest in the subject estate.28 | S u c c e s s i o n – A r t .R. When order for distribution of residue is made. It is further directed to settle the estate of decedent Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay with dispatch. SO ORDERED. WHEREFORE. Letters of Administration over the estate of decedent Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay shall issue to both petitioner Emilio A. Section 1. 9 9 2 f u l l t e x t the stage of distribution of the estate which must come after the inheritance is liquidated. . No costs. Branch 78. Malolos. Suntay III and respondent Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay upon payment by each of a bond to be set by the Regional Trial Court. 117-M-95. the controversy shall be heard and decided as in ordinary cases. Bulacan. in Special Proceeding Case No. give a bond. conditioned for the payment of said obligations within such time as the court directs. Malolos. unless the distributees. the petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 74949 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. No distribution shall be allowed until the payment of the obligations above mentioned has been made or provided for.M.