You are on page 1of 63

(29)

PEDRO DE GUZMAN V. HON. ZOZIMO ANGELES RTC MAKATI BR. 58,


DEPUTY SHERIFFS JOSE B. FLORA and HONORIO SANTOS, and
ELAINE DE GUZMAN, 162 SCRA 347 (1988)
3RD DIVISION: Fernan, Feliciano, Bidin, Cortes, concurring
PONENTE: J. Gutierrez Jr.
Bautista, Picazo, Cruz, Buyco and Tan for private respondent
Ponce Enrile, Cayetano, Bautista, Picaso and Reyes, collaborating counsel for
private respondent
FACTS: Manolito De Guzman died intestate on March 22, 1987 in Makati. He
was survived by his spouse private respondent Elaine and 2 minor children
1. Private respondent Elaine De Guzman filed a petition for the
settlement of the intestate estate of Manolito De Guzman before RTC
Makati and prayed that she be granted letters of administration over
the decedents estate
2. On May 22, 1987, Elaine de Guzman filed a motion for writ of
possession over 5 vehicles registered under the name of the deceased,
alleged to be conjugal properties but are presently in the possession of
petitioner Pedro de Guzman
3. On the same day, the lower court issued an order setting for hearing
the motion on May 22, 1987 directing the deputy sheriff to notify
petitioner
4. However, the scheduled hearing was postponed on motion of
petitioners counsel (Atty. Ricardo Fojas). The petitioner was given 3
days to file a comment and the hearing was reset to June 5, 1987
5. Thereafter, petitioners counsel filed a notice of appearance and an
urgent motion for extension of time to file an opposition and resetting
of hearing
6. The motion was granted and petitioner was given 5 days to file his
opposition to the writ of possession
7. In the meantime, Elaine de Guzman (May 28, 1987) filed her ex-parte
motion to appoint private respondent (Elaine) as special administratrix
of the decedents estate
8. The lower court ordered that all parties be notified. However, no notice
was given to Pedro
9. Subsequently (June 5, 1987) the lower court granted Elaines motion
to be appointed as special administratrix
10.
On June 8, the lower court issued another order directing deputy
sheriffs Santos and Flora to assist Elaine in preserving the estate of
Manolito

11.
Petitioner, however, resisted when the deputy sheriffs tried to
take the subject vehicles on the ground they were his personal
properties.
12.
In a conference, the respondent court clarified that the order
was merely to take and preserve assets admittedly belonging to the
estate, but not properties being claimed by 3rd parties
13.
Thereafter, Pedro filed the instant petition to annul the lower
courts dated June 5 and June 8.
14.
The SC (resolution dated June 10, 1987) issued a TRO enjoining
the respondent court from enforcing the two questioned orders
15.
Petitioner contends that the June 5 order is a patent nullity since
the respondent court had not acquired jurisdiction to appoint a special
administratrix because the petition for the settlement of Manolitos
estate was not yet set for hearing and published for 3 weeks as
required by ROC.
ISSUE: WON a probate court may appoint a special administratrix and issue
a writ of possession of alleged properties of a decedent for the preservation
of the estate even before the probate court caused notice to be served upon
all interested parties pursuant to Rule 79 ROC
RULING: No.
RATIO: There is no doubt that the respondent court acquired jurisdiction
over the case for the probate of a will and the administration of the
properties left by a deceased person, the application must alleged the
residence of the deceased and other indispensable facts and that the
applicant is the executor named in the will or is the person who had custody
of the will to be probated.
CAB: The respondent acquired jurisdiction over the proceedings upon the
filing of petition for the settlement of an intestate estate by the private
respondent since the petition had alleged all the jurisdictional facts, the
residence of the facts, the residence of the deceased person, the possible
heirs and creditors and the probable value of the estate of Manolito pursuant
Rule 79 Sec 2 ROC.
ISSUE: WON notice is required to be sent to petitioner
RULING: Yes.
RATIO: Under Rule 79 Sec 3 ROC, the probate court must cause notice
through publication of the petition after it receives the same. The purpose of

the notice is to bring all the interested persons within the courts jurisdiction
so that the judgment therein becomes binding on all the world.
CAB: No notice as mandated by Rule 79 Sec 3 was caused to be given by the
probate court before it acted on the motions of the private respondent to be
appointed as special administratrix, to issue a writ of possession of alleged
properties of the deceased in the widows favor, and to grant her motion for
assistance to preserve the estate of Manolito.
If the respondent court had the welfare of both the estate and the person
who have interest in the estate, then it could have caused notice to be given
immediately as mandated by the Rules of Court. All interested persons
including petitioner who is the biggest creditor of the estate listed in the
petition could have participated in the proceedings especially so, because
respondent immediately filed a motion to have herself appointed as
administratrix.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition granted. The questioned orders of RTC Makati Br. 58
are set aside. The case is remanded to the lower court for the hearing of the
petition with previous notice to all interested parties. In view of the
voluntary inhibition of the respondent judge, the case will be re-raffled to
another branch. TRO made permanent.

(30)
LUISA KHO MONTANER, ALEJANDRO MONTANER JR., LILIBETH
MONTANER-BARRIOS, RHODORA ELEANOR MONTANER-DALUPAN V.
SHARIA DISTRICT COURT, 4TH SHARIA JUDICIAL DISTRICT, MARAWI
CITY, LILING DISANGCOPAN AND MAHLEEN LILING S. MONTANER,
576 SCRA 476 (2009)
1ST DIVISION: Carpio, Corona, Azcuna, Leonardo-De Castro, concurring
PONENTE: J. Puno
NATURE: Petition for certiorari and prohibition seeking to set aside the
orders of Sharia District Court, 4 th Sharia Judicial District, Marawi City dated
Aug 22, 2006 and Sept 21, 2006
FACTS: Petitioner Luisa Kho Montaner married Alejando Montaner Sr. on Aug
17, 1956 and had 3 children: Alejandro Jr., Lilibeth, and Rhodora. On May
26, 1995, Alejandro Sr. died.
1. Private respondents Liling Disangcopan and Almahleen Montaner filed
a complaint on Aug 19, 2005 for the judicial partition of properties
before Sharia District Court. They alleged that the deceased was a
Muslim and that they are the widow and daughter of the decedent.
Private respondents prayed for the partition of the estate of the
decedent and for the appointment of an administrator
2. Petitioners Montaner filed an answer with a motion to dismiss on the
following grounds:
a. SDC has no jurisdiction because the decedent was not Muslim
b. Private respondents failed to pay the correct docket fees
c. Has already prescribed since it seeks to establish filiation between
Almahleen and the decedent pursuant to Art 175 FC
3. On Nov 22, 2005, SDC dismissed the private respondents complaint
on the ground that the decedent was not Muslim, it has no jurisdiction
over the settlement of his estate
4. Private respondents filed a MR (Dec 12, 2005). On Dec 28, 2005,
petitioners filed an opposition to MR alleging that the MR lacked notice
of hearing. SDC denied the opposition to MR (Jan 17, 2006) since the
defect was cured as petitioners were notified of the existence of the
pleading and took cognizance of the MR. SDC reset hearing for MR
5. In its Aug 22, 2006 order, SDC reconsidered its dismissal dated Nov
222, 5005. It allowed private respondents to adduce further evidence.

In its Sept 21, 2006 order, SDC ordered the continuation of trial and
pre-trial conference
6. Petitioners raise the following issues:
a. SDC lacked jurisdiction over petitioners who are Roman Catholics
b. SDC did not acquire jurisdiction over the estate of the deceased
which is not a natural or juridical person with capacity to be sued
c. SDC did not acquire jurisdiction due to nonpayment of filing and
docket fees
d. MR is fatally defective for lack of notice of hearing
e. Cause of action has prescribed upon the death of Alejandro Sr.
ISSUE: WON SDC has jurisdiction over the estate of the decedent
RULING: Yes.
RATIO: Although private respondents designated the pleading before SDC
as a complaint for judicial partition and issuance of letters of administration,
it is a petition for the issuance of letters of administration and settlement of
the estate of the decedent. It contains jurisdictional facts required for the
estate of a deceased Muslim.
Jurisdiction of a court over the nature of the action and its subject matter
does not depend on the defenses set forth in the answer or MTD. Otherwise,
jurisdiction would depend almost entirely on the defendant or result in
having a case thrown out of court or its proceedings unduly delayed.
SDC has authority to hear and receive evidence to determine whether it has
jurisdiction, which requires an a priori determination that the deceased is a
Muslim. If after hearing, SDC determines that the deceased was not in fact a
Muslim, SDC should dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction.
ISSUE: WON case is in the nature of a special proceeding
RULING: Yes.
RATIO: The Proceedings before the court are for the issuance of letters of
administration, settlement and distribution of the deceased. Sec 3(c) ROC
defines a special proceeding as a remedy by which a party seeks to establish
a status, a right or a particular fact. This court has applied the rules on
special proceedings for the settlement of the estate of a deceased Muslim. In
the instant case, private respondents seek to establish the fact of death of
the decedent and later to be duly recognized as one of the heirs which would
allow them to exercise their right to participate in the settlement of the
decedents estate.

ISSUE: WON nonpayment of the correct docket fees is a fatal defect


RULING: No.
RATIO: Filing the appropriate initiatory pleading and payment of docket fees
vests the trial court with jurisdiction over the subject matter. If the party
pays less than the correct amount of docket fees because it was the amount
assessed by the clerk of court, the responsibility of making a deficiency
assessment is with the clerk of court. In such case, the court did not
automatically lose jurisdiction. However, the party concerned will have to pay
the deficiency.
CAB: Petitioners did not present the clerk of courts assessment. There is no
record of said assessment.
ISSUE: WON the MR is defective for lack of notice of hearing
RULING: No.
RATIO: The Rules allow a liberal construction of its provisions in order to
promote the effective securing of a just, speedy and inexpensive disposition
of every action and proceeding. To deny SDC of an opportunity to determine
whether it has jurisdiction over the petition for the settlement of the estate
of a decedent alleged to be a Muslim would also deny its inherent power as a
court to control its process to ensure conformity with the law and justice. To
sanction such a situation simply because of a lapse in fulfilling the notice
requirement will result in a miscarriage of justice. Moreover, the SC held that
an exception to the rules on notice of hearing is where it appears that the
rights of the adverse parties were not affected.
ISSUE: WON the action has prescribed
RULING: The argument is premature
RATIO: SDC has not yet determined whether it has jurisdiction to settle the
estate of the decedent. In the event that a special prpoceding for the
settlement of the estate is pending, questions regarding heirship, including
prescription in relation to recognition and filiation, should be raised and
settled in the said proceeding.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition denied. Orders of SDC dated Aug 22, 2006 and Sept
21, 2006 are affirmed.

(31)
VICENTE URIARTE V. CFI NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, CFI MANILA BR 4,
JUAN URIARTE ZAMACONA and HIGINIO URIARTE, 33 SCRA 252
(1970)
EN BANC: Concepcion, Makalintal, Zaldivar, Barredo, Villamor, JBL Reyes,
Castro, Fernando, Teehankee, concurring
PONENTE: J. Dizon
Norberto Quisumbing for petitioner
Tanada, Teehankee & Carreon for respondents
FACTS: Don Juan Uriarte y Goite died in Spain and left properties in the
Philippines. On Nov 6, 1961, Vicente Uriarte filed a petition with CFI Negros
Occidental for the settlement of the estate of Don Juan (Special Proceeding
no 6344) alleging that, as the natural son of the latter, he was his sole heir,
and that, during the lifetime of said decedent, Vicente had instituted a civil
case in the same court (CFI Negros Occidental) for his compulsory
acknowledgment as such natural son.
1. Higinio Uriarte, nephew of the deceased, filed an opposition to the
petition alleging that Don Juan had executed a will in Spain. He further
questioned Vicentes capacity and interest to commence the intestate
proceeding
2. Meanwhile, Juan Uriarte Zamacona commenced Special Proceeding no
51396 in CFI Manila for the probate of a document purported to be the
last will of the deceased and on the same date he filed in Special
Proceeding 6344 a motion to dismiss on the following grounds:
a. Since the decedent left a will, there was no legal basis to proceed
with the intestate proceedings
b. Vicente Uriarte has no legal personality and interest in the intestate
proceedings, since he was not an acknowledged natural son of the
decedent
3. Vicente Uriarte opposed the MTD contending that, as CFI Negros was
first to take cognizance of the settlement of the estate of the

deceased, it had acquired exclusive jurisdiction over the same


pursuant to Rule 75 Sec 1 ROC.
4. CFI Negros sustained Zamaconas MTD and dismissed SP no 6344
pending before it
5. Vicente Uriarte then filed an Omnibus Motion in SP no 51396 before
CFI Manila, asking to intervene therein; for the dismissal of the
petition and the annulment of the proceedings before it. CFI Manila
denied the motion
ISSUE: WON the CFI has jurisdiction over the estate of the decedent
RULING: Yes.
RATIO: Under the Judiciary Act of 1948, CFIs have original exclusive
jurisdiction over all matters of probate, i.e. over special proceedings for the
settlement of the estate of deceased personswhether they died teste or
intestate. However, the matter of venue, or the particular CFI where the
special proceeding should be commenced, is regulated by Rule 73 Sec 1 ROC
which provides that the estate of the decedent inhabitant of the Philippines
at the time of his death, whether a citizen or alien, shall be in the CFI in the
province in which he resided at the time of his death, and if he is an
inhabitant at a foreign country, CFI of any province in which he had estate.
ISSUE: WON CFI Negros erred in dismissing SP no 6344
RULING: No. Testate proceedings for the settlement of a deceased person
take precedence over intestate proceedings for the same purpose.
RATIO: If in the course of intestate proceedings pending before a CFI it is
found that the decedent left a last will, proceedings for the probate of the
latter should replace the intestate proceedings even if at that stage an
administrator had already been appointed, the latter being required to
render a final amount and turn over the estate in his possession to the
executor subsequently appointed. This, however, is without prejudice that
should the alleged last will be rejected or is disapproved, the special
proceedings shall continue as an intestacy. As allegedly adverted to, this is a
clear indication that proceedings for the probate of a will enjoy priority over
intestate proceedings.
ISSUE: WON Zamacona should have filed the petition for the probate of
Don Juans will with CFI Negros
RULING: Yes.

RATIO: In the first place, it is not in accord with public policy and the
orderly and inexpensive administration of justice to unnecessarily multiply
litigation, especially if several courts would be involved. Second, when
Higinio Uriarte filed an opposition to Vicentes petition for the issuance of
letters of administration, he had already informed CFI Negros that the
decedent had left a will in Spain, which had been requested for submission
to said court.
ISSUE: WON CFI Manila erred in not dismissing
notwithstanding prior filing of SP no 6344 in CFI Negros

SP

no

51396

RULING: No.
RATIO: Wrong venue is merely a waiveable procedural defect, and in the
light of the circumstances obtaining in the instant case, Vicente Uriarte has
waived the right to raise such objection or is precluded from doing so by
laches:
1. Vicente knew of the existence of a will executed by Don Juan since
1961 when Higinio Uriarte filed his opposition to the initial petition filed
in SP no 6344
2. Vicente likewise was served with notice of the existence of the alleged
last will in the Philippines and of the filing of the petition for its probate
with CFI Manila since 1962 when Zamacona filed a MTD for the
dismissal of SP no 6344
3. All these notwithstanding, it was only in 1963 that he filed with CFI
Manila in SP no 51396 an Omnibus motion asking for leave to
intervene and for the dismissal and annulment of the proceedings had
therein up to that date.
To allow him now to assail the exercise of jurisdiction over the probate of the
will by CFI Manila and the validity of all the proceedings had in SP no 51396
would put a premium on his negligence. This Court is not included to annul
proceedings regularly had in a lower court even if the latter is not the
property venue therefor, if the net result would be to have the same
proceedings repeated in some other court of similar jurisdiction; more so in
a case like the present where the objection against said proceeding is raised
too late.
Vicente Uriarte is entitled to prosecute in Civil Case no 6142 until it is finally
determined, or intervene in SP no 51396 of CFI Manila, if it is still open, or
to ask for its reopening if it has already been closed, so as to be able to
submit for determination the question of his acknowledgment as a natural
child of the deceased, said court having, in its capacity as probate court,
jurisdiction to declare who are the heirs of the deceased testator, said court

having, in its capacity as probate court, jurisdiction to declare who are the
heirs of the deceased testator and whether or not a particular child is or
should be declared his acknowledged natural child.
DISPOSITIVE: Writs prayed for denying and petition for certiorari and
mandamus are dismissed.
1.
REMEDIAL LAW; COURTS OF FIRST INSTANCE; ORIGINAL AND
EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OVER "ALL MATTERS OF PROBATE." Under the
Judiciary Act of 1948 (Section 44, paragraph (e), Courts of First Instance
have original exclusive jurisdiction over "all matters of probate," that is, over
special proceedings for the settlement of the estate of deceased persons
whether they died testate or intestate.
2.
ID.; SETTLEMENT OF ESTATE OF DECEASED PERSONS; VENUE; COURT
OF FIRST INSTANCE OF PROVINCE WHERE DECEDENT INHABITANT OF
PHILIPPINES RESIDED AT TIME OF HIS DEATH OR WHERE INHABITANT OF
FOREIGN COUNTRY HAD ESTATE. The matter of venue, or the particular
Court of First Instance where the special proceeding should be commenced,
is regulated by Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court, which
provides that the estate of a decedent inhabitant of the Philippines at the
time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien, shall be in the court of first
instance in the province of which he resided at the time of his death, and if
he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the court of first instance of any
province in which he had estate. Accordingly, when the estate to be settled
is that of a non-resident alien like the decedent in the instant case the
Courts of First Instance in provinces where the deceased left any property
have concurrent jurisdiction to take cognizance of the proper special
proceeding for the settlement of his estate.
3.
ID.; ID.; TESTATE PROCEEDINGS TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER INTESTATE
PROCEEDINGS. Testate proceedings for the settlement of the estate of a
deceased person take precedence over intestate proceedings for the same
purpose. Thus, if in the course of intestate proceedings pending before a
court of first instance it is found that the decedent had left a last will,
proceedings for the probate of the latter should replace the intestate
proceedings even if at that stage an administrator had already been
appointed, the latter being required to render final account and turn over the
estate in his possession to the executor subsequently appointed. This,
however, is understood to be without prejudice that should the alleged last
will be rejected or is disapproved, the proceeding shall continue as an
intestacy. This is a clear indication that proceedings for the probate of a will
enjoy priority over intestate proceedings.

4.
ID.; ID.; PROBATE OF WILL SHOULD BE FILED IN SAME COURT
WHERE INTESTATE PROCEEDINGS HAD BEEN COMMENCED. Where
intestate proceedings had already been commenced before a court of first
instance, as in the case at bar, the probate of the will of the decedent should
be submitted to the same court, either in a separate proceeding or in an
appropriate motion for said purpose in the intestate proceedings. It is not in
accord with public policy and the orderly and inexpensive administration of
justice to unnecessarily multiply litigation, especially if several courts would
be involved. Furthermore, the party seeking the probate of the will in the
instant case knew before filing the petition for probate with another court of
first instance of the pendency of the intestate proceedings.
5.
ID.; ID.; VENUE; WRONG VENUE WAIVABLE; WAIVER BY LACHES;
INSTANT CASE. It is well settled in this jurisdiction that wrong venue is
merely a waivable procedural defect. Petitioner, in the instant case, has
waived the right to raise such objection or is precluded from doing so by
laches.
6.
ID.; ID.; ID.; COURT NOT INCLINED TO ANNUL PROCEEDINGS
REGULARLY HAD IN LOWER COURT ON THE GROUND OF IMPROPER VENUE.
This Court is not inclined to annul proceedings regularly had in a lower
Court even if the latter was not the proper venue therefor, if the net result
would be to have the same proceedings repeated in some other court of the
same jurisdiction; more so in a case like the present where the objection
against said proceedings is raised too late.
7.
CIVIL LAW; PATERNITY AND FILIATION; NATURAL CHILD: QUESTION
OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT MAY BE PRESENTED IN INDEPENDENT ACTION FOR
COMPULSORY ACKNOWLEDGMENT OR IN PROBATE PROCEEDINGS. A
party claiming to be an acknowledged natural child of testator is entitled to
submit for determination the question of his acknowledgment as a natural
child of said deceased testator in the proceeding instituted precisely for his
compulsory acknowledgment as such natural child, or intervene in
proceedings for the probate of will of testator if it is still open, or to ask for
its re-opening, if it has already been closed, the probate having jurisdiction
to declare who are the heirs of the deceased testator and whether or not a
particular party is or should be declared his acknowledged natural child.
8.
ID.; PETITION FOR MANDAMUS; DISMISSAL AS MOOT AND
ACADEMIC; INSTANT CASE. The supplemental petition for mandamus, in
the case at bar, has become moot and academic for if the said petition is
successful it will only result in compelling the Negros Court to give due
course to the appeal that petitioner was taking from the orders of said court
dated December 7, 1963 and February 26, 1964, the first being the order of
the said court dismissing Special Proceeding No. 6344, and the second

being an order denying petitioner's motion for the reconsideration of said


order of dismissal. Said order being, as a result of what has been said
heretofore, beyond petitioner's power to contest, the conclusion cannot be
other than that the intended appeal would serve no useful purpose, or worse
still, would enable petitioner to circumvent our ruling that he can no longer
question the validity of said orders.

(32)
ROSA CUENCO
V. COURT OF APPEALS 3 RD DIVISION, MANUEL
CUENCO, LOURDES CUENCO, CONCEPCION CUENCO MANGUERRA,
CARMEN CUENCO, CONSUELO CUENCO REYES and TERESITA CUENCO
GONZALES, 53 SCRA 360 (1973)
EN BANC: Makalintal, Zaldivar, Makasiar, Antonio, Esguerra, Fernando,
Castro, Barredo, concurring
PONENTE: J. Teehankee
Ambrosio Padilla Law Office for petitioner
Jalandoni & Jamir for respondents
NATURE: Petition for certiorari to review the decision of CA in CA-GR no
34104-R, promulgated Nov 21, 1964, and its subsequent resolution
promulgated July 8, 1964, denying MR
FACTS: Senator Mariano Cuenco died in Manila on Feb 25, 1964. He was
survived by his widow (petitioner Rosa Cuenco) and their two minor sons

who are residents of Quezon City, and by his children from his first marriage:
(private respondents), all of legal age and residing in Cebu
1. On March 5, 1964, Lourdes Cuenco filed a petition for letters of
administration with CFI Cebu alleging that the late senator:
a. died intestate
b. was a resident at the time of his death
c. left real and personal properties in Cebu and Quezon City
2. CFI Cebu issued an order setting the petition for hearing on April 10,
1964 and ordered that notice be sent to all heirs and interested
persons, that notice be published through La Prensa (local newspaper
in Cebu). The order was later suspended and later modified on March
13, 1964 since the petition was to be heard at Branch II instead of I
CFI Cebu. An order was later issued regarding Lourdes petition for
appointment of special administrator that it was premature (notice not
yet complied)
3. Meanwhile, Rosa Cuenco filed a petition (dated March 12, 1964) with
CFI Quezon City for the probate of the decedents will and for the
issuance of letters testamentary in her favor (SP no Q-7898)
4. Upon learning of a pending proceeding with CFI Cebu, Rosa filed with
CFI Cebu an opposition (to both intestate proceeding and letters of
administration) and motion to dismiss (dated March 30, 1964). CFI
Cebu (Judge Amador , on April 10, 1964 suspended its resolution of
Rosas MTD until CFI Quezon City has acted on the petition for probate
of the decedents will. Private respondents did not challenge CFI Cebus
deference
5. Instead, private respondents filed with CFI Quezon City an opposition
and MTD (dated April 10, 1964) alleging that CFI Cebu had exclusive
jurisdiction over the proceedings by virtue of her petition filed earlier:
a. The will was not executed and attested as required by law
b. It was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence
c. The testators signature was procured by fraud
6. CFI Quezon City denied the MTD (Dated April 11, 1964) ruling that
probate proceedings take precedence over intestate proceeding and
that the decedent was a resident of Quezon City at the time of his
death as evidenced by the decedents will
7. Lourdes filed MR but was denied on April 27, 1964. Second MR was
denied on May 20, 1964
8. Private respondents failed to appear on the hearing of the probate of
the decedents will.
9. CFI Quezon City holding that the requisite of notice had been met,
admitted the will to probate and appointed Rosa as executrix
10.
Instead of appealing from CFI Quezon Citys order, private
respondents filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition (Rule 65) with

CA to bar CFI Quezon City from proceeding with the probate


proceedings
11.
CA held in favor of private respondents citing Rule 73 Sec 1
covers both testate and intestate. Since Lourdes petition was filed first
at CFI Cebu, jurisdiction was vested there.
12.
Rosa filed MR but was denied by CA (dated (July 8, 1965)
ISSUE: WON CA erred in issuing writ of prohibition against CFI Quezon City
RULING: Yes.
RATIO: The Judiciary Act (RA 2961 Sec 44[e]) confers original jurisdiction
upon CFI over all matters of probate, both testate and intestate. On the
other hand, Rule 73 Sec 1 provides that the CFI taking cognizance of
settlement of the estate of the decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the
exclusion of all other courts.
It should be noted that the Rule on venue does not state that the court with
whom the estate or intestate petition is first filed acquires jurisdiction. A fair
reading of the rule indicates that the court with whom the petition is first
filed, must also take cognizance of the settlement of the estate in order to
exercise jurisdiction over it to the exclusion of all other courts.
ISSUE: WON CFI Quezon City acted without jurisdiction in taking cognizance
and assuming exclusive jurisdiction over the probate proceedings
RULING: No.
RATIO: Implicit in the CFI Cebus order that if the will was duly admitted to
probate by CFI Quezon City, then it would decline to take cognizance of
Lourdess intestate petition and leave the exercise of jurisdiction to CFI
Quezon City, to the exclusion of all other courts. By its act of deference, CFI
Cebu left it to CFI Quezon City to resolve the question of the decedents
residence at the time of his death.
CFI Quezon City could not be deemed to have acted without jurisdiction in
taking cognizance of the probate petition since under Rule 73 Sec 1, CFI
Cebu must first take cognizance over the estate of the decedent to exclude
all other courts. It is also undisputed that Rule 73 only lays down a rule of
venue and CFI Cebu had at least equal and coordinate jurisdiction over the
estate.

Since CFI Quezon City took cognizance over the probate proceedings with
the consent and deference of the Cebu court, CFI Quezon City may exercise
jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts.
ISSUE: WON the question of residence is within the jurisdiction of CFI Cebu
RULING: No.
RATIO: It would not serve the practical ends of justice to still require CFI
Cebu, following Borja v. Tan, to determine for itself the actual residence of
the decedent.
DISPOSITIVE: CA decision is reversed and the petition for certiorari and
prohibition filed with CA is dismissed
J. BARREDO, CONCURRING: Private respondents failure to question
within a reasonable time the laying of venue with CFI Quezon City makes
them guilty of laches and for which reason they are not entitled to the
equitable relief prayed for.
DIFFERENCE WITH URIARTE CASE:
The minor factual difference of that case is that there, the Negros court
granted the testamentary heirs motion to dismiss the intestate petition first
filed before it by the therein petitioner who claimed to be an acknowledged
natural child, and that said petitioners attempt to intervene in the probate
proceedings subsequently filed in Manila by the testamentary heirs, was
declared too late. Here, the Cebu court acceded in part to petitioner-widows
motion to dismiss by declining to take cognizance of the first intestate
petition and deferring to the Quezon City court which it asked to act first on
the second petition for probate, and while opposition was filed against
probate, oppositors failed to appear at the hearing despite due notice.

(33)
ETHEL GRIMM ROBERTS V. JUDGE TOMAS LEONIDAS, CFI MANILA
Branch 38, MAXINE TATE-GRIMM, EDWARD MILLER GRIMM II and
LINDA GRIMM, 129 SCRA 33 (1984)
2ND DIVISION: Makasiar, Guerrero, De Castro, Concepcion Jr., Abad Santos,
Escolin
PONENTE: J. Aquino
NJ Quisumbing and Associates for petitioner

ACCRA Law for private respondents


NATURE: Petition for certiorari and prohibition praying that the testate
proceeding be dismissed or alternatively, the two proceedings be
consolidated and that the matter of annulment of the Utah compromise be
heard prior to the petition for probate
FACTS: Edward Grimm, an American resident of Manila, died testate in
Makati on Nov 27, 1977. He was survived by his second wife, Maxine Tate
Grimm and their two children (Edward Miller Grimm II and Linda Grimm)
and by his children from his first marriage (divorced): Ethel Grimm Roberts
and Juanita Grimm Morris
1. The decedent executed two wills in San Francisco, CA (Jan 23, 1959).
One will disposed of his Philippine estate which he described as a
conjugal property with his second wife. The second will disposed of his
estate outside the Philippines
2. In both wills, the second wife and two children were favored. The two
children from the first marriage were given their legitimes in the will
disposing of the Philippine estate
3. On Jan 9, 1978, Ethel Roberts (through lawyers Deogracias Reyes and
Gerardo Macaraeg), filed with CFI Manila Branch 20 a petition for the
settlement of the decedents estate (intestate). Maxine received notice
of the petition in January 1978. Ethel was named special administratrix
4. The two wills and a codicil were presented for probate by Maxine and
E. La Var Tate (dated March 7, 1978) in the Utah Court. Juanita Grimm
Morris and Ethel Roberts were notified
5. It appears that Ethel filed a petition (intestate proceeding). In its order
(April 10, 1978), the Utah Court admitted to probate the two wills and
the codicil.
6. On March 11, 1978, Maxine (through ACCRA Law) filed an opposition
and MTD on the ground that there is a pending proceeding in the Utah
court for the probate of Grimms will. Maxine also moved that she be
named special admistratrix
7. Two weeks later (April 25, 1978), Maxine and her two children as first
parties, and Ethel, Juanita Morris and Juanita Kegley Grimm (first
wife), with knowledge of the intestate court in Manila, entered into a
compromise agreement in Utah regarding the estate
8. In the agreement, Maxine, Pete and Ethel would be the personal
representatives of the decedents estate in the Philippines. It was also
agreed that Maxines conjugal share in the estate should be
reserved for her and that would not be less than $1.5 million plus the
homes in Utah and Sta. Mesa, Manila. The agreement indicated a
computation of the net distributable estate.

9. It was also agreed that the decedents 4 children shall share equally in
the net distributable estate and that Ethel and Juanita Morris shall
receive at least 12 1/2 % of the total net distributable estate and
marital share.
10.
The intestate court in its orders May 23 and June 2 noted that
Maxine, through William Limqueco (Macaraegs partner), withdrew the
opposition and MTD. The intestate court appointed Maxine, Ethel and
Pete as joint administrators. This was done pursuant to the Utah
agreement
11.
The 3 administrators submitted an inventory. Subsequently, they
sold (with court approval) the Palawan Pearl Project. It turned out that
the buyer (Makiling Management Co) was incorporated by Ethel and
her husband (Rex Roberts) and by Limqueco. They also sold the
decedents shares in RFM Corp
12.
Acting on the declaration of the heirs and project of partition,
Judge Conrado Molina (dated July 27, 1979) adjudicated to Maxine
of the Philippine estate and 1/8 each to his 4 children. No mention of
the will
13.
Six days later, Maxine and her 2 children replaced Limqueco with
Octavio del Callar (lawyer) who moved to defer approval of the project
of partition. The court considered the motion moot since it had already
approved it
14.
Ethel subsequently (October 2, 1979( submitted to the court a
certification from CIR that the estate tax had been paid
15.
On April 18, 1980, Juanita Morris filed a motion for accounting so
that the estate could be partitioned. Del Callar was notified.
16.
Before the hearing (June 10, 1980), ACCRA filed its appearance
as co-counsel with Del Callar
17.
Rogelio Vinluan (of ACCRA Law), on behalf of Maxine et al, filed
a petition to annul partition with CFI Manila Branch 39. They prayed
that the 1979 partition be set aside and the letters of administration
revoked and that Maxine be appointed as executrix
18.
Maxine et al alleged that they were defrauded by the Roberts
spouses, the Utah agreement was illegal and that the intestate
proceeding was void because Grimm died testate and the partition was
contrary to the decedents wills
19.
Ethel filed MTD. Judge Leonidas denied it for lack of merit on Oct
27, 1980.
ISSUE: WON a petition for allowance of wills and to annul a partition
approved by CFI Manila Branch 20 can be entertained by its Branch 38
RULING: Yes.

RATIO: Respondent judge did not commit any grave abuse of discretion in
denying Ethels MTD.
A testate proceeding is proper in this case because Grimm died with 2 wills
and no will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and
allowed (Art 838 NCC; Rule 75 Sec 1).
The probate of the will is mandatory. It is anomalous that the estate of a
person who died testate should be settled in an intestate proceeding.
Therefore, the intestate case should be consolidated with the testate
proceeding and the judge assigned to the testate proceeding should continue
hearing the two cases.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition dismissed. TRO dissolved.
1. CIVIL LAW; SUCCESSION; WILLS; PROBATE THEREOF, MANDATORY;
INTESTATE PROCEEDINGS FILED PRIOR TO TESTATE PROCEEDINGS
SHOULD BE CONSOLIDATED WITH LATTER. We hold that respondent
Judge did not commit any grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack of
jurisdiction, in denying Ethels motion to dismiss the petition for probate of
Grimms two wills. A testate proceeding is proper in this case because
Grimm died with two wills and "no will shall pass either real or personal
property unless it is proved add allowed" (Art. 838, Civil Code, Sec. 1, Rule
75, Rules of Court). The probate of the will is mandatory (Guevara v.
Guevara, 74 Phil. 479 and 98 Phil. 249; Baluyot v. Pao, L-42088, May 7,
1976, 71 SCRA 86). It is anomalous that the estate of a person who died
testate should be settled in an intestate proceeding. Therefore, the intestate
case should be consolidated with the testate proceeding and the judge
assigned to the testate proceeding should continue hearing the two cases.

(34)
In the matter of the Intestate of the deceased Andres Eusebio.
EUGENIO EUSEBIO V. AMANDA EUSEBIO, VIRGINIA EUSEBIO, JUAN
EUSEBIO, DELFIN EUSEBIO, VICENTE EUSEBIO and CARLOS
EUSEBIO, 100 PHIL 593 (1956)
EN BANC: Paras, Bengzon, Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, JBL Reyes,
Endencia, Felix, concurring
PONENTE: J. Concepcion
NATURE: Appeal from the order of CFI Rizal granting the petition for
settlement of the decedents estate and issuance of letters of administration
FACTS: On Nov 28, 1952, Eugenio Eusebio filed with CFI Rizal a petition for
his appointment as administrator of the estate of his deceased father, Andres
Eusebio.
1. Amanda, Virginia, Juan, Delfin, Vicente and Carlos Eusebio, filed an
opposition and motion to dismiss alleging that they were illegitimate
children the decedent and that the decedent was a resident of San
Fernando, Pampanga. They prayed that the petition be dismissed for
improper venue.
2. It appears that Andres Eusebio was domiciled in San Fernando,
Pampanga until Oct 29, 1952.
a. Because of his heart condition and the fact that his doctor Dr. Jesus
Eusebio (son) was based in Quezon City, Andres purchased a house
and lot in Quezon City
b. On Nov 26, 1952, Andres contracted marriage in articulo mortis
with his common law wife, Concepcion Villanueva in Manila. Two
days later, he died. Consequently, he never stayed or slept his
house in Quezon City
3. The court granted the petition on March 10,1954
4. The intestate court rejected the evidence presented by the oppositors
on the ground that they were unable to show whether they have a
right to intervene in the instant case
5. Apparently, Amanda et al filed a petition (dated Nov 14, 1953) with
CFI Pampanga for the settlement of the intestate estate of Andres
Eusebio
6. The petition was granted on Nov 16, 1953
7. On Dec 14, 1953, Jesus, Eugenio, Amando and Alfonso (children of the
decedent by first marriage) moved for the dismissal of the proceedings
owing to the pendency of the special proceedings with CFI Rizal

8. CFI Pampanga dismissed the petition citing Rule 75 Sec 1 ROC that the
court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a
decedent shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts.
ISSUE: Whether the decedent was a resident of San Fernando Pampanga
RULING: Yes.
RATIO: It is apparent from the facts of the case that the domicile of origin
of the decedent was San Fernando, Pampanga, where he resided for more
than 70 years. The presumption is that he retained such domicile and
resident in the absence of satisfactory proof to the contrary. It is well-settled
that a domicile once acquired is retained until a new domicile is gained.
If Andres Eusebio established another domicile, it must have been one of
choice, for which the following conditions are essential:
(1)
Capacity to choose and freedom of choice
(2)
Physical presence at the place chosen
(3)
Intention to stay therein permanently
ISSUE: WON the decedent intended to stay in Quezon City permanently
RULING: No.
RATIO: There is no evidence that the decedent intended to stay in Quezon
City permanently. Neither does the decedent appear to have manifested his
wish to live there indefinitely.
Domicile is not commonly changed by presence in a place merely for ones
own health even if coupled with knowledge that one will never again be able,
on account of illness, to return home.
CAB:
(1)
Andres did not alienate or dispose of his house in San Fernando
(2)
Some of his children who used to live within him in Pampanga,
remained in that municipality
(3)
Exhibit B (Deed of Sale of Quezon City property) show that he
was a resident of San Fernando
(4)
Marriage contract with Concepcion Villanueva stated his
residence of San Fernando, Pampanga
DISPOSITIVE: Appellees petition is dismissed
1.
VENUE; ESTATE OF DECEASED WHERE SETTLED; RESIDENCE AT THE
TIME OF THE DEATH; DOMICILE OF ORIGIN. Where it is apparent, from

the facts duly established, that the domicile of origin of the decedent was
San Fernando, Pampanga, where he resided for over seventy (70) years, the
presumption is that he retained such domicile, and, hence, residence, in the
absence of satisfactory proof to the contrary, for it is well-settled that "a
domicile once required is retained until a new domicile is gained."
2.
DOMICILE; NOT CHANGED BY PRESENCE IN A PLACE FOR ONE'S OWN
HEALTH. It is well settled that "domicile is not commonly changed by
presence in a place merely for one's own health," even if coupled with
knowledge that one will never again be able, on account of illness to return
home.

(35)
EMILIA FIGURACION-GERILLA V. CAROLINA VDA DE FIGURACION,
ELENA FIGURACION-ANCHETA, HILARIA A. FIGURACION, FELIPA
FIGURACION-MANUEL,
QUINTIN
FIGURACION
and
MARY
FIGURACION-GINEZ, 499 SCRA 484 (2006)
2ND DIVISION: Puno, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Azcuna, Garcia, concurring
PONENTE: J. Corona
NATURE: Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 assailing the
decision1 and resolution2 of CA which affirmed the decision of RTC Urdaneta
in dismissing the complaint for partition
FACTS: Spouses Leandro and Carolina Figuracion had 6 children: petitioner
Emilia Figuracion-Gerilla and respondents Elena Figuracion-Ancheta, Hilaria
Figuracion, Felipa Figuracion-Manuel, Quintin Figuracion and Mary
Figuracion-Ginez.
1. On Aug 23, 1955, Leandro executed a deed of quitclaim over his real
properties in favor of his 6 children. At the time of his death in 1958,
he owned 2 parcels of land (Lot 2299 and Lot 705) which he inherited
from his parents (Mariano Figuracion and Petra Dela Cruz)
2. Prior to his death, Leandro sold a portion of Lot 2299 to Lazaro
Adviento
3. The complaint arose when petitioner Emilia and respondent Mary had a
dispute over the eastern portion of Lot 707
4. The property in dispute (Lot 707) originally belonged to Eulalio
Adviento. When Eulalio died, the property was inherited by Agripina
(daughter by first marriage) and Carolina. On Nov 28, 1961, Agripina
executed a quitclaim in favor of Carolina over eastern portion of Lot
707.
5. Subsequently, Agripina died single and without any issue. Before her
death, Carolina adjudicated unto herself the entire Lot 707 which she
later sold to Felipa and Hilaria. As a consequence of the sale, a new
TCT was issued in the name of Felipa and Hilaria
6. In February 1971, Emila and her family migrated to the United States
where they stayed for 10 years. Upon their return in 1981, she built a
house on the eastern portion of Lot 707 and paid realty taxes thereon
7. Emilia thereafter sought the extrajudicial partition of all properties
which she and her siblings co-owned. On May 23, 1994, Emilia filed a
1 Dated Dec 11, 2001. Ponente: Martin J. Villarama. CA 9

th

Division: Conchita Carpio-Morales and Sergio L. Pestano

2 Dated June 14, 2002 (affirming Dec 11 CA decision). Ponente: Martin J. Villarama. CA 9
Guarina

th

Division: Carpio-Morales and Mario L.

complaint for partition, annulment of documents, reconveyance,


quieting of title and damages against respondents, praying for:
a. Partition of Lots 2299 and 705
b. Nullification of the document of self-adjudication executed by
Carolina over Lot 707 and the deed of sale in favor of Felipa and
Hilaria
c. Declaration that she is the owner of of Lot 707
8. Respondents contended that Leandros estate should first undergo
settlement proceedings before petition could be effected.
9. RTC Urdaneta (dated June 26, 1997) granted Emilias complaint except
for the prayer for partition, reconveyance and damages on the ground
that settlement proceedings must first be effected before any of these
reliefs could be granted
10.
On appeal, CA upheld the dismissal for the action for partition for
being premature. CA reversed the decision, however, with respect to
the nullification of self-adjudication and deed of sale, and partitioned
Lot 707 (other case Carolina Vda De Figuracion v. Emilia FiguracionGerilla)
ISSUE: WON a prior settlement of the decedents estate must take place
before said properties can be partitioned or distributed
RULING: Yes.
RATIO: Under Rule 69, partition can be effected by agreement under Sec 2
or through commissioners when agreement cannot be reached (Sec 3-6).
Neither method specifies a procedure for determining expenses chargeable
to the decedents estate. Rule 69 Sec 8 provides that there shall be an
accounting of the real propertys income in the course of an action for
partition but there is no provision for the accounting of expenses for which
the decedents estate can be made answerable.
In a situation where there remains an issue as to the expenses chargeable to
the estate, partition is inappropriate. This is because the determination of
expenses (funeral expenses) cannot be done in an action for partition.
In estate settlement proceedings, there is a proper procedure for the
accounting of all expenses for which the estate must answer. The heirs or
distributees of the properties may take possession thereof even before the
settlement of accounts, as long as they first file a bond conditioned on the
payment of the estates obligations.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition denied.

(36)
MARIA SOCORRO AVELINO V. COURT OF APPEALS, ANGELINA
AVELINO, SHARON AVELINO, ANTONIO AVELINO JR., TRACY
AVELINO, PATRICK MICHAEL AVELINO and MARK ANTHONY
AVELINO, 329 SCRA 369 (2000)
2ND DIVISION: Bellosillo, Mendoza, Buena, De Leon, concurring
PONENTE: J. Quisumbing
NATURE: Petition for review on certiorari (Rule 65)of the CA decision (dated
Feb 16, 1994) as well as its resolution (dated April 28, 1994) denying
petitioners MR.
FACTS: Petitioner Maria Socorro Avelino is a daughter and compulsory heir
of the late Antonio Avelino Sr. and his first wife private respondent Angelina
Avelino. Antonio Jr., Tracy, Patrick and Mark Anthony are the children siblings
of Socorro. Sharon was the second wife of the decedent.
1. On Oct 24, 1991, Socorro filed a petition with RTC Quezon City Branch
78, for the issuance of letters of administration of the estate of Antonio
Avelino Sr., who died intestate on April 10, 1989.
2. Angelina and Socorros siblings filed their opposition (Dated Dec 3,
1992) by filing a motion to convert the judicial proceedings to an
action for judicial partition which Socorro opposed
3. RTC Quezon City, in its order (dated Feb 16, 1993) granted the
respondents motion and converted proceeding to an action for
partition on the ground that all of the parties except for Socorro were
amenable to a simple partition
4. Socorro filed a MR (dated March 17, 1993) but was denied (June 16,
1993)
5. On June 23, 1993, Socorro filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition
and mandamus alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of the
trial court in granting respondents motion to convert the special
proceedings to an action for partition
6. CA denied the petition (dated Feb 18, 1994). MR was likewise denied
(April 28, 1994)
7. Petitioner argued that:
a. No partition of the estate is possible since there is no determination
that has been made of the character and extent of the decedents
estate

b. Estate is in danger of being depleted for want of an administrator


c. ROC does not provide for conversion of a motion for the issuance of
letters of administration to an action for judicial partition.
ISSUE: WON Socorros petition for issuance of letters of administration may
be converted to an action for judicial partition
RULING: Yes.
RATIO: The basis for the trial courts order is Rule 74 Sec 1 ROC which
provides that in cases where the heirs disagree as to the partition of the
estate and no extrajudicial settlement is possible, then an ordinary action for
partition may be resorted to. Where the more expeditious remedy of
partition is available to the heirs, then the heirs or the majority of them may
not be compelled to submit to administration proceedings.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition denied for lack of merit

(37)
VICTORIA BRINGAS PEREIRA V. COURT OF APPEALS and RITA
PEREIRA NAGAC, 174 SCRA 154 (1989)
1ST DIVISION:Narvasa, Cruz, Grino-Aquino, Medialdea, concurring
PONENTE: J. Gancayco
Benjamin J. Quitoriano for petitioner.
Linzag-Arcilla & Associates Law Offices for private respondent.
ISSUE: WON a judicial administration proceeding is necessary where the
decedent left no debts
RULING: No.
RATIO: Assuming there exists assets of the decedent for purposes of
administration, the SC held the administration proceedings instituted by Rita
Nagac are unnecessary
The general rule is that when a person dies leaving property, the same
should be judicially administered and the competent court should appoint an
administrator, in the order established in Rule 78 Sec 6, in case the decedent
left no will, or in case he had left one, should he fail to name an executor
therein. An exception to this rule is established in Rule 74 Sec 1 which
provides that when all the heirs are of lawful age and there are no debts due
from the estate, they may agree in writing to partition the property without
instituting the judicial administration or applying for the appointment of an
administrator.
Rule 74 Sec 1 ROC, however, does not preclude the heirs from instituting
administration proceedings, even if the estate has no debts or obligations, if
they do not desire to resort for good reasons to an ordinary action for
partition. Where partition is possible, either in or out of court, the estate
should not be burdenedwhich is always long and costlywith an
administration proceeding without good and compelling reasons.
What constitutes good reasons to warrant a judicial administration of the
estate of a deceased when the heirs are all of legal age and there are no
creditors will depend on the circumstances of each case.

CAB: There is no reason to apply this to the case at bar. There are only 2
surviving heirs. The parties admit there are no debts of the deceased to be
paid. The only conceivable reason why Rita Nagac seeks appointment as
administrator is for her to obtain possession of the alleged properties for her
own purposes, since the same are presently in the hands of Victoria who
supposedly disposed of them fraudulently. This is not compelling reason at
all.
DISPOSITIVE: Letters of administration issued by RTC Bacoor to Rita
Nagac are revoked and administration proceeding dismissed without
prejudice to the right of Nagac to commence a new action for partition.

(38)
JOVITA YAP ANCOG and GREGORIO YAP JR. V. COURT OF APPEALS,
ROSARIO DIEZ and CARIDAD YAP, 274 SCRA 676 (1997)
2ND DIVISION: Regalado, Romero (concurring), Puno, Torres (no part)
PONENTE: J. Mendoza
Artemio P. Cabatos for petitioners.
Vicente Dela Serna Jr. for respondents.
NATURE: Petition for review of the CA decision 3 which affirmed the dismissal
by RTC Bohol (Judge Mercedes Gozo-Dadole) of an action for partition
FACTS: In 1946, Gregorio Yap Sr. died intestate, leaving his heirs: spouse
Rosario Diez, Jovita Yap-Ancog, Gregorio Yap Jr., and Caridad Yap.
1. In 1953 and 1958, Diez obtained loans from the Bank of Calaspe,
secured by a mortgage on the property in dispute. On her subsequent
loan, she was advised by the banks lawyer (Atty. Narciso Dela Serna)
to submit an extrajudicial settlement over the property to facilitate the
approval of her loan to which she consented. As such, the heirs
executed an extrajudicial settlement with the exception of Gregorio
Yap Jr, who was then a minor.
2. Rosario Diez exercised rights of ownership over the property. In 1985,
she filed an ejectment suit against spouses Ancog for failure to pay
rent.
3. Ancog later found out that Diez wanted to sell the property. As such,
she and Gregorio Jr. filed an action for partition (dated June 6, 1985)
before RTC Bohol. Since Caridad was unwilling to join the action
against their mother, Caridad was impleaded as a defendant
4. Petitioners alleged that the extrajudicial settlement was simulated and
therefore, void. They claimed that in signing the instrument, they did
not really intend to convey their interest in the property to their
mother but only to enable her to obtain a loan on the security of the
land
5. The trial court dismissed the petitioners complaint on the ground that
petitioners failed to overcome the presumptive validity of the
extrajudicial settlement as a public instrument
a. The court found that Ancog waived her rights to the land as shown
by the fact that on Feb 28, 1975, Ancogs husband (Ildefonso
Ancog) leased the property from Diez
3 Ponente:

J. Pacita Canizares-Nye and concurred by: J. Justo P. Torres and Reynato S. Puno

b. The court also found that the action for partition had already
prescribed. The registration of the land under Diezs name
amounted to a repudiation of co-ownership. Therefore, Ancog had
10 years from April 13, 1961 within which to recover their share in
the property
6. On appeal, CA upheld the validity of the extrajudicial settlement and
dismissal of the case. CA emphasized that the extrajudicial settlement
could not have been simulated to obtain a loan as the new loan was
merely in addition to a previous one that Diez had been able to obtain
without an extrajudicial settlement
ISSUE: WON the extrajudicial settlement is valid
RULING: Yes.
RATIO: It is well-settled that the findings of CA are conclusive upon the
parties and are not reviewable by the Supreme Court when they are an
affirmation of the findings of the trial court. In this case, there was no
evidence to show that the extrajudicial settlement was required to enable
Diez to obtain a loan from the Bank of Calape.
On the contrary, the extrajudicial settlement was made effective by the fact
that Diez performed acts of dominion over the entire land, beginning with its
registration, without any objection from them. Moreover, Ancog agreed to
lease the land from her mother and accepted from her an SPA to use the
land in question as collateral for a loan she was applying from the DBP. It
was also Diez who paid Ancogs loan to secure the release of the property
from mortgage.
It is immaterial that they had been initially motivated by a desire to acquire
a loan. Under Art 1082 NCC, every act which is intended to put an end to
indivision among co-heirs is deemed to be a partition even though it should
purport to be a sale, an exchange, or any other transaction.
ISSUE: WON the action for partition has prescribed
RULING: As to Gregorio Yap Jr., the action for partition has not prescribed.
RATIO: In accordance with Rule 74 Sec 1 ROC, as Yap Jr. did not take part
in the partition, he is not bound by the settlement.it is uncontroverted that,
at the time the extrajudicial settlement was executed, Gregorio Yap Jr. was a
minor. For this reason, he was not included or even informed of the partition.

Instead the registration of the land in Diezs name created an implied trust in
his favor by analogy to Art 1451 NCC:
When land passes by succession to any person and he causes the legal title
to be put in the name of another, a trust is established by implication of law
for the benefit of the true owner.
A cestui que trust may make a claim under a resulting trust within 10 years
from the time the trust is repudiated. Although the registration of the land in
Diezs name operated as a constructive notice of her claim of ownership, it
cannot be taken as an act of repudiation adverse to Gregorio Yap Jr.s clalim
whose share in the property was not included in the partition.
For the prescription to run in favor of the trustee, the trust must be
repudiated by unequivocal acts made known to the cestui que trust and
proved by clear and convincing evidence. Since the action brought by Yap to
claim his share was brought only after he was informed by Ancog of their
mothers effort to sell the property, Gregorio Yap Jr.s claim cannot be
considered barred by either prescription or laches.
DISPOSITIVE: CA decision affirmed but with modification that the case is
remanded to RTC for the determination of the claim of Gregorio Yap Jr.
1.REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; FINDINGS OF FACTS OF THE COURT OF
APPEALS GENERALLY CONCLUSIVE UPON PARTIES. It is settled that the
findings of facts of the Court of Appeals are conclusive upon the parties and
are not reviewable by this Court when they are an affirmation of the findings
of the trial court.
2.
ID.; SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS; EXTRAJUDICIAL SETTLEMENT, NOT
SIMULATED IN CASE AT BAR. In this case, the trial court and the Court of
Appeals found no evidence to show that the extrajudicial settlement was
required to enable private respondent Rosario Diez to obtain a loan from the
Bank of Calape. Petitioners merely claimed that the extrajudicial settlement
was demanded by the bank. To the contrary, that the heirs (Jovita Yap Ancog
and Caridad Yap) meant the extrajudicial settlement to be fully effective is
shown by the fact that Rosario Diez performed acts of dominion over the
entire land, beginning with its registration, without any objection from them.
Instead, petitioner Jovita Ancog agreed to lease the land from her mother,
private respondent Rosario Diez, and accepted from her a special power of
attorney to use the land in question as collateral for a loan she was applying
from the DBP. Indeed, it was private respondent Diez who paid the loan of
the Ancogs in order to secure the release of the property from mortgage.
Petitioner Jovita Yap Ancog contends that she could not have waived her

share in the land because she is landless. For that matter, private
respondent Caridad Yap is also landless, but she signed the agreement. She
testified that she did so out of filial devotion to her mother. Thus, what the
record of this case reveals is the intention of Jovita Ancog and Caridad Yap to
cede their interest in the land to their mother Rosario Diez. It is immaterial
that they had been initially motivated by a desire to acquire a loan. Under
Art. 1082 of the Civil Code, every act which is intended to put an end to
indivision among co-heirs is deemed to be a partition even though it should
purport to be a sale, an exchange, or any other transaction.
3.
ID.; ID.; ID.; NOT BINDING ON MINOR WHO HAS NOT PARTICIPATED
THEREIN; CASE AT BAR. We hold, however, that the Court of Appeals
erred in ruling that the claim of petitioner Gregorio Yap, Jr. was barred by
laches. In accordance with Rule 74, Sec. 1 of the Rules of Court, as he did
not take part in the partition, he is not bound by the settlement. It is
uncontroverted that, at the time the extrajudicial settlement was executed,
Gregorio Yap, Jr. was a minor. For this reason, he was not included or even
informed of the partition.
4.
CIVIL LAW; CIVIL CODE; OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS; IMPLIED
TRUST; ESTABLISHED BY INTENTION OF PARTIES TO THE EXTRAJUDICIAL
SETTLEMENT; CASE AT BAR. The registration of the land in Rosario Diez's
name created an implied trust in his favor by analogy to Art. 1451 of the
Civil Code, . . . In the case of O'Laco v. Co Cho Chit, Art. 1451 was held as
creating a resulting trust, which is founded on the presumed intention of the
parties. As a general rule, it arises where such may be reasonably presumed
to be the intention of the parties, as determined from the facts and
circumstances existing at the time of the transaction out of which it is sought
to be established. In this case, the records disclose that the intention of the
parties to the extrajudicial settlement was to establish a trust in favor of
petitioner Yap, Jr. to the extent of his share. Rosario Diez testified that she
did not claim the entire property, while Atty. de la Serna added that the
partition only involved the shares of the three participants.
5.
ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; WHEN PRESCRIPTION RUNS IN FAVOR OF TRUSTEE;
CASE AT BAR. A cestui que trust may make a claim under a resulting trust
within 10 years from the time the trust is repudiated. Although the
registration of the land in private respondent Diez's name operated as a
constructive notice of her claim of ownership, it cannot be taken as an act of
repudiation adverse to petitioner Gregorio Yap, Jr.'s claim, whose share in
the property was precisely not included by the parties in the partition.
Indeed, it has not been shown whether he had been informed of her
exclusive claim over the entire property before 1985 when he was notified
by petitioner Jovita Yap Ancog of their mother's plan to sell the property.

This Court has ruled that for prescription to run in favor of the trustee, the
trust must be repudiated by unequivocal acts made known to the cestui que
trust and proved by clear and conclusive evidence. Furthermore, the rule
that the prescriptive period should be counted from the date of issuance of
the Torrens certificate of title applies only to the remedy of reconveyance
under the Property Registration Decree. Since the action brought by
petitioner Yap to claim his share was brought shortly after he was informed
by Jovita Ancog of their mother's effort to sell the property, Gregorio Yap,
Jr.'s claim cannot be considered barred either by prescription or by laches.

(39)
BENNY SAMPILO and HONORATO SALACUP v. COURT OF APPEALS
and FELISA SINOPERA, 103 PHIL 71 (1958)
EN BANC: Paras, Bengzon, Padilla, Montemayor, A. Reyes,, Bautista Angelo,
Concepcion, JBL Reyes, Endencia, Felix, concurring
PONENTE: J. Labrador
Clodualdo P. Surio for petitioners.
Moises B. Ramos for respondents.
NATURE: Petition for certiorari against the decision of CA affirming with
slight modification a judgment of CFI Pangasinan in declaring Felisa Sinopera
et al owners of portion of 4 parcels of land
FACTS: Teodoro Tolete died intestate in January 1945. He left 4 parcels of
land. He was survived by his widow, Leoncia de Leon, and several nephews
and nieces, who are children of Toletes brothers and sisters.
1. On July 25, 1946, without any judicial proceedings, Leoncia executed
an affidavit stating that the decedent left no heirs other than Leoncia.
This affidavit was registered in RD Pangasinan.
2. On the same day, he executed a Deed of Sale in favor of Benny
Sampilo over all 4 parcels of land for P10,000. This sale was also
registered in RD Pangasinan.
3. Sampilo, in turn, sold the properties to Honorato Salacup (dated June
17, 1950) for P50,000. The sale was likewise registered with RD
Pangasinan.
4. In March 1950, Felisa Sinopera, one of the decedents nieces, filed a
petition for the settlement of the decedents estate and for letters of
administration in her favor, which the intestate court granted.
5. Subsequently, she filed an action against De Leon, Sampilo and
Salacup. Notice of lis pendens was filed with RD Pangasinan and said

notices were annotated on the TCTs on June 26, 1950. The notice,
however, was subsequent to the registration of the deed of sale in
favor of Salacup
6. After the trial, CFI Pangansinan held in favor of Sinopera, declaring
that the affidavit of self-adjudicaiton and deed of sale null and void.
7. On appeal, CA upheld the annulment of the affidavit of adjudication
but the annulment of the deeds of sale were held to be premature.
Hence, it modified the judgment that the deeds of sale are null and
void insofar as the properties thereby conveyed exceed the portion
that corresponded to Leoncia
ISSUE: WON the action has prescribed in view of Rule 74 Sec 4
RULING: No.
RATIO: Rule 74n Sec 1 requires that if there are two or more heirs, both or
all of them should take part in the extrajudicial settlement. This is made
more imperative in the old law, Sec 596 Code of Civil Procedure by the
addition of the clause and not otherwise. By the title of Rule 74 Sec, the
distributees and estate are indicated as the persons to answer for rights
violated by the extrajudicial settlement. On the other hand, it is also
significant that no mention is made expressly of the effect of the
extrajudicial settlement of persons who did not take part therein or had no
knowledge of the extrajudicial settlement are bound thereby. As to them, the
law is clear that if they claim to have been deprived of their lawful right or
share in the estate by the extrajudicial settlement, they may demand their
rights or interest within the period of 2 years, and both the distributees and
estate would be liable to them for such rights or interest.
But as to those who did not take part in the settlement or had no notice of
the death of the decedent or of the settlement, there is no direct or express
provision, and it is unreasonable and unjust that they also be required to
assert their claims within the 2-year period. To extend the effects of the
settlement to them, to those who did not take part or had no knowledge
thereof, without any express legal provision to that effect, would be violative
of their fundamental right to due process of law.
The procedure outlined in Rule 74 Sec 1 of extrajudicial settlement or by
affidavit, is an ex parte proceeding. It cannot by any reason or logic be
contended that such settlement or distribution would affect third persons
who had no knowledge either of the death of the decedent or of the
extrajudicial settlement or affidavit, especially as no mention of such effect
is made, either directly or by implication.
Following Ramirez v. Gmur, the provisions of Rule 74 Sec 4 barring
distributees or heirs from objecting to an extrajudicial partition after the

expiration of 2 years from such extrajudicial is applicable only to (1) persons


who have participated or taken part or had notice of the extrajudicial
partition; and (2) when the provisions of Rule 74 Sec 1 have been strictly
complied with, i.e., that all persons or heirs of the decedent have taken part
in the extrajudicial settlement or are represented by themselves or through
guardians. The case at bar failed to comply with both requirements because
not all the heirs interested have participated in the extrajudicial settlement.
ISSUE: WON Sinoperas action is barred by the statute of limitations
RULING: No.
RATIO: In the first place, there is nothing under Sec 596 or in its source
which shows clearly a statute of limitations and a bar of action against third
persons. It is only a bar against the parties who had taken part in the
extrajudicial proceedings, but not against persons not parties thereto.
Second, the statute of limitations is contained in a different chapter of Act no
190 (Chapter XL) and if Sec 596 had been meant to be a statute of
limitations, it would naturally have been included in the chapter which
defines the statute.
Even if it were a statute of limitations, Rule 74 Sec 4 is still unavailing to
Sampilo et al. The action is based on fraud, as the widow Leoncia had
declared in her affidavit of partition that the decedent left no nephews or
nieces, nor other heirs except herself. Sinoperas right of action, which is
based on fraud, has a period of 4 years. It does not appear to have lapsed
when the action was instituted because the judicial proceedings were
instituted in March 1950, soon after the discovery of the fraud.
ISSUE: WON Sampilo and Salacup are innocent purchasers for value
RULING: No.
RATIO: With regard to Ssampilo, he cannot be an innocent purchaser for
value due to: (1) He is a nephew of Leoncia and they have been living
together; (2) both Sampilo and the heirs of the deceased are residents of
San Manuel, Pangasinan. It is hard to believe, then, that Sampilo did not
know of the existence of the heirs. Moreover, Sampilo accompanied Leoncia
when they went to Atty. Ladislao Villamil (Leoncias uncle) to prepare the
affidavit of self-adjudicaiton, and the fact that there is no evidence that the
consideration of P10,000 had in fact been paid shows that the immediate
conveyance was a stratagem to defeat the rights of the other heirs.
With regard to Salacup, it is well-settled that a purchaser of registered lands
who has knowledge of facts which should put him on inquiry and investigate

as to the possible defects of the title of the vendor and fails to make such
inquiry and investigation cannot claim that he is a purchaser in good faith for
value and he had acquired a valid title thereto.
DISPOSITIVE: CA decision affirmed in toto.
1.
ESTATE OF DECEASED PERSON; EXTRAJUDICIAL SETTLEMENT;
PERSONS WHO MAY SEEK REMEDY WITHIN TWO-YEAR PERIOD; SECTIONS
1 AND 4 OF RULE 74 CONSTRUED AND INTERPRETED. There are two
significant provisions in section 1, and 4 of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court. In
Section 1, it is required that if there are two or more heirs, both or all of
them should take part in the extrajudicial settlement. This requirement is
made more imperative in the old law (Section 596, Act No. 190) by the
addition of the clause "and not otherwise". By the title of Section 4, the
"distributees and estate" are indicated as the persons to answer for rights
violated by extrajudicial settlement. On the other hand, it is also significant
that no mention is made expressly of the effect of the extrajudicial
settlement on persons who did not take part therein or had no notice or
knowledge thereof. There cannot be any doubt that those who took part or
had knowledge of the extrajudicial settlement are bound thereby. As to them
the law is clear that if they claim to have been in any manner deprived of
their lawful right or share in the estate by the extrajudicial settlement, they
may demand their rights or interest within the period of two years, and both
the distributees and estate would be liable to them for such rights or
interest. Evidently, they are the persons who, in accordance with the
provision, may seek to remedy the prejudice to their rights within the twoyear period. But as to those who did not take part in the settlement or had
no notice of the death of the decedent or of the settlement, there is no direct
or express provision, and it is unreasonable and unjust that they also be
required to assert their claims within the period of two years. To extend the
effect of the settlement of them, to those who did not take part or had no
knowledge thereof, without any express legal provision to that effect, would
be violative of the fundamental right to due process of law.
2.
ID.; ID.; THIRD PERSON NOT AFFECTED. The procedure outlined in
Section 1 of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court of extrajudicial settlement or by
affidavit is an ex-parte proceeding. It cannot by any reason or logic be
contended that such settlement or distribution would affect third persons
who had no knowledge either of the death of the decedent or of the
extrajudicial settlement or affidavit, specially as no mention of such effect is
made either directly or by implication.
3.
ID.; ID.; PERSONS WHO ARE BARRED AFTER EXPIRATION OF TWO
YEARS. The provisions of Section 4 of Rule 74, barring distributees or

heirs from objecting to an extrajudicial partition after the expiration of two


years from such extrajudicial partition, is applicable only (1) to persons who
have participated or taken part or had notice of the extrajudicial partition,
and, in addition, (2) when the provisions of section 1 or Rule 74 have been
strictly complied with, i.e., that all the persons or heirs of the decedent have
taken part in the extrajudicial settlement or are represented by themselves
or through guardians.
4.
ID.; ID.; SECTION 4, RULE 74 IS NOT A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.
There is nothing in section 4 of Rule 74, or in its source (section 596 of Act
190), which shows clearly a statute of limitations and a bar of action against
third persons. It is only a bar against the parties who had taken part in the
extrajudicial proceedings, but not against third persons not parties thereto.
The statute of limitations is contained in a different chapter of Act No. 190,
Chapter XL, and if section 596 of the Act had been meant to be a statute of
limitations, it would naturally have been included in the chapter which
defined the statute.

(40)
VICENTE BRIONES V. PETRA PLATON, 12 PHIL 275 (1908)
EN BANC: Arellano, Torres, Mapa, Johnson Carson, Willard, concurring
PONENTE: J. Tracey
Pablo Borbon for plaintiff-appellant
J.C. Knudson for defendant-appelle
NATURE: Appeal from a judgment of CFI Batangas in dismissing an action
for recovery of a parcel of land
FACTS: 50 years prior to this action, Domingo Castillo and his wife died,
leaving a parcel of land. They were survived by their 4 children (undivided
land).
1. When the last of the siblings, Domingo Castillo, died more than 30
years ago.
2. The litigation has arisen between the descendants of the second and
third degrees

3. Plaintiff (Briones) claimed exclusive rights over the property and


alleged that in 1903, all the members of the family agreed upon a
partition which was carried into effect in 1907 and in support of his
contention, produced several deeds in evidence
4. It appears that none of the defendants (Platon) took part in this
partition nor had they knowledge of it
5. According to one witness, Epifanio Atienza, while no one of the part of
the family were present, he as the eldest male, assumed to represent
the rest of that branch and to the divide the land for them. Apparently,
he held no power to that effect, written or oral
ISSUE: WON the action filed by Briones et al had prescribed
RULING: No.
RATIO: It is clear that defendants are not bound by an operation in which
they took no part, and for that reason plaintiff cannot succeed in recovering
the exclusive possession of the land occupied by them, which is the subject
of this action.
DISPOSITIVE: Decision of CFI Batangas affirmed; leaving both parties to
assert in a proper way whatever rights may have originally been theirs in the
property in suit, whether as tenants in common or otherwise.
ESTATES; PARTITION; RECOVERY OF POSSESSION. Plaintiff claimed
exclusive right to certain land in possession of the defendants, a part of an
estate of inheritance, alleging that in 1903 all the members of the family
agreed to a partition which was effected in 1907, and in support of his
contention produced certain deeds in evidence. None of the defendants
participated in the partition, but one of the heirs assumed to act for the
absent heirs: Held, that defendants are not bound by such a transaction, in
which they did not take part and that plaintiff cannot recover the exclusive
possession of the property.

(41)
INTESTATE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED GELACIO SEBIAL. BENJAMINA
SEBIAL V. ROBERTA SEBIAL, JULIANO SEBIAL and HEIRS OOF
BALBINA SEBIAL, 64 SCRA 385 (1975)
2ND DIVISION: Fernando, Antonio, Concepcion Jr., Barredo
PONENTE: J. Aquino
C. Dela Victoria & L. Dela Victoria for oppositor-appellants
Robustiano D. Dejaresco for petitioner-appellee
FACTS: Gelacio Sebial died intestate in 1943 in Pinamungajan, Cebu. He
was survived by his 3 children from his first wife, Leoncia Manikis (died
1919): Roberta, Balbina and Juliano; and by his second wife, Dolores Enad
(married 1927): Benjamina, Valentina, Ciriaco, Gregoria, Esperanza and
Luciano
1. On June 17, 1960, Benjmina Sebial filed a petition before CFI Cebu for
the settlement of Gelacios estate. She prayed that she be appointed
administratrix of the estate
2. Roberta Sebial opposed the petition on the ground that the estate of
Gelacio had already been partitioned. In their supplemental opposition,

Roberta et al contended that the remedy of Benjamina was an action


to rescind the partition
3. The lower court in its order (dated Jan 16, 1961) appointed Benjamina
administratrix. The court also held that since the properties were
valued at more than P6,000, the alleged partition was invalid and
ineffective
4. Letters of administration were subsequently issued to Benjamina on
Jan 19, 1961. On the same date, a notice to creditors was issued.
5. The oppositors moved for reconsideration of the order appointing
Benjamina as administratrix on the ground that the estate had already
been partitioned on Aug 29, 1945 and that the action to rescind the
partition had already prescribed. The lower court denied the MR on Feb
11, 1961
6. On March 16, 1961, the oppositors filed a motion to terminate the
administration proceeding on the ground that the estate was valued at
less P6,000 and that it had already been partitioned
7. On April 27, 1961, Benjamina filed an inventory and appraisal of the
decedents estate allegedly consisting of 7 unregistered parcels of land
with a total of P9,000. Roberta et al opposed on the ground that the
said properties were no longer part of the estate
8. On May 6, 1961, the administratrix filed a motion to require Lorenzo
Rematado, Demetrio Camillio and spouses Roberta Sebial to deliver to
her certain parcels of land
9. On June 24, 1961, the probate court issued an order suspending
action on the intestate proceedings in view of the possibility of an
amicable settlement. It ordered the parties to prepare a complete list
of the properties of the decedent, with a segregation of the properties
belonging to each regime
10.
Roberta et al submitted their own inventory of Gelacio and
Leoncia consisting of 2 parcels of land. They alleged the conjugal
estate of Gelacio and Dolores Enad consisted only of 1 parcel of land.
The 7-hectare land was sold by the children of the 2 nd marriage to
Eduardo Cortado
11.
Given this inventory, the oppositors claimed that the partition of
the children of the first marriage was share while that of the second
marriage was share. The administratrix opposed this inventory
12.
In an order dated Nov 11, the lower court required the
administratrix to submit another inventory. Benjamina then submitted
an inventory (dated Nov 7, 1961) reproducing her earlier inventory
and adding 2 other items: 2 houses allegedly valued at P8,000 and the
fruits of the properties valued at P5,000. Roberta et al opposed
13.
The oppositors subsequently filed a motion for revision of
partition (Nov 24, 1961) based on their own inventory

14.
The lower court approved the Nov 7, 1961 inventory (order
dated Dec 11, 1961) because there was allegedly prima facie evidence
that 7 parcels of land and 2 houses belonged to Gelacios estate. The
lower court denied the motion for revision of partition (Dated Nov 20,
1961)
15.
On Dec 29, 1961, Robert filed MR on the grounds (1) the court
had no jurisdiction to approve an inventory filed beyond the 3-month
period fixed in Rule 84 Sec 1; (2) said inventory is not supported by
documentary evidence; (3) the 2 houses were destroyed by the
Japanese in 1943; (4) the valuation of P17,000 was fake since the
total amount of the 7 parcels of land was only P3,080; and (5)
Gelacios estate could be settled summarily because of its small value
under Rule 74 Sec 2
16.
Without waiting for the resolution of their MR, Roberta et al filed
a notice of appeal from the 2 orders dated Dec 11, 1961.
17.
The lower court (dated Jan 18, 1962) denied MR. it approved
Robertas amended record on appeal
18.
On appeal, CA (resolution dated July 31, 1964) certified the case
to SC as it involves only legal issues
ISSUE: WON the 3-month period unde Rule 83 Sec 1 is mandatory
RULING: No.
RATIO: The 3-month period prescribed under Rule 83 Se 1 ROC is not
mandatory. After the filing of a petition for issuance of letters of
administration and the publication of the notice of hearing, CFI acquires
jurisdiction over a decedents estate and retains that jurisdiction until the
proceeding is closed. The fact that an inventory was filed after the 3-month
period would not deprive the probate court of jurisdiction to approve it.
However, an administrators unexplained delay in filing the inventory may be
a ground for his removal.
ISSUE: WON the probate court has jurisdiction over the estate where its
value is controversial
RULING: Yes.
RATIO: Where the contention that the descendant's estate being less
than P5,000 could be settled summarily under Section 2, Rule 74, and not in
an administration proceeding rests on a controversial basis, because in
the amended inventory the gross valuation was P17,000 ,and no evidence
was adduced to ascertain the actual value of the estate so that the
conflicting claims remain unresolved, HELD: That the probate court is not
precluded from proceeding with the intestate proceedings. Moreover, no

useful purpose could be served by dismissing the proceedings and ordering a


new petition for summary settlement be filed. Inasmuch as a regular
administrator had been appointed, notice to creditors issued, and no claims
filed, the probate court could proceed summarily and expeditiously to
terminate the proceedings.
DISPOSITIVE: Probate courts order dated Dec 11, 1961 granting the
administratrixs motion (May 4, 1961) for the delivery to her of certain
parcels is set aside. Its other order (dated Dec 11, 1961) approving the
amended inventory should not be considered a final adjudication on the
ownership of the properties listed in the inventory. The case is remanded to
lower court for further proceedings.
1.
INTESTATE ESTATE; INVENTORY; FAILURE OF THE ADMINISTRATRIX
TO FILE THE INVENTORY WITHIN THE THREE-MONTH PERIOD DOES NOT
DEPRIVE THE COURT THE AUTHORITY TO APPROVE THE SAME.
Oppositors' contention that the probate court had no jurisdiction to approve
the inventory because the administratrix filed it after three months from
date of her appointment is not well-taken. The three-month period
prescribed in Section 1, Rule 83 of the Rules of Court is not mandatory. After
the filing of petition for the issuance of letters of administration and the
publication of the notice of hearing, the proper court of first instance
acquires jurisdiction over a decedent's estate and retains that jurisdiction
until the proceeding is closed, and the fact that the inventory was filed after
the three-month period does not deprive the probate court of jurisdiction to
approve it.
2.
ID.; ID.; ID.; DELAY IN THE FILING OF THE INVENTORY IS A GROUND
FOR REMOVING THE ADMINISTRATOR. The administrator's unexplained
delay in filing the inventory may be a ground for his removal.
3.
ID.; ID.; APPROVAL OF THE INVENTORY NOT A CONCLUSIVE
DETERMINATION OF DECEDENT'S ASSETS AND VALUATION. The probate
court's approval of the inventory is not a conclusive determination of what
assets constituted the decedent's estate and of the valuation thereof,
because such determination is only provisional in character and is without
prejudice to a judgment in a separate action on the issue of title or
ownership.
4.
ID.; TITLE TO PROPERTY CANNOT BE PASSED UPON IN INTESTATE
PROCEEDING; EXCEPTION. The general rule is that questions of title
property cannot be passed upon in a testate or intestate proceeding.
However, when the parties are all heirs of the decedent, it is optional upon

them to submit to the probate court the question of title to property and,
when so submitted, the probate court may definitely pass judgment thereon.
5.
ID.; ID.; DECEDENT'S ASSETS THOUGH FRAUDULENTLY CONVEYED
CANNOT BE RECOVERED EXCEPT IN A SEPARATE ACTION BROUGHT FOR
THE PURPOSE. Matters affecting property under the administration may
be taken cognizance of by the probate court in the course of the intestate
proceedings provided that the interest of third persons are not prejudiced.
However, the third person to whom the decedent's assets had been
fraudulently conveyed may be cited to appear in court and may be examined
under oath as to how they came into the possession of the decedent's assets
but a separate action is necessary to recover said assets.
6.
ID.; PRESCRIPTION; PRESCRIPTION DOES NOT RUN IN FAVOR OF A
CO-HEIR EXCEPT FROM THE TIME REPUDIATION OF THE CO-OWNERSHIP IS
MADE BY THE OTHER HEIR. Generally prescription does not run in favor of
a co-heir as long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership.
But from the moment that a co-heir claims absolute and exclusive ownership
of the hereditary properties and denies the others any share therein, the
question involved is no longer partition but that of ownership hence, the
principle of prescription will set in.
7.
ID.; JURISDICTION PROBATE COURT MAY PROCEED WITH INTESTATE
ESTATE WHERE VALUE OF ESTATE IS CONTROVERSIAL. Where the
contention that the descendant's estate being less than P5,000 could be
settled summarily under Section 2, Rule 74, and not in an administration
proceeding rests on a controversial basis, because in the amended
inventory the gross valuation was P17,000 ,and no evidence was adduced to
ascertain the actual value of the estate so that the conflicting claims remain
unresolved, HELD: That the probate court is not precluded from proceeding
with the intestate proceedings. Moreover, no useful purpose could be served
by dismissing the proceedings and ordering a new petition for summary
settlement be filed. Inasmuch as a regular administrator had been
appointed, notice to creditors issued, and no claims filed, the probate court
could proceed summarily and expeditiously to terminate the proceedings.
8.
ID.; AMICABLE SETTLEMENT; PROBATE COURT MUST PROMOTE THE
AMICABLE SETTLEMENT OF THE CONTROVERSY. The probate court with
the cooperation of the lawyers of the parties should strive to effect an
amicable settlement of the case. However, if efforts to arrive at an amicable
settlement prove fruitless, the probate court should ascertain what assets
constituted the estate; what happened to those assets; and whether the
children of the first and second marriage could still have their share,
howsoever small, in the decedent's estate.

SYNOPSIS: Oppositors-appellants appealed from the two orders of the


probate court both dated December 11, 1961, one approving the amended
inventory of the decedent's estate filed by the duly appointed administratrix
and the other directing the heirs or persons in possession of certain
properties of the estate to deliver them to the administratrix. Oppositorsappellants argued that the probate court lacks jurisdiction to approve said
inventory filed beyond the three-month period from the date of appointment
of the administratrix; that the valuation of the inventoried properties were
fake, fictitious and fantastic; that the inventory is not supported by
documentary evidence; that the additional; two houses were nonexistent;
that the settlement of the estate can be made summarily because of its
small value and that an ordinary civil action is necessary to recover the lands
in possession of third persons. The Court of Appeals certified the appeal to
the Supreme Court since only legal questions were raised.
The Supreme Court set aside the order directing the delivery of certain
properties to the administratrix because the probate court failed to receive
evidence as to the ownership of the properties, ruled that the order
approving the amended inventory should not be considered as a final
adjudication on the ownership of certain properties mentioned therein, and
ordered the remand of the case to the probate court for further proceedings
in accordance with the guidelines laid down in the decision.

(42)

FAUSTINO REYES, ESPERIDION REYES, JULIETA C. RIVERA and


EUTIQUIO DICO JR. V. PETER B. ENRIQUEZ, for himself and as
attorney-in-fact of his daughter DEBORAH ANN C. ENRIQUEZ, and
SPOUSES DIONISIO FERNANDEZ and CATALINA FERNANDEZ, 551
SCRA 86 (2008)
1ST DIVISION: Carpio, Corona, Leonardo-De Castro, Azcuna
PONENTE: J. Puno
NATURE: Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 from the CA
decision (dated Sept 29, 2003) which reversed the dismissal of RTC Cebu of
the complaint filed by Enriquez et al
FACTS: According to petitioners Fausto Reyes et al, they are the lawful heirs
of Dionisia Reyes who co-owned the subject parcel of land with Anacleto
Cabrera
1. On April 17, 1996, petitioners executed an extrajudicial settlement
with sale of the estate of Dionisia Reyes. Subsequently, petitioners and
the known heirs of Anacleto Cabrera (March 21, 1997) executed a
segregation of real estate and confirmation of sale over the same
property. As a consequence, the TCT covering the subject property was
cancelled and a new was issued in the name of: (1) Anacleto Cabrera
covering Lot 1851-A; (2) Eutiquio Dico covering Lot 1851-B; (3)
Faustino Reyes covering Lot 1851-C; (4) Esperidion Reyes Lot 1851-D;
(5) Julieta Rivera Lot 1851-E; (6) Felipe Dico Lot 1851-F; and (7)
Archimedes Villaluz Lot 1851-G.
2. Respodents Enriquez et al alleged that their predecessor-in-interest
Anacleto Cabrera and his wife (Patricia Seguera) co-owned the subject
property (1051 sqm).
a. Spouses Cabrera were survived by their 2 daughters: Graciana and
Etta (wife of Peter Enriquez). Graciana sold her share to Etta; when
Etta died, she was survived by Peter and Deborah Ann (extrajudicial
settlement of the estate)
3. On June 19, 1999, Enriquez sold 200sqm of the 1051 sqm share to
spouses Fernandez.
4. When spouses Fernandez tried to register their share in the property,
they discovered that certain documents prevented them from doing so
a. Affidavit of Anacleto (dated March 16, 1957) that his share is
369sqm
b. Affidavit by Dionisia Reyes dated July 13, 1929 stating that
Anacleto only owned - of Lot No. 1851, while 302.55 sq. m. belongs
to Dionisia and the rest of the property is co-owned by Nicolasa
Bacalso, Juan Reyes, Florentino Reyes and Maximiano Dico
c. Extra-Judicial Settlement with Sale of the Estate of Dionisia Reyes
dated April 17, 1996

d. certificates of title in the name of petitioners


e. Deed of Segregation of Real Estate and Confirmation of Sale dated
March 21, 1997 executed by the alleged heirs of Dionisia Reyes and
Anacleto Cabrera.
5. Respondents then filed a complaint for the nullification or annulment of
the documents. They likewise prayed for the repartition and resubdivision of the subject property
6. Upon motion of the petitioners Reyes et al, RTC Cebu dismissed the
case on the ground that respondents were actually seeking to be
declared heirs of Anacleto since they cannot demand the partition of
the property without first being declared as legal heirs, which should
be done in a special proceeding
7. On appeal, CA reversed the RTC decision and directed the trial court to
proceed with the hearing of the case. MR was denied
ISSUE: WON respondents have to be declared heirs of Anacleto before they
can file a civil action to nullity the affividavits of Anacleto Cabrera and
Dionisia Reyes etc.
RULING: Yes.
RATIO: In cases wherein alleged heirs of a decedent in whose name a
property was registered sue to recover said property through the institution
of an ordinary civil action, such a complaint for reconveyance and partition,
or nullification of TCTs and other documents, a declaration of heirship is
improper in an ordinary civil action since the matter is within the exclusive
competence of the court in a special proceeding.
If the special proceedings are pending, or if there are no special proceedings
filed but there is, under the circumstances of the case, a need to file one,
then the determination of, among other issues, heirship should be raised and
settled in said special proceedings.
CAB: A review of the allegations in the complaiant shows that the right being
asserted by the respondents are their right as heirs of Anacleto whom they
claim co-owned of the subject property and not merely as stated in the
documents they sought to annul.
Respondents have yet to substantiate their cliam as the legal heirs of
Anacleto. Neither is there anything in the records of the case that would
show that a special proceeding to have themselves declared as heirs of
Anacleto Cabrera had been filed. As such, the trial court correctly dismissed
the case for there is lack of cause of action when a case is instituted by

parties who are not real parties in interest. While a declaration of heirship is
not prayed for in the complaint, it is clear from the allegations therein that
the right the respondents sought to protect or enforce is that of an heir of
one of the registered co-owners of the property prior to the issuance of the
TCTs that they seek to cancel. Thus, there is a need to establish their status
as such heirs in the proper forum.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition granted. CA decision is reversed and the decision of
RTC dismissing the complaint is reinstated.
(43)
ISABEL P. PORTUGAL and JOSE DOUGLAS PORTUGAL JR. V. LEONILA
PORTUGAL-BELTRAN, 467 SCRA 184 (2005)
3RD DIVISION:
PONENTE: J. CARPIO-MORALES
Isabel Portugal in her own behalf and for other petitioner.
Felizardo M. Mercado for respondent.
NATURE: Petition for review on certiorari assailing the CA decision (dated
Sept 24, 2002) which affirmed the decision of RTC Caloocan Branch 14,
which dismissed the complaint for annulment of title for failure to state a
cause of action and lack of jurisdiction
FACTS: Jose Q. Portugal married Paz Lazo on Nov 25, 1942; they had one
child: Leonila Portugal (respondent).
1. Portugal contracted a subsequent marriage with Isabel dela Puerta
(petitioner). On Sept 13, 1949, Isabel gave birth to Jose Douglas
Portugal Jr.
2. Portugal and his 4 siblings executed a Deed of extrajudicial partition
and waiver of rights (dated May 16, 1968) over the estate of their
father, Mariano Portugal, who died intestate on Nov 2, 1964. Portugals
siblings waived their rights and interests over a parcel of land in
Caloocan in Portugals favor
3. As such, RD Caloocan (Jan 2, 1970) issued a new title covering the
Caloocan property in Portugals name (Jose Portugal married to Paz
Lazo)
4. Paz died on Feb 18 1984. A year later (April 21, 1985), Portugal died
intestate.
5. Respondent Portugal-Beltran executed an affidavit of self-adjudication
(Feb 15 1988) and adjudicated to herself the subject property. A new
TCT was then issued in her name (Leonila Portugal-Beltran married to
Merardo M. Beltran Jr.)
6. Upon discovery of Portugals death and of the affidavit by Beltran,
petitioners filed an action (RTC Caloocan Branch 124 dated July 23,

1996) for the annulment of the affidavit of self-adjudication and


cancellation of the TCT issued in Beltrans name
7. The trial court (dated Jan 18, 2001), without resolving the issues
defined in pretrial (which of the two marriages is valid; who are
entitled to their claims) dismissed the complaint for lack of cause of
action on the ground that the petitioners status and rights as putative
heirs had not been established for probate and lack of jurisdiction
8. On appeal, CA affirmed the RTCs dismissal of the case
ISSUE: WON petitioners have to institute a special proceeding to determine
their status as heirs before they can pursue the case for annulment of
affidavit of self-adjudication and TCT issued in Beltrans name
RULING: Yes.
RATIO: The common doctrine in Litam, Solivio and Guilas in which the
adverse parties are putative heirs to the estate of a decedent or parties to
the special proceedings for its settlement is that if the special proceedings
are pending, or if there are no special proceedings filed but there is, under
the circumstances of the case, a need to file one, then the determination of,
among other issues, heirship should be raised and settled in said special
proceedings. Where special proceedings had been instituted but had been
finally close and terminated, however, or if a putative heir has lost the right
to have himself declared in the special proceedings as co-heir and he can no
longer ask for its reopening, then an ordinary civil action can be filed for his
declaration as heir in order to bring about the annulment of the partition or
distribution or adjudication of a property or properties belonging to the
decedents estate.
CAB: Respondent, believing she was the sole heir to Portugals estate,
executed an affidavit of self-adjudication under Rule 74 Sec 1. This rule is an
exception to the general rule that when a person dies leaving a property, it
should be judicially administered and the competent court should appoint a
qualified administrator, in the order established in Rule 78 Sec 6 in case the
deceased left no will, or in case he did, he failed to name an executor.
Petitioners claim to be the exclusive heirs of Portugal. A probate or intestate
court, no doubt, has jurisdiction to declare who are the heirs of a deceased.
However, under the circumstances of the case, a special proceeding could be
long, hence, not expeditious, just to establish the status of petitioners as
heirs is not only impractical; it is burdensome to the estate. And it is
superfluous in light of the fact that the parties could and had already
presented evidence before the trial court.

There being no compelling reason to still subject Portugals estate to


administration proceedings since a determination of petitioners status as
heirs could be achieved in the civil case filed by petitioners, the trial court
should proceed to evaluate the evidence presented by the parties and render
a decision thereon upon the issues it defined during pre-trial.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition granted. Assailed decision of Sept 24, 2002 of CA is
set aside.
1.
REMEDIAL LAW; SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS; SETTLEMENT OF ESTATE OF
A DECEASED PERSON; WHERE SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS HAD BEEN
INSTITUTED BUT HAD BEEN FINALLY CLOSED AND TERMINATED, OR IF A
PUTATIVE HEIR HAS LOST THE RIGHT TO HAVE HIMSELF DECLARED IN THE
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS AS CO-HEIR AND HE CAN NO LONGER ASK FOR ITS
RE-OPENING, AN ORDINARY CIVIL ACTION CAN BE FILED FOR HIS
DECLARATION AS HEIR IN ORDER TO BRING ABOUT THE ANNULMENT OF
THE PARTITION, DISTRIBUTION OR ADJUDICATION OF PROPERTIES
BELONGING TO THE DECEASED. The common doctrine in Litam, Solivio
and Guilas in which the adverse parties are putative heirs to the estate of a
decedent or parties to the special proceedings for its settlement is that if the
special proceedings are pending, or if there are no special proceedings filed
but there is, under the circumstances of the case, a need to file one, then
the determination of, among other issues, heirship should be raised and
settled in said special proceedings. Where special proceedings had been
instituted but had been finally closed and terminated, however, or if a
putative heir has lost the right to have himself declared in the special
proceedings as co-heir and he can no longer ask for its re-opening, then an
ordinary civil action can be filed for his declaration as heir in order to bring
about the annulment of the partition or distribution or adjudication of a
property or properties belonging to the estate of the deceased.
2.
ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. In the case at bar, respondent,
believing rightly or wrongly that she was the sole heir to Portugal's estate,
executed on February 15, 1988 the questioned Affidavit of Adjudication
under the second sentence of Rule 74, Section 1 of the Revised Rules of
Court. Said rule is an exception to the general rule that when a person dies
leaving a property, it should be judicially administered and the competent
court should appoint a qualified administrator, in the order established in
Sec. 6, Rule 78 in case the deceased left no will, or in case he did, he failed
to name an executor therein. Petitioners claim, however, to be the exclusive
heirs of Portugal. A probate or intestate court, no doubt, has jurisdiction to
declare who are the heirs of a deceased. It appearing, however, that in the
present case the only property of the intestate estate of Portugal is the
Caloocan parcel of land, to still subject it, under the circumstances of the

case, to a special proceeding which could be long, hence, not expeditious,


just to establish the status of petitioners as heirs is not only impractical; it is
burdensome to the estate with the costs and expenses of an administration
proceeding. And it is superfluous in light of the fact that the parties to the
civil case subject of the present case, could and had already in fact
presented evidence before the trial court which assumed jurisdiction over
the case upon the issues it defined during pre-trial. In fine, under the
circumstances of the present case, there being no compelling reason to still
subject Portugal's estate to administration proceedings since a determination
of petitioners' status as heirs could be achieved in the civil case filed by
petitioners, the trial court should proceed to evaluate the evidence presented
by the parties during the trial and render a decision thereon upon the issues
it defined during pre-trial.

(44)
MARIA ELENA RODRIGUEZ PEDROSA V. COURT OF APPEALS, JOSE,
CARMEN, MERCEDES & RAMON RODRIGUEZ, ROSALINA RODRIGUEZ,
CHAN LUNG FAI, MATEO TAN TE, TE ENG SUY, LORETA TE, VICTORIO
S. DETALIA, JEROME DEIPARINE, PETRONILO S. DETALIA, HUBERT
CHIU YULO, PATERIO N. LAO, LORENSITA M. PADILLA, IMMACULATE
CONCEPCION COLLEGE and LILIAN EXPRESS INC, and TIO TUAN,
353 SCRA 620 (2001)
2ND DIVISION: Bellosillo, Mendoza, Buena, De Leon
PONENTE: J. Quisumbing
Goering G.C. Paderanga for petitioner
Galileo J. Tricio for private respondents
Egbert S. Capalla for private respondent Tiu Tuan
NATURE: Petition for review assailing the decision of CA dated May 23,
1994 which affirmed the judgment of RTC Ozamiz Branch 15
FACTS: Spouses Miguel and Rosalina Rodriguez initiated proceedings before
CFI Ozamiz for the adoption of petitioner Maria Elena Rodriguez Pedrosa. CFI
granted the petition and declared Pedrosa the adopted child of Miguel and
Rosalina on Aug 1, 1946
1. On April 29, 1972, Miguel died intestate. Thereafter, Pedrosa and
Rosalina entered into an extrajudicial settlement of Miguels estate,

adjudicating between themselves in equal proportion the estate of


Miguel
2. Subsequently, private respondents Jose Rodriguez et al filed an action
to annul Pedrosas adoption (Nov 21, 1972)
3. CFI Ozamiz denied the petition (Aug 28, 1974) and upheld the validity
of the adoption. Private respondents appealed to CA
4. While the appeal was pending, the Rodriguezes entered into an
extrajudicial settlement (March 11, 1983) with Rosalina for the
partition of the estate of Miguel and of another sister, Pilar. Rosalina
acted as the representative of the heirs of Miguel. Pilar had no heirs
except her brothers and sisters.
5. The deed of extrajudicial settlement and partition covered 14 parcels
of land. These were divided among Jose, Carmen, Mercedes, the heirs
of Miguel (represented by Rosalina)
6. With the deed of extrajudicial settlement, private respondents were
able to secure new TCTs in their names and were able to transfer some
parcels to the other respondents
7. On June 19, 1986, the parties in the appeal which sought to annul the
adoption of Pedrosa filed a joint motion to dismiss. CA dismissed the
appeal (June 25, 1986) but upheld the validity of Pedrosas adoption
8. Thereafter, Pedrosa sent her daughter, Loreto Jocelyn, to claim their
share of the properties from the Rodriguezes. The latter refused saying
that Pedrosa and Loreto wre not heirs because they were not their
blood relatives
9. Pedrosa, then, filed a complaint to annul the 1983 partition (Jan 28,
1987) but was amended on March 25, 1987 (amicable settlement
failed)
10.
RTC dismissed the complaint. Pedrosa appealed to CA. CA
affirmed the same on the following grounds:
a. The participation of Rosalina has already estopped her from
questioning the validity of the partition; it follows her successo-ininterest (Pedrosa) is likewise estopped
b. Pedrosas inconsistent claim that the partition would have been
alright had she been given a more equitable share
c. The action is necessarily an action for rescission and had been filed
beyond the 4-year period
d. Fraud or bad faith was never established
11.
Petitioner argues that the complaint for the extrajudicial partition
has not yet prescribed since the prescriptive period is 4 years and not
2 years as provided under Rule 74 Sec 1. Rule 74 Sec 1 does not apply
since the requirements are not present in her case, i.e. notice and her
participation in the partition

ISSUE: WON the complaint for annulment of the deed of extrajudicial


settlement and partition had already prescribed
RULING: No.
RATIO: Rule 74 Sec 1 provides for a 2-year prescriptive period to (1)
persons who have participated or taken part or had notice of the
extrajudicial partition; (2) when the provisions of Rule 74 Sec 1 have been
strictly complied with, i.e. all the persons or heirs of the decedent have
taken part in the extrajudicial settlement or are represented.
CAB: Pedrosa did not participate in the extrajudicial partition. As such, the 2year prescriptive period is not applicable in her case.
The applicable prescriptive period here is 4 years where the action to annul a
deed of extrajudicial settlement upon the ground of fraud. Such discovery is
deemed to have taken place when said instrument was filed with RD and
new TCTs were issued.
CAB: Considering that the petitioner filed the complaint on Jan 28, 1987 (3
years and 10 months) after the disputed extrajudicial settlement, her action
against private respondents have not yet prescribed.
Rule 74 Sec 1, without the participation of all persons involved in the
proceedings, the extrajudicial settlement cannot be binding on said persons.
The rule contemplates a notice which must be sent out or issued before the
deed of settlement and/or partition is agreed upon.
It is not also applicable when the deed of extrajudicial partition sought to be
annulled on the ground of fraud. Being an adoptive daughter of Miguel and
Rosalina, she excludes the collateral relatives of Miguel from participating in
his estate following Art 1003 NCC.
ISSUE: WON said deed is valid
RULING: No.
RATIO: Private respondents cannot claim that they were not aware of
Pedrosas adoption since they even filed an action to annul the decree of
adoption. Neither can they claim their actions were valid since the action for
the annulment of the adoption was still pending at the time they executed
the partition. Moreover, the petition was filed only 26 years after the decree
of adoption apparently to prevent Pedrosa from inheriting from her adoptive
father.

To say that Pedrosa was represented by Rosalina in the partition is


imprecise. Pedrosa was no longer a minor at the time Miguel died. As such,
Rosalina only represented own interests and not those of Pedrosa. Since
Miguel predeceased Pilar, his estate automatically vested to his child and
widow, in equal shares. Therefore, private respondents interests did not
include Miguels estate but only Pilars.
ISSUE: WON petitioner is entitled to recover the lots, which had already
been transferred to respondent buyers
RULING: No.
RATIO: Given the circumstances of this case, the SC held that it is not the
proper forum to decide this issue. The properties sought to be recovered are
now all registered under the name of third parties. Well-settled is the
doctrine that a Torrens title cannot be collaterally attacked. The validity of
the title can only be raised in an action expressly instituted for such purpose.
ISSUE: WON petitioner is entitled to damages
RULING: Nominal damages only.
RATIO: Actual damages, as well as moral damages, to be recoverable, must
be proved with a reasonable degree of certainty. The court cannot simply
rely on speculation, conjecture or guesswork in determining the fact ad
amount of damages.
It is reasonable to grant nominal damages in recognition of a technical
injury. The amount to be awarded as such damages should at least
commensurate to the injury sustained by the petitioner considering the
concept and purpose of said damages. Such award is given in view of the
peculiar circumstances cited and the special reasons extant in this case.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition granted. Assailed CA decision is reversed and set
aside. The Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement and Partition executed on March
11, 1983 is declared invalid.
1.
REMEDIAL
LAW;
SPECIAL
PROCEEDINGS;
EXTRAJUDICIAL
SETTLEMENT OF ESTATES AND PARTITION; PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD; TWOYEAR PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD NOT APPLICABLE WHERE HEIR OF DECEDENT
DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE PROCEEDINGS. Section 4, Rule 74 provides
for a two year prescriptive period (1) to persons who have participated or
taken part or had notice of the extrajudicial partition, and in addition (2)
when the provisions of Section 1 of Rule 74 have been strictly complied with,

i.e., that all the persons or heirs of the decedent have taken part in the
extrajudicial settlement or are represented by themselves or through
guardians. Petitioner, as the records confirm, did not participate in the
extrajudicial partition. Patently then, the two-year prescriptive period is not
applicable in her case.
2.
ID.; ID.; ID.; ANNULMENT OF DEED ON GROUND OF FRAUD;
PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD. The applicable prescriptive period here is four (4)
years as provided in Gerona vs. De Guzman, 11 SCRA 153 (1964), which
held that: [The action to annul] a deed of "extrajudicial settlement" upon the
ground of fraud . . . may be filed within four years from the discovery of the
fraud. Such discovery is deemed to have taken place when said instrument
was filed with the Register of Deeds and new certificates of title were issued
in the name of respondents exclusively. Considering that the complaint of
the petitioner was filed on January 28, 1987, or three years and ten months
after the questioned extrajudicial settlement dated March 11, 1983, was
executed, we hold that her action against the respondents on the basis of
fraud has not yet prescribed.
3.
ID.; ID.; ID.; NOT BINDING ON PERSON WHO DID NOT PARTICIPATE
IN THE PROCEEDINGS; NOTICE TO THE HEIRS MUST BE ISSUED BEFORE
THE DEED OF SETTLEMENT OR PARTITION IS AGREED UPON. Under
Section 1 of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court, without the participation of all
persons involved in the proceedings, the extrajudicial settlement cannot be
binding on said persons. The rule contemplates a notice which must be sent
out or issued before the Deed of Settlement and/or Partition is agreed upon,
i.e., a notice calling all interested parties to participate in the said deed of
extrajudicial settlement and partition, not after, which was when publication
was done in the instant case. Following Rule 74 and the ruling in Beltran vs.
Ayson, since Maria Elena did not participate in the said partition, the
settlement is not binding on her.
4.
ID.; ID.; ID.; WHEN FRAUDULENT; CASE AT BAR. The provision of
Section 4, Rule 74 will also not apply when the deed of extrajudicial partition
is sought to be annulled on the ground of fraud. A deed of extrajudicial
partition executed without including some of the heirs, who had no
knowledge of and consent to the same, is fraudulent and vicious. Maria
Elena is an heir of Miguel together with her adopting mother, Rosalina. Being
the lone descendant of Miguel, she excludes the collateral relatives of Miguel
from participating in his estate, following the provisions of Article 1003 of
the Civil Code. The private respondent Rodriguezes cannot claim that they
were not aware of Maria Elena's adoption since they even filed an action to
annul the decree of adoption. Neither can they claim that their actions were
valid since the adoption of Maria Elena was still being questioned at the time
they executed the deed of partition. The complaint seeking to annul the

adoption was filed only twenty-six (26) years after the decree of adoption,
patently a much delayed response to prevent Maria Elena from inheriting
from her adoptive parents. The decree of adoption was valid and existing.
With this factual setting, it is patent that private respondents executed the
deed of partition in bad faith with intent to defraud Maria Elena. AIDTSE
5.
CIVIL LAW; LAND REGISTRATION; TORRENS TITLE; CANNOT BE
ATTACKED COLLATERALLY; ISSUE AS TO VALIDITY OF TITLE CANNOT BE
RAISED IN ACTION TO ANNUL DEED OF EXTRAJUDICIAL SETTLEMENT OR
PARTITION. Could petitioner still redeem the properties from buyers?
Given the circumstances in this case, we are constrained to hold that this is
not the proper forum to decide this issue. The properties sought to be
recovered by the petitioner are now all registered under the name of third
parties. Well settled is the doctrine that a Torrens Title cannot be collaterally
attacked. The validity of the title can only be raised in an action expressly
instituted for such purpose.
6.
ID.; DAMAGES; MAY NOT BE AWARDED ON BASIS OF HEARSAY
EVIDENCE; AWARD OF NOMINAL DAMAGES. Actual damages, to be
recoverable, must be proved with a reasonable degree of certainty. Courts
cannot simply rely on speculation, conjecture or guesswork in determining
the fact and amount of damages. The same is true for moral damages.
These cannot be awarded in the absence of any factual basis. The
unsubstantiated testimony of Loreto Jocelyn Pedrosa is hearsay and has no
probative value. It is settled in jurisprudence that damages may not be
awarded on the basis of hearsay evidence. Nonetheless, the failure of the
petitioner to substantiate her claims for damages does not mean that she
will be totally deprived of any damages. Under the law, nominal damages
are awarded, so that a plaintiff's right, which has been invaded or violated
by defendants may be vindicated and recognized.
7.
ID.; ID.; NOMINAL DAMAGES; GRANTED IN RECOGNITION OF
EXISTENCE OF A TECHNICAL INJURY SUFFERED BY A PARTY. Considering
that (1) technically, petitioner sustained injury but which, unfortunately, was
not adequately and properly proved, (2) petitioner was unlawfully deprived
of her legal participation in the partition of the estate of Miguel, her adoptive
father, (3) respondents had transferred portions of the properties involved to
third parties, and (4) this case has dragged on for more than a decade, we
find it reasonable to grant in petitioner's favor nominal damages in
recognition of the existence of a technical injury. The amount to be awarded
as such damages should at least commensurate to the injury sustained by
the petitioner considering the concept and purpose of said damages. Such
award is given in view of the peculiar circumstances cited and the special
reasons extant in this case. Thus, the grant of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND

(P100,000.00) PESOS to petitioner as damages is proper in view of the


technical injury she has suffered.
SYNOPSIS: On April 29, 1972, Miguel Rodriguez died without a will and was
survived by his wife, respondent Rosalina de Rodriguez, and legally adopted
daughter, Maria Elena Rodriguez Pedrosa, herein petitioner. On March 11,
1983, the properties of Miguel Rodriguez and of another sister Pilar, were
extrajudicially settled and partitioned by the Rodriguezes, and his wife
Rosalina. A new Transfer of Certificate of Title was correspondingly issued in
their favor. Respondents subsequently transferred some parcels to the other
respondents. Thereafter, petitioner demanded from respondents her share
on the property. The Rodriguezes, however, refused contending that
petitioner was not their blood relative. Hence, on January 28, 1987,
petitioner filed before the Regional Trial Court a complaint for the annulment
of the 1983 Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement and Partition. The RTC,
however, dismissed the complaint. Petitioner elevated the case before the
Court of Appeals, which, in its Decision, affirmed the decision of the trial
court for the reason that petitioner's action had already prescribed since the
prescriptive period is not four years but rather two years. Hence, this
petition.
In granting the petition, the Supreme Court held that the applicable
prescriptive period in the case at bar is four years and not two years.
The provision of Section 4, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court which provides for a
two-year prescriptive period will not apply when the deed of extrajudicial
partition is sought to be annulled on the ground of fraud. A deed of
extrajudicial partition executed without including some of the heirs, who had
no knowledge of and consent to the same, is fraudulent and vicious.
Petitioner Maria Elena is an heir of Miguel, together with her adopting
mother, Rosalina. Being the lone descendant of Miguel, she excludes the
collateral relatives of Miguel from participating in his estate. The private
respondent Rodriguezes cannot claim that they were not aware of Maria
Elena's adoption since they even filed an action to annul the decree of
adoption. Neither can they claim that their actions were valid since the
adoption of Maria Elena was still being questioned at the time they executed
the deed of partition. The complaint seeking to annul the adoption was filed
only twenty six (26) years after the decree of adoption, patently a much
delayed response to prevent petitioner from inheriting from her adoptive
parents. The decree of adoption was valid and existing. Hence, it is patent
that private respondents executed the deed of partition in bad faith with
intent to defraud Maria Elena.

Considering that the complaint of the petitioner was filed three years and ten
months after the questioned extrajudicial settlement was executed, the
Court, therefore, ruled that her action on the basis of fraud had not yet
prescribed.

(45)
INTESTATE ESTATE OF LUZ GARCIA. PABLO G. UTULO V. LEONA
PASION VDA. DE GARCIA, 66 PHIL 302 (1938)
EN BANC: Avancena, Villareal, Abad Santos, Diaz, Laurel, Concepcion
PONENTE: J. Imperial
Feliciano B. Gardiner for appellant Vda de Garcia.
Gerardo S. Limlingan for appellee Utulo

NATURE: Appeal taken by the oppositor from the order of CFI Tarlac
appointing the applicant Utulo as judicial administrator of the property left
by the deceased Luz Garcia
FACTS: Juan Garcia Sanchez died intestate and as such, proceedings in the
CFI Tarlac for the administration of his properties were instituted. He was
survived by his spouse, Leona Pasion Vda de Garcia, and his legitimate
children: Juan Garcia Jr., Patrocinio Garcia, and Luz Garcia
1. Luz Garcia married petitioner Pablo G. Utulo. During the pendency of
the proceedings, Luz died, leaving his spouse and her mother as
successors
2. Utulo filed before CFI Tarlac a petition for judicial administration of the
property of his deceased wife. He alleged that the only property left by
the deceased was share due her from the intestate of her father
3. Vda de Garcia opposed his opposition on the ground that since Luz left
no indebtedness, there was no occasion for the judicial administration.
Or should judicial administration be granted, she should be appointed
as administratrix
4. The court appointed Utulo as the judicial administrator of the estate of
Luz Garcia
ISSUE: WON there was need of judicial administration
RULING: No.
RATIO: The general rule that when a person dies living property in the
Philippine Islands, his property should be judicially administered and the
competent court should appoint a qualified administrator, in the order
established in the section, in case the deceased left no will, or in case he had
left one should he fail to name an executor therein. This rule, however, is
subject to the exceptions established by sections 596 and 597 of the same
Code, as finally amended. According to the first, when all the heirs are of
lawful age and there are no debts due from the estate, they may agree in
writing to partition the property without instituting the judicial administration
or applying for the appointment of an administrator. According to the
second, if the property left does not exceed six thousand pesos, the heirs
may apply to the competent court, after the required publications, to
proceed with the summary partition and, after paying all the known
obligations, to partition all the property constituting the inheritance among
themselves pursuant to law, without instituting the judicial administration
and the appointment of an administrator.
When a person dies without leaving pending obligations to be paid,
his heirs, whether of age or not, are not bound to submit the

property to a judicial administration, which is always long and costly


or to apply for the appointment of an administrator by the court.
Rights to the succession of a person are transmitted from the moment of
death hence his heirs succeed immediately to all the property of the
deceased. It is at their option if they want to enter upon the administration
of the property or if they want to partition it. When there are no debts
existing against the estate, there is no need for the intervention of an
administrator.
DISPOSITIVE: Appealed order should be reversed.
1.
EXECUTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS; JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION OF
ESTATE OF DECEASED PERSON; EXCEPTIONS. Section 642 of the Code of
Civil Procedure provides in part that "if no executor is named in the will, or if
a person dies intestate, administration shall be granted" etc. This provision
enunciates the general rule that when a person dies leaving property in the
Philippines Islands, his property should be judicially administered and the
competent court should appoint a qualified administrator, in the order
established in the section, in case the deceased left no will, or in case he had
left one should he fail to name an executor therein. This rule, however, is
subject to the exceptions established by sections 596 and 597 of the same
Code, as finally amended. According to the first, when all the heirs are of
lawful age and there are no debts due from the estate, they may agree in
writing to partition the property without instituting the judicial administration
or applying for the appointment of an administrator. According to the
second, if the property left does not exceed six thousand pesos,, the heirs
may apply to the competent court, after the required publications, to
proceed with the summary partition and, after paying all the known
obligations, to partition all the property constituting the inheritance among
themselves pursuant to law, without instituting the judicial administration
and the appointment of an administrator.
2.
ID.; ID.; ID. When a person dies without leaving pending obligations
to be paid, his heirs, whether of age or not, are not bound to submit the
property to a judicial administration, which is always long and costly, or to
apply for the appointment of an administrator by the court. It has been
uniformly held that in such case the judicial administration and the
appointment of an administrator are superfluous and unnecessary
proceedings (Ilustre vs. Alaras Frondosa, 17 Phil., 321; Malahacan vs.
Ignacio, 19 Phil., 434; Bondad vs. Bondad, 34 Phil., 232; Baldemor vs.
Malangyaon, 34 Phil., 367; Fule vs. Fule, 46 Phil., 317).
3.
ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. There is no weight in the argument
adduced by the appellee to the effect that his appointment as judicial

administrator is necessary so that he may have legal capacity to appear in


the intestate of the deceased J. G. S. As he would appear in the said
intestate by the right of representation, it would suffice for him to allege in
proof of his interest that he is a usufructuary forced heir of his deceased wife
who, in turn, would be a forced heir and an interested and necessary party if
she were living. In order to intervene in said intestate and to take part in the
distribution of the property it is not necessary that the administration of the
property of his deceased wife be instituted an administration which will
take up time and occasion inconveniences and unnecessary expenses.

(46)
AURELIO ARCILLAS V. HON. GREGORIO D. MONTEJO, judge of CFI
Zamboanga, MODESTA ALFARO, GERONIMO ARCILLAS and VICENTE
ARCILLAS, 26 SCRA 197 (1968)
EN BANC: Concepcion, JBL Reyes, Dizon, Zaldivar, Sanchez, Castro,
Fernando, Capistrano

PONENTE: J. Makalintal
Antonio J. Calvento for petitioner
T. Delos Santos for respondents
NATURE: Petition for certiorari with mandamus and preliminary injunction
assailing that respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion in
dismissing the judicial administration proceedings
FACTS: Eustaquio Arcillas died intestate, leaving a parcel of land. On Nov
12, 1962, Geronimo Arcillas sought the cancellation of the TCT in the name
of the deceased before CFI Zamboanga. He alleged that the 4 other children
of the deceased sold their shares in favor of Vicente Arcillas
1. A few days later (Nov 16, 1962), the 5 other children filed a petition
for the issuance of administration in favor of petitioner Aurelio Arcillas
in preparation for the final settlement of the decedents estate
2. Subsequently, petitioner Aurelio filed his opposition (dated Nov 23,
1962) to the Nov 12 petition on the ground that the property was
included in the decedents estate which was waiting resolution; that
the Nov 12 petition should be held in abeyance until after the intestate
proceeding was closed and terminated
3. As such, respondent judge Montejo issued an order (Dec 1, 1963)
temporarily holding in abeyance the resolution of the Nov 12 petition
until the termination of the intestate proceedings
4. In his answer to the Nov 16 petition (intestate proceedings),
Geronimo, Vicente and Modesta Alfaro opposed the issuance of letters
of administration that petition for judicial administration was improper
because the deceased had only one property and left no debts.
5. Petitioner filed a reply (dated Jan 18, 1963) that there were still other
properties of the estate of the deceased aside from the subject
property; there was no unanimity among the heirs of extrajudicial
partition; some of the heirs had been unduly deprived of their
participation in the estate.
6. CFI Zamboanga denied the Nov petition for issuance of letters of
administration (dated March 8, 1963) and at the same time gave due
course to the Nov 12 petition citing that the judicial administration
proceedings would only deplete the funds of the estate and cause
unnecessary delay in the partition of the property
ISSUE: WON respondent judge erred in dismissing the administration
proceedings
RULING: Yes.

RATIO: Rule 74 Sec 1 does not preclude the heirs from instituting
administration proceedings, even if the estate has no debts or obligation, if
they do not desire to resort for goods reasons to an ordinary action of
partition. While Sec 1 allows the heirs to divide the estate among themselves
as they may be fit or to resort to an action for partition, it does not compel
them to do so if they have good reasons to take a different course of action.
Said action is not mandatory or compulsory as may be gleaned from the use
of may instead of shall.
Having decided to institute administration proceedings instead of resorting to
less expensive modes of settlement, the heirs may not be rebuffed in the
exercised of their discretion merely on the ground that the expenses in
administration proceedings may deplete the funds of the estate. The
resultant delay and necessary expenses are consequences which must be
deemed to have been voluntarily assumed by the heirs themselves so that
they may not in the future be heard to complain of these matters. Besides,
the truth of the petitioners claim as to the alleged existence of other
properties of the estate can be more adequately ascertained in
administration proceedings rather than in any other action.
ISSUE: WON the court erred in giving due course to the Nov 12 petition
RULING: Yes.
RATIO: While Sec 112 of Act 496 authorizes a person to ask the court for
any erasure, alteration or amendment of a TCT upon the ground that
registered interests of any description, whether vested, contingent,
expectant, or inchoate have terminated and ceased, and apparently the Nov
12 petition comes within its scope, such relief can only be granted if there is
unanimity among the parties, or there is no adverse claim or serious
objection on the part of any party in interest; otherwise the case becomes
controversial and should be threshed out in an ordinary case or in the case
where the incident properly belongs.
CAB: The obvious lack of unanimity among the parties in interest, manifestly
demonstrated by petitioners express objection to the cancellation of the TCT
(in decedents name) sufficiently removes the Nov 12 from the scope of Sec
112 of Act 496. Besides, the proceedings provided in LRA are summary in
nature and hence inadequate for the litigation of issues which properly
pertain to the case where the incident belongs.
DISPOSITIVE: The appealed orders set aside and directing respondent
judge to reinstate the special proceedings; writ of preliminary injunction

enjoining respondent judge from hearing the cadastral motion is made


permanent.
1.
REMEDIAL LAW; SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS; SETTLEMENT OF ESTATES;
SEC. 1 OF RULE 74 OF THE RULES OF COURT NOT MANDATORY; HEIRS MAY
RESORT TO INSTITUTION OF ADMINISTRATION PROCEEDINGS. Section 1
of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court does not preclude the heirs from instituting
administration proceedings, even if the estate has no debts or obligation, if
they do not desire to resort for good reasons to an ordinary action of
partition. While Section 1 allows the heirs to divide the estate among
themselves as they may see fit, or to resort to an ordinary action of
partition, it does not compel them to do so if they have good reasons to take
a different course of action. Said Section is not mandatory or compulsory as
may be gleaned from the use made therein of the word may. If the intention
were otherwise the framer of the rule would have employed the word shall
as was done in other provisions that are mandatory in character. Note that
the word may is used not only once but in the whole Section which indicates
an intention to leave the matter entirely to the discretion of the heirs
(Rodriguez, et al. v. Tan, et al., 92 Phil. 273). Having decided to institute
administration proceedings (as in the case at bar) instead of resorting to the
less expensive modes of settlement of the estate, i.e. extrajudicial
settlement or ordinary action for partition, the heirs may not be rebuffed in
the exercise of their discretion granted under Section 1 of Rule 74 of the
Rules of Court merely on the ground that the expenses usually common in
administration proceedings may deplete the funds of the estate. The
resultant delay and necessary expenses incurred thereafter are
consequences which must be deemed to have been voluntarily assumed by
the heirs themselves so that they may not in the future be heard to complain
of these matters.
2.
LAND
REGISTRATION;
TORRENS
SYSTEM;
PETITION
FOR
CANCELLATION OF TITLE; RELIEF UNDER SEC. 112 OF ACT 496 GRANTED
ONLY IF THERE IS UNANIMITY AMONG THE PARTIES; CASE AT BAR. While
Section 112 of Act 496 authorizes, among others, a person in interest to ask
the court for any erasure, alteration, or amendment of a certificate of title
"upon the ground that registered interests of any description, whether
vested, contingent, expectant, or inchoate have terminated and ceased,"
such relief can only be granted if there is unanimity among the parties, or
there is no adverse claim or serious objection on the part of any party in
interest; otherwise the case becomes controversial and should be threshed
out in an ordinary case or in the case where the incident properly belongs
(see Puguid v. Reyes, L-21311, Aug. 10, 1967 and the cases cited therein).
In the instant case the obvious lack of unanimity among the parties in
interest, manifestly demonstrated by petitioners' express objection to the

cancellation of TCT No. RT-244, sufficiently removes the petition (for


cancellation of said title and issuance of a new one) from the scope of
Section 112 of Act 496. Besides, the proceedings provided in the Land
Registration Act are summary in nature and hence inadequate for the
litigation of issues which properly pertain to the case where the incident
belongs.