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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
G.R. No. L-13431

November 12, 1919

In re will of Ana Abangan.
GERTRUDIS ABANGAN, executrix-appellee,
vs.
ANASTACIA ABANGAN, ET AL., opponents-appellants.
Filemon Sotto for appellants.
M. Jesus Cuenco for appellee.

AVANCEÑA, J.:
On September 19, 1917, the Court of First Instance of Cebu admitted to probate Ana
Abangan's will executed July, 1916. From this decision the opponent's appealed.
Said document, duly probated as Ana Abangan's will, consists of two sheets, the first of
which contains all of the disposition of the testatrix, duly signed at the bottom by Martin
Montalban (in the name and under the direction of the testatrix) and by three witnesses. The
following sheet contains only the attestation clause duly signed at the bottom by the three
instrumental witnesses. Neither of these sheets is signed on the left margin by the testatrix
and the three witnesses, nor numbered by letters; and these omissions, according to
appellants' contention, are defects whereby the probate of the will should have been denied.
We are of the opinion that the will was duly admitted to probate.
In requiring that each and every sheet of the will should also be signed on the left margin by
the testator and three witnesses in the presence of each other, Act No. 2645 (which is the
one applicable in the case) evidently has for its object (referring to the body of the will itself)
to avoid the substitution of any of said sheets, thereby changing the testator's dispositions.
But when these dispositions are wholly written on only one sheet signed at the bottom by
the testator and three witnesses (as the instant case), their signatures on the left margin of
said sheet would be completely purposeless. In requiring this signature on the margin, the
statute took into consideration, undoubtedly, the case of a will written on several sheets and
must have referred to the sheets which the testator and the witnesses do not have to sign at
the bottom. A different interpretation would assume that the statute requires that this sheet,
already signed at the bottom, be signed twice. We cannot attribute to the statute such an
intention. As these signatures must be written by the testator and the witnesses in the
presence of each other, it appears that, if the signatures at the bottom of the sheet
guaranties its authenticity, another signature on its left margin would be unneccessary; and
if they do not guaranty, same signatures, affixed on another part of same sheet, would add
nothing. We cannot assume that the statute regards of such importance the place where the
testator and the witnesses must sign on the sheet that it would consider that their

The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close the door against bad faith and fraud. on the other hand. the judgment appealed from is hereby affirmed with costs against the appellants. without considering whether or not this clause is an essential part of the will. it is likewise clear that the object of Act No. it is alleged the records do not show that the testarix knew the dialect in which the will is written. referring specially to the signature of the testatrix. although unnumbered. But the circumstance appearing in the will itself that same was executed in the city of Cebu and in the dialect of this locality where the testatrix was a neighbor is enough. in the absence of any proof to the contrary. when all the dispositive parts of a will are written on one sheet only. But. What has been said is also applicable to the attestation clause. the will. that adds nothing but demands more requisites entirely unnecessary. Wherefore. So ordered. Synthesizing our opinion. So when an interpretation already given assures such ends. cannot be hidden. to avoid substitution of wills and testaments and to guaranty their truth and authenticity. . Moreover. we hold that in a will consisting of two sheets the first of which contains all the testamentary dispositions and is signed at the bottom by the testator and three witnesses and the second contains only the attestation clause and is signed also at the bottom by the three witnesses.signatures written on the bottom do not guaranty the authenticity of the sheet but. it is not necessary that both sheets be further signed on their margins by the testator and the witnesses. also one must not lose sight of the fact that it is not the object of the law to restrain and curtail the exercise of the right to make a will. the signatures of the testatrix and of the three witnesses on the margin and the numbering of the pages of the sheet are formalities not required by the statute. lawphil. but executes. or be paged. appertains only to the witnesses and not to the testator since the latter does not attest. we hold that in the one accompanying the will in question. if repeated on the margin. Therefore the laws on this subject should be interpreted in such a way as to attain these primordal ends.net As another ground for this appeal. to presume that she knew this dialect in which this will is written. 2645 is to know whether any sheet of the will has been removed. useless and frustative of the testator's last will. give sufficient security. But. In requiring that each and every page of a will must be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of the sheet. the object of the statute disappears because the removal of this single sheet. must be disregarded. we can add that same is not necessary in the attestation clause because this. For the foregoing considerations. any other interpretation whatsoever. as its name implies.