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[G.R. No. 104482. January 22, 1996]
FACTS: On October 20, 1962, Lazardo Tanedo executed a notarized deed of absolute
sale in favor of his eldest brother, Ricardo Tanedo, and the latter’s wife, Teresita
Barera, private respondents herein, whereby he conveyed to the latter one hectare
of whatever share I shall have over Lot No. 191 of the cadastral survey of Gerona,
Tarlac and covered by Title T-l3829, the said property being his future inheritance
from his parents. Upon the death of his father Matias, Lazaro executed an Affidavit
of Conformity dated February 28, 1980 to re-affirm, respect, acknowledge and
validate the sale I made in 1962. On January 13, 1981, Lazaro executed another
notarized deed of sale in favor of private respondents covering his undivided ONE
TWELVE (1/12) of a parcel of land known as Lot 191. In February 1981, Ricardo
learned that Lazaro sold the same property to his children, petitioners herein,
through a deed of sale dated December 29, 1980. On June 7, 1982, private
respondents recorded the Deed of Sale in their favor in the Registry of Deeds and
the corresponding entry was made in Transfer Certificate of Title No. 166451.
Petitioners in 1982 filed a complaint for rescission (plus damages) of the
deeds of sale executed by Lazaro in favor of private respondents covering the
property inherited by Lazaro from his father.
Petitioners claimed that their father, Lazaro, executed an Absolute Deed of Sale
dated December 29, 1980 conveying to his ten children his allotted portion under
the extrajudicial partition executed by the heirs of Matias, which deed included the
land in litigation (Lot 191).
Private respondents, however presented in evidence a Deed of Revocation of
a Deed of Sale dated March 12, 1981, wherein Lazaro revoked the sale in favor of
petitioners for the reason that it was simulated or fictitious - without any
consideration whatsoever.
Shortly after the case a quo was filed, Lazaro executed a sworn statement
which virtually repudiated the contents of the Deed of Revocation of a Deed of Sale
and the Deed of Sale in favor of private respondents. However, Lazaro testified that
he sold the property to Ricardo, and that it was a lawyer who induced him to
execute a deed of sale in favor of his children after giving him five pesos (P5.00) to
buy a drink.
The trial court decided in favor of private respondents, holding that
petitioners failed to adduce a preponderance of evidence to support (their) claim.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court, ruling that
the Deed of Sale dated January 13, 1981 was valid and that its registration in good
faith vested title in said respondents.
1. Is the sale of a future inheritance valid?
2. Was the subsequent execution on January 13, 1981 (and registration with the
Registry of Property) of a deed of sale covering the same property to the same
buyers valid?
1. Pursuant to Article 1347 of the Civil Code, no contract may be entered into
upon a future inheritance except in cases expressly authorized by law.

As between two purchasers. If the same thing should have been sold to different vendees.: Herein petitioners Virgilio. On the first occasion. Victorino. J. VIRGILIO F. Ernesto and Tadeo. the ownership shall pertain to the person who in good faith was first in the possession. 2007 CHICO-NAZARIO. in the absence thereof. These two documents were executed after the death of Matias (and his spouse) and after a deed of extrajudicial settlement of his (Matias) estate was executed. to the person who presents the oldest title. Article 1544 of the Civil Code governs the preferential rights of vendees in cases of multiple sales. 2. SANTOS & ESPERANZA LATI SANTOS. is also useless and. ownership would vest in the former because of the undisputed fact of registration. suffers from the same infirmity. are the legitimate and surviving heirs of the late Rita Catoc Santos (Rita). The property in question is land. 1980 in favor of petitioners covering the same property. 191. On the other hand. and. However. were no longer infected with the infirmities of the 1962 sale. Petitioners contend that they were in possession of the property and that private respondents never took possession thereof. Respondents .Consequently. which they purportedly bought from Rita during her lifetime. an immovable. Hence. the ownership shall belong to the person acquiring it who in good faith first recorded it in the Registry of Property. In other words. Rita sold to respondents Spouses Lumbao the subject property which is a part of her share in the estate of her deceased mother. 1981 in favor of private respondents covering Lazaros undivided inheritance of one-twelfth (1/12) share in Lot No. JOSE LUMBAO and PROSERFINA LUMBAO G. ERNESTO F. SANTOS. The other petitioners Esperanza Lati and Lagrimas Santos are the daughters-in-law of Rita. if it should be movable property. the ownership shall be transferred to the person who may have first taken possession thereof in good faith. which was subsequently registered on June 7. who died intestate in 1978. Should there be no inscription. and following the above-quoted law. and TADEO F. Herein respondents Spouses Jose Lumbao and Proserfina Lumbao are the alleged owners of the 107square meter lot (subject property). these dispositions. Should it be immovable property. all surnamed Santos. No. 1544.VICTORINO F. 1982. the one who registered the sale in his favor has a preferred right over the other who has not registered his title. & LAGRIMAS SANTOS. and (b) the deed of sale dated December 29. FACTS: On two separate occasions during her lifetime." in 1979. as follows: Art. said contract made in 1962 is not valid and cannot be the source of any right nor the creator of any obligation between the parties. who died on 20 October 1985. the affidavit of conformity dated February 28. Thus. SANTOS vs SPS. thus vesting in Lazaro actual title over said property. though conflicting. 1980. in the words of the respondent Court. although the deed of sale in favor of private respondents was later than the one in favor of petitioners. the documents that are critical to the resolution of this case are: (a) the deed of sale of January 13. SPS. provided there is good faith.R. insofar as it sought to validate or ratify the 1962 sale. Rita sold 100 square meters of her inchoate share in her mother’s estate through a document denominated as "Bilihan ng Lupa. 169129 March 28. even if the latter is in actual possession of the immovable property. ownership shall belong to the buyer who in good faith registers it first in the registry of property. SPS. Maria Catoc (Maria). petitioners have not registered the sale to them at all. SANTOS.

as shown by their signatures affixed therein. there must be presented evidence that is clear and convincing. sent a formal demand letter8 to petitioners but despite receipt of such demand letter. respondents Spouses Lumbao. On the second occasion. the Spouses Lumbao claimed that petitioners. Aggrieved. this Petition. Hence. On 2 May 1986. The trial court rendered a Decision dismissing the complaint for lack of merit. adjudicating and partitioning among themselves and the other heirs. and thereafter upon herein petitioners. acting fraudulently and in conspiracy with one another. It is well-settled that a document acknowledged before a notary public is a public document that enjoys the presumption of regularity. an additional seven square meters was added to the land as evidenced by a document also denominated as "Bilihan ng Lupa. Consequently. for them to execute the necessary documents to effect the issuance of a separate title in favor of respondents Spouses Lumbao insofar as the subject property is concerned. the latter filed a Complaint for Reconveyance with Damages. the presumption must be . ISSUE: a) Whether or not the documents known as "Bilihan ng Lupa" are valid and enforceable. Rita informed respondent Proserfina Lumbao she could not deliver the title to the subject property because the entire property inherited by her and her co-heirs from Maria had not yet been partitioned. To overcome this presumption. Absent such evidence. petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the aforesaid Decision but it was denied. during her lifetime. Petitioners filed their Answer denying the allegations that the subject property had been sold to the respondents Spouses Lumbao.Spouses Lumbao claimed the execution of the aforesaid document was witnessed by petitioners Virgilio and Tadeo. reconvey the subject property to herein respondents spouses Lumbao. they can be the bases of the respondents spouses Lumbao’s action for reconveyance with damages. executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement. the estate left by Maria. It is a prima facie evidence of the truth of the facts stated therein and a conclusive presumption of its existence and due execution. In 1992. through counsel. petitioners still failed and refused to reconvey the subject property to the respondents Spouses Lumbao. Respondents Spouses Lumbao took actual possession thereof and erected thereon a house which they have been occupying as exclusive owners up to the present. HELD: a) Both "Bilihan ng Lupa" documents dated 17 August 1979 and 9 January 1981 were duly notarized before a notary public. b) Whether or not herein petitioners are legally bound to comply with the "Bilihan ng Lupa" dated 17 August 1979 and 9 January 1981 and consequently. which included the subject property already sold to respondents Spouses Lumbao and now covered by TCT No. respondents Spouses Lumbao appealed to the Court of Appeals which was granted. Respondents Spouses Lumbao made several verbal demands upon Rita. Respondents Spouses Lumbao alleged that prior to her death. Dissatisfied. 81729 of the Registry of Deeds of Pasig City. They likewise denied that the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement had been fraudulently executed because the same was duly published as required by law." in 1981. thus.

upheld. In addition. a mode of acquiring the property. the mere fact that the deed purports to transfer a concrete portion does not per se render the sale void. They only succeed to what rights their mother had and what is valid and binding against her is also valid and binding as against them.33 Thus. dated 17 August 1979 and 9 January 1981" because the exact metes and bounds of the subject property sold to respondents Spouses Lumbao could not be possibly determined at that time. that does not make the contract of sale between Rita and respondents Spouses Lumbao invalid because both the law and jurisprudence have categorically held that even while an estate remains undivided. The 107-square meter lot already sold to respondents Spouses Lumbao can no longer be inherited by the petitioners because the same was no longer part of their inheritance as it was already sold during the lifetime of their mother. one never appeared before the notary public and acknowledged the deed to be a voluntary act. in the present case petitioners’ denials without clear and convincing evidence to support their claim of fraud and falsity were not sufficient to overthrow the above-mentioned presumption. when the estate left by Maria had been partitioned on 2 May 1986 by virtue of a Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement. Being heirs. but only with respect to the aliquot share of the selling co-owner. The death of a party does not excuse nonperformance of a contract which involves a property right and the rights and obligations thereunder pass to the personal . co-owners have each full ownership of their respective aliquots or undivided shares and may therefore alienate. The co-owner.square meter lot sold by the mother of the petitioners to respondents Spouses Lumbao should be deducted from the total lot. one who denies the due execution of a deed where one’s signature appears has the burden of proving that contrary to the recital in the jurat. which in this case measures 467 square meters. the 107. Furthermore. In the case at bar. Article 131132 of the NCC is the basis of this rule. Nevertheless. the mother of Rita. hence. The sale is valid. assign or mortgage them. has no right to sell or alienate a specific or determinate part of the thing owned in common. the heirs cannot escape the legal consequence of a transaction entered into by their predecessor-in-interest because they have inherited the property subject to the liability affecting their common ancestor. because such right over the thing is represented by an aliquot or ideal portion without any physical division. was not yet divided among her and her co-heirs and so the description of the entire estate is the only description that can be placed in the "Bilihan ng Lupa. the authenticity. In any case. the sale is subject to the results of the partition upon the termination of the co-ownership." the entire property owned by Maria. however. Nonetheless. due execution and the truth of the facts stated in the aforesaid "Bilihan ng Lupa" are upheld. rights and obligations of the decedent to the extent of the value of the inheritance of the heirs. inherited by them in representation of their deceased mother. b) the general rule that heirs are bound by contracts entered into by their predecessors-in-interest applies in the present case. It is noteworthy that at the time of the execution of the documents denominated as "Bilihan ng Lupa. there is privity of interest between them and their deceased mother. It is clear from the said provision that whatever rights and obligations the decedent have over the property were transmitted to the heirs by way of succession.

3787. Similarly. 2007 PUNO. She also claimed to be the exclusive legal heir of the late Margarita Herrera. 1971. . 162784 June 22. as heir of Beatriz Herrera-Mercado. Margarita Herrera placed her thumbmark5above her name in the second page and at the left-hand margin of the first page of the document. 1959. and protestee had paid the lots in question in full on March 8. Margarita Herrera passed away on October 27. the remaining child of the late Margarita Herrera executed a Deed of Self-Adjudication claiming that she is the only remaining relative. NHA granted the application made by Francisca Herrera. Said transfer of rights was approved by the NHA.10 The NHA Resolution was affirmed by the Office of the President. Margarita Herrera executed a "Sinumpaang Salaysay" whereby she waived or transferred all her rights and interest over the lots in question in favor of the protestee.J. 1966 with the defunct Land Tenure Administration. nonperformance is not excused by the death of the party when the other party has a property interest in the subject matter of the contract. Beatriz Herrera-Mercado predeceased her mother and left heirs. holding that: on October 7. No. Private respondent Almeida. On July 31. 1960. Laguna.12 The NHA executed several deeds of sale in favor of the heirs of Francisca Herrera and titles were issued in their favor. the LTA was succeeded by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). C.: FACTS: On June 28. 3488. SEGUNDA ALMEIDA G. NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY vs. 757. The said document was signed by two witnesses and notarized.9 Private respondent Almeida appealed to the Office of the President.3 In 1974. (By virtue of Republic Act No. 1975. The award is evidenced by an Agreement to Sell No. Francisca Herrera.R. protested the application. 1987. the DAR was succeeded by the NHA by virtue of Presidential Decree No. The surviving heirs of Beatriz Herrera-Mercado filed a case for annulment of the Deed of Self-Adjudication before the then CFI Laguna which declared the deed null and void.13 Thereafter. 1960.7 During trial on the merits of the case assailing the Deed of Self-Adjudication.representatives of the deceased. Her heirs executed an extrajudicial settlement of her estate which they submitted to the NHA. the Land Tenure Administration (LTA) awarded to Margarita Herrera several portions of land which are part of the Tunasan Estate in San Pedro. being the sole surviving daughter of the deceased. The witnesses signed at the left-hand side of both pages of the document with the said document having 2 pages in total. allegedly executed by Margarita Herrera.2 NHA as the successor agency of LTA) Margarita Herrera had two children: Beatriz Herrera-Mercado (the mother of private respondent) and Francisca Herrera. The Deed of Self-Adjudication was based on a Sinumpaang Salaysay dated October 7. Francisca Herrera filed an application with the NHA to purchase the same lots submitting therewith a copy of the "Sinumpaang Salaysay" executed by her mother. This Office finds that protestee has a better preferential right to purchase the lots in question. the heirs of Francisca Herrera directed Segunda MercadoAlmeida to leave the premises that she was occupying. Francisca Herrera died. On February 1.

2003. It upheld the trial court ruling that the "Sinumpaang Salaysay" was not an assignment of rights but one that involved disposition of property which shall take effect upon death. in its decision of August 28. In her complaint. the Court of Appeals. Court of Appeals) shall exercise the "exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments. Well-within its jurisdiction. It declared the deeds of sale executed by NHA in favor of Herrera's heirs null and void. the RTC rendered a Decision setting aside the resolution of the NHA and the decision of the Office of the President awarding the subject lots in favor of Francisca Herrera. In 1998. The Register of Deeds of Laguna. The RTC dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. 129 or the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 198026 where it is therein provided that the Intermediate Appellate Court (now. It then held that the said document must first be submitted to probate before it can transfer property. decisions.Feeling aggrieved by the decision of the Office of the President and the resolution of the NHA. She filed a Complaint for "Nullification of Government Lot's Award." with the RTC. private respondent Segunda Mercado-Almeida sought the cancellation of the titles issued in favor of the heirs of Francisca. Petitioner NHA elevated the case to this Court. and re-raised the fact that Francisca Herrera's declaration of self-adjudication has been adjudged as a nullity because the other heirs were disregarded. except those falling within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution…"27 and contends that the Regional Trial Court has no jurisdiction to rule over awards made by the NHA."18 The case was then remanded for further proceedings on the merits. already ruled that the issue of the trial court's authority to hear and decide the instant case has already been settled in the decision of the Court of Appeals . 2002 for being a "carbon copy" of the brief submitted by the NHA and for being filed seventy-nine (79) days late. Calamba Branch was ordered to cancel the Transfer Certificate of Title issued. orders or awards. WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT HAS JURISDICTION TO MAKE THE AWARD ON THE SUBJECT LOTS Petitioner cites Batas Pambansa Blg.17 The Court of Appeals reversed and held that the Regional Trial Court had jurisdiction to hear and decide the case involving "title and possession to real property within its jurisdiction. The CA ruled that the NHA acted arbitrarily in awarding the lots to the heirs of Francisca Herrera. Both the NHA and the heirs of Francisca Herrera filed their respective motions for reconsideration which were both denied for lack of merit.14 They also contended that the transfer of purchase of the subject lots is perfectly valid as the same was supported by a consideration. The defendant heirs of Francisca Herrera alleged that the complaint was barred by laches and that the decision of the Office of the President was already final and executory. The Regional Trial Court ruled that the "Sinumpaang Salaysay" was not an assignment of rights but a disposition of property which shall take effect upon death. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of RTC. resolutions. They both appealed to the Court of Appeals. The brief for the heirs of Francisca Herrera was denied admission by the appellate court in a Resolution dated June 14. boards or commissions. ISSUES: A. instrumentalities. private respondent Almeida invoked her forty-year occupation of the disputed properties. of the Regional Trial Courts and Quasi-Judicial agencies. The issue of whether it was a valid will must first be determined by probate.

the same should go to her estate. This Contract to Sell was an obligation on both parties—Margarita Herrera and NHA. 1971. NHA cannot make another . rights and obligations to the estate including whatever interest she has or may have had over the disputed properties. 1989 as per entry of judgment dated October 10.33 By considering the document.31That. 1989 (which has become final and executory on August 20. Upon Margarita Herrera's demise. this Contract to Sell was neither nullified nor revoked. Petitioner NHA contends that its resolution was grounded on meritorious grounds when it considered the application for the purchase of lots. When the petitioner received the "Sinumpaang Salaysay. to Francisca Herrera was then applying to purchase the same before it."32 The Court is not impressed. It is the position of the petitioner that private respondent possessed all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications for lot award and hence the award was not done arbitrarily.29 The appellate court's decision becomes the law of the case which must be adhered to by the parties by reason of policy. then the interests of the decedent should transfer by virtue of an operation of law and not by virtue of a resolution by the NHA.28 We find no reason to disturb this ruling. "insofar as [the] NHA is concerned." it should have noted that the effectivity of the said document commences at the time of death of the author of the instrument. Succession is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the property. it could not bind the NHA.30 B.34 The NHA issued its resolution35 on February 5.37 Margarita Herrera's obligation to pay became transmissible at the time of her death either by will or by operation of law. Margarita Herrera had an existing Contract to Sell36 with NHA as the seller.dated June 26. Obligations are transmissible. WHETHER OR NOT THE AWARD OF THE SUBJECT LOTS BY THE NHA IS ARBITRARY. all the interests of the person should cease to be hers and shall be in the possession of her estate until they are transferred to her heirs by virtue of Article 774 of the Civil Code which provides that: Art. 1989). 774. For as it stands. The NHA gave due course to the application made by Francisca Herrera without considering that the initial applicant's death would transfer all her property. Margarita Herrera had an interest in the property and that interest should go to her estate upon her demise so as to be able to properly distribute them later to her heirs—in accordance with a will or by operation of law. Courts are duty-bound to put an end to controversies. If we sustain the position of the NHA that this document is not a will. The system of judicial review should not be misused and abused to evade the operation of a final and executory judgment. in such period. The death of Margarita Herrera does not extinguish her interest over the property. rights and obligations to the extent of the value of the inheritance. the original awardee. Margarita Herrera passed away on October 27. The petitioner further argues that assuming that the "Sinumpaang Salaysay" was a will. 1986. it is an evidence that the subject lots were indeed transferred by Margarita Herrera. of a person are transmitted through his death to another or others either by his will or by operation of law. in her words "sakaling ako'y bawian na ng Dios ng aking buhay…" Hence. petitioner NHA should have noted that the original applicant has already passed away. To the extent of the interest that the original owner had over the property.

as guardian of the minors Cesar Garcia and Jose Garcia G. No. (2) the effect of which shall transpire upon the death of the instrument maker. the NHA should have considered the estate of the decedent as the next "person"39likely to stand in to fulfill the obligation to pay the rest of the purchase price. Such would be an act contrary to the law on succession and the law on sales and obligations.R. He accordingly admitted the will to probate. Two of the attesting witnesses were not introduced. The issue is for the probate court to determine. the proponent of the will introduced one of the three attesting witnesses who testified — with details not necessary to be here specified — that the will was executed with all necessary external formalities. where opposition is made. When the proponent rested the attorney for the opposition introduced a single witness whose testimony tended to show in a vague and indecisive manner that at the time the will was made the testator was so debilitated as to be unable to comprehend what he was about. contest was made by Marino Garcia and Juan Rodriguez. J. 15566 September 14. nor was their absence accounted for by the proponent of the will. The opposition of other heirs to the repurchase by Francisca Herrera should have put the NHA on guard as to the award of the lots. 1921 STREET. From this judgment an appeal was taken in behalf of the persons contesting the will. Upon the date appointed for the hearing. Upon the latter point the witness was corroborated by the person who wrote the will at the request of the testator. B-1263 (questioning the Deed of SelfAdjudication) which rendered the deed therein null and void40 should have alerted the NHA that there are other heirs to the interests and properties of the decedent who may claim the property after a testate or intestate proceeding is concluded. AS TO THE VALIDITY OF THE WILL: We need not delve into the validity of the will. and JUAN RODRIGUEZ. The NHA therefore acted arbitrarily in the award of the lots. instituted by Eutiquia Avera for probate of the will of one Esteban Garcia. MARINO GARCIA. the latter in the capacity of guardian for the minors Jose Garcia and Cesar Garcia. . without producing or accounting for the absence of the other two. The trial judge found that the testator at the time of the making of the will was of sound mind and disposing memory and that the will had been properly executed.contract to sell to other parties of a property already initially paid for by the decedent.38 When the original buyer died. Further. ISSUES: a) whether a will can be admitted to probate. and that the testator was at the time in full possession of disposing faculties. We affirm the Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Court which noted that it has an element of testamentary disposition where (1) it devolved and transferred property. the Decision in the said Civil Case No.41 EUTIQUIA AVERA vs. upon the proof of a single attesting witness.: FACTS: In proceedings in the court below.

But instead of thus calling the error to the attention of the court and his adversary. 291). Accordingly it is insisted for the appellee that this question cannot now be raised for the first time in this court. provided they are on one or the other. considering the tardy institution of the contest. while it is undoubtedly true that an uncontested will bay be proved by the testimony of only one of the three attesting witnesses. and the first assignment of error must be declared not be well taken. that court would have had the power. either at the hearing or upon a motion for a new trial. this court declared after an elaborate examination of the American and English authorities that when a contest is instituted. until the date set for the hearing. it does not in itself supply any basis for changing the rule expounded in the case above referred to. We hold that this is too late. (Why all three of the attesting witnesses were not produced? The petition for the probate of this will had been pending from December 21. where ingenuity could not suggest any possible prejudice to any person. no formal contest was entered until the very day set for the hearing. however. to have granted a new trial in order that all the witnesses to the will might be brought into court. the point is first raised by the appellant in this court. Delfinado (34 Phil. which was April 5. incautiously permitted the case to go to proof without asking for a postponement of the trial in order that he might produce all the attesting witnesses . such deviation must be considered too trivial to invalidate the instrument. repaired to the court with only one of the three attesting witnesses at hand. . and it is probable that the attorney for the proponent.) Although this circumstance may explain why the three witnesses were not produced. 1919. We believe this point is well taken. The provision to the effect that the signatures of the testator and witnesses shall be written on the left margin of each page — rather than on the right margin — seems to be this character. and upon finding that the will was contested. 1917. So far as concerns the authentication of the will.b) whether the will in question is rendered invalid by reason of the fact that the signature of the testator and of the three attesting witnesses are written on the right margin of each page of the will instead of the left margin. if alive and within reach of the process of the court. and of every part thereof. and the only point of deviation from the requirement of the statute is that these signatures appear in the right margin instead of the left. if the appellant had raised this question in the lower court. In the case before us. and it is undeniable that the general doctrine is to the effect that all statutory requirements as to the execution of wills must be fully complied with. nevertheless in Cabang vs. and it would have been is duty. all of the attesting witnesses must be examined. b) It is true that the statute says that the testator and the instrumental witnesses shall sign their names on the left margin of each and every page. It appears. HELD: a) Upon the first point.. believing in good faith the probate would not be contested. In the present case. By the mode of signing adopted every page and provision of the will is authenticated and guarded from possible alteration. it can make no possible difference whether the names appear on the left or on the right margin. that this point was not raised by the appellant in the lower court either upon the submission of the cause for determination in that court or upon the occasion of the filing of the motion for a new trial. as attendant upon the actual deviation from the letter of the law. The instrument now before us contains the necessary signatures on every page.

the signatures of the three witnesses appear also on the margin. and the latter to have attested and signed all the sheets in the presence of the testator and of each other. but right.. holding that the document in controversy was the last will and testament of Antonio Mojal. the signatures of the witnesses do not appear on the margin. On the third page actually used. the fact that the sheets of the document are not paged with letters. respectively. 4." "Pag. 494). wherein the will in question was signed by the testator and the witnesses. 145). left side of the reader. 2. The four sides or pages containing written matter are paged "Pag. 1. Filomena Nayve. Abella (43 Phil. suffice it to cite the case of Unson vs. it being the signature of the testator that is on the margin. In that case. whereby each page of the will was authenticated and safeguarded against any possible alteration. four pages written on four sheets. but at the bottom of the attestation clause. left side of the reader. No. 1924 ROMUALDEZ. ISSUES: (a) The fact of not having been signed by the testator and the witnesses on each and every sheet on the left margin. that is to say. sister and niece. where this court held that paging with Arabic . but the signature of the testator is not on the margin. and ordered the probate thereof. assigning error to the decree of the court allowing the will to probate and overruling their opposition. On the fourth page. was signed by the testator and the three witnesses on the margin. not on the left. at the end of the will and before the attestation clause. Each of the first two sides or pages. Applying that doctrine to the instant case. 3. left side of the b) Turning to the second defect alleged." "Pag. J. The probate is opposed by Leona Mojal and Luciana Aguilar. the fact that said signatures do not all appear on the left margin of each page does not detract from the validity of the will. that is. overruled the objections to the will. From this judgment the opponents appeal. The Court of First Instance of Albay. which was issued.In the matter of the testate estate of Antonio Mojal. and consequently it was allowed to probate. of the deceased." successively. margin. HELD: a) In this respect the holding of this court in the case of Avera vs. the validity of the will was sustained.: FACTS: This is a proceeding for the probate of the will of the deceased Antonio Mojal instituted by his surviving spouse. and (d) the fact that the testator does not appear to have signed all the sheets in the presence of the three witnesses. as each and every page used of the will bears the signatures of the testator and the witnesses. Garcia and Rodriguez (42 Phil. is applicable. (b) the fact of the sheets of the document not being paged with letters.R. L-21755 December 29. we hold that. executed in accordance with law. (c) the fact that the attestation clause does not state the number of sheets or pages actually used of the will.lawphi1. but about the middle of the page. which tried the case. FILOMENA NAYVE vs." "Pag. deceased. The will in question is composed of four sheets with written matter on only side of each.. The rule laid down in that case is that the document contained the necessary signatures on each page. LEONA MOJAL and LUCIANA AGUILAR G.

as in the instant case the fact that the testator and the witnesses signed each and every page of the will is proven by the mere examination of the signatures in the will. we signed this will in the presence of each other and of the testator. as in the case before us. composed of four sheets.. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and ADELAIDO J. namely. it must be noted that in the attestation clause above set out it is said that the testator signed the will "in the presence of each of the witnesses" and the latter signed "in the presence of each other and of the testator. appears at the end of the will proper. as it is in the instant case. although it does not say anything about this. c) As to the proposition that the attestation clause does not state the number of sheets or pages of the will. Albay. nineteen hundred and eighteen. but when. and if that is the fact. But the fact of the testator and the witnesses having signed all the sheets of the will may be proven by the mere examination of the document. d) With regard to the last defect pointed out. The act of the testator and the witnesses seeing reciprocally the signing of the will is one which cannot be proven by the mere exhibition of the will unless it is stated in the document. it was held that the attestation clause must state the number of sheets or pages composing the will. It is true that in the case of Uy Coque vs. the danger of fraud in this respect. 405). is within the spirit of the law and is just as valid as paging with letters. including the next: ANTONIO MOJAL (Signed and declared by the testator Don Antonio Mojal to be his last will and testament in the presence of each of us. as in the case before us. while it is not stated in the attestation clause. that the testator does not appear to have signed on all the sheets of the will in the presence of the three witnesses. as to whether the testator and the attesting witnesses saw each other sign the will.numerals and not with letters. the omission to expressly state such evident fact does not invalidate the will nor prevent its probate. are of the following tenor: In witness whereof. such a requirement was clearly and sufficiently complied with. and the latter to have attested and signed on all the sheets in the presence of the testator and of each other. it must be noted that the last paragraph of the will here in question and the attestation clause. Therefore. What is not stated in this clause is whether the testator and the witnesses signed all the sheets of the will. the number of sheets is stated in said last paragraph of the will. such fact. to prevent the number of the sheets of the will from being unduly increased or decreased. so that no proof aliunde is necessary of the number of the sheets of the will. this 26th day of November. does not exist. JOSE RIVERA vs. And this fact is expressly stated in the attestation clause now before us. Philippine Islands." So that. I set my hand unto this will here in the town of Camalig. then there can be no doubt that it complies with the intention of the law that the number of sheets of which the will is composed be shown by the document itself. and at the request of said testator Don Antonio Mojal. coming next to it. Navas L. Sioca (43 Phil. RIVERA . which is what the law tries to avoid.) PEDRO CARO SILVERIO MORCO ZOILO MASINAS As may be seen.

On appeal.G. a petition for the probate of the holographic wills. including Adelaido.R. Guinto found that Jose Rivera was not the son of the decedent but of a different Venancio Rivera who was married to Maria Vital. After joint trial. On July 28. who reiterated that he was the sole heir of Venancio's intestate estate. he denied the existence of the holographic wills presented by Adelaido Rivera for probate. 1091. In both proceedings. Consequently. he had no personality to contest the wills and his opposition thereto did not have the legal effect of requiring the three witnesses. Judge Eliodoro B. being a mere stranger. The existence and therefore also the authenticity of the holographic wills were questioned by Jose Rivera. it shall be necessary that at least one witness who knows the handwriting and signature of the testator explicitly declare that the will and the signature are in the handwriting of the testator. the two cases were consolidated. Rivera. 1076. at least three of such witnesses shall be required. Jose Rivera had no claim to this estate because the decedent was not his father. The holographic wills were also admitted to probate. It also held there was no necessity of presenting the three witnesses required under Article 811 because the authenticity of the wills had not been questioned. which urges the reversal of the respondent court. Jose Rivera is not the son of the deceased Venancio Rivera whose estate is in question. 1975. This petition was opposed by Adelaido J. ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT the HOLOGRAPHIC WILL EXECUTED BY VENANCIO RIVERA IS VALID HELD: YES. also with the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City. it may be argued. Rivera was later appointed special administrator. providing as follows: In the probate of a holographic will. Rivera filed. The respondent court considered them valid because it found them to have been written. 1975. 1990 CRUZ.. If the will is contested. The flaw in this argument is that. who authenticated the wills as having been written and signed by their father. 75005-06 February 15. Hence. Now for the holographic wills. Adelaido averred that Venancio was his father and did not die intestate but in fact left two holographic wills. On November 7. the decision of the trial court was affirmed by the then Intermediate Appellate Court. was sufficient. The testimony of Zenaida and Venancio Rivera. Adelaido J. filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration over Venancio's estate. J. by whom he had seven children. On November 11.: FACTS: On May 30. This petition was in turn opposed by Jose Rivera. and in SP No. dated and signed by the testator himself in accordance with Article 810 of the Civil Code. Adelaido J. claiming to be the only surviving legitimate son of the deceased. Jose Rivera. as we have already determined. The Venancio Rivera whose estate was in question was married to Maria Jocson. Its decision is now the subject of this petition. he declared that Venancio Rivera died intestate. who denied that Jose was the son of the decedent. In his own petition in SP No. Jose Rivera opposed the holographic wills submitted by Adelaido Rivera and claimed that they were spurious. Jr. the respondent court should have applied Article 811 of the Civil Code. . 1975. 1975. Nos. a prominent and wealthy resident of that town named Venancio Rivera died.

P-1652. Gaudencio. . Jesus. Nos. O. for the annulment of said purported Deed of Absolute Sale over a parcel of land which Sagrado allegedly had already acquired by devise from their father Melecio Labrador under a holographic will executed on March 17. ISSUE: whether or not the alleged holographic will of one Melecio Labrador is dated.: FACTS: On June 10.’ The law does not specify a particular location where the date should be placed in the will. GAUDENCIO LABRADOR. 1990 PARAS. Jesus Labrador sold said parcel of land to Navat. ENRICA LABRADOR. Hence. and CRISTOBAL LABRADOR vs. These requirements are present in the subject will. Sagrado Labrador (now deceased but substituted by his heirs).R. The only requirements are that the date be in the will itself and executed in the hand of the testator. On July 28. against his brothers. 1975. and JESUS LABRADOR G. P-1652 had been cancelled by T. transferring and conveying in favor of oppositors Jesus and Gaudencio Lot No. SAGRADO LABRADOR (Deceased). COURT OF APPEALS. in 1973. T-21178.C. 83843-44 April 5.It is worthy of note to quote the first paragraph of the second page of the holographic will. Hilaria and Jovita. Cristobal.Subsequently. 1916 under Original Certificate of Title No. leaving behind a parcel of land designated as Lot No. where he was residing. The trial court rendered a joint decision allowing the probate of the holographic will and declaring null and void the Deed of Absolute sale. and this decision and or instruction of mine is the matter to be followed. and Gaudencio Labrador filed an opposition to the petition on the ground that the will has been extinguished or revoked by implication of law. Zambales. Respondents appealed the joint decision to the Court of Appeals. alleging therein that on September 30. all surnamed Labrador. No. 1916 and that as a matter of fact. Enrica Labrador and Cristobal Labrador. being premised on the fact that the aforesaid Deed of Absolute Sale is fictitious. their father. testator Melecio executed a Deed of Absolute Sale. And the one who made this writing is no other than MELECIO LABRADOR. filed in the court a quo a petition for the probate of the alleged holographic will of the late Melecio Labrador.C.IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO APPROVE THE WILL OF MELECIO LABRADOR. viz: ‘And this is the day in which we agreed that we are making the partitioning and assigning the respective assignment of the said fishpond. selling. 1975. Gaudencio and Jesus. substituted by ROSITA LABRADOR. and a holographic will. which modified said joint decision of the court a quo by denying the allowance of the probate of the will for being undated. HELD: YES. and the following heirs. 1972. namely: Sagrado. No. and this being in the month of March.T. Melecio Labrador died in the Iba. Sagrado thereupon filed. Josefina.T. The will has been dated in the hand of the testator himself in perfect compliance with Article 810. Petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration of the aforesaid decision was denied by the Court of Appeals. 1968. that is. J. Enrica. this petition. Juliana. on September 30. before Melecio's death. as provided for in Article 8102 of the New Civil Code. Jesus Labrador (now deceased but substituted by his heirs). 17th day. Earlier however. 1971. in the year 1968.

SEANGIO G. SEANGIO-OBAS and JAMES D.: FACTS: On September 21. 1995. Private respondents moved for the dismissal of the probate proceedings primarily on the ground that the document purporting to be the holographic will of Segundo does not contain any disposition of the estate of the deceased and thus does not meet the definition of a will under Article 783 of the Civil Code. 98–90870 because testate proceedings take precedence and enjoy priority over intestate proceedings. (Judge). SEANGIO. Barbara and Virginia. ALFONSO D. SHIRLEY D. SEANGIO vs. hence. the intestate proceedings are to be automatically suspended and replaced by the proceedings for the probate of the will. In view of the purported holographic will. J. 1988. Petitioners Dy Yieng. ALFREDO D. Proc. Seangio– Santos as special administrator and guardian ad litem of petitioner Dy Yieng Seangio. opposed the petition contending among others that Segundo left a holographic will. The act of partitioning and the declaration that such partitioning as the testator's instruction or decision to be followed reveal that Melecio Labrador was fully aware of the nature of the estate property to be disposed of and of the character of the testamentary act as a means to control the disposition of his estate. DY YIENG SEANGIO. BARBARA D. 1999. They likewise reiterated that the probate proceedings should take precedence over SP. AMOR A. disinheriting one of the private respondents. SEANGIO-LIM. 140371-72 November 27. On April 7. BETTY D. SEANGIO-SANTOS. SEANGIO. No. SEANGIO and VIRGINIA D. 2006 AZCUNA. a petition for the probate of the holographic will of Segundo. the will only shows an alleged act of disinheritance by the decedent of his eldest son. According to private respondents.Respondents claim that the date 17 March 1968 in the will was when the testator and his beneficiaries entered into an agreement among themselves about "the partitioning and assigning the respective assignments of the said fishpond. Alfredo Seangio." and was not the date of execution of the holographic will.R. SEANGIO. REYES. Alfredo. Nos. to take effect after his death. that all ." Respondents are in error. This was thus a failure to comply with Article 783 which defines a will as "an act whereby a person is permitted. and nothing else. dated September 20. the will is more of an "agreement" between the testator and the beneficiaries thereof to the prejudice of other compulsory heirs like the respondents. 98– 90870) and praying for the appointment of private respondent Elisa D. petitioners averred that in the event the decedent is found to have left a will. for cause. No. The intention to show 17 March 1968 as the date of the execution of the will is plain from the tenor of the succeeding words of the paragraph. Proc. the will was not an agreement but a unilateral act of Melecio Labrador who plainly knew that what he was executing was a will. VICTOR D. private respondents filed a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of the late Segundo Seangio (Sp. SEANGIO. to control to a certain degree the disposition of his estate. all surnamed Seangio. As aptly put by petitioner. with the formalities prescribed by law. ALBERTO D. ELISA D. HON.

taking into account the circumstances surrounding the . conforms to the formalities of a holographic will prescribed by law. the disinheritance of Alfredo. is an act of disposition in itself. It is written. entitled Kasulatan ng Pag-Aalis ng Mana. dismissing the petition for probate proceedings on the ground that there clearly shows that there is preterition. as an heir to his estate for the reasons that he cited therein. hence. as provided under Article 810 of the Civil Code. 1999. there is preterition which would result to intestacy. Alfredo. It is subject to no other form. nonetheless. Moreover. the disinheritance results in the disposition of the property of the testator Segundo in favor of those who would succeed in the absence of Alfredo. dated. should be construed more liberally than the ones drawn by an expert. On August 10. expressed in the form and within the limits prescribed by law. dated and signed by the hand of Segundo himself. It is written. conforms to the formalities of a holographic will prescribed by law. is an act of disposition in itself. A holographic will. and while it does not make an affirmative disposition of the latter’s property. unmistakably showed Segundo’s intention of excluding his eldest son. and while it does not make an affirmative disposition of the latter’s property. although it may initially come across as a mere disinheritance instrument. devisee or legatee. must be entirely written.other compulsory heirs were not named nor instituted as heir. and may be made in or out of the Philippines. In other words. being usually prepared by one who is not learned in the law. and signed by the hand of the testator himself. ISSUES: a) b) Whether or not the document purporting to be the holographic will of Segundo does not contain any disposition of the estate of the deceased and thus does not meet the definition of a will under Article 783 of the Civil Code. An intent to dispose mortis causa can be clearly deduced from the terms of the instrument. it is a fundamental principle that the intent or the will of the testator. therefore. Petitioners’ motion for reconsideration was denied by the RTC. b) YES. must be recognized as the supreme law in succession. In other words. and need not be witnessed. An intent to dispose mortis causa can be clearly deduced from the terms of the instrument. Holographic wills. the disinheritance results in the disposition of the property of the testator Segundo in favor of those who would succeed in the absence of Alfredo. although it may initially come across as a mere disinheritance instrument. nonetheless. Segundo’s document. dated and signed by the hand of Segundo himself. the RTC issued its assailed order. the disinheritance of Alfredo. HELD: a) NO. Segundo’s document. The document. Alfredo was disinherited by Segundo. Petitioners filed their opposition to the motion to dismiss contending that disinheritance constitutes a disposition of the estate of a decedent and the rule on preterition does not apply because Segundo’s will does not constitute a universal heir or heirs to the exclusion of one or more compulsory heirs. Whether the document executed by Segundo can be considered as a holographic will. In effect. as illustrated in the present case.

and that the law favors testacy over intestacy. Virginia. It was. even if captioned as Kasulatan ng Pag-Aalis ng Mana. the probate of the will cannot be dispensed with. in the Court’s opinion. Also. Segundo’s last expression to bequeath his estate to all his compulsory heirs. Segundo did not institute an heir to the exclusion of his other compulsory heirs. the Court is convinced that the document.) . In this regard. therefore. should have allowed the holographic will to be probated. It is settled that testate proceedings for the settlement of the estate of the decedent take precedence over intestate proceedings for the same purpose.execution of the instrument and the intention of the testator. Considering that the questioned document is Segundo’s holographic will. The mere mention of the name of one of the petitioners. Her name was included plainly as a witness to the altercation between Segundo and his son. was intended by Segundo to be his last testamentary act and was executed by him in accordance with law in the form of a holographic will. Alfredo. the Court believes that the compulsory heirs in the direct line were not preterited in the will. in the document did not operate to institute her as the universal heir. with the sole exception of Alfredo. the trial court. In view of the foregoing. (With regard to the issue on preterition.