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PATRICIA NATCHER V. HON.

COURT
OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 133000, October 02, 2001, SECOND
DIVISION, (BUENA, J.)
Spouses Graciano del Rosario and Graciana
Esguerra were registered owners of a parcel of
land with an area of 9,322 square meters located in
Manila. Upon the death of Graciana in 1951,
Graciano, together with his six children, namely:
Bayani, Ricardo, Rafael, Leticia, Emiliana and
Nieves, entered into an extrajudicial settlement of
Graciana's estate adjudicating and dividing among
themselves the real property. Graciano received
8/14 share while each of the six children received
1/14 share of the said property. Further, said heirs
executed and forged an "Agreement of
Consolidation-Subdivision of Real Property with
Waiver of Rights" where they subdivided among
themselves the parcel of land into several lots.
Graciano then donated to his children, share and
share alike, a portion of his interest in the land
amounting to 4,849.38 square meters leaving only
447.60 square meters registered under Graciano's
name. other lots were subdivided. Eventually,
Graciano sold the first lot to a third person but
retained ownership over the second lot.
On 20 March 1980, Graciano married herein
petitioner Patricia Natcher. During their marriage,
Graciano sold the land covered by TCT No.
107443 to his wife. When Graciano died, he left
his second wife Patricia and his six children by his
first marriage, as heirs.
Private respondents filed a complaint and alleged
that upon Graciano's death, petitioner Natcher,
through
the
employment
of
fraud,
misrepresentation and forgery, acquired the lot by
making it appear that Graciano executed a Deed
of Sale in favor of Patricia Natcher. Similarly,
herein private respondents alleged in said
complaint that as a consequence of such
fraudulent sale, their legitimes have been impaired.

In her answer, herein petitioner Natcher averred
that she was legally married to Graciano on 20
March 1980 and thus, under the law, she was
likewise considered a compulsory heir of the
latter. RTC held that the subject deed of sale is
prohibited by law because they are spouses. The
CA reversed because the probate court that has
exclusive jurisdiction to make a just and legal
distribution of the estate. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE:
May a Regional Trial Court, acting as a court of
general jurisdiction in an action for reconveyance
and annulment of title with damages, adjudicate
matters relating to the settlement of the estate of a
deceased person particularly in questions as to
advancement of property made by the decedent to
any of the heirs?
HELD: NO
We concur with the Court of Appeals and find no
merit in the instant petition. Section 3, Rule 1 of
the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure defines civil
action and special proceedings, in this wise:
"X X X a) A civil action is one by which a party
sues another for the enforcement or protection of
a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong.
"A civil action may either be ordinary or special.
Both are governed by the rules for ordinary civil
actions, subject to specific rules prescribed for a
special civil action. "X X X "c) A special
proceeding is a remedy by which a party seeks to
establish a status, a right or a particular fact."
As could be gleaned from the foregoing, there lies
a marked distinction between an action and a
special proceeding. An action is a formal demand
of one's right in a court of justice in the manner
prescribed by the court or by the law. It is the
method of applying legal remedies according to
definite established rules. The term "special
proceeding" may be defined as an application or
proceeding to establish the status or right of a
party, or a particular fact. Usually, in special
proceedings, no formal pleadings are required

unless the statute expressly so provides. In special
proceedings, the remedy is granted generally upon
an application or motion."
Citing American Jurisprudence, a noted authority
in Remedial Law expounds further:
"It may accordingly be stated generally that
actions include those proceedings which are
instituted and prosecuted according to the
ordinary rules and provisions relating to actions at
law or suits in equity, and that special proceedings
include those proceedings which are not ordinary
in this sense, but is instituted and prosecuted
according to some special mode as in the case of
proceedings commenced without summons and
prosecuted without regular pleadings, which are
characteristics of ordinary actions. X X X A
special proceeding must therefore be in the nature
of a distinct and independent proceeding for
particular relief, such as may be instituted
independently of a pending action, by petition or
motion upon notice."[10]
Applying these principles, an action for
reconveyance and annulment of title with damages
is a civil action, whereas matters relating to
settlement of the estate of a deceased person such
as advancement of property made by the
decedent, partake of the nature of a special
proceeding, which concomitantly requires the
application of specific rules as provided for in the
Rules of Court. Clearly, matters which involve
settlement and distribution of the estate of the
decedent fall within the exclusive province of the
probate court in the exercise of its limited
jurisdiction.
Thus, under Section 2, Rule 90 of the Rules of
Court, questions as to advancement made or
alleged to have been made by the deceased to any
heir may be heard and determined by the court
having jurisdiction of the estate proceedings;
and the final order of the court thereon shall be
binding on the person raising the questions and
on the heir. While it may be true that the Rules
used the word "may", it is nevertheless clear that

the same provision[11] contemplates a probate
court when it speaks of the "court having
jurisdiction of the estate proceedings". Corollarily,
the Regional Trial Court in the instant case, acting
in its general jurisdiction, is devoid of authority to
render an adjudication and resolve the issue of
advancement of the real property in favor of
herein petitioner Natcher, inasmuch as Civil Case
No. 71075 for reconveyance and annulment of
title with damages is not, to our mind, the proper
vehicle to thresh out said question. Moreover,
under the present circumstances, the RTC of
Manila, Branch 55 was not properly constituted as
a probate court so as to validly pass upon the
question of advancement made by the decedent
Graciano Del Rosario to his wife, herein
petitioner Natcher.

RUFINA LUY LIM v. CA, AUTO TRUCK
TBA CORP, SPEED DISTRIBUTING INC.,
ACTIVE DISTRIBUTORS, ALLIANCE
MARKETING CORP., AND ACTION CO.
INC.
G.R. No. 124715, January 24, 2000, SECOND
DIVISION (Buena, J.)
Key Doctrine: “Exclusive original jurisdiction over civil
actions and probate proceedings, testate and intestate,
including the grant of provisional remedies in proper cases,
where the value of the personal property, estate or amount of
the demand does not exceed P100,000 or, in Metro
Manila where such personal property, estate or amount of
the demand does not exceed P200,000.”(see footnote 2)
Rufina Lim is the surviving spouse of the
Pastor Lim who died intestate and whose estate is
the subject of probate proceedings. Rufina, duly
represented by her nephew George Luy, filed a
joint petition for the administration of the estate
of Pastor . Private respondent corporations,
whose properties were included in the inventory
of the estate of Pastor filed a motion for the lifting
of lis pendens and motion for exclusion of certain
properties from the estate of the decedent which

was granted by the RTC as the probate court.
Subsequently, Rufina Luy Lim filed a verified
amended petition stating that the respondents
engaged in business with the public as
corporations, all their capital, assets and equity
were however, personally owned by the late
Pastor, that the alleged stockholders and officers
appearing in the respective articles of
incorporation of the above business entities were
mere dummies of Pastor Y. Lim, and they were
listed therein only for purposes of registration,
and that the properties are all conjugal in nature.
Hence, the RTC set aside its previous order and
the Registry of Deeds of Quezon City was
directed to reinstate the annotation of lis pendens.
Rufina was appointed as special administrators
with two others.

The provisions of Republic Act 7691,
which introduced amendments to Batas Pambansa
Blg. 129, are pertinent:
"Section 1. Section 19 of Batas Pambansa
Blg. 129, otherwise known as the "Judiciary
Reorganization Act of 1980", is hereby
amended to read as follows:
Section 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases.
Regional Trial Courts shall exercise
exclusive jurisdiction:
(4) In all matters of probate, both
testate and intestate, where the gross value
of the estate exceeds One Hundred
Thousand Pesos (P100,000) or, in probate
matters in Metro Manila, where such gross
value exceeds Two Hundred Thousand
Pesos (P200,000);
Section 3. Section 33 of the same law is
hereby amended to read as follows: Section
33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial
Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Civil
Cases.-Metropolitan
Trial
Courts,
Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal
Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:
1. Exclusive original jurisdiction over
civil actions and probate proceedings,
testate and intestate, including the grant of
provisional remedies in proper cases, where
the value of the personal property, estate or
amount of the demand does not exceed
One Hundred Thousand Pesos(P100,000)
or, in Metro Manila where such personal
property, estate or amount of the demand
does not exceed Two Hundred Thousand
Pesos (P200,000),2 exclusive of interest,
damages of whatever kind, attorney’s fees,
litigation expenses and costs, the amount of
which must be specifically alleged,
Provided, that interest, damages of

The probate court denied anew private
respondents’ motion for exclusion and later issued
an order directing the parties and banks concerned
within (5) five days to submit their records in the
name of Pastor and the corporations to show all
the transactions made. Private respondent filed a
special civil action for certiorari questioning the
orders of the RTC, sitting as a probate court
which was granted by the CA.
ISSUES:
1. What is the jurisdiction of the courts over
settlement of estate?
2. May a corporation, in its universality, be
the proper subject of and be included in
the inventory of the estate of a deceased
person?1
HELD:
1. Before we delve into the merits of the
case, a review of the rules on jurisdiction over
probate proceedings is indeed in order.

According to J. De Leon’s book (p.10), R.A. 7691
amended B.P. Blg. 129 which increased the gross value
from 100,000 to 300, 000 or from 200,000 to 400,000 if
within Metro Manila.
2

This is the main issue in the case but not related to
the topic – Jurisdiction Over Settlement of Estate under the book.
1

the question of ownership is an extraneous matter which the probate court cannot resolve with finality. RIORITA GABATAN TUMALA and FREIRA GABATAN vs. thus: "It does not matter that respondent has evidence purporting to support her claim of ownership.) KEY DOCTRINE: Jurisprudence dictates that the determination of who are the legal heirs of the deceased must be made in the proper special proceedings in court. It may not be held liable for the personal indebtedness of its stockholders or those of the entities connected with it. in PASTOR. which. not conclusive. the only property of the intestate estate is the . for. COURT OF APPEALS and LOURDES EVERO PACANA G.. bringing up the matter as a mere incident in special proceedings for the settlement of the estate of deceased persons. FIRST DIVISION. on the other hand. JR. This Court.whatever kind. but such determination is provisional. irrespective of whether the causes of action arose out of the same or different transactions." Simply put. Thus. vs. NO. HEIRS OF TEOFILO GABATAN. and in the absence of any cogency to shred the veil of corporate fiction. It is settled that a corporation is clothed with personality separate and distinct from that of the persons composing it. HON. namely: LOLITA GABATAN. embodied in the same complaint." A perusal of the records would reveal that no strong compelling evidence was ever presented by petitioner to bolster her bare assertions as to the title of the deceased Pastor Y. 150206. that where there are several claims or causes of actions between the same or different parties. In the same vein. which under the law is endowed with incontestability until after it has been set aside in the manner indicated in the law itself. and not in an ordinary suit for recovery of ownership and possession of property. attorney’s. held: "As a rule. PEREGRINO GABATAN. It may not generally be held liable for that of the persons composing it. of course. Lim over the properties. the determination of which court exercises jurisdiction over matters of probate depends upon the gross value of the estate of the decedent. REYNALDO GABATAN. does not include. the presumption of conclusiveness of said titles in favor of private respondents should stand undisturbed. COURT OF APPEALS. Inasmuch as the real properties included in the inventory of the estate of the late Pastor Y. x x x in the case of Portugal v. the jurisprudence pronounced in BOLISAY vs. the Probate Court may pass upon the title thereto. No." Where the parcels of land are registered in the name of private respondent corporations. ALCID is of great essence and finds applicability.R. J. 13 March 2009 (Leonardo-De Castro. which under the law possess a personality separate and distinct from their stockholders. NILA GABATAN and JESUS JABINIS. petitioners have a Torrens title in their favor. a corporation by legal fiction and convenience is an entity shielded by a protective mantle and imbued by law with a character alien to the persons comprising it. 2. and is subject to the final decision in a separate action to resolve title. for the purpose of determining whether a certain property should or should not be included in the inventory of estate properties. litigation expenses and costs shall be included in the determination of the filing fees. Rudimentary is the rule that a corporation is invested by law with a personality distinct and separate from its stockholders or members. the amount of the demand shall be the totality of the claims in all the causes of action. Lim are in the possession of and are registered in the name of private respondent corporations. POMPEYO GABATAN. PortugalBeltran. Provided further.

Cagayan de Oro City. Rita Gabatan. if there was any. under the circumstances of the case. namely: Teofilo (petitioners predecessor-in-interest). Petitioners maintained that Juan Gabatan died single in 1934 and without any issue and that Juan was survived by one brother and two sisters. In their Answer. continuous and uninterrupted possession thereof in the concept of owners for more than fifty (50) years and enjoyed the fruits of the improvements thereon. Hermogena demanded for the return of the land to no avail. having inherited the same from her deceased mother. In the complaint before the RTC. ISSUE. NOTE: various errors were assigned by the petitioners. But the Court passed upon certain preliminary matters such as the established exceptions to the rule on conclusiveness of the findings of fact by the lower courts and that court rules recognize the broad discretionary power of an appellate court to waive the lack of proper assignment of errors and to consider errors not assigned. It was also claimed that prior to her death. petitioners Jesus Jabinis and Catalino Acantilado took possession of the disputed land despite respondent’s demands for them to vacate the same. Hermogena. On appeal. is the only child of Juan Gabatan and his wife. not expeditious. public. Did the lower court erred in failing to appreciate by preponderance of evidence in favor of the defendants-appellants (petitioners) claim that they and the heirs of Justa and Macaria both surnamed Gabatan are the sole and surviving heirs of Juan Gabatan and. Petitioners clarified that Jesus Jabinis and Catalino Acantilado have no interest in the subject land. CA rendered the herein assailed decision affirming the RTC. therefore. open. identified as Lot 3095 C-5 and situated at Calinugan. According to respondent. Thus. hence. adverse. to still subject it. RTC rendered a decision ordering petitioners to reconvey the OCT in favour of respondent.1062 hectare parcel of land. to a special proceeding which could be long. was the daughter of Juan Gabatan and Laureana Clarito nor is the respondent the rightful heir of Juan Gabatan. Teofilo Gabatan and Teofilo’s wife. This lot was declared for taxation in the name of Juan Gabatan. respondent Lourdes Evero Pacana alleged that she is the sole owner of Lot 3095 C-5. Macaria and Justa. entitled to inherit the land subject matter hereof. Balulang. After Hermogena’s death. for administration. physical. Respondent further claimed that her mother.Caloocan parcel of land. when Teofilo and his wife died. Laureana Clarito. but none was specifically related to special proceedings. the Court is clothed with ample authority to review rulings even if they are not assigned as errors in the appeal in certain instances. She further alleged that upon the death of Juan Gabatan. It is undisputed that the subject property was owned by the deceased Juan . the former is merely the husband of Teofilo’s daughter while the latter is just a caretaker. respondent Lourdes also did the same but the petitioners refused to heed the numerous demands to surrender the subject property. just to establish the status of petitioners as heirs is not only impractical. Finally. Hermogena. Subject of the present controversy is a 1. The respondent’s main cause of action in the court a quo is the recovery of ownership and possession of property. petitioners contended that the complaint lacks or states no cause of action or. 1983 for lack of interest. petitioners denied that respondent’s mother. These siblings and/or their heirs. the same has long prescribed and/or has been barred by laches. the subject lot was entrusted to his brother. Hermogena Gabatan Evero (Hermogena). Petitioners added that a similar case was previously filed by respondent against Teofilo’s wife but the case was dismissed on May 3. HELD. to the exclusion of the whole world including respondent. inherited the subject land from Juan Gabatan and have been in actual.

However. Jurisprudence dictates that the determination of who are the legal heirs of the deceased must be made in the proper special proceedings in court. In the more recent case of Milagros Joaquino v. 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. under the circumstances of the case. Court of Appeals. This doctrine was reiterated in Solivio v. the Court reiterated its ruling that matters relating to the rights of filiation and heirship must be ventilated in the proper probate court in a special proceeding instituted precisely for the purpose of determining such rights. In fine. during his lifetime. that in the present case the only property of the intestate estate of Portugal is the Caloocan parcel of land. x x x. Citing the case of Agapay v. where the Court relaxed its rule and allowed the trial court in a proceeding for annulment of title to determine the status of the party therein as heirs. as in this case. 89-092. especially in light of the fact that the parties to Civil Case No. there appears to be only one parcel of land being claimed by the contending parties as their inheritance from Juan Gabatan. credible and independently verifiable proof. it is burdensome to the estate with the costs and expenses of an administration proceeding. Rule 1 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court. just to establish the status of petitioners as heirs is not only impractical. It is then decisively clear that the declaration of heirship can be made only in a special proceeding inasmuch as the petitioners here are seeking the establishment of a status or right. It would be more practical to dispense with a separate special proceeding for the determination of the status of respondent as the sole heir of Juan Gabatan. entitled to the property under litigation. Under Section 3. both insisting to be the legal heir(s) of the decedent. not expeditious. to a special proceeding which could be long. a right. with convincing. and not in an ordinary suit for recovery of ownership and possession of property. . to wit: It appearing. or a particular fact. x x x This Court finds that respondent dismally failed to substantiate. Before us are two contending parties. a civil action is defined as one by which a party sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right. Portugal-Beltran. however. in the present case. or the prevention or redress of a wrong while a special proceeding is a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a status. And it is superfluous in light of the fact that the parties to the civil case subject of the present case.Gabatan. under the circumstances of the present case. Lourdes Reyes. Similarly. to still subject it. Petition granted. was for the recovery of property. her assertion that she is the sole heir of Juan Gabatan and thus. this Court held that the status of an illegitimate child who claimed to be an heir to a decedent’s estate could not be adjudicated in an ordinary civil action which. had voluntarily submitted the issue to the RTC and already presented their evidence regarding the issue of heirship in these proceeding. could and had already in fact presented evidence before the trial court which assumed jurisdiction over the case upon the issues it defined during pretrial. we are not unmindful of our decision in Portugal v. The Court has consistently ruled that the trial court cannot make a declaration of heirship in the civil action for the reason that such a declaration can only be made in a special proceeding. This must take precedence over the action for recovery of possession and ownership. Palang. Also the RTC assumed jurisdiction over the same and consequently rendered judgment thereon. hence. 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.

" Neither could laches be invoked in the case at bar. 134718. sold the disputed land to the respondents3 in July 1965. Equity. Mamerto died during the Second World leaving the property to his 5 children. 2001. Climaco. PEDRO. RITA ALL SURNAMED TIRO. CASALS AND LILIA C. AND CONSUELO L. Thereafter. Property located in Marigondon. daughter of Francisca. Declaration of Nullity: Deed of Sale of 3 The spouses Leon V. and Consuelo L. Fransisco. Casals.354 sqm. Petitioners also prayed that the Deed of Sale of Unregistered Land as well as the Extrajudicial Settlement and Confirmation of Sale be nullified to the extent of petitioners' shares in the property. Climaco. CLIMACO. "an action for reconveyance based on implied or constructive trust prescribes in ten years counted from the date when an adverse title is asserted by the possessor of the property" x x x moreover. RESPONDENTS. AND BARBARA TIRO (DECEASED). the spouses Carlos L. SPOUSES CARLOS L. Laches is a doctrine in equity and our courts are basically courts of law and not courts of equity. "the rule in this jurisdiction is that an action to enforce an implied trust may be barred not only by prescription but also by laches in which case repudiation is not even required. plaintiffs had only 10 years to initiate an action for reconveyance which they failed to do so. namely: Romana. "The action or defense for the declaration of the inexistence of a contract does not prescribe. G. August 20. SPOUSES LEON V. and when the other compulsory heir. Lapu-Lapu City. The trial court dismissed the action on the ground of prescription and laches based on the fact that the Co-ownership of the lot in question was already repudiated as early as 1965 when Luisa. CLIMACO. "Neither could laches be invoked in the case at bar Facts Mamerto Injug is the owner of a 5. Climaco Unregistered Land. Luisa. Extrajudicial Settlement and Confirmation of Sale alleging that they only discovered that the land was sold to the respondents in 1990. Jr.R. the Heirs of Romana. Francisco Ingjug confirmed said sale in 1967." The CA affirmed the decision. representing themselves as the sole heirs of Mamerto. CASALS. "The action or defense for the declaration of the inexistence of a contract does not prescribe.HEIRS OF ROMANA INGJUG-TIRO: BEDESA. JR. and never against. statutory law. . From that date. Maria. ET AL vs. CLIMACO. and Francisca (The petitioners) challenged respondents' ownership of the property by filing a complaint for Partition. actions for reconveyance of property predicated on the fact that the conveyance complained of was null and void ab initio. Casals and Lilia C. Accordingly. and Blanquita C. SPOUSES JOSE L." should be applied only in the absence of. a claim of prescription of action would be unavailing. Maria and Guillerma sold the land claiming they are the only heirs of Mamerto Ingjug. Francisca. Eufemio Ingjug. On August 1992. a claim of prescription of action would be unavailing. which has been aptly described as "justice outside legality. The sale was evidenced by a Deed of Sale of Unregistered Land and an Extrajudicial Settlement and Confirmation of Sale. Recovery of Ownership and Possession. Luisa and Maria. CLIMACO AND LYDIA R. No. CLIMACO. BELLOSILLO. Climaco and Lydia R. SECOND DIVISION Key Doctrine: In actions for reconveyance of property predicated on the fact that the conveyance complained of was null and void ab initio. Issue Is the action prescription and laches? already barred by Ruling No. Francisco. AND BLANQUITA C. the spouses Jose L. and Guillerma Ingjug Fuentes-Pagubo. Climaco.

petitioner Octavio S. MALOLES II. Gorospe. and (b) the Extrajudicial Settlement and Confirmation of Sale is simulated and therefore null and void ab initio. al [G. De Santos is concerned. as it was purportedly executed in 1967 by. J. Branch 61. Dr. petitioner. OCTAVIO S. Sr. On April 3. although Rule 73. Inc. filed a petition for probate of his will in the RTC-Makati. FACTS: On July 20. [G. Eufemio Ingjug (Eufemio Tiro.. COURT OF APPEALS. he should have required the defendants to answer the complaint. et. and ordered the parties to proceed with the trial on the merits. instead. it does not bar other branches of the same court from taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of the testator after his death. not in the judges. Maloles II filed a motion for intervention claiming that. and that copies of said will were in the custody of the named executrix. Thus. deferred action on the special defenses of prescription and laches.R. that he disposed by his will his properties with an approximate value of not less than P2.] Considering the foregoing. January 31. Maloles. Petitioner thus prayed for the reconsideration of the order allowing the will and . OCTAVIO S. Dr. 2000. Proc. to the exclusion of the other branches. The jurisdiction is vested in the court. 1996. private respondent Pacita de los Reyes Phillips.000. MENDOZA. the prayer in the same complaint expressly asks that all those transactions be declared null and void. that he had named in his will as sole legatee and devisee the Arturo de Santos Foundation. among others.R. husband of Romana Ingjug). J.. and one of the vendor-signatories therein. 1 applies insofar as the venue of the petition for probate of the will of Dr. was not even a direct and compulsory heir of the decedent. Shortly after the probate of his will. however. he was the sole full-blooded nephew and nearest of kin of Dr.00. 1995. 2000. Petitioners' causes of action are premised on their claim that: (a) the Deed of Sale of Unregistered Land is void and of no effect since their respective shares in the inheritance were included in the sale without their knowledge and consent.000. Judge Fernando V. the trial court judge should not have summarily dismissed petitioners' complaint. it is the nullity of the deeds of sale and the extrajudicial settlement and confirmation of the sale whcic is the basic hypothesis uon which the instant civil action rests. Filipino and a resident of Makati City. Jr. M4223. recovery of ownership and possession. respondent. In other words. De Santos. January 31. Trial may be held or proceedings continue by and before another branch or judge. Arturo de Santos.] KEY DOCTRINE: It is noteworthy that. vs.A cursory reading of the complaint. He likewise alleged that he was a creditor of the testator. which is docketed as Sp. No. No. MALOLES II. Eufemio Tiro who was not an heir. petitioner. as the only child of Alicia de Santos (testators sister) and Octavio L. De Santos died on February 26. Branch 61 issued an order granting the petition and allowing the will. He alleged that he had no compulsory heirs. 1996. of RTCMakati. Also. 133359. reveals that the action filed by petitioners was for partition. vs. PACITA DE LOS REYES PHILLIPS. it appears that we are dealing here not with simple voidable contracts tainted with fraud. No. 129505. And when a case is filed in one branch. declaration of nullity of a deed of sale of unregistered land and extrajudicial settlement and confirmation of sale. MENDOZA. but with contracts that are altogether null and void ab initio. *Case remanded to lower court. jurisdiction over the case does not attach to the branch or judge alone. and by Francisco Ingjug who died in 1963.

M-4343). No. M-4343 to Branch 65 on the ground that there was a pending case involving the Estate of Decedent Arturo de Santos pending before said court. M-4343. . No. On appeal.” In his order. It is already ruled in Branch 61 that Pacita’s Motion for Issuance of Letters Testamentary already ruled that the motion could not be admitted as the subject matter involves a separate case under Rule 78 of the Rules of Court. filed a motion for the issuance of letters testamentary with Branch 61. No. Branch 65) shall take cognizance of the petition if only to expedite the proceedings. it would be improper for (Branch 65) to hear and resolve the petition (Sp. Proc. Judge Gorospe issued an order. Initially. Proc. Branch 65 acquire jurisdiction over the petition for issuance of letters testamentary filed by (private) respondent? . who earlier withdrew her motion for the issuance of letters testamentary in Branch 61. Proc. private respondent moved to withdraw her motion. 1996 petitioners motion for intervention on the ground that the matter is for a separate case to be filed under Rule 78 of the Rules of Court and cannot be included in this case filed under Rule 76 of the Rules of Court." considering that the probate proceedings were commenced with Branch 61. that in Sp. No. Proc. and under the concept that the RTC-Makati is but one court. however. returning the records of Sp. No. However. On November 4. which was docketed as Sp. M-4343 to Branch 61. Later. refiled a petition for the same purpose with the RTC-Makati. on the ground that "[it] is related to the case before Judge Gorospe of RTC Branch 61 . Fernando V. 1996. Proc. Hence. this branch (RTC-Makati. . 1996. On the other hand. of Branch 61 to continue hearing this case notwithstanding the fact that said branch began the probate proceedings of the estate of the deceased and must therefore continue to exercise its jurisdiction to the exclusion of all others. Private respondent. CA rendered a decision setting aside the trial courts order on the ground that the petitioner has not shown any right or interest to intervene in Sp. M-4223. Judge Abad Santos appeared firm in his position that " . he later recalled his decision and took cognizance of the case "to expedite the proceedings. Judge Abad Santos of Branch 65 ordered the transfer of Sp. . he stated: Considering the refusal of the Hon. dated September 4. Gorospe. Private respondent moved for a reconsideration but her motion was denied by the trial court. Petitioner brought this matter to the Court of Appeals which upheld the denial. the designated executrix of the will. Did the RTC-Makati. . until the entire estate of the testator had been partitioned and distributed as per Order dated 23 September 1996. Proc. however." It appears. Jr. private respondent Pacita de los Reyes Phillips. Meanwhile. No. Judge Gorospe had denied on August 26.. Judge Abad Santos granted petitioners motion for intervention. this petition.the issuance of letters of administration in his name. ISSUES: 1. M-4343 and assigned to Branch 65. He thus ordered the transfer of the records back to the latter branch.

838 of the Civil Code authorizes the filing of a petition for probate of the will filed by the testator himself. has a right to intervene and oppose the petition for issuance of letters testamentary filed by the respondent? 3. cites Rule 73. although Rule 73. After a will has been probated during the lifetime of the testator. Thus. after approving and allowing the will.” It is noteworthy that. shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. YES. Branch 65 of the RTC of Makati City has jurisdiction over Sp. to the exclusion of the other branches. Branch 65 while the same testate estate of the decedent is still pending with the RTCMakati. not in the judges. Branch 61? RULING: 1. therefore. petitioner contends that Branch 65 could not lawfully act upon private respondents petition for issuance of letters testamentary. The cases cited by petitioner are of such nature. Consequently. being of sound mind. 1 of the Rules of Court. devisees. it continues and shall continue to exercise said jurisdiction to the exclusion of all others. i. In cases for the probate of wills. there was nothing else for Branch 61 to do except to issue a certificate of allowance of the will pursuant to Rule 73. Proc. jurisdiction over the case does not attach to the branch or judge alone. petition in the court for the allowance of his will. The contention has no merit.Makati. and legatees of the testator. Rule 76 likewise provides that the testator himself may. Petitioner argues that the proceedings must continue until the estate is fully distributed to the lawful heirs. Petitioner.e. However. Should he make a new will. therefore. during his lifetime. whether the testator. the court proceeds to issue letters testamentary and settle the estate of the testator. it does not necessarily mean that he cannot alter or revoke the same before his death. 1996. it would also be allowable on his petition. De Santos is concerned.2. being a creditor of the late Dr. No. Ordinarily. in most jurisdictions. Does the petitioner. pursuant to Rule 73. . after the allowance of the will of Dr. freely executed the will in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. Is the respondent guilty of forum shopping in filing her petition for issuance of letters testamentary with the RTC. M-4343. 1 applies insofar as the venue of the petition for probate of the will of Dr. Arturo de Santos. There is. the ordinary probate proceeding after the testators death would be in order. 1 which states: “…The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent. Trial may be held or proceedings continue by and before another branch or judge. As held in the leading case of Bacalso v. who defends the order of Branch 65 allowing him to intervene.” Necessarily. it is well-settled that the authority of the court is limited to ascertaining the extrinsic validity of the will. it does not bar other branches of the same court from taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of the testator after his death. and if he should die before he has had a chance to present such petition. De Santos on February 16. no basis for the ruling of Judge Abad Santos of Branch 65 of RTCMakati that Branch 61 of the RTC-Makati having begun the probate proceedings of the estate of the deceased. And when a case is filed in one branch. so much so that. courts cannot entertain a petition for probate of the will of a living testator under the principle of ambulatory nature of wills. 12 of the Rules of Court. probate proceedings are instituted only after the death of the testator. Ramolote: “…The jurisdiction is vested in the court. In fact. Art..

ABAD. On the other hand. he can inherit from the latter only in case of intestacy. There was. In ruling that petitioner has no right to intervene in the proceedings before Branch 65 of RTC-Makati City. he cannot be considered an "heir" of the testator. for the purpose of securing authority from the Court to administer the estate and put into effect the will of the testator. his interest in the matter is material and direct. MANUEL MIGUEL PALAGANAS and BENJAMIN GREGORIO PALAGANAS [G. the proceedings were terminated. Since the decedent has left a will which has already been probated and disposes of all his properties the private respondent can inherit only if the said will is annulled. not direct or immediate. the testator. therefore. No. and whose interest is material and direct. or one who has a claim against the estate. IN RE: IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO APPROVE THE WILL OF RUPERTA PALAGANAS WITH PRAYER FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR. De Santos. or fails to give bond may the court appoint other persons to administer the estate.2. Clearly. as executor of the estate of Dr. De Santos. Even if petitioner is the nearest next of kin of Dr. Applying Rule 79 (1). solely for the purpose of authenticating his will. None of these circumstances is present in this case. it is incumbent upon the Court to respect the desires of the testator. refuses the trust. as nephew of the testator. Upon the allowance of his will. It is a fundamental rule of testamentary succession that one who has no compulsory or forced heirs may dispose of his entire estate by will. not merely incidental or contingent.] FACTS: . the petition for probate was filed by Dr. 169144. Petitioner. Only if the appointed executor is incompetent. as the nearest next of kin and creditor of the testator. De Santos. the Court of Appeals held: The private respondent herein is not an heir or legatee under the will of the decedent Arturo de Santos. such as a creditor. that it has been held that an "interested person" is one who would be benefited by the estate. The petitioner has no right to intervene. His interest in the decedents estate is. As the only and nearest collateral relative of the decedent. Neither is he a compulsory heir of the latter.R. Petitioner claims the right to intervene in and oppose the petition for issuance of letters testamentary filed by private respondent. nor was the latter filed during the pendency of the former. Since the testator instituted or named an executor in his will. As stated earlier. Nor does he have any right to intervene in the settlement proceedings based on his allegation that he is a creditor of the deceased. no forum shopping. is not a compulsory heir who may have been preterited in the testators will. He argues that. the petition for issuance of letters testamentary was filed by private respondent. such as an heir. there is no identity between the two petitions. 3. J. The estate settlement proceedings commenced by the filing of the petition terminates upon the distribution and delivery of the legacies and devises to the persons named in the will. consequently. NO. 26 January 2011.

She left properties in the Philippines and in the U. respondent Ernesto C. Our rules require merely that the petition for the allowance of a will must show. legatees. Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 76 further state that the executor. However. the name of the person having custody of it. Palaganas (Ernesto). filed with the RTC of Malolos.S. (d) the name of the person for whom letters are prayed. Article 816 of the Civil Code states that the will of an alien who is abroad produces effect in the Philippines if made in accordance with the formalities prescribed by the law of the place where he resides. ages.S. died single and childless. (NB: Jurisdictional facts refer to . and (e) if the will has not been delivered to the court. (b) the names. whether the same be in his possession or not. or is lost or destroyed. ISSUE: May a will executed by a foreigner abroad be probated in the Philippines although it has not been previously probated and allowed in the country where it was executed? • • • Our laws do not prohibit the probate of wills executed by foreigners abroad although the same have not as yet been probated and allowed in the countries of their execution. A foreign will can be given legal effects in our jurisdiction. where she executed it. Bulacan. In this connection. In 2014. at any time after the death of the testator.. RULING: • In 2011. In the last will and testament she executed in California. devisee. Ruperta Palaganas (Ruperta). a Filipino who became a naturalized U. they claimed.• • • • What: This case is about the probate before Philippine court of a will executed abroad by a foreigner although it has not been probated in its place of execution. The rules do not require proof that the foreign will has already been allowed and probated in the country of its execution. and devisees of the testator or decedent. Palaganas (Sergio). appointed respondent Ernesto as special administrator at the request of Sergio (the U. may. is also not qualified to act as administrator of the estate. Ernesto. petition the court having jurisdiction to have the will allowed. the RTC of the province where he has an estate may take cognizance of the settlement of such estate. In 2013. Sergio C.S. and residences of the heirs. she designated her brother. petitioners Manuel Miguel Palaganas (Manuel) and Benjamin Gregorio Palaganas (Benjamin). so far as known to the petitioner: (a) the jurisdictional facts.based executor) and issued Letters of Special Administration to Ernesto. Section 1. Rule 73 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides that if the decedent is an inhabitant of a foreign country. opposed the petition on the ground that Rupertas will should not be probated in the Philippines but in the U. RTC admitted to probate Rupertas’ last will. Petitioner nephews Manuel and Benjamin appealed to the CA. or legatee named in the will. another brother of Ruperta. nephews of Ruperta. which affirmed the RTC decision. or according to the formalities observed in his country. as the executor of her will. citizen.S. (c) the probable value and character of the property of the estate. a petition for the probate of Rupertas' will and for his appointment as special administrator of her estate. or any other person interested in the estate.

00. discharge its burden of proving the foreign law as a basis of Echin’s dismissal? 3. THIRD DIVISION. shouldering her own air fare. being a foreign government agency. If the instituted heirs do not have the means to go abroad for the probate of the will. ATCI OVERSEAS CORPORATION. petitioners stand is fraught with impractically. She filed with the NLRC a complaint for illegal dismissal against ATCI as the local recruitment agency. JOSEFA ECHIN G.the fact of death of the decedent. 2001. the local court acknowledges as binding the findings of the foreign probate court provided its jurisdiction over the matter can be established. represented by Amalia Ikdal (Ikdal). et al. the Ministry of Public Health of Kuwait. Is Ikdal solidarily liable with ATCI? . his residence at the time of his death in the province where the probate court is sitting. wherein all newly-hired employees undergo a probationary period of 1 year and are covered by Kuwaits Civil Service Board Employment Contract No. Echin was deployed on February 17. the estate he left in such province) • • In insisting that Rupertas will should have been first probated and allowed by the court of California. as the foreign principal. for the position of medical technologist under a two-year contract. Besides. She returned to the Philippines on March 17. representing her salary for the three months unexpired portion of her contract. or if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country. petitioners Manuel and Benjamin obviously have in mind the procedure for the reprobate of will before admitting it here. to pay her US$3. In reprobate. The CA affirmed the NLRC decision. ATCI. as such. The LA held that Echin was illegally dismissed and ordered ATCI. But.R. May Echin recover from the ATCI even if the latter is a mere agent of the Ministry which is immune from suit? 2. with a monthly salary of US$1. 2001. No. it is as good as depriving them outright of their inheritance. the Ministry.200. et al. Did ATCI. The NLRC affirmed. it cannot be made to apply to the present case. (Carpio-Morales. denominated as a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). ISSUE: 1. appealed to the CA contending that their principal. 11 October 2010. 2. The latter rule applies only to reprobate of a will. the immunity extended to them.00. is immune from suit and.600. et al. MA. and that Echin was validly dismissed for her failure to meet the performance rating within the one-year period as required under Kuwaits Civil Service Laws. and the Ministry. Reprobate is specifically governed by Rule 77 of the Rules of Court. v.) Echin was hired by ATCI Overseas Corporation in behalf of its principal. she not having allegedly passed the probationary period. since our law requires that no will shall pass either real or personal property unless the will has been proved and allowed by the proper court. et al. J. reprobate or reauthentication of a will already probated and allowed in a foreign country is different from that probate where the will is presented for the first time before a competent court. 2000 but was terminated from employment on February 11. 178551.

Facts: Special Proceedings No. YES. x x x x If the recruitment/placement agency is a juridical being. ATCI. de Favis. petitioners failed to discharge. Temporary absence from the country is not a ground for disqualification or removal of an administrator. cannot evade responsibility for the money claims of Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) which it deploys abroad by the mere expediency of claiming that its foreign principal is a government agency clothed with immunity from suit. they must be proven. namely. 74769 | 1990-09-28 Subject: Appointment of an estate administrator. as required under the Rules. 3. as agent.R. Disagreements and conflict between coadministrators is not a ground for removal. YES. submitted were mere certifications attesting only to the correctness of the translations of the MOA and the termination letter which does not prove at all that Kuwaiti civil service laws differ from Philippine laws and that under such Kuwaiti laws. Money Claims. however. 2. The Philippines does not take judicial notice of foreign laws.. Respecting Ikdals joint and solidary liability as a corporate officer. -Dex Gonzaless vs. 8042 on money claims. Beatriz F. Removal of an administrator does not lie on the dictates of the heirs or beneficiaries of the estate. Gonzales. the same is in order too following the express provision of R. To prove a foreign law. Please be guided accordingly. Instead of submitting a copy of the pertinent Kuwaiti labor laws duly authenticated and translated by Embassy officials thereat. The documents presented. respondent was validly terminated. Removal of an administrator requires just cause. what ATCI. 021 is an intestate proceeding involving the estate of the deceased Doña Ramona Gonzales Vda. 10. It is hornbook principle. under the doctrine of processual presumptionwhich. the corporate officers and directors and partners as the case may be. Olbes. hence. Teresa F. Thanks. can be held jointly and solidarily liable. in this case. No. . they must not only be alleged. shall themselves be jointly and solidarily liable with the corporation or partnership for the aforesaid claims and damages. NOTE: The case does not relate anything about SpecPro. do not sufficiently prove that respondent was validly terminated as a probationary employee under Kuwaiti civil service laws. the party invoking it must present a copy thereof and comply with Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132 of the Revised Rules of Court. and Cecilia FavisGomez.A. Asterio Favis. that the party invoking the application of a foreign law has the burden of proving the law. NO. et al. whether taken singly or as a whole. viz: SEC. Doña Ramona is survived by her four children who are her only heirs. as a private recruitment agency. Aguinaldo ((1990)) G.RULING: 1. or that such foreign principals liability must first be established before it.

it however must have some fact legally before it in order to justify a removal. This is the same consideration which Section 6 of Rule 78 takes into account in establishing the order of preference in the appointment of administrators for the estate. Rules of Court. In the exercise of its discretion. Atty. The rule is that if no executor is named in the will. speedy. Judge Aguinaldo issued an Order which required Beatriz Gonzales and the other parties to file their opposition. Hence. or fail to give bond. or a person dies intestate. the court appointed Beatriz F.In 1983. the present petition where Beatriz Gonzales contends that Judge Aguinaldo's Order should be nullified on the ground of grave abuse of discretion. while Beatriz Gonzales was in the United States accompanying her ailing husband who was receiving medical treatment in that country. economical administration of the estate. have the highest interest and most influential motive to administer the estate correctly. Held: Appointment of an estate administrator 1. While it is conceded that the court is invested with ample discretion in the removal of an administrator. as the latter was still in the United States attending to her ailing husband. The underlying assumption behind this rule is that those who will reap the benefit of a wise. Rule 82. Section 2 of Rule 82 of the Rules of Court provides the legal and specific causes authorizing the court to remove an administrator. respondent Teresa Olbes filed a motion to remove her sister Beatriz as coadministratrix. Hence. Manuel Castro who. improvidence or mismanagement. The judge denied the motion for lack of merit. Judge Aguinaldo cancelled the letters of administration granted to Beatriz Gonzales and retained Teresa Olbes as the administratrix of the estate of the late Ramona Gonzales. Administrators have such an interest in the execution of their trust as entitle them to protection from removal without just cause. Removal of an administrator requires just cause 3. on the other hand. refuse the trust. had been suspended by the Supreme Court from the practice of law throughout the Philippines. Only Asterio Favis opposed the removal of Beatriz as coadministratrix. Gonzales (petitioner) and Teresa Olbes ( private respondent) as co-administratrices of the estate. the probate court may appoint one. On 11 November 1984. In the appointment of the administrator of the estate of a deceased person. or. two or more co-administrators to have the benefit of their judgment and perhaps at all times to have different interests represented. on the ground that she is incapable or unsuitable to discharge the trust and had committed acts and omissions detrimental to the interest of the estate and the heirs. the principal consideration reckoned with is the interest in said estate of the one to be appointed as administrator. since 2 June 1984. as her removal was not shown by respondents to be anchored on any of the grounds provided under Section 2. Copy of said motion was served upon petitioner's then counsel of record. Beatriz Gonzales moved to reconsider the Order but the same was opposed by Teresa Olbes and another co-heir Cecilia Gomez. or the named executor or executors are incompetent. the court must appoint an administrator of the estate of the deceased who shall act as representative not only of the court appointing him but also of the heirs and the creditors of the estate. suffer the consequences of waste. There must be evidence of an act or omission on .

It appears that petitioner's absence from the country was known to respondent Olbes. sent respondent Olbes a letter addressed to the Land Bank of the Philippines dated 14 November 1984. authorizing her (Olbes) to receive. which it deems sufficient or substantial to warrant the removal of the administrator. Judge Aguinaldo removed petitioner Beatriz Gonzales as coadministratrix of the estate also on the ground that she had been absent from the country since October 1984 and had not returned as of 15 January 1985.the part of the administrator not conformable to or in disregard of the rules or the orders of the court. perhaps inevitably. The court based the removal of the petitioner on the fact that in the administration of the estate. and collect the interests accruing from the Land Bank bonds belonging to the estate. one's removal is not favored. As a matter of fact. temporary absence in the state does not disqualify one to be an administrator of the estate. within the intent of the statute. without misconduct. or for purposes of travel or pleasure. 6. Temporary absence from the country is not a ground for disqualification or removal of an administrator 8. 11. Suffice it to state. or that petitioner was guilty of incompetence in the fulfillment of her duties. guided by law and precedents. A temporary absence from the state on account of ill health. and. But for mere disagreements between such joint fiduciaries. or any other act or omission showing that her continuance as coadministratrix of the estate materially endangers the interests of the estate. Disagreements and conflict between coadministrators is not a ground for removal The court did not base the removal of the petitioner as coadministratrix on any of the causes specified in respondent's motion for relief of the petitioner. nor determine the validity of the charges brought against petitioner by Teresa Olbes. conflicts and misunderstandings have existed between petitioner and respondent Teresa Olbes which allegedly have prejudiced the estate. Such conflicts. Neither did it dwell on. or on account of business. and duly authenticated by the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco. can be resolved by the probate court to the best interest of the estate and its heirs. Conflicts of opinion and judgment naturally. or prevented the management of the estate according to the dictates of prudence. The court a quo failed to find hard facts showing that the conflict and disharmony between the two co-administratrices were unjustly caused by petitioner. while in the United States. petitioner. if unresolved by the coadministrators. 10. it is desirable that the administration of the deceased's estate be marked with harmonious relations between co-administrators. 9. This shows that petitioner had never abandoned her role as co-administratrix of the estate nor had she been remiss in the fulfillment of her duties. (In re: Mc Knight's Will) . In making such a determination. the date of the questioned order. the court must exercise good judgment. occur between persons with different interests in the same estate. leaving respondent Teresa Olbes alone to administer the estate. Certainly. would not necessarily establish the fact that an executor `has removed' from the estate. and to use them for the payment of accounts necessary for the operation of the administration. and that the latter and petitioner Gonzales had continually maintained correspondence with each other with respect to the administration of the estate during the petitioner's absence from the country.

Respondent further averred that petitioner has caused the annotation of an affidavit executed by Ismael Tayag declaring the properties to be the paraphernal properties of petitioner. However. In 2000. Issue: whether respondent’s petition for the issuance of letters of administration sufficiently states a cause of action considering that respondent merely alleged therein that she is an illegitimate child of the decedent. CA: affirmed the denial. and a motor vehicle which the latter sold. Ismael Tayag died intestate. Victoria C. She claimed that she and Ismael Tayag got married in Las Vegas. Petitioner opposed the petition. As the appointment of petitioner Beatriz F. The latter allegedly intends to dispose of these properties to the respondent’s and her brothers’ prejudice. The decedent was married to petitioner herein. However. leaving behind two real properties both of which are in the possession of petitioner. petitioner reiterated her sole ownership of the properties and presented the transfer certificates of title thereof in her name. VICTORIA TAYAG VS FELICIDAD TAYAG-GALLOR (2008) Facts: In 2001.000. without need to state that she had been recognized and acknowledged as such.00 each as their share in the proceeds of the sale. Respondent alleged that she is one of the three illegitimate children of the late Ismael Tayag and Ester C. without stating . Gonzales was valid. Gonzales was removed without just cause. the action becomes one to compel recognition which cannot be brought after the death of the putative father. petitioner has the right to refute the allegation in the course of the settlement proceedings. respondent Felicidad A. filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration over the estate of Ismael Tayag. Petitioner prayed for the dismissal of the suit because respondent failed to state a cause of action. and no satisfactory cause for her removal was shown. TayagGallor.Removal of an administrator does not lie on the dictates of the heirs or beneficiaries of the estate 12. correspondingly. caprices and dictates of the heirs or beneficiaries of the estate. petitioner Beatriz F. the court a quo gravely abused its discretion in removing her. in essence. Tayag. Carmela Tayag. but the two allegedly did not have any children of their own. denying the Motion to dismiss filed by petitioner. Her removal was therefore improper. directing the trial court to proceed with the case. She also averred that it is necessary to allege that respondent was acknowledged and recognized by Ismael Tayag as his illegitimate child. Petitioner allegedly promised to give respondent and her brothers P100. There being no such allegation. and that they have an adopted daughter. The court a quo seeks refuge in the fact that two (2) of the other three (3) heirs of the estate of the deceased (Teresa Olbes and Cecilia Favis Gomez) have opposed the retention or reappointment of petitioner as co-administratrix of the estate. Angeles. The Court of Appeals ruled. petitioner only gave each of them half the amount she promised. In a Motion. respondent still has to prove her allegation and. that the allegation that respondent is an illegitimate child suffices for a cause of action. asserting that she purchased the properties subject of the petition using her own money. 13. Trial court: ruled in favor of respondent. nor on the belief of the court that it would result in orderly and efficient administration. Stated differently. Suffice it to state that the removal of an administrator does not lie on the whims.

as Administratrix of the Estate of the late Roberto L. in the course of the settlement proceedings. J. The voluntary recognition of an illegitimate child by his or her parent needs no further court action and is." ANTONIETTA GARCIA VDA. Rule 79 of the Rules of Court provides that a petition for the issuance of letters of administration must be filed by an interested person. such as a creditor. and that Chua died single and without legitimate . There is.000. Court defined an interested party as one who would be benefited by the estate. Cotabato City. Essentially. 12th Judicial Region. 1998. JAPAL M. the petition for the issuance of letters of administration is a suit for the settlement of the intestate estate of Ismael Tayag. Ruling: Yes. or whether indeed she has a material and direct interest to maintain the suit by reason of the decedent’s voluntary acknowledgment or recognition of her illegitimate filiation. not subject to the limitation that the action for recognition be brought during the lifetime of the putative parent. Roberto Lim Chua lived out of wedlock with private respondent Florita A. vs. not merely indirect or contingent. GUIANI. VALLEJO. Vallejo from 1970 up to 1981. just as the petitioner has the right to disprove it. petitioner. "respondent still has the duty to prove the allegation (that she is an illegitimate child of the decedent).that she had been acknowledged or recognized as such by the latter. Chua. The petition states that sometime from 1970 up to and until late 1981 Florita lived with Chua as husband and wife and out of said union they begot two children. such as an heir. Voluntary recognition must be express such as that in a record of birth appearing in the civil register. Florita thereafter filed with the RTC Cotabato City a Petition for: Declaration of heirship. therefore. COURT OF APPEALS (Special Eight Division). must be material and direct. 116835 March 5. a public instrument or private handwritten instrument signed by the parent concerned. no way to determine if her petition is actually one to compel recognition which had already been foreclosed by the death of her father. on the other hand. namely. correct in allowing the proceedings to continue. furthermore. This interest. therefore. RTC. may be established through voluntary or compulsory recognition. HON. as yet.R. Respondent in this case had not been given the opportunity to present evidence to show whether she had been voluntarily recognized and acknowledged by her deceased father because of petitioner’s opposition to her petition and motion for hearing on affirmative defenses. DE CHUA. Kapunan During his lifetime. and issuance of letters of administration. On 28 May 1992. The appellate court was. Roberto Chua died intestate in Davao City. The right of respondent to maintain such a suit is dependent on whether she is entitled to successional rights as an illegitimate child of the decedent which. Judicial or compulsory recognition. ruling that. No. guardianship over the persons and properties of minors Robert and Rudyard. or one who has a claim against the estate. respondents G. The couple begot two illegitimate children. a final judgment. in turn. may be demanded by the illegitimate child of his parents and must be brought during the lifetime of the presumed parents. Roberto Rafson Alonzo and Rudyard Pride Alonzo. and FLORITA A.000. that Chua died intestate in Davao City and left properties worth P5. Branch 14.

hence the abovenamed minors shall succeed to the entire estate.. Petitioner alleged that at the time of the decedent's death Davao City was his residence. hence. Does petitioner have legal standing to file a motion to dismiss? Held: 1. The jurisdictional facts required in a petition for issuance of letters of administration are: (1) the death of the testator. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss for lack of merit ruling that Garcia had no personality to file the motion not having proven her status as wife of decedent. Contents of petition for letters of administration — A petition for letters of administration must be filed by an interested person and must show. Both motions were denied by the trial court. father of the above mentioned minors. (2) residence at the time of death in the province where the probate court is located. RTC of Davao City is the proper forum. While paragraph 4 of the original petition stating: (4) That Roberto Lim Chua. . a letter from the judge alleged to have solemnized the wedding. The original petition contains the jurisdictional facts required in a petition for the issuance of letters of administration. filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of improper venue. Is there a need to publish the amended petition for administration where the amendment is due to failure to indicate residence of decedent? 2. Further. so far as known to the petitioner: (a) jurisdictional facts. But no defect in the petition shall render void the issuance of letters of administration. The court did not admit the Xerox copy of the allege marriage contract between Chua and petitioner because the best evidence is the original or authenticated copy which Garcia cannot produce. Thereafter. Rule 79 of the Rules of Court reads: Sec. filed a Motion to declare the proceedings a mistrial. the fact of being a resident of a foreign country and that the decedent has left an estate in the province where the court is sitting. Section 2. (emphasis ours). No. 1992 in Davao City. Florita presented a certification from the local civil registrar concerned that no such marriage contract was ever registered with them. She. that he has not solemnized such alleged marriage. (d) The name of the person for whom letters of administration are prayed. (c) The probative value and character of the property of the estate. likewise. (b) The names. Issues: 1. and (3) if the decedent was a nonresident. Petitioner Antonietta Garcia Vda. and residences of the heirs and the names and residences of the creditors. 2. failed to indicate the residence of the deceased at the time of his death. Garcia filed a Motion praying that the letters of administration issued to Vallejo be recalled and that new letters of administration be issued to her. ages. de Chua representing to be the surviving spouse of Roberto Chua. of the decedent. father of the abovementioned minors is a resident of Cotabato City and died intestate on May 28. the omission was cured by the amended petitions wherein the same paragraph now reads: (4) That Roberto Lim Chua. died intestate on May 28.ascendants or descendants.

together with other worthless pieces of evidence. may by filing a written opposition. Aggrieved. had provided the heirs ample reason to doubt his fitness to handle the subject estate with utmost fidelity. CO v.) Settled is the rule that the selection or removal of special administrators is not governed by the rules regarding the selection or removal of regular administrators. The best proof of marriage between man and wife is a marriage contract. and may pray that letters issue to himself. The Rules are explicit on who may do so: Sec. M-4615. Only an interested person may oppose the petition for issuance of letters of administration. on motion of the other heirs. Yu. the Regional Trial Court (RTC) OF Makati City. which. THIRD DIVISION. HON. Be that as it may. or on the ground of the contestant's own right to the administration. nor does she have any interest in his estate as creditor or otherwise. . the trial court set aside petitioner's appointment as special co-administrator. April 30. Opposition to petition for administration — Any interested person. contest the petition on the ground of incompetency of the person for whom letters of administration are prayed therein. Branch 66. as the special administrators of the estate of the petitioner's father. at their discretion. However. ability or competence to perform the functions of coadministrator had been beclouded by the filing of several criminal cases against him. which Antonietta Chua failed to produce. Consequently. RICARDO R. petitioner moved for the reconsideration of the said Order. his interest is material and direct. 160671. the RTC. 2008. appointed petitioner and Vicente O. nominated his son. The RTC appointed Alvin as special co-administrator. the appellate court affirmed the revocation of the appointment and dismissed the petition. this being a violation of the best evidence rule. LUIS L. 2002 Order revoking and setting aside the appointment of Alvin. In CA. petitioner has no legal standing to file the motion to dismiss as she is not related to the deceased. The trial court reasoned that Alvin had become unsuitable to discharge the trust given to him as special coadministrator because his capacity. Thus. Courts may appoint or remove special administrators based on grounds other than those enumerated in the Rules. even if there was no conviction yet. acting on a motion filed by one of the heirs. 1998. such as a creditor. No. J. there was no need to publish the amended petition as petitioner would insist. (NACHURA. issued its January 22. No. in Sp. An interested person is one who would be benefited by the estate such as an heir. trust and confidence. 4. As long as the said discretion is exercised without grave abuse. Co Bun Chun. Almost four years thereafter. higher courts will not interfere with it. Proc. The lower court correctly disregarded the photostat copy of the marriage certificate which she presented. Alvin Milton Co for appointment as co-administrator of the estate.R. or to any competent person or persons named in the opposition. the instant petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45.1992 at Davao City (Emphasis in the original. ROSARIO G. Petitioner was not able to prove her status as the surviving wife of the decedent. but this was denied in the RTC Order. and not one that is only indirect or contingent. On March 4.) All told the original petition alleged substantially all the facts required to be stated in the petition for letters of administration. Petitioner consequently. Sr. or one who has a claim against the estate.

Thus. and the applicable laws. The Court finds no grave abuse of discretion attending such ruling. it is justified in withdrawing the appointment and giving no valid effect thereto. the appellate court correctly observed that: In ruling to revoke the appointment of Alvin Milton Co. however. Courts may appoint or remove special administrators based on grounds other than those enumerated in the Rules. who is already bidden to defend himself against criminal charges for falsification in other fora be relieved of his duties and functions as special administrator. his judgment. burdened with the criminal charges of falsification of commercial documents leveled against him (sic). This. The court a quo observed that. It is not characterized by patent and gross capriciousness. to avoid conflicts and possible abuse. Such reasoning by the court a quo finds basis in actual logic and probability. In fact. the court merely declared that it is more consistent with the demands of justice and orderly processes that the petitioner's son. is no authority for the judge to become partial. therefore. as to be correctible by the writ of certiorari. justice and legal principles. even if a special administrator had already been appointed. equity. the Court observes that this prolonged litigation on the simple issue of the removal of a special co-administrator could have been avoided if the trial court promptly appointed a regular administrator. as it was reached based on the court a quo's own fair assessment of the circumstances attending the case below.The special administrator is an officer of the court who is subject to its supervision and control and who is expected to work for the best interest of the entire estate. once the court finds the appointee no longer entitled to its confidence. at their discretion. The exercise of such discretion must be based on reason. . or to make his personal likes and dislikes prevail over. direct the trial court to proceed with the appointment of a regular administrator as soon as practicable. or his passions to rule. the lower court took into consideration the fiduciary nature of the office of a special administrator which demands a high degree of trust and confidence in the person to be appointed.ISSUE: Did the trial court err in revoking the appointment of Alvin as co-administrator? HELD: NO We affirm the appellate court's ruling that the trial court did not act with grave abuse of discretion in revoking Alvin's appointment as special co-administrator. pure whim and abuse. higher courts will not interfere with it. Without condemning the accused man (sic) as guilty before he is found such by the appropriate tribunal. justice and legal principle. we find that the trial court's judgment on the issue of Alvin's removal as special coadministrator is grounded on reason. In this case. As a final note. and the recall of his appointment is only proper under the attendant circumstances. especially with respect to its smooth administration and earliest settlement. Settled is the rule that the selection or removal of special administrators is not governed by the rules regarding the selection or removal of regular administrators. arbitrariness or despotism. and the corresponding profound duty to defend himself in these proceedings. Alvin Milton Co's ability and qualification to act as special coadministrator of the estate of the decedent are beclouded. We. As long as the said discretion is exercised without grave abuse. equity.

J. a judgment was rendered by the trial court in favor of Echaus. 30453. Rule 27 of the Rules of Court. 1967. At the time petitioner's motion to direct payment of the judgment credit was filed. it is already barred. The proceedings for the settlement of the estate of C. 1963. December 4. N. Echaus filed the instant petition for mandamus seeking to set aside Judge Blanco's order and to order PCIB to pay the judgment credit in the civil case. in her own behalf and as Administratrix of the intestate estate of her deceased father Luis Puentevella. Later. Thereafter. Echaus prayed for the resolution of her previous motion to direct payment of the judgment credit which was held in abeyance. Hodges' counsel. the time provided for filing claims against the estate shall be stated by the court in the notice. as administrator of the estate of deceased Hodges. that he is not restrained from approving final deeds of sale executed by the Administrator PCIB covering properties of the respective estates and that he can act on such other routinary administrative matters necessary for the gathering and preservation of the estate. Since Echaus filed her motion to direct payment only on February 20. N. Rene Echaus. 10. 1989 (Medialdea.) Key Doctrine: “The period prescribed in the notice to creditors is not exclusive. a petition for the settlement of the estate of Hodges was instituted. AND AVELINA MAGNO G. Money claims against a defendant who dies without a judgment having been rendered in the RTC shall be dismissed and prosecuted as a claim in the estate proceeding. PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL BANK. the writ of execution was not enforced as Echaus opted to file a motion for the payment of the judgment. No motion to dismiss was filed by C. Judge Ramon Blanco.” Angelina Echaus. N. The trial court ordered the substitution of the Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank (PCIB). Hodges was opened in 1962 and the notice to creditors was published in "Yuhum.ANGELA PUENTEVELLA ECHAUS v." a newspaper of general circulation in its issues of March 12. the counsel for Hodges manifested that Hodges died. which shall not be more than twelve (12) months nor less than six (6) months after the date of its first publication. PCIB and Magno contend that the judgment is null and void for having been rendered without jurisdiction. the recovery of her share in the profits and remaining assets of their business and the payment of expenses and moral and exemplary damages. RAMON BLANCO. Magno further claims that the judgment sought to be enforced is barred under the Rules of Court. However. as administratrix of the estate of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges (wife of C. ISSUE: . filed a complaint against Charles Newton Hodges praying for an accounting of the business covering the Ba-Ta Subdivision. Judge Ramon Blanco issued an order reiterating his position that the motion to direct payment of the judgment credit cannot yet be resolved and holding in abeyance the resolution thereof in view of the writ of preliminary injunction issued by the Supreme Court. assisted by her husband. Avelina Magno. No. no order of distribution was issued yet. and 27. as party defendant. Later. at the discretion of the court for cause and upon such terms as are equitable. which is more than four years from the publication of the notice then. HON. issued an order holding in abeyance the resolution of the motion of Echaus for payment of the judgment rendered in her favor until after the resolution of the "Petition for Relief from Judgment" filed by Magno which was later denied since Linnie Hodges was not a party to the case.R. that money claims against the estate may be allowed any time before an order of distribution is entered. Furthermore. Hodges) opposed the motion. On the other hand. Under Section 2.

The rule provides: "Sec. after the death of C. First Countryside Credit Corporation (FCCC) and Efraim Santibanez entered into a loan agreement in the amount of P128. It has been consistently held by this court that while lack of jurisdiction may be assailed at any stage. Efraim died leaving a holographic will. the claim was filed in the probate court on February 25. However. . When PCIB as administrator of the estate of C. J. the argument of Magno is not correct. Efraim and Edmund executed a promissory note as well as a Continuing Guaranty Agreement.. neither did it raise the issue of jurisdiction at any stage. . similar to the case at bar. Hodges has no jurisdiction to render a judgment therein. Edmund executed a promissory note in favour of the FCCC payable in five equal annual amortizations. Edmund was appointed as the special administrator of the estate of the decedent. Again. at the discretion of the court for cause and upon such terms as are equitable. allow such claim to be filed within a time not exceeding one (1) month. FCCC and Efraim entered into another loan agreement in the amount of P123. a party's active participation in the proceedings before the court without jurisdiction will estop such party from assailing such lack of jurisdiction. N. Thus. we are persuaded. which was considered by this court as a good excuse for the late filing of a claim against the decedent: "Here. The Rules of Court allows a creditor to file his claim after the period set by the court in the notice to creditors. the court may.Can Echaus still file her claim even after the period set by the court in the notice to creditors? HELD: YES. Moreover. In view thereof. it is worthy to cite herein a situation. The filing of a money claim against the decedent’s estate in the probate court is mandatory. And the order of the final distribution is still to be given. Efraim and his son. PCIB. Time within which claims shall be filed. 1959. Also. 2. ---. even if We admit for the sake of argument that the trial court.R. . while the defendants in the civil case were still perfecting their appeal therein. It is clear from the foregoing that the period prescribed in the notice to creditors is not exclusive. provided the conditions stated in the rules are present.156 for the payment of another tractor with accessories and a Howard Rotamotor. the argument must fail. Sr.) The petitioner. ." UNION BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. that money claims against the estate may be allowed any time before an order of distribution is entered. no order of distribution was issued yet. it registered no objection to the order. February 23.000 intended for the payment of one Ford 6600 Agricultural All-purpose Diesel Tractor. At the time petitioner's motion to direct payment of the judgment credit was filed." (Rule 86). 149926. Second Division (Callejo. N. Hodges was ordered to he substituted as defendant. purportedly a creditor of the late Efraim Santibaez. The pendency of that case. at any time before an order of distribution is entered. Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court. No. The record does not show that the administrator objected thereto upon the ground that it was filed out of time. for cause shown and on such terms as are equitable. to say is a good excuse for tardiness in the filing of the claim. participated actively in the said case. EDMUND SANTIBANEZ and FLORENCE SANTIBANEZ ARIOLA G. should have thus filed its money claim with the probate court in accordance with Section 5. 2005. Sometime in February 1981. It did not appeal the decision rendered therein. on application of a creditor who has failed to file his claim within the time previously limited.

Is the partition in the Agreement executed by the heirs valid? NO. a Deed of Assignment with Assumption of Liabilities was executed between FCCC and Union Bank. 3. 2. 2. petitioner asserted that the obligation of the deceased had passed to his legitimate children and heirs. Edmund and his sister Florence Santibanez Ariola executed a Joint Agreement wherein they agreed to divide between themselves and take possession of the three tractors: 2 for Edmund and 1 for Florence. the complaint was narrowed down to Florence. It follows then that the assumption of liability cannot be given any force and effect. hence she was not liable to petitioner. specially so since at the time of its execution. Each of them was to assume the indebtedness of their late father to FCCC. 5. 1. partitioning the tractors among themselves. 1981. including the three (3) tractors. the heirs in effect did not receive any such tractor. ISSUE. The partition being invalid as earlier discussed. The Court notes that the loan was contracted by the decedent. (Sec. It was made dependent on the validity of the partition. On August 20. should have thus filed its money claim with the probate court in accordance with Section 5. Rule 86). HELD. wherein FCCC assigned all its assets and liabilities to Union Bank. In our jurisdiction. but the same went unheeded. The filing of a money claim against the decedent’s estate in . Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court. On appeal. NO. The assumption of liability was conditioned upon the happening of an event. NO. Can the petitioner hold the heirs liable on the obligation of the deceased? NO. and that they were to assume the indebtedness corresponding to the chattel that they were each to receive. that is. corresponding to the tractor respectively taken by them. The Bank then filed a Complaint for sum of money against Efraim’s heirs. RTC dismissed the complaint and stated that the petitioner should have filed its claim with the probate court. 3. It must be stressed that the probate proceeding had already acquired jurisdiction over all the properties of the deceased. The CA did not agree with this contention and affirmed in toto the ruling of the lower court. is invalid. To dispose of them in any way without the probate courts approval is tantamount to divesting it with jurisdiction which the Court cannot allow. the rule is that there can be no valid partition among heirs until after the will has been probated. there was already a pending proceeding for the probate of their late father’s holographic will covering the said tractors. Considering that the Joint Agreement signed by her and Edmund was not approved by the probate court. that each heir shall take possession and use of their respective share under the agreement. The joint agreement executed by Edmund and Florence. NO. The petitioner. 1.During the pendency of the testate proceedings. Summonses were issued to both Edmund and Florence but since Edmund was in the US at that time. Union Bank sent demand letters to Edmund for the settlement of his account. She filed her Answer alleging that the loan documents do not bind her as she was not a party thereto. Was the assumption by the heirs of the indebtedness of the deceased valid? NO. it was null and void. purportedly a creditor of the late Efraim Santibaez. any partition involving the said tractors among the heirs is not valid.

As the petitioner failed to file its money claim with the probate court. Roberto Benedicto. As the court had not acquired jurisdiction over the person of Edmund. pay off its debts and distribute the residue. Facts On 25 May 2000. The plain and obvious design of the rule is the speedy settlement of the affairs of the deceased and the early delivery of the property to the distributees. we find it unnecessary to delve into the matter further. Ariola accountable for any liability incurred by her late father. at most. BRANCH 21 AND ADMINISTRATRIX JULITA CAMPOS BENEDICTO. 164108. The law strictly requires the prompt presentation and disposition of the claims against the decedent's estate in order to settle the affairs of the estate as soon as possible. or diminished to the extent that the judgment could no longer be enforced against it. REYES. G. No. Julita Campos Benedicto filed with the RTC of Manila a petition for the issuance of letters of administration in her favor after the death of her husband. May 08. LOPEZ SUGAR CORPORATION. SECOND DIVISION. thus enabling him to examine each claim and to determine whether it is a proper one which should be allowed. . nothing therein could hold private respondent Florence S. RESPONDENTS. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS. subject to any defenses Edmund may have as against the petitioner. were executed and signed only by the late Efraim Santibaez and his son Edmund. FIRST FARMERS HOLDING CORPORATION. The documentary evidence presented.the probate court is mandatory. THE HONORABLE AMOR A. J. 2009. it may only go after Edmund as co-maker of the decedent under the said promissory notes and continuing guaranty. Tinga. Key Doctrine: The Rules of Special Proceedings allows not just creditors.R. or heirs. of course. Perusing the records of the case. Herrera: This requirement is for the purpose of protecting the estate of the deceased by informing the executor or administrator of the claims against it. the estate of the decedent would have already been distributed. ALFREDO HILADO. Anybody with a contingent claim based on a pending action for quasi-delict against a decedent may be reasonably concerned that by the time judgment is rendered in their favor. VS. As we held in the vintage case of Py Eng Chong v. legatees. but also "any person interested" or "persons interested in the estate" various specified capacities to protect their respective interests in the estate (not necessarily intervene). REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MANILA. particularly the promissory notes and the continuing guaranty agreement. PETITIONERS. The RTC presided by Judge Amor Reyes issued an order appointing private respondent as administrator of the estate of her deceased husband. PRESIDING JUDGE. and issuing letters of administration in her favor.

These actions.772. intervention as set forth under Rule 19 does not extend to creditors of a decedent whose credit is based on a contingent claim. 95-9137 and P35. The allowance or disallowance of a motion to intervene. Petitioners filed a Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela. Nasutra and Traders Royal Bank. Private respondent stated that the amounts of liability corresponding to the two cases as P136. is addressed to the sound discretion of the court. private respondent submitted an Inventory of the Estate. In the List of Liabilities attached to the inventory. praying that they be furnished with copies of all processes and orders pertaining to the intestate proceedings. The Manila RTC issued an order denying the manifestation/motion. whereas the other civil case was already pending review before this Court at the time of Benedicto's death. according to the appellate court. being as they are civil. as represented by its administrator. The CA dismissed the petition and declaring that the Manila RTC did not abuse its discretion in refusing to allow petitioners to intervene in the intestate proceedings. it appears that the claims against Benedicto were based on tort. Lists of Personal and Real Properties. Had the claims of petitioners against Benedicto been based on contract. even if it were declared that petitioners have no right to intervene in accordance with Rule 19.198. they prayed that they be henceforth furnished "copies of all processes and orders issued" by the intestate court as well as the pleadings filed by . However. Civil actions for tort or quasi-delict do not fall within the class of claims to be filed under the notice to creditors required under Rule 86.In January 2001. under the aegis of the notice to creditors to be issued by the court immediately after granting letters of administration and published by the administrator immediately after the issuance of such notice. whether express or implied. as these were still pending litigation in separate proceedings before other courts. Indeed.697. The definition of "intervention" under Rule 19 simply does not accommodate contingent claims. it would not necessarily mean the disallowance of the reliefs they had sought before the RTC since the right to intervene is not one of those reliefs. the Manila RTC required private respondent to submit a complete and updated inventory and appraisal report pertaining to the estate. While there is no general right to intervene on the part of the petitioners. Thereafter. it could already be concluded that notwithstanding Section 2 of Rule 72. then they should have filed their claim. However. then being litigated before the Bacolod City courts. survive the death of the decedent and may be commenced against the administrator pursuant to Section 1.50 for Civil Case No. the records indicate that the intestate estate of Benedicto. 11178. was successfully impleaded in Civil Case No. The petitioners thereafter elevated their prayer to the CA claiming that they have the right to intervene since Benedicto is the defendant in the civil cases lodged with the RTC of Bacolod. they may be allowed to seek certain prayers4 or reliefs from the intestate court not 4 Petitioners had sought three specific reliefs that were denied by the courts a quo. Issue Did the lower court err in not allowing the petitioners to intervene in the intestate proceedings? (NO) are they entitled to notices and rights of interested persons in settlement of estates? (Yes) Ruling No. on the ground that petitioners are not interested parties. even if contingent. 11178. The CA cited the fact that the claims of petitioners against the decedent were in fact contingent or expectant. First. private respondent included as among the liabilities. as they arose from his actions in connection with Philsucom.045. and Liabilities of the Estate of her deceased husband. the two pending claims where the petitioners are parties thereto. Rule 87.40 for Civil Case No.

DE TE. Acknowledging their right to access the records. with Sereno appearing as the highest bidder. and there is no other modality under the Rules by which such interests can be protected. 175910. Accompanied by Sereno and his counsel. After the Writ of Execution was returned unsatisfied. and. Fe Vda. de Te. Sarsaba. SARSABA v. Faustino Castaeda. the registered owner of the truck. Sereno has been illegally dismissed and ordered Gasing to pay him his monetary claims in the amount of P43. As to the second prayer and third prayer. ATTY. levied a Fuso Truck. contingent or otherwise. or diminished to the extent that the judgment could no longer be enforced against it.) Agency is extinguished by the death of the principal. preservation and disposition of the estate providing a viable means by which the interests of the creditors in the estate are preserved. damages with prayer for the delivery of the truck pendente lite against Sarsaba. the estate of the decedent would have already been distributed.606. Second. which at that time was in the possession of Gasing. upon submission thereof.explicitly provided for under the Rules. access to the records of the intestate proceedings is an eminently preferable precedent than mandating the service of court processes and pleadings upon them. Third. FE VDA. The only exception where the agency shall remain in full force and effect even after the death of the principal is when if it has been constituted in the common interest of the latter and of the agent.47. FAUSTINO CASTAEDA G. the administrator and the heirs of the decedent. will be less cumbersome on the intestate court. Petitioners' interests in the estate of Benedicto may be inchoate interests. petitioners moved that the intestate court set a deadline for the submission by the administrator of her verified annual account. a Complaint for recovery of motor vehicle. represented by her attorney-in-fact. if the prayer or relief sought is necessary to protect their interest in the estate. filed with the RTC. Lavarez and the NLRC alleging that: (1) she is the wife of the late Pedro Te. The Rules of Special Proceedings allows not just creditors.R. as evidenced by the Official Receipt and Certificate of Registration. and upon submission thereof. (3) Lavarez erroneously assumed that . THIRD DIVISION. The truck was sold at public auction. while administratrix Benedicto with the said court. Meanwhile. the court must deny. (2) Gasing merely rented the truck from her. order the inheritance tax appraisers of the Bureau of Internal Revenue to assist in the appraisal of the fair market value of the same. ROGELIO E. allowing creditors. J. As to the first prayer. 30 July 2009. In the case Patricio Sereno v. or in the interest of a third person who has accepted the stipulation in his favor. the interest of the creditor in seeing to it that the assets are being preserved and disposed of in accordance with the rules will be duly satisfied. represented by her Attorney-in-Fact. Teodoro Gasing/Truck Operator. Rogelio E. Sereno. but also "any person interested" or "persons interested in the estate" various specified capacities to protect their respective interests in the estate. rather than entitling them to the service of every court order or pleading no matter how relevant to their individual claim. (Peralta. LA Sancho issued an Alias Writ of Execution. but they are viable interests nonetheless. Anybody with a contingent claim based on a pending action for quasi-delict against a decedent may be reasonably concerned that by the time judgment is rendered in their favor. set the date for her examination under oath with respect thereto. they prayed that the intestate court set a deadline for the submission by administratrix Benedicto to submit a verified and complete inventory of the estate. Atty. but a person whose claim against the estate is still contingent is not the party entitled to do so. with due notice to them and other parties interested in the collation. In either case. There are reliefs available to compel an administrator to perform either duty. No.

Rogelio E. It appeared that the respondent. at the time of the taking. as enunciated by this Court. having no real interests over the property subject of the instant complaint. (2) the allegations in the complaint do not sufficiently state that Vda. Sarsaba filed a Motion to Dismiss[9] on the following grounds: (1) respondent has no legal personality to sue. Sarsaba cannot raise it now for the first time on appeal. The failure to effect service of summons unto Patricio Sereno. De Te has cause of action. The court's failure to acquire jurisdiction over one's person is a defense which is personal to the person claiming it. in a motion to dismiss.in the event that the RTC rules in favor of Vda. The RTC denied for lack of merit. Sarsaba raises the issue of lack of jurisdiction over the person of Sereno. considering that the three (3) other defendants. Having failed to invoke this ground at the proper time. if the petition is to be treated as a petition for review under Rule 45.in possession of the same. be discharged as he has no more legal personality to sue on behalf of Fe Vda. de Te. Sarsaba. Failure to serve summons on Sereno's person will not be a cause for the dismissal of the complaint against the other defendants. De Te’s attorney-in-fact. it would likewise fail because the proper subject would only be judgments or final orders that completely dispose of the case. Since Sereno died before summons was served on him. De Te -. and (2) to discharge respondent's attorney-in-fact for lack of legal personality to sue. not in his Motion to Dismiss or in his Answer but only in his Omnibus Motion to Dismiss. de Te. On the other hand. and (4) since neither she nor her husband were parties to the labor case between Sereno and Gasing. who passed away during the pendency of the case before the RTC? RULING: 1. Atty. It is worth mentioning that the proper procedure in this case. considering that they have been served with copies of the summons and complaints and have long submitted their respective responsive pleadings. that is. Should Vda. (3) the allegations in the complaint do not contain sufficient cause of action as against him. No. were validly served with summons and the .Gasing owned the truck because he was. The RTC denied Sarsaba’s Motion to Dismiss. The Order of the RTC denying Sarsaba’s Omnibus Motion to Dismiss is not appealable even on pure questions of law. died. Faustino Castaeda. should the RTC dismiss the complaint against all the defendants and that the same should be filed against his estate? 3. Sarsaba filed an Omnibus Motion to Dismiss the Case on the following grounds:] (1) lack of jurisdiction over one of the principal defendants. Did Sarsaba avail of the proper remedy in questioning the denial by the RTC of his Omnibus Motion to Dismiss? 2. 2. is to cite such interlocutory order as an error in the appeal of the case -. one of the defendants herein does not render the action DISMISSIBLE.and not to appeal such interlocutory order. In the case before the Court. and (4) the complaint is not accompanied by an Affidavit of Merit and Bond that would entitle the respondent to the delivery of the tuck pendente lite. Fe Vda. No. much less be deprived of the truck as a consequence of the levy in execution. ISSUES: 1. Fulgencio Lavares and the NLRC. she should not be made to answer for the judgment award. namely.

de Te. Neither was there any mention that it was to benefit a third person who has accepted the stipulation in his favor. such that no substitution is effected. When a party to a pending action dies and the claim is not extinguished. it attaches until the case is decided. Thus. it is not extinguished by the death of a party. and (3) actions to recover damages for an injury to a person or a property.case with respect to the answering defendants may still proceed independently. When this case was initiated. However. is an action that survives pursuant to Section 1. the Rules of Court require a substitution of the deceased. As such. will not invalidate the proceedings and the judgment rendered thereon if the action survives the death of such party. it appears that Vda. While it may be true as alleged by defendants that with the death of Plaintiff. 3. the Special Power of Attorney she executed empowering the Attorney-in-fact. Rule 87 of the Rules of Court enumerates the actions that survived and may be filed against the decedent's representatives as follows: (1) actions to recover real or personal property or an interest thereon. The trial court's jurisdiction over the case subsists despite the death of the party. Well-settled is the rule to the point of being elementary that once jurisdiction is acquired by this Court. An action for the recovery of a personal property. this Court believes that the Attorney-in-fact had not lost his personality to prosecute this case. Section 1. the Court does not believe that such ground would cause the dismissal of the complaint. and this court admitted the same. Faustino Castaeda to sue in her behalf has been rendered functus officio. Records reveal that the Attorney-in-fact has testified long before in behalf of the said plaintiff and more particularly during the state when the plaintiff was vehemently opposing the dismissal of the complainant. A perusal of the special power of attorney leads the Court to conclude that it was constituted for the benefit solely of the principal or for Fe Vda. de Te. the proper remedy here is the Substitution of Heirs and not the . Neither had he shown any proof that he had been retained by respondent's legal representative or any one who succeeded her. Rule 87 of the Rules of Court. In fact. The rule on substitution of parties is governed by Section 16. such failure of counsel would not lead the Court to invalidate the proceedings that have long taken place before the RTC. (2) actions to enforce liens thereon. a motor vehicle. jurisdiction was vested upon this Court to try and hear the same to the end. he even offered documentary evidence in support of the complaint. However. De Te and her attorney-in-fact. however. Nowhere can we infer from the stipulations therein that it was created for the common interest of Vda. In such cases. Be it recalled that the three (3) answering defendants have previously filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint which was denied by the Court.[46] Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. No. a counsel is obliged to inform the court of the death of his client and give the name and address of the latter's legal representative. as amended. Fe Vda. De Te’s counsel did not make any manifestation before the RTC as to her death. he had actively participated in the proceedings. In the case before the Court. The Court has repeatedly declared that failure of the counsel to comply with his duty to inform the court of the death of his client. Subsequently thereto.

vs.600. 1989. he prayed for the rescission of the sublease contract should the defendants fail to pay the balance. MENDOZA. Sec. to the spouses Placido and Purita Alipio and the spouses Bienvenido and Remedios Manuel. 2000. Thus. The Manuel spouses were declared in default for failure to file an answer.00. for the remaining period of his lease. The stipulated amount of rent was P485. 21 of the 1964 Rules of Court which then provided that "when the action is for recovery of money. petitioner. private respondent sued the Alipio and Manuel spouses for the collection of the said amount before the RTC Branch 5. ISSUE: Can the creditor sue the surviving spouse of a decedent in an ordinary proceeding for the . v. the sublessees failed to comply with their obligation. RTC rendered decision ordering Alipio and Manuel spouses to pay the unpaid balance. She based her action on Rule 3. Placido Alipio. Petitioner Alipio moved to dismiss the case on the ground that her husband. It held: The rule that an action for recovery of money. On October 13. does not apply where there are other defendants against whom the action should be maintained. G. 134100.5 hectare fishpond in Bataan for a period of five years ending on September 12.R. 1988. it shall be dismissed to be prosecuted in the manner especially provided in these rules. JARING. had passed away on December 1. 1987. the remaining defendants cannot avoid the action by claiming that the death of one of the parties to the contract has totally extinguished their obligation.600. he subleased the fishpond. J.000. Petitioner appealed to the CA but such appeal was dismissed. debt or interest thereon must be dismissed when the defendant dies before final judgment in the regional trial court.600. with the second installment falling due on June 30. No. COURT OF APPEALS and ROMEO G. Dinalupihan. 20 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides that it shall not be dismissed but shall instead be allowed to continue until entry of final judgment and that a favorable judgment obtained by the plaintiff therein shall be enforced against the estate of a deceased. and the defendant dies before final judgment in the Court of First Instance. PURITA ALIPIO. The trial court denied petitioner's motion on the ground that being a party to the sublease contract. if husband and wife bound themselves jointly and severally. Inc. Sec.00. the creditor may bring his action in toto against any of the debtors obligated in solidum. leaving an unpaid balance of P50. it ruled that when a case includes more than one defendant. payable in two installments of P300. 1990. Also. but of the second installment. On June 19. The first installment was duly paid. September 29. Each of the four sublessees signed the contract. when the obligation is a solidary one. In citing Climaco v Siy Uy and Imperial Insurance. 1989. in case of his death. David. debt or interest thereon. she could be independently impleaded in the suit together with the Manuel spouses and that the death of her husband merely resulted in his exclusion from the case.dismissal of this case which would work injustice to the plaintiff. her liability is independent of and separate from her husband's. the sublessees only satisfied a portion thereof.00. FACTS: Respondent Romeo Jaring was the lessee of a 14.00 and P185." This provision has been amended so that now Rule 3. she may be sued for the whole debt and it would be error to hold that the claim against her as well as the claim against her husband should be made in the decedent's estate. Despite due demand. Bataan. In the alternative.

In Climaco. As already noted. Sec. 21 which deals with dismissals of collection suits because of the death of the defendant during the pendency of the case. it should be noted that since the case was filed more than ten months after the husband died. First. And private respondent cannot be said to have no remedy. the case thus falls outside of the ambit of Rule 3. For this reason. In the recent case of Ventura v. Climaco v. were sued for damages for malicious prosecution. With regard to the case of Imperial. David. the . 20 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure now provides that the case will be allowed to continue until entry of final judgment. We hold that a creditor cannot sue the surviving spouse of a decedent in an ordinary proceeding for the collection of a sum of money chargeable against the conjugal partnership and that the proper remedy is for him to file a claim in the settlement of estate of the decedent. Sec. there is no liquidation of the conjugal partnership. Instead.collection of a sum of money chargeable against the conjugal partnership? RULING: NO. the surviving spouse is not even a de facto administrator such that conveyances made by him of any property belonging to the partnership prior to the liquidation of the mass of conjugal partnership property is void. Thus. Siy Uy and Imperial Insurance. Militant. after the death of either of the spouses. The reason for this is that upon the death of one spouse. Rule 78 of the Revised Rules of Court. 2. their conjugal partnership was automatically dissolved and debts chargeable against it are to be paid in the settlement of estate proceedings in accordance with Rule 73. Sec. Indeed. Tanedo. if after thirty (30) days from his death. In many cases as in the instant one. are based on different sets of facts. A favorable judgment obtained by the plaintiff therein will then be enforced in the manner especially provided in the Rules for prosecuting claims against the estate of a deceased person. the defendants. Inc. any judgment obtained thereby is void. it was held that where a complaint is brought against the surviving spouse for the recovery of an indebtedness chargeable against said conjugal [partnership]. apart from the fact the claim was not against any conjugal partnership. which merely resulted in the dismissal of the case as to him but not as to the remaining defendant Manuel Co. it was one which does not survive the death of defendant Uy. Carlos Siy Uy and Manuel Co. however. namely. he may apply in court for letters of administration in his capacity as a principal creditor of the deceased . v. Rule 3. the Alipios' obligation (and also that of the Manuels) is one which is chargeable against their conjugal partnership. Under Sec. the powers of administration of the surviving spouse ceases and is passed to the administrator appointed by the court having jurisdiction over the settlement of estate proceedings. When petitioner's husband died. 6. no complaint for the collection of indebtedness chargeable against the conjugal partnership can be brought against the surviving spouse. . the spouses therein jointly and severally executed an indemnity agreement which became the basis of a collection suit filed against the wife after her husband had died. This does not mean. . the claim must be made in the proceedings for the liquidation and settlement of the conjugal property. Under the law. even after the death of one of the spouses. the Court ruled that since the spouses' liability was solidary. that the conjugal partnership continues. As held in al a v. petitioner failed to apply for administration or request that administration be granted to some other person. The proper action should be in the form of a claim to be filed in the testate or intestate proceedings of the deceased spouse.14 The cases relied upon by the Court of Appeals in support of its ruling.

depending on whether petitioner's husband died intestate or testate. an obligation is presumed to be only joint.600. In the latter case. From the foregoing. the latter's obligation to pay the rent is solidary. vs. 1990. The trial court ordered petitioner and the Manuel spouses to pay private respondent the unpaid balance of the agreed rent in the amount of P50. quasi-contract and quasi-delict. or (2) against the EXECUTOR/ADMINISTRATOR in case of law. or in this case. when the spouses are sued for the enforcement of an obligation entered into by them. aside from petitioner's lack of authority to represent their conjugal estate. contract. No. the unpaid balance sought to be collected by private respondent in his collection suit became due on June 30. quasicontract and quasi-delict. Neither does petitioner contend that it is the nature of lease that when there are more than two lessees or sublessees their liability is solidary. sublessees. the liability of the sublessees is merely joint. such power exclusively pertains to the court having jurisdiction over the settlement of the decedent’s estate and not to any other court. J. .] KEY DOCTRINE. it survives the death of the accused. long before the sublease expired on September 12. ROMERO. if none has been commenced. his remedy is to file a claim against the Alipios in the proceeding for the settlement of the estate of petitioner's husband or. Private respondent does not cite any provision of law which provides that when there are two or more lessees. since the nature of the obligation involved in this case. plaintiffappellee.surviving spouse could be independently sued in an ordinary action for the enforcement of the entire obligation. accused-appellant. does not apply. there is no allegation that the sublessees refused to vacate the fishpond after the expiration of the term of the sublease. they are being impleaded in their capacity as representatives of the conjugal partnership and not as independent debtors such that the concept of joint or solidary liability. Indeed. A separate civil action may be enforced: (1) against the ESTATE of the accused in case of a contract. the civil liability based SOLELY on the criminal liability is extinguished. except when the lessees or sublessees refuse to vacate the leased property after the expiration of the lease period and despite due demands by the lessor. The basis of their solidary liability is not the contract of lease or sublease but the fact that they have become joint tortfeasors. [G. as will be discussed later. But if the civil liability is based on law. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Needless to say. they can be held jointly and severally liable to pay for the use of the property. he can file a petition either for the issuance of letters of administration or for the allowance of will. 102007 | 1994-09-02. Thus. However. Private respondent cannot short-circuit this procedure by lumping his claim against the Alipios with those against the Manuels considering that. In the case at bar. Clearly.R. It must be noted that for marriages governed by the rules of conjugal partnership of gains. an obligation entered into by the husband and wife is chargeable against their conjugal partnership and it is the partnership which is primarily bound for its repayment. is not solidary but rather merely joint. it is clear that private respondent cannot maintain the present suit against petitioner. as between them. The Civil Code provides that if from the law or the nature or the wording of the obligation the contrary does not appear.00 without specifying whether the amount is to be paid by them jointly or solidarily. Rather. the inventory of the Alipios' conjugal property is necessary before any claim chargeable against it can be paid. ROGELIO BAYOTAS Y CORDOVA. 1989. If the accused dies pending appeal of his conviction. making Imperial still inapplicable to this case.

(2) as to his PECUNIARY penalties. Edmundo S. filed an Urgent Motion for an Order Prohibiting Any Person to Occupy/Stay/Use Real Estate Properties Involved in the Intestate Estate of the Late Beatriz Silverio. and required the Solicitor General to file its comment with regard to Bayotas' civil liability arising from his commission of the offense charged. RTC issued an Order granting the petition and removing Ricardo Silverio. JR. Sr. Silverio-Dee filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Order. while appointing Ricardo Silverio. Bayotas died on February 4. Facts: The instant controversy stemmed from the settlement of estate of the deceased Beatriz Silverio. Sr. quasi-contract and quasidelict—it is Section. DORONIO v. And not even the administrator may take possession of any property that is part of the estate without the prior authority of the Court. filed a petition to remove Ricardo C. Ricardo Silverio. 18. such that no heir may lay claim on a particular property.FACTS. v. Jr. In the instant case. if the civil liability is based solely on his criminal liability. as the administrator of the subject estate. Ordinary money claims under Section 21.. CA and NELIA SILVERIO-DEE Doctrine: It must be borne in mind that until the estate is partitioned. express or implied. Pending appeal of his conviction. Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code provides that the death of the convict: (1) criminal liability is TOTALLY extinguished as to his PERSONAL liabilities. The latter provides an EXCLUSIVE ENUMERATION of what claims can be filed against the estate. RTC issued an Omnibus Order denying private respondents motion for reconsideration. Bayotas died before final judgment. Silverio also filed a comment/opposition for the removal of Ricardo C. ISSUE. Consequently. (3) judgments for money. Then. Silverio. her surviving spouse. Rule 87 that applies where the action is brought against the Executor/Administrator. as administrator of the estate. The Omnibus Order also directed Nelia S. as administrator of the estate and for the appointment of a new administrator. 1992 at the National Bilibid Hospital due to cardio-respiratory arrest secondary to hepatic encephalopathy secondary to hepato-carcinoma gastric malingering. HEIRS OF DORONIO (pdf) RICARDO SILVERIO. the properties included therein are under the control of the intestate court. Ricardo Silverio Jr. filed an intestate proceeding for the settlement of her estate. Yes. Once an action for the settlement of an estate is filed with the court. Without Authority from this Honorable Court. each heir only has an inchoate right to the properties of the estate. Rule III must be viewed in the light of Section 5. The RTC of Roxas City convicted Rogelio Bayotas y Cordova with Rape. Is the civil liability extinguished by his death? of Bayotas RULING. Rule 86 involving claims against the estate. Silverio- . as the new administrator. Ricardo Silverio. (2) expenses for the last illness. the Supreme Court dismissed the criminal aspect of the appeal. to wit: (1) funeral expenses. Jr. After her death. If the obligation arose from other sources—law. Nelia S. Silverio. Sr. and (4) claims arising from contracts. Sr. his liability is extinguished ONLY when the death of the offended occurs before final judgment.

in addition to his use and enjoyment of the same. 493. Although the right of an heir over the property of the decedent is inchoate as long as the estate has not been fully settled and partitioned. Court of Appeals. 3. and even substitute another person in its enjoyment. It must be borne in mind that until the estate is partitioned. Under a coownership. shall be limited to the portion which may be allotted to him in the division upon the termination . Sr. Notably. and he may therefore alienate. RTC further issued a writ of execution for the enforcement of the Order against private respondent to vacate the premises of the property located at No. Forbes Park. except when personal rights are involved. Makati City. Nelia Silverio-Dee appealed the May 31. the Civil Code provides: Art. In the instant case. Each co-owner shall have the full ownership of his part and of the fruits and benefits pertaining thereto. the RTC in its Order also recalled its previous order granting Ricardo Silverio. CA issued the assailed Resolution granting the prayer for the issuance of a TRO and eventually annulled the RTC's writ of execution and notice to vacate. we succinctly ruled: Art. Intsia. together with his coparticipants. 1078 of the Civil Code provides that where there are two or more heirs. the respective share of each cannot be determined and every co-owner exercises. Forbes Park. with respect to the co-owners. Each co-owner of property which is held pro indiviso exercises his rights over the whole property and may use and enjoy the same with no other limitation than that he shall not injure the interests of his co-owners. as the administrator.Dee to vacate the property at No. Forbes Park. such that no heir may lay claim on a particular property. Jr. owned in common by such heirs. On that aspect the order is not a final determination of the case or of the issue of distribution of the shares of the heirs in the estate or their rights therein. before partition. joint ownership over the pro indiviso property. the ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to different persons. Makati City. Issue: whether CA seriously erred in annulling the Writ of Execution and Notice to Vacate against private respondent? Held: Court ruled in the affirmative. Makati City within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the order. subject to the payment of the debts of the deceased. assign or mortgage it. with letters of administration over the intestate estate of Beatriz Silverio and reinstating Ricardo Silverio. But the effect of the alienation or the mortgage. private respondent filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition (With Prayer for TRO and Writ of Preliminary Injunction) with the CA. the law allows a co-owner to exercise rights of ownership over such inchoate right. The writ of execution was later issued and a Notice to Vacate was issued ordering private respondent to leave the premises of the subject property within ten (10) days. each heir only has an inchoate right to the properties of the estate. Consequently. 2005 Order of the RTC on the ground that it ordered her to vacate the premises of the property located at No. 3. Intsia. The underlying rationale is that until a division is made. 3 Intsia Road. Thus. the whole estate of the decedent is. However. In Alejandrino v.

therefore. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES represented by the REGISTER OF DEEDS OF PASAY CITY. 2005 Order of the RTC. Thus. During the proceedings. (Emphasis Additionally. Verily. once an action for the settlement of an estate is filed with the court. the above provision must be viewed in the context that the subject property is part of an estate and subject to intestate proceedings before the courts." Since it was established that there were no known heirs and persons entitled to the properties of decedent Hankins. In recognition of Solano's faithful and dedicated service. a widow and a French national. The implication of such improper appeal is that the notice of appeal did not toll the reglementary period for the filing of a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. the properties included therein are under the control of the intestate court. SOLANO. vs. Private respondent alleged that she misplaced the deeds of donation and were nowhere to be found. Amada Solano . the properties of the estate shall only be distributed after the payment of the debts. private respondent employed the wrong mode of appeal by filing a Notice of Appeal with the RTC. the administrator may only deliver properties of the estate to the heirs upon order of the Court. which she allegedly secured from Ricardo Silverio. the Republic filed a petition for the escheat of the estate of Hankins before the RTC of Pasay City. Makati City. but the motion was denied for the reason that "they miserably failed to show valid claim or right to the properties in question. J. While the deeds of donation were missing.. And not even the administrator may take possession of any property that is part of the estate without the prior authority of the Court. the case should have been dismissed. 143483. 2005 Order of the RTC must be considered as interlocutory and. respondent Solano was her faithful girl Friday and a constant companion since no close relative was available to tend to her needs. for employing the improper mode of appeal. G. except when authorized by the Court. Bellosillo For more than three (3) decades (from 1952 to 1985) Amada Solano served as the all-around personal domestic helper of the late Elizabeth Hankins. Sec. During Ms. assisted by her husband ROMEO SOLANO. 2 of the Rules of Court. Forbes Park. private respondent claimed that she accidentally found the deeds of donation she had been looking for a long time. 1 of the Rules of Court. No. under Rule 90. was never approved by the probate court. COURT OF APPEALS (SPECIAL FORMER 3RD DIVISION) AND AMADA H. a motion for intervention was filed by Romeo Solano. In the meantime. Similarly. Sr. Ms. and other expenses against the estate. Hankins' lifetime and most especially during the waning years of her life. not subject to an appeal.of the supplied. Hence. the May 31. thus. funeral charges. She. the purported authority of Nelia Silverio-Dee.R. spouse of Amada. the lower court escheated the estate of the decedent in favor of petitioner Republic of the Philippines. petitioner.) co-ownership. In the instant case. relevant to note that in Rule 84. and one Gaudencio Regosa. 3 Intsia Road. It is. respondents. This means that private respondent has now lost her remedy of appeal from the May 31. 2002. January 31. never had any real interest in the specific property located at No. the proper remedy in the instant case. therefore. As such. Sec. Hankins executed in her favor two (2) deeds of donation involving two (2) parcels of land.

the escheat judgment was handed down by the lower court as early as 27 . but a claim not made shall be barred forever. prescribe the conditions and limits the time within which a claim to such property may be made. the Pasay City Government. it is clear to this Court that herein petitioner is not claiming anything from the estate of the deceased at the time of her death. steps in and claims the real or personal property of a person who dies intestate leaving no heir. by virtue of its sovereignty. Issue: Did RTC have jurisdiction when it escheated the properties in favor of Pasay City government and did the 5-year statute of limitations within which to file claims as set forth in Rule 91 set in. the decision is still legally infirm for escheating the properties to an entity. otherwise they may lose them forever in a final judgment. these properties did not and could not form part of her estate when she died on September 20. However. Even assuming arguendo that the properties could be subject of escheat proceedings. a property is claimed by the state to forestall an open "invitation to self-service by the first comers. In this jurisdiction. the Appeals Court ruled that . after deducting the estate.1. The procedure by which the escheated property may be recovered is generally prescribed by statue. In the instant petition. Section 1 of the New Rules of Court The CA gave due course to the petition for annulment of judgment. which is not authorized by law to be the recipient thereof." The 5-year period is not a device capriciously conjured by the state to defraud any claimant. a claimant to an escheated property must file his claim "within five (5) years from the date of such judgment. unlike that of succession or assignment. the municipality or city shall be accountable to him for the proceeds.Thus whether or not the properties in question are no longer part of the estate of the deceased Hankins at the time of her death. they could not validly be escheated to the Pasay City Government. whereby the state. Escheat is a proceeding.2. and usually does. among others. The property should have been escheated in favor of the Republic of the Philippines under Rule 91." Since escheat is one of the incidents of sovereignty. 13. In the absence of a lawful owner. 13. whether or not the alleged donations are valid are issues in the present petition for annulment which can be resolved only after a full blown trial x x x x It is for the same reason that respondent’s espousal of the statute of limitations against herein petition for annulment cannot prosper at this stage of the proceedings. the state may. Rule 91 of the Revised Rules of Court expressly provides that a person entitled to the estate must file his claim with the court a quo within five (5) years from the date of said judgment. In upholding the theory of Solano. 1985. and a time limit is imposed within which such action must be brought.filed on 28 January 1997 a petition before the Court of Appeals for the annulment of the lower court's decision alleging. Consequently. it is decidedly prescribed to encourage would-be claimants to be punctilious in asserting their claims. or if sold. and. Indeed. such person shall have possession of and title to the same. The deceased Elizabeth Hankins having donated the subject properties to the petitioner in 1983 and 1984. rather she is claiming that the subject parcels of land should not have been Held: Yes. that- included as part of the estate of the said decedent as she is the owner thereof by virtue of the deeds of donation in her favor. on the contrary. Section 4.

In the absence therefore of any clear and convincing proof showing that the subject lands had been conveyed by Hankins to private respondent Solano. at least before the escheat. Where a person comes into an escheat proceeding as a claimant. the same still remained. when private respondent decided to contest the escheat judgment in the guise of a petition for annulment of judgment before the Court of Appeals. The CA therefore cannot perfunctorily presuppose that the subject properties were no longer part of the decedent's estate at the time the lower court handed down its decision on the strength of a belated allegation that the same had previously been disposed of by the owner. dated 27 June 1989. The petition is GRANTED. A fortiori. . more or less seven (7) years after. is REINSTATED.June 1989 but it was only on 28 January 1997. the burden is on such intervenor to establish his title to the property and his right to intervene. The decision of the RTC Pasay City. private respondent's belated assertion of her right over the escheated properties militates against recovery. part of the estate of the decedent and the lower court was right not to assume otherwise. the certificates of title covering the subject properties were in the name of the decedent indicating that no transfer of ownership involving the disputed properties was ever made by the deceased during her lifetime. Obviously. In the mind of this Court the subject properties were owned by the decedent during the time that the escheat proceedings were being conducted and the lower court was not divested of its jurisdiction to escheat them in favor of Pasay City notwithstanding an allegation that they had been previously donated.