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SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

Appointment and Removal of Executor / Administrator


The deceased Gregorio Ventura named and appointed as executrix his ILLEGITIMATE
daughter, Maria Ventura, in his will and was later on appointed as such.
Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura, the LEGITIMATE children of the deceased were,
however, preterited in the same will.
The lower court, upon motion of the legitimate children, found that MARIA has
squandered the funds of the estate, was inefficient and incompetent, has failed to
comply with the orders of the Court in the matter of presenting up-to-date statements
of accounts and neglected to pay the real estate taxes of the estate, and hence, she
was removed as executrix.
The legitimate children later prayed for the annulment of the provisions of the will, as
the effect of preterition, which was granted by the court.
ISSUE: Whether or not the removal of Maria Ventura as executrix is legally justified
Under Article 854 of the Civil Code, "the preterition or omission of one, some, or all of
the compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of
the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; but
the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious," and as a
result, intestacy follows, thereby rendering the previous appointment of
Maria Ventura as executrix moot and academic. This would now necessitate the
appointment of another administrator, under the following provision:chanrob1es
virtual 1aw library
Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court:
"When and to whom letters of administration granted. If no executor is named in
the will, or the executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the trust, or fail to give
bond, or a person dies intestate, administration shall be granted:chanrob1es virtual
1aw library
(a) To the surviving husband or wife, as the case may be or next of kin, or both, in
the discretion of the court, or to such person as such surviving husband or wife, or
next of kin, requests to have appointed, if competent and willing to serve;"

In the case at bar, the surviving spouse of the deceased Gregorio Ventura is Juana
Cardona while the next of kin are: Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura and Maria and
Miguel Ventura. The "next of kin" has been defined as those persons who are entitled
under the statute of distribution to the decedents property (Cooper v. Cooper, 43 Ind.
A 620, 88 NE 341). It is generally said that "the nearest of kin, whose interest in the
estate is more preponderant, is preferred in the choice of administrator.Among
members of a class the strongest ground for preference is the amount or
preponderance of interest. As between next of kin, the nearest of kin is to be
preferred." (Cabanas, Et. Al. v. Enage, Et Al., 40 Off. Gaz. 12 Suppl. 227; citing 12
Am. Jur. Sec, 77, p. 416, cited in Francisco Vicente J., The Revised Rules of Court in
the Philippines, Vol. V-B, 1970 Ed., p. 23).
As decided by the lower court and sustained by the Supreme Court, Mercedes and
Gregoria Ventura are the legitimate children of Gregorio Ventura and his wife,
the late Paulina Simpliciano. Therefore, as the nearest of kin of Gregorio Ventura they
are entitled to preference over the illegitimate children of Gregorio Ventura, namely:
Maria and Miguel Ventura. Hence, under the aforestated preference provided in
Section 6 of Rule 78, the person or persons to be appointed administrator are
Juana Cardona, as the surviving spouse, or Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura
as nearest of kin, or Juana Cardona and Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura in
the discretion of the Court, in order to represent both interests.


MELENCIO-HERRERA, J., dissenting:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
Consistent with my "concurrence in the result" in Acain v. IAC, et als., G.R. No.
72706, October 27, 1987, preterition results in total intestacy if it was mistakenly
made or through inadvertence. In this case there was no mistake nor oversight
whatsoever. The testator himself sought the probate of his Will during his lifetime
wherein he not only excluded his "forced heirs" but even denied : virtual law library
Under the circumstances, the omission being obviously intentional, the effect is a
defective disinheritance covered by Article 918 of the Civil Code under which the
institution of heir is not wholly void but only in so far as it prejudices the legitimes of
the persons disinherited. The nullity is partial unlike in true preterition where the
nullity is total.
This conclusion further finds support in the prevailing spirit in the codal provisions on
succession, which is to make the intention of the testator prevail (e.g., Articles 783,
790, 848, 852, 861, Civil Code).



SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

This petition for review on certiorari seeks to annul and set aside the decision of the
Court of Appeals which affirmed that of the then Court of First Instance of Cebu
declaring null and void: [1] the Project of Partition in Special Proceedings Nos. 262-C
and 343-C, [2] the "Order" which approved said Project of Partition, [3] the "Auto"
which closed and terminated the two (2) administration proceedings and which
authorized the delivery of seven (7) parcels of land to Ireneo Villamor and Paula
Villamor, and [4] the extra-judicial settlement and partition executed by the
petitioners herein
Upon the death of Sixta Ceniza, one Cristina Ceniza, sister of one of the private
respondent Daniela Ceniza Urot instituted Special Proceedings for the administration
of the estate of Sixta Ceniza. One Escolastico Ceniza, brother of respondent, was
appointed special administrator. The latter's appointment, however, was revoked upon
petition of Fr. Nicanor Cortes through his counsel, Atty. Fermin Yap, and in his stead,
Victorio Perez was appointed the special administrator. In this proceedings, the
nephews and nieces of Sixta Ceniza, including herein respondent, prayed that they be
declared the sole and only forced heirs of Sixta Ceniza, although at the time, Fr.
Nicanor Cortes, the only surviving child of Sixta Ceniza, was still alive.
The court denied the motion of the nephews and nieces of Sixta Ceniza to be declared
her heirs and declared Fr. Nicanor Cortes as the only and universal heir of Sixta
Fr. Nicanor Cortes executed a Deed of Conveyance in favor of several persons wherein
he conveyed ten parcels of land which included those received by his mother under
the Project of Partition.
Fr. Nicanor Cortes died in Barcelona, Spain. Special Proceedings for the settlement his
estate was instituted. Appointed administratrix was respondent Daniela Ceniza Urot
who, filed Civil Case against petitioners, successors-in-interest of Ireneo Villamor of
the seven parcels of land, and Paula Villamor, for recovery received in the Project of
Partition, accounting and receivership.
In the complaint, respondent alleged, amongst others, that that Fr. Cortes during his
absence from the Philippines to pursue a monastic life was deprived of his inheritance
by fraud, stealth and stratagem perpetrated by Paula and Ireneo Villamor; that under
the same false and fraudulent representations without notice to Fr. Cortes or his legal
representative, Ireneo and Paula Villamor prepared a Project of Partition and
adjudicated to themselves the seven parcels of land land whereas the rest was
apportioned to Sixta Ceniza.
(Petitioners filed their answer and alleged as special defenses that aside from the fact
that Special Proceedings No. 343-C was a proceeding in rem and all the requirements
to obtain jurisdiction over the person of anybody have been complied with, Fr.
Nicanor Cortes had personal knowledge of Special Proceedings No. 343-C; and that all
these times, Fr. Nicanor Cortes never complained nor raised any objection to the

inventory of Special Proceedings No. 364 which was taken as a part of the inventories
in Special Proceedings 262-C and 343-C.)
After trial, the court rendered judgment against the petitioners holding that Ireneo
and Paula Villamor took advantage of the helplessness of Sixta Ceniza when they had
the Project of Partition thumbmarked by her; that Ireneo and Paula Villamor resorted
to false and fraudulent representations in Special Proceedings Nos. 262 and 343 in
that they misrepresented that they were the legitimate children of Rufino Cortes; and
that Fr. Nicanor Cortes had no knowledge of the fraudulent proceedings as well as the
Project of Partition. On appeal, CA affirmed, hence this petition.
Petitioners maintain that the Court of Appeals, like the trial court, totally ignored the
letters of Fr. Nicanor Cortes disclaiming ownership and acknowledging the fact that
petitioners and/or their predecessors-in-interest are the owners and possessors of the
lands in question, which exhibits could have decided outright all the issues that Fr.
Cortes had personal knowledge of Special Proceedings Nos. 262-C and 343-C and that
the predecessors-in-interest of petitioners did not commit fraud against him.
Petitioners insist that the helplessness of Sixta Ceniza could not have vitiated the
project of partition for although she had become blind and could not walk by herself
at the time she affixed her thumbmark on the project of partition, her mental faculty
was very clear. It is further argued that all the fraud alleged by private respondent
were within the line of deliberation of the probate court or intrinsic fraud and could
not have been extrinsic or collateral fraud; and therefore the cause of action of
private respondent had long prescribed, considering that from September 1948 or
some 22 years since petitioners' predecessors-in-interest came to possess the lands,
petitioners have been in peaceful, notorious, public, actual and continuous
possession, adversely against the whole world in concepto de dueo until they were
disturbed in June 1970 when they received copies of the complaint in Civil Case No.
ISSUE: WON petitioners committed fraud against Fr. Nicanor Cortes
HELD: NO. The petition is hereby GRANTED. The judgment appealed from is set
aside, and another entered dismissing the complaint in Civil Case of the then Court of
First Instance of Cebu. No costs.
We cannot sustain the findings of the courts that Fr. Nicanor Cortes had no personal
knowledge of Special Proceedings Nos. 262 and 343 for the evidence on record is
abundant to contradict such findings.
In his testimony, Fr. Diosdado Camomot declared categorically that he informed Fr.
Nicanor Cortes about Special Proceedings No. 343 6 and that he sent him a copy of
the project of partition. In fact, portions of Fr. Cortes' letters and Deed of Conveyance
show beyond any iota of doubt that he was kept posted on the developments in the
Philippines. He know that his mother received some lands as "share" and that
Candelario had acquired lands. He also knew the succession of ownership of the lands
to which he succeeded as sole heir of his mother in Special Proceedings No. 364-P,
From these statements, it would not be unreasonable or far-fetched to draw the
conclusion that he knew about Special Proceedings Nos. 262 and 343 as well as the
project of partition which were the root and origin of the "share" of his mother, the
lands acquired by Candelario, as well as the lands inherited by him


CANDELARIO VILLAMOR, et. al, petitioners vs. COURT OF APPEALS and

DANIELA CENIZA UROT, in her capacity as administratrix of the estate of Fr.
Nicanor Cortes, , respondents. (Mahaba to, nakakaaning)

SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest


No individual notice to one Fr. Nicanor Cortes or his legal

representative nor any intervention on his part has been
recorded; 19

But, as observed by counsel for petitioners, no probative value could be assigned to

said certification, in view of another certification issued by the same Clerk of Court
that "the prewar records of Sp. Proc. No. 262-C of the Court of First Instance of Cebu
were lost and/or destroyed during World War II, and that presently, the records
available in this office on said Special Proceedings only begins with a motion.
The loss and/or destruction of the pre-war records in Special Proceedings No. 262-C
renders the determination of whether or not Fr. Nicanor Cortes was duly notified
thereof an impossibility. However, the probability of his having been notified cannot be
totally discounted. On the other hand, no personal notice was due Fr. Nicanor Cortes
in Special Proceedings No. 343-C, not being the presumptive heir of Rufino Cortes.
Thus, if it were true that Fr. Nicanor Cortes had no notice of Special Proceedings Nos.
262 and 343, the failure to give such notice must be attributed to whoever instituted
Special Proceedings No. 262 wherein Fr. Cortes was a presumptive heir, and not to
Ireneo and Paula Villamor, the petitioners in Special Proceedings No. 343, wherein Fr.
Cortes was not a presumptive heir and where the publication of the petition as
required by law was sufficient to give notice to the whole world including Fr. Cortes.
Further, We do not consider as "intriguing" the observation of the lower court and
concurred in by the Court of Appeals that in both Special Proceedings in question, the
administrators appointed were complete strangers to the decedents. There is nothing
repulsive in this nor is this an indicium of fraud and collusion as found by the courts.
Section 642 of the Code of Civil Procedure enumerates the persons who can act as
executors and administrators. It provides that in case the persons who have the
preferential right to be appointed are not competent or are unwilling to serve,
administration may be granted to such other person as the court may appoint.


MARCELO PIJUAN, special administrator-appellee,
vs. MANUELA RUIZ VDA. DE GURREA, movant-appellant.

Manuela Ruiz (Mrs. Gurrea) Carlos Gurrea were married in Spain, where they lived
together until 1945, when he abandoned her and came, with their son Teodoro, to the
Philippines. Here he lived maritally with Rizalina Perez by whom he had two (2)
children. Having been informed by her son Teodoro, years later, that his father was
residing in Pontevedra, Negros Occidental, Manuela came to the Philippines, but,
Carlos Gurrea refused to admit her to his residence in said municipality. Hence, she
stayed with their son, Teodoro, in Bacolod City.
She instituted, against Carlos Gurrea, Civil Case in CFI Negros Occidental, for support
and the annulment of some alleged donations of conjugal property, in favor of his

common-law wife, Rizalina. In due course, said court issued an order granting Mrs.
Gurrea a monthly alimony was reduced by the Court of Appeals to P1,000.00.
Carlos Gurrea died, leaving a document purporting to be his last will and testament, in
which he named Marcelo Pijuan as executor thereof and disinherited Mrs. Gurrea and
their son, Teodoro. Soon thereafter Pijuan instituted Special Proceedings in CFI
Negros Occidental, for the probate of said will. Thereafter Pijuan was, upon his ex
parte motion, appointed special administrator of the estate, without bond. Oppositions
to the probate of the will were filed by Mrs. Gurrea, her son, Teodoro, and one Pilar
Gurrea, as an alleged illegitimate daughter of the deceased.
Mrs. Gurrea filed in said Special Proceedings, a motion alleging that the
aforementioned alimony, pendente lite, of P1,000 a month, had been suspended upon
the death of Carlos Gurrea, and praying that the Special Administrator be
ordered to continue paying it pending the final determination of the case.
This motion having been denied in an order dated Mrs. Gurrea moved for a
reconsideration thereof. Moreover, she moved for her appointment as administratrix of
the estate of the deceased.
Said motion for reconsideration was denied. The lower court, likewise, denied, for the
time being, the motion of Mrs. Gurrea for her appointment as administratrix, in view
of the provision of the will of the deceased designating another person as executor
thereof. Hence this appeal
ISSUE: WON the lower court erred in denying her petition for appointment as
HELD: No. Mrs. Gurrea claims a right of preference under Section 6 of Rule 78 of the
Revised Rules of Court. In the language of this provision, said preference exists "if no
executor is named in the will or the executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the
trust, or fail to give bond, or a person dies intestate." None of these conditions
obtains, however, in the case at bar. The deceased Carlos Gurrea has left a document
purporting to be his will, seemingly, is still pending probate. So, it cannot be said, as
yet, that he has died intestate. Again, said document names Marcelo Pijuan as
executor thereof, and it is not claimed that he is incompetent therefor. What is more,
he has not only not refused the trust, but, has, also, expressly accepted it, by
applying for his appointment as executor, and, upon his appointment as special
administrator, has assumed the duties thereof. It may not be amiss to note that the
preference accorded by the aforementioned provision of the Rules of Court to the
surviving spouse refers to the appoint of a regular administrator or administratrix, not
to that of a special administrator, and that the order appointing the latter lies within
the discretion of the probate court,5and is not appealable.6
WHEREFORE, the orders appealed from are hereby modified, in the sense that
Manuela Ruiz Vda. de Gurrea shall receive from the estate of the deceased a monthly
allowance of P1,000.00, by way of supportand that, in all other respects, said orders
are hereby affirmed, without pronouncement as to costs.


The trial court relied heavily on the certification issued by the Clerk of the Court of
First Instance of Cebu Esperanza T. Garcia, that:
... there appears to be:

SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

Plaintiff-appellee issued two administrator's bond in the amount of P15,000.00 each,
in behalf of the defendant-appellant Pastor T. Quebrar, as administrator in Special
Proceedings entitled " Re Testate Estate of A. B. Chinsuy," and Re Testate Estate of
Cresenciana Lipa," respectively.
In consideration of the suretyship, the latter, together with Francisco Kilayko,
executed two indemnity agreements, where among other things, they agreed jointly
and severally to pay the plaintiff-appellee "the sum of Three Hundred Pesos (P300.00)
in advance as premium thereof for every 12 months or fraction thereof, this ... or any
renewal or substitution thereof is in effect" and to indemnify plaintiff-appellee against
any and all damages, losses, costs, stamps taxes, penalties, charges and expenses,
whatsoever, including the 15% of the amount involved in any litigation, for attomey's
For the first year, from August 9, 1954 to August 9, 1955, the defendants-appellants
paid P304.50 under each indemnity agreement or a total of P609.00 for premiums
and documentary stamps.
On May 8, 1962, the plaintiff-appellee demanded from the defendants-appellants the
payment of the premiums and documentary stamps from August 9,1955.
On October 17, 1962, the defendants-appellants ordered a motion for cancellation
and/or reduction of executor's bonds on the ground that "the heirs of these testate
estates have already received their respective shares"
The Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental acting on the motions filed by the
defendants-appellants ordered the bonds cancelled.
Plaintiff-appellee's demand amounted to P2,436.00 in each case, hence, a total of
P4,872.00 for the period of August 9, 1955 to October 20, 1962. The defendantsappellants to pay the said amount of P4,872.00.
On January 8, 1963, the plaintiff-appellee filed the case with the Court of First
Instance of Manila. During the pre-trial the parties presented their documentary
evidences and agreed on the ultimate issue - "whether or not the administrator's
bonds were in force and effect from and after the year that they were filed and
approved by the court up to 1962, when they were cancelled." The defendantsappellants offered P1,800.00 by way of amicable settlement which the plaintiffappellee refused.
The lower court allowed the plaintiff to recover from the defendants-appellants
Defendants-appellants appealed to the Court of Appeals, who, in a resolution certified
the herein case to this Court after finding that this case involves only errors or
questions of law.
ISSUE: WON administrators bonds were in force and effect after the year that they
were filed and approved up to the time they were cancelled
HELD: Yes. The decision of CFI Manila is hereby affirmed. With costs against

The contention of the defendants-appellants that the administrator's bond ceased to

be of legal force and effect with the approval of the project of partition and statement
of accounts on June 6, 1957 is without merit.
The defendant-appellant Pastor T. Quebrar did not cease as administrator after June 6,
1957, for administration is for the purpose of liquidation of the estate and distribution
of the residue among the heirs and legatees. And liquidation means the determination
of all the assets of the estate and payment of all the debts and expenses (Flores vs.
Flores, 48 Phil. 982). It appears that there were still debts and expenses to be paid
after June 6, 1957.And in the case of Montemayor vs. Gutierrez (114 Phil. 95), an
estate may be partitioned even before the termination of the administration
Hence, the approval of the project of partition did not necessarily terminate the
administration proceedings. Notwithstanding the approval of the partition, the Court
of First Instance of Negros Occidental still had jurisdiction over the administration
proceedings of the estate of A.B. Chinsuy and Cresenciana Lipa.
Section 1 of Rule 81 of the Rules of Court requires the administrator/executor to put
up a bond for the purpose of indemnifying the creditors, heirs, legatees and the
estate. It is conditioned upon the faithful performance of the administrator's trust
(Mendoza vs. Pacheco, 64 Phil. 134).
Having in mind the purpose and intent of the law, the surety is then liable under the
administrator's bond, for as long as the administrator has duties to do as such
administrator/executor. Since the liability of the sureties is co-extensive with that of
the administrator and embraces the performance of every duty he is called upon to
perform in the course of administration (Deobold vs. Oppermann, 111 NY 531, 19 NE
94), it follows that the administrator is still duty bound to respect the indemnity
agreements entered into by him in consideration of the suretyship
It is shown that the defendant-appellant Pastor T. Quebrar, still had something to do
as an administrator/executor even after the approval of the amended project of
partition and accounts on June 6, 1957.

Duties and Powers of Executor/Administrator

THE ESTATE OF HILARIO M. RUIZ, EDMOND RUIZ, Executor, petitioner, vs. CA
(Mahaba to kasi marami provision)
Hilario M. Ruiz1 executed a holographic will naming as his heirs his only son, Edmond
Ruiz, his adopted daughter, private respondent Maria Pilar Ruiz Montes, and his three
granddaughters, private respondents Maria Cathryn, Candice Albertine and Maria
Angeline, all children of Edmond Ruiz. The testator bequeathed to his heirs substantial
cash, personal and real properties and named Edmond Ruiz executor of his estate. 2
Immediately after Hilario Ruiz died, the cash component of his estate was distributed
among Edmond Ruiz and private respondents in accordance with the decedent's will.
For unbeknown reasons, Edmond, the named executor, did not take any action for the
probate of his father's holographic will.
Four years after the testator's death, it was private respondent Maria Pilar Ruiz
Montes who filed before the RTC, a petition for the probate and approval of Hilario


LUZON SURETY COMPANY, INC., plaintiff-appellee, vs.

PASTOR T. QUEBRAR and FRANCISCO KILAYKO, defendants-appellants

SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

One of the properties of the estate the house and lot at No. 2 Oliva Street, Valle
Verde IV, Pasig which the testator bequeathed to Maria Cathryn, Candice Albertine
and Maria Angeline4 was leased out by Edmond Ruiz to third persons. The probate
court ordered Edmond to deposit with the Branch Clerk of Court the rental deposit and
payments totalling P540,000.00 representing the one-year lease of the Valle Verde
Edmond turned over the amount of P348,583.56, representing the balance of the rent
after deducting P191,416.14 for repair and maintenance expenses on the estate.5
Edmond moved for the release of P50,000.00 to pay the real estate taxes on the real
properties of the estate. The probate court approved the release of P7,722.00. 6
Edmond withdrew his opposition to the probate of the will. Consequently, the probate
court, on May 18, 1993, admitted the will to probate and ordered the issuance of
letters testamentary to Edmond conditioned upon the filing of a bond in the amount of
Petitioner filed an "Ex-Parte Motion for Release of Funds." It prayed for the release of
the rent payments deposited with the Branch Clerk of Court.
Respondent Montes opposed the motion and concurrently filed a "Motion for Release
of Funds to Certain Heirs" and "Motion for Issuance of Certificate of Allowance of
Probate Will." Montes prayed for the release of the said rent payments to Maria
Cathryn, Candice Albertine and Maria Angeline and for the distribution of the
testator's properties, specifically the Valle Verde property and the Blue Ridge
apartments, in accordance with the provisions of the holographic will.
The probate court denied petitioner's motion for release of funds but granted
respondent Montes' motion in view of petitioner's lack of opposition. It thus ordered
the release of the rent payments to the decedent's three granddaughters. It further
ordered the delivery of the titles to and possession of the properties bequeathed to
the three granddaughters and respondent Montes upon the filing of a bond of
Petitioner, through counsel, manifested that he was withdrawing his motion for release
of funds in view of the fact that the lease contract over the Valle Verde property had
been renewed for another year.
Despite petitioner's manifestation, the probate court, on December 22, 1993, ordered
the release of the funds to Edmond but only "such amount as may be necessary to
cover the expenses of administration and allowances for support" of the testator's
three granddaughters subject to collation and deductible from their share in the
inheritance. The court, however, held in abeyance the release of the titles to
respondent Montes and the three granddaughters until the lapse of six months from
the date of first publication of the notice to creditors
ISSUE: WON the probate court, after admitting the will to probate but before
payment of the estate's debts and obligations, has the authority: (1) to grant an
allowance from the funds of the estate for the support of the testator's grandchildren

(NO); (2) to order the release of the titles to certain heirs (NO); and (3) to grant
possession of all properties of the estate to the executor of the will (NO)
The decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals affirming the of the
Regional Trial Court are affirmed with the modification that those portions of
the order granting an allowance to the testator's grandchildren and ordering
the release of the titles to the private respondents upon notice to creditors
are annulled and set aside.
1) On the matter of allowance, Section 3 of Rule 83 of the Revised Rules of Court
Sec. 3. Allowance to widow and family. The widow and minor or incapacitated
children of a deceased person, during the settlement of the estate, shall receive
therefrom under the direction of the court, such allowance as are provided by
It is settled that allowances for support under Section 3 of Rule 83 should not be
limited to the "minor or incapacitated" children of the deceased. Article 188 13 of the
Civil Code of the Philippines, the substantive law in force at the time of the testator's
death, provides that during the liquidation of the conjugal partnership, the deceased's
legitimate spouse and children, regardless of their age, civil status or gainful
employment, are entitled to provisional support from the funds of the estate. 14 The
law is rooted on the fact that the right and duty to support, especially the right to
education, subsist even beyond the age of majority.15
Be that as it may, grandchildren are not entitled to provisional support from the funds
of the decedent's estate. The law clearly limits the allowance to "widow and children"
and does not extend it to the deceased's grandchildren, regardless of their minority or
incapacity.16 It was error, therefore, for the appellate court to sustain the probate
court's order granting an allowance to the grandchildren of the testator pending
settlement of his estate.
2) Respondent courts also erred when they ordered the release of the titles of the
bequeathed properties to private respondents six months after the date of first
publication of notice to creditors
An order releasing titles to properties of the estate amounts to an advance
distribution of the estate which is allowed only under the following conditions:
Sec. 2. Advance distribution in special proceedings. Nothwithstanding a
pending controversy or appeal in proceedings to settle the estate of a decedent,
the court may, in its discretion and upon such terms as it may deem proper and
just, permit that such part of the estate as may not be affected by the
controversy or appeal be distributed among the heirs or legatees, upon
compliance with the conditions set forth in Rule 90 of these Rules. 17
And Rule 90 provides that:
Sec. 1. When order for distribution of residue made. When the debts, funeral
charges, and expenses of administration the allowance to the widow, and
inheritance tax if any, chargeable to the estate in accordance with law, have
been paid, the court, on the application of the executor or administrator, or of a
person interested in the estate, and after hearing upon notice shall assign the
residue of the estate to the persons entitled to the same, naming them and the
proportions or parts, to which each is entitled, and such persons may demand


Ruiz's will and for the issuance of letters testamentary to Edmond Ruiz. Surprisingly,
Edmond opposed the petition on the ground that the will was executed under undue

SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

and recover their respective shares from the executor or administrator, or any
other person having the same in his possession. If there is a controversy before
the court as to who are the lawful heirs of the deceased person or as to the
distributive shares to which each person is entitled under the law, the
controversy shall be heard and decided as in ordinary cases.


KALAW, Respondents.

No distribution shall be allowed until the payment of the obligations abovementioned has been made or provided for, unless the distributees, or any of
them, give a bond, in a sum to be fixed by the court, conditioned for the
payment of said obligations within such time as the court directs. 18


In the case at bar, Hilario Ruiz allegedly left no debts when he died but the taxes on
his estate had not hitherto been paid, much less ascertained. The estate tax is one of
those obligations that must be paid before distribution of the estate. If not yet paid,
the rule requires that the distributees post a bond or make such provisions as to meet
the said tax obligation in proportion to their respective shares in the
inheritance.20 Notably, at the time the order was issued the properties of the estate
had not yet been inventoried and appraised.
3) The right of an executor or administrator to the possession and management of
the real and personal properties of the deceased is not absolute and can only be
exercised "so long as it is necessary for the payment of the debts and expenses of
administration,"27 Section 3 of Rule 84 of the Revised Rules of Court explicitly

However, due to her failure to render an accounting of her administration for more
than 6 years since her appointment (inviolation of Rule 85 Sec 8), herein respondent
co-heirs filed a motion to remove her as administrator which was subsequently
granted by the said court/
ISSUE: Whether Ana Lim Kalaw failed on her duties as administrator so as to warrant
her removal
Section 8 of Rule 85 of the Revised Rules of Court provides
"SEC. 8. When executor or administrator to render account. Every executor or
administrator shall render an account of his administration within one (1) year from
the time of receiving letters testamentary or of administration, unless the court
otherwise directs because of extensions of time for presenting claims against, or
paying the debts of, the estate, or for disposing of the estate; and he shall render
such further accounts as the court may require until the estate is wholly
settled." chanrobles law library

Sec. 3. Executor or administrator to retain whole estate to pay debts, and to

administer estate not willed. An executor or administrator shall have the right
to the possession and management of the real as well as the personal estate of
the deceased so long as it is necessary for the payment of the debts and
expenses for administration

The rendering of an accounting by an administrator of his administration within one

year from his appointment is mandatory, as shown by the use of the word "shall" in
said rule. The only exception is when the Court otherwise directs because of
extensions of time for presenting claims against the estate or for paying the debts or
disposing the assets of the estate, which do not exist in the case at bar.

It was relevantly noted by the probate court that petitioner had deposited with it only
a portion of the one-year rental income from the Valle Verde property. Petitioner did
not deposit its succeeding rents after renewal of the lease.29 Neither did he render an
accounting of such funds.

Furthermore, petitioners excuse that the sala where the intestate proceeding was
pending was vacant most of the time deserves scant consideration since petitioner
never attempted to file with said court an accounting report of her administration
despite the fact that at one time or another, Judge Sundiam and Judge Tiongco were
presiding over said sala during their incumbency.

Petitioner must be reminded that his right of ownership over the properties of his
father is merely inchoate as long as the estate has not been fully settled and
partitioned. As executor, he is a mere trustee of his father's estate. The funds of the
estate in his hands are trust funds and he is held to the duties and responsibilities of a
trustee of the highest order. He cannot unilaterally assign to himself and possess all
his parents' properties and the fruits thereof without first submitting an inventory and
appraisal of all real and personal properties of the deceased, rendering a true account
of his administration, the expenses of administration, the amount of the obligations
and estate tax, all of which are subject to a determination by the court as to their
veracity, propriety and justness

Likewise, her subsequent compliance in rendering an accounting report did not purge
her of her negligence in not rendering an accounting for more than six years, which
justifies petitioners removal as administratrix and the appointment of private
respondent in her place as mandated by Section 2 of Rule 82 of the Rules of Court. 5


In settlement of estate proceedings, the distribution of the estate properties can only
be made: (1) after all the debts, funeral charges, expenses of administration,
allowance to the widow, and estate tax have been paid; or (2) before payment of said
obligations only if the distributees or any of them gives a bond in a sum fixed by the
court conditioned upon the payment of said obligations within such time as the court
directs, or when provision is made to meet those obligations

Ana Lim Kalaw was appointed judicial administrator by the intestate court.

SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

Melitona Pahamotang died. She was survived by her husband Agustin Pahamotang,
and their eight (8) children, namely: Ana, Genoveva, Isabelita, Corazon, Susana,
Concepcion and herein petitioners Josephine and Eleonor, all
surnamed Pahamotang.
Agustin was appointed administrator of the estate who petitioned the court several
times for the grant of increase in mortgage executed in favor of PNB and for the
authority to sell certain properties to one Arguna (both are herein respondents), for
the stability of the business of the estate.
As the mortgage was not satisfied, properties of the estate subject of mortgage was
foreclosed and as a result of which, herein petitioners, as heirs, filed their complaint
for Nullification of Mortgage Contracts and Foreclosure Proceedings and
Damages against the repondents. Trial court found that the heirs lacked
notice of the above actions of their father administrator altho the same were
approved by the court. Hence, declared that the said contracts for mortgage and
deeds of sale were void.
The CA however reversed the said decision believing that petitioners had availed
themselves of the wrong remedy before the trial court- that they are collaterally
attacking the various orders (granting the several petitions of the administrator) of
the intestate court in an action for the nullification of the subject mortgages, and
foreclosure and the deeds of sale instead of initiating a direct action to annul them.
ISSUE: whether or not petitioners can obtain relief from the effects of contracts of
sale and mortgage entered into by Agustin without first initiating a direct action
against the orders of the intestate court authorizing the challenged contracts
We answer the question in the affirmative.
It bears emphasizing that the action filed by the petitioners before the trial court
in Civil Case No. 16,802 is for the annulment of several contracts entered into by
Agustin for and in behalf of the estate of Melitona, namely: (a) contract of mortgage
in favor of respondent PNB, (b) contract of sale in favor of Arguna involving seven (7)
parcels of land; and (c) contract of sale of a parcel of land in favor of PLEI.
The trial court acquired jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case upon the
allegations in the complaint that said contracts were entered into despite lack of

notices to the heirs of the petition for the approval of those contracts by the intestate
Contrary to the view of the Court of Appeals, the action which petitioners lodged with
the trial court in Civil Case No. 16,802 is not an action to annul the orders of the
intestate court, which, according to CA, cannot be done collaterally. It is the validity of
the contracts of mortgage and sale which is directly attacked in the action.
And, in the exercise of its jurisdiction, the trial court made a factual finding in its
decision of August 7, 1998 that petitioners were, in fact, not notified by their father
Agustin of the filing of his petitions for permission to mortgage/sell the estate
properties. The trial court made the correct conclusion of law that the challenged
orders of the intestate court granting Agustin's petitions were null and void for lack of
compliance with the mandatory requirements of Rule 89 of the Rules of Court,
particularly Sections 2, 4, 7 thereof, which read:
"Sec. 2. When court may authorize sale, mortgage, or other encumbrance of realty to
pay debts and legacies through personalty not exhausted. - When the personal estate
of the deceased is not sufficient to pay the debts, expenses of administration, and
legacies, or where the sale of such personal estate may injure the business or other
interests of those interested in the estate, and where a testator has not otherwise
made sufficient provision for the payment of such debts, expenses, and legacies, the
court, on the application of the executor or administrator and on written notice to
the heirs, devisees, and legatees residing in the Philippines, may authorize the
executor or administrator to sell, mortgage, or otherwise encumber so much as may
be necessary of the real estate, in lieu of personal estate, for the purpose of paying
such debts, expenses, and legacies, if it clearly appears that such sale, mortgage, or
encumbrance would be beneficial to the persons interested; and if a part cannot be
sold, mortgaged, or otherwise encumbered without injury to those interested in the
remainder, the authority may be for the sale, mortgage, or other encumbrance of the
whole of such real estate, or so much thereof as is necessary or beneficial under the
"Sec. 4. When court may authorize sale of estate as beneficial to interested persons.
Disposal of proceeds. - When it appears that the sale of the whole or a part of the real
or personal estate, will be beneficial to the heirs, devisees, legatees, and other
interested persons, the court may, upon application of the executor or administrator
and on written notice to the heirs, devisees and legatees who are interested in
the estate to be sold, authorize the executor or administrator to sell the whole or a
part of said estate, although not necessary to pay debts, legacies, or expenses of
administration; but such authority shall not be granted if inconsistent with the
provisions of a will. In case of such sale, the proceeds shall be assigned to the
persons entitled to the estate in the proper proportions".
"Sec. 7. Regulations for granting authority to sell, mortgage, or otherwise encumber
estate. - The court having jurisdiction of the estate of the deceased may authorize the
executor or administrator to sell personal estate, or to sell, mortgage, or otherwise
encumber real estate; in cases provided by these rules and when it appears necessary
or beneficial, under the following regulations:


OF ARTURO ARGUNA, Respondents.

SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

(b) The court shall thereupon fix a time and place for hearing such petition,
and cause notice stating the nature of the petition, the reason for the same, and the
time and place of hearing, to be given personally or by mail to the persons interested,
and may cause such further notice to be given, by publication or otherwise, as it shall
deem proper; (Emphasis supplied)".
Settled is the rule in this jurisdiction that when an order authorizing the sale or
encumbrance of real property was issued by the testate or intestate court without
previous notice to the heirs, devisees and legatees as required by the Rules, it is not
only the contract itself which is null and void but also the order of the court
authorizing the same.11


by her husband BEDA UNGOS, Petitioners, v.COURT OF APPEALS, ESPERANZA
ANGELO P. ORFINADA, Respondents.
Petitioners (decedents family from a paramour so not legit) executed an Extrajudicial
Settlement of Estate of a Deceased Person with Quitclaim involving the properties of
the estate of the decedent as a result of which, certificate of titles were issued in their
Pending application for Letters of Administration, respondents (the first family) filed a
complaint for the recovery of the properties involved in the said extrajudicial
settlement. Petitioners, in their answer, raised the affirmative defense that
respondents are not the real parties-in-interest but rather the Estate of Alfonso O.
Orfinada, Jr., the decedent, in view of the pendency of the administration proceedings.
Hence, they lack legal standing to presecute.
ISSUE: Whether the respondents may bring suit to recover property of the estate
pending the appointment of an administrator is the issue in this case.

Even if administration proceedings have already been commenced, the heirs may still
bring the suit if an administrator has not yet been appointed. This is the proper
modality despite the total lack of advertence to the heirs in the rules on party
representation, namely Section 3, Rule 326 and Section 2, Rule 8727 of the Rules of
Court. In fact, in the case of Gochan v. Young,28this Court recognized the legal
standing of the heirs to represent the rights and properties of the decedent under
administration pending the appointment of an administrator. Thus:
The above-quoted rules,29 while permitting an executor or administrator to represent
or to bring suits on behalf of the deceased, do not prohibit the heirs from representing
the deceased. These rules are easily applicable to cases in which an
administrator has already been appointed. But no rule categorically
addresses the situation in which special proceedings for the settlement of an
estate have already been instituted, yet no administrator has been
appointed. In such instances, the heirs cannot be expected to wait for the
appointment of an administrator; then wait further to see if the administrator
appointed would care enough to file a suit to protect the rights and the interests of
the deceased; and in the meantime do nothing while the rights and the properties of
the decedent are violated or dissipated.
Even if there is an appointed administrator, jurisprudence recognizes two
exceptions, viz: (1) if the executor or administrator is unwilling or refuses to bring
suit;30 and (2) when the administrator is alleged to have participated in the act
complained of31 and he is made a party defendant.32 Evidently, the necessity for the
heirs to seek judicial relief to recover property of the estate is as compelling when
there is no appointed administrator, if not more, as where there is an appointed
administrator but he is either disinclined to bring suit or is one of the guilty parties
All told, therefore, the rule that the heirs have no legal standing to sue for the
recovery of property of the estate during the pendency of administration proceedings
has three exceptions, the third being when there is no appointed administrator such
as in this case

Claims against the Estate

The deceased Efraim Santibanez entered into two loan agreements with First
Countryside Credit Corporation (FCCC) for the payment of Ford Tractors. Efraim and
his son Edmund executed a promissory note and a guaranty agreement in
consideration of the above.


(a) The executor or administrator shall file a written petition setting forth the debts
due from the deceased, the expenses of administration, the legacies, the value of the
personal estate, the situation of the estate to be sold, mortgaged, or otherwise
encumbered, and such other facts as show that the sale, mortgage, or other
encumbrance is necessary or beneficial;

SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

Efraim later died leaving a holographic will. Pending testate proceedings his children
Edmund and Florence S Ariola executed a joint agreement assuming indebtedness of
their father (in rel to the tractors) upon possessing the same. However, the same was
not approved by the court.
FCCC later assigned its rights to petitioner Union Bank which filed a complaint with
the RTC for recovery of sum of money against Edmund and Florence S Ariola.
Since Edmund cannot be found, Florence was the only one prosecuted. She alleged
that the loan documents did not bind her since she was not a party thereto; that she
was not liable to Union Bank under the joint agreement since the same was null and
void, not being approved by the court, and that Union Bank should have filed his claim
in the probate proceedings.
ISSUE: (1) Whether Florence S Ariola is liable as heir to Union Bank. NO!
The question that now comes to fore is whether the heirs' assumption of the
indebtedness of the decedent is binding. We rule in the negative. Perusing the joint
agreement, it provides that the heirs as parties thereto "have agreed to divide
between themselves and take possession and use the above-described chattel and
each of them to assume the indebtedness corresponding to the chattel taken as
herein after stated which is in favor of First Countryside Credit Corp."29 The
assumption of liability was conditioned upon the happening of an event, that is, that
each heir shall take possession and use of their respective share under the
agreement. It was made dependent on the validity of the partition, and that they
were to assume the indebtedness corresponding to the chattel that they were each to
receive. The partition being invalid as earlier discussed, the heirs in effect did not
receive any such tractor. It follows then that the assumption of liability cannot be
given any force and effect.

decedent, instead of presenting them independently to the court as herein provided,

and mutual claims may be set off against each other in such action; and if final
judgment is rendered in favor of the defendant, the amount so determined shall be
considered the true balance against the estate, as though the claim had been
presented directly before the court in the administration proceedings. Claims not yet
due, or contingent, may be approved at their present value.
The filing of a money claim against the decedent's estate in the probate court is
mandatory.30 As we held in the vintage case of Py Eng Chong v. Herrera:31
'This requirement is for the purpose of protecting the estate of the deceased by
informing the executor or administrator of the claims against it, thus enabling him to
examine each claim and to determine whether it is a proper one which should be
allowed. 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,
legatees, or heirs. `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, pay off its debts and distribute the residue.32
Perusing the records of the case, nothing therein could hold private respondent
Florence S. Ariola accountable for any liability incurred by her late father. The
documentary evidence presented, particularly the promissory notes and the
continuing guaranty agreement, were executed and signed only by the late Efraim
Santibaez and his son Edmund. As the petitioner failed to file its money claim with
the probate court, at most, it may only go after Edmund as co-maker of the decedent
under the said promissory notes and continuing guaranty, of course, subject to any
defenses Edmund may have as against the petitioner. As the court had not acquired
jurisdiction over the person of Edmund, we find it unnecessary to delve into the
matter further.

(2) Whether Union Bank should have filed its money claim with the probate
court. YES!
PNB vs. CA
The petitioner, purportedly a creditor of the late Efraim Santibaez, should have
thus filed its money claim with the probate court in accordance with Section 5, Rule
86 of the Revised Rules of Court, which provides:
Section 5. Claims which must be filed under the notice. If not filed barred; exceptions.
- All claims for money against the decedent, arising from contract, express or implied,
whether the same be due, not due, or contingent, all claims for funeral expenses for
the last sickness of the decedent, and judgment for money against the decedent,
must be filed within the time limited in the notice; otherwise they are barred forever,
except that they may be set forth as counterclaims in any action that the executor or
administrator may bring against the claimants. Where an executor or administrator
commences an action, or prosecutes an action already commenced by the deceased in
his lifetime, the debtor may set forth by answer the claims he has against the

Spouses Antonio and Asuncion Chua were the owners of a parcel of

land registered in their names
Upon Antonios death, the probate court appointed his son, private
respondent Allan M. Chua, special administrator of Antonios intestate
Allan obtained a loan of P450,000.00 from petitioner PNB evidenced by
a promissory note with interest at 18.8 percent per annum and he
executed a real estate mortgage on the said land
For failure to pay the loan in full, the bank extrajudicially foreclosed
the real estate mortgage and conducted a public auction with which
the PNB is the highest bidder but there is still a balance of
PNB instituted an action in the CFI of Balayan, Batangas to recover
such deficiency


The Court notes that the loan was contracted by the decedent.rbl
r l l lbrr

SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest


RTC dismissed PNBs petition. CA affirmed.

Whether or not the CA erred when it ruled that PNB can no longer pursue
by civil action the recovery the recovery of the balance of indebtedness after having
foreclosed the property securing the same




The case at bar involves a foreclosure of mortgage arising out of a

settlement of estate, wherein the administrator mortgaged a property
belonging to the estate of the decedent, pursuant to an authority given
by the probate court. As the Court of Appeals correctly stated, the
Rules of Court on Special Proceedings comes into play decisively.

To begin with, it is clear from the text of Section 7, Rule 89, that once
the deed of real estate mortgage is recorded in the proper Registry of
Deeds, together with the corresponding court order authorizing the
administrator to mortgage the property, said deed shall be valid as if it
has been executed by the deceased himself.
Sec 7 Rule 86 of the Rules of Court grants to the mortgagee three
distinct, independent and mutually exclusive remedies that can be
alternatively pursued by the mortgage creditor for the satisfaction of
his credit in case the mortgagor dies, among them:
(1) to waive the mortgage and claim the entire debt from the estate of
the mortgagor as an ordinary claim;
(2) to foreclose the mortgage judicially and prove any deficiency as an
ordinary claim; and

(3) to rely on the mortgage exclusively, foreclosing the same at any

time before it is barred by prescriptionwithout right to file a claim for
any deficiency.9

PNB has chosen the mortgage-creditors option of extrajudicially

foreclosing the mortgaged property of the Chuas. This choice now bars
any subsequent deficiency claim against the estate of the deceased,
Antonio M. Chua. Petitioner may no longer avail of the complaint for
the recovery of the balance of indebtedness against said estate, after
petitioner foreclosed the property securing the mortgage in its favor. It
follows that in this case no further liability remains on the part of
respondents and the late Antonio M. Chuas estate.

Santiago Rementeria y Alcamizcogeascoa, the decedent was a

Spaniard and member of the commercial partnership Aldamiz y
Rementeria. Upon his death, a probate proceeding was instituted by
Gavino ALdamiz represented by Atty. Juan L. Luna
Ten years after his appointment, Gavino Aldamiz submitted his
accounts and a project for partition. The Court refused to approve the
project of partition unless all debts including attorneys fees should
first be paid

Atty. Luna showed and presented his records throughout his

employment and services to the decedent and Aldamiz. He presented
pieces of evidence and records showing his disinterest in the estate of
the decedent

The Court ordered payment of attorneys fees amounting to P28,000,

however the petitioner was only able to pay P5,000 only and upon his
failure to pay the balance of P23,000 after several demands made
upon him by respondent attorney filed an ex-parte motion for
execution which was granted by respondent Court.

Upon failure to pay, two parcels of land belonging to the partnership

were sold at public auction in favor of respondent attorney

Whether or not the order of the Court as to the amount of
attorneys fees is valid

No. The correct procedure for the collection of attorneys fees is for the
counsel to request the administrator to make payment and file an
action against him in his personal capacity and not as an administrator
should he fail to pay.
The attorney may also file a petition in the testate or intestate
proceeding asking that the court, after notice to all persons interested,
allow his claim and direct the administrator to pay it as an expense of



SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest


In the instant case, no written petition for the payment of attorneys

fees has ever been filed by the respondent attorney and the interested
parties had not been previously notified thereof nor of the hearing held
by the court.

that their marriage was clearly void since it was celebrated during the
existence of his previous marriage to petitioner
Whether or not Blandina Dandan can be considered as heir

The execution is also null and void because a writ of execution is not
the proper procedure allowed by the Rules of Court for the payment of
debts and expenses of administration


The proper procedure is for the court to order the sale of personal
estate or the sale of mortgaged of real property of the deceased and
all debts or expenses of administration should be paid out of the
proceeds of the sale or mortgage

The order for the sale or mortgage should be issued upon motion of
the administrator abd with the written notice to all the heirs, legatees
and devisees residing in the Philippines, according to Rule 89, Section
3 and Rule 90, Section 2. And when sale or mortgage of real estate is
to be made, the regulations contained in Rule 90, Section 7, should be
complied with.

NO. When Fe Quita was asked whether she was an American citizen
petitioner answered that she was since 1954. 19 Significantly, the
decree of divorce of petitioner and Arturo was obtained in the same
year. Petitioner however did not bother to file a reply memorandum to
erase the uncertainty about her citizenship at the time of their divorce,
a factual issue requiring hearings to be conducted by the trial court.
Blandina and Arturo were married while prior marriage of petitioner
and Arturo was subsisting thereby resulting in a bigamous marriage
considered void from the beginning under Arts. 80 and 83 of the Civil
Code. Consequently, she is not a surviving spouse that can inherit
from him as this status presupposes a legitimate relationship.



Fe Quita and Arturo Padlan were married in the Philippines and were
not blessed with children. Along the way, their relationship soured and
eventually Fe sued Arturo for divorce in San Francisco, California and
submitted, during the divorce proceedings, a private writing evidencing
their agreement to live separately from each other and a settlement of
their conjugal properties.
She then obtained final judgment for divorce
Arturo died without a will. Lino Javier Inciong filed a petition for
issuance of letters of administration in favor of Philippine Trust Bank
Blandina Dandan, claiming to be the surviving spouse of Arturo, with
their 6 children opposed and prayed for the appointment instead of
Atty. Casaba as administrator
Fe Quita moved for the immediate declaration of heirs of the decedent
and the distribution of his estate
Trial Court disregarded the divorce between Arturo and petitioner
invoking a previous decision that "a foreign divorce between Filipino
citizens sought and decreed after the effectivity of the present Civil
Code (Rep. Act 386) was not entitled to recognition as valid in this
Only petitioner and Ruperto were declared the intestate heirs of
Arturo. Private respondent was not declared as an heir on the ground

Miguelita Ching-Pacioles died intestate, leaving real properties with an

of P10.5
worthP518,783.00, bank deposits amounting to P6.54 million, and
interests in certain businesses. She was survived by her husband,
petitioner herein, and their two minor children.
Petitioner filed with the RTC a petition for the settlement of Miguelitas
estate. He prayed that (a) letters of administration be issued in his
name, and (b) that the net residue of the estate be divided among the
compulsory heirs.
Miguela, Miguelitas mother, filed an opposition on the grounds
that (a) petitioner is incompetent and unfit to exercise the duties of an
administrator; and (b) the bulk of Miguelitas estate is composed
of paraphernal properties. Respondent prayed that the letters of
administration be issued to her instead.[5] Afterwards, she also filed a
motion for her appointment as special administratrix
Petitioner opposed and said that Miguela has no interest in the estate.
The latter answered that she has direct and material interest in the
estate because she gave half of her inherited properties to Miguelita on
condition that both of them would undertake whatever business
endeavor they decided to, in the capacity of business partners
Petitioner and Emmanuel Ching, Miguelitas brother, were declared
joint administrator of the estate. The latter, however, did not file an
Petitioner and their 2 minor children were declared as compulsory
heirs. He filed a petition for the payment of estate of taxes, partition


Distribution and Closure of the Estate

SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

and distribution of the estate among the declared heirs;

and payment of attorneys fees.
Payment of taxes and attorneys fees were granted, however
distribution of estate was denied because it is still premature.
CA affirmed

considered the owners of the properties until their title is

nullified or modified in an appropriate ordinary action.

Whether or not a trial court, acting as an intestate court, hear and pass
upon questions of ownership involving properties claimed to be part of the
decedents estate

RULE 91 Escheats

The general rule is that the jurisdiction of the trial court either as an
intestate or a probate court relates only to matters having to do with
the settlement of the estate and probate of will of deceased persons
but does not extend to the determination of questions of
ownership that arise during the proceedings.[15] The patent
rationale for this rule is that such court exercises special and limited
A well-recognized deviation to the rule is the principle that an intestate
or a probate court may hear and pass upon questions of ownership
when its purpose is to determine whether or not a property should be
included in the inventory. In such situations the adjudication is merely
incidental and provisional.
Respondent could have opposed petitioners inventory and sought the
exclusion of the specific properties which she believed or
considered to be hers. Emmanuel Ching, as co-administrator failed
to file his inventory. He could have submitted an inventory,
excluding therefrom those properties which respondent
considered to be hers. The fact that he did not endeavor to
submit one shows that he acquiesced with petitioners
probate court has no jurisdiction to adjudicate such
contentions, which must be submitted to the court in the
exercise of its general jurisdiction as a regional trial court

Hence, respondents recourse is to file a separate action with a court of

general jurisdiction. The intestate court is not the appropriate forum
for the resolution of her adverse claim of ownership over properties
ostensibly belonging to Miguelita's estate.

Even assuming that the intestate court merely intended to make a

provisional or prima facie determination of the issue of ownership, still
respondents claim cannot prosper. It bears stressing that the bulk of
Miguelitas estate, as stated in petitioners inventory, comprises real
estates covered by the Torrens System which are registered either in
the name of Miguelita alone or with petitioner. As such, they are


DIVISION) AND AMADA H. SOLANO, assisted by her husband ROMEO
SOLANO, Respondents.
In recognition of Amada Solanos faithful and dedicated service as her personal
domestic helper, the late Ms. Hankins donated two parcels of land to Solano.
The deeds of donation evidencing the above however were alleged to be missing and
nowhere to be found.
The Republic then initiated escheat proceedings concerning the parcels of land in
which Solano filed a motion to intervene. Said motion was denied.
Since it was established that there were no known heirs and persons entitled to the
properties of decedent Hankins, the lower court escheated the estate of the
decedent in favor of the Republic of the Philippines.
Seven (7) years after the finality of the escheat proceedings, Solano claimed
that she accidentally found the deeds of donation and, filed a petition before the CA
for the annulment of the lower courts decision, alleging, among others, that:

Having been donated to her, the properties in dispute did not and
could not form part of Ms. Hankins estate. Hence, could not be
validly escheated

Republic, in its answer, invoked (a) lack of jurisdiction over the nature of the action;
and, that (b) the cause of action was barred by the statute of limitations, being filed
beyond the 5-yr limitation provided under Sec. 4 Rule 91 ROC.
The CA ruled in favor of Solano ruling that she is not claiming anything from the
estate within the purview of Sec 91 Sec 4, but rather she is claiming ownership over
the disputed properties and reconveyance thereof. As such, her claim was properly


SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest


(1) Whether Solano is barred by prescription. YES!

In this jurisdiction, a claimant to an escheated property must file his claim "within five
(5) years from the date of such judgment, such person shall have possession of and
title to the same, or if sold, the municipality or city shall be accountable to him for the
proceeds, after deducting the estate; but a claim not made shall be barred
forever." The 5-year period is not a device capriciously conjured by the state to
defraud any claimant; on the contrary, it is decidedly prescribed to encourage wouldbe claimants to be punctilious in asserting their claims, otherwise they may lose them
forever in a final judgment. xxx
In the instant petition, the escheat judgment was handed down by the lower court as
early as 27 June 1989 but it was only on 28 January 1997, more or less seven (7)
years after, when private respondent decided to contest the escheat judgment in the
guise of a petition for annulment of judgment before the Court of Appeals.
Obviously, private respondents belated assertion of her right over the escheated
properties militates against recovery.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

(2) Whether Solano is a claimant within Sec 91. YES!

(case of Municipal Council of San Pedro, Laguna v. Colegio de San Jose, Inc) Any
person alleging to have a direct right or interest in the property sought to be
escheated is likewise an interested party and may appear and oppose the
petition for escheat.

(3) Whether the allegedly donated properties may be validly

escheated in favor of the Republic YES!
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. We recall that a motion for
intervention was earlier denied by the escheat court for failure to show "valid claim or
right to the properties in question." 9 Where a person comes into an escheat
proceeding as a claimant, the burden is on such intervenor to establish his title to the
property and his right to intervene. A fortiori, 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. In the absence therefore of any clear and convincing proof showing that
the subject lands had been conveyed by Hankins to private respondent Solano, the
same still remained, at least before the escheat, part of the estate of the decedent
and the lower court was right not to assume otherwise. The Court of Appeals
therefore cannot perfunctorily presuppose that the subject properties were no longer
part of the decedents 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. It is settled that courts decide only after a close scrutiny of every piece of
evidence and analyze each case with deliberate precision and unadulterated
thoroughness, the judgment not being diluted by speculations, conjectures and
unsubstantiated assertions.

CASTORIO ALVARICO, petitioner, vs AMELITA L. SOLA, respondent

FACTS: Castorio Alvarico is the natural father of respondent Amelita Sola while
Fermina Lopez is petitioner's aunt, and also Amelita's adoptive mother.
Bureau of Lands approved and granted the Miscellaneous Sales Application (MSA) of
Fermina over a Lot at the Waterfront, Cebu City.1
Fermina executed a Deed of Self-Adjudication and Transfer of Rights3 over Lot in favor
of Amelita, who agreed to assume all the obligations, duties, and conditions imposed
upon Fermina in the MSA.The document of transfer was filed with the Bureau of Land,
who later on issued an order approving the transfer of rights and granting the
amendment of the application from Fermina to Amelita. An Original Certificate of Title
(OCT) was issued in favor of Amelita.
Petitioner Alvarico filed Civil Case reconveyance against Amelita claiming that,
Fermina donated the land to him and immediately thereafter, he took possession of
the same. He averred that the donation to him had the effect of withdrawing the
earlier transfer to Amelita.
For her part, Amelita maintained that the donation to petitioner is void because: a)
Fermina was no longer the owner of the property when it was allegedly donated to
petitioner, the property having been transferred earlier to her; and b) there was a lack
of approval from the Bureau of Lands, and that she had validly acquired the land as
Fermina's rightful heir. She also denied that she is a trustee of the land for petitioner.
After trial, the RTC rendered a decision in favor of petitioner, On appeal, the Court of
Appeals reversed the RTC. Petitioner sought reconsideration, but it was denied by the
CA. Hence, the instant petition for certiorari
To prove she has a better claim, respondent Amelita Sola submitted a copy of OCT No.
3439 in her name and her husband's, 19 a Deed of Self-Adjudication and Transfer of
Rights20 over the property dated 1983 executed by Fermina in her favor, and a
certification from the municipal treasurer that she had been declaring the land as her
and her husband's property for tax purposes since 1993.21
For his part, petitioner Castorio Alvarico presented a Deed of Donation 22 dated January
4, 1984, showing that the lot was given to him by Fermina and according to him, he
immediately took possession in 1985 and continues in possession up to the present. 23
ISSUE: WON Petitioner has a better claim to the land


filed within the 10-yr prescriptive period under the Civil Code, not under the ROC.
Hence, this appeal.

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Petitioner principally relies on Articles 744 and 1544 of the New Civil Code, which
Art. 744. xxx Art. 1544. If the same thing should have been sold to different vendees,
the ownership shall be transferred to the person who may have first taken possession
thereof in good faith, if it should be movable property.
Should it be immovable property, the ownership shall belong to the person acquiring
it who in good faith first recorded it in the Registry of
Petitioner claims that pursuant to the abovementioned rules, he has a better right
over the property because he was first in material possession in good faith. However,
this allegation of bad faith on the part of Amelita Sola in acquiring the title is devoid of
evidentiary support.

The execution of public documents, as in the case of Affidavits of

Adjudication, is entitled to the presumption of regularity, hence convincing
evidence is required to assail and controvert them; and
It is undisputed that OCT No. 3439 was issued in 1989 in the name of
Amelita. It requires more than petitioner's bare allegation to defeat the
Original Certificate of Title which on its face enjoys the legal presumption of
regularity of issuance. A Torrens title, once registered, serves as notice to
the whole world. All persons must take notice and no one can plead
ignorance of its registration. 27

Even assuming that respondent Amelita Sola acquired title to the disputed property in
bad faith, only the State can institute reversion proceedings under Sec. 101 of the
Public Land Act.
(Sec. 101.All actions for reversion to the Government of lands of the public domain
or improvements thereon shall be instituted by the Solicitor General or the officer
acting in his stead, in the proper courts, in the name of the Republic of the

MELCHOR CARO, petitioner, vs. SUSANA SUCALDITO, respondent.

FACTS: Gregorio Caro bought a parcel of land known as Assessors Lot No. 160 from
Ruperto Gepilano as evidenced by a Deed of Sale2 dated October 21, 1953.
Thereafter, Gregorio Caro sold a portion of the said lot to his son Melchor Caro,
identified as Lot No. 4512 of the Cadastral survey of Nueva Valencia.
Melchor Caro applied for a free patent before the Bureau of Lands, District Land Office
No. 6-1, covering the said area of the property which he bought from his father. (Such
application was opposed by De la Cruz) The Regional Director rendered a
Decision canceling the said application upon verification of the records disclosed that
Assessors Lot No. 160 corresponds to Lot No. 4511 and not Lot No. 4512 claimed by
the protestant. Moreover, Ruperto Cepellano (sic) in his affidavit testified that what he
sold to Gregorio Caro is a land distinct and different from the land in question. Caro
filed a notice of appeal before the Regional Land Office in Iloilo City, however, the
appeal was dismissed on the ground of failure to file an appeal memorandum within
the reglementary period therefor.
Susana R. Sucaldito, as the buyer of Lot No. 4512, filed an Application for a Free
Patent7covering the said lot, and was issued Free Patent. Consequently, the Register
of Deeds of Iloilo City issued Original Certificate of Title (OCT) in her favor. Sucaldito
then filed a Petition for Writ of Possession 8 before the RTC of Iloilo City, which was
granted by the said court.
Caro filed a Complaint against Sucaldito for "Annulment of Title, Decision, Free Patent
and/or Recovery of Ownership and/or Possession with Damages" before the RTC of
Iloilo City. He later filed an amended complaint, 11 alleging that: a) he was the owner
of the subject lot, and had been in possession of the same "since 1953 and/or even
prior thereto in the concept of owner, adversely, openly, continuously and
notoriously."; b) that the said lot had been declared for tax purposes in his name and
that of his predecessors-in-interest, and that the corresponding land taxes had been
paid therefor; c) that Assessors Lot No. 160 had actually been divided into two lots,
namely, Lot No. 4511 and Lot No. 4512; and d) Sucaldito had actually been claiming
Lot No. 989 (Lot No. 4512), which was located two kilometers away. He lamented that
despite the overwhelming evidence proving his ownership and possession of the said
property, the Bureau of Lands did not award it to him.

In other words, a private individual may not bring an action for reversion or any
action which would have the effect of canceling a free patent and the corresponding
certificate of title issued on the basis thereof, such that the land covered thereby will
again form part of the public domain. Only the Solicitor General or the officer acting in
his stead may do so.29 Since Amelita Sola's title originated from a grant by the
government, its cancellation is a matter between the grantor and the
grantee.30 Clearly then, petitioner has no standing at all to question the validity of
Amelita's title. It follows that he cannot "recover" the property because, to begin with,
he has not shown that he is the rightful owner thereof.

Caro further alleged that since the issuance of the free patent over the subject lot in
favor of Sucaldito was wrongful and fraudulent, she had no right whatsoever over the
subject lot. Hence, as a "trustee of a constructive trust," she was obliged to return the
same to him as the lawful owner.

Anent petitioner's contention that it was the intention of Fermina for Amelita to hold
the property in trust for him, we held that if this was really the intention of Fermina,
then this should have been clearly stated in the Deed of Self-Adjudication executed in
1983, in the Deed of Donation executed in 1984, or in a subsequent instrument.
Absent any persuasive proof of that intention in any written instrument, we are not
prepared to accept petitioner's bare allegation concerning the donor's state of mind.

The trial court ruled in favor of the respondent and dismissed the petitioners
complaint. the trial court ruled that Caro had no personality to file the action for the
annulment of the free patent issued in favor of Sucaldito, which could only be brought
by the Solicitor General.

In her answer with counterclaim, Sucaldito interposed the fact that she intervened in
the proceedings on Caros application for a free patent over Lot No. 4512 before the
Bureau of Lands having bought the subject land from De la Cruz. Moreover, contrary
to the allegations of the petitioner, Lot No. 989 and Lot No. 4512 were one and the
same lot, as per the findings of the Bureau of Lands.


HELD: NO. (The appealed decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED. The
complaint filed by herein petitioner against respondent is declared properly
DISMISSED. Costs against petitioner.

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The trial court also declared that contrary to Caros claims, the evidence clearly
showed that Lot No. 4512, with an area of 70,677 square meters, was not included in
Assessors Lot No. 160

ISSUE: WON petitioner has a personality to file a suit for reconveyance of the subject

HELD: NO. Petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The Decision of the Court of Appeals
The petitioner is not the proper party to file an action for reconveyance that would
result in the reversion of the land to the government. The petitioner has no
personality to "recover" the property as he has not shown that he is the rightful owner
Under Section 2, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court,31 every action must be prosecuted or
defended in the name of the real party-in-interest, or one "who stands to be benefited
or injured by the judgment in the suit." Corollarily, legal standing has been defined as
a personal and substantial interest in the case, such that the party has sustained or
will sustain direct injury as a result of the challenged act. Interest means a material
interest in issue that is affected by the questioned act or instrument, as distinguished
from a mere incidental interest in the question involved. 32
Clearly then, a suit filed by one who is not a party-in-interest must be dismissed. In
this case, the petitioner, not being the owner of the disputed property but a mere
applicant for a free patent, cannot thus be considered as a party-in-interest with
personality to file an action for reconveyance.
In the present dispute, only the State can file a suit for reconveyance of a public land.
Therefore, not being the owners of the land but mere applicants for sales patents
thereon, respondents have no personality to file the suit. Neither will they be directly
affected by the judgment in such suit.34
In fact, Section 101 of Commonwealth Act No. 141 states
Section 101. All actions for the reversion to the government of lands of the public
domain or improvements thereon shall be instituted by the Solicitor General or the
officer acting in his stead, in the proper courts, in the name of the Commonwealth
[now Republic] of the Philippines.


Whether or not Court of Appeals gravely erred in ruling that the preferential
right of a parent to be appointed guardian over the persons and estate of the minors
is absolute
NO. This ruling finds support in Article 211 of the Family Code which provides:
Art. 211. The father and the mother shall jointly exercise parental authority over the
persons of their common children. In case of disagreement, the fathers decision shall
prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary. xxx.


Indeed, being the natural mother of minor Vincent, respondent has the
corresponding natural and legal right to his custody.



Petitioner, Bonifacia Vancil, is the mother of Reeder C. Vancil, a Navy

serviceman of the United States of America who died in the said country
and left his two children, Valerie who was at the time six years old, and
Vincent, two years old, both by his common-law wife, Helen G. Belmes
Bonifacia Vancil commenced before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City a
guardianship proceedings over the persons and properties of minors Valerie

The law vests on the father and mother joint parental authority over the
persons of their common children. In case of absence or death of either
parent, the parent present shall continue exercising parental authority. Only
in case of the parents death, absence or unsuitability may substitute
parental authority be exercised by the surviving grandparent
Petitioner, as the surviving grandparent, can exercise substitute parental
authority only in case of death, absence or unsuitability of
respondent.Considering that respondent is very much alive and has
exercised continuously parental authority over Vincent, petitioner has to


Caro elevated the case to the CA. CA dismissed.

and Vincent and claimed in the petition that the minors are residents of
Cebu City, Philippines and have an estate consisting of proceeds from their
fathers death pension benefits with a probable value of P100,000.00.
Later on, Bonifacia Vancil was appointed legal and judicial guardian over the
persons and estate of Valerie Vancil and Vincent Vancil Jr.
However, Helen Belmes followed her opposition with a motion for the
Removal of Guardian and Appointment of a New One, asserting that she is
the natural mother in actual custody of and exercising parental authority
over the subject minors at Maralag, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur where
they are permanently residing; that the petition was filed under an
improper venue; and that at the time the petition was filed Bonifacia Vancil
was a resident of 140 Hurliman Court, Canon City, Colorado, U.S.A. being a
naturalized American citizen.
RTC denied Belmes petition and instead ordered petitioner Bonifacia Vancil
to enter the office and perform her duties as such guardian upon the
posting of a bond of P50,000.00.
CA reversed and held that there is nothing on record of any reason at all
why Helen Belmes, the biological mother, should be deprived of her legal
rights as natural guardian of her minor children. To give away such privilege
from Helen would be an abdication and grave violation of the very basic
fundamental tenets in civil law and the constitution on family solidarity.
Hence, this petition

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prove, in asserting her right to be the minors guardian, respondents

unsuitability. Petitioner, however, has not proffered convincing evidence
showing that respondent is not suited to be the guardian of
Vincent. Petitioner merely insists that respondent is morally unfit as
guardian of Valerie considering that her (respondents) live-in partner raped
Valerie several times. But Valerie, being now of major age, is no longer a
subject of this guardianship proceeding.
Even assuming that respondent is unfit as guardian of minor Vincent, still
petitioner cannot qualify as a substitute guardian. It bears stressing that
she is an American citizen and a resident of Colorado. Obviously, she will
not be able to perform the responsibilities and obligations required of a
guardian. In fact, in her petition, she admitted the difficulty of discharging
the duties of a guardian by an expatriate, like her. To be sure, she will
merely delegate those duties to someone else who may not also qualify as a

ward or where his title thereto has been already judicially decided, may the
court direct its delivery to the guardian.
In effect, there can only be delivery or return of embezzled, concealed or
conveyed property of the ward, where the right or title of said ward is clear
and undisputable. However, where title to any property said to be
embezzled, concealed or conveyed is in dispute, as in this case, the
determination of said title or right whether in favour of the person said to
have embezzled, concealed or conveyed the property must be determined
in a separate ordinary action and not in guardianship proceedings.
Apparently, there is a cloud of doubt as to who has a better right or title to
the disputed properties.
This, the Court believes, requires the determination of title or ownership of
the three parcels of land in dispute which is beyond the jurisdiction of the
guardianship court and should be threshed out in a separate ordinary action
not in a guardianship proceeding.


The Judge of CFI Quezon, Branch IV, Calauag authorized and approved,
upon motion of Francisco Rodriguez Jr, guardian of Soledad Rodriguez, the
sale to spouses Luis Parco and Virginia Bautista 3 parcels of land to answer
for the medical expenses of the ward Rodriguez.
Almost a year and five months later, the guardian of Rodriguez filed a
petition in the CFI invoking Sec. 6 Rule 96, praying that an order be issued
requiring the couple Parco and Bautista to appear before the court so that
they can be examined as regards to the 3 lots which are allegedly in danger
of being lost, squandered, concealed, and embezzled and upon failure to do
so or to comply with any order that may be issued in relation therewith. The
guardian alleges that the transaction was in fact a loan to be paid in 3
months but upon the expiration of the period thereof, the couple refused to
sell back such property of the ward.
CFI judge, exercising limited and special jurisdiction as a guardianship court
under Sec 6 Rule 96 ruled in favor of the of the guardian and ordered the
reconveyance and delivery of the property to the ward.

Whether or not the CFI judge, exercising limited and special jurisdiction as
a guardianship court, had jurisdiction to adjudicate the issue of ownership and order
the reconveyance and delivery of the property to the ward?

No. Generally, the guardianship court exercising special and limited

jurisdiction cannot actually order the delivery of the property of the ward
found to be embezzled, concealed or conveyed. In categorical language of
this Court, only in extreme cases, where property clearly belongs to the