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G.R. No.

L-23770

February 18, 1926

Pablo Rocha. Lastly, it appears that Magin and Consolacion Riosa are the nearest relatives within the third degree of
the line from which this property came.

MAGIN
RIOSA, plaintiff-appellant,
vs.
PABLO ROCHA, MARCELINA CASAS, MARIA CORRAL and CONSOLACION R. DE CALLEJA, defendantsappellees.
Domingo
Mariano Locsin for appellees.

Imperial

for

This action was brought by Magin Riosa, for whom the property should have been reserved, against Maria Corral,
whose duty it was to reserve it, and against Marcelina Casas and Pablo Rocha as purchasers of parcels 10 and 11.
Consolacion Riosa de Calleja who was also bound to make the reservation was included as a defendant as she
refused to join as plaintiff.

appellant

AVANCEÑA, C.J.:
Maria Corral was united in marriage with the deceased Mariano Riosa, it being her first and only marriage and during
which time she bore him three children named Santiago, Jose and Severina. The latter died during infancy and the
other two survived their father, Mariano Riosa. Santiago Riosa, no deceased, married Francisca Villanueva, who bore
him two children named Magin and Consolacion Riosa. Jose Riosa, also deceased, married Marcelina Casas and
they had one child who died before the father, the latter therefore leaving no issue. Mariano Riosa left a will dividing
his property between his two children, Santiago and Jose Riosa, giving the latter the eleven parcels of land described
in the complaint. Upon the death of Jose Riosa he left a will in which he named his wife, Marcelina Casas, as his only
heir.
On May 16, 1917, the will of Jose Riosa was filed for probate. Notwithstanding the fact that Marcelina Casas was the
only heir named in the will, on account of the preterition of Maria Corral who, being the mother of Jose Riosa, was his
legitimate heir, I Marcelina Casas and Maria Corral, on the same date of the filing of the will for probate, entered into a
contract by which they divided between themselves the property left by Jose Riosa, the eleven parcels of land
described in the complaint being assigned to Maria Corral.
On October 26, 1920, Maria Corral sold parcels Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 and 11 to Marcelina Casas for the sum of
P20,000 in a public instrument which was recorded in the registry of deeds on November 6, 1920. On November 3,
1920, Marcelina Casas sold these eight parcels of land to Pablo Rocha for the sum of P60,000 in a public document
which was recorded in the registry of deeds on November 6, 1920. On September 24, 1921, Pablo Rocha returned
parcels No. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 to Maria Corral stating in the deed executed for the purpose that these parcels of land
had been erroneously included in the sale made by Maria Corral to Marcelina Casas.
The Court of first Instance denied the probate of the will of Jose Riosa, but on appeal this court reversed the decision
of the lower court and allowed the will to probate. 1 The legal proceedings for the probate of the will and the settlement
of the testate estate of Jose Riosa were followed; and, at the time of the partition, Maria Corral and Marcelina Casas
submitted to the court the contract of extrajudicial partition which they had entered into on May 16, 1917, and which
was approved by the court, by order of November 12, 1920, as though it had been made within the said testamentary
proceedings.
From the foregoing is appears that the eleven parcels of land described in the complaint were acquired by Jose
Riosa, by lucrative title, from his father Mariano Riosa and that after the death of Jose Riosa, by operation of law, they
passed to his mother Maria Corral. By virtue of article 811 of the Civil Code these eleven parcels of land are
reservable property. It results, furthermore, that parcels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 still belong in fee simple to Maria
Corral, and that parcels 10 and 11 were successively sold by Maria Corral to Marcelina Casas and by the latter to

The complaint prays that the property therein described be declared reservable property and that the plaintiffs Jose
and Consolacion Riosa be declared reservees; that this reservation be noted in the registry of deeds; that the sale of
parcels 10 and 11 to Marcelina Casas and Pablo Rocha be declared valid only in so far as it saves the right of
reservation in favor of the plaintiff Magin Riosa and of the defendant Consolacion Riosa, and that this right of
reservation be also noted on the deeds of sale executed in favor of Marcelina Casas and Pablo Rocha; that Maria
Corral, Marcelina Casas and Pablo Rocha give a bond of P50,000, with good and sufficient sureties, in favor of the
reservees as surety for the conservation and maintenance of the improvements existing on the said reservable
property. The dispositive part of the court's decision reads as follows:
For the foregoing reasons it is held:
1. That the eleven parcels of land described in paragraph 6 of the complaint have the character of
reservable property; 2. That the defendant Maria Corral, being compelled to make the reservation, must
reserve them in favor of the plaintiff Magin Riosa and the defendant Consolacion Riosa de Calleja in case
that either of these should survive her; 3. That Magin Riosa and Consolacion Riosa de Calleja have the
right, in case that Maria Corral should die before them, to receive the said parcels or their equivalent.
In virtue whereof, the defendant Maria Corral is ordered: 1. To acknowledge the right of Magin Riosa and
Consolacion Riosa de Calleja to the reservation of the said parcels of lands described in the complaint,
which she shall expressly record in the registration of said lands in the office of the register of deeds of
this province; 2. To insure the delivery of said parcels of lands, or their equivalent, to Magin Riosa and
Consolacion Riosa de Calleja, should either of them survive her, either by a mortgage thereon or by a
bond in the amount of P30,000, without express pronouncement as to costs.
The other defendants are absolved from the complaint.
Inasmuch as the reservation from its inception imposes obligations upon the reservor (reservista) and creates rights
in favor of the reservation (reservatarios) it is of the utmost importance to determine the time when the land acquired
the character of reservable property.
It will be remembered that on May 16, 1917, Maria Corral and Marcelina Casas entered into a contract of extrajudicial
partition of the property left by Jose Riosa, in which they assigned to Maria Corral, as her legitime, the parcels of land
here in question, and at the same time petitioned for the probate of the will of Jose Riosa and instituted the
testamentary proceeding. In support of the legality of the extrajudicial partition between Maria Corral and Marcelina
Casas the provision of section 596 of the Code of Civil Procedure is invoked, which authorizes the heirs of a person
dying without a will to make a partition without the intervention of the courts whenever the heirs are all of age and the
deceased has left no debts. But this legal provisions refers expressly to intestate estates and, of course, excludes
testate estates like the one now before us.

When the deceased has left a will the partition of his property must be made in accordance therewith. According to
section 625 of the same Code no will can pass property until it is probated. And even after being probated it cannot
pass any property if its provisions impair the legitime fixed by law in favor of certain heirs. Therefore, the probate of
the will and the validity of the testamentary provisions must be passed upon by the court.
For the reasons stated, and without making any express finding as to the efficacy of the extrajudicial partition made
by Maria Corral and Marcelina Casas, we hold that for the purposes of the reservation and the rights and obligations
arising thereunder in connection with the favored relatives, the property cannot be considered as having passed to
Maria Corral but from the date when the said partition was approved by the court, that is, on November 12, 1920. In
the case of Pavia vs. De la Rosa (8 Phil., 70), this court laid down the same doctrine in the following language:
The provisions of Act No. 190 (Code of Civil Procedure) have annulled the provisions of article 1003 and
others of the Civil Code with regard to the pure or simple acceptance of the inheritance of a deceased
person or that made with benefit of inventory and the consequences thereof.
xxx

xxx

xxx

The heir legally succeeds the deceased from whom he derives his right and title, but only after the
liquidation of the estate, the payment of the debts of same, and the adjudication of the residue of the
estate of the deceased, and in the meantime the only person in charge by law to attend to all claims
against the estate of the deceased debtor is the executor or administrator appointed by a competent
court.
As has been indicated, parcels 10 and 11 described in the complaint were first sold by Maria Corral to Marcelina
Casas who later sold them to Pablo Rocha. In this appeal it is urged that Marcelina Casas and Pablo Rocha, who
were absolved by the court below, be ordered to acknowledge the reservation as to parcels 10 and 11, acquired by
them, and to have the said reservation noted on their titles. This argument, of course, is useless as to Marcelina
Casas for the reason that she transferred all her rights to Pablo Rocha.
It has been held by jurisprudence that the provisions of the law referred to in article 868 tending to assure the efficacy
of the reservation by the surviving spouse are applicable to the reservation known as "reserva troncal," referred to in
article 811, which is the reservation now under consideration.
In accordance with article 977, Maria Corral, reservor, is obliged to have the reservation noted in the registry of deeds
in accordance with the provisions of the Mortgage Law which fixes the period of ninety days for accomplishing it
(article 199, in relation with article 191, of the Mortgage Law). According to article 203 of the General Regulation for
the application of the Mortgage Law, this time must be computed from the acceptance of the inheritance. But as this
portion of the Civil Code, regarding the acceptance of the inheritance, has been repealed, the time, as has been
indicated, must be computed from the adjudication of the property by the court to the heirs, in line with the decision of
this court hereinabove quoted. After the expiration of this period the reservees may demand compliance with this
obligation.
If Maria Corral had not transferred parcels 10 and 11 to another there would be no doubt that she could be compelled
to cause the reservable character of this property to be noted in the registry of deeds. This land having been sold to
Marcelina Casas who, in turn, sold it to Pablo Rocha the question arises whether the latter can be compelled to have
this reservation noted on his title. This acquisition by Pablo Rocha took place when it was the duty of Maria Corral to
make the notation of the reservation in the registry and at the time when the reservees had no right to compel Maria
Corral to make such notation, because this acquisition was made before the expiration of the period of ninety days

from November 12, 1920, the date of the adjudication by the court, after which the right of the reservees to
commence an action for the fulfillment of the obligation arose. But the land first passed to Marcelina Casas and later
to Pablo Rocha together with the obligation that the law imposes upon Maria Corral. They could not have acquired a
better title than that held by Maria Corral and if the latter's title was limited by the reservation and the obligation to
note it in the registry of deeds, this same limitation is attached to the right acquired by Marcelina Casas and Pablo
Rocha.
In the transmission of reservable property the law imposes the reservation as a resolutory condition for the benefit of
the reservees (article 975, Civil Code). The fact that the resolvable character of the property was not recorded in the
registry of deed at the time that it was acquired by Marcelina Casas and Pablo Rocha cannot affect the right of the
reservees, for the reason that the transfers were made at the time when it was the obligation of the reservor to note
only such reservation and the reservees did not them have any right to compel her to fulfill such an obligation.
Marcelina Casas, as well as Pablo Rocha, Knew of the reservable character of the property when they bought it. They
had knowledge of the provisions of the last will and testament of Mariano Riosa by virtue of which these parcels were
transferred to Jose Riosa. Pablo Rocha was one of the legatees in the will. Marcelina Casas was the one who
entered into the contract of partition with Maria Corral, whereby these parcels were adjudicated to the latter, as a
legitimate heir of Jose Riosa. Pablo Rocha was the very person who drafted the contracts of sale of these parcels of
land by Maria Corral to Marcelina Casas and by the latter to himself. These facts, together with the relationship
existing between Maria Corral and Marcelina Casas and Pablo Rocha, the former a daughter-in-law and the latter a
nephew of Maria Corral, amply support the conclusion that both of them knew that these parcels of land had been
inherited by Maria Corral, as her legitime from her son Jose Riosa who had inherited them, by will, from his father
Mariano Riosa, and were reservable property. Wherefore, the duty of Maria Corral of recording the reservable
character of lots 10 and 11 has been transferred to Pablo Rocha and the reservees have an action against him to
compel him to comply with this obligation.
The appellant also claims that the obligation imposed upon Maria Corral of insuring the return of these parcels of
land, or their value, to the reservees by means of a mortgage or a bond in the amount of P30,000, also applies to
Pablo Rocha. The law does not require that the reservor give this security, the recording of the reservation in the
registry of deeds being sufficient (art. 977 of the Civil Code). There is no ground for this requirement inasmuch as, the
notation once is made, the property will answer for the efficacy of the reservation. This security for the value of the
property is required by law (art. 978, paragraph 4, of the Civil Code) in the case of a reservation by the surviving
spouse when the property has been sold before acquiring the reservable character (art 968 of the Civil Code), but is
not applicable to reservation known as reserva troncal (art 811 of the Civil Code). In the case of Dizon and Dizon vs.
Galang (page 601, ante), this court held that:
* * * As already intimated, the provisions of the law tending to give efficacy to a reservation by the
widowed spouse mentioned in article 968 are applicable to the reserva troncal provided for in article 811.
But as these two reservations vary in some respects, these rules may be applied to the reserva
troncal only in so far as the latter is similar to a reservation by the widowed spouse. In the reserva
troncal the property goes to the reservor as reservable property and it remains so until the reservation
takes place or is extinguished. In a reservation by the widowed spouse there are two distinct stages, one
when the property goes to the widower without being reservable, and the other when the widower
contracts a second marriage, whereupon the property, which theretofore has been in his possession free
of any encumbrance, becomes reservable. These two stages also affect differently the transfer that may
be made of the property. If the property is sold during the first stage, before becoming reservable, it is
absolutely free and is transferred to the purchaser unencumbered. But if the sale is made during the
second stage, that is, when the duty to reserve has arisen, the property goes to the purchaser subject to
the reservation, without prejudice to the provisions of the Mortgage Law. This is the reason why the law
provides that should the property be sold before it becomes reservable, or before the widower contracts

another marriage, he will be compelled to secure the value of the property by a mortgage upon
contracting a new marriage, so that the reservation may not lose its efficacy and that the rights of those
for whom the reservation is made may be assured. This mortgage is not required by law when the sale is
made after the reservation will follow the property, without prejudice to the contrary provisions of the
Mortgage Law and the rights of innocent purchasers, there being no need to secure the value of the
property since it is liable for the efficacy of the reservation by a widowed spouse to secure the value of
the property sold by the widower, before becoming reservable are not applicable to the reserva troncal
where the property goes to the ascendant already reservable in character. A sale in the case of reserva
troncal might be analogous to a sale made by the widower after contacting a second marriage in the case
of a reservation by the widowed spouse.

was already in force, which Code permitted the execution of holographic wills, under a liberal view, and to carry out
the intention of the testator which according to the trial court is the controlling factor and may override any defect in
form, said trial court by order dated January 24, 1952, admitted to probate Exhibit "A", as the Last Will and Testament
of Father Sancho Abadia. The oppositors are appealing from that decision; and because only questions of law are
involved in the appeal, the case was certified to us by the Court of Appeals.

Since Maria Corral did not appeal, we cannot modify the appealed judgment in so far as it is unfavorable to her. As
she has been ordered to record in the registry the reservable character of the other parcels of land, the subject of this
action, the questions raised by the appellant as to her are decided.

The new Civil Code (Republic Act No. 386) under article 810 thereof provides that a person may execute a
holographic will which must be entirely written, dated and signed by the testator himself and need not be witnessed. It
is a fact, however, that at the time that Exhibit "A" was executed in 1923 and at the time that Father Abadia died in
1943, holographic wills were not permitted, and the law at the time imposed certain requirements for the execution of
wills, such as numbering correlatively each page (not folio or sheet) in letters and signing on the left hand margin by
the testator and by the three attesting witnesses, requirements which were not complied with in Exhibit "A" because
the back pages of the first two folios of the will were not signed by any one, not even by the testator and were not
numbered, and as to the three front pages, they were signed only by the testator.

The judgment appealed from is modified and Pablo Rocha is ordered to record in the registry of deeds the reservable
character of parcels 10 11, the subject of this complaint, without special pronouncement as to costs. So ordered.

Interpreting and applying this requirement this Court in the case of In re Estate of Saguinsin, 41 Phil., 875, 879,
referring to the failure of the testator and his witnesses to sign on the left hand margin of every page, said:

G.R. No. L-7188

August 9, 1954

In
re:
Will
and
Testament
of
SEVERINA
A.
VDA.
DE
vs.
MIGUEL ABADIA, ET AL., oppositors-appellants.
Manuel A. Zosa, Luis B.
C. de la Victoria for appellees.

Ladonga,

the

deceased
ENRIQUEZ,

Mariano A.

REVEREND
SANCHO
ABADIA.
ET
AL., petitioners-appellees,

. . . . This defect is radical and totally vitiates the testament. It is not enough that the signatures
guaranteeing authenticity should appear upon two folios or leaves; three pages having been written on,
the authenticity of all three of them should be guaranteed by the signature of the alleged testatrix and her
witnesses.
And in the case of Aspe vs. Prieto, 46 Phil., 700, referring to the same requirement, this Court declared:

Zosa

and

B.

G. Advincula

for

appellants.

MONTEMAYOR, J.:
On September 6, 1923, Father Sancho Abadia, parish priest of Talisay, Cebu, executed a document purporting to be
his Last Will and Testament now marked Exhibit "A". Resident of the City of Cebu, he died on January 14, 1943, in
the municipality of Aloguinsan, Cebu, where he was an evacuee. He left properties estimated at P8,000 in value. On
October 2, 1946, one Andres Enriquez, one of the legatees in Exhibit "A", filed a petition for its probate in the Court of
First Instance of Cebu. Some cousins and nephews who would inherit the estate of the deceased if he left no will,
filed opposition.
During the hearing one of the attesting witnesses, the other two being dead, testified without contradiction that in his
presence and in the presence of his co-witnesses, Father Sancho wrote out in longhand Exhibit "A" in Spanish which
the testator spoke and understood; that he (testator) signed on he left hand margin of the front page of each of the
three folios or sheets of which the document is composed, and numbered the same with Arabic numerals, and finally
signed his name at the end of his writing at the last page, all this, in the presence of the three attesting witnesses after
telling that it was his last will and that the said three witnesses signed their names on the last page after the
attestation clause in his presence and in the presence of each other. The oppositors did not submit any evidence.
The learned trial court found and declared Exhibit "A" to be a holographic will; that it was in the handwriting of the
testator and that although at the time it was executed and at the time of the testator's death, holographic wills were
not permitted by law still, because at the time of the hearing and when the case was to be decided the new Civil Code

From an examination of the document in question, it appears that the left margins of the six pages of the
document are signed only by Ventura Prieto. The noncompliance with section 2 of Act No. 2645 by the
attesting witnesses who omitted to sign with the testator at the left margin of each of the five pages of the
document alleged to be the will of Ventura Prieto, is a fatal defect that constitutes an obstacle to its
probate.
What is the law to apply to the probate of Exh. "A"? May we apply the provisions of the new Civil Code which not
allows holographic wills, like Exhibit "A" which provisions were invoked by the appellee-petitioner and applied by the
lower court? But article 795 of this same new Civil Code expressly provides: "The validity of a will as to its form
depends upon the observance of the law in force at the time it is made." The above provision is but an expression or
statement of the weight of authority to the affect that the validity of a will is to be judged not by the law enforce at the
time of the testator's death or at the time the supposed will is presented in court for probate or when the petition is
decided by the court but at the time the instrument was executed. One reason in support of the rule is that although
the will operates upon and after the death of the testator, the wishes of the testator about the disposition of his estate
among his heirs and among the legatees is given solemn expression at the time the will is executed, and in reality, the
legacy or bequest then becomes a completed act. This ruling has been laid down by this court in the case of In re Will
of Riosa, 39 Phil., 23. It is a wholesome doctrine and should be followed.
Of course, there is the view that the intention of the testator should be the ruling and controlling factor and that all
adequate remedies and interpretations should be resorted to in order to carry out said intention, and that when
statutes passed after the execution of the will and after the death of the testator lessen the formalities required by law
for the execution of wills, said subsequent statutes should be applied so as to validate wills defectively executed
according to the law in force at the time of execution. However, we should not forget that from the day of the death of
the testator, if he leaves a will, the title of the legatees and devisees under it becomes a vested right, protected under

commending on article 657 of the Civil Code of Spain. the pertinent parts of which are thus summarized in the appealed decision: 1st. 3rd. pp. Sec. 231. The fact that it has not been recorded is of no consequence. Miel appellee. The decision will be affirmed subject to the reservation. Article 657 of the old Civil Code provides: "The rights to the succession of a person are transmitted from the moment of his death.. Wills.R. On the other hand. the last purchaser. It is immaterial whether a short or long period of time lapses between the death of the predecessor and the entry into possession of the property of the inheritance because the right is always deemed to be retroactive from the moment of death. CV No. defendant in the instant case. Winstanley.700. — That Leonard j. ALIPIO ABAJA and NOEL ABELLAR. — That the two deeds of sale referred to above were not registered and have never been registered up to the date. de Winstanley as may be appropriate for such damages as they may have incurred by reason of the voiding of the sale in their favor. 1947. he left a parcel of land described under Transfer Certificate of title No. — That on May 24. 2005] 2nd. J. alleging among other things. January 31. 47644. No formal or judicial declaration being needed to confirm the children's title. when one executes a will which is invalid for failure to observe and follow the legal requirements at the time of its execution then upon his death he should be regarded and declared as having died intestate. Po. and no subsequent law with more liberal requirements or which dispenses with such requirements as to execution should be allowed to validate a defective will and thereby divest the heirs of their vested rights in the estate by intestate succession. 7th. In view of the foregoing. the sole question for determination is the validity of the sale to Esperanza M. J. the order appealed from is reversed. the surviving spouse Catalina Navarro Vda. 317. This question in turn depends upon the validity of the prior ale to Maria Canoy and Roberto Canoy. Jur. . the sale to the defendant having been made by authority of the competent court was undeniably legal and effective. in consideration of P1. [G. whether such right be pure or contingent. vs. the former having died on June 6.R. after her appointment as guardian of her children by this court (Special proceeding no. The general rule is that the Legislature can not validate void wills (57 Am. The Court of Appeals sustained the Resolution [3] of the Regional Trial Court of Kabankalan. 6th. plaintiff-appellant. 2391 of the Registry of Deeds of the Province of Cebu. de Winstanley sold the entire parcel of land to the spouses Maria Canoy. the spouses Maria Canoy and Roberto Canoy sold the same parcel of land to the plaintiff in this case named Bienvenido A. 192193). Before the Court is a petition for review [1] assailing the Decision[2] of the Court of Appeals of 12 January 2001 in CA-G. de Winstanley. defendant-appellant. 1946. petitioner. L-5064 Manresa. along with the other half. Ebarle. BELINDA CAPONONG-NOBLE. A. CARPIO. 1953 BIENVENIDO vs.) appellant. Po. it follows that the first sale was null and void in so far as it included the children's share.R. — That on January 17. and his heirs will then inherit by intestate succession. No. 1946 leaving heir the surviving spouse and some minor children. As stated by the trial Judge. 1948 surviving spouse Catalina Navarro Vda. By parity of reasoning. — hat upon the death of L. that she needed money for the support of her children. The case was submitted for decision upon an agreed statement of facts. this article is incorporated in the new Civil Code as article 777. — That the above mentioned property was a conjugal property. respondents. G. says: February 27. judgment was against the plaintiff. DECISION 4th. The above provision and comment make it clear that when Catalina Navarro Vda.: The Case 5th. and Exhibit "A" is denied probate. IBARLE. TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE ALIPIO ABADA.: This action commenced in the Court of First Instance of Cebu to annul a deed of sale conveying to the defendant. de Winstanley sold the entire parcel to the Canoy spouses. Branch 61 (RTC-Kabankalan). of the right of the plaintitff and/or the Canoy spouses to bring such action against Catalina Navarro Vda. (5 Manresa. made in said decision. No. Mar for The moment of death is the determining factor when the heirs acquire a definite right to the inheritance. Winstanley and Catalina Navarro were husband and wife. If registration were necessary. — That on April 15. still the non-registration would not avail the plaintiff because it was due to no other cause than his own opposition." in a slightly different language. Negros Occidental. Tumulak and Conchita F. With costs. by the same vendor to the plaintiff's grantors. 147145. ESPERANZA M. PO. admitting to probate the last will and testament of Alipio Abada (Abada). one-half of it already belonged to the seller's children. TUASON. which portion belongs to the children of the above named spouses. 212-R) sold one-half of the land mentioned above to Esperanza M.J. one undivided half of a parcel of land which previously had been sold.the due process clause of the constitution against a subsequent change in the statute adding new legal requirements of execution of wills which would invalidate such a will. Quirico del Daniel P.

(2) it was not intended as the last will of the testator. The Issues On 13 September 1968. also opposed the petition. for the probate of the last will and testament of Toray. the present recourse by Caponong-Noble.). Joel Abada. Whether the will of Abada has an attestation clause. namely. and if so. 2. Teodora and Elena Abada (Joel Abada. the alleged intestate heirs of Abada. that there is substantial compliance with the formalities of a Will as the law directs and that the petitioner through his testimony and the deposition of Felix Gallinero was able to establish the regularity of the execution of the said Will and further. et al. opposed the petition on the same grounds they cited in SP No. Nicanor Caponong (Caponong) opposed the petition on the ground that Abada left no will when he died in 1940.The Antecedent Facts Mrs.00) Pesos. Caponong filed a petition[7] before the RTC-Kabankalan. Alipio filed another petition[6] before the RTC-Kabankalan. The petition raises the following issues: On 20 September 1968. as follows: There having been sufficient notice to the heirs as required by law. et al. whether the attestation clause complies with the requirements of the applicable laws.). during the proceedings.000. Hence. the RTC-Kabankalan rendered a Resolution dated 22 June 1994. The laws in force at that time are the Civil Code of 1889 or the Old Civil Code. Hernani and Carmela Tronco (Levi Tronco. SO ORDERED. Since the oppositors did not file any motion for reconsideration. that is. Abada allegedly named as his testamentary heirs his natural children Eulogio Abaja (Eulogio) and Rosario Cordova. The oppositors are the nephews. for the probate of the last will and testament (will) of Abada. the Last Will and Testament of Alipio Abada dated June 4. [9]Caponong-Noble moved for the dismissal of the petition for probate of the will of Abada. Thus. docketed as SP No. On 13 September 1968. Not satisfied with the Resolution. 1932 is admitted and allowed probate. the present administratrix of the estate of Alipio Abada shall continue discharging her duties as such until further orders from this Court. The RTC-Kabankalan denied the motion in an Order dated 20 August 1991. the RTC-Kabankalan admitted to probate the will of Toray. Citing the same grounds invoked by Caponong. Julian. As prayed for by counsel. 4. Presiding Judge Rodolfo S. Caponong. Whether the will must expressly state that it is written in a language or dialect known to the testator. Evangeline. whether the will of Abada has an attestation clause as required by law. Paz. In a Decision promulgated on 12 January 2001. the RTC-Kabankalan designated Belinda Caponong-Noble (CaponongNoble) Special Administratrix of the estate of Abada and Toray. Noel Abbellar is appointed administrator of the estate of Paula Toray who shall discharge his duties as such after letters of administration shall have been issued in his favor and after taking his oath and filing a bond in the amount of Ten Thousand (P10. Alipio is the son of Eulogio. The RTC-Kabankalan further held that the failure of the oppositors to raise any other matter forecloses all other issues. Noble. Florian. and (3) it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of the beneficiaries. or substitution of the said Will. Geronimo. The Ruling of the Court The Court of Appeals did not err in sustaining the RTC-Kabankalan in admitting to probate the will of Abada. and Act No. the Court of Appeals affirmed the Resolution of the RTCKabankalan. Whether Caponong-Noble is precluded from raising the issue of whether the will of Abada is written in a language known to Abada.. What laws apply to the probate of the last will of Abada. nieces and grandchildren of Abada and Toray. 5. Caponong further alleged that the will.[13] In an Order dated 14 August 1981. Whether evidence aliunde may be resorted to in the probate of the will of Abada. Joel. . Both died without legitimate children. former Presiding Judge Edgardo Catilo had already submitted the case for decision. praying for the issuance in his name of letters of administration of the intestate estate of Abada and Toray. Layumas discovered that in an Order dated 16 March 1992. 6. Caponong-Noble filed a notice of appeal. 3.[12] The RTC-Kabankalan ruled on the only issue raised by the oppositors in their motions to dismiss the petition for probate. Abaja (Alipio) filed with the then Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental (now RTC-Kabankalan) a petition. Belinda C. 071 (312-8669). Alipio C. 070 (313-8668). Abada died sometime in May 1940. et al. Antonio. the order allowing the probate of Torays will became final and executory. [4] His widow Paula Toray (Toray) died sometime in September 1943. 190 or the Code of Civil Procedure [14] which governed the execution of wills before the enactment of the New Civil Code.[8] In an order dated 23 November 1990. if Abada really executed it. 070 (313-8668). The Applicable Law Abada executed his will on 4 June 1932. there being no evidence of bad faith and fraud. and Levi Tronco. [11] 1. et al. The appellate court found that the RTC-Kabankalan properly admitted to probate the will of Abada. docketed as SP No. and Levi. 069 (309). Humberto.[10] Sometime in 1993. Whether the will of Abada requires acknowledgment before a notary public.[5] docketed as SP No. Leandro. should be disallowed for the following reasons: (1) it was not executed and attested as required by law.

The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will. in cases falling under Articles 700 and 701. in the presence of three witnesses. should they not know him. [15] governs the form of the attestation clause of Abadas will. On this issue.The matter in dispute in the present case is the attestation clause in the will of Abada. are also required to know the testator. [24] In addition. Y en testimonio de ello. or caused some other person to write his name. However. and by his express direction. The notary and two of the witnesses who authenticate the will must be acquainted with the testator. and the witnesses witnessed and signed the will and all pages of the will in the presence of the testator and of each other. habiendo tambien el testador firmado en nuestra presencia en el margen izquierdo de todas y cada una de las hojas del mismo. [28] Caponong-Noble proceeds to point out several defects in the attestation clause. thus: Art. (3) The will must be attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of each other. SEC. and by his express direction. the language used in the will is part of the requisites under Section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure and the Court deems it proper to pass upon this issue. Caponong-Nobles contention must still fail. She alleges that such defect is fatal and must result in the disallowance of the will. Under the Code of Civil Procedure. unless it be written in the language or dialect known by the testator and signed by him. the Court of Appeals held that the matter was not raised in the motion to dismiss. in the presence of three witnesses. Nevertheless. he shall be identified by two witnesses who are acquainted with him and are known to the notary and to the attesting witnesses. nor charge or affect the same. in their judgment. (2) The will must be signed by the testator. cada uno de nosotros lo firmamos en presencia de nosotros y del testador al pie de este documento y en el margen izquierdo de todas y cada una de las dos hojas de que esta compuesto el mismo. However. 2645. and the latter witnessed and signed the will and all pages thereof in the presence of the testator and of each other. There is no statutory requirement to state in the will itself that the testator knew the language or dialect used in the will. real or personal. the Code of Civil Procedure [22] repealed Article 685 of the Old Civil Code. while Article 806 of the Old Civil Code defines a legitime. and the fact that the testator signed the will and every page thereof. as aforesaid. shall also sign. The notary and the witnesses shall also endeavor to assure themselves that the testator has. the legal capacity required to make a will. and that it is now too late to raise the issue on appeal. The Attestation Clause of Abadas Will A scrutiny of Abadas will shows that it has an attestation clause. as amended. or by the testators name written by some other person in his presence. No will. in his testimony. and the fact that the testator signed the will and every page of the will. Abadas will does not require acknowledgment before a notary public. Caponong-Noble asserts that the will of Abada does not indicate that it is written in a language or dialect known to the testator. (6) The attestation shall state the number of sheets or pages used. . She cites in particular Articles 804 and 805 of the Old Civil Code. the intervention of a notary is not necessary in the execution ofany will. Further. Section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. under his express direction. [17] shall be valid to pass any estate. (5) The pages of the will must be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each sheet. Article 804 of the New Civil Code is taken from Section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. upon which the will is written. on the left margin. (4) The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will must sign each and every page of the will on the left margin.[26] Caponong-Noble further argues that Alipio. 804. as amended by Act No. [25] This is a matter that a party may establish by proof aliunde. Alipio testified that Abada used to gather Spanish-speaking people in their place. or caused some other person to write his name. upon which the will is written. to show that Abada knew or understood the contents of the will and the Spanish language used in the will. las cuales estan paginadas correlativamente con las letras UNO y DOS en la parte superior de la carrilla.[23] Therefore.[19] Article 804 of the Old Civil Code is about the rights and obligations of administrators of the property of an absentee. We agree with Caponong-Noble that the doctrine of estoppel does not apply in probate proceedings. under his express direction. has failed. 618. or by the testators name written by some other person in his presence. [20] Article 806 of the New Civil Code is taken from Article 685 of the Old Civil Code[21] which provides: Requisites of a Will under the Code of Civil Procedure Under Section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. and said pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each sheet. Abada and his companions would talk in the Spanish language. 806. The attestation clause of Abadas will reads: Suscrito y declarado por el testador Alipio Abada como su ultima voluntad y testamento en presencia de nosotros. the requisites of a will are the following: Art. among others. Every will must be in writing and executed in [a] language or dialect known to the testator. provides: Caponong-Noble actually cited Articles 804 and 806 of the New Civil Code. or. In these gatherings. xxx [18] Caponong-Noble points out that nowhere in the will can one discern that Abada knew the Spanish language. The attestation shall state the number of sheets or pages used. (1) The will must be written in the language or dialect known by the testator.[27] This sufficiently proves that Abada speaks the Spanish language. [16] Section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. and attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of each other. Art. 685. Caponong-Noble alleges that the attestation clause fails to state the number of pages on which the will is written. Every will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses. except as provided in the preceding section. Requisites of will. Articles 804 and 806 of the New Civil Code are new provisions. each and every page thereof. Witnesses authenticating a will without the attendance of a notary. she maintains that the will is not acknowledged before a notary public.

WHEREFORE. The Court. the facts and circumstances of record are to be considered in the application of any given rule. need for presentation of evidencealiunde. nor does it open the door to serious consequences. not possible to lay down a general rule. This clear. cada uno de nosotros lo firmamos en presencia de nosotros y del testador. (Thompson on Wills.[30] the Court recognized that there are two divergent tendencies in the law on wills. Abadas will clearly shows four signatures: that of Abada and of three other persons. and JUAN MICIANO. J. 132. The English translation is: Subscribed and professed by the testator Alipio Abada as his last will and testament in our presence. they may still be proved. x x x [33] Ross.[34] (Emphasis supplied) The phrase en presencia de nosotros or in our presence coupled with the signatures appearing on the will itself and after the attestation clause could only mean that: (1) Abada subscribed to and professed before the three witnesses that the document was his last will. Lawrence Camus and Delgado for appellee. More than anything else. She then faults the Court of Appeals for applying to the present case the rule on substantial compliance found in Article 809 of the New Civil Code. They only permit a probe into the will. However. sec. It is sufficient if from the language employed it can reasonably be deduced that the attestation clause fulfills what the law expects of it. G. The phrase en el margen izquierdo de todas y cada una de las dos hojas de que esta compuesto el mismo which means in the left margin of each and every one of the two pages consisting of the same shows that the will consists of two pages. so that in case of failure of the memory of the subscribing witnesses.R. The pages are numbered correlatively with the letters ONE and TWO as can be gleaned from the phrase las cuales estan paginadas correlativamente con las letras UNO y DOS. The question on the number of the witnesses is answered by an examination of the will itself and without the ROMUALDEZ.The allegation has no merit.. The attestationclause clearly states that Abada signed the will and its every page in the presence of the witnesses. 1927 Testate Estate of Joseph vs. This clearly shows that the attesting witnesses witnessed the signing of the will of the testator. lean towards its admission to probate. one being based on strict construction and the other on liberal construction. On this point. contending that the rule on strict construction should apply. It is reasonable to conclude that there are three witnesses to the will. [29] The first sentence of the attestation clause reads: Suscrito y declarado por el testador Alipio Abada como su ultima voluntad y testamento en presencia de nosotros. and that each witness signed the will in the presence of one another and of the testator. of course. every one of us also signed in our presence and of the testator. Caponong-Noble alleges that the attestation clause does not expressly state the circumstances that the witnesses witnessed and signed the will and all its pages in the presence of the testator and of each other. appellant. in permanent form. In Dichoso. is cited with approval in later decisions of the Court. we AFFIRM the Decision of the Court of Appeals of 12 January 2001 in CA-G. In Adeva vda. held: x x x It is. arguing for liberal construction of applicable laws. Leynez. it is not imperative that a parrotlike copy of the words of the statute be made. 47644.[32] the petitioner. also cited a long series of cases to support his view. In English. the Court agrees with the appellate court in applying the rule on substantial compliance in determining the number of witnesses. and (2) Abada signed the will and the left margin of each page of the will in the presence of these three witnesses. this means in its witness. rigid and inflexible. after examining the cases invoked by the parties. should not be rejected where its attestation clause serves the purpose of the law. However. No. a close inspection of the will shows that three witnesses signed it. a record of the facts attending the execution of the will. the inclination should. an exploration within its confines. They do not allow evidence aliunde to fill a void in any part of the document or supply missing details that should appear in the will itself. therefore. While the attestation clause does not state the number of witnesses. thus: [T]he so-called liberal rule does not offer any puzzle or difficulty. 2d ed. Caponong-Noble is correct in saying that the attestation clause does not indicate the number of witnesses. Abangan. forgery or fraud. The Court explained the extent and limits of the rule on liberal construction. CV No. x x x. which would be applicable to all cases.[31] the basic case on the liberal construction. Brimo. An attestation clause is made for the purpose of preserving. or other casualty. to ascertain its meaning or to determine the existence or absence of the requisite formalities of law. habiendo tambien el testador firmado en nuestra presencia en el margen izquierdo de todas y cada una de las hojas del mismo. or other non-essential defect. SO ORDERED. sharp limitation eliminates uncertainty and ought to banish any fear of dire results. We rule to apply the liberal construction in the probate of Abadas will. for The partition of the estate left by the deceased Joseph G. This Court has applied the rule on substantial compliance even before the effectivity of the New Civil Code.: G. Brimo is in question in this case. In Dichoso de Ticson v. This Court has ruled: Precision of language in the drafting of an attestation clause is desirable. although the document may suffer from some imperfection of language.) A will. Selph administrator. Finally. De Leynez v.R. The later decisions do tell us when and where to stop. ANDRE BRIMO. the Court noted that Abangan v. petitioner-appellee. Caponong-Noble further alleges that the attestation clause fails to state expressly that the testator signed the will and its every page in the presence of three witnesses. and the instrument appears to have been executed substantially in accordance with the requirements of the law. . enumerated a long line of cases to support her argument while the respondent. De Gorostiza. in the absence of any suggestion of bad faith. opponent-appellant. they draw the dividing line with precision. the testator having also signed it in our presence on the left margin of each and every one of the pages of the same. L-22595 November 1. If the surrounding circumstances point to a regular execution of the will.[35] The last part of the attestation clause states en testimonio de ello.

is null and void. No. and the condition is that the instituted legatees must respect the testator's will to distribute his property. shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is in question. 1967 TESTATE ESTATE OF AMOS PEOPLE'S BANK and MARIA CRISTINA BELLIS and MIRIAM vs. BELLIS. Collector of Customs. but in accordance with the laws of the Philippines. legal and testamentary successions. without any pronouncement as to costs. TRUST PALMA BELLIS. The appellant's opposition is based on the fact that the partition in question puts into effect the provisions of Joseph G. such national law of the testator is the one to govern his testamentary dispositions. not in accordance with the laws of his nationality. this citizenship having been conferred upon me by conquest and not by free choice.The judicial administrator of this estate filed a scheme of partition. for article 792 of the civil Code provides the following: Nevertheless. The fact is. COMPANY. among other things. and the scheme of partition submitted by the judicial administrator is approved in all other respects. we find no abuse of discretion on the part of the court in this particular. in the light of the legal provisions above cited. and (5) the declaration that the Turkish laws are impertinent to this cause. And said condition is contrary to law because it expressly ignores the testator's national law when. be made and disposed of in accordance with the laws in force in the Philippine islands. Said condition then. which says: Second. The errors which the oppositor-appellant assigns are: (1) The approval of said scheme of partition.net Impossible conditions and those contrary to law or good morals shall be considered as not imposed and shall not prejudice the heir or legatee in any manner whatsoever. and to the condition imposed upon the legatees. is prevented from receiving his legacy. and the institution of legatees in said will is unconditional and consequently valid and effective even as to the herein oppositor. 472. and. even should the testator otherwise provide. I am a Turkish citizen. as the herein oppositor who. opposed it. the orders appealed from are modified and it is directed that the distribution of this estate be made in such a manner as to include the herein appellant Andre Brimo as one of the legatees. the approval of the scheme of partition in this respect was not erroneous. Therefore. oppositors-appellants.. inasmuch as he did not present any evidence showing what the Turkish laws are on the matter. however. for which reason they are void as being in violation or article 10 of the Civil Code which. (3) the denial of the motion for reconsideration of the order approving the partition. The refusal to give the oppositor another opportunity to prove such laws does not constitute an error. it must be taken into consideration that such exclusion is based on the last part of the second clause of the will. Brimo was violated in the testamentary dispositions in question which. provides the following: The institution of legatees in this will is conditional. . So ordered. He. Andre Brimo. executor. It is discretionary with the trial court. EDWARD A. acknowledges it when he desires to be given an opportunity to present evidence on this point. however. my will. If this condition as it is expressed were legal and valid.R. BELLIS. being contrary to law. that the said condition is void. 36 Phil. according to article 10 of the civil Code above quoted. There is. otherwise. by his attitude in these proceedings has not respected the will of the testator. (2) denial of his participation in the inheritance. being contrary to law. It results from all this that the second clause of the will regarding the law which shall govern it. I like desire to state that although by law. (Lim and Lim vs. therefore. himself. heirs-appellees. and in the absence of evidence on such laws. no evidence in the record that the national law of the testator Joseph G. inasmuch as he is one of the persons designated as such in will. and the failure not to postpone the approval of the scheme of partition and the delivery of the deceased's business to Pietro Lanza until the receipt of the depositions requested in reference to the Turkish laws.) It has not been proved in these proceedings what the Turkish laws are. in respect to the order of succession as well as to the amount of the successional rights and the intrinsic validity of their provisions. I annul and cancel beforehand whatever disposition found in this will favorable to the person or persons who fail to comply with this request. one of the brothers of the deceased. Therefore. must be complied with and executed. deceased. whatever may be the nature of the property or the country in which it may be situated. But the fact is that the oppositor did not prove that said testimentary dispositions are not in accordance with the Turkish laws. requesting all of my relatives to respect this wish. Brimo's will which are not in accordance with the laws of his Turkish nationality. The court. so much so that he assigns as an error of the court in not having deferred the approval of the scheme of partition until the receipt of certain testimony requested regarding the Turkish laws on the matter. on the other hand.. lawphil. (4) the approval of the purchase made by the Pietro Lana of the deceased's business and the deed of transfer of said business. connection with this. nor by nationality and. approved it. L-23678 In regard to the first assignment of error which deals with the exclusion of the herein appellant as a legatee. it is my wish that the distribution of my property and everything in June 6. they are presumed to be the same as those of the Philippines. as expressed. taking into consideration that the oppositor was granted ample opportunity to introduce competent evidence. any legatee who fails to comply with it. All of the remaining clauses of said will with all their dispositions and requests are perfectly valid and effective it not appearing that said clauses are contrary to the testator's national law. G. having resided for a considerable length of time in the Philippine Islands where I succeeded in acquiring all of the property that I now possess. G. not being contrary to our laws in force. ET AL. is considered unwritten.

preparatory to closing its administration. Alexander Bellis and Anna Bellis Allsman. whatever may he the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found.000. or on July 8. 37089 therein. whom he divorced. par. Bellis. and finally. Jr. Bellis. it applied the national law of the decedent.000. 2. it is not disputed that the decedent was both a national of Texas and a domicile thereof at the time of his death. with regard to four items: (a) the order of succession.1äwphï1. Capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the decedent. Amos G. January 31. proof of service of which is evidenced by the registry receipt submitted on April 27.P. Poblador. Jr. and expenses of administration are paid for. inter alia.000. 16 of the Civil Code. Jr. Mallen by the delivery to her of shares of stock amounting to $240. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis filed their respective oppositions to the project of partition on the ground that they were deprived of their legitimes as illegitimate children and. Report of Administration and Project of Partition" wherein it reported. he had three legitimate children: Edwin G.00 each or a total of P120. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is situated. 1964..000.00.ñët The facts of the case are as follows: Amos G. render applicable the national law of the decedent. public policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated. Said doctrine is usually pertinent where the decedent is a national of one country. 1958. in which he directed that after all taxes. the satisfaction of the legacy of Mary E. 1964. the remainder shall go to his seven surviving children by his first and second wives. L-16749. Amos Bellis. 17. In the project of partition. Mary E. Mary E.A.S. obligations. 1958. The People's Bank and Trust Company. As stated. J. who survived him. et al. shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration. Bellis executed a will in the Philippines.. they never invoked nor even mentioned it in their arguments. Ozaeta. on April 30." By his first wife. he had five legitimate children: Edward A.000. Macasaet and Jose D. Walter S. Jr. Bellis. Bellis. and (d) the capacity to succeed.00. 1964. Paredes. paid all the bequests therein including the amount of $240.00 each in satisfaction of their respective legacies. report and administration and project of partition. he had three illegitimate children: Amos Bellis. Rather. however.00 to his three illegitimate children. Bellis.00 in the form of shares of stock to Mary E. Amos G. Their respective motions for reconsideration having been denied by the lower court on June 11. 1963. 1964. which it released from time to time according as the lower court approved and allowed the various motions or petitions filed by the latter three requesting partial advances on account of their respective legacies. of proof as to the conflict of law rule of Texas..00 to his first wife. 1039. compulsory heirs of the deceased. J. intestate and testamentary successions. Quijano and Arroyo for heirs-appellees W.000. the executor submitted and filed its "Executor's Final Account. Walter S. 1039 of the Civil Code.ñët Subsequently. Bellis.. oppositorsappellants appealed to this Court to raise the issue of which law must apply — Texas law or Philippine law. namely: Edward A. from an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila dated April 30. George Bellis (who pre-deceased him in infancy). paragraph three. They provide that — ART. 1964. born in Texas. However. Amos Bellis.1 BENGZON. Bellis. Bellis. Maria Cristina Bellis. and those which have for their object public order. R. Nonetheless. Balonkita for appellee People's Bank & Trust Company. since the properties here involved are found in the Philippines. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis. if Texas has a conflicts rule adopting the situs theory (lex rei sitae) calling for the application of the law of the place where the properties are situated. renvoi would arise. or P40. On January 17. and Art. Gibbs and Ozaeta for appellee A. Amos Bellis. Allsman. Article 16. Mallen. Relying upon Art.00. Alexander Bellis and Anna Bellis Allsman. in equal shares. Edwin G. On January 8. A. (b) the amount of successional rights. Bellis. Christensen Garcia. various amounts totalling P40. which did not provide for legitimes. Violet Kennedy. 1952. S. the doctrine of renvoi. Villena for oppositors appellants. by his second wife. or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. of the Civil Code. it should not be presumed different from ours.00 each and (c) after the foregoing two items have been satisfied. but would still refer to Texas law. Jr. interposed no opposition despite notice to him. U.: This is a direct appeal to Us. His will was admitted to probate in the Court of First Instance of Manila on September 15. and the legacies of Amos Bellis. Bellis. therefore. both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions. in the following order and manner: (a) $240. or a total of P120.000. J. Henry A. 3 Appellants' position is therefore not rested on the doctrine of renvoi. In the absence. approving the project of partition filed by the executor in Civil Case No. In the present case. Miriam Palma Bellis.Vicente R. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis. 1964 by the executor. and a domicile of another. was "a citizen of the State of Texas and of the United States. Texas. the executor — pursuant to the "Twelfth" clause of the testator's Last Will and Testament — divided the residuary estate into seven equal portions for the benefit of the testator's seven legitimate children by his first and second marriages. (b) P120. his distributable estate should be divided. stating that — Prohibitive laws concerning persons. issued an order overruling the oppositions and approving the executor's final account. Bellis. ART. 2 So that even assuming Texas has a conflict of law rule providing that the domiciliary system (law of the domicile) should govern. 16. Mallen and to the three (3) illegitimate children. the parties do not submit the case on. Bellis and Dorothy Bellis. In this regard. Henry A. the lower court. upon a question purely of law. which in this case is Texas law. as executor of the will. applied by this Court in Aznar v. B. their acts or property. and Dorothy E. they argue that their case falls under the circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Article 17 in relation to Article 16 of the Civil Code. Cruz and Nazareno for heirs-appellees E. in intestate or testamentary successions.1äwphï1. Bellis died a resident of San Antonio. . On August 5. nor even discuss. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis in the amount of P40. Mallen. After the parties filed their respective memoranda and other pertinent pleadings. (e) the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will.000. the same would not result in a reference back (renvoi) to Philippine law. Appellants would however counter that Art.. in trust. et al.000.

dated September 14. Carrie Louise C. for his national law cannot be ignored in regard to those matters that Article 10 — now Article 16 — of the Civil Code states said national law should govern. Hon.. to the decedent's national law. 622 of said court. remainder. 2d 952. Christensen. and heir-appellees. under Art. presiding. AZNAR. G. and wheresoever situated. 2 of the Civil Code afore-quoted. Christensen was a citizen of the United States and of the State of California at the time of his death.R.. who was born in the Philippines about twenty-eight years ago.. U. The will was executed in Manila on March 5. personal and/or mixed. U. par. Executor and LUCY CHRISTENSEN. California.600 paid by her to Helen Christensen Garcia as her legacy.S. Brimo. In amplification of the above grounds it was alleged that the law that should govern the estate of the deceased Christensen should not be the internal law of California alone. 870. DECEASED. approving among things the final accounts of the executor. For it has specifically chosen to leave. now married to Eduardo Garcia. there are no forced heirs or legitimes. The legal grounds of opposition are (a) that the distribution should be governed by the laws of the Philippines. 1039. 867. and paid to her at the rate of One Hundred Pesos (P100. of which I may be possessed at my death and which may have come to me from any source whatsoever. Bellis. the successional rights and intrinsic validity of the provisions in his will are to be governed by the law of California. Borton. L-11483-84 an acknowledged natural child of the deceased Edward E. insofar as it deprives her (Helen) of her legitime as an acknowledged natural child.. Heir of the deceased. "notwithstanding the provisions of this and the next preceding article" when they incorporated Art. Bernard Daney). Wherefore. Congress has not intended to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals. Appl. 77 Cal.A. Bellis.600. January 31. U. now residing as aforesaid at No. unto my well-beloved daughter.600 to Helen Christensen Garcia and proposed that the residue of the estate be transferred to his daughter. Davao. in accordance with which a testator has the right to dispose of his property in the way he desires. It must have been their purpose to make the second paragraph of Art. I hereby give. As further indication of this legislative intent. Specific provisions must prevail over general ones. . M. it would not alter the law. she having been declared by Us in G. This is not correct.. while reproducing without substantial change the second paragraph of Art. about eighteen years of age and who. 49 Pac. Appellants would also point out that the decedent executed two wills — one to govern his Texas estate and the other his Philippine estate — arguing from this that he intended Philippine law to govern his Philippine estate. CHRISTENSEN.. all the income from the rest. that I have but ONE (1) child. which decrees that capacity to succeed is to be governed by the national law of the decedent.S. the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of Amos G. and who. Jr.. and (b) that said order of distribution is contrary thereto insofar as it denies to Helen Christensen. and that under the laws of Texas. xxx xxx xxx 12. It is in accordance with the above-quoted provisions that the executor in his final account and project of partition ratified the payment of only P3. that the forum is the Philippines and even if the case were decided in California. devise and bequeath. which requires that the domicile of the decedent should apply. and who is now residing at No. 176 P.00).A.prevails as the exception to Art. Accordingly. Congress added a new provision.: This is an appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Davao. nor has she been at any time adopted by me. Precisely. the said MARIA LUCY CHRISTENSEN DANEY (Mrs. Nos. Digos. 192. during her lifetime: . Los Angeles. I give. 16 in the new. MARIA LUCY CHRISTENSEN DANEY. 50 Phil. Executor and Heir-appellees.A. 3. because the right of absolute dominion over his property is sacred and inviolable (In re McDaniel's Estate. and in case of death without issue. Los Angeles. should be applicable. Christensen. real. 665 Rodger Young Village. ADOLFO C. etc. vs. notwithstanding the fact that she was baptized Christensen. Bernard Daney). oppositor-appellant. It is therefore evident that whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our System of legitimes. devise and bequeath unto MARIA HELEN CHRISTENSEN. directing the executor to reimburse Maria Lucy Christensen the amount of P3. one of two acknowledged natural children.. in Special Proceeding No. 16. 10 of the old Civil Code as Art. Record on Appeal). she is deemed for all purposes legitimate from the time of her birth. 117 Cal..R. with costs against appellants. Philippine Currency the same to be deposited in trust for the said Maria Helen Christensen with the Davao Branch of the Philippine National Bank. 11 of the old Civil Code as Art. I further declare that I now have no living ascendants. It was also alleged that Maria Helen Christensen having been declared an acknowledged natural child of the decedent. the sum of THREE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED PESOS (P3. L-16749 4. a provision in a foreigner's will to the effect that his properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine law and not with his national law. of whatsoever kind or character. and residue of my property and estate. Amos G. was a citizen of the State of Texas. the amount of successional rights. one-half of the estate in full ownership. Cusi. and no descendants except my above named daughter. in accordance with the provisions of the will of the testator Edward E. inter alia. 17 of the new Civil Code. and In re Kaufman. 1949. is exhausted. The parties admit that the decedent. named MARIA LUCY CHRISTENSEN (now Mrs. 1951 and contains the following provisions: Opposition to the approval of the project of partition was filed by Helen Christensen Garcia. So ordered. one-half of said residue to be payable to Mrs. The court below ruled that as Edward E.. LABRADOR. cited in page 179. I declare . Section 946 of the California Civil Code. Sotelo for executor Leopoldo M. 2d 877. Vicente N. for as this Court ruled in Miciano v. California. from all information I have now resides in Egpit. Assuming that such was the decedent's intention in executing a separate Philippine will. R.00). and declaring Maria Lucy Christensen entitled to the residue of the property to be enjoyed during her lifetime. 286. Congressdeleted the phrase.S. but the entire law thereof because several foreign elements are involved. since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the amount of successional rights are to be determined under Texas law. 1963 IN THE MATTER OF THE TESTATE ESTATE OF EDWARD E. 665 Rodger Young Village. is illegal and void. Maria Lucy Christensen. HELEN CHRISTENSEN GARCIA. Abellera and Jovito Salonga for oppositor-appellant. Philippine Currency per month until the principal thereof as well as any interest which may have accrued thereon. xxx xxx xxx 7. J. Philippines. No. is not in any way related to me. the order of the probate court is hereby affirmed in toto. 16 a specific provision in itself which must be applied in testate and intestate succession.

which would indicate that he would ultimately abandon the Philippines and make home in the State of California.S. The terms "'residence" and "domicile" might well be taken to mean the same thing.ñët Being an American citizen. IN DEPRIVING HER OF HER JUST SHARE IN THE INHERITANCE. PARTICULARLY UNDER THE RENVOI DOCTRINE. as witness the following facts admitted by the executor himself in appellee's brief: In the proceedings for admission of the will to probate. CONSEQUENTLY. THE INTRINSIC VALIDITY OF THE TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITION OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED EDWARD E. for the latter was a territory of the United States (not a state) until 1946 and the deceased appears to have considered himself as a citizen of California by the fact that when he executed his will in 1951 he declared that he was a citizen of that State. But domicile. 1953. The most important assignments of error are as follows: I THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN IGNORING THE DECISION OF THE HONORABLE SUPREME COURT THAT HELEN IS THE ACKNOWLEDGED NATURAL CHILD OF EDWARD E. Acquisition of a domicile of choice requires the exercise of intention as well as physical presence. he again departed the Philippines for the United States and came back here the following year. "MM"." he could not be a domiciled New Yorker. in 1928. 1951. "Residence simply requires bodily presence of an inhabitant in a given place. But there is also no question that at the time of his death he was domiciled in the Philippines. U. is a term used with many shades of meaning. 1875 in New York City. Sec. while domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention to make it one's domicile. Some nine years later. California from 1904 to 1913. 1945. N. 622. Christensen returned to the United States and stayed there for the following nine years until 1913. not giving up his former "home. has acquired a technical meaning. Christensen returned once more to California shortly after the making of his last will and testament (now in question herein) which he executed at his lawyers' offices in Manila on March 5. t. and was teaching school in Sacramento. the parties respectfully pray that the foregoing stipulation of facts be admitted and approved by this Honorable Court. Edward E.n. certainly resides in each one. Exhs. Sp. 1äwphï1. on board the U.Oppositor Maria Helen Christensen. and it is not safe to insist that any one use et the only proper one. he might properly be said to have sufficient connection with the place to be called a resident. Mr. The man with two homes.. but these were denied. 1951. "BB" and "CC-Daney". without prejudice to the parties adducing other evidence to prove their case not covered by this stipulation of facts. In December. however. II THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ENTIRELY IGNORING AND/OR FAILING TO RECOGNIZE THE EXISTENCE OF SEVERAL FACTORS. We find that the citizenship that he acquired in California when he resided in Sacramento. "MM-2-Daney" and p.Y. V THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT DECLARING THAT UNDER THE PHILIPPINE LAWS HELEN CHRISTENSEN GARCIA IS ENTITLED TO ONE-HALF (1/2) OF THE ESTATE IN FULL OWNERSHIP.S. (Goodrich on Conflict of Laws.A.. CFI Davao. and came back to the Philippines the following year. from the merest temporary presence to the most permanent abode. 473. 1939. we are persuaded by the fact that he was born in New York. 2-3) III THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO RECOGNIZE THAT UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW. in April 1945. it is used to denote something more than mere physical presence. But if he went on business which would require his presence for several weeks or months. This conclusion is in accordance with the following principle expounded by Goodrich in his Conflict of Laws. Mr. Residence is a term used with many shades of meaning from mere temporary presence to the most permanent abode.) In April. Generally. however.A.. 1901. Thus one may be domiciled in a place where he has never been. was on July 1. It is clear. while living in it. CHRISTENSEN AND. however. California. Christensen was a citizen of the United States and of the State of California at the time of his death. a place of permanent abode. as has been shown. as an appointed school teacher. the facts of record show that the deceased Edward E. 1953. he left for the United States but returned to the Philippines in December.s. however. Christensen was interned by the Japanese Military Forces in the Philippines during World War II. was never lost by his stay in the Philippines. "MM-l". in 1938. so that he appears never to have intended to abandon his California citizenship by acquiring another. And he may reside in a place where he has no domicile. he again returned to his own country. 1929. July 21. Appellees Collective Exhibits "6". 16. p. Mr. In arriving at the conclusion that the domicile of the deceased is the Philippines. as Exhibits "AA". U. 29) As to his citizenship. Luke's Hospital in the City of Manila on April 30. Proc. between which he divides his time. IV THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT DECLARING THAT THE SCHEDULE OF DISTRIBUTION SUBMITTED BY THE EXECUTOR IS CONTRARY TO THE PHILIPPINE LAWS. Christensen was born on November 29. and since he came to the Philippines in 1913 he returned to California very rarely and only for short visits (perhaps to relatives). Army Transport "Sheridan" with Port of Embarkation as the City of San Francisco. if he treated his settlement as continuing only for the particular business in hand. However. during which time he resided in. p. Upon liberation. Wherefore. Christensen's next arrival in the Philippines was in July of the year 1913. and considering that he appears never to have owned or acquired a home or properties in that state. filed various motions for reconsideration. CHRISTENSEN SHOULD BE GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF THE PHILIPPINES. this appeal." Residence. Hence. ELEMENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES CALLING FOR THE APPLICATION OF INTERNAL LAW. (pp. There is no question that Edward E. his first arrival in the Philippines. in the State of California. 1904. He died at the St. (Goodrich. through counsel. 29) . migrated to California and resided there for nine years. He stayed in the Philippines until 1904.S. that.

.) It is argued on executor's behalf that as the deceased Christensen was a citizen of the State of California. 2d 877. 13-14. We have checked it in the California Civil Code and it is there. each state of the Union having its own private law applicable to its citizens only and in force only within the state. But appellant invokes the provisions of Article 946 of the Civil Code of California. Perhaps the opponents of the renvoi are a bit more consistent for they look always to internal law as the rule of reference. refers the matter back again to the law of the forum. it would refer the distribution to the national law of the deceased. If it accepts the so-called renvoidoctrine. The application of this article in the case at bar requires the determination of the meaning of the term "national law" is used therein. it will follow the latter course. such law being in force in the State of California of which Christensen was a citizen. is the reference to the purely internal rules of law of the foreign system. on the assumption that this is what a French court would do. the conflict-of-laws rule of which. citing the case of Estate of McDaniel. domiciled in France. intestate and testamentary successions. a testator may dispose of his property by will in the form and manner he desires. judgment would have been against the woman. had the Michigan court rejected the renvoi. thus applying the Massachusetts statute of distributions. 77 Cal. If both reject. 16. This would have resulted in the "endless chain After a decision has been arrived at that a foreign law is to be resorted to as governing a particular case. The same result would happen. the natural thing for the Massachusetts court to do would be to turn to French statute of distributions. while it has been considered by the courts in but a few . and every divorce. 523-571. The opponents of the renvoi would have looked merely to the internal law of Illinois. valid by the domicile of the parties. the solution is not an easy one. the result of the litigation will vary with the choice of the forum. thus applying its own law. therefore. or the domicile of the parties in the divorce case. though the courts would switch with respect to which would hold liability. the internal law thereof. Thus. It is true that such a solution avoids going on a merry-go-round. which is that given in the abovecited case. But once having determined the the Conflict of Laws principle is the rule looked to. it is deemed to follow the person of its owner. pp. A jural matter is presented which the conflict-of-laws rule of the forum refers to a foreign law. or (b) to resolve itself into a French court and apply the Massachusetts statute of distributions. However. Strangely enough.'" (Harvard Law Review. 2d 952. and they too rejected the renvoi. 7. possibly mean or apply to any general American law. and where the validity of a decree of divorce is challenged. if the suit had been brought in the Illinois courts. Appl. but any further reference goes only to the internal law. both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions. The German term for this judicial process is 'Ruckverweisung. however. relies on the case cited in the decision and testified to by a witness. on the other hand. and decree a distribution accordingly. will be valid everywhere.) On logic. or both accept the doctrine. 31. thus: of references" which has so often been criticized be legal writers. in the place where personal property is situated. insists that Article 946 should be applicable. both the advocates for and the objectors to the renvoi plead that greater uniformity will result from adoption of their respective views. applied the Conflict of Laws rule of Illinois which referred the matter back to Michigan law. if both courts accepted the renvoi. leaving movable property in Massachusetts. Appellee. would show that if a French court were called upon to determine how this property should be distributed. The Michigan court chose to accept the renvoi.e. and France. 176 P. dies intestate. England. (Only the case of Kaufman is correctly cited. Yet there seems no compelling logical reason why the original reference should be the internal law rather than to the Conflict of Laws rule. So on the surface of things the Massachusetts court has open to it alternative course of action: (a) either to apply the French law is to intestate succession. which is as follows: If there is no law to the contrary. Assume (1) that this question arises in a Massachusetts court. which is as follows: ART. Sec.The law that governs the validity of his testamentary dispositions is defined in Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. it is difficult to see why the reference back should not have been to Michigan Conflict of Laws. the further question may arise: Are the rules as to the conflict of laws contained in such foreign law also to be resorted to? This is a question which. The problem has been stated in this way: "When the Conflict of Laws rule of the forum refers a jural matter to a foreign law for decision. The "national law" indicated in Article 16 of the Civil Code above quoted can not. a citizen of Massachusetts. The next question is: What is the law in California governing the disposition of personal property? The decision of the court below. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is situated. Since by hypothesis X's last domicile was France. There is no single American law governing the validity of testamentary provisions in the United States. i. The Restatement accepts the renvoi theory in two instances: where the title to land is in question. recognized by the situs. that is. This is renvoi in the narrower sense. a person's title to land. Conflict of Laws. in turn. shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration. should govern the determination of the validity of the testamentary provisions of Christensen's will. but those who have accepted the renvoitheory avoid this inextricabilis circulas by getting off at the second reference and at that point applying internal law. And still more strange is the fact that the only way to achieve uniformity in this choice-of-law problem is if in the dispute the two states whose laws form the legal basis of the litigation disagree as to whether the renvoi should be accepted. The theory of doctrine of renvoi has been defined by various authors. Vol. So it can refer to no other than the private law of the State of California. is applied by the forum. and is governed by the law of his domicile. In the case stated above. In these cases the Conflict of Laws rule of the situs of the land. whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country where said property may be found. (Goodrich. Appellant. An examination of French law. and in accordance therewith and following the doctrine of therenvoi.) X. judgment would be for the woman. The existence of this provision is alleged in appellant's opposition and is not denied. pp. or whatever corresponds thereto in French law. which is the Philippines. the question of the validity of the testamentary provision in question should be referred back to the law of the decedent's domicile. will be recognized by every court. The question arises as to how this property is to be distributed among X's next of kin. There the rule of the conflict of laws as to intestate succession to movables calls for an application of the law of the deceased's last domicile. to the totality of the foreign law minus its Conflict of Laws rules?" This is one type of renvoi. sustains the contention of the executor-appellee that under the California Probate Code. on the other hand. thus rejecting the renvoi or the reference back.

) The scope of the theory of renvoi has also been defined and the reasons for its application in a country explained by Prof. Article 946. valid at the domicile of the owner. (b) The decision of two or more foreign systems of law. Sec. Jur. Reason demands that We should enforce the California internal law prescribed for its citizens residing therein. Conflict of Laws. but its rules of the conflict of laws as well. especially as the application of the internal law of California provides no legitime for children while the Philippine law.e. the practical wisdom and justice of the rule is more apparent than ever. and the doctrine involved has been descriptively designated by them as the "Renvoyer" to send back. and then apply the law to the actual question which the rules of the other jurisdiction prescribe. and desires that said personal statute shall be determined by the law of the domicile. 164. 442-443. This may be the law of the forum. 130. 1917-1918. (2) Provided that no express provision to the contrary exists. The rule laid down of resorting to the law of the domicile in the determination of matters with foreign element involved is in accord with the general principle of American law that the domiciliary law should govern in most matters or rights which follow the person of the owner. the principle cited In re Kaufman should apply to citizens living in the State. Miciano vs. and enforce the conflict of laws rules for the citizens domiciled abroad. the law of the state where he was domiciled at the time of his death will be looked to in deciding legal questions about the will. has been advanced. for two important reasons.J. As explained in the various authorities cited above the national law mentioned in Article 16 of our Civil Code is the law on conflict of laws in the California Civil Code. or the "Weiterverweisung". since the domiciliary rules control devolution of the personal estate in case of intestate succession. xxx xxx xxx If. The pertinent parts of the article are quoted herein below: The recognition of the renvoi theory implies that the rules of the conflict of laws are to be understood as incorporating not only the ordinary or internal law of the foreign state or country. in the form of the following theses: (1) Every court shall observe the law of its country as regards the application of foreign laws. 52 Phil. and it . is valid anywhere. (16 C. If the law on succession and the conflict of laws rules of California are to be enforced Appellees argue that what Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines pointed out as the national law is the internal law of California.e. its internal law. but Article 946 should apply to such of its citizens as are not domiciled in California but in other jurisdictions.) jointly. which authorizes the reference or return of the question to the law of the testator's domicile. pp. The doctrine of therenvoi has generally been repudiated by the American authorities. but also its rules as to conflict of laws. According to this theory 'the law of a country' means the whole of its law. i. the same rules should determine the validity of an attempted testamentary dispostion of the property. at Neuchatel. 40 Phil. xxx xxx xxx Von Bar presented his views at the meeting of the Institute of International Law. in 1900. Babcock Templeton vs. when business intercourse and the process of accumulating property take but little notice of boundary lines. since an affirmative answer to the question postulated and the operation of the adoption of the foreign law in toto would in many cases result in returning the main controversy to be decided according to the law of the forum. and leaves a will directing the manner of distribution of the property. Lorenzen in an article in the Yale Law Journal. tossed back and forth between the two states. between the country of which the decedent was a citizen and the country of his domicile. Vol. the court shall respect: (a) The provisions of a foreign law which disclaims the right to bind its nationals abroad as regards their personal statute. Here. Another theory. Supra. 946 of the California Civil Code refers to Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines and that the law to the contrary in the Philippines is the provision in said Article 16 that the national law of the deceased should govern.. must take into account the whole law of the other jurisdiction. or the "Ruchversweisung". It is logical that. 50 Phil. i.) cited by appellees to support the decision can not possibly apply in the case at bar. The Philippine court must apply its own law as directed in the conflict of laws rule of the state of the decedent. each in its own intended and appropriate sphere. The conflict of laws rule in California. it is not that the domiciliary has effect beyond the borders of the domiciliary state. precisely refers back the case.instances. and the reason for the recognition as in the case of intestate succession. when a decedent is not domiciled in California. in determining the question before it. has been the subject of frequent discussion by textwriters and essayists. provided it be certain that one of them is necessarily competent. 529-531. 887(4) and 894. The Philippine cases (In re Estate of Johnson. is the general convenience of the doctrine. The theory of the doctrine of renvoiis that the court of the forum. and it this age. 293. The New York court has said on the point: 'The general principle that a dispostiton of a personal property. It is argued on appellees' behalf that the clause "if there is no law to the contrary in the place where the property is situated" in Sec. apply the internal law for residents therein. This contention can not be sustained. then we must enforce the law of California in accordance with the express mandate thereof and as above explained. . 105. and Gibbs vs. Palmaroli.. We note that Article 946 of the California Civil Code is its conflict of laws rule. and its conflict-of-laws rule for those domiciled abroad. 872. for example. Riera vs. or even by the law of the place where the act in question occurred. 39 Phil. the Philippines in the case at bar. The rules of the domicile are recognized as controlling by the Conflict of Laws rules at the situs property. 59 Phil.S. Rider Babcock. to the law of his domicile. 27. if the question has to be decided. almost as completely as the law of situs is consulted in questions about the devise of land. such action would leave the issue incapable of determination because the case will then be like a football. he must first inquire whether the law of Belgium would distribute personal property upon death in accordance with the law of domicile. 867. i. and if he finds that the Belgian law would make the distribution in accordance with the law of nationality — that is the English law — he must accept this reference back to his own law. Civil Code. the subject in each case does not appear to be a citizen of a state in the United States but with domicile in the Philippines. one for residents therein and another for those domiciled in other jurisdictions. The court of the domicile can not and should not refer the case back to California. 296) When a man dies leaving personal property in one or more states. also. as so declared in Article 16 of our Civil Code.. 156. Government. (2 Am. while the rule applied in In re Kaufman. Brimo. But as above explained the laws of California have prescribed two sets of laws for its citizens. known as the "doctrine of renvoi". which agree in attributing the determination of a question to the same system of law.. the English law directs its judge to distribute the personal estate of an Englishman who has died domiciled in Belgium in accordance with the law of his domicile. is one of the universal application.. If we must enforce the law of California as in comity we are bound to go. (Goodrich. Article 946. Civil Code of the Philippines. pp.e. Arts. It had its origin in that international comity which was one of the first fruits of civilization. makes natural children legally acknowledged forced heirs of the parent recognizing them.

Branch XXXVIII. 1977. on November 25. he executed an Affidavit of Adjudication under Rule 74. 1984 POLLY CAYETANO. and Nenita Campos Paguia is hereby appointed Administratrix of the estate of said decedent. Philadelphia. it has been satisfactorily established that Adoracion C. that Clement L. Rule 81 of the Rules of Court. Medina as the surviving heirs. in her lifetime. 1979. that he has every reason to believe that the will in question is a forgery. not by the internal law of California. the validity of the provisions of his will depriving his acknowledged natural child. according to the laws thereat (Exhibits E-3 to E-3-b) that while in temporary sojourn in the Philippines. petitioner. Atty. Gonzales for private respondent. J. Malate. PA 19124. Hermogenes Campos filed a petition for relief. U. filed a Motion to Dismiss Opposition (With Waiver of Rights or Interests) stating that he "has been able to verify the veracity thereof (of the will) and now confirms the same to be truly the probated will of his daughter Adoracion.. County of Philadelphia. Philadelphia. U.does not appear in each case that there exists in the state of which the subject is a citizen. On December 1. that the Last Will and Testament of the late Adoracion C. No.. Nenita C. Court of First Instance of Manila and NENITA CAMPOS PAGUIA. Armando Z.A. (Exhibit D) that when alive. respondents. WHEREFORE. Eleven months after. and that therefore. Campos is hereby admitted to and allowed probate in the Philippines.S.R. which was allegedly executed in the United States and for her appointment as administratrix of the estate of the deceased testatrix. should be governed by the Philippine Law. Judgment reversed. a law similar to or identical with Art. U. an ex-partepresentation of evidence for the reprobate of the questioned will was made. Adoracion C. On January 11. Paguia filed a petition for the reprobate of a will of the deceased. the testatrix made her last wig and testament on July 10. a citizen of California. 1975. was a citizen of the United States of America with a permanent residence at 4633 Ditman Street. 946 of the California Civil Code. JR. let Letters of Administration with the Will annexed issue in favor of said Administratrix upon her filing of a bond in the amount of P5. the appellant. Campos was admitted and granted probate by the Orphan's Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas. the decision appealed from is hereby reversed and the case returned to the lower court with instructions that the partition be made as the Philippine law on succession provides. According to him.A. TOMAS T. He also alleged that the lawyer who filed the withdrawal of the opposition was not his counsel-of-record in the special proceedings case. Pennsylvania. WHEREFORE. and that even if pertinent American laws on intrinsic provisions are invoked. Ermelo P.00 conditioned under the provisions of Section I. the domicile. As Hermogenes Campos was the only compulsory heir. McLaughlin. In her petition. leaving her father. Barzaga had declined and waived his appointment as executor in favor of the former. pursuant to Art. U. according to the laws of Pennsylvania. probated.: This is a petition for review on certiorari. the Last Will and Testament of the late Adoracion C. that the testatrix died in Manila on January 31. praying that the order allowing the will be set aside on the ground that the withdrawal of his opposition to the same was secured through fraudulent means. seeking to annul the order of the respondent judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila. On January 10..000. and letters of administration were issued in favor of Clement J. allowed. that after the testatrix death. On January 31. to wit: At the hearing. L-54919 May 30. Pennsylvania." Hence. Nenita alleged that the testatrix was an American citizen at the time of her death and was a permanent resident of 4633 Ditman Street. Adoracion C. the petitioner through his counsel.A. that during her lifetime. nominating Wilfredo Barzaga of New Jersey as executor. and that the petitioner is not suffering from any disqualification which would render her unfit as administratrix of the estate in the Philippines of the late Adoracion C.S. 1977 while temporarily residing with her sister at 2167 Leveriza. 1979. Campos died. Adoracion C. Campos. petitioner Hermogenes Campos and her sisters. 1978. U.A.S. 1979. Adoracion Campos. U. the administrator who was appointed after Dr. Section I of the Rules of Court whereby he adjudicated unto himself the ownership of the entire estate of the deceased Adoracion Campos. Campos died in the City of Manila (Exhibit C) leaving property both in the Philippines and in the United States of America. Campos. Lopez and Marieta C. GUTIERREZ. the respondent judge issued an order. Guzman for petitioner. confirming the withdrawal of his opposition. acknowledging the same to be his voluntary act and deed.S. 1977. 946 of the Civil Code of California. that the intrinsic provisions of the will are null and void. Paguia. with costs against appellees. the same could not apply inasmuch as they would work injustice and injury to him. in his capacity as the Presiding Judge of Branch XXXVIII. Campos executed a Last Will and Testament in the county of Philadelphia... Another manifestation was filed by the petitioner on April 14.S. after an ex-parte presentation of evidence by herein private respondent. HON. Campos. LEONIDAS. On May 25.A. and registered with the Registry of Wins at the County of Philadelphia. vs. 1978. McLaughlin all in accordance with the laws of the said foreign country on procedure and allowance of wills (Exhibits E to E-10). is the Philippines. is also a resident of Philadelphia.. her last will and testament was presented. We therefore find that as the domicile of the deceased Christensen.. G.S. there is an urgent need for the appointment of an administratrix to administer and eventually distribute the properties of the estate located in the Philippines. . Franco Loyola.. which admitted to and allowed the probate of the last will and testament of Adoracion C. private respondent Nenita C. an opposition to the reprobate of the will was filed by herein petitioner alleging among other things.A. Remedios C. however. Manila. the probate court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. the "Motion to Dismiss Opposition" was inserted among the papers which he signed in connection with two Deeds of Conditional Sales which he executed with the Construction and Development Corporation of the Philippines (CDCP).

16 par. 1980. appointing Polly Cayetano as the executrix of his last will and testament. the private respondents have sufficiently established that Adoracion was. 1039. the respondent judge should have denied its reprobate outright. Campos was divested of his legitime which was reserved by the law for him.A. both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions. petitioner filed another motion entitled "Motion to Vacate and/or Set Aside the Order of January 10. the petitioner at a later date. the fact that the Testator at the time of death was a usual resident of Dasmariñas. The first two issues raised by the petitioner are anchored on the allegation that the respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion when he allowed the withdrawal of the petitioner's opposition to the reprobate of the will. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied. Since the withdrawal was in order. G. Pennsylvania. (Maninang vs. In the case at bar. therefore. thus. therefore. under Article 16 par. Therefore. Meanwhile. 1980. This contention is without merit. Hermogenes C. 1979. the notice of hearing provided: Please include this motion in your calendar for hearing on May 29. Although on its face. Atty. or by way of a petition presented to the court but by way of a motion presented prior to an order for the distribution of the estate-the law especially providing that repudiation of an inheritance must be presented. there being no other opposition to the same. filed a motion to substitute herself as petitioner in the instant case which was granted by the court on September 13. and/or dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. Moreover. 1983. Until this Motion is resolved. No proof was adduced to support petitioner's contention that the motion to withdraw was secured through fraudulent means and that Atty. the probate court's authority is limited only to the extrinsic validity of the will. the respondent judge acted correctly in hearing the probate of the will exparte. Franco Loyola who in turn filed the motion. . the court should meet the issue. The third issue raised deals with the validity of the provisions of the will.R. consequently Cavite Court of First Instance has exclusive jurisdiction over the case (De Borja vs. 1980 at 8:30 in the morning for submission for reconsideration and resolution of the Honorable Court. may I also request for the future setting of the case for hearing on the Oppositor's motion to set aside previously filed. Tan. the counsel for petitioner tried to argue his motion to vacate instead of adducing evidence in support of the petition for relief. Cayetano. xxx xxx xxx However.S. Jose P. the testatrix's testamentary capacity and the compliance with the requisites or solemnities prescribed by law. He made several motions for postponement until the hearing was set on May 29. 1980 was re-set by the court for June 19. Lagrosa had long withdrawn from the case and had been substituted by Atty. The intrinsic validity of the will normally comes only after the court has declared that the will has been duly authenticated. 5) He acquired no jurisdiction over the testate case. Art. incidentally has been questioned by the respondent. within 30 days after it has issued an order for the distribution of the estate in accordance with the rules of Court. at the time the motion was filed. Cavite. However. (2) and 1039 of the Civil Code which respectively provide: Art. the respondent judge issued an order dismissing the petition for relief for failure to present evidence in support thereof. patently null and void. on its face. the petitioner's former counsel. respondent judge also denied the motion to vacate for lack of merit. A motion to dismiss the petition on the ground that the rights of the petitioner Hermogenes Campos merged upon his death with the rights of the respondent and her sisters. 2) He ruled that petitioner can waive. the due execution thereof. an American citizen and a permanent resident of Philadelphia. Thus. renounce or repudiate (not made in a public or authenticated instrument). Hence. We find no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondent judge.The petition for relief was set for hearing but the petitioner failed to appear. In this motion. filed a manifestation wherein he confirmed that the Motion to Dismiss Opposition was his voluntary act and deed. at the time of her death. Campos. 1982. and a fabrication. maintain that the old man's attorney of record was Atty. which. L-7792. The hearing of May 29. 114 SCRA 478). whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. The present petitioner cannot.1982. As a general rule. 1980. shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration. the petitioner maintains that since the respondent judge allowed the reprobate of Adoracion's will. paving the way for the hearing ex-parte of the petition for the probate of decedent will. On May 18. even before it is probated. Franco Loyola was not his counsel of record. Lagrosa at the time of filing the motion. In the same order. When the case was called for hearing on this date. The records show that after the firing of the contested motion. No. petitioner Hermogenes Campos died and left a will. on June 6. where practical considerations demand that the intrinsic validity of the will be passed upon. only remaining children and forced heirs was denied on September 12. July 1955). his children and forced heirs as. Petitioner Cayetano persists with the allegations that the respondent judge acted without or in excess of his jurisdiction when: 1) He ruled the petitioner lost his standing in court deprived the Right to Notice (sic) upon the filing of the Motion to Dismiss opposition with waiver of rights or interests against the estate of deceased Adoracion C. U. 3) He ruled that the right of a forced heir to his legitime can be divested by a decree admitting a will to probate in which no provision is made for the forced heir in complete disregard of Law of Succession 4) He denied petitioner's petition for Relief on the ground that no evidence was adduced to support the Petition for Relief when no Notice nor hearing was set to afford petitioner to prove the merit of his petition — a denial of the due process and a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. this petition. (2). the will appeared to have preterited the petitioner and thus. Court of Appeals. intestate and testamentary successions.

Finally. As regards the alleged absence of notice of hearing for the petition for relief. such request should be embodied in a motion and not in a mere notice of hearing. 1980 was the petitioner's petition for relief and not his motion to vacate the order of January 10. 1967 upon a bond of P5. This was squarely applied in the case ofBellis v. Moreover. and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country.000. 1672 of the same court and branch). the settlement of the estate of Adoracion Campos was correctly filed with the Court of First Instance of Manila where she had an estate since it was alleged and proven that Adoracion at the time of her death was a citizen and permanent resident of Pennsylvania. certiorari to "declare all acts of the respondent court in the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges (Sp. For it has specifically chosen to leave. of the Rules of Court. Proc. Related to and involving basically the same main issue as the foregoing petition. No. 1974 TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE LINNIE JANE HODGES (Sp. since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the amount of successional rights are to be determined under Texas law. It is a settled rule that as regards the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will. No. and under the law of Texas. the petition for certiorari and prohibition is hereby dismissed for lack of merit. SALVADOR GUZMAN. 1307. against his opponent and after failing to obtain such relief. G. thirty-three (33) appeals from different orders of the same respondent court approving or otherwise sanctioning the acts of administration of the respondent Magno on behalf of the testate Estate of Mrs. Section 1.Capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the decedent. Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo. J. No. Magno.R. tolerating. LORENZO CARLES.A. 1307 of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo) subsequent to the order of December 14. Therefore. Proc. the last as Administratrix in Sp. and AVELINA A. administrator-appellant. sanctioning. Under Rule 73. MAGNO..A. Nos. G. except in an appeal from that court. respondents. petitioner. No. by entertaining manifestations.R. The jurisdiction assumed by a court.. R. United States of America and not a "usual resident of Cavite" as alleged by the petitioner. The fact that he requested "for the future setting of the case for hearing . WINIFREDO ESPADA. ARITEO THOMAS JAMIR. the petitioner argues that such law should not apply because it would be contrary to the sound and established public policy and would run counter to the specific provisions of Philippine Law. BELCESAR CAUSING. THE FACTS On May 23. The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent. Proc. the records wig bear the fact that what was repeatedly scheduled for hearing on separate dates until June 19. vs. Inc. ADELFA PREMAYLON. 1979. L-27860 and L-27896 March 29. et al. the law which governs Adoracion Campo's will is the law of Pennsylvania. Hon. 1957.S. was a citizen of the State of Texas. Hodges.S. JOSE PABLICO. or abetting private respondent Avelina A. in the original case. Nos. Accordingly. xxx xxx xxx The parties admit that the decedent. Furthermore. BARREDO. April 4. Although the parties admit that the Pennsylvania law does not provide for legitimes and that all the estate may be given away by the testatrix to a complete stranger. and also to enjoin said court from allowing said private respondent to interfere. 1974 PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL BANK.. 1984). Branch II. . 1966 and its order of July 18. Where estate of deceased persons settled. 1952 pertinently providing as follows: FIRST: I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be first paid out of my estate. Specific provisions must prevail over general ones. 1966 denying petitioner's motion of April 22. U. — If the decedent is an inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death. the motion to vacate would be heard and given preference in lieu of the petition for relief. we find the contention of the petition as to the issue of jurisdiction utterly devoid of merit. the amount of successional rights.:p Certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction. INC. Manuel Lazaro. Antonio Law Office and Rizal R." did not mean that at the next hearing. Administrator of the Testate Estate of Charles Newton Hodges (Sp. prohibition to enjoin the respondent court from allowing. . 1307). There was no denial of due process. FLORENIA BARRIDO. vs. No. with prayer for preliminary injunction. which was issued by this Court on August 8. Africa. it is provided that: SECTION 1. 1967 denying the motion for reconsideration of said order. the national law of the decedent must apply. Gonzales and San Agustin for Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank. or when the want of jurisdiction appears on the record. SANTIAGO PACAONSIS. repudiate or question that same jurisdiction.. meddle or take part in any manner in the administration of the Testate Estate of Charles Newton Hodges (Sp. so far as it depends on the place of residence of the decedent. et al. There is no reason why the petitioner should have been led to believe otherwise. etc. The court even admonished the petitioner's failing to adduce evidence when his petition for relief was repeatedly set for hearing. 63 284. Quimpo for private respondents and appellees Avelina A. WHEREFORE. No. Proc. shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. Proc. the petition being particularly directed against the orders of the respondent court of October 12. TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE CHARLES NEWTON HODGES (Sp. petitioner is now estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the probate court in the petition for relief. appellees. inter alia. 1672 of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo). PEPITO IYULORES. and from exercising any authority or power as Regular Administratrix of above-named Testate Estate. the Philippine Law on legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of Amos G. 1672). vs. G. San Juan. SO ORDERED. to the decedent's national law. PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL BANK. his will shall be proved. the Court of First Instance of any province in which he had estate. MAGNO. Manglapus Law Office. whether a citizen or an alien. PURIFICACION CORONADO. Bellis (20 SCRA 358) wherein we ruled: It is therefore evident that whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our system of legitimes. ESPERIDION PARTISALA.. Bellis. Bellis. Congress has not intended to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals. No. motion and pleadings filed by her and acting on them. there are no forced heirs or legitimes. WESTERN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY. MELQUIADES BATISANAN. ALFREDO CATEDRAL. as provided for by Article 16(2) and 1039 of the Civil Code. . movantappellee. Magno to perform or do any acts of administration. L-27936 & L-27937 March 29. 1957 as null and void for having been issued without jurisdiction". or of the location of his estate. Amos G. which is the national law of the decedent. and AVELINA A. U. such as those enumerated in the petition. THE HONORABLE VENICIO ESCOLIN. (See Saulog Transit. Proc. or letters of administration granted. ROSARIO ALINGASA. GRACIANO LUCERO. shall not be contested in a suit or proceeding. It is a settled rule that a party cannot invoke the jurisdiction of a court to secure affirmative relief. and his estate settled. Linnie Jane Hodges died in Iloilo City leaving a will executed on November 22. in the Court of First Instance in the province in which he resided at the time of his death.

Third: I desire. shall have the right to manage. thru his undersigned attorney. a copy of which is attached to the petition for probate of the same. other than that necessary to prove and record this will and to return an inventory and appraisement of my estate and list of claims. control. CONVEYANCES. to be executor of this. gas and/or other minerals. thru his undersigned attorneys. Hodges had been buying and selling real and personal properties. Charles Newton Hodges. Court. 2-4. residue and remainder of my estate. to execute conveyances with or without general or special warranty. devise and bequeath all of the rest. in the administration of my estate." 3. Charles Newton Hodges. prior to the death of my husband. Hodges was filed in Court. to allow him to continue in the business of buy and sell. above. 6. LEASES. 2. except brothers and sisters and herein petitioner as executor surviving spouse. the said widower (hereafter to be referred to as Hodges) had been appointed Special Administrator. even before the death of Linnie Jane Hodges. Hodges (Charles Newton Hodges) be allowed or authorized to continue the business in which he was engaged and to perform acts which he had been doing while deceased Linnie Jane Hodges was living. Era Roman and Nimroy Higdon.) Under date of December 11. Charles Newton Hodges. a motion to authorize said C. in or near the City of Lubbock. petitioner C. in which capacity he filed a motion on the same date as follows: URGENT EX-PARTE MOTION TO ALLOW OR AUTHORIZE PETITIONER TO CONTINUE THE BUSINESS IN WHICH HE WAS ENGAGED AND TO PERFORM ACTS WHICH HE HAD BEEN DOING WHILE DECEASED WAS LIVING Come petitioner in the above-entitled special proceedings. that the business in which said petitioner and the deceased were engaged will be paralyzed. conveying in fee simple or for any other term or time. — That the present motion is submitted in order not to paralyze the business of petitioner and the deceased. and all such deeds or leases shall pass the absolute fee simple title to the interest so conveyed in such property as he may elect to sell. 3.. Hodges was and is engaged in the buy and sell of real and personal properties. May 27. a provision was placed in paragraph two. use and enjoy said estate during his lifetime. conveyances leases and mortgages executed by the Executor. during his natural lifetime. and may sell unimproved town lots. wherever situated. (Annex "E". and he is further authorized to use any part of the principal of said estate as he may need or desire. on May 27. all the sales. during his natural lifetime. during his natural lifetime. All rents. SO ORDERED. gas and/or other minerals. Charles Newton Hodges. Comes the Executor in the above-entitled proceedings. .N. my last will and testament. devise and bequeath all of the rest. — That the Executor is under obligation to submit his yearly accounts. as Legatee has the right to sell. direct and provide that my husband. most respectfully states: 1. to my beloved husband. and do such acts which petitioner may think best. approved by the Hon. in accordance with the wishes of the late Linnie Jane Hodges.) which the respondent court immediately granted in the following order: It appearing in the urgent ex-parte motion filed by petitioner C. and the purchase of any other or additional property as he may think best. any property which he may deem proper to dispose of. to be equally divided among my brothers and sisters. manage and enjoy the same during his lifetime. Court. use and enjoy said estate during his lifetime. N. 4. to my beloved husband. and within the scope of the terms of the last will and testament. 5. the executor as the surviving spouse and legatee named in the will of the deceased. or located. 1307 of respondent court on June 28. however. That inasmuch as C. 5. wherever situated. namely: Esta Higdon. City of Iloilo May 27. and subsequent sales conveyances. to have and (to) hold unto him.SECOND: I give. devise and bequeath all of the rest. my said husband. by sale or any part thereof which he may think best. C. portion of which is quoted as follows: Second: I give. my said husband. and he is hereby given the right to make any changes in the physical properties of said estate. that he shall not sell or otherwise dispose of any of the improved property now owned by us located at. All rents. to inherit the properties of the decedent. or located. then it is my will and bequest that the heirs of such deceased brother or sister shall take jointly the share which would have gone to such brother or sister had she or he survived. to the Hon. (Annex "D".) This will was subsequently probated in aforementioned Special Proceedings No. also be approved. — That deceased Linnie Jane Hodges died leaving no descendants or ascendants. — That since the death of Linnie Jane Hodges. with the widower Charles Newton Hodges being appointed as Executor. but he shall have the full right to lease. it is most respectfully prayed that. both real and personal. and the properties conveyed can also be accounted for. residue and remainder of my estate. 4. That proper accounting will be had also in all these transactions. leases. to execute conveyances with or without general or special warranty. It is provided herein. but also. most respectfully states: 1. Petition. Charles Newton Hodges. and direct that no bond or other security be required of him as such executor. residue and remainder of my estate. FIFTH: In case of the death of any of my brothers and/or sisters named in item Fourth. had required of late the herein Executor to have all the sales. SIXTH: I nominate and appoint my said husband. shall have the right to manage. I give. — That herein Executor. THIRD: I desire. Emma Howell. Hodges filed as such Executor another motion thus: MOTION TO APPROVE ALL SALES. share and share alike. — That Linnie Jane Hodges died leaving her last will and testament. Charles Newton Hodges. emoluments and income from said estate shall belong to him. pursuant to the provisions thereof. . 1957. the said petitioner is allowed or authorized to continue the business in which he was engaged and to perform acts which he had been doing while the deceased was living. the successor to all the properties left by the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. Leonard Higdon. and all such deeds or leases shall pass the absolute fee simple title to the interest so conveyed in such property as he may elect to sell. to have and to hold unto him. direct and provide that my husband. N. Mr. SEVENTH: It is my will and bequest that no action be had in the probate court. herein petitioner was engaged in the business of buying and selling personal and real properties. is not only part owner of the properties left as conjugal. especially the amounts received. and he is further authorized to use any part of the principal of said estate as he may need or desire. leases and mortgages in compliances with the wishes of the late Linnie Jane Hodges. conveyances or mortgages made by him. above provided. emoluments and income from said estate shall belong to him. Petition. lease or dispose of the properties in the Philippines. which motion was favorably granted by the Honorable Court. 1957. in the same way. MORTGAGES THAT THE EXECUTOR HAD MADE FURTHER AND SUBSEQUENT TRANSACTIONS WHICH THE EXECUTOR MAY DO IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAST WISH OF THE DECEASED LINNIE JANE HODGES. Court. City of Iloilo. Saddie Rascoe. Previously. FOURTH: At the death of my said husband. and he is hereby given the right to make any changes in the physical properties of said estate. has the right to dispose of all the properties left by the deceased. He shall have the right to subdivide any farm land and sell lots therein. 1957. unless and until the Executor is named and appointed by the Court. convey. to my beloved husband. Court. — That according to the last will and testament of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. (Pp. Charles Newton Hodges. WHEREFORE. to lease any of the real property for oil. be approved by the Hon. Petition. wherever situated or located. by sale or any part thereof which he may think best. to the Hon.. both personal and real. both personal and real. Charles Newton Hodges. 2. to lease any of the real property for oil. residue and remainder of my estate. 1957. and the purchase of any other or additional property as he may think best. my said husband. — That during the lifetime of Linnie Jane Hodges. to have and to hold unto him. — That it is respectfully requested. any property which he may deem proper to dispose of. Roy Higdon. control use and enjoy the estate of deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. devise and bequeath all of the rest.N. the following: "I give. Texas. control. conveying in fee simple or for any other term or time. 1957. Hodges.N. — That in said last will and testament herein petitioner Charles Newton Hodges is directed to have the right to manage. especially in the purchase and sale of properties. That during the lifetime of herein Executor. — That the Register of Deeds for Iloilo.

dated July 30. he executed an "affidavit" wherein he ratified and confirmed all that he stated in Schedule "M" of his estate tax returns as to his having renounced what was given him by his wife's will. 1960.N.N. Petition.N. under oath.) which again was promptly granted by the respondent court on December 14. 1960 and May 2. In the "Statement of Networth of Mr. the said estate as having earned income of P164. exactly one- half of the net income of his combined personal assets and that of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. 1958. C. Hodges filed his first "Account by the Executor" of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. to wit: That a certified public accountant has examined the statement of net worth of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. Appellee's Brief. C. 1961. In connection with the statements of account just mentioned. 1958 annexed thereto. which the Court considers well taken all the sales. at this juncture. In the "Statement of Net Worth of Mr. Hodges filed an "Inventory" dated May 12. the same lawyer. he was bound to file tax returns for the estate he was administering under American law. 14. herein executor of the deceased. The records of these cases do not show that anything else was done in the above-mentioned Special Proceedings No. Court.) xxx xxx xxx Under date of April 20. 1959. C. he answered "Yes" to the question as to whether he was contemplating "renouncing the will". C.201.) His accounts for the periods January 1. He listed all the assets of his conjugal partnership with Linnie Jane Hodges on a separate balance sheet and then stated expressly that her estate which has come into his possession as executor was "one-half of all the items" listed in said balance sheet. Leon P. in representation of the Executor. Hodges reported that the combined conjugal estate earned a net income of P270. extensively from some of the pleadings and orders whenever We feel that it is necessary to do so for a more comprehensive and clearer view of the important and decisive issues raised by the parties and a more accurate appraisal of their respective positions in regard thereto.428. 1307 until December 26.857. it is most respectfully prayed that. be with authorization and approval of the Hon. In the "Statement of Networth of Mr. 1962. C. the statement of net worth of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. conveyances. all the sales. quoted above. were substantially identical to the above-quoted order of April 21. 92-93. Hodges and the Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges" as of December 31.) On April 14. 1959 to December 31.N. (pp. December 11. under oath. he filed an "individual income tax return" for calendar year 1960 on the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges reporting. Court. 1957 as follows: ORDER As prayed for by Attorney Gellada. 1957. 1959. 1960 annexed thereto. 1958.32. conveyances. Hodges reported that the combined conjugal estate earned a net income of P328. Hodges reported that the combined conjugal estate earned a net income of P314. and also the subsequent sales. Green ROA). it is most respectfully prayed that.31. As an executor. under oath. On the question as to what property interests passed to him as the surviving spouse. divided evenly between him and the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. 1958. 1958 to December 31. liabilities. December 14. divided evenly between him and the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. be approved by the Hon. Petition. 1962. Hodges and the Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges" as of December 31.402. except for purposes of administering the Estate. That no person interested in the Philippines of the time and place of examining the herein accounts be given notice. divided evenly between him and the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. Atty. Roy Higdon (see p. C. in submitting his first statement of account as Executor for approval. 1957. 1959 annexed thereto.) Parenthetically. (Pp. conveyances. 1959. Hodges and the Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges" as of December 31. and mortgages in consonance with the wishes of the deceased contained in her last will and testament.N. paying debts. conveyances. (Annex "H". (p." Again. 1960 to December 31. C. (Pp. and as such had filed the aforequoted motions and manifestations. Hodges filed his third "Annual Statement of Account by the Executor for the Year 1960" of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges.623. The order of the court admitting the will to probate unfortunately omitted one of the heirs. City of Iloilo April 14. 2. Green ROA). the assets and liabilities. Petition.N.97. 91. he filed an "individual income tax return" for calendar year 1959 on the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges reporting. Pursuant to this.) xxx xxx xxx Under date of July 21. C. 1 As appointed executor. Hodges filed his second "Annual Statement of Account by the Executor" of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. C. Gellada. who had been previously acting as counsel for Hodges in his capacity as Executor of his wife's estate.N. counsel for the Executor for the reasons stated in his motion dated December 11. the statement of net worth of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. City of Iloilo April 21. 91-92. on August 9. (Annex "G". Pursuant to this. 1959 in its order worded thus: Upon petition of Atty. that We are taking pains to quote wholly or at least. the said estate as having earned income of P157. So ordered. which account may be found in detail in the individual income tax return filed for the estate of deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. 1960 were submitted likewise accompanied by allegations identical mutatis mutandis to those of April 14. In Schedule "M" of such return. He did file such as estate tax return on August 8. income and expenses as shown in the individual income tax return for the estate of the deceased and marked as Annex "A" is approved.94. 1967. leases and mortgages of the properties left by the said deceased Linnie Jane Hodges in consonance with the wishes conveyed in the last will and testament of the latter. the assets and liabilities. and the respective orders approving the same.WHEREFORE. Immediately. The said Executor is further authorized to execute subsequent sales. Appellee's Brief.62. in accordance with the last will and testament already probated by the Honorable court. Iloilo City. assets and liabilities. he answered: "None. Appellee's Brief. income and expenses as shown in the individual income tax return for the estate of the deceased and marked as Annex "A". 1961. Hodges are hereby APPROVED. when on account of the death of Hodges the day before. filed the following: . It is the intention of the surviving husband of deceased to distribute the remaining property and interests of the deceased in their Community estate to the devisees and legatees named in the will when the debts. copy of which is hereto attached and made integral part of this statement of account as Annex "A". Appellee's Brief. renders the following account of his administration covering the period from January 1. as substantial compliance with the requirements of the Rules of Court. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING.N.66. City of Iloilo. 1959.N. 1959. Gellada. the said estate as having earned income of P135. 89-90. (Annex "I".) Likewise the following: In the petition for probate that he (Hodges) filed.) The respondent court approved this statement of account on April 21. and mortgages executed by the Executor. as well as the income and expenses.311. as herein executor is the only devisee or legatee of the deceased. C. he filed an "individual income tax return" for calendar year 1958 on the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges reporting. Petition. taxes and expenses of administration are finally determined and paid. leases. the following assertions related thereto made by respondent-appellee Magno in her brief do not appear from all indications discernible in the record to be disputable: Under date of April 14.N. be approved by the Honorable Court. 1959. exactly one-half of the net income of his combined personal assets and that of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. leases. stating that he wanted to straighten the records "in order the heirs of deceased Roy Higdon may not think or believe they were omitted. Hodges filed a verified motion to have Roy Higdon's name included as an heir. taxes and other legal charges.N. 1959 and January 1. he listed the seven brothers and sisters of Linnie Jane as her "heirs" (see p. C. it may be stated. leases and mortgages of all properties left by the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges executed by the Executor Charles N. and that they were really and are interested in the estate of deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. exactly one-half of the net income of his combined personal assets and that of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. (Annex "J". Hodges alleged: Pursuant to the provisions of the Rules of Court. SO ORDERED. . Pursuant to this. barely four months before his death.

albeit the motion was followed on February 22. my said husband. Magno. at the same time or in like manner. (pp. is "the nephew of the deceased (who had) arrived from the United States with instructions from the other heirs of the deceased to administer the properties or estate of Charles Newton Hodges in the Philippines. the estate of both spouses are in danger of being lost. because the last will of said Charles Newton Hodges is still kept in his vault or iron safe and that the real and personal properties of both spouses may be lost.000. That in accordance with the Last Will and Testament of Linnie Jane Hodges (deceased). what is more. on pages 205-206 of the Green Record on Appeal. with similar provisions as that contained in the last will and testament of Linnie Jane Hodges. a Special Administratrix is appointed. and estate of both spouses.00 to be filed by Avelina A. 1963. MAGNO. again. That the estate of deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. Davies. upon urgent ex-parte petition of respondent Magno herself. (Annex "O". none of the lengthy briefs submitted by the parties is of valuable assistance in clearing up the matter. Charles Newton Hodges was to act as Executor. according to the motion of the same attorney. have not as yet been determined or ascertained. 1962. for and in behalf of the administratrix. 3. Rizal Quimpo. That Miss Avelina Magno is also willing to file bond in such sum which the Hon. as provided for in Section 1 and 2. Miss Avelina A. to administer. Petition. Magno. As may be observed. the most fit. Mirasol. Rule 81 of the Rules of Court. the Court finds that everything that happened before September 3. 1962. 1964. 1964. 9. during his natural lifetime". the same Atty. Hodges. and will be presented in due time before this honorable Court. Harold. the said Charles Newton Hodges was appointed Executor and had performed the duties as such. paying debts. That the Honorable Court fix the reasonable bond of P1. We gather from the two records on appeal filed by petitioner. as executor of his wife's will. in view of all the foregoing. in her will. to the satisfaction of parties. it is imperative and indispensable that.N. Atty.) at the same time. WHEREFORE. who had been employed for around thirty (30) years. a sort of modus operandi had been agreed upon by the parties under which the respective administrators of the two estates were supposed to act conjointly. reading thus: The present incident is to hear the side of administratrix. (Pp. both real and personal. 29-33. 7. the said properties shall be equally divided among their heirs. "the rest. That there are real and personal properties left by Charles Newton Hodges. That in accordance with the provisions of Section 2 of Rule 75 of the Rules of Court. who.) which respondent court readily acted on in its order of even date thus: . 8. Court believes reasonable. That last December 22. 1964." (Annex "P". id. her husband. Thus. Charles Newton Hodges and Linnie Jane Hodges. regretably. it may also be explained that just as. Accordingly. Miss Avelina A. 2. which the Court finds meritorious.000. 1963 by Joe Hodges.) Meanwhile. "a representative of the heirs of deceased Charles Newton Hodges (who had) arrived from the United States of America to help in the administration of the estate of said deceased" was appointed as Co-Special Administrator of the estate of Hodges. MAGNO be immediately appointed Administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and as Special Administratrix of the estate of Charles Newton Hodges. but since no copy of the said agreement can be found in the record before Us. and take charge of the goods. residue and remainder of my estate. Gellada filed in Special Proceedings 1672 a petition for the probate of the will of Hodges. to perform the duties required by law. That in accordance with the provisions of the last will and testament of Linnie Jane Hodges. Miss AVELINA A. to the Honorable Court. there is the issue of whether the distribution of her estate should be governed by the laws of the Philippines or those of Texas.00). it became incumbent upon Hodges. it is most respectfully prayed that. taxes and expenses of administration are finally determined and paid". because the last will and testament of deceased.Record on Appeal) only to be replaced as such cospecial administrator on January 22. Charles Newton Hodges. Magno. 1957. damaged or go to waste. However. and after having done so. 1964. 47-50. We cannot discern clearly from the record before Us the precise perspective from which the trial court proceeded in issuing its questioned orders. to be equally divided among my brothers and sisters. as already stated. the situation that ensued upon the death of Hodges became rather unusual and so. In answer to the said charges. most respectfully states: 1. however.URGENT EX-PARTE MOTION FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A SPECIAL ADMINISTRATRIX COMES the undersigned attorney for the Executor in the above-entitled proceedings. and in the meantime. the court issued the corresponding order of probate and letters of administration to Joe Hodges and Atty. unless a Special Administratrix is appointed. in answer to the charges contained in the motion filed by Atty. the said Charles Newton Hodges was stricken ill. 1962. 6. After reading the manifestation here of Atty.) On December 29. competent. whatever real and personal properties that may remain at the death of her husband Charles Newton Hodges. with powers and duties provided for by law. to duly liquidate the conjugal partnership. That the said Miss Avelina Magno is of legal age. an Administratrix be appointed for the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and a Special Administratrix for the estate of Charles Newton Hodges. a resident of the Philippines. Miss Avelina A. Petition. And it was precisely because no such liquidation was done. Yellow . residue and remainder" thereof could be determined and correspondingly distributed or divided among her brothers and sisters. in the latter case. At this juncture. under date of January 9. the Court ordered the parties to remain in status quo as to their modus operandi before September 1. as well as that of Charles Newton Hodges. Miss Avelina A. which need to be administered and taken care of. he died on December 25. Hodges made official and sworn statements or manifestations indicating that as far as he was concerned no "property interests passed to him as surviving spouse — "except for purposes of administering the estate. as appellant in the appealed cases. (should) be appointed Administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and at the same time Special Administratrix of the estate of Charles Newton Hodges. And while reference is made to said modus operandi in the order of September 11. That the undersigned counsel. We have no way of knowing when exactly such agreement was entered into and under what specific terms. 1962. the lower court's actuations presently under review are apparently wanting in consistency and seemingly lack proper orientation. Magno is required to file bond in the sum of FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (P5. that the incidents and controversies now before Us for resolution arose. liabilities. she. 2 with a prayer for the issuance of letters of administration to the same Joe Hodges. as prayed for. Cesar Tirol on September 3. and there is necessity for the appointment of a general administrator to liquidate and distribute the residue of the estate to the heirs and legatees of both spouses. was simply due to a misunderstanding between the representative of the Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank and Miss Magno and in order to restore the harmonious relations between the parties. furthermore. and in fact. and brought to the Iloilo Mission Hospital for treatment. Fernando Mirasol be appointed as his co-administrator. And. that at the outset. 1963 by a separate one asking that Atty. taxes and other legal charges" and it was the intention of the surviving husband of the deceased to distribute the remaining property and interests of the deceased in their Community Estate to the devisees and legatees named in the will when the debts. is still kept in his safe or vault. and. rights. collect. Gellada. Magno. wherever situated or located. the conjugal partnership of Linnie Jane Hodges and Charles Newton Hodges shall be liquidated in the testate proceedings of the wife. credits. has perfect personal knowledge of the existence of the last will and testament of Charles Newton Hodges. said last will and testament of Charles Newton Hodges is kept inside the vault or iron safe in his office. Hodges bequeathed her whole estate to her husband "to have and to hold unto him. filed a written manifestation. chattels. 4. of which State she was a national. For the reasons alleged in the Urgent Ex-parte Motion filed by counsel for the Executor dated December 25. but unfortunately. That the most trusted employee of both spouses Linnie Jane Hodges and C. That in the meantime. damaged or go to waste. in an order issued by this Hon. let letters of Administration be issued to her. To begin with. Quimpo. share and share alike —". one with green cover and the other with a yellow cover. thru Atty. as shown by a copy of the death certificate hereto attached and marked as Annex "A". unless an administratrix (and. is hereby appointed Administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and as Special Administratrix of the estate of Charles Newton Hodges. in order that upon the eventuality of his death. trustworthy and well-qualified person to serve the duties of Administratrix and Special Administratrix and is willing to act as such. Court dated June 28. 1964. R. Miss AVELINA A. Mrs. That there is delay in granting letters testamentary or of administration. 5. in the person of Miss Avelina Magno. through her counsel. provided that "at the death of my said husband — I give devise and bequeath all of the rest. until after the Court can have a meeting with all the parties and . quite understandably. which was resolved on September 8. On the same date this latter motion was filed. half of which constituted her estate.

namely. as formerly agreed upon between counsels. and in like manner the accountant or any authorized representative of the estate of C. N. the attorney's fees of her lawyers. to the aforesaid October 5. SO ORDERED. documents and papers it may have in its possession. Rizal Quimpo. 1307) which stipulates the fees for said law firm has been approved by the Court in its order dated March 31. SO ORDERED. V. (c) That the PCIB should countersign the check in the amount of P250 in favor of Administratrix Avelina A. Atty. An opposition has been filed by the Administrator PCIB thru Atty. Hodges and Avelina A. Hodges. Sp. 1964 (pp. said fees made chargeable as expenses for the administration of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges (pp.N. on pages 292-295 of the Green Record on Appeal. instructing the clerk of court or any available deputy to witness and supervise the opening of all doors and locks and taking possession of the PCIB.. 1965. 1963 Motion. it is hereby ordered: (a) That all cash collections should be deposited in the joint account of the estates of Linnie Jane Hodges and estates of C. 1964 virtually all of the heirs of C. N. 1307). Magno as administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. Manglapus filed a reply to the opposition of counsel for the Administrator of the C. Gellada filed a memorandum dated July 28. subject. 1964 between the PCIB and the law firm of Ozaeta.N. 1307). the Court hereby orders Magno to open all doors and locks in the Hodges Office at 206-208 Guanco Street. 1964. No. N. Attys. but again there is nothing to show when this situation started. 1280-1284. 1964. 27) thru counsel Rizal Quimpo stating therein that she was compelled to close the office for the reason that the PCIB failed to comply with the order of this Court signed by Judge Anacleto I. In the meantime. Vol. 1641-1642. 1672) this Honorable Court amended its order of January 24. (e) That the accountant of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges shall have access to all records of the transactions of both estates for the protection of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. S. Hodges. Hodges. (also found on pp. as follows: Administratrix Magno thru Attys. Hodges. Mirasol acting as the two co-administrators of the estate of C. 1964. As a matter of fact the fee agreement dated February 27. 1964 but in no way changed its recognition of the afore-described basic demand by the PCIB as administrator of the estate of C. and so. It is further prayed that the Administratrix of the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges be directed to pay the retailers fee of said lawyers. Manglapus and Quimpo is premature and/or unnecessary. Magno acting as the administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and Messrs. To arrive at a happy solution of the dispute and in order not to interrupt the operation of the office of both estates. in like manner the very agreement which provides for the payment of attorney's fees to the counsel for the PCIB will also be prejudicial to the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges (pp. which indicates that seemingly the so-calledmodus operandi was no longer operative. Bellosillo dated September 11. documents and papers she may have in her possession in the same manner that Administrator PCIB is also directed to allow Administratrix Magno to inspect whatever records. Manglapus and Rizal. both estates or any of the estates should not close it without previous consent and authority from this court. Tirol and Tirol and Atty. On the other hand. the prayers of Atty. We are not informed as to what exactly are the terms of the same which could be relevant in the resolution of the issues herein. 1964 asking for the approval of the Agreement dated June 6. Vol.their counsels on October 3. inter alia. except that again. It is alleged in said urgent motion that Administratrix Magno of the testate estate of Linnie Jane Hodges refused to open the Hodges Office at 206-208 Guanco Street. the Court aside from the reasons stated in the urgent motion and opposition heard the verbal arguments of Atty. 1964 asking that the Manifestation and Urgent Motion filed by Attys. Attys. On February 1. Manglapus and Quimpo as prayed for in said Manifestation and Urgent Motion is prejudicial to the 100% claim of the estate of C. Once the estates' office shall have been opened by Administratrix Magno in the presence of the PCIB or its duly authorized representative and deputy clerk Albis or his duly authorized representative. 1965. on the ground that payment of the retainers fee of Attys. 1801-1814. CFI Rec. 1964. there is nothing in the record indicating whatever happened to it afterwards. 1965 in order that the office of said estates could operate for business. Joe Hodges and Fernando P. the respondent court required that all collections from the properties in the name of Hodges should be deposited in a joint account of the two estates. Leon P. On January 24. on pages 188-201 of the Green Record on Appeal. A written opposition has been filed by Administratrix Magno of even date (Oct. however. 1964. Cesar Tirol. Rizal Quimpo for Administratix Magno. in paragraph 3 of the petitioner's motion of September 14. V. Iloilo City in the presence of the PCIB or its duly authorized representative and deputy clerk of court Albis of this branch not later than 7:30 tomorrow morning October 28. V. which was approved by this Honorable Court. seventy-five percent (75%) of all assets owned by C. Vol. as follows: On record is an urgent motion to allow PCIB to open all doors and locks in the Hodges Office at 206-208 Guanco Street. authorized payment by respondent Magno of. Sp.N. 1965 thru Atty. the appealed order of November 3.N. It is prayed that an order be issued authorizing it (PCIB) to open all doors and locks in the said office. Hodges to one hundred percent (100%) of the assets claimed by both estates. R. the PCIB's claim to exclusive possession and ownership of one hundred percent (100%) (or. 83-91 of the Yellow Record on Appeal) it is alleged that: 3. 1964. Cesar Tirol for the PCIB and Atty. 1964 to the effect that both estates should remain in status quo to their modus operandi as of September 1. but no copy of the mentioned agreement of joint administration of the two estates exists in the record. Vol. James L. 1307).N. Quimpo as stated in his manifestation shall not be resolved by this Court until October 3. Attys. Sp. employment of Attys. Hodges. Gibbs & Ozaeta as its counsel (Pp. Pursuant to the order of this Court thru Judge Bellosillo dated September 11.P. Hodges. to take immediate and exclusive possession thereof and to place its own locks and keys for security purposes of the PCIB dated October 27. Mr. As may be noted. wherein the parties thereto agreed that certain sums of money were to be paid in settlement of different claims against the two estates and that the assets (to the extent they existed) of both estates would be administered jointly by the PCIB as administrator of the estate of C. 934-935. (d) That Administratrix Magno is hereby directed to allow the PCIB to inspect whatever records. reference thereto was made in the appealed order of October 27. Iloilo City where PCIB holds office and therefore PCIB is suffering great moral damage and prejudice as a result of said act. Hodges shall have access to the records of transactions of the Linnie Jane Hodges estate for the protection of the estate of C. Likewise.N. Sp. Iloilo City. etc. on pages 313-320 of the Green Record on Appeal. Raul S. (b) That whatever cash collections that had been deposited in the account of either of the estates should be withdrawn and since then deposited in the joint account of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and the estate of C. Gibbs and Ozaeta. in this order. Magno as her compensation as administratrix of the Linnie Jane Hodges estate chargeable to the testate estate of Linnie Jane Hodges only. Atty.N. Herminio Ozaeta dated July 11. V.. Hodges or Linnie Jane Hodges situated in the Philippines. Quimpo filed a Manifestation and Urgent Motion dated June 10. 1679-1684. to take immediate and exclusive possession thereof and place thereon its own locks and keys for security purposes. Quimpo and Manglapus are representing conflicting interests and the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges should be closed and terminated (pp. William Brown and Ardell Young acting for all of the Higdon family who claim to be the sole beneficiaries of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and various legal counsel representing the aforementioned parties entered into an amicable agreement. Hodges.N. her own fees as administratrix. Ozaeta.N. in the alternative. . After due consideration. Avelina A. Hodges estate wherein it is claimed that expenses of administration include reasonable counsel or attorney's fees for services to the executor or administrator. If payment of the fees of the lawyers for the administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges will cause prejudice to the estate of C. Manglapus and Quimpo be denied because no evidence has been presented in support thereof. 1964 which Agreement is for the purpose of retaining their services to protect and defend the interest of the said Administratrix in these proceedings and the same has been signed by and bears the express conformity of the attorney-in-fact of the late Linnie Jane Hodges. Sullivan.

the fee agreement dated February 27. Hodges and Atty. as administrator of the Estate of Hodges. VII. V.1163. Be that as it may. Vol. 1307 alone will show Atty. the said manifestation and urgent motion dated June 10. N. 1307). 1965 is null and void because the said order was never delivered to the deputy clerk Albis of Branch V (the sala of Judge Querubin) and the alleged order was found in the drawer of the late Judge Querubin in his office when said drawer was opened on January 13. Sp. R. 45-46. Sp. 6625-6636. Cesar T. It was followed by another motion dated August 4. It is prayed in this manifestation that the Manifestation and Urgent Motion dated June 10. Proc. V. 1964 is being treated and considered in this instant order. 5. 1964 to the reply to the opposition to the Manifestation and Urgent Motion alleging principally that the estates of Linnie Jane Hodges and C. Manglapus and Quimpo and other incidents directly appertaining thereto be considered submitted for consideration and approval (pp. 22442245). V. 1965 — 8 deeds of sale. Administratrix of the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and to this effect the PCIB should take the necessary steps so that Administratrix Avelina A. Sp. 6600-6606. Magno and the appellant. Magno. Quimpo (Vol. 1965 and considering the allegations and reasons therein stated. pp. 1149. Hodges. N. the court. Fees must be commensurate to the actual services rendered to the estate. The first such attempt was a "Motion for Approval of Deeds of Sale for Registered Land and Cancellations of Mortgages" dated July 21. that Attys. R. 1307). 1964 (pp. 2. Proc. the order dated January 4. Vol. 1965. Hodges on February 20. 1964 — 1 deed of sale. 1965 approving the motion dated June 10. Vol. R. Tirol. 6759-6765. Sp. (pp. Gibbs and Ozaeta and Tirol and Tirol and the opposition thereto of Atty. Jr. V. Paulino (CFI Record. 1964 of the attorneys for the administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and agreement annexed to said motion. In support of said manifestation and motion it is alleged that the order of January 4. 1964 filed by Attys. No. (f) motion dated May 7. Cesar T. it appears that on August 6. 1965. This motion was approved by the lower court on July 27. Vol. 248. However. Gellada and his associates and Atty. N. the appellant. 1964 for the approval of one final deed of sale again signed by appellee Avelina A. which was again approved by the lower court on August 7. Magno and D. It is worthy to note that in the motion dated January 24. VII. between the Administrator of the estate of C. 1964 stating therein that Judge Bellosillo issued an order requiring the parties to submit memorandum in support of their respective contentions. 3 And this was not an isolated instance. Sp. pp. Sp. after it had taken over the bulk of the assets of the two estates. Hodges and Avelina A. Vol. fees should be pro-rated between them. 1964 — 4 deeds of sale. Hodges is an heir of Linnie Jane Hodges whereas the latter is not an heir of the former for the reason that Linnie Jane Hodges predeceased C. N. Magno and D. Roman Mabanta. 1965 asking that after the consideration by the court of all allegations and arguments and pleadings of the PCIB in connection therewith (1) said manifestation and urgent motion of Attys. filed by Atty.manifestation dated January 5. acting on a motion of petitioner for the approval of deeds of sale executed by it as administrator of the estate of Hodges. Sp. 1964 be reversed on the ground that: 1. 1965 asking that the manifestation and urgent motion dated June 10. Sp. Vol. The administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges is hereby directed to be needed to implement the approval of the agreement annexed to the motion and the administrator of the estate of C. V. reimbursement for expenditures and contingent fees has also been approved by the Court and said lawyers have already been paid. Hodges (pp. the Court believes that the order of January 4. Rizal R. 1839-1848. 1639-1640. Cesar T. 1307). Vol. Gellada. 6442-6453. In view of the very extensive landholdings of the Hodges spouses and the many motions filed concerning deeds of sale of real properties executed by C. 1964. 1372-1373. Atty. 1964 (Pp.) Notably this order required that even the deeds executed by petitioner. V. Attorneys retained should not represent conflicting interests. Roman Mabanta. first Joe Hodges. Administrator of the Testate Estate of C. 3. for the PCIB filed a motion for reconsideration dated February 23. N. 1307. Vol. Sp. 1825-1828). Vol. Manglapus and Quimpo be denied (pp. 1964 — 6 deeds of sale. 1307 pp. for the PCIB filed a manifestation and motion dated January 13. Herminio Ozaeta filed a rejoinder dated August 10. 1307). 1307). WHEREFORE. then Atty. thereto annexing two (2) final deeds of sale and two (2) cancellations of mortgages signed by appellee Avelina A. 1307) which has been filed by Atty. pp. Atty. issued the following order. 1672 (Vol. Tirol in representation of the law firms of Ozaeta. Magno and the administrator of the estate of C. VIII. Leon P. 1307). N. N. Vol VII. VII. 1964 which was filed by the attorneys for the administratrix of the testate estate of Linnie Jane Hodges is granted and the agreement annexed thereto is hereby approved. Vol. Considering the arguments and reasons in support to the pleadings of both the Administratrix and the PCIB. SO ORDERED. 1307. 1965 after the death of Judge Querubin by Perfecto Querubin. 1964 be resolved (pp. Judge Querubin issued an order dated January 4. Subsequently. 1965 is hereby declared null and void. 1965 asking that the order dated January 4. N. N. Manglapus and Quimpo formally entered their appearance in behalf of Administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges on June 10. involving properties registered in his name. Administrator of the Testate Estate of C. Rule 36. Sp. for the PCIB filed a counter. again. Green ROA). VIII. Paulino. should be co-signed by respondent Magno. 6811-6813) dated July 22. counsel for the appellant. Quimpo for Administratrix Magno of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges filed a motion to submit dated July 15. Attorneys retained must render services to the estate not to the personal heir. (b) motion dated November 4. 1965 which was issued by Judge Querubin be declared null and void and to enjoin the clerk of court and the administratrix and administrator in these special proceedings from all proceedings and action to enforce or comply with the provision of the aforesaid order of January 4. on the basis of section 8 of Rule 89 of the Revised Rules of Court. Proc. Hodges in Sp. V. a flood ensued: the appellant subsequently filed similar motions for the approval of a multitude of deeds of sales and cancellations of mortgages signed by both the appellee Avelina A. 1307). Vol. 1963 (pp. and of Atty. (pp. A random check of the records of Special Proceeding No. 1307). 6435-6439. 4. 1965 asking that the order of January 4. Paulino in the following numbers: (a) motion dated September 21. Atty. Jr. 1307). The manifestation and motion dated June 10. The gates having been opened. (c) motion dated December 1. thereby implying somehow that the court assumed the existence of independent but simultaneous administrations. Magno could sign the deeds of sale. Proc. Sp. VIII. Magno to execute final deeds of sale pursuant to contracts to sell executed by C. the son of the judge and in the presence of Executive Judge Rovira and deputy clerk Albis (Sec. to the prejudice of the other heirs not represented by said attorneys. Hodges are not similarly situated for the reason that C. Sp. Vol. Green Record on Appeal. (d) motion dated February 3. 1964. 1964 filed by Atty. Gellada. New Civil Code) (Pp. 6518-6523. Atty. Hodges is directed to countersign the said check or checks as the case may be.000 monthly in addition to specific fees for actual appearances. Manglapus filed a manifestation dated December 18. N. Hodges the lower court has had to constitute . (p. Gibbs which provides for retainer fee of P4. Tirol as having presented for court approval deeds of sale of real properties signed by both appellee Avelina A. the court believes that the deeds of sale should be signed jointly by the PCIB. also on appeal herein: Acting upon the motion for approval of deeds of sale for registered land of the PCIB. Magno and D. Fernando Mirasol and later the appellant) were approved by the lower court upon petition of appellee Magno's counsel. 1965. 1965 — 9 deeds of sale. There must be assets in the estate to pay for said fees (Pp. Sp.Atty. 1694-1701). N. Assistant Vice-President and Manager of the appellant (CFI Record. 1965 is null and void for the reason that the said order has not been filed with deputy clerk Albis of this court (Branch V) during the lifetime of Judge Querubin who signed the said order. If services are rendered to both. Atty. hereinbefore mentioned. 1. respondent Magno states: After the lower court had authorized appellee Avelina A. dated July 16. 1273-1279. 1964. VIII. motions for the approval of final deeds of sale (signed by appellee Avelina A. pp. Jr.. Proc. The said order further states: "The Administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges is authorized to issue or sign whatever check or checks may be necessary for the above purpose and the administrator of the estate of C. Roman Mabanta. No. However. Hodges is ordered to countersign the same. started presenting these motions itself. Gibbs and other lawyers in addition to the stipulated fees for actual services rendered. SO ORDERED. Jr. In her brief as appellee. Atty.

on pp. 303-304. WHEREFORE. in its other appealed order of November 23. 11. id. 1966.). Iloilo City Policarpio M. approving the deed of sale executed by respondent Magno in favor of appellee Florenia Barrido on March 28. 1965 in view of failure of said appellee to pay the installments on time. Negros Fe Magbanua. Libre. id. thus: Considering that in both cases there is as yet no judicial declaration of heirs nor distribution of properties to whomsoever are entitled thereto. 1966. after the death of his wife.) On the other hand. 1966. Order of March 30. Roxas City William Bayani. 1964. id. No. Order of April 20. as Administrator of the estate of Hodges and/or respondent Magno. 1959 and November 27. April 18. 138-139. 5. Inc. 1966 pursuant to a "contract to sell" signed by Hodges on August 14. before the death of his wife. under date of February 3. pursuant to a "contract to sell" signed by Hodges on February 21. 211-212. 1966. 1966 for failure of appellee Catedral to pay the installments due on time. 1966." (Pp. Molo. in the other appealed order of December 19. Proc. that is. 6. 334-335. In his lifetime. 1967. (Pp. pursuant to "contracts to sell" signed by Hodges on April 20. Iloilo City Elpidio Villarete. approving the deed of sale executed by respondent Magno in favor of appellee Jose Pablico on March 7. and October 31. after her death. before the death of his wife. on pp. Bacolod City. Green Record on Appeal. approving the deed of sale executed by respondent Magno in favor of appellee Artheo Thomas Jamir on June 3. 1966 and November 3. the respondent court approved deeds of sale executed by respondent Magno alone. 303-304. 1966. Order of June 21. Iloilo City Benjamin Rolando. after the death of his wife. Order of April 5. Order of April 5. after the death of his wife. Further indicating lack of concrete perspective or orientation on the part of the respondent court and its hesitancy to clear up matters promptly. 1961. Iloilo Ricardo M. pursuant to a "contract to sell" signed by Hodges on February 10. 12. Hodges. respectively. 1307 and the Administrator in Sp. 1958. which contract petitioner claims it had cancelled on June 29. 137 of the Green Record on Appeal. on pp. Green Record on Appeal. the said expenses are hereby APPROVED and to be charged against the testate estate of the late Linnie Jane Hodges. N. Vol. Order of December 2. Order of December 2.. Baes. There are attached hereto documents executed jointly by the Administratrix in Sp. Jaro.. VIII. "B" and "C" of the motion. 1960 and August 25. Atty. filed "Motion for Approval of Deeds of Sale for Registered Land and Cancellations of Mortgages" (CFI Record. it is respectfully prayed that. Pototan.. President of appellee Western Institute of Technology (successor of Panay Educational Institutions. 1966. Hodges.. id. 335-336. N. pursuant to a "contract to sell" signed by Hodges on June 17. pursuant to a "contract to sell" signed by Hodges on May 29. which contract petitioner claims it had cancelled on February 16. approving the deed of sale executed by respondent Magno in favor of appellee Lorenzo Carles on February 24. Torres. 212-213. irrespective of whether they were executed by him before or after the death of his wife. Cesar T. La Paz. are reasonable and are believed by this Court to be a proper charge of administration chargeable to the testate estate of the late Linnie Jane Hodges. Order of April 5. The administrator of the testate estate of the late Charles Newton Hodges is hereby ordered to countersign the check or checks necessary to pay the said overtime pay as shown by the bills marked Annex "A". Iloilo City "4. (Pp. Jaro. as stated earlier. pursuant to "contracts to sell" executed by Hodges. after the death of his wife." And the prayer of this motion is indeed very revealing: "WHEREFORE. 1966. Iloilo City Amado Magbanua. the respondent court approved payments made by her of overtime pay to some employees of the court who had helped in gathering and preparing copies of parts of the records in both estates as follows: Considering that the expenses subject of the motion to approve payment of overtime pay dated December 10. respectively. The orders of this nature which are also on appeal herein are the following: 1. on pp. 1672. 1966. 1966. consisting of deeds of sale in favor — Fernando Cano. N.. the Court believes that payment to both the administrator of the testate estate of C. Salas can pay to both estates or either of them. as Administratrix of the estate of Mrs. 221-222. Dao. one of the parties with whom Hodges had contracts that are in question in the appeals herein. Lataquin. SO ORDERED. Iloilo City and cancellations of mortgages in favor of — Pablo Manzano. Antique Simplicio Tingson. 1966. pursuant to separate "promises to sell" signed respectively by Hodges on May 26. respectively. Rizal Estanzuela. and such approvals have not been the subject of any appeal. 1966.. In like manner. respectively. movant Ricardo T. on pp. 1958. after the death of his wife. 1965. 1966. 3. on pp. Iloilo City Federico B. on pages 334-335 of the Green Record on Appeal. before the death of his wife. pursuant to a "contract to sell" signed by Hodges on February 5. Order of June 21. 9. Order of June 7. 1966.) None of these assertions is denied in Petitioner's reply brief. 1959. 1966. and the prospective buyers under said contracts have already paid the price and complied with the terms and conditions thereof. 1960. after the death of his wife. Iloilo Roselia M. on pp. Iloilo City Reynaldo T. August 17. Order of April 20.. Hodges executed "Contracts to Sell" real property. id. Iloilo City Anatolio T. 1966. Hodges and the administratrix of the testate estate of Linnie Jane Hodges or to either one of the two estates is proper and legal. 184-185. 1954. For instance. after the death of his wife. id. after the death of his wife. "3. there were also instances when respondent court approved deeds of sale executed by petitioner alone and without the concurrence of respondent Magno. id. this honorable court approve the aforesaid deeds of sale and cancellations of mortgages. pursuant to "contracts to sell" signed by Hodges on June 9. Winifredo Espada and Rosario Alingasa on September 6. No less than petitioner points this out on pages 149-150 of its brief as appellant thus: . which contract petitioner claims was cancelled by it for failure of Carles to pay the installments due on January 7. 1965. pp. San Jose. Hodges. from among the very many. 8. 137-138. Sp. under Rule 89. "2. 113-117. In the course of administration of both estates. 1307 and 1672 to include mere motions for the approval of deeds of sale of the conjugal properties of the Hodges spouses. after the death of his wife. 65706596) the allegations of which read: "1. 1965. 1959. Diana. 1966.special separate expedientes in Special Proceedings Nos. the late C. 1960. 1960. there were instances when respondent Magno was given authority to act alone. Iloilo City Rosario T. Proc. SO ORDERED.) Likewise. 1951. Occ. which contract petitioner claims it cancelled on March 3. id. on p. on page 221 of the Green Record on Appeal. on pp. on pp.. 1958. 1955 and January 30. No. 4. id.. on pp. La Paz. 168-169. approving the deed of sale executed by respondent Magno in favor of appellees Graciano Lucero and Melquiades Batisanan on June 6 and June 3. Section 8 of the Rules of Court. 1966. for failure of appellee Pablico to pay the installments due on time. 1964. pursuant to a "contract to sell" signed by Hodges on May 26. approving the deed of sale executed by respondent Magno in favor of appellee Purificacion Coronado on March 28.. approving three deeds of sale executed by respondent Magno. Iloilo City Norma T. Jaro. 167-168. approving the deed of sale executed by respondent Magno in favor of appellees Espiridion Partisala. 1950. 1966. insofar as it approved the deed of sale executed by respondent Magno in favor of appellee Pepito Iyulores on September 6. id. 1961. Viray. 1966. Order of January 3. Ruiz. 1307. one in favor of appellees Santiago Pacaonsis and two in favor of appellee Adelfa Premaylon on December 5. 139-140. Oton. 7. Appellee's Brief. Tirol. approving the deed of sale executed by respondent Magno in favor of appellee Belcezar Causing on May 2. Bolo. 2. to pay petitioner. 1966 and August 3. 1954. covering properties in the name of Hodges. said respondent court allowed the movant Ricardo Salas. mortgage debtors have already paid their debts secured by chattel mortgages in favor of the late C. respectively. id. Proc. 1966. 1966 pursuant to a "contract to sell" signed by Hodges on September 13. No. Pareno. as Administrator of the estate of Mrs.. and are now entitled to release therefrom. As an example. That the approval of the aforesaid documents will not reduce the assets of the estates so as to prevent any creditor from receiving his full debt or diminish his dividend. on pp. 1966. approving the deed of sale executed by respondent Magno in favor of appellee Salvador Guzman on February 28. 10. 1961. approving the deed of sale executed by respondent Magno in favor of appellee Alfredo Catedral on March 2. pursuant to a "contract to sell" signed by Hodges on March 7. as counsel for the appellant.

The points of fact and law pertaining to the two abovecited assignments of error have
already been discussed previously. In the first abovecited error, the order alluded to was
general, and as already explained before, it was, as admitted by the lower court itself,
superseded by the particular orders approving specific final deeds of sale executed by the
appellee, Avelina A. Magno, which are subject of this appeal, as well as the particular orders
approving specific final deeds of sale executed by the appellant, Philippine Commercial and
Industrial Bank, which were never appealed by the appellee, Avelina A. Magno, nor by any
party for that matter, and which are now therefore final.
Now, simultaneously with the foregoing incidents, others of more fundamental and all embracing significance
developed. On October 5, 1963, over the signature of Atty. Allison J. Gibbs in representation of the law firm of Ozaeta,
Gibbs & Ozaeta, as counsel for the co-administrators Joe Hodges and Fernando P. Mirasol, the following selfexplanatory motion was filed:
URGENT MOTION FOR AN ACCOUNTING AND DELIVERY TO
ADMINISTRATION OF THE ESTATE OF C. N. HODGES OF ALL
OF THE ASSETS OF THE CONJUGAL PARTNERSHIP OF THE
DECEASED LINNIE JANE HODGES AND C N. HODGES
EXISTING AS OF MAY 23, 1957 PLUS ALL THE RENTS,
EMOLUMENTS AND INCOME THEREFROM.
COMES NOW the co-administrator of the estate of C. N. Hodges, Joe Hodges, through his
undersigned attorneys in the above-entitled proceedings, and to this Honorable Court
respectfully alleges:
(1) On May 23, 1957 Linnie Jane Hodges died in Iloilo City.
(2) On June 28, 1957 this Honorable Court admitted to probate the Last Will and Testament
of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges executed November 22, 1952 and appointed C. N.
Hodges as Executor of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges (pp. 24-25, Rec. Sp. Proc. 1307).
(3) On July 1, 1957 this Honorable Court issued Letters Testamentary to C. N. Hodges in the
Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges (p. 30, Rec. Sp. Proc. 1307).
(4) On December 14, 1957 this Honorable Court, on the basis of the following allegations in
a Motion dated December 11, 1957 filed by Leon P. Gellada as attorney for the executor C.
N. Hodges:
"That herein Executor, (is) not only part owner of the properties left
as conjugal, but also, the successor to all the properties left by the
deceased Linnie Jane Hodges."
(p. 44, Rec. Sp. Proc. 1307; emphasis supplied.)
issued the following order:
"As prayed for by Attorney Gellada, counsel for the Executory, for
the reasons stated in his motion dated December 11, 1957 which
the court considers well taken, all the sales, conveyances, leases
and mortgages of all properties left by the deceased Linnie Jane
Hodges are hereby APPROVED. The said executor is further
authorized to execute subsequent sales, conveyances, leases and
mortgages of the properties left by the said deceased Linnie Jane
Hodges in consonance with the wishes contained in the last will and
testament of the latter."
(p. 46, Rec. Sp. Proc. 1307; emphasis supplied.)
(5) On April 21, 1959 this Honorable Court approved the inventory and accounting submitted
by C. N. Hodges through his counsel Leon P. Gellada on April 14, 1959 wherein he alleged
among other things
"That no person interested in the Philippines of the time and place
of examining the herein account, be given notice, as herein
executor is the only devisee or legatee of the deceased, in
accordance with the last will and testament already probated by the
Honorable Court."
(pp. 77-78, Rec. Sp. Proc. 1307; emphasis supplied.).
(6) On July 30, 1960 this Honorable Court approved the "Annual Statement of Account"
submitted by C. N. Hodges through his counsel Leon P. Gellada on July 21, 1960 wherein he
alleged among other things:

"That no person interested in the Philippines of the time and place
of examining the herein account, be given notice as herein executor
is the only devisee or legatee of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges,
in accordance with the last will and testament of the deceased,
already probated by this Honorable Court."
(pp. 81-82. Rec. Sp. Proc. 1307; emphasis supplied.)
(7) On May 2, 1961 this Honorable court approved the "Annual Statement of Account By The
Executor for the Year 1960" submitted through Leon P. Gellada on April 20, 1961 wherein he
alleged:
That no person interested in the Philippines be given notice, of the
time and place of examining the herein account, as herein Executor
is the only devisee or legatee of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges,
in accordance with the last will and testament of the deceased,
already probated by this Honorable Court.
(pp. 90-91. Rec. Sp. Proc. 1307; emphasis supplied.)
(8) On December 25, 1962, C.N. Hodges died.
(9) On December 25, 1962, on the Urgent Ex-parte Motion of Leon P. Gellada filed only in
Special Proceeding No. 1307, this Honorable Court appointed Avelina A. Magno
"Administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and as Special Administratrix of the
estate of Charles Newton Hodges, in the latter case, because the last will of said Charles
Newton Hodges is still kept in his vault or iron safe and that the real and personal properties
of both spouses may be lost, damaged or go to waste, unless a Special Administratrix is
appointed."
(p. 100. Rec. Sp. Proc. 1307)
(10) On December 26, 1962 Letters of Administration were issued to Avelina Magno
pursuant to this Honorable Court's aforesaid Order of December 25, 1962
"With full authority to take possession of all the property of said
deceased in any province or provinces in which it may be situated
and to perform all other acts necessary for the preservation of said
property, said Administratrix and/or Special Administratrix having
filed a bond satisfactory to the Court."
(p. 102, Rec. Sp. Proc. 1307)
(11) On January 22, 1963 this Honorable Court on petition of Leon P. Gellada of January 21,
1963 issued Letters of Administration to:
(a) Avelina A. Magno as Administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges;
(b) Avelina A. Magno as Special Administratrix of the Estate of Charles Newton Hodges; and
(c) Joe Hodges as Co-Special Administrator of the Estate of Charles Newton Hodges.
(p. 43, Rec. Sp. Proc. 1307)
(12) On February 20, 1963 this Honorable Court on the basis of a motion filed by Leon P.
Gellada as legal counsel on February 16, 1963 for Avelina A. Magno acting as Administratrix
of the Estate of Charles Newton Hodges (pp. 114-116, Sp. Proc. 1307) issued the following
order:
"... se autoriza a aquella (Avelina A. Magno) a firmar escrituras de
venta definitiva de propiedades cubiertas por contratos para vender,
firmados, en vida, por el finado Charles Newton Hodges, cada vez
que el precio estipulado en cada contrato este totalmente pagado.
Se autoriza igualmente a la misma a firmar escrituras de
cancelacion de hipoteca tanto de bienes reales como personales
cada vez que la consideracion de cada hipoteca este totalmente
pagada.
"Cada una de dichas escrituras que se otorguen debe ser sometida
para la aprobacion de este Juzgado."
(p. 117, Sp. Proc. 1307).
[Par 1 (c), Reply to Motion For Removal of Joe Hodges]
(13) On September l6, 1963 Leon P. Gellada, acting as attorney for Avelina A. Magno as
Administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges, alleges:
3. — That since January, 1963, both estates of Linnie Jane Hodges
and Charles Newton Hodges have been receiving in full, payments

for those "contracts to sell" entered into by C. N. Hodges during his
lifetime, and the purchasers have been demanding the execution of
definite deeds of sale in their favor.
4. — That hereto attached are thirteen (13) copies deeds of sale
executed by the Administratrix and by the co-administrator
(Fernando P. Mirasol) of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and
Charles Newton Hodges respectively, in compliance with the terms
and conditions of the respective "contracts to sell" executed by the
parties thereto."
(14) The properties involved in the aforesaid motion of September 16, 1963 are all registered
in the name of the deceased C. N. Hodges.
(15) Avelina A. Magno, it is alleged on information and belief, has been advertising in the
newspaper in Iloilo thusly:
For Sale
Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and Charles Newton Hodges.
All Real Estate or Personal Property will be sold on First Come First Served Basis.
Avelina
A.
Administratrix
(16) Avelina A. Magno, it is alleged on information and belief, has paid and still is paying
sums of money to sundry persons.
(17) Joe Hodges through the undersigned attorneys manifested during the hearings before
this Honorable Court on September 5 and 6, 1963 that the estate of C. N. Hodges was
claiming all of the assets belonging to the deceased spouses Linnie Jane Hodges and C. N.
Hodges situated in Philippines because of the aforesaid election by C. N. Hodges wherein he
claimed and took possession as sole owner of all of said assets during the administration of
the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges on the ground that he was the sole devisee and legatee
under her Last Will and Testament.
(18) Avelina A. Magno has submitted no inventory and accounting of her administration as
Administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and Special Administratrix of the estate of
C. N. Hodges. However, from manifestations made by Avelina A. Magno and her legal
counsel, Leon P. Gellada, there is no question she will claim that at least fifty per cent (50%)
of the conjugal assets of the deceased spouses and the rents, emoluments and income
therefrom belong to the Higdon family who are named in paragraphs Fourth and Fifth of the
Will of Linnie Jane Hodges (p. 5, Rec. Sp. Proc. 1307).
WHEREFORE, premises considered, movant respectfully prays that this Honorable Court,
after due hearing, order:
(1) Avelina A. Magno to submit an inventory and accounting of all of the funds, properties
and assets of any character belonging to the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges and C. N.
Hodges which have come into her possession, with full details of what she has done with
them;
(2) Avelina A. Magno to turn over and deliver to the Administrator of the estate of C. N.
Hodges all of the funds, properties and assets of any character remaining in her possession;
(3) Pending this Honorable Court's adjudication of the aforesaid issues, Avelina A. Magno to
stop, unless she first secures the conformity of Joe Hodges (or his duly authorized
representative, such as the undersigned attorneys) as the Co-administrator and attorney-infact of a majority of the beneficiaries of the estate of C. N. Hodges:
(a) Advertising the sale and the sale of the properties of the estates:
(b) Employing personnel and paying them any compensation.
(4) Such other relief as this Honorable Court may deem just and equitable in the premises.
(Annex "T", Petition.)
Almost a year thereafter, or on September 14, 1964, after the co-administrators Joe Hodges and Fernando P. Mirasol
were replaced by herein petitioner Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank as sole administrator, pursuant to an
agreement of all the heirs of Hodges approved by the court, and because the above motion of October 5, 1963 had
not yet been heard due to the absence from the country of Atty. Gibbs, petitioner filed the following:
MANIFESTATION AND MOTION, INCLUDING MOTION TO SET
FOR HEARING AND RESOLVE "URGENT MOTION FOR AN
ACCOUNTING AND DELIVERY TO ADMINISTRATORS OF THE
ESTATE OF C. N. HODGES OF ALL THE ASSETS OF THE

Magno

CONJUGAL PARTNERSHIP OF THE DECEASED LINNIE JANE
HODGES AND C. N. HODGES EXISTING AS OF MAY 23, 1957
PLUS ALL OF THE RENTS, EMOLUMENTS AND INCOME
THEREFROM OF OCTOBER 5, 1963.
COMES NOW Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank (hereinafter referred to as PCIB),
the administrator of the estate of C. N. Hodges, deceased, in Special Proceedings No. 1672,
through its undersigned counsel, and to this Honorable Court respectfully alleges that:
1. On October 5, 1963, Joe Hodges acting as the co-administrator of the estate of C. N.
Hodges filed, through the undersigned attorneys, an "Urgent Motion For An Accounting and
Delivery To Administrator of the Estate of C. N. Hodges of all Of The Assets Of The Conjugal
Partnership of The Deceased Linnie Jane Hodges and C. N. Hodges Existing as Of May, 23,
1957 Plus All Of The Rents, Emoluments and Income Therefrom" (pp. 536-542, CFI Rec. S.
P. No. 1672).
2. On January 24, 1964 this Honorable Court, on the basis of an amicable agreement
entered into on January 23, 1964 by the two co-administrators of the estate of C. N. Hodges
and virtually all of the heirs of C. N. Hodges (p. 912, CFI Rec., S. P. No. 1672), resolved the
dispute over who should act as administrator of the estate of C. N. Hodges by appointing the
PCIB as administrator of the estate of C. N. Hodges (pp. 905-906, CFI Rec. S. P. No. 1672)
and issuing letters of administration to the PCIB.
3. On January 24, 1964 virtually all of the heirs of C. N. Hodges, Joe Hodges and Fernando
P. Mirasol acting as the two co-administrators of the estate of C. N. Hodges, Avelina A.
Magno acting as the administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges, and Messrs. William
Brown and Ardel Young Acting for all of the Higdon family who claim to be the sole
beneficiaries of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and various legal counsel representing the
aforenamed parties entered into an amicable agreement, which was approved by this
Honorable Court, wherein the parties thereto agreed that certain sums of money were to be
paid in settlement of different claims against the two estates andthat the assets (to the extent
they existed)of both estates would be administrated jointly by the PCIB as administrator of
the estate of C. N. Hodges and Avelina A. Magno as administratrix of the estate of Linnie
Jane Hodges, subject, however, to the aforesaid October 5, 1963 Motion, namely, the PCIB's
claim to exclusive possession and ownership of one-hundred percent (10017,) (or, in the
alternative, seventy-five percent [75%] of all assets owned by C. N. Hodges or Linnie Jane
Hodges situated in the Philippines. On February 1, 1964 (pp. 934-935, CFI Rec., S. P. No.
1672) this Honorable Court amended its order of January 24, 1964 but in no way changes its
recognition of the aforedescribed basic demand by the PCIB as administrator of the estate of
C. N. Hodges to one hundred percent (100%) of the assets claimed by both estates.
4. On February 15, 1964 the PCIB filed a "Motion to Resolve" the aforesaid Motion of
October 5, 1963. This Honorable Court set for hearing on June 11, 1964 the Motion of
October 5, 1963.
5. On June 11, 1964, because the undersigned Allison J. Gibbs was absent in the United
States, this Honorable Court ordered the indefinite postponement of the hearing of the
Motion of October 5, 1963.
6. Since its appointment as administrator of the estate of C. N. Hodges the PCIB has not
been able to properly carry out its duties and obligations as administrator of the estate of C.
N. Hodges because of the following acts, among others, of Avelina A. Magno and those who
claim to act for her as administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges:
(a) Avelina A. Magno illegally acts as if she is in exclusive control of
all of the assets in the Philippines of both estates including those
claimed by the estate of C. N. Hodges as evidenced in part by her
locking the premises at 206-208 Guanco Street, Iloilo City on
August 31, 1964 and refusing to reopen same until ordered to do so
by this Honorable Court on September 7, 1964.
(b) Avelina A. Magno illegally acts as though she alone may decide
how the assets of the estate of C.N. Hodges should be
administered, who the PCIB shall employ and how much they may
be paid as evidenced in party by her refusal to sign checks issued
by the PCIB payable to the undersigned counsel pursuant to their

fee agreement approved by this Honorable Court in its order dated
March 31, 1964.
(c) Avelina A. Magno illegally gives access to and turns over
possession of the records and assets of the estate of C.N. Hodges
to the attorney-in-fact of the Higdon Family, Mr. James L. Sullivan,
as evidenced in part by the cashing of his personal checks.
(d) Avelina A. Magno illegally refuses to execute checks prepared
by the PCIB drawn to pay expenses of the estate of C. N. Hodges
as evidenced in part by the check drawn to reimburse the PCIB's
advance of P48,445.50 to pay the 1964 income taxes reported due
and payable by the estate of C.N. Hodges.
7. Under and pursuant to the orders of this Honorable Court, particularly those of January 24
and February 1, 1964, and the mandate contained in its Letters of Administration issued on
January 24, 1964 to the PCIB, it has
"full authority to take possession of all the
property of the deceased C. N. Hodges
"and to perform all other acts necessary for the preservation of said
property." (p. 914, CFI Rec., S.P. No. 1672.)
8. As administrator of the estate of C. N. Hodges, the PCIB claims the right to the immediate
exclusive possession and control of all of the properties, accounts receivables, court cases,
bank accounts and other assets, including the documentary records evidencing same, which
existed in the Philippines on the date of C. N. Hodges' death, December 25, 1962, and were
in his possession and registered in his name alone. The PCIB knows of no assets in the
Philippines registered in the name of Linnie Jane Hodges, the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges,
or, C. N. Hodges, Executor of the Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges on December 25, 1962. All
of the assets of which the PCIB has knowledge are either registered in the name of C. N.
Hodges, alone or were derived therefrom since his death on December 25, 1962.
9. The PCIB as the current administrator of the estate of C. N. Hodges, deceased,
succeeded to all of the rights of the previously duly appointed administrators of the estate of
C. N. Hodges, to wit:
(a) On December 25, 1962, date of C. N. Hodges' death, this
Honorable Court appointed Miss Avelina A. Magno simultaneously
as:
(i) Administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges (p. 102, CFI
Rec., S.P. No. 1307) to replace the deceased C. N. Hodges who on
May 28, 1957 was appointed Special Administrator (p. 13. CFI Rec.
S.P. No. 1307) and on July 1, 1957 Executor of the estate of Linnie
Jane Hodges (p. 30, CFI Rec., S. P. No. 1307).
(ii) Special Administratrix of the estate of C. N. Hodges (p. 102, CFI
Rec., S.P. No. 1307).
(b) On December 29, 1962 this Honorable Court appointed Harold
K. Davies as co-special administrator of the estate of C.N. Hodges
along with Avelina A. Magno (pp. 108-111, CFI Rec., S. P. No.
1307).
(c) On January 22, 1963, with the conformity of Avelina A. Magno,
Harold K. Davies resigned in favor of Joe Hodges (pp. 35-36, CFI
Rec., S.P. No. 1672) who thereupon was appointed on January 22,
1963 by this Honorable Court as special co-administrator of the
estate of C.N. Hodges (pp. 38-40 & 43, CFI Rec. S.P. No. 1672)
along with Miss Magno who at that time was still acting as special
co-administratrix of the estate of C. N. Hodges.
(d) On February 22, 1963, without objection on the part of Avelina A.
Magno, this Honorable Court appointed Joe Hodges and Fernando
P. Mirasol as co-administrators of the estate of C.N. Hodges (pp.
76-78, 81 & 85, CFI Rec., S.P. No. 1672).
10. Miss Avelina A. Magno, pursuant to the orders of this Honorable Court of December 25,
1962, took possession of all Philippine Assets now claimed by the two estates. Legally, Miss
Magno could take possession of the assets registered in the name of C. N. Hodges alone

only in her capacity as Special Administratrix of the Estate of C.N. Hodges. With the
appointment by this Honorable Court on February 22, 1963 of Joe Hodges and Fernando P.
Mirasol as the co-administrators of the estate of C.N. Hodges, they legally were entitled to
take over from Miss Magno the full and exclusive possession of all of the assets of the estate
of C.N. Hodges. With the appointment on January 24, 1964 of the PCIB as the sole
administrator of the estate of C.N. Hodges in substitution of Joe Hodges and Fernando P.
Mirasol, the PCIB legally became the only party entitled to the sole and exclusive possession
of all of the assets of the estate of C. N. Hodges.
11. The PCIB's predecessors submitted their accounting and this Honorable Court approved
same, to wit:
(a) The accounting of Harold K. Davies dated January 18, 1963 (pp.
16-33, CFI Rec. S.P. No. 1672); which shows or its face the:
(i) Conformity of Avelina A. Magno acting as "Administratrix of the
Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and Special Administratrix of the
Estate of C. N. Hodges";
(ii) Conformity of Leslie Echols, a Texas lawyer acting for the heirs
of C.N. Hodges; and
(iii) Conformity of William Brown, a Texas lawyer acting for the
Higdon family who claim to be the only heirs of Linnie Jane Hodges
(pp. 18, 25-33, CFI Rec., S. P. No. 1672).
Note: This accounting was approved by this Honorable Court on January 22, 1963 (p. 34,
CFI Rec., S. P. No. 1672).
(b) The accounting of Joe Hodges and Fernando P. Mirasol as of
January 23, 1964, filed February 24, 1964 (pp. 990-1000, CFI Rec.
S.P. No. 1672 and pp. 1806-1848, CFI Rec. S.P. No. 1307).
Note: This accounting was approved by this Honorable Court on March 3, 1964.
(c) The PCIB and its undersigned lawyers are aware of no report or
accounting submitted by Avelina A. Magno of her acts as
administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges or special
administratrix of the estate of C.N. Hodges, unless it is the
accounting of Harold K. Davies as special co-administrator of the
estate of C.N. Hodges dated January 18, 1963 to which Miss
Magno manifested her conformity (supra).
12. In the aforesaid agreement of January 24, 1964, Miss Avelina A. Magno agreed to receive P10,000.00
"for her services as administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane
Hodges"
and in addition she agreed to be employed, starting February 1, 1964, at
"a monthly salary of P500.00 for her services as an employee of
both estates."
24 ems.
13. Under the aforesaid agreement of January 24, 1964 and the orders of this Honorable
Court of same date, the PCIB as administrator of the estate of C. N. Hodges is entitled to the
exclusive possession of all records, properties and assets in the name of C. N. Hodges as of
the date of his death on December 25, 1962 which were in the possession of the deceased
C. N. Hodges on that date and which then passed to the possession of Miss Magno in her
capacity as Special Co-Administratrix of the estate of C. N. Hodges or the possession of Joe
Hodges or Fernando P. Mirasol as co-administrators of the estate of C. N. Hodges.
14. Because of Miss Magno's refusal to comply with the reasonable request of PCIB
concerning the assets of the estate of C. N. Hodges, the PCIB dismissed Miss Magno as an
employee of the estate of C. N. Hodges effective August 31, 1964. On September 1, 1964
Miss Magno locked the premises at 206-208 Guanco Street and denied the PCIB access
thereto. Upon the Urgent Motion of the PCIB dated September 3, 1964, this Honorable Court
on September 7, 1964 ordered Miss Magno to reopen the aforesaid premises at 206-208
Guanco Street and permit the PCIB access thereto no later than September 8, 1964.
15. The PCIB pursuant to the aforesaid orders of this Honorable Court is again in physical
possession of all of the assets of the estate of C. N. Hodges. However, the PCIB is not in
exclusive control of the aforesaid records, properties and assets because Miss Magno
continues to assert the claims hereinabove outlined in paragraph 6, continues to use her

1965. which they retained until the time of their respective deaths. except her husband. Sp. Hodges alone. Magno and her legal counsel at no time have questioned the validity of the aforesaid assessment and the payment of the corresponding Philippine death taxes. Emma Howell. WHEREFORE.S. Nothing further remains to be done in the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges except to resolve the aforesaid Motion of October 5. control. It is provided herein. Attorneys Manglapus and Quimpo and others allegedly representing Miss Magno from entering the premises at 206-208 Guanco Street. ----. Charles Newton Hodges. Hodges executed in the City of Iloilo his Last Will and Testament. Avelina A. to execute conveyances with or without general or special warranty. shall have the right to manage. In said Will. 1952. No. Proc. gas and/or other minerals. Hodges." 4.A. (7) Order such other relief as this Honorable Court finds just and equitable in the premises. ----). C. Roy Higdon. I give. N. a copy of which is hereto attached as Annex "A". At the time of her death. as administrator of the estate of the late C. premises considered. On May 23. (6) Enjoin James L. Proc. No. N. 24-25). order Avelina A. On November 14. N. C. Magno to turn over and deliver to the PCIB as administrator of the estate of C. 6. intended Philippine laws to govern her Will. p. my said husband during his natural lifetime. Hodges is the sole beneficiary of the assets of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges situated in the Philippines. 2. Magno from working in the premises at 206-208 Guanco Street. conclusively found and categorically ruled that said spouses had lived and worked for more than 50 years in Iloilo City and had.own locks to the doors of the aforesaid premises at 206-208 Guanco Street. in its orders dated March 31 and December 12. (CFI Record. for convenience. to lease any of the real property for oil. a copy of which is hereto attached as Annex "B ". Sp. acquired and accumulated considerable assets and properties in the Philippines and in the States of Texas and Oklahoma. N. Hodges during his lifetime. During their marriage. properties and assets of the estate of C. 30.) On January 8. Hodges by the PCIB and its duly authorized representatives. conveying in fee simple or for any other term or time. 1964 (CFI Record. the amount of successional rights. SECOND: I give. (2) Order Avelina A. manage and enjoy the same during his lifetime. Hodges without the express permission of the PCIB. N. 1307. Linnie Jane Hodges. whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found". Charles Newton Hodges. Hodges. No. Charles Newton Hodges. 1957 Linnie Jane Hodges died in Iloilo City. 18. namely: "Esta Higdon. Proc. Iloilo City and continues to deny the PCIB its right to know the combinations to the doors of the vault and safes situated within the premises at 206-208 Guanco Street despite the fact that said combinations were known to only C. All said properties constituted their conjugal estate. to be equally divided among my brothers and sisters. N. which we quote in full hereunder. No. N. emoluments and income from said estate shall belong to him. 16. in or near the City of Lubbock. Hodges of all of the funds. THIRD: I desire. Leonard Higdon. (4) Pending this Honorable Court's adjudication of the aforesaid issues. 1957. Sp. Linnie Jane Hodges. and may sell unimproved town lots. share and share alike. Hodges which have come into her possession. as above provided. She was survived also by various brothers and sisters mentioned in her Will (supra). (CFI Record. and fourth provisions. Era Boman and Nimray Higdon. which is the "national law" of the testatrix. and appointed C. devise and bequeath all of the rest. N. Hodges designated his wife. (b) Article 16 of the Civil Code provides that "the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration. this Honorable Court issued letters testamentary to C. Magno to submit an inventory and accounting as Administratrix of the Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and Co-Administratrix of the Estate of C. provide that the domiciliary law (Philippine law — see paragraph 2. therefore. petitioner also filed a motion for "Official Declaration of Heirs of Linnie Jane Hodges Estate" alleging: COMES NOW Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank (hereinafter referred to as PCIB). Linnie Jane Hodges executed in the City of Iloilo her Last Will and Testament. Hodges. spouses Charles Newton Hodges and Linnie Jane Hodges. but he shall have the full right to lease. and to this Honorable Court respectfully alleges that: 1. Although Texas was the domicile of origin of the Hodges spouses. wherever situated or located. residue and remainder of my estate both real and personal. 1964. which. 5. Hodges as executor of her estate without bond. predeceasing her husband by more than five (5) years. properties and assets of any character belonging to the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges and C. Sadie Rascoe. p. however. 17. with respect to the order of succession. N. On June 28. He shall have the right to sub-divide any farmland and sell lots therein. and the intrinsic of its testamentary provisions. Iloilo City or any other properties of C. Magno and her representatives to stop interferring with the administration of the estate of C. and he is hereby given the right to make any changes in the physical properties of said estate by sale of any part thereof which he think best. wherever situated. use and enjoy said estate during his lifetime. Hodges all of the funds. N.. 1963 for hearing at the earliest possible date with notice to all interested parties. through the undersigned counsel. (5) Enjoin Avelina A. Hodges and approve her dismissal as such by the PCIB effective August 31. and the purchase of any other or additional property as he may think best. (3) Order Avelina A. However. The Philippine estate and inheritance taxes assessed the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges were assessed and paid on the basis that C. pp. that he shall not sell or otherwise dispose of any of the improved property now owned by us located at. and he is further authorized to use any part of the principal of said estate as he may need or desire. the Conflict of Law of Texas. On November 22. any property which he may deem proper to dispose of. 1307 to be turned over and delivered to C. and . All rents.) 7. He in fact took possession of them before his death and asserted and exercised the right of exclusive ownership over the said assets as the sole beneficiary of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. 1307. Texas. The bequests in said will pertinent to the present issue are the second. or located. The Will of Linnie Jane Hodges. N. United States of America. 3. On July 1. with full details of what she has done with them. Hodges in the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. and all such deeds or leases shall pass the absolute fee simple title to the interest so conveyed in such property as he may elect to sell. shall prevail. the PCIB respectfully petitions that this Honorable court: (1) Set the Motion of October 5. supra) should govern the testamentary dispositions and successional rights over movables (personal properties). 1672. to my husband. 1307. N. Linnie Jane Hodges. residue and remainder of my estate. C. 1953. Proc. Such assets as may have existed of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges were ordered by this Honorable Court in special Proceedings No. American citizens originally from the State of Texas. direct and provide that my husband. third. N. pp. this Honorable Court. as his beneficiary using the identical language she used in the second and third provisos of her Will. she had no forced or compulsory heir. supra. (Annex "U" Petition. properties and assets of any character remaining in her possession. 1963 and grant the PCIB the exclusive possession and control of all of the records. this Honorable Court admitted to probate the Last Will and Testament of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges (Annex "A"). both personal and real. N. U. acquired a domicile of choice in said city. N. devise and bequeath all of the rest. Sullivan. Sp. we shall refer to as the HIGDONS. Iloilo City as an employee of the estate of C. FOURTH: At the death of my said husband. should be governed by Philippine laws because: (a) The testatrix. 1957. N. to have and to hold unto him.

) (b) On December 14. (is) not only part owner of the properties left as conjugal. the successor to all the properties left by the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. Proc. Gellada as attorney for the executor C. For the convenience of this Honorable Court. Philippine law should apply to the Will of Linnie Jane Hodges and to the successional rights to her estate insofar as her movable andimmovable assets in the Philippines are concerned." (CFI Record. No. all said conjugal assets were in his sole possession and control. G. 1307. was entitled to the entirely to his wife's estate in the Philippines. Hodges. L-16749. 12. emphasis supplied. this Honorable Court approved the verified "Annual Statement of Account By The Executor For the Year 1960" submitted through Leon P. be given notice as herein executor is the only devisee or legatee of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. 1957. therefore. Hodges as her sole and exclusive heir with full authority to do what he pleased. This is the only portion of the conjugal estate capable of inheritance by her heirs. all the sales. Hodges "is allowed or authorized to continue the business in which he was engaged. Proc. ofthe time and place of examining the herein account. which the Court considers well taken. Hodges was the owner of at least three-fourths (3/4) or seventyfive (75%) percent of all of the conjugal assets of the spouses.the law of the situs of the property (also Philippine law as to properties located in the Philippines) with regards immovable (real properties). Civil Code. emoluments and income from said estate shall belong to him (C. Hodges: That herein Executor. there was. as exclusive heir and owner of all the assets constituting her estate. leases and mortgages of the properties left by the said deceased Linnie Jane Hodges in consonance with the wishes contained in the last will and testament of the latter . Annex "A". as herein executor is the only devisee or legatee of the deceased. C. 1957.) Clearly. pp. therefore this Honorable Court sanctioned and authorized. N. Sp. C. in or near the City of Lubbock. Hodges. supra).R. Texas". but in his own right as partner in the conjugal partnership. even without relying on our laws of succession and legitime. Sp. All these acts of C. 1307. no need to liquidate the conjugal estate of the spouses. appropriated to himself the entirety of her estate. 1307. we attached hereto as Annex "C" a graph of how the conjugal estate of the spouses Hodges should be divided in accordance with Philippine law and the Will of Linnie Jane Hodges. Article 777 of the New Civil Code provides that "the rights of the successor are transmitted from the death of the decedent". Proc. N. engaging and doing while the late Linnie Jane Hodges was still alive. emoluments and income" must be credited to the onehalf (1/2) portion of the conjugal estate pertaining to C. 9. as herein executor is the only devisee or legatee of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. for the reasons stated in his motion dated December 11. in accordance with the last will and testament already probated by the Honorable Court. the conjugal or community estate of spouses shall. 10. because the only assets in issue in this motion are those within the jurisdiction of this motion Court in the two above-captioned Special Proceedings. on the basis of the following fact. emphasis supplied. 8.) 15. to at least one-half (1/2) of the estate of the deceased. and to perform acts which he had been doing while the deceased was living.) Thus. p. earnings. but in accordance with the dispositions of her will. leases and mortgages of all the properties left by the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges executed by the Executor. 14. 1961.) 24 ems (c) On April 21." (Paragraph 3. emoluments and income" accruing to said conjugal estate from the moment of Linnie Jane Hodges' death (see paragraph 9. "all rents. C. 90-91. except only with regards certain properties "owned by us. N. which we have cited above. C. already probated by this Honorable Court. as a matter of right and by way of irrevocable legitime. not by way of inheritance. Under Philippine and Texas law. 81-82. pp. 1959. N. this Honorable Court ruled that C. but also. at this stage. 46. shortly after the death of Linnie Jane Hodges. promulgated January 31. and registered in his name alone. title to the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges was transmitted to C." (CFI Record. N. upon the death of Linnie Jane Hodges on May 23. 1957. not as executor. N. therefore. Charles Newton Hodges are hereby APPROVED. be divided equally between them. computed as of the time of her death on May 23. operate and control all the conjugal assets as owner. . her husband is entitled to said one-half (1/2) portion of her estate by way of legitime. 995 and 1001 of the New Civil Code provide that the surviving spouse of a deceased leaving no ascendants or descendants is entitled." (CFI Record. He operated all the assets. among other things. Thus. Hodges. in accordance with the last will and testament ofthe deceased. Thus. In fact. N. No. this Honorable Court approved the verified "Annual Statement of Account" submitted by C. conveyances.N. Gellada on April 20. by specific testamentary designation of his wife. capable of inheritance by her heirs. in his own name alone. 1960 wherein he alleged. Proc. 1957. emphasis supplied. therefore. emphasis supplied. "That no person interested in the Philippines of the time and place of examining the herein account. Gellada on April 14. Hodges to manage. the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. 1957. Linnie Jane Hodges' Will provides that "all rents. engaged in business and performed all acts in connection with the entirety of the conjugal estate. as follows: (a) In an Order dated May 27. 44. not only by law. 1960. N. Gellada on July 21. 1307. located at. 1957 filed by Leon P. Christensen". Hodges were authorized and sanctioned expressly and impliedly by various orders of this Honorable Court. under a clear and specific provision of her Will. but as exclusive owner of all said assets. 13. conveyances. Sp. N. This one-half (1/2) portion of the conjugal assets pertaining to Linnie Jane Hodges cannot. by specific provision of Linnie Jane Hodges' Will. Sp. 1963. 11. 1959 wherein he alleged among other things. (1/2 or 50% by way of conjugal partnership share and 1/4 or 25% by way of inheritance and legitime) plus all "rents. We shall not. No. and no testamentary disposition by the deceased can legally and validly affect this right of the surviving spouse. Clearly. one-half (1/2) of the entirety of the assets of the Hodges spouses constituting their conjugal estate pertained automatically to Charles Newton Hodges. The entirely of said conjugal estate pertained to him exclusively. alleged in the verified Motion dated December 11. (Article 886." (CFI Record. Thus. or emoluments accruing after her death on May 23. pp. Since C. Proc. consisted exclusively of no more than one-half (1/2) of the conjugal estate. N.) (e) On May 2. N. Hodges through his counsel Leon P. as approved and applied by our Supreme Court in the case of "In The Matter Of The Testate Estate of Eduard E. N. rents. Articles 900. No. p. 77-78. be enhanced or increased by income. discuss what law should govern the assets of Linnie Jane Hodges located in Oklahoma and Texas. Upon his death on December 25. in accordance with the last will and testament ofthe deceased. already probated by this Honorable Court. In his capacity as sole heir and successor to the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges as abovestated. The said Executor is further authorized to execute subsequent sales. No. Hodges) and he is further authorized to use any part of the principal of said estate as he may need or desire." (CFI Record. be given notice. this Honorable Court approved the verified inventory and accounting submitted by C. counsel for the Executor. The other onehalf (1/2) portion of the conjugal estate constituted the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. 1957. 11. "That no person interested in the Philippines of the time and place of examining the herein account. 1957. No. Hodges immediately upon her death on May 23.' (CFI Record. in fact. Sp. No. as above-stated. upon dissolution. Sp. just as he had been operating.) (d) On July 20. The late Linnie Jane Hodges designated her husband C. p. immediately upon the death of Linnie Jane Hodges. 1961 wherein he alleged: "That no person interested in the Philippines be given notice. emphasis supplied. Thus applying the "Renvoi Doctrine". Hodges through his counsel Leon P. Hodges was the sole and exclusive heir of Linnie Jane Hodges. Proc. this Honorable Court. N. 1307. 1307. 1962.) issued the following order: "As prayed for by Attorney Gellada.

Thus.. Hodges. this Honorable Court has (1) declared C. or (3) should be incapacitated to do so. which consisted of 1/2 of the 1/2 portion of the conjugal estate. affect the rights of the estate of C. which C. (b) The present proceedings. 5. Hodges' inheritance to the entirety of the Linnie Jane Hodges estate is irrevocable and final. R. (d) In view of the invalidity of the provision for substitution in the Will. (6 Manresa. but absolute title and ownership to her estate. No. plus all the "rents. or (2) should not wish to accept the inheritance. Sadie Rascoe. N. Thus. on December 21. under the provisions of Articles 900. at the time of C. Hodges on December 25. Charles Newton Hodges. control and management of all said properties. and 7. namely: "Esta Higdon. Roy Higdon. 2. All other substitutions are merely variations of these. I give. N. the provision for substitution contained in Linnie Jane Hodges' Willis void. N. Hodges as the sole heir of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. it had no assets or properties located in the Philippines registered in its name whatsoever at the time of the death of C.". Leonard Higdon. N. N. Consequently. 1672. vs. N. L-13876. N. Hodges which can not be affected by any testamentary disposition). residue and remainder". 18. therefore. the substitution provided for by the above-quoted provision of the Will is not authorized by the Code. 1957. That the other half of the conjugal estate pertained exclusively to C. the entirety of the conjugal estate appeared and was registered in him exclusively as owner. 265-277) Before all of these motions of petitioner could be resolved. WHEREFORE. N. N. 995 and 1001 of the New Civil Code.) (b) Article 864. Magno. although the "estate of Linnie Jane Hodges" still exists as a legal and juridical personality. share and share alike." (Record. it is most respectfully prayed that after trial and reception of evidence. is anomalous. unto this Honorable Court most respectfully states and manifests: . not mere usufructuary rights. Hodges' death. N. That PCIB. Hodges as sole heir in accordance with the terms and conditions of her Will. wherever situated or located. capable of distribution to his heirs upon termination of Special Proceedings No. Any claims by the HIGDONS under the above-quoted provision of Linnie Jane Hodges' Will is without merit because said provision is void and invalid at least as to the Philippine assets. Hodges. private respondent Magno filed her own "Motion for the Official Declaration of Heirs of the Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges" as follows: COMES NOW the Administratrix of the Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and. Therefore — (a) If the HIGDONS wish to enforce their dubious rights as substituted heirs to 1/4 of the conjugal estate (the other 1/4 is covered by the legitime of C. pp. Hodges acquired by way of inheritance from his wife Linnie Jane Hodges upon her death. the second designation can have effect only in case the first instituted heir dies before the testator. and. Hodges acquired. fuera o no esta su verdadera intencion. Hodges as his share as partner in the conjugal partnership. 175. Be that as it may. Emma Howell. N. Hodges to act as he did in connection with the estate of his wife. in order that a vulgar orsimple substitution can be valid. N. Hodges as the first heir designated. residue and remainder of my estate both real and personal. Hodges. assuming this proviso in Linnie Jane Hodges' Will is valid and binding against the estate of C. 872 and 886 of the New Civil Code clearly provide that no charge.) In other words. (c) There are generally only two kinds of substitution provided for and authorized by our Civil Code (Articles 857-870). (Consolacion Florentino de Crisologo et al. where the administratrix of the Linnie Jane Hodges estate exercises an officious right to object and intervene in matters affecting exclusively the C. as well as the HIGDONS.. 19. N. That. the Supreme Court held that the heir first designated acquired full ownership of the property bequeathed by the will. namely. Hodges. G. (a) In spite of the above-mentioned provision in the Will of Linnie Jane Hodges. PCIB further prays for such and other relief as may be deemed just and equitable in the premises. 1962. pag.16. That C. Manresa. Hodges estate. as administrator of the estate of C. N. The Will of Linnie Jane Hodges (Annex "A"). at least to the extent of the Philippine assets. which should be entitled at the present time to full custody and control of all the conjugal estate of the spouses. Since C. computed as of the date of her death on May 23. this Honorable Court declare: 1. N. if any.) At most. February 28. Hodges was the sole and exclusive heir of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. Hodges. meaningfully stated that: ". when another heir is designated to inherit upon the death of a first heir. However. The substitution provided for by paragraph four of the Will of Linnie Jane Hodges is not fideicommissary substitution. 1965." Because of the facts hereinabove set out there is no "rest. and. L-13876. that the first designated heir (1) should die before the testator. N.. et al. That Avelina A. 3. y por fallecimiento de este nombra otro u otros.. . commenting on these kisses of substitution. N. C. None of these conditions apply to C. 4. Hodges or his heirs to the properties. That the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges was and is composed exclusively of one-half (1/2) share in the conjugal estate of the spouses Hodges. 6. or 1/4 of the entire conjugal estate of the deceased. because there is clearly no obligation on the part of C. emoluments and income" of the conjugal estate accruing after Linnie Jane Hodges' death pertains to C. R. No. Manuel Singson. the presumption is that all said assets constituted his estate. That all "rents. N. Hodges. however. G. three alternative conditions must be present. 1962. now constitutes the estate of C. the above-mentioned provision in the Will of Linnie Jane Hodges is clearly invalid insofar as the legitime of C. By expressly authorizing C. 17. Era Boman and Nimray Higdon. ha de entenderse que estas segundas designaciones solo han de llegar a tener efectividad en el caso de que el primer instituido muera antes que el testador. therefore. Hodges estate. condition or substitution whatsoever upon the legitime can be imposed by a testator. is entitled to full and exclusive custody. to be equally divided among my brothers and sisters. Hodges was concerned. therefore. in which two estates exist under separate administration. provides as follows: "At the death of my said husband. Hodges did not die before Linnie Jane Hodges. sometimes referred to as vulgar substitution (Article 859). to preserve the properties for the substitute heirs. their remedy. the entire conjugal estate of the spouses located in the Philippines. cuando el testador instituyeun primer heredero. through undersigned counsel. N. whether or not that was the true intention of said testator. not merely a usufructuary right. namely. Manuel Singson. the legitime of a surviving spouse is 1/2 of the estate of the deceased spouse. (1) simple or common substitution. 7 a ed. In a recent case involving a very similar testamentary provision. C. It should not. is to file their claim against the estate of C.. which remains to vest in the HIGDONS. as administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. Thus. N. has no right to intervene or participate in the administration of the C. N. (Consolacion Florentino de Crisologo. it is void. devise and bequeath all of the rest. vs.. it is a vulgar or simple substitution. and (2) delivered and distributed her estate to C. and (2) fideicommissary substitution (Article 863). in anyway. N. fourth paragraph. emoluments and income" above-mentioned. N.

however. the only heirs left to receive the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges pursuant to her last will and testament. shall have the right to manage. b. Aline Higdon and David Higdon. Sadie Rascoe Era Boman and Nimroy Higdon. 11. Proc. Hodges but all of which are under the control and supervision of this Honorable Court. but he shall have the full right to lease. conveying in fee simple or for any other term or time. 34-40) and the reglamentary period for filing such claims has long ago lapsed and expired without any claims having been asserted against the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. FIFTH: In case of the death of any of my brothers and/or sisters named in item Fourth. control. 1307. That. FOURTH: At the death of my said husband. published and posted (Sp. All rents. and several relatives named in her last will and testament. after making a deduction of charges. my said husband. expenditures. pp. 1307. 1957 — one-half of these assets belong to the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. Charles Newton Hodges. That the spouses Charles Newton Hodges and Linnie Jane Hodges were American citizens who died at the City of Iloilo after having amassed and accumulated extensive properties in the Philippines. both interests have continually earned exactly the same amount of "rents. and the purchase of any other or additional property as he may think best. which portions can be exactly determined by the following manner: a. 1957. are her named brothers and sisters. and her estate kept on earning such "rents. An inventory must be made of the assets of the combined conjugal estate as they existed on the death of Linnie Jane Hodges on May 23. That the one-half interest of Linnie Jane Hodges in the combined conjugal estate was earning "rents. above provided. No. 1307. the entire estate having been continually devoted to the business of the spouses as if they were alive. the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges is clearly entitled to a portion more than fifty percent (50%) as compared to the portion to which the estate of Charles Newton Hodges may be entitled. disclaimed and repudiated by Charles Newton Hodges to whom they were bequeathed for life under the last will and testament of Linnie Jane Hodges. No. and other dispositions which are purely personal to him in nature. by sale of any part thereof which he may think best. That. nor ratified by this Honorable Court. No. . wherever situated or located. while it may have earned exactly the same amount of "rents. to my beloved husband. c. all of legal ages. 10. N. use and enjoy said estate during his lifetime. the said Charles Newton Hodges with full and complete knowledge of the life-estate or usufruct conferred upon him by the will since he was then acting as Administrator of the estate and later as Executor of the will of Linnie Jane Hodges. continued to be burdened by charges. he is hereby given the right to make any changes in the physical properties of said estate. prior to the death of my husband. namely: Esta Higdon. and a vested remainder-estate or the naked title over the same estate to her relatives named therein. Linnie Jane Hodges executed a last will and testament (the original of this will now forms part of the records of these proceedings as Exhibit "C" and appears as Sp. 9. Linnie Jane Hodges gave a life-estate or a usufruct over all her estate to her husband. 1952. emoluments and income" of all these assets — again one-half of these belong to the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. and he is further authorized to use any part of the principal of said estate as he may need or desire. both personal and real. 6. 13. a petition therefor having been priorly filed and duly heard. renounced. Folio I. when it ceased to be saddled with any more charges or expenditures which are purely personal to her in nature. Leonard Higdon. That on May 23. That the last will and testament of Linnie Jane Hodges already admitted to probate contains an institution of heirs in the following words: "SECOND: I give. 26-28). An accounting must be made of the "rents. during his natural lifetime. Charles Newton Hodges to have and to hold unto him. Roy Higdon. 1957. 1957. 8. residue and remainder of my estate. 1957. with residence at the State of Texas. and may sell unimproved town lots. I give. Leonard Higdon. That the required notice to creditors and to all others who may have any claims against the decedent. pp. but during the lifetime of Charles Newton Hodges. this Honorable Court issued an order admitting to probate the last will and testament of Linnie Jane Hodges (Sp. to be equally divided among my brothers and sisters. 1957. she was the coowner (together with her husband Charles Newton Hodges) of an undivided one-half interest in their conjugal properties existing as of that date. then it is my will and bequest that the heirs of such deceased brother or sister shall take jointly the share which would have gone to such brother or sister had she or he survived. Charles Newton Hodges. on the other hand. That on June 28. May 23. wherever situated or located. That of all the assets of the combined conjugal estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and Charles Newton Hodges as they exist today. until the death of Charles Newton Hodges himself on December 25. direct and provide that my husband. Proc. to wit: Esta Higdon. 1962. Linnie Jane Hodges has already been printed. United States of America. the one-half interest of Charles Newton Hodges in the combined conjugal estate existing as of May 23. disclaimed and repudiated his life-estate and usufruct over the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. It is provided herein. pp. 1957. disbursements and other dispositions made by Charles Newton Hodges personally and for his own personal account from May 23. 12. Charles Newton Hodges. both real and personal. THIRD: I desire. emoluments and income". above. as there has been no such separation or segregation up to the present. emoluments and income from said estate shall belong to him. emoluments and income" as that of the share pertaining to Linnie Jane Hodges. that he shall not sell or otherwise dispose of any of the improved property now owned by us located at. Adjustments must be made. 4. That under the provisions of the last will and testament already above-quoted. 5. emoluments and income" until her death on May 23. gas and/or other minerals. That after the death of Linnie Jane Hodges and after the admission to probate of her last will and testament. unequivocably and clearly through oral and written declarations and sworn public statements. 24-25. or their heirs. He shall have the right to subdivide any farm land and sell lots therein. manage and enjoy the same during his lifetime. American citizens. the latter two being the wife and son respectively of the deceased Roy Higdon. which properties are now being administered sometimes jointly and sometimes separately by the Administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and/or the Administrator of the estate of C. residue and remainder of my estate. Folio I. 2. share and share alike. any property which he may deem proper to dispose of. 17-18). Proc. Emma Howell. and. to execute conveyances with or without general or special warranty. That because there was no separation or segregation of the interests of husband and wife in the combined conjugal estate. approved by the Administrator/Administratrix of the said estate. in or near the City of Lubbock Texas. to lease any of the real property for oil. devise and bequeath all of the rest. 1962. That on November 22. emoluments and income" by virtue of their having been expressly renounced. 3. 14. Charles Newton Hodges. as well as other charges." 7.1. accordingly. Era Boman and Nimroy Higdon. Folio I. devise and bequeath all of the rest. Emma Howell. Charles Newton Hodges. and all such deeds or leases shall pass the absolute fee simple title to the interest so conveyed in such property as he elect to sell. Linnie Jane Hodges died at the City of Iloilo at the time survived by her husband. 1957 up to December 25. That at the time of the death of Linnie Jane Hodges on May 23. Sadie Rascoe.

which are all prejudicial. as well as those which she continues to inofficiously collect and hold. Emma Howell. That on April 21. 1966 alleging in part that: 1. pp. N. (Green Record on Appeal. This motion is predicated on the fact that there are matters pending before this court such as (a) the examination already ordered by this Honorable Court of documents relating to the allegation of Avelina Magno that Charles Newton Hodges thru written declaration and sworn public statements renounced. That whatever claims any alleged heirs or other persons may have could be very easily threshed out in the Testate Estate of Charles Newton Hodges. 1957 filed by Atty. Gellada on April 20. instead of further pressing on its motion of January 8. (c) various motions to resolve the aforesaid motion. 1966 of administratrix Magno has been filed asking that the motion be denied for lack of merit and that the motion for the official declaration of heirs of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges be set for presentation and reception of evidence. the said executor C. all facts involved therein being matters of record. 4. 1964. Manifestation of September 14. according to the instant motion. 1961 the Court approved the annual statement of accounts submitted by executor. disclaimed and repudiated his life-estate and usufruct over the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges (b) the urgent motion for accounting and delivery to the estate of C. N. N. No. 1307) closed. Sp. petitioner withdrew the said motion and in addition to opposing the above motion of respondent Magno. immediately order Avelina Magno to turn over all her collections to the administrator PCIB. Hodges is the only devisee or legatee of Linnie Jane Hodges in accordance with the last will and testament already probated by the Court. 4379-4390) dated April 22. 1957 was approved by the Court in consonance with the wishes contained in the last will and testament of Linnie Jane Hodges. N. 4415-4421) dated April 27. 1966 of administrator PCIB praying that (1) Immediately order Avelina Magno to account for and deliver to the administrator of the estate of C. as the sole heirs under the last will and testament of Linnie Jane Hodges and as the only persons entitled to her estate. Declare the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges (Sp. immediately order Avelina Magno to turn over all her collections to the administrator Philippine Commercial & Industrial Bank. pp. Vol. Hodges for the year 1960 which was submitted by Atty. N. Emoluments and Income Therefrom". That "Urgent Motion for An Accounting and Delivery to the Estate of C. 4. plus all the rents. that administratrix Magno has executed illegal acts to the prejudice of the testate estate of C. An opposition (Sp. 1957 plus all the rents. and (d) manifestation of September 14. N. Hodges all the assets of the conjugal partnership of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges and C. Hodges of all the assets of the conjugal partnership of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges and C. C. N. prayed that: 1. Hodges all assets of the conjugal partnership of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges and C. 1965 aforequoted. Hodges claimed all the assets belonging to the deceased spouses Linnie Jane Hodges and C. 1963 it is alleged that in a motion dated December 11. Leonard Higdon. That before the aforesaid motion could be heard. by quoting them. (3) Declare the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges (Sp. Hodges Existing as of May 23. as already indicated at the outset of this opinion. 3. as it had been doing before. that on May 2. 1964. after a hearing on the factual matters raised by this motion. renounced. b.) On October 12. Proc. d. 1960 the Court approved the annual statement of accounts submitted by the executor C. Pending the consideration of this motion. and (4) Defer the hearing and consideration of the motion for declaration of heirs in the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges until the matters hereinabove set forth are resolved. Hodges is not only part owner of the properties left as conjugal but also the successor to all the properties left by the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. Hodges. holding thus: ORDER On record is a motion (Vol. Declaring the following persons. 1959 stating therein that executor C. N. 1962 up to the present. That during the hearing on September 5 and 6.) and then. there are matters pending before this Honorable Court. Various motions to resolve the aforesaid motion. c. filed a motion on April 22. After such determination ordering its segregation from the combined conjugal estate and its delivery to the Administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges for distribution to the heirs to whom they properly belong and appertain. Era Boman and Nimroy Higdon. No. particularly because the bond filed by Avelina Magno is grossly insufficient to answer for the funds and property which she has inofficiously collected and held. Leon Gellada in a motion filed on April 14. that in the motion of October 5. Proc. 2. Sadie Rascoe. detailing acts of interference of Avelina Magno under color of title as administratrix of the Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. Hodges situated in the Philippines. Hodges is the only devisee or legatee of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. Hodges thru his counsel Atty. written declarations and sworn public statements. 1964. That there remains no other matter for disposition now insofar as the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges is concerned but to complete the liquidation of her estate. Immediately order Avelina Magno to account for and deliver to the administrator of the Estate of C. detailing acts of interference of Avelina Magno under color of title as administratrix of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. Hodges. 1957 Plus All the Rents. Hodges. WHEREFORE. That it is a matter of record that such state of affairs affects and inconveniences not only the estate but also third-parties dealing with it. the respondent court denied the foregoing motion. after further reminding the court. disclaimed and repudiated life-estate and usufruct over the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges'. 1307) closed. of the relevant allegations of its earlier motion of September 14. Determining the exact value of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges in accordance with the system enunciated in paragraph 14 of this motion. 1964 have been consolidated for the purpose of presentation and reception of evidence with the hearing on the determination of the heirs of the estate of . That the matters raised in the PCIB's motion of October 5. (2) Pending the consideration of this motion. N. and distribute them to her heirs pursuant to her last will and testament. emoluments and income therefrom. c.disbursements and other dispositions made for him and in his behalf since December 25. Said motion of December 11. N. 1959 this Court approved the inventory and accounting submitted by C. pp. Hodges. 1963 (as well as the other motion) dated September 14. 382-391) whereupon. 1672. C. premises considered. and therefore require only the resolution of questions of law. N. 2. (Prayer. N. Leon Gellada as attorney for the executor C. during said hearing. 15. Hodges existing as of May 23. and which involve no issues of fact. N. N. That the maintenance of two separate estate proceedings and two administrators only results in confusion and is unduly burdensome upon the Testate Estate of Charles Newton Hodges. it is most respectfully moved and prayed that this Honorable Court. Annex "V" of Petition. such as: a. It is alleged in the aforesaid opposition that the examination of documents which are in the possession of administratrix Magno can be made prior to the hearing of the motion for the official declaration of heirs of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. emoluments and income therefrom. X. N. The examination already ordered by this Honorable Court of documents relating to the allegation of Avelina Magno that Charles Newton Hodges "through . Defer the hearing and consideration of the motion for declaration of heirs in the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges until the matters hereinabove set forth are resolved.. emoluments and income therefrom. plus all the rents. 1963 the estate of C. N. That it has received from the counsel for the administratrix of the supposed estate of Linnie Jane Hodges a notice to set her "Motion for Official Declaration of Heirs of the Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges". X. 1966. N. Petition. 1672. These matters." (Annex "V". N. 1961 wherein it is stated that executor Hodges is the only devisee or legatee of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. David Higdon. b. Annex U. 5. issue an order: a. That on July 13. Aline Higdon.. are all pre-judicial involving no issues of facts and only require the resolution of question of law. 1960 wherein it is stated that the executor. segregate them from the conjugal estate. Gellada on July 21. 3. to wit: Esta Higdon. Hodges of All the Assets of the Conjugal Partnership of the Deceased Linnie Jane Hodges and C. Hodges thru counsel Atty.

3. N. A rejoinder (Sp. 1967. leases. on July 18.Linnie Jane Hodges. 4. 1957 only approved the conveyances made by C. and mortgages .) enjoining the deposit of all collections in a joint account and the same order of February 15.. Petition) and reiterated its fundamental pose that the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges had already been factually. COVERING PARCELS OF LAND OWNED BY THE DECEASED. 306-308. 1957. Petition) In its motion dated November 24. Said last will and testament vested upon the said late Charles Newton Hodges rights over said properties which. 1964 authorizing payment by respondent Magno of overtime pay. Hodges. absolute and in fee simple. 1964 because if said motion is found meritorious and granted by the Court. (pp. granted the same. 227. AND THE CONTRACTS TO SELL COVERING WHICH WERE EXECUTED BY HIM DURING HIS LIFETIME.) directing the payment of attorney's fees. 1965. Hodges. Nos. N. V to VIII THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN APPROVING THE DEEDS OF SALE IN FAVOR OF THE APPELLEES. 248. 1966 should be considered or modified". c. 1672. 1672. leases. 4436-4444) dated May 11.) October 27. The order of December 19. PEPITO G. (Annex "X". 1967. MAGNO. 313-320. Under the last will and testament of the deceased. Yellow Record on Appeal) denying reconsideration of said approval. ESPIRIDION PARTISALA. 4458-4462) of administratrix Magno dated May 19. Catedral. 1966 for the reconsideration of this order. The order of November 23. 455456. Guzman. pp. It is further alleged in the opposition that the motion for the official declaration of heirs of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges is the one that constitutes a prejudicial question to the motions dated October 5 and September 14. Yellow Record on Appeal. just as they affect distinctly different individuals or persons. 1966 (pp. N. "not only part owner of the properties left as conjugal. 1965 (pp. respondent court denied said motion for reconsideration and held that "the court believes that there is no justification why the order of October 12. 334-335. Catedral. conveyances. since the orders in question were issued in two separate testate estate proceedings. on July 19. therefore. WHEREFORE. id. Causing.) allowing appellee Western Institute of Technology to make payments to either one or both of the administrators of the two estates as well as the order of March 7. id. 1963 and September 14. Coronado. The order of January 3. The order of August 6. fees of the respondent administratrix. as to which no motion for reconsideration was filed either. (pp. as well as the order of October 27. the successor to all the properties left by the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. 335-336. id. 1966 of the PCIB is not to seek deferment of the hearing and consideration of the motion for official declaration of heirs of Linnie Jane Hodges but to declare the testate estate of Linnie Jane Hodges closed and for administratrix Magno to account for and deliver to the PCIB all assets of the conjugal partnership of the deceased spouses which has come to her possession plus all rents and income. Still unpersuaded. and mortgages executed by" the late Charles Newton Hodges. petitioner alleged inter alia that: It cannot be over-stressed that the motion of December 11. 1307 and 1672. Strictly speaking. and considering that the above orders deal with different matters. there are. 6. that the order dated December 14. closed with the virtual declaration of Hodges and adjudication to him. 1965 which filed a motion for official declaration of heirs of Linnie Jane Hodges that the claim of any heirs of Linnie Jane Hodges can be determined only in the administration proceedings over the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and not that of C." be approved and authorized. 1967 (albeit petitioner had to pay another docketing fee on August 9. the PCIB's motions of October 5. although not legally. together with the two separate orders both dated December 2. (see pp. Hodges and requested the Court authority for all subsequent conveyances that will be executed by C.) and February 15. N. 276-277) denying reconsideration. id. the present petition was filed on August 1. id. Again. in favor of appellees Pacaonsis and Premaylon. WINIFREDO C. and not only approved all the sales.) denying reconsideration. 1964 will become moot and academic since they are premised on the assumption and claim that the only heir of Linnie Jane Hodges was C. 1966 is hereby DENIED. X. 308-309. PEPITO G. was set for hearing. 1967. 7. 1966 mentioned in No. 4 The assignments of error read thus: I to IV THE ORDER COURT ERRED IN APPROVING THE FINAL DEEDS OF SALE IN FAVOR OF THE APPELLEES. Barrido. but also. 231-232. N. The various orders hereinabove earlier enumerated approving deeds of sale executed by respondent Magno in favor of appellees Carles. The order of November 3. 1965 (pp. 1957 was based on the fact that: a. N. Annex G. conveyances. already referred to above. Pablito. the late Charles Newton Hodges was the sole heir instituted insofar as her properties in the Philippines are concerned. the motion of December 11. 1966 (pp. etc. on pp. Causing. Pablito. directing petitioner to surrender to appellees Lucero. A reply (Sp. approving similar deeds of sale executed by respondent Magno. Considering the allegations and arguments in the motion and of the PCIB as well as those in the opposition and rejoinder of administratrix Magno. X. 8. as those in No. This Honorable Court. 1965 (pp. petitioner has to pay also thirty-one (31) more docket fees. ESPIRIDION PARTISALA. Hodges. Green Record on Appeal) together with the subsequent orders of January 9. Yellow Record on Appeal. appeals from the following: 1. and. IYULORES. thirty-three (33) appeals before Us. 1966 has been filed alleging that the motion dated December 11. leases and mortgages of the properties left by the said deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. and pp. b. Vol. Likewise. the certificates of title covering the lands involved in the approved sales. 35 to 37 of this opinion). id. 1966 of the PCIB has been filed alleging that the motion dated April 22. Batisanan.. on pp. 1966 (p. petitioner has assigned a total of seventy-eight (LXXVIII) alleged errors. "for the reasons stated" in the aforesaid motion. 1965 (pp. 2. since the heirs of Linnie Jane Hodges are claiming her estate and not the estate of C. 1957. in the order of December 14. 1966 denying reconsideration thereof. 6. leases and mortgages of all properties left by the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges executed by the late Charles Newton Hodges. EXECUTED BY THE APPELLEE. 1957 only sought the approval of all conveyances made by C. thus making it feasible and more practical for the Court to dispose of all these cases together. in its order of December 14. 1966. (pp. 1965. id. in the court below). Hodges. 1965. as to which no motion for reconsideration was filed. In consequence of all these developments. ESPADA AND ROSARIO ALINGASA. 5. as sole universal heir of all the properties of the estate of his wife. that it is further alleged in the rejoinder that there can be no order of adjudication of the estate unless there has been a prior express declaration of heirs and so far no declaration of heirs in the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges (Sp. CHARLES NEWTON HODGES. Lucero and Batisanan. That the PCIB and counsel are estopped from further questioning the determination of heirs in the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges at this stage since it was PCIB as early as January 8. 292-295. Barrido. the motion of respondent Magno "for official declaration of heirs of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges". 12-20 thereof.) repeatedly denying motions for reconsideration thereof. for which reason. Hodges. id. (Annex "W". the Court finds the opposition and rejoinder to be well taken for the reason that so far there has been no official declaration of heirs in the testate estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and therefore no disposition of her estate. but also all "the subsequent sales. but also authorized "all subsequent sales. as outlined by petitioner in its brief as appellant on pp. the respective discussions and arguments under all of them covering also the fundamental issues raised in respect to the petition for certiorari and prohibition. Javier. Linnie Jane Hodges. 1965 (pp. 1957 prayed that not only "all the sales. the motion of the PCIB dated April 22. Javier. Guzman. It is as well perhaps to state here as elsewhere in this opinion that in connection with these appeals. and Coronado. Hodges represented by counsel never made any claim in the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and never filed a motion to declare himself as the heir of the said Linnie Jane Hodges despite the lapse of more than five (5) years after the death of Linnie Jane Hodges. pp. 1967. conveyances.) requiring that deeds executed by petitioner to be co-signed by respondent Magno. conveyances. 1 above which included the denial of the reconsideration of this order of October 27. WINIFREDO C. therefore. Together with such petition. Said late Charles Newton Hodges was. N. it cannot be over-stressed that the aforesaid motion was granted by this Honorable Court "for the reasons stated" therein. there are now pending before Us for resolution herein. 305-306. spell ownership. 462. IYULORES. Lastly. and the order of February 16. the order of December 2. The order of October 27. 1307) has been made. Vol. AVELINA A. 221. in sum. that C. ESPADA .

ALTHOUGH THE SAME WAS NOT EXECUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULES OF COURT. CHARLES NEWTON HODGES. MAGNO. ALFREDO CATEDRAL AND SALVADOR S. JOSE PABLICO. LII THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN APPROVING THE FINAL DEED OF SALE EXECUTED IN FAVOR OF THE APPELLEES. XIII to XV XLIV to XLVI THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN APPROVING THE FINAL DEEDS OF SALE IN FAVOR OF THE APPELLEES ADELFA PREMAYLON (LOT NO. MAXIMA BATISANAN AND GRACIANO L. ALFREDO CATEDRAL. EXECUTED BY THE APPELLEE. XXXVII to XXXVIII THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN APPROVING THE DEEDS OF SALE IN FAVOR OF THE APPELLEES. AVELINA A. ALTHOUGH THEY WERE IN ARREARS IN THE PAYMENTS AGREED UPON IN THE ORIGINAL CONTRACT TO SELL WHICH THEY EXECUTED WITH THE DECEASED. IYULORES. WHILE ACTING AS A PROBATE COURT. AVELINA A. 104) COVERING PARCELS OF LAND FOR WHICH THEY HAVE NEVER PAID IN FULL IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ORIGINAL CONTRACTS TO SELL. AND THE CONTRACTS TO SELL COVERING WHICH WERE EXECUTED BY HIM DURING HIS LIFETIME. WHILE ACTING AS A PROBATE COURT. TO CANCEL THE CONTRACTS TO SELL OF THE APPELLEES. 1965. CHARLES NEWTON HODGES. AVELINA A. AVELINA A. AND ADELFA PREMAYLON (LOT NO. CHARLES NEWTON HODGES. IX to XII THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DETERMINING THE RIGHTS OF OWNERSHIP OVER REAL PROPERTY OF THE APPELLEES. MAGNO. EXECUTED BY THE APPELLEE. JOSE PABLICO. ALFREDO CATEDRAL AND SALVADOR S. FLORENIA BARRIDO AND PURIFICACION CORONADO. GRACIANO LUCERO. MAGNO. EXECUTED BY THE APPELLEE. BELCESAR CAUSING. MAGNO. AND THE CONTRACTS TO SELL COVERING WHICH WERE EXECUTED BY HIM DURING HIS LIFETIME. LORENZO CARLES. COVERING PARCELS OF LAND FOR WHICH THEY HAVE NEVER PAID IN FULL IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ORIGINAL CONTRACTS TO SELL. EXERCISED THROUGH HIS ADMINISTRATOR. 104). COVERING PARCELS OF LAND OWNED BY THE DECEASED. CHARLES NEWTON HODGES. CHARLES NEWTON HODGES. LIII to LXI XXX to XXXIV THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ORDERING THE APPELLANT. ARITEO THOMAS JAMIR AND MELQUIADES BATISANAN. DATED NOVEMBER 3rd. GUZMAN. EXECUTED BY THE APPELLEE. ARITEO THOMAS JAMIR AND MELQUIADES BATISANAN. OF THE CONTRACTUAL RIGHT. PEPITO G. XLI to XLIII THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN APPROVING THE FINAL DEEDS OF SALE IN FAVOR OF THE APPELLEES.680. 1965. AVELINA A. WESTERN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY A RELIEF OTHER THAN THAT PRAYED FOR IN ITS MOTION. PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL BANK TO SURRENDER THE OWNER'S DUPLICATE CERTIFICATES OF TITLE OVER THE RESPECTIVE LOTS COVERED BY THE DEEDS OF SALE EXECUTED BY THE APPELLEE. CHARLES NEWTON HODGES. 104) WHILE ACTING AS A PROBATE COURT. 102). CHARLES NEWTON HODGES. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN APPROVING THE DEED OF SALE IN FAVOR OF THE APPELLEE. AVELINA A. LUCERO. WESTERN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY. AND THE CONTRACTS TO SELL COVERING WHICH WERE EXECUTED BY HIM DURING HIS LIFETIME. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN APPROVING THE FINAL DEED OF SALE IN FAVOR OF THE APPELLEES. PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL BANK. FLRENIA BARRIDO. IN THE AMOUNT OF P10. XXXV to XXXVI THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN APPROVING THE FINAL DEEDS OF SALE IN FAVOR OF THE APPELLEES. LXII THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN RESOLVING THE MOTION OF THE APPELLEE. WITHOUT ANY COPY THEREOF HAVING BEEN SERVED UPON THE APPELLANT. SANTIAGO PACAONSIS. AND THE CONTRACTS TO SELL COVERING WHICH WERE EXECUTED BY HIM DURING HIS LIFETIME. 102). BELCESAR CAUSING. MAGNO. ESPIRIDION PARTISALA. XXVI to XXIX LI THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN APPROVING THE DEEDS OF SALE IN FAVOR OF THE APPELLEE. JOSE PABLICO. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN APPROVING THE DEEDS OF SALE IN FAVOR OF THE APPELLEES ADELFA PREMAYLON (LOT NO. WINIFREDO C. THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF WHICH THEY HAVE NEVER COMPLIED WITH. DATED . THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN APPROVING THE FINAL DEEDS OF SALE IN FAVOR OF THE APPELLEE. GUZMAN. MAGNO. ALTHOUGH HE WAS IN ARREARS IN THE PAYMENTS AGREED UPON IN THE ORIGINAL CONTRACT TO SELL WHICH HE EXECUTED WITH THE DECEASED. COVERING PARCELS OF LAND OWNED BY THE DECEASED. ON NOVEMBER 23. AND ADELFA PREMAYLON (LOT NO. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DETERMINING THE RIGHTS OF OWNERSHIP OVER REAL PROPERTY OF THE LORENZO CARLES. FLORENIA BARRIDO AND PURIFICACION CORONADO. SALVADOR S. EXERCISED THROUGH HIS ADMINISTRATION. AND IN DETERMINING THE RIGHTS OF THE SAID APPELLEES OVER REAL PROPERTY WHILE ACTING AS A PROBATE COURT. COVERING PARCELS OF LAND OWNED BY THE DECEASED. 1965.50. LXIV THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN GRANTING THE APPELLEE. BELCESAR CAUSING. PURIFICACION CORONADO. LXIII THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN HEARING AND CONSIDERING THE MOTION OF THE APPELLEE.AND ROSARIO ALINGASA.00 and P4. AND THE CONTRACTS TO SELL COVERING WHICH WERE EXECUTED BY HIM DURING HIS LIFETIME. ARITEO THOMAS JAMIR. ALFREDO CATEDRAL AND SALVADOR S. XXII to XXV THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN APPROVING THE FINAL DEEDS OF SALE IN FAVOR OF THE APPELLEES LORENZO CARLES. GUZMAN. EXECUTED BY THE APPELLEE. XXXIX to XL THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DEPRIVING THE DECEASED. CHARLES NEWTON HODGES. XLVII to XLIX XVI to XVIII THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DEPRIVING THE DECEASED. PURSUANT TO CONTRACTS TO SELL EXECUTED BY THEM WITH THE DECEASED. TO CANCEL THE CONTRACTS TO SELL OF THE APPELLEES. WESTERN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY. THE INSTANT APPELLANT. AND ADELFA PREMAYLON (LOT NO. OF HIS RIGHT.337. ARITEO THOMAS JAMIR AND MELQUIADES BATISANAN. COVERING PARCELS OF LAND OWNED BY THE DECEASED. RESPECTIVELY. GUZMAN PURSUANT TO CONTRACTS TO SPELL WHICH WERE CANCELLED AND RESCINDED. IN FAVOR OF THE OTHER APPELLEES. XIX to XXI L THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DETERMINING THE RIGHTS OF OWNERSHIP OVER REAL PROPERTY OF THE APPELLEES ADELFA PREMAYLON (LOT NO. 102). COVERING PARCELS OF LAND OWNED BY THE DECEASED. SANTIAGO PACAONSIS. JOSE PABLICO. ESPADA AND ROSARIO ALINGASA. FLORENIA BARRIDO AND PURIFICACION CORONADO. IN THE AMOUNT OF P2. 1965. THE INSTANT APPELLANT. WHEN THE NOTICE FOR THE HEARING THEREOF WAS FOR NOVEMBER 20. SANTIAGO PACAONSIS. CHARLES NEWTON HODGES.428. GRACIANO LUCERO. GRACIANO LUCERO. BELCESAR CAUSING.90. CHARLES NEWTON HODGES. DATED NOVEMBER 3.

one of the lawyers of said heirs. Hodges in Special Proceedings 1672. CHARLES NEWTON HODGES. MAGNO. DURING HIS LIFETIME. AVELINA A. 1972 modifying the injunction of August 8. WESTERN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY. the settling of such common fundamental issues would naturally minimize the areas of conflict between the parties and render more simple the determination of the secondary issues in each of . Obviously. WESTERN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY OVER THE REAL PROPERTY SUBJECT MATTER OF THE CONTRACT TO SELL IT EXECUTED WITH THE DECEASED. certain other heirs of Hodges representing 17. which. AVELINA A. their final results hereinbelow to be stated and explained make it of no consequence whether or not the orders concerned have become final by the lapsing of the respective periods to appeal them. thereby making somewhat precarious. moreover. 1972 informed the Court that a motion had been filed with respondent court for the removal of petitioner PCIB as administrator of the estate of C. said petitioner annexed thereto a joint manifestation and motion. BE GIVEN EQUAL ACCESS TO THE RECORDS OF THE TESTATE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED. LINNIE JANE HODGES. LXXIII THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ORDERING THE PAYMENT OF LEGAL EXPENSES FROM THE SUPPOSED ESTATE OF THE DECEASED. in this connection. preferable. WHEN THERE IS NEITHER SUCH ESTATE NOR ASSETS THEREOF. that these appeals revolve around practically the same main issues and that it is admitted that some of them have been timely taken. AVELINA A. Atty. make the remedies of certiorari and prohibition. LXXVII LXXVIII THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ORDERING THAT THE APPELLEE. LINNIE JANE HODGES. Such contention fails to take into account that there is a common thread among the basic issues involved in all these thirty-three appeals which. in instances wherein lack or excess of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion is alleged. AND THE APPELLEE. 1967. BE PLACED IN A JOINT ACCOUNT OF THE APPELLANT. LINNIE JANE HODGES. Trenas. which removal motion alleged that 22. LXXI THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ORDERING THE PREMATURE DISTRIBUTION OF ESTATE ASSETS TO ALLEGED HEIRS OR BENEFICIARIES THEREOF. and unavoidably extended narration of the factual setting of these cases. BY WAY OF RETAINER'S FEES. CHARLES NEWTON HODGES. as already stated. in the answer of PCIB to the motion of respondent Magno to have it declared in contempt for disregarding the Court's resolution of September 8. augmented expense and trouble and unnecessary repetition of the same work attendant to the present multiple appeals. MAGNO. Efrain B. Hodges. hence without force and effect (see Resolution of September 8. WHEN THERE IS NEITHER SUCH ESTATE NOR ASSETS THEREOF. and without taking account anymore of the unnecessary additional effort.968149% of the share of C. petitioners' continuation as administrator of the Hodges estate. LXIX THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ORDERING THE PAYMENT OF RETAINER'S FEES OF LAWYERS OF ALLEGED HEIRS TO THE SUPPOSED ESTATE OF THE DECEASED. LXXIV THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ORDERING THE PAYMENT OF LEGAL EXPENSES OF LAWYERS OF ALLEGED HEIRS TO THE SUPPOSED ESTATE OF THE DECEASED. Subsequently. LINNIE JANE HODGES. appearing to have been filed with respondent court. LXVIII THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ORDERING THE PAYMENT OF RETAINER'S FEES FROM THE SUPPOSED ESTATE OF THE DECEASED. after all. will inevitably cause the proliferation of more or less similar or closely related incidents and consequent eventual appeals. MAGNO.NOVEMBER 3. it is not enough that the remedy of appeal exists or is possible. Hodges to have respondent Magno removed as administratrix. 73-83. If for this consideration alone. It is indispensable that taking all the relevant circumstances of the given case. informing said court that in addition to the fact that 22% of the share of C. it is logical and proper to hold. 1965. N. LXV THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ALLOWING THE APPELLEE. 1967. CHARLES NEWTON HODGES. Hodges from certain heirs of her husband. (Pp. AND THEIR LAWYERS. LXXVI THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ORDERING THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION TO THE PURPORTED ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE SUPPOSED ESTATE OF THE DECEASED. WESTERN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ORDERING THAT THE FUNDS OF THE TESTATE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED. RESOLUTION OF ISSUES IN THE CERTIORARI AND PROHIBITION CASES I As to the Alleged Tardiness of the Present Appeals The priority question raised by respondent Magno relates to the alleged tardiness of all the aforementioned thirtythree appeals of PCIB. unless resolved in one single proceeding. appeal would better serve the interests of justice. PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL BANK. and. LXX THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN IMPLEMENTING THE ALLEGED AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE HEIRS OF THE SUPPOSED ESTATE OF THE DECEASED. MAGNO. it may also be mentioned that an attempt was made by the heirs of Mrs. N. for purposes of resolving the common basic issues raised in all of them.) To complete this rather elaborate. Lopez in her place. with the proposed appointment of Benito J. N. Further. UPON A CONTRACT TO SELL EXECUTED BY IT AND THE DECEASED. LXXII THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ORDERING THAT ALL FINAL DEEDS OF SALE EXECUTED PURSUANT TO CONTRACTS TO SELL ENTERED INTO BY THE DECEASED. 1972 and February 1. if not possibly untenable. Considering. In determining whether or not a special civil action of certiorari or prohibition may be resorted to in lieu of appeal. TO A PERSON OTHER THAN HIS LAWFULLY APPOINTED ADMINISTRATOR. IN THE ABSENCE OF A PRAYER FOR GENERAL RELIEF CONTAINED THEREIN. appeared no longer for the proposed administrator Lopez but for the heirs themselves.343750% of his estate were joining cause with the heirs of Mrs. AND THE APPELLANT. Hodges as against PCIB. and in a motion dated October 26. LXVII LOWER COURT ERRED IN ALLOWING THE CONTINUATION OF PAYMENTS BY THE APPELLEE. pursued by petitioner. deal with practically the same basic issues that can be more expeditiously resolved or determined in a single special civil action. AVELINA A. however. Hodges had already been acquired by the heirs of Mrs. LXVI THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DETERMINING THE RIGHTS OF THE APPELLEE. WHILE ACTING AS A PROBATE COURT. 1973). Hodges had already been bought by the heirs of Mrs. that the remedy of appeal is not adequate in the present cases. expense and time which would be involved in as many individual appeals as the number of such incidents. LXXV THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ORDERING THE PREMATURE DISTRIBUTION OF ESTATE ASSETS TO ALLEGED HEIRS OR BENEFICIARIES THEREOF. BE SIGNED JOINTLY BY THE APPELLEE. and that respondent court did actually order such proposed replacement. as We do hold. Appellant's Brief. LINNIE JANE HODGES. CHARLES NEWTON HODGES. PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL BANK. despite the conceded availability of appeal. CHARLES NEWTON HODGES. WHO IS A COMPLETE STRANGER TO THE AFORESAID ESTATE. WHEN SHE IS A COMPLETE STRANGER TO THE AFORESAID ESTATE. LINNIE JANE HODGES. We do not deem it necessary to pass upon the timeliness of any of said appeals. II The Propriety Here of Certiorari and Prohibition instead of Appeal The other preliminary point of the same respondent is alleged impropriety of the special civil action of certiorariand prohibition in view of the existence of the remedy of appeal which it claims is proven by the very appeals now before Us. AND NOT BY THE LATTER ONLY AS THE LAWFULLY APPOINTED ADMINISTRATOR OF HIS ESTATE. Besides. the longer delay. but the Court declared the said order of respondent court violative of its injunction of August 8. WHEN THERE IS NEITHER SUCH ESTATE NOR ASSETS THEREOF. THE INSTANT APPELLEE. BY WAY OF LEGAL EXPENSES. TO CONTINUE PAYMENTS UPON A CONTRACT TO SELL THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF WHICH IT HAS FAILED TO FULFILL.

(PCIB. 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. taxes. on the application of the executor or administrator. for short) in the petition as well as in its main brief as appellant. In effect. that in its own motion of January 8. constituting barely of the motion of May 27.. Hodges" (after the death of his wife and prior to the date of the motion). We cannot see in the order of December 14. what was absolutely given to Hodges was only so much of his wife's estate as he might possibly dispose of during his lifetime. (3) Besides. still it is inconceivable that the special proceeding instituted for the purpose may be considered terminated. 1957 on which the court predicated the order in question did not pray for any such adjudication at all. when the court resolved the motion of appellee Western Institute of Technology by its order We have quoted earlier. chargeable to the estate in accordance with law have been paid. II. the controversy shall be heard and decided as in ordinary cases. the respective rights of all the parties concerned be deemed definitely settled. BELMONTE. 37 Off. 1965. from the tenor of said motions. After carefully going over the record. Hodges that may be Adjudicated to her brothers and sisters as her estate. 887) albeit. We feel constrained to hold that such pose is patently untenable from whatever angle it is examined. she imposed at the same time the condition that whatever should remain thereof upon his death should go to her brothers and sisters. (Santiesteban vs. should know with certainty what are and when their respective rights and obligations ensuing from the inheritance or in relation thereto would begin or cease. That said motion was later withdrawn when Magno filed her own motion for determination and adjudication of what should correspond to the brothers and sisters of Mrs. anything more than an explicit approval of "all the sales. Comments on the Rules of Court. Vol. and the motion of December 11. 1957. conveyances. 370. N. 1957. certainly. plus a general advance authorization to enable said "Executor — to execute subsequent sales. it is only after. . if for no other reason than that all parties concerned. (Moran. 548) (p. 1957. We are more inclined to believe that Hodges meant to refer to the former. No distribution shall be allowed until the payment of the obligations above mentioned has been made or provided for. it categorically held that as of said date. (1) there should have been issued already an order of distribution or assignment of the estate of the decedent among or to those entitled thereto by will or by law. Appellee's Brief) xxx xxx xxx Under Section 753 of the Code of Civil Procedure. 49 Phil. hence respondent Magno should be considered as having ceased to be Administratrix of the Testate Estate of Mrs.. Nadurata. 1957 the existence of the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and in sanctioning purported acts of administration therein of respondent Magno. and the executor or administrator thereof be regarded as automatically discharged and relieved already of all functions and responsibilities without the corresponding definite orders of the probate court to such effect. As already stated. 545. plain and specific in making orders in such regard. if any. the order of even date. the court. shall assign the residue of the estate to the persons entitled to the same. Hodges was already allowed to assert and exercise all his rights as universal heir of his wife pursuant to the provisions of her will. 1965. 397. p. "in both cases (Special Proceedings 1307 and 1672) there is as yet no judicial declaration of heirs nor distribution of properties to whomsoever are entitled thereto. — When the debts. even assuming that by the allegations in his motion. or any other person having the same in his possession. it may be stated further against petitioner. November 23. Santiesteban. it prayed inter alia that the court declare that "C. conveyances. Accordingly.. funeral charges. and expenses of administration. the allowance to the widow and inheritance tax. We are fully persuaded that the quoted allegations of said motions read together cannot be construed as a repudiation of the rights unequivocally established in the will in favor of Mrs. We cannot discern from the voluminous and varied facts. expenses of administration. While it is true that in instances wherein all the parties interested in the estate of a deceased person have already actually distributed among themselves their respective shares therein to the satisfaction of everyone concerned and no rights of creditors or third parties are adversely affected. 1965. 3091. as Legatee (sic). Rule 90) what brings an intestate (or testate) proceeding to a close is the order of distribution directing delivery of the residue to the persons entitled thereto after paying the indebtedness. in a sum to be fixed by the court. 1970 ed. III On Whether or Not There is Still Any Part of the Testate Estate Mrs. which it would not have done if it were really convinced that the order of December 14. in appropriate cases. allowance to the widow. Hodges had already been complied with when the order of December 14. are what the law contemplates. Hodges bequeathed her whole estate to her husband and gave him what amounts to full powers of dominion over the same during his lifetime. 86. but (2) such order shall not be issued until after it is shown that the "debts. and this Court is not disposed to encourage judges of probate proceedings to be less than definite. he did intend to adjudicate the whole . and such persons may demand and recover their respective shares from the executor or administrator. V-B. naming them and the proportions. Annex D of the petition. Gaz. it would naturally be almost ministerial for the court to issue the final order of declaration and distribution. if any. p. or of a person interested in the estate. These provisions cannot mean anything less than that in order that a proceeding for the settlement of the estate of a deceased may be deemed ready for final closure.. We cannot find anywhere in respondent Order of December 14. We come now to the errors assigned by petitioner-appellant. although said motion did allege that "herein Executor (Hodges) is not only part owner of the properties left as conjugal. like the heirs. thereby avoiding precisely the legal complications and consequent litigations similar to those that have developed unnecessarily in the present cases. Hodges' brothers and sisters to whatever have not been disposed of by him up to his death. the contention of PCIB is that in view of said order. (see the Revised Rules of Court by Francisco. nothing else remains to be done in Special Proceedings 1307 except to formally close it. The tenor of said order bears no suggestion at all to such effect. the successor to all the properties left by the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges". lease or dispose of the properties in the Philippines — during his lifetime". 726. it is the position of PCIB that the respondent court exceeded its jurisdiction or gravely abused its discretion in further recognizing after December 14. pleadings and orders before Us that the above indispensable prerequisites for the declaration of heirs and the adjudication of the estate of Mrs. and inheritance tax shall have been effected that the court should make a declaration of heirs or of such persons as are entitled by law to the residue. nowhere in the record does it appear that the trial court subsequently acted upon the premise suggested by petitioner. funeral expenses. 1957 the sense being read into it by PCIB. the authority referred to in said motions and orders is in the nature of that contemplated either in Section 2 of Rule 109 which permits. or parts. unless the distributees. and most of all the government. We are not persuaded that the proceedings leading to the issuance of said order. by way of some kind of estoppel. pending its final liquidation. convey. What is more.. conditioned for the payment of said obligations within such time as the court directs. or any of them give a bond. nothing more than a formal declaration of Hodges as sole and exclusive heir of his wife and the consequent formal unqualified adjudication to him of all her estate remain to be done to completely close Special Proceedings 1307. advance or partial implementation of the terms of a duly probated will before final adjudication or distribution when the rights of third parties would not be adversely affected thereby or in the established practice of allowing the surviving spouse to dispose of his own share of he conjugal estate. Hodges since then. respondent Magno's objection to the present remedy of certiorari and prohibition must be overruled. 2nd ed. the law on the matter is specific. it significantly added that "herein Executor. the payment of all debts. such an order is usually issued upon proper and specific application for the purpose of the interested party or parties.) In the cases at bar. The declaration of heirs and distribution by the probate court of the estate of a decedent is its most important function. the motion of December 11. expenses of administration. categorical and unequivocal. Section 1 of Rule 90 provides: SECTION 1. Vol. 367. leases and mortgages of all the properties left by the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges executed by the Executor Charles N. In other words. all aforequoted. funeral charges.) (JIMOGA-ON v. In the petition. (corresponding to Section 1. cannot amount to the order of adjudication of the estate of the decedent to Hodges contemplated in the law. 1957 was issued. Indeed. It must be borne in mind that while it is true that Mrs. thereby indicating that what said motion contemplated was nothing more than either the enjoyment by Hodges of his rights under the particular portion of the dispositions of his wife's will which were to be operative only during his lifetime or the use of his own share of the conjugal estate. 68 Phil.them. quoted earlier. Lopez. when it appears that no creditors of the conjugal partnership would be prejudiced thereby. the devisees and legatees. so much relied upon by the petitioner." In this connection. allowances. 84 Phil. leases and mortgages of the properties left the said deceased Linnie Jane Hodges in consonance with wishes conveyed in the last will and testament of the latter". and not before. Hodges does not alter the indubitable implication of the prayer of the withdrawn motion. the creditors. as the case may be. To start with. hence. Annex H. and after hearing upon notice. and not of the court. Philippine Commercial & Industrial Bank. When order for distribution of residue made. chargeable to the estate" have been paid. In fact. has the right to sell. Main ground for such posture is that by the aforequoted order of respondent court of said date. of which respondent Magno is the unquestioned Administratrix in special Proceedings 1307. on November 23. Hodges was the sole and exclusive heir of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges". In any event. Indeed. Lopez vs. left by the deceased. On the contrary. to which each is entitled. etc. hence. 1957 was already the order of adjudication and distribution of her estate. which is but logical and proper. citing Capistrano vs. pending the termination of the proceedings. therefore. In other words. which. Annex E. but also. already quoted in full on pages 54-67 of this decision.

As quoted in that decision. Stated differently. segun la ley. Factually. Lorenzo Ventenilla. 1961.estate to himself. 91. Ramon Soriano. (p. Hodges filed his third "Annual Statement of Account by the Executor for the year 1960" of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. respectively. 12. Ventenilla. Indeed.) Under date of April 20. Hodges reported that the combined conjugal estate earned a net income of P314. what is more. y.428. We would have no hesitancy in declaring them null and void. as already observed. Pursuant to this. revelandole toda responsabilidad a la administradora." there is "no (other) person interested in the Philippines of the time and place of examining herein account to be given notice". y cancelando su fianza. (unreported but a partial digest thereof appears in 99 Phil. exactly one-half of the net income of his combined personal assets and that of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. after the issuance of an order of such tenor. except brothers and sisters and herein petitioner.o: no haber lugar a la mocion de Ramon Ventenilla y otros. In any event. en autos no aparece que hayan sido nombrados comisionados de avaluo y reclamaciones. under oath.311. Dicha fianza podra ser por un valor igual al de los bienes que correspondan a cada heredero segun el testamento. But the parallel attempted to be drawn between that case and the present one does not hold.a. 11. divided evenly between him and the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. pending such final distribution and adjudication. N.66. And . they could not have taken said motions to be for the final distribution and adjudication of the estate. to infer from Hodges' said motions and from his statements of accounts for the years 1958. in accordance with the last will and testament already probated. Pursuant to this. N. Appellee's Brief. 10. se haga la entrega y adjudicacion de los bienes. 5. at least. In the "Statement of Networth of Mr. Catalino y Froilan. y Ramon Ventenilla.o. C. In other words. he recognized. conforme se dispone en el testamento y se acaba de declarar en este auto. el juzgado declara. Petitioner cites the case of Austria vs. and even promised that "proper accounting will be had — in all these transactions" which he had submitted for approval and authorization by the court. 2. firstly. Green ROA). In the case at bar. distinct and express order of adjudication and distribution more than twenty years before the other heirs of the deceased filed their motion asking that the administratrix be removed. Felicitas Ventenilla. Tomas. 1959 annexed thereto. In his very motions in question. the closure of any proceedings for the settlement of the estate of a deceased person cannot be but perfunctory.o. secondly. Eugenio Ventenilla y Alejandra Ventenilla. if the orders of May 27. Gabriela Ventenilla. y de las misas en sufragio del alma del finado.31. Hodges knew or ought to have known that. 1957 and December 4. no one can rightly contend that the testamentary provision in question allowed him to so adjudicate any part of the estate to himself as to prejudice them. hermanos del testador. 1959 and 1960. Maria Ventenilla. to the failure of Hodges to send notices to any of them. the said estate as having earned income of P164. (pp. In the "Statement of Networth of Mr. There the trial court had in fact issued a clear. C.a del testamento. N. No. N. Roy Higdon (see p.62. the two orders relied upon by petitioner do not appear ex-facieto be of the same tenor and nature as the order just quoted. exactly one-half of the net income of his combined personal assets and that of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. Hodges filed his second "Annual Statement of Account by the Executor" of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. Creo que no es obice para la terminacion del expediente el hecho de que la administradora no ha presentado hasta ahora el inventario de los bienes. the separate identity of his wife's estate from his own share of the conjugal partnership up to the time of his death. for nothing could have been more violative of the will of Mrs. much less warranted by the facts of record herein. but merely for him to be able. C. 1957 and December 11. que una vez prestada la fianza mencionada al principio de este auto. C. as suggested by petitioner. K and M. Hodges reported that the combined conjugal estate earned a net income of P270. 92-93. conforme esta mandado en las clausulas 8.857. ASI SE ORDENA. under oath. Pursuant to this. September 19. se aprueba el pago hecho por la administradora de los gastos de la ultima enfermedad y funerales del testador. as surviving spouse. en representacion de los difuntos Juan. exactly onehalf of the net income of his combined personal assets and that of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. N.a y 13. Eulalio Soriano. declarando.201. he listed the seven brothers and sisters of Linnie Jane as her "heirs" (see p. legally speaking. an intent to adjudicate unto himself the whole of his wife's estate in an absolute manner and without regard to the contingent interests of her brothers and sisters. the terms of his wife's will did not give him such a right. 1957.id. not only because of the clear language of the will but also because none of the interested parties had been duly notified of the motion and hearing thereof. that the "deceased Linnie Jane Hodges died leaving no descendants and ascendants. divided of Linnie Jane Hodges. which.623. 1957 were really intended to be read in the sense contended by petitioner. he filed an "individual income tax return" for calendar year 1958 on the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges reporting. N. Hodges and the Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges" as of December 31. el juzgado la encuentra procedente bajo la condicion de que no se hara entrega ni adjudicacion de los bienes a los herederos antes de que estos presten la fianza correspondiente y de acuerdo con lo prescrito en el Art. 1. may be allowed under the broad terms of Section 2 of Rule 109. more than five years after that of his wife. 9. the circumstances attendant to its issuance do not suggest that such was the intention of the court. 4. N.o. Hodges reported that the combined conjugal estate earned a net income of P328. estan exentos de esta formalidad os administradores que son legatarios del residuo o remanente de los bienes y hayan prestado fianza para responder de las gestiones de su cargo. 2. Hodges alleged. R. as admitted in the motion itself. could not have had the effect of an absolute and unconditional adjudication unto Hodges of the whole estate of his wife. he filed an "individual evenly between him and the estate income tax return" for calendar year 1960 on the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges reporting. L-10018. as intimated in his tax return in the United States to be more extensively referred to anon. and. 1959. declara asimismo que los unicos herederos del finado Antonio Ventenilla son su esposa Alejandra Austria. thereby implying that he was aware of his responsibilities vis-avis his co-heirs. the said estate as having earned income of P135. Maria Ventenilla. divided evenly between him and the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. the trial court's orders granting said motions. ademas que la heredera Alejandra Austria tiene derecho al remanente de todos los bienes dejados por el finado. to inherit the properties of the decedent". N. C. or make use of his own share of the conjugal estate. Hodges filed a verified motion to have Roy Higdon's name included as an heir. The only conclusion one can gather from this is that he could have been preparing the basis for the eventual transmission of his wife's estate. wherein he repeatedly claimed that "herein executor (being) the only devisee or legatee of the deceased. Hodges. G. so much thereof as he would not have been able to dispose of during his lifetime. (pp. to either exercise during his lifetime rights of dominion over his wife's estate in accordance with the bequest in his favor. to the fact that even if they had been notified. A Annexes I. an imputation which is not legally permissible. Jose Soriano. We do not believe that the trial court could have acted in the sense pretended by petitioner. such unilateral act could not have affected or diminished in any degree or manner the right of his brothers and sisters-in-law over what would remain thereof upon his death. que verificada la adjudicacion. irrespective of whatever might have been Hodges' intention in his motions. N. POR TODO LO EXPUESTO.97.o. Hodges filed his first "Account by the Executor" of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. despues de deducir de ellos la porcion que corresponde a cada uno de sus coherederos. Hodges and the Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges" as of December 31.) In the petition for probate that he (Hodges) filed. N. and that they were really and are interested in the estate of deceased Linnie Jane Hodges". to her brothers and sisters in accordance with her expressed desire. even in the terms in which they have been worded. None of them could have deprived his brothers and sistersin-law of their rights under said will.402. pues. thru counsel. 1956. if in his own way. and. 1960 annexed thereto.) Under date of July 21. 14. y aparece en el testamento que la administradora Alejandra Austria reune dicha condicion.a. 1957. hermana del testador. The order of the court admitting the will to probate unfortunately omitted one of the heirs. 1960. is to impute bad faith to him. the closure of Mrs.a. Hodges and the Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges" as of December 31. stating that he wanted to straighten the records "in order (that) the heirs of deceased Roy Higdon may not think or believe they were omitted. Green ROA). As alleged by respondent Magno in her brief as appellee: Under date of April 14. the order of the lower court in that respect read as follows: En orden a la mocion de la administradora. under oath.32. as Executor. C. He never considered the whole estate as a single one belonging exclusively to himself. Hodges' estate has become a mere formality. id. C. And it may be added here that the fact that no one appeared to oppose the motions in question may only be attributed. Immediately. 91-92. there are enough circumstances extant in the records of these cases indicating that he had no such intention to ignore the rights of his co-heirs. C. 3. Thus. 1069) in support of its insistence that with the orders of May 27 and December 14. he filed an "individual income tax return" for calendar year 1959 on the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges reporting. finalmente. as already pointed out above. 754 del Codigo de Procedimientos: pues. for surely. In the "Statement of Net Worth of Mr.a. de la donacion hecha por el testador a favor de la Escuela a Publica del Municipio de Mangatarem. C. Undoubtedly. etc. the said estate as having earned income of P157. inasmuch as said orders amounted to the order of adjudication and distribution ordained by Section 1 of Rule 90. C. or.94. of May 27. 1958 annexed thereto. se dara por terminada la administracion.

1 to 3. 3176) and the high degree of trust reposed in him stands out more clearly in view of the fact that he was the owner of a half interest in his own right of the conjugal estate which he was charged to administer. but deceased. such as the alleged tax return he filed with the United States Taxation authorities. 1908. 297. De la Rama. in the management of the conjugal property after the death of the wife.. therefore. still.S.It is the intention of the surviving husband of deceased to distribute the remaining property and interests of the deceased in their Community Estate to the devisees and legatees named in the will when the debts. 417).. We cannot close our eyes to their existence in the record nor fail to note that their tenor jibes with Our conclusion discussed above from the circumstances related to the orders of May 27 and December 14. 1957 and December 11. 40 Phil. 31 Phil. 7 Phil. 5 Somehow. Linnie Jane Hodges" wherein it was alleged that "in accordance with the provisions of the last will and testament of Linnie Jane Hodges.. Hodges.) In the last mentioned case this court quoted with approval the case of Leatherwood vs. ordering the probate of the will. Court issued orders dated June 29. the law imposes upon the husband the duty of liquidating the affairs of the partnership without delay (desde luego) (Alfonso vs. the said properties shall be equally divided among their heirs. Singson Tongson. Lasam. No liquidation was ever made by Lasam — hence. He could therefore no more acquire a title by prescription against those for whom he was administering the conjugal estate than could a guardian against his ward or a judicial administrator against the heirs of estate. Nable Jose vs. 395. as such. Sochayseng vs. it stands to reason that his understanding of the situation. — That to straighten the records. Verily. 17 Phil.assuming that he did pay the corresponding estate and inheritance taxes in the Philippines on the basis of his being sole heir. 414. who verified the motion. and We cannot. these documents.. had in mind the following admonition made by the Court in Pamittan vs. it is stated: I. emoluments and income from said estate. As a matter of fact. Annex 2 of Magno's Answer — Record. N. Does the surviving spouse contemplate renouncing the will and electing to take dower. (Annex 4 of her answer) and his supposed affidavit of renunciation. Court. For a trustee to make such a claim would be a manifest fraud. 263) In addition. p. Gellada. 745. and that they were really and are interested in the estate of deceased Linnie Jane Hodges.. identified as Schedule M. I renounced and disclaimed any and all right to receive the rents. On the contrary. Victoria. 913-914: Upon the death of Bernarda in September. It was unintentionally omitted the heirs of said Roy Higdon who are his wife Aline Higdon and son David Higdon. a "Request for Inclusion of the Name of Roy Higdon in the Order of the Court dated July 19. 264) Although it appears that said documents were not duly presented as evidence in the court below. and whatever adjustment might be warranted should there be any such remainder then is a matter that could well be taken care of by the internal revenue authorities in due time. p. 1958. 476. an inventory shall immediately be made and this court in construing this provision in connection with section 685 of the Code of Civil Procedure (prior to its amendment by Act No. 1908. in the case of a continuing and subsisting trust. C. — That the Hon. in the petition as well as in the testimony of Executor during the hearing.. 41 Phil. 6 Phil.. implicit in his allegations just quoted. wife and son of deceased Roy Higdon in the said order of the Hon. Molera. provides that "this chapter shall not apply . p. serve to lessen any possible apprehension that Our conclusion from the other evidence of Hodges' manifest intent vis-a-vis the rights of his co-heirs is without basis in fact. (pars. It is provided in article 1418 of the Civil Code that upon the dissolution of the conjugal partnership. reference to which is made in the above quotation from respondent Magno's brief. Court dated June 29. emoluments and income from the estate of my deceased wife. Natividad. Annex 5. Hodges had to be considered as her sole heir. taxes and expenses of administration are finally determined and paid. Pardo. "Description of property interests passing to surviving spouse" the following: None. 1957. and in order the heirs of deceased Roy Higdon may not think or believe they were omitted. However. (Annex 5. curtesy or a statutory interest? (X) Yes ( ) No 2d. a copy of which schedule is attached to this affidavit and made a part hereof. In connection with this point of Hodges' intent. the relatives of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges were enumerated. and residents of Quinlan. Rojas vs.". Section 38 of Chapter III of the Code of Civil Procedure. Code of Civil Procedure) is possession "under a claim of title exclusive of any other right". 240. rely on them for the purpose of the present proceedings. The purpose of this affidavit is to ratify and confirm. Answer — Record. 260) As can be seen. at pp. — That in said order of the Hon. We might say here that We are inclined to the view that under the peculiar provisions of his wife's will.. Hodges appears to have answered the pertinent question thus: 2a.. 60 Phil. Charles Newton Hodges. 1957. said lands continued to be conjugal property in the hands of the defendant Lasam. Molera vs. p. upon the eventuality of his death. De la Rama vs. . the real attitude of Hodges in regard to the testamentary dispositions of his wife. We find it very hard to believe that Hodges did ask the court and that the latter agreed that he be declared her sole heir and that her whole estate be adjudicated to him without so much as just annotating the contingent interest of her brothers and sisters in what would remain thereof upon his demise. 1957. Annex 5. It is to be noted that the lawyer. are over the oath of Hodges himself. Attention was called to the fact that the surviving husband. 1924) has repeatedly held that in the event of the death of the wife. Amancio vs. Answer — Record. 713. could somehow be reflective of Hodges' own understanding thereof. Without purporting to rule definitely on the matter in these proceedings. 1957. 2. Nable Jose. liabilities. Trujillo. 3176 of November 24. a continuing and subsisting trust. pending the actual transmission of the remaining portion of her estate to her other heirs. In said Schedule M. Said allegations read: 1. whatever real properties that may remain at the death of her husband. Leon P. he had wide powers (as the law stood prior to Act No. the declaration made in Schedule M of said return and hereby formally disclaim and renounce any right on my part to receive any of the said rents.. who signed the motions of May 27. with such eloquent manifestations of his good intentions towards the other heirs of his wife. on oath affirm that at the time the United States Estate Tax Return was filed in the Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges on August 8. 10 Phil. it is requested of the Hon. with relation to prescription. Atty. was a trustee of unique character who is liable for any fraud committed by him with relation to the property while he is charged with its administration. Linnie Jane Hodges. and I do hereby ratify and confirm. which purportedly contain Hodges' own solemn declarations recognizing the right of his co-heirs. 416. in which that court discussed the powers of the surviving spouse in the administration of the community property. According to the information and belief of the person or persons filing the return. Court to insert the names of Aline Higdon and David Higdon. the name Roy Higdon was mentioned." And it appearing that said attorney was Hodges' lawyer as Executor of the estate of his wife. more or less. 908. copies of which are annexed to respondent Magno's answer. or a statutory interest? (X) Yes ( ) No 3. is any action described under question 1 designed or contemplated? ( ) Yes (X) No (Annex 4. He cannot now be permitted to take advantage of his own wrong. Had the surviving spouse the right to declare an election between (1) the provisions made in his or her favor by the will and (11) dower. 3. the allegations in the motion of the same Atty.. it seems to us more factual and fairer to assume that Hodges was well aware of his position as executor of the will of his wife and. and for purposes of the applicable inheritance tax laws. 1957. et al. 1957. in the supposed affidavit of Hodges. still remains conjugal property. Texas. such payment is not necessarily inconsistent with his recognition of the rights of his co-heirs. Lagera." The surviving husband in the administration and liquidation of the conjugal estate occupies the position of a trustee of the highest order and is not permitted by the law to hold that estate or any portion thereof adversely to those for whose benefit the law imposes upon him the duty of administration and liquidation. etc. these italicized allegations indicate. One of the conditions of title by prescription (section 41. (Annex 4. Gellada dated July 1. 7 Phil. except for purposes of administering the Estate. all of age. He should have made a liquidation immediately (desde luego). taxes and other legal charges. Prado vs..A. U. paying debts. as shown by the statement contained in Schedule M at page 29 of said return. curtesy. Enriquez vs. 1962 for the appointment of respondent Magno as "Administratrix of the Estate of Mrs. 1957 and the aforementioned statements of account was the very same one who also subsequently signed and filed the motion of December 26. 263) and to have further stated under the item.. 10. the conjugal property which came into his possession on the death of his wife in September. We note that there are documents. Answer — Record. being duly sworn. considering they are supposed to be copies of their originals found in the official files of the governments of the United States and of the Philippines. 13 Phil. In the liquidation of the conjugal partnership. Arnold (66 Texas. 566. 153. This affidavit is made to absolve me or my estate from any liability for the payment of income taxes on income which has accrued to the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges since the death of the said Linnie Jane Hodges on May 23.

We are fully convinced that the interests of justice will be better served by not permitting or allowing PCIB or any administrator of the estate of Hodges exclusive administration of all the properties in question. Particularly is such an arrangement warranted because the actuations so far of PCIB evince a determined. and since it is apparent here that none of such parties are objecting to said orders or would be prejudiced by the unobservance by the trial court of the procedure pointed out by PCIB. it cannot truthfully be said that. In other words. Had Hodges secured as early as possible the settlement of his wife's estate. We are not unmindful of the fact that under Section 2 of Rule 73. To be sure. Hodges' share in the community properties. The record is bare of any showing that he ever exerted any effort towards the early settlement of said estate. And since in the ultimate analysis. and furthermore. it would be giving a premium for such procrastination and rather unfair to his co-heirs. 1957. from May. relative to PCIB's observations based on Rule 89. the estate not being indebted and there being no immediate heirs other than Hodges himself. considering We have already seen it is legally impossible to consider them as adjudicatory. as executor of his wife's estate. whose rights to inheritance depend entirely on the existence of any remainder of Mrs. in the testate or intestate proceedings of the deceased spouse. upon the initiative of Hodges. as such. the situation obtaining herein cannot be compared with the claim of a third party the basis of which is alien to the pending probate proceedings. While. the pertinent provisions of which are now embodied in the rule just cited. Thus. more specifically. according to Hodges' own inventory submitted by him as Executor of the estate of his wife. on the one hand. Besides. and all that respondent Magno can do for the time being is to wait until the properties constituting the remaining estate of Mrs. to perform now what Hodges was duty bound to do as executor is to violate the spirit. And since. Seemingly. on the one hand. the claim that respondent court has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of and decide the said issue is incorrect. her husband was to be the sole owner thereof during his lifetime. inasmuch as. why should it not be within its authority to declare their true significance and intent. the result would only be that the said orders should be declared ineffective either way they are understood. it is true that the last sentence of this provision allows or permits the conjugal partnership of spouses who are both deceased to be settled or liquidated in the testate or intestate proceedings of either. on the basis of the undisputed facts in these cases. by not terminating the proceedings. the final adjudication of her estate and the closure of the proceedings. Hodges have been duly segregated and delivered to her for her own administration. the administrator of his estate. is that from such point of view. of Section 2 of Rule 78 which expressly provides that "The executor of an executor shall not." It goes without saying that this provision refers also to the administrator of an executor like PCIB here. that the former was the executor of the latter's will who had. there was no more estate of Mrs. in his favor. If it was within the competence of the court to issue the root orders. it bears emphasis again that the main cause of all the present problems confronting the courts and the parties in these cases was the failure of Hodges to secure. Hodges to speak of. 1962. but precisely because said sentence allows or permits that the liquidation be made in either proceeding. To a certain extent. such as the heirs. which would necessarily include the function of promptly liquidating the conjugal partnership. to the end that the parties may know whether or not the estate of Mrs. 1958 referred to the estate of his wife as consisting of "One-half of all the items designated in the balance sheet. We find no legal inconvenience in nor impediment to Our giving sanction to the blanket approval and authority contained in said orders. legally speaking. the community property shall be inventoried. intent to exclude the other heirs of Mrs. that the same consists of considerable real and other personal kinds of properties. We do not find such contention sufficiently persuasive. his interests in his own half of the conjugal properties remained commingled pro-indiviso with those of his co-heirs in the other half. Hodges from their inheritance. it is PCIB alone. there was already the pending judicial settlement proceeding of the estate of Mrs. 1957 so often mentioned above. If both spouses have died. thereby identifying and segregating without unnecessary loss of time which properties should be considered as constituting the estate of Mrs. We take judicial notice. Neither is there basis for holding that respondent Magno has ceased to be the Administratrix in said proceeding. and the debts thereof paid. There is no showing that she has ever been legally removed as such. Obviously. and a third party or even an heir claiming adversely against the estate. more importantly. on this last point. so much so that the one assumed to have greater interest is preferred to another who has less.And knowing thus his responsibilities in the premises. for which as a rule it is required that an ordinary action should be filed. there should be no fear of undue disadvantage to anyone. in the light of the peculiar pertinent provisions of the will of said decedent. if the administrator of his estate were to be given exclusive administration of all the properties in question. On the other hand. and who are now faced with the pose of PCIB that there is no such remainder. Hodges. copy of which is hereto attached and marked as "Annex A". failed for more than five years to see to it that the same was terminated earliest. which have for their evident fundamental purpose the protection of parties interested in the estate. therefore. that properties do exist which constitute such estate. and. that as things actually stood at the time of Hodges' death. Indeed. practically all their properties were conjugal which means that the spouses have equal shares therein. including the share of Mrs. much less any proof that Hodges had in fact disposed of all of them. it maybe said that even if PCIB were to act alone. the root of the issue of title between the parties is something that the court itself has done in the exercise of its probate jurisdiction. were the orders of the trial court issued in the course of the very settlement proceedings themselves. however. albeit groundless. which was not difficult to do. Hodges is concerned. no copy of said Annex A appears in the records before Us. an administrator is not supposed to represent the interests of any particular party and his acts are deemed to be objectively for the protection of the rights of everybody concerned with the estate of the decedent. hence Special Proceedings 1307 should not yet be closed. regrettably. Parenthetically. on the other. 1957 up to the time of his death in December. there are enough indications. since from ought that appears in the record. Hodges' brothers and sisters may not be given effect. administered. that to read the orders of May 27 and December 14. the inventory submitted by Hodges on May 12. this problem would not arisen. it is not clear that PCIB has any standing to raise any objection thereto. there were no serious obstacles on the way. Hodges in the community properties. considering it is a complete stranger insofar as the estate of Mrs. administer the estate of the first testator. according to her will. and. such remainder would go to her brothers and sisters. on the other hand. who should administer everything. for to view said orders in the sense suggested by PCIB would result in the deprivation of substantive rights to the brothers and sisters of Mrs. their conjugal partnership had not yet been liquidated and. the remainder of which her brothers and sisters are supposed to inherit equally among themselves. would necessarily render the said orders void for being violative of the provisions of Rule 89 governing the manner in which such dispositions may be made and how the authority therefor and approval thereof by the probate court may be secured. however. the testamentary disposition in favor of Mrs. the indications are rather to the effect that he had kept them more or less intact. since the probate court is without jurisdiction to pass with finality on questions of title between the estate of the deceased. the attempt to replace her with Mr. PCIB insists. In the present cases what gave rise to the claim of PCIB of exclusive ownership by the estate of Hodges over all the properties of the Hodges spouses." Indeed. We are not convinced that Hodges arrogated everything unto himself leaving nothing at all to be inherited by his wife's brothers and sisters. Now. what surges immediately to the surface. 1972. viewed as a substitution. the former rule referring to the administrator of the husband's estate in respect to such liquidation was done away with by Act 3176. as administrator of the estate of Hodges. its creditors. If We sustained such a view. to the exclusion of the other heirs of his wife instituted in her will? At this point. with full power and authority to dispose of any of them. it is evidently implicit in section 6 of Rule 78 fixing the priority among those to whom letters of administration should be granted that the criterion in the selection of the administrator is not his impartiality alone but. Having these considerations in mind. As We see it. Indeed. At this juncture. As a matter of fact. Benito Lopez without authority from the Court having been expressly held ineffective by Our resolution of September 8. (here that of Hodges) and who normally has no right to take part in the proceedings pending the establishment of his right or title. consequently. PCIB would liken the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges to a party having a claim of ownership to some properties included in the inventory of an administrator of the estate of a decedent. pursuant to her will. It is the contention of PCIB. and from this point of view. and liquidated. to allow PCIB. it is a matter of sound judicial discretion in which one it should be made. a period of more than five years. it may be stated that we are not overlooking the fact that it is PCIB's contention that. this contention is correct. Hodges. such a situation could not be conducive to ready ascertainment of the portion of the inheritance that should appertain to his co-heirs upon his death. Such dilatory or indifferent attitude could only spell possible prejudice of his co-heirs. particularly the government on account of the taxes due it. it can be seen that at the time of the death of Hodges. pending their segregation from each other. as such. After all. the question of whether or not all the properties herein involved pertain exclusively to the estate of Hodges depends on the legal meaning and effect of said orders. This solution is definitely preferable in law and in equity. "When the marriage is dissolved by the death of the husband or wife. will give peace of mind and stability of rights to the innocent parties who relied on them in good faith. Mrs. the orders of May 27 and December 14. All things considered. it is but logical that both estates should be administered jointly by representatives of both. inasmuch as the properties composing the same were thus commingled pro indiviso and. the extent of his interest in the estate. but merely as approving past and authorizing future dispositions made by Hodges in a wholesale and general manner. withal." Although. We are of the considered opinion and so hold that what would be just and proper is for both administrators of the two estates to act conjointly until after said estates have been segregated from each other. the supposed irregularity would involve no more than some nonjurisdictional technicalities of procedure. the conjugal partnership shall be liquidated in the testate or intestate proceedings of either. provided that should there be any remainder upon his death. if not the letter. more importantly. Taking both of these considerations into account. the properties pertaining to the estate of each of the spouses are not yet identifiable. there is no pretension. however. upon the death of Hodges. on the contrary. It is Our conclusion. and. as already discuss that he had intentions of leaving intact her share of the conjugal properties so that it may pass wholly to his co-heirs upon his death. Hodges. Hodges' will provides neither for a simple or . not as adjudicatory. whereas reading them the other way will not cause any prejudice to anyone. Hodges had already been adjudicated by the court. however. PCIB itself is very emphatic in stressing that it is not questioning said respondent's status as such administratrix.

no such possible default is contemplated. there was submitted a copy of section 3868 of Acts 1882. 872. as provided in section 300 of the Code of Civil Procedure. as contemplated in Article 869 of the Civil Code. p. these and all other relevant matters should first be threshed out fully in the trial court in the proceedings hereafter to be held therein for the purpose of ascertaining and adjudicating and/or distributing the estate of Mrs. and it should accordingly yield. and as certified to by the Director of the National Library.) and. in the present case. there is no clear and reliable proof of what in fact the possibly applicable laws of Texas are. Hodges could in any event be less than that We have fixed above. however. U. even our finding above about the existence of properties constituting the estate of Mrs. To be more explicit. it is easily and definitely discernible from the inventory submitted by Hodges himself. 900. it would be in estoppel in any further proceedings in these cases to claim that said estate could be less. it is not correct to jump to the conclusion. the estate of Mrs. Hodges cannot be less than the remainder of one-fourth of the conjugal partnership properties. It should be borne in mind that as above-indicated. as allegedly proven by the documents touching on the point already mentioned earlier. 54 Phil. Hodges is at least. On the other hand. what should be applied here should be the rules of succession under the Civil Code of the Philippines. for the simple reason that neither the evidence submitted by the parties in the court below nor their discussion. Hodges is more than the one-fourth declared above. that she bequeathed to Hodges during his lifetime. But this was far from a compliance with the law. namely. Hodges' share of the conjugal partnership properties may be considered as her estate. the distribution of her estate is subject to the laws of said State which. To this end. After nature reflection. For one thing. there having been no proper and legal adjudication or distribution yet of the estate therein involved. the feared inconsistency is more apparent than real. construed in relation to the pertinent laws of Texas and the principle of renvoi.vulgar substitution under Article 859 of the Civil Code nor for a fideicommissary substitution under Article 863 thereof. since allegedly she never changed nor intended to change her original residence of birth in Texas. in their respective briefs and memoranda before Us. Besides. 1960. inasmuch as the question of what are the pertinent laws of Texas applicable to the situation herein is basically one of fact. the other fourth being. whether of the Philippines or of Texas. 7* Then also. that there are properties which should constitute the estate of Mrs. the existence and effects of foreign laws being questions of fact. 8 and regardless also of whether or not it can be proven by competent evidence that Hodges renounced his inheritance in any degree. vol.) But relative precisely to the question of how much of Mrs. Respondent Magno further maintains that. Withal. petitioner claims that inasmuch as Mrs. by Hogg Charles E. Hodges rests largely on a general appraisal of the size and extent of the conjugal partnership gathered from reference made thereto by both parties in their briefs as well as in their pleadings included in the records on appeal. Elementary is the rule that foreign laws may not be taken judicial notice of and have to be proven like any other fact in dispute between the parties in any proceeding. these cases should be returned to the court a quo. although vested already upon the death of Mrs. however. hence. the estate of Mrs. the legitime of her husband (Art. such contention constitutes an admission of fact. it may be mentioned here that during the deliberations. Hodges are not substitutes for Hodges because. and that the laws of West Virginia govern. rather. (1) whether or not Hodges had in fact and in law waived or renounced his inheritance from Mrs. in whole or in part. but the full ownership thereof. Chapter 2. so that the parties may prove what said law provides. as PCIB does. in any event. as to which exactly those properties are. 872. partially resolutory insofar as Hodges was concerned and correspondingly suspensive with reference to his brothers and sisters-in-law. would not or may not inherit. in view of the undisputed Texan nationality of the deceased Mrs. the parties are in disagreement as to how Article 16 of the Civil Code 7 should be applied. in the first instance. more specifically. as already stated. therefore. the question of what are the laws of Texas governing the matters herein issue is. Annotated. Contrary to the view of respondent Magno. (5 Moran. of grave importance as they are. one-fourth of the conjugal estate of the spouses. it was not the usufruct alone of her estate. it would be best. and (2) assuming there had been no such waiver. on November 3. should only be one-fourth of the conjugal estate. Hodges had renounced his rights under the will in favor of his co-heirs. Relative to Our holding above that the estate of Mrs. however. p. since it bequeaths unto Hodges the whole of her estate to be owned and enjoyed by him as universal and sole heir with absolute dominion over them 6 only during his lifetime. Nor was the extract . 610. the brothers and sisters of Mrs. except that it cannot apply to the legitime of Hodges as the surviving spouse. Hodges and ought to be disposed of or distributed among her heirs pursuant to her will in said Special Proceedings 1307.) Here the requirements of the law were not met. to the more concrete and specific evidence which the parties are supposed to present in support of their respective positions in regard to the foregoing main legal and factual issues. under Article 16 of the Civil Code. (Section 3. Book III) when it is obvious that substitution occurs only when another heir is appointed in a will "so that he may enter into inheritance in default of the heir originally instituted. Title IV. appear to Us to be adequate enough to enable Us to render an intelligent comprehensive and just resolution." (Article 857. There is no vulgar substitution therein because there is no provision for either (1) predecease of the testator by the designated heir or (2) refusal or (3) incapacity of the latter to accept the inheritance. but what he would not dispose of from his inheritance. it is premature for Us to make any specific ruling now on either the validity of the testamentary dispositions herein involved or the amount of inheritance to which the brothers and sisters of Mrs. if these conflicting claims of the parties were determined in these proceedings. The Court regrets. would automatically become operative upon the occurrence of the death of Hodges in the event of actual existence of any remainder of her estate then. (3) that Special Proceedings 1307 for the settlement of the testate estate of Mrs. Hodges are entitled to the remainder of the whole of her share of the conjugal partnership properties consisting of one-half thereof. as required by Article 859. In Justice. 900. such as when they are well and generally known or they have been actually ruled upon in other cases before it and none of the parties concerned do not claim otherwise. the parties are disagreed as to what the pertinent laws of Texas provide. and all his rights to what might remain upon his death would cease entirely upon the occurrence of that contingency. regardless of the question of her residence. As a matter of fact. under said Article 16 of the Civil Code. 156. Hodges was a resident of the Philippines at the time of her death. (Arts. with the rare exception in instances when the said laws are already within the actual knowledge of the court. Hodges had no surviving ascendants nor descendants. 1914. The laws of a foreign jurisdiction do not prove themselves in our courts. (2) that. Civil Code). considering that the sole difference in the positions of the parties as to the effect of said laws has reference to the supposed legitime of Hodges — it being the stand of PCIB that Hodges had such a legitime whereas Magno claims the negative . under said Article 16. United States of America. The Court sees no legal impediment to this kind of institution.S. (In re Estate of Johnson [1918]. do not provide for any legitime. Such laws must be proved as facts. Hix. Hence. all that We can and do decide in connection with the petition for certiorari and prohibition are: (1) that regardless of which corresponding laws are applied. inasmuch as the right of his brothers and sisters-in-law to the inheritance. as already explained. that the testamentary dispositions in question are therefore inoperative and invalid. Hodges to her heirs in accordance with her duly probated will. Hodges. and. according to her. 2. Hodges cannot be closed at this stage and should proceed to its logical conclusion. that it cannot do so. 41. anyway. c. and contends that. although the same was to last also during his lifetime only. whether or not. subject. and in the light of what might be the applicable laws of Texas on the matter. the genuineness and legal significance of which petitioner seemingly questions. Comments on the Rules of Court. and 904. and consequently. On the one hand. But from these premises. In the interest of settling the estates herein involved soonest. consisting of one-half of the estate. and it being the position now of PCIB that the estate of Mrs.) In Fluemer vs. even as there was no restriction whatsoever against his disposing or conveying the whole or any portion thereof to anybody other than himself. id. of their respective contentions on the pertinent legal issues. Hodges are entitled. one of fact. Hodges died a resident of the Philippines. The error in PCIB's position lies simply in the fact that it views the said disposition exclusively in the light of substitutions covered by the Civil Code section on that subject. under her will. considering that Mrs. 1970 ed.it is now beyond controversy for all future purposes of these proceedings that whatever be the provisions actually of the laws of Texas applicable hereto. therefore. the point was raised as to whether or not said holding might be inconsistent with Our other ruling here also that. it was held: It is the theory of the petitioner that the alleged will was executed in Elkins West Virginia. 39 Phil. respondent Magno denies that Mrs. the genuineness of documents relied upon by respondent Magno is disputed. it no longer lies in the lips of petitioner PCIB to make any claim that under the laws of Texas. The brothers and sisters of Mrs. the court a quo has not yet passed squarely on these issues. since there is no reliable evidence as to what are the applicable laws of Texas. to all the parties concerned. irrespective of what might be proven later to be actually the provisions of the applicable laws of Texas. she being indisputably a citizen of Texas. and (4) that respondent Magno remains and continues to be the Administratrix therein. her estate could consist of no more than one-fourth of the said conjugal properties. 84 as found in West Virginia Code. nothing in the foregoing opinion is intended to resolve the issues which. the parties should be allowed to present such further evidence in relation to all these issues in a joint hearing of the two probate proceedings herein involved. And there are a number of still other conceivable related issues which the parties may wish to raise but which it is not proper to mention here. are not properly before the Court now. therefore. as Executor of his wife's estate. and neither is there a fideicommissary substitution therein because no obligation is imposed thereby upon Hodges to preserve the estate or any part thereof for anyone else. After all. he was not free to do so mortis causa. at this stage and in the state of the records before Us. "with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights" that may be willed by a testator which. not of law. by the application of Article 16 of the Civil Code. Hodges. by Hix who had his residence in that jurisdiction. pursuant to the laws of Texas. in this jurisdiction or under Philippine law. and. to certain conditions.. they are not to inherit what Hodges cannot. It is partially resolutory. which means that while he could completely and absolutely dispose of any portion thereof inter vivos to anyone other than himself.. Hodges. We are of the considered view that. the estate of Mrs.A. indeed. In the interest of justice. 1925. are controlling in the instant cases. New Civil Code. and it is best for all concerned that it should do so in the first instance. they are also heirs instituted simultaneously with Hodges. The courts of the Philippine Islands are not authorized to take judicial notice of the laws of the various States of the American Union. There was no showing that the book from which an extract was taken was printed or published under the authority of the State of West Virginia. and taking for granted either of the respective contentions of the parties as to provisions of the latter. Civil Code) which she could not have disposed of nor burdened with any condition (Art. Hodges.

the disparity in the material dates of that case and the present ones would not permit Us to indulge in the hazardous conjecture that said provisions have not been amended or changed in the meantime. dated July 31. 1963). Such that with respect to both movable property.A. The proper rule we think is to require proof of the statutes of the States of the American Union whenever their provisions are determinative of the issues in any action litigated in the Philippine courts. As recited above. both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions. The affidavits by which the petition is accompanied contain no reference to the subject. No. Rule 39. as well as immovable property situated in the Philippines." Thus the aforecited provision of the Civil Code points towards the national law of the deceased. provides that the domiciliary law governs the testamentary dispositions and successional rights over movables or personal property. its judgment could not be set aside. actually and in fact. whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found". under said laws. Though the trial court may have acted upon pure conjecture as to the law prevailing in the State of Illinois. as enunciated and applied by this Honorable Court in the case of "In re Christensen" (G.". there can be no question that Philippine law governs the testamentary dispositions contained in the Last Will and Testament of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. unless the purpose is to show that it could be more.. she or he shall be entitled to one-half of the hereditary estate of the deceased spouse. in the instant cases wherein it results from the respective contentions of both parties that even if the pertinent laws of Texas were known and to be applied. intestate and testamentary successions. No evidence was introduced to show that the extract from the laws of West Virginia was in force at the time the alleged will was executed. The trial judge no doubt was satisfied that the will was properly executed by examining section 1874 of the Revised Statutes of Illinois.A.S. the petitioner-appellant. upon the death of Linnie Jane Hodges. PCIB may not now or later pretend differently. U. 156. 1963). there can be no question that Philippine law governs the testamentary provisions in the Last Will and Testament of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges. Philippine law. Again. Nor do we think that any such authority can be derived from the broader language. under the seal of the State of West Virginia. Applying. Quite to the contrary. except when they have been living as husband and wife for more . shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration.. he was in our opinion mistaken. among other things. used in the same section..from the law attested by the certificate of the officer having charge of the original. Thus. and we are cited to no authority in the appellant's brief which might tend to raise a doubt as to the correctness of the conclusion of the trial court. secondly. because the petition does not state any fact from which it would appear that the law of Illinois is different from what the court found. or more specifically. the legitime of the surviving spouse as the sole heir shall be one-third of the hereditary estate. Linnie Jane Hodges. where it is said that our courts may take judicial notice of matters of public knowledge "similar" to those therein enumerated. The petitioner. To be more concrete. [a].R. Philippines. that this point cannot be urged as of serious moment. which is the law of Texas. See. with respect to certain aspects of the foreign laws concerned. on pages 20-21 of its petition herein. However. as his or her own property. upon the death of the latter. concedes that upon application of Article 16 of the Civil Code and the pertinent laws of Texas. the absence of evidence to the effect that. one-half pertaining to each of the spouses. 31. 31. If the marriage between the surviving spouse and the testator was solemnized in articulo mortis. one-half of the conjugal partnership property immediately pertained to Charles Newton Hodges as his own share. Thus. is to be divided into two. without the need of requiring the presentation of what otherwise would be the competent evidence on the point.R.S. These words clearly have reference to Acts of the Congress of the United States. while the law of the situs governs with respect to immovable property. and the testator may freely dispose of the other half. There can be no question about this. 39 Phil. We held: Upon the other point — as to whether the will was executed in conformity with the statutes of the State of Illinois — we note that it does not affirmatively appear from the transcription of the testimony adduced in the trial court that any witness was examined with reference to the law of Illinois on the subject of the execution of will. 156). pronouncements which are by now res adjudicata (par. In its main brief dated February 26. The subject of successional rights. That section authorizes the courts here to take judicial notice. the parties herein have presented opposing versions in their respective pleadings and memoranda regarding the matter. therefore. But the law of Texas. the Court may take it for granted for the purposes of the particular case before it that the said laws are as such virtual agreement indicates. 2nd ed. as exhibited in volume 3 of Starr & Curtis's Annotated Illinois Statutes. There is also no question that she was a national of the State of Texas. while the law of the situs (in this case also Philippine law with respect to all Hodges properties located in the Philippines). Linnie Jane Hodges. shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration. as it is under the law of Texas. Garcia. and applying therefore the 'renvoi doctrine' as enunciated and applied by this Honorable Court in the case of In re Estate of Christensen (G. the law of Texas points to the law of the Philippines. Jan. even supposing that the trial court may have erred in taking judicial notice of the law of Illinois on the point in question. as provided in section 301 of the Code of Civil Procedure. under this provision. 39 Phil. whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. If so. L-16749. 1968. there is no question that the deceased. the so-called "renvoi doctrine". 426. as governing succession "both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions . And even if We took into account that in Aznar vs. while the law of Texas (the Hodges spouses being nationals of U. in its conflicts of law rules." No evidence of the nature thus suggested by the Court may be found in the records of the cases at bar. as this has already been pronounced by the above-cited orders of the lower court. of the acts of the legislative department of the United States. PCIB asserts: The law governing successional rights. 49. as well as immovables situated in the Philippines. It is very clear. State of Texas). it is true. that it could be more. and. in In re Estate of Johnson. both with respect to movables. as well as the successional rights to her estate. states in general terms that the will in question is invalid and inadequate to pass real and personal property in the State of Illinois. the Court did make reference to certain provisions regarding succession in the laws of Texas. was an American citizen. Under Philippine law. Jan. such error is not now available to the petitioner. therefore. governs with respect to immovable properties. as well as to immovables situated in the Philippines. the parties in a given case do not have any controversy or are more or less in agreement. PCIB states categorically: Inasmuch as Article 16 of the Civil Code provides that "intestate and testamentary successions both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions. unless it should be made to appear affirmatively that the conjecture was wrong. the conjugal or community property of the spouses. because the assignment of error and argument for the appellant in this court raises no question based on such supposed error. it could be otherwise is of no longer of any consequence. the amount of the inheritance pertaining to the heirs of Mrs. Article 900 of the Civil Code provides: If the only survivor is the widow or widower.. take judicial notice of the multifarious laws of the various American States. and he may have assumed that he could take judicial notice of the laws of Illinois under section 275 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Again. even upon application made within six months under section 113 of the Code of Civil Procedure. and respondent-appellee is only claiming. L-16749. Article 16 of the Civil Code provides: "Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is situated. on her part. there is likewise no question that she had her domicile of choice in the City of Iloilo. Hodges is as We have fixed above. In other words. 1967. and we would hesitate to hold that our courts can. provides that the domiciliary law (in this case Philippine law) governs the testamentary dispositions and successional rights over movables or personal properties. as well as the successional rights to her estate. p. and not by virtue of any successional rights. first. but this is merely a conclusion of law. It is implicit in the above ruling that when. Rules of Court. both with respect to movables. No. in its conflicts of law rules. and the testator died within three months from the time of the marriage. In re Estate of Johnson. Charles Newton Hodges and Linnie Jane Hodges. Nevertheless. since PCIB. the amount of the estate in controversy is just as We have determined it to be. On the other hand.

it is respondent-appellee Magno's posture that under the laws of Texas. some of them authorized respondent Magno to act alone or without concurrence of PCIB. considering that We have found that there is no legal impediment to the kind of disposition ordered by Mrs. 22-23. Hodges not inheriting anything under her will. 31. petition). hence the various assailed orders sanctioning her actuations as such are not in accordance with law. Hodges. the only question that remains to be settled in the further proceedings hereby ordered to be held in the court below is how much more than as fixed above is the estate of Mrs. as administrator of the estate of Hodges. Hodges died. One-fourth of the conjugal property therefore remains at issue. shall be considered as intended to be of properties constituting part of Hodges' inheritance from his wife. shall be considered as merely the products of "physical changes" of the properties of her estate which the will expressly authorizes Hodges to make. it is such commingling pro-indivisoof the two estates that should deprive appellee of freedom to act independently from PCIB. allegedly with the sanction of the trial court per its order of December 14. under the will of his deceased spouse (pp. Incidentally. asserted his sole ownership of the Hodges properties and the probate court sanctioned such assertion (pp. with the foregoing resolution holding such posture to be untenable in fact and in law and that it is in the best interest of justice that for the time being the two estates should be administered conjointly by the respective administrators of the two estates. the estate of Mrs." (5 Moran. citing Cunanan vs. Hodges. As will be recalled. October 4 and December 6. when there is no legitime provided therein. We ordered that. the Court has to look into the attendant circumstances of each of the appealed orders to be able to determine whether any of them has to be set aside or they may all be legally maintained notwithstanding the failure of the court a quo to observe the pertinent procedural technicalities. briefs and memoranda does PCIB maintain that the application of the laws of Texas would result in the other heirs of Mrs. f. and (2) whether or not Hodges has validly waived his whole inheritance from Mrs. the following appears: Briefly. Aug. Hodges in her will in favor of her brothers and sisters and. PCIB's position that there is no such estate of Mrs. And considering that the lower court failed to adhere consistently to this basic point of view. the trial court had already finally and irrevocably adjudicated to her husband the whole free portion of her estate to the exclusion of her brothers and sisters. That the deceased. the proceeds of such sales or the properties taken in by virtue of such exchanges. 21. Ana vs. namely: (1) that the provision in question in Mrs. Hodges should be adhered to by the trial court in its final order of adjudication and distribution and/or partition of the two estates in question. which include his own share of the conjugal estate. In the September 8 resolution. in the light of the unusual circumstances extant in the record. On her part. did not operate because the same is void (pp. to recognize appellee Magno as Administratrix of the Testate Estate of Mrs. the substitution 'provision of the will of the deceased. it was brought out by some members of the Court that to avoid or. Hodges is predicated exclusively on two propositions. Civil code). Accordingly. 80 Phil. and to enable both estates to function in the meantime with a relative degree of regularity. Civil code). Nowhere in its pleadings. for the simple reason that the conjugal partnership automatically ceased when Mrs. the consensus arrived at was as follows: (1) any such dispositions made gratuitously in favor of third parties. We felt that to allow PCIB to continue managing or administering all the . (3) the dispositions made by PCIB after the death of Hodges must naturally be deemed as covering only the properties belonging to his estate considering that being only the administrator of the estate of Hodges. e. thus outside of the scope of PCIB's administration. 65. and December 14. 19-20. so as to cause the least disturbance in rights already being exercised by numerous innocent third parties. THE APPEALS A cursory examination of the seventy-eight assignments of error in appellant PCIB's brief would readily reveal that all of them are predicated mainly on the contention that inasmuch as Hodges had already adjudicated unto himself all the properties constituting his wife's share of the conjugal partnership. In other words. petition). Charles Newton Hodges (p. That the remaining 25% of the Hodges properties was inherited by the deceased. After a long discussion. 864. whether these be individuals. Hodges should be one-half of all the conjugal properties. d. such as. Indeed. the application to these cases of Article 16 of the Civil Code in relation to the corresponding laws of Texas would result in that the Philippine laws on succession should control. it should follow that said assignments of error have lost their fundamental reasons for being. these construction of the will of Mrs. the legitime of the surviving spouse shall be that specified in the preceding paragraph. Such being the case. and this would depend on (1) whether or not the applicable laws of Texas do provide in effect for more. sanctioned though they might have been by the trial court. This is not questioned by the respondents. (2) as regards sales. but rather his right to dispose of any part of his inheritance pursuant to the will of his wife. Hence. It is thus unquestionable that as far as PCIB is concerned. As a matter of fact. therefore. by the orders of the trial court of May 27. L-23023. however. the position advanced by the petitioner is: a. as We have already explained above. That under Philippine law. 1957. exchanges or other remunerative transfers. under discussion. Charles Newton Hodges. 20-21. That under Philippine as well as Texas law. p. 20. the necessity of dealing separately with the merits of each of the appeals. It is clear. Hodges which is still unsegregated from that of Hodges is not to say. automatically inherited one-half of the remaining one-half of the Hodges properties as his legitime (p. 1968. that the Court ordered in the resolution of September 8. by allowing the two administrators to act independently of each other. by virtue of which respondent Magno was completely barred from any participation in the administration of the properties herein involved. PCIB could not have disposed of properties belonging to the estate of his wife. further. it appearing from the tenor of his motions of May 27 and December 11. due to the failure of Hodges and the lower court to liquidate the conjugal partnership. or one-fourth of the entire conjugal property. petition). and by the peculiar provision of her will. Linnie Jane Hodges. hence the estate of Mrs. b. at least. Linnie Jane Hodges (pp. Accordingly. id. For instance. 1967. it is imperative to elucidate on the possible consequences of dispositions made by Hodges after the death of his wife from the mass of the unpartitioned estates without any express indication in the pertinent documents as to whether his intention is to dispose of part of his inheritance from his wife or part of his own share of the conjugal estate as well as of those made by PCIB after the death of Hodges. minimize further protracted legal controversies between the respective heirs of the Hodges spouses. corporations or foundations. PCIB further claims that either the matters involved were not properly within the probate jurisdiction of the trial court or that the procedure followed was not in accordance with the rules. he was not invoking particularly his right over his own share. or substitution (Art. nor by any charge. Special Proceedings 1307 and 1672 should proceed jointly and that the respective administrators therein "act conjointly — none of them to act singly and independently of each other for any purpose. inasmuch as the said two estates have until now remained commingled pro-indiviso. 872. Upon the death of Charles Newton Hodges. PCIB is "not permitted to contradict them or subsequently take a position contradictory to or inconsistent with them." Upon mature deliberation. that she was therefore authorized to do and perform all her acts complained of in these appeals. as his legitime. 1972 the modification of the injunction issued pursuant to the resolutions of August 8. petition). condition. which need further clarification. Linnie Jane Hodges. He in fact assumed such ownership and such was the status of the properties as of the time of his death (pp. the latter should not have authority to act independently from her. that in addition to one-half of the conjugal partnership property as his own conjugal share. since said date. petition). Texas law.than five years. We have overruled. there is no system of legitime. We have to determine. provided that whatever of said products should remain with the estate at the time of the death of Hodges should go to her brothers and sisters. 1968. Hodges' testament violates the rules on substitution of heirs under the Civil Code and (2) that. there has been. the remainder of her share descended also automatically upon the death of Hodges to her brothers and sisters. Hodges is the remainder of one-fourth of the conjugal partnership properties. petition). That under Philippine law. And with respect to many of said orders. Amparo. Philippine law governs the successional rights over the properties left by the deceased. On that basis. both of which poses. it may be mentioned. no longer any estate of Mrs. And since PCIB's representations in regard to the laws of Texas virtually constitute admissions of fact which the other parties and the Court are being made to rely and act upon. Maliwat. notwithstanding the certainty of the existence of the separate estate of Mrs. Charles Newton Hodges. Hodges. one-half of the Hodges properties pertains to the deceased. petition). if commonly among some of them. in any event. pending this decision. that the contention of PCIB that the same constitutes an inoperative testamentary substitution is untenable. whether or not. 24 SCRA 1018). there is need to be more pragmatic and to adopt a rather unorthodox approach. 25-29. Hodges of which appellee Magno could be administratrix. 1957. to the end only that graver injury to the substantive rights of the parties concerned and unnecessary and undesirable proliferation of incidents in the subject proceedings may be forestalled. petition). Neither could such dispositions be considered as involving conjugal properties. at this point. Charles Newton Hodges. even if to do so may not appear to be strictly in accordance with the letter of the applicable purely adjective rules. just as. Of similar tenor are the allegations of PCIB in some of its pleadings quoted in the earlier part of this option. 23-25. That the Hodges spouses were domiciled legally in the Philippines (pp. Sta. that it was principally on account of the confusion that might result later from PCIB's continuing to administer all the community properties. for the same reason. This legitime of the surviving spouse cannot be burdened by a fideicommisary substitution (Art. This is now a matter of res adjudicata (p. 29-34. 227. Charles Newton Hodges was also immediately entitled to one-half of the half conjugal share of the deceased. relating peculiarly to the respective orders in question. in the various instances already noted in the narration of facts above. and the renvoi doctrine. c. In the summary of its arguments in its memorandum dated April 30. There are certain matters. In the course of the deliberations. without any qualification. In the latter case. the deceased. 21. 1957 that in asking for general authority to make sales or other disposals of properties under the jurisdiction of the court. petition).

Magno. Hodges. the same would be a matter that the probate court can very well take care of in the course of the independent proceedings in Case No. denying. is a complete stranger and it is without personality to question the actuations of the administratrix thereof regarding matters not affecting the estate of Hodges. as Parties of the Second Part. 313-320. 1965 approving the agreement of June 6. Hodges. as far as the records show. Hodges shall have access to the records of transactions of the Linnie Jane Hodges estate for the protection of the estate of C. 1966. the amount of attorney's fees stipulated in the agreement in question will prejudice any portion that would correspond to Hodges' estate. the weightiest consideration in connection with the point under discussion is that at this stage of the controversy among the parties herein. 1964. Green Rec. . as such administratrix. Actually. the accountant or any authorized representative of the estate of C. at this stage. that said appellee had the right. 221-222. as in the situation on hand. id. and Avelina A. which is naturally common and identical with and inseparable from the interest of the brothers and sisters of Mrs. however. 1965 last referred to. We have gone over the agreement. the interest of respondent Magno.) Main contention again of appellant PCIB in regard to these eight assigned errors is that there is no such estate as the estate of Mrs. to both of them. 1307 after the corresponding segregation of the two subject estates. the vital issue refers to the existence or non-existence of the estate of Mrs. it should not be wondered why both Magno and these heirs have seemingly agreed to retain but one counsel. And as regards the other heirs of Mrs. 1965 enjoining inter alia. id. the motion for reconsideration of the order of October 27. Hodges' estate might place the heirs of Hodges at an unduly advantageous position which could result in considerable. . the estate has no creditors and the corresponding estate and inheritance taxes. Insofar as the matters related exclusively to the estate of Mrs. Hodges. 1965 denying the motion for reconsideration of the foregoing order. id. As We have already demonstrated in Our resolution above of the petition for certiorari and prohibition. the said orders must be affirmed. it is perhaps best to begin first with what appears to Our mind to be the simplest. among others.) On the other hand. since. (pp. PCIB. Hodges. more specifically in Special Proceedings 1307 and 1672 —" (pp. 455-456. as Administratrix of the Estate of Mrs. notwithstanding that its repeated motions for reconsideration thereof have all been denied soon after they were filed. since the questioned orders provide for joint action by the two administrators. and in like manner. 294. as Administratrix of the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. id. in the same manner that Administrator PCIB is also directed to allow Administratrix Magno to inspect whatever records. Quimpo. Hodges". if not irreparable. These assignments of error relate to (1) the order of the trial court of August 6.) Assignment Number LXXVI imputes error to the lower court's order of October 27. it would be idle effort to inquire whether or not the sanction given to said fees by the probate court is proper. 1965. 1972 modifying the injunction previously issued on August 8. the attorney's fees of the counsel of an administrator is in the first instance his personal responsibility. Hodges. Hodges of which Magno is the current administratrix. damage or injury to the other parties concerned. any payment under it. Assignments of error Numbers LXVIII to LXXI and LXXIII to LXXVI. We see no reason to disturb the discretion exercised by the probate court in determining the same. Hodges — to countersign the said check or checks as the case maybe. rather insubstantial. in any event. she is also entitled to the services of counsel and to that end had the authority to enter into contracts for attorney's fees in the manner she had done in the agreement of June 6. 1966. the attorney-in-fact of the heirs has given his conformity thereto. 126129. In any event. except those of the brothers and sisters of Mrs. Indeed. hence what were authorized were in effect expenditures from the estate of Hodges. (d) (that) Administratrix Magno — allow the PCIB to inspect whatever records. 231-232. Hodges is also a matter in which neither PCIB nor the heirs of Hodges have any interest. already referred to above. More specifically. the PCIB should take the necessary steps so that Administratrix Avelina A. Hodges. id. The reimbursement was approved as proper legal expenses of administration per the order of December 19. all the expenses in question. (pp. Again. Hodges for which the questioned expenditures were made. and then proceed to the more complicated ones in that order.N. to hire the persons whom she paid overtime pay and to be paid for her own services as administratrix. or. (pp. quite remote and. and. 1966. that "(a) all cash collections should be deposited in the joint account of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and estate of C. respondent Magno has filed in these proceedings a motion to declare PCIB in contempt for alleged failure to abide therewith. it results that juridically and factually the interests involved in her estate are distinct and different from those involved in her estate of Hodges and vice versa. therefore. assignments of error Numbers LXIX to LXXI put into question the payment of attorneys fees provided for in the contract for the purpose.) As may be readily seen. id. it may be added that. 1965. this posture is incorrect. Thus. as ordered by the trial court. 248. premature advances to the heirs of Mrs. in whichever way the remaining issues between the parties in these cases are ultimately resolved. N. Hodges. 456.) and repeated motions for reconsideration thereof were denied by the orders of January 9." (p. including the attorney's fees. id. And as regards to the reasonableness of the amount therein stipulated. As a matter of fact. Upon the premise We have found plausible that there is an existing estate of Mrs. James L. 10 the final result will surely be that there are properties constituting the estate of Mrs. by this decision. 1965. Hodges. reconsideration of which order of approval was denied in the order of February 16.. LXXVII and LXXVIII. documents and papers it may have in its possession" and "(e) that the accountant of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges shall have access to all records of the transactions of both estates for the protection of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. Of course. reimbursable later on by the estate. attorney-in-fact of the heirs of Mrs. It follows. Hodges cannot be represented by a common counsel. regarding attorneys fees for said counsel who had agreed "to prosecute and defend their interests (of the Parties of the First Part) in certain cases now pending litigation in the Court of First Instance of Iloilo —.. and Attorneys Raul Manglapus and Rizal R.) and (4) the order of February 15. and to this effect. the estate and the heirs of Mrs. (pp. considering the obviously considerable size of the estate of Mrs. on Appeal) (2) the order of October 27. Hodges who ought to be the ones who should have a say on the attorney's fees and other expenses of administration assailed by PCIB. that is the arrangement We are ordering. Withal.). although strictly speaking. (pp. PCIB insists. And in this connection. as may be gleaned from the fact that recently. 11 no prejudice can caused to anyone by the comparatively small amount of attorney's fees in question. The orders complained of under these assignments of error commonly deal with expenditures made by appellee Magno. 9 Going back to the appeals. We hold that such posture cannot prevail. Magno as her compensation as administratrix of Linnie Jane Hodges estate chargeable to the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges only. and such being the case. and considering the obvious size of the estate in question and the nature of the issues between the parties as well as the professional standing of counsel. is to maintain that it exists. In fact. as the appointed administratrix of the said estate. that said agreement of June 6. In fact." (p. with what We have said the trial court should have always done pending the liquidation of the conjugal partnership of the Hodges spouses. documents and papers she may have in her possession. Hodges. Sullivan and have not otherwise interposed any objection to any of the expenses incurred by Magno questioned by PCIB in these appeals. (p. should any substantial conflict of interest between them arise in the future. when. We cannot say that the fees agreed upon require the exercise by the Court of its inherent power to reduce it. N. suffice it to say that they appear to have been duly represented in the agreement itself by their attorney-in-fact. N. Stated differently. in connection with her administration thereof. as administrator of the estate of Hodges. Hodges. such an arrangement should be more convenient and economical to both. Now. id.said properties to the exclusion of the administratrix of Mrs. as already stated. the same has not been given due regard. id. in the final analysis.) and directing Administratrix Magno "to issue and sign whatever check or checks maybe needed to implement the approval of the agreement annexed to the motion" as well as the "administrator of the estate of C.) (3) the other order also dated October 27. 1964 between Administratrix Magno and James L. The possibility of conflict of interest between Magno and the heirs of Mrs. 292-295. up to this date. 276-277. Magno could sign the deeds of sale. 1964. id. Hodges. Hodges would be. without regard to the numerical sequence of the assignments of error in appellant's brief or to the order of the discussion thereof by counsel. We see no possible cause for apprehension that when the two estates are segregated from each other. assignment Number LXXIII refers to reimbursement of overtime pay paid to six employees of the court and three other persons for services in copying the court records to enable the lawyers of the administration to be fully informed of all the incidents in the proceedings. Hodges. LXXIV and LXXV question the trial court's order of November 3. Assignments Numbers LXVIII to LXXI. id. more than a year after said resolution. 1965 providing that "the deeds of sale (therein referred to involving properties in the name of Hodges) should be signed jointly by the PCIB." (pp. as they are hereby overruled. as to whether or not the portion of the fees in question that should correspond to the heirs constitutes premature partial distribution of the estate of Mrs. N.) October 27. the thrust of all these four impugned orders is in line with the Court's above-mentioned resolution of September 8. more importantly. (p. Besides. have already been paid. 277. at most. at this stage. In this respect. as Administrator of Testate Estate of C. Hodges. We cannot perceive any cogent reason why. may be paid without awaiting the determination and segregation of the estate of Mrs. Sullivan. (pp. albeit additionally. It is indeed to be regretted that apparently. in effect. 455-456. (b) that whatever cash collections (that) had been deposited in the account of either of the estates should be withdrawn and since then (sic) deposited in the joint account of the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and the estate of C. 1967. would be in the nature of advances to such heirs and a premature distribution of the estate. N. Hodges. to be followed. Accordingly the foregoing assignments of error must be. as constituting. Assignments of error numbers LXXII. and that is precisely what We are holding out to have been done and should be done until the two estates are separated from each other. That she has not yet collected and is not collecting amounts as substantial as that paid to or due appellant PCIB is to her credit. insofar as it orders that "PCIB should counter sign the check in the amount of P250 in favor of Administratrix Avelina A. insofar as counsels' services would redound to the benefit of the heirs. 1964 is not for legal services to the estate but to the heirs of Mrs. as Parties of the First Part.) and February 15.

Belcezar Causing. 1960. Hodges. executed on June 17. after all. It is quite apparent from the record that the properties covered by said sales are equivalent only to a fraction of what should constitute the estate of Mrs. as much as possible. they had reason to believe that it had authority to act on their motions. and the appellant Esperidion Partisala. executed on June 9. it is best that the impugned orders are not disturbed. to avoid unnecessary legal complications. Guzman. and the appellee. it is quite obvious that PCIB's contention cannot be sustained. the contract to sell between the deceased. the day he died. Hodges. Charles Newton Hodges. the authority given to him by the aforementioned orders would still suffice.For the foregoing reasons. from time to time prior to their transactions with her. 1958. or perhaps the government because of the still unpaid inheritance taxes. it is relying on the terms of the order itself for its main contention in these cases. upon his death. as Administrator of the Estate of Hodges. Such being the case. much relied upon by appellant for other purposes. Viewing the situation in that manner. have the requisite interest to question them would be only the heirs of Mrs. Hodges. We do not find sufficient merit in the assignments of error under discussion. (Sections 2. Hodges which is to be distributed and partitioned among her heirs specified in the will. XLIV to XLVI and LI. We hold. the contract to sell between the deceased. Charles Newton Hodges. On the other hand. Charles Newton Hodges. when his wife died. they should not be made to suffer any prejudice on account of judicial controversies not of their own making. not by PCIB. Western Institute of Technology and Adelfa Premaylon. the transactions they rely on were submitted by them to the probate court for approval. XXII to XXV. the contract to sell between the deceased. 1959. From this point of view. (Order of May 27) which according to the motion on which the court acted was "of buying and selling personal and real properties". XIII to XV. At first blush. it is the position of appellant PCIB that. and the appellee. if. As stated on pp. Alfredo Catedral and Salvador S. of May 27. 1961. unless the impugned orders approving those sales indubitably suffer from some clearly fatal infirmity the Court would rather affirm them. they automatically became part of the inheritance of said brothers and sisters. to avoid any conflict with the heirs of Hodges. 1960. . those in favor of appellee Santiago Pacaonsis. In none of its numerous. Assignments of error I to IV. however. XXVI to XXIX. the said properties covered by the questioned deeds of sale executed by appellee Magno may be treated as among those corresponding to the estate of Mrs. Espada. 13815. Charles Newton Hodges. Bona fide third parties are involved. 118-120 of appellant's main brief. the only ones who could stand to be prejudiced by the appealed orders referred to in the assignment of errors under discussion and who could. Winifredo C. been allowed to act in her capacity as administratrix of one of the subject estates either alone or conjointly with PCIB. Melquiades Batisanan. that the adoption of PCIB's theory would necessarily have tremendous repercussions and would bring about considerable disturbance of property rights that have somehow accrued already in favor of innocent third parties. the implementation of said contracts may be undertaken only by the administrator of his estate and not by the administratrix of the estate of Mrs. detract materially from what should substantially correspond to each and all of the parties concerned. XXXVII to XXXVIII. 1957. 1958. and the appellee. Accordingly. therefore. Salvador S. Charles Newton Hodges. Jose Pablico. Hodges. 8 and 9 of Rule 89 quoted by appellant on pp. and the appellee. the payments made by the appellees should be considered as payments to the estate of Mrs. XXXV to XXX VI. We have already held above that. the contract to sell between the deceased. which would have been actually under her control and administration had Hodges complied with his duty to liquidate the conjugal partnership. all things considered. executed on November 27. and the appellee. even if it is assumed that the same would finally be held to be only onefourth of the conjugal properties of the spouses as of the time of her death or. the contracts with them had already been unilaterally cancelled by PCIB pursuant to automatic rescission clauses contained in them. on the contrary. But. But PCIB's posture is again premised on its assumption that the properties covered by the deeds in question could not pertain to the estate of Mrs. Hodges. executed on February 10. the court had previously authorized or otherwise sanctioned expressly many of her act as administratrix involving expenditures from the estate made by her either conjointly with or independently from PCIB. Anent those deeds of sale based on promises or contracts to sell executed by Hodges after the death of his wife. Considering. it can be said that he had authority to do so by virtue of these blanket orders. the contract to sell between the deceased. he acted as heir-adjudicatee. would inevitably constitute the estate of Mrs. and the appellee. What is more. much more than the properties covered by said deeds. The five deeds of sale predicated on contracts to sell executed Hodges during the lifetime of his wife. 1957 and December 14." (Order of December 14) In other words. hence. In a word. 1962. 5. particularly the unnecessary disturbance of rights already created in favor of innocent third parties. Hodges. In view of these considerations. may not be raised by PCIB but only by the heirs of Mrs. 1961. 1957. Hodges. leases and mortgages of the properties left by the said deceased Linnie Jane Hodges in consonance with the wishes conveyed in the last will and testament of the latter. it is of no moment whether the "contracts to sell" upon which the deeds in question were based were executed by Hodges before or after the death of his wife. Charles Newton Hodges. Charles Newton Hodges. All these assignments of error commonly deal with alleged non-fulfillment by the respective vendees. executed on April 20. and December 25. XVI to XVIII. It is of no moment in what capacity Hodges made the "contracts to sell' after the death of his wife. conveyances. subject to the terms of her will in favor of her brothers and sisters. Lorenzo Carles. 1959. varied and voluminous pleadings. and the appellee. Guzman. the non-observance of which would not. the same theory is invoked with particular reference to five other sales. these contracts can hardly be ignored. Assignments of Error LXVIII to LXXI and LXXIII to LXXVI should be as they are hereby overruled. the contract to sell between the deceased. and PCIB does not question the legality of such grant of authority. executed on April 18. since there is no pretense that any objections were raised by said parties or that they would necessarily be prejudiced. again. it may be said that said buyersappellees merely followed precedents in previous orders of the court. executed on August 25. PCIB's position has some degree of plausibility. contract to sell between the deceased. it is apparent again that the questions. in which the respective "contracts to sell" in favor of these appellees were executed by Hodges before the death of his wife. as PCIB contends. 1961. Charles Newton Hodges. in view of the failure of said buyers to pay arrearages long overdue. 1960. whether or not the rules governing new dispositions of properties of the estate were strictly followed. and "to execute subsequent sales. while in the cases of the others. motions and manifestations has PCIB claimed any possibility otherwise. and the appellee. and. executed on October 31. purportedly in implementation of corresponding supposed written "Contracts to Sell" previously executed by Hodges during the interim between May 23. Graciano Lucero. as Administratrix of the Estate of Mrs. on May 12. Florenia Barrido. As already explained earlier. XLI to XLIII and L. 1958. Hodges was "allowed or authorized" by the trial court "to continue the business in which he was engaged and to perform acts which he had been doing while the deceased was living". executed on August 14. It is claimed that some of them never made full payments in accordance with the respective contracts to sell. Purificacion Coronado. Consequently. Pepito G. 125 to 127 of its brief) for the simple reason that by the very orders. Charles Newton Hodges. the Court is inclined to take a pragmatic and practical view of the legal situation involving them by overlooking the possible technicalities in the way. Hodges as the persons designated to inherit the same. the contract to sell between the deceased. 1958. any supposed irregularity attending the actuations of the trial court may be invoked only by her heirs. the contract to sell between the deceased. Iyulores executed on February 5. Adelfa Premaylon. Rosario Alingasa. All the sales in question were executed by Magno in 1966 already. 6. re Title No. Alfredo Catedral. like Lorenzo Carles. the contract to sell between the deceased. Hodges. Charles Newton Hodges. he did not have to submit those contracts to the court nor follow the provisions of the rules. it can be assumed that said properties form part of such estate. to be more exact. Ariteo Thomas Jamir. present a different situation. since appellee Magno had. in the sense that should there be no showing that such proceeds. Hodges. it being evident that a considerable portion of the conjugal properties. executed on February 21. inasmuch as pursuant to the will of Mrs. but before that. and since the said heirs are not objecting. it would appear that as to them. therefore. 1959 and the contract to sell between the deceased. one-half of her estate as per the inventory submitted by Hodges as executor. and consequently. Charles Newton Hodges. 1 1* all proceeds of remunerative transfers or dispositions made by Hodges after the death of his wife should be deemed as continuing to be parts of her estate and. namely. Charles Newton Hodges. and the appellee. therefore. These assignments of error deal with the approval by the trial court of various deeds of sale of real properties registered in the name of Hodges but executed by appellee Magno. and the defects pointed out not being strictly jurisdictional in nature. 1961. Charles Newton Hodges. those enumerated in the quotation in the immediately preceding paragraph. definitely not PCIB." Relative to these sales. and the appellee. it was as absolute owner of the properties respectively covered by said sales that he executed the aforementioned contracts to sell. the contract to sell between the deceased. Even if he had acted as executor of the will of his wife. that the properties covered by the deeds being assailed pertain or should be deemed as pertaining to the estate of Mrs. Jose Pablico. whether or not it was proper for appellee Magno to have disregarded the cancellations made by PCIB. The deeds here in question involve transactions which are exactly of this nature. of the terms and conditions embodied in the deeds of sale referred to in the assignments of error just discussed. To start with. for the reasons already stated. her husband was to have dominion over all her estate during his lifetime. the contract to sell between the deceased. Thus. and the appellee. whether in cash or property have been subsequently conveyed or assigned subsequently by Hodges to any third party by acts inter vivos with the result that they could not thereby belong to him anymore at the time of his death. 4. As can be seen. thereby reviving the rights of the respective buyers-appellees. the five purchasers aforenamed. the contentions of PCIB under the instant assignments of error hardly merit any consideration. Assignments of error V to VIII. Basically. and the appellee. executed on September 13. if Hodges acted then as executor. and from already known and recorded actuations of said court then. appellees herein. "These are: the. executed on May 26.

the matter has. 1965. which provision naturally made it imperative that the conjugal partnership be promptly liquidated. the trial court deprived the said estate of the right to invoke such cancellations it (PCIB) had made and (2) that in so acting. Hodges' will had been probated and Hodges had been appointed and had qualified as Executor thereof.) neither of which have been shown to have been made in connection with the transactions herein involved. but where. And with respect to the supposed automatic rescission clauses contained in the contracts to sell executed by Hodges in favor of herein appellees. namely: (1) that in approving the deeds executed by Magno pursuant to contracts to sell already cancelled by it in the performance of its functions as administrator of the estate of Hodges. Incidentally. XXXIX to XL. Insofar as the substantive issues are concerned. on November 23. Considering. From the procedural standpoint. Hodges and the Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. the court "arrogated unto itself. As of October." Acting on this motion. Assignments of error LXII to LXVII All these assignments of error commonly deal with the appeal against orders favoring appellee Western Institute of Technology. letters of collection. of the corresponding registration of the transfers duly and legally approved by the court. although relatedly.) Withal. as a matter of public policy. contrary to the stand of PCIB. Nothing else appears to have been done either by the court a quo or Hodges until December 25. Hodges was appointed special administrator of her estate. Actually. on A.Assignments of error IX to XII. That in his annual statement submitted to the court of the net worth of C. in order that the "rest. Hodges died first. the effect of said clauses depend on the true nature of the said contracts. which is not controlling.000 on account of its overdue installments but uncertain whether it should pay PCIB or Magno. Magno merely said she would "appreciate very much if you can make some remittance to bring this account upto-date and to reduce the amount of the obligation. by withholding said owners' duplicate certificates. to be equally divided among my brothers and sisters. he was "allowed or authorized to continue the business in which he was engaged. there is nothing irregular in the court's having resolved the motion three days after the date set for hearing the same. 295-311. already quoted in the narration of facts in this opinion. my said husband. to my beloved (spouse) to have and to hold unto (him/her) — during (his/her) natural lifetime". conveyances. share and share alike". 1479. who predeceased him by about five years and a half. considering that "in both cases (Special Proceedings 1307 and 1672) there is as yet no judicial declaration of heirs nor distribution of properties to whomsoever are entitled thereto. the trial court was within its rights to so require and direct. The said Executor is further authorized to execute subsequent sales. What is worse. as of the time of Hodges' own death. may be readily known and identified. during his natural lifetime" and that "at the death of my said husband. PCIB having refused to give way. The procedural points urged by appellant deserve scant consideration. the interested parties are in agreement that the conveyance be made. N. devise(d) and bequeath(ed)" to the brothers and sisters of the latter. and that they are the ones who are precisely urging that said sales be sanctioned. Hodges repeatedly and consistently reported the combined income of the conjugal partnership and then merely divided the same equally . from PCIB and appellee Magno. . As to the substantive aspect. for if they amount to actual contracts of sale instead of being mere unilateral accepted "promises to sell". unless there has been a previous notarial or judicial demand by the seller (10 Manresa 263. on December 14. the trial court issued an order. Hodges and not that of Hodges. 1965." The arguments under the instant assignments of error revolve around said order. I give. Hodges and her heirs who are the real parties in interest having the right to oppose the consummation of the impugned sales are not objecting. consequently. it is properly within the jurisdiction of the probate court to give its sanction thereto pursuant to the provisions of the rule just mentioned. and so "movant — can pay to both estates or either of them". Four days later. in their respective capacities as administrators of the distinct estates of the Hodges spouses. all the sales. but also. With particular reference to assignments LIII to LXI. 1957. 1965. 1965 and October 20. In their respective wills which were executed on different occasions. each one of them provided mutually as follows: "I give." (See pp. albeit. both real and personal. all that need be said at this point is that they are mere reiterations of contentions We have already resolved above adversely to appellants' position. to erase all doubts as to the propriety of not disturbing the lower court's orders sanctioning the sales questioned in all these appeal s by PCIB. residue and remainder of my estate. (Art." since it has in effect determined whether or not all the terms and conditions of the respective contracts to sell executed by Hodges in favor of the buyers-appellees concerned were complied with by the latter. 2nd ed. Linnie Jane Hodges. while in the case of PCIB it made known that "no other arrangement can be accepted except by paying all your past due account". the trial court ordered that "for the reasons stated in his motion dated December 11. the assignments of error under discussion have no basis and must accordingly be as they are hereby overruled. leases and mortgages of all properties left by the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges executed by the Executor. it prayed that it be "allowed to deposit the aforesaid amount with the court pending resolution of the conflicting claims of the administrators. Hodges submitted to the court the corresponding statements of account of his administration. Charles Newton Hodges are hereby APPROVED. residue and remainder (after funeral and administration expenses. it is claimed that PCIB was not served with a copy of the Institute's motion.) On November 3. upon his motion in which he asserted that he was "not only part owner of the properties left as conjugal. 462. is that the court has taken the word of the appellee Magno. while acting as a probate court. Moreover. devise and bequeath all of the rest. S U M MARY Considering the fact that this decision is unusually extensive and that the issues herein taken up and resolved are rather numerous and varied. suffice it to say that in the light of the above discussion. what with appellant making seventy-eight assignments of error affecting no less than thirty separate orders of the court a quo. absent any clear proof to the contrary." Annually thereafter. We find no merit in the assignments of error Number LXII to LXVII. Since We have already held that the properties covered by the contracts in question should be deemed to be portions of the estate of Mrs. holding that payment to both or either of the two administrators is "proper and legal". XXX to XXIV. it was in arrears in the total amount of P92. and that what the order grants is different from what is prayed for in the motion. he always made it point to urge the that "no person interested in the Philippines of the time and place of examining the herein accounts be given notice as herein executor is the only devisee or legatee of the deceased in accordance with the last will and testament already probated by the Honorable Court. Green R. that the estate of Mrs. it is this last point regarding appellee Magno's having agreed to ignore the cancellations made by PCIB and allowed the buyers-appellees to consummate the sales in their favor that is decisive. We may add. that said motion was heard. wherever situated or located. said institute is one of the buyers of real property covered by a contract to sell executed by Hodges prior to the death of his wife. that it is only when one of the parties to a contract to convey property executed by a deceased person raises substantial objections to its being implemented by the executor or administrator of the decedent's estate that Section 8 of Rule 89 may not apply and. whereas the date set for its hearing was November 20. residue and remainder" of his wife's share thereof. 1962. on A. the successor to all the properties left by the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges". on May 23. as in the cases of the sales herein involved. assailing the orders of the trial court requiring PCIB to surrender the respective owner's duplicate certificates of title over the properties covered by the sales in question and otherwise directing the Register of Deeds of Iloilo to cancel said certificates and to issue new transfer certificates of title in favor of the buyers-appellees. PCIB raises under these assignments of error two issues which according to it are fundamental. subject to the condition that upon the death of whoever of them survived the other. in the view of PCIB. it is perhaps desirable that a brief restatement of the whole situation be made together with our conclusions in regard to its various factual and legal aspects. 2nd paragraph) thepactum commissorium or the automatic rescission provision would not operate. 1966 (p. Mrs. (buying and selling personal and real properties) and to perform acts which he had been doing while the deceased was living. devise and bequeath all the rest. separately and respectively.00 in the payment of its installments on account of its purchase. with the particularity that in all his motions. The record gives no indication of the reason for such omission. wherever situated or located. The instant cases refer to the estate left by the late Charles Newton Hodges as well as that of his wife. on May 27. which the Court considers well taken. perhaps. Consequently. XIX to XXI. As will be recalled. 1957. despite the nomenclature appearing therein. no such liquidation was ever undertaken. the Institute filed a motion which. We are not convinced that the relief granted is not within the general intent of the Institute's motion.. 1965. the power to determine the contending claims of third parties against the estate of Hodges over real property. and in a separate order of the same date. the remainder of what he or she would inherit from the other is "give(n). hence it received under date of October 4. that the lower court had acted regularly by seeing to it that appellant was duly notified. both real and personal. to be taken up in a separate action outside of the probate court. Civil Code of the Philippines. it is contended that the matter treated in the motion is beyond the jurisdiction of the probate court and that the order authorized payment to a person other than the administrator of the estate of Hodges with whom the Institute had contracted. after Mrs. taxes and debts) of my estate. LII and LIII to LXI. "a total stranger to his estate as determinative of the issue". conveyances. XLVII to XLIX. On the other hand. it is PCIB that is a complete stranger in these incidents. considered and resolved on November 23. 1957. Importantly to be the provision in the will of Mrs." Subsequently. after alleging that it was ready and willing to pay P20." All said accounts approved as prayed for. therefore. leases and mortgages of the properties left by the said deceased Linnie Jane Hodges in consonance with the wishes contained in the last will and testament of the latter. if only to facilitate proper understanding of the import and extent of our rulings herein contained. 1965. 1965. We must assume.691. Hodges that her share of the conjugal partnership was to be inherited by her husband "to have and to hold unto him. the record reveals that appellants' motion for reconsideration wherein it raised the same points was denied by the trial court on March 7. on the other hand. Green R. it appears therein: 1. ..

Garcia. December 25. the proceeds thereof. unless it can be shown that he had subsequently disposed of them gratuitously. the free portion of said estate that could possibly descend to her brothers and sisters by virtue of her will may not be less than one-fourth of the conjugal estate. purportedly pursuant to corresponding "contracts to sell" executed by Hodges. on the premise that there is such an estate of Mrs. differences seem to have arisen. since her death. That in his aforementioned motion of December 11. Predicating its position on the tenor of the orders of May 27 and December 14. 27. Hodges should be less than as contended by it now. As to the point regarding substitution. Hodges. more importantly. conducted the business of the estate independently of Magno and otherwise acted as if all the properties appearing in the name of Charles Newton Hodges belonged solely and only to his estate. Thus. there being no possible prejudice to third parties. which attitude he is supposed to have reiterated or ratified in an alleged affidavit subscribed and sworn to here in the Philippines and in which he even purportedly stated that his reason for so disclaiming and renouncing his rights under his wife's will was to "absolve (him) or (his) estate from any liability for the payment of income taxes on income which has accrued to the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges". and dealth with some of the properties. as consistently. without considering whether or not in fact any of said properties corresponded to the portion of the conjugal partnership pertaining to the estate of Mrs. in accordance with the pertinent provisions of the Civil Code. We issued a preliminary injunction against Magno and allowed PCIB to act alone.S. damaged or go to waste. 1957 were meant to be finally adjudicatory of the hereditary rights of Hodges and contends that they were no more than the court's general sanction of past and future acts of Hodges as executor of the will of his wife in due course of administration. however. only to be in turn replaced eventually by petitioner PCIB alone. Hodges had as a matter of fact and of law renounced his inheritance from his wife and. Testate Estate of Charles Newton Hodges. there is no system of legitime. PCIB holds to the view that the estate of Mrs. for the reasons discussed above. filed corresponding separate income tax returns for each calendar year for each resulting half of such combined income. All of these independent and separate actuations of the two administrators were invariably approved by the trial court upon submission. and what is more. and We recognize the present existence of the estate of Mrs. such as.. as detailed earlier above.A. that there is none. when he died provided. he expressly stated that "deceased Linnie Jane Hodges died leaving no descendants or ascendants except brothers and sisters and herein petitioner as the surviving spouse. Avelina A. following the decision of this Court in Aznar vs. she alleges. with apparent sanction of the trial court. It is further contended that. was in due time appointed as Co-Administrator of said estate together with Atty. his wife. Hodges. thereby indicating that he was not excluding his wife's brothers and sisters from the inheritance. because the last will of said Charles Newton Hodges is still kept in his vault or iron safe and that the real and personal properties of both spouses may be lost. 1957. and on the assumption that Hodges' purported renunciation should not be upheld. which. The very next day. it appearing that pursuant to the pertinent provisions of her will. Hodges. Magno had already ceased since then to have any estate to administer and the brothers and sisters of Mrs. he also. 1957. "in the latter case. PCIB has come to this Court with a petition for certiorari and prohibition praying that the lower court's orders allowing respondent Magno to continue acting as administratrix of the estate of Mrs. Moreover. Magno made her own expenditures. Roy Higdon then already deceased. therefore. and that. Magno. she was appointed by the trial court as Administratrix of the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. therefore. she claims that the applicable law to the will of Mrs. in any event. for which reason. it can already be deemed as settled for the purposes of these cases that. for admissions by a party related to the effects of foreign laws. a certain Harold K. which is implicitly permitted under Section 2 of Rule 109. since PCIB would anyway be in estoppel already to claim that the estate of Mrs. 7 SCRA 95. Hodges had no creditors and all pertinent taxes have been paid. in accordance with Article 16 in relation to Articles 900 and 872 of the Civil Code. as next of kin of the deceased. Hodges have no interests whatsoever in the estate left by Hodges.) although. when she died. on the assumption that they actually correspond to the estate of Mrs. the name of one of her brothers. her position is that what was given by Mrs. p. In other words. at the subsequent proceedings. on the basis of circumstances presently extant in the record. Hodges inherited by her brothers and sisters consists of one-fourth of the community estate of the spouses at the time of her death. PCIB used to secure at the beginning the conformity to and signature of Magno in transactions it wanted to enter into and submitted the same to the court for approval as their joint acts. while registered in that name of Hodges. She further maintains that. and considering the respective positions of the parties in regard to said factual issue. on the other hand. Hodges' will instituting her brothers and sisters in the manner therein specified is in the nature of a testamentary substitution. Anent the application of Article 16 of the Civil Code. That Hodges allegedly made statements and manifestations to the United States inheritance tax authorities indicating that he had renounced his inheritance from his wife in favor of her other heirs. Mirasol. At the outset. Hodges had its own income distinct from his own. appearing in the name of Hodges. to the exclusion of the brothers and sisters of Mrs. respondent-appellee Magno denies that the trial court's orders of May 27 and December 14. to be actually the laws of Texas on the matter would no longer be of any consequence. as consisting of properties. the proceedings had not yet reached the point when a final distribution and adjudication could be made. on December 29. thus reporting that the estate of Mrs. which have to be proven in our courts like any other controverted fact. Hodges in Special Proceedings 1307 in the manner she has been doing. the differences reached a point wherein Magno. Davies was appointed as her Co-Special Administrator. Hodges could not be more than onehalf of her share of the conjugal partnership. to inherit the properties of the decedent". soon enough. PCIB had its own lawyers whom it contracted and paid handsomely. Hodges. Additionally. On the other hand. Hodges is that of Texas under which. U. and. the estate of Mrs. We hold that. legal complications arose and the present judicial controversies came about. Hodges. 1672. upon motion of herein respondent and appellee. Hodges to her husband under the provision in question was a lifetime usufruct of her share of the conjugal partnership. So did Magno do likewise. Mainly upon such theory. each of them began acting later on separately and independently of each other. 1307 and as Special Administratrix of the estate of Charles Newton Hodges. with the naked ownership passing directly to her brothers and sisters. Hodges died. hereafter. the interested parties were not duly notified that such disposition of the estate would be done.between himself and the estate of the deceased wife. Hodges. 1962. PCIB being of the view that under the laws of Texas." (Order of December 26. there is such a legitime of one-fourth of said conjugal estate and Magno contending. minus whatever Hodges had gratuitously disposed of therefrom during the period from. inasmuch as Mrs. In this decision. Hodges lost no time in asking for the proper correction "in order that the heirs of deceased Roy Higdon may not think or believe they were omitted. indeed. The said orders are being questioned on jurisdictional and procedural grounds directly or indirectly predicated on the principal theory of appellant that all the properties of the two estates belong already to the estate of Hodges exclusively. and that they were really interested in the estate of the deceased Linnie Jane Hodges". the estate left by Mrs. said orders merely allowed Hodges to dispose of portions of his inheritance in advance of final adjudication. May 23. We overrule PCIB's contention that the orders of May 27. Thus. Hodges cannot be less than her share or one-half of the conjugal partnership properties. Yellow R. should be deemed as continuing to be part of his wife's estate. That when the court a quo happened to inadvertently omit in its order probating the will of Mrs. it is ineffective and may not be enforced. Hodges has already been in effect closed with the virtual adjudication in the mentioned orders of her whole estate to Hodges. 1962. At best. Eventually. with each administrator acting together with the other. 2. Factually. hired her own lawyers. inasmuch as the Hodges spouses were both residents of the Philippines. who was more cognizant than anyone else about the ins and outs of the businesses and properties of the deceased spouses because of her long and intimate association with them. in any event. Initially. it appearing that the difference in the stands of the parties has reference solely to the legitime of Hodges. hence. her whole estate passed directly to her brothers and sisters effective at the latest upon the death of Hodges. Hodges in the conjugal partnership. 1962. made it difficult for PCIB to perform normally its functions as administrator separately from her. notwithstanding the fact that she was citizen of Texas. and when Special Proceedings No. whatever might ultimately appear. 4. be set aside. We find that the proven circumstances relevant to the said orders do not warrant the conclusion that the court intended to make thereby such alleged final adjudication. On said date. 1957 amount to an adjudication to Hodges of the estate of his wife. More specifically. 3. create estoppel. PCIB maintains that the provision in Mrs. the two probate proceedings appear to have been proceeding jointly. do actually correspond to the remainder of the share of Mrs. At this juncture. the estate of Mrs. 1957 and December 14. at the time said orders were issued. was opened. On the other hand. therefore. Somehow. but inasmuch as the purported substitution is not. to December 25. or the case of Christensen. in its view. whether in cash or property. on A. Joe Hodges. . under a sort of modus operandi. 1957 as well as the approval by the court a quo of the annual statements of account of Hodges. unless Special Administratrix is appointed. in Special Proceedings No. that with regard to remunerative dispositions made by him during the same period. 1962. Fernando P. it may be reiterated that the question of what are the pertinent laws of Texas and what would be the estate of Mrs. Hodges under them is basically one of fact. and upon the issues just summarized. At the same time PCIB has appealed several separate orders of the trial court approving individual acts of appellee Magno in her capacity as administratrix of the estate of Mrs. We hold that the tenor of said orders furnish no basis for such a conclusion. to replace Magno and Davies. any portion of said share still existing and undisposed of by her husband at the time of his death should go to her brothers and sisters share and share alike. Legally. Hodges. hiring of lawyers for specified fees and incurring expenses of administration for different purposes and executing deeds of sale in favor of her co-appellees covering properties which are still registered in the name of Hodges.

the details of which are related earlier above. as hereinabove indicated. whereas they are not to inherit only in case of default of Hodges. The Court feels however. Being a stranger to the estate of Mrs. as may be implied from the tenor of the motions of May 27 and December 14. Nos. which manner of institution is not prohibited by law. And inasmuch as it does not appear that any of the other heirs of Mrs. . should act thenceforth always conjointly. Hodges may be properly and clearly identified. is reiterated. albeit he could have disposed any part thereof during his lifetime. the Court also holds that. in Special Proceedings 1307. the Court is not in a position to make a final ruling. it is obvious that. Antonio. that the estate of Mrs. the two administrators should act conjointly as ordered in the Court's resolution of September 8. Hodges. by Hodges in favor of third persons since then. as Administratrix of the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. with the condition. 1972 2 which directed that petitionerappellantPCIB as administrator of C. and second. DISPOSITIVE PART IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING PREMISES. the trial court acted correctly and within its jurisdiction. Hodges. thirty-one additional appeal docket fees. as such administrators. and respondentappellee Avelina A. Nos. Magno. on the assumption that the size and value of the properties to correspond to the estate of Mrs. minus whatever the husband had already gratuitously disposed of in favor of third persons from said date until his death. as of the time of the death of the wife on May 23. Clearly then. said payments continue to pertain to said estate. first. concurring: I concur on the basis of the procedural pronouncements in the opinion. in Special Proceedings 1672. (Charles Newton) Hodges' estate (Sp. minus what. for which reason. however. as explained earlier. as Administrator of the Testate Estate of Charles Newton Hodges. PCIB has no personality to raise the procedural and jurisdictional issues raised by it. that the latter would have complete rights of dominion over the whole estate during his lifetime and what would go to the former would be only the remainder thereof at the time of Hodges' death. 1972 and as further clarified in the dispositive portion of its decision. Our considered opinion is that it is beyond cavil that since. on the other hand. Appellant PCIB is ordered to pay. the trial court should immediately proceed to the partition of the presently combined estates of the spouses. whether of fact or of law. as of the time of her death. Mrs. said properties may be deemed as pertaining to the estate of Mrs. cannot be less than one-fourth of the conjugal partnership properties.. the preliminary injunction of August 8. but this would depend on (1) whether upon the proper application of the principle of renvoi in relation to Article 16 of the Civil Code and the pertinent laws of Texas. 1967. as amended on October 4 and December 6. Separate Opinions FERNANDO. the trial court should forthwith segregate the remainder of the onefourth herein adjudged to be her estate and cause the same to be turned over or delivered to respondent for her exclusive administration in Special Proceedings 1307. Hodges was not obliged to preserve anything for them. Hodges or the government has objected to any of the orders under appeal. including the government. that pending such further proceedings. have beengratuitously disposed of therefrom. This We do on the assumption We find justified by the evidence of record. pending the liquidation of the conjugal partnership of the deceased spouses and the determination and segregation from each other of their respective estates. Magno. never independently from each other. The foregoing considerations leave the Court with no alternative than to conclude that in predicating its orders on the assumption. But neither are We sustaining. No. the parties and the court a quo are directed to adhere henceforth. that should the purported renunciation be declared legally effective. Anent the appeals from the orders of the lower court sanctioning payment by appellee Magno. a distinction must be made between those predicated on contracts to sell executed by Hodges before the death of his wife. the petition for certiorari and prohibition has to be denied. the essential elements of testamentary substitution are absent. and the same is made part of this judgment and shall continue in force. Hodges. Makasiar. no deductions whatsoever are to be made from said estate. Muñoz Palma and Aquino. there would be prejudice to anyone. that with respect to remunerative dispositions. the resulting estate of Mrs. judgment is hereby rendered DISMISSING the petition in G. We overrule PCIB's contention that the provision in Mrs. is lifted. the provision in question is a simple case of conditional simultaneous institution of heirs. TEEHANKEE. until final judgment is ultimately rendered regarding (1) the manner of applying Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines to the situation obtaining in these cases and (2) the factual and legal issue of whether or not Charles Newton Hodges had effectively and legally renounced his inheritance under the will of Linnie Jane Hodges. as contended by PCIB. 1967 as amended on October 4. and December 6. Castro. and those premised on contracts to sell entered into by him after her death. whereby the institution of Hodges is subject to a partial resolutory condition the operative contingency of which is coincidental with that of the suspensive condition of the institution of his brothers and sisters-in-law. the proceeds thereof shall continue to be part of the wife's estate. pursuant to her intent obviously reflected in the relevant provisions of her will. and it is declared that. there exists no reason for said orders to be set aside. JJ. in consequence. Magno's pose that it gave Hodges only a lifetime usufruct. as of now. it will appear that Hodges had no legitime as contended by Magno. Proc. of expenses of administration and attorney's fees. concur in the result. 1972. with respondent-appellee Avelina A. all the orders of the trial court under appeal enumerated in detail on pages 35 to 37 and 80 to 82 of this decision. Proc. thereafter. We hold that inasmuch as the payments made by appellees constitute proceeds of sales of properties belonging to the estate of Mrs. J. provided. for even if it were assumed that. is reiterated and shall continue in force and made part of the judgment. that the size and value of the properties that should correspond to the estate of Mrs. and AFFIRMING. within five (5) days from notice hereof. while the other one-fourth shall remain under the joint administration of said respondent and petitioner under a joint proceedings in Special Proceedings 1307 and 1672. Hodges. under the terms of the will of Mrs. R. Hodges far exceed the total of the attorney's fees and administration expenses in question. Costs against petitioner-appellant PCIB. whereas the half unquestionably pertaining to Hodges shall be administered by petitioner exclusively in Special Proceedings 1672.. We also hold. JJ. on any of these two issues. on the one hand. as administratrix. that upon the finality of this judgment. Hodges to be distributed among her brothers and sisters and that respondent Magno is the legal administratrix thereof. with Our holding that there is such an estate of Mrs. 1307) should act always conjointly never independently from each other. the said orders should be affirmed. Hodges inherited by her brothers and sisters could be more than just stated. the existence of the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges. and for the reasons stated in the body of this opinion.. of which Magno is the uncontested administratrix. as matters stand at this stage. and We. L-27860 and L-27896. Hodges. Accordingly. provided. Hodges simultaneously instituted her brothers and sisters as co-heirs with her husband. Zaldivar. and seemingly agreed to by appellant PCIB. disregarding procedural technicalities in favor of a pragmatic and practical approach as discussed above. even as to these parties. the said estate consists of one-fourth of the community properties of the said spouses. concurring: I concur in the result of dismissal of the petition for certiorari and prohibition in Cases L-27860 and L-27896 and with the affirmance of the appealed orders of the probate court in Cases L-27936-37. to the end that the one-half share thereof of Mrs. on the other hand. We reiterate. however. And there being no showing that thus viewing the situation. as administratrix. reserve said issues for further proceedings and resolution in the first instance by the court a quo. and the resolution of September 8. and this arrangement shall be maintained until the final resolution of the two issues of renvoi and renunciation hereby reserved for further hearing and determination. 1957. that there is an estate of Mrs. taking into account already the legitime of her husband under Article 900 of the Civil Code. Magno as administratrix of Linnie Jane Hodges' estate (Sp. concur. unless subsequently disposed of gratuitously to third parties by the husband. R. No. the assailed orders should be affirmed. under Article 16 of the Civil Code and applying renvoi the laws of the Philippines are the ones ultimately applicable. and the corresponding complete segregation and partition of the two estates in the proportions that may result from the said resolution. 1672 and respondentappellee Avelina A. Justice Barredo decreeing thelifting of the Court's writ of preliminary injunction of August 8.In the process. 1967. Generally and in all other respects. N. that pending the liquidation of the conjugal partnership and the determination of the specific properties constituting her estate. covering properties registered in the name of Hodges.. directing that petitioner-appellant PCIB. Hodges would exceed the total value of all the properties covered by the impugned deeds of sale. in all their actuations in Special Proceedings 1307 and 1672. in G. 1957. In other words. as such administrators. Esguerra and Fernandez. and (2) whether or not it can be held that Hodges had legally and effectively renounced his inheritance from his wife. without prejudice to the resolution by the trial court of the pending motions for its removal as administrator12. J. her husband could not have anyway legally adjudicated or caused to be adjudicated to himself her whole share of their conjugal partnership. to the views passed and ruled upon by the Court in the foregoing opinion. such one-fourth share would be her free disposable portion. however. With respect to the appeals from the orders approving transactions made by appellee Magno. therefore. I also concur with the portion of the dispositive part of the judgment penned by Mr. We hold that by said provision. as administratrix thereof is recognized. Hodges' will in favor of her brothers and sisters constitutes ineffective hereditary substitutions. Hodges. but this decision shall nevertheless become final as to each of the parties herein after fifteen (15) days from the respective notices to them hereof in accordance with the rules. As regards the latter. albeit unexpressed therein. 1967 1 and ordering in lieu thereof that the Court's resolution of September 8. L-27936-37 and the other thirty-one numbers hereunder ordered to be added after payment of the corresponding docket fees. Under the circumstances presently obtaining and in the state of the record of these cases.

and respondent-appellee Avelina A. that upon the finality of this judgment. as of the time of the death of the wife on May 23. Nos. Magno. whereas the half unquestionably pertaining to Hodges shall be administered bypetitioner exclusively in Special Proceedings 1672. minus whatever the husband had already gratuitously disposed of in favor of third persons from said date until his death. he was not free to do so mortis causa. with respondent-appellee Avelina A. 1962 5 and against the identical acts and judicial admissions of PCIB as administrator of C. R. and the corresponding completesegregation and partition of the two estates in the proportions that may result from the said resolution. 1967 (over ten (10) years after Linnie Jane Hodges' death on May 23. unless subsequently disposed ofgratuitously to third parties by the husband. all the orders of the trial court under appeal enumerated in detail on pages 35 to 37 and 80 to 82 of this decision: The existence of the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges.. and AFFIRMING. Proc No. 4 — is wholly untenable and deserves scant consideration. 1307) as her estate was thereby merged with his own so that nothing remains of it that may be adjudicated to her brothers and sisters as her designated heirs after him. until final judgment is ultimately rendered regarding (1) the manner of applying Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines to the situation obtaining in these cases and (2) the factual and legal issues of whether or not Charles Newton Hodges has effectively and legally renounced his inheritance under the will of Linnie Jane Hodges. PCIB's appeal 7 from the probate court's various orders recognizing respondent Magno as administratrix of Linnie's estate (Sp. Hodges' death on December 25. Hodges' estate until PCIB sought in 1966 to take over both estates as pertaining to its sole administration. the trial court should forthwith segregate the remainder of the one-fourth herein adjudged to be her estate and cause the same to be turned over or delivered to respondent for her exclusive administration in Special Proceedings 1307." 9 and that she bequeathed "the whole of her estate to be owned and enjoyed by him as universal and sole heir with absolute dominion over them only during his lifetime. L-27860 and L-27896. N. 1957 goes against the very acts and judicial admissions of C. in all their actuations in Special Proceedings 1307 and 1672. the parties and the court a quo are directed to adhere henceforth. 1307) and sanctioning her acts of administration of said estate and approving the sales contracts executed by her with the various individual appellees. Magno. as administratrix thereof is recognized. while the other one-fourth shall remain under the joint administrative of said respondent and petitioner under a joint proceedings in Special Proceedings 1307 and 1672. 1967. And this arrangement shall be maintained until the final resolution of the two issues of renvoi andrenunciation hereby reserved for further hearing and determination. without prejudice to the resolution by the trial court of the pending motions for its removal as administrator. but rather that she named her husband C. Hodges may be properly and clearly identified. which involve basically the same primal issue raised in the petition as to whether there still exists a separate estate of Linnie of which respondent-appellee Magno may continue to be the administratrix. and all his rights to what might remain upon his death would cease entirely upon the occurrence of that contingency. inasmuch as the right of his brothers and sisters-in-law to the inheritance. as Administratrix of the Testate Estate of Linnie Jane Hodges in Special Proceedings 1307. Hodges on December 25. the preliminary injunction of August 8. judgment is hereby rendered DISMISSING the petition in G. in G. must necessarily fail — a result of the Court's main opinion at bar that there does exist such an estate and that the twoestates (husband's and wife's) must be administered cojointly by their respective administrators (PCIB and Magno). provided. Hodges himself in his lifetime and of whose estate PCIB is merely an administrator) recognizing the existence and identity of Linnie Jane Hodges' separate estate and the legal rights and interests therein of her brothers and sisters as her designated heirs in her will.. to the end that the onehalf share thereof of Mrs. 1972.N. Hodges after his wife's death remain an integral part of his wife's estate which she willed to her brothers and sisters. 1957) 3 in granting C. 1957 as "null and void for having been issued without jurisdiction" must therefore be dismissed with the rejection of its belated and untenable contention that there is no longer any estate of Mrs. Hodges' estate: One-fourth of conjugal properties. assuming (1) that under Article 16 of the Philippine Civil Code C. Hodges and her brothers and sisters as instituted heirs with a term under Article 885 of our Civil Code. Thereafter. Hodges as instituted heir with a resolutory term whereunder his right to the succession ceased in diem upon arrival of the resolutory term of his death on December 25. 1957 (supplementing an earlier order of May 25. 1967. should act thenceforth always conjointly. Generally and in all other respects. although vested already upon the death of Mrs. In consequence. to wit. Hence.no deductions of any dispositions made by Hodges even if gratuitously are to be made from his wife Linnie's estate which shall pass intact to her brothers and sisters as her designated heirs called in her will to succeed to her estate upon the death of her husband C.N. N. Hodges as her executor whereby he consistently recognized the separate existence and identity of his wife's estate apart from his own separate estate and from his own share of their conjugal partnership and estate and "never considered the whole estate as a single one belonging exclusively to himself" during the entire period that he survived her for over five (5) years up to the time of his own death on December 25. Aside from having been put forth as an obvious afterthought much too late in the day. No. Hodges of which respondent Avelina Magno is the duly appointed and acting administratrix. and It is declared that. 1962 and her brothers and sisters as instituted heirs with a suspensive term whereunder their right to the succession commenced ex die upon arrival of the suspensive term of the death of C.. PCIB's petition for certiorari and prohibition to declare all acts of the probate court in Linnie Jane Hodges' estate subsequent to its order of December 14. PCIB is now barred and estopped from contradicting or taking a belated position contradictory to or inconsistent with its previous admissions 6 (as well as those of C." with the proviso that proceeds of remunerativedispositions or sales for valuable consideration made by C. never independently from each other. as of the time of the death of the wife on May 23. as Administrator of the Testate Estate of Charles Newton Hodges in Special Proceedings 1672. R." 10 As will be amplified hereinafter. I do not subscribe to such a view that Linnie Jane Hodges willed "full and absolute ownership" and "absolute dominion" over her estate to her husband. that if he is held to have validly and effectively renounced his inheritance under his wife's will. to the views passed and ruled upon by the Court in the foregoing opinion.N. the proceeds thereof shall continue to be part of the wife's estate. 1962. leases and mortgages" made and to be made by him as such executor under his obligation to submit his yearly accounts in effect declared him as sole heir of his wife's estate and nothing remains to be done except to formally close her estate (Sp. I submit that C. N. as absolute owner of the properties . the trial court should immediately proceed to the partition of the presently combined estates of the spouses. Differences with the main opinion I do not share the main opinion's view that Linnie Jane Hodges instituted her husband as her heir under her will "to have dominion over all her estate during his lifetime . directing that petitionerappellant PCIB. would automatically become operative upon the occurrence of the death of Hodges in the event of actual existence of any remainder of her estate then. this contention of PCIB that there no longer exists any separate estate of Linnie Jane Hodges after the probate court's order of December 14. as amended on October 4 and December 6. is lifted and the resolution of September 8. minus whatever the husband had already gratuitously disposed of in favor of third persons from said date until his death. Hodges as surviving husband was entitled to one-half of her estate as legitime and (2) that he had not effectively and legallyrenounced his inheritance under her will) of "one-fourth of the community properties of the said spouses. conveyances. 1957. L-27936-37 and the other thirty-one numbers hereunder ordered to be added after payment of the corresponding docket fees. the said estate consists of one-fourthof the community properties of the said spouses. while agreeing with the main opinion that the proceeds of all remunerative dispositions made by C. and the same is made part of this judgment and shall continue in force. Hodges. that with respect to remunerative dispositions. however. The main opinion in declaring the existence of a separate estate of Linnie Jane Hodges which shall pass to her brothers and sisters with right of representation (by their heirs) as her duly designated heirs declares that her estate consists as a minimum (i.e. 1957. and second. Hodges' motion as Executor of his wife Linnie's estate to continue their "business of buying and selling personal and real properties" and approving "all sales. N. is reiterated.It is manifest from the record that petitioner-appellant PCIB's primal contention in the cases at bar belatedly filedby it with this Court on August 1. Nos. which means that while he could completely and absolutely dispose of any portion thereof inter vivos to anyone other than himself. that should the purported renunciation be declared legally effective. as such administrators. provided. Hodges after his wife Linnie's death shall continue to be part of her estate unless subsequently disposed of by him gratuitously to third parties subject to the condition. 8 Minimum estimate of Mrs. Hodges could not validly make gratuitous dispositions of any part or all of his wife's estate — "completely . N. Hodges. N. no deduction whatsoever are to be made from said estate. 1962 — during which time both estates have been pending settlement and distribution to the decedents' respective rightful heirs all this time up to now) — that the probate court per its order of December 14. N. first.. 1957 and (over five (5) years after her husband C.N. N. The dispositive portion of the main opinion The main opinion disposes that: IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING PREMISES. pending the liquidation of the conjugal partnership of the deceased spouses and the determination and segregation from each other of their respective estates. Proc.

e. These two assumptions are of course flatly disputed by respondent-appellee Magno as Mrs." 16 2. Hodges has remained unliquidated up to now might take a similar number of years to unravel with the numerous items. Hodges. "according to Hodges' own inventory submitted by him as executor of the estate of his wife. the only question that remains depends for its determination on the resolution of the two questions ofrenvoi and renunciation. the main opinion expressly reserves resolution and determination on these two conflicting claims and issues which it deems "are not properly before the Court now. N. Two Assumptions As indicated above." 13 and specifically holds that "(A)ccordingly. I believe that the two questions of renvoi and renunciation should be resolved preferentially and expeditiously by the probate court ahead of the partition and segregation of the minimum one-fourth of the conjugal or community properties constituting Linnie Jane Hodges' separate estate. transactions and details of the sizable estates involved. shall govern their succession) with the result that her estate would consist of no more than one-fourth of the conjugal properties since the legitime of her husband (the other one-fourth of said conjugal properties or one-half of her estate. as both estates continued to have an equal stake and share in the conjugal partnership which was not only leftunliquidated but continued as a coownership or joint business with the probate court's approval by Hodges during the five-year period that he survived his wife. not to mention that the very authority obtained by him from the probate court per its orders of May 25. All transactions as well after the death on December 25. Hodges and "thinking out" the end results. N. On the contrary. N. which would require again the partition and segregation of still another one-fourth of said. and the dissolution thereby of the marriage. as pointed out in the main opinion. hence. Hodges' estate's administratrix. he sought and obtained authorization from the probate court to continue the conjugal partnership's business of buying and selling real and personal properties.N. thus supporting the view advanced even in the main opinion that "Hodges waived not only his rights to the fruits but to the properties themselves. the Court without reaching a consensus which would finally resolve the conflicting claims here and now in this case opted that "these and other relevant matters should first be threshed out fully in the trial court in the proceedings hereinafter to be held for the purpose of ascertaining and/or distributing the estate of Mrs. depending on whether the evidence directed to be formally received by the probate court would bear out that under renvoi C. Hodges from his wife Linnie's estate should be deducted from herseparate estate as held in the main opinion. of Texas." 15 The writer thus feels that laying down the premises and principles governing the nature.and absolutely dispose of any portion thereof inter vivos to anyone other than himself" in the language of the main opinion. Hodges. This explains the probate court's action of requiring that deeds of sale executed by PCIB as Hodges' estate's administrator be "signed jointly" by respondent Magno as Mrs." If according to the main opinion." it would seem that by the same token and rationale he was likewise proscribed by the will from making such dispositions of Linnie's estate inter vivos. share and share alike — since the conjugal partnership remained unliquidated — which is another way of saying that such transactions. With this premise established that all transactions of Hodges after his wife's death were for and on behalf of their unliquidated conjugal partnership and community estate. and (2) whether or not Hodges has validly waived his whole inheritance from Mrs. Hodges to her heirs in accordance with her duly probated will. i. purchases and sales. 1957 was to continue the conjugal partnership's business of buying and selling real properties for the account of their unliquidated conjugal estate and co-ownership. Upon the death of Mrs. the law imposed upon Hodges as surviving husband the duty of inventorying. Hodges had not effectively and legally renounced his inheritance under his wife's will. N. the declaration of the minimum of Mrs. the following suggested guidelines. Hodges' estate and as consistently filed separate income tax returns and paid the income taxes for each resulting half of such combined income corresponding to his own and to Mrs. My differences with the main opinion involve further the legal concepts. for and on behalf of their unliquidated conjugal partnership and/or coownership. represent the personal opinion and views of the writer: 1. Hodges and of his wife Linnie Jane Hodges. effects and consequences of the testamentary dispositions of Linnie Jane Hodges in her will and the question of the best to reach a solution of the pressing question of expediting the closing of the estates which after all do not appear to involve any outstanding debts nor any dispute between the heirs and should therefore be promptly settled now after all these years without any further undue complications and delays and distributed to the heirs for their full enjoyment and benefit. After all. the only question that remains to be settled in the further proceedings hereby ordered to be held in the court below is how much more than as fixed above is the estate of Mrs. indeed. effects and consequences of Linnie Jane Hodges' testamentary dispositions in relation to her conjugal partnership and co-ownership of properties with her husband C. her brothers and sisters are entitled to succeed to the whole of her share of the conjugal properties which is onehalf thereof and that in any event. Such partition of the minimum one-fourth would not be final. N. Hence. particularly since the views expressed in the main opinion have not gained a consensus of the Court. then Linnie's estate would consist not only of the minimum one-fourth but one-half of the conjugal or community properties of the Hodges spouses. Hodges can claim a legitime and whether he had renounced the inheritance. such as. On the contrary. Hodges could not make such gratuitous "complete and absolute dispositions" of his wife Linnie's estate "mortis causa. N. had he adjudicated Linnie's entire estate to himself. properties to complete Linnie's separate estate. "there is no clear and reliable proof of what the possibly applicable laws of Texas are. all transactions made by Hodges after his wife's death were deemed for and on behalf of their unliquidated conjugal partnership and community estate and were so reported and treated by him. In his annual accounts submitted to the probate court as executor of Mrs. Hodges' administratrix. any such gratuitous dispositions should be charged to his own share of the conjugal estate since he had no authority or right to make any gratuitous dispositions of Linnie's properties to the prejudice of her brothers and sisters whom she called to her succession upon his death. administering and liquidating the conjugal or community property. 17 Hodges failed to discharge this duty of liquidating the conjugal partnership and estate. Hodges on May 23. 3." 14 Suggested guidelines Considering that the only unresolved issue has thus been narrowed down and in consonance with the ruling spirit of our probate law calling for the prompt settlement of the estates of deceased persons for the benefit of creditors and those entitled to the residue by way of inheritance — considering that the estates have been long pending settlement since 1957 and 1962. when there is nolegitime provided therein. supra — and thereby render ineffectual and nugatory her institution of her brothers and sisters as her designated heirs to succeed to her whole estate "at the death of (her) husband. who avers that the law of the State of Texas governs her succession and does not provide for and legitime. share and share alike. share and share alike and not to make anyfree dispositions of Linnie's estate. and December 14. on the same premise. which needless to state. Hodges thusconsistently reported the considerable combined income (in six figures) of the conjugal partnership or coownership and then divided the same equally between himself and Mrs. Hodges was or was not entitled to claim a legitime of one-half of his wife Linnie's estate and/or that he had or had not effectively and validly renounced his inheritance should help clear the decks. Hodges' estate. respectively — it was felt that the Court should lay down specific guidelines for the guidance of the probate court towards the end that it may expedite the closing of the protracted estates proceedings below to the mutual satisfaction of the heirs and without need of a dissatisfied party elevating its resolution of this only remaining issue once more to this Court and dragging out indefinitely the proceedings." 19 By operation of the law of trust 20 as well as by his own acknowledgment and acts. and this would depend on (1) whether or not the applicable laws of Texas do provide in effect for more. Hodges is not entitled to any legitime of her estate and at any rate he had totally renounced his inheritance under the will). Hodges' estate and his heirs. in this case. which task considering that it is now seventeen (17) years since Linnie Jane Hodges' death and her conjugal estate with C. Hodges' estate as one-fourth of the conjugal properties is based on two assumptions most favorable to C. 1962 of Hodges himself appear perforce and necessarily to have been conducted. as it were. under Article 900 of our Civil Code) could not then be disposed of nor burdened with any condition by her and (2) that C. it should be clear that nogratuitous dispositions. 1957. Hodges' estate. if any. To begin with. must be deemed in effect to have been made for the respective estates of C. N. namely (1) that the probate court must accept the renvoi or "reference back" 11 allegedly provided by the laws of the State of Texas (of which state the Hodges spouses were citizens) whereby the civil laws of the Philippines as the domicile of the Hodges spouses would govern their succession notwithstanding the provisions of Article 16 of our Civil Code (which provides that the national law of the decedents. it would be best. Then also. since if the two prejudicial questions of renvoi andrenunciation were resolved favorably to Linnie's estate meaning to say that if it should be held that C. viz. Hodges had totally renounced all his rights under the will. he could not in law do this. 4. made by C." It observes however that this cannot be done due to the inadequacy of the evidence submitted by the parties in the probate court and of the parties' discussion. N. As no consensus appears to have been reached thereon by a majority of the Court. I propose to state views as concisely as possible with the sole end in view that they may be of some assistance to the probate court and the parties in reaching an expeditious closing and settlement of the estates of the Hodges spouses. the genuineness of the documents relied upon by respondent Magno [re Hodges' renunciation] is disputed. 18 (Parenthetically. as to whether C. mostly the latter. as well as its order . and assist the probate court in resolving the only remaining question of how much more than the minimum one-fourth of the community properties of the Hodges spouses herein finally determined should be awarded as the separate estate of Linnie. But as already indicated above." 12 Hence. The main opinion concedes that "(I)n the interest of settling the estates herein involved soonest. if these conflicting claims of the parties were determined in these proceedings. practically all their properties were conjugal which means that the spouses haveequal shares therein. therefore.

intent to exclude the other heirs of Mrs. although the same was to last also during his lifetime only.. N. attorneys' fees and other like expenses and the net remainder to be adjudicated directly to the decedents' respective brothers and sisters (and their heirs) as the heirs duly designated in their respective wills. Hodges must be given due effect with the result that C..authorizing payment by lot purchasers from the Hodges to either estate. Leonard Higdon... 1958 by C. N. Consequently. 1957 granting Hodges' motion to continue the conjugal partnership business of buying and selling . on August 8. devise and bequeath all of the rest." 28 (b) On the question of renvoi.. Hodges as citizens of said State at the time of their respective deaths on May 23. N. 7. 26 namely: Copy of the U. if any remain unpaid. Hodges' estate depends on the twin questions of renunciation and renvoi. N. emoluments and income" alone shall belong to him. residue and remainder of my estate. and the purchase of any other or additional property as he may think best .. Hodges) would have to be sustained." 38 that "(A)t the death of my said husband. 36 The testatrix Linnie Jane Hodges in her will thus principally provided that "I give... Hodges) does not become an heir" 31by force of his renunciation. shouldering its own expenses of administration. since "the heir originally instituted C. . 35 thus accelerating their succession to her estate as a consequence of Hodges' renunciation. the main opinion holds that "(T)he brothers and sisters of Mrs. Hodges' estate would consist of one-half of the community properties (with the other half pertaining to C. Texas property ). liabilities. use and enjoy said estate during his lifetime.. because the actuations so far of PCIB evince a determined. 33 Contrary to this view of the main opinion. to have and to hold with him . Hodges' estate (except over their Lubbock. If there were no renunciation (or the same may somehow be declared to have not been valid and effective) by C. Hodges as testatrix. with each estate shouldering its own expenses of administration in the same manner stated in the last paragraph of paragraph 6 hereof. Linnie Jane Hodges. Thus. N. Antly by the representatives of both.. All rents. located at . estate and inheritance taxes. the writer submits that the provisions of Mrs. 25 (a) On the question of renunciation. because the actuations so far of PCIB evince a determined. Consequently. and December 14. both personal and real." 37 that "(he) shall have the right to manage. Hodges' brothers and sisters as instituted co-heirs). . but the full ownership thereof." 22 And this equally furnishes the rationale of the main opinion for continued conjoint administration by the administrators of the two estates of the deceased spouses. 1962 by C. both personal and real . to make any changes in the physical properties of said estate. Texas . with the express authorization of the probate court per its orders of May 25. there would be a substitution of heirs in fact and in law since Linnie's brothers and sisters as the heirs "simultaneously instituted" with a suspensive term would be called immediately to her succession instead of waiting for the arrival of suspensive term of Hodges' death. 1957 andDecember 25. the determination of the only unresolved issue of how much more than the minimum of one-fourth of the community or conjugal properties of the Hodges spouses pertains to Mrs. control. 1957" would have to be sustained and C. it is believed that all that the probate court has to do is to receive formally in evidence the various documents annexed to respondent Magno's answer at bar. as the main opinion concedes. Hodges' estate would consist only of the minimum of "one-fourth of the community properties of the said spouses.. Hodges in her will. emoluments and income from the estate of my deceased wife.. devise and bequeath all of the rest.. Mrs. control. 1958.. Particularly .. Hodges' estate would consist ofthree-fourths of the community properties.. supra. Charles Newton. Hodges of his inheritance from his wife. comprising his own one-half (or two-fourths) share and the other fourth of Mrs. "pending the liquidation of the conjugal partnership. 8. Hodges therefore acquired no part of his wife's one-half share of the community properties since he removed himself as an heir by virtue of his renunciation. Sadie Rascoe. still it cannot be gainsaid. . they are also heirs institutedsimultaneously with Hodges.. Once the evidence has been formally admitted and its genuineness and legal effectivity established by the probate court.e." such principal notwithstanding "any changes in the physical properties of said estate"(i.. while Linnie Jane Hodges did not expressly name her brothers and sisters as substitutes for Hodges because she willed that they would enter into the succession upon his death.. . and "use any part of the principal estate. The text and tenor of the declarations by C. Hodges' brothers and sisters whom she designated as her heirs upon her husband's death are called immediately to her succession.. share and share alike. N. Hodges for his wife Linnie's estate wherein he purportedly declared that he wasrenouncing his inheritance under his wife's will in favor of her brothers and sisters as co-heirs designated with him and that it was his "intention (as) surviving husband of the deceased to distribute the remaining property and interests of the deceased in their community estate to the devisee and legatees named in the will when the debts. This affidavit is made to absolve me or my estate from any liability for the payment of income taxes on income which has accrued to the estate of Linnie Jane Hodges since the death of the said Linnie Jane Hodges on May 23. City of Lubbock. residue and remainder of my estate. Hodges from their inheritance. the heirs of such deceased brother or sister shall take jointly the share which would have gone to such brother or sister had she or he survived. N. He shall have the right to subdivide any farm land and sell lots therein. if Hodges is found to have validly renounced his inheritance. The community and conjugal properties would then pertain share and share alike to their respective estates. albeit groundless.N. which at the time of his death would pass infull dominion to her brothers and sisters as the ultimate sole and universal heirs of her estate. that she bequeathed to Hodges during his lifetime. pending their segregation from each other. namely: Esta Higdon. It directed consequently that "a joint hearing of the two probate proceedings herein involved" be held by the probate court for the reception of "further evidence" in order to finally resolved these twin questions." 34 Hence. By simple substitution then under Articles 857 and 859 of our Civil Code 30and by virtue of the will's institution of heirs.manage. Particularly . Hodges are not substitutes for Hodges.. I renounced and disclaimed any and all right to receive the rents. Hodges "full ownership" nor "absolute dominion" over her estate." deprive them of any inheritance and make his own brothers and sisters in effect sole heirs not only of his own estate but of his wife's estate as well.. Hodges as the surviving spouse. N." 40 Such provisions are wholly consistent with the view already fully expounded above that all transactions and sales made by Hodges after his wife Linnie's death were by operation of the law of trust as well as by his ownacknowledgment and acts deemed for and on behalf of their unliquidated conjugal partnership and community estate. bysale . share and share alike. 29 6. Estate Tax Return filed on August 8. all that remains for the probate court to do is to formally receive in evidence duly authenticated copies of the laws of the State of Texas governing the succession of Linnie Jane Hodges and her husband C. 32 adding that "Hodges was not obliged to preserve anything for them" (referring to Mrs.. N. Hodges in Iloilo City wherein he reaffirmed that ". new properties acquired or exchanged) would still pertain to her estate. Hodges' will did not grant to C. 1957. such that he could as "universal and sole heir" by the mere expedient of gratuitously disposing to third persons her whole estate during his lifetime nullifyher institution of her brothers and sisters as his co-heirs to succeed to her whole estate "at the death of (her) husband. to my beloved husband. intent to exclude the other heirs of Mrs.. Hodges from their inheritance. albeit groundless. taxes and expenses of administration are finally determined and paid. Emma Howell. . 1962. during his natural lifetime. the renunciation by C.N. emoluments and income from said estate" and further declared that "(T)he purpose of this affidavit is to ratify and confirm." 27 and The affidavit of ratification of such renunciation (which places him in estoppel) allegedly executed on August 9. then respondent Magno's assertion that Mrs. subject however to certain conditions.. N." 24 5. use and enjoy said estate" and that only "all rents. even as there was no restriction against his disposing or conveying the whole or any portion thereof anybody other than himself" and describes Hodges "as universal and sole heir with absolute dominion over Mrs." 39 and that "(I)n case of the death of any of my brothers and/or sisters .. Charles Newton Hodges. Hodges' estate as the legitime granted him as surviving spouse by Philippine law (Article 900 of the Civil Code) which could not be disposed of nor burdened with any condition by Mrs. rather. with each estate. he shall not sell or otherwise dispose of any of the improved property now owned by us. Era Roman and Nimroy Higdon. ."23 since "it is but logical that both estates should be administered jointly by the representatives of both.... Hodges of renunciation of his inheritance from his wife in favor of her other named heirs in her will (her brothers and sisters and their respective heirs) as ratified and reiteratedexpressly in his affidavit of renunciation executed four years later for the avowed purpose of not being held liable for payment of income taxes on income which has accrued to his wife's estate since her death indicate a valid and effective renunciation. since "there is as yet no judicial declaration of heirs nor distribution of properties to whomsoever are entitled thereto. She further willed that while he could sell and purchase properties of her estate. and I do hereby ratify and confirm." 24 5. since as the heir originally instituted he does not become an heir by force of his renunciation and therefore they would "enter into the inheritance in default of the heir originally instituted" (Hodges) under the provisions of Article 857 and 859 of our Civil Code. the declaration made in schedule M of said return and hereby formally disclaim and renounce any right on my part to receive any of the said rents. however.. As to the nature of the institution of heirs made by Mrs. the said community and conjugal properties would then pertain pro indiviso share and share alike to their respective estates. what would be the consequence? (a) If the laws on succession of the State of Texas do provide for renvoi or "reference back" to Philippine law as the domiciliary law of the Hodges' spouses governing their succession. Hodges would "during his natural lifetime . partially resolutory insofar as Hodges was concerned and correspondingly suspensive with reference to his brothers and sisters-in-law. to be equally divided among my brothers and sisters... The question of renvoi becomes immaterial since most laws and our lawspermit such renunciation of inheritance. Linnie Jane Hodges willed that her husband C. provides for no legitime for C. I give." but goes further and holds that "it was not the usufruct alone of her estate . then petitioners' view that Mrs. N. "that they are also heirs instituted simultaneously with Hodges. and may sell unimproved town lots. (b) If the laws on succession of the State of Texas do not provide for such renvoi and respondent Magno's assertion is correct that the Texas law which would then prevail. Roy Higdon. pending their segregation from each other.S. as of the time of (her) death on May 23. emoluments and incomefrom said estate shall belong to him and he is further authorized to use any part of the principal of said estate as he may need or desire. however. prior to the death of my husband . As stressed in the main opinion.

DECISION GONZAGA-REYES. 1083 or Muslim Code). HADJI ISMAEL MALINDATU MALANG. . the said appeals (involving thirty-three different orders of the probate court approving sales contracts and other acts of administration executed and performed by respondent Magno on behalf of Linnie's estate) have been necessarily overruled by the Court's decision at bar. Hodges have already been acquired by the heirs of Linnie Jane Hodges from certain heirs of her husband. J. Considering the main opinion's ruling in the affirmative and that her estate and that of her husband (since they jointly comprise unliquidated community properties) must be administered conjointly by their respective administrators (PCIB and Magno). it is suspensive. viz "the proper and just determination of a litigation" 48 — which calls for "adherence to a liberal construction of the procedural rules in order to attain their objective of substantial justice and of avoiding denials of substantial justice due to procedural technicalities. COROCOY MOSON.real estate even after her death. As stated at the outset. Hadji . Accordingly. and a daughter named Lawanbai."46 Timeliness of appeals and imposition of thirty-one (31) additional docket fees Two appeals were docketed with this Court. LAWANBAI MALANG. HADJI MOHAMMAD ULYSSIS MALANG. In both cases. If the arrival of the term would terminate his right. Cotabato City. or a term with a suspensive effect. The designation of the day when the legacy "shall commence" is ex die. P. has been brushed aside by the main opinion with the statement that it is "not necessary to pass upon the timeliness of any of said appeals" since they "revolve around practically the same main issues and . N. The estates proceedings would thus be closed and they could then name their respective attorneys-in-fact to work out the details of segregating. No. Hodges' will. N. By the same token. petitioner. Hence. the writer has pro hac vice given his concurrence to the assessment of the said thirty-one (31) additional appeal docket fees. Chapter 2. Such institutions of heirs with a term are expressly recognized and permitted under Book III." 47 The main opinion thus proceeded with the determination of the thirty-three appealed orders despite the grave defect of the appellant PCIB's records on appeal and their failure to state the required material data showing the timeliness of the appeals. Article 885 of our Civil Code expressly provides that: ART 885. respondents. contracted marriage with Aida (Kenanday) Limba. i. the writer has taken the pain of suggesting these guidelines which may serve to guide the probate court as well as the parties towards expediting the winding up and closing of the estates and the distribution of the net estates to the instituted heirs and their successors duly entitled thereto. while certain other heirs representing 17. HON. while her brothers' and sisters' right to the succession also as instituted heirs commenced ex die.R. the existence of a separate estate of Linnie Jane Hodges) and can be more expeditiously resolved or determined in a single special civil action" (for which a single docket fee is required) as stated in the main opinion.D. NAYO OMAL MALANG and MABAY GANAP MALANG. 2000] NENG KAGUI KADIGUIA MALANG. considering that it appears as stated in the main opinion that 22. But in the first case he shall not enter into possession of the property until after having given sufficient security." 49 Thus. dividing or partitioning the unliquidated community properties or liquidating them — which can be done then on their own without further need of intervention on the part of the probate court as well as allow them meanwhile to enjoy and make use of the income and cash and liquid assets of the estates in such manner as may be agreed upon between them. upon the arrival of the resolutory term of his death on December 25. As earlier stated. 1962 . as per the two records on appeal submitted (one with a green cover and the other with a yellow cover). and in case of a resolutory term. 119064. DATULNA MALANG. Presiding Judge of 5th Sharia District Court. The question is raised in connection with the settlement of the estate of the deceased husband. and they may refuse to allow any compensation to executors and administrators who do not actively labor to that end. some doubt would arise as to the propriety of the main opinion requiring the payment by PCIB of thirty-one (31) additional appeal docket fees. If the arrival of the term would commence the right of the heir. the legal heir shall be considered as called to the succession until the arrival of the period or its expiration. it is resolutory" and that "upon the arrival of the period. upon the expiration of the suspensive term (as far as they were concerned) of the death of C. Hodges on December 25. 9. a Muslim. section 6 of the Rules of Court. vs. 1962. under the terms of Mrs. it is admitted that some of them have been timely taken.34375% of Hodges' estate were joining cause with Linnie's heirs in their pending and unresolved motion for the removal of petitioner PCIB as administrator of Hodges' estate. Hadji Ismael Malindatu and Datulna.. Such a settlement or modus vivendi between the heirs of the unliquidated two estates for the mutual benefit of all of them should not prove difficult. and all that is left to be done is to resolve the onlyremaining issue (involving the two questions of renunciation and renvoi) hereinabove discussed in order to close up the estates and finally effect distribution to the deceased spouses' respective brothers and sisters and their heirs as the heirs duly instituted in their wills long admitted to probate.e. it is advisable for said instituted heirs and their heirs in turn 44 to come to terms for the adjudication and distribution to them pro-indiviso of the up to now unliquidated community properties of the estates of the Hodges spouses (derived from their unliquidated conjugal partnership) rather than to get bogged down with the formidable task of physically segregating and partitioning the two estates with the numerous transactions. section 4 of our Civil Code dealing with "conditional testamentary dispositions and testamentary dispositions with a term. from a certain day. The designation of the day or time when the effects of the institution of an heir shallcommence or cease shall be valid. these appeals involve basically the same primal issue raised in the petition for certiorari as to whether there still exists a separate estate of Linnie Jane Hodges which has to continue to be administered by respondent Magno. The sizable estates herein involved have now been pending settlement for a considerably protracted period (of seventeen years counted from Linnie's death in 1957). . They begot three sons named Hadji Mohammad Ulyssis. the main opinion in consonance with the same paramount considerations of substantial justice has likewise overruled respondents' objection to petitioner's taking the recourse of "the present remedy of certiorari and prohibition" — "despite the conceded availability of appeal" — on the ground that "there is a common thread among the basic issues involved in all these thirty-three appeals — (which) deal with practically the same basic issues that can be more expeditiously resolved or determined in a single special civil action . i. FATIMA MALANG." 43 10. Hadji Abdula Malang. (a) The "priority question" raised by respondent Magno as to the patent failure of the two records on appeal to show on their face and state the material data that the appeals were timely taken within the 30-day reglamentary period as required by Rule 41. [G. until a certain day.968149% of the share or undivided estate of C. and they may even adopt harsher measures. bearing in mind the Court's admonition in previous cases that "courts of first instance should exert themselves to close up estate within twelve months from the time they are presented. Hodges could not conceivably be deemed to have had any authority or right to dispose gratuitously of any portion of her estate to whose succession she had called her brothers and sisters upon his death.. JUBAIDA KADO MALANG."41 Thus. 11. 51Considering the importance of the basic issues and the magnitude of the estates involved. Such disposition of the question of timeliness deemed as "mandatory and jurisdictional" in a number of cases merits the writer's concurrence in that the question raised has been subordinated to the paramount considerations of substantial justice and a "liberal interpretation of the rules" applied so as not to derogate and detract from the primary intent and purpose of the rules. A term may have either a suspensive or a resolutory effect. items and details and physical changes of properties involved. The probate court should exert all effort towards this desired objective pursuant to the mandate of our probate law.: Presented for resolution in this special civil action of certiorari is the issue of whether or not the regime of conjugal partnership of gains governed the property relationship of two Muslims who contracted marriage prior to the effectivity of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines (hereafter.e. in case of a suspensive term. 42 As stated in Padilla's treatise on the Civil Code. her husband's right to the succession as the instituted heir ceased in diem. his right terminates. August 22. This doubt is further enhanced by the question of whether it would make the cost of appeal unduly expensive or prohibitive by requiring the payment of a separate appeal docket fee for each incidental order questioned when the resolution of all such incidental questioned orders involve basically one and the same main issue (in this case. "A term is a period whose arrival is certain although the exact date thereof may be uncertain. however. 45 apparently impatient with the situation which has apparently degenerated into a running battle between the administrators of the two estates to the common prejudice of all the heirs." He adds that "A legacy based upon a certain age or upon the death of a person is not a condition but aterm. with the intervention of the instituted heir. The designation of the day when the legacy "shall cease" is in diem or a term with a resolutory effect. " 50 (b) Since the basic issues have been in effect resolved in the special civil action at bar (as above stated) with the dismissal of the petition by virtue of the Court's judgment as to the continued existence of a separate estate of Linnie Jane Hodges and the affirmance as a necessary consequence of the appealed orders approving and sanctioning respondent Magno's sales contracts and acts of administration. the instituted heir is entitled to the succession.

surviving spouse. for brevity). Jubaida Malang. [8] Petitioner prayed that the managers of each of those banks be ordered to submit a bank statement of the outstanding deposit of Hadji Abdula. son. Hadji Abdula had seven (7) residential lots with assessed value ranging from P5. and that he left seven (7) parcels of land. For a living. Second.32). (e) oppositor Hadji Mohammad Ulyssis Malang who is also known as Teng Abdula. there is no evidence that petitioner had contributed funds for the acquisition of such properties. in 1972.00 and bank deposits.00 in Cotabato City.[5] On April 13.[13] During the pendency of the case. (h) Datulna Malang. the properties are not conjugal in nature notwithstanding that some of these properties were titled in the name of the decedent married to Neng Malang because such description is not conclusive of the conjugal nature of the property. Hadji Abdula married three other Muslim women named Saaga. He deposited money in such banks as United Coconut Planters Bank.00).000. (d) petitioner Neng Malang. filed his opposition to the petition.[10] Assistant Vice President Rockman O. while he was living with petitioner in Cotabato City. Hadji Ismael submitted an inventory showing that in Cotabato City. she filed a motion praying that on account of her ailment. then these should have been registered in the names of both petitioner and the decedent.[15] On May 12. had helped their father in his business. a conjugal partnership presupposes a valid civil marriage. surviving spouse. excluding the wives he had divorced. On December 18. his fourth wife. Talayan. 1994. they relied on farming and on the business of buying and selling of agricultural products. they were allowed to take their oath as administrators. Thereafter. petitioner submitted an inventory showing that Hadji Abdula married to Neng Malang had seven (7) residential lots with a total assessed value of P243. Hadji Mohammad Ulyssis Malang (Hadji Mohammad. Tarhata Lauban. Hadji Abdula contracted marriage with Hadji Mabai (Mabay) H. [16] In compliance therewith. Malang.[11] The Senior Manager of the Cotabato branch of Metrobank also certified that as of December 18. 1994. No child was born out of Hadji Abdulas second marriage. 1994. 1994. he bought a parcel of land in Sousa. Hadji Ismael and petitioner likewise filed their respective bonds and hence. surviving spouse.[4] On April 7. Hadji Abdula divorced her. then they were more competent to be administrators of his estate. [7] On April 25.000. [9] The Sharia District Court having granted the motions.800. 1994. He alleged among other matters that his fathers surviving heirs are as follows: (a) Jubaida Malang. son. daughter. For her part. (g) Fatima Malang. In 1965. Sampuha of United Coconut Planters Bank informed the court that as of April 24. Talayan. that the properties were conjugal in nature just because some of the properties were titled in Hadji Abdulas name married to Neng Malang.00) in his current account as of August 11. an agricultural land with assessed value of P860. Hadji Abdula Malang or Malindatu Malang had on savings deposit the balance of three hundred seventy-eight thousand four hundred ninety-three pesos and 32/100 centavos (P378. and one (1) two-storey residential building.493. daughter. Nayo Malang. [6] The following day. while his wives Jubaida Kado. (f) Hadji Ismael Malindatu Malang.48). petitioner filed with the Sharia District Court in Cotabato City a petition for the settlement of his estate with a prayer that letters of administration be issued in the name of her niece. Thereafter. the first wife. Fatima Malang. 1994. [3] On March 30.00. corn and other agricultural products.[20] . because petitioner admitted in her verified petition that the properties belonged to the estate of decedent. tilling the land that was Aidas dowry (mahr or majar).020. Hadji Abdula acquired vast tracts of land in Sousa and Talumanis.400. Nayo Hadji Omal and Mabay Ganap Hadji Adzis contributed to the decedents properties. Nayo H. she was estopped from claiming. When Aida. They established residence in Cotabato City but they were childless. the outstanding deposit of Hadji Abdula amounted to one million five hundred twenty thousand four hundred pesos and forty-eight centavos (P1.Abdula Malang was engaged in farming. Oppositor Hadji Mohammad Ulyssis Malang alleged that since he and his brother. Keto Abdula and Kueng Malang.[18] In the Memorandum that she filed with the Sharia District Court. The same order named petitioner and Hadji Ismael Malindatu Malang as joint administrators of the estate in Cotabato City. Metrobank and Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank. if it is true that the properties were conjugal properties. were conjugal properties in accordance with Article 160 of the Civil Code and Article 116 of the Family Code while properties located outside of Cotabato City were exclusive properties of the decedent. 1994.00 to P25. Datulna Malang and Lawanbai Malang filed an opposition to the petition. adopting as their own the written opposition of Hadji Mohammad.[19] On the other hand. son. 1994. Hadji Ismael Malindatu Malang. Hadji Abdula died without leaving a will. Maguindanao. Hadji Abdula had no conjugal partnership with petitioner because his having contracted eight (8) marriages with different Muslim women was in violation of the Civil Code that provided for a monogamous marriage. Mabay Malang. On February 7. the decedent was married to four (4) women. also known as Kueng Malang. also known as Keto Abdula. petitioner filed two motions informing the court that Hadji Abdula had outstanding deposits with nine (9) major banks. the Sharia District Court ordered the publication of the petition. she be allowed to withdraw from UCPB the amount of three hundred thousand pesos (P300. the eldest son of Hadji Abdula.000. was pregnant with their fourth child. Cotabato City.00) that shall constitute her advance share in the estate of Hadji Abdula. and a pick-up jeepney. Maguindanao and soon they had a daughter named Fatima (Kueng). including the vehicle and bank deposits. 1994. petitioner asserted that all the properties located in Cotabato City. he married petitioner Neng Kagui Kadiguia Malang. (b) Nayo Malang. some of which were cultivated by tenants. the decedent adopted a complete separation of property regime in his marital relations.00. after formal offer of evidence. not a bigamous marriage or a common-law relationship. Omar but they were childless. 1994. 1993. Cotabato. the Sharia District Court allowed petitioner to withdraw the sum of two hundred fifty thousand pesos (P250. five (5) of which are titled in Hadji Abdulas name married to Neng P. petitioner suffered a congestive heart failure that required immediate medical treatment. Adziz in Kalumamis. [17] All these properties were declared for taxation purposes in Hadji Abdulas name. Hadji Abdula and Hadji Mabai stayed in that place to farm while Hadji Abdula engaged in the business of buying and selling of rice. 1994. He took his oath on the same day.Hadji Abdula and Aida already had two children when he married for the second time another Muslim named Jubaida Kado in Kalumamis. 1994 and May 3. surviving spouse. Hadji Abdula married another Muslim. the Sharia District Court required petitioner and Hadji Ismael as joint administrators to submit an inventory and appraisal of all properties of Hadji Abdula. and (i) Lawanbai Malang.520. that his other legal heirs are his three children named Teng Abdula.00.[12] PCIB likewise issued a certification that Hadji Abdula had a balance of eight hundred fifty pesos (P850.840. three (3) one-storey residential buildings. Hadji Abdula then migrated to Tambunan where. Third. the Sharia District Court issued an Order appointing Hadji Mohammad administrator of his fathers properties outside Cotabato City. 1993. Furthermore. an Isuzu pick-up jeepney valued at P30.000. Ismael Malindatu Malang. On January 21. the oppositors contended in their own Memorandum that all the properties left by Hadji Abdula were his exclusive properties for various reasons. letters of administration were issued to Hadji Mohammad after he had posted the required bond. First. Fifth. Petitioner claimed in that petition that she was the wife of Hadji Abdula. On May 5. Fourth. Each administrator was required to post a bond in the amount of P100. the presumption that properties acquired during the marriage are conjugal properties is inapplicable because at the time he acquired the properties. Not long after. Mayumbai and Sabai but he eventually divorced them.[14]After due hearing. (c) Mabay Malang. [1] After such publication[2] or on March 16.

petitioner filed a notice of appeal. not a plural marriage or a common-law relationship. if not the sole. Be it noted that at the time of the marriage of the petitioner with the decedent. [22] Unsatisfied. this Court concludes as it had begun. are not conjugal. the Sharia District Court held that the Islamic law should be applied in the distribution of the estate of Hadji Abdula and accordingly disposed of the case as follows: WHEREFORE.the description of the relationship between petitioner and the decedent.00. The Sharia Court. 1083.7/64 .[21] Thus. the Sharia District Court denied petitioners motion for reconsideration. Finality of Decisions The decisions of the Sharia District Courts whether on appeal from the Sharia Circuit Court or not shall be final. that the properties in question.do c) Mabai Aziz Malang ------------------------.80. Assuming for the moment that petitioner and the decedent had agreed that the property regime between them will be governed by the regime of conjugal partnership property. 1994. The Civil Code provision on conjugal partnership cannot be applied if there is more than one wife because conjugal partnership presupposes a valid civil marriage.do Total-----------------------. Maguindanao and in Cotabato City. and the fact that the case is one of first impression --.000. There being no evidence of such contrary stipulation or contract. the latter had three existing marriages with Jubaida Kado Malang. under which all property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership. on January 19. the Sharia District Court presided by Judge Corocoy D. To sustain the contention of the petitioner that the properties are her conjugal property with the decedent is doing violence to the provisions of the Civil Code. No. The court stated: In the instant case. 2) That the net estate. the regime of relationship is complete separation of property. not later than three (3) months from receipt of this order.2/64 . and 4) That the heirs are hereby ordered to submit to this court their Project of Partition for approval. Nothing herein contained shall affect the original and appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as provided in the Constitution. Nayo Omar Malang and Mabay Ganap Malang and therefore the properties acquired during her marriage could not be considered conjugal. 1083: Art. The court further found that the decedent was the chief.do e) Mohammad Ulyssis Malang-------------------------14/64 .In its Order of September 26. is hereby ordered to be distributed and adjudicated as follows: h) Lawanbai Malang ------------------------. 1995. 1995.D.the Court decided to solicit the opinions of two amici curiae.do - As petitioner sees it. public order.2/64 . The Court extends its warmest thanks to the amici curiae for their valuable inputs in their written memoranda[28] and in the hearing of June 27. Justice Ricardo C.2/64 of the estate b) Nayo Omar Malang ------------------------. She contends that the Sharia District Court gravely erred in: (a) ruling that when she married Hadji Abdula Malang. Puno[26] and former Congressman Michael O. to return the excess. 1995. meanwhile.do f) Ismael Malindatu Malang---------------------------14/64 . the Court orders the following: 1) That the estate shall pay the corresponding estate tax. 145. the law applicable on issues of marriage and property regime is the New Civil Code.000.do g) Datulna Malang ------------------------. there were already three (3) existing marriages.do d) Neng Kagui Kadiguia Malang ------------------. decedent had four (4) wives at the time he acquired the properties in question. she filed a manifestation withdrawing the notice of appeal on the strength of the following provisions of P.[24] On March 1.14/64 . Owing to the complexity of the issue presented. and the judicial expenses in the amount of P2. premises considered. 2000. Mastura[27]. exclusive property of the decedent. Petitioner accordingly informed the court that she would be filing an original action of certiorari with the Supreme Court. 1083). The description married to Neng Malang in the titles to the real properties is no more than that -. which is permitted under Muslim law. petitioner filed the instant petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction and/or restraining order. Such description is insufficient to prove that the properties belong to the conjugal partnership of gains. [25] a) Jubaida Kado Malang ------------------------. public policy. both real and personal. viewed the Civil Code provisions on conjugal partnership as incompatible with plural marriage. that agreement is null and void for it is against the law. the regime of property relationship is complete separation of property. reimburse the funeral expenses in the amount of P50.00 given to Neng Kagui Kadiguia Malang by way of advance be charged against her share and if her share is not sufficient. but rather. in the absence of stipulation to the contrary in the marriage settlement or any other contract.64/64 3) That the amount of P250.this is a singular situation where the issue on what law governs the property regime of a Muslim marriage celebrated prior to the passage of the Muslim Code has been elevated from a Sharia court for the Courts resolution --.040.D. breadwinner of his families and that petitioner did not contribute to the properties unlike the other wives named Jubaida. and held the applicable property regime to be complete separation of property under P. Under Islamic law. Moson held that there was no conjugal partnership of gains between petitioner and the decedent primarily because the latter married eight times. . P. On January 10. [23] However. Nayo and Mabay. consisting of real and personal properties. On October 4.2/64 . SO ORDERED. The oppositors objected to that motion. and (b) holding that said properties are not conjugal because under Islamic Law.D. in the absence of any stipulation to the contrary in the marriage settlements or any other contract (Article 38. 1994.do i) Fatima (Kueng) Malang ------------------------.7/64 . petitioner filed a motion for the reconsideration of that Order. good moral(s) and customs. located in Talayan.

in Congressman Masturas words. [35] accordingly. Settlement of estates of Muslims whose civil acts predate the enactment of the Muslim Code may easily result in the application of the Civil Code and other personal laws. Mayumbai and Sabai --. 1977 rendered nugatory the second paragraph of Article 78 of the Civil Code which provides that marriages between Muslims thirty years after the approval of the Civil Code shall be solemnized in accordance with said Code. authorizing Muslim divorces. by providing that --Marriages between Mohammedans or pagans who live in the non-Christian provinces may be performed in accordance with their customs.concerning the property regime applicable to two Muslims married prior to the effectivity of the Muslim Code --. death. It is also clear that the following laws were in force. 1083 or the Muslim Code was passed into law. This is because. Effect of code on past acts. allow respondent court to resolve the instant case. by proclamation. Nayo. effective August 3. which is the first comprehensive codification [33] of Muslim personal laws. To our mind. --. survived by four wives (Jubaida. all eight marriages were celebrated during the effectivity of the Civil Code and before the enactment of the Muslim Code. an apparent antagonism arises when we consider that what the provisions of the Civil Code contemplate and nurture is a monogamous marriage. 1988. traditionally. However. counting the three which terminated in divorce. Republic Act No. .(1) Acts executed prior to the effectivity of this Code shall be governed by the laws in force at the time of their execution. [38] These provisions illustrate that the marital relation perceived by the Civil Code is one that is monogamous. and the Family Code. 1969. Nor shall the persons solemnizing these marriages be obliged to comply with article 92. Notably. As amicus curiae Congressman Mastura puts it. the Court has concluded that the record of the case is simply inadequate for purposes of arriving at a fair and complete resolution of the petition. In ordering thus. the Muslim Code. may at any time before the expiration of said period. 692 (1942). which derive mainly from the Compliance of amicus curiae Justice Puno. Justice and accountability dictate a remand. The enactment of the Muslim Code on February 4. and for the direction of the bench and bar: First Collateral Issue: The Law(s) Governing Validity of Muslim Marriages Celebrated Before the Muslim Code The time frame in which all eight marriages of Hadji Abdula were celebrated was during the effectivity of the Civil Code which. governs the marriages. there was no law in this jurisdiction which sanctioned multiple marriages. What is not disputed is that: Hadji Abdula contracted a total of eight marriages. The foregoing provisions are consistent with the principle that all laws operate prospectively. events or judicial decrees affecting civil status. the Court does not often come by a case as the one herein. 394). which took effect on August 30. missing links. unless the contrary appears or is clearly. the Civil Code --. The Effect of People vs. at some point or other.Resolution of the instant case is made more difficult by the fact that very few of the pertinent dates of birth. thus convincing the Court that it is but propitious to go beyond the issue squarely presented and identify such collateral issues as are required to be resolved in a settlement of estate case. rites or practices. Article 78 of the Civil Code[31] recognized the right of Muslims to contract marriage in accordance with their customs and rites. after the Muslim Code and Family Code took effect. before the expiration of the thirty-year period after which Muslims are enjoined to solemnize their marriages in accordance with the Civil Code. Dumpo Prior to the enactment of P. which took effect February 4. trial must reopen in order to supply the factual gaps or. four of whom he begot with Aida and one with Mabay. and nothing herein except as otherwise specifically provided. 1083. every case of doubt will be resolved against the retroactive opertion of laws. and that subsequent marriages entered into by a person with others while the first one is subsisting is by no means countenanced. It is also not to be disputed that the only law in force governing marriage relations between Muslims and nonMuslims alike was the Civil Code of 1950.[34] also provides in respect of acts that transpired prior to its enactment: Art. Subano. [29] It also explains why the evidence in the instant case consisted substantially of oral testimonies. Muslims do not register acts. marriage and divorce are established by the record.But the President of the Philippines. and implicitly upholds the force and effect of a pre-existing body of law. affect Muslim marriages celebrated before the effectivity of the Muslim Code? (4) What laws govern the property relationship of Muslim multiple marriages celebrated before the Muslim Code? (5) What law governs the succession to the estate of a Muslim who died after the Muslim Code and the Family Code took effect? (6) What laws apply to the dissolution of property regimes in the cases of multiple marriages entered into before the Muslim Code but dissolved (by the husbands death) after the effectivity of the Muslim Code? and (7) Are Muslim divorces effected before the enactment of the Muslim Code valid? The succeeding guidelines. during the marriages of Hadji Abdula: the Civil Code. however. 1977. and. P. as well as cast profound implications on Muslim families similarly or analogously situated to the parties herein. shall affect their validity or legality or operate to extinguish any right acquired or liability incurred thereby.D. Admittedly.namely. Bigamous or polygamous marriages are considered void and inexistent from the time of their performance.A. Second and Third Collateral Issues: The Validity of Muslim Multiple Marriages Celebrated Before the Muslim Code.all divorces of which took place before the enactment of the Muslim Code. upon recommendation of the Commissioner of National Integration. and People vs.was interposed in relation to the settlement of the estate of the deceased husband. specifically. No marriage license or formal requisites shall be necessary. accordingly.[37] The Family Code which superseded the Civil Code provisions on marriage emphasizes that a subsequent marriage celebrated before the registration of the judgment declaring a prior marriage void shall likewise be void.[30] The Court has identified the following collateral issues. we take it as an imperative on our part to set out certain guidelines in the interpretation and application of pertinent laws to facilitate the task of respondent court. 73 Phil. Proceeding upon the foregoing. Dumpo. [32] The Muslim Code. and jurisprudence will be greatly enriched by a discussion of the watershed of collateral issues that this case presents.in respect of civil acts that took place before the Muslim Codes enactment. 1950.D.[36] Article 186 aforecited enunciates the general rule of the Muslim Code to have its provisions applied prospectively. Hadji Abdula divorced four wives --. 1949 to June 13. thirty years after the approval of this Code. make any of said provisions applicable to the Muslims and non-Christian inhabitants of any of the non-Christian provinces. which was effective from June 18. any attempt at this point to dispense with the basic issue given the scantiness of the evidence before us could result in grave injustice to the parties in this case. Subano and People vs. all marriages performed between Muslims or other nonChristians shall be solemnized in accordance with the provisions of this Code. 394 (R. 186. which we hereby present in question form: (1) What law governs the validity of a Muslim marriage celebrated under Muslim rites before the effectivity of the Muslim Code? (2) Are multiple marriages celebrated before the effectivity of the Muslim Code valid? (3) How do the Courts pronouncements in People vs. Saaga. Hadji Abdula died on December 18. that would be the bases for judgment and accordingly. are hereby laid down by the Court for the reference of respondent court. It will also be recalled that the main issue presented by the petition --. 246 (1935). Mabay and Neng) and five children. Aida. 62 Phil. plainly and unequivocably expressed or necessarily implied. 1993.

148. until after the termination of the cohabitation. supra. the co-ownership contemplated in Article 144 of the Civil Code cannot apply to Hadji Abdulas marriages celebrated subsequent to a valid and legally existing marriage. In all cases. or upon complete separation of property. The wife retains the ownership of the paraphernal property. The future spouses may in the marriage settlements agree upon absolute or relative community of property. as well as all property she acquires during the marriage. 135. however. father of the deceased. and as Mora Dumpos father categorically affirmed that he did not give his consent to her union with Moro Sabdapal. is not sanctioned by the Marriage Law [39]. we hold that it is the same Code that determines and governs the property relations of the marriages in this case. without the consent of the other. since from the point of view of the Civil Code Hadji Abdula is not capacitated to marry. the Court applied the perspective in the Civil Code that only one valid marriage can exist at any given time. supra. 119. the following provisions of the said Code are pertinent: Art. respectively. All property of the conjugal partnership of gains is owned in common by the husband and wife. there can only be one validly existing marriage at any given time --. the property acquired by either or both of them through their work or industry or their wages and salaries shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership. the wives in such marriages are not precluded from proving that property acquired during their cohabitation with Hadji Abdula is their exclusive property. or industry shall be owned by them in common in . As it appears that the consent of the brides father is an indispensable requisite to the validity of a Muslim marriage. not parricide. Although the practice of polygamy is approved by custom among these non-Christians. [41] Situating these rulings to the instant case. In the absence of marriage settlements. which merely recognizes tribal marriage rituals. In case of default or of waiver by any or all of the common children or their descendants. Inasmuch as the Family Code makes substantial amendments to the Civil Code provisions on property relations.and in the Civil Code. legally married to Moro Hassan. All property brought by the wife to the marriage. Art. 142. such share shall belong to the innocent party. In cases of cohabitation not falling under the preceding Article. [43] With the effectivity of the Family Code on August 3. is paraphernal. Dumpo. and shall be owned by them in equal shares. or their marriage is void from the beginning. Art. (f)rom the testimony of Ebol Subano. (2) whether the parties lived together as husband and wife. each vacant share shall belong to the respective surviving descendants. 143. Subano. including property relations between spouses. polygamy. Mora Dumpo was prosecuted for bigamy when. and resolved to acquit her of the charge of bigamy. the Court convicted the accused of homicide. In People vs. for the reason that at the time of the celebration of the marriages in question the Civil Code was the only law on marriage relations. in accordance with article 148. and (3) when and how the subject properties were acquired. the system of relative community or conjugal partnership of gains as established in this Code shall govern the property relations between husband and wife. When only one of the parties to a void marriage is in good faith. Art. However. Which law would govern depends upon: (1) when the marriages took place. however. she allegedly contracted a second marriage with Moro Sabdapal. the share of the party in bad faith in the co-ownership shall be forfeited in favor of their common children. upon the dissolution of the marriage or of the partnership. a party who did not participate in the acquisition of the other party of any property shall be deemed to have contributed jointly in the acquisition thereof if the formers efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family and of the household. this Court has interpreted the co-ownership provided in Article 144 of the Civil Code to require that the man and woman living together as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or under a void marriage must not in any way be incapacitated to marry. properties acquired while they lived together shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts. Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts inter vivos of his or her share in the property acquired during cohabitation and owned in common. When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other live exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or under a void marriage.[42] Absent such proof. when the validity of Muslim plural marriages celebrated before the enactment of the Muslim Code was touched upon in two criminal cases. a conviction for bigamy would have prospered. In the absence of proof to the contrary. their wages and salaries shall be owned by them in equal shares and the property acquired by both of them through their work or industry shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership. In the absence of descendants.Thus. the net gains or benefits obtained indiscriminately by either spouse during the marriage. The deceased. 147. property. By means of the conjugal partnership of gains the husband and wife place in a common fund the fruits of their separate property and the income from their work or industry. The Court acquitted her on the ground that it was not duly proved that the alleged second marriage had all the essential requisites to make it valid were it not for the subsistence of the first marriage.is conjugal property of such subsisting marriage. Art. the Court held that such union could not be a marriage otherwise valid were it not for the existence of the first one. is not thus the lawful wife of the defendant and this precludes conviction for the crime of parricide. In keeping with our holding that the validity of the marriages in the instant case is determined by the Civil Code. only the properties acquired by both of the parties through their actual joint contribution of money. 136. The Civil Code also provides in Article 144: When a man and a woman live together as husband and wife. Following are the pertinent provisions of the Civil Code: Art. had it been proven as a fact that the second marriage contained all the essential requisites to make it valid. whether Muslim or non-Muslim. it appears that the defendant has three wives and that the deceased was the last in point of time. but they are not married. particularly to property acquired from and after August 3. or when the same are void. some of its provisions are also material. under our law. therefore. work or industry. or upon any other regime. the presumption is that property acquired during the subsistence of a valid marriage --. For purposes of this Article. the forfeiture shall take place upon termination of the cohabitation. and divide equally. In People vs. 1988. [40] Fourth Collateral Issue: Law(s) Governing Property Relations of Muslim Marriages Celebrated Before the Muslim Code This is the main issue presented by the instant petition. In a long line of cases. since --Art. 1988. The ruling in Dumpo indicates that.

the grandfather. i. Under the Muslim Code: Art. 61.Legitimacy of filiation is established by the evidence of valid marriage between the father and the mother at the time of the conception of the child. Children of subsequent marriage. and if born thereafter. and related cases are embodied in the second paragraph of Article 148. --. 1993. Garcia. in contrast to Article 144 of the Civil Code as interpreted by jurisprudence. notify the former husband or his heirs of that fact. Jose. The foregoing rules on forfeiture shall likewise apply even if both parties are in bad faith. 1083. . provided that the parties prove their actual joint contribution of money. Pregnancy after dissolution. When the wife survives with a legitimate child or a child of the decedents son. within thirty days from the time she became aware of her pregnancy. from February 4. Camporodendo vs. Children born after one hundred and eighty days following the celebration of the marriage. the uterine sister and the uterine brother. (3) By the serious illness of the husband. It will be noted that while the Civil Code merely requires that the parties live together as husband and wife the Family Code in Article 147 specifies that they live exclusively with each other as husband and wife. (b) The father. 1055. in such a way that access was not possible. Thus. 1993. --. Also. 89 SCRA 306. --. his or her share in the co-ownership shall accrue to the absolute community or conjugal partnership existing in such valid marriage. 60. the provisions on legal succession in the Muslim Code will apply. which declares that the share of the party validly married to another shall accrue to the property regime of such existing marriage.. the consanguine sister. or industry and only to the extent of their proportionate interest therein. Legitimate children. the mother. property. in the absence of such descendants. the wife believes that she is pregnant by her former husband. The same rule and presumption shall apply to joint deposits of money and evidences of credit. the sharers to an inheritance include: (a) The husband.Should the marriage be dissolved and the wife contracts another marriage after the expiration of her idda. the grandmother.D. Legitimacy. [44] The respective shares of the other sharers. The status and capacity to succeed of the children will depend upon the law in force at the time of conception or birth of the child. Thus. as set out in Article 110 abovecited. Art. she is entitled to one-eighth of the hereditary estate. The child shall be presumed legitimate. 1977 up to the death of Hadji Abdula on December 18. (c) The daughter and the sons daughter in the direct line. the child born within six months from the dissolution of the prior marriage shall be presumed to have been conceived during the former marriage. are provided for in Articles 113 to 122 of P. the status and capacity to succeed on the part of the individual parties who entered into each and every marriage ceremony will depend upon the law in force at the time of the performance of the marriage rite. If the party who acted in bad faith is not validly married to another. although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress.e. Article 148 of the Family Code allows for co-ownership in cases of cohabitation where. during the latter. and before three hundred days following its dissolution or the separation of the spouses shall be presumed to be legitimate. Against this presumption no evidence shall be admitted other than that of the physical impossibility of the husbands having access to his wife within the first one hundred and twenty days of the three hundred which preceded the birth of the child. 59. one party has a pre-existing valid marriage. Upon determination of status and capacity to succeed based on the foregoing provisions. she shall inherit one-fourth of the estate. Fifth and Sixth Collateral Issues: Law(s) on Succession and Dissolution of Property Regimes Hadji Abdula died intestate on December 16. The rulings in Juaniza vs. This physical impossibility may be caused: (1) By the impotence of the husband. Under Article 110 of the said Code. (d) The full sister. the Civil Code provisions on the determination of the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the child would appear to be in point. Art. The husband or his heirs may ask the court to take measures to prevent a simulation of birth. In the absence of proof to the contrary. the Civil Code provides: Art. If the child was conceived or born during the period covered by the governance of the Muslim Code.If. 58. their contributions and corresponding shares are presumed to be equal. Art. the wife. (2) Children born after six months following the consummation of marriage or within two years after the dissolution of the marriage shall be presumed to be legitimate.proportion to their respective contributions. If one of the parties is validly married to another. it is the Muslim Code which should determine the identification of the heirs in the order of intestate succession and the respective shares of the heirs. (2) By the fact that the husband and wife were living separately. how established. 256. after the dissolution of marriage. 102 Phil. Meanwhile. If the child was conceived or born during the period covered by the governance of the Civil Code. she shall. --(1) Children conceived in lawful wedlock shall be presumed to be legitimate. Whoever claims illegitimacy of or impugns such filiation must prove his allegation. 255. the Muslim Code determines the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the child. Against this presumption no evidence shall be admitted other than that of physical impossibility of access between the parents at or about the time of the conception of the child. for instance. his or her share shall be forfeited in the manner provided in the last paragraph of the preceding Article. Art.

The Muslim Code. 1950 to August 2. What properties constituted the estate of Hadji Abdula at the time of his death on December 18. 1994 of the Fifth Sharia District Court of Cotabato City in Special Proceeding No. a. and the manner and source of acquisition. LLORENTE. Corollarily. J. 1949 to June 13. evidence should be received to supply the following proofs: (1) the exact dates of the marriages performed in accordance with Muslim rites or practices. albeit how widely observed. as co-owners of whatever property she and the deceased Lorenzo N. we identify four corollary issues as to further situate the points of controversy in the instant case for the guidance of the lower court. LLORENTE. a Muslim divorce under R. What is before us is an appeal from the decision of the Court of Appeals [1] modifying that of the Regional Trial Court. [48] Congressman Masturas disquisition has proven extremely helpful in impressing upon us the background in which Islamic law and the Muslim Code need to be interpreted. The fact and time of conception or birth may be determined by proof or presumption depending upon the time frame and the applicable law. and what are their shares in intestacy? The following are Hadji Abdulas legal heirs: (a) the lawful wife. for a period of 20 years from June 18. . 51 WHEREFORE.A. 4. we are unable to supplant governing law with customs. No. Camarines Sur. 394 is valid if it took place from June 18. vs. and the instant petition is REMANDED for the reception of additional evidence and the resolution of the issues of the case based on the guidelines set out in this Decision. in accordance with Muslim custom. under the rules of which only one marriage can exist at any given time. 1988 are governed by the rules on co-ownership. [46] 2. 1949 (the date of approval of R. who among the surviving children are legitimate and who are illegitimate? The children conceived and born of a validly existing marriage as determined by the first corollary issue are legitimate. Llorente (hereinafter referred to as Lorenzo) may have acquired during the twenty-five (25) years that they lived together as husband and wife. 94-40 is SET ASIDE. 3.Thus: 1. the Court is duty-bound to resolve the instant case applying such laws and rights as are in existence at the time the pertinent civil acts took place. However. conjugally or in co-ownership. 1969. SO ORDERED. Amicus curiae Congressman Mastura agrees that since the marriage of petitioner to decedent took place in 1972 the Civil Code is the law applicable on the issue of marriage settlement. Branch 35. COURT OF APPEALS and ALICIA F. thereby indicating their status as lawful heirs. This is because all of the marriages were celebrated during the governance of the Civil Code. collateral and corollary issues herein presented and a remand to the lower court is in order. 124371. 1969. (4) the identification of specific properties acquired during each of the periods of cohabitation referred to in paragraph 3 above. the evidence in this case is inadequate to resolve in its entirety the main. 2000] PAULA T. Properties acquired under the conditions prescribed in Article 144 of the Civil Code during the period August 30. will govern the determination of their respective shares.R. and (5) the identities of the children (legitimate or illegitimate) begotten from the several unions. No. 1988 are conjugal properties and should be liquidated and divided between the spouses under the Muslim Code.D.[50] Regrettably. thus indicating which marriage resulted in a conjugal partnership under the criteria prescribed by the first. Whether or not the marriage was validly dissolved by a Muslim divorce depends upon the time frame and the applicable law. Properties acquired under the conditions set out in Articles 147 and 148 of the Family Code during the period from and after August 3. the wives other than the lawful wife as determined under the first corollary issue may submit their respective evidence to prove that any of such property is theirs exclusively. 1969. 394 authorized absolute divorce among Muslims residing in non-Christian provinces. particularly the interconnectedness of law and religion for Muslims[49] and the impracticability of a strict application of the Civil Code to plural marriages recognized under Muslim law. and (2) the children. The Case d. Llorente (herinafter referred to as Alicia). 1949 to June 13. this being the law in force at the time of Hadji Abdulas death. as determined under the first corollary issue. the dates of their respective conceptions or births in relation to paragraphs 1 and 2 above. There being a dispute between the petitioner and the oppositors as regards the heirship of the children begotten from different marriages. petitioner. which was already in force at the time of Hadji Abdulas death. November 23. DECISION c. Iriga City [2] declaring respondent Alicia F. (2) the exact dates of the dissolutions of the marriages terminated by death or by divorce in accordance with Muslim rites and practices. Which of the several marriages was validly and legally existing at the time of the opening of the succession of Hadji Abdula when he died in 1993? The validly and legally existing marriage would be that marriage which was celebrated at a time when there was no other subsisting marriage standing undissolved by a valid divorce or by death. Accordingly. respondents. 1969. [G. [47] but espouses that customs or established practices among Muslims in Mindanao must also be applied with the force of law to the instant case. [45] Thus. PARDO.Seventh Collateral Issue: Muslim Divorces Before the Effectivity of the Muslim Code R. In the same manner. 1993? The estate of Hadji Abdula consists of the following: As we have indicated early on. 394 is valid if it took place from June 18. and void if it took place from June 14. 1083 concerning the distribution of property between divorced spouses upon one of the spouses death. Properties acquired under conditions not covered by the preceding paragraphs and obtained from the exclusive efforts or assets of Hadji Abdula are his exclusive properties. the decision dated September 26. (3) the exact periods of actual cohabitation (common life under a common roof) of each of the marriages during which time the parties lived together.A. and third collateral issues and the first corollary issue.A. Properties acquired during the existence of a valid marriage as determined by the first corollary issue are conjugal properties and should be liquidated and divided between the spouses under the Muslim Code. as determined under the second corollary issue. second. we cannot supply a perceived hiatus in P. thus showing the asset as owned separately. b. Who are the legal heirs of Hadji Abdula.: The case raises a conflict of laws issue. A Muslim divorce under R.A. indicating joint or individual effort. 394) to June 13. From the seven collateral issues that we discussed.

Fortuno and to my children. 1946. signed. Camarines Sur. Llorente. (3) they would make a separate agreement regarding their conjugal property acquired during their marital life.[12] In the meantime. to wit: (1) I give and bequeath to my wife ALICIA R. Southern District of New York. conveyed and disposed of by and among themselves. Ceferino Llorente. Lorenzo filed with the Regional Trial Court.[5] On November 30. before the proceedings could be terminated. (6) I hereby direct that the executor named herein or her lawful substitute should served (sic) without bond. [8] On December 4. Camarines Sur. Nabua. Iriga. The will was notarized by Notary Public Salvador M. Philippines. [20] From 1958 to 1985. FORTUNO to be the sole executor of this my Last Will and Testament. 1945. [11] On March 13. The agreement was notarized by Notary Public Pedro Osabel. [13] Apparently. Paula was represented by counsel. sold and conveyed to any other persons. and actively participated in the proceedings. 1984. all surnamed Llorente. 1927 to September 30. S. 1984. (2) I give and bequeath exclusively to my wife Alicia R. the couple drew a written agreement to the effect that (1) all the family allowances allotted by the United States Navy as part of Lorenzos salary and all other obligations for Paulas daily maintenance and support would be suspended. Sitio Nalilidong. Roman Catholic Church. 5579816 was issued in his favor by the United States District Court. 1985. Camarines Sur. who did not oppose the marriage or cohabitation. Philippines. Camarines Sur. (3) I likewise give and bequeath exclusively unto my wife Alicia R. 1952. Philippines. Rizal.[21] . Paula gave birth to a boy registered in the Office of the Registrar of Nabua as Crisologo Llorente. [4] Before the outbreak of the Pacific War.[18] On December 4. Alicia had no knowledge of the first marriage even if they resided in the same town as Paula. but could only be sold. 1937. 1951. [14] [19] On January 24. Fortuno and unto my children. 1958. in equal shares. Nabua. Llorente. Francisco Neibres and Tito Trajano. Nabua. (8) It is my final wish and desire that if I die. and my lands in Antipolo. any of my children in the order of age. Llorente and Beverly F. to visit his wife and he visited the Philippines. covered by Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. In the will. Llorente and Beverly F. Luz F. Lorenzo married Alicia F. Nabua. (7) I hereby revoke any and all my other wills. 1981. Llorente. shall not be disposed of. 124196 and 165188. The agreement was signed by both Lorenzo and Paula and was witnessed by Paulas father and stepmother. produced three children.[10] Lorenzo returned to the United States and on November 16. Llorente. Nabua. Raul F. FORTUNO exclusively my residential house and lot. [6] Upon the liberation of the Philippines by the American Forces in 1945. on February 2. duly signed by Lorenzo with attesting witnesses Francisco Hugo. (5) I designate my wife ALICIA R. and Barangay Paloyon. located at San Francisco. by me. with the certificate stating that the child was not legitimate and the line for the fathers name was left blank. 1957. no relatives of mine in any degree in the Llorentes Side should ever bother and disturb in any manner whatsoever my wife Alicia R. Lorenzo died. On January 16. ceded. my real properties located in Quezon City Philippines. Lorenzo bequeathed all his property to Alicia and their three children.[9] Lorenzo refused to forgive Paula and live with her. in Nabua. Barangay Paloyon. Lorenzo and Alicia lived together as husband and wife. (2) they would dissolve their marital union in accordance with judicial proceedings. all my real properties whatsoever and wheresoever located. Raul F. Lorenzo and petitioner Paula Llorente (hereinafter referred to as Paula) were married before a parish priest.[16] [15] Their twenty-five (25) year union On June 11. Barangay Baras. Lorenzo was admitted to United States citizenship and Certificate of Naturalization No. the trial court admitted the will to probate. the Superior Court of the State of California. 1951 filed for divorce with the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of San Diego. In fact. Occiano.The Facts The deceased Lorenzo N. John Riley. codicils. Raul. the trial court denied the motion for the reason that the testator Lorenzo was still alive. Lorenzo returned to the Philippines. for the County of San Diego found all factual allegations to be true and issued an interlocutory judgment of divorce. specifically my real properties located at Barangay Aro-Aldao. both of the Registry of Deeds of the province of Rizal. a petition for the probate and allowance of his last will and testament wherein Lorenzo moved that Alicia be appointed Special Administratrix of his estate. finding that the will was duly executed. (4) That their respective shares in the above-mentioned properties. Lorenzo departed for the United States and Paula stayed in the conjugal home in barrio Antipolo. On November 27. and (4) Lorenzo would not prosecute Paula for her adulterous act since she voluntarily admitted her fault and agreed to separate from Lorenzo peacefully. [17] On December 14. Luz and Beverly. On January 18. Camarines Sur. Navy. and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. or published. 1943. 188652. Camarines Sur. in equal shares. Camarines Sur. 1983.[3] On February 22. Sitio Puga. if of age. or testamentary dispositions heretofore executed. whether real or personal properties. Llorente in Manila. the divorce decree became final. Nabua. and in her default or incapacity of the latter to act. Lorenzo executed a Last Will and Testament. ceded. Fortunato and my children with respect to any real or personal properties I gave and bequeathed respectively to each one of them by virtue of this Last Will and Testament. Lorenzo was granted an accrued leave by the U. including ALL the personal properties and other movables or belongings that may be found or existing therein. Luz F. [7] He discovered that his wife Paula was pregnant and was living in and having an adulterous relationship with his brother. Llorente was an enlisted serviceman of the United States Navy from March 10. Camarines Sur.

Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is situated. Paula filed with the same court a petition [22] for letters of administration over Lorenzos estate in her favor. legacies and charges on the same. Lorenzo Llorente. (2) that the various property were acquired during their marriage. stating that Raul and Luz Llorente are not children legitimate or otherwise of Lorenzo since they were not legally adopted by him. shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration. 1985. Proc. affirming with modification the decision of the trial court in this wise: WHEREFORE. Wherefore. No. (3) execution of his will. 1985. [36] the issue is simple. respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals. is duly established. Hence. both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions. and estate which shall at any time come to her possession or to the possession of any other person for her. rights. The fact that the late Lorenzo N. Alicia filed with the trial court a motion for reconsideration of the aforequoted decision.[27] In time. Llorente for the issuance of letters testamentary is denied. No. Paula Llorente is appointed legal administrator of the estate of the deceased. considering that this court has so found that the divorce decree granted to the late Lorenzo Llorente is void and inapplicable in the Philippines. 15. 1981 as void and declares her entitled as conjugal partner and entitled to one-half of their conjugal properties.000. this petition. Who are entitled to inherit from the late Lorenzo N. thus: On March 21. the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision.[24] On October 14. As such let the corresponding letters of administration issue in her favor upon her filing a bond in the amount ( sic) of P100. 1987. the trial court declared Beverly Llorente as the only illegitimate child of Lorenzo. a petition for the issuance of letters testamentary. meritorious. Llorente? We do not agree with the decision of the Court of Appeals. or to the status. IR-888. However.[25] On September 28. Likewise. for them to partition in equal shares and also entitled to the remaining free portion in equal shares. even though living abroad. Paula contended (1) that she was Lorenzos surviving spouse. The Applicable Law Petitioner.[23] On December 13. SO ORDERED. Thus. without terminating the testate proceedings. Raul. as a rule. whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found.[31] On July 31.[34] denied the motion for lack of merit. 739 (1).[32] On November 6. 1995. admitted and undisputed. intestate and testamentary succession. (3) that Lorenzos will disposed of all his property in favor of Alicia and her children. and at any other time when required by the court and to perform all orders of this court by her to be performed. and credits. the trial court denied Alicias motion for reconsideration but modified its earlier decision.[30] Art. This being so the petition of Alicia F.[29] Amending its decision of May 18. the trial court gave due course to Paulas petition in Sp. the Court of Appeals. petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a motion for reconsideration of the decision. 1987.[35] The Issue Stripping the petition of its legalese and sorting through the various arguments raised. and from the proceeds to pay and discharge all debts. 1958 at Manila is likewise void. and (4) death. the court finds the petition of Paula Titular Llorente.00 conditioned for her to make a return to the court within three (3) months a true and complete inventory of all goods.[33] On May 18. IR-755). 16. therefore the marriage he contracted with Alicia Fortunato on January 16. Luz and Beverly. she is not entitled to receive any share from the estate even if the will especially said so her relationship with Lorenzo having gained the status of paramour which is under Art. 1987. condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines. Proc. 1996. and as primary compulsory heir. 1985. Llorente became an American citizen long before and at the time of: (1) his divorce from Paula. or such dividends thereon as shall be decreed or required by this court. We remand the case to the trial court for ruling on the intrinsic validity of the will of the deceased. 1987. to render a true and just account of her administration to the court within one (1) year. Laws relating to family rights and duties. 1995. Llorente is also entitled to one-third of the estate and then one-third should go to the illegitimate children. (2) marriage to Alicia. 1985. the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that Alicia is declared as co-owner of whatever properties she and the deceased may have acquired during the twenty-five (25) years of cohabitation. the Regional Trial Court issued a joint decision. and so declares the intrinsic disposition of the will of Lorenzo Llorente dated March 13. all surname (sic) Llorente. [26] On August 25. Alicia filed in the testate proceeding (Sp. Art. entitling her to one-third (1/3) of the estate and one-third (1/3) of the free portion of the estate. SO ORDERED. The Civil Code clearly provides: On the other matters prayed for in respective petitions for want of evidence could not be granted. issues arising from these incidents are necessarily governed by foreign law. On the other hand. encroaching on her legitime and 1/2 share in the conjugal property. Paula T.[28] On September 14. 13 and 20. (emphasis ours) .On September 4. the order was published in the newspaper Bicol Star. chattels.

SO ORDERED.True. there is no showing that the application of the renvoi doctrine is called for or required by New York State law. the trial court should note that whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our system of legitimes. with nothing. we find it unnecessary to pass upon the other issues raised. the petition is GRANTED. We do not wish to frustrate his wishes. Whether the will is intrinsically valid and who shall inherit from Lorenzo are issues best proved by foreign law which must be pleaded and proved. we stated that divorce and its legal effects may be recognized in the Philippines insofar as respondent is concerned in view of the nationality principle in our civil law on the status of persons. R. The trial court threw the will out. 1995 is SET ASIDE. the same being considered contrary to our concept of public policy and morality. vs. There. who in the trial courts opinion was a mere paramour. Jr. Llorente from his first wife Paula was valid and recognized in this jurisdiction as a matter of comity.R. [45] Having thus ruled. petitioner-appellant.[41] that once proven that respondent was no longer a Filipino citizen when he obtained the divorce from petitioner. the ruling in Van Dorn would become applicable and petitioner could very well lose her right to inherit from him. SUNTAY. We note that while the trial court stated that the law of New York was not sufficiently proven. Each State of the union has its own law applicable to its citizens and in force only within the State. Raul and Luz. In lieu thereof.[40] we held that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code. There is no such law governing the validity of testamentary provisions in the United States. Now. and her two children. Congress specifically left the amount of successional rights to the decedent's national law. in this case. the Court held in Quita v. The clear intent of Lorenzo to bequeath his property to his second wife and children by her is glaringly shown in the will he executed. It can therefore refer to no other than the law of the State of which the decedent was a resident. is fatal. Romillo. and other public instruments shall be governed by the laws of the country in which they are executed. The hasty application of Philippine law and the complete disregard of the will. Art. 17446 promulgated on July 31. In fact. Llorentes will and determination of the parties successional rights allowing proof of foreign law with instructions that the trial court shall proceed with all deliberate dispatch to settle the estate of the deceased within the framework of the Rules of Court. Nos. especially in light of the factual and legal circumstances here obtaining. Court of Appeals. condition and legal capacity. where the case was referred back to the law of the decedents domicile. the decision of the Court of Appeals must be reversed. As a guide however. the Court REMANDS the cases to the court of origin for determination of the intrinsic validity of Lorenzo N. [39] Second. The "national law" indicated in Article 16 of the Civil Code cannot possibly apply to general American law. albeit equally unproven statement that American law follows the domiciliary theory hence. It declared Alice entitled to one half (1/2) of whatever property she and Lorenzo acquired during their cohabitation. The Fallo Validity of the Foreign Divorce WHEREFORE. the Court REVERSES the decision of the Regional Trial Court and RECOGNIZES as VALID the decree of divorce granted in favor of the deceased Lorenzo N. not covered by our laws on family rights and duties. L-3087 and L-3088 July 31. [38] When the acts referred to are executed before the diplomatic or consular officials of the Republic of the Philippines in a foreign country. Philippine law applies when determining the validity of Lorenzos will. SILVINO SUNTAY. For failing to apply these doctrines. Philippine law. only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces. the will was duly probated. 17. EN BANC G. The Court of Appeals and the trial court called to the fore the renvoi doctrine. they must be alleged and proved. In Pilapil v. Llorente by the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of San Diego. No costs. wills. there is no such thing as one American law. the effects of this divorce (as to the succession to the estate of the decedent) are matters best left to the determination of the trial court. In Van Dorn v. status. in the same breath it made the categorical. Ibay-Somera. The Court of Appeals also disregarded the will. already probated as duly executed in accordance with the formalities of Philippine law. 1954 In re: Testate Estate of the deceased JOSE B. SP No.[44] The trial court held that the will was intrinsically invalid since it contained dispositions in favor of Alice.[37] Validity of the Will The Civil Code provides: While the substance of the foreign law was pleaded. Congress did not intend to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals. Further. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. The forms and solemnities of contracts. applying Article 144 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. (underscoring ours) First. the Court ruled that aliens may obtain divorces abroad. leaving Alice. Like any other fact. the Court of Appeals did not admit the foreign law. foreign laws do not prove themselves in our jurisdiction and our courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of them. . 1952. Whether the will was executed in accordance with the formalities required is answered by referring to Philippine law. Citing this landmark case.[42] we recognized the divorce obtained by the respondent in his country. the Federal Republic of Germany. since he was a foreigner. made final on December 4. provided they are valid according to their national law. [43] We hold that the divorce obtained by Lorenzo H. the solemnities established by Philippine laws shall be observed in their execution. In the same case.

SUNTAY. 55th and 63rd interrogatories. t. Id. But her testimony on cross-examination that she read the part of the will on adjudication is inconsistent with her testimony in chief that after Apolonio had read that part of the will he turned over or handed the document to Manuel who went away (p. s. 42nd. Go Toh arrived at his law office in the De los Reyes Building and left an envelope wrapped in red handkerchief [Exhibit C] (p. On 14 May 1934 Jose B. Manuel Lopez. administrator-appellee. Ana Suntay testifies that sometime in September 1934 in the house of her brother Apolonio Suntay she learned that her father left a will "because of the arrival of my brother Manuel Suntay. but did not take part in the drafting thereof (answer to the 11th interrogatory. n. Be that as it may. and Jose. China. 530-1. that "after checking Jose B. 542. China. according to the will. At any rate. the third for strict legitime is for the ten children. n. Fookien province. t. Id. who was an attesting witness to the lost will... Although Ana Suntay would be a good witness because she was testifying against her own interest. Recto for appellant. and that delivery took place in November 1934 (p. FEDERICO C. hearing of 24 October 1947). or is shown to have been fraudulently or accidentally destroyed in the lifetime of the testator without his knowledge.. that he did not read the will and did not compare it (check it up) with the draft (Exhibit B) (answers to X-6 and X-20 cross-interrogatories. Fookien. 546.). Claro M. t. Cruz namely. s. his testimony that under the will the surviving widow would take two-thirds of the estate of the late Jose B. n. because it must have been corrected before and all corrections and additions written in lead pencil must have been inserted and copied in the final draft of the will which was signed on that occasion. and a child named Silvino by the second marriage had with Maria Natividad Lim Billian who survived him. s. by Jose B. Anastacio Teodoro and Ana Suntay. then the part of his testimony that Alberto Barretto handed the draft to Jose B. t. Suntay and from reading the translation of the draft (Exhibit B) into Chinese. But this witness testified to oppose the appointment of a co-administrator of the estate. Fookien province. Suntay. t. 50th. n. If the will was snatched after the delivery thereof by Go Toh to Anastacio Teodoro And returned by the latter to the former because they could not agree on the amount of fees. Much stress is laid upon the testimony of Federico C. Id. Intestate proceedings were instituted in the Court of First Instance of Bulacan (special proceedings No. records and documents of his late father a will and testament in Chinese characters executed and signed by the deceased on 4 January 1931 and that the same was filed. t. s. Manuel Lopez and Alberto Barretto (p. Suntay put the "Exhibit B" in his pocket and had the original signed and executed" cannot be true. 530. she testifies that she read the part of the will on adjudication to know what was the share of each heir (pp. nor unless its provisions are clearly and distinctly proved by at least two credible witnesses.). Id. that "after Apolonio read that portion. Id. 528. According to the latter.. to wit: onethird to his children. 273. and the alleged last will and testament executed in Kulangsu. for the validity and legality of such assignments cannot be threshed out in this proceedings which is concerned only with the probate of the will and testament executed in the Philippines on November 1929 or of the foreign will allegedly executed in Amoy on 4 January 1931 and claimed to have been probated in the municipal district court of Amoy. Sison and Aruego for appellee. Suntay. on 4 January 1931 (Exhibit N). Ana. Suntay at the bottom of the will and each and every page thereof in the presence of Alberto Barretto. Republic of China. recorded and probated in the Amoy district court. If it is true that Go Toh saw the draft Exhibit B in the office of Alberto Barretto in November 1929 when the will was signed.). and the third for free disposal is for the surviving widow and her child Silvino. t. 148. Id. leaving real and personal properties in the Philippines and a house in Amoy. Id. because he came to know or he learned to them from information given him by Jose B. n. then he turned over the document to Manuel. hearing of 19 January 1948) that brought him to the Philippines from Amoy. Rule 77.). that Jose B. Manuel Lopez and Alberto Barretto (p. 4892) and after hearing letters of administration were issued to Apolonio Suntay. 72nd. PADILLA. Id. Suntay put the "Exhibit B" in his pocket and had the original signed and executed" (answers to the 91st interrogatory.. s. Id. t. 526-8. Suntay: "You had better see if you want any correction" (answers to the 81st. must not be true. Concepcion and Jose Jr. n. Id). that Alberto Barretto handed the draft and said to Jose B.. the third for betterment is for Silvino.) Whether he read the original will or just the copy thereof (Exhibit B) is not clear. the former coming to the latter's office straight from the boat (p. Fookien province.. 526-8. Angel. Id. t. n. Manuel Lopez and himself and underneath the testator's signature the attesting witnesses signed and each of them signed the attestation clause and each and every page of the will in the presence of the testator and of the other witnesses (answers to the 31st. Province of Fookien. s. 32. s. 524. n. 228. 205... In spite of the fact that a commission from the probate court was issued on 24 April 1937 for the taking of the deposition of Go Toh. 530-1. Jr. 273. then the testimony of Ana Suntay that she saw and heard her brother Apolonio Suntay read the will sometime in September 1934 (p.. hearing of 19 January 1948).. s. Exhibit D-1). s.). Apolonio. an attesting witness.. still the fact remains that she did not read the whole will but only the adjudication (pp.). that the will was exactly the same as the draft Exhibit B (pp. section 6. 50. claiming that he had found among the files..).).. China. s." (p." (p. 41st. Manuel. n. Jr. Emiliano. Amoy. on 7 February 1938 the probate court denied a motion for continuance of the hearing sent by cablegram from China by the surviving widow and dismissed the petition. Concepcion. After liberation. and the will is proved to have been in existence at the time of the death of the testator. Anastacio Teodoro testifies that one day in November 1934 (p. 315.: This is an appeal from a decree of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan disallowing the alleged will and testament executed in Manila on November 1929. After the latter's death Federico C. n. There is no merit in the contention that the petitioner Silvino Suntay and his mother Maria Natividad Lim Billian are estopped from asking for the probate of the lost will or of the foreign will because of the transfer or assignment of their share right. Suntay which was taken from Go Toh. hearing of 24 February 1948).) which he saw in the office of Alberto Barretto in November 1929 when the will was signed (answers to the 69th. of her father and of the witnesses Go Toh. 82nd and 83rd interrogatories. was dead at the time of the hearing of this alternative petition. An appeal was taken from said order denying the probate of the will and this Court held the evidence before the probate court sufficient to prove the loss of the will and remanded the case to the Court of First Instance of Bulacan for the further proceedings (63 Phil. 542. n. that Mrs. 231. Id. 33. s. s. Republic of China. Apolonio.. Concepcion and Jose. for the reason that he had acquired the interest of the surviving widow not only in the estate of her deceased husband but also in the conjugal property (pp. and the certificate must be filed and recorded as other wills are filed and recorded. the provisions thereof must be distinctly stated and certified by the judge. . t. t. Id. In the meantime the Pacific War supervened. Suntay had the draft of the will (Exhibit B) translated into Chinese and he read the translation (answers to the 67th interrogatory. n. 47.). Suntay is at variance with Exhibit B and the testimony of Anastacio Teodoro. that he checked up the signatures on the envelope Exhibit A with those on the will placed in the envelope (p.000. n. t.) and on redirect she testifies that she saw the signature of her father. t. In his deposition Go Toh testifies that he was one of the witnesses to the lost will consisting of twenty-three sheets signed by Jose B. Id. Id.) and saw only the signature. Id. provides: No will shall be proved as a lost or destroyed will unless the execution and validity of the same be established.). The value of the estate left by the deceased is more than P50. As to prescription. Silvino Suntay filed a petition in the intestate proceedings praying for the probate of the will executed in the Philippines on November 1929 (Exhibit B) or of the will executed in Amoy. Id. Gutierrez and the spouses Ricardo Gutierrez and Victoria Goño and the subsequent assignment thereof by the assignees to Francisco Pascual and by the latter to Federico C. who was bringing along with him certain document and he told us or he was telling us that it was the will of our father Jose B. Federico. Suntay. Suntay was appointed administrator of the estate. s.). 49th. participation and interest of the surviving widow and of the only child by the second marriage in the estate of his deceased father. n. Aurora. is two-thirds of the estate (p. Suntay who testifies that he read the supposed will or the alleged will of his father and that the share of the surviving widow. n. that he knew the contents of the will written in Spanish although he knew very little of that language (answers to the 22nd and 23rd interrogatories and to X-2 cross-interrogatory. under the seal of the court. s. on 4 January 1931. The witnesses who testified to the provisions of the lost will are Go Toh. China. 544.). one-third to Silvino and his mother and the other third to Silvino.. Suntay to Jose G.. Id. Id. or before the expiration of ten years. all of Go Toh's testimony by deposition on the provisions of the alleged lost will is hearsay. s. 229. n. t.In re: Intestate Estate of the deceased JOSE B. When a lost will is proved. t. and children by the first marriage had with the late Manuela T. Apolonio. and 74th interrogatories.) and all he knows about the contends of the lost will was revealed to him by Jose B. 229. 524. before the last postponement of the hearing granted by the Court.. Id. an attesting witness to the will. This petition was denied because of the loss of said will after the filing of the petition and before the hearing thereof and of the insufficiency of the evidence to establish the loss of the said will. that she saw her brother Apolonio Suntay read the document in her presence and of Manuel and learned of the adjudication made in the will by her father of his estate. (pp. and to X-18 cross-interrogatory. n. the dismissal of the petition for probate of the will on 7 February 1938 was no bar to the filing of this petition on 18 June 1947. 32.. On 15 October 1934 the surviving widow filed a petition in the Court of First Instance of Bulacan for the probate of a last will and testament claimed to have been executed and signed in the Philippines on November 1929 by the late Jose B. As to the lost will. Suntay at the time it was executed (answers to the 25th interrogatory and to X-4 and X-8 cross- interrogatories. 528. For him the important point was that he had acquired all the share. s. hearing of 24 February 1948). Suntay. t. Go Toh. s. hearing of 13 October 1947). died in the city of Amoy. On cross-examination. Suntay to whom he said: "You had better see if you want any correction" and that "after checking Jose B. a Filipino citizen and resident of the Philippines.. Suntay told him that the contents thereof are the same as those of the draft (Exhibit B) (answers to the 33rd interrogatory and to X-8 cross-interrogatory. 793). for it was not the time for correcting the draft of the will. t. 546. SUNTAY. title and interest in the estate of the late Jose B.). . The bringing in for the draft (Exhibit B) on that occasion is just to fit it within the framework of the appellant's theory. and he went away.). J.

. n. C. with Messrs. As to the will claimed to have been executed on 4 January 1931 in Amoy." Credible witnesses mean competent witnesses and those who testify to facts from or upon hearsay are neither competent nor credible witnesses. s. t. two or three months after Suntay and Lopez had called on him (pp.). and recorded by the proper Court of First Instance in the Philippines. Go Toh. it appears that all the proceedings had in the municipal district court of Amoy were for the purpose of taking the testimony of two attesting witnesses to the will and that the order of the municipal district court of Amoy does not purport to probate the will. Section 2 provides: When a copy of such will and the allowance thereof. s. Go Toh testified before the same assistant fiscal that he did not leave the will in the hands of Anastacio Teodoro (p. that the final draft of the first will made up of four or five pages (p. given to Manuel Lopez for the final draft or typing and returned to him. children by first marriage of the deceased.. Separate Opinions PARAS. n. objected to by counsel for the appellee. Id. It is a proceedings in rem and for the validity of such proceedings personal notice or by publication or both to all interested parties must be made. eldest son of the deceased by his first marriage. dissenting: As a preliminary statement we may well refer to the case of Maria Natividad Lim Billian. was lost under the circumstances pointed out therein. Pablo. that two months later Jose B. Suntay at his office in which he (Alberto Barretto).. Done and subscribed on the Nineteenth day of the English month of the 35th year of the Republic of China in the Civil Section of the Municipal District Court of Amoy. after said minutes were loudly read and announced actually in the court. s. The unverified answers to the questions propounded by counsel for the appellant to the Consul General of the Republic of China set forth in Exhibits R-1 and R-2. arrived in the Philippines with the will in the envelope and its copy Exhibit B. Id. his death. Suntay and Manuel Lopez called on him and the former asked him to draw up another will favoring more his wife and child Silvino. China. China. brought by Go Toh and it was then in perfect condition (pp. Labrador and Concepcion. 449. oppositors and appellees. Suntay died in the City of Amoy. the rough draft of the first will was in his own handwriting. Id. Id. China. Id.. Alberto Barretto testifies that in the early part of 1929 he prepared or drew up two mills for Jose B. 89 Folder of Exhibits.) and gave it to Manuel Lopez (p.. In the absence of proof that the municipal district court of Amoy is a probate court and on the Chinese law of procedure in probate matters. 407. Suntay.. as attorney-in-fact of the petitioner. t. 400. 1934. Suntay at the latter's request. they fled. n.Hence. Manuel Lopez and Go Toh took part as attesting witnesses (p. t. filed and recorded by a competent court of this country. petitioner and appellant. Apolonio Suntay. s. that Go Toh did not leave the envelope (Exhibit A) either in his house or in his law office (p. Consequently. 440-2. 403. I have to bring that document to court or to anywhere else myself. are inadmissible. 481. Suntay copied from the typewritten draft [Exhibit B] (p. concur. 441. and the will shall have the same effect as if originally proved and allowed in such court. China. 461. filed the latter's intestate in the Court of First Instance of Manila (civil case No." (p. that the handwritten insertions or additions in lead pencil to Exhibit B are not his (pp. Apolonio Suntay. The fact that the municipal district court of Amoy. t. 411. Id. t. and Jose Suntay. 404. on May 14. n. 395. that on that occasion they brought an envelope (Exhibit A) where the following words were written: "Testamento de Jose B. the court shall so allow it. Suntay" (pp. 1934. may be likened toe or come up to the standard of such proceedings in the Philippines for lack of notice to all interested parties and the proceedings were held at the back of such interested parties.. s. China.. in which the following decision was rendered by this Court on November 25. quoting his own words. JJ. the adverse party would be deprived of his right to confront and cross-examine the witness.. without pronouncement as to costs. 63 Phil. 503-4.) in his office at the Cebu Portland Cement in the China Banking Building on Dasmariñas street by Jose B. n. it may be presumed that the proceedings in the matter of probating or allowing a will in the Chinese courts are the a deposition or to a perpetuation of testimony. and in the same court. 399. t. n. n. t. and cause notice thereof to be given as in case of an original will presented for allowance. if the same be admitted. On the other hand. shall be filed and recorded by the clerk. duly authenticated.). may be allowed. 1934. On October 15.). such court shall fix a time and place for the hearing. Bengzon. On August 25. According to the petitioner. Manuel Suntay.. He said. n. therefore. Cruz with whom he had several children now residing in the Philippines. 401.. that he told Go Toh that he would charge P25.vs. B. s. A. Maria Natividad Lim Billian also instituted the present proceedings for the probate of a will allegedly left by the deceased. signed by the Judge. the will and the alleged probate thereof cannot be said to have been done in accordance with the accepted basic and fundamental concepts and principles followed in the probate and allowance of wills. t. 415-7 435-6. before the deceased died in China he left with her a sealed envelope (Exhibit A) containing his will and. t. t. 443. May 14. they snatched and opened it and. t. according to the laws of such country. that he again saw the envelope (Exhibit A) in his house one Saturday in the later part of August 1934. Id.). t. that after the signing of the will it was placed inside the envelope (Exhibit A) together with an inventory of the properties of Jose B. which reads as follows: ORDER: SEE BELOW The above minutes were satisfactorily confirmed by the interrogated parties. n.. t. s. and attested by the seal of the courts. s. 457. 406. 1934. 440-2.. 27.). 398.000 as fee for probating the will (pp. t. s. Go Toh. Id. n.). The proceedings had in the municipal district court of Amoy. Moreover. 397-8. the will referred to therein cannot be allowed. In view thereof. Id.). Alberto Barretto and Manuel Lopez as attesting witnesses. 474. 793-797. because apart from the fact that the office of Consul General does not qualify and make the person who holds it an expert on the Chinese law on procedure in probate matters. cannot be deemed and accepted as proceedings leading to the probate or allowance of a will and.. hearing of 24 February 1948). n.). 1936. Reyes.. s.J. that Go Toh said he wanted to keep it and on no occasion did Go Toh leave it to him (pp. n.. holding that the will executed by Jose B. Exhibit 6). Section 3 provides: If it appears at the hearing that the will should be allowed in the Philippines. t. is a probate court must be proved. the authenticated transcript of proceedings held in the municipal district court of Amoy. also another document (Exhibit B of the petitioner) said to be a true copy of the original contained in the envelope. s. Id. Id. 476. is filed with a petition for allowance in the Philippines. to which shall be attached a copy of the will. and ordering the return of the case to the Court of First Instance of Bulacan for further proceedings: On May 14. t. 15. the law on the point in Rule 78. Exhibit 6). s. 398. and not revoked before. the first time to Manuela T. that he did not sign as witness the second will of Jose B. p. that on the following Monday Go Toh went to his law office bringing along with him the envelope (Exhibit A) in the same condition. 26. hearing of 21 February 1948). The legal requirements for the execution of a valid will in China in 1931 should also be established by competent evidence. s. 1934. does not purport to probate or allow the will which was the subject of the proceedings. corroborates the testimony of Alberto Barretto to the effect that only one will was signed by Jose B. The decree appealed from is affirmed.. Consuls are appointed to attend to trade matters. The will in the envelope was executed in the Philippines.. that after checking up the final with the rough draft he tore it and returned the final draft to Manuel Lopez. The order of the municipal district court of Amoy. and the second time to Maria Natividad Lim Billian with whom he had a son. who declare that there are no errors. n. s. 4892). 405-6. and a certificate of its allowance. s. Id.. China. 396.). n. granting that there was a will duly executed by Jose B. after getting its contents and throwing away the envelope. n. On the same date. Angel Suntay. still the testimony of Anastacio Teodoro alone falls short of the legal requirement that the provisions of the lost will must be "clearly and distinctly proved by at least two credible witnesses. that he had the rough draft of the second will typed (pp. Id. s. n. HUANG Clerk of Court CHIANG Judge KUANG TENG CHENG HWA (Exhibit N-13. 420. The evidence shows that no such notice was received by the interested parties residing in the Philippines (pp. Suntay who died in the City of Amoy. 409.. The interested parties in the case were known to reside in the Philippines. China. n. He married twice. China. Manuel Lopez and a Chinaman who had all come from Hagonoy (p. that this draft was in favor of all the children and the widow (pp. While Go Toh was showing this envelope to Apolonio Suntay and Angel Suntay. The testimony of Go Toh taken and heard by Assistant Fiscal F.. Section 1 of the rule provides: Wills proved and allowed in a foreign country. 449. s. Albert in connection with the complaint for estafa filed against Manuel Suntay for the alleged snatching of the envelope (Exhibit A).) was signed and executed. Exhibit 6). The law of China on procedure in the probate or allowance of wills must also be proved. by the executor or other person interested. There is no proof on these points.). Suntay placed in the envelope (Exhibit A) and that it was in existence at the time of. Jose B. 410. Suntay and the envelope was sealed by the signatures of the testator and the attesting witnesses (pp. "Because I can not give him this envelope even though the contract (on fees) was signed. 392-4. filed. 449 t. in the court having jurisdiction.). and even if it were so it does not measure same as those provided for in our laws on the subject.

It is thus undeniable that this envelope Exhibit A is the same one that contained the will executed by the deceased-drafted by Barretto and with the latter. 793797. Again. In court there was presented and attached to the case an open and empty envelope signed by Jose B. Rule 123 (Yu Chengco vs. Subsequently. 4892. the oldest son now deceased. 1920 and had begotten with her Apolonio. which was dismissed for lack of merit on January 27. Angel. to this Honorable Court respectfully state that. and. according to Barretto. and as she (through Go Toh) could not agree to pay. 44276 and fixing a date for the reception of evidence of the contents of the will declared lost. The court. then. 1948. he opened it and examined the said will preparatory to the filing of the petition for probate. which was denied by the court in its resolution of November 22. Suntay married twice. the draft of which is Exhibit B. 1937 (Exhibit O). In view of the allegations of the petition and the answer of the brothers Apolonio. upon the presumption that no will existed. the questions raised herein are: The loss of the alleged will of the deceased. China. whether Exhibit B accompanying the petition is an authentic copy thereof. upon motion of Emiliano Suntay and Jose Suntay. first to Manuela T. a circumstance justifying the presentation of secondary evidence of its contents and of whether it was executed with all the essential and necessary legal formalities. he prepared a will of the deceased to which he later become a witness together with Go Toh and Manuel Lopez. In obedience to the decision of the Supreme Court (Exhibit O) and upon the alternative petition of Silvino Suntay. in the Testate Proceeding filed a motion to dismiss the alternative petition on November 14. Cruz. Federico. the herein petitioner. 1934. Some time in November 1929. 1947.000 as fees. while making no express finding on this fact. all surnamed Suntay. 1947. Alberto Barretto and Judge Anastacio Teodoro. Suntay. filed the following answer stating that they had no opposition thereto. upon the presentation of the certificates and authentications required by Section 41. Go Toh and Manuel Lopez. The probate of the will was entrusted to the junior partner Judge Anastacio Teodoro. 63 Phil. The court. upon motion of the petitioner (Exhibit H). Fookien. 4952. filed a petition in the Court of First Instance of Bulacan praying "that an order be issued (a) either directing the continuation of the proceedings in the case remanded by the Supreme Court by virtue of its decision in G. and the case was set for hearing on February 12. in answer to the alternative petition filed in these proceedings by Silvino Suntay. Suntay on May 14. and (c) that such other necessary and proper orders be issued which this Honorable Court deems appropriate in the premises. upon the presentation of the sealed envelope to him. through counsel. is hereunder produced: (As quoted above) The above quoted decision of the Supreme Court was promulgated on November 25. Lourdes Guevara Vda. the petitioner. but it was transferred to March 29. Silvino Suntay.. de Suntay. The will was entrusted to the widow. it is necessary to state the background on which the alternative petition of the herein petitioner Silvino Suntay has been based. 1947. de Suntay. the petitioner asks in this case that the brothers Apolonio. China. instituted the Intestate Proceedings No. namely. In order to have a comprehensive understanding of this case. At the trial of the case on March 26. 1937. 1936 (Exhibit O). Wherefore. China. Angel. who corroborated the allegation that the brothers Apolonio and Angel appropriated the envelope in the circumstances above-mentioned. Manuel and Jose Suntay stated that they did not have the said will and denied having snatched it from Go Toh. 1947. Suntay. to Maria Natividad Lim Billian with whom he had as the only child Silvino Suntay. and it was written in the Spanish language which was understood and spoken by said testator. 1948. In the meantime. it was postponed until "further setting" in the order of court dated March 18. and that this will was placed in an envelope which was signed by the deceased and by the instrumental witnesses." While this petition was opposed by Federico C. dated June 18. upon the evidence adduced by her. Cruz who died on June 15. Eriberto de Silva who was representing her died (Exhibit K). which was witnessed by Alberto Barretto. Emiliano and Jose. The motion for the merger and consolidation of the two cases was granted on July 3. Go Toh could recover the envelope (Exhibit A) and the piece of cloth with which the envelope was wrapped (Exhibit C). they have no opposition thereto. Suntay. Aurora Suntay. (b) that letters of administration be issued to herein petitioner as co-administrator of the estate of the deceased together with Federico Suntay. in re will of the deceased Jose B. The will was prepared by said Alberto Barretto upon the instance of Jose B. the brothers Apolonio. Suntay. The testimony of Alberto Barretto bears importantly in this connection. or the allowance. took it for granted in its decision. Special Proceeding No. Angel. which latter case is the subject of the said alternative petition. . in his office. The hearing of the case was again set for February 7. Silvino Suntay. now deceased. 1937. Manuel and Jose Suntay. which fact has been established in the decision of the Supreme Court at the beginning of this decision. and whether it has been executed with all the essential and necessary formalities required by law for its probate. Suntay. Suntay. Jose B." After hearing. Jr. and second. Jose B. Ana. and from what has taken place we deduce that it was not petitioner's intention to raise. that is signing every page and the attestation clause by the testator and the witnesses in the presence of each other. Manuel Lopez and Go Toh. the will was returned to Go Toh by Judge Anastacio Teodoro after the latter had kept it in his safe. dismissed the case in the order dated February 7.. The decision of the Supreme Court (Exhibit O). Alberto Barretto in Manila. The evidence for the petitioner. 1938. namely. Manuel and Jose Suntay. Aurora Suntay. Suntay together with his second wife Maria Natividad Lim Billian and Silvino Suntay who was then of tender age went to reside in Amoy. through their undersigned attorney. A year or so after the execution of the will. the will inside the envelope was snatched from Go Toh by Manuel Suntay and Jose. Federico C. by order of the court dated January 5. the evidence is sufficient to establish the loss of the document contained in the envelope. Apolonio Suntay. Maria Natividad Lim Billian. the other children of the first marriage. The said oppositor not being satisfied with the ruling of this court denying the motion to dismiss. 4892 and the Testate Estate of Jose B. but it dismissed the petition believing that the evidence is insufficient to establish that the envelope seized from Go Toh contained the will of the deceased. Concepcion. Maria Natividad Lim Billian. the petitioner herein. Go Toh and Tan Boon Chong. In our opinion. The trial of this case was limited to the proof of loss of the will. the other points involved herein. son of the deceased Jose B. and. the court was constrained to proceed with the hearing of the probate of the lost will. The oppositors have not adduced any evidence counter to the testimony of these two witnesses. Jr. and that the said will was executed with all the essential and necessary formalities required by law for its probate. the following decision: This action is for the legalization of the alleged will of Jose B. Maria Natividad Lim Billian who remained in Amoy. Suntay. Aurora.. the Court of First Instance of Bulacan rendered on April 19. Manuel Suntay. filed before the Supreme Court a petition for a writ of certiorari with preliminary injunction. sent a telegram from Amoy. or the admission and recording of the will which had been probated in Amoy. China. shows that Jose B. Suntay. 1938 (Exhibit L). and. 1934. Suntay executed his last will and testament in the office of Atty. sealed and on the said envelope the testator and the three subscribing witnesses also signed. and it was taken to the law office of Barretto and Teodoro. Angel. the petitioner put two witnesses upon the stand. That oppositor. 1936. the petitioner Silvino Suntay filed a motion for the consolidation of the intestate Estate of the deceased Jose B. So ordered On June 18. 1947. Ana Suntay. These tokens sufficiently point to the loss of the will of the deceased. Suntay with his first wife. instead of granting the telegraphic motion for postponement. On the same day of the hearing which had been set. for three days. who allegedly have the document contained in the envelope which is the will of the deceased. as we have heretofore indicated. Go Toh and Manuel Lopez as attesting witnesses. be ordered to present it in court. since said alternative petition seeks only to put into effect the testamentary disposition and wishes of their late father. the will was placed inside the envelope (Exhibit A). upon the dismissal of the petition for a writ of certiorari with preliminary injunction. that a day be set for the reception of evidence on the will. children by the first marriage of the deceased. filing and recording of the will of the deceased which had been duly probated in China. There was a disagreement as to the fees to be paid by Maria Natividad Lim Billian. Alberto Barretto. the loss of the will executed by the deceased having been sufficiently established. P20. R. Concepcion Suntay. In answer to the court's order to present the alleged will. Suntay. Tiaoqui supra). addressed to the Court of First Instance of Bulacan moving for the postponement of the hearing on the ground that Atty. on motion of the then petitioner Maria Natividad Lim Billian (Exhibit F). The Clerk of the Court of Court of First Instance of Bulacan notified the parties of the decision on December 15. Manuel Suntay and Emiliano Suntay. 1936. No. and that the petitioner be appointed executrix pursuant to the designation made by the deceased in the will. it is ordered that this case be remanded to the court of origin for further proceedings in obedience to this decision. The law firm of Barretto and Teodoro was composed of Atty. Upon the death of Jose B.Upon this allegation. Ana Suntay. further. or both proceedings concurrently and simultaneously. Upon the request of the said attorneys the will was brought to the Philippines by Go Toh who was one of the attesting witnesses. Oppositors' answer admits that. and Emiliano Suntay. Special Proceeding No. Manuela T. 1947. Lourdes Guevara Vda. after which it was delivered to Jose B. Jr. deceased. On July 3. the deposition of Go Toh was being sought (Exhibit H). without any pronouncement as to the costs. Manuel. 1934. where he died on May 14. "Come now the heirs Concepcion Suntay. had with her the will and she engaged the services of the law firm of Barretto and Teodoro for the probate of the will. After the due execution of the will. whether Exhibit B is a true copy of the will and whether the latter was executed with all the formalities required by law for its probate.

He. has been duly executed in the Philippines by Jose B. or it is shown to have been fraudulently or accidentally destroyed in the lifetime of the testator without his knowledge. the draft of which is Exhibit B. and in the same breath he declared that he checked it before it was signed. that he declared in one breath that he did not read the will any more when it was signed by the testator and the attesting witnesses because it would take up much time. The contention. Federico C. why it should not be admitted and recorded in this jurisdiction. He further testified that the first will be drafted contained four or five pages. and attested by the subscribing witnesses. Alberto Barretto had drafted became the will of Jose B. Whether or not the final plain copy of the draft of the will (Exhibit B) was executed by the testator. The testimony of Judge Anastacio Teodoro is corroborated by Go Toh. may be allowed. He could not do otherwise if he is worth salt as a good lawyer. the draft of which is Exhibit B. Suntay. But such a ground of opposition is not of moment in the instant case. Suntay. and the certificate must be filed and recorded as other wills are filed and recorded. Rule 78 of the Rules of Court covers the allowance of will proved outside of the Philippines and administration of estate thereunder. by Jose B. and as evidence of the due execution of the will. it differs only. however. written in Chinese characters (Exhibit P) was discovered in Amoy. according to the laws of such state. and recorded by the proper Court of First Instance in the Philippines. Alberto Barretto. When a lost will is proved. executed the will which is lost. had executed a will. Atty. Alberto Barretto was asked to show any manuscript of his for purposes of comparison.-a corroborative evidence that the testator really executed the will. therefore. That the will was snatched and it has never been produced in court by those who snatched it. China. and that he destroyed the draft of the first will which was in his own handwriting. or that none of them resides in the Philippines the court may admit the testimony of other witnesses to prove the sanity of the testator. These circumstances also apply to the will (Exhibit P) which was executed in Amoy. it had used unsparingly the judicial scapel. Said testimony of Ana Suntay. duly authenticated. it may admit proof of the handwriting of the testator and of the subscribing witnesses. is also an established fact. a Chinese will which was executed in Amoy Fookien. because the proposition involved herein in the legalization of the lost will or the allowance and recording of the will which had been probated in Amoy. one of the attesting witnesses. Exhibit B was shown to her on the witness stand and she declared that the provision regarding the distribution of the properties in said Exhibit B is the same as that contained in the original will. he could not perform the stunt of "blind flying" in the judicial firmament. and the due execution of the will. one of the heirs and who would be affected adversely by the legalization of the will in question. because they have already sold their respective shares. It was disallowed by this court through Judge Buenaventura Ocampo. and it has winnowed the evidenced to separate the grain from the chaff. Suntay. In the absence of the testimony of Manuel Lopez. Manuel Suntay and the brothers of the first marriage. such is the conclusion of the Supreme Court in its decision (Exhibit O). Alberto Barretto who declared that the first will which he drafted and reduced into a plain copy was the will that was executed by Jose B. but the second draft contained twenty-three pages. Alberto Barretto as identical in substance and form to the second draft which he prepared in typewriting. it had fallen into the hands of. Suntay. because it does not provide for equal distribution. The former testified during the hearing. on account of which it was duly probated in the Amoy District Court. Atty. There is no longer any doubt that Jose B. He denied that the insertions in long hand in the said draft are in his own handwriting. or as a corroborative evidence that the will. Section 1 of said rule provides: "Wills proved and allowed in the United States. declaring that it was the exact draft of the will that was inside the envelope (Exhibit A). Suntay and it was snatched by.The Testate Proceeding was filed nevertheless and in lien of the lost will a draft of the will (Exhibit B) was presented as secondary evidence for probate. left a will (the draft of which is Exhibit B) and another will which was executed and another will which was executed and probated in Amoy. that the first will which was drafted by Atty. in the court having jurisdiction. The said will (Exhibit P) in Chinese characters is presented as an alternate in case the will executed in the Philippines would not be allowed to probate. which is being also presented by Silvino Suntay for allowance and recording in this court. such court shall fix a time and place for the hearing. was lost or destroyed. Judge Anastacio Teodoro averred that the said insertions are the handwriting of Atty. is filed with a petition for allowance in the Philippines. according to him. deceased. likewise. Manila. All the formalities of the law in China had been followed in its execution. Suntay while he was still residing in the Philippines. Suntay on the main ground that Maria Natividad Lim Billian and Silvino Suntay have no more interest in the properties left by Jose B. executed the second will (Exhibit P) in Amoy. is the pivotal point in this instant case. 1931. the provisions thereof must be distinctly stated and certified by the judge. The said petition is opposed by Federico C. And. namely. Every step must be taken with certainty and precision under any circumstances. and said will had been allowed to probate in the Amoy District Court. Manuel Lopez and Go Toh. Alberto Barretto. All the facts lead to the inevitable conclusion that Jose B. unless he has not examined the will beforehand. immediately after the snatching. it stands to reason that said Manuel Suntay and brothers would have been primarily interested in the production of said will in court. The contention of the oppositor. China. and consequently considered lost. on January 4. With respect to the proof of lost or destroyed will. in style. But when Atty. that they would have been favored. by the executor or other person interested. for obvious reasons. he had to examine the will and have it copied to be reproduced or appended to the petition. China. Suntay. filed. In the meantime. belies the testimony of Atty. although the findings of this court is otherwise. It is now incumbent upon this court to delve into the evidence whether or not Jose B. It is an established fact that the will. under the seal of the court. deceased. draft of which is Exhibit B. or country. Jose B. There is no cogent reason. the testimony of Judge Anastacio Teodoro and Ana Suntay was received. is that the will that was executed by Jose B." Manuel Lopez as one of the subscribing witnesses is dead. Suntay in the presence of Manuel Lopez. but on appeal the Supreme Court remanded the case to this court for further proceeding (Exhibit C). the testimony of Atty. Alberto Barretto and Go Toh are still living. China. or any of them. nor unless its provisions are clearly and distinctly proved by at least two credible witnesses. She read it and she particularly remembers the manner in which the properties were to be distributed. . Suntay and placed inside the envelope (Exhibit A). while Go Toh's deposition was introduced in evidence which was admitted. Suntay. and they form part of this decision. Mesa Boulevard. Judge Anastacio Teodoro testified that he opened the sealed envelope when it was given to him by Go Toh preparatory to the presentation of the petition for the probate of the said will. now deceased. but if favors Maria Natividad Lim Billian and Silvino Suntay. It might be said in this connection that the draft of the will (Exhibit B) has been admitted by Atty. therefore. The contents of the Chinese will is substantially the same as the draft (Exhibit B). which has been duly probated in Amoy District Court." This court has delved deep into the evidence adduced during the hearing with that penetrating scrutiny in order to discovery the real facts. Alberto Barretto. Alberto Barretto to the contrary notwithstanding. the will executed and probated in China should be allowed and recorded in this court. China. marked Exhibits B and P. therefore. He relies on the testimony of Atty. Copies of the said wills duly certified and under the seal of the court are appended hereto. Section 6 of Rule 77 provides as follows: "No will shall be proved as a lost or destroyed will unless the execution and validity of the same be established. territory. the draft (Exhibit B) cannot be considered as secondary evidence. interests and participations. Suntay. Suntay. in his sound and disposing mind and not acting under duress or undue influence. also testified on rebuttal that she saw the original will in the possession of Manuel Suntay. Granting that the first will which Atty. Rule 123 of the Rules of Court). As the lawyer entrusted with that task. and cause notice thereof to be given as in case of an original will presented for allowance. and. hence. Ana Suntay. He could not have talked about the attorney's fees with Go Toh. Barretto was the one placed inside the envelope (Exhibit A) is untenable. therefore." Section 8 of the same Rule provides as follows: "If it appears at the time fixed for the hearing that the subscribing witnesses are dead or insane. but he delivered the draft of the second will which he prepared to Jose B. in his deposition (Exhibit D-1). Granting that the will executed in the Philippines is non-existent as contended by the oppositor. China. But it was suppressed and "evidence willfully suppressed would be adverse if produced" (Section 69 (e). and the will is proved to have been in existence at the time of the death of the testator. or in foreign country. China. among the papers left by Jose B. with all the necessary formalities prescribed by law. that it was executed and valid and that it existed at the time of the death of Jose B. or any state or territory thereof. Suntay in the Philippines contained provisions which provided for equal distribution of the properties among the heirs. he declined to do so alleging that he did not have any document in his possession showing his handwriting notwithstanding the fact that he was testifying in his own house at 188 Sta. Suntay." Section 2 of the same rule provides: "When a copy of such will and the allowance thereof.

therefore. he could have testified clearly and distinctly on the provisions of the said lost will. Go Toh. Ana Suntay on rebuttal did not. whether or not the facts established by the petitioner. as that of an original will. But did the attesting witness Go Toh. It was written in Spanish and he did not and does not understand the Spanish language. but it was unfortunately lost. if it was presented in court to probate would be allowed to all legal intents and purposes. coupled with the testimony of Judge Anastacio Teodoro who was able to examine the original will that was executed by Jose B. Notice of hearing for allowance. Decision of the Supreme Court). 1948. Suntay and allowing and recording another will executed by him in Amoy. The evidence adduced by the petitioner during the hearing has established through the testimony of Judge Anastacio Teodoro and that of Go Toh (an attesting witness) that the will was executed by Jose B. or country. the translation of which is marked Exhibit P. China. 1. and recorded by the proper court of First Instance in the Philippines. or that none of them resides in the Philippines. Section 1 of Rule 78 provides as follows: "SEC. or in a foreign country. its existence at the time of the death of the testator or its fraudulent and accidental destruction in the lifetime of the testator without his knowledge. and he could not have done so even if he tried because the original will was not read to him nor by him before or at the signing of the same. Rule 77 provides as follows: "SEC. the former testified against and the latter in favor. — An official record or an entry therein. likewise. Both parties have presented extensive memoranda in support of their respective contentions. but also must prove its provisions clearly and distinctly by at least two credible witnesses. Suntay. read to him because it was opened only when Judge Teodoro had examined it and then subsequently snatched from Go Toh. With costs against the oppositor. If all or some of the subscribing witnesses produced and examined testify against the due execution of the will. Suntay. nor unless its provisions are clearly and distinctly proved by at least two credible witnesses. Subscribing witnesses produced or accounted for where contest. — If the will is contested. The original will was duly executed with all the formalities required by law. all the subscribing witnesses present in the Philippines and not insane. As to the Allowance and Recording of the will Executed in Amoy. the court is of the opinion and so declares that the draft of the will (Exhibit B) is. prove clearly and distinctly the provisions of the said lost will because she has not had enough schooling and she does possess adequate knowledge of the Spanish language as shown by the fact that she had to testify in Tagalog on the witness standing. when admissible for any purpose. The question. the provisions thereof must be distinctly stated and certified by the Judge. after its execution and sealing inside the envelope (Exhibit A). — No will shall be proved as a lost will or destroyed will unless the execution and validity of the same be established. only. The last two witnesses are still living. to all legal intents and purposes. China. Silvino Suntay. their deposition must be taken. may admit proof of the handwriting of the testator and of the subscribing witnesses. the subject of this instant motion. and the will is proved to have been in existence at the time of the death of the testator. The original will. Will proved outside Philippines any be allowed here. A." Section 11 of said rule also provides as follows: "SEC. when it was given to him by Go Toh for the purpose of filing the petition in court for its legalization. Section 8 of Rule 77 provides as follows: "SEC. B. Hence. deceased Alberto Barretto and Go Toh. the petitioner presented another witness. with all the formalities required by law. The question is whether or not the said will should be allowed and recorded in this jurisdiction. because it was lost. 1948. it is clear that the petitioner should not only establish the execution and validity of the will. duly authenticated. Suntay with all the formalities required by law. namely." Section 2 of the same Rule also provides: "SEC. If all or some of the subscribing witnesses are present in the Philippines. or any of them. — Will proved and allowed in the United States. — There is no question in the mind of this court that the original will which Jose B. 6. yet he had not proved clearly and distinctly the provisions of the will by at least two credible witnesses. to establish and prove the due execution of the said will. may be allowed. on September 29. Suntay filed on May 20. therefore. In other words. therefore. is therefore. and testament of the deceased Jose B. Proof of lost or destroyed will — Certificate thereupon. Granting that the execution and validity of the lost will have been established through the testimony of Judge Anastacio Teodoro and Go Toh. the court may admit the testimony of other witnesses to prove the sanity of the testator. and accompanied. 1948. Neither was there any occasion for him to have the contents of the said will. This court has gone over the evidence conscientiously. and the due execution of the will. absence. 11. the evidence on record is sufficient as to the execution and attesting in the manner required by law. with a certificate that such officer has the custody. or do not remember having attested to it. while he was residing in China during the remaining years of his life. after opening it." The three attesting witnesses were Manuel Lopez. promulgated the following resolution setting aside his first decision and disallowing the wills sought to be probated by the petitioner in his alternative petition filed on June 18. When a lost will is proved. filed. and cause notice thereof to be given as in case of an original will presented for allowance. China. and could recognize the signatures of the testator as well as of the three attesting witnesses on the said original will is sufficient to convince the court that the original will was executed by the deceased Jose B. As to the legalization of the Lost Will. or any state or territory thereof. the Court of First Instance of Bulacan. is boiled down to. 41. therefore. It may be granted. Suntay." (Emphasis Court's) From the above quoted provision of the law. The Court is now confronted with the legalization of the lost will — whether or not the draft (Exhibit B) should be admitted as secondary evidence in lieu of the lost will and allowed to probate. — If it appears at the time fixed for the hearing that the subscribing witnesses are dead or insane. executed also a will. 8. and it reiterates its findings of the same facts in this resolution. written in Chinese characters. the execution and validity must be established and the provisions must be clearly and distinctly proved by at least credible witnesses. is filed with a petition for allowance in the Philippines by the executor or other persons interested. Proof of Public or official record. or is shown to have been fraudulently or accidentally destroyed in the lifetime of the testator without his knowledge. — When a copy of such will and the allowance thereof. or insanity of any of them must be satisfactorily shown to the court. 1947: This is a motion for new trial and to set aside the decision legalizing the will of Jose B. Suntay. Section 6. in his office. and the curtain falls for the next setting. warrant the legalization of the lost will and the allowance and recording of the will that was executed in Amoy. deceased. however." The legalization of a lost will is not so easy. Without reopening the case and receiving any new or additional evidence. such court shall fix a time and place for the hearing. the certificate may be made by a judge of a court of record of the . Ana Suntay. in a very sharp focus. or by his deputy. Judge Anastacio Teodoro. for three days. By virtue of this motion. deceased executed in the Philippines in the year 1929 was lost (Exhibit O. according to the laws of such state. and the death. the will may be allowed if the court is satisfied from the testimony of other witnesses and from all the evidence presented that the will was executed and attested in the manner required by law. testify in his deposition and prove clearly and distinctly the provisions of the lost will? He did not. The testimony of Go Toh in his deposition as an attesting witness. does it follow that the provisions of the lost will have been clearly and distinctly proved by at least two credible witnesses? A careful review of the evidence has revealed that at most the only credible witness who testified as to the provisions of the will was Judge Anastacio Teodoro. — Jose B. Suntay. but an alleged draft (Exhibit B) of the said original will which does not bear the signature of the testator and any of the attesting witness. territory. It is evident. or are otherwise of doubtful credibility. But it was not the original will that was presented. and yet he testified on the provisions of the lost will with the draft (Exhibit B) in his hands while testifying. and as evidence of the execution of the will. must be produced and examined. to which the petitioner filed an opposition. Federico C. this court is constrained to go over the evidence and the law applicable thereto with the view of ascertaining whether or not the motion is well founded. deceased. followed by a reply filed by the oppositor and an answer on the part of the petitioner. if the record is not kept in the Philippines. For the purpose of legalizing an original and existing will. under the seal of the court and the certificate must be filed and recorded as other wills are filed and recorded. Suntay. but outside the province where the will has been filed. that although the petitioner has established the execution and validity of the lost will. Ana Suntay was also presented as a witness in rebuttal evidence. in the Court having jurisdiction. that with or without the draft of the will (Exhibit B) in his hands. may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record. China. 2.In view of the foregoing considerations. and he is well versed in Spanish language in which the will as written. and projected on the screen. a motion for new trial and to set aside the decision rendered on April 19. The exact language of the clause in the above quoted provision of the law is "nor unless its provisions are clearly and distinctly proved by at least two credible witnesses." Sections 41 and 42 of Rule 123 provides as follows: "SEC. because he had kept the will in his safe. Proof when witnesses dead or insane or do not reside in the Philippines. If the office in which the record is kept is within the United States or its territory. and perhaps superficially by the rebuttal witness. Oppositor Federico C. It was allowed to probate in the District Court of Amoy. testified in his deposition in favor of the due execution of the will. the attesting witness.

— Whenever a copy of writing is attested for the purpose of evidence. it may be proved. are admissible in the Philippine Islands are evidence of such law. the clerk of court of Randolph County. the subscribing witnesses thereto. in vacation. Tsutseng T. with a certificate. Maxwell as administrator. but resided in the Philippines for a long time. was presented for probate on June 8. China. is prescribed by section 304. 300." Granting that the will of Jose B. "SEC. 612. But this was far from compliance with the law.) The provisions of section 300 and 301 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Act No. 611. consul general. if the office in which the record is kept is in a foreign country. Suntay which was executed in Amoy. and was duly proven by the oaths of Dana Vansley and Joseph L. vice consul. (Sec. and it is of the opinion and so holds that the certification of the Chinese Consul General alone is not admissible as evidence in the jurisdiction. nor is he a deputy of such officer. show with certainty whether or not he had changed his permanent domicile from the Philippines to Amoy. The laws of a foreign jurisdiction do not prove themselves in our courts. or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the United States stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept. the attorney for the appellant presented an unverified petition asking the court to accept as part of the evidence the documents attached to the petition. under the seal of the state or country. Madden. (Secs.. 29 Phil. 42. or a foreign country. The evidence of record is not clear as to whether Jose B. and accompanied. While the probate of a will is conclusive as to the compliance with all formal requisites necessary to the lawful execution of the will.district or political subdivision in which the record is kept. the Supreme Court said: "A foreign law may be proved by the certificate of the officer having in charge of the original. 156. 11 Phil. relative to the execution and probate of the will executed by Jose B. China (Exhibit P). and purporting to contain statutes. 301. consul general. (In re Estate of Johnson (1918). the certificate may be made by a secretary of embassy or legation." In the case of Fluemer vs. — A copy of the written law or other public writing of any state or country. which requires the attestation of the clerk or of the legal keeper of the records with the seal of the court annexed. Suntay in Amoy. But the question of his permanent domicile pales into insignificance in view of the overtowering fact that the law of China pertinent to the allowance and recording of the said will in this jurisdiction has been satisfactorily established by the petitioner. the doubt of this court has been dissipated. with a certificate that such officer has the custody. Act No.. One of these documents discloses that a paper writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Edward Randolph Hix." In the case of Yu Changco vs." "SEC. c.. 1690. consul. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. 41) not having been complied with.. if there be any.. and as certified to by the Director of the National Library. It is clear. is it necessary to prove in this jurisdiction the existence of such law in China as a prerequisite to the allowance and recording of said will? The answer is in the affirmative as enunciated in Fluemer vs. And. Tiaoqui. for no hearing on the question of the allowance of a will said to have been proved and allowed in West Virginia has been requested. "While the appeal was pending submission in this court. 190. However this may be no attempt has been made to comply with the provisions of sections 637. Is that evidence admissible. appointed Claude E. sec. or may be made by any public officer having a seal of the office and having official duties in the district or political subdivision in which the record is kept. the previous decision rendered in this case allowing the will (Exhibit B) and allowing and recording the foreign will (Exhibit P) is set aside. To this end. obvious that the Chinese Counsel General in the Philippines who certified as to the existence of such law is not the officer having the legal custody of the record. 8). The courts of the Philippine Islands are not authorized to take judicial notice of the laws of the various States of the American Union. consul. Charles E. Nor was the extract from the law attested by the certificate of the officer having charge of the original under the seal of the State of West Virginia. such probate does not affect the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will. under the seal of such court. as provided in section 300 of the Code of Civil Procedure. consul. 1929.) Here the requirements of the law were not met. supra. and that the copy is duly certified by the officer having the legal custody of the original. as the case may be. as provided in section 301 of the Code of Civil Procedure. or other written law of such State or country or proved to be commonly admitted in the tribunals of such State or country an evidence of the written law thereof. vice consul. Such laws must be proved as facts.) The law of the Republic of China is a public or official record and it must be proved in this jurisdiction through the means prescribed by our Rules of Court. Suntay. What attestation of copy must state. It may also be proved by an official copy of the same published under the authority of the particular state and purporting to contain such law. West Virginia. "It was also necessary for the petitioner to prove that the testator had his domicile in West Virginia and not in the Philippine Islands. in substance. 638. par. the certificate may be made by a secretary of embassy or legation. Shen. 39 Phil. likewise. attested by the certificate of the officer having charge of the original. — Books printed or published under the authority of the United States. The consideration of the points raised by them would open the door to the appreciation of the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will which is not of moment at the present stage of the proceeding. but section 638 requires that the proof of the authenticity of a will executed in a foreign country must be duly"authenticated". if the record is not kept in the Philippines. and 639 of the Code of Civil Procedure. and 613. authenticated by the seal of his office. His change of permanent domicile could only be inferred. the attestation must state. to the clerk of Randolph County. or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the United States stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept. The record does not. 54 Phil. consul. if there be a seal. Fuster. 84 as found in West Virginia Code. In the latter case. filed. Hix. . under the seal of the country or sovereign. And. deceased. therefore. (Syllabus. or a specific part thereof. vice consul or consular agent of the United States in such foreign country. by Hix who had his residence in that jurisdiction. finally. or one of the States of the United States. 'by the original.). cum testamento annexo. If the office in which the record is kept is in a foreign country. and authenticated by the seal of his office. of the existence of the law in China (Exhibit B-3). therefore. the certification of the authenticity of the signature of such judge or presiding magistrate." F. authenticated by the seal of the court. has become a Filipino citizen by naturalization. in view of the provisions of Sections 41 and 42 of the Rules of the Rules of Court. should the will be considered. considered as a foreign judicial record. and in Yanez de Barnuevo vs. deceased . 610. as a mere official document 'of a foreign country'. or he remained a citizen of the Republic of China. codes. 157). State of West Virginia. or by his deputy. or if he be the clerk of a court having a seal. under the seal of the state or country. our Supreme Court said: "It is the theory of the petitioner that the alleged will was executed in Elkins. that the copy is a correct copy of the original. may be allowed. Attested copy of foreign laws. 1925. 41 of Rule 123. 1929.. and recorded in the Court of First Instance of the province in which the testator has real or personal estate on which such will may operate. minister." (Sec. Such law may exist in China. Such authentication.. No evidence was introduced to show that the extract from the laws of West Virginia was in force at the time the alleged will was executed. that the above provisions of the Rules of Court (Rule 123.. p. 300 and 301. 313. . by Hogg. The only evidence introduced to establish this fact consisted of the recitals in the alleged will and the testimony of the petitioner. when admissible for any purpose. and authenticated by the seal of his office. together with a certificate of the chief judge or presiding magistrate that the signature of either of the functionaries attesting the will is genuine. was validly done in accordance with the law of the Republic of China on the matter. Both the petitioner and the oppositor have extensively urged in their respective memorandum and in the oral argument in behalf of the oppositor the question of estoppel. is admissible as evidence of such law or writing. 600. and upon reconsideration. who was born in China. from an administrative point of view. vice consul. of the estate of Edward Randolph Hix. It was shown by another document that in vacation. 190) are as follows: "SEC. our Supreme Court said: "Section 637 of the Code of Civil Procedure says that will proved and allowed in a foreign country. The attestation must be under the official seal of the attesting officer. according to the laws of such country. Is the said certification of the Chinese Consul General in the Philippines a substantial compliance with the provisions of the above mentioned section 41 and 42 of our Rules of Court? This court has its doubts as to the admissibility in evidence of the Chinese Consul General in the Philippines of the existence of the laws of Republic of China relative to the execution and probate of a will executed in China. the certificate may be made by a secretary of embassy or legation. It is. by the ambassador." The petitioner has presented in evidence the certification of the Chinese Consul General. 598. West Virginia. consul general. and this . (In re Johnson. and. that the document is a valid and subsisting document of such country. 606. may be evidence by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record. and that the laws of West Virginia govern. Annotated. Hix. 39 Phil. on June 8. 2. Vol. but — "An official record or an entry therein. and authenticated by the seal of his office. there was submitted a copy of section 3868 of Acts 1882... China. If the office in which the record is kept is in a foreign country. or by a copy certified by the legal keeper thereof. and ordered to be recorded and filed. With respect to the latter the will in governed by the substantive law relative to descent and distribution. 599. or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the United States stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept. . on November 3. 1914. Printed laws of the State or Country. There was not showing that the book from which an extract was taken was printed or published under the authority of the State of West Virginia.

RECTO: Sometimes the question cannot be answered fully unless the witness would relate and give all the facts. Suntay himself. provided we are satisfied of the substance of its provisions. Casler 139 Ind. 1949: COURT: However. in his office.. Suntay is provided in his will which was lost or snatched in the manner recited in the decision of this Court in the case of Lim Billian vs. Do you remember more or less the contents of the will? ATTY." or to avoid the enjoyment of a "premium from the rascality of one whose interests might suggest the destruction of a will. and examined fully in connection with the facts alleged in the intestate. the same is true. when he was shown Exhibit B." he observed that Judge Teodoro had the draft Exhibit "B" in his hands while testifying. 55. would be in sufficient. is that there is sufficient compliance if two witnesses have substantiated the provisions affecting the disposition of the testator's properties.court is of the opinion and so holds that the said two wills should be. Silvino Suntay. Go Toh. E. falls short of the requirement in section 6. 38 N. however. 812)." As a matter of fact. It is to be recalled that the trial Judge. made the following express findings with respect to the testimony of Judge Teodoro: "Judge Anastacio Teodoro testified that he opened the sealed envelope when it was given to him by Go Toh preparatory to the presentation of the petition for the probate of the said will. if necessary the law will prevent the perpetration of a fraud by permitting a presumption to supply the suppressed proof. or we will presume that your opponent's contention is true. secondary evidence may be given of its contents. Suntay." (Jose vs. ATTY. 225) Judged from the standard set forth in the foregoing authorities. Yes. 102-109) and its spirit is complied with by holding that it applies only to those provisions which affect the disposition of the testator's property and which are of the substance of the will. therefore. TEOFILO SISON: Yes. have you read that will which was inside this envelope. I had to check the facts as appearing in the will. and when the will arrived. although as regards the testimony of Judge Teodoro admittedly "the only credible witness who testified as to the provisions of the will. China. FERRIN: (Interrupting) May we ask that the witness answer categorically the questions of Atty. and the decision of the majority herein. Atl.. but this section must receive a liberal construction (Hook vs. that in the resolution on the motion for reconsideration the trial Judge reiterated the findings in his decision. of the Rules of Court that the provisions of the lost will must be "clearly and distinctly proved by at least two witnesses. if proven as alleged. Suntay was lost and that is res adjudicata. which requires the revoking instrument to be formally executed. that is the very point. the latter will not be required to make strict proof of the contents of such instrument in order to establish a right founded thereon. As the lawyer entrusted with that task. and under ordinary circumstances. should be pleaded. may be deduced from the following dialogue between his Honor. in his first decision of April 19. and there not appearing to be any copy of it in existence. however. Q. In effect the resolution on the motion for reconsideration promulgated by the trial court. after opening it. and bearing in mind that the circumstances of this case lead to the only conclusion that the loss of the will in question is of course imputable to those whose interests are adverse to the petitioner and the widow Lim Billian." to keep a wrong-doer from utilizing the rule as his "most effective weapon. but the fact alleged.. Judge Potenciano Pecson. where no copy has been preserved. as we have found it to be. adopt the position that the testimony of Judge Anastacio Teodoro as to the provisions of the lost will. new counsel for oppositor Federico C. The allegations of the contents of the will are general. ATTY. would not only deny the substance for mere form. and even by the testimony of oppositor Federico C. as they are hereby disallowed. the provisions of the lost will must be distinctly stated and certified by the Judge. Preston. Your Honor. ATTY. provides in proving a lost will. n. If a will be lost. COURT: That presupposes that the judge could only certify to the exact provisions of the will from the evidence presented. Session of Sept. under the maxim Omnia preasumuntur in odium spoliateris." We should not forget. he did not hesitate in declaring that it was the exact draft of the will that was inside the envelope (Exhibit A). To require that a copy of the will or the language of the bequests. Leg. that the will of Jose B. to scan with rigid scrutiny the form of the proof. would certainly authorize the establishment of the will so far as its bequests are concerned. 101 Ill. As said in Anderson vs. because according to the Supreme Court. "Produce the evidence in your possession. 63 Phil. had been more than sufficiently proved by the testimony of Judge Anastacio Teodoro. Brook." The somersault executed by the trial court is premised on the ground that "although the petitioner has established the execution and validity of the lost will. notwithstanding the terms of the statute. Max. COURT: The Attorney for the Administrator may move for the striking out of any testimony that is not responsive to the question. and he is well versed in Spanish language in which the will was written. assuming that Judge Teodoro consulted the draft. if suppressed or destroyed. Pratt. We cannot see any justifying for the observation. and Ana Suntay. Recto. FERRIN: With our objection. and there was a striking fact in the intestate that Apolonio Suntay has. we have no hesitancy in holding the view that the dispositions of the properties left by the deceased Jose B. it is not true that Judge Teodoro had the draft in question before him while testifying as may be seen from the following passages of the transcript: Q. 1948. as to the degree of proof required to establish the contents of a lost or destroyed will. Irwin. (Re Lambie's Estate. And. because he had kept the will in his safe. assuming that the will of Jose B. ATTY. 55. Alberto Barretto to the contrary notwithstanding. warrant the legalization of the lost will and allowance and recording of the will that was executed in Amoy. to mean that the exact provisions are to be established. 798-797. . W." Section 1865 of the Code requires that the provisions of a lost will must be clearly and distinctly proved by at least two credible witnesses before it can be admitted to probate. Your Honor. (t. the Court of First Instance of Bulacan "reiterates its finding of the same facts in this resolution. and attorney Teofilo Sison.56 N. The misconduct once established to the satisfaction of the jury. 411: "The instrument in controversy having been destroyed without the fault of the defendant in error . WITNESS: I remember the main features of the will because as I said I was the one fighting for the postponement of the hearing of the intestate case because I was asked by Don Alberto Barretto to secure the postponement until the will that was executed by the deceased is sent here by the widow from China. TEOFILO SISON: That is our contention." That this requirement was obviously construed. China. Exhibit A? — "A. and that it came to the hands of the proponents. a written instrument subsequently become a matter of judicial inquiry between the spoliator and an innocent party. Suntay. is not corroborated by the witnesses Go Toh and Ana Suntay and." In Allison vs. that it purported to be his will and was duly attested by the requisite number of witnesses. Suntay executed in Amoy." There was evidence tending to show that the second will of Anne Lambie was in the possession of Francis Lambie. in this connection. the contents of the will. the certification of the Chinese Consul General in the Philippines as the existence of such law is not admissible evidence in this jurisdiction. Without special pronouncement as to costs.They have given the substance of the different devises as to the property or interest devised. Rule 77. 1. We cannot assent to the proposition that the statute is so right as to be the wrongdoer's most effective weapons. it is no hardship to the wrongdoer to say. in the case of a destroyed will. If from this evidence the jury found such paper destroyed the law permits the presumption that it was legally drawn and executed. it seems that the answers of the witness are kilometric . was in accordance with the law of the Republic of China. or purposely induces another to destroy. 1948) The sound rule. Preston vs. 61. COURT: Witness may answer.. 75." and merely proceeds to pose the sole question "whether or not the facts established by the petitioner.. who appeared for the first time at the ex parte hearing of the oppositor's motion for new trial on September 1. while credible and perhaps sufficient in extent. 97 Mich. and that is a fact already decided. ATTY. He could not do otherwise if he is worth his salt as a good lawyer. Rule 77. s. 576. provided that provision is clearly established by two credible witnesses so that the Court could state that in the decision. The evidence in the case falls short of establishing the existence of such a writing. Allison. we agree. And. for three days. Section 6. yet he has not proved clearly and distinctly the provisions of the will by the least two credible witnesses". except as it may be presumed. warranting the inference that it has been suppressed or destroyed. and that.. and to whom devised and we would not stop. and where the memory of the witnesses does not hold the exact words. 7 Dana 91. he had to examine the will and have it copied to be reproduced or appended to the petition. supported conclusively by the draft of the lost will presented in evidence as Exhibit "B". since even the trial Judge granted that he "could have testified clearly and distinctly on the provisions of the said lost will. He could not have talked about the attorney's fees with Go Toh." When one deliberately destroys. it would be equivalent to denying the complainant relief altogether to require her to prove the very terms in which it was conceived. but would offer a premium upon the rascality of one whose interests might suggest the destruction of a will. He could not perform the stunt of "blind flying" in the judicial firmament. with whom we communicated with several letters. 132. in detail. 8 Hun. and. it was said in speaking of the character and extent of proof required in such a case:" nor is there any just ground to object to the proof because the witnesses have not given the language of the will or the substance thereof. 392. Every step must be taken with certainty and precision under any circumstances. the best evidence is original will itself. RECTO: We are precisely proving by means of secondary evidence. All that could reasonably be required of her under the circumstances could be to show in general terms the disposition which the testator made of his property by the instruments. and this is especially necessary to prevent the "perpetration of fraud by permitting a presumption to supply the suppressed proof. unless he has not examined the will beforehand. It is very significant that in the foregoing resolution. the testimony of Atty.

79. . Recto may propound another question. sir. I found out that it was several hundred thousand pesos. Q. Twenty-three (23) pages.. Jose B. Yes. Apolonio Suntay. Maria Natividad Lim Billian. . Apolonio and Jose in the first marriage? — " A. — . Neither was there any occasion for him to have the contents of the said will. nine (9) in the first marriage. and I noticed that they are the contents of the will read. will you please tell the Court if and for instance on page eight (8) of this document. What about the free disposal?-" A." Yet in setting aside his first decision. D-1. each will get approximately 110. 80.. What was done with those documents later on if there was anything done with them? — ." The later position thus taken by Judge Pecson is palpably inconsistent with the following unequivocal statements of Go Toh contained in hid disposition taken in Amoy. Do you remember if the pages were signed by the testator? — "A. there is also the handwriting in pencil which reads: "La otra sexta parte (6. Jose Suntay and Concepcion Suntay. How were the properties distributed according to that will?. He took it and read it for checking. Q.000 pesos.. Exhibit B composed of twenty-three (23) pages and please tell the Court if this document had anything to do with the will which according to you was contained in the envelope. Alberto Barretto gave the documents to Jose B.. sir. I know that more than P500. state if you know who had the possession of Exhibit B and the testament the first time you saw them on that occasion. The properties were distributed into three (3) parts.00) PESOS of the betterment in favor of Silvino.00). The first part is to be divided equally among the ten children born by the first and second wives and the second part among the three sons Silvino Suntay. Please name the person who gave those documents to Mr. China. COURT: Atty. State whether or not Mr. and then about ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND (P100. 82. Suntay.000 pesos approximately. Q. About the end of the same page eight (8) pagina octavo. were equally distributed to the ten (10) children. 86. Yes. there are handwritings in pencil.000. state whether or not you say Exhibit B — . one of the attesting witnesses. 28).. and I remember among them. our objection. 36. and the outstanding debts to be collected was arranged by Jose B. ATTY. 90. read to him..000. Do you remember the number of pages of which that will consisted? — "A. But did you know the provisions of the will? — "A.000 approximately. more than P100. Suntay do with the other one left with him? — . 87. It is about the distribution of the property to the heirs.. (3) Distribution of estates among children (4) Taking care of grave lot. He told him to read it for checking. Suntay happened to get those documents later on. the only son in the second marriage.000 for the heirs that are in the family.ATTY. Yes.000. . . was positive in his first decision that "the testimony of Judge Anastacio Teodoro is corroborated by Go Toh. sir. — . as I understand from you went to four (4) children?-"A. Suntay said something to the man to whom he gave one of those documents. and Apolonio getting a quiet substantial share in the betterment. Jose B. Apolonio the amount of SEVENTY THOUSAND (70. and Apolonio Suntay a total of 80. Suntay put Exhibit B in his pocket and had the original signed and executed. This is exactly the contents of the original will which I received and kept in my office inside the safe for three (3) days. if he said any? — . and in oppositor's Exhibit "6": 26. Can you say whether or not Jose B. — . Will you please go over cursorily this document.00) for Concepcion. pagina octavo. Yes. the answer is out of the question. of the same document Exhibit B. Yes. the minor of the second marriage.. this is the handwriting of Don Alberto Barretto. Alberto Barretto. and I wish to call the attention of the Court to compare letter "B" which is in capital letter with the signature of Don Alberto Barretto in the envelope. 50. — .. if you remember. What did in turn Mr... On the occasion of the execution of the testament of Jose B. hundreds of pesos. Silvino in the second marriage. that was very important for me to know. Q. (Exhibit D. some of which read as follows: "Los cinco-octavos (5/8) partes corresponds a mi hijo Emiliano". because our client were the widow. State what you know of the contents of that will. and I came to know that it was worth more than SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND (P700. that was very striking fact to me because the petition for intestate was for SIXTY THOUSAND PESOS (P60. I knew that it was a will. — . 81.000 pesos left.000 pesos each.. From my best estimate it is the handwriting of Don Alberto Barretto. You stated that you were one of the witnesses to the will and that the will was written in Spanish. Q. it was signed. And the foot of the testament or the end of the testament. (5) guardianship of Silvino Suntay and (6) after paying his debts he will have approximately 720. Do you remember. The way of distribution of the property of Jose B. "You had better see if you want any correction. and Manuel Lopez. xxx xxx xxx 78. What was done with the testament of Jose B. Exhibit A? — "A. In the affirmative case.. the point I was trying to check first was whether the value of the estate left by the deceased was SIXTY THOUSAND PESOS (P60.000. Yes. movable and immovable. There was a sentence. and to Jose equal to Concepcion. Suntay after it was signed by the testator and its witnesses? — . after its execution and sealing inside the envelope (Exhibit A). Q. COURT: You may finish. Suntay do after those documents were given to him? — . Judge Pecson. What did Mr. The other third.. Did you know the contents of this envelope? — "A. Concepcion Suntay and Jose Suntay will get 60. can you say which of the two documents was given and who the man was? — . Was it written in typewriting or in handwriting of somebody? — "A. Yes. he remarked that Go Toh's testimony did not prove clearly and distinctly the provision of the lost will. FERRIN: That is why. Maria Natividad Lim Billian a total of 290. Suntay looked at the original and checked them.. can you recognize that handwriting? — "A. Q. Judge. one part which we call legitima corta. 85. p. Q. It was somewhat incorporated into the assets of the estate left by the deceased.000 approximately. 91.. Concepcion. Q. That will was written in typewriting. (Exhibit "6". This amount will be divided into three equal parts of 240. on that same occasion? — . Suntay. if there was something in the will in connection with that particular of the usufruct of the widow? — "A. Yes.000. Q. So the betterment. and the attestation clause was the last page signed by the three instrumental witnesses. Showing you this document consisting of twenty-three (23) pages in Spanish and which document appears already attached to this same testamentary proceedings and already marked as EXHIBIT B. Suntay. The free disposal was disposed in favor of the widow. In the affirmative case. and when I looked at the original will.00) as Apolonio Suntay made it appear in his petition. In the affirmative case can you repeat more or less what Mr. 1938. . his minor son in equal parts. State if you know what did the man do with one of those documents given to him. and I want to ask the Court just to allow the witness to finish his sentence. divided into three (3) equal parts.000 pesos each approximately.." 84. It was taken away by Jose B.a) corresponde a Bonifacio Lopez". and then the disposition of the estate.. Jose B. around SIXTY THOUSAND (P60. 89.. they signed with their name signatures. Yes.. The third part is to be divided between Maria Lim Billian and Silvino Suntay..00) PESOS. on April 17.000 was for the widow and her son. Regarding (1) expenditures (2) Philippine citizenship. Suntay said to that man? — . Did you know how the property was distributed according to the will? — "A. the main disposition of the will? — "A. Yes he gave Exhibit B to Manuel Lopez. 75. After checking.000 approximately. 83. Silvino Suntay will get a total of 210. His Honor. He got them after the execution. in his deposition (Exhibit D-1). Q. Yes. one Chinaman Go Toh. Suntay. Q. Yes. What about. was it signed by the testator? — "A. sir.. 88. can you recognize whose handwriting is that? — "A. He said. it says. my former Justice of the Peace of Hagonoy. If so what was it that he said. Silvino. and he could not have done so even if he tried because the original will was not read to him nor by him before or at the signing of the same.. WITNESS: "A.. Q. 92. Suntay gave one of those documents to another man.. and Sandiko. State whether or not Mr. the disposition of the will..000. RECTO: I heard the witness was saying something and he has not finished the sentence. Suntay.. Concepcion. Suntay. several thousands of pesos.. and I precisely took special case in the credits left by the deceased.000 each. Did the person who gave those documents to Suntay say anything to him (Suntay) at the time of giving them? — . I know who had possession of them. were the De Leon family. "Alberto Barretto" and stroke identifies one hand as having written those words. Suntay looked at them and then gave one copy to Manuel Lopez for checking. Maria Natividad Lim Billian and Silvino. The rest of the children will get approximately 29.000 pesos approximately. because it was opened only when Judge Teodoro had examined it and then subsequently snatched from Go Toh.00) PESOS or little over."A... well known to me. the betterment was given to four (4) children. Q.000 each approximately.. Yes. and his son. It was written in Spanish and he did not and does not understand the Spanish language.) Q. because: "He did not. Q. and one (1) in the second marriage with Maria Natividad Lim Billian. Do you remember if there witnesses signed on the different pages of the will? — "A. Q.

(Exhibits D. China. Cuantas paginas tenia aquel documento a que usted se refiere? — "R. forgetful perhaps of the fact that the trial Judge gave no credence to said witness. particularly when he announced therein that "it is now incumbent upon this court to delve into the evidence whether or not Jose B. each of the Suntay children would receive only some P 25. No. Did you read the contents of that will.. since the petitioner's alternative petition "seeks only to put into effect the testamentary disposition and wishes of their late father. ha visto el testamento sino si usted ha leido personalmente el testamento? — "R. Assuming that the Chinese will cannot be probated in the jurisdiction." having been positively identified by the witnesses for the petitioner to be an exact copy of the lost will of Jose B. one of the heirs and who would be affected adversely by the legalization of the will in question. por eso quiero que la pregunta se me traduzca antes. only Angel. the will would not have been "snatched" from Go Toh — and the loss certainly cannot be imputed to the widow Lim Billian or the petitioner. Can you tell the court the share or participation in the inheritance of Maria Natividad Lim Billian according to the will? — A. castellano sencillo puedo entender y lo puedo leer. Puede usted contestar en castellano? — "R. China. Eso. pero como de contestar. China. and probated in Amoy District Court. if this allegation is true. P. oppositor's own witness. because according to the trial Judge himself. Juzgado: Se estima Abogado Mejia: P. Said testimony of Ana Suntay. Si." (Exhibit "6".00. belies the testimony of Atty. on January 4. Unos cuatro o cinco años. Yo entiendo el castellano. COURT: Q. porque elle solamente se fijo en la parte como se distribuian las propiedades pero no ha dicho la testigo que ella lo ha puesto de memoria. Bueno. How do you know that it was the will of Jose B. P. Como ya he declarado. deceased. It should be repeated that Judge Pecson reiterated in the resolution . in other words she is the most favored in the will. de repetir poco mas o menos las palabras en ese documento que se distribuia las propiedades del defundo padre usted como usted relata aqui? "Abogado Recto: Objetamos a la pregunta por falta de base. that clearly confirm the testimony of Judge Anastacio Teodoro. Lourdes. P.. G. Aurora. Ana. y no era continuo nuestro estudio.. que las propiedades de mi difunto padre se habian dividido en tres partes. It is very noteworthy that out of the nine children of the first marriage. señor. I know a little Spanish. Usted personalmente leyo el documento" — "R. Suntay.) We are really at a loss to understand why. containing virtually the same provisions as those in the draft Exhibit "B". left a will (the draft of which is Exhibit B) and another will which was executed and probated in Amoy. P. La pregunta es. señora? — "R. asi puedo contestar debidamente. because she has not had enough schooling and she does not possess adequate knowledge of the Spanish language as shown by the fact that she had to testify in Tagalog on the witness stand. si usted personalmente ha leido el documento? — " R." Indeed. admitted it to be "identical in substance and form to the second draft which he prepared in typewriting. I think. whereas in case of intestacy or under the alleged will providing for equal shares. uno puede entender el español y sin embargo no podra repetir lo que ha leido. Because I was one of the signers and I saw it. also testified on rebuttal that she saw the original will in the possession of Manuel Suntay immediately after the snatching. Suntay executed in Amoy. should control. Exhibit "A". Apolonio. Atty. prove clearly and distinctly the provisions of the said lost will. Alberto Barretto. the snatched will would have been produced to put an end to petitioner's and his mother's claim for greater inheritance or participation under the lost will. señora.) As to Ana Suntay's corroborating testimony. Juzgado: Se estima.000. Jose B. P.00. they sold everything. Si. 19. s. Puede usted repetir poco mas o menos esa porcion a que se hacia la distribucion del alegado testamento? — "R.. and the envelope containing the first will providing for equal shares. was necessarily futile because. P. they are selling everything even the conjugal property. its probative value as corroborating evidence cannot be ignored. Señor. la segunda tercera parte los adjudica a la viuda y a Silvino. and was thought of merely to deceive petitioner's mother. P. 533-534." Its authenticity cannot be seriously questioned. 23. Yes sir. Have you read the supposed will or the alleged will of your father? — "A. The draft. Suntay. likewise. Oppositor himself had admitted having read the will in question under which the widow Lim Billian was favored. P. Jose and Federico Suntay had opposed the probate of the will in question. or otherwise constitute visible indicia of oppositor's desire to frustrate the wishes of his father. In our opinion the most important piece of evidence in favor of the petitioner's case is the draft of the lost will.000. Exhibit "A. Lim Billian. Alberto Barretto.n. each of them would receive some P100. Cuantos años? — "R. the trial Judge reversed his first decision. Abogado Mejia P. y la otra tercera parte se lo adjudica a sus hijos como mejora a Silvino. Usted entiende las preguntas que se le dirigian aqui en castellano sin interpretacion o sin el interprete? — "R. Si. P. all the "A's" and "B's" in the handwritten insertions of the draft are very similar to those in Barretto's admittedly genuine signature on the envelope. because I do not know Spanish. would not have been entrusted to the care and custody of the widow Lim Billian. pp. Yes. two-thirds (2/3) of the estate. Suntay." His action is indeed surprising when we take into account the various circumstancial features presently to be stated. And yet the Suntay children other than Angel. Puede usted repetirnos ahora en Castellano algunas frases o palabras como se hizo la distribucion en aquel supuesto testamento? — Abogado Recto: Objecion. is therefore conclusive. leyo. En Sta. namely. provided that the testator's estate would be divided equally among his heirs. Concepcion y Jose. una tercera parte se nos adjudica a nosotros diez (1) hijos en primeros nupcias y segunda nupcia. 1931. P." And yet in the resolution on the motion for new trial.) The decision of the majority leans heavily on the testimony of Atty. she will inherit. the trial Judge had to state that "Ana Suntay on rebuttal did not. Usted estudio el castellano en algun colegio? — "Rj. Si Señor. Entonces usted puede leer el castellano con facilidad. She read it and she particularly remembers the manner in which the properties were to be distributed. Another unequivocal confirmation of the lost will is the will which Jose B. D-1. Si la parte de la adjudicacion lo he leido para asegurarme a que porcion corresponde a cada uno de nosotros." The finding of Judge Pecson on the point in his first decision (reiterated expressly in the resolution on the motion for new trial). Exhibit B was shown to her on the witness stand and she declared that the provision regarding the distribution of the properties in said Exhibit B is the same as that contained in the original will.Q. P. No serian treinta (30) paginas? — "Abogado Recto: La testigo ha contestado ya que mas de veinte (20). is revealed readily in the following portions of the transcript: P. What better evidence is there of an man's desire or insistence to express his last wishes than the execution of a will reiterating the same provisions contained in an earlier will. Yo leyo mi hermano en presencia mia. therefore. n. ha preguntado en que lenguaje estaba escrito el testamento . and this again in a way goes to corroborate the evidence for the petitioner as to the contents of the will sought to be probated. sir. lo he visto. Manuel and Emiliano Suntay. or do you know the contents of that will? — A. COURT: Q. No solamente le pregunto a usted si Vd. because it would have been to their greater advantage if they had sided with oppositor Federico Suntay in his theory of equal inheritance for all the children of Jose B. Q. Do you talk or write that language? I can write and talk a little Spanish. pero no puedo hablar bien. Quiere usted tener la bondad. por falta de base. Fookien." The potent error committed by Judge Pecson in reversing his views as regards Ana's testimony. tal como usted personalmente lo leyo en el documento? — "R. Nuestros estudios no han sido continuous porque mi padre nos ingresaba en el colegio y despues nos sacaba para estar afuera. Usted dijo que estaba puesto en castellano el supuesto testamento que Vda. (t. Abogado Mejia: P. without any change whatsoever in the evidence. (t. not only because it is in accordance with the evidence but because the oppositor had failed and did not even attempt to have the trial Judge reconsider or reverse his factual conclusions. p. Suntay. Probablemente seria mas de veinte (20) paginas. Exhibit "B.) 22. as in the case of intestacy." This attitude is significantly an indication of the justness of petitioner's claim.s. usted poso el castellano? — "R. ni Vd. Sabe usted en que lenguaje estaba redactado el documento que usted leyo personalmente? — "R. En Castellano. Pero en total. Judge Pecson aptly made the following findings: "Ana Suntay. having expressly manifested in their answer that they had no opposition thereto. P. Concepcion. and that the will actually executed and put in the envelope. sir. Catalina. Si. Juzgado: Se estima. Jose and Federico had chosen to give their conformity to the alternative petition in this case. Under the lost will or its draft Exhibit "B". Do you understand the language in which that will was written? — . Exhibit "B. P. Suntay ? — "A. Alberto Barretto. como cuantos meses o años estaba usted en el colegio aprendiendo el castelano? — "R. the rest. Oppositor's effort to show that said draft was never signed in final form. y no se sabe todavia si ha estudiado el español bastante hasta el punto de poder hablarlo. 228-229. Toh and Ana Suntay. so when they sold that.

190).00. In commenting unfavorably upon the decree disallowing the lost will. . . We have quoted in full the decision of this court in the "snatching" case and the first decision of Judge Pecson in this case. JJ. if it is an error.) If such will and testament was already lost or destroyed at the time of the filing of the petition by Maria Natividad Lim Billian (15 October 1934). 796. s. amended record on appeal. Not long after entering the first decree the probate court was convinced that it had committed a mistake. this circumstance justified "the presentation of secondary evidence of its contents and of whether it was executed with all the essential and necessary legal formalities.on the motion for new trial all his findings in the first decision. of course. with due respect to the majority opinion.) So. . which.00 and her offer to pay only P100. have mistakenly commended. n. If such conclusions and pronouncements are unjustified and erroneous this Court is in duty bound to correct them. Suntay must be accepted by this Court. cancellation.: This is a motion for reconsideration of the decision promulgated on 31 July 1954. s.00. Suntay. amended record on appeal. R. and — If the will was snatched after the delivery thereof by Go Toh to Anastacio Teodoro and returned by the latter to the former because they could not agree on the amount of fees. in which event the former procedure shall apply. by Jose B. and the alleged insufficiency of the evidence adduced to established the loss and/or destruction of the said will. parole and documentary." This slight error. The appellant advances the postulate that the decision of this Court in the case of Lim Billian vs. whether the loss of the will was before or subsequent to the filing of the petition. . G. andalso all further proceedings in cases then pending." This requirement may even be more strict and exacting than the two-witness rule provided for in section 6. a witness for the appellant. No. except to the extent that in the opinion of the court their application would not be feasible or would work injustice. through counsel. Suntay. Barretto might have become hostile to the petitioner and his mother Lim Billian in view of the latter's refusal to agree to the amount of P25. by the testimony of at least two credible witnesses. 1934. above referred to?" (P.000. Atty. because the amount involved in the controversy exceeds P50.00 admittedly asked by him would absorb her entire inheritance. whether Exhibit B is a true copy of the will and whether the latter was executed with all the formalities required by law for its probate. Go Toh arrived at his law office in the De Los Reyes Building and left an envelope wrapped in red handkerchief [Exhibit C] (p.. by the facts correctly recited therein and by the force and accuracy of its logic would amply show the weakness and utter lack of foundation of the resolution on the motion for reconsideration. 1947.000. and the latter's consequent bad judgment in having forced himself to accomplish a somersault. If Anastacio Teodoro. Be that as it may. in answer to the alternative petition filed in these proceedings by Silvino Suntay. is to be believed when he testified — . .000. 63 Phil. Barretto was paid by oppositor Federico Suntay the sum of P16. and (2) that the second. and from what has taken place we deduce that it was not petitioner's intention to raise. concur. Suntay. . . in my opinion. . But Rule 133 cited by the appellant provides: These rules shall take effect on July 1. 7. and other points involved herein. Amoy. although allegedly for services in the testate proceedings. hearing of 13 October 19470 . In his alternative petition the appellant alleges: 4. for if this Court did make that pronouncement. 3. did the appellant make the allegation as erroneously as that which he made in paragraph 10 of the alternative petition that "his will which was lost and ordered probated by our Supreme Court in G. If as Atty. and cannot. where there can be absolutely no doubt as to the result — outright reversal — for which. such pronouncement would be contrary to law and would have been a grievous and irreparable mistake. the mother of herein petitioner filed a petition in this court for the allowance and probate of a last will and testament executed. another child of the deceased by the first marriage.) Appellant's contention that the question before the probate court was whether the draft (Exhibit B) is a true copy or draft of the snatched will is a mistaken interpretation and view of the decision of this Court in the case referred to. after the conclusions and pronouncements made in the judgment rendered in the case. This petition was denied because of the loss of said will after the filing of the petition and before the hearing thereof. This is an appeal from the probate court. the product of experience and wisdom.(Emphasis supplied. as already stated. or obliteration must be established "by full evidence to the satisfaction of the Court. (P. J. Marian Natividad Lim Billian. because according to him the "will was lost before not after (the) filing of the petition.000. Rule 77.00 which.) This Court did not order the probate of the will in said case because if it did. constitutes res judicata on these points: (a) that only one will was prepared by attorney Barretto. Rule 77 applies to this case because it was a further proceedings in a case then pending. if it is an error at all. for the reason that this case had been commenced before the Rules of Court took effect. After such review this Court has found that the provisions of the will had not been established clearly and distinctly by at least two credible witnesses and that conclusion is unassailable because it is solidly based on the established facts and in accordance with law. But even if section 623 of the Code of Civil Procedure were to be applied. clearly and districtly." That is all that was decided. 44276. . there is evidence to the effect that Atty." In the opinion of this Court. was paid out of the personal funds of said oppositors to supply Atty. No. there would have been no further and subsequent proceedings in the case after the decision of this Court referred to had been rendered and had become final. R. We have found this to be one of the cases of this court in which we have had occasion to participate. amended record on appeal. after hearing. China. supra. The appellant and the dissent try to make much out of a pleading filed by five (5) children and the widow of Apolonio Suntay. 3. both the appellant and the dissenting opinion suffer from an infirmity born of a mistaken premise that all the conclusions and pronouncements made by the probate court in the first decree which allowed the probate of the lost will of the late Jose B. since said alternative petition seeks . 44276. does not. namely. This is an error. 793. They shall govern all cases brought after they take effect..) may be relied upon. wherein they state that — . still the evidence to prove the contents and due execution of the will and the fact of its unauthorized destruction. and this Court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction must review the evidence and the findings of fact and legal pronouncements made by the probate court. is that there was sufficient evidence to prove the loss of the of the will and that the next step was to prove by secondary evidence its due execution in accordance with the formalities of the law and its contents. and contends that these points already adjudged were overlooked in the majority opinion. 273. Montemayor and Jugo. Barretto testified. This circumstances perhaps further explains why the latter had to support the side of Federico Suntay. That on October 15.000. dated June 18. we vote without hesitancy. the fees of P25. Did the appellant allege the facts in said paragraph with reckless abandon? Or. t. affirming the decree of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan which disallowed the alleged last will and testament executed in November 1929 and the alleged last will and testament executed in Kulangsu. and signed in the Philippines in the year 1929 by said deceased Jose B. then the alleged error pointed out by the appellant. is to prevent imposters from foisting. so it set aside the decree and entered another. The decision of this Court in the case referred to does not constitute res judicata on the points adverted to by the appellant. both in the hope and in the belief (1) that the first would reveal the manner by which those adversely affected had planned to prevent the last wishes of the deceased Jose B. Lim Billian was entitled under the will actually signed by Jose Suntay only to P10. the will was not yet lost. RESOLUTION 5 November 1954 PADILLA. There is also evidence tending to show that as early as 1942. The testimony of Alberto Barretto bears importantly in this connection. the appellant would have so stated and alleged. upon the evidence adduced by her. . on grounds that will presently be taken up and discussed. n. that one day in November 1934 (p. hearing of 19 January 1948). 32.. Suntay from being carried on. Barretto's needs. on 4 January 1931. It must be borne in mind that this is not a petition for a writ of certiorari to review a judgment of the Court of Appeals on questions of law where the findings of fact by said Court are binding upon this Court. and (b) that the issue to be resolved by the trial court was whether the draft (Exhibit B) is a true copy or draft of the snatched will. and this would normally not be done by any law practitioner. . then on 15 October 1934. it did not.000. is due to the allegation in said paragraph of his alternative petition. the fact would not affect in the slightest degree the conclusions and pronouncements made by this Court. 190 and section 6. . . This Court further said: The trial of this case was limited to the proof of loss of the will. And if the facts alleged in paragraph 5 of the appellant's alternative petition which states: That this Honorable Court. . in addition to properties in China value at P15. the date of the filing of the petition.. without pronouncement as to costs. The underlying reason for the exacting provisions found in section 623 of Act No. or at least to make for them difficult to foist. 1940. as we have heretofore indicated. (P. t.. a feat which the majority. as already stated. because what the Court passed upon and decided in that case. to this Honorable Court respectfully state that. We have set forth at length pertinent portions of the testimony of various witnesses to demonstrate more plainly the plausibility of the original decision of Judge Pecson. The only point decided in that case is that "the evidence is sufficient to establish the loss of the document contained in the envelope.00. (Emphasis supplied. Rule 77. P. Upon the other hand. 1 The appellant invokes Rule 133 to argue that Rule 77 should not have been applied to the case but the provisions of section 623 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Act No. . This Court affirmed the last decree not precisely upon the facts found by the probate court but upon facts found by it after a careful review and scrutiny of the evidence. denied the aforesaid petition for probate filed by Maria Natividad Lim Billian in view of the loss and/or destruction of said will subsequent to the filing of said petition and priorto the hearing thereof.. Appellant points to an alleged error in the decision where it states that — . upon probate courts alleged last wills or testaments that were never executed.

. hearing of 24 February 1948. n. 528.. that was paid according to the services rendered by Don Alberto Barretto with regard to our case in the testamentaria but he also rendered services to my father. Rule 77. naturally had.." counsel for the appellant could have brought that out by a single question. t. I think in 1942. [2]The court also named Atty.. 2006 x . G. sir. It does not mean that they accept the draft Exhibit B as an exact and true copy of the lost will and consent to its probate.. worth P64. We repeat that — .)Would that not likewise or by the same token affect his credibility? It is the latter's interest more compelling than the former's? For the foregoing reasons. There is a veiled insinuation in the dissent that Alberto Barretto testified as he did because he had been paid by Federico C. Audreys will was also admitted to probate by the then Court of First Instance of Rizal.. Phillips as executor due to Richards renunciation of his appointment. Richard Guersey (Richard) were American citizens who have resided in the Philippines for 30 years. At least your Counsel said that there was an order of the Court ordering you to pay that. Suntay at the time it was executed (answers to 25th interrogatory and to X-4 and X-8 cross-interrogatories). 1982.-x DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. On October 12.: Spouses Audrey ONeill (Audrey) and W. because he came to know or he learned of them from information given him by Jose B. June 8. and (3) 64.).. That inference is the result of a straight process of reasoning and clear thinking. CANDELARIA GUERSEYDALAYGON.. Even if all the children were agreeable to the probate of said lost will.) And appellant asks the question: "Who went away? Was it Manuel or Apolonio?" In answer to his own question the appellant says: "The more obvious inference is that it was Apolonio and not Manuel who went away. Alonzo Q.... Rule 77.) Q. which named James N. And you said you paid him because of services he rendered? — A. as provided for in section 6. Q.. (P. CALLEJO.. I think I remember correctly according to exRepresentative Vera who is the administrator whom I followed at that time. sir. t. . could have. Suntay... SR. out of generosity. But such lack of objection to the probate of the lost will does not relieve the proponent thereof or the party interested in its probate from establishing its due execution and proving clearly and distinctly the provisions thereof at least two credible witnesses. Around SIXTEEN THOUSAND (P16. When did you make the payment? — A.) Does that mean that they were consenting to the probate of the lost will? Of course not. hearing of 24 October 1947..00 (Makati property). and he went away. In fact. 9625.[5] . The appellant's effort failed to prove what is required by the rule. Inc.. during the Japanese time. s. As the evidence stands could it be said that the one who went away was Apolonio and not Manuel? The obvious answer is that it was Manuel. were willing to donate their shares in the estate of their deceased father or parts thereof to their step mother and her only child. Did you state that fact in any accounts you presented to the Court? — A. s.. Even if Go Toh heard Manuel Lopez read the draft (Exhibit B) for the purpose of checking it up with the original held and read by Jose B. all of Go Toh's testimony by deposition on the provisions of the alleged lost will is hearsay. In it. n. [1] The will was admitted to probate before the Orphans Court of Baltimore. t. Federico C.97. More or less when was such payment made. 180. Alberto Barretto for services rendered. he testifies in his deposition that all he knows about the contents of the lost will was revealed to him by Jose B. Yes. but I think that was burned. Q. Metro Manila. that Mrs. if validly made. a witness for the appellant could not have read the part of the will on adjudication. the will of Jose B.A.865. 2.. how much did you pay? — A.. s.. Promulgated: Respondent.. supra. If the lost will is allowed to probate there would be no room for such donation except of their respective shares in the probated will. Go Toh should not have understood the provisions of the will because he knew very little of the Spanish language in which the will was written (answer to 22nd and 23rd interrogatories and to X-2 cross-interrogatory). Richard married Candelaria Guersey-Dalaygon (respondent) with whom he has two children. So the sum of P16. ANCHETA. [3] In 1981.. what about the professional services of Anastacio Teodoro who appeared in this case as one of the attorneys for the petitioner-appellant? (P. And those services were precisely because he made a will and he made a will which was lost. that he did not read the will and did not compare it (check it up) with the draft [Exhibit B] (answers to X6 and X-20 cross-interrogatories). was (it) your intention to charge it to the state or to collect it later from the estate? — A. Suntay the sum of P16. . The part of the deposition of Go Toh quoted in the motion for reconsideration which appellant underscores does not refer to Go Toh but to Manuel Lopez. she bequeathed her entire estate to Richard. This finding cannot be contested and assailed.. still the donation. Suntay had the draft of the will (Exhibit B) translated into Chinese and he read the translation (answer to the 67th interrogatory). in Special Proceeding No.00. I do not quite remember that. Q.. ALONZO Q. hearing of 13 October 1947. JJ. Kimberly and Kevin. But if this sum of P16. Kyle Guersey Hill (Kyle). Upon the order to the Court. valued at P764... (P. Q. Branch 25.. n... amended record on appeal. Makati.. Q. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ." This inference made by the appellant not only is not obvious but it is also illogical. That is all that their answer implies and means. t. (Pp.. Pasig. n.. who was also designated as executor..S. . and CHICO-NAZARIO. Yes.000 was paid upon recommendation of the former administrator and order of the probate court for services rendered by Alberto Barretto not only in the probate proceedings that also for services rendered to his father.000.. supra. because the former may convey by way of donation their shares in the state of their deceased father or parts thereof to the latter only after the decree disallowing the will shall have been rendered and shall have become final. When you made that payment... s. So the sentence "he went away" in Ana's testimony must logically and reasonably refer to Manuel. (Chairperson) . Maryland.. they.. the motion for reconsideration is denied. do you remember? — A. If the lost will sought to be probated in the alternative petition was really the will of their late father. do you have that copy of the order? — A. still the due execution of the lost will must be established and the provisions thereof proved clearly and distinctly by at least two credible witnesses..R. U. If it was Apolonio who "went away.. In the pleading copied in the dissent. the herein appellant.. On July 29. 71-72..." which.) — A. Present: PANGANIBAN.000. C. According to her testimony "she did not read the whole will but only the adjudication. 181. "is inconsistent with her testimony in chief (to the effect) that "after Apolonio read that portion.*YNARES-SANTIAGO.000 paid to Alberto Barretto upon recommendation of the previous administrator and order of the probate court for professional services rendered in the probate proceedings and to the deceased in his lifetime be taken against his truthfulness and veracity as to affect adversely his testimony. Seventh Judicial District.J. The appellant does not understand how the Court came to the conclusion that Ana Suntay... Audrey died.. Suntay? . . Suntay and from reading the translation of the draft (Exhibit B) into Chinese. Ancheta (petitioner) of the Quasha Asperilla Ancheta Pena & Nolasco Law Offices as ancillary administrator. They have an adopted daughter.444. according to her testimony.. would not dispense with the proceedings for the probate of the will in accordance with section 6. which the appellant has owned and used as argument in the motion for reconsideration. J. if it be borne in mind that Manuel came to the house of Apolonio and it happened that Ana was there.. (2) a current account in Audreys name with a cash balance of P12. I have.. [4] As administrator of Audreys estate in the Philippines. Even if the children of the deceased by the first marriage.444 shares of stock in A/G Interiors.. No. Far from it. petitioner filed an inventory and appraisal of the following properties: (1) Audreys conjugal share in real estate with improvements located at 28 Pili Avenue.. . t. (P.417. as good children. no objection to its probate. that Jose B. this Court found. 184.versus .. then he turned over the document of Manuel.. Forbes Park. 1979. During the Japanese time.00).only to put into effect the testamentary disposition and wishes of their late father. 139868 Petitioner.. what particular month and year. leaving a will. there is nothing that may bolster up his contention.. namely. they have no opposition thereto. s. who was a caller or visitor in the house of his brother Apolonio and not to the latter who was in his house. Q. You mentioned in your direct testimony that you paid certain amount to Atty.. Suntay told him that the contents thereof are the same as those of the draft [Exhibit B] (answers to 33rd interrogatory and to X-8 cross-interrogatory). Suntay testifies on the point thus — Q." (P. n.

designated Atty. Richard Guersey and 16. directing the Secretary of A/G Interiors.111 shares in A/G Interiors. Respondent argued that since Audrey devised her entire estate to Richard. M-888 for the settlement of Richards estate. Petitioner filed his Answer denying respondents allegations. as he had no knowledge of the State of Marylands laws on testate and intestate succession.P. 1988 and April 7. to transfer 48. he was not aware of the relevant laws of the State of Maryland. IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES AS ANCILLARY ADMINISTRATOR OF AUDREY ONEIL GUERSEYS ESTATE IN THE PHILIPPINES. and James N. petitioner filed in Special Proceeding No. save for his rights and interests over the A/G Interiors. 1986. Petitioner alleged that he believed that it is to the best interests of the surviving children that Philippine law be applied as they would receive their just shares. 9625 IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR PROBATE OF THE WILL OF THE DECEASED AUDREY GUERSEY. 15583 of the Makati City Registry and the issuance of a new title in the name of the estate of W. a motion to declare Richard and Kyle as heirs of Audrey. An annulment of judgment filed under B. 1988 and April 7. then the Makati property should be wholly adjudicated to him. issued in Special Proceeding No.[10] The motion and project of partition was granted and approved by the trial court in its Order dated February 12. A decree of distribution of the estate of a deceased person vests the title to the land of the estate in the distributees.48 from the Citibank current account.[23] However. 1991. stating that as early as 1984. and not merely thereof. Inc. as far as the parties to the proceedings are concerned. which is conclusive upon the administration as to all matters involved in such judgment or order. 9625. 1988. 9625.[22] On October 20. Petitioner contended that he acted in good faith in submitting the project of partition before the trial court in Special Proceeding No. Inc. DID NOT COMMIT FRAUD. 1987. a project of partition of Audreys estate. WAS EMPLOYED BY [HIM] IN PROCURING SAID ORDERS. 155823 in the names of the Estate of W.The trial court also adjudicated Richards entire undivided interest in the Makati property to respondent. a final decree of distribution of the estate may be set aside for lack of jurisdiction or fraud.[26] The petition for annulment was filed before the CA on October 20. in Ramon v. its binding effect is like any other judgment in rem. Respondent also states that she was not able to file any opposition to the project of partition because she was not a party thereto and she learned of the provision of Aubreys will bequeathing entirely her estate to Richard only after Atty. while 3/5 thereof were allocated to Richards three children. Inc.313. According to respondent.[13] Hence. 48. Quasha was appointed as ancillary administrator on July 24. 1988. and Kyle. 9625. Inc. TCT No. but this was denied by the CA per Resolution dated August 27.417. in lieu thereof. 16.Once it becomes final. Ortuzar. and will determine for all time and in all courts. 69792 in the name of Richard and to issue a new title in the joint names of the Estate of W. Richard Guersey ( undivided interest) and Kyle ( undivided interest). Petitioner also alleged that the orders sought to be annulled are already final and executory. and in its Order dated December 6. SO ORDERED. except for his rights and interests over the A/G Interiors. 1988 andApril 7.. 1987. Richards will was then submitted for probate before the Regional Trial Court of Makati. which he left to Kyle. 1988. and (b) The cancellation of Transfer Certificate of Title No. who in turn. he already apprised respondent of the contents of the will and how the estate will be divided.[12] Consequently. 1998 and April 7. ANCILLARY ADMINISTRATOR. if erroneous may be corrected by a timely appeal. and the same has already been executed. Inc.[14] Since Richard left his entire estate to respondent. the herein petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court alleging that the CA gravely erred in not holding that: A) THE ORDERS OF 12 FEBRUARY 1988 AND 07 APRIL 1988 IN SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS NO.[7] Atty. petitioner was duty-bound to follow the express terms of Aubreys will. EITHER EXTRINSIC OR INTRINSIC.S. Richard Guersey and Kyle. Petitioner also imputes knowledge on the part of respondent with regard to the terms of Aubreys will. On March 18. 1988 are hereby ANNULLED and. a legacy passes to the legatee the entire interest of the testator in the property subject of the legacy.[16] Respondent contended that petitioner willfully breached his fiduciary duty when he disregarded the laws of the State ofMaryland on the distribution of Audreys estate in accordance with her will. He maintains that at the time of the filing of the project of partition. and P9. Ancheta filed a project of partition in Special Proceeding No. 9625. Richard Guersey.49 in cash.[19] On October 19. shares. [17] The dispositive portion of the assailed Decision provides: WHEREFORE. Petitioner reiterates his arguments before the CA that the Orders dated February 12. 1988. M-888. 129 may be based on the ground that a . M-888 also filed a project of partition wherein 2/5 of Richards undivided interest in the Makati property was allocated to respondent. a new one is entered ordering: Respondent argues that petitioners breach of his fiduciary duty as ancillary administrator of Aubreys estate amounted to extrinsic fraud. docketed as Special Proceeding No. 1993. 1993. then the entire Makati property should now pertain to respondent. the CA rendered the assailed Decision annulling the trial courts Orders dated February 12. which.[25] the Court ruled that a party interested in a probate proceeding may have a final liquidation set aside when he is left out by reason of circumstances beyond his control or through mistake or inadvertence not imputable to negligence. as ancillary administrator. 1999. 1984.P. and cannot be set aside. and P3. with Richard being apportioned the undivided interest in the Makati property. the assailed Orders of February 12. shares. the undivided interest in the Makati property. B) THE ANCILLARY ADMINISTRATOR HAVING ACTED IN GOOD FAITH.111 shares to Kyle.97 to the ancillary administrator for distribution to the heirs.. directing the Register of Deeds of Makati to cancel TCT No. William Quasha or any member of the Quasha Asperilla Ancheta Pena & Nolasco Law Offices. [11] The trial court also issued an Order on April 7. disapproved the project of partition insofar as it affects the Makati property.333 shares to the Estate of W. Richard died.[21] The trial court found merit in respondents opposition. [24] Further. [6] The will was also admitted to probate by the Orphans Court of Ann Arundel. hence. leaving a will. 1988 can no longer be annulled because it is a final judgment. [9] Petitioner also filed on October 23. Branch 138. This was opposed by respondent on the ground that under the law of the State ofMaryland.. to respondent. Richard Guersey.On July 20. (a) The adjudication of the entire estate of Audrey ONeill Guersey in favor of the estate of W. the ancillary administrator in Special Proceeding No. ANCHETA. U. except for his rights and interests over the A/G Interiors. 129) or the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980. before the issuance of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.A. in Special Proceeding No.[15] Petitioner also contends that that he acted in good faith in performing his duties as an ancillary administrator. in exceptional cases. all matters therein determined. and since Richard left his entire estate. 129 (B. ARE VALID AND BINDING AND HAVE LONG BECOME FINAL AND HAVE BEEN FULLY IMPLEMENTED AND EXECUTED AND CAN NO LONGER BE ANNULLED. wherein he bequeathed his entire estate to respondent. and his denial of knowledge of the laws of Maryland cannot stand because petitioner is a senior partner in a prestigious law firm and it was his duty to know the relevant laws. [20] Meanwhile.104. and directing the Citibank to release the amount of P12. the Register of Deeds of Makati issued on June 23.333 shares in A/G Interiors. 1988. the applicable law is BatasPambansa Blg. Inc. Phillips was likewise appointed as executor. then his entire undivided interest in the Makati property should be given to respondent. such that the partition was made in accordance with Philippine laws. AND THAT NO FRAUD.[18] [8] Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. EITHER EXTRINSIC OR INTRINSIC. 1999. respondent filed with the Court of Appeals (CA) an amended complaint for the annulment of the trial courts Orders dated February 12. Maryland. ALONZO Q.

the same has not yet prescribed. 1988. how administered. extrinsic fraud refers to any fraudulent act of the prevailing party in the litigation which is committed outside of the trial of the case. The Court cannot accept petitioners protestation.S. Estate. Since the action for annulment was filed in 1993. respondent was already well aware of the terms of Audreys will. reducing her inheritance in the estate of Richard that she was prompted to seek another counsel to protect her interest. 1979. must be upheld. the opposition thereto. and merely relied on the presumption that such law is the same as the Philippine law on wills and succession.judgment is void for want of jurisdiction or that the judgment was obtained by extrinsic fraud. that at the time of Audreys death. not pertaining to the judgment itself. M-888. among others. by fraud or deception practiced on him by his opponent. In other words. or letters of administration with the will annexed. During the reprobate of her will in Special Proceeding No. whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. despite the latters declaration of good faith. petitioner. and it was only after Atty.When a will is thus allowed. Fraud is extrinsic where the unsuccessful party has been prevented from exhibiting fully his case. as provided in Article 16 of the Civil Code. (Emphasis supplied) Article 1039 of the Civil Code further provides that capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the decedent. as ancillary administrator of Audreys estate. U. 16. respondent alleged extrinsic fraud as basis for the annulment of the RTC Orders dated February 12. How can petitioner honestly presume that Philippine laws apply when as early as the reprobate of Audreys will before the trial court in 1982. both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions. omission. Rather. care and judgment which a person of a fair average capacity and ability exercises in similar transactions of his own. shall extend to all the estate of the testator in the Philippines. and he is required to exercise reasonable diligence and act in entire good faith in the performance of that trust. her Last Will and Testament dated August 18. Records bear the fact that the filing of the project of partition of Richards estate. was duty-bound to introduce in evidence the pertinent law of the State of Maryland. alleged to have been committed against respondent. and the order of the trial court disallowing the project of partition in Special Proceeding No. 129. the intrinsic validity of Audreys will.S. of B. U. Obviously. [31] It should be pointed out that the prescriptive period for annulment of judgment based on extrinsic fraud commences to run from the discovery of the fraud or fraudulent act/s. Fraud takes on different shapes and faces. and such letters testamentary or of administration. [28] and must be brought within four years from the discovery of the fraud. these and similar cases which show that there has never been a real contest in the trial or hearing of the case are reasons for which a new suit may be sustained to set aside and annul the former judgment and open the case for a new and fair hearing. [39] He had all the legal resources to determine the applicable law.A. the will was admitted by the Orphans Court of Baltimore City on September 7. yet the same degree of prudence. Ancheta filed the project of partition in Special Proceeding No. As such. Blg. 1988 and April 7.[35] Petitioner is the ancillary administrator of Audreys estate. The CA found merit in respondents cause and found that petitioners failure to follow the terms of Audreys will. to wit: Art. is governed by her national law.e. or from presenting all of his case to the court. hence. if any. Petitioner insists that his application of Philippine laws was made in good faith. whereby the defeated party has been prevented from exhibiting fully his side of the case by fraud or deception practiced on him by his opponent.A. 9625. a false promise of a compromise. Thus. [30]and the complaint was filed only in 1993. the trial court peremptorily applied Philippine laws and totally disregarded the terms of Audreys will. states: SEC. on the other hand.[29] In the present case. It is undisputed that Audrey Guersey was an American citizen domiciled in Maryland. or real contest. he occupies a position of the highest trust and confidence. citizen. serves as the standard by which his conduct is to be judged.[37] however. or where the defendant never had any knowledge of the suit. the four-year period should be counted from the time of respondents discovery thereof.P.. However. shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration. Kyle Guersey Hill. where it is one the effect of which prevents a party from hearing a trial. or where an attorney fraudulently or without authority connives at his defeat. 1972 was executed and probated before the Orphans Court in Baltimore.[34] The overriding consideration when extrinsic fraud is alleged is that the fraudulent scheme of the prevailing litigant prevented a party from having his day in court. it was shown. As a corollary rule. so far as such will may operate upon it. Being a foreign national. domiciled in the State of Maryland. The CA ruled that under Article 16 of the Civil Code. amounted to extrinsic fraud. or where it operates upon matters. Although he is not a guarantor or insurer of the safety of the estate nor is he expected to be infallible. but to the manner in which it was procured so that there is not a fair submission of the controversy.[38] Petitioner admitted that he failed to introduce in evidence the law of the State of Maryland on Estates and Trusts. 4. [27] For fraud to become a basis for annulment of judgment. Petitioner contends that respondents cause of action had already prescribed because as early as 1984.S. Such estate. It was .. M-888 were all done in 1991. and the residue. with a big legal staff and a large library. and the will was authenticated by the Secretary of State of Maryland and the Vice Consul of the Philippine Embassy. Section 4. In Cosmic Lumber Corporation v. U. 1988 and April 7. The CA also found that petitioner was prompted to distribute Audreys estate in accordance with Philippine laws in order to equally benefit Audrey and Richard Guerseys adopted daughter. 1988. 9625. (Emphasis supplied) While foreign laws do not prove themselves in our jurisdiction and our courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of them. which was duly authenticated and certified by the Register of Wills of Baltimore City and attested by the Chief Judge of said court.[32] Respondent cannot be faulted for letting the assailed orders to lapse into finality since it was only through Special Proceeding No. the law of the State of Maryland. justified her lack of immediate action by saying that she had no opportunity to question petitioners acts since she was not a party to Special Proceeding No. Hence the CA Decision annulling the RTC Orders dated February 12. M-888 that she came to comprehend the ramifications of petitioners acts. and therefore. There is extrinsic fraud within the meaning of Sec. she was residing in the Philippines but is domiciled in Maryland. it is petitioners failure to introduce in evidence the pertinent law of the State of Maryland that is the fraudulent act. petitioner is a senior partner in a prestigious law firm. clearly. respondent had no other recourse under the circumstances but to file the annulment case. or in this case. Respondents knowledge of the terms of Audreys will is immaterial in this case since it is not the fraud complained of. it is the national law of the decedent that is applicable. the court shall grant letters testamentary. Maryland.S. i. Respondent. [36] Petitioners failure to proficiently manage the distribution of Audreys estate according to the terms of her will and as dictated by the applicable law amounted to extrinsic fraud. it was already brought to fore that Audrey was a U. Court of Appeals. shall be disposed of as is provided by law in cases of estates in the Philippines belonging to persons who are inhabitants of another state or country. after the payment of just debts and expenses of administration. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is situated. shall be disposed of according to such will.A. The obvious result was that there was no fair submission of the case before the trial court or a judicious appreciation of the evidence presented.[33] the Court stated that man in his ingenuity and fertile imagination will always contrive new schemes to fool the unwary. As asserted by respondent. as by keeping him away from court. 9 par.. especially with regard as to who are her heirs. (2). Rule 77 of the Rules of Court on Allowance of Will Proved Outside the Philippines and Administration of Estate Thereunder. it has to be extrinsic or actual. intestate and testamentary succession. petitioner should have distributed Aubreys estate in accordance with the terms of her will. being kept in ignorance by the acts of the plaintiff.

Decades ago. The trial court in its Order dated December 6. II. Men wished to speak after they were dead and the law. in his will. except for his rights and interests over the A/G Interiors. Title 3. without proof of such law having been offered at the hearing of the project of partition.444 shares of stock in A/G Interiors.[41] (Emphasis supplied) This is not a simple case of error of judgment or grave abuse of discretion. The CA correctly stated.s. It does not rest upon petitioners pleasure as to which law should be made applicable under the circumstances. The record reveals. Sub-Title 1. Its provisions have substantially the same force and effect in the probate court as if the testator stood before the court in full life making the declarations by word of mouth as they appear in the will.[42] Moreover.. shares. This. Title 7. Meanwhile. declares that a personal representative is a fiduciary and as such he is under the general duty to settle and distribute the estate of the decedent in accordance with the terms of the will and the estate of decedents law as expeditiously and with as little sacrifice of value as is reasonable under the circumstances. however. and distributing Audreys estate according to the project of partition submitted by petitioner. however. all property of a decedent shall be subject to the estate of decedents law. as petitioners omission was beyond her control. was introduced in evidence by appellants' (herein) counsel as Exhibit "2" (See pp. 1950 before Judge Rafael Amparo (see Records. viz. of course. cases like this. resulted in the procurement of the subject orders without a fair submission of the real issues involved in the case. consisting of the following: (1) Audreys conjugal share in the Makati property. Records. the other appellants. 1988. Anchetas omission to prove the national laws of the decedent and to follow the latters last will. was sufficiently proven in Special Proceeding No. its rigors must be relaxed to admit exceptions thereto and to prevent a miscarriage of justice. however. but a total disregard of the law as a result of petitioners abject failure to discharge his fiduciary duties. Yatco. M-888 noted the law of the State of Maryland on Estates and Trusts.000 as her share. and not according to the project of partition submitted by petitioner. does not dispute the existence or validity of said law. Vol. then Audreys and Richards estate should be distributed according to their respective wills.: We have. Bengson Commercial Bldgs. therefore. 24-44. a legacy passes to the legatee the entire interest of the testator in the property which is the subject of the legacy.00. M-888 appropriately took note of the same in disapproving the proposed project of partition of Richards estate. and the trial court in Special Proceeding No. bequeathed his entire estate to respondent. Anchetas action appears to have breached his duties and responsibilities as ancillary administrator of the subject estate. and upon his death shall pass directly to the personal representative. Again said law was presented by the counsel for the executor and admitted by the Court as Exhibit "B" during the hearing of the case on January 23. The CA likewise observed that the distribution made by petitioner was prompted by his concern over Kyle. Ancheta invokes the principle which presumes the law of the forum to be the same as the foreign law (Beam vs. Justice Moreland. Under all the above circumstances. that the eventual distribution of the estate of Audrey ONeill Guersey was prompted by defendant Alonzo H. the Court took judicial notice of the law of Nevada despite failure to prove the same. 9625. who shall hold the legal title for administration and distribution. consulted the records of the case in the court below and we have found that during the hearing on October 4. especially Section 9905 of the Compiled Nevada Laws of 1925. When Richard subsequently died. petitioner failed to perform his fiduciary duties. Anchetas concern that the subject realty equally benefit the plaintiffs adopted daughter Kyle Guersey. Considering the principle established under Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.[40] the Court held that when the rule that the negligence or mistake of counsel binds the client deserts its proper office as an aid to justice and becomes a great hindrance and chief enemy. defendant Alonzo H. The end result was a miscarriage of justice. the Court may take judicial notice thereof in view of the ruling in Bohanan v. Perkins. worth P64.444. 82 Phil. Vol. the defendant appears to put his actuations in a different light as indicated in a portion of his direct examination.97. that no clear effort was made to prove the national law of Audrey ONeill Guersey during the proceedings before the court a quo. not to mention that petitioner or any other interested person for that matter. and (3) 64. Manarang. 205. 57 Phil.incumbent upon him to exercise his functions as ancillary administrator with reasonable diligence. Bohanan for withdrawal of P20. 1). Section 7-101. Court of First Instance). 30. She was in no position to analyze the legal implications of petitioners omission and it was belatedly that she realized the adverse consequence of the same. Unfortunately. to wit: xxx It would seem. In this case. Inc. thus: In claiming good faith in the performance of his duties and responsibilities. as follows: In GSIS v.n. as well as the citizenship and the avowed domicile of the decedent. 210). Well-intentioned though it may be. assumes the proposition that the law of the State of Maryland which allows a legacy to pass to the legatee the entire estate of the testator in the property which is the subject of the legacy. can be taken judicial notice of by us. The Court held. Defendant Alonzo H. 1991 in Special Proceeding No. do not dispute the above-quoted provision of the laws of the State of Nevada. in his dissenting opinion in Santos v. as well as the resultant frustration of the decedents last will. Court of First Instance. pp. Consequently.417. His onus is clear. while Section 4-408 expressly provides that unless a contrary intent is expressly indicated in the will. 77-79. All these properties passed on to Richard upon Audreys death.. the courts have the legal and moral duty to provide judicial aid to parties who are deprived of their rights. In Under Section 1-301. the entireMakati property should have then passed on to respondent. Compiled Nevada Laws. the entire Makati property belongs to respondent. Audrey devised to Richard her entire estate. 1954 of the motion of Magdalena C. combine to create a circumstance that is tantamount to extrinsic fraud. the fact remains that the trial court failed to consider said law when it issued the assailed RTC Orders datedFebruary 12. . children of the testator. the foreign law. and to discharge the trust reposed on him faithfully. and the court has the power to except a particular case from the operation of the rule whenever the purposes of justice require it.[43] In her will. and t. While there is claim of good faith in distributing the subject estate in accordance with the Philippine laws. While such breach of duty admittedly cannot be considered extrinsic fraud under ordinary circumstances. Bohanan. Inc.[44] Therein. Inc.[45] wrote: A will is the testator speaking after death. especially Section 9905. declaring Richard and Kyle as Audreys heirs. we are constrained to hold that the pertinent law of Nevada. In addition. by the creation of that instrument. in sum. 1988 and April 7. which the Court adopts. 38) in the absence of evidence adduced to prove the latter law (Slade Perkins vs. the fiduciary nature of the said defendants position. it goes without saying that the defendant was also dutybound to prove the pertinent laws of Maryland on the matter. which he left to Kyle. defendant Alonzo H. Nevertheless. In defending his actions in the light of the foregoing principle. whether his omission was intentional or not. on the other hand. The CA aptly noted that petitioner was remiss in his responsibilities as ancillary administrator of Audreys estate. whom petitioner believed should equally benefit from the Makati property. given that the pertinent law of the State of Maryland has been brought to record before the CA. Sub-Title 3 of the Annotated Code of the Public General Laws of Maryland on Estates and Trusts. (2) the cash amount of P12.This eventually prejudiced respondent and deprived her of her full successional right to the Makati property. Richard. That was the special purpose of the law in the creation of the instrument known as the last will and testament. it appears that the defendant lost sight of the fact that his primary responsibility as ancillary administrator was to distribute the subject estate in accordance with the will of Audrey ONeill Guersey. Respondent was thus excluded from enjoying full rights to the Makati property through no fault or negligence of her own.

Aggrieved. the Court has also ruled that if land is invalidly transferred to an alien who subsequently becomes a citizen or transfers it to a citizen. The Decision dated March 18. In any case. filed a special proceeding for the probate of the latters last will and testament. 1999] LOURDES L. When petitioner refused to surrender the TCTs. the court issued an order admitting Alejandros will to probate. hence not final in character. to the decedent's national Law. Congress has not intended to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals.[48] the Court clarified that the Parity Rights Amendment of 1946. in view of the foregoing. the trial court in effect nullified the entry of judgment made by the Court of Appeals. petitioner. QUINTANA. with the exception of private lands acquired by hereditary succession and when the transfer was made to a former naturalborn citizen. [G.Upon denial of her motion for reconsideration.: May a last will and testament admitted to probate but declared intrinsically void in an order that has become final and executory still be given effect? This is the issue that arose from the following antecedents: The petition is without merit. exploitation. Article XII. In 1983. petitioners motive in equitably distributing Audreys estate cannot prevail over Audreys and Richards wishes. [2] This dismissal became final and executory on February 3. Order is hereby issued declaring Lourdes Legaspi not the wife of the late Alejandro Dorotheo. In 1981. does not include the acquisition or exploitation of private agricultural lands. Private respondents did not appeal from said order. The prohibition against acquisition of private lands by aliens was carried on to the 1973 Constitution under Article XIV. the Court notes the fact that Audrey and Richard Guersey were American citizens who owned real property in the Philippines. since the Makati property had already passed on to respondent who is a Filipino. Article XIV. The trial court granted the motion and issued an order. Sections 1 and 4 of the 1935 Constitution. private respondents filed several motions including a motion to compel petitioner to surrender to them the Transfer Certificates of Titles (TCT) covering the properties of the late Alejandro. A final and executory decision or order can no longer be disturbed or reopened no matter how erroneous it may be. As stated in Bellis v. Petitioner also filed a motion to reinstate her as executrix of the estate of the late Alejandro and to maintain the status quo or lease of the premises thereon to third parties. inter alia. if any.[4] . SO ORDERED. 1999 and the Resolution dated August 27. COURT OF APPEALS. 1989. Honorable as it seems. the petition is denied. except only by way of legal succession or if the acquisition was made by a former natural-born citizen. the amount of successional rights. vs. and declaring the oppositors Vicente Dorotheo. were reserved to Filipinos and entities owned or controlled by them. petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals. NILDA D. the provisions of the last will and testament of Alejandro Dorotheo as intrinsically void. No. December 8. As it now stands. [3] Private respondents opposed the motion on the ground that petitioner has no interest in the estate since she is not the lawful wife of the late Alejandro. which re-opened to American citizens and business enterprises the right in the acquisition of lands of the public domain. 1986 Order which declared the intrinsic invalidity of Alejandros will that was earlier admitted to probate. development and utilization of natural resources of the Philippines. Petitioner contends that in issuing the two assailed orders. whose respective estates shall be liquidated and distributed according to the laws on intestacy upon payment of estate and other taxes due to the government. A writ of execution was issued by the lower court to implement the final and executory Order. Private respondents filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied in an Order dated February 1. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. [47] Before concluding. Angas setting aside the final and executory Order dated January 30. Judge Angas cannot be said to have no jurisdiction because he was particularly designated to hear the case. that attended the acquisition by the Guerseys of the Makati property is now inconsequential. 108581. Petitioner likewise assails the Order of the Court of Appeals upholding the validity of the January 30.R. 1990 by Judge Zain B. Alejandro died thereafter. which nullified the two assailed Orders dated November 29. as provided in Section 15. WHEREFORE. 1990 and February 1. 1989 and a corresponding entry of judgment was forthwith issued by the Court of Appeals on May 16. the privilege to acquire and exploit lands of the public domain. No pronouncement as to costs. the flaw in the original transaction is considered cured and the title of the transferee is rendered valid. Sections 7 and 8 of the 1986 Constitution explicitly prohibits non-Filipinos from acquiring or holding title to private lands or to lands of the public domain. for Herself and as Attorney-in-Fact of VICENTE DOROTHEO and JOSE DOROTHEO. [1] Petitioner moved for reconsideration arguing that she is entitled to some compensation since she took care of Alejandro prior to his death although she admitted that they were not married to each other. For it has specifically chosen to leave. but the same was dismissed for failure to file appellants brief within the extended period granted. It is well settled that a lower court cannot reverse or set aside decisions or orders of a superior court. 1999 of the Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED. Jose Dorotheo and Nilda Dorotheo Quintana as the only heirs of the late spouses Alejandro Dorotheo and Aniceta Reyes. and other natural resources of the Philippines.[49] In this case. Bellis:[46] x x x whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our system of legitimes. Sometime in 1977. private respondents filed a petition before the Court of Appeals. An Order was issued on November 29. albeit erroneous. they filed a Motion To Declare The Will Intrinsically Void. Petitioner is ADMONISHED to be more circumspect in the performance of his duties as an official of the court. although records do not show when and how the Guerseys acquired the Makati property. In Republic v. as the objective of the constitutional provision to keep our lands in Filipino hands has been achieved. and to operate public utilities. J. petitioner instituted a petition for review arguing that the case filed by private respondents before the Court of Appeals was a petition under Rule 65 on the ground of grave abuse of discretion or lack of jurisdiction. Consequently. as well as the Order directing the issuance of the writ of execution. The court added that the dispositive portion of the said Order even directs the distribution of the estate of the deceased spouses. It has been ruled that a final judgment on probated will. is binding on the whole world. respondents. who claims to have taken care of Alejandro before he died. private respondents filed a motion for cancellation of said titles and for issuance of new titles in their names. In setting aside the January 30. then whatever flaw.permitted them to do so x x x All doubts must be resolved in favor of the testator's having meant just what he said. 1986 Order that has attained finality. The latter died in 1969 without her estate being settled. Petitioner opposed the motion. petitioner. after Alejandros death. Section 14. DOROTHEO. 1986. Under Article XIII. Private respondents were the legitimate children of Alejandro Dorotheo and Aniceta Reyes. 1991. Quasha. Thus. Specific provisions must prevail over general ones. for to do so would be to negate the hierarchy of courts and nullify the essence of review. 1991. DECISION YNARES-SANTIAGO. on the ground that the order was merely interlocutory. the disposition.

[18] It is clear from the executory order that the estates of Alejandro and his spouse should be distributed according to the laws of intestate succession.[6] It should be noted that probate proceedings deals generally with the extrinsic validity of the will sought to be probated. NENITA A. fraud. then it is deemed to have fully agreed and is satisfied with the decision or order. but that a final and executory decision of which the party had the opportunity to challenge before the higher tribunals must stand and should no longer be reevaluated. Even if the will was validly executed. In support thereof. Present: . [13] the unlawful provisions/dispositions thereof cannot be given effect. therefore.R. BALTAZAR. Interes rei publicae ut finis sit litium . is not an heir. if the testator provides for dispositions that deprives or impairs the lawful heirs of their legitime or rightful inheritance according to the laws on succession. is not a valid reason to reverse a final and executory order. the order allowing the will became final and the question determined by the court in such order can no longer be raised anew. [15] To fulfill this purpose and to do so speedily. This is specially so when the courts had already determined in a final and executory decision that the will is intrinsically void.[9] Under the Civil Code. all juridical questions in connection therewith being for once and forever closed. And if the party does not avail of other remedies despite its belief that it was aggrieved by a decision or court action. It can be clearly inferred from Article 960 of the Civil Code. Accordingly.[7] particularly on three aspects: whether the will submitted is indeed. ANTONIO B. [10] that he was of the proper testamentary age and that he is a person not expressly prohibited by law from making a will. PACHECO.[8] and the due execution of the last will and testament. It should be remembered that forum shopping also occurs when the same issue had already been resolved adversely by some other court. menace or undue influence and that the will is genuine and not a forgery. Thus. BALTAZAR. that he had freely executed the will and was not acting under duress. have to be set up to spur on the slothful. the same attains finality by mere lapse of time.the very object of which the courts were constituted was to put an end to controversies. Thus. the rules of intestacy apply regardless of the intrinsic validity thereof. it has been declared that public policy and sound practice demand that. G. more or less arbitrary. MATEO. Alejandros disposition in his will of the alleged share in the conjugal properties of his late spouse. Petitioner cannot again raise those matters anew for relitigation otherwise that would amount to forum- shopping. the same constitutes res judicatawith respect to those who were parties to the probate proceedings. ANTONIO L.[11] The intrinsic validity is another matter and questions regarding the same may still be raised even after the will has been authenticated. In this case. 174489 SEBASTIAN M. hence it can still be set aside by the trial court. at the risk of occasional errors. [19] The trial court declared in the January 30.[17] which circumstances do not concur herein. the trial court also said that the estate of the late spouses be distributed according to the laws of intestacy. Although the final and executory Order of January 30.[12] Thus. Petitioner was privy to the suit calling for the declaration of the intrinsic invalidity of the will. Such determination having attained that character of finality is binding on this Court which will no longer be disturbed.[20] But before there could be testate distribution. the rules of intestacy apply as correctly held by the trial court. ROSIE M. aside from the fact that the transfer of the estate is usually onerous in nature and that no one is presumed to give . petitioner argues that an order merely declaring who are heirs and the shares to which set of heirs is entitled cannot be the basis of execution to require delivery of shares from one person to another particularly when no project of partition has been filed. Testamentary dispositions of properties not belonging exclusively to the testator or properties which are part of the conjugal regime cannot be given effect. due execution includes a determination of whether the testator was of sound and disposing mind at the time of its execution. whose only heirs are his three legitimate children (petitioners herein). on the law of successional rights that testacy is preferred to intestacy. compliance with the prescribed formalities for the execution of wills. Petitioner posits that the January 30. The matters of due execution of the will and the capacity of the testator acquired the character of res judicata and cannot again be brought into question. certain time limits. judgments of courts must at some point of time fixed by law[14]become final otherwise there will be no end to litigation. the court had ruled that the will of Alejandro was extrinsically valid but the intrinsic provisions thereof were void. WHEREFORE. the decedents last will and testament.[5] Such final order makes the will conclusive against the whole world as to its extrinsic validity and due execution. the petition is DENIED and the decision appealed from is AFFIRMED. [16] The only instance where a party interested in a probate proceeding may have a final liquidation set aside is when he is left out by reason of circumstances beyond his control or through mistake or inadvertence not imputable to negligence. Failure to avail of the remedies provided by law constitutes waiver. Matters with respect to who owns the properties that were disposed of by Alejandro in the void will may still be properly ventilated and determined in the intestate proceedings for the settlement of his and that of his late spouses estate. 1986 wherein private respondents were declared as the only heirs do not bind those who are not parties thereto such as the alleged illegitimate son of the testator. Furthermore. As early as 1918. as she precisely appealed from an unfavorable order therefrom. and at the same time it nullified the will. 1986 Order that petitioner is not the legal wife of Alejandro. MANGALINDAN. the testamentary capacity of the testator. 1986 Order is merely interlocutory. If the will is extrinsically void. the next test is to determine its intrinsic validity that is whether the provisions of the will are valid according to the laws of succession. it has no option but to implement that order of intestate distribution and not to reopen and again re-examine the intrinsic provisions of the same will. Petitioners motion for appointment as administratrix is rendered moot considering that she was not married to the late Alejandro and. No. If it is extrinsically valid.Nemo praesumitur donare. Not that this Court finds the will to be intrinsically valid. it does not necessarily follow that an extrinsically valid last will and testament is always intrinsically valid.[21] No intestate distribution of the estate can be done until and unless the will had failed to pass both its extrinsic and intrinsic validity.It has been consistently held that if no appeal is taken in due time from a judgment or order of the trial court. SO ORDERED. whom he described as his only beloved wife. either in the same proceedings or in a different motion. the will must pass the scrutinizing test and safeguards provided by law considering that the deceased testator is no longer available to prove the voluntariness of his actions.But it should be noted that in the same Order.

April 11. Laxa and Corazon F. Dra. Laxa both of legal age. 1981. Limpin).VIRGILIO REGALA.[5] Also assailed herein is the August 31. There being no opposition to the petition after its due publication. the state is duty-bound to give full effect to the wishes of the testator to distribute his estate in the manner provided in his will so long as it is legally tenable. Limpin testified that her father had a stroke in 1991 and had to undergo brain surgery. The assailed CA Decision granted the petition for probate of the notarial will of Paciencia Regala (Paciencia). In the interim.R.versus - Fourth . 1996. Dra.[17] Dra. he being a citizen and resident of the USA.[19] Questioned by the prosecutor regarding Judge Limpins present mental fitness. Mercado (Faustino). Pacheco. Limpin (Judge Limpin). the Will remained in the custody of Judge Limpin. 2000. his predecessor-ininterest.[18] She likewise positively identified the signature of her father appearing thereon. Petitioners call us to reverse the CAs assailed Decision and instead affirm the Decision of the RTC which disallowed the notarial will of Paciencia. it was obtained through fraud or trickery. [13] Paciencia lived with Lorenzos family in Sasmuan. finding the appeal to be impressed with merit. 2006 Decision[3] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. NO. who are still not of legal age and living with their parents who would decide to bequeath since they are the children of the spouses. Pampanga and it was she who raised and cared for Lorenzo since his birth. G-1186 dated 30 September 2003. VILLARAMA. Laxa and Corazon F. xxxx LORENZO LAXA. Conversely. 2 and 4 thereof.[23] Factual Antecedents Paciencia was a 78 year old spinster when she made her last will and testament entitled Tauli Nang Bilin o Testamento Miss Paciencia Regala[7] (Will) in the Pampango dialect on September 13. that the execution of the Will had been procured by undue and improper pressure and influence by Lorenzo or by some other persons for his benefit.[20] The judge can walk but can no longer talk and remember her name. Mateo (Rosie) and Antonio L. was read to Paciencia twice.[27] Later still on September 26. G-1186. Limpin positively identified the Will and her signatures on all its four pages. premises considered. G-1186. in her presence and of two other witnesses. Petitioners. 2000. [16] The Will was executed in her fathers (Judge Limpin) home office. Laxa and their children Luna Lorella Laxa and Katherine Ross Laxa. LAXA and their children. Francisco Garcia (Francisco) and Faustino R. Lorenzo is Paciencias nephew whom she treated as her own son. that she was forced to execute the Will under duress or influence of fear or threats. Because of this. Jr. I am also bequeathing and giving the same to the spouses Lorenzo R.. 2000. JR. petitioner Antonio Baltazar (Antonio) filed an opposition [22] to Lorenzos petition.. that assuming the signature to be genuine. Flores. 2000. and the spouses Lorenzo R. executed in the house of retired Judge Ernestino G. Chairperson. and RAFAEL TITCO. [Sasmuan]. Guagua. Paciencia bequeathed all her properties to respondent Lorenzo R. paragraph 3 of the Civil Code. CV No. 2003 Decision [4] of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). On said date. Limpin testified that she was one of the instrumental witnesses in the execution of the last will and testament of Paciencia on September 13. [25] Petitioners also opposed the issuance of Letters of Administration in Lorenzos favor arguing that Lorenzo was disqualified to be appointed as such. Mangalindan filed a Supplemental Opposition[24] contending that Paciencias Will was null and void because ownership of the properties had not been transferred and/or titled to Paciencia before her death pursuant to Article 1049.. The filial relationship of Lorenzo with Paciencia remains undisputed. petitioners filed an Amended Opposition[28] asking the RTC to deny the probate of Paciencias Will on the following grounds: the Will was not executed and attested to in accordance with the requirements of the law. Virgilio Regala. PROC. Monica.: It is incumbent upon those who oppose the probate of a will to clearly establish that the decedent was not of sound and disposing mind at the time of the execution of said will. [11] in the presence of Paciencia and of one another and of Judge Limpin who acted as notary public. JR. Rafael Titco. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. Pampanga and their children. the decision in SP. and . 2000 [15] allowing Lorenzo to present evidence on June 22. DEL CASTILLO. BERSAMIN. now joined by petitioners Sebastian M. petitioners filed an Opposition and Recommendation[29] reiterating their opposition to the appointment of Lorenzo as administrator of the properties and requesting for the appointment of Antonio in his stead. 2012 x-------------------------------------------------------------------x [Sixth] . Otherwise. Simultaneously. LUNA LORELLA LAXA and KATHERINE LAXA.. she resided with Lorenzo and his family until her death on January 4. Francisco and Faustino. Dra. Six days after the execution of the Will or on September 19. Epifania Regala and their spouses and with respect to the fishpond situated at San Antonio. After which. that Paciencia was mentally incapable to make a Will at the time of its execution. Lorenzo filed a petition [14] with the RTC of Guagua. Limpin (Dra. LUNA LORELLA and KATHERINE ROSS LAXA. CONVEY and GIVE all my properties enumerated in parcels 1 to 5 unto the spouses LORENZO R. CORONA. Branch 52. JJ. SO ORDERED. Filipinos. to wit: WHEREFORE. thus: xxxx Barely a month after or on July 20. Rosie M. The three attested to the Wills due execution by affixing their signatures below its attestation clause [10] and on the left margin of pages 1. I hereby BEQUEATH. Paciencia left for the United States of America (USA).[9] The witnesses to the Will were Dra. C. 80979 which reversed the September 30. Antonio averred that the properties subject of Paciencias Will belong to Nicomeda Regala Mangalindan. presently residing at Barrio Sta. . She thereafter affixed her signature at the end of the said document on page 3 [8] and then on the left margin of pages 1. Paciencia had no right to bequeath them to Lorenzo. Maria Lioba A. and. that Paciencia did not intend the document to be her Will. 2 and 4 thereof. The Will. 1981.In consideration of their valuable services to me since then up to the present by the spouses LORENZO LAXA and CORAZON F. Pampanga for the probate of the Will of Paciencia and for the issuance of Letters of Administration in his favor. Promulgated: Respondent. More than four years after the death of Paciencia or on April 27. docketed as Special Proceedings No. Paciencia expressed in the presence of the instrumental witnesses that the document is her last will and testament. J. Childless and without any brothers or sisters. x x x[12] DECISION DEL CASTILLO. There. Felix B. 2006 CA Resolution[6] which denied the Motion for Reconsideration thereto. Baltazar. Nenita A.J. I likewise command to fulfill the wishes of D[]a Nicomeda Regala in accordance with her testament as stated in my testament. Laxa (Lorenzo) and his wife Corazon F. Lorenzo came to know and treated Paciencia as his own mother. LAXA and CORAZON F. Laxa and their two children and I also command them to offer masses yearly for the repose of my soul and that of D[]a Nicomeda Regala. hence. the RTC issued an Order on June 13. 1981.[21] The following day or on June 23. that the signature of Paciencia on the Will was forged.[26] Petitioners prayed that Letters of Administration be instead issued in favor of Antonio. Limpin stated that her father can no longer testify in court.[1] Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari[2] of the June 15. Pampanga in Special Proceedings No. is hereby SET ASIDE and a new one entered GRANTING the petition for the probate of the will of PACIENCIA REGALA. Antonio.Should other properties of mine may be discovered aside from the properties mentioned in this last will and testament. LAXA. 2000.

the oppositors in the probate proceedings were not able to overcome the presumption that every person is of sound mind. Faithful compliance with the formalities laid down by law is apparent from the face of the Will. she remembered Paciencia instructing Faustino to first look for money before she signs them. violence.[39] On September 13. 2000.[33] Lorenzo positively identified the signature of Paciencia in three different documents and in the Will itself and stated that he was familiar with Paciencias signature because he accompanied her in her transactions. III. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED WHEN IT ALLOWED THE PROBATE OF PACIENCIAS WILL DESPITE RESPONDENTS UTTER FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH SECTION 11. the same were still unsigned. the RTC issued an Order[30] denying the requests of both Lorenzo and Antonio to be appointed administrator since the former is a citizen and resident of the USAwhile the latters claim as a co-owner of the properties subject of the Will has not yet been established. intimidation. Rosie claimed that she saw Faustino bring something for Paciencia to sign at the latters house. 1981. Antonio advised Paciencia not to sign the documents if she does not want to. [32] For his part. Paciencia went to the house of Antonios mother and brought with her the said envelope. the RTC rendered its Decision denying the petition thus: [56] . this court hereby (a) denies the petition dated April 24. why will I sell all my properties? Who is Lorenzo? Is he the only [son] of God? I have other relatives [who should] benefit from my properties.[57] The trial court gave considerable weight to the testimony of Rosie and concluded that at the time Paciencia signed the Will. deaf or mute. Issues Petitioners come before this Court by way of Petition for Review on Certiorari ascribing upon the CA the following errors: I. Our Ruling We deny the petition. he lived in Sasmuan. It ratiocinated that the state of being magulyan does not make a person mentally unsound so [as] to render [Paciencia] unfit for executing a Will. Paciencia left the documents with Antonio. Paciencia allegedly uttered the following words: Why will I never [return]. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN RULING THAT PETITIONERS FAILED TO PROVE THAT PACIENCIA WAS NOT OF SOUND MIND AT THE TIME THE WILL WAS ALLEGEDLY EXECUTED[63] The pivotal issue is whether the authenticity and due execution of the notarial Will was sufficiently established to warrant its allowance for probate. The appellate court did not agree with the RTCs conclusion that Paciencia was of unsound mind when she executed the Will. Rosie testified that her mother and Paciencia were first cousins. the CA reversed the RTC Decision and granted the probate of the Will of Paciencia. 1981. was not blind. 1981 of Paciencia Regala. 1981. it was established that Rosie was neither a doctor nor a psychiatrist. Lorenzo belied and denied having used force. she was no longer possessed of sufficient reason or strength of mind to have testamentary capacity. he could no longer be presented in court as he already died on May 21. Hence. the envelope was no longer with Paciencia. Antonio stated that Paciencia was his aunt. Paciencia was a spinster without children. Courts are tasked to determine nothing more than the extrinsic validity of a Will in probate proceedings. son of Faustino. this petition. [48] He identified the Will and testified that he had seen the said document before because Paciencia brought the same to his mothers house and showed it to him along with another document on September 16. in 1981 Paciencia went to the USA and lived with him and his family until her death in January 1996. Lorenzo and Monico Mercado (Monico) also took the witness stand. though. [34] Further. [50] According to him.[55] Ruling of the Regional Trial Court WHEREFORE. no concrete circumstances or events were given to prove the allegation that Paciencia was tricked or forced into signing the Will. [52] Upon hearing this. Pampanga with his family and his aunt. For petitioners. and the lack of photographs when the event took place. Monico. 2001. Lorenzo clarified that Paciencia informed him about the Will shortly after her arrival in the USA but that he saw a copy of the Will only after her death.[54] After which. She testified as to the age of her father at the time the latter notarized the Will of Paciencia.[47] [40] In his direct examination. Lorenzo testified that: from 1944 until his departure for the USA in April 1980. [59]Moreover.[64] This is expressly provided for in Rule 75.[60] Petitioners moved for reconsideration[61] but the motion was denied by the CA in its Resolution[62] dated August 31. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN MAKING CONCLUSIONS NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE EVIDENCE ON RECORD. I know nothing about those. [58] Ruling of the Court of Appeals On appeal. [46] and that it was Antonio who requested her to testify in court. Meanwhile. II. According to him his father can no longer talk and express himself due to brain damage. proceedings on the petition for the probate of the Will continued. [44]Rosie further testified that Paciencia was referred to as magulyan or forgetful because she would sometimes leave her wallet in the kitchen then start looking for it moments later. coercion or trickery upon Paciencia to execute the Will as he was not in the Philippines when the same was executed. Limpin was recalled for crossexamination by the petitioners. and he was already residing in the USA when the Will was executed. [41] However. the relationship between him and Paciencia was like that of a mother and child since Paciencia took care of him since birth and took him in as an adopted son. that she did not see what that something was as same was placed inside an envelope. [37] She claimed to have helped in the household chores in the house of Paciencia thereby allowing her to stay therein from morning until evening and that during the period of her service in the said household. 2003. Limpin. Rosie admitted.[35] On cross-examination. ALLOWANCE OF WILL NECESSARY. Further. 2006. [42] A few days after or on September 16. which states: Rule 75 PRODUCTION OF WILL. [38] She served in the said household from 1980 until Paciencias departure for the USA on September 19. throw them away or it is up to you. 1981. The more I will not sign them. [31] Aside from Dra. that her conclusion that Paciencia was magulyan was based on her personal assessment.[36] As to Francisco. the Will was in the custody of Judge Limpin and was only given to him after Paciencias death through Faustino. Antonio kept the unsigned documents and eventually turned them over to Faustino on September 18. and a Will which would transfer her properties to Lorenzo and his family upon her death.[49] Antonio alleged that when the documents were shown to him. testified on his fathers condition. SO ORDERED. A medical certificate was presented to the court to support this allegation. Section 1 of the Rules of Court. RULE 76 OF THE RULES OF COURT. she did not suffer from any mental disorder and was of sound mind. the living arrangements of Paciencia at the time of the execution of the Will. to which the latter purportedly replied. and without brothers and sisters. 2000. 1981. On September 30. Why should I die already?[53] Thereafter. Lorenzos wife and his children were staying in the same house. [43] Upon going home. Dra. [45] On cross examination. [51] and it was he who explained that the documents were actually a special power of attorney to lease and sell her fishpond and other properties upon her departure for the USA.On January 29. and (b) disallows the notarized will dated September 13. Paciencia thought that the documents pertained to a lease of one of her rice lands. Paciencia. however. at the time of Paciencias death.

her instrumental witnesses and the notary public. and that the latter witnessed and signed the will and all the pages thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. Every will. influence of fear or threats. unimpaired. or less. a testator is presumed to be of sound mind at the time of the execution of the Will and the burden to prove otherwise lies on the oppositor. The burden to prove that Paciencia was of unsound mind at the time of the execution of the will lies on the shoulders of the petitioners. and that assuming Paciencias signature to be genuine. evidence shows the acknowledged fact that Paciencias relationship with Lorenzo and his family is different from her relationship with petitioners. Every will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses. except the last. 805. Besides. under his express direction. It is in fact not unheard of in our culture for old maids or spinsters to care for and raise their nephews and nieces and treat them as their own children. The notary public shall not be required to retain a copy of the will.Section 1. such allowance of the will shall be conclusive as to its due execution. 1981 wherein the former purportedly repudiated the Will and left it unsigned. No will shall pass either real or personal estate unless it is proved and allowed in the proper court. If the attestation clause is in a language not known to the witnesses. Conclusive as to execution. no matter how forceful. no substantial evidence was presented by them to prove the same. To be of sound mind. thus. must be subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself or by the testator's name written by some other person in his presence. the contrary. This unquestioned relationship between Paciencia and the devisees tends to support the authenticity of the said document as against petitioners allegations of duress. The attestation shall state the number of pages used upon which the will is written. Here. freely executed the will in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. or unshattered by disease. 799. The testimony of subscribing witnesses to a Will concerning the testators mental condition is entitled to great weight where they are truthful and intelligent. undue and improper influence. 806. and the fact that the testator signed the will and every page thereof. and trickery which. apart from the testimony of Rosie pertaining to Paciencias forgetfulness. We are not persuaded. to his wife CORAZON and to his two (2) children. the person who maintains the validity of the will must prove that the testator made it during a lucid interval. to wit: In this case. and by his express direction. She specially requested that the customs of her faith be observed upon her death. The very fact that she cared for and raised Lorenzo and lived with him both here and abroad. and all the pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page. thereby warranting the CAs finding that petitioners failed to discharge such burden. pressure. They likewise claimed in their Motion for Reconsideration[66] filed with the CA that Paciencia was not only magulyan but was actually suffering from paranoia. the proper objects of her bounty and the character of the testamentary act. Allowance necessary. fraud. or that his mind be wholly unbroken. However and as earlier mentioned. each and every page thereof. it was obtained through fraud or trickery. before making his will was publicly known to be insane. We agree with the position of the CA that the state of being forgetful does not necessarily make a person mentally unsound so as to render him unfit to execute a Will. 800.[65]These formalities are enshrined in Articles 805 and 806 of the New Civil Code. Furthermore. that would show that Paciencia was of unsound mind at the time of the execution of the Will. one month. through their witness Rosie. The law presumes that every person is of sound mind. we are convinced that Paciencia was aware of the nature of her estate to be disposed of. shall also sign. We take into consideration the unrebutted fact that Paciencia loved and treated Lorenzo as her own son and that love even extended to Lorenzos wife and children. Article 800 of the New Civil Code states: Art. but if the testator. The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will. even if the latter was already married and already has children. are all present and evident on the Will. on the left margin. are not supported by concrete. As aptly pointed out by the CA: A scrutiny of the Will discloses that [Paciencia] was aware of the nature of the document she executed. Such is a prevalent and accepted cultural practice that has resulted in many family discords between those favored by the testamentary disposition of a testator and those who stand to benefit in case of intestacy.[69] More importantly. It shall be sufficient if the testator was able at the time of making the will to know the nature of the estate to be disposed of. we find more worthy of credence Dra. In fact. Limpins testimony as to the soundness of mind of Paciencia when the latter went to Judge Limpins house and voluntarily executed the Will.[67] We are not convinced. as aforesaid. and attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one another. the attestation clause explicitly states the critical requirement that the testatrix and her instrumental witnesses signed the Will in the presence of one another and that the witnesses attested and subscribed to the Will in the presence of the testator and of one another. that the execution of the Will had been procured by undue and improper pressure and influence by Lorenzo or by some other persons for his benefit. it shall be interpreted to them.[70] Bare allegations of duress or influence of fear or threats. Petitioners. The signatures of the testatrix. the burden to prove that Paciencia was of unsound mind lies upon the shoulders of petitioners. A third child was born after the execution of the will and was not included therein as devisee. there was no showing that Paciencia was publicly known to be insane one month or less before the making of the Will. Art. being of sound mind. a careful examination of the face of the Will shows faithful compliance with the formalities laid down by law. highlights the special bond between them. The burden of proof that the testator was not of sound mind at the time of making his dispositions is on the person who opposes the probate of the will. injury or other cause. It is worth stressing that bare arguments. In this case. These are grounded on the alleged conversation between Paciencia and Antonio on September 16.Petitioners claim that Paciencia was forced to execute the Will under duress or influence of fear or threats. Paciencia. and the character of the testamentary act. This kind of relationship is not unusual. Due execution of the will or its extrinsic validity pertains to whether the testator. fraud and trickery cannot be used as basis to deny the probate of a will. the proper objects of his bounty. medical or otherwise. Further. substantial and credible evidence on record. aside from being factual in nature. in the presence of the instrumental witnesses. undue and improper influence and pressure. or file another with the Office of the Clerk of Court. if . even the petitioners acceded that the signature of Paciencia in the Will may be authentic although they question her state of mind when she signed the same as well as the voluntary nature of said act.[68] Forgetfulness is not equivalent to being of unsound mind. She was well aware of how she acquired the properties from her parents and the properties she is bequeathing to LORENZO. Article 799 of the New Civil Code states: Art. in the absence of proof to Art. other than a holographic will. Clearly. claim that Paciencia was magulyan or forgetful so much so that it effectively stripped her of testamentary capacity. An essential element of the validity of the Will is the willingness of the testator or testatrix to execute the document that will distribute his/her earthly possessions upon his/her death. Here. or caused some other person to write his name. Subject to the right of appeal. On the other hand. it is not necessary that the testator be in full possession of all his reasoning faculties. there is no substantial evidence.

not based on concrete and substantial evidence cannot suffice to move the Court to uphold said allegations. [71] Furthermore, a purported
will is not [to be] denied legalization on dubious grounds. Otherwise, the very institution of testamentary succession will be shaken to its
foundation, for even if a will has been duly executed in fact, whether x x x it will be probated would have to depend largely on the attitude
of those interested in [the estate of the deceased].[72]
Court should be convinced by the evidence
presented before it that the Will was duly
executed.
Petitioners dispute the authenticity of Paciencias Will on the ground that Section 11 of Rule 76 of the Rules of Court was
not complied with. It provides:
RULE 76
ALLOWANCE OR DISALLOWANCE OF WILL
Section 11. Subscribing witnesses produced or accounted for where will contested. If the
will is contested, all the subscribing witnesses, and the notary in the case of wills executed under the Civil
Code of the Philippines, if present in the Philippines and not insane, must be produced and examined, and
the death, absence, or insanity of any of them must be satisfactorily shown to the court. If all or some of
such witnesses are present in the Philippines but outside the province where the will has been filed, their
deposition must be taken. If any or all of them testify against the due execution of the will, or do not
remember having attested to it, or are otherwise of doubtful credibility, the will may nevertheless, be allowed
if the court is satisfied from the testimony of other witnesses and from all the evidence presented that the will
was executed and attested in the manner required by law.
If a holographic will is contested, the same shall be allowed if at least three (3) witnesses who
know the handwriting of the testator explicitly declare that the will and the signature are in the handwriting of
the testator; in the absence of any competent witnesses, and if the court deem it necessary, expert
testimony may be resorted to. (Emphasis supplied.)
They insist that all subscribing witnesses and the notary public should have been presented in court since all but one
witness, Francisco, are still living.
We cannot agree with petitioners.
We note that the inability of Faustino and Judge Limpin to appear and testify before the court was satisfactorily
explained during the probate proceedings. As testified to by his son, Faustino had a heart attack, was already bedridden and could no
longer talk and express himself due to brain damage. To prove this, said witness presented the corresponding medical certificate. For
her part, Dra. Limpin testified that her father, Judge Limpin, suffered a stroke in 1991 and had to undergo brain surgery. At that time,
Judge Limpin could no longer talk and could not even remember his daughters name so that Dra. Limpin stated that given such
condition, her father could no longer testify. It is well to note that at that point, despite ample opportunity, petitioners neither interposed
any objections to the testimonies of said witnesses nor challenged the same on cross examination. We thus hold that for all intents and
purposes, Lorenzo was able to satisfactorily account for the incapacity and failure of the said subscribing witness and of the notary public
to testify in court. Because of this the probate of Paciencias Will may be allowed on the basis of Dra. Limpins testimony proving her
sanity and the due execution of the Will, as well as on the proof of her handwriting. It is an established rule that [a] testament may not be
disallowed just because the attesting witnesses declare against its due execution; neither does it have to be necessarily allowed just
because all the attesting witnesses declare in favor of its legalization; what is decisive is that the court is convinced by evidence before it,
not necessarily from the attesting witnesses, although they must testify, that the will was or was not duly executed in the manner required
by law.[73]
Moreover, it bears stressing that [i]rrespective x x x of the posture of any of the parties as regards the authenticity and due
execution of the will x x x in question, it is the mandate of the law that it is the evidence before the court and/or [evidence that] ought to be
before it that is controlling.[74] The very existence of [the Will] is in itself prima facie proof that the supposed [testatrix] has willed that [her]
estate be distributed in the manner therein provided, and it is incumbent upon the state that, if legally tenable, such desire be given full
effect independent of the attitude of the parties affected thereby. [75] This, coupled with Lorenzos established relationship with Paciencia,
the evidence and the testimonies of disinterested witnesses, as opposed to the total lack of evidence presented by petitioners apart from
their self-serving testimonies, constrain us to tilt the balance in favor of the authenticity of the Will and its allowance for probate.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated June 15, 2006 and the Resolution dated August 31, 2006 of
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 80979 areAFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. L-6801

March 14, 1912

JULIANA
vs.
ISIDRO PAGUIO, ET AL., defendants-appellants.
Salas
and
Jose Santiago for appellee.

BAGTAS, plaintiffs-appellee,

Kalaw

for

appellants.

TRENT, J.:
This is an appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of the Province of Bataan, admitting to probate a
document which was offered as the last will and testament of Pioquinto Paguio y Pizarro. The will purports to have
been executed in the pueblo of Pilar, Province of Bataan, on the 19th day of April, 1908. The testator died on the 28th
of September, 1909, a year and five months following the date of the execution of the will. The will was propounded
by the executrix, Juliana Bagtas, widow of the decedent, and the opponents are a son and several grandchildren by a
former marriage, the latter being the children of a deceased daughter.
The basis of the opposition to the probation of the will is that the same was not executed according to the formalities
and requirements of the law touching wills, and further that the testator was not in the full of enjoyment and use of his
mental faculties and was without the mental capacity necessary to execute a valid will.
The record shows that the testator, Pioquinto Paguio, for some fourteen of fifteen years prior to the time of his death
suffered from a paralysis of the left side of his body; that a few years prior to his death his hearing became impaired
and that he lost the power of speech. Owing to the paralysis of certain muscles his head fell to one side, and saliva
ran from his mouth. He retained the use of his right hand, however, and was able to write fairly well. Through the
medium of signs he was able to indicate his wishes to his wife and to other members of his family.
At the time of the execution of the will there were present the four testamentary witnesses, Agustin Paguio, Anacleto
Paguio, and Pedro Paguio, and attorney, Señor Marco, and one Florentino Ramos. Anacleto Paguio and the attorney
have since died, and consequently their testimony was not available upon the trial of the case in the lower court. The
other three testamentary witnesses and the witness Florentino Ramos testified as to the manner in which the will was
executed. According to the uncontroverted testimony of these witnesses the will was executed in the following
manner:
Pioquinto Paguio, the testator, wrote out on pieces of paper notes and items relating to the disposition of his property,
and these notes were in turn delivered to Señor Marco, who transcribed them and put them in form. The witnesses
testify that the pieces of paper upon which the notes were written are delivered to attorney by the testator; that the
attorney read them to the testator asking if they were his testamentary dispositions; that the testator assented each
time with an affirmative movement of his head; that after the will as a whole had been thus written by the attorney, it
was read in a loud voice in the presence of the testator and the witnesses; that Señor Marco gave the document to
the testator; that the latter, after looking over it, signed it in the presence of the four subscribing witnesses; and that
they in turn signed it in the presence of the testator and each other.

These are the facts of record with reference to the execution of the will and we are in perfect accord with the
judgment of the lower court that the formalities of the Code of Civil Procedure have been fully complied with.

can be no doubt that the testator's infirmities were of a very serious character, and it is quite evident that his mind was
not as active as it had been in the earlier years of his life. However, we can not include from this that he wanting in the
necessary mental capacity to dispose of his property by will.

This brings us now to a consideration of appellants' second assignment of error, viz, the testator's alleged mental
incapacity at the time of the execution of the will. Upon this point considerable evidence was adduced at the trial. One
of the attesting witnesses testified that at the time of the execution of the will the testator was in his right mind, and
that although he was seriously ill, he indicated by movements of his head what his wishes were. Another of the
attesting witnesses stated that he was not able to say whether decedent had the full use of his mental faculties or not,
because he had been ill for some years, and that he (the witnesses) was not a physician. The other subscribing
witness, Pedro Paguio, testified in the lower court as a witness for the opponents. He was unable to state whether or
not the will was the wish of the testator. The only reasons he gave for his statement were the infirmity and advanced
age of the testator and the fact that he was unable to speak. The witness stated that the testator signed the will, and
he verified his own signature as a subscribing witness.

The courts have been called upon frequently to nullify wills executed under such circumstances, but the weight of the
authority is in support if the principle that it is only when those seeking to overthrow the will have clearly established
the charge of mental incapacity that the courts will intervene to set aside a testamentary document of this character.
In the case of Bugnao vs. Ubag (14 Phil. Rep., 163), the question of testamentary capacity was discussed by this
court. The numerous citations there given from the decisions of the United States courts are especially applicable to
the case at bar and have our approval. In this jurisdiction the presumption of law is in favor of the mental capacity of
the testator and the burden is upon the contestants of the will to prove the lack of testamentary capacity. (In the
matter of the will of Cabigting, 14 Phil. Rep., 463; in the matter of the will of Butalid, 10 Phil. Rep., 27;
Hernaez vs. Hernaez, 1 Phil. Rep., 689.)

Florentino Ramos, although not an attesting witness, stated that he was present when the will was executed and his
testimony was cumulative in corroboration of the manner in which the will was executed and as to the fact that the
testator signed the will. This witness also stated that he had frequently transacted matters of business for the
decedent and had written letters and made inventories of his property at his request, and that immediately before and
after the execution of the will he had performed offices of his character. He stated that the decedent was able to
communicate his thoughts by writing. The testimony of this witness clearly indicates the presence of mental capacity
on the part of the testator. Among other witnesses for the opponents were two physician, Doctor Basa and Doctor
Viado. Doctor Basa testified that he had attended the testator some four or five years prior to his death and that the
latter had suffered from a cerebral congestion from which the paralysis resulted. The following question was
propounded to Doctor Basa:

The rule of law relating to the presumption of mental soundness is well established, and the testator in the case at bar
never having been adjudged insane by a court of competent jurisdiction, this presumption continues, and it is
therefore incumbent upon the opponents to overcome this legal presumption by proper evidence. This we think they
have failed to do. There are many cases and authorities which we might cite to show that the courts have repeatedly
held that mere weakness of mind and body, induced by age and disease do not render a person incapable of making
a will. The law does not require that a person shall continue in the full enjoyment and use of his pristine physical and
mental powers in order to execute a valid will. If such were the legal standard, few indeed would be the number of
wills that could meet such exacting requirements. The authorities, both medical and legal, are universal in statement
that the question of mental capacity is one of degree, and that there are many gradations from the highest degree of
mental soundness to the lowest conditions of diseased mentality which are denominated as insanity and idiocy.

Q.
Referring to mental condition in which you found him the last time you attended him, do you think
he was in his right mind?

The right to dispose of property by testamentary disposition is as sacred as any other right which a person may
exercise and this right should not be nullified unless mental incapacity is established in a positive and conclusive
manner. In discussing the question of testamentary capacity, it is stated in volume 28, 70, of the American and
English Encyclopedia of Law, that —

A.
I can not say exactly whether he was in his right mind, but I noted some mental disorder, because
when I spoke to him he did not answer me.
Doctor Basa testified at more length, but the substance of his testimony is that the testator had suffered a paralysis
and that he had noticed some mental disorder. He does not say that the testator was not in his right mind at the time
of the execution of the will, nor does he give it at his opinion that he was without the necessary mental capacity to
make a valid will. He did not state in what way this mental disorder had manifested itself other than that he had
noticed that the testator did not reply to him on one occasion when he visited him.
Doctor Viado, the other physician, have never seen the testator, but his answer was in reply to a hypothetical question
as to what be the mental condition of a person who was 79 years old and who had suffered from a malady such as
the testator was supposed to have had according to the testimony of Doctor Basa, whose testimony Doctor Viado had
heard. He replied and discussed at some length the symptoms and consequences of the decease from which the
testator had suffered; he read in support of his statements from a work by a German Physician, Dr. Herman Eichost.
In answer, however, to a direct question, he stated that he would be unable to certify to the mental condition of a
person who was suffering from such a disease.
We do not think that the testimony of these two physicians in any way strengthens the contention of the appellants.
Their testimony only confirms the fact that the testator had been for a number of years prior to his death afflicted with
paralysis, in consequence of which his physician and mental strength was greatly impaired. Neither of them
attempted to state what was the mental condition of the testator at the time he executed the will in question. There

Contrary to the very prevalent lay impression, perfect soundness of mind is not essential to testamentary
capacity. A testator may be afflicted with a variety of mental weaknesses, disorders, or peculiarities and
still be capable in law of executing a valid will. (See the numerous cases there cited in support of this
statement.)
The rule relating to testamentary capacity is stated in Buswell on Insanity, section 365, and quoted with approval
in Campbell vs. Campbell (130 Ill., 466), as follows:
To constitute a sound and disposing mind, it is not necessary that the mind shall be wholly unbroken,
unimpaired, or unshattered by disease or otherwise, or that the testator should be in the full possession
of his reasoning faculties.
In note, 1 Jarman on Wills, 38, the rule is thus stated:
The question is not so much, that was the degree of memory possessed by the testator, as, had he a
disposing memory? Was he able to remember the property he was about to bequeath, the manner of
disturbing it, and the objects of his bounty? In a word, were his mind and memory sufficiently sound to

enable him to know and understand the business in which he was engaged at the time when he executed
his will. (See authorities there cited.)
In Wilson vs. Mitchell (101 Penn., 495), the following facts appeared upon the trial of the case: The testator died at
the age of nearly 102 years. In his early years he was an intelligent and well informed man. About seven years prior to
his death he suffered a paralytic stroke and from that time his mind and memory were mush enfeebled. He became
very dull of hearing and in consequence of the shrinking of his brain he was affected with senile cataract causing total
blindness. He became filthy and obscene in his habits, although formerly he was observant of the properties of life.
The court, in commenting upon the case, said:
Neither age, nor sickness, nor extreme distress, nor debility of body will affect the capacity to make a will,
if sufficient intelligence remains. The failure of memory is not sufficient to create the incapacity, unless it
be total, or extend to his immediate family or property. . . .
xxx

xxx

In the above case the will was sustained. In the case at bar we might draw the same contrast as was pictured by the
court in the case just quoted. The striking change in the physical and mental vigor of the testator during the last years
of his life may have led some of those who knew him in his earlier days to entertain doubts as to his mental capacity
to make a will, yet we think that the statements of the witnesses to the execution of the will and statements of the
conduct of the testator at that time all indicate that he unquestionably had mental capacity and that he exercised it on
this occasion. At the time of the execution of the will it does not appear that his conduct was irrational in any
particular. He seems to have comprehended clearly what the nature of the business was in which he was engaged.
The evidence show that the writing and execution of the will occupied a period several hours and that the testator was
present during all this time, taking an active part in all the proceedings. Again, the will in the case at bar is perfectly
reasonable and its dispositions are those of a rational person.
For the reasons above stated, the order probating the will should be and the same is hereby affirmed, with costs of
this instance against the appellants.
September 18, 1909

CATALINA
vs.
FRANCISCO UBAG, ET AL., contestants-appellants.
Rodriguez
and
Fernando Salas for appellee.
CARSON, J.:

Appellants contend that the evidence of record is not sufficient to establish the execution of the alleged will in the
manner and form prescribed in section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure; and that at the time when it is alleged that
the will was executed, Ubag was not of sound mind and memory, and was physically and mentally incapable of
making a will.
The instrument propounded for probate purports to be the last will and testament of Domingo Ubag, signed by him in
the presence of three subscribing and attesting witnesses, and appears upon its face to have been duly executed in
accordance with the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure touching the making of wills.

xxx

Dougal (the testator) had lived over one hundred years before he made the will, and his physical and
mental weakness and defective memory were in striking contrast with their strength in the meridian of his
life. He was blind; not deaf, but hearing impaired; his mind acted slowly, he was forgetful or recent
events, especially of names, and repeated questions in conversation; and sometimes, when aroused for
sleep or slumber, would seem bewildered. It is not singular that some of those who had known him when
he was remarkable for vigor and intelligence, are of the opinion that his reason was so far gone that he
was incapable of making a will, although they never heard him utter an irrational expression.

G.R. No. 4445

This is an appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Oriental Negros, admitting to probate a document
purporting to be the last will and testament of Domingo Ubag, deceased. The instrument was propounded by his
widow, Catalina Bugnao, the sole beneficiary thereunder, and probate was contested by the appellants, who are
brothers and sisters of the deceased, and who would be entitled to share in the distribution of his estate, if probate
were denied, as it appears that the deceased left no heirs in the direct ascending or descending line.

Del

BUGNAO, proponent-appellee,

Rosario

for

appellants.

Two of the subscribing witnesses, Victor J. Bingtoy and Catalino Mariño, testified in support of the will, the latter being
the justice of the peace of the municipality wherein it was executed; and their testimony was corroborated in all
important details by the testimony of the proponent herself, who was present when the will was made. It does not
appear from the record why the third subscribing witness was not called; but since counsel for the contestants makes
no comment upon his absence, we think it may safely be inferred that there was some good and sufficient reason
therefore. In passing, however, it may be well to observe that, when because of death, sickness, absence, or for any
other reason, it is not practicable to call to the witness stand all the subscribing witnesses to a will offered for probate,
the reason for the absence of any of these witnesses should be made to appear of record, and this especially in
cases such as the one at bar, wherein there is a contests.
The subscribing witnesses gave full and detailed accounts of the execution of the will and swore that the testator, at
the time of its execution, was of sound mind and memory, and in their presence attached his signature thereto as his
last will and testament, and that in his presence and in the presence of each other, they as well as the third
subscribing witness. Despite the searching and exhaustive cross-examination to which they were subjected, counsel
for appellants could point to no flaw in their testimony save an alleged contradiction as to a single incident which
occurred at or about the time when the will was executed a contradiction, however, which we think is more apparent
than real. One of the witnesses stated that the deceased sat up in bed and signed his name to the will, and that after
its execution food was given him by his wife; while the other testified that he was assisted into a sitting position, and
was given something to eat before he signed his name. We think the evidence discloses that his wife aided the sick
man to sit up in bed at the time when he signed his name to the instrument, and that he was given nourishment while
he was in that position, but it is not quite clear whether this was immediately before or after, or both before and after
he attached his signature to the will. To say that the sick man sat up or raised himself up in bed is not necessarily in
conflict with the fact that he received assistance in doing so; and it is not at all improbable or impossible that
nourishment might have been given to him both before and after signing the will, and that one witness might
remember the former occasion and the other witness might recall the latter, although neither witness could recall both.
But, however this may have been, we do not think that a slight lapse of memory on the part of one or the other
witness, as to the precise details of an unimportant incident, to which his attention may not have been particularly
directed, is sufficient to raise a doubt as to the veracity of these witnesses, or as to the truth and accuracy of their
recollection of the fact of the execution of the instrument. Of course, a number of contradictions in the testimony of
alleged subscribing witnesses to a will as to the circumstances under which it was executed, or even a single
contradiction as to a particular incident, where the incident was of such a nature that the intention of any person who
was present must have been directed to it, and where the contradictory statements in regard to it are so clear and
explicit as to negative the possibility or probability of mistake, might well be sufficient to justify the conclusion that the
witnesses could not possibly have been present, together, at the time when it is alleged the will was executed; but the
apparent contradictions in the testimony of the witnesses in the case at bar fall far short of raising a doubt a to their

and the alleged testator was so sick that he was unable to speak. taken together with the fact that he was able to give to the person who wrote the will clear and explicit instructions as to his desires touching the disposition of his property. and because of the inherent improbability that a man would make so unnatural and unreasonable a will. It has been said that "the difficulty of stating standards or tests by which to determine the degree of mental capacity of a particular person has been everywhere recognized. J.). Of the other witnesses. That the testator was mentally capable of making the will is in our opinion fully established by the testimony of the subscribing witnesses who swore positively that. that he was too sick to rise unaided from his bed. although some of them lived in the vicinity. & D. an admittedly genuine signature of the deceased was introduced in evidence. it would be a remarkable coincidence indeed. a weak or feeble minded person may make a valid will. and he admitted further. indicates a lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence. without appreciating the difficulty of the undertaking" (Trish vs. J. that the testator was seriously ill.veracity. these witnesses were not in the house with the testator. or to make himself understood. that "Sound mind does not mean a perfectly balanced mind. will not render a person incapable of making a will. would. provided he has understanding memory sufficient to enable him to know what he is about. 5 N. We do not think that the testimony of this witness nor any of the other witnesses for the contestants is sufficient to raise even a doubt as to the truth of the testimony of the subscribing witnesses as to the fact of the execution of the will. and upon a comparison of this signature with the signature attached to the instrument in question. and that he was wholly incapacitated to make a will. Macario Ubag. and that they did not even attend the funeral. the court has compared these two signatures. and to that end an utter disregard of the truth. 264. These facts should sufficiently explain whatever difference may exist between the two signatures. one is a contestant of the will. it clearly discloses a fixed and settled purpose to overthrow the will at all costs. his close relative. Counsel for appellant suggests that the fact that the alleged will leaves all the property of the testator to his widow. 42 L. . Two of these witnesses. they contend that this fact indirectly corroborates their contention that the deceased never did in fact execute the will. we think the fact that the deceased desired to leave and did leave all of his property to his widow and made no provision for his brothers and sisters. and that during the paroxysms of asthma to which he was subject he could not speak. that for some reason which is not stated the testator was unable to see. It is true that the signature which appears in the document offered for authentication discloses that at the time of writing the subscriber was more deliberate in his movements. and does not find that any material differences exists between the same. and detailed account of all that occurred. R. Greene. But when it is considered that the deceased at the time of his death had no heirs in the ascending or descending line. a brother of the testator. this being the time at which the witnesses in support of the will testified that it was executed.. but all this evidence of physical weakness in no wise establishes his mental incapacity or a lack of testamentary capacity. in an advanced stage of tuberculosis complicated with severe intermittent attacks of asthma. and was a person who was not in the habit of signing his name every day. 64. or partial imbecility from the disease of body. by no means tends to disclose either an unsound mind or the presence of undue influence on the part of his wife. An admittedly genuine and authentic signature of the deceased was introduced in evidence for comparison with the signature attached to the will. or derange the mind. Few indeed would be the wills confirmed.. who held in this connection as follows: No expert evidence has been adduced with regard to these two signatures. J. explicit. from age or infirmity. or in any wise corroborates contestants' allegation that the will never was executed. and his clear recollection of the boundaries and physical description of the various parcels of land set out therein. at or about the time when it is alleged that the will was executed. and only corrected his erroneous statement in response to a somewhat suggestive question by his attorney which evidently gave him to understand that his former answer was likely to prejudice his own cause. at the time of its execution. debility of body. Canuto Sinoy. or from age. but the derangement must be such as deprives him of the rational faculties common to man" (Den. admitted that they were not in the house at or between the hours of four and six in the afternoon of the day on which the will is alleged to have been made. nevertheless. 418). and on the other hand their testimony as a whole gives such clear.. In addition to his manifest interest in the result of the investigation.. and how or to whom he is disposing of his property" (Lodge vs. If the testimony of this witness could be accepted as true. he was forced to admit that because his brother and his brother's wife (in those favor the will was made) were Aglipayanos. 145 III. we are wholly of the opinion of the trial judge. although he lived near at hand.Lodge.680). where he was lying ill. 62 III. unshattered by disease or otherwise" (Sloan vs. or as to the manner and from in which it was executed. (Del. Knight. It is true that their testimony discloses the fact that he was at that time extremely ill.3 P. and is so convincing and altogether satisfactory that we have no doubt that the trial judge who heard them testify properly accepted their testimony as worthy of entire confidence and belief. at no time thereafter did he or any of the other members of his family visit their dying brother. break in upon. Vancleve. that he needed assistance even to rise himself to a sitting position. and the other fact. 196. . in a greater or less degree. 276). that the subscribing witnesses to the alleged will should have falsely pretended to have joined in its execution on the very day. The question of soundness is one of degree" (Boughton vs. there are numberless degrees of mental capacity or incapacity. who themselves were grown men and women. and wholly fails to make any provision for his brothers or sisters. These witnesses swore that they were in the house of the deceased. . 2 Houst. Pain. Maxwell. that.. Between the highest degree of soundness of mind and memory which unquestionably carries with it full testamentary capacity. he was of sound mind and memory. promptly and positively swore that the admittedly genuine signature was not his brother's signature. "To constitute a sound and disposing mind. he and his other brothers and sisters had not visited them for many months prior to the one particular occasion as to which testified. Eq. weaken. is strong evidence of his testamentary capacity. but the court finds that the principal strokes in the two signatures are identical. on the other hand. and while on one hand it has been held that "mere weakness of mind. it has been held that "testamentary incapacity does not necessarily require that a person shall actually be insane or of an unsound mind. L. and at the precise hour. who declined to have any relations with the testator because he and his wife were adherents of the Aglipayano Church. and that "it is probable that no court has ever attempted to lay down any definite rule in respect to the exact amount of mental capacity requisite for the making of a valid will. and grows out of the inherent impossibility of measuring mental capacity. . but two facts must be acknowledge: First. to understand. and that at that time the alleged subscribing witnesses were not in the house.. or its impairment by disease or other causes" (Greene vs. sickness. 563). that "it has not been understood that a testator must possess these qualities (of sound and disposing mind and memory) in the highest degree. The contestants put upon the stand four witnesses for the purpose of proving that at the time and on the occasion when the subscribing witnesses testified that the will was executed.. and. 25). and readiness to swear to any fact which he imagined would aid in securing his object. 203). But the testimony of Macario Ubag is in our opinion wholly unworthy of credence. vs. and that degree of mental aberration generally known as insanity or idiocy. 3 N. P. that. and the other. and the presiding judge of this court does not claim to possess any special expert knowledge in the matter of signatures. that a bitter family quarrel had long separated him from his brothers and sisters. upon cross-examination. if this is correct. were present at the time of his death or attended his funeral. so that the testimony of this witness would furnish conclusive evidence in support of the allegations of the contestants that the alleged will was not executed at the time and place or in the manner and form alleged by the subscribing witnesses. it is not necessary that the mind should be unbroken or unimpaired. according to its violence or duration. when this interested witness happened to pay his only visit to his brother during his last illness. and indeed the evidence of the subscribing witnesses as to the aid furnished them by the testator in preparing the will. and that the alleged testator was at that time in such physical and mental condition that it was impossible for him to have made a will. and that this quarrel was so bitter that none of his brothers or sisters. Newell. In the course of the proceedings. but this witness in his anxiety to deny the genuineness of the signature of his brother to the will. On cross-examination. L.

But for the purposes of this decision it is not necessary for us to attempt to lay down a definition of testamentary capacity which will cover all possible cases which may present themselves. effects. providing such weakness really disqualifies her from knowing or appreciating the nature. In case of conflict. while the appellee. Prior to the time of the execution of this will the testator. The will referred to. with certain exceptions in favor of near relatives. my cousin Vicente F. Our discussion of the legal problem presented should begin with article 753 of the Civil Code which in effect declares that. to recollect the property to be disposed of and the person who would naturally be supposed to have claims upon the testator. Lopez and that this half has descended to the appellant. (Cf. or great bodily infirmities or suffering. There was no error whatever. and the testator. second edition. 302). to the same inheritance without special designation of shares. and executed the instrument of his own free will and accord. the deceased was of sound mind and memory. had been judicially declared incapable of taking care of himself and had been placed under the care of his cousin Vicente F. and LUZ LOPEZ DE BUENO. decedent. as guardian. because. 1924. in the order of the trial court declaring Luz Lopez de Bueno entitled to the whole estate. appellee. We now pass to article 982 of the Civil Code. Lopez had not presented his final accounts as guardian. one of the persons named as heir has predeceased the testator. The argument in favor of the appellant supposes that there has supervened a partial intestacy with respect to the half of the estate which was intended for Vicente F. this person being also disqualified to receive the estate even if he had been alive at the time of the testator's death. p. STREET. In this connection attention is directed to article 764 of the Civil Code wherein it is declared. vs. no testamentary provision shall be valid when made by a ward in favor of his guardian before the final accounts of the latter have been approved. 772). 106 Iowa. Lopez and his daughter. giving due effect to all. Lopez. Margariat Lopez was a cousin and nearest relative of the decedent. dealing. in effect. defining the right of accretion. MARGARITA LOPEZ. in the second clause of which he declared: I institute as the only and universal heirs to all my property. opponent-appellant. Lopez died. at the time of making the instrument under consideration. with the cost of this instance against the appellants. large array of cases cited in support of this definition in the Encyclopedia of Law. G. and to comprehend the manner in which the instrument will distribute his property among the objects of his bounty. Marcaida. Luz Lopez de Bueno. Capili and Ocampo Araneta and Zaragoza for appellee. heir. and after having been contested. 293. Testamentary capacity is the capacity to comprehend the nature of the transaction which the testator is engaged at the time. or consequences of the act she is engaged in" (Manatt vs. Tomas Rodriguez. MANUEL TORRES. special administrator. among other things. Margarita Lopez. St. the evidence of record establishes in a strikingly conclusive manner the execution of the instrument propounded as the last will and testament of the deceased. On January 7. We are the opinion that this contention is untenable and that the appellee clearly has the better right. Rep. therefore. as it does. as will be seen from what has already been said.Weakness of intellect. that it was made in strict conformity with the requisites prescribed by law.: This appeal involves a controversy over one-half of the estate of Tomas Rodriguez. the testator was. Luz Lopez de Bueno. As between articles 912 and 983.R. may render the testator incapable of making a valid will. 68 Am. Tomas Rodriguez executed his last will and testament. Delgado and Recto for appellant. The appellant. that legal succession takes place if the heir dies before the testator and also when the heir instituted is disqualified to succeed. No. at the time of its execution. In the case before us we have a will calling Vicente F. has been admitted to probate by judicial determination (Torres and Lopez de Bueno vs. Lopez and his daughter Luz Lopez de Bueno. It is there declared. first when the two or more persons are called to the same inheritance or the same portion thereof without special designation of shares. and Margariat Lopez appealed. In playing the provisions of the Code it is the duty of the court to harmonize its provisions as far as possible. This article (982) is therefore also of exact application to the case in hand. or from all these combined. The trial court decided the point of controversy in favor of Luz Lopez de Bueno. 1924. the provisions of the former article must be . J. claims the same by accredition and in the character of universal heir the will of the decedent. as next of kin and sole heir at law of the decedent. thereafter. that accretion take place in a testamentary succession. when one of the persons so called dies before the testator or renounces the inheritance or is disqualifying to receive it. 71. 23. 1926 In the matter of the estate of Tomas Rodriguez. and Camus. In addition to this. there can be no question that. proof of the existence of all these elements in sufficient to establish the existence of testamentary capacity. among other things. and while is some cases testamentary capacity has been held to exist in the absence of proof of some of these elements. deceased. died on February 25. and secondly. and that as a consequence Margarita Lopez s entitled to inherit the share of said disqualified heir. Lopez. and in case of conflict between two provisions the more general is to be considered as being limited by the more specific. therefore. but a special incapacity due to the accidental relation of guardian and ward existing between the parties.. that a will may be valid even though the person instituted as heir is disqualified to inherit. Lopez was not any general incapacity on his part. Vicente F. defining the particular conditions under which accretion takes place. Upon these provisions an argument is planted conducting to the conclusion that the will of Tomas Rodriguez was valid. Margarita Lopez. with the general topic of intestate succession while the latter is more specific. The facts necessary to an understanding of the case are these: On January 3. but also the half which pertained to him. claims said half by the intestate succession as next of kin and nearest heir. whether it arises from extreme old age from disease. Our attention is next invited to article 912 wherein it is declared. and the provision made in the will of Tomas Rodriguez in favor of Vicente F. 1924. Luz Lopez de Bueno. vol. 203. and that. in the absence of proof of very exceptional circumstances. or only four days after the will above-mentioned was made.) In our opinion. it is obvious that the former is the more general of the two. Scott. This provision is of undoubted application to the situation before us. Tomas Rodriguez. The order probating the will should be land is hereby affirmed. endowed with all the elements of mental capacity set out in the following definition of testamentary capacity which has been frequently announced in courts of last resort in England and the United States. L-25966 November 1.. 48 Phil. not only the undivided half which she would have received in conjunction with her father if he had been alive and qualified to take. notwithstanding the fact that one of the individuals named as heirs in the will was disqualified to take. At the time the will was made Vicente F. and its effect is to give to the survivor. and no such accounts had been presented by him at the time of his death.

yet it must be so understood. Exhibit A. Filomena Inay. G. 2. A distinction is then drawn between incapacity to succeed and incapacity to take. 225. that the opposition filed by Marciana Abella is without merit and. the said attorney returned again on the afternoon of the 28th and continued it in the presence of the same persons who entered and left the sala. p. accompanied by her niece. accretion occurs when one of the persons called to inherit under the will is disqualified to receive the inheritance (incapaz de recibirla). in subsection 3 of article 912 the provision with respect to intestate succession is expressly subordinated to article 983 by the expression "and (if) there is no right of accretion. 373. including Father Cordero. Besides. this interpretation supplies the only possible means of harmonizing the two provisions. On April 13. — a presumption which has its basis in the supposed intention of the testator. therefore. 186). each of the instrument witnesses signed in the presence of the testatrix and of each and every one of the other witnesses. The lower court erred in holding that the requirements of the law have been complied with in the execution of the will. 4. . she did not act under the illegal and undue influence of certain legatees. Antonio Querol of San Fernando La Union." It is true that the same express qualification is not found in subsection 4 of article 912. it was again read to the testatrix and she express her approval thereof. or he renounces the inheritance or legacy. In Roman law. as a true expression of her last will. Says Escriche: "It is to be understood that one of the coheirs or colegatees fails if nonexistent at the time of the making of the will. Inasmuch as he did not finish the interview on the second day. 16 Mucius Scaevola. April 29. this court is of the opinion. or if he becomes otherwise incapacitated. 3. The lower court erred in holding that when the late Matea Abella affixed her alleged signatures to the will. which she delivered to the said attorney.. When the will had been copied clean. under paragraph 4 of article 912. she did not care to sign the same suggesting that it be postponed to the following day. had been informed that Dr. in charge of Father Cordero with whom she was acquainted he having been the parish priest of Sinait. La Union. Reinoso to whom she expressed her desire to make a will. partial testacy systems a presumption against it. the signing of the will took place in the corridor of the convent. After the testatrix. Exhibit A. Filomena Inay. Macario Calug read it to her and she approved it. This is an appeal taken by the opponent Marciana Abella from the judgment rendered by the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur. but inasmuch as it was rather late at night. Wherefore. vol. to bring her some papers which were in her trunk. The lower court erred in decreeing the probate of the will. stopping at the convent of the parish church of the said municipality. if the condition be not fulfilled. Filomena Inay. Inasmuch as the aforesaid attorney had to attend to other business. 1932. In support of her appeal. 1932. Attorney Teodoro R. After the will had been signed. VII. with costs against the appellant. At the end of the interview. Macario Calug and the fiscal of the convent. 372. he could not finish his interview with the testatrix on the first day and had to continue it the following day. and it is contended that the disability of Vicente F. and at any rate the disability to which Vicente F. At about 7:30 o'clock on the morning of April 29. to consult the said physician in his clinic in San Fernando.considered limited by the latter. if he dies before the testator. Matea Abella. was a good physician. After the will had been drafted in Ilocano. The judgment appealed from will be affirmed. MARCIANA ABELLA. amounting to a mild presumption.)lawphil. vol. pp. opponent-appellant. Father Zoilo Aguda.. Exhibit A. it is hereby denied. as is well known. Quitoriano for appellee. No. to wit: The opinions of the commentators. she left her home situated in the said municipality of Sinait. We are of the opinion that the case cannot be made to turn upon so refined an interpretation of the language of the Code. 285-287. Reinoso delivered the original . applicant-appellee. in view of the rule of interpretation above referred to. by provisions of the Code relative to intestate succession (Manresa. a consideration which makes a case for accretion rather than for intestate succession. in the presence of the Father Cordero's sister. 4th ed. his sister. under the last provision in paragraph 2 of article 982. VILLA-REAL. Matea Abella ordered he niece. On or about April 26. so far as they have expressed themselves on the subject. 34. and so holds. Antonio Querol's clinic twice within the period of one week accompanied by her aforesaid niece. In addition to this. she went to Dr. L-39033 November 13. article 986 of the Civil Code affords independent proof that intestate succession to a vacant portion can only occur when accretion is impossible. 310. Comentarios al Codigo Civil Español. (Diccionario de Legislacion y Jurisprudencia. to wit: The testatrix. J. 1933 In re will of the late Matea vs. Indeed. found that she was suffering from dyspepsia and cancer of the stomach. Filomena Inay and some children who were then at the convent. Lopez was such as to bring the case under article 912 rather than 982. Exhibit A. to the extent supposed in appellant's brief. the dispositive part of which reads as follows: The attorneys for the appellant direct attention to the fact that. 1. . and it is so ordered. The following facts have been proven by a preponderance of evidence presented during the trial. also in the presence of Father Cordero. by which the more specific is held to control the general. appellant. is hereby ordered and decreed probated as the last will and testament of the late Matea Abella. intestate succession occurs when the heir instituted is disqualified to succeed (incapaz de suceder). Astilla SANTIAGO for SANCHO. after submitting her to a general medical examination. I. Sotto and B. id. 13 Mucius Scaevola. During her stay in the said convent. 1932. The application filed herein is granted and the document. without being limited. to consult the said physician who. the appellant assigns the following alleged errors in the decision of the court a quo. while. pp. resident of the municipality of Sinait. Lopez was subject was not a general disability to succeed but an accidental incapacity to receive the legacy.R. tend to the conclusion that the right of accretion with regard to portions of an inheritance left vacant by the death or disqualification of one of the heirs or his renunciation of the inheritance is governed by article 912. against partial intestacy. 311. Ilocos Sur. which was done. the dialect of the testatrix. .net In conclusion it may be worth observing that there has always existed both in the civil and in the common law a certain legal intendment. The lower court erred in holding that Matea Abella was in the full enjoyment of her mental faculties and executed the document. 1932.: Abella. So ordered. The testatrix Matea Abella was the first to sign it on a table in the presence of each and every one of the instrumental witnesses thereto and of other persons. Matea Abella ordered a sexton of the convent to call Attorney Teodoro R. MONS. Exhibit A.

La Union. in order to be able to see it better. Jocson vs. We are face to face with two divergent theories regarding the mental state of the testatrix Matea Abella at the time of the execution of her will. nor so deaf. constitutes undue influence sufficient to justify the annulment of a legacy in favor of the bishop of a diocese made in her will by a testatrix 88 years of age. CLOTILDE S. is not an indication of mental insanity. 21 Phil.:1äwphï1. as to the mental sanity of the testatrix at the time of the execution of her will. it is hereby affirmed in toto. to consult Dr. that she used to urinate on her clothes without being aware of it. Matea Abella died of the senile debility in the municipality of Sinait at the age of 88 years. Reinoso. now the private respondents. that once. Filomena Inay.00). and (2) that neither the fact of her being given accommodations in a convent. in order to go to San Fernando. that when she was called at mealtime she used to answer: "Why. with the costs against the appellant. In view of the foregoing considerations. that in her will she bequeathed properties which she had already donated to other persons. that she had been suffering from the disabilities for more than two months previous to her death. p. Ilocos Sur. the parish priest of the said town. 1949. that she was unable to go downstairs without assistance. Pablo Alsua. The respondent court 1 denied the probate of the will. Amata and Almojuela vs. Jocson. 521. in her own handwriting. La Union. we are of the opinion and so hold: (1) That neither senile ability. ALSUA and PABLO ALSUA. 701. nor the presence of the parish priest. nor so blind. not finding any error in the judgment appealed from. we have the undisputed fact of her having left her home in Sinait. FERNANDO BUENVIAJE. As an indication of her senile debility. and Amparo Alsua de Buenviaje. Albay. Torres and Lopez de Bueno vs. the fact of her having personally furnished said attorney all the data she wished to embody in her relative to her properties and the persons in whose favor she wished to bequeath them. while she is stopping at a convent within the aforestated diocese. BETTS. could certainly not be considered as an influence which placed her under the obligation to bequeath of her property to the bishop of said diocese.a Florentina Rella. suffering from defective eyesight and hearing. Sabido-Sabido & Associates and Madrid Law Office for private respondents. she was already suffering from senile debility and therefore her mental faculties were not functioning normally anymore and that she was not fully aware of her acts. that she already began to be dotty five years before. On July 3. nor so lacking in intelligence that she could not. on April 13.and the copies thereof to the testatrix. ESTEBAN P. 699 and dismissing the complaint in Civil Case 3068 after declaring the two deeds of sale executed by Don Jesus Alsua legal and valid. she attempted to prove that the testatrix had very poor memory in connection with her properties and interest. AMPARO ALSUA BUENVIAJE. in the same capacity. 22 Phil. 28 R. Exhibit A. 772. 54492-R and 54493-R which reversed the decision of the Court of First Instance of Albay allowing the probate of the win of Don Jesus Alsua in Special Proceedings No.lawphil. nor the fact that the will was executed in the convent in question in the presence of the parish priest and witnessed by another priest. respondents. Paguio.. stopping at the convent of the parish church. the fact of her having called for Attorney Teodoro R. On November 25. due to lack of hotels. nor a priest acting as a witness. together with all their living children. due to ignorance of the irrevocability of certain donations. Nos. is by itself sufficient to incapacitate a person for making his ill (Avelino vs. The opponent herein attempted to prove that the testatrix was deaf and that her eyesight was defective. G. Antonio Querol — of whose ability she had heard so much — regarding her headaches and stomach trouble. that when one moved away from her and again approached her she was unable to recognize him. The mere fact that in her will Matea Abella disposed of properties. is by itself sufficient to establish the presumption that the person suffering therefrom is not in the full enjoyment of his mental faculties. There is nothing in the records establishing such claim either directly or indirectly. the fact of her having walked twice to the aforesaid doctor's clinic. that she could no longer read. Lopez. the sum of Five Thousand Pesos (P5. 94. nor deafness. that it was necessary to shout into her ear to call her for meals.. JOSE MADARETA. 1932.. 1932. petitioners.00) as attorney's fees and costs. and that she could not recall her recent acts. RAMIREZ. nor blindness. De la Cruz. the town convents are usually given preference by strangers because they are given better accommodations and allowed more freedom. she did not have any difficulties in obtaining accommodations in his convent. FERNANDO ALSUA. Inasmuch as Father Cordero. entered into a duly notarized agreement. 227. Nos. Tablizo. GUERRERO. inasmuch as the testatrix was 88 years of age when she made her will. which she had already donated to other persons at a prior date. to the original as well as to the copies of her will which consisted of nine pages. dispose of her properties and make a will. Don Jesus Alsua and his wife. but the following day. 44). nor poor memory.net It is insinuated that the testatrix has been unduly influenced in the execution of her will. 1979 FRANCISCA ALSUA-BETTS. the fact of her not wishing to sign her will on the night of April 28. Rafael Triumfante for petitioners. the testatrix Matea Abella was a stranger in San Fernando.. At most it constitutes forgetfulness or a change of mind. Neither senile debility. declared null and void the two sales subject of the complaint and ordered the defendants. J. retaining one for his file. that she often repeated to her tenants the same questions regarding their crops. is not unusual in the Philippines where.ñët This is an appeal by certiorari from the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.L. Francisca Alsua-Betts. and particularly a few days previous to her death. 48 Phil. when there is sufficient evidence of his mental sanity at the time of the execution of the will. nor deafness. to pay damages to the plaintiffs. to render an accounting of the properties in their possession and to reimburse the latter the net gain in the proportion that appertains to them in the properties from the date of the firing of the complaint up to complete restoration plus Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50. vs. The opponent claims that. nor poor memory. L-46430-31 July 30. Bagtas vs. petitioners herein.000. that she could not go downstairs without assistance. The fact that Matea Abella stopped at a convent and enjoyed the hospitality of a priest who gave her accommodations therein. Escritura de Particion Extrajudicial (Exhibit . 485.. was well known to her having served in the church of Sinait. and the fact of her having affixed her signature. All these data show that the testatrix was not so physically weak. The fact of her having stopped at the convent of the parish church of San Fernando. par. The antecedent events leading to the filing of these two consolidated actions are the following. that she could not remember her properties nor the names of her tenants. I have already eaten". represented by his guardian. with full understanding thereof.R. accompanied by her niece. 48 Phil. 46 Phil. the fact that she had personally furnished the aforesaid doctor with all the necessary data regarding the history of her illness the fact of her having brought with her in her trunk the deeds to her properties. In the present case. JOSEPH O. nor blindness. that the deceased complained of headache and of stomachache. Doñ.000. So ordered. although she had sold a parcel of land for P60 she said she had sold it for P160.C. Ilocos Sur. 1932. La Union. and THE REGISTER OF DEEDS FOR ALBAY PROVINCE. Fernando Alsua thru this judicial guardian Clotilde Samson.R. both of Ligao. COURT OF APPEALS. On the other hand. Wherefore. that she had a very poor memory inasmuch as she used to try to collect from her debtors in spite of the fact that they had already paid their debts..

26 parcels of land with a total land area of 5. value. extension and location of the properties that are allotted to each and everyone. all of them signed by the spouses and all the above named heirs in the left margin of every page (parafo primers). 34 parcels of land with a total land area of 5. over the then present and existing properties of the spouses Don Jesus and Doñ.a Florentina.a Tinay separately executed their respective holographic wills (Exhs. with a book or appraised value of P58. To Pablo Alsua.364 sq.00 plus attorney's fees. On January 5. meters. (d) The spouses on their part in case of death of any one of them. 47 parcels of land with a total land area of 6. They also waive any claim they have or they may have over the remaining portion of the properties. DE ALSUA.639.£îhqw⣠(1) Basis of the partition: Inventory (Annex A) of all the properties of the Alsua spouses. with a book or appraised value of P55.00.720. (3) An acknowledgment that during their marriage. married to Clotilde Samson were allotted or assigned all the real properties with the improvements thereon specifically described from pages 20-33 of said inventory or. the surviving spouse waives any claim he or she may have over the properties assigned or adjudicated to the heirs under and by virtue of this deed. 67 years old.00. in the concept of damages and prejudice. as translated: têñ. married to Fernando Buenviaje were allotted or assigned all the real properties with the improvements thereon specifically described from pages 33-47 of said inventory or. each and everyone of the heirs acknowledge that the properties which are left in the possession of the surviving spouse.630. (g) In the event of death of one of the spouses. including any amount in cash. married to Joseph O.half that should correspond in absolute ownership as his legitimate participation in the conjugal properties. Their holographic wills similarly provided for the institution of the other to his or her share in the conjugal properties. Betts were allotted or assigned all the real properties with the improvements thereon specifically described from pages 1-12 of said inventory or. one-half thereof would belong to the other spouse.679. Filipina. 26-29. pp. In consequence they waive any claim that they have or may have over said portion of said properties or any amount in cash during the lifetime of the surviving spouse. are even less than the one. being in the full possession of my mental and physical faculties freely and spontaneously execute this my last will and testament in my handwriting and signed by me and expressed in the . and the other half shall be divided equally among the four children. Philippines. Exhibit 8-A. with a book or appraised value of P89.a Florentina enumerated in a prepared inventory.740. meters. the essential features of which are stated in private respondents' Brief. Province of Albay.£îhqw⣠(a) Each and every one of the heirs named above acknowledge and admit that the totality of the properties allotted and adjudicated to the heirs as described in the preceding paragraph.a Tinay (segundo parafo).000.a Tinay in the event the surviving spouse is Don Jesus.£îhqw⣠TESTAMENT I.715 sq. married to Teresa Locsin were allotted or assigned all the real properties with the improvements thereon specifically described from pages 12-20 of said inventory or.a Tinay written in Spanish reads.262 sq. The holographic will of Doñ. also known as Doñ.00. (f) The provisions of this deed shall bind the successors of the herein heirs. the other half of the conjugal assets having been partitioned to constitute their legitime among their four living children in the Extrajudicial Partition of 1949. (e) Any heir who may dare question the validity and legitimacy of the provision contained herein shall be under obligation to pay to the other heirs. FLORENTINA R. unmarried (parafo tercero y cuatro). têñ. the properties assigned or adjudicated to each and everyone of the heirs shall be considered as his share or participation in the estate or as his inheritance left by the deceased and each heir shall become the absolute owner of the properties adjudicated to him under this deed. married to Don Jesus Alsua. To Amparo Alsua. (4) An acknowledgment that on the basis of Article 1056 of the Civil Code (old) to avoid Possible misunderstanding among their children concerning the inheritance they are entitled to in the event of death of one of them they have decided to effectuate an extrajudicial partition of all the properties described in Annex "A" thereto under the following terms and conditions: (Parafo quinto): To Francisca Alsua. (2) An acknowledgment of the spouses that all the properties described in the inventory (Annex A) are conjugal properties with the exception of five parcels of land Identified with the figures of 1 to 5 and 30 shares of San Miguel Brewery stock which are paraphernal properties of the late Doñ. The wigs also declared that in the event of future acquisitions of other properties by either of them. resident of and with postal address in the Municipality of Ligao.810 sq. which spouses reserved for themselves. 47 parcels of land with a total land area of 5. the sum of P5.8). they had nine children but five of them died minors. meters. The properties which were reserved for them (the spouses) should be considered as his or her legitimate participation in the conjugal properties and the fair compensation of his or her usufruct on the properties that the surviving spouse reserved for himself or herself which shag be distributed in equal shares among the heirs upon his or her death unless said properties of some of them have been disposed of during the lifetime of the surviving spouse. to wit: têñ. To Fernando Alsua. with a book or appraised value of P69. the provisions of which were in conformity and in implementation of the extrajudicial partition of November 25.830. including any right or claim they have or they may have over the paraphernal properties of Doñ. Don Jesus and Doñ. meters.940. including any amount of cash deposited. which inventory consists of 97 pages. (c) That in case of death of one of the spouses. 1949. constitute one half of the properties described in Annex "A". 6-B and 7-B). (b) That all the heirs acknowledge and admit that all the properties assigned to them as their hereditary portion represent one-half not only of the conjugal properties but includes the paraphernal properties — waiving now and forever any complaint or claim they have or they may have concerning the amount. 1955.00.300.

and in the event that the properties granted to one or any of my children should exceed in quantity or value those corresponding to another or others. as translated: têñ. 5. whatever belongs to him or her or would pertain to him or her. Fourth: That should I acquire new properties after the execution of this testament. Pablo Alsua. ) FLOR ENTIN A R. 1955 in the Municipality of Ligao. Ligao of the Province of Albay and in the City of Manila. and the other half. real and personal. That my spouse and I have agreed to divide the properties which we have acquired into 2 parts. 1949 before Notary Public Segundo G. No. 1956. Petitioner). The other five (5) died during their minority. That I institute as my heirs with the right to inherit my husband Don Jesus Alsua and my children Francisco Alsua. 15. Pag. and that they mutually and reciprocally bequeathed unto each other their participation therein as well as in all properties which might be acquired subsequently. IN VIRTUE WHEREOF. one-half (1/2) of my properties. Jan. 11. we were able to acquire conjugal properties consisting of abaca (abales) and cacao lands and urban lands registered in the office of the Registry of Property of the Province of Albay and in the City of Manila. 420-423.my spouse Don Jesus Alsua. Pablo Alsua. married to Fernando Buenviaje. On May 21. 1949 and ratified on the same day.a Florentina Ralla de Alsua. and the other half to my children in equal parts. the spouses Don Jesus and Doñ. 1955 in the Municipality of Ligao. Second: That after my marriage to my husband Don Jesus Alsua and during our conjugal union. Each spouse also declared that should she or he be the surviving spouse.a Tinay) the other half or those not disposed of to the said legitimate heirs under the above agreement of partition. month and year before Notary Public Segundo G. Jr. Fernando Alsua. one-half (1 1/2) to my spouse. Betts. conjugal and paraphernal. 525.a Tinay executed their mutual and reciprocal codicils amending and supplementing their respective holographic wins. including all those properties which we shall acquire after the execution of this document. Series of 1949) enjoining each and everyone of them to respect and faithfully comply with each and every clause contained in the said document.a Tinay. I hereby declare that it is my will that any and all kinds of property that pertain to me or would pertain to me.a Tinay filed before the Court of First Instance of Albay their respective petitions for the probate of their respective holographic wins which were docketed as Special Proceedings No. Province of Albay. 1949. Lib. with the exception of that portion that I bequeath to my husband as his inheritance and his legitimate. four (4) of whom are still living and they are Francisco Alsua. married to Clotilde Samson. would be divided equally among the four children. No. Series of 1949) (and) even as the properties which by reason of this testament I leave to my husband as his share and the other half that corresponds to my husband constitutes an the properties that up to now have not been disposed of.£îhqw⣠(SGD. Third: That I institute as my heirs with right to inherit the following. and in which I ordain and provide: First: That in or about the year 1906 I was married to my husband Don Jesus Alsua and begot nine (9) children with him. the same shall be partitioned among my spouse and above named children or the children mentioned in above par. Albay. Lib. which have not been . The codicil executed by Doñ. but that they reserved for themselves (the spouses Don Jesus and Doñ. Don Jesus Alsua executed a separate but similar holographic will on the same day. particularly the urban lands situated in Legaspi. conveyed to and partitioned among their legitimate heirs in the "Escritura de Particion" of November 25. the spouses Don Jesus and Doñ. DE ALSU A (Joint Record on appeal pp. It was also declared in both codicils that upon the death of either of the spouses. Pablo Alsua. têñ. Pag. (Doc. single and without children. pursuant to a document dated November 25. Again. Flores (Reg. had been disposed of.£îhqw⣠CODICIL This codicil supplements and amends the preceding testament. It is to be understood. 1956. 525. the surviving spouse was designated mutually and reciprocally as the executor or administrator of all the properties reserved for themselves. the codicils similarly acknowledged and provided that one-half of all the properties of the spouses. 11. In case it should be God's will that I survive my spouse. 1949 which correspond to each one of them and in the profits (fruits) expressed in the same. No. write and understand. I leave to my aforecited children all the properties described in the above mentioned Document of Partition dated November 25. I hereby declare that it is my will that the same be divided among my children as their inheritance from the free portion of my property. in equal parts. 485 (Doñ. On August 14. married to Joseph O. Flores. I leave to my spouse Don Jesus Alsua as his legitime and as Ws inheritance the part of the free portion of my property which have not been allocated in favor of my children in the Document of Partition aforecited and that which should exceed 1/2 of the conjugal property of gains that pertains to him as above stated. Philippines. No. this 5th day of January. and Amparo Alsua. Fifth: That I name as my executor my husband Don Jesus Alsua without having to post any bond. and as a result of our efforts and industry. Fernando Alsua and Amparo Alsua. however. 54492-R) As previously stated.Spanish language which I speak. CA-G. Province of Albay. 1955 in exactly the same terms and conditions as the above will of his wife. Fernando Alsua and Amparo Alsua. 3 in the same proportion that is. to my children Francisco Alsua. 484 (Jesus Alsua. that the other half that corresponds as legitime to my above named children have already been given to them. The 1/2 that would correspond to me covers all the properties that I have partitioned among my children in the Document of Partition dated November 25. written in Spanish reads.R. I hereby sign in my own handwriting this testament on this 5th day of January. 15. No. Petitioner) and Special Proceedings No.

00 or a probable total market value of P238. 1960. all her heirs including Don Jesus. After a joint hearing of the merits of these two cases.00. 1959.00 per hectare. (b) that the will was executed under duress or influence of fear or threats.00) and to pay the costs. Letters testamentary having been issued in favor of Don Jesus.a Tinay.disposed of pursuant to the partition. and that such properties be taken into account in the partition of his estate among the children. which had been marked as Exhibit A. his deceased spouse. U) and the sale on November 26. respectively. Albay. CA-G. On February 19. 3068. submitted to the probate court for approval a deed of partition executed on December 19.00 or a probable market value at the time of P469. Doñ.000.000. 423-425.1964. 1959 as belonging to or should pertain to Don Jesus. the Court of First Instance of Albay promulgated a decision on January 15. and (d) that the alleged will subject of probate contravened the Extrajudicial Partition of 1949 agreed upon by him. these properties consist of thirty. She then filed with the Probate Court an inventory of the properties of the estate which. Philippines.a Tinay both filed their respective supplemental petitions for the probate of their respective codicils in the probate proceedings earlier filed. Don Jesus executed also a separate but similar codicil in exactly the same terms and conditions as the above codicil of his wife.£îhqw⣠WHEREFORE.000. were to be given to Francisca and Pablo. Don Jesus cancelled his holographic will in the presence of his bookkeeper and secretary. on the following grounds: (a) that Don Jesus was not of sound and disposing mind at the time of the execution of the alleged will. filed a petition for the probate of said new will of Don Jesus Alsua before the Court of First Instance of Albay and was docketed as Special Proceedings No. consisting of nine (9) pages.£îhqw⣠(SGD. before his death. and as to the rest of the properties and whatever may be subsequently acquired in the future. 1957. naming Francesca as executrix to serve without a bond. funeral charges and other expenses of the estate of Doñ. which upon agreement of the parties was then jointly heard and tried with Special Proceedings No. 1949 or in the inventory attached thereto as Annex "A" and in the "Escritura de Particion" of December 19. Don Jesus Alsua died. revoked and annulled all the provisions of Don Jesus' holographic will of January 5. 1964. Upon the death of Doñ. August 14. W). whom he instructed to make a list of all his remaining properties with their corresponding descriptions. 1961 (Exh. 1956. After all debts.187. 3 parcels of the 33 agricultural lands to Pablo and the rest to Francisco. No. 2. seeking the annulment of the aforesaid two deeds of sale. His lawyer.1956. 1959 at Ms home in Ligao. the holographic will and codicil of Doñ. the dispositive portion of which states: têñ. 1959. one dated August 26.a Tinay. the Probate Court appointed her Administratrix of the estate of her late father. In Special Proceedings 699.a Tinay in December. Albay. têñ.260. According to the oppositors. Amparo and Fernando. 1961 declared the termination of the proceedings on the estate of Doñ. or approximately 119 hectares and with a total assessed value of P48. the court approved the partition of 1959 and on January 6. Pablo. and orders that the same be made the basis for division and distribution of the estate of said testator.00 and the other dated November 26. petitioner herein Francisca Alsua Betts. 699. 54492-R) And as stated previously.00 at only P2. 1961 purporting to show the sale of the 33 parcels of agricultural land to Francisco by their father for the price of P70. Albay. 1959. ) FLOR ENTIN A RALL A DE ALSU A (joint Record on Appeal pp. and (c) it instituted his children as legatees/devisees of certain specific properties. and all his children. judgment is hereby rendered. as the executrix named in the will of November 14. thru his judicial guardian Clotilde Samson. 1959 (Exh. the oppositors filed Civil Case No.a Tinay had been paid. 1959. judicial" of 1949. On the basis of Francisca's designation as executrix in the new will dated November 14.00) Pesos for attorney's fees or a total of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100. are ordered jointly and severally to pay to the defendant. On May 6. the spouses Don Jesus and Doñ. are lawful and valid sales and accordingly conveyed title to the VENDEE thereof. 7-Q) and which essentially confirmed the provisions of the partition of 1949. 1959. Francisco. essentially confirming and implementing the said partition of 1949 which had already been partially executed by all the signatories thereto in the partition of the estate of Doñ. Francisco claimed ownership over the same. and four (4) commercial urban lots Ideally located in the business section of Legazpi City including the lot and the building presently occupied by the well-known "Mayon Hotel" with an assessed value of approximately P117. August 14.410. 1959. the oppositors also raised in issue the non-inclusion of said properties in the inventory of the estate of their late father. 1959. or it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of the main beneficiaries and of person or persons in collusion with them. On May 20. 1962 evidencing the sale of the four urban lots for the sum of P80. The Plaintiffs in Civil Case 3068. to wit: 1. 1960.970 square meters. on November 14.00) as damages and Fifty Thousand (P50.040. 1956. . on the same day. should be divided equally among my above-mentioned heirs after my death. 699 for probate of the Last Will and Testament of Don Jesus executed on November 14. Ligao. On July 6. It appearing from the new will that these properties were bequeathed to Pablo Alsua and Francisco Alsua-Betts. 1955 and his codicil of August 14. Gregorio imperial Sr. or the signature of the testator was secured by or thru fraud. their respective holographic wins and the codicils thereto were duly admitted to probate. (c) that the will was not executed according to the formal requirements of the law. the Court hereby APPROVES and ALLOWS the Will executed by Don Jesus Alsua at Ligao. in view of all the foregoing. Esteban P. (b) it provided for the collation of all his properties donated to his four living children by virtue of the "Escritura de Particion Extra. alleging that she bought the properties from their father and presenting the two Deeds of Sale now being assailed.000.000. 1956. he took his oath of office and performed his duties as such until July 1.R. 1959 had three essential features: (a) it expressly cancelled. with damages. Ramirez. A) of Don Jesus executed on November 14. the Court hereby dismisses the complaint and holds that the sale on August 26. In Civil Case 3068. Atty.a Tinay on October 2. Amparo and Fernando thru his judicial guardian Clotilde Samson. Claiming fraud in the sales.three (33) premium agricultural lots with a total land area of 1. was then instructed to draft a new will which was duly signed by Don Jesus and his attesting witnesses on November 14. 1973. Thereafter in the early part of November.000. 1962 (Exh. Francisco Alsua Betts Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50. Don Jesus Alsua. 1959.000. This notarial will and testament (Exh. according to the oppositors therein (the private respondents now) did not include some properties appearing in the agreement of November 25. and also contravened Don Jesus' own probated holographic will and codicil of 1955 and 1956. Don Jesus was named executor to serve without bond in an order issued by the probate court on October 13. specifically.a Tinay. Oppositions thereto were filed by Pablo. Also on the same day of August 14. In answer.00.

298. Reyes..S.. The Supreme Court of New York aptly said in Re Canfield's Will. A. would seem inimical to public policy. on the part of the beneficiary or of some other person.Y. 320. the court is. 502: têñ. Exh.S. (2) in Civil Case No. surmises or conjectures.S. N. Henderson. N. N. S.G. the dispositive portion of which states.E.00 and to render an accounting of properties in their possession and to reimburse the plaintiffs the net gain. penned by Justice J.Y. and only if. 699) that private respondents. are in estoppel to question the competence of testator Don Jesus Alsua. and of November 26.£îhqw⣠Finally. 587.. et al vs.' The next issue that commands Our attention is whether the respondent court erred in not allowing the probate of the last will and testament of Don Jesus Alsua. as translated. 581).. 124 Misc. The controversy as to the competency or incompetency of Don Jesus Alsua to execute his will cannot be determined by acts of the herein private respondents as oppositors to the will in formally agreeing in writing jointly with the petitioner Francisca Alsua de Betts that their father. The respondent Court of Appeals erred in not affirming the findings of the probate court (Special Proceedings No. . in effect. ordering them in addition to pay to the plaintiffs and oppositors the sum of P50. or threats. but to determine whether or not the decedent has performed the acts specified by the pertinent statutes. On the first issue of estoppel raised in the assignment of errors. U and W and the titles issued on the basis thereof are hereby declared null and void. Matter of Marriman's Estate. or the influence of fear.B. 1962 (Exh.000. To that end.. to wit: têñ. is that it is the duty of the court to effectuate. executed conformably to law. the court reversed the appealed decision in a judgment rendered on April 4. and the costs.Y. 787. 485. in the proportion that appertains to them in the properties subject of litigation in Civil Case No. Div. III. Matter of Draske's Estate. S. surmises or conjectures resulting in a gross misapprehension of facts. this Tribunal finds itself constrained to set aside as it hereby sets aside the decision appealed from in the following manner: (1) in Special Proceedings 699. (2) If the testator was insane. We hold that the same is of no moment. Foley.Y. (4) If it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence. 300 N. 290. the probate of the will. an additional party to every litigation affecting the disposal of the assets of the deceased. and the application therein of the rile of estoppel.L. 839. 733.00 as attorney's fees. 1977.. The respondent Court of Appeals grossly erred in holding that testator Don Jesus Alsua cannot revoke his previous will. 208. 325. N. 50 O.. be appointed by the court executor of the will of their mother in Special Proceedings No. a ruling laid down in the case of Testate Estate of the Late Procopia Apostol Benedicta Obispo.Y. (5) If the signature of the testator was procured by fraud. Hence. Matter of Van Valkenburgh's Estate.On appeal by herein respondents to the Court of Appeals. an eminent and recognized authority on Civil Law when he was still in the Court of Appeals.. probate proceedings involve public interest. The principle of estoppel is not applicable in probate proceedings.£îhqw⣠above the interest of private parties is that of the state to see that testamentary dispositions be carried out if. Petitioners claim that the disallowance was based on speculations. W). The will shall be disallowed in any of the following cases: (1) If the formalities required by law have not been complied with. Remedios Obispo. thus —têñ. 160 Misc.S. ordering the appellees Francisco Alsua and Joseph Betts to pay to the plaintiffs in the concept of fixed damages. which petitioners claim and was upheld by the trial court as constituting estoppel on the part of the private respondents from questioning the competence of Don Jesus Alsua.£îhqw⣠Art. 294. Over and One of the most fundamental conceptions of probate law. in so far as may be compatible with the public interest. 672. 1961 (Exh. U).a Florentina Ralla de Alsua and in subsequently petitioning the court not to require Don Jesus Alsua to file any accounting as executor in the proceedings. affirmed 217 app. 593. Testate Estate of Doñ. disregarding the facts as found by the trial court. Don Jesus Alsua. The respondent court grossly erred in annulling the sales of August 26. 186. is hereby denied. 216 N.Y. 614. II. which are the essential prerequisites to personal direction of the mode of devolution of his property on death. (3) If it was executed through force or under duress. the petition at bar assailing the respondent court's decision on four assigned errors. the sum of P5. 219.000. when it win block the ascertainment of the truth as to the circumstances surrounding the execution of a testament. 3068. 126.. The respondent court's finding is grounded entirely on speculation. 295. or otherwise mentally incapable of making a wilt at the time of its execution. and We quote: têñ. and he may and frequently does receive no personal benefit from the performance of the act. The Civil Court is very clear and explicit in providing the cases where a will may be disallowed under Article 839 which provides as follows: têñ. £îhqw⣠'The primary purpose of the proceeding is not to establish the existence of the right of any living person.. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. There is no legal but merely a moral duty resting upon a proponent to attempt to validate the wishes of the departed.S. 164 Misc. paragraph 11. IV. 284. up to the complete restoration of the properties pertaining to (plaintiffs) pursuant to Article 2208 of the New Civil Code. 3068 from the date of the filing of this complaint. the devolutionary wishes of a deceased person (Matter of Watson's Wilt 262 N.£îhqw⣠I. oppositors to the probate of the will. Exhs.

Jorge Imperial took notes of the instructions of Don Jesus Alsua. Don Gregorio made a remark that it is about time to do what they were there for. Jorge S. Ramon Balana. At 1 1:00 o'clock. Jose Madarieta. Mr. on being advised by Mr. whether the questioned will and testament of November 14. Exh. and the latter requested them to be seated at the usual receiving room on the ground floor while he announced their arrival to Don Jesus who was on the second floor. Madarieta was already informed by Don Jesus himself about the fact of signing the will that morning.£îhqw⣠'Preisamente es por lo que he Hamado a ustedes que esten presentes para ser testigos de rni ultimo voluntad y testamento que ha sido preparado por el abogado Sr. stopped at the Legaspi residence of Mr. and affixed his signature thereon (Exh V-5. Atty. with a duplicate. Sarte.£îhqw⣠On October 2. esta satisfactoriamente hecho segun mis instrucciones. They arrived at the residence of Don Jesus at Ligao. 1955 and also its codicil dated August 14.. in the morning of November 14. Spanish is his major language. and after making a few minor corrections. t. Balan. Don Gregorio Imperial Atty. who said: têñ. Jose Gaya. 1959. there were now six people gathered in the living room. having a very high regard for Don Jesus. hearing of December 7. the three sets were then passed to Mr. Gregorio Imperial segun mis instrucciones cuyo documento tengo aqui conmigo y encuentro que. All the witnesses who testified for the petitioner declared that Don Jesus was in bright and lively conversation which ran from problems of farming and the merits of French-made wines. 1959. and Atty. Jose Madarieta. this Tribunal from the very beginning accepts the findings of the inferior court concerning the question. 805-809 of the New Civil Code. and they were ushered in by Mr. and triplicate was laid on the round table and the signing began. as in fact his conversations with Don Gregorio are always in Spanish. Doñ. The issue under consideration appears to Us to have been answered by the respondent court itself when it accepted the findings of the trial court on the due execution of the questioned will and testament of Don Jesus. Don Jesus informed his lawyers that he wanted to make a new will. incidentally. signed first. Como saben ustedes tengo cuatro (4) hijos todos egos. Don Jesus Alsua sent for his lawyer. têñ. Gaya called for Mr. He greeted Don Gregorio.s. A.(6) If the testator acted by mistake or did not intend that the instrument he signed should be his will at the time of affixing his signature thereto. 1959. all of them moved to the big round table on another part of the same sala for convenience in signing because there were chairs all around this table. almost ten o'clock of that morning. Esteban P. he crossed out in ink each and every page of said page he wrote on each page the word "cancelado". 1959.a Florentina died at Ligao. Mr. The will which consisted of nine pages. Mr. Mr. Jorge Imperial that the signing of the will should be at his home in Ligao. £îhqw⣠. Ramirez. Atty. and informed the latter that Don Jesus was requesting him to be one of the attesting witnesses to his will. Imperial. Don Gregorio and Atty. Madarieta proceeded to the residence of Don Jesus. despues de lo he leido. Jose Gaya who is a sort of employee of Don Jesus.. About 2 weeks after said death of his wife. 1967. Balana. Jose Madarieta who is a friend of the family. Ramon Balana who signed as attesting witness. was executed in accordance with Arts. considered it an honor to be so asked. Imperial to put the win in final form. with Atty. without much delay. Jose Gaya. Don Jesus Alsua decided to make a new will. Albay. Jorge S. and Mr. Sr. Mr. Jorge S. V-6. To Don Jesus. A few days before November 14. Meanwhile. and this was followed by a more or less statement from Jesus. the then Register of Deeds of Albay. 43-44. Ramon Balana. In the presence of his bookkeeper and secretary. Imperial and immediately joined them in conversation. Atty. 1959. Ramon Balana. Don Jesus. He further told Atty. Imperial Mr. consecutively up to and including Exh. and accordingly gave more detailed instructions as to how he wanted to divide his properties among his four children. and gladly went with the Imperials.' (pp. Jorge S. He then instructed Ramirez to make a list of all s properties with their corresponding descriptions. namely: Don Jesus Alsua. After Mr. Soon Don Jesus came down. whose residence is just across the road from the house of Don Jesus. declaring: têñ.n.. Camarines Sur. Albay. he instructed Atty. Imperial assisting each person signing by indicating the proper place where the signature shall be written. On request of Don Jesus. Don Gregorio Imperial. Mr. riding in a sedan. thereby revoking and cancelling his previous holographic will which he made on January 5. who. Imperial showed to Don Jesus the semi-final draft of the will and after reading it Don Jesus said that it was as directed by him. Thus in the morning of November 14. and that the witnesses should be Mr. Jorge S. Jose Madarieta signed next as another . Imperial. and Mr. Mr. and going back to the previous question. Gaya that the Imperials had already arrived. and so. is now a judge of the Court of First Instance of Naga City. After signing the original and the two other sets. as testator. 1956. Balana. He handed to them a list and on the left he indicated the name of the child to whom the listed properties shall pertain. With the coming of Madarieta and the coming back of Gaya. and the latter came accompanied by his son. V-14). Jorge S. carrying with him the will to be signed placed inside a cartolina folder.

1949 was an enforceable contract which was binding on Don Jesus Alsua as the surviving spouse. review or revise the same. 54492-R) which findings are supported by the evidence. 13-16. In other words.a Tinay subsequently executed separately their respective holographic wigs both dated January 5. citing the case of Legasto vs. Gaya were Identified by Mr. Mr. We do not agree with this ruling of the respondent court. 1271. This cited portion of the appealed decision accepts as a fact that the findings of the lower court declaring the contested will as having been executed with all the formal requirements of a valid will. . K (or set K) and the triplicate of Don Jesus. 474-480. 54 Phil.806 of the New Civil Code.'noting certain details which were a little bit difficult to reconcile with the ordinary course of things and of life. Atty. Article 1056 specifically uses the word "testator" from which the clear intent of the law may be deduced that the privilege of partitioning one's estate by acts inter vivos is restricted only to one who has made a prior will or testament. — one on the margin of each of the nine pages. This finding is conclusive upon this Tribunal and We cannot alter. 1949 is null and void under Article 1056 in relation to Article 1271 of the old Civil Code which are applicable hereto. If the testator should make a partition of his property by an act inter vivos. Don Jesus and Doñ. and further barring him from executing his new will and testament of November 14. one at the end of the instrument proper and one below the attestation clause. as translated).matter of contract. Verzosa. Both holographic wills and codicils having been probated thereafter and upon the death of Doñ. Madarieta. 1956. (CA Decision. — one on the margin of each of the nine pages. Don Jesus was appointed executor of the will and in due time the partition of the properties or estate of Doñ. such partition shall stand in so far as it does not prejudice the legitime of the forced heirs. and We quote the pertinent portions of the decision: têñ. the defendants and appellants herein. 1955 and his codicil of August 14.a Tinay was approved by the probate court on July 6. Balana. and at the end of the instrument proper. the duplicate as Exh. supra. Madarieta. 1949 was ratified in the holographic will executed by Don Jesus on Jan. the Supreme Court categorically declared the necessity of a prior will before the testator can partition his properties among his heirs. notarized the wilt and sealed it with his notarial seat which seal he brought along that morning. All services not contrary to law or to good morals may also be the subject. In Legasto vs. Don Jesus signed ten times. Jorge S. respondent court held the opinion that the extrajudicial partition of November 14. 5. and Mr. and Don Jesus invited all of them to lunch. The signing by the testator and the attesting witnesses having been completed. . and Mr. Madarieta and Atty. a person who executes a will is permitted at the same time or a little thereafter or even before as long as he mentions this fact in the will. We do not agree with this ruling of the Court of Appeals. it was already about 12:30 P. Madarieta and Gaya) signed eleven times on each set. there is no further need for Us to dwell on the matter as both the lower court and the respondent appellate court have declared that these are the facts and such facts are fully borne and supported by the records. no contract may be entered into with respect to future inheritances. Nevertheless. We rule that the questioned last will and testament of Don Jesus Alsua fully complied with the formal requirements of the law. 1956 with the same terms and conditions as reproduced herein earlier. At that moment.£îhqw⣠Art. to partition his properties pursuant to the provisions of Article 1056 of the old Civil Code. We hold that the Extrajudicial Partition of November 25. barring him from revoking his holographic will of January 5. Respondent court. was valid and enforceable.M. Article 1056 of the Civil Code provides: .. Again. Amparo and Fernando had executed the Extrajudicial Partition of November 25. and when Mr. We find no error in the conclusion arrived at that the contested will was duly executed in accordance with law.R. These Articles provide as follows: têñ. they were all given back to Don Jesus who placed them inside the same folder. Jose Gaya who also signed as the third attesting witness. 1956. 1955 and codicils dated August 14. except those the object of which is to make a division inter vivos of an estate. which are not excluded from the commerce of man. Article 1056 being an exception cannot be given a wider scope as to include in the exception any person whether he has made a will or not.a Tinay together with their four children Francisco. and that when each of these three witnesses was signing. After all the three sets were notarized. 1959. All things. however. Pablo. 1056. Balana. 1949 (Exh. 776. or by will. are supported by the evidence. . in accordance with Article 1056. Finally. A) which divided the conjugal properties of the spouses between the spouses themselves and the children under the terms and conditions and dispositions herein before stated and to implement its provisions. Joint Record on Appeal in CA-G. No. The original will was marked as Exh. now the subject of the probate proceedings elevated to this Court. pp. 804.. 1955 and in the codicil of August 14. The court further added that jurisprudence is to the effect that the partition presupposes the execution of the will that it ratifies or effectuates. Verzosa. denied probate of the will after . Balana. Don Jesus and the two other attesting witnesses were present and Witnessing said Signing. Respondent court citing the same Article concluded that under both the old and new Civil Code. Each of the three attesting witnesses (Balana. Mr. the same were passed to Mr. Madarieta finished signing all the three sets. A (or set A)." First was the fact that the spouses Don Jesus and Doñ. may be the subject-matter of contracts. 1960.a Tinay.£îhqw⣠The first question to decide in the instant appeal is whether the partition made by Sabina Almadin of her property among her nieces. It was also clearly established that when Don Jesus signed the will Mr. (now Judge) imperial. Art. barring him from violating said partition agreement.it is quite difficult to conclude that the same had not complied with the requirements of Arts. On each of the three sets. which invitation was gladly accepted by all of then-L (pp. Gaya were present and witnessed said signing.attesting witness. The respondent court ruled that the Extrajudicial Partition of November 25.. Mr. Imperial as Notary Public with commission for the entire province of Albay. Mr.. Hence. even future ones.

a Tinay. The Idea is to divide the estate among the heirs designated by the testator. and especially. 1056. an essential requirement under Article 633 which provides as follows: têñ. This is fundamental because otherwise. This other half. partition his property referred to in the section wherein said article is found. 1959. supra and the commentary of Manresa as quoted above. And it could not be otherwise. remained as the disposable free portion of the spouses which may be disposed of in such manner that either of the spouses would like in regards to his or her share in such portion. it necessarily refers to that property which he has devised to his heirs. 1955 and his codicil of August 14.£îhqw⣠Art. Neither is it necessary to observe the special for. 1956. in the Deed of 1949. authorized. laid down the following doctrine: Considering that the language of article 1056 cannot be interpreted to mean that a person may. but a donor. It must be stressed here that the distribution of her properties was subject to her holographic win and codicil. must be understood in accordance with this distinction. 1903. it erred in holding that Don Jesus being a party to the extrajudicial partition of 1949 was contractually bound by the provisions thereof and hence could not revoke his participation therein by the simple expedience of making a new will with contrary provisions or dispositions. neither is it a valid or enforceable contract because it involved future inheritance. Such a holding of the appellate court that a person who executes a will is permitted to partition his properties pursuant to the provisions of Article 1056 of the old Civil Code even before executing his will as long as he mentions this fact in the will. and this proceeding shall be noted in both instruments. realities required in case of donations. or the authority of law. independently of the holographic will and codicil of Don Jesus executed by him on the same date. or by an act inter vivos. is that Don Jesus and Doñ. in providing that no contracts may be entered into with respect to future inheritances except those the object of which is to make a division inter vivos of the estate in accordance with article 1056. there could have been no valid donation to the children of the other half reserved as the free portion of Don Jesus and Doñ. partition his property. therefore. In employing the word "testator. On the other hand. to the forms thereof. which is entirely different from the legal consequences of a free disposition made by parents during their lifetime. the division in conformity with that disposition. contained specific designation of properties allotted to each child. which we shall hereafter examine. If the acceptance is made by separate public instrument. which means that. or by will. The Supreme Court of Spain." the law evidently desired to distinguish between one who freely donates his property in life and one who disposes of it by will to take effect after his death. If the testator should make a partition of his property by an act inter vivos. the extrajudicial partition of November 25. is not warranted under the ruling of Legasto vs.Art. Manresa comments on the same article as follows: A distinction must be made between the disposition of property and its division. the other half remained entirely at the free disposal of the spouses with regards to their respective shares. therefore. It is an error because the so-called extrajudicial partition of 1949 is void and inoperative as a partition. It is thus seen that both the Spanish Supreme Court and the learned and authoritative commentator. but it shall produce no effect if not made during the lifetime of the donor. to wit. We rule that there was substantial compliance with the rules on donations inter vivos under the old Civil Code (Article 633). A person who disposes of his property gratis inter vivos is not called a testator. The acceptance must be made in the deed of gift or in a separate public writing. We are not in conformity with the holding of the respondent court that the extrajudicial partition of November 25. Verzosa. therefore. because neither of the two provisions could be given a wider meaning or scope than that they simply provide for the division of the estate during the lifetime of the owner. such partition shall stand in so far as it does not prejudice the legitime of the forced heirs. because it is not a matter of disposing gratuitously of properties. was to be divided equally among the children for the simple reason that the property or properties were not specifically described in the public instrument. are of opinion that a testator may. and the provision of article 1056 authorizing the testator to dispose of his property by acts inter vivos or by last will. The end result. speaks of the partition inter vivos made by a testator of his property. made to their children valid donations of only one-half of their combined properties which must be charged against their legitime and cannot anymore be revoked unless inofficious. as stated in the deed. for. 1949. that the respondent court erred in denying probate to the will of Don Jesus dated November 14. otherwise. inasmuch as the second paragraph of article 1271 makes reference to the aforesaid article. Considering that the document. it is evident that said difference likewise leads to the conclusion that a partition thus made should be on the basis of a testamentary or legal succession and should be made in conformity with the fundamental rules thereof and the order of the heirs entitled to the estate. 1956. which. the law. Then comes the second part. makes allusion to the forms or manner of making the partition and not to the effects thereof. whereby they give to their children the whole or a part of their property. and the testator may make this division in the same will or in another will. for without a will there can be no testator. In order that a donation or real property be valid it must be made by public instrument in which the property donated must be specifically described and in the amount of the encumbrances to be assumed by the donee expressed. Upon the death of Doñ. 1959.a Tinay which. nor included in the chapter referring to testaments. Manresa. by an act inter vivos. This designation constitutes the disposition of the properties to take effect after his death. 1949 which under the old Civil Code was expressly prohibited as against public policy had been validly ratified by the holographic will of Don Jesus executed on January 5. 633. a partition thus made would be tantamount to making a will in a manner not provided for. without the authority of a testament containing an expression of his last will. unencumbered by the provision enjoining the last surviving spouse to give equally to the children what belongs or-would pertain to him or her. and said act must necessarily appear in the testament because it is the expression of the testator's last will and must be surrounded by appropriate formalities.a Tinay on October 2. it may only be given effect as a donation inter vivos of specific properties to the heirs made by the parents. to consider both . With these words. otherwise. authentic notice thereof shall be given the donor. her share in the free portion was distributed in accordance with her holographic will dated January 25. in a decision rendered on June 13. We rule. for purposes of partition the formal solemnities which must accompany every testament or last will are not necessary. Considering that. but he must first make a will with all the formalities provided for by law. when the law. but of dividing those which already have been legally disposed of. by acts inter vivos. 1955 and her codicil dated August 14. would have to be done upon the death of the testator in order to carry into effect the partition of the estate among the persons interested. in article 1056 as well as in article 1057. therefore.

The last Will and Testament of Don Jesus executed on November 14. no dispuestas aun en la reparticion. To stress the point. Respondents insist that Don Jesus was bound by the extrajudicial partition of November 25. would only receive equal shares in the remaining estate of Doñ. which have not been disposed of pursuant to the partition. incluyendo todos aquenos bienes que se adquiriesen por nosotros despues de otorgado por mi este testamento. In her holographic will. would remain revokable at his discretion. the meat of the case is the intrinsic validity of the wilt Normally this comes only after the court has declared that the will has been duly authenticated. probate only authenticates the will and does not pass upon the efficacy of the dispositions therein. that is. mention of her children as heirs was made in the fourth clause but it only provided that." From the above-quoted provision. on more than one occasion.. In case it should be God's will that I survive my spouse. in law. upon his death. Nuguid.. the above portion states: têñ. y la otra mitad (1/2) para mis hijos en partes iguales.. 818) and secondly because upon the death of Doñ..a Tinay expressly or impliedly instituted both the husband and her children as heirs to her free portion of her share in the conjugal assets. We rule. . effort. the institution of all his children as devisees and legatees to certain specific properties.a Tinay.. and We quote that part of the codicil: têñ.a Tinay instituted her husband as sole heir to her share in the free portion of the conjugal assets. which is not herein claimed for it is undisputed that only the free portion of the whole Alsua estate is being contested. 1955 and the codicil of August 14. should be divided equally among my above-mentioned heirs after my death. Para el caso de que Dios dispusiera que yo sobreviviera a mi esposo declaro que es mi voluntad que todas las propiedades de todo genero que me pertenecen y me pudieran pertenecer. and not that of Don Jesus. . including all those properties which we shall acquire after the execution of this document. the rights to the succession are transmitted only from the moment of the death of the decedent (Article 777. 1959 contained an express revocation of his holographic wig of January 5. On the contrary.a Tinay. For in the first place.half (1/2) to my spouse. Doñ. 17 SCRA 499: têñ. For them. 1949 and had in fact conformed to said Partition by making a holographic will and codicil with exactly the same provisions as those of Doñ. Palacios. Any waiver or restriction of this right is void. all such properties she was bequeathing him. . 828 of the new Civil Code is clear: "A win may be revoked by the testator at any time before his death. provided the legitime of the forced heirs are not prejudiced. The children.a Tinay in her holographic will and codicil resulting in all such properties becoming the properties of Don Jesus alone. and the other half to my children in equal parts. This would still hold true even if such previous will had as in the case at bar already been probated (Palacios v. After clearly establishing that only Don Jesus was named as sole heir instituted to the remaining estate of Doñ. however.£îhqw⣠I leave to my spouse Don Jesus Alsua as his legitime and as his inheritance the part of the free portion of my property which have not been allocated in favor of my children in the Document of Partition aforecited and that which should exceed 1/2 of the conjugal property of gains that pertains to him as above stated. Thus We declared inNuguid v. expense. the codicil of Doñ. that Don Jesus was not forever bound thereby for his previous holographic will and codicil as such. one. and after clearly pointing out that Don Jesus can. this fourth clause provided that "Should I acquire new properties after the execution of this testament. the same shall be partitioned among my spouse and above named children or the children mentioned in above par.a Tinay's wig and codicil did not stipulate that Don Jesus will bestow the properties equally to the children. Again for purposes of clarity and convenience.. passed upon the intrinsic validity of a will even before it had been authenticated." There can be no restriction that may be made on his absolute freedom to revoke his holographic will and codicil previously made. which respondent court sustained.£îhqw⣠Cuatro. the next issue for the Court's resolution is the validity of the provisions of the contested will. the children would only inherit together with Don Jesus whatever new properties Doñ. to wit: têñ. the Court had.a Tinay and We find no indication whatsoever that Doñ. I hereby declare that it is my will that any and all kinds of property that pertains to me or would pertain to me. For purposes of clarity and convenience. a statement requiring that all of his properties donated to his children in the Deed of 1949 be collated and taken into account in the partition of his estate. Considering now the efficacy of Don Jesus' last will and testament executed on November 14.£îhqw⣠Dejo a mi esposo Jesus Alsua como su legitima y como herencia que se sacara de ni cuenta de libre disposicion todos aquellos bienes de los que no he dispuesto aun en favor de mis hijos en la escritura de reparticion precitada y que excedieran de la mitad de gananciales que le corresponds tal como arriba declare. These are the practical considerations that induce us to a behalf that we might as well meet head-on the time of the validity of the provisions of the will in question. se dividan por igual entre mis herederos mencionados despues de mi muerte. only her estate was being settled. in the event of probate or if the court rejects the will probability exists that the case win come up once again before us on the issue of the intrinsic validity or nullity of the wilt Result: waste of time. a statement bequeathing the rest . New Civil Code). 106 Phil.a Tinay did not oblige her husband to give equally to the children. And secondly. 739). In fine. We have carefully examined the provisions of the holographic will and codicil of Doñ. Likewise. revoke his previous holographic will and codicil. therefore.a Tinay would acquire after the execution of her will.a Tinay in the event that she should be the surviving spouse. 1959 in view of Our holding that Doñ.a Tinay bequeathed to Don Jesus under her holographic win and codicil became part of Don Jesus' estate unburdened by any condition obligation or proviso. Though the law and jurisprudence are clear that only questions about the extrinsic validity of the will may be entertained by the probate court. If the case were to be remanded for probate of the wilt nothing will be gained. Que si yo adquieriese nuevase propiedades despues de otorgado este mi testamento seran las mismas repartados entre mi esposo o hijos arriba mencionada en el parrafo tercero su la misma proporcion o sea: la mitad (1/2) para is esposa. 3 in the same proportion. by making another win expressly cancelling and revoking the former. plus added anxiety. Don Jesus retained the liberty of disposing of his property before his death to whomsoever he chose. 1956. this litigation win be protracted and for ought that appears in the record. Art.£îhqw⣠The parties shunted aside the question of whether or not the will should be allowed to probate. it follows that all the properties of Doñ.wills and codicils jointly would be to circumvent the prohibition of the Civil Code on joint wills (Art.

The Civil Code itself provides under Article 798 that in order to make a will. Mere weakness of mind or partial imbecility from disease of body or from age-does not render a person incapable of making a will. and secondly. the proper objects of his bounty. he had no intention of seeking the probate thereof during his lifetime. and provided the law on legitimes has not been violated. before his death. to wit: têñ. . or that portion of the conjugal assets totally left to his free disposal and that which he received as his inheritance from Doñ. 1955 and his codicil of August 14. despues de lo he leido. it is beyond the place of judicial cognizance to inquire into the fairness or unfairness of any devise or bequeast.. absolutely nothing. to such an extreme as to violate his previous disposition consecrated in the previous extrajudicial partition. Joseph Betts. (Bugnao vs. 799. and that degrees of mental aberration generally known as insanity or Idiocy. We cannot and may not sit in judgment upon the motives and sentiments of Don Jesus in doing so. To be of sound mind.. The test of testamentary capacity is at the time of the making of the win.£îhqw⣠. But more than that. to consider Don Jesus as a man of culture and honor and would not snow himself to violate the previous agreement. because as already stated.£îhqw⣠Art. injury or other cause. it must be presumed that the intention of Don Jesus in his last win was not to revoke the donations already made in the Deed of 1949 but only to redistribute his remaining estate. for his part received instructions from Francisco and her husband. a close scrutiny of the properties distributed to the children under the Deed of 1949 and those distributed under the contested will of Don Jesus does not show that the former had in fact been included in the latter. and under Article 800. Don Jesus knew exactly what his actions were and the fun implications thereof. Gregorio Imperial segun mis instrucciones cuyo documents tengo aqui con migo y encuentro que. It would be a dangerous precedent to strain the interpretation of a will in order to effect what the court believes to be an equitable division of the estate of a deceased person. Como saben ustedes tengo cuatro (4) hijos todos ellos. will not render a person incapable of making a will. (b) the semifinal draft of the contested will prepared by his lawyer w-as even corrected by Don Jesus. and that he was more sympathetic to Francisca so as to or forget the former depriving them of benefits already given to them and rewarding the latter with disproportionate advantages or benefits.. there are numberless degrees of mental capacity or incapacity and while on one hand it has been held that mere weakness of mind.£îhqw⣠Considering these testamentary provisions. which is not legally tenable. or unshattered by disease. To constitute a sound and disposing mind. 8. esta satisfactoriamente hecho segun mis ingtrucciones. as claimed by private respondents. 635.. From these accepted facts. (c) on the day of the signing of the will at his house in Ligao. to wit: têñ. it is not necessary that the testator be in full possession of all his reasoning faculties. In the case at bar. 73 Phil. as in fact. 14 Phil. . or from age.. unimpaired.a Tinay. 1956 during his lifetime but insofar as the will of November 14. 163). nothing in the law restrained her from disposing of her property in any manner she desired. nevertheless it would be venturesome for the court to advance its own Idea of a just distribution of the property in the face of a different mode of disposition so clearly expressed by the testatrix in the latter will. The properties that were disposed of in the contested will belonged wholly to Don Jesus Alsua's free portion and may be diamond of by him to whomsoever he may choose. gleaned from the quoted portions of the appealed decision. first. the better explanation is the latter. The only functions of the courts in these cases is to carry out the intention of the deceased as manifested in the wig.. because there are no adequate means of ascertaining the inward process of her conscience. Once that intention has been determined through a careful reading of the will or wills. in the words of the decision "are a little bit difficult to reconcile with the ordinary course of things and of fife" such as the fact that Don Jesus had sought the probate of his will of January 5.of his properties and all that may be acquired in the future. The legitimes of the forced heirs were left unimpaired. Under Article 799 of the New Civil Code which provides as follows: têñ. In rejecting probate of the wilt respondent court further pointed out other details which. (d) the signing of the will by Don Jesus and his attesting witnesses was made after a statement from Don Jesus of the purpose of their meeting or gathering. Respondent court. We find that: (a) it was Don Jesus himself who gave detailed instructions to his lawyer as to how he wanted to divide his properties among his children by means of a list of his properties should pertain. The court should not sit in judgment upon the motives and sentiments of the testatrix. it is essential that the testator be of sound mind at the time of its execution. têñ. She was the sole judge of her own attitude toward those who expected her bounty. We have clearly laid down this rule in Bustamante v. 1959 and that "nothing. Arevalo. he was already 84 years of age and in view of his weakness and advanced age. or Pablo as in fact he was. If he now favored Francesca more. it is not necessary that the mind be unbroken or unimpaired or unshattered by disease or otherwise. the law presumes that every person is of sound mind in the absence of proof to the contrary. provided he has understanding and memory sufficient to enable him to know what he is about to do and how or to whom he is disposing of his property. Between the highest degree of soundness of mind and memory which unquestionably carries with it full testamentary capacity. It shall be sufficient if the testator was able at the time of making the will to know the nature of the estate to be disposed of. a weak or feebleminded person may make a valid will. not one of said forced heirs claimed or intimated otherwise. and the other as one whose mental faculties or his possession of the same had been diminished considering that when the will was executed. Exh. Clearly then. It has been held that testamentary incapacity does not necessarily require that a person shall actually be insane or of unsound mind. the actual administration of his properties had been left to his assistant Madarieta who. the described behavior of Don Jesus is not that of a mentally incapacitated person nor one suffering from "senile dementia" as claimed by private respondents.. "Don Jesus was in bright and lively spirits . or that his mind be wholly unbroken. to Pablo and Francesca... 1959 is concerned. This being so. and the character of the testamentary act. faced two alternatives-one. Ubag. According to the court. the acceptance by the respondent court of the findings of fact of the trial court on the due execution of the last win and testament of Don Jesus has foreclosed any and all claim to the contrary that the will was not executed in accordance with the requirements of the law. or partial imbecility from disease of body. the alleged redundant and unnecessary proceedings undertaken by Don Jesus in the properties under question to petitioner Franciso Alsua-Betts when the same properties had already been bequeathed to her in the will of November 14.£îhqw⣠Precisamente es por lo que he Ilamado a ustedes que eaten presentes para ser testigos de mi ultima voluntad y testamento que ha sido preparado por el abogado Sr. in trying to rationalize the will of Don Jesus which allegedly benefited and favored the petitioner to the prejudice of the other heirs who would have been entitled to an equal share under the extrajudicial partition of 1949. could be made the basis for finding that Don Jesus Alsua had regarded his other children with less favor. and a statement naming Francesca as executrix without bond." . leading in the conversation which ran from problems of farming and the merits of French-made wines".

1961 by Don Jesus in favor of Francisca for the consideration of Seventy Thousand Pesos (P70. 3068 is hereby reinstated.000. It is true that the jurisprudence of this Court in cases brought to Us from the Court of Appeals is limited to reviewing and revising the errors of law imputed to it. This is as good a conjecture as the respondents may offer or as difficult to accept which respondent court believes. a Bank of the Philippine Islands Check No. L-4875. a document dated August 26.00). Evident from the records are the following documentary evidence: (1) Exhibit U. Nov. force or threat. surmises or speculations which. the annulment case. On the other hand. endorsements on the back of the last two checks by Don Jesus. which show that the checks of Francisco made payable to Don Jesus. D-6980) also dated November 26. 19 SCRA 289). While We can speculate that Don Jesus desired to have possession of the properties transferred to Francisca after the sale instead of waiting for his death may be a reasonable explanation or speculation for the act of the testator and yet there is no certainty that such was actually the reason. 1958. 257). EA-35415-19 plus interest. 1953). his signatures thereon were not assailed. Co.355. They further insist that the issue raised is a question of fact and. Such surmise. The only issue raised anent the civil case for annulment of the two Deeds of Sale executed by and between Don Jesus and petitioner Francisco is their validity or nullity. it can never be admitted as evidence. When the inference made is manifestly mistaken. however. . in making its findings. in the amount of P32. The law does not require that a will be probated during the lifetime of the testator and for not doing so there cannot arise any favorable or unfavorable consequence therefrom. The decision of the Court of First Instance Of Albay in Special Proceedings No. mistake or undue influence. 27. considering that the price paid was much higher than the assessed value of the subject properties and considering that the sales were effected by a father to her daughter in which case filial love must be taken into account. also admittedly not a forgery. the decision appealed from is hereby set aside. and the signature of Pablo Alsua as an instrumental witness. Pablo Alsua. We find and so declare that the respondent court's conclusion as to the nullity of the contested sales was not supported by the evidence on record and adduced during the trial.644. 0252 in the amount of Seventy Thousand Pesos (P70. April 30. Sosing. the genuineness of which were not at all assailed at any time during this long drawn-out litigation of 15 years standing. not assailed as a forgery.29 from Don Jesus Alsua in payment of Balance of Transfer of Tax Ass. were in fact given to Don Jesus as he endorsed them on the back thereof.71. 1957). 74 Phil. where We have reviewed and revised the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals. 2. (4) Exhibit "X". L-22533. therefore. Villaseca. The same thing can be said as to whatever reason Don Jesus had for selling the properties to his daughter Francisca when he had already assigned the same properties to her in his will. a second Bank of Philippine Islands Check (No. surmises or conjectures (Joaquin vs. 4. We are convinced and satisfied from this array of documentary evidence that in fact. The general rule laid down by the Supreme Court does not declare the absolute correctness of all the findings of fact made by the Court of Appeals.00) for the sale of 33 parcels of agricultural land to Francisco under the same date. a Bureau of Internal Revenue Receipt (No. Among the exceptions to the rule that findings of fact by the Court of Appeals cannot be reviewed on appeals by certiorari are: 1. SO ORDERED. went beyond the issues of the case and the same is contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee (Evangelists vs. again. WHEREFORE. No. (3) Exhibit "F". When the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts (Cruz vs. 1961 and signed by Don Jesus and Pablo Alsua as witness. and most specifically Exhibit "A" in the annulment case. People. But what should not be ignored by lawyers and litigants alike is the more basic principle that the "findings of fact" described as "final" or "conclusive" are those borne out by the record or those which are based upon substantial evidence.355.G. When the findings of fact are conflicting (Casica vs. acknowledging receipt of a Bank of Philippine Island Check No. 15). (2) Exhibit "W". petitioners herein maintain that it was error for the respondent court to set aside on appeal the factual findings of the trial court that the two sales were valid. drawn by Francisco and payable to Don Jesus. 1962 for the consideration of Eighty Thousand Pesos (P80.000. The claim of the private respondents that the sales were fictitious and void for being without cause or consideration is as weak and flimsy as the ground upon which the respondent court upheld said claim on the basis that there was no need for funds in Don Jesus' old age aside from the speculation that there was nothing in the evidence that showed what motivated Don Jesus to change his mind as to favor Francesca and discriminate against the other children. 2347260) dated November 29. again not assailed as a forgery nor alleged as done thru fraud.000. When the Court of Appeals. a deed of sale over urban lots executed on November 16. (Article 1355. 1967. D-6979 dated November 26. 9. Pepsi Cola.00).We agree with the petitioner that these details which respondent court found difficult to reconcile with the ordinary course of things and of life are mere conjectures.00. payable to Don Jesus. April 23. (7) Exhibit "A" (in the annulment case). 699 and Civil Case No. 6. Inadequacy of consideration does not vitiate a contract unless it is proven which in the case at bar was not. 93 Phil. as a witness. 2927). Francisca for the total consideration of P150. The fact that Don Jesus did not cause his will to be probated during his lifetime while his previous holographic win and codicil were duly probated when he was still alive is a mere speculation which depends entirely on the discretion of Don Jesus as the testator. New Civil Code). a deed of sale over agricultural lands executed on August 26. 3. 51 O. D-6980 in the amount of P47. 1962 with a notation acknowledging the receipt of BPI Check No. Now. which proved that Don Jesus actually used Exhibit "XI " to complete payment on the estate and inheritance tax on the estate of his wife to the Bureau of Internal Revenue. not reviewable in a certiorari proceeding before the Supreme Court. 5. 1962 in the amount of ? 47. The two contracts of same executed by Don Jesus in favor of Francesca are evidenced by Exhibits "U" and "W". absurd or impossible (Luna vs. Linatok. speculation or conjecture is no valid and legal ground to reject allowance or disallowance of the wig. A conjecture is always a conjecture. which document bears the signature of Don Jesus. drawn and signed by Francesca. do not warrant or justify disallowance of the probate of the win of Don Jesus.. again. Ramos vs. (6) Exhibit "X-3 " and "X-5 ". Where there is a grave abuse of discretion (Buyco vs. with costs against respondents. L-11139. When the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation. and this same principle applies even if the Court of Appeals was in disagreement with the lower court as to the weight of evidence with a consequent reversal of its findings of fact.000. Navarro. that there was fraud. We do not find the stipulated price as so inadequate to shock the court's conscience. 1962. In the case at bar. The latter cannot now deny the payment of the consideration And even of he now allege that in fact no transfer of money was involved. That the consideration stated in the contracts were paid is also sufficiently proved as the receipts thereof by Don Jesus were even signed by one of the private respondents. which document also bears the signature of Don Jesus. Private respondents mainly contend that the sales were fictitious or simulated. Feb. These are exceptions to the general rule. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. its findings of fact being conclusive. Don Jesus sold the subject properties to his daughter. and Private respondents further insist that the sales were fraudulent because of the inadequacy of the given price. The parties cannot correctly guess or surmise the motives of the testator and neither can the courts. there having been no actual consideration paid. Pablo did not deny the genuineness of his signature. Alto Surety & Ins. We find his allegation belied by Exhibits "X-3 " and "X-5 ".29. L-9590. (5) Exhibit "X-1".

Torres. Arellano. Cavite. No. JOHNSON. VICTORIANA DE LA CRUZ. The appellant attempted to show that the deceased was incompetent to make his will because he was blind at the time the same was executed and had been for several years theretofore. Cavite. dated September 30. vs. AGUSTINA JOCSON-VASQUEZ. Gabriel G. L-6322 February 21. to Agustina Jocson-Vasquez what apparently covers almost all of his properties. L-55322 February 16. 13. J. defendant-appellant. The contention of the opponent is that at the time of the making of the will the said Pascual de la Cruz was blind and had been for a number of years. except age and soundness of mind. as administratrix of the estate of Pascual de la Cruz. COURT OF APPEALS.000. 12-13. (Sec. Naic. versus AGUSTINA JOCSON-VASQUEZ and ERNESTO VASQUEZ.000) salaping Pilipino na aking tinanggap ng buong kasiyahan loob at ang pagkakatanggap ay aking hayagang inaamin sa pamamagitan ng kasulatang ito. 1912 MEDIALDEA. respondents. and of its resolution. all located at Naic. defendant-appellants. deceased. Buencamino. sa aking anak na si Agustina Jocson. Branch I. which were presented as evidence not by Moises Jocson. Mascardo for private respondents. Ang mga lupang nasa pangalan ng aking nasirang asawa ay hindi ko ginagalaw ni pinakikialaman at iyon ay dapat na hatiin ng dalawa kong anak alinsunod sa umiiral na batas (p. 1980. This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court of the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA. for the sum of ten thousand P10. In our opinion the record contains nothing which justifies the modification of the order made legalizing the will in the present case. ay aking ipinagbile ng lubusan at kagyat at walang ano mang pasubali ang nabanggit na anim na pirasong lupa na nasa unang dahon ng dokumentong ito. vs. promulgated on April 30.R. Carson. na tulad din ng isa ko pang anak na lalaki. dated July 27.R. As adverted to above. Petitioner Moises Jocson and respondent Agustina Jocson-Vasquez are the only surviving offsprings of the spouses Emilio Jocson and Alejandra Poblete. Moreland G.00. Jr. C. 1980. ay gagamitin ko sa aking katandaan at mga huling araw at sa aking mga ibang mahahalagang pangangailangan. Diokno. Petitioner Moises Jocson assails these documents and prays that they be declared null and void and the properties subject matter therein be partitioned between him and Agustina as the only heirs of their deceased parents. thus: Na ngayon. J. including his one-third (1/3) share in the estate of his wife.R. 614. asawa ni Ernesto Vasquez. in total reversal of the decision of the then Court of First Instance of Cavite.: DOLORES AVELINO. Emilio Jocson also died intestate on April 1. denying therein appellee's motion for reconsideration. and was incompetent to make the will in question. which declared them as null and void. No presumption of incapacity can arise from the mere fact that he was blind. HON.000. are the following: 1) "Kasulatan ng Bilihan ng Lupa. entitled "MOISES JOCSON. [Emphasis supplied] Na nais ko ring banggitin na ang ginawa kong ito ay hindi labag sa ano mang batas o kautusan. No. Against this contention of the opponent. On the same document Emilio Jocson acknowledged receipt of the purchase price. but no limitation is placed upon the testamentary capacity. Mapa.G. Ang kuartang tinanggap ko na P10. as the party assailing its validity. The only requirement of the law as to the capacity to make a will is that the person shall be of age and of sound mind and memory. alang-alang sa halagang SAMPUNG LIBONG PISO (P10. madamayin at ma-alalahanin. Platon & Lontoc for appellant. but rather by herein respondents. in which he had legalized the will of the said Pascual de la Cruz. No. at sa kaniyang tagapagmana o makakahalili at gayon din nais kong banggitin na kahit na may kamurahan ang ginawa kong pagbibile ay dahilan sa ang nakabile ay aking anak na sa akin at mapaglingkod. The order of the lower court admitting to probate and legalizing the will in question is therefore hereby affirmed with costs. There is absolutely no proof to show that the deceased was incapacitated at the time he executed his will. 63474.J." marked as Exhibit 3 (pp.: The present is an appeal from an order of the Honorable George N. at naninirahan sa Poblacion. Subsequently.) Section 620 of the same code prohibits blind persons from acting as witnesses in the execution of wills. while respondent Ernesto Vasquez is the husband of Agustina. as well as in the presence of the deceased. Records.. The documents. sa nabanggit na Agustina Jocson. 1968. sapagkat ang aking pinagbile ay akin at nasa aking pangalan. and each declared that the deceased was of sound mind at the time said will was made and fully understood its contents and signed the same in their presence and that they each signed the will in the presence of each other." upholding the validity of three (3) documents questioned by Moises Jocson. Alejandra Poblete predeceased her husband without her intestate estate being settled. judge of the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila.) . petitioner. These documents purportedly conveyed. Buencamino. na may sapat na gulang. plaintiff-appellee. 1989 MOISES JOCSON. plaintiff-appellee. all of the witnesses who signed the will were called as witnesses. 1972. By this document Emilio Jocson sold to Agustina Jocson-Vasquez six (6) parcels of land. Code of Procedure in Civil Actions. ERNESTO VASQUEZ. mamamayang Pilipino.G. by sale. Hurd. Alfonso Mendoza for appellee. Dolorfino and Dominguez Law Officers for petitioner. the present controversy concerns the validity of three (3) documents executed by Emilio Jocson during his lifetime. Records) for the defendant in the court a quo.00 pesos.

. By the same instrument. petitioner questions not the extrajudicial partition but only the sale by his father to Agustina of the former's 1/3 share (p. all my rights. 3) Lastly. (p. from the discovery of the fraud. and the records admittedly show that both Exhibits 3 and 4. . marked as Exhibit 2 (p.00) PESOS. Emilio Jocson. which is indisputably based on fraud. As in the first document. petitioner claimed that the properties mentioned in Exhibits 3 and 4 are the unliquidated conjugal properties of Emilio Jocson and Alejandra Poblete which the former. 1968.... (pp.000.00) pesos. 10-11. Moises Jocson acknowledged receipt of the purchase price: 'Na alang-alang sa halagang LIMANG LIBONG PISO (P5. Cavite. These documents were executed before a notary public. in the nature of absolute and irrevocable sale. and procured their father .000. As in the preceding documents. taking into consideration the circumstances obtaining between the parties. and 4. Rollo). the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 63474-R rendered a decision (pp. 27. [With regards the second and third document. Records). unto the said Agustina Jocson. dividing the same into three parts. Exhibit 2 was not registered with the Office of the Register of Deeds. that they] are null and void because the consent of the father. especially so when the father has no need of money as the properties supposedly sold were all incomeproducing. fabricated and fictitious. for the simulated price of P10. were able to induce.00) PESOS. That the aforesaid contracts.000. having been made deliberately to exclude the plaintiff from participating and with the dishonest and selfish motive on the part of the defendants to defraud him of his legitimate share on said properties [subject matter thereof]. It further declared the properties mentioned in Exhibits 3 and 4 as conjugal properties of Emilio Jocson and Alejandra Poblete. 53. as to divest him of the full dominion and ownership over the properties subject of said assailed contracts.1973 with the then Court of First Instance of Naic. 13. her heirs and assigns. and which was twice amended. Exhibits 2. [Emphasis supplied] Petitioner explained that there could be no real sale between a father and daughter who are living under the same roof. The trial court sustained the foregoing contentions of petitioner (pp. are decisively not simulated or fictitious contracts.. Na ang halagang ibinayad sa akin ay may kamurahan ng kaunti ngunit dahil sa malaking pagtingin ko sa kaniya . because it is fictitious. TM. as in fact all his titles over the same were all cancelled and new ones issued to appellant Agustina Jocson-Vasquez . the appellee's complaint was filed on June 20..2) "Kasulatan ng Ganap na Bilihan. Records). which is equivalent to one third (1/3) share in the properties herein mentioned and described the one third being adjudicated unto Agustina Jocson and the other third (1/3) portion being the share of Moises Jocson. led.R. without the participation and intervention of Moises Jocson."dated July 27. Record on Appeal). As far as Exhibit 2 is concerned.000. simulated and fabricated contract x x x (pp. were all registered on July 29. was obtained with fraud. misrepresentation and unlawful machinations and trickeries committed by the defendant on him. Record on Appeal). Emilio sold his one. Records). which is a consideration that is shocking to the conscience of ordinary man and despite the fact that said defendants have no work or livelihood of their own . the herein Emilio Jocson had received from my daughter Agustina Jocson.531).1968. marked as Exhibit 4 (p. undue pressure and influence and other illegal machinations. 2. the "Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Adjudication with Sale. No. That insofar as Exhibits 3 and 4 are concerned the appellee's complaint for annulment. thus: 8... and undue influence. Rollo) and reversed that of the trial court's and ruled that: 1. that] the defendants. [Emphasis supplied] xxx xxx xxx 12. undue pressure.. clearly beyond the aforesaid four-year prescriptive period provided by law. convey and transfer. "dated March 9." were cancelled and new certificates of title were issued in the name of Agustina Jocson-Vasquez.. for being null and void. whereby Emilio Jocson and Agustina JocsonVasquez. 11.. and that the said contracts are simulated. 1969. while on the other hand. pursuant to the settled rule that an action for annulment of a contract based on fraud must be filed within four (4) years. It is necessary to partly quote the allegation of petitioner in his complaint for the reason that the nature of his causes of action is at issue. married to Alejandra Poblete" and ordered that the properties subject matter of all the documents be registered in the name of herein petitioners and private respondents. 14. 14. Records).00. In his Second Amended Complaint (pp. . extrajudicially partitioned the unsettled estate of Alejandra Poblete. is now barred by prescription. Rollo) on June 20.00) salaping Pilipino na aking tinanggap ng buong kasiyahan loob sa aking anak na Agustina Jocson . therefore. [With regard the first document.. Exhibits 3 and 4 were registered with the Office of the Register of Deeds of Cavite on July 29. shares and participation. Cavite (docketed as Civil Case No. and that the real intention of the parties were donations designed to exclude Moises Jocson from participating in the estate of his parents. deceit. through fraud.. also. 1968 and the transfer certificates of title covering the properties therein in the name of Emilio Jocson. It declared that the considerations mentioned in the documents were merely simulated and fictitious because: 1) there was no showing that Agustina Jocson-Vasquez paid for the properties. married to Alejandra Poblete. 29-42. 54-55.. Emilio Jocson purportedly sold to Agustina JocsonVasquez. as aforementioned. which in legal contemplation is deemed to be the date of the registration of said document with the Register of Deeds . 3. Further. 2) the prices were grossly inadequate which is tantamount to lack of consideration at all.. administrators and successors in interests. On the face of this document. would not have the sufficient and ample means to purchase the said properties except by getting the earnings of the business or by simulated consideration .. that the sale is null and void.. which I. Record on Appeal). 59-81. do hereby sell. Agustina JocsonVasquez and Moises Jocson. two rice mills and a camarin (camalig) located at Naic.third (1/3) share to Agustin for the sum of EIGHT THOUSAND (P8. defendants who were just employed in the management and administration of the business of their parents. 47-58.. deceit. 57. 1973.. herein petitioner assailed the above documents. On appeal. (p. 52-53. because they were registered in the name of "Emilio Jocson.. cannot validly sell (pp. Record on Appeal). since Emilio Jocson actually and really intended them to be effective and binding against him. Record on Appeal). onethird (1/3) each for the heirs of Alejandra Poblete.. Herein petitioner filed his original complaint (Record on Appeal. for the sum of FIVE THOUSAND (P5. interest. namely: Emilio Jocson. to sign [the] contract of sale .. and that without any other business or employment or any other source of income.. Emilio Jocson acknowledged receipt of the purchase price: Now for and in consideration of the sum of only eight thousand (P8. cede.. kaya at pinagbile ko sa kaniya ang mga nabanggit na pagaari kahit na hindi malaking halaga . p. and 3) the improbability of the sale between Emilio Jocson and Agustina Jocson-Vasquez.000.

and more so where the documents were notarized. We held that: . According to Article 1352 of the Civil Code.s. 11 SCRA 153). HAS THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT THE SUIT FOR THE ANNULMENT OF CONTRACTS FILED BY PETITIONERS WITH THE TRIAL COURT IS "BASED ON FRAUD" AND NOT ON ITS INEXISTENCE AND NULLITY BECAUSE OF IT'S BEING SIMULATED OR FICTITIOUS OR WHOSE CAUSE IS CONTRARY TO LAW.s. the total purchase price paid by Agustina JocsonVasquez is above the total assessed value of the properties alleged by petitioner. In fact. March 15. that the properties subject matter therein are conjugal properties of Emilio Jocson and Alejandra Poblete. Court of Appeals. while the purchase price paid was P10. t. therefore. gross inadequacy of price alone does not affect a contract of sale. Further. Rollo) I. otherwise the contract may no longer be contested. t. 36. For petitioner. except that it may indicate a defect in the consent. Civil Code. which as admitted by Emilio Jocson was only slight. If fraud were the only ground relied upon by Moises Jocson in assailing the questioned documents. De Guzman.. 2. The degree of proof becomes more stringent where the documents themselves show that the vendor acknowledged receipt of the price. p. Alejandra Poblete. Since Exhibits 3 and 4 were registered on July 29. No. Gregorio Lantin. 23 SCRA 637. In this petition for review. however. herein petitioner's causes of action were based on fraud..000." the certificates of title he presented as evidence (Exhibits "E'. Upon consideration of the records of this case.. as when consent was obtained through fraud. therefore. 4. No. There is another ground relied upon by petitioner in assailing Exhibits 3 and 4. there was no showing that the prices were grossly inadequate. But it is not so. contracts without cause produce no effect whatsoever. l978.840. II.1964. No. May 24. P3. affecting the 2/3 portion of the subject properties described therein have all been made in accordance with Article 996 of the New Civil Code on intestate succession. unless it be proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife. Moises Jocson's claim that Agustina Jocson-Vasquez had no other source of income other than what she derives from helping in the management of the family business (ricefields and ricemills). P 24. respectively. As pointed out by petitioner.n. 1968. was contradicted by his own witness. Moises Jocson raised the following assignments of errors: 1. Exhibit 4. also Article 1409 [3]]). and Exhibit 2. Article 160 of the Civil Code provides that: All property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership. Moises Jocsons saction. Civil Code) and there is nothing in the records at all to indicate any defect in Emilio Jocson's consent. Records) were enough proof to show that the properties covered therein were acquired during the marriage of their parents. P5. The burden of proof in showing that contracts lack consideration rests on he who alleged it. And any difference between the market value and the purchase price. the latter for the 1/3 share of Emilio Jocson from the paraphernal properties of his wife. In Cobb-Perez vs.n. See also. Civil Code). Amazingly. 644. or that the parties really intended a donation or some other act or contract (Article 1470. any discussion as to the improbability of a sale between a father and his daughter is purely speculative which has no relevance to a contract where all the essential requisites of consent. 1974). and. 10. May 22. 4-9. and the appellee's (herein petitioner) remaining 1/3 has not been prejudiced (pp. According to the Court of Appeals. L-27841. Castillo v. MORALS AND GOOD CUSTOMS? II. L-22320. petitioner's "annulment suit" had prescribed.s. It is the position of petitioner that since the properties sold to Agustina Jocson-Vasquez under Exhibit 3 were registered in the name of "Emilio Jocson. Secondly. Rollo). Considering the foregoing and the presumption that a contract is with a consideration (Article 1354.000. and the partition with sale therein made by and between Emilio Jocson and Agustina Jocson-Vasquez. petitioner himself and his wife testified that they did not know whether or not Agustina was involved in some other business (p. 41-42. it is clear that petitioner miserably failed to prove his allegation. The first and second assignments of errors are related and shall be jointly discussed. Hon. No. and P8. In his Second Amended Complaint. Firstly.n. and an action for the declaration of its nullity does not prescribe (Article 1410. as in the case at bar. and the action for annulment must be brought within four years from the time of the discovery of the fraud (Article 1391. L-19060. 85 SCRA 526).s. 1975). may not be so shocking considering that the sales were effected by a father to her daughter in which case filial love must be taken into consideration (Alsua-Betts vs. HAS THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT THE COMPLAINT FILED BY PETITIONER IN THE TRIAL COURT IS BARRED BY PRESCRIPTION? III. October 20. 1974. is voidable. May 29.920. discovery of fraud is deemed to have taken place at the time the convenant was registered with the Register of Deeds (Gerona vs. to "J'. 1976). We would have sustained the above pronouncement. A contract of sale with a simulated price is void (Article 1471. HAS THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT DECLARING AS INEXISTENT AND NULL AND VOID THE CONTRACTS IN QUESTION AND IN REVERSING THE DECLARING DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT? (p. Thirdly. a contract tainted by vitiated consent. the above discussion may be purely academic. t. We are of the opinion that petitioner has not sufficiently proven that the questioned documents are without consideration. L-46430-31. t. pp. presumed to be conjugal properties. married to Alejandra Poblete. Under Article 1330 of the Civil Code. To begin with. under Article 160 of the Civil Code. Isaac Bagnas. Under present jurisprudence. Civil Code). April 30.500. January 14. 1973. 4.n.000. and which was insufficient to pay for the purchase price. who testified that Agustina and her husband were engaged in the buy and sell of palay and rice (p. petitioner alleged that the total assessed value of the properties mentioned in Exhibit 3 was P8. 92 SCRA 332). Galvan. 1979. he further assailed the deeds of conveyance on the ground that they were without consideration since the amounts appearing thereon as paid were in fact merely simulated. On the other hand. 40. Agustina testified that she was engaged in the business of buying and selling palay and rice even before her marriage to Ernesto Vasquez sometime in 1948 and continued doing so thereafter (p. July 30. is imprescriptible. the same is valid and subsisting. 1968 but Moises Jocson filed his complaint only on June 20. being for the judicial declaration of nullity of Exhibits 3 and 4 on the ground of simulated price.. neither may the contract be declared void because of alleged inadequacy of price. That in regard to Exhibit 2. the Court of Appeals ruled that insofar as these documents were concerned.3. par. object and cause are clearly present.

1983. ACCORDINGLY.R. which are the subject of Exhibit 4. We rule that the properties under Exhibit 3 are the exclusive properties of Emilio Jocson. and later in Torela vs. they should be considered.Reyes. 1979. petitioner-appellant. that the properties were exclusively Emilio Jocson's. todos los terrenos que en virtud de este test tamento les dejo en herencia. that she died single without forced heirs. 4 SCRA 1143. April 26. No. were indeed conjugal properties. No. are conjugal properties in view of the presumption under Article 160. But this ruling is not inconsistent with the above pronouncement for in those cases there was proof that the properties. We are not unmindful that in numerous cases We consistently held that registration of the property in the name of only one spouse does not negate the possibility of it being conjugal (See Bucoy vs. the spouses Perez adduced not a modicum of evidence. Ramos. No. however.27843. In the instant case. 1933. 93 SCRA 391. and Aurelio Pineda for appellant. [L-21533. without the adverse party having presented proof to rebut the presumption (See Mendoza vs. April 27. and that he is married to Alejandra Poblete. Torela. December 18. los doy herencia a mi so brino VIVENCIO CUYUGAN. Montejo. presented sufficient proof to show that the disputed properties were acquired during his parents' coverture. L-73733. porque estos los doy de una manera absoluta como herencia de mi sobrino Vivencio Cuyugan. 1933.. oppositors-appellees. were conjugal properties of the spouses Emilio Jocson and Alejandra Poblete. Torela. Silvestra Baron. 1932. Paulino.000 which she disposed of by will dated December 17. . though registered in the name of Emilio Jocson alone. J. Pampanga que actualmente habita mi hermano Guillermo Baron. 124 SCRA 154). The will appointed Vivencio Cuyugan. Magallon v. The petition which was filed on February 1. though registered in the name of only one spouse. the certificates of title show." In the recent case ofMaramba vs. recites among other things that Silvestra Baron died on January 30.. G. . it was held that "according to law and jurisprudence. Acquisition of title and registration thereof are two different acts. Blanco for appellee Faustina Baron. supra). No. L-41947 January 16.R. 1986. Stuart v. Moises Jocson. The fact that the properties were registered in the name of "Emilio Jocson. the condition sine qua non for the application of the presumption does not exist. 1970. Yatco. Contrary to petitioner's position. As interpreted by this Court. had petitioner. 36 SCRA 289. The certificates of title. We would have ruled that the properties. her nephew. This is so because the words "married to' preceding "Alejandra Poblete' are merely descriptive of the civil status of Emilio Jocson Litam v. married to Alejandra Poblete" is no proof that the properties were acquired during the spouses' coverture. it is sufficient to prove that the Property was acquired during the marriage in order that the same may be deemed conjugal property. et. the import from the certificates of title is that Emilio Jocson is the owner of the properties. 1936 In re Will of the deceased VIVENCIO vs. Lozano. BUTTE. 146 SCRA 282). 354. SO ORDERED. or that they have been acquired during the marriage of the spouses. There being no such proof.Anent their claim that the shares in question are conjugal assets. in the case at bar. San Fernando." and then concluded that since "there is no showing as to when the property in question was acquired. the petition is DISMISSED and the decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED. The death certificate recites that she was eighty-six years of age and died of heart failure. and therefore. L-16467. Quirino Abad Santos. the burden of proof being on petitioner. por lo que. thru Mr. upon which petitioner rests his claim is insufficient.the fact that the title is in the wife's name alone is determinative. No.' This pronouncement was reiterated in the case of Ponce de Leon vs. There being no showing also that the camarin and the two ricemills. this Court. the fact that they are registered in the name of the husband alone is an indication that the shares belong exclusively to said spouse. 23 SCRA 248). Justice Makalintal. proof of acquisition during the coverture is a condition sine qua non for the operation of the presumption in favor of conjugal ownership. los bienes y propiedades que he de dejar se repartiran buenamente y en partes iguales mis hermanos Ilamados Guillermo Baron. although they repeatedly invoked article 160 of the New Civil Code which provides that . It is thus clear that before Moises Jocson may validly invoke the presumption under Article 160 he must first present proof that the disputed properties were acquired during the marriage of Emilio Jocson and Alejandra Poblete. Francisco and Jesus E. In other words. FAUSTINA BARON and GUILLERMO BARON. 1962. L-31618. CUYUGAN. the same having been registered in his name alone. on their face. December 16. 1. Necessarily.: This is an appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Pampanga denying all the petition of Vivencio Cuyugan for the probate of the will of Silvestra Baron. con exception de todo el dinero en metalico y mi casa de materiales fuertes construida en el barrio del Pilar. August 17. 100 Phil. L-25775. Francisco M.. Rehabilitation Finance Corporation. The petition further recites that she left an estate exceeding in value the sum of P80. likewise. It is well settled that registration does not confer title but merely confirms one already existing (See Torela vs. 20 SCRA 474]. reiterated that "the presumption under Article 160 of the Civil Code refers to property acquired during the marriage. No. presumed conjugal. al. In other words. Thus in Camia de Reyes vs. 1968. 1967. 629." Similarly. No. the party who invokes this presumption must first prove that the property in controversy was acquired during the marriage. 639]. as executor and contains the following paragraphs which dispose of her estate: Que despues de pagados todos los gastos quese han de ocasioner desde que me caiga enferma hasta el entiero de mi cadaver. the registered owner. which explains why he was described in the certificates of title as married to the latter.. since there is no evidence as to when the shares of stock were acquired. G. L24571. October 11. It may be that the properties under dispute were acquired by Emilio Jocson when he was still a bachelor but were registered only after his marriage to Alejandra Poblete. Vicente J. June 29. Reyes de Ilano [62 Phil. Que a la muerte de mis hermanos Guillermo y Faustina Baron. as the exclusive properties of Emilio Jocson. Arturo Joven for appellee Guillermo Baron. Pedro Abad Santos. Rivera.

el Juzgado no puede menos de llegar a la con ser legalizado como el testamento y ultima voluntad de la finada Silvestra Baron. The evidence shows that the same morning when Silvestra Baron signed the alleged will she suffered a physical collapse of such a serious nature that a physician and a nurse were immediately called in. Nada. Upon the issues thus drawn by the pleadings of the judge of the Court of First Instance. 170. P. is void in law. No recuerdo. que ella no gozo de una completa libertad para disponer de sus bienes en testamento. The testamentary capacity of Silvestra Baron at the time she executed the said purported will. that her mouth was twisted and her lower lip swollen. But the burden of the evidence passed to the proponent when the oppositors submit credible evidence tending to show that the supposed testator did not possess testamentary capacity at the time or that the document was not the free and voluntary expression of the alleged testator or that the will. after and extended trial and a full consideration of the evidence. testified that when she reached the house she found her grandaunt lying in bed. came to the following conclusion: Opinamos que influyeron indebidamente e impropia mente en la voluntad ya debilitada de doña Silvestra Baron por su avanzada edad la presencia de sus sobrinos Vivencio Cuyugan y Regino Cuyugan durante el otorgamiento del Exhibit A. 171). . El señor Quirino Abad Santos ¿le ha dicho algo a ella? — R. P. admittedly an intelligent young woman. Vivencio Cuyugan. Both copies are written in the Pampanga dialect and consist of one sheet and are witnessed in due form by Vicente David. P. sister of the deceased. o con pleno conocimiento del alcance de su contendido. The amended oppositions of Guillermo Baron. and was in every respect competent to dispose of her estate by will. some fourteen kilometers distant. Solo asi se explica el que ella haya dejado toda la propiedad de sus bienes a sus sobrinos.encargo y prohibo a mis citados hermanos Guillermo y Faustina Baron. no solamente cuando se otorgo el testamento. con quienes habia estado en pleito. for any other reason. that at the time of the execution of the alleged will. . that is to say. ¿dijo algo la vieja? — R. con pretericion de sus hermanos. la ausencia de Faustina Baron impedida de presenciarlo por algunos soldados de la Constabularia y el Jefe de Policia Municipal. The petition for probate recites: 9. and was found and disposing mind. la oposicion de Regino Cuyugan a que ella firmase el documento preparado por el abogado Narciso declarando que no habia otorgado testamento el dia anterior a su translado forzoso a San Fernando para que no se hisciese firmar documento analogo y la presencia del cabo Morales y del algunos otros soldados. that she called to her but she did not answer and only groaned. asi como los abogados hubieran hablado a ella. No he oido. ¿no es verdad? — R. The person who read the will to her testified as follows: . pp. fraud. Doctor Teopaco and a nurse arrived at about ten o'clock and treated the patient with a plaster on her back and ice packs over her heart and the doctor gave her a hypodermic injection in the arm. hasta que tanto ella como usteded firmaron el testamento. That on the date of the execution of said will. ¿Ella ha dicho algo a cualquiera de osos tres o a los abogados? — R. Si ella hubiese dicho algo a los abogados. that Silvestra had an attack and was in a serious condition and requested that a doctor be sent immediately. No recuerdo. Si señor. and not acting under duress. Neither the doctor nor the nurse were presented as witnesses by the proponent. and. the said testatrix was about 80 years old.s. In the present case the learned trial judge refused the probate of the alleged will on the ground that it was executed under the due influence of other persons and we think the record warrants his findings in this respect. Her grandniece. hubiera podido oir. P. The subscribing witness Zacarias Nuguid testified in part as follows: P. very pale and unconscious. who reached the house about one hour or so after the old lady's collapse. but all of them admitted that although they were in her house about two hours not one of them exchanged a single word of conversation with Silvestra. By reason of her advanced age and the gravity of her illness. The original of this will is signed "Silestra On" and the copy is signed "Silestra Baron" (t. Desde que los tres abogados Abad Santos. por lo que usted recuerda. with an attorney and three witnesses. Sentadas las premisas de hecho y de derecho que an teceden. Los otros abogados Silva y David ¿le han dicho algo ? — R. There is no affirmative evidence that she understood the document when it was read to her. The subscribing witnesses stated that it was their belief that Silvestra understood the alleged will which she signed. Zacarias Nuguid. Epifania Sampang. 1932. Valeriano Silva and Zacarias Nuguid (known to the testator). No he oido. She went out to call a doctor but all the doctors in Magalang were out whereupon she telephoned as stated to San Fernando for a doctor. especialmente de la opositora Faustina Baron. ¿ha pronunciado ella alguna palabra? ¿ha dicho ella algo o no? — R. con quien habia conviviendo durante 40 años . she was unable to do anything for herself. P. menace. Cuando el senor Silva termino de leer el testamento. usted hubiera oido porque usted estaba cerca. Silva y David y usted y Vivencio Cuyugan se acercaron a la cama de la finada. or undue influence. The finding that the will was executed under due influence or by the fraud of another presupposes testamentary capacity. As the doctor and the nurse were leaving. Cuando existen pruebas suficien tes para concencer al Juzgado de que se ha ejercido in fluencia indebida en el animo de la testadora y que como resultado de dicha influencia indebida esta ha otorgado el testamento de la voluntad de la supuesta testadora sino de los que sobre ella ejercieron la influencia indebida. allege in substance first. No he oido que dijera algo. There is no evidence that Silvestra Baron took any active part in the preparation of the alleged will except that when she was asked if she wished to include her sister Faustina in the will she said "Yes" in Pampanga. and Faustina Baron. No he oido que dijera algo. The trial court also made findings of fact tending to show actual lack of testamentary capacity of Silvestra Baron and we have preferred to base our conclusion on that finding. more or less. P. . que graven o pongan cualquiera clase de obligacion sobre los bienes que les dejo en herencia. ¿ha dicho ella algo o no ha dicho nada? — R. Pero. y por lo tanto. brother of the deceased. who was the first to reach Silvestra Baron and remained throughout the morning attended to her. telephoned a message to Vivencio Cuyugan at San Fernando. Epifania Sampang. An instrument purporting to be a will executed and witnessed in accordance with the formalities required by the statute is entitled to the presumption of regularity. second. entered the house prepared to obtain the will of Silvestra Baron. ¿Usted ha dicho algo a ella? — R. on December 17.n. P. Nada. sino cuando ella fue transladada de casa contra su voluntad y cuando se le hizo firmar el Exhibit 10. that her signature and alleged consent to the said will was obtained and the attorney who prepared the document and the witnesses who affixed their signatures thereto. Silvestra Baron was mentally and physically incapacitated for the execution of a will.

This belief on her part that she had not made any will explains her failure to do any act of revocation in the forty-four days during which she lingered in this life. She could not even sign her name to the original will properly or correctly. That the signature of the testator was obtained by deceit or fraud. UNDUE INFLUENCE. No. not a word was exchanged between any of them and the suffering old woman. The court erred in holding that the testator signed his will in the presence of four witnesses.R. MENTAL CAPACITY.com. each of them. because the said testator recognized that the house and lot referred to belonged to the said Maria Calderon. Florendo. moreover. that the will in question. M. upon the 17th of February. Lo entregue a sus manos. the courts will consider this fact as weighing heavily against the testimony of undue influence. for the reason that it was not his intention that all that was recorded in the said instrument should be his will at the time he signed it."cralaw virtua1aw library After hearing the evidence adduced conclusion:jgc:chanrobles. was duly and legally authorized by the deceased." of said Emigdio Zarate. "3. the opponent prays the court to annul the will alleged to have been executed by Emigdio Zarate. however. The doctrine that where the testator has had an opportunity to revoke his will subsequent to the operation of an alleged undue influence upon him but makes no change in it. signed. Mirandolo asi. 6625. of the said will. marked "Exhibit A. She never saw the alleged will at any time again prior to her death which occurred forty-four days later. y lo miro algun rato. Lo estuvo mirando por mucho tiempo asi. and the hearing for the probation of said will was fixed for the 9th of March.ph Hull and Imperial. 1910. That he executed the said will under illegal and undue influence or persuasion on the part of some persons who acted in behalf of the beneficiaries or heirs. ¿Y lo tuvo en sus manos leyendo. Vivencio Cuyugan. who. It has no application. SYLLABUS 1.ph pro and con. for Appellant. in conformity with section 630 of the Code of Procedure in Civil Actions. was in the full possession of his mental faculties at the time of the execution of his will. [G. 1911. the lower court reached the following "It having been proved completely on the part of the petitioner that the will in question was executed and signed in entire conformity with all the requirements and solemnities set out in the Code of Civil Procedure. efectivamente. P. "V. On the latter date the said Maria Calderon appeared. There is. "IV. and yet so far as this record shows. P. in the presence of the others. We don't know what drug the doctor administered but it is clear to us from the evidence that in her dazed physical and mental condition she had no adequate understanding of what she was doing at that time. for the testator had informed the opponent. and that the same was not executed under threats or fear. Esteban Sandoval. WILLS. he being of sound mind and memory. It was immediately taken away by an attorney who kept it in his possession alleging that she had instructed him to keep it secret. The court erred in holding that the deceased. — Held: under the facts stated in the opinion.com. Petitioner-Appellee. sustains the petition. Sison.s. Despues de leido el testamento. letter (a). he suggested that they have her sign another copy (t. on their part. the judgment appealed from is affirmed with costs against the appellant. the oppositor appealed to this court and made the following assignments of error:jgc:chanrobles. administratrix of the estate of the deceased Emigdio Zarate.com. before and after the said will had been signed.R. The court erred in holding that the said Emigdio Zarate executed his last will and testament without illegal persuasion or influence on the part of persons working in behalf of the heirs. Ma. ¿Y ella lo cogio con sus manos? — R. admits to probate Exhibit A. and when this defect was noted by one of the astute subscribing witnesses. ¿Y ella. mirando? — R. 1910. and opposed the probation of said will upon the following grounds:jgc:chanrobles. Pedro Legazpi "I.] JUANA CAGUIOA. In view of the premises. "1. cogio el testamento de manos de usted? — R. and to order that its probate be disallowed. where from the day of execution until the death of the testator his mental condition is such that he cannot judge the propriety of revoking the will. page 109) which was done. Due notice of said petition was given in accordance with law. "III. JJ. "2. The court erred in holding that Emigdio Zarate executed and signed his last will without fraud and deceit being brought to bear upon him. the court overrules the opposition. Sabino Sandoval.: P. that he had not disposed of the one-half of the house and lot now mentioned in the third clause. It appears from the record that the plaintiff. "Therefore. DECISION JOHNSON. Emigdio Zarate."cralaw virtua1aw library From that conclusion of the lower court. opponent-appellant. with the costs against the petitioner. ¿Pero. The court erred in holding that it was proved that the will in question was executed and signed in conformity with . holding that the same is legal in all its parts as the last will and testament of the deceased Emigdio Zarate.ph "II. MARIA CALDERON. That the said Emigdio Zarate was mentally incapacitated at the time he authorized and signed his will. by her attorney. v. October 24. J. no lo leia? — R. P.. George Zarate and Eugenio Zarate. concur. deceased. The petition was accompanied by the original will. Nor obviously does it apply to a case where the alleged testator harbors the belief that he had not executed the will in question. Si señor. Standing at her bedside was the attorney with three witnesses and the chief beneficiary. praying for the probation of the last will and testament of Emigdio Zarate. tuve que entregarlo a doña Silvestra. for Appellee. 1910. Later the said hearing was transferred to the 16th of July. Maria Calderon. has no application to cases in which there has been an initial lack of testamentary capacity.n. presented a petition in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Pangasinan. LAWFUL WILL. credible evidence in the record that before her death she had denied to several persons that she made any will.

Maria Calderon. The second and third assignments of error may be considered together. JOHNSON. fifth. even during the period while they were suffering from insomnia. 1914 YAP vs. 102) that the trial of the cause was closed on the 5th of August. The court erred in imposing the costs upon the oppositor. for modifying the conclusion of the lower court upon these assignments of error. after due notice was given. it is claimed by the opponent. Two of the witnesses who signed the will. The "VII. shows a large preponderance of proof in favor of the fact that Emigdio Zarate was in the full possession of his mental faculties at the time he executed his last will and testament."cralaw virtua1aw record fourth. considered together. one Perfecto Gabriel. induced or attempted to induce the deceased not to will the said house to the opponent herein. 1909. From the record it appears that the testator dictated his will in the Pangasinan dialect and it was then translated into Spanish. There is nothing in the record which shows that either of the attorneys during these two months asked for additional time in which to present their written arguments. of the petitioner. to overcome the positive and direct testimony of the witnesses who were present at the time of the execution of the will in question. 1910. is legal in all its parts. one of whom had not seen the deceased for many months before his death." Emigdio Zarate died on the 19th day of January. Sandoval. There is no proof in the record which shows that any person even spoke to the deceased with reference to the willing of the said house to the opponent. if there was an agreement. as well as Anselmo Zacarias. was brought on for hearing on the 18th day of September. The appellant alleges that at the time of the execution of the said alleged will of Emigdio Zarate. 1910. whose testimony was based wholly upon hypothetical questions. Yap Tua. Miranda TUA. Esteban Sandoval. They testified that the deceased signed the will in their presence and in the presence of the other witnesses to the will. or until after two months had expired. therefore. presented a petition in the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila. and to sixth assignments support of error may be it. deceased. There is no sufficient proof in the record to overcome the declarations of these witnesses. the lower court found that Emigdio Zarate. No. that he was present at the time of the execution of the same. 102) that the respective attorneys asked for fifteen days’ time within which to present their written arguments. deceased. There is nothing in the record to indicate in the slightest degree that any person interested in the will.: It appears from the record that on the 23d day of August. and that the decision in the cause was not rendered until the 5th of October. "VIII. petitioner-appellee. and Timoteo Paez. between the opponent herein and the deceased. we are of the opinion that the will of Emigdio Zarate. The hypothetical questions were based upon the question whether or not a person who had been suffering with insomnia for some months would have sufficient mental capacity to execute a will. Practically the only testimony to the contrary adduced during the trial of the cause in the lower court was the testimony given by two doctors. After the will had been written in Spanish it was read to the deceased and translated to him in the Pangasinan dialect. The agreement between Maria Calderon and the deceased. Upon a full consideration of the evidence and the assignments of error. at the time of the execution of the said will. representing the petitioner. for appellants. The evidence adduced during the trial of the case. he was not in the full possession of his mental faculties. Upon the question presented by the said assignments of error. 1909. The two doctors who appeared on behalf of the opponents testified that insomnia tended to destroy the mental capacity. 1909. Said petition. it may be said that it is customary for courts to wait until the parties have presented their arguments before deciding a cause. that the other two witnesses who were not called also signed the will in the presence of the testator and in the presence of each of the other witnesses. After hearing the evidence. There is nothing in the record which shows whether they presented their written arguments or not. the lower court found from the evidence that Emigdio Zarate executed his last will and testament without threats. it is not reversible error for a court to decide a cause without waiting for written arguments to be presented by the respective attorneys. the said Exhibit A received his approval as his last will and testament. Emigdio Zarate executed his last will and testament. but that there were times. It appears that the said Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong died in the city of Manila on the 11th day of August. asking that the will of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong be admitted to probate. The arguments heretofore given seem to be sufficient also to answer the eighth and ninth assignments of error. 1909. was executed and signed in entire conformity with all the requirements and solemnities required by law. that before her death she had executed a last will and testament.the requirements and solemnities set out in the Code of Civil Procedure. we do not believe that the testimony was sufficiently direct and positive. it appears from the record that upon the 13th day of January. it was clearly not the fault of the judge. as well as some other physical infirmities. J. The court erred in holding that the document Exhibit A. according to the allegations of the appellee. Those present at the time the will was made and the witnesses who signed the same heard no statement or conversation relating to the said agreement. that he had known the said Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong. Therefore the judgment of the lower court is hereby affirmed with costs. library With reference to the first assignment of error above noted. testified that in their opinion Emigdio Zarate was of sound mind and memory at the time he signed the said will. 1910. that he had signed the will as a witness. as well as others who were present in the house at the time the said will was executed. at least at the time the will was made the deceased made no reference to it whatever. when they would be perfectly rational. that they each signed the will in the presence of the testator and in the presence of the other witnesses. Accompanying said petition and attached thereto was the alleged will of the deceased. The theory of the opponent that the deceased did not will to her the house in question is a mere presumption and there is not a scintilla of evidence in With reference to the seventh assignment of error. the "VI. 6845 September 1. The court erred in rendering judgment in this matter without waiting for the written argument of both sides. Timoteo Paez declared that he was 48 years of age. Maria Calderon. Sabino M. Even admitting that there was some foundation for the supposition that Emigdio Zarate had suffered from the alleged infirmities. to wit: that the court erred in rendering judgment without waiting for the written arguments of both parties. G. The appellant attempted to show that Emigdio Zarate for some months prior to his death had been troubled with insomnia. If there was any fault for not having the written arguments presented before the decision was rendered in the cause.R. 1910. seems to have been made between them privately. that the deceased promised to will to her a certain house (one-half of which seems to belong to her) upon the payment by her to the deceased of the sum of P300. During the trial of the cause two of the persons who signed the will as witnesses appeared and testified. the original of which appears in the record and is marked "Exhibit A. that she had died on the 11th day of August. or who was present at the time of the making of the same. It appears that the will was signed by the deceased. based upon the hypothetical questions. It also appears of record (p. It appears from the record (p. objectors-appellants. force or pressure or illegal influence. This question was presented to the lower court. was in the possession of his faculties. YAP CA KUAN and YAP CA KUAN. The basis of the claim that undue influence had been exercised over Emigdio Zarate is that a day or two before the said will was made. The court erred in not holding that all the proof taken together sustained the claim of the oppositor. George Zarate and Eugenio Zarate. The P300 was never paid to the deceased and the said property was not willed to the defendant herein. and. From an examination of said Exhibit A it appears to have been signed by Emigdio Zarate and by four witnesses. as the last will and testament of the deceased Emigdio Zarate. "IX. We find no reason. Severo Tabora. nevertheless. as the last will and testament of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong. that Anselmo Zacarias and . Chicote and O'Brien and DeWitt for appellee.

the said Gabriel La O appeared in court and presented a motion in which he alleged. that she was sick and was lying in her bed. 1909) Exhibit A.Severo Tabora had also signed said will as witnesses and that they had signed the will in the presence of the deceased. From the record it appears that no further proceedings were had until the 28th of February. Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong. of the said Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong. the said Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong had executed another will. far from the patient. the said Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong was not then mentally capacitated to execute the same. that since that time he had been a telegraph operator for seventeen years and that he had acted as an expert in hand. that he did not believe that Tomasa had signed the will (Exhibit A) before he arrived at the house. 1909. presented a witness called Tomas Puzon. and upon being shown the will (of August 11. apparently the said minors in their petition for a new trial. No further witnesses were called and there was no further opposition presented to the legalization of the said will. attached to said petition the alleged will of August 6. that the will was written in her house. 1909. at the request of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong. that there were many people in the house. he had studied penmanship. that he was not sure that he had seen Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong sign Exhibit A because there were many people and there was a screen at the door and he could not see. during the rehearing. It will be remembered that one of the grounds upon which the new trial was requested was that the deceased. the court appointed Gabriel La O as guardian ad litem of said parties. except that he had concluded his course in the year 1882. the amount of which was to be fixed later. that Anselmo Zacarias was there. That before the execution of the said will. Crossfield. she was in the possession of her faculties. that he was not sure whether Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong could see the table on which the will was written at the time it was signed or not. that he had seen her sign the will with his own eyes. At the rehearing a number of witnesses were examined. with all the formalities required by law. upon the 6th day of August. because he found in the name "Tomasa" on Exhibit A a similarity in the tracing to the "Tomasa" in Exhibit 1. Third. judge. 1910. that he was not sure whether Anselmo Zacarias signed the will or not.writing in the courts in the provinces. Upon the foregoing facts the court was requested to annul and set aside the order of the 29th day of September. While it is not clear from the record. that comparing the surname on Exhibit A with the surname on Exhibit 1 he found that the character of the writing was thoroughly distinguished and different by the tracing and by the direction of the letters in the said two exhibits. which they alleged to be null. the Honorable A. that the witnesses had signed the will in the presence of the said Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong and in the presence of each other. Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong. 1910. that she signed it voluntarily. He testified that he knew Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong during her lifetime. that from his experience and observation he believed that the name "Tomasa" and "Yap Caong. that she signed the will with great difficulty. Puzon testified that he was a professor and an expert in handwriting. even though they had been negligent in presenting their opposition to the legalization of the will. The said Severo Tabora was also called as a witness again during the rehearing. in the city of Manila. 1910. and in his judgment. (b) Because at the time of the execution of the will. 1909. on the 29th day of September. that he signed two bills. Gabriel La O accepted said appointment. Pablo Agustin also declared as a witness and said that he was 40 years of age. said negligence was excusable. but that she sat up to sign the will. on account of their age. 1910. in the house but outside the room where the patient was. that the will was signed by Paez and himself. granted said motion and ordered that the rehearing should take place upon the 18th day of March. After hearing the foregoing witnesses. testified that the name and surname on Exhibit A. that the deceased. that before her death she had executed a last will and testament. the Honorable A. became familiar with the contents of the will because she signed it before he (the witness) did. was null. S. that he knew Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong during her lifetime. that he was called a a witness to sign the second will and was told by the people there that it was the same as the first. that the same had been signed by three witnesses in her presence and in the presence of each other. that the will remained on the table after he signed it. that she was signed in her right mind. that the will (Exhibit A) was on a table. that he did not know whether anybody there told her to sign the will or not. 1909. S. that in support of that allegation. 1909). Upon the 10th day of March. due to her sickness. and to grant to said minors an opportunity to present new proof relating to the due execution of said will." appearing in the signature on Exhibit A were written by different person. for the following reasons: Gabriel La O was called as a witness during the rehearing and testified that he had drawn the will of the 6th of August. and because the said Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong had no intention of executing the same. had not signed the will (Exhibit A) of the 11th of August. (a) Because the same had not been authorized nor signed by the witnesses as the law prescribes. Said petition was based upon the provisions of section 113 of the Code of Procedure in Civil Actions. the protestants. that there were no threats or intimidation used to induce her to sign the will. that there were also present Timoteo Paez and Severo Tabora and a person called Anselmo. that he was present at the time said last will was executed. and admitted to probate by order of the court on the 29th day of September. upon the giving of a bond. when Yap Ca Kuan and Yap Ca Llu appeared and presented a petition. 1909) was placed there by him. that it was drawn in accordance with her request and under her directions. in his judgment were written by two different hands. that the said Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong signed the will voluntarily. 1910. that after he signed the will he went to the room where Tomasa was lying. judge. 1909. ordered that the last will and testament of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong be allowed and admitted to probate. that the said Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong signed the will in the presence of the witnesses. The will was attached to the record and marked Exhibit A. that he could not remember the names of any others. First. Second. that he remembered the names of Pedro and Lorenzo. and the affidavits of Severo Tabora. being cross-examined with reference to his capacity as an expert in handwriting. that she was dead. testified that while he was a student in the Ateneo de Manila. in substance: Puzon. Crossfield. On the 2d day of March. upon the hearing of said motion for a rehearing. that his signature as a witness to Exhibit A (the will of August 11. and directed that notice should be given to the petitioners of said rehearing and to all other persons interested in the will. (c) Because her signature to the will had been obtained through fraud and illegal influence upon the part of persons who were to receive a benefit from the same. 1909. That the will dated the 11th day of August. that she died on the 11th day of August. 1909. took the oath of office and entered upon the performance of his duties as guardian ad litem of said parties. . 1909. That the said Yap Ca Kuan and Yap Ca Llu were minors and that. The court further ordered that one Yap Tua be appointed as executor of the will. that he did not know La O. that she had signed it. that he could not tell exactly when that was. Clotilde and Cornelia Serrano. though the given name is the same as that upon Exhibit 1 (the will of August 6. On the 1st day of March. alleging that they were interested in the matters of the said will and desired to intervene and asked that a guardian ad litem be appointed to represent them in the cause. 1909.

There is nothing in their testimony. Exhibit A. Exhibit A. because immediately after he and Paez signed it. that he visited her again on the 9th and 10th days of August. that she died on the 11th of August. S. that the first one was written by La O and the second by Zacarias. . 1909 (Exhibit A). 1909. Papa declared that he was a physician. that Lorenzo had told Tomasa that the second will was exactly like the first. that she was lying in bed. that Tomasa was dead. Clotilde Mariano testified that he was a cigarette maker. she did not answer at all. helped her to sit up. The court erred in declaring that the signature of the deceased Tomasa Yap Caong in the first will. that she knew Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong during her lifetime. that she had seen Tomasa in the act of starting to write her signature when she told her to get her some water. that the deceased had not spoken to him concerning the terms of the will. and on the third day she had lost all her intelligence. reached the conclusion that the last will and testament of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong. it is necessary to quote from them for the reason that their testimony in no way affects the preponderance of proof above quoted. that she was present when the second one was executed. Exhibit A. which was attached to the record and marked Exhibit A was the last will and testament of the said Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong and admitted it to probate and ordered that the administrator therefore appointed should continue as such administrator. on the floor. supporting her by lacing their hands at her back. was executed in accordance with the law. that Tomasa had said that she sign the will. that he had written the will Exhibit A at the request of the uncle of Tomasa. however. in our opinion. that Tomasa. who had signed the will of August 11. had signed the will in the room with the sick woman. The court erred in declaring that the will. however. in an extended opinion. from where she was lying in the bed. that he was present when the second will was taken to Tomasa for signature. During the rehearing certain other witnesses were also examined. that he heard the people asking Tomasa to sign the will after he was (the witness) had signed it. judge. that she was present at the time Tomasa signed the will that there were many other people present also. was executed by the deceased Tomasa Yap Caong. he did not know what she said — he could not hear her voice. She testified that she was 19 years of age. During the rehearing Cornelia Serrano and Pedro Francisco were also examined as witnesses. that she was lying stretched out on the bed and two women. that Lorenzo had handed the will to Tomasa to sign. that Tomasa said she could not sign it. that the other witnesses signed the will in the same room that when he went into the room where the sick woman was (Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong) Lorenzo had the will in his hands. that he was not sure whether the testatrix could have seen them at the time they signed the will or not. that she lived in the house of Tomasa during the last week of her illness. that Tomasa was in another room different from that in which the will was written. that she saw Tomasa sign the document but did not see on what place on the document she signed. that she had made two wills. that Anselmo Zacarias was present. that Tomasa had given him instructions. He testified that he knew Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong and knew that she had made a will. that when he asked her (Tomasa) whether she was feeling any pain or anything of that kind. is identical with that which appears in the second will. that he saw the witnesses sign the will on a table near the bed. IV. Lorenzo Yap Caong testified as a witness on rebuttal. that the will was not written in the presence of Tomasa. that he had told Tomasa that the second will was exactly like the first. which in our opinion is important. that on the first visit he found her with but little sense. that she was in a condition of stupor. could seethe table where the witnesses had signed the will. who were taking care of her. On cross examination he testified that there was a lot of visitors there. that Paez and Tabora were there. that she saw Tomasa take hold of the pen and try to sign it but she did not see the place she signed the document. for the reason that she left the room. he supposed she must have read it because Lorenzo turned the will over to her. that he knew Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong and that she was dead. that when Lorenzo asked her to sign the will. that the will was on a table near the bed of Tomasa. that he had treated her in the month of August. Timoteo Paez and Severo Tabora. and that a notary public came the next morning. by the stage of uraemia from which she was suffering. Yap Cao Quiang was also called as a witness in rebuttal. that Lorenzo. that he had written the will exhibit A.that the will was left on the table outside. In rebuttal Julia e la Cruz was called as a witness. that when Lorenzo came to the bed he showed the will to his sister (Tomasa) and requested her to sign it. that he visited her first on the 8th day of August. about two steps down from the floor on which Tomasa was. and made the following assignments of error: I. that Tomasa was very ill. The court erred in declaring that the testator had clear knowledge and knew what she was doing at the time of signing the will. that the place where the table was located was in the same house. Rufino R. that it was taken to her by Anselmo Zacarias. tat he was requested to issue the death certificate. was also called as a witnesses during the rehearing. II. without the intervention of any external influence on the part of other persons. that he did not know whether the sick woman was him sign the will or not. that he could not remember whether Anselmo Zacarias had signed the will. From that order the protestants appealed to this court. He testified that he had known Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong since he was a child. that he saw Tomasa sign it on her head. that he saw them sign the will and that they saw him sign it. that he knew Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong. that the other two witnesses. that she saw Severo Tabora. was called as a witness for the purpose of supporting the allegation that Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong was mentally incapacitated to make the will dated August 11. Anselmo Zacarias. it was taken to where Doña Tomasa was. that she did not hear Lorenzo say to Tomasa that the second will was the same sa the first. induced. that about ten or fifteen minutes elapsed from the time Lorenzo handed the will to Tomasa before she started to sign it. The court erred in declaring that the will. that the will was written in the dining room of the residence of the deceased. that Tomasa asked her to help her to sit up and to put a pillow to her back when Zacarias gave her some paper or document and asked her to sign it. was the one who had instructed him as to the terms of the will . the second day also. that the table was outside the curtain or screen and near the entrance to the room where Tomasa was lying. that there was a screen before the bed. that she did not hear Clotilde Mariano ask Tomasa to sign the will. that he believed that Tomasa died the next day after the will had been signed. that Zacarias was not there. that he did not think that Lorenzo had been giving instructions as to the contents of the will. that he did not see Tomasa sign the will because he withdrew from the room. that the pen with which she signed the will as given to her and she held it. Exhibit 1. for her signature. he withdrew from the bed on account of the best inside the room. that Tomasa was able to move about in the bed. as he believed. that when she started to write her name. Papa. that he saw Paez sign the will. III. that she did not see Timoteo Paez there. that it was all in his writing except the last part. that he saw the will at the time it was written. that Tomasa had made two wills. that he signed the will as a witness in the room where Tomasa was lying. He said that he knew Anselmo Zacarias and that Zacarias wrote the will of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong. that he was present at the time Zacarias wrote the second one. which was written by Carlos Sobaco. that he did not know whether Tomasa had been informed of the contents of the will or not. At the close of the rehearing the Honorable A. that a lawyer had drawn the will in the dining room and after it had been drawn and everything finished . in the third stage of tuberculosis. Crossfield. that on the first visit he found the sick woman completely weak — very weak from her sickness. when he came back again to the sick bed the will was signed and was again in the hands of Lorenzo. the brother of the deceased. he left because he was hungry. that he did not hear Lorenzo ask Tomasa to sign the will.

and El. it may be said: First.. A plan of the room or rooms in which the will was signed was presented as proof and it was shown that there was but one room. Several witnesses testified to that fact. and additional force is given to them by the decisions as to what constitutes a binding signature to a contract. 196. Flager. 220 (6 L. at the time of the execution of the will. With reference to the second assignment of error to wit. 8 Ves. It would seem to be sufficient. Exhibit 1). We are of the opinion. to influence her mind in any way. She had a perfect right to change. 1909 (Exhibit 1). An effort was made to show that the will was signed by the witnesses in one room and by Tomasa in another. It has been held time and time again that one who makes a will may sign the same by using a mark. Main vs. R. While the rule is absolute that one who makes a will must sign the same in the presence of the witnesses and that the witnesses must sign in the presence of each other. (Re Goods of Savory. After her death a paper was found in her room. Exhibit A). does not appear to have arisen either in England or the United States. in any way sustain the charge that she did not make the new will.. 443. That was the only question presented to the court. we find no good reason in the record for reversing his conclusions upon that question. It was also shown that from the bed in which Tomasa was lying. to wit. and cited by the appellees. under the law requiring a signature by the person making a will. it may be said that the argument which was preceded is sufficient to answer it also. we find the same conflict in the declarations of the witnesses which we found with reference to the undue influence. L. Dening. 478. the name having been written by others. The question presented