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SPECPRO.

RULE76-77|1
TESTATE ESTATE OF HILARION RAMAGOSA. MARIANO SUMILANG
vs.
SATURNINA RAMAGOSA, SANTIAGO RAMAGOSA, ENRIQUE PABELLA,
LICERIA PABELLA and ANDREA RAVALO

FACTS:
1.

2.

3.

On July 5, 1960 Mariano Sumilang filed in the Court of First Instance of


Quezon a petition for the probate of a document alleged to be the last
will and testament of Hilarion Ramagosa, who died on December 1,
1959. Said document, written in Tagalog and dated February 26, 1949,
institutes Sumilang as sole heir of the testator.
The petition for probate was opposed by two (2) of oppositors
appellants herein who questioned the due execution of the
document, claiming that it was made under duress and was not really
intended by the deceased to be his last will and testament. Aside from
merely opposing the petition for probate, the first set of oppositors
Saturnino and Santiago Ramagosa also claimed that they, instead of
petitioner, were entitled to inherit the estate of the deceased. The
other oppositors representing themselves simply as next of kin,
appropriately prayed only for the disallowance of the will.
July 3, 1961 oppositors moved for the dismissal of the petition for
probate mainly on the ground that "the court lacks jurisdiction over
the subject-matter because the last will and testament of the
decedent, if ever it was really executed by him, was revoked by
implication of law six years before his death." Oppositors alleged that
after making the will Hilarion Ramagosa sold to petitioner Mariano
Sumilang and his brother Mario the parcels of land described therein,
so that at the time of the testator's death the titles to said lands were
no longer in his name. - DENIED

4.

Petitioner filed his opposition to the motion for dismissal on July 17,
1961 supplemented it by another opposition on August 14, 1961, and
by a rejoinder on August 21, 1961.

5.

October 22, 1962 petitioner moved to strike out the oppositors'


pleadings on two grounds, namely:
1. That oppositors have no legal standing in court and they are
bereft of personality to oppose the probate of the last will and
testament of the testators; and

2. That oppositors have no valid claim and interest in the distribution of


(the) estate of the aforesaid testator and no existing valid right
whatsoever. ORDERED STRICKEN OUT OF THE RECORD
Issue: Whether or not the implied revocation warrants dismissal of the
petition for probate.
Negative.
The petition below being for the probate of a will, the court's area of
inquiry is limited to the extrinsic validity thereof. The testator's
testamentary capacity and the compliance with the formal requisites or
solemnities prescribed by law are the only questions presented for the
resolution of the court. Any inquiry into the intrinsic validity or efficacy of
the provisions of the will or the legality of any devise or legacy is
premature.
Oppositors would want the court a quo to dismiss petition for probate on
the ground that the testator had impliedly revoked his will by selling, prior
to his death, the lands disposed of therein.
True or not, the alleged sale is no ground for the dismissal of the petition
for probate. Probate is one thing the validity of the testamentary
provisions is another. The first decides the execution of the document and
the testamentary capacity of the testator; the second relates to descent
and distribution.
The alleged revocation implied from the execution of the deeds of
conveyance in favor of the testamentary heir is plainly irrelevant to and
separate from the question of whether the testament was duly executed.
For one, if the will is not entitled to probate, or its probate is denied, all
questions of revocation become superfluous: in law, there is no such will
and hence there would be nothing to revoke. Then, again, the revocation
invoked by the oppositors-appellants is not an express one, but merely
implied from subsequent acts of the testatrix allegedly evidencing an
abandonment of the original intention to bequeath or devise the properties
concerned. As such, the revocation would not affect the will itself, but
merely the particular devise or legacy.
CONSTANTINO C. ACAIN, petitioner,
vs.
HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT (Third Special Cases Division),
VIRGINIA A. FERNANDEZ and ROSA DIONGSON, respondents.

FACTS:

SPECPRO.RULE76-77|2
1.

2.

3.

4.

Petitioner Constantino Acain filed on the RTC of Cebu, a petition for


the probate of the will of the late Nemesio Acain and for the
issuance to the same petitioner of letters testamentary on the
premise that Nemesio Acain died leaving a will in which petitioner
and his brothers (Antonio, Flores and Jose) and his sisters (Anita,
Concepcion, Quirina and Laura) were instituted as heirs.
The will contained provisions on burial rites, payment of debts, and
the appointment of a certain Atty. Ignacio G. Villagonzalo as the
executor of the testament.
On the disposition of the testator's property, the will provided that
in case of his death, his brother Segundo Acain will receive all his
shares from properties and in case that his brother pre-deceases
him, his children (Ana, Constantino, Concepcion, Quirina, Laura,
Flores, Antonio and Jose) will get the share.
Segundo pre-deceased Nemesio. Thus it is the children of Segundo
who are claiming to be heirs, with Constantino as the petitioner in
the Special Proceeding.

5.

Oppositor Virginia who is the legally adopted daughter of Nemesio,


and the latters widow Rosa filed a motion to dismiss. (petitioner
has no legal capacity, universal heir ,and there is preterition)
DENIED.

6.

Respondents filed with the SC a petition for certiorari and


prohibition with preliminary injunction which was subsequently
referred to the IAC. GRANTED. IAC ordered for the dismissal of
petition for probate.

7.

MR DENIED. Petition for review on certiorari.

Issue:
1.

WON private respondents have been pretirited.


Widow-No; Legally Adopted-Yes

Widow is not preterited. Even if the surviving spouse is a compulsory heir,


there is no preterition even if she is omitted from the inheritance, for she
is not in the direct line.
however, the same thing cannot be said of the other respondent Virginia A.
Fernandez. It cannot be denied that she has totally omitted and preterited

in the will of the testator and that both adopted child and the widow were
deprived of at least their legitime. Neither can it be denied that they were
not expressly disinherited. Hence, this is a clear case of preterition of the
legally adopted child.
Preterition annuls the institution of an heir and annulment throws open to
intestate succession the entire inheritance. The only provisions which do
not result in intestacy are the legacies and devises made in the will for
they should stand valid and respected, except insofar as the legitimes are
concerned.
The universal institution of petitioner together with his brothers
and sisters to the entire inheritance of the testator results in
totally abrogating the will because the nullification of such institution of
universal heirs-without any other testamentary disposition in the willamounts to a declaration that nothing at all was written.
2. WON petitioner
proceeding?

may

be

allowed

to

intervene

in

the

NO. In order that a person may be allowed to intervene in a probate


proceeding he must have an interest in the estate, or in the will, or in the
property to be affected by it either as executor or as a claimant of the
estate and an interested party is one who would be benefited by the estate
such as an heir or one who has a claim against the estate like a creditor.
Petitioner is not the appointed executor, neither a devisee or a legatee
there being no mention in the testamentary disposition of any gift of an
individual item of personal or real property he is called upon to receive. He
appears to have an interest in the will as an heir. However, intestacy
having resulted from the preterition of respondent adopted child
and the universal institution of heirs, petitioner is in effect not an
heir of the testator. He has no legal standing to petition for the
probate of the will left by the deceased and Special Proceeding
must be dismissed.
Special Proceeding is for the probate of a will. The general rule is that the
probate court's authority is limited only to the extrinsic validity of the will,
the due execution thereof, the testator's testamentary capacity and the
compliance with the requisites or solemnities prescribed by law. The
intrinsic validity of the will normally comes only after the Court has
declared that the will has been duly authenticated.

SPECPRO.RULE76-77|3
The rule, however, is not inflexible and absolute. Under exceptional
circumstances, the probate court is not powerless to do what the situation
constrains it to do and pass upon certain provisions of the will.
THE HEIRS OF THE LATE JESUS FRAN and CARMEN MEJIA
RODRIGUEZ, petitioners,
vs.
HON. BERNARDO LL. SALAS, CONCEPCION MEJIA ESPINA and MARIA MEJIA
GANDIONGCO, respondents.

FACTS:
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Remedios M. Vda. de Tiosejo, a widow, died on 10 July 1972 in


Cebu City with neither descendants nor ascendants; she left real
and personal properties located in Cebu City, Ormoc City and
Puerto Bello, Merida, Leyte. Earlier, on 23 April 1972, she executed
a last will and testament wherein she bequeathed to her collateral
relatives (brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces) all her properties,
and designated Rosario Tan or, upon the latter's death, Jesus Fran,
as executor to serve without bond. Instrumental witnesses to the
will were Nazario Pacquiao, Alcio Demerre and Primo Miro.
15 July 1972, Jesus Fran filed a petition with the Court of First
instance of Cebu for the probate of Remedios' last will and
testament.
The petition alleged that Rosario Tan is not physically well and,
therefore, will not be assuming the position of administratrix. Tan
signed a waiver in favor of Jesus Fran on the third page of the said
petition. The probate court issued an order setting the petition for
hearing on 18 September 1972. Meanwhile, on 31 July 1972, the
court appointed petitioner Jesus Fran as special administrator.
10 August 1972, the private respondents, who are sisters of the
deceased, filed a manifestation alleging that they needed time to
study the petition because some heirs who are entitled to receive
their respective shares have been intentionally omitted therein,
and praying that they be given ample time to file their opposition,
after which the hearing be reset to another date.
Private respondents did not file any opposition. Instead, they filed
on 18 September 1972 a "Withdrawal of Opposition to the
Allowance of Probate of the Will" wherein they expressly
manifested, with their "full knowledge and consent that . . . they
have no objection of (sic) the allowance of the . . . will of the late
Remedios Mejia Vda. de Tiosejo," and that they have "no objection

to the issuance of letters testamentary in favor of petitioner, Dr.


Jesus Fran."
6.

No other party filed an opposition. The petition thus became


uncontested.

7.

During the initial hearing, petitioner Fran introduced the requisite


evidence to establish the jurisdictional facts.

8.

Judge Cinco issued in open court an order directing counsel for


petitioner to present evidence proving the authenticity and due
execution of the will before the Clerk of Court

9.

Subsequently, a Project of Partition based on the dispositions made


in the will and signed by all the devisees and legatees, with the
exception of Luis Fran, Remedios C. Mejia and respondent
Concepcion M. Espina, was submitted by the executor for the
court's
approval. Said
legatees
and
devisees
submitted
certifications wherein they admit receipt of a copy of the Project of
Partition together with the notice of hearing, and state that they
had no objection to its approval.

10. The notice of hearing referred to in these certifications is the 6


August 1973 notice issued by the Clerk of Court setting the
hearing on the Project of Partition for 29 August 1973.
11. After the hearing on the Project of Partition, the court issued its
Order of 10 September 1973 approving the same, declaring the
parties therein as the only heirs entitled to the estate of Remedios
Mejia Vda. de Tiosejo, directing the administrator to deliver to the
said parties their respective shares and decreeing the proceedings
closed.
12. Thereafter, the aforesaid Branch VIII of the Court of First Instance
of Cebu was converted to a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
On November 1978, by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1439,
Branch XVII (Davao City) of the Court of First Instance of Cebu,
presided over by herein respondent Judge, was officially
transferred to Cebu City and renumbered as Branch VIII.
13. On 1 October 1979, private respondents filed with the new Branch
VIII an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration of the probate
judgment of 13 November 1972 and the Order of partition of 10
September 1973, in said motion, they ask the court to declare the

SPECPRO.RULE76-77|4
proceedings still open and admit their opposition to the allowance
of the will

named therein regardless of whether or not he is in possession


of the will, or the same is lost or destroyed.

14. Notwithstanding petitioners' objections, respondent Judge issued


on 26 February 1980 an Order setting for hearing the said
Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration on 8 April 1980 so that "the
witnesses and the exhibits (may be) properly ventilated." 17

Sec. 1. Who may petition for the allowance of will. Any


executor, devisee, or legatee named in a will, or any other
person interested in the estate, may, at any time after the
death of the testator, petition the court having jurisdiction
to have the will allowed, whether the same be in his
possession or not, or is lost or destroyed.

15. On 25 March 1980, petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss the


Omnibus and to Reconsider the 26 February 1980 Order setting it
for hearing on 17 April 1980, 18 but the respondent Judge
prematurely denied it for lack of merit in his Order of 31 March
1980
16. 14 April 1980, petitioners filed a Supplemental Petition asking this
Court to restrain respondent Judge from reopening the case.
17. Respondent judge declared the testamentary dispositions of the
will void and converting the same into an intestate proceeding.
ISSUE:
WON it is necessary that the original copy of the will be presented
for the court to acquire jurisdiction for the allowance of the will.
HELD:
1. Respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction when he granted the Motion
for Reconsideration and converted the proceeding to an
intestate one.
2. The court already ruled that it is not necessary that the
original will be attached to the petition (this is of course
against the contention of the private respondents that TC
never acquired jurisdiction because only the English translation
of the will was attached and not the original).
3. The original of the said document (the will) must be
presented or sufficient reasons given to justify the
nonpresentation of the said original and the acceptance of the
copy or duplicate thereof.
4. The annexing of the original will to the petition is not a
jurisdictional requirement is clearly evident in Section 1, RULE
76 of the ROC which allows the filing of a petition for probate

5. In the instant case, a copy of the original will and its English
translation were attached to the petition as Annex "A" and
Annex "A-1", respectively, and made integral parts of the
same. It is to be presumed that upon the filing of the petition
the Clerk of Court, or his duly authorized subordinate,
examined the petition and found that the annexes mentioned
were in fact attached thereto. If they were not, the petition
cannot be said to have been properly presented and the Clerk
of Court would not have accepted it for docketing. Under
Section 6, Rule 136 of the Rules of Court, the Clerk of Court
shall receive and file all pleadings and other papers properly
presented, endorsing on each such paper the time when it was
filed. The presumption of regularity in the performance of
official duty militates against private respondents' claim that
Annex "A" of the petition was not in fact attached thereto.
6. It is not difficult to see that private respondents had lost their
right to file a petition for relief from judgment, it appearing
that their omnibus motion for reconsideration was filed exactly
six (6) years, ten (10) months and twenty-two (22) days after
the rendition of the decision, and six (6) years, one (1) month
and thirteen (13) days after the court issued the order
approving the Project of Partition, to which they voluntarily
expressed
their
conformity
through
their
respective
certifications, and closing the testate proceedings.
7. Equally baseless and unmeritorious is private respondents'
contention that the order approving the Project of Partition and
closing the proceedings is null and void because the Project of
Partition did not contain a notice of hearing and that they were
not notified of the hearing thereon. In truth, in her own
certification dated 5 September 1973, private respondent
Concepcion M. Espina admitted that she "received a copy of
the Project of Partition and the Notice of Hearing in the above-

SPECPRO.RULE76-77|5
entitled proceeding, and that she has no objection to the
approval of the said Project of Partition." The notice of hearing
she referred to is the Notice of Hearing For Approval of Project
of Partition issued on 6 August 1973 by the Clerk of
Court. 56 Private respondent Espina was lying through her
teeth when she claimed otherwise.approval of the said Project
of Partition." The notice of hearing she referred to is the Notice
of Hearing For Approval of Project of Partition issued on 6
August 1973 by the Clerk of Court. 56 Private respondent
Espina was lying through her teeth when she claimed
otherwise.

Elaine filed EX-Parte Motion to be Appoint as the Special


Administatrix, The aforesaid motion was set for hearing AND in the
same order, the lower court directed that all parties in the case be
notified. However, no notice of the order was given to the
petitioner.

RTC GRANTED, made Elaine the special administratrix


AND
granted motion for assistance of some military men and/or
policemen to assist Elaine in preserving the estate of Manolito.
Elaine tried to enforce order. Pedro de Guzman (petitioner)
resisted, resulting in a "near shoot-out between members of the
Makati Police and CAPCOM soldiers which was diffused by the
arrival of Mayor Binay and the agreement that the bulldozer
sought to be taken be placed in Mayor Binay's custody while the
parties sought for clarification.

DE GUZMAN V. ANGELES

This is a dispute between the surviving spouse (appointed special


adminsitratrix) and the father in law as to the properties allegedly
belonging to the estate of the deceased Manolito but was being
claimed by, and was in the possession of, the father in law-Pedro.
Father in law now assails the appointment of daughter in law as
special administratrix, as well as the order for writ of possession,
even before notice was given to him. SC held that NOTICE is
needed, even for the appointment of a special administrator, as it
is a position of trust and confidence which needs notice (to inform
interested parties) and hearing where the petitioner who seeks to
be appointed proves his qualifications, and the oppositors contests
it.
FACTS:
Manolito de Guzman died intestate. Elaine de Guzman (surviving
spouse) filed petition for settlement of intestate estate of the
decedent before RTC Makati, alleging the following:
Manolito died in Makati, as a resident of Makati, left
properties which were acquired after the marriage of
Manolito and Elaine (thus Conjugal property) and possible
creditors
Compulsory heirs: Elaine (SS), 2 minor Children, Manolito
died intestate without will Elaine most qualified to be the
administrator
Elaine filed motion for writ of possession over 5 of Manolito's
vehicles (who were in the possession of Manolito's father - Pedro
de Guzman - the petitioner): GRANTED.
PEDRO made appearance, sought for extension to file opposition to
the Motion for writ of possession.

The order was clarified to the effect that the order "must be
merely to take and preserve assets admittedly belonging to the
estate, but not properties, the ownership of which is claimed by
third persons."

The petitioner then filed a manifestation listing properties which he


claimed to be his own.

Hence, the instant petition was filed to annul the lower courts order.
ISSUE 1: WON a probate court may appoint a special administratrix
and issue a writ of possession of alleged properties of a decedent
for the preservation of the estate in a petition for the settlement of
the intestate estate of the said deceased person even before the
probate court causes notice to be served upon all interested
parties pursuant to section 3, Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of
Court? (NO, NOTICE IS NECESSARY)

In the instant case, there is no doubt that the respondent court


acquired jurisdiction over the proceedings upon the filing of a
petition for the settlement of an intestate estate by the private
respondent since the petition had alleged all the jurisdictional
facts, the residence of the deceased person, the possible heirs and
creditors and the probable value of the estate of the deceased
Manolito de Guzman pursuant to Section 2, Rule 79 of the Revised
Rules of Court.

SPECPRO.RULE76-77|6
We must, however, DIFFERENTIATE between the jurisdiction of the
probate court over the proceedings for the administration of an
estate and its jurisdiction over the persons who are interested in
the settlement of the estate of the deceased person. The court may
also have jurisdiction over the "estate" of the deceased person but
the determination of the properties comprising that estate must
follow established rules.
The probate court, in accordance w/ R79.3, must first cause notice
through publication of petition.
It is very clear from this provision that the probate court must cause
notice through publication of the petition after it receives the same. The
purpose of this notice is to bring all the interested persons within the
court's jurisdiction so that the judgment therein becomes binding on all
the world. (Manalo v. Paredes, 47 Phil. 938; Moran, Comment on the Rules
of Court Volume 3,1980 Edition) Where no notice as required by Section 3,
Rule 79 of the Rules of Court has been given to persons believed to have
an interest in the estate of the deceased person; the proceeding for the
settlement of the estate is void and should be annulled. The requirement
as to notice is essential to the validity of the proceeding in that no person
may be deprived of his right to property without due process of
law. (Eusebio v. Valmores, 96 Phil. 163).
Verily, notice through publication of the petition for the settlement
of the estate of a deceased person is jurisdictional, the absence of
which makes court orders affecting other persons, subsequent to
the petition void and subject to annulment. (See Eusebio v.
Valmores, supra)
In the instant case, no notice as mandated by section 3, Rule 79 of
the Revised Rules of Court was caused to be given by the probate
court before it acted on the motions of the private respondent to
be appointed as special administratrix, to issue a writ of
possession of alleged properties of the deceased person in the
widow's favor, and to grant her motion for assistance to preserve
the estate of Manolito de Guzman.

if no notice: proceeding for settlement of estate is void and should


be annulled. OR else, may deprive a person of his property w/o
due process of law.

The court orders affecting other persons subsequent to the petition


filed are void and subject to annulment.

ISSUE 2: WON the orders could have been issued without notice:
ONLY if there's urgency
It is not clear from the records exactly what emergency would have
ensued if the appointment of an administrator was deferred at least until
the most interested parties were given notice of the proposed action. No
unavoidable delay in the appointment of a regular administrator is
apparent from the records.
If emergency situations threatening the dissipation of the assets of an
estate justify a court's immediately taking some kind of temporary action
even without the required notice, no such emergency is shown in this
case. The need for the proper notice even for the appointment of a special
administrator is apparent from the circumstances of this case.
The respondent Judge himself explains that the order for the preservation
of the estate was limited to properties not claimed by third parties. If
certain properties are already in the possession of the applicant for special
administratrix and are not claimed by other persons, we see no need to
hurry up and take special action to preserve those properties. As it is, the
sheriffs took advantage of the questioned order to seize by force,
properties found in the residence of the petitioner which he vehemently
claims are owned by him and not by the estate of the deceased person.
Why give notice even for appointment of special administrator:
"The position of special administrator, by the very nature of the powers
granted thereby, is one of trust and confidence. It is a fiduciary position
and, therefore, requires a comprehensive determination of the suitability
of the applicant to such position. Hence, under Philippine jurisprudence, it
has been settled that the same fundamental and legal principles governing
the choice of a regular administrator should be taken in choosing the
special administrator (Francisco, Vol. VB, page 46 citing the cases of
Ozaeta v. Pecson, Ibid. and Roxas v. Pecson, Ibid.)

"In order to fully and correctly ascertain the suitability of the applicant to
the trust, a hearing is obviously necessary wherein the applicant can prove
his qualifications and at the same time affording oppositors, given notice
of such hearing and application, the opportunity to oppose or contest such
application.
MARAVILLA VS MARAVILLA

SPECPRO.RULE76-77|7
( sorry I cant make this shorter for the background of the
execution, just try reading the ones in BOLD baka you can recall
the story agadhehhe)

ISSUE: W/N the will was duly executed by a qualified testatrix and
competent
witnesses,
in
conformity
with
the
statutory
requirements. YES

Digna Maravilla died in Manapla, Negros Occidental, leaving an


extensive estate. Prior to her death, she was a resident of Saravia,
same province, at the time of the probate proceedings, only one
(1) (Aquilino Mansueto) of the three (3) attesting witnesses to the
will had survived, the two (2) others (Timoteo Hernaez and
Mariano Buenaflor) having died previously.
The will submitted for probate, Exhibit "A," which is typewritten in
the Spanish language, purports to have been executed in Manila,it
consists of five (5) pages, including the page on which the
attestation clause was completed. The purported signatures of the
testatrix appear at the logical end of the will on page four and at
the left margin of all the other pages.

At the bottom thereof appear the purported signatures of Timoteo


Hernaez, Aquilino Mansueto and Mariano Buenaflor, attesting witnesses.
Their signatures appear also on the left margin of all the five (5) pages.
The paging of the will is by handwritten words, such as "Pagina Primera,"
"Pagina Segunda," etc., written at the top of each page. On the lower half
of the third page, before the name "CONCEPCION P. MARAVILLA," is the
typewritten word "hermana," which was crossed out, and over it was
handwritten the word "cuada," bearing, at the left hereof, the initials "D.
M."

Appellant Herminio Maravilla, probate petitioner and husband of the


decedent, died after the case was submitted for decision and was
substituted by heirs.
The brother and sisters of the deceased Digna Maravilla and oppositors
alleged that:
That the deceased, Digna Maravilla, the alleged testatrix and the
instrumental witnesses did not sign the alleged will, each and every page
thereof, in the presence of each other;
CFI, that the will was not executed in accordance with Section 618 of Act
190, and, therefore, denied the probate of the will.
The petitioner appealed the judgment.
ALLEGED: (a) instrumental witness Aquilino Mansueto did not
actually see Digna Maravilla sign the will; (b) that Digna Maravilla
was not present when Mansueto signed the will as witness; (c)
that Mansueto "most probably" did not see Mariano Buenaflor sign
as witness to the will; (d) the testimony of attorney Manuel
Villanueva on the due execution of Digna Maravillas testament was
biased and not deserving of credit; and (e) in refusing probate to
the alleged will for not having been executed with the requisites
prescribed by Section 618 of Act 190.

At the hearing before the court a quo, only one of the three
instrumental witnesses, Col. (ret.) Aquilino Mansueto, appeared
and testified, inasmuch as the other two witnesses (Timoteo
Hernaez and Mariano Buenaflor) concededly died prior to the trial
of the case. Col. Mansueto identified his own signature and those of Dr.
Timoteo Hernaez and of Digna Maravilla, and asserted that the latter did
sign in the presence of all three witnesses and attorney Villanueva; that
Hernaez signed in his presence and in the presence of the other witnesses
and of Digna Maravilla and that present at the signing were "Dr. Timoteo
Hernaez, Mr. Mariano Buenaflor, attorney Manuel Villanueva and both
Herminio Maravilla and Mrs. Digna Maravilla, (the testatrix) and identified
his signature and those of Digna and Hernaez although, subsequently,
the witness admitted that he could not remember very well
whether Mr. Maravilla was there at the time he signed the will. The
witness explained that he could not remember some details because
fourteen years had elapsed, and when he signed as a witness, he did not
give it any importance and because of the time he (Col. Mansueto) was
very worried because of rumours that the Japanese would arrest officers of
the USAFFE who did not want to collaborate.
Colonel Mansuetos testimony was supported by that of the
husband of the testatrix, Herminio Maravilla, and of attorney Manuel
Villanueva. he knew that the will was executed in the dining room while he
remained in the sala; and Villanueva, Mansueto, Hernaez and Buenaflor
were in his house and sat with his wife around the table in the dining
room, with Villanueva at one end, Digna beside him and the witnesses
facing each other; and after the signing they had lunch, at his invitation,

SPECPRO.RULE76-77|8
and when they were eating, petitioner Maravilla saw the three (3) copies
of the will on the dining table. 16 However, he did not see there sign.
Attorney Manuel Villanueva, as third witness for the proponent.
Summoned and met Digna who requested him to draft a new will, revoking
her old one, to include as additional beneficiaries. Before leaving,
Villanueva asked Digna to look for three witnesses; their names were
furnished him : he brought one original and 2 copies with him, and handed
them to Digna; she read the document and while doing so the witnesses
Mansueto, Hernaez and Buenaflor came. Digna appeared to the witness
very healthy and spoke in Spanish intelligently.
Upon the evidence, the trial judge concluded that Mansueto did not
actually see Digna Maravilla sign the will in question, basing such
conclusion upon the fact that while Mansueto positively identified
his own signature ("I identify this as my signature") but not that
of the testatrix, his five answers to the questions of counsel, in
reference thereto, being "this must be the signature of Mrs. Digna
Maravilla."
In our opinion, the trial courts conclusion is far fetched, fanciful and
unwarranted. It was but natural that witness Mansueto should be
positive about his own signature, since he was familiar with it. He
had to be less positive about Digna Maravillas signature since he
could not be closely acquainted with the same: for aught the
record shows, the signing of the will was the only occasion he saw
her sign; he had no opportunity to study her signature before or
after the execution of Exhibit "A." Furthermore, he witnessed
Dignas signing not less than fourteen years previously. To demand
that in identifying Dignas signature Mansueto should display a
positiveness equal to the certainty shown by him in recognizing his
own, exceeds the bounds of the reasonable. The variation in the
expressions used by the witness is the best evidence that he was
being candid and careful, and it is a clear badge of truthfulness
rather than the reverse.

That Mansueto, Hernaez and Buenaflor, together with the testatrix and the
lawyer, sat next to one another around one table when the will was signed
is clearly established by the uncontradicted testimony of both attorney
Villanueva and Herminio Maravilla; and that detail proves beyond doubt

that each one of the parties concerned did sign in the presence of all the
others. It should be remembered, in this connection, that the test is not
whether a witness did see the signing of the will but whether he was in a
position to see if he chose to do so.
We find it difficult to understand the trial courts distrust of a
lawyer who did no more than discharge his professional duty, or its
readiness to attribute improper motives to proponents witnesses.
This Court, in Sotelo v. Luzan, 59 Phil. 908, has remarked that
"It is hardly conceivable that any attorney of any standing would risk his
professional reputation by falsifying a will and then go before a court and
give false testimony."
(Remedial law; Statement of attorney on the due execution of the
will entitled to great weight. And in the Fernandez v. Tantoco, 49 Phil. 380, 385, We ruled:

"In weighing the testimony of the attesting witnesses to a will,


the statements of a competent attorney, who has been charged
with the responsibility of seeing to the proper execution of the
instrument, is entitled to greater weight than the testimony of a
person casually called to participate in the act, supposing of course
that no motive is revealed that should induce the attorney to
prevaricate. The reason is that the mind of the attorney, being
conversant with the requisites of proper execution of the
instrument, is more likely to become fixed on details, and he is
more likely than other persons to retain those incidents in his
memory."
Oppositors attempts to establish that the testatrix Digna Maravilla was
mentally incompetent to validly execute the will in question met no better
fate in the court below. They introduced one Eufrocina Berja who qualified
Digna Maravilla as insane because she saw Digna Maravilla acting
strangely one morning in 1921 (23 years before the will was executed). In
Berjas own words WAVING FLOWERS WHILE SINGING AND DANCING.
As between the testimony of Lopez (SAID TO BE VISTING AUNT SAW HER
LAUGHING AND CRYING) and that of attorney Villanueva, who repeatedly
visited and talked to the testatrix around the time her will was executed,

SPECPRO.RULE76-77|9
We have no hesitation in accepting the latters view that Digna Maravilla
was competent to make the will when it was signed. The law itself declares
that
"To be of sound mind, it is not necessary that the testator be in full
possession of all his reasoning faculties or that his mind be wholly
unbroken, unimpaired or unshattered by disease, injury or other
cause." (Civil Code, Article 799; Bugnao v. Ubag, 14 Phil. 163.)
We are satisfied that the preponderance of evidence is to the effect that
the testament, Exhibit "A," was duly executed by a qualified testatrix and
competent witnesses, in conformity with the statutory requirements.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decree of the court below denying
probate of the 1944 will of Digna Maravilla (Exhibit "A") is reversed and
the said testament is hereby ordered probated.
LEVISTE VS CA

FACTS:

Petitioner, a practicing attorney, entered into a written agreement


with the private respondent Rosa del Rosario to appear as her
counsel in a petition for probate of the holographic will of the late
Maxima C. Reselva. Under the will, a piece of real property was
bequeathed
to Del Rosario. It was agreed that petitioner's
contigent fee would be thirty-five per cent (35%) of the property
that Rosa may receive upon the probate of the will.
In accordance with their agreement, Leviste performed the
SEVERAL services as Del Rosario's counsel.

Leviste received a letter from Ms. Del Rosario, informing him that
she was terminating his services as her counsel due to "conflicting
interest.

Petitioner filed a "Motion to Intervene to Protect His Rights to Fees


for Professional Services."

TC denied Levistes motion on the ground that he had "not filed a claim for
attorney's fees nor recorded his attorney's lien."
So, P filed a "Formal Statement of Claim for Attorney's Fees and Recording
of Attorney's Lien,' which was noted in the court's order.

Although the order denying his motion to intervene had become


final, petitioner continued to receive copies of the court's orders,
as well the pleadings of the other parties in the case. He also
continued to file pleadings. The case was submitted for decision
without the respondents' evidence.
The court disallowed the will, holding that the legal requirements
for its validity were not satisfied as only two witnesses testified
that the will and the testatrix's signature were in the handwriting
of Maxima Reselva.
P filed an appeal, opposed by PR through a motion to dismiss.
P opposed the motion to dismiss his appeal, claiming that he has a direct
and material interest in the decision sought to be reviewed. He also asked
that he be substituted as party-petitioner, in lieu of his former client, Ms.
Del Rosario.
The trial judge dismissed the appeal and denied petitioner's motion for
substitution.
The petitioner filed in the Court of Appeals a petition for mandamus.
DISMISSED.
ISSUE: Whether or not an attorney who was engaged on a
contingent fee basis may, in order to collect his fees, prosecute an
appeal despite his client's refusal to appeal the decision of the trial
court.
Petitioner argues that by virtue of his contract of services with Del Rosario,
he is a creditor of the latter, and under Article 1052 of the Civil Code.
That he has a right to accept for his client Del Rosario to the extent of
35% thereof the devise in her favor (which she in effect repudiated) to
protect his contingent attorney's fees.
The argument is devoid of merit. Article 1052 of the Civil Code
does not apply to this case. That legal provision protects the
creditor of a repudiating heir. Petitioner is not a creditor of Rosa
del Rosario. The payment of his fees is contingent and dependent
upon the successful probate of the holographic will. Since the
petition for probate was dismissed by the lower court, the
contingency did not occur. Attorney Leviste is not entitled to his
fee.

S P E C P R O . R U L E 7 6 - 7 7 | 10
Furthermore, Article 1052 presupposes that the obligor is an heir. Rosa del
Rosario is not a legal heir of the late Maxima C. Reselva. Upon the
dismissal of her petition for probate of the decedent's will, she lost her
right to inherit any part of the latter's estate. There is nothing for the
petitioner to accept in her name.
This Court had ruled in the case of Recto vs. Harden, 100 Phil. 1427, that
"the contract (for contingent attorney's fees) neither gives, nor purports to
give, to the appellee (lawyer) any right whatsoever, personal or real, in
and to her (Mrs. Harden's) aforesaid share in the conjugal partnership. The
amount thereof is simply a basis for thecomputation of said fees."
ISSUE 2: W/N CA ERRED IN dismissing the petition for mandamus.
( NO )

Subsequently, Jesus Labrador (now deceased but substituted by his heirs),


and Gaudencio Labrador filed an opposition to the petition on the ground
that the will has been extinguished or revoked by implication of law,
alleging therein that before Melecio's death, for the consideration of
P6000.00, testator executed a Deed of Absolute Sale, selling, transferring
and conveying in favor of oppositors Jesus and Gaudencio the subject lot.
However, in 1973, Jesus Labrador sold said parcel of land to Navat for only
P5000.00
Sagrado thereupon filed against his brothers, Gaudencio and Jesus, for the
annulment of said purported Deed of Absolute Sale over a parcel of land
which Sagrado allegedly had already acquired by devise from their father
Melecio Labrador under a holographic will, the complaint for annulment
was based on the fact that the aforesaid Deed of Absolute Sale is fictitious.

For while it is true that, as contended by the petitioner, public policy favors
the probate of a will, it does not necessarily follow that every will that is
presented for probate, should be allowed. The law lays down procedures
which should be observed and requisites that should be satisfied before a
will may be probated. Those procedures and requirements were not
followed in this case resulting in the disallowance of the will. There being
no valid will, the motion to withdraw the probate petition was
inconsequential.

TC - allowed the probate of the holographic will and declaring null and void
the Deed of Absolute sale. It also directed the respondents to reimburse to
the petitioners the sum of P5,000.00 representing the redemption price for
the property.

Petitioner was not a party to the probate proceeding in the lower


court. He had no direct interest in the probate of the will. His only
interest in the estate is an indirect interest as former counsel for a
prospective heir. In Paras vs. Narciso, 35 Phil. 244, We had
occasion to rule that one who is only indirectly interested in a will
may not interfere in its probate.

ISSUE: WON the alleged holographic will of one Melecio Labrador is dated
and may be allowed for probate.

WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is denied for lack of merit.


LABRADOR vs. CA

FACTS: On June 10, 1972, Melecio Labrador died in the Municipality of


Iba, province of Zambales, where he was residing, leaving behind a parcel
of land and the following heirs, namely: Sagrado, Enrica, Cristobal, Jesus,
Gaudencio, Josefina, Juliana, Hilaria and Jovita, all surnamed Labrador,
and a holographic will.
On July 28, 1975, Sagrado Labrador (now deceased but substituted by his
heirs), Enrica Labrador and Cristobal Labrador, filed in the court a quo a
petition for the probate of the alleged holographic will of the late Melecio
Labrador.

CA - modified said decision of the court by denying the allowance of the


probate of the will for being undated and reversing the order of
reimbursement.

HELD: YES. The will has been dated in the hand of the testator himself in
perfect compliance with Article 810. The law does not specify a particular
location where the date should be placed in the will. The only requirements
are that the date be in the will itself and executed in the hand of the
testator. These requirements are present in the subject will.
The alleged undated holographic will written in Ilocano translated into
English, is quoted as follows:
xxxxxxxxx
II Second Page
And this is the day in which we agreed that we are making the partitioning
and assigning the respective assignment of the said fishpond, and this
being in the month of March, 17th day, in the year 1968, and this decision
and or instruction of mine is the matter to be followed. And the one who
made this writing is no other than MELECIO LABRADOR, their father.

S P E C P R O . R U L E 7 6 - 7 7 | 11
Respondents claim that the date 17 March 1968 in the will was when the
testator and his beneficiaries entered into an agreement among
themselves about "the partitioning and assigning the respective
assignments of the said fishpond," and was not the date of execution of
the holographic will.
Respondents are in error. The intention to show 17 March 1968 as the date
of the execution of the will is plain from the tenor of the succeeding words
of the paragraph. As aptly put by petitioner, the will was not an agreement
but a unilateral act of Melecio Labrador who plainly knew that what he was
executing was a will. The act of partitioning and the declaration that such
partitioning as the testator's instruction or decision to be followed reveal
that Melecio Labrador was fully aware of the nature of the estate property
to be disposed of and of the character of the testamentary act as a means
to control the disposition of his estate.
SC Reversed CA. The holographic will of Melecio Labrador is APPROVED
and ALLOWED probate. The private respondents are directed to
REIMBURSE the petitioners the sum of P5,000.00.

written and signed in the handwriting of the deceased Bibiana R. de Jesus


was found. The will is dated "FEB./61 " and states: "This is my will which I
want to be respected although it is not written by a lawyer. ...
Pedro Roxas de Jesus and Manuel Roxas de Jesus also testified that the
letter dated "FEB./61 " is the holographic will of their deceased mother.
Both recognized the handwriting of their mother and positively identified
her signature. They further testified that their deceased mother
understood English, the language in which the holographic will is written.
Respondent Luz R. Henson, another compulsory heir filed an "opposition to
probate" assailing the purported holographic Will of Bibiana R. de Jesus
because:
(a) it was not executed in accordance with law,
(b) it was executed through force, intimidation and/or under
duress, undue influence and improper pressure, and
(c) the alleged testatrix acted by mistake and/or did not
intend, nor could have intended the said Will to be her last Will
and testament at the time of its execution.
Respondent Judge Jose C. Colayco issued an order allowing the probate of
the holographic will which he found to have been duly executed in
accordance with law.

IN THE MATTER OF THE INTESTATE ESTATE OF ANDRES G. DE JESUS AND


BIBIANA ROXAS DE JESUS, SIMEON R. ROXAS & PEDRO ROXAS DE JESUS,
petitioners,
vs.
ANDRES R. DE JESUS, JR., respondent.

FACTS: After the death of spouses Andres G. de Jesus and Bibiana Roxas
de Jesus, Special Proceeding No. 81503 entitled "In the Matter of the
Intestate Estate of Andres G. de Jesus and Bibiana Roxas de Jesus" was
filed by petitioner Simeon R. Roxas, the brother of the deceased Bibiana
Roxas de Jesus.
Petitioner Simeon R. Roxas was appointed administrator, after Letters of
Administration had been granted to him, he delivered to the lower court a
document purporting to be the holographic Will of the deceased Bibiana
Roxas de Jesus. Respondent Judge Jose Colayco set the hearing of the
probate of the holographic will.
Petitioner Simeon R. Roxas testified that after his appointment as
administrator, he found a notebook belonging to the deceased Bibiana R.
de Jesus and that a letter-will addressed to her children and entirely

Respondent Luz Roxas de Jesus filed a motion for reconsideration alleging


that the alleged holographic will of the deceased was not dated as required
by Article 810 of the Civil Code. She contends that the law requires that
the will should contain the day, month and year of its execution and that
this should be strictly complied with.
Respondent Judge Colayco reconsidered his earlier order and disallowed
the probate of the holographic will on the ground that the word "dated"
has generally been held to include the month, day, and year.
ISSUE: WON the date "FEB./61 " appearing on the holographic will of the
deceased is a valid compliance with the Article 810 of the Civil Code.
HELD: YES. The objection interposed by the oppositor-respondent Luz
Henson is that the holographic will is fatally defective because the date
"FEB./61 " appearing on the holographic will is not sufficient compliance
with Article 810 of the Civil Code.
ART. 810. A person may execute a holographic will which must be
entirely written, dated, and signed by the hand of the testator

S P E C P R O . R U L E 7 6 - 7 7 | 12
himself. It is subject to no other form, and may be made in or out of
the Philippines, and need not be witnessed.

As a general rule, the "date" in a holographic will should include the day,
month, and year of its execution. However, when as in the case at bar,
there is no appearance of fraud, bad faith, undue influence and pressure
and the authenticity of the will is established and the only issue is whether
or not the date "FEB./61" appearing on the holographic will is a valid
compliance with Article 810 of the Civil Code, probate of the holographic
will should be allowed under the principle of substantial compliance.
This will not be the first time that this Court departs from a strict and
literal application of the statutory requirements regarding the due
execution of wills. We should not overlook the liberal trend of the Civil
Code in the manner of execution of wills, the purpose of which, in case of
doubt is to prevent intestacy.
The underlying and fundamental objectives permeating the provisions of
the law on wills in this project consists in the liberalization of the manner
of their execution with the end in view of giving the testator more freedom
in expressing his last wishes, but with sufficient safeguards and
restrictions to prevent the commission of fraud and the exercise of undue
and improper pressure and influence upon the testator.
In Justice Capistrano's concurring opinion in Heirs of Raymundo Castro v.
Bustos (27 SCRA 327) he emphasized that:
The law has a tender regard for the will of the testator expressed in his
last will and testament on the ground that any disposition made by the
testator is better than that which the law can make. For this reason,
intestate succession is nothing more than a disposition based upon the
presumed will of the decedent.
Thus, the prevailing policy is to require satisfaction of the legal
requirements in order to guard against fraud and bad faith but without
undue or unnecessary curtailment of testamentary privilege Icasiano v.
Icasiano, 11 SCRA 422). If a Will has been executed in substantial
compliance with the formalities of the law, and the possibility of bad faith
and fraud in the exercise thereof is obviated, said will should be admitted
to probate (Rey v. Cartagena 56 Phil. 282).
If the testator, in executing his will, attempts to comply with all the
requisites, although compliance is not literal, it is sufficient if the objective
or purpose sought to be accomplished by such requisite is actually attained
by the form followed by the testator.

The purpose of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills has been
expounded by this Court in Abangan v. Abangan, where we ruled that:
The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close
the door against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and
testaments and to guaranty their truth and authenticity.
In this case there no evidence of bad faith and fraud in its execution nor
was there any substitution of wills and testaments. There is no question
that the holographic will of the deceased was entirely written, dated, and
signed by the testatrix herself and in a language known to her. There is
also no question as to its genuineness and due execution.
All the children of the testatrix agree on the genuineness of the
holographic will of their mother and that she had the testamentary
capacity at the time of the execution of said will.
G.R. No. L-40207 September 28, 1984
KALAW vs. RELOVA

FACTS: On September 1, 1971, private respondent Gregorio K. Kalaw,


claiming to be the sole heir of his deceased sister, Natividad K. Kalaw, filed
a petition before the CFI of Batangas, Lipa City, for the probate of her
holographic will executed on December 24, 1968 which reads as follows:
My Last will and Testament
In the name of God, Amen.
I Natividad K. Kalaw Filipino 63 years of age, single, and a resident of Lipa City,
being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do hereby declare thus to be my
last will and testament.
1. It is my will that I'll be burried in the cemetery of the catholic church of Lipa City.
In accordance with the rights of said Church, and that my executrix hereinafter
named provide and erect at the expose of my state a suitable monument to
perpetuate my memory.
xxx xxx xxx

The holographic will, named Rosa K. Kalaw, a sister of the testatrix as her
sole heir. Petitioner Rosa K. Kalaw opposed probate alleging that the
holographic will contained alterations, corrections, and insertions without
the proper authentication by the full signature of the testatrix as required
by Article 814 of the Civil Code reading:

S P E C P R O . R U L E 7 6 - 7 7 | 13
Art. 814. In case of any insertion, cancellation, erasure or
alteration in a holographic will the testator must
authenticate the same by his full signature.
Rosa's position was that the holographic will, as first written, should be
given effect and probated so that she could be the sole heir thereunder.
Respondent Judge denied probate based on NBI findings that the
handwriting, the signature, the insertions and/or additions and the initial
were made by one and the same person.
Court - the provision of Article 814 of the Civil Code is applicable to the will
in question. Finding the insertions, alterations and/or additions in will not
to be authenticated by the full signature of the testatrix Natividad K.
Kalaw, the Court will deny the admission to probate of such.
Rosa filed this Petition for Review on certiorari on the sole legal question of
whether or not the original unaltered text after subsequent alterations and
insertions were voided by the Trial Court for lack of authentication by the
full signature of the testatrix, should be probated or not, with her as sole
heir.
ISSUE: WON the will, should be admitted to probate although the
alterations and/or insertions or additions were not authenticated by the full
signature of the testatrix pursuant to Art. 814 of the Civil Code.
HELD: NO. Ordinarily, when a number of erasures, corrections, and
interlineations made by the testator in a holographic will have not been
noted under his signature, the will is not thereby invalidated as a whole,
but at most only as respects the particular words erased, corrected or
interlined.
However, when as in this case, the holographic will in dispute had only one
substantial provision, which was altered by substituting the original heir
with another, but which alteration did not carry the requisite of full
authentication by the full signature of the testator, the effect must be that
the entire will is voided or revoked for the simple reason that nothing
remains in the Will after that which could remain valid. To state that the
will as first written should be given efficacy is to disregard the seeming
change of mind of the testatrix. But that change of mind can neither be
given effect because she failed to authenticate it in the manner required
by law by affixing her full signature,
The ruling in Velasco, must be held confined to such insertions,
cancellations, erasures or alterations in a holographic will, which affect

only the efficacy of the altered words themselves but not the essence and
validity of the will itself. As it is, with the erasures, cancellations and
alterations made by the testatrix herein, her real intention cannot be
determined with certitude.
SC petition for probate is dismissed; probate of the will is denied.

JOSE RIVERA petitioner,


vs.
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and ADELAIDO J. RIVERA, respondents.

Evidence; Disputable Presumptions; Adelaidos failure to present his


parents marriage certificate, not fatal to his case, as he could still rely on
the presumption of marriage.It is true that Adelaido could not present
his parents marriage certificate because, as he explained it, the marriage
records for 1942 in the Mabalacat civil registry were burned during the
war. Even so, he could still rely on the presumption of marriage, since it is
not denied that Venancio Rivera and Maria Jocson lived together as
husband and wife and for many years, beget-ting seven children in all
during that time.
Special Proceedings; Probate of Holographic Will; When the authenticity of
the will is not being questioned, there is no necessity of presenting the
three witnesses required under Art. 811; An opposition made by a mere
stranger did not have the legal effect of requiring the three witnesses.
Now for the holographic wills. The respondent court considered them valid
because it found them to have been written, dated and signed by the
testator himself in accordance with Article 810 of the Civil Code. It also
held there was no necessity of presenting the three witnesses required
under Article 811 because the authenticity of the wills had not been
questioned. The existence and therefore also the authenticity of the
holographic wills were questioned by Jose Rivera. In his own petition in SP
No. 1076, he declared that Venancio Rivera died intestate; and in SP No.
1091, he denied the existence of the holographic wills presented by
Adelaido Rivera for probate.
In both proceedings, Jose Rivera opposed the holographic wills submitted
by Adelaido Rivera and claimed that they were spurious. Consequently, it
may be argued, the respondent court should have applied Article 811 of
the Civil Code, providing as follows: In the probate of a holographic will, it
shall be necessary that at least one witness who knows the handwriting
and signature of the testator explicitly declare that the will and the
signature are in the handwriting of the testator. If the will is contested, at
least three of such witnesses shall be required. The flaw in this argument
is that, as we have already determined, Jose Rivera is not the son of the
deceased Venancio Rivera whose estate is in question.

S P E C P R O . R U L E 7 6 - 7 7 | 14

Hence, being a mere stranger, he had no personality to contest the wills


and his opposition thereto did not have the legal effect of requiring the
three witnesses. The testimony of Zenaida and Venancio Rivera, Jr., who
authenticated the wills as having been written and signed by their father,
was sufficient.
PETITION to review the decision of the then Intermediate Appellate Court.
Coquia, J. [Rivera vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 182 SCRA 322(1990)]
CRUZ, J.:
Was there only one Venancio Rivera in Mabalacat, Pampanga, or were
there two?
On May 30, 1975, a prominent and wealthy resident of that town named
Venancio Rivera died. On July 28, 1975, Jose Rivera, claiming to be the
only surviving legitimate son of the deceased, filed a petition for the
issuance of letters of administration over Venancio's estate. Docketed as
SP No. 1076, this petition was opposed by Adelaido J. Rivera, who denied
that Jose was the son of the decedent. Adelaido averred that Venancio was
his father and did not die intestate but in fact left two holographic wills. 1
On November 7, 1975, Adelaido J. Rivera filed, also with the Regional Trial
Court of Angeles City, a petition for the probate of the holographic wills.
Docketed as SP No. 1091, this petition was in turn opposed by Jose Rivera,
who reiterated that he was the sole heir of Venancio's intestate estate. 2
On November 11, 1975, the two cases were consolidated. Adelaido J.
Rivera was later appointed special administrator. After joint trial, Judge
Eliodoro B. Guinto found that Jose Rivera was not the son of the decedent
but of a different Venancio Rivera who was married to Maria Vital. The
Venancio Rivera whose estate was in question was married to Maria
Jocson, by whom he had seven children, including Adelaido. Jose Rivera
had no claim to this estate because the decedent was not his father. The
holographic wills were also admitted to probate. 3
On appeal, the decision of the trial court was affirmed by the then
Intermediate Appellate Court. 4 Its decision is now the subject of this
petition, which urges the reversal of the respondent court.
In support of his claim that he was the sole heir of the late Venancio
Rivera, Jose sought to show that the said person was married in 1928 to
Maria Vital, who was his mother. He submitted for this purpose Exhibit A,
the marriage certificate of the couple, and Exhibit B, his own baptismal
certificate where the couple was indicated as his parents. The petitioner
also presented Domingo Santos, who testified that Jose was indeed the

son of the couple and that he saw Venancio and Jose together several
times. 5 Jose himself stressed that Adelaido considered him a half-brother
and kissed his hand as a sign of respect whenever they met. He insisted
that Adelaido and his brothers and sisters were illegitimate children, sired
by Venancio with Maria Jocson. 6
Adelaido, for his part, maintained that he and his brothers and sisters were
born to Venancio Rivera and Maria Jocson, who were legally married and
lived as such for many years. He explained that he could not present his
parents' marriage certificate because the record of marriages for 1942 in
Mabalacat were destroyed when the town was burned during the war, as
certified by Exhibit 6. 7 He also submitted his own birth certificate and
those of his sisters Zenaida and Yolanda Rivera, who were each described
therein as the legimitate children of Venancio Rivera and Maria Jocson. 8
Atty. Regalado P. Morales, then 71 years of age, affirmed that he knew the
deceased and his parents, Magno Rivera and Gertrudes de los Reyes, and
it was during the Japanese occupation that Venancio introduced to him
Maria Jocson as his wife. 9 To prove that there were in fact two persons by
the same name of Venancio Rivera, Adelaido offered Venancio Rivera's
baptismal certificate showing that his parents were Magno Rivera and
Gertrudes de los Reyes, 10 as contrasted with the marriage certificate
submitted by Jose, which indicated that the Venancio Rivera subject
thereof was the son of Florencio Rivera and Estrudez Reyes. 11 He also
denied kissing Jose's hand or recognizing him as a brother. 12
We find in favor of Adelaido J. Rivera.
It is true that Adelaido could not present his parents' marriage certificate
because, as he explained it, the marriage records for 1942 in the
Mabalacat civil registry were burned during the war. Even so, he could still
rely on the presumption of marriage, since it is not denied that Venancio
Rivera and Maria Jocson lived together as husband and wife for many
years, begetting seven children in all during that time.
According to Article 220 of the Civil Code:
In case of doubt, all presumptions favor the solidarity of the family. Thus
every intendment of the law or fact leans toward the validity of marriage,
the indissolubility of the marriage bonds, the legitimacy of children, ... .
The Rules of Court, in Rule 131, provides:
SEC. 3. Disputable presumptions. The following presumptions are
satisfactory if uncontradicted, but may be contradicted and overcome by
other evidence:
xxx

xxx

xxx

S P E C P R O . R U L E 7 6 - 7 7 | 15

(aa)
That a man and woman deporting themselves as husband and wife
have entered into a lawful contract of marriage.
By contrast, although Jose did present his parents' marriage certificate,
Venancio was described therein as the son of Florencio Rivera. Presumably,
he was not the same Venancio Rivera described in Exhibit 4, his baptismal
certificate, as the son of Magno Rivera. While we realize that such
baptismal certificate is not conclusive evidence of Venancio's filiation
(which is not the issue here) it may nonetheless be considered to
determine his real identity. Jose insists that Magno and Florencio are one
and the same person, arguing that it is not uncommon for a person to be
called by different names. The Court is not convinced. There is no evidence
that Venancio's father was called either Magno or Florencio. What is more
likely is that two or more persons may live at the same time and bear the
same name, even in the same community. That is what the courts below
found in the cases at bar.
What this Court considers particularly intriguing is why, if it is true that he
was the legitimate son of Venancio Rivera, Jose did not assert his right as
such when his father was still alive. By his own account, Jose supported
himself and presumably also his mother Maria Vital as a gasoline
attendant and driver for many years. All the time, his father was residing
in the same town and obviously prospering and available for support.
His alleged father was openly living with another woman and raising
another family, but this was apparently accepted by Jose without protest,
taking no step whatsoever to invoke his status. If, as he insists, he and
Venancio Rivera were on cordial terms, there is no reason why the father
did not help the son and instead left Jose to fend for himself as a humble
worker while his other children by Maria Jocson enjoyed a comfortable life.
Such paternal discrimination is difficult to understand, especially if it is
considered assuming the claims to be true that Jose was the oldest
and, by his own account, the only legitimate child of Venancio Rivera.
And there is also Maria Vital, whose attitude is no less incomprehensible.
As Venancio's legitimate wife if indeed she was she should have
objected when her husband abandoned her and founded another family by
another woman, and in the same town at that. Seeing that the children of
Maria Jocson were being raised well while her own son Jose was practically
ignored and neglected, she nevertheless did not demand for him at least
support, if not better treatment, from his legitimate father. It is unnatural
for a lawful wife to say nothing if she is deserted in favor of another
woman and for a caring mother not to protect her son's interests from his
wayward father's neglect. The fact is that this forsaken wife never
demanded support from her wealthy if errant husband. She did not file a
complaint for bigamy or concubinage against Venancio Rivera and Maria

Jocson, the alleged partners in crime and sin. Maria Vital was completely
passive and complaisant.
Significantly, as noted by the respondent court, Maria Vital was not even
presented at the trial to support her son's allegations that she was the
decedent's lawful wife. Jose says this was not done because she was
already old and bedridden then. But there was no impediment to the
taking of her deposition in her own house. No effort was made toward this
end although her testimony was vital to the petitioner's cause. Jose
dismisses such testimony as merely "cumulative," but this Court does not
agree. Having alleged that Maria Jocson's marriage to Venancio Rivera was
null and void, Jose had the burden of proving that serious allegation.
We find from the evidence of record that the respondent court did not err
in holding that the Venancio Rivera who married Maria Jocson in 1942 was
not the same person who married Maria Vital, Jose's legitimate mother, in
1928. Jose belonged to a humbler family which had no relation whatsoever
with the family of Venancio Rivera and Maria Vital. This was more
prosperous and prominent. Except for the curious Identity of names of the
head of each, there is no evidence linking the two families or showing that
the deceased Venancio Rivera was the head of both.
Now for the holographic wills. The respondent court considered them valid
because it found them to have been written, dated and signed by the
testator himself in accordance with Article 810 of the Civil Code. It also
held there was no necessity of presenting the three witnesses required
under Article 811 because the authenticity of the wills had not been
questioned.
The existence and therefore also the authenticity of the holographic wills
were questioned by Jose Rivera. In his own petition in SP No. 1076, he
declared that Venancio Rivera died intestate; and in SP No. 1091, he
denied the existence of the holographic wills presented by Adelaido Rivera
for probate. In both proceedings, Jose Rivera opposed the holographic wills
submitted by Adelaido Rivera and claimed that they were spurious.
Consequently, it may be argued, the respondent court should have applied
Article 811 of the Civil Code, providing as follows:
In the probate of a holographic will, it shall be necessary that at least one
witness who knows the handwriting and signature of the testator explicitly
declare that the will and the signature are in the handwriting of the
testator. If the will is contested, at least three of such witnesses shall be
required.
The flaw in this argument is that, as we have already determined, Jose
Rivera is not the son of the deceased Venancio Rivera whose estate is in
question. Hence, being a mere stranger, he had no personality to contest

S P E C P R O . R U L E 7 6 - 7 7 | 16
the wills and his opposition thereto did not have the legal effect of
requiring the three witnesses. The testimony of Zenaida and Venancio
Rivera, Jr., who authenticated the wills as having been written and signed
by their father, was sufficient.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED and the challenged decision is
AFFIRMED, with costs against the petitioner.

disposition is not readable. There were uneven strokes, retracing and


erasures on the will. Comparing the signature in the holographic will and
the signatures in several documents such as the application letter for
pasture permit and a letter the strokes are different. In the letters, there
are continuous flows of the strokes, evidencing that there is no hesitation
in writing unlike that of the holographic will. We, therefore, cannot be
certain that ruling holographic will was in the handwriting by the deceased.

Eugenia Codoy v. Evangeline Calugay

Spouses Ajero v. Court of Appeals

Calugay, Salcedo and Patigas, devisees and legatees of the holographic will
of the deceased Matilde Seno filed with the RTC of Misamis Oriental, a
petition for probate of the holographic will of the deceased. Codoy and
Ramonal filed an opposition on the petition for probate, alleging that the
holographic will was a forgery. Petitioners argued that the repeated dates
incorporated or appearing on will after every disposition is out of the
ordinary. If the deceased was the one who executed the will, and was not
forced, the dates and the signature should appear at the bottom after the
dispositions, as regularly done and not after every disposition. Petitionerss
filed a demurrer.

Facts:
The testator named as devisees petitioners Ajero, private respondents
Sands and Arong. Petitioners instituted a petition for the allowance of the
will. PRs opposed the petition on the grounds that neither the testament's
body nor the signature therein was in decedent's handwriting; it contained
alterations and corrections which were not duly signed by decedent; and,
the will was procured by petitioners through improper pressure and undue
influence.

The TC granted the demurrer. The CA reversed the TCs decision.


Issues: WON the provisions of Article 811 are permissive or mandatory.
Ruling: Yes. The word "shall" connotes a mandatory order. We have ruled
that "shall" in a statute commonly denote an imperative obligation and is
inconsistent with the idea of discretion and that the presumption is that
the word "shall," when used in a statute is mandatory.
We cannot eliminate the possibility of a false document being adjudged as
the will of the testator, which is why if the holographic will is contested,
that law requires three witnesses to declare that the will was in the
handwriting of the deceased. The will was found not in the personal
belongings of the deceased but with one of the respondents, who kept it
even before the death of the deceased. There was no opportunity for an
expert to compare the signature and the handwriting of the deceased with
other documents signed and executed by her during her lifetime. The only
chance at comparison was during the cross-examination of Ms. Binanay
when the lawyer of petitioners asked Ms. Binanay to compare the
documents which contained the signature of the deceased with that of the
holographic will and she is not a handwriting expert. Even the former
lawyer of the deceased expressed doubts as to the authenticity of the
signature in the holographic will. A visual examination of the holographic
will convince us that the strokes are different when compared with other documents
written by the testator. The signature of the testator in some of the

The TC allowed the probate of the will. The CA reversed the decision. It
held that the decedent did not comply with Articles 813 and 814 of the
New Civil Code.
Ruling:
839 enumeration is exclusive. These lists are exclusive; no other grounds
can serve to disallow a will.
Thus, in a petition to admit a holographic will to probate, the only issues to
be resolved are: (1) whether the instrument submitted is, indeed, the
decedent's last will and testament; (2) whether said will was executed in
accordance with the formalities prescribed by law; (3) whether the
decedent had the necessary testamentary capacity at the time the will was
executed; and, (4) whether the execution of the will and its signing were
the voluntary acts of the decedent.
In the case at bench, respondent court held that the holographic will of
Anne Sand was not executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed
by law. It held that Articles 813 and814 of the New Civil Code, ante, were
not complied with, hence, it disallowed the probate of said will. This is
erroneous.
A reading of Article 813 of the New Civil Code shows that its requirement
affects the validity of the dispositions contained in the holographic will,
but not its probate. If the testator fails to sign and date some of the
dispositions, the result is that these dispositions cannot be effectuated.
Such failure, however, does not render the whole testament void. Likewise,

S P E C P R O . R U L E 7 6 - 7 7 | 17
a holographic will can still be admitted to probate, notwithstanding noncompliance with the provisions of Article 814.
Thus, unless the unauthenticated alterations, cancellations or insertions
were made on the date of the holographic will or on testator's signature,
their presence does not invalidate the will itself. The lack of authentication
will only result in disallowance of such changes. It is also proper to note
that the requirements of authentication of changes and signing and dating
of dispositions appear in provisions (Articles 813 and 814) separate from
that which provides for the necessary conditions for the validity of the
holographic will (Article 810).
IN RE: IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO APPROVE THE WILL OF
RUPERTA PALAGANAS WITH PRAYER FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL
ADMINISTRATOR, MANUEL MIGUEL PALAGANAS and BENJAMIN GREGORIO
PALAGANAS, Petitioners,
vs.
ERNESTO PALAGANAS, Respondent.

FACTS: On November 8, 2001 Ruperta C. Palaganas, a Filipino who


became a naturalized US citizen, died single and childless. In the last will
and testament she executed in California, she designated her brother,
Sergio C. Palagana, as the executor of her will for she had left properties
in the Philippines and in the U.S.
On May 19, 2003 respondent Ernesto C. Palaganas, another brother of
Ruperta, filed with the RTC of Malolos, Bulacan, a petition for the probate
of Rupertas will and for his appointment as special administrator of her
estate. However, petitioners Manuel Miguel Palaganas and Benjamin
Gregorio Palaganas, nephews of Ruperta, opposed the petition on the
ground that Rupertas will should not be probated in the Philippines but in
the U.S. where she executed it. Manuel and Benjamin added that,
assuming Rupertas will could be probated in the Philippines, it is invalid
nonetheless for having been executed under duress and without the
testators full understanding of the consequences of such act.
Respondent Ernesto filed a motion with the RTC for leave to take their
deposition, which it granted.
RTC issued an order: (a) admitting to probate Rupertas last will; (b)
appointing respondent Ernesto as special administrator at the request of
Sergio, the U.S.-based executor designated in the will; and (c) issuing the
Letters of Special Administration to Ernesto.
Manuel and Benjamin appealed to the CA arguing that an unprobated will
executed by an American citizen in the U.S. cannot be probated for the
first time in the Philippines.

CA - affirmed the assailed order of the RTC, holding that the RTC properly
allowed the probate of the will, subject to respondent Ernestos submission
of the authenticated copies of the documents specified in the order and his
posting of required bond. The CA pointed out that Section 2, Rule 76 of the
Rules of Court does not require prior probate and allowance of the will in
the country of its execution, before it can be probated in the Philippines.
The present case, said the CA, is different from reprobate, which refers to
a will already probated and allowed abroad. Reprobate is governed by
different rules or procedures. Unsatisfied with the decision, Manuel and
Benjamin came to this Court.
ISSUE: WON a will executed by a foreigner abroad may be probated in the
Philippines although it has not been previously probated and allowed in the
country where it was executed.
HELD: YES. Our laws do not prohibit the probate of wills executed by
foreigners abroad although the same have not as yet been probated and
allowed in the countries of their execution. A foreign will can be given legal
effects in our jurisdiction. Article 816 of the Civil Code states that the will
of an alien who is abroad produces effect in the Philippines if made in
accordance with the formalities prescribed by the law of the place where
he resides, or according to the formalities observed in his country.
In this connection, Section 1, Rule 73 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure
provides that if the decedent is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the RTC
of the province where he has an estate may take cognizance of the
settlement of such estate. Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 76 further state that
the executor, devisee, or legatee named in the will, or any other person
interested in the estate, may, at any time after the death of the testator,
petition the court having jurisdiction to have the will allowed, whether the
same be in his possession or not, or is lost or destroyed.
Our rules require merely that the petition for the allowance of a will must
show, so far as known to the petitioner: (a) the jurisdictional facts; (b) the
names, ages, and residences of the heirs, legatees, and devisees of the
testator or decedent; (c) the probable value and character of the property
of the estate; (d) the name of the person for whom letters are prayed; and
(e) if the will has not been delivered to the court, the name of the person
having custody of it. Jurisdictional facts refer to the fact of death of the
decedent, his residence at the time of his death in the province where the
probate court is sitting, or if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the
estate he left in such province. The rules do not require proof that the
foreign will has already been allowed and probated in the country of its
execution.

S P E C P R O . R U L E 7 6 - 7 7 | 18
In insisting that Rupertas will should have been first probated and allowed
by the court of California, petitioners Manuel and Benjamin obviously have
in mind the procedure for the reprobate of will before admitting it here.
But, reprobate or re-authentication of a will already probated and allowed
in a foreign country is different from that probate where the will is
presented for the first time before a competent court. Reprobate is
specifically governed by Rule 77 of the Rules of Court. Contrary to
petitioners stance, since this latter rule applies only to reprobate of a will,
it cannot be made to apply to the present case. In reprobate, the local
court acknowledges as binding the findings of the foreign probate court
provided its jurisdiction over the matter can be established.
Notably, the assailed RTC order of June 17, 2004 is nothing more than an
initial ruling that the court can take cognizance of the petition for probate
of Rupertas will and that, in the meantime, it was designating Ernesto as
special administrator of the estate. The parties have yet to present
evidence of the due execution of the will, i.e. the testators state of mind
at the time of the execution and compliance with the formalities required
of wills by the laws of California. This explains the trial courts directive for
Ernesto to submit the duly authenticated copy of Rupertas will and the
certified copies of the Laws of Succession and Probate of Will of California.
SALUD TEODORO VDA. DE PEREZ, petitioner,
vs.
HON. ZOTICO A. TOLETE in his capacity as Presiding Judge, Branch 18, RTC,
Bulacan, respondent.

FACTS: Dr. Jose F. Cunanan and his wife, Dr. Evelyn Perez-Cunanan, who
became American citizens, established a successful medical practice in
New York, U.S.A.
Jose executed a will wherein he bequeathed all the remainder of the real
and personal property "wherever situated" to his wife and if ever Evelyn
dies first, Jose's properties would go to his children and grandchildren
upon his death, with his brother Rafael as trustee.
Evelyn also executed her own will. In both wills, it was stated that if the
two of them died at the same time, it would be presumed that Jose died
first.Dr. Evelyn P. Cunanan executed her own last will and testament
containing the same provisions as that of the will of her husband.
Dr. Cunanan
gutted their
executor of
thereof with

and his entire family died when they were trapped by fire that
home. Dr. Rafael G. Cunanan, Jr. as trustee and substitute
the two wills, filed separate proceedings for the probate
the Surrogate Court of the County of Onondaga, New York.

These two wills were admitted to probate and letters testamentary were
issued in his favor.
Salud Teodoro Perez, the mother of Dr. Evelyn P. Cunanan, and petitioner
herein, filed with the RTC, Malolos, Bulacan a petition for the reprobate of
the two bills ancillary to the probate proceedings in New York.
RTC - directed the issuance of letters of special administration in favor of
petitioner upon her filing of a P10,000.00 bond.
The Cunanan heirs filed a motion to nullify the proceedings and to set
aside the appointment of, or to disqualify, petitioner as special
administratrix of the estates of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan and Dr. Evelyn PerezCunanan.
Petitioner asserted: that she was the "sole and only heir" of her daughter,
Dr. Evelyn Perez-Cunanan to the exclusion of the "Cunanan collaterals";
hence they were complete strangers to the proceedings and were not
entitled to notice; that the rule applicable to the case is Rule 77, not Rule
76, because it involved the allowance of wills proved outside of the
Philippines and that nowhere in Section 2 of Rule 77 is there a mention of
notice being given to the executor who, by the same provision, should
himself file the necessary ancillary proceedings in this country;
Judge de la Llana issued an order, disallowing the reprobate of the two
wills, recalling the appointment of petitioner as special administratrix,
requiring the submission of petitioner of an inventory of the property
received by her as special administratrix and declaring all pending
incidents moot and academic. That petitioner failed to prove the law of
New York on procedure and allowance of wills and the court had no way of
telling whether the wills were executed in accordance with the law of New
York. In the absence of such evidence, the presumption is that the law of
succession of the foreign country is the same as the law of the Philippines.
However, he noted, that there were only two witnesses to the wills of the
Cunanan spouses and the Philippine law requires three witnesses and that
the wills were not signed on each and every page, a requirement of the
Philippine law.
ISSUE: WON the wills of the Cunanan spouses may be made effective in
RP?
HELD: YES, provided it follows the requirements under the Rules of Court.

S P E C P R O . R U L E 7 6 - 7 7 | 19
FROM NET PO ITO, SORRY When are wills executed by aliens
abroad effective in Phil? Art 816: if made with the formalities
prescribed
a.
by the law of the place in which he resides
b.
in his country
c.
By NCC
Evidence necessary for the reprobate or allowance of wills
a.
Due execution of the will in accordance with the
foreign laws
b.
Testator has his domicile in the foreign country
(not in RP)
c.
The will has been admitted to probate in such
country
d.
The fact that the foreign tribunal is a probate court
e.
The laws of a foreign country on procedure and
allowance of wills
HERE: all except first and last were proven by evidence
Why need to present evidence of the contents of the foreign
law? Phil courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws
Wills of the Cunanan Spouses should be probated jointly (but it
doesn't mean that it's a joint will)
a.
construe rules liberally in order to promote their
object and to assist the parties in obtaining just, speedy
and inexpensive determination of every action and
proceeding
b.
No Joint wills: the Cunanan spouses executed
SEPARATE WILLS. Since the 2 wills contain essentially the
same provisions and pertain to property which in all
probability are conjugal, joint probate na!
NOTICE should have been given by Mrs. Perez to the other
Cunanan Heirs:

they are also heirs of Jose Cunanan

As regard to notices, the will probated abroad


should be treated as if it were an "original will" or a will
that is presented for probate for the first time
Disposition: Remand case, submit evidence necessary (under item 2, a
and e) and give notice to the other heirs
ETO, FROM FULL TEXT hehe: The respective wills of the Cunanan spouses,
who were American citizens, will only be effective in this country upon
compliance with the following provision of the Civil Code of the Philippines:
Art. 816. The will of an alien who is abroad produces effect in the
Philippines if made with the formalities prescribed by the law of

the place in which he resides, or according to the formalities


observed in his country, or in conformity with those which this
Code prescribes.

Thus, proof that both wills conform with the formalities prescribed by New
York laws or by Philippine laws is imperative.
The evidence necessary for the reprobate or allowance of wills which have
been probated outside of the Philippines are as follows: (1) the due
execution of the will in accordance with the foreign laws; (2) the testator
has his domicile in the foreign country and not in the Philippines; (3) the
will has been admitted to probate in such country; (4) the fact that the
foreign tribunal is a probate court, and (5) the laws of a foreign country on
procedure and allowance of wills. Except for the first and last
requirements, the petitioner submitted all the needed evidence.
The necessity of presenting evidence on the foreign laws upon which the
probate in the foreign country is based is impelled by the fact that our
courts cannot take judicial notice of them (Philippine Commercial and
Industrial Bank v. Escolin, 56 SCRA 266 [1974]).
There is merit in petitioners insistence that the separate wills of the
Cunanan spouses should be probated jointly. Respondent Judges view that
the Rules on allowance of wills is couched in singular terms and therefore
should be interpreted to mean that there should be separate probate
proceedings for the wills of the Cunanan spouses is too literal and
simplistic an approach. Such view overlooks the provisions of Section 2,
Rule 1 of the Revised Rules of Court, which advise that the rules shall be
"liberally construed in order to promote their object and to assist the
parties in obtaining just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every
action and proceeding."
What the law expressly prohibits is the making of joint wills either for the
testators reciprocal benefit or for the benefit of a third person (Civil Code
of the Philippines, Article 818). In the case at bench, the Cunanan spouses
executed separate wills. Since the two wills contain essentially the same
provisions and pertain to property which in all probability are conjugal in
nature, practical considerations dictate their joint probate. As this Court
has held a number of times, it will always strive to settle the entire
controversy in a single proceeding leaving no root or branch to bear the
seeds of future litigation (Motoomull v. Dela Paz, 187 SCRA 743 [1990]).
The rule that the court having jurisdiction over the reprobate of a will shall
"cause notice thereof to be given as in case of an original will presented
for allowance" (Revised Rules of Court, Rule 27, Section 2) means that
with regard to notices, the will probated abroad should be treated as if it

S P E C P R O . R U L E 7 6 - 7 7 | 20
were an "original will" or a will that is presented for probate for the first
time. Accordingly, compliance with Sections 3 and 4 of Rule 76, which
require publication and notice by mail or personally to the "known heirs,
legatees, and devisees of the testator resident in the Philippines" and to
the executor, if he is not the petitioner, are required.
The brothers and sisters of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan, contrary to petitioner's
claim, are entitled to notices of the time and place for proving the wills.
Under Section 4 of Rule 76 of the Revised Rules of Court, the "court shall
also cause copies of the notice of the time and place fixed for proving the
will to be addressed to the designated or other known heirs, legatees, and
devisees of the testator. "
SC - Respondent Judge shall allow petitioner reasonable time within which
to submit evidence needed for the joint probate of the wills of the Cunanan
spouses and see to it that the brothers and sisters of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan
are given all notices and copies of all pleadings pertinent to the probate
proceedings.

B. E. JOHANNES, principal administrator, CARLOS D'ALMEIDA, JOHN E.


JOHANNES and IDA D'ALMEIDA, petitioners-appellees, vs. ALFRED
D'ALMEIDA, ancillary administrator, opponent-appellant.

Facts: The proceedings had their origin in the death of Carmen D'Almeida,
who was then a resident of Singapore, Straits Settlements. The plaintiff B.
E. Johannes, her surviving husband, was duly appointed administrator of
her estate by the Supreme Court of Singapore, qualified and entered upon
the discharge of his duties. He asks the court to direct the administrator
here (the ancillary administrator) to turn over to him as the domicile
administrator appointed in the residence of the deceased
At the time of her death Carmen D'Almeida left an estate in the Philippine
Islands, consisting of liquid assets of about P100,000, over which Alfred
D'Almeida was appointed ancillary administrator by the Court of First
Instance of Manila. It appears that the deceased left few, if any, debts or
claims in the Philippine Islands, and that all of the duties of the defendant
were simple, and that there was nothing to do but to comply with the
formalities of law. It also appears that the administrator in the Philippine
Islands has been completed, and that any and all debts and expenses of
administration have been paid, and that the only remaining thing to
be done is to turn over the remaining assets to someone that is
legally authorized to receive them.

CFI ruled that after the administrator has been completed, it is the duty
of the defendant to deliver the assets to the plaintiff as domiciliary
administrator of the Supreme Court of Singapore.
ISSUE: whether the defendant should turn over the assets in Manila, or
whether they should be forwarded to the Supreme Court of Singapore for
distribution.
Ruling: The record is conclusive that the plaintiff is the surviving husband
of Carmen D'Almeida, and in the absence of any will, it is very apparent
that, under the laws of Singapore, as such, he is entitled to have and
receive all the proceeds of her estate. The defendant is a resident of the
Philippine Islands, and claims or asserts that he is an heir of the deceased
and is entitled to share in the distribution of the estate.
It is the inherent duty of courts to protect property rights of its own
citizens in so far as it can legally be done.
The record before us clearly indicated that the defendant Alfred D'Almeida
is not an heir of Carmen D'Almeida, and is not entitled to share in her
estate. But no harm or injustice will be done in retaining a sufficient
amount of the assets of the estate in custodia legis within the
Philippine Islands pending a final decision of the question as to
whether or not he is entitled to share in the estate. To that extent
and for that purpose, the decision of the lower court will be modified,
so that P40,000 of the estate of the deceased now within the jurisdiction of
the Philippine Islands shall be and remain here in custodia legis pending
the final decision as to who is entitled to share in the estate of the
deceased Carmen D'Almeida, and subject to the control and jurisdiction of
the Court of First Instance in which the probate proceedings were
instituted. Such money to be placed as a special deposit in some good
bank in the city of Manila to be selected by the Judge presiding over the
probate proceedings in the city of Manila, and to remain there subject to
the approval and order of such Judge. The bank so selected shall receipt
the defendant for the money, and such receipt shall be a full and complete
voucher to the defendant for the amount in the settlement of the estate. It
is further ordered that at any time pending the final decision of such
heirship when the plaintiff shall file a good bond to be approved by the
Judge presiding in the branch of the Court of First Instance to which
probate matters are assigned, that he shall then be entitled to have and
receive any and all of the proceeds of the estate. In all other things and
respects the decision of the lower court is affirmed, with costs in favor of
the plaintiffs, and the defendant is peremptorily ordered to turn over and
deliver all other assets to the plaintiff, as the principal administrator of
Carmen D'Almeida, or his order.

S P E C P R O . R U L E 7 6 - 7 7 | 21
TESTATE ESTATE OF IDONAH SLADE PERKINS, deceased. RENATO D.
TAYAG, ancillary administrator-appellee,
vs.
BENGUET CONSOLIDATED, INC

FACTS:
Perkins who died on March 27, 1960 in New York City left among others,
two stock certificates covering 33,002 shares of appellant Benguet
Consolidated. The certificates are in the possession of the Country Trust
Company of New York being the domiciliary administrator of the estate of
the deceased. On August 12, 1960, Prospero Sanidad instituted ancillary
administration proceedings in the CFI Manila where Lazaro Marquez was
appointed ancillary administrator and was substituted by the appellee
Renato Tayag. A dispute arose between the domiciliary administrator in NY
and the ancillary administrator in the PH as to which of them was entitled
to the possession of the stock certificates in question.
On January 27, 1964, the CFI Manila ordered County Trust to produce and
deposit the certificates with the ancillary administrator or with the Clerk of
Court to which it did not comply. On February 11, 1964, the ancillary
administrator petitioned the court to issue an order declaring the
certificates of stocks issued in the name of Perkins by Benguet
Consolidated be declared or considered as lost. The court granted the
same and ordered Benguet to issue new certificates in lieu thereof.
From such an order, an appeal was taken to the SC not by the domiciliary
administrator (County Trust) but by Benguet Conolidated.
ISSUE: WON THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DECREEING THE
CERTIFICATES OF STOCKS AS LOST
HELD: NEGATIVE

countries. That which is granted in the jurisdiction of decedents last


domicile is termed the principal administration, while any other
administration is termed the ancillary administration. The reason for the
latter is because a grant of administration does not ex proprio vigore have
any effect beyond the limits of the country in which it is granted. Hence,
and administrator appointed in a foreign state has no authority in the PH.
Tge ancillary administration is proper whenever a person dies, leaving in a
country other than that of his last domicile, property to be administered in
the nature of assets of the deceased liable for his individual debts or to be
distributed among his heirs.
It would follow then that the authority of the probate court to require that
ancillary administrators right to the stock certificates covering the 33,002
shares standing in her name in the books of Benguet Consolidated be
respected is equally beyond question. As a Philippine corporation owing full
allegiance and subject to the unrestricted jurisdiction of local courts, its
shares of stock cannot therefore be considered in any wise as immune
from lawful court orders.
There may be an element of fiction in the view of the lower court by
decreeing the certificates as lost while in fact they exist. However, that
does not suffice to call for the reversal of the appealed order. Since there
is a refusal, persistently adhered to by the domiciliary administrator in NY,
to deliver the shares of stocks of appellant corporation owned by the
decedent to the ancillary administrator in the PH, there was nothing
unreasonable or arbitrary in considering then as lost and requiring the
appellant to issue new certificates in lieu thereof. Thereby, the task
incumbent under the law on the ancillary administrator could be
discharged and his responsibility fulfilled. The appealed order of the CFI
is affirmed.
POLLY CAYETANO, petitioner,
vs.
HON. TOMAS T. LEONIDAS, Court of First Instance of Manila and NENITA
CAMPOS PAGUIA, respondents.

Appellant did not dispute the power of the ancillary administrator to gain
control and possession of all assets of the decedent within the jurisdiction
of the PH nor could it. Such a power is inherent in his duty to settle her
estate and satisfy the claims of local creditors. It is a general rule
universally recognized that administration. Whether principal or ancillary,
certainly extends to the assets of a decedent found within the state or
country where it was granted. The corollary being that administrator
appointed in one state or country has no power over property in another
state or country.

FACTS: On January 31, 1977, Adoracion Campos died leaving her father,
petitioner Hermogenes Campos and her sisters, private respondent Nenita
Paguia, Remedios Lopez and Marieta Medina as the surviving heirs. As
Hermogenes was the only compulsory heir, he executed an Affidavit of
Adjudication whereby he adjudicated unto himself the ownership of the
entire estate of the deceased.

It is often necessary to have more than one administration of an estate.


When a person dies intestate owning property in the country of his
domicile as well as in a foreign county, administration is had in both

On November 25, 1977, Nenita filed a petition for the reprobate of a will of
the deceased which was allegedly executed in the US and for her
appointment as administratrix of the estate of the deceased testatrix.

S P E C P R O . R U L E 7 6 - 7 7 | 22
Nenita alleged that the testatrix was an American citizen at the time of her
death and was a permanent resident of Pennsylvania, USA; that the
testatrix died in Manila while temporarily residing with her sister in Malate,
Manila; that during her lifetime, the testatrix made her last will and
testament on July 10, 1975 according to the laws of Pennsylvania
nominating Wilfredo Barzaga of New Jersey as executor; that after the
testatrix death, her last will and testament was presented, probated,
allowed and registered with the Registry of Wins at the County of
Philadelphia, USA; that Celment L McLaughilin, the administrator who was
appointed after Dr. Barzaga had declined and waived his appointment as
executor in favor of the former, is also a resident of Philadelphia and that
therefore, there is an urgent need for the appointment of an administratrix
to administer and eventually distribute the properties of the estate located
in the PH.
The same petition was opposed by herein petitioner alleging that the will in
question is a forgery and that its intrinsic provisions are null and void.
After due hearing, the CFI of Manila admitted the Last Will and Testament
of Adoracion Campos and allowed probate in the Philippines and appointed
Nenita Paguia as Administratrix of the estate. Hence, this petition.
Petitioner Hermogenes Campos died on June 6, 1982 and left a will,
appointing Polly Cayetano as the executrix of his last will and testament.
Cayetano, therefore, filed a motion to substitute herself as petitioner in the
instant case which was granted by the Court.
ISSUE: WON THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ALLOWING THE
REPROBATE OF ADORACIONS WILL WHICH DIVESTED CAMPOS OF
HIS LEGITIME
HELD: NEGATIVE
Although on its face, the will appeared to have preterited the petitioner
and thus, the respondent judge should have denied its reprobate outright,
the private respondents have sufficiently established that Adoracion was,
at the time of her death, an American citizen and a permanent resident of
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Therefore, under Art. 16 par. (2) and
1039 of the Civil Code, the law which governs Adoracions will is the law of
Pennsylvania, USA which is the national law of the decedent.
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 staranger, 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 the Philippine Law.
Notwithstanding, the SC reiterated the settled rule that as regards the

intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will, as provided for by Art. 16(2)
and 1039 of the Civil Code, the national law of the decedent must apply.
This was squarely applied in the case of Bellis v. Bellis.
Anent the issue that CFI Manila had no jurisdiction to hear the case since
Adoracion was a resident of Cavite, the court ruled that it was correctly
filed in the court a quo where decedent had an estate since it was alleged
and proven that Adoracion at the time of her death was a citizen and
permanent resisdent of USA and not a usual resident of Cavite as alleged
by petitioner. This is expressly provided under Rule 73 section 1 of the
Rules of Court.
WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari and prohibition is dismissed
for lack of merit.