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JURISRUDENCE: LAW ON SUCCESSION

Edmund B. Pagharion
Adamson Universtity
Union Bank of the Philippines vs. Santibaez, 452 SCRA 228, February 23, 2005

Estate of Hemady vs. Luzon Surety Co., Inc., 100 Phil. 388, November 28, 1956
Syllabi:
Syllabi:
1. CONTRACTS; BlNDING EFFECT OF CONTRACTS UPON HEIRS OF DECEASED PARTY.The binding effect of contracts upon the heirs of the deceased party is not altered by the
provision in the Rules of Court that money debts of a deceased must be liquidated and paid
from his estate before the residue is distributed among said heirs (Rule 89). The reason is
that whatever payment is thus made from the estate is ultimately a payment by the heirs
and distributees, since the amount of the paid claim in fact diminishes or reduces the shares
that the heirs would have been entitled to receive. The general rule, therefore, is that a
partys contractual rights and obligations are transmissible to the successors.
2. CONTRACTS; SURETYSHIP; NATURE OF OBLIGATION OF SURETY.The nature of the obligation of the surety or guarantor does not warrant the conclusion that
his peculiar individual qualities are contemplated as a principal inducement for the contract.
The creditor expects of the surety nothing but the reimbursement of the moneys that said
creditor might have to disburse on account of the obligations of the principal debtors. This
reimbursement is a payment of a sum of money, resulting from an obligation to give; and
to the creditor, it was indifferent that the reimbursement should be made by the surety
himself or by some one else in his behalf, so long as the money was paid to it.
3. CONTRACTS; SURETYSHIP; QUALIFICATION OF GUARANTOR; SUPERVENING
INCAPACITY OF GUARANTOR, EFFECT ON CONTRACT.The qualification of integrity in the guarantor or surety is required to be present only at the
time of the perfection of the contract of guaranty. Once the contract of guaranty has
become perfected and binding, the supervening dishonesty of the guarantor (that is to say,
the disappearance of his integrity after he has become bound) does not terminate the
contract but merely entitles the creditor to demand a replacement of the guarantor. But the
step remains optional in the creditor: it is his right, not his duty, he may waive it if he
chooses, and hold the guarantor to his bargain.

1. Civil Law; Settlement of Estate; Jurisdictions; Well-settled is the rule that a probate court
has the jurisdiction to determine all the properties of the deceased, to determine whether
they should or should not be included in the inventory or list of properties to be
administered.Well-settled is the rule that a probate court has the jurisdiction to determine all the
properties of the deceased, to determine whether they should or should not be included in
the inventory or list of properties to be administered. The said court is primarily concerned
with the administration, liquidation and distribution of the estate.
2. Civil Law; Settlement of Estate; Wills; Partition; In our jurisdiction, the rule is that there
can be no valid partition among the heirs until after the will has been probated.In our jurisdiction, the rule is that there can be no valid partition among the heirs until after
the will has been probated: In testate succession, there can be no valid partition among the
heirs until after the will has been probated. The law enjoins the probate of a will and the
public requires it, because unless a will is probated and notice thereof given to the whole
world, the right of a person to dispose of his property by will may be rendered nugatory. The
authentication of a will decides no other question than such as touch upon the capacity of
the testator and the compliance with those requirements or solemnities which the law
prescribes for the validity of a will.
3. Civil Law; Settlement of Estate; Wills; Partition; Every act intended to put an end to
indivision among co-heirs and legatees or devisees is deemed to be a partition although it
should purport to be a sale, an exchange, a compromise or any other transaction.It must be stressed that the probate proceeding had already acquired jurisdiction over all
the properties of the deceased, including the three (3) tractors. To dispose of them in any
way without the probate courts approval is tantamount to divesting it with jurisdiction
which the Court cannot allow. Every act intended to put an end to indivision among co-heirs
and legatees or devisees is deemed to be a partition, although it should purport to be a sale,
an exchange, a compromise, or any other transaction. Thus, in executing any joint
agreement which appears to be in the nature of an extra-judicial partition, as in the case at
bar, court approval is imperative, and the heirs cannot just divest the court of its jurisdiction
over that part of the estate.

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4. Civil Law; Settlement of Estate; Wills; Filing of a money claim against the decedents
estate in the probate court is mandatory.The filing of a money claim against the decedents estate in the probate court is mandatory.
As we held in the vintage case of Py Eng Chong v. Herrera: . . . This requirement is for the
purpose of protecting the estate of the deceased by informing the executor or administrator
of the claims against it, thus enabling him to examine each claim and to determine whether
it is a proper one which should be allowed. The plain and obvious design of the rule is the
speedy settlement of the affairs of the deceased and the early delivery of the property to
the distributees, legatees, or heirs. The law strictly requires the prompt presentation and
disposition of the claims against the decedents estate in order to settle the affairs of the
estate as soon as possible, pay off its debts and distribute the residue.

De Borja vs. Vda. de de Borja, 46 SCRA 577, No. L-28040, No. L-28568, No. L-28611
August 18, 1972
Civil law; Wills; Remedial law; Testate and intestate pro. ceedings; Rule of nullity of
extrajudicial settlement prior to probate of will inapplicable to case at bar.The doctrine
of Guevarra vs. Guevarra, 74 Phil. 479, which holds that the presentation of a will for
probate is mandatory and that the settlement and distribution of an estate on the basis of
intestacy when the decedent left a will is against the law and public policy, is not applicable
where the clear abject of the settlement was merely the conveyance by the heir of any and
all her individual share and interest, actual or eventual, in the estate of the decedent and
not the distribution of the said estate among the heirs before the probate of the will.
Remedial law; Testate and intestate proceedings; Settlement entered into by heir in his
individual capacity does not need court approval.Where the compromise agreement
entered into by and between the various heirs in the personal capacity, the same is binding
upon them as individuals, upon the perfection of the contract, even without previous
authority of the Court to enter into such agreement. The only difference between an
extrajudicial compromise and one that is submitted and approved by the Court, is that the
latter can be enforced by execu-tion proceedings.
Civil law; Succession; Heir may sell her hereditary rights to co-heir.As owner of her
individual share, an heir could dispose of it in favor of whomsoever she chose, including

Edmund B. Pagharion
Adamson Universtity
another heir of the same defendant. Such alienation is expressly recognized and provided
for by Article 1088 of the present Civil Code.
Same; Same; Case at bar, agreement does not compromise status of heir and her
marriage.A contract which describes one of the heirs as the heir and surviving spouse of
Francisco de Borja by his second marriage, Tasiana Ongsingco Vda. de Borja, in itself is a
definite admission of such heirs civil status in relation to the decedent. There is nothing in
the text of the agreement that would show that this recognition of Ong-singcos status as
the surviving spouse of Francisco de Borja was only made in consideration of the cession of
her hereditary rights.
Remedial law; Compromise; Inability of parties to draw new agreement does not annul a
prior one.The inability among the heirs to reach a novatory accord can not invalidate the
original compromise among them and any of the latter is justified in finally seeking a court
order for the approval and enforcement of such compromise.
Civil law; Contracts; Party who caused the delay in the enforcement of a contract cannot
complain of subsequent devaluation of currency amd increase of price of land.In her
brief, De Borja vs. Vda. de de Borja, 46 SCRA 577, No. L-28040, No. L-28568, No. L-28611
August 18, 1972
Ongsingco also pleads that the time elapsed in the appeal has affected her unfavorably, in
that while the purchasing power of the agreed price of P800,000 has diminished, the value
of the Jalajala property has increased. But the fact is that her delay in receiving the payment
of the agreed price for her hereditary interest was primarily due to her attempts to nullify
the agreements she had formally entered into with the advice of her counsel. And as to the
devaluation of our currency, what we said in Dizon Rivera vs. Dizon, 33 SCRA, 554, that
estates would never be settled if there were to be a revaluation with every subsequent
fluctuation in the values of currency and properties of the estate, is particularly apposite
in the present case.
Remedial law; Evidence; Case at bar. self-serving statement of decedent overpowered by
several admissions against interest.It may be true that the inventories relied upon by
defendant-appellant are not conclusive on the conjugal character of the property in
question; but as already noted, they are clear admissions against the pecuniary interest of
the declarants Fran-cisco de Borja and his executor-widow, Tasiana Ongsingco, and as such

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of much greater probative weight than the self-serving statement of Francisco. Plainly, the
legal presumption in favor of the conjugal character of the Hacienda now in dispute has not
been rebutted but actually confirmed by proof. De Borja vs. Vda. de de Borja, 46 SCRA 577,
No. L-28040, No. L-28568, No. L-28611 August 18, 1972
Bonilla vs. Barcena, 71 SCRA 491, June 18, 1976
Syllabi:
1. Pleadings and practice; Parties; Substitution of parties in case of death of plaintiff during
pendency of proceedings in action which survives death of said plaintiff.While it is true that a person who is dead cannot sue in court, yet he can be substituted by
his heirs in pursuing the case up to its completion.
2. Pleadings and practice; Parties; Duty of attorney upon death of party.The Rules of Court prescribes the procedure whereby a party who died during the pendency
of the proceeding can be substituted. Under Section 16, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court
whenever party to a pending case dies x x x it shall be the duty of his attorney to inform
the court promptly of such death x x x and to give the name and residence of his executor,
administrator, guardian or other legal representatives.
3. Pleadings and practice; Parties; Duty of court upon death of party.Under section 17, Rule 3 of the Rule of Court after a party dies and the claim is not thereby
extinguished, the court shall order, upon proper notice, the legal representative of the
deceased to appear and be substituted for the deceased, within such time as may be
granted x x x.

Edmund B. Pagharion
Adamson Universtity
Under Section 17, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, the court is directed to appoint a guardian
ad litem for the minor heirs.
6. Pleadings and practice; Parties; Action to quiet title to property as action which survives
death of a party; Test to determine whether action survives or not.The question as to whether an action survives or not depends on the nature of the action
and the damage sued for. In the causes of action which survive, the wrong complained
affects primarily and principally property and property rights, the injuries to the person
being merely incidental, while in the causes of action which do not survive, the injury
complained of is to the person, the property and rights of property affected being incidental.
Following the foregoing criterion the claim of the deceased plaintiff which is an action to
quiet title over the parcels of land in litigation affects primarily and principally property and
property rights and therefore is one that survives even after her death.
7. Succession; Rights to succession transmitted from the moment of death of decedent.Article 777 of the Civil Code provides that the rights to the succession are transmitted from
the moment of the death of the decedent. From the moment of the death of the decedent,
the heirs become the absolute owners of his property, subject to the rights and obligations
of the decedent, and they cannot be deprived of their rights thereto except by the methods
provided for by law. The moment of death is the determining factor when the heirs acquire
a definite right to the inheritance whether such right be pure or contingent. The right of the
heirs to the property of the deceased vests in them even before judicial declaration of their
being heirs in the testate or intestate proceedings.

Heirs of Ignacio Conti vs. Court of Appeals, 300 SCRA 345, December 21, 1998
4. Pleadings and practice; Parties; Duty of court where legal representative of deceased
party fails to appear.Under Section 17, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, it is even the duty of the court, if the legal
representative fails to appear, to order the opposing party to procure the appointment of a
legal representative of the deceased.
5. Pleadings and practice; Parties; Duty of court where representative of deceased party
minors.-

Syllabi:
1. Actions; Partition; Succession; Settlement of Estates; A prior settlement of the estate is
not essential before the heirs can commence any action originally pertaining to the
deceased.A prior settlement of the estate is not essential before the heirs can commence any action
originally pertaining to the deceased as we explained in Quison v. SaludClaro Quison died
in 1902. It was proven at the trial that the present plaintiffs are next of kin and heirs, but it

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is said by the appellants that they are not entitled to maintain this action because there is
no evidence that any proceedings have been taken in court for the settlement of the estate
of Claro Quison, and that without such settlement, the heirs cannot maintain this action.
There is nothing in this point. As well by the Civil Code as by the Code of Civil Procedure, the
title to the property owned by a person who dies intestate passes at once to his heirs. Such
transmission is, under the present law, subject to the claims of administration and the
property may be taken from the heirs for the purpose of paying debts and expenses, but this
does not prevent an immediate passage of the title, upon the death of the intestate, from
himself to his heirs. Without some showing that a judicial administrator had been appointed
in proceedings to settle the estate of Claro Quison, the right of the plaintiffs to maintain this
action is established.
2. Actions; Partition; Succession; From the death of the co-owner, her rights as such,
incidental to which is the right to ask for partition at any time or to terminate the coownership, are transmitted to her rightful heirs.Conformably with the foregoing and taken in conjunction with Arts. 777 and 494 of the Civil
Code, from the death of Lourdes Sampayo her rights as a co-owner, incidental to which is
the right to ask for partition at any time or to terminate the co-ownership, were transmitted
to her rightful heirs. In so demanding partition private respondents merely exercised the
right originally pertaining to the decedent, their predecessor-in-interest.
3. Actions; Partition; There is no need for publication in a simple case of ordinary partition
between co-owners.Petitioners theory as to the requirement of publication would have been correct had the
action been for the partition of the estate of Lourdes Sampayo, or if we were dealing with
extrajudicial settlement by agreement between heirs and the summary settlement of
estates of small value. But what private respondents are pursuing is the mere segregation
of Lourdes one-half share which they inherited from her through intestate succession. This
is a simple case of ordinary partition between co-owners. The applicable law in point is Sec.
1 of Rule 69 of the Rules of Court.
4. Actions; Partition; There are two (2) simultaneous issues in an action for partitionfirst,
whether the plaintiff is indeed a co-owner of the property sought to be partitioned, and
second, if answered in the affirmative, the manner of the division of the property.There are two (2) simultaneous issues in an action for partition. First, whether the plaintiff
is indeed a co-owner of the property sought to be partitioned, and second, if answered in

Edmund B. Pagharion
Adamson Universtity
the affirmative, the manner of the division of the property, i.e., what portion should go to
which co-owner. Thus, in this case, we must determine whether private respondents, by
preponderance of evidence, have been able to establish that they are co-owners by way of
succession as collateral heirs of the late Lourdes Sampayo as they claim to be, either a sister,
a nephew or a niece. These, private respondents were able to prove in the trial court as well
as before respondent Court of Appeals.
5. Succession; Words and Phrases; Succession, Explained.Succession is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the property, rights and obligations
to the extent of the value of the inheritance of a person are transmitted through his death
to another or others either by his will or by operation of law. Legal or intestate succession
takes place if a person dies without a will, or with a void will, or one which has subsequently
lost its validity. If there are no descen- dants, ascendants, illegitimate children, or a surviving
spouse, the collateral relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of the decedent. It was
established during the trial that Lourdes died intestate and without issue. Private
respondents as sister, nephews and nieces now claim to be the collateral relatives of
Lourdes.
6. Succession; Parent and Child; Filiation; By analogy, the method of proving filiation of
legitimate children may also be utilized to prove fact of being collateral heirs of a deceased.Under Art. 172 of the Family Code, the filiation of legitimate children shall be proved by any
other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws, in the absence of a record of
birth or a parents admission of such legitimate filiation in a public or private document duly
signed by the parent. Such other proof of ones filiation may be a baptismal certificate, a
judicial admission, a family Bible in which his name has been entered, common reputation
respecting his pedigree, admission by silence, the testimonies of witnesses and other kinds
of proof admissible under Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. By analogy, this method of proving
filiation may also be utilized in the instant case.
7. Succession; Parent and Child; Filiation; Evidence; Baptismal Certificates; Words and
Phrases;Public documents are the written official acts, or records of the official acts of the
sovereign authority, official bodies and tribunals, and public officers, whether of the
Philippines, or of a foreign country; Baptismal certificates are public documents.Public documents are the written official acts, or records of the official acts of the sovereign
authority, official bodies and tribunals, and public officers, whether of the Philippines, or of
a foreign country. The baptismal certificates presented in evidence by private respondents

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are public documents. Parish priests continue to be the legal custodians of the parish records
and are authorized to issue true copies, in the form of certificates, of the entries contained
therein.
8. Succession; Parent and Child; Filiation; Evidence; Baptismal Certificates; Hearsay
Rule;Baptismal certificates may be admitted even in the absence of the testimony of the
officiating priest or the official recorder, the entries made in the Registry Book being
considered as entries made in the course of the business, which is an exception to the
hearsay rule.The admissibility of baptismal certificates offered by Lydia S. Reyes, absent the testimony of
the officiating priest or the official recorder, was settled in People v. Ritter, citing U.S. v. de
Vera (28 Phil. 105 [1914]), thusx x x the entries made in the Registry Book may be
considered as entries made in the course of the business under Section 43 of Rule 130, which
is an exception to the hearsay rule. The baptisms administered by the church are one of its
transactions in the exercise of ecclesiastical duties and recorded in the book of the church
during the course of its business.
9. Succession; Parent and Child; Filiation; Evidence; Secondary Evidence; When the subject
of inquiry is the contents of a document, no evidence shall be admissible other than the
original document itself except when the original has been lost or destroyed or cannot be
produced in court, without bad faith on the part of the offeror.Petitioners objection to the photocopy of the certificate of birth of Manuel Sampayo was
properly discarded by the court a quo and respondent Court of Appeals. According to Sec.
3, par. (1), Rule 130, of the Rules of Court, when the subject of inquiry is the contents of a
document, no evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself except
when the original has been lost or destroyed or cannot be produced in court, without bad
faith on the part of the offeror. The loss or destruction of the original certificate of birth of
Manuel J. Sampayo was duly established by the certification issued by the Office of the Local
Civil Registrar of Lucena City to the effect that its office was completely destroyed by fire on
27 November 1974 and 30 August 1983, respectively, and as a consequence thereof, all civil
registration records were totally burned.

Edmund B. Pagharion
Adamson Universtity
Raymundo vs. Isagon Vda. de Suarez, 572 SCRA 384, G.R. No. 149017 November 28,
2008
Remedial Law; Appeals; Interlocutory Orders; Definition of an Interlocutory Order; Test to
ascertain whether an order is interlocutory or final.We have defined an interlocutory
order as referring to something between the commencement and the end of the suit which
decides some point or matter but it is not the final decision on the whole controversy. It
does not terminate or finally dismiss or finally dispose of the case, but leaves something to
be done by the court before the case is finally decided on the merits. Upon the other hand,
a final order is one which leaves to the court nothing more to do to resolve the case. On
more than one occasion, we laid down the test to ascertain whether an order is
interlocutory or final i.e., Does it leave something to be done in the trial court with respect
to the merits of the case? If it does, it is interlocutory; if it does not, it is final. The key test
to what is interlocutory is when there is something more to be done on the merits of the
case. The Orders dated May 29, 1996 and September 6, 1996 issued by Judge Santos are
interlocutory, and therefore, not appealable, as they leave something more to be done on
the merits of the case. In fact, in paragraph (d) of Judge Santos Order dated May 29, 1996,
herein respondents were directed to submit evidence showing settlement of the estate of
the deceased Marcelo Sr.
Same; Same; Same; The correct identification of the nature of an assailed order determines
the remedies available to an aggrieved party; Section 1, Rule 41 now provides for the
appropriate remedy to be taken from an interlocutory order.We cannot overemphasize
the rule that the correct identification of the nature of an assailed order determines the
remedies available to an aggrieved party. x x x With the advent of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure, Section 1, Rule 41 now provides for the appropriate remedy to be taken from
an interlocutory order, thus: x x x In all the above instances where the
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Raymundo vs. Isagon Vda. de Suarez
judgment or final order is not appealable, the aggrieved party may file an appropriate
special civil action under Rule 65. Raymundo vs. Isagon Vda. de Suarez, 572 SCRA 384, G.R.
No. 149017 November 28, 2008

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Edmund B. Pagharion
Adamson Universtity

Heirs of the Late Domingo N. Nicolas vs. Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company, 532 SCRA
38, G.R. No. 137548 September 3, 2007
Real Estate Mortgages; Parties; A writ of possession issued pursuant to a foreclosure of
mortgage cannot include the parts of the lot pertaining to persons who were not impleaded
by the buyerthey are strangers or third parties whose rights could not be determined in
said proceeding.Petitioners as children and, therefore, compulsory heirs of spouses
Nicolas, acquired ownership of portions of the lots as their legitime upon the death of their
father or prior to the foreclosure of mortgage and the filing by the respondent of its petition
for the issuance of a writ of possession. Consequently, petitioners are strangers or third
parties therein whose rights cannot be determined as they were not impleaded by
respondent. Verily, they should not be deprived of their legitime by the enforcement of the
writ of possession. Clearly, therefore, the writ of possession should not include parts of the
two lots pertaining to petitioners.
Same; Same; Succession; While it is basic that after consolidation of title in the buyers
name for failure of the mortgagor to redeem, the writ of possession becomes a matter of
right and its issuance to a purchaser in an extrajudicial foreclosure is merely a ministerial
function, however, considering the circumstances obtaining in the
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Heirs of the Late Domingo N. Nicolas vs. Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company
instant case and following the ruling in Rivero de Ortega, 71 Phil. 340 (1941), such writ of
possession should apply only to the share of widow as may be determined in the
appropriate proceeding for the purpose of settling the undivided estate of deceased
husband, and not to include the shares of the other heirs who were not parties to the
foreclosure.Records indicate that the estate of Domingo Nicolas has not been judicially
or extrajudicially settled. It is basic that after consolidation of title in the buyers name for
failure of the mortgagor to redeem, the writ of possession becomes a matter of right and
its issuance to a purchaser in an extrajudicial foreclosure is merely a ministerial function.
However, considering the circumstances obtaining in this case and following our ruling in
Rivero de Ortega, earlier cited, we hold that such writ of possession should apply only to
the share of Josefa as may be determined in Civil Case No. Q-98-34312 or in any other
proceeding that may be instituted by petitioners for the purpose of settling the undivided
estate of Domingo Nicolas. Heirs of the Late Domingo N. Nicolas vs. Metropolitan Bank &
Trust Company, 532 SCRA 38, G.R. No. 137548 September 3, 2007

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