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Florentino v.

Florentino
GR No. 14856; November 1919
FACTS:
Apolonio Isabelo Florentino II executed a will before the notary public of Ilocos Sur,
instituting as his universal heirs his ten children, Apolonio III (his posthumous son), and
his widow Severina Faz de Leon. He declared, in one of the paragraphs of said will, that
all his properties should be divided among all of his children of both his marriages.
In the partition of the said testator's estate, Apolonio III was given the property marked
with the letters A, B, C, D, E, and F in the complaint, a gold rosary, pieces of gold, of
silver and of table service, livestock, palay, some personal property and other objects
mentioned in the complaint.
Apolonio Florentino III died in 1891 and his mother, Severina Faz de Leon, succeeded
to all his property described in the complaint. On November 18, 1908, Severina Faz de
Leon died, leaving a will instituting as her universal heiress her only living daughter,
Mercedes Florentino. As such heir, said daughter took possession of all the property left
at the death of her mother, including the property described in the complaint, which
Severina Faz de Leon inherited from her deceased son, Apolonio III, as reservable
property.
Complainants, who are Apolonio III’s half-siblings and nephews/nieces, claim that as a
reservist, Mercedes Florentino had been gathering for herself alone the fruits of lands
described in the complaint. They further claimed that each one of the parties mentioned
in the complaint is entitled to one-seventh of the fruits of the reservable property
described therein.
Several times, the plaintiffs have, in an amicable manner, asked Mercedes and her
husband (defendants) to deliver their corresponding part of the reservable property. But
without any justifiable motive, the defendants have refused to deliver said property or to
pay for its value. Hence, a complaint was filed against the defendants, claiming that for
nine years Mercedes Florentino has been receiving, as rent for the lands mentioned,
360 bundles of palay at fifty pesos per bundle and 90 bundles of corn at four pesos per
bundle; that thereby the plaintiffs have suffered damages for the unjustifiable retention
of the aforementioned reservable property and for the expenses of this suit.
Plaintiffs prayed that the foregoing property be declared reservable property; that the
plaintiffs had and do have a right to the same, in the quantity and proportion
aforementioned; that the defendants Mercedes Florentino and her husband be ordered
to deliver to the plaintiffs their share of the property in question, of the palay and of the
corn above mentioned, or their value; and that they be condemned to pay the plaintiffs
the sum of one thousand pesos (P1,000) together with the costs of the suit.
CFI: absolved the defendants from the complaint on the ground that Article 811 is
absolutely inapplicable to the instant case, inasmuch as the defendant Mercedes

the property received from the deceased son Apolonio III lost the character. does not form part of the inheritance left by her death nor of the legitime of the heiress Mercedes. 3 Mercedes All of the appellants are the relatives of the posthumous son within the third degree. null and void. Apolonio II. is in the nature of reservable property. 2 3 children who are represented by their own children (nephews/ nieces). previously held. had no further obligation to reserve same for the relatives within the third degree of the deceased Apolonio III. That the fundamental object of Article 811 was thereby complied with. Based on Article 811 of the Civil Code. HELD: Yes. with the obligation to preserve and to deliver same to the reservatarios. and that the hope or expectation on the part of the plaintiffs of the right to acquire the property of the deceased Apolonio III never did come into existence because there is a forced heiress who is entitled to such property. Even if Severina left in her will said property. ISSUE: Whether or not the property inherited by Mercedes from her mother Severina. left in a will by Severina to her only daughter Mercedes. The claim that because of Severina Faz de Leon's forced heiress. of reservable property. whatever provision will reduce the rights of the other reservatarios. The trial judge opined that to apply the pretension of the plaintiffs would be permitting the reservable right to reduce and impair the forced legitime which exclusively belongs to the defendant Mercedes Florentino.Florentino survived her brother. There are seven reservatorios who are entitled to the reservable property left at the death of Apolonio III: 1 3 children of the 1st marriage. Mercedes. to her only daughter and forced heiress. the half brothers and nephews of her daughter Mercedes. her daughter Mercedes. Hence. Whatever provision there is in her will concerning the reservable property received from her son Apolonio III. of the line from which such property came. . and that Severina. is evidently erroneous for the reason that the reservable property. or rather. which Severina inherited from her son. within the third degree. is unlawful. inasmuch as the danger that the property coming from the same line might fall into the hands of strangers had been avoided. Severina was duty bound to reserve the property thus acquired for the benefit of the relatives. inasmuch as said property is not her own and she has only the right of usufruct or of fiduciary. they are entiled as reservatarios to the property which came from the common ancestors. therefore. the property had not lost its reservable nature inasmuch as it originated from the common ancestor of the litigants.

Art. inherited from her the parcels of land described in the complaint. gave birth to the plaintiff on March 29. Under Article 811 of the Civil Code. Alcala G. In 1890. Though the provision does not distinguish. . under the claim that the said son. Upon Francisco Deocampo’s death in 1914. the plaintiff would be entitled to the property in question if she were a legitimate daughter of Julian Nieva. his widow and son (defendants) took possession of the parcels of land in question." and "relatives. claiming to be an acknowledged natural daughter of the said Juliana Nieva. October 1920 FACTS: Juliana Nieva. 1889. No. is obliged to reserve such of the property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which such property came. while unmarried. the other defendant herein." without specifying whether or not they have to be legitimate. Juliana Nieva died intestate on April 19. that the said Juliana Nieva nourished and reared her said child. the two parcels of land above-mentioned passed to his father. Juliana Nieva." "descendant. Alfeo Deocampo died intestate. CFI: An illegitimate relative has no right to the reserve troncal.R. by intestate succession. of unknown father. Thereafter Francisco Deocampo married the herein defendant Manuela Alcala. But in said article. Alfeo Deocampo. HELD: No. and her said son. ISSUE: Whether or not an illegitimate relative within the third degree is entitled to the reserve troncal provided for by Article 811 of the Civil Code. or from a brother or sister. the intent of the legislature shows that it applies only to legitimate relatives. as a legitimate daughter. Of said marriage. the alleged natural mother of the plaintiff Segunda Maria Nieva. that the said mother treated the plaintiff. and that the plaintiff was duly baptized as her natural daughter. the legislator uses the generic terms "ascendant. Plaintiff Segunda Maria Nieva. the defendant Jose Deocampoo (a minor) had inherited the same from his deceased father. that the plaintiff lived with her said mother until the latter was married to Francisco Deocampo. Alfeo Deocampo was born.Nieva v. invoking the provisions of Article 811 of the Civil Code. L-13386. instituted the present action for the purposes of recovering from the defendants the parcels of land in question. Francisco Deocampo. and exhibited her publicly. of which marriage was born Jose Deocampo. Thereupon. married Francisco Deocampo. 1882. 811: Any ascendant who inherits from his descendants any property acquired by the latter gratuitously from some other descendant.

Moreover. which is just established in favor of the legitimate direct ascending line. which is the reason why. Article 943 denies to legitimate parents the right to succeed the natural child and vice versa. it does not say child. from which it must be deduced that natural parents neither have the right to inherit from legitimate ones. Finally. natural brothers or natural parents. the law in the article cited established a barrier between the two families. the principle behind Article 811 is to protect the patrimony of the legitimate family. And if there were any doubt. but natural father or natural mother. Article 809 and 810 establish the legitime of legitimate ascendants. brothers or parents in the abstract. and in them reference is of course made of those who are legitimate. but natural child. it does not speak of ascendants. Therefore. but of natural ascendants. .The Court relied on Manresa’s discussion that the legitimate relationship forms the general rule and the natural relationship the exception. it does not say father or mother. properties of the legitimate family shall never pass by operation of law to the natural family. and when it desires to make a provision applicable only to natural relationship. of ascendants or descendants. it disappears upon considering the text of article 938. which states that the provisions of Article 811 applies to intestate succession. the law in many articles speaks only of children or parents. the place which Article 811 occupies is proof that it refers only to legitimate ascendants. as may be easily seen.