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XXII.

Partition and Distribution of Estate
B. Effects of Partition
Guilas vs Judge CFI Pampanga and Lopez
Plaintiff: Juanita Lopez Guilas
Defendant: Judge of CFI Pampanga and Alejandro Lopez
Summary: (Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus) Spouses
Jacinta Limson de Lopez and Alejando Lopez had no children.
Jacinta executed a will instituting Alejandro his sole her and
executors. Subsequently Jacinta Lopez (now Lopez Giulas)
was declared their leagally adopted daughter and legal heir but
Jacinto did not execute another will. The right of Jacinta was
nevertheless recognized. Petitioner Juanita Lopez-Guilas filed
a separate ordinary action to set aside and annul the project of
partition of the inherited lots of property on the ground of
lesion, perpetration and fraud, and pray further that Alejandro
Lopez be ordered to submit a statement of accounts of all the
crops and to deliver immediately to Juanita lots of the Bacolor
Cadastre, which were allocated to her under the project of
partition.
Facts of the case
Jacinta Limson de Lopez, of Guagua, Pampanga was married
to Alejandro Lopez y Siongco. They had no children.
On April 28, 1936, Jacinta executed a will instituting her
husband Alejandro as her sole heir and executor
Petitioner Juanita Lopez, then single and now married to
Federico Guilas, was declared legally adopted daughter and
legal heir of the spouses Jacinta and Alejandro. After adopting
legally herein petitioner Juanita Lopez, the testatrix Doña
Jacinta did not execute another will or codicil so as to include
Juanita Lopez as one of her heirs.
In an order dated March 5, 1959, will was admitted to probate
and the surviving husband, Alejandro Lopez y Siongco, was
appointed executor without bond by the Court of First Instance
of Pampanga.
Nevertheless, in a project of partition dated March 19, 1960
executed by both Alejandro Lopez and Juanita Lopez Guilas,
the right of Juanita Lopez to inherit from Jacinta was
recognized and Lots Nos. 3368 and 3441 (Jacinta's
paraphernal property), described and embraced in Original
Certificate of Title No. 13092, both situated in Bacolor
Pampanga were adjudicated to Juanita Lopez-Guilas as her
share free from all liens, encumbrances and charges, with the
executor Alejandro Lopez, binding himself to free the said two
parcels from such liens, encumbrances and charges. The rest
of the estate of the deceased consisting of 28 other parcels of
lands with a total assessed valuation of P69,020.00 and a
combined area of 743,924.67 square meters, as well as
personal properties including a 1953 Buick car valued at
P2,500.00 were allotted to Don Alejandro who assumed all the
mortgage liens on the estate.
In an order dated April 23, 1960, the lower court approved the
said project of partition.
Petitioner Juanita Lopez-Guilas filed a separate ordinary action
to set aside and annul the project of partition on the ground of
lesion, perpetration and fraud, and pray further that Alejandro
Lopez be ordered to submit a statement of accounts of all the
crops and to deliver immediately to Juanita lots nos. 3368 and
3441 of the Bacolor Cadastre, which were allocated to her
under the project of partition.
Alejandro Lopez: by virtue of the order dated April 23, 1960
which approved the project of partition submitted by both
Alejandro and Juanita and directed that the records of the case

be archived upon payment of the estate and inheritance taxes,
and the order of December 15, 1960 which "ordered closed
and terminated the present case", the testate proceedings had
already been closed and terminated; and that he ceased as a
consequence to be the executor of the estate of the deceased;
and that Juanita Lopez is guilty of laches and negligence in
filing the petition of the delivery of her share 4 years after such
closure of the estate, when she could have filed a petition for
relief of judgment within sixty (60) days from December 15,
1960
Juanita Lope Guilas: Actual delivery and distribution of the
hereditary shares to the heirs, and not the order of the court
declaring as closed and terminated the proceedings,
determines the termination of the probate proceedings;
executor Alejandro is estopped from opposing her petition
because he was the one who prepared, filed and secured court
approval of, the aforesaid project of partition, which she seeks
to be implemented; that she is not guilty of laches, because
when she filed on July 20, 1964, her petition for he delivery of
her share allocated to her under the project of partition, less
than 3 years had elapsed from August 28, 1961 when the
amended project of partition was approved, which is within the
5-year period for the execution of judgment by motion
CFI Pampanga: lower court denied Juanita's motion to set
aside the order of October 2, 1964 on the ground that the
parties themselves agreed to suspend resolution of her petition
for the delivery of her shares until after the civil action for
annulment of the project of partition has been finally settled
and decided.
Issue
W/N Actual delivery and distribution of the hereditary shares to
the heirs, and not the order of the court declaring as closed
and terminated the proceedings, determines the termination of
the probate proceedings? YES. Actual Delivery & Distribution.
Ratio
The probate court loses jurisdiction of an estate under
administration only after the payment of all the debts and the
remaining estate delivered to the heirs entitled to receive the
same. The finality of the approval of the project of partition by
itself alone does not terminate the probate proceeding. As long
as the order of the distribution of the estate has not been
complied with, the probate proceedings cannot be deemed
closed and terminated because a judicial partition is not final
and conclusive and does not prevent the heir from bringing an
action to obtain his share, provided the prescriptive period
therefor has not elapsed. The better practice, however, for the
heir who has not received his share, is to demand his share
through a proper motion in the same probate or administration
proceedings, or for re-opening of the probate or administrative
proceedings if it had already been closed, and not through an
independent action, which would be tried by another court or
Judge which may thus reverse a decision or order of the
probate on intestate court already final and executed and reshuffle properties long ago distributed and disposed of.
Section 1 of Rule 90 of the Revised Rules of Court of 1964 as
worded, which secures for the heirs or legatees the right to
"demand and recover their respective shares from the executor
or administrator, or any other person having the same in his
possession", re-states the aforecited doctrines.
While it is true that the order dated October 2, 1964 by
agreement of the parties suspended resolution of her petition
for the delivery of her shares until after the decision in the civil
action for the annulment of the project of partition (Civil Case
2539) she filed on April 10, 1964; the said order lost its validity

1963. m. The lower court held that Maximo. The right of representation takes place in the direct descending line. the defendant refused to perform his aforesaid obligation although he had already sold the aforesaid lots. who is Pelagia’s grandniece. Necessarily.00. she could not inherit from the latter by right of representation. entered into an Extrajudicial Partition Agreement purposely for the distribution of Pelagia’s estate. a grandniece is excluded by law from the inheritance. hence.500. on condition that the latter would undertake the development and subdivision of the estate which was the subject matter of the agreement. on condition that the latter would undertake the development and subdivision of the estate which was the subject matter of the agreement. They agreed to adjudicate three (3) lots to Maximo. that the extrajudicial partition agreement be declared void with respect to the plaintiff. but set up the affirmative defenses that the plaintiff had no cause of action against him because the said agreement was void with respect to her. whether they be of the full or half blood. it takes place only in favor of the children of brothers or sisters. Maximo filed a Motion for New Trial but was denied. that the plaintiff be ordered to pay him the sum of P2. he stated that Gertrudes had no cause of action against him because the said agreement was void with respect to her. hence. 1965 an amended complaint in said Civil Case 2539 wherein she recognized the partial legality and validity of the said project of partition insofar as the allocation in her favor of lots Nos. In Maximo’s answer. 3368 and 3441 in the delivery of which she has been insisting all along. was estopped from raising in issue the right of the plaintiff to inherit from Pelagia. including the defendant. Maximo. for the reason that the plaintiff was not an heir of Pelagia de la Cruz. Hence.. Facts of the Case On May 21.00 as attorney's fees and costs. She had a niece named Marciana who is the mother of herein defendant. a grandniece of the decedent. Due to Maximo’s failure to comply with his obligation. 1965. executed an extrajudicial partition agreement over a certain portion of land with an area of around 20. Gertrudes filed a complaint for specific performance. Lower Court: Maximo. The plaintiff prayed the court to order the defendant to comply with his obligation under the extrajudicial partition agreement and to pay the sum of P1. In the present case. Much less could plaintiff-appellee inherit in her own right. Gertrudes. deceased owner of the property.000. one of whom is defendant-appellant. 972. The defendant prayed that the complaint be dismissed. she and several co-heirs. Not an heir. being a party to the extrajudicial partition agreement. ART. he must abide by the terms of the agreement. The answer contained a counterclaim wherein the defendant alleged that the plaintiff had likewise sold her share in the estate for P10. the relatives "nearest in degree" to Pelagia de la Cruz are her nephews and nieces.000 sq. (2) W/N Extrajudicial partition is void? YES Ratio (1)Plaintiff-appellee being a mere grandniece of Pelagia de la Cruz. Gertrudes de los Santos filed a complaint for specific performance against Maximo de la Cruz. the relative nearest in degree excludes the more distant ones. he was entitled to one-fourth (1/4) of the proceeds as his share by way of reversion. De Los Reyes vs De La Cruz Plaintiff: Gertrudes de los Santos Defendant: Maximo De La Cruz Summary: Pelagia de la Cruz died intestate and without issue. that in spite of demands by the plaintiff. Due to Maximo’s failure to comply with his obligation. in addition to his share. In Maximo’s answer. and that the extrajudicial partition agreement being void insofar as the latter was concerned. In the collateral line. for the reason that she was not an heir of Pelagia and was included in the agreement by mistake. But what is the legal effect of plaintiff-appellee's inclusion and participation in the extrajudicial partition agreement insofar as her right to bring the present action is concerned? They did not confer upon her the right to institute this action. Pelagia De La Cruz had a niece named Marciana who is the mother of herein defendant. for the reason that she was not an heir of Pelagia and was included in the agreement by mistake. and that although he had disposed of the three lots adjudicated to him. being a party to the extrajudicial partition agreement. by the co-heirs. saving the right of representation when it properly takes place. this appeal. Gertrudes. De La Cruz: admitted the due execution of the extrajudicial partition agreement. all expenses in connection therewith to be defrayed from the proceeds of the sale of the aforementioned three (3) lots. and several co-heirs including Maximo.000. he stated that Gertrudes had no cause of action against him because the said agreement was void with respect to her. In every inheritance. They agreed to adjudicate three (3) lots to Maximo.and efficacy when the herein petitioner filed on June 11. in addition to his share. on his counterclaim. in addition to his corresponding share. on condition that the latter would undertake the development and subdivision of the estate which was the subject matter of the agreement. who is Pelagia’s grandniece. and was included in the extrajudicial partition agreement by mistake. was estopped from raising in issue the right of the plaintiff to inherit from Pelagia. nevertheless the proceeds of the sale were not sufficient to develop and improve properly the subdivided estate. plaintiff-appellee. as admitted by . he must abide by the terms of the agreement Issue (1) W/N Gertrudes de los Santos. Gertrudes filed a complaint for specific performance. and by the residents of the subdivision. alleging that on August 24. 962. Maximo. but never in the ascending. that the parties thereto had agreed to adjudicate three (3) lots to the defendant. The express purpose of the extrajudicial partition agreement. and.00. entered into an Extrajudicial Partition Agreement purposely for the distribution of Pelagia’s estate. ART. and several co-heirs including Maximo. is an heir of the latter? NO.

Agustines vs CFI Bulacan Plaintiff: JOSEFA AGUSTINES. Supposing. LOURDES AGUSTINES. plus renunciation on the part of the church of Polo that had reportedly neglected to demand compliance with the beneficial legacy. They promised to respect the wishes of the deceased. was confirmed by the probate court on October 31. Valenzuela's motion invoking the will exclusively induced the court into error. It must be emphasized that in the distribution of the decedent's assets. and not the extrajudicial partition. Generosa Agustines died leaving a will which was subsequently submitted for probate in the Court of First Instance of Bulacan. ENCARNACION AGUSTINES. the Agustines connections. No estoppel arises where the representation or conduct the party sought to be estopped is due to ignorance founded upon a mistake. submitted for approval. JOSE AGUSTINES. Estoppel cannot be predicated on a void contract. however. 1935. only the will was quoted. especially where every fact known to the party sought to be estopped is equally well known to the party setting up the estoppel. when his wife bequeathed a portion not exceeding nine hectares is surely such abuse of discretion (if he had any) that will not easily commend itself to judicial approbation. NCC. because both in Valenzuela's motion and in the court's order approving the assignment of one hectare. and ABELARDO AGUSTINES Defendant: THE JUDGE OF COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF BULACAN. the weight of authority is that the acts and declarations of a party based upon an innocent mistake as to his legal rights will not estop him to assert the same. or on acts which are prohibited by law or are against public policy. 1936. Having no children. The last will becomes secondary in value. in May 1944. ESTELA AGUSTINES. after some negotiations. one of which includes donating a portion of the land to the parish church of Polo or to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila. SEVERO VALENZUELA. Severo Valenzuela failed to transmit the lot or part thereof to the parish church of Polo or to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila. And his action in fixing one hectare. 1934. was to divide the estate among the heirs of Pelagia de la Cruz.the parties in the stipulation of facts. that under the will Valenzuela's discretion included the determination of the area to be transferred — and not merely the selection of the site where the nine-hectare portion is to be segregated — still it seems clear that in the partition he elected or agreed that a ninehectare portion shall be conveyed to the Polo church for masses. is the subject of a three-cornered dispute between Severo Valenzuela on one side and the relatives of his deceased wife Generosa Agustines of the other. Facts of the Case In August. petitioners herein. And which there is authority to the contrary. cf NCC 1091-1096 NCC Art. 1091. which. the extrajudicial partition definitely alloted a nine-hectare parcel to the Polo church. Wherefore. in the deed of partition he agreed — exercising his discretion — to assign nine hectares for masses (to the Polo church). Other items of the estate were apportioned among the signers of the deed of partition. expressing conformity with the probate of the testament and dividing the properties of the deceased. with the Archbishop of Manila as intervenor. (2) The extrajudicial partition agreement being void with respect to plaintiff-appellee. The will of the testatrix is law. filed a complaint against Severo Valenzuela seeking the return to them of that nine-hectare lot in Quiririt. we must face the deed of partition which bear's the court's fiat. Years passed. the sister (Josefa) and the nephews and nieces of the decedent (the other petitioners in this special civil action) executed on February 8. in an order directing the administrator to deliver the respective shares to the heirs of the legatees after paying the corresponding inheritance taxes. We must state at the risk of repetition that although under the provisions of the will Severo Valenzuela might have elected to transfer to the Polo church a portion less than nine hectares. Bulacan. There was opposition to the approval of the will. an extrajudicial partition with the respondent Severo Valenzuela. As contended by petitioners and the intervenor. she may not be heard to assert estoppel against defendant-appellant. but she specified some be quests. A partition legally made confers upon each heir the exclusive ownership of the property adjudicated to . alleging his breach of trust. No appeal was ever taken from such order. and THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA Summary: A nine-hectare land in Marilao. however. Effects Partition. Important to bear this distinction in mind. Issue What was the share of the church of Polo under the will and the extrajudicial partition? 9 hectares Ratio The will of Generosa Agustines contained a provision directing her husband to donate a portion of her Quiririt farm not exceeding nine hectares to the Polo church. she named her surviving husband Severo Valenzuela the universal heir.

(3) When the eviction is due to a cause subsequent to the partition. (1072a) Art. Recession and Nullity of Partition. when any one of the coheirs received things whose value is less. (1069a) Art. than the share to which he is entitled. (1068) Art. the amount collected shall be distributed proportionately among the heirs. (1071) (1) When the testator himself has made the partition. 1098. 1097. the other co-heirs shall be liable for his part in the same proportion. Co-heirs do not warrant bad debts. (2) When it has been so expressly stipulated in the agreement of partition. or it may be reasonably presumed. (1075) Art. The heir who is sued shall have the option of . but only for his insolvency at the time the partition is made. The obligation of warranty among co-heirs shall cease in the following cases: Art. Those who pay for the insolvent heir shall have a right of action against him for reimbursement. An action to enforce the warranty among heirs must be brought within ten years from the date the right of action accrues. deducting the part corresponding to the one who should be indemnified. if so known to. 1092. or when it appears or may reasonably be presumed. by at least onefourth. 1094. 1099. unless there has been bad faith. 1096. A partition may be rescinded or annulled for the same causes as contracts. should his financial condition improve. After the partition has been made. The reciprocal obligation of warranty referred to in the preceding article shall be proportionate to the respective hereditary shares of the co-heirs. but if any one of them should be insolvent. Art. (1073a) Art. that his intention was otherwise. each property adjudicated. but the legitime shall always remain unimpaired. and accepted by. But if such debts are not assigned to a co-heir. C. cf NCC 1097-1105 Art. that the intention of the testator was otherwise. 1100. the distributee. 1101. the co-heirs shall be reciprocally bound to warrant the title to. or has been caused by the fault of the distributee of the property. and the quality of. (1076) Art. may also be rescinded on account of lesion. If a credit should be assigned as collectible. judicial or extra-judicial. unless it appears. in whole or in part. and should be collected. The partition made by the testator cannot be impugned on the ground of lesion. except when the legitime of the compulsory heirs is thereby prejudiced. 1095. the co-heirs shall not be liable for the subsequent insolvency of the debtor of the estate. (n) Art. considering the value of the things at the time they were adjudicated. A partition. The action for rescission on account of lesion shall prescribe after four years from the time the partition was made. (1074a) The warranty of the solvency of the debtor can only be enforced during the five years following the partition. 1093.him.

(n) Art. but the latter shall be proportionately obliged to pay to the person omitted the share which belongs to him.indemnifying the plaintiff for the loss. A corporation or association authorized to conduct the business of a trust company in the Philippines may be appointed as an executor. A partition which includes a person believed to be an heir. . arising from contract. No. barred. but actions to recover real or personal property. 1103. but the partition shall be completed by the distribution of the objects or securities which have been omitted. or trustee. 1104. must be filed within the time limited in the notice. The omission of one or more objects or securities of the inheritance shall not cause the rescission of the partition on the ground of lesion. or an interest therein. A partition made with preterition of any of the compulsory heirs shall not be rescinded. (1080) Art. Rule 86 Sec. (n) Rules of Court. administrator. NCC 1058-1060 Indemnity may be made by payment in cash or by the delivery of a thing of the same kind and quality as that awarded to the plaintiff. and actions to recover damages for an injury to person or property. Claims which must be filed under the notice. 1. All matters relating to the appointment. shall be void only with respect to such person.No action upon a claim for the recovery of money or debt or interest thereon shall be commenced against the executor or administrator. the provisions of Articles 2239 to 2251 on Preference of Credits shall be observed. exceptions. except that they may be set forth as counterclaims in any action that the executor or administrator may bring against the claimants. If a new partition is made. An heir who has alienated the whole or a considerable part of the real property adjudicated to him cannot maintain an action for rescission on the ground of lesion. All claims for money against the decedent. or . shall be those involved in the administration of the decedent's estate. not due. all claims for funeral expenses and expenses for the last sickness of the decedent. Where an executor or administrator commences an action. provided that the expenses referred to in Article 2244. or contingent. (1078a) Art. or consenting to a new partition. or to enforce a lien thereon. (n) Art. 1102. XXII. 1058. Executors and Administrators NCC. unless it be proved that there was bad faith or fraud on the part of the other persons interested. If the assets of the estate of a decedent which can be applied to the payment of debts are not sufficient for that purpose. but it shall not be appointed guardian of the person of a ward. 5. . 8. but who is not. R87 Sec1 and R86 Sec5 Rule 87 Sec. guardian of an estate. powers and duties of executors and administrators and concerning the administration of estates of deceased persons shall be governed by the Rules of Court. express or implied. Art. otherwise they are barred forever. but he shall have a right to be indemnified in cash. (1077a) Art. Actions which may and which may not be brought against executor or administrator. and judgment for money against the decedent. real or personal. Executors and Administrators. whether the same be due. in like manner as an individual. 1060. from the estate. it shall affect neither those who have not been prejudiced nor those have not received more than their just share. 1059.If not filed. 1105. may be commenced against him. (1079a) Art.

or if the husband or widow. and several grandchildren. the amount so determined shall be considered the true balance against the estate. Margarita. The marriage between Emilio I and Isabel was annulled. Despite the illegitimate status of Emilio III. respondent and her siblings Margarita and Emilio II. [Federico]. Quezon City. Federico Suntay (Federico). he was reared ever since he was a mere baby. their only son. married to Dr. Emilio I had two children out of wedlock. Instead. Isabel. At the time of her death. requests to have appointed. the decedent. Thereafter. and Emilio II. lived with their mother on Balete Drive. Suntay III (Emilio III) and respondent Isabel CojuangcoSuntay. and if final judgment is rendered in favor of the defendant. During his lifetime. If no executor is named in the will. After the death of Emilio I. Consequently. articulating her sentiments on the unwanted visits of her grandparents. died intestate. adopted their illegitimate grandchildren. Federico. Issue W/N Article 992 of the Civil Code applies Under Sec 6 of Rule 78? YES. Emilio Aguinaldo Suntay (Emilio I). Cristina was survived by her husband. being the surviving spouse. it was altogether stopped because of a manifestation filed by respondent Isabel. Cristina. all surnamed CojuangcoSuntay. Claims not yet due or contingent. Suntay III vs Isabel Cojuanco-Suntay Petitioner: Emilio A. Margarita. Nenita is an acknowledged natural child of Emilio I and was likewise brought up by the spouses Federico and Cristina. De Manugas. Avila was survived by his wife Sarah Abarte Vda. as though the claim had been presented directly before the court in the administration proceedings. When and to whom letters of administration granted. as the case may be. administration shall be granted: (a) To the surviving husband or wife. considering that the CA even declared that under the law. (b) If such surviving husband or wife. Emilio IIIs interest in the estate of Cristina is as much apparent to this Court as the interest therein of respondent. In 1979. if competent and willing to serve. or the person selected by them. 1990. Section 6.M. or on September 27. if competent and willing to serve. be incompetent or unwilling. Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay (Cristina). and they begot three children. or fail to give bond. refuse the trust. 1993. by two different women. may be approved at their present value. Emilio I was married to Isabel Cojuangco. we are puzzled why the CA resorted to a strained legal reasoning Emilio IIIs nomination was subject to a suspensive condition and rendered inoperative by reason of Federicos death wholly inapplicable to the case at bar. and mutual claims may be set off against each other in such action. Federico filed a petition for visitation rights over his grandchildren: respondent Isabel. Emilio III and Nenita. Emilio Is marriage to Isabel Cojuangco was subsequently annulled. they adopted Samuel David Avila(Avila). 6. Engracia filed a Motion for Partition of Estate in the intestate estate proceedings of Florentino. including herein petitioner Emilio A. (c) If there is no such creditor competent and willing to serve. Concepcion Mendoza and Isabel Santos. or to such person as such surviving husband or wife. Thus. initially reduced to thirty minutes. separately from their father and paternal grandparents. would have the right of succession over a portion of the exclusive property of the decedent. Rule 78 of the Rules of Court lists the order of preference in the appointment of an administrator of an estate: SEC. aside from his share in the conjugal partnership. respectively. Florentino died intestate while Avila predeceased his adoptive mother. namely: herein respondent. Engracia Manugas was the wife of Florentino Manugas. Emilio III and Nenita Suntay Taedo (Nenita). as the case may be. Significantly. Ratio As Federicos adopted son. by the spouses Federico and Cristina and was an acknowledged natural child of Emilio I. They had no children. after the death of his spouse. or next of kin.M. neglects for thirty (30) days after the death of the person to apply for administration or to request that administration be granted to some other person. in the discretion of the court. nine months old. predeceased both Cristina and Federico. or the executor or executors are incompetent. Federico.prosecutes an action already commenced by the deceased in his lifetime. or a person dies intestate. or next of kin. it may be granted to one or more of the principal creditors. In the Matter of the Intestate Estate of Cristina AguinaldoSuntay. or next of kin. or both. Emilio A. Suntay Respondents: Isabel Cojuanco-Suntay Summary: Christina Aguinaldo-Suntay Facts of the case On June 4.M. the debtor may set forth by answer the claims he has against the decedent. or next of kin. and Emilio II. instead of presenting them independently to the court as herein provided. it may be granted to such other person as the court may select Manungas vs Loreto Petitioner: Diosdado Manungas Respondents: Margarita Avila Loreto and Florencia Avila Parreo Facts of the case This case is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45. Although the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in Quezon City granted the petition and allowed Federico one hour of visitation monthly. There she stated that there were no other legal and .

Jurisprudence teaches us that the appointment of a special administrator lies within the discretion of the court. Rule 83. do not obtain. . Diosdado. Avila Ramon Manugas whom she acknowledged as the natural of Florentino. Evidence on record shows that Diosdado is not related to the late Engracia and so he is not interested in preserving the latter’s estate Parreño is a former Judicial guardian of Engracia when she was still alive and who is also the niece of the latter. Avila’s widow executed a waiver of rights participation renouncing her rights over the property of husband in favor of Engracia. Diosdado instituted a petition for the issuance of letters of administration over Engracia’s Estate in his favor before the RTC of Tagum. Issue W/N the CA erred when it ruled to annul the appointment of Diosdado herein petitioner as judicial administrator and reinstating the appointment of Parreño? NO Ratio The RTC acted with Grave abuse of discretion (CA did not err in reversing RTC’s order) The fact that Diosdado is an heir to the estate of Florentino Manungas does not mean that he is entitled or even qualified to become the special administrator of the Estate of Engracia. There is no logical reason to appoint a person who is a debtor of the estate and otherwise a stranger to the deceased. now Section 2. the intestate estate proceedings as regards Florentino’s properties were already terminated) Thereafter. After sometime. CA. interference by higher courts is unwarranted. a Decree of Final Distribution was issued in the intestate estate of Florentino distributing the properties to Engracia and Ramon. Through Parreño. The petition was opposed by Margarita Avila Loreto(Loreto) and Parreño alleging that Diosdado was incompetent as an administrator:  He was not a Manugas  He was a debtor of the estate RTC-Appointed Parreño as administrator Upon MR. Heirs of Belinda Dahlia A. the RTC of Panabo City appointed Parreño. as by doing so she would reap the benefit of a wise administration of the decedent’s estate It must be remembered that the estate of Florentino Manungas was already the subject of intestate proceedings that have long been terminated with the proceeds distributed to the heirs with the issuance of a Decree of Final Distribution. is still not an heir of Engracia Manungas and is not entitled to receive any part of the Estate of Manungas. is interested in protecting and preserving the estate of her late aunt Engracia. not be remiss to reiterate that the role of a special administrator is to preserve the estate until a regular administrator is appointed as stated in Section 2 Rule 80 of the Rules of court. discretion which must be sound. not whimsical or contrary to reason. Engracia instituted a civil case against the Spouses Diosdado Salinas Manugas(Diosdado) and Milagros Pacifico for illegal detainer and damages.compulsory heirs of Florentino except herself.” Reiterated in Ocampo “While the RTC considered that respondents were the nearest of kin to their deceased parents in their appointment as joint special administrators. Diosdado is a stranger to Engracia while Parreño is the latter’s relative. as an illegitimate heir of Florentino Manungas. the RTC reversed it’s ruling while appointing Diosdado as Special Administrator. Thus this petition.” While the trial court has the discretion to appoint anyone as a special administrator of the estate. The probate court may appoint or remove special administrators based on grounds other than those enumerated in the Rules at its discretion. equity. that is. this is not a mandatory requirement for the appointment. therefore. the judge or court has discretion in the selection of the person to be appointed. and son and her Consequently. justice and legal principles. MTC issued a summary judgment in favor of Engracia due to the failure of Diosdado to file an answer. It has long been settled that the selection or removal of special administrators is not governed by the rules regarding the selection or removal of regular administrators.RTC acted with Grave abuse of discretion and reinstated Parreño as the administrator of the estate. It may. is an heir of Engracia. Lacuata-Gabriel “It is well settled that the statutory provisions as to the prior or preferred right of certain persons to the appointment of administrator under Section 1. Rule 81. With the termination of the intestate estate proceedings of Florentino Manungas. x x x As the law does not say who shall be appointed as special administrator and the qualifications the appointee must have. such discretion must be exercised with reason. as would be proper in the case of a regular administrator. (TAKE NOTE: At this point. and legal principles. being an illegitimate son of Florentino. guided by the directives of equity. the niece of Engracia as the Judicial Guardian of the properties and person of her incompetent aunt. 190. He alleged that he. as well as the statutory provisions as to causes for removal of an executor or administrator under section 653 of Act No. Castillo v. As long as the discretion is exercised without grave abuse. justice or equity. such that the need to first pass upon and resolve the issues of fitness or unfitness and the application of the order of preference under Section 6 of Rule 78. do not apply to the selection or removal of special administrator. and is based on reason. justice.