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Florentino v.

MERCEDES FLORENTINO, ET AL., defendants-appellees.

AL., plaintiffs-appellants,

November 15, 1919

Florentino settles a number of issues. First, with respect to the right of representation
accorded the reservee, the same may be exercised only by such person seeking to represent if he
himself is a relative within the third degree of the prepositus. Second, Florentino rejected the
theory that if the reservable property does not fall into the hands of strangers, then the reserva is
not applicable. Thus, whether or not the reservable property was devised or willed by the
reservor to a relative of the prepositus coming from the same line as the origin, the reservable
nature of the property is not lost. From this principle arises an inference that the reservable
property is not part of the estate of the reservor upon his demise. Third, there is an affirmation
that the title of the reservor to the reservable property is not in the nature of full dominion, by
reason of the reservation provided by law. However, there is serious doubt as to the validity of
this proposition in the light of the more recent pronouncements of the Court. That the reservor is
a mere usufructuary (as intimated in Florentino), is contradicted by later decisions characterizing
the title of the reservor to the reservable property as absolute but possessed with a resolutory
Notice, however, that the court, in the dispositive portion of this decision, committed an
error in the distribution of the reservable property.

Apolonio II




Apolonio III

1. ApolonioIsabeloFlorentino II married Antonia Faz, with whom he had 9 children. When his
wife died, Apolonio married Severina, with whom he had 2 children- Mercedes and Apolonio III.
2. Apolonio II died and was survived by his second wife and the ten children, Apolonio III,
being born after Apolonio II died.
3. He was able to execute a will instituting as universal heirs his 10 children, the posthumous
Apolonio III and his widow, Severina, and declaring that all of his property should be divided
among all of his children in both marriages.
4. In the partition of his estate, Apolonio III was given 6 parcels of land and some personal
property of Apolonio II.
5. Apolonio III later died and his mother, Severina, succeeded to all these properties. She
subsequently died, leaving a will instituting as her universal heiress her only living daughter,
6. As such heir, Mercedes took possession of all the property left at the death of her mother,
including the property inherited by Severina from Apolonio III, which is said to be reservable
property. Accordingly, Mercedes had been gathering the fruits of the parcels of land.
7. The children of Apolonio II by his first wife, as well as his grandchildren by the first
marriage, instituted an action for recovery of their share of the reservable property. The
defendants contend that no property can be reserved for the plaintiffs inasmuch as there is a
forced heiress and the obligation to reserve is secondary to the duty to respect the legitime.
8. Also, the danger that the property coming from the same line might fall into the hands of
strangers has been avoided.
WON the property is subject to reserve troncal or not
HELD: Yes, it is subject to reserve troncal
1. Even if Severina left in her will said property to her only daughter and forced heiress,
nevertheless, this property has not lost its reservable nature. The posthumous son, Apolonio III,
acquired the property by lucrative title or by inheritance from his legitimate father.
2. Although such property was inherited by Severina, nevertheless, she was duty bound to
reserve the property thus acquired for the benefit of the relatives within the third degree of the
line from which such property came. Ascendants do not inherit the reservable property, but its
enjoyment , use and trust merely for the reason that the law imposes the obligation to reserve and
preserve the same for certain designated persons, who on the death of said ascendants- reservoir,
acquire the ownership of said property in fact and operation of law in the same manner as forced

3. There are then 7 reservees entitled to the reservable property left at the death of Apolonio III,
to wit:

Apolonio IIs 3 children from his first marriage


The children of Apolonio IIs deceased children, 12 in all


Mercedes, Apolonio IIIs sister.

All of the plaintiffs are relatives of the posthumous son within the third degree (four as halfsiblings and 12 as his nephews and nieces). As the first four are his relatives within the third
degree in their own right and the others by right of representation, all are entitled as reservees.
4. The properties in question came from the common ancestor, Apolonio II, and when, on the
death of Apolonio III without issue, the same passed by operation of law into the hands of his
legitimate mother, Severina; it became reservable property with the object that the same should
not fall into the possession of persons other than those comprehended within the order of
succession traced by the law from Apolonio II, the origin of the property.
5. Severina could have disposed in her will all her own property in favor of her only living
daughter, Mercedes, as forced heir. But the provision concerning the reservable property
reducing the rights of the other reserves is null and void inasmuch as said property is not her own
and she has only the right of usufruct or of fiduciary, with the right to deliver the same to the
6. Reservable property neither comes nor falls under the absolute dominion of the ascendant
who inherits and receives the same from his descendant, therefore, it does not form part of his
property nor become the legitimeof his forced heirs. It becomes his own property only in case all
the relatives of his descendant died, in which case, the said reservable property loses such