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SPECPRO

Hagans v. wislizenus (distinction of Action And Special proceedings)


Facts:
This is an original petition, presented in the Supreme Court, for writ of certiorari.
The facts alleged in the petition are admitted by a demurrer. The respondent
judge, in support of his demurrer, argues that the provision of Act No. 190 permit
him to appoint assessors in "special proceedings," The petitioner contends that no
authority in law exists for the appointment of assessors in such proceedings.
Issue:
whether or not a judge of the Court of First Instance, in "special proceedings," is
authorized under the law to appoint assessors for the purpose of fixing the
amount due to an administrator or executor for his services and expenses in the
care, management, and settlement of the estate of a deceased person.
Held:
we find, upon an examination of section 1 of Act No. 190, which gives us an
interpretation of the words used in said Act, that a distinction is made between an
"action" and a "special proceeding." Said section 1 provides that an
"action" means an ordinary suit in a court of justice, while "every other
remedy furnished by law is a 'special proceeding."
In view of the interpretation given to the words "action" and "special proceeding"
by the Legislature itself, we are driven to the conclusion that there is a distinction
between an "action" and a "special proceeding," and that when the Legislature
used the word "action" it did not mean "special proceeding."
There is a marked distinction between an "action" and a "special
proceeding. "An action is a formal demand of one's legal rights in a court
of justice in the manner prescribed by the court or by the law. It is the
method of applying legal remedies according to definite established
rules. (People vs. County Judge, 13 How. Pr. [N. Y.], 398.) The term "special
proceeding" may be defined as an application or proceeding to establish
the status or right of a party, or a particular fact. (Porter vs. Purdy, 29 N. Y.,
106, 110; Chapin vs. Thompson, 20 Cal., 681.) Usually, in special proceedings,
no formal pleadings are required, unless the statute expressly so
provides. The remedy in special proceedings is generally granted upon
an application or motion. Illustrations of special proceedings, in
contradistinction to actions, may be given: Proceedings for the
appointment of an administrator, guardians, tutors; contest of wills; to
perpetuate testimony; to change the name of persons; application for
admission to the bar, etc., etc. (Bliss on Code Pleading, 3d ed., sec. 1.)
From all of the foregoing we are driven to the conclusion that in proceedings like
the present the judge of the Court of First Instance is without authority to appoint
assessors. Therefore, the demurrer is hereby overruled and the prayer of the
petition is hereby granted, and it is hereby ordered and decreed that the order of
the respondent judge appointing the assessors described in the petition be and
the same is hereby annulled and set aside; and, without any finding as to costs, it
is so ordered.
TABUADA VS RUIZ
FACTS:

The very simple issue raised for our resolution in this case surfaced when the
parties in Sp. Proc. No. 5198 (the proceedings for the settlement of the intestate
estate of the late Jose and Paciencia Calaliman) manifested to the RTC their desire
to amicably settle the case. In light of the said manifestation, the trial court issued
the order which states they will no longer be setting the pending incidents for
hearing as the parties and their counsel have assured this Court that they are
going to submit a "Motion for Judgment Based On An Amicable Settlement" on or
before 25 December 2004.
The RTC, however, on March 2, 2005, invoking Section 3,5 Rule 17, of the Rules of
Court, terminated the proceedings on account of the parties' failure to submit the
amicable settlement and to comply with the afore-quoted December 6, 2004
Order. The trial court, in the challenged order of even date, likewise denied all the
motions filed by the parties.6
Petitioner, the administratrix of the estate, and private respondents separately
moved for the reconsideration of the March 2, 2005 Order arguing, among others,
that the termination of the case was premature, there being yet no payment of
the debts and distribution of the estate, and that they had already prepared all
the necessary papers for the amicable settlement.7
ISSUE:

HELD:
The petition is granted.
While a compromise agreement or an amicable settlement is very strongly
encouraged, the failure to consummate one does not warrant any procedural
sanction, much less provide an authority for the court to jettison the case.10 Sp.
Proc. No. 5198 should not have been terminated or dismissed by the trial court on
account of the mere failure of the parties to submit the promised amicable
settlement and/or the Motion for Judgment Based On An Amicable Settlement.
Given the non-contentious nature of special proceedings (which do not
depend on the will of an actor, but on a state or condition of things or
persons not entirely within the control of the parties interested), its
dismissal should be ordered only in the extreme case where the termination of the
proceeding is the sole remedy consistent with equity and justice, but not as a
penalty for neglect of the parties therein.
The third clause of Section 3, Rule 17, which authorizes the motu propio dismissal
of a case if the plaintiff fails to comply with the rules or any order of the court,13
cannot even be used to justify the convenient, though erroneous, termination of
the proceedings herein. An examination of the December 6, 2004 Order14 readily
reveals that the trial court neither required the submission of the amicable
settlement or the aforesaid Motion for Judgment, nor warned the parties that
should they fail to submit the compromise within the given period, their case
would be dismissed.15 Hence, it cannot be categorized as an order requiring
compliance to the extent that its defiance becomes an affront to the court and the
rules. And even if it were worded in coercive language, the parties cannot be
forced to comply, for, as aforesaid, they are only strongly encouraged, but are not
obligated, to consummate a compromise. An order requiring submission of an
amicable settlement does not find support in our jurisprudence and is premised
on an erroneous interpretation and application of the law and rules.
BORROMEO VS POGOY

FACTS:
Petitioner herein seeks to stop respondent Judge Julian B. Pogoy of the Municipal
Trial Court of Cebu City from taking cognizance of an ejectment suit for failure of
the plaintiff to refer the dispute to the Barangay Lupon for conciliation.
The intestate estate of the late Vito Borromeo is the owner of a building bearing
the deceaseds name, located at F. Ramos St., Cebu City. Said building has been
leased and occupied by petitioner Petra Vda. de Borromeo at a monthly rental of
P500.00 payable in advance within the first five days of the month.
On August 28, 1982, private respondent Atty. Ricardo Reyes, administrator of the
estate and a resident of Cebu City, served upon petitioner a letter demanding that
she pay the overdue rentals corresponding to the period from March to September
1982, and thereafter to vacate the premises. As petitioner failed to do so, Atty.
Reyes instituted on September 16, 1982 an ejectment case against the former in
the Municipal Trial Court of Cebu City. The complaint was docketed as Civil Case
No. R-23915 and assigned to the sala of respondent judge.
On November 12, 1982, petitioner moved to dismiss the case, advancing, among
others, the want of jurisdiction of the trial court. Pointing out that the parties are
residents of the same city, as alleged in the complaint, petitioner contended that
the court could not exercise jurisdiction over the case for failure of respondent
Atty. Reyes to refer the dispute to the Barangay Court, as required by PD No.
1508, otherwise known as Katarungang Pambarangay
Law.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
Respondent judge denied the motion to dismiss.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Section 4(a) of PD No. 1508 can be applied
HELD:
Be that as it may, the instant petition should be dismissed. Under Section 4(a) of
PD No. 1508, referral of a dispute to the Barangay Lupon is required only where
the parties thereto are "individuals." An "individual" means "a single human being
as contrasted with a social group or institution." 5 Obviously, the law applies only
to cases involving natural persons, and not where any of the parties is a juridical
person such as a corporation, partnership, corporation sole, testate or intestate,
estate, etc.
In Civil Case No. R-23915, plaintiff Ricardo Reyes is a mere nominal party who is
suing in behalf of the Intestate Estate of Vito Borromeo. While it is true that
Section 3, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court allows the administrator of an estate to sue
or be sued without joining the party for whose benefit the action is presented or
defended, it is indisputable that the real party in interest in Civil Case No. R-23915
is the intestate estate under administration. Since the said estate is a juridical
person 6 plaintiff administrator may file the complaint directly in court, without
the same being coursed to the Barangay Lupon for arbitration.
Guido vs Del rosario
Facts:
Petitioners claim that they are the legal heirs of the late Guido and Isabel
Yaptinchay, the owners-claimants of Lot No. 1131 with an area of 520,638 and Lot

No. 1132 with an area of 96,235 square meters, more or less situated in Bancal,
Carmona, Cavite.
On March 17, 1994, petitioners executed an Extra-Judicial Settlement of the
estate of the deceased Guido and Isabel Yaptinchay.
On August 26, 1994, petitioners discovered that a portion, if not all, of the
aforesaid properties were titled in the name of respondent Golden Bay Realty and
Development Corporation (Golden Bay) under Transfer Certificate of Title Nos.
(TCT) 225254 and 225255. With the discovery of what happened to subject
parcels of land, petitioners filed a complaint for ANNULMENT and/or DECLARATION
OF NULLITY OF TCT
Upon learning that Golden Bay sold portions of the parcels of land in question,
petitioners filed with the RTC an Amended Complaint to implead new and
additional defendants and to mention the TCTs to be annulled. But the respondent
court dismissed the Amended Complaint.
Petitioners moved for reconsideration of the Order dismissing the Amended
Complaint. The motion was granted by the RTC in an Order[1] dated July 7, 1995,
which further allowed the herein petitioners to file a Second Amended Complaint,
[2] which they promptly did.
On August 12, 1995, the private respondents presented a Motion to Dismiss[3] on
the grounds that the complaint failed to state a cause of action, that plaintiffs did
not have a right of action, that they have not established their status as heirs,
that the land being claimed is different from that of the defendants, and that
plaintiffs claim was barred by laches. The said Motion to Dismiss was granted by
the respondent court in its Order[4] dated October 25, 1995, holding that
petitioners have not shown any proof or even a semblance of it - except the
allegations that they are the legal heirs of the above-named Yaptinchays - that
they have been declared the legal heirs of the deceased couple.
Issue:
Whether or not the issue of heirship should first be determined before trial of
the case could proceed.
Held:
But the plaintiffs who claimed to be the legal heirs of the said Guido and Isabel
Yaptinchay have not shown any proof or even a semblance of it - except the
allegations that they are the legal heirs of the aforementioned Yaptinchays - that
they have been declared the legal heirs of the deceased couple. Now, the
determination of who are the legal heirs of the deceased couple must be made in
the proper special proceedings in court, and not in an ordinary suit for
reconveyance of property. This must take precedence over the action for
reconveyance this court opined that the declaration of heirship must be made in
an administration proceeding, and not in an independent civil action.
The trial court cannot make a declaration of heirship in the civil action for the
reason that such a declaration can only be made in a special proceeding. Under
Section 3, Rule 1 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court, a civil action is defined as
one by which a party sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or
the prevention or redress of a wrong while a special proceeding is a remedy by
which a party seeks to establish a status, a right, or a particular fact. It is then
decisively clear that the declaration of heirship can be made only in a special
proceeding inasmuch as the petitioners here are seeking the establishment of a
status or right.

CHENG VS LIM TIAN KEE


FACTS:
In July 18, 1966 the Cheng brothers purchased for P75,000 from the heirs of
Lorenzo Belcina Lot No. 434 covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 5066 in
Belcinas name.
When the Cheng brothers examined the original of TOT No. T-5066, they
discovered that it contained two annotations: one, a notice of lis pendens dated
June 14, 1966 regarding Case No. 1656, an action for declaratory relief filed by
Sergio Belcina Montesclaros regarding his claim for Lot No. 434, and, two, and
adverse claim of Lim Tian Kee and Regina Ortega registered on July 20, 1966.
On August 15, 1966 the Cheng brothers filed in the Court of First Instance of
Zamboanga del Norte, Dipolog Branch II a petition to cancel the said annotations.
Copies of the petition were served on Montesclaros and Lim Tian Kee
(Miscellaneous Special Proceeding No. 1446).
The Cheng brothers alleged that the annotation of the notice of lis pendens and
the adverse claim was irregular because the owner's duplicate of TCT No. T-5066
was not surrendered to the register of deeds.
Montesclaros opposed the petition. He contended that his notice of lis pendens
was registered in conformity with section 79 of Act No. 496 and section 24, Rule
14 of the Rules of Court. He averred that notice of lis pendens was an involuntary
transaction which could be registered without requiring the presentation of the
owner's duplicate of the title (Rivera vs. Tirona, 109 Phil. 505, 509).
Lim Tian Kee and Regina Ortega, who were common-law husband and wife, also
opposed the petition. They alleged that they were adverse claimants because
they were mortgagees of the shares in Lot No. 434 of Ildefonso, Saturnino and
Onesima all surnamed Belcina three of the seven heirs of Lorenzo Belcina.
The mortgages, which were executed before Lorenzo Belcinas estate was
extrajudicially partitioned were evidenced by three deeds dated April 30, June 29
and October 20, 1964. The mortgages were given as security for the payment of
the sums of P3,500, P3,000 and P3,000, which the three heirs, respectively,
borrowed from Lim Tian Kee and Regina Ortega. The latter were lessees of the
building erected on Lot No. 434. The deeds were not registered.
The lower court in its order of September 5, 1966 granted the petition. It ordered
the cancellation of the adverse claim and the notice of lis pendens. It reasoned
out that the annotation of the said entries was in violation of section 55 of Act No.
496 because the owner's duplicate of the title, which duplicate was in the
possession of the Cheng brothers, was not surrendered to the register of deeds.
Lim Tian Kee and Regina Ortega filed a motion for reconsideration. The lower
court denied it in its order of September 13, 1966. In that order the lower court
amplified its prior order by directing the register of deeds "to issue a transfer
certificate of title over Lot No. 434" in the names of the Cheng brothers "without
prejudice to whatever actions" Lim Tian Kee might file to protect his rights. (Note
that the Cheng brothers were able to secure Transfer Certificate of Title No. 9535
in their names on September 5, 1966 apparently pursuant to the aforementioned
court's order of that date and not because of the order of September 13, 1966).
Lim Tian Kee and Regina Ortega appealed to this Court.

ISSUE:
whether the lower court, as a land registration court, had jurisdiction to entertain
the contested petition for the cancellation of the adverse claim and notice of lis
pendens annotated on TCT No. 5066.
HELD:
It should be clarified that Cases Nos. 1446 and 1461 were erroneously
denominated and docketed as "miscellaneous special proceedings". The special
proceedings are enumerated in section 1, Rule 72 of the Rules of Court. Those two
cases are not the special proceedings enumerated therein. They cannot be
denominated special proceedings.
The petitions herein for the cancellation of the annotations on a Torrens title and
for the annotation of an adverse claim on the owner's duplicate of the title are
incidents involving registered land. Those petitions should carry the number of the
land registration record of the lot affected thereby which in these two cases is
L.R.C. Cadastral Record No. 77. Section 112 of Act No. 496 provides that a petition
filed thereunder "shall be filed and entitled in the original case in which the
decree of registration was entered".
In the instant two cases, what was invoked was the special and limited jurisdiction
of the Court of First Instance as a land registration court. The proceedings initiated
in the petitions are summary in character.
The petition of the Cheng brothers for the cancellation of the annotations on TCT
No. T-5066 was filed under section 112. It is settled that relief under section 112
can only be granted if there is no adverse claim or serious opposition on the part
of any party in interest; otherwise, the case becomes controversial and should be
threshed out in an ordinary case or in the case where the incident properly
belongs (Tangunan vs. Republic, 94 Phil. 171).
In other words, relief under section 112 can only be granted if there is unanimity
among the parties, which means the absence of any serious controversy as to the
title of the party seeking relief under that section
SHEKER VS ETATE OF ALICE SHEKER
FACTS:
The RTC admitted to probate the holographic will of Alice O. Sheker and thereafter
issued an order for all the creditors to file their respective claims against the
estate. In compliance therewith, petitioner filed on October 7, 2002 a contingent
claim for agent's commission due him amounting to approximately P206,250.00 in
the event of the sale of certain parcels of land belonging to the estate, and the
amount of P275,000.00, as reimbursement for expenses incurred and/or to be
incurred by petitioner in the course of negotiating the sale of said realties.
The executrix of the Estate of Alice O. Sheker (respondent) moved for the
dismissal of said money claim against the estate on the grounds that (1) the
requisite docket fee, as prescribed in Section 7(a), Rule 141 of the Rules of Court,
had not been paid; (2) petitioner failed to attach a certification against non-forum
shopping; and (3) petitioner failed to attach a written explanation why the money
claim was not filed and served personally.
On January 15, 2003, the RTC issued the assailed Order dismissing without
prejudice the money claim based on the grounds advanced by respondent.

Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied per Omnibus Order dated April
9, 2003.
ISSUE:
WON Section 2, Rule 72 of the Rules of Court provides that rules in ordinary
actions are applicable to special proceedings only in a suppletory manner.
HELD:
Section 2, Rule 72, Part II of the same Rules of Court provides:
Sec. 2. Applicability of rules of Civil Actions. - In the absence of special provisions,
the rules provided for in ordinary actions shall be, as far as practicable,
applicable in special proceedings.
Stated differently, special provisions under Part II of the Rules of Court govern
special proceedings; but in the absence of special provisions, the rules provided
for in Part I of the Rules governing ordinary civil actions shall be applicable to
special proceedings, as far as practicable.
The word practicable is defined as: possible to practice or perform; capable of
being put into practice, done or accomplished.[4]
***This means that in the absence of special provisions, rules in ordinary
actions may be applied in special proceedings as much as possible and
where doing so would not pose an obstacle to said proceedings.
Nowhere in the Rules of Court does it categorically say that rules in
ordinary actions are inapplicable or merely suppletory to special
proceedings. Provisions of the Rules of Court requiring a certification of
non-forum shopping for complaints and initiatory pleadings, a written
explanation for non-personal service and filing, and the payment of filing
fees for money claims against an estate would not in any way obstruct
probate proceedings, thus, they are applicable to special proceedings
such as the settlement of the estate of a deceased person as in the
present case.
GARCIA VS BELEN
FACTS:
On 12 September 1994, Maria Lourdes Elise Quiazon (Elise), represented by her
mother, Ma. Lourdes Belen (Lourdes), filed a Petition for Letters of Administration
before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Las Pias City.3 In her Petition docketed as
SP Proc. No. M-3957, Elise claims that she is the natural child of Eliseo having
been conceived and born at the time when her parents were both capacitated to
marry each other. Insisting on the legal capacity of Eliseo and Lourdes to marry,
Elise impugned the validity of Eliseos marriage to Amelia by claiming that it was
bigamous for having been contracted during the subsistence of the latters
marriage with one Filipito Sandico (Filipito). To prove her filiation to the decedent,
Elise, among others, attached to the Petition for Letters of Administration her
Certificate of Live Birth4 signed by Eliseo as her father. In the same petition, it
was alleged that Eliseo left real properties worth P2,040,000.00 and personal
properties worth P2,100,000.00. In order to preserve the estate of Eliseo and to
prevent the dissipation of its value, Elise sought her appointment as
administratrix of her late fathers estate.

Claiming that the venue of the petition was improperly laid, Amelia, together with
her children, Jenneth and Jennifer, opposed the issuance of the letters of
administration by filing an Opposition/Motion to Dismiss.5 The petitioners
asserted that as shown by his Death Certificate, 6 Eliseo was a resident of Capas,
Tarlac and not of Las Pias City, at the time of his death. Pursuant to Section 1,
Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court,7 the petition for settlement of decedents
estate should have been filed in Capas, Tarlac and not in Las Pias City. In addition
to their claim of improper venue, the petitioners averred that there are no factual
and legal bases for Elise to be appointed administratix of Eliseos estate.
In a Decision8 dated 11 March 2005, the RTC directed the issuance of Letters of
Administration to Elise upon posting the necessary bond. The lower court ruled
that the venue of the petition was properly laid in Las Pias City, thereby
discrediting the position taken by the petitioners that Eliseos last residence was
in Capas, Tarlac, as hearsay. The dispositive of the RTC decision reads:
Having attained legal age at this time and there being no showing of any
disqualification or incompetence to serve as administrator, let letters of
administration over the estate of the decedent Eliseo Quiazon, therefore, be
issued to petitioner, Ma. Lourdes Elise Quiazon, after the approval by this Court of
a bond in the amount of P100,000.00 to be posted by her.9
On appeal, the decision of the trial court was affirmed in toto in the 28 November
2008 Decision10 rendered by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.CV No. 88589. In
validating the findings of the RTC, the Court of Appeals held that Elise was able to
prove that Eliseo and Lourdes lived together as husband and wife by establishing
a common residence at No. 26 Everlasting Road, Phase 5, Pilar Village, Las Pias
City, from 1975 up to the time of Eliseos death in 1992. For purposes of fixing the
venue of the settlement of Eliseos estate, the Court of Appeals upheld the
conclusion reached by the RTC that the decedent was a resident of Las Pias City.
The petitioners Motion for Reconsideration was denied by the Court of Appeals in
its Resolution11 dated 7 August 2009.
ISSUE:
WON THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THAT ELISEO
QUIAZON WAS A RESIDENT OF LAS PIAS AND THEREFORE, THE PETITION FOR
LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION WAS PROPERLY FILED WITH THE RTC OF LAS PIAS
HELD:
Under Section 1, Rule 73 of the Rules of Court, the petition for letters of
administration of the estate of a decedent should be filed in the RTC of the
province where the decedent resides at the time of his death:
Sec. 1. Where estate of deceased persons settled. If the decedent is an
inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen
or an alien, his will shall be proved, or letters of administration granted,
and his estate settled, in the Court of First Instance now Regional Trial
Court in the province in which he resides at the time of his death, and if
he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the Court of First Instance now
Regional Trial Court of any province in which he had estate. The court first
taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise
jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. The jurisdiction assumed by a
court, so far as it depends on the place of residence of the decedent, or of the
location of his estate, shall not be contested in a suit or proceeding, except in an
appeal from that court, in the original case, or when the want of jurisdiction
appears on the record. (Emphasis supplied).

The term "resides" connotes ex vi termini "actual residence" as distinguished from


"legal residence or domicile." This term "resides," like the terms "residing" and
"residence," is elastic and should be interpreted in the light of the object or
purpose of the statute or rule in which it is employed. In the application of venue
statutes and rules Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court is of such
nature residence rather than domicile is the significant factor.13 Even where the
statute uses word "domicile" still it is construed as meaning residence and not
domicile in the technical sense.14 Some cases make a distinction between the
terms "residence" and "domicile" but as generally used in statutes fixing venue,
the terms are synonymous, and convey the same meaning as the term
"inhabitant."15
*** In other words, "resides" should be viewed or understood in its
popular sense, meaning, the personal, actual or physical habitation of a
person, actual residence or place of abode.16 It signifies physical
presence in a place and actual stay thereat.17 Venue for ordinary civil
actions and that for special proceedings have one and the same
meaning.18 As thus defined, "residence," in the context of venue
provisions, means nothing more than a persons actual residence or
place of abode, provided he resides therein with continuity and
consistency.19
Viewed in light of the foregoing principles, the Court of Appeals cannot
be faulted for affirming the ruling of the RTC that the venue for the
settlement of the estate of Eliseo was properly laid in Las Pias City. It is
evident from the records that during his lifetime, Eliseo resided at No.
26 Everlasting Road, Phase 5, Pilar Village, Las Pias City. For this
reason, the venue for the settlement of his estate may be laid in the said
city.
CUENCO VS CA
FACTS:
Senator Mariano Jesus Cuenco died in Manila. He was survived by his widow and
two minor sons, residing in Quezon City, and children of the first marriage,
residing in Cebu. Lourdes, one of the children from the first marriage, filed a
Petition for Letters of Administration with the Court of First Instance (CFI) Cebu,
alleging that the senator died intestate in Manila but a resident of Cebu with
properties in Cebu and Quezon City.
The petition still pending with CFI Cebu, Rosa Cayetano Cuenco, the second wife,
filed a petition with CFI Rizal for the probate of the last will and testament, where
she was named executrix. Rosa also filed an opposition and motion to dismiss in
CFI Cebu but this court held in abeyance resolution over the opposition until CFI
Quezon shall have acted on the probate proceedings.
Lourdes filed an opposition and motion to dismiss in CFI Quezon, on ground of lack
of jurisdiction and/or improper venue, considering that CFI Cebu already acquired
exclusive jurisdiction over the case. The opposition and motion to dismiss were
denied. Upon appeal CA ruled in favor of Lourdes and issued a writ of prohibition
to CFI Quezon.
ISSUEs:
WON THE JURISDICTION AND VENUE IS PROPER
HELD:

It is equally conceded that the residence of the deceased or the location of his
estate is not an element of jurisdiction over the subject matter but merely of
venue. This was lucidly stated by the late Chief Justice Moran in Sy Oa vs. Co Ho 9
as follows:
We are not unaware of existing decisions to the effect that in probate cases the
place of residence of the deceased is regarded as a question of jurisdiction over
the subject-matter. But we decline to follow this view because of its mischievous
consequences. For instance, a probate case has been submitted in good faith to
the Court of First Instance of a province where the deceased had not resided. All
the parties, however, including all the creditors, have submitted themselves to
the jurisdiction of the court and the case is therein completely finished except for
a claim of a creditor who also voluntarily filed it with said court but on appeal from
an adverse decision raises for the first time in this Court the question of
jurisdiction of the trial court for lack of residence of the deceased in the province.
If we consider such question of residence as one affecting the jurisdiction of the
trial court over the subject-matter, the effect shall be that the whole proceedings
including all decisions on the different incidents which have arisen in court will
have to be annulled and the same case will have to be commenced anew before
another court of the same rank in another province. That this is of mischievous
effect in the prompt administration of justice is too obvious to require comment.
(Cf. Tanunchuan vs. Dy Buncio & Co., G.R. No. 48206, December 31, 1942)
Furthermore, section 600 of Act No. 190, 10 providing that the estate of a
deceased person shall be settled in the province where he had last
resided, could not have been intended as defining the jurisdiction of the
probate court over the subject-matter, because such legal provision is
contained in a law of procedure dealing merely with procedural matters,
and, as we have said time and again, procedure is one thing and
jurisdiction over the subject matter is another. (Attorney-General vs.
Manila Railroad Company, 20 Phil. 523.) The law of jurisdiction Act No.
136, 11 Section 56, No. 5 confers upon Courts of First Instance
jurisdiction over all probate cases independently of the place of
residence of the deceased. Since, however, there are many courts of
First Instance in the Philippines, the Law of Procedure, Act No. 190,
section 600, fixes the venue or the place where each case shall be
brought. Thus, the place of residence of the deceased is not an element
of jurisdiction over the subject-matter but merely of venue. And it is
upon this ground that in the new Rules of Court the province where the
estate of a deceased person shall be settled is properly called "venue".
It should be noted that the Rule on venue does not state that the court with whom
the estate or intestate petition is first filed acquires exclusive jurisdiction.
The Rule precisely and deliberately provides that "the court first taking
cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise
jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts."
A fair reading of the Rule since it deals with venue and comity between courts
of equal and co-ordinate jurisdiction indicates that the court with whom the
petition is first filed, must also first take cognizance of the settlement of the
estate in order to exercise jurisdiction over it to the exclusion of all other courts.
Conversely, such court, may upon learning that a petition for probate of the
decedent's last will has been presented in another court where the decedent
obviously had his conjugal domicile and resided with his surviving widow and their
minor children, and that the allegation of the intestate petition before it stating
that the decedent died intestate may be actually false, may decline to take
cognizance of the petition and hold the petition before it in abeyance, and instead

defer to the second court which has before it the petition for probate of the
decedent's alleged last will.
This exactly what the Cebu court did. Upon petitioner-widow's filing with
it a motion to dismiss Lourdes' intestate petition, it issued its order
holding in abeyance its action on the dismissal motion and deferred to
the Quezon City court, awaiting its action on the petition for probate
before that court. Implicit in the Cebu court's order was that if the will
was duly admitted to probate, by the Quezon City court, then it would
definitely decline to take cognizance of Lourdes' intestate petition which
would thereby be shown to be false and improper, and leave the exercise
of jurisdiction to the Quezon City court, to the exclusion of all other
courts. Likewise by its act of deference, the Cebu court left it to the
Quezon City court to resolve the question between the parties whether
the decedent's residence at the time of his death was in Quezon City
where he had his conjugal domicile rather than in Cebu City as claimed
by respondents. The Cebu court thus indicated that it would decline to
take cognizance of the intestate petition before it and instead defer to
the Quezon City court, unless the latter would make a negative finding
as to the probate petition and the residence of the decedent within its
territory and venue.
SAN LUIS VS SAN LUIS
FACTS:
During his lifetime, Felicisimo contracted three marriages. His first marriage was
with Virginia Sulit on March 17, 1942 out of which were born six children, namely:
Rodolfo, Mila, Edgar, Linda, Emilita and Manuel. On August 11, 1963, Virginia
predeceased Felicisimo.
Five years later, on May 1, 1968, Felicisimo married Merry Lee Corwin, with whom
he had a son, Tobias. However, on October 15, 1971, Merry Lee, an American
citizen, filed a Complaint for Divorce before the Family Court of the First Circuit,
State of Hawaii, United States of America (U.S.A.), which issued a Decree Granting
Absolute Divorce and Awarding Child Custody on December 14, 1973. On June 20,
1974, Felicisimo married respondent Felicidad San Luis, then surnamed
Sagalongos, before Rev. Fr.
William Meyer, Minister of the United Presbyterian at Wilshire Boulevard, Los
Angeles, California, U.S.A. He had no children with respondent but lived with her
for 18 years from the time of their marriage up to his death on December 18,
1992.
Thereafter, respondent sought the dissolution of their conjugal partnership assets
and the settlement of Felicisimos estate. On December 17, 1993, she filed a
petition for letters of administration before the Regional Trial Court
On February 4, 1994, petitioner Rodolfo San Luis, one of the children of Felicisimo
by his first marriage, filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds of improper venue
and failure to state a cause of action. Rodolfo claimed that the petition for letters
of administration should have been filed in the Province of Laguna because this
was Felicisimos place of residence prior to his death. He further claimed that
respondent has no legal personality to file the petition because she was only a
mistress of Felicisimo since the latter, at the time of his death, was still legally
married to Merry Lee.
ISSUES:
(1) Whether venue was properly laid, and
RULING:
(1) Yes, the venue was proper. Section 1, Rule 73 of the Rules of Court, the
petition for letters of administration of the estate of Felicisimo should be filed in

the Regional Trial Court of the province "in which he resides at the time of his
death."
For purposes of fixing venue under the Rules of Court, the "residence" of a person
is his personal, actual or physical habitation, or actual residence or place of
abode, which may not necessarily be his legal residence or domicile provided he
resides therein with continuity and consistency. While petitioners established that
Felicisimo was domiciled in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, respondent proved that he also
maintained a residence in Alabang, Muntinlupa from 1982 up to the time of his
death. From the foregoing, we find that Felicisimo was a resident of
Alabang, Muntinlupa for purposes of fixing the venue of the settlement
of his estate.
DEL ROSARIO VS CUNANAN
FACTS:
On November 13, 1972, petitioner filed with the court below the above-said
petition, subject of which is the estate left by her late son, Felix L. del Rosario,
who died in a plane crash on September 12, 1969 at Antipolo, Rizal (Partial Joint
Stipulation of Facts, p. 2, petition, p. 6, rec.).
On March 17, 1973, respondents filed their opposition.
On April 26, 1973, the court a quo, pursuant to a verbal agreement forged
between the parties, issued an order requiring them to come up with a joint
stipulation of facts (p. 9, rec.).
On May 19, 1973, the parties submitted the following stipulation of facts:
OPPOSITOR admits that petitioner is the legitimate mother of the late FELIX L. DEL
ROSARIO.
PETITIONER admits that oppositor DOROTEA OTERA DEL ROSARIO is the.
legitimate surviving wife of the deceased FELIX L. DEL ROSARIO.
PETITIONER admits that MARILOU DEL ROSARIO, is the legally adopted child of the
late FELIX L. DEL ROSARIO and DOROTEA DEL ROSARIO CONANAN
THAT THE PARTIES admit that the late FELIX L. DEL ROSARIO died last September
12, 1969 at Antipolo, Rizal in a plane crash and within the jurisdiction of the
Honorable Court.
That the only surviving nearest relatives of deceased FELIX L. DEL ROSARIO are
the petitioner and oppositors DOROTEO O. CONANAN and MARILOU DEL ROSARIO.
Parties admit to pay their respective counsel in the amount to be determined by
the court.
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed of this Honorable Court that on the basis of
the facts stipulated, the Court declare the heirs of the deceased (pp. 9-10, rec.).
On June 21, 1973, the lower court issued the challenged order
ISSUE:
WON Section 2, Rule 74 of the Revised Rules of Court can be applied
HELD:

A perusal of the petition shows that the instant case was filed under the
provisions of Section 2, Rule 74 of the Revised Rules of Court
Whenever the gross value of the estate; of a deceased person, whether he died
testate or intestate, does not exceed ten thousand pesos, and that fact is made to
appear to the Court of First Instance having jurisdiction of the estate by the
petition of an interested person and upon hearing, which shall be held not less
than one (1) month nor more than three (3) months from the date of the last
publication of a notice which shall be published once a week for three (3)
consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the province, and after
such other notice to interested persons as the court may direct, the court may
proceed summarily, without the appointment of an executor or administrator, and
without delay, to grant, if proper, allowance of the will, if any there is, to
determine who are the persons legally entitled to participate in the estate, and to
apportion and divide it among them after the payment of such debts of the estate
as the court shall then find to be due; and such persons, in their own right, if they
are of lawful age and legal capacity, or by their guardians or trustees legally
appointed and qualified, if otherwise, shall thereupon be entitled to receive and
enter into the possession of the portions of the estate so awarded to them
respectively. The court shall make such order as may be just respecting the costs
of the proceedings, and all orders and judgment made or rendered in the course
thereof shall be recorded in the office of the clerk, and the order of partition or
award, if it involves real estate, shall be recorded in the proper registrar's office.
WE rule that on purely jurisdictional consideration, the instant petition should be
dismissed.
Indeed, in a litany of precedents dating as far back as the 1938 case of Utulo vs.
Pasiono Vda. de Garcia (66 Phil. 802) and reaffirmed in Asuncion and Castro vs, De
la Cruz (No. L-7855, November 23, 1955, 97 Phil. 910) and Gutierrez vs. Cruz (G.R.
No. L-21027, July 20, 1968, 24 SCRA 69), WE uniformly held that for the court to
acquire jurisdiction in a petition for summary settlement of estate under
the rules, the requirement that the amount of the estate involved should
not exceed P10,000,00 (P6,000.00 under the old rules) is jurisdictional.
In the instant case, both parties jointly affirmed that the value of the realty left by
the deceased Felix del Rosario is in the aggregate amount of P33,000.00 which, as
the court a quo correctly found, is obviously "over and above the value allowed
under the rules."
PEDROSA VS CA
FACTS:
On April 8, 1946, the spouses Miguel Rodriguez and Rosalina J. de Rodriguez
initiated proceedings before the CFI of Ozamiz City for the legal adoption of herein
petitioner, Maria Elena Rodriguez Pedrosa. On August 1, 1946, the CFI granted the
petition and declared petitioner Pedrosa the adopted child of Miguel and Rosalina.
On April 29, 1972, Miguel died intestate. Thereafter, petitioner and Rosalina
entered into an extrajudicial settlement of Miguel's estate, adjudicating between
themselves in equal proportion the estate of Miguel.
On November 21, 1972, private respondents filed an action to annul the adoption
of petitioner before the CFI of Ozamiz City, with petitioner and herein respondent
Rosalina as defendants docketed as OZ 349.

On August 28, 1974, the CFI denied the petition and upheld the validity of the
adoption. Thereafter, the private respondents appealed said decision to the Court
of Appeals.
On March 11, 1983, while said appeal was pending, the Rodriguezes entered into
an extrajudicial settlement with respondent Rosalina for the partition of the estate
of Miguel and of another sister, Pilar. Rosalina acted as the representative of the
heirs of Miguel Rodriguez. Pilar had no heirs except his brothers and sisters.
The Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement and Partition covered fourteen parcels of
land covering a total area of 224,883 square meters. These properties were
divided among Jose, Carmen, Mercedes, Ramon and the heirs of Miguel,
represented solely by Rosalina. The heirs of Miguel were given 226 square meters
of parcel 2, and 9,567 square meters and 24,457 square meters of parcels 7 and
9, respectively.1 The total land area allocated to the heirs of Miguel was 34,250
square meters.
Armed with the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement and Partition, respondents
Rodriguezes were able to secure new Transfer Certificates of Title (TCTs) and were
able to transfer some parcels to the other respondents herein.2
Lots 504-A-6, 504-B-3 and 504-C-4, portions of Parcel 3, designated as Lot 504,
were transferred to respondents Chuan Lung Fai,3 but not included in the Deed of
Settlement and Partition, were transferred to respondent Lilian Express, Inc. and
are now registered under TCT No. T-11337. Parcel 6, Lot 560, was subdivided
among Ramon, Jose, Carmen and Mercedes and was designated as Lots 560-A,
560-B, 560-C, 560-D and 560-E. Lot 560-A covering 500 square meters was
transferred to respondent Victorino Detall4 and was subsequently transferred to
Jerome Deiparine who registered it under his name under TCT No. T-10706. Lot
560-B with 500 square meters was transferred to respondent Petronilo Detalla5
and was later transferred to respondent Hubert Chiu Yulo who registered it under
his name under TCT No. T-11305. Lot 560-C was transferred and registered under
the name of respondent Paterio Lao with TCT No. T-10206. Lot 560-D was sold to
and subsequently registered in the name of Lorensita M. Padilla under TCT No. T10207. The remaining portion, Lot 560-E consisting of 43,608 square meters was
bought by respondent Immaculate Concepcion College and was registered in its
name under TCT No. T-10208.6
On June 19, 1986, the parties in the appeal which sought to annul the adoption of
petitioner Pedrosa filed a joint Motion to Dismiss. On June 25, 1986, the Court of
Appeals dismissed the appeal but upheld the validity of the adoption of petitioner.
Thereafter, petitioner sent her daughter, Loreto Jocelyn, to claim their share of the
properties from the Rodriguezes. The latter refused saying that Maria Elena and
Loreto were not heirs since they were not their blood relatives.
Petitioner, then, filed a complaint to annul the 1983 partition. The said complaint
was filed on January 28, 1987. Said complaint was later amended on March 25,
1987 to include the allegation "that earnest efforts toward a compromise were
made between the plaintiffs and the defendants, but the same failed."7
The Regional Trial Court dismissed the complaint.
Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals. The appellate court affirmed the
decision of the trial court.
ISSUE:
WON THE 1983 E. PARTITION IS VALID

HELD:
Section 1 of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court is the applicable rule on publication of
extrajudicial settlement. It states:
***The fact of the extrajudicial settlement or administration shall be
published in a newspaper of general circulation in the manner provided
in the next succeeding section; but no extrajudicial settlement shall be
binding upon any person who has not participated therein or had no
notice thereof.22
***Under said provision, without the participation of all persons involved
in the proceedings, the extrajudicial settlement cannot be binding on
said persons. The rule contemplates a notice which must be sent out or
issued before the Deed of Settlement and/or Partition is agreed upon,
i.e., a notice calling all interested parties to participate in the said deed
of extrajudicial settlement and partition, not after, which was when
publication was done in the instant case. Following Rule 74 and the
ruling in Beltran vs. Ayson, since Maria Elena did not participate in the
said partition, the settlement is not binding on her.
The provision of Section 4, Rule 74 will also not apply when the deed of
extrajudicial partition is sought to be annulled on the ground of fraud. A
deed of extrajudicial partition executed without including some of the
heirs, who had no knowledge of and consent to the same, is fraudulent
and vicious.23 Maria Elena is an heir of Miguel together with her
adopting mother, Rosalina. Being the lone descendant of Miguel, she
excludes the collateral relatives of Miguel from participating in his
estate, following the provisions of Article 1003 of the Civil Code.24 The
private respondent Rodriguezes cannot claim that they were not aware
of Maria Elena's adoption since they even filed an action to annul the
decree of adoption. Neither can they claim that their actions were valid
since the adoption of Maria Elena was still being questioned at the time
they executed the deed of partition. The complaint seeking to annul the
adoption was filed only twenty six (26) years after the decree of
adoption, patently a much delayed response to prevent Maria Elena from
inheriting from her adoptive parents. The decree of adoption was valid
and existing. With this factual setting, it is patent that private
respondents executed the deed of partition in bad faith with intent to
defraud Maria Elena.
In the case of Segura vs. Segura, the Court held:
This section [referring to section 4, Rule 74] provides in gist that a person who has
been deprived of his lawful participation in the estate of the decedent, whether as
heir or as creditor, must assert his claim within two years after the extrajudicial or
summary settlement of such estate under Sections 1 and 2 respectively of the
same Rule 74. Thereafter, he will be precluded from doing so as the right will have
prescribed.
***It is clear that Section 1 of Rule 74 does not apply to the partition in
question which was null and void as far as the plaintiffs were concerned.
The rule covers only valid partitions. The partition in the present case
was invalid because it excluded six of the nine heirs who were entitled
to equal shares in the partitioned property. Under the rule, "no
extrajudicial settlement shall be binding upon any person who has not
participated therein or had no notice thereof." As the partition was a
total nullity and did not affect the excluded heirs, it was not correct for

the trial court to hold that their right to challenge the partition had
prescribed after two years from its execution in 1941.25
***To say that Maria Elena was represented by Rosalina in the
partitioning is imprecise. Maria Elena, the adopted child, was no longer a
minor at the time Miguel died. Rosalina, only represented her own
interests and not those of Maria Elena. Since Miguel predeceased Pilar, a
sister, his estate automatically vested to his child and widow, in equal
shares. Respondent Rodriguezes' interests did not include Miguel's
estate but only Pilar's estate.
Could petitioner still redeem the properties from buyers? Given the circumstances
in this case, we are constrained to hold that this is not the proper forum to decide
this issue. The properties sought to be recovered by the petitioner are now all
registered under the name of third parties. Well settled is the doctrine that a
Torrens Title cannot be collaterally attacked. The validity of the title can only be
raised in an action expressly instituted for such purpose.26
CUA VS VARGAS
FACTS:
A parcel of residential land with an area of 99 square meters located in San Juan,
Virac, Catanduanes was left behind by the late Paulina Vargas. On February 4,
1994, a notarized Extra Judicial Settlement Among Heirs was executed by and
among Paulina Vargas' heirs, namely Ester Vargas, Visitacion Vargas, Juan Vargas,
Zenaida V. Matienzo, Rosario V. Forteza, Andres Vargas, Gloria Vargas, Antonina
Vargas and Florentino Vargas, partitioning and adjudicating unto themselves the
lot in question, each one of them getting a share of 11 square meters. Florentino,
Andres, Antonina and Gloria, however, did not sign the document. Only Ester,
Visitacion, Juan, Zenaida and Rosario signed it. The Extra Judicial Settlement
Among Heirs was published in the Catanduanes Tribune for three consecutive
weeks.3
On November 15, 1994, an Extra Judicial Settlement Among Heirs with Sale4 was
again executed by and among the same heirs over the same property and also
with the same sharings. Once more, only Ester, Visitacion, Juan, Zenaida and
Rosario signed the document and their respective shares totaling 55 square
meters were sold to Joseph Cua, petitioner herein.
According to Gloria Vargas, the widow of Santiago Vargas and one of respondents
herein, she came to know of the Extra Judicial Settlement Among Heirs with Sale
dated November 16, 1994 only when the original house built on the lot was being
demolished sometime in May 1995.5 She likewise claimed she was unaware that
an earlier Extra Judicial Settlement Among Heirs dated February 4, 1994 involving
the same property had been published in the Catanduanes Tribune.6
After knowing of the sale of the 55 square meters to petitioner, Gloria Vargas tried
to redeem the property, with the following letter7 sent to petitioner. When the
offer to redeem was refused and after having failed to reach an amicable
settlement at the barangay level,9 Gloria Vargas filed a case for annulment of
Extra Judicial Settlement and Legal Redemption of the lot with the Municipal Trial
Court (MTC), Respondents claimed that as co-owners of the property, they may be
subrogated to the rights of the purchaser by reimbursing him the price of the sale.
After trial on the merits, the MTC rendered a decision13 in favor of petitioner,
dismissing the complaint as well as the complaint-in-intervention for lack of merit,
and declaring the Deed of Extra Judicial Settlement Among Heirs with Sale valid
and binding. The MTC upheld the sale to petitioner because the transaction
purportedly occurred after the partition of the property among the co-owner heirs.

The MTC opined that the other heirs could validly dispose of their respective
shares. Moreover, the MTC found that although there was a failure to strictly
comply with the requirements under Article 1088 of the Civil Code14 for a written
notice of sale to be served upon respondents by the vendors prior to the exercise
of the former's right of redemption, this deficiency was cured by respondents'
actual knowledge of the sale, which was more than 30 days before the filing of
their complaint, and their consignation of the purchase price with the Clerk of
Court, so that the latter action came too late.
ISSUE:
WON the published extrajudicial settlements bind respondents who did not
participate therein.
HELD:
The petition lacks merit.
The procedure outlined in Section 1 of Rule 74 is an ex parte proceeding. The rule
plainly states, however, that persons who do not participate or had no
notice of an extrajudicial settlement will not be bound thereby. It
contemplates a notice that has been sent out or issued before any deed
of settlement and/or partition is agreed upon (i.e., a notice calling all
interested parties to participate in the said deed of extrajudicial
settlement and partition), and not after such an agreement has already
been executed19 as what happened in the instant case with the
publication of the first deed of extrajudicial settlement among heirs.
The publication of the settlement does not constitute constructive notice to the
heirs who had no knowledge or did not take part in it because the same was
notice after the fact of execution. The requirement of publication is geared
for the protection of creditors and was never intended to deprive heirs
of their lawful participation in the decedent's estate. In this connection,
the records of the present case confirm that respondents never signed
either of the settlement documents, having discovered their existence
only shortly before the filing of the present complaint. Following Rule
74, these extrajudicial settlements do not bind respondents, and the
partition made without their knowledge and consent is invalid insofar as
they are concerned.
TAN VS BENOLIRAO
FACTS:
Spouses Lamberto and Erlinda Benolirao and the Spouses Reynaldo and Norma
Taningco were the co-owners of a 689-square meter parcel of land (property)
located in Tagaytay City and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No.
26423. On October 6, 1992, the co-owners executed a Deed of Conditional Sale
over the property in favor of Tan for the price of P1,378,000.00.
Pursuant to the Deed of Conditional Sale, Tan issued and delivered to the coowners/vendors Metrobank Check No. 904407 for P200,000.00 as down payment
for the property, for which the vendors issued a corresponding receipt.
On November 6, 1992, Lamberto Benolirao died intestate. Erlinda Benolirao (his
widow and one of the vendors of the property) and her children, as heirs of the
deceased, executed an extrajudicial settlement of Lambertos estate on January
20, 1993. On the basis of the extrajudicial settlement, a new certificate of title
over the property, TCT No. 27335, was issued on March 26, 1993 in the names of

the Spouses Reynaldo and Norma Taningco and Erlinda Benolirao and her children.
Pursuant to Section 4, Rule 74 of the Rules,
As stated in the Deed of Conditional Sale, Tan had until March 15, 1993 to pay the
balance of the purchase price. By agreement of the parties, this period was
extended by two months, so Tan had until May 15, 1993 to pay the balance. Tan
failed to pay and asked for another extension, which the vendors again granted.
Notwithstanding this second extension, Tan still failed to pay the remaining
balance due on May 21, 1993. The vendors thus wrote him a letter demanding
payment of the balance of the purchase price within five (5) days from notice;
otherwise, they would declare the rescission of the conditional sale and the
forfeiture of his down payment based on the terms of the contract.
Tan refused to comply with the vendors demand and instead wrote them a letter
(dated May 28, 1993) claiming that the annotation on the title, made pursuant to
Section 4, Rule 74 of the Rules, constituted an encumbrance on the property that
would prevent the vendors from delivering a clean title to him. Thus, he alleged
that he could no longer be required to pay the balance of the purchase price and
demanded the return of his down payment.
When the vendors refused to refund the down payment, Tan, through counsel,
sent another demand letter to the vendors on June 18, 1993. The vendors still
refused to heed Tans demand, prompting Tan to file on June 19, 1993 a complaint
with the RTC of Pasay City for specific performance against the vendors, including
Andrew Benolirao, Romano Benolirao, Dion Benolirao as heirs of Lamberto
Benolirao, together with Evelyn Monreal and Ann Karina Taningco (collectively, the
respondents). In his complaint, Tan alleged that there was a novation of the Deed
of Conditional Sale done without his consent since the annotation on the title
created an encumbrance over the property. Tan prayed for the refund of the down
payment and the rescission of the contract. On September 8, 1995, after due
proceedings, the RTC rendered judgment ruling that the respondents forfeiture of
Tans down payment was proper in accordance with the terms and conditions of
the contract between the parties.[4] The RTC ordered Tan to pay the respondents
the amount of P30,000.00, plus P1,000.00 per court appearance, as attorneys
fees, and to pay the cost of suit.
On appeal, the CA dismissed the petition and affirmed the ruling of the trial court
in toto. Hence, the present petition.
ISSUE:
WON Section 4, Rule 74 annotation is an encumbrance on the property
HELD:
****An annotation is placed on new certificates of title issued pursuant
to the distribution and partition of a decedents real properties to warn
third persons on the possible interests of excluded heirs or unpaid
creditors in these properties. The annotation, therefore, creates a legal
encumbrance or lien on the real property in favor of the excluded heirs
or creditors. Where a buyer purchases the real property despite the
annotation, he must be ready for the possibility that the title could be
subject to the rights of excluded parties. The cancellation of the sale
would be the logical consequence where: (a) the annotation clearly
appears on the title, warning all would-be buyers; (b) the sale unlawfully
interferes with the rights of heirs; and (c) the rightful heirs bring an
action to question the transfer within the two-year period provided by
law.

As we held in Vda. de Francisco v. Carreon:[15]


And Section 4, Rule 74 xxx expressly authorizes the court to give to every heir his
lawful participation in the real estate notwithstanding any transfers of such real
estate and to issue execution thereon. All this implies that, when within the
amendatory period the realty has been alienated, the court in re-dividing it among
the heirs has the authority to direct cancellation of such alienation in the same
estate proceedings, whenever it becomes necessary to do so. To require the
institution of a separate action for such annulment would run counter to the letter
of the above rule and the spirit of these summary settlements. [Emphasis
supplied.]
Indeed, in David v. Malay,[17] although the title of the property had already been
registered in the name of the third party buyers, we cancelled the sale and
ordered the reconveyance of the property to the estate of the deceased for proper
disposal among his rightful heirs.
By the time Tans obligation to pay the balance of the purchase price
arose on May 21, 1993 (on account of the extensions granted by the
respondents), a new certificate of title covering the property had
already been issued on March 26, 1993, which contained the
encumbrance on the property; the encumbrance would remain so
attached until the expiration of the two-year period. Clearly, at this time,
the vendors could no longer compel Tan to pay the balance of the
purchase since considering they themselves could not fulfill their
obligation to transfer a clean title over the property to Tan.
CASTRO VS MIAT
FACTS:
the spouses Moises and Concordia Miat bought two (2) parcels of land during
their coverture. The first is located at Wawa La Huerta, Airport Village, Paraaque,
Metro Manila[2] and covered by TCT No. S-33535.[3] The second is located at
Paco, Manila,[4] and covered by TCT No. 163863.[5] Concordia died on April 30,
1978. They had two (2) children: Romeo and Alexander.
While at Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Moises agreed that the Paraaque and Paco
properties would be given to Romeo and Alexander.[6] However, when Moises
returned in 1984, he renegotiated the agreement with Romeo and Alexander. He
wanted the Paraaque property for himself but would leave the Paco property to his
two (2) sons. They agreed.[7]
It appears that Moises and Concordia bought the Paco property on installment
basis on May 17, 1977.[8] However, it was only on December 14, 1984 that
Moises was able to pay its balance.[9] He secured the title over the property in his
name as a widower.[10] According to Romeo, Moises violated the agreement that
their (Romeos and Alexanders) names would be registered in the title once the
balance was paid.[11] Upon demand, Moises gave the owners duplicate of the
Paco property title to Romeo.
Romeo and Alexander lived on the Paco property. On December 1, 1988, Romeo
was brought by petitioner Virgilio Castro to the chambers of Judge Anunciacion of
the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila where the status of the Paco property was
discussed.[17] On December 16, 1988, he received a letter from petitioner
Castros lawyer asking for a conference. Romeo was informed that the Paco
property had been sold to Castro by Moises by virtue of a deed of sale dated
December 5, 1988[18] for ninety-five thousand (P95,000.00) pesos.[19]

Ceferino Miat, brother of petitioner Moises,[20] testified that even before the
death of Concordia[21] there was already an agreement that the Paco property
would go to Romeo and Alexander.[22] This was reiterated at the deathbed of
Concordia.[23] When Moises returned to Manila for good, the agreement was
reiterated[24] in front of the extended Miat family members.[25] Initially, Romeo
and Alexander orally[26] divided the Paco property between themselves.[27]
Later, however, Alexander sold his share to Romeo.[28] Alexander was given
P6,000.00 as downpayment. This was corroborated by Pedro Miranda and Virgilio
Miat. Miranda worked with Moises at the Bayview Hotel and the Hotel Filipinas.[29]
His wife is the cousin of Romeo and Alexander.[30] Virgilio is the brother of
Moises.
Moises confirmed that he and his wife Concordia bought the Paco property on
installment from the Fraval Realty, Inc. There was still a balance of P12,000.00 on
the lot at the time of his wifes death.[31] He paid P3,500.00 in 1981[32] and
P8,500.00 in 1984.[33] He registered the title in his name. Romeo then borrowed
the title as he was going to mortgage it to his friend Lorenzo.[34]
Later, Moises ran into financial difficulties and he mortgaged for P30,000.00 the
Paco property to the parents of petitioner Virgilio Castro.[35] He informed Romeo
and Alexander that he would be forced to sell the Paco property if they would not
redeem the mortgage. He accompanied his children to the Manila City Hall to
discuss its sale with a judge and a lawyer. Also present in the meeting were
petitioner Virgilio Castro and his parents. After the conference, he proceeded to
sell the property to the petitioners-spouses Castro. The buyer of the property,
petitioner Virgilio P. Castro, testified that he informed Romeo that his father
Moises was selling the Paco property. Romeo replied: Bahala siya.[39] The second
time he informed Romeo about the pending sale was when he brought Romeo,
Alexander and Moises to Judge Anunciacion to consult him [as to] who has [the]
right over the [Paco] property.[40] He further declared that he went to the
Metropolitan Trial Court because [he] wanted to be sure whether [he] could buy
the property.[41] During the meeting, he was told by Romeo that the Paco
property was already given to him (Romeo) by Moises. He admitted knowing that
the title to the Paco property was in the possession of Romeo.[42] However, he
proceeded with the sale. Moises assured him that he would be able to get the title
from Romeo.[43]
These events precipitated the case at bar. Romeo filed an action to nullify the sale
between Moises and the Castro spouses; to compel Moises and Alexander to
execute a deed of conveyance or assignment of the Paco property to him upon
payment of the balance of its agreed price; and to make them pay damages.[44]
After trial, the Regional Trial Court rendered its decision. Both parties appealed to
Court of Appeals.
ISSUE:
WON the oral partition between Romeo and Alexander is not covered by the
Statute of Frauds.
HELD:
We also hold that the oral partition between Romeo and Alexander is not
covered by the Statute of Frauds. It is enforceable for two reasons. Firstly,
Alexander accepted the six thousand (P6,000.00) pesos given by Romeo as
downpayment for the purchase of his share in the Paco property. Secondly, Romeo
and his witnesses, Ceferino Miat and Pedro Miranda, who testified regarding the
sale of Alexanders share to Romeo, were intensely questioned by petitioners
counsel.[60]

In the recent case of Pada-Kilario vs. Court of Appeals, we held:[61]


[N]o law requires partition among heirs to be in writing and be
registered in order to be valid. The requirement in Sec. 1, Rule 74 of the
Revised Rules of Court that a partition be put in a public document and
registered, has for its purpose the protection of creditors and the heirs
themselves against tardy claims. The object of registration is to serve as
constructive notice to others. It follows then that the intrinsic validity of
partition not executed with the prescribed formalities is not undermined
when no creditors are involved. Without creditors to take into
consideration, it is competent for the heirs of an estate to enter into an
agreement for distribution thereof in a manner and upon a plan different
from those provided by the rules from which, in the first place, nothing
can be inferred that a writing or other formality is essential for the
partition to be valid. The partition of inherited property need not be embodied
in a public document so as to be effective as regards the heirs that participated
therein. The requirement of Article 1358 of the Civil Code that acts which have for
their object the creation, transmission, modification or extinguishment of real
rights over immovable property, must appear in a public instrument, is only for
convenience, non-compliance with which does not affect the validity or
enforceability of the acts of the parties as among themselves. And neither does
the Statute of Frauds under Article 1403 of the New Civil Code apply because
partition among heirs is not legally deemed a conveyance of real property,
considering that it involves not a transfer of property from one to the other but
rather, a confirmation or ratification of title or right of property that an heir is
renouncing in favor of another heir who accepts and receives the inheritance.
SAMPILO VS CA
FACTS:
Teodoro Tolete died intestate in January, 1945. He left for parcels of land, lots Nos.
12006, 119967, 14352 and 12176 of the cadastral survey of San Manuel,
Pangasinan He left as heirs his widow, Leoncia de Leon, and several nephews and
nieces, children of deceased brothers and sisters. On July 25, 1946, without any
judicial proceedings, his widow executed an affidavit stating that "the deceased
Teodoro Tolete left no children or respondent neither ascendants or acknowledged
natural children neither brother, sisters, nephews or nieces, but the, widow
Leoncia de Leon, the legitimate wife of the deceased, the one and only person to
inherit the above properties" (Record on Appeal, p. 9). This affidavit was
registered in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Pangasinan. On the same day,
she executed a deed of sale of all the above parcels of land in favor of Benny
Sampilo for the sum of P10,000. This sale was also registered in the Office of the
Register of Deeds of Pangasinan. On June 17, 1950, Benny Sampilo, in turn, sold
the said parcels of land to Honorato Salacup for P50,000 and this sale was also
registered in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Pangasinan (See Annexes "A",
"B", "C", attached to the complaint).
In March, 1950, Felisa Sinopera instituted proceedings for the administration of
the estate of Teodoro Tolete (Special Proceeding No. 3694, Pangasinan), and
having secured her appointment as administratrix, brought the present action on
June 20, 1950. Notice of lis pendens was filed in the Office of the Register of
Deeds and said notice was recorded on certificates of title covering the said
properties on June 26, 1950. This notice, however, was subsequent to the
registration of the deed of sale, in favor of Honorato Salacup, which took place on
June 17, 1950.

The complaint alleges that the widow Leoncia de Leon, had no right to execute
the affidavit of adjudication and that Honorato Salacup acquired no rights to the
lands sold to him, and that neither had Benny Sampilo acquired any right to the
said properties. After trial the Court of First Instance rendered judgment
for the plaintiff, Felisa Sinopera, declaring that the affidavit of
adjudication Exhibit "A", the deed of sale Exhibit "B", and the deed of
sale Exhibit "C", are all null and void; declaring plaintiff owner of onehalf portion of the four parcels of land in question, and finally declaring
that the usufructuary rights of Leoncia de Leon to said properties are
terminated. The case was appealed to the Court of Appeals. This court
held that the annulment of the affidavit of adjudication, Exhibit "A", by
the trial court was correct but that the annulment of the deeds Exhibits
"B" and "C", insofar as one-half of the properties, conveyed is
concerned, and in adjudicating one-half of the same to the heirs of the
deceased, is premature.
ISSUE:
Won The Court of Appeals erred in affirming that respondent Felisa Sinopera's
right of action to recover her and her co-heirs' participation to the lands in
question had not prescribed at the time the action to recover was filed
HELD:
Section 4 of Rule 74 provides, in part, as follows:
SEC. 4. Liability of distributees and estate. If it shall appear at any time within
two years after the settlement and distribution of an estate in accordance with
the provisions of either of the first two sections of this rule, that an heir or other
has been unduly deprived of his lawful participation of the such heir or such other
person may compel the settlement estate in the courts in the manner hereinafter
provided for the purpose of satisfying such lawful participation.
We notice two significant provisions in Sections 1 and 4 of Rule 74. In
Section 1, it is required that if there are two or more heirs, both or all of
them should take part in the extrajudicial settlement. This requirement is
made more imperative in the old law (Section 596, Act No. 190) by the addition of
the clause "and not otherwise." By the title of Section 4, the "distributees
and estate" are indicates the persons to answer for rights violated by
the extrajudicial settlement. On the other hand, it is also significant that
no mention is made expressly of the effect of the extrajudicial
settlement on persons who did not take part therein or had no notice or
knowledge thereof. There cannot be any doubt that those who took part
or had knowledge of the extrajudicial settlement are bound thereby. As
to them the law is clear that if they claim to have been in any manner
deprived of their lawful right or share in the estate by the extrajudicial
settlement, they may demand their rights or interest within the period of two
years, and both the distributes and estate would be liable to them for such rights
or interest. Evidently, they are the persons in accordance with the
provision, may seek to remedy, the prejudice to their rights within the
two-year period. But as to those who did not take part in the settlement
or had no notice of the death of the decedent or of the settlement, there
is no direct or express provision is unreasonable and unjust that they
also be required to assert their claims within the period of two years. To
extend the effects of the settlement to them, to those who did not take part or
had no knowledge thereof, without any express legal provision to that effect,
would be violative of the fundamental right to due process of law. In the case of
Ramirez vs. Gmur, supra, cited by the appellants in this case, we held:

It will be noted that while the law (see. 754) provides that the order of distribution
may be had upon the application of the executor or administrator, or of a person
interested in the estate, no provision is made for notice, by publication or
otherwise, of such application. The proceeding, therefore, is to all intents and
purposes ex parte. As will be seen our law is very vague and incomplete; and
certainly it cannot be held that a purely ex parte proceeding, had without notice
by personal service or by publication, by which the court undertakes to distribute
the property of deceased persons, can be conclusive upon minor heirs who are
not represented therein.
***The procedure outlined in Section 1 of Rule 74 of extrajudicial
settlement, or by affidavit, is an ex parte proceeding. It cannot by any
reason or logic be contended that such settlement or distribution would
affect third persons who had no knowledge either of the death of the
decedent or of the extrajudicial settlement or affidavit, especially as no
mention of such effect is made, either directly or by implication. We
have examined the two cases cited by appellants and there is no
similarity at all between the circumstances on which the ruling therein
had been predicated and those of the case at bar.
Following the above-quoted decision of this Court in the case of Ramirez vs. Gmur,
supra, we are of the opinion and so hold that the provisions of Section 4
of Rule 74, barring distributees or heirs from objecting to an
extrajudicial partition after the expiration of two years from such
extrajudicial partition, is applicable only (1) to persons who have
participated or taken part or had notice of the extrajudicial partition,
and, in addition, (2) when the provisions of Section 1 of Rule 74 have
been strictly complied with, i.e., that all the persons or heirs of the
decedent have taken part in the extrajudicial settlement or are
represented by themselves or through guardians. The case at bar fails to
comply with both requirements because not all the heirs interested have
participated in the extrajudicial settlement, the Court of Appeals having
found that the decedent left aside from his widow, nephews and nieces
living at the time of his death.
The origin of the Provision (Section 4, Rule 74), upon which this
contention is predicated, which is Section 596 of Act No. 190, fails to
support the contention. In the first Place, there is nothing therein, or in
its source which shows clearly a statute of limitations and a bar of action
against third person's. It is only a bar against the parties who had taken
part in the extrajudicial proceedings but not against third persons not
Parties thereto. In the second place, the statute of limitations is
contained in a different chapter of Act No. 190, Chapter XL, and if
Section 596 of the Act had been meant to be a statute of limitations, it
would naturally have been included in the chapter which defines the
statute.
But even if Section 4 of Rule 74 is a statute of limitations, it is still
unavailing to the defendants. The action is one based on fraud, as the
widow of the deceased owner of the lands had declared in her affidavit
of partition that the deceased left no nephews or niece, or other heirs
except herself. Plaintiff's right which is based on fraud and which has a
period of four years (Section 43, par. 3, Act no. 190; Article 1146, Civil
Code), does not appear to have lapsed the action was instituted. Judicial
proceedings where instituted in March, 1950 and these proceedings
must have been instituted soon after the discovery of fraud. In any case,
the defendants have the burden of proof as to their claim of the statute
of limitations, which is their defense, and they have not proved that

when the action was instituted, four years had already elapsed from the
date that the interested parties had actual knowledge of the fraud.
ESTATE OF FRANCISCO VS CARREON
FACTS:
September 2, 1947, Rosa Aldana Francisco petitioned the Court of First Instance of
Rizal summarily to settle the estate of her husband Jose M. Francisco who had
died in 1944. Alleging under oath that they had three minor children who were his
legal heirs, and that the deceased left a parcel of land with house thereon, and no
creditors, she asked for declaration that the persons entitled to share in his estate
are the said three minor children, with herself as usufructuary.
In connection with her petition she requested for appointment as guardian ad
item of her three minor children, and her request was granted in due course.
After the requisite publication, the petition was heard, and later approved by an
order dated November 29, 1947, declaring "the petitioner Rosa Aldana Francisco,
and her children Jose Francisco Jr., Thelma Francisco and Aurelio Francisco as the
only heirs of the deceased" and adjudicating unto the said heirs the abovementioned property in the proportion of one-half undivided share to the widow,
and the other half in equal parts, to the said children.
This order was registered in the office of the Register of Deeds, who issued
thereafter (January 15, 1948) a new certificate of title in the names and in the
proportion already stated.
August 4, 1948, Rosa Aldana Francisco mortgaged her share of the realty to the
sisters Fausta Carreon and Catalina Carreon for the sum of P13,000, and the deed
of mortgage was duly registered August 16, 1948. Afterwards, on January 19,
1950 she conveyed by absolute deed of sale, to the aforesaid creditors, her
interest and participation in the land. This sale was likewise inscribed in the office
of the Register of Deeds.
However, in a motion of March 14, 1950, Tiburcia Magsalin Vda. de Francisco,
mother of the deceased Jose M. Francisco, allegedly in representation of the minor
Jose Francisco y Palumpon, seventeen, averred that this minor was a recognized
natural son of the deceased, with legal right to participate in his estate, that the
previous proceedings were void because Rosa Aldana Francisco had concealed
such fact, and because she had interests in conflict with those of her three sons,
the truth being that the land was private property of Jose M. Francisco of which
she could not have been awarded a portion in fee simple.
Oppositions to the motion were presented by Rosa Aldana Francisco and by the
two sisters Fausta and Catalina Carreon.
One of the objectors pointed out that Tiburcia Magsalin could not be named
guardian of the natural and the legitimate children, because she would then be
representing interests in conflict. Wherefore the court chose to appoint, and did
appoint, the natural mother of Jose Francisco y Palumpon (Macaria Palumpon) as
his guardian ad item even as it named Tiburcia Magsalin Vda. de Francisco the
guardian ad item of the minors, legitimate children Jose Thelma and Aurelio.
Now, when the motion to annul or reopen was called for hearing, Macaria
Palumpon requested in open court the dismissal, without prejudice, of Jose
Francisco y Palumpon's demand for recognition. Her request was granted; but the
court announced that the three minor children's petition for reopening of the order
adjudicating one-half to Rosa Aldana Francisco, with all consequent effects upon
the mortgage and sale, will be taken up later, i.e., on May 5, 1950.

Both Rosa Aldana and the Carreons moved for reconsideration, contending that,
inasmuch as Jose Francisco y Palumpon had withdrawn, there was no authority to
continue, for the matter became a closed incident.
ISSUE:
WON The court erred: (1) in continuing to hear the motion for reopening, even
after the natural child had withdrawn from the litigation
HELD:
Again, supposing the original motion of March 14 did not afford legal standing to
the three legitimate children, and that it could not be "amended", as contended
by appellants, we perceive no reason to prevent the court below from
considering such amended motion as a new and independent petition in
the expediente, filed expressly on behalf of the three minor children.3
The matter of time might conceivably be material in regard in considering the
"amended" motion as "original" motion; but in this case it happens to be
immaterial, because under section 5 of Rule 74 such motion may be
lodged with the court within one year after the minors have reached
majority; and they are still minors now. Incidentally this section 5 fully
answers appellants' contention that Tiburcia's moves should have been
initiated within two years after November 8, 1947.
Appellants may not justly complain that they thought such petition for
readjustment or reopening could take place only within two years as prescribed by
section 4 of Rule 74 and as annotated in the certificate of title; because they are
conclusively presumed to know the existence and provisions of section 5, Rule 74.
As the trial judge correctly observed:
But the whole trouble is that they accepted the mortgage with the
encumbrance annotated; and while it referred to Rule 74, Section 4, and
did not specifically mention section 5, the fact that section 4, Rule 74
was therein noted should have been sufficient warning to them that the
title was subject to the interest of persons unduly prejudiced hereby. We
take judicial notice of the fact that in the adjudication in summary
settlements more often that not, the order merely says that the sale
shall be subject to the provisions of section 4, Rule 74. This is the case
because the Court can not foresee whether the movant would be
affected; but section 5 being an imposition of the law, and being a mere
sequence to the provisions of Section 4;
****we hold that where the title on its face shows that it was subject to
the provisions of Rule 74, section 4, a third person who accepts it must
take notice that he is running the risk of interferring with the rights of
minors as provided under section 5, Rule 74.
Contrary to appellants' claim, relief for the minors cannot be directed
against the bond which, according to appellants, should have been
demanded under section 3, Rule 74, because that section applies where
personal property is distributed not where, as here, realty is the
subject of partition.
REBUSQUILLO VS GALVEZ
FACTS:

On October 26, 2004, petitioners Avelina Abarientos Rebusquillo (Avelina) and


Salvador Orosco (Salvador) filed a Complaint for annulment and revocation of an
Affidavit of Self-Adjudication dated December 4, 2001 and a Deed of Absolute Sale
dated February 6, 2002 before the court a quo. In it, petitioners alleged that
Avelina was one of the children of Eulalio Abarientos (Eulalio) and Victoria Villareal
(Victoria). Eulalio died intestate on July 3, 1964, survived by his wife Victoria, six
legitimate children, and one illegitimate child, namely: (1) Avelina AbarientosRebusquillo, petitioner in this case; (2) Fortunata Abarientos-Orosco, the mother
of petitioner Salvador; (3) Rosalino Abarientos; (4) Juan Abarientos; (5) Feliciano
Abarientos; (6) Abraham Abarientos; and (7) Carlos Abarientos. His wife Victoria
eventually died intestate on June 30, 1983.
On his death, Eulalio left behind an untitled parcel of land in Legazpi City
consisting of two thousand eight hundred sixty-nine(2,869) square meters, more
or less, which was covered by Tax Declaration ARP No. (TD) 0141.
In 2001, Avelina was supposedly made to sign two (2) documents by her daughter
Emelinda Rebusquillo-Gualvez (Emelinda) and her son-in-law Domingo Gualvez
(Domingo), respondents in this case, on the pretext that the documents were
needed to facilitate the titling of the lot. It was only in 2003, so petitioners claim,
that Avelina realized that what she signed was an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication
and a Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of respondents.
As respondents purportedly ignored her when she tried to talk to them, Avelina
sought the intervention of the RTC to declare null and void the two (2) documents
in order to reinstate TD0141 and so correct the injustice done to the other heirs of
Eulalio.
In their answer, respondents admitted that the execution of the Affidavit of SelfAdjudication and the Deed of Sale was intended to facilitate the titling of the
subject property. Paragraph 9 of their Answer reads:
Sometime in the year 2001, [petitioner] Avelina together with the other heirs of
Eulalio Abarientos brought out the idea to [respondent] Emelinda RebusquilloGualvez to have the property described in paragraph 8 of the complaint registered
under the Torrens System of Registration. To facilitate the titling of the property,
so that the same could be attractive to prospective buyers, it was agreed that the
propertys tax declaration could be transferred to [respondents] Spouses
[Emelinda] R. Gualvez and Domingo Gualvez who will spend all the cost of titling
subject to reimbursement by all other heirs in case the property is sold; That it
was agreed that all the heirs will be given their corresponding shares on the
property; That pursuant to said purpose Avelina Abarientos-Rebusquillo with the
knowledge and consent of the other heirs signed and executed an Affidavit of SelfAdjudication and a Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of [respondents] Gualvez. In
fact, [petitioner] Avelina Rebusquillo was given an advance sum of FIFTY
THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00) by [respondent] spouses and all the delinquent
taxes paid by [respondents].3
After trial, the RTC rendered its Decision dated January 20, 2009 annulling the
Affidavit of Self-Adjudication and the Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Avelina
on the grounds that (1) with regard to the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication, she was
not the sole heir of her parents and was not therefore solely entitled to their
estate; and (2) in the case of the Deed of Absolute Sale, Avelina did not really
intend to sell her share in the property as it was only executed to facilitate the
titling of such property.
ISSUE:
WON the execution of the affidavit of self adjudication is proper.

HELD:
In light of the admission of respondents spouses Gualvez, it is with more reason
that a resort to special proceeding will be but an unnecessary superfluity.
Accordingly, the court a quo had properly rendered judgment on the validity of the
Affidavit of Self-Adjudication executed by Avelina. As pointed out by the trial court,
an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication is only proper when the affiant is the sole heir of
the decedent. The second sentence of Section 1, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court is
patently clear that self-adjudication is only warranted when there is only one heir:
Section 1. Extrajudicial settlement by agreement between heirs. x x x If there is
only one heir, he may adjudicate to himself the entire estate by means of an
affidavit filed in the office of the register of deeds. x x x (emphasis supplied)
As admitted by respondents, Avelina was not the sole heir of Eulalio. In fact, as
admitted by respondents, petitioner Salvador is one of the co-heirs by right of
representation of his mother. Without a doubt, Avelina had perjured herself when
she declared in the affidavit that she is "the only daughter and sole heir of
spouses EULALIO ABARIENTOS AND VICTORIA VILLAREAL."10 The falsity of this
claim renders her act of adjudicating to herself the inheritance left by her father
invalid. The RTC did not, therefore, err in granting Avelinas prayer to declare the
affidavit null and void and so correct the wrong she has committed.
In like manner, the Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Avelina in favor of
respondents was correctly nullified and voided by the RTC. Avelina was not in the
right position to sell and transfer the absolute ownership of the subject property
to respondents. As she was not the sole heir of Eulalio and her Affidavit of SelfAdjudication is void, the subject property is still subject to partition. Avelina, in
fine, did not have the absolute ownership of the subject property but only an
aliquot portion. What she could have transferred to respondents was only the
ownership of such aliquot portion. It is apparent from the admissions of
respondents and the records of this case that Avelina had no intention to transfer
the ownership, of whatever extent, over the property to respondents. Hence, the
Deed of Absolute Sale is nothing more than a simulated contract.
AVELINO VS CA
FACTS:
Petitioner Maria Socorro Avelino is a daughter and compulsory heir of the late
Antonio Avelino, Sr., and his first wife private respondent Angelina Avelino.
The other private respondents, Sharon, Antonio Jr., Tracy, Patrick and Mark
Anthony all surnamed Avelino are likewise compulsory heirs of Avelino, Sr. Sharon,
an American, is the second wife of Avelino Sr. The other private respondents are
siblings of petitioner Ma. Socorro.
The records reveal that on October 24, 1991, Ma. Socorro filed before the Regional
Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 78, docketed as SP Proc. No. Q-91-10441, a
petition for the issuance of letters of administration of the estate of Antonio
Avelino, Sr., who died intestate on April 10, 1989. She asked that she be
appointed the administrator of the estate.
On December 3, 1992, Angelina, and the siblings filed their opposition by filing a
motion to convert the said judicial proceedings to an action for judicial partition
which petitioner duly opposed. The petition was granted and it was converted into

a judicial partition. On March 17, 1993, petitioner filed a motion for


reconsideration which was denied in an Order dated June 16, 1993.
ISSUE:
WON Section 1, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court should apply.
HELD:
When a person dies intestate, or, if testate, failed to name an executor in his will
or the executor so named is incompetent, or refuses the trust, or fails to furnish
the bond required by the Rules of Court, then the decedent's estate shall be
judicially administered and the competent court shall appoint a qualified
administrator in the order established in Section 6 of Rule 78.5 The exceptions to
this rule are found in Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 746 which provide:
Sec. 1. Extrajudicial settlement by agreement between heirs. If the decedent
left no will and no debts and the heirs are all of age or the minors are represented
by their judicial or legal representatives duly authorized for the purpose, the
parties may, without securing letters of administration, divide the estate among
themselves as they see fit by means of a public instrument filed in the office of
the register of deeds, and should they disagree, they may do so in an ordinary
action of partition. . .
Sec. 2. Summary settlement of estates of small value. Whenever the gross
value of the estate of a deceased person, whether he died testate or intestate,
does not exceed ten thousand pesos, and that fact if made to appear to the
Regional Trial Court having jurisdiction of the estate by the petition of an
interested person and upon hearing, which shall be held not less than one (1)
month nor more than three (3) months from the date of the last publication of a
notice which shall be published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a
newspaper of general circulation in the province, and after such other notice to
interested persons as the court may direct, the court may proceed summarily,
without the appointment of an executor or administrator, and without delay, to
grant, if proper, allowance of the will, if any there be, to determine who are the
persons legally entitled to participate in the estate and to apportion and divide it
among them after the payment of such debts of the estate as the court shall then
find to be due; and such persons, in their own right, if they are lawful age and
legal capacity, or by their guardians or trustees legally appointed and qualified, if
otherwise, shall thereupon be entitled to receive and enter into the possession of
the portions of the estate so awarded to them respectively. The court shall make
such order as may be just respecting the costs of the proceedings, and all orders
and judgments made or rendered in the course thereof shall be recorded in the
office of the clerk, and the order of partition or award, if it involves real estate,
shall be recorded in the proper register's office.1awp++i1
The heirs succeed immediately to all of the rights and properties of the deceased
at the moment of the latter's death.7 Section 1, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court,
allows heirs to divide the estate among themselves without need of delay and
risks of being dissipated. When a person dies without leaving pending obligations,
his heirs, are not required to submit the property for judicial administration, nor
apply for the appointment of an administrator by the court.8
We note that the Court of Appeals found that in this case "the decedent left no
debts and the heirs and legatees are all of age."9 With this finding, it is our view
that Section 1, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court should apply.
NERI VS HEIRS OF YUSOF

FACTS:
During her lifetime, Anunciacion Neri (Anunciacion) had seven children, two (2)
from her first marriage with Gonzalo Illut (Gonzalo), namely: Eutropia and Victoria,
and five (5) from her second marriage with Enrique Neri (Enrique), namely:
Napoleon, Alicia, Visminda, Douglas and Rosa. Throughout the marriage of
spouses Enrique and Anunciacion, they acquired several homestead properties
with a total area of 296,555 square meters located in Samal, Davao del Norte,
embraced by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) Nos. (P-7998) P-21285, (P-14608)
P-51536 and P-20551 (P-8348)7issued on February 15, 1957, August 27, 1962 and
July 7, 1967, respectively.
On September 21, 1977, Anunciacion died intestate. Her husband, Enrique, in his
personal capacity and as natural guardian of his minor children Rosa and Douglas,
together with Napoleon, Alicia, and Vismindaexecuted an Extra-Judicial Settlement
of the Estate with Absolute Deed of Sale8 on July 7, 1979, adjudicating among
themselves the said homestead properties, and thereafter, conveying themto the
late spouses Hadji Yusop Uy and Julpha Ibrahim Uy (spouses Uy)for a
consideration of P 80,000.00.
On June 11, 1996, the children of Enrique filed a complaint for annulment of saleof
the said homestead properties against spouses Uy (later substituted by their
heirs)before the RTC, docketed as Civil Case No.96-28, assailing the validity of the
sale for having been sold within the prohibited period. Thecomplaint was later
amended to include Eutropia and Victoriaas additional plaintiffs for having been
excluded and deprived of their legitimes as childrenof Anunciacion from her first
marriage.
In their amended answer with counterclaim, the heirs of Uy countered that the
sale took place beyond the 5-year prohibitory period from the issuance of the
homestead patents. They also denied knowledge of Eutropia and Victorias
exclusionfrom the extrajudicial settlement and sale of the subject properties, and
interposed further the defenses of prescription and laches. On October 25, 2004,
the RTC rendered a decision ordering, among others, the annulment of the ExtraJudicial Settlement of the Estate with Absolute Deed of Sale. On appeal, the
CAreversed and set aside the ruling of the RTC in its April 27, 2010 Decision and
dismissed the complaint of the petitioners.
ISSUE:
WON the extrajudicial settlement is valid
HELD:
In the execution of the Extra-Judicial Settlement of the Estate with Absolute Deed
of Sale in favor of spouses Uy, all the heirs of Anunciacionshould have
participated. Considering that Eutropia and Victoria were admittedly excluded and
that then minors Rosa and Douglas were not properly represented therein, the
settlement was not valid and binding uponthem and consequently, a total nullity.
Section 1, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court provides:
SECTION 1. Extrajudicial settlement by agreement between heirs. x x x
The fact of the extrajudicial settlement or administration shall be published in a
newspaper of general circulation in the manner provided in the next succeeding
section; but no extrajudicial settlement shall be binding upon any person who has
not participated therein or had no notice thereof. (Underscoring added)

The effect of excluding the heirs in the settlement of estate was further elucidated
in Segura v. Segura,10 thus:
It is clear that Section 1 of Rule 74 does not apply to the partition in question
which was null and void as far as the plaintiffs were concerned. The rule covers
only valid partitions. The partition in the present case was invalid because it
excluded six of the nine heirs who were entitled to equal shares in the partitioned
property. Under the rule "no extrajudicial settlement shall be binding upon any
person who has not participated therein or had no notice thereof." As the partition
was a total nullity and did not affect the excluded heirs, it was not correct for the
trial court to hold that their right to challenge the partition had prescribed after
two years from its execution
However, while the settlement of the estate is null and void, the subsequent sale
of the subject propertiesmade by Enrique and his children, Napoleon, Alicia and
Visminda, in favor of the respondents isvalid but only with respect to their
proportionate shares therein.It cannot be denied that these heirs have acquired
their respective shares in the properties of Anunciacion from the moment of her
death11and that, as owners thereof, they can very well sell their undivided share
in the estate.12
AGTARAP VS AGTARAP
FACTS:
Joaquin died intestate on November 21, 1964 in Pasay City without any known
debts or obligations. During his lifetime, Joaquin contracted two marriages, first
with Lucia Garcia (Lucia),[5] and second with Caridad Garcia (Caridad). Lucia died
on April 24, 1924. Joaquin and Lucia had three childrenJesus (died without issue),
Milagros, and Jose (survived by three children, namely, Gloria,[6] Joseph, and
Teresa[7]). Joaquin married Caridad on February 9, 1926. They also had three
childrenEduardo, Sebastian, and Mercedes (survived by her daughter Cecile). At
the time of his death, Joaquin left two parcels of land with improvements in Pasay
City, covered by Transfer Certificates of Title (TCT) Nos. 873-(38254) and 874(38255). Joseph, a grandson of Joaquin, had been leasing and improving the said
realties and had been appropriating for himself P26,000.00 per month since April
1994.
Eduardo further alleged that there was an imperative need to appoint him as
special administrator to take possession and charge of the estate assets and their
civil fruits, pending the appointment of a regular administrator. In addition, he
prayed that an order be issued (a) confirming and declaring the named
compulsory heirs of Joaquin who would be entitled to participate in the estate; (b)
apportioning and allocating unto the named heirs their aliquot shares in the
estate in accordance with law; and (c) entitling the distributees the right to
receive and enter into possession those parts of the estate individually awarded
to them.
Joseph, Gloria, and Teresa filed their answer/opposition. They alleged that the two
subject lots belong to the conjugal partnership of Joaquin with Lucia, and that,
upon Lucias death in April 1924, they became the pro indiviso owners of the
subject properties. They said that their residence was built with the exclusive
money of their late father Jose, and the expenses of the extensions to the house
were shouldered by Gloria and Teresa, while the restaurant (Manongs Restaurant)
was built with the exclusive money of Joseph and his business partner. They
opposed the appointment of Eduardo as administrator on the following grounds:
(1) he is not physically and mentally fit to do so; (2) his interest in the lots is
minimal; and (3) he does not possess the desire to earn. They claimed that the

best interests of the estate dictate that Joseph be appointed as special or regular
administrator.
On February 16, 1995, the RTC issued a resolution appointing Eduardo as regular
administrator of Joaquins estate. Consequently, it issued him letters of
administration.
On September 16, 1995, Abelardo Dagoro filed an answer in intervention, alleging
that Mercedes is survived not only by her daughter Cecile, but also by him as her
husband. He also averred that there is a need to appoint a special administrator
to the estate, but claimed that Eduardo is not the person best qualified for the
task. The RTC issued an order of partition Eduardo, Sebastian, and oppositors
Joseph and Teresa filed their respective motions for reconsideration.
On August 27, 2001, the RTC issued a resolution[10] denying the motions for
reconsideration of Eduardo and Sebastian, and granting that of Joseph and Teresa.
It also declared that the real estate properties belonged to the conjugal
partnership of Joaquin and Lucia. It also directed the modification of the October
23, 2000 Order of Partition to reflect the correct sharing of the heirs. However,
before the RTC could issue a new order of partition, Eduardo and Sebastian both
appealed to the CA. Petition dismissed.
ISSUE:
WON A PROBATE COURT HAS THE POWER TO DECIDE OWNERSHIP
HELD:
As to Sebastians and Eduardos common issue on the ownership of the subject real
properties, we hold that the RTC, as an intestate court, had jurisdiction to resolve
the same.
The general rule is that the jurisdiction of the trial court, either as a probate or an
intestate court, relates only to matters having to do with the probate of the will
and/or settlement of the estate of deceased persons, but does not extend to the
determination of questions of ownership that arise during the proceedings.[15]
The patent rationale for this rule is that such court merely exercises special and
limited jurisdiction.[16] As held in several cases,[17] a probate court or one in
charge of estate proceedings, whether testate or intestate, cannot adjudicate or
determine title to properties claimed to be a part of the estate and which are
claimed to belong to outside parties, not by virtue of any right of inheritance from
the deceased but by title adverse to that of the deceased and his estate. All that
the said court could do as regards said properties is to determine whether or not
they should be included in the inventory of properties to be administered by the
administrator. If there is no dispute, there poses no problem, but if there is, then
the parties, the administrator, and the opposing parties have to resort to an
ordinary action before a court exercising general jurisdiction for a final
determination of the conflicting claims of title.
However, this general rule is subject to exceptions as justified by expediency and
convenience.
First, the probate court may provisionally pass upon in an intestate or a testate
proceeding the question of inclusion in, or exclusion from, the inventory of a piece
of property without prejudice to the final determination of ownership in a separate
action.[18] Second, if the interested parties are all heirs to the estate, or the
question is one of collation or advancement, or the parties consent to the
assumption of jurisdiction by the probate court and the rights of third parties are
not impaired, then the probate court is competent to resolve issues on ownership.

[19] Verily, its jurisdiction extends to matters incidental or collateral to the


settlement and distribution of the estate, such as the determination of the status
of each heir and whether the property in the inventory is conjugal or exclusive
property of the deceased spouse.[20]
We hold that the general rule does not apply to the instant case considering that
the parties are all heirs of Joaquin and that no rights of third parties will be
impaired by the resolution of the ownership issue.
ROBERTS VS LEONIDES
FACTS:
Grimm executed two wills in San Francisco, California on January 23, 1959. One
will disposed of his Philippine estate described as conjugal property of himself and
his second wife. The second will disposed of his estate outside the Philippines. The
two wills and a codicil were presented for probate in Utah by Maxine on March
1978. Maxine admitted that she received notice of the intestate petition filed in
Manila by Ethel in January 1978. The Utah Court admitted the two wills and codicil
to probate on April 1978 and was issued upon consideration of the stipulation
between the attorneys for Maxine and Ethel.
Also in April 1978, Maxine and Ethel, with knowledge of the intestate proceeding
in Manila, entered into a compromise agreement in Utah regarding the estate.
As mentioned, in January 1978, an intestate proceeding was instituted by Ethel.
On March 1978, Maxine filed an opposition and motion to dismiss the intestate
proceeding on the ground of pendency of the Utah probate proceedings. She
submitted to the court a copy of Grimms will. However, pursuant to the
compromise agreement, Maxine withdrew the opposition and the motion to
dismiss. The court ignored the will found in the record.The estate was partitioned.
In 1980, Maxine filed a petition praying for the probate of the two wills (already
probated in Utah), that the partition approved by the intestate court be set aside
and the letters of administration revoked, that Maxine be appointed executrix and
Ethel be ordered to account for the properties received by them and return the
same to Maxine. Maxine alleged that they were defrauded due to the
machinations of Ethel, that the compromise agreement was illegal and the
intestate proceeding was void because Grimm died testate so partition was
contrary to the decedents wills.
Ethel filed a motion to dismiss the petition which was denied by Judge Leonidas
for lack of merit.
ISSUE:
WON A TESTATE PROCEEDING IS PROPER
HELD:
We hold that respondent judge did not commit any grave abuse of discretion,
amounting to lack of jurisdiction, in denying Ethel's motion to dismiss.
A testate proceeding is proper in this case because Grimm died with two wills and
"no will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed"
(Art. 838, Civil Code; sec. 1, Rule 75, Rules of Court).
The probate of the will is mandatory (Guevara vs. Guevara, 74 Phil. 479 and 98
Phil. 249; Baluyot vs. Panio, L-42088, May 7, 1976, 71 SCRA 86). It is anomalous
that the estate of a person who died testate should be settled in an intestate

proceeding. Therefore, the intestate case should be consolidated with the testate
proceeding and the judge assigned to the testate proceeding should continue
hearing the two cases.
Ethel may file within twenty days from notice of the finality of this judgment an
opposition and answer to the petition unless she considers her motion to dismiss
and other pleadings sufficient for the purpose. Juanita G. Morris, who appeared in
the intestate case, should be served with copies of orders, notices and other
papers in the testate case.
WHEREFORE the petition is dismissed. The temporary restraining order is
dissolved. No costs.
GUEVARRA VS GUEVARRA AND QUINTO
FACTS:
on August 26, 1931, Victorino L. Guevara, a resident of Bayambang, Pangasinan,
executed a will (Exhibit A), distributing assorted movables and a residential lot
among his children, Rosario and Ernesto Guevara, and his stepchildren, Vivencio,
Eduvigis, Dionista, Candida, and Pio Guevara. To his second wife Augustia
Posadas, the testator bequeathed, in addition to various movables, a portion of 25
hectares to be taken out of a 259 odd hectare parcel outlined in Plan Psu-68618,
plus another five (5) hectares in settlement of her widows usufruct. Ernesto
Guevara was appointed executor without bond.
On July 12, 1933, the same testator executed a deed of sale in favor of Ernesto
Guevara, conveying to the latter the southern half of the 259-hectare lot
heretofore mentioned, and expressly recognized Ernesto Guevara as owner of the
northern half.
Prior to this sale, on November 1, 1932, Victorino and his son Ernesto had jointly
applied for registration of the big parcel (case No. 15174), but in view of the sale
from the former to the latter, the decree was issued in the name of Ernesto
Guevara exclusively and for the whole tract, a certificate of title (No. 51691 of
Pangasinan) being issued in his sole name on October 12, 1933.
Fifteen days previously, i.e., on September 27, 1933, Victorino Guevara died, but
his will was not filed for probate. About four years later, Rosario Guevara, claiming
to be a recognized natural child of the deceased Victorino, and on the assumption
that he had died intestate, brought suit against Ernesto Guevara to recover
423,492 square meters of the tract covered by certificate of title No. 51691 as the
portion that should correspond to her (Rosario) by way of legitime.
The case reached the former Court of Appeals in due course and was decided in
Rosario Guevaras favor (Exhibit E); chan roblesvirtualawlibrarybut upon certiorari,
the Supreme Court modified the judgment in December, 1943. On January 31,
1946, Ernesto Guevara, through counsel, filed a motion to dismiss the petition on
the grounds that (a) the petition itself alleged that the will was revoked; chan
roblesvirtualawlibrary(b) that whatever right to probate the parties may have has
already prescribed (Record on Appeal, p. 14); chan roblesvirtualawlibraryand (c)
that the purpose of the probate was solely to have Petitioner Rosario declared an
acknowledged natural child of the deceased.
ISSUE:
WON THE STATUTE OF LIMITATION APPLIES IN PROBATE PROCEEDINGS

HELD:
We are of the opinion that the Court below was in error when it declared that the
petition for probate of the will of Victorino Guevara was barred by prescription.
The provision of Article 756 of the old Civil Code (1042 of the New) and of Rule 76
of the Rules of Court, reiterating those of the old Code of Civil Procedure (Act 190),
point out that the presentation of a decedents will to the competent court has
always been deemed by our law as more of a duty than a right, and the neglect of
such obligation carries with it the corresponding penalty and it is inconsistent with
that policy that the court should refuse to admit wills to probate, without inquiry
into their validity. The authority given to testators to dispose freely of a portion of
their estate would be imperfectly safeguarded, unless adequate measures were
provided by the state to assure that the wishes of the deceased would be carried
out. Because the decedent may no longer act to have his testamentary
dispositions duly executed, the state authority must take over the opposite
vigilance and supervision, so that free testamentary disposition does not remain a
delusion and a dream. This was expressly recognized by the Supreme Court in its
previous decision, G. R. No. 48840 (Exhibit E) when it
said:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
cralaw We hold that under section 1 of Rule 74, in relation to Rule 76, if the
decedent left a will and no debts and the heirs and legatees desire to make an
extrajudicial partition of the estate, they must first present that will to the court
for probate and divide the estate in accordance with the will. They may not
disregard the provisions of the will unless those provisions are contrary to law.
Neither may they do away with the presentation of the will to the court for
probate, because such suppression of the will is contrary to law and public policy.
The law enjoins the probate of the will and public policy requires it, because
unless the 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, as is
attempted to be done in the instant case. Absent legatees and devisees, or such
of them as may have no knowledge of the will, could be cheated of their
inheritance thru the collusion of some of the heirs who might agree to the
partition of the estate among themselves to the exclusion of others. (Italics
supplied)
In holding the statute of limitations applicable to the probate of wills, the court
below failed to notice that its doctrine was destructive of the right of
testamentary disposition and violative of the owners right to control his property
within the legal limits. The appealed order in fact leaves wills at the mercy and
whim of custodians and heirs interested in their suppression. The lower court
would in effect abdicate the tutelary power that passed to the Republic from the
former sovereigns, that potestad suprema que en mi reside para velar por el
puntual cumplimiento de las ultimas voluntades, asserted as one of the royal
prerogatives in the Real Cedula of March 18, 1776.
It is not without purpose that Rule of Court 77 prescribes that any 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. Taken from the Code of
Procedure of California, this provision has been interpreted as meaning that the
statute of limitations has no application to probate of wills. In the case of In re
Humes Estate, 179 Calif. 338, 176 Pac. 681, the California Supreme Court ruled
that:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
The chapter of the Code relating to the probate of wills does not provide for
opposition to such probate on the ground of the bar of the statute of limitations,
but, in effect, excludes it from the category of grounds allowed as a basis for such
opposition. Section 1299 declares that any person interested in the estate may at

any time after the death of the testator, petition the court having jurisdiction to
have the will proved. This implies that there is no arbitrary time limit.
One of the most fundamental conceptions of probate law, is that it is the duty of
the court to effectuate, in so far as may be compatible with the public interest,
the devolutionary wishes of a deceased person (Matter of Watsons Will, 262 N.Y.
284, 294, 186 N.E. 787; chan roblesvirtualawlibraryMatter of Marrimans Estate,
124 Misc. 320, 325, 208 N.Y.S. 672; chan roblesvirtualawlibraryFoley, S. affirmed
217 App. Div. 733, 216 N.Y.S. 842; chan roblesvirtualawlibraryMatter of Lensmans
Estate, 137 Misc. 77, 78, 243 N.Y.S. 126, Henderson, S., Matter of Drakes Estate,
160 Misc. 587, 598, 290 N.Y.S. 581). To that end, the court is, in effect, an
additional party to every litigation affecting the disposal of the assets of the
deceased. Matter of Van Valkenburghs Estate, 164 Misc. 295, 296, 298 N.Y.S. 219.
A determination, therefore, that the mere non-action of a person upon whom no
legal duty rested in this regard, could have the effect of subverting the wishes of
one who was no longer able to protect his own unquestionable rights, would strike
at the very foundation of all conceptions of justice as administered in probate
courts.
These decisions are of high persuasive value (Cu vs. Republic, G. R. L-3018, July
18, 1951); chan roblesvirtualawlibrarythey represent the trend of authority (57
Am. Jur. 585), and enable us to conclude that reason and precedent reject the
applicability of the Statute of Limitations to probate proceedings, because these
are not exclusively established in the interest of the surviving heirs, but primarily
for the protection of the testators expressed wishes, that are entitled to respect
as an effect of his ownership and right of disposition. If the probate of validly
executed wills is required by public policy, as declared by the Supreme Court in
the previous case, G.R. 48840 (Exhibit E), the state could not have intended the
statute of limitations to defeat that policy.
It is true, as ruled by the trial court, that the rights of parties should not be left
hanging in uncertainty for periods of time far in excess of the maximum period of
ten years allowed by law; chan roblesvirtualawlibrarybut the obvious remedy is
for the other interested persons to petition for the production of the will and for its
probate, or to inflict upon the guilty party the penalties prescribed by Rule 76 or
declare the unworthiness of the heir under the Civil Code for concealing or
suppressing the testament; chan roblesvirtualawlibrarybut not to dismiss the
petition for probate, however belatedly submitted, and thereby refuse sanction to
testamentary dispositions executed with all the formalities prescribed by law,
incidentally prejudicing also those testamentary heirs who do not happen to be
successors ab intestato. That in this particular case the appealed rule may not
work injustice would not excuse its adoption as a general norm applicable to all
cases.
FERNANDEZ VS DIMAGIBA
FACTS:
The heirs intestate of the late Benedicta de los Reyes have petitioned for a review
of the decision of the Court of Appeals (in CA-G. R. No. 31221-R) affirming that of
the Court of First Instance of Bulacan, in Special Proceeding No. 831 of said Court,
admitting to probate the alleged last will and testament of the deceased, and
overruling the opposition to the probate.
It appears from the record that on January 19, 1955, Ismaela Dimagiba, now
respondent, submitted to the Court of First Instance a petition for the probate of
the purported will of the late Benedicta de los Reyes, executed on October 22,
1930, and annexed to the petition. The will instituted the petitioner as the sole
heir of the estate of the deceased. The petition was set for hearing, and in due
time, Dionisio Fernandez, Eusebio Reyes and Luisa Reyes and one month later,

Mariano, Cesar, Leonor and Paciencia, all surnamed Reyes, all claiming to be heirs
intestate of the decedent, filed oppositions to the probate asked. Grounds
advanced for the opposition were forgery, vices of consent of the testatrix,
estoppel by laches of the proponent and revocation of the will by two deeds of
conveyance of the major portion of the estate made by the testatrix in favor of
the proponent in 1943 and 1944, but which conveyances were finally set aside by
this Supreme Court in a decision promulgated on August 3, 1954, in cases G.R.
Nos. L-5618 and L-5620 (unpublished).
After trial on the formulated issues, the Court of First Instance, by decision of June
20, 1958, found that the will was genuine and properly executed; but deferred
resolution on the questions of estoppel and revocation "until such time when we
shall pass upon the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will or when the
question of adjudication of the properties is opportunely presented."
Oppositors Fernandez and Reyes petitioned for reconsideration, and/or new trial,
insisting that the issues of estoppel and revocation be considered and resolved;
whereupon, on July 27, 1959, the Court overruled the claim that proponent was in
estoppel to ask for the probate of the will, but "reserving unto the parties the right
to raise the issue of implied revocation at the opportune time."
ISSUE:
(a) whether or not the decree of the Court of First Instance allowing the will to
probate had become final for lack of appeal; (b) whether or not the order of the
Court of origin dated July 27, 1959, overruling the estoppel invoked by oppositorsappellants had likewise become final;
HELD:
As to the first point, oppositors-appellants contend that the order allowing the will
to probate should be considered interlocutory, because it fails to resolve the
issues of estoppel and revocation propounded in their opposition. We agree with
the Court of Appeals that the appellant's stand is untenable. It is elementary that
a probate decree finally and definitively settles all questions concerning capacity
of the testator and the proper execution and witnessing of his last will and
testament, irrespective of whether its provisions are valid and enforceable or
otherwise. (Montaano vs. Suesa, 14 Phil. 676; Mercado vs. Santos, 66 Phil. 215;
Trillana vs. Crisostomo, 89 Phil. 710). As such, the probate order is final and
appealable; and it is so recognized by express provisions of Section 1 of Rule 109,
that specifically prescribes that "any interested person may appeal in special
proceedings from an order or judgment . . . where such order or judgment: (a)
allows or disallows a will."
Appellants argue that they were entitled to await the trial Court's resolution on
the other grounds of their opposition before taking an appeal, as otherwise there
would be a multiplicity of recourses to the higher Courts. This contention is
without weight, since Rule 109, section 1, expressly enumerates six different
instances when appeal may be taken in special proceedings.
There being no controversy that the probate decree of the Court below was not
appealed on time, the same had become final and conclusive. Hence, the
appellate courts may no longer revoke said decree nor review the evidence upon
which it is made to rest. Thus, the appeal belatedly lodged against the decree was
correctly dismissed.
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. Only the total and absolute revocation can
preclude probate of the revoked testament (Trillana vs. Crisostomo, supra.).
As to the issue of estoppel, we have already ruled in Guevara vs. Guevara, 98 Phil.
249, that the presentation and probate of a will are requirements of public policy,
being primarily designed to protect the testator's, expressed wishes, which are
entitled to respect as a consequence of the decedent's ownership and right of
disposition within legal limits. Evidence of it is the duty imposed on a custodian of
a will to deliver the same to the Court, and the fine and imprisonment prescribed
for its violation (Revised Rule 75). It would be a non sequitur to allow public policy
to be evaded on the pretext of estoppel. Whether or not the order overruling the
allegation of estoppel is still appealable or not, the defense is patently
unmeritorious and the Court of Appeals correctly so ruled.
Vda. De reyes vs CA
FACTS:
During his lifetime, one Gavino Reyes owned a parcel of land of approximately 70
hectares, more or less, located at Sangayad, Ulong-Tubig, Carmona, Cavite. He
sought to bring said land under the operation of the Torrens System of registration
of property. Unfortunately, he died in 1921 without the title having been issued to
him. The application was prosecuted by his son, Marcelo Reyes, who was the
administrator of his property.
In 1936 the above property was surveyed and subdivided by Gavino's heirs (Exh.
"6"). In the subdivision plan, each resultant lot was earmarked, indicated for and
assigned to a specific heir. It appears therein that two lots, one of which is Lot No.
I A-14 (Exh. "6-A"), were allotted to Rafael Reyes, Sr., one of Gavino's children. Per
testimony of Juan Poblete, the children thereafter secured tax declarations for
their respective shares.
In 1941, or about twenty (20) years after the death of Gavino, the original
certificate of title for the whole property OCT No. 255 was issued. It was,
however, kept by Juan Poblete, son-in-law of Marcelo Reyes, who was by then
already deceased. The heirs of Gavino were not aware of this fact.
On 3 December 1943, Rafael Reyes, Sr. sold a parcel of land with an area of
23,431 square meters, more or less, to private respondent Dalmacio Gardiola
(Exh. "5"). According to the vendee, this parcel corresponds to Lot No. 1-A-14 of
the subdivision plan aforestated. The deed of sale, however, did not specifically
mention Lot No. 1-A-14. The vendee immediately took possession of the property
and started paying the land taxes therein.
In 1945 or thereabouts, Juan Poblete "revalidated" the original Certificate of Title.
As reconstituted, the new title is OCT (0-4358) RO-255 (Exhs. "4" to "4-A").
On 21 October 1967, when the heirs of Gavino Reyes executed a Deed of
Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate (Exh. "D") based on the aforestated subdivision
plan (Exh. "6"), the lot that was intended for Rafael Reyes, Sr., who was already
deceased, was instead adjudicated to his only son and heir, Rafael Reyes, Jr. (the
predecessor-in-interest of the petitioners herein). Private respondent Rosario

Martillano signed the deed in representation of her mother, Marta Reyes, one of
the children of Gavino Reyes.
As a result of the Extrajudicial Settlement, OCT RO-255 was cancelled and in lieu
thereof, several transfer certificates of title covering the subdivided lots were
issued in the names of the respective adjudicatees. One of them is TCT No. 27257
in the name of Rafael Reyes, Jr. covering Lot No. 1-A-14. The Transfer Certificates
of Title were, however, kept by one Candido Hebron. On 10 January 1969, some of
the heirs of Gavino Reyes filed a case of Annulment of Partition and Recovery of
Possession before the Court of First Instance of Cavite City, which was docketed
therein as Civil Case No. 1267. One of the defendants in said case is herein
private respondent Rosario Martillano. The case was dismissed on 18 September
1969, but Candido Hebron was ordered by the trial court to deliver to the heirs
concerned all the transfer certificates of title in his possession. 3
After obtaining the Transfer Certificate of Title for Lot No. 1-A-14 from Hebron,
pursuant to the aforesaid order in Civil Case No. 1267, petitioners herein, as
successors-in-interest of Rafael Reyes, Jr., filed on 14 March 1983 with the
Regional Trial Court the above-mentioned Civil Case No. RTC-BCV-83-17 against
private respondents (defendants therein) for recovery of possession or, in the
alternative, for indemnification, accounting and damages. They allege therein that
after "having definitely discovered that they are the lawful owners of the
property," (Lot No. 1-A-14), they, "including Rafael Reyes, Jr., during his lifetime,
made repeated demands to (sic) defendants to surrender the possession of and
vacate the parcel of land belonging to the former, but defendants refused to
vacate and surrender the possession of the said land to herein plaintiffs;" the last
of the demands was allegedly made on 8 October 1982. They further allege that
they have been deprived by said defendants of the rightful possession and
enjoyment of the property since September 1969 which coincides with the date
of the order in Civil Case No. 1267. 4
In their answer, private respondents deny the material averments in the
complaint and assert that they are the owners of the lot in question, having
bought the same from Rafael Reyes, Sr., that the issuance of TCT No. 27257 is null
and void, for such sale was known to Rafael Reyes, Jr.; that they have been in
possession of the property and have been paying the land taxes thereon; and that
petitioners are barred by prescription and/or laches.
ISSUE:
WON THE ORAL PARTITION IS VALID
HELD:
The Court of Appeals correctly held that the partition made by the children of
Gavino Reyes in 1936, although oral, was valid and binding. There is no law that
requires partition among heirs to be in writing to be valid. 24 In Hernandez vs.
Andal, supra, this Court, interpreting Section 1 of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court,
held that the requirement that a partition be put in a public document and
registered has for its purpose the protection of creditors and at the same time the
protection of the heirs themselves against tardy claims. The object of registration
is to serve as constructive notice to others. It follows then that the intrinsic
validity of partition not executed with the prescribed formalities does not come
into play when there are no creditors or the rights of creditors are not affected.
Where no such rights are involved, it is competent for the heirs of an estate to
enter into an agreement for distribution in a manner and upon a plan different
from those provided by law. There is nothing in said section from which it can be
inferred that a writing or other formality is an essential requisite to the validity of
the partition. Accordingly, an oral partition is valid.

Barcelona, et al. vs. Barcelona, et al., supra, provides the reason why oral
partition is valid and why it is not covered by the Statute of Frauds: partition
among heirs or renunciation of an inheritance by some of them is not exactly a
conveyance of real property for the reason that it does not involve transfer of
property from one to the other, but rather a confirmation or ratification of title or
right of property by the heir renouncing in favor of another heir accepting and
receiving the inheritance.
Additionally, the validity of such oral partition in 1936 has been expressly
sustained by this Court in the Resolution of 20 August 1990 in G.R. No. 92811. 25
But even if We are to assume arguendo that the oral partition executed in 1936
was not valid for some reason or another, We would still arrive at the same
conclusion for upon the death of Gavino Reyes in 1921, his heirs automatically
became co-owners of his 70-hectare parcel of land. The rights to the succession
are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent. 26 The estate of the
decedent would then be held in co-ownership by the heirs. The co-heir or coowner may validly dispose of his share or interest in the property subject to the
condition that the portion disposed of is eventually allotted to him in the division
upon termination of the co-ownership.
SANCHEZ VS CA
FACTS:
Rosalia S. Lugod is the only child of spouses Juan C. Sanchez and Maria Villafranca
while Arturo S. Lugod, Evelyn L. Ranises and Roberto S. Lugod are the legitimate
children of Rosalia.
Rolando, Florida Mierly, Alfredo and Myrna, all surnamed Sanchez, are the
illegitimate children of Juan C. Sanchez.
Following the death of her mother, Maria Villafranca, on September 29, 1967,
Rosalia filed on January 22, 1968, thru counsel, a petition for letters of
administration over the estate of her mother and the estate of her father, Juan C.
Sanchez, who was at the time in state of senility
On September 30, 1968, Rosalia, as administratrix of the intestate estate of her
mother, submitted an inventory and appraisal of the real and personal estate of
her late mother
Before the administration proceedings in Special Proceedings No. 44-M could
formally be terminated and closed, Juan C. Sanchez, Rosalias father, died on
October 21, 1968.
On January 14, 1969, as heirs of Juan C. Sanchez, filed a petition for letters of
administration over the intestate estate of Juan C. Sanchez, which petition was
opposed by Rosalia.
On October 30, 1969, however, Rosalia assisted by their respective counsels
executed a compromise agreement wherein they agreed to divide the properties
enumerated therein of the late Juan C. Sanchez.
On November 3, 1969, petitioner Rosalia was appointed by [the trial court], and
took her oath as the administratrix of her fathers intestate estate.

On January 19, 1970, [herein petitioners] filed a motion to require administratrix,


Rosalia, to deliver deficiency of 24 hectares and or to set aside compromise
agreement
Under date of April 13, 1970, Rosalia and [herein petitioners] entered into and
executed a memorandum of agreement which modified the compromise
agreement
On October 25, 1979, or nine years later, [herein petitioners] filed, thru counsel, a
motion to require Rosalia to submit a new inventory and to render an accounting
over properties not included in the compromise agreement. They likewise filed a
motion to defer the approval of the compromise agreement in which they prayed
for the annulment of the compromise agreement on the ground of fraud.
On May 12, 1980, [herein petitioners], thru new counsel, filed a motion to change
administratrix to which Rosalia filed an opposition
The parties were subsequently ordered to submit their respective position papers,
which they did. On September 14, 1989, former counsel of (herein petitioners)
entered his re-appearance as counsel for (herein petitioners).
On the bases of memoranda submitted by the parties, the [trial court], this time
presided by Judge Vivencio A. Galon, promulgated its decision on June 26, 1991,
the dispositive portion of which states:
1) 1.That the entire intestate estate of Maria Villafranca Sanchez consists of all
her paraphernal properties and one-half (1/2) of the conjugal properties which
must be divided equally between Rosalia Sanchez de Lugod and Juan C. Sanchez;
2.That the entire intestate estate of Juan C. Sanchez consists of all his capital
properties, one-half (1/2) from the conjugal partnership of gains and one-half (1/2)
of the intestate estate of Maria Villafranca;
3.That one-half (1/2) of the entire intestate estate of Juan C. Sanchez shall be
inherited by his only legitimate daughter, Rosalia V. Sanchez de Lugod while the
other one-half (1/2) shall be inherited and be divided equally by, between and
among the six (6) illegitimate children, namely: Patricia Alburo, Maria Ramuso
Sanchez, Rolando Pedro T. Sanchez, Florida Mierly T. Sanchez, Alfredo T. Sanchez
and Myrna T. Sanchez;
4.That all the Deed (sic) of Absolute Sales executed by Juan C. Sanchez and Maria
Villafranca in favor of Rosalia Sanchez Lugod, Arturo S. Lugod, Evelyn S. Lugod
and Roberto S. Lugod on July 26, 1963 and June 26, 1967 are all declared
simulated and fictitious and must be subject to collation and partition among all
heirs;
MR denied.
ISSUE:
WON THE COMPROMISE AGREEMENT IN THE NATURE OF A PARTITION IS VALID
HELD:
In opposing the validity and enforcement of the compromise agreement,
petitioners harp on the minority of Florida Mierly, Alfredo and Myrna. Citing Article
2032 of the Civil Code, they contend that the courts approval is necessary in
compromises entered into by guardians and parents in behalf of their wards or
children.[37]

However, we observe that although denominated a compromise agreement, the


document in this case is essentially a deed of partition, pursuant to Article 1082 of
the Civil Code which provides that [e]very act which is 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.
For a partition to be valid, Section 1, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court, requires the
concurrence of the following conditions: (1) the decedent left no will; (2) the
decedent left no debts, or if there were debts left, all had been paid; (3) the heirs
and liquidators are all of age, or if they are minors, the latter are represented by
their judicial guardian or legal representatives; and (4) the partition was made by
means of a public instrument or affidavit duly filed with the Register of Deeds.[38]
We find that all the foregoing requisites are present in this case. We therefore
affirm the validity of the parties compromise agreement/partition in this case.
In any event, petitioners neither raised nor ventilated this issue in the trial court.
This new question or matter was manifestly beyond the pale of the issues or
questions submitted and threshed out before the lower court which are
reproduced below, viz.:
I Are the properties which are the object of the sale by the deceased spouses to
their grandchildren collationable?
II Are the properties which are the object of the sale by the deceased spouses to
their legitimate daughter also collationable?
III The first and second issues being resolved, how much then is the rightful share
of the four (4) recognized illegitimate children?[39]
Furthermore, the 27-page Memorandum dated February 17, 1990 filed by
petitioners before the Regional Trial Court [40] readily reveals that they never
questioned the validity of the compromise. In their comment before the Court of
Appeals,[41] petitioners based their objection to said compromise agreement on
the solitary reason that it was tainted with fraud and deception, zeroing
specifically on the alleged fraud committed by private respondent Rosalia S.
Lugod.[42] The issue of minority was first raised only in petitioners Motion for
Reconsideration of the Court of Appeals Decision;[43] thus, it is as if it was never
duly raised in that court at all.[44] Hence, this Court cannot now, for the first time
on appeal, entertain this issue, for to do so would plainly violate the basic rule of
fair play, justice and due process.[45] We take this opportunity to reiterate and
emphasize the well-settled rule that (a)n issue raised for the first time on appeal
and not raised timely in the proceedings in the lower court is barred by estoppel.
Questions raised on appeal must be within the issues framed by the parties and,
consequently, issues not raised in the trial court cannot be raised for the first time
on appeal.[46]
ALABAN VS CA
FACTS:
Respondent Francisco Provido filed a petition for the probate of the Last Will and
Testament of the late Soledad Provido Elevencionado . Respondent alleged that he
was the heir of the decedent and the executor of her will. The RTC allowed the
probate of the will and directed the issuance of letters testamentary to the
respondent. Four months after the petitioners filed a motion for the reopening of
the probate proceedings. They also filed an opposition to the allowance of the will
of the decedent, and the issuance of letters testamentary to respondent, claiming

that they are the intestate heirs of the decedent. Petitioners claimed that the RTC
did not acquire jurisdiction over the petition due to non-payment of the correct
docket fees, defective publication, and lack of notice to the other heirs. Moreover,
they alleged that the will could not have been probated because: (1) the signature
of the decedent was forged; (2) the will was not executed in accordance with law,
that is, the witnesses failed to sign below the attestation clause; (3) the decedent
lacked testamentary capacity to execute and publish a will; (4) the will was
executed by force and under duress and improper pressure; (5) the decedent had
no intention to make a will at the time of affixing of her signature; and (6) she did
not know the properties to be disposed of, having included in the will properties
which no longer belonged to her. Petitioners prayed that the letters testamentary
issued to respondent be withdrawn and the estate of the decedent disposed of
under intestate succession. RTC and CA both dismissed the petition Petitioners
maintain that they were not made parties to the case in which the decision sought
to be annulled was rendered and, thus, they could not have availed of the
ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief from judgment and other
appropriate remedies, contrary to the ruling of the CA. And that the proceedings
in the RTC was attended by extrinsic fraud.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the petitioners were made parties in the proceedings
HELD:
petitioners in this case are mistaken in asserting that they are not or have not
become parties to the probate proceedings.
Under the Rules of Court, 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.[36] Notice
of the time and place for proving the will must be published for three (3)
consecutive weeks, in a newspaper of general circulation in the province,[37] as
well as furnished to the designated or other known heirs, legatees, and devisees
of the testator.[38] Thus, it has been held that a proceeding for the probate of a
will is one in rem, such that with the corresponding publication of the petition the
court's jurisdiction extends to all persons interested in said will or in the
settlement of the estate of the decedent.[39]
Publication is notice to the whole world that the proceeding has for its object to
bar indefinitely all who might be minded to make an objection of any sort against
the right sought to be established. It is the publication of such notice that brings
in the whole world as a party in the case and vests the court with jurisdiction to
hear and decide it.[40] Thus, even though petitioners were not mentioned in the
petition for probate, they eventually became parties thereto as a consequence of
the publication of the notice of hearing.
As parties to the probate proceedings, petitioners could have validly availed of the
remedies of motion for new trial or reconsideration and petition for relief from
judgment. In fact, petitioners filed a motion to reopen, which is essentially a
motion for new trial, with petitioners praying for the reopening of the case and the
setting of further proceedings. However, the motion was denied for having been
filed out of time, long after the Decision became final and executory.
Conceding that petitioners became aware of the Decision after it had become
final, they could have still filed a petition for relief from judgment after the denial
of their motion to reopen. Petitioners claim that they learned of the Decision only
on 4 October 2001, or almost four (4) months from the time the Decision had
attained finality. But they failed to avail of the remedy.

For failure to make use without sufficient justification of the said remedies
available to them, petitioners could no longer resort to a petition for annulment of
judgment; otherwise, they would benefit from their own inaction or negligence.