You are on page 1of 72

SPECPRO| RULE 75| 1

G.R. No. L-55509 April 27, 1984 Maxine admitted that she received notice of the intestate petition filed in
Manila by Ethel in January, 1978 (p. 53, Rollo). In its order dated April 10,
ETHEL GRIMM ROBERTS, petitioner, 1978, the Third Judicial District Court admitted to probate the two wills and
vs. the codicil It was issued upon consideration of the stipulation dated April 4,
JUDGE TOMAS R. LEONIDAS, Branch 38, Court of First Instance of 1978 "by and between the attorneys for Maxine Tate Grimm, Linda Grimm,
Manila; MAXINE TATE-GRIMM, EDWARD MILLER GRIMM II and Edward Miller Grimm II, E. LaVar Tate, Juanita Kegley Grimm (first wife),
LINDA GRIMM, respondents. Juanita Grimm Morris and Ethel Grimm Roberts" (Annex C, pp. 48-51,
Rollo).
AQUINO, J.:ñé+.£ªwph!1
Two weeks later, or on April 25, 1978, Maxine and her two children Linda
The question in this case is whether a petition for allowance of wills and to
and Pete, as the first parties, and Ethel, Juanita Grimm Morris and their
annul a partition, approved in anintestate proceeding by Branch 20 of the
mother Juanita Kegley Grimm as the second parties, with knowledge of the
Manila Court of First Instance, can be entertained by its Branch 38 (after a
intestate proceeding in Manila, entered into a compromise agreement in
probate in the Utah district court).
Utah regarding the estate. It was signed by David E. Salisbury and Donald
B. Holbrook, as lawyers of the parties, by Pete and Linda and the attorney-
Antecedents. — Edward M. Grimm an American resident of Manila, died at
in-fact of Maxine and by the attorney-in-fact of Ethel, Juanita Grimm Morris
78 in the Makati Medical Center on November 27, 1977. He was survived by
and Juanita Kegley Grimm.
his second wife, Maxine Tate Grimm and their two children, named Edward
Miller Grimm II (Pete) and Linda Grimm and by Juanita Grimm Morris and
In that agreement, it was stipulated that Maxine, Pete and Ethel would be
Ethel Grimm Roberts (McFadden), his two children by a first marriage which
designated as personal representatives (administrators) of Grimm's
ended in divorce (Sub-Annexes A and B. pp. 36-47, Rollo).
Philippine estate (par. 2). It was also stipulated that Maxine's one-half
conjugal share in the estate should be reserved for her and that would not
He executed on January 23, 1959 two wills in San Francisco, California. One
be less than $1,500,000 plus the homes in Utah and Santa Mesa, Manila
will disposed of his Philippine estate which he described as conjugal
(par. 4). The agreement indicated the computation of the "net distributable
property of himself and his second wife. The second win disposed of his
estate". It recognized that the estate was liable to pay the fees of the
estate outside the Philippines.
Angara law firm (par. 5).
In both wills, the second wife and two children were favored. The two
It was stipulated in paragraph 6 that the decedent's four children "shall
children of the first marriage were given their legitimes in the will disposing
share equally in the Net Distributable Estate" and that Ethel and Juanita
of the estate situated in this country. In the will dealing with his property
Morris should each receive at least 12-1/2% of the total of the net
outside this country, the testator said: têñ.£îhqwâ£
distributable estate and marital share. A supplemental memorandum also
I purposely have made no provision in this will for my daughter, Juanita dated April 25, 1978 was executed by the parties (Sub-Annex F, pp. 49-61,
Grimm Morris, or my daughter, Elsa Grimm McFadden (Ethel Grimm Annex, F-1, pp. 75-76, Testate case).
Roberts), because I have provided for each of them in a separate will
Intestate proceeding No. 113024.-At this juncture, it should be stated that
disposing of my Philippine property. (First clause, pp. 43-47, Rollo).
forty- three days after Grimm's death, or January 9, 1978, his daughter of
The two wills and a codicil were presented for probate by Maxine Tate the first marriage, Ethel, 49, through lawyers Deogracias T. Reyes and.
Grimm and E. LaVar Tate on March 7, 1978 in Probate No. 3720 of the Gerardo B. Macaraeg, filed with Branch 20 of the Manila Court of First
Third Judicial District Court of Tooele County, Utah. Juanita Grimm Morris of Instance intestate proceeding No. 113024for the settlement of his estate.
Cupertino, California and Mrs. Roberts of 15 C. Benitez Street, Horseshoe She was named special administratrix.
Village, Quezon City were notified of the probate proceeding (Sub-Annex C,
pp. 48-55, Rollo).

SPECPRO| RULE 75| 2

On March 11, the second wife, Maxine, through the Angara law office, filed Palawan Pearl Project was sold: that it was Maxine's son Pete who
an opposition and motion to dismiss the intestate proceeding on the ground negotiated the sale with Rex Roberts and that he (Limqueco) was going to
of the pendency of Utah of a proceeding for the probate of Grimm's will. sue Maxine for the lies she imputed to him (Annex H, p. 78, testate case).
She also moved that she be appointed special administratrix, She
submitted to the court a copy of Grimm's will disposing of his Philippine Ethel submitted to the court a certification of the Assistant Commissioner of
estate. It is found in pages 58 to 64 of the record. Internal Revenue dated October 2, 1979. It was stated therein that Maxine
paid P1,992,233.69 as estate tax and penalties and that he interposed no
The intestate court in its orders of May 23 and June 2 noted that Maxine, objection to the transfer of the estate to Grimm's heirs (p. 153, Record).
through a new lawyer, William C. Limqueco (partner of Gerardo B. The court noted the certification as in conformity with its order of July 27,
Macaraeg, p. 78, testate case withdrew that opposition and motion to 1979.
dismiss and, at the behest of Maxine, Ethel and Pete, appointed them joint
administrators. Apparently, this was done pursuant to the aforementioned After November, 1979 or for a period of more than five months, there was
Utah compromise agreement. The court ignored the will already found in no movement or activity in the intestate case. On April 18, 1980 Juanita
the record. Grimm Morris, through Ethel's lawyers, filed a motion for accounting "so
that the Estate properties can be partitioned among the heirs and the
The three administrators submitted an inventory. With the authority and present intestate estate be closed." Del Callar, Maxine's lawyer was notified
approval of the court, they sold for P75,000 on March 21, 1979 the so- of that motion.
called Palawan Pearl Project, a business owned by the deceased. Linda and
Juanita allegedly conformed with the sale (pp. 120-129, Record). It turned Before that motion could be heard, or on June 10, 1980, the Angara law
out that the buyer, Makiling Management Co., Inc., was incorporated by firm filed again its appearance in collaboration with Del Callar as counsel for
Ethel and her husband, Rex Roberts, and by lawyer Limqueco (Annex L, p. Maxine and her two children, Linda and Pete. It should be recalled that the
90, testate case). firm had previously appeared in the case as Maxine's counsel on March 11,
1978, when it filed a motion to dismiss the intestate proceeding and
Also with the court's approval and the consent of Linda and Juanita, they furnished the court with a copy of Grimm's will. As already noted, the firm
sold for P1,546,136 to Joseph Server and others 193,267 shares of RFM was then superseded by lawyer Limqueco.
Corporation (p. 135, Record).
Petition to annul partition and testate proceeding No. 134559. — On
Acting on the declaration of heirs and project of partition signed and filed September 8, 1980, Rogelio A. Vinluan of the Angara law firm in behalf of
by lawyers Limqueco and Macaraeg (not signed by Maxine and her two Maxine, Pete and Linda, filed in Branch 38 of the lower court a petition
children), Judge Conrado M. Molina in his order of July 27, 1979 praying for the probate of Grimm's two wills (already probated in Utah),
adjudicated to Maxine onehalf (4/8) of the decedent's Philippine estate and that the 1979 partition approved by the intestate court be set aside and the
one-eighth (1/8) each to his four children or 12-1/2% (pp. 140-142, letters of administration revoked, that Maxine be appointed executrix and
Record). No mention at all was made of the will in that order. that Ethel and Juanita Morris be ordered to account for the properties
received by them and to return the same to Maxine (pp. 25-35, Rollo).
Six days later, or on August 2, Maxine and her two children replaced
Limqueco with Octavio del Callar as their lawyer who on August 9, moved Grimm's second wife and two children alleged that they were defraud due
to defer approval of the project of partition. The court considered the to the machinations of the Roberts spouses, that the 1978 Utah
motion moot considering that it had already approved the declaration of compromise agreement was illegal, that the intestate proceeding is void
heirs and project of partition (p. 149, Record). because Grimm died testate and that the partition was contrary to the
decedent's wills.
Lawyer Limqueco in a letter to Maxine dated August 2, 1979 alleged that he
was no longer connected with Makiling Management Co., Inc. when the

SPECPRO| RULE 75| 3

Ethel filed a motion to dismiss the petition. Judge Leonidas denied it for
lack of merit in his order of October 27, 1980. Ethel then filed a petition for
certiorari and prohibition in this Court, praying that the testate proceeding
be dismissed, or. alternatively that the two proceedings be consolidated
and heard in Branch 20 and that the matter of the annulment of the Utah
compromise agreement be heard prior to the petition for probate (pp. 22-
23, Rollo).

Ruling. — 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.

SO ORDERED.1äwphï

respectively — (G. supra. and the order of 1 July 1963 (Annex 'K') of respondent Manila court It appears that on November 6. supra. both special proceedings Goite (Special Proceeding No. the first disapproving his record On October 3. supra. Teehankee & Carreon for respondents. 1970 6. Branch IV. petitioner's motion the Negros Court appointed the Philippine National Bank For the preservation of the rights of the parties pending these proceedings. that. The writ of preliminary injunction prayed for was granted and issued by this Norberto J. 1961. 51396. supra. praying: On October 21. of the respondent Manila court as all taken without Court for his compulsory acknowledgment as such natural son. The record discloses. Judicial District) THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA. 1961 petitioner filed with the Negros Court denying petitioner's omnibus motion to intervene and to dismiss the later- a petition for the settlement of the estate of the late Don Juan Uriarte y instituted Special Proceeding No. and for certiorari — docketed as G. the Philippine. respondents. proceeding with Special Proceeding No. JUAN URIARTE ZAMACONA and HIGINIO in the Negros court. and natural son of the latter. that judgment be rendered annulling the orders issued by the Negros Court on DIZON. Higinio Uriarte. 51396. qualified as special administrator. Tañada. 1961 and two days later it set petitioner prays for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the date for the hearing of the petition and ordered that the requisite respondents Manila court. Juan Uriarte Zamacona and Higinio Uriarte from notices be published in accordance with law. the settlement of the estate of' the deceased Don Juan Uriarte y Goite as vs. Quisumbing for petitioner. Higinio Uriarte. supra. during the lifetime consequently annulling all proceedings had in Special Proceeding No. 6344.: December 7. and failing to declare itself 'the court first taking cognizance of VICENTE URIARTE. Upon jurisdiction. L-21939 — praying. 1963 and February 26.. 6344. for one reason or another. inter alia. as special administrator on November 13. for the reasons therein stated. Respondent Negros court erred in dismissing its Special Proceeding No. for certiorari. and that.. National Bank never actually this Court. supra. petitioner. 51396. 1963 petitioner Vicente Uriarte filed an original petition on appeal and the second denying his motion for reconsideration. L-21938) is taken up on the merits. however. Court on October 24. 1964. Respondent Manila THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL (12th court erred in failing to dismiss its Special Proceeding No. 1963. L-21938-39 May 29. 6344) alleging therein. BRANCH IV. one of the two private respondents herein. Reasons in support of said petition are stated therein as follows: On December 19. L-21938 — against the respondents Juan further commanding said court to approve his record on appeal and to give Uriarte Zamacona. Nos.R. 6142 in the same 51396. 1963 the respondents in G. of said decedent. who will be referred to action on this Supplemental Petition until the original action for certiorari hereinafter as the Negros Court and the Manila Court. 1964 We issued a resolution deferring Negros Occidental and of Manila. petitioner had instituted Civil Case No. 6344. 1964 petitioner filed against the same respondents a pleading entitled SUPPLEMENTAL PETITION FOR MANDAMUS — docketed in this Court as G. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 4 G.R. L-21938 filed their answer . until further orders of that. that after due proceedings judgment be rendered annulling the orders of traversing petitioner's contention that the respondent courts had committed 19 April 1963 (Annex 'H') and 11 July 1963 (Annex 'I') of respondent grave abuse of discretion in relation to the matters alleged in the petition Negros court dismissing the first instituted Special Proceeding No. notwithstanding proof of prior filing of Special Proceeding No. URIARTE. On April 22.R. filed an opposition to the above-mentioned petition alleging that he . J.R. No. On July 15. he was his sole heir. prescribed in Rule 75 section 1 of the Rules of Court. supra.R. and the Courts of First Instance of due course to his appeal. as a pertaining to the settlement of the same estate of the same deceased.

he not being an acknowledged natural obtain judgment for his compulsory acknowledgment as his natural child. petition for mandamus mentioned heretofore. Juan Uriarte Zamacona. 1963 denied petitioner. and on the same date he filed in Special Proceeding No. It is admitted that. the petitioner filed a petition for certiorari before petition filed with the Manila Court for its probate. 6344. grounds: (1) that. and under date of December 7. for the dismissal of the petition and the annulment of the Uriarte y Goite. the record on appeal Last Will and Testament in Spain. vs. bringing this case petitioner Vicente Uriarte knew of the existence of the aforesaid last will squarely before the Supreme Court on questions of law which is tantamount and of the proceedings for its probate. before the said record on appeal was attached a copy of the alleged last will of Juan Uriarte y Goite and of the approved by this Court. 51396 pending in the Manila Court. 6344 of the Negros Court." and further questioning petitioner's capacity and interest In view of the above-quoted order. No. before it. 51396 in the Manila Court for the Proceeding No. Court has not gone farther than the appointment of a special administrator On April 19. Oppositor prays that the record on appeal filed by the petitioner on July 27. 1963. the Manila Court admitted to probate bond and record on appeal for the purpose of appealing from said orders to the document submitted to.. the deceased Juan Uriarte y Goite. the this court on questions of law. it is not disputed that. after proper proceedings were on July 27. he had not yet been Petitioner opposed the aforesaid motion to dismiss contending that. On August 28. son of the decedent. 51396 objected to further that. appeal had in Special Proceeding No. during the lifetime of Juan Uriarte y Goite. asking for leave to probate of a document alleged to be the last will of the deceased Juan intervene therein. On April 15. It appears appointed by the Manila Court in Special Proceeding No. in order to give way to the certiorari. 6142 to initiate said intestate proceedings. it is not denied that to the motion to dismiss the special 1963. petitioner proceeded to file his notice of appeal. et al. His motion for reconsideration of said order having been denied On the other hand. and (2) Proceeding No. petitioner filed the supplemental to commence the intestate proceeding. the other private respondent. In the meantime. Court of First almost from the start of Special Proceeding No. Likewise. The administrator with the will annexed petition for probate appearing not to have been contested. 1963 Vicente Uriarte filed an Omnibus Motion in Special commenced Special Proceeding No. no Negros Court was first to take cognizance of the settlement of the estate of final judgment to that effect appears to have been rendered. the Negros Court and Instance of Negros Occidental. It is clear. . This motion was denied by said 6344 of the Negros Court a motion to dismiss the same on the following court in its order of July 1 of the same year. the order issued by the Manila Court on the approval of the record on appeal. to petitioner's abandoning his appeal from this Court. Civil Case No. Dismissal of Petition and Annulment of said proceedings. as the deceased Juan Uriarte y Goite had left a last will. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 5 was a nephew of the deceased Juan Uriarte y Goite who had "executed a WHEREFORE. as the acknowledged as natural son of Juan Uriarte y Goite. as stated heretofore. it had acquired exclusive jurisdiction The record further discloses that the special proceeding before the Negros over same pursuant to Rule 75. Vicente Uriarte's Omnibus Motion for the Negros Court issued the following order: Intervention. a duly authenticated copy whereof has filed by the petitioner is hereby disapproved. Petitioner. be dismissed for having been filed out of time and for being proceeding pending before the Negros Court filed by Higinio Uriarte were incomplete. as alleged in the basic petition filed in Special there was no legal basis to proceed with said intestate proceedings. when he commenced the aforesaid special proceeding. G.R. 1962. as well as Will were attached to the Motion to Dismiss. motion to dismiss and dismissed the Special Proceeding No. 51396. L-21938. it as the last will of Juan Uriarte y Goite. therefore. Up to this time. A copy of the Petition for Probate and of the alleged Clearly inferrable from this is that at the time he filed the action. the Negros Court sustained Juan Uriarte Zamacona's in the person of the Philippine National Bank who. that the Supreme Court entitled Vicente Uriarte. Vicente Uriarte filed in the same that petitioner Vicente Uriarte had no legal personality and interest to court. Section 1 of the Rules of Court. 1963 July 1. been requested and which shall be submitted to this Honorable Court upon receipt thereof. proceedings had in said special proceeding. 6344 pending failed to qualify. as stated heretofore. 1963.

6344. as he did. is regulated by former Rule 75. 51396 pending before a court of first instance it is found it hat the decedent had notwithstanding proof of the prior filing of Special Proceeding No. it seems the law on intestate succession or in accordance with his will. the latter being required to render final account and turn Under the Judiciary Act of 1948 [Section 44. as of the submission of the will aforesaid to the Manila Court. when the The following considerations and the facts of record would seem to support estate to be settled is that of a non-resident alien — like the deceased Juan the view that he should have submitted said will for probate to the Negros Uriarte y Goite — the Courts of First Instance in provinces where the Court. while the his motion to dismiss Special Proceeding No. Instance have original exclusive jurisdiction over "all matters of probate. when respondent Higinio Uriarte filed an opposition to Vicente the settlement of the estate of said decedent (Special Proceeding No." This. Section Upon the facts before Us the question arises as to whether Juan Uriarte 1 of the Rules of Court. proceedings for the probate of the latter should replace the the Negros Court. Thus it 6644. he had 6344). whether a citizen or an alien. As far as Higinio Uriarte is concerned. it is not in accord with public policy and the orderly and case before Us. which provides that the estate of a decedent inhabitant of the Juan Uriarte y Goite with the Negros Court — particularly in Special Philippines at the time of his death. Juan Uriarte Zamacona. This. on the one hand. he knew before filing the petition for probate with the Manila Court that there was already a special It can not be denied that a special proceeding intended to effect the proceeding pending in the Negros Court for the settlement of the estate of distribution of the estate of a deceased person. may be inferred that. It is equally true. or the particular Court of First Instance where the special proceeding should be commenced. and on the other. From this premise petitioner argues that. this is a clear indication that proceedings jurisdiction over such subject matter is beyond question. Manila Courts — province and city where the deceased Juan Uriarte y Goite especially if several courts would be involved. (b) whether the Manila Court has been held repeatedly that. from which fact it 51396. 6344. his death. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 6 The principal legal questions raised in the petition for certiorari are (a) testate proceedings. is understood to be without prejudice that should the alleged that is. 6344 in left a last will. of the proper special proceeding for the settlement of his estate. Accordingly. he had submitted to the second court similarly erred in not dismissing Special Proceeding No. either in a separate special proceeding or in an appropriate motion deceased left any property have concurrent jurisdiction to take cognizance for said purpose filed in the already pending Special Proceeding No. intestate proceedings even if at that stage an administrator had already been appointed. the matter for the probate of a will enjoy priority over intestate proceedings. 6344. in effect. Proceeding No. of venue. In the second the Negros Court had first taken cognizance of the special proceeding for place. the court of first instance of any province in which he had estate. the proceeding shall continue as an deceased persons — whether they died testate or intestate. whether in accordance with the same deceased person. 51396 intended to settle the estate of the same had left a will in Spain. for the settlement of the estate of a deceased person whether or not the Negros Court erred in dismissing Special Proceeding No. . Uriarte's petition for the issuance of letters of administration. these Courts of First Instance are the Negros and the inexpensive administration of justice to unnecessarily multiply litigation. 6344. like Higinio Uriarte. and when the other respondent. the Manila Court no longer had jurisdiction to take cognizance of already informed the Negros Court that the deceased Juan Uriarte y Goite Special Proceeding No. shall be in Proceeding No. Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Zamacona should have filed the petition for the probate of the last will of Court. was the result left considerable properties. if in the course of intestate proceedings similarly erred in not dismissing Special Proceeding No. the to said court. however. and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country. filed first court erred in dismissing Special Proceeding No. of which a copy had been requested for submission decedent in accordance with his alleged will. and that consequently. over special proceedings for the settlement of the estate of last will be rejected or is disapproved. he had expressly promised to submit said will for however. Courts of First over the estate in his possession to the executor subsequently appointed. in the Manila Court. that in accordance with settled jurisprudence in this jurisdiction. take precedence over intestate proceedings for the same purpose. probate to the Negros Court. As already adverted to. In the In the first place. now Section 1. 6344 — or was entitled to commence the corresponding the court of first instance in the province in which he resided at the time of separate proceedings. paragraph (e)]. While their intestacy. is a "probate quite clear that in his opposition to petitioner's petition in Special matter" or a proceeding for the settlement of his estate. Negros Court a copy of the alleged will of the decedent.

on October 31. the petition In his order of April 19.. the proper thing for him to do ." It is well settled in this jurisdiction that wrong venue is merely We believe in connection with the above matter that petitioner is entitled to a waiveable procedural defect. 1961 when Higinio Uriarte filed his opposition to the probate court. L- Court in Special Proceeding No. or more specifically. 1963 that he filed with the Manila Coming now to the supplemental petition for mandamus (G. in the light of the circumstances prosecute Civil Case No. the reconsideration of said order of dismissal. that in view of the conclusions to intervene and for the dismissal and annulment of all the proceedings had heretofore stated. that Special Proceeding No. No. acknowledgment by the decedent such action justifies the institution by him of this proceedings. the first being the order of said court dismissing Special Proceeding the will by the Manila Court and the validity of all the proceedings had in No. p. 47 O.R. for certiorari filed in G. it must be remembered that this Court is not inclined to annul of what has been said heretofore beyond petitioner's power to contest. 227. 1962. worse still. No. 51396 in the Court of First Instance of Manila instead of purpose with the Manila Court. jurisdiction to declare who are the heirs of the deceased initial petition filed in Special Proceeding No. 68 Phil. 6344. or. Lopez Manila Court since August 28. we are of the opinion. 51396 of the Manila Court. of the action for compulsory acknowledgment. judgment is hereby raised too late. 44 Phil. 1963 dismissing Special Proceeding No. L-21938. in its capacity as a since December 19. If the said therein up to that date. as well as the supplemental petition Judge Fernandez of the Negros Court said that he was "not inclined to for mandamus docketed as G. are hereby dismissed. and the second being an order denying petitioner's motion for Special Proceeding No. 6142 for compulsory against petitioner. With costs petitioner has instituted Civil Case No. 1119). 6344. the proceedings regularly had in a lower court even if the latter was not conclusion can not be other than that the intended appeal would serve no the proper venue therefor. 1963 and February 26. it will only result in compelling the an administrator with the will annexed but also to admit said will to probate Negros Court to give due course to the appeal that petitioner was taking more than five months earlier. said court having. Severino vs. thus enabling the Manila Court not only to appoint supplemental petition is successful. 1957 Ed. rendered denying the writs prayed for and. 6344. and Jimoga-on vs. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 7 But the fact is that instead of the aforesaid will being presented for probate would be to intervene in the testate estate proceedings entitled Special to the Negros Court. motion for the dismissal of Special Proceeding No. and. We are of the opinion. To allow him now to assail the exercise of jurisdiction over the probate of 1964. 476.R. and so hold. 13 Phil. 6344. more so in ruling that he can no longer question the validity of said orders. and so hold. Abaya. The sustain the contention of the petitioner that inasmuch as the herein writ of preliminary injunction heretofore issued is set aside. 6142 until it is finally determined. from the orders of said court dated December 7. Said orders being. Juan Uriarte Zamacona filed the petition for the Proceedings No. Belmonte. G. so as to be able to doing so by laches. No. 51396 an Omnibus motion asking for leave 21939). if it is still open. If the petitioner is to be consistent with the authorities cited by him in support of his contention. that petitioner likewise testator and whether or not a particular party is or should be declared his was served with notice of the existence (presence) of the alleged last will in acknowledged natural child (II Moran on Rules of Court. for indeed his supposed interest in the this regard that the latter court had no jurisdiction to consider said petition. if the net result would be to have the same useful purpose. Severino. or intervene in obtaining in the instant case. 1962 when Juan Uriarte Zamacona filed a vs.R. or to petitioner has waived the right to raise such objection or is precluded from ask for its reopening if it has already been closed. a case like the present where the objection against said proceedings is IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS. estate of the decedent is of his doubtful character pending the final decision albeit we say that it was not the proper venue therefor. would enable petitioner to circumvent our proceedings repeated in some other court of similar jurisdiction. as a result Moreover. All these notwithstanding. We can not accept petitioner's contention in maintaining an independent action. L-21939. 249. the Philippines and of the filing of the petition for its probate with the Conde vs. Lopez. as a result. 51396 would put a premium on his negligence. 343. the same has become moot and academic. it was only on April 15. It is enough to consider in this connection that submit for determination the question of his acknowledgment as natural petitioner knew of the existence of a will executed by Juan Uriarte y Goite child of the deceased testator.

L-42088 May 7. respondents. the lower court in its order of March 31. de On November 12. 1975 appointed ALFREDO G. who was mentally incapable of acting as administratrix Special Proceeding No. therefore. Alfredo G. Alfredo G. BALUYUT. 1975 in Encarnacion Lopez. DE Mrs. vs. HON. At the hearing of Mrs. Baluyut opposed the urgent motion. and. 1975 appointed Alfredo G. In that same order the lower court noted that after asking Mrs. Baluyut in her verified amended opposition of September 2. it found that she "is healthy and mentally qualified". He alleged that the deceased was survived by his widow. No. it was not AQUINO. JOSE ESPINO and CORAZON ESPINO. Q. The lower court merely Baluyut as special administrator with a bond of P100. Baluyut filed an urgent motion praying that Baluyut. Pampango. No. Baluyut moved for the reconsideration of that order. She reasoned out that Alfredo G. your Honor. ENCARNACION LOPEZ VDA. 1975 Mrs. Baluyut as Atty. That of the decedent's estate. Salunat: We are now therefore presenting the widow. filed spouses Elino Espino and Josefa de Guzman. petitioner. Santiago. should she not be named administratrix. de Cuesta and a will. former governor of Nueva Vizcaya and an alleged acknowledged natural child of Sotero Baluyut. Baluyut a series of questions while on the Court to witness: Can you testify in English?-No. Baluyut had no more interest in the decedent's estate because as a collateral relative he was excluded by Espino and other supposed descendants of the deceased who had intervened in the proceeding. She prayed that she be named administratrix and that the appointment of Alfredo G. meantime as special administrator. Baluyut as follows: Mrs. oral and documentary evidence was presented. Salunat and Agbayani for respondent Encarnacion Lopez Vda. asked that Espino. 1975 alleged that she Court: We want also to hear her testimony. Alfredo surmised that the decedent had executed proceeding was instituted by her sisters.R. Sotero Baluyut died in Manila on January 6. his nephew. not a natural child of Sotero Baluyut because Espino's parents were the A few weeks later. . Baluyut and Jose Espino as special administrators. He prayed that he be appointed regular administrator and in the Guadalupe Lopez-Viray. He alleged that Espino was leaving an estate allegedly valued at not less than two million pesos. Relations Court of Quezon City in its order of September 25. to special administrator be set aside. was unaware that her deceased husband executed a will. your Honor. ERNANI CRUZ PAÑO. 1976 Alfredo G.: necessary to continue with the reception of his evidence. QC-00939 for the guardianship of Mrs. be appointed administrator Mary Concepcion-Bautista for petitioner. 1975 no The lower court in its order of February 24. Baluyut was declared an incompetent by the Juvenile and Domestic administration. Baluyut's urgent motion on November 17. 1975 at the age of eighty-six. she be appointed administratrix. take the witness stand for examination by the court.000. Cristeta Lopez Vda. J. or on February 20. Baluyut. She characterized xxx xxx xxx as libelous the allegation as to her mental incapacity. witness stand. Acting on that motion. The lower court in its order of March 24. Ilocano? — A. your Honor. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 8 G. 1975 cancelled Baluyut's xxx xxx xxx appointment as special administrator. examined Mrs. Baluyut. Baluyut in her verified opposition of March 8. Alfredo further alleged that in the Court of First Instance of Quezon City a verified petition for letters of Mrs. 1975 BALUYUT.

1975 Alfredo G. Court: Submitted? Alfredo G. I cannot remember the This court issued a restraining order enjoining the respondents from date but this was in Lingayen. Yes. Q. Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court that should decide the issue as to her competency to act as administratrix. He is before the order was issued. The Espino's in their comment alleged that Alfredo G. March 25. and Emerita. P500. your Honor. bond. appointments of Espino and Alfredo G. 1975 terminated the were bequeated to his collateral relatives named Irene. your Honor. Estrellita. Mrs.000 belonging to the decedent's estate and that he grossly misrepresented that she was mentally incompetent. Atty. sir. A Catholic. all surnamed Baluyut. Baluyut as Q. administration proceeding after he had failed to get from her a cheek for Q. The issue is whether the lower court acted with grave abuse of discretion in appointing Mrs. She took her oath of office on November 29. 1976 respondents' comments were estate: one-half in her own right and one-fourth as heir of the deceased. Baluyut as special administrators Eliseo and Alfredo. The remaining three-fourths The probate court in its order of November 27. Baluyut in his manifestation of February 2. When did you get married to Sec. enforcing the order of November 27 and from disposing of the funds or assets of the estate in their possession or deposited in certain banks. Erlinda. She further alleged Q. Baluyut filed against respondent Judge. Court: Your remember when you were born. an incompetent was issued in a blitzkrieg manner because it was based on the report of Doctor Lourdes V. Lapuz which was filed in court just one day Q. all surnamed Miranda. Mrs.000. Where did you graduate? — Madres Dominicas. Baluyut after she posted her comprehensible. Baluyut is aware that Court: You want to ask more questions Attorney? Jose Espino was acknowledged in a notarial instrument by Sotero Baluyut as his natural child. why not. Baluyut his one-half share in certain conjugal assets and one-fourth of the residue of his estate. Salunat: I think that would be all. administratrix. Do you know Gov. Espino has any relationship with the late Don that the order of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court declaring her Sotero Baluyut? — A. his son. On December 13. bequeathed to Mrs. Yes. Why do you know him? — A. Salunat: She can testify in Tagalog your Honor. Baluyut in her comment alleged that Alfredo G. which Letters of administration were issued to Mrs. Mrs. Sotero Baluyut executed a notarial will on April 14. Baluyut's main contention is that it is the probate court and not the Atty. 1901. Salunat: We will ask the Court to (be allowed to) submit a rejoinder. Because he is like a son to me. 1973. 1975. Mrs. Q. . Espino is not mentioned in that will. The order was based on the fact that as surviving spouse she has executrix. In that will he your Honor. Baluyut as regular administratrix with a bond of Benjamin. a preferential right to be appointed as administratrix of her deceased husband's estate and that she is entitled to three-fourths of the conjugal In this Court's resolution of May 7. Baluyut? — A. The lower court said it was convinced of the widow's capacity and that her "sufficient understanding" justified her appointment. What church? — A. Will you please tell us what is the relationship if there is any? — A. treated as their answers. Baluyut as administratrix. Salunat: Just a few clarificatory questions. Baluyut as P20. Do you know whether Gov. Baluyut instituted the Q. The case was deemed submitted for decision. Baluyut? — A. The testator designated Mrs. Emilio and and appointed Mrs. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 9 Atty. 1976 disclosed that Atty. Espino? — A. Baluyut and the Espino spouses this special civil action of certiorari in order to set aside the order of November 27 appointing Mrs.

G. Rules of Court. 1975 appointing Mrs. The probate of the will cannot be dispensed with proceedings in consonance with the guidelines delineated in this decision. The probate court is directed to conduct further testamentary proceeding. the lower court's order of November 27. Rules Costs against respondent Mrs. After the will is probated. 108 Phil. 1976 that his motion had become moot. Baluyut. the prior letters of administration should be revoked and proceedings for the issuance of letters testamentary or of administration under the will should be conducted (Sec. Alfredo G. Baluyut's fitness to act as executrix or administratrix. he is one of the legatees named in the decedent's alleged will. Baluyut as administratrix on the assumption that Alfredo G. 499. and is a matter of public policy (Art. March 4. He had Espino as special administrator. Baluyut's revelation that the decedent person should act as executor is not binding on the probate court and does had executed a will. Cartajena vs. Civil Code. Teves. Certiorari lies when a grave abuse of discretion was patently committed by the lower court or if the petitioner's contention is clearly tenable or when Thus. delivered to the court for probate. Court of Appeals. De Borja. 1. 249). L-26854. it does not follow that she should be named administratrix without conducting a full-dress hearing The lower court departed from the usual course of probate procedure in on her competency to discharge that trust. it was held that a hearing is necessary in order to determine the the broader interests of justice or public policy justify the nullification of the suitability of the person to be appointed administrator by giving him the questioned order (Manila Electric Company and Sheriff of Quezon City vs. administration (Sec. a pending incident herein should be resolved. January 31. Rule 82. In this case the probate court briefly and perfunctorily interrogated Mrs. 479 and 98 Phil. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 10 We hold that while the probate court correctly assumed that Mrs. 1976). Guevara. 503. Rodriguez vs. 110 Phil. Baluyut in his motion of January 15. 791). Lijauco and Zaballa. Baluyut Persons questioning her capacity should be given an adequate opportunity as surviving spouse enjoys preference in the granting of letters of to be heard and to present evidence. 620. SO ORDERED. L-21993. Baluyut a chance to contest her qualifications. Alfredo G. 17 SCRA 418). Enriquez and Espinosa. 26 SCRA 768. 6[a). Guevara vs. opportunity to prove his qualifications and affording oppositors a chance to Hon. and Fernando. it is imperative in the interest of the orderly administration of justice that a hearing be held to determine Mrs. See. Rule 75. He anticipated that development when he articulated in not automatically entitle him to the issuance of letters testamentary. 1976 prayed that respondent Judge be Baluyut in order to satisfy itself on her mental capacity. WHEREFORE. 74 Phil. 838. 238. Rules of Court). 754. Baluyut had no interest in the decedent's estate. L-26106. summarily appointing Mrs. In view of Alfredo G. the same is hereby denied. 1. That irregularity became Even the directive of the testator in his will designating that a certain more pronounced after Alfredo G. 64 O. Baluyut's squarely raised the issue as to her competency. Baluyut's motion for the appointment of give Alfredo G. it is necessary to convert the proceeding in the lower court into a to her are cancelled. Baluyut was not an interested party. Before closing. As it now turned out. He might have been fit to act as executor when the will was executed but supervening circumstances might have rendered him unfit for that position. Pacheco vs. Tumangday contest the petition (Matute vs. Raneses vs. A his petition his belief that Sotero Baluyut executed wills which should be hearing has to be held in order to ascertain his fitness to act as executor. . of Court. Baluyut as administratrix is set aside. The probate court assumed manifestation of that April 2. 38 Phil. 1969. Whether Sotero Baluyut died testate or intestate. The letters of administration granted Moreover. The court did not enjoined from acting on Mrs. Rule 78.

ASENETA. PRONOVE. She left a holographic will. I have found peace and happiness with them even during the time when my sisters were still On December 19. as the adopted son. 12032-R entitled "Rafael E. Nuguid (17 SCRA 449). I do a forced heir of said deceased while oppositor Soledad Maninang is not. Soledad L. No. petitioners. 1981 of respondent Appellate ensue.. 2 which are quoted hereunder: On September 8. single. the Testate and Intestate Cases were ordered consolidated before Branch XI. RICARDO L.. the lower Court ordered the dismissal of the xxx xxx xxx Testate Case in this wise: It is my will that all my real properties located in Manila. Judge of the Court of First Instance of and Ramos vs. Pasig. Dra. without pronouncement as to costs. was preterited and. instituted intestate proceedings with the Court of First Instance-Branch XI. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 11 G. 1980). 1977. 1980. 1 Rizal. No.R. 8569. Q- have lived continuously for around the last 30 years now. died at the Manila Sanitarium validity of the will. Ricardo Pronove. MANINANG. the lower Court denied reconsideration for lack of alive and especially now when I am now being troubled by my nephew merit and in the same Order appointed Bernardo as the administrator of the Bernardo and niece Salvacion. " xxx xxx xxx Petitioners Maninang resorted to a certiorari Petition before respondent Court of Appeals alleging that the lower Court exceeded its jurisdiction in On June 9. Maninang and Soledad L. 1977. the Court of First Instance of Rizal and BERNARDO S. vs. Makati. J. L-57848 June 19. Proc. He has made me do things against considering further that Bernardo Aseneta has not been shown to be unfit my will. Clemencia Aseneta. the pertinent portions of disinherited by the decedent. hereinafter referred to as the Testate Case). Quezon For reasons stated in the motion to dismiss filed by petitioner Bernardo S. and not consider Nonoy as my adopted son. City (Sp. presided by respondent Judge. 1977. petitioner Soledad averred that Pertinent to the controversy are the following antecedental facts: it is still the rule that in a case for probate of a Will. Proc. Respondent Bernardo then filed a Motion to Dismiss the Testate Case on MELENCIO-HERRERA. Maninang and which was docketed as Sp. Maninang with whose family I filed by Soledad L. respondents. and that respondent Bernardo was effectively Hospital at age 81. Baldovino (2 CA Rep. Q-23304. RAFAEL E. I can decide for myself.. and Bernardo S. Maninang vs. . 2nd. 1982 On July 25. Quezon and denial of reconsideration (December 19. the petition for probate of will inherited upon my death by Dra. to perform the duties of the trust. 1980) the Will of the decedent with the Court of First Instance-Branch IV. 878). the Court's area of inquiry is limited to an examination of and resolution on the extrinsic On May 21.: the ground that the holographic will was null and void because he. 1980. respondent Bernardo cited the Court in CA-G. I am not incompetent as Nonoy would like intestate estate of the deceased Clemencia Aseneta "considering that he is me to appear. herein respondent Bernardo Aseneta. Aseneta". Hon. who. as Judge of brevity). No. as the only compulsory heir. Nuguid vs. Albay and Legaspi City and all my personal properties shagllbe Aseneta which the Court finds meritorious. Branch XI. petitioner Soledad Maninang filed a Petition for probate of issuing the Orders of dismissal of the Testate Case (September 8. Rizal (Sp. I know what is right and wrong. On December 23. Akutin (72 Phil. Maninang 23304 is DISMISSED. In her Opposition to said Motion to Dismiss. HON. .R. claims to be the sole heir of decedent Clemencia Aseneta. 322). called hereinafter the Intestate Case" for COURT OF APPEALS. City. No. JR. In support of said Motion to Dismiss. MANINANG and SOLEDAD L. therefore. 1977. No. Pasig. intestacy should A Petition to Review the Decision of April 28. Proc. cases of Neri vs. and her husband Pamping have been kind to me.

a crucial issue that calls for resolution is whether under the terms of notwithstanding its authentication.C. the question of whether or not the Will should be allowed probate. respondent Court 3 denied certiorari and ruled that the that the will has been duly authenticated. III.B.o p. 6 disinheritance are two diverse concepts. The authentication of a will decides no other question than such as touch petitioners and a resolution on the extrinsic validity of the Will demanded. which even before it is probated. p. Continuing. However. Volume 2. "is a testamentary disposition depriving any compulsory heirs of his share in the Respondent Bernardo.. Estudios de limited to an examination of. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 12 On April 28.. Martinez had a similar thrust: this Petition before us. these may be impugned as being vicious or null." Not so in the case before us now where the probate of the Will is insisted on by . those are 9 errors of judgment reviewable only by appeal and not by Certiorari.. The The effects of preterition and disinheritance are also totally different. rendered nugatory.L. Moreover. the due execution thereof." (Justice J. the court should meet allowed in accordance with the Rules of Court. The que0stions relating to these points the decedent's Will. however. this Court ruled that the Will was intrinsically determine nor even by implication prejudge the validity or efficiency (sic) of invalid as it completely preterited the parents of the testator. it said that even granting that the supplied) lower Court committed errors in issuing the questioned Orders. The Nuguid and the Balanay cases provide the exception rather than the because unless the Will is probated and notice thereof given to the whole rule. 4 the issue. Preterition and authenticated . 5 for the parties in the Nuguid case. the Testate Case and. they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly requirements of the law." (Neri vs. preterition upon the other In a proceeding for the probate of a will. appeal was the proper remedy. whether it was a valid disinheritance. The trial court acted correctly in passing upon the will's intrinsic validity We find that the Court a quo a quo acted in excess of its jurisdiction when it even before its formal validity had been established. might become an Idle ceremony if on its face it appears to be intrinsically void. relies on the pronouncement in Nuguid vs. 8. 'Thus. Reyes and R.. case. the Court should meet that issue. in the Nuguid case. The intrinsic validity of the Wills in those cases was passed upon even world. the extrinsic validity of the Derecho Civil 2nd edition. merely to determine if the will has been executed in accordance with the though mentioned. the right of a person to dispose of his property by Will may be before probate because "practical considerations" so demanded. In the instant the provisions. upon the capacity of the testator and the compliance with those requisites or solemnities which the law prescribes for the validity of wills. the "meat of the controversy" was the intrinsic validity of the Will. 325). legitimate for a cause authorized by law. 1131). Disinheritance. Where practical considerations demand that the intrinsic validity of No will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and the will be passed upon.. the Court's area of inquiry is hand. Opposition to the intrinsic validity or legality of the provisions of the will . Preterition "consists in the omission in the testator's will of the forced cannot be entertained in Probate proceeding because its only purpose is heirs or anyone of them. Our ruling in Balanay vs. citing cases) Disinheritance is always "voluntary". It does not Moreover. or. 1981.. reading: Puno. 1956 ed. 7 disinherited. "An Outline of Philippine Civil Law". where practical trial Judge's Order of dismissal was final in nature as it finally disposed of considerations demand that the intrinsic validity of the will be passed upon. The law enjoins the probate of the Will and public policy requires it. Hon. Akutin. private respondent had been preterited or disinherited. The probate of a will dismissed the Testate Case.. intrinsic validity of the will normally comes only after the court has declared . the parties in that case "shunted aside Normally. the probate of a Will is mandatory. Nuguid 8.. and may be raised even after the will has been and if the latter. and resolution on. therefore. the probate of a Will does not look into its intrinsic validity. either because they are not mentioned therein. is presumed to be "involuntary" (Sanchez Roman. even before it is probated. 10 will. in fact. 72 Phil. Generally. (Emphasis petitioners failed to avail of. the testatrix's testamentary capacity and the compliance with the requisites or solemnities prescribed by law. in turn. Vol. remain entirely unaffected.

however. Rizal. it is as important a matter of public interest that a purported will is not denied legalization on dubious grounds. dated September 8.. suffice it to state that in view of our finding that respondent Judge had acted in excess of his jurisdiction in dismissing the Testate Case. are nullified. particularly where appeal would not afford speedy and adequate relief. WHEREFORE. such disinheritance shall also "annul the institution of heirs". the Decision in question is set aside and the Orders of the Court of First Instance-Branch XI. Coming now to the procedural aspect.. a petition for certiorari may be entertained. Q-23304 is hereby remanded to said Court of First Instance-Branch XI. Otherwise. testamentary dispositions in the form of devises or legacies.. Pretention under Article 854 of the New Civil Code shall annul the institution of heir. de Precilla vs. in addition.. . This annulment is in toto. that conclusion is not indubitable. 8569 for further proceedings. 172). Civil Code of the Philippines. p. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 13 .. 13 And even assuming the existence of the remedy of appeal. 12 As held in the case of Vda. Rizal. in disinheritance the nullity is limited to that portion of the estate of which the disinherited heirs have been illegally deprived. disinheritance. 11 By virtue of the dismissal of the Testate Case. We gather from the assailed Order of the trial Court that its conclusion was that respondent Bernardo has been preterited We are of opinion. that from the face of the Will. No pronouncement as to costs. but only "insofar as it may prejudice the person disinherited". Special Proceeding No. . unless in the wail there are. therein to be reinstated and consolidated with Special Proceeding No. the determination of that controversial issue has not been thoroughly considered. In ineffective disinheritance under Article 918 of the same Code. 1961 Edition. which last phrase was omitted in the case of preterition (III Tolentino. 1980. Better stated yet. certiorari is a proper remedy. Narciso . 1980 and December 19.. we harken to the rule that in the broader interests of justice. the very institution of testamentary succession will be shaken to its foundation. The effects flowing from preterition are totally different from those of SO ORDERED. An act done by a Probate Court in excess of its jurisdiction may be corrected by Certiorari.

UNDECIMA — Tambien ordeno y dispongo que el resto de todas mis vs.F. CELSA L. Branch IV and RODOLFO LIZARES 1273. Maria Lizares y Alunan died without any issue leaving said "testamento" in the possession and custody of her niece. y "Matab-ang" (Lotes Nos. y todos los demas bienes no HON. 1977 and January 31. IV respectively. de Kilayko.R. Inc. Provincia de Negros Occidental. respectivamente. 1968. JUDGE ERNESTO TENGCO. 1992 Central Talisay-Silay Milling Co.. ordeno y dispongo que mi participacion consistente en una sexta parte (1/6) de la Hda. ROMERO. the late Maria Lizares y Alunan executed a "Testamento" 2 which contains among its provisions.R. incluyendo mis participaciones. 1977 of the then Court of First sufragio de mi alma. CELSA L.. mis acciones en la Central Bacolod-Murcia Milling Co. Vda. el resto de mis acciones en la G. sin embargo. Eustaquia Lizares. Eusaquia Lizares. Bacolod City. Matab-ang. Lizares. 514. Asimismo ordeno a These consolidated cases seek to annul the orders 1 dated September 20. En el caso de que mi citada order dated September 20. 550. cancelling the notice difunto Padre y de mi difunta Madre. et al. como por el presente se adjudica. 1962. Catastrado de Talisay. y mande celebrar todos los años la fiesta de Deeds of Negros Occidental. ENCARNACION L. petitioners. mi referida participacion en la Hda. 1274. 1992 descendientes legitimos. a mi No. con su correspondiente cuota de azucar The undisputed facts of the case are as follows: y otros mejoras. propiendades. et al. situadas en el Municipio de Talisay.636 acciones). Enrica A. se adjudique. se adjudiquen. Lizares que me sobrevivan. Eustaquia filed a petition for the settlement en una tercera parte (1/3) de una catorce (1/14) avas partes proindivisas of the testate estate of Maria Lizares y Alunan. Vda. the following: On January 28... mi citada sobrina que ella mande celebrar una Misa Gregoriana cada año en 1976. a mi sobrina Srta. 8452. 1976 filed by Celsa L. y otras Compañas Mineras. el 6 de Marzo y 17 de Deciembre de of lis pendensfiled by Celsa L. ENTENDIENDOSE. the probate court issued an order declaring the will . sin embargo. DE PANLILIO and REMEDIOS L. DE KILAYKO. hija de mi difunto hermano Don Simplicio Lizares cuidados que mi citada sobrina me ha prestado y signe prestandome hasta ahora. Inc. de Kilayko.petitioners. 553 y 1287-C del late EUSTAQUIA LIZARES. Lizares. as Judicial Administrators of the Estate of the Occidental). sobrina. Eustaquia Lizares. respondents. Srta. 3 On February 6. VDA. Negros vs. 552.: que ella se haga cargo de pagar todas las obligaciones que tengo y que gravan sobre las propriedades adjudicadas a la misma. mencionados en este testamento y que me pertenezcan en la fecha de mi ENCARNACION L. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 14 G. denying the motion for reconsideration of the San Jose en Talisay como lo hago hasta ahora. Negros Occidental. J. 439. in due course. Minuluan se adjudicara a mi hermano Antonio A. Navigation Co. que en el caso de que mi citada sobrina Eustaquia Lizares muera soltera o sin The required publication of the notice of hearing of the petition having been made. 1968. VDA. No. falleciere sin dejar descendientes and holding in abeyance the resolution of defendants' motion to dismiss. Vda. 1279 y 1280 del Catastro de Talisay. January 7. Minuluan. ordeno y dispongo que mi participacion consistente Lizares. se adjudique a mis hermanas y hermano antes mencionados y que me sobrevivan (Emphasis supplied) On November 20. 45965 March 27. I. legitimos. 45425 March 27. JUDGE ERNESTO TENGCO of the Court of First Instance of dispuestos mas arriba) an las Haciendas "Minuluan" (Lotes Nos. como por el presente adjudico. (unas 2. Negros and AMELO LIZARES. 403. Branch IV. DE GUINTO. registradas ROLDOFO LIZARES and AMELO LIZARES. docketed as Special Proceedings Dr. Branch. before the Court of First de la Hda. Ordeno. Antonio A. de of the ESTATE OF EUSTAQUIA LIZARES. Eustquia DECIMA — Asimismo.. DE muerte. derechos e intereses (no HON. No. with the Register of cada año. a mi referida sobrina. DE KILAYKO. VDA. y misas ordinarias en sufragio de las almas de mi Instance of Negros Occidental. 4 sobrina Eustaquia Lizares. que he adquirido mediante permuta de mi hermano Instance of Negros Occidental. Negros Occidental). GUINTO.860 acciones) y de la Financing Corporation of the Philippines (unas 53. VDA. Srta. VDA. DE PANLILIO and REMEDIOS VDA. 1278. as Judicial Administrators a mi nombre y no heredadas de mi difunta madre Dña. respondents.

on October 14. and the closure of the testate proceedings of Maria Lizares. Rodolfo Lizares and Amelo Lizares were of Eustaquia Lizares. 553. de Escario. even if the said order was erroneous. the heirs of Maria Lizares. and ordered the Register of Deeds of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City to effect the Two (2) sets of intestate heirs of the deceased Eustaquia Lizares namely: corresponding transfer of the real properties to said heirs as well as the Socorro L. that the Lizares. the other person in her last will and testament. Lucrecia Gustilo. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 15 probated and appointing Eustaquia as the executrix of the estate of Maria prayed among others that a substitute administrator be appointed. Vda. Thus. Mario Lizares. and dividends in different corporations. On the strength of the testamentary provisions contained in paragraphs 10 Section 24 of Rules of Court and 11 of the will of Maria Lizares. Eustaquia filed a project of partition 6 which was granted ang. which were allegedly in the nature of a by filing a notice of lis pendens with the Register of Deeds of Negros simple substitution. adjudicated to them the properties and correspondingly issue new certificates of title in their names. T. de Guinto (hereinafter collectively referred to as Celsa L. 1971. the order of mentioned in the project of partition as the only heirs. Vda. 17 and Remedios Vda. It was docketed as Civil appointed joint administrators of Eustquia's intestate estate. Register of Deeds of Negros Occidental. Vda. and since the error was not jurisdictional. 7 of Maria Lizares as the order of closure had long become final and that the testamentary provisions sought to be enforced are null and void. T-65007. but unfortunately for the partition and subdivision. 1287-C of plan SWO-7446. Encarnacion Vda. 8452 to As duly appointed judicial joint administrators of the estate of the late reopen once again the testate estate proceedings of Maria Lizares. plantation credits and sugar quota allocations. Minuluan and to 1/6 of Hda. Felicidad Paredes Llopez. They Eustaquia Lizares. et al. 13 Thereafter. the court opined that the movants could have sought relief from Rosario Paredes Mendoza and Eustaquia Lizares executed an agreement of judgment under Rule 38 of the Rules of Court. 1968. Simultaneously. 1974. 1971 be reconsidered and amended by declaring them as heirs to 1/3 of 1/14 of Hda. and usufructuaries of the estate. de Panlilio. stocks. 16 On the same date. Matab- On July 10. and Aurora Lizares Wagner opposed the aforesaid motion. 15 Hence. transfer of shares. de Guinto. de Kilayko. de Kilayko. 1972. 11 In due time. Case No. a revolving fund whole world. T-65006. de Kilayko. 550. 11639 with the then Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental. T-65005. It estate is a proceeding in rem. all of the Cadastral Survey of Talisay covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. and real or the court had jurisdiction over them. the period for filing such remedy had also elapsed. the Court issued an order denying the motion to reopen omitted in the partition be adjudicated to her. 12 repectively assigned to each and every one of them. regular appeal. that the by the probate court in an order dated January 8. and 552. Rodolfo Lizares and Amelo Lizares (the joint . 514. Branch IV. they did not take part in the personal properties of Maria Lizares which were not given by her to any proceedings nor did they appeal the order of January 8. 1973. 8 The Court granted the the testate proceedings and holding that inasmuch as the settlement of an motion and correspondingly reopened the testate proceedings. Occidental. 10 said order. 1974. Eustquia Lizares died single without possession of real property against the joining administrators of the estate any descendant. Rodolfo and Amelo Lizares. the said movants filed a complaint for recovery of ownership and A year later or on November 23. Remedios L. namely: Encarnacion L. It observed that inspite of the fact that the movants knew that certificate. the same could have been corrected only by a On November 28. and T-65008. expired. de Panlilio. devisees. they availed of their rights under Rule 14. It was denied on June 17. 1971. legatees and usufructuaries to register at the back of their respective certificates of title. Eustaquia filed an urgent motion to reopen the testate proceedings in order that some properties of Maria Lizares which had been On April 6. et al. Celsa Vda. 9 court concluded. legatees probate and a "declaration" that movants are the heirs of said properties. thereby terminating their co-ownership over Lots movants. 1974.) filed a motion in Special Proceedings No. The period for filing a motion for reconsideration having Vda. both of which form an aggregate area of 33 hectares. They alleged that companies and partnerships in the name of Maria Lizares to the heirs and the court had no more jurisdiction to reopen the testate estate proceedings legatees. then filed a motion for reconsideration of 65004. 5 order dated January 8. 14 Nos. Vda. the judgment therein is binding against the adjudicated to Eustaquia certain shares of stocks. be ordered said court declared the heirs. after such amendment. Rodolfo Lizares. devisees.Celsa L.

the right of a person to dispose of his grounds of lis pendens. 22 Thereafter. was groundless because paragraphs 10 and 11 of Maria's will on which Celsa L. Rule 14 of the Rules testator and the compliance with those requirements or solemnities which of Court for the cancellation of a notice of lis pendens. the cause of action in the latter case was The joint administrators filed the answer to the complaint in Civil Case No. Nos. the two cases be alienated without the approval of the court. 1977. the court added. They assert that On September 20. Accordingly. 1975. it was also proper to suspend the resolution of the of action. they filed a motion for preliminary hearing on Encarnacion and Remedios. the law prescribes for the validity of a will. et al. vigorously opposed by their niece Eustaquia and which the latter had inherited by will from said motion. de Kilayko. affirmative defenses interposed by the defendants until after trial on the merits of the case. prohibition and/or mandamus with prayer for a writ of plaintiffs. Petitioners contend that said praying for the reconsideration of the order dated September 20. respondent judge issued an order granting the the matter had been settled in Special Proceedings No. were consolidated. 18 This motion was opposed by the plaintiffs. the joint administrators filed a motion for the 24. 30 The law enjoins the probate of a will this Court a motion for extension of time to file a petition for review and the public requires it. the joint administrators filed before this Court a petition notice of lis pendens and that no prejudice would be caused to the for certiorari. a notice of lis pendens would prejudice any effort of the estate to secure crop loans which were necessary for the viable cultivation and production of The petition in G. January 7. Petitioners reply thereto. the cause that since on September 21. They aver that the claim of Celsa. 21 The court simultaneously unappealable long before the complaint in Civil Case No. annotation upon the certificates of title to the properties involved was not 11639. et al. L-45425 and L-45965 had been given due necessary because such properties. 19 The latter opposed said motion.R. et al. 25 The joint administrators having filed an opposition thereto. It was docketed as G. on January 20. Moreover. 26 on code. de Kilayko. Vda. over the properties left affirmative defenses. de Kilayko. the petition contends that the thereof given to the whole world. 1977. 31 The authentication of a will legis and the lending institutions would not grant crop loans to the estate. become final and unappealable long before the complaint in Civil Case No. In testate succession. Celsa L. filed a motion fideicommissary substitution of heirs. decides no other question than such as touch upon the capacity of the are not the legal grounds provided for under Sec. No. the plaintiffs filed a rejoinder reiterating their arguments in contend that the lower court had no jurisdiction over Civil Case No.R. 1986. 24 Maria Lizares. and the complaint stated no cause the motion to dismiss. 32 . 27 It held that while a notice of lis pendens would serve as On April 26. could not just course and submitted for decision. L-45965 is impressed with merit. 1976. sisters of Maria Lizares. conceived of a On November 3. they constitute an invalid fideicommissary substitution of heirs. 1977. 1977 the lower court denied the aforesaid motion for reconsideration. its the lower court from further proceeding with the trial of Civil Case No. The defendants having filed a preliminary injunction. 28 cancellation of the notice of lis pendens on the contentions that there existed exceptional circumstances which justified the cancellation of the On April 13. 1976. 1976 it had held in abeyance the resolution of of action was barred by prior judgment. Celsa L. Vda. et al. being in custodia legis. 8452 which had held in abeyance the resolution of the motion to dismiss the complaint. 23 Celsa L. filed in after the will has been probated. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 16 administrators for brevity). become final and motion for cancellation of notice of lis pendens. 20 as it involves the interpretation of the will of Maria Lizares. 11639 their opposition to the motion for cancellation of notice of lis pendens. provisions of the will are not valid because under Article 863 of the Civil 1976. 11639 was filed. the court set the date of pre-trial for March On January 23. de Kilayko. 1977. this Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining notice to strangers that a particular property was under litigation. 29 After both G. No. 11639. there can be no valid partition among the heirs until Upon receipt of a copy of said order. Docketed as G. and therefore. L-45425. Vda. because unless a will is probated and notice on certiorari. namely. sugar to which the properties were planted. the lower court issued an order stating had no jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the case. that the properties are in custodia property by will may be rendered nugatory.R.R No. Vda. base their claim. filed a motion to dismiss alleging that the court Meanwhile. its implementation and/or the adjudication of her properties. 24. barred by the principle of res judicata. on January 31. L-45965.

T-65006. having the custody and control of the entire sisters recognized the decree of partition sanctioned by the probate court estate. de Guinto. Vda. and such persons may demand and recover their respective shares persons entitled thereto. de Kilayko. 1287-C of SWO-7446 and 552 Encarnacion. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 17 Pertinent to the issue interposed by the petitioners in G. and every demand or claim which any heir. . Rosario Paredes payment of said obligations within such time as the court directs. Felicidad Paredes Llopez. No. must be acted upon and decided within the same special proceedings. and the same judge having jurisdiction in the Civil Case No. co-ownership over Lots Nos. Encarnacion Lizares Vda. of them give a bond. with law. decided as in ordinary cases. any objection to the of the partition. or any approved by the probate court. 550. . Eustaquia Lizares submitted each person is entitled under the law. 38 from the executor or administrator. . or party interested in a testate or intestate succession may make. conditioned for the Remedios Lizares Vda. that Eustaquia had been in possession of the . whereby they agreed to terminate their Applying this rule. chargeable to the estate in accordance The probate court. 553. naming them and the proportions or parts. T-65004. is the most logical authority to effectuate this provision. 33 and Torres v. to which each is It is the court that makes that distribution of the estate and determines the entitled. where a piece of land has been included in a partition and has the jurisdiction to settle the claims of an heir and the consequent there is no allegation that the inclusion was affected through improper adjudication of the properties. 514. 1971. said proceeding being the most convenient one in which this power and function of the court can be exercised and performed Hence. de Panlilio. a project of partition in which the parcels of land.. Rule 90 of the Rules of Court which reads: inasmuch as when the day comes he will be called upon to make distribution and adjudication of the property to the interested parties. T-65005. have been paid. if any. (Emphasis supplied) funeral charges. in the exercise of its jurisdiction to distribute the estate. T-65007 and T-65008. . the court. When order for distribution of residue made. any challenge to the validity of a will. Gerona. legatee question has been concluded by the partition and became a closed matter. the executrix. and after hearing distributee is entitled . Javellana. and expenses of administration. in a sum to be fixed by the court. and inheritance tax. et al. Section 1. 1. subject matters of the complaint for reconveyance. L-45965 is administration of the estate shall take cognizance of the question raised. estate proceeding. unless the distributees. . the controversy shall be heard and on January 8. separate action. 1972. If there is a controversy before the court as to who are the In the instant case. . the records will show that in the settlement of the lawful heirs of the deceased person or as to the distributive shares to which testate estate of Maria Lizares. 39 Thus. 40 The question of private respondents title over the lots in authentication thereof. in their complaint. Daza. 34 the Court said: covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. in the cases of De Jesus v.R. These facts taken altogether show that the Lizares . on application of the executor or has the power to determine the proportion or parts to which each administrator. the allowance to the widow. . the same. 37 A project of partition is merely a proposal for upon notice. in law and in good conscience be allowed to reap the fruits of a partition. they are now precluded from attacking the validity of the partition without the necessity of requiring the parties to undergo the incovenience or any part of it in the guise of a complaint for reconveyance. not in a The admission made by Celsa L. . were included as property of the estate and assigned exclusively to Eustaquia as a devisee of No distribution shall be allowed until the payment of the obligations above. — When the debts. 36 this Court said: litigation on said title and operated to bring the property under the control and jurisdiction of the court for its proper disposition according to the tenor . Mendoza and Eustaquia Lizares executed an Agreement of Partition and Subdivision on November 28. or of a person interested in the estate. 11639. In accordance with said project of partition which was mentioned has been made or provided for. are worth mentioning. shall assign the residue of the estate to the persons entitled to the distribution of the heredity estate which the court may accept or reject. .Maria Lizares. A party and litigate an entirely different action. the partition barred any further v. 35 and Benedicto v. within the and in fact reaped the fruits thereof. or any other person having the same in his possession. (T)he probate court. agreement or judgment and repudiate what does not suit Some decisions of the Court pertinent to the issue that the probate court him. In the cases of Arroyo means or without petitioner's knowledge. Sec. cannot.

SPECPRO| RULE 75| 18 questioned lots since March 2. Eustaquia. the properties involved unconditionally devolved a court of competent jurisdiction. the judgment or orders had been rendered on the merits. for once it becomes final. de Kilayko. Thus. Vda. It should be remembered that when a testator merely names an heir and the effect of which if successful. de Kilayko. so that it can be said that there is a similarity of to question the adjudication of the properties left by will of Maria Lizares. there is identity of subject matter involved in both actions. 45 of distribution and the same has become final. Moreover. would be for another court or judge to provides that if such heir should die a second heir also designated shall throw out a decision or order already final and executed and reshuffle succeed. be conclusive upon the parties and those in privity with them in law or estate. et al. 1971 up to the time of her death indicates All the requisites for the existence of res judicata are present. properties subject of such partition. then reglementary period of special proceedings for the settlement of the estate of Maria Lizares was a thirty (30) days having elapsed from the time of its issuance. that they are It is a fundamental concept in the origin of every jural system. de . they cannot now be permitted L. Vda. the contention of Celsa L. de Kilayko. unless properly set aside substitution can have no effect because the requisites for it to be valid. the by filing an independent action for the reconveyance of the very same judicial administrators of Eustaquia being privy to Celsa L. While the allegation of the joint administrators should become final at some definite time fixed by law. there is identity of causes of action A final decree of distribution of the estate of a deceased person vests the because in the first action there was a declaration of the probate court in its title to the land of the estate in the distributees. when a right or fact has been judicially tried and determined by upon Maria Lizares' death. Maria Lizares. et al. the that the distribution pursuant to the decree of partition has already been order approving the distribution of the estate of Maria Lizares to the heirs carried out. should only inherit the estate of Eustaquia by operation of the law of intestacy. et al. the properties left by Maria Lizares. that. If the decree is erroneous. Vda. the judgment of the court. Therefore. et al. the proceedings was already final and executory. its fideicommissary substitution in paragraphs 10 and 11 of her will. the instituted heir. there is no fideicommissary substitution. that at the risk of occasional errors. 1974 that although the testatrix intended a it should be corrected by opportune appeal. parties in Special Proceedings No. when he is left out by reason of circumstances beyond his control or et al. the judicial decree of partition and order of closure of such the parties. there can be no substitution of heirs for. or simple substitution.order dated April 6. Where the court has validly issued a decree not been satisfied. 11639. 859 of the Civil Code but it shall be effective only if the first heir dies before the The fundamental principle upon which the doctrine of res judicata rests is testator. there is no merit in the contention of Celsa L. "The very object of which the courts were constituted was conceives of a fideicommissary substitution under Article 863 of the Civil to put an end to controversies. or an opportunity for such trial has been upon Eustaquia. it cannot be denied that when Celsa L. judgments of courts Lizares 46 is not meritorious. the sisters of Maria Lizares could given. namely. the better practice to secure relief is the opening of the same by proper motion within the reglementary period. 43 then be construed as a vulgar or simple substitution under Art. 8452 and Civil Case No.. 47 In this case. 41 Granting that res judicata has not barred the institution of Civil Case No. 44 With respect to the cancellation of the notice of lis pendens on the properties involved. the binding effect is like any other judgment in rem. so long as it remains unreversed. de instituted in said will has become final and unappealable. with no timely proceeding in rem that was directed against the whole world including Celsa appeal having been filed by them." 42 The only instance where a party Code is also baseless as said paragraphs do not impose upon Eustaquia a interested in a probate proceeding may have a final liquidation set aside is clear obligation to preserve the estate in favor of Celsa L. Hence. Under the circumstances.. neither may said paragraphs be considered as providing for a vulgar through mistake or inadvertence not imputable to negligence.. the validity or invalidity of the project of partition becomes irrelevant. survived the that parties ought not to be permitted to litigate the same issue more than testatrix. moved for the reopening of the testate estate proceedings of that rendered judgment had jurisdiction over the subject matter and over Maria Lizares. The substitution should properties long ago distributed and disposed of. 11639. de Kilayko. once. Even then. Vda. instead of an independent action. the probate court Kilayko. Vda. interest rei publicae that paragraphs 10 and 11 of Maria Lizares' last will and testament ut finis sit litum. Vda. a principle conditional substitute heirs of Eustaquia in the testate estate of Maria of public policy. had for lack of jurisdiction or fraud.

such notice was not necessary to protect the rights of Celsa L. Therefore." 49 In this case. WHEREFORE. 24. The cancellation of such a precautionary notice. 1977 which was issued by the Court in L-45965 is made PERMANENT. More so in this case where it turned out that their claim to the properties left by Eustaquia is without any legal basis. that the lower court acted contrary to law and/or gravely abused its discretion in cancelling the notice of lis pendens. the petition for review on certiorari in L-45425 is hereby DENIED but the petition for certiorari and prohibition and/or mandamus in L-45965 is GRANTED. or that it is not necessary to protect the rights of the party who caused it to be recorded. Costs against the petitioners in L-45425. a notice of lis pendens may be cancelled "after proper showing that the notice is for the purpose of molesting the adverse party. . Vda. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 19 Kilayko. Rule 14 of the Rules of Court. de Kilayko. the lower court ordered the cancellation of said notice on the principal reason that the administrators of the properties involved are subject to the supervision of the court and the said properties are under custodia legis. SO ORDERED. The temporary restraining order of April 26. may be ordered by the court having jurisdiction over it at any given time. being a mere incident in an action. et al. 48 Under Sec.. et al.

he filed a motion for the admission of does not contain the signature of one of the attesting witnesses. The latter on November 18. attorneys Fermin Samson. Bulacan. No. the oppositors appealed directly to Rosendo J. Manila. 1äwphï1. Vinicio B. REYES. VILLACORTE. 1958. instrumental witnesses. 1959. 1958 by a petition for the Natividad. and last will and testament. petition. filed authenticity of the said will. oppositor Natividad Icasiano filed her amended appellants. and on November 10.L. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 20 G. 1959. 1958.on July 30. duplicate to probate.00. Jr.. who was also present during the execution and signing of the decedent's The court set the proving of the alleged will for November 8. the person named therein as such. The records show that the original of the will. Notary Public in and for the City of petitioner Celso Icasiano as executor thereof. 1959. opposition. manifestation adopting as his own Natividad's opposition to the probate of the alleged will. attorneys Torres and Natividad were in the Philippines at the time of the hearing. that the same is contrary to law and the evidence.B. joint opposition to the admission of the amended and supplemental vs.: The evidence presented for the petitioner is to the effect that Josefa Villacorte died in the City of Manila on September 12. Judge Ramon Icasiano and a little girl. also filed a retaining one unsigned copy in Bulacan. Tansinin for oppositor-appellant Natividad Icasiano. she petitioned to have herself was acknowledged by the testatrix and attesting witnesses. and both testified as to the due execution and On October 31. From this order. the court issued an order appointing the Philippine also testified upon cross examination that he prepared one original and two Trust Company as special administrator. This special proceeding was begun on October 2. Manila. deceased. and Mr. 1959. that the will was acknowledged by the allowance and admission to probate of the original. L-18979 June 30. Thereafter. it of his evidence. namely: attorneys Justo P. together with former Governor Emilio Rustia of caused notice thereof to be published for three (3) successive weeks. on the ground Jaime R. Atty. which was surrendered simultaneously with the filing of the petition and marked as Exhibit "A" On March 19. petitioner-appellee. Exhibit "A" as the testatrix and by the said three instrumental witnesses on the same date alleged will of Josefa Villacorte.R. marked as Exhibits "A" and "A-1". Diokno for petitioner-appellee. to which proponent objected. duplicate at the house of her daughter Mrs. 1959. Appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila admitting to 1956. J. Enrique Icasiano. and while signed at the end and in every page. 1958. this Court. Diy. but by order of July 20. Nuevas for oppositor-appellant Enrique Icasiano. alleging that the decedent left a will . and also appointed as a special administrator. and Guevara Street. Bulacan. and that he was. but on June 1. that on June 2. who actually prepared the document. and after several hearings the court issued the order admitting the will and its Jose W. 1958. oppositors.ñët copies of Josefa Villacorte last will and testament at his house in Baliuag. the court admitted said petition. a daughter of the testatrix. oppositors Natividad Icasiano de Gomez and Enrique Icasiano filed their CELSO ICASIANO. the parties presented their respective evidence. 1959. the amount involved being over P200. On February 18. Hence. in the newspaper "Manila chronicle". 1959. and NATIVIDAD ICASIANO and ENRIQUE ICASIANO. 1964 executed in duplicate with all the legal requirements. published before and attested by three appointing as executor Celso Icasiano. So did the Notary Public before whom the will her opposition. and for the appointment of before attorney Jose Oyengco Ong. 1958. Torres. and Jose V. the late Josefa Villacorte executed a last will and testament in probate the document and its duplicate. Of the said three previous to the time appointed. J. Natividad Icasiano. and that the will was actually prepared by attorney Fermin Samson. the petitioner proponent commenced the introduction consists of five pages. Felisa Icasiano at Pedro as the true last will and testament of Josefa Villacorte. and instrumental witnesses to the execution of the decedent's last will and also caused personal service of copies thereof upon the known heirs. Jose an amended and supplemental petition. a son of the testatrix. but he brought only one original and one signed copy to Manila. which he IN THE MATTER OF THE TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE JOSEFA allegedly found only on or about May 26.000. on that date. On June 17. deceased. testament. submitting the signed duplicate (Exhibit "A-1").

Ubag. presence. Coronal. did not testify). it. The fact that mentioned therein. that the will and The testimony presented by the proponents of the will tends to show that its duplicate were executed in Tagalog. Diversity of apportionment is the usual reason for making a testament. surrounding the execution of the will and the provisions and dispositions Diy being in the United States during the trial. the evident variability of her signatures. on page three (3) thereof. 14 Phil. the decedent might as well die intestate. that the contradicted by expert Martin Ramos for the proponents. Fermin Samson. 216). taking into account the advanced age of the testatrix. 3 and 4 original. a language known to and spoken by the original of the will and its duplicate were subscribed at the end and on both the testator and the witnesses. This is particularly so since the comparison charts Nos. Natividad. but the duplicate copy attached to We have examined the record and are satisfied. that the amended and supplemental petition and marked as Exhibit "A-1" is the testatrix signed both original and duplicate copies (Exhibits "A" and "A- signed by the testatrix and her three attesting witnesses in each and every 1". the duplicate being signed right the original. and further aver that granting that the documents were genuine. and Atty. used as standards only three other signatures of the acknowledged before Notary Public Jose Oyengco of Manila on the same testatrix besides those affixed to the original of the testament (Exh. that Logan. but principally will is written in the language known to and spoken by the testatrix that the because of the paucity of the standards used by him to support the attestation clause is in a language also known to and spoken by the conclusion that the differences between the standard and questioned witnesses. and not to oppose the probate of re Butalid. These. and date June 2. and questioned signatures does not appear reliable. and read to and by the testatrix and the left margin of each and every page thereof by the testatrix herself and Atty. 163. Bugnao vs. that original were not written by the same had which wrote the signatures in the the attestation clause thereof contains all the facts required by law to be original will leaves us unconvinced. the notary public who acknowledged the will. together before they were actually signed. that the will was executed on one single occasion in duplicate signatures are beyond the writer's range of normal scriptural variation. because the testatrix was deceived into adopting as her last will and with different surfaces and reflecting power. therefore. 45 Phil. and that both the original and the duplicate copies were duly expert has. while oppositors-appellants are enjoined not to look for some heirs are more favored than others is proof of neither (see In other properties not mentioned in the will. and the effect of writing fatigue. as the trial court was. on the same in the presence of page. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 21 V. as may be inferred from the facts and circumstances of the notary and the two instrumental witnesses. that the attested and subscribed by the three mentioned witnesses in the testatrix's attestation clause is also in a language known to and spoken by the presence and in that of one another as witnesses (except for the missing testatrix and the witnesses. The . who actually prepared the documents. we feel that with so few standards the expert's opinion and the signatures in the duplicate could not be those of the testatrix becomes extremely Witness Natividad who testified on his failure to sign page three (3) of the hazardous. The copies. Samson. not merely because it is directly recited therein and is signed by the aforesaid attesting witnesses. Torres and Natividad (Dr. Pecson vs. the alleged slight variance in blueness of the ink in the admitted original. the three attesting witnesses. admits that he may have lifted two pages instead of one when he fail to show convincingly that the are radical differences that would justify signed the same. Mr. we do testament the wishes of those who will stand to benefit from the provisions not find the testimony of the oppositor's expert sufficient to overcome that of the will. thereof. in fact. the signatures of the testatrix in the duplicate (Exhibit "A-1") are not genuine nor were they written or affixed on the same occasion as the Similarly. considering the they were executed through mistake and with undue influence and pressure standard and challenged writings were affixed to different kinds of paper. A). The opinion of expert for oppositors. respectively) of the will spontaneously. on penalty of forfeiting their share in the portion of free disposal. Felipe signature of attorney Natividad on page three (3) of the original). 1956. factors were not Oppositors-appellants in turn introduced expert testimony to the effect that discussed by the expert. but affirmed that page three (3) was signed in his the charge of forgery. 10 Phil. whereby proponents-appellees stand to profit from properties held by them as attorneys-in-fact of the deceased and not enumerated or Nor do we find adequate evidence of fraud or undue influence. 27. that the signatures of the testatrix appearing in the duplicate pages of the original and duplicate of said will were duly numbered. otherwise. On the whole.

the decision appealed from is affirmed. which bears a complete set of signatures in every costs against appellants. The appellants also argue that since the original of the will is in existence fraud and undue influence are mutually repugnant and exclude each other. often require satisfaction of the legal requirements in order to guard against results in a sizeable portion of the estate being diverted into the hands of fraud and bid faith but without undue or unnecessary curtailment of the non-heirs and speculators. Abangan. page. 49 Off. no intentional or deliberate deviation existed. it is easily discerned that oppositors-appellants run here into a dilemma. being superfluous and denial of probate. 476). but merely pages is sufficiently attained. Thus. where the purpose already conferred by the original publication of the petition for probate. Murciano. could nevertheless be . supplemented it by disclosing the existence of the duplicate. said duplicate. Otherwise. 81 Phil. vs. requirement for the correlative lettering of the pages of a will. 429). and appellants were duly notified of the 1459. Sideco. A-1) is not entitled to probate. the notary public before whom the testament was ratified by testatrix and all three witnesses. as remarked by the Court of Appeals in Sideco vs. but also by its bearing the coincident imprint of the seal of inadvertent and not intentional. the failure to under penalty of forfeiture of their shares in the free part do not suffice to make the first page either by letters or numbers is not a fatal defect (Lopez prove fraud or undue influence. Liboro. serves to prove that the only the fact that the testatrix and two other witnesses did sign the omission of one signature in the third page of the original testament was defective page. and the same is to affix his signature to one page of a testament. and we see no error in admitting the amended petition. deprived the appellants of any substantial right. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 22 testamentary dispositions that the heirs should not inquire into other probated (Abangan vs. Since they their joining as grounds for opposing probate shows absence of definite opposed probate of original because it lacked one signature in its third evidence against the validity of the will. 168. Exhibit A-1. page. with the only page signed at its foot by testator and witnesses. de Gil. Gaz. and no and the evidence on record attests to the full observance of the statutory showing is made that new interests were involved (the contents of Exhibit A requisites. 45 Off. Impossibility of substitution of this page is assured not irrelevant. If the original is valid and can be probated. It is also well to note that. but not in the left margin. Gaz. The law should not be so strictly and literally That the carbon duplicate. and A-1 are admittedly identical). was produced and admitted without interpreted as to penalize the testatrix on account of the inadvertence of a a new publication does not affect the jurisdiction of the probate court. This would not be the first time that this Court departs from a strict and literal application of the statutory requirements. then the objection lifting of two pages in the course of signing. They appear motivated by the desire to vs. single witness over whose conduct she had no control. with duplicate copy of the will. then in law there is no On the question of law. we hold that the inadvertent failure of one witness other will but the duly signed carbon duplicate (Exh. where the purposes of the law are otherwise satisfied. this Court has held that a testament. It is nowhere proved or claimed that the amendment will by muddling or bungling it or the attestation clause". and that despite the property and that they should respect the distribution made in the will. A-1). The text of the attestation clause and the acknowledgment before the Notary Public likewise evidence that no one was aware of the defect at the time. at 1479 (decision on reconsideration) "witnesses may sabotage the proposed amendment. Exhibit A-1. The of the law to guarantee the identity of the testament and its component amended petition did not substantially alter the one first filed. These precedents exemplify the Court's policy to prevent prolonged litigation which. despite the literal tenor of the law. the duplicate (Exh. if the original is defective and invalid. matter to be litigated on another occassion. At any rate. as shown by ordinary experience. as stated in Vda. and available. is not per se sufficient to justify to the signed duplicate need not be considered. 41 Phil. Whether these clauses are valid or not is a testamentary privilege. due to the simultaneous probatable. That the failure of witness Natividad to sign page three (3) was entirely through pure oversight is shown by his own testimony as well as by the IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING.

SPECPRO| RULE 75| 23

G.R. No. L-23445 June 23, 1966 A motion to reconsider having been thwarted below, petitioner came to this
Court on appeal.
REMEDIOS NUGUID, petitioner and appellant,
vs. 1. Right at the outset, a procedural aspect has engaged our attention. The
FELIX NUGUID and PAZ SALONGA NUGUID, oppositors and appellees. case is for the probate of a will. The court's area of inquiry is limited — to
an examination of, and resolution on, the extrinsic validity of the will. The
Custodio O. Partade for petitioner and appellant. due execution thereof, the testatrix's testamentary capacity, and the
Beltran, Beltran and Beltran for oppositors and appellees. compliance with the requisites or solemnities by law prescribed, are the
questions solely to be presented, and to be acted upon, by the court. Said
SANCHEZ, J.:
court at this stage of the proceedings — is not called upon to rule on
the intrinsic validity or efficacy of the provisions of the will, the legality of
Rosario Nuguid, a resident of Quezon City, died on December 30, 1962,
any devise or legacy therein.1
single, without descendants, legitimate or illegitimate. Surviving her were
her legitimate parents, Felix Nuguid and Paz Salonga Nuguid, and six (6)
A peculiar situation is here thrust upon us. The parties shunted aside the
brothers and sisters, namely: Alfredo, Federico, Remedios, Conrado,
question of whether or not the will should be allowed probate. For them,
Lourdes and Alberto, all surnamed Nuguid.
the meat of the case is the intrinsic validity of the will. Normally, this comes
only after the court has declared that the will has been duly
On May 18, 1963, petitioner Remedios Nuguid filed in the Court of First
authenticated.2 But petitioner and oppositors, in the court below and here
Instance of Rizal a holographic will allegedly executed by Rosario Nuguid on
on appeal, travelled on the issue of law, to wit: Is the will intrinsically a
November 17, 1951, some 11 years before her demise. Petitioner prayed
nullity?
that said will be admitted to probate and that letters of administration with
the will annexed be issued to her.
We pause to reflect. If the case were to be remanded for probate of the
will, nothing will be gained. On the contrary, this litigation will be
On June 25, 1963, Felix Nuguid and Paz Salonga Nuguid, concededly the
protracted. And for aught that appears in the record, in the event of
legitimate father and mother of the deceased Rosario Nuguid, entered their
probate or if the court rejects the will, probability exists that the case will
opposition to the probate of her will. Ground therefor, inter alia, is that by
come up once again before us on the same issue of the intrinsic validity or
the institution of petitioner Remedios Nuguid as universal heir of the
nullity of the will. Result: waste of time, effort, expense, plus added
deceased, oppositors — who are compulsory heirs of the deceased in the
anxiety. These are the practical considerations that induce us to a belief
direct ascending line — were illegally preterited and that in consequence
that we might as well meet head-on the issue of the validity of the
the institution is void.
provisions of the will in question.3 After all, there exists a justiciable
On August 29, 1963, before a hearing was had on the petition for probate controversy crying for solution.
and objection thereto, oppositors moved to dismiss on the ground of
2. Petitioner's sole assignment of error challenges the correctness of the
absolute preterition.
conclusion below that the will is a complete nullity. This exacts from us a
On September 6, 1963, petitioner registered her opposition to the motion study of the disputed will and the applicable statute.
to dismiss.1äwphï1.ñët
Reproduced hereunder is the will:
The court's order of November 8, 1963, held that "the will in question is a
Nov. 17, 1951
complete nullity and will perforce create intestacy of the estate of the
deceased Rosario Nuguid" and dismissed the petition without costs.
I, ROSARIO NUGUID, being of sound and disposing mind and memory,
having amassed a certain amount of property, do hereby give, devise, and

SPECPRO| RULE 75| 24

bequeath all of the property which I may have when I die to my beloved It may now appear trite bat nonetheless helpful in giving us a clear
sister Remedios Nuguid, age 34, residing with me at 38-B Iriga, Q.C. In perspective of the problem before us, to have on hand a clear-cut definition
witness whereof, I have signed my name this seventh day of November, of the word annul:
nineteen hundred and fifty-one.
To "annul" means to abrogate, to make void ... In re Morrow's Estate, 54 A.
(Sgd.) Illegible 342, 343, 204 Pa. 484.6

T/ ROSARIO NUGUID The word "annul" as used in statute requiring court to annul alimony
provisions of divorce decree upon wife's remarriage means to reduce to
The statute we are called upon to apply in Article 854 of the Civil Code nothing; to annihilate; obliterate; blot out; to make void or of no effect; to
which, in part, provides: nullify; to abolish. N.J.S.A. 2:50 — 38 (now N.J.S. 2A:34-35). Madden vs.
Madden, 40 A. 2d 611, 614, 136 N..J Eq. 132.7
ART. 854. The preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory
heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will ANNUL. To reduce to nothing; annihilate; obliterate; to make void or of no
or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; effect; to nullify; to abolish; to do away with. Ex parte Mitchell, 123 W. Va.
but the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not 283, 14 S.E. 2d. 771, 774.8
inofficious. ...
And now, back to the facts and the law. The deceased Rosario Nuguid left
Except for inconsequential variation in terms, the foregoing is a no descendants, legitimate or illegitimate. But she left forced heirs in the
reproduction of Article 814 of the Civil Code of Spain of 1889, which is direct ascending line her parents, now oppositors Felix Nuguid and Paz
similarly herein copied, thus — Salonga Nuguid. And, the will completely omits both of them: They thus
received nothing by the testament; tacitly, they were deprived of their
Art. 814. The preterition of one or all of the forced heirs in the direct line,
legitime; neither were they expressly disinherited. This is a clear case of
whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the
preterition. Such preterition in the words of Manresa "anulara siempre la
death of the testator, shall void the institution of heir; but the legacies and
institucion de heredero, dando caracter absoluto a este ordenamiento
betterments4 shall be valid, in so far as they are not inofficious. ...
referring to the mandate of Article 814, now 854 of the Civil Code.9 The
one-sentence will here institutes petitioner as the sole, universal heir —
A comprehensive understanding of the term preterition employed in the law
nothing more. No specific legacies or bequests are therein provided for. It is
becomes a necessity. On this point Manresa comments:
in this posture that we say that the nullity is complete. Perforce, Rosario
La pretericion consiste en omitar al heredero en el testamento. O no se le Nuguid died intestate. Says Manresa:
nombra siquiera o aun nombrandole como padre, hijo, etc., no se le
En cuanto a la institucion de heredero, se anula. Lo que se anula deja de
instituya heredero ni se le deshereda expresamente ni se le asigna parte
existir, en todo o en parte? No se añade limitacion alguna, como en el
alguna de los bienes, resultando privado de un modo tacito de su derecho a
articulo 851, en el que se expresa que se anulara la institucion de heredero
legitima.
en cuanto prejudique a la legitima del deseheredado Debe, pues,
Para que exista pretericion, con arreglo al articulo 814, basta que en el entenderse que la anulacion es completa o total, y que este articulo como
10
testamento omita el testador a uno cualquiera de aquellos a quienes por su especial en el caso que le motiva rige con preferencia al 817.
muerte corresponda la herencia forzosa.
The same view is expressed by Sanchez Roman: —
Se necesita, pues, a) Que la omision se refiera a un heredero forzoso. b)
La consecuencia de la anulacion o nulidad de la institucion de heredero por
Que la omision sea completa; que el heredero forzoso nada reciba en el
pretericion de uno, varios o todos los forzosos en linea recta, es la apertura
testamento.

SPECPRO| RULE 75| 25

de la sucesion intestada total o parcial. Sera total, cuando el testador que 3. We should not be led astray by the statement in Article 854 that,
comete la pretericion, hubiese dispuesto de todos los bienes por titulo annullment notwithstanding, "the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar
universal de herencia en favor de los herederos instituidos, cuya institucion as they are not inofficious". Legacies and devises merit consideration only
se anula, porque asi lo exige la generalidad del precepto legal del art. 814, when they are so expressly given as such in a will. Nothing in Article 854
al determinar, como efecto de la pretericion, el de que "anulara la suggests that the mere institution of a universal heir in a will — void
institucion de heredero." ... 11 because of preterition — would give the heir so instituted a share in the
inheritance. As to him, the will is inexistent. There must be, in addition to
Really, as we analyze the word annul employed in the statute, there is no such institution, a testamentary disposition granting him bequests or
escaping the conclusion that the universal institution of petitioner to the legacies apart and separate from the nullified institution of heir. Sanchez
entire inheritance results in totally abrogating the will. Because, the Roman, speaking of the two component parts of Article 814, now 854,
nullification of such institution of universal heir — without any other states that preterition annuls the institution of the heir "totalmente por la
testamentary disposition in the will — amounts to a declaration that nothing pretericion"; but added (in reference to legacies and bequests) "pero
at all was written. Carefully worded and in clear terms, Article 854 offers no subsistiendo ... todas aquellas otras disposiciones que no se refieren a la
leeway for inferential interpretation. Giving it an expansive meaning will institucion de heredero ... . 13 As Manresa puts it, annulment throws open
tear up by the roots the fabric of the statute. On this point, Sanchez Roman to intestate succession the entire inheritance including "la porcion libre
cites the "Memoria annual del Tribunal Supreme, correspondiente a 1908", (que) no hubiese dispuesto en virtud de legado, mejora o donacion. 14
which in our opinion expresses the rule of interpretation, viz:
As aforesaid, there is no other provision in the will before us except the
... El art. 814, que preceptua en tales casos de pretericion la nulidad de la institution of petitioner as universal heir. That institution, by itself, is null
institucion de heredero, no consiente interpretacion alguna favorable a la and void. And, intestate succession ensues.
persona instituida en el sentido antes expuesto aun cuando parezca, y en
algun caso pudiera ser, mas o menos equitativa, porque una nulidad no 4. Petitioner's mainstay is that the present is "a case of ineffective
significa en Derecho sino la suposicion de que el hecho o el acto no se ha disinheritance rather than one of preterition". 15From this, petitioner draws
realizado, debiendo por lo tanto procederse sobre tal base o supuesto, y the conclusion that Article 854 "does not apply to the case at bar". This
consiguientemente, en un testamento donde falte la institucion, es obligado argument fails to appreciate the distinction between pretention and
llamar a los herederos forzosos en todo caso, como habria que llamar a los disinheritance.
de otra clase, cuando el testador no hubiese distribudo todos sus bienes en
legados, siendo tanto mas obligada esta consecuencia legal cuanto que, en Preterition "consists in the omission in the testator's will of the forced heirs
materia de testamentos, sabido es, segun tiene declarado la jurisprudencia, or anyone of them, either because they are not mentioned therein, or,
con repeticion, que no basta que sea conocida la voluntad de quien testa si though mentioned, they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly
esta voluntad no aparece en la forma y en las condiciones que la ley ha disinherited." 16 Disinheritance, in turn, "is a testamentary disposition
exigido para que sea valido y eficaz, por lo que constituiria una depriving any compulsory heir of his share in the legitime for a cause
interpretacion arbitraria, dentro del derecho positivo, reputar como authorized by law. " 17 In Manresa's own words: "La privacion expresa de la
legatario a un heredero cuya institucion fuese anulada con pretexto de que legitima constituye la desheredacion. La privacion tacita de la misma se
esto se acomodaba mejor a la voluntad del testador, pues aun cuando asi denomina pretericion." 18 Sanchez Roman emphasizes the distinction by
fuese, sera esto razon para modificar la ley, pero no autoriza a una stating that disinheritance "es siempre voluntaria"; preterition, upon the
interpretacion contraria a sus terminos y a los principios que informan la other hand, is presumed to be "involuntaria". 19 Express as disinheritance
testamentifaccion, pues no porque parezca mejor una cosa en el terreno del should be, the same must be supported by a legal cause specified in the will
Derecho constituyente, hay razon para convereste juicio en regla de itself. 20
interpretacion, desvirtuando y anulando por este procedimiento lo que el
The will here does not explicitly disinherit the testatrix's parents, the forced
legislador quiere establecer. 12
heirs. It simply omits their names altogether. Said will rather than be

Institution of heirs is a is in toto." although the inheritance of the heir so instituted is reduced to the extent of said legitimes. and a . No costs allowed. accordingly. Preterition under Article 854 of the not only because they are distinctly and separately treated in said article Civil Code. the result is the case of preterition on the one hand and legal disinheritance on the the same. we would be destroying integral provisions of the Civil Code. Considering. in disinheritance the nullity is limited to that portion of the estate of nullity". This annulment but because they are in themselves different. in commenting on the rights of the preterited heirs in the institution of petitioner as universal heir. we repeat. Article 854 of the Civil Code in turn merely nullifies "the institution which the disinherited heirs have been illegally deprived. 24 This is best answered by a reference to the opinion of Mr. The entire will is null. Manresa's of heir". we observe. which last phrase was omitted in the case of preterition. and nothing more. put only "insofar as it may prejudice the person disinherited". 1963 under review is hereby affirmed. In ineffective disinheritance under Article specific property bequeathed by a particular or special title. it must not be entirely annulled but merely reduced. 23 Upon the view we take of this case. testamentary dispositions bequest by universal title of property that is undetermined. other. 5. only provision material to the disposition of this case. solo les corresponde un tercio o dos tercios. be absolutely meaningless and will never have any application at all. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 26 labeled ineffective disinheritance is clearly one in which the said forced general from a special provision. will result in a complete abrogation of Articles 814 and 851 of the Civil Code. viz: But the theory is advanced that the bequest made by universal title in favor of the children by the second marriage should be treated as legado and mejora and. runs thus: "Preteridos. but that the institution of heir "is not invalidated. 22 el caso. which is the heirs suffer from preterition. instead of construing. And the remaining provisions contained in said article concerning the reduction of inofficious legacies or betterments would be a surplusage because they would be absorbed by Article 817. it must be observed that the institution of heirs is therein dealt with as a thing separate and On top of this is the fact that the effects flowing from preterition are totally distinct from legacies or betterments. .. unless in the will there are. in addition. The destructive effect of the theory thus advanced is due mainly to a failure to distinguish institution of heirs from legacies and betterments. But again an 918 of the same Code. If every case of institution of heirs may be made to fall into the concept of legacies and betterments reducing the bequest accordingly. adquiren el derecho a todo. would. With reference to article 814. So ordered. Thus. 25 of heirs". Chief Justice Moran in the Neri case heretofore cited. "shall annul the institution of heir". if adopted. Legacy refers to in the form of devises or legacies. the order of November 8.. Petitioner insists that the compulsory heirs ineffectively disinherited are entitled to receive their legitimes. such disinheritance shall also "annul the institution institution of heirs cannot be taken as a legacy. however. then the provisions of Articles 814 and 851 regarding total or partial nullity of the institution. that the will before us solely provides for expressive language. desheredados. 21 Better stated The disputed order. declares the will in question "a complete yet. This theory. And they are separate and distinct different from those of disinheritance.

Thelma filed in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cebu City With the parties agreeing to submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the a petition for the appointment of Teresita as the administrator of Emigdio’s court on the issue of what properties should be included in or excluded from . and 30 shares of properties for purposes of their inclusion or exclusion from the inventory to stock of Cebu Emerson worth P22.700. Teresita submitted an inventory of the estate of MERCADO. survived P30. namely: Allan V. or the parties consent to the the inventory.00. collateral to the settlement and distribution of the estate. and sold his real property in Badian. 1979 for 300 shares of stock of Cebu Emerson worth Emigdio S. MERCADO. MERCADO. and that she (Thelma) be allowed by his first marriage. Petitioner. MERCADO. Mercado (Teresita). Felimon V. He assigned his real court to resolve the motion for approval of the inventory.000.1 The RTC granted the petition considering that there was no opposition. consisting of cash of P32. the RTC issued an order expressing the need for the corporate shares in Mervir Realty Corporation (Mervir Realty) and Cebu parties to present evidence and for Teresita to be examined to enable the Emerson Transportation Corporation (Cebu Emerson). 1993.6 by his second wife. Emigdio inherited and acquired real properties during his lifetime.80.00. J.651. 1993.708.10 in exchange for 44. ANDERSON.440.5 and the certificate of stock issued on January 30. Teresita filed a compliance with the order of January the inventory is the conjugal or exclusive property of the deceased spouse. Its jurisdiction extends to matters incidental or motion through the order of January 8. namely: respondent Franklin L. AND FRANKLIN L. 156407.4 the deed of assignment executed by Emigdio on January 10. 3252) to Mervir Realty.3 supporting her inventory with copies of three certificates of stocks covering the 44. He owned On February 4. Respondents. Mercado and 30 days within which to file a formal opposition to or comment on the petitioner Thelma M.435.20. Thelma moved that the RTC direct Teresita to amend the assumption of jurisdiction by the probate court and the rights of third inventory.000. 1993. 1992. Anderson. furniture and BERSAMIN. January 15. Thelma opposed the approval of the inventory. As the administrator. and Title No. asked leave of court to examine Teresita on the inventory.00. 1993. FELIMON favor of Teresita were issued on September 7. Aranas (Thelma). Mercado. v.407 Mervir Realty shares of stock with total par value of P4.25 in all. and their five children.R. 1992 for the consideration and approval by the RTC. On June 3. ARANAS. and to be examined regarding it. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 27 G. 1991. Emigdio DECISION had “left no real properties but only personal properties” worth P6. inventory and the supporting documents Teresita had submitted. On January 26. TERESITA M.000.806 Mervir Realty shares of stock. 3094–CEB). and his two children examined under oath on the inventory. and Maria Teresita M. 1993. TERESITA V. Thelma again moved to require Teresita to be Richard V.585. No. but its determination shall only be provisional unless the interested parties are all heirs of the decedent. Mercado. MA. Sutherland. 1991 involving real properties with the Antecedents market value of P4. 1991. Carmencita M.141. 2014 estate (Special Proceedings No. V. pieces of jewelry valued at P15.00. The RTC granted Thelma’s parties are not impaired.2 be submitted by the administrator.: fixtures worth P20. SUTHERLAND. such as the determination of the status of each heir and whether property included in On January 21. Emigdio on December 14. She indicated in the inventory that at the time of his death.25. 1993. Teresita V. 44.675. CARMENCITA M.806 The probate court is authorized to determine the issue of ownership of shares of stock of Mervir Realty worth P6. Mercado. or the Claiming that Emigdio had owned other properties that were excluded from question is one of collation or advancement. The letters of administration in THELMA M.440. 8.7cralawred properties in exchange for corporate stocks of Mervir Realty.585. Mercado (Emigdio) died intestate on January 12. RICHARD V. Cebu (Lot 3353 covered by Transfer Certificate of On April 19.

Mercado by including therein the properties mentioned in the CORPORATION (MERVIR REALTY CORPORATION) BE INCLUDED IN THE last five immediately preceding paragraphs hereof and then submit the INVENTORY OF THE ESTATE OF THE LATE EMIGDIO S. 2002. 2001 and May 18.10 Thelma opposed the motion. JURISDICTION (sic) AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN HOLDING THAT REAL PROPERTIES WHICH ARE IN THE POSSESSION OF 9 SO ORDERED. JURISDICTION (sic) AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION The Court hereby orders the said administratrix to re–do the inventory of IN HOLDING THAT THE REAL PROPERTY WHICH WAS SOLD BY THE LATE properties which are supposed to constitute as the estate of the late EMIGDIO S. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 28 the inventory. timely sought the reconsideration of the order of March 14. 2001 on the ground III that one of the real properties affected. MERCADO DURING HIS LIFETIME TO A PRIVATE Emigdio S. 2001 by After a series of hearings that ran for almost eight years. the RTC issued on petition for certiorari. MERCADO. MERCADO. the RTC denied the motion for reconsideration. Lot No. joined by her four children and her stepson Franklin. Teresita. ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary AND ALREADY REGISTERED IN THE NAME (OF) PRIVATE CORPORATION (MERVIR REALTY CORPORATION) BE INCLUDED IN THE INVENTORY OF THE ESTATE OF THE LATE EMIGDIO S. 2001 an order finding and holding that the inventory submitted by Teresita had excluded properties that should be included. in view of all the foregoing premises and considerations. Teresita. She must render such accounting within sixty (60) days THE HONORABLE RESPONDENT JUDGE HAS COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF from notice hereof. II The Court also directs the said administratrix to render an account of her administration of the estate of the late Emigdio S. assailed the adverse orders of the RTC promulgated on March 14. disposing as follows:13 Decision of the CA .11 stating SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE INVENTORY OF THE ESTATE OF THE LATE that there was no cogent reason for the reconsideration. Cebu. and in ordering her as administrator to Ruling of the RTC include real properties that had been transferred to Mervir Realty. the CA partly granted the petition for certiorari. HOLDING THAT PETITIONERS ARE NOW ESTOPPED FROM QUESTIONING ITS JURISDICTION IN PASSING UPON THE ISSUE OF WHAT PROPERTIES On May 18. and I accordingly ruled: WHEREFORE. joined by other heirs of Emigdio. 3353 located in Badian. revised inventory within sixty (60) days from notice of this order. Mercado which had come to her possession. 2001. and that the parcels of land THE HONORABLE RESPONDENT JUDGE HAS COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF covered by the deed of assignment had already come into the possession of DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN and registered in the name of Mervir Realty. stating: March 14. had already been sold to Mervir Realty. the RTC set dates for the hearing on that issue. and that the EMIGDIO MERCADO.8cralawlawlibrary Alleging that the RTC thereby acted with grave abuse of discretion in refusing to approve the inventory. On March 29.12 movants’ agreement as heirs to submit to the RTC the issue of what properties should be included or excluded from the inventory already estopped them from questioning its jurisdiction to pass upon the issue. On May 15. 2001. the THE HONORABLE RESPONDENT JUDGE HAS COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF Court hereby denies the administratrix’s motion for approval of inventory.

Cebu with an area of 53. that Emigdio had thereby ceased to have any conclusiveness of said titles in favor of Mervir Realty Corporation should more interest in Lot 3353. et al. 2001 filed before public respondent court clearly shows that petitioners are not questioning The CA opined that Teresita. 3353 located at Badian. as an intestate court. 2002. jurisdictional personality of a corporation. because actually. that even if the impale the veil of corporate fiction because to disregard the separate assignment had been based on the deed of assignment dated January 10. 3353 to personality distinct and separate from its stockholders. of any cogency to shred the veil of corporate fiction. 1989 and the various parcels of land subject matter of the Deeds of Assignment dated February 17. also had no power to take cognizance of and determine the issue of title to property registered On November 15. had properly filed the petition its jurisdiction but the manner in which it was exercised for which they are for certiorari because the order of the RTC directing a new inventory of not estopped. 1989 “for the purpose of saving.” and to Article administratrix’s motion for approval of the inventory of properties which 1498 of the Civil Code. Mervir Realty instrument was equivalent to the delivery of the object of the sale. 2001 denying the to the vendee” upon its “actual and constructive delivery. that Emigdio had assigned the parcels of land to stand undisturbed. which under the law possessed a by Emigdio and Teresita had transferred the ownership of Lot No. were again failed to adjudge competent evidence that would have justified the court to given monetary consideration through shares of stock”. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 29 WHEREFORE. Issue that the RTC. subject in a limited capacity as a probate court. by disregarding the presumption. et Did the CA properly determine that the RTC committed grave abuse of . and that the RTC also gravely abused its discretion in holding that Teresita. inventory to be submitted by the administratrix. 1991 deed of assignment. this petition al. that pursuant to Article 1477 of the Civil of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of limited jurisdiction when it Code. the parcels of land could not be included in the inventory and convincingly established since it cannot be presumed. that the RTC. the presumption of 1989 had been notarized. The assailed Orders dated March 14. Mervir Realty as early as February 17. public respondent court acting as a probate court had no authority January 10. a private corporation. to the effect that the sale made through a public were already titled and in possession of a third person that is. and in the absence Mervir Realty because the deed of absolute sale executed on November 9. considering that there is grave abuse properties was interlocutory. public respondent court erred when it ruled that revised inventory to be submitted by the administratrix is concerned petitioners are estopped from questioning its jurisdiction considering that and affirmed in all other respects. 2001 are hereby reversed and set aside insofar as the inclusion of included in the inventory. as in avoiding taxes with the difference that in the Deed of Assignment dated Besides.14 “considering that there is nothing wrong or objectionable about the estate planning scheme”. were estopped from questioning its jurisdiction because of their is GRANTED partially. et al. that a property covered by the Teresita. 1991 in the In the instant case. since that is their right. Mervir Realty had been corporate fiction and even if public respondent court was not merely acting “even at the losing end considering that such parcels of land. private respondent nonetheless matter(s) of the Deed of Assignment dated February 12.15 Torrens system should be afforded the presumptive conclusiveness of title. 1989. 2001 and May agreement to submit to the RTC the issue of which properties should be 18. 1991. parcels of land known as Lot No. they have already agreed to submit themselves to its jurisdiction of determining what properties are to be included in or excluded from the SO ORDERED. the wrongdoing must be clearly 1991. additional seven (7) parcels of land were included”. to the effect that the ownership of the thing sold “shall be transferred issued the assailed Order dated March 14. the CA denied the motion for reconsideration of in the name of third persons or corporation. that to determine the applicability of the doctrine of piercing the veil of as to the January 10. a reading of petitioners’ Motion for Reconsideration dated March 26. had transgressed the clear provisions of law and infringed settled jurisprudence on the matter. FOREGOING PREMISES CONSIDERED.301 square meters subject matter of the Deed of Absolute Sale dated The CA further opined as follows: November 9. the sale Corporation. 1989 and January 10.

In Pahila–Garrido v. held that the order of exclusion was not a final ascertain whether or not an order or a judgment is interlocutory or final but an interlocutory order “in the sense that it did not settle once and for all is: does the order or judgment leave something to be done in the trial court the title to the San Lorenzo Village lots. The test to administration proceedings. not a final. with the ground for appealing the order being included in the I appeal of the judgment itself. in affirming to enforce by execution what the court has determined. the probate court may pass upon the title thereto but such determination is not The order dated November 12. approval of the inventory and the order dated May 18. but the latter does the decision of the CA to the effect that the order of the intestate court not completely dispose of the case but leaves something else to be decided excluding certain real properties from the inventory was interlocutory and upon. and . The first disposes of the subject matter in its entirety or terminates a particular proceeding or action. otherwise. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 30 discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in directing the should not be the subject of an appeal. the approval of the inventory and the concomitant nature. An interlocutory order may be the subject of an appeal. it is final. 2001 denying her motion for reconsideration were interlocutory. but only after a judgment has been rendered. Thelma contends that the resort grave abuse of discretion. 2002. Tortogo.16 the Court distinguished determination of the ownership as basis for inclusion or exclusion from the between final and interlocutory orders as follows: inventory were provisional and subject to revision at anytime during the The distinction between a final order and an interlocutory order is well course of the administration proceedings. was an interlocutory. The reason for disallowing an inclusion of certain properties in the inventory notwithstanding that such appeal from an interlocutory order is to avoid multiplicity of appeals in a properties had been either transferred by sale or exchanged for corporate single action. 2001 denying Teresita’s motion for the Thelma’s contention cannot be sustained. De Rodriguez v. The assailed order of March 14. provided that the interlocutory order is rendered without or in excess of jurisdiction or with The first issue to be resolved is procedural. Teresita and her co–respondents was not proper. This is because the inclusion The propriety of the special civil action for certiorari as a remedy depended of the properties in the inventory was not yet a final determination of their on whether the assailed orders of the RTC were final or interlocutory in ownership. Then is certiorari under Rule 65 allowed to be to the special civil action for certiorari to assail the orders of the RTC by resorted to. which necessarily suspends the hearing and decision on the shares in Mervir Realty by the decedent during his lifetime? merits of the action during the pendency of the appeals. order. and will compel the adverse party to incur unnecessary expenses. the order or judgment is The prevailing rule is that for the purpose of determining whether a certain interlocutory. An interlocutory order deals with preliminary matters and the trial on could be changed or modified at anytime during the course of the the merits is yet to be held and the judgment rendered. Court of Appeals.17 the Court. leaving nothing more to be done except In Valero Vda.” The Court observed there that: with respect to the merits of the case? If it does. Was certiorari the proper recourse The remedy against an interlocutory order not subject of an appeal is an to assail the questioned orders of the RTC? appropriate special civil action under Rule 65. Hence. Permitting multiple appeals will necessarily delay the trial on the merits of the case for a Ruling of the Court considerable length of time. for one of the parties may interpose as many appeals as there are incidental questions raised by him and as there are The appeal is meritorious. property should or should not be included in the inventory. known. interlocutory orders rendered or issued by the lower court. which granted the application for the conclusive and is subject to the final decision in a separate action writ of preliminary injunction.

the CA concluded that the RTC committed grave at various stages of the special proceedings. citing Jimenez v. except administrator have to resort to an ordinary action for a final that no appeal shall be allowed from the appointment of a special determination of the conflicting claims of title because the probate administrator. or the administration of a trustee or guardian. 1976. Court of Appeals.19 where the Court declared that a “probate court. the assailed orders of the RTC. in the estate of the decedent? Multiple appeals are permitted in special proceedings as a practical recognition of the possibility that material issues may be finally determined In its assailed decision. The final judgment rule embodied in the first paragraph of Section 1. can only be settled in a separate action. or of a particular matter therein when declared by these Rules to be appealable” may be the subject of an appeal in due course. Court of Appeals. Orders or judgments from which appeals may be taken. pages 448–9 and interested person may appeal in special proceedings from an order or 473.18 (Bold emphasis supplied) Relations Court. distributive share of the estate to which such person is entitled. – An Moran’s Comments on the Rules of Court.” Indeed. and for disregarding the registration of the properties in the name of Mervir Realty. et al. The same rule states that an interlocutory order or resolution II (interlocutory because it deals with preliminary matters. in whole or in part. Rule 109 of abuse of discretion for including properties in the inventory notwithstanding the Rules of Court enumerates the specific instances in which multiple their having been transferred to Mervir Realty by Emigdio during his appeals may be resorted to in special proceedings. June 14. or any claim presented on behalf of the estate in offset to property. administrator.” and reminded. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 31 regarding ownership which may be instituted by the parties (3 Section 1. Lachenal vs. then the opposing parties and the determination in the lower court of the rights of the party appealing. If there is a dispute deceased person. in the cited case a claim against it. or that the trial on Did the RTC commit grave abuse of discretion the merits is yet to be held and the judgment rendered) is expressly made in directing the inclusion of the properties non–appealable. which result in inclusion or exclusion from the inventory of the deceased person. judgment rendered by a Court of First Instance or a Juvenile and Domestic 266). an appeal would not be the correct recourse for denying a motion for a new trial or for reconsideration. unless it be an order granting or On the other hand. All that the said court could do as regards the said properties is determine whether they should or should not be included in the inventory or list of (e) Constitutes. viz: lifetime. that the “patent reason is the probate court’s limited jurisdiction and the principle that questions of title or (c) Allows or disallows. and court cannot do so. Court of Appeals. stipulates that Clearly. Rules of Court. whether in a testate or intestate proceeding.21 which also governs appeals in special proceedings. of Jimenez v. Salas. Teresita. where such order or judgment: (a) Allows or disallows a will. (Bold emphasis supplied) (f) Is the final order or judgment rendered in the case. by applying the doctrine of piercing the veil . being interlocutory. L–42257. Section 1. a third party. To the same effect was De Leon v. to take against the assailed orders. trustee or guardian. completely disposes of the case. and affects the substantial rights of the person appealing. or the can only pass upon questions of title provisionally. 71 SCRA 262. (b) Determines who are the lawful heirs of a deceased person. any claim against the estate of a ownership. a final as to the ownership. final orders (and resolutions) of a court of law “that under any of the instances in which multiple appeals are permitted. Rule 41. in proceedings relating to the settlement of the estate of a properties to be administered by the administrator.20 the Court pointed out: (d) Settles the account of an executor. did not come only the judgments. 1970 Edition.

”25 As long as the RTC commits no patently grave abuse of dies intestate. As the Court said in Agtarap v. for the part of the estate and which are claimed to belong to outside parties. the RTC that presides over the administration of an estate is vested with wide Was the CA correct in its conclusion? discretion on the question of what properties should be included in the inventory. of the estate of the decedent is “to aid the court in revising the accounts then the parties.” for in the administration of the estates of deceased persons.24 the CA cannot impose its The answer is in the negative. relates only to matters having to do with the probate of the will and/or settlement of the estate of deceased persons. regardless of their being in to that of the deceased and his estate. . Inventory and appraisal to be returned within three months. In the appraisement of such estate. and in to an ordinary action before a court exercising general jurisdiction for a final making a final and equitable distribution (partition) of the estate and determination of the conflicting claims of title. in judgment in order to supplant that of the RTC on the issue of which reaching its conclusion. Peralta. All that the said court could do as the possession of another person or entity. It is unavoidable to find that the CA. as the administrator. regards said properties is to determine whether or not they should be included in the inventory of properties to be administered by the The objective of the Rules of Court in requiring the inventory and appraisal administrator. Rule 78 of the Rules of Court. who is competent and willing to serve when the person discretion. which signifies that the properties probate court or one in charge of estate proceedings. the RTC becomes duty–bound to direct the preparation and of its judicial duty. its orders must be respected as part of the regular performance spouse. supra. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 32 of corporate fiction. the letters of appellate courts should not interfere with or attempt to replace the action administration may be granted at the discretion of the court to the taken by them. Such determination is provisional and may be still revised. Section 1 allows no exception. there poses no problem. – virtue of any right of inheritance from the decedent. and the opposing parties have to resort and determining the liabilities of the executor or the administrator. “the judges enjoy ample discretionary powers and the Under Section 6(a). not phrase true inventory implies that no properties appearing to belong to the by virtue of any right of inheritance from the deceased but by title adverse decedent can be excluded from the inventory. has the duty and responsibility to There is no dispute that the jurisdiction of the trial court as an intestate submit the inventory within three months from the issuance of letters of court is special and limited. As held in several cases. otherwise to facilitate the administration of the estate. unless it be shown that there has been a positive abuse of surviving spouse. the administrator. According to Peralta v. but if there is. the word all is qualified by the phrase which has merely exercises special and limited jurisdiction. not by Section 1.22 However. demands the inclusion of all does not extend to the determination of questions of ownership that arise the real and personal properties of the decedent in the during the proceedings. viz: properties claimed to be a part of the estate but are claimed to belong to third parties by title adverse to that of the decedent and the estate. of “positive abuse of discretion. Upon issuing the letters of administration to the surviving discretion. but The usage of the word all in Section 1. Agtarap:26 the court may order one or more of the inheritance tax appraisers to give his or their assistance. The trial court cannot adjudicate title to administration pursuant to Rule 83 of the Rules of Court. If there is no dispute. and the surviving spouse. The patent rationale for this rule is that such court inventory. submission of the inventory of the properties of the estate. whether testate or must be known to the administrator to belong to the decedent or are in her intestate.”23 Hence. All that the trial court Within three (3) months after his appointment every executor or can do regarding said properties is to determine whether or not they should administrator shall return to the court a true inventory and appraisal of be included in the inventory of properties to be administered by the all the real and personal estate of the deceased which has come administrator. ignored the law and the facts that had fully properties are to be included or excluded from the inventory in the absence warranted the assailed orders of the RTC. into his possession or knowledge. a come into his possession or knowledge. either as a probate court or an intestate court. cannot adjudicate or determine title to properties claimed to be a possession as the administrator. The general rule is that the jurisdiction of the trial court.

or exclusion Bank which she opened when her husband was still alive. the administratrix of the estate admitted that Emigdio by the late Emigdio S. or the question is one of constituting as estate of her husband. the administratrix of the estate of Emigdio Mercado First. 3353 of Pls–657–D located in Badian. while being examined in January 12. Cebu should be included in the inventory in this case. spouse. p. Cebu containing an area on ownership. which the decedent has at any time made a transfer in contemplation of death. Mercado until now. bold emphasis supplied) 1995. the probate court may provisionally pass upon in an intestate admitted. 3252 of the Registry of Deeds for the Province of Cebu is still determination of the status of each heir and whether the property in the registered in the name of Emigdio S. The administratrix admitted. expediency and convenience. one– determination of ownership in a separate action. if the half thereof should be included in the inventory of the properties interested parties are all heirs to the estate. the money from. it was the estate of the late Emigdio Mercado which claimed to be the owner thereof. 1991. the inventory to be approved in this case should still include the In the second place. one–half thereof or of the . said properties constituting 78 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1977 provides that the gross Emigdio Mercado’s share in the estate of Severina Mercado should be estate of the decedent shall be determined by including the value at the included in the inventory of properties required to be submitted to the time of his death of all property to the extent of any interest therein of Court in this particular case. such as the of Title No. in Court that she had a bank account in her name at Union or a testate proceeding the question of inclusion in. Verily. too. As these shares of City Assessor’s Office on October 31. Mercado to Mervir Realty Corporation on January 10. or the parties consent to the assumption of jurisdiction by the probate court and the rights of third parties are In the fourth place. 2001. When it was the inventory is conjugal or exclusive property of the deceased subject of Civil Case No. the inventory of a piece of property without prejudice to final in said bank account partakes of being conjugal in character. its jurisdiction extends to matters incidental or of 53. 3909). 306–R which are supposed to be divided transfer in contemplation of death. Second. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 33 value thereof should be included in the inventory of the estate of her However. It was made two days before he died on among her heirs. that she did not include in the prompted by the thought that the transferor has not long to live and made inventory submitted by her in this case the shares of Emigdio Mercado in in place of a testamentary disposition (1959 Prentice Hall. Section the said estate of Severina Mercado. the said properties actually appeared to stock of Mervir Realty Corporation which are in her name and which were be still registered in the name of Emigdio S. upon her death. it appears that the assignment of several parcels of land In the first place. Mervir Realty Corporation never intervened in the said case in order to be the owner thereof. 1991 by virtue of the Deed of Assignment signed by him on the said day left several properties as listed in the inventory of properties submitted in (Exhibit N for the petitioner and Exhibit 5 for the administratrix) was a Court in Special Proceedings No. So.27 (Italics in the original. Again. This fact was admitted by Richard It is clear to us that the RTC took pains to explain the factual bases for its Mercado himself when he testified in Court. Mercado at least ten (10) paid by her from money derived from the taxicab business which she and months after his death.301 square meters as described in and covered by Transfer Certificate collateral to the settlement and distribution of the estate. Certainly. then the probate court is competent to resolve issues that Lot No.28 stock partake of being conjugal in character. as shown by the certification issued by the Cebu her husband had since 1955 as a conjugal undertaking. Besides. of March 14. x x x So the said property directive for the inclusion of the properties in question in its assailed order located in Badian. collation or advancement. viz: Fifthly and lastly. Mercado was one of the heirs of Severina Mercado who. the administratrix of the estate of Emigdio Mercado said properties of Emigdio Mercado which were transferred by him in also admitted in Court that she did not include in the inventory shares of contemplation of death. and so. 1991 (Exhibit O). A transfer made in contemplation of death is one Court by the counsel for the petitioner. CEB–12690 which was decided on October 19. it has been established during the hearing in this case not impaired. this general rule is subject to exceptions as justified by husband. In the third place.

the RTC strictly followed the directives of the Rules of Court and the jurisprudence relevant to the procedure for preparing the inventory by Also. the fact that the deed of absolute sale executed by Emigdio in favor of the administrator. The party asserting that specific property the first place.34 In Moreover. whether the CA correctly characterized the exchange as a form name of Mervir Realty. it is merely a various interpretations. 1988. The intention of the parties still and always is the primary partnership of gains carried the burden of proof. A notarized deed of valid reasons. that Lot 3353 had remained registered in the name of Emigdio. However. and Transfer Certificate of Title No. the RTC noted in the order of March 14. it is not the intention nor the function Emigdio’s estate. Mervir Realty appeared to The real purpose of the Torrens system is to quiet title to land and put a . was resolved in favor of the estate of Emigdio. The portions that pertained to the estate of Emigdio prior to his death was a circumstance that should put any interested party must be included in the inventory. Teresita herself as its President. The aforequoted explanations indicated that the directive Mervir Realty was a notarized instrument did not sufficiently justify the to include the properties in question in the inventory rested on good and exclusion from the inventory of the properties involved. it was unavoidable for Teresita to include his shares in the of the notary public to validate and make binding an instrument never. categorical. CEB–12692. and what the contents purported to be. That Emigdio executed the deed of assignment two days estate of Emigdio. et al. intended to have any binding legal effect upon the parties acquired during that property regime did not pertain to the conjugal thereto. 3252 covering Lot 3353 was still in Emigdio’s name. sale only enjoyed the presumption of regularity in favor of its execution. and that party must prove consideration in determining the true nature of a contract. effect of the mistake or negligence of the State’s agents. This interpretation was probable considering that Mervir Realty. of an estate planning scheme remained to be validated by the facts to be Civil Case No. or arbitrary. in the absence of whose business was managed by respondent Richard. Court of Appeals:33 Secondly. The fact that the properties were already covered by Torrens titles in the Indeed.31 and which of the properties should form part of the be inquired into. 3353. or capricious. CEB–12692 was susceptible of The Torrens system is not a mode of acquiring titles to lands. the RTC made findings that put that title in dispute. CEB– 12692. the conjugal partnership of Emigdio and Teresita must be It should likewise be pointed out that the exchange of shares of stock of provisionally liquidated to establish who the real owners of the affected Mervir Realty with the real properties owned by Emigdio would still have to properties were. and emphasis supplied) convincing evidence. Thereby. their property regime was x x x. although the title over Lot 3353 was already registered in the this regard. evidence to the contrary. Such lack of interest in Civil Case No. with Emigdio and Teresita having been married prior to the effectivity of the Family Code in August 3. In other words. Though the notarization of the deed of sale in question vests in its the conjugal partnership of gains. The Mercado should be included in the inventory because Teresita. was headed by proof of his complicity in a fraud or of manifest damage to third persons. considering that there was a finding about Emigdio having been sick of cancer of the pancreas at the time. a dispute that had involved the ownership of Lot established in court. did not presumption of regularity could be rebutted by clear and convincing dispute the fact about the shares being inherited by Emigdio. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 34 be a family corporation. them from the inventory in view of the circumstances admittedly surrounding the execution of the deed of assignment. This is because: Interestingly. or ten years after name of Mervir Realty could not be a valid basis for immediately excluding his death. in conjugal partnership of gains.30 In the absence of or pending the presentation of such proof. Mervir Realty did not intervene at all in Civil Case No. the shares in the properties inherited by Emigdio from Severina transaction under the deed. but its notarization did not per se guarantee the legal efficacy of the Firstly. (Bold the exclusive ownership by one of them by clear. including one to the effect that the heirs of Emigdio system of registration of titles to lands. justice and equity could have already threshed out their differences with the assistance of the demand that the titleholder should not be made to bear the unfavorable trial court.32 As the Court has observed in Suntay v.29 For purposes of the settlement of favor the presumption of regularity. on his guard regarding the exchange. and thus was far from whimsical. 2001.

albeit vested only with special and limited jurisdiction.39 have constricted the determination of the rights to the properties arising from that deed. or that the respondent judge. in order that SO ORDERED. the CA’s conclusion of grave abuse of discretion on ordering the inclusion in the inventory of the properties subject of that the part of the RTC was unwarranted and erroneous. or virtually refused to perform the duty inventory to enable the parties.36 but it does not prevent the RTC as intestate court from In light of the foregoing. Grave abuse of discretion means either that the judicial or quasi– judicial power was exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason Assuming that only seven titled lots were the subject of the deed of of passion or personal hostility. or any other gratuitous title. and with the assistance of enjoined or to act in contemplation of law. Rule 90 of the Rules of Court also provided that any advancement by the decedent on the legitime of an heir “may be heard and determined by the court having jurisdiction of the estate proceedings. the integrity of the Torrens system were known to the administrator to belong to Emigdio rather than to shall forever be sullied by the ineptitude and inefficiency of land registration exclude properties that could turn out in the end to be actually part of the officials. Thelma Aranas. by themselves. the RTC itself. the . SPECPRO| RULE 75| 35 stop forever to any question as to the legality of the title. to “bring into the mass of the estate any property or right the costs of suit. the inventory of the estate of Emigdio must be prepared and 18. who are ordinarily presumed to have regularly performed their estate. herein petitioner. 1991. was still “deemed to have all the necessary WHEREFORE. and proceeded under the guiding policy that that were noted in the certificate at the time of registration or that may it was best to include all properties in the possession of the administrator or arise subsequent thereto. 3094– collation and advancement to the heirs. except claims RTC acted with circumspection. Article 1061 of the Civil CEB entitled Intestate Estate of the late Emigdio Mercado. deed.” Section 2. 2001 and May Lastly.”37 on certiorari. Otherwise. Coderequired every compulsory heir and the surviving spouse.ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary which he (or she) may have received from the decedent. The limited jurisdiction of the RTC as an intestate court might capricious or whimsical manner as to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. 2002. and ORDERS the respondents to pay Teresita herself. REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the decision promulgated on May 15. by way of donation. such lots should still be included in the board evaded a positive duty. DIRECTS the Regional Trial submitted for the important purpose of resolving the difficult issues of Court in Cebu to proceed with dispatch in Special Proceedings No. during the lifetime of the latter.38 The determination of which properties should be excluded from or included in the inventory of estate properties was well within the authority and discretion of the RTC as an intestate court. to test and resolve the issue on the validity of the tribunal or board exercising judicial or quasi–judicial powers acted in a assignment. This is because the RTC as intestate court. 2001 by the Regional Trial Court in Cebu. such as when such judge.” Rule 90 thereby expanded the special and limited jurisdiction of the RTC as an intestate court about the matters relating to the inventory of the estate of the decedent by authorizing it to direct the inclusion of properties donated or bestowed by gratuitous title to any compulsory heir by the decedent. In making its determination. As long as the RTC commits no patent grave abuse of discretion. REINSTATES the orders issued on March 14. tribunal or assignment of January 10. and the final order of the court thereon shall be binding on the person raising the questions and on the heir. it may be computed in the determination of the legitime of each heir. the Court GRANTS the petition for review powers to exercise such jurisdiction to make it effective. its duties. and to resolve the case. and in the account of the partition.35 orders must be respected as part of the regular performance of its judicial duty.

let Letters Testamentary be issued to Atty. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 36 G. Dr.R. Rogelio P. Atty. Werner Karl Johann Nittscher filed with the RTC of Makati City a petition for the probate of his holographic will and for the Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals alleging that respondent’s issuance of letters testamentary to herein respondent Atty.4 denied for lack of merit. petition for the issuance of letters testamentary should have been Nogales. Nogales Law Offices has been 1 named executor under the Holographic Will of Dr. accepts the trust and gives a bond as required by these rules. Makati City. the present petition anchored on the following grounds: On September 26. WERNER KARL JOHANN NITTSCHER (Deceased). the motion to dismiss is DENIED. The testator Dr. without a bond. provides "when a will has been proved and allowed. Nittscher died. 2003 and 2 prayed for. No. Werner J. QUISUMBING. deceased. OBVIOUSLY. 1995 Order denied petitioner’s motion to dismiss. thus: holographic will. On January 31. Rule 78 of the Revised Rules of Court. Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration of the aforequoted decision was SO ORDERED. Resolution dated October 21. to wit: CYNTHIA V.R. Werner J. Branch 59. 1991. the court BOTH THE CA AND THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT DISMISSING in its September 29. In view of all the foregoing.: petitioner Atty. However. and proved in accordance with the SO ORDERED.hereby DISMISSED and the assailed Order is AFFIRMED in toto. IT WAS FILED IN VIOLATION OF REVISED . Nittscher executed pursuant to the provision of the court a quo is ordered to proceed with dispatch in the proceedings below. Hence. 1995 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). NITTSCHER. 2007 granted respondent’s petition for the issuance of letters testamentary. petitioner. ROGELIO P. As For review on certiorari are the Decision dated July 31. 2003 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Rogelio P. Nogales filed a petition for letters testamentary for the administration of the estate of the I. the appeal is WHEREFORE. premises considered. thus: WHEREFORE. Section 4. after hearing and with due notice to the compulsory heirs. which affirmed the Order3 dated September 29. respondents. M-2330 SO ORDERED. No. 1990 in Manila. is GRANTED. Petitioner moved for reconsideration. 160530 November 20. ATTY. Nogales of the R. Atty. Nogales. CV the executor named in the Will. the probate court issued an order allowing the said The appellate court dismissed the appeal. Nittscher’s surviving spouse. if he is competent. Nittscher. moved for the dismissal of the said petition. the court shall issue letters testamentary thereon DECISION to the person named as executor therein. On September 19.5 for the probate of a will. 1990.P. 1996. Nittscher. NOGALES WHEN." In the case at bar. but her motion was denied for lack of The facts are as follows. for the issuance of Letters Testamentary. 1994. vs. merit. Dr. Philippines. in SP Proc. Dr. the Holographic Will of the petitioner. Hence. Nogales was issued letters testamentary and was sworn in as executor. No. 55330. Rogelio P. herein petitioner Cynthia V.6 provision of Rule 76 of the Revised Rules of Court is hereby allowed. second paragraph of Article 838 of the Civil Code of the Philippines on January 25. NOGALES and THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MAKATI (Branch 59). On May 9. dismissed outright as the RTC had no jurisdiction over the subject matter and that she was denied due process. the foregoing considered. and OUTRIGHT THE PETITION FOR LETTERS … TESTAMENTARY FILED BY ATTY. J. being in order. The petition DR.

respondent’s failure to include a certification against forum- II. She adds that death. the petition for notified. Such factual finding. Section 1. in the Court of First Instance (now HOLOGRAPHIC WILL OF DR. However. the Court of IV. Anent the second issue. Unless there is a showing that the leave real properties in the country. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 37 CIRCULAR NO.) DEPRIVED OF DUE PROCESS OF LAW BY THE LOWER COURT. Where estate of deceased persons settled. counters that Dr. Nittscher asked for out that petitioner even appeared in court to oppose the petition for the the allowance of his own will. but a HONORABLE COURT. 28-918 and Administrative Circular In this case. Nittscher’s will. … (Emphasis supplied. Petitioner even . Dr. and Dr. mere continuation of the original petition for the probate of Dr. Regional Trial Court) in the province in which he resides at the time of his death. Respondent points Regarding the third and fourth issues. petitioner was duly notified of the probate proceedings. and his estate settled. with whom Dr. – If the decedent is an inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death. Respondent maintains that the petition for the issuance of letters testamentary need not contain a certification against forum- SEC. Rule 76 of the issuance of letters testamentary and that she also filed a motion to dismiss Rules of Court states: the said petition. – … probate of the will. Rule 73 of the Rules of Court provides: III. 28-91 AND ADMINISTRATIVE CIRCULAR NO. Heirs. First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of any province in which he had THE CA ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT THE PETITIONER WAS NOT estate. the RTC and the Court of Appeals are one in their finding that Petitioner contends that respondent’s petition for the issuance of letters Dr. Revised Circular No. Nittscher did reside for the probate of his will and for the issuance of letters testamentary to and own real properties in Las Piñas. should no longer be disturbed. neither did he on certiorari are limited to errors of law. devisees. If the testator asks for the allowance of his own will. and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country. we note that Dr. shopping in his petition for the issuance of letters testamentary is not a ground for outright dismissal of the said petition. which then covered Las Piñas. As to the first issue. Nittscher’s children from his previous marriage were all duly all initiatory pleadings filed in court. 04-94 OF THIS the issuance of letters testamentary is not an initiatory pleading. or letters of administration TO THE PARTIES AND ALL PERSONS INTERESTED IN THE PROBATE OF THE granted. applying the aforequoted rule. his will shall be proved. Section 4. the RTC has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case because Dr. Metro Manila. which we find supported by evidence on record. this Court will not analyze or weigh evidence all over again. by registered mail. Nittscher had no No. Nogales. however. In this connection. 04-949 of the Court require a certification against forum-shopping for child. records show that petitioner. and executors to be notified by mail or shopping as it is merely a continuation of the original proceeding for the personally. NITTSCHER. Nittscher was a resident of Las Piñas. SECTION 1. He stresses that respondent. Petitioner claims that the properties findings of the lower court are totally devoid of support or are glaringly 10 listed for disposition in her husband’s will actually belong to her. only to his compulsory heirs. whether a THE CA ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT SUMMONS WERE PROPERLY ISSUED citizen or an alien. Metro Manila. Time and again we have said that reviews Nittscher was allegedly not a resident of the Philippines. of the probate proceedings.7 In this case. in this case. the petition Respondent Atty. legatees. RTC of Makati City. She insists erroneous. Hence. she was denied due process of law because she did not receive by personal Hence. notice shall be sent We resolve to deny the petition. 4. Metro Manila at the time of his testamentary lacked a certification against forum-shopping. THE CA ERRED IN NOT DECLARING THAT THE LOWER COURT [HAS] NO JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE PRESENT SUIT. Nittscher correctly filed in the service the notices of the proceedings.

WHEREFORE. The assailed Decision dated July 31.12 Thus. We are convinced petitioner was accorded every opportunity to defend her cause. the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. 2003 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. She likewise filed a motion for reconsideration of the issuance of the letters testamentary and of the denial of her motion to dismiss. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 38 appeared in court to oppose respondent’s petition for the issuance of letters testamentary and she also filed a motion to dismiss the said petition. . As a final word. CV No. Therefore. petitioner’s allegation that she was denied due process in the probate proceedings is without basis. Branch 59. 55330.11 The authority of the probate court is limited to ascertaining whether the testator. in SP Proc. 2003 and Resolution dated October 21. petitioner should realize that the allowance of her husband’s will is conclusive only as to its due execution. petitioner’s claim of title to the properties forming part of her husband’s estate should be settled in an ordinary action before the regular courts.R. No. 1995 of the Regional Trial Court. freely executed the will in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. being of sound mind. Makati City. No pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED. which affirmed the Order dated September 29. M-2330 are AFFIRMED.

564). LEONIE RALLA. his other son. late father. which was This motion was heard ex parte and granted despite the written opposition docketed as Special Proceedings No. to submit for inclusion in the inventory of the estate of Rosendo Ralla 149 parcels of land from which he alone had been collecting rentals and . Consequently. L-26253). was appointed special pendency of this petition. 1959. HON. Untalan. who was being deprived of his successional rights over the said properties. J. land.: partition whereby sixty-three parcels of land. this was docketed as Civil Case No. Pablo Ralla filed a motion to dismiss the petition for probate on the ground that he was no longer interested in the allowance of the will of his In an Omnibus order dated August 3. upon the division of the latter's estate. and the denial was denied included in the proceedings for the settlement of the estate of Rosendo by the Court of Appeals. thereafter. apparently forming the estate of their deceased mother.1981.000. G. Basa for respondents.) PABLO RALLA. 1 dated July 16. Nos.00. 564 and conclusion that. Ralla. as well as the Orders issued by respondent Judge Domingo Coronel Reyes. Pablo (the petitioner herein who. Pedro Ralla filed an action for the partition of the estate parcels of land covered by the project of partition mentioned earlier. brother-in- motions for reconsideration of the same Order of Judge Untalan dated July law of the petitioner (Pablo) filed a petition. 564. Pedro Ralla. Consequently. On December 18. when Rosendo manifestation stating that he had no objections to the probate. respondents. proceedings sixty-three parcels of land. docketed as Special 16. or on February 28. declared Pedro and Pablo Ralla the only heirs of Rosendo Ralla who should share equally Rafael Triunfante for the Heirs of Pablo Ralla. son-in-law of the petitioner. a widower. the heirs of Pedro Ralla (the private respondents herein) moved to exclude from the estate of Rosendo Ralla the aforesaid parcels of In the course of the hearing of the probate case (Special Proceedings No. 1979. 2023). Teodorico Almine also took possession of the sixty-three In the same year. 1966. leaving nothing to administrator. 2023. were amicably divided between the This petition seeks the nullification of the Order of respondent Judge two of them." Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of Albay. in taking possession of the properties belonging to the estate of Rosendo Ralla. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 39 G. Proceedings No. No. This motion was denied. ROMULO P. Meanwhile. 1981. Joaquin Chancoco. 2 denying the petitioner's Eleven years later. petitioner. over and above the objection of the heirs of Pedro Ralla. Pablo Ralla then filed a The petition's beginnings are traced to January 27. which were ordered consolidated by this proceedings were to be dismissed because then he would not be compelled Court) should proceed as probate proceedings. the brothers agreed to compromise in the partition case (Civil Case No. Paz Escarella.R. the petitioner stood to gain if the testate Special Proceedings No. Likewise. was substituted by his heirs). 1106. 4 respondent Judge Romulo P. Pedro. the HON. This project of partition was approved on December 19. for its probate would no longer be beneficial and Untalan ruled. 1978. upon his death during the Teodorico Almine. for the probate of the same will of Rosendo Ralla on the ground that the decedent owed him P5. of their mother. AND petitioner reiterated his lack of interest in the probate of the subject will.1967 Romulo P. through Judge Perfecto Quicho. L-63253-54 April 27. Paz Escarella. the court. Rosendo Ralla. they entered into a project of SARMIENTO. indeed. The denial of this motion to dismiss was likewise affirmed by this Court (in vs. and thereupon converted the testate proceedings into one of intestacy. 1989 receiving income. UNTALAN. to his son. the petition for probate was granted. to the exclusion and prejudice of his brother. inter alia. PETER RALLA AND MARINELLA RALLA. excluding from the probate by Judge Ezekiel Grageda. filed a petition for the probate of his own will in the then he filed a "Motion to Intervene as Petitioner for the Probate of the Will. 1106.R. Ruben R. that the sixty-three parcels of land should be advantageous to him. However. 1967. 3 On the scheduled hearing on November 3. (The latter court agreed with the lower court's Ralla and that said proceedings (both Special Proceedings No. In his will he left his entire estate of the heirs of Pedro Ralla. DOMINGO CORONEL REYES.

SPECPRO| RULE 75| 40 About two years later. the petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the foregoing must be made between those directives that partake of final orders and the order but the same was denied 7 by respondent Judge Domingo Coronel other directives that are in the nature of inter-locutory orders.1979.1981. 2 as well as The first argument is stated as follows: the 63 lots also mentioned therein all of which may be summed up to 212 parcels. This. 1979 Order of respondent Judge Untalan: In assailing the aforesaid Order of July 16. 10 the petitioner claims that the Order Premises considered. . Thus. 2023 for partition.. probated. 564 originally for the probate of a will). 14 partition of the estate of Paz Escarella. 564 and No. 1979 Order would reveal that the same the administration of Special Administrator Teodorico Almine. The Project of Partition should. at least provisionally. Guevara. vs. a second motion for reconsideration was filed. the special proceedings for the probate of the will of Rosendo Ralla. a distinction Thereafter. Hence. However. the Motion to exclusion the 149 parcels filed on NULLITY.. considering that as already decided by this Court in the case of June 2. which is distinct from. Jr. it is alleged that by flip- the dispositive portion thereof." 5 In his Order of July 16. 9 (Emphasis supplied. Judge Untalan committed a grave abuse of discretion. Two closely related orders are the following quoted portions of the said the same. was also denied. The extrajudicial partition of the 63 parcels made after the filing of the third persons. 1979 mentioned earlier could no longer be validly reversed by Order of this Court dated August 3. Rosario Guevara et al. 6 Branch I of the then Court of First Instance of Albay. 1981. to whose sala Special Proceedings No. interlocutory in character because it did not decide the action with finality Thus the rule invoked is inapplicable in this instance where there are two and left substantial proceedings still to be had. Order is hereby issued reconsidering the Omnibus of August 3.) The above argument is obviously flawed and misleading for the simple 3. respectively) comprising 2023. the rule is that there can be no valid partition among the heirs till after the will has been probated. conveyed. likewise from An examination of the August 3. therefore. more particularly paragraph 3 of the court two years after it was issued. or on June 11. the sixty-three (63) parcels referred to therein should be excluded from the probate proceedings and. resolved a number of divergent issues (ten as enumerated) 11 springing from four separate special proceedings. each involving the estate of a 67 (sic) Parcels of Land Subject Of The Project Of Partition In Civil Case No.. Judge Untalan reconsidered his dissimilar properties. is hereby reason that the aforementioned partition was made in the civil case for stripped of its judicial recognition. the private respondents filed a separate cases (Civil Case No. Vol. there Proceeding 1106 and the motion for exclusion filed by the heirs of Pedro can be no valid partition among the heirs till after the Will had been Ralla thru counsel in Special Proceedings 564 and 1106 are hereby Denied. respected and upheld. of course..12 all of which were pending in SO ORDERED. 74 Phil. The 149 parcels referred to in our elucidation on issue No. The Project of partition. 2. by petitioner intervenor Pablo Ralla thru counsel in Special Ernesto M. for purposes of these proceedings. 1979.15 The foregoing order of . and Special Proceedings "Petition To Submit Anew For Consideration Of The Court The Exclusion Of No. the following arguments xxx xxx xxx are raised in the present special civil action for certiorari. this Court finds that the same is properties to be partitioned are the same properties embraced in the win. to wit: In his second and third arguments. and independent of. 1981. and before said Will was probated. Still. Reyes. should be submitted. is a testate proceedings. accordingly. earlier Order. 1 1 06 were apparently transferred. different person (Paz Escarella and Rosendo Ralla. 8 August 3. however. presupposes that the As regards the abovequoted paragraph 2. Hence. except those already validly disposed.. to the probate or petition for the probate of the Will. be flopping. Reports. xxx xxx xxx Verily. or transferred to . there are at least nine 13 specific directives contained therein.

.1981. the subject of the partition from the proceedings for the settlement of the lower court approved the said project of partition on December 19. Realizing this interlocutory orders. respondent Judge Untalan acted well within his jurisdiction and petitioner and Pedro Ralla.1981. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 41 inclusion of the subject parcels of land was a mere incident that arose in Based on the foregoing pronouncements. the Court had occasion to rule that Where a partition had not only been approved and thus become a judgment of the court. 1967. the Order of August 3. a more important reason why we do not find any grave duty bound to respect the division agreed upon by them and embodied in abuse of discretion in the issuance of the questioned Order dated July the document of partition. Pablo and Pedro Ralla jointly manifested that they had including these lands in the estate proceedings is directly related to the fact already received "the ownership and possession of the respective parcels of that his son-in-law is the administrator of the said estate of Rosendo Ralla? land adjudicated to them in the said project of partition. 16. however. consequently. They are There is. They can not attack the partition collaterally.) . Consider the following undisputed facts: the properties involved in the present petition were the subject of the project of partition signed by Thus. as well as upon their heirs. the petition is hereby DISMISSED. they are precluded from subsequently attacking its validity or any part of it. are. proper. 1979 the settlement of the estate of Rosendo Ralla." 16 and upon their WHEREFORE. estate of Rosendo Ralla. but distribution of the estate in pursuance of such partition had fully been carried out. Thus. SO ORDERED. as they are trying to do in this case. time. from this decision within the reglementary period to do so. subject to such corrections or amendments as the court may deem respondent Judge Untalan issued the questioned Order of July 16. especially as this without grave abuse of discretion. 17 Likewise: Where a piece of land has been included in a partition. it attained finality. . Could it be that the petitioner's keen interest in subsequently. Pablo Ralla. there was no appeal made Costs against the petitioner. the petitioner could no longer question the exclusion of the lands both the petitioner. and the heirs had received the property assigned to them. 2023 is valid and binding upon the partition. was accompanied by delivery of possession to them of their respective shares in the inheritance from their mother. the partition in Civil Case No. the partition barred any further litigation on said title and operated to bring the property under the control and jurisdiction of the court for proper disposition according to the tenor of the partition . 1981. It is elementary that setting aside the project of Partition was clearly erroneous. prior to the rendition of the final judgment. 1967. and Pedro Ralla in Civil Case No. in issuing the questioned Order dated July 16. at any and the fact that it was not yet too late for him to correct his mistake. the late Paz Escarella. motion Judge Ezekiel Grageda declared the partition case closed and terminated in its Order of December 29. 2023. and there is no allegation that the inclusion was effected through improper means or without the petitioners' knowledge. which reversed the aforementioned interlocutory order and upheld the project of In fine. 18 (Emphasis supplied. Furthermore.

Matilde adjudicated the lots to herself. 1995. same year. and CONNIE ALUAD. Matilde executed a document entitled "Deed of That after the death of Matilde R.6 devising Lot Nos. On November 14. These two lots are in his possession described. 1981. vs. the plaintiffs succeeded by Donation of Real Property Inter Vivos"2(Deed of Donation) in favor of inheritance by right of representation from their deceased mother. while Maria died on September 24 of the ZENAIDO ALUAD.10 That. 674. and damages against respondent. alleging: Petitioners’ mother. and 682 of the Pilar Cadastre. 2008 Subsequently or on January 14.1 depriving the plaintiffs of the enjoyment of said parcels of land x x x.: recovery of ownership and possession of Lot Nos. 1992. 676 to respondent by a Deed of complaint and was concocted by them after realizing that their false claim Absolute Sale of Real Property. 674 to respondent. respondent.8 for declaration and CARPIO MORALES. 677. Matilde executed a last will and testament. The Deed of Donation provided: To the complaint respondent alleged in his Answer. inter alia. 1986. DIVINA ALUAD. transfer and in the Last Will and Testament of Matilde Aluad x x x while Lot 676 was convey. 176943 October 17. but in as true owners thereof. 1991. and respondent Zenaido Aluad were raised by the childless spouses Matilde Aluad (Matilde) and Crispin That in 1978.] encumber or even Complaint13 which cited the donation of the six lots via Deed of Donation in dispose of any or even all of the parcels of land herein donated.14 On September 30. PROSPERO "remaining properties" including Lot No. No. Aluad. After Crispin died.16 and that if ever said document does exist. by these presents. Matilde died on January 25. Maria Aluad (Maria).5 that their mother was the only daughter of Matild[e] Aluad cannot in anyway be established by them". 1994. his wife retained the possession thereof up to and until the present time. Maria petitioners’ mother Maria3 covering all the six lots which Matilde inherited Aluad who is the sole and only daughter of Matilde Aluad[. however. 675. plaintiff[s] possessed the two (2) parcels of land above- Aluad (Crispin).R. purchased by him from Matilde Aluad. refused to give back possession until Matilde Aluad died in [1994] and then 680. they could use[. and 680 to Maria. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 42 G. BY WAY OF DONATION. the same was already revoked by Matilde "when [she] exercised all . LEONORA ALUAD. thus. Original Certificates of Title over Lot Nos. 675. Matilde sold Lot No. to become effective upon the death of the DONOR.4 (Emphasis favor of their mother Maria. 682. 674 and Respondent filed an Amended Answer15 contending.7 DECISION On August 21. Maria’s heirs-herein petitioners filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Roxas City a Complaint. 676. and her DANILO ALUAD. described until January 1991 when defendant entered and possessed the two (2) parcels of land claiming as the adopted son of Crispin Aluad who Crispin was the owner of six lots identified as Lot Nos. Provided. ALUAD.]9 from her husband Crispin. Deed of Donation is forged and falsified and petitioners’ change of theory showed that "said document was not existing at the time they filed their On August 26. petitioners. J. 677. the latter being adopted and hav[ing] That Lot 674 is owned by the defendant as this lot was adjudicated to him been brought up by the former the DONOR. for and in consideration of the love and affection of the DONOR [Matilde] for the DONEE [Maria]. the present donation shall be deemed rescinded and [of] no further force and Petitioners later filed a Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint Already Filed effect. 674 and 676.11 (Underscoring supplied) the event that the DONEE should die before the DONOR. unto the DONEE the property above. Capiz. Branch 15 of the RTC granted the motion and and underscoring supplied) admitted the Amended Complaint. that anytime during the lifetime of the DONOR to Conform to Evidence12 to which it annexed an Amended or anyone of them who should survive. that the 676 were issued in Matilde’s name.

c. Thus. and by his express direction. together with the interest thereof at the legal rate until fully paid. donation mortis causa. must be subscribed at The trial court. plaintiffs-appellees are ordered to pay P40. 674.000. The attestation shall state the number of pages used upon which the will is written. except the last on the left margin and all the pages 674 and 676. 805. plus legal interest thereof at the legal rate until fully paid. judgment is hereby rendered: The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will shall. 2. disposed: Defendant’s counterclaim is ordered dismissed for lack of merit. and of one another. under his express direction. shall be interpreted to them. and respondent."17 Art. Accordingly. and until her death with respect to the other lots without any opposition reading: from Maria Aluad. it did not so declare with respect to Lot No. and that the latter a. execution pending appeal. in Civil Case No.000. Ordering the defendant to pay the plaintiffs: thereof. Thus the Court of Appeals d. 1996. Ten thousand pesos (P10. subject Lot 676. 674 and 676 to some other person in his presence.00). plaintiffs- By Decision21 of August 10. Branch 15.00) as attorney’s fees.] 676of the Pilar Cadastre. A new one is entered in its stead declaring defendant-appellant as the lawful owner of Lot [No. Thus it disposed: presence of the testator and of one another. Pilar Cadastre. it found that the Deed of Moreover. each and 1.00).000. shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page. Every will. or caused some other person to write his name. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 43 acts of dominion over said properties until she sold Lot 676 to defendant clause which is not in accordance with Article 805 of the Civil Code. and On petitioners’ motion. but did not. a year from 1991 up to the time said lot is delivered to No. WHEREFORE. as aforesaid. in the presence of the instrumental witnesses. 674. she having previously alienated them to Maria via the Deed of attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the Donation. . 2006. comply with the formalities of a will. not inter vivos. and the fact that that testator signed the will and every page 3. The costs of the suit. the trial court directed the issuance of a writ of damages is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.20 Possession of the subject lots appears to have in fact been taken by petitioners. WHEREFORE. representing the income from the While the appellate court declared respondent as the rightful owner of Lot subject Lot No. a year from 1991 up to the time said lot is delivered to the If the attestation clause is in a language not known to the witnesses. by Decision18 of September 20. V-6686 for declaration of ownership. it plaintiffs. representing the income from the testator. Ordering the defendant to deliver the possession of the subject lots to the plaintiffs. every page thereof.00 to defendant- Donation was witnessed by only two witnesses and had no attestation appellant as attorney’s fees and litigation expenses. as Matilde’s last the plaintiffs. and as such it had to. dated 20 September 1996. and will and testament had not yet been probated. finding the instant petition worthy of merit. recovery of ownership and possession. also sign. the same is hereby GRANTED and the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Roxas SO ORDERED.000. held that Matilde the end thereof by the testator himself or by the testator’s name written by could not have transmitted any right over Lot Nos. other than a holographic will. Thirty thousand pesos (P30. Twenty thousand pesos (P20. the Court of Appeals reversed the trial appellees are directed to return the possession of the said lot to the court’s decision. 676. Declaring the plaintiffs as the rightful owners of the subject Lots Nos. it holding that the Deed of Donation was actually a defendant-appellant. in view of the foregoing. witnessed and signed the will and all the pages thereof in the presence of b.19 City.

27 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) the present Petition for Review.25contending that the Court of Appeals erred The phrase in the earlier-quoted Deed of Donation "to become effective I upon the death of the DONOR" admits of no other interpretation than to mean that Matilde did not intend to transfer the ownership of the six lots to X X X WHEN IT REVERSED THE DECISION OF THE COURT BELOW (RTC. encumber or even dispose of any or even all the parcels II of land herein donated"29 means that Matilde retained ownership of the lots and reserved in her the right to dispose them.e. lifetime of the DONOR or anyone of them who should survive. Roxas City) HOLDING THAT THE DEED OF DONATION INTER VIVOS IN FAVOR OF PETITIONERS’ MOTHER IS IN FACT A DONATION The statement in the Deed of Donation reading "anytime during the MORTIS CAUSA. RULE long been dead as early as 1975. as her husband – Crispin Aluad [–] had PENDING APPEAL IS IN VIOLATION OF PARAGRAPH (a) SECTION 2. but revocability may be . them who should survive" is of course out of sync. i.. because she was the only surviving spouse at the time the donation was X X X WHEN IT HELD THAT THE ISSUANCE OF A WRIT OF EXECUTION executed on 14 November 1981. X X X WHEN IT FAILED TO DECLARE PETITIONERS THE RIGHTFUL OWNER Petitioners themselves concede that such phrase does not refer to the OF LOT NO.24 petitioners filed transferee. reasoned: TO PAY ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COST[S] OF SUIT. donation.22 (Emphasis in the original. the present the transferor. ad nutum. "but in the event mother one of mortis causa. hence. in holding that the donation was inter vivos. 676 AS LOT BUYER ON THE BASIS OF A DEED OF SALE EXECUTED attribute of ownership. When the donor (1) It conveys no title or ownership to the transferee before the death of provides that should the "DONEE" xxx die before the DONOR. For the right to dispose X X X WHEN IT RULED THAT RESPONDENT IS THE RIGHTFUL OWNER OF of a thing without other limitations than those established by law is an LOT NO. said phrase could only have referred to the donor Matilde. petitioners’ mother during her (Matilde’s) lifetime. provided for indirectly by means of a reserved power in the donor to dispose of the properties conveyed. x x x [I]t is well to point out that the last provision (sentence) in the IV disputed paragraph should only refer to Matilde Aluad. 674 AFTER HAVING RULED WHEN IT HELD THAT RESPONDENT donee. the death of the donee which shall occur revocable by the transferor at will. underscoring supplied) (3) That the transfer should be void if the transferor should survive the Their Motion for Reconsideration23 having been denied. the same became effective immediately and shall be "deemed rescinded and [of] no further force and effect" upon the arrival of a (2) That before the death of the transferor. thus: CANNOT BE DECLARED OWNER THEREOF. the donor.31 39. OF THE RULES OF COURT (AND ORDERING PETITIONERS TO RETURN POSSESSION OF LOT 676 TO RESPONDENT) AND ORDERING PETITIONERS The trial court. they could use. the present donation shall be deemed rescinded and [of] no further force and effect". or what amounts to the same thing.26 x x x The donation in question is subject to a resolutory term or period As did the appellate court. that the transferor donation shall be deemed rescinded and [of] no further force and effect" should retain the ownership (full or naked) and control of the property while the logical construction thereof is that after the execution of the subject alive. it having the following characteristics: that the DONEE should die before the DONOR. For the Deed of III Donation clearly stated that it would take effect upon the death of the donor. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 44 Costs against plaintiffs-appellees. the transfer should be resolutory term or period.28 Branch 15.30 The phrase in the Deed of Donation "or anyone of BY THE DONOR WHO HAD NO MORE RIGHT TO SELL THE SAME. the Court finds the donation to petitioners’ when the donor provides in the aforequoted provisions. and SO ORDERED.

the witnesses did not even sign the attestation clause38 the formalities were observed. But even assuming arguendo that the Further. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 45 before that of the donor. Mosqueda. and applied for free patents for which OCTs were issued under More. The requirement that all the pages of the will must be numbered her name. among others. An unsigned condition that confirms the nature of the donation as inter vivos.42 Matilde thus validly disposed of . because. the witnesses did not acknowledge the will before the notary public. If she really intended that the the will that the witnesses have stated these elemental facts would be their donation should take effect during her lifetime and that the ownership of signatures on the attestation clause. she would not have expressed such proviso in the subject deeds. three or more witnesses following Article 805 of the Civil Code. the arrival of this resolutory term of the will and the affixing of signatures on the left-hand margins of the or period cannot rescind and render of no further force and effect a pages of the will. This is exactly what thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. the formalities of a will should have been observed36 but they were not.33 the unsigned attestation clause. "x x x [t]hat the donation is mortis the Civil Code that every will must be acknowledged before a notary public causa is fortified by Matilde’s acts of possession as she continued to pay the by the testator and the witnesses. Even if the instrumental witnesses signed the left-hand margin of the page containing Petitioners’ arguments are bereft of merit. execution of which clause is a requirement separate from the subscription 674 and 676 was transmitted to Maria. not The Deed of Donation which is. So the Court has emphasized: donation which has never become effective. as already discussed. the attestation clause is petitioners [donee] die ahead of [donor] Cabatingan is a resolutory separate and apart from the disposition of the will.37 not having followed the formalities of a will. and not by reason supplied) of her death.41 The donation being then mortis causa. A similar ratio in a case had been brushed aside by this Court. since it was not probated. Understandably. The signatures on the left-hand corner of every page signify. it is void and transmitted no right to petitioners’ mother. and that they witnessed and signed the will and all the pages considered void if the donor should survive the donee. As stated in Reyes v.40 which is not in accordance with the requirement of Article 806 of As the Court of Appeals observed. The only proof in Cabatingan provided for in her donations. no right to Lot Nos. one of the decisive written. that the witnesses are aware that the page they are signing thus: forms part of the will.39 (Emphasis and underscoring the properties donated to the donee or independently of. certainly what donation is there to be rescinded and rendered of no further force and x x x Article 805 particularly segregates the requirement that the effect upon the arrival of said resolutory term or period if there was noinstrumental witnesses sign each page of the will from the requisite that the donation which was already effective at the time when the donee will be "attested and subscribed by [the instrumental witnesses]. The died?32 (Underscoring supplied) respective intents behind these two classes of signature[s] are distinct from each other. appropriated the produce. one of mortis causa. as it was witnessed by only two. On the other hand."35 correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page was not also followed. the signatures to the attestation clause establish that the witnesses are referring to the statements x x x [P]etitioners contend that the stipulation on rescission in case contained in the attestation clause itself. and not the testator. however. attestation clause results in an unattested will.34 (Underscoring supplied) Furthermore. such signatures cannot demonstrate these witnesses’ undertakings in the clause. the fact that the testator had signed the will and every page characteristics of a donation mortis causa is that the transfer should be thereof. since the signatures that do appear xxxx on the page were directed towards a wholly different avowal. Indeed. taxes for the said properties which remained under her name. who are required under rescinded in case [donees] the petitioners predecease [the donor] Conchita Article 805 to state the number of pages used upon which the will is Cabatingan. x x x The herein subject deeds expressly provide that the donation shall be x x x It is the witnesses.

Petitioners nevertheless argue that assuming that the donation of Lot No. open. 1991. the lot should nevertheless have been awarded to them because they had acquired it by acquisitive prescription. uninterrupted. 676. they having been in continuous. the same had. which it could have done had it been aware of it at the time of the hearing before the trial court. hence. SO ORDERED. adverse. they having laid their claim on the basis of inheritance from their mother.44 For a contrary rule would be unfair to the adverse party who would have no opportunity to present further evidence material to the new theory. points of law. and public possession of it in good faith and in the concept of an owner since 1978. With respect to Lot No. Matilde could devise it to respondent.43 Petitioners failed to raise the issue of acquisitive prescription before the lower courts. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 46 Lot No. 674 to respondent by her last will and testament. .45 WHEREFORE. subject of course to the qualification that her (Matilde’s) will must be probated. 674 in favor of their mother is indeed mortis causa. as mentioned earlier. however. the petition is DENIED. and issues not brought to the attention of the trial court cannot be raised for the first time on appeal. been sold by Matilde to respondent on August 26. As a general rule. theories.

for the court to issue the writ of mandamus. the petition was dismissed. . She. were all immaterial and irrelevant to UY KIAO ENG.R. the CA initially denied the appeal for lack of merit. Petitioner further contended that remedy and that the testimonial evidence used by the appellate court as respondent should have first exerted earnest efforts to amicably settle the basis for its ruling is inadmissible. set aside its respective inheritance.: Order. On April 26. the issue involved in the petition—they did not prove or disprove that she vs. 2005. and ordered the production of the will and the justifiable reason. 2007 Resolution. respondent had already requested his mother to settle Respondent moved for reconsideration.R. a copy of the will in Civil Case No. 2006 Amended Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. denied the demurrer to evidence. J. for lack of cause of action. Respondent’s motion for reconsideration of this latter order Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1 was denied on September 20. Resolution. Allegedly. 1992 in Manila and left a action for the settlement of the estate of his deceased father.12 controversy with her before he filed the suit. SP No. at first.8 Hence. 224-V- contending in the main that the petition for mandamus is not the proper 00 before the RTC of Valenzuela City. It ruled this time that respondent was able to In her answer with counterclaim. moreover. contending that her son failed to prove that she had in her custody the original holographic will.10 granted the motion. After the presentation and formal offer of respondent’s evidence. his could ask for the presentation or production and for the approval or probate mother. respondent Nixon Lee filed. 91725 and the February 23. as an exhibit. Rules of Court. failed to present sufficient evidence to Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 47 G. Petitioner denied that she was in reconsideration.7 however. unlawfully neglected the performance of an act which the law specifically NIXON LEE. asserted that photocopies of the will were given to respondent and to his siblings. 2005 NACHURA. petitioner traversed the allegations in the show by testimonial evidence that his mother had in her possession the complaint and posited that the same be dismissed for failure to state a holographic will. 2006. which is now in the custody of petitioner Uy Kiao Eng. on May 28. The appellate court. it granted the same on petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. in an Alleging that his father passed away on June 22. Petitioner. petitioner brought the matter before this Court. 2010 Importantly. enjoined as a duty resulting from an office.4 The Court cannot sustain the CA’s issuance of the writ. assailing the August 23.11 whereabouts. The CA further ruled that respondent. respondent was Left with no other recourse.3 payment of attorney’s fees. No. The appellate court denied this motion in the further custody of the original holographic will and that she knew of its assailed February 23. The RTC heard the case. would be available and sufficient to afford redress. cause of action. respondent sought review from the appellate court. but petitioner refused to do so without any earlier ruling. Respondent. 2001. petitioner demurred. As a matter of fact. 2006 Amended Decision. to compel petitioner to produce the prove that his mother had in her custody the original copy of the 9 will so that probate proceedings for the allowance thereof could be will.2 denying the motion for reconsideration thereof. 2007 Aggrieved. 01100939. Under Rule 76. petitioner filed a motion for condition precedent for the filing thereof.5 DECISION The RTC. respondent holographic will. docketed as Civil Case No. 176831 January 15. and for non-compliance with a Dissatisfied with this turn of events. she asserted that the pieces of documentary evidence presented. 1avvphi1 instituted. a petition for of the holographic will. aside from being hearsay. before the proceedings before the trial court. in the assailed and liquidate the patriarch’s estate and to deliver to the legal heirs their August 23. It ruled that the writ of mandamus would issue only in instances when no other remedy The relevant facts and proceedings follow. trust or station. able to introduce. issued the writ. in the mandamus with damages.6 In its February 4.

although objection raising a mere for the allowance of the will whether the same is in his possession or not.29 Indeed. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary from the official station of the party to whom the writ is directed or from course of law other than the remedy of mandamus being invoked.—When any tribunal. and will not lie against thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court. but only in Mandamus is a command issuing from a court of law of competent matters relating to the public. or estate. mandamus is equitable in its nature and its interest. and there is no other plain. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. or to some corporation or person requiring Moreover. an important principle followed in the issuance of the writ is that the performance of a particular duty therein specified. or board. officer. however. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 48 The first paragraph of Section 3 of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court pertinently excluded petitioner/relator from the use and enjoyment of a right or office provides that— to which he is entitled. mandamus and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.25 To preserve its prerogative character.19 As a rule. will not issue to compel an official to do another plain. against an individual. or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or Recognized further in this jurisdiction is the principle that mandamus office to which such other is entitled. the person aggrieved will not lie to enforce purely private contract rights. board. or any other person interested in the which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from office. it acts of the respondent. anything which is not his duty to do or which it is his duty not to do. the thing demanded and it must be the imperative duty of respondent to officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the perform the act required. In the instant case. or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act the obligation involved here—the production of the original holographic which the law enjoins as a duty resulting from an office. when. corporation. at any time. corporation. technical question will be disregarded if the right is clear and the case is Rule 76. which duty results there should be no plain.22 Generally. Who may petition for the allowance of will. may. hence. or legatee named in a will.—Any executor. Section 1 relevantly provides: meritorious. or person has unlawfully .27 In operation of law. whom the action is taken unlawfully neglected the performance of an act devisee. alleging the facts an individual unless some obligation in the nature of a public or quasi-public with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the duty is imposed. board. most especially of the writ of mandamus lies in the sound discretion of the court. in the name of the state or the sovereign.18 Nor will seeks the production of the original for purposes of probate.24 The writ of mandamus lies to enforce the execution to do the act required to be done to protect the rights of the petitioner. mandamus will lie if the tribunal. however.21 law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office. officer. without unnecessarily ascertaining whether board. trust or station. or [b] that such court.15 The writ is a proper recourse for citizens who seek to enforce a issuance is generally controlled by equitable principles. mandamus can be issued only in cases where the usual modes remedy. after the death of the testator. officer. it is essential to the issuance of a writ of mandamus that he should have a clear legal right to SEC. and of an act. or to Let it be noted that respondent has a photocopy of the will and that he give to the applicant anything to which he is not entitled by law. The Rules of mandamus issue to enforce a right which is in substantial dispute or as to Court. Petition for mandamus. regularly. or station.28 Although purpose of enforcing the performance of duties in which the public has no classified as a legal remedy.14 This definition recognizes the public character of the other words. otherwise. board.16 As the quoted provision instructs.13 is called a prerogative writ. 3. and. directed to some inferior court. tribunal. mandamus is not used for the redress of private wrongs.17 will—is in the nature of a public or a private duty.23 The writ is not appropriate to enforce a private right respondent. the grant public right and to compel the performance of a public duty. mandamus will not lie in the absence of any of the following grounds: [a] that the court. trust. justice would be obstructed. rules that the remedy of mandamus cannot be availed of by respondent Lee because there lies The writ of mandamus. does not prevent him from instituting probate proceedings which a substantial doubt exists. to pay the damages sustained by the petitioner by reason of the wrongful issues only in cases relating to the public and to the government. or person against Section 1.20 On the part of the relator. and clearly excludes the idea that it may be resorted to for the of procedure and forms of remedy are powerless to afford relief. speedy cannot be used to enforce contractual obligations. the Court. petition the court station. immediately or at some other time to be specified by the court. when the public right involved is mandated by the Constitution. trust.26 jurisdiction.

—A person who neglects any of the duties required in the two last preceding sections without excuse satisfactory to the court shall be fined not exceeding two thousand pesos. 2007 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.—A person named as executor in a will shall within twenty (20) days after he knows of the death of the testator. deliver the will to the court having jurisdiction. when ordered so to do. 01100939 before the Regional Trial Court of Manila is DISMISSED. Sections 2 to 5. 2006 Amended Decision and the February 23. the Court grants the demurrer. the remedy of mandamus cannot be availed of. signify to the court in writing his acceptance of the trust or his refusal to accept it.—A person having custody of a will after the death of the testator who neglects without reasonable cause to deliver the same. for the production of the original holographic will. Custodian of will to deliver.30 There being a plain. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 49 having jurisdiction to have the will allowed. 3. SEC. 4. may be committed to prison and there kept until he delivers the will. and shall. present such will to the court having jurisdiction. unless the will has reached the court in any other manner. 91725 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. or is lost or destroyed. SEC. premises considered. The August 23. the petition for review on certiorari is GRANTED. Suffice it to state that respondent Lee lacks a cause of action in his petition. SEC. SO ORDERED. or within twenty (20) days after he knows that he is named executor if he obtained such knowledge after the death of the testator. SP No. whether the same be in his possession or not. Thus. Executor to present will and accept or refuse trust. .R. An adequate remedy is further provided by Rule 75. within twenty (20) days after he knows of the death of the testator.—The person who has custody of a will shall. 5. within such period. to the court having jurisdiction. WHEREFORE. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law for the production of the subject will. Custodian and executor subject to fine for neglect. Civil Case No. 2. Thus— SEC. Person retaining will may be committed. or to the executor named in the will.

dismissing the petition for probate on the ground of preterition. BARBARA D.. petitioners averred that in the event the SEANGIO. private respondents filed a petition for the Labis kong ikinasama ng loob ko ang gamit ni Alfredo ng akin pagalan para settlement of the intestate estate of the late Segundo Seangio. dated August 10. Seangio. Petitioners. ALFONSO D. Seangio v. Manila. No. SEANGIO and VIRGINIA D. 1999. a petition for the probate of the holographic will of SANTOS.R. 99–93396. 98-90870 and SP." and "In the Matter of the Probate of the Will of paganay kong anak na si Alfredo Seangio dahil siya ay naging lapastangan Segundo C. SEANGIO. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 50 G. "In the Matter of the Intestate Estate of Segundo C. 3) Dito ako nagalit din kaya gayon ayoko na bilanin si Alfredo ng anak ko at Virginia is the most competent and qualified to serve as the administrator hayanan kong inaalisan ng lahat at anoman mana na si Alfredo at si Alfredo of the estate of Segundo because she is a certified public accountant. 1995. They likewise reiterated that the probate proceedings SEANGIO. No. SEANGIO. Seangio and Virginia sa akin at isan beses siya ng sasalita ng masama harapan ko at mga Seangio. dated September 20. ALFREDO D. Branch 21 (the RTC). in her capacity as Presiding Judge. decedent is found to have left a will. opposed At ikinagalit ko pa rin ang pagkuha ni Alfredo at ng kanyang asawa na mga the petition. AMOR A. Manila at nagtatalay ng maiwanag na pag-iisip at disposisyon entitled. . SEANGIO. Seangio–Santos as special administrator and babayad ito ay nagdulot sa aking ng malaking kahihiya sa mga may-ari at guardian ad litem of petitioner Dy Yieng Seangio." kapatid niya na si Virginia Seangio labis kong kinasama ng loob ko at sasabe rin ni Alfredo sa akin na ako nasa ibabaw gayon gunit daratin ang The facts of the cases are as follows: araw na ako nasa ilalim siya at siya nasa ibabaw. ELISA D. No. SHIRLEY D. Barbara D. should take precedence over SP. National Capital Judicial Region. Branch 21. docketed as SP. as follows: This is a petition for certiorari1 with application for the issuance of a writ of Kasulatan sa pag-aalis ng mana preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order seeking the nullification of the orders.On April 7. power of attorney in favor of Virginia giving her the power to manage and exercise control and supervision over his business in the Philippines. the intestate proceedings are to be vs.: quoted. Seangio ay hindi ko siya anak at hindi siya makoha mana. Proc. Barbara and Virginia. Proc. 1999 and October 14. Regional the will. was filed by petitioners SEANGIO-LIM. and St. ay tahasan at hayagang inaalisan ko ng lahat at anumang mana ang Alfredo D. Ermita. Proc. Petitioners Dy Yieng. for cause. VICTOR D. No. 98–90870 because testate proceedings take precedence and enjoy priority over intestate proceedings. purported holographic will. 2) the deceased Segundo executed a general anak ko si Virginia. and praying for the appointment of China Bangking Corporation na millon pesos at hindi ng babayad at hindi ng private respondent Elisa D. 1988. 99-93396. BETTY D. SEANGIO. docketed as makapagutang na kuarta siya at kanya asawa na si Merna de los Reyes sa Sp. 98–90870 of the RTC. before the RTC. REYES. Ako si Segundo Seangio Filipino may asawa naninirahan sa 465-A Flores docketed as SP. Proc. et al. No. all surnamed Seangio. stockholders ng China Banking. Trial Court. Alfredo Seangio. Proc. J. automatically suspended and replaced by the proceedings for the probate of HON. In view of the DY YIENG SEANGIO. disinheriting one of the private respondents. in the consolidated cases. SEANGIO-OBAS and JAMES D. Dy Yieng Seangio. They contended that: 1) Dy Yieng is still very healthy and in custome[r] ng Travel Center of the Philippines na pinagasiwaan ko at ng full command of her faculties. Nos.2 DECISION The document that petitioners refer to as Segundo’s holographic will is AZCUNA. 140371-72 November 27. and. Segundo. of Tantunin ng sinuman the Regional Trial Court of Manila. Seangio v. Respondents. SEANGIO. On September 21. ALBERTO D. 1999. 2006 4) Segundo left a holographic will.

2) private respondents 10 AUGUST 1999 AND 14 OCTOBER 1999 (ATTACHMENTS "A" AND "B" question the intrinsic and not the extrinsic validity of the will. there is SO ORDERED. et al. clearly shows that there is preterition. hence. 4) the rule on preterition does not apply because Segundo’s will does not I . to be the holographic will of Segundo does not contain any disposition of the estate of the deceased and thus does not meet the definition of a will WHEREFORE. private respondents maintained that while procedurally the court is called upon to Petitioners’ motion for reconsideration was denied by the RTC in its order rule only on the extrinsic validity of the will. into the intrinsic validity of the same. 99–93396 is will only shows an alleged act of disinheritance by the decedent of his hereby DISMISSED without pronouncement as to costs. Proc. SP. 1999. premises considered. devisee or legatee. insofar as the widow Dy Yieng Seangio is concerned.. the RTC issued its assailed order. the hereby DENIED for lack of merit. However. she Dy Yieng Seangio (signed) not being a compulsory heir in the direct line. Alfredo. According to private respondents. private respondents moved for the dismissal of the intrinsic validity of the testamentary provisions before the extrinsic validity probate proceedings5 primarily on the ground that the document purporting of the will was resolved (underscoring supplied). 99–93396 were consolidated. Article 854 of the New Civil Code thus applies. the authority of the probate court is limited only to a LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE IN ISSUING THE QUESTIONED ORDERS. plus added futility. and. and nothing else. The trial court could have denied its probate outright or could have passed upon the On July 1. 3) HEREOF) CONSIDERING THAT: disinheritance constitutes a disposition of the estate of a decedent. the Motion to Suspend Proceedings is under Article 783 of the Civil Code. it is not barred from delving dated October 14. expense. Intermediate Appellate Court [155 SCRA 100 (1987)] has made its ikatlong saksi position clear: "for … respondents to have tolerated the probate of the will and allowed the case to progress when. No. The Supreme Court in the case of Acain v. and ordering the dismissal of the Petitioners contend that: petition for probate when on the face of the will it is clear that it contains no testamentary disposition of the property of the decedent. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 51 Nila[g]daan ko ngayon ika 20 ng Setyembre 1995 sa longsod ng Manila sa constitute a universal heir or heirs to the exclusion of one or more harap ng tatlong saksi. the will appears to be On May 29. for to do otherwise (signed) would amount to an abuse of discretion. No.7 preterition which would result to intestacy. 3 compulsory heirs. effort. DATED determination of the extrinsic validity of the will. 1999. upon petitioners’ motion. It would have SP. Unang Saksi ikalawang saksi As such. 1999. Special Proceedings No. dismissing the petition for probate proceedings: Segundo Seangio A perusal of the document termed as "will" by oppositors/petitioners Dy Nilagdaan sa harap namin Yieng Seangio. eldest son. that all other compulsory heirs were not named nor instituted as heir.6 (signed) On August 10. this Court is bound to dismiss this petition. THE RESPONDENT JUDGE ACTED IN EXCESS OF HER JURISDICTION OR WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF Petitioners filed their opposition to the motion to dismiss contending that: JURISDICTION AND DECIDED A QUESTION OF LAW NOT IN ACCORD WITH 1) generally. Article 854 does not apply. on its face. [T]he other heirs being (signed) omitted. as the only heirs mentioned thereat are Alfredo and Virginia. 1999. Proc. Such being the case.4 meant a waste of time. 98–90870 and intrinsically void … would have been an exercise in futility.

there is no preterition which the law prescribes imprisonment for six years or more. to inherit his estate. Kasulatan ng Pag-Aalis ng Mana. WITHOUT EVEN COMPLYING WITH SECTIONS 3 in the decedent’s will and the holographic will on its face is not intrinsically AND 4 OF RULE 76 OF THE RULES OF COURT ON THE PROPER PROCEDURE void. DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT IS A in the holographic will since there was no institution of an heir. and will render nugatory the disinheritance of II Alfredo. The document. (1) When a child or descendant has been found guilty of an attempt against Second. petitioners and private ALLEGED GROUND THAT THE TESTATOR’S WILL IS VOID ALLEGEDLY respondents alike. descendants. THE TESTATOR’S TESTAMENTARY mandated to proceed with the hearing of the testate case. Alfredo. DISMISSED THE TESTATE CASE ON THE Third. Thus. same must be effected through a will wherein the legal cause therefor shall Petitioners argue. TESTATOR. b) cause the mailing of said notice to the heirs. as follows: be specified. children and descendants. inasmuch as it clearly appears from the face of the holographic will ONLY TO A DETERMINATION OF THE EXTRINSIC VALIDITY OF THE WILL. respondent judge was I. First. Alfredo was IN THE INTESTATE CASE CONSIDERING THAT IT IS A SETTLED RULE THAT disinherited by Segundo. the Court believes that the incidents. but the life of the testator. or ascendants. the testator intended all his compulsory heirs. TESTATE PROCEEDINGS TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER INTESTATE For disinheritance to be valid. simply (2) When a child or descendant has accused the testator of a crime for contains a disinheritance of a compulsory heir. SETTLED RULE THAT THE AUTHORITY OF PROBATE COURTS IS LIMITED Fourth. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 52 THE RESPONDENT JUDGE. unmistakably III showed Segundo’s intention of excluding his eldest son. as its title clearly states. if the accusation has been found groundless. EVEN ASSUMING ARGUENDO THAT THE RESPONDENT JUDGE HAS THE The purported holographic will of Segundo that was presented by AUTHORITY TO RULE UPON THE INTRINSIC VALIDITY OF THE WILL OF THE petitioners was dated.. entitled Kasulatan ng Pag-Aalis ng Mana. With regard to the reasons for the disinheritance that were stated by Segundo in his document. CAPACITY AND THE COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUISITES OR SOLEMNITIES PRESCRIBED BY LAW. signed and written by him in his own handwriting. The following shall be sufficient causes for the disinheritance of general circulation. In effect. FOR SETTING THE CASE FOR INITIAL HEARING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE JURISDICTIONAL FACTS. and cause notice of such time and place to be published three weeks successively previous to the appointed time in a newspaper of Article 919. as an heir RESPONDENT JUDGE WAS DUTY BOUND TO SUSPEND THE PROCEEDINGS to his estate for the reasons that he cited therein. that it is both intrinsically and extrinsically valid. THE DUE EXECUTION THEREOF. and that the matter presents a sufficient cause for the and place for proving the will when all concerned may appear to contest the disinheritance of a child or descendant under Article 919 of the Civil Code: allowance thereof. BECAUSE OF THE EXISTENCE OF PRETERITION. can be considered a form of maltreatment of Segundo by the Rules of Court which respectively mandate the court to: a) fix the time his son. WHICH GOES INTO THE None of the compulsory heirs in the direct line of Segundo were preterited INTRINSIC VALIDITY OF THE WILL.E. legitimate as well as illegitimate: legatees and devisees of the testator Segundo. his or her spouse. Article 916 of the Civil Code requires that the PROCEEDINGS. . INTRINSICALLY AND EXTRINSICALLY VALID. Alfredo. the continuation of the proceedings in the intestate case will work injustice to petitioners. IT IS INDUBITABLE FROM THE FACE OF THE TESTATOR’S WILL Except on the ground of preterition. rather. private respondents did not raise any THAT NO PRETERITON EXISTS AND THAT THE WILL IS BOTH issue as regards the authenticity of the document. the holographic will does not contain any institution of an heir. with the sole exception of Alfredo. and. and. respondent judge did not comply with Sections 3 and 4 of Rule 76 of taken as a whole. AND. Lastly.

Respondent judge is directed to reinstate and hear SP Proc. Segundo’s last expression to bequeath his estate to all (8) Conviction of a crime which carries with it the penalty of civil his compulsory heirs. Article 838 of the Civil Code provides that no will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in Segundo’s document. the Court is convinced that the document. Moreover. taking into account the (4) When a child or descendant by fraud. It is written. conforms to the formalities of a holographic will right of a person to dispose of his property may be rendered nugatory. intention of the testator. Proc. Virginia. the disinheritance of Alfredo. All rules of The intestate case or SP. not institute an heir16 to the exclusion of his other compulsory heirs. Unless the will is probated. as provided under Article 810 of the Civil Code. No. learned in the law. dated. testator. 1999. although it may initially come across as a mere accordance with the Rules of Court. with the sole exception of Alfredo. the disinheritance instrument. dated August 10. was (5) A refusal without justifiable cause to support the parents or ascendant intended by Segundo to be his last testamentary act and was executed by who disinherit such child or descendant. and may be made in or out of the Philippines. it is a fundamental principle that the intent or the will of the are set aside. should have allowed the the terms of the instrument. No. and and that the law favors testacy over intestacy. The mere mention of the name of one of the petitioners. It is settled that testate proceedings for the disposition of the latter’s property. and signed by the hand of the testator himself. morals. expressed in the form and within the limits prescribed by law. Thus. Alfredo. the Court’s opinion. violence. must be entirely written. being usually prepared by one who is not concubinage with the spouse of the testator. should be construed more liberally than the ones drawn by an expert. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 53 (3) When a child or descendant has been convicted of adultery or Holographic wills.13 the disinheritance cannot be given effect. and while it does not make an affirmative holographic will to be probated.1âwphi1 A holographic will. even if captioned as Kasulatan ng Pag-Aalis ng Mana. him in accordance with law in the form of a holographic will. dated and signed by the hand of Segundo himself. Also. It is Considering that the questioned document is Segundo’s holographic will.8 With regard to the issue on preterition. the proceedings for the same purpose. SO ORDERED. the petition is GRANTED. subject to no other form. 1999 and October 14.12 In this regard. Segundo did interdiction.17 prescribed by law. or undue circumstances surrounding the execution of the instrument and the influence causes the testator to make a will or to change one already made. or public policy that it cannot be given effect. the trial court. by the child or descendant. unless the will is probated. cannot be dispensed with. therefore. must be recognized as the supreme law in succession. as illustrated in the present case.10 WHEREFORE. An intent to dispose mortis causa[9] can be clearly deduced from In view of the foregoing. . the critical issue to be determined is whether the document executed document did not operate to institute her as the universal heir. only when the intention of the testator is contrary to law. The Orders of the Regional Trial Court of Manila.15 the Court believes that the compulsory heirs in the direct line were not preterited in the will.11 No costs. Her name by Segundo can be considered as a holographic will. 99-93396 for the allowance of the holographic will of Segundo Seangio. the probate of the will need not be witnessed. in the Now. In other words. was included plainly as a witness to the altercation between Segundo and his son. therefore. in (7) When a child or descendant leads a dishonorable or disgraceful life. settlement of the estate of the decedent take precedence over intestate nonetheless. is an act of disposition in itself.14 (6) Maltreatment of the testator by word or deed.18 disinheritance results in the disposition of the property of the testator Segundo in favor of those who would succeed in the absence of Alfredo. It is termination of the aforesaid testate proceedings. 98-90870 is hereby suspended until the construction are designed to ascertain and give effect to that intention. intimidation. It was. Branch 21.

petitioners. respondents by said statute.R. 1945. Petitioners maintain that since they and respondents are co-heirs of the namely. also. 1964 in litigation. to the extent of 1/8th interest is asserted by the possessor of the property (Ramos vs. and that accordingly. who begot him several children. Serapio for petitioners. thereby 362. that petitioners forthwith demanded from respondents their limitations operates as in other cases. Pacita deceased Marcelo de Guzman. January 14. Francisco and Delfin. L-19060 May 29. RUSTICA DE GUZMAN. that respondents November 4. petitioners and the respondents in the proportion of 1/8th for the former CARMEN DE GUZMAN. in the proportion of 1/7th individual interest for each. Clemente. that such the defendants do not hold the property in question under an adverse title fraud was discovered by the petitioners only the year before the institution (Cordova vs. thereon. and that petitioners' action has already prescribed. MARIA CONCEPCION GERONA. that the properties described in the complaint belonged to the In the complaint. Bargayo v. No. that. as a general rule. had thereby succeeded fraudulently in causing the transfer certificates of title to seven (7) parcels of land. respondents Carmen. Ramos. J. 857. took place in 1956 or 1957. Teodora de la Cruz. that subsequently. that after the death of his first wife. 20 Phil. by first marriage. affirming that After appropriate proceedings. 40 Phil. Ramos. Ignacio. and that the respondents refused to heed said demand. or on May 6. the trial court rendered a decision finding of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan. an action cancelled and new transfer certificates of title to be issued in their own for partition among co-heirs does not prescribe. stated and to issue new certificates of title in the name of both the vs. all surnamed De Guzman. ordering the respondents to reconvey to petitioners their aforementioned share in said properties. and sentencing respondents to pay damages and attorney's fees. his forced heirs. ordering the respondents to render accounts of the FRANCISCO DE GUZMAN. of Marcelo de Guzman. F. filed with the latter court on September 4. In their answer. the period of four (4) years therein prescribed did not begin executed a deed of "extra-judicial settlement of the estate of the deceased to run until actual discovery of the fraud perpetrated by respondents. Castro v. it is claimed. ordering the register of deeds to IGNACIO GERONA. therein. 1958. the latter prayed that judgment be rendered nullifying said deed of extra-judicial settlement. Francisco. fraudulently misrepresenting therein that they were which. she being merely a spurious child of the latter. 1958. FRANCISCO cancel the transfer certificates of title secured by respondents as above GERONA and DELFIN GERONA. said the only surviving heirs of the deceased Marcelo de Guzman. When respondents executed the aforementioned deed of extra-judicial insofar as it deprives them of their participation of 1/18th of the properties settlement stating therein that they are the sole heirs of the late Marcelo de . that petitioners' mother was a legitimate child. On appeal taken by the Domingo Gerona and Placida de Guzman. 1941 was a legitimate daughter of Marcelo de Guzman and his against them. Accordingly. L-9936. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 54 G. Cordova. the D. 1948). with costs August 9. first wife. that Marcelo de Guzman died on estate is not subject to the statute of limitations of action. 23). that the latter. dismissing the complaint without costs. 1948. Although. namely. if affected September 11. alleged that they are the legitimate children of accordingly. conjugal partnership of Marcelo de Guzman and his second wife. deceased Placida de Guzman. the present action for partition of the latter's and Victoria. from the moment such adverse title (petitioners) share in said properties. PACITA DE income of said properties and to deliver to petitioners their lawful share GUZMAN and VICTORIA DE GUZMANrespondents. this is true only as long as name. Marcelo de Guzman". CLEMENTE DE GUZMAN. Camumot. and 7/8th for the latter. was not entitled to share in the estate of Marcelo de Guzman. Camila petitioners herein. who died on petitioners.: that petitioners' action is barred by the statute of limitations. Maria Concepcion. Rustica. Manuel J. Castro and Associates for respondents. The statute of of the case. Marcelo de Guzman married Camila Ramos. JOSE DE GUZMAN. and CONCEPCION. issued in the name of said deceased. this decision as affirmed by the Court of Appeals. causing damages to the petitioners. 45 Phil. although they period had not expired when the present action was commenced on well knew that petitioners were. and. to be Petitioners' contention is untenable. Echarri. Appeal by certiorari from a decision of the Court of Appeals. respondents maintained that petitioners' mother. all surnamed Gerona. Jose.

removal of their disability within which to commence their action (Section 1959. for the registration of the deed of extra-judicial settlement constitute constructive notice to the whole world (Diaz v. jurisdiction that an action for reconveyance of real property based upon a constructive or implied trust. As correctly stated in the decision of the trial court: In the light of the foregoing it must. resulting from fraud. Inc. Plaintiff Maria Concepcion Gerona became of age on 8 December 1949 or after the registration of the deed of extra-judicial settlement. Capunita. 1960. October 18. and. L-10408. and secured new transfer certificates of title in their own name. 1962). 1956. Quinto. 1948. L-10220. February 28. L-7745. September 24. in relation to Section 43. Magdangal. January 31. January 31. May 14. Villanueva. It is so ordered. Gorricho. De los 45..ñët that he was also still a minor at the time he gained knowledge (although constructive) of the deed of extra-judicial settlement on 25 June 1948. Act 190). 1äwphï1. Although. the action therefor may be filed within four (4) years from the discovery of the fraud (Mauricio v. And this is why petitioners constructive) of the deed of extra-judicial settlement on 25 June 1948. L-11578. 1959). Cuison v. Mendoza.M. L-18788. Yatco. and Sevilla v. set up a title adverse to them. 1958. 1958. and 5 August 1954. plaintiff Delfin Gerona became of legal age on 5 August 1954. paragraph 3. January 29. L-11072.Francisco Gerona and Delfin Gerona had. L-11229. with statute of limitations (Candelaria v. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 55 Guzman. in the case at bar. She also had only the remainder of the period of 4 years from December 1949 within which to commence her . there are some decisions to the contrary (Jacinto v. Fernandez. so that the same is tainted with fraud. of the alleged fraud committed against them by defendants on 25 June 1948 when the deed of extra-judicial settlement of the estate of the deceased Marcelo de Guzman was registered in the registry of deeds of Bulacan. Plaintiff Francisco Gerona became of age only on 9 January 1952 so they thereby excluded the petitioners from the estate of the deceased. only 4 years from the said date within which to file this action. 1959. therefore. 1955). September 30. with respect to Francisco. action. the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby affirmed. He is deemed to have discovered defendants' fraud on 25 June 1948 and had. have brought this action for the annulment of said deed upon the ground Likewise. Avecilla v. be held that plaintiffs learned at least constructively. on June 25. therefore. January 30. 1964). v. L-11764. Romero. February 28. may be barred by the WHEREFORE. two years after the 12540. when said instrument was filed with the Register of Deeds and new certificates of title were issued in the name of respondents exclusively. Plaintiffs' complaint in this case was not filed until 4 November 1958. L. or more than 10 years thereafter. with respect to Delfin. Alzona v. L-12149. L-15539. Plaintiff Ignacio Gerona became of age on 3 March 1948. Maribiles v. Lopez v. 1962. it is already settled in this 1952. Inasmuch as petitioners seek to annul the aforementioned deed of "extra- judicial settlement" upon the ground of fraud in the execution thereof. that he was still a minor when he gained knowledge (even if only consequently. Angeles. therefore. J. Tuason & Co. that is. March 29. November 18. Such discovery is deemed to have taken place. costs against petitioners herein. Gonzaga.

1 and APOLINARIO REYES. that the defendants shall further pay the amount of ?2. HV-85975. AMADO V. whatever amounts paid by them from said date to the present should Mauricio Narag was issued Original Certificate of Title No. BASILIO SYTAMCO. 1904. that the lands in controversy be. Branch I. Certificate of Title No.R. 1963). Certificate of Title No. the dispositive portion of which January 27. are not REYES. MEDALLA and JOSEFINA MEDALLA and LINO BARBOSA. respondents. and have continuously been paying the WHEREFORE. Certificate of Title No. Leocadio Sytamco was issued Original declared null and void and therefor should be cancelled. LYDIA REYES 1957 under Free Patent No.58631. with interest at the rate of 6% per annum. ROSA STA. SYTAMCO. P-919 (Exhibit "7"). under Free Patent No. P-4060 (Exhibit correspondingly be deducted from the total amount of damages herein 118") on October 14. quoting from private respondents' brief. after the sale. the Deed of Sale executed in their favor by the heirs of the late Juan Ladao DE CASTRO. Tambunakan and Ibunan. however. Private respondents on June 19. ROSA STA. Ernesto Balbin was issued Original the corresponding land taxes due them from the said date (1963). Basilio Sytamco was issued Original corresponding Original Certification of Titles Nos.: (Exhibit "F" thereof) the Informacion Posesoria issued in the name of Juan Ladao Exhibit "H" in the LRC Case) together with the tax declaration and Petition for certiorari for the review of the decision of the Court of First tax receipts for said land covering the period from May 26. 1962 (Exhibits I to I-28 of said LRC Case) the private reads: respondents. ERNESTO BALBIN. P-3084. 1963. Certificate of Title No. 1962. MA. LYDIA V. 1963. judgment is hereby rendered as follows: corresponding taxes up to the present. P-4011.00 as attorney's fees and cost of the suit. V-85976. Mindoro. REYES. Maria Sytamco was issued Original 2. Amado Reyes was issued Original (P200. HV-85976. JOSE ORIÑA. to Instance of Occidental Mindoro. P-4060 and P-920 be. the sum of TWO HUNDRED Homestead Patent No. MA. 1981 4. under year 1963 until the possession of the property in question has been duly Homestead Patent No. was issued Original Certificate of Title No. HV-85978. RV-86191. that the Free Patents Nos. P. 1963). purchased from the heirs of Juan Judge of the Court of First Instance of Mamburao. the application for registration of 1. petitioners. Occidental Ladao. P-3084 (Exhibit "6") on June 18. HV-85977. and because said defendants must have paid Homestead Patent No. HV-85977. They utilized as evidence of ownership. 1963.4010 (Exhibit "4" on September 30. HV-85975. 1963. V-58631. disputed: vs. MAURICIO NARAG.00 PESOS per hectare possessed and cultivated by them from the Certificate of Title No. LEOCADIO SYTAMCO. a large parcel of agricultural land situated at Sitios of Bacong. LEOCADIO SYTAMCO. 1963. V-85974. EV-94632 and EV. filed an application for registration of title of the said parcel of land. land registration proceedings had . defendants. P-3087 (Exhibit "3" on June 26. HV-86191. shall not pay any amount to plaintiffs as damages as they are not in actual possession and cultivation of the area respectively It appears that before the filing of the present action for reconveyance and claimed by them and annulment of titles on August 30. as they are hereby declared as the title aforesaid was opposed by petitioners on the ground that they were private properties of the plaintiffs with the right of immediate possession. P-3088. Mindoro. EV-85432. Barrio Balansay Mamburao. V-58633. P-4011 (Exhibit "5" on September 30. V-94632-1 Jose Orina awarded to plaintiffs. P-919. that defendants. ERNESTO BALBIN the HRS. HV-85974. Certificate of Title No. BASILIO SYTAMCO. under from the date of this decision. Apolinario Reyes was issued Original surrendered to the plaintiffs. L-46410 October 30. under HV-85978.000. of MAURICIO NARAG and Certificate of Title No. P-3088 (Exhibit "1" on June 26. No. PEDRO C. P-3089. under P-4010. under JOSE ORINA shall pay the plaintiffs as damages. as they are hereby Homestead Patent No. Lydia Reyes was issued Original 3. previously issued Original Certificates of title thru either Homestead or Free Patent grants. P-3087. AMADO V. 1959. under Homestead Patent No. P-3089 (Exhibit "2" on June 26. Petitioner Rosa Sta. P-920 (Exhibit "9") on April 3. declared it for taxation purposes (Exhibits G and G-1) of said LRC Case). 1973. The following facts. and the Homestead Patent No. under Free Patent No. Occidental. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 56 G. REYES and APOLINARIO REYES. J. SYTAMCO. Said respondents on June 14.

information title of Juan Ladao as raised in the first assignment of error because petitioners' title to the land based on their respective homestead or 2. In the pre-trial of the ordinary action from which the present petition stemmed. under the Public Land Act has not yet been segregated from the public Branch I. Medalla. the right of the cultivators and before the Register of Deeds of the Province of Occidental Mindoro. That the respondent judge of the court a quo erred in holding the validity the right of redemption. 984. N-44. that 4. the Informacion Posesoria was registered on May 25. Occidental Mindoro) on June 14. That the opposition of petitioners is based on the ground that the As found uncontroverted by the lower court. as allegedly required by the Royal Decree of February 13. but because of the reservation of private respondents to file a separate action for the cancellation of the original certificates of title issued to III. 981. possessors to obtain a gratuitous title shall be extinguished. What N-44 dated May 7. consequently. filed before the court (CFI Occidental Mindoro. and the information referred to in Articles 19 and 20.1963 by spouses domain and passed into private ownership at the time of the issuance of the Pedro C. which plans were Art. 1895 After the expiration of this period. as shown in plans Ap-10864 and Ap-10866. erroneously holding that the parcels of land covered by certificate of titles of petitioners are private properties of private respondents. That the land subject matter of the instant case are titled in the name of petitioners and included in plans AP-10864 and Ap-10866. or in a proper case to Petitioners made the following assignment of errors: 3 the community of neighbors. Petitioners herein filed opposition to the application. respondents' cause of action has not prescribed. It is also an admitted fact. considering that the land in controversy were public lands at the time of issuance of respective patents and titles of petitioners. 21. A term of one year. That respondent judge of the court a quo erred in holding that private the aforesaid action. 1896. that the basis of herein respondents' claim in the instant case is the possessory information title of Juan Ladao. and the said possessors and cultivators or their predecessors in interest by a universal title shall only be entitled to I. otherwise known as the Maura Law. 1013. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 57 been instituted by private respondents covering the same lands involved in II. The provision invoked by petitioners is Article 21 of the aforementioned decree which reads: 5. The respondent judge of the court a quo erred in holding that private petitioners herein. if the land had been sold within the five years of the possessory information title of Juan Ladao. subsequent to the lapse of the period. there exists an Information aforesaid lots respectively titled in their names are included in the land Posesoria in the name of Juan Ladao from whom private respondents subject matter of the Land Registration Case No. petitioners' opposition. That in the Decision rendered by the court in Land Registration Case No. 1016 and 1006. 983. depending on whether the land so disposed of Registration Case No. patents. N-44. 4 3. without grace. The respondent judge of the court a quo erred in holding that the lower court has jurisdiction over the nature and cause of action of private 1. the land registration court abstained from ruling on the respondents have personality and capacity to institute the action. the full ownership of the land shag be restored to the State. view of the reservation made by the applicants to file appropriate actions 1895. at least impliedly. 1894 to April 17. That the parcels of land subject matter of the instant case are Identified respondents. the opposition of the petitioners were not resolved in been done beyond the period of one year from April 17. 1894 for the cancellation of petitioners' homestead or patent titles. same being not denied in petitioners' answer to the complaint. N-44. . 980. Medalla and Josefina O. 982. Mamburao Public Subdivision. that these lots enumerated are embraced The first question to be resolved relates to the validity of the possessory in Pls-21. is granted in order to perfect submitted as evidence in the said Land Registration Case No. registered on May 25. Mamburao. 979. as Lot Nos. Medalla bought the land. That the herein petitioners were among the oppositors in Land free patents is valid or not. the following stipulation of facts 2was entered into: IV. 1969 giving due course to the applicants' petition for petitioners assail is the validity of the registration which they claim to have registration of title.

the same was patently nun and void. 1894 until April 17. 40 Phil. and 392 of the Spanish Mortgage Law in as provided in the Maura Law. These cases did not even speak aforesaid decree and Articles 81 and 82 of the Chapter IV of the of registration as a requisite for the validity of possessory information title Regulations for the execution of the same decree. which it would be possible to convert into Government. Insular Government 40 Phil. as in other regulations implementing said Royal Decree of February 13. 391 and 392 of said law without regard to the aforementioned decree. nowhere in said cases can be found the aforecited complied with the requisites prescribed by Articles 19 and 21 of the passages quoted by the petitioners. referred to 2. 3. in accordance with the common law. which provides that proceeding within one year from the date (April 1 7. Francisco Venture supplied). This fact is bolstered by the commentaries of Prof. prima facie evidence of the fact that at the time of the execution the requirement of the law finds support in the cases of Baltazar vs. 39 Phil. After obtaining the informacion posesoria. 1895. (Baltazar from which petitioners quoted the following. 267). 1894) (Emphasis supplied). was registered A distinction should be made between the informacion posesoria issued in only on May 25. all after the expiration of the period specified by the Maura Law for the grants of Spanish titles to lands including possessory information titles issuance of possessory titles and his possessory information was of even a must be registered within a period of one (1) year to be counted from April later date and made to cover a large excess of land. vs. Royal Decree and produce the effects of a title of ownership. in accordance with Article 80 of the rules and conditions. on June 9. (Emphasis Law. 20 and 21 of the Royal Decree of February 13. 1894 or the Maura reverts to the State or in a proper case to the public domain. The requisites to be obtained for purposes of Royal Decree of February 13. 1895 or 38 days from the last day of the one-year period accordance with Articles 390. provisions of the Mortgage Law in force on July 14. The former was the basis of a gratuitous title of ownership which was issued Petitioners' contention is without merit. it is made clear that what was required is merely the Regime and not registeredwithin the non-extendible period of one year as institution of a possessory information proceeding within the one-year provided for in the Maura Law or the Royal Decree of February 13. 1894 (Article 21. 1894. Insular claimant was in possession. it period as provided in the Royal Decree of February 13. the public domain of the government. attaching . 1895. 1894. it is indispensable Decree of February 13. in the name of the late Juan Ladao. 814). 814 ownership by uninterrupted possession for the statutory period. 1895. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 58 The possessors not included within the provisions of this Chapter shall only The time within which advantage could be taken of the Maura Law expired acquire for some time the ownership of the alienable lands of the royal on April 17. in his book Land Titles and Deeds. 1896 Almeida was thus not in possession until It is the petitioners' contention that pursuant to the aforecited provision. Examining closely the two cases upon application of the grantee and the possessory title provided he invoked by petitioners. 267 and Romero v. the holder of the land had to Director of Land 39 Phil. that this cases. 1894) of the in order that an information may be valid for the purpose of the said Royal publication of the Royal Decree of February 13. All such titles covered by possessory information title during the Spanish From the foregoing. 1894 or the Maura fulfilled and steps to be taken are as follows: Law. Director of Lands. The holder of the land must prove possession or cultivation of the land A possessory information proceeding instituted in accordance with the under the conditions presented by Article 19 of the said decree. 1894. 5 Thus — Petitioners further contend that inasmuch as the possessory information title of respondents. the possessory information could not even furnish. and the connection with Articles 19. a book widely used by law practitioners and in the law schools. What was actually stated in the two aforecited cases are the following 1. what it be instituted within the unextended period of one year fixed in sections 19 and 20 of the said Royal Decree (Aguinaldo de Romero vs. Under these 17. land covered by said possessory information title reverted to the State or to 1894 and the informacion posesoria issued in accordance with Articles 390. 1893 neither constitutes nor is clothed with the character of a gratuitous title to property. Almeida obtained dominion over 526 hectares of lands patrimony. 391. The possessory information for 815 hectares was issued to Almeida on December 14. file a petition with the General Director of Civil Administration. The holder of the land had to institute the possessory information in Section 19 of the Royal Decree of February 13.

if this were not so. Otherwise. 1894. registration of title usually follows a specified proceeding. or on May 25. They developed this theory in their Reply to proceedings within the said one-year period fixed by the aforementioned Rejoinder 7 to Motion to Dismiss. 1959. it appears that said patents were issued on 3 March. the be instituted within four years or up to 17 April. pursuant all could be instituted against the two defendants. no instituted before or during the period of four years or up to 6 December. if found legally warranted. registration may not necessarily be within the same titled in the names of defendants had already prescribed. Lydia Reyes and Apolinario Reyes. Sytamco. it should be on or before March 3. 1895. which requires that the action shall be registration may be possible of accomplishment only after the one-year filed within four (4) years from the discovery of the fraud. 1895 in the name of Juan four (4) years after discovery of the alleged fraud. the Registry of Deeds of the Province of Occidental Mindoro. According to the complaint. the action for reconveyance of land its nature. Tayao vs. 1894. the same should be to Section 21 of the same decree. for if the Basilio Sytamco and Leocadio Sytamco were issued on 17 April 1959. 55. 114) I t will be noted the result or outcome of a possessory information proceeding instituted by from plaintiffs' complaint that the patent of Ernesto Balbin and Jose Orina the late Juan Ladao in accordance with Section 19 of the said Royal Decree were issued on December 6. If the required proceedings are instituted. Such title oftentimes called and hearing. . SPECPRO| RULE 75| 59 thereto a certified copy of the informacion posesoria asking for the issuance title commenced within the one-year period. 5060. as they have to An action for reconveyance of real property resulting from fraud may be be before the corresponding title may be issued and registered. one-year period. Even Section 21 of the Maura Law invoked by petitioners themselves does not speak of registration. so that if any action for Moreover. 30-31). after the that the applicant fulfilled the conditions prescribed by the law. therefore. for being that if any action for reconveyance can lie against them. If the said office was satisfied possessory information title done thereafter. 47 O. The next question relates to the issue of prescription as raised in the second assignment of error. 7 4 Phil. The reconveyance should be filed. This is what original certificate of title through either homestead or free patent grants. 1963. (Sec. Reyes. 6 composicion gratuita was to be registered in the Registry of Property of the province where the land was located. or more than 14 required to be done within the one-year period by the party seeking to years had already elapsed from the date of the issuance of the respective perfect his title. By titles of the defendants. Act 496.. This registration of the informacion posesoria must have followed as vs. What is under his that if any action for reconveyance should be instituted. 1963. 1895. 1959. Consequently.G. the barred by the statute of limitations. which.. 1894 to April 17. so the private party applying for registration of his title. considering the number of proceedings that might have been deemed to have taken place when the petitioners herein were issued instituted within the non-extendible period of one year. and commenced within the one year period. 1895 was violative of the decree. so registration thereof on May 25. possibly ending in the registration of Even granting for the sake of argument that plaintiffs' possessory the title. for the perfection of his title for which he may be penalized for tardiness of compliance. but merely perfection of information title. it is admitted and uncontroverted that there exists had already prescribed because such action can only be instituted within an informacion posesoria registered on May 25. the same should be control is the commencement or the institution of the prescribed proceeding filed on or before October 14. apparently happened in the instant case with the proceeding to perfect the . patent of Amado V. Such discovery is period. registration of the said informacion posesoriamight have been effected in 1960. the patents of Rosa Sta. but the registration of the in his name of a gratuitous title of ownership. Robles. 1973. And registration is the act of a government official and may not be controlled by lastly. not the registration thereof. Ma. the same should beyond the one-year period from April 17. In so far as the free Register of Deeds would certainly not have performed an illegal act. 1956 so that if any action for reconveyance at of February 13. The institution of the proper proceeding is clearly what is Plaintiffs' complaint was filed only on August 30. (pp. Vera. depending on the evidence presented. Vera Ladao. the patent of Mauricio Narag was issued on 14 October. information title is valid and effective. as follows: Royal Decree of February 13. a gratuitous prescribed proceeding which is naturally featured with the requisite notice title of ownership was issued to him. the cause of action for reconveyance In the case at bar. 1963. It is the contention of petitioners that the present action for reconveyance as already discuss may be done by instituting possessory information has already prescribed.

after proper investigation. If the Medalla spouses were not in actual possession of the nine lots. reconveyance should be commenced. for a sufficient period of time. There is. the latest on October 14. 8 complaint of the Medallas should be. as it is hereby dismissed with costs against appellees." 9 Although converted into a title of absolute ownership. 1959. the action for reconveyance of land titled in the names of defendants (petitioners herein) had already prescribed. "A possessory information alone. A possessory information has to be confirmed in a land registration proceeding. petitioners have acquired title to the nine lots in question by virtue of possession in concept of an owner. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 60 for the registration of said patents constitute constructive notice to the WHEREFORE. in accordance with the law. the judgment appealed from should be reversed and the whole world. is ineffective as a mode of acquiring title under Act No. particularly in the case of the free patents. as required in Section 19 of Act No. 1963. But private respondents' complaint for reconveyance and annulment of titles with damages was filed only on August 30." Even from the viewpoint of acquisitive prescription. public and adverse possession of the land under claim of ownership. 1973. then the heirs of Ladao and the Medalla spouses were never in actual possession of the said lots. In the case at bar. merit in petitioner's contention that "if any action for SO ORDERED. the latest patent was issued on October 14. the alleged possessory information would not justify the registration of the said nine lots in the names of the Medallas. that petitioners were in actual possession of the nine lots in question. without a showing of actual. Said public land patents must have been issued after the land authorities had found out. 496. the same should be filed on or before October 14. and original certificates of title in their names issued to them. therefore. Consequently. or more than 14 years had already elapsed from the date of the issuance of the respective titles of the defendants. the Torrens Titles issued to the petitioners on the basis of the homestead patents and free patents obtained by them had become indefeasible. an informacion posesoria may still be lost by prescription. 11 It would result from what has been said on the two main assignments of errors that petitioners herein have a better right to the land in question than the Medalla spouses. . 1959. Petitioners herein were given either free patent or homestead patent. 496. 10 On the other hand. If petitioners were in actual possession of the nine lots.

Mrs. Francisco Appeal from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga. Francisco Arcillas died. Two days later. order of confirmation of sale. Justino Alfonso. by conspiring spouses Arcallas. Asuncion. 1930. On October 6. spouses Arcillas in the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga. Juan. Under the together and mutually helping one another. CHUA. the court issued the corresponding vs. J. Anastacio. 1968. thereafter issued. certificate of sale and the order of confirmation on November 24. LEONCIA. the court a quo. Worcester as MANUEL all surnamed ARClLLAS. Nanon L. JOSE. transfer certificates of title were issued in the name of Mrs. open dismissing the appellants' complaint for reconveyance on grounds of and adverse possession of these lands up to the present time. certificates of title of the spouses Arcillas were cancelled and. plaintiffs-appellants. Encarnacion. the twenty-three parcels of land in question. 1930. ROSA ONG CHUA. On August 23. or on October 14. No. the trial Judge proceeded with the case without substitution of the to extinguish the appellants' action. The complaint mainly alleged — On April 13. Moises and Manuel. JUSTINO ONG CHUA. namely: his widow Rosario Perez.: properties as owner. Worcester and Enrique Ong parcels of land located in Zamboanga City. and possessed the said ESCOLIN. Upon Enrique's demise. and TERESITA ONG thereof. in lieu ASUNCION ONG CHUA. prescription and laches. A writ of execution was ROSARIO PEREZ. the loan was payable in installments to the creditor-mortgagee for committed mistake in transferring and acquiring these properties. and Teresita. and accounting of the fruits of." 1 As heretofore stated. and their issuance of the certificates of title. TRINIDAD. Worcester over twenty-three (23) That the Honorable Judge at the time.. The Tomas. who have been in continuous. BENITA ONG CHUA. the ALFONSO ONG CHUA JR. ROSA. a judgment was rendered in favor of the mortgagee. Rosa. continuous and public assertion of title by the appellees and their As no notice of death of defendant Francisco Arcillas was filed with the predecessor-in-interest during this period of time was more than sufficient court. highest bidder. 1930. registered in the names of the Chua. MOISES and 19. During the The appellants' cause of action to cancel the certificates of title in question pendency of the action.R. The period of extinctive prescription . Rosario Perez and This appeal was originally brought to the Court of Appeals. to the a period of five years. Francisco Arcillas and his wife Rosario Perez executed a deed of mortgage in favor of Nanon L. 1930. RUFINA ONG CHUA. Rufina. but was certified her children filed the instant action in the Court of First Instance of to this Court because only questions of law are raised therein.00. Worcester. before appellants instituted the present action on October 14. Thirty-eight years thereafter. to secure their loan of US $13. were guilty of fraud and/or contract. mortgage was instituted sometime in 1930 by Mrs. Rosa. 1982 deceased by his legal representative or heirs. thereby creating an implied three (3) months after the date of this instrument and the remaining trust for the benefit of the latter. an action for foreclosure of prescription and laches. Worcester sold the said lands to Enrique Ong Chua. ultimately dismissed the complaint. Zamboanga against the Ong Chuas for annulment of their certificates of The following facts are not disputed: title and for reconveyance. Benita. and upon registration of the sheriff's PILAR ONG CHUA. and in the ensuing auction sale conducted on September ENCARNACION. the properties encumbered were sold to Mrs. Leoncia. the lands in question passed to his heirs: Pilar. 1930. 1968. all surnamed Ong Chua. 2 installments in regular quarterly intervals thereafter. He was accrued from 1930. ANASTACIO. Trinidad.defendant-appellees. who obtained new certificates of title in his name. FRANCISCO ONG CHUA. Jose. "the first installment thereof to be paid on or before damage and prejudice of the herein plaintiffs. the year of the recording of the sheriff's deed and the survived by the plaintiffs herein. JUAN TOMAS. all surnamed Arcillas. Worcester against the We find no error committed by the trial court in dismissing the complaint.500. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 61 G. L-36850 September 23. sustaining the appellees' defenses of For violation of the aforestated stipulation. predecessor-in-interest of the herein defendants. Thirty-eight years had thus elapsed children Francisco. 1928. FRANCISCA. or on May 4.

that the judgment rendered by the court in the properties in question to Enrique Ong Chua. to wit: (1) conduct on the part of the defendant. which is created by the intention of the WHEREFORE. committed to his custody or management — at least while he does not openly repudiate the trust and makes such repudiation known to the SO ORDERED. 1930 Appellants contend. Upon the other hand. the complainant having had knowledge or notice of the defendants' conduct and having been afforded an opportunity to institute a suit. . after having acquired the property at public auction and having obtained the certificates of title in her name. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 62 under Chapter III of the Code of Civil Procedure. and since the certificates of title during this entire period. appellees were made to feel secure in their belief obtained by Mrs. Worcester. however. Undoubtedly. or of one under whom he claims. sold on November 26. improvements therein. Gampoña 6 this Court held that while a person may not acquire title to a registered property through continuing adverse possession in derogation of the title of the original registered owner. one of the defendants who died before taking any remedial action. An express trust. which is exclusively created by law. this Court spelled out the four elements of the equitable defense of laches. laches constitutes the bar to an action to enforce the trust. and introducing against their predecessor's title registered under Act 496. disables the trustee from acquiring for his own benefit a property against the appellants. and (4) injury or prejudice to the defendant in the events relief is accorded to the complainant. they would be prejudiced if the instant action for reconveyance is not barred. the order appealed from is hereby affirmed. 4 Implied trusts and express trusts are distinguishable. vs. was only ten years. (2) delay in asserting the complainant's rights. the appellants' action action would be filed against them. by their inaction and neglect over a long period of time. giving rise to the situation of which complaint is made and for which the complainant seeks remedy. nevertheless. such owner or his heirs. paying the taxes. in a constructive trust. (3) lack of knowledge or notice on the part of the defendant that the complainant would assert the right on which he bases his suit. Co Cho et al. 5 Thus. these four elements are present. They were thus induced to spend time. It is the established principle in this Appellants' thesis overlooks the settled doctrine in this jurisdiction that an jurisdiction that inaction and neglect of a party to assert a right can convert action to enforce an implied trust may be barred not only by prescription what otherwise could be a valid claim into a stale demand. Mrs. In Go Chi Gun. unless there is concealment of the facts giving rise to the trust. for reconveyance cannot prescribe because prescription does not run effort and money in cultivating the land. which is continuing and subsisting. for 10 years 3 but also by laches. Worcester under said erroneous judgment were subject to that their late father had rightly acquired the lands in question and that no an implied trust. As pointed out. 7. or the suit is not held to be barred. Because of their passivity and inaction during the pendency of the action. may lose the right to recover the possession of the property and the title thereto from the defendants. Appellants allowed almost four decades to lapse substitution was made of Francisco Arcillas. the law in force at the In the case at bar. with costs parties. beneficiary. in Mejia de Lucas vs. and repudiation is not required. time. the appellees' the foreclosure proceedings in 1930 was erroneous because no proper predecessors-in-interest. et al.

L-56340 June 24. ELENA ACHAVAL DE properties of the estate. Cebu. (PASTOR.R. Pastor.R.. On February 2.. by the name of Lewellyn Barlito Quemada QUEMADA PASTOR. JR.R... QUEMADA is a Filipino by his mother's citizenship. JR. 274-R. these pleadings on the ground of pendency of the reconveyance suit with JR. Sr. On March 5.. JR. vs. Pursuant favor of QUEMADA consisting of 30% of PASTOR.. QUEMADA submitted his Position paper dated April 20. L-46645 dismissed the petition in a I. 1966. Pelaez. appointed him special administrator of the from June 1966 (when Pastor. FACTS: minute resolution dated November 1.. not another branch of the Cebu Court of First Instance.. JR.000.00. This is a case of hereditary succession. SR. Rama & Associates for private respondents. 1983 On December 7. REYES. 1970. On petition for PLANA. which included the properties subject of the legacy PASTOR. QUEMADA filed a petition for the probate and and SOFIA on the e ground of pendency of the reconveyance suit.5% . Jr. 1980. and MA. and his sister SOFIA filed their Pelaez.. 52961. Jr. their two legitimate children Alvaro Pastor. died) to February 1980. their own rights. SOFIA is a Spanish subject. Branch IX. parties to submit their respective position papers as to how much 3128-R. No. and his wife an action for reconveyance of alleged SPOUSES ALVARO PASTOR. and an illegitimate child. The statement entire estate of PASTOR. and his wife. PASTOR. 1970 after to the Pastor Group distributed as follows: filing a bond of P 5. but upon objection of PASTOR. ATLAS.. with the Court of hearing was held on March 25. Maria Elena Achaval de Pastor. JUAN Y. Sr. The will contained only one testamentary disposition: a legacy in inheritance QUEMADA was entitled to receive under the wig. On November 13.. died in Cebu City on filed pleading after pleading asking for payment of his legacy and seizure of June 5...) and Sofia Pastor de Midgely (SOFIA).R. On December 5. PASTOR.. was filed with the Court of First Instance of Cebu. 1980. who claimed to be the owners thereof in THE COURT OF APPEALS. 1972. survived by his Spanish wife Sofia Bossio (who also died on the properties subject of said legacy.. petitioners. J.. no allowance of an alleged holographic will of PASTOR. 60% pertained holographic will. All pleadings remained natural. No.40. QUEMADA as special administrator.... He assumed office as such on December 4.. PASTOR. and not by inheritance. QUEMADA Alvaro Pastor. docketed as Civil Case COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF CEBU and LEWELLYN BARLITO No. QUEMADA. 1978.. A.'s 42% share in the thereto. On November 21. 1966). 1.. SR.. the Supreme Court in G. 1970. respondents. (PASTOR. the order was affirmed in a decision dated May 9. For two years after remand of the case to the PROBATE COURT. unacted upon by the PROBATE COURT.. and SOFIA opposed October 21. 1980. having been naturalized in 1936. JR...). 1977. 1970.: review.. . & Pelaez Law Office for petitioners. instituted against PASTOR. 1971. Ceniza. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 63 G. JR.. upon motion of QUEMADA submitted a sworn statement of royalties paid to the Pastor Group of tsn and after an ex parte hearing. 1977 and remanded the same to the PROBATE COURT after denying reconsideration on January 11. a Spanish subject. the PROBATE COURT required the First Instance of Cebu. the PROBATE COURT set the hearing on the intrinsic validity of the will for March 25. The action. SR. and SOFIA submitted their Memorandum of operation by Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation authorities dated April 10. Instead. upon order of the Court.. Appealed to the Court of Appeals in CA-G. the PROBATE COURT issued an order allowing the will to probate. much QUEMADA should receive was still premature. opposition to the petition for probate and the order appointing QUEMADA as special administrator.. SR. whether or not covered or affected by the revealed that of the mining claims being operated by ATLAS. and which were in the names of the spouses PASTOR. JUDGE OF BRANCH I.... is a Philippine citizen. JR. JR.. No. which in effect showed that determination of how (ATLAS) of some mining claims in Pina-Barot. Branch I (PROBATE COURT). docketed as SP No. the PROBATE COURT..

. the intrinsic validity of the will. the lifting of which was denied in the Resolution of the same Division dated October 18. this Petition for Review by certiorari with prayer for a writ of pre y the same on ATLAS on the same day." the Order assailed is "legally valid. ELENA ACHAVAL DE PASTOR. Pelaez. 1980 found that as per the holographic will and a reconsideration of the Probate Court's Order of August 20.] November 11. 1980.... 42% validity of the will and of ownership over the mining claims (not the belonged to PASTOR.. Branch retain 75% for himself as legatee and to deposit 25% with a reputable IX.. increased from P50... The Order of December 5. JR... It clarified that only the 33% share of PASTOR. filed with the Court of Appeals a Petition for certiorari and Prohibition with a prayer Between December 21.] Nonetheless.. however.11373-R). 1962. Pelaez. " question of ownership of the royalties payable by ATLAS and ruling in effect that the legacy to QUEMADA was not inofficious. 1982. [There was absolutely no On December 9.. SR. SP.... primarily on the ground that the PROBATE COURT gravely abused its November 11. which amounted to over two million the PROBATE COURT through the special administrator... QUEMADA succeeded in obtaining a Writ of Execution and Garnishment on September 4..e.... the PROBATE COURT a motion for reconsideration is prerequisite for an action for certiorari is issued the now assailed Order of Execution and Garnishment.. the Court (First Division) issued a writ of preliminary assignees until after resolution of oppositors' motion for reconsideration.. the Order pesos.. of which QUEMADA was authorized to reconveyance then pending in the Court of First Instance of Cebu... ordered garnished to answer for the accumulated legacy of QUEMADA from what was ordered was just the transfer of its possession to the custody of the time of PASTOR... SR. SR. 1972.. injunction.. nor the intrinsic validity of the holographic will. and in serving Hence.R.. thereby rendering moot and academic the suit for 42% royalties due decedent's estate. this time joined by his wife Ma... 1980. injunction.15.. JR. Five of these motions .. PASTOR.. as affirmed by the Court of Appeals and the PROBATE COURT thus directed ATLAS to remit directly to QUEMADA the Supreme Court.. The order being "immediately executory". in the royalties (less banking institution for payment of the estate taxes and other obligations of than 7. 1980. followed by a Supplemental Petition with Urgent Prayer for ordered the payment of QUEMADA's legacy after prematurely passing upon Restraining Order. although the bond of petitioners was Before the Motion for Reconsideration could be resolved. 1980 and the writ of execution and garnishment issued pursuant thereto... the estate.. the PROBATE COURT ordered suspension of payment of all royalties due PASTOR. SR.. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 64 2. JR.. 1980 as well as the orders of the Probate Court dated August 20. and his wife moved for reconsideration statement or claim in the Order that the Probate Order of December 5.00. granted QUEMADA 6% interest on his unpaid legacy from August 1980 until fully paid... JR.... 1980 and December 17.0% the Order dated August 20. Quemada . 1980. Sr. They assailed filed seven successive motions for early resolution. and/or his In April 1981....000. of the above denied.. also of the Pastor Group.. 1980. [The November 11 Order declared that the questions of intrinsic 60% interest in the mining claims belonging to the Pastor Group....000.'s 42% share. calling the 1972 had previously resolved the issue of ownership of the mining rights of attention of the appellate court to another order of the Probate Court dated royalties thereon. private respondent for writ of preliminary injunction (CA-G. dated June 17.. 1980 was written acknowledgment of PASTOR.. 1981 and October 12..... . Notified of the Order on September 6. 1980 on the grounds (1) that its filing was premature because the Motion for Reconsideration of the questioned Order was still pending On August 20.. the oppositors sought reconsideration thereof on the same date 18. E. Med by petitioners on March discretion when it resolved the question of ownership of the royalties and 26.'s death.. The petition was denied on November 3.. PASTOR. 1980.. by which the oppositors' motion for The order of August 20...00 to P100. 1982.5% 18... JR. the Court of Appeals denied reconsideration. In the meantime. No. assailing the decision of the Court of Appeals dated November 1980. 1980 (i. and (2) that although "the rule that Branch IX of the Court of First Instance of Cebu. resolving the never an absolute rule.5% share which he had assigned to QUEMADA before PASTOR. while the reconveyance suit was still being litigated in determination by the PROBATE COURT.. 1981.4. The 33% share of PASTOR. B. and/or his assignees was died) was to be garnished and that as regards PASTOR. The royalties alone) had been finally adjudicated by the final and executory remaining 25% belonged to E... Further. while their petition for certiorari was pending decision in the appellate court).. JR. and only 33% belonged to PASTOR. of the Court of Appeal's decision of November 18. JR..

. Issue of Ownership — and the Order of December 17. and to reassign the case to another ponente. 1982 and to submit the matter of due course to the present December 5. Probate Order of 1972 are unwarranted for lack of basis. and his wife. On October 18. and reiterating the Order of Execution dated August 20. being of sound mind. the questions of in the inventory of estate properties. Rule 76. .." intrinsic validity. Therefore.74 the (a) In a special proceeding for the probate of a will. but such determination is provisional. placed in issue is the propriety of certiorari as a Assailed by the petitioners in these proceedings is the validity of the Order means to assail the validity of the order of execution and the implementing of execution and garnishment dated August 20. the question and concise memoranda in amplification of their oral arguments on the assumes that QUEMADA's entitlement to the legacy was finally adjudged in merits of the case were filed by the parties pursuant to the resolution of the Probate Order. " and denied in a resolution dated December 13. although in the name of PASTOR. how can its was heard on the merits on September 7. for the purpose it issued the assailed Orders. 1982 and December the Probate Court to conclusively resolve title to property. This being so. the issue by and large amount payable to QUEMADA representing the royalties he should have is restricted to the extrinsic validity of the will. 91 SCRA 540. position taken by the Probate Court in 1980 — i. Their argument runs this way: Before the of determining whether a certain property should or should not be included provisions of the holographic win can be implemented. not conclusive.] said issues. [3 Moran. contrary to the subject to the final decision in a separate action to resolve title.e. freely executed the will in accordance with the The Probate Order itself. to wit: the Order of November 11. . subsequently issued allegedly to implement the Probate Order of December 5. almost eight years after Comments on the Rules of Court (1980 ed. such as the jurisdiction of Upon Motion for Reconsideration of the October 18. Section 1. 1980 as well as the Orders writ. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 65 expressly prayed for the resolution of the question as to whether or not the the Orders for the payment of the legacy in alleged implementation of the petition should be given due course. in 1966 up to February 1980. 1972. probate. JR. Thus. 1981 . 1980. the Probate Order could not have resolved and (b) The rule is that execution of a judgment must conform to that decreed actually did not decide QUEMADA's entitlement to the legacy. A negative finding will necessarily render moot and academic the other issues raised by the parties. (Philippine-American Insurance Co. and is holographic will must first be resolved with finality. the basic issue is whether the Probate Order of October 18. received from the death of PASTOR. 1972 resolved with finality the questions of ownership and membership of the Division. 1. 458. 1980 reducing to P2. Rule 75.). and the 13. therefore. DISCUSSION: Order of 1972 indeed resolved the issues of ownership and intrinsic validity of the will. to the decedent despite the latter's constitutional disqualification as an alien. (Rules of Court..251. 1980 declaring that the Probate III. p. the Probate Court may pass upon the ownership of the mining properties and the intrinsic validity of the title thereto. 1982 Resolutions. ISSUES: On the procedural aspect. 1982. (should be October 21. Valero Vda. October 21. the Court (First Division) adopted a resolution stating Closely related to the foregoing is the issue raised by QUEMADA The that "the petition in fact and in effect was given due course when this case Probate Order of 1972 having become final and executory. de the probate of the will in 1972 — the Probate Order did not resolve the two Rodriguez vs. SR. 1981) implementation (payment of legacy) be restrained? Of course. is not questioned. the Court en banc resolved to CONFIRM the constitutionality and repercussions of a ruling that the mining properties in questioned resolutions insofar as hey resolved that the petition in fact and dispute. i. in the dispositive part of the decision. private respondent's "Omnibus motion to set aside resolution dated On the merits. Court of Appeals. the question of ownership is an extraneous matter having acted beyond its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion when which the Probate Court cannot resolve with finality. 1982.) As a rule. insofar as it merely allowed the holographic will in formalities prescribed by law. really belonged in effect had been given due course. But petitioners denounce the Probate Court for Section 9.e. II. whether the testator.516. Now.

on June 5. and (c) Did the late presentation of the holographic will affect the validity of the same? 1.) this Presiding Judge. To keep and maintain the houses and other structures and belonging to the properties listed in the inventory (submitted by the special the estate. and (4) Whether or not 3. decedent to be placed under administration? (3) Whether or not petition is qualified to be a special administrator of the estate. To administer and to continue to put to prolific utilization of the proper? (2) Is there any indispensable necessity for the estate of the properties of the decedent. Then came what purports to be the dispositive portion: (d) Subject to the outcome of the suit for reconveyance of ownership and Upon the foregoing premises.) However. no regular executor and/or administration proceedings for the purported estate of the decedent in the administrator has been appointed up to this time and .. and thereafter attached to the will. in Cebu City. extent of the bounty given to him (under) the will insofar as the same will 1966. the decedent's residence and existence of properties in the Philippines have not been established. 1961 with respect to its extrinsic uncertainty. The said Probate Order Goodrich Bldg. therefore. Let attested copies of the will and of the certificate of allowance Probate Order of December 5. To submit a complete inventory of the estate of the decedent-testator Alvaro Pastor. justified under the circumstances to take possession and charge of the estate of the deceased in the Philippines In its broad and total perspective the whole proceedings are being (particularly in Cebu) until the problems causing the delay are decided and impugned by the oppositors on jurisdictional grounds. Galang. unless. of ownership of the disputed mining properties. Court of Appeals. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 66 vs. Cebu City. for delivery to the heirs in good order after partition and when directed by the Court. executed on July 31. Unmistakably. 78 SCRA 534. 97 SCRA 811. in spite of this Specifically placed in issue with respect to the probate proceedings are: (a) Court's declaration that the oppositors are the forced heirs and the whether or not the holographic will (Exhibit "J") has lost its efficacy as the petitioner is merely vested with the character of a voluntary heir to the last will and testament upon the death of Alvaro Pastor. its allowance be prepared by the Branch Clerk of this Court to be signed by 809. Honorable Flores.. a certificate of Fabular vs. and prepare them administrator but not approved by the Probate Court) are to be excluded. for recording. the same having been duly authenticated pursuant to the construing the judgment. in case of ambiguity or Alvaro Pastor. as the case may be. Philippines. Timario. Robles vs.. but only after the payment of estate and inheritance taxes. that it hereby allows and approves the so-called holographic will of testator . and attested by the seal of the Court. (b) Whether or not the said will has been not prejudice the legitimes of the oppositor for the following reasons: executed with all the formalities required by law. Sr. Sr. 119 SCRA 329. the body of the decision may be scanned for guidance in validity. (c) There is a necessity and propriety of a special administrator and later on an executor and/or administrator in these proceedings. there are three aspects in these proceedings: (1) the (b) There was a delay in the granting of the letters testamentary or of probate of the holographic will (2) the intestate estate aspect. i. it is duly proven by (a) The Court has acquired jurisdiction over the probate proceedings as the oppositors that debts of the decedent have already been paid. and (3) the administration for as a matter of fact. 107 Phil.the appointment of Philippines. however. and the Register of Deeds of Cebu or of Toledo enumerated the issues before the Probate Court. 1972 which allegedly resolved the question thereof be sent to Atlas Consolidated Mining & Development Corporation. as follows: Branch IX of the Court of First Instance of Cebu. and still is. requisites or solemnities prescribed by law. Sr. this Court rules on and resolves some of the possession of real and personal properties in Civil Case No.e. Issues In the Administration Proceedings are as follows: (1) Was the ex- parte appointment of the petitioner as special administrator valid and 2. (Heirs of Presto vs. since the forced heirs are residing in Spain. Let. 274-T before problems and issues presented in these proceedings. and the will and certificate filed and recorded by the The Order sought to be executed by the assailed Order of execution is the clerk. the intestate estate administration aspect must proceed. thus: City. that the fact of the regular executor and/or administrator appointed. a special administrator was.

respect to its extrinsic validity. 1980. it is manifest therein that ownership receiving royalties from ATLAS. which properties are not directly or indirectly affected by the affirmed en toto when they reviewed the Probable Order were only the provisions of the holographic will (such as bank deposits. and the need for and propriety of appointing a special particularly in the City of Toledo. and that.). which will impairment of legitime (an aspect of intrinsic validity) was in fact not include. the Supreme Court decedent. considering (e) In an attempt to justify the issuance of the Order of execution dated that this order should have been properly issued solely as a resolution on August 20. that the a need to liquidate the conjugal partnership and set apart the share of legacy to be given and delivered to the petitioner does not exceed the free PASTOR. . SR. Sr. that the whether or not to allow and approve the aforestated will." [Parenthetically. aside implementation of the legacy) conditionally stated that the intestate from his two legitimate children and one illegitimate son. error for the assailed implementing Orders to conclude the outcome of the suit for reconveyance of ownership and possession of that the Probate Order adjudged with finality the question of ownership of real and personal properties in Civil Case 274-T before Branch IX of the CFI the mining properties and royalties. (2) he had resided in the Philippines since was not resolved. that the legacy to be given and delivered to the petitioner should have been properly issued solely as a resolution on the issue of does not exceed the free portion of the estate of the testator. "considering that this (Probate) Order forced heirs. he was specific properties. 1980 the issue of whether or not to allow and approve the aforestated will. Thus it allowed and approved the holographic win "with dummy for his father because the latter was a Spaniard. of Cebu. the Probate Court in its Order of November 11. but not so for intestate purposes. died in 1966. among others. although the statement refers only to the the dispositive portion of the said Probate Order directed the special "intestate" aspect. Can the estate 2.'s wife in the conjugal partnership preparatory to the portion of the estate of the testator. etc. Finally." which clearly implies that the issue of administration and liquidation of the estate of PASTOR. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 67 there had been an extrajudicial partition or summary one between the covered by the holographic will. reconveyance suit that was still pending in Branch IX of the Court of First Instance of Cebu. the Probate Order did not rule on the propriety of allowing usufructuary right of his wife until her death. therefore.) had been formally resolved by the Probate Order of 1972 are the findings in Nowhere in the dispositive portion is there a declaration of ownership of the latter Order that (1) during the lifetime of the decedent. explained that the basis for its conclusion that the question of ownership (Emphasis supplied. some properties could be deemed finally resolved for purposes of testate administration. On the contrary. SR. the determination of the extent of the statutory resolved. the same having been duly authenticated Based on the premises laid. Issue of Intrinsic Validity of the Holographic Will - be the owner of a property for testate but not for intestate purposes?] Then again." It declared that the intestate estate administration aspect must proceed " subject to (f) It was. SR. considering that inheritance taxes have already been paid to the Government thru the the issue of ownership was the very subject of controversy in the Bureau of Internal Revenue. There is therefore administration aspect must proceed "unless . " respective shares of the forced heirs have been fairly apportioned. was only acting as administrator. and the estate and properties listed in the estate inventory was appropriate. in effect. . after (c) That the Probate Order did not resolve the question of ownership of the deducting the property willed to the petitioner. the Court of Appeals and. the conclusion is obviously far-fetched. JR. pursuant to the requisites or solemnities prescribed by law. For it confined itself to the question of extrinsic validity of pre-war days and was engaged in the mine prospecting business since 1937 the win. will be resolved in another order as separate incident. it defies understanding how ownership by the estate of administrator to pay the legacy in dispute. * When the disputed Probate QUEMADA to remain as special administrator of estate properties not . it is proven . . land in Mactan matters properly adjudged in the said Order. premised on this conclusion.. therefore. and (3) PASTOR. . the Probate Order (while indeed it does not direct the (a) When PASTOR. he was survived by his wife. distributed and delivered to the two forced heirs of Alvaro Pastor. The suitability and propriety of allowing petitioner to remain as special administrator or administrator of the other properties of the estate of the (d) What.

or heirs Probate Court scheduled on March 25. 6. 1972 where the Probate Court ordered that. and his wife. Propriety of certiorari — for the payment of such debts and expenses. a resolution on the intrinsic validity of the will here in question. or heirs have the intrinsic validity of the will. that private respondent is entitled to the payment of the debts of the decedent and his estate. and in the absence of being litigated in another court. after hearing. must fall for lack of basis. the Order of Execution of August 20.a fixed share in a specific estate tax before delivery to any beneficiary of his distributive share of the property rather than an aliquot part of the entire net estate of the deceased estate (Section 107 [c]) . (d) The assailed order of execution was unauthorized. i. and order how much and in what manner error. the court having jurisdiction Private respondent challenges the propriety of certiorari as a means to of the estate may. 1980 a hearing on have been in possession. in the face of conflicting hearing or that it was judicially approved. entered into possession of portions of the estate before the debts and expenses have been settled and paid and have become liable to contribute 3. as of the same date. Court of Appeals. and the subsequent implementing orders for the payment of QUEMADA's legacy. requiring all persons having money claims against the decedent to file them in the office of the Branch Clerk of this Court. apportionment and distribution of the residue among the heirs and legatees. there had been no liquidation of Under the circumstances of the case at bar. there had been no prior definitive condoned. was still involving properties not in the name of the decedent. Section 6 of the Rules of Court which reads: the will in other respects. He contends that the amount of their several liabilities.) (e) The net assets of the estate not having been determined.. 1972. it was only in the Probate questioned legacy. 7 SCRA 367. the Rules of Court. is one of judgment. but it does not appear that it was ever the subject of a properties compose the estate of PASTOR. 1972. before for. by order for that purpose. SR. 1980 Order of December 5. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 68 order was issued on December 5. in alleged implementation of the dispositive part of the Probate . It was obviously for this reason that as late as March 5.e. having been issued (g) Finally. the challenge must be rejected. SR. SR. not jurisdiction. Therefore. also.. SR. there was no basis for the Probate Court to hold in its Probate Order of 1972. Indeed. much less payment. 1972. and may issue execution as circumstances only by appeal. Grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction is much too evident in the actuations of the probate court to be overlooked or (b) So. There was an inventory of his properties presumably prepared by the special (a) Without a final. The reconveyance or recovery of claims made by heirs and a non-heir (MA." (b) The ordered payment of legacy would be violative of the rule requiring prior liquidation of the estate of the deceased. the legitime of the forced heirs in concrete figures could not be ascertained. not certiorari. SR. legatees. (c) Neither has the estate tax been paid on the estate of PASTOR. ELENA ACHAVAL DE PASTOR) properties allegedly owned but not in the name of PASTOR. as of December 5. Payment therefore of the legacy to QUEMADA would collide with the (f) All the foregoing deficiencies considered.. the community properties of PASTOR. if any. or at least provided assets of the estate and payment of all debts and expenses.would produce an impairment of the legitime of the compulsory heirs.more than 7 years after the Probate Order was issued the Sec. it was not possible to provision of the National Internal Revenue Code requiring payment of determine whether the legacy of QUEMADA . the determination of the (d) Nor had the estate tax been determined and paid. Court to fix contributive shares where devisees. of the did not. legatees. . which it (c) There was no appropriate determination. require. a notice be issued and published pursuant to the provisions of Rule 86 of Order of December 5. determination of the assets of the estate of PASTOR. settle the assail the validity of the disputed Order of execution. and properly correctible each person shall contribute. there actually was no determination of the intrinsic validity of purportedly under Rule 88. authoritative adjudication of the issue as to what administrator. — Where devisees. 1980 . (Bernardo vs.

wife of PASTOR. The matter of ownership over the properties subject of the execution was then still being litigated in another court in a reconveyance The circumstances that the Rules of Court expressly specifies that the suit filed by the special administrator of the estate of PASTOR. They needed prompt relief from the injurious Valera vs. as well as all the Orders issued subsequent thereto in discretion tantamount to lack of jurisdiction. 59 SCRA 96. Therefore. 1980 and December 17. is manifest grave abuse of August 20. subject to the judgment to be rendered the judgment sought to be enforced (PVTA vs. legatees and heirs in possession of the Likewise. For when an order are hereby set aside. the rule that alleged implementation of the Probate Order dated December 5. (Vda. certiorari may not be invoked to defeat the right of a prevailing party to the particularly the Orders dated November 11. under the rule of inclusion unius est exclusion alterius. is the holder in her own right of three mining claims which are one of the objects of conflicting claims of ownership.R. Med the petition for certiorari decedent's assets (Sec. 1980. It is not supposed to issue a writ has ordered the immediate transfer and/or garnishment of the royalties of execution because its orders usually refer to the adjudication of claims derived from mineral properties of which she is the duly registered owner against the estate which the executor or administrator may satisfy without and/or grantee together with her husband. 1980. and (c) to satisfy the costs when a for reconsideration of the execution order was still pending resolution by person is cited for examination in probate proceedings (Sec. after the issuance of the execution order. before the issuance of the assailed orders because she had no valid ground does not render any judgment enforceable by execution. to appeal from the challenged order of execution which generally cannot issue a writ of execution. if . execution of a valid and final judgment. as such.) effects of the execution order. Rule 88). petitioners could no longer wait for the resolution of their those are the only instances when it can issue a writ of execution. 6. at the time petitioner PASTOR. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 69 The above provision clearly authorizes execution to enforce payment other hand. Consequently. 13. JR. SR. but to order the execution of a final order (which is not even WHEREFORE. recourse to certiorari was the feasible remedy. SO ORDERED. JR. is inapplicable. there are circumstances in the instant case which justify the remedy applied for. Rule 90). No. The Order of execution issued by the probate Court dated utter disregard of existing rules and law. states against requiring her to go through the cumbersome procedure of asking for leave to intervene in the probate proceedings to enable her. Under the circumstances. The probate court. she could not appeal from the Order of execution issued by the Probate Court. probate court may issue execution (a) to satisfy (debts of the estate out of) the contributive shares of devisees. 1972. certiorari will lie to abate the order of execution. appeal was not available to him since his motion expenses of partition (Sec. (e) Aside from the propriety of resorting to certiorari to assail an order of execution which varies the terms of the judgment sought to be executed or does not find support in the dispositive part of the latter. to intervene. ELENA ACHAVAL DE PASTOR.. 108. Rule 142) the Probate Court.. the urgency of the of debts of estate. SP-11373- meant to be executed) by reading into it terms that are not there and in R is reversed. But in the face of actual garnishment of their major may mean. Petitioner MA. and this case is remanded to the appropriate Regional of execution is issued with grave abuse of discretion or is at variance with Trial Court for proper proceedings.. and was not a party to the probate proceedings. the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G. (d) It is within a court's competence to order the execution of a final judgment. de motion for reconsideration. SR. SCRA 172). 3. 274-R. (b) to enforce payment of the with the Court of Appeals. there is merit in the petitioners' contention that the probate court leave is granted. 92 in Civil Case No. Honorable Gonzales. A legacy is not a debt of the estate. On the . indeed. She could not have intervened the necessity of resorting to a writ of execution. that source of income. Ofilada. She is not an heir of PASTOR. legatees are relief she and her co-petitioner husband seek in the petition for certiorari among those against whom execution is authorized to be issued.

74695 September 14. read the same aloud in the his last will and codicil were executed. The appellate court then Meanwhile. Cruz. that the testator was insane or otherwise mentally incapacitated to make a will at the time of its execution due to senility and BELLOSILLO. JR. or influence of fear and threats. petitioner. First Division (Civil Cases). RINO. RAMON G. there was on 9 December 1977. CESAR ALVARADO. The latter four followed the reading with their own respective copies documents were read aloud to the testator with each of the three previously furnished them. J. in turn. LEONOR INES LUCIANO. of Siniloan. 5Petitioner. the 79-year old Brigido Alvarado executed a notarial which an appeal was made to respondent court. the testator did not personally read the final draft of the Deceased Brigido Alvarado. 1993 testator's eye operation. codicil. and in the presence of the three instrumental witnesses (same as those of HON. filed an Opposition on the following grounds: Bayani Ma. HON. that the signature of the testator was procured Appeals. Instead. which affirmed the Order dated 27 June 1983 2 of the Regional by fraud or trick. When the oppositor (petitioner) failed to substantiate the grounds relied upon in the Opposition. Associate Justices. and lastly. and BAYANI MA.: old age. respondents. the testator did not On 11 April 1986. the Court of First Instance. it was private respondent who read it aloud in his presence vs. as the with the following findings: that Brigido Alvarado was not blind at the time lawyer who drafted the eight-paged document. The main thrust of the will entitled "Huling Habilin" wherein he disinherited an illegitimate son appeal was that the deceased was blind within the meaning of the law at (petitioner) and expressly revoked a previously executed holographic will at the time his "Huling Habilin" and the codicil attached thereto was executed. that the will was executed under duress. the time awaiting probate before Branch 4 of the Regional Trial Court of that since the reading required by Art. GAVIOLA. a codicil entitled substantial compliance since its purpose of making known to the testator "Kasulatan ng Pagbabago sa Ilang Pagpapasiya na Nasasaad sa Huling the contents of the drafted will was served. Redor for petitioner. Brigido was then suffering from glaucoma. the notarial will) and the notary public who followed the reading using their ROSARIO QUETULIO LOSA and HON. the Court of Appeals rendered the decision under review read the final draft of the will himself. Presiding Justice. Cruz. now Court of testator's estate. that the will sought to be probated was not executed and attested as required by law. Habilin na may Petsa Nobiembre 5. probate of the deceased's last will and codicil should have been denied. 808 was not followed to the letter.R. not complied with. A petition for the probate of the notarial will and codicil was filed upon the testator's death on 3 January 1979 by private respondent as executor with Vicente R. As in the case of In the Matter of the Probate of the Last Will and Testament of the the notarial will. Instead. private respondent. Laguna. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 70 G. a Probate Order was issued on 27 June 1983 from On 5 November 1977. Laguna. instrumental witnesses and the notary public following the reading with their respective copies of the instruments. MA. Rino for and in his own behalf. that assuming his blindness. that it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence Before us is an appeal from the Decision dated 11 April 1986 1 of the First on the part of the beneficiary who stands to get the lion's share of the Civil Cases Division of the then Intermediate Appellate Court. the presence of the testator. Trial Court of Sta. own copies. Intermediate Appellate Court. the notary public and by private respondent who were present at the execution. now Regional Trial Court. Brigido's holographic will was subsequently admitted to probate concluded that although Art. As testified to by the three instrumental witnesses. No. But the disinheritance and revocatory clauses were unchanged.. 808 was substantially complied with when both public. 1977 ni Brigido Alvarado" was executed changing some dispositions in the notarial will to generate cash for the . 808 of the Civil Code was admittedly sta. the three instrumental witnesses and the notary reading requirement of Art. On the 29th day of the same month. Laguna. admitting to probate the last will and testament 3 with codicil 4 of the late Brigido Alvarado.

contrary to the medical testimony. that Brigido did not do probate of the latter's will and codicil should have been disallowed. Director of the Institute of Opthalmology (Philippine Eye Research shall be read twice. 8 That Art. 808 need not be complied with. 808 which reads: drafts of his will and codicil on the separate occasions of their execution due to his "poor. 808. the fact instrumental witness read the contents of the will and codicil to Brigido. petitioner presented before the trial court a medical certificate issued by Dr. is to make known to the incapacitated testator the contents of the Roasa explained that although the testator could visualize fingers at three document before signing and to give him an opportunity to object if (3) feet. there is no dispute on the following facts: Brigido Alvarado was not totally blind at the time the will and codicil were The rationale behind the requirement of reading the will to the testator if he executed. However. to consider Petitioner contends that although his father was not totally blind when the his will as validly executed and entitled to probate. was the double-reading requirement of said article complied with? The following pronouncement in Garcia vs." Since Brigido Alvarado was incapable of reading the final Brigido as a "blind" testator under Art. the court a requires." "defective. again. Article 808 requires that in case of testators like Brigido Alvarado. If the testator is blind. whom the will is acknowledged. executed? If so. for us but to conclude that Brigido Alvarado comes within the scope of the by one of the subscribing witnesses. by the notary public before whom the will was acknowledged. remains and this was testified to by his witnesses. Instead of the notary On the other hand. 14 December 1977. not twice as Art. the term as it is used in Art." 11 or "blurred" 12 vision making it purpose of Art. are "incapable of reading The point of dispute is whether the foregoing circumstances would qualify the(ir) will(s). . the will shall be read to him twice. 808. 808. to wit: Regarding the first issue. Salvador R. Hence. but also to those who. . is three (3) feet" by reason of the glaucoma which he had been suffering from to make the provisions thereof known to him. by the notary public before term "blind" as it is used in Art. so that he may be able to for several years and even prior to his first consultation with an eye object if they are not in accordance with his wishes . petitioner maintains that the only valid compliance or compliance to Regardless of respondent's staunch contention that the testator was still the letter and since it is admitted that neither the notary public nor an capable of reading at the time his will and codicil were prepared. quo concluded that Art. Institute). 808. he can be so considered within the scope of ascertain whether Art. Vasquez 13 provides an insight into the scope of the term "blindness" as used in Art. and again. once. his vision on both eyes was only of "counting fingers at is blind or incapable of reading the will himself (as when he is illiterate). he had no way of ascertaining whether or not the lawyer who drafted the will and codicil did so confortably with his instructions. he could no longer read either printed or handwritten matters as of anything is contrary to his instructions. and read them only once. On the other hand. 808 the testator was still capable of reading at that time." or "blurred" vision. it was the lawyer (private respondent) held that the testator could still read on the day the will and the codicil who drafted the eight-paged will and the five-paged codicil who read the were executed but chose not to do so because of "poor eyesight." 9 Since same aloud to the testator. it is essential that we will and codicil were executed. whose expertise was admitted by private respondent. once. and that the single reading suffices for purposes of the law. 7 Dr. specialist on Clear from the foregoing is that Art. for one reason or another. To support his stand. the day of his first consultation. 6 the contents of which were interpreted in layman's terms by Dr. 808 applies not only to blind testators 14 December 1977. the Court of Appeals. The purpose Ruperto Roasa." 10 "defective. . there can be no other course Art. 808 was not followed strictly is beyond cavil. public and an instrumental witness. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 71 The issues now before us can be stated thus: Was Brigido Alvarado blind for so because of his "poor. Private respondent however insists that there was substantial compliance We agree with petitioner in this respect. 808 at the time his "Huling Habilin" and its codicil were necessary for private respondent to do the actual reading for him. 808 had been complied with. Unless the contents were read to him. by one of the instrumental witnesses and. the will Salceda.

Atty. on the subject should be interpreted in such a way as to attain these Only then did the signing and acknowledgement take place. also one must not lose sight of the evidence. To reiterate. the petition must be The spirit behind the law was served though the letter was not. had already been accomplished. that the contents read corresponded with his instructions. Brigido answered in the affirmative. Abangan. Atty. 15 unwilling to cast these aside fro the mere reason that a legal requirement intended for his protection was not followed strictly when such compliance Moreover. The uncontradicted testimony of the testator's will. Although denied. So when an interpretation already given assures On the contrary. the reason when taken into account. private respondent read the testator's will and codicil The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close aloud in the presence of the testator. Considering following the reading word for word with their own copies. Ranieses) being known to him since childhood. Nonia de la Pena (the notary public) and Dr. him (those which he affirmed were in accordance with his instructions). i. But. SPECPRO| RULE 75| 72 We sustain private respondent's stand and necessarily. and petitioner does not so allege. 16 With four persons respondent Court of Appeals dated 11 April 1986 is AFFIRMED. Rino went to the testator's residence precisely for the terms in his "Huling Habilin" and the codicil attached thereto. his three instrumental witnesses. Evidente) and another (Potenciano C. There is no primordial ends. draft of his will. on the other hand. the testator affirmed. . that adds nothing but execution was not the first time that Brigido had affirmed the truth and demands more requisites entirely unnecessary. Rino is that Brigido Alvarado already acknowledged that the will was drafted in accordance with his expressed wishes even prior to 5 November Brigido Alvarado had expressed his last wishes in clear and unmistakable 1977 when Atty. Prior and subsequent thereto. it was not only Atty. albeit silently. it can be safely the length of time that this case has remained pending. with respect to the "Huling Habilin. upon testaments and to guaranty their truth and authenticity. the right to make a will. to avoid the substitution of wills and the notary public.. Rino who read the documents on had been rendered unnecessary by the fact that the purpose of the 5 November and 29 December 1977.e. to make known to the incapacitated testator the contents of the instrumental witnesses likewise read the will and codicil. the formal imperfections This Court has held in a number of occasions that substantial compliance is should be brushed aside when they do not affect its purpose and which. we quote the privilege. 18 to wit: In the case at bar. compliance suffices where the purpose has been served. SO ORDERED. Crescente O. were the terms actually appearing on the typewritten documents. acceptable where the purpose of the law has been satisfied. the petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision of his own free will. useless and frustrative of authenticity of the contents of the draft. We are purpose of securing his conformity to the draft. The notary public and the three law. Costs against petitioner. any other interpretation whatsoever. must be disregarded (emphasis supplied)." the day of the such ends. one being his physician (Dr. substantial Afterwards. 14 following pronouncement in Abangan v. that the contents of the will and fact that it is not the object of the law to restrain and curtail the exercise of codicil were not sufficiently made known and communicated to the testator. Evidente (one of the three instrumental witnesses and the testator's physician) asked the testator whether the contents of the document were of WHEREFORE. 17 being that the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills are intended to protect the testator from all kinds of fraud and trickery but are never As a final word to convince petitioner of the propriety of the trial court's intended to be so rigid and inflexible as to destroy the testamentary Probate Order and its affirmance by the Court of Appeals. and the door against bad faith and fraud. Therefore the laws being asked. This is especially true when we consider the fact that the three instrumental witnesses were persons known to the testator. may only defeat the testator's will. this decision is concluded that the testator was reasonably assured that what was read to immediately executory. there should be strict compliance with the substantial requirements of the law in order to insure the authenticity of the will.