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G.R. No.

184528 April 25, 2012 Thereafter, the (petitioner) presented his evidence which consists of his testimony, and that
of his sister Gianina Oropesa Bennett, and the (respondents) former nurse, Ms. Alma
NILO OROPESA vs. CIRILO OROPESA Altaya.

This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure After presenting evidence, the (petitioner) filed a manifestation dated May 29, 2006 resting
of the Decision1 dated February 29, 2008, as well as the Resolution 2 dated September 16, his case. The (petitioner) failed to file his written formal offer of evidence.
2008, both rendered by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 88449, entitled "NILO
OROPESA vs. CIRILO OROPESA." The Court of Appeals issuances affirmed the Thus, the (respondent) filed his "Omnibus Motion (1) to Declare the petitioner to have
Order3 dated September 27, 2006 and the Order 4 dated November 14, 2006 issued by the waived the presentation of his Offer of Exhibits and the presentation of his Evidence Closed
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Paraaque City, Branch 260 in SP. Proc. Case No. 04-0016, since they were not formally offered; (2) To Expunge the Documents of the Petitioner from
which dismissed petitioner Nilo Oropesas petition for guardianship over the properties of his the Record; and (3) To Grant leave to the Oppositor to File Demurrer to Evidence.
father, respondent Cirilo Oropesa (a widower), and denied petitioners motion for
reconsideration thereof, respectively. In an Order dated July 14, 2006, the court a quo granted the (respondents) Omnibus
Motion. Thereafter, the (respondent) then filed his Demurrer to Evidence dated July 23,
The facts of this case, as summed in the assailed Decision, follow: 2006.5 (Citations omitted.)

On January 23, 2004, the (petitioner) filed with the Regional Trial Court of Paraaque City, a The trial court granted respondents demurrer to evidence in an Order dated September 27,
petition for him and a certain Ms. Louie Ginez to be appointed as guardians over the 2006. The dispositive portion of which reads:
property of his father, the (respondent) Cirilo Oropesa. The case was docketed as SP Proc.
No. 04-0016 and raffled off to Branch 260. WHEREFORE, considering that the petitioner has failed to provide sufficient evidence to
establish that Gen. Cirilo O. Oropesa is incompetent to run his personal affairs and to
In the said petition, it is alleged among others that the (respondent) has been afflicted with administer his properties, Oppositors Demurrer to Evidence is GRANTED, and the case is
several maladies and has been sickly for over ten (10) years already having suffered a DISMISSED.6
stroke on April 1, 2003 and June 1, 2003, that his judgment and memory [were] impaired
and such has been evident after his hospitalization; that even before his stroke, the Petitioner moved for reconsideration but this was denied by the trial court in an Order dated
(respondent) was observed to have had lapses in memory and judgment, showing signs of November 14, 2006, the dispositive portion of which states:
failure to manage his property properly; that due to his age and medical condition, he
cannot, without outside aid, manage his property wisely, and has become an easy prey for
WHEREFORE, considering that the Court record shows that petitioner-movant has failed to
deceit and exploitation by people around him, particularly Ms. Ma. Luisa Agamata, his
provide sufficient documentary and testimonial evidence to establish that Gen. Cirilo
girlfriend.
Oropesa is incompetent to run his personal affairs and to administer his properties, the
Court hereby affirms its earlier Order dated 27 September 2006.
In an Order dated January 29, 2004, the presiding judge of the court a quo set the case for
hearing, and directed the court social worker to conduct a social case study and submit a
Accordingly, petitioners Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED for lack of merit.7
report thereon.

Unperturbed, petitioner elevated the case to the Court of Appeals but his appeal was
Pursuant to the abovementioned order, the Court Social Worker conducted her social case
dismissed through the now assailed Decision dated February 29, 2008, the dispositive
study, interviewing the (petitioner) and his witnesses. The Court Social Worker subsequently
portion of which reads:
submitted her report but without any finding on the (respondent) who refused to see and talk
to the social worker.
WHEREFORE, premises considered the instant appeal is DISMISSED. The assailed orders
of the court a quo dated September 27, 2006 and November 14, 2006 are AFFIRMED.8
On July 6, 2004, the (respondent) filed his Opposition to the petition for guardianship. On
August 3, 2004, the (respondent) filed his Supplemental Opposition.
A motion for reconsideration was filed by petitioner but this was denied by the Court of
Appeals in the similarly assailed Resolution dated September 16, 2008. Hence, the instant
petition was filed.
Petitioner submits the following question for consideration by this Court: In support of his contention that respondent is incompetent and, therefore, should be placed
in guardianship, petitioner raises in his Memorandum13 the following factual matters:
WHETHER RESPONDENT IS CONSIDERED AN "INCOMPETENT" PERSON AS
DEFINED UNDER SECTION 2, RULE 92 OF THE RULES OF COURT WHO SHOULD BE a. Respondent has been afflicted with several maladies and has been sickly for
PLACED UNDER GUARDIANSHIP9 over ten (10) years already;

After considering the evidence and pleadings on record, we find the petition to be without b. During the time that respondent was hospitalized at the St. Lukes Medical
merit. Center after his stroke, he purportedly requested one of his former colleagues who
was visiting him to file a loan application with the Armed Forces of the Philippines
Petitioner comes before the Court arguing that the assailed rulings of the Court of Appeals Savings and Loan Association, Inc. (AFPSLAI) for payment of his hospital bills,
should be set aside as it allegedly committed grave and reversible error when it affirmed the when, as far as his children knew, he had substantial amounts of money in various
erroneous decision of the trial court which purportedly disregarded the overwhelming banks sufficient to cover his medical expenses;
evidence presented by him showing respondents incompetence.
c. Respondents residence allegedly has been left dilapidated due to lack of care
In Francisco v. Court of Appeals,10 we laid out the nature and purpose of guardianship in the and management;
following wise:
d. The realty taxes for respondents various properties remain unpaid and therefore
A guardianship is a trust relation of the most sacred character, in which one person, called a petitioner and his sister were supposedly compelled to pay the necessary taxes;
"guardian" acts for another called the "ward" whom the law regards as incapable of
managing his own affairs. A guardianship is designed to further the wards well-being, not e. Respondent allegedly instructed petitioner to sell his Nissan Exalta car for the
that of the guardian. It is intended to preserve the wards property, as well as to render any reason that the former would be purchasing another vehicle, but when the car had
assistance that the ward may personally require. It has been stated that while custody been sold, respondent did not procure another vehicle and refused to account for
involves immediate care and control, guardianship indicates not only those responsibilities, the money earned from the sale of the old car;
but those of one in loco parentis as well.11
f. Respondent withdrew at least $75,000.00 from a joint account under his name
In a guardianship proceeding, a court may appoint a qualified guardian if the prospective and his daughters without the latters knowledge or consent;
ward is proven to be a minor or an incompetent.
g. There was purportedly one occasion where respondent took a kitchen knife to
A reading of Section 2, Rule 92 of the Rules of Court tells us that persons who, though of stab himself upon the "orders" of his girlfriend during one of their fights;
sound mind but by reason of age, disease, weak mind or other similar causes, are
incapable of taking care of themselves and their property without outside aid are considered h. Respondent continuously allows his girlfriend to ransack his house of groceries
as incompetents who may properly be placed under guardianship. The full text of the said and furniture, despite protests from his children.14
provision reads:
Respondent denied the allegations made by petitioner and cited petitioners lack of material
Sec. 2. Meaning of the word "incompetent." Under this rule, the word "incompetent" evidence to support his claims. According to respondent, petitioner did not present any
includes persons suffering the penalty of civil interdiction or who are hospitalized lepers, relevant documentary or testimonial evidence that would attest to the veracity of his
prodigals, deaf and dumb who are unable to read and write, those who are of unsound assertion that respondent is incompetent largely due to his alleged deteriorating medical
mind, even though they have lucid intervals, and persons not being of unsound mind, but by and mental condition. In fact, respondent points out that the only medical document
reason of age, disease, weak mind, and other similar causes, cannot, without outside aid, presented by petitioner proves that he is indeed competent to run his personal affairs and
take care of themselves and manage their property, becoming thereby an easy prey for administer his properties. Portions of the said document, entitled "Report of
deceit and exploitation. Neuropsychological Screening,"15 were quoted by respondent in his Memorandum16 to
illustrate that said report in fact favored respondents claim of competence, to wit:
We have held in the past that a "finding that a person is incompetent should be anchored on
clear, positive and definite evidence."12 We consider that evidentiary standard unchanged
and, thus, must be applied in the case at bar.
General Oropesa spoke fluently in English and Filipino, he enjoyed and participated The Court noted the absence of any testimony of a medical expert which states that Gen.
meaningfully in conversations and could be quite elaborate in his responses on many of the Cirilo O. Oropesa does not have the mental, emotional, and physical capacity to manage his
test items. He spoke in a clear voice and his articulation was generally comprehensible. x x own affairs. On the contrary, Oppositors evidence includes a Neuropsychological Screening
Report which states that Gen. Oropesa, (1) performs on the average range in most of the
General Oropesa performed in the average range on most of the domains that were tested. domains that were tested; (2) is capable of mental calculations; and (3) can provide
He was able to correctly perform mental calculations and keep track of number sequences solutions to problem situations. The Report concludes that Gen. Oropesa possesses intact
on a task of attention. He did BEST in visuo-constructional tasks where he had to copy cognitive functioning, except for mildly impaired abilities in memory, reasoning and
geometrical designs using tiles. Likewise, he was able to render and read the correct time orientation. It is the observation of the Court that oppositor is still sharp, alert and
on the Clock Drawing Test. able.19 (Citation omitted; emphasis supplied.)

x x x Reasoning abilities were generally intact as he was able to suggest effective solutions It is axiomatic that, as a general rule, "only questions of law may be raised in a petition for
to problem situations. x x x. review on certiorari because the Court is not a trier of facts." 20 We only take cognizance of
questions of fact in certain exceptional circumstances;21 however, we find them to be absent
in the instant case. It is also long settled that "factual findings of the trial court, when
With the failure of petitioner to formally offer his documentary evidence, his proof of his
affirmed by the Court of Appeals, will not be disturbed by this Court. As a rule, such findings
fathers incompetence consisted purely of testimonies given by himself and his sister (who
by the lower courts are entitled to great weight and respect, and are deemed final and
were claiming interest in their fathers real and personal properties) and their fathers former
conclusive on this Court when supported by the evidence on record."22 We therefore adopt
caregiver (who admitted to be acting under their direction). These testimonies, which did not
the factual findings of the lower court and the Court of Appeals and rule that the grant of
include any expert medical testimony, were insufficient to convince the trial court of
respondents demurrer to evidence was proper under the circumstances obtaining in the
petitioners cause of action and instead lead it to grant the demurrer to evidence that was
case at bar.
filed by respondent.

Section 1, Rule 33 of the Rules of Court provides:


Even if we were to overlook petitioners procedural lapse in failing to make a formal offer of
evidence, his documentary proof were comprised mainly of certificates of title over real
properties registered in his, his fathers and his sisters names as co-owners, tax Section 1. Demurrer to evidence. After the plaintiff has completed the presentation of his
declarations, and receipts showing payment of real estate taxes on their co-owned evidence, the defendant may move for dismissal on the ground that upon the facts and the
properties, which do not in any way relate to his fathers alleged incapacity to make law the plaintiff has shown no right to relief. If his motion is denied, he shall have the right to
decisions for himself. The only medical document on record is the aforementioned "Report present evidence. If the motion is granted but on appeal the order of dismissal is reversed
of Neuropsychological Screening" which was attached to the petition for guardianship but he shall be deemed to have waived the right to present evidence.
was never identified by any witness nor offered as evidence. In any event, the said report,
as mentioned earlier, was ambivalent at best, for although the report had negative findings A demurrer to evidence is defined as "an objection by one of the parties in an action, to the
regarding memory lapses on the part of respondent, it also contained findings that effect that the evidence which his adversary produced is insufficient in point of law, whether
supported the view that respondent on the average was indeed competent. true or not, to make out a case or sustain the issue."23 We have also held that a demurrer to
evidence "authorizes a judgment on the merits of the case without the defendant having to
In an analogous guardianship case wherein the soundness of mind of the proposed ward submit evidence on his part, as he would ordinarily have to do, if plaintiffs evidence shows
was at issue, we had the occasion to rule that "where the sanity of a person is at issue, that he is not entitled to the relief sought."241wphi1
expert opinion is not necessary [and that] the observations of the trial judge coupled with
evidence establishing the persons state of mental sanity will suffice."18 There was no error on the part of the trial court when it dismissed the petition for
guardianship without first requiring respondent to present his evidence precisely because
Thus, it is significant that in its Order dated November 14, 2006 which denied petitioners the effect of granting a demurrer to evidence other than dismissing a cause of action is,
motion for reconsideration on the trial courts unfavorable September 27, 2006 ruling, the evidently, to preclude a defendant from presenting his evidence since, upon the facts and
trial court highlighted the fatal role that petitioners own documentary evidence played in the law, the plaintiff has shown no right to relief.
disproving its case and, likewise, the trial court made known its own observation of
respondents physical and mental state, to wit: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby DENIED. The assailed Decision
dated February 29, 2008 as well as the Resolution dated September 16, 2008 of the Court
of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 88449 are AFFIRMED.
[ G.R. No. L-57438, January 31, 1984 ]

OROPESA VS OROPESA GR No 184528 25 April 2012 FELICIANO FRANCISCO VS. HON COURT OF APPEALS AND PELAGIO FRANCISCO

Posted by Rachel Chan in Case Digests, Remedial Law Review 2 Leave a comment This petition for review on certiorari seeks the annulment of the decision and resolution of
the defunct Court of Appeals, now Intermediate Appellate Court, dated April 27, 1981 and
Facts: This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Decision rendered by June 26, 1981, respectively, dismissing the petition for certiorari filed by petitioner Feliciano
the CA affirming the Order of the RTC in a Special Proceedings which dismissed Nilo Francisco docketed as CA-G.R. No. 12172 entitled "Feliciano Francisco versus Judge
Oropesas, peitioner, petition for guardianship over the properties of his father, respondent, Jesus R. De Vega and Pelagio Francisco." In the said petition for certiorari, petitioner
Cirilo Oropesa. Feliciano Francisco challenged the validity of the Order of the Court of First Instance of
Bulacan, Fifth Judicial District, Branch II, now Regional Trial Court, granting execution
pending appeal of its decision by relieving petitioner Feliciano Francisco as guardian of
Petitioner filed with the RTC of Paraaque City, a petition for him and a certain Ms. Louie incompetent Estefania San Pedro and appointing respondent herein, Pelagio Francisco, in
Ginez to be appointed as guardians over the property of his father, respondent, Cirilo his stead.
Oropesa.
The antecedent facts as recited in the appealed decision of the Court of Appeals showed
In said petition, petitioner alleged that respondent has been afflicted with several maladies that:
and has been sickly for over 10 years already having suffered a stroke, that his judgment
"Petitioner is the duly appointed guardian of the incompetent Estefania San Pedro in
and memory were impaired and such has been evident after his hospitalization. That due to
Special Proceedings No. 532 of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan presided over by
his age and medical condition, he cannot, without outside aid, manage his property wisely,
respondent Judge. On August 30, 1974 respondent Pelagio Francisco, claiming to be a first
and has become easy prey for deceit and exploitation by people around him, particularly his
cousin of Estefania San Pedro, together with two others, said to be nieces of the
girlfriend, Ms. Luisa Agamata.
incompetent, petitioned the court for the removal of petitioner and for the appointment in his
Respondent filed his Opposition to the petition for guardianship filed by his (ever caring and stead of respondent Pelagio Francisco. Among other grounds, the petition was based on the
loving) son. failure of the guardian to submit an inventory of the estate of his ward and to render an
accounting.
During trial, petitioner presented his evidence which consists of his, his sister, and
respondents former nurses testimony. "It would seem that petitioner subsequently rendered an accounting but failed to submit an
inventory, for which reason the court on March 20, 1975 gave petitioner ten (10) days within
After presenting evidence, petitioner rested his case but failed to file his written formal offer which to do so, otherwise he would be removed from guardianship. Petitioner thereafter
of evidence. submitted an inventory to which respondent Pelagio Francisco filed an objection on the
ground that petitioner actually received P14,000.00 for the sale of a residential land and not
Respondent, thereafter, filed his Omnibus Motion to declare that petitioner has waived the P12,000.00 only as stated in the deed of sale and reported by him in his inventory. The
presentation of his Offer of Exhibits and Evidence since they were not formally offered; To respondent Judge found the claim to be true, and, in his order of April 17, 1980 relieved the
expunge the documents of the petitioner from records; and to grant leave to the Oppositor petitioner as guardian.
to file Demurrer to Evid. A subsequent Demurrer was filed and was granted.
"On motion of petitioner, however, the respondent Judge reconsidered his finding, relying on
MR was filed by petitioner and appealed the case to CA; failed, now to the SC. the deed of sale as the best evidence of the price paid for the sale of the land. In his order
dated September 12, 1980, respondent Judge acknowledged that his finding was 'rather
harsh and somewhat unfair to the said guardian.' Nevertheless, respondent Judge ordered
Issue: Whether respondent is considered incompetent as per the Rules who should be the retirement of petitioner on the ground of old age. The order states in part as follows:
placed under guardianship?
'...considering the rather advanced age of the present guardian, this Court is inclined and so
Decision: No.The only medical document on record is the Report of Neuropsychological decrees, that he should nevertheless be, as he is hereby, retired to take effect upon the
Screening. Said report, was ambivalent at best, although had negative findings regarding appointment by this court and the assumption of office of his replacement, who shall be
memory lapses on the part of respondent, it also contained finding that supported the view taken from the recommendees of the parties herein. For this purpose, the present guardian
that respondent on the average was indeed competent. is hereby given twenty (20) days from receipt of a copy of this order within which to submit
his proposal for a replacement for himself and to comment on petitioner's recommendee,
add the latter a like period within which to comment on the present guardian's proposed
substitute, after which the matter will be deemed submitted for resolution and final action by "The Rules of Court authorizes executions pending appeal 'upon good reasons to be stated
the court: in a special order.' (Rule 39, Sec. 2). In the case at bar, the retirement of petitioner was
ordered on the ground of old age. When this ground is considered in relation to the delay of
'SO ORDERED.' the petitioner in the making of an accounting and the submission of an inventory, the order
amounts to a finding that petitioner, considering his 'rather advanced age,' was no longer
capable of managing the estate of his ward. (Rule 97, Sec. 2). Given this finding, it is clear
"Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, contending that he was only 72 years of age that petitioner's continuance in office would not be in the best interest of the ward.
and still fit to continue with the management of the estate of his ward as he had done with
"It is of course true that the order of removal is not yet final. Considering the time it normally
zeal for the past twelve years. In an order dated November 13, 1980 the court denied his
takes for appeals to be finally determined, as well as the purpose of the order under appeal,
motion. Accordingly, on December 17, 1980, petitioner filed a notice of appeal 'from the
which would be frustrated if it is not immediately executed, we cannot say that respondent
order issued by the court on November 13, 1980' and paid the appeal bond. On February 2,
acted with grave and irreparable damage and that the order of September 12, 1980 is not
1981 he filed the record on appeal.
yet final, petitioner has not demonstrated that in ordering execution pending appeal, the
"Meanwhile, on January 27, 1981, the court, on motion of private respondent, required respondent Judge committed a grave abuse of discretion.
petitioner to submit within three days his nomination for guardian of Estefania San Pedro as
"Indeed, the granting of execution pending appeal lies within the sound discretion of a court.
required in its order of September 12, 1980. In issuing the order, the court stated that 'an
Appellate courts will not interfere to modify, control or inquire into the exercise of this
indefinite discontinuance in office would defeat the intent and purpose of the said order of
discretion, unless it be shown that there has been an abuse of that discretion. (2 Moran,
September 12, 1980 relieving the present guardian.'
Comments on the Rules of Court, 260 (1979).
"Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied. Hence, this petition. (referring to CA-
G.R. No. SP-1217)"
"WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is DISMISSED, without pronouncement as to
On December 5, 1980, before the appeal was perfected, Pelagio Francisco filed an
costs.
"Omnibus Motion" with the court a quo with the prayer (1) to restrain guardian from
exercising office; (2) order guardian to surrender to court all properties of the ward; and "SO ORDERED."
appoint new guardian.
Petitioner subsequently filed another motion for reconsideration advancing the following
Petitioner, on December 9, 1980 filed his opposition to the omnibus motion claiming that the arguments: that to grant execution pending appeal would render petitioner's appeal moot
same was premature.[3] The trial court, however, disregarded the opposition and required and academic; that "advanced age" was not one of the grounds raised by private
petitioner on January 27, 1981 to submit within three (3) days his nomination for guardian of respondent in the court below; that the court a quo abused its discretion in appointing
Estefania San Pedro as required in its order of September 12, 1980, the court holding that respondent as guardian despite the fact that private respondent is five (5) years older than
"an indefinite continuance in office would defeat the intent and purpose of the said order of petitioner.
September 12, 1980, relieving the present guardian."
The respondent appellate court, in its resolution dated June 26, 1981, denied petitioner's
Petitioner moved for reconsideration of the said order,[5] but the trial court overruled the motion for reconsideration, the court finding it unnecessary to repeat the discussion of the
same on March 4, 1981.[6] Subsequently, on March 11, 1981, the court a quo appointed arguments which it had already considered and only entertained the argument regarding the
respondent Pelagio Francisco as the new guardian of the person and property of the competency of the respondent as the new guardian. On this point, respondent Court ruled:
incompetent Estefania San Pedro.
"The order of March 11, 1981 appointing respondent Francisco as guardian was never
On March 13, 1981, petitioner filed with the defunct Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari assailed in the petition in this case. As already stated, this case concerns the validity only of
challenging the validity of the order of the trial court granting the execution pending appeal the orders of January 27, 1981 and March 4, 1981 which required petitioner to recommend
of its decision and appointing respondent Pelagio Francisco as the new guardian despite his own replacement, otherwise the court would appoint a new guardian. It does not appear
the fact that respondent is five (5) years older than petitioner, docketed as CA-G.R. No. that petitioner objected to the appointment of respondent Francisco on the ground now
12172. invoked, namely, that Francisco is in fact older than petitioner. Nor does it appear that
petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the order of March 11, 1981, calling attention
The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition on April 23, 1981, the pertinent portion of its
to the fact that respondent Francisco is older than petitioner. In short, the point now raised
decision reading as follows:
does not appear to have been urged in the lower court so that the latter could have rectified
the error, if it was error at all. For this reason, it is not proper ground for certiorari before this Considering the difficult and complicated responsibilities and duties of a guardian, We
Court, much less for a motion for reconsideration. sustain the immediate retirement of petitioner Feliciano Francisco as guardian affirming
thereby the rulings of both the trial court and the appellate court.
"WHEREFORE, the motion for reconsideration is DENIED for lack of merit.
With respect to the issue of execution pending appeal in appointing respondent Pelagio
"SO ORDERED." Francisco as guardian to succeed petitioner while the latter's appeal was still pending, We
hold and rule that respondent appellate court correctly sustained the propriety of said
In the petition at bar, petitioner contends that (a) The Honorable Court of Appeals has
execution pending appeal. Upon urgent and compelling reasons, execution pending appeal
committed grave abuse of discretion in holding that the removal of petitioner as guardian of
is a matter of sound discretion on the part of the trial court,[17] and the appellate court will
the ward Estefania San Pedro on the ground of old age is a good ground for the execution
not interfere, control or inquire into the exercise of this discretion, unless there has been an
of the decision pending appeal; and (b) The Honorable Court of Appeals committed grave
abuse thereof, which We find none herein.
misapprehension and misinterpretation of facts when it declared that petitioner did not
question the appointment of private respondent as guardian in his stead on the ground that Inasmuch as the primary objective for the institution of guardianship is for the protection of
the latter is older than the former by five (5) years. the ward, there is more than sufficient reason for the immediate execution of the lower
court's judgment for the replacement of the first guardian. We agree with the reason given
A guardianship is a trust relation of the most sacred character, in which one person, called a
by the appellate court in sustaining execution pending appeal that "an indefinite continuance
"guardian" acts for another called the "ward" whom the law regards as incapable of
in office would defeat the intent and purpose of the order of September 12, 1980, relieving
managing his own affairs.[11] A guardianship is designed to further the ward's well-being,
the present guardian (Feliciano Francisco)."
not that of the guardian. It is intended to preserve the ward's property, as well as to render
any assistance that the ward may personally require. It has been stated that while custody As to the issue concerning the appointment of respondent Pelagio Francisco as the new
involves immediate care and control, guardianship indicates not only those responsibilities, guardian, We likewise agree with the respondent appellate court in denying in its resolution
but those of one in loco parentis as well. of June 26, 1981 for lack of merit the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner
questioning the appointment of private respondent Pelagio Francisco. We also find no
abuse of discretion committed by the appellate court.
Having in mind that guardianship proceeding is instituted for the benefit and welfare of the
The rule is well-established that appellate courts may not entertain issues brought before it
ward, the selection of a guardian must, therefore, suit this very purpose. Thus, in
for the first time on appeal. (Jose Matienzo vs. Martin Servidad, 107 SCRA 276; Garcian vs.
determining the selection of a guardian, the court may consider the financial situation, the
Court of Appeals, 102 SCRA 597; Director of Lands vs. Dano, 96 SCRA 160).
physical condition, the sound judgment, prudence and trustworthiness, the morals,
character and conduct, and the present and past history of a prospective appointee, as well WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the assailed decision and resolution of the
as the probability of his being able to exercise the powers and duties of guardian for the full respondent court dated April 27, 1981 and June 26, 1981, respectively, are hereby
period during which guardianship will be necessary. AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.
A guardian is or becomes incompetent to serve the trust if he is so disqualified by mental
incapacity, conviction of crime, moral delinquency or physical disability as to be prevented
from properly discharging the duties of his office.[14] A guardian, once appointed may be FELICIANO FRANCISCO vs. CA G.R. No. L-57438 January 31, 1984
removed in case he becomes insane or otherwise incapable of discharging his trust or
unsuitable therefor, or has wasted or mismanaged the estate, or failed for thirty (30) days FACTS:
after it is due to render an account or make a return.
Feliciano Francisco (Feliciano) is the duly appointed guardian of the incompetent
We agree with the trial court and the appellate court that there is need far petitioner Estefania San Pedro (Estefania) in Special Proceedings No. 532 of CFI Bulacan presided
Feliciano Francisco to be retired from the guardianship over the person and property of over by respondent Judge. On August 30, 1974 Pelagio Francisco (Pelagio), claiming to
incompetent Estefania San Pedro. The conclusion reached by the trial court about the be a first cousin of Estefania, petitioned the court for the removal of Feliciano and for the
"rather advanced age" of petitioner at 72 years old (petitioner is now 76 years old) finding appointment in his stead. Among other grounds, the petition was based on the failure of the
him unfit to continue the trust cannot be disturbed. As correctly pointed out by the appellate guardian to submit an inventory of the estate of his ward and to render an accounting. The
court, this finds direct support in the delay of the accounting and inventory made by respondent judge found the claim to be true, ordered the retirement on the ground of old
petitioner. To sustain petitioner as guardian would, therefore, be detrimental to the ward. age. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, contending that he was still fit to continue
While age alone is not a controlling criterion in determining a person's fitness or qualification with the management of the estate of his ward but the court denied the motion. Hence, this
to be appointed or be retained as guardian, it may be a factor for consideration. petition.
ISSUE: may be removed in case he becomes insane or otherwise incapable of discharging his trust
or unsuitable therefor, or has wasted or mismanaged the estate, or failed for thirty (30) days
Whether the trial court is correct in ordering the retirement of petitioner on the ground of old after it is due to render an account or make a return.
age.
There is need for petitioner Feliciano Francisco to be retired from the guardianship over the
RULING: person and property of incompetent Estefania San Pedro. As correctly pointed out by the
appellate court, this finds direct support in the delay of the accounting and inventory made
YES. In determining the selection of a guardian, the court may consider the financial
by petitioner. To sustain petitioner as guardian would, therefore, be detrimental to the ward.
situation, the physical condition, the sound judgment, prudence and trustworthiness, the
While age alone is not a controlling criterion in determining a person's fitness or qualification
morals, character and conduct, and the present and past history of a prospective appointee,
to be appointed or be retained as guardian, it may be a factor for consideration.
as well as the probability of his being able to exercise the powers and duties of guardian for
the full period during which guardianship will be necessary. A guardian, once appointed