1. EMILIO NATIVIDAD vs.

BASILIA GABINO

Facts: The testator Salvador y Reyes contracted a valid and legal marriage with Anselma Nicasio, who died in
1868, leaving a daughter named Higinia who married Clemente Natividad. Higinia Salvador died in 1913, survived
by two children Emilio and Purificacion, both surnamed Natividad y Salvador. Tiburcio Salvador disposed of all his
property in the manner recorded in the will executed in legal form on November 9, 1914, instituting as sole heirs his
grandchildren Emilio and Purificacion, both surnamed Natividad y Salvador. In the sixth clause of this will the
testator left to Basilia Gabino the legacy mentioned therein. Literally, this clause is as follows:

I bequeath to Doña Basilia Gabino the ownership and dominion of the urban property, consisting of a
house and lot situated on Calle Lavezares of the said district of San Nicolas and designated by No. 520,
and in addition eleven meters by two meters of the lot designated by No. 419, situated on Calle Madrid.
This portion shall be taken from that part of the lot which is adjacent to the rear of said property No. 520. If
the said legatee should die, Lorenzo Salvador shall be obliged to deliver this house, together with the lot on
which it stands, to my grandson Emilio Natividad, upon payment by the latter to the former of the sum of
four thousand pesos (P4,000), Philippine currency.

The executor of the estate of the decedent is the decedent's own heir, Emilio Natividad, who in due season and by
counsel presented to the court for its approval a proposed partition of the property pertaining to the estate, setting
forth in the fourth basis the following relative to the legacy made to Basilia Gabino:

Summarizing the statements made in respect to this matter, we are of the opinion that the sixth clause
expresses in itself a right of usufruct, in favor of Doña Basilia Gabino, of the house at No. 520 Calle
Lavezares, and a general legacy in favor of Lorenzo Salvador of the sum of P4,000 whenever Basilia
should die; but that the ownership of the property upon which this right and legacy are established belongs
to the heir Emilio Natividad who, by the express will of the testator, had been made liable for these
encumbrances.

By a writing of August 5, 1915, counsel for the legatee Basilia Gabino opposed the approval of the proposed
partition with regard to the adjudication to the legatee of the usufruct only of the property at No. 520 Calle
Lavezares, claiming that said legatee ought to be recognized as entitled to the dominion and ownership of the
same. For this and the other reasons set forth, her counsel requested that the testamentary executor be ordered to
amend the fourth basis of the proposed partition in order that ownership and dominion, instead of usufruct only, of
said property be adjudicated to the objector-legatee, Basilia Gabino.

After proper legal steps had been taken and the written briefs of the parties and the schedule of the proposed
partition filed by the testamentary executor had been examined, the trial judge issued the order aforementioned.
Appeal was taken by counsel for the executor to this court, and a transcript of the record of the proceedings below
was forwarded to the clerk of this court.

Issue: What construction must be given to the above-quoted sixth clause of the will executed by Tiburcio Salvador?

Held: A person is entirely free to make his will in such manner as may best please him, provided the testamentary
provisions conform to law and meet its requirements. He may impose conditions, either with respect to the
institution of heirs or to the designation of legatees, and, when the conditions imposed upon the former or the latter
do not fall within the provisions of those articles of the Civil Code touching heirs and legatees, they shall be
governed by the rules therein prescribed for conditional obligations, (Civ. Code, arts. 790 and 791.)

In the sixth clause of the will executed by the decedent Tiburcio Salvador y Reyes, he bequeathed to Basilia
Gabino the ownership and dominion of the property therein specified as to its location and other circumstances, on
condition that if the legatee should die Lorenzo Salvador would be obliged, upon the payment of P4,000 by the
testator's grandson and heir Emilio Natividad, to hand over this property to the latter.

The condition imposed by the testator in the double legacy mentioned depends upon the happening of the event
constituting the condition, to wit, the death of the legatee Basilia Gabino, a perfectly legal condition according to
article 1114 of the Civil code, as it is not impossible of performance and is not contrary to law or public morals, as
provided in article 1116 of said code.

The moment the legatee Gabino dies the other legatee, Lorenzo Salvador, is obliged to deliver the property to the
heir Emilio Natividad who, in his turn and in exchange, must pay the legatee Salvador the sum of P4,000, thereby
fulfilling the double legacy contained in the said sixth clause of the will, the first of these legacies being the
voluntary reservation to Basilia Gabino of the ownership of the said house, and the second, the conditional legacy
of P4,000 to Lorenzo Salvador.

Making use of his right, the testator provided in his will that the dominion, that is, the ownership and possession of
his house situated on Calle Lavezares, No. 520 together with a part of the lot at No. 419, should be delivered as a
legacy, provided that if the legatee should die, this property instead of passing to the successor, would revert to the

There was no express prohibition. The appellant's opposition is based on the fact that the partition in question puts into effect the provisions of Joseph G. (2) denial of his participation in the inheritance. and (5) the declaration that the Turkish laws are impertinent to this cause. Andre Brimo. provided the latter in turn delivered said P4. the latter being obliged to make a monetary compensation to Lorenzo Salvador who appears to be the successor of the legatee Gabino. for which reason they are void as being in violation or article 10 of the Civil Code which. legal and testamentary successions. it cannot be understood that the testator meant to bequeath to Basilia Gabino the mere usufruct of the property. sister of Consuelo. ordered that the legatee's right of dominion should end at her death. Elena Morente. Brimo is in question in this case. in respect to the order of succession as well as to the amount of the successional rights and the intrinsic validity of their provisions. ISSUE: Whether or not there was a valid prohibition in the case at bar. approved it. ANDRE BRIMO The partition of the estate left by the deceased Joseph G. The judicial administrator of this estate filed a scheme of partition. provided that he in turn would pay to Lorenzo Salvador the sum of P4. But four months after the death of Consuelo. HELD: No. this testamentary provisions is not contrary to law or to public morals. 2. administrator vs. Consuelo Morente died leaving a will which provides that she is leaving all her real estate in favor of her husband. opposed it. The will did not say that he should reconvey the property to the estate of Consuelo. and the failure not to postpone the approval of the scheme of partition and the delivery of the deceased's business to Pietro Lanza until the receipt of the depositions requested in reference to the Turkish laws. It is true that the legatee could not make any disposal of the bequeathed real property to be effective after her death. If the provisions of article 675 of the Civil Code are to be complied with. his second marriage did not give rise to an action for the annulment of the institution made in his favor in the will of his deceased wife. There was even no provision as to what consequences will happen if in the event that De La Santa will remarry. inasmuch as. from the clauses in the will left by Consuelo. he ad forfeited his inheritance. It is true that a prohibition to remarry imposed by the testator on his or her spouse is allowed. and that on this occurrence his wish was that the ownership of the property should pass to Emilio Natividad. and that if the testator intended no more than that Basilia Gabino should enjoy the ownership of the property during her lifetime. (4) the approval of the purchase made by the Pietro Lana of the deceased's business and the deed of transfer of said business. Testate Estate of Joseph G. because it is constant rule or jurisprudence that in matters of last wills and testaments the testator's will is the law. De La Santa contracted a subsequent marriage. Therefore. but if we take into account that the institution of donations and legacies depends on the full free will of the testator. However. one of the brothers of the deceased. however.testator's grandson and heir. among other things. The phrase that De La Santa “shall not remarry anyone” was a mere statement or declaration. Brimo. shall be regulated by the . It is also provided in the will that De La Santa “shall not remarry anyone“. nor could the property be acquired from her by her heir through testate or intestate succession. establishing a voluntary reservation of the ulterior and final disposition of the bequeathed property.000. in this case. 3. It cannot be understood that the legacy conveyed only the usufruct of the property because the plain and literal meaning of the words employed by the testator in the said clause sixth clearly shows beyond all doubt the express wished of the testator who. by unmistakable language employed in the said sixth clause. inasmuch as the testator thereby intended that the property should revert to its lawful heir. the prohibition was not so worded. The errors which the oppositor-appellant assigns are: (1) The approval of said scheme of partition. Gumersindo De La Santa. provides the following: Nevertheless. Brimo's will which are not in accordance with the laws of his Turkish nationality. (3) the denial of the motion for reconsideration of the order approving the partition. The court. ELENA MORENTE vs. now filed a petition to annul the institution made in favor of De La Santa on the ground that by reason of De La Santa’s subsequent marriage. JUAN MICIANO. he bequeathed her the ownership or dominion of the said property — language which expresses without the slightest doubt his wishes which should be complied with literally. GUMERSINDO DE LA SANTA FACTS: Sometime in the early 1900s.000 to Lorenzo Salvador who appears to be the son of the legatee Gabino.

and the condition is that the instituted legatees must respect the testator's will to distribute his property. that the said condition is void. But the fact is that the oppositor did not prove that said testimentary dispositions are not in accordance with the Turkish laws. this citizenship having been conferred upon me by conquest and not by free choice. as expressed. It results from all this that the second clause of the will regarding the law which shall govern it. whatever may be the nature of the property or the country in which it may be situated. having resided for a considerable length of time in the Philippine Islands where I succeeded in acquiring all of the property that I now possess. requesting all of my relatives to respect this wish. in his capacity as Judicial Administrator of the testate estate of FAUSTA NEPOMUCENO . The refusal to give the oppositor another opportunity to prove such laws does not constitute an error. therefore. In regard to the first assignment of error which deals with the exclusion of the herein appellant as a legatee. the approval of the scheme of partition in this respect was not erroneous. national law of the person whose succession is in question. 4. even should the testator otherwise provide. my will. The institution of legatees in this will is conditional. otherwise. for article 792 of the civil Code provides the following: Impossible conditions and those contrary to law or good morals shall be considered as not imposed and shall not prejudice the heir or legatee in any manner whatsoever. and in the absence of evidence on such laws. not being contrary to our laws in force.) It has not been proved in these proceedings what the Turkish laws are. I am a Turkish citizen. inasmuch as he is one of the persons designated as such in will. and the institution of legatees in said will is unconditional and consequently valid and effective even as to the herein oppositor. Said condition then. nor by nationality and. He. is considered unwritten. I annul and cancel beforehand whatever disposition found in this will favorable to the person or persons who fail to comply with this request. be made and disposed of in accordance with the laws in force in the Philippine islands. The fact is. as the herein oppositor who. JUICO. and to the condition imposed upon the legatees. And said condition is contrary to law because it expressly ignores the testator's national law when. and. There is. it must be taken into consideration that such exclusion is based on the last part of the second clause of the will. I like desire to state that although by law. according to article 10 of the civil Code above quoted. they are presumed to be the same as those of the Philippines. lawphil. it is my wish that the distribution of my property and everything in connection with this. taking into consideration that the oppositor was granted ample opportunity to introduce competent evidence. is prevented from receiving his legacy. which says: Second.. in the light of the legal provisions above cited. acknowledges it when he desires to be given an opportunity to present evidence on this point. no evidence in the record that the national law of the testator Joseph G. on the other hand. 472. All of the remaining clauses of said will with all their dispositions and requests are perfectly valid and effective it not appearing that said clauses are contrary to the testator's national law. 36 Phil. by his attitude in these proceedings has not respected the will of the testator. not in accordance with the laws of his nationality. being contrary to law. DE VILLANUEVA vs. inasmuch as he did not present any evidence showing what the Turkish laws are on the matter. Brimo was violated in the testamentary dispositions in question which. himself. Collector of Customs. being contrary to law. is null and void. however. LEONOR VILLAFLOR VDA. but in accordance with the laws of the Philippines. DELFIN N. such national law of the testator is the one to govern his testamentary dispositions. we find no abuse of discretion on the part of the court in this particular.net Therefore. so much so that he assigns as an error of the court in not having deferred the approval of the scheme of partition until the receipt of certain testimony requested regarding the Turkish laws on the matter. It is discretionary with the trial court. If this condition as it is expressed were legal and valid. any legatee who fails to comply with it. (Lim and Lim vs. must be complied with and executed.

The plaintiff Leonor Villaflor Vda. Fausta Nepomuceno para que partan todos mis bienes que me pertenescan. even if she did not remarry at all. 1äwphï1.0 de este testamento que tratan de institucion de herederos y los legados que se haran despues de mi muerte a favor de mi esposa. thereupon instituted Special Proceeding No. Q-2809. 203 of the Court of First Instance of Zambales. executed a will in Spanish in his own handwriting. . and which he granted to his widow. containing the institution of heirs.o del testamento de Nicolas Villaflor. Exhibit "E". now exhibit "C". she submitted a project of partition. exceptuando las donaciones y legados que. with the defendant Delfin N. Fausto Villaflor y a mi esposa Da. "C"). Dona Fausta Nepomuceno. is that the title to the properties aforesaid became absolutely vested in the widow upon her death. By virtue also of the said project of partition.Subject to this direct appeal to us on points of law is the decision of the Court of First Instance of Rizal. Juico as the duly appointed and qualified judicial administrator. Doña Fausta Nepomuceno died without having contracted a second marriage. Plaintiff Leonor Villaflor instituted the present action against the administrator of the estate of the widow Fausta Nepomuceno. however. expressly provided that approval thereof was "sin perjuicio de lo dispuesto en la clausula 8. 1924. SEXTO — En virtud de las facultades que me conceden las leyes. de la contrario. pursuant to its eight (8th) clause. bequeathing to her "su uso y posesion mientras viva y no se case en segundas nupcias". The testator plainly did not give his widow the full ownership of these particular properties. In due course of administration. for the settlement of her husband's estate and in that proceeding. now Exhibit "E". lo hago en la forma siguiente: . para despues de mi muerte." . now shows Doña Fausta Nepomuceno received by virtue thereof the ownership and possession of a considerable amount of real and personal estate. on account of the fact that she never remarried. Don Nicolas Villaflor died on March 3. already a widow. however. In the order of November 24.0 y 7. abajo mi mas expontanea voluntad. Clause 6th. devising and bequeathing in favor of his wife. 1922. 1958. The latter. We agree with appellant that the plain desire and intent of the testator. SEPTIMO: — Lego para dispues de mi muerte a mi esposa Da. The order approving the project of partition (Exh. a wealthy man of Castillejos. Fausta Nepomuceno. giving the other half to his brother Don Fausto Villaflor. Doña Fausta Nepomuceno. en iguales partes. contending that upon the widow's death. 1956. pasara a ser propiedad estos dichos legados de mi sobrina nieta Leonor Villaflor. but only the right to their possession and use (or enjoyment) during her lifetime. Fausta Nepomuceno su uso y posesion mientras viva y no se case en segundas nupcias. adopted by the trial court. subject to the further condition (admitted by the appellee) that if the widow remarried. that Clauses 6th and 7th thereof would be deemed annulled from the moment he bore any child with Doña Fausta Nepomuceno. without begetting any child with his wife Doña Fausta Nepomuceno. she received the use and possession of all the real and personal properties mentioned and referred to in Clause 7th of the will. even during her own lifetime. The 12th clause of the will provided. in its Civil Case No. OCTAVO: — Que estos legades disfrutaria mi referida esposa Da. DUODECIMO: — Quedan anulados las parrafos 6. The following facts appear of record: On October 9. pues estos. reads as follows: . is evident from the expressions used by the deceased "uso y posesion mientras viva" (use and possession while alive) in which the first half of the phrase "uso y posesion" instead of "dominio" or "propiedad") reinforces the second ("mientras viva"). as manifested in clause 8 of his testament. Q- 1563 in the lower court. Said Clause 12th reads as follows: . Her estate is now being settled in Special Proceeding No. en el momento que podre tener la dicha de contrar con hijo y hijos legitimos o legitimados. dismissing plaintiff-appellant's complaint for the recovery of certain properties that were originally owned by the plaintiff's granduncle.ñët . on February 8. Nicolas Villaflor. was to invest his widow with only a usufruct or life tenure in the properties described in the seventh clause. said plaintiff became vested with the ownership of the real and personal properties bequeathed by the late Nicolas Villaflor to clause 7 of his will. de Villanueva is admitted to be the same Leonor Villaflor mentioned by Don Nicolas Villaflor in his will as his "sobrina nieta Leonor Villaflor". On May 1. alhajas y muebles que a continuacion se expresan. los bienes. conforme a ley seran mis herederos. Defendant's position. This is in contrast with the remainder of the estate in which she was instituted universal heir together with the testator's brother (clause 6). she was appointed judicial administratrix. Don Nicolas Villaflor. one-half of all his real and personal properties. That the widow was meant to have no more than a life interest in those properties. en prueba de mi amor y carino. Zambales. the probate court approved the project of partition and declared the proceeding closed. 1908. and without having begotten any child with the deceased Nicolas Villaflor. instituyo per mis unicos y universales herederos de todos mis derechos y acciones a mi hermano D. As the project of partition. her rights would thereupon cease.

pues no ofrece la menor duda. — In the construction of an instrument where there are several provisions or particulars. the widow had no right to retain or dispose of the aforesaid properties. even if the widow never remarried in her lifetime. que no ha menester de interpretaciones. which are over the primary source in ascertaining his intent. para despues de mi muerte. SEXTO: — En virtud de las facultades que me conceden las leyes. As already shown. rather than one which will render any of the expressions inoperative. because they involve cases where the only condition imposed on the legatee was that she should remain a widow. The American decisions invoked by appellee in his brief inapplicable. en iguales partes. Fausta Nepomuceno para que parten todos mis bienes que me pertenescan. pueda sustituirse. The same rule is adopted by the Supreme Court of Spain (TS. ART. following the plain and literal meaning of the testator's words. 1925). (Tribunal Supremo of Spain. 59. hoy sus sucesores. (675a) In consonance with this rule. or for their value should rights of innocent third parties have intervened. since the widow could only remarry during her own lifetime. and that he was unacquainted with such technical sense." and considered the words "uso y posesion" as equivalent to "dominio" (ownership). p. or unless it satisfactorily appears that the will was drawn solely by the testator. Speculation as to the motives of the testator in imposing the conditions contained in clause 7 of his testament should not be allowed to obscure the clear and unambiguous meaning of his plain words. pueda sustituirse por ningun otro criterio de alguna de los interesados. The Civil Code. clara. unless the context clearly indicates a contrary intention. the trial court violated Article 791 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. as well as section 59 of Rule 123 of the Rules of Court. sin que esa voluntad patente. in holding that the appellant Leonor Villaflor. Consequently. The words of a will are to receive an interpretation which will give to every expression some effect. unless they had been lost due to fortuitous event. 790." . has unwarrantedly discarded the expression "mientras viva. and her estate is accountable to the reversionary legatee for their return. The court below. pues no ofrece la menor duda. abajo mi mas expontanea voluntad. Instrument construed so as to give effect to all provisions." . It is well to note that if the testator had intended to impose as sole condition the non-remarriage of his widow. this Supreme Court has laid the doctrine in In re Estate of Calderon. the words "uso y posesion mientras viva" would have been unnecessary. 20 Marzo 1918. 28 Mayo 1918. that the intention and wishes of the testator. must be settled in accordance therewith. Sent. 23 Oct. 30 Abril 1913. legatarios y heredera. 233. Fausto Villaflor y a mi esposa Da. unless a clear intention to use them in another sense can be gathered. such a construction is. the legacies should pass to the testator's "sobrinanieta". if possible. instituyo por mis unicos y universales herederos de todos mis derechos y acciones a mi hermano D. and of two modes of interpreting a will. . upon the widow's death. 26 Phil. could succeed to the properties bequeathed by clause 7 of the testament only in the event that the widow remarried. Sent. precisa y constantemente expresada al ordenar su ultimo voluntad. It necessarily follows that by the express provisions of the 8th clause of his will.. lo hago en la forma siguiente. that one is to be preferred which will prevent intestacy. imperativa y obligatoria que han de obedecer y cumplir fieldmente albaceas. SEC. constitute the fixed law of interpretation. and that other can be ascertained. relative to its execution and fulfillment. appellant herein. in Article 790. unless it clearly appears that his intention was otherwise. 20 March 1918) . 16 Enero 1915. In so doing. La voluntad del testador. Technical words in a will are to be taken in their technical sense. 1 (Article 675 of the Code of 1889). 791. es ley unica. when clearly expressed in his will. as reversionary legatee. and all questions raised at the trial." . The words of a will are to be taken in their ordinary and grammatical sense. ART. ni tampoco por el judicial. exceptuando las donaciones y legados que. expressly enjoins the following: . to be adopted as will give effect to all. the testament of Don Nicolas Villaflor clearly and unmistakably provided that his widow should have the possession and use of the legacies while alive and did not remarry.