Republic of the Philippines Subsequently, or on July 8, 1958, Amos G.

Bellis died
SUPREME COURT a resident of San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. His will was
Manila admitted to probate in the Court of First Instance of
Manila on September 15, 1958.
EN BANC
The People's Bank and Trust Company, as executor of
G.R. No. L-23678 June 6, 1967 the will, paid all the bequests therein including the
amount of $240,000.00 in the form of shares of stock
TESTATE ESTATE OF AMOS G. BELLIS, to Mary E. Mallen and to the three (3) illegitimate
deceased. children, Amos Bellis, Jr., Maria Cristina Bellis and
PEOPLE'S BANK and TRUST Miriam Palma Bellis, various amounts totalling
COMPANY, executor. P40,000.00 each in satisfaction of their respective
MARIA CRISTINA BELLIS and MIRIAM legacies, or a total of P120,000.00, which it released
PALMA BELLIS, oppositors-appellants, from time to time according as the lower court
vs. approved and allowed the various motions or petitions
EDWARD A. BELLIS, ET AL., heirs-appellees. filed by the latter three requesting partial advances on
account of their respective legacies.
BENGZON, J.P., J.:
On January 8, 1964, preparatory to closing its
This is a direct appeal to Us, upon a question purely of administration, the executor submitted and filed its
law, from an order of the Court of First Instance of "Executor's Final Account, Report of Administration
Manila dated April 30, 1964, approving the project of and Project of Partition" wherein it reported, inter alia,
partition filed by the executor in Civil Case No. 37089 the satisfaction of the legacy of Mary E. Mallen by the
therein.1äwphï1.ñët delivery to her of shares of stock amounting to
$240,000.00, and the legacies of Amos Bellis, Jr.,
The facts of the case are as follows: Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis in the
amount of P40,000.00 each or a total of P120,000.00.
In the project of partition, the executor — pursuant to
Amos G. Bellis, born in Texas, was "a citizen of the
the "Twelfth" clause of the testator's Last Will and
State of Texas and of the United States." By his first
Testament — divided the residuary estate into seven
wife, Mary E. Mallen, whom he divorced, he had five
equal portions for the benefit of the testator's seven
legitimate children: Edward A. Bellis, George Bellis
legitimate children by his first and second marriages.
(who pre-deceased him in infancy), Henry A. Bellis,
Alexander Bellis and Anna Bellis Allsman; by his
second wife, Violet Kennedy, who survived him, he On January 17, 1964, Maria Cristina Bellis and
had three legitimate children: Edwin G. Bellis, Walter Miriam Palma Bellis filed their respective oppositions
S. Bellis and Dorothy Bellis; and finally, he had three to the project of partition on the ground that they were
illegitimate children: Amos Bellis, Jr., Maria Cristina deprived of their legitimes as illegitimate children and,
Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis. therefore, compulsory heirs of the deceased.

On August 5, 1952, Amos G. Bellis executed a will in Amos Bellis, Jr. interposed no opposition despite
the Philippines, in which he directed that after all notice to him, proof of service of which is evidenced
taxes, obligations, and expenses of administration are by the registry receipt submitted on April 27, 1964 by
paid for, his distributable estate should be divided, in the executor.1
trust, in the following order and manner: (a)
$240,000.00 to his first wife, Mary E. Mallen; (b) After the parties filed their respective memoranda and
P120,000.00 to his three illegitimate children, Amos other pertinent pleadings, the lower court, on April 30,
Bellis, Jr., Maria Cristina Bellis, Miriam Palma Bellis, 1964, issued an order overruling the oppositions and
or P40,000.00 each and (c) after the foregoing two approving the executor's final account, report and
items have been satisfied, the remainder shall go to his administration and project of partition. Relying upon
seven surviving children by his first and second wives, Art. 16 of the Civil Code, it applied the national law of
namely: Edward A. Bellis, Henry A. Bellis, Alexander the decedent, which in this case is Texas law, which
Bellis and Anna Bellis Allsman, Edwin G. Bellis, did not provide for legitimes.
Walter S. Bellis, and Dorothy E. Bellis, in equal
shares.1äwphï1.ñët Their respective motions for reconsideration having
been denied by the lower court on June 11, 1964,
1

and those which have for their where the decedent is a national of one country. 10 of Philippines. Amos G. is illegal and void. Congress added a their arguments. public policy and good domicile of another. it should not be been their purpose to make the second paragraph of presumed different from ours. the same would not result prevails as the exception to Art. with regard to same to the succession of foreign nationals.2 So that even assuming Texas has a conflict of a foreign country. that he intended Philippine law to govern his Philippine estate. It is therefore evident that whatever public policy or Article 16. (b) the amount specifically chosen to leave. 16. however. for his succession is under consideration. (e) the intrinsic validity of the successional rights. The parties admit that the decedent. Assuming that such was the However. Appellants would however counter that Art. or by Texas and a domicile thereof at the time of his determinations or conventions agreed upon in death. 2. Said doctrine is usually pertinent or property.oppositors-appellants appealed to this Court to raise ART. 50 Phil. U. their acts January 31. shall be regulated by distributed in accordance with Philippine law and not the national law of the person whose with his national law. "notwithstanding the has a conflicts rule adopting the situs theory (lex rei provisions of this and the next preceding article" when sitae) calling for the application of the law of the place they incorporated Art. the amount of of successional rights. 870. Congress has not intended to extend the intestate or testamentary successions. 17. to the decedent's national law. and that 2 . of proof as to the the old Civil Code as Art. Nonetheless. For it has four items: (a) the order of succession. 16 a specific provision in itself which must be therefore not rested on the doctrine of renvoi. in legitimes. They provide that — Appellants would also point out that the decedent ART. Prohibitive laws concerning persons. As further stated. of the Civil Code. 1039. Brimo. if Texas Congress deleted the phrase. L-16749. In this regard.S. 16 in the new. a provision in a rights and to the intrinsic validity of foreigner's will to the effect that his properties shall be testamentary provisions. applied by this Court in Aznar v. it is not customs shall not be rendered ineffective by disputed that the decedent was both a national of laws or judgments promulgated. renvoi would arise. was a citizen of the State of Texas. Civil Code. but Code afore-quoted. they never invoked nor even mentioned it in indication of this legislative intent. would still refer to Texas law. the doctrine of renvoi. good customs may be involved in our System of render applicable the national law of the decedent. whatever national law cannot be ignored in regard to those may he the nature of the property and matters that Article 10 — now Article 16 — of the regardless of the country wherein said Civil Code states said national law should govern. 1039 of the Civil Code. and a object public order. 16. 1039. stating that — nor even discuss. Bellis. for as this Court ruled succession and to the amount of successional in Miciano v.3 Appellants' position is Art. Precisely. Christensen Garcia. it would not alter the law. Philippine law. In the present case. intestate and testamentary decedent's intention in executing a separate Philippine successions. In the absence. both with respect to the order of will. provisions of the will. paragraph three. Real property as well as personal executed two wills — one to govern his Texas estate property is subject to the law of the country and the other his Philippine estate — arguing from this where it is situated. Capacity to succeed is governed the issue of which law must apply — Texas law or by the law of the nation of the decedent. the parties do not submit the case on. Specific provisions must prevail over general ones.A. par. they argue that their case falls new provision. This is not correct. while reproducing without since the properties here involved are found in the substantial change the second paragraph of Art. which decrees that under the circumstances mentioned in the third capacity to succeed is to be governed by the national paragraph of Article 17 in relation to Article 16 of the law of the decedent. 1963.. property may be found. 11 of the old Civil Code as Art. It must have conflict of law rule of Texas. 2 of the Civil in a reference back (renvoi) to Philippine law. and Art. inter alia. 17 of the new Civil Code. 867. and (d) the capacity to succeed. par. where the properties are situated. As applied in testate and intestate succession. Rather. law rule providing that the domiciliary system (law of the domicile) should govern. under Art.

3 . JJ. Collector. Makalintal. 95 Phil. 500. since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the amount of successional rights are to be determined under Texas law. or to allow him to adopt the briefs filed by his sisters — but this Court resolved to deny the motion. Bellis. the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of Amos G.L. 36 Phil.. concur. to file or adopt the opposition of his sisters to the project of partition. Concepcion.J. J. 2 San Antonio. to submit his brief after paying his proportionate share in the expenses incurred in the printing of the record on appeal.. C.B. So ordered. 3 Lim vs. the order of the probate court is hereby affirmed in toto. Wherefore. In re Testate Estate of Suntay. Dizon. Accordingly. with costs against appellants. Zaldivar. Regala.under the laws of Texas. there are no forced heirs or legitimes. Sanchez and Castro. Reyes.. Footnotes 1 He later filed a motion praying that as a legal heir he be included in this case as one of the oppositors-appellants. 472. Texas was his legal residence.