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G.R. No.

78590 June 20, 1988 On May 22, 1987, the private respondent filed a motion for writ of possession over five
(5) — vehicles registered under the name of Manolito de Guzman, alleged to be conjugal
PEDRO DE GUZMAN, petitioner, properties of the de Guzman's but which are at present in the possession of the private
vs. respondent's father-in- law, herein petitioner Pedro de Guzman. The motion stated that
THE HONORABLE JUDGE ZOSIMO Z. ANGELES, RTC BRANCH 58, MAKATI, METRO, as co-owner and heir, the private respondent must have the possession of said vehicles
MANILA; DEPUTY SHERIFFS JOSE B. FLORA and HONORIO SANTOS and ELAINE G. DE in order to preserve the assets of her late husband. On the same day, the lower court
GUZMAN, respondents. issued an order setting for hearing the motion on May 27, 1987 directing the deputy
Bautista, Picazo, Cruz, Buyco and Tan for private respondent. sheriff to notify petitioner Pedro de Guzman at the expense of the private respondent.

Ponce Enrile, Cayetano, Bautista, Picaso and Reyes, collaborating counsel for private The scheduled May 27, 1987 hearing was postponed on motion of petitioner's counsel,
respondent. Atty. Ricardo Fojas. The petitioner was also given three (3) days from May 27, 1987 to
give his comment on the motion for a writ of possession. The hearing was reset to June
5, 1987 at 3:00 p.m.

GUTIERREZ, JR., J.: On May 29, 1987, the petitioner's counsel filed a notice of appearance and an "Urgent
Motion For Extension of Time to File an Opposition and for Resetting of the Hearing."
May a probate court act on and/or grant motions for the appointment of a special
administrator, for the issuance of a writ of possession of alleged properties of the The motion was granted and the petitioner was given five (5) days from receipt of the
deceased person, and for assistance to preserve the estate in a petition for the settlement order within which to file his opposition to the motion for a writ of possession. The
of the intestate estate even before the court has caused notice to be served upon all hearing was reset to June 15, 1987 at 2:00 in the afternoon.
interested parties pursuant to section 3, Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court?
In the meantime, on May 28, 1987, the private respondent filed her "Ex-Parte Motion to
On May 5, 1987, private respondent Elaine G. de Guzman filed a petition for the Appoint Petitioner as Special Administratrix of the Estate of Manolito de Guzman."
settlement of the intestate estate of Manolito de Guzman, before the Regional Trial Court
of Makati, Metro Manila. The case was docketed as Special Proceedings .No. M-1436. In an order dated May 28,1987, the aforesaid motion was set for hearing on June 5, 1987.
In this same order, the lower court directed that all parties in the case be notified.
The petition alleges that: (1) on March 22,1987, Manolito de Guzman died in Makati, However, no notice of the order was given to the petitioner.
Metro Manila; (2) at the time of his death, the decedent was a resident of Makati, Metro
Manila; (3) decedent left personal and real properties as part of his estate, listed in In an order dated June 5, 1987, the lower court granted the private respondent's motion
Annexes "A," "B," "C" and "D;" (4) the properties were acquired after the marriage of the to be appointed as special administratrix, to wit:
petitioner to the decedent and therefore are included in their conjugal partnership; (5) Finding the motion for appointment of special administratrix, on the ground alleged
the estate of -the decedent has a probable net value which may be provisionally assessed therein to be well-founded, and finding further that it is to be the best interest of the
at P4,000,000.00 more or less; (6) the possible creditors of the estate, who have accounts Estate of Manolito de Guzman that petitioner-movant Elaine G. de Guzman, be appointed
payable. and existing claims against the firm — C. SANTOS Construction are listed in as Special Administratrix in this case, said motion is granted.
Annex "E;" (7) the compulsory heirs of the decedent are the as the surviving spouse and
their two (2) minor children namely: Charmane Rose de Guzman 11 years and Peter Brian WHEREFORE, Elaine G. de Guzman, petitioner-movant, is hereby appointed as Special
de Guzman, 9 years old; (8) after diligent search and inquiry to ascertain whether the Administratrix of the Estate of the deceased Manolito de Guzman, pending appointment
decedent left a last will and testament, none has been found and according to the best of a regular administrator. The bond for the said special administratrix is hereby fixed in
knowledge information and belief of the petitioner, Manolito de Guzman died intestate; the amount of P200,000.00. (Rollo, p. 40)
and (9) the petitioner as the survey surviving spouse of the decedent, is most qualified
and entitled to the grant of letters of administration. On June 8, 1987, the lower court issued another order, to wit:

Acting on the Urgent Ex-Parte Motion for Assistance" filed by Petitioner-Special "without notice to the petitioner Pedro de Guzman, and its immediate implementation
Administratrix Elaine de Guzman for appointment of Deputy Sheriffs Honorio Santos and on the very same day by respondent Elaine G. de Guzman with the assistance of
Jose B. Flora together with some military men and/or policemen to assist her in preserving respondents deputy sheriffs, at no other place but at the home of the petitioner Pedro de
the estate of Manolito de Guzman, the motion is granted and the Deputy Sheriffs Honorio Guzman, are eloquent proofs that all the antecedent events were intended solely to
Santos and Jose B. Flora are hereby appointed for that purpose, provided that the subject deprive petitioner de Guzman of his property without due process of law." He also prays
matter of the motion for writ of possession pending before this Court shall not be affected. that the respondent Judge be disqualified from further continuing the case.
(Rollo, p. 41)
As stated earlier, the pivotal issue in the instant petition hinges on whether or not a
Trouble ensued when the respondents tried to enforce the above order. The petitioner probate court may appoint a special administratrix and issue a writ of possession of
resisted when Deputy Sheriffs Jose B. Flora and Honorio Santos tried to take the subject alleged properties of a decedent for the preservation of the estate in a petition for the
vehicles on the ground that they were his personal properties. According to the petitioner, settlement of the intestate estate of the said deceased person even before the probate
this resulted in a "near shoot-out between members of the Makati Police, who were to court causes notice to be served upon all interested parties pursuant to section 3, Rule
maintain peace and order, and the CAPCOM soldiers who were ostensibly aiding 79 of the Revised Rules of Court.
respondent sheriffs and Elaine G. de Guzman" and that "the timely arrival of Mayor
Jejomar Binay of Makati defused the very volatile situation which resulted in an As early as March 18, 1937, in the case of Santos v. Castillo (64 Phil. 211) we ruled that
agreement between the parties that the bulldozer, sought to be taken, be temporarily before a court may acquire jurisdiction over the case for the probate of a will and the
placed in the custody of Mayor Binay, while the parties seek clarification of the order from administration of the properties left by a deceased person, the application must allege
respondent Judge Zosimo Angeles the next day, June 9, 1981 at 10:30 a.m." the residence of the deceased and other indispensable facts or circumstances and that
the applicant is the executor named in the will or is the person who had custody of the
In the conference held before the respondent court attended by the counsels for both will to be probated.
parties, the June 8, 1987 order was clarified to the effect that the order "must be merely
to take and preserve assets admittedly belonging to the estate, but not properties, the In the instant case, there is no doubt that the respondent court acquired jurisdiction over
ownership of which is claimed by third persons." the proceedings upon the filing of a petition for the settlement of an intestate estate by
the private respondent since the petition had alleged all the jurisdictional facts, the
The petitioner then filed a manifestation listing properties which he claimed to be his own. residence of the deceased person, the possible heirs and creditors and the probable value
of the estate of the deceased Manolito de Guzman pursuant to Section 2, Rule 79 of the
Thereafter, the instant petition was filed to annul the lower court's orders dated June 5, Revised Rules of Court.
1987 and June 8, 1987.
We must, however, differentiate between the jurisdiction of the probate court over the
In a resolution dated June 10, 1987, we issued a temporary restraining order enjoining proceedings for the administration of an estate and its jurisdiction over the persons who
the respondent court from enforcing the two questioned orders. In another resolution are interested in the settlement of the estate of the deceased person. The court may also
dated October 28, 1987, we gave due course to the petition. have jurisdiction over the "estate" of the deceased person but the determination of the
The petitioner contends that the June 5, 1987 order is a patent nullity, the respondent properties comprising that estate must follow established rules.
court not having acquired jurisdiction to appoint a special administratrix because the Section 3, Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court provides:
petition for the settlement of the estate of Manolito de Guzman was not yet set for
hearing and published for three consecutive weeks, as mandated by the Rules of Court. Court to set time for hearing. — Notice thereof. — When a petition for letters of
The petitioner also stresses that the appointment of a special administratrix constitutes administration is filed in the court having jurisdiction, such court shall fix a time and place
an abuse of discretion for having been made without giving petitioner and other parties for hearing the petition, and shall cause notice thereof to be given to the known heirs and
an opportunity to oppose said appointment. creditors of the decedent, and to any other persons believed to have an interest in the
estate, in the manner provided in sections 3 and 4 of Rule 76.
Anent the June 8, 1987 order, the petitioner alleges that the immediate grant of the
motion praying for the court's assistance in the preservation of the estate of the deceased,

It is very clear from this provision that the probate court must cause notice through administrator is appointed." (Jones v. Minnesota Transfer R. Co. 1965 ed., at 106 cited in
publication of the petition after it receives the same. The purpose of this notice is to bring Fule v. Court of Appeals, 74 SCRA 189). The petitioner as creditor of the estate has a
all the interested persons within the court's jurisdiction so that the judgment therein similar interest in the preservation of the estate as the private respondent who happens
becomes binding on all the world. (Manalo v. Paredes, 47 Phil. 938; Moran, Comment on to be the widow of deceased Manolito de Guzman. Hence, the necessity of notice as
the Rules of Court Volume 3,1980 Edition) Where no notice as required by Section 3, Rule mandated by the Rules of Court. It is not clear from the records exactly what emergency
79 of the Rules of Court has been given to persons believed to have an interest in the estate would have ensued if the appointment of an administrator was deferred at least until the
of the deceased person; the proceeding for the settlement of the estate is void and should most interested parties were given notice of the proposed action. No unavoidable delay
be annulled. The requirement as to notice is essential to the validity of the proceeding in in the appointment of a regular administrator is apparent from the records.
that no person may be deprived of his right to property without due process of
law. (Eusebio v. Valmores, 96 Phil. 163). As argued by the petitioner:

Verily, notice through publication of the petition for the settlement of the estate of a The position of special administrator, by the very nature of the powers granted thereby,
deceased person is jurisdictional, the absence of which makes court orders affecting other is one of trust and confidence. It is a fiduciary position and, therefore, requires a
persons, subsequent to the petition void and subject to annulment. (See Eusebio v. comprehensive determination of the suitability of the applicant to such position. Hence,
Valmores, supra) under Philippine jurisprudence, it has been settled that the same fundamental and legal
principles governing the choice of a regular administrator should be taken in choosing the
In the instant case, no notice as mandated by section 3, Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of special administrator (Francisco, Vol. VB, page 46 citing the cases of Ozaeta v. Pecson, Ibid.
Court was caused to be given by the probate court before it acted on the motions of the and Roxas v. Pecson, Ibid.)
private respondent to be appointed as special administratrix, to issue a writ of possession
of alleged properties of the deceased person in the widow's favor, and to grant her In order to fully and correctly ascertain the suitability of the applicant to the trust,
motion for assistance to preserve the estate of Manolito de Guzman. a hearing is obviously necessary wherein the applicant can prove his qualifications and at
the same time affording oppositors, given notice of such hearing and application, the
The "explanation" which we required of the respondent Judge for his apparent haste in opportunity to oppose or contest such application.
issuing the questioned orders, states:
The requirement of a hearing and the notification to all the known heirs and other
xxx xxx xxx interested parties as to the date thereof is essential to the validity of the proceeding for
the appointment of an administrator "in order that no person may be deprived of his right
10. In issuing the subject Orders, undersigned acted in the honest conviction that it would or property without due process of law" (Eusebio v. Valmores, 97 Phil. 163). Moreover, a
be to the best interest of the estate without unduly prejudicing any interested party or hearing is necessary in order to fully determine the suitability of the applicant to the trust,
third person. Any delay in issuing the said Orders might have prejudiced the estate for the by giving him the opportunity to prove his qualifications and affording oppositors, if any,
properties may be lost, wasted or dissipated in the meantime. (Rollo, p. 86) to contest the said application. (Matute v. Court of Appeals, 26 SCRA 770; emphasis
xxx xxx xxx supplied).

This explanation while seemingly plausible does not sufficiently explain the disregard of Since the position of special administrator is a very sensitive one which requires trust and
the Rule. If indeed, the respondent court had the welfare of both the estate and the confidence, it is essential that the suitability of the applicant be ascertained in a hearing
person who have interest in the estate, then it could have caused notice to be given with due notice to all oppositors who may object precisely to the applicant's suitability to
immediately as mandated by the Revised Rules of Court. All interested persons including the trust. (Rollo, pp. 103-104)
herein petitioner who is the biggest creditor of the estate listed in the Petition If emergency situations threatening the dissipation of the assets of an estate justify a
(P850,240.80) could have participated in the proceedings especially so, because the court's immediately taking some kind of temporary action even without the required
respondent immediately filed a motion to have herself appointed as administratrix. A notice, no such emergency is shown in this case. The need for the proper notice even for
special administrator has been defined as the "representative of decedent appointed by the appointment of a special administrator is apparent from the circumstances of this
the probate court to care for and preserve his estate until an executor or general case.
The respondent Judge himself explains that the order for the preservation of the estate Considering the foregoing, we find no need to discuss the other issues raised in the
was limited to properties not claimed by third parties. If certain properties are already in petition.
the possession of the applicant for special administratrix and are not claimed by other
persons, we see no need to hurry up and take special action to preserve those properties. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The questioned orders of the Regional Trial
As it is, the sheriffs took advantage of the questioned order to seize by force, properties Court, Branch 58 of Makati are hereby set aside. The case is ordered remanded to the
found in the residence of the petitioner which he vehemently claims are owned by him lower court for the hearing of the petition with previous notice to all interested parties as
and not by the estate of the deceased person. required by law. In view of the voluntary inhibition of the respondent Judge, the Executive
Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Makati is directed to re-raffle the case to another branch
The petitioner also asks that the respondent Judge be disqualified from continuing with of the court. The Temporary Restraining Order dated June 10, 1987 is made permanent.
the proceedings of the case on the ground that he is partial to the private respondent. No costs.

In view of the fact that the respondent Judge in his "Explanation" requests that he be SO ORDERED.
inhibited from further active on the case, this issue has now become academic. We accept
Judge Angeles" voluntary inhibition in line with our ruling in Pimentel v. Salanga (21 SCRA Fernan (Chairman), Feliciano, Bidin and Cortes, JJ., concur.
160). As we stated in Query of Executive Judge Estrella T. Estrada, Regional Trial Court of
Malolos, Bulacan on the conflicting views of Regional Trial Court—Judges Manalo and
Elisaga Re: Criminal Case No. 4954 — M Administrative Matter No. 87-9-3918-RTC,
October 26, 1987:

xxx xxx xxx

... A judge may not be legally prohibited from sitting in a litigation. But when suggestion
is made of record that he might be induced to act in favor of one party or with bias or
prejudice against a litigant arising out of circumstances reasonably capable of inciting
such a state of mind, he should conduct a careful self-examination. He should exercise his
discretion in a way that the people's faith in the courts of justice is not impaired. A salutary
norm is that he reflect on the probability that a losing party might nurture at the back of
his mind the thought that the judge had unmeritoriously tilted the scales of justice against
him. That passion on the part of a judge may be generated because of serious charges of
misconduct against him by a suitor or his counsel, is not altogether remote. He is a man,
subject to the frailties of other men. He should, therefore, exercise great care and caution
before making up his mind to act or withdraw from a suit Where that party or counsel is
involved. He could in good grace inhibit himself where that case could be heard by
another judge and where no appreciable prejudice would be occasioned to others
involved thereon. On the result of his decisions to sit or not sit may depend to a great
extent that all-important confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary. If after reflection
he should resolve to voluntarily desist from sitting in a case where his motives or fairness
might be seriously impugned, his action is to be interpreted as giving meaning and
substance to the second paragraph of Section 1, Rule 137. He serves the cause of the law
who forestalls miscarriage of justice.

G.R. No. L-6303 June 30, 1954
(Sgd.) Jose Vaño
In the matter of the last will and testament of JOSE VAÑO, deceased. TEODORO Testator
VAÑO, petitioner-appellant,
vs. We, the undersigned attesting witnesses, whose residences are stated opposite our
PAZ VAÑO VDA. DE GARCES, et al., oppositors-appellees. respective names, do hereby certify that the testator whose name is signed hereinabove,
has published unto us the foregoing WILL consisting of one page, as his Last Will and
Pedro R. Luspo, Vicente L. Faelnar and Roque R. Luspo for appellant. Testament, and has signed the same in our presence, and in witness whereof we have
Pelaez, Pelaez and Pelaez and Ramon Duterte for appellees. each signed the same in the presence of said testator and in the presence of each other.
MONTEMAYOR, J.: Cebu City, Philippines, this 11th day of December, 1949.
This is an appeal by petitioner Teodoro Vaño from a decision of the Court of First Instance Pedro C. Ceniza — 494-B. Junquera, Cebu City
of Cebu denying probate of the document (Exhibit "A"), said to be the LAST WILL AND O. Rama, M. D. — Basak, Sn. Nicolas, Cebu City
TESTAMENT OF JOSE VAÑO. The appeal was first taken to the Court of Appeals where the Nazario R. Paquiao — 553 A. P. del Rosario, St., Cebu City
record on appeal and the briefs of petitioner and oppositors were filed. Subsequently,
however, on joint motion of both parties requesting that the appeal be elevated to the Teodoro asked that he be appointed administrator of the estate and that pending his
Supreme Court on the ground that the value of the properties involved as shown by the appointment as regular administrator, he be designated special administrator.
inventory was more than P50,000, the case was forwarded to this Tribunal where
On March 24, 1950, Paz Vaño Vda. de Garces and the supposed heirs of Jesus Vaño,
memoranda were filed in lieu of oral argument.
brother of Jose Vaño, filed the following opposition —
Jose Vaño died on January 28, 1950, in the City of Cebu. According to the certificate of
the City Health Officer and Local Civil Registrar, Exhibit "C", he was 78 years old and he
die of P. T. B. (pulmonary tuberculosis). He left properties valued at P95,913.05 as per Comes now Paz Vaño Vda. de Garces, and the heirs of Jesus Vaño, thru their undersigned
inventory of the administrator but which according to the evidence are worth much more. attorneys, and to this Honorable Court respectfully states:
On February 11, 1950, Teodoro Ceblero Vaño petitioned the Court of First Instance of
Cebu to have a document supposed to be the last will and testament of Jose Vaño, and 1. That the oppositor Paz Vaño Vda. de Garces is the sister of the deceased Jose Vaño,
which he attached to his petition, probated. We reproduce said document — and Filomena Vaño, Felicidad Vano, Angel Vaño, Salvador Vaño, Norberto Vaño,
Teodorico Vaño, and Ireneo Vaño, are the children and heirs of Jesus (brother of Jose
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT Vaño), and all of them are entitled to participate in the said Estate of the deceased Jose
Vaño in case of intestacy;
2. That the instrument now offered for probate as will of the deceased Jose Vaño was
I, Jose Vaño, single, Filipino citizen, of legal age and resident of Cebu City, being of sound
procured by undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of Teodoro Ceblero
and disposing mind and memory, do hereby make, execute and publish, this my Last Will
who is not an acknowledged natural child of the deceased Jose Vaño;
and Testament in English, which language is known to me, and which I talk, read and
understand, hereby revoking and cancelling any and all testamentary provisions 3. That the said Jose Vaño was mentally incapable to make a will on December 11th, 1949;
heretofore made by me, and the following shall be my Last Will:
4. 4. That the signature of the testator Jose Vaño was procured by fraud and trick on the
1. I hereby make known to the world that Teodoro Ceblero Vaño is my son. part of Teodoro Ceblero and the said deceased Jose Vaño never intended that the said
document should be his will at the time of fixing his signature thereto;
2. That I hereby bequeath to aforesaid Teodoro Ceblero Vaño all my properties.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto affixed my name at the City of Cebu, Philippines this
11th day of December, 1949.
5. That the instrument now offered for probate as will of the deceased Jose Vaño is 6. That he does not oppose nor intends to oppose the probate of the will in question,
written in English language which is not the usual and proper language of the deceased, because that document contains a true expression of the wish and desire of Jose Vaño as
and if the deceased would have had made any will he should have it written in Spanish; to who shall inherit his property.

6. That the said deceased Jose Vaño never recognized Teodoro Ceblero as his 7. That he has not authorized anybody to file an opposition in his name.
acknowledged natural child, the same being a mere protege of the deceased, and not an
adopted or acknowledged natural child; PRAYER

7. That the deceased Jose Vaño had time and again told his sister and nephews that he Wherefore, the undersigned respectfully prays his Honorable Court to cancel his name
will not execute a will because he wants to leave all his estate in favor of his brother and from the list of oppositors mentioned in the opposition to the petition filed by Teodoro
sister, and nephews; Vaño.

8. That Dolores Garces de Falcon, a niece of the deceased Jose Vaño, being the nearest of Tagbilaran, Bohol (for the City of Cebu), August 8, 1950
kin, is a competent person to act as Administratrix of the estate of the deceased, and she Said motion of Ireneo Vaño was granted by the Court. In the course of the hearing, he
is willing to serve as such; was presented as one of the witnesses for petitioner Teodoro and he declared that he
PRAYER was the son of Jesus Vaño, already dead; that he knew Filomena Falcon, Felicidad Calibo,
Angle Falcon, Salvador Flores, Norberto Calibo, and Teodorico Falcon, who are sometimes
For all the foregoing considerations, we respectfully pray this Honorable Court that the known by the surname Vaño but that they were not related to him because he had no
said will of the deceased Jose Vaño be declared null and void, and that it be not admitted brothers or sisters; that his father Jesus Vaño was a younger brother of the testator Jose
to probate; That an administratrix of the said estate be appointed who shall distribute the Vaño; that petitioner Teodoro Vaño was the cousin, son of Jose Vaño, and that he knew
same among the legal heirs of the deceased; That Dolores Garces de Falcon be appointed of the blood relationship between the testator and Teodoro Vaño because he (Ireneo)
as Administratrix of the Estate of the deceased Jose Vaño. since childhood used to go to his uncle's house where Teodoro lived and he saw that
Teodoro was treated as a son by Jose Vaño, who paid for Teodoro's board at the Colegio
Cebu City, Philippines, March 23, 1950. del Niño where the two of them were students; that he (Ireneo) never authorized anyone
On August 29, 1950, Ireneo Vaño one of the persons included in the opposition, filed a to include him as oppositor to the probate of the will of Jose Vaño and that he did not
motion of the following tenor. oppose its probate.

MOTION The three attesting witnesses Pedro Ceniza, Dr. Osmundo Rama and Atty. Nazario
Pacquiao testified for the petitioner and assured the court that Exhibit "A" was the last
Comes now Ireneo Vaño and to this Honorable Court respectfully stated: will and testament of the late Jose Vaño; that he signed Exhibit "A" in their presence, and
that each of them signed the same after him in his presence and in the presence of each
1. That he is the son and only heir of Jesus Vaño, now deceased.
other; that at the time of the execution of the document in the afternoon of December
2. That his father Jesus Vaño is a brother of Jose Vaño, also deceased. 11, 1949, the testator was of sound and disposing mind and memory and that it was his
voluntary act, no pressure or influence having been exerted on him; that the blank space
3. That in this case a petition has been presented for the probate of the last will and after the letter "I" in the first paragraph of Exhibit "A" was filled out by the testator himself
testament of Jose Vaño. although they (witnesses) differ as to who filled out the blank spaces on the document
where the words "11th" and "December" appear. Atty. Pacquiao told the court that it was
4. That an opposition has been filed against the probate of said will.
he who prepared the will (Exhibit A) pursuant to the wishes of the testator.
5. That he is named as one of the oppositors, without his knowledge and consent.
For the opposition Ciriaca Alse who formerly worked as a servant in the household of
Teodoro Vaño, Dolores Garces de Falcon, a daughter of Paz Vaño Vda. de Garces and
Carmen Vallore testified. The burden of their testimony is that from November 1949, Jose

Vaño was already very sick; that in December he was in serious if not critical condition; In some jurisdictions in the United States the rule is that the issue in contested wills is
that he was always in bed, oftentimes unable to move or open his eyes and he could not made up by the pleadings or framed from the same, and no evidence can be introduced
maintain any conversation with anyone; that he had to be fed by someone; and that he except in support of allegations contained in such pleadings. For instance, if the only
was bed-ridden and already had bed-sores. The idea sought to be conveyed by them was opposition to the probate of a will is lack of mental capacity of the testator, then the
that the testator was in no condition to execute a will. oppositor in presenting evidence will be confined to that point. In other jurisdictions,
however, it is said that the issue is fixed by the statute and is practically the old common
Mr. Edgar Bond, an examiner of questioned documents and chief of the Questioned law issue "devisavit vel non," is the instrument presented for probate the last will and
Documents and Ballistics Division of the National Bureau of Investigation was also testament of the testator?; that said issue may not be varied by the pleadings and that
presented by the opposition as a handwriting expert and he told the court that after every ground of attack on the validity of the will may be employed.
examining the supposed signature of Jose Vaño on Exhibit "A" and comparing them with
his accepted standard signatures, he was convinced that the signatures on Exhibit "A" As the law in our jurisdiction on the probate of wills now stands, we are inclined to adopt
were forgeries. His testimony was vigorously objected to by counsel for the petitioner on the second view, namely, that the law itself fixes or determines the issue, because under
the ground that the genuineness of the signature of the testator on Exhibit "A" was never section 12, Rule 77, of the Rules of Court, before the probate court can allow the will it
placed in issue because the written opposition of the opponents virtually admitted said must be satisfied upon proof taken and filed that the will was duly executed, and that the
genuineness and merely claimed that the will was not the testator's voluntary act because testator at the time of its execution was of sound and disposing mind and not acting under
said signature was obtained thru trickery and that undue pressure and influence were duress, menace, and undue influence, or fraud. Also, under section 9 of the same rule, a
brought to bear upon him. will may be disallowed (a) if not executed and attested as required by law; (b) if the
testator was mentally incapable of making a will; (c) if it was executed under duress, or
To counteract the testimony of Bond, the deposition of Dr. Paul Rodriguez Versoza, the influence of fear, or threats; (d) if it was procured by undue and improper pressure
another handwriting expert was taken and introduced in evidence. Dr. Versoza claims that and influence on the part of the beneficiary; and (e) if the signature of the testator was
after examining the signatures of Jose Vaño on Exhibit "A" and comparing them with procured by fraud and trick. The oppositors in the present case therefore were not
accepted standard signatures of the testator, he was convinced that the signatures on precluded from attacking the will on the ground of forgery despite the fact that their
Exhibit "A" were genuine and that any difference noted between them were due to the opposition was confined to grounds (b), (c) and (d) of section 12, Rule 77 as stated above.
age, weakness, and illness of the testator, especially the fact that he was suffering from
rheumatism. After hearing, the learned trial court noting discrepancies in the testimonies On the other hand, section 10 of the same rule 77 provides that "anyone appearing to
of the three attesting witnesses as to the due execution of Exhibit "A", and accepting the contest the will must file a writing stating his grounds for opposing its allowance; and
expert testimony of Mr. Bond over that of Dr. Versoza, came to the conclusion that the serve a copy thereof on the petitioner and other residents of the province interested in
supposed signatures of Jose Vaño on Exhibit "A" are not genuine but imitated and held the estate." The purpose of this legal provision is clear, and it is to apprise the person or
that Exhibit "A" was not the last will and testament of Jose Vaño. persons seeking the probate of will, as well as any other person interested in the estate,
of the reasons in opposing probate so that they may prepare the necessary evidence to
One of the errors assigned by petitioner-appellant is that the trial court erred in counteract and disprove said ground of opposition, this, in addition to apprising the court
permitting appellees over the objection of appellant to present evidence which are itself of the issue involved in the proceedings so that it may intelligently direct the
contrary to their allegations in their opposition. It is his contention that the opponents presentation of evidence during the hearing. Of course, as we have already stated, an
not only failed to allege as a basis of their opposition that the signatures of the testator oppositor objecting to the probate of the will on one or two specific grounds may, during
on the supposed will were forged but that on the contrary, they impliedly admitted the the hearing add to the grounds and submit evidence in support of the same, but when
genuineness of said signatures, merely claiming that said signatures were obtained this happen as it did in the present case, one is more or less justified in inferring that the
through trickery and fraud and under pressure and influence. This point brings us to a oppositors were not sure of their ground; that they were in doubt as to the basis of their
discussion of what evidence an opponent to a probate of a will may be permitted to opposition, a fact which naturally and not inconsiderably weakens their stand. One of the
present at the hearing — whether or not he is limited to presenting evidence to sustain grounds of their opposition was that the signature of the testator was procured by fraud
the particular objection or ground on which he bases his opposition to the probate. and trick, thereby leading one to believe, including the court and the petitioner that said
signature was genuine but was not valid. At the hearing, said oppositors completely

changed their stand and claimed that the signature was actually forged. As we have believed that said will was a true expression of the wish and desire of the testator. Not
already said, that conduct and attitude, changeable and uncertain, does not strengthen only this, but he testified for the petitioner and said that the petitioner Teodoro Vaño was
their position. the son of the testator and had been treated by him as such since childhood.

Let us now go to the evidence on the alleged forgery of the signatures of the testator Jose The learned trial court lays emphasis on the uncertainty of the three subscribing
Vaño. We have carefully read the testimony of Mr. Bond for the oppositors and the witnesses as to who filled out the blank spaces on the will now occupied by the words
deposition of Dr. Verzosa for the petitioner. There is no reason for doubting the "11th" and "December", while they are sure that the name Jose Vaño on the space at the
qualifications, sincerity, and honesty of these two witnesses. Their opinions seem to be beginning of the first paragraph was written by the testator himself. Said uncertainty on
plausible, arrived at after an analysis and comparison of the questioned signatures with the part of the said three subscribing witnesses instead of affecting their veracity, in our
the standard and accepted signatures of the testator; but we fear that the infirmity, age, opinion, strengthens it, because it refers to minor detail and shows that they had not
and state of health of the testator had not been given due consideration by the witness been rehearsed but on the contrary, testified to what they remember. In this connection,
of the opponents and by the court. There is no question that there are differences and there is every reason to believe that the fact that the space for the name Jose Vaño on
discrepancies between the two signatures reading "Jose Vaño" on Exhibit "A" and the Exhibit "A" was left in blank to be filled out later by the testator himself argues against
genuine, accepted signatures of the testator even as late as the last part of the year 1949. the theory of forgery, because if there had been forgery by leaving the blank space for
But we should not forget that on December 11th of the same year when he executed the name of the testator to be filled out later, including the space for the date and the
Exhibit "A", he was suffering from apparently advanced pulmonary tuberculosis as well as month, the forgers would be laying themselves open and unnecessarily creating an
rheumatism which according to Dr. Osmundo Rama who had been treating him until the additional opportunity for the opponents and for the to detect the forgery.
day he died, affected his joints. The testator was then 78 years old, lying in bed most of
the time, so much so that he developed bed-sores, sitting up in bed only once in a while, After all, there was neither necessity nor occasion for forging the signatures of the
and at those times, his hands trembled. It is natural that his signatures on Exhibit "A" testator in the will because there is every reason to believe that said testator would leave
should lack the firmness, rhythm, lack of effort and continuity of motion that they had all his property to petitioner Teodoro Vaño. The evidence shows that Teodoro was a
before he became quite ill and infirm. Examining the signatures on Exhibit "A", the original natural son of the testator. From childhood he had been raised by Jose Vaño, treated like
of the will, and those on "3-A", a carbon copy thereof, it will be readily observed that a son, and sent to school, and even after Teodoro had married, he and his wife and family
while the signatures on the original are already infirm, rough and jagged, suggesting a continued to live with the old man, or rather, the old man lived with them. Jose Vaño in
hand infirm and trembling, those on the duplicate (Exhibit "3-A") are still more so, 1945, in a public instrument entitled "Special Power of Attorney" (Exhibit "E") referred to
showing the effects of the concentration of attention, exertion and effort of the testator Teodoro Vaño as his son and appointed him as his attorney-in-fact to leave to the United
in reading and singing the original. States of America any, some or all real properties owned by him in the City of Cebu, under
such terms and conditions which Teodoro may deem just and reasonable, and to execute
But there are other and equally important considerations which favor the conclusion that and sign the corresponding deeds of lease, and to collect and receive the rents. This was
Exhibit "A" was duly signed written opposition the opponents did not question but on the accepted and acted by Teodoro Vaño. In 1946 and 1947 the testator appointed Teodoro
contrary, assumed if not conceded the genuineness of the signatures of the testator. Then his attorney-in-fact giving him a power of attorney with extensive powers such as to lease
at the hearing, they changed their attitude and for the first time put in issue the to the Republic of the Philippines some of his real personal properties in the City of Cebu,
genuineness of said signatures; this despite the fact that the original of the will (Exhibit and to collect and receive the rentals accruing from the leased properties; to ask, demand,
"A") was filed in court on February 11, 1950, and the opposition was filed on March 24th sue form recover, and collect any and all sums of money, debts, dues, accounts, legacies,
of the same year. In other words the opponents and their lawyers had almost one and a bequests, interests, dividends, etc. which thereafter become due or owing to him and to
half months within which to examine and scrutinize the signatures on Exhibit "A", after make, sign, execute, and deliver contracts, documents, agreements, and other writings of
which examination they did not doubt their genuineness. whatever nature with any and all third persons upon terms and conditions acceptable to
him (Teodoro), Exhibits "F" and "G". In 1946 while the testator was in Bohol, he wrote to
Again, the opponents include Ireneo Vaño, a son of Jesus Vaño, brother of the testator, Teodoro a note (Exhibit "I") addressing him as his "dear son" and with the complimentary
among the oppositors. This same Ireneo later filed a motion in court repudiating the clause "your loving Dad", signing the same, asking Teodoro to send P5,000 to him. It
action taken by the opponents, saying that he was include among the oppositors without seems that at least in Cebu and Bohol petitioner Teodoro Vaño was known by everyone
his knowledged or consent; that far from opposing the probate of the will of his uncle, he
to be the son of Jose Vaño because the latter had treated and accepted, even recognized In the present case, the opinions of the two handwriting experts presented by the parties
him as such, and shortly before his death, entrusted him with the complete management are conflicting and even assuming that there is doubt to our mind as to which of the two
of his business. One of the witness for the opposition, Carmen Vallore, cousin-in-law of is to be accepted, the positive and clear testimony of the three subscribing witnesses
the testator, in her testimony called Milagros Vaño, wife of Teodoro Vaño, as the should prevail. In the case of In re Will of Medina, 60 Phil., 391, this Court said:
daughter-in-law of Jose Vaño, meaning that Teodoro was the son of the testator. During
the hearing and while Teodoro Vaño was testifying, counsel for the oppositors repeatedly In the present case, two of the subscribing witnesses are lawyers. This fact together with
reffered to the testator as his (Teodoro's) father. Under all these circumstances, is it any the circumstance that they were not shown to have any interest in the subject of the
wonder that Jose Vaño should voluntarily by means of a will, leave all his properties to his litigation, lead the trial court to consider their testimony as worthy of credit. The
only son, though natural? intervention of professional men specially lawyers, in the preparation and execution of
wills, has been given by this Court the consideration deserved.
It is not improbable that one of the reasons prompting the filling of the opposition to the
petition for probate was that Paz Vaño Vda. de Garces, sister of the testator, could not Reiterating the doctrine laid down in the case of Sotelo vs. Luzan, 59 Phil., 908, we further
understand why her brother, a wealthy man should leave all his wealth to a mere natural held in the same case:
son (Teodoro) and leave nothing to her; but it was not altogether strange because it In one case it was said: "It is hardly conceivable that any attorney of any standing would
seems that the relations between Paz and the testator, were rather strained and in 1949, risk his professional reputation by falsifying a will and then go before a court and give
according to the evidence, Paz had brought a civil action against Jose Vaño and Irineo false testimony."
Vaño, the nephew of Jose Vaño who refused to oppose the probate of the will. And during
the last and prolonged illness of the testator, Paz living in the same city of Cebu, did not There is no reason to believe that Atty. Pacquio who, at the time was not only a member
even once visit her ailing and bed-ridden brother. of the bar but was an assistant provincial fiscal, should commit forgery by drafting Exhibit
"A" and take part in forging the signature of the testator and later falsely testify in court
The three subscribing witnesses to the will, under oath assured the court that Jose Vaño on the due execution of said will and subject himself not only to criminal prosecution and
voluntarily signed Exhibit "A", and these three witnesses were in no way related to dismissal from his post as assistant provincial fiscal, but also to disbarment proceedings.
Teodoro or to the testator, had no interest in the execution of the will and stood to gain
nothing by its probate. Pedro Ceniza is a responsible businessman, Dr. Osmundo Rama, is In view of the foregoing, the decision appealed from his reversed and Exhibit "A" is hereby
a practising physician and Atty. Nazario Pacquio, is a member of the bar and at the time allowed probate as the Last Will and Testament of Jose Vaño, with costs against appellees.
he prepared Exhibit "A", he was Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Cebu. Their disinterested
Paras, C. J., Pablo, Padilla, Reyes , A., Jugo, Bautista Angelo, Labrador and Concepcion,
testimony cannot be taken lightly. On this question of the weight to be given to the
JJ., concur.
testimony of subscribing witnesses, we held in the case of Roxas vs. Roxas, et al., 48 Off.
Gaz. (6) 2177; 87 Phil. 692, that —

We do not venture to impute bias to the experts introduced during the trial but we hasten
to state that the positive testimony of the three attesting witnesses ought to prevail over
the expert opinions which cannot be mathematically precise but which, on the contrary
are "subject to inherent infirmities."

The law impliedly recognizes the almost conclusive weight of the testimony of attesting
witnesses when it provides that "if the will is contested, all the subscribing witnesses
present in the Philippines and not insane, must be produced and examined, and the death,
absence or insanity of any one of them must be satisfactorily shown to the Court."
(Section 11, Rule 77 Rules of Court.)

G.R. No. L-15814 February 28, 1962 The appellant contends that the dismissal of the petition in the previous case (spec. proc.
No. 3628) does not bar the present (spec. proc. No. 3883), both for the probate of the
IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF CANDELARIA BENGUAN, deceased. same last will and testament of the late Candelaria Benguan, because the dismissal for
SUSANA ABAY DE ARROYO, petitioner-appellant, vs. FRANCISCO ABAY, CONRADO ABAY, failure of the petitioner and his counsel to appear at the hearing set by the Court was not
JR., JOSE ABAY and NORMA ABAY, opponents-appellees. an adjudication on the merits of the case and is not res judicata, because the parties in
PADILLA, J.: the previous and present proceedings are not the same. .

On 5 January 1956 Susana Abay de Arroyo filed in the Court of First Instance of Negros The appellant's contention that the dismissal of the petition for probate in the previous
Occidental a petition for the probate of the will of her deceased first-degree cousin special proceedings due to failure of the then petitioner and his counsel to appear on the
Candelaria Benguan (special proceedings No. 3883). On 28 May, the Court ordered that date and time set for the hearing thereof is not an adjudication on the merits must be
the petition be published once a week for three consecutive weeks in Civismo, a upheld. In arriving at this conclusion the Court has not overlooked the provisions of
newspaper of general circulation in Negros Occidental, setting the date of hearing thereof sections 3 and 4, Rule 30, and section 2, Rule 73, of the Rules of Court. The probate of a
for the 23rd day of June 1956. On the date and time set for the hearing of the petition will may be the concern of one person or several persons as usually is the case. The fault
attorney Rolando Medalla, representing some of the heirs hereinafter referred to as of one such person may be imputed to him alone who must suffer the consequences of
opponents, moved for the postponement of the hearing to give him time and opportunity his act. Such fault cannot be imputed to other persons. Hence, the failure of Felix Abay
to file a written objection to the petition. Whereupon, the hearing was postponed to 30 and his counsel to appear on the date and time set for the hearing of the petition for the
June 1956. On 28 June, the opponents filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that a probate of a will claimed to have been executed by the late Candelaria Benguan during
petition for the probate of the same last will and testament had been dismissed by the her lifetime which brought about the dismissal of the petition filed in that special
same Court in a previous special proceedings No. 3628 and constitutes a bar to the proceedings (No. 3628) cannot prejudice the right of Susana Abay de Arroyo, the
present proceedings (No. 3883). On 7 July, the petitioner answered the motion to dismiss. petitioner, in a subsequent petition filed for the probate of the same will and last
By an order entered on 14 July, the Court dismissed the petition. After considering the testament. So the provisions of the Rules cited and invoked by the opponents-appellees
motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioner on 31 July 1956 and the answer thereto cannot be made to apply to proceedings for the probate of wills, because as already
filed by the opponents on 3 August 1956, the Court denied the motion for reconsideration. stated other parties interested in the probate of a will for transmission of property rights
The petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals which certified the appeal to this Court to them should not be prejudiced by the act or fault of another and because it is the policy
for only questions of law are raised. .1äwphï1.ñët of the State to have such last wills and testaments submitted to Court for their probate
or legalization, as shown or indicated or evidenced by or in the punishment provided for
The previous proceedings invoked by the opponents to bar the present is special persons who are in possession of last wills and testaments of deceased persons and fail
proceedings No. 3623 filed in the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental on 27 or neglect to deliver or present them to Court for probate or to deliver them to the
September 1955 by one Felix Abay, a brother of Susana Abay de Arroyo, the herein executor named in the will within twenty days after they know of the death of the
petitioner and appellant. The last will and testament involved therein is the same involved testators or within the same period of time after they know that they were named
herein. However, upon failure of Felix Abay and his counsel Pio B. Japitana to appear at executors of the will (sections 2 to 5, Rule 76). The underlying reason for the rule that a
the hearing on 5 November 1955, despite due notice, the Court there dismissed the dismissal of an action or complaint in a civil case may be a bar to a subsequent action
petition, without stating that it was a dismissal with prejudice. Two motions for unless the dismissal is without prejudice is lack of interest or inaction of the one who
reconsideration were filed, the first on 15 November 1955 and the second on 28 brought the action in court by his complaint and for such lack of interest or inaction he
November 1955, but both were denied, the last for lack of merit. . should be made to suffer. .

The issue now hinges on whether or not the petition for the probate of a will filed in this The order of dismissal appealed from is set aside and the petition for probate of a will
special proceedings is barred by a previous special proceedings No. 3628, the petition of filed in special proceedings No. 3883 remanded to the Court of First Instance of Negros
which was dismissed for failure of the petitioner and his counsel to appear on the date Occidental for further proceedings as provided for in the Rules of Court, without special
set for the hearing thereof. . pronouncement as to costs.

G.R. No. L-17125 November 28, 1966 Magsuci, though, was reduced to writing, the other two defendants having merely
entered into an arrangement with Jose Mesa whereby, for P5.00 a month, they were
BERNABE MIRASOL, plaintiff-appellant, vs. ANTONIO MAGSUCI, BIBIANO LAYGO and allowed to stay in the premises in question. The contract with defendant Antonio Magsuci
CRISANTA NATAL, defendants-appellees. was for a period of three (3) years, renewable for another two. This option was exercised
REGALA, J.: so that the lease was extended up to February 6, 1956. On March 23, 1956, however, Jose
Mesa renewed the said agreement for another three (3) years, or until February 6, 1959.
This is an appeal from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo dismissing the This agreement of March 23, 1956, though, is assailed by the plaintiff-appellant as null
plaintiff-appellant's complaint for unlawful detainer under Civil Case No. 3963. and void on the ground that at the time of its execution, the leased property had already
been sold to the appellant and Jose Mesa, therefore, had no longer any authority to
On May 2, 1956, Bernabe Mirasol filed with the Municipal Court of Iloilo an action for
convey or encumber the same. In the original as well as in the renewed contracts, the
unlawful detainer, with prayer for damages, against the defendants-appellees herein
parties expressly agreed that the leased portion would be used to put up a gasoline
Bibiano Laygo, Antonio Magsuci and Crisanta Natal. After trial, judgment was rendered in
favor of the plaintiff. The above-named defendants were ordered to vacate the premises
in question and to pay for the use and occupation of the same. On appeal to the Court of On August 9, 1955, the plaintiff wrote a letter to the defendant-appellee Antonio Magsuci,
First Instance of Iloilo, the above decision was reversed, against which reversal the requesting that the latter's rental for the property occupied by him under lease contract
plaintiff perfected an appeal. In the Notice of Appeal, the plaintiff stated that he was mentioned above be paid to him or his lawyer inasmuch as he had bought the said
appealing to the Supreme Court. However, somehow, the records of this case were property from the said defendant's lessors. On August 22, 1955, Antonio Magsuci rejected
transmitted to the Court of Appeals. This latter court, on noting the above, certified the the above request on the ground that he never had any agreement, verbal or written,
case to this Court which accepted it under its resolution of July 28, 1960. with the plaintiff. There are no records of similar correspondences between the plaintiff
and the other defendants, Bibiano Laygo and Crisanta Natal. Subsequently, however, all
The land in dispute refers to a 2,286 square meter lot situated in the District of Manduriao,
three defendants were served letters of demand to vacate the premises in question by
Iloilo City. It is registered with the Iloilo Registry under the names of Jose and Asuncion
the plaintiff and when the said defendants refused to do so, the plaintiff initiated the case
Miraflores, brother and sister and both deceased, for 2/5 and 3/5 shares respectively, as
at bar.
Lot No. 2575 of the Cadastral Survey of Iloilo. Until the filing of the case at bar with the
Municipal Court of Iloilo, the respective shares of the above co-owners were still In dismissing the complaint, the trial court held:
There is no dispute that the plaintiff is the owner of 2/5 undivided portion of lot 2575 of
On June 15, 1955, the heirs of Jose Miraflores, namely: Desiderio, Leticia and Josefina, all the cadastral survey of Iloilo. But with respect to the 3/5 portion of said lot, the plaintiff
surnamed Miraflores, conveyed in absolute sale to the plaintiff-appellant, Bernabe cannot claim absolute ownership of same for the reason that the contract to sell is not a
Mirasol, the latter's 2/5 share therein. A day later, on June 16, 1955, the same children of final deed of sale which gives rise to the claim of absolute ownership of the land by the
Jose Miraflores, but this time in their capacity as devises and legatees of their aunt, plaintiff. In Special Proceeding No. 1163, the ownership of the 3/5 portion of said lot 2575
Asuncion Miraflores, entered into a "contract to sell" Asuncion's share in the is still under litigation between the heirs of Encarnacion Miraflores on one hand and
abovementioned lot with the same plaintiff-appellant, Bernabe Mirasol, on condition that, Desiderio Miraflores and his two sisters on the other. The case is still pending before the
among others, the latter would advance the expenses necessary for the probate of the Court. The conditional contract to sell is predicated on the final probate of the will of
will of Asuncion Miraflores. On September 15, 1955, Desiderio Miraflores wrote a letter deceased Asuncion Miraflores. If the will is not probated, Desiderio Miraflores and his two
to the plaintiff-appellant to advise him of the rescission of the above contract to sell in sisters cannot execute a final deed of sale in favor of the plaintiff. On top of this
view of the latter's failure to pay "for all the expenses" incurred in the proceedings over predicament is the move of Desiderio Miraflores in withdrawing the promise to sell the
Asuncion's will. 3/5 portions of the land to the plaintiff. (Exh. 11). This makes the claim of ownership of
the plaintiff precarious indeed. It should be borne in mind that the 2/5 portion belonging
It turned out that on February 6, 1951, however, the heirs of Jose Miraflores, through
to the plaintiff is not as yet segregated and we cannot say that the gasoline station of the
their attorney-in-fact, Jose Mesa, had leased to the herein defendants-appellees the
defendant is built exactly on said 2/5 portion belonging to the plaintiff. It being shown
latter's 2/5 share in the aforementioned lot. Only the agreement with appellee Antonio
that the plaintiff has no absolute and definite claim of ownership of over 3/5 portion of
the land; there being no positive proof that the gasoline station of the defendant is built by the plaintiff's counsel, Atty. Leon P. Gellada, it also had, below the letter, the following
in the 2/5 portion belonging to the plaintiff; the defendant had been paying the rentals note:
due in accordance with the contract of lease which is due to expire in 1959 this action for
unlawful detainer is premature. The plaintiff may contend that the contract of lease was With our conformity:
not duly registered in the office of the Register of Deeds and there it has no effect on him, (Sgd.) BERNABE MIRASOL
but the fact that the gasoline station existed long before the deed of promise to sell was (Sgd.) DESIDERIO MIRAFLORES
executed is a more effective and concrete notice to the plaintiff of the existence of the (for himself and for Leticia and Josefina, surnamed Miraflores).
lease rights of the defendant Magsuci. Besides, the original lease provides that the lessor
shall make a reservation in the deed of sale that the purchaser shall be bound to respect Finally, we find merit in the plaintiff-appellant's contention that the agreement of March
the lease. 23, 1956 between Antonio Magsuci and Jose Mesa, the Miraflores' attorney-in-fact,
extending the lease period up to 1959, was null and void. It should be recalled that the
We find for the plaintiff-appellant. sale in favor of the plaintiff-appellant of the very same property involved in the above
To begin with, the portion of the property leased by the heirs of Jose Miraflores to the lease agreement took place on March 23, 1956, Jose Mesa no longer had any authority to
defendants-appellees and from which the latter are sought to be rejected is the very same contract for the said property since he was merely the attorney-in-fact of the Miraflores
2/5 portion sold in absolute sale by the said heirs to the plaintiff-appellant. Consequently, who, by then, were no longer the owners of the same. All these, Antonio Magsuci had
it is entirely immaterial that it is unsegregated from the totality of the whole parcel and actual notice of.
that the ownership over the remaining 3/5 portion is unsettled since the said defendants- We hold, therefore, that the plaintiff-appellant's notice to the herein appellees sometime
appellees' right to stay in the premises in question is confined and limited to the 2/5 in August 1955 that he had bought the leased property and that, therefore, the rentals
portion pertaining to the plaintiff-appellant. Wherever else per — to the entire lot might on it should be delivered to him, obliged the said appellees, as lessees to comply with the
the said 2/5 portion be ultimately designated, there and there only could the defendant- demand. When they failed to do so, the plaintiff-appellant acquired the right to evict
appellees constructed the gasoline station mention in the lease contract. Thus, and them from the premises and to recover from them the unpaid rent.
contrary to lower court's ruling, there need be "no positive proof that the gasoline station
of the defendant is built in the 2/5 portion belonging to the plaintiff." That gasoline station The increase in rent demanded by the plaintiff-appellant from the defendant-appellee
could not have lawfully been constructed elsewhere. Antonio Magsuci should begin to run only from February 6, 1956, when the original lease
contract, as extended pursuant to the option therein granted to the lessee, expired. Prior
To be sure, it will not matter the least who and where the remaining 3/5 of the lot is finally to this date, the rent should be computed at the rate stipulated in the said original
located. It is not, after all, involved in any way in the only defense asserted by defendants- contract. For the defendants Bibiano Laygo and Crisanta Natal, the rent of P10.00 a month,
appellees: namely, the existence of a lease agreement over the 2/5 portion. as demanded by the plaintiff-appellant in his letters to them of April 14, 1956, may be
Then, too, upon the purchase of a leased property, and proper notice by the vendee to allowed to start from the date their receipt thereof considering that they had no formal
the lessee, the latter must pay the agreed rental to the new owner (De Jesus vs. Sociedad, contract with the heirs of Jose Miraflores and that their informal arrangement with Jose
23 Phil. 76) since the sale places the vendee into the shoes of the original lessor to whom Mesa, the said heir's attorney-in-fact, was on a month to month basis. (Art. 1687, Civil
the lessee bound himself to pay. When, therefore, notwithstanding such notice the herein Code) .
appellees refused to pay their respective rentals to the plaintiff-appellant, the new owner, WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby reversed. The defendants-appellees
the latter became entitled to evict the lessees from the premises and to recover from are directed to vacate the premises in question and to pay the herein appellant the
them the unpaid rent thereon. amounts above-specified up to and until the said appellant shall have actually recovered
In connection with the abovementioned notice given by the plaintiff-appellant to the from them the possession of the said property, plus legal interest from the filing of the
herein defendants-appellees, it may be mentioned that the said appellees had absolutely complaint and costs.
no ground to disbelieve or even doubt the truth of the plaintiff's claim of ownership over Concepcion, C.J., Dizon, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P., Zaldivar, Sanchez and Castro, JJ., concur.
the leased property nor his right to the rentals therefor. While the said notice was signed Barrera, J., took no part.