You are on page 1of 14

Rules of Proximity

Delos Santos vs Dela Cruz

Pelagia de la Cruz, died intestate on leaving as heirs the defendant-appellant Maximo
dela Cruz, her nephew and her plaintiff-appellee Gertrude delos Santos, her
grandniece; in representation of her mother, Marciana de la Cruz, being a niece of the
said Pelagia de la Cruz and who predeceases the latter.
When Pelagia died, it left an estate with an area of around 20,000 sq. m. which later on
became the subject of extrajudicial partition agreement. The parties agreed to
adjudicate three (3) lots to the defendant, in addition to his corresponding share, on
condition that the latter would undertake the development and subdivision of the estate
which was the subject matter of the agreement. When the lots where already sold,
Maximo now refused to perform his obligation in which prompted Gertrudes de los
Santos to file a complaint for specific performance against Maximo de la Cruz.
The defendant admitted the due execution of the extrajudicial partition agreement, but
set up the affirmative defenses that the plaintiff had no cause of action against him
because the said agreement was void with respect to her, for the reason that the
plaintiff was not an heir of Pelagia de la Cruz, deceased owner of the property, and was
included in the extrajudicial partition agreement by mistake

1. Whether Gertrude is an heir of Pelagia
2. Whether the extrajudicial partition of property with respect to Gertrde is

1. No. Gertrude is NOT an heir of Pelagia.
ART. 972. The right of representation takes place in the direct descending line,
but never in the ascending.
In the collateral line, it takes place only in favor of the children of brothers or
sisters, whether they be of the full or half blood.
ART. 962. In every inheritance, the relative nearest in degree excludes the more
distant ones, saving the right of representation when it properly takes place. ... .
In the case, the relatives "nearest in degree" to Pelagia de la Cruz are her
nephews and nieces, one of whom is defendant-appellant. Necessarily, plaintiff-
appellee, a grandniece is excluded by law from the inheritance

2. VOID. Plaintiff-appellee not being such a heir, the partition is void with respect to
ART. 1105. A partition which includes a person believed to be a heir, but who is
not, shall be
void only with respect to such person.
Partition of property affected between a person entitled to inherit from the
deceased owner thereof and another person who thought he was an heir, when he was
not really and lawfully such, to the prejudice of the rights of the true heir designated by
law to succeed the deceased, is null and void

The Barrier

TOMAS CORPUS, plaintiff-appellant,

ADMINISTRATOR and/or EXECUTOR of the Estate of Teodoro R. Yangco,

Teodoro R. Yangco died in Manila at the age of seventy-seven years. His will
was probated in the CFI.
Yangco had no forced heirs. At the time of his death, his nearest relatives were
(1) his half brother, Luis R. Yangco,
(2) his half sister, Paz Yangco,
(3) Amalia Corpus, Jose A. V. Corpus, and Ramon L. Corpus, the children of his
half brother, Pablo Corpus, and
(4) Juana (Juanita) Corpus, the daughter of his half brother Jose Corpus. (†)
· A project of partition was submitted by the administrator and the legatees named
in the will. That project of partition was opposed by the estate of Luis R.
Yangco whose counsel contended that an intestacy should be declared because the
will does not contain an institution of heir.
· The Probate court approved the project of partition. Appeals were taken by Pedro
Martinez, Juliana de Castro , Juanita Corpus (deceased) and the estate of Luis R.
Yangcobut were dismissed after the legatees and the appellants entered
into compromise agreements.
· In the compromise the legatees agreed to pay P35,000 to Pedro Martinez, the
heirs of Pio V. Corpus, peaches, the heirs of Isabel Corpus and the heir of Juanita
Corpus (Tomas Corpus). Tomas Corpus signed that compromise settlement and
received from the Yangco estate P2,000as settlement of his full share.
· But, subsequently, Tomas Corpusfiled an action to recover her (Juanita’s)
supposed share in Yangco intestate estate.
· He alleged in his complaint that the dispositions are void since it was a perpetual
prohibition on alienation and an intestacy be declared.
· TC dismissed the action on the grounds of res judicata and laches.
· CA endorsed the case to the SC since it covers real property valued at more
than 50k.

WON Tomas Corpus may inherit from TeodoroYangco [NO, because his mother (Juana
Corpus does not have the right to inherit via intestacy from his half-blood brother]

· Trial Court: Teodoro R. Yangco was an acknowledged natural child and not a
legitimate child. Itwas proven in the statement in the will of his father, Luis Rafael
· Court presumed that there was a marriage between Ramona and Tomas (first
· Since Teodoro R. Yangco was an acknowledged natural child or was illegitimate
and since Juanita Corpus was the legitimate child of Jose Corpus, himself a legitimate
child, we hold that appellant Tomas Corpus has no cause of action for the recovery
of the supposed hereditary share of his mother, Juanita Corpus, as a legal heir, in
Yangco's estate. Juanita Corpus was not a legal heir of Yangco because there is
no reciprocal succession between legitimate and illegitimate relatives.
· OCC 943 "prohibits all successory reciprocity mortis causa between legitimate and
illegitimate relatives"
· article 992 of the Civil Code which provides that "an illegitimate child has no right to
inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; nor
shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child".
· Under articles 944 and 945 of the Spanish Civil Code, "if an acknowledged natural
or legitimated child should die without issue, either legitimate or acknowledged, the
father or mother who acknowledged such child shall succeed to its entire estate; and if
both acknowledged it and are alive, they shall inherit from it share and share alike. In
default of natural ascendants, natural and legitimated children shall be succeeded by
their natural brothers and sisters in accordance with the rules established for legitimate
brothers and sisters."
· Hence, Teodoro R. Yangco'shalf brothers on the Corpus side, who were
legitimate, had no right to succeed to his estate under the rules of intestacy.
· By reason of that same rule, the natural child cannot represent his natural father
in the succession to the estate of the legitimate grandparent. The natural daughter
cannot succeed to the estate of her deceased uncle, a legitimate brother of her natural

Leonardo v.CA
G.R. No. L-51263 February 28, 1983


Francisca Reyes died intestate on July 12, 1942 and was survived by two daughters,
Maria and Silvestra Cailles and a grandson, Sotero Leonardo, the son of her daughter,
Pascuala Cailles who predeceased her. Sotero Leonardo died in 1944, while Silvestra
Cailles died in 1949 without any issue. On October 29, 1964, petitioner Cresenciano
Leonardo, claiming to be the son of the late Sotero Leonardo, filed a complaint for
ownership of properties, sum of money and accounting in the Court of First Instance of
Rizal seeking judgment (1) to be declared one of the lawful heirs of the
deceased Francisca Reyes, entitled to one-half share in the estate of said
deceased jointly with defendant, private respondent herein, Maria Cailles, (2) to have
the properties left by said Francisca Reyes, described in the complaint, partitioned
between him and defendant Maria Cailles, and (3) to have an accounting of all the
income derived from said properties from the time defendants took possession thereof
until said accounting shall have been made, delivering to him his share therein with
legal interest. Answering the complaint, private respondent Maria Cailles asserted
exclusive ownership over the subject properties and alleged that petitioner is an
illegitimate child who cannot succeed by right of representation. For his part, the
other defendant, private respondent James Bracewell, claimed that said properties are
now his by virtue of a valid and legal deed of sale which Maria Cailles had subsequently
executed in his favor. These properties were allegedly mortgaged to respondent Rural
Bank of Paranaque, Inc. sometime in September 1963.


Whether or not petitioner, as the great grandson of Francisca Reyes, has legal right
to inherit by representation.


No. Even if it is true that petitioner is the child of Sotero Leonardo, still he cannot, by
right of representation, claim a share of the estate left by the deceased Francisca Reyes
considering that, as found again by the Court of Appeals, he was born outside wedlock
as shown by the fact that when he was born on September 13, 1938, his alleged
putative father and mother were not yet married, and what is more, his alleged
father’s first marriage was still subsisting. At most, petitioner would be an illegitimate
child who has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of
his father, like the deceased Francisca Reyes. (Article 992, Civil Code of the

Diaz vs. Intermediate Appellate Court,

G.R. No. 66574, February 21, 1990

Doctrine: Generalia verba sunt generaliter intelligenda (what is generally spoken shall
generally understood)

It is undisputed:
1) that Felisa Pamuti Jardin is a niece of Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero who together
with Felisa's mother Juliana were the only legitimate child of the spouses Felipe Pamuti
and Petronila Asuncion;
2) that Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero is the widow of Pascual Santero and the mother
of Pablo Santero;
3) that Pablo Santero was the only legitimate son of his parents;
4) that Pascual Santero died in 1970; Pablo Santero in 1973 and Simona Santero in
5) that Pablo Santero, at the time of his death was survived by his mother Simona
Santero and his six minor natural children to wit: four minor children with Anselma Diaz
and two minor children with Felixberta Pacursa.

Who are the legal heirs of Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero — her niece Felisa Pamuti-
Jardin or her grandchildren (the natural children of Pablo Santero)?

Since petitioners herein are barred by the provisions of Article 992, the respondent
Intermediate Appellate Court did not commit any error in holding Felisa Pamuti Jardin to
be the sole legitimate heir to the intestate estate of the late Simona Pamuti Vda. de
The term relatives, although used many times in the Code, is not defined by it. In
accordance therefore with the canons of statutory interpretation, it should be understood
to have a general and inclusive scope, inasmuch as the term is a general
one. Generalia verba sunt generaliter intelligenda. That the law does not make a
distinction prevents us from making one: Ubi lex non distinguit, nec nos distinguera

The term relatives in “Article 992 of New Civil Code” in more restrictive sense than it is
used and intended; is not warranted by any rule of interpretation. Besides, when the law
intends to use the term in a more restrictive sense, it qualifies the term with the word
collateral, as in Articles 1003 and 1009 of the New Civil Code.

Vda. De Crisologo v. Court of Appeals

G.R. No. L-44051 June 27, 1985


Julia Capiao maintained extra-marital relations with one Victoriano Taccad and begot
with him one child and/or forced heir, named Lutgarda Capiao who was married to
Raymundo Zipagan both of whom died at Cauayan, Isabela in 1970 and
1964, respectively, without any children and/or immediate forced heirs. Lutgarda Capiao
died on November 11, 1970 at Cauayan, Isabela, without any will. Intestate succession
took place and the herein plaintiffs, as relatives within the fifth civil degree to her
Lutgarda Capiao were consequently instituted as Lutgarda’s legal heirs and
were legally entitled to inherit all the properties which were hers by virtue of the extra-
judicial partition.


Whether or not plaintiffs can inherit from Lutgarda Capiao, the original owner of the
properties in question.


No. Clearly, they can not because the legitimate relatives of Julia Capiao
cannot inherit from an illegitimate child of the latter, because that is the clear and
unmistakable provision of Article 992 of the New Civil Code. Neither can Lutgarda
Capiao inherit from the legitimate relatives of Julia Capiao who are the plaintiffs in
the instant case.
Suntay vs. Suntay

GR No. 132524 December 29, 1998

Petitioner Federico is the oppositor to respondent Isabel’s Petition for Letters of
Administration over the estate of Cristina A. Suntay who had died without leaving a will.
The decedent is the wife of Federico and the grandmother of Isabel. Isabel’s father
Emilio, had predeceased his mother Cristina.
The marriage of Isabel’s parents had previously been decalred by the CFI as “null and
void.” Federico anchors his oppostion on this fact, alleging based on Art. 992 of the CC,
that Isabel has no right to succeed by right of representation as she is an illegitimate
child. The trial court had denied Federico’s Motion to Dismiss, hence this petition for
certiorari. Federico contends that, inter alia, that the dispositive portion of the the
decision declaring the marriage of Isabel’s parents “null and void” be upheld.
Whether or not the illegitimate child may inherit from the grandparent, who treated the
former like his own son, notwithstanding Article 992 of the Civil Code.
YES. The factual antecedents of this case accurately reflect the basis of intestate
succession, i.e., love first descends, for the decedent, Cristina, did not distinguish
between her legitimate and illegitimate grandchildren. Neither did her husband,
Federico, who, in fact, legally raised the status of Emilio III from an illegitimate
grandchild to that of a legitimate child. The peculiar circumstances of this case,
painstakingly pointed out by counsel for petitioner, overthrow the legal presumption in
Article 992 of the Civil Code that there exist animosity and antagonism between
legitimate and illegitimate descendants of a deceased.


Santillon v. Miranda (1965)

When an intestacy occurs, a surviving spouse concurring with
only one legitimate child of the deceased is entitled to one-half of the estate
of the deceased spouse under Art. 996 of the Civil Code.
son vs mother- after deducting conjugal share, son claims ¾
from the remaining 1/2; while mother claims ½ of the remaining ½.
Pedro Santillon died without a will, leaving his wife, Perfecta Miranda and
one son, Claro.
4 years after Pedro’s death, Claro filed a petition for letters of
administration which was opposed by his mother and spouses Benito
Miranda and Rosario Corrales.
Upon partition, Claro filed a motion to declare share of heirs and to
resolve conflicting claims of the parties invoking Art.892 of the New Civil
Code insisting that after deducting ½ from the conjugal properties
(conjugal share of Perfecta), the remaining ½ must be divided as follows:
¼ for her and ¾ for him.
Perfecta (mother) claimed besides her conjugal half, she was
entitled under Art. 996 of the NCC to another ½ of the remaining

WON Art. 892 or Art. 996 applies.

Art. 996 applies.
Article 996 specifically applies to intestate succession while Art. 892
which is found in the chapter of testamentary succession, applies to
such type of succession.
Surviving spouse concurring with a legitimate child entitled to one-
half of the intestate estate.
When an intestacy occurs, a surviving spouse concurring
with only one legitimate child of the deceased is entitled to
one-half of the estate of the deceased spouse under Art. 996
of the Civil Code.


Testate Estate of the late Reverend Father Pascual Rigor, The Parish Priest, G.R.
No. L-22036, April 30, 1979.

Father Rigor, the parish priest of Pulilan, Bulacan, left a will executed and was probated
by the Court of First Instance of Tarlac in its order of December 5, 1935. Named as
devisees in the will were the testators nearest relatives, his three sisters. In addition, the
will provided that it be adjudicated in favor of the legacy purported to be given to the
nearest male relative who shall take the priesthood.

Whether or not the bequest in question be declared inoperative.

In the law of contracts and statutory construction, the primary issue is the determination
of the testator's intention which is the law of the case. What is no clear is on how long
after the testator's death would it be determined that he had a nephew who would
pursue an ecclesiastical vocation. The SC held that the said bequest refers to the
testator's nearest male relative living at the time of his death and not to any indefinite
time thereafter. "In order to be capacitated to inherit, the heir, devisee or legatee must
be living at the moment the succession opens, except in case of representation, when it
is proper" (Art. 1025, Civil Code). Inasmuch as the testator was not survived by any
nephew who became a priest, the unavoidable conclusion is that the bequest in
question was ineffectual or inoperative. Therefore, the administration of the ricelands by
the parish priest of Victoria, as envisaged in the wilt was likewise inoperative.


To be an heir under the rules of Civil Code of 1889, a child must be either a child
legitimate, legitimated, or adopted, or else an acknowledged natural child for illegitimate
not natural are disqualified to inherit. (CivilCode of 1889, Art. 807, 935



: The spouses Genaro Dimayuga and Segunda Gayapanao, acquired a Torrens title
forhomestead in 1928. Segunda died intestate in 1940, survived by her son, Manuel,
and her husband,Genaro. During their marriage, Genaro had a mistress named
Emerenciana by whom he begot fivechildren, named Filomeno, Pacita, Adelaide,
Remedios and Socorro. A sixth child, Nelia Dimayuga, was born in 1944 or after
Segunda's death. On September 16, 1948, a "partition of real property" wasexecuted. In
the partition, Genaro treated the homestead as his sole property and not conjugal
whichit actually was. Manuel was given as share 5 ½ hectares of the homestead. The
six illegitimate children were given 7 and 7/10 hectares. It was amended in 1951 by
means of an affidavit. An additional onehectare was given to Manuel, making his total
share 6 and 5/10 hectares because the 1948 partition was prejudicial to him. Nineteen
years later, Manuel having been advised that the entire homestead was inherited by
him from his parents obtained a Torrens title for the 13-hectare homestead. About two
months later, the six illegitimate children filed a complaint for the annulment of Manuel's
title andfor the division of the homestead equally among Genaro's seven children
including Manuel.

: Whether the 1948 partition is in conformity with law and such partition shall stand.

: NO. Article 1056 of the old Civil Code provides that "if the testator should make
apartition of his property by an act inter vivos, or by will, such partition shall stand
insofar, as it doesnot prejudice the legitime of the forced heirs." Article 1056 was
construed to mean that a person whomakes an inter vivos partition must first execute a
will. If the will is void, the partition is void. Withmore reason would the partition be void if
there was no will. The 1948 partition was not in conformity with law. It assumed
that Genaro was the owner of the entire homestead. One-half of the homestead,subject
to the husband's usufructuary legitime, was inherited in 1940 by Manuel upon the death
of hismother who was married to Genaro for twenty-five years. Genaro could dispose by
an act inter vivosonly one-half of the homestead. In that one-half portion, Manuel and
Nelia, as Genaro's legal andforced heirs, had a two-third legitime. In "donating" the said
one-half portion to his six illegitimatechildren, Genaro deprived Manuel of his legitime in
his estate or, in effect, made him renounce hisfuture inheritance. The 1951 affidavit
cannot be construed as a repudiation of his inheritance in hisfather's estate because the
document does not have that tenor. For this reason, Manuel is not estoppedto ignore
that partition. Manuel and Nelia, as Genaro's legal and forced heirs, are entitled to
inheritGenaro's one-half portion. It cannot be said that the five adulterous children have
no resources whatsoever. Their mother, Emerenciana, has a homestead adjoining
Genaro's homestead in question



Leviste v. Court of Appeals – not sure if ito nga. Pero ang 160 scra is1988-1989

TOPIC: Legal Ethics, contingent fees

On September 7, 1963, Leviste, a practicing attorney, entered into a written agreement
with the Rosa del Rosario to appear as her counsel in a petition for probate of the
holographic will of the late Maxima C. Reselva. It was agreed that the contigent fee would
be 35% of the property Rosa will receive upon the probate of the will. On August 20, 1965,
Leviste received a letter from Ms. Del Rosario, informing him that she was terminating his
services as her counsel due to “conflicting interest.” On September 20, 1965, petitioner filed
a motion to Intervene to Protect His Rights to Fees for Professional Services but was soon
denied since he had not filed a claim for attorney’s fees nor recorded his attorney’s lien. On
November 23, 1965, petitioner filed a formal statement of Claim for Attorney’s Fees and
Recording of Attorney’s Lien. Despite the denial of his motion to intervene, Atty. LEviste
kept on receiving copies of the court’s orders, as well the pleadings of the other parties in
the case. He also continued to file pleadings. On November 23, 1966, Del Rosario and Rita
Banu, the special administratrix-legatee, filed a motion To Withdraw Petition for Probate.
They alleging that Del Rosario waived her rights to the devise and agreed that the De
Guzman brothers and sisters who opposed her petition for probate, shall inherit all the
properties left by the decedent. The trial court denied the motion to withdraw the petition
for being contrary to public policy. The court disallowed the will, holding that the legal
requirements for its validity were not satisfied as only two witnesses. Atty. Leviste filed an
appeal bond, notice of appeal, and record on appeal. The private respondents filed a motion
to dismiss the appeal on the ground that petitioner was not a party in interest. Atty. Leviste
opposed the motion claiming that he has a direct and material interest in the decision
sought to be reviewed. He also asked that he be substituted as party-petitioner but was
denied. Upon appeal to the Court of Appeals, he suffered the same fate. Leviste brought this
case to the Supreme Court asserting Art. 1052 of the Civil Code: ART. 1052: If the heir
repudiates the inheritance to the prejudice of his own creditors, the latter may petition the
court to authorize them to accept it in the name of the heir. The acceptance shall benefit
the creditors only to an extent sufficient to cover the amount of their credits. The excess,
should there be any, shall in no case pertain to the renouncer, but shall be adjudicated to
the persons to whom, in accordance with the rules established in this Code, it may belong.
Thus, Leviste asserts he has a right to accept for his client Del Rosario to the extent of 35%
thereof the devise in her favor (which she in effect repudiated) to protect his contigent
attorney’s fees.

Whether or not an attorney who was engaged on a contingent fee basis may, in order to
collect his fees, prosecute an appeal despite his client’s refusal to appeal the decision of the
trial court.

No. The Supreme Court held Article 1052 of the Civil Code does not apply to this case. That
legal provision protects the creditor of a repudiating heir. Petitioner is not a creditor of Rosa
del Rosario. The payment of his fees is contingent and dependent upon the successful
probate of the holographic will. Since the petition for probate was dismissed by the lower
court, the contingency did not occur. Attorney Leviste is not entitled to his fee. Also, Article
1052 presupposes that the obligor is an heir. Rosa del Rosario is not a legal heir of the late
Maxima C. Reselva. The contract for contingent attorney’s fees neither gives, nor purports
to give, to the lawyer any right whatsoever, personal or real, in his client’s share of the
properties. The amount thereof is simply a basis for the computation of said fees. SC
claimed that the lower court did not err in holding that notice of an attorney’s lien did not
entitle the attorney-appellant to subrogate himself in lieu of his client. It only gives him the
right to collect a certain amount for his services in case his client is awarded a certain sum
by the court.


De Roma v. CA
: Candeleria De Roma adopted two daughters, Buhay and Rosalinda. She diedintestate.
When administration proceedings was ongoing, Buhay was appointedadministratrix and
filed an inventory of the estate. Opposed by Rosalinda on theground that certain
properties donated by their mother to Buhay and fruits thereof had not been included.
The Parcels of Land totaled P10,297.50 and the value is notdisputed. The TC issued an
order in favor of Buhay because when Candelariadonated the properties to Buhay she
said in the Deed of Donation “sa pamamagitanng pagbibigay na din a mababawing
muli” which the TC interpreted as a prohibitionto collate and besides the legitimes of the
two daughters were not impaired. Onappeal, it was reversed as it merely described the
donation as irrevocable not anexpress prohibition to collate.
Whether or not these lands are subject to collation.
The pertinent Civil Code provisions are:Art. 1061. Every compulsory heir, who succeeds
with other compulsory heirs, mustbring into the mass of the estate any property or right
which he may have receivedfrom the decedent, during the lifetime of the latter, by way
of donation, or any othergratuitous title, in order that it may be computed in the
determination of thelegitime of each heir, and in the account of the partition. (1035a)Art.
1062. Collation shall not take place among compulsory heirs if the donor shouldhave so
expressly provided, or if the donee should repudiate the inheritance, unlessthe donation
should be reduced as inofficious. (1036) The SC affirmed the appellate court’s decision
and that it merely described thedonation as irrevocable. The Fact that a donation is
irrevocable does not necessarilyexempt the donated properties from collation as
required under the provisions of the NCC. Given the precise language of the deed
of donation the decedent donorwould have included an express prohibition to collate if
that had been the donor’sintention. Absent such indication of that intention, the rule not
the exemptionshould be applied.-MJA



Old Tumpao begot 3 children (respondents) with his first wife. Upon her death, he took
himself a second wife but without issues. However she had adopted 2 children
according to the practice of Igorots. On September 4, 1937, Old Tumpao executed what
he called “last will and testament which were read to and thumb mark affixed by all of
the beneficiaries who at the time were already occupying the portions respectively
allotted to them. After the death of Old Tumpao, the parties remained to be in
possession of the lots assign to them which was in accordance of the wishes of old
Tumpao which was also agreed upon by the parties in a public document.

On November 4, 1960, respondents executed an extra-judicial partition in which they

divided the property of Old Tumpao among the three of them only. Petitioners sued for
reconveyance , sustained by trial court but reversed by CA.


Whether or not the “ will and testament” of Old Tumpao be duly allowed even without
being proved in the court


In accordance with the rules of court, no will shall pass either real or personal property
unless it is proved or allowed in court.
However the document maybe sustained by art 1056 of the Old Civil Code which was
the law in force at the time the document was made. The law says: “If the testator
should make a partition of his properties by an act inter vivors, or by will such partition
shall stand in so far as it does not prejudice the legitime of the forced heirs.”

Such partition is not governed by the rules of wills or donation inter vivos, which is a
consequence of its special nature. Thus, the last will and testament of Old Tumpao is
sustained by the provision of Art 1056, Old Civil Code, which became a binding law
when the beneficiaries, parties herein, agreed and confirmed with the disposition made
by Old Tumpao.