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Dy Yieng SEANGIO, Barbara D. SEANGIO and Virginia D. SEANGIO

vs. Hon. Amor A. REYES, Alfredo SEANGIO, et al.
G.R. Nos. 140371-72, November 27, 2006


Private respondents filed a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of the late Segundo Seangio
and praying for the appointment of private respondent Elisa D. Seangio-Santos as special administrator
and guardian ad litem of Dy Yieng Seangio. However, petitioners Dy Yieng, Barbara and Virginia
opposed the petition contending that: 1) Dy Yieng is still very healthy; 2) Segundo executed a general
power of attorney in favor of Virginia giving her the power to manage and exercise control and
supervision over his business in the Philippines; 3) Virginia is the most competent and qualified to serve
as the administrator of the estate; and 4) Segundo left a holographic will disinheriting one of the private
respondents. Thereafter, a petition for the probate of the holographic will of Segundo was filed by the
petitioner and reiterating that the probate proceedings should take precedence over the petition filed by
the private respondents because testate proceedings take precedence and enjoy priority over the
intestate proceedings. The two petitions were then consolidated. Private respondents moved for the
dismissal of the probate proceedings on the ground that the document purporting to be the holographic
will of Segundo does not contain any disposition of the estate of the deceased and thus does not meet
the definition of a will under Article 783 of the Civil Code, of which petitioners filed their opposition to
the motion to dismiss. RTC then issued an order dismissing the petition for probate proceedings. Due
to petitioner’s denial of motion for reconsideration, hence this present action.


1. Whether or not the holographic will is valid.

2. Whether or not the disinheritance is valid.


A holographic will, as provided under Article 819 of the Civil Code, must be entirely written, dated, and
signed by the hand of the testator himself. It is subject to no other form, and may be made in or out of
the Philippines, and need to be witnessed.

Secundo’s document, although it may initially come across as a mere disinheritance instrument,
conforms to the formalities of a holographic will prescribed by law. It is written, dated and signed by the
hand of Sefundo himself. An intent to dispose mortis causa can be clearly deduced from the terms of
the instrument, and while it does not make an affirmative disposition of the latter’s property, the
disinheritance of Alfredo, nonetheless, is an act of disposition in itself. In other words, the disinheritance
results in the disposition of the property of the testator Segundo in favor of those who would succeed
in the absence of Alfredo.

The document entitled, Kasulatan ng Pag-Alis ng Mana, unmistakably showed Segundo’s intention of
excluding his eldest son, Alfredo, as an heir to his estate for the reasons that he cited therein. In effect,
Alfredo was disinherited by Segundo. For disinheritance to be valid, Article 916 of the Civil Code
requires that the same must be effected through a will wherein the legal cause therefore shall be
specified. With regard to the reasons for the disinheritance that were stated by Segundo in his
document, the Court believes that the incidents, taken as a whole, can be considered a form of
maltreatment of Segundo by his son, Alfredo and that the matter presents a sufficient cause for the
disinheritance of a child or descendant under Article 919 of the Civil Code.

In view of the foregoing, the trial court, therefore, should have allowed the holographic will to be
probated, it is settled that testate proceedings for the settlement of the estate of the decedent to take
precedence over intestate proceedings for the same purpose.

Vda. De Villaflor vs. Juico

G.R. No. L-15737


On October 9, 1908, Don Nicolas Villaflor, a wealthy man of Zambales, executed a will in Spanish in
his own handwriting, devising and bequeathing in favor of his wife, Dona Fausta Nepomuceno, one-
half of all his real and personal properties, provided that, however, if he bore any child with his wife, the
will in favor of the wife will be annulled. Don Nicolas Villaflor died without begetting any child with
his wife. The latter, already a widow, instituted Special Proceeding for the settlement of her husband's
estate, she was appointed judicial administratrix, then submitted to the probate court a project of
partition, which was approved, and the probate court declared the proceeding closed. As the project of
partition now shows, the widow Doña Fausta Nepomuceno received by virtue thereof the ownership
and possession of a considerable amount of real and personal estate. The widow died without having
contracted a second marriage. Her estate is now being settled in Special Proceeding with the defendant
Delfin N. Juico as the duly appointed and qualified judicial administrator. The plaintiff Leonor Villaflor
Vda. de Villanueva is admitted to be the same Leonor Villaflor mentioned by Don Nicolas Villaflor in his
will, 7th clause, as his "sobrina nieta Leonor Villaflor". Plaintiff Leonor Villaflor instituted the present
action against the administrator of the estate of the widow Fausta Nepomuceno contending that upon
the widow's death, said plaintiff became vested with the ownership of the real and personal properties
bequeathed by the late Nicolas Villaflor to clause 7 of his will, pursuant to its eight(8th) clause.


Whether or not petitioner became the owner of the property upon the death of the widow.

Held: YES.

We agree with appellant that the plain desire and intent of the testator, as manifested in clause 8 of his
testament, was to invest his widow with only a usufruct or life tenure in the properties described in the
seventh clause, subject to the further condition that if the widow remarried, her rights would thereupon
cease, even during her own lifetime. That the widow was meant to have no more than a life interest in
those properties, even if she did not remarry at all, is evident from the expressions used by the deceased
"uso y posesion mientras viva" (use and possession while alive). The testator plainly did not give his
widow the full ownership of these particular properties, but only the right to their possession and use
(or enjoyment) during her lifetime.

ART. 790. The words of a will are to be taken in their ordinary and grammatical sense, unless a clear
intention to use them in another sense can be gathered, and that other can be ascertained.

"Technical words in a will are to be taken in their technical sense, unless the context clearly indicates a
contrary intention, or unless it satisfactorily appears that the will was drawn solely by the testator, and
that he was unacquainted with such technical sense. The testament of Don Nicolas Villaflor clearly and
unmistakably provided that his widow should have the possession and use of the legacies while alive
and did not remarry. It necessarily follows that by the express provisions of the 8th clause of his will,
the legacies should pass to the testator's "sobrinanieta", appellant herein, upon the widow's death, even
if the widow never remarried in her lifetime. Consequently, the widow had no right to retain or dispose
of the aforesaid properties, and her estate is accountable to the reversionary legatee for their return,
unless they had been lost due to fortuitous event, or for their value should rights of innocent third parties
have intervened.

Gago vs. Mamuyac

G.R. No. L-26317 January 29, 1927


Previously, Francisco Gago filed a petition for the probate of a will of Miguel Mamuyac executed on July
27, 1918. The oppositors alleged that the said will was already annulled and revoked. It appeared that
on April 16, 1919, the deceased executed another will. The lower court denied the probate of the first
will on the ground of the existence of the second will.

Another petition was filed to seek the probate of the second will. The oppositors alleged that the second
will presented was merely a copy. According to the witnesses, the said will was allegedly revoked as
per the testimony of Jose Tenoy, one of the witnesses who typed the document. Another witness
testified that on December 1920 the original will was actually cancelled by the testator.

The lower court denied the probate and held that the same has been annulled and revoked.


Whether or not there was a valid revocation of the will

HELD: Yes.

The law does not require any evidence of the revocation or cancellation of the will to be preserved. It
therefore becomes difficult at times to prove the cancellation or revocation of wills. The fact that such
cancellation or revocation has taken place must either remain unproved or be inferred from evidence
showing that after due search the original will cannot be found. Where a will which cannot be found is
shown to have been in the possession of the testator, when last seen, the presumption is in the absence
of other competent evidence, that the same was cancelled or destroyed. The same presumption arises
where it is shown that the testator had ready access to the will and it cannot be found after his death. It
will not be presumed that such will has been destroyed by any other person without the knowledge or
authority of the testator.

In the present case, the will was already cancelled in 1920. This was inferred when after due search,
the original will cannot be found. When the will which cannot be found in shown to be in the possession
of the testator when last seen, the presumption is that in the absence of other competent evidence, the
same was deemed cancelled or destroyed. The same presumption applies when it is shown that the
testator has ready access to the will and it can no longer be found after his death.