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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty.

Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

INHERITANCE one arising from a contract, may be pursued only by filing the same in the
NACAR vs. NISTAL administration proceedings to settle the estate of the deceased Isabelo Nacar. If
G.R. No. L-33006 December 8, 1982 || Inheritance such a proceeding is instituted and the subject claim is not filed therein within the
GUTIERREZ, JR., J. period prescribed, the same shall be deemed "barred forever." xxx The carabaos,
if really owned by Isabelo Nacar, pertained to his estate upon his death. The claim
of the private respondents may only be satisfied by a voluntary act on the part of
FACTS: the heirs of Isabelo Nacar, or pursued in the appropriate settlement proceedings.
On various dates since the year 1968, defendant Isabelo Nacar incurred A municipal court may not entertain such a proceeding, it not being vested, under
indebtedness to plaintiff Ildefonso Japitana in the total sum of P2,791.00, and the law then in force, with probate jurisdiction. Xxx
which the defendant had not been able to pay despite repeated demands.
Defendant died in 1970 leaving among other things personal property consisting
ANDERSON v. PERKINS
seven (7) heads of carabaos now in the possession of Nicanor Nacar. Plaintiff filed
G.R. No. L-15388 January 31, 1961
a claim against the estate of the late Isabelo Nacar to recover the aforementioned
FACTS:
sum. Judge Nistal issued an order directing the attachment of seven (7) carabaos
in the possession of Nicanor Nacar. However, only four (4) carabaos were
Petitioner Dora Perkins Anderson filed a petition for the probate of the supposed
attached because three (3) carabaos had earlier been slaughtered during the rites
last will and testament of the late Eugene Arthur Perkins who allegedly possessed
preceding the burial of the late Isabelo Nacar.
of personal and real properties. Petitioner also filed an urgent petition for the
appointment of Alfonso Ponce Enrile as special administrator of the estate. The
ISSUE:
court issued an order appointing Enrile as such special administrator upon his
Whether or not the indebtedness may be enforced against the estate of the late
posting of a bond.
Isabelo Nacar
Oppositor Idonah Slade Perkins, surviving spouse of the deceased, entered an
HELD:
opposition to the probate of the will presented by petitioner.
Indeed, although Japitana may have a legal right to recover an indebtedness due
him, Nicanor Nacar has no correlative legal duty to pay the debt for the simple
The special administrator submitted to the court a petition seeking authority to
reason that there is nothing in the complaint to show that he incurred the debt or
sell, or give away to some charitable or educational institution or institutions,
had anything to do with the creation of the liability.
certain personal effects left by the deceased which were allegedly deteriorating
both physically and in value in order to avoid their further deterioration and to
It is also patent from the complaint that respondent Japitana filed the case against
save whatever value might be obtained in their disposition. The court required
petitioner Nacar to recover seven (7) heads of carabaos allegedly belonging to
the administration to submit a specification of the properties sought to be sold.
Isabelo Nacar which Japitana wanted to recover from the possession of the
The special administrator submitted to the court a copy of the inventory of the
petitioner to answer for the outstanding debt of the late Isabelo Nacar. This
personal properties belonging to the estate with the items sought to be sold.
matter, however, is only ancillary to the main action. The ancillary matter does
not cure a fatal defect in the complaint for the main action is for the recovery of an
Oppositor filed an opposition to the proposed sale on the grounds that (1) most of
outstanding debt of the late lsabelo Nacar due respondent Japitana, a cause of
the properties sought to be sold were conjugal properties of herself and her
action about which petitioner Nacar has nothing to do.
deceased husband; and (2) unauthorized removals of fine pieces of furniture
Separate Opinions
belonging to the estate had been made.
VASQUEZ, J., concurring:
xxx Isabelo Nacar died before the said complaint was filed. It does not appear that
The lower court approved the proposed sale. Oppositor moved to reconsider this
any proceeding has been filed to settle his estate. Under these facts, the filing of an
order on the grounds that (1) said order in effect authorized the special
ordinary action to recover said claim is not allowed in any court. Even if
administrator to sell the entire personal estate of the deceased, contrary to Rule
settlement proceedings had been taken to settle the estate of Isabelo Nacar, the
81, sec. 2, Rules of Court; (2) said order was issued without a showing that the
suit to recover the claim of the private respondents may not be filed against the
goods and chattels sought to be sold were perishable, pursuant to Rule 81, section
administrator or executor of his estate. The claim of private respondents, being
2, Rules of Court; (3) the personality sought to be sold represented the lifetime

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

savings and collections of oppositor; (4) there is evidence on record showing NOTE: Properties not belonging to the estate must be excluded, for they are not
unauthorized withdrawals from the properties of the estate, and the sale of the part of the inheritance. Hence, it is important to determine the ownership of the
inventoried lot would prevent identification and recovery of the articles removed; properties involved.
and (5) there is also evidence showing oppositor's separate rights to a substantial
part of the personal estate. RIGHTS TO THE SUCCESSION ARE TRANSMITTED FROM THE MOMENT OF DEATH
MARIA VDA. DE REYES V. CA
The lower court denied the above motion for reconsideration. G.R. No. 92436 July 26, 1991
FACTS:
Oppositor appealed.
The petitioners in the case are successors-of-interest of the deceased Rafael Reyes
Jr. Rafael Reyes Jr. was the grandson of the late Gavino Reyes and has allegedly
ISSUE:
inherited a parcel of land from the latter.
Whether or not the oppositor’s contention that she is entitled to a large portion of Gavino Reyes owned a 70 hectare parcel of land located at Sangayad, Ulong-Tubig,
the personal properties in question either because they were conjugal property of Carmona, Cavite. When Gavino Reyes died on March 7, 1921, his property was
herself and the deceased, or because they are her own exclusive, personal admittedly not yet covered by a torrens title. The application for Torrens title
property should be entertained. registration then was prosecuted by his son, Marcelo Reyes, who was the
administrator of his property.
HELD:
Gavino's heirs (children) executed oral partition and created a Subdivision Plan in
1936
YES. The Court held that the records show that up to the time the proposed sale
was asked for and judicially approved, no proceedings had as yet been taken, or In 1936, the above property was surveyed and subdivided by Gavino's heirs. They
even started, to segregate the alleged exclusive property of the oppositor- orally settled, subdivided and partitioned Gavino Reyes' landed estate without
appellant from the mass of the estate supposedly left by the deceased, or to formal requirements of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court when a parcel of land is
liquidate the conjugal partnership property of the oppositor-appellant and the covered by a torrens title. Each lot was indicated for and assigned to a specific
deceased. heir.
It appears therein that two lots, one of which is Lot No. I A-14, were allotted to
Before the perishable and other property of the estate of the deceased are sold by
Rafael Reyes, Sr., one of Gavino's children. Per testimony of Juan Poblete, the
the special administrator, it is clear that proceedings must first be taken to
children thereafter secured tax declarations for their respective shares.
segregate the alleged exclusive property of the surviving spouse. The issue of the
ownership of said properties should be decided first, and the conjugal properties In 1941, or about twenty (20) years after the death of Gavino, the original
liquidated, or at least the surviving spouse should agree as to which properties he certificate of title for the whole property — OCT No. 255 — was issued. It was,
or she does not mind to be sold. Any sale done without this requirement should be however, kept by Juan Poblete, son-in-law of Marcelo Reyes, who was by then
considered premature, and the court must therefore refuse to grant permission. already deceased.

After all, most of the items sought to be sold can easily be protected and preserved One of the heirs, Rafael Reyes. Sr., sold his share of land to private respondent.
with proper care and storage measures in either or both of the two residential On 3 December 1943, Rafael Reyes, Sr. (son of deceased Gavino) sold a parcel of
houses left by the deceased, so that no reasons of extreme urgency justify the land with an area of 23,431 square meters, more or less, to private respondent
proposed sale at this time over the strong opposition and objection of oppositor- Dalmacio Gardiola (husband of his niece, Rosario Martillano).
appellant who may later be adjudged owner of a substantial portion of the
personal estate in question. According to the vendee, this parcel corresponds to Lot No. 1-A-14 of the
subdivision plan. The deed of sale, however, did not specifically mention Lot No.
The lower court's order authorizing the special administrator to sell certain 1-A-14. The vendee immediately took possession of the property and started
personal properties of the estate is set aside. paying the land taxes therein.

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

The Grandchildren of the late Gavino Reyes executed Deed of Extrajudicial Existence of Subdivision Plan made in 1936 infers that the heirs made an oral
Settlement of Estate in 1967. TCTs were issued, one of which was given to Rafael partition of the property. This oral partition is valid and binding under the
Reyes Jr (son of Rafael Reyes Sr.) law.
On 21 October 1967, the grandchildren of the late Gavino Reyes executed a Deed The evidence on record bears out the existence of a subdivision plan which was
of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate. Private respondent Rosario Martillano not controverted nor denied by the appellees. With the existence of a subdivision
signed the deed in representation of her mother, Marta Reyes, one of the children plan, and from the uncontroverted testimony of appellants' witness, we can only
of Gavino Reyes. infer that at least an oral partition, which under the law is valid and binding, was
entered into by the heirs of Gavino Reyes regarding his properties in 1936. As
The lots supposedly inherited by the grandchildren named in the deed of 1967
held in a long line of decisions, extrajudicial partition can be done orally, and
were the same lots inherited and given to their respective fathers or mothers in
the same would be valid if freely entered into (Belen v. Belen, 49 O.G. 997,
1936 while the land was not yet covered by the torrens system.
March 1953). The reason for this is because a partition is not exactly a
Hence, in the case of Rafael Reyes, Sr., the land inherited by him was two (2) conveyance for the reason that it does not involve transfer of property from
parcels of land known as Lots Nos. 1-A-3 and 1-A-14 described in the Subdivision one to the other but rather a confirmation by them of their ownership of the
plan of 1936, were the same parcels of land allegedly inherited by Rafael Reyes, Jr. property. On this score, the partition of the said property even without the formal
from Gavino Reyes in representation of his father, pursuant to the Deed of requirements under the rule is valid as held in the case of Hernandez vs. Andal, 78
Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate for which TCT No. 27257 was issued. Phil. 176.
13 and 1/2 years from time of sale of lot in question, Petitioners filed civil case for
recovery of possession (restitution of property) OR in the alternative, relief for
ISSUE: Whether or not respondent Court of Appeals committed any reversible
indemnification against private respondent spouses
error in setting aside the decision of the trial court.
Petitioners herein, as successors-in-interest of Rafael Reyes, Jr., filed on 14 March
1983 with the Regional Trial Court a civil case against private respondents for
recovery of possession or, in the alternative, for indemnification, accounting and HELD: No, the CA did not err in reversing the TC's decision. Petition denied.
damages.
The Court of Appeals correctly held that the partition made by the children of
In their answer, private respondents deny the material averments in the Gavino Reyes in 1936, although oral, was valid and binding. There is no law that
complaint and assert that they are the owners of the lot in question, having requires partition among heirs to be in writing to be valid.
bought the same from Rafael Reyes, Sr., that the issuance of TCT No. 27257 is null
In Hernandez vs. Andal, supra, this Court, interpreting Section 1 of Rule 74 of the
and void, for such sale was known to Rafael Reyes, Jr.; that they have been in
Rules of Court, held that the requirement that a partition be put in a public
possession of the property and have been paying the land taxes thereon; and that
document and registered has for its purpose the protection of creditors and at the
petitioners are barred by prescription and/or laches.
same time the protection of the heirs themselves against tardy claims. The object
Trial Court concluded in favor of petitioners of registration is to serve as constructive notice to others.
Trial court concluded that petitioners' "title over the subject property is valid and It follows then that the intrinsic validity of partition not executed with the
regular and thus they are entitled to its possession and enjoyment." And that the prescribed formalities does not come into play when there are no creditors
continued possession by private respondents, which it found to have started in or the rights of creditors are not affected. Where no such rights are involved,
1943, did not ripen into ownership because at that time, the property was already it is competent for the heirs of an estate to enter into an agreement for
registered, hence it cannot be acquired by prescription or adverse possession. distribution in a manner and upon a plan different from those provided by
law. There is nothing in said section from which it can be inferred that a writing
CA set aside TC's ruling and declared private respondents as lawful owners of the lot.
or other formality is an essential requisite to the validity of the partition.
The Court of Appeals declared that the appealed Judgment is ordered REVERSED Accordingly, an oral partition is valid.
and SET ASIDE and a new one is rendered declaring appellants to be the lawful
Barcelona, et al. vs. Barcelona, et al., supra, provides the reason why oral partition
owners of the lot identified as Lot No. 1-A-14 in the TCT.
is valid and why it is not covered by the Statute of Frauds: partition among heirs

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

or renunciation of an inheritance by some of them is not exactly a conveyance of petitioners as heirs of Rafael Reyes, Jr. The latter cannot give them what he never
real property for the reason that it does not involve transfer of property from one had before. Nemo dare potest quod non habet.
to the other, but rather a confirmation or ratification of title or right of property
Petitioners' immediate predecessor-in-interest, Rafael Reyes, Jr., never took any
by the heir renouncing in favor of another heir accepting and receiving the
action against private respondents from the time his father sold the lot to the
inheritance.
latter. Despite full knowledge that private respondents were in actual physical
Article 493 of the Civil Code provides: possession of the property, it was only about thirteen and one-half (13 1/2) years
later that they decided to file an action for recovery of possession. As stated
Each co-owner shall have the full ownership of his part and the fruits and
earlier, the original complaint was filed in the trial court on 14 March 1983
benefits pertaining thereto, and he may even substitute another person in
its enjoyment, except when personal rights are involved. But the effect of
the alienation or the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners, shall be
SUAREZ VS CA
limited to the portion which may be allotted to him in the division upon
GR No. 94918
the termination of the co-ownership.
FACTS:
In Ramirez vs. Bautista, this Court held that every co-heir has the absolute Herein petitioners are brothers and sisters. Their father died in 1955 and since
ownership of his share in the community property and may alienate, assign, or then his estate consisting of several valuable parcels of land in Pasig, Metro Manila
mortgage the same, except as to purely personal rights, but the effect of any such has been liquidated or partitioned.
transfer is limited to the portion which may be awarded to him upon the partition
of the property. In 1977, petitioners' widowed mother and Rizal Realty Corporation lost in the
consolidated cases for rescission of contract and for damages, and were ordered
In the case at bar, the lot sold by Rafael Reyes, Sr. to private respondent Dalmacio
by Branch 1 of the then Court of First Instance of to pay, jointly and severally,
Gardiola is his share in the estate of his deceased father, Gavino Reyes. It is the
herein respondents the aggregate principal amount of about P70,000 as damages.
same property which was eventually adjudicated to his son and heir, Rafael Reyes,
Jr., represented in turn by his heirs-petitioners herein-in the extrajudicial
The judgment against petitioners' mother and Rizal Realty Corporation having
settlement of 196
become final and executory, five (5) valuable parcel of land in Pasig, Metro Manila,
The participation of private respondent Rosario Gardiola in the Extrajudicial were levied and sold on execution on June 24, 1983 in favor of the private
Settlement did not place private respondents in estoppel to question the issuance respondents as the highest bidder for the amount of P94,170.000. Private
of TCT No. T-27257. As correctly maintained by private respondents, she signed it respondents were then issued a certificate of sale which was subsequently
in representation of her deceased mother, Marta Reyes, a daughter and an heir of registered or August 1, 1983.
Gavino Reyes. She did not sign for and in behalf of her husband, Dalmacio
Gardiola, vendee of the share of Rafael Reyes, Sr. On June 21, 1984 before the expiration of the redemption period, petitioners filed
a reivindicatory action against private respondents and the Provincial Sheriff of
The same did not operate to divest the vendee of the share of Rafael Reyes, Sr. in
Rizal, for the annulment of the auction sale and the recovery of the ownership of
the estate of Gavino. Petitioners, as mere successors-in-interest of Rafael Reyes,
the levied pieces of property. They alleged, among others, that being strangers to
Jr., son of Rafael Reyes, Sr., can only acquire that which Rafael, Jr. could transmit to
the case decided against their mother, they cannot be held liable therefor and that
them upon his death. The latter never became the owner of Lot No. 1-A-14
the five (5) parcels of land, of which they are co-owners, can neither be levied nor
because it was sold by his father in 1943.
sold on execution. The Sheriff issued to private respondents a final deed of sale.
The issuance of TCT No. T-27257 in the name of Rafael Reyes, Jr., in so far as Lot
No. 1-14-A is concerned, was clearly erroneous because he never became its On October 10, 1984, RTC Branch 151 issued in Civil Case Nos. 21736-21739 an
owner. An extrajudicial settlement does not create a light in favor of an heir. Thus, Order directing Teofista Suarez and all persons claiming right under her to vacate
since he never had any title or right to Lot No. 1-14-A, the mere execution of the the lots subject of the judicial sale; to desist from removing or alienating
settlement did not improve his condition, and the subsequent registration of the improvements thereon; and to surrender to private respondents the owner's
deed did not create any right or vest any title over the property in favor of the duplicate copy of the torrens title and other pertinent documents.

4
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Teofista Suarez then filed with the then Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari the latter would seek permission from the Bureau of Lands and have the land
to annul the Orders of Branch 151. The CA granted but reversed its own ruling surveyed.
upon Motion for Reconsideration of herein respondents and ruled therefore that
the petitioners vacate the said properties. Hence, this appeal. However, without the participation of any of the Torres heirs, the property was
subsequently surveyed, subdivided and then covered by 2 TCTs. Petitioner did
ISSUE: not furnish the heirs with copies of the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of
W/N the courts were correct in allowing the sale of all the property Estate with Sale nor of the subdivision plan and the certificates of title. Upon
securing a copy of the deed from the Registry of Deeds, the respondents learned
HELD. that the area of the property purportedly sold to petitioner was much bigger
NO. than that agreed upon by the parties. It already included the portion being
occupied by the Sps. Lim.
The law in point is article 777 of the NCC. Thus, from the foregoing, the legitime of
the surviving spouse is equal to the legitime of each child. Private respondents sent a letter of demand to petitioner (for surrender of the
deed of settlement & conveyance, the subdivision plan and the CTs); but to no
The proprietary interest of petitioners in the levied and auctioned property is avail, so they filed with the RTC of Bulacan an action for annulment of the
different from and adverse to that of their mother. Petitioners became co-owners deed and cancellation of the certificates of title.
of the property not because of their mother but through their own right as
children of their deceased father. Therefore, petitioners are not barred in any way PETITIONER’S CONTENTION: Presented the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement
from instituting the action to annul the auction sale to protect their own interest. of Estate with Sale wherein respondents agreed to divide and adjudicate among
themselves the inherited property (w/ area of 1,503sqm). In the same document,
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals dated July 27, 1990 as well as they caused the subdivision of the property into 2 lots according to a “plan”
its Resolution of August 28, 1990 are hereby REVERSED and set aside; and Civil identified as Lot 4-A (1,096sqm) and Lot 4-B (407sqm), and acknowledged the
Case No. 51203 is reinstated only to determine that portion which belongs to sale to petitioner of said Lot 4-B. As a consequence, on 18 March 1985, the
petitioners and to annul the sale with regard to said portion. Register of Deeds issued TCTs in the name of the heirs of Torres and another in
the name of petitioner.

INTESTATE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS’ CONTENTION: that all the heirs signed the document
Nelia Constantino v. CA before the land was surveyed and subdivided, hence, there was as yet no definite
G.R. No. 116018. November 13, 1996 || Intestate area to be sold that could be indicated in the deed at the time of the signing. They
FACTS: also claimed that they were not notified about the survey and the subdivision of
JOSEFA TORRES died intestate leaving a parcel of land located at Balagtas, the lot and therefore they could not have agreed on the area supposedly sold to
Bulacan. Among her heirs are respondents Aurora S. Roque, Priscilla S. Luna petitioner. The respondent heirs insist that they could not have agreed to the
and Josefina S. Austria. In 1984, the heirs of Josefa Torres (VENDORS), and extent of the area actually reflected in the deed because it included the portion
petitioner Nelia A. Constantino (VENDEE), entered into a contract to sell a being occupied by the Lim spouses, which was already the subject of a previous
parcel of land (250sqm). The lot, owned in common by the Torres heirs, is being agreement to sell between them and their predecessor.
occupied by petitioners' mother and sister. An adjoining lot, also co-owned by
the heirs, is being occupied by Sps. Severino and Consuelo Lim. Pursuant to their RTC’s Decision: RTC had doubts with respect to the preparation and due
agreement, the heirs authorized petitioner to prepare the necessary Deed of execution of the said Deed, taking into account that: petitioner was not able to
Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate with Sale. enumerate all the signatories to the document; while petitioner claimed that the
document was signed only after the survey of the land was completed, or on Oct 10,
After having the document drafted — with several spaces left blank including the 1984, such fact was negated by her own witness who testified that the survey was
specification as to the metes and bounds of the land — petitioner asked the heirs to conducted only on Oct 16,1984; and, while petitioner alleged that the document was
affix their signatures on the document. The heirs signed the document with the signed and notarized in Manila no explanation was offered why the same could not
understanding that respondent Roque, one of the heirs, would be present when

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

have been signed and notarized in Bulacan where notaries public abound which concern here is not whether the notary public had the authority to
could have been less inconvenient to the parties concerned. acknowledge the document executed within his territorial jurisdiction but
Additionally, RTC relied heavily on the assertions of respondents as reflected in whether respondents indeed appeared before him and signed the deed.
their demand letter that they did not give their consent to the sale of Lot 4-B. Thus However, the quantum of evidence shows that they did not.
RTC ordered the annulment and cancellation of the Deed of Extrajudicial
Settlement of Estate with Sale, 2 TCTs and Subdivision Plan. RTC correctly appreciated the fact that the deed was notarized in Manila
when it could have been notarized in Bulacan. This additional detail casts
CA: Sustained the decision of the RTC and denied Mot. To Reconsider doubt on the procedural regularity in the preparation, execution and signing of
the deed. It is not easy to believe that petitioner and the 10 Torres heirs
ISSUE: traveled all the way to Manila to have their questioned document notarized
Whether or not the CA erred in concluding that Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of considering that they, with the exception of respondent Roque, are residents
Estate with Sale did not reflect the true intent of the parties. [NO] of Balagtas, Bulacan, where notaries public are easy to find. Consequently, the
claim of private respondents that they did not sign the document before a notary
HELD: public is more plausible than petitioner's feeble claim to the contrary.
NO MEETING OF THE MINDS BETWEEN PARTIES ON LAND AREA TO BE SOLD; —
Petitioner also insists that the real intent of the parties was to make the entire Lot Apparently, petitioner deceived respondents by filling the blank spaces in
4-B the subject matter of the sale. She claims that during cross-examination the deed, having the lots surveyed and subdivided, and then causing the
respondent Roque admitted that she signed in behalf of her co-heirs a receipt for issuance of transfer certificates of title without their knowledge, much less
P30,000.00 as partial payment for the lot occupied by Ka Baring and Lina consent. Thus all the elements of fraud vitiating consent for purposes of annulling
(relatives of petitioner) and Consuelo Lim. . . . The admission of respondent Roque a contract concur: (a) It was employed by a contracting party upon the other; (b)
cannot prevail in the face of the clear evidence that there was as yet no meeting of It induced the other party to enter into the contract; (c) It was serious; and, (d) It
the minds on the land area to be sold since private respondents were still awaiting resulted in damages and injury to the party seeking annulment. Perhaps, another
the survey to be conducted on the premises. . . . Likewise, we find the allegation compelling reason for the annulment of the document of settlement and
of respondents that they signed the deed prior to the survey, or before conveyance is that the 2nd page thereof clearly manifests that the number of
determination of the area to be sold, worthy of credit as against the the subdivision plan and the respective areas of Lots 4-A and 4-B were
contention of petitioner that they signed after the survey or on 10 October merely HANDWRITTEN while all the rest of the statements therein were
1984. As found by the RTC, such contention was contradicted by petitioner's own TYPEWRITTEN, which leads us to the conclusion that handwritten figures
witness who positively asserted in court that the survey was conducted only on thereon were not available at the time the document was formalized.
16 October 1984 or 6 days after the signing. Quite obviously, when respondents
affixed their signatures on the deed, it was still incomplete since petitioner HEIRS
who caused it to be prepared left several spaces blank, more particularly as Heirs of Guido and Isabel Yaptinchay vs. CA
regards the dimensions of the property to be sold. The heirs were persuaded G.R. No. 124320 March 2, 1999
to sign the document only upon the assurance of petitioner that respondent FACTS:
Roque, pursuant to their understanding, would be present when the property Petitioners claim that they are the legal heirs of spouses Yaptinchay, the
would be surveyed after obtaining permission from the Bureau of Lands. As it owners-claimants of two lots situated in Bancal, Carmona, Cavite. On March 17,
surfaced, the supposed understanding was merely a ruse of petitioner to 1994 petitioners executed an Extra-Judicial Settlement of the estate of the
induce respondents to sign the deed without which the latter would not deceased spouses. On August 26, 1994, petitioners discovered that a portion, if
have given their conformity thereto. not all, of the aforesaid properties were titled in the name of respondent Golden
Bay Realty and Development Corporation ("Golden Bay"). With the discovery,
We ruled in the Sales v. CA that the extrinsic validity of a document was not petitioners filed a complaint for annulment of TCTs over the properties.
affected by the fact that it was notarized in a place other than where the subject
matter thereof was located. What is more important under the Notarial Law is that Upon learning that Golden Bay sold portions of the subject land, petitioners
the notary public has authority to acknowledge the document executed within his filed with the RTC an Amended Complaint to mention the TCTs to be annulled.
territorial jurisdiction. The ruling in Sales is not applicable to the present case. Our The RTC granted the same. On August 12, 1995, the private respondents

6
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

presented a Motion to Dismiss on the grounds that among others, the plaintiffs did After the death of Marcelo Sr. in 1955, Teofista and herein respondents, as well as
not have a cause of action being that they have not established their status as Elpidio Suarez, executed an Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate, partitioning
heirs. The Motion to Dismiss was granted, holding that the petitioners have not Marcelo Sr.'s estate. Despite the partition, title to the properties, explicitly
shown any proof that they have been declared legal heirs of the deceased couple. identified in the Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate as forming part of Marcelo's
and Isagon's property regime, remained in the couple's name. In 1975, Rizal
Petitioners contend that the respondent court acted with grave abuse of Realty Corporation (Rizal Realty) and Teofista, the latter owning ninety percent
discretion in ruling that the issue of heirship should first be determined before (90%) of the former's shares of stock, were sued by petitioner Valente Raymundo,
trial of the case could proceed. They further contend that the respondent court his wife Violeta, Virginia Banta and Maria Concepcion Vito (plaintiffs) in
should have proceeded with the trial and simultaneously resolved the issue of consolidated cases for Rescission of Contract and Damages. Thereafter, in 1975,
heirship in the same case. The Court denied their motion to dismiss. Hence, this the then Court of First Instance (CFI) rendered judgment: (1) rescinding the
petition. respective contracts of plaintiffs with Rizal Realty and Teofista, and (2) holding
the two defendants solidarily liable to plaintiffs for damages in the aggregate
ISSUE: principal amount of about P70,000.00.
Whether or not the trial court can make a declaration of heirship in the civil When the judgment of the CFI became final and executory, herein subject
action? properties were levied and sold on execution to satisfy the judgment against
Teofista and Rizal Realty. The decision for the RTC to have to determine an
HELD: already settled issue i.e., herein respondents' status as heirs of Marcelo Sr.
NO. The Court ruled that the trial court cannot make a declaration of heirship in Moreover, petitioner Valente cannot assail, directly or indirectly, the status of
the civil action for the reason that such a declaration can only be made in a special herein respondents as legitimate children of Marcelo Sr. and Teofista, and likewise
proceeding. The determination of who are legal heirs of the deceased couple must demand that herein respondents first prove their filiation to Marcelo Sr. The
be made in the proper special proceedings in court, and not in an ordinary suit for following records bear out Marcelo, Sr.'s and Teofista's paternity of herein
reconveyance of property. Under Section 3, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court, a civil respondents, and the latter's status as legitimate children:
action is defined as one by which a party sues another for the enforcement or 1. The CA decision where in Teofista, along with herein respondents, questioned
protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong while a special the RTC, Branch 151's Orders. Although the CA ruled against Teofista and herein
proceeding is a remedy which a party seeks to establish a right, or particular fact. respondents, it explicitly recognized the latter's status as legitimate children of
The Court held that the declaration of heirship can be made only in a special Teofista and Marcelo Sr.; and
proceeding inasmuch as the petitioners in the case at bar are seeking the 2. The CA decision which incorrectly ruled that herein respondents were, as
establishment of a status or right. children of Teofista, merely successors-in- interest of the latter to the property
and by virtue thereof, bound by the judgment in a civil case consistent with the
Raymundo v. Vda. De Suarez doctrine of res judicata. The SC subsequently reversed this ruling on the wrong
GR No. 149017 || November 28, 2008 application of res judicata in the conclusive case of Suarez. The SC retained and
FACTS: affirmed, however, the CA's factual finding of herein respondents' status as heirs
Marcelo and Teofista Isagon Suarez' marriage was blessed with both material of Marcelo Sr. We categorically held therein that "the proprietary interest of
wealth and progeny in herein respondents, namely, Danilo, Eufrocina, Marcelo Jr., [herein respondents] in the levied and auctioned [properties] is different from
Evelyn, and Reggineo, all surnamed Suarez. During their marriage, governed by and adverse to that of [Teofista]. [Herein respondents] became co-owners of the
the conjugal partnership of gains regime, they acquired numerous properties, property not because of [Teofista] but through their own right as children of their
which included the following: deceased father [, Marcelo Sr.]." Clearly, herein respondents' long possessed
(1) a parcel of land situated in Barrio Caniogan, Pasig with an area of 348 square status of legitimate children of Marcelo Sr. and Teofista cannot be indirectly or
meters covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 30680; directly attacked by petitioner Valente in an action to annul a judicial sale.
(2) property located in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig, with an area of 1,020 square meters Plaintiffs were the highest bidder, and bought the levied properties for the
under Tax Declaration No. A-016-01003; and amount of P94,170.00. As a result, a certificate of sale was issued to them and
(3) Lot Nos. 5, 6 & 7, Block 2 covered by Tax Declaration No. A-01700723 (subject registered in their favor. The Provincial Sheriff of Rizal issued a final deed of sale
properties). over the subject properties.

7
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Parenthetically, before expiration of the redemption period, herein respondents ruling in Suarez required herein respondents to present evidence of their
filed a revindicatory action against petitioner Valente, Violeta, Virginia and Maria affiliation with the deceased, Marcelo Sr., is wrong.
Concepcion for the annulment of the auction sale and recovery of ownership of As was set forth in the dispositive portion of Suarez, "Civil Case No. 51203 is
the levied properties. Essentially, respondents alleged in their complaint that they reinstated only to determine that portion which belongs to [herein respondents]
cannot be held liable for the judgment rendered against their mother, Teofista, not and to annul the sale with regard to said portion." There is clearly no intimation in
having been impleaded therein; and consequently, the subject properties, which our decision for the RTC to have to determine an already settled issue i.e., herein
they own pro indiviso with their mother, can neither be levied nor be sold on respondents' status as heirs of Marcelo Sr. Moreover, petitioner Valente cannot
execution. assail, directly or indirectly, the status of herein respondents as legitimate
children of Marcelo Sr. and Teofista, and likewise demand that herein respondents
RTC Ruling: first prove their filiation to Marcelo Sr. The following records bear out Marcelo,
RTC issued an Order against Teofista. Herein respondents, joined by their mother, Sr.'s and Teofista's paternity of herein respondents, and the latter's status as
Teofista, filed a Motion for Reconsideration arguing that the subject properties are legitimate children:
co-owned by them and further informing the RTC of the filing and pendency of 1. The CA decision where in Teofista, along with herein respondents, questioned
Civil Case No. 51203. Nonetheless, the trial court denied Teofista's and herein the RTC, Branch 151's Orders. Although the CA ruled against Teofista and herein
respondents' motion, reiterated its previous order, which included, among others, respondents, it explicitly recognized the latter's status as legitimate children of
the order for Teofista and all persons claiming right under her, to vacate the lots Teofista and Marcelo Sr.; and
subject of the judicial sale. 2. The CA decision which incorrectly ruled that herein respondents were, as
children of Teofista, merely successors-in- interest of the latter to the property
CA Ruling: and by virtue thereof, bound by the judgment in a civil case consistent with the
Denied the petition for certiorari on the grounds that (1) it fails to show how the doctrine of res judicata. The SC subsequently reversed this ruling on the wrong
respondent judge had acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave application of res judicata in the conclusive case of Suarez. The SC retained and
abuse of discretion and (2) as far as [petitioner] Teofista Suarez is concerned, she affirmed, however, the CA's factual finding of herein respondents' status as heirs
cannot complain about the levy because she was a party in the consolidated cases of Marcelo Sr. We categorically held therein that "the proprietary interest of
where judgment was rendered against her in her personal capacity and with [herein respondents] in the levied and auctioned [properties] is different from
respect to the children of Teofista Suarez, who are co-petitioners in this and adverse to that of [Teofista]. [Herein respondents] became co-owners of the
proceedings [herein respondents], suffice it to point out that not being parties in property not because of [Teofista] but through their own right as children of their
the consolidated cases, what they should have done was to immediately file a deceased father [, Marcelo Sr.]." Clearly, herein respondents' long possessed
third party claim. status of legitimate children of Marcelo Sr. and Teofista cannot be indirectly or
directly attacked by petitioner Valente in an action to annul a judicial sale.
ISSUE: Records of this case reveal a document, an Extrajudicial Settlement of Marcelo
Whether or not a separate special proceeding for a declaration of heirship of Sr.'s estate, which explicitly recognizes herein respondents as Marcelo Sr.'s
respondents is necessary in order that they can file an action to annul the judicial legitimate children and heirs. The same document settles and partitions the estate
sale of what is, undisputedly, conjugal property of Teofista and Marcelo Sr. of Marcelo Sr. specifying Teofista's paraphernal properties, and separates the
properties she owns in common with her children, herein respondents. Plainly,
HELD: there is no need to re-declare herein respondents as heirs of Marcelo Sr., and
NO, it is not necessary. Herein respondents' status as legitimate children of prolong this case interminably.
Marcelo Sr. and Teofista — and thus, Marcelo Sr.'s heirs — has been firmly DBP v. Gagarani, et.al.
established, and confirmed by this Court in Suarez v. Court of Appeals. True, this GR No. 172248
Court is not a trier of facts, but as the final arbiter of disputes, we found and so Corona, J.:
ruled that herein respondents are children, and heirs of their deceased father, FACTS:
Marcelo Sr. This having been settled, it should no longer have been a litigated 1. Spouses Dionesio and Matea S. Asok owned several parcels of land. Upon
issue when we ordered a remand to the lower court. In short, petitioner Valente's, the Spouses’ death, their eleven children inherited the properties. One of
Violeta's, Virginia's, and Maria Concepcion's representation in the RTC that our the lands inherited was covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No.
P-4272, a free patent, located at Pagawan, Manticao, Misamis Oriental.

8
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

2. The children executed an Extrajudicial Settlement of the Estate with had until November 28, 1997 to exercise their right to repurchase.
Quitclaim. Pursuant to this, Denison Asok (Asok) inherited the subject However, the complaint was filed on May 15, 1998 which was beyond the
property. As a result, OCT No. P-4272 was cancelled. TCT No. T-9626 was prescribed period.
issued in his name. 15. Respondents appealed to the CA.
3. Asok and his wife, respondent Ella Gagarani Asok, borrowed P100,000 16. The CA reversed and set aside the RTC decision. (December 14, 2005)
from petitioner DBP. They mortgaged the subject property as collateral to 17. DBP filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the CA.
guarantee payment of the loan. 18. The CA denied the Motion for Reconsideration. It held that the period of
4. On due date, Asok and Ella failed to pay the loan. redemption started from the date of registration of the certificate of
5. The mortgage was extrajudicially foreclosed. DBP was the highest bidder. sale, i.e., December 24, 1992, and not from the date of sale. Thus,
(November 28, 1991) respondents had until December 24, 1998 to repurchase the property
6. A certificate of sale was issued in favor of DBP. This was registered on and the complaint was seasonably filed.
December 24, 1992. 19. DBP filed this Petition for Review on Certiorari before the SC.
7. DBP’s ownership over the property was consolidated. TCT No. T-27172
was issued in its name. ISSUES: (1) Whether Sec. 119 of CA 141 is applicable in this case; (2) Whether
8. Meanwhile, Asok died on October 24, 1993. He was succeeded by his respondents are the legal heirs of the patentees and (3) Whether the right to
surviving spouse and children, the respondents. repurchase has already prescribed.
9. Respondents filed a Complaint for REPURCHASE against DBP in the RTC
of Initao, Misamis Oriental. (May 15, 1998) HELD:
10. Respondents filed an Amended Complaint upon learning that TCT No. T- (1) YES. Sec. 119 is applicable to this case.
9626 had been cancelled by TCT No. T-27172 issued in the name of DBP.
They invoked their right to repurchase the property under Sec. 119 of The plain intent of Sec. 119 is to give the homesteader or patentee every chance
CA 141, as amended: to preserve and keep in the family the land that the State has gratuitously given
Sec. 119. Every conveyance of land acquired under the free patent or him as reward. Hence, the fact that the land was inherited by the patentees’
homestead provisions, when proper, shall be subject to repurchase by the son (and a new title in his name issued) does not bring it outside the
applicant, his widow, or legal heirs, within a period of five years from purview of Sec. 119. In fact, the policy behind the law is fulfilled because the land
date of the conveyance. remains in the family of the patentee. In Ferrer v. Mangente:
11. DBP contends that respondents cannot claim the right under Sec. 119
which covers homesteads and free patents. The free patent issued to Logic thus call for continued adherence to the policy that not the individual
Asok’s parents had already been cancelled. A new TCT had in fact been applicant alone but those so closely related to him as are entitled to legal
issued to him. Thus, the property mortgaged was no longer covered by a succession may take full advantage of the benefits the law confers.
free patent but by a TCT. DBP also argues that respondents are not the
legal heirs of the patentees because respondents are merely their (2) YES. Respondents are the legal heirs of the patentees.
daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Lastly, that even if respondents could
be considered as being entitled to the right under Sec. 119, this had In line with the rationale behind Sec. 119, we reject a restricted definition of legal
already prescribed because the period should be counted from the date of heirs. It is used in a broad sense and the law makes no distinctions. In Madarcos v.
conveyance which means the date of sale and not the date of registration de la Merced:
of the certificate of sale.
12. The RTC dismissed the Complaint. (January 7, 1999) The term "legal heirs" is used in Section 119 in a generic sense. It is broad enough
13. Respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the RTC. to cover any person who is called to the succession either by provision of a
14. The RTC denied the Motion for Reconsideration. It ruled that the one- will or by operation of law. Thus, legal heirs include both testate and intestate
year period for redemption should be reckoned from the date of heirs depending upon whether succession is by the will of the testator or by law.
sale, i.e., November 28, 1991. Then the five-year period provided Legal heirs are not necessarily compulsory heirs but they may be so if the law
under Sec. 119 of CA 141 should be counted from the expiration of reserves a legitime for them.
the redemption period, i.e., November 28, 1992. Therefore, respondents

9
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Petitioner Paz Samaniego-Celada was the first cousin of decedent


Respondents inherited the property from Asok, their husband and father, who in Margarita S. Mayores (Margarita) while respondent was the decedent's lifelong
turn inherited it from his parents. Respondent Ella Gagarani Asok, as daughter-in- companion since 1929.
law of the patentees, can be considered as among the legal heirs who can On April 27, 1987, Margarita died single and without any ascending nor
repurchase the land in accordance with Salenillas v. CA. In that case, we allowed descending heirs as her parents, grandparents and siblings predeceased her. She
the daughter and son-in-law of the patentees to repurchase the property because was survived by her first cousins Catalina Samaniego-Bombay, Manuelita
this would be "more in keeping with the spirit of the law. We have time and again Samaniego Sajonia, Feliza Samaniego, and petitioner.||
said that between two statutory interpretations, that which better serves the Before her death, Margarita executed a Last Will and Testament where
purpose of the law should prevail." Furthermore, the law must be liberally she bequeathed one-half of her undivided share of a real property located at
construed in order to carry out its purpose. Manila and Makati, to respondent and three others.Margarita also left all her
personal properties to respondent whom she likewise designated as sole executor
(3) NO. The right to repurchase has not prescribed. of her will.
On August 11, 1987, petitioner filed a petition for letters of
It was already resolved in Rural Bank of Davao City, Inc. v. CA: administration of the estate of Margarita.
On October 27, 1987, respondent filed a petition for probate of the will of
Thus, the rules on redemption in the case of an extrajudicial foreclosure of land Margarita before the RTC of Makati.
acquired under free patent or homestead statutes may be summarized as follows: On March 2, 1993, the RTC rendered a decision declaring the last will and
xxx If the land is mortgaged to parties other than rural banks, the mortgagor testament of Margarita probated and respondent as the executor of the will
may redeem the property within one (1) year from the registration of the Petitioner appealed the RTC decision to the Court of Appeals. But the
certificate of sale pursuant to Act No. 3135. If he fails to do so, he or his heirs Court of Appeals affirmed in toto the RTC ruling.
may repurchase the property within five (5) years from the expiration of the Hence this petition.
redemption period also pursuant to Section 119 of the Public Land Act. Petitioner’s arguments:
1. Margarita's will failed to comply with the formalities
Under Act 3135, the debtor or his or her successors-in-interest may redeem the required under Article 805 of the Civil Code because it is
property within one year. This redemption period should be reckoned from the fatally defective for the reason that its attestation clause
date of registration of the certificate of sale. The five-year period fixed in Sec. 119 states that the will is composed of three (3) pages while in
begins to run from the expiration of the one-year redemption period. Here, the truth and in fact, the will consists of two (2) pages.
certificate of sale was registered on December 24, 1992 and the one-year 2. that the will was procured through undue influence and
redemption period expired on December 24, 1993. Reckoned from that day, pressure because at the time of execution of the will,
respondents had a five-year period, or until December 24, 1998, to exercise Margarita was weak, sickly, jobless and entirely dependent
their right to repurchase under Sec. 119 of CA 141. upon respondent and her nephews for support, and these
alleged handicaps affected her freedom and willpower to
Consequently, the CA was correct in holding that the complaint filed on May 15, decide on her own;
1998 was on time.
ISSUE:
Petition is DENIED. DBP is ordered to execute a deed of reconveyance in favor W/N the Court of Appeals erred in not declaring the will invalid
of respondents upon payment by the latter of the redemption price. for failure to comply with the formalities required by law.

REQUISITES OF A FORMAL WILL HELD:


Paz Samaniego – Celada vs Lucia D. Abena NO. The Supreme Court stated that:
G.R. No. 145545, June 30, 2008 || Requisites of a Formal Will 1. While it is true that the attestation clause is not a part of the
will, the court, after examining the totality of the will, is of
FACTS: the considered opinion that error in the number of pages of
the will as stated in the attestation clause is not material to

10
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

invalidate the subject will. It must be noted that the subject In his complaint, complainant averred that his father, the decedent Vicente Lee,
instrument is consecutively lettered with pages A, B, and C Sr., never executed the contested will. Furthermore, the spurious will contained
which is a sufficient safeguard from the possibility of an the forged signatures of Cayetano Noynay and Loreto Grajo, the purported
omission of some of the pages. The error must have been witnesses to its execution.
brought about by the honest belief that the will is the whole
instrument consisting of three (3) pages inclusive of the In the said will, the decedent supposedly bequeathed his entire estate to his wife
attestation clause and the acknowledgement. The position of Lim Hock Lee, save for a parcel of land which he devised to Vicente Lee, Jr. and
the court is in consonance with the "doctrine of liberal Elena Lee, half-siblings of complainant.
interpretation" enunciated in Article 809 of the Civil Code
which reads: "In the absence of bad faith, forgery or The will was purportedly executed and acknowledged before respondent on June
fraud, or undue [and] improper pressure and influence, 30, 1965. Complainant, however, pointed out that the residence certificate of the
defects and imperfections in the form of attestation or in testator noted in the acknowledgment of the will was dated January 5, 1962.
the language used therein shall not render the will Furthermore, the signature of the testator was not the same as his signature as
invalid if it is proved that the will was in fact executed donor in a deed of donation (containing his purported genuine signature).
and attested in substantial compliance with all the Complainant averred that the signatures of his deceased father in the will and in
requirements of Article 805." the deed of donation were in any way (sic) entirely and diametrically opposed
2. With regard to the contention of the petitioner that the from (sic) one another in all angle[s]
testator was not mentally capable of making a will at the
time of the execution thereof, the same is without merit. The Complainant also questioned the absence of notation of the residence certificates
petitioner failed to establish, by preponderance of evidence, of the purported witnesses Noynay and Grajo. He alleged that their signatures had
said allegation and contradict the presumption that the likewise been forged and merely copied from their respective voters affidavits.
testator was of sound mind.In fact, witness for the
oppositors, Dr. Ramon Lamberte, who, in some occasions, In a resolution dated October 17, 2001, the Court referred the case to the
attended to the testator months before her death, testified Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation, report and
that Margarita Mayores could engage in a normal recommendation.
conversation and he even stated that the illness of the
testator does not warrant hospitalization. . . . Not one of the In his report, the investigating commissioner found respondent guilty of
oppositor's witnesses has mentioned any instance that they violation of pertinent provisions of the old Notarial Law as found in the Revised
observed act/s of the testator during her lifetime that could Administrative Code. The violation constituted an infringement of legal ethics,
be construed as a manifestation of mental incapacity. The particularly Canon 1 and Rule 1.01of the Code of Professional Responsibility
testator may be admitted to be physically weak but it does (CPR). Thus, the investigating commissioner of the IBP Commission on Bar
not necessarily follow that she was not of sound mind. Discipline recommended the suspension of respondent for a period of three
months.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision dated
October 13, 2000 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 41756 is AFFIRMED. The IBP Board of Governors, in its Resolution No. XVII-2006-285 dated May 26,
Costs against petitioner. 2006, resolved:

Lee vs. Tambago [T]o ADOPT and APPROVE, as it is hereby ADOPTED and APPROVED, with
AC No. 5281 modification, the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner
FACTS: and finding the recommendation fully supported by the evidence on record and
In a letter-complaint dated April 10, 2000, complainant Manuel L. Lee charged the applicable laws and rules, and considering Respondents failure to comply with
respondent Atty. Regino B. Tambago with violation of the Notarial Law and the the laws in the discharge of his function as a notary public, Atty. Regino B.
ethics of the legal profession for notarizing a spurious last will and testament. Tambago is hereby suspended from the practice of law for one year and

11
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Respondents notarial commission is Revoked and Disqualified from Similarly, the notation of the testators old residence certificate in the same
reappointment as Notary Public for two (2) years. [14] acknowledgment was a clear breach of the law. These omissions by respondent
invalidated the will.
ISSUE:
WON the will was in compliance of the requirements of a will As the acknowledging officer of the contested will, respondent was required to
faithfully observe the formalities of a will and those of notarization. As we held in
HELD: Santiago v. Rafanan:
A will is an act whereby a person is permitted, with the formalities prescribed by
law, to control to a certain degree the disposition of his estate, to take effect after The Notarial Law is explicit on the obligations and duties of notaries public. They
his death. [15] A will may either be notarial or holographic. are required to certify that the party to every document acknowledged before him
had presented the proper residence certificate (or exemption from the residence
The law provides for certain formalities that must be followed in the execution of tax); and to enter its number, place of issue and date as part of such certification.
wills. The object of solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close the
door on bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and testaments and to
guarantee their truth and authenticity. [16] These formalities are mandatory and cannot be disregarded, considering the
degree of importance and evidentiary weight attached to notarized documents. A
A notarial will, as the contested will in this case, is required by law to be notary public, especially a lawyer, is bound to strictly observe these elementary
subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself. In addition, it should be requirements.
attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of
the testator and of one another. [17] The Notarial Law then in force required the exhibition of the residence certificate
upon notarization of a document or instrument:
The will in question was attested by only two witnesses, Noynay and Grajo. On
this circumstance alone, the will must be considered void. [18] This is in Section 251. Requirement as to notation of payment of [cedula] residence tax.
consonance with the rule that acts executed against the provisions of mandatory Every contract, deed, or other document acknowledged before a notary public
or prohibitory laws shall be void, except when the law itself authorizes their shall have certified thereon that the parties thereto have presented their proper
validity. [cedula] residence certificate or are exempt from the [cedula] residence tax, and
there shall be entered by the notary public as a part of such certificate the
The Civil Code likewise requires that a will must be acknowledged before a notary number, place of issue, and date of each [cedula] residence certificate as aforesaid.
public by the testator and the witnesses. [19] The importance of this requirement [25]
is highlighted by the fact that it was segregated from the other requirements
under Article 805 and embodied in a distinct and separate provision. [20] Nevertheless, respondent should be faulted for having failed to make the
necessary entries pertaining to the will in his notarial register. The old Notarial
An acknowledgment is the act of one who has executed a deed in going before Law required the entry of the following matters in the notarial register, in
some competent officer or court and declaring it to be his act or deed. It involves chronological order:
an extra step undertaken whereby the signatory actually declares to the notary
public that the same is his or her own free act and deed. The acknowledgment in a nature of each instrument executed, sworn to, or acknowledged before him;
notarial will has a two-fold purpose: (1) to safeguard the testators wishes long person executing, swearing to, or acknowledging the instrument;
after his demise and (2) to assure that his estate is administered in the manner witnesses, if any, to the signature;
that he intends it to be done. date of execution, oath, or acknowledgment of the instrument;
fees collected by him for his services as notary;
A cursory examination of the acknowledgment of the will in question shows that give each entry a consecutive number; and
this particular requirement was neither strictly nor substantially complied with. if the instrument is a contract, a brief description of the substance of the
For one, there was the conspicuous absence of a notation of the residence instrument
certificates of the notarial witnesses Noynay and Grajo in the acknowledgment.

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Let copies of this Resolution be furnished to all the courts of the land, the
In an effort to prove that he had complied with the abovementioned rule, Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Office of the Bar Confidant, as well as
respondent contended that he had crossed out a prior entry and entered instead made part of the personal records of respondent.
the will of the decedent. As proof, he presented a photocopy of his notarial
register. To reinforce his claim, he presented a photocopy of a certification [28] SO ORDERED.
stating that the archives division had no copy of the affidavit of Bartolome
Ramirez.
ALUAD V. ALUAD
A photocopy is a mere secondary evidence. It is not admissible unless it is shown G.R. No. 176943. October 17, 2008
that the original is unavailable. The proponent must first prove the existence and FACTS:
cause of the unavailability of the original, [29] otherwise, the evidence presented · Maria Aluad (the mother of the Petitioners) as well as their Uncle
will not be admitted. Thus, the photocopy of respondents notarial register was not (Respondent: Zenaido) were raised by the childless spouses Matilde and Crispin
admissible as evidence of the entry of the execution of the will because it failed to (crispin is a guy).
comply with the requirements for the admissibility of secondary evidence. · Crispin was the owner of six sexy lots - located in Capiz. When he died
Matilde (da wife) adjudicated the lots to herself.
Defects in the observance of the solemnities prescribed by law render the entire · On November 14, 1981, Matilde executed a "Deed of Donation of Real
will invalid. This carelessness cannot be taken lightly in view of the importance Property Inter Vivos" in favor of petitioners' mother Maria - covering all the six
and delicate nature of a will, considering that the testator and the witnesses, as in lots
this case, are no longer alive to identify the instrument and to confirm its contents. · On August 26, 1991, Matilde sold Lot No. 676 to respondent (Zenaido) by a
[34] Accordingly, respondent must be held accountable for his acts. The validity of Deed of Absolute Sale of Real Property – and on her Last will and Testament she
the will was seriously compromised as a consequence of his breach of duty. [35] devised lot 674 to Zenaido
on 1992, Matilde executed a last will and testament,
Respondent, as notary public, evidently failed in the performance of the o devising Lot Nos. 675, 677, 682, and 680 to Maria,
elementary duties of his office. Contrary to his claims that he exercised his duties o and her "remaining properties" including Lot No. 674 to respondent (Zenaido).
as Notary Public with due care and with due regard to the provision of existing · Matilde died on January 25, 1994,
law and had complied with the elementary formalities in the performance of his · while Maria died on September 24 of the same year.
duties xxx, we find that he acted very irresponsibly in notarizing the will in
question. Such recklessness warrants the less severe punishment of suspension · On August 21, 1995, Maria's heirs-herein petitioners filed before the RTC - a
from the practice of law. It is, as well, a sufficient basis for the revocation of his Complaint for declaration and recovery of ownership and possession of Lot
commission [50] and his perpetual disqualification to be commissioned as a Nos. 674 and 676, and damages against respondent,
notary public. [51]
· As a Defense : Zenaido alleged that
o That Lot 674 is owned by the defendant as this lot was adjudicated to him in
WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Regino B. Tambago is hereby found guilty of the Last Will and Testament of Matilde Aluad
professional misconduct. He violated (1) the Lawyers Oath; (2) Rule 138 of the o while Lot 676 was purchased by him from Matilde Aluad. These two lots are in
Rules of Court; (3) Canon 1 and Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional his possession as true owners thereof.
Responsibility; (4) Art. 806 of the Civil Code and (5) the provisions of the old
Notarial Law. · Petitioners later filed a Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint Already Filed
to Conform to Evidence : to which it annexed an Amended Complaint which
Atty. Regino B. Tambago is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one cited the donation of the six lots via Deed of Donation in favor of their
year and his notarial commission REVOKED. Because he has not lived up to the mother Maria. Branch 15 of the RTC granted the motion and admitted the
trustworthiness expected of him as a notary public and as an officer of the court, Amended Complaint.
he is PERPETUALLY DISQUALIFIED from reappointment as a notary public.

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

ISSUE: won the CA erred when it reversed the decision of the RTC holding that G.R. No. 33592. March 31, 1931
the deed of donation inter vivos in favor of petitioners' mother is in fact a
donation mortis causa. TOPIC: WILLS; LACK OF TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY; COMA RESULTING FROM
CEREBRAL HEMORRHAGE.
RULING: C.A. did not err motherfuckerr.
1. It is Mortis Causa. FACTS:
· As did the appellate court, the SC finds the donation to petitioners' On the morning of June 2, 1929, Victorina Villaranda y Diaz, was in a comatose
mother one of mortis causa, it having the following characteristics: condition due to apoplexy, incident to cerebral hemorrage. After examination, she
(1) It conveys no title or ownership to the transferee before the death of the was allowed to be taken to San Juan de Dios Hospital. Four days after June 5, 1929,
transferor; or what amounts to the same thing, that the transferor should retain she died.
the ownership (full or naked) and control of the property while alive;
(2) That before the death of the transferor, the transfer should be revocable by the The contested document produced as her will, was prepared by Perfecto Gabriel.
transferor at will, ad nutum; but revocability may be provided for indirectly by His wife appeared to be related to the named beneficiaries, who were collateral
means of a reserved power in the donor to dispose of the properties conveyed; relatives of the deceased, named Eusebia, Crispina, and Maria Lim.
and
(3) That the transfer should be void if the transferor should survive the At 9 or 10 o'clock on the forenoon of June 5, 1929, upon being informed of the
transferee. condition of the testatrix, he took a sheet from his exercise book, wrote the
/-----------------// instrument in question, and brought it into the sick room for execution. He
· The phrase in the earlier-quoted Deed of Donation "to become effective suggested that the attending physician, Lopez del Castillo to sign as a witness.
upon the death of the DONOR" admits of no other interpretation than to mean However, he refused on the ground of lack of testamentary capacity of the old
that Matilde did not intend to transfer the ownership of the six lots to petitioners' lady. He also asked Marcos Ira, first cousin of the deceased, to sign as one of the
mother during her (Matilde's) lifetime. witnesses, but he refused as well. In the end three persons served as witnesses,
o2. The donation being then mortis causa, the formalities of a will should have and two relatives of his wife. Victorina was not able to affix her signature to the
been observed (it was not) document, and it was signed for her by the attorney.
o it was witnessed by only two, not three or more witnesses following Article
805 of the Civil Code. Eusebia, named as executrix, offered such as probate. However, the sister of the
o Further, the witnesses did not even sign the attestation clause: the deceased, Chinco, opposed. The trial court favored the latter and disallowed the
execution of which clause is a requirement separate from the subscription of the will on the ground that the testatrix did not have testamentary capacity at the
will and the affixing of signatures on the left-hand margins of the pages of the will. time the instrument purports to have been executed by her.
o Furthermore, the witnesses did not acknowledge the will before the
notary public, which is not in accordance with the requirement of Article 806 of ISSUE:
the Civil Code that every will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the WON THE TESTRATIX HAD TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY AT THE TIME THE
testator and the witnesses. PAPER REFERRED TO WAS IGNED
o More. The requirement that all the pages of the will must be
numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page was not HELD:
also followed.
NO. At the time the will was made, the proof showed that the testatrix was in
The Deed of Donation which is, as already discussed, one of mortis causa, not a comatose condition and devoid of the power of articulate speech. Held,
having followed the formalities of a will, it is Void and transmitted no right to that testamentary capacity was lacking and that the purported will was not
petitioners' mother. valid.

TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY As shown a marked preponderance, that the deceased, she was in a comatose
ESTATE OF THE DECEASED VICTORINA VILLARANDA. EUSEBIA LIM condition and incapable of performing any conscious and valid act. The testimony
VS JULIANA CHINCO of these witnesses is convincing to the effect that the patient was in a continuous

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

state of coma and did not have sufficient command of her faculties to enable her to person and mind of the testatrix by the beneficiaries named in the win; and that
do any valid act. the will failed to institute a residual heir to the remainder of the estate.
After a hearing on the merits, the probate court, finding the evidence presented in
Barrera v, Tanjoco support of the petition to be conclusive and overwhelming, rendered its decision
Gr no l-5263 Feb. 17, 1954 allowing the probate of the disputed will.
FACTS: Petitioner thus appealed the decision of the probate court to the Court of Appeals
A will was executed by Oliva Villapaña, leaving properties to her nephews and which affirmed in toto the decision.
nieces and grandchildren. The oppositors alleges that the testatrix was not in a On September 24,1986, petitioner filed with the respondent court a motion for
capacity to execute a will and that Oliva's signature was acquired through fraud new trial. Attached to her motion was the Affidavit of Merit of Gregorio Montinola
and trickery and the provisions of the will is invalid. The court of first instance of Sanson, petitioner's son, alleging that witnesses have been located whose
Tarlac ruled that the will was invalid because it was not the personal last will of testimonies could shed light as to the ill health of the testatrix as well as undue
the deceased; that she did not furnish the names of the persons instituted as heirs influence exerted on the latter.
and; that the will was not read to her before she signed it. The appellate court in its resolution of October 13, 1986, denied the motion for
new trial of petitioner on the following grounds: (1) the Affidavit of merit attached
ISSUE: to the motion alleged that efforts were exerted to locate unnamed witnesses only
whether the will is valid? after the court's decision was handed down, and (2) the unnamed witnesses
would allegedly shed light on the fact of grave illness of the testatrix as well as the
HELD: the court held that the will is valid. Omission of some relatives as undue influence exerted on her which are merely corroborative or cumulative
beneficiaries does not affect due execution of the will. As the will was found to be since these facts were brought to light during the trial.
free from fraud, trickery or undue influence, with the testatrix having The motion for reconsideration of petitioner dated October 27, 1986 was likewise
testamentary capacity, the court was compelled to give expression thereto. It is denied by the appellate court in its resolution of November 20, 1986 on the
also not necessary that the will be read upon its signing and in the presence of the ground that the affidavit of one Patricia Delgado submitted with the motion
witnesses. constitutes cumulative evidence and the motion being in reality a second motion
for reconsideration which is prescribed by law.
Heirs of Sanson vs CA and Hernandez
GR No. 76648 ISSUE :
FACTS : Whether or not the testatrix failed to dispose of all of her estate is an indication of
This case arose from a petition filed by private respondent Atty. Eduardo F. the unsoundness of her mind.
Hernandez on April 22, 1981 with the Court of First Instance of Manila (now
Regional Trial Court) seeking the probate of the holographic will of the late HELD :
Herminia Montinola executed on January 28, 1980. The testatrix, who died single, No. We cannot subscribe to this contention. Art. 841 of the Civil Code provides —
parentless and childless on March 29,1981 at the age of 70 years, devised in this A will shall be valid even though it should not contain an institution of an heir, or
will several of her real properties to specified persons. such institution should not comprise the entire estate, and even though the
On April 29,1981, private respondent who was named executor in the will filed an person so instituted should not accept the inheritance or should be incapacitated
urgent motion for appointment of special administrator. With the conformity of all to succeed.
the relatives and heirs of the testatrix except oppositor, the court in its order of In such cases, the testamentary dispositions made in accordance with law shall be
May 5, 1981 appointed private respondent as Special Administrator of the testate complied with and the remainder of the estate shall pass to the legal heirs.
estate of deceased. Thus, the fact that in her holographic will, testatrix disposed of only eleven (11) of
On June 29,1981, Matilde Montinola Sanson (petitioner), the only surviving sister her real properties does not invalidate the will, or is it an indication that the
of the deceased but who was not named in the said win, filed her Opposition to testatrix was of unsound mind. The portion of the estate undisposed of shall pass
Probate of Will, alleging inter alia: that the subject will was not entirely written, on to the heirs of the deceased in intestate succession.
dated and signed by the testatrix herself and the same was falsely dated or Neither is undue influence present just because blood relatives, other than
antedated; that the testatrix was not in full possession of her mental faculties to compulsory heirs have been omitted, for while blood ties are strong in the
make testamentary dispositions; that undue influence was exerted upon the Philippines, it is the testator's right to disregard non-compulsory heirs.The fact

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

that some heirs are more favored than others is proof of neither fraud or undue He claimed that said property could not be conveyed by decedent in its entirety,
influence. Diversity of apportionment is the usual reason for making a testament, as she was not its sole owner.
otherwise, the decedent might as well die intestate.
The contention of the petitioner that the will was obtained by undue influence or Notwithstanding the oppositions, the trial court admitted the decedent's
improper pressure exerted by the beneficiaries of the will cannot be sustained on holographic will to probate. The probate court finds no reason at all for the
mere conjecture or suspicion; as it is not enough that there was opportunity to disallowance of the will for its failure to comply with the formalities prescribed by
exercise undue influence or a possibility that it may have been exercised. The law nor for lack of testamentary capacity of the testatrix. However, respondent
exercise of improper pressure and undue influence must be supported by court held that the holographic will of Anne Sand was not executed in accordance
substantial evidence that it was actually exercised. with the formalities prescribed by law. It held that Articles 813 and 814 of the
Finally, We quote with approval the observation of the respondent court — New Civil Code, ante, were not complied with, hence, it disallowed the probate of
There is likewise no question as to the due execution of the subject Will. To Our said will.
minds, the most authentic proof that decreased had testamentary capacity at the
time of the execution of the Will, is the Will itself which according to a report of ISSUE
one of the two expert witnesses reveals the existence of significant handwriting Whether or not the non-compliance of the subject holographic will to Articles 813
characteristics such as: and 84 of the New Civil Code makes the will testament void.
1. Spontaneity, freedom, and speed of writing
xxx xxx xxx HELD/RULING
3. good line quality. Petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED and SET
4. presence of natural variation ASIDE, except with respect to the invalidity of the disposition of the entire house
The characteristics of spontaneity, freedom and good line quality could not be and lot in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte.
achieved by the testatrix if it was true that she was indeed of unsound mind
and/or under undue influence or improper pressure when she the Will. No evidence was presented to show sufficient reason for the disallowance of
herein holographic will. The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution
HOLOGRAPHIC WILL of wills is to close the door against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of
SPOUSES ROBERTO AND THELMA AJERO, petitioners, vs. THE COURT OF wills and testaments and to guaranty their truth and authenticity. Therefore, the
APPEALS AND CLEMENTE SAND, respondents. laws on this subject should be interpreted in such a way as to attain these
G.R. No. 106720 September 15, 1994 primordial ends. But, on the other hand, also one must not lose sight of the fact
FACTS that it is not the object of the law to restrain and curtail the exercise of the right to
In the will, decedent named as devisees, the following: petitioners Roberto and make a will. So when an interpretation already given assures such ends, any other
Thelma Ajero, private respondent Clemente Sand, Meriam S. Arong, Leah Sand, interpretation whatsoever, that adds nothing but demands more requisites
Lilia Sand, Edgar Sand, Fe Sand, Lisa S. Sand, and Dr. Jose Ajero, Sr., and their entirely unnecessary, useless and frustrative of the testator's last will, must be
children. disregarded.

On January 20, 1983, petitioners instituted Sp. Proc. No. Q-37171, for allowance of In the case of holographic wills, what assures authenticity is the requirement that
decedent's holographic will. They alleged that at the time of its execution, she was they be totally autographic or handwritten by the testator himself, as provided
of sound and disposing mind, not acting under duress, fraud or undue influence, under Article 810 of the New Civil Code. Failure to strictly observe other
and was in every respect capacitated to dispose of her estate by will. formalities will not result in the disallowance of a holographic will that is
unquestionably handwritten by the testator.
Private respondent opposed the petition on the grounds that: neither the
testament's body nor the signature therein was in decedent's handwriting; it A reading of Article 813 of the New Civil Code shows that its requirement affects
contained alterations and corrections which were not duly signed by decedent; the validity of the dispositions contained in the holographic will, but not its
and, the will was procured by petitioners through improper pressure and undue probate. If the testator fails to sign and date some of the dispositions, the result is
influence. The petition was likewise opposed by Dr. Jose Ajero. He contested the that these dispositions cannot be effectuated. Such failure, however, does not
disposition in the will of a house and lot located in Cabadbaran, Agusan Del Norte. render the whole testament void.

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

The legal grounds of opposition are (a) that the distribution should be governed
Likewise, a holographic will can still be admitted to probate, notwithstanding non- by the laws of the Philippines, and (b) that said order of distribution is contrary
compliance with the provisions of Article 814. thereto insofar as it denies to Maria Helen Christensen, one of two acknowledged
natural children, one-half of the estate in full ownership.
Thus, unless the unauthenticated alterations, cancellations or insertions were It was alleged that Section 946 of the California Civil Code, which requires that the
made on the date of the holographic will or on testator's signature, their disposition of the property shall be governed by the law of the domicile of the
presence does not invalidate the will itself. The lack of authentication will only decedent, i.e. Philippine law, should be applicable. It was also alleged that Maria
result in disallowance of such changes. Helen Christensen having been declared an acknowledged natural child of the
decedent, she is deemed for all purposes legitimate from the time of her birth.
The Court of Appeals further held that decedent Annie Sand could not validly The Court of First Instance of Davao ruled that as Edward E. Christensen was a
dispose of the house and lot located in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte, in its citizen of the United States and of the State of California at the time of his death,
entirety. This is correct and must be affirmed. She cannot validly dispose of the the successional rights and intrinsic validity of the provisions in his will are to be
whole property, which she shares with her father's other heirs. governed by the law of California, in accordance with which a testator has the
right to dispose of his property in the way he desires, because the right of absolute
INTRINSIC & EXTRINSIC VALIDITY dominion over his property is sacred and inviolable.
Aznar v. Garcia (Christensen Case) Oppositor Maria Helen Christensen, filed various motions for reconsideration, but
GR No. L-16729 these were denied. Hence this appeal.

FACTS: ISSUE:
In the proceedings for admission of the will to probate, the facts of record show Whether or not
that the deceased Edward E. Christensen was born on November 29, 1875, in New THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO RECOGNIZE
York City, N. Y., U.S.A. His first arrival in the Philippines, as an appointed school THAT UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW, PARTICULARLY
teacher, was on July 1, 1901 and he stayed in the Philippines until 1904. UNDER THE RENVOI DOCTRINE, THE INTRINSIC
In December 1904, Mr. Christensen returned to the United States and resided in VALIDITY OF THE TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITION OR
Sacramento, California for 9 years until 1913. THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED
He came back to the Philippines in July 1913 and since then, he returned to EDWARD E. CHRISTENSEN SHOULD BE GOVERNED BY
California only for year-long visits in 1928 and 1938. He was interned by the THE LAWS OF THE PHILIPPINES.
Japanese Military Forces in the Philippines during World War II. Upon liberation, Or, alternatively,
in April 1945, he left for the United States but returned to the Philippines in What law should govern the intrinsic validity of the will
December, 1945. He never acquired a home or properties in the State of in light of the renvoi doctrine, CA law or Philippine law?
California. HELD:
On March 5, 1951, Edward E. Christensen executed his last will and PHILIPPINE LAW is to be applied, NOT the law of California.
testament at his lawyers' office in Manila. He died at the St. Luke's Appellees argue that the internal law of California shall apply
Hospital in the City of Manila on April 30, 1953. as pointed out in Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.
In accordance with the provisions of the will, the executor in his final account and However, in this case, the State of California prescribes two sets of
project partition ratified the payment of only P3,600 to Maria Helen Christensen laws for its citizens, an internal law for residents therein and another
Garcia, the oppositor-appelant in this case, residing in Davao, Philippines, and for those domiciled in other jurisdictions. Hence, reason demands that
proposed that the residue of the estate be transferred to his daughter, Maria Lucy the California conflict of law rule, i.e., Article 946 of the Civil Code of
Christensen Daney, residing in California, U.S.A. California, which authorizes the reference or return of the question to
Opposition to the approval of the project of partition was filed by Helen the law of the testator's domicile, should be applied (for those
Christensen Garcia, insofar as it deprives her (Helen) of her legitime as an domiciled abroad).
acknowledged natural child, she having been subsequently declared an “Article 946, Civil Code, precisely refers back the case,
acknowledged natural child of the deceased Edward E. Christensen in 1958 [G.R. when a decedent is not domiciled in California, to the law of
Nos. L-11483-84. February 14, 1958]. his domicile, the Philippines in the case at bar. The court of the

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

domicile can not and should not refer the case back to The People's Bank and Trust Company, as executor of the will, paid all the
California; such action would leave the issue incapable of bequests therein including the amount of $240,000.00 in the form of shares of
determination because the case will then be like a football, stock to Mary E. Mallen and to the three (3) illegitimate children, Amos Bellis, Jr.,
tossed back and forth between the two states, between the Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis, various amounts totalling
country of which the decedent was a citizen and the country of P40,000.00 each (120,000.00 in total).
his domicile. The Philippine court must apply its own law as
directed in the conflict of law rule of the state of the decedent, The executor submitted and filed its "Executor's Final Account, Report of
if the question has to be decided, especially as the application Administration and Project of Partition" wherein it reported, that it paid to the
of the internal law of California provides no legitime for heirs/legacies in accordance with the will.
children while the Philippine law, Arts. 887 (4) and 894, Civil
Code of the Philippines, makes natural children legally In the project of partition, the executor divided the residuary estate into seven
acknowledged forced heirs of the parent recognizing them.” equal portions for the benefit of the testator's seven legitimate children by his
Following the renvoi doctrine, the question of the validity of the first and second marriages. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis opposed
testamentary provision in question should be referred back to the law to the project of partition on the ground that they were deprived of their legitimes
of the decedent's domicile, which is the Philippines. as illegitimate children and, therefore, compulsory heirs of the deceased.
As the domicile of the deceased, who was a citizen of California, was
the Philippines at the time of his death, the intrinsic validity of the Appellants would also point out that the decedent executed two wills — one to
provisions of his will depriving his acknowledged natural child of her govern his Texas estate and the other his Philippine estate — arguing from this
legitime, should be governed by the Philippine law, pursuant to Article that he intended Philippine law to govern his Philippine estate
946 of the Civil Code of California.
ISSUE:
BELLIS vs. BELLIS 1. What law should be applied in this case?
GR No. L-23678 || Intrinsic & Extrinsic Validity 2. Are the illegitimate children entitled to legitimes?
FACTS:
Amos G. Bellis, born in Texas, was "a citizen of the State of Texas and of the United HELD:
States." By his first wife, Mary E. Mallen, whom he divorced, he had five legitimate 1. The national law of the deceased, that is, the Texas law, should apply in this
children (one predeceased him); by his second wife, Violet Kennedy who survived case.
him, he had three legitimate children; and finally, he had three illegitimate
children: Amos Bellis, Jr., Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis. Article 16, par. 2, and Art. 1039 of the Civil Code, render applicable the national
law of the decedent, in intestate or testamentary successions, with regard to four
On August 5, 1952, Amos G. Bellis executed a will in the Philippines, in which he items: (a) the order of succession; (b) the amount of successional rights; (e) the
directed that after all taxes, obligations, and expenses of administration are paid intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will; and (d) the capacity to succeed.
for, his distributable estate should be divided, in trust, in the following order and
manner: (a) $240,000.00 to his first wife, Mary E. Mallen; (b) P120,000.00 to his Contrary to the contention of the respondents, Art. 17 par. 3 of the Civil Code is
three illegitimate children, Amos Bellis, Jr., Maria Cristina Bellis, Miriam Palma NOT an exception to Art. 16 par. 2. For whatever public policy or good customs
Bellis, or P40,000.00 each and (c) after the foregoing two items have been may be involved in our System of legitimes, Congress has not intended to extend
satisfied, the remainder shall go to his seven surviving children by his first and the same to the succession of foreign nationals. For it has specifically chosen to
second wives. leave, inter alia, the amount of successional rights, to the decedent's national law.
(Art. 16, par. 2 and Art. 1039)
On July 8, 1958, Amos G. Bellis died a resident of San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. His will
was admitted to probate in the Court of First Instance of Manila on September 15, Even assuming that such was decedent's intention in executing a separate
1958. Philippine will, it would not alter the law. A provision in a foreigner's will to the
effect that his properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine law

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

and not with his national law, is illegal and void. Art. 16 states that his national c. Testamentary capacity of the testator
law should govern. d. Due execution of the last will and testament.
Under the Civil Code, due executuion includes:
2. No. Amos G. Bellis, was a citizen of the State of Texas, U.S.A., and that under the - Determination of whether testator was of sound and disposing mind at
laws of Texas, there are no forced heirs or legitimes. Accordingly, since the the time of its execution,
intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the amount of successional rights - that he had freely executed the will and was not acting under duress,
are to be determined under Texas law, the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be fraud, menace or undue influence and
applied to the testacy of Amos G. - that the will is genuine and not a forgery,
- that he was of proper testamentary age and that he is a person not
Dorotheo v. CA expressly prohibited by law from making a will.
GR No. 108581 || Intrinsic & Extrinsic Validity Intrinsic validity is another matter and questions regarding the same may still be
FACTS: raised even after the will has been authenticated. However, even if the will was
Aniceta Reyes died in 1969 without her estate being settled. Alejandro Dorotheo validly executed, if the testator provides for dispositions that deprives or impairs
died thereafter. Sometime in 1977, after Alejandro’s death, Lourdes Dorotheo the lawful heirs of their legitime or rightful inheritance according to the laws on
(petitioner) filed a special proceeding for the probate of the latter’s will. In 1981, succession, the unlawful provisions / dispositions cannot be given effect. This is
the court issued an order admitting Alejandro’s will to probate. The legitimate specially so when the courts had already determined in a final and executory
children (Private Respondents) did not appeal from the said order. In 1983 decision that the will is intrinsically void. Such determination having attained that
however, private respondents filed a motion to declare the will intrinsically void. character of finality is binding on this Court which will no longer be disturbed.
The trial court granted the said motion. Lourdes Dorotheo moved for
reconsideration arguing that she is entitled to some compensation as she took If the will is extrinsically void, the rules of intestacy apply regardless of the
care of Alejandro though she admitted that they were not married to each other. intrinsic validity thereof. If it is extrinsically valid, the next test is to determine its
Her motion for reconsideration was denied. Lourdes appealed to the CA but was intrinsic validity – that is whether the provisions of the will are valid according to
also dismissed. A writ of execution was issued by the lower court to implement the laws of succession. In this case, the court had ruled that the will of Alejandro
the final and executory Order. Private Respondents also filed several motion to was extrinsically valid but the intrinsic provisions thereof were void. Thus, the
convey titles to them. An Order was issued by the lower court setting aside the rules of intestacy apply as correctly held by the trial court.
final and executory order. Private respondents filed a motion for reconsideration
of such order but were denied. On appeal in the CA, the CA nullified the previous NOTARIAL WILL
orders of the lower court in setting aside the final and executory order and the FELIX AZUELA v. CA, GERALDA CASTILLO substituted by ERNESTO
issuance of the writ of execution. Petitioner on the other hand, filed a petition for CASTILLO
review assailing the Order of the Court of Appeals upholding contending that the GR No. 12280
will should be allowed as the will was earlier admitted to probate. FACTS:
A petition was filed by petitioner Felix Azuela seeking to admit to probate the
ISSUE: notarial will of the late Eugenia E. Igsolo, which was notarized on 10 June 1981.
Whether or not a will admitted to probate but declared intrinsically void in an Petitioner is the son of the cousin of the decedent. The will consisted of 2 pages
order that has become final and executory still be given effect and was written in the vernacular Pilipino. The three witnesses to the will affixed
their signatures on the left-hand margin of both pages of the will, but not at the
HELD: bottom of the attestation clause. The probate petition adverted to only 2 heirs,
The court held that it does not necessarily follow that an extrinsically valid las will legatees and devisees of the decedent, namely: petitioner himself, and one Irene
and testament is always intrinsically valid. Probate proceedings deals generally Lynn Igsolo, who was alleged to have resided abroad. Petitioner prayed that the
with the extrinsic validity of the will sought to be probated. Such proceedings will be allowed, and that letters testamentary be issued to the designated
focus on these aspects: executor, Vart Prague.
a. Whether the will submitted is indeed, the decedent’s last will and The petition was opposed by Geralda Castillo, who represented herself as
testament the attorney-in-fact of "the 12 legitimate heirs" of the decedent. Geralda claimed
b. Compliance with the prescribed formalities for the execution of wills that:

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

The will is a forgery, and that the true purpose of its emergence was so pages on which the will is written is to safeguard against possible
it could be utilized as a defense in several court cases filed by oppositor interpolation or omission of one or some of its pages and to prevent any
against petitioner, particularly for forcible entry and usurpation of real increase or decrease in the pages. The failure to state the number of pages
property, all centering on petitioner's right to occupy the properties of equates with the absence of an averment on the part of the instrumental
the decedent. witnesses as to how many pages consisted the will, the execution of
She also asserted that contrary to the representations of petitioner, the which they had ostensibly just witnessed and subscribed to.
decedent was actually survived by 12 legitimate heirs, namely her
grandchildren, who were then residing abroad. 2. The attestation clause was not signed by the instrumental witnesses.
o Per records, it was alleged that decedent was the widow of While the signatures of the instrumental witnesses appear on the left-
Bonifacio Igsolo, who died in 1965, and the mother of a hand margin of the will, they do not appear at the bottom of the
legitimate child, Asuncion E. Igsolo, who predeceased her mother attestation clause which after all consists of their averments before the
by 3 months. notary public. Article 805 particularly segregates the requirement that
Oppositor Geralda Castillo also argued that the will was not executed the instrumental witnesses sign each page of the will, from the requisite
and attested to in accordance with law. She pointed out that decedent's that the will be "attested and subscribed by [the instrumental
signature did not appear on the second page of the will, and the will was witnesses]." The respective intents behind these two classes of signature
not properly acknowledged. These twin arguments are among the central are distinct from each other. The signatures on the left-hand corner of
matters to this petition. every page signify, among others, that the witnesses are aware that the
RTC: It admitted the will to probate. The RTC favorably took into account the page they are signing forms part of the will. On the other hand, the
testimony of the three (3) witnesses to the will: Quirino Agrava, Lamberto Leano, signatures to the attestation clause establish that the witnesses are
and Juanito Estrada. The RTC also called to fore "the modern tendency in respect referring to the statements contained in the attestation clause itself.
to the formalities in the execution of a will with the end in view of giving the Indeed, the attestation clause is separate and apart from the disposition
testator more freedom in expressing his last wishes;" and from this perspective, of the will. An unsigned attestation clause results in an unattested will.
rebutted oppositor's arguments that the will was not properly executed and
attested to in accordance with law. 3. The requirement under Article 806 that "every will must be
CA: The Order was appealed to the Court of Appeals by Ernesto Castillo, who had acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the
substituted his since deceased mother-in-law, Geralda Castillo. CA reversed the witnesses" has also not been complied with. An acknowledgment is
trial court decision and ordered the dismissal of the petition for probate. CA noted the act of one who has executed a deed in going before some competent
that the attestation clause failed to state the number of pages used in the will, thus officer or court and declaring it to be his act or deed. It involves an extra
rendering the will void and undeserving of probate. step undertaken whereby the signor actually declares to the notary that
Hence, the present petition. the executor of a document has attested to the notary that the same is
Petitioner’s contention: Petitioner argues that the requirement under Article his/her own free act and deed. A notarial will that is not acknowledged
805 of the Civil Code that "the number of pages used in a notarial will be stated in before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses is fatally
the attestation clause" is merely directory, rather than mandatory, and thus defective, even if it is subscribed and sworn to before a notary
susceptible to what he termed as "the substantial compliance rule." public.

ISSUE: 4. There are two other requirements under Article 805 which were not fully
Whether the notarial will complied with the requirements of the law and should satisfied by the will in question. However they are no longer material to
be admitted to probate. the disposition of the case. The provision requires that the testator and
the instrumental witnesses sign each and every page of the will on the left
RULING: margin, except the last; and that all the pages shall be numbered
No. Petition was denied. The court laid down additional defects of the notarial correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page. In this case,
will of the deceased. the decedent, unlike the witnesses, failed to sign both pages of the will
1. The attestation clause fails to state the number of pages of the on the left margin, her only signature appearing at the so-called "logical
will. The purpose of the law in requiring the clause to state the number of end" of the will on its first page. Also, the will itself is not numbered

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

correlatively in letters on each page, but instead numbered with Arabic In the case at bar, private respondent read the testator's will and codicil aloud in
numerals. the presence of the testator, his three instrumental witnesses, and the notary
public. Prior and subsequent thereto, the testator affirmed, upon being asked, that
BLIND TESTATOR the contents read corresponded with his instructions
Alvarado v. Gaviola Moreover, it was not only Atty. Rino who read the documents on 5 November and
G.R. No. 74695 September 14, 1993 29 December 1977. The notary public and the three instrumental witnesses
FACTS: likewise read the will and codicil, albeit silently. Afterwards, Atty. Nonia de la
79-year old Brigido Alvarado executed a notarial will entitled "Huling Habilin" Pena (the notary public) and Dr. Crescente O. Evidente (one of the three
wherein he disinherited an illegitimate son (petitioner) and expressly revoked a instrumental witnesses and the testator's physician) asked the testator whether
previously executed holographic will at the time awaiting probate. the contents of the document were of his own free will. Brigido answered in the
Brigido was then suffering from glaucoma. But the disinheritance and revocatory affirmative.
clauses were unchanged. As in the case of the notarial will, the testator did not The spirit behind the law was served though the letter was not. Although there
personally read the final draft of the codicil. Instead, it was private respondent should be strict compliance with the substantial requirements of the law in order
who read it aloud in his presence and in the presence of the three instrumental to insure the authenticity of the will, the formal imperfections should be brushed
witnesses and the notary public who followed the reading using their own copies. aside when they do not affect its purpose and which, when taken into account,
A petition for the probate of the notarial will and codicil was filed upon the may only defeat the testator's will.
testator's death.
Petitioner filed an opposition. HEIRS
VDA. DE PEREZ vs. HON. TOLETE
ISSUE: G.R. No. 76714, 2 June 1994 || Heirs
W/N the notarial will is valid. QUIASON, J p:

HELD: FACTS:
Yes, the will is valid. Dr. Jose F. Cunanan and his wife, Dr. Evelyn Perez-Cunanan, who became
Art. 808. States that If the testator is blind, the will shall be read to him twice; American citizens, established a successful medical practice in New York, U.S.A.
once, by one of the subscribing witnesses, and again, by the notary public before with their children, Jocelyn, 18; Jacqueline, 16; and Josephine, 14.
whom the will is acknowledged. Dr. Cunanan executed a last will and testament, bequeathing to his wife "all the
The rationale behind the requirement of reading the will to the testator if he remainder" of his real and personal property at the time of his death
is blind or incapable of reading the will himself (as when he is illiterate), is to "wheresoever situated". In the event he would survive his wife, he bequeathed all
make the provisions thereof known to him, so that he may be able to object if they his property to his children and grandchildren with Dr. Rafael G. Cunanan, Jr. as
are not in accordance with his wishes trustee. He appointed his wife as executrix of his last will and testament and Dr.
Clear from the foregoing is that Art. 808 applies not only to blind testators but Rafael G. Cunanan, Jr. as substitute executor.
also to those who, for one reason or another, are "incapable of reading the(ir) Four days later, Dr. Evelyn P. Cunanan executed her own last will and testament
will(s)." Since Brigido Alvarado was incapable of reading the final drafts of his will containing the same provisions as that of the will of her husband.
and codicil on the separate occasions of their execution due to his "poor," Dr. Cunanan and his entire family perished when they were trapped by fire that
"defective," or "blurred" vision, there can be no other course for us but to gutted their home. Thereafter, Dr. Rafael Cunanan, Jr. as trustee and substitute
conclude that Brigido Alvarado comes within the scope of the term "blind" as it is executor of the two wills, filed separate proceedings for the probate thereof with
used in Art. 808. the Surrogate Court of the County of Onondaga, New York. these two wills were
This Court has held in a number of occasions that substantial compliance is admitted to probate and letters testamentary were issued in his favor.
acceptable where the purpose of the law has been satisfied, the reason being that Salud Teodoro Perez, the mother of Dr. Evelyn P. Cunanan, and petitioner herein,
the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills are intended to protect the filed with the Regional Trial Court a petition for the reprobate of the two wills
testator from all kinds of fraud and trickery but are never intended to be so rigid ancillary to the probate proceedings in New York. The Regional Trial Court issued
and inflexible as to destroy the testamentary privilege. an order, directing the issuance of letters of special administration in favor of

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

petitioner upon her filing of a bond. The following day, petitioner posted the bond testator" and the name of Florentino Javier. Antero Mercado is alleged to have
and took her oath as special administratrix. written a cross immediately after his name, such will was invalidated by the court
Atty. Federico Alday filed a notice of appearance as counsel for the heirs of Dr. of appeals due to a defective attestation clause for failure to state the recitals
Jose F. Cunanan, namely, Dr. Rafael Cunanan, Sr., Priscilla Cunanan Bautista, mandated by the law. The case was appealed with the contention that there is no
Lydia Cunanan Ignacio, Felipe F. Cunanan and Loreto Cunanan Concepcion need for such recital because the cross written by the testator after his name is a
(Cunanan heirs). He also manifested that his clients were unaware of the filing sufficient signature and the signature of Atty. Florentino Javier is a surplusage.
of the testate estate case and therefore, "in the interest of simple fair play,"
they should be notified of the proceedings. ISSUE:
Judge de la Llana issued an order, disallowing the reprobate of the two wills, WON the will is valid
recalling the appointment of petitioner as special administratrix, requiring the
submission of petitioner of an inventory of the property received by her as special HELD:
administratrix and declaring all pending incidents moot and academic The Will is not valid. According to the supreme court It is not here pretended that
the cross appearing on the will is the usual signature of Antero Mercado or even
ISSUE: one of the ways by which he signed his name. After mature reflection, we are not
Whether or not notice of testator's known heirs, legatees, and devisees, is a pre- prepared to liken the mere sign of the cross to a thumbmark, and the reason is
requisite in the probate of wills. obvious. The cross cannot and does not have the trustworthiness of a thumbmark.

HELD: What has been said makes it unnecessary for us to determine there is a sufficient
The rule that the court having jurisdiction over the reprobate of a will shall recital in the attestation clause.
"cause notice thereof to be given as in case of an original will presented for
allowance" (Revised Rules of Court, Rule 27, Section 2) means that with regard to Yap Tua v. Yap Ca Kuan
notices, the will probated abroad should be treated as if it were an "original will" G.R. No. 6845; September 1, 1914
or a will that is presented for probate for the first time. Accordingly, compliance FACTS:
with Sections 3 and 4 of Rule 76, which require publication and notice by mail or Yap Tua presented a petition in the CFI of Manila, asking the will of Tomasa
personally to the "known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator resident in Elizaga YapCaong be admitted to probate. Two witnesses were presented. After
the Philippines" and to the executor, if he is not the petitioner, are required. L hearing the witnesses, Judge Crossfield ordered that the last will and testament be
The brothers and sisters of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan, contrary to petitioner's claim are allowed and admitted to probate. The court further ordered that Yap Tua be
entitled to notices of the time and place for proving the wills. Under Section 4 of appointed as executor. Yap Ca Kuan and Yap Ca Lu appeared and presented a
Rule 76 of the Revised Rules of Court, the "court shall also cause copies of the petition, alleging that they were interested in the matters of the said will and
notice of the time and place fixed for proving the will to be addressed to the desired to intervene. The court appointed Gabriel Lao as guardian ad litem of said
designated or other known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator, . . .". parties. The pets alleged that the will had not been authorized nor signed by the
The questioned Order is SET ASIDE. Respondent Judge shall allow petitioner witnesses as the law prescribes; that the testator was not mentally capacitated to
reasonable time within which to submit evidence needed for the joint probate of execute the will; that the signature was obtained through fraud and illegal
the wills of the Cunanan spouses and see to it that the brothers and sisters of Dr. influence. They also claimed that the testator executed another will. The pets
Jose F. Cunanan are given all notices and copies of all pleadings pertinent to the requested the court to annul and set aside the order, and to grant to said minors
probate proceedings. an opportunity to present new proof relating to the due execution of the will. The
Judge granted the motion for rehearing. At the rehearing, a number of witnesses
EXTRINSIC VALIDITY were examined. At the close of the rehearing, the court reached the conclusion
Mercado vs Lacuesta that the will was the last will and testament of Tomasa and admitted it to probate.
GR No. L-4067
ISSUE:
FACTS: 1. WON the will was duly executed in accordance with law.
A will was executed by Antero Mercado which was signed by Atty. Florentino 2. In the presence?
Javier who wrote the name of Antero Mercado, followed below by "A reugo del

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

RULING: A will consisting of two sheets the first of which contains all the
1. Yes. . Several witnesses testified that they saw her write the name "Tomasa." testamentary dispositions and is signed at the bottom by the testator and three
One of the witnesses testified that she had written her full name. We are of the witnesses and the second contains only the attestation clause and is signed also at
opinion, and we think the law sustains our conclusion, that if Tomasa Elizaga Yap the bottom by the three witnesses, it is not necessary that both sheets be further
Caong signed any portion of her name in the will, with the intention to sign the signed on their margins by the testator and the witnesses, or be paged.
same, that it will amount to a signature. It has been held time and time again that
one who makes a will may sign the same by using a mark, the name having been The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close
written by others. If writing a mark simply upon a will is sufficient indication of the door against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and testaments
the intention of the person to make and execute a will, then certainly the writing and to guaranty their truth and authenticity. Therefore the laws on this subject
of a portion or all of her name ought to be accepted as a clear indication of her should be interpreted in such a way as to attain these primordial ends. But, on the
intention to execute the will. other hand, also one must not lose sight of the fact that it is not the object of the
2. Yes. An effort was made to show that the will was signed by the witnesses in law to restrain and curtail the exercise of the right to make a will. So when an
one room and by Tomasa in another. A plan of the room or rooms in which the interpretation already given assures such ends, any other interpretation
will was signed was presented as proof and it was shown that there was but one whatsoever, that adds nothing but demands more requisites entirely unnecessary,
room; that one part of the room was one or two steps below the floor of the other; useless and frustative of the testator’s last will, must be disregarded.
that the table on which the witnesses signed the will was located upon the lower
floor of the room. It was also shown that from the bed in which Tomasa was lying, LOPEZ vs. LIBORO
it was possible for her to see the table on which the witnesses signed the will. G.R. No. L-1787, August 27, 1948, 81 PHIL 429-434
While the rule is absolute that one who makes a will must sign the same in the FACTS:
presence of the witnesses and that the witnesses must sign in the presence of each In the Court of First Instance of Batangas the appellant opposed unsuccessfully
other, as well as in the presence of the one making the will, yet, nevertheless, the the probate of the last will and testament of Don Sixto Lopez, who died at the age
actual seeing of the signatures made is not necessary. It is sufficient if the of 83 in Balayan, Batangas, on March 3, 1947, almost six months after the
signatures are made where it is possible for each of the necessary parties, if they document in question was executed. In the court below, the present appellant
desire to see, may see the signatures placed upon the will. specified five grounds for his opposition, to wit: (1) that the deceased never
executed the alleged will; (2) that his signature appearing in said will was a
Abangan v. Abangan forgery; (3) that at the time of the execution of the will, he was wanting in
GR No. L-1343 November 12, 1919 testamentary as well as mental capacity due to advanced age; (4) that, if he did
FACTS: ever execute said will, it was not executed and attested as required by law, and
The Court of First Instance of Cebu admitted to probate the will of the late Ana one of the alleged instrumental witnesses was incapacitated to act as such; and it
Abangan. The said will consists of two sheets of paper, the first of which contains was procured by duress, influence of fear and threats and undue and improper
all of the dispositions of the testatrix, duly signed at the bottom by Martin pressure and influence on the part of the beneficiaries instituted therein,
Montalban (in the name and under the direction of the testatrix) and by three principally the testator's sister, Clemencia Lopez, and the herein proponent, Jose
witnesses. The following sheet contains only the attestation clause duly signed at S. Lopez; and (5) that the signature of the testator was procured by fraud or trick.
the bottom by the three instrumental witnesses. Neither of these sheets is signed
on the left margin by the testatrix and the three witnesses, nor numbered by ISSUE:
letters; and these omissions, according to appellants’ contention, are defects Whether or not the will is valid.
whereby the probate of the will should have been denied. Whether or not proof aliunde could be presented to establish that
the testator understood the language used in the will.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the will is extrinsically valid HELD:
1st issue: YES. The will is valid. The purpose of the law in prescribing
HELD: the paging of wills is to guard against fraud, and to afford means of preventing the
The will is extrinsically valid and there is substantial compliance with the substitution or of detecting the loss of any of its pages. (Abangan vs. Abangan, 40
formalities required by law. Phil., 476.) In the present case, the omission to put a page number on the first

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

sheet, if that be necessary, is supplied by other forms of identification more The will appears to have been signed by Atty. Florentino Javier who wrote the
trustworthy than the conventional numeral words or characters. The name of the testator followed below by 'A ruego del testador' and the name of
unnumbered page is clearly identified as the first page by the internal sense Florentino Javier. In effect, it was signed by another although under the express
of its contents considered in relation to the contents of the second page. By direction of the testator. This fact however was not recited in the attestation
their meaning and coherence, the first and second lines on the second page clause. Mercado also affixed a cross on the will.
are undeniably a continuation of the last sentence of the testament, before
the attestation clause, which starts at the bottom of the preceding page. The lower court admitted the will to probate but this order was reversed by the
The testator affixed his thumbmark to the instrument instead of signing Court of Appeals on the ground that the attestation failed to recite the facts
his name. The reason for this was that the testator was suffering from "partial surrounding the signing of the testator and the witnesses.
paralysis." While another in testator's place might have directed someone else to
sign for him, as appellant contends should have been done, there is nothing ISSUE:
curious or suspicious in the fact that the testator chose the use of mark as the Whether or not the attestation clause in the will is valid
means of authenticating his will. It was a matter of taste or preference. Both ways
are good. A statute requiring a will to be "signed" is satisfied if the signature is HELD:
made by the testator's mark. (De Gala vs. Gonzales and Ona, 53 Phil., 108; 28 R. C. NO the attestation is fatally defective for its failure to state that Antero or the
L., 117.) testator caused Atty. Javier to write the former's name under his express direction
2nd issue: YES. Proof aliunde may be submitted to prove that testator as required by Sec. 618 of the Civil Procedure. Finally, on the cross affixed on the
understood the language with which the will was writted. will by the testator, the Court held that it is not prepared to liken the mere sign of
It is within the discretion of the court whether or not to admit further a cross to a thumbmark for obvious reasons- the cross does not have the
evidence after the party offering the evidence has rested, and this discretion will trustworthiness of a thumbmark so it is not considered as a valid signature.
not be reviewed except where it has clearly been abused. More, it is within the
sound discretion of the court whether or not it will allow the case to Taboada v. Rosal
be reopened for the further introduction of evidence after a motion or request for GR No. L-36033
a nonsuit, or a demurrer to the evidence, and the case may be reopened after the FACTS:
court has announced its intention as to its ruling on the request, motion, or A petition for probate was filed with the respondent court by petitioner attaching
demurrer, or has granted it or has denied the same, or after the motion has been the alleged last will and testament of the late Dorotea Perez. Written in the
granted, if the order has not been written, or entered upon the minutes or signed. Cebuano-Visayan dialect, the will consists of two pages. The first page contains the
After the parties have produced their respective direct proofs, they are allowed to entire testamentary dispositions and is signed at the end or bottom of the page by
offer rebutting evidence only, but, it has been held, the court, for good reasons, in the testatrix alone and at the left hand margin by the three (3) instrumental
the furtherance of justice, may permit them to offer evidence upon their original witnesses. The second page which contains the attestation clause and the
case, and its ruling will not be disturbed in the appellate court where no abuse of acknowledgment is signed at the end of the attestation clause by the three (3)
discretion appears. (Siuliong & Co. vs. Ylagan, 43 Phil., 393; U. S. vs. Alviar, 36 Phil., attesting witnesses and at the left hand margin by the testatrix.
804.) Since no opposition was filed after the petitioner's compliance with the
Although alien to the second assignment of error, the appellant impugns requirement of publication, the trial court commissioned the branch clerk of court
the will for its silence on the testator's understanding of the language used in the to receive the petitioner's evidence. Accordingly, the petitioner submitted his
testament. There is no statutory requirement that such knowledge be expressly evidence and presented Vicente Timkang, one of the subscribing witnesses to the
stated in the will itself. It is a matter that may be established by proof aliunde. will, who testified on its genuineness and due execution.

Garcia v. Lacuesta TRIAL COURT: Then Presiding Judge Ramon C. Pamatian - denied the probate of
90 Phil 489, 29 November 1951 || Extrinsic Validity the will of Dorotea Perez for want of a formality in its execution and petitioner
FACTS: was also required to submit the names of the intestate heirs with their
The CA disallowed the probate of the will of Antero Mercado dated Jan 1943. The corresponding addresses so that they could be properly notified and could
said will was written in Ilocano dialect. intervene in the summary settlement of the estate.

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Instead of complying with the order of the trial court, the petitioner filed a other hand, subscription is the signing of the witnesses' names upon the same
manifestation and/or motion, ex parte praying for a thirty-day period within paper for the purpose of Identification of such paper as the will which was
which to deliberate on any step to be taken as a result of the disallowance of the executed by the testator.
will and that the requirement of the submission of names of intestate heirs with Insofar as the requirement of subscription is concerned, it is our considered view
their addresses be held in abeyance. A motion for reconsideration of the order that the will in this case was subscribed in a manner which fully satisfies the
denying the probate of the will and a motion for the appointment of special purpose of Identification.The signatures of the instrumental witnesses on the left
administrator were also filed by petitioner. margin of the first page of the will attested not only to the genuineness of the
Since Judge Pamatian was transferred to his new station at Pasig, Rizal, the signature of the testatrix but also the due execution of the will as embodied in the
motion together with the previous manifestation and/or motion could not be attestation clause.While perfection in the drafting of a will may be desirable,
acted upon. unsubstantial departure from the usual forms should be ignored, especially where
Subsequently, the new Judge denied the motion for reconsideration, the the authenticity of the will is not assailed.
manifestation and/or motion filed ex parte and the motion for the appointment of Report of the Code commission, p. 103 The law is to be liberally construed, "the
special administrator was likewise denied because of the petitioner's failure to underlying and fundamental objective permeating the provisions on the law on
comply with the order requiring him to submit the names of' the intestate heirs wills in this project consists in the liberalization of the manner of their execution
and their addresses. with the end in view of giving the testator more freedom in expressing his last
wishes but with sufficient safeguards and restrictions to prevent the commission
ISSUE: of fraud and the exercise of undue and improper pressure and influence upon the
For the validity of a formal notarial will, does Article 805 of the Civil Code require testator. This objective is in accord with the modern tendency in respect to the
that the testatrix and all the three instrumental and attesting witnesses sign at the formalities in the execution of a will."
end of the will and in the presence of the testatrix and of one another? Singson v. Florentino, et al. (92 Phil. 161, 164) (with respect to the purpose of the
requirement that the attestation clause must state the number of pages used)
HELD: The ratio decidendi of these cases seems to be that the attestation clause must
No. The objects of attestation and of subscription were fully met and satisfied in contain a statement of the number of sheets or pages composing the will and that
the present case when the instrumental witnesses signed at the left margin of the if this is missing or is omitted, it will have the effect of invalidating the will if the
sole page which contains all the testamentary dispositions, especially so when the deficiency cannot be supplied, not by evidence aliunde, but by a consideration or
will was properly Identified by subscribing witness Vicente Timkang to be the examination of the will itself.
same will executed by the testatrix. There was no question of fraud or substitution Icasiano v. Icasiano (11 SCRA 422, 429) The law should not be so strictly and
behind the questioned order. literally interpreted as to penalize the testatrix on account of the inadvertence of a
The respondent Judge interprets the above-quoted provision of law to require single witness over whose conduct she had no control where the purpose of the
that, for a notarial will to be valid, it is not enough that only the testatrix signs at law to guarantee the Identity of the testament and its component pages is
the "end" but an the three subscribing witnesses must also sign at the same place sufficiently attained, no intentional or deliberate deviation existed, and the
or at the end, in the presence of the testatrix and of one another because the evidence on record attests to the fun observance of the statutory requisites.
attesting witnesses to a will attest not merely the will itself but also the signature The present petition is granted. The orders of the respondent court which denied
of the testator. It is not sufficient compliance to sign the page, where the end of the the probate of tile will, the motion for reconsideration of the denial of probate,
will is found, at the left hand margin of that page. and the motion for appointment of a special administrator are set aside. The
Undoubtedly, under Article 805 of the Civil Code, the will must be subscribed or respondent court is ordered to allow the probate of the will and to conduct
signed at its end by the testator himself or by the testator's name written by further proceedings in accordance with the decision.
another person in his presence, and by his express direction, and attested and
subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and NERA VS RAYMUNDO
of one another. 18 Phil 450
It must be noted that the law uses the terms attested and subscribed Attestation FACTS:
consists in witnessing the testator's execution of the will in order to see and take The subscribing witness, Javellana, was in the outer room; while, the testator ,
note mentally that those things are, done which the statute requires for the Jaboneta, and the other witnesses were in the (small) inner room when the
execution of a will and that the signature of the testator exists as a fact. On the

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

testator signed the instrument. The witness was probably 8 to 10 ft. away in a 9. On December 1952, the divorce became final. Lorenzo then returned to
large room which was connected to the smaller room by a doorway with a curtain. the Philippines.
10. Thereafter, Lorenzo married Alicia Llorente, who had no knowledge
ISSUE: about the first marriage. Lorenzo and Alicia had three children namely Raul, Luz
Whether the execution and signing of the will was made in the presence of the and Beverly.
testator and of one another 11. In Lorenzo’s last will and testament he bequeathed all his properties to
Alicia and their three children.
RULING: 12. The will was notarized by Notary Public Salvador M. Occiano and was
YES. duly signed by Lorenzo with attesting witnesses Francis Hugo, Francisco Neibres
The true test of presence of the testator and witnesses in the execution of a will is and Tito Trajano.
NOT whether they actually saw each other sign, but whether they might have seen 13.
each other sign had they chosen to do so considering the mental and physicial Lorenzo filed a petition for probate and allowance of his last will and
condition at the time of inscription of each signature. testament. Alicia was appointed as Special Administratix of his estate.
During that time, the witness was actually and physically present. He was in such 14. Initially, the trial court denied the motion saying that the will cannot be
a position that he could see everything that took place by merely casting his eyes admitted because Lorenzo was still alive but later on admitted the will to probate.
in the proper direction and without any physical obstruction to prevent him from Before the proceedings could be terminated, Lorenzo died.
doing so. 15. Paula filed a petition for letters of administration over Lorenzo’s estate in
her favor.
16. Alicia on the other hand filed in the testate proceeding a petition for the
issuance of letters testamentary.
17. The RTC declared the divorce decree void and therefore the subsequent
SUBSTANTIVE OF INTRINSIC VALIDITY marriage of Lorenzo and Alicia is likewise void. Alicia’s petition for the issuance of
Llorente v. CA the letters testamentary is denied. She was also not allowed to receive any share
G.R. No. 124371, November 23, 2000 from the estate of Lorenzo.
FACTS:
1. Lorenzo N. Llorente was an enlisted serviceman of the United States ISSUE:
Navy. Whether the will is intrinsically valid
2. Lorenzo married Paula Llorente in Camarines Sur.
3. Before the war started, Lorenzo went back to the United States and Paula HELD:
stayed in Camarines Sur. The Civil Code provides:
4. Later on, Lorenzo was granted a US citizenship and Certificate of “Art. 17. The forms and solemnities of contracts, wills, and other public
Naturalization. instruments shall be governed by the laws of the country in which they are
5. After the war, Lorenzo went back t the Philippines and found that his wife executed.
was pregnant and was living with Lorenzo’s brother, Ceferino Llorente. “When the acts referred to are executed before the diplomatic or consular officials
6. When Paula gave birth, she named her son Crisologo Llorente and left the of the Republic of the Philippines in a foreign country, the solemnities established
father’s name blank. by Philippine laws shall be observed in their execution.”
7. Lorenzo and Paula then executed an agreement saying that he would no The clear intent of Lorenzo to bequeath his property to his second wife and
longer giver her financial support, that they would dissolve their marital union, children by her is glaringly shown in the will he executed. We do not wish to
that they made a separate agreement regarding their conjugal property acquired frustrate his wishes, since he was a foreigner, not covered by our laws on “family
during their marital life and that Lorenzo will not prosecute Paula for adultery if rights and duties, status, condition and legal capacity.”
she would admit her fault and agreed to separate with Lorenzo. Whether the will is intrinsically valid and who shall inherit from Lorenzo are
8. Lorenzo returned to the United States and filed a divorce before the issues best proved by foreign law which must be pleaded and proved. Whether
Superior Court of the State of California and for the County of San Diego. the will was executed in accordance with the formalities required is answered by
referring to Philippine law. In fact, the will was duly probated.

26
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

As a guide however, the trial court should note that whatever public policy or The parties admit that the decedent, Amos G. Bellis, was a citizen of the State of
good customs may be involved in our system of legitimes, Congress did not intend Texas, U.S.A., and that under the laws of Texas, there are no forced heirs or
to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals. Congress specifically left legitimes. Accordingly, since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and
the amount of successional rights to the decedent's national law. the amount of successional rights are to be determined under Texas law, the
Having thus ruled, we find it unnecessary to pass upon the other issues raised Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of Amos G. Bellis.
Wherefore, the order of the probate court is hereby affirmed in toto, with costs
Bellis v. Bellis against appellant.
20 SCRA 358 || Substantive or intrinsic validity
FACTS: Cayetano v. Leonidas
Amos G. Bellis, born in Texas, was "a citizen of the State of Texas and of the United G.R. No. L-54919 May 30, 1984
States." By his first wife, Mary E. Mallen, whom he divorced, he had five legitimate FACTS:
children (1 died during infancy); by his second wife, Violet Kennedy, who survived On January 31, 1977, Adoracion C. Campos died, leaving her father, petitioner
him, he had three legitimate children; and finally, he had three illegitimate Hermogenes Campos and her sisters, private respondent Nenita C. Paguia,
children. Remedios C. Lopez and Marieta C. Medina as the surviving heirs. As Hermogenes
Amos G. Bellis executed a will in the Philippines, in which he directed that after all Campos was the only compulsory heir, he executed an Affidavit of Adjudication
taxes, obligations, and expenses of administration are paid for, his distributable whereby he adjudicated unto himself the ownership of the entire estate of the
estate should be divided, in trust, in the following order and manner: (a) deceased Adoracion Campos.
$240,000.00 to his first wife, Mary E. Mallen; (b) P120,000.00 to his three Reprobate of the Will
illegitimate children, or P40,000.00 each and (c) after the foregoing two items Nenita C. Paguia filed a petition for the reprobate of a will of the deceased,
have been satisfied, the remainder shall go to his seven surviving children by his Adoracion Campos, which was allegedly executed in the United States and for her
first and second wives. Subsequently, Amos Bel;is died, a resident of San Antonio, appointment as administratrix of the estate of the deceased testatrix.
Texas, U.S.A. His will was admitted to probate in CFI of Manila. Nenita alleged that the testatrix was an American citizen at the time of her death
The People’s Bank and Trust Company, as executor of the will, paid all the and was a permanent resident of 4633 Ditman Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
bequests which it released from time to time according as the CFI approved. U.S.A.; that the testatrix died in Manila on January 31, 1977 while temporarily
2 of the illegitimate children filed their opposition with regards to the project of residing with her sister at 2167 Leveriza, Malate, Manila; that during her lifetime,
partition, (refer to (c) above) on the ground that they were deprived of their the testatrix made her last will and testament on July 10, 1975, according to the
legitimes as illegitimate children and, therefore, compulsory heirs of the deceased. laws of Pennsylvania, U.S.A., that after the testatrix death, her last will and
CFI overruled the opposition relying upon Art. 16 of the Civil Code, it applied the testament was presented, probated, allowed, and registered with the Registry of
national law of the decedent, which in this case is Texas law, which did not Wins at the County of Philadelphia, U.S.A, and that therefore, there is an urgent
provide for legitimes, hence the appeal. need for the appointment of an administratrix to administer and eventually
distribute the properties of the estate located in the Philippines.
ISSUE: Contention of Hermogenes Campos (Father of Adoracion)
WON the Texas law must apply in this case An opposition to the reprobate of the will was filed by herein petitioner alleging
among other things, that he has every reason to believe that the will in question is
HELD: a forgery; that the intrinsic provisions of the will are null and void; and that even
YES if pertinent American laws on intrinsic provisions are invoked, the same could not
The doctrine of RENVOI does not apply in this case. As stated in the case of apply inasmuch as they would work injustice and injury to him.
Aznar vs. Christensen Garcia, said doctrine is usually pertinent where the Petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss Opposition (With Waiver of Rights or
decedent is a national of one country, and a domicile of another. In the present Interests) stating that he "has been able to verify the veracity thereof (of the will)
case, it is not disputed that the decedent was both a national of Texas and a and now confirms the same to be truly the probated will of his daughter
domicile thereof at the time of his death. So that even assuming Texas has a Adoracion."
conflict of law rule providing that the domiciliary system (law of the domicile) Respondent judge issued an order admitting and allowing probate in the
should govern, the same would not result in a reference back (renvoi) to Philippines the Last Will and Testament of the late Adoracion C. Campos and
Philippine law, but would still refer to Texas law.

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Nenita Campos Paguia is hereby appointed Administratrix of the estate of said xxx xxx xxx
decedent. However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order
Another manifestation was filed by the petitioner on April 14, 1979, confirming of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity
the withdrawal of his opposition, acknowledging the same to be his voluntary act of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person
and deed. whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the
On May 25, 1979, Hermogenes Campos filed a petition for relief, praying that the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found.
order allowing the will be set aside on the ground that the withdrawal of his
opposition to the same was secured through fraudulent means. Art. 1039.
When the case was called for hearing on this date, the counsel for petitioner tried Capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the decedent.
to argue his motion to vacate instead of adducing evidence in support of the The law which governs Adoracion Campo's will is the law of Pennsylvania, U.S.A.,
petition for relief. Thus, the respondent judge issued an order dismissing the which is the national law of the decedent. Although the parties admit that the
petition for relief for failure to present evidence in support thereof. Petitioner Pennsylvania law does not provide for legitimes and that all the estate may be
filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied. given away by the testatrix to a complete stranger, the petitioner argues that such
Meanwhile, on June 6,1982, petitioner Hermogenes Campos died and left a will, law should not apply because it would be contrary to the sound and established
which, incidentally has been questioned by the respondent, his children and public policy and would run counter to the specific provisions of Philippine Law.
forced heirs as, on its face, patently null and void, and a fabrication, appointing It is a settled rule that as regards the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will,
Polly Cayetano as the executrix of his last will and testament. Cayetano, therefore, as provided for by Article 16(2) and 1039 of the Civil Code, the national law of the
filed a motion to substitute herself as petitioner in the instant case which was decedent must apply.
granted by the court WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari and prohibition is hereby dismissed for
lack of merit.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the reprobation of the will is invalid for it divested the father of JOINT WILLS
his legitime Alsua-Betts v. CA
G.R. No.L-4643031, July 30,1979
HELD: FACTS:
NO. On November 25, 1949, Don Jesus Alsua and his wife, Doña Florentina Rella, both
As a general rule, the probate court's authority is limited only to the extrinsic of Ligao, Albay, together with all their living children, Francisca Alsua-Betts, Pablo
validity of the will, the due execution thereof, the testatrix's testamentary capacity Alsua, Fernando Alsua thru this judicial guardian Clotilde Samson, and Amparo
and the compliance with the requisites or solemnities prescribed by law. The Alsua de Buenviaje, entered into a duly notarized agreement, Escritura de
intrinsic validity of the will normally comes only after the court has declared that Particion Extrajudicial , over the then present and existing properties of the
the will has been duly authenticated. However, where practical considerations spouses Don Jesus and Doña Florentina.
demand that the intrinsic validity of the will be passed upon, even before it is On Jan. 5, 1955, Don Jesus and Doña Florentina, also known as Doña Tinay
probated, the court should meet the issue. separately executed their respective holographic wills, the provisions of which
In the case at bar, the petitioner maintains that since the respondent judge were in conformity and in implementation of the extrajudicial partition of Nov. 25,
allowed the reprobate of Adoracion's will, Hermogenes C. Campos was divested of 1949.
his legitime which was reserved by the law for him. On Aug.14, 1956, the spouses Don Jesus and Doña Tinay executed their mutual
This contention is without merit. and reciprocal codicils amending and supplementing their respective holographic
Although on its face, the will appeared to have preterited the petitioner and thus, wills. On Feb. 19, 1957, their respective holographic wills and the codicils thereto
the respondent judge should have denied its reprobate outright, the private were duly admitted to probate.
respondents have sufficiently established that Adoracion was, at the time of her Doña Tinay died in October 1959. In early Nov. 1959, Don Jesus cancelled his
death, an American citizen and a permanent resident of Philadelphia, holographic will and instructed his attorney to draft a new will. This subsequent
Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Therefore, under Article 16 par. (2) and 1039 of the Civil last Will and Testament of Don Jesus executed on Nov. 14, 1959 contained an
Code which respectively provide: express revocation of his holographic will of Jan. 5, 1955 and the codicil of Aug.14,
Art. 16 par. (2). 1956; a statement requiring that all of his properties donated to his children in

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

the Deed of 1949 be collated and taken into account in the partition of his estate; cannot anymore be revoked unless inofficious; the other half remained entirely at
the institution of all his children as devisees and legatees to certain specific the free disposal of the spouses with regards to their respective shares.
properties; a statement bequeathing the rest of his properties and all that may be Upon the death of Doña Tinay on October 2, 1959, her share in the free portion
acquired in the future, before his death, to Pablo and Francesca; and a statement was distributed in accordance with her holographic will dated January 25, 1955
naming Francesca as executrix without bond. and her codicil dated August 14, 1956. It must be stressed here that the
Don Jesus Alsua died in 1964. Petitioner Francisca Alsua Betts, as the executrix distribution of her properties was subject to her holographic will and codicil,
named in the will of Nov. 14, 1959, filed a petition for the probate of said new will independently of the holographic will and codicil of Don Jesus executed by him on
of Don Jesus Alsua before the CFI Albay and was docketed as. Oppositions thereto the same date. This is fundamental because otherwise, to consider both wills and
were filed by respondents Pablo, Amparo and Fernando. CFI allowed the the codicils jointly would be to circumvent the prohibition of the Civil Code on joint
probate of the will of Don Jesus Alsua. CA reversed: denied the probate of the will, wills (Art. 818) and secondly because upon the death of Doña Tinay, only her
declared null and void the two sales subject of the complaint and ordered the estate was being settled, and not that of Don Jesus.
defendants-petitioners, to pay damages to the plaintiffs-private respondents.
Hence, this petition. WITNESSES TO WILLS
RIZALINA GABRIEL GONZALES vs COURT OF APPEALS and LUTGARDA
ISSUE: SANTIAGO
1.Whether or not the will should be probated
2. Whether or not there was violation of the law regarding the prohibition of joint G.R. No. L-37453 May 25, 1979
wills
FACTS:
HELD:
1. Yes, the will should be probated. The Court of Appeals erred in holding that Don Lutgarda Santiago filed a petition with the CFI of Rizal , for the probate of a will
Jesus being a party to the extrajudicial partition of 1949 was contractually bound alleged to have been executed by the deceased Isabel Gabriel, who died as a
by the provisions thereof and hence could not revoke his participation therein by widow at age 85. Lutgarda Santiago and Rizalina Gonzales are nieces of the
the simple expedience of making a new will with contrary provisions or deceased. Lutgarda, with her husband and children, lived with the deceased at the
dispositions. It is an error because the so-called extrajudicial partition of 1949 is latters residence prior and up to the time of her death.
void and inoperative as a partition; neither is it a valid or enforceable contract
because it involved future inheritance; it may only be given effect as a donation
inter vivos of specific properties to the heirs made by the parents. The will provides that legacies in specified amounts be given to her sister, her
2. No, there was none. Considering that the document, the extrajudicial partition brother and her nephews and nieces, including herein petitioner. To Lutgarda,
of November 25, 1949, contained specific designation of properties allotted to were bequeathed all properties and estate, real or personal already acquired, or to
each child, We rule that there was substantial compliance with the rules on be acquired, in her testatrix name, after satisfying the expenses, debts and legacies
donations inter vivos under the old Civil Code (Article 633). On the other hand, as aforementioned.
there could have been no valid donation to the children of the other half reserved
as the free portion of Don Jesus and Doña Tinay which, as stated in the deed, was
to be divided equally among the children for the simple reason that the property
or properties were not specifically described in the public instrument, an essential Isabel chose to have her will witnessed by Matilde Orobia, the piano tacher of her
requirement under Article 633. grandchild, Celso Gimpaya, her driver and Maria Gimpaya, the wife of the driver.
This other half, therefore, remained as the disposable free portion of the spouses
which may be disposed of in such manner that either of the spouses would like in
regards to his or her share in such portion, unencumbered by the provision
enjoining the last surviving spouse to give equally to the children what belongs or The petition was opposed by Rizalina Gabriel Gonzales, herein petitioner,
would pertain to him or her. The end result, therefore, is that Don Jesus and Doña assailing primarily that the document purporting to be the will of the deceased
Tinay, in the Deed of 1949, made to their children valid donations of only one-half was not executed and attested as required by law. She argues that there was
of their combined properties which must be charged against their legitime and absolutely no proof that the three instrumental witnesses were credible

29
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

witnesses. Further, that the requirement in Article 806, Civil Code, that the ISSUE:
witnesses must be credible is an absolute requirement which must be complied
with before an alleged last will and testament may be admitted to probate and Whether or not the will was executed and attested as required by law
that to be a credible witness, there must be evidence on record that the witness
has a good standing in his community, or that he is honest and upright, or reputed
to be trustworthy and reliable. She alleges that unless the qualifications of the
HELD:
witness are first established, his testimony may not be favorably considered.
Petitioner contends that the term "credible" is not synonymous with "competent" We find no merit to petitioner's contentions. Article 820 of the Civil Code provides
for a witness may be competent under Article 820 and 821 of the Civil Code and the qualifications of a witness to the execution of wills while Article 821 sets forth
still not be credible as required by Article 805 of the same Code. It is further urged the disqualification from being a witness to a win. These Articles state:
that the term "credible" as used in the Civil Code should receive the same settled
and well- known meaning it has under the Naturalization Law, the latter being a
kindred legislation with the Civil Code provisions on wills with respect to the
qualifications of witnesses. Art. 820. Any person of sound mind and of the age of eighteen years or more, and
not blind, deaf or dumb, and able to read and write, may be a witness to the
execution of a will mentioned in article 806 of this Code. "

RULING OF RTC: Art. 821. The following are disqualified from being witnesses to a will:
After trial, the CFI rendered judgment DISALLOWING THE WILL based on findings
that sufficient and abundant evidence warrants conclusively the fact that the
purported will of the deceased was not executed and attested as required by law; (1) Any person not domiciled in the Philippines,

From this judgment of disallowance, Lutgarda Santiago appealed to respondent (2) Those who have been convicted of falsification of a document, perjury or false
Court of Appeals, hence, the only issue decided on appeal was whether or not the testimony.
will in question was executed and attested as required by law.

Under the law, there is no mandatory requirement that the witness testify as to
RULING OF CA: his good standing in the community, his reputation for trustworthythiness and
reliableness, his honesty and uprightness in order that his testimony may be
The will in question was signed and executed by the deceased Isabel Gabriel on believed and accepted by the trial court. It is enough that the qualifications
April 15, 1961 in the presence of the three attesting witnesses, Matilde Orobia, enumerated in Article 820 of the Civil Code are complied with, such that the
Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya, signing and witnessing the document in the soundness of his mind can be shown by or deduced from his answers to the
presence of the deceased and of each other as required by law, hence ALLOWED questions propounded to him, that his age (18 years or more) is shown from his
PROBATE. appearance, testimony , or competently proved otherwise, as well as the fact that
he is not blind, deaf or dumb and that he is able to read and write to the
satisfaction of the Court, and that he has none of the disqualifications under
Article 821 of the Civil Code. We reject petitioner's contention that it must first be
Petitioner appealed to SC.
established in the record the good standing of the witness in the community, his
reputation for trustworthiness and reliableness, his honesty and uprightness,

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

because such attributes are presumed of the witness unless the contrary is proved FACTS:
otherwise by the opposing party. - Adriana Maloto died leaving as heirs her niece and nephews, the
petitioners Aldina Maloto-Casiano and Constancio Maloto, and the private
respondents Panfilo Maloto and Felino Maloto.
- Believing that the deceased did not leave behind a last will and testament,
We also reject as without merit petitioner's contention that the term "credible" as they commenced an intestate proceeding for the settlement of their
used in the Civil Code should be given the same meaning it has under the aunt's estate.
Naturalization Law where the law is mandatory that the petition for - However, while the case was still in progress, they executed an
naturalization must be supported by two character witnesses who must prove agreement of extrajudicial settlement of Adriana's estate.
their good standing in the community, reputation for trustworthiness and - The agreement provided for the division of the estate into four equal
reliableness, their honesty and uprightness. The two witnesses in a petition for parts among the parties.
naturalization are character witnesses in that being citizens of the Philippines, - Three years later, Atty. Sulpicio Palma, a former associate of Adriana's
they personally know the petitioner to be a resident of the Philippines for the counsel, the late Atty. Eliseo Hervas, discovered a document entitled
period of time required by the Act and a person of good repute and morally "KATAPUSAN NGA PAGBULUT-AN (Testamento)," dated January 3, 1940,
irreproachable and that said petitioner has in their opinion all the qualifications and purporting to be the last will and testament of Adriana.
necessary to become a citizen of the Philippines and is not in any way disqualified - He found the testament, the original copy, inside the cabinet drawer
under the provisions of the Naturalization Law. formerly used by Atty. Hervas.
- In the wil,l Aldina and Constancio are bequeathed much bigger and more
valuable shares in the estate of Adriana than what they received by virtue
In probate proceedings, the instrumental witnesss are not character witnesses for of the agreement of extrajudicial settlement they had earlier signed.
they merely attest the execution of a will or testament and affirm the formalities - The will likewise gives devises and legacies to other parties, among them
attendant to said execution. The rulings laid down in the cases cited by petitioner being the petitioners Asilo de Molo, the Roman Catholic Church of Molo,
concerning character witnesses in naturalization proceedings are not applicable and Purificacion Miraflor.
to instrumental witnesses to wills executed under the Civil Code of the - Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration and annulment of the
Philippines. proceedings therein and for the allowance of the will.
- The Appellate Court found that the will has been revoked upon finding
that the will was part of the documents or papers allegedly burned by
Adriana’s maid, Guadalupe, upon instructions of the testatrix.
In the case at bar, the finding that each and everyone of the three instrumental - However, the Appellate Court is still inconclusive of whether the said
witnesses, namely, Matilde Orobia, Celso Gimpaya and Maria Gimpaya, are burned “will”, is in fact Adriana’s will. Nonetheless, The Appellate Court
competent and credible is satisfactorily supported by the evidence as found by the stated that the presence of animus revocandi in the destruction of the
respondent Court of Appeals, which findings of fact this Tribunal is bound to said “will” had, nevertheless, been sufficiently proven.
accept and rely upon. Moreover, petitioner has not pointed to any disqualification
of any of the said witnesses, much less has it been shown that anyone of them is ISSUE:
below 18 years of age, of unsound mind, deaf or dumb, or cannot read or write. - Whether or not the will was revoked by Adriana. [NO]

HELD:
- There is no doubt as to the testamentary capacity of the testatrix and the
due execution of the will.
- Art. 830 states that:
o “ No will shall be revoked except in the following
REVOCATION OF WILL AND TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITIONS cases:
TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE ADRIANA MALOTO vs. COURT OF APPEALS o (1) By implication of law; or
GR No. 76464

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

o (2) By some will, codicil, or other writing executed as


provided in case of wills: or
o (3) By burning, tearing, cancelling, or obliterating FACTS:
the will with the intention of revoking it, by the
testator himself, or by some other person in his On the 20th of November 1951, Felicidad Esguerra Alto Yap died of heart failure
presence, and by his express direction. If burned, leaving properties in Pulilan, Bulacan, and in the City of Manila. Four months after,
torn, cancelled, or obliterated by some other Fausto E. Gan, the nephew of the decedent, filed a petition for the probate of a
person, without the express direction of the holographic will allegedly executed by the deceased. The holographic will
testator, the will may still be established, and the provided for the division of decedent’s property intending for her Bulacan
estate distributed in accordance therewith, if its property to be divided upon her relatives and her Manila property to be entirely
contents, and due execution, and the fact of its bequeathed to her husband. In the holographic will, she also requested for her
unauthorized destruction, cancellation, or husband to build a hospital in Pulilan, Bulacan in her name.
obliteration are established according to the
Rules of Court”
- It is clear that the physical act of destruction of a will, like burning in this The husband opposed the holographic will. He contended that Felicidad – his
case, does not per se constitute an effective revocation, unless the wife, the decedent – had left no will, nor executed any testament during her
destruction is coupled with animus revocandi on the part of the testator. lifetime.
- It is not imperative that the physical destruction be done by the testator
himself. It may be performed by another person but under the express
direction and in the presence of the testator. Of course, it goes without
saying that the document destroyed must be the will itself. After hearing the parties and considering their evidence, the Hon. Ramon R. San
- In this case, while animus revocandi, or the intention to revoke, may be Jose – judge- refused to probate the alleged will. A seventy-page motion for
conceded, for that is a state of mind, yet that requisite alone would not reconsideration failed. Hence. the appeal to the Supreme Court.
suffice.
- Animus revocandi is only one of the necessary elements for the effective
revocation of a last will and testament. The intention to revoke must be
accompanied by the overt physical act of burning, tearing, oblitemrating,
or cancelling the will carried out by the testator or by another person in
his presence and under his express direction. ISSUE:
- In this case, there is noncompliance with the requirements.
May a holographic will be probated upon the testimony of witnesses who have
o For one, the document or papers burned by Adriana's maid,
allegedly seen it and who declare that it was in the handwriting of the testator?
Guadalupe, was not satisfactorily established to be a will at all,
much less the will of Adriana Maloto.
o For another, the burning was not proven to have been done
under the express direction of Adriana. And then, the burning HELD:
was not in her presence.
o Both witnesses, Guadalupe and Eladio, were one in stating that NO – such holographic will may not be probated.
they were the only ones present at the place where the stove
(presumably in the kitchen) was located in which the papers Under the law, a holographic will may be valid if it written, date, and signed in the
proffered as a will were burned. penmanship of the decedent. In the matter of holographic wills, no witnesses are
needed; provided however, that they are "entirely written, dated, and signed by
Gan vs Yap the hand of the testator himself." The law, it is reasonable to suppose, regards the
document itself as material proof of authenticity, and as its own safeguard, since it
G.R. No. L-12190. August 30, 1958 || Testamentary Dispositions could at any time, be demonstrated to be — or not to be — in the hands of the

32
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

testator himself. "In the probate of a holographic will" says the New Civil Code, "it hollographic will itself,and not an alleged copy thereof, must be produced,
shall be necessary that at least one witness who knows the handwriting and otherwise it would produce no effect, as held in Gam v. Yap, 104 Phil.
signature of the testator explicitly declare that the will and the signature are in the 509; and (4 ) The deceased did not leave any will,
handwriting of the testator. If the will is contested, at least three such witnesses holographic or otherwise, executed and attested as required by law.
shall be required. In the absence of any such witnesses, (familiar with decedent's The appellees moved for the consolidation of cases. It was then granted by
handwriting) and if the court deem it necessary, expert testimony may be the court. On November 13, 1978, following the consolidation of the
resorted to." cases, the appellees moved again to dismiss the petition for the probate of
the will. They argued that:
(1)The alleged holographic was not a last will but merely an instruction as
to the management and improvement of the schools and colleges founded by
The Civil Code requires it to be protocoled and presented to the judge, (Art. 689) decedent Ricardo B. Bonilla; and (2)Lost or destroyed holographic
who shall subscribe it and require its identity to be established by the three wills cannot be proved by secondary evidence unlike ordinary wills.
witnesses who depose that they have no reasonable doubt that the will was The lower court ruled that once the original copy of the holographic will is
written by the testator (Art. 691). And if the judge considers that the identity of lost, a copy thereof cannot stand in lieu of the original. Hence, this appeal
the will has been proven he shall order that it be filed (Art. 693). All these, imply
presentation of the will itself. Art. 692 bears the same implication, to a greater ISSUE:
degree. It requires that the surviving spouse and the legitimate ascendants and Whether a holographic will which was lost or cannot be found can be proved by
descendants be summoned so that they may make "any statement they may desire means of a photostatic copy
to submit with respect to the authenticity of the will.”
RULING:
It is necessary that there be a comparison between sample handwritten
In the case at bar, no holographic was presented at all. The execution and statements of the testator and the handwritten will. But, a
the contents of a lost or destroyed holographic will may not be proved by photostatic copy or xerox copy of the holographic will may be allowed
the bare testimony of witnesses who have seen and/or read such will. because comparison can be made with the standard writings of the testator. In the
The will itself must be presented; otherwise, it shall produce no effect. case of Gam vs. Yap, 104 PHIL. 509, the Court ruled that "the execution
The law regards the document itself as material proof of authenticity. and the contents of a lost or destroyed holographic will may not be proved by
the bare testimony of witnesses who have seen and/or read such will. The will
itself must be presented; otherwise, it shall produce no effect. The law regards
Rodelas v. Aranza the document itself as material proof of authenticity." But, in Footnote 8 of said
GR No. L-58509 decision, it says that "Perhaps it may be proved by a photographic or
FACTS: photostatic copy. Even a mimeographed or carbon copy; or by other similar
On January 11, 1977, appellant filed a petition with the Court of means, if any, whereby the authenticity of the handwriting of the
First Instance of Rizal for the probate of the holographic will of Ricardo B. deceased may be exhibited and tested before the probate court," Evidently, the
Bonilla and the issuance of letters testamentary in her favor. It was opposed by the photostatic or xerox copy of the lost or destroyed holographic will may be
appellees Amparo Aranza Bonilla, Wilferine Bonilla Treyes Expedita Bonilla Frias admitted because then the authenticity of the handwriting of the deceased can
and Ephraim Bonilla on the following grounds: be determined by the probate court.
(1) Appellant was estopped from claiming that the deceased left a will by
failing to produce the will within twenty days of the death of the testator as Gago vs. Mamuyac
required by Rule 75, section 2 of the Rules of Court; G.R. No. L-26317 January 29, 1927 || Revocation of Will and Testamentary
Dispositions
(2) The alleged copy of the alleged holographic will did not contain a Johnson, J. (Ponente)
disposition of property after death and was not intended to take effect after
death, and therefore it was not a will (3) The alleged FACTS:

33
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Previously, Francisco Gago filed a petition for the probate of a will of Miguel CFI Negros Occidental: ruled in favor of defendant
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 ISSUE:
executed another will. The lower court denied the probate of the first will on the WON the will should be allowed
ground of the existence of the second will.
HELD:
Another petition was filed to seek the probate of the second will. The oppositors Yes. The order of adjudication is the judicial recognition that in appointing a
alleged that the second will presented was merely a copy. According to the person as her only heir the testatrix did not contravene the law, and that the heir
witnesses, the said will was allegedly revoked as per the testimony of Jose Tenoy, was in no way disqualified to inherit; just as a final order admitting a will to
one of the witnesses who typed the document. Another witness testified that on probate concludes all and sundry from thereafter contending that statutory
December 1920 the original will was actually cancelled by the testator. formal requirements have not been observed in executing the testament. In the
case at bar, instead of contradicting the testamentary institution of heir, the order
The lower court denied the probate and held that the same has been annulled and of adjudication confirms it.
revoked.
The failure of the defendant heir, to file with the RD a certified copy of his letters
ISSUE: of administration and the will, as provided in Sec. 90, Act 496, and to record the
Whether or not there was a valid revocation of the will attested copies of the will and the allowance, does not negate the validity of the
judgment or decree of probate nor the rights of the devises under the will,
RULING: because said Sec. 90 refers to the dealings with registered lands by an
Yes. The will was already cancelled in 1920. This was inferred when after due administrator, and defendant heir, sought and obtained the change in the COT in
search, the original will cannot be found. When the will which cannot be found in his own behalf and capacity, and the recording of the judicial orders sufficed as
shown to be in the possession of the testator when last seen, the presumption is notice to interested parties, and was a substantial compliance with the required
that in the absence of other competent evidence, the same was deemed cancelled recording of the will itself.
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. CANIZA vs. CA
G.R. No. 110427 || Allowance and Disallowance of Wills
ALLOWANCE & DISALLOWANCE OF WILLS FACTS:
LOPEZ v. GONZAGA On November 20, 1989, being then ninety-four (94) years of age, Carmen Caiza, a
G.R. No. L-18788 || Allowance and Disallowance of Wills spinster, a retired pharmacist, and former professor of the College of Chemistry
and Pharmacy of the University of the Philippines, was declared incompetent by
FACTS: judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 107, in a
Soledad Gonzaga died leaving real&personal properties worth 400k. guardianship proceeding instituted by her niece, Amparo A. Evangelista. She was
During her lifetime, she expressed the wish that as long as her brother, so adjudged because of her advanced age and physical infirmities which included
Luis Gonzaga, the principal defendant, was engaged in his coconut oil cataracts in both eyes and senile dementia.
experimentation he could use the products and rentals of her properties
in furtherance of his experiments. Amparo A. Evangelista was appointed legal guardian of her person and estate.
Said scientific venture was discontinued when he became totally blind. Caiza was the owner of a house and lot at No. 61 Tobias St., Quezon City. On
Plaintiffs alleged that Soledad died intestate. September 17, 1990, her guardian Amparo Evangelista commenced a suit in the
However, as testified by Atty. Hortillas twice, Soledad left all her Metropolitan Trial Court (MetroTC) of Quezon City (Branch 35) to eject the
properties in favor of Luis Gonzaga in her will probated in the CFI Iloilo. spouses Pedro and Leonora Estrada from said premises. The complaint was later
Plaintiffs now ask a partition of the estate and the cancellation of titles of amended to identify the incompetent Caiza as plaintiff, suing through her legal
lands allegedly fraudulently transferred by, and in the name of, the guardian, Amparo Evangelista.
defendant.

34
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

The amended Complaint pertinently alleged that plaintiff Caiza was the absolute Through her guardian, Caiza came to this Court praying for reversal of the
owner of the property in question, covered by TCT No. 27147; that out of Appellate Court's judgment.
kindness, she had allowed the Estrada Spouses, their children, grandchildren and
sons-in-law to temporarily reside in her house, rent-free; that Caiza already had ISSUE:
urgent need of the house on account of her advanced age and failing health, "so
funds could be raised to meet her expenses for support, maintenance and medical 1) Whether or not Caiza's legal guardian, Amparo Evangelista, has the authority to
treatment;" that through her guardian, Caiza had asked the Estradas verbally and bring an ejectment suit.
in writing to vacate the house but they had refused to do so; and that "by the
defendants' act of unlawfully depriving plaintiff of the possession of the house in 2)Whether or not the Estradas have the right over the property by virtue of the
question, they were enriching themselves at the expense of the incompetent, holographic will of the plaintiff.
because, while they were saving money by not paying any rent for the house, the
incompetent was losing much money as her house could not be rented by others." HELD:
Also alleged was that the complaint was "filed within one (1) year from the date of 1) YES.
first letter of demand dated February 3, 1990." The Estradas insist that the devise of the house to them by Caiza clearly denotes
her intention that they remain in possession thereof, and legally incapacitated her
In their Answer with Counterclaim, the defendants declared that they had been judicial guardian, Amparo Evangelista, from evicting them therefrom, since their
living in Caiza's house since the 1960's; that in consideration of their faithful ouster would be inconsistent with the ward's will.
service they had been considered by Caiza as her own family, and the latter had in Amparo Evangelista was appointed by a competent court the general guardian of
fact executed a holographic will on September 4, 1988 by which she "bequeathed" both the person and the estate of her aunt, Carmen Caiza. By that appointment, it
to the Estradas the house and lot in question. became Evangelista's duty to care for her aunt's person, to attend to her physical
Judgment was rendered by the MetroTC on April 13, 1992 in Caiza's favor, the and spiritual needs, to assure her well-being, with right to custody of her person
Estradas being ordered to vacate the premises and pay Caiza P5,000.00 by way of in preference to relatives and friends.It also became her right and duty to get
attorney's fees. possession of, and exercise control over, Caiza's property, both real and personal,
it being recognized principle that the ward has no right to possession or control of
But on appeal, the decision was reversed by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, his property during her incompetency.That right to manage the ward's estate
Branch 96. By judgment rendered on October 21, 1992, the RTC held that the carries with it the right to take possession thereof and recover it from anyone who
"action by which the issue of defendants' possession should be resolved is accion retains it and bring and defend such actions as may be needful for this purpose.
publiciana, the obtaining factual and legal situation demanding adjudication by
such plenary action for recovery of possession cognizable in the first instance by 2) NO.
the Regional Trial Court." A will is essentially ambulatory; at any time prior to the testator's death, it may be
changed or revoked; and until admitted to probate, it has no effect whatever and
Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC's decision. It ruled that (a) the proper remedy no right can be claimed thereunder, the law being quite explicit: "No will shall
for Caiza was indeed an accion publiciana in the RTC, not an accion interdictal in pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in
the MetroTC, since the "defendants have not been in the subject premises as mere accordance with the Rules of Court" (ART. 838, id.). An owner's intention to confer
tenants or occupants by tolerance, they have been there as a sort of adopted title in the future to persons possessing property by his tolerance, is not
family of Carmen Caiza," as evidenced by what purports to be the holographic will inconsistent with the former's taking back possession in the meantime for any
of the plaintiff; and (b) while "said will, unless and until it has passed probate by reason deemed sufficient. And that in this case there was sufficient cause for the
the proper court, could not be the basis of defendants' claim to the property, it is owner's resumption of possession is apparent: she needed to generate income
indicative of intent and desire on the part of Carmen Caiza that defendants are to from the house on account of the physical infirmities afflicting her, arising from
remain and are to continue in their occupancy and possession, so much so that her extreme age.
Caiza's supervening incompetency can not be said to have vested in her guardian
the right or authority to drive the defendants out.
Sps. Pascual – Urane Maambong

35
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Sps. Pastor vs court of appeals Motion for reconsideration was denied and the questions of intrinsic validity of
G.r. No. L-56340 || Allowance and Disallowance of Wills the will and of the ownership over the mining claims had been finally adjudicated
by final and executory order of the lower court.
FACTS:
Alvaro Pastor Sr. was a Spanish citizen who died in Cebu city. He has two ISSUE:
legitimate children with his wife Sofia Bossio, who died months after his death. Whether or not the Probate Order resolved with finality the questions of
His children are Alvaro Jr., a naturalized Philippine Citizen, And Sofia, a Spanish ownership and the intrinsic validity of the holographic will
subject. Pastor Sr. Also had an illegitimate child named Lewellyn Quemada,
Filipino by his mother's citizenship. HELD:
No, the Probate Order cannot resolve with finality the questions of ownership and
Pastor Sr. Died leaving an alleged holographic will with only one testamentary intrinsic validity of the holographic will.
disposition: a legacy in favor of Quemada consisting of 30% of Pastor Sr.'s 42%
share in the operation by Atlas Consolidated Mining of some mining claims in On the issue of ownership, the Probate Court may pass upon the title
Cebu. Quemada filed for the probate of the said will on the CFI of Cebu City and thereto but only provisionally and not conclusive for it is still subject to
Quemada was appointed special administrator of the entire estate of Pastor Sr, the final decision in a separate action to resolve title. Herein case, a
whether it was covered by the holographic will or not. Thereafter, Quemada Probate Order was issued pending a reconveyance suit in another court
instituted an action for reconveyance of the properties of the estate, including the where the issue on ownership is under dispute. It is manifested on the
properties subject of the legacy, against Pastor Jr and his wife. However, the dispositive portion that the issue on ownership was not resolved because
spouses had the subject properties under their names and claimed that they were the said order confined itself to the question of extrinsic validity of the
owners thereof in their own rights and not by inheritance. holographic will. There being no conclusion on the issue on ownership,
the Probate order did not resolve such issue in finality.
The Probate Court set the hearing on the intrinsic validity of the will but the
spouses opposed on the ground of pendency of the reconveyance suit in another On the issue of intrinsic validity of the holographic will, the legitime of the
court. Instead, the Probate Court required the parties to submit position papers as voluntary heirs cannot be determined in concrete figures without the net
to how much inheritance Quemada is entitled to receive. The spouses said that the assets of the estate being determined. In this case, there have been no
determination is still premature. Atlas submitted a sworn statement of royalties prior definitive determination of the assets of the estate of Pastor Sr.
paid to the Pastor Group. As a result, the Probate Court issued an Order for There also have been no appropriate determination of the debts of the
Execution and Garnishment resolving the question of royalties payable by Atlas decedent and his estate, as well as determination of the estate tax. All the
and the validity of the legacy of Quemada. This order was issued without resolving foregoing deficiencies considered, it was not possible to determine
the issues of the mining rights royalties or the intrinsic validity of the will. The whether the legacy of Quemada, which is a fixed share in the specific
implementing Orders were assailed because said orders concluded that the property of the estate, would produce an impairment of the legitime of
Probate Order adjudged with finality the question of ownership of the mining the compulsory heirs. It is also concluded that the Probate order did not
properties and royalties and that the dispositive portion of the Probate order resolve the issue on the intrinsic validity of the will with finality.
directed the special administrator to pay the legacy in dispute.
In re: Testate Estate of the deceased Jose B. Suntay
RTC Ruling: GR Nos. L-3087 and L-3088 July 31, 1954 || wills in foreign country or no wills at all
As per the holographic will and a written acknowledgement of Pastor Jr. Of the FACTS:
60% interest in the mining claims belonging ti the Pastor Group, 42% of it Jose Suntay, a Filipino citizen and resident of the Philippines, died in the city of
belonged to Pastor Sr. Thereby directing Atlas to remit directly to Quemada the Amoy, Fookien province, Republic of China, leaving real and personal properties
42% royalties due to the estate, of which Quemada was entitled to retain 75% of in the Philippines and a house in Amoy, Fookien province, China, and children by
it. his first marriage with Manuela T. Cruz namely, Apolonio, Concepcion, Angel,
Manuel, Federico, Ana, Aurora, Emiliano, and children with his second marriage to
CA Ruling: Maria Natividad Lim Billian namely Jose, Jr. and Silvino.

36
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Intestate proceedings were instituted in the Court of First Instance of Wills proved and allowed in a foreign country, according to the
Bulacan. Apolonio Suntay was declared administrator. After his death, Federico C. laws of such country, may be allowed, filed, and recorded by the
Suntay was appointed administrator of the estate. Maria Natividad filed a petition proper Court of First Instance in the Philippines.
in the Court of First Instance of Bulacan for the probate of a last will and Section 2 provides:
testament claimed to have been executed and signed in the Philippines on When a copy of such will and the allowance thereof, duly
November 1929 by the late Jose B. Suntay. This petition was denied because of the authenticated, is filed with a petition for allowance in the
loss of said will and of the insufficiency of the evidence to establish the loss of the Philippines, by the executor or other person interested, in the court
said will. having jurisdiction, such court shall fix a time and place for the
hearing, and cause notice thereof to be given as in case of an
An appeal was taken from said order denying the probate of the will and original will presented for allowance.
the Court held the evidence before the probate court sufficient to prove the loss of Section 3 provides:
the will and remanded the case to the Court of First Instance of Bulacan for the If it appears at the hearing that the will should be allowed in the
further proceedings. Philippines, the court shall so allow it, and a certificate of its
allowance, signed by the Judge, and attested by the seal of the
Silvino Suntay, claiming that he had found among the files, records and courts, to which shall be attached a copy of the will, shall be filed
documents of his late father a will and testament in Chinese characters executed and recorded by the clerk, and the will shall have the same effect as
and signed by the deceased on 4 January 1931 and that the same was filed, if originally proved and allowed in such court.
recorded and probated in the Amoy district court, Province of Fookien, China,
filed a petition in the intestate proceedings praying for the probate of the will The fact that the municipal district court of Amoy, China, is a probate court must
executed in the Philippines or of the will executed in Amoy, Fookien, China. be proved. The law of China on procedure in the probate or allowance of wills
must also be proved. The legal requirements for the execution of a valid will in
Witnesses were presented to prove the existence of the will allegedly left by Jose China in 1931 should also be established by competent evidence. However, there
Suntay. was no evidence presented to prove this point. The unverified answers to the
questions propounded by counsel for the appellant to the Consul General of the
RTC: Dissallowed alleged will and testament executed in Manila on November Republic of China, objected to by counsel for the appellee, are inadmissible,
1929, and the alleged last will and testament executed in Kulangsu, Amoy, China, because apart from the fact that the office of Consul General does not qualify and
on 4 January 1931, by Jose B. Suntay. make the person who holds it an expert on the Chinese law on procedure in
probate matters, if the same be admitted, the adverse party would be deprived of
ISSUE: his right to confront and cross-examine the witness. Consuls are appointed to
Whether or not the wills allegedly left by Jose Suntay can be probated. attend to trade matters. Moreover, it appears that all the proceedings had in the
municipal district court of Amoy were for the purpose of taking the testimony of
HELD: two attesting witnesses to the will and that the order of the municipal district
Upheld decision of the Court of First Instance. Granting that there was a will duly court of Amoy does not purport to probate the will. In the absence of proof that
executed by Jose B. Suntay, and that it was in existence at the time of, and note the municipal district court of Amoy is a probate court and on the Chinese law of
revoked before his death, the testimonies of the witnesses presented fall falls procedure in probate matters, it may be presumed that the proceedings in the
short of the legal requirement that the provisions of the lost will must be "clearly matter of probating or allowing a will in the Chinese courts are the a deposition or
and distinctly proved by at least two credible witnesses." Credible witnesses mean to a perpetuation of testimony, and even if it were so it does not measure same as
competent witnesses and those who testify to facts from or upon hearsay are those provided for in our laws on the subject. It is a proceeding in rem and for the
neither competent nor credible witnesses. validity of such proceedings personal notice or by publication or both to all
interested parties must be made. The interested parties in the case were known to
As to the will claimed to have been executed on 4 January 1931 in Amoy, China, reside in the Philippines. The evidence shows that no such notice was received by
the law on the point in Rule 78. the interested parties residing in the Philippines

Section 1 of the rule provides:

37
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

The order of the municipal district court of Amoy, China, does not purport case, Chung Liu being a Chinese citizen (Art. 16, New Civil Code). The appellant
to probate or allow the will which was the subject of the proceedings. In view not having any interest in Chung Liu's estate, either as heir or creditor, he cannot
thereof, the will and the alleged probate thereof cannot be said to have been done be appointed as co-administrator of the estate, as he now prays.
in accordance with the accepted basic and fundamental concepts and principles
followed in the probate and allowance of wills. Consequently, the authenticated HEIRS OF ROSENDO LASAM vs. VICENTA UMENGAN
transcript of proceedings held in the municipal district court of Amoy, China, G.R. NO. 168156 || ALLOWANCE and DISALLOWANCE OF A WILL
cannot be deemed and accepted as proceedings leading to the probate or FACTS:
allowance of a will and, therefore, the will referred to therein cannot be allowed, Isabel Cuntapay had 4 children by her first husband namely Abdon, Sado, Rufo
filed and recorded by a competent court of this country. and Maria. When her husband died, Isabel Cuntapay married Mariano Lasam. She
had two children with Mariano – Trinidad and Rosendo.
Ngo The Hua v. Chung Kiat Kung In 2001, heirs of Rosendo Lasam, son of Isabel Cuntapay by her second marriage,
GR No. L-17091|| ALLOWANCE AND DISALLOWANCE OF WILLS[intervention]
 filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against Vicenta Umengan, daughter of
FACTS: Abdon, son of Isabel Cuntapay by her first marriage. It was alleged that during the
Ngo The Hua, claiming to be the surviving spouse of Chung Liu, filed a lifetime of deceased Lasam, Vicenta Umengan was just temporarily allowed to
petition to be appointed administratix ofthe estate of Chung Liu. The petition was occupy the lot owned by the deceased sometime in 1955. Vicenta Umengan and
opposed by Chung Kiat Hua, and Chung Liu’s children by his first wife, Tan Hua. her husband allegedly promised that they would vacate the subject lot upon
They claim that Ngo The Hua is unfit to be the administratix and that Ngo The Hua demand but never did.
and Chung Liu have secured an absolute divorce in Taiwan. Chung Kiat Hua also Accordingly, the heirs of Rosendo Lasam were constrained to institute the action
prayed to be appointed as administrator of the estate of her father. Ngo The Hua for ejectment. They alleged that they have a better right because they inherited it
then claimed that the oppositors are not the children of Chung Liu. from their father, showing a Last Will and Testament which has not yet been
Chung Kiat Kang, claiming to be the nephew of Chung Lui, filed his opposition to probated.
the appointment of either Ngo The Hua or Chung Kiat Hu on the ground that to be In her defense, Vicenta Umengan alleged that her father, Abdon Turingan,
appointed they must first prove their respective relationship to the deceased purchased the subject lot as evidenced by Deed of Sale.
Chung Lui and prayed that he be appointed as administrator instead. However,
when it was Chung Kiat Kang’s turn to present his evidence during the hearing, he RTC Ruling:
waived his right to present evidence in so far as the appointment of administrator The RTC ruled that the heirs of Rosendo Lasam have a better right to possess the
of the estate is concerned. land. With the finding that the subject lot was already bequeathed by Cuntapay to
The lower court found that Ngo The Hua and Chung Lui were validly divorced in Lasam, the other siblings Abdon, Sado, Rufo and Maria no longer had any share
Taiwan and Chung Kiat Hua and the other oppositors were the children of Chung therein. Consequently, they could not convey to Vicenta Umengan what they did
Lui. Chung Kiat Hua was appointed as the administrator of the estate of Chung Lui. not own. It also ruled that Vicenta’s possession of the subject land was by mere
Hence this petition. tolerance only.

ISSUE: CA Ruling:
Whether Chung Kiat Kang can be appointed as a co-administrator of the estate CA reversed the decision of the lower court. It ruled that the last will and
testament of Rosendo Lasam did not effectively conveyed the land to his heirs. CA
HELD: found that the pages of the purported last will and testament of Lasam were not
No, Chung Kiat Kang cannot be appointed as co-administrator of the estate. numbered. Neither did it contain the requisite attestation clause. The instrument
It is well-settled that for a person to be able to intervene in an administration was not also acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the
proceeding concerning the estate of a deceased, it is necessary for him to have witnesses. Since the last will and testament did not comply with the formal
interest in such estate. An interested party has been defined in this connection as requirements of the law on wills then it could be the source of right of the heirs of
one who would be benefited by the estate such as an heir, or one who has a Lasam.
certain claim against the estate, such as a creditor. Appellant Chung Kiat Kang
does not claim of to be a creditor of Chung Liu's estate. Neither is he an heir in ISSUE:
accordance with the Civil Code of the Republic of China the law that applies in this

38
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Whether or not the last will and testament which has not yet probated could be a Dismissing the petition for probate proceedings. A perusal of the document
source of right termed as "will" by oppositors/petitioners Dy Yieng Seangio, et al., clearly shows
that there is preterition, as the only heirs mentioned thereat are Alfredo and
HELD: Virginia. [T]he other heirs being omitted, Article 854 of the New Civil Code thus
NO. The Last Will and Testament cannot be relied upon to establish the right of applies. However, insofar as the widow Dy Yieng Seangio is concerned, Article 854
possession without having been probated, the said last will and testament could does not apply, she not being a compulsory heir in the direct line.
not be the source of any right.
Article 838 of the Civil Code is instructivr on this: “No will shall pass either real or ISSUE:
personal property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance with the Rules of Whether or not the compulsory heirs in the direct line were preterited in the will?
Court.”
Before any will can have force or validity it must be probated. To probate a will HELD:
means to prove before some officer or tribunal, vested by law with authority for No. The compulsory heirs in the direct line were not preterited in the will.
that purpose, that the instrument offered to be proved is the last will and According to the SC, it was Segundo’s last expression to bequeath his estate to all
testament of the deceased person whose testamentary act it is alleged to be, and his compulsory heirs with the sole exception of Alfredo. Also, Segundo did not
that it has been executed, attested and published as required by law, and that the institute an heir to the exclusion of his other compulsory heirs. The mere mention
testator was of sound and disposing mind. It is a proceeding to establish the of the name of one of the petitioners, Virginia, in the document did not operate to
validity of the will. Moreover, the presentation of the will for probate is institute her as the universal heir. Her name was included only as a witness to the
mandatory and is a matter of public policy. altercation between Segundo and his son, Alfredo.
Since the will has not yet been probated, it has no effect whatsoever and it cannot
be the basis of any claim of any right of possession. The defendants have a better GUEVARA vs. GUEVARA
right of possession based on the deed of conveyances executed by the owner in G.R. No. L-48840 December 29, 1943
favor of the children, the defendants herein. FACTS:
Ernesto M. Guevarra and Rosario Guevara, legitimate son and natural daughter,
Dy Yieng Seangio, et al. v. Hon. Amor Reyes, et al., respectively, of the deceased Victorino L. Guevara, are litigating here over their
G.R. No. 140371-72, 27 November 2006 || Allowance and Disallowance of Wills inheritance from the latter.
FACTS:
Private respondents Alfredo Seangio et. al filed for the settlement of the intestate Victorino L. Guevara executed a will wherein he made various bequests and
estate of the late Segundo Seangio. Petitioners opposed said petition, contending devises to different persons, one of which is a parcel of land to be disposed of
that Segundo left a holographic will disinheriting Alfredo for cause. The reason for either by him during his lifetime or by his attorney-in-fact Ernesto M. Guevara in
the disinheritance was due to Alfredo’s maltreatment to his father Segundo. In order to pay all his pending debts and to defray his expenses and those of his
view of the purported holographic will, petitioners averred that in the event the family up to the time of his death. Later on, Victorino died. His last will and
decedent is found to have a will, the intestate proceedings are to be automatically testament, however, was never presented to the court for probate, nor has any
suspended and replaced by the proceedings of the will. Private respondents administration proceeding ever been instituted for the settlement of his estate.
moved for the dismissal of the probate proceedings contending that the alleged Ever since the death of Victorino, his only legitimate son Ernesto appears to have
will of Segundo does not contain any disposition of the estate of the deceased and possessed the parcel of land adjudicated to him and to have disposed of various
that all other compulsory heirs were not named nor instituted as heir. Devisee or portions thereof for the purpose of paying the debts left by his father. In the
legatee hence there is preterition which would result to intestacy. Petitioners meantime, Rosario appears to have had her father's will in her custody.
countered that the rule on preterition does not apply because Segundo’s will
does not constitute a universal heir or heirs to the exclusion of one or more A little over four years after the testator's demise, Rosario commenced the
compulsory heirs. They argued that the testator intended all his compulsory heirs, present action against Ernesto to recover her legitime as an acknowledged natural
petitioners and private respondents alike, with the sole exception of Alfredo, to daughter of the deceased. It was only during the trial of this case that she
inherit his estate. presented the will to the court, not for the purpose of having it probated but only
to prove that the deceased Victorino L. Guevara had acknowledged her as his
RTC RULING: natural daughter.

39
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

granted by Judge Fernando V. Gorospe, Jr. of RTC-Makati, Branch 61 which order


ISSUE: reads that hat petitioner in his lifetime, executed his Last Will and Testament at
Whether or not the probate of a will can be dispensed with. his residence situated at 9 Bauhinia corner Intsia Streets, Forbes Park, Makati
City; said Last Will and Testament was signed in the presence of his three (3)
HELD: witnesses, namely, to wit: Dr. Elpidio Valencia, Edward J. Berenguer and Atty.
We cannot sanction the procedure adopted by the respondent Rosario Guevara, it Victoria C. delos Reyes. Moreover, the court found that that testator at the time of
being in our opinion in violation of procedural law and an attempt to circumvent the execution of the will was of sane mind and/or not mentally incapable to make
and disregard the last will and testament of the decedent. a Will; nor was it executed under duress or under the influence of fear or threats;
that it was in writing and executed in the language known and understood by the
The law enjoins the probate of the will and public policy requires it, because testator duly subscribed thereof and attested and subscribed by three (3) credible
unless the will is probated and notice thereof given to the whole world, the right witnesses in the presence of the testator and of another; that the testator and all
of a person to dispose of his property by will may be rendered nugatory, as is the attesting witnesses signed the Last Will and Testament freely and voluntarily
attempted to be done in the instant case. Absent legatees and devisees, or such of and that the testator has intended that the instrument should be his Will at the
them as may have no knowledge of the will, could be cheated of their inheritance time of affixing his signature. Shortly after the probate of his will, Dr. De Santos
thru the collusion of some of the heirs who might agree to the partition of the died on February 26, 1996. On April 3, 1996, petitioner Octavio S. Maloles II filed a
estate among themselves to the exclusion of others. motion for intervention claiming that, as the only child of Alicia de Santos
(testators sister) and Octavio L. Maloles, Sr., he was the sole full-blooded nephew
In the instant case there is no showing that the various legatees, other than the and nearest of kin of Dr. De Santos. On the other hand, private respondent Pacita
present litigants, had received their respective legacies or had knowledge of the de los Reyes Phillips, the designated executrix of the will, filed a motion for the
existence and of the provisions of the will. Their right under the will cannot be issuance of letters testamentary with Branch 61. Upon her motion, Judge Salvador
disregarded, nor may those rights be obliterated on account of the failure or Abad Santos of Branch 65 issued an order, dated June 28, 1996, appointing her as
refusal of the custodian of the will to present it to the court for probate. special administrator of Dr. De Santos estate. Petitioner sought to intervene in Sp.
Proc. No. M-4343 and to set aside the appointment of private respondent as
Our conclusion is that the Court of Appeals erred in declaring the action instituted special administrator and that he should be given letters of administration for
by the plaintiff to be in accordance with law. It also erred in awarding relief to the the estate of Dr. De Santos.
plaintiff in this action on the basis of intestacy of the decedent notwithstanding RTC Ruling: Judge Abad Santos granted petitioners motion for intervention.
the proven existence of a will left by him and solely because said will has not been CA Ruling: Petitioner had not shown any right or interest to intervene in Sp. Proc.
probated due to the failure of the plaintiff as custodian thereof to comply with the No. M-4343.
duty imposed upon her by the law.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the will can be probated even during testator’s lifetime.
2. Whether or not petitioner has a right to intervene
2. Whether or not the Honorable (Regional Trial Court - Makati,
Maloles II vs. Philips Branch 65) acquired jurisdiction over the petition for issuance of
G.R. No. 129505 & 133359 || Allowance and Disallowance of Wills letters testamentary filed by (private) respondent.
FACTS: 3. Whether or not the petitioner, being a creditor of the late Dr.
On July 20, 1995, Dr. Arturo de Santos, Filipino and a resident of Makati City, filed Arturo de Santos, has a right to intervene and oppose the petition
a petition for probate of his will in the Regional Trial Court, Branch 61, Makati, for issuance of letters testamentary filed by the respondent.
docketed as Sp. Proc. No. M-4223. In his petition, Dr. De Santos alleged that he had 4. Whether or not (private) respondent is guilty of forum
no compulsory heirs; that he had named in his will as sole legatee and devisee the shopping in filing her petition for issuance of letters
Arturo de Santos Foundation, Inc.; that he disposed by his will his properties with testamentary with the Regional Trial Court - Makati, Branch 65
an approximate value of not less than P2,000,000.00; and that copies of said will knowing fully well that the probate proceedings involving the
were in the custody of the named executrix, private respondent Pacita de los same testate estate of the decedent is still pending with the
Reyes Phillips. A copy of the will was annexed to the petition for probate. It was Regional Trial Court - Makati, Branch 61. 

40
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

had a chance to present such petition, the ordinary probate


HELD: proceeding after the testators death would be in order.
1. In cases for the probate of wills, it is well-settled that the authority of the Thus, after the allowance of the will of Dr. De Santos on February 16, 1996, there
court is limited to ascertaining the extrinsic validity of the will, i.e., was nothing else for Branch 61 to do except to issue a certificate of allowance of
whether the testator, being of sound mind, freely executed the will in the will pursuant to Rule 73, 12 of the Rules of Court. There is, therefore, no basis
accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. Ordinarily, probate for the ruling of Judge Abad Santos of Branch 65 of RTC-Makati that Branch 61 of
proceedings are instituted only after the death of the testator, so much so the Regional Trial Court of Makati having begun the probate proceedings of the
that, after approving and allowing the will, the court proceeds to issue estate of the deceased, shall continue to exercise jurisdiction over the said probate
letters testamentary and settle the estate of the testator. The cases cited proceeding.
by petitioner are of such nature. In fact, in most jurisdictions, courts 2. Even if petitioner is the nearest next of kin of Dr. De Santos, he cannot be
cannot entertain a petition for probate of the will of a living testator considered an "heir" of the testator. It is a fundamental rule of testamentary
under the principle of ambulatory nature of wills. However, Art. 838 of succession that one who has no compulsory or forced heirs may dispose of his
the Civil Code authorizes the filing of a petition for probate of the will entire estate by will. Thus, Art. 842 of the Civil Code provides:
filed by the testator himself. It provides:” No will shall pass either real or One who has no compulsory heirs may dispose by will of all his
personal property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance with the estate or any part of it in favor of any person having capacity to
Rules of Court. succeed.
The testator himself may, during his lifetime, petition the court having One who has compulsory heirs may dispose of his estate
jurisdiction for the allowance of his will. In such case, the pertinent provided he does not contravene the provisions of this Code with
provisions of the Rules of Court for the allowance of wills after the regard to the legitimate of said heirs.
testators death shall govern. Compulsory heirs are limited to the testators -
The Supreme Court shall formulate such additional Rules of Court as may (1) Legitimate children and descendants, with respect to their
be necessary for the allowance of wills on petition of the testator. legitimate parents and ascendants;
Subject to the right of appeal, the allowance of the will, either during the (2) In default of the foregoing, legitimate parents and ascendants,
lifetime of the testator or after his death, shall be conclusive as to its due with respect to their legitimate children and descendants;
execution. (3) The widow or widower;
The rationale for allowing the probate of wills during the lifetime of (4) Acknowledged natural children, and natural children by legal
testator has been explained by the Code Commission thus: fiction;
It is far easier for the courts to determine the mental condition of (5) Other illegitimate children referred to in Article 287 of the
a testator during his lifetime than after his death. Fraud, Civil Code.
intimidation and undue influence are minimized. Furthermore, if Petitioner, as nephew of the testator, is not a compulsory heir who may have been
a will does not comply with the requirements prescribed by law, preterited in the testators will.
the same may be corrected at once. The probate during the
testator’s life, therefore, will lessen the number of contest upon GROUNDS FOR DISALLOWANCE OF WILLS
wills. Once a will is probated during the lifetime of the testator, SPS. AJERO V. CA
the only questions that may remain for the courts to decide after G.R. No. 106720 September 15, 1994
the testator’s death will refer to the intrinsic validity of the FACTS:
testamentary dispositions. It is possible, of course, that even
when the testator himself asks for the allowance of the will, he In the will, decedent named as devisees, the following: petitioners Roberto and
may be acting under duress or undue influence, but these are Thelma Ajero, private respondent Clemente Sand, Meriam S. Arong, Leah Sand,
rare cases. Lilia Sand, Edgar Sand, Fe Sand, Lisa S. Sand, and Dr. Jose Ajero, Sr., and their
After a will has been probated during the lifetime of the testator, children.
it does not necessarily mean that he cannot alter or revoke the
same before his death. Should he make a new will, it would also On January 20, 1983, petitioners instituted Sp. Proc. No. Q-37171, for allowance of
be allowable on his petition, and if he should die before he has decedent, Annie Sand’s holographic will. They alleged that at the time of its

41
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

execution, she was of sound and disposing mind, not acting under duress, fraud or
undue influence, and was in every respect capacitated to dispose of her estate by In the case of holographic wills, what assures authenticity is the requirement that
will. they be totally autographic or handwritten by the testator himself.

Private respondent, Clemente Sand opposed the petition on the grounds that: HOLOGRAPHIC WILL REQUIREMENT
neither the testament's body nor the signature therein was in decedent's Article 810 of the New Civil Code:
handwriting; it contained alterations and corrections which were not duly signed A person may execute a holographic will which must be entirely written,
by decedent; and, the will was procured by petitioners through improper pressure dated, and signed by the hand of the testator himself. It is subject to no
and undue influence. other form, and may be made in or out of the Philippines, and need not be
witnessed. (Emphasis supplied.)
The petition was likewise opposed by Dr. Jose Ajero. He contested the disposition Failure to strictly observe other formalities will not result in the
in the will of a house and lot located in Cabadbaran, Agusan Del Norte. He claimed disallowance of a holographic will that is unquestionably handwritten by
that said property could not be conveyed by decedent in its entirety, as she was the testator.
not its sole owner.
 Article 813 of the New Civil Code shows that its requirement affects the validity
TC: admitted the decedent's holographic will to probate. It found no reason at all of the dispositions contained in the holographic will, but not its probate. If the
for the disallowance of the will for its failure to comply with the formalities testator fails to sign and date some of the dispositions, the result is that these
prescribed by law or for lack of testamentary capacity of the testatrix. dispositions cannot be effectuated. Such failure, however, does not render the
whole testament void.
It has been found that petitioners have satisfactorily shown in Court that the
holographic will in question was indeed written entirely, dated and signed in the Likewise, a holographic will can still be admitted to probate,
handwriting of the testatrix. Three (3) witnesses who have convincingly shown notwithstanding non-compliance with the provisions of Article 814. In the
knowledge of the handwriting of the testatrix have been presented and have case of Kalaw vs. Relova 132 SCRA 237 242 (1984), this Court held:
explicitly and categorically identified the handwriting with which the holographic
will in question was written to be the genuine handwriting and signature of the Ordinarily, when a number of erasures, corrections, and interlineations
testatrix. made by the testator in a holographic Will have not been noted under his
signature, . . . the Will is not thereby invalidated as a whole, but at most
CA: Reversed TC, and the petition for probate of decedent's will was dismissed. only as respects the particular words erased, corrected or interlined.
The Court of Appeals found that, "the holographic will fails to meet the Thus, unless the unauthenticated alterations, cancellations or insertions
requirements for its validity." were made on the date of the holographic will or on testator's
signature, their presence does not invalidate the will itself. The lack of
CA held that the decedent did not comply with Articles 813 and 814 of the New authentication will only result in disallowance of such changes.
Civil Code. It alluded to certain dispositions in the will which were either unsigned
and undated, or signed but not dated. It also found that the erasures, alterations *************
and cancellations made thereon had not been authenticated by decedent. THE GROUNDS FOR DISALLOWANCE OF WILLS are provided in the following
provisions.
ISSUES: These lists are exclusive; no other grounds can serve to disallow a will.
Whether or not the holographic will is valid and did it comply with the
requirements provided in the Civil Code. Section 9, Rule 76 of the Rules of Court provides that will shall be disallowed
in any of the following cases:
HELD: (a) If not executed and attested as required by law;
YES, the holographic will made by decedent Anne Sand is valid. The said (b) If the testator was insane, or otherwise mentally incapable to make a
holographic will was executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed by will, at the time of its execution;
law. (c) If it was executed under duress, or the influence of fear, or threats;

42
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

(d) If it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence, on entirety). Thus, as correctly held by respondent court, she cannot validly dispose
the part of the beneficiary, or of some other person for his benefit; of the whole property, which she shares with her father's other heirs.
(e) If the signature of the testator was procured by fraud or trick, and he
did not intend that the instrument should be his will at the time of fixing The instant petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals is
his signature thereto. REVERSED and SET ASIDE, except with respect to the invalidity of the
disposition of the entire house and lot in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte. The
In the same vein, Article 839 of the New Civil Code reads: holographic will made by decedent Annie Sand is admitted for probate
Art. 839: The will shall be disallowed in any of the following cases;
(1) If the formalities required by law have not been complied with; Institution of Heirs
(2) If the testator was insane, or otherwise mentally incapable of making Austria vs. Reyes
a will, at the time of its execution; G.R. No. L-23079 || Institution of Heirs
(3) If it was executed through force or under duress, or the influence of FACTS:
fear, or threats; On July 7, 1956 Basilia Austria vda. de Cruz filed with the Court of First Instance of
(4) If it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence, on Rizal a petition for probate, ante mortem, of her last will and testament. The
the part of the beneficiary or of some other person; probate was opposed by the present petitioners Ruben Austria, Consuelo Austria-
(5) If the signature of the testator was procured by fraud; Benta and Lauro Austria Mozo, and still others who, like the petitioner, are
(6) If the testator acted by mistake or did not intend that the instrument nephews and nieces of Basilia. This opposition was, however, dismissed and the
he signed should be his will at the time of affixing his signature thereto. probate of the will allowed after due hearing. The bulk of the estate of Basilia,
admittedly, was destined under the will to pass on to the respondents Perfecto
Thus, in a petition to admit a holographic will to probate, the only issues to Cruz, Benita Cruz-Meñez, Isagani Cruz, Alberto Cruz, and Luz Cruz-Salonga, all of
be resolved are: whom had been assumed and declared by Basilia as her own legally adopted
(1) Whether the instrument submitted is, indeed, the decedent's last will and children. More than two years after her will was allowed to probate, Basilia died.
testament; The respondent Perfecto Cruz was appointed executor.
(2) Whether said will was executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed On November 5, 1959, the present petitioners filed in the same proceedings a
by law; petition in intervention for partition alleging that they are the nearest of kin of
(3) Whether the decedent had the necessary testamentary capacity at the time the Basilia, and that the five respondents Perfecto Cruz, et al., had not in fact been
will was executed; and, adopted by the decedent in accordance with law, in effect rendering these
(4) Whether the execution of the will and its signing were the voluntary acts of the respondents mere strangers to the decedent and without any right to succeed as
decedent. heirs. The intervention was allowed.
On February 6, 1963, more than three years after they were allowed to intervene,
************* the petitioners Ruben Austria, let al., moved the lower court to set for hearing the
The Court of Appeals further held that decedent Annie Sand could not validly matter of the genuineness of the adoption of the respondents Perfecto Cruz, et al.,
dispose of the house and lot located in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte, in its by the late Basilia.
entirety. This is correct and must be affirmed. Before the date set by the court for hearing arrived, however, the respondent
Benita Cruz-Meñez filed a motion asking the lower court to confine the
As a general rule, courts in probate proceedings are limited to pass only upon the petitioners' intervention, to properties not disposed of in the will of the decedent.
extrinsic validity of the will sought to be probated. However, in exceptional The lower court issued an order on June 4, 1963, delimiting the petitioners'
instances, courts are not powerless to do what the situation constrains them to do, intervention to the properties of the deceased which were not disposed of in the
and pass upon certain provisions of the will. will. The petitioners moved the lower court to reconsider this latest order.
RTC: On October 25, 1963 the same court denied the petitioners' motion for
In the case at bench, decedent herself indubitably stated in her holographic will reconsideration.
that the Cabadbaran property is in the name of her late father, John H. Sand Hence this petition for certiorari, praying this Court to annul the orders of June 4
(which led oppositor Dr. Jose Ajero to question her conveyance of the same in its and October 25, 1963 and the order of April 21, 1964, all restricting petitioners'

43
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

intervention to properties that were not included in the decedent's testamentary


dispositions. FACTS:
Don Julian L. Teves (Don Julian) contracted 2 marriages, first with Antonia Baena
ISSUE: (Antonia), and after her death, with Milagros Donio Teves (Milagros Donio). Don
Whether or not such institution of heirs would retain efficacy in the event there Julian had two children with Antonia, namely: Josefa Teves Escao (Josefa) and
exists proof that the adoption of the same heirs by the decedent is false. Emilio Teves (Emilio). He had also four (4) children with Milagros Donio, namely:
Maria Evelyn Donio Teves (Maria Evelyn), Jose Catalino Donio Teves (Jose
HELD: Catalino), Milagros Reyes Teves (Milagros Reyes) and Pedro Reyes Teves (Pedro).
The Supreme Court upheld the will of Basilia. Article 850 provides “The statement
of a false cause for the institution of an heir shall be considered as not written, The present controversy involves a parcel of land (954 sqm), known as Lot No. 63
unless it appears from the will that the testator would not have made such of the Bais Cadastre, which was originally registered in the name of the
institution if he had known the falsity of such cause.”Before the institution of heirs conjugal partnership of Don Julian and Antonia under OCT No. 5203 of the
may be annulled under article 850 of the Civil Code, the following requisites must Registry of Deeds of Bais City. When Antonia died, the land was among the
concur: First, the cause for the institution of heirs must be stated in the will; properties involved in an action for partition and damages entitled Josefa Teves
second, the cause must be shown to be false; and third, it must appear from the Escao v. Julian Teves, Emilio B. Teves, et al. Milagros Donio, the second wife of
face of the will that the testator would not have made such institution if he had Don Julian, participated as an intervenor. Thereafter, the parties to the case
known the falsity of the cause. The petitioners, (Ruben Austria et. al) would have entered into a Compromise Agreement which embodied the partition of all the
us imply, from the use of the terms of the will, "sapilitang tagapagmana" properties of Don Julian.
(compulsory heirs) and "sapilitang mana" (legitime), that the impelling reason or
cause for the institution of the respondents was the testatrix's belief that under Paragraph 13 of the Compromise Agreement, at the heart of the present dispute,
the law she could not do otherwise. If this were indeed what prompted the lays down the effect of the eventual death of Don Julian vis--vis his heirs:
testatrix in instituting the respondents, she did not make it known in her will.
Surely if she was aware that succession to the legitime takes place by operation of 13. That in the event of death of Julian L. Teves, the properties hereinafter
law, independent of her own wishes, she would not have found it convenient to adjudicated to Josefa Teves Escaňo and Emilio B. Teves, (excluding the properties
name her supposed compulsory heirs to their legitimes. Her express adoption of comprised as Hacienda Medalla Milagrosa together with all its accessories and
the rules on legitimes should very well indicate her complete agreement with that accessions) shall be understood as including not only their one-half share which
statutory scheme. But even this, like the petitioners' own proposition, is highly they inherited from their mother but also the legitimes and other successional
speculative of what was in the mind of the testatrix when she executed her will. rights which would correspond to them of the other half belonging to their father,
One fact prevails, however, and it is that the decedent's will does not state in a Julian L. Teves. In other words, the properties now selected and adjudicated to
specific or unequivocal manner the cause for such institution of heirs. We cannot Julian L. Teves (not including his share in the Hacienda Medalla Milagrosa)
annul the same on the basis of guesswork or uncertain implications. shall exclusively be adjudicated to the wife in second marriage of Julian L. Teves
Furthermore, testacy is favored and doubts are resolved on its side, especially and his four minor children.
where the will evinces an intention on the part of the testator to dispose of
practically his whole estate, as was done in this case. Moreover, so compelling is On 14 April 1974, Don Julian died intestate.
the principle that intestacy should be avoided and the wishes of the testator
allowed to prevail, that we could even vary the language of the will for the Meanwhile, Milagros Donio and her children had immediately taken possession
purpose of giving it effect. over the subject lot after the execution of the Compromise Agreement. In 1974,
At all events, the legality of the adoption of the respondents by the testatrix can be they entered into a yearly lease agreement with spouses Antonio Balansag and
assailed only in a separate action brought for that purpose, and cannot be the Hilaria Cadayday, respondents herein. On Lot No. 63, respondents temporarily
subject of a collateral attack. established their home and constructed a lumber yard. Subsequently, Milagros
ACCORDINGLY, the present petition is denied, at petitioners cost. Donio and her children executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition of Real Estate
dated 18 March 1980. In the deed of partition, Lot No. 63 was allotted to Milagros
JLT Agro Inc. V. Antonio Balansag And Hilaria Cadayday Donio and her two (2) children, Maria Evelyn and Jose Catalino. Unaware that the
G.R. No. 141882. March 11, 2005 || Institution of Heirs subject lot was already registered in the name of petitioner in 1979, respondents

44
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

bought Lot No. 63 from Milagros Donio as evidenced by the Deed of Absolute Sale that it had already been adjudicated to them by virtue of the compromise
of Real Estate dated 9 November 1983. agreement.

At the Register of Deeds while trying to register the deed of absolute sale, Article 854 provides that the preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the
respondents discovered that the lot was already titled in the name of petitioner. compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the
Thus, they failed to register the deed. will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; but the
devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious.
Respondents, as vendees of Lot No. 63, filed a complaint before the RTC Branch 45
of Bais City, seeking the declaration of nullity and cancellation of TCT No. T- Manresa defines PRETERITION as the omission of the heir in the will, either by not
375 in the name of petitioner and the transfer of the title to Lot No. 63 in naming him at all or, while mentioning him as father, son, etc., by not instituting him
their names, plus damages. as heir without disinheriting him expressly, nor assigning to him some part of the
properties. It is the total omission of a compulsory heir in the direct line from
RTC and CA ruling inheritance. It consists in the silence of the testator with regard to a compulsory
The trial court dismissed the complaint filed by respondents. Court of Appeals heir, omitting him in the testament, either by not mentioning him at all, or by not
reversed by ruling that the adjudication in favor of the heirs from the 2nd marriage giving him anything in the hereditary property but without expressly
became automatically operative upon approval of the Compromise Agreement, disinheriting him, even if he is mentioned in the will in the latter case. But there is
thereby vesting them the right to validly dispose the lot in question in favor of no preterition where the testator allotted to a descendant a share less than the
respondents. legitime, since there was no total omission of a forced heir.
In the case at bar, Don Julian did not execute a will since what he resorted to
Before this Court, petitioner assigns as errors the following rulings of the was a partition inter vivos of his properties, as evidenced by the court
appellate court, to wit: (a) that future legitime can be determined, adjudicated and approved Compromise Agreement. Thus, it is premature if not irrelevant to
reserved prior to the death of Don Julian; (b) that Don Julian had no right to speak of preterition prior to the death of Don Julian in the absence of a will
dispose of or assign Lot No. 63 to petitioner because he reserved the same for his depriving a legal heir of his legitime. Besides, there are other properties which the
heirs from the second marriage pursuant to the Compromise Agreement; (c) that heirs from the second marriage could inherit from Don Julian upon his death. A
the Supplemental Deed was tantamount to a preterition of his heirs from the couple of provisions in the Compromise Agreement are indicative of Don Julian’s
second marriage; and (d) that TCT No. T-375 in the name of petitioner is spurious desire along this line. Hence, the total omission from inheritance of Don Julian’s
for not containing entries on the Book No. and Page No. heirs from the second marriage, a requirement for preterition to exist, is hardly
imaginable as it is unfounded.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Don Julian validly transferred ownership of the subject lot during Article 1318 of the New Civil Code enumerates the requisites of a valid contract,
his lifetime. namely: (1) consent of the contracting parties; (2) object certain which is the
subject matter of the contract; and (3) Cause of the obligation which is
HELD: established.
No. The decision of the CA is affirmed, that the Supplemental Deed is NOT
VALID, containing as it does a prohibited preterition of Don Julian’s heirs Thus, Article 1352 declares that contracts without cause, or with unlawful cause
from the 2nd marriage. produce no effect whatsoever. Those contracts lack an essential element and they
are not only voidable but void or inexistent pursuant to Article 1409, paragraph
Evidently, at the time of the execution of the deed of assignment covering Lot (2). The absence of the usual recital of consideration in a transaction which
No. 63 in favor of petitioner, Don Julian remained the owner of the property normally should be supported by a consideration such as the assignment made by
since ownership over the subject lot would only pass to his heirs from the Don Julian of all nineteen (19) lots he still had at the time, coupled with the fact
second marriage at the time of his death. Thus, as the owner of the subject that the assignee is a corporation of which Don Julian himself was also the
lot, Don Julian retained the absolute right to dispose of it during his lifetime. President and Director, forecloses the application of the presumption of existence
His right cannot be challenged by Milagros Donio and her children on the ground of consideration established by law.

45
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Neither could the Supplemental Deed validly operate as a donation. Article 749 of On November 8, 1963, the CFI held that “the will in question is a complete
the New Civil Code is clear on the point, thus: nullity and will create intestacy of the estate of the deceased Rosario Nuguid” and
dismissed the petition. Petitioner’s motion to reconsider was likewise dismissed,
Art. 749. In order that the donation of the immovable may be valid, it must be hence the appeal.
made in a public document, specifying therein the property donated and the value
of the charges which the donee must satisfy. ISSUE:
Whether or not the institution of the petitioner as the sole, universal heir
The acceptance may be made in the same deed of donation or in a separate public preterited the compulsory heirs, the oppositors?
document, but it shall not take effect unless it is done during the lifetime of the
donor. HELD:
YES. The statute we are called upon to apply is Article 854 which states:
If the acceptance is made in a separate instrument, the donor shall be notified “The preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory heirs in the
thereof in an authentic form, and this step shall be noted in both instruments. direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the
death of the testator, shall annul the insitution of the heir; but the devices and
In Sumipat, et al v. Banga, et al., this Court declared that title to immovable legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious.”
property does not pass from the donor to the donee by virtue of a deed of donation The deceased Rosario Nuguid left no descendants, legitimate or
until and unless it has been accepted in a public instrument and the donor duly illegitimate. But she left forced heirs in the direct ascending line her parents,
notified thereof. The acceptance may be made in the very same instrument of oppositors Felix and Paz. And, the will completely omits both of them: they thus
donation. If the acceptance does not appear in the same document, it must be received nothing by the testament; tacitly, they were deprived of their legitime;
made in another. Where the deed of donation fails to show the acceptance, or neither were they expressly disinherited. This is a clear case of preterition. The
where the formal notice of the acceptance, made in a separate instrument, is one-sentence will institutes petitioner as the sole, universal heir – nothing more.
either not given to the donor or else not noted in the deed of donation and in No specific legacies or bequests are therein provided. It is in this posture that we
the separate acceptance, the donation is null and void. say that the nullity is complete.
We should not be led astray by the statement in Article 854 that,
Nuguid vs. Nuguid annulment notwithstanding, ”the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as
G.R. No. L-23445 June 23, 1966 they are not inofficious”. Legacies and devises merit consideration only when they
FACTS: are so expressly given in such a will. Nothing in Article 854 suggests that mere
Rosario Nuguid died on December 30, 1962, single, without descendants, institution of a universal heir in a will – void because of preterition – would give
legitimate or illegitimate. Surviving her were her legitimate parents, Felix and Paz the heir so instituted a share in the inheritance. As to him, the will is inexistent.
Nuguid, and six (6) brothers and sisters, namely: Alfredo, Federico, Remedios, There must be, in addition to such institution, a testamentary disposition granting
Conrado, Lourdes and Alberto, all surnamed Nuguid. him bequests or legacies apart and separate from the nullified institution of heir.
On May 18, 1963, petitioner Remedios Nuguid filed in the CFI of Rizal a As aforesaid, there is no other provision in the will before us except the institution
holographic will allegedly executed by Rosario Nuguid on November 17, 1951, of petitioner as universal heir. That institution, by itself, is null and void. And,
some 11 years before her demise. Petitioner prayed that said will be admitted to intestate succession ensues.
probate and that letters of administration with the will annexed be issued to her. The disputed order, we observe, declares the will in question “a complete
On June 25, 1963, Felix and Paz, the legitimate parents of the deceased Rosario, nullity”. Article 854 of the Civil Code in turn merely nullifies “the institution of
opposed the probate. Ground therefor is that by the institution of petitioner heir”. Considering, however, that the will before us solely provides for the
Remedios as universal heir of the deceased, oppositors – who are compulsory institution of petitioner as universal heir, and nothing more, the result is the same.
heirs of the deceased in the direct ascending line – were illegally preterited and The entire will is null.
that in consequence the institution is void.
On August 29, 1963, before a hearing was had on the petition for probate, Substitution of Heirs
oppositors moved to dismiss on the ground of absolute pretirition. On September PEREZ vs. GARCHITORENA
6, 1963, petitioner registered her opposition to the motion to dismiss. G.R. No: L-31703 February 13, 1930 || Substitution of heirs
FACTS:

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Ana Maria Alcantara (deceased) left P21,428.58 on deposit in the Carmen's name Whether or not a fideicommissary exists.
with the association known as La Urbana in Manila, as the final payment of her
liquidated credit against Andres Garchitorena, also deceased, represented by his HELD:
son, Mariano. Mariano Garchitorena held a judgment for P7,872.23 against YES. The requisites for a fideicommissary substitution exists, namely:
Joaquin, husband of Carmen. The sheriff pursuant to the writ of execution issued 1. At first heir primarily called to the enjoyment of the estate. (In this case the
in said judgment levied an attachment on said amount deposited with La Urbana. plaintiff was instituted an heiress, called to the enjoyment of the estate, according
Carmen secured a preliminary injunction restraining the execution of said to clause IX of the will. )
judgment on the sum so attached because the La Urbana deposit belongs to her 2. An obligation clearly imposed upon the heir to preserve and transmit to a third
children as fideicommissary heirs of Ana Maria Alcantara. person the whole or a part of the estate. (Such an obligation is imposed in clause X
The question here raised is confined to the scope and meaning of the institution of which provides that the "whole estate shall pass unimpaired to her (heiress's)
heirs made in the will of the late Ana Maria Alcantara already admitted to probate, surviving children;" thus, instead of leaving the heiress at liberty to dispose of the
and whose legal force and effect is not in dispute. estate by will, or of leaving the law to take its course in case she dies intestate,
The clauses of said will relevant to the points in dispute, between the parties are said clause not only disposes of the estate in favor of the heiress instituted, but
the ninth, tenth, and eleventh. also provides for the disposition thereof in case she should die after the testatrix. )
“Ninth. xxx... so that upon my death and after probate of this will, and after the 3. A second heir. (Such are the children of the heiress instituted, who are referred
report of the committee on claims and appraisal has been rendered and approved, to as such second heirs both in clause X and in clause XI. )
she will receive from my executrix and properties composing my hereditary estate, 4. The fideicommissarius be entitled to the estate from the time the testator dies,
that she may enjoy them with God's blessing and my own. since he is to inherit from the latter and not from the fiduciary. (The children in
Tenth. Should my heiress Carmen Garchitorena die, I order that my whole estate this case are the owners of the inheritance by virtue of the testatrix’s death. (the
shall pass unimpaired to her surviving children; and should any of these die, his deposit cannot be the subject of execution by Garchitorena as it doesn’t belong to
share shall serve to increase the portions of his surviving Carmen.))
brothers (and sisters) by accretion, in such wise that my estate shall never pass out This will certainly provides for a substitution of heirs but not just a simple one
of the hands of my heiress or her children in so far as it is legally possible. considering that clause XI in connection with clause X provides for a substitution
Eleventh. Should my aforesaid heiress, Carmen Garchitorena, die after me while her where the heiress instituted dies after the testatrix. Clause X doesn’t conflict with
children are still in their minority, I order that my estate be administered by my the idea of fideicommisary:
executrix, Mrs. Josefa Laplana, and in her default, by Attorney Ramon Salinas and in The word sole does not necessarily exclude the idea of substitute heirs; and taking
his default, by his son Ramon Salinas; xxx.” these three clauses together, such word means that the plaintiff is the sole heiress
instituted in the first instance. The testatrix had in mind a fideicommissary
substitution, since she limits the transmission of her estate to the children of the
heiress in accordance with the limits fixed by A 781 CC which prescribed that
Plaintiff’s Contention: fideicommissary substitutions shall be valid "provided they do not go beyond the
The plaintiff, alleging that said deposit belongs to the fideicommissary heirs of the second degree."
decedent Ana Maria Alcantara Another indication of fideicommissary substitution is this clause provides that the
whole estate shall pass unimpaired to the heiress's children, that is to say the
Defendant’s Contention: heiress is required to preserve the whole estate, without diminution, in order to
The defendants contend that the plaintiff is the decedent's universal heiress, and pass it on in due time to the fideicommissary heirs.
pray for the dissolution of the injunction. The disposition contained in clause IX is not incompatible with a fideicommissary
substitution (it certainly is incompatible with the idea of simple substitution, where
RTC Ruling: the heiress instituted does not receive the inheritance):
The court below held that said La Urbana deposit belongs to the plaintiff's In fact the enjoyment of the inheritance is in conformity with the idea of
children as fideicommissary heirs of Ana Maria Alcantara, and granted a final writ fideicommissary substitution, by virtue of which the heir instituted receives the
of injunction. inheritance and enjoys it, although at the same time he preserves it in order to
pass it on the second heir.
ISSUE:

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

It should also be noted that said clause IX vests in the heiress only the right to will of Linnie Jane Hodges is not fideicommissary substitution, because there is
enjoy but not the right to dispose of the estate. It says, she may enjoy it, but does clearly no obligation on the part of Charles Hodges as the first heir designated, to
not say she may dispose of it. This is an indication of the usufruct inherent in preserve the properties for the substitute heirs. At most, it is a vulgar or simple
fideicommissary substitution. substitution. However, in order that a vulgar or simple substitution can be valid,
Clause XI more clearly indicates the idea of fideicommissary substitution, when a three alternative conditions must be present, namely, that the first designated
provision is therein made in the event the heiress should die after the testatrix. heir (1) should die before the testator; or (2) should not wish to accept the
That is, said clause anticipates the case where the instituted heiress should die inheritance; or (3) should be incapacitated to do so. None of these conditions
after the testatrix and after receiving and enjoying the inheritance. apply to Charles Hodges, and, therefore, the substitution provided for in the will is
not authorized by the Code, and, therefore, it is void. Manresa, commenting on
PCIB v. Escolin these kisses of substitution, meaningfully stated that: when another heir is
G.R. Nos. L-27936 & L-27937 ||SUBSTITUTION OF HEIRS designated to inherit upon the death of a first heir, the second designation can have
effect only in case the first instituted heir dies before the testator, whether or not
FACTS that was the true intention of said testator. Since Charles Hodges did not die before
Spouses Charles Newton and Linnie Jane Hodges are American citizens domiciled Linnie Jane Hodges, the provision for substitution contained in Linnie Jane
in Iloilo City. On May 23, 1957, Linnie Jane Hodges died in Iloilo City leaving a will Hodges' Willis void. In view of the invalidity of the provision for substitution in
executed on November 22, 1952. This will was probated on June 28, 1957, with the Will, Charles Hodges' inheritance to the entirety of the Linnie Jane Hodges
the widower Charles Newton Hodges being appointed as Executor, pursuant to estate is irrevocable and final.
the provisions thereof. The will contained a disposition saying “at the death of my
said husband, I give, devise and bequeath all of the rest, residue and remainder of ISSUE
my estate, both real and personal, wherever situated, to be equally divided among W/N there is valid simple or fideicommissary substitution. [NO]
my brothers and sisters, share and share alike.”
HELD
The day before the death of Charles Hodges, Atty. Leon P. Gellada, who had been PCIB's contention that, the testamentary disposition in favor of Mrs. Hodges'
previously acting as counsel for Charles Hodges filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Motion brothers and sisters, viewed as a substitution, may not be given effect is correct to
for the appointment of a Special Administratix for both the estate of Linnie and a certain extent. Legally speaking, Mrs. Hodges' will provides neither for a simple
Charles. Avelina A. Magno was appointed Administratrix of the estate of Linnie or vulgar substitution under Article 859 of the Civil Code nor for a
Jane Hodges and as Special Administratrix of the estate of Charles Newton Hodges, fideicommissary substitution under Article 863 thereof.
in the latter case, because the last will of said Charles Newton Hodges is still kept
in his vault or iron safe. On January 9, 1963, Atty. Gellada filed a petition for the There is no vulgar substitution therein because there is no provision for either (1)
probate of the will of Hodges, with a prayer for Joe Hodges and Atty. Fernando predecease of the testator by the designated heir or (2) refusal or (3) incapacity of
Mirasol to be appointed as co-administrators. The court issued the corresponding the latter to accept the inheritance, as required by Article 859; and neither is there
order of probate and letters of administration to Joe Hodges and Atty. Mirasol. a fideicommissary substitution therein because no obligation is imposed thereby
upon Hodges to preserve the estate or any part thereof for anyone else. But from
Co-administrators Joe Hodges and Fernando P. Mirasol were replaced by PCIB on these premises, it is not correct to jump to the conclusion, as PCIB does, that the
January 24, 1964. With the appointment of the PCIB as the sole administrator of testamentary dispositions in question are therefore inoperative and invalid.
the estate of Charles Hodges in substitution of Joe Hodges and Fernando P.
Mirasol, the PCIB legally became the only party entitled to the sole and exclusive The error in PCIB's position lies simply in the fact that it views the said disposition
possession of all of the assets of the estate of Charles Hodges. exclusively in the light of substitutions covered by the Civil Code section on that
subject, (Section 3, Chapter 2, Title IV, Book III) when it is obvious that
PCIB argued that, there are generally only two kinds of substitution provided for substitution occurs only when another heir is appointed in a will "so that he
and authorized by our Civil Code (Articles 857-870), namely, (1) simple or may enter into inheritance in default of the heir originally instituted,"
common substitution, sometimes referred to as vulgar substitution (Article (Article 857, id.).
859), and (2) fideicommissary substitution (Article 863). All other
substitutions are merely variations of these. The substitution provided for in the In the present case, no such possible default is contemplated. The brothers and

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

sisters of Mrs. Hodges are not substitutes for Hodges because, under her will, they testator's will to distribute his property, not in accordance with the laws of his
are not to inherit what Hodges cannot, would not or may not inherit, but what he nationality, but in accordance with the laws of the Philippines.
would not dispose of from his inheritance; rather, therefore, they are also heirs If this condition as it is expressed were legal and valid, any legatee who fails to
instituted simultaneously with Hodges, subject, however, to certain conditions, comply with it, as the herein oppositor Andre Brimo, who by his attitude in these
partially resolutory insofar as Hodges was concerned and correspondingly proceedings has not respected the will of the testator, as expressed, is prevented
suspensive with reference to his brothers and sisters-in-law. It is partially from receiving his legacy.
resolutory, since it bequeaths unto Hodges the whole of her estate to be owned Appellant Andre Brimo's opposition is based on the fact that the partition in
and enjoyed by him as universal and sole heir with absolute dominion over them question puts into effect the provisions of Joseph Brimo's will which are not in
only during his lifetime, which means that while he could completely and accordance with the laws of his Turkish Nationality; thus, making the will void.
absolutely dispose of any portion thereof inter vivos to anyone other than himself,
he was not free to do so mortis causa, and all his rights to what might remain upon ISSUE:
his death would cease entirely upon the occurrence of that contingency, inasmuch Whether or not the condition made in the will is valid
as the right of his brothers and sisters-in-law to the inheritance, although vested
already upon the death of Mrs. Hodges, would automatically become operative HELD:
upon the occurrence of the death of Hodges in the event of actual existence of any NO, the condition made in the will is not valid. Rather, it is null and void.
remainder of her estate then. Art 873 of the Civil Code provides:
"Impossible conditions and those contrary to law or good customs shall be
CONDITIONS, MODES & TERMS considered as not imposed and shall in no manner prejudice the heir, even if the
MICIANO V. BRIMO testator should otherwise provide."
GR L-22595 || Void Condition Art 16 of the Code also provides that the instrinsic validity of testamentary
FACTS: provisions shall be regulated by the national law of the person.
The particular subject matter here is the testate estate of the deceased Joseph Having been made contrary to law, the condition in the will of Joseph Brimo is
Brimo. Joseph Brimo is a Turkish national and was residing in the Philippines at considered unwritten and the institution of said will is unconditional.
the time of his death. He left a will detailing how his properties in the Philippines Consequently, valid and effective to oppositor Andre Brimo.
should be disposed of. All of the remaining clauses of said will and testamentary dispositions, insofar as
Juan Miciano (petitioner), the judicial administrator of the estate filed a scheme of they are not contrary to testator's national law are perfectly valid and effective.
partition of the estate. Andre Brimo (respondent), one of the deceased's brothers, Therefore, the orders appealed from are modified and it is directed that the
opposed it. distribution of this estate be made in such a manner as to include the herein
Trial Court, however, approved the petition for partition of estate. The appellant Andre Brimo as one of the legatees, and the scheme of partition
subesequent motion for reconsideration was denied. submitted by the judicial administrator is approved
Andre Brimo, one of the named legatees in the will was excluded in the partition
of inheritance. Apparently, this exclusion was rooted in a clause found in the will Rabadilla v. CA
of Joseph Brimo which states: G.R. No. 113725 (2000) || Condition, effect, mode
"I, Joseph Brimo, am a Turkish citizen, this citizenship having been conferred FACTS:
upon me by conquest and not by free choice, nor by nationality and, on the other In a Codicil appended to the Last Will and Testament of testatrix Aleja Belleza, Dr.
hand, having resided for a considerable length of time in the Philippine Islands Jorge Rabadilla, predecessor-in-interest of the herein petitioner, Johnny S.
where I succeeded in acquiring all of the property that I now possess. Rabadilla, was instituted as a devisee of 511, 855 square meters of that parcel of
It is my wish that the distribution of my property and everything in connection land surveyed as Lot No. 1392 of the Bacolod Cadastre. The said Codicil, which
with this, my will, be made and disposed of in accordance with the laws in force in was duly probated and admitted in Special Proceedings No. 4046 before the then
the Philippine islands, requesting all of my relatives to respect this wish, Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental states:
otherwise, I annul and cancel beforehand whatever disposition found in this will “That should Jorge Rabadilla die ahead of me, the aforementioned property and
favorable to the person or persons who fail to comply with this request." the rights which I shall set forth hereinbelow, shall be inherited and
In this disposition of the will, we see that the institution of legatees in this will is acknowledged by the children and spouse of Jorge Rabadilla”
conditional, and the condition is that the instituted legatees must respect the

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

a)….It is also my command, in this my addition (Codicil), that should I die and Under Article 776 of the Civil Code, inheritance includes all the property, rights
Jorge Rabadilla shall have already received the ownership of the said Lot No. 1392 and obligations of a person, not extinguished by his death. Conformably, whatever
of the Bacolod Cadastre, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. RT-4002 rights Dr. Rabadilla had by virtue of the Will were transmitted to his forced heirs,
(10942), and also at the time that the lease of Balbinito G. Guanzon of the said lot at the time of his death. And since obligations not extinguished by death also form
shall expire, Jorge Rabadilla shall have the obligation until he dies, every year to part of the estate of the decedent; corollarily, the obligations imposed by the
give to Maria Marlina Coscolluela y Belleza, Seventy (75) (sic) piculs of Export Will on the deceased Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, were likewise transmitted to his
sugar and TwentyFive (25) piculs of Domestic sugar, until the said Maria Marlina compulsory heirs upon his death. It is clear therefore, that Johnny should have
Coscolluela y Belleza dies. continued complying with the terms of the Will. His failure to do so shall give rise
Should Jorge Rabadilla die, his heir to whom he shall give Lot No. 1392 of the to an obligation for him to reconvey the property to the estate of Aleja.
Bacolod Cadastre, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. RT-4002 (10492),
shall have the obligation to still give yearly, the sugar as specified in the Fourth LEGITIME
paragraph of his testament, to Maria Marlina Coscolluela y Belleza on the month Raymundo v Vda De Suarez
of December of each year. GR No. 149017 || Legitime
If Dr. Rabadilla or his heirs decide to sell, lease or transfer, the buyer, lessee or
transferee shall also have the same obligation to the testator’s sister. Failure to do FACTS
so will forfeit the property to the sister and nearest relatives.  This is the Continuation of Vda. De Suarez vs. CA (case #4)
In 1983, Dr. Rabadilla died. He was survived by Johnny Rabadilla.  Upon the reinstatement of Civil Case No. 51203 – it was re-raffled and
In 1989, Maria Belleza sued Johnny Rabadilla in order to compel Johnny to transferred, for varied reasons (to do some illegal shit) , to the different court
reconvey the said land to the estate of Aleja Belleza because it is alleged that branches in Pasig City. With each transfer of Civil Case No. 51203 -part of the
Johnny failed to comply with the terms of the will; that since 1985, Johnny failed records went missing and were lost. which is a usual occurence in our judiciary.
to deliver the fruits; and that the the land was mortgaged to the Philippine  In this regard, herein respondents filed a Motion for Reconstitution of
National Bank, which is a violation of the will. Records of the case.
In his defense, Johnny avers that the term “near descendants” in the will of Aleja  Judge Estrella issued an Order requiring the parties to file their respective
pertains to the near descendants of Aleja and not to the near descendants of Dr. position papers due to the "divergent views on the nature of the hearing that
Rabadilla, hence, since Aleja had no near descendants at the time of his death, no should be conducted in compliance with" the SC decision in Suarez.
can substitute Dr. Rabadilla on the obligation to deliver the fruits of the devised  Both parties duly filed their position papers, with herein respondents
land. attaching thereto a copy of the Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate executed by the
In his defense, Johnny avers that the term “near descendants” in the will of Aleja heirs of Marcelo Suarez in 1957.
pertains to the near descendants of Aleja and not to the near descendants of Dr.  The RTC, Branch 67, issued an Order dated January 11, 2000, which reads,
Rabadilla, hence, since Aleja had no near descendants at the time of his death, no in part:
can substitute Dr. Rabadilla on the obligation to deliver the fruits of the devised While this Court is of the view that trial on the merits is necessary for the
land. purpose of giving the plaintiffs [herein respondents] a chance to adduce
RTC dismissed the complaint. CA reversed. evidence to sustain their complaint and the defendants [including petitioner
Valente] to prove their defense, consistent with the directive of the Honorable
ISSUE: Supreme Court (in its Decision promulgated on September 4, 1992), the Court
Whether or not Johnny Rabadilla is not obliged to comply with the terms of the is, however, confronted with the very recent decision of the Honorable
Will left by Aleja Belleza Supreme Court in "Heirs of Guido Yaptinchay, et al. vs. Del Rosario, et al., G.R.
No. 124320, March 2, 1999" where it held that — AIDTSE
RULING: The declaration of heirship must be made in an administration proceeding,
No. The contention of Johnny Rabadilla is bereft of merit. The “near descendants” and not in an independent civil action. This doctrine was reiterated in Solve vs.
being referred to in the will are the heirs of Dr. Rabadilla. Ownership over the Court of Appeals (182 SCRA 119, 128). The trial court cannot make a
devised property was already transferred to Dr. Rabadilla when Aleja died. Hence, declaration of heirship in the civil action for the reason that such a
when Dr. Rabadilla himself died, ownership over the same property was declaration can only be made in a special proceeding. Under Section 3, Rule 1
transmitted to Johnny Rabadilla by virtue of succession. of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court, a civil action is defined as "one by which a

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

party sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the Article 886 of the Civil Code defines legitime as
prevention or redress of a wrong" while a special proceeding is "a remedy by  "that part of the testator's property which he cannot dispose of because the
which a party seeks to establish a status, a right, or a particular fact." It is law has reserved it for certain heirs who are, therefore, called compulsory heirs."
then decisively clear that the declaration of heirship can be made only in a  Herein respondents are primary compulsory heirs, excluding secondary
special proceeding inasmuch as the petitioners here are seekingthe compulsory heirs, and preferred over concurring compulsory heirs in the
establishment of a status or right. distribution of the decedent's estate. EaCSTc
In as much as the leading case on the matter is that of "Heirs of Yaptinchay v. Even without delving into the Extrajudicial Settlement of Marcelo Sr.'s estate in
Del Rosario, G.R. No. 124320, March 2, 1999" it is left with no choice but to 1957, it must be stressed that herein respondents' rights to the succession vested
obey said latter doctrine. from the moment of their father's death.
 Consequently, herein respondents filed a petition for certiorari before the Herein respondents' ownership of the subject properties is no longer inchoate; it
CA alleging grave abuse of discretion in the trial court's order dismissing Civil became absolute upon Marcelo's death, although their respective shares therein
Case No. 51203 without prejudice. remained pro indiviso.
 All the defendants in the trial court were impleaded as private respondents  Ineluctably, at the time the subject properties were sold on execution sale to
in the petition. answer for Teofista's judgment obligation, the inclusion of herein respondents'
 Yet, curiously, only petitioner Valente filed a Comment thereto. share therein was null and void.
 The appellate court granted the petition, recalled and set aside RTC, Branch In fine, Teofista's ownership over the subject properties is not absolute.
67's Orders dated January 11, 2000 and March 14, 2000, and reinstated Judge Significantly, petitioner Valente does not even attempt to dispute the conjugal
Santos' Orders dated May 29, 1996 and September 6, 1996. nature of the subject properties. Since Teofista owns only a portion of the subject
properties, only that portion could have been, and was actually, levied upon and
ISSUE: sold on auction by the provincial sheriff of Rizal. Thus, a separate declaration of
is there a need to institute a special proceedings for a declaration of heirship? heirship by herein respondents is not necessary to annul the judicial sale of
their share in the subject properties.
HELD :  All told, under the circumstances, in addition to the already settled status of
No. herein respondents as heirs of Marcelo Sr., there is no need to dismiss Civil Case
Article 888 further provides: DaHISE No. 51203 and require herein respondents to institute a separate special
"The legitime of the legitimate children and descendants consists of one-half of proceeding for a declaration of their heirship.
the hereditary estate of the father and of the mother.
The latter may freely dispose of the remaining half, subject to the rights of COMPULSORY HEIRS
illegitimate children and of the surviving spouse as hereinafter provided." Lapuz v. Eufemio
GR No. L-30977 || Compulsory Heirs
FACTS:
Article 892, par. 2 likewise provides: In 1953, Carmen filed a petition for legal separation against Eufemio and sought
"If there are two or more legitimate children or descendants, the surviving spouse for his deprivation of his share of the conjugal partnership profits. Eufemio filed a
shall be entitled to a portion equal to the legitime of each of the legitimate counterclaim for the declaration of nullity ab initio of their marriage on the
children or descendants." ground of his prior and subsisting marriage, celebrated according to Chinese law
Thus, from the foregoing, the legitime of the surviving spouse is equal to the and customs, with one Go Hiok, alias Ngo Hiok. Before trial could be completed,
legitime of each child. Carmed died in 1969. Eufemio filed a motion to dismiss the petition for legal
//// separation while Carmen’s counsel moved for the subsitutition by her father
 Compulsory succession Macario Lapuz.
o is a distinct kind of succession, albeit not categorized as such in Article 778 of
the Civil Code. Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court:
o It reserves a portion of the net estate of the decedent in favor of certain heirs, Dismissed the case and stated that the motion to dismiss and the motion
or group of heirs, or combination of heirs, prevailing over all kinds of succession. for substitution had to be resolved on the question of whether or not the
o The portion that is so reserved is the legitime.

51
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

plaintiff's cause of action has survived, which the court resolved in the definitive separation; and the expected consequential rights and claims would
negative. necessarily remain unborn.

Hence, the present petition for review by certiorari of an order, dismissing said As to the petition of for a declaration of nullity ab initio of marriage, it is apparent
case for legal separation on the ground that the death of Carmen, which occurred that such action became moot and academic upon the death of Carmen, and there
during the pendency of the case, abated the cause of action as well as the action could be no further interest in continuing the same after her demise, that
itself. automatically dissolved the questioned union.
Any property rights acquired by either party as a result of Article 144 of
ISSUE: the Civil Code could be resolved and determined in a proper action for
WON THE DEATH OF CARMEN BEFORE FINAL DECREE IN A LEGAL partition by either the appellee or by the heirs of the appellant.
SEPARATION ABATE THE ACTION?
o IF SO, WILL IT ALSO APPPLY IF THE ACTION INVOLVES Appealed judgment of the Manila Court of Juvenile and Domestic Relations is
PROPERTY RIGHTS? hereby affirmed.

HELD: Baritua and Bitancor vs CA, Sps Nacario


YES. 183 SCRA 565 || Compulsory Heirs
FACTS:
An action for legal separation is purely personal. The spouses can stop or abate Bienvenido Nacario died in 1979 when the tricycle he was driving was hit by a bus
the proceedings and even rescind a decree of legal separation already rendered. driven by Bitancor, owned and operated by Baritua. No criminal case was ever
Being personal in character, it follows that the death of one party to the action instituted.
causes the death of the action itself. When one of the spouses is dead, there is no In 1980, Bitancor and Baritua entered in an extra judicial settlement of the matter
need for divorce, because the marriage is dissolved. The heirs cannot even with Bienvenido's widow Alicia Baracena vda de Nacario. In consideration of Php
continue the suit, if the death of the spouse takes place during the course of the 18,500, Alicia discharged the two from all actions, claims, and demands arising
suit. from the accident which resulted in her husband's death.
In 1981, Bienvenido's parents, Nicolas and Victoria Nacario, instituted an action
Under Article 106 of the Civil Code, the right to the dissolution of the conjugal for damages against Bitancor and Baritua. They alleged that the two promised to
partnership of gains, the loss of right by the offending spouse to any share of the indemnify them for their son's death and for the damage on the tricycle; but,
profits earned by the partnership or community, or his disqualification to inherit instead, the two negotiated with the wife, who they allege was not entitled to the
by intestacy from the innocent spouse as well as the revocation of testamentary indemnification because she had been long-estranged with their son.
provisions in favor of the offending spouse made by the innocent one, are all CFI Camarines Sur, dismissed the complaint of spouses Nacario, holding that the
rights and disabilities that are vested exclusively in the persons of the spouses; payment made to Alicia, the wife, and to her son as proper as they are the
and by their nature and intent, such claims and disabilities are difficult to conceive preferred heirs and successors-in-interest of the deceased Bienvenido, to the
as assignable or transmissible. Hence, a claim to said rights is not a claim that "is exclusion of his parents, the spouses Nacario.
not thereby extinguished" after a party dies, under Section 17, Rule 3, of the Rules CA reversed the decision of the CFI, holding that payment to Alicia did not
of Court, to warrant continuation of the action through a substitute of the discharge Bitancor and Nacario from their liabilities to the spouses who instituted
deceased party. the action in their own capacity and not as heirs of Bienvenido. It held that Alicia
could not have validly waived the damages and indemnification for expenses that
An action for legal separation is abated by the death of the plaintiff, even if she did not suffer.
property rights are involved because these rights are mere effects of decree of
separation, their source being the decree itself; without the decree such rights do ISSUE:
not come into existence, so that before the finality of a decree, these claims are Whether or not a wife ceases to be a compulsory heir by reason of her long
merely rights in expectation. If death supervenes during the pendency of the estrangement from the deceased husband
action, no decree can be forthcoming, death producing a more radical and
HELD:

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

The Supreme Court held in the negative. Alicia and her lone son with the deceased words, unrecognized natural children can inherit not the share of a natural child
Bienvenido are compulsory heirs and successor-in-interest, according to Article but the share of a spurious child so long as his filiation shall be duly proved. So, in
887 of the New Civil Code. Mere estrangement is not a legal ground for the effect, illegitimate children need only to prove his filiation to inherit and such does
disqualification of a surviving spouse as an heir of the deceased spouse. not place him in a more advantageous position than natural children, as they are
placed in the same situation.
Reyes v. CA
GR No. L-39537 (1985) || Compulsory Heirs WE do not find these arguments persuasive.
FACTS
On January 29, 1967, private respondents prayed that the defendant Irene Reyes, There are two (2) general classifications of illegitimate children or those who are
alias Irene Ramero or Irene Delgado, be ordered to execute a deed of conceived and born out of wedlock. They may be either natural (actually or by
reconveyance in their favor over 4 parcels of lands in Quezon and another deed of fiction) or spurious (the incestuous, adulterous or illicit). Natural children are
reconveyance in favor of Maximina Delgado over 3 parcels of land in, Batangas. defined as those born outside of wedlock of parents, who at the time of conception
of the former, were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other
It was alleged that Reyes thru abuse of confidence, fraud, deceit, (Article 269, New Civil Code). On the other hand, spurious children are those born
misrepresentation and other falsifications succeeded in registering with the of parents, who at the time of their conception, are disqualified to marry each
Register of Deeds a document of self-adjudication wherein she alleged that she other on account of certain impediment. Because of this basic distinction between
was the sole child of the deceased Francisco Delgado and entitled to inherit the these children, it is not legally possible to classify unrecognized natural children
parcels of lands described in the complaint. Herein respondents, sisters and under the class of spurious children. It is an elementary and basic principle under
brothers of the deceased Francisco Delgado, claiming that they are the heirs the old and new Civil Code, that an unrecognized natural child has no rights
entitled to inherit from Francisco, filed an answer denying that the defendant whatsoever against his parent or his estate. His rights spring not from the filiation
Irene Delgado was the illegitimate child of Francisco Delgado. Trial Court itself, but from the child's acknowledgment by the natural parent.
dismissed the action for reconveyance and declared Irene Delgado the lawful
owner of the eight parcels of land. WE affirm the findings of the then Court of Appeals that Irene Reyes alias Irene
Delgado is not an heir of the late Francisco Delgado.
CA reversed the decision of the trial court. The transfer certificates of title issued
in the name of Irene Delgado are hereby cancelled, and reinstated in the name of RESERVA TRONCAL
Francisco Delgado. The then Court of Appeals in arriving at this decision found Padura v. Baldovino
that, although Irene Delgado was the spurious daughter of Francisco Delgado, she
nevertheless cannot inherit from the estate of the deceased Francisco Delgado Gonzales v. CFI of Manila
because she was not recognized either voluntarily or by court action. GR No. L-34395 (1981) || Reserva Troncal

ISSUE *please bear with me, magkakapareho sila ng pangalan… pag kayo nagkaanak
WON a spurious child is entitled to the inheritance. please lagyan niyo ng second name… -___-

RULING FACTS:
The Supreme Court denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration. The doctrine Benito Legarda y dela Paz, son of Benito Legarda y Tuason, died on 1933. He was
that for an illegitimate child other than natural to inherit must be first recognized survived by his widow, Filomena Races and their seven children, one of which is
voluntarily or by court action is well settled in our jurisprudence. Petitioners petitioner Beatriz Gonzales. In 1939, the real properties left by Tuason were
raised the argument that under Article 287 of the New Civil Code which reads: partitioned in 3 equal portions by his daughters and the heirs of the deceased
"Illegitimate children other than natural in accordance with Article 269 and other Dela Paz. Filomena Legarda (one of their daughters) died intestate and without
than natural children by legal fiction are entitled to support and such successional issue with her mother as sole heiress (Filomena Races). Mrs Legarda (Filomena
rights as are granted in this, code." The term "other illegitimate children" refers Races) on 1947 executed an affidavit adjudicating extrajudicially to herself the
not only to those who are not natural or merely adulterous or incestuous but also properties which she inherited from her deceased daughter (Filomena Legarda).
includes natural children who were not acknowledged or recognized. In other As a result of the affidavit of adjudication, Filomena Races succeeded her deceased

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

daughter Filomena Legarda as co-owner of the properties held pro indiviso by her line of the first ascendant, brother or sister of the deceased descendant. In the
other six children. In 1953, Filomena Races executed 2 handwritten documents instant case, the properties in question were indubitably reservable properties in
wherein she disposed of the properties, which she inherited from her daughter, in the hands of Mrs. Legarda. The reservation became a certainty when at the time of
favor of the children of her sons, Benito, Alejandro and Jose (16 grandchildren in her death the reserves or relatives within the third degree of the prepositus
all). From 1958 to 1959, Mrs. Legarda and her 6 surviving children partitioned the Filomena Legarda were living or they survived Mrs. Legarda. The court held that
properties consisting of the 1/3 share in the estate of Tuason which the children Mrs. Legarda could not convey in her holographic will to her 16 grandchildren the
inherited in representation of their father Del Paz. Mrs. Legarda (Filomena Races) reservable properties which she had inherited from her daughter Filomena
died in 1967 leaving a will which was admitted to probate. In the testate because the reservable properties did not form part of her estate. The reservoir
proceeding, Petitioner Beatriz Legarda Gonzales filed a motion to exclude from cannot make a disposition mortis cause of the reservable properties as long as the
the inventory of her mother’s estate the properties which she inherited from her reserves survived the reservoir.
deceased daughter, Filomena, on the ground that said properties are
reservable properties which should be inherited by Filomena Legarda’s MARCELINA EDROSO vs. PABLO SABLAN, ET AL.
three sisters and 3 brothers and not by children of Benito, Alejandro and G.R. No. 6878 || RESERVA TRONCAL
Jose Legarda. Benito (apparently the son.. since deads na yung ibang benito), FACTS:
opposed the motion. Without awaiting for the resolution of her motion, petitioner Marcelina Edroso was married to Victoriano Sablan until his death in 1882. In
filed an ordinary civil action against her brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces and this marriage they had a son named Pedro, born in 1881, and who at his father's
her mother’s estate for the purpose of securing a declaration that the said death inherited two parcels of land (situated in the municipality of Pagsanjan,
properties are reservable properties which Mrs. Legarda could not bequeath in Province of Laguna, one of 1 hectare 77 ares and 63 centares, and the other of 1
her holographic will to her grandchildren to the exclusion of her three daughters hectare 6 ares and 26 centares). Pedro also died in 1902, unmarried and
and three sons. without issue, and by his decease the two parcels of land passed through
inheritance to his mother, Marcelina Edroso. Hence Marcelina applied for
Lower Court Ruling: dismissed the complaint as the properties inherited were registration and issuance of title to two parcels of land.
not subject to reserve troncal Two legitimate brothers of Victoriano Sablan — that is, two uncles
german of Pedro Sablan — appeared in the case to oppose the registration,
ISSUE: claiming one of two things: Either that the registration be denied, "or that if
Whether or not the disputed properties are reservable properties under Article granted to her the right reserved by law to the opponents be recorded in the
891 of the Civil Code registration of each parcel."
RTC: Denied. Registration was denied by the trial court, it held that the parcels of
HELD: land in question partake of the nature of property required by law to be reserved
The court held that the disputed properties are indeed reservable properties. In and that in such a case application could only be presented jointly in the names of
reserve troncal (1) a descendant inherited or acquired by gratuitous title property the mother and the said two uncles of Pedro Sablan.
from an ascendant or from a brother or sister; (2) the same property is inherited Hence, the Court of Land Registration denied the registration and the
by another ascendant or is acquired by him by operation of law from the said applicant appealed through a bill of exceptions.
descendant, and (3) the said ascendance should reserve the said property for the The admitted facts were as follows:
benefit of relatives who are within the third degree from the deceased descendant (1) The applicant acquired said lands from her descendant
(prepositus) and who belong to the line from which the said property came. Three Pedro Sablan by inheritance;
transmissions are involved: (1) a first transmission by lucrative title (inheritance (2) Pedro Sablan had acquired them from his ascendant Victoriano
or donation) from an ascendant or brother or sister to the deceased descendant; Sablan, likewise by inheritance;
(2) a posterior transmission, by operation of law (intestate succession or legitime) (3) Victoriano Sablan had likewise acquired them by inheritance from his
from the deceased descendant (causante de la reserve) in favor of another ascendants, Mariano Sablan and Maria Rita Fernandez, they having been
ascendant, the resorvor or reservista, which two transmissions precede the adjudicated to him in the partition of hereditary property had between
reservation, and (3) a third transmissions of the same property (in consequence him and his brothers.
of the reservation) from the reservoir to the reserves (reservatarios) or the
relatives within the third degree from the deceased descendant belonging to the ISSUES:

54
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

1. Whether the property in question is in the nature of a reservable to it, although a limited and revocable one. In a word, the legal title and
property. dominion, even though under a condition, reside in him while he lives.
2. What are the rights in the property of the person who holds it subject to After the right required by law to be reserved has been assured, he can
the reservation of article 811 of the Civil Code? do anything that a genuine owner can do.
3. Whether Marcelina Edroso has the absolute title of the property to cause On the other hand, the relatives within the third degree in
its registration. whose favor the right is reserved cannot dispose of the property, first
because it is no way, either actually, constructively or formally, in their
RULING: possession; and, moreover, because they have no title of ownership or
1. YES. A very definite conclusion of law is that the hereditary title is one of fee simple which they can transmit to another, on the hypothesis that
without a valuable consideration [gratuitous title], and it is so only when the person who must reserve the right should die before
characterized in article 968 of the Civil Code, for he who acquires by them will they acquire it, thus creating a fee simple, and only then will
inheritance gives nothing in return for what he receives; and a very they take their place in the succession of the descendant of whom they
definite conclusion of law also is that the uncles german are within the are relatives within the third degree, that is to say, a second contingent
third degree of blood relationship. place in said legitimate succession in the fashion of aspirants to a
"The ascendant who inherits from his possible future legacy. If any of the persons in whose favor the right is
descendant property which the latter acquired without a reserved should, after their right has been assured in the registry, dare
valuable consideration from another ascendant, or from to dispose of even nothing more than the fee simple of the property to
a brother or sister, is under obligation to reserve what be reserved his act would be null and void, for, as was definitely
he has acquired by operation of law for the relatives who decided in the decision on appeal of December 30, 1897, it is impossible
are within the third degree and belong to the line to determine the part "that might pertain therein to the relative at the
whence the property proceeded." (Civil Code, art. 811.) time he exercised the right, because in view of the nature and scope of
Marcelina Edroso, ascendant of Pedro Sablan, inherited from the right required by law to be reserved the extent of his right cannot
him these two parcels of land which had acquired without a valuable be foreseen, for it may disappear by his dying before the person
consideration — that is, by inheritance from another ascendant, his required to reserve it, just as it may even become absolute should that
father Victoriano. Having acquired them by operation of law, she is person die."
obligated to reserve them intact for the claimants, who are uncles or In fine: No act of disposal inter vivos of the person required by
relatives within the third degree and belong to the line of law to reserve the right can be impugned by him in whose favor it is
Mariano Sablan and Maria Rita Fernandez, whence the lands reserved, because such person has all, absolutely all, the rights inherent
proceeded. The trial court's ruling that they partake of the nature of in ownership, except that the legal title is burdened with a
property required by law to be reserved is therefore in accordance with condition that the third party acquirer may ascertain from the
the law. registry in order to know that he is acquiring a title subject to a
No error has been incurred in holding that the two parcels condition subsequent. In conclusion, it seems to us that only an act of
of land which are the subject matter of the application are required disposal mortis causa in favor of persons other than relatives within
by law to be reserved, because the interested party has not proved the third degree of the descendant from whom he got the property to
that either of them became her inheritance through the free disposal of be reserved must be prohibited to him, because this alone has been
her son. the object of the law: "To prevent persons outside a family from securing,
by some special accident of life, property that would otherwise have
2. The person required by article 811 to reserve the right has, beyond any remained therein."
doubt at all, the rights of use and usufruct. He has, moreover, for the
reasons set forth, the legal title and dominion, although under a 3. YES. It is well known that the vendee under pacto de retracto acquires
condition subsequent. Clearly he has, under an express provision of the all the rights of the vendor:
law, the right to dispose of the property reserved, and to dispose of is to "The vendee substitutes the vendor in all his rights
alienate, although under a condition. He has the right to recover it, and actions." (Civil Code, art. 1511.)
because he is the one who possesses or should possess it and have title

55
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

If the vendor can register his title, the vendee can also register there as given to Apolonio Florentino III, his posthumos son the property marked
this same title after he has once acquired it. This title, however, in its with the letters A, B, C, D, E, and F in the complaint, a gold rosary, pieces of gold, of
attribute of being disposable, has a condition subsequent annexed — silver and of table service, livestock, palay, some personal property and other
that the alienation the purchaser may make will be terminated, if the objects mentioned in the complaint.
vendor should exercise the right granted him by article 1507, which That Apolonio Florentino III, the posthumos son of the second marriage,
says: died in 1891; that his mother, Severina Faz de Leon, succeeded to all his property
"Conventional redemption shall take place when described in the complaint; that the widow, Severina Faz de Leon died on
the vendor reserves to himself the right to recover the November 18, 1908, leaving a will instituting as her universal heiress her only
thing sold with the obligation to comply with article living daughter, Mercedes Florentino; that, as such heir, said daughter took
1518, and whatever more may have been agreed upon," possession of all the property left at the death of her mother, Severina Faz de
that is, if he recovers the thing sold by repaying the Leon; that among same is included the property, described in the complaint,
vendee the price of the sale and other expenses. which the said Severina Faz de Leon inherited from her deceased son, the
Notwithstanding this condition subsequent, it is a point posthumos Apolonio, as reservable property; that, as a reservist, the heir of the
not at all doubtful now that the vendee may register his said Mercedes Florentino deceased had been gathering for herself alone the fruits
title in the same way as the owner of a thing mortgaged of lands described in the complaint; that each and every one of the parties
— that is to say, the latter with the consent of his mentioned in said complaint is entitled to one-seventh of the fruits of the
creditor and the former with the consent of the vendor. reservable property described therein.
He may alienate the thing bought when the acquirer That several times the plaintiffs have, in an amicable manner, asked the
knows very well from the title entered in the registry defendants to deliver their corresponding part of the reservable property; that
that he acquires a title revocable after a fixed period, a without any justifiable motive the defendants have refused and do refuse to
thing much more certain and to be expected than the deliver said property or to pay for its value; that for nine years Mercedes
purely contingent expectation of the person in whose Florentino has been receiving, as rent for the lands mentioned, 360 bundles of
favor is reserved a right to inherit some day what palay at fifty pesos per bundle and 90 bundles of corn at four pesos per bundle;
another has inherited. The purposes of the law would be that thereby the plaintiffs have suffered damages in the sum of fifteen thousand
defeated in not applying to the person who must make four hundred and twenty-eight pesos and fifty-eight centavos, in addition to three
the reservation the provision therein relative to the hundred and eight pesos and fifty-eight centavos for the value of the fruits not
vendee under pacto de retracto, since the argument in gathered, of one thousand pesos (P1,000) for the unjustifiable retention of the
his favor is the more powerful and conclusive; ubi eadem aforementioned reservable property and for the expenses of this suit.
ratio, eadem legis dispositio. Wherefore they pray it be declared that all the foregoing property is
Therefore, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment appealed from, reservable property; that the plaintiffs had and do have a right to the same, in the
and in lieu thereof decide and declare that the applicant is entitled to register quantity and proportion mentioned in the aforementioned paragraph 9 of the
in her own name the two parcels of land which are the subject matter of the complaint; that the defendants Mercedes Florentino and her husband be ordered
application, recording in the registration the right required by article 811 to to deliver to the plaintiffs their share of the property in question, of the palay and
be reserved to either or both of the opponents, Pablo Sablan and of the corn above mentioned, or their value; and that they be condemned to pay
Basilio Sablan, should they survive her; without special finding as to costs. the plaintiffs the sum of one thousand pesos (P1,000) together with the costs of
this instance
Florentino v. Florentino
GR No. 14856 RTC: decided the case by absolving the defendants from the complaint on the
FACTS: ground that art 811 is absolutely inapplicable to the instant case, inasmuch as the
Apolonio Isabelo Florentino executed a will before the notary public of defendant Mercedes Florentino survived her brother. That the fundamental object
Ilocos Sur, instituting as his universal heirs his aforementioned ten children, the of article 811 of the Code was thereby complied with, inasmuch as the danger that
posthumos Apolonio III and his widow Severina Faz de Leon; that he declared, in the property coming from the same line might fall into the hands of strangers had
one of the paragraphs of said will, all his property should be divided among all of been avoided; and that the hope or expectation on the part of the plaintiffs of the
his children of both marriages. That, in the partition of the said testator's estate,

56
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

right to acquire the property of the deceased Apolonio III never did come into RTC RULING:
existence because there is a forced heiress who is entitled to such property The RTC declared a listed inventory of properties as belonging to the
estate of the conjugal partnership of Jose Velasquez Sr. and Victorina Real. It also
CA: in favor of the defendants -- in the instant case to apply the pretension of the confirmed all the conveyances executed by Jose Velasquez Sr. during his lifetime.
plaintiffs would be permitting the reservable right to reduce and impair the forced Additionally, it declared null and void all conveyances done by Canuta
legitime which exclusively belongs to the defendant Mercedes Florentino. Pagkatipunan in favor of her children and other relatives. The House and lot in
West ave. was partitioned as half belonging to Canuta Pagkatipunan, and the other
ISSUE: half between the other compulsory heirs.
W/N the property inherited by Mercedes from her mother Severina, which CA RULING:
Severina inherited from her son, is in the nature of reservable property The CA modified the Trial court’s ruling. It held that West Ave. house
should be divided into 2, one half to 2nd wife and her children, the other half to
HELD: the husband and his heirs. The trial court also cancelled all donations inter vivos
Yes. even if Severina left in her will said property, together with her own, to her executed by Jose Velasquez to his children with Canuta and decreed as simulated
only daughter and forced heiress, Mercedes Florentino, the had not lost its sale and resale of Canuta to siblings of the property in the name of Sps. Jose and
reservable nature inasmuch as it originated from the common ancestor of the Victorina Velasquez.
litigants, Apolonio Isabelo.
According to article 811 of the Civil Code Severina Faz de Leon was in duty bound ISSUE:
to reserve the property thus acquired for the benefit of the relatives, within the The trial and appellate courts properly adjudicated the shares of Jose Velasquez’s
third degree, of the line from which such property came. Any ascendant who heirs?
inherits from his descendant any property, while there are living, within the third
degree, relatives of the latter, is nothing but a life usufructuary or a fiduciary of HELD:
the reservable property received. No. The SC ruled that both the trial court and the respondent Intermediate
SC reversed the decision appealed from. Appellate Court failed to consider some basic principles observed in the law on
succession. Such an oversight renders the appealed decision defective. The lower
Nieva v. Alcala courts failed to consider among others, the following provisions of the Civil Code:
Art. 908. To determine the legitime, the value of the property left
Sumaya v. IAC at the death of the testator shall be considered, deducting all
debts and charges, which shall not include those imposed in the
Carillo v. De Paz will.
To the net value of the hereditary estate, shall be added the value
COMPUTATION OF LEGITIME of all donations by the testator that are subject to collation, at the
Pagkatipunan v. IAC time he made them.
GR No. 70722 || Computation of Legitime
FACTS: Art. 1061. Every compulsory heir, who succeeds with other
Jose Velasquez, Sr. was married to Victorina Real, they had 5 children. compulsory heirs, must bring into the mass of the estate any
When Victorina died, Jose contracted marriage with Canuta Pagkatipunan. Canuta property or right which he may have received from the decedent,
bore him 13 children. The conjugal partnership with Victorina was not liquidated during the lifetime of the latter, by way of donation, or any other
and Jose enjoyed full possession of the conjugal properties. When Jose Velasquez gratuitous title, in order that it may be computed in the
died, the 2nd conjugal partnership with Canuta was also not liquidated and determination of the legitime of each heir, and in the account of
Canuta possessed the properties. the partition.
This situation gave rise to the controversies in the instant case spawned
by the parties' conflicting claims from both sides of the two marriages. Art. 909. Donations given to children shall be charged to their
Commissioners determined 27 lots belonged to conjugal partnership of first legitime.
marriage.

57
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Donations made to strangers shall be charged to that part of the whereas based on the deed of donation, the owner of the adjacent property is
estate of which the testator could have disposed by his last will. Fortunato Doronio. Furthermore, said deed of donation remained a private
Insofar as they may be inofficious or may exceed the disposable document as it was never notarized.
portion, they shall be reduced according to the rules established According to petitioners, they are now the owners of the entire
by this Code. property in view of the private deed of donation propter nuptias in favor of their
It appears that there was no determination whatsoever of the gross value predecessors, Marcelino Doronio and Veronica Pico.
of the conjugal properties of Jose Velasquez, Sr. and Victorina Real. Obviously it is Respondents, on the other hand, claim that only half of the property
impossible to determine the conjugal share of Jose Velasquez, Sr. from the said was actually incorporated in the said deed of donation because it stated that
property relationship. Likewise, no collation of the donations he executed during Fortunato Doronio, instead of Zacarias Najorda and Alejandro Najorda, is the
his lifetime was undertaken by the trial court. Thus, it would be extremely difficult owner of the adjacent property at the eastern side. Respondents posit that the
to ascertain whether or not such donations trenched on the heirs' legitime so that donors respected and segregated the possession of Fortunato Doronio of the
the same may be considered subject to reduction for being inofficious. eastern half of the land. They are the ones who have been possessing said land
With the avowed specific provisions of the aforesaid laws respecting occupied by their predecessor, Fortunato Doronio.
collation, which are ruled controlling even in intestate succession, this Court finds The heirs of Marcelino Doronio and Veronica Pico filed with the RTC in
that the lower court's ruling adjudicating the remaining portion of the conjugal Urdaneta, Pangasinan a petition For the Registration of a Private Deed of
estate to the private respondents is purely speculative and conjectural. Donation. During the hearings, no one interposed an objection to the petition.
The case was remanded to the RTC in Laguna to determine gross value of the After the RTC ordered a general default, the petition was eventually granted. This
conjugal properties of the 1st marriage; determine the legitime, value of property led to the registration of the deed of donation, cancellation of OCT No. 352 and
left by testator, deduction of debts and charges; and to charge donations received issuance of a new Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 44481 in the names of
by compulsory heirs to their legitimes, those received by strangers to the free Marcelino Doronio and Veronica Pico.
portion. Seven months later, the heirs of Fortunato Doronio filed a pleading before
the RTC. The petition was for the reconsideration of the decision of the RTC that
THE HEIRS OF MARCELINO DORONIO vs. THE HEIRS OF FORTUNATO DORONIO ordered the registration of the subject deed of donation. It was prayed in the
G.R. No. 169454 || Computation of Legitime petition that an order be issued declaring null and void the registration of the
FACTS: private deed of donation and that TCT No. 44481 be cancelled. However, the
Spouses Simeon Doronio and Cornelia Gante, now both deceased, were petition was dismissed since it had already become final as it was not appealed.
the registered owners of a parcel of land located at Barangay Cabalitaan, Asingan, Respondent heirs of Fortunato Doronio (as plaintiffs) filed an action for
Pangasinan covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 352. The spouses reconveyance and damages with prayer for preliminary injunction against
had children but the records fail to disclose their number. It is clear, however, that petitioner heirs of Marcelino Doronio before the RTC of Urdaneta City,
Marcelino Doronio and Fortunato Doronio, now both deceased, were among them Pangasinan. Respondents contended, among others, that the subject land is
and that the parties in this case are their heirs. Petitioners are the heirs of different from what was donated as the descriptions of the property under OCT
Marcelino Doronio, while respondents are the heirs of Fortunato Doronio. A No. 352 and under the private deed of donation were different. They posited that
private deed of donation propter nuptias was executed by spouses Simeon spouses Simeon Doronio and Cornelia Gante intended to donate only one-half of
Doronio and Cornelia Gante in favor of Marcelino Doronio and the latter’s wife, the property.
Veronica Pico. One of the properties subject of said deed of donation is the one RTC DECISION: ruled in favor of petitioner heirs of Marcelino Doronio. It
that it described as follows: concluded that the parties admitted the identity of the land which they all occupy;
A piece of residential land located in the barrio of Cabalitian on the east by that a title once registered under the torrens system cannot be defeated by
Fortunato Doronio; on the south by Geminiano Mendoza and on the west by a road adverse, open and notorious possession or by prescription; that the deed of
to Villasis.Constructed on said land is a house of light materials also a part of the donation in consideration of the marriage of the parents of petitioners is valid,
dowry. hence, it led to the eventual issuance of TCT No. 44481 in the names of said
It appears that the property described in the deed of donation is the one parents; and that respondent heirs of Fortunato Doronio (plaintiffs) are not
covered by OCT No. 352. However, there is a significant discrepancy with respect entitled to damages as they are not the rightful owners of the portion of the
to the identity of the owner of adjacent property at the eastern side. Based on OCT property they are claiming.
No. 352, the adjacent owners are Zacarias Najorda and Alejandro Najorda,

58
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

CA DECISION: reversed and set aside the RTC. The appellate court determined proceedings commenced without summons and prosecuted without regular
that (t)he intention to donate half of the disputed property to appellees pleadings, which are characteristics of ordinary actions. A special proceeding
predecessors can be gleaned from the disparity of technical descriptions must therefore be in the nature of a distinct and independent proceeding for
appearing in the title (OCT No. 352) of spouses Simeon Doronio and Cornelia particular relief, such as may be instituted independently of a pending action, by
Gante and in the deed of donation propter nuptias executed in favor of appellees petition or motion upon notice.
predecessors. Taking note that the boundaries of the lot donated to Marcelino Before any conclusion about the legal share due to a compulsory
Doronio and Veronica Pico differ from the boundaries of the land owned by heir may be reached, it is necessary that certain steps be taken first. The net
spouses Simeon Doronio and Cornelia Gante, the CA concluded that spouses estate of the decedent must be ascertained, by deducting all payable
Simeon Doronio and Cornelia Gante donated only half of the property covered by obligations and charges from the value of the property owned by the
OCT No. 352. The CA ruled that the donation of the entire property in favor of deceased at the time of his death; then, all donations subject to collation
petitioner’s predecessors is invalid on the ground that it impairs the legitime of would be added to it. With the partible estate thus determined, the legitime
respondents predecessor, Fortunato Doronio of the compulsory heir or heirs can be established; and only then can it be
Regarding the allegation of petitioners that OCT No. 352 is inadmissible ascertained whether or not a donation had prejudiced the legitimes.
in evidence, the CA pointed out that, while the OCT is written in the Spanish VALIDITY OF DONATION: NOT VALID. Under the provisions of the Civil
language, this document already forms part of the records of this case for failure Code, a void contract is inexistent from the beginning. The right to set up the
of appellees to interpose a timely objection when it was offered as evidence in the defense of its illegality cannot be waived. The right to set up the nullity of a void or
proceedings a quo. It is a well-settled rule that any objection to the admissibility of non-existent contract is not limited to the parties as in the case of annullable or
such evidence not raised will be considered waived and said evidence will have to voidable contracts; it is extended to third persons who are directly affected by the
form part of the records of the case as competent and admitted evidence. contract.
Consequently, although respondents are not parties in the deed of
ISSUE: donation, they can set up its nullity because they are directly affected by the
WHETHER OR NOT THE COMPUTATION OF THE LEGITIMES IN THE CASE AT same.The subject of the deed being the land they are occupying, its enforcement
BAR WAS PROPER; WHETHER OR NOT THE DONATION PROPTER NUPTIAS will definitely affect them. Petitioners cannot use the finality of the RTC decision
WAS VALID in Petition Case No. U-920 as a shield against the verification of the validity of the
deed of donation. According to petitioners, the said final decision is one for
HELD: quieting of title. In other words, it is a case for declaratory relief under Rule 64
NOT PROPER. (now Rule 63) of the Rules of Court, which provides that any person interested
COMPUTATION OF LEGITIMES: Petitioners are correct in alleging that the issue under a deed, will, contract or other written instrument, or whose rights are
regarding the impairment of legitime of Fortunato Doronio must be resolved in an affected by a statute, executive order or regulation, or ordinance, may, before
action for the settlement of estates of spouses Simeon Doronio and Cornelia breach or violation thereof, bring an action to determine any question of
Gante. It may not be passed upon in an action for reconveyance and damages. A construction or validity arising under the instrument
probate court, in the exercise of its limited jurisdiction, is the best forum to Suits to quiet title are not technically suits in rem, nor are they, strictly
ventilate and adjudge the issue of impairment of legitime as well as other related speaking, in personam, but being against the person in respect of the res, these
matters involving the settlement of estate. proceedings are characterized as quasi in rem.The judgment in such proceedings
An action for reconveyance with damages is a civil action, whereas is conclusive only between the parties. Thus, respondents are not bound by the
matters relating to settlement of the estate of a deceased person such as decision in Petition Case No. U-920 as they were not made parties in the said case.
advancement of property made by the decedent, partake of the nature of a The rules on quieting of title expressly provide that any declaration in a suit to
special proceeding. Special proceedings require the application of specific quiet title shall not prejudice persons who are not parties to the action.
rules as provided for in the Rules of Court.
It may accordingly be stated generally that actions include those DISINHERITANCE
proceedings which are instituted and prosecuted according to the ordinary rules Chua v. Cabangbang
and provisions relating to actions at law or suits in equity, and that special 27 SCRA 791 || Disinheritance
proceedings include those proceedings which are not ordinary in this sense, but is FACTS:
instituted and prosecuted according to some special mode as in the case of

59
Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Pacita Chua, when still in the prime of youth, supported herself by working in CFI OF RIZAL: Petition dismissed. It will be for the welfare of the child Betty Chua
nightclubs as a hostess. And sexual liaison she had with man after man without Sy also known as Grace Cabangbang to be under the custody of respondents Mr.
benefit of marriage. She first lived with a certain Chua Ben in 1950 by whom she and Mrs. Bartolome Cabangbang.
had a child who died in infancy. She afterwards cohabited with Sy Sia Lay by ISSUES:
whom she had two children named Robert and Betty Chua Sy. The latter child was (1) The lower court erred when it awarded the custody of petitioner's daughter
born on December 15, 1957. Shortly after the birth of Betty, Pacita Chua and Sy Betty Chua Sy or Grace Cabangbang, who is less than seven (7) years old, in favor
Sia Lay separated. Finding no one to fall back on after their separation, Pacita of respondents Mr. and Mrs. Bartolome Cabangbang.
Chua lingered in and around nightclubs and gambling joints, until she met Victor (2) Illegally deprived petitioner of parental authority over her daughter."
Tan Villareal. In due time she became the latter's mistress. In 1960 another child, HELD:
a girl, was born to her. In 1961 when this last child was still an infant, she and Both issues resolved against the petitioner.
Villareal separated. Without means to support the said child, Pacita Chua gave her I. Whether the petitioner can be legally separated from her child, Betty Chua Sy
away to acomadre in Cebu. or Grace Cabangbang, is an issue that is now moot and academic. Having been
Sometime in May 1958 Bartolome Cabangbang and his wife, a childless couple, born on December 15, 1957, the child is now 11 years of age. Consequently, the
acquired the custody of the child Betty who was then barely four months old. They second paragraph of art. 363 of the Civil Code, which prohibits the separation of a
have since brought her up as their own. They had her christened as Grace child under seven years of age from her mother, "unless the court finds
Cabangbang on September 12, 1958. compelling reasons for such measure," has no immediate relevance. The
There is some testimonial conflict on how the Cabangbang spouses acquired petitioner correctly argues, however, that the reasons relied upon by the lower
custody of the girl Betty (or Grace), Pacita Chua avers that in October 1958, while court —i.e., "petitioner is not exactly an upright woman" and "it will be for the
she and Villareal were still living together, the latter surreptitiously took the child welfare of the child" — are not strictly speaking, proper grounds in law to deprive
away and gave her to the Cabangbangs, allegedly in recompense for favors a mother of her inherent right to parental authority over her child. It must be
received. She supposedly came to know of the whereabouts of her daughter, only conceded that minor children — be they legitimate, recognized natural, adopted,
in 1960 when the girl, who was then about three years old, was brought to her by natural by legal fiction or illegitimate, other than natural as specified in art. 269 of
Villareal, who shortly thereafter returned the child to the Cabangbangs allegedly the Civil Code — are by law under the parental authority of both the father and
thru threats intimidation, fraud and deceit. The Cabangbang spouses assert in the mother, or either the father or the mother, as the case may be. But the court
rebuttal that Mrs. Cabangbang found the child, wrapped in a bundle, at the gate of take the view that on the basis of the aforecited seemingly unpersuasive factual
their residence; that she reared her as her own and grew very fond of her; and premises, the petitioner can be deprived of her parental authority. For while in
that nobody ever molested them until the child was 5-½ years of age one breath art. 313 of the Civil Code lays down the rule that "Parental authority
cannot be renounced or transferred, except in cases of guardianship or adoption
LOWER COURT: That the child was given to the Cabangbang spouses by Villareal approved by the courts, or emancipation by concession," it indicates in the next
with the knowledge and consent of Pacita Chua. that "The courts may, in cases specified by law deprive parents of their [parental]
By letter dated June 6, 1963 addressed to the Cabangbang spouses, with copy authority." And there are indeed valid reasons, as will presently be expounded, for
furnished to Villareal, Pacita Chua thru counsel demanded the surrender to her of depriving the petitioner of parental authority over the minor Betty Chua Sy or
the custody of the child. Failing to secure such custody, Pacita Chua filed on June Grace Cabangbang.
14, 1963 a petition for habeas corpus with the CFI of Rizal, praying that the court It is the lower court's finding that the child was given to the Cabangbangs by
grant her custody of and recognize her parental authority over the girl. Named Villareal with the knowledge and consent of the petitioner. In support of this
respondents in the petition were Villareal and the spouses Cabangbang. finding, it cited the facts that the petitioner did not at all — not ever — report to
On June 15, 1963 a writ was issued commanding the provincial sheriff of Rizal or the authorities the alleged disappearance of her daughter, and had not taken any
any of his deputies to produce the body of Betty Chua Sy or Grace Cabangbang step to see the child when she allegedly discovered that she was in the custody of the
before the court a quo on June 17, 1963, at 8:30 a.m. However, for reasons not Cabangbangs. It discounted the petitioner's claim that she did not make any move
stated in the record, the child was not produced before the lower court as to recover the child because the Cabangbangs are powerful and influential. The
ordered. petitioner is bound by the foregoing findings of fact. Having taken her appeal
On June 21, 1963 Villareal filed his answer to the petition. The Cabangbangs filed directly to this Court, she is deemed to have waived the right to dispute any
their answer the next day. finding of fact made by the trial court.
Art. 332 of the Civil Code provides, inter alia:

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

The courts may deprive the parents of their authority or suspend the thereafter she did not once move to recover the child. She continuously shunned
exercise of the same if they should treat their children with excessive the natural and legal obligations which she owed to the child; completely withheld
harshness or should give them corrupting orders, counsels, or examples, her presence, her love, her care, and the opportunity to display maternal affection;
or should make them beg or abandon them. (emphasis supplied) and totally denied her support and maintenance. Her silence and inaction have
Abandonment is therefore one of the grounds for depriving parents of parental been prolonged to such a point that her abandonment of the child and her total
authority over their children. relinquishment of parental claim over her, can and should be inferred as a matter
Was the petitioner's acquiescence to the giving by Villareal of her child to the of law.
Cabangbangs tantamount to abandonment of the child? To the mind of the court, Note that this was not the only instance when she gave away a child of her own
mere acquiescence — without more — is not sufficient to constitute flesh and blood. She gave up her youngest child, named Betty Tan Villareal, to
abandonment. But the record yields a host of circumstances which, in their her comadre in Cebu because she could not support it.
totality, unmistakably betray the petitioner's settled purpose and intention to Of incalculable significance is the fact that nowhere in the course of the
completely forego all parental response possibilities and forever relinquish all petitioner's lengthy testimony did she ever express a genuine desire to recover
parental claim in respect to the child. her child Betty Chua Sy or Grace Cabangbang — or, for that matter, her other child
She surrendered the custody of her child to the Cabangbangs in 1958. She waited Betty Tan Villareal — because she loves her, cares for her, and wants to smother
until 1963, or after the lapse of a period of five long years, before she brought her with motherly affection. Far from it. She wants Betty Chua Sy or Grace
action to recover custody. Her claim that she did not take any step to recover her Cabangbang back so that the alleged father would resume giving her (the
child because the Cabangbangs were powerful and influential, does not deserve petitioner) support. She wants her back to humiliate and embarrass the
any modicum of credence. A mother who really loves her child would go to any respondent Villareal who, with her knowledge and consent, gave the child to the
extent to be reunited with her. The natural and normal reaction of the petitioner Cabangbangs. But — "most unkindest cut of all"! — she nevertheless signified her
— once informed, as she alleged, and her child was in the custody of the readiness to give up the child, in exchange for a jeep and some money.
Cabangbangs — should have been to move heaven and earth, to use a worn-out THE Court therefore affirm the lower court's decision, not on the grounds cited
but still respectable cliche, in order to recover her. Yet she lifted not a finger. by it, but upon a ground which the court overlooked — i.e., abandonment by the
It is a matter of record — being the gist of her own unadulterated testimony petitioner of her child.
under oath — that she wants the child back so that Sy Sia Lay, the alleged father, Contrast the petitioner's attitude with that of the respondents Cabangbang —
would resume providing the petitioner the support which he peremptorily especially the respondent Flora Cabangbang who, from the moment the child was
withheld and ceased to give when she gave the child away. A woman scorned, she given to them, took care of her as if she were her own flesh and blood, had her
desires to recover the child as a means of embarrassing Villareal who retrieved baptized, and when she reached school age enrolled her in a reputable exclusive
the jeep he gave her and altogether stopped living with and supporting her. But school, for girls. Ironically enough, the real heart-rending tragedy in this case
the record likewise reveals that at the pre-trial conducted by the court a quo, she would consist not in taking the child away from the Cabangbangs but in returning
expressed her willingness that the child remain with the Cabangbangs provided her to the custody of the petitioner.
the latter would in exchange give her a jeep and some money. For, by her own admission, the petitioner has no regular source of income, and it
The petitioner's inconsistent demands in the course of the proceedings is doubtful, to say the very least, that she can provide the child with the barest
below, reveal that her motives do not flow from the wellsprings of a loving necessities of life, let alone send her to school. There is no insurance at all that the
mother's heart. Upon the contrary, they are unmistakably selfish — nay, alleged father, Sy Sia Lay — an unknown quantity, as far as the record goes —
mercenary. She needs the child as a leverage to obtain concessions — financial would resume giving the petitioner support once she and the child are reunited.
and otherwise — either from the alleged father or the Cabangbangs. If she gets the What would then prevent the petitioner from again doing that which she did
child back, support for her would be forthcoming so she thinks — from the alleged before, i.e., give her away? These are of course conjectures, but when the welfare
father, Sy Sia Lay. On the other hand, if the Cabangbangs would keep the child, she of a helpless child is at stake, it is the bounden duty of courts — which they cannot
would agree provided they gave her a jeep and some money. shirk — to respect, enforce, and give meaning and substance to a child's
Indeed, the petitioner's attitude,does nothing but confirm her intention to natural and legal right to live and grow in the proper physical, moral and
abandon the child — from the very outset when she allowed Villareal to give her intellectual environment. 5
away to the Cabangbangs. It must be noted that the abandonment took place This is not to say that with the Cabangbang spouses, a bright and secure future is
when the child, barely four months old, was at the most fragile stage of life and guaranteed for her. For life is beset at every turn with snares and pitfalls. But the
needed the utmost care and solicitude of her mother. And for five long years record indubitably pictures the Cabangbang spouses as a childless couple of

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

consequence in the community, who have given her their name and are rearing
her as their very own child, and with whom there is every reason to hope she will LEGACIES V. DEVISES
have a fair chance of normal growth and development into respectable Fuentes v. Canon
womanhood.
Verily, to surrender the girl to the petitioner would be to assume — quite Chiong Joc-Soy v. Vano
incorrectly — that only mothers are capable of parental love and affection. Upon GR No. 48840 || Legacies and Devises
the contrary, this case precisely underscores the homiletic admonition that FACTS:
parental love is not universal and immutable like a law of natural science. Genoveva Rosales, resident of Cebu, in her will, gave Chiong Joc-Soy (petioner
II. herein) 50,000 pesos (Mexican Currency), 20,000 as a gift and 30,000 for the
The absence of any kinship between the child and the Cabangbangs alone cannot burial expenses of her husband. After Genoveva’s death, the will was probated and
serve to bar the lower court from awarding her custody to them. Indeed, the law was duly proved. Subsequently, Joc-Soy filed a petition for the settlement of the
provides that in certain cases the custody of a child may be awarded even to estate of the deceased and to pay him the 50,000 mentioned in the will.
strangers, as against either the father or the mother or against both. Thus, in CFI RULING: Administrator ordered to pay Joc-Soy 20k. BUT another order was
proceedings involving a child whose parents are separated — either legally or de given, the 30k, Mexican currency, or equivalent in PH currency, be paid at the day
facto — and where it appears that both parents are improper persons to whom to of the decision, with interest of 6%/annum from the presentation of the claim.
entrust the care, custody and control of the child, "the court may either designate Petitioner and some of the heirs, herein respondent, appealed. No appeal was
the paternal or maternal grandparent of the child, or his oldest brother or sister, taken by anyone from the order probating the will.
or some reputable and discreet person to take charge of such child, or commit it to
and suitable asylum, children's home, or benevolent society." 6 ISSUE/S:
Parenthetically, sections 6 and 7 of Rule 99 of the Rules of Court belie the (1) WoN the will was executed in accordance with the law;
petitioner's contention that the first sentence of art. 363 of the Civil Code, which (2) WoN needs to pay the respondents bond as security as stated in Art. 882 (Art.
states that 797 in this case).
In all questions on the care, custody, education and property of children,
the latter's welfare shall be paramount..... HELD:
applies only when the litigation involving a child is between the father and the (1) Yes, the judgment of the probate court in such case stands like any other
mother. That the policy enunciated, in the abovequoted legal provision is of decision of a court of competent jurisdiction. Its judgments are binding
general application, is evident from the use of the, adjective all — meaning, the upon the parties interested and their validity, in the absence of any proof
whole extent or quantity of, the entire number of, every one of. It is, therefore, of fraud or accidents, or mistakes, can be called in question only by an
error to argue that if the suit involving a child's custody is between a parent and a appeal. In this case there is no suggestion of the existence of any of those
stranger, the law must necessarily award such custody to the parent. Sec 7, Rule things. There is no claim made that the heirs were not properly notified
99 of the Rules of Court, precisely contemplates, among others, a suit between a of the hearing upon the probate of the will and nothing to indicate that
parent and a stranger who, in the words of the provision, is "some reputable they were not present and took part in that hearing.
resident of the province." And under the authority of the said rule, the court — if it
is for the best interest of the child — may take the child away from its parents and (2) No, from the first paragraph of this article it is apparent that there is a
commit it to, inter alia, a benevolent person. presumption in cases of this kind that the legacy is not conditional, and
Sec. 1, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court provides that "Except as otherwise unless it clearly appears in the will that it was the intention of the
expressly provided by law, the writ of habeas corpus shall extend to all cases of testatrix in this case to make the legacy conditional, the words used must
illegal confinement or detention by which any person is deprived of his liberty, or be considered as not imposing any condition. That she wished and
by which the rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled desired the petitioner to expend the 30,000 pesos as indicated in the will
thereto." The petitioner has not proven that she is entitled to the rightful custody is apparent, but the question is, did she intend to make her gift
of Betty Chua Sy or Grace Cabangbang. Upon the contrary, by wantonly and conditional, or did she rely upon her confidence in the petitioner that he
completely shunting aside her legal and moral obligations toward her child, she would carry out her suggestion without the necessity of imposing a
must be deemed as having forfeited all legitimate legal and moral claim to her condition upon him? It appears that the husband of the testatrix was a
custody. The lower court acted correctly in dismissing her petition. Chinaman; that she was a Filipina, and that the legatee was Chinaman.

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

The manner in which persons of Chinese descent spend money to 2) NO


perpetuate the memory of a deceased person of their race does not Article 884 of the Code must be applied, which provides that interest
appear, nor the amount that they are accustomed so to expend, nor the from the time of the testator's death shall be given the legatee if the
time during which it may be expended. All these circumstances were testator has expressly so provided. With reference to the present
doubtless known to the testatrix and we believe that knowing them she opponent, it appears that the testratrix has not clearly and expressly provided
intentionally selected a person of Chinese birth to carry out her purposes for the payment of the interest upon the P10,000 legacy; according to the last-
in these regard. We hold, therefore, that they legacy is not conditional. named article it is clear that the opponent is not entitled to the interest
claimed.
PHILTRUST COMPANY V. WEBBER Generic legacies or legacies of quantity, like the one adjudicated to the
GR No. L-34480 || Legacies and Devises opponent, do not draw legal interest until a demand is made for them; and a
FACTS: legacy cannot be legally demanded before the scheme of partition is duly
This appeal has been taken from an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila approved by the probate court.
entered in the course of the present proceedings and providing as follows: Cash legacy does not earn interest until the person bound to deliver it — in this
In view of the foregoing (1) the item of two thousand pesos (P2,000) for case the judicial administrator — is in default.
attorney's fees in the final account submitted by the administrator is hereby
approved; but the scheme of partition must be amended so as to charge this sum
proportionally to the estate of each of the spouses, Herman Frankel and Mrs.
Frankel.
(2) The opposition of Anna Hartske, her son Charles Robinson, Clara Webber and Legal or Intestate Succession
her daughter, Gertrude Webber, to the scheme of partition is disallowed together Testate Estate of Adriana Maloto v. CA
with every other opposition. GR No. 76464 || Doctrine of Dependent Relative Revocation
(3) Clara Webber's opposition in the matter of the jewels is also overruled. FACTS:
(4) Lastly, Frema Fischler's opposition with reference to the payment of interest On October 20, 1963, Adriana Maloto died leaving as heirs her niece and
upon the principal of her legacy is also overruled. nephews, the petitioners AldinaMaloto-Casiano and Constancio, Maloto, and the
private respondents PanfiloMaloto and FelinoMaloto. Believing that the deceased
ISSUE: did not leave behind a last will and testament, these four heirs commenced on
1) Whether or not the contention of Webber with regard to the jewelry is correct. November 4, 1963 an intestate proceeding for the settlement of their aunt's estate
2) Whether or not Fischler is entitled to interest upon her legacy. in the CFI of Iloilo. While the case was still pending the parties — Aldina,
Constancio, Panfilo, and Felino — executed an agreement of extrajudicial
HELD: settlement of Adriana's estate. The agreement provided for the division of the
1) NO estate into four equal parts among the parties. The Malotos then presented the
Mrs. Clara Webber filed an additional opposition to the scheme of partition in extrajudicial settlement agreement to the trial court for approval which the court
so far as it gives her one-half of the jewelry. She contends that inasmuch as did on March 21, 1964. 3 years later, Atty. Sulpicio Palma, a former associate of
the will gives her one-half of said jewelry, and as it value has depreciated Adriana's counsel, the late Atty. Eliseo Hervas, discovered a document entitled
considerable, being hardly worth P500 at present, it is a serious error and a "KATAPUSAN NGA PAGBUBULAT-AN (Testamento)," dated January 3,1940, and
manifest lack of equity to appraise its value at P2,995.50, adjudicating to her purporting to be the last will and testament of Adriana. Atty. Palma claimed to
one-half thereof. She proposes that the jewelry be sold and the proceeds have found the testament, the original copy, while he was going through some
divided equally between her and the other legatee. This contention is not materials inside the cabinet drawer formerly used by Atty. Hervas. The document
well taken; first, because the will of the testratrix must be carried out was submitted to the clerk of court of the Iloilo CFI. Incidentally, while Panfilo and
where it provides that one- half of the jewelry itself is to be given to this Felino are still named as heirs in the said will, Aldina and Constancio are
opponent; and secondly, because there is no need of selling the jewelry; bequeathed much bigger and more valuable in the estate of Adriana than what
as for the value, that is reasonable because it was fixed by the committee they received by virtue of the agreement of extrajudicial settlement they had
of appraisal, and no proper objection was entered in due time. earlier signed. The will likewise gives devises and legacies to other parties, among
them being the petitioners Asilo de Molo, the Roman Catholic Church of Molo, and

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

PurificacionMiraflor. Aldina and Constancio, joined by the other devisees and Ortanez-Enderes v. CA
legatees named in the will, filed in the same court which approved the EJ
settelement a motion for reconsideration and annulment of the proceedings
therein and for the allowance of the will which was denied by the CFI. Administrative Matter 190 – RET
Upon petition to the SC for certiorari and mandamus, the SC dismissed
that petition and advised that a separate proceeding for the probate of the alleged
will would be the appropriate vehicle to thresh out the matters raised by the Bagunu vs Piedad
petitioners. The CFI and CA found that the will to be probated had been revoked G.R. No. 140975. December 8, 2000|| Intestate Succession
by the burning thereof by the housemaid upon instruction of the testatrix.
FACTS:
ISSUE: Augusto H. Piedad died intestate without any direct descendants or ascendants.
Whether the will was revoked by Adriana The trial court awarded the entire estate to respondent PastoraPiedad.
PastoraPiedadis the maternal aunt of Augusto.
HELD:
No. The provisions of the new Civil Code pertinent to the issue can be Petitioner Ofelia Hernando Bagunu moved to intervene in Special Proceedings No.
found in Article 830. The physical act of destruction of a will, like burning in this 3652, entitled "In the Matter of the Intestate Proceedings of the Estate of Augusto
case, does not per se constitute an effective revocation, unless the destruction is H. Piedad.” She contends that she has a right to succession given that she is the
coupled with animus revocandi on the part of the testator. It is not imperative that daughter of the first cousin of Augusto H. Piedad.
the physical destruction be done by the testator himself. It may be performed She contends that the proceedings were tainted with procedural infirmities,
byanother person but under the express direction and in the presence of the including an incomplete publication of the notice of hearing, lack of personal
testator. Of course, it goes without saying that the document destroyed must be notice to the heirs and creditors, and irregularity in the disbursements of
the will itself. "Animus revocandi” is only one of the necessary elements for the allowances and withdrawals by the administrator of the estate.
effective revocation of a last will and testament. The intention to revoke must be
accompanied by the overt physical act of burning, tearing, obliterating, or The RTC denied the motion, prompting petitioner to raise her case to the Court of
cancelling the will carried out by the testator or by another person in his presence Appeals.
and under his express direction. There is paucity of evidence to show compliance
with these requirements. For one, the document or papers burned by Adriana's Respondent sought the dismissal of the appeal on the thesis that the issues
maid, Guadalupe, was not satisfactorily established to be a will at all, much less brought up on appeal only involved pure questions of law. Finding merit in that
the will of Adriana Maloto. For another, the burning was not proven to have been argument, the CA dismissed the appeal, citing Section 2(c) of Rule 41 of the 1997
done under the express direction of Adriana. And then, the burning was not in her Revised Rules on Civil Procedure which would require all appeals involving
presence. Both witnesses, Guadalupe and Eladio, were one in stating that they nothing else but questions of law to be raised before the Supreme Court by
were the only ones present at the place where the stove (presumably in the petition for review on certiorari in accordance with Rule 45 thereof and
kitchen) was located in which the papers proffered as a will were burned. The two consistently with Circular 2-90 of the Court.
witnesses were illiterate and does not appear to be unequivocably positive that
the document burned was indeed Adriana's will. Guadalupe believed that the Still unsatisfied, petitioner contested the resolution of the appellate court in the
papers she destroyed was the will only because, according to her, Adriana told her instant petition for review on certiorari. The Supreme Court set aside the alleged
so. Eladio, on the other hand, obtained his information that the burned document procedural decrepitude – there was none - and took on the basic substantive
was the will because Guadalupe told him so, thus, his testimony on this point is issue.
double hearsay. It is an important matter of public interest that a purported win is
not denied legalization on dubious grounds. Otherwise, the very institution of ISSUE:
testamentary succession will be shaken to its very foundations. Can petitioner Ofelia Bagunu, a collateral relative of the fifth civil degree, inherit
alongside respondent PastoraPiedad, a collateral relative of the third civil degree?

HELD:

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

NO.
"The latter shall succeed without distinction of lines or preference among
The rule on proximity is a concept that favors the relatives nearest in degree to them by reason of relationship by the whole blood."
the decedent and excludes the more distant ones except when and to the extent
that the right of representation can apply. Thus, Article 962 of the Civil Code "Article 1010. The right to inherit ab intestato shall not extend beyond the
provides: fifth degree of relationship in the collateral line." -

"ART. 962. In every inheritance, the relative nearest in degree excludes the invoked by petitioner do not at all support her cause. The law means only that
more distant ones, saving the right of representation when it properly takes among the other collateral relatives (the sixth in the line of succession), no
place. preference or distinction shall be observed "by reason of relationship by the
whole blood." In fine, a maternal aunt can inherit alongside a paternal uncle, and a
Right of representation is proper only in the descending, never in the ascending first cousin of the full blood can inherit equally with a first cousin of the half blood,
line. In the collateral line, the right of representation may only take place in favor but an uncle or an aunt, being a third-degree relative, excludes the cousins of the
of the children of brothers or sisters of the decedent when such children survive decedent, being in the fourth-degree of relationship; the latter, in turn, would
with their uncles or aunts. have priority in succession to a fifth-degree relative. The Supreme Court denied
the instant petition.
The right of representation does not apply to "other collateral relatives within the
fifth civil degree" (to which group both petitioner and respondent belong) who
are sixth in the order of preference following, firstly, the legitimate children and Salao v. Salao
descendants, secondly, the legitimate parents and ascendants, thirdly, the GR No. L-26699 || Legal or Intestate Succession
illegitimate children and descendants, fourthly, the surviving spouse, and fifthly,
the brothers and sisters/nephews and nieces, of the decedent. Among collateral FACTS:
relatives, except only in the case of nephews and nieces of the decedent The spouses Manuel Salao and Valentina Ignacio of Barrio Dampalit,
concurring with their uncles or aunts, the rule of proximity, expressed in Article Malabon, Rizal begot four children named Patricio, Alejandra, Juan (Banli) and
962, aforequoted, of the Code, is an absolute rule. In determining the degree of Ambrosia. Manuel Salao died in 1885. His eldest son, Patricio, died in 1886
relationship of the collateral relatives to the decedent, Article 966 of the Civil Code survived by his only child, Valentin Salao.|It was partitioned extrajudicially in a deed
gives direction. dated December 29, 1918 but notarized on May 22, 1919. The deed was signed by
her four legal heirs, namely, her three children, Alejandra, Juan and Ambrosia, and
"Article 966. x xx her grandson, Valentin Salao, in representation of his deceased father, Patricio
To each of the legal heirs of Valentina Ignacio was adjudicated a distributive
"In the collateral line, ascent is made to the common ancestor and then share valued at P8,135.25. In satisfaction of his distributive share, Valentin Salao
descent is made to the person with whom the computation is to be made. (who was then already forty-eight years old) was given the biggest fishpond with
Thus, a person is two degrees removed from his brother, three from his an area of 50,469 square meters, a smaller fishpond with an area of 6,989 square
uncle, who is the brother of his father, four from his first cousin and so meters and the riceland with a net area of 9,905 square meters. Those parcels of
forth." land had an aggregate appraised value of P13,501 which exceeded Valentin's
distributive share. So in the deed of partition he was directed to pay to his co-heirs
Respondent PastoraPiedad, being a relative within the third civil degree, of the the sum of P5,365.75. That arrangement, which was obviously intended to avoid
late Augusto H. Piedad excludes petitioner Ofelia Baguna, a relative of the fifth the fragmentation of the lands, was beneficial to Valentin.||| In the deed of partition,
degree, from succeeding ab intestato to the estate of the decedent. itwas expressly stipulated that Ambrosia Salao was not obligated to render any
accounting of her administration|.
The provisions of Article 1009 and Article 1010 of the Civil Code The documentary evidence proves that in 1911 or prior to the death of
Valentina Ignacio her two children, Juan Y. Salao, Sr. and Ambrosia Salao, secured a
"Article 1009. Should there be neither brothers nor sisters nor children of Torrens title, OCT No. 185 of the Registry of Deeds of Pampanga, in their names for
brothers or sisters, the other collateral relatives shall succeed to the estate. a forty-seven-hectare fishpond located at SitioCalunuran, Lubao, Pampanga (Exh.

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

14). It is also known as Lot No. 540 of the Hermosa cadastre because that part of an elaborate "Escritura de Particion" consisting of twenty-two pages had to
Lubao later became a part of Bataan.||| be executed by the four Salao heirs. Surely, for the partition of one
The property was sold a retro and later redeemed. Since then, several of the hundred forty-five hectares of fishponds among three of the same Salao
parties have died and their estates partitioned and thereafter, interest over the heirs an oral adjudication would not have sufficed.
fishpond has been the bone of contention — whether or not the same was held in The improbability of the alleged oral partition becomes more evident when it
trust for Valentin Salao by Juan Y. Salao, Sr. and Ambrosia Salao and whether the is borne in mind that the two fishponds were registered land and "the act
property can still be subject to an action for reconveyance. of registration" is "the operative act" that conveys and affects the land (Sec.
Plaintiffs filed their original complaint in the CFI of Bataan against defendants, 50, Act No. 496). That means that any transaction affecting the registered
asking for the annulment of the donation to Juan S. Salao of a share in the fishpond land should be evidenced by a registerable deed. The fact that Valentin
and for reconveyance to them of the property as Valentin Salao's supposed 1/3 share Salao and his successors-in-interest, the plaintiffs, never bothered for a
in the 145 hectares of the fishpond registered in the name of Juan Y. Salao, Sr. and period of nearly forty years to procure any documentary evidence to
Ambrosia Salao. Juan S. Salao, Jr., in his answer with counterclaim, pleaded as a establish his supposed interest or participation in the two fishponds is
defense the indefeasibility of the Torrens title secured by his father and aunt. He also very suggestive of the absence of such interest
invoked the Statute of Frauds, prescription and laches. Upon his death, he was Now, in the partition of Valentina Ignacio's estate Valentin was obligated to
substituted by his widow, children and the administrator of his estate, the now pay P3,355.25 to ambrosia Salao. If, according to the plaintiffs, Ambrosia
defendants. administered the two fishponds and was the custodian of its earnings, then
it could have been easily stipulated in the deed partitioning Valentina
RTC RULING: The trial court found that there was no community of property Ignacio's estate that the amount due from Valentin would just be deducted
among Juan Salao, Sr., Ambrosia Salao and Valentin Salao when the Calunuran by Ambrosia from his share of the earnings of the two fishponds. There
lands were acquired; that a co-ownership over the real properties of Valentina was no such stipulation. Not a shred of documentary evidence shows
Ignacio existed among her heirs after her death in 1914; that the co- Valentin's participation in the two fishponds.
ownership was administered by Ambrosia Salao and that it subsisted up to There was no resulting trust in this case because there never was any
1918, when her estate was partitioned among her 3 children and grandson, intention on the part of Juan Y. Salao, Sr., Ambrosia Salao and Valentin Salao
Valentin Salao. If further held that the donation was validly executed. to create any trust. There was no constructive trust because the
registration of the two fishponds in the names of Juan and Ambrosia was
CA RULING: Both parties appealed, the plaintiffs, because their action for not vitiated by fraud or mistake. This is not a case where to satisfy the
reconveyance was dismissed, and the defendants, because their counterclaim demands of justice it is necessary to consider the Calunuran fishpond as
for damages was likewise dismissed. The Court of Appeals elevated the case to being held in trust by the heirs of Juan Y. Salao, Sr. for the heirs of Valentin
the Supreme Court as the amount involved exceeded P200,000.00. Salao.And even assuming that there was an implied trust, plaintiffs' action
is clearly barred by prescription or laches.
ISSUE:
Whether or not there is trust in the given case.
SAGUINSIN VS LINDAYAG
RULING: LEGAL OR INTESTATE SUCCESSION
Plaintiffs' pleadings and evidence cannot be relied upon to prove an implied FACTS:
trust. The trial court's firm conclusion that there was no community of On November 10, 1959 Maria V. Lindayag died intestate in Olongapo, Zambales.
property during the lifetime of Valentina Ignacio or before 1914 is On May 27, 1960 her sister, Isabel V. Saguinsin filed with the Court of First
substantiated by defendants' documentary evidence. The existence of the Instance of said province a verified petition for the issuance in her favor of letters
alleged co-ownership over the lands supposedly inherited from Manuel of administration over the estate of said deceased, alleging, among other things,
Salao in 1885 is the basis of plaintiffs' contention that the Calunuran that the latter left real and personal properties situated in the Provinces of
fishpond was held in trust for Valentin Salao.||| Zambales and Bulacan worth approximately P100,000.00;
It is incredible that the forty-seven-hectare Calunuran fishpond would be The surviving heirs were DionisioLindayag, surviving husband, sisters Isabel
adjudicated to Valentin Salao merely by word of mouth. Incredible because Saguinsin, AureaSacdalan and Ines Calayag.
for the partition of the seventeen hectares of land left by Valentina Ignacio

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

On June 21, 1960 Dionisio V. Lindayag, the surviving spouse, in his behalf and in sister, and Gregoria, Juana and Marciano, all surnamed Mirano, who are the
representation of the minors Jesus, Concepcion, and Catherine, all surnamed children of a deceased brother, Martin Mirano.
Lindayag, filed a motion to dismiss the petition on the ground lack of interest in
the estate, she being neither heir nor a creditor thereof. The motion alleged that 2 parcels of land: Iba Property and Carsuche Property were all in the name of
the late Maria V. Lindayag was survived by her husband — the movant — and Maria Mirano.
their legally adopted minor children named Jesus, Concepcion, and Catherine, all
surnamed Lindayag the decedent having left no legitimate natural or illegitimate RTC: Mirano to be the owners of the 2 parcels
child. A certified true copy of the decision of the Justice of the Peace of Olongapo, CA: affirmed
Zambales, dated July 6, 1953 decreeing the adoption of said minors the decedent
and her husband was attached to the motion. ISSUE:
The trial court dismissed the petition holding that the herein petitioner is WON the ownership of the 2 parcels of land should be adjudged to the heirs of
obviously not an heir and has no interest in estate. Maria Mirano
CA affirmed the trial court's decision.
HELD:
ISSUE: 1. Yes as to the Iba Property. The money used by Maria Mirano in
Whether or not the petitioner is "an interested person" in the estate of deceased purchasing the properties was given to her by the spouses Doroteo
Maria V. Lindayag Banawa and Juliana Mendoza, or by either of them, then the money had
belonged to her. Maria Mirano purchased and paid for the said properties
HELD: with her money.
NO. According to Section 2, Rule 80 of the Rules of Court, a petition for letters of
administration must be filed an "interested person". An interested party has 2. No as to the Carsuche Property. The CA found that there was a sale of the
defined in this connection as one who would be benefited by the estate, such as an Carsuche property in 1935 in favor of Maria Mirano and that such sale
heir, or one who has a claim against the estate, such as a creditor (Intestate Estate was embodied in a public instrument. However, in 1940 the same land
of Julio Magbanwa, 40 O.G. 1171). And it is well settled in this jurisdiction that in was sold to the petitioners. The sale was duly registered in 1940 in the
civil actions as well as special proceedings, the interest required in order that a RD of Batangas. The petitioners immediately entered into the possession
person may be a party thereto must be material and direct, and not merely of the land as owners. The possession of the Banawas over the Carsuche
indirect or contingent. property ripened in to full ownership in 1950, 10yrs after 1949, when the
The petitioner's interest in the estate bwas disputed by the surviving husband and possession of the petitioner-spouses which was actual, open, public and
three surviving adopted children. Hence, the petitioner not being an heir of her continuous, under a claim of title exclusive of any other right and adverse
deceased sister, she has no material and direct interest in her estate. to all other claims, commenced. The actual and adverse possession of the
The motion to dismiss due to incapacity to institute the proceedings is hereby petitioner-spouses was continued by their present successors. Therefore
granted. the petitioners have acquired by acquisitive prescription the Carsuche
property.

BANAWA v. MIRANO
G.R. No. L-24750 || Legal or Intestate Succession Diaz v. IAC
FACTS: GR No. L-66574 (1990) || Iron Curtain Rule
Maria Mirano, a niece of appellant Juliana Mendoza was taken in by the FACTS:
appellants-spouses, Doroteo Banawa and Juliana Mendoza. Being childless, they The decision of the Second Division of this Court in the case of Anselma Diaz, et al.
treated her like their own. The spouses opened up a store from which they vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, et al., G.R. No. 6574, promulgated June 17,
derived considerable income and which enabled them to acquire several parcels 1987 declaring FelisaPamuti-Jardin to be the sole legitimate heir to the
of land. Maria Mirano died while still living with the spouses. She left as her only intestate estate of the late SimonaPamutiVda. de Santero, and its Resolution
nearest relatives the herein plaintiffs, namely Primitiva Mirano, who is a surviving of February 24, 1988 denying the Motion for Reconsideration dated July 2,

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

1987, are being challenged in this Second Motion for Reconsideration dated illegitimate. In whatever manner, one should not overlook the fact that the
July 5, 1988. persons to be represented are themselves illegitimate. The three named
It is undisputed that: provisions are very clear on this matter. The right of representation is not
1) FelisaPamutiJardin is a niece of SimonaPamutiVda. de Santero who together available to illegitimate descendants of legitimate children in the
with Felisa's mother Juliana were the only legitimate children of the spouses inheritance of a legitimate grandparent. It may be argued, as done by
Felipe Pamuti and Petronila Asuncion; petitioners, that the illegitimate descendant of a legitimate child is entitled to
2) Juliana married Simon Jardin and out of their union were born FelisaPamuti represent by virtue of the provisions of Article 982, which provides that "the
and another child who died during infancy; grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of
3) SimonaPamutiVda. de Santero is the widow of PascualSantero and the mother representation." Such a conclusion is erroneous. It would allow intestate
of Pablo Santero; succession by an illegitimate child to the legitimate parent of his father or
4) Pablo Santero was the only legitimate son of his parents PascualSantero and mother, a situation which would set at naught the provisions of Article 992.
SimonaPamutiVda. de Santero; It may not be amiss to state that Article 982 is the general rule and Article
5) PascualSantero died in 1970; Pablo Santero in 1973 and SimonaSantero in 992 the exception.
1976; "The rules laid down in Article 982 that 'grandchildren and other descendants
6) Pablo Santero, at the time of his death was survived by his mother shall inherit by right of representation and in Article 902 that the rights of
SimonaSantero and his six minor natural children to wit: four minor children illegitimate children ... are transmitted upon their death to their descendants,
with Anselma Diaz and two minor children with FelixbertaPacursa. whether legitimate or illegitimate are subject to the limitation prescribed by
(illegitimatechildren). Article 992 to the end that an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab
intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother."'
ISSUE: "Article 992 of the New Civil Code provides a barrier or iron curtain in that it
Whether petitioners as illegitimate children of Pablo Santero could inherit from prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child
SimonaPamutiVda. de Santero, by right of representation of their father and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said
Pablo Santero who is a legitimate child of SimonaPamutiVda. de Santero. illegitimate child. They may have a natural tie of blood, but this is not
recognized by law for the purpose of Article 992. Between the legitimate
HELD: family and the illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening
NO. The illegitimate children of Pablo Santero cannot inherit from Simona. antagonism and incompatibility. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked
Art.902. The rights of illegitimate children set forth in the preceding articles are down upon by the legitimate family; and the family is in turn, hated by the
transmitted upon their death to their descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate child; the latter considers the privileged condition of the former,
illegitimate. and the resources of which it is thereby deprived; the former, in turn, sees in
Art. 982. The grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin, palpable evidence of a
of representation and if any one of them should have died, leaving several blemish broken in life; the law does no more than recognize this truth, by
heirs, the portion pertaining to him shall be divided among the latter in equal avoiding further ground of resentment."
portions. (933) It is therefore clear from Article 992 of the New Civil Code that the phrase
Art. 989. If, together with illegitimate children, there should survive descendants "legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother" includes
of another illegitimate child who is dead, the former shall succeed in their SimonaPamutiVda. de Santero as the word "relative" is broad enough to
own right and the latter by right of representation. comprehend all the kindred of the person spoken of. The record reveals that
Art. 990. The hereditary rights granted by the two preceding articles from the commencement of this case the only parties who claimed to be the
to illegitimate children shall be transmitted upon their death to their legitimate heirs of the late SimonaPamutiVda. de Santero are
descendants, who shall inherit by right of representation from their deceased FelisaPamutiJardin and the six minor natural or illegitimate children of Pablo
grandparent. Santero. Since petitioners herein are barred by the provisions of Article 992,
Articles 902, 989, and 990 clearly speak of successional rights the respondent Intermediate Appellate Court did not commit any error in
of illegitimate children, which rights are transmitted to their descendants holding FelisaPamutiJardin to be the sole legitimate heir to the intestate
upon their death. The descendants (of these illegitimate children) who may estate of the late SimonaPamutiVda. de Santero.
inherit by virtue of the right of representation may be legitimate or

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

WHEREFORE, the second Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED, and the assailed right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his
decision is hereby AFFIRMED. father, like the deceased Fransisca Reyes. ( article 992)

Leonardo v.CA
G.R. No. L-51263 February 28, 1983 || Intestate Succession Leonardo v. IAC
FACTS:
Petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals in
CA-G.R. No. 43476-R, promulgated on February 21, 1979, reversing the Corpus vs Administrator of the Estate of TeodoroYangco
judgment of the Court of First Instance of Rizal in favor of petitioner Gr no. L-22469, October 23. 1978|| Legal or Intestate Succession
Francisca Reyes died intestate on July 12, 1942 and was survived by FACTS:
two daughters, Maria and SilvestraCailles and a grandson, Sotero Leonardo, When the will of TeodoroYangco was probated in the CFI of Manila upon his
the son of her daughter, PascualaCailles who predeceased her. death, it was decreed that he had no forced heirs and that his nearest relatives
Sotero Leonardo died in 1944, while SilvestraCailles died in 1949 without were his half brother Luis Yangco, half sister Paz Yangco, the three children of his
any issue. On October 29, 1964, petitioner CresencianoLeonardo, claiming to half brother Pablo Corpus, and the daughter, named Juanita Corpus, of his half
be the son of the late Sotero Leonardo, filed a complaint for ownership of brother Jose Corpus . Pursuant to the affirmation of the probate court, a project of
properties, sum of money and accounting in the Court of First Instance of partition was submitted by the administrator and the legatees named in the will.
Rizal seeking judgment (1) to be declared one of the lawful heirs of the However, it was opposed by the estate of Luis Yangco and the counsel of Juanita
deceased Francisca Reyes, entitled to one-half share in the estate of said Corpus, contending that an intestacy should be declared because the will does not
deceased jointly with defendant, private respondent herein, Maria Cailles, (2) contain an institution of heir. It was also alleged that the proposed partition was
to have the properties left by said Francisca Reyes, described in the not in conformity with the will because the testator intended that the estate
complaint, partitioned between him and defendant Maria Cailles, and (3) to should be conserved and not physically partitioned.
have an accounting of all the income derived from said properties from the
time defendants took possession thereof until said accounting shall have Probate Court ruling:
been made, delivering to him his share therein with legal interest. Answering The probate court approved of the project of partition declaring that in certain
the complaint, private respondent Maria Cailles asserted exclusive clauses of the will, the testator intended to conserve his properties not in the
ownership over the subject properties and alleged that petitioner is an sense of disposing of them after his death but for the purpose of not depreciating
illegitimate child who cannot succeed by right of representation. For his part, its value. It concluded that no other legal motives existed to hold an intestate
the other defendant, private respondent James Bracewell, claimed that said succession for the estate of the deceased.
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 The partition was approved by the probate but was later dismissed due to a
allegedly mortgaged to respondent Rural Bank of Paranaque, Inc. sometime compromise agreement entered into by the legatees and appellants. Thereafter,
in September 1963. herein petitioner, the sole heir of Juanita Corpus, filed and action in CFI Manila to
ISSUE: recover her supposed share in the Yangco Estate alleging that the dispositions of
Whether or not petitioner, as the great grandson of Francisca Reyes, has legal the will has perpetual prohibitions upon alienation, rendering such will void
right to inherit by representation. under the Old Civil Code, that the partition was invalid and therefore, the estate
RULING: should have been distributed as per Intestacy.
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 RTC ruling:
Francisca Reyes considering that, as found again by the Court of Appeals, he Dismissed the action of the petitioner on the ground of res judicata and laches, the
was born outside wedlock as shown by the fact that when he was born on intrinsic validity of the will was passed upon in a previous order approving the
September 13, 1938, his alleged putative father and mother were not yet partition for the estate.
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 CA Ruling:

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Certified said appeal to the Supreme Court because it involves real property b. the Court has not acquired proper jurisdiction because as prescribed under Art.
valued at more than fifty thousand pesos. (Previous judiciary law before the 108, read together with Art. 412 of the Civil Code — publication is needed in a
current Rules of Court) case like this, and up to now, there has been no such publication
c. in a sense, the subject matter of this case has been aptly discussed in Special
ISSUE: Proceeding No. 1587-M, which this Court has already dismissed, for lack of the
Whether or not the petitioner may inherit from TeodorYangco proper requisites under the law.
Serafia filed a petition for review on certiorari for dismissing her suit to
HELD: declare her as
No, Tomas Corpus has no cause of action for the recovery of the supposed Amado’s surviving spouse and the correction of the death certificate.
hereditary share of his mother as legal heir of Yangco's estate. Under the Old Civil
Code, there is no reciprocal succession between legitimate and illegitimate
relatives. From the records of the case, TeodoroYangco was a natural child or was ISSUE:
illegitimate, and that his half sister Juanita Corpus was a legitimate child. Such rule Whether or not petitioner is Amado’s surviving spouse and whether or not her
is based upon the theory that the illegitimate child is disgracefully looked upon by name should be placed on the death certificate instead of private respondent?
the legitimate family while the legitimate family, is in turn, hated by the RULING:
illegitimate child. The law does not recognize the blood tie and seeks to avoid Since Amado pleaded guilty of bigamy, it is proof then that the marriage between
further grounds of resentment. Amado and the petitioner does exist. This makes the second marriage of Amado
with the private respondent null and void and of no force and effect from the very
beginning. (No judicial decree is necessary to establish the invalidity of a void
Manuel v. Ferrer marriage.) Therefore, Petitioner is the surviving spouse of the deceased Amado
and not the private respondent. Rectification of the erroneous entry in the records
of the Local Civil Registrar should be made
TOLENTINO v. PARAS
G.R. No. L-43905 May 30, 1983 ||Legal or Intestate Succession: DEL ROSARIO v. CONANAN
FACTS: G.R. NO. L-37903, March 30, 1977 || LEGAL OR INTESTATE SUCCESSION
While still married to the petitioner, Serafia G. Tolentino, (celebrated on July 31,
1943), FACTS:
Amado Tolentino contracted a second marriage with Maria Clemente (defendant) Felix L. del Rosario died in a plane crash. He was survived by his spouse, Dorotea
at Paombong, Bulacan, on November 1, 1948. Petitioner charged Amado with O. del Rosario and their legally adopted child Marilou del Rosario. His mother,
Bigamy before the Court of First Instance of Bulacan. Amado pleaded guilty and Gertrudes del Rosario, filed a petition before the CFI of Rizal for settlement and
served the prison sentence imposed on him.After serving his sentence, he partition of estate of Felix. Dorotea and Marilou opposed said petition arguing that
continued to live with Maria Clemente (respondent) till he died on July 25, 1974. Gertrudes cannot be considered as an intestate heir and thus she cannot be
Since Amado’s death certificate carried Maria Celemente as his surviving spouse, considered a party in interest who has a right to file an action for partition and
in Special Proceeding no. 1587-M, Serafia (petitioner) sought to correct the name settlement of estate.
of the surviving spouse to her name. The lower Court dismissed the petition "for
lack of the proper requisites under the law" and indicated the need for a more CFI Ruling:
detailed proceeding,Petitioner, then, filed a case against private respondent and The CFI ruled in favor of Dorotea and dismissed Gertrudes’ petition. Accordingly,
the Local Civil Registrar of Paombong, Bulacan, for her declaration as the lawful it explained that the perusal of the petition shows that the case was filed under
surviving spouse, and the correction ofthe death certificate of Amado. Private the provisions of Section 2, Rule 74 of the Revised Rules of Court. While it may be
respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss which was granted by the respondent court true that the petition for summary settlement is allowed under the aforequoted
due to the following reasons: provisions of the rules, the same rule limits the action to estates the gross value of
a. the correction of the entry in the Office of the Local Civil Registrar is not the which does not exceed 10,000. The instant petition however, clearly alleges that
proper remedy because the issue involved is marital relationship the value of the real properties left by Felix amounts to 33,000, which is obviously
over and above the value of the estate allowed under the rules.

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Granting that this court may consider the petition as an exercise of the powers of
appropriate court, the law on intestate succession is clear that an adopted child The applicability of Article 343 does not exclude the surviving parent of the
concurring with the surviving spouse of the adopter excludes the legitimate deceased adopter, not only because a contrary view would defeat the intent of the
ascendants from succession. Therefore, the petitioner not being included, as framers of the law, but also because in intestate succession, where legitimate
intestate heir of the deceased cannot be considered as a co-owner of or have any parents or ascendants concur with the surviving spouse of the deceased, the latter
right over the properties sought to be partitioned. does not necessarily exclude the former from the inheritance. This is affirmed by
Article 893 of the New Civil Code which states:
ISSUE:
How should the estate of Felix del Rosario be divided among his heirs? If the testator leaves no legitimate descendants, but leaves legitimate ascendants,
the surviving spouse shall have a right to one fourth (only) of the hereditary
HELD: estate.
The lower court found the following the new provisions of the New Civil Code This fourth shall be taken from the free portion.
germane to the instant case:
Art. 341. The adoption shall: Article 343 does not require that the concurring heirs should be the adopted child
(1) Give to the adopted person the same rights and duties as if he and the legitimate parents or ascendants only. The language of the law is clear,
were a legitimate child of the adopted; and a contrary view cannot be presumed.
(2) Dissolve the authority vested in the parents by nature; Article 343 should be made to apply, consonant with the cardinal rule in statutory
(3) Make the adopted person a legal heir of the adopted; construction that all the provisions of the New Civil Code must be reconciled and
(4) Entitle the adopted person to use the adopter's surname." given effect.

Art. 978. Succession pertains, in the first place, to the decending Under Article 343, an adopted child surviving with legitimate parents of the
direct line. deceased adopter, has the same successional rights as an acknowledged natural
child, which is comprehended in the term "illegitimate children". Consequently ,
Art. 979. Legitimate children and their decendantssuceed the the respective shares of the surviving spouse, ascendant and adopted child should
parents and the other ascendants, without distinction as to sex or be determined by Article 1000 of the New Civil Code, which reads:
age, and even if they should come from different marriages.
Art. 1000. If legitimate ascendants, the surviving spouse and illegitimate children
The Supreme Court opined that the governing provision is the hereinafter quoted are left, the ascendants shall be entitled to onehalf of the inheritance, and the
article 343 of the New Civil Code, in relation to Articles 893 and 1000 of said law, other half shall be divided between the surviving spouse and the illegitimate
which directs that: children so that such widow or widower shall have one-fourth of the estate, the
Art. 343. If the adopter is survived by legitimate parents or ascendants and illegitimate children the other fourth.
by an adopted person, the latter shall not have more successional rights
than an acknowledged natural child. Sarita vs. Candia
G.R. No. L-7768 14 November 1912 || Legal or Intestate Succession
Article 343 of the New Civil Code is qualification to Article 341 which gives FACTS:
an adopted child the same rights and duties as though he were a legitimate The spouses Apolinario Cedeño and Roberto Montesa acquired during their
child. The reason for this is that: marriage a piece of land, apparently of an area of 2 cavanes of corn upon which
they had planted fruit trees. Apolinario Cedeño died in 1895 and Roberta
(I)t is unjust to exclude the adopter's parents from the inheritance in factor Montesa in 1909. Andres Candia was holding and cultivating the said land, but
of an adopted person (Report of the Code Commission, p. 92). that as stated in the complainant, he did so merely under a lease and paid the said
spouses one hundred pesos semiannually; that, from May, 1909, he refused to pay
It is most unfair to accord more successional rights to the adopted, who is only the emphyteutic rent for the cultivation of the land, appropriated the land and
related artificially by fiction of law to the deceased, than those who are naturally claimed ownership thereof; and that he also took possession of four mares,
related to him by blood in the direct ascending line. twelve carabaos, and several pieces of furniture which were in the house erected

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

on the said land — a house worth 50 pesos —which he also seized and claimed as other half remained liable for the payment of such part of usufruct. (Civil Code,
his property. Andres Candia, a nephew of Roberta Montesa as the son of her sister art. 838.)
said Apolonio Cedeño, otherwise known as Isidario Cedeño, was a cabeza de
barangay of the pueblo of Sibonga, who, in order to pay certain shortages of the Fourth. The hypothesis disappears from the moment that it is proved that at the
cabeceria under his charge, on the 24th of June, 1881, sold the said land to Juan death of such alleged predecessor in interest in the inheritance, the land in
BasaVillarosa, who held it in quiet and peaceable possession for twenty-four years question was not owned by him, it having been transferred in 1881, according to
and at his death such possession was continued by his sons, Sinforoso and a conclusion established by the trial judge. Therefore, the action for the recovery
Vicente Villarosa, from whom witness, Andres Candia, acquired the property by of possession, derived from such alleged inheritance, cannot exist.
purchase.
Fuentes v. Cruz
ISSUE:
Whether or not the parties are entitled to the estate by way of order of
succession? De Bacayo v. Borromeo
GR No. L-19382 || Legal or Intestate Succession
HELD: FACTS:
First. That Manuel Sarita, the principal plaintiff, in whose house, according to
Exhibit D, there was drawn up at his request the engagement of all the plaintiffs Melodia Ferraris was a resident of Cebu City until 1937 when she transferred to
to confide the suit to the attorney who has conducted it, has absolutely no such Intramuros, Manila. She was known to have resided there continuously until
right, because he cannot represent his grandfather Domingo, since, as aforesaid, 1944. Thereafter, up to the filing on December 22, 1960 of the petition for the
in the collateral line the right of representation can only take place in favor of the summary settlement of her estate, she has not been heard of and her whereabouts
children of brothers or sisters, but not in favor of the grandson of a brother, such are still unknown. More than ten (10) years having elapsed since the last time she
as is the said Manuel Sarita, the son of Sofia Cedeño who, in turn, was the was known to be alive, she was declared presumptively dead for purposes of
daughter of Domingo Cedeño. opening her succession and distributing her estate among her heirs.
Melodia Ferraris left properties in Cebu City, consisting of one-third (1/3) share in
Second. That, on the hypothesis that such hereditary right derived from the the estate of her aunt, Rosa Ferraris, valued at P6,000.00, more or less, and which
intestate succession of Apolinario Cedeño, does exist, it could only be exercised was adjudicated to her in Special Proceeding No. 13-V of the same court.
by Cristeta Cedeño, the children of Macario Cedeño, and those of Domingo The deceased Melodia Ferraris left no surviving direct descendant, ascendant, or
Cedeño, but not by Manuel Sarita, because in inheritances the nearer relative spouse, but was survived only by collateral relatives, namely, FilomenaAbellana
excludes the more remote, excepting the right of representation in proper cases de Bacayo, an aunt and half-sister of decedent's father, Anacleto Ferraris; and by
(Civil Code, art 921); from which it is inferred that, in pushing forward Cristeta Gaudencia, Catalina, Conchita, and Juanito, all surnamed Ferraris, her nieces and
Cedeño, the children of Macario Cedeño and those of Domingo Cedeño, to exercise nephew, who were the children of Melodia's only brother of full blood, Arturo
such a hereditary right, it should have been noticed that the personality of these Ferraris, who pre-deceased her (the decedent). These two classes of heirs claim to
parties as the nearest relatives excluded that of Manuel Sarita, the son of Sofia be the nearest intestate heirs and seek to participate in the estate of said Melodia
Cedeño, of a more remote degree. Ferraris.

Third. That, on the same hypothesis, in the eyes of the law no meaning whatever ISSUE:
could be given to the document, Exhibit H of the plaintiffs, wherein it is made to Who should inherit the intestate estate of a deceased person when he or she is
appear that the widow of Apolinario Cedeño, Roberta Montesa implored of the survived only by collateral relatives, to wit an aunt and the children of a brother
heirs of her deceased husband that she be allowed to continue in her possession who predeceased him or her? Otherwise, will the aunt concur with the children of
of the land and the house of the family; inasmuch as, as coowner of such property, the decedent's brother in the inheritance or will the former be excluded by the
she was entitled to one-half of it and, besides, had a right of usufruct to one-half of latter?
the other half of the same, pursuant to the provisions of articles 837 and 953 of
the Civil Code, and until she was satisfied for her part of usufruct, this half of the HELD:

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Wills & Succession Case Digests – Atty. Batungbakal 2015-2016
Abes Alvarez, K. Alvarez, S. Amulong Ang Arana Carvajal Chua De Jesus Delgado Desuasido Dimanlig Espino Fernando Francisco Gimena Guevara Gusi Jularbal Lara Mariano Maulion Mejia Mella Mendoza Ofalsa Panim Pascua Peliglorio Prado Quinto
Ramos, C. Ramos, J. Ravago Ret Sanchez Serrano Tamayo Tapnio Trinidad Valenciano Verzosa Villalobos

Under the last article (1009), the absence of brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces We, therefore, hold, and so rule, that under our laws of succession, a decedent's
of the decedent is a precondition to the other collaterals (uncles, cousins, etc.) uncles and aunts may not succeedabintestato so long as nephews and nieces of the
being called to the succession. This was also and more clearly the case under the decedent survive and are willing and qualified to succeed.
Spanish Civil Code of 1889, that immediately preceded the Civil Code now in force
(R.A. 386). Thus, Articles 952 and 954 of the Code of 1889 prescribed as follows:
ART. 952. In the absence of brother, or sisters and of nephews or nieces, children Bicomong v. Almanza
of the former, whether of the whole blood or not, the surviving spouse, if not
separated by a final decree of divorce, shall succeed to the entire estate of the
deceased. Accretion
ART. 954. Should there be neither brothers or sisters, nor children of brothers or Policarpio v. Salamat
sisters, nor a surviving spouse, the other collateral relatives shall succeed to the
estate of deceased.
The latter shall succeed without distinction of lines or preference among them by Torres v. Lopez
reason of the whole blood.
It will be seen that under the preceding articles, brothers and sisters and nephews
and nieces inherited ab intestato ahead of the surviving spouse, while other Nepomuceno v. CA
collaterals succeeded only after the widower or widow. The present Civil Code of
the Philippines merely placed the spouse on a par with the nephews and nieces
and brothers and sisters of the deceased, but without altering the preferred
position of the latter vis-a-vis the other collaterals.
Appellants quote paragraph 2 of Tolentino's commentaries to Article 1009 of the
present Civil Code as declaring that Article 1009 does not establish a rule of
preference. Which is true as to "other collaterals," since preference among them is
according to their proximity to the decedent, as established by Article 962,
paragraph 1.
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.
But Tolentino does not state that nephews and nieces concur with other
collaterals of equal degree. On the contrary, in the first paragraph of his
commentaries to Article 1009 (Vol II, p. 439) (which counsel for appellants had
unethically omitted to quote), Tolentino expressly states:
Other collaterals. — The last of the relatives of the decedent to succeed in intestate
succession are the collaterals other than brothers or sisters or children of brothers
or sisters. They are, however, limited to relatives within the fifth degree. Beyond
this, we can safely say there is hardly any affection to merit the succession of
collaterals. Under the law, therefore, relatives beyond the fifth degree are no
longer considered as relatives, for successional purposes.
Article 1009 does not state any order of preference. However, this article should
be understood in connection with the general rule that the nearest relatives
exclude the farther. Collaterals of the same degree inherit in equal parts, there
being no right of representation. They succeed without distinction of lines or
preference among them on account of the whole blood relationship. (Emphasis
supplied)

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