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ASSIGNED CASES in SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

(Batch 1)
A Compilation by
EDCARL REALIZA CAGANDAHAN, LLB-III

DISCLAIMER:

The risk of use, misuse, or non-use of this compilation shall be borne by the user/non-user and
shall not in any way hold the above-named compiler liable for the same.
NATCHER v. CA & HEIRS OF GRACIANO DEL ROSARIO
GR No. 133000, Oct 2 2001
Buena, J.

FACTS:

Graciano and Graciana are married and own a parcel of land. They have 6 children. When
Graciana died, Graciano and children entered into an extrajudicial settlement of
Graciana’s estate adjudicating and dividing among themselves the real property left. Under
the agreement, Graciano received 8/14 share while each of the six children received 1/14
share of the said property. Graciano’s share was further divided into 2 and one of them was
sold to a third person. Twenty-nine (29) years later, Graciano married Patricia Natcher, herein
petitioner, and during the said marriage, Graciano sold his land to Patricia. When Graciano
died, his children with Graciana filed a civil case against Patricia alleging that the latter
acquired the aforementioned lot through fraud, misrepresentation, and forgery and that
with such, the children’s legitime has been impaired.

The RTC ruled that while Graciano and Patricia couldn’t enter into a contract of sale or
donation with each other, the sale of the land by the former to the latter may be considered
as an extension of advance inheritance of Patricia as Graciano’s compulsory heir. The CA
reversed and set aside the ruling of the RTC.

ISSUE:

May a Regional Trial Court, acting as a court of general jurisdiction in an action for
reconveyance and annulment of title with damages, adjudicate matters relating to the
settlement of the estate of a deceased person particularly in questions as to advancement
of property made by the decedent to any of the heirs?

HELD:

NO. The CA correctly ruled that it is the probate court and not the RTC that has exclusive
jurisdiction to make a just and legal distribution of the estate.
An action for reconveyance and annulment of title with damages is a civil action, whereas
matters relating to settlement of the estate of a deceased person such as advancement of
property made by the decedent, partake of the nature of a special proceeding, which
concomitantly requires the application of specific rules as provided for in the Rules of Court.
Clearly, matters which involve settlement and distribution of the estate of the decedent fall
within the exclusive province of the probate court in the exercise of its limited jurisdiction.

Moreover, the RTC in this case was not properly constituted as a probate court so as to
validly pass upon the question of advancement made by the decedent Graciano Del
Rosario to his wife, herein petitioner Natcher.
ALAN SHEKER v. ESTATE OF ALICE SHEKER
GR No 157912, December 13, 2007
Austria-Martinez, J.

FACTS:

In a probate proceeding of the holographic will of Alice Sheker, the RTC issued an order for
all the creditors to file their respective claims against the estate. In compliance therewith,
petitioner Alan thus filed his contingent money claim against the estate of Alice Sheker but
the executrix thereof moved for the dismissal of said money claim against the estate on the
grounds that (1) the requisite docket fee, as prescribed in Section 7(a), Rule 141 of the Rules
of Court, had not been paid; (2) petitioner failed to attach a certification against non-forum
shopping; and (3) petitioner failed to attach a written explanation why the money claim was
not filed and served personally. Thus, the RTC dismissed without prejudice the money claim
of Alan based on the grounds advanced by the respondent.

ISSUE:

Did the RTC err in dismissing petitioner’s contingent money claim against respondent estate
based on the grounds advanced by the executrix of the latter?

HELD:

YES. In the absence of special provisions, rules in ordinary actions may be applied in special
proceedings as much as possible and where doing so would not pose an obstacle to said
proceedings. Nowhere in the Rules of Court does it categorically say that rules in ordinary
actions are inapplicable or merely suppletory to special proceedings. Provisions of the Rules
of Court requiring a certification of non-forum shopping for complaints and initiatory
pleadings, a written explanation for non-personal service and filing, and the payment of
filing fees for money claims against an estate would not in any way obstruct probate
proceedings, thus, they are applicable to special proceedings such as the settlement of the
estate of a deceased person as in the present case.
MANALO v. CA
GR No. 129242, January 16, 2001
De Leon, Jr., J.

FACTS:

Eight (8) out of eleven (11) children of the decedent filed a petition with the RTC if the
judicial settlement of the estate of the decedent and for the appointment of one of their
brothers as administrator therein. The other children of the decedent, herein petitioners,
opposed the said petition, claiming that the previous petition, as an ordinary civil action,
should be dismissed for the opposing party’s failure to aver that earnest efforts toward a
compromise have been made, the same being involved with members of the said family,
and thus filed a “Petition for issuance of letters of Administration, Settlement and Distribution
of Estate” in SP. PROC. No. 92-63626.

ISSUE:

Is the petition herein an ordinary civil action or a special proceeding?

HELD:

It is a special proceeding. It must be emphasized that the oppositors (herein petitioners) are
not being sued in SP. PROC. No. 92-63626 for any cause of action as in fact no defendant
was imploded therein. The Petition for issuance of letters of Administration, Settlement and
Distribution of Estate in SP. PROC. No. 92-63626 is a special proceeding and, as such, it is a
remedy whereby the petitioners therein seek to establish a status, a right, or a particular fact.
26 the petitioners therein (private respondents herein) merely seek to establish the fat of
death of their father and subsequently to be duly recognized as among the heirs of the said
deceased so that they can validly exercise their right to participate in the settlement and
liquidation of the estate of the decedent consistent with the limited and special jurisdiction
of the probate court.

It is a fundamental rule that in the determination of the nature of an action or proceeding,


the averments15 and the character of the relief sought 16 in the complaint, or petition, as in
the case at bar, shall be controlling.
PIZZARO v. CA
GR No. L-31979, August 6, 1980
Melencio-Herrera, J.

FACTS:

Upon the death of Aurelio Pizarro, Sr., Special Proceedings No. 1421 entitled "In the Intestate
Estate of the Deceased Aurelio Pizarro, Sr.," was instituted by petitioners in the Davao RTC
Branch1. Listed among the properties of the estate were parcels of land. The Court, upon
agreement of the parties, appointed Corias, Clerk of Court of said Court, as Administrator of
the estate, who then filed a Motion for Authority to Sell the said properties to settle the debts
of the estate, to which the heirs opposed thereto, stating that the claims against the estate
had not yet been properly determined and that the sale of one of the lots owned would be
more than sufficient to cover the supposed obligations of the estate, which they claimed
were exaggerated and prejudicial to them. However, the RTC granted the Motion to Sell
and the said lot was conditionally sold to Anglionto. Thus, the heirs, except Alicia P. Ladisla
and Lydia P. Gudani, filed a "Motion for Cancellation or Rescission of Conditional Contract of
Sale" of the said lot in favor of Anglionto and in a separate motion prayed that Corias resign
as administrator, which were dismissed by the RTC based on the ground that it could not
review the actuations of a coordinate branch of the court besides the fact that a MR was
still pending. The CA likewise dismissed the Petition on Certiorari and Mandamus with
Prohibition and Injunction, opining that the Davao RTC Branch 1did not abuse its discretion in
approving the sale and even granting that it did, the proper remedy was appeal, not
certiorari.

ISSUES:

1. Did the CA correctly uphold the decision of the RTC in dismissing the said petitions?

2. Will the proprietary of the extraordinary remedy of certiorari lie despite the existence of the
remedy of appeal?

HELD:

1. NO. The cause of action in filing the Rescission case was within the judicial competence
and authority of the trial Court as a Court of First Instance with exclusive original jurisdiction
over civil cases the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation. . It
behooved the trial Court, therefore, to have taken cognizance of and to have heard the
Rescission Case on the merits and it was reversible error for the Court of Appeals to have
upheld its dismissal.

2. NO, but in this case it was made to lie because while an Order of dismissal is, indeed, final
and appealable as it puts an end to litigation and leaves nothing more to be done on the
merits in the lower Court, so that certiorari is ordinarily unavailable, that general rule allows of
exceptions, namely, when appeal is inadequate and ineffectual or when the broader
interest of justice so requires. In this case, appeal would have not afforded the heirs an
effective and speedy recourse. It would have entailed a protracted litigation and in the
interim, the heirs stood to suffer as a consequence of the approval of the sale. The prompt
stoppage of that sale was vital to them. Thusly, appeal not being speedy enough to bring
about the desired objective and to be of any utility to the heirs, their availment of certiorari
must be held to have been proper.
HEIRS OF YAPTINCHAY v. JUDGE DEL ROSARIO
GR NO. 124320, March 2, 1999
Purisima, J.

FACTS:

Petitioners claim that they are the legal heirs of the late Guido and Isabel Yaptinchay—
owners-claimants of two (2) real properties in Carmona, Cavite-- and thus executed an
Extra-Judicial Settlement of the estate of the deceased couple. However, the petitioners
learned that the said properties were titled in the name of Golden Bay Realty, whereby the
latter sold portions of the said lands. This prompted the petitioners to file with the "RTC" an
Amended Complaint to implead new and additional defendants and to mention the TCTs to
be annulled. But the respondent court granted the private respondents motion to dismiss on
the ground that the petitioners "have not shown any proof or even a semblance of it —
except the allegations that they are the legal heirs of the above-named Yaptinchays — that
they have been declared the legal heirs of the deceased couple," among others. The
petitioners thus filed a Petition for Certiorari under R. 65 to seek relief from the respondent
court’s Orders under attack.

ISSUES:

1. Is the Petition for Certiorari the correct recourse in this case?

2. Did the RTC commit grave abuse of discretion in ruling that the issue of heirship should first
be determined before trial of the case could proceed?

HELD:

1. NO. It was an improper recourse. Their proper remedy should have been an appeal. An
order of dismissal, be it right or wrong, is a final order, which is subject to appeal and not a
proper subject of certiorari.

2. NO. The RTC correctly ratiocinated and ruled that “the plaintiffs who claimed to be the
legal heirs of the said Guido and Isabel Yaptinchay have not shown any proof or even a
semblance of it — except the allegations that they are the legal heirs of the aforementioned
Yaptinchays — that they have been declared the legal heirs of the deceased couple. Now,
the determination of who are the legal heirs of the deceased couple must be made in the
proper special proceedings in court, and not in an ordinary suit for reconveyance of
property. This must take precedence over the action for reconveyance.” The trial court
cannot make a declaration of heirship in the civil action for the reason that such a
declaration can only be made in a special proceeding.
HEIRS OF TEOFILO GABATAN v. CA & LOURDES PACANA
GR No. 150206, March 13, 2009
Leonardo-De Castro, J.

FACTS:

The subject of this case is a parcel of land apparently owned by Juan Gabatan. This land
was claimed by the private respondent, after submitting a typewritten copy of her mother’s
birth certificate as proof of her ownership by heirship. This was denied by the petitioners,
maintaining that Juan Gabatan died single in 1934 and without any issue and that Juan was
survived by one brother and two sisters, namely: Teofilo (petitioners predecessor-in-interest),
Macaria and Justa, who was said to have been in uninterrupted possession of the subject
property for more than 50 years. The RTC ruled in favor of the private respondent, to which
was appealed by the petitioners to the CA. The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. Thus,
the instant case.

ISSUE:

Was the CA correct in affirming the decision of the RTC awarding the ownership of the
property to the private respondent?

HELD:

NO. The respondent’s main cause of action in the court a quo is the recovery of ownership
and possession of property. Jurisprudence dictates that the determination of who are the
legal heirs of the deceased must be made in the proper special proceedings in court, and
not in an ordinary suit for recovery of ownership and possession of property. This must take
precedence over the action for recovery of possession and ownership. The Court has
consistently ruled that the trial court cannot make a declaration of heirship in the civil action
for the reason that such a declaration can only be made in a special proceeding.
HEIRS OF MAGDALENO YPON v. RICAFORTE & THE REGISTER OF DEED OF TOLEDO CITY
GR No. 198680, July 8, 2013
Perlas-Bernabe, J.

FACTS:

The petitioners filed a civil complaint against the private respondent, alleging that they, and
not the private respondent, are the decedent’s collateral relatives and successors-in-interest
of his estate. Claiming to be the sole heir of Magdaleno, private respondent executed an
Affidavit of Self-Adjudication and caused the cancellation of the aforementioned
certificates of title, leading to their subsequent transfer in his name, to the prejudice of
petitioners. The RTC dismissed the subject complaint filed as it failed to show a cause of
action against the private respondent, and ruled in favor of the latter.

ISSUE:

Was the RTC’s dismissal of the case on the ground that the subject complaint failed to state
a cause of action, proper?

HELD:

QUALIFIED YES, since a determination of heirship cannot be made in an ordinary action for
recovery of ownership and/or possession. However, it must be pointed out that the RTC erred
in ruling on Gaudioso’s heirship which should be threshed out and determined in the proper
special proceeding. The issue on cause of action is thus set aside, and nevertheless making
the dismissal proper.
LIMOS v. ODONES
GR No. 186979, August 11, 2010
Nachura, J.

FACTS:

Private respondents filed a complaint for Annulment of Deed, Title and Damages against
petitioners, alleging that they are the owner of a parcel of land by virtue of an Extrajudicial
Succession of Estate and sale, executed by the surviving grandchildren and heirs of
Lardizabal in whom the original title to the land was registered. However, Petitioners were
able to secure TCT No. 329427 by virtue of a Deed of Absolute Sale allegedly executed by
Donata Lardizabal and her husband Francisco Razalan, to which the respondents sought the
cancellation thereof, alleging that such were forgeries, because they died prior the
execution of the said deed. The RTC ordered that the petitioners give an Answer and thus
pleaded affirmative defenses like lack of cause of action, among others, which were denied
by the respondents. The petitioners then served upon respondents a Request for Admission of
certain facts, but he respondents failed to respond to the same, prompting the petitioners to
file a Motion to Set for Prelim Hearing on the Special and Affirmative Defenses, arguing that
the respondents’ failure to respond/object to the Request for Admission amounted to an
implied admission. The RTC ruled against the RA contending that the facts raised were
already pleaded in the petitioner’s Answer thus making it redundant.

ISSUES:

1. Should the status of the heirs of Lardizabal who sold the property to the respondents first
be established in a special proceeding to prove the existence of the sale transaction of the
subject property?

2. Is failure to respond to a Request for Admission an implied admission to all the matters
contained therein?

3. Is non-joinder of indispensable parties a ground for dismissal of an action?

HELD:

1. NO. The declaration of heirship can be made only in a special proceeding and not in a
civil action. It must be noted that in Yaptinchay and Enriquez, the plaintiffs’ action for
annulment of title was anchored on their alleged status as heirs of the original owner
whereas in this case, the respondents claim is rooted on a sale transaction. Respondents
herein are enforcing their rights as buyers in good faith and for value of the subject land and
not as heirs of the original owner.

2. YES. It must be emphasized, however, that the application of the rules on modes of
discovery rests upon the sound discretion of the court. A request for admission is not intended
to merely reproduce or reiterate the allegations of the requesting partys pleading but should
set forth relevant evidentiary matters of fact described in the request, whose purpose is to
establish said party’s cause of action or defense. Unless it serves that purpose, it is pointless,
useless, and a mere redundancy. In this case, the redundant and unnecessarily vexatious
nature of petitioners Request for Admission rendered it ineffectual, futile, and irrelevant so as
to proscribe the operation of the implied admission rule in Section 2, Rule 26 of the Rules of
Court. There being no implied admission attributable to respondents failure to respond, the
argument that a preliminary hearing is imperative loses its point.

3. NO. The remedy is to implead the non-party claimed to be indispensable. Parties may be
added by order of the court on motion of the party or on its own initiative at any stage of the
action and/or such times as are just. It is only when the plaintiff refuses to implead an
indispensable party despite the order of the court, that the latter may dismiss the
complaint.[31] In this case, no such order was issued by the trial court.
IN THE MATTER OF THE INTESTATE ESTATE OF DECEASED ISMAEL REYES, THE HEIRS OF OSCAR
REYES v. REYES
GR No. 139587, November 22, 2000
Gonzaga-Reyes, J.

FACTS:

Sps. Ismael and Felisa Reyes are the owners of a parcel of land. They have 11 children, 2 of
which are the petitioner (Oscar) and respondent (Cesar) in this case. Before Ismael’s death,
he was informed by the BIR that he has income tax deficiencies arising from his sale of a
parcel of land, but no payment was made so the property was levied and eventually
forfeited by the BIR. Verily, Oscar availed of BIR’s Tax Amnesty and was able to redeem the
property upon payment of the reduced tax using his own funds. Oscar likewise paid for the
property of his mother, so as not to be sold at public auction for nonpayment of real estate
tax. Cesar then filed a petition for issuance of letters of administration with the Regional Trial
Court praying for his appointment as administrator of the estate of the deceased Ismael.
Oscar filed his conditional opposition thereto on the ground that the Arayat properties do
not form part of the estate of the deceased as he (Oscar) had acquired the properties by
redemption and or purchase. A hearing on the inventory was scheduled where
administrator Cesar was required to present evidence to establish that the properties belong
to the estate of Ismael Reyes and the oppositor to adduce evidence in support of his
objection to the inclusion of certain properties in the inventory. The probate court ruled in
favor of Cesar,and ordered the inclusion of the subject property in the inventory, and this
was affirmed by the RTC.

ISSUES:

1. Does a probate court have limited jurisdiction? If so, what are the matters that it may only
resolve?

2. Was the respondent Court correct in affirming the provisional inclusion of the subject
property to the estate of the deceased in this case?

HELD:

1. YES. The jurisdiction of the probate court merely relates to matters having to do with the
settlement of the estate and the probate of wills of deceased persons, and the appointment
and removal of administrators, executors, guardians and trustees. The question of ownership
is as a rule, an extraneous matter which the Probate Court cannot resolve with finality. Thus,
for the purpose of determining whether a certain property should or should not be included
in the inventory of estate proceeding, the probate court may pass upon the title thereto, but
such determination is provisional, not conclusive, and is subject to the final decision in a
separate action to resolve title. The Regional Trial Court acting as a probate court exercises
but limited jurisdiction, thus it has no power to take cognizance of and determine the issue of
title to property claimed by a third person adversely to the decedent, unless the claimant
and all other parties having legal interest in the property consent, expressly or impliedly, to
the submission of the question to the Probate Court for adjudgment, or the interests of third
persons are not thereby prejudiced.

2. YES. The respondent Court did not err in affirming the provisional inclusion of the subject
properties to the estate of the deceased Ismael Reyes without prejudice to the outcome of
any action to be brought thereafter in the proper court on the issue of ownership considering
that the subject properties are still titled under the torrens system in the names of spouses
Ismael and Felisa Revita Reyes which under the law is endowed with incontestability until
after it has been set aside in the manner indicated in the law. The declaration of the
provisional character of the inclusion of the subject properties in the inventory as stressed in
the order is within the jurisdiction of the Probate Court.
CODOY & RAMONAL v. CALUGAY
GR No. 123486, August 12, 1999
Pardo, J.

FACTS:

This case is about the probate of a deceased’s holographic will, which was contested for
being illegible and a forgery. Respondents presented six (6) witnesses and various
documentary evidence. Petitioners instead of presenting their evidence, filed a demurrer to
evidence, claiming that respondents failed to establish sufficient factual and legal basis for
the probate of the holographic will of the deceased, which was granted by the RTC. Upon
appeal, , the CA ruled that the appeal was meritorious, citing the decision in the case of
Azaola vs. Singson: “even if the genuineness of the holographic will were contested, Article
811 of the civil code cannot be interpreted as to require the compulsory presentation of
three witnesses to identify the handwriting of the testator, under penalty of the having the
probate denied. No witness need be present in the execution of the holographic will. And
the rule requiring the production of three witnesses is merely permissive.”

ISSUE:

Are the provisions in Art. 811 of the Civil Code permissive or mandatory?

HELD:

MANDATORY. The word “shall” connotes a mandatory order. We have ruled that “shall” in a
statute commonly denotes an imperative obligation and is inconsistent with the idea of
discretion and that the presumption is that the word shall, when used in a statute is
mandatory. However, we cannot eliminate the possibility of a false document being
adjudged as the will of the testator, which is why if the holographic will is contested, that law
requires three witnesses to declare that the will was in the handwriting of the deceased.

The decision appealed from is SET ASIDE. The records are ordered remanded to the court of
origin with instructions to allow petitioners to adduce evidence in support of their opposition
to the probate of the holographic will of the deceased
INFANTE v. JUDGE GALING
GR No. 77047, May 28, 1988
Padilla, J.

FACTS:

This is a petition for review on certiorari of the assailed decision of the CA where it held that
that personal notice of probate proceedings to the known legatees and devisees is not a
jurisdictional requirement in the probate of a will; and that the requirement of notice on
individual heirs, legatees and devisees is merely a matter of procedural convenience to
better satisfy in some instances the requirements of due process. Here, the petitioners filed a
Motion for Reconsideration on the basis that they did not receive any notice regarding the
presentation of the respondents of evidence ex-parte and other orders of the probate court,
which was denied by the probate court.

ISSUE:

Was the CA correct in holding that personal notice of probate proceedings to the known
legatees and devisees is not a jurisdictional requirement in the probate of a will?

HELD:

NO. Under Sec. 4 of Rule 76 of the Rules of Court, said requirement of the law is mandatory
and its omission constitutes a reversible error for being constitutive of grave abuse of
discretion, where it says that “notice of the time and place of the hearing for the allowance
of a will shall be forwarded to the designated or other known heirs, legatees, and devisees
residing in the Philippines at their places of residence, if such places of residence be known.”
PALAGANAS v. PALAGANAS
GR No. 169144, January 26, 2011
Abad, J.

FACTS:

This case is about the probate before Philippine court of a will executed abroad by a
foreigner although it has not been probated in its place of execution.

ISSUE:

May a will executed by a foreigner abroad be probated in the Philippines although it has not
been previously probated and allowed in the country where it was executed?

HELD:

YES. Our laws do not prohibit the probate of wills executed by foreigners abroad although
the same have not as yet been probated and allowed in the countries of their execution. A
foreign will can be given legal effects in our jurisdiction. Article 816 of the Civil Code states
that the will of an alien who is abroad produces effect in the Philippines if made in
accordance with the formalities prescribed by the law of the place where he resides, or
according to the formalities observed in his country. In this connection, Section 1, Rule 73 of
the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides that if the decedent is an inhabitant of a foreign
country, the RTC of the province where he has an estate may take cognizance of the
settlement of such estate. Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 76 further state that the executor,
devisee, or legatee named in the will, or any other person interested in the estate, may, at
any time after the death of the testator, petition the court having jurisdiction to have the will
allowed, whether the same be in his possession or not, or is lost or destroyed.
REPUBLIC v. MARCOS
GR Nos. 130371 & 13085, August 4, 2009
Peralta, J.

(copied from the internet https://www.scribd.com/document/154522904/Republic-v-


Marcos)

FACTS:

On January 11, 1996, the Regional Trial Court (RTC), acting as a probate court, issued an
Order granting letterstestamentary in solidum to respondents Ferdinand R. Marcos II and
Imelda Trinidad Romualdez-Marcos asexecutors of the last will and testament of the late
Ferdinand E. Marcos.The dispositive portion of the Order mentioned that upon the filing of a
bond in the amount of P50,000.00, let letters testamentary be issued in solidum to Imelda
Trinidad Romualdez-Marcos AND Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos II,named executors
therein.Pending the filing of said bond and their oath, Commissioner Liwayway Vinzons-
Chato of the Bureau of InternalRevenue is hereby authorized to continue her functions as
Special Administrator of the Estate of Ferdinand EdralinMarcos.On January 15, 1996, the
petitioner Republic of the Philippines filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration in so far as the
RTC Order granted letters testamentary to respondents. On the other hand, respondent
Imelda Marcos filedher own motion for reconsideration on the ground that the will is lost and
that petitioner has not proven its existenceand validity.On February 5, 1996, respondent
Ferdinand Marcos II filed a Compliance stating that he already filed a bond in theamount of
P50,000.00 as directed by the RTC Order and that he took his oath as named executor of the
will on January 30, 1996.On March 13, 1996, the RTC issued Letters of Administration to BIR
Commissioner Liwayway Vinzons-Chato inaccordance with an earlier Order dater,
appointing her as Special Administratrix of the Marcos Estate.On April 1, 1996, respondent
Ferdinand Marcos II filed a Motion to Revoke the Letters of Administration issued bythe RTC to
BIR Commissioner Vinzons-Chato.On April 26, 1996, the RTC issued an Order denying the
motion for partial reconsideration filed by petitioner aswell as the motion for reconsideration
filed by respondent Imelda Marcos.On June 6, 1996, petitioner filed with this Court a Petition
for Review on Certiorari, questioning the aforementionedRTC Orders granting letters
testamentary to respondents.The First Division of this Court issued a Resolution referring the
petition to the CA. On March 13, 1997, the CAissued a Decision, dismissing the referred
petition for having taken the wrong mode of appeal.

ISSUE:

DID THE PROBATE COURT GRAVELY ERR IN FAILING TO CONSIDER THAT RESPONDENTS
IMELDAR. MARCOS AND FERDINAND R. MARCOS II BE DISQUALIFIED TO ACT AND SERVE
ASEXECUTORS?

HELD:

Because of the preceding discussion, herein petition must necessarily fail. However, even if
this Court were to set aside petitioners’ procedural lapses, a careful review of the records of
the case reveal that herein petition is without merit.

At the crux of the controversy is a determination of whether or not respondents are


incompetent to serve asexecutors of the will of Ferdinand Marcos.

In the case of Ozarta v. Pecson it was been held that the choice of his executor is a precious
prerogative of a testator,a necessary concomitant of his right to dispose of his property in the
manner he wishes. It is natural that the testator should desire to appoint one of his
confidence, one who can be trusted to carry out his wishes in the disposal of theestate. The
curtailment of this right may be considered as a curtailment of the right to dispose. And as
the rights granted by will take effect from the time of death (Article 777, Civil Code of the
Philippines), the management of his estate by the administrator of his choice should be
made as soon as practicable, when no reasonable objection tohis assumption of the trust
can be interposed any longer.

It has been held that when a will has been admitted to probate, it is the duty of the court to
issue letters testamentary to the person named as executor upon his application.

In the case at bar, petitioner anchored its opposition to the grant of letters testamentary to
respondents, specifically on the following grounds: (1) want of integrity, and (2) conviction of
an offense involving moral turpitude. Petitioner contends that respondents have been
convicted of a number of cases and, hence, should be characterized as one without
integrity, or at the least, with questionable integrity. The RTC, however, in its January 11, 1996
Order, made the following findings:

However, except for petitioner Republic’s allegation of want of integrity on the part of
Imelda Trinidad Romualdez-Marcos and Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos II, named executors
in the last will and testament, so as to render them "incompetent" to serve as executors, the
Court sees at this time, no evidence on record, oral or documentary, tosubstantiate and
support the said allegation