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L-8409 December 28, 1956 Eusebio, who treated him, resided at No. 41 P. Florentino St., Quezon City, on October 29, 1952, Andres Eusebio bought a house and lot at 889-A España Extention, in said City (Exhibit 2). While transferring his belongings to this house, soon thereafter, the decedent suffered a stroke (probably heart failure), for which reason Dr. Eusebio took him to his (Dr. Eusebio's) aforementioned residence, where the decedent remained until he was brought to the UST Hospital, in the City of Manila, sometimes before November 26, 1952. On this date, he contracted marriage in articulo mortis with his common law wife, Concepcion Villanueva, in said hospital. Two (2) days later, he died therein of "acute left ventricular failure secondary to hypertensive heart disease", at the age of seventy-four (74) years (Exhibit A). Consequently, he never stayed or even slept in said house at España Extention. It being apparent from the foregoing that the domicile of origin of the decedent was San Fernando, Pampanga, where he resided for over seventy (70) years, the presumption is that he retained such domicile, and, hence, residence, in the absence of satisfactory proof to the contrary, for it is well-settled that "a domicile once acquired is retained until a new domicile is gained" (Minor, Conflict of Laws, p.70; Restatement of the Law on Conflict of Laws, p. 47; In re Estate of Johnson, 192 Iowa, 78). Under the circumstances surrounding the case at bar, if Andres Eusebio established another domicile, it must have been one of choice, for which the following conditions are essential, namely: (1) capacity to choose and freedom of choice; (2) physical presence at the place chosen; and (3) intention to stay therein permanently (Minor, Conflict of Laws, pp. 109-110; Googrich, Conflict of Laws, p. 169; Velilla vs. Posadas, 62 Phil., 624; Zuellig vs. Republic of the Philippines, 46 Off. Gaz. Suppl. No. 11, p. 220). Admittedly, the decedent was juridically capable of choosing a domicile and had been in Quezon City several days prior to his demise. Thus, the issue narrows down to whether he intended to stay in that place permanently. There is no direct evidence of such intent. Neither does the decedent appears to have manifested his wish to live indefinitely in said city. His son, petitioner-appellee, who took the witness stand, did not testify thereon, despite the allegation, in his answer to the aforemention, opposition of the appellants herein, that "the deceased (had) decided to reside . . . for the rest of his life, in Quezon City". Moreover, said appellee did not introduce the testimony of his legitimate full brother and son of the decedent, Dr. Jesus Eusebio, upon whose advice, presumably, the house and lot at No. 889-A España Extention was purchased, and who, therefore, might have cast some light on his (decedent's) purpose in buying said property. This notwithstanding, the lower court held that the decedent's intent to stay permanently in Quezon City is "manifest" from the acquisition of said property and the transfer of his belonging thereto. This conclusion is untenable.lawphil.net The aforementioned house and lot were bought by the decedent because he had been adviced to do so "due to his illness", in the very words of herein appellee. It is not improbable — in fact, its is very likely — that said advice was given and followed in order that the patient could be near his doctor and have a more effective treatment. It is well settled that "domicile is not commonly changed by presence in a place merely for one's own health", even if coupled with "knowledge that one will never again be able, on account of illness, to return home." (The Conflict of Laws, by Beale, Vol. I, pp. 172-173; see, also, Shenton vs. Abbott, Md., 15., A. 2d. 906; U.S. vs. Knight, D. C. Mont., 291 Fed. 129).Again, the decedent did not part with, or alienate, his house in San Fernando, Pampanga. Moreover, some of his children, who used to live with him in San Fernando, Pampanga, 1
In the Matter of the Intestate of the deceased Andres Eusebio. EUGENIO EUSEBIO, petitioner-appellee, vs. AMANDA EUSEBIO, JUAN EUSEBIO, DELFIN EUSEBIO, VICENTE EUSEBIO, and CARLOS EUSEBIO,oppositors-appellants. Francisco M. Ramos and Valeriano Silva for appellee. Filemon Cajator for appellants.
CONCEPCION, J.: This case instituted on November 16, 1953, when Eugenio Eusebio filed with the Court of First Instance of Rizal, a petition for his appointment as administrator of the estate of his father, Andres Eusebio, who died on November 28, 1952, residing, according to said petition, in the City of Quezon. On December 4, 1953, Amanda, Virginia, Juan, Delfin, Vicente and Carlos, all surnamed Eusebio, objected to said petition, stating that they are illegitimate children of the deceased and that the latter was domiciled in San Fernando, Pampanga, and praying, therefore, that the case be dismissed upon the ground that venue had been improperly filed. By an order, dated March 10, 1954, said court overruled this objection and granted said petition. Hence, the case is before us on appeal taken, from said order, by Amanda Eusebio, and her aforementioned sister and brothers. The appeal hinges on the situs of the residence of Andres Eusebio on November 28, 1952, for Rule 75, section 1, of the Rules of Court, provides: Where estate of deceased persons settled. — If the decedent is an inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizens or an alien, his will shall be proved, or letters of administration granted, and his estate, in the Court of First Instance in the province in which he resides at the time of his death, and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the Court of First Instance of any province in which he had estate. The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. The jurisdiction assumed by a court, so far as it depends on the place of residence of the decedent, or of the location of his estate, shall not be contested in a suit or proceeding, except in an appeal from that court, in the original case, or when the want of jurisdiction appears on the record. It is not disputed that up to, at least, October 29, 1952, Andres Eusebio was, and had always been, domiciled in San Fernando, Pampanga, where he had his home, as well as some other properties. Inasmuch as his heart was in bad condition and his son, Dr. Jesus
Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process remained in that municipality. Then, again, in the deed Exhibit 2, by virtue of which said property at No. 889-A España Extention, Quezon City, was conveyed to him, on October 29, 1952, or less than a month before his death, the decedent gave San Fernando, Pampanga, as his residence. Similarly, the "A" and "B" residence certificates used by the decedent in aknowledging said Exhibit 2, before a notary public, was issued in San Fernando, Pampanga. Lastly, the marriage contract Exhibit 1, signed by the deceased when he was married, in articulo mortis, to Concepcion Villanueva, at the UST Hospital, on November 26, 1952, or two (2) days prior to his demise, stated that his residence is San Fernando, Pampanga. It is worthy of notice that Alfonso Eusebio, one of the legitimate full brothers of the herein appellee, was a witness to said wedding, thus indicating that the children of the deceased by his first marriage, including said appellee, were represented on that occasion and would have objected to said statement about his residence, if it were false. Consequently, apart from appellee's failure to prove satisfactory that the decedent had decided to establish his home in Quezon City, the acts of the latter, shortly and immediately before his death, prove the contrary. At any rate, the presumption in favor of the retention of the old domicile 1— which is particularly strong when the domicile is one of the origin 2as San Fernando, Pampanga, evidently was, as regards said decedent — has not been offset by the evidence of record. The lower court, however, rejected said Exhibits 1 and 2, upon being offered in evidence, and refused to entertain the same in the order appealed from. The reason therefor are deducible from its resolution in rejecting said documents during the hearing of the incident at bar. The court then held: Exihibits "1" and "2" are rejecting but the same may be attached to the records for whatever action oppositors may want to take later on because until now the personality of the oppositors has not been established whether or not they have a right to intervene in this case, and the Court cannot pass upon this question as the oppositors refuse to submit to the jurisdiction of this Court and they maintain that these proceedings should be dismissed. (P. 10, t. s. n.) In short, the lower court believed that said documents should not be admitted in evidence before appellants had established their "personality" to intervene in the case, referring seemingly to their filiation. When appellants, however, sought, during said hearing, to establish their relation with the deceased, as his alleged illegitimate children, His Honor, the trial Judge sustained appellee's objection thereto stating: Your stand until now is to question the jurisdiction of this Court, and it seems that you are now trying to prove the status of your client; you are leading so that. The main point here is your contention that the deceased was never a resident of Quezon City and that is why I allowed you to cross-examine. If you are trying to establish the status of the oppositors, I will sustain the objection, unless you want to submit to the jurisdiction of the Court. This is not yet the time to declare who are persons who should inherit. (p. 1, t. s. n.) Thus, the lower court refused to consider appellant's evidence on the domicile of the decedent, because of their alleged lack of "personality", but, when tried to establish such "personality", they were barred from doing so on account of the question of venue raised by him. We find ourselves unable to sanction either the foregoing procedure adopted by the lower court or the inference it drew from the circumstances surrounding the case. To begin with, His Honor, the trial Judge had taken inconsistent positions. While, on the one hand, he declared that appellants could not be permitted to introduce evidence on the residence of the decedent, for they contested the jurisdiction of court, on the other hand, he held, in the order appealed from, that, by cross-examining the appellee, said appellants had submitted themselves to the authority of the court. What is more, this conclusion is refuted by the record. At the beginning of the hearing, in the lower court, appellants' counsel announced that he would take part therein "only to question the jurisdiction, for the purpose of dismissing this proceeding," (p. 2, t.s.n.). During the cross-examination of petitioner herein, said counsel tried to elicit the relation between the decedent and the appellants. As, the appellee objected thereto, the court said, addressing appellants' counsel: "Your stand until now is to question the jurisdiction of the court. . . . It you are trying to establish the status of the oppositors, I will sustain the objection, unless you want to submit to the jurisdiction of the court" (p. 7, t.s.n.). Thereupon, appellants' counsel refused to do so, stating: "I will insist on my stand." Then, too, at the conclusion of the hearing, the court rejected Exhibits 1 and 2, for the reason that appellants "refuse to submit to the jurisdiction of this court and they maintain that these proceedings should be dismissed." Thus, appellants specially made of record that they were not submitting themselves to the jurisdiction of the court, except for the purpose only of assailing the same, and the court felt that appellants were not giving up their stand, which was, and is, a fact. At any rate, appellants were entitled to establish facts tending to prove, not only their right to object to appellee's petition, but, also, that venue had been laid improperly. Such facts were: (a) their alleged relationship with the decedent, 3 which, if true, entitle them to proceed him under the Civil Code of the Philippines; and (b) his alleged residence is Pampanga. In other words, the lower court should have admitted Exhibits 1 and 2 in evidence and given thereto the proper effect, in connection with the issue under consideration. Appellee, however, asks: "What will happen if this case be dismissed in the Court of First Instance of Quezon City on the ground of lack of jurisdiction or improper venue?" In this connection, it appears that on November 14, 1953, the Clerk of the Court of First Instance of Pampanga received a petition of appellants herein, dated November 4, 1953, for the settlement of the "Intestate Estate of the late Don Andres Eusebio". Attached to said wpetition was petition for the docketing thereof free charge, pursuant to Rule 3, section 22, of the Rules of Court. The latter petition was granted by an order dated November 16, 1953, which was received by the cashier of said court on November 17, 1953, on which date the case was docketed as Special Proceedings No. 957. On December 14, 1953, Jesus, Eugenio, Amando and Alfonso, all surnamed Eusebio (the children of the decedent by first marriage, including petitioner herein), moved for the dismissal of said proceedings, owing to the pendency of the present case, before the Court of First Instance of Rizal, since November 16, 1953. This motion was granted in an order dated December 21, 1953, relying upon the above Rule 75, section 1, of the Rules of Court, pursuant to which "the
Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts." Although said order is now final, it cannot affect the outcome of the case at bar. Said order did not pass upon the question of domicile or residence of the decedent. Moreover, in granting the court first taking cognizance of the case exclusive jurisdiction over the same, said provision of the Rules of Court evidently refers to cases triable before two or more courts with concurrent jurisdiction. It could not possibly have intended to deprive a competent court of the authority vested therein by law, merely because a similar case had been previously filed before a court to which jurisdiction is denied by law, for the same would then be defeated by the will of one of the parties. More specially, said provision refers mainly to non-resident decedents who have properties in several provinces in the Philippines, for the settlement of their respective estates may undertaken before the court of first instance of either one of said provinces, not only because said courts then have concurrent jurisdiction — and, hence, the one first taking cognizance of the case shall exclude the other courts — but, also, because the statement to this effect in said section 1 of Rule 75 of the Rules of the Court immediately follows the last part of the next preceding sentence, which deals with non-resident decedents, whose estate may settled the court of first instance of any province in which they have properties.lawphil.net In view, however, of the last sentence of said section, providing that: . . . The jurisdiction assumed by a court, so far as it depends on the place of residence of the decedent, or of the location of his estate, shall not be contested in a suit or proceedings, except in an appeal from that court, in the original case, or when the want of jurisdiction appears on the record. if proceedings for the settlement of the estate of a deceased resident are instituted in two or more courts, and the question of venue is raised before the same, the court in which the first case was filed shall have exclusive jurisdiction to decide said issue, and we so held in the case of Taciana Vda. De Borja vs. Tan, L-7792 (July 27, 1955). Should it be decided, in the proceedings before the said court, that venue had been improperly laid, the case pending therein should be dismissed and the corresponding proceedings may, thereafter, be initiated in the proper court. In conclusion, we find that the decedent was, at the time of his death, domiciled in San Fernando, Pampanga; that the Court of First Instance of Rizal had no authority, therefore, to appoint an administrator of the estate of the deceased, the venue having been laid improperly; and that it should, accordingly, have sustained appellants' opposition and dismissed appellee's petition. Wherefore, the order appealed from is hereby reversed and appellee's petition is dismissed, with costs against the appellee. It is so ordered.
Preciosa B. Fule as special administratrix. L-42670 November 29. No. MALVAR. Garcia and that she has expressly renounced her preferential right to the administration of the estate in favor of Virginia G. (2) the deletion of the names of Preciosa B. 1973. Fule filed with the Court of First Instance of Laguna. Francisco Carreon for petitioners. Garcia filed an opposition to the original and supplemental petitions for letters of administration. Preciosa B. praying for authority to take possession of properties of the decedent allegedly in the hands of third persons as well as to secure cash advances from the Calamba Sugar Planters Cooperative Marketing Association. Fule is a debtor of the estate of Amado G. 1973. who was simply listed as heir in the original petition. and in other places. Court of First Instance of Laguna. * PRECIOSA B.: These two interrelated cases bring to Us the question of what the word "resides" in Section 1. May 2. Garcia. venue. Branch XVIII. PAÑO. and (4) that Virginia G. Laguna. Garcia and Agustina Garcia as legal heirs of Amado G. and PRECIOSA B. Garcia.1973. 1973. Garcia on May 8. Judge Malvar and already issued an order. Garcia. In the meantime.R. 1973 that her appointment was obtained through erroneous. viz. 1976 VIRGINIA GARCIA FULE. 27-C. Laguna. Virginia G. prayed that she be appointed special administratrix of the estate. Presiding Judge. Garcia. she moved ex parte for her appointment as special administratrix over the estate. vs. of which the court was not possessed at the beginning because the original petition was deficient. Quezon City. Fule on August 20. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS. 1973 a motion to remove Virginia G. she should be preferred in the appointment of a special administratrix. While this reconsideration motion was pending resolution before the Court. GARCIA. petitioners. Preciosa B. 1973. denying the motion of Preciosa B. petitioner. On even date. Garcia opposed the motion." However. This supplemental petition modified the original petition in four aspects: (1) the allegation that during the lifetime of the deceased Amado G. Augusto G. is the surviving spouse of Amado G. No. therefore.a weekly publication of general circulation in Southern Luzon. Laguna. presided over by Judge Severo A. Garcia to reconsider the order of May 2. Fule has adverse interest against the estate. calling attention to the limitation made by Judge Malvar on the power of the special administratrix. a property owner of Calamba. Garcia only on July 31. lack of interest of Virginia G. appointing Virginia G. Garcia. Branch Vl. 1973. An omnibus motion was filed by Virginia G. 1976 VIRGINIA GARCIA FULE. On July 19. died intestate in the City of Manila. and admitting the supplementation petition of May 18. misleading and/or incomplete misrepresentations. he was elected as Constitutional Delegate for the First District of Laguna and his last place of residence was at Calamba. besides the jurisdictional ground raised in the motion for reconsideration of May 8. among others. (3) the allegation that Carolina Carpio. L-40502 November 29. at Calamba. the notice of hearing of the petition for letters of administration filed by Virginia G. 1973. Fule. and disqualification of Virginia G Fule as special administratrix. On June 6. that Virginia G.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process G. J. The admission of this supplemental petition was opposed by Preciosa B. was published on May 17. Judge Malvar granted the motion. 1973. inter alia. the rule in the appointment of a special administrator is sought to be reviewed. vs. means. a petition for letters of administration. "that on April 26. GARCIA and AGUSTINA B. Malvar. 24. Gatmaytan for private respondents. Garcia for the reason. Fule in the estate of Amado G. 1973. On May 2. A motion for reconsideration was filed by Preciosa B. Fule. Preciosa B. Fule as special administratrix alleging. there has been no delay or cause for delay in the proceedings for the appointment of a regular administrator as the surviving spouse of Amado G. in lieu of Virginia G. referring to the situs of the settlement of the estate of deceased persons. 4 . Garcia. 1973. alleging. and. Garcia. that it attempts to confer jurisdiction on the Court of First Instance of Laguna. Fule with the Court of First Instance of Calamba. Laguna. Preciosa B. Presiding Judge of Court of First Instance of Rizal. "to making an inventory of the personal and real properties making up the state of the deceased. and that she has shown herself unsuitable as administratrix and as officer of the court. MARTIN. and HONORABLE SEVERO A. respondents. Fule as special administratrix was issued without jurisdiction. Rule 73 of the Revised Rules Of Court. leaving real estate and personal properties in Calamba.. Proc. 1973. Additionally. received by Preciosa B. in the Bayanihan. and 31. raising the issues of jurisdiction. by July 2. Fule be appointed as the regular administratrix. contending that the order appointing Virginia G. Inc. Garcia filed on May 29. 1973. Virginia G. Fule." At the same time. docketed as Sp. Amado G. and as regular administratrix after due hearing. since no notice of the petition for letters of administration has been served upon all persons interested in the estate. HONORABLE ERNANI C. within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court. GARCIA. Garcia received a "Supplemental Petition for the Appointment of Regular Administrator ' filed by Virginia G. respondents.
to vacate the questioned four orders of that court. to furnish Virginia G. Garcia's motions to substitute and remove the special administratrix. qualification and removal of special administratrix. Garcia had submitted to the jurisdiction of the court and had waived her objections thereto by praying to be appointed as special and regular administratrix of the estate. 1973 and December 19.R. On November 28. 2 Virginia G. 1974. 1974. Laguna at the time of his death. 1973. the first. Judge Malvar issued two separate orders. and (e) delivery to the special administratrix of checks and papers and effects in the office of the Calamba Sugar Planters Cooperative Marketing Association. An omnibus motion was filed by Preciosa B. the failure of Virginia G.. Fule admitted before before the court that she is a full-blooded sister of Pablo G. whether qualified with the word "single" or "married to Amado Garcia. of jurisdiction. Garcia commenced a special action for certiorari and/or prohibition and preliminary injunction before the Court of Appeals. Regarding the motion to dismiss. Inc. directing Ramon Mercado. Preciosa B. reasoning that the said Virginia G. with whom the deceased Amado G. the Court of Appeals rendered judgment annulling the proceedings before Judge Severo A. 1 subject only to the previous qualification made by the court that the administration of the properties subject of the marketing agreement with the Canlubang Sugar Planters Cooperative Marketing Association should remain with the latter. On her part. Garcia all certificates of title in her name without any qualifying words like "married to Amado Garcia" does not appear. Preciosa B. Garcia's motion for reconsideration of January 7. Garcia filed a supplemental motion to substitute Virginia G. Judge Malvar further held that Preciosa B. Preciosa B. insofar as they sustained or failed to rule on the issues raised by her: (a) legal standing (cause of action) of Virginia G. Fule presented the death certificate of Amado G. Virginia G. in the alternative. On January 30. Garcia to deliver to Virginia G. 1973. to remove the special administratrix for acting outside her authority and against the interest of the estate. of the Calamba Sugar Planters Cooperative Marketing Association. Fule and the motion to dismiss filed by Preciosa B. because (1) jurisdiction over the petition or over the parties in interest has not been acquired by the court. Ramon Mercado. as well as to deliver to her the corresponding amount due the estate. Virginia G. Malvar in Sp. Fule is not a party in interest as she is not entitled to inherit from the deceased Amado G. On July 19. On July 26. Garcia on December 27. Judge Malvar ruled that the powers of the special administratrix are those provided for in Section 2. 1975. Proc. On December 19. Garcia also asked for the resolution of her motion to dismiss the petitions for lack of cause of action. 1973 to clarify or reconsider the foregoing order of Judge Malvar. 1973. and also that filed in behalf of Agustina B. and that the special administratrix had already been authorized in a previous order of August 20. Preciosa B. Judge Malvar ruled that the issue of jurisdiction had already been resolved in the order of July 2.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process On August 31. Preciosa B. L40502. Inc. and the second. 1974. denying their motion for reconsideration of the order denying their motion to dismiss the criminal and supplemental petitions on the issue. another. Garcia moved for reconsideration of the foregoing orders of November 28. Garcia. Fule and admitting the supplemental petition. Resolving the motion to dismiss. Garcia showing that his residence at the time of his death was Quezon City. No. in view of previous court order limiting the authority of the special administratrix to the making of an inventory. Fule also testified that Amado G. and that he was a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention for the first district of Laguna. Garcia has no relation. Alcalde. and still another. Fule. 1973. directing Ramon Mercado to deliver to the court all certificates of title in his possession in the name of Preciosa B. Fule forthwith elevated the matter to Us on appeal by certiorari. for lack of jurisdiction. On January 7. Garcia's motion to reconsider the appointment of Virginia G. Fule. Garcia. and to the court. Garcia. 27-C of the Court of First Instance of Calamba. Judge Malvar issued the other three questioned orders: one. docketed as CA-G. all dated July 19. Denied of their motion for reconsideration on March 31. copy of the statement of accounts and final liquidation of sugar pool. as special administratrix." During the hearing of the various incidents of this case (Sp. 1973. one. another. and (3) Virginia G. 03221-SP. 1974. Garcia presented the residence certificate of the decedent for 1973 showing that three months before his death his residence was in Quezon City. Garcia. Virginia G. Fule to allege in her original petition for letters of administration in the place of residence of the decedent at the time of his death was cured. 27-C) before Judge Malvar. denying Preciosa B. primarily to annul the proceedings before Judge Malvar in Sp. 1975. holding that the power allowed the special administratrix enables her to conduct and submit an inventory of the assets of the estate. was ordered to deliver to Preciosa B. denying Preciosa B. of the Canlubang Sugar Planters Cooperative Marketing Association. and another. Garcia was residing in Calamba. 1973. (c) jurisdiction. Garcia and Agustina B. Garcia on November 14. 27-C of the Court of First Instance of Laguna. No. to enjoin the special administratrix from taking possession of properties in the hands of third persons which have not been determined as belonging to Amado G. and the three others. Laguna. Fule two motor vehicles presumably belonging to the estate. Three motions were filed by Preciosa B. 1974. viz. filed in behalf of the minor Agustina B. an illegitimate son of Andrea Alcalde. Resolution of her motions to substitute and remove the special administratrix was likewise prayed for.. (b) venue. Judge Malvar resolved the pending omnibus motion of Virgina G. directing Preciosa B. (d) appointment. 1973 to take custody and possession of all papers and certificates of title and personal effects of the decedent with the Canlubang Sugar Planters Cooperative Marketing Association. Judge Malvar issued the first questioned order denying Preciosa B. Inc.R. (2) venue was improperly laid. Inc. 1973.. Preciosa B. among others. 1974. Garcia moved to dismiss the petition. The case was docketed as G. Proc. Fule. Garcia. No. or. directing the delivery of certain properties to the special administratrix. Rule 80 of the Rules of Court. Garcia. to dismiss the petition for want of cause of action. 5 . and improper venue. On March 27. Proc. Fule as special administratrix. one dated March 27. 1973. On September 28. jurisdiction.
And it is upon this reason that the Revised Rules of Court properly considers the province where the estate of a deceased person shall be settled as "venue. and the right of the person who seeks administration. Preciosa B. jurisdiction over the subject matter is another. Proc. This notwithstanding. The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent. Garcia had already filed on February 1. 1975. as the caption of the Rule indicates: "Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons. No. 1975. such as death. to be appointed. Garcia urgently moved for her appointment as special administratrix of the estate. Fule filed a "Special Appearance to Question Venue and Jurisdiction" reiterating the grounds stated in the previous special appearance of March 3.1974. We dismiss the appeal in G. in the original case. probate of will. A compliance of this Order was filed by Preciosa B. in the Court of First Instance in the province in which he resides at the time of his death. which simply directs the manner in which the power or authority shall be fully and justly exercised. On March 10. Garcia informed Judge Ericta of the pendency of Sp. and the annulment of the proceedings therein by the Court of Appeals on January 30.1976. Venue and Processes. and calling attention that the decision of the Court of Appeals and its resolution denying the motion for reconsideration had been appealed to this Court. She manifested. Q19738 and to restrain Judge Ernani Cruz Paño from further acting in the case. Because of the existence of numerous Courts of First Instance in the country. because such legal provision is contained in a law of procedure dealing merely with procedural matters. 1975. L-40502 and the petition for certiorari in G. his will shall be proved. Garcia on January 12. Virginia G. No. Fule could receive the decision of the Court of Appeals. Rule 73 (formerly Rule 75. No. specifically the clause "so far as it depends on the place of residence of the decedent. 3 The aforequoted Section 1. Ericta granted the motion and appointed Preciosa B. as amended. Proc. the Rules of Court. Judge Vicente G. and left no assets in the state. the court attempting to exercise it loses the power to exercise it legally.R." That power or authority is not altered or changed by procedure. and should allege all the necessary facts. Proc. this does not amount to a loss of jurisdiction over the subject matter. confers upon Courts of First Instance jurisdiction over all probate cases independently of the place of residence of the deceased. however. Preciosa B. The jurisdiction assumed by a court. the Court of First Instance of any province in which he had estate. no jurisdiction is conferred on the court to grant letters of administration. whether a citizen or an alien. her willingness to withdraw Sp. Garcia. shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. and that if the intestate was not an inhabitant of the state at the time of his death. L42670 for the reasons and considerations hereinafter stated. In plain words. Preciosa B. to annul the proceedings in Sp. and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country. Garcia qualified and assumed the office. 1975.000. Judge Ernani Cruz Pano. Q-19738 should the decision of the Court of Appeals annulling the proceedings before the Court of First Instance of Laguna in Sp. For the first time. who succeeded Judge Ericta. Preciosa B. the name and last residence of the decedent. or letters of administration granted. or otherwise. and his estate settled. It is merely constitutive of venue. or of the location of the estate. or when the want of jurisdiction appears on the record. of assets. A fortiori. No. Rather. so far as it depends on the place of residence of the decedent. 27-C have not yet become final. of convenience to the parties. purely. and that the case is still pending before the Court. Q-19738." 6 6 . that the parties had already filed their respective briefs. on February 14. however. 1975. even before Virginia G.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process However. No. The appearance of this provision in the procedural law at once raises a strong presumption that it has nothing to do with the jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter. issued an order granting Preciosa B. where this is relied upon. except in an appeal from that court. 1. 5 The Judiciary Act of 1948. 4 It could not have been intended to define the jurisdiction over the subject matter. it being the subject of a motion for reconsideration. Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court provides: "If the decedent is an inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death. intestacy." With particular regard to letters of administration. 27-C of the Court of First Instance of Laguna. On December 17. 1975. On February 4. it means that the court may thereby lose jurisdiction over the person or that the judgment may thereby be rendered defective for lack of something essential to sustain it. a petition for certiorari with temporary restraining order.00. VIRGINIA G. the existence. and situs if need be. Section 1). Section 2. There are cases though that if the power is not exercised conformably with the provisions of the procedural law. it is just a matter of method. and issuance of letters of administration does not constitute an element of jurisdiction over the subject matter. Proc. docketed as Sp. Section 1. Quezon City Branch. creditor. 1975. A restraining order was issued on February 9. On February 10. over the same intestate estate of Amado G.R. or of the location of his estate. The power or authority of the court over the subject matter "existed and was fixed before procedure in a given cause began. Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court demands that the petition therefor should affirmatively show the existence of jurisdiction to make the appointment sought. However. the place of residence of the deceased in settlement of estates. shall not be contested in a suit or proceeding. Garcia filed on December 11. No." On December 13." is in reality a matter of venue.R. FULE instituted G. Garcia as special administratrix upon a bond of P30. Preciosa B. 1973. Judge Ericta ordered the suspension of the proceedings before his court until Preciosa B. L-42670. purposedly fixes the venue or the place where each case shall be brought. as next of kin. Proc. No. Proc. 27-C before Judge Malvar of the Court of First Instance of Laguna. 1976. The fact of death of the intestate and his last residence within the country are foundation facts upon which all subsequent proceedings in the administration of the estate rest. Garcia inform the court of the final outcome of the case pending before the Court of Appeals. 1975 a petition for letters of administration before the Court of First Instance of Rizal. an "Urgent Petition for Authority to Pay Estate Obligations. No. Garcia's "Urgent Petition for Authority to Pay Estate Obligations" in that the payments were for the benefit of the estate and that there hangs a cloud of doubt on the validity of the proceedings in Sp. Procedure is one thing.
Preciosa B. Parenthetically. transferring part of his interest in certain parcels of land in Calamba. 10 No particular length of time of residence is required though. show in bold documents that Amado G. the widow would have the right of succession over a portion of the exclusive property of the decedent. not legal residence or domicile. Aside from this. the death certificate of Amado G. Garcia was at 11 Carmel Avenue. it is deemed waived." In the case before Us the Court of Appeals had reason to hold that in asking to substitute Virginia G. Withal. the long-settled rule is that objection to improper venue is subject to waiver. leaving real estate and personal properties in Calamba. On the contrary. Laguna. besides her share in the conjugal partnership.. Garcia. Rule 4 of the Revised Rules of Court states: "When improper venue is not objected to in a motion to dismiss. Garcia on the residence of the deceased Amado G. Fule herself and also by Preciosa B. 4. the personal. or that. and certificates of titles covering parcels of land in Calamba. There is no reason why the same fundamental and legal principles governing the choice of a regular administrator should not be taken into account in the appointment of a special administrator. meaning. the court may appoint a special administratorto take possession and charge of the estate of the deceased until the questions causing the delay are decided and executors or administrators appointed. Quezon City. however. Exercise of that discretion must be based on reason. Preciosa B. Garcia.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process 2.1973. In this popular sense. equity. shows that his last place of residence was at 11 Carmel Avenue. the conclusion becomes imperative that the venue for Virginia C." like. Carmel Subdivision. 21 The preference of Preciosa B. Carmel Subdivision. while domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention to make it one's domicile. which was presented in evidence by Virginia G. Laguna. actual or physical habitation of a person. the Deed of Donation dated January 8. Preciosa B.. Garcia was at 11 Carmel Avenue. After all. broadened the basis for appointment and such appointment is now allowed when there is delay in granting letters testamentary or administration by any cause e. actual residence or place of abode. For her. To say that as "property owner of Calamba. 14 Nevertheless. In 7 . Fule herself before the Calamba court and in other papers." is elastic and should be interpreted in the light of the object or purpose of the statute or rule in which it is employed. We rule that Preciosa B. Fule's appointment as special administratrix is another issue of perplexity. Even where the statute uses the word "domicile" still it is construed as meaning residence and not domicile in the technical sense. is. Laguna. personal residence. Laguna." 8 In other words. if not more. Quezon City. The new Rules. however. In her original petition for letters of administration before the Court of First Instance of Calamba. the far-ranging question is this: What does the term "resides" mean? Does it refer to the actual residence or domicile of the decedent at the time of his death? We lay down the doctrinal rule that the term "resides" connotes ex vi termini "actual residence" as distinguished from "legal residence or domicile. 20 the appointing court does not determine who are entitled to share in the estate of the decedent but who is entitled to the administration. as appearing in his death certificate presented by Virginia G. Garcia did not necessarily waive her objection to the jurisdiction or venue assumed by the Court of First Instance of Calamba. Garcia is with sufficient reason. however. The good or bad administration of a property may affect rather the fruits than the naked ownership of a property. and the findings of the court on the relationship of the parties in the administration as to be the basis of distribution. Fule. Fule categorically alleged that Amado G. Garcia at the time of his death. the terms "residing" and "residence. Section 4. Fule measely stated "(t)hat on April 26. Some cases make a distinction between the terms "residence" and "domicile" but as generally used in statutes fixing venue. the deceased's residence certificate for 1973 obtained three months before his death. Garcia as the widow of the late Amado G. and in other places within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. We rule that the last place of residence of the deceased Amado G. 1973. justice and legal principle." Preciosa B. For such reason. interest in administering the entire estate correctly than any other next of kin. Garcia assailed the petition for failure to satisfy the jurisdictional requirement and improper laying of venue. The issue of heirship is one to be determined in the decree of distribution. 13 Formerly. parties cannot agree among themselves. 19 On this point. the residence must be more than temporary.g. Preciosa B. Amado G. Virginia G. in her amended petition. the consideration that overrides all others in this respect is thebeneficial interest of the appointee in the estate of the decedent. died intestate in the City of Manila. the last residence of Amado G. or his passions to rule. Garcia." he also resides in Calamba. Fule has no relation whatsoever with Amado G. the discretion to appoint a special administrator or not lies in the probate court. Garcia's "last place of residence was at Calamba. Laguna. Laguna. Virginia G. Inc. non sequitur. while insisting on the enforcement of the Rule fixing the proper venue of the proceedings at the last residence of the decedent. Carmel Subdivision. she is a mere illegitimate sister of the latter. his judgment. the terms are synonymous. which is but temporary and subsists only until a regular administrator is appointed. the term means merely residence. Laguna. Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court is of such nature — residence rather than domicile is the significant factor. Garcia's last place of residence was at Quezon City. the appointment of a special administrator was only proper when the allowance or disallowance of a will is under appeal. Garcia's challenge to Virginia G. or to make his personal likes and dislikes prevail over. Nevertheless. 16 Nothing is wrong for the judge to consider the order of preference in the appointment of a regular administrator in appointing a special administrator. 12 As it is. but availed of a mere practical resort to alternative remedy to assert her rights as surviving spouse. 9Residence simply requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place. Preciosa B. 7 In the application of venue statutes and rules — Section 1. Garcia. Garcia claims that. disputes the status of Preciosa B. Garcia. 18 Virginia G. Section 1 of Rule 80 provides that "(w)hen there is delay in granting letters testamentary or of administration by any cause including an appeal from the allowance or disallowance of a will. incapable of any successional rights. It signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat. "resides" should be viewed or understood in its popular sense. Divergent claims are maintained by Virginia G. is no authority for the judge to become partial. Laguna. Fule's petition for letters of administration was improperly laid in the Court of First Instance of Calamba. It needs be emphasized that in the issuance of such appointment. that is. Laguna to Agustina B." This term "resides. according to her. But. Fule and Preciosa B. she would have as such. Quezon City. Garcia claims preference to the appointment as surviving spouse. Fule as special administratrix. the quoted statement avers no domicile or residence of the deceased Amado G. and not at Calamba. and convey the same meaning as the term "inhabitant. a property owner of Calamba. A death certificate is admissible to prove the residence of the decedent at the time of his death. however. Garcia is prima facie entitled to the appointment of special administratrix. Garcia. Laguna. Garcia. 11 3. Garcia maintains that Virginia G. 15 That. 17 Under the law. With equal force. the Marketing Agreement and Power of Attorney dated November 12. Laguna." On this issue. 1971 turning over the administration of his two parcels of sugar land to the Calamba Sugar Planters Cooperative Marketing Association.
8 . Garcia. and ordering the Canlubang Sugar Estate to deliver to her as special administratrix the sum of P48. Accordingly. Garcia on January 8. L-42670. 22 In his certificate of candidacy for the office of Delegate to the Constitutional Convention for the First District of Laguna filed on September 1. 1975. No. the Order of Judge Ernani Cruz Pano of December 17. 24 5. 23 Faced with these documents and the presumption that a man and a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage. 1973 in favor of Agustina B.874.R. the petitions of petitioner Virginia Garcia Fule in G. L42670 are hereby denied.70 for payment of the sum of estate obligations is hereby upheld. 1970. 6. he indicated therein that he is married to Preciosa B. he wrote therein the name of Preciosa B. Garcia can be reasonably believed to be the surviving spouse of the late Amado G. Court of Appeals. L-40502 and in G. granting the "Urgent Petition for Authority to Pay Estate Obligations" filed by Preciosa B. No. Garcia. Preciosa B. Q-19738.R. Banaticla as his spouse. Garcia and the appointment of special administratrix over the latter's estate be approved and authorized and the Court of First Instance of Laguna be disauthorized from continuing with the case and instead be required to transfer all the records thereof to the Court of First Instance of Quezon City for the continuation of the proceedings. with costs against petitioner. Under these circumstances and the doctrine laid down in Cuenco vs. SO ORDERED. 25 this Court under its supervisory authority over all inferior courts may properly decree that venue in the instant case was properly assumed by and transferred to Quezon City and that it is in the interest of justice and avoidance of needless delay that the Quezon City court's exercise of jurisdiction over the settlement of the estate of the deceased Amado G. Proc.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process a Donation Inter Vivos executed by the deceased Amado G.R. No. Garcia. No. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio. Garcia in Sp. subject matter of G.
Jao. in the same way that they were taken at different times for the same purpose to Perico’s residence at Legaspi Towers in Roxas Boulevard. COURT OF APPEALS and PERICO V. solely for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment and hospitalization. Perico moved that he be appointed as special administrator. who died intestate in 1988 and 1989. II 9 RODOLFO V. whereupon the trial court ordered that the petition be archived. stating that he gave the information regarding the decedents’ residence on the death certificates in good faith and through honest mistake.8 After the parties submitted the names of their respective nominees. More particularly.nêt In his opposition. SP No. consisting of income tax returns. the petition for certiorari is hereby DISMISSED. He gave his residence only as reference. SO ORDERED. SO ORDERED.R. 1997. The death certificates could not. On April 17. Rodolfo moved for the dismissal of the petition on the ground of improper venue. and forcibly opening vaults belonging to their deceased parents and disposing of the cash and valuables therein. petitioner. respectively. cannot disown his own representation by taking an inconsistent position other than his own admission.11 Rodolfo’s motion for reconsideration was denied by the Court of Appeals in the assailed resolution dated February 17. the motion to dismiss filed by petitioner Rodolfo was denied. this court DENIES for lack of merit movant’s motion to dismiss. He alleged that his brother. Perico moved that the intestate proceedings be revived. therefore. over the estate of his parents. 1994. Surprisingly. The questioned order of the respondent Judge is affirmed in toto.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process G. Perico instituted a petition for issuance of letters of administration before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. Sundiam as special administrator of the estate of Ignacio Jao Tayag and Andrea Jao. Movant. Andrea. to wit: Rodolfo and Perico Jao were the only sons of the spouses Ignacio Jao Tayag and Andrea V. all indicating that their permanent residence was in Angeles City. respondents. xxx xxx xxx. Pampanga. JAO. Jao were supplied by movant.5 A mere perusal of the death certificates of the spouses issued separately in 1988 and 1989. be deemed conclusive evidence of the decedents’ residence in light of the other documents showing otherwise. 128314 May 29. As the health of his parents deteriorated due to old age. 1991. vs. Quezon City. respectively. Branch 99.3 Perico countered that their deceased parents actually resided in Rodolfo’s house in Quezon City at the time of their deaths. they stayed in Rodolfo’s residence at 61 Scout Gandia Street. anchored on the following grounds: I RESPONDENT COURT HAD DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE IN A WAY NOT IN ACCORD WITH THE LAW AND IS DIRECTLY CONTRADICTORY TO THE APPLICABLE DECISION ALREADY RENDERED BY THIS HONORABLE COURT. Rodolfo was receiving rentals from real properties without rendering any accounting.7 Subsequently. the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed decision. much less any grave abuse of discretion of the court a quo having been shown. shares of stock and other personal properties. statements of assets and liabilities. Rodolfo. The decedents left real estate. motor vehicle registration and passports. the entries appearing on the death certificate of Andrea V. therefore. docketed as Special Proceedings No. Pampanga. 1996. which was docketed as CAG. Their stay in his house was merely transitory. No. Jao. where his late mother used to run and operate a bakery. Rodolfo filed a rejoinder.10 Rodolfo filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals.R. 35908.12 Hence.1 Pending the appointment of a regular administrator. Q-91-8507. 2002 The court required the parties to submit their respective nominees for the position. YNARES-SANTIAGO. Metro Manila. in view of the foregoing consideration. Rodolfo submitted documentary evidence previously executed by the decedents. As a matter of fact. JAO. and affixed his own signature on the said document. confirm the fact that Quezon City was the last place of residence of the decedents. Quezon City.4 Rodolfo himself even supplied the entry appearing on the death certificate of their mother. no error. Rodolfo V. J. whose signature appears in said document. it was conclusively declared in their death certificates that their last residence before they died was at 61 Scout Gandia Street.: . cash. the trial court designated Justice Carlos L.2 He argued that the deceased spouses did not reside in Quezon City either during their lifetime or at the time of their deaths. On December 11. was gradually dissipating the assets of the estate. The decedent’s actual residence was in Angeles City. real estate tax payments. WHEREFORE. considering that their parents were treated in their late years at the Medical City General Hospital in Mandaluyong. voter’s affidavits. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE.6 Both failed to comply. this petition for review.9 On April 6.1âwphi1.
(b) physical presence at the place chosen. The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. Section 1 of the Rules of Court states: . While he was able to acquire a house in Quezon City. 593. 100 PHILS.nêt The contention lacks merit. et al. Q-91-8507. (underscoring ours) Clearly. or in Quezon City. or of the location of his estate. Andres Eusebio. The main issue before us is: where should the settlement proceedings be had --.13 Petitioner Rodolfo invokes our ruling in the case of Eusebio v. and (c) intention to stay therein permanently. passed away while in the process of transferring his personal belongings to a house in Quezon City. WHICH CLEARLY INTERPRETED WHAT IS MEANT BY RESIDENCE IN SEC. It cannot be said that Eusebio changed his residence because. and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country. the decedent had: (a) capacity to choose and freedom of choice. 1 OF RULE 73 FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING VENUE IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ESTATE OF A DECEASED. Pampanga. 2 OF RULE 4 FOR THE PURPOSE OF SERVING SUMMONS TO A DEFENDANT IN A PERSONAL ACTION TO THE RESIDENCE CONTEMPLATED IN SEC. PROCEEDING NO. VII RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN DISMISSING THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI DESPITE THE CLEAR ABUSE OF DISCRETION ON THE PART OF THE TRIAL COURT IN INSISTING TO TAKE COGNIZANCE OF SP. IV RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN APPLYING BY ANALOGY THE RESIDENCE CONTEMPLATED IN SEC. in the Court of First Instance in the province in which he resides at the time of his death. V RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN GIVING MORE WEIGHT TO THE ENTRY OF PETITIONER AND PRIVATE RESPONDENT IN THE RESPECTIVE DEATH CERTIFICATES OF THE DECEDENTS RATHER THAN THE OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE SHOWING THE CLEAR INTENTION OF THE DECEDENTS TO ESTABLISH THEIR PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN ANGELES CITY.and hence. He was then suffering from a heart ailment and was advised by his doctor/son to purchase a Quezon City residence. In determining residence at the time of death. The facts in Eusebio were different from those in the case at bar. the estate of an inhabitant of the Philippines shall be settled or letters of administration granted in the proper court located in the province where the decedent resides at the time of his death. the following factors must be considered. where the decedents had their permanent residence.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN DISREGARDING THE RULING OF THIS HONORABLE COURT IN THE CASE OF EUSEBIO VS. whether a citizen or an alien. Eusebio died even before he could move therein.. in the original case.15 While it appears that the decedents in this case chose to be physically present in Quezon City for medical convenience. residence --.1âwphi1. Petitioner failed to sufficiently refute respondent’s assertion that their elderly parents stayed in his house for some three to four years before they died in the late 1980s. III RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT PHYSICAL PRESENCE IN A PLACE AT THE TIME OF DEATH IS DETERMINATIVE OF DECEDENT’S RESIDENCE RATHER THAN THE INTENTION OF THE DECEDENTS TO ESTABLISH THEIR PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN ANOTHER PLACE. we ruled that Eusebio retained his domicile --. or letters of administration granted.in Pampanga. his will shall be proved. his physical presence in Quezon City was just temporary. strictly speaking. 1 OF RULE 73 OF THE RULES OF COURT. petitioner avers that they never adopted Quezon City as their permanent residence. shall not be contested in a suit or proceeding. there is substantial proof that the decedents have transferred to petitioner’s Quezon City residence. and his estate settled. In the case at bar. 10 Where estate of deceased persons be settled. the Court of First Instance of any province in which he had estate.in San Fernando. EUSEBIO. – If the decedent is an inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death. or when the want of jurisdiction appears on the record. The jurisdiction assumed by a court. where they actually stayed before their demise? Rule 73. except in an appeal from that court. Eusebio. In said case.14 where we held that the situs of settlement proceedings shall be the place where the decedent had his permanent residence or domicile at the time of death. VI RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN APPLYING THE PRINCIPLE OF ESTOPPEL AS AGAINST PETITIONER WHICH CAN NOT BE MORE PERSUASIVE THAN THE CLEAR INTENTION OF THE DECEDENTS THEMSELVES TO ESTABLISH PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN ANGELES CITY. which was nearer to his doctor. so far as it depends on the place of residence of the decedent. namely. The decedent therein.
35908 is AFFIRMED. the same must be held to be conclusive and binding upon this Court.R. Even where the statute uses the word "domicile" still it is construed as meaning residence and not domicile in the technical sense. Court of Appeals19 and Bejer v.18 on ordinary civil actions. meaning.21 All told. the lower court and the Court of Appeals correctly held that venue for the settlement of the decedents’ intestate estate was properly laid in the Quezon City court." This term "resides". It does not necessarily follow that the records of a person’s properties are kept in the place where he permanently resides. In the application of venue statutes and rules – Section 1. SO ORDERED. over the numerous documentary evidence presented by petitioner. the personal. Moreover. petitioner is obviously splitting straws when he differentiates between venue in ordinary civil actions and venue in special proceedings. accomplished a year earlier by respondent. or where he maintains extensive personal and business interests. Petitioner’s argument fails to persuade. at least. We agree with the appellate court’s observation that since the death certificates were accomplished even before petitioner and respondent quarreled over their inheritance. the term means merely residence. this unqualifiedly shows that at that time. In Raymond v. Petitioner strains to differentiate between the venue provisions found in Rule 4. they may be relied upon to reflect the true situation at the time of their parents’ death. the documents presented by petitioner pertained not toresidence at the time of death. petitioner recognized his deceased mother’s residence to be Quezon City. however. It may be that he has his domicile in a place different from that where he keeps his records. SP No. Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court is of such nature – residence rather than domicile is the significant factor. Significantly. which applies specifically to settlement proceedings. Section 1. and Rule 73. personal residence. is elastic and should be interpreted in the light of the object or purpose of the statute or rule in which it is employed. the terms are synonymous. InGarcia-Fule v. and the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. means nothing more than a person’s actual residence or place of abode. provided he resides therein with continuity and consistency. and convey the same meaning as the term "inhabitant. the residence must be more than temporary. "resides" should be viewed or understood in its popular sense. The death certificates thus prevailed as proofs of the decedents’ residence at the time of death. A close perusal of the challenged decision shows that. actual residence or place of abode. petitioner failed to contest the entry in Ignacio’s death certificate. Court of Appeals. To our mind.17 Both the settlement court and the Court of Appeals found that the decedents have been living with petitioner at the time of their deaths and for some time prior thereto. which are admissible in evidence. WHEREFORE. He argues that while venue in the former understandably refers to actual physical residence for the purpose of serving summons. in view of the foregoing. Court of Appeals. not legal residence or domicile. Some cases make a distinction between the terms "residence" and "domicile" but as generally used in statutes fixing venue. like the terms "residing" and "residence". 11 . Neither can it be presumed that a person’s properties can be found mostly in the place where he establishes his domicile.16 we held: xxx xxx xxx the term "resides" connotes ex vi termini "actual residence" as distinguished from "legal residence or domicile. the petition is DENIED. To be sure. Section 1. The recitals in the death certificates. while domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention to make it one’s domicile. We find this conclusion to be substantiated by the evidence on record. No particular length of time of residence is required though. No generalizations can thus be formulated on the matter.20 we ruled that venue for ordinary civil actions and that for special proceedings have one and the same meaning. it is the permanent residence of the decedent which is significant in Rule 73.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process Furthermore. were thus properly considered and presumed to be correct by the court a quo. "residence". in the context of venue provisions. that is." In other words. Residence simply requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place. At any rate. but to permanent residence or domicile. actual or physical habitation of a person. the court below considered not only the decedents’ physical presence in Quezon City. Section 2. It signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat. as the question of where to keep records or retain properties is entirely dependent upon an individual’s choice and peculiarities. it was petitioner himself who filled up his late mother’s death certificate. In the absence of any substantial showing that the lower courts’ factual findings stemmed from an erroneous apprehension of the evidence presented. Petitioner insists that venue for the settlement of estates can only refer to permanent residence or domicile because it is the place where the records of the properties are kept and where most of the decedents’ properties are located. as required by the Rules of Court. In this popular sense. contrary to petitioner’s assertion. As thus defined. but also other factors indicating that the decedents’ stay therein was more than temporary. the decedents’ respective death certificates state that they were both residents of Quezon City at the time of their demise.
Juliana de Borja. 1949. for reconstitution of the records of this case. Intestate proceedings must have followed. the Court on December 11. are legitimate children of Marcelo de Borja who. 1957 5. Once the total of the inheritance of the intestate is made up as specified before in this Agreement. CRISANTO DE BORJA. 1940. 1946. . ET AL. JUAN DE BORJA. Twelve Thousand Pesos (P12. and prayed that the statement of accounts submitted by the administrator be disapproved. 1945. No. E. but with pending obligation amounting to P35. On April 30. FELIX. on the other hand. all surnamed de Borja. Nueva Ecija. son of Francisco de Borja. Francisco de Borja. because the record shows that in 1930 Quintin de Borja was already the administrator of the Intestate Estate of Marcelo de Borja. That the amounts of money taken by each heir shall be considered as deposited in conjunction with the other properties of the intestate and shall form part of the mass without drawing any interest. Dr. 7. then being opposed by Francisco de Borja. The administrator later filed another report of his administration. 1949. That it shall be understood as included in this mass the sum of twelve thousand pesos (P12. 1945. On August 22. oppositors-appellees. as administrator of the estate of his deceased mother. Crisanta de Borja. Don Francisco de Borja. until upon petition filed by Miguel B. reads as follows: 1. V.96. e. shall be likewise included in the total mass of the inheritance of the Intestate. but upon petition of the heirs of said deceased on the ground that his interests were conflicting with that of his brother's estate he was later required by the Court to resign as such executor and was succeeded by Rogelio Limaco. Crisanto de Borja to verify the loss and therefore prayed that the administrator be ordered to deposit with the Clerk of Court all books.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process G. who is one of heirs. L-6622 July 31. 3. 2414 of the Court of First Instance of Rizal. Crisanta and Juliana. partition thereof will be made as follows: From the total mass shall be deducted in case or in kind. Juliana de Borja and Da. J. and Da. which according to the heirs of Quintin de Borja were so inadequate and general that on February 28. Dayco. nor from the land in Tabuatin. receipts. which was approved by the Court (Exh. 1946. Filamor for appellant. 4. A). Juan de Borja and sisters. that they cannot understand why the Intestate could suffer any loss considering that during the administration of the same by Quintin de Borja. administrator-appellant. vs. accounts 12 Intestate Estate of the deceased MARCELO DE BORJA. The right. Pasig branch (In the Matter of the Intestate Estate of Marcelo de Borja). It also appears that on February 16. at the hearing set for the approval of the statement of accounts of the late administrator of the Intestate Estate of Marcelo de Borja. translated into English. heirs of the deceased Quintin de Borja. they also filed their opposition to said statement of accounts alleging that the income reported in said statement was very much less than the true and actual income of the estate and that the expenses appearing therein were exaggerated and/or not actually incurred. lost or destroyed during the last war. No heir shall claim anything of the harvests from the lands in Cainta that came from Exequiel Ampil. to July 31. left a considerable amount of property. the parties submitted an agreement.. filed their opposition to the statement of accounts filed by the administrator on the ground that same was not detailed enough to enable the interested parties to verify the same. upon his demise sometime in 1924 or 1925.000) that shall be delivered to Da. Juan de Borja for himself and co-appellees.415. Crisanto de Borja. 6190 of the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija. Crisanta de Borja in equal shares. On January 3. showing a cash balance of P71. a son-in-law of Quintin de Borja.. the Estate accumulated gains of more than P100. requiring the administrator to submit his report and a copy of the project of partition. there was a lull and state of inaction in Special proceeding No. in equal parts. Da. i. 1949. 1945. and the pre-war records of the case either burned. In the early part of 1938.R. deceased. filed his accounts for the period ranging from March 1 to December 22. was appointed and took over as administrator of the Estate. the administrator. interests or participation that the deceased Quintin de Borja has or may have in Civil Case No.000) the price of the machinery for irrigation.000 in the form of advances to the heirs as well as cash balance. assumed his duties as executor of the will of Quintin de Borja. Crisanta de Borja. 2. ordered the reconstitution of the same. dated August 9. From then on and until the termination of the war.: The case. All the accounts submitted and those that are to be submitted corresponding to this year will be considered approved. that they desired to examine the accounts of Dr. 1946. (TRANSLATION) The Intestate remained under the administration of Crisanto de Borja until the then outbreak of the war. corresponding to the period lapsed from December 23. the heirs of Quintin de Borja. 6. — Quintin. and the rest shall be divided among the four heirs. they filed a motion for specification. Not only the lands in Tabuatin but also those in Cainta coming from the now deceased Exequiel Ampil shall also from part of the total mass of the inheritance of the Intestate of the late Marcelo de Borja. Francisco.000) that the sisters Crisanta and Juliana de Borja paid of their own money as part of the price the lands and three thousand pesos (P3. Said agreement. Quintin de Borja died and Crisanto de Borja.
1949.810. they affirmed their conformity with the agreement entered into by all the heirs appearing in the Bill of Exceptions of Juliana de Borja. to July 31. and the rentals of the house of Feliciana Mariano or else render to the Court an accounting of the products of these properties from the time they took possession of the same in 1937 to the present.300 cavans of palay. registered their opposition said statement of accounts and prayed the Court to disapprove the same and to appoint an account to go over the books of the administrator and to submit a report thereon as soon as possible.95. that the obligations mentioned in said report will be liquidated before the termination of the proceedings in the same manner as it is done in any other intestate case. Francisco de Borja and Miguel B. which were enjoyed by some heirs. 1944. Juan de Borja and his sisters. Juliana de Borja must deliver to the administrator all the jewelry. which were the objects of Civil Case No. This motion was answered by the administrator contending that the Report referred to was already clear and enough. all the properties adjudicated to them in the Project of Partition dated February 8. that he was willing to submit all the receipts of the accounts for the examination of the interested parties before the Clerk or before the Court itself. submitted to the Court an agreement to relieve the administrator from accounting for the period of the Japanese occupation. Quintin de Borja. when his house was burned. amounting to P213. objects of value. answered the opposition of the heir Juliana de Borja. On December 6. that the allegation that during the administration of Quintin de Boria the Estate realized a profit of P100. and his personal records were also lost during the Japanese occupation. Eufracia. Nueva Ecija. de Sarangaya. and on July 18. the income as well as the expenditures being specified therein. all surnamed de Borja. filed a motion for the delivery to them of their inheritance in the estate. which the heirs should pay before the properties adjudicated to them would be delivered. that he had to spend for the repairs of the properties of the Estate damaged during the Japanese occupation. interests and participation of Quintin de Borja in Civil Case No. the administrator filed another statement of accounts covering the period of from March 1. 1950. that as to the accounting from 1937 to 1941. Dayco filed a motion informing the Court that the two parcels of land located in Cabanatuan. Juan. Dayco. together with the house of Feliciana Mariano Vda. 1949. that the heirs of Quintin de Borja should deliver to the administrator all the lands and a document transferring in favor of the Intestate the two parcels of land with a total area of 71 hectares of cultivated land in Cabanatuan. The Court. as heirs of Quintin de Borja. which showed a cash balance of P71. and ordered that the statement of accounts be presented only for the period starting from March 1. that in accordance with said partition agreement. for the reason that whatever money obtained from the Estate during said period could not be made the subject of any adjudication it having been declared fiat money and without value.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process and other papers pertaining to the Estate of Marcelo de Borja. with pending obligations in the sum of P35. The heirs of Quintin de Borja.000 as of September 14. Saturnina. The administrator further stated that he was anxious to terminate this administration but some of the heirs had not yet complied with the conditions imposed in the project of partition which was approved by the Supreme Court.000 was not true. as the only heir of the deceased Crisanta de Borja. that Judge Peña who was presiding over the Court in 1945 impliedly denied the petition of heirs to require him to render an accounting for the period from 1942 to the early part of 1945. upon the latter's filing a bond in the sum of P10. But on July 20. Jacoba and Olimpia. pursuant to the provisions of the project of Partition. which said heir had kept and continued to retain in her possession. and signified her willingness to turn over to the administrator the silver wares mentioned in Paragraph III of the project of partition. 1950. Juan de Borja and his sisters Marcela. On the other hand. and they have no objection to the approval of the statement of accounts submitted by the administrator covering of the years 1945 to 1949. Saturniana. that the administrator Crisanto de Borja had not taken possession of the same for circumstances beyond his control. that there was a pending obligation amounting to P36. 1949. Juliana de Borja filed a Constancia denying possession of any jewelry belonging to the deceased spouses Marcelo de Borja and Tarcilla Quiogue or any other personal belonging of said spouses. received from properties that were redeemed. which were the only property in her care. on the date that she would expect the delivery to her of her share in the inheritance from her deceased parents. The heir Juliana de Borja also formally offered her objection to the approval of the accounts submitted by the administrator and prayed further that said administrator be required to submit a complete accounting of his administration of the Estate from 1937 to 1949. to show and prove by evidence why he should not be accounts the proceeds of his administration from 1937. deferred action on the petition filed by the special administratrix of the Intestate Estate of Juliana de Borja until after compliance with the conditions imposed by the project of partition. 1949. The Court considered the fact that the heirs had complied with the requirement imposed by the Project of Partition when they tendered the document ceding and transferring the rights and interests of Quintin de Borja in the aforementioned lands and expressed the necessity of terminating the proceedings as soon as practicable. however. Jacoba and Olimpia. 1940 and 1941 were presented and approved by the Court before and during the Japanese occupation. 1938. Meantime. 6190 mentioned in Paragraph 11 of the project of partition. 1945. apparently before the properties were delivered to the heirs. but which amount did not come into the hands of the present. alleging that the corresponding statement of accounts for the years 1937. produced some 21. Nueva Ecija. the project of partition having been allowed and confirmed by the Supreme Court and that the Administrator was also desirous of terminating it definitely for the benefit of all the parties.000 conditioned upon the payment of such obligation as may be ordered by the Court after a hearing on the controverted accounts of the administrator. 1950.204 which the former administrator. ordered the administrator on December 10. the administrator. 1945. observing that the Estate had been under administration for over twenty-five years already. Francisco de Borja and Miguel B. however.000 at P10 per cavan. 1939. The Court. because instead of gain there was even a shortage in the funds although said administrator had collected all his fees (honorarios) and commissions corresponding to the entire period of his incumbency. 1949. and that there also existed the sum of P70. 7190 of the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija. On July 6. tendering to the administrator a document ceding and transferring to the latter all the rights. but the records of the same were destroyed in the Office of the Clerk of that Court during the liberation of the province of Rizal. On September 14. and expressing their willingness to put up a bond if required to do so by the Court. Eufracia. that this Intestate could be terminated. that as consequence of the said dispossession the heirs of Quintin de Borja must deliver to the administrator the products of the 71 hectares of land in Cabanatuan. Nueva Ecija which were in the possession of said heirs. administrator because 13 . all surnamed de Borja. the Court ordered the administrator to deliver to Marcela. utensils and other personal belongings of the deceased spouses Marcelo de Borja and Tircila Quiogue.
It also ruled that as the petition of Francisco de Borja and Miguel B. the special administratrix of the estate of Juliana de Borja. requiring him to deliver to the heirs of Quintin de Borja the properties corresponding to them. 1949. therefore. which showed a cash balance of P36. the administrator filed his amended statement of accounts covering the period from March 1. the Court rendered judgment on September 5.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process according to reliable information. On the same day. said lawyer not being a party to the action. Judge Encarnacion issued an order denying admission to administrator's amended counterclaim directed against the lawyer. 1949. as the acts upon which the claim for moral damages were based had been committed prior to the effectivity of the new Civil Code. the oppositors filed an amended answer contending that inasmuch as the acts. the administrator filed a reply to said opposition containing a counterclaim for moral damages against all the heirs of Quintin de Borja in the sum of P30. the disputed statement of accounts submitted by the administrator. not being a party to the action. An additional statement of accounts filed on August 31.395. Cabanatuan. There followed a momentary respite in the proceedings until another judge was assigned to preside over said court to dispose of the old case pending therein. On July 28. denying the allegation that said heir any product of the lands mentioned from Quintin de Borja.R. 1951.000 which was admitted by the Court over the objection of the heirs of Quintin de Borja that the said pleading was filed out of time. The heirs of Quintin de Borja again opposed the approval of the statements of accounts charging the administrator with having failed to include the fruits which the estate should have accrued from 1941 to 1951 amounting to P479. On July 28. 1951. same was delivered to the heir Juliana de Borja who deposited it in her name at the Philippine National Bank. the Court also issued an order requiring the administrator to deliver to the Clerk of that 14 . Gomez. In that same order. on the ground that there existed no sufficient reason to disturb said order. and on May 30. We rendered decision affirming the order complained of. L-4179. 1952. that said motion was improper because it was asking the Court to order the administrator to perform what he was duty bound to do. 1952. Dayco on the ground that the petition was superfluous because the present proceeding was only for the approval of the statement of accounts filed by the administrator. 1951. to July 31. manifestations and pleadings referred to therein were admittedly committed and prepared by their lawyer. said heirs was ordered to pay instead the 3 others the sum of P146.99 to the Estate of Juliana de Borja and P314.05 each. and stating that granting the same to be meritorious. 1950.000.165. holding that a lawyer. a situation which the Court would not countenance. the Court found the administrator guilty of maladministration and sentenced Crisanto de Borja to pay to the oppositors. they prayed that the administrator be held liable for only P119. On October 4. cannot be made answerable for counterclaims.17 and pending obligations in the amount of P6. finding that the Juan de Borja and sisters have complied with the requirement imposed in the Project of Partition upon the tender of the document of cession of rights and quit-claim executed by Marcela de Borja. that is.70. Atty. On January 15. 1951. but as the latter still owed the intestate the sum of P900. the heirs of Quintin de Borja also filed their opposition to the said motion of Francisco de Borja and Miguel B. Dayco made mention of certain properties allegedly belonging to the Intestate. On August 16. P314. P314. 1950.932. the administratrix of the Estate of Quintin de Borja. On August 15. Gomez. therefore prayed that the administrator be required to exert the necessary effort to ascertain the identity of the person or persons who were in possession of the same amount and of the value of the products of the lands in Mayapyap. Atty. 1950. Amador E. showed a cash balance of P5. the properties adjudicated to Juliana de Borja in the project of Partition were finally delivered to the estate of said heir upon the filing of a bond for P20. then filed their answer to the counterclaim denying the charges therein. filed an answer to the motion of these two heirs.99 to Miguel B. Another order was also issued on the same date dismissing the administrator's counterclaim for moral damages against the heirs of Quintin de Borja and their counsel for the alleged defamatory acts. the Court denied the administrator's motion to reconsider the order of July 18. 1945. Having disposed of these pending incidents which arose out of the principal issue. 1950. which was.03. and furthermore. Amador E. same cannot be made the basis of a counterclaim. ordering the administrator to distribute the funds in his possession to the heirs as follows: P1.429. but as the other heirs seemed satisfied with the accounts presented by said administrator and as their group was only one of the 4 heirs of Intestate Estate. yet it was a strictly private controversy between said heirs and the administrator which would not in any way affect the interest of the Intestate.337. On August 27.99 to Francisco de Borja. 1961 for the period of from August 1. by order of the Court. After considering the testimonies of the witnesses presented by both parties and the available records on hand. No. the administrator filed an amended counterclaim including the counsel for the oppositors as defendant. and holding that the reasons advanced by the administrator in opposing the execution of the order of delivery were trivial. and.31. It was. 1952. Upon receipt of the answer to said interrogatories specifying the acts upon which the claim for moral damages was based. The oppositors. and that said heirs were already barred or stopped from raising that question in view of their absolute ratification of and assent to the statement of accounts submitted by the administrator.851. and to recover the same for the Intestate Estate. the heirs of Quintin de Borja. then deceased.660. but later served interrogatories on the administrator relative to the averments of said counterclaim. with legal interest from the date of the judgment. Dayco.90 to the heirs of Quintin de Borja. manifestation and utterances. which was 1/4 of the amount which the state lost. Nueva Ecija. the heirs of Quintin de Borja. and informed the Court that the Mayapyap property had always been in the possession of Francisco de Borja himself and prayed the court that the administrator be instructed to demand all the fruits and products of said property from Francisco de Borja. to August 31. the provisions of said Code on moral damages could not be invoked. The administrator raised the matter by certiorari to this Tribunal. the sum of P83. The Court stressed that to allow the ventilation of such personal controversies would further delay the proceedings in the case which had already lagged for almost 30 years. docketed as G.42 which was 1/4 of the amount alleged to have been omitted. said petition should properly be considered to gather with the final accounts of the administrator. not proper in an intestate proceedings.
50 which was issued in the name of Quintin de Borja. is the ruling spirit of our probate law (Magabanua vs. gave notice to appeal from the lower Court's orders of August 15. a counterclaim for moral damages demanded by an administrator against the heirs for alleged utterances. But as we have already stated that the existence of a lawyer-client relationship does not make the former a party to the action. but when the Record on Appeal was finally approved. Crisanto de Borja. the decision of September 5. may be held accountable for any loss or damage that the estate under his administration may incur by reason of his negligence. 2 Fed. particularly against Marcela de Borja who allegedly uttered derogatory remarks intended to cast dishonor to said administrator sometime in 1950 or 1951. manifestations and actuations alleged to be defamatory and upon which the counterclaim was based were done or prepared by counsel for oppositors. the amended counterclaim was filed against the latter not in his individual or personal capacity but as counsel for the oppositors. I. and the order of even date. 6414 of the Court of First Instance of Rizal (Pasig branch) was instituted for the purpose of settling the Intestate Estate of Marcelo de Borja. For it was even said that: 15 .. after the oppositors had shown that during the hearing of that incident. 742) could be applied with more force and effect in the case of a counsel whose participation in the action is Probate proceedings are purely statutory and their functions limited to the control of the property upon the death of its owner. therefore. It is an elementary rule of procedure that a counterclaim is a relief available to a partydefendant against the adverse party which may or may not be independent from the main issue. the Court ordered the exclusion of the appeal from the order of September 5. Jur. — Section 1. pleadings and manifestations attributable to their lawyer is enforceable against said lawyer. We differ from the view taken by the administrator. and cannot extend to the adjudication of collateral questions (Woesmes. for it was held that: The speedy settlement of the estate of deceased persons for the benefit of the creditors and those entitled to the residue by way of inheritance or legacy after the debts and expenses of administration have been paid. and IV. — A counterclaim is any claim. 251252). pleadings and actuations made in the course of the proceeding. asserted that he filed the counterclaim against said lawyer not in his individual capacity but as counsel for the heirs of Quintin de Borja. II. — Reducing the issues to bare essentials. 2114649 with the Clerk of Court. even this allegation of appellant will not alter the result We have arrived at. It is his stand. the questions left for our determination are: (1) whether the counsel for a party in a case may be included as a defendant in a counterclaim. 72 Phil. which a party may have against the opposing party. 211649 for P978. Rules Service. Dr. Akel. of the Rules of Court defines a counterclaim as: SECTION 1. In taking cognizance of the case. bad faith or acts of maladministration.. Although there is a tendency now to relax this rule and extend the jurisdiction of the probate court in respect to matters incidental and collateral to the exercise of its recognized powers (14 Am. From what ever angle it may be looked at. The fact that he represents the interests of his client or that he acts in their behalf will not hold him liable for or make him entitled to any award that the Court may adjudicate to the parties.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process Court PNB Certificate of Deposit No. his Honor's ground being that the court exercising limited jurisdiction cannot entertain claims of this kind which should properly belong to a court general jurisdiction. 662-663). for it is a settled rule that the jurisdiction of a probate court is limited and special (Guzman vs. what is the amount of such loss or damage? I. other than his professional fees. (3) what may be considered as acts of maladministration and whether an administrator. — This appeal arose from the opposition of the heirs of Quintin de Borja to the approval of the statements of accounts rendered by the administrator of the Intestate merely confined to the preparation of the defense of his client. 1952. — Special Proceedings No. is an extraneous matter in a testate or intestate proceedings. however. 40 Off Gaz. III. Supp. A counterclaim need not dismiss or defeat the recovery sought by the opposing party. Anog. p. 361). The appearance of a lawyer as counsel for a party and his participation in a case as such counsel does not make him a party to the action. this should be understood to comprehend only cases related to those powers specifically allowed by the statutes. that the acts. that the lower erred in denying admission to said pleading. the Court was clothed with a limited jurisdiction which cannot expand to collateral matters not arising out of or in any way related to the settlement and adjudication of the properties of the deceased. 1952. There is no controversy in the case at bar. The injection into the action of incidental questions entirely foreign in probate proceedings should not be encouraged for to do otherwise would run counter to the clear intention of the law. the remedy against said counsel would be to have him cited for contempt of court or take other administrative measures that may be proper in the case. 29 F. The administrator. 1952. 37 Phil. (2) whether a claim for moral damages may be entertained in a proceeding for the settlement of an estate. and the administrator contends that as the very oppositors manifested that whatever civil liability arising from acts. 567. but may claim relief exceeding in amount or different in kind from that sought by the opposing party's claim. bad faith or maladministration? If so. 1871). The American Law of Administration. whether for money or otherwise. The issues. It was in the acknowledgment of its limited jurisdiction that the lower court dismissed the administrator's counterclaim for moral damages against the oppositors. p. 155. Appellant. 514. as the one in the case at bar. The principle that a counterclaim cannot be filed against persons who are acting in representation of another — such as trustees — in their individual capacities (Chambers vs. the parties agreed to abide by whatever resolution the Court would make on the ownership of the funds covered by that deposit. actuations. Counterclaim Defined. Cameron. Vol. Rule 10. but certainly not a counterclaim for moral damages. requiring the administrator to deposit the PNB Certificate of Deposit No. and (4) in the case at bar has the Intestate or any of the heirs suffered any loss or damage by reason of the administrator's negligence. Granting that the lawyer really employed intemperate language in the course of the hearings or in the preparation of the pleadings filed in connection with this case.
except in the instance already mentioned.295.00 60. which charge the administrator denied. even if the computation of the lower Court would have to be followed.00 190. and as Atty. situated in front of the Arranque market.00 March 16-December P1. the administrator reported to have received for the estate the following rentals: Annual monthly rental P51. of said upper floor would cost P230 which should be deducted. The record shows.00 1948 January-December January-November 15 P1.00 8. the estate received P112. 1541. however.080.00 380. It was. 1945. 1543. not to the administrator. 1541 and the whole of Door No. the heirs of Quintin de Borja.70 125.00 6.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process Estate of Marcelo de Borja.235 reported for the period ranging from March 1. 1945. for he never kept a ledger or book of entry for amounts received for the estate.140. on the ground that certain fruits which should have been accrued to the estate were unaccounted for.00 Door No.035.525 or a total of P124.000. of 1/4 of the unreported income which the estate should have received. Nos. therefore. and he also paid P160 for the use of the basement of an apartment (Door No. and who testified that he paid rentals on said apartments as follows: 1945 Door No. and We think that under the circumstances it would be more just to add to the sum reported by the 16 20. 1541 (basement) February March April May-December Total January-December January February P20.00 a month 800. 1543 and the basement of Door No. After a protracted and extensive hearing on the matter. for the 6 doors. 1541). the use. but also for a deficit of P90.00 122. held him liable for the payment to the oppositors. 1945 January to December. he paid a total of P28.00 March 1-15 1.00 9. Manila. Aguila for the 1 1/2 doors that he occupied.085.77 184. said Enriquez received 5 per cent of the amount he might be able to collect as commission.00 1946 P1. in disputing this record income.00 P4. If we are to believe appellant's contention.150.200. We find no record of the rentals the lessees of the other doors were paying. There being no proper evidence to show that the administrator collected more rentals than those reported by him. 1950 Total Total rentals P3. it appears that from 1945 to November 15. Dr.060. aside from the commission that Pedro Enriquez received he also sublet the apartments he was occupying at a very much higher rate than that he actually paid the estate without the knowledge of the administrator or with his approval.00 From the testimony of said witness.760. finding the administrator. presented at the witness stand Lauro Aguila. Basing on the rentals paid by Atty.16 March April-December 180. but to said Enriquez. 1949.920. duly authorized to receive the rentals from this Azcarraga property and for which services. We see no excuse why the administrator could not have taken cognizance of these rates and received the same for the benefit of the estate he was administering. The evidence presented in the court below bear out the following facts: (a) The estate owns a 6-door building. however that the upper floor of Door No.315.980.42 69. but the lower Court held him accountable not only for the sum of P34. 1948 January to December.17 115.00 P5. 1949. 1549 was vacant in September.00 Period of time March to December. 1543 P2. Of this property. Crisanto de Borja. the Court. It is interesting to note that Pedro Enriquez is the same person who appeared to be the administrator's collector. As the administrator also seemed to possess that peculiar habit of giving little importance to bookkeeping methods. 1949.00 4.100.00 8.00 P900.00 P5.680.00 For 7 months at P300 . 1947 January to December.00 January-December P4.00 The oppositors. 1547. Aguila for 1 1/2 doors.085.330. 1949.00 4. We are reluctant to bold him accountable in the amount for which he was held liable by the lower Court. Aguila used to pay P390 a month for the use of an entire apartment from September to November. 1949.00 P40.00 February P380.00 January 100.840.800 from February 1. guilty of certain acts of maladministration.200 for the lease of Door No. The transcript of the testimony of this witness really bolster this contention — that Lauro Aguila talked with said Pedro Enriquez when he leased the aforementioned apartments and admitted paying the rentals to the latter and not to the administrator. 1541. brought about at the hearing that the 6 doors of this building are of the same sizes and construction and the lower Court based its computation of the amount this property should have earned for the estate on the rental paid by Atty.820. 1545. These figures were not controverted or disputed by the administrator but claim that said tenant subleased the apartments occupied by Pedro Enriquez and Soledad Sodora and paid the said rentals. 1549 and 1551 in Azcarraga Street. 1949 January to December. considering the fact that he used to make trips to Manila usually once a month and for which he charged to the estate P8 as transportation expenses for every trip. a lawyer who occupied the basement of Door No.00 January-December 1947 P100.00 January-December 1949 P1.1949. 1946 January to December. 1543 from 1945 to November 15. to November 15. to December 31.
It has also timberland and forest which produce considerable amount of trees and firewoods. herein appellant invited him to go to his house in Pateros. he was instructed by appellant to testify in court next day that he was the overseer of the Mayapyap property for Quintin de Borja from 1937-1944..... Other witnesses. executed by the heirs of the Intestate. 6190 of the Court of First Instance of said province.204.. Federico Cojo. Nueva Ecija. together with her brother. and the lower Court found no reason why the administrator would fail to take possession of this property considering that this was even the subject of the agreement of February 16.... that before the war or sometime in 1937.550. 36) of which..91 P18.... the income for 7 years would be P46.. But as he knew that the facts on which he was to testify were false. The record also shows that in July..175 which We hold the administrator liable to the oppositors. the difference between the sum reported as paid by Atty.739.800 (at P400 a year) for the remaining portion not developed to rice cultivation or a total of P48. (c) The Hacienda Jalajala located in said town of Rizal.. From the said property which has an assessed value of P115..00 3. 1947.000 from the remaining portion of the land not devoted to rice cultivation which was being leased at P20 per hectare. 200 hectares were of cultivated rice fields and 100 hectares dedicated to the planting of upland rice. 1/4 of which isP12.940.364.. i... which the administrator was not able to contradict...00 2..00 1.. 3). that these tenants paid to 17 .311... 1547.. they presented several witnesses who testified that there were about 200 tenants working therein. Juan de Borja. the oppositors presented several witnesses.. or a total of P11.310. testified that they were some of the tenants of the Mayapyap property... but as We have to exclude the period covered by the Japanese occupation.700.912. 1949..42 3.. 1951. who.50 2. he went instead to the house of one of the daughters of Quintin de Borja. 1946..828. The lower Court computed at P40 a month the pre-war rental admittedly received for every apartment. the former administrator of the Intestate. this property was turned over by the estate of Quintin de Borja to the intestate and formed part of the general mass of said estate. according to the surveyor who measured the same.21 Year 1945. Aguila and the sum actually paid by the latter as rents of 1 1/2 of the apartments during the said period.. To counteract the insinuation that the Estate of Quintin de Borja was in possession of this property from 1940 to 1950... Emilio de la Cruz and Ernesto Mangulabnan.. was divided into 3 parts: the Punta section belonged to Marcelo de Borja. (b) The Intestate estate also owned a parcel of land in Mayapyap..500 annually.88 4. 1549 and 1551 although Doors Nos. He does not deny however that he knew of the existence of this land but claimed that when he demanded the delivery of the Certificate of Title covering this property. Income P625.471. 1541 and 1543 adjudicated to the oppositors remained under his administration. we will just deal with that part called Junta.880 1/4 of which P720 the administrator should pay to the oppositors for the year 1941. 29 ares and 2 centares (Exh.. The report of the administrator failed to disclose any return from this property alleging that he had not taken possession of the same. Rizal. that on July 7.. that the entire property was still administered by him. hectares. the sum of P1.. who testified that he knew both Quintin and Francisco de Borja.50 This statement was assailed by the oppositors and to substantiate their charge that the administrator did not file the true income of the property. or P25. 95 ares and 4 centares.000 and for which the estates pay real estate tax of P1. Consequently. with an area of 71 hectares.. computed the loss the estate suffered in the form of unreported income from the rice lands for 10 years at P67.. For the period from January to June.. giving due credence to the testimonies of the witnesses for the oppositors.00 P12.010 which belongs to the oppositors and should be taken from the amount reported by the administrator.. the income that said property would have earned from 1941 to 1944.. acquired by Quintin de Borja the spouses Cornelio Sarangaya and Feliciana Mariano in Civil Case NO. and while in said house. the administrator reported to have received for the 2 oppositors' apartments for said period of six months at P168.520. among them was an old man.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process administrator as received by him as rents for 1945-1949 only...457.. For the purpose of this case.800..... In virtue of the agreement entered into by the heirs.. But if We exclude the 3 years of occupation.91 3. offered him the position of overseer (encargado) of this land but he was notable to assume the same due to the death of said administrator.. the Court held the administrator liable to appellees in the sum of P17.. the estate should receive only P2.. refused to surrender the same and he did not take any further action to recover the same. Atty.09 1/4 of which is P6.000 cavanes of Palay to Rogelio Limaco..792.00 1. The lower Court.27 which shall be paid to the oppositors.. 1948. Narciso Punzal.900 for the ricelands and P2. the administrator reported the following: Expenditure (not including administration's fees P1.000 (6. 1950.e..09 2. 1545.. the Bagombong pertained to Bernardo de Borja and Francisco de Borja got the Jalajala proper.. that he did not need to be afraid because both Quintin de Borja and Rogelio Limaco were already dead.089.33 a month.. the administrator delivered to the other heirs Doors Nos.. 1950.. Rogelio Limaco. 1940.. then administrator of the estate of Quintin de Borja. delivering the yearly proceeds of 1...700 a year)and the amount of P4.345. accompanied him to the house of the counsel for said oppositors before whom his sworn declaration was taken (Exh. Quintin de Borja.00 2.082. Isidro Benuya..750 which is 1/4 of the total amount which should have accrued to the estate for this item.. that they were paying their shares to the overseers of Francisco de Borja and sometimes to his wife. This property has an area of 1. 1950...
Likewise. another fact that called the attention of the lower Court: the administrator testified that the money and other papers delivered by Juliana de Borja to him on October 29. said property was sold at public auction and the administrator had to redeem the same at P3. the lower Court adjudged him liable to pay the oppositors ¼ of P1. as there was no method yet discovered that would determine the age of a document. 1945. 1946.276. however. There is.000.750. Now. The oppositors contested the genuineness of this order and presented on April 21.75 for his failure to pay on time the taxes imposed on the properties under his administration. for on February 6. Pedro Manzañares was not supported by authorities and was merely the result of his own theory.105. 1949 and 1950. 1943.17 together with certain papers pertaining to the intestate (Exh.aside from the checks in the name of Quintin de Borja. this will make a total of P19. and that the estate could have received no less than 1.411.20 for expenses.10 1/4 of which or P3. The oppositors. or a total of 8. P3. 1943. Of this particular item. 35). 1948 and 1949. Judge Platon was already dead.000 also belonging to the Intestate. owned ricefields in Cainta. the estate would have received no less than 405 cavanes every year.000 cavanes valued at P73. 4). 76 ares and 66 centares.739. or the sum of P3. The administrator justified the existence of these valuables by asserting that these properties were locked by Juliana de Borja in her drawer in the "casa solariega" in Pateros and hence was not in his safe when his house.000 belonging to the estate under his administration. in this connection. Taking into consideration the testimonies of witnesses for both parties. or all in all P25. As the report included only the amount of P625. (e) The records show that the administrator paid surcharges and penalties with a total of P988. 1943. The oppositors protested against this report and presented witnesses to disprove the same. Rizal. thus leaving a deficit of P53. the Court arrived at the conclusion that the administrator sold to Gregorio Santos firewoods worth P600 in 1941. presented evidence that on October 29. however. together with the safe. 1942. B). and arrived at the conclusion that the questioned ink writing "(Fdo)" appearing at the bottom of Exhibit B cannot be more than 4 years old (Exh. authorized the lawyers for the other parties to inspect the safe allegedly burned (Exh.300.45 which the administrator is held liable to pay the heirs of Quintin de Borja. the total loss suffered by the Intestate. (d) The estate also. and on March 1.200 in 1946 or a total of P8. that it runs counter to the ordinary course of human behaviour for an administrator to leave in the drawer of the "aparador" of Juliana de Borja the money and other documents belonging to the estate under his administration. If from this amount the reported income of P12. the Japanese were the ones who collected their rentals. which delivery has receipted for.300.97. the Court held that the report of the administrator did not contain the real income of the property devoted to rice cultivation.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process Crisanto de Borja rentals at the rate of 6 cavanes of palay per hectare. for the period of 7 years — from 1941 to 1950.918. that the records of this case were burned and that at the time of the hearing of this incident in 1951. As tenant of Juliana de Borja. However.000 cavanes of palay yearly. was burned.20.155 collected from rice harvests and if to this amount we add the sum of P8. including that of Dr. It was also proved during the hearing that the forest land of this property yields considerable amount of marketable firewoods.75 the administrator is held liable to pay to the oppositors.917. that in the years of 1943 and 1944.80. he claimed that among the properties burned therein was his safe containing P15. 1948. another expert witness presented by the administrator contradicted this finding and testified that this conclusion arrived at by expert witness Mr. The administrator contended that this loss was already proved to the satisfaction of the Court who. for every document has its own reaction to different chemicals used in the tests.75. a big fire razed numerous houses in Pateros.26. 1950. the administrator received from Juliana de Borja the sum of P20.000. The administrator failed to overcome this testimony. The lower Court also found no reason why the administrator should keep in his such amount of money.74. that as for every cavan of seedlings.366.430 cavanes at P10 is valued at P24. although the amount that should have been paid was only P2. the Court required Crisanto de Borja to appear before the Court of examination of the other heirs in connection with the reported loss.215 and the rest 2. 1939.500 in 1945 and P4. But as the administrator accounted for the sum of P11. rather than to keep it in his safe together with the alleged P15. Thereafter.835 cavanes.48. The subsequent orders of Judge Platon also put the defense of appellant to bad light. This line of reasoning is really subject to doubt and the lower Court opined. the land produces 60 cavanes of palay. he knew the tenants working on the property and also knows that both lands are of the same class. the 2 properties being separated only by a river. an expert witness who conducted several tests to determine the probable age of the questioned document. Crisanto de Borja.104 is deducted. After the administrator had presented witnesses to refute the facts previously testified to by the witnesses for the oppositors.515. The lower Court considering the facts testified to by this witness made a finding that the property belonging to this Intestate was actually occupied by several persons accommodating 13 ½ cavanes of seedlings. ¼ of which will be P13. We must not forget.675 in favor of the estate. Attributing these surcharges and penalties to the negligence of the administrator. 18 . which was fixed at 1. excluding the 3 years of war — the corresponding earning of the estate should be 2. (f) Sometime in 1942. Basilio Javier worked as a tenant in the land of Juliana de Borja which is near the land belonging to the Intestate.295. The estate therefore suffered a loss of P378. for his failure to pay the taxes on the building at Azcarraga for 1947.104 from 1945 to 1951. Rizal.352. the whole area under cultivation would have yielded 810 cavanes a year and under the 50-50 sharing system (which was testified by witness Javier). or P341. The administrator was held responsible for this loss and ordered to pay ¼ thereof.894.000 cavanes every year — for 1941. purportedly issued by Judge Servillano Platon(Exh. 1939.22. He advanced the reason that he lagged in the payment of those tax obligations because of lack of cash balance for the estate. there will be a balance of P13. the administrator reported an income of P12. The oppositors were not able to present any proof of sales made after these years. were saved from said fire. 39). there was a balance of P7.475. It is inconceivable that Judge Platon would still order the inspection of the safe if there was really an order approving the loss of those P15. 1947. approved the same by order of January 8. for ordinary prudence would dictate that as an administration funds that come into his possession in a fiduciary capacity should not be mingled with his personal funds and should have been deposited in the Bank in the name of the intestate. and that an area accommodating one cavan of seedlings yields at most 100 cavanes and 60 cavanes at the least. if there were any and the administrator was held accountable to the oppositors for only P1. out of which the 405 cavanes from the harvest of 1941 is valued at P1. with a total area of 22 hectares.
duly receipted.70 which added to the sum of P3. Jarencio the administrator's wife.00 616. Exhibit Q-2 .. necessary to support the statement of accounts that he is obliged to submit to the court for approval.. from the agricultural year 1945-46 to 1950-51. except for the agricultural year 1950 contained nothing of the payments that the tenants should have made...... the administrator is responsible and should pay the oppositors ¼ thereof or P505.. 19 ... of Briccio Matienzo and Leoncio Perez. Rizal.988.479 1/4 of which is P869. This property... Francisco de Borja. and that he did not secure first the authorization from the court before making these disbursements because it was merely a pure administrative function..Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process (g) Unauthorized expenditures — 1.70 were rejected by the lower court on the ground that they were all unsigned although some were dated. ½ thereof or P2..977.059 representing expenditures rejected as unauthorized to wit: Exhibit L-59 ... 2.25....509... It was proved that the prevailing sharing system in this part of the country was on 50-50 basis..304. the sum of P570. Exhibit L-62 .. the same should be taken from his fee. the proper thing for the administrator to do would have been to secure the previous authorization from the Court if he failed to secure the help of the local police..00 180.. remained under his administration and for its repairs he spent from 1945-1950... On the expenses for planting in the Cainta ricefields: — In his statement of accounts. This disbursement was disallowed by the Court for being unauthorized and the administrator required to pay the oppositors ¼.. If ever his wife took charge of the safekeeping of these receipts and for which she should be compensated.. in the Project of Partition was adjudicated to his father. Appellant admitted that expenses for planting were advanced by the estate and liquidated after each harvest... 3. thereof or P532. however... The keeping of receipts and retaining in his custody records connected with the management of the properties under administration is a duty that properly belongs to the administrator....... Appellant asserted that had he and his family not occupied the same. The salaries of Pedro Enriquez. In explaining this item.... the items corresponding.. there still remains a balance of P2.. appellant reported to have incurred a total expense of P5.75 for alleged repairs on the rice mill in Pateros.. — An executor or administrator shall maintain in tenant able repair the houses and other structures and fences belonging to the estate.... and of Vicente Panganiban and Herminigildo Macetas as forest-guards were found justified. and as P965 was reported by the administrator as paid back in 1950.14.. he would have had to pay rentals or else take charge also of expenses for the repairs of his residence... I-21.. it is but reasonable that he should take care of the expenses for the ordinary repair of said house. Appellant contended that he sought for the services of Macario Kamungol and others to act as special policemen during harvest time because most of the workers tilting the Punta property were not natives of Jalajala but of the neighboring towns and they were likely to run away with the harvest without giving the share of the estate if they were not policed.... This kind of reasoning did not appear to be convincing to the trial judge as the cause for such fear seemed to exist only in the imagination.. Granting that such kind of situation existed. also belonging to the Intestate. the administrator and his family took shelter at the house belonging to the Intestate known as "casa solariega" which.50 should have been paid by the tenants as their share of such expenditures. they would have to pay someone to watch and take care of said house. From the year 1942 when his house was burned....92 that belongs to the oppositors.. But this will not excuse him from this responsibility for the disbursements he made in connection with the aforementioned repairs because even if he stayed in another house.. section 2 provides that: SEC.00 600..28. He should be held liable for this unauthorized expenditure and pay the heirs of Quintin de Borja ¼ thereof or P377.. 6... Consequently...... Exhibit L-63 .. For this shortage.. L-64 and L-65. and deliver the same in such repair to the heirs or devisees when directed so to do by the court..... 5.. 2.. Appellant reported to have incurred expenses amounting to P6.. If the total expenses for said planting amounted to P5.00 840. as encargados. to Exhibits I.. L-26. Although it is true that Rule 85.... as they appear to be reasonable and necessary for the care and preservation of the Intestate. Exhibit L-61 . yet considering that during his occupancy of the said "casa solariega" he was not paying any rental at all. as collector of the Azcarraga property.0 0 Yek Wing Yek Wing Yek Wing Yek Wing Yek Wing scale "Howe" will give a total of P3. although un authorized. The administrator should be held liable to the oppositors in the amount ofP366.059. None of these repairs appear to be extraordinary for the receipts were for nipa. L-15. P500.50 unaccounted for. Of the disbursements made therein. But the report. I-1..00 P3. as his private secretary.70 shall be reduced to P420.. The lower Court disallowed as unjustified and unnecessary the expenses for salaries paid to special policemen amounting to P1. for carpenters and thatchers.50.977 for the planting of the ricefields in Cainta.. The report of the administrator contained certain sums amounting to P2.130 paid to and receipted by Juanita V. in the total sum of P570... EXECUTOR OR ADMINISTRATOR TO KEEP BUILDINGS IN REPAIR. the administrator alleged that he needed her services to keep receipts and records for him.... The lower Court. however...87. 4. Exhibit L-60 . P1465.00 323. Total .023. made an oversight in including the sum of P150 covered by Exhibit L-26 which was duly signed by Claudio Reyes because this does not refer to the repair of the rice-mill but for the roofing of the house and another building and shall be allowed.
it would seem that appellant could even go to the extent of disobeying the order of the Court specifying for what purpose that amount should be appropriated and took upon himself the task of judging for what it will serve best. though We think that this sum should still be reduced to P500..... a typical example of which is as follows: 1950 Gastos de viaje del administrador From Pateros To Pasig . as administrator... alleged that he used this amount for the payment of certain fees necessary in connection with the approval of the proposed plan of the Azcarraga property which was then being processed in the City Engineer's Office. but as the tenants who testified during the hearing of the matter testified that those printed forms were not being used. From that testimony. The records reveal. with costs. The un receipted disbursements were correspondingly itemized. Filamor for his professional services rendered for the defense of the administrator in G.395 out of the funds still in the possession of the administrator. Appellant claimed that as the defendants in said civil case lived in remote barrios... this disbursement may be allowed. Philippine Supreme Court Practice... If the costs provided for in that case. and they were for the gasoline consumed. No.00 50 x P10.. From the report of the administrator.. On the transportation expenses of the administrator: — It appears that from the year 1945 to 1951.. The administrator included in his Report the sum of P550 paid to Atty.... all lawful charges imposed by the Clerk of Court. 8.00 = = = = = (Exhibit W-54). As there is no showing that said P200.. fees for the taking of depositions and other expenses connected with the appearance of witnesses or for lawful fees of a commissioner (De la Cruz. the services of the Chief of Police as delegate or agent of the Provincial Sheriff were necessary. Other expenses: The administrator also ordered 40 booklets of printed contracts of lease in the name of the Hacienda Jalajala which cost P150.. shall be awarded to said party and will only include his fee and that of his attorney for their appearance which shall not be more than P40. the Court adjudged the administrator personally responsible for this amount.. 70-71)....00 P64.. an item for P40 appeared to have been paid to the Chief of Police on Jalajala allegedly for the service of the same summons.. he did not foresee this situation. Yet We must not forget that it was during this period that the administrator failed or refused to take cognizance of the prevailing rentals of commercial places in Manila that caused certain loss to the estate and for which he was accordingly held responsible. the Court authorized the administrator to withdraw from the funds of the intestate the sum of P300 to defray the transportation expenses of the commissioners.. the administrator charged the estate with a total of P5.00 8 x P8. Severo Abellera in the sum of P375 for his transportation expenses as one of the two commissioners who prepared the Project of Partition. 84 of the Court of First Instance of Rizal. The administrator was therefore ordered by the lower Court to pay ¼ of said amount or P10 to the oppositors.. 20 . however. should know. However. that this printed form was not utilized because the tenants refused to sign any. The administrator...50.40 for transportation in making a trip from Pateros to Manila and practically the same amount in going to Pasig.00 P175. which this Court ordered to be chargeable personally against the administrator are not recoverable by the latter.. As the said hacienda was divided into 3 parts one belonging to this Intestate and the other two parts to Francisco de Boria and Bernardo de Borja..50.. Costs of a litigation in the Supreme Court taxed by the Clerk of Court..... 1941.. with more reason this item could not be charged against the Intestate. From his report for 1949 alone. expenses for the printing and the copies of the record on appeal.. ordinarily the Intestate should only shoulder ¹/3 of the said expense... Consequently. the administrator should pay the oppositors ¼ of the sum of P550 or P137. To Cainta . which was decided against him.... The oppositors were able to prove that on May 24. Appellant tried to justify these charges by contending that he used his own car in making those trips to Manila.. This rather unreasonable spending of the estate's fund prompted the Court to observe that one will have to spend only P0. The records reveal that for the service of summons to the defendants in Civil Case No..R.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process 7.00 P399. (e) The lower Court in its decision required appellant to pay the oppositors the sum of P1. appellant made a total of 97 trips to these places or an average of one trip for every 3 1/2 days. p..... The report also contains a receipt of payment made to Mr. that precarious financial condition which he.. For the reason that the alleged disbursements made for transportation expenses cannot be said to be economical...75. and We can presume that when the administrator ordered for the printing of the same. To Jalajala . The lower Court disallowed this disbursement on the ground that this Court provided that the costs of that litigation should not be borne by the estate but by the administrator himself.292. Since he was not able to show or prove that the money intended and ordered by the Court to be paid for the transportation expenses of the commissioners was spent for the benefit of the estate as claimed.. did not deter Crisanto de Borja from charging to the depleted funds of the estate comparatively big amounts for his transportation expenses. L-4179. Pasig and Cainta and a launch in visiting the properties in Jalajala. after a verified petition has been filed by the prevailing party.. the administrator should be held responsible therefor and pay to the oppositors ¼ of P375 or the sum of P93.. P104 was paid to the Provincial Sheriff of the same province (Exhibit H-7). To Manila . 50 x P4. personally.. He forgot probably the fact that the local chiefs of police are deputy sheriffs ex-officio.. We are being made to believe that the Intestate estate is a losing proposition and assuming arguendo that this is true.00 P500..170 for transportation expenses.00 printed contracts were used by another and that they are still in the possession of the administrator which could be utilized anytime.00 5 x P35.. the lower Court held that the administrator should be held liable to the oppositors for ¼ thereof or the sum of P1.
.32 after deducting the same from the cash in the possession of the administrator....... Dayco..17 as of August 31... 1945...99 each out of the amount of P134.. both of the Philippine National Bank and in the name of Quintin de Borja.... It might be argued against this disbursement that the records are replete with instances of highly irregular practices of the administrator. Although the Court below mentioned the condition then prevailing during the war-years.... the administrator is held liable to pay to the heirs of Quintin de Borja the following: Under Paragraphs III and IV: (a) ........98.. same having been declared without any value. such as the pretended ignorance of the necessity of a book or ledger or at least a list of chronological and dated entries of money or produce the Intestate acquired and the amount of disbursements made for the same properties...... Neither is there any doubt that the administration of the Intestate estate by Crisanto de Borja is far from satisfactory.890 in his order of October 8. Dayco is under obligation to reimburse P213.175. The Intestate is also the creditor of Miguel B. 1961.. From this amount..... Now.. Recapitulation. as there is only a residue of P134.... his wife... 21619 and Check No. that admittedly he did not have even a list of the names of the lessees to the properties under his administration. 1952......632.........395....95 3.. in the absence of proof to that effect... Judge Peña required the administrator to render an accounting of his administration only from March 1.002.............35 in Japanese military notes and admittedly belonging to the Intestate and We do not believe that the oppositors or any of the heirs would be interested in an accounting for the purpose of dividing or distributing this deposit.91 — the amount deducted from them as taxes but which the Court ordered to be returned to them — plus P44..... (c) ...99 each to Francisco de Borja and the estate of Juliana de Borja. yet during the early years of the war. 1951.......96 representing the Certificate of Deposit No. The lower Court ordered the administrator to deliver to the oppositors the amount of P1.. specifically in mixing the funds of the estate under his administration with his personal funds instead of keeping a current account for the Intestate in his capacity as administrator.... and articles of prime necessity as rice and firewood commanded high prices and were paid with jewels or other valuables.....75 21 .....58... of which or P258. Yet it is a fact that Crisanto de Borja exercised the functions of an administrator and is entitled also to a certain amount as compensation for the work and services he has rendered as such. each group will receive P44........ and the sum of P932. 57338.... heir and administrator of the estate of Crisanta de Borja.. nor even a list of those who owed back rentals.....32 to the same estate of Juliana de Borja by order of the Court of February 29. the parties agreed to fix the amount at P1... that ina Joint Motion dated November 27... There is no controversy as to the fact that this appropriated amount was taken without the order or previous approval by the probate Court........ the amount involved and the nature of the properties under administration.... .. (d) .. his claim for compensation as administrator's fees shall be as they are hereby allowed. there will be a total of P1.... It appearing however..76 to each of them.........084.. the Philippine peso was still in circulation. (g) On the sum of P13... in the sum of P900 (Exhibits S and S-1)... We see no practical reason for requiring appellant to account for those occupation years when everything was affected by the abnormal conditions created by the war....125......... considering the extent and size of the estate..034....... 1952.. to December of the same year without ordering said administrator to include therein the occupation period......90. as the amount due and said heirs have already received this amount in satisfaction of this item..352... 1951.. and although We certainly agree with the probate Court in finding appellant guilty of acts of maladministration.294 as his fees from 1945 to 1951 at the rate of P2........ and Miguel B....... As Judge Zulueta ordered the delivery to the oppositors of the amount of P1.00 16........98..848... the delivery of the amount of P810 to the estate of Juliana de Borja in his order of October 23. but as We have arrived at the computation that the three heirs not idebted to the Intestate ought to receive P44...294 for administrator's fees: It is not disputed that the administrator set aside for himself and collected from the estate the sum of P13.. the oppositors are entitled to the sum of P1.... — Taking all the matters threshed herein together. or a total of P3..90 and P314.......080..... or during 1942-43. We are of the opinion that despite these irregular practices for which he was held already liable and made in some instances to reimburse the Intestate for amounts that were not properly accounted for...... was deducted leaving a balance of P4. and in view of the aforementioned order of Judge Peña... ... (b) ..851.........99 or a total of P1.99..... there appeared a cash balance of P5. 1945..125..... P7....400 a year..................98 in the hands of the administrator and dividing it among the 3 groups of heirs who are not indebted to the Intestate...... Adding this credit to the actual cash on hand. .750.. We cannot simply presume. there will only be a remainder of P134...... with a balance of P36......98... However. that the administrator received such valuables or properties for the use or in exchange of any asset or produce of the Intestate.. duly approved by the Court. Jarencio....... the sum of P1. But We must not forget that in his order of December 11.. which We find no reason to disturb.113.74 properly belongs to the oppositors. no other sum can be chargeable against the administrator... the amount collected by the administrator for his compensation at P200 a month is not unreasonable and should therefore be allowed. The records of the Philippine National Bank show that there was a current account jointly in the names of Crisanto de Borja and Juanita V.....Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process In the statement of accounts submitted by the administrator... (f) The probate Court also ordered the administrator to render an accounting of his administration during the Japanese occupation on the ground that although appellant maintained that whatever money he received during that period is worthless..27 12...... ¼..
. (f) ................... 5 ................................................ (e) ..............................00 22 ...........................50 341....................... 4 ............................ (g) 1 ............ ......210................. 7-a b ....................00 In view of the foregoing.. plus legal interests on this amount from the date of the decision appealed from...............31).......337............................. Without pronouncement as to costs........................... the decision appealed from is modified by reducing the amount that the administrator was sentenced to pay the oppositors to the sum of P46..87 500....... 2 ....................... 6 ............ P46.......................................... ...750............50 377..... 3 ...........................................................................25 366..00 532....210.................................................................................. It is so ordered........ d .......78 (instead of P83... which is hereby affirmed in all other respects... c ...............Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process .....................................92 505........................74 3......28 869.............................................................................................. 93..........00 137.....75 10..........
1983.00.: Is a judicial administration proceeding necessary when the decedent dies intestate without leaving any debts? May the probate court appoint the surviving sister of the deceased as the administratrix of the estate of the deceased instead of the surviving spouse? These are the main questions which need to be resolved in this case. and a 300 square meter lot located at Barangay Pamplona. In its resolution dated March 28. respondents. Benjamin J. J. and his sister Rita Pereira Nagac. PALEA. 6 The function of resolving whether or not a certain property should be included in the inventory or list of properties to be administered by the administrator is one clearly within the competence of the probate court. that the deceased left no will. petitioner brought the case to the Court of Appeals. passed away on January 3. being the sole beneficiary and in support of this claim she submitted letter-replies from these institutions showing that she is the exclusive beneficiary of said death benefits. Linzag-Arcilla & Associates Law Offices for private respondent. the PAL Employees Association (PALEA). vs. 4 Hence. The appellate court affirmed the appointment of private respondent as administratrix in its decision dated December 15. Cavite without a will. the surviving spouse Victoria Bringas Pereira or the surviving sister Rita Pereira Nagac? Anent the first issue. this petition for review on certiorari where petitioner raises the following issues: (1) Whether or not there exists an estate of the deceased Andres de Guzman Pereira for purposes of administration. finally.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process administration and praying in the alternative. 1989 VICTORIA BRINGAS PEREIRA. She points out that this function is vested in the court in charge of the intestate proceedings. Rizal and finally. Inc. RTC-BSP-83-4 for the issuance of letters of administration in her favor pertaining to the estate of the deceased Andres de Guzman Pereira. Andres de Guzman Pereira. private respondent alleged the following: that she and Victoria Bringas Pereira are the only surviving heirs of the deceased. Petitioner asks this Court to declare that the properties specified do not belong to the estate of the deceased on the basis of her bare allegations as aforestated and a handful of documents. Quitoriano for petitioner. the PAL Employees Savings and Loan Association. 5 The resolution of this issue is better left to the probate court before which the administration proceedings are pending. (PESALA) and the Social Security System (SSS). Cavite. and. L-81147 June 20. and. secondly. the valuations thereof and the rights of the transferees of some of the assets. No. The trial court is in the best position to receive evidence on the discordant contentions of the parties as to the assets of the decedent's estate. petitioner filed her opposition and motion to dismiss the petition of private respondent 2 alleging that there exists no estate of the deceased for purposes of . He was survived by his legitimate spouse of ten months. 1987. petitioner contends that there exists no estate of the deceased for purposes of administration for the following reasons: firstly. Las Pinas. On March 1. Private respondent.R. GANCAYCO. 1983 at Bacoor. as well as savings deposits with the Philippine National Bank (PNB) and the Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank (PCIB). that if an estate does exist. the savings deposits in the name of her deceased husband with the PNB and the PCIB had been used to defray the funeral expenses as supported by several receipts. the herein private respondent. appointed private respondent Rita Pereira Nagac administratrix of the intestate estate of Andres de Guzman Pereira upon a bond posted by her in the amount of Pl. that the deceased left several properties.000. Inasmuch as this Court is not a trier of facts. the death benefits from PAL. PESALA and the SSS belong exclusively to her. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and RITA PEREIRA NAGAC. on the other hand. 1983. the herein petitioner Victoria Bringas Pereira. that there are no creditors of the deceased. an employee of the Philippine Air Lines. the only real property of the deceased has been extrajudicially settled between the petitioner and the private respondent as the only surviving heirs of the deceased. However. 1985. (3) Who has the better right to be appointed as administratrix of the estate of the deceased. petitioner. the Regional Trial Court. 1 In her verified petition. the court's determination is only provisional in 23 G. We cannot order an unqualified and final exclusion or non-exclusion of the property involved from the estate of the deceased. Special Proceeding No. (2) Whether or not a judicial administration proceeding is necessary where there are no debts left by the decedent. 3 Not satisfied with the resolution of the lower court. if any. the letters of administration relating to the said estate be issued in her favor as the surviving spouse. that the spouse of the deceased (herein petitioner) had been working in London as an auxiliary nurse and as such one-half of her salary forms part of the estate of the deceased. argues that it is not for petitioner to decide what properties form part of the estate of the deceased and to appropriate them for herself. The trial court ordered her to take custody of all the real and personal properties of the deceased and to file an inventory thereof within three months after receipt of the order. On March 23. namely: death benefits from the Philippine Air Lines (PAL). private respondent instituted before Branch 19 of the Regional Trial Court of Bacoor.
and is subject to the final decision in a separate action which may be instituted by the parties. there being no good reason for burdening the estate of the deceased Andres de Guzman Pereira with the costs and expenses of an administration proceeding. Rule 74 of the Revised Rules of Court. 13 We said: Again the petitioner argues that only when the heirs do not have any dispute as to the bulk of the hereditary estate but only in the manner of partition does section 1. The argument is unconvincing. We nonetheless find the administration proceedings instituted by private respondent to be unnecessary as contended by petitioner for the reasons herein below discussed. his heirs. 15 We see no reason not to apply this doctrine to the case at bar. SO ORDERED. not conclusive. even if the estate has no debts or obligations. It has been uniformly held that in such case the judicial administration and the appointment of an administrator are superfluous and unnecessary proceedings . as the respondent judge has indicated. what constitutes "good reason" to warrant a judicial administration of the estate of a deceased when the heirs are all of legal age and there are no creditors will depend on the circumstances of each case. The general rule is that when a person dies leaving property. a wife of ten months and a sister. either in or out of court. the said provision does not compel them to do so if they have good reasons to take a different course of action. both of age. whether of age or not. to an administration proceeding for no useful purpose would only unnecessarily expose it to the risk of being wasted or squandered. Rule 78. that there exist assets of the deceased Andres de Guzman Pereira for purposes of administration. in case the deceased left no will. that same objective could be achieved in an action for partition and the trial court is not justified in issuing letters of administration. 9 Under this exception. does not preclude the heirs from instituting administration proceedings. 8 An exception to this rule is established in Section 1 of Rule 74. are protected in any event. In most instances of a similar nature. Section 1. the same should be judicially administered and the competent court should appoint a qualified administrator. 24 . To subject the estate of Andres de Guzman Pereira. as between the surviving spouse Victoria Bringas Pereira and the sister Rita Pereira Nagac. While Section 1 allows the heirs to divide the estate among themselves as they may see fit. 7 Assuming. questions as to what property belonged to the deceased (and therefore to the heirs) may properly be ventilated in the partition proceedings.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process character. or to apply for the appointment of an administrator by the Court. 12 Now. therefore. or in case he had left one. or to resort to an ordinary action for partition. We did not find so powerful a reason the argument that the appointment of the husband. WHEREFORE. No costs. should be preferred to be appointed as administratrix. however. The parties admit that there are no debts of the deceased to be paid. should there be any. What is at once apparent is that these two heirs are not in good terms. if they do not desire to resort for good reasons to an ordinary action for partition. as judicial administrator is necessary in order for him to have legal capacity to appear in the intestate proceedings of his wife's deceased mother. With the foregoing ruling. The only conceivable reason why private respondent seeks appointment as administratrix is for her to obtain possession of the alleged properties of the deceased for her own purposes. Rule 74 of the Rules of Court apply and that in this case the parties are at loggerheads as to the corpus of the hereditary estate because respondents succeeded in sequestering some assets of the intestate. 11 Thus. since he may just adduce proof of his being a forced heir in the intestate proceedings of the latter. hold that the court below before which the administration proceedings are pending was not justified in issuing letters of administration. they may agree in writing to partition the property without instituting the judicial administration or applying for the appointment of an administrator. 16 the claims of both parties as to the properties left by the deceased may be properly ventilated in simple partition proceedings where the creditors. especially where such property is in the hands of one heir. the letters of administration issued by the Regional Trial Court of Bacoor to Rita Pereira Nagac are hereby revoked and the administration proceeding dismissed without prejudice to the right of private respondent to commence a new action for partition of the property left by Andres de Guzman Pereira. which is always long and costly. There are only two surviving heirs. the estate should not be burdened with an administration proceeding without good and compelling reasons. it is unnecessary for us to delve into the issue of who. in the order established in Section 6. We. which does not appear to be substantial especially since the only real property left has been extrajudicially settled. Where partition is possible. In another case. In one case. should he fail to name an executor therein. a usufructuary forced heir of his deceased wife. it has been repeatedly held that when a person dies without leaving pending obligations to be paid. however. because. since these properties are presently in the hands of petitioner who supposedly disposed of them fraudulently. 14 In still another case. We held that if the reason for seeking an appointment as administrator is merely to avoid a multiplicity of suits since the heir seeking such appointment wants to ask for the annulment of certain transfers of property. We are of the opinion that this is not a compelling reason which will necessitate a judicial administration of the estate of the deceased. 10 It should be noted that recourse to an administration proceeding even if the estate has no debts is sanctioned only if the heirs have good reasons for not resorting to an action for partition. are not bound to submit the property to a judicial administration. when all the heirs are of lawful age and there are no debts due from the estate.
and died without leaving a will and praying that Maria Rodriguez be appointed as Special Administratrix of the estate. Tan and De Borja. in this wise: It is alleged in the motion to dismiss filed by Angela. Fr. such Court shall fix a time and place for proving the will when all concerned may appear to contest the allowance thereof. Rodriguez was a resident of Parañaque. have taken steps to fix the time and place for proving the will. of the Revised Rules of Court (Section 3. among other things. Sp. L-7792. or of the location of his estate. — When a will is delivered to.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process The movants contend that since the intestate proceedings in the Court of First Instance of Rizal was filed at 8:00 A. July 27. respondents. because upon the will being deposited the court could. JUAN DE BORJA. that on March 4. 1963 in the City of Manila. on the same date. It was stipulated by the parties that Fr. in the original case. Petitioners Angela. on March 12. 1963 Apolonia Pangilinan and Adelaida Jacalan filed a petition in this Court for the probation of the will delivered by them on March 4. 1963. and shall cause notice of such time and place to be published three (3) weeks successively. SECTION 1. from the year 1930 up to the time of his death in 1963. citing as authority in support thereof the case of Ongsingco Vda. 1963 before the Court could act on the petition. section 1 of the Rules of Court. 1963.M. relying principally on Rule 73. Rodriguez was born in Parañaque.M. Abelardo and Antonio Rodriguez. that. as far as it depends on the place of residence of the decedent. that Fr. ANATOLIA PANGILINAN and ADELAIDA JACALAN. Abelardo and Antonio. or letters of administration granted. The records show that Fr. deposited in the Court of Bulacan. movants were aware of the existence of the purported will of Father Rodriguez. aforementioned petitioners filed before the Court of First Instance of Rizal a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of Fr. July 27. Apolonia Pangilinan and Adelaida Jacalan delivered to the Clerk of Court of Bulacan a purported last will and testament of Fr. shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. 1331. that on March 12. No. Rule 77. and that on March 12. 1955. Celestino Rodriguez in the Court of First Instance of Rizal. Cavite. as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan. 1955. Rule 76. now petitioners. Quezon City and Bulacan. Rodriguez alleging. Court to appoint time for proving will. 25 ANGELA RODRIGUEZ. that on March 8. 1963. Notice thereof to be published. Celestino Rodriguez died on February 12. Fr. on the other hand. and invoking our ruling in Ongsingco vs. Bulacan. the Court of First Instance of any province which he had estate. No. Annex 0). the Court having jurisdiction. ET AL. 7792. HON. even if no petition for its allowance was filed until later. The facts and issues are succinctly narrated in the order of the respondent court. G. Maria. the same was withdrawn. the latter Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition for probate. Tan and De Borja. and that movants clearly filed the intestate proceedings in Rizal "for no other purpose than to prevent this Court (of Bulacan) from exercising jurisdiction over the probate proceedings". petitioners. his will shall be proved.R. vs. shall not be contested in a suit or proceeding. 1966 The petitioners Pangilinan and Jacalan. dated June 13. as previously stated denied the motion to dismiss on the ground that a difference of a few hours did not entitle one proceeding to preference over the other. and issued the corresponding notices conformably to what is prescribed by section 3. movants. that on March 11. take the stand that the Court of First Instance of Bulacan acquired jurisdiction over the case upon delivery by them of the will to the Clerk of Court on March 4. Maria Rodriguez and Angela Rodriguez. and that he left real properties in Rizal. which said Court is alleged to have taken cognizance of without jurisdiction. that this Court "has no jurisdiction to try the aboveentitled case in view of the pendency of another action for the settlement of the estate of the deceased Rev. 3. as early as March 7. Rizal. Rodriguez. 1963 while the petition for probate was filed in the Court of First Instance of Bulacan at 11:00 A. Maria. Reconsideration having been denied. through counsel filed a petition for leave of court to allow them to examine the alleged will. Proceedings No. since they filed a petition to examine the same. motu proprio. Branch III. or when the want of jurisdiction appears on the record.. Celestino Rodriguez which was filed ahead of the instant case". 1963. of the old Rules): SEC. 1963 (Petition. L-21993 June 21. G. 1963. that he was buried in Parañaque. surnamed Rodriguez. The Court of First Instance. Where estate of deceased persons settled. petition this Court for a writ of certiorari and prohibition to the Court of First Instance of Bulacan. in the Court of First Instance in the province in which he resides at the time of his death. or a petition for the allowance of a will is filed in. and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country. through counsel. and his estate settled. The jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan became vested upon the delivery thereto of the will of the late Father Rodriguez on March 4. 3907 entitled 'In the matter of the Intestate Estate of the deceased Rev. previous to the time appointed. that he was Parish priest of the Catholic Church of Hagonoy. for its refusal to grant their motion to dismiss its Special Proceeding No. whether a citizen or an alien. in a newspaper of general circulation in the province. MARIA RODRIGUEZ. de Borja vs.R. The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent. namely. — If the decedent is an inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death. The jurisdiction assumed by a court. We find this recourse to be untenable. except in an appeal from that court. 1963. 1963. . Rizal. came to this Court. and that the case in this Court therefore has precedence over the case filed in Rizal on March 12.
We can not disregard Fr.R. Furthermore. Where the petition for probate is made after the deposit of the will. 1) This disposition presupposes that two or more courts have been asked to take cognizance of the settlement of the estate. One is that their commencing intestate proceedings in Rizal. et al. 5 — confers upon Courts of First Instance jurisdiction over all probate cases independently of the place of residence of the deceased. 10 Phil. As ruled in previous decisions.) The law of jurisdiction — Act No. Of them only one could be of proper venue. Bulacan (1930-1963). Section 56. without taking venue into account. p. Rizal. Tanunchuan vs. Bernabe vs. 73 Phil. Act No. Martinez. The use of the disjunctive in the words "when a will is delivered to OR a petition for the allowance of a will is filed" plainly indicates that the court may act upon the mere deposit therein of a decedent's testament. (Sec. 239.. Legal or intestate succession takes place: (1) If a person dies without a will. 523. Rec. No. p. (Cf. 1942). section 3 of revised Rule 76 (old Rule 77) speaks of a will being delivered to "the Court having jurisdiction. 307.. 136. 48). 26 . In the Kaw Singco case (ante) this Court ruled that: ". If we consider such question of residence as one affecting the jurisdiction of the trial court over the subject-matter. except in cases provided in this Code. Rodriguez's 33 years of residence as parish priest in Hagonoy. since intestacy only takes place in the absence of a valid operative will. Reyes vs. 484.1 Since. or one which has subsequently lost its validity. and the domicile of the testator only affects the venue but not the jurisdiction of the Court (In re Kaw Singco. since the same enjoins that: The Court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. 20 Phil. The other reason is that. patently done with a view to divesting the latter court of the precedence awarded it by the Rules. as ruled in Castro. 1963. yet the rule grants precedence to that Court whose jurisdiction is first invoked. petitioners object.s. 676). Since the testament of Fr. Vergara. or if the heir dies before the testator. Manila Railroad Company. Rodriguez was submitted and delivered to the Court of Bulacan on March 4. Thus. there are many Courts of First Instance in the Philippines. 960. and..) Motion for reconsideration is denied. 190. Annex "H". the place of residence of the deceased is not an element of jurisdiction over the subject matter but merely of venue. providing that the estate of a deceased person shall be settled in the province where he had last resided. even if it were a case of wrong venue by express provisions of Rule 73 (old Rule 75) of the Rules of Court. the Law of Procedure. intestate succession is only subsidiary or subordinate to the testate. because such legal provision is contained in a law of procedure dealing merely with procedural matters.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process But no newspaper publication shall be made where the petition for probate has been filed by the testator himself. or repudiates the inheritance. section 1. 48206. the effect shall be that the whole proceedings including all decisions on the different incidents which have arisen in court will have to be annulled and the same case will have to be commenced anew before another court of the same rank in another province. That this is of mischievous effect in the prompt administration of justice is too obvious to require comment. And it is upon this ground that in the new Rules of Court the province where the estate of a deceased person shall be settled is properly called "venue" (Rule 75. after they learned of the delivery of the decedent's will to the Court of Bulacan. Petition. eight days later. Says Article 960 of the Civil Code of the Philippines: ART. in our system of civil law. Diaz. the power to settle decedents' estates is conferred by law upon all courts of first instance. or dispose of all the property belonging to the testator. or with a void will. December 31. and consider that he retained throughout some animus revertendi to the place of his birth in Parañaque. section 600 of Act No. Therefore. even if no petition for its allowance is as yet filed. Dy Buncio & Co. The institution of intestacy proceedings in Rizal may not thus proceed while the probate of the purported will of Father Rodriguez is pending. 190.n. (3) If the suspensive condition attached to the institution of heir does not happen or is not fulfilled. (2) When the will does not institute an heir to. section 600. In such case. 74 Phil. There are two other reasons that militate against the success of petitioners. as we have said time and again. while petitioners initiated intestate proceedings in the Court of First Instance of Rizal only on March 12. G. province of Bulacan (t. was in bad faith. Certainly the order of priority established in Rule 73 (old Rule 75) was not designed to convert the settlement of decedent's estates into a race between applicants. with the administration of the properties as the price for the fleetest.. legal succession shall take place only with respect to the property in which the testator has not disposed. The estate proceedings having been initiated in the Bulacan Court of First Instance ahead of any other. procedure is one thing and jurisdiction over the subject matter is another. the petition is deemed to relate back to the time when the will was delivered. vs. Neither party denies that the late Fr. (Attorney General vs. 73 Phil. and no right of accretion takes place. Rodriguez is deceased. that detail would not imply that the Bulacan court lacked jurisdiction. (4) When the heir instituted is incapable of succeeding. But. No. however. but even if we do so. could not have been intended as defining the jurisdiction of the probate court over the subject matter. hearing of June 11." and in the case at bar the Bulacan court did not have it because the decedent was domiciled in Rizal province. "only after final decision as to the nullity of testate succession could an intestate succession be instituted in the form of pre-established action". 46. That is sufficient in the case before us. the precedence and exclusive jurisdiction of the Bulacan court is incontestable. there being no substitution. or that he left personal property in Hagonoy. that court is entitled to assume jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. fixes the venue or the place where each case shall be brought.
all surnamed Reyes. all surnamed Capili. namely. The petitioners-appellants contend that the appellate court erred in not declaring that the probate court. had generally no power to adjudicate title and erred in applying the exception to the rule. and that since the donation was null and void the deceased Eusebio Capili did not become owner of the share of his wife and therefore could not validly dispose of it in his will. and JOSE ISIDORO. Marcos. It is the proceedings in the Rizal Court that should be discontinued. having limited and special jurisdiction. upon the basis that the said properties were conjugal properties of the deceased spouses. and Buenaventura. and that in refusing to dismiss the probate. this Court consistently held that as a general rule. Vicente. 1959 these relatives filed an opposition to the executor's project of partition and submitted a counter-project of partition of their own. namely: ARMANDO CAPILI and ARTURO BERNARDO. Exhibit B. On September 14.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process We rule that the Bulacan Court of First Instance was entitled to priority in the settlement of the estate in question. Raymunda and Elena. Ursula. claiming 1/2 of the properties mentioned in the will of the deceased Eusebio Capili on the theory that they belonged not to the latter alone but to the conjugal partnership of the spouses. COURT OF APPEALS and THE HEIRS OF THE LATE HERMOGENA REYES. at which evidence was presented by the parties. adjudicating the estate of Eusebio Capili among the testamentary heirs with the exception of Hermogena Reyes. the writ of certiorari applied for is denied. 1960. issued an order declaring the donation void without making any specific finding as to its juridical nature. ET AL.ñët The oppositors and heirs of Hermogena Reyes. Upon petition of Deogracias Bernardo. which prohibits donations between spouses during the marriage. and considered under the second category. and Arturo. G. without prejudice to the parties adducing other evidence to prove their case not covered by this stipulation of facts.. (2) that the collateral heirs of Hermogena Reyes had no lawful standing or grounds to question the validity of the donation. question as to title to property cannot be passed upon on testate or intestate proceedings. the executor filed a motion for new trial."1 except where one DEOGRACIAS BERNARDO. Wherefore. whose share was alloted to her collateral relatives aforementioned. proceedings. ET AL. the parties respectfully pray that the foregoing stipulation of facts be admitted and approved by this Honorable Court. followed by the submission of memoranda discussing certain legal issues. namely: FRANCISCO REYES. for the reason that. 1958 and a testate proceeding for the settlement of his estate was instituted in the Court of the Fist Instance of Bulacan. 1960. Francisco and Dominga. because Hermogena Reyes had donated to him her half share of such partnership." On September 27. 1959 and February 10. the probate court. The probate court. executor of the testate estate of the deceased EUSEBIO CAPILI. Hermogena Reyes herself died on April 24. all surnamed Isidoro. 1958. respondents. ET AL. the executor filed a project of partition in the testate proceeding in accordance with the terms of the will.. On June 16. Constancia. The first died on July 27. executor of the estate of the deceased Eusebio Capili." dividing the property mentioned in the last will and testament of the deceased Eusebio Capili and the properties mentioned in the deed of donation. Wherefore. it does not comply with the formalities of a will as required by Article 728 in relation to Article 805 of the same Code. considered under the first category. she was substituted by her collateral relatives and intestate heirs. whether it was inter vivos or mortis causa. No. argued that the deed of donation itself was determinative of the original conjugal character to the properties. there being no attestation clause. In the same order the court disapproved both projects of partition and directed the executor to file another. reiterating and emphasizing the contention previously raised in their memorandum that the probate court had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the claim of the legal heirs of Hermogena Reyes involving title to the properties mentioned in the will of Eusebio Capili and taking exception to the court's declaration of the nullity of the donation "without stating facts or provision of law on which it was based. and (3) that even assuming that they could question the validity of the donation. 1963 contended: (1) that the properties disposed of in the will of the deceased Eusebio Capili belonged to him exclusively and not to the conjugal partnership. between the instituted heirs of the deceased Eusebio Capili and the legal heirs of the deceased Hermogena Reyes. vs. 1959. In a line of decisions. his cousins Armando. respectively. on their part. that is. Deogracias and Eduardo. aside from the legal presumption laid down in Article 160 of the Civil Code. L-18148 February 28. the same must be litigated not in the testate proceeding but in a separate civil action. The facts are briefly stated in the appealed decision of the Court of Appeals as follows: Eusebio Capili and Hermogena Reyes were husband and wife. Costs against petitioners Rodriguez. HON. His will was admitted to probate on October 9. On appeal to the Court of Appeals the order appealed from being affirmed. 1äwphï1. On June 12. the Honorable M. petitioners filed this present petition for review by certiorari." The motion for new trial was denied in an order dated October 3.R. it falls under Article 133 of the Civil Code. 1959. disposing of his properties in favor of his widow. petitioners. all surnamed Bernardo.. This is a petition by certiorari for the review of the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming that of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan holding that the probate court in Special Proceeding 1101 had jurisdiction to determine the validity of the deed of donation in question and to pass upon the question of title or ownership of the properties mentioned therein. said court did not commit any abuse of discretion. 1960. In the memorandum for the executor and the instituted heirs it was 27 . Mejia presiding. and Jose. in two orders dated June 24. 1960. set the two projects of partition for hearing. and the instituted heirs.
in addition to her own right to the conjugal property. for the jurisdiction to try controversies between heirs of a deceased person regarding the ownership of properties alleged to belong to his estate. the decision of the Court of Appeals being in accordance with law. have the court take it for granted that their theory as to the character of the properties is correct. during her lifetime. Manalac v. but the widow is. extend or broaden it. there is here a waiver where the parties who raise the objection are the ones who set the court in motion. it is optional to them to submit to the probate court a question as to title to property. the interested parties may introduce proofs relative to the ownership of the properties in dispute. 80 Phil. Justice Pedro Tuason: "Determination of title to property is within the jurisdiction of Courts of First Instance. So ordered. 661). As the Court of Appeals said. consequently. There are no third parties whose rights may be affected. jurisdiction is a creature of law and parties to an action can not vest. then there can be no exception to the nojurisdiction theory. It is true that the heirs of the deceased widow are not heirs of the testator-husband. of course. and as a necessary corollary.6 Finally. it complies with the requirement of the exception that the parties interested (the petitioners and the widow. as it has not been executed with the required formalities similar to a will. . 232). after due hearing. as they do. et al. the claim that is being asserted is one belonging to an heir to the testator and. let it be clarified that the matter at issue is not a question of jurisdiction. in which each party is required to bring into the mass whatever community property he has in his possession. petitioners themselves put in issue the question of ownership of the properties — which is well within the competence of the probate court — and just because of an opposition thereto. the actor must have knowledge of the facts and be appraised of his rights at the time he performs the act constituting estoppel. so long as no interests of third parties are affected.7 In the present case. the petitioners can not be heard to insist. now represented because of her death. because silence without knowledge works no estoppel. but also signed an extra-judicial partition of those inventoried properties. But as has been stated in the case of Cunanan v. it is contended. This is so because the purpose of an administration proceeding is the liquidation of the estate and distribution of the residue among the heirs and legatees. the matter in controversy is the question of ownership of certain of the properties involved — whether they belong to the conjugal partnership or to the husband exclusively. not only did not object to the inclusion of these properties in the inventory of the assets of her deceased husband. But the very authorities cited by appellants require that to constitute estoppel. by presenting their project of partition including therein the disputed lands (upon the claim that they were donated by the wife to her husband). matters affecting property under judicial administration may be taken cognizance of by the court in the course of intestate proceeding.3 Thereafter. in which case the probate court may pass provisionally upon the question without prejudice to its final determination in a separate action. If appellants' contention is correct. Therefore. and when so submitted. distribution is made of the decedent's liquidated estate among the persons entitled to succeed him. All the heirs who take part in the distribution of the decedent's estate are before the court. petitioners-appellants claim that appellees are estopped to raise the question of ownership of the properties involved because the widow herself. and ineffectual if mortis-causa.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process of the parties prays merely for the inclusion or exclusion from the inventory of the property. the same is hereby affirmed with costs against appellants. It affects only personal rights to a mode of practice (the filing of an independent ordinary action) which may be waived". The respondents. 73 Phil. represented by dents) are all heirs claiming title under the testator. 561. and that its decision on the subject is null and void and does not bind even those who had invoked its authority and submitted to its decision because. WHEREFORE. adjudges question against them.5They can not be permitted to complain if the court. the deceased widow acted as she did because of the deed of donation she executed in favor of her husband not knowing that such deed was illegal. the widow. and subject to the jurisdiction thereof. or to the deceased husband exclusively? At the outset. 229. which is distinct from jurisdiction. the question as to whether the properties herein involved belong to the conjugal partnership of Eusebio Capili and Hermogena Reyes. Ocampo. entirely without regard to the opposition of the respondents". In other words. Certainly. This is a matter properly within the jurisdiction of the probate court which necessarily has to liquidate the conjugal partnership in order to determine the estate 28 of the decedent which is to be distributed among his heirs who are all parties to the proceedings. if inter-vivos. we have also held that when the parties interested are all heirs of the deceased. Amparo (supra) the Supreme Court speaking through Mr. they can not thereafter withdraw either their appearance or the issue from the jurisdiction of the court. Amparo.4 In the case now before us. To this end. In the light of this doctrine. has been recognized to be vested in probate courts.. This is not borne by the admitted facts.2 However. may it be said correctly that the trial court as well as the Court of Appeals erred in upholding the power of the probate court in this case to adjudicate in the testate proceedings. on the approval of their project of partition and. 73 Phil. Certainly. in all matters and incidents necessary to the complete settlement of such estate. "In doing so all of them must be deemed to have submitted the issue for resolution in the same proceeding. Petitioners contend additionally that they have never submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the probate court. said probate court may definitely pass judgment thereon (Pascual v. The proceeding is in the nature of an action of partition. and that with the consent of the parties. it is undisputed that they were the ones who presented the project of partition claiming the questioned properties as part of the testator's asset. Liquidation means determination of all the assets of the estate and payment of all the debts and expenses. Strictly speaking. it is more a question of jurisdiction over the person. And it is this right that is being sought to be enforced by her substitutes. On the contrary. Pascual. by her heirs who have been substituted upon petition of the executor himself and who have appeared voluntarily. for the purpose of the determination of the question of ownership of the disputed properties. The responding Soriano's objection (that the probate court lacked jurisdiction to order the delivery of the possession of the lots to the estate) relates exclusively to the procedure. thus. including. provided interests of third persons are not prejudiced (Cunanan v. not over the subject matter. as representatives or substitutes of the deceased widow opposed the project of partition and submitted another. in the sense advanced by appellants that the trial court had completely no authority to pass upon the title to the lands in dispute.
the order allowing the will became final and the question determined by the court in such order can no longer be raised anew. Such final order makes the will conclusive against the whole world as to its extrinsic validity and due execution. and declaring the oppositors Vicente Dorotheo. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary An Order was issued on November 29. It has been ruled that a final judgment on probated will. the trial court in effect nullified the entry of judgment made by the Court of Appeals. 1986 Order that has attained finality.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary compliance with the prescribed formalities for the execution of wills. 1990 and February 1. hence not final in character. albeit erroneous. QUINTANA. Thus. vs. This dismissal became final and executory on February 3. The latter died in 1969 without her estate being settled.R. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary Petitioner also filed a motion to reinstate her as executrix of the estate of the late Alejandro and to maintain the status quo or lease of the premises thereon to third parties. May a last will and testament admitted to probate but declared intrinsically void in an order that has become final and executory still be given effect? This is the issue that arose from the following antecedents: chanroblesvirtualawlibrary Private respondents were the legitimate children of Alejandro Dorotheo and Aniceta Reyes. The matters of due execution of the will and the capacity of the testator acquired the character of res judicata and cannot again be brought into question. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary It has been consistently held that if no appeal is taken in due time from a judgment or order of the trial court. Thus. private respondents filed a petition before the Court of Appeals. In 1983. No. the same attains finality by mere lapse of time. after Alejandros death. Petitioner opposed the motion. December 8. Angas setting aside the final and executory Order dated January 30. 1999] LOURDES L. COURT OF APPEALS. Sometime in 1977. the provisions of the last will and testament of Alejandro Dorotheo as intrinsically void. which nullified the two assailed Orders dated November 29. petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary Petitioner moved for reconsideration arguing that she is entitled to some compensation since she took care of Alejandro prior to his death although she admitted that they were not married to each other. the court issued an order admitting Alejandros will to probate. The court added that the dispositive portion of the said Order even directs the distribution of the estate of the deceased spouses. for Herself and as Attorney-in-Fact of VICENTE DOROTHEO and JOSE DOROTHEO. It is well settled that a lower court cannot reverse or set aside decisions or orders of a superior court. Private respondents filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied in an Order dated February 1.particularly on three aspects: chanroblesvirtualawlibrary whether the will submitted is indeed. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary Aggrieved. 108581. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary It should be noted that probate proceedings deals generally with the extrinsic validity of the will sought to be probated. Respondents. DOROTHEO. 1986 Order which declared the intrinsic invalidity of Alejandros will that was earlier admitted to probate. A writ of execution was issued by the lower court to implement the final and executory Order. all juridical questions in connection therewith being for once and forever closed. Alejandro died thereafter. as well as the Order directing the issuance of 29 . the decedents last will and testament. whose respective estates shall be liquidated and distributed according to the laws on intestacy upon payment of estate and other taxes due to the government. Consequently. petitioner instituted a petition for review arguing that the case filed by private respondents before the Court of Appeals was a petition under Rule 65 on the ground of grave abuse of discretion or lack of jurisdiction. Judge Angas cannot be said to have no jurisdiction because he was particularly designated to hear the case. In setting aside the January 30. Private respondents opposed the motion on the ground that petitioner has no interest in the estate since she is not the lawful wife of the late Alejandro. 1991. the dispositive portion of which reads: chanroblesvirtualawlibrary WHEREFORE. Private respondents did not appeal from said order. either in the same proceedings or in a different motion. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary The petition is without merit. NILDA D. on the ground that the order was merely interlocutory. who claims to have taken care of Alejandro before he died. 1990 by Judge Zain B. Petitioner. 1989. 1991. Upon denial of her motion for reconsideration. When petitioner refused to surrender the TCTs.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process the writ of execution. The trial court granted the motion and issued an order. Order is hereby issued declaring Lourdes Legaspi not the wife of the late Alejandro Dorotheo. Petitioner. but the same was dismissed for failure to file appellants brief within the extended period granted. in view of the foregoing. they filed a Motion To Declare The Will Intrinsically Void. for to do so would be to negate the hierarchy of courts and nullify the essence of review. A final and executory decision or order can no longer be disturbed or reopened no matter how erroneous it may be. Petitioner likewise assails the Order of the Court of Appeals upholding the validity of the January 30.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary [G. filed a special proceeding for the probate of the latters last will and testament. Jose Dorotheo and Nilda Dorotheo Quintana as the only heirs of the late spouses Alejandro Dorotheo and Aniceta Reyes. private respondents filed several motions including a motion to compel petitioner to surrender to them the Transfer Certificates of Titles (TCT) covering the properties of the late Alejandro. 1986. Petitioner contends that in issuing the two assailed orders. 1989 and a corresponding entry of judgment was forthwith issued by the Court of Appeals on May 16. is binding on the whole world. private respondents filed a motion for cancellation of said titles and for issuance of new titles in their names. In 1981.
have to be set up to spur on the slothful. The only instance where a party interested in a probate proceeding may have a final liquidation set aside is when he is left out by reason of circumstances beyond his control or through mistake or inadvertence not imputable to negligence.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process the testamentary capacity of the testator. To fulfill this purpose and to do so speedily. which circumstances do not concur herein. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary Petitioners motion for appointment as administratrix is rendered moot considering that she was not married to the late Alejandro and. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary Furthermore. but that a final and executory decision of which the party had the opportunity to challenge before the higher tribunals must stand and should no longer be reevaluated. And if the party does not avail of other remedies despite its belief that it was aggrieved by a decision or court action. In this case. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary The intrinsic validity is another matter and questions regarding the same may still be raised even after the will has been authenticated. Thus. 1986 wherein private respondents were declared as the only heirs do not bind those who are not parties thereto such as the alleged illegitimate son of the testator. and at the same time it nullified the will. whom he described as his only beloved wife. that he was of the proper testamentary age and that he is a person not expressly prohibited by law from making a will. as she precisely appealed from an unfavorable order therefrom. the court had ruled that the will of Alejandro was extrinsically valid but the intrinsic provisions thereof were void.the very object of which the courts were constituted was to put an end to controversies. the same constitutes res judicata with respect to those who were parties to the probate proceedings. the will must pass the scrutinizing test and safeguards provided by law considering that the deceased testator is no longer available to prove the voluntariness of his actions. fraud. if the testator provides for dispositions that deprives or impairs the lawful heirs of their legitime or rightful inheritance according to the laws on succession. then it is deemed to have fully agreed and is satisfied with the decision or order. that he had freely executed the will and was not acting under duress. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary Petitioner was privy to the suit calling for the declaration of the intrinsic invalidity of the will. It is clear from the executory order that the estates of Alejandro and his spouse should be distributed according to the laws of intestate succession. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary Under the Civil Code. SO ORDERED. at the risk of occasional errors. the trial court also said that the estate of the late spouses be distributed according to the laws of intestacy. certain time limits. If it is extrinsically valid.Nemo praesumitur donare. the unlawful provisions/dispositions thereof cannot be given effect. it has no option but to implement that order of intestate distribution and not to reopen and again re-examine the intrinsic provisions of the same will. the rules of intestacy apply regardless of the intrinsic validity thereof. The trial court declared in the January 30. it does not necessarily follow that an extrinsically valid last will and testament is always intrinsically valid. Accordingly.Interes rei publicae ut finis sit litium . This is specially so when the courts had already determined in a final and executory decision that the will is intrinsically void. Petitioner cannot again raise those matters anew for relitigation otherwise that would amount to forum-shopping. Not that this Court finds the will to be intrinsically valid. judgments of courts must at some point of time fixed by law become final otherwise there will be no end to litigation. on the law of successional rights that testacy is preferred to intestacy. Testamentary dispositions of properties not belonging exclusively to the testator or properties which are part of the conjugal regime cannot be given effect. whose only heirs are his three legitimate children (petitioners herein). menace or undue influence and that the will is genuine and not a forgery. No intestate distribution of the estate can be done until and unless the will had failed to pass both its extrinsic and intrinsic validity. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary It can be clearly inferred from Article 960 of the Civil Code. It should be remembered that forum shopping also occurs when the same issue had already been resolved adversely by some other court. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary Petitioner posits that the January 30. Thus. Failure to avail of the remedies provided by law constitutes waiver. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary and the due execution of the last will and testament. 1986 Order that petitioner is not the legal wife of Alejandro. Matters with respect to who owns the properties that were disposed of by Alejandro in the void will may still be properly ventilated and determined in the intestate proceedings for the settlement of his and that of his late spouses estate. is not a valid reason to reverse a final and executory order. Such determination having attained that character of finality is binding on this Court which will no longer be disturbed. 1986 Order is merely interlocutory. the next test is to determine its intrinsic validity that is whether the provisions of the will are valid according to the laws of succession. the rules of intestacy apply as correctly held by the trial court. Even if the will was validly executed. chanrob 30 . But before there could be testate distribution. As early as 1918. If the will is extrinsically void. Although the final and executory Order of January 30. due execution includes a determination of whether the testator was of sound and disposing mind at the time of its execution. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary WHEREFORE. In support thereof. But it should be noted that in the same Order. petitioner argues that an order merely declaring who are heirs and the shares to which set of heirs is entitled cannot be the basis of execution to require delivery of shares from one person to another particularly when no project of partition has been filed. therefore. more or less arbitrary. is not an heir. the petition is DENIED and the decision appealed from is AFFIRMED. Alejandros disposition in his will of the alleged share in the conjugal properties of his late spouse. aside from the fact that the transfer of the estate is usually onerous in nature and that no one is presumed to give . it has been declared that public policy and sound practice demand that. hence it can still be set aside by the trial court.
DIGNO JIMENEZ. al. and. 75773 April 17. namely: Alberto. HONORABLE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT. Pangasinan. and Angeles from the petition. Simplicio M. On November 18. and. 1964 wherein Genoveva Caolboy stated. she filed an inventory of the estate of the spouses Lino Jimenez and Genoveva Caolboy wherein she included the five (5) parcels of land in Salomague. 16111. ANTONIO JIMENEZ. As a consequence. docketed as Special Proceedings No. which consisted among others of: (1) Tax Declaration showing that the subject properties were acquired during the conjugal partnership of Lino Jimenez and Consolacion Ungson. 1951 while Genoveva Caolboy died on November 21. (4) petitioner Virginia Jimenez was guilty of laches. namely: Alberto. more than ten (10) years after Genoveva had admitted such adjudication in a public document in 1964. (2) the subject properties could not have been acquired during the marriage of Lino Jimenez to Genoveva Caolboy because they were already titled in the name of Lino Jimenez even prior to 1921. No. Amadeo. petitioner Virginia Jimenez was appointed administrator of the Intestate Estate of Lino Jimenez and Genoveva Caolboy. long before Lino's marriage to Genoveva in 1940. Regional Trial Court. During the existence of the marriage. Viliran for private respondents. presented no evidence of her own. Bugallon. respondents. vs. petitioners' mother. oral or documentary. Alberto.. Virginia Jimenez filed a petition before the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. On September 29. Amanda Valera-Cabigao. Pangasinan. 1978. 1990 TOMAS JIMENEZ. Sevilleja for petitioners. Enumerated in her petition were the supposed heirs of the deceased spouses which . Antonio. herein private respondent Leonardo Jimenez. Branch V. for respondents. Thereafter. Lino Jimenez died on August 11. Jr. HON. Bugallon. 5346. his previous wife. SP-13916." The facts are as follows: The marriage of Leonardo (Lino) Jimenez and Consolacion Ungson produced four (4) children.: This is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to reverse and set aside the decision 1 of the Court of Appeals dated May 29.R.. 1982. et. had admitted that the subject parcels of land had been adjudicated to the children of the previous nuptial. Jr. JR. son of Leonardo Jimenez. 1982. 4 On May 21. No. Lino married Genoveva Caolboy with whom he begot the seven petitioners herein: Tomas. Pangasinan.. 06578 entitled "Tomas Jimenez. No. AMANDA VALERACABIGAO. 7 Two (2) years after. After the death of Consolacion Ungson. all surnamed Jimenez. 1984 before the Regional Trial Court of Pangasinan. 1981.. other than cross-examining the witnesses of Leonardo. Visitacion. Jr. Leonardo Jimenez. 1981 as well as the order of January 26. MODESTO JIMENEZ and VIRGINIA JIMENEZ. 6 Petitioner Virginia Jimenez then went to the Court of Appeals on a petition for certiorari and prohibition. 1979. petitioners. Lino Jimenez acquired five (5) parcels of land in Salomague. Pangasinan. 1986 which dismissed the petition for certiorari and mandamus in AC-G. Alejandra. 1981.2 In October. VISITACION JIMENEZ. Leonardo B. seeking the annulment of the order dated September 29. to recover possession/ownership of the subject five (5) parcels of land as part of the estate of Lino Jimenez and Genoveva Caolboy and to order private respondents 31 G. Sr. Jimenez.R. (3) the claim of Virginia Jimenez was barred by prescription because it was only in 1981 when they questioned the adjudication of the subject properties. This decision became final and executory.R. in her capacity as Presiding Judge. docketed thereat as Civil Case No. moved for the exclusion of these properties from the inventory on the ground that these had already been adjudicated to Leonardo Sr. FERNAN. vs. the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition because (1) Genoveva Caolboy. Lingayen. Modesto and Virginia. 5 The motion for reconsideration of said order was denied on January 26. Bugallon. 3 On March 23. inasmuch as they are children of the union of Lino Jimenez and Consolacion Ungson and not of Lino Jimenez and Genoveva Caolboy and because they have already received their inheritance consisting of five (5) parcels of lands in Salomague. Jr. Leonardo. Branch XXXVII.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process included herein co-petitioners and the four children of Lino Jimenez by Consolacion Ungson. Bitty S. presented testimonial and documentary evidence in support of his motion while petitioner Virginia Jimenez. Leonardo. 1982. (2) a Deed of Sale dated May 12. filed a motion for the exclusion of his father's name and those of Alberto. Alejandra and Angeles. CJ. Private respondent Leonardo Jimenez. Digno. that the subject properties had been adjudicated by Lino Jimenez to his children by a previous marriage. 1981. Alejandra and Angeles by their deceased father Lino Jimenez. Alejandra and Angeles. Sr. Hon. praying to be appointed as administratrix of the properties of the deceased spouses Lino and Genoveva. in April 1979. petitioners filed an amended complaint dated December 10. docketed thereat as CA-G. AMADEO JIMENEZ. the probate court ordered the exclusion of the five (5) parcels of land from the inventory on the basis of the evidence of private respondent Leonardo Jimenez. and CORAZON JIMENEZ. LEONARDO JIMENEZ. Jr. Branch XXXVII.
court's findings are not conclusive being prima facie. 15 Borromeo vs. Among others. WHEREFORE. In the negative. No. Petitioners' present action for recovery of possession and ownership is appropriately filed because as a general rule.R. Genoveva Caolboy in 1978. 16111 was an action for the recovery of possession and ownership of the five (5) parcels of land. 1985. 1985. such "separate or ordinary proceedings" contemplated by the rules for a final determination of the issue of ownership of the disputed properties. Specifically in S. Branch XXXVII is directed to proceed in said case with dispatch.P. while admittedly. it would appear that the same has not yet prescribed or otherwise barred by laches. (2) the action instituted in 1981 was not barred by prescription or laches because private respondents' forcible acquisition of the subject properties occurred only after the death of petitioners' mother. 17 It has also been held that in a special proceeding for the probate of a will. and. If there is a dispute as to the ownership. which result in inclusion or exclusion from the inventory of the property. SP-13916 dated November 18. No. the trial court resolved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of res judicata. this recourse. 5346. the grounds relied upon by private respondents in their motion to dismiss do not appear to be indubitable. Sr.P. 1986. 18 This pronouncement no doubt applies with equal force to an intestate proceeding as in the case at bar. a probate court can only pass upon questions of title provisionally. petitioners opposed the motion to dismiss contending that (1) the action was not barred by prior judgment because the probate court had no jurisdiction to determine with finality the question of ownership of the lots which must be ventilated in a separate action. 11 The patent reason is the probate court's limited jurisdiction and the principle that questions of title or ownership. Inc. No. since the determination of the question of title to the subject properties in S. 8 On May 31. petitioners' motion for reconsideration of the resolution was denied. 10 a separate proceeding is necessary to establish the ownership of the five (5) parcels of land. as well as the fact itself of adjudication. 5346 was merely provisional. Canonoy. can only be settled in a separate action. was lodged before the Regional Trial Court of Pangasinan. 1982 and by prescription and laches. the petition for certiorariand mandamus filed by petitioners before the appellate court was likewise denied due course and dismissed in a decision dated May 29. the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. the alleged admission made by petitioners' mother in the deed of sale is vehemently denied. there being no showing that the conjugal partnership of Lino Jimenez and Consolacion Ungson had been liquidated nor that a judicial or extra-judicial settlement of the estate of Lino Jimenez was undertaken whereby such adjudication could have been effected. Civil Case No. 12 All that the said court could do as regards said properties is determine whether they should or should not be included in the inventory or list of properties to be administered by the administrator. in fact. Since the probate. Civil Case No. (referring to private respondents. The allegation in the complaint is that the heirs of Leonardo Jimenez. SO ORDERED. To repeat. Res judicata has been shown here to be unavailable and the other grounds of prescription and laches pleaded by private respondents are seriously disputed. Any pronouncement by said court as to title is not conclusive and could still be attacked in a separate proceeding. 16111. Court of Appeals. Moreover. on the other hand. 16111 is reinstated and the Regional Trial Court of Pangasinan. As earlier intimated. Since the action for reconveyance was instituted in 1984. the action was for the settlement of the intestate estate of Lino Jimenez and Genoveva Caolboy while Civil Case No. petitioners are not barred from instituting the appropriate action in Civil Case No. Branch XXXVII in the exercise of the court's general jurisdiction.P. On February 13. the questioned decision of the respondent appellate court is hereby REVERSED. It was. 9 Hence. after the death of Genoveva Caolboy. . Private respondents moved for the dismissal of the complaint on the grounds that the action was barred by prior judgment in CA-G.) forcibly intruded into and took possession of the disputed properties only in 1978. 32 Res judicata 19 does not exist because of the difference in the causes of actions. Indeed. de la Rosa. 16 Recto vs. 14 Junquera vs. is the present action for reconveyance barred by prescription and/or laches? We reverse. There are a number of factual issues raised by petitioners before the lower court which cannot be resolved without the presentation of evidence at a full-blown trial and which make the grounds for dismissal dubitable. Branch V in S.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process to render an accounting of the produce therefrom. 13 The provisional character of the inclusion in the inventory of a contested property was again reiterated in the following cases: Pio Barreto Realty Development. the question of ownership is an extraneous matter which the probate court cannot resolve with finality. the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the complaint in Civil Case No. The issue in this case is whether in a settlement proceeding (testate or intestate) the lower court has jurisdiction to settle questions of ownership and whether res judicata exists as to bar petitioners' present action for the recovery of possession and ownership of the five (5) parcels of land. 5346 had jurisdiction. Borromeo. 16111. 16111. However. The grounds stated in the motion to dismiss not being indubitable. the same was merely limited jurisdiction. vs. then the opposing parties and the administrator have to resort to an ordinary action for a final determination of the conflicting claims of title because the probate court cannot do so.
She claimed that she is the owner of the boat because she purchased it from her father in 1967.117 Phil. Ildefonso Lachenal. 3597 filed these special civil actions of prohibition and certiorari against the probate court.: Victorio Lachenal died on November 20. 1975 he and the testator's other children named Flora. the court may provisionally pass upon the question without prejudice to its final determination in a separate action (Garcia vs. 16 SCRA 886. Pascual. March 16. and FLAVIANA L. 1969. 1967. We hold that the title to the fishing boat should be determined in Civil Case No. Guinguing vs. AQUINO. Cunanan vs. 835. Vda. 353. EMILIO V. Among the properties included in the inventory of his estate is a fishing boat called Lachenal VII. Baquial vs. LEONIO. 1972 designated a commissioner to receive the evidence of the parties relative to the ownership of the motorboat. on July 8. 1976 ILDEFONSO LACHENAL. 48 Phil. 227. The issue is whether the probate court should be allowed to continue the hearing on the ownership of the fishing boat or whether that question should be left to the determination of the Caloocan court where the subsequent separate action (now in the pre-trial stage) for the recovery of the motorboat is pending. 1976). was named executor of his will.G. and the children of a deceased child filed in the Caloocan City Branch of the Court of First Instance of Rizal an action against the Leonio spouses and the other three children of the testator named Crispula. 1965. August 14. 1971 the executor filed in that proceeding a motion to require the spouses Lope L. SANTOS. Leonio. matters affecting property under administration may be taken cognizance of by the court in the course of the intestate proceedings provided the interests of third persons are not prejudiced. SALAS. 144. 1975 the said plaintiffs in Civil Case No. L-31048. L-18833. Dinglasan vs. by motion. De Paula vs. 92 Phil.000 and that after Victorio's death. 899. On July 20. 80 Phil. the decedent's son-in-law.R. It held that it has jurisdiction over the issue of ownership because the heirs had agreed to present their evidence on that point before a commissioner. No. Kayanan. Camon. Escay. infra). Pascual vs. 1967. 1976. 97 Phil. Rizal for drydocking and repair. Borromeo vs. 3597). FLORA L. Magallanes vs. The executor did not present his countervailing evidence. 334. 63 O. Branch I. Leonio. de Manalac vs. 19 SCRA 656. HON. page 473. This case falls under the general rule that questions as to title to property cannot be passed upon in the testate or intestate proceeding but should be ventilated in a separate action (Ongsingco vs. 33 . Abuton. "The administrator may not pull him against his will. March 30. together with back rentals and damages (Civil Case No. vs. 8704. Mrs. 5836). The probate court in its order of January 28. Where a party in a probate proceeding prays for the inclusion in." (3 Moran's Comments on the Rules of Court. 19 SCRA 667). Ocampo. L-18498. SANCHEZ and NATIVIDAD D. Espiritu. On April 1. Elias and Irenea. allegedly valued at P150. probate court has no jurisdiction to decide the question as to its ownership because that matter has to be resolved by the Caloocan court where Civil Case No. Recto vs. January 20. Borromeo. Lope L Leonio. 561. L-42799. 330. IRENEA L. 661. 1970 Edition. although married to his daughter or compulsory heir. His testate estate is pending settlement in the Court of First Instance of Rizal. for a monthly rental of P2. On January 5. LACHENAL. Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Pasig. 501). J. Garcia. Amihan. 3597 filed in the probate court their own motion to exclude the said motorboat from the decedent's estate on the ground that The probate court denied that motion. Dela Rosa. is nevertheless a third person with respect to his estate. Junquera vs. said probate court may definitely pass judgment thereon. March 30. ELIAS LACHENAL. who was a daughter of the testator. Leonio and Flaviana Lachenal-Leonio to pay the rentals for the lease of Lachenal VII and to return the boat to Navotas. Amparo. 14 SCRA 892. G. citing Alvarez vs. opposed the executor's motion. 1976 the executor and his co-plaintiffs in Civil Case No. The executor opposed the motion for exclusion. 3597 is pending. It invoked the rule that generally "questions of title to property cannot be passed upon in testate or intestate proceedings. Modesto and Esperanza. Court of Appeals . 73 Phil. Bernardo vs. Leonio had already finished the presentation of her evidence before the commissioner. the inventory of a piece of property. L-42257 June 14. for the recovery of the motorboat Lachenal VII. His son. Ang Chia. the executor of his estate demanded from Leonio the return of the boat and the payment of the back rentals. Lope L. into the administration proceeding" (De la Cruz vs. 67 Phil. Tan. 147. She countered with a motion to exclude the fishing boat from the decedent's estate. L-25010. who. respondents. Pasig Branch I (Special Proceeding No. 88 Phil. Rizal. It was alleged in the complaint that Victorio Lachenal in 1964 leased the said motorboat to his son-in-law.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process the. The reason is that questions of collation or of advancement are generally inevitably involved therein which are proper matters to be passed upon in the due course of administration. except when the parties interested are all heirs of the deceased in which event it is optional upon them to submit to the probate court the question as to title to property and when so submitted. or exclusion from. 476. 3597 because it affects the lessee thereof. And it has also been held that with the consent of the parties. Instead. 73 Phil. Mrs.000. petitioners. Canonoy.
Lachenal VII and recognizing the jurisdiction already acquired by the Caloocan Court of First Instance in Civil Case No. 1976). Under the circumstances obtaining in the instant case. For the recovery or protection or the property rights of the decedent. The court may also have to resolve ancillary issues as to damages and counterclaims for money or property. Questions of ownerships as very aptly emphasized in the main opinion should as a rule be threshed out on the basis of appropriate pleadings and evidence duly received by the court. The ruling in the De la Cruz case applies with stronger force to this case because here the executor seeks to recover not only the rentals but also the leased property itself. the Caloocan court should endeavor before trial to persuade the litigants to agree upon some compromise (Arts. Ultimately. I am adding these few lines to the well grounded main opinion written by Mr. J. L-33850.. actions for causes which survive. 1970. 222 and 2029. naturalization. considering that according to the record. The execution of a judgment is usually made by the Court of First Instance in an ordinary action and not in a special proceeding (See Magallanes vs. In the De la Cruz case. supra). Actions to recover real or personal property. or an interest therein. Separate Opinions BARREDO. by virtue of section 2 of Rule 87. 617. No costs. 619. 39. Camon. or to enforce a lien thereon. supra). Justice Aquino just to point out that the argument of estoppel advanced by respondent cannot hold in this case. the liquidation of the conjugal partnership. It might be a different case. 3597. The said rentals do not constitute property in the administrator's hands and are not thus within the effective control of the probate court. if both parties had already presented all their evidence before the judge himself of the probate court. the payment of his debts. concurring: I concur in the judgment setting aside the orders of respondent court upholding its jurisdiction as probate court to pass on the issue of ownership of the subject fishing boat. which arises between the decedent's estate and other persons. Lachenal VII. Probate jurisdiction includes all matters relating to the settlement of estates and the probate of wills of persons (Sec. Act 190). as to which the wife of the lessee had asserted adverse title. 1 and 2. may be commenced against an executor or administrator (Secs. from the decedent's estate. supra. and actions to recover damages for an injury to or property. criminal cases. The proper procedure in collecting such rentals is to file an independent action in the Court of First Instance so that the right of the estate thereto may be threshed out in a full-dress trial on the merits. 34 . in as much as the controversy over the fishing boat concerns members of the same family. supra. In the instant case. Normally. it is expedient and convenient that the question of title to property. Gonzales. Rule 87. Judiciary Law. an executor or administrator may bring or defend in the right of the decedent. counterclaim and reply). land registration. and the partition and distribution of the estate (De La Cruz vs.) is in reality not a question of over the subject matter. answer. land registration. Mariano. admiralty and insolvency cases (Sec. more than three years. asserting its jurisdiction to decide the title to the fishing boat. Amparo. Rules of Court). the executor. Rules of Court). A resort to the modes of discovery may be necessary so that the issues may be clearly defined and the trial may be expedited. L-21033. 484 rejurisdiction over the issue). Those matters can be effectively accomplished in an ordinary action rather than in the testamentary or intestate proceeding (Mangaliman vs. Civil Code. execution has to be issued. filed a separate action in the Caloocan court for the recovery of the fishing boat and back rentals from the Leonio spouses. it was held that rentals allegedly due to the decedent's estate may not be collected by the administrator by filing a motion in the testate proceeding. special proceedings. Whether a particular matter should be resolved by the Court of First Instance in the exercise of its general jurisdiction or of its limited jurisdiction as a special court (probate. WHEREFORE. 73 Phil. In the instant case. respondent judge had merely delegated the reception of the evidence to a commissioner and the proceedings before said commissioner has been pending for quite sometime. 599. should be adjucated in a separate action because such a question requires the presentation of appropriate pleadings (complaint. the best interests of justice require that preference be given to the proper action which anyway has already been instituted for the purpose. December 28. guardianship. Reyes vs. Rule 16. are set aside. It is in essence a procedural question involving a mode of practice "which may be waived" (Cunanan vs. January 22. De Paula vs. real or personal. Kayanan. the probate court's orders of September 17 and October 20. 36 SCRA 462). 1975. however. etc. 1[j]. Sec. Escay. page 232. SO ORDERED. without being completed. particularly the administration of the decedent's estate. 97 Phil. Diaz. Manalo vs. questions as to collation or advancements to the heirs.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process The Court of First Instance is a court of general original jurisdiction invested with power to take cognizance of all kinds of cases: civil cases. motion to dismiss. Cf.
also of the Court of First Instance of Manila. That inclusion provoked Mrs. it should be stated that the spouses. Rodriguez and Mrs. He devised to his wife properties sufficient to constitute her legitime and bequeathed the remainder to his two children. She alleged that the two San Lorenzo Village lots were really conveyed to Mrs. Lawyer Celso F. Jose M. the issue of collation was prematurely raised. 1972. survived by his two children. Rodriguez (without being joined by her sister. Valero. No. Amboriso Padilla Law Office and Iglesia & Associates for appellants. The probate court in its order of August 9. Beatriz B. On December 4. 1973. Adduced as reason for the exclusion is the fact that since February 16. the Valero spouses. with an area of 1. Jose wanted also to adopt her but because. The sale was registered on the following day. Valero (who was already married to Doctor Sergio Rustia) his one-half proindiviso share (apparently his inchoate share) in two conjugal lots. His wife. The executor revealed that he was informed by Mrs. 1973 excluded the two lots from the inventory of the testator's estate but with the understanding "that the same are subject to collation". Jose M. 1973 or one hundred twelve days after Mrs. No one opposed that motion. by means of a deed of absolute sale. to file (through Mrs. 12475. Rustia's lawyer) in the testate proceeding a motion for the exclusion of the two San Lorenzo Village lots from the testator's inventoried estate. Jose manifested in the adoption proceeding that he consented to the use by Carmen of his surname Valero. conveyed the San Lorenzo Village lots and the improvements thereon to Carmen B. Purisima for appellees. (See Civil Case No. In that will. Valero's estate. Gutierrez) filed a motion for the reconsideration of the order of December 14. At the hearing of that motion. About a month later. Civil Code and art. 1966. submitted an inventory wherein. Rustia's lawyer apprised the court that the executor informed him over the phone that he was not opposing the motion. Art. de Rodriguez and Rosie Valero Gutierrez. The executor opposed the motion on the ground that the two lots were donated to Mrs. copies of which were attached to the motion. he had two children named Flora Valero Vda. Thus. L-39532 July 20. who was then seventy-three years old. Mrs.ñët This is supposedly a case about collation. Rustia. including the two San Lorenzo Village lots. Beatriz Bautista and Jose M. he was disqualified to adopt Carmen. Her estate is pending settlement in Special Proceeding No. However. she filed a motion for its reconsideration. meaning "that they are not subject to collation".500 square meters. As factual background. Rollo). Rustia and the donation would allegedly involve collation and the donee's title to the lots. Gutierrez. . Mrs. Valero-Rustia for the sum of one hundred twenty thousand pesos. Child and Youth Welfare Code. and Mrs. Rodriguez (supposed movants) that the two lots should be included in the inventory. Jose M. Gutierrez. On January 13. or on February 15. Mrs. That order is the bone of contention in this case. Beatriz. Mrs. 1964.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process On December 4. Angel P. Rustia by way of donation because the 35 G.petitioners-appellants. he did not mention the donation. 1966 Mrs. or on October 18. The probate court in its order of December 14. by his first marriage. Rizal. 1972.) On September 18. She insisted that she is the owner of the two San Lorenzo Village lots as indicated in the Torrens titles. 1967 she mortgaged the two lots to the Quezon City Development Bank as security for a loan of fifty thousand pesos (page 204. COURT OF APPEALS and CARMEN VALERO-RUSTIA. 88896 of the Court of First Instance of Manila. executed his last will and testament wherein he enumerated the conjugal properties of himself and his wife. 163270 and 163271 were issued to the vendee. following the list of conjugal assets in the testator's will. Mrs. Valero.R. Rodriguez and Mrs. Rustia was named administratrix of her adopted mother's estate. with the improvements thereon. His will was duly probated in Special Proceeding No. Valero. Rustia was served with a copy of that order. the two San Lorenzo Village lots were included as part of the testate estate. Mrs.:1äwphï1. the deed of donation was not registered. Gutierrez and Mrs. Rustia. Valero. 1973 ruled that the two lots were unconditionally excluded from the inventory of Jose M. survived by her husband and her adopted child. the executor. Rustia has been the registered owner of the lots as shown by two Torrens titles. Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. Rodriguez and Mrs. DE RODRIGUEZ and ROSIE VALERO DE GUTIERREZ. J. Manila CFI. Jose M. the legitimate children of the testator. vs. consented to the donation. Unson. 88677. FLORA VALERO VDA. Valero donated to Carmen B. located at San Lorenzo Village. Mrs. 338. the adopted child of Mrs. 1979 Testate Estate of Jose M. AQUINO. 28. Valero died testate. Valero died intestate on September 12. 1966. Makati. Valero. respondents-appellees. More than a month later. Gutierrez. did not beget any child during their marriage In 1951 Beatriz adopted Carmen (Carmencita) Bautista.
According to the Appellate Court. No costs. Mrs. It was interlocutory in the sense that it did not settle once and for all the title to the San Lorenzo Village lots. Rustia's titles to the disputed lots are questionable. The probate court denied the motion for reconsideration. but we delete from that decision and the two orders any ruling regarding collation which is a matter that may be passed upon by the probate court at the time when it is seasonably raised by the interested parties. as contemplated in section 2.000 and that their value increased considerably in 1973 or 1974.). the relatively low price of the sale could be attributed to the fact that Mrs. Rustia and her husband lived with the Valeros and were taking care of them. SO ORDERED. L-42257. However. the probate court may pass upon the title thereto but such determination is not conclusive and is subject to the final decision in a separate action regarding ownership which may be instituted by the parties (3 Moran's Comments on the Rules of Court. We found that the proceedings have not yet reached the stage when the question of collation or advancement to an heir may be raised and decided. up to this time. Salas. The proceedings below have not reached the stage of partition and distribution when the legitimes of the compulsory heirs have to be determined. Mrs. 1973 was interlocutory and that it could be changed or Modified at anytime during the course of the administration proceedings. 1976. August 28. Moreover. The Court of Appeals held that the order of exclusion dated August 9. 36 . an appeal was made to this Court. Rodriguez further contended that the order of August 9. We hold that the order of exclusion dated August 9. S. excluding from the inventory of Jose M. and De Castro. We hold further that the dictum of the Court of Appeals and the probate court that the two disputed lots are not subject to collation was a supererogation and was not necessary to the disposition of the case which merely involved the issue of inclusion in. It further held that it was immaterial whether the two lots were donated or sold to Mrs. it is not proper to pass upon the question of collation and to decide whether Mrs.02944. if it is ever raised at all. 1973 modifying the order of August 3 is void. Santos. per G. Valeros estate the two San Lorenzo Village lots now registered in the name of Carmen B. CA-G.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process consideration for the sale was allegedly only one-fifth of the true value of the lots. June 14. In this appeal. Jose M. We have examined the expedientes of the two cases. 1973 was not interlocutory but was a final and appealable order valid that the order of December 14. as ordered by the lower court on November 21. Gutierrez. only compulsory heirs are required to make collation for the determination of their legitimes and. Rustia's Torrens titles to the disputed lots or to show that the sale was in reality a donation. upon motion for reconsideration and over Mrs. we affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals and the orders of the. The appellants' only assignment of error is that the Court of Appeals should have held that the probate court's order of exclusion dated August 9. de Rodriguez vs. 1973 was final in character. the inventory of the testator's estate. need not be touched upon in the adjudication of this appeal. JJ. Gaviola. lower court dated August 9 and December 14. no separate action has been brought by the appellants to nullify Mrs. The prevailing rule is that for the purpose of determining whether a certain property should or should not be included in the inventory. Rollo). Whether collation may exist with respect to the two lots and whether Mrs. The numerous debts of the decedents are still being paid. The intestate and testate proceedings for the settlement of the estates of the deceased Valero spouses were consolidated. The probate court in the exclusion incident could not determine the question of title. 3176 (Pages 223 and 235-6. it was immaterial because under article 1061 of the Civil Code. Rustia's Torrens titles thereto are indefeasible are matters that may be raised later or may not be raised at all. or exclusion from. Valero (Vda. Jr. so that the conjugal estate of the deceased spouses may be properly liquidated. Valero-Rustia. R. 71 SCRA 262. under section 2. 1973. Rustia as "a mere subterfuge to avoid payment of the donor's and donee's taxes". if and when they are raised. 1973 was not a final order. pages 448-9 and 473. On the other hand. 1974. Rustia's opposition. It is not necessary to mention in the order of exclusion the controversial matter of collation. only heirs are involved in questions as to advancement and Mrs. Rule 90 of the Rules of Court. From that decision. the appeal was later allowed. SP. assailed the probate court's order declaring that the two lots were not subject to collation. How those issues should be resolved. Lachenal vs. No. 1974. Rustia is not an heir of the testator. Rule 73 of the Rules of Court and Act No. WHEREFORE. In reply. 1970 Edition. in their petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals. The net remainder (remanente liquido) of their conjugal estate has not yet been determined. The issue of collation was not yet justifiable at that early stage of the testate proceeding. Valero Rustia. Rustia countered that the prior order was interlocutory and that in 1966 the true value of the two lots was around P120. Rodriguez and Mrs. Mrs. 266). The appeal was not given due course.
with the September and October orders having the additional defect of due process violation. 1972.00) PESOS.. and any remaining balance distributed to the Drepin heirs. the latter mortgaged the land to the former. 12600-R.00 with a downpayment of P300.652. The agreement specified: (h) That the Developer agrees to reserve the right of the registered Owner of the land to ask for immediate CASH payment against an "Absolute Deed of Sale " on the said above mentioned properties. Moslares for the sum of P2. 7261. Inc. was filed as part of the effort to expedite the final settlement of the estate of the deceased NICOLAI DREPIN. respondents. The estate is saddled with claims of creditors named in the Drepin will and creditors who have filed their claims within the reglementary period. Honrado. on June 25. INC.00) PESOS. July 2. so that from the proceeds of the sale. 41287 abovementioned. THE HON. among them. this "joint venture agreement is still in full force and effect. 1972 with the filing of a petition for probate of his holographic will on August 23. Nicolai Drepin not choose to be paid on this said above mentioned property in CASH of TWO MILLION THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND (P2.000. Moslares. Basis for Moslares' letter proposal is a deed of sale with mortgage executed by the decedent in his favor on October 9. through its President Honor P. Drepin and Moslares entered into a "Joint Venture Agreement". L-62431-33 August 31.66. Metro Manila. 1982 in CA-G. 1971. 1970.000.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process The proceedings for the settlement of the estate of Drepin were initiated shortly after his death on July 29. Moslares.300. and 7269 of the CFI of Makati Branch Civil Case No. on August 23. It appears that on said date. No. twelve (12) persons filed their respective claims. vs. In this holographic will the late Drepin listed twenty-two (22) persons as his alleged creditors.300. The only way to pay their claims is to sell the Drepin lots.3980 hectares of land absolutely and perpetually to Honor P. and 12601-R entitled "Honor P. OTHERWISE if full payment of TWO MILLION THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND (P2.00. petitioner. The dispositive portion of the decision of the respondent Court of Appeals reads as follows: WHEREFORE. Honorable Reynaldo P. 1980. G. and within the six (6) months after publication within which to file claims against the estate.00) PESOS receipt is acknowledged by the said Mr. and another parcel with an area of eightyone (81) hectares still pending registration. respondents.300.00. the deceased sold 80.R. 41287 of the CFI of Pasig. all the foregoing considered. Subsequently. 1980. Nos. dated August 15.000. The parties further agreed not to register the sale yet until P1. The only asset of the testate estate of Drepin consists of three (3) parcels of titled land with an area of approximately eighty (80) hectares. petitioner v. (i) However. Nicolai 37 .. Said agreement listed Drepin as the registered "owner" of the lots and denominated Moslares as "developer" tasked with converting the lands into a residential subdivision. for being mere consequences of null orders. and October 20.600. 1980. 1978.300.299. the debts of the estate could be paid. N-50539. 1980. (d) ordering the Register of Deeds of Rizal to cancel the transfer certificates of title issued to Pio Barreto Realty Development.00 paid to Drepin's creditors. 1972. after the big loan is granted to the Developer in or about thirty (30) days to forty-five (45) days from the signing of this Joint Venture Agreement and the "Special Power of Attorney".300. N-50541) and to transfer the same to the Estate of Nicolai Drepin with the annotation that this transfer to the estate is subject to the final decision in Civil Case No.000.00 shall have been paid to Drepin and P1. 1984 PIO BARRETTO REALTY DEVELOPMENT. COURT OF APPEALS (SIXTH DIVISION) and HONOR MOSLARES. Since the filing of the petition for probate of the Drepin will.R.000. nine (9) offers had been made for the purchase of the Drepin lands. 7257.. (TCT Nos. To secure the payment of the remaining P2.000. subject of this "Joint Venture Agreement" on the amount of not less than TWO MILLION THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND (P2. if the Owner of the property Mr. judgment is hereby rendered: (a) making permanent the temporary restraining order issued: (b) declaring null and void the impugned orders of April 15.. 12599-R. The total amount of obligations that may be chargeable against the Drepin Estate is P1. September 30. This petition for certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals promulgated on June 30. for having been issued in grave abuse of discretion and in excess of jurisdiction.000. (c) declaring null and void the Deed of Undertaking and Deed of Sale in favor of respondent Pio Barretto Realty Development.000. et al.000. N-50540. that of GM Management Phils. and (e) denying the prayer for the exclusion of the three titled lots involved from Special Proceedings Nos.
On May 23. 1.00 to the Judicial Administrator. particularly No. Approval of the agreement with Moslares was strongly urged by the Administrator. Moslares up to 28 February. on September 25. respondent Moslares submitted his memorandum containing three points to wit: l. informed the Judicial Administrator Atty. 1979.000.000. (2) Special Power of Attorney. The same were left unacted upon by the probate court. 1980. On May 31. Moslares. 1979. The Order of this Honorable Court dated 9 January. on August 15. and giving respondent Moslares ten (10) days from date to deposit the necessary amount to cover the value of the checks as each fallsdue. the probate court reiterated its order dated August 17. to furnish copies of — (1) Deed of Absolute Sale. page 2 of the Order of this Honorable Court giving Honor P. 1979. 1979 to comply with its letter-offer dated August 15. 1979 within which to pay the same. and for favorable recommendations to the probate court in his reports saying: "Help me now. Before the agreement could be implemented. This was reiterated by the court in its order dated January 9. Honor P. April 15. 1980. Ramon Encarnacion. the probate court judge directed Moslares through the administrator Atty. The payment made by Honor P. Such deed provided for the mode of payment which Moslares was to follow as well as the clearing and transfer of the certificates of title in the name of Moslares. Further. Moslares tendered P1. 1978 authorizing the Administrator to finalize the sale with GM Management Phils. 1978. 7257. 1980. on the ground that respondent Moslares had only until February 28.000. Inc. his right to do so having expired on 28 February. Attorney Encarnacion thereupon brought to the attention of the court an offer to buy the properties for P3. 1979. letters to Judicial Administrator Trinidad were sent by respondent Moslares seeking further extension of time within which to pay the balance of his obligation to the estate. is not yet final. On February 28. and the Administrator would be permitted to accept other offers in the best interest of the Estate. 1980 check "As Token Payment in Good Faith". is in compliance with the Contract entered into between him and the late Nicolai Drepin. 7261 and 7269 herein respondent Moslares. and (3) Joint Venture Agreement. 1979 to discuss the new offer. Nicolai Drepin died. 1979. respondent Moslares filed another manifestation praying that his pending motions be acted upon and that the motion of administrator Trinidad be denied for lack of merit. Trinidad. administrator Trinidad filed a "Report with Motion to Authorize Administrator to Screen Offers to Purchase Estate and Others.00 were made by Moslares. Tejano from making any further offer. Phils. 1980. We can make money of all this sacrifice we had on the pass (sic). 2. On November 12. Atty. subject matter of this proceedings." On April 15. within which to comply with his letter-offer to the Court dated 15 August. 1978. administrator Trinidad made the following "Observation and Report on the Motion of Buyer GM Management Phils. 1980.600. Moslares is already owner of the Property. Page 2 thereof. 2. in 1970. At the hearing of October 19. No action was taken by the court thereon. Moslares to the Judicial Administrator through this Honorable Court on 19 October. 1978 issued an order approving respondent Moslares' proposal and authorizing administrator Trinidad to enter into the appropriate agreement. had only up to February 28. could no longer be the subject matter of this testate proceedings." Counsel for heir claimant Cornelia Tejano was Revise given up to said date to make and submit a more beneficial offer. The Order of this Honorable Court dated 9 January. 1979. for reconsideration" — 38 . the contract with the decedent shall be deemed resolved and ineffective. March 6. 3. Upon learning of the existence of Special Proceedings No. the probate court ordered the parties to submit memoranda and set a conference on November 28. barred Counsel for Cornelia B. 1980 and April 15. with the condition that GM Management Phils. Honor P. said period having been extended. This was opposed by counsel for heir Tejano. this is ours.1979. The probate court. The latter proviso was to enable Moslares to secure the loan needed to pay for the balance of the purchase price. mentioned in No.600. The same were promptly submitted. Postdated checks were issued by Moslares to cover the amount embraced in said undertaking. Meanwhile. 1979. This order was the probate court's prompt action on a "Report with Motion for Cancellation of Order Approving Sale to GM Management. 1980 to conform to the provisions of the Deed of Undertaking. Requests for revision of payment and extension of period within which to pay the balance of P1.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process Drepin. 1978 and "failure on their part to comply with the same within the period specified. Actually. On June 30. the "Joint Venture Agreement" is automatically cancelled and declared no force and effect. and as such. Failure to do so would result in the automatic rescission of the authority to sell to GM Management Phils. filed by administrator Trinidad on the same day. on August 17. A Deed of Undertaking was entered into by respondent Moslares and the Administrator to implement the Contract of Sale with Mortgage. Thereupon. Tomas Trinidad that he is already the owner of the properties made subject matter of the Special Proceedings and proposed that he be permitted to pay the balance on the sale with mortgage in accordance with the terms of his written proposal. particularly with reference to the period. 1980.00 by herein petitioner Pio Barretto Realty Development. Because of the differing contentions and the new offer. Neither GM Management nor counsel for Tejano was able to perform as required. 1979. GM Management sought reconsideration and amendment of the Order of April 15. 1979.000. he filed a Manifestation and Urgent Motion proposing transfer of the certificate of titles over the land subject of the proceedings so as to enable him to generate funds to liquidate the payable balance. if it fails to make good the April 15.
arguing that the probate court has jurisdiction to issue the questioned orders because petitioner submitted himself to the court's jurisdiction and his checks bounced also that the Deed of Undertaking was validly cancelled as a result of the valid rescission of Trinidad's authority to sell to petitioner. Moslares on the 9th day of October.00 is now held by the Administrator. Barretto filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied on November 12. the Court of Appeals laid down the two principal issues involved in the case. 1979. July 2. which has been fixed by this Honorable Court at ONE MILLION SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND (P1. Moslares. the administrator is authorized to enter into agreement with any other interested parties on a first paid first served basis without prejudice to G. Inc.000. In its decision. 1980 a telegram asking to withhold deposit until after 30 days from amendatory order of the Probate Court. 3. And on October 10. respondent filed Civil Case No. June 29. the law that governs between the ESTATE and MOVANT. This motion for reconsideration was opposed by administrator Trinidad as well as the Tejano heirs through counsel. 1980. September 30.00 and one for P250. Another check for P300.00 were deposited on April 28. 1981. Philippine Currency. 1982. and 3. the probate court approved the report of administrator Trinidad dated October 16. and in the Order dated 15 April 1980. consisting of 80. 1981 praying that his motion for reconsideration of the orders be already resolved. the respondent court still acted within its jurisdiction and not with grave abuse of discretion. followed by an Omnibus Motion on April 27. Moslares.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process 2. this petition. Metro Manila to determine title and ownership over the Drepin lands. and (2) whether or not the respondent judge acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in issuing the impugned orders dated April 15. 1980. On October 20. 41287 before the Court of First Instance of Rizal in Pasig. of the estate of Nicolai Drepin pursuant to respondent court's order authorizing the sale. The same was duly registered. pursuant to the authority given by the Honorable Probate Court to the Administrator contained in the Order dated August 15. An urgent Motion and Manifestation was filed by respondent Moslares on April 8. and we quote: For continually presuming that the three titled lots were part of the Drepin estate and for refusing to provisionally pass upon the question of exclusion.3980 hectares subject matter of the Deed of Sale which the late Nicolai Drepin. the dispositive portion of which has been quoted. a petition for certiorari was filed by respondent Moslares before the Court of Appeals which issued a temporary restraining order. 1978.000. On September 30. is the DEED OF UNDERTAKING executed by the Administrator in favor of Movant Honor P. Two checks. 1980. The only right which pertains to the ESTATE. 1981. Inc. 1980. conveyed to Movant Honor P. 1970. 1980. BOTH BOUNCED. Honrado) acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in refusing to exclude the parcels of land involved from the testate proceedings of the Drepin estate. The Honorable Probate Court has no jurisdiction over the three (3) parcels of land. Respondent Moslares filed a motion for reconsideration of said July 2. 1980. The motion of Administrator is reiterated. as follows: (1) whether or not the respondent judge (Judge R. the probate court issued the following order: Finding the Motion of the Administrator well-taken and in the best interests of the Estate. 1979.00) PESOS. Hence.000. the probate court issued an order denying respondent Moslares' motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. one for P50. DAIF (Drawn against insufficient funds).600. and October 20. On July 2. the jurisprudence and rule are both to the effect that the probate court "may" provisionally pass upon the 39 . The Honorable Probate Court has no jurisdiction to decree rescission of the Contract into (sic) between the decedent and Movant Honor P. 2. Honor P. 1980. Judgment was rendered by respondent court in favor of respondent Moslares. June 30. 1981 to resolve all pending motions and praying that the Deed of Sale and Deed of Undertaking in favor of Pio Barretto be cancelled. the balance of the Deed of Sale. Moslares. After all. postdated for today. reiterated in the Order dated January 9. 1980 and Administrator just received. transferring the titles to the properties in question in the name of the latter. and of the approved Deed of Undertaking with the vendee. We are in full accord with the respondent court's resolution of the first issue. 1980 after the Order of the Probate Court. Moslares. xxx xxx xxx 6. On May 18.M. On June 23. 1980. 1980 administrator Trinidad executed the Deed of Sale in favor of Pio Barretto Realty. The same remained unacted upon. As of November. did the respondent court act without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion? We hold that even with such presumption and refusal. 1980 order on the ground that: 1. is the right to demand from Honor P. Management Philippines to continue with its offer and make good the same in as an ordinary buyer on the same first paid first served basis. with xerox copies of the Deed of Sale in favor of Pio Barretto Realty.000.
which result to inclusion in or exclusion from the inventory of the property. 121 SCRA 756). the same was rescinded by the probate court. respondent has clearly recognized the jurisdiction of the probate court to which he had effectively submitted himself. dela Cruz. Surely. Subsequently. the sale of the properties was found to be necessary to settle the deceased's obligations. Inc. Thus. provisionally. However. Tajonera v. It is fitting and proper that this issue be ventilated and finally resolved in the already instituted Civil Case No. Aquino. Capilitan v. 40 . Vda. this is not conduct ordinarily expected of one who is the owner of the property. v. Now. not "should". the road forks as we disagree with the respondent court's findings on the second issue. the Court of Appeals. Summit Guaranty and Insurance Co. to do so would expand the probate court's jurisdiction beyond the perimeters set by law and jurisprudence.Borromeo v. as prayed for. would have the former court recognize the It is noteworthy that contrary to Moslares' assertion of ownership. Further. dela Rosa (75 SCRA 226). This same elemental principle. 41287. due to the limited jurisdiction of the probate court merely to settle and liquidate the estates of a decedent and not to pass upon questions of title to property. Consequently. Thus. 53 SCRA 278. And We hold that Civil Case No. Having submitted his letter-proposal to the court. Moslares over the three titled Drepin lots involved in this case contrary to its pronouncement in settling the first issue. Any ruling by the probate court to include those properties "is only provisional in character and is without prejudice to a judgment in a separate action on the issue of title or ownership" (Sebial v. in reviewing the exercise of such limited probate jurisdiction. we found occasion to reiterate in the cases of Junquera v. 55 SCRA 706.. and the surrender to administrator Trinidad of the certificates of title. Munar. that is. The obvious reason is the probate court's limited jurisdiction and the principle that questions of title or ownership. 110 SCRA 438).600. Court of Appeals (91 SCRA 540).Bolisay v. the same was approved. even if respondent court presumed an the way that the properties sold by Drepin to petitioner were part of Drepin's estate. because of the composite effect of the prayer in the complaint thereof . It is to be noted that the last agreement entered into by the deceased prior to his death. After voluntarily submitting a cause and encountering an adverse decision on the merits. 110 SCRA 241. can only be settled in a separate action. The merits of the case likewise lead to similar conclusions. In his petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals. or not. he had offered to buy the Drepin lands from the probate court.00) specifying the time and manner of payment thereof. because in this petition We are merely reviewing the acts of the respondent CFI as a probate court. June 27. Canonoy (19 SCRA 667). A party will not be allowed to make a mockery of justice by taking inconsistent positions. can not be determined with finality by Us in this case. 1975. Lamoroza. he was given preference and priority over other persons or groups offering to buy the estate. 65 SCRA 207). 64 SCRA 385). that would not prevent nor defeat petitioner's remedy in a separate suit. alleged ownership of Mr. Borromeo (19 SCRA 656). Alcid (85 SCRA 213). it is too late for the loser to question the jurisdiction or power of the court (People v. from here. the fact that subsequent to the Deed of Sale. xxx xxx xxx In effect. It was then that herein private respondent Moslares submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court in an "Offer to Buy" said properties. the transparency of respondent's argument becomes readily apparent. the deceased as buyer and as absolute owner entered into an agreement with the respondent merely as developer of the lands in question evidences a change of cause or object as well as a change of relation between the parties. Having failed to comply with the conditions of payment of the contract. 259061 and 259062. despite the claim for damages. Sebial. It cannot but be conceded that the limited jurisdiction of a probate court prohibits it from determining rights to property left by a decedent which depends on the contract (Goodin v. L-23419. In view of this limitation. Court of Appeals. Moslares' own acts negate his claims in this petition that he had acquired ownership of the properties. Thus. We are saying that the question of whether the properties sold by Drepin to Petitioner should be excluded from the probate proceedings below. respondent questions this rescission which he maintains to be beyond the jurisdiction of the court.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process question of exclusion. the petitioner argues that in voiding and nullifying the four orders of the probate court. Salas (71 SCRA 202). respondent Moslares assails the issuance of the four impugned orders by the probate court on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction to rescind the Deed of Sale with the Mortgage entered into by the deceased during his lifetime. allowing Moslares to pay the balance of the purchase price agreed upon by respondent and the decedent in the amount of One Million Six Hundred Thousand Pesos (P1. Recto v.. Doctrine of estoppel bars a party from trifling with the courts (Depositario v. Hence. ownership thereof was recognized as vested in the estate. in effect. even as We hold that respondent court's act of not excluding the lots involved did not constitute grave abuse of discretion. based on his previous agreement with the deceased during the latter's lifetime. de Rodriguez v.. By offering to buy the properties in question. 259060. the Joint Venture Agreement listing Drepin as owner of the properties in question.. Estoppel works to preclude respondent from questioning the jurisdiction of the court.000. in the course of the probate proceedings. had led the probate court to enter or include said properties in its inventory of the deceased's estate. 41287 is just such a suit instituted to settle the question of ownership over the lots covered originally by TCTs Nos. On the other hand. We cannot order an unqualified and final exclusion of the properties involved. Lachenal v. It is well settled that a party is estopped from disputing the jurisdiction of the court after invoking it himself (Tible v. Hervias. We need not resolve the issue of whether there was novation of the Deed of Sale with Mortgage.
543). Under the theory of respondent. respondent could have prevented the sale of the Drepin lands. supra. claiming title to the property. etc. et al. the petition for certiorari is hereby GRANTED. the supposed ground for declaring it void for lack of jurisdiction not being apparent on the face thereof (Rafols v. de Rodriguez v. and may be prosecuted for the benefit of either. it was further averred by the administrator that ". September 30. still the same was not being enforced as such but was used only as basis for the terms and conditions of respondent's agreement with the court. Court of Appeals.. provides respondent with the legal means by which he could have forestalled the sale of the Drepin lands to the petitioner. however. supra) If third persons oppose an application for leave to sell the property of the decedent. Ergo." "he refrained from prosecuting Honor P. Section 3. Moslares criminally under the law on dishonored checks. 92 Phil. v. 1980 are accordingly REINSTATED. the respondents may bring a separate action if they wish to question the petitioner's titles and ownership (Vda. Surely. Court of Appeals. 95 SCRA 740). 41 . 501). Court of Appeals. this is well within the power of the probate court. Likewise. To attack the nullity of the order of the probate court to sell property of the deceased. that when the law confers jurisdiction upon a court.. conditioned to pay the debts. In rescinding such contract. the respondent is not without remedy if truly his claim of ownership is proper and meritorious. Barba. Montejo. To enforce the same is truly beyond the scope of the probate court's jurisdiction. 1980. cannot be adjudicated by the probate court. supra). The report. Although the court recognized the Deed of Sale with Mortgage. it cannot be denied. by giving bond. 71 SCRA 202). 109 Phil. We cannot allow an absurd situation to arise where the Drepin estate will never be settled and liquidated because even if Moslares cannot pay the agreed purchase price of the Drepin lands. Rule 89 of the Revised Rules of Court.. The impugned orders of the probate court dated April 15. Though of limited and special jurisdiction. The infirmity of the subject deed of sale is premised on the alleged nullity of the order of the court authorizing the sale. 94. de Rodriguez v. Three reports of Administrator Trinidad had been submitted as annexes to the petition for certiorari. respondent bound himself under an agreement with the court separate and distinct from that which he had with the decedent. 1980 and October 20. 119 SCRA 147). the respondent may file a complaint in the proper court for the rescission of the sale. 91 SCRA 540). having been drawn against insufficient funds. and legacies within such tune as the court directs. 1980 report stated that: "All the checks submitted to the probate court for payment bounced. Salas. in a sum to be fixed by the court." It is also to be emphasized that it was not respondent's contract of sale with decedent that had been invalidated but rather the administrator's authority to sell to respondent. The validity of said order may not be attacked in a collateral proceeding. as well as of the executor or administrator. the title claim. 1982 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. supra). The respondent has ample protection of his rights for the province of the probate court remains merely the settlement of the estate and may not be extended beyond (Pizarro v. WHEREFORE. Fernandez. Persons interested may prevent such sale. (Pizarro v. do not refer to the adjudication of rights under the contract entered into by the deceased during his lifetime. still the probate court can no longer sell the lands to other prospective buyers. 1980. and such bond shall be for the security of the creditors. But. SO ORDERED. believing that the bouncing checks were not intended to defraud the Estate. Amihan. (Court of First Instance v. expenses of administration.D. dated June 30. Court of Appeals. July 2. to wit: Section 3. the saga of Moslares' bouncing checks remains. 701). Barba. But this. in the case at bar. 106 SCRA 114. dated June 30. it must be shown that the contract of sale is null and void (Rafols v. It is to be remembered that Moslares had already been granted undue leniency by the probate court to meet his obligations to pay. 1980 showed that two of Moslares' checks were dishonored. Court of Appeals. Further. the probate court has ample discretion in determining whether conditions of a particular sale would be beneficial to the estate and this is generally respected by the appellate courts (Court of First Instance v. it is insisted that the probate court has no authority to cancel his unfulfilled offer to buy. Revised Rules of Court). 51 N. he failed to do. Court of Appeals. mortgage or otherwise encumber property of the estate to pay or settle against the estate (Rule 89. 1981. Since the probate court has no jurisdiction over the question of title and ownership of the properties. However. the initial question of respondent regarding the propriety of including the properties in question in the inventory of the probate court as he claims ownership thereof may therein be finally and conclusively settled (Vda. Moreover. we find no reason to disturb the questioned orders of the probate court. in view of the foregoing. Lachenal v. The decision of the Court of Appeals (now Intermediate Appellate Court).. notwithstanding the fact that he failed miserably to comply with the terms of his own offer to buy. but it can hold approval of the sale in abeyance until the question of ownership shall have been decided in a proper action (Baquial v. actions of the probate court. 99 SCRA 72). the court merely seeks to enforce its right to put an end to an agreement which had ceased to be a working proposition.W. The August 18. the latter is deemed to have all the necessary powers to exercise such jurisdicton to make it effective (Zuniga v. Though an order of the probate court approving the sale of the decedent's property is final.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process Casselman 200 N. — No such authority to sell mortgage. Nevertheless. Court of Appeals. The court's actions constitute a refusal to pass upon the validity of the contract to sell. The permanent restraining order issued against the trial court is hereby DISMISSED. or otherwise encumber real or personal estate shall be granted if any person interested in the estate gives a bond. It is to be noted that the dealings of the respondent with the court arose out of the latter's bid to sell property under its authority to sell." And in the report dated April 15. Thus.
petitioner-appellee. Upon their arrival the third witness. Miguel Cuenco and Fernando S. the Court rendered a decision denying the probate of the will and declaring itself without jurisdiction to pass upon the question of ownership over the thirteen lots which the Cebu Arcade etc.148 square meters. Thereafter. from that portion thereof where the court refused to decide the question of ownership of the thirteen lots already mentioned. Other oppositions were subsequently filed by Patrocinio Borromeo de Tabotabo (her opposition was later withdrawn). Cornelio G. denied the motion for exclusion. 1952. drafted in Spanish. The proponents of the disputed will.". and (5) that the testator acted by mistake or did not intend the instrument he signed to be his will at the time he affixed his signature thereto. Rallon for oppositor-appellant Fortunato Borromeo. Benjamin A. Vito Borromeo executed first. Patricia Morre de Ranario. Meanwhile. who was living on the ground floor of the house. thirteen parcels of land situated in the City of Cebu with a total area of 2. it stood to collect a considerable amount by way of estate and inheritance taxes. CRISPIN BORROMEO. without forced heirs but leaving extensive properties in the province of Cebu. complying with the request of Vito Borromeo. in Parañaque. died on March 13. JUNQUERA. filed a motion to exclude from the inventory of the Estate previously filed by the new special administrator. Tomas Borromeo. 1955. was likewise requested to act as such. J. in their presence. Vito G. Junquera. 1946. On June 14.R. claimed as its own. 1953. confirming the alleged previous sale. No. on May 28. Eusebio Cabiluna and Filiberto Leonardo as attesting witnesses. in its order of July 16. 1953. Dr. Patricio Beltran in his place. Borromeo y Cia. Lilia Morre de Tabotabo. 42 . the court. Amelia and Fortunato Borromeo. On October 28.. T. in equal and undivided shares. a duly organized partnership controlled by them. manifestly on behalf of the "Cebu Arcade Company. Together. L-18498 March 30. Ruiz for heirs oppositors-appellants Crispin Borromeo. intervenor-appellant. L. at the age of 88 years. Jose H. Gandionco. in the presence of Dr. ruling that movants' remedy was to file a separate accion reivindicatoria against the administrator. all surnamed Borromeo. devising all his properties to Tomas. All the parties appealed — the proponents of the will from the portion of the decision denying probate. the document Exhibit "F" (deed of confirmation of an alleged previous sale to Cebu Arcade Company.) witnessed by Gandionco and Cabiluna. 1960. The document — now in the record as Exhibit "A" — was dated May 17. a niece of the deceased. ET AL. After due hearing. as evidenced by the document now in the record as Exhibit F-1 executed on May 17. alleging that during his lifetime the deceased testator had sold said lots to them. who at the time happened to be in the house of Leonardo. Tomas. 1952. sought to prove the following facts: In the morning of May 17. Vitaliana Borromeo. went to the house of Atty. should the estate be adjudicated the latter by intestacy. vs. Cornelio Gandionco. the three went to the residence of Vito Borromeo at Ramos Street. After a prolonged trial. Isagani Morre and Rosario Morre. Fortunato and Amelia. JOSE H. DIZON. 1945. Rizal. et al. Office of the Solicitor General for intervenor oppositor-appellant Republic. (2) that the testator was mentally incapable of making a will at the time of its execution. Eusebio Cabiluna. and allegedly signed. a widower and permanent resident of the City of Cebu. (3) that the will was procured by undue and improper influence. Teofilo Borromeo. on the ground that the signature "Vito Borromeo" appearing thereon was a forgery. Later. mainly with the testimony of the three attesting witnesses. L. and designating Junquera as executor thereof (Special Proceedings No. the Court removed Junquera as special administrator and appointed Dr. Crispen Baizas and Associates for heirs oppositors-appellants Tomas Borromeo and Amelia Borromeo. On April 19 of the same year. 1954. filed her own opposition to the probate of the will. Filiberto Leonardo for petitioner-appellee. Filiberto Leonardo and Eusebio Cabiluna. 1945. Lamberto Morre. on the part of the beneficiaries and/or some other person. Cebu City. In its order of December 10 of the same year. invoking substantially the same grounds mentioned heretofore. oppositors-appellants. Cornelio Gandionco. On November 27. T. the Court allowed the intervention. the probate court appointed Junquera as special administrator of the estate. Ramon Ocampo. and the oppositors and the Republic of the Philippines. On November 14 of the same year.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process Upon motion of the abovenamed oppositor. Filiberto Leonardo to request him to be a witness at the execution of the latter's last will. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. 1967 TESTATE ESTATE OF VITO BORROMEO. on the ground that.: Vito Borromeo. on June 9. the Republic of the Philippines filed a motion for leave to intervene and join the oppositors in contesting the probate of the will. filed with the Court of First Instance of said province a petition for the probate of a one page document as the last will left by said deceased. Aurora Morre de Borromeo. (4) that the signature of the testator was procured by fraud. Teofilo Borromeo filed an opposition to the probate of the will based on the following grounds: (1) that the formalities required by law had not been complied with. Borromeo y Cia. was asked to come upstairs. and thumbmarked by said deceased. 916-R).
however. Adding confusion to the situation is the answer he gave when he was asked if Vito Borromeo also signed the carbon copy. who testified. It is similarly true. His Honor found that Cabiluna was very uncertain and confused. The court also found that the physical condition of the deceased at the time of the execution of the questioned document was such that it was highly improbable. quite impossible for the deceased — an ailing man already 82 years old on May 17. the subscribing witnesses to a contested will are regarded as the best witnesses in connection with its due execution. that the third testamentary witness. therefore. who testified to the contrary. the oppositors presented several witnesses who testified that the signatures purporting to be those of Vito Borromeo on the document Exhibit "A" and its copies were forgeries. and was the fiance of Angeles Borromeo. and Vicenta Mañacap. their testimony may be overcome by any competent evidence — direct or circumstantial (Board. In truth. It is also an appellate practice of long standing in this jurisdiction to accord great weight to the findings of fact made by the trial court and not to disturb them unless said court had failed to consider material facts and circumstances or had given undue weight to. who. 1952 on the witness stand. Marquiala. Cornelio Gandionco. Eusebio Cabiluna is the real father of Fortunato Borromeo. if not impossible. signed the will and its copies in the presence of Vito Borromeo and of each other. Julio Corres. Villanueva. however. that to deserve full credit.ñët It must be conceded that in this jurisdiction. 836 ). who later signed and thumbmarked it (Exhibit "A") and carbon copies thereof (Exhibits "E" and "K") in the presence of the attesting witnesses. 43 . judging from the carefully written decision under review. in turn. p. dictated the substance of his will to Tomas Borromeo. the judge who penned the appealed decision was not the same judge before whom the evidence of the parties was presented. that Vito Borromeo's usual signatures during his better days had always been characterized by certain flourishes. 168 Pac. a Spanish Catholic priest who was the confessor of Vito Borromeo from 1942 to 1946. his eyes being always watery due to the progress of his leprosy. Vito Borromeo was still strong and could move around freely with the aid of a cane. it must be stated that. the deceased's leprosy was so far advanced that the fingers of his right hand were already hardened and atrophied. E and K in the spontaneous and excellent manner they appear to have been written. he really signed six (6) times — twice on the original and twice on each of the two copies.. the third instituted heir. technically called "rubric". While this is not applicable to the present case because His Honor. 1958. — adverse to the genuineness of the signatures of Vito Borromeo on the questioned document — more than that of the handwriting expert presented by the proponents of the will. as a result. that his right hand was unimpaired and he could write with it unaided. 585. a mid-wife who lived in the testator's house and had served him from May 1945 up to his death on March 30. On the other hand. that the testamentary witness Cornelio Gandionco. another instituted heir. for him to have affixed his signatures on the documents Exhibits A. Filiberto Leonardo. being of sound and disposing mind. presented their own handwriting expert. to which his answer was "I did not see" (Idem. that Vito Borromeo had also reared and educated two of the oppositors. or misconstrued the testimony of particular witnesses. because. that the main issue to be decided in the present appeal is whether or not the evidence of record is sufficient to prove the due execution of the will in question. this making it difficult. his sense of hearing and his eyesight had been considerably impaired. therefore.1äwphï1. one of the instituted heirs. The document was then read by Vito Borromeo. having been treated for it consistently by injections of chaulmoogra oil administered by Dr. vs. the court was also led to believe the testimony of the handwriting experts for oppositors. that he was still mentally alert and was a man of strong will. if any such will had really been made by him knowingly. Sergio Alfafara. August 22. and that on the same date. etc. The oppositors also presented Felipe Logan of the National Bureau of Investigation and Jose G.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process Borromeo. they appeared not to be "wholly disinterested persons" and because of the serious discrepancies in their testimonies with respect to the number of copies made of the disputed document. however. The proponents. the Rev. for him to write. if not impossible. that on May 17. Proponents also placed the Rev. Max Borromeo and Dr. The gist of their testimony is to the effect that at the time of the execution of the will. 10 Kan. 1945. 1945 — to write. the reason for this being that the trial judge had full opportunity to hear and observe the conduct and demeanor of the witnesses while testifying and was consequently in a better position than the reviewing court to determine the question of their credibility. who admittedly grew up and was reared by Vito Borromeo and his wife Juliana Evangelista since he was barely three months. Fr. On the matter of the number of copies made of the questioned will allegedly signed by the testator and the three subscribing witnesses. that Amelia Borromeo. and without pressure or influence exerted on him. Fr. that a certain stage of his examination. he said that only two copies of the will were prepared — the original and one carbon copy — while at another stage he affirmed that he did not know whether or not there was a duplicate and that all he could say was that he had affixed his signature three times (Transcript. The trial court refused to believe the testimony of the attesting witnesses and. their test. testimony must be reasonable and unbiased. denied the petition for probate. pp. as handwriting experts. is a younger sister of Tomas Borromeo and dependent upon him. could eat by himself and even played the piano. as in the case of any other witness. that they were too good and too perfect signatures and. Antonio Garcia as early as 1926 or 1927. 49-50). 50). is a nephew of the other witness. Martin Ramos. a sister of Tomas Borromeo. in its opinion. It seems clear. and that. it was only after a thorough study of the record that His Honor arrived at the conclusion that the subscribing witnesses do not appear to be wholly disinterested persons. that as a matter of fact — according to Vicenta Mañacap — he still wrote personal letters to Tomas Borromeo. Thus. that the questioned signatures were forgeries. who was his confessor from 1946 to 1947. Crispin Borromeo and the late Teofilo Borromeo and there was no conceivable reason why they were left out in the will. Shasser. that he was found "positive for bacillus leprosy" by Dr. who in turn typewrote it in proper legal language. after examining the supposed signatures of the deceased in Exhibit "A" and comparing them with his accepted standard signatures.
will reveal the naked truth. and exaggerating nothing. Moreover. ailing. 'E'. In fact. the evidence also disclose that Dr. Material to this point is the fact established by the evidence that Atty. Both. Stranger still would it be for them to say something in open contradiction with the reality on the matter. without any visible sign of tremor or lack of firmness in the hand that wrote them. — the right and the left. independently of the conflicting opinions expressed by the handwriting experts called to the witness stand by the parties. Filiberto Leonardo. while the oldest attesting witness (Cabiluna) was around sixty-five years of age and Leonardo and Gandionco were only forty-four and fortyfive years old respectively. he would hesitate to make the conclusion that those flawless signatures reading Vito Borromeo. Dr. we have carefully examined and considered the physical appearance and condition of the original and two copies of the questioned will found in the record — particularly the signatures attributed to the testator — and We have come to the conclusion that the latter could not have been written by him. writing his name thereon slowly but continuously or without interruption. He failed to take into account that when Vito Borromeo allegedly affixed those signatures on May 17. eighty-two years old. of attesting witnesses Gandionco and Cabiluna. therefore. Gandionco. and that. inspite of the fact that on the date of the alleged execution of the will (May 17. If. Atty. Maybe. in the respects just adverted to. saw. the naked and highly disturbing fact is that. and Vito Borromeo was represented to have written his name alone by himself and unaided. Leonardo claims that he signed the alleged will unaided. Villanueva. Leonardo was the notary public before whom the document Exhibit 4-A — which purports to convey to a partnership controlled by the heirs instituted in the questioned will thirteen parcels of land situated in the commercial center of Cebu City — was supposedly acknowledged by the testator on the same date May 17. 1945 on Exhibits 'A'. contrary to what is inferable from the vacillating testimony of Cabiluna and the categorical assertion of Atty. The Court consequently. the testator was then a sick man. Subscribing witnesses may forget or exaggerate what they really know. Atty. Cornelio Gandionco. now in the record as Exhibits A. heard or did. forgetting nothing. if he was previously apprised of those circumstances. Teofilo Borromeo and Judge Crispin Borromeo. Gandionco was the uncle of the other subscribing witness. who is one of the three heirs instituted in the questioned will. is his apparent assumption that all the signatures were made by Vito Borromeo under equality or similarity of circumstances. but on the 44 . However. a carbon duplicate copy and a carbon triplicate copy. evidently to show that he is not a completely disinterested witness. 1945. and were all in good health. that he was the fiance of Angeles Borromeo. they were living together at the time of the alleged execution of the will. In the light of the foregoing. Dr. we agree with the lower court that Vito Borromeo could not have written the questioned signatures. they appear better written than the unquestioned signatures. and 'K' the left portion of his body. 167. that is. on the same occasion. the imputation was made by two witnesses. the other subscribing witness. he signed his name several times not only on the original of the will and its copies but also on the original and several copies of the alleged confirmatory sale Exhibit F-1 and on his residence certificate. Leonardo. and 218). Despite the obviously very poor physical condition of the testator. Marquiala. the signatures of three much younger attesting witnesses. finds itself not disposed to adopt his conclusions. Upon the face of the original and two copies of the contested will (Exhibits A. Gandionco himself or on Angeles Borromeo to deny the imputation. it would not be unreasonable to entertain the suspicion that both subscribing witnesses were not wholly disinterested. including the left hand. although the proponents of the will could have done it by calling on Dr. as may be clearly deduced from their testimony — Cabiluna and Leonardo's — there was only the original and one copy signed by the testator and the subscribing witnesses. still we believe that the transaction in which they claim to have taken an important part is of such character and importance that it can not be a very easy matter for anyone of them to have a hazy recollection of the number of copies signed by the testator and by them. was already paralyzed. that in all instances Vito Borromeo had normal use of both of his hands. hiding nothing. may help in determining whether it is genuine or forged. based on his comparative examination of the questioned and standard signatures of Vito Borromeo. were positively in the handwriting of the 82-year old. In view of what has been said heretofore. and paralytic Vito Borromeo. to prove that said signatures are forgeries. respectively.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process On the other hand. December 23. with the entire left half of his body paralyzed since six years before. They are all well written along a practically straight line. Considering all the attendant circumstances. While it is true that the testimony of these subscribing witnesses was given around eight years after the alleged execution of the questioned will. they may be biased and. We shall limit ourselves in this connection to quoting with approval the following portion of the appealed decision: What the Court finds to be a weakness in the conclusions of Martin Ramos. pp. 1953. According to the evidence. to sustain the genuineness of the questioned signatures. why is it that three — original and two copies — were really in existence and were produced in court during the trial? In the case of the third subscribing witness. This circumstance — apparently trivial — can not be taken lightly because in view of appellee's claim that Angeles Borromeo was the fiance of Dr. 1945) the testator was considerably older and in a much poorer physical condition than they. The evidence to this effect appears to have remained unimpeached. Leonardo. the original. written straight and in a form as good as. if correctly evaluated in the light of surrounding circumstances. We can not see our way clear to holding that the trial court erred in refusing to give full credit to the testimony of the three subscribing witnesses. if not better than. and Felipe Logan and Jose G. E and K) appear a total of six alleged signatures of the testator. We find it unnecessary to examine and consider in detail the conflicting testimony of the handwriting experts presented by the parties: Martin Ramos by the proponents of the will. by the oppositors. testified categorically that there were only the original and one carbon copy of the will and that the testator and all the subscribing witnesses signed both (Transcript. It has also been held that the condition and physical appearance of a questioned document constitute a valuable factor which. the proponents of the questioned will themselves presented three copies of said will. E and K. For this reason. sister of Tomas Borromeo. tell only half truths to mislead the court or favor one party to the prejudice of the other. and that. This can not be said of the condition and physical appearance of the questioned document itself. albeit silently. 210. in fact.
that they are of little use in the resolution of the issue before Us. Mallari. the same are "glaringly far from being distinct and clear". Pascual vs. G. That such matter must be litigated in a separate action has been the established jurisprudence in this jurisdiction (Ongsinco vs. An examination of the thumbmarks. filed a motion for the exclusion from the inventory of the Estate of the thirteen lots therein mentioned. however. This motion for exclusion was denied by the lower court in its order of July 16. claiming that the same had been sold by the deceased Vito Borromeo during his lifetime to the Cebu Arcade. the contested will is claimed to have been signed and thumbmarked by the testator. Abuton. was expressly made provisional in nature. 73 Phil. Marcelino vs. Martin. It is. February 23. 147). 1954 Tomas. We shall now consider the appeal. with a total area of 2. Mallari vs. 353. L-7635.348 square meters. of any other person whatsoever". Felipe Logan and Jose G. Garcia vs.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process contrary is inclined toward the views of the other two experts witnesses. As stated at the outset. except where a party merely prays for the inclusion or exclusion from the inventory of any particular property. 70 Phil. had no jurisdiction to determine with finality the question of ownership involved. June 29. taken by the oppositors and the Republic of the Philippines from that portion of the decision where the lower court declined to decide with finality the question of who owns the thirteen parcels of land subject-matter of the confirmatory sale Exhibit F-1 and whether or not they should be included in or excluded from the inventory of properties of the Estate of the deceased Vito Borromeo. 144. L-4656. 1957. Cordova vs. acting in its capacity as a probate court. The ruling on the matter. Guinguing vs. 48 Phil. and so hold. but without prejudice to its final determination in an appropriate separate action (Garcia vs. 561 and others). 661. Ocampo. 45 . however. the question of inclusion or exclusion. that "they are not a possible means of identification" nor can "they possibly be identified to be those of Vito Borromeo. readily shows that. and Fortunato Borromeo. No. L-9233. therefore. Pascual. 67 Phil. 73 Phil. Borja. as the lower court found. in which case the probate court may pass upon provisionally. 1954. or for that matter. Villanueva. July 25. We believe. Borromeo y Cia. Amelia. and the ruling was reiterated in the appealed decision "for the same reasons and considerations" upon which it rejected the probate of the will. with costs. obvious.R. 1953. L. that the resolution of the lower court on this matter is correct because said court. 388. the decision appealed from is affirmed. In view of all the foregoing. 1955. T. It appears that on February 11. through counsel. Antonio. Garcia.
SR.. 1966... vs. 1977 and remanded the same to the PROBATE COURT after denying reconsideration on January 11. QUEMADA filed a petition for the probate and allowance of an alleged holographic will of PASTOR..).. Maria Elena Achaval de Pastor.. All pleadings remained unacted upon by the PROBATE COURT. For two years after remand of the case to the PROBATE COURT.. 1983 SPOUSES ALVARO PASTOR. SR.. Instead. SR.. and SOFIA opposed these pleadings on the ground of pendency of the reconveyance suit with another branch of the Cebu Court of First Instance.. resolving the question of ownership of the royalties payable by ATLAS and ruling in effect that the legacy to QUEMADA was not inofficious.... L-46645 dismissed the petition in a minute resolution dated November 1. 1971. a Spanish subject. On November 13. JR. (PASTOR. No..... Pursuant thereto.. 1972. PASTOR. was filed with the Court of First Instance of Cebu. by the name of Lewellyn Barlito Quemada QUEMADA PASTOR. survived by his Spanish wife Sofia Bossio (who also died on October 21. 274-R..4.. which in effect showed that determination of how much QUEMADA should receive was still premature.. E..00.. who claimed to be the owners 46 ... 1966). Pastor. the PROBATE COURT. instituted against PASTOR. JR. Cebu.. the Supreme Court in G.. 3128-R.. docketed as Civil Case No. upon motion of QUEMADA and after an ex parte hearing. and MA. docketed as SP No... JR.. the PROBATE COURT set the hearing on the intrinsic validity of the will for March 25.. He assumed office as such on December 4.. appointed him special administrator of the entire estate of PASTOR. On December 7. with the Court of First Instance of Cebu.. which included the properties subject of the legacy and which were in the names of the spouses PASTOR. JUDGE OF BRANCH I.15... and his wife an action for reconveyance of alleged properties of the estate. The statement revealed that of the mining claims being operated by ATLAS.] G... died in Cebu City on June 5..000.. On December 5. Branch I (PROBATE COURT).5% On August 20.. J. L-56340 June 24. JR.5% 2... REYES.. No.. the PROBATE COURT issued the now assailed Order of Execution and Garnishment. [There was absolutely no statement or claim in the Order that the Probate Order of December 5. and an illegitimate child.. On February 2. QUEMADA is a Filipino by his mother's citizenship. nor the intrinsic validity of the holographic will. Alvaro Pastor... JUAN Y. died) to February 1980.. and his sister SOFIA filed their opposition to the petition for probate and the order appointing QUEMADA as special administrator.. Appealed to the Court of Appeals in CA-G... having been naturalized in 1936. the order was affirmed in a decision dated May 9.. (PASTOR. ATLAS. SR. and his wife. 1980. No. Quemada . .. the PROBATE COURT required the parties to submit their respective position papers as to how much inheritance QUEMADA was entitled to receive under the wig. is a Philippine citizen. but upon objection of PASTOR.. B.. Branch IX... 1970.... their two legitimate children Alvaro Pastor. not natural.... JR..... Sr.40.. ELENA ACHAVAL DE PASTOR. 1972 had previously resolved the issue of ownership of the mining rights of royalties thereon.... 1970 after filing a bond of P 5.. 60% pertained to the Pastor Group distributed as follows: 1.. Sr. QUEMADA as special administrator. 1978... 1977. 1970.. and SOFIA submitted their Memorandum of authorities dated April 10... the PROBATE COURT issued an order allowing the will to probate. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF CEBU and LEWELLYN BARLITO QUEMADA. 1980.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process thereof in their own rights. PASTOR..: I. On March 5. A.R. Pelaez.. .R..0% 3. JR. 1970.. and not by inheritance. 52961.... JR. QUEMADA submitted his Position paper dated April 20. PASTOR.. FACTS: This is a case of hereditary succession. 1980.... JR. no hearing was held on March 25.. PLANA... SOFIA is a Spanish subject. 1980. On November 21..R. QUEMADA filed pleading after pleading asking for payment of his legacy and seizure of the properties subject of said legacy.. Jr. JR...... petitioners.. and SOFIA on the e ground of pendency of the reconveyance suit. respondents. whether or not covered or affected by the holographic will..) and Sofia Pastor de Midgely (SOFIA). The will contained only one testamentary disposition: a legacy in favor of QUEMADA consisting of 30% of PASTOR.. Jr. Sr.'s 42% share in the operation by Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation (ATLAS) of some mining claims in Pina-Barot.. The action... upon order of the Court.. submitted a sworn statement of royalties paid to the Pastor Group of tsn from June 1966 (when Pastor. while the reconveyance suit was still being litigated in Branch IX of the Court of First Instance of Cebu. On petition for review.R. THE COURT OF APPEALS.
1982. Hence. of the above 60% interest in the mining claims belonging to the Pastor Group. 1980. SR. the Court (First Division) adopted a resolution stating that "the petition in fact and in effect was given due course when this case was heard on the merits on September 7. as affirmed by the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. the lifting of which was denied in the Resolution of the same Division dated October 18. and/or his assignees until after resolution of oppositors' motion for reconsideration.e. in the royalties (less than 7. to wit: the Order of November 11. by which the oppositors' motion for reconsideration of the Probate Court's Order of August 20. the Court (First Division) issued a writ of preliminary injunction. almost eight years after the probate of the will in 1972 — the Probate Order did not resolve the two said issues. 42% belonged to PASTOR. of which QUEMADA was authorized to retain 75% for himself as legatee and to deposit 25% with a reputable banking institution for payment of the estate taxes and other obligations of the estate. II. and to reassign the case to another ponente.. 1980.'s 42% share.00. 1980. which amounted to over two million pesos. No. The remaining 25% belonged to E. 1980 declaring that the Probate Order of 1972 indeed resolved the issues of ownership and intrinsic validity of the will. the Court of Appeals denied reconsideration. The order being "immediately executory".251. the oppositors sought reconsideration thereof on the same date primarily on the ground that the PROBATE COURT gravely abused its discretion when it resolved the question of ownership of the royalties and ordered the payment of QUEMADA's legacy after prematurely passing upon the intrinsic validity of the will. PASTOR. ELENA ACHAVAL DE PASTOR. and his wife moved for reconsideration of the Court of Appeal's decision of November 18. " On December 9. This 47 . JR. although the bond of petitioners was increased from P50. Their argument runs this way: Before the provisions of the holographic win can be implemented. Med by petitioners on March 26. . Therefore.74 the amount payable to QUEMADA representing the royalties he should have received from the death of PASTOR. SR. while their petition for certiorari was pending decision in the appellate court). In April 1981. dated June 17. The 33% share of PASTOR. private respondent's "Omnibus motion to set aside resolution dated October 18. 1972. 1980 as well as the Orders subsequently issued allegedly to implement the Probate Order of December 5.5% share which he had assigned to QUEMADA before PASTOR. 1981) and concise memoranda in amplification of their oral arguments on the merits of the case were filed by the parties pursuant to the resolution of October 21.R. this Petition for Review by certiorari with prayer for a writ of pre y injunction. 1980 (i.'s death. 1982.000.00 to P100. QUEMADA succeeded in obtaining a Writ of Execution and Garnishment on September 4. 1980 reducing to P2. Between December 21. and in serving the same on ATLAS on the same day.000. the Order granted QUEMADA 6% interest on his unpaid legacy from August 1980 until fully paid. calling the attention of the appellate court to another order of the Probate Court dated November 11. 1982 Resolutions. 1980 on the grounds (1) that its filing was premature because the Motion for Reconsideration of the questioned Order was still pending determination by the PROBATE COURT. They assailed the Order dated August 20. private respondent filed seven successive motions for early resolution. is not questioned. Pelaez. It clarified that only the 33% share of PASTOR. Before the Motion for Reconsideration could be resolved. filed with the Court of Appeals a Petition for certiorari and Prohibition with a prayer for writ of preliminary injunction (CA-G.516. in 1966 up to February 1980. 1981 and October 12. 1980.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process The order of August 20. PASTOR. 1981 . But petitioners denounce the Probate Court for having acted beyond its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion when it issued the assailed Orders." Upon Motion for Reconsideration of the October 18. and/or his assignees was ordered garnished to answer for the accumulated legacy of QUEMADA from the time of PASTOR. 1980. Five of these motions expressly prayed for the resolution of the question as to whether or not the petition should be given due course. In the meantime. Branch IX. 1962. 1980 found that as per the holographic will and a written acknowledgment of PASTOR. 1980. . JR. JR. contrary to the position taken by the Probate Court in 1980 — i. JR. and reiterating the Order of Execution dated August 20. however." the Order assailed is "legally valid. (should be October 21. SR. 1980 was denied. the questions of ownership of the mining properties and the intrinsic validity of the holographic will must first be resolved with finality. 1980 and the writ of execution and garnishment issued pursuant thereto. JR. [The November 11 Order declared that the questions of intrinsic validity of the will and of ownership over the mining claims (not the royalties alone) had been finally adjudicated by the final and executory Order of December 5. assailing the decision of the Court of Appeals dated November 18. 1980. died) was to be garnished and that as regards PASTOR.. 1972. this time joined by his wife Ma. 1982 and to submit the matter of due course to the present membership of the Division. 1980 as well as the orders of the Probate Court dated August 20.] Nonetheless. ISSUES: Assailed by the petitioners in these proceedings is the validity of the Order of execution and garnishment dated August 20. and only 33% belonged to PASTOR. the Probate Order could not have resolved and actually did not decide QUEMADA's entitlement to the legacy.e. The Probate Order itself. The PROBATE COURT thus directed ATLAS to remit directly to QUEMADA the 42% royalties due decedent's estate. and the Order of December 17. Now. 1980 and December 17. SR. SP. also of the Pastor Group. what was ordered was just the transfer of its possession to the custody of the PROBATE COURT through the special administrator. followed by a Supplemental Petition with Urgent Prayer for Restraining Order. the Court en banc resolved to CONFIRM the questioned resolutions insofar as hey resolved that the petition in fact and in effect had been given due course. 1982. " and denied in a resolution dated December 13. 1981. The petition was denied on November 18. JR. November 11. the PROBATE COURT ordered suspension of payment of all royalties due PASTOR. SR. 1982. On October 18. JR. Notified of the Order on September 6.11373-R). 1982 and December 13.. thereby rendering moot and academic the suit for reconveyance then pending in the Court of First Instance of Cebu. insofar as it merely allowed the holographic will in probate. Further. and (2) that although "the rule that a motion for reconsideration is prerequisite for an action for certiorari is never an absolute rule.
Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process being so, the Orders for the payment of the legacy in alleged implementation of the Probate Order of 1972 are unwarranted for lack of basis. Closely related to the foregoing is the issue raised by QUEMADA The Probate Order of 1972 having become final and executory, how can its implementation (payment of legacy) be restrained? Of course, the question assumes that QUEMADA's entitlement to the legacy was finally adjudged in the Probate Order. On the merits, therefore, the basic issue is whether the Probate Order of December 5, 1972 resolved with finality the questions of ownership and intrinsic validity. A negative finding will necessarily render moot and academic the other issues raised by the parties, such as the jurisdiction of the Probate Court to conclusively resolve title to property, and the constitutionality and repercussions of a ruling that the mining properties in dispute, although in the name of PASTOR, JR. and his wife, really belonged to the decedent despite the latter's constitutional disqualification as an alien. On the procedural aspect, placed in issue is the propriety of certiorari as a means to assail the validity of the order of execution and the implementing writ. III. DISCUSSION: 1. Issue of Ownership — (a) In a special proceeding for the probate of a will, the issue by and large is restricted to the extrinsic validity of the will, i.e., whether the testator, being of sound mind, freely executed the will in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. (Rules of Court, Rule 75, Section 1; Rule 76, Section 9.) As a rule, the question of ownership is 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 properties, 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. [3 Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court (1980 ed.), p. 458; Valero Vda. de Rodriguez vs. Court of Appeals, 91 SCRA 540.] (b) The rule is that execution of a judgment must conform to that decreed in the dispositive part of the decision. (Philippine-American Insurance Co. vs. Honorable Flores, 97 SCRA 811.) However, in case of ambiguity or uncertainty, the body of the decision may be scanned for guidance in construing the judgment. (Heirs of Presto vs. Galang, 78 SCRA 534; Fabular vs. Court of Appeals, 119 SCRA 329; Robles vs. Timario. 107 Phil. 809.) The Order sought to be executed by the assailed Order of execution is the Probate Order of December 5, 1972 which allegedly resolved the question of ownership of the disputed mining properties. The said Probate Order enumerated the issues before the Probate Court, thus: Unmistakably, there are three aspects in these proceedings: (1) the probate of the holographic will (2) the intestate estate aspect; and (3) the administration proceedings for the purported estate of the decedent in the Philippines. In its broad and total perspective the whole proceedings are being impugned by the oppositors on jurisdictional grounds, i.e., that the fact of the decedent's residence and existence of properties in the Philippines have not been established. Specifically placed in issue with respect to the probate proceedings are: (a) whether or not the holographic will (Exhibit "J") has lost its efficacy as the last will and testament upon the death of Alvaro Pastor, Sr. on June 5, 1966, in Cebu City, Philippines; (b) Whether or not the said will has been executed with all the formalities required by law; and (c) Did the late presentation of the holographic will affect the validity of the same? Issues In the Administration Proceedings are as follows: (1) Was the ex- parte appointment of the petitioner as special administrator valid and proper? (2) Is there any indispensable necessity for the estate of the decedent to be placed under administration? (3) Whether or not petition is qualified to be a special administrator of the estate; and (4) Whether or not the properties listed in the inventory (submitted by the special administrator but not approved by the Probate Court) are to be excluded. Then came what purports to be the dispositive portion: Upon the foregoing premises, this Court rules on and resolves some of the problems and issues presented in these proceedings, as follows: (a) The Court has acquired jurisdiction over the probate proceedings as it hereby allows and approves the so-called holographic will of testator Alvaro Pastor, Sr., executed on July 31, 1961 with respect to its extrinsic validity, the same having been duly authenticated pursuant to the requisites or solemnities prescribed by law. Let, therefore, a certificate of its allowance be prepared by the Branch Clerk of this Court to be signed by this Presiding Judge, and attested by the seal of the Court, and thereafter attached to the will, and the will and certificate filed and recorded by the clerk. Let attested copies of the will and of the certificate of allowance thereof be sent to Atlas Consolidated Mining & Development Corporation, Goodrich Bldg., Cebu City, and the Register of Deeds of Cebu or of Toledo City, as the case may be, for recording. (b) There was a delay in the granting of the letters testamentary or of administration for as a matter of fact, no regular executor and/or administrator has been appointed up to this time and - the appointment of a special administrator was, and still is, justified under the circumstances to take possession and charge of the estate of the deceased in the Philippines (particularly in Cebu) until the problems causing the delay are decided and the regular executor and/or administrator appointed.
Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process (c) There is a necessity and propriety of a special administrator and later on an executor and/or administrator in these proceedings, in spite of this Court's declaration that the oppositors are the forced heirs and the petitioner is merely vested with the character of a voluntary heir to the extent of the bounty given to him (under) the will insofar as the same will not prejudice the legitimes of the oppositor for the following reasons: 1. To submit a complete inventory of the estate of the decedenttestator Alvaro Pastor, Sr. 2. To administer and to continue to put to prolific utilization of the properties of the decedent; 3. To keep and maintain the houses and other structures and belonging to the estate, since the forced heirs are residing in Spain, and prepare them for delivery to the heirs in good order after partition and when directed by the Court, but only after the payment of estate and inheritance taxes; (d) Subject to the outcome of the suit for reconveyance of ownership and possession of real and personal properties in Civil Case No. 274-T before Branch IX of the Court of First Instance of Cebu, the intestate estate administration aspect must proceed, unless, however, it is duly proven by the oppositors that debts of the decedent have already been paid, that there had been an extrajudicial partition or summary one between the forced heirs, that the legacy to be given and delivered to the petitioner does not exceed the free portion of the estate of the testator, that the respective shares of the forced heirs have been fairly apportioned, distributed and delivered to the two forced heirs of Alvaro Pastor, Sr., after deducting the property willed to the petitioner, and the estate and inheritance taxes have already been paid to the Government thru the Bureau of Internal Revenue. The suitability and propriety of allowing petitioner to remain as special administrator or administrator of the other properties of the estate of the decedent, which properties are not directly or indirectly affected by the provisions of the holographic will (such as bank deposits, land in Mactan etc.), will be resolved in another order as separate incident, considering that this order should have been properly issued solely as a resolution on the issue of whether or not to allow and approve the aforestated will. (Emphasis supplied.) Nowhere in the dispositive portion is there a declaration of ownership of specific properties. On the contrary, it is manifest therein that ownership was not resolved. For it confined itself to the question of extrinsic validity of the win, and the need for and propriety of appointing a special administrator. Thus it allowed and approved the holographic win "with respect to its extrinsic validity, the same having been duly authenticated pursuant to the requisites or solemnities prescribed by law." It declared that the intestate estate administration aspect must proceed " subject to the outcome of the suit for reconveyance of ownership and possession of real and personal properties in Civil Case 274-T before Branch IX of the CFI of Cebu." [Parenthetically, although the statement refers only to the "intestate" aspect, it defies understanding how ownership by the estate of some properties could be deemed finally resolved for purposes oftestate administration, but not so for intestate purposes. Can the estate be the owner of a property for testate but not for intestate purposes?] Then again, the Probate Order (while indeed it does not direct the implementation of the legacy) conditionally stated that the intestate administration aspect must proceed "unless . . . it is proven . . . that the legacy to be given and delivered to the petitioner does not exceed the free portion of the estate of the testator," which clearly implies that the issue of impairment of legitime (an aspect of intrinsic validity) was in fact not resolved. Finally, the Probate Order did not rule on the propriety of allowing QUEMADA to remain as special administrator of estate properties not covered by the holographic will, "considering that this (Probate) Order should have been properly issued solely as a resolution on the issue of whether or not to allow and approve the aforestated will. " (c) That the Probate Order did not resolve the question of ownership of the properties listed in the estate inventory was appropriate, considering that the issue of ownership was the very subject of controversy in the reconveyance suit that was still pending in Branch IX of the Court of First Instance of Cebu. (d) What, therefore, the Court of Appeals and, in effect, the Supreme Court affirmed en toto when they reviewed the Probable Order were only the matters properly adjudged in the said Order. (e) In an attempt to justify the issuance of the Order of execution dated August 20, 1980, the Probate Court in its Order of November 11, 1980 explained that the basis for its conclusion that the question of ownership had been formally resolved by the Probate Order of 1972 are the findings in the latter Order that (1) during the lifetime of the decedent, he was receiving royalties from ATLAS; (2) he had resided in the Philippines since pre-war days and was engaged in the mine prospecting business since 1937 particularly in the City of Toledo; and (3) PASTOR, JR. was only acting as dummy for his father because the latter was a Spaniard. Based on the premises laid, the conclusion is obviously far-fetched. (f) It was, therefore, error for the assailed implementing Orders to conclude that the Probate Order adjudged with finality the question of ownership of the mining properties and royalties, and that, premised on this conclusion, the dispositive portion of the said Probate Order directed the special administrator to pay the legacy in dispute. 2. Issue of Intrinsic Validity of the Holographic Will (a) When PASTOR, SR. died in 1966, he was survived by his wife, aside from his two legitimate children and one illegitimate son. There is therefore a need to liquidate the conjugal partnership and set apart the share of PASTOR, SR.'s wife in the conjugal partnership preparatory to the administration and liquidation of the estate of PASTOR, SR. which will include, among others, the determination of the extent of the statutory usufructuary right of his wife until her death. * When the disputed Probate order was issued 49
Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process on December 5, 1972, there had been no liquidation of the community properties of PASTOR, SR. and his wife. (b) So, also, as of the same date, there had been no prior definitive determination of the assets of the estate of PASTOR, SR. There was an inventory of his properties presumably prepared by the special administrator, but it does not appear that it was ever the subject of a hearing or that it was judicially approved. The reconveyance or recovery of properties allegedly owned but not in the name of PASTOR, SR. was still being litigated in another court. (c) There was no appropriate determination, much less payment, of the debts of the decedent and his estate. Indeed, it was only in the Probate Order of December 5, 1972 where the Probate Court ordered that... a notice be issued and published pursuant to the provisions of Rule 86 of the Rules of Court, requiring all persons having money claims against the decedent to file them in the office of the Branch Clerk of this Court." (d) Nor had the estate tax been determined and paid, or at least provided for, as of December 5, 1972. (e) The net assets of the estate not having been determined, the legitime of the forced heirs in concrete figures could not be ascertained. (f) All the foregoing deficiencies considered, it was not possible to determine whether the legacy of QUEMADA - a fixed share in a specific property rather than an aliquot part of the entire net estate of the deceased - would produce an impairment of the legitime of the compulsory heirs. (g) Finally, there actually was no determination of the intrinsic validity of the will in other respects. It was obviously for this reason that as late as March 5, 1980 - more than 7 years after the Probate Order was issued the Probate Court scheduled on March 25, 1980 a hearing on the intrinsic validity of the will. 3. Propriety of certiorari — Private respondent challenges the propriety of certiorari as a means to assail the validity of the disputed Order of execution. He contends that the error, if any, is one of judgment, not jurisdiction, and properly correctible only by appeal, not certiorari. Under the circumstances of the case at bar, the challenge must be rejected. Grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction is much too evident in the actuations of the probate court to be overlooked or condoned. (a) Without a final, authoritative adjudication of the issue as to what properties compose the estate of PASTOR, SR. in the face of conflicting claims made by heirs and a non-heir (MA. ELENA ACHAVAL DE PASTOR) involving properties not in the name of the decedent, and in the absence of a resolution on the intrinsic validity of the will here in question, there was no basis for the Probate Court to hold in its Probate Order of 1972, which it did not, that private respondent is entitled to the payment of the questioned legacy. Therefore, the Order of Execution of August 20, 1980 and the subsequent implementing orders for the payment of QUEMADA's legacy, in alleged implementation of the dispositive part of the Probate Order of December 5, 1972, must fall for lack of basis. (b) The ordered payment of legacy would be violative of the rule requiring prior liquidation of the estate of the deceased, i.e., the determination of the assets of the estate and payment of all debts and expenses, before apportionment and distribution of the residue among the heirs and legatees. (Bernardo vs. Court of Appeals, 7 SCRA 367.) (c) Neither has the estate tax been paid on the estate of PASTOR, SR. Payment therefore of the legacy to QUEMADA would collide with the provision of the National Internal Revenue Code requiring payment of estate tax before delivery to any beneficiary of his distributive share of the estate (Section 107 [c]) (d) The assailed order of execution was unauthorized, having been issued purportedly under Rule 88, Section 6 of the Rules of Court which reads: Sec. 6. Court to fix contributive shares where devisees, legatees, or heirs have been in possession. — Where devisees, legatees, or heirs have entered into possession of portions of the estate before thedebts and expenses have been settled and paid and have become liable to contribute for the payment of such debts and expenses, the court having jurisdiction of the estate may, by order for that purpose, after hearing, settle the amount of their several liabilities, and order how much and in what manner each person shall contribute, and may issue execution as circumstances require. The above provision clearly authorizes execution to enforce payment of debts of estate. A legacy is not a debt of the estate; indeed, legatees are among those against whom execution is authorized to be issued. ... there is merit in the petitioners' contention that the probate court generally cannot issue a writ of execution. It is not supposed to issue a writ of execution because its orders usually refer to the adjudication of claims against the estate which the executor or administrator may satisfy without the necessity of resorting to a writ of execution. The probate court, as such, does not render any judgment enforceable by execution. The circumstances that the Rules of Court expressly specifies that the probate court may issue execution (a) to satisfy (debts of the estate out of) the contributive shares of devisees, legatees and heirs in possession of the decedent's assets (Sec. 6. Rule 88), (b) to enforce payment of the expenses of partition (Sec. 3, Rule 90), and (c) to satisfy the costs when a person is cited for examination in probate proceedings (Sec. 13, Rule 142) may mean, under the rule of inclusion unius est exclusion alterius, that 50
51 . is the holder in her own right of three mining claims which are one of the objects of conflicting claims of ownership. (e) Aside from the propriety of resorting to certiorari to assail an order of execution which varies the terms of the judgment sought to be executed or does not find support in the dispositive part of the latter. she could not appeal from the Order of execution issued by the Probate Court. She is not an heir of PASTOR. JR. No. as well as all the Orders issued subsequent thereto in alleged implementation of the Probate Order dated December 5. SR. recourse to certiorari was the feasible remedy. SR. after the issuance of the execution order.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process those are the only instances when it can issue a writ of execution. SP-11373-R is reversed. Petitioner MA. ELENA ACHAVAL DE PASTOR. is inapplicable. 59 SCRA 96. But in the face of actual garnishment of their major source of income. there are circumstances in the instant case which justify the remedy applied for. 92 SCRA 172).) (d) It is within a court's competence to order the execution of a final judgment. 1980 and December 17. She could not have intervened before the issuance of the assailed orders because she had no valid ground to intervene. the rule that certiorari may not be invoked to defeat the right of a prevailing party to the execution of a valid and final judgment. They needed prompt relief from the injurious effects of the execution order. petitioners could no longer wait for the resolution of their motion for reconsideration. JR. 274-R. (Vda. appeal was not available to him since his motion for reconsideration of the execution order was still pending resolution by the Probate Court. de Valera vs. Ofilada. On the other hand. particularly the Orders dated November 11. the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G. For when an order of execution is issued with grave abuse of discretion or is at variance with the judgment sought to be enforced (PVTA vs.R. and was not a party to the probate proceedings. the urgency of the relief she and her co-petitioner husband seek in the petition for certiorari states against requiring her to go through the cumbersome procedure of asking for leave to intervene in the probate proceedings to enable her. Likewise. WHEREFORE. wife of PASTOR. Under the circumstances. Honorable Gonzales. are hereby set aside. 1980. certiorari will lie to abate the order of execution. at the time petitioner PASTOR. Consequently. and this case is remanded to the appropriate Regional Trial Court for proper proceedings.. 108. 1972. is manifest grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack of jurisdiction. The matter of ownership over the properties subject of the execution was then still being litigated in another court in a reconveyance suit filed by the special administrator of the estate of PASTOR. if leave is granted. The Order of execution issued by the probate Court dated August 20. but to order the execution of a final order (which is not even meant to be executed) by reading into it terms that are not there and in utter disregard of existing rules and law. to appeal from the challenged order of execution which has ordered the immediate transfer and/or garnishment of the royalties derived from mineral properties of which she is the duly registered owner and/or grantee together with her husband. SO ORDERED. Therefore. Med the petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. 1980. subject to the judgment to be rendered in Civil Case No.
all claiming to be the nephews and nieces of one Vicente Oria who died intestate sometime in 1945 in Balungao.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process A writ of possession was also issued sometime thereafter. GERTRUDES. Proc. plus damages. and the private respondents were placed in possession of their respective shares. Tayug Branch. However. On 18 September 1974. Proc. VALENTINA. NORBERTO. inasmuch as it is now the property claimed by him which is covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. vs. Amado Oria.: This is a petition for certiorari to annul and set aside the Order issued by the respondent Judge on 4 December 1975. and DIONISIO. Felisa Padua. NARCISO A. 50269 and TCT No. herein private respondents Norberto Padua. the herein petitioners filed an Omnibus Motion in Civil Case No. 23 1 -R of the then Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. PASTORA. The petition was filed in the then Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. respondents. all surnamed ORIA. PAULINA. among others. Deputy Sheriff CONSTANCIO PAGADUAN. T-300. for the quieting of their title.00. now under Transfer Certificate of Title No.R. Valentina Orpiano. which dismissed. are registered in the names of herein petitioners under TCT No. as Presiding Judge CFI Pangasinan Branch XIV. all surnamed PADUA. Proc." 8 Pursuant thereto. LORENZO. at the hearing of the motion for contempt in Spec. A writ of execution was subsequently issued pursuant thereto. Cipriano Evangelists. filed a petition for the summary settlement of the decedent's estate. ANASTACIA. contends that the respondent Judge had no authority under the law. they filed with this Court a petition for certiorari for the review of the orders of the lower court. Laureano Orpiano. 1987 PEDRO E. without prejudice. No. the case was transferred to the Resales Branch of the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan where it was docketed as Spec. and Benjamin Oria. DIONISIA. dated 24 December 1975. pursuant to the writ of possession issued by the probate court. the probate court issued an order adjudicating the estate to the heirs of the decedent. Pangasinan. 5 As a consequence. in this petition. FAUSTINA. the same court ordered the petitioners to amend their complaint filed in Civil Case No. LAUREANO. After the survey. the probate court. Pastors Delfin Lorenzo Delfin. who were ordered to submit a project of partition. both substantive and procedural. 231-R. Gertrudes Delfin. and the spouses Bartolome and Consuelo Baybayan. EULALIA EVANGELISTA. L-42678 April 9. CIPRIANO EVANGELISTA. Dionisia Orpiano. to make an accounting of the produce thereof from 1960. claiming to be the registered owners of the lots involved. Paulina Padua. in an order dated 30 October 1975. Rosales Branch docketed therein as Civil Case No. No. JOSEFINA. No. HON. Fausta Delfin. against the Deputy Sheriff and the herein private respondents. that the lands which were delivered by the Deputy Sheriff to the heirs of Vicente Oria. The case was docketed therein as Special Proceeding No. 24-R. dismissed the contempt charge against Jose Diaz and Cipriano Evangelists. filed a complaint in the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. the value of which did not exceed P6. J. 12Thereupon. 23684. 24-R. and to deliver said produce to her co-heirs or pay its equivalent. LEONARDO. FELIZA. The antecedent facts of the case are as follows: On 19 January 1960." 10 The petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the order. 7 By reason thereof. the probate court confirmed the adjudication earlier made and ordered Eulalia Evangelista to deliver the respective shares of her co-heirs. In view thereof. the private respondents filed a motion to cite said Jose Diaz and Cipriano Evangelista in contempt of court. FAUSTA. 4 However. 6 Meanwhile. found that the Amended Complaint did not comply with his order of 30 October 1975 to exclude Lot E and dismissed the case. herein petitioners Pedro Baybayan. Proc. was brought up. 1 After due publication and hearing. Leonardo Orpiano. 231-R since "it is necessary that an amended complaint be filed by Pedro Baybayan in order to determine whether or not the property in question is part of the property under Spec. No. SERVILLANO. however. BAYBAYAN. so that the probate court ordered a relocation survey and commissioned a geodetic engineer to undertake said survey. all surnamed DELFIN. all surnamed ORPIANO. as well as the Order. 24-R. No. to issue the questioned orders G. PADILLA.petitioners. when a representative of the private respondents went to cultivate the portion adjudicated to said private respondents. he was prevented by Jose Diaz and Cipriano Evangelista. The Court treated the petition as a special civil action for certiorari. to which was attached an amended complaint wherein some defendants were dropped. the commissioner submitted to the Court a report stating. and SPOUSES BARTOLOME and CONSUELO BAYBAYAN. Dionisio Oria. Faustina Oria. 9 The respondent Judge. 13 Counsel for the petitioners. 50270 of the Register of Deeds of Pangasinan. 2 Sometime in 1971. 50269. Servillano Delfin. Proc. AMADO BENJAMIN. and to restrain said defendants from enforcing the writ of execution issued in Spec. 24-R. 50269. the question of the Identity of the lands subject of Spec. which denied petitioners' motion for the reconsideration of said order. Josefina Orpiano. 3 52 . 231-R.000. "without prejudice on the part of the plaintiffs to file a proper complaint for the recovery of ownership or possession of the property in controversy which is Lot B in the relocation plan and formerly covered by Original Certificate of Title No. No. 11 but the motion was denied on 24 December 1975. 24-R. AQUINO. the petitioners' complaint filed in Civil Case No.
to be owned by the petitioners Cipriano Evangelists and Consuelo Baybayan. it appears. The Court of First Instance. issued in the probate court. when they filed an Omnibus Motion in Civil Case No. wherein they prayed for leave to amend their complaint in accordance with the order of the probate court of 30 October 1975. and in connection with Spec. 231-R was issued in Spec. Proc. Proc. in dismissing the complaint filed by the petitioners. 24-R where the herein petitioners are not even parties. 231-R. No. The findings of the respondent Judge as to the ownership of Lot E after the hearing conducted in Spec. has no jurisdiction to adjudicate such contentions. that "when questions arise as to ownership of property alleged to be a part of the estate of a deceased person. is not meritorious. but claimed by some other person to be his property. the order to amend the complaint is vague and hazy and does not specify what the amendments should be or how the complaint should be amended so that the petitioners should not be faulted if the amended complaint subsequently filed by them in Civil Case No. amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Without costs. No. 231-R does not contain the allegations that the respondent Judge would want to appear therein. The contention. however. They cannot now be allowed belatedly to adopt an inconsistent posture by attacking the jurisdiction of the respondent trial Judge to whom they submitted their cause voluntarily. but by title adverse to that of the deceased and his estate. 53 .Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process because the order to amend the complaint was issued in. such questions cannot be determined in the courts of administrative proceedings. No. 24-R. SO ORDERED. in our opinion. 15 It is a well-settled rule in this jurisdiction. however. so that it cannot ordinarily bind the herein petitioners who are not parties in said special proceedings. setting aside the Orders issued by the respondent Judge on 7 December 1975 and 24 December 1975. not by virtue of any right of inheritance from the deceased. 24-R do not justify the order to amend the complaint since the determination of the ownership of the said lot by the respondent Judge presiding over a court exercising probate jurisdiction is not final or ultimate in nature and is without prejudice to the right of an interested party to raise the question of ownership in a proper action. in Civil Case No. sanctioned and reiterated in a long fine of decisions. for their alleged failure to amend their complaint to exclude therefrom Lot E which the respondent Judge found. in his order of 30 October 1975. WHEREFORE. 14 We find. as a probate court. Proc. that the petitioners voluntarily submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the probate court." 16 Besides. that the respondent Judge committed a grave abuse of discretion. which must be submitted to the Court of First Instance in the exercise of its general jurisdiction as a court of first instance. 231-R of the then Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. acting. While it may be true that the order to amend the complaint filed in Civil Case No. the petition is GRANTED and a writ issued.
2. provides that the executor or administrator may bring or defend actions. Fragante for the latter as party applicant in the case then pending before the commission. Rizal. overruled the opposition filed in the case and ordered "that under the provisions of section 15 of Commonwealth Act No. The commission declared in its decision. maintain and operate an ice plant in San Juan. therefore. that the original applicant Pedro O. there would be no doubt that said option and the right to exercise it would have survived to his estate and legal representatives. a reasonable opportunity to meet the increased demand. Fragante. in his memorandum of March 19. respondent. and the right to acquire such a certificate. 1947. for which a right was property despite the possibility that in the end the commission might have denied application. there can be no question that he would have had the right to prosecute his application before the commission to its final conclusion. The commission. and in subsequently granting to said estate the certificate applied for. Hence.. that his estate was financially able to maintain and operate the ice plant. as applicant for a certificate of public convenience to install. rendered its decision in case No. he had invested in the ice plant in question P 35. the Public Service Commission. section 2. by complying with the requisites of the law. Petitioner makes four assignments of error in his brief as follows: 1. His transportation business alone was netting him about P1. which is said to be in contravention of law. petitioner. FRAGRANTE. If Pedro O.) G. authorizing said Intestate Estate through its Special or Judicial Administrator. The Public Service Commission erred in not giving petitioner and the Ice and Cold Storage Industries of the Philippines. As declared by the commission in its decision. He was a Filipino citizen and continued to be such till his demise. Fragrante had in his lifetime secured an option to buy a piece of land and during the life of the option he died. and from what the commission said regarding his other properties and business. Jr. INTESTATE ESTATE OF PEDRO O. Bienvenido A. Fragrante's undoubted right to apply for and acquire the desired certificate of public convenience — the evidence established that the public needed the ice plant — was under the law conditioned only upon the requisite citizenship and economic ability to maintain and operate the service. and it says that such actions may be brought or defended "in the right of the deceased". for the protection of the property or rights of the deceased which survive. it constitutes a part of the assets of his estate. If Pedro O. No.440 a month. Tan for respondent. The decision of the Public Service Commission is an unwarranted departure from its announced policy with respect to the establishment and operation of ice plant. The decision of the Public Service Commission is not in accordance with law. appointed by the proper court of competent jurisdiction. and Delfin L. belonged to the decedent in his lifetime. Of course. subject to the conditions therein set forth in detail (petitioner's brief. 1948 In his argument petitioner contends that it was error on the part of the commission to allow the substitution of the legal representative of the estate of Pedro O. J.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process 4. 4572 of Pedro O. should descend to his estate as an asset". the commission granted the application in view of the financial ability of the estate to maintain and operate the ice plant. pp. Rizal. and that his intestate estate is financially capable of maintaining the proposed service". Fragante had not died. petitioner's brief. to maintain and operate an ice plant with a daily productive capacity of two and one-half (2-1/2) tons in the Municipality of San Juan and to sell the ice produced from said plant in the said Municipality of San Juan and in the Municipality of Mandaluyong. among other cases. Inc. as amended a certificate of public convenience be issued to the Intestate Estate of the deceased Pedro Fragante. Angel Limjoco. L-770 April 27. vs. 146. but the situation here is no different from the legal standpoint from that of the option in the illustration just given. 1946. and survived to his estate and judicial administrator after his death. in view of the evidence before it. such right to acquire or obtain such certificate of public convenience was subject to failure to secure its objective through nonfulfillment of the legal conditions. Rule 88. Such certificate would certainly be property. Fragante was a Filipino Citizen at the time of his death. 1-2. and in Quezon City". as existing operators. LIMJOCO. deceased. Petitioner. No one would have denied him that right. (Pp. although under the facts of the case. The decision of the Public Service Commission is not reasonably supported by evidence. 54 . through Deputy Commissioner Fidel Ibañez. 33-34). HILADO.000.R. admits (page 3) that the certificate of public convenience once granted "as a rule. ANGEL T. Fragante to prosecute said application to its conclusion was one which by its nature did not lapse through his death. 3. he would certainly have been financially able to maintain and operate said plant had he not died. In such a case there would also be the possibility of failure to acquire the property should he or his estate or legal representative fail to comply with the conditions of the option. whereby said commission held that the evidence therein showed that the public interest and convenience will be promoted in a proper and suitable manner "by authorizing the operation and maintenance of another ice plant of two and one-half (2½) tons in the municipality of San Juan. The aforesaid right of Pedro O.: Under date of May 21. if the option had been given him in the ordinary course of business and not out of special consideration for his person. In the case at bar Pedro O. Gonzales for petitioner.
Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process Rule 82. Law Dict. 2nd ed. 271. have an interest in the property. The fraudulent intent is against the artificial person. First Series. . But the foregoing provisions and citations go to prove that the decedent's rights which by their nature are not extinguished by death go to make up a part and parcel of the assets of his estate which. by its very nature. and one who forges the name of the decedent to an instrument purporting to be a promissory note must be regarded as having intended to defraud the estate of the decedent. 737) states that in the broad sense of the term. because death extinguishes the right . it cannot survive.. The reason advanced in support of this proposition is that the law does not regard the estate of a decedent as a person. for they declare that it is sufficient. It said in another work that 'persons are of two kinds: natural and artificial. 6 N. rights. consider as immovable and movable things rights which are not material. any action affecting the property or rights (emphasis supplied) of a deceased person which may be brought by or against him if he were alive. devises. Manresa (Vol. A natural person is a human being. or what was the nature of their respective interest. Corpus Juris (Vol. Dict. p. or creditors. as estate or interest) have also been declared to include every species of title. a forgery committed after the death of the man whose name purports to be signed to the instrument may be prosecuted as with the intent to defraud the estate. and includes artificial as well as natural persons. and. pages 366. Artificial persons include (1) a collection or succession of natural persons forming a corporation. chattels. 54. credits.. Billings vs. or unless. 954. whether executory or executed. 6th ed. 5325). 43 Ind. III. Abbot. to designate the defendant as the estate of the deceased person. if any. among other things. 55. 4 Cal. and embrace rights which lie in contract. 57 Am.) Another important question raised by petitioner is whether the estate of Pedro O. . it seems reasonable that the estate of a decedent should be regarded as an artificial person. the forgery is committed after the death of a person whose name is forged." 2 Abb. Words and Phrases. (Vol. 304.) 404.. 50. inchoate or complete. the making of an inventory of all goods. 45) that article 336 of the Civil Code has been deficiently drafted in that it is not sufficiently expressive of all incorporeal rights which are also property for juridical purposes. "an option". 367) the present chief Justice of this Court draws the following conclusion from the decisions cited by him: Therefore. It is true that a proceeding upon the application for a certificate of public convenience before the Public Service Commission is not an "action". unless otherwise expressly provided by law. 914-915. The Court. Douglas vs. per Elliott. disposed of this objection as follows: . property includes. The estate of the decedent is a person in legal contemplation. and not the natural persons having diverse interests in it. and "the certificate of the railroad commission permitting the operation of a bus line". naming him. these terms (real property. This intention (contention) cannot prevail. State. . 55. p. unless the action is for recovery of money. devisees or legatees. Pacific. The Supreme Court of Indiana in the decision cited above had before it a case of forgery committed after the death of one Morgan for the purpose of defrauding his estate. and this is a result to be avoided if it can be done consistent with principle. respectively. And if the right involved happens to consist in the prosecution of an unfinished proceeding upon an application for a certificate of public convenience of the deceased before the Public Service Commission. The objection was urged that the information did not aver that the forgery was committed with the intent to defraud any person. 6 N. The interest which natural persons have in it is not complete until there has been a due administration. Ginn vs. Planters'. is a generic term..E. Fragrante is a "person" within the meaning of the Public Service Act. etc. — the estate — and not the natural persons who have direct or contingent interest in it. (Ala. as here. Our own cases inferentially recognize the correctness of the definition given by the authors from whom we have quoted. "Examples are the estate of a bankrupt or deceased person. Rep. . 914. (2) a collection of property to which the law attributes the capacity of having rights and duties. 6. J. debt or interest thereon. It is the creation of law for the purpose of enabling a disposition of the assets to be properly made. 107 Ind." 2 Rapalje & L.) 55 . section 1. to our minds. 10 of article 334 and article 336 of the Civil Code. or to the possession of any other person for him. mentions among the duties of the executor or administrator. can not be exercised but by him in representation of the estate for the benefit of the creditors. .. and estate of the deceased which shall come to his possession or knowledge.. 8 Port. for. The same eminent commentator says in the cited volume (p. The latter class of artificial persons is recognized only to a limited extent in our law. although natural persons as heirs. Andrews. 271. in pleading a claim against a decedent's estate. and the heirs of the decedent. Unless we accept this definition as correct. p. states the following doctrine in the jurisdiction of the State of Indiana: As the estate of the decedent is in law regarded as a person. Co. (107 Ind. E. In his commentaries on the Rules of Court (Volume II. (Emphasis supplied. 7 N. paragraph (a). Collins. 54. since ha cannot be presumed to have known who those persons were. "in its legal signification. 763. 77. "The word "person" says Mr. We perceive no difficulty in avoiding such a result. there would be a failure of justice in cases where. it is but logical that the legal representative be empowered and entitled in behalf of the estate to make the right effective in that proceeding. 11) says that No. and on page 748 of the same volume we read: However. being placed under the control and management of the executor or administrator. Bank vs. E. the artificial creature is a distinct legal entity. etc. may likewise be instituted and prosecuted by or against the administrator.
12 Phil. 22. for they might not have been flesh and blood — the reason was one in the nature of a legal exigency derived from the principle that the heirs succeeded to the rights and obligations of the decedent. Under the regime of the Civil Code and before the enactment of the Code of Civil Procedure. In that case. him may be paid. not counting the expenses and disbursements which the proceeding can be presumed to have occasioned him during his lifetime. . for quashing of the proceedings for no other reason than his death would entail prejudicial results to his investment amounting to P35. or joint-stock companies constituted and organized under the laws of the Philippines".000. Dolor. And if the same legal fiction were not indulged. . and for not considering it as likewise extended for the purposes of the aforesaid unfinished proceeding before the Public Service Commission. the estate of the deceased person is considered a "person" is the avoidance of injustice or prejudice resulting from the impossibility of exercising such legal rights and fulfilling such legal obligations of the decedent as survived after his death unless the fiction is indulged. consisting in the prosecution of said application to its final conclusion. which he has 56 . The fiction is made necessary to avoid the injustice of subjecting his estate. an injustice would ensue from the opposite course. . However.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process In the instant case there would also be a failure of justice unless the estate of Pedro O.000. would in the end inure to the benefit of the same creditors and the heirs. as held in Suiliong & Co. for otherwise these latter would be without the constitutional guarantee against being deprived of property without due process of law. This is why according to the Supreme Court of Indiana in Billings vs. Under the present legal system. solely by reason of his death to the loss of the investment amounting to P35. It seems reasonable that the estate of a decedent should be regarded as an artificial person. the underlying reason for the legal fiction by which. The heirs were formerly considered as the continuation of the decedent's personality simply by legal fiction. as the fiction of the extension of personality. It was so held by this Court in Barrios vs. 46. as amended. the estate of a bankrupt or deceased person. vs. or the immunity from unreasonable searches and seizures. particularly the proviso thereof expressly and categorically limiting the power of the commission to issue certificates of public convenience or certificates of public convenience and necessity "only to citizens of the Philippines or of the United States or to corporations. that becomes vested and charged with his rights and obligations which survive after his demise. The outcome of said proceeding. 717. The reason and purpose for indulging the fiction is identical and the same in both cases. Concepcion. the term "person" used in section 1 (1) and (2) must be deemed to include artificial or juridical persons. Fragrante is considered a "person". Substantially the same reason is assigned to support the same rule in the jurisdiction of the State of Indiana. Within the framework and principles of the constitution itself. it has been the constant doctrine that it is the estate or the mass of property. . to exercise those rights and to fulfill those obligations of the deceased. include the exercise during the judicial administration thereof of those rights and the fulfillment of those obligations of his which survived after his death. and motivated by the same reason. The fiction of such extension of his citizenship is grounded upon the same principle. there would be no juridical basis for the estate. As stated above. as announced in Billings vs. if successful. and the further proviso that sixty per centum of the stock or paid-up capital of such entities must belong entirely to citizens of the Philippines or of the United States. 954. copartnerships.00 as found by the commission. we find no sound and cogent reason for denying the application of the same fiction to his citizenship. Among these artificial or juridical persons figure estates of deceased persons. of course. . article 661 of the Civil Code was abrogated. associations. Among the most recent cases may be mentioned that of "Estate of Mota vs. respectively. One of those rights was the one involved in his pending application before the Public Service Commission in the instant case. . creditors and heirs. . 13. it is the creation of law for the purpose of enabling a disposition of the assets to be properly made . under the bill of rights it seems clear that while the civil rights guaranteed therein in the majority of cases relate to natural persons. wherein the principal plaintiff was the estate of the deceased Lazaro Mota. . 44.. to cite just one example. Fragrante can be considered a "citizen of the Philippines" within the meaning of section 16 of the Public Service Act. the heirs of a deceased person were considered in contemplation of law as the continuation of his personality by virtue of the provision of article 661 of the first Code that the heirs succeed to all the rights and obligations of the decedent by the mere fact of his death. for certain purposes. Dictionary. among the artificial persons recognized by law figures "a collection of property to which the law attributes the capacity of having rights and duties". no less than natural. instead of the heirs directly. State. as well as in many others decided by this Court after the innovations introduced by the Code of Civil Procedure in the matter of estates of deceased persons. let alone those defrayed by the estate thereafter. and any surviving rights may be exercised for the benefit of his creditors and heirs. represented by the executor or administrator. How about the point of citizenship? If by legal fiction his personality is considered extended so that any debts or obligations left by. . Even in that event petitioner could not allege any prejudice in the legal sense. 712. In this jurisdiction there are ample precedents to show that the estate of a deceased person is also considered as having legal personality independent of their heirs. rights and assets left by the decedent. such rights and obligations as survive after death have to be exercised and fulfilled only by the estate of the deceased. citing 2 Rapalje & L. . Hence. any more than he could have done if Fragrante had lived longer and obtained the desired certificate. when the Supreme Court of said State said: .804. persons in these constitutional immunities and in others of similar nature. as for instance. Within the Philosophy of the present legal system. Chio-Taysan. and this Court gave judgment in favor of said estate along with the other plaintiffs in these words: . supra. and surviving.. Fragrante should be considered an artificial or juridical person for the purposes of the settlement and distribution of his estate which. the estate of Pedro O. We take it that it was the intendment of the framers to include artificial or juridical.69 . Petitioner raises the decisive question of whether or not the estate of Pedro O. 56 Phil. we hold that within the framework of the Constitution. after the enactment of the Code of Civil Procedure. supra. State.. 2 Phil. the judgment appealed from must be affirmed so far as it holds that defendants Concepcion and Whitaker are indebted to he plaintiffs in the amount of P245.
We can perceive no valid reason for holding that within the intent of the constitution (Article IV). and as such. Fragrante should be considered an artificial or juridical person herein. Fragrante must be deemed extended. if for such reasons the estate of Pedro O. without costs. in harmony with the constitution: it is so adjudged and decreed. So ordered.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process already made in the ice plant. not counting the other expenses occasioned by the instant proceeding. Pedro O. both the personality and citizenship of Pedro O. In the absence of a contrary showing. in view of the evidence of record. which does not exist here. If for reasons already stated our law indulges the fiction of extension of personality. 4572 of the Public Service Commission to its final conclusion. Upon the whole. there is the simple expedient of revoking the certificate or enjoining them from inheriting it. his heirs may be assumed to be also Filipino citizens. And its economic ability to appropriately and adequately operate and maintain the service of an ice plant was the same that it received from the decedent himself. and that is. Fragrante was a Filipino citizen. within the meaning and intent of the Public Service Act. His estate was that of a Filipino citizen. he would have obtained from the commission the certificate for which he was applying. from the Public Service Commission of this Court. his death. we can find no justification for refusing to declare a like fiction as to the extension of his citizenship for the purposes of this proceeding. as amended. Decision affirmed. we are of the opinion that for the purposes of the prosecution of said case No. The situation has suffered but one change. and if they are not. 57 . if he had lived. its provisions on Philippine citizenship exclude the legal principle of extension above adverted to.
Romillo. one of the children of Felicisimo by his first marriage. Tobias. State of Hawaii. Jr. 6 On June 20. Five years later. both conjugal and exclusive. Thus. Article 26 of the Family Code cannot be given retroactive effect to validate respondent’s bigamous marriage with Felicisimo because this would impair vested rights in derogation of Article 256 16 of the Family Code. she claimed that Felicisimo had the legal capacity to marry her by virtue of paragraph 2. 1994. Mila. FELICIDAD SAN LUIS. Respondent prayed that the conjugal partnership assets be liquidated and that letters of administration be issued to her. valued at P30.S. On February 15. Respondent. 1998 Resolution 4denying petitioners’ motion for reconsideration. 1993. possessed the legal standing to file the petition and that venue was properly laid. 15 They asserted that paragraph 2. It ruled that respondent.A. Rodolfo claimed that the petition for letters of administration should have been filed in the Province of Laguna because this was Felicisimo’s place of residence prior to his death. was still legally married to Merry Lee. Linda. 1973. vs. No. 7 He had no children with respondent but lived with her for 18 years from the time of their marriage up to his death on December 18. who was the former governor of the Province of Laguna. 2007 RODOLFO SAN LUIS. J. No. Merry Lee.S. namely: Rodolfo. 52647. Further. Santos from hearing the case. the trial court issued an Order 17 denying the motions for reconsideration. Felicisimo married respondent Felicidad San Luis. 14 Thereafter. No. 133743 February 6. that the decedent’s surviving heirs are respondent as legal spouse. San Luis (Felicisimo). DECISION YNARES-SANTIAGO. another daughter of Felicisimo from his first marriage. G. x ---------------------------------------------------. Virginia predeceased Felicisimo. M-3708. Felicisimo married Merry Lee Corwin. which issued a Decree Granting Absolute Divorce and Awarding Child Custody on December 14. U. Felicisimo contracted three marriages. On February 4. docketed as SP.R. that. Respondent. which reversed and set aside the September 12.00 more or less. Alabang. on October 15. Branch 134 in SP.x G. he regularly went home to their house in New Alabang Village. his six children by his first marriage. FELICIDAD SAGALONGOS alias FELICIDAD SAN LUIS. 13 Article 26 of the Family Code and the doctrine laid down in Van Dorn v. that the decedent does not have any unpaid debts. Petitioner. State of Hawaii to prove that the marriage of Felicisimo to Merry Lee had already been dissolved. she filed a petition for letters of administration 8 before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City. 1974. vs. On August 11. Los Angeles. Linda. an American citizen. On October 24. Emilita and Manuel. No. 1996 3 Resolutions of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City.R. During his lifetime. before Rev. New Alabang Village. respondent filed on March 5. 1971. Petitioner. His first marriage was with Virginia Sulit on March 17. Linda invoked the same grounds and joined her brother Rodolfo in seeking the dismissal 10 of the petition. 2007 Respondent alleged that she is the widow of Felicisimo. 134029 February 6. petitioner Rodolfo San Luis. The instant case involves the settlement of the estate of Felicisimo T. filed a Complaint for Divorce 5 before the Family Court of the First Circuit. 1963. Metro Manila which they bought sometime in 1982. the motion for 58 EDGAR SAN LUIS. He further claimed that respondent has no legal personality to file the petition because she was only a mistress of Felicisimo since the latter. 1994. Meanwhile. on May 1. Mila. then surnamed Sagalongos. filed a motion to disqualify Acting Presiding Judge Anthony E. Proc. Minister of the United Presbyterian at Wilshire Boulevard. respondent sought the dissolution of their conjugal partnership assets and the settlement of Felicisimo’s estate. 1942 out of which were born six children. California.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process Thereafter. William Meyer. as widow of the decedent. 1998 Decision 1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.304. she presented the decree of absolute divorce issued by the Family Court of the First Circuit. Unaware of the denial of the motions to dismiss. and son by his second marriage. Alabang. at the time of his death. On February 28. filed a motion to dismiss 9 on the grounds of improper venue and failure to state a cause of action. 1994. 1968. Fr. United States of America (U. 1994 her opposition 12 thereto. 1995 2 and January 31. On April 21. at the time of his death. Rodolfo and herein petitioner Edgar San Luis. M-3708 which was raffled to Branch 146 thereof.R. 1994. the decedent was residing at 100 San Juanico Street. the trial court issued an Order 11 denying the two motions to dismiss. that the decedent left real properties. Edgar. and its May 15.A. 1994. Metro Manila. However. . CV No. Proc.178.: Before us are consolidated petitions for review assailing the February 4. with whom he had a son.). She submitted documentary evidence showing that while Felicisimo exercised the powers of his public office in Laguna. separately filed motions for reconsideration from the Order denying their motions to dismiss. On December 17. 1992.
All that the courts should do is to give force and effect to the express mandate of the law. Pilapil. The case was re-raffled to Branch 134 presided by Judge Paul T. void ab initio.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process disqualification was deemed moot and academic 18 because then Acting Presiding Judge Santos was substituted by Judge Salvador S. Laguna. Article 26 of the Family Code and the rulings in Van Dorn v. They argue that paragraph 2. Br. 32 the Filipino divorcee. the Orders dated September 12. 1995. They contend that pursuant to our rulings in Nuval v. Respondent and Rodolfo filed their position papers on June 14. thus. the marriage between the deceased and petitioner should not be denominated as "a bigamous marriage. Edgar also filed a motion for reconsideration 20 from the Order denying their motion for reconsideration arguing that it does not state the facts and law on which it was based. 38"residence" is synonymous with "domicile" which denotes a fixed permanent residence to which when absent. the petition for letters of administration was properly filed in Makati City. Cruz. Therefore. Ibay-Somera. 2 of the Family Code. Respondent moved for reconsideration 26 and for the disqualification 27 of Judge Arcangel but said motions were denied. Judge Tensuan issued an Order 21 granting the motion for inhibition. and the reason and philosophy behind the enactment of E. 36 In the instant consolidated petitions. Linda. Felicisimo was a resident of Sta. par. Rule 73 of the Rules of Court. RTC. Edgar manifested 23 that he is adopting the arguments and evidence set forth in his previous motion for reconsideration as his position paper. she has no legal capacity to file the petition for letters of administration. 22 the trial court required the parties to submit their respective position papers on the twin issues of venue and legal capacity of respondent to file the petition. Petitioners also contend that respondent’s marriage to Felicisimo was void and bigamous because it was performed during the subsistence of the latter’s marriage to Merry Lee. It also ruled that respondent was without legal capacity to file the petition for letters of administration because her marriage with Felicisimo was bigamous." Indeed. x x x 33 Edgar. he actually resided in Alabang. the doctrines in Van Dorn. 1995 and January 31. hence. 35 Rodolfo later filed a manifestation and motion to adopt the said petition which was granted. On July 2. Article 26. Since Felicisimo never changed his domicile. Romillo. 227. 1998. of the Family Code of the Philippines. Hence. contravenes the basic policy of our state against divorce in any form whatsoever. 1995. 30 and Pilapil v. Cruz. under Article 130 of the Family Code. Thus – With the well-known rule – express mandate of paragraph 2. 1994 are REINSTATED. The Court of Appeals also held that Felicisimo had legal capacity to marry respondent by virtue of paragraph 2. Laguna. It held that. On May 5. Muntinlupa. Felicisimo was the duly elected governor and a resident of the Province of Laguna. It noted that although Felicisimo discharged his functions as governor in Laguna.O. Laguna and not in Makati City. 28 Respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals which reversed and set aside the orders of the trial court in its assailed Decision dated February 4. the petitioner as the surviving spouse can institute the judicial proceeding for the settlement of the estate of the deceased. Mila filed a motion for inhibition 19 against Judge Tensuan on November 16. Guray 37 and Romualdez v. 59 . refers to the personal. 1994. On even date. On September 12. Felicisimo was capacitated to contract a subsequent marriage with respondent. the trial court dismissed the petition for letters of administration. one intends to return. On April 24. Edgar and Rodolfo insist that the venue of the subject petition for letters of administration was improperly laid because at the time of his death. or actual residence or place of abode of a person as distinguished from legal residence or domicile. Article 26 of the Family Code cannot be retroactively applied because it would impair the vested rights of Felicisimo’s legitimate children. Edgar appealed to this Court via the instant petition for review on certiorari. and the records of the case is REMANDED to the trial court for further proceedings. As such. 31 It found that the marriage between Felicisimo and Merry Lee was validly dissolved by virtue of the decree of absolute divorce issued by the Family Court of the First Circuit. — there is no justiciable reason to sustain the individual view — sweeping statement — of Judge Arc[h]angel. 25 1995. 7. respondent cannot be considered the surviving wife of Felicisimo. "shallx x x have capacity to remarry under Philippine laws". the term "place of residence" of the decedent. As a result. 24 and June 20. No. Thus. for purposes of fixing the venue of the settlement of his estate. 1996 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. For this reason. They claim that a person can only have one domicile at any given time. On November 25. the petition should have been filed in Sta. 29 The appellante court ruled that under Section 1. 1992. and Rodolfo filed separate motions for reconsideration 34 which were denied by the Court of Appeals. Tacloban City. at the time of his death. the Orders dated February 28 and October 24. Tensuan pending the resolution of said motion. respectively. the petition for letters of administration should have been filed in Sta. 1998. Cruz. courts cannot deny what the law grants. The foreign divorce having been obtained by the Foreigner on December 14. 1994. It also ruled that paragraph 2. State of Hawaii. Article 26 cannot be retroactively applied because it would impair vested rights and ratify the void bigamous marriage. 1995. It found that the decree of absolute divorce dissolving Felicisimo’s marriage to Merry Lee was not valid in the Philippines and did not bind Felicisimo who was a Filipino citizen. Jr. Article 26. Arcangel. that "Article 26. under paragraph 2. the dispositive portion of which states: WHEREFORE. actual or physical habitation.
A husband without a wife." From the foregoing. When the law provides. 3. personal residence. we need not retroactively apply the provisions of the Family Code. the divorce in Nevada released private respondent from the marriage from the standards of American law. the subject petition for letters of administration was validly filed in the Regional Trial Court 50 which has territorial jurisdiction over Alabang. or a wife without a husband. is unknown to the law. Muntinlupa was still a municipality and the branches of the Regional Trial Court of the National Capital Judicial Region which had territorial jurisdiction over Muntinlupa were then seated in Makati City as per Supreme Court Administrative Order No. actual residence or place of abode. meaning. the "residence" of a person is his personal. that party. the term means merely residence. the alien spouse alleged that his interest in the properties from their conjugal partnership should be protected. pursuant to his national law. Muntinlupa from 1982 up to the time of his death. and (2) whether respondent has legal capacity to file the subject petition for letters of administration. 1993. The marriage tie. Under Section 1. Thus: In this case." is elastic and should be interpreted in the light of the object or purpose of the statute or rule in which it is employed. Residence simply requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place. Court of Appeals. recognized the validity of the divorce and held that the alien spouse had no interest in the properties acquired by the Filipino wife after the divorce. Sta." Respondent also presented proof of membership of the deceased in the Ayala Alabang Village Association 46 and Ayala Country Club. is still absolutely freed from the bond of the former marriage. one has the intention of returning." The rulings in Nuval and Romualdez are inapplicable to the instant case because they involve election cases. Laguna. In the instant case. Ed. 40 we laid down the doctrinal rule for determining the residence – as contradistinguished from domicile – of the decedent for purposes of fixing the venue of the settlement of his estate: [T]he term "resides" connotes ex vi termini "actual residence" as distinguished from "legal residence or domicile. actual or physical habitation.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process The issues for resolution: (1) whether venue was properly laid. actual or physical habitation of a person. the petition for letters of administration of the estate of Felicisimo should be filed in the Regional Trial Court of the province "in which he resides at the time of his death. In election cases. par. 51 Thus. Claiming that the divorce was not valid under Philippine law. 1988." In the case of Garcia Fule v." In other words. The case of Van Dorn v. Respondent submitted in evidence the Deed of Absolute Sale 44 dated January 5. in the nature of a penalty. and the deceased’s calling cards 49 stating that his home/city address is at "100 San Juanico. respondent proved that he also maintained a residence in Alabang. considering that Felicidad’s marriage to Felicisimo was solemnized on June 20. Even where the statute uses the word "domicile" still it is construed as meaning residence and not domicile in the technical sense. Consequently. the personal.. or before the Family Code took effect on August 3. particularly Art. Muntinlupa for purposes of fixing the venue of the settlement of his estate. At that time. which marriage was subsequently dissolved through a divorce obtained abroad by the latter. and convey the same meaning as the term "inhabitant. Jr. as well as the other. for purposes of fixing venue under the Rules of Court. Ayala Alabang Village. we must first resolve the issue of whether a Filipino who is divorced by his alien spouse abroad may validly remarry under the Civil Code. 52 involved a marriage between a foreigner and his Filipino wife. private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner. 1983 showing that the deceased purchased the aforesaid property. Laguna. He would have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioner’s husband 60 . Inc. Muntinlupa" while his office/provincial address is in "Provincial Capitol. Muntinlupa. or actual residence or place of abode. 41 (Emphasis supplied) It is incorrect for petitioners to argue that "residence. 799: "The purpose and effect of a decree of divorce from the bond of matrimony by a competent jurisdiction are to change the existing status or domestic relation of husband and wife. it is possible that a person may have his residence in one place and domicile in another. Ayala Alabang. under which divorce dissolves the marriage. not legal residence or domicile. In the application of venue statutes and rules – Section 1. "residence" and "domicile" are treated as synonymous terms." for purposes of fixing the venue of the settlement of the estate of Felicisimo. She also presented billing statements 45 from the Philippine Heart Center and Chinese General Hospital for the period August to December 1992 indicating the address of Felicisimo at "100 San Juanico. 45 L. Cruz. that is. ceases to bind either." like the terms "residing" and "residence. the subject petition was validly filed before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City. the terms are synonymous. As stated by the Federal Supreme Court of the United States in Atherton vs. that the guilty party shall not marry again. No particular length of time of residence is required though. Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court is of such nature – residence rather than domicile is the significant factor. It signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat. (2) considering that there is sufficient jurisprudential basis allowing us to rule in the affirmative. Romillo. Needless to say. 1974. and to free them both from the bond. however. that is. is synonymous with "domicile. Muntinlupa. 794. The subject petition was filed on December 17. Some cases make a distinction between the terms "residence" and "domicile" but as generally used in statutes fixing venue. there is a distinction between "residence" for purposes of election laws and "residence" for purposes of fixing the venue of actions. Anent the issue of respondent Felicidad’s legal personality to file the petition for letters of administration. which may not necessarily be his legal residence or domicile provided he resides therein with continuity and consistency. Atherton. 47 letter-envelopes 48 from 1988 to 1990 sent by the deceased’s children to him at his Alabang address. The Court. the fixed permanent residence to which when absent. In resolving this issue. while petitioners established that Felicisimo was domiciled in Sta." This term "resides. the residence must be more than temporary. while domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention to make it one’s domicile. we find that Felicisimo was a resident of Alabang. 43 Hence. "resides" should be viewed or understood in its popular sense. 26." Thus. Cruz. The petition lacks merit. In this popular sense. however. when thus severed as to one party. 39 Rule 73 of the Rules of Court. 42 However.
otherwise known as the "Family Code. that. 61 In the recent case of Republic v. 54 (Emphasis added) This principle was thereafter applied in Pilapil v. and valid there as such. 1987. then President Corazon Aquino signed into law Executive Order No. the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law. as private respondent does. 57 the Court stated that where a Filipino is divorced by his naturalized foreign spouse. Petitioner should not be obliged to live together with. Article 26 of the Family Code were discussed. is no longer married to the Filipino spouse. is to avoid the absurd situation where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien spouse who. and render support to private respondent. Paragraph 2 of Article 26 traces its origin to the 1985 case of Van Dorn v. 63 (Emphasis added) As such. (5) and (6). 37 and 38. and consequently. when the object of a marriage is defeated by rendering its continuance intolerable to one of the parties and productive of no possible good to the community. Executive Order No. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized. Jr. (4). 36. Tolentino cited Van Dorn stating that "if the foreigner obtains a valid foreign divorce. according to Judge Alicia Sempio-Diy. petitioner has to be considered still married to private respondent and still subject to a wife's obligations under Article 109.net Indeed. The Van Dorn case involved a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner. 1998. As he is bound by the Decision of his own country’s Court. the Court ruled that she should no longer be considered married to the alien spouse. in Quita v. In his treatise. 26. As so amended.1awphi1. 37. et." 59 In Garcia v. the Filipino spouse is capacitated to remarry under Philippine law. to wit: Brief Historical Background On July 6. 36. On July 17. it was held that the alien spouse is not a proper party in filing the adultery suit against his Filipino wife. The Court stated that "the severance of the marital bond had the effect of dissociating the former spouses from each other. (Emphasis supplied) xxxx Legislative Intent Records of the proceedings of the Family Code deliberations showed that the intent of Paragraph 2 of Article 26. 209. Article 26 thereof states: All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized. our lawmakers codified the law already established through judicial precedent. after obtaining a divorce. In the said case. 53 As to the effect of the divorce on the Filipino wife. it now provides: ART." which took effect on August 3. The ruling has long been interpreted as severing marital ties between parties in a mixed marriage and capacitating the Filipino spouse to remarry as a necessary consequence of upholding the validity of a divorce obtained abroad by the alien spouse. being a mutual and shared commitment between two parties. a member of the Civil Code Revision Committee.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process entitled to exercise control over conjugal assets. the Van Dorn case is sufficient basis in resolving a situation where a divorce is validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse. hence the actuations of one would not affect or cast obloquy on the other. except those prohibited under Articles 35(1). It held: To maintain. under our laws. The Court held therein that a divorce decree validly obtained by the alien spouse is valid in the Philippines. Article 26 thereof. The latter should not continue to be one of her heirs with possible rights to conjugal property. which validly exercised jurisdiction over him. She should not be discriminated against in her own country if the ends of justice are to be served. shortly after the signing of the original Family Code. he is estopped by his own representation before said Court from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal property. and valid there as such. and whose decision he does not repudiate. amending Articles 26. Arturo M. relief in some way should be obtainable. Interestingly. and 38. 227 was likewise signed into law. Orbecido III.60 the Court likewise cited the aforementioned case in relation to Article 26. Court of Appeals. 1987. she should not be required to perform her marital duties and obligations." 56 Likewise. the ruling in Van Dorn applies. as in this case. 64 Marriage. the divorce in the said case was obtained in 1954 when the Civil Code provisions were still in effect. 1988. Dr. 61 . Ibay-Somera 55 where the Court recognized the validity of a divorce obtained abroad. 62 the historical background and legislative intent behind paragraph 2. 58 Although decided on December 22. of the Civil Code cannot be just. Romillo. A second paragraph was added to Article 26. Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry. except those prohibited under Articles 35. Further. cannot possibly be productive of any good to the society where one is considered released from the marital bond while the other remains bound to it. shall also be valid in this country. and 39 of the Family Code. The significance of the Van Dorn case to the development of limited recognition of divorce in the Philippines cannot be denied. observe respect and fidelity. the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law. seq. Such is the state of affairs where the alien spouse obtains a valid divorce abroad against the Filipino spouse. With the enactment of the Family Code and paragraph 2. Recio. shall also be valid in this country.
such copy must be (a) accompanied by a certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or consular officer in the Philippine foreign service stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept and (b) authenticated by the seal of his office. An indispensable part of that intent." xxxx More than twenty centuries ago. such as an heir. If she proves the validity of the divorce and Felicisimo’s capacity to remarry. to apply them just the same.S. We do not and must not unfeelingly apply the law as it is worded. the Court cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws as they must be alleged and proved. we are not bound. The interest must be material and direct. Unquestionably. in seeking the meaning of the law. Section 2. there are some laws that. As judges. 75 In the instant case. It held that presentation solely of the divorce decree is insufficient and that proof of its authenticity and due execution must be presented. In such a situation. to begin with. Law and justice are inseparable.S. it is not necessary that the property be acquired through their joint labor. and not merely indirect or contingent. Contents of petition for letters of administration. the first concern of the judge should be to discover in its provisions the intent of the lawmaker. 70 the Court laid down the specific guidelines for pleading and proving foreign law and divorce judgments. because only of our nature and functions. Hence. we may add. It is a cardinal rule that. 69 Applying the above doctrine in the instant case. unless the contrary is proven. Any property acquired during the union is prima facie presumed to have been obtained through their joint efforts. yielding like robots to the literal command without regard to its cause and consequence. Justice is always an essential ingredient of its decisions. in slavish obedience to their language. is to render justice. would have vested Felicidad with the legal personality to file the present petition as Felicisimo’s surviving spouse. 77 not kept in the Philippines. To be sure. 73 Therefore. efforts and industry. then she may be considered as a co-owner under Article 144 76 of the Civil Code. as far as known to the petitioner: x x x. 62 . 2.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process Petitioners cite Articles 15 65 and 17 66 of the Civil Code in stating that the divorce is void under Philippine law insofar as Filipinos are concerned. This provision governs the property relations between parties who live together as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage. However. in fact. Even assuming that Felicisimo was not capacitated to marry respondent in 1974. while generally valid. However. In Garcia v. by Justice Holmes again. Rule 79 thereof also provides in part: SEC. Thus when the facts warrants. or one who has a claim against the estate. we are not automatons. 68 the Court stated: But as has also been aptly observed. we find that the latter has the legal personality to file the subject petition for letters of administration. – A petition for letters of administration must be filed by an interested person and must show. If the record is An "interested person" has been defined as one who would be benefited by the estate. Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132.. the Filipino spouse should not be discriminated against in his own country if the ends of justice are to be served. and likewise. but fails to prove that her marriage with him was validly performed under the laws of the U. It provides that the property acquired by either or both of them through their work or industry or their wages and salaries shall be governed by the rules on coownership. she submitted photocopies of the Marriage Certificate and the annotated text 72 of the Family Law Act of California which purportedly show that their marriage was done in accordance with the said law.A. the existence of which was not denied by petitioners. In a co-ownership. for we presume the good motives of the legislature. nevertheless. this case should be remanded to the trial court for further reception of evidence on the divorce decree obtained by Merry Lee and the marriage of respondent and Felicisimo. 67 In Alonzo v. may seem arbitrary when applied in a particular case because of its peculiar circumstances. and we must keep them so. "Courts are apt to err by sticking too closely to the words of a law.A. such as a creditor. the law should never be interpreted in such a way as to cause injustice as this is never within the legislative intent. 71 With regard to respondent’s marriage to Felicisimo allegedly solemnized in California. by its purposes." That wish continues to motivate this Court when it assesses the facts and the law in every case brought to it for decision. respondent would qualify as an interested person who has a direct interest in the estate of Felicisimo by virtue of their cohabitation. However. the records show that there is insufficient evidence to prove the validity of the divorce obtained by Merry Lee as well as the marriage of respondent and Felicisimo under the laws of the U. that the law be dispensed with justice. presuming that it was the intention of the lawmaker. we test a law by its results. however. in light of this Court’s rulings in the cases discussed above.S. that justice may be done even as the law is obeyed. U. 74 Rule 78 of the Rules of Court states that letters of administration may be granted to the surviving spouse of the decedent. Section 6." so we are warned. Intermediate Appellate Court. the divorce decree allegedly obtained by Merry Lee which absolutely allowed Felicisimo to remarry..A. a writing or document may be proven as a public or official record of a foreign country by either (1) an official publication or (2) a copy thereof attested by the officer having legal custody of the document. As stated in Garcia. we interpret and apply the law not independently of but in consonance with justice. Recio. "where these words import a policy that goes beyond them. the portions belonging to the co-owners shall be presumed equal. as she may be considered the co-owner of Felicisimo as regards the properties that were acquired through their joint efforts during their cohabitation. we interpret the law in a way that will render justice. What we do instead is find a balance between the word and the will. Thus. or their marriage is void from the beginning. Justinian defined justice "as the constant and perpetual wish to render every one his due.
and Tumlos v. 80 The Court described the property regime under this provision as follows: The regime of limited co-ownership of property governing the union of parties who are not legally capacitated to marry each other. we ruled that proof of actual contribution in the acquisition of the property is essential. Absent proof of the extent thereof. 78 In Saguid v. applies to properties acquired during said cohabitation in proportion to their respective contributions. the applicable provision would be Article 148 of the Family Code which has filled the hiatus in Article 144 of the Civil Code by expressly regulating the property relations of couples living together as husband and wife but are incapacitated to marry. which involved the issue of co-ownership of properties acquired by the parties to a bigamous marriage and an adulterous relationship. 79 we held that even if the cohabitation or the acquisition of property occurred before the Family Code took effect. respectively. we find that respondent’s legal capacity to file the subject petition for letters of administration may arise from her status as the surviving wife of Felicisimo or as his co-owner under Article 144 of the Civil Code or Article 148 of the Family Code. x x x As in other civil cases. as determined by the pleadings or the nature of the case. Court of Appeals. asserts an affirmative issue. 63 . The Decision of the Court of Appeals reinstating and affirming the February 28. Palang. 1994 Order of the Regional Trial Court which denied petitioners’ motion to dismiss and its October 24. SO ORDERED. Article 148 governs. 1994 Order which dismissed petitioners’ motion for reconsideration is AFFIRMED. the petition is DENIED. but who nonetheless live together as husband and wife. property or industry.Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons Rule 73 Venue and Process Meanwhile. WHEREFORE. their contributions and corresponding shares shall be presumed to be equal. xxxx In the cases of Agapay v. Contentions must be proved by competent evidence and reliance must be had on the strength of the party’s own evidence and not upon the weakness of the opponent’s defense. if respondent fails to prove the validity of both the divorce and the marriage. Let this case be REMANDED to the trial court for further proceedings. the burden of proof rests upon the party who. x x x 81 In view of the foregoing. Fernandez. Co-ownership will only be up to the extent of the proven actual contribution of money.
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