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G.R. No.

L-21334

December 10, 1924

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, Petitioner, vs. ANASTASIA ABADILLA, ET


AL., claimants.
THE MUNICIPALITY OF TAYABAS, ET AL., claimants-appellees,
MARIA PALAD, ET AL., claimants-appellants.
Facts:
On January 25, 1892, Luis Palad executed a holographic will granting his wife, Dorothea Lopez, the right of
exclusive use and possession of several parcels of lands in the Province of Tayabas during her lifetime or
until she remarries. The lands shall be donated to the secondary school in Tayabas upon Dorotheas death
or second marriage. On December 3, 1896, the testator died.
Sometime in 1900, Dorothea married one Calixto Dolendo. On April 20, 1903, the testators collateral heirs
brought an action for the partition of the lands on the ground that Dorothea lost her right over the lands by
reason of her second marriage.
During the pendency of the action, the parties arrived at an agreement delivering the lands with lot nos.
3464 and 3469 to the Municipality of Tayabas as trustee while lot no. 3470 was left in the possession of
Dorothea. The testators collateral heirs filed a claim over the lands contending that the trust instituted in
the will was ineffective.
Issue:
Whether or not the trust instituted in the will was effective
Ruling:
Yes. A liberal interpretation of the will revealed that the testator intended to create a trust for the benefit of
the secondary school, naming the ayuntamiento of the town or the Civil Governor of the Province as
trustee. In order that a trust may be effective, there must be a trustee and a cestui que trust. The
Governor of Tayabas, as the successor of the Civil Governor under the Spanish regime, acted as trustee in
the present case.
If the trustee holds the legal title and the devise is valid, the natural heirs of the deceased testator have no
remaining interest in the land except their right to the reversion in the event the devise for some reason
should fail, an event which has not yet taken place. The intention of the testator was to have the income of
the property accumulate for the benefit of the proposed school until the same should be established.
The lands with lot nos. 3464 and 3469 shall hereby remain in the possession of the Municipality of Tayabas
as trustee until the secondary school is erected. However, the ownership of lot no. 3470 has lawfully
passed to Dorothea by prescription, having held possession of the land, adverse to all claimants, since
1904.