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DELGADO vs.

RUSTIA
G.R. No. 155733, January 27, 2006
Topic: Right of Representation
DOCTRINE:
Under Article 972 of the new Civil Code, the right of representation in the collateral line takes place only in
favor of the children of brothers and sisters (nephews and nieces). Consequently, it cannot be exercised
by grandnephews and grandnieces.

FACTS:
Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado died without a will. The claimants if their
estates may be divided into two groups: (1) the alleged heirs of Josefa Delgado,
consisting of her half- and full-blood siblings, nephews and nieces, and
grandnephews and grandnieces, and (2) the alleged heirs of Guillermo Rustia,
particularly his sisters, his nephews and nieces, his illegitimate child and the de
facto adopted child (ampun-ampunan) of the decedents.
As to Josefas family background, her parents were never married so she and her
four siblings were all full-blood natural children of their mother. Also, her mom gave
birth to another child with another man. So thats a half-blood brother.
As to Guillermos family background, Guillermo managed to father an illegitimate
child named, Guillerma Rustia, intervenor-respondent in this case. Josefa and
Guillermo never legally adopted the ampun-ampunan children.
ISSUE/S:
1. Who are the heirs of Josefa?
2. Who are the heirs of Guillermo?
3. Can the grandnephews and grandnieces inherit by right of representation?
NO
HELD/RATIO:
1. The above-named siblings of Josefa Delgado were related to her by full-blood, except Luis
Delgado, her half-brother. Nonetheless, since they were all illegitimate, they may inherit from
each other. Accordingly, all of them are entitled to inherit from Josefa Delgado. Under Article 1001
of the New Civil Code, should brothers and sisters or their children survive with the widow or
widower, the latter shall be entitled to one-half of the inheritance and the brothers and sisters or
their children to the other one-half.
2. Guillerma Rustia is an illegitimate child of Guillermo Rustia. As such, she may be entitled to
successional rights only upon proof of an admission or recognition of paternity. She failed to
present authentic proof of recognition. Together with Guillermina Rustia Rustia, they were held
legal strangers to the deceased spouses and therefore not entitled to inherit from them ab
intestato.
Under Article 1002 of the new Civil Code, if there are no descendants, ascendants, illegitimate
children, or surviving spouse, the collateral relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of the
deceased. Therefore, the lawful heirs of Guillermo Rustia are the remaining claimants, consisting
of his sisters, nieces and nephews.
Therefore, the intestate estate of Guillermo Rustia shall inherit half of the intestate estate of
Josefa Delgado. The remaining half shall pertain to (a) the full and half-siblings of Josefa
Delgado who survived her and (b) the children of any of Josefa Delgados full- or half-siblings
who may have predeceased her, also surviving at the time of her death. Josefa Delgados
grandnephews and grandnieces are excluded from her estate. The trial court is hereby ordered

to determine the identities of the relatives of Josefa Delgado who are entitled to share in her
estate.
3. NO. However, the petitioners in this case are already the nephews, nieces, grandnephews and
grandnieces of Josefa Delgado. Under Article 972 of the new Civil Code, the right of
representation in the collateral line takes place only in favor of the children of brothers and sisters
(nephews and nieces). Consequently, it cannot be exercised by grandnephews and grandnieces.
Therefore, the only collateral relatives of Josefa Delgado who are entitled to partake of her
intestate estate are her brothers and sisters, or their children who were still alive at the time of her
death on September 8, 1972. They have a vested right to participate in the inheritance. The
records not being clear on this matter, it is now for the trial court to determine who were the
surviving brothers and sisters (or their children) of Josefa Delgado at the time of her death.