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Paula Conde v. Roman Abaya (G.R. No.

4275; March 23, 1909) Facts: Casiano Abaya, unmarried, the son of Romualdo Abaya, died on April 6, 1899. Paula Conde, as the mother of Jose and Teopista Conde claims that Casiano fathered the aforementioned. Paula moved for the settlement of the intestate estate of Casiano. Roman Abaya opposed the appointment of an administrator and claimed it for himself as being the nearest relative of the deceased. Roman moved for the court to declare him to be the sole heir of Casiano Abaya, to the exclusion of all others, especially of Paula. The trial court rendered a decision in favor of Paula and declared her to be the only heir to the property. Roman Abaya appealed directly to the SC. Issue: 1. Whether in special proceedings for the administration and distribution of -an intestate estate, an action might be brought to enforce the acknowledgment of the natural child of the person from whom the inheritance is derived. (Pimentel v. Palanca)

recognized natural children or in connection with their rights. There is not a single exception in its provisions. The right of action pertaining to the child to claim his legitimacy is in all respects superior to that of the child who claims acknowledgment as a natural child. And it is evident that the right of action to claim his legitimacy is not one of those rights which the legitimate child may transmit by inheritance to his heirs; it forms no part of the component rights of his inheritance. If it were so, there would have been no necessity to establish its transmissibility to heirs as an exception in the terms and conditions of article 118 of the code. So that, in order that it may constitute a portion of the childs inheritance, it is necessary that the conditions and the terms contained in article 118 shall be present, since without them, the right that the child held during his lifetime, being personal and exclusive in principle, and therefore, as a general rule not susceptible of transmission, would and should have been extinguished by his death. Therefore, where no express provision like that of article 118 exists, the right of action for the acknowledgment of a natural child is, in principle and without exception, extinguished by his death, and cannot be transmitted as a portion of the inheritance of the deceased child.

**2. whether or not the mother of a natural child now deceased, but who survived the person who, it is claimed, was his natural father, also deceased, may bring an action for the acknowledgment of the natural filiation in favor of such child in order to appear in his behalf to receive the inheritance from the person who is supposed to be his natural father. The power to transmit the right of such action by the natural child to his descendants cannot be sustained under the law, and still less to his mother. It is without any support in law because the rule laid down in the code is most positive, limiting in form, when establishing the exception for the exercise of such right of action after the death of the presumed parents, as is shown hereafter. It is not supported by any doctrine, because up to the present time no argument has been presented, upon which even an approximate conclusion could be based. Although the Civil Code considerably improved the condition of recognized natural children, granting them rights and actions that they did not possess under the former laws, they were not, however, placed upon the same plane as legitimate ones. The difference that separates these two classes of children is still great, as proven by so many articles dealing with the rights of the family and with succession in relation to the members thereof. It may be laid down as a legal maxim, that whatever the code does not grant to the legitimate children, or in connection with their rights, must still less be understood as granted to
Octaviano, Clarence (1932)

Teodoro Caneda v. CA G.R. No. 103554; May 28, 1993 Facts: On December 5, 1978, Mateo Caballero, a widower without any children, executed a last will and testament at his residence in Talisay, Cebu before three attesting witnesses. The testator was duly assisted by his lawyer and a notary public in the preparation of that last will. It was declared therein, among other things, that the testator was leaving by way of legacies and devises his real and personal properties to Presentacion Gaviola, Angel Abatayo, Rogelio Abatayo, Isabelito Abatayo, Benoni G. Cabrera and Marcosa Alcantara, all of whom do not appear to be related to the testator. Four months later, Mateo Caballero himself filed a petition before the CFI of Cebu seeking the probate of his last will and testament. On May 29, 1980, the testator passed away before his petition could finally be heard. On February 25, 1981, Benoni Cabrera, one of the legatees named in the will, sought his appointment as special administrator of the testator's estate, and he was so appointed by the probate court in its order of March 6, 1981. Thereafter, herein petitioners, claiming to be nephews and nieces of the testator, instituted a second petition. Benoni Cabrera died on February 8, 1982 hence the probate court appointed William Cabrera as special administrator. In the course of the hearing, herein petitioners appeared as oppositors and objected to the allowance of the testator's will on the ground that on the alleged date of its execution, the testator was already in the poor state of health such that he could not have possibly executed the same. Petitioners likewise reiterated the issue as to the genuineness of the signature of the testator therein. The probate court rendered a decision declaring the will in question as the last will and testament of the late Mateo Caballero. Petitioners elevated the case in the Court of Appeals. The appellate court promulgated its decision affirming that of the trial court. Issue: Validity of the attestation clause in the last will and testament. Ruling: Refer to Article 805. An examination of the last will and testament of Mateo Caballero shows that it is comprised of three sheets all of which have been numbered correlatively, with the left margin of each page thereof bearing the respective signatures of the testator and the three attesting witnesses. The part of the will containing the testamentary dispositions is expressed in the Cebuano-Visayan dialect and is signed at the foot thereof by the testator.

The attestation clause in question, on the other hand, is recited in the English language and is likewise signed at the end thereof by the three attesting witnesses hereto. While it may be true that the attestation clause is indeed subscribed at the end thereof and at the left margin of each page by the three attesting witnesses, it certainly cannot be conclusively inferred therefrom that the said witness affixed their respective signatures in the presence of the testator and of each other since, as petitioners correctly observed, the presence of said signatures only establishes the fact that it was indeed signed, but it does not prove that the attesting witnesses did subscribe to the will in the presence of the testator and of each other. The execution of a will is supposed to be one act so that where the testator and the witnesses sign on various days or occasions and in various combinations, the will cannot be stamped with the imprimatur of effectivity. We stress once more that under Article 809, the defects and imperfections must only be with respect to the form of the attestation or the language employed therein. Such defects or imperfections would not render a will invalid should it be proved that the will was really executed and attested in compliance with Article 805. In this regard, however, the manner of proving the due execution and attestation has been held to be limited to merely an examination of the will itself without resorting to evidence aliunde, whether oral or written.

The foregoing considerations do not apply where the attestation clause totally omits the fact that the attesting witnesses signed each and every page of the will in the presence of the testator and of each other. 35 In such a situation, the defect is not only in the form or language of the attestation clause but the total absence of a specific element required by Article 805 to be specifically stated in the attestation clause of a will. That is precisely the defect complained of in the present case since there is no plausible way by which we can read into the questioned attestation clause statement, or an implication thereof, that the attesting witness did actually bear witness to the signing by the testator of the will and all of its pages and that said instrumental witnesses also signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another.

Octaviano, Clarence (1932)

Cornelio Pamplona v. Vivencio Moreto G.R. No. L-331187; March 31, 1980 Facts: Flaviano Moreto and Monica Maniega were husband and wife. During their marriage, they acquired adjacent lots nos. 1495, 4545, and 1496. More than six years after the death of Monica, Flaviano, without the consent of the heirs of his wife, and before any liquidation of the conjugal partnership, executed in favor of Geminiano Pamplona, a deed of absolute sale covering lot 1495 (781 sqm). After the execution of the deed, Geminiano and his wife constructed their house on the eastern part of the lot. The son of the spouses also built his house within the lot. From 1956 to 1960, the spouses enlarged their house and even constructed a piggery. In 1956, Flaviano died intestate. In 1961, the plaintiffs demanded on the defendants to vacate the premises. The spouses refused tp vacate. A suit was filed for the declaration of the nullity of the deed of sale. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs. The CA affirmed the judgment.

Since Flaviano Moreto was entitled to one-half pro-indiviso of the entire land area or 1,173 sq. meters as his share, he had a perfect legal and lawful right to dispose of 781 sq. meters of his share to the Pamplona spouses. Indeed, there was still a remainder of some 392 sq. meters belonging to him at the time of the sale. We reject respondent Court's ruling that the sale was valid as to one-half and invalid as to the other half for the very simple reason that Flaviano Moreto, the vendor, had the legal right to more than 781 sq. meters of the communal estate, a title which he could dispose, alienate in favor of the vendees-petitioners. The title may be pro-indiviso or inchoate but the moment the co-owner as vendor pointed out its location and even indicated the boundaries over which the fences were to be erected without objection, protest or complaint by the other co-owners, on the contrary they acquiesced and tolerated such alienation, occupation and possession, We rule that a factual partition or termination of the co-ownership, although partial, was created, and barred not only the vendor, Flaviano Moreto, but also his heirs, the private respondents herein from asserting as against the vendees-petitioners any right or title in derogation of the deed of sale executed by said vendor Flaiano Moreto.

Issue: WON the pets are entitled to the full ownership of the property.

Under Article 776, New Civil Code, the inheritance which private respondents received from their deceased parents and/or predecessors-in-interest included all the property rights and obligations which were not extinguished by their parents' death. And under Art.

Ruling: Yes naman teh. At the time of the sale in 1952, the conjugal partnership was already dissolved six years before and therefore, the estate became a co-ownership between Flaviano Moreto, the surviving husband, and the heirs of his deceased wife, Monica Maniega. Article 493 of the New Civil Code is applicable and it provides a follows: Art. 493. Each co-owner shall have the full ownership of his part and of the fruits and benefits pertaining thereto, and he may therefore alienate, assign or mortgage it, and even substitute another person in its enjoyment, except when personal rights are involve. But the effect of the alienation or the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners, shall be limited to the portion which may be allotted to him in the division upon the termination of the coownership. We agree with the petitioner that there was a partial partition of the co-ownership when at the time of the sale Flaviano Moreto pointed out the area and location of the 781 sq. meters sold by him to the petitioners-vendees on which the latter built their house and also that whereon Rafael, the son of petitioners likewise erected his house and an adjacent coral for piggery.
Octaviano, Clarence (1932)

1311, paragraph 1, New Civil Code, the contract of sale executed by the deceased Flaviano Moreto took effect between the parties, their assigns and heirs, who are the private respondents herein. Accordingly, to the private respondents is transmitted the obligation to deliver in full ownership the whole area of 781 sq. meters to the petitioners (which was the original obligation of their predecessor Flaviano Moreto) and not only one-half thereof. Private respondents must comply with said obligation.

Teopista Dolar v. Fidel Diancin G.R. No. L-33365; December 20, 1930 Facts: A will was allegedly executed by Paulino Diancin on November 13, 1927. A thumbmark appears at the end of the will and on the left hand margin of each of its pages. The will was detailed in nature and disposed of an estate amounting to 50K. A document of sale containing an admittedly genuine thumbmark of Paulino was presented. Photographs of the thumbmark were also offered in evidence. Carlos Jaena, attempted to qualify as an 'expert,' and thereafter gave his opinion that the thumbmarks had not been made by the same person. Jose Villanueva likewise attempted to qualify that the thumbmarks were authentic. Issue: 1. Fingerprints 2. Proof? Ruling: 1. Yes Admissible. The requirement of the statute that the will shall be "signed" is satisfied not only the customary written signature but also by the testator's or testatrix' thumbmark .Expert testimony as to the identity of thumbmarks or fingerprints is of course admissible. The method of identification of fingerprints is a science requiring close study .Where thumb impressions are blurred and many of the characteristic marks far from clear, thus rendering it difficult to trace the features enumerated by experts as showing the identity or lack of identity of the impressions, the court is justified in refusing to accept the opinions of alleged experts and in substituting its own opinion that a distinct similarity in some respects between the admittedly genuine thumbmark and the questioned thumbmarks, is evident. 2. Testimonies of witnesses. -Yap Tua v. Yap Ca Kuan; G.R. No. 6845; September 1, 1914 Facts: Yap Tua presented a petition in the CFI of Manila, asking the will of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong be admitted to probate. Two witnesses were presented. After hearing the witnesses, Judge Crossfield ordered that the last will and testament be allowed and admitted to probate. The court further ordered that Yap Tua be appointed as executor. Yap Ca Kuan and Yap Ca Lu appeared and presented a petition, alleging that they were interested in the matters of the said will and desired to intervene. The court appointed
Octaviano, Clarence (1932)

Gabriel Lao as guardian ad litem of said parties. The pets alleged that the will had not been authorized nor signed by the witnesses as the law prescribes; that the testator was not mentally capacitated to execute the will; that the signature was obtained through fraud and illegal influence. They also claimed that the testator executed another will. The pets requested the court to annul and set aside the order, and to grant to said minors an opportunity to present new proof relating to the due execution of the will. The Judge granted the motion for rehearing. At the rehearing, a number of witnesses were examined. At the close of the rehearing, the court reached the conclusion that the will was the last will and testament of Tomasa and admitted it to probate. Issue: 1. WON the will was duly executed in accordance with law. 2. In the presence? Ruling: 1. Yes. . Several witnesses testified that they saw her write the name "Tomasa." One of the witnesses testified that she had written her full name. We are of the opinion, and we think the law sustains our conclusion, that if Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong signed any portion of her name in the will, with the intention to sign the same, that it will amount to a signature. It has been held time and time again that one who makes a will may sign the same by using a mark, the name having been written by others. If writing a mark simply upon a will is sufficient indication of the intention of the person to make and execute a will, then certainly the writing of a portion or all of her name ought to be accepted as a clear indication of her intention to execute the will. 2. Yes. An effort was made to show that the will was signed by the witnesses in one room and by Tomasa in another. A plan of the room or rooms in which the will was signed was presented as proof and it was shown that there was but one room; that one part of the room was one or two steps below the floor of the other; that the table on which the witnesses signed the will was located upon the lower floor of the room. It was also shown that from the bed in which Tomasa was lying, it was possible for her to see the table on which the witnesses signed the will. While the rule is absolute that one who makes a will must sign the same in the presence of the witnesses and that the witnesses must sign in the presence of each other, as well as in the presence of the one making the will, yet, nevertheless, the actual seeing of the signatures made is not necessary. It is sufficient if the signatures are made where it is possible for each of the necessary parties, if they desire to see, may see the signatures placed upon the will.

RIGHT MARGIN Eutiquia Avera v. Marino Garcia G.R. No. 15566; September 14, 1921 Facts: Avera filed a petition for the probate of the will of one Esteban Garcia. The petition was contested by Marino Garcia and Juan Rodriguez, the latter in the capacity of guardian for minors Jose and Cesar Garcia. The proponent of the will presented three attesting witnesses. The witness was corroborated by the person who wrote the will at the request of the testator. The opposition introduced a single witness who testified that at the time the will was made, the testator was so debilitated as to unable to comprehend what he was about. The trial court admitted the will to probate.

It appears, however, that this point was not raised by the appellant in the lower court either upon the submission of the cause for determination in that court or upon the occasion of the filing of the motion for a new trial. Accordingly it is insisted for the appellee that this question cannot now be raised for the first time in this court. We believe this point is well taken, and the first assignment of error must be declared not be well taken. 2. It is true that the statute says that the testator and the instrumental witnesses shall sign their names on the left margin of each and every page; and it is undeniable that the general doctrine is to the effect that all statutory requirements as to the execution of wills must be fully complied with. The same doctrine is also deducible from cases heretofore decided by this court. Still some details at times creep into legislative enactments which are so trivial it would be absurd to suppose that the Legislature could have attached any decisive importance to

Issues: 1. WON a will can be admitted to probate, where opposition is made, upon proof of a single attesting witness, without producing or accounting for the absence of the other two. 2. WON the will in question is rendered invalid by reason that the signature of the testator and of the three attesting witnesses are written on hte right margin of each page of the will instead of the left.

them. The provision to the effect that the signatures of the testator and witnesses shall be written on the left margin of each page rather than on the right margin seems to be this character. So far as concerns the authentication of the will, and of every part thereof, it can make no possible difference whether the names appear on the left or no the right margin, provided they are on one or the other. The instrument now before us contains the necessary signatures on every page, and the only point of deviation from the requirement of the statute is that these signatures appear

Ruling: 1. No. However, the probable reason why only one witness was produced is found in the fact that, although the petition for the probate of this will had been pending from December 21, 1917, until the date set for the hearing, which was April 5, 1919, no formal contest was entered until the very day set for the hearing; and it is probable that the attorney for the proponent, believing in good faith the probate would not be contested, repaired to the court with only one of the three attesting witnesses at hand, and upon finding that the will was contested, incautiously permitted the case to go to proof without asking for a postponement of the trial in order that he might produce all the attesting witnesses. Although this circumstance may explain why the three witnesses were not produced, it does not in itself supply any basis for changing the rule expounded in the case above referred to; and were it not for a fact now to be mentioned, this court would probably be compelled to reverse this case on the ground that the execution of the will had not been proved by a sufficient number of attesting witnesses.

in the right margin instead of the left. By the mode of signing adopted every page and provision of the will is authenticated and guarded from possible alteration in exactly the same degree that it would have been protected by being signed in the left margin; and the resources of casuistry could be exhausted without discovering the slightest difference between the consequences of affixing the signatures in one margin or the other.

Octaviano, Clarence (1932)

Nayve v. Mojal G.R. No. L-21755; December 29, 1924 Facts: Filomena Nayve filed a petition for the probate of the will of his late husband, Antonio Mojal. The petition was opposed by Leona Mojal and Luciana Aguilar, sister and niece, of the deacesed. The CFI of Albay admitted the will to probate. The will is composed of four sheets with written matter on only one side of each. The four sides or pages containing written matter are paged "Pag. 1," "Pag. 2," "Pag. 3," "Pag. 4," successively. Each of the first two sides or pages, which was issued, was signed by the testator and the three witnesses on the margin, left side of the reader. On the third page actually used, the signatures of the three witnesses appear also on the margin, left side of the reader, but the signature of the testator is not on the margin, but about the middle of the page, at the end of the will and before the attestation clause. On the fourth page, the signatures of the witnesses do not appear on the margin, but at the bottom of the attestation clause, it being the signature of the testator that is on the margin, left side of the reader. Ruling: 1. Signed in middle - Yes. As to the signatures on the margin, it is true, as above stated, that the third page actually used was signed by the testator, not on the left margin, as it was by the witnesses, but about the middle of the page and the end of the will; and that the fourth page was signed by the witnesses, not on the left margin, as it was by the testator, but about the middle of the page and at the end of the attestation clause. The document contained the necessary signatures on each page, whereby each page of the will was authenticated and safeguarded against any possible alteration. In that case, the validity of the will was sustained, and consequently it was allowed to probate. Applying that doctrine of Avera the instant case, we hold that, as each and every page used of the will bears the signatures of the testator and the witnesses, the fact that said signatures do not all appear on the left margin of each page does not detract from the validity of the will. 2. Numbers not letters - Yes. Still within the spirit of the law.; 3. Attestation clause did not state # of pages - last paragraph of the will stated number of pages so the will is still valid. 4. Signed in the presence of each other - Yes. in the attestation clause above set out it is said that the testator signed the will "in the presence of each of the witnesses" and the latter signed "in the presence of each other and of the testator." So that, as to whether the testator and the attesting witnesses saw each other sign the will, such a requirement was clearly and sufficiently complied with. What is not stated in this clause is whether the testator and the witnesses signed all the sheets of the will.
Octaviano, Clarence (1932)

Testate Estate of Alipio Abada v. Abaja; G.R. No. 147145; January 31, 2005 Abada and his wife died without legitimate children. Alipio Abaja filed with the CFI of Negros Occidental a petitition for the probate of the will of Abada. The latter allegedly named his children as his testamentary heirs. Eulogio is the son of Abada's child. Nicanor Caponong opposed the petition. The alleged intestate heirs of Abaja also filed their oppositions. The oppositors are the nephews, nieces and grandchildren of Abada and Toray. Alipio filed another peition before the RTC of Kabankalan for hte probate of the will. Caponong filed a petition, praying for the issuance in his name of letters of administration. The RTC of Kabankalan admitted the probate of the will. MR was denied. During the proceedings, the presiding judge discovered that the former presiding judge had already submitted the case for decision. Will was allowed for probate. The RTC-Kabankalan ruled on the only issue raised by the oppositors in their motions to dismiss the petition for probate, that is, whether the will of Abada has an attestation clause as required by law. The CA affirmed the resolution of the trial court. Ruling: ATTESTATION CLAUSE 1. Caponong-Noble alleges that the attestation clause fails to state the number of pages on which the will is written and that the attestation clause fails to state expressly that the testator signed the will and its every page in the presence of three witnessesThe first sentence of the attestation clause reads: "Subscribed and professed by the testator Alipio Abada as his last will and testament in our presence, the testator having also signed it in our presence on the left margin of each and every one of the pages of the same." The attestation clause clearly states that Abada signed the will and its every page in the presence of the witnesses. Caponong-Noble is correct in saying that the attestation clause does not indicate the number of witnesses. On this point, the Court agrees with the appellate court in applying the rule on substantial compliance. While the attestation clause does not state the number of witnesses, a close inspection of the will shows that three witnesses signed it. EVIDENCE ALIUNDE 2. No. The question on the number of the witnesses is answered by an examination of the will itself and without the need for presentation of evidence aliunde. They do not allow evidence aliunde to fill a void in any part of the document or supply missing details that should appear in the will itself. They only permit a probe into the will, an exploration within its confines, to ascertain its meaning or to determine the existence or absence of the requisite formalities of law.

Teodoro Caneda v. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 103554; May 28, 1993 Facts: Mateo Caballero, a widower without any children, executed a will beofre three witnesses. It was declared that the testator was leaving his property to Gaviola, Abatayos, Cabrera and Alcantara, all of whom do not appear to be related to the testator. MAteo Caballero himself filed a petition seeking the probate of his will. The testator passed away before his petition could finally be heard. Cabrera, one of hte legatees named in the will sought his appointment as administrator of the estate. Thereafter, petitioners, claiming to be nephews and nieces of the testator, instituted a second petition for intestate proceedings. Cabrera died, hence the court appointed William(son) as the administrator. Pets opposed the allowance of the testator's will. Pets also raised the issue as to genuineness of the signature of hte testator. One of the attesting witnesses and the notary public testified that the will was duly executed and that the testator was of sound and disposing mind. The trial court allowed the probate of the will. The CA affirmed the decision of the trial court. MR denied

subscribed their respective signatures to the will in the presence of the testator and of each other. -->It is our considered view that the absence of that statement required by law is a fatal defect or imperfection which must necessarily result in the disallowance of the will that is here sought to be admitted to probate. Petitioners are correct in pointing out that the aforestated defect in the attestation clause obviously cannot be characterized as merely involving the form of the will or the language used therein which would warrant the application of the substantial compliance rule. READ ART. 809. While it may be true that the attestation clause is indeed subscribed at the end thereof and at the left margin of each page by the three attesting witnesses, it certainly cannot be conclusively inferred therefrom that the said witness affixed their respective signatures in the presence of the testator and of each other since, as petitioners correctly observed, the presence of said signatures only establishes the fact that it was indeed signed, but it does not prove that the attesting witnesses did subscribe to the will in the presence of the testator and of each other.

Ruling: An examination of the last will and testament of Mateo Caballero shows that it is comprised of three sheets all of which have been numbered correlatively, with the left margin of each page thereof bearing the respective signatures of the testator and the three attesting witnesses. The part of the will containing the testamentary dispositions is expressed in the Cebuano-Visayan dialect and is signed at the foot thereof by the testator. The attestation clause in question, on the other hand, is recited in the English language and is likewise signed at the end thereof by the three attesting witnesses hereto. It is contended by petitioners that the aforequoted attestation clause, in contravention of the express requirements of the third paragraph of Article 805 of the Civil Code for attestation clauses, fails to specifically state the fact that the attesting witnesses the testator sign the will and all its pages in their presence and that they, the witnesses, likewise signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of each other. We agree. What is fairly apparent upon a careful reading of the attestation clause herein assailed is the fact that while it recites that the testator indeed signed the will and all its pages in the presence of the three attesting witnesses and states as well the number of pages that were used, the same does not expressly state therein the circumstance that said witnesses
Octaviano, Clarence (1932)

Eugenia Codoy v. Evangeline Calugay Calugay, Salcedo and Patigas, devisees and legatees of the holo will of the deceased Matilde Seno filed with the RTC of Misamis Oriental, a petition for probate of the holo will of the deceased.Codoy and Ramonal filed an opposition ot the petition for probate, alleging that the holographic will was a forgery. Petitioners argued that the repeated dates incorporated or appearing on will after every disposition is out of the ordinary. If the deceased was the one who executed the will, and was not forced, the dates and the signature should appear at the bottom after the dispositions, as regularly done and not after every disposition. Pets filed a demurrer. The TC granted the demurrer. The CA reversed the TCs decision. Issues: WON the provisions of Article 811 are permissive or mandatory. Ruling: Yes. The word "shall" connotes a mandatory order. We have ruled that "shall" in a statute commonly denote an imperative obligation and is inconsistent with the idea of discretion and that the presumption is that the word "shall," when used in a statute is mandatory. We cannot eliminate the possibility of a false document being adjudged as the will of the testator, which is why if the holographic will is contested, that law requires three witnesses to declare that the will was in the handwriting of the deceased. The will was found not in the personal belongings of the deceased but with one of the respondents, who kept it even before the death of the deceased. There was no opportunity for an expert to compare the signature and the handwriting of the deceased with other documents signed and executed by her during her lifetime. The only chance at comparison was during the cross-examination of Ms. Binanay when the lawyer of petitioners asked Ms. Binanay to compare the documents which contained the signature of the deceased with that of the holographic will and she is not a handwriting expert. Even the former lawyer of the deceased expressed doubts as to the authenticity of the signature in the holographic will. A visual examination of the holographic will convince us that the strokes are different when compared with other documents written by the testator. The signature of the testator in some of the disposition is not readable. There were uneven strokes, retracing and erasures on the will. Comparing the signature in the holographic will and the signatures in several documents such as the application letter for pasture permit and a letter the strokes are different. In the letters, there are continuous flows of the strokes, evidencing that there is no hesitation in writing unlike that of the holographic will. We, therefore, cannot be certain that ruling holographic will was in the handwriting by the deceased.
Octaviano, Clarence (1932)

Spouses Ajero v. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 106720; September 15, 1994 Facts: The testator named as devisees petitioners Ajero, private respondents Sands and Arong. Petitioners instituted a petition for the allowance of the will. PRs opposed the petition on the grounds that neither the testament's body nor the signature therein was in decedent's handwriting; it contained alterations and corrections which were not duly signed by decedent; and, the will was procured by petitioners through improper pressure and undue influence. The TC allowed the probate of the will. The CA reversed the decision. It held that the decedent did not comply with Articles 813 and 814 of the New Civil Code.

Ruling: 839 enumeration is exclusive. These lists are exclusive; no other grounds can serve to disallow a will. 5 Thus, in a petition to admit a holographic will to probate, the only issues to be resolved are: (1) whether the instrument submitted is, indeed, the decedent's last will and testament; (2) whether said will was executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law; (3) whether the decedent had the necessary testamentary capacity at the time the will was executed; and, (4) whether the execution of the will and its signing were the voluntary acts of the decedent. In the case at bench, respondent court held that the holographic will of Anne Sand was not executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. It held that Articles 813 and 814 of the New Civil Code, ante, were not complied with, hence, it disallowed the probate of said will. This is erroneous. A reading of Article 813 of the New Civil Code shows that its requirement affects the validity of the dispositions contained in the holographic will, but not its probate. If the testator fails to sign and date some of the dispositions, the result is that these dispositions cannot be effectuated. Such failure, however, does not render the whole testament void. Likewise, a holographic will can still be admitted to probate, notwithstanding non-compliance with the provisions of Article 814. Thus, unless the unauthenticated alterations, cancellations or insertions were made on the date of the holographic will or on testator's signature, 9 their presence does not invalidate the will itself. 10 The lack of authentication will only result in disallowance of such changes. It is also proper to note that the requirements of authentication of changes and signing and dating of dispositions appear in provisions (Articles 813 and 814) separate from that which provides for the necessary conditions for the validity of the holographic will (Article 810).

Federico Azaola v. Cesario Singson G.R. No. L-14003; August 5, 1960 Facts: When Fortunata Vda de Yance died, Francisco Azaola filed a petition for the probate of the former's will, whereby Maria Milgaros Azaola was made the sole heir as against the nephew of the deceased Cesario Singson. Francisco witnessed that one mointh before the death of the testator, the same was handed to him and his wife. The opposition to the probate was on the ground that (1) the execution of the will was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of the petitioner and his wife, and (2) that the testatrix did not seriously intend the instrument to be her last will, and that the same was actually written either on the 5th or 6th day of August 1957 and not on November 20, 1956 as appears on the will. The probate was denied on the ground that under Article 811 of the Civil Code, the proponent must present three witnesses who could declare that the will and the signature are in the writing of the testatrix, the probate being contested. Issues: 1. WON the proponent was bound to produce more than one witness. 2. WON 811 is mandatory Ruling: 1. No. Since the authenticity of the will was not being contested.but even if the genuineness of the holographic will were contested, we are of the opinion that Article 811 of our present Civil Code cannot be interpreted as to require the compulsory presentation of three witnesses to identify the handwriting of the testator, under penalty of having the probate denied. Since no witness may have been present at the execution of a holographic will, none being required by law (Art. 810, new Civil Code), it becomes obvious that the existence of witness possessing the requisite qualifications is a matter beyond the control of the proponent. It may be true that the rule of this article (requiring that three witnesses be presented if the will is contested and only one if no contest is had) was derived from the rule established for ordinary testaments. But it can not be ignored that the requirement can be considered mandatory only in the case of ordinary testaments, precisely because the presence of at least three witnesses at the execution of ordinary wills is made by law essential to their validity (Art. 805). Where the will is holographic, no witness need be present (Art. 10), and the rule requiring production of three witnesses must be deemed merely permissive if absurd results are to be avoided.
Octaviano, Clarence (1932)

Again, under Article 811, the resort to expert evidence is conditioned by the words "if the Court deem it necessary", which reveal that what the law deems essential is that the Court should be convinced of the will's authenticity. Where the prescribed number of witnesses is produced and the court is convinced by their testimony that the ill is genuine, it may consider it unnecessary to call for expert evidence. On the other hand, if no competent witness is available, or none of those produced is convincing, the Court may still, and in fact it should, resort to handwriting experts. The duty of the Court, in fine, is to exhaust all available lines of inquiry, for the state is as much interested as the proponent that the true intention of the testator be carried into effect.

2. the rule of the first paragraph of Article 811 of the Civil Code is merely directory and is not mandatory. Considering, however, that this is the first occasion in which this Court has been called upon to construe the import of said article, the interest of justice would be better served, in our opinion, by giving the parties ample opportunity to adduce additional evidence, including expert witnesses, should the Court deem them necessary.

Natividad Nazareno v. Court of Appeals; G.R. No. 131641; February 23, 2000 Natividad is the sole and absolute owner of a land located in Naic, Cavite. She contends that her brother Romeo and his wife convinced her to lend them the TCT of the lot to be used as a collateral for a loan(for the construction of a cinema). Natividad agreed on the condition that the property would be returned within one year from the completion of the cinema. Thus, Natividad executed a DOS. The cinema was completed but the spouses refused to return the title, instead, they had the property transferred to their name. The spouses averred that the property did not belong to Natividad and that it formed part of the estate of the late Maximo Nazareno. According to Romeo, the property was his share in their inheritance. The trial court ruled in favor of the spouses. But the CA ruled otherwise. Hence, the RD was ordered to restore the TCT in favor of Natividad. Natividad filed a Manifestation and Motion with the RTC praying for the issuance of a writ of execution as well as a writ of possession. The spouses opposed the motion on the ground that Natividad never prayed that she be placed in possession of the subject premises. Neither did the CA order the pet to be placed in possession of the property. The TC granted the writ prayed for but denied the issuance of a writ of possession. MR denied. Ruling: No. Lot 504-A-3 covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 51798 was owned by the appellant in her own right as vendee and not appellee's share in the estate of their deceased father.The Court of Appeals categorically declared that the claim of spouses Romeo and Eliza over the disputed lot has utterly no factual basis. Therefore, they have no reason to remain in possession of the property. But the same could not be said of the Naic Cinema. The matter of ownership and possession of the Naic Cinema was never put in issue. Consequently, petitioner cannot ask for a writ of possession to place her in physical occupancy of the Naic Cinema. Being declared owner of subject lot does not also mean that she is automatically entitled to possession of all the improvements therein. Otherwise, the actual possessor would be deprived of his property without due process of law. Pet cannot validly claim possession over the Naic Cinema since in her complaint and subsequent pleadings, she has admitted not being the owner thereof. On the contrary, she claims that the Naic Cinema belongs to the estate of her father. On the other hand, respondent spouses have asserted dominion over the Naic Cinema. Plainly, petitioner cannot wrest possession of the moviehouse from respondent spouses through a mere writ of possession as she herself even disclaims being the owner thereof. Ownership over the Naic Cinema must be threshed out in a proper proceeding. A mere prayer for the issuance of a writ of possession will not suffice.
Octaviano, Clarence (1932)

DATE-LOCATION Labrador v. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 83843-44; April 5, 1990 Facts: Melecio Labrador left behind a parcel of land. He executed a holo will. His son Sagrado filed a petition for the probate of hte alleged holo will of Melecio. Jesus and Gaudencio(also sons) filed an opposition to the petition on the gound that the will has been extinguished or revoked by implication of law, alleging that before Melecio's death, testator executed a DOS, transferring and conveying in favor or oppositors the subject parcel of land. Jesus sold hte land to Navat. Sagrado filed for the annulment of the sale. The court allowed the probate of the will and declaring null and void the DOS.The CA modified the judgment by denying the allowance of the probate of the will for being undated. Issue: WON the will of Melecio Labrador is dated, in accordance with Art. 810 of the NCC. Ruling: Yes. The petition, which principally alleges that the holographic will is really dated, although the date is not in its usual place, is impressed with merit.The will has been dated in the hand of the testator himself in perfect compliance with Article 810. The law does not specify a particular location where the date should be placed in the will. The only requirements are that the date be in the will itself and executed in the hand of the testator. /Respondents claim that the date 17 March 1968 in the will was when the testator and his beneficiaries entered into an agreement among themselves about "the partitioning and assigning the respective assignments of the said fishpond," and was not the date of execution of the holographic will; hence, the will is more of an "agreement" between the testator and the beneficiaries thereof to the prejudice of other compulsory heirs like the respondents. This was thus a failure to comply with Article 783 which defines a will as "an act whereby a person is permitted, with the formalities prescribed by law, to control to a certain degree the disposition of his estate, to take effect after his death." Respondents are in error. The intention to show 17 March 1968 as the date of the execution of the will is plain from the tenor of the succeeding words of the paragraph. As aptly put by petitioner, the will was not an agreement but a unilateral act of Melecio Labrador who plainly knew that what he was executing was a will. The act of partitioning and the declaration that such partitioning as the testator's instruction or decision to be followed reveal that Melecio Labrador was fully aware of the nature of the estate property to be disposed of and of the character of the testamentary act as a means to control the disposition of his estate.

Paz Samaniego-Celada v. Lucia Abena G.R. No. 145545, June 30, 2008 Facts: Paz Samaniego-Celada was the first cousin of decedent Margarita S. Mayores (Margarita) while respondent was the decedent's lifelong companion since 1929.Margarita died single and without any ascending nor descending heirs as her parents, grandparents and siblings predeceased her. She was survived by her first cousins Catalina Samaniego-Bombay, Manuelita Samaniego Sajonia, Feliza Samaniego, and petitioner. Margarita executed a will where she bequeathed one-half of her undivided share of a real property to respondent, Isabelo Abena and Amanda Abena. Margarita also left all her personal properties to respondent. Pet filed a petition for letters of administration of the estate. Respondent filed a pet for probate of the will. The RTC rendered a decision declareing the will of Margarita probated and respondent as the sole executor of the will. CA affirmed the RTC ruling.

consonance with the "doctrine of liberal interpretation" enunciated in Article 809 of the Civil Code. The court also rejects the contention of the oppositors that the signatures of the testator were affixed on different occasions based on their observation that the signature on the first page is allegedly different in size, texture and appearance as compared with the signatures in the succeeding pages. After examination of the signatures, the court does not share the same observation as the oppositors. The picture presented as evidence shows that the testator was affixing her signature in the presence of the instrumental witnesses and the notary. There is no evidence to show that the first signature was procured earlier than February 2, 1987.

2. Petitioner and her siblings are not compulsory heirs of the decedent under Article 887[15] of the Civil Code and as the decedent validly disposed of her properties in a will duly executed and probated, petitioner has no legal right to claim any part of the decedent's estate.

Issues: (1) whether the Court of Appeals erred in not declaring the will invalid for failure to comply with the formalities required by law (3) whether it erred in not declaring petitioner and her siblings as the legal heirs of Margarita, and in not issuing letters of administration to petitioner.

Ruling: --> Issues raised by petitioner concern pure questions of fact, which may not be the subject of a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. 1. Anent the contestants' submission that the will is fatally defective for the reason that its attestation clause states that the will is composed of three (3) pages while in truth and in fact, the will consists of two (2) pages only because the attestation is not a part of the notarial will, the same is not accurate. While it is true that the attestation clause is not a part of the will, the court, after examining the totality of the will, is of the considered opinion that error in the number of pages of the will as stated in the attestation clause is not material to invalidate the subject will. It must be noted that the subject instrument is consecutively lettered with pages A, B, and C which is a sufficient safeguard from the possibility of an omission of some of the pages. The error must have been brought about by the honest belief that the will is the whole instrument consisting of three (3) pages inclusive of the attestation clause and the acknowledgement. The position of the court is in
Octaviano, Clarence (1932)