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G.R. No.

L-7188

August 9, 1954

In re: Will and Testa ent o! t"e de#eased R$%$R$N& 'AN()* A+A&IA. '$%$RINA A. %&A. &$ $NRI,-$., $T AL., petitioners-appellees, vs. /IG-$L A+A&IA, $T AL., oppositors-appellants. Manuel A. Zosa, Luis B. Ladonga, Mariano A. Zosa and B. G. Advincula for appellants. C. de la Victoria for appellees. /*NT$/A0*R, J.: On September 6, 1923, Father Sancho Abadia, parish priest of Talisa , !eb", e#ec"ted a doc"ment p"rportin$ to be his %ast &ill and Testament no' mar(ed )#hibit *A*. +esident of the !it of !eb", he died on ,an"ar 1-, 19-3, in the m"nicipalit of Alo$"insan, !eb", 'here he 'as an evac"ee. .e left properties estimated at /0,111 in val"e. On October 2, 19-6, one Andres )nri2"e3, one of the le$atees in )#hibit *A*, filed a petition for its probate in the !o"rt of First 4nstance of !eb". Some co"sins and nephe's 'ho 'o"ld inherit the estate of the deceased if he left no 'ill, filed opposition. 5"rin$ the hearin$ one of the attestin$ 'itnesses, the other t'o bein$ dead, testified 'itho"t contradiction that in his presence and in the presence of his co-'itnesses, Father Sancho 'rote o"t in lon$hand )#hibit *A* in Spanish 'hich the testator spo(e and "nderstood6 that he 7testator8 si$ned on he left hand mar$in of the front pa$e of each of the three folios or sheets of 'hich the doc"ment is composed, and n"mbered the same 'ith Arabic n"merals, and finall si$ned his name at the end of his 'ritin$ at the last pa$e, all this, in the presence of the three attestin$ 'itnesses after tellin$ that it 'as his last 'ill and that the said three 'itnesses si$ned their names on the last pa$e after the attestation cla"se in his presence and in the presence of each other. The oppositors did not s"bmit an evidence. The learned trial co"rt fo"nd and declared )#hibit *A* to be a

holo$raphic 'ill6 that it 'as in the hand'ritin$ of the testator and that altho"$h at the time it 'as e#ec"ted and at the time of the testator9s death, holo$raphic 'ills 'ere not permitted b la' still, beca"se at the time of the hearin$ and 'hen the case 'as to be decided the ne' !ivil !ode 'as alread in force, 'hich !ode permitted the e#ec"tion of holo$raphic 'ills, "nder a liberal vie', and to carr o"t the intention of the testator 'hich accordin$ to the trial co"rt is the controllin$ factor and ma override an defect in form, said trial co"rt b order dated ,an"ar 2-, 19:2, admitted to probate )#hibit *A*, as the %ast &ill and Testament of Father Sancho Abadia. The oppositors are appealin$ from that decision6 and beca"se onl 2"estions of la' are involved in the appeal, the case 'as certified to "s b the !o"rt of Appeals. The ne' !ivil !ode 7+ep"blic Act ;o. 3068 "nder article 011 thereof provides that a person ma e#ec"te a holo$raphic 'ill 'hich m"st be entirel 'ritten, dated and si$ned b the testator himself and need not be 'itnessed. 4t is a fact, ho'ever, that at the time that )#hibit *A* 'as e#ec"ted in 1923 and at the time that Father Abadia died in 19-3, holo$raphic 'ills 'ere not permitted, and the la' at the time imposed certain re2"irements for the e#ec"tion of 'ills, s"ch as n"mberin$ correlativel each pa$e 7not folio or sheet8 in letters and si$nin$ on the left hand mar$in b the testator and b the three attestin$ 'itnesses, re2"irements 'hich 'ere not complied 'ith in )#hibit *A* beca"se the bac( pa$es of the first t'o folios of the 'ill 'ere not si$ned b an one, not even b the testator and 'ere not n"mbered, and as to the three front pa$es, the 'ere si$ned onl b the testator. 4nterpretin$ and appl in$ this re2"irement this !o"rt in the case of 4n re )state of Sa$"insin, -1 /hil., 0<:, 0<9, referrin$ to the fail"re of the testator and his 'itnesses to si$n on the left hand mar$in of ever pa$e, said= . . . . This defect is radical and totall vitiates the testament. 4t is not eno"$h that the si$nat"res $"aranteein$ a"thenticit sho"ld appear "pon t'o folios or leaves6 three pa$es havin$ been 'ritten on, the a"thenticit of all three of them sho"ld be $"aranteed b the si$nat"re of the alle$ed testatri# and her 'itnesses.

And in the case of Aspe vs. Prieto, -6 /hil., <11, referrin$ to the same re2"irement, this !o"rt declared= From an e#amination of the doc"ment in 2"estion, it appears that the left mar$ins of the si# pa$es of the doc"ment are si$ned onl b >ent"ra /rieto. The noncompliance 'ith section 2 of Act ;o. 26-: b the attestin$ 'itnesses 'ho omitted to si$n 'ith the testator at the left mar$in of each of the five pa$es of the doc"ment alle$ed to be the 'ill of >ent"ra /rieto, is a fatal defect that constit"tes an obstacle to its probate. &hat is the la' to appl to the probate of )#h. *A*? @a 'e appl the provisions of the ne' !ivil !ode 'hich not allo's holo$raphic 'ills, li(e )#hibit *A* 'hich provisions 'ere invo(ed b the appelleepetitioner and applied b the lo'er co"rt? A"t article <9: of this same ne' !ivil !ode e#pressl provides= *The validit of a 'ill as to its form depends "pon the observance of the la' in force at the time it is made.* The above provision is b"t an e#pression or statement of the 'ei$ht of a"thorit to the affect that the validit of a 'ill is to be B"d$ed not b the la' enforce at the time of the testator9s death or at the time the s"pposed 'ill is presented in co"rt for probate or 'hen the petition is decided b the co"rt b"t at the time the instr"ment 'as e#ec"ted. One reason in s"pport of the r"le is that altho"$h the 'ill operates "pon and after the death of the testator, the 'ishes of the testator abo"t the disposition of his estate amon$ his heirs and amon$ the le$atees is $iven solemn e#pression at the time the 'ill is e#ec"ted, and in realit , the le$ac or be2"est then becomes a completed act. This r"lin$ has been laid do'n b this co"rt in the case of 4n re &ill of +iosa, 39 /hil., 23. 4t is a 'holesome doctrine and sho"ld be follo'ed. Of co"rse, there is the vie' that the intention of the testator sho"ld be the r"lin$ and controllin$ factor and that all ade2"ate remedies and interpretations sho"ld be resorted to in order to carr o"t said intention, and that 'hen stat"tes passed after the e#ec"tion of the 'ill and after the death of the testator lessen the formalities re2"ired b la' for the e#ec"tion of 'ills, said s"bse2"ent stat"tes sho"ld be applied so as to validate 'ills defectivel e#ec"ted accordin$ to the la' in force at the time of e#ec"tion. .o'ever, 'e

sho"ld not for$et that from the da of the death of the testator, if he leaves a 'ill, the title of the le$atees and devisees "nder it becomes a vested ri$ht, protected "nder the d"e process cla"se of the constit"tion a$ainst a s"bse2"ent chan$e in the stat"te addin$ ne' le$al re2"irements of e#ec"tion of 'ills 'hich 'o"ld invalidate s"ch a 'ill. A parit of reasonin$, 'hen one e#ec"tes a 'ill 'hich is invalid for fail"re to observe and follo' the le$al re2"irements at the time of its e#ec"tion then "pon his death he sho"ld be re$arded and declared as havin$ died intestate, and his heirs 'ill then inherit b intestate s"ccession, and no s"bse2"ent la' 'ith more liberal re2"irements or 'hich dispenses 'ith s"ch re2"irements as to e#ec"tion sho"ld be allo'ed to validate a defective 'ill and thereb divest the heirs of their vested ri$hts in the estate b intestate s"ccession. The $eneral r"le is that the %e$islat"re can not validate void 'ills 7:< Am. ,"r., &ills, Sec. 231, pp. 192-1938. 4n vie' of the fore$oin$, the order appealed from is reversed, and )#hibit *A* is denied probate. &ith costs. Paras, C.J., Pablo, Bengzon, Padilla, e!es, A., Jugo, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion and e!es J.B.L., JJ., conc"r

h"sband and 'ife, the former havin$ died on ,"ne 6, 19-6 leavin$ heir the s"rvivin$ spo"se and some minor children6 2nd. C hat "pon the death of %.,. &instanle , he left a parcel of land described "nder Transfer !ertificate of title ;o. 2391 of the +e$istr of 5eeds of the /rovince of !eb"6 3rd. C That the above mentioned propert 'as a conB"$al propert 6 -th. C That on April 1:, 19-6, the s"rvivin$ spo"se !atalina ;avarro >da. de &instanle sold the entire parcel of land to the spo"ses @aria !ano , alle$in$ amon$ other thin$s, that she needed mone for the s"pport of her children6 :th. C That on @a 2-, 19-<, the spo"ses @aria !ano and +oberto !ano sold the same parcel of land to the plaintiff in this case named Aienvenido A. )barle6 6th. C That the t'o deeds of sale referred to above 'ere not re$istered and have never been re$istered "p to the date6 <th. C That on ,an"ar 1<, 19-0 s"rvivin$ spo"se !atalina ;avarro >da. de &instanle , after her appointment as $"ardian of her children b this co"rt 7Special proceedin$ no. 212-+8 sold one-half of the land mentioned above to )speran3a @. /o, defendant in the instant case, 'hich portion belon$s to the children of the above named spo"ses. As stated b the trial ,"d$e, the sole 2"estion for determination is the validit of the sale to )speran3a @. /o, the last p"rchaser. This 2"estion in t"rn depends "pon the validit of the prior ale to @aria !ano and +oberto !ano . Article 6:< of the old !ivil !ode provides= *The ri$hts to the s"ccession of a person are transmitted from the moment of his death.* in a sli$htl different lan$"a$e, this article is incorporated in the ne' !ivil !ode as article <<<.

G.R. No. L-5124

3e4ruar5 67, 1957

+I$N%$NI&* A. I+ARL$, plaintiff-appellant, vs. $'8$RAN.A /. 8*, defendant-appellant. "uirico del Mar for appellant. #aniel P. $u%ula& and Conc'ita (. Miel appellee. T-A'*N, J.: This action commenced in the !o"rt of First 4nstance of !eb" to ann"l a deed of sale conve in$ to the defendant, in consideration of /1,<11, one "ndivided half of a parcel of land 'hich previo"sl had been sold, alon$ 'ith the other half, b the same vendor to the plaintiff9s $rantors. B"d$ment 'as a$ainst the plaintiff. The case 'as s"bmitted for decision "pon an a$reed statement of facts, the pertinent parts of 'hich are th"s s"mmari3ed in the appealed decision= 1st. C That %eonard B. &instanle and !atalina ;avarro 'ere

@anresa, commendin$ on article 6:< of the !ivil !ode of Spain, sa s= The moment of death is the determinin$ factor 'hen the heirs ac2"ire a definite ri$ht to the inheritance, 'hether s"ch ri$ht be p"re or contin$ent. 4t is immaterial 'hether a short or lon$ period of time lapses bet'een the death of the predecessor and the entr into possession of the propert of the inheritance beca"se the ri$ht is al'a s deemed to be retroactive from the moment of death. 7: @anresa, 31<.8 The above provision and comment ma(e it clear that 'hen !atalina ;avarro >da. de &instanle sold the entire parcel to the !ano spo"ses, one-half of it alread belon$ed to the seller9s children. ;o formal or B"dicial declaration bein$ needed to confirm the children9s title, it follo's that the first sale 'as n"ll and void in so far as it incl"ded the children9s share. On the other hand, the sale to the defendant havin$ been made b a"thorit of the competent co"rt 'as "ndeniabl le$al and effective. The fact that it has not been recorded is of no conse2"ence. 4f re$istration 'ere necessar , still the non-re$istration 'o"ld not avail the plaintiff beca"se it 'as d"e to no other ca"se than his o'n opposition. The decision 'ill be affirmed s"bBect to the reservation, made in said decision, of the ri$ht of the plaintitff andDor the !ano spo"ses to brin$ s"ch action a$ainst !atalina ;avarro >da. de &instanle as ma be appropriate for s"ch dama$es as the ma have inc"rred b reason of the voidin$ of the sale in their favor. Paras, C.J., (eria, Pablo, Bengzon, Padilla, Monte%a!or, Bautista Angelo and Labrador, JJ., conc"r. e!es, Jugo, G.R. No. L-55172 'e9te 4er 61, 1987

/ATIL&$ '. 8ALI(T$, petitioner, vs. )*N. :*'$ *. RA/*L$T$ as 8residing :udge o! (ourt o! 3irst Instan#e o! (e4u, +ran#" III, and /AR($L* '*TT*, Ad inistrator, respondents.

G-TI$RR$., :R., J.: This is a petition for revie' on certiorari of the order of the then !o"rt of First 4nstance of !eb" declarin$ the deed of redemption

e#ec"ted for the petitioner n"ll and void and den in$ the petitioner9s motion that the +e$istrar of 5eeds of the !it of !eb" be directed to transfer the O'ner9s 5"plicate !ertificates of Title to %ot ;os. 11-9, 11:1, and 11:2 from Filemon Sotto to her and to iss"e a ne' O'ner9s 5"plicate !ertificate of Title to %ot 21<9-! in her name. On ,"l :, 19<9, a sale at p"blic a"ction 'as held p"rs"ant to a 'rit of e#ec"tion iss"ed on Febr"ar :, 19<9 b the respondent B"d$e and to a co"rt order dated ,"ne -, 19<9 in the case of /ilar Teves, et al. vs @arcelo Sotto, Administrator, !ivil !ase ;o. +-1112<, for the satisfaction of B"d$ment in the amo"nt of /<2:,2<1.11. The follo'in$ properties belon$in$ to the late 5on Filemon Sotto and administered b respondent @arcelo Sotto 'ere levied "pon= 1. /arcel of land on %ot ;o. 11-9, covered b T!T ;o. 2<6-1 of the Aanilad Friar %ands )state, !eb" !it 6 2. /arcel of land on %ot ;o. 11:2, covered b T!T ;o. 2<6-2 of the Aanilad Friar %ands )state, !eb" !it 6 3. /arcel of land on %ot ;o. 11:1,covered b T!T ;o. 2<6-1 of the Aanilad Friad %ands )state, !eb" !it 6 -. /arcel of land on %ot ;o. :2:3 of the !eb" !adastre, !eb" !it , covered b T!T ;o. 2<6396 :. /arcel of land sit"ated at @antalon$on, 5ala$"ete, !eb", covered b T5 ;o. 111661, 'ith an area of <6<106 7sic8 6. /arcel of land on %ot ;o. -039 of the Epon !adastre, at Aarrio Sa-ac @actan 4sland, 'ith an area of Fort Fo"r Tho"sand Si# ."ndred Fort Fo"r 7--,6--8 s2"are meters more or less6 <. +esidential .o"se of stron$ materials, sit"ated on a Fovernment lot at %ah"$, !eb" !it 6

0. +esidential .o"se of stron$ materials, sit"ated at !entral, !eb" !it . * 7+ollo, p. -18 Seven of the above-described properties 'ere a'arded to /ilar Teves, 'ho alone bid for them for the amo"nt of /21<,311.11. The residential ho"se sit"ated on a $overnment lot at %ah"$, !eb" !it , 'as a'arded to lone bidder As"ncion >illarante for the amo"nt of /11,111.11. &ithin the period for redemption, petitioner @atilde S. /alicte, as one of the heirs of the late 5on Filemon Sotto, redeemed from p"rchaser /ilar Teves, fo"r 7-8 lots for the s"m of /61,111.11. A deed of redemption dated ,"l 29, 1901, e#ec"ted b 5ep"t /rovincial Sheriff Felipe >. Aelandres and approved b the !ler( of !o"rt, )speran3a Farcia as )#-Officio Sheriff, 'as iss"ed for these lots= 1. A parcel of land or %ot ;o. 21<9-!-/54-2:12< !eb" !adastre, !eb" !it , bid at /21,111.116 2. A parcel of land or %ot ;o. 11:2, covered b T!T ;o. 2<6-2, of the Aanilad Friar %ands )state, !eb" !it , bid at /1:,111.116 3. A parcel of land or %ot ;o.11:1,covered b T!T ;o. 2<6-1, of the Aanilad Friar %ands )state, !eb" !it , at /:,111.116 -. A parcel of land or %ot ;o. 11-9, covered b T!T ;o. 2<6-1, of the Aanilad Friar %ands )state, !eb" !it , at /21,111.11. 7+ollo, p. -28 On ,"l 2-, 1901, petitioner /alicte filed a motion 'ith respondent ,"d$e +amolete for the transfer to her name of the titles to the fo"r 7-8 parcels of land covered b the deed of redemption. This motion 'as opposed b the plaintiffs in !ivil !ase ;o. +-1112<,

entitled */ilar Teves, et al. vs @arcelo Sotto, administrator* on several $ro"nds, principal amon$ 'hich, is that movant, /alicte, is not one of those a"thori3ed to redeem "nder the provisions of the +"les of !o"rt. A hearin$ on the said motion, 'ith both parties add"cin$ evidence 'as held. The lo'er co"rt held that altho"$h /alicte is one of the declared heirs in Spl. /roc. ;o. 2<16-+, she does not 2"alif as a s"ccessor-ininterest 'ho ma redeem the real properties sold. 4t r"led that the deed of redemption is n"ll and void. The motion of /alicte 'as denied. .ence, the present petition. The petitioner raises the follo'in$ assi$nment of errors= A +)S/O;5);T ,E5F) )++)5 4; +E%4;F T.AT T.) ,E5F@);T 5)ATO+ );T4T%)5 TO +)5))@ E;5)+ S)!T4O; 297a8, +E%) 39 OF T.) +)>4S)5 +E%)S OF !OE+T +)A% /+O/)+TG SO%5 O; )H)!ET4O; AFA4;ST T.) )STAT) OF T.) 5)!)5);T 4S O;%G T.) A5@4;4ST+ATO+ OF T.) )STAT), O+ .4S SE!!)SSO+-4;-4;T)+)ST. A +)S/O;5);T ,E5F) )++)5 4; +E%4;F T.AT /)T4T4O;)+, &.O 4S A 5)!%A+)5 .)4+ OF T.) 5)!)5);T, 4S ;OT T.) ,E5F@);T 5)ATO+ ;O+ 5O)S S.) IEA%4FG AS A SE!!)SSO+-4;-4;T)+)ST OF T.) A5@4;4ST+ATO+ OF T.) )STAT) );T4T%)5 TO +4F.T OF +)5)@/T4O; E;5)+ S)!T4O; 297a8, +E%) 39 OF T.) +E%)S OF !OE+T. !

+)S/O;5);T ,E5F) )++)5 4; +E%4;F T.AT A%T.OEF. /)T4T4O;)+ 4S A 5)!%A+)5 .)4+ OF T.) 5)!)5);T, .)+ +4F.T TO T.) )STAT), %4J) T.AT OF +)5)@/T4O; OF !)+TA4; )STAT) /+O/)+TG, !OE%5 O;%G A+4S) AFT)+ 54ST+4AET4O; OF T.) )STAT) AS T.)+) 4S ST4%% ,E5F@);T 5)AT !.A+F)AA%) AFA4;ST T.) )STAT). 5 +)S/O;5);T ,E5F) )++)5 4; +E%4;F T.AT /)T4T4O;)+9S +)5)@/T4O; OF FOE+ 7-8 /A+!)%S OF %A;5 OF T.) )STAT) OF T.) 5)!)5);T SO%5 O; )H)!ET4O; OF ,E5F@);T AFA4;ST T.) )STAT) 4S ;E%% A;5 >O45 A;5 4;)FF)!T4>). 7+ollo, pp. 1<-108 These assi$ned errors center on 'hether or not petitioner /alicte ma validl e#ercise the ri$ht of redemption "nder Sec. 29, +"le 39 of the +"les of !o"rt. &e ans'er in the affirmative. Sec. 29 of +"le 39 provides= S)!. 29. )'o %a! redee% real propert! so sold. C +eal propert sold as provided in the last precedin$ section, or an part thereof sold separatel , ma be redeemed in the manner hereinafter provided, b the follo'in$ persons= 7a8 The B"d$ment debtor, or his s"ccessor in interest in the 'hole or an part of the propert 6 7b8 A creditor havin$ a lien b attachment, B"d$ment or mort$a$e on the propert sold, or on some part thereof, s"bse2"ent to the B"d$ment "nder 'hich the propert 'as sold. S"ch redeemin$ creditor is termed a redemptioner. Ender S"bsection 7a8, propert sold s"bBect to redemption ma be redeemed b the B"d$ment debtor or his s"ccessor-in-interest in the

'hole or an part of the propert . 5oes @atilde /alicte fall 'ithin the term *s"ccessor-in-interest*? Magno vs Viola and *otto 761 /hil. 01, 0--0:8 states that= The r"le is that the term *s"ccessor-in-interest* incl"des one to 'hom the debtor has transferred his stat"tor ri$ht of redemption 7Ai$ Sespe Oil !o. vs !ochran, 2<6 Fed., 216, 22386 one to 'hom the debtor has conve ed his interest in the propert for the p"rpose of redemption 7So"thern !alifornia %"mber !o. vs. @c5o'ell, 11: !al, 996 30 /ac., 62<6 Simpson vs. !astle, :2 !al., 6--6 Sch"macher vs. %an$ford, 21 !al. App., 616 12< /ac., 11:<86 one +'o succeeds to t'e interest of t'e debtor b! operation of la+ 7H4 @cJinne 9s !alifornia ,"rispr"dence, 9986 one or more Boint debtors 'ho 'ere Boint o'ners of the propert sold 7)merson vs. Gosemite Fold @in. etc. !o., 1-9 !al., :16 0: /ac., 12286 the 'ife as re$ards her h"sband9s homestead b reason of the fact that some portion of her h"sband9 title passes to her 7.efner vs. Erton, <1 !al., -<96 12 /ac., -068. This co"rt has held that a s"ret can not redeem the propert of the principal sold on e#ec"tion beca"se the s"ret , b pa in$ the debt of the principal, stands in the place of the creditor, not of the debtor, and conse2"entl is not a s"ccessor in interest in the propert . 7F. Err"itia K !o. vs. @oreno and +e es, 20 /hil., 261, 2608. 7)mphasis s"pplied8. 4n the case at bar, petitioner /alicte is the da"$hter of the late 5on Filemon Sotto 'hose estate 'as levied "pon on e#ec"tion to satisf the mone B"d$ment a$ainst it. She is one of the declared heirs in Special /roceedin$ ;o. 2<16-+. As a le$itimate heir, she 2"alifies as a s"ccessor-in- interest. Art. <<< of the !ivil !ode states that= The ri$hts to the s"ccession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent.

At the moment of the decedent9s death, the heirs start to o'n the propert , s"bBect to the decedent9s liabilities. 4n fact, the ma dispose of the same even 'hile the propert is "nder administration. 7Aarretto vs. T"ason, :9 /hil. 0-:6 ,a(osalem vs. +afols, <3 /hil. 6208. 4f the heirs ma dispose of their shares in the decedent9s propert even 'hile it is "nder administration. &ith more reason sho"ld the heirs be allo'ed to redeem redeemable properties despite the presence of an administrator. The respondents contend that the petitioner m"st positivel prove that the three other co-heirs, the administrator, and the intestate co"rt had e#pressl a$reed to the redemption of the disp"ted parcels of land. &e see no need for s"ch prior approval. &hile it ma have been desirable, it is not indispensable "nder the circ"mstances of this case. &hat is important is that all of them ac2"iesced in the act of redeemin$ propert for the estate. The petitioner contends that the administrator and the three other heirs a$reed to the redemption. There is, ho'ever. no clear proof of s"ch approval. &hat is be ond disp"te from the records is that the did not disapprove nor reprobate the acts of the petitioner. There is li(e'ise nothin$ in the records to indicate that the redemption 'as not beneficial to the estate of 5on Filemon Sotto. 4t ma be tr"e that the interest of a specific heir is not et fi#ed and determinate pendin$ the order of distrib"tion b"t, nonetheless, the heir9s interest in the preservation of the estate and the recover of its properties is $reater than an bod else9s, definitel more than the administrator9s 'ho merel holds it for the creditors, the heirs, and the le$atees. The petitioner cites precedents 'here persons 'ith inchoate or contin$ent interest 'ere allo'ed to e#ercise the ri$ht of redemption as *s"ccessors-in-interest,* e.$. #irector of Lands vs. Lagniton 7113 /hil. 009, 0928 'here a son redeemed the propert of his parents sold on e#ec"tion and osete vs. Provincial *'eriff of Za%bales 79: /hil. :61, :6-8, 'here a 'ife b virt"e of 'hat the !o"rt called *inchoate ri$ht of do'er or contin$ent interest* redeemed a homestead as s"ccessor-in-interest of her h"sband. 4n fact, the !o"rt 'as e#plicit in Lagniton that=

... The ri$ht of a son, 'ith respect to the propert of a father or mother, is also an inchoate or contin$ent interest, beca"se "pon the death of the father or the mother or both, he 'ill have a ri$ht to inherit said conB"$al propert . 4f an holder of an inchoate interest is a s"ccessor in interest 'ith ri$ht to redeem a propert sold on e#ec"tion, then the son is s"ch a s"ccessor in interest, as he has an inchoate ri$ht to the propert of his father. The lo'er co"rt, therefore, erred in considerin$ the person of the administrator as the B"d$ment debtor and as the onl *s"ccessor-ininterest.* The estate of the deceased is the B"d$ment debtor and the heirs 'ho 'ill event"all ac2"ire that estate sho"ld not be prohibited from doin$ their share in its preservation. Altho"$h petitioner /alicte validl redeemed the properties, her motion to transfer the titles of the fo"r 7-8 parcels of land covered b the 5eed of +edemption from re$istration in the name of Filemon Sotto to her name cannot prosper at this time. Other'ise, to allo' s"ch transfer of title 'o"ld amo"nt to a distrib"tion of the estate. As held in the case of P'ilippine Co%%ercial and ,ndustrial Ban& vs. -scolin 7:6 S!+A 26<, 3-:- 3-68= 4ndeed, the la' on the matter is specific, cate$orical and "ne2"ivocal. Section 1 of +"le 91 provides= S)!T4O; 1. )'en order for distribution of residue %ade. C &hen the debts, f"neral char$es, and e#penses of administration, the allo'ance to the 'ido', and inheritance ta#, if an , char$eable to the estate in accordance 'ith la', have been paid, the co"rt, on the application of the e#ec"tor or administrator, or of a person interested in the estate, and after hearin$ "pon notice, shall assi$n the resid"e of the estate to the persons entitled to the same, namin$ them and the proportions, or parts, to 'hich

each is entitled, and s"ch persons ma demand and recover their respective shares from the e#ec"tor or administrator, or an other person havin$ the same in his possession. 4f there is a controvers before the co"rt as to 'ho are the la'f"l heirs of the deceased person or as to the distrib"tive shares to 'hich each person is entitled "nder the la', the controvers shall be heard and decided as in ordinar cases. ;o distrib"tion shall be allo'ed "ntil the pa ment of the obli$ations above mentioned has been made or provided for, "nless the distrib"tees, or an of them, $ive a bond, in a s"m to be fi#ed b the co"rt, conditioned for the pa ment of said obli$ations 'ithin s"ch time as the co"rt directs. These provisions cannot mean an thin$ less than that in order that a proceedin$ for the settlement of the estate of a deceased ma be deemed read for final clos"re, 718 there sho"ld have been iss"ed alread an order of distrib"tion or assi$nment of the estate of the decedent amon$ or to those entitled thereto b 'ill or b la', b"t 728 s"ch order shall not be iss"ed "ntil after it is sho'n that the *debts, f"neral e#penses, e#penses of administration, allo'ances, ta#es, etc., char$eable to the estate* have been paid, 'hich is b"t lo$ical and proper, 738 besides, s"ch an order is "s"all iss"ed "pon proper and specific application for the p"rpose of the interested part or parties, and not of the co"rt.* The other heirs are, therefore, $iven a si# months period to Boin as co-redemptioners in the redemption made b the petitioner before the motion to transfer titles to the latter9s name ma be $ranted. &.)+)FO+), the petition is hereb F+A;T)5. The respondent co"rt9s orders declarin$ the deed of redemption n"ll and void and den in$ the motion to transfer title over the redeemed properties to @atilda /alicte are +)>)+S)5 and S)T AS45), s"bBect to the ri$ht of the other heirs to Boin in the redemption as stated above.

SO O+5)+)5. (ernan .C'air%an/, (eliciano, Bidin and Cortes, JJ., concur.

and !-18.

On ,"ne 6, 1966 the same co"rt iss"ed an Order approvin$ the Settlement of )state s"bmitted b the heirs of the late )Sdras ;"fable, portions of 'hich read=

J;O& A%% @); AG T.)S) /+)S);TS= G.R. No. 162951 :ul5 6, 1999 N$L'*N N-3A+L$, 'IL/*R N-3A+L$ and A,-ILINA N-3A+L$, 9etitioners, ;s. G$N$R*'A N-3A+L$, %IL3*R N-3A+L$, /AR($L* N-3A+L$, and t"e (*-RT *3 A88$AL', res9ondents. G*N.AGA-R$0$', :.: This petition for revie' on certiorari see(s to reverse and set aside the 5ecision dated ;ovember 2:, 199: of the Fifth 5ivision 1 of the !o"rt of Appeals for alle$edl bein$ contrar to la'. C .)+)AG 5)!%A+) A;5 @AJ) @A;4F)ST C &e, A;F)% !ESTO54O ;EFAA%), F);)+OSA ;EFAA%), >4%FO+ ;EFAA%) and @A+!)%O ;EFAA%), all of le$al a$es 7sic8, Filipinos, and 'ith residence and postal address at @anB" od, ;e$ros Oriental, /hilippines,

The follo'in$ facts as fo"nd b the !o"rt of Appeals are "ndisp"ted=

1. That on A"$"st 9, 196:, +ev. Fr. )sdras ;"fable died leavin$ 7a8 %ast &ill and Testament 7mar(ed )#h. F8 disposin$ 7of8 his properties or estate in favor of his fo"r le$itimate children, namel = An$el !"stodio ;"fable, Fenerosa ;"fable, >ilfor ;"fable and @arcelo ;"fable6

)dras ;"fable o'ned at /oblacion, @anB" od, ;e$ros Oriental, consistin$ of 9-0 s2"are meters, more or less. .e died on A"$"st 9, 196: and 'as s"rvived b his children, namel = An$el !"stodio, Fenerosa, >ilfor and @arcelo, all s"rnamed ;"fable. Epon petition for probate filed b said heirs and after d"e p"blication and hearin$, the then !o"rt of First 4nstance of ;e$ros Oriental 7Aranch 448 iss"ed an Order dated @arch 31, 1966 admittin$ to probate the last 'ill and testament e#ec"ted b the deceased )dras ;"fable 7)#hs. A, !

2. That on @arch 31, 1966 the said %ast &ill and Testament 'as probated b the .onorable !o"rt, !o"rt of First 4nstance of ;e$ros Oriental, and is embodied in the same order appointin$ an Administratri#, Fenerosa ;"fable, b"t to 2"alif onl if she p"t "p a necessar bond of /1,111.116

3. That herein le$itimate children prefer not to appoint an Administratri#, as a$reed "pon 7b 8 all the heirs, beca"se the have no obBection as to the manner of disposition of their share made b the testator, the e#penses of the proceedin$s and that the have alread ta(en possession of their respective shares in accordance 'ith the 'ill6

On ,an"ar 11, 1901, ;elson ;"fable, the son of An$el !"stodio ;"fable 7'ho died on A"$"st 29, 19<0 LTS;, Testimon of ;elson ;"fable, .earin$ of A"$"st 10, 1992, p. 1<M8, p"rchased said propert from 5A/ 7)#h. *1*8.

-. That the herein heirs a$reed, as the hereb a$ree to settle the estate in accordance 'ith the terms and condition of the 'ill in the follo'in$ manner, to 'it=

Fenerosa, >ilfor and @arcelo, all s"rnamed ;"fable filed 'ith the lo'er co"rt a complaint dated ,"l 2:, 190: *To Ann"l Fra"d"lent Transactions, to I"iet Title and To +ecover 5ama$es9 a$ainst ;elson ;"fable, and 'ife, Silmor ;"fable and his mother A2"ilina ;"fable. /laintiffs pra =

a8 That the parcel of land sit"ated in /oblacion @anB" od, ;e$ros Oriental remains "ndivided for comm"nit o'nership b"t respectin$ conditions imposed therein 7sic8 in the 'ill6

&.)+)FO+), plaintiffs pra this .onorable !o"rt that after trial B"d$ment be rendered orderin$=

### ### ###

7a8 That the said 5eed of Sale 7Anne# *!*8 e#ec"ted b the 5evelopment Aan( of the /hilippines in favor of the defendants be declared n"ll and void as far as the three fo"rths 73D-8 ri$hts 'hich belon$s 7sic8 to the plaintiffs are concerned6

7)#hs. *)* and *)-1*8

7b8 That the said three fo"rths 73D-8 ri$hts over the above parcel in 2"estion be declared as belon$in$ to the plaintiffs at one fo"rth ri$ht to each of them6

T'o months earlier, or on @arch 1:, 1966, spo"ses An$el !"stodio and A2"ilina ;"fable mort$a$ed the entire propert located at @anB" od to the 5evelopment Aan( of the /hilippines L5A/M 7/retrial Order, dated ,an"ar <, 1992, p. 113, Ori$inal +ecords8. Said mort$a$ors became delin2"ent for 'hich reason the mort$a$ed propert 'as foreclosed b 5A/ on Febr"ar 26, 19<3 7id.8.

7c8 To order the defendants to pa Bointl and severall to the plaintiffs b 'a of act"al and moral dama$es the amo"nt of /11,111.11 and another /:,111.11 as Attorne 9s fees, and to pa the costs.

7d8 /l"s an other amo"nt 'hich this !o"rt ma e2"itable. 7p. 6, Ori$inal +ecords8

deem B"st and

&.)+)FO+), the appealed decision of the lo'er co"rt is +)>)+S)5 and S)T AS45). A ne' B"d$ment is hereb entered declarin$ plaintiffs-appellants as the ri$htf"l co-o'ners of the s"bBect propert and entitled to possession of 3D- so"thern portion thereof6 and defendant-appellee ;elson ;"fable to 1D- portion.

4n their Ans'er, defendants contend= ;o a'ard on dama$es. -. /ara$raph - is denied, the tr"th bein$ that the late An$el ;"fable 'as the e#cl"sive o'ner of said propert , that as s"ch o'ner he mort$a$ed the same to the 5evelopment Aan( of the /hilippines on @arch 1:, 1966, that said mort$a$e 'as foreclosed and the 5A/ became the s"ccessf"l bidder at the a"ction sale, that o'nership 'as consolidated in the name of the 5A/, and that defendant ;elson ;"fable bo"$ht said propert from the 5A/ thereafter. 5"rin$ this period, the plaintiffs never 2"estioned the transactions 'hich 'ere p"blic, never filed an third part claim nor attempted to redeem said propert as redemptioners, and that said 5eed of Sale, Anne# *A* to the complaint, is fictitio"s, not bein$ s"pported b an consideration6 7pp. 21-21, id.8

;o costs.

5efendants-appellees9 @otion for +econsideration 'as denied for lac( of merit in the +esol"tion of the !o"rt of Appeals - dated October 2, 1996.

.ence, the present petition. /etitioners raise the follo'in$ $ro"nds for the petition=

The 5eed of Sale 7Anne# *A*8, referred to b the parties is a notari3ed 5eed of Sale, dated ,"l 12, 1966 7mar(ed as )#hibit *.*8 b virt"e of 'hich, spo"ses An$el and A2"ilina ;"fable, as vendors, sold 3D- portion of the s"bBect propert to herein plaintiffs for and in consideration of /1,111.11 7)#h. *:*8. 2

1. .onorable !o"rt of Appeals erred in considerin$ as controllin$ the probate of the %ast &ill and Testament of )sdras ;"fable, the probate thereof not bein$ an iss"e in this case6

On ;ovember 29, 199:, the !o"rt of Appeals rendered B"d$ment, the dispositive portion 3 of 'hich reads=

2. The .onorable !o"rt of Appeals erred in not considerin$ the fact that the 5evelopment Aan( of the /hilippines became absol"te, e#cl"sive, le$al and ri$htf"l o'ner of the land in 2"estion, from 'hom petitioner ;elson ;"fable ac2"ired the same b p"rchase and that, therefore, no a'ard can be made in favor of private respondent "nless and "ntil the 5evelopment Aan( of the

/hilippines9 title thereto is first declared n"ll and void b the co"rt.

The !o"rt of Appeals, in its decision, stated that the trial co"rt failed to ta(e into consideration the probated 'ill of the late )sdras ;"fable be2"eathin$ the s"bBect propert to all his fo"r children. : 4n the present petition, petitioner present the iss"e of 'hether or not the %ast &ill and Testament of )sdras ;"fable and its s"bse2"ent probate are pertinent and material to the 2"estion of the ri$ht of o'nership of petitioner ;elson ;"fable 'ho p"rchased the land in 2"estion from, and as ac2"ired propert of, the 5evelopment Aan( of the /hilippines 75A/, for short8. The contend that the probate of the %ast &ill Testament and of )sdras ;"fable did not determine the o'nership of the land in 2"estion as a$ainst third parties.1N'phi1.nOt

/oblacion @anB" od, ;e$ros Oriental remains "ndivided for comm"nit o'nership b"t respectin$ conditions imposed therein 7sic8 in the 'ill.* 0 4n para$raph 3 thereof, the stated that *the have no obBection as to the manner of disposition of their share made b the testator, the e#penses of the proceedin$ and that the have alread ta(en possession of their respective shares in accordance 'ith the 'ill.* >eril , it 'as the heirs of the late )sdras ;"fable 'ho a$reed amon$ themselves on the disposition of their shares. The probate co"rt simpl approved the a$reement amon$ the heirs 'hich approval 'as necessar for the validit of an disposition of the decedent9s estate. 9

As a $eneral r"le, co"rts in probate proceedin$s are limited onl to passin$ "pon the e#trinsic validit of the 'ill so"$ht to be probated, the d"e e#ec"tion thereof, the testator9s testamentar capacit and the compliance 'ith the re2"isites or solemnities prescribes b la'. Said co"rt at this sta$e of the proceedin$s is not called to r"le on the r"le on the intrinsic validit or efficac of the 'ill. 6 The 2"estion of the intrinsic validit of a 'ill normall comes onl after the co"rt has declared that the 'ill has been d"l a"thenticated.

The records sho' that "pon petition for probate filed b the heirs of the late )sdras ;"fable, an Order dated @arch 31, 1966 'as iss"ed b then !o"rt of First 4nstance of ;e$ros Oriental, Aranch 44, admittin$ to probate the last 'ill and testament e#ec"ted b the decedent. < Thereafter, on ,"ne 6, 1966, the same co"rt approved the Settlement of )state s"bmitted b the heirs of the late )sdras ;"fable 'herein the a$reed *7T8hat the parcel land sit"ated in

4t sho"ld li(e'ise be noted that the late )sdras ;"fable died on A"$"st 9, 196:. &hen the entire propert located at @anB" od 'as mort$a$ed on @arch 1:, 1966 b his son An$el !"stodio 'ith 5A/, the other heirs of )sdras C namel = Fenerosa, >ilfor and @arcelo C had alread ac2"ired s"ccessional ri$hts over the said propert . This is so beca"se of the principle contained in Article <<< of the !ivil !ode to the effect that the ri$hts to the s"ccession are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent. Accordin$l , for the p"rpose of transmission of ri$hts, it does not matter 'hether the %ast &ill and Testament of the late )sdras ;"fable 'as admitted on @arch 31, 1966 or thereafter or that the Settlement of )state 'as approved on ,"ne 6, 1966 or months later. 4t is to be noted that the probated 'ill of the late )sdras ;"fable specificall referred to the s"bBect propert in statin$ that *the land sit"ated in the /oblacion, @anB" od, ;e$ros Oriental, sho"ld not be divided beca"se this m"st remain in common for them, b"t it is necessar to allo' an one of them brothers and sisters to constr"ct a ho"se therein.* 11 4t 'as therefor the 'ill of the decedent that the s"bBect propert sho"ld "ndivided, altho"$h the restriction sho"ld not e#ceed t'ent 7218 ears p"rs"ant to Article 0<1 11 of the !ivil !ode.

Th"s, 'hen An$el ;"fable and his spo"ses mort$a$ed the s"bBect propert to 5A/ on @arch 1:, 1966, the had no ri$ht to mort$a$e the entire propert . An$el9s ri$ht over the s"bBect propert 'as limited onl to 1D- pro indiviso share. As co-o'ner of the s"bBect propert , An$el9s ri$ht to sell, assi$n or mort$a$e is limited to that portion that ma be allotted to him "pon termination of the coo'nership. &ell-entrenched is the r"le that a co-o'ner can onl alienate his pro indiviso share in the co-o'ned propert . 12

F"rthermore, the 5eed of Sale dated ,"ne 1<, 1966 mar(ed as )#hibit *.* e#ec"ted b spo"ses An$el and A2"ilina ;"fable in favor of respondents Fenerosa, >ilfor and @arcelo 'herein the former sold, ceded and transferred bac( to the latter the 3D- portion of the s"bBect propert bolsters respondents9 claim that there 'as coo'nership. /etitioner ;elson himself claimed that he 'as a'are of the aforesaid 5eed of Sale. 10

The !o"rt of Appeals did not err in r"lin$ that An$el !"stodio ;"fable *had no ri$ht to mort$a$e the s"bBect propert in its entiret . .is ri$ht to enc"mber said propert 'as limited onl to 1Dpro indiviso share of the propert in 2"estion.* 13 Article -93 of the !ivil !ode spells o"t the ri$hts or co-o'ners over a co-o'ned propert . /"rs"ant to said Article, a co-o'ner shall have f"ll o'nership of his part and of the fr"its and benefits pertainin$ thereto. .e has the ri$ht to alienate, assi$n or mort$a$e it, and even s"bstit"te another person in its enBo ment. As a mere part o'ner, he cannot alienate the shares of the other co-o'ners. The prohibition is premised on the elementar r"le that *no one can $ive 'hat he does not have.* 1-

Anent the second $ro"nd of the petition, petitioners alle$e that the 5evelopment Aan( of the /hilippines ac2"ired o'nership of the land in 2"estion thro"$h foreclos"re, p"rchase and consolidation of o'nership. /etitioners ar$"e that if petitioner ;elson ;"fable had not bo"$ht said land from the 5A/, private respondents, in order to ac2"ire said propert , m"st s"e said ban( for the recover thereof, and in so doin$, m"st alle$e $ro"nds for the ann"lment of doc"ments evidencin$ the ban(9s o'nership thereof. /etitioners contend that since petitioner ;elson ;"fable simpl bo"$ht the 'hole land from the ban(, the cannot be deprived of the o'nership of 3D- 'itho"t ma(in$ an prono"ncement as to the le$alit or ille$alit of the ban(9s o'nership of said land. 4t is ar$"ed that there 'as no evidence to 'arrant declaration of n"llit of the ban(9s ac2"isition of said land6 and that neither 'as there a findin$ b the co"rt that the ban( ille$all ac2"ired the said propert .

@oreover, respondents stip"lated that the 'ere not a'are of the mort$a$e b petitioners of the s"bBect propert . 1: This bein$ the case, a co-o'ner does not lose his part o'nership of a co-o'ned propert 'hen his share is mort$a$ed b another co-o'ner 'itho"t the former9s (no'led$e and consent 16 as in the case at bar. 4t has li(e'ise been r"led that the mort$a$e of the inherited propert is not bindin$ a$ainst co-heirs 'ho never benefitted. 1<

As adverted to above, 'hen the s"bBect propert 'as mort$a$ed b An$el !"stodio, he had no ri$ht to mort$a$e the entire propert b"t onl 'ith respect to his 1D- pro indiviso share as the propert 'as s"bBect to the s"ccessional ri$hts of the other heirs of the late )sdras. @oreover, in case of foreclos"re6 a sale 'o"ld res"lt in the transmission of title to the b" er 'hich is feasible onl if the seller can be in a position to conve o'nership of the thin$s sold. 19 And in one case, 21 it 'as held that a foreclos"re 'o"ld be ineffective "nless the mort$a$or has title to the propert to be foreclosed.

Therefore, as re$ards the remainin$ 3D- pro indiviso share, the same 'as held in tr"st for the part ri$htf"ll entitled thereto, 21 'ho are the private respondents herein.

re2"ires that 5A/ be impleaded so that it can defend its sale to petitioner ;elson ;"fable6 and that it 'as the d"t of private respondents, and not of petitioner ;elson, to implead the ban( and as( for the ann"lment of doc"ments evidencin$ the ban(9s o'nership of the disp"ted land.

/"rs"ant to Article 1-:1 of the !ivil !ode, 'hen land passes b s"ccession to an person and he ca"ses the le$al title to be p"t in the name of another, a tr"st is established b implication of la' for the benefit of the tr"e o'ner. %i(e'ise, "nder Article 1-:6 of the same !ode, if propert is ac2"ired thro"$h mista(e or fra"d, the person obtainin$ it is, b force of la', considered a tr"stee of an implied tr"st for the benefit of the person from 'hom the propert comes. 4n the case of ;oel vs. !o"rt of Appeals, 22 this !o"rt held that *a b" er of a parcel of land at a p"blic a"ction to satisf a B"d$ment a$ainst a 'ido' ac2"ired onl one-half interest on the land correspondin$ to the share of the 'ido' and the other half belon$in$ to the heirs of her h"sband became impressed 'ith a constr"ctive tr"st in behalf of said heirs.*

4n the +eBoinder to the +epl , private respondents that the nonincl"sion of 5A/ as a *necessar part * 'as not 2"estioned b petitioners from the time the !omplaint 'as filed "ntil the case 'as *finished.* 4t 'as onl after the adverse decision b the respondent !o"rt of Appeals that petitioners raised the iss"e.

At the o"tset, it sho"ld be stated petitioners never raised this iss"e in their Ans'ers and p"rs"ant to Section 2, +"le 9 of the +"les of !o"rt, defenses and obBections not pleaded either in a motion to dismiss or in the ans'er are deemed 'aived.

;either does the fact that 5A/ s"cceeded in consolidatin$ o'nership over the s"bBect propert in its name terminate the e#istin$ co-o'nership. +e$istration of propert is not a means of ac2"irin$ o'nership. 23 &hen the s"bBect propert 'as sold to and consolidated in the name of 5A/, it bein$ the 'innin$ bidder in the p"blic a"ction, 5A/ merel held the 3D- portion in tr"st for the private respondents. &hen petitioner ;elson p"rchased the said propert , he merel stepped into the shoes of 5A/ and ac2"ired 'hatever ri$hts and obli$ations appertain thereto.

This brin$s "s to the iss"e of 'hether or not the 5A/ sho"ld have been impleaded as part -defendant in the case at bar. /etitioners contend that 5A/ 'as never impleaded and that d"e process

;onetheless, the r"le is that indispensable parties, i.e., parties in interest 'itho"t 'hom no final determination can be had of an action, shall be Boined either as plaintiffs or defendants6 the incl"sion as a part , i.e., persons 'ho are not indispensable b"t o"$ht to be parties if complete relief is to be accorded as bet'een those alread parties, the co"rt ma , in its discretion, proceed in the action 'itho"t ma(in$ s"ch persons parties, and the B"d$ment rendered therein shall be 'itho"t preB"dice to the ri$hts of s"ch persons. 2: /roper parties, therefore, have been described as parties 'hose presence in necessar in order to adB"dicate the 'hole controvers , b"t 'hose interests are so far separable that a final decree can be made in their absence 'itho"t affectin$ them. 26 An claim a$ainst a part ma be severed and proceeded 'ith separatel . 2<

The pivotal iss"e to be determined is 'hether 5A/ is an indispensable part in this case.

/rivate respondents do not 2"estion the le$alit of the foreclos"re of the mort$a$ed propert and the s"bse2"ent sale of the same to 5A/. The s"bBect propert 'as alread p"rchased b petitioner ;elson from 5A/ and latter, b s"ch sale, transferred its ri$hts and obli$ations to the former. !learl , petitioners9 interest in the controvers is distinct and separable from the interest of 5A/ and a final determination can be had of the action despite the nonincl"sion of 5A/ as part -defendant. .ence, 5A/, not bein$ an indispensable part , did not have to be impleaded in this case.

G.R. No. 111286 3e4ruar5 2, 1997 .$NAI&A R$0$', 9etitioner, ;s. (*-RT *3 A88$AL' and t"e 8$*8L$ *3 T)$ 8)ILI88IN$', res9ondents. /$N&*.A, :.:

&.)+)FO+), there bein$ no reversible error in the decision appealed from, the petition for revie' on certiorari is hereb 5);4)5.1N'phi1.nOt

+)SO%ET4O;

SO O+5)+)5.

>it"$, /an$aniban and /"risima, ,,., conc"r.

+omero, ,., abroad, on official b"siness leave.

This is a motion for reconsideration of the resol"tion dated ;ovember 29, 199:, of the !o"rt, den in$ the petition for revie' of the decision, dated @a 20, 1993, and the resol"tion, dated A"$"st 31, 1993, of the !o"rt of Appeals 1 in !A-F.+. !+. ;o. 10-11, affirmin$ the conviction of petitioner Penaida /. +e es of falsification of p"blic doc"ment. /etitioner9s motion is based on her contention that beca"se of her co"nsel9s "ne#plained absences at the trial she 'as prevented from presentin$ evidence in her defense and therefore denied the d"e process of la'.

The facts are as follo's=

4n an information filed on April <, 1906 'ith the +e$ional Trial !o"rt of A"lacan and later assi$ned to Aranch 22 thereof as !riminal !ase ;o. 92:2-@, petitioner Penaida +e es 'as acc"sed of falsif in$ a deed of sale of fo"r 7-8 parcels of land *b fei$nin$ and si$nin$ the name of /ablo Floro, 'ho co"ld not affi# his si$nat"re an more d"e to a$e infirmit , on the said doc"ment as seller and ca"sin$ it to appear that said /ablo Floro LhadM participated in the e#ec"tion of the said doc"ment 'hen in tr"th and in fact, as said acc"sed 'ell (ne', said deed of sale 'as not e#ec"ted and si$ned b the said /ablo Floro, nor did he ever appear before an notar p"blic for the p"rpose of ac(no'led$in$ the deed above mentioned.* 2

hearin$ to ,"ne :, 1909 over the obBection of the private prosec"tor. /etitioner 'as 'arned that if she did not present her evidence on that date, she 'o"ld be considered to have 'aived her ri$ht to do so. 6 A"t the hearin$ on ,"ne :, 1909 had to be resched"led a$ain beca"se petitioner9s co"nsel, Att . Tenorio, 'as absent. <

Epon bein$ arrai$ned, petitioner pleaded not $"ilt . Trial on the merits then follo'ed. After the prosec"tion had rested its case, the presentation of the defense evidence 'as sched"led on Febr"ar 6, 1909, 'hich, ho'ever, 'as reset *for the last time* to @arch 11, 1909 d"e to petitioner9s illness. 3 The hearin$ on @arch 11, 1909 'as, ho'ever, cancelled also beca"se of the absence of both the private prosec"tor and defense co"nsel, Att . Anal"3 !ristal-Tenorio. The ne' sched"le 'as April 12, 1909. - .o'ever, Att . Tenorio 'as a$ain absent on April 12, 1909. /etitioner 'as also absent, b"t her h"sband appeared and s"bmitted to the co"rt a medical certificate that she 'as sic(. The hearin$ on that date 'as therefore postponed to @a 1<, 1909 *LfMor the last time. * :

On ,"l 11, 1909, the ne' date of hearin$, both petitioner and Att . Tenorio 'ere absent, so that on motion of private prosec"tor, the co"rt declared petitioner to have 'aived the ri$ht to present her evidence. 0 Fo"r da s later 7on ,"l 1-, 19098, petitioner $ave a medical certificate 9 statin$ that she 'as s"fferin$ from h pertension and rhe"matism 'hich re2"ired bed rest for at least :< da s. The co"rt merel noted the medical certificate b"t maintained its previo"s order, on the $ro"nd that *the same is not a motion and LasM co"nsel 'as also not in !o"rt d"rin$ the last hearin$, the Order of the !o"rt dated ,"l 11, 1909 to the effect that the presentation of defense evidence is considered 'aived, stands. * 11

/etitioner b herself moved for reconsideration, alle$in$ that she failed to appear in co"rt on ,"l 11, 1909 beca"se she 'as indisposed and had been "nable to contact Att . Tenorio. She as(ed for permission to present her evidence. .er motion, ho'ever, 'as denied b the co"rt in its order of A"$"st 29, 1909 11 in 'hich it also sched"led the prom"l$ation of B"d$ment on September 29, 1909.

On @a 11, 1909, Att . Tenorio moved for the postponement of the hearin$ from @a 1<, 1909 to ,"ne :, 1909, alle$edl beca"se she had to leave for @ala bala , A"(idnon to assist in the prosec"tion of her brother-in-la'9s (illers. The trial co"rt, 'hile notin$ that the hearin$ on @a 1<, 1909 'as *intransferrable in character,* nonetheless $ranted Att . Tenorio9s motion and postponed the

On September 29, 1909, the co"rt rendered its decision 12 findin$ petitioner $"ilt of falsification and sentencin$ her to - months of arresto ma or, as minim"m, to - ears and 2 months of prision correccional, as ma#im"m, and to pa a fine of /:,111.11.

/etitioner thro"$h a ne' co"nsel, Att . +onolfo S. /asamba, filed a notice of appeal. 13 On @a 9, 1991, petitioner b herself filed a motion in the !o"rt of Appeals for e#tension of 31 da s to file her brief as appellant. 1- Abo"t the same time Att . /asamba also filed a motion for an e#tension of -: da s for the same p"rpose, b"t later as(ed to be relieved as petitioner9s co"nsel on the $ro"nd that despite his re2"est, petitioner did not $ive him the records of the case and confer 'ith him b"t instead acted as her o'n co"nsel b filin$ her o'n motion for time to file brief.

she m"st have $one thro"$h la' school as her handi'or( is 'ritten in forensic st le and is even better than the pleadin$s of some licensed advocates 'ho are handlin$ appealed cases or ori$inal special civil actions before this !o"rt.

Ender the +"les the $ro"nds for ne' trial are

7a8 That errors of la' or irre$"larities have been committed d"rin$ the trial preB"dicial to the s"bstantial ni$hts of the acc"sed6 and

The !o"rt of Appeals $ranted Att . /asamba9s motion and re2"ired petitioner to s"bmit the name and address of her ne' co"nsel 'ithin ten 7118 da s from notice. /etitioner instead filed a motion for ne' trial in lie" of appellant9s brief, claimin$ that beca"se of the ne$li$ence of her co"nsel, she had been deprived of her ri$ht to present evidence on her behalf in the trial co"rt.

7b8 That ne' and material evidence has been discovered 'hich the acc"sed co"ld not 'ith reasonable dili$ence have discovered and prod"ced at the trial, and 'hich if introd"ced and admitted, 'o"ld probabl chan$e the B"d$ment. 7+"le 121, Section 28

After the Solicitor Feneral filed his comment, the !o"rt of Appeals in its resol"tion dated ,an"ar 1:, 1992 denied petitioner9s motion for ne' trial and $ave her 31 da s 'ithin 'hich to file her appellant9s brief. 1: The appellate co"rt held=

There is not even a 'ee bit of a hint abo"t the second $ro"nd.

All that appellant is invo(in$ as $ro"nd for ne' trial is the polic of liberalit in the application of the r"les and the alle$ed ne$li$ence of her co"nsel.

So, in effect, 'hat the acc"sed 'o"ld 'ant of Es is to bend over bac('ards and in a $est"re of liberalit consider as an error of la' or as an irre$"larit the trial co"rt9s concl"sion that she 'as deemed to have 'aived her ri$ht to present evidence in her defense. 4n connection 'ith this co"rse of action she alread filed before the trial co"rt a motion for reconsideration= this 'as denied, 'here"pon the trial co"rt proceeded to rendition of the B"d$ment appealed from b the acc"sed to this co"rt.

Appellant, 'ho has, in fact, prepared the motion herself, 'itho"t the assistance of co"nsel, is probabl a member of the Aar. 4f she is not,

&e have metic"lo"sl $one over the entire record, and &e find that

acc"sed appellant 'as not at all deprived of her da in co"rt or denied d"e process. She 'as afforded ample opport"nit to present evidence in her defense.

the trial co"rt9s reconsideration.

r"lin$.

On

A"$"st

31,

1993

it

denied

+e$ardless of the nat"re of the offense char$ed, a criminal case, even if it involves onl a li$ht offense, the penalt for 'hich mi$ht be mere cens"re, is a serio"s matter that deserves e2"all serio"s attention b the one acc"sed. The appellant, it seems never $ave to this case 'hile it 'as still at the lo'er co"rt the serio"s attention that it deserves. For $ood reason C repeated absences of the acc"sed and her co"nsel C the trial co"rt 'as event"all constrained to consider the acc"sed to have 'aived the presentation of evidence in her defense. As pointed o"t b the Solicitor Feneral, it is settled in o"r B"rispr"dence that dilator moves b the acc"sed that tend to defeat the e#peditio"s termination of a criminal case is tantamo"nt to triflin$ 'ith the administration of B"stice that certainl can not and sho"ld not be condoned. 7// vs. An$co, 113 /hil. 336 // vs. 5ichoso, 96 S!+A 9:<8

/etitioner filed this case for revie' on certiorari, claimin$ that her conviction b the trial co"rt 'as void beca"se she 'as denied d"e process, since she 'as denied the opport"nit to present evidence in her behalf. The Solicitor Feneral filed his comment to 'hich petitioner filed a repl . On ;ovember 29, 199: this !o"rt denied the petition for lac( of merit. .ence this motion for reconsideration.

After d"e consideration of the motion and its s"pplement and the separate comments thereto b the respondents as 'ell as petitioner9s replies and private respondent9s consolidated reBoinder, the !o"rt no' resolves to $rant petitioner9s motion for reconsideration.

/etitioner filed a *ver "r$ent motion* for 91 da s from Febr"ar 22, 1992 to sec"re services of co"nsel to file her appellant9s brief. The !o"rt of Appeals $ave petitioner 1: da s from Febr"ar 22, 1992, the last da of the e#tension previo"sl $ranted her. The !o"rt of Appeals stated that it had $iven petitioner notice to file brief as earl as @arch 2<, 1991, b"t *petitioner has been triflin$ 'ith o"r B"dicial processes lon$ eno"$h.*

On @arch 6, 1992, 'itho"t the assistance of co"nsel, acc"sedappellant filed an appellant9s brief. Thereafter the Solicitor Feneral filed the appellee9s brief to 'hich petitioner filed a repl brief. On @a 20, 1993, the !o"rt of Appeals rendered its decision, affirmin$

First. The iss"e in this case is 'hether the trial co"rt properl held petitioner to have 'aived the ri$ht to present evidence beca"se of her fail"re to proceed despite several postponements $ranted to her. To be s"re, the postponement of the trial of a case to allo' the presentation of evidence of a part is a matter 'hich lies in the discretion of the trial co"rt, b"t it is a discretion 'hich m"st be e#ercised 'isel , considerin$ the pec"liar circ"mstances obtainin$ in each case and 'ith a vie' to doin$ s"bstantial B"stice. 16 4n the case at bar, hearin$s 'ere sched"led for die presentation of petitioner9s evidence on si# different dates, to 'it= 718 Febr"ar 6, 19096 728 @arch 11, 19096 738 April 12, 19096 7-8 @a 1<, 19096 7:8 ,"ne :, 19096 and 768 ,"l 11, 1909. /etitioner 'as absent thrice, i.e., on Febr"ar 6, 1909, April 12, 1909, and ,"l 11, 1909. On the first date, petitioner co"ld not come beca"se she 'as sic( and her co"nsel so informed the co"rt. She 'as absent also on ,"ne :, 1909

and ,"l 11, 1909 beca"se of illness 7h pertension and rhe"matism8. Th"s, 'hile petitioner9s absences 'ere e#plained, those of her co"nsel 'ere not. Att . Tenorio simpl disappeared 'itho"t a trace, despite 'arnin$ to co"nsel that her fail"re to present evidence for her client on ,"ne :, 1909 'o"ld be considered a 'aiver of the latter9s ri$ht to present her evidence. A"t co"nsel failed to heed the 'arnin$. /etitioner had to soldier on and, b herself, had to plead 'ith the co"rt for a chance to present her evidence. !ontrar to 'hat the appellate co"rt tho"$ht in affirmin$ petitioner9s conviction, this 'as not the case of a 'oman 'ho treated the criminal proceedin$s a$ainst her 'ith cavalier disdain. 4ndeed, 'e do not thin( that petitioner9s absences 'ere so man , capricio"s, or e$re$io"s as to ind"bitabl indicate an attempt to stall the proceedin$s of the criminal case as 'as the case in /eople v. An$co 1< and /eople v. 5ichoso. 10 /etitioner mi$ht have tried to dela the filin$ of her appellant9s brief, b"t her effort can be attrib"ted to an "nderstandable desire to be allo'ed to present her evidence. .ence, the filin$ of a motion for ne' trial. )ven in her present petition before this !o"rt petitioner9s pra er is not that she be e#onerated b"t onl that she be $iven the chance to prove her innocence b bein$ allo'ed to present her evidence.

/rivate respondent9s contention is e#a$$erated. Of co"rse there is a limit to petitioner9s credibilit sho"ld she repeat 'hat had happened here B"st for dela , not to mention that she 'o"ld be ta(in$ a bi$ ris( of losin$ her defense. As for the private respondent9s ar$"ment that petitioner sho"ld have $otten another la' er, onl 'ith the benefit of hindsi$ht does this co"rse appear to be the onl tenable one to ta(e. /etitioner mi$ht have tho"$ht that her co"nsel 'o"ld be more sed"lo"s in her behalf. Or perhaps petitioner tried to $et another co"nsel, b"t failed and, left 'ith no choice, st"c( it o"t 'ith Att . Tenorio and simpl hoped for the best rather than be left 'itho"t a co"nsel. 4n an case, the fact that on @a 1<, 1909 and ,"ne :, 1909 petitioner 'as present even 'hen co"nsel 'as absent tends to ne$ate an intention to dela the criminal proceedin$s.

+espondent /eople and the co"nsel for the private respondent oppose petitioner9s motion. The point o"t that, "nli(e the cases 19 'hich petitioner cites in s"pport of her motion, petitioner herself 'as ne$li$ent. The contend that she co"ld not have been "na'are of the absences of her la' er b"t despite that she did nothin$ to protect her interests. /rivate respondent ar$"es that *if $ranted a second chance to present her side, nothin$ 'ill stop the petitioner from once a$ain en$a$in$ the services of her erst'hile absentee co"nsel. An 'a , after another 11 ears of liti$ation, she can easil so"nd her reliable refrain= 94 'as denied d"e processQ 4 'as read to present m evidence, b"t m la' er 'as absent for five consec"tive times9. . . .*

4t 'as Att . Tenorio9s absences, then, rather than petitioner9s, 'hich appear to be the ca"se for the defense9s fail"re to present its evidence. Att . Tenorio9s ne$li$ence did not consist in error of proced"re or even a lapse in strate$ b"t somethin$ as basic as failin$ to appear in co"rt despite clear 'arnin$ that s"ch fail"re 'o"ld amo"nt to 'aiver of her client9s ri$ht to present evidence in her defense.

Jeepin$ in mind that this case involves personal libert , the ne$li$ence of co"nsel 'as certainl so $ross that it sho"ld not be allo'ed to preB"dice petitioner9s constit"tional ri$ht to be heard. The B"dicial conscience certainl cannot rest eas on a conviction based solel on the evidence of the prosec"tion B"st beca"se the presentation of the defense evidence had been barred b technicalit . +i$id application of r"les m"st ield to the d"t of co"rts to render B"stice 'here B"stice is d"e C to sec"re to ever individ"al all possible le$al means to prove his innocence of a crime

'ith 'hich he or she mi$ht be char$ed. 21

Onl last ear, this !o"rt set aside its decision after findin$ that the ri$ht of the acc"sed to d"e process had been violated. 4n 5e F"3man v. Sandi$anba an, 21 this !o"rt set aside its decision affirmin$ petitioner9s conviction b the Sandi$anba an and its resol"tion den in$ reconsideration, after bein$ sho'n that petitioner9s conviction had been bro"$ht abo"t b his co"nsel9s $ross i$norance of la' and proced"re. The !o"rt held=

/etitioner9s present dilemma is certainl not somethin$ red"cible to pesos and centavos. ;o less than his libert is at sta(e here. And he is B"st abo"t to lose it simpl beca"se his former la' ers p"rs"ed a carelessl contrived proced"ral strate$ of insistin$ on 'hat has alread become an impr"dent remed , 'hich th"s forbade petitioner from offerin$ his evidence all the 'hile available for presentation before the Sandi$anba an. Ender the circ"mstances, hi$her interests of B"stice and e2"it demand that petitioner be not penali3ed for the costl import"nin$s of his previo"s la' ers based on the same principles 'h this !o"rt had, on man occasions 'here it $ranted ne' trial, e#c"sed parties from the ne$li$ence or mista(es of co"nsel. To clin$ to the $eneral r"le in this case is onl to condone rather than rectif a serio"s inB"stice to petitioners 'hose onl fa"lt 'as to repose his faith and entr"st his innocence to his previo"s la' ers. . . .

4n another case, /eople v. 5el @"ndo, 22 in 'hich the acc"sed 'as convicted of rape in si# cases and sentenced to recl"sion perpet"a on five of them and to death on the si#th, this !o"rt ordered a ne' trial after it 'as sho'n that complainant had e#ec"ted prior to acc"sed9s conviction an affidavit of desistance, 'hile an ;A4 medicole$al report $iven after s"ch conviction fo"nd that complainant9s *ph sical vir$init preserved.* The report belied the contrar findin$ of the cit health officer on 'hich the trial co"rt relied in convictin$ the acc"sed. Altho"$h the ;A4 report did not constit"te ne'l discovered evidence, a ne' trial 'as nonetheless ordered *on the broader $ro"nd of s"bstantial B"stice LasM the r"le for $rantin$ a motion for ne' trial, amon$ others, sho"ld be liberall constr"ed to assist the parties in obtainin$ a B"st and speed determination of their ri$hts. . . . !o"rt liti$ations are primaril for the search for tr"th, and a liberal interpretation of the r"les b 'hich both parties are $iven the f"llest opport"nit to add"ce proofs is the best 'a to ferret o"t s"ch tr"th.*

+econsideration of the resol"tion in this case is compelled b these precedents. 4ndeed, to den petitioner the opport"nit to present her evidence on the merest chance that she mi$ht be innocent 'o"ld be to disre$ard the 'isdom that it is better to ac2"it ten $"ilt individ"als than to convict one innocent person. The !o"rt is as a'are as an one of the need for the speed disposition of cases. At the same time, ho'ever, it has ever been mindf"l of its responsibilit as the hi$hest trib"nal of B"stice to see to it that the paramo"nt interests of B"stice are not sacrificed for the sa(e of speed and efficienc . As ,"stice Teehan(ee 'rote= 23

The !o"rt remanded the case to the Sandi$anba an for reception and appreciation of petitioner9s evidence.

The !o"rt has consistentl maintained that altho"$h a speed determination of an action implies a speed trial, speed is not the chief obBective of a trial. !aref"l and deliberate consideration for the administration of B"stice, a $en"ine respect for the ri$hts of all

parties and the re2"irements of proced"ral d"e process and an adherence to the !o"rt9s standin$ admonition that the discretion $ranted B"d$es in the $rantin$ or denial of motions for postponement and the settin$ aside of denial orders previo"sl iss"ed *sho"ld al'a s be predicated on the consideration that more than the mere convenience of the co"rts or of the parties in the case, the ends of B"stice and fairness 'o"ld be served thereb * are more important than a race to end the trial.

evidence b her lonesome, and that co"ld be the reason 'h she hesitated from doin$ so 'hen she fo"nd herself 'itho"t the assistance of co"nsel and not beca"se petitioner tried to dela the proceedin$s and obstr"ct the co"rse of B"stice.

Second. 4n den in$ petitioner9s plea for a chance to present her evidence, the !o"rt of Appeals observed that petitioner has more than a la man9s ac2"aintance 'ith the la', havin$ been able to prepare and file her o'n motion for ne' trial and appellant9s brief, to be $iven the benefit of the do"bt. A"t even la' ers, 'ho are parties in a case, need the $"idin$ hand of co"nsel. S(ill in draftin$ pleadin$s 7'hich is practicall the onl *la' erl * thin$ petitioner did8 is vastl different from s(ill needed in the co"rtroom. /reparin$ pleadin$s can be done at leis"re 'ith the l"#"r of cons"ltation, either of boo(s or of people. Trial 'or(, ho'ever, demands more. 4t re2"ires the abilit to thin( fast on one9s feet and the ps cholo$ist9s feel for the 'itness9 mood and motive. As then !hief ,"stice @oran said for the !o"rt in /eople v. .ol$ado= 2-

4n s"m, it is better to allo' petitioner another chance to present her evidence than to let her conviction stand based solel on the evidence of the prosec"tion. 4n accordance 'ith +"le 121, R6, 2: the evidence of the prosec"tion shall be "nderstood preserved, s"bBect to the ri$ht of the prosec"tion to s"pplement it andDor to reb"t the evidence 'hich petitioner ma present.

&.)+)FO+), the motion for reconsideration of the resol"tion of ;ovember 29, 199: is F+A;T)5 and the decision dated @a 20, 1993 of the !o"rt of Appeals and that of the +e$ional Trial !o"rt of A"lacan, Aranch 22 dated September 29, 1909 in !riminal !ase ;o. 92:2-@ are S)T AS45) and this case is +)@A;5)5 to the +e$ional Trial !o"rt of A"lacan for a ne' trial for the p"rpose of allo'in$ petitioner to present evidence in her defense 'ith directive to the co"rt thereafter to decide the case 'ith all deliberate speed.

)ven the most intelli$ent or ed"cated man ma have no s(ill in the science of the la', partic"larl in the r"les of proced"re, and, 'itho"t co"nsel, he ma be convicted not beca"se he is $"ilt b"t beca"se he does not (no' ho' to establish his innocence.

SO O+5)+)5.

+e$alado, +omero, /"no and Torres, ,r., ,,., conc"r.

4t is entirel probable that, forced to be her o'n la' er, petitioner nonetheless felt some inade2"ac and e#perienced some moments of do"bt 'hether she co"ld $o thro"$h the ordeal of presentin$ her

8*'TIG* %'. +*R:AL 17 8"il 641

;icolas >illaflor, a 'ealth man of !astilleBos, Pambales, e#ec"ted a 'ill in Spanish in his o'n hand'ritin$, devisin$ and be2"eathin$ in favor of his 'ife, 5ona Fa"sta ;epom"ceno, one-half of all his real and personal properties, $ivin$ the other half to his brother 5on Fa"sto >illaflor. !la"se 6th, containin$ the instit"tion of heirs, reads as follo's= . S)HTO C )n virt"d de las fac"ltades 2"e me conceden las le es, instit" o per mis "nicos "niversales herederos de todos mis derechos acciones a mi hermano 5. Fa"sto >illaflor a mi esposa 5a. Fa"sta ;epom"ceno para 2"e partan todos mis bienes 2"e me pertenescan, en i$"ales partes, para desp"es de mi m"erte, e#cept"ando las donaciones le$ados 2"e, abaBo mi mas e#pontanea vol"ntad, lo ha$o en la forma si$"iente= .

G.R. No. L-15777

3e4ruar5 68, 1926

L$*N*R %ILLA3L*R %&A. &$ %ILLAN-$%A, plaintiff-appellant, vs. &$L3IN N. :-I(*, in "is #a9a#it5 as :udi#ial Ad inistrator o! t"e testate estate o! 3A-'TA N$8*/-($N*, defendantappellee. A%ado G. *alazar for plaintiff0appellant. *!cip, *alazar, Luna and Associates for defendant0appellee. R$0$', :.+.L., J.: S"bBect to this direct appeal to "s on points of la' is the decision of the !o"rt of First 4nstance of +i3al, in its !ivil !ase ;o. I-2019, dismissin$ plaintiff-appellant9s complaint for the recover of certain properties that 'ere ori$inall o'ned b the plaintiff9s $rand"ncle, ;icolas >illaflor, and 'hich he $ranted to his 'ido', 5oSa Fa"sta ;epom"ceno, be2"eathin$ to her *s" "so posesion mientras viva no se case en se$"ndas n"pcias*. The follo'in$ facts appear of record= On October 9, 1910, 5on

S)/T4@O= C %e$o para disp"es de mi m"erte a mi esposa 5a. Fa"sta ;epom"ceno, en pr"eba de mi amor carino, los bienes, alhaBas m"ebles 2"e a contin"acion se e#presan6 . O!TA>O= C I"e estos le$ades disfr"taria mi referida esposa 5a. Fa"sta ;epom"ceno s" "so posesion mientras viva no se case en se$"ndas n"pcias, de la contrario, pasara a ser propiedad estos dichos le$ados de mi sobrina nieta %eonor >illaflor. The 12th cla"se of the 'ill provided, ho'ever, that !la"ses 6th and <th thereof 'o"ld be deemed ann"lled from the moment he bore an child 'ith 5oSa Fa"sta ;epom"ceno. Said !la"se 12th reads as follo's= . 5EO5)!4@O= C I"edan an"lados las parrafos 6.1 <.1 de este testamento 2"e tratan de instit"cion de herederos los le$ados 2"e se haran desp"es de mi m"erte a favor de mi esposa, en el momento 2"e podre tener la dicha de contrar con hiBo hiBos le$itimos o le$itimados, p"es estos, conforme a le seran mis herederos.

5on ;icolas >illaflor died on @arch 3, 1922, 'itho"t be$ettin$ an child 'ith his 'ife 5oSa Fa"sta ;epom"ceno. The latter, alread a 'ido', there"pon instit"ted Special /roceedin$ ;o. 213 of the !o"rt of First 4nstance of Pambales, for the settlement of her h"sband9s estate and in that proceedin$, she 'as appointed B"dicial administratri#. 4n d"e co"rse of administration, she s"bmitted a proBect of partition, no' )#hibit *)*. 4n the order of ;ovember 2-, 192-, no' e#hibit *!*, the probate co"rt approved the proBect of partition and declared the proceedin$ closed. As the proBect of partition, )#hibit *)*, no' sho's 5oSa Fa"sta ;epom"ceno received b virt"e thereof the o'nership and possession of a considerable amo"nt of real and personal estate. A virt"e also of the said proBect of partition, she received the "se and possession of all the real and personal properties mentioned and referred to in !la"se <th of the 'ill. The order approvin$ the proBect of partition 7)#h. *!*8, ho'ever, e#pressl provided that approval thereof 'as *sin perB"icio de lo disp"esto en la cla"s"la 0.o del testamento de ;icolas >illaflor.* . On @a 1, 19:6, 5oSa Fa"sta ;epom"ceno died 'itho"t havin$ contracted a second marria$e, and 'itho"t havin$ be$otten an child 'ith the deceased ;icolas >illaflor. .er estate is no' bein$ settled in Special /roceedin$ ;o. I-1:63 in the lo'er co"rt, 'ith the defendant 5elfin ;. ,"ico as the d"l appointed and 2"alified B"dicial administrator. The plaintiff %eonor >illaflor >da. de >illan"eva is admitted to be the same %eonor >illaflor mentioned b 5on ;icolas >illaflor in his 'ill as his *sobrina nieta %eonor >illaflor*. /laintiff %eonor >illaflor instit"ted the present action a$ainst the administrator of the estate of the 'ido' Fa"sta ;epom"ceno, on Febr"ar 0, 19:0, contendin$ that "pon the 'ido'9s death, said plaintiff became vested 'ith the o'nership of the real and personal properties be2"eathed b the late ;icolas >illaflor to cla"se < of his 'ill, p"rs"ant to its ei$ht 70th8 cla"se. 5efendant9s position, adopted b the trial co"rt, is that the title to the properties aforesaid became absol"tel vested in the 'ido' "pon her death, on acco"nt of the fact that she never remarried. &e a$ree 'ith appellant that the plain desire and intent of the

testator, as manifested in cla"se 0 of his testament, 'as to invest his 'ido' 'ith onl a "s"fr"ct or life ten"re in the properties described in the seventh cla"se, s"bBect to the f"rther condition 7admitted b the appellee8 that if the 'ido' remarried, her ri$hts 'o"ld there"pon cease, even d"rin$ her o'n lifetime. That the 'ido' 'as meant to have no more than a life interest in those properties, even if she did not remarr at all, is evident from the e#pressions "sed b the deceased *uso ! posesion %ientras viva* 7"se and possession 'hile alive8 in 'hich the first half of the phrase *uso ! posesion* instead of *do%inio* or *propiedad*8 reinforces the second 7*%ientras viva*8. The testator plainl did not $ive his 'ido' the f"ll o'nership of these partic"lar properties, b"t onl the ri$ht to their possession and "se 7or enBo ment8 d"rin$ her lifetime. This is in contrast 'ith the remainder of the estate in 'hich she 'as instit"ted "niversal heir to$ether 'ith the testator9s brother 7cla"se 68. 12+p'31.45t S)HTO= C )n virt"d de las fac"ltades 2"e me conceden las le es, instit" o por mis "nicos "niversales herederos de todos mis derechos acciones a mi hermano 5. Fa"sto >illaflor a mi esposa 5a. Fa"sta ;epom"ceno para 2"e parten todos mis bienes 2"e me pertenescan, en i$"ales partes, para desp"es de mi m"erte, e#cept"ando las donaciones le$ados 2"e, abaBo mi mas e#pontanea vol"ntad, lo ha$o en la forma si$"iente. The co"rt belo', in holdin$ that the appellant %eonor >illaflor, as reversionar le$atee, co"ld s"cceed to the properties be2"eathed b cla"se < of the testament onl in the event that the 'ido' remarried, has "n'arrantedl discarded the e#pression *mientras viva,* and considered the 'ords *"so posesion* as e2"ivalent to *dominio* 7o'nership8. 4n so doin$, the trial co"rt violated Article <91 of the !ivil !ode of the /hilippines, as 'ell as section :9 of +"le 123 of the +"les of !o"rt. A+T. <91. The 'ords of a 'ill are to receive an interpretation 'hich 'ill $ive to ever e#pression some effect, rather than one 'hich 'ill render an of the e#pressions inoperative6 and of t'o modes of interpretin$ a 'ill, that one is to be preferred 'hich 'ill prevent intestac .* .

S)!. :9. ,nstru%ent construed so as to give effect to all provisions. C 4n the constr"ction of an instr"ment 'here there are several provisions or partic"lars, s"ch a constr"ction is, if possible, to be adopted as 'ill $ive effect to all.* . Spec"lation as to the motives of the testator in imposin$ the conditions contained in cla"se < of his testament sho"ld not be allo'ed to obsc"re the clear and "nambi$"o"s meanin$ of his plain 'ords, 'hich are over the primar so"rce in ascertainin$ his intent. 4t is 'ell to note that if the testator had intended to impose as sole condition the non-remarria$e of his 'ido', the 'ords *"so posesion mientras viva* 'o"ld have been "nnecessar , since the 'ido' co"ld onl remarr d"rin$ her o'n lifetime. The !ivil !ode, in Article <91, p. 1 7Article 6<: of the !ode of 10098, e#pressl enBoins the follo'in$= . A+T. <91. The 'ords of a 'ill are to be ta(en in their ordinar and $rammatical sense, "nless a clear intention to "se them in another sense can be $athered, and that other can be ascertained.* . Technical 'ords in a 'ill are to be ta(en in their technical sense, "nless the conte#t clearl indicates a contrar intention, or "nless it satisfactoril appears that the 'ill 'as dra'n solel b the testator, and that he 'as "nac2"ainted 'ith s"ch technical sense. 76<:a8 4n consonance 'ith this r"le, this S"preme !o"rt has laid the doctrine in 4n re )state of !alderon, 26 /hil., 233, that the intention and 'ishes of the testator, 'hen clearl e#pressed in his 'ill, constit"te the fi#ed la' of interpretation, and all 2"estions raised at the trial, relative to its e#ec"tion and f"lfillment, m"st be settled in accordance there'ith, follo'in$ the plain and literal meanin$ of the testator9s 'ords, "nless it clearl! appears that his intention 'as other'ise. The same r"le is adopted b the S"preme !o"rt of Spain 7TS. Sent. 21 @ar3o 19106 20 @a o 19106 31 Abril 19136 16 )nero 191:6 23 Oct. 192:8.

%a vol"ntad del testador, clara, precisa constantemente e#presada al ordenar s" "ltimo vol"ntad, es le "nica, imperativa obli$atoria 2"e han de obedecer c"mplir fieldmente albaceas, le$atarios heredera, ho s"s s"cesores, sin 2"e esa vol"ntad patente, 2"e no ha menester de interpretaciones, p"es no ofrece la menor d"da, p"eda s"stit"irse, p"es no ofrece la menor d"da, p"eda s"stit"irse por nin$"n otro criterio de al$"na de los interesados, ni tampoco por el B"dicial. 7Trib"nal S"premo of Spain, Sent. 21 @arch 19108 . The American decisions invo(ed b appellee in his brief inapplicable, beca"se the involve cases 'here the onl condition imposed on the le$atee 'as that she sho"ld remain a 'ido'. As alread sho'n, the testament of 5on ;icolas >illaflor clearl and "nmista(abl provided that his 'ido' sho"ld have the possession and "se of the le$acies 'hile alive and did not remarr . 4t necessaril follo's that b the e#press provisions of the 0th cla"se of his 'ill, the le$acies sho"ld pass to the testator9s *sobrinanieta*, appellant herein, "pon the 'ido'9s death, even if the 'ido' never remarried in her lifetime. !onse2"entl , the 'ido' had no ri$ht to retain or dispose of the aforesaid properties, and her estate is acco"ntable to the reversionar le$atee for their ret"rn, "nless the had been lost d"e to fort"ito"s event, or for their val"e sho"ld ri$hts of innocent third parties have intervened. /+)@4S)S !O;S45)+)5, the decision appealed from is reversed, and the appellant %eonor >illaflor >da. de >4%%A;E)>A is declared entitled to the o'nership and fr"its of the properties described in cla"se < of the 'ill or testament, from the date of the death of 5oSa Fa"sta ;epom"ceno. The records are ordered remanded to the co"rt of ori$in for li2"idation, acco"ntin$ and f"rther proceedin$s conformabl to this decision. !osts a$ainst the Administratorappellee. Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Barrera, Paredes, #izon and #e Leon, JJ., concur. Labrador, J., too& no part.

A<nar ; Gar#ia 7 s#ra 95 Facts= )d'ard S. !hristensen, tho"$h born in ;e' Gor(, mi$rated to !alifornia 'here he resided and conse2"entl 'as considered a !alifornia !iti3en for a period of nine ears to 1913. .e came to the /hilippines 'here he became a domiciliar "ntil the time of his death. .o'ever, d"rin$ the entire period of his residence in this co"ntr , he had al'a s considered himself as a citi3en of !alifornia. 4n his 'ill, e#ec"ted on @arch :, 19:1, he instit"ted an ac(no'led$ed nat"ral da"$hter, @aria %"c !hristensen as his onl heir b"t left a le$ac of some mone in favor of .elen !hristensen Farcia 'ho, in a decision rendered b the S"preme !o"rt had been declared as an ac(no'led$ed nat"ral da"$hter of his. !o"nsel of .elen claims that "nder Art. 16 728 of the civil code, !alifornia la' sho"ld be applied, the matter is ret"rned bac( to the la' of domicile, that /hilippine la' is "ltimatel applicable, that the share of .elen m"st be increased in vie' of s"ccessional ri$hts of ille$itimate children "nder /hilippine la's. On the other hand, co"nsel for da"$hter @aria , in as m"ch that it is clear "nder Art, 16 728 of the @e' !ivil !ode, the national of the deceased m"st appl , o"r co"rts m"st appl internal la' of !alifornia on the matter. Ender !alifornia la', there are no comp"lsor heirs and conse2"entl a testator sho"ld dispose an propert possessed b him in absol"te dominion. .eld=

&hether /hilippine %a' or !alifornia %a' sho"ld appl .

The S"preme !o"rt decidin$ to $rant more s"ccessional ri$hts to .elen !hristensen Farcia said in effect that there be t'o r"les in !alifornia on the matter. The conflict r"le 'hich sho"ld appl to !alifornianTs o"tside the !alifornia, and The internal %a' 'hich sho"ld appl to !alifornia domiciles in califronia. The !alifornia conflict r"le, fo"nd on Art. 9-6 of the !alifornia !ivil code States that Uif there is no la' to the contrar in the place 'here personal propert is sit"ated, it is deemed to follo' the decree of its o'ner and is $overned b the la' of the domicile.V !hristensen bein$ domiciled o"tside california, the la' of his domicile, the /hilippines is o"$ht to be follo'ed. &herefore, the decision appealed is reversed and case is remanded to the lo'er co"rt 'ith instr"ctions that partition be made as that of the /hilippine la' provides. G.R. Nos. L-11487-11484 3e4ruar5 14, 1958

4ss"e=

In t"e atter o! t"e Testate $state o! t"e de#eased $d=ard $. ("ristensen, A&*L3* (R-. A.NAR, petitioner. /ARIA L-(0 ()RI'T$N'$N &AN$0 and A&*L3* (R-. A.NAR, petitioners-appellants, vs. /ARIA )$L$N ()RI'T$N'$N GAR(IA and +$RNAR&A

(A/8*R$&*N&*, oppositors-appellees. +$RNAR&A (A/8*R$&*N&*, plaintiff-appellee, vs. A&*L3* (R-. A.NAR, as $>e#utor o! t"e &e#eased $&WAR& $. ()RI'T$N'$N, defendant-appellant. M. . *otelo for appellants. Leopoldo M. abellera and A%ado A. Munda for appellee Maria 6eliuen C'ristensen Garcia. Pedro P. *uarez and 7scar Breva for appellee Bernarda Ca%poredondo. 3$LI?, J.: From the records of the above-entitled cases, it appears that as of 1913,)d'ard ). !hristensen, an American citi3en, 'as alread residin$ in 5avao and on the follo'in$ ear became the mana$er of @indanao )states located in the m"nicipalit of /adada of the same province. At a certain time, 'hich the lo'er co"rt placed at 191<, a $ro"p of laborers recr"ited from Ar$ao, !eb", arrived to 'or( in the said plantation. Amon$ the $ro"p 'as a o"n$ $irl,Aernarda !amporendondo, 'ho became an assistant to the coo(. Thereafter, the$irl and )d'ard ). !hristensen, 'ho 'as also "nmarried starin$ livin$ to$ether as h"sband and 'ife and altho"$h the records failed to establishthe e#act date 'hen s"ch relationship commenced, the lo'er co"rt fo"nd the same to have been contino"s for over 31 ears "ntil the death of !hristensen occ"recd on April 31, 19:3. O"t of said relations, 2 children, %"c and .elen !hristensen, 'ere alle$edl born. G. . 87. L0119:9.

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3. 4 declare . . . that 4 have b"t one 718 child, named @A+4A %E!G !.+4ST);S); 7no' @rs. Aernard 5ane 8, 'ho 'as born in the /hilippines abo"t t'ent -ei$ht ears a$o, and 'ho is no' residin$ at ;o. 66: +od$er Go"n$ >illa$e, %os An$eles, !alifornia, E.S.A. -. 4 f"rther declare that 4 have no livin$ ascendants, andno descendantse#cept m above named da"$hter, @A+4A %E!G !.+4ST);S); 5A;)G. ### ### ###.

<. 4 $ive, devise and be2"eath "nto @A+4A %E!G !.+4ST);S);, no' married to)d"ardo Farcia, abo"t ei$hteen ears of a$e and 'ho, not'ithstandin$ the factthat she 'as bapti3ed !hristensen, is not in an 'a related to me, nor hasshe been at an time adopted to me, and 'ho, from all information 4 have no' resides in )$ipt, 5i$os, 5avao, /hilippines, the s"m of T.+))) T.OESA;5 S4H.E;5+)5 /)SOS 7/3,6118 /hilippine !"rrenc , the same to be deposited in tr"stfor said @aria %"c !hristensen 'ith the 5avao Aranch of the /hilippine;ational Aan(, and paid to her at the rate of One ."ndred /esos 7/1118, /hilippine !"rrenc per month "ntil the the principal thereof as 'ell as an interest 'hich ma have accr"ed thereon, is e#ha"sted. 0. 4 $ive devise and be2"eath "nto A)+;A+5A !A@/O+);5O;5O, no' residin$ in/adada, 5avao, /hilippines, the s"m of One Tho"sand /esos 7/1,1118, /hilippine !"rrenc . ### ### ###.

Epon the demise of the American, 'ho had left a considerable amo"nt of properties his 'ill namin$ Adolfo !r"3 A3nar as e#ec"tor 'as d"l presented for probate in co"rt and became the s"bBect of Special /roceedin$s ;o. 622 of the !o"rt of First 4nstance of 5avao. Said 'ill contains, amon$ others, the follo'in$ provisions=

12. 4 hereb $ive, devise and be2"eath, "nto m 'ellbeloved da"$hter, the said @A+4A %"c !.+4ST);S); 5A;)G 7@rs. Aernard 5ane 8, no' residin$ as aforesaid at ;o. 66: +od$er Go"n$ >illa$e %os An$eles, !alifornia, E.S.A., all the

income from the rest, remainder, and resid"e of m propert and estate, real, personal andDor mi#ed, of 'hatsoever (ind or character, and'heresover sit"ated6 of 'hich 4 ma be possessed at an death and 'hich ma have come to me from an so"rce 'hatsoever, d"rin$ her lifetime,/rovided, honvever, that sho"ld the said @A+4A %E!G !.+4ST);S); 5A;)G at an time prior to her decease havin$ livin$ iss"e, then, and in that event, the life interest herein $iven shall terminate, and if so terminated, then 4 $ive, devise, and be2"eath to m said da"$hter, the said @A+4A %E!G !.+4ST);S); 5A;)G, the rest remainder and resid"e of m propert , 'ith the same force and effectas if 4 had ori$inall so $iven, devised and be2"eathedit to her6 and provided, f"rther, that sho"ld be said @aria %"c !hristensen5ane die 'itho"t livin$ iss"e then, and in that event, 4 $ive, devise and be2"eath all the rest, remainder and resid"e of m propert , one-half 71D28 to m 'ell-beloved sister, @rs. !A++4) %O4ES) !. AO+TO;, no' residin$ at ;o. 212- T'entieth Street, Aa(ersfield, !alifornia, E.S.A. and one-half 71D28 to the children of m deceased brother, ,OS)/. !. !+4ST);S);, . . . 13. 4 hereb nominate and appoint @r Adolfo !r"3 A3nar, of 5avao !it , /hilippines, m e#ec"tor, and the e#ec"tor of this, m last 'ill and testament. . . . 7)#h. A8. Oppositions to the probate of this 'ill 'ere separatel filed b @aria .elen !hristensen Farcia and Aernarda !amporendondo, the first contendin$ that the'ill lac(ed the formalities re2"ired b la'6 that $rantin$ that he had, thedispositions made therein 'ere ille$al beca"se altho"$h she and %"c !hristensen 'ere both children had b the deceased 'ith Aernarda !amporendondo, et she 'as $iven onl a mea$er s"m of /3,611 o"t of an estate val"ed at W-0:,111 'hile %"c 'o"ld $et the rest of the properties6and that the petitioner Adolfo !r"3 A3nar 'as not 2"alified to be appointed as administrator of the estate beca"se he had an interest adverse to thatof the estate. 4t 'as therefore pra ed b his oppositor that the application for probate be denied and the 'ill disallo'ed6 that the

proceedin$ be declared intestate and that another disinterested person be appointed as administrator. Aernarda !amporedondo, on the other hand, claimed o'nership over one-halfof the entire estate in virt"e of her relationship 'ith the deceased, it bein$ alle$ed that she and the testator havin$ lived to$ether as h"sband and'ife contin"o"sl for a period of over 31 ears, the properties ac2"ired d"rin$ s"ch cohabitation sho"ld be $overned b the r"les on co-o'nership. This opposition 'as dismissed b the probate co"rt on the $ro"nd that shehad no ri$ht to intervene in said proceedin$, for as s"ch common-la' 'ife she had no s"ccessional ri$ht that mi$ht be affected b the probate of the'ill, and li(e'ise, she co"ld not be allo'ed to establish her title and co-o'nership over the properties therein for s"ch 2"estions m"st be ventilated in a co"rt of $eneral B"risdiction. 4n vie' of this r"lin$ of the !o"rt and in order to attain the p"rpose so"$ht b her overr"led opposition Aernarda !amporedondo had to instit"te, as she did instit"te !ivil !ase ;o. 11<6 of the !o"rt of First 4nstance of 5avao 7F.+. ;o. %-11-038 'hich 'e 'ill consider and disc"ss hereinafter. 4n the meantime, Adolfo !r"3 A3nar 'as appointed special adminsitrator of the estate after filin$ a bond for /:,111 pendin$ the appointment of a re$"lar one, and letters of special administrition 'ere correspondin$l iss"ed to him on @a 21, 19:3. The records f"rther sho' that s"bse2"ent to her ori$inal opposition. .elen !hristensen Farcia filed a s"pplemental opposition and motion to declare her an ac(no'led$ed nat"ral child of )d'ard ). !hristensen, alle$in$ that she'as conceived d"rin$ the time 'hen her mother Aernarda !amporendondo 'as livin$ 'ith the deceased as his common-la' 'ife6 that she had been in contino"s possession of the stat"s of a nat"ral child of the deceased6 thatahe had in her favor evidence andDor proof that )d'ard !hristensen 'as her father6 and that she and %"c had the same civil stat"s as children of the decedent and Aernarda !amporedondo. This motion 'as opposed Bointl b the e#ec"tor and @aria %"c !hristensen 5ane assertin$ that before, d"rin$ and after the conception and birth of .elen !hristensen Farcia, her mother 'as $enerall (no'n to be carr in$ relations 'ith 3 different men6 that d"rin$ the lifetime of the

decedent and even ears before his death, )d'ard !hristensen verball as 'ell as in 'ritin$ disavo'ed relationship 'ith said oppositor6 that oppositor appropriated and "sed the s"rname !hristensen ille$all and 'itho"t permission from the deceased. Th"s the pra ed the !o"rt that the 'ill be allo'ed6 that @aria .elen !hristensen Farcia be declared not in an 'a related to the deceased6 and that the motion of said oppositor be denied. After d"e hearin$, the lo'er co"rt in a decision dated Febr"ar 20, 19:3, fo"nd that oppositor @aria .elen !ristensen had been in contino"s possession of the stat"s of a nat"ral child of the deceased )d'ard !hristensen not'ithstandin$ the fact that she 'as diso'ned b him in his 'ill, for s"ch action m"st have been bro"$ht abo"t b the latter9s disaproval of said oppositor9s marria$e to a man he did not li(e. A"t ta(in$ into considerationthat s"ch possession of the stat"s of a nat"ral child did not itself constit"te ac(no'led$ment b"t ma onl be availed of to compel ac(no'led$ment, the lo'er !o"rt directed @aria %"c !hristensen 5ane toac(no'led$e the oppositor as a nat"ral child of )d'ard ). !hristensen. The'ill 'as, ho'ever, allo'ed the letters testamentar conse2"entl iss"ed toAdolfo !r"3 A3nar, the e#ec"tor named therein. From the portion of the decision re2"irin$ %"c !hristensen to ac(no'led$e .elen as a nat"ral child of the testator, the former and the e#ec"tor interposed an appeal to the !o"rt of Appeals 7!A-F. +. ;o. 13-21+8, b"t the appellate trib"nal elevatedthe same to Es on the $ro"nd that the case involves an estate the val"e of 'hich far e#ceeds /:1,111.11 and th"s falls 'ithin the e#cl"sive appellate B"risdiction of this !o"rt p"rs"ant to Section 1< 7:8, +ep"blic Act ;o. 296. The principal iss"e in this liti$ation is 'hether the lo'er co"rt erred in findin$ that the oppositor @aria .elen !hristensen Farcia had been in contino"s possession of the stat"s of a nat"ral child of the deceased )d'ard). !hristensen and in directin$ @aria %"c !hristensen 5ane , reco$ni3edda"$hter and instit"ted heirs of the decedent, to ac(no'led$e the former ass"ch nat"ral child. @aria %"c !hristensen 'as born on April 2:, 1922, and @aria .elen !hristensen on ,"l 2, 193-, of the same mother, Aernarda !amporedondo, d"rin$ the period 'hen the latter 'as p"blicl (no'n to have been livin$ as common-la' 'ife of )d'ard ).

!hrisiensen. From the facts of the case there can be no 2"estion as to %"c 9s parenta$e, b"t controvers arose 'hen )d'ard !hristensen, in ma(in$ his last 'ill and testament, disavo'ed s"ch paternit to .elen and $ave her onl a le$ac of /3,611. ln the co"rse of the proceedin$ for the probate of the 'ill 7)#h, A8, .elen introd"ced doc"mentar and testimonial evidence to s"pport her claim that she, %"c ,'as a nat"ral child of the deceased and, therefore, entitled to the hereditar share correspondin$ to s"ch descendant. Several 'itness testified in herfavor, incl"din$ the mother Aernarda !amporendondo, her former teachers andother residents of the comm"nit , tendin$ to prove that she 'as (no'n in the localit as a child of the testator and 'as introd"ced b the latter to the circle of his friends and ac2"aintances as his da"$hter. Famil portraits, $reetin$ cards and letters 'ere li(e'ise presented to bolster herassertion that she had al'a s been treated b the deceased and b %"c herself as a member of the famil . %"c !hristensen and Adolfo !r"3 A3nar, as e#ec"tor, tried to rep"diate herclaim b introd"cin$ evidence to prove that on or abo"t the period 'hen she'as conceived and born, her mother 'as carr in$ an affair 'ith another man,Posimo Silva, a former laborer in her /ali$"e plantation. Silva e#ec"ted an affidavit and even too( the 'itness stand to testif to this effect. Appellants also strived to sho' that the defendant9s solicitations for .elen9s 'elfare and the help e#tended to her merel spran$ o"t $enerosit and hammered on the fact that on several occasions, the deceased disclaimed an relationship 'ith her 7)#h. O-5ane , )#h. I-5ane , )#h. P-5ane , )#h. 0-.elen8. Foin$ over the evidence add"ced d"rin$ the trial, it appears ind"bitable that on or abo"t the period 'hen .elen 'as born, Aernarda !amporendondo had established residence at her plantation at /ali$"e, 5avao, and that altho"$h )d'ard !hristensen sta ed in 5avao !it to mana$e his merchandisin$ b"siness, he spent the 'ee(ends 'ith the former and their child %"c in the !hristensenplantation. )ven $rantin$ that Posimo Silva at his sta$e fitted himself intothe pict"re, it cannot be denied that .elen9s mother and the deceased 'ere$enerall and p"blicl (no'n to be livin$ to$ether as h"sband and 'ife. Thism"st have been the reason 'h !hristensen from .elen9s birth in 193- providedfor her

maintenance6 sho"ldered the e#penses for her ed"cation to the e#tentthat she 'as even enrolled as an intern in an e#cl"sive colle$e for $irls in@anila6 tolerated or allo'ed her carr in$ the s"rname *!hristensen*, and ineffect $aver her the attention and care that a father 'o"ld onl do to this offsprin$. &e sho"ld ta(e note that nothin$ appears on record to sho' that!hristensen ever entertained an do"bt or disp"ted .elen9s paternit . .isrep"dations of her relationship 'ith him came abo"t onl after he andAernarda !omperodondo parted 'a s in @arch, 19:1, and apparentl after .elentoo( sides 'ith her mother. F"rthermore, it seems that despite that decedent9s desire that she contin"e her st"dies, .elen i$nored the same and$ot married to a man for !hristensen held no hi$h esteem. &e ma state at hisB"nct"re that 'hile it is tr"e that herein appellants introd"ced 'itnesses todisprove oppositor9r claim, the lo'er !o"rt that had the opport"nit to observe the cond"ct of the 'itnesses 'hile testif in$ and co"ld better $a"$etheir credibilit and impartialit in the case, arrived at the concl"sion that @aria .elen !hristensen had established that she had been in contino"spossessions of the stat"s of a nat"ral child of the deceased. !onsiderin$ the preponderant evidence on record, &e see no reason to reverse said r"lin$.The testator9 lastacts cannot be made the criterion in determinin$ 'hether oppositor 'as his child or not, for h"man frailt and parental arro$ance ma dra' a person to adopt "nnat"ral or harsh meas"res a$ainst an errin$ child orone 'ho displeases B"st so the 'ei$ht of his a"thorit co"ld be felt. 4n theconsideration of a claim that one is a nat"ral child, the attit"de or directacts of the person a$ainst 'hom s"ch action is directed or that of his famil before the controvers arose or d"rin$ his lifetime if he predeceases the claimant, and not a sin$le opport"nit or an isolated occasions b"t as a 'hole, m"st be ta(en into acco"nt. The possession of s"ch stat"s is one of the cases that $ives rise to the ri$ht, in favor of the child, of co"mp"lsar reco$nition. 7Art. 203, !ivil !ode8. The lo'er !o"rt, ho'ever, after ma(in$ its findin$ directed @aria %"c !hristensen 5ane , an heir of the decedent, to reco$ni3e oppositor as a nat"ral child of the deceased. This seems improper. The !ivil !ode for 2 (inds of ac(no'led$ement of a nat"ral child= vol"ntar and comp"lsor . 4n the first instance, 'hich ma be effected in the record of birth, a 'ill, a statement before a co"rt of record or in an a"thentic 'ritin$ 7Art. 2<0,!ivil !ode8, co"rt

intervention is ver nil and not alto$ether 'antin$, 'hereas in the second, B"dicial prono"ncement is essential, and 'hile it is tr"e that the effect of a vol"ntar and a comp"lsor ac(no'led$ment onthe ri$ht of the child so reco$ni3ed is the same, to maintain the vie' of thelo'er !o"rt 'o"ld eliminate the distinction bet'een vol"ntar acts and those bro"$ht abo"t b B"dicial dicta. And if &e consider that in the case, 'here, the pres"med parent dies ahead of the child and action for comp"lsor reco$niton is bro"$ht a$ainst the heirs of the deceased, as in the instant case, the sit"ation 'o"ld ta(e abs"rd t"rn, for the heirs 'o"ld be compelled to reco$ni3e s"ch child as a nat"ral child of the deceased 'itho"t a properprovision of the la', for as it no' stands, the !ivil !ode onl re2"ires a declaration b the co"rt of the child9s stat"s as a nat"ral child of the parent 'ho, if livin$, 'o"ld be compelled to reco$ni3e his offsprin$ as s"ch.Therefore, &e hold that in cases of comp"lsor reco$nition, as in the case at bar, it 'o"ld be s"fficient that a competent co"rt, after ta(in$ into acco"nt all the evidence on record, 'o"ld declare that "nder an of the circ"mstances specified b Article 203 of the !ivil !ode, a child has ac2"ired the stat"s of a nat"ral child of the pres"mptive parent and as s"ch is entitled to all ri$hts $ranted it b la', for s"ch declaration is b itself alread a B"dicial reco$nition of the paternit of the parent concerned 'hich is her a$ainst 'hom the action is directed, are bo"nd to respect. G. . 8o. L0119:; !omin$ no' to !ivil !ase ;o. 11<6 of the !o"rt of First 4nstance of 5avao, Aernarda !amporendondo claimed in her complaint 1D2 of the properties of thedeceased as co-o'ner thereof in virt"e of her relations 'ith the deceased. She alle$ed as basis for action that she and the deceased )d'ard ). !hristensen had lived and cohabitated as h"sband and 'ife, contino"sl and openl for a period for more than 31 ears6 that 'ithin said period, plaintiff and the deceased ac2"ired real and personal properties thro"$h their common effort and ind"str 6 and that in virt"e of s"ch relationship, she 'as a coo'ner of said properties. As the e#ec"tor ref"sed to acco"nt forand deliver the share alle$edl belon$in$ to her despite her repeated demands, she pra ed the co"rt that said e#ec"tor be ordered to s"bmit an inventor and render an acco"ntin$ of the entire estate of the deceased6to divide the same into 2 e2"al parts and declare that

one of them la'f"ll belon$ed to plaintiff6 and for s"ch other reliefs as ma be deemed B"st and e2"itable in the premises. 4n his ans'er, the e#ec"tor denied the avermentsof the complaint, contendin$ that the decedent 'as the sole o'ner of the properties left b him as the 'ere ac2"ired thro"$h his o'n efforts6 thatplaintiff had never been a co-o'ner of an propert ac2"ired or possessed b the late )d'ard christensen d"rin$ his lifetime6 that the personal relationship bet'een plaintiff and the deceased 'as p"rel clandestinebeca"se the former habit"all lived in her plantation at /ali$"e, 5avao, from the time she ac2"ired the same in 19206 that she also maintained relations 'ith 2 other men6 and that the claim of plaintiff 'o"ld violate the provisions of Article 22:3 of the !ivil !ode as the vested ri$hts of the comp"lsor heirs of the deceased 'o"ld be impaired. 5efendant th"s pra ed for the dismissal of the complaint and as co"nterclaim demanded the s"m of/<1.111.11 representin$ act"al, moral and e#emplar dama$es. 5"e hearin$ 'as cond"cted thereon and after the parties ad s"bmitted theirrespective memoranda, the lo'er !o"rt on A"$"st 2:, 19:-, rendered B"d$mentfindin$ that the deceased )d'ard !hristensen and Aernarda !amporendondo,not other'ise s"fferin$ from an impediment to contract marria$e, lived to$ether as h"sband and 'ife 'itho"t marital ties contino"sl for over 31 ears "ntil the former9s death in 19:36 that o"t of s"ch relations 2 children'ere born6 and that the properties in controvers 'ere ac2"ired b either orboth of them thro"$h their 'or( or ind"str . +el in$ on Section 1-- of the!ivil !ode 'hich said co"rt considered to have created another mode ofac2"irin$ o'nership, plaintiff 'as held to be entitled to one-half of saidproperties as co-o'ner thereof in vie' of her relationship 'ith the deceasedand ordered the e#ec"tor to acco"nt for and deliver the same b her. Fromthis decision, defendant A3nar, as )#ec"tor of the 'ill, perfected an appealto the !o"rt of Appeals, b"t as the propert involved in the liti$ation e#ceeds /:1,111.11 said trib"nal elevated the case to Es for consideration. 4t is not controverted that at the time of his death, )d'ard !hristensen 'as the o'ner of certain properties, incl"din$ shares of stoc( in the plantation bearin$ his name and a $eneral merchandisin$ store in 5avao !it . 4t is also "ndeniable that the

deceased and appellee, both capacitated to enter into the married state, maintained relations as h"sband and 'ife, contin"o"sl and p"blicl for a considerable n"mber of ears 'hich the lo'er !o"rt declared to be "ntil the death of !hristensen in 19:3. &hile as a $eneral r"le appellate co"rts do not "s"all dist"rb the lo'er co"rt9s findin$s of fact, "nless said findin$ is not s"pported b or totall devoid of or inconsistent 'ith the evidence on record, s"ch findin$ m"st ofnecessit be modified to confrom 'ith the evidence if the revie'in$ trib"nal'ere to arrive at the proper and B"st sol"tion of the controvers . 4n theinstant case, the co"rt a <uo overloo(ed or failed to consider the testimonies of both %"c and .elen !hristensen to the effect that the deceased and their mother Aernarda !amporendondo had some sort of 2"arrel or mis"nderstandin$ and parted 'a s as of @arch, 19:1, a fact 'hich appellee'as not able to overcome. Ta(in$ into acco"nt the circ"mstances of this caseas fo"nd b the trial co"rt, 'ith the modification that the cohabitation sho"ld appear as contin"o"s from the earl 219s "ntil @arch, 19:1, the 2"estion left for o"r determination is 'hether Aernarda !amporedondo, b reason of s"ch relationship, ma be considered as a co-o'ner of the properties ac2"ired b the deceased d"rin$ said period and th"s entitledto one-half thereof after the latter9s death. /res"mabl ta(in$ B"dicial notice of the e#istence in o"r societ of a certain (ind of relationship bro"$ht abo"t b co"ples livin$ to$ether as h"sbands and 'ives 'itho"t the benefit of marria$e, ac2"irin$ and brin$in$properties "nto said "nion, and probabl reali3in$ that 'hile same ma not beacceptable from the moral point of vie' the are as m"ch entitled to theprotection of the la's as an other propert o'ners, the la'ma(ersincorporated Article 1-- in +ep"blic Act ;o. 306 7!ivil !ode of the /hilippines8 to $overn their propert relations. Said article read as follo's= A+T. 11-. &hen a man and a 'oman live to$ether as h"sband and 'ife, b"t the are not married, or their marria$e is void from the be$innin$, the propert ac2"ired b either or both of them thro"$h their 'or( or ind"str or their 'a$es and salaries shall be $overned b the r"les of coo'nership.

4t m"st be noted that s"ch form of co-o'nership re2"ires that the man and the 'oman th"s livin$ to$ether m"st not in an 'a be incapacitated to contract marria$e and that the properties reali3ed d"rin$ their cohabitation be ac2"ired thro"$h the 'or(, ind"str , emplo ment or occ"pation of both or either of them. And the same thin$ ma be said of 'hose marria$es are b provision of la' declared void ab intio. &hile it is tr"e that these re2"isites are f"ll met and satisfied in the case at bar, &e m"st remember that the deceased and herein appellee 'ere alread estran$ed as of @arch, 19:1. There bein$ no provision of la' $overnin$ the cessation of s"ch informal civil partnership, if ever e#isted, same ma be considered terminated "pon their separation or desistance to contin"e said relations.The Spanish !ivil !ode 'hich 'as then enforce contains to co"nterpart of Article 1-- and as the records in the instant case failed to sho' sho' thata s"bse2"ent reconciliation ever too( place and considerin$ that +ep"blic Act;o. 306 'hich reco$ni3eed s"ch form of co-o'nership 'ent into operation onl on A"$"st 31, 19:1, evidentl , this later enactment cannot be invo(ed as basis for appellee9s claim. 4n determinin$ the 2"estion poised b this action &e ma loo( "pon the B"rispr"dence then obtainin$ on the matter. As earl as 192:, this !o"rt alread declared that 'here a man and a 'oman, not s"fferin$ from an impediment to contract marria$e, live to$ether as h"sband and 'ife, an informal civil partnership e#ists and made the prono"ncement that each of them has an intereat in the properties ac2"ired d"rin$ said "nion and is entitled to participate therein if said properties +ere t'e product oft'eir J7,8$ efforts 7@arata vs. 5ionio F.+. ;o. 2---9, 5ec. 31, 192:8. 4n another case, this !o"rt similarl held that altho"$h there is no technical marital partnership bet'een person livin$ maritall 'itho"t bein$ la'f"ll married, nevertheless there is bet'een them an informalcivil partnership, and t'e parties +ould be entitled to an e<ual interest +'ere t'e propert! is ac<uired t'roug' t'eir J7,8$ efforts 7%esaca vs. Feli#>da. de %esaca, 91 /hil., 13:8. Appellee, claimin$ that the properties in controvers 'ere the prod"ct of their Boint ind"str apparentl in her desire to tread on the doctrine laiddo'n in the aforementioned cases, 'o"ld lead Es to believe that her help 'assolicited or she too( a hand in the

mana$ement of andDor ac2"isition of thesame. A"t s"ch assertion appears incredible if &e consider that she 'asobserved b the trial !o"rt as an illiterate 'oman 'ho cannot even remembersimple thin$s as the date 'hen she arrived at the @indanao )state, 'hen shecommenced relationship 'ith the deceased, not even her appro#imate a$e orthat of her children. And considerin$ that aside from her o'n declaration, 'hich &e find to be hi$hl improbable, there appears no evidence to proveher alle$ed contrib"tion or participation in the ac2"isition of the properties involved therein, and that in vie' of the holdin$ of this !o"rtthat for a claim to onehalf of s"ch propert to be allo'ed it m"st be provedthat the same 'as ac2"ired thro"$h their Boint efforts and labor 7Flores vs.+ehabilitation Finance !orporation, X :1 Off. Fa3. 11298, &e have no reco"rseb"t reverse the holdin$ of the lo'er !o"rt and den the claim of Aernarda!ampredondo. &e ma f"rther state that even $rantin$, for the sa(e ofar$"ment, that this case falls "nder the provisions of Article 1-- of the!ivil !ode, same 'o"ld be applicable onl as far as properties ac2"iredafter the effectivit of +ep"blic Act 306 are concerned and to no other, fors"ch la' cannot be $iven retroactive effect to $overn those alread possessedbefore A"$"st 31, 19:1. 4t ma be ar$"ed, ho'ever, that bein$ a ne'l created ri$ht, the provisions of Section 1-- sho"ld be made to retroact if onl toenforce s"ch ri$ht. Article 22:2 of the same !ode is e#plicit in thisrespect 'hen it states= S)!. 22:2. !han$es made and ne' provisions and r"les laid do'n b this !ode 'hich ma preB"dice or impair vested or ac2"ired ri$hts in accordance 'ith the old le$islation, shall have ro retroactive effect. ### ### ###.

As it cannot be denied that the ri$hts and le$itimes of the comp"lsor heirsof the deceased )d'ard !hristensen 'o"ld be impaired or diminished if the claim of herein appellee 'o"ld s"cceed, the ans'er to s"ch ar$"ment 'o"ldbe simpl obvio"s. &ith re$ard to appellant A3nar9s contention that the lo'er !o"rt erred in admittin$ the testimon of appellee Aernarda !amporedondo dealin$ 'ith facts that transpired before the death

of )d'ard !hristensen on the $ro"nd that it is prohibited b Section 26-7c8, +"le 123 of the +"les of !o"rt. &e deem it "nnecessar to delve on the same beca"se even admittin$ that the co"rt a <uo committed the error assi$ned, et it 'ill not affect an more the o"tcome of the case in vie' of the concl"sion &e have alread arrived at on the main iss"e. On the stren$th of the fore$oin$ considerations, &e affirm the decision of the lo'er !o"rt in case F.+. ;o. %-11-0-, 'ith the modification that @aria%"c !hristensen 5ane need not be compelled to ac(no'led$e her sister @aria .elen !hristensen Farcia as a nat"ral child of her father )d'ard ). !hristensen, the declaration of the !o"rt in this respect bein$ s"fficient to enable her to all the ri$hts inherent to s"ch stat"s. The decision appealed from in case F.+. ;o. %-11-03 is hereb reversed and another one rendered, dismissin$ plaintiff9s complaint. !osts are ta#ed a$ainst appellants in F.+. ;o. %-11-0- and a$ainst appellee Aernarda !amporedondo in F.+. ;o. %-11-03. 4t is so ordered. Bengzon, Paras, C.J., Padilla, e!es, A., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, e!es, J.B.L., and -ndencia, JJ., conc"r.

/ARIA (RI'TINA +$LLI' and /IRIA/ 8AL/A +$LLI', oppositors-appellants, vs. $&WAR& A. +$LLI', $T AL., heirs-appellees. Vicente . Macasaet and Jose #. Villena for oppositors appellants. Paredes, Poblador, Cruz and 8azareno for 'eirs0appellees -. A. Bellis, et al. "ui=ano and Arro!o for 'eirs0appellees ). *. Bellis, et al. J. . Balon&ita for appellee People>s Ban& ? $rust Co%pan!. 7zaeta, Gibbs and 7zaeta for appellee A. B. Alls%an. +$NG.*N, :.8., J.: This is a direct appeal to Es, "pon a 2"estion p"rel of la', from an order of the !o"rt of First 4nstance of @anila dated April 31, 196-, approvin$ the proBect of partition filed b the e#ec"tor in !ivil !ase ;o. 3<109 therein.12+p'31.45t The facts of the case are as follo's= Amos F. Aellis, born in Te#as, 'as *a citi3en of the State of Te#as and of the Enited States.* A his first 'ife, @ar ). @allen, 'hom he divorced, he had five le$itimate children= )d'ard A. Aellis, Feor$e Aellis 7'ho pre-deceased him in infanc 8, .enr A. Aellis, Ale#ander Aellis and Anna Aellis Allsman6 b his second 'ife, >iolet Jenned , 'ho s"rvived him, he had three le$itimate children= )d'in F. Aellis, &alter S. Aellis and 5oroth Aellis6 and finall , he had three ille$itimate children= Amos Aellis, ,r., @aria !ristina Aellis and @iriam /alma Aellis. On A"$"st :, 19:2, Amos F. Aellis e#ec"ted a 'ill in the /hilippines, in 'hich he directed that after all ta#es, obli$ations, and e#penses of administration are paid for, his distrib"table estate sho"ld be divided, in tr"st, in the follo'in$ order and manner= 7a8 W2-1,111.11 to his first 'ife, @ar ). @allen6 7b8 /121,111.11 to his three ille$itimate children, Amos Aellis, ,r., @aria !ristina Aellis, @iriam /alma Aellis, or /-1,111.11 each and 7c8 after the fore$oin$ t'o items have been satisfied, the remainder shall $o to his seven s"rvivin$ children b his first and second 'ives, namel = )d'ard A.

G.R. No. L-67278

:une 2, 1927

T$'TAT$ $'TAT$ *3 A/*' G. +$LLI', de#eased. 8$*8L$@' +ANA and TR-'T (*/8AN0, e#ec"tor.

Aellis, .enr A. Aellis, Ale#ander Aellis and Anna Aellis Allsman, )d'in F. Aellis, &alter S. Aellis, and 5oroth ). Aellis, in e2"al shares.12+p'31.45t S"bse2"entl , or on ,"l 0, 19:0, Amos F. Aellis died a resident of San Antonio, Te#as, E.S.A. .is 'ill 'as admitted to probate in the !o"rt of First 4nstance of @anila on September 1:, 19:0. The /eople9s Aan( and Tr"st !ompan , as e#ec"tor of the 'ill, paid all the be2"ests therein incl"din$ the amo"nt of W2-1,111.11 in the form of shares of stoc( to @ar ). @allen and to the three 738 ille$itimate children, Amos Aellis, ,r., @aria !ristina Aellis and @iriam /alma Aellis, vario"s amo"nts totallin$ /-1,111.11 each in satisfaction of their respective le$acies, or a total of /121,111.11, 'hich it released from time to time accordin$ as the lo'er co"rt approved and allo'ed the vario"s motions or petitions filed b the latter three re2"estin$ partial advances on acco"nt of their respective le$acies. On ,an"ar 0, 196-, preparator to closin$ its administration, the e#ec"tor s"bmitted and filed its *)#ec"tor9s Final Acco"nt, +eport of Administration and /roBect of /artition* 'herein it reported, inter alia, the satisfaction of the le$ac of @ar ). @allen b the deliver to her of shares of stoc( amo"ntin$ to W2-1,111.11, and the le$acies of Amos Aellis, ,r., @aria !ristina Aellis and @iriam /alma Aellis in the amo"nt of /-1,111.11 each or a total of /121,111.11. 4n the proBect of partition, the e#ec"tor C p"rs"ant to the *T'elfth* cla"se of the testator9s %ast &ill and Testament C divided the resid"ar estate into seven e2"al portions for the benefit of the testator9s seven le$itimate children b his first and second marria$es. On ,an"ar 1<, 196-, @aria !ristina Aellis and @iriam /alma Aellis filed their respective oppositions to the proBect of partition on the $ro"nd that the 'ere deprived of their le$itimes as ille$itimate children and, therefore, comp"lsor heirs of the deceased. Amos Aellis, ,r. interposed no opposition despite notice to him, proof of service of 'hich is evidenced b the re$istr receipt s"bmitted on April 2<, 196- b the e#ec"tor.1

After the parties filed their respective memoranda and other pertinent pleadin$s, the lo'er co"rt, on April 31, 196-, iss"ed an order overr"lin$ the oppositions and approvin$ the e#ec"tor9s final acco"nt, report and administration and proBect of partition. +el in$ "pon Art. 16 of the !ivil !ode, it applied the national la' of the decedent, 'hich in this case is Te#as la', 'hich did not provide for le$itimes. Their respective motions for reconsideration havin$ been denied b the lo'er co"rt on ,"ne 11, 196-, oppositors-appellants appealed to this !o"rt to raise the iss"e of 'hich la' m"st appl C Te#as la' or /hilippine la'. 4n this re$ard, the parties do not s"bmit the case on, nor even disc"ss, the doctrine of renvoi, applied b this !o"rt in Aznar v. C'ristensen Garcia, %-16<-9, ,an"ar 31, 1963. Said doctrine is "s"all pertinent 'here the decedent is a national of one co"ntr , and a domicile of another. 4n the present case, it is not disp"ted that the decedent 'as both a national of Te#as and a domicile thereof at the time of his death.2 So that even ass"min$ Te#as has a conflict of la' r"le providin$ that the domiciliar s stem 7la' of the domicile8 sho"ld $overn, the same 'o"ld not res"lt in a reference bac( 7renvoi8 to /hilippine la', b"t 'o"ld still refer to Te#as la'. ;onetheless, if Te#as has a conflicts r"le adoptin$ the sit"s theor 7le# rei sitae8 callin$ for the application of the la' of the place 'here the properties are sit"ated, renvoi 'o"ld arise, since the properties here involved are fo"nd in the /hilippines. 4n the absence, ho'ever, of proof as to the conflict of la' r"le of Te#as, it sho"ld not be pres"med different from o"rs.3 Appellants9 position is therefore not rested on the doctrine of renvoi. As stated, the never invo(ed nor even mentioned it in their ar$"ments. +ather, the ar$"e that their case falls "nder the circ"mstances mentioned in the third para$raph of Article 1< in relation to Article 16 of the !ivil !ode. Article 16, par. 2, and Art. 1139 of the !ivil !ode, render applicable the national la' of the decedent, in intestate or testamentar s"ccessions, 'ith re$ard to fo"r items= 7a8 the order of s"ccession6 7b8 the amo"nt of s"ccessional ri$hts6 7e8 the intrinsic validit of the provisions of the 'ill6 and 7d8 the capacit to s"cceed. The provide that C

A+T. 16. +eal propert as 'ell as personal propert is s"bBect to the la' of the co"ntr 'here it is sit"ated. .o'ever, intestate and testamentar s"ccessions, both 'ith respect to the order of s"ccession and to the amo"nt of s"ccessional ri$hts and to the intrinsic validit of testamentar provisions, shall be re$"lated b the national la' of the person 'hose s"ccession is "nder consideration, 'hatever ma he the nat"re of the propert and re$ardless of the co"ntr 'herein said propert ma be fo"nd. A+T. 1139. !apacit to s"cceed is $overned b the la' of the nation of the decedent. Appellants 'o"ld ho'ever co"nter that Art. 1<, para$raph three, of the !ivil !ode, statin$ that C /rohibitive la's concernin$ persons, their acts or propert , and those 'hich have for their obBect p"blic order, p"blic polic and $ood c"stoms shall not be rendered ineffective b la's or B"d$ments prom"l$ated, or b determinations or conventions a$reed "pon in a forei$n co"ntr . prevails as the e#ception to Art. 16, par. 2 of the !ivil !ode afore2"oted. This is not correct. /recisel , !on$ress deleted the phrase, *not'ithstandin$ the provisions of this and the ne#t precedin$ article* 'hen the incorporated Art. 11 of the old !ivil !ode as Art. 1< of the ne' !ivil !ode, 'hile reprod"cin$ 'itho"t s"bstantial chan$e the second para$raph of Art. 11 of the old !ivil !ode as Art. 16 in the ne'. 4t m"st have been their p"rpose to ma(e the second para$raph of Art. 16 a specific provision in itself 'hich m"st be applied in testate and intestate s"ccession. As f"rther indication of this le$islative intent, !on$ress added a ne' provision, "nder Art. 1139, 'hich decrees that capacit to s"cceed is to be $overned b the national la' of the decedent. 4t is therefore evident that 'hatever p"blic polic or $ood c"stoms ma be involved in o"r S stem of le$itimes, !on$ress has not intended to e#tend the same to the s"ccession of forei$n nationals. For it has specificall chosen to leave, inter alia, the a%ount of

s"ccessional ri$hts, to the decedent9s national la'. Specific provisions m"st prevail over $eneral ones. Appellants 'o"ld also point o"t that the decedent e#ec"ted t'o 'ills C one to $overn his Te#as estate and the other his /hilippine estate C ar$"in$ from this that he intended /hilippine la' to $overn his /hilippine estate. Ass"min$ that s"ch 'as the decedent9s intention in e#ec"tin$ a separate /hilippine 'ill, it 'o"ld not alter the la', for as this !o"rt r"led in Miciano v. Bri%o, :1 /hil. 06<, 0<1, a provision in a forei$ner9s 'ill to the effect that his properties shall be distrib"ted in accordance 'ith /hilippine la' and not 'ith his national la', is ille$al and void, for his national la' cannot be i$nored in re$ard to those matters that Article 11 C no' Article 16 C of the !ivil !ode states said national la' sho"ld $overn. The parties admit that the decedent, Amos F. Aellis, 'as a citi3en of the State of Te#as, E.S.A., and that "nder the la's of Te#as, there are no forced heirs or le$itimes. Accordin$l , since the intrinsic validit of the provision of the 'ill and the amo"nt of s"ccessional ri$hts are to be determined "nder Te#as la', the /hilippine la' on le$itimes cannot be applied to the testac of Amos F. Aellis. &herefore, the order of the probate co"rt is hereb affirmed in toto, 'ith costs a$ainst appellants. So ordered. Concepcion, C.J., e!es, J.B.L., #izon, *anc'ez and Castro, JJ., concur egala, Ma&alintal, Zaldivar,

T"e 3a#ts The deceased %oren3o ;. %lorente 'as an enlisted serviceman of the Enited States ;av from @arch 11, 192< to September 31, 19:<.iiiL3M On Febr"ar 22, 193<, %oren3o and petitioner /a"la %lorente 7hereinafter referred to as U/a"laV8 'ere married before a parish priest, +oman !atholic !h"rch, in ;ab"a, !amarines S"r. ivL-M Aefore the o"tbrea( of the /acific &ar, %oren3o departed for the Enited States and /a"la sta ed in the conB"$al home in barrio Antipolo, ;ab"a, !amarines S"r.vL:M On ;ovember 31, 19-3, %oren3o 'as admitted to Enited States citi3enship and !ertificate of ;at"rali3ation ;o. ::<9016 'as iss"ed in his favor b the Enited States 5istrict !o"rt, So"thern 5istrict of ;e' Gor(.viL6M Epon the liberation of the /hilippines b the American Forces in 19-:, %oren3o 'as $ranted an accr"ed leave b the E. S. ;av , to visit his 'ife and he visited the /hilippines. viiL<M .e discovered that his 'ife /a"la 'as pre$nant and 'as Ulivin$ inV and havin$ an ad"ltero"s relationship 'ith his brother, !eferino %lorente.viiiL0M On 5ecember -, 19-:, /a"la $ave birth to a bo re$istered in the Office of the +e$istrar of ;ab"a as U!risolo$o %lorente,V 'ith the certificate statin$ that the child 'as not le$itimate and the line for the fatherTs name 'as left blan(.i#L9M %oren3o ref"sed to for$ive /a"la and live 'ith her. 4n fact, on Febr"ar 2, 19-6, the co"ple dre' a 'ritten a$reement to the effect that 718 all the famil allo'ances allotted b the Enited States ;av as part of %oren3oTs salar and all other obli$ations for /a"laTs dail maintenance and s"pport 'o"ld be s"spended6 728 the 'o"ld dissolve their marital "nion in accordance 'ith B"dicial proceedin$s6 738 the 'o"ld ma(e a separate a$reement re$ardin$ their conB"$al propert ac2"ired d"rin$ their marital life6 and 7-8 %oren3o 'o"ld not prosec"te /a"la for her ad"ltero"s act since she vol"ntaril admitted her fa"lt and a$reed to separate from %oren3o peacef"ll . The a$reement 'as si$ned b both %oren3o and /a"la and 'as 'itnessed b /a"laTs father and stepmother. The a$reement 'as

G.R. No. 164771. No;e

4er 67, 6111B

8A-LA T. LL*R$NT$, petitioner, vs. (*-RT *3 A88$AL' and ALI(IA 3. LL*R$NT$, respondents.

&$(I'I*N 8AR&*, J.:

T"e (ase The case raises a conflict of la's iss"e. &hat is before "s is an appeal from the decision of the !o"rt of AppealsiL1M modif in$ that of the +e$ional Trial !o"rt, !amarines S"r, Aranch 3:, 4ri$a !it iiL2M declarin$ respondent Alicia F. %lorente 7herinafter referred to as UAliciaV8, as co-o'ners of 'hatever propert she and the deceased %oren3o ;. %lorente 7hereinafter referred to as U%oren3oV8 ma have ac2"ired d"rin$ the t'ent -five 72:8 ears that the lived to$ether as h"sband and 'ife.

notari3ed b ;otar /"blic /edro Osabel.#L11M %oren3o ret"rned to the Enited States and on ;ovember 16, 19:1 filed for divorce 'ith the S"perior !o"rt of the State of !alifornia in and for the !o"nt of San 5ie$o. /a"la 'as represented b co"nsel, ,ohn +ile , and activel participated in the proceedin$s. On ;ovember 2<, 19:1, the S"perior !o"rt of the State of !alifornia, for the !o"nt of San 5ie$o fo"nd all fact"al alle$ations to be tr"e and iss"ed an interloc"tor B"d$ment of divorce.#iL11M On 5ecember -, 19:2, the divorce decree became final.#iiL12M 4n the meantime, %oren3o ret"rned to the /hilippines. On ,an"ar 16, 19:0, %oren3o married Alicia F. %lorente in @anila.#iiiL13M Apparentl , Alicia had no (no'led$e of the first marria$e even if the resided in the same to'n as /a"la, 'ho did not oppose the marria$e or cohabitation. #ivL1-M From 19:0 to 190:, %oren3o and Alicia lived to$ether as h"sband and 'ife.#vL1:M Their t'ent -five 72:8 ear "nion prod"ced three children, +a"l, %"3 and Aeverl , all s"rnamed %lorente. #viL16M On @arch 13, 1901, %oren3o e#ec"ted a %ast &ill and Testament. The 'ill 'as notari3ed b ;otar /"blic Salvador @. Occiano, d"l si$ned b %oren3o 'ith attestin$ 'itnesses Francisco ."$o, Francisco ;eibres and Tito TraBano. 4n the 'ill, %oren3o be2"eathed all his propert to Alicia and their three children, to 'it= U718 4 $ive and be2"eath to m 'ife A%4!4A +. FO+TE;O e#cl"sivel m residential ho"se and lot, located at San Francisco, ;ab"a, !amarines S"r, /hilippines, incl"din$ A%% the personal properties and other movables or belon$in$s that ma be fo"nd or e#istin$ therein6 U728 4 $ive and be2"eath e#cl"sivel to m 'ife Alicia +. Fort"no and to m children, +a"l F. %lorente, %"3 F. %lorente and Aeverl F. %lorente, in e2"al shares, all m real properties 'hatsoever and 'heresoever located, specificall m real properties located at Aaran$a Aro-Aldao, ;ab"a, !amarines S"r6 Aaran$a /alo on, ;ab"a, !amarines S"r6 Aaran$a Aaras, Sitio /"$a, ;ab"a, !amarines S"r6 and Aaran$a /alo on, Sitio ;alilidon$, ;ab"a, !amarines S"r6

U738 4 li(e'ise $ive and be2"eath e#cl"sivel "nto m 'ife Alicia +. Fort"no and "nto m children, +a"l F. %lorente, %"3 F. %lorente and Aeverl F. %lorente, in e2"al shares, m real properties located in I"e3on !it /hilippines, and covered b Transfer !ertificate of Title ;o. 1006:26 and m lands in Antipolo, +i3al, /hilippines, covered b Transfer !ertificate of Title ;os. 12-196 and 16:100, both of the +e$istr of 5eeds of the province of +i3al, /hilippines6 U7-8 That their respective shares properties, 'hether real or personal disposed of, ceded, sold and conve ed co"ld onl be sold, ceded, conve ed and themselves6 in the above-mentioned properties, shall not be to an other persons, b"t disposed of b and amon$

U7:8 4 desi$nate m 'ife A%4!4A +. FO+TE;O to be the sole e#ec"tor of this m %ast &ill and Testament, and in her defa"lt or incapacit of the latter to act, an of m children in the order of a$e, if of a$e6 U768 4 hereb direct that the e#ec"tor named herein or her la'f"l s"bstit"te sho"ld served 7sic8 'itho"t bond6 U7<8 4 hereb revo(e an and all m other 'ills, codicils, or testamentar dispositions heretofore e#ec"ted, si$ned, or p"blished, b me6 U708 4t is m final 'ish and desire that if 4 die, no relatives of mine in an de$ree in the %lorenteTs Side sho"ld ever bother and dist"rb in an manner 'hatsoever m 'ife Alicia +. Fort"nato and m children 'ith respect to an real or personal properties 4 $ave and be2"eathed respectivel to each one of them b virt"e of this %ast &ill and Testament.V#viiL1<M On 5ecember 1-, 1903, %oren3o filed 'ith the +e$ional Trial !o"rt, 4ri$a, !amarines S"r, a petition for the probate and allo'ance of his last 'ill and testament 'herein %oren3o moved that Alicia be appointed Special Administratri# of his estate.#viiiL10M On ,an"ar 10, 190-, the trial co"rt denied the motion for the reason that the testator %oren3o 'as still alive.#i#L19M On ,an"ar 2-, 190-, findin$ that the 'ill 'as d"l the trial co"rt admitted the 'ill to probate. ##L21M e#ec"ted,

On ,"ne 11, 190:, before the proceedin$s co"ld be terminated, %oren3o died.##iL21M On September -, 190:, /a"la filed 'ith the same co"rt a petition##iiL22M for letters of administration over %oren3oTs estate in her favor. /a"la contended 718 that she 'as %oren3oTs s"rvivin$ spo"se, 728 that the vario"s propert 'ere ac2"ired d"rin$ their marria$e, 738 that %oren3oTs 'ill disposed of all his propert in favor of Alicia and her children, encroachin$ on her le$itime and 1D2 share in the conB"$al propert .##iiiL23M On 5ecember 13, 190:, Alicia filed in the testate proceedin$ 7Sp. /roc. ;o. 4+-<::8, a petition for the iss"ance of letters testamentar .##ivL2-M On October 1-, 190:, 'itho"t terminatin$ the testate proceedin$s, the trial co"rt $ave d"e co"rse to /a"laTs petition in Sp. /roc. ;o. 4+-000.##vL2:M On ;ovember 6, 13 and 21, 190:, the order 'as p"blished in the ne'spaper UAicol StarV.##viL26M On @a 10, 190<, the +e$ional Trial !o"rt iss"ed a Boint decision, th"s= U&herefore, considerin$ that this co"rt has so fo"nd that the divorce decree $ranted to the late %oren3o %lorente is void and inapplicable in the /hilippines, therefore the marria$e he contracted 'ith Alicia Fort"nato on ,an"ar 16, 19:0 at @anila is li(e'ise void. This bein$ so the petition of Alicia F. %lorente for the iss"ance of letters testamentar is denied. %i(e'ise, she is not entitled to receive an share from the estate even if the 'ill especiall said so her relationship 'ith %oren3o havin$ $ained the stat"s of paramo"r 'hich is "nder Art. <39 718. UOn the other hand, the co"rt finds the petition of /a"la Tit"lar %lorente, meritorio"s, and so declares the intrinsic disposition of the 'ill of %oren3o %lorente dated @arch 13, 1901 as void and declares her entitled as conB"$al partner and entitled to one-half of their conB"$al properties, and as primar comp"lsor heir, /a"la T. %lorente is also entitled to one-third of the estate and then one-third sho"ld $o to the ille$itimate children, +a"l, %"3 and Aeverl , all s"rname 7sic8 %lorente, for them to partition in e2"al shares and also entitled to the remainin$ free portion in e2"al shares.

U/etitioner, /a"la %lorente is appointed le$al administrator of the estate of the deceased, %oren3o %lorente. As s"ch let the correspondin$ letters of administration iss"e in her favor "pon her filin$ a bond in the amo"nt 7 sic8 of /111,111.11 conditioned for her to ma(e a ret"rn to the co"rt 'ithin three 738 months a tr"e and complete inventor of all $oods, chattels, ri$hts, and credits, and estate 'hich shall at an time come to her possession or to the possession of an other person for her, and from the proceeds to pa and dischar$e all debts, le$acies and char$es on the same, or s"ch dividends thereon as shall be decreed or re2"ired b this co"rt6 to render a tr"e and B"st acco"nt of her administration to the co"rt 'ithin one 718 ear, and at an other time 'hen re2"ired b the co"rt and to perform all orders of this co"rt b her to be performed. UOn the other matters pra ed for in respective petitions for 'ant of evidence co"ld not be $ranted. USO O+5)+)5.V##viiL2<M 4n time, Alicia filed 'ith the trial co"rt reconsideration of the afore2"oted decision.##viiiL20M a motion for

On September 1-, 190<, the trial co"rt denied AliciaTs motion for reconsideration b"t modified its earlier decision, statin$ that +a"l and %"3 %lorente are not children Ule$itimate or other'iseV of %oren3o since the 'ere not le$all adopted b him. ##i#L29M Amendin$ its decision of @a 10, 190<, the trial co"rt declared Aeverl %lorente as the onl ille$itimate child of %oren3o, entitlin$ her to one-third 71D38 of the estate and one-third 71D38 of the free portion of the estate.###L31M On September 20, 190<, respondent appealed to the !o"rt of Appeals.###iL31M On ,"l 31, 199:, the !o"rt of Appeals prom"l$ated its decision, affirmin$ 'ith modification the decision of the trial co"rt in this 'ise= U&.)+)FO+), the decision appealed from is hereb AFF4+@)5 'ith the @O54F4!AT4O; that Alicia is declared as co-o'ner of 'hatever properties she and the deceased ma have ac2"ired d"rin$ the t'ent -five 72:8 ears of cohabitation. USO O+5)+)5.V###iiL32M

On A"$"st 2:, 199:, petitioner filed 'ith the !o"rt of Appeals a motion for reconsideration of the decision.###iiiL33M On @arch 21, 1996, the !o"rt of Appeals, ###ivL3-M denied the motion for lac( of merit. .ence, this petition.###vL3:M

s"ccessional ri$hts and to the intrinsic validit of testamentar provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration , 'hatever ma be the nat"re of the propert and re$ardless of the co"ntr 'herein said propert ma be fo"nd.V 7e%p'asis ours8 Tr"e, forei$n la's do not prove themselves in o"r B"risdiction and o"r co"rts are not a"thori3ed to ta(e B"dicial notice of them. %i(e an other fact, the m"st be alle$ed and proved.###viiL3<M &hile the s"bstance of the forei$n la' 'as pleaded, the !o"rt of Appeals did not admit the forei$n la'. The !o"rt of Appeals and the trial co"rt called to the fore the renvoi doctrine, 'here the case 'as Ureferred bac(V to the la' of the decedentTs domicile, in this case, /hilippine la'. &e note that 'hile the trial co"rt stated that the la' of ;e' Gor( 'as not s"fficientl proven, in the same breath it made the cate$orical, albeit e2"all "nproven statement that UAmerican la' follo's the Ydomiciliar theor T hence, /hilippine la' applies 'hen determinin$ the validit of %oren3oTs 'ill.###viiiL30M 3irst, there is no s"ch thin$ as one American la'. The *national la'* indicated in Article 16 of the !ivil !ode cannot possibl appl to $eneral American la'. There is no s"ch la' $overnin$ the validit of testamentar provisions in the Enited States. )ach State of the "nion has its o'n la' applicable to its citi3ens and in force onl 'ithin the State. 4t can therefore refer to no other than the la' of the State of 'hich the decedent 'as a resident.###i#L39M 'e#ond, there is no sho'in$ that the application of the renvoi doctrine is called for or re2"ired b ;e' Gor( State la'. The trial co"rt held that the 'ill 'as intrinsicall invalid since it contained dispositions in favor of Alice, 'ho in the trial co"rtTs opinion 'as a mere para%our. The trial co"rt thre' the 'ill o"t, leavin$ Alice, and her t'o children, +a"l and %"3, 'ith nothin$. The !o"rt of Appeals also disre$arded the 'ill. 4t declared Alice entitled to one half 71D28 of 'hatever propert she and %oren3o ac2"ired d"rin$ their cohabitation, appl in$ Article 1-- of the !ivil !ode of the /hilippines. The hast application of /hilippine la' and the complete disre$ard of the 'ill, alread probated as d"l e#ec"ted in

T"e Issue Strippin$ the petition of its le$alese and sortin$ thro"$h the vario"s ar$"ments raised,###viL36M the iss"e is simple. &ho are entitled to inherit from the late %oren3o ;. %lorente? &e do not a$ree 'ith the decision of the !o"rt of Appeals. &e remand the case to the trial co"rt for r"lin$ on the intrinsic validit of the 'ill of the deceased.

T"e A99li#a4le La= The fact that the late %oren3o ;. %lorente became an American citi3en lon$ before and at the time of= 718 his divorce from /a"la6 728 marria$e to Alicia6 738 e#ec"tion of his 'ill6 and 7-8 death, is d"l established, admitted and "ndisp"ted. Th"s, as a r"le, iss"es arisin$ from these incidents are necessaril $overned b forei$n la'. The !ivil !ode clearl provides= UArt. 1:. %a's relatin$ to famil ri$hts and d"ties, or to the stat"s, condition and le$al capacit of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even tho"$h livin$ abroad. UArt. 16. +eal propert as 'ell as personal propert to the la' of the co"ntr 'here it is sit"ated. is s"bBect

U.o'ever, intestate and testamentar s"ccession, both 'ith respect to the order of s"ccession and to the amo"nt of

accordance 'ith the formalities of /hilippine la', is fatal, especially in light of the factual and legal circumstances here obtaining.

The !ivil !ode provides= UArt. 1<. The forms and solemnities of contracts, 'ills, and other p"blic instr"ments shall be $overned b the la's of the country in which they are executed. U&hen the acts referred to are e#ec"ted before the diplomatic or cons"lar officials of the +ep"blic of the /hilippines in a forei$n co"ntr , the solemnities established b /hilippine la's shall be observed in their e#ec"tion.V 7underscoring ours8 The clear intent of %oren3o to be2"eath his propert to his second 'ife and children b her is $larin$l sho'n in the 'ill he e#ec"ted. &e do not 'ish to fr"strate his 'ishes, since he 'as a forei$ner, not covered b o"r la's on Ufamil ri$hts and d"ties, stat"s, condition and le$al capacit .V#livL--M &hether the 'ill is intrinsicall valid and 'ho shall inherit from %oren3o are iss"es best proved b forei$n la' 'hich m"st be pleaded and proved. &hether the 'ill 'as e#ec"ted in accordance 'ith the formalities re2"ired is ans'ered b referrin$ to /hilippine la'. 4n fact, the 'ill 'as d"l probated. As a $"ide ho'ever, the trial co"rt sho"ld note that 'hatever p"blic polic or $ood c"stoms ma be involved in o"r s stem of le$itimes, !on$ress did not intend to e#tend the same to the s"ccession of forei$n nationals. !on$ress specificall left the amo"nt of s"ccessional ri$hts to the decedent9s national la'.#lvL-:M .avin$ th"s r"led, 'e find it "nnecessar other iss"es raised. to pass "pon the

%alidit5 o! t"e 3oreign &i;or#e 4n Van #orn v. o%illo, Jr.#lL-1M 'e held that o'in$ to the nationalit principle embodied in Article 1: of the !ivil !ode, onl /hilippine nationals are covered b the polic a$ainst absol"te divorces, the same bein$ considered contrar to o"r concept of p"blic polic and moralit . 4n the same case, the !o"rt r"led that aliens ma obtain divorces abroad, provided the are valid accordin$ to their national la'. !itin$ this landmar( case, the !o"rt held in "uita v. Court of Appeals,#liL-1M that once proven that respondent 'as no lon$er a Filipino citi3en 'hen he obtained the divorce from petitioner, the r"lin$ in Van #orn 'o"ld become applicable and petitioner co"ld Uver 'ell lose her ri$ht to inheritV from him. 4n Pilapil v. ,ba!0*o%era,#liiL-2M 'e reco$ni3ed the divorce obtained b the respondent in his co"ntr , the Federal +ep"blic of Ferman . There, 'e stated that divorce and its le$al effects ma be reco$ni3ed in the /hilippines insofar as respondent is concerned in vie' of the nationalit principle in o"r civil la' on the stat"s of persons. For failin$ to appl these doctrines, the decision of the !o"rt of Appeals m"st be reversed.#liiiL-3M &e hold that the divorce obtained b %oren3o .. %lorente from his first 'ife /a"la 'as valid and reco$ni3ed in this B"risdiction as a matter of comit . ;o', the effects of this divorce 7as to the s"ccession to the estate of the decedent8 are matters best left to the determination of the trial co"rt.

T"e 3allo W)$R$3*R$, the petition is F+A;T)5. The decision of the !o"rt of Appeals in !A-F. +. S/ ;o. 1<--6 prom"l$ated on ,"l 31, 199: is S)T AS45). 4n lie" thereof, the !o"rt +)>)+S)S the decision of the +e$ional Trial !o"rt and +)!OF;4P)S as >A%45 the decree of divorce $ranted in favor of the deceased %oren3o ;. %lorente b the S"perior !o"rt

%alidit5 o! t"e Will

of the State of !alifornia in and for the !o"nt final on 5ecember -, 19:2.

of San 5ie$o, made

F"rther, the !o"rt +)@A;5S the cases to the co"rt of ori$in for determination of the intrinsic validit of %oren3o ;. %lorenteTs 'ill and determination of the partiesT s"ccessional ri$hts allo'in$ proof of forei$n la' 'ith instr"ctions that the trial co"rt shall proceed 'ith all deliberate dispatch to settle the estate of the deceased 'ithin the frame'or( of the +"les of !o"rt. ;o costs. '* *R&$R$&. #avide, Jr., C.J., .C'air%an/, Puno, @apunan, and Anares0 *antiago, JJ., conc"r. G.R. No. L-65922 No;e 4er 1, 1962

In t"e atter o! t"e estate o! To as Rodrigue<, de#eased. /AN-$L T*RR$', s9e#ial ad inistrator, and L-. L*8$. &$ +-$N*, "eir, appellee, vs. /ARGARITA L*8$., opponent-appellant. Marcaida, Capili and 7ca%po and Ca%us, #elgado and appellant. Araneta and Zaragoza for appellee. ecto for

'TR$$T, J.: This appeal involves a controvers over one-half of the estate of Tomas +odri$"e3, decedent. The appellant, @ar$arita %ope3, claims said half b the intestate s"ccession as ne#t of (in and nearest heir6 'hile the appellee, %"3 %ope3 de A"eno, claims the same b accredition and in the character of "niversal heir the 'ill of the decedent. The trial co"rt decided the point of controvers in favor of %"3 %ope3 de A"eno, and @ar$ariat %ope3 appealed. The facts necessar to an "nderstandin$ of the case are these= On ,an"ar 3, 192-, Tomas +odri$"e3 e#ec"ted his last 'ill

and testament, in the second cla"se of 'hich he declared= 4 instit"te as the onl and "niversal heirs to all m propert , m co"sin >icente F. %ope3 and his da"$hter %"3 %ope3 de A"eno. /rior to the time of the e#ec"tion of this 'ill the testator, Tomas +odri$"e3, had been B"diciall declared incapable of ta(in$ care of himself and had been placed "nder the care of his co"sin >icente F. %ope3, as $"ardian. On ,an"ar <, 192-, or onl fo"r da s after the 'ill above-mentioned 'as made, >icente F. %ope3 died6 and the testator, Tomas +odri$"e3, died on Febr"ar 2:, 192-, thereafter. At the time the 'ill 'as made >icente F. %ope3 had not presented his final acco"nts as $"ardian, and no s"ch acco"nts had been presented b him at the time of his death. @ar$ariat %ope3 'as a co"sin and nearest relative of the decedent. The 'ill referred to, and after havin$ been contested, has been admitted to probate b B"dicial determination 7Torres and %ope3 de A"eno vs. %ope3, -0 /hil., <<28. O"r disc"ssion of the le$al problem presented sho"ld be$in 'ith article <:3 of the !ivil !ode 'hich in effect declares that, 'ith certain e#ceptions in favor of near relatives, no testamentar provision shall be valid 'hen made b a 'ard in favor of his $"ardian before the final acco"nts of the latter have been approved. This provision is of "ndo"bted application to the sit"ation before "s6 and the provision made in the 'ill of Tomas +odri$"e3 in favor of >icente F. %ope3 'as not an $eneral incapacit on his part, b"t a special incapacit d"e to the accidental relation of $"ardian and 'ard e#istin$ bet'een the parties. &e no' pass to article 902 of the !ivil !ode, definin$ the ri$ht of accretion. 4t is there declared, in effect, that accretion ta(e place in a testamentar s"ccession, first 'hen the t'o or more persons are called to the same inheritance or the same portion thereof 'itho"t special desi$nation of shares6 and secondl , 'hen one of the persons so called dies before the testator or reno"nces the inheritance or is dis2"alif in$ to receive it. 4n the case before "s 'e have a 'ill callin$ >icente F. %ope3 and his da"$hter, %"3 %ope3 de A"eno, to the same inheritance 'itho"t special desi$nation of

shares. 4n addition to this, one of the persons named as heir has predeceased the testator, this person bein$ also dis2"alified to receive the estate even if he had been alive at the time of the testator9s death. This article 79028 is therefore also of e#act application to the case in hand6 and its effect is to $ive to the s"rvivor, %"3 %ope3 de A"eno, not onl the "ndivided half 'hich she 'o"ld have received in conB"nction 'ith her father if he had been alive and 2"alified to ta(e, b"t also the half 'hich pertained to him. There 'as no error 'hatever, therefore, in the order of the trial co"rt declarin$ %"3 %ope3 de A"eno entitled to the 'hole estate. The ar$"ment in favor of the appellant s"pposes that there has s"pervened a partial intestac 'ith respect to the half of the estate 'hich 'as intended for >icente F. %ope3 and that this half has descended to the appellant, @ar$arita %ope3, as ne#t of (in and sole heir at la' of the decedent. 4n this connection attention is directed to article <6- of the !ivil !ode 'herein it is declared, amon$ other thin$s, that a 'ill ma be valid even tho"$h the person instit"ted as heir is dis2"alified to inherit. O"r attention is ne#t invited to article 912 'herein it is declared, amon$ other thin$s, that le$al s"ccession ta(es place if the heir dies before the testator and also 'hen the heir instit"ted is dis2"alified to s"cceed. Epon these provisions an ar$"ment is planted cond"ctin$ to the concl"sion that the 'ill of Tomas +odri$"e3 'as valid, not'ithstandin$ the fact that one of the individ"als named as heirs in the 'ill 'as dis2"alified to ta(e, and that as a conse2"ence @ar$arita %ope3 s entitled to inherit the share of said dis2"alified heir. &e are the opinion that this contention is "ntenable and that the appellee clearl has the better ri$ht. 4n pla in$ the provisions of the !ode it is the d"t of the co"rt to harmoni3e its provisions as far as possible, $ivin$ d"e effect to all6 and in case of conflict bet'een t'o provisions the more $eneral is to be considered as bein$ limited b the more specific. As bet'een articles 912 and 903, it is obvio"s that the former is the more $eneral of the t'o, dealin$, as it does, 'ith the $eneral topic of intestate s"ccession 'hile the latter is more specific, definin$ the partic"lar conditions "nder 'hich accretion ta(es place. 4n case of conflict, therefore, the provisions of the former article m"st be considered limited b the latter. 4ndeed, in s"bsection 3 of article 912 the provision 'ith respect to intestate

s"ccession is e#pressl s"bordinated to article 903 b the e#pression *and 7if8 there is no ri$ht of accretion.* 4t is tr"e that the same e#press 2"alification is not fo"nd in s"bsection - of article 912, et it m"st be so "nderstood, in vie' of the r"le of interpretation above referred to, b 'hich the more specific is held to control the $eneral. Aesides, this interpretation s"pplies the onl possible means of harmoni3in$ the t'o provisions. 4n addition to this, article 906 of the !ivil !ode affords independent proof that intestate s"ccession to a vacant portion can onl occ"r 'hen accretion is impossible. The attorne s for the appellant direct attention to the fact that, "nder para$raph - of article 912, intestate s"ccession occ"rs 'hen the heir instit"ted is dis2"alified to s"cceed 7incapaz de suceder8, 'hile, "nder the last provision in para$raph 2 of article 902, accretion occ"rs 'hen one of the persons called to inherit "nder the 'ill is dis2"alified to receive the inheritance 7incapaz de recibirla8. A distinction is then dra'n bet'een incapacit to s"cceed and incapacit to ta(e, and it is contended that the disabilit of >icente F. %ope3 'as s"ch as to brin$ the case "nder article 912 rather than 902. &e are of the opinion that the case cannot be made to t"rn "pon so refined an interpretation of the lan$"a$e of the !ode, and at an rate the disabilit to 'hich >icente F. %ope3 'as s"bBect 'as not a $eneral disabilit to s"cceed b"t an accidental incapacit to receive the le$ac , a consideration 'hich ma(es a case for accretion rather than for intestate s"ccession. The opinions of the commentators, so far as the have e#pressed themselves on the s"bBect, tend to the concl"sion that the ri$ht of accretion 'ith re$ard to portions of an inheritance left vacant b the death or dis2"alification of one of the heirs or his ren"nciation of the inheritance is $overned b article 912, 'itho"t bein$ limited, to the e#tent s"pposed in appellant9s brief, b provisions of the !ode relative to intestate s"ccession 7@anresa, Co%entarios al Codigo Civil -spa4ol , -th ed., vol. >44, pp. 311, 3116 id., 3-6 13 @"ci"s Scaevola, pp. 3<2, 3<3, 20:-20<6 16 @"ci"s Scaevola, 1068. Sa s )scriche= *4t is to be "nderstood that one of the coheirs or cole$atees fails if none#istent at the time of the ma(in$ of the 'ill, or he reno"nces the inheritance or le$ac , if he dies before the testator, if the condition be not f"lfilled, or if he becomes

other'ise incapacitated. . . . 7#iccionario de Legislacion ! Jurisprudencia, vol. 4, p. 22:.8la+p'il.net 4n concl"sion it ma be 'orth observin$ that there has al'a s e#isted both in the civil and in the common la' a certain le$al intendment, amo"ntin$ to a mild pres"mption, a$ainst partial intestac . 4n +oman la', as is 'ell (no'n, partial testac s stems a pres"mption a$ainst it, C a pres"mption 'hich has its basis in the s"pposed intention of the testator. The B"d$ment appealed from 'ill be affirmed, and it is so ordered, 'ith costs a$ainst the appellant. Avance4a, C, J., Villa%or, 7strand, Jo'ns, JJ., concur. o%ualdez and Villa0 eal,

G.R. No. 4445

'e9te

4er 18, 1919

(ATALINA +-GNA*, proponent-appellee, vs. 3RAN(I'(* -+AG, $T AL., contestants-appellants. odriguez and #el osario for appellants. (ernando *alas for appellee. (AR'*N, J.: This is an appeal from an order of the !o"rt of First 4nstance of Oriental ;e$ros, admittin$ to probate a doc"ment p"rportin$ to be the last 'ill and testament of 5omin$o Eba$, deceased. The instr"ment 'as propo"nded b his 'ido', !atalina A"$nao, the sole beneficiar there"nder, and probate 'as contested b the appellants, 'ho are brothers and sisters of the deceased, and 'ho 'o"ld be entitled to share in the distrib"tion of his estate, if probate 'ere denied, as it appears that the deceased left no heirs in the direct ascendin$ or descendin$ line. Appellants contend that the evidence of record is not s"fficient to establish the e#ec"tion of the alle$ed 'ill in the manner and form prescribed in section 610 of the !ode of !ivil /roced"re6 and that at the time 'hen it is alle$ed that the 'ill 'as e#ec"ted, Eba$ 'as not of so"nd mind and memor , and 'as ph sicall and mentall incapable of ma(in$ a 'ill. The instr"ment propo"nded for probate p"rports to be the last 'ill and testament of 5omin$o Eba$, si$ned b him in the presence of three s"bscribin$ and attestin$ 'itnesses, and appears "pon its face to have been d"l e#ec"ted in accordance 'ith the provisions of the !ode of !ivil /roced"re to"chin$ the ma(in$ of 'ills. T'o of the s"bscribin$ 'itnesses, >ictor ,. Ain$to and !atalino @ariSo, testified in s"pport of the 'ill, the latter bein$ the B"stice of the peace of the m"nicipalit 'herein it 'as e#ec"ted6 and their testimon 'as corroborated in all important details b the testimon of the proponent herself, 'ho 'as present 'hen the 'ill 'as made. 4t does not appear from the record 'h the third s"bscribin$ 'itness 'as not called6 b"t since co"nsel for the contestants ma(es no comment "pon his absence, 'e thin( it ma safel be inferred that

there 'as some $ood and s"fficient reason therefore. 4n passin$, ho'ever, it ma be 'ell to observe that, 'hen beca"se of death, sic(ness, absence, or for an other reason, it is not practicable to call to the 'itness stand all the s"bscribin$ 'itnesses to a 'ill offered for probate, the reason for the absence of an of these 'itnesses sho"ld be made to appear of record, and this especiall in cases s"ch as the one at bar, 'herein there is a contests. The s"bscribin$ 'itnesses $ave f"ll and detailed acco"nts of the e#ec"tion of the 'ill and s'ore that the testator, at the time of its e#ec"tion, 'as of so"nd mind and memor , and in their presence attached his si$nat"re thereto as his last 'ill and testament, and that in his presence and in the presence of each other, the as 'ell as the third s"bscribin$ 'itness. 5espite the searchin$ and e#ha"stive cross-e#amination to 'hich the 'ere s"bBected, co"nsel for appellants co"ld point to no fla' in their testimon save an alle$ed contradiction as to a sin$le incident 'hich occ"rred at or abo"t the time 'hen the 'ill 'as e#ec"ted a contradiction, ho'ever, 'hich 'e thin( is more apparent than real. One of the 'itnesses stated that the deceased sat "p in bed and si$ned his name to the 'ill, and that after its e#ec"tion food 'as $iven him b his 'ife6 'hile the other testified that he 'as assisted into a sittin$ position, and 'as $iven somethin$ to eat before he si$ned his name. &e thin( the evidence discloses that his 'ife aided the sic( man to sit "p in bed at the time 'hen he si$ned his name to the instr"ment, and that he 'as $iven no"rishment 'hile he 'as in that position, b"t it is not 2"ite clear 'hether this 'as immediatel before or after, or both before and after he attached his si$nat"re to the 'ill. To sa that the sic( man sat "p or raised himself "p in bed is not necessaril in conflict 'ith the fact that he received assistance in doin$ so6 and it is not at all improbable or impossible that no"rishment mi$ht have been $iven to him both before and after si$nin$ the 'ill, and that one 'itness mi$ht remember the former occasion and the other 'itness mi$ht recall the latter, altho"$h neither 'itness co"ld recall both. A"t, ho'ever this ma have been, 'e do not thin( that a sli$ht lapse of memor on the part of one or the other 'itness, as to the precise details of an "nimportant incident, to 'hich his attention ma not have been partic"larl directed, is s"fficient to raise a do"bt as to the veracit of these 'itnesses, or as to the tr"th and acc"rac of their recollection of the fact of the e#ec"tion of the instr"ment. Of co"rse,

a n"mber of contradictions in the testimon of alle$ed s"bscribin$ 'itnesses to a 'ill as to the circ"mstances "nder 'hich it 'as e#ec"ted, or even a sin$le contradiction as to a partic"lar incident, 'here the incident 'as of s"ch a nat"re that the intention of an person 'ho 'as present m"st have been directed to it, and 'here the contradictor statements in re$ard to it are so clear and e#plicit as to ne$ative the possibilit or probabilit of mista(e, mi$ht 'ell be s"fficient to B"stif the concl"sion that the 'itnesses co"ld not possibl have been present, to$ether, at the time 'hen it is alle$ed the 'ill 'as e#ec"ted6 b"t the apparent contradictions in the testimon of the 'itnesses in the case at bar fall far short of raisin$ a do"bt a to their veracit , and on the other hand their testimon as a 'hole $ives s"ch clear, e#plicit, and detailed acco"nt of all that occ"rred, and is so convincin$ and alto$ether satisfactor that 'e have no do"bt that the trial B"d$e 'ho heard them testif properl accepted their testimon as 'orth of entire confidence and belief. The contestants p"t "pon the stand fo"r 'itnesses for the p"rpose of provin$ that at the time and on the occasion 'hen the s"bscribin$ 'itnesses testified that the 'ill 'as e#ec"ted, these 'itnesses 'ere not in the ho"se 'ith the testator, and that the alle$ed testator 'as at that time in s"ch ph sical and mental condition that it 'as impossible for him to have made a 'ill. T'o of these 'itnesses, "pon cross-e#amination, admitted that the 'ere not in the ho"se at or bet'een the ho"rs of fo"r and si# in the afternoon of the da on 'hich the 'ill is alle$ed to have been made, this bein$ the time at 'hich the 'itnesses in s"pport of the 'ill testified that it 'as e#ec"ted. Of the other 'itnesses, one is a contestant of the 'ill, @acario Eba$, a brother of the testator, and the other, !an"to Sino , his close relative. These 'itnesses s'ore that the 'ere in the ho"se of the deceased, 'here he 'as l in$ ill, at or abo"t the time 'hen it is alle$ed that the 'ill 'as e#ec"ted, and that at that time the alle$ed s"bscribin$ 'itnesses 'ere not in the ho"se, and the alle$ed testator 'as so sic( that he 'as "nable to spea(, to "nderstand, or to ma(e himself "nderstood, and that he 'as 'holl incapacitated to ma(e a 'ill. A"t the testimon of @acario Eba$ is in o"r opinion 'holl "n'orth of credence. 4n addition to his manifest interest in the res"lt of the investi$ation, it clearl discloses a fi#ed and settled p"rpose to overthro' the 'ill at all costs, and to that end an "tter disre$ard of the tr"th, and readiness to s'ear to an fact 'hich he ima$ined 'o"ld aid in

sec"rin$ his obBect. An admittedl $en"ine and a"thentic si$nat"re of the deceased 'as introd"ced in evidence for comparison 'ith the si$nat"re attached to the 'ill, b"t this 'itness in his an#iet to den the $en"ineness of the si$nat"re of his brother to the 'ill, promptl and positivel s'ore that the admittedl $en"ine si$nat"re 'as not his brother9s si$nat"re, and onl corrected his erroneo"s statement in response to a some'hat s"$$estive 2"estion b his attorne 'hich evidentl $ave him to "nderstand that his former ans'er 'as li(el to preB"dice his o'n ca"se. On cross-e#amination, he 'as forced to admit that beca"se his brother and his brother9s 'ife 7in those favor the 'ill 'as made8 'ere A$lipa anos, he and his other brothers and sisters had not visited them for man months prior to the one partic"lar occasion as to 'hich testified6 and he admitted f"rther, that, altho"$h he lived near at hand, at no time thereafter did he or an of the other members of his famil visit their d in$ brother, and that the did not even attend the f"neral. 4f the testimon of this 'itness co"ld be accepted as tr"e, it 'o"ld be a remar(able coincidence indeed, that the s"bscribin$ 'itnesses to the alle$ed 'ill sho"ld have falsel pretended to have Boined in its e#ec"tion on the ver da , and at the precise ho"r, 'hen this interested 'itness happened to pa his onl visit to his brother d"rin$ his last illness, so that the testimon of this 'itness 'o"ld f"rnish concl"sive evidence in s"pport of the alle$ations of the contestants that the alle$ed 'ill 'as not e#ec"ted at the time and place or in the manner and form alle$ed b the s"bscribin$ 'itnesses. &e do not thin( that the testimon of this 'itness nor an of the other 'itnesses for the contestants is s"fficient to raise even a do"bt as to the tr"th of the testimon of the s"bscribin$ 'itnesses as to the fact of the e#ec"tion of the 'ill, or as to the manner and from in 'hich it 'as e#ec"ted. 4n the co"rse of the proceedin$s, an admittedl $en"ine si$nat"re of the deceased 'as introd"ced in evidence, and "pon a comparison of this si$nat"re 'ith the si$nat"re attached to the instr"ment in 2"estion, 'e are 'holl of the opinion of the trial B"d$e, 'ho held in this connection as follo's= ;o e#pert evidence has been add"ced 'ith re$ard to these t'o si$nat"res, and the presidin$ B"d$e of this co"rt does not claim to possess an special e#pert (no'led$e in the matter

of si$nat"res6 nevertheless, the co"rt has compared these t'o si$nat"res, and does not find that an material differences e#ists bet'een the same. 4t is tr"e that the si$nat"re 'hich appears in the doc"ment offered for a"thentication discloses that at the time of 'ritin$ the s"bscriber 'as more deliberate in his movements, b"t t'o facts m"st be ac(no'led$e= First, that the testator 'as serio"sl ill, and the other fact, that for some reason 'hich is not stated the testator 'as "nable to see, and 'as a person 'ho 'as not in the habit of si$nin$ his name ever da . These facts sho"ld s"fficientl e#plain 'hatever difference ma e#ist bet'een the t'o si$nat"res, b"t the co"rt finds that the principal stro(es in the t'o si$nat"res are identical. That the testator 'as mentall capable of ma(in$ the 'ill is in o"r opinion f"ll established b the testimon of the s"bscribin$ 'itnesses 'ho s'ore positivel that, at the time of its e#ec"tion, he 'as of so"nd mind and memor . 4t is tr"e that their testimon discloses the fact that he 'as at that time e#tremel ill, in an advanced sta$e of t"berc"losis complicated 'ith severe intermittent attac(s of asthma6 that he 'as too sic( to rise "naided from his bed6 that he needed assistance even to rise himself to a sittin$ position6 and that d"rin$ the paro# sms of asthma to 'hich he 'as s"bBect he co"ld not spea(6 b"t all this evidence of ph sical 'ea(ness in no 'ise establishes his mental incapacit or a lac( of testamentar capacit , and indeed the evidence of the s"bscribin$ 'itnesses as to the aid f"rnished them b the testator in preparin$ the 'ill, and his clear recollection of the bo"ndaries and ph sical description of the vario"s parcels of land set o"t therein, ta(en to$ether 'ith the fact that he 'as able to $ive to the person 'ho 'rote the 'ill clear and e#plicit instr"ctions as to his desires to"chin$ the disposition of his propert , is stron$ evidence of his testamentar capacit . !o"nsel for appellant s"$$ests that the fact that the alle$ed 'ill leaves all the propert of the testator to his 'ido', and 'holl fails to ma(e an provision for his brothers or sisters, indicates a lac( of testamentar capacit and "nd"e infl"ence6 and beca"se of the inherent improbabilit that a man 'o"ld ma(e so "nnat"ral and "nreasonable a 'ill, the contend that this fact indirectl

corroborates their contention that the deceased never did in fact e#ec"te the 'ill. A"t 'hen it is considered that the deceased at the time of his death had no heirs in the ascendin$ or descendin$ line6 that a bitter famil 2"arrel had lon$ separated him from his brothers and sisters, 'ho declined to have an relations 'ith the testator beca"se he and his 'ife 'ere adherents of the A$lipa ano !h"rch6 and that this 2"arrel 'as so bitter that none of his brothers or sisters, altho"$h some of them lived in the vicinit , 'ere present at the time of his death or attended his f"neral6 'e thin( the fact that the deceased desired to leave and did leave all of his propert to his 'ido' and made no provision for his brothers and sisters, 'ho themselves 'ere $ro'n men and 'omen, b no means tends to disclose either an "nso"nd mind or the presence of "nd"e infl"ence on the part of his 'ife, or in an 'ise corroborates contestants9 alle$ation that the 'ill never 'as e#ec"ted. 4t has been said that *the diffic"lt of statin$ standards or tests b 'hich to determine the de$ree of mental capacit of a partic"lar person has been ever 'here reco$ni3ed, and $ro's o"t of the inherent impossibilit of meas"rin$ mental capacit , or its impairment b disease or other ca"ses* 7Freene vs. Freene, 1-: 444., 26-, 2<686 and that *it is probable that no co"rt has ever attempted to la do'n an definite r"le in respect to the e#act amo"nt of mental capacit re2"isite for the ma(in$ of a valid 'ill, 'itho"t appreciatin$ the diffic"lt of the "nderta(in$* 7Trish vs. ;e'ell, 62 444., 196, 2138. Aet'een the hi$hest de$ree of so"ndness of mind and memor 'hich "n2"estionabl carries 'ith it f"ll testamentar capacit , and that de$ree of mental aberration $enerall (no'n as insanit or idioc , there are n"mberless de$rees of mental capacit or incapacit , and 'hile on one hand it has been held that *mere 'ea(ness of mind, or partial imbecilit from the disease of bod , or from a$e, 'ill not render a person incapable of ma(in$ a 'ill, a 'ea( or feeble minded person ma ma(e a valid 'ill, provided he has "nderstandin$ memor s"fficient to enable him to (no' 'hat he is abo"t, and ho' or to 'hom he is disposin$ of his propert * 7%od$e vs. %od$e, 2 .o"st. 75el.8, -1086 that, *To constit"te a so"nd and disposin$ mind, it is not necessar that the mind sho"ld be "nbro(en or "nimpaired, "nshattered b disease or other'ise*

7Sloan vs. @a#'ell, 3 ;. ,. )2., :6386 that *it has not been "nderstood that a testator m"st possess these 2"alities 7of so"nd and disposin$ mind and memor 8 in the hi$hest de$ree. . . . Fe' indeed 'o"ld be the 'ills confirmed, if this is correct. /ain, sic(ness, debilit of bod , from a$e or infirmit , 'o"ld, accordin$ to its violence or d"ration, in a $reater or less de$ree, brea( in "pon, 'ea(en, or deran$e the mind, b"t the deran$ement m"st be s"ch as deprives him of the rational fac"lties common to man* 75en. vs. >ancleve, : ;. ,. %.,60186 and, that *So"nd mind does not mean a perfectl balanced mind. The 2"estion of so"ndness is one of de$ree* 7Ao"$hton vs. Jni$ht, %. +.,3 /. K 5., 6-6 -2 %. ,. /., 2:86 on the other hand, it has been held that *testamentar incapacit does not necessaril re2"ire that a person shall act"all be insane or of an "nso"nd mind. &ea(ness of intellect, 'hether it arises from e#treme old a$e from disease, or $reat bodil infirmities or s"fferin$, or from all these combined, ma render the testator incapable of ma(in$ a valid 'ill, providin$ s"ch 'ea(ness reall dis2"alifies her from (no'in$ or appreciatin$ the nat"re, effects, or conse2"ences of the act she is en$a$ed in* 7@anatt vs. Scott, 116 4o'a, 2136 60 Am. St. +ep., 293, 3128. A"t for the p"rposes of this decision it is not necessar for "s to attempt to la do'n a definition of testamentar capacit 'hich 'ill cover all possible cases 'hich ma present themselves, beca"se, as 'ill be seen from 'hat has alread been said, the testator 'as, at the time of ma(in$ the instr"ment "nder consideration, endo'ed 'ith all the elements of mental capacit set o"t in the follo'in$ definition of testamentar capacit 'hich has been fre2"entl anno"nced in co"rts of last resort in )n$land and the Enited States6 and 'hile is some cases testamentar capacit has been held to e#ist in the absence of proof of some of these elements, there can be no 2"estion that, in the absence of proof of ver e#ceptional circ"mstances, proof of the e#istence of all these elements in s"fficient to establish the e#istence of testamentar capacit . Testamentar capacit is the capacit to comprehend the nat"re of the transaction 'hich the testator is en$a$ed at the time, to recollect the propert to be disposed of and the person 'ho 'o"ld nat"rall be s"pposed to have claims "pon the testator, and to comprehend the manner in 'hich the

instr"ment 'ill distrib"te his propert amon$ the obBects of his bo"nt . 7!f. lar$e arra of cases cited in s"pport of this definition in the )nc clopedia of %a', vol. 23, p. <1, second edition.8 4n o"r opinion, the evidence of record establishes in a stri(in$l concl"sive manner the e#ec"tion of the instr"ment propo"nded as the last 'ill and testament of the deceased6 that it 'as made in strict conformit 'ith the re2"isites prescribed b la'6 and that, at the time of its e#ec"tion, the deceased 'as of so"nd mind and memor , and e#ec"ted the instr"ment of his o'n free 'ill and accord. The order probatin$ the 'ill sho"ld be land is hereb affirmed, 'ith the cost of this instance a$ainst the appellants. Arellano, C. J., $orres, Jo'nson, and Moreland, JJ., conc"r.

(AG-I*A %'. (AL&$R*N 61 8"il 411

+AGTA' %'. 8AG-I*

66 8"il 667

3A(T': 1. /io2"into /a$"io died on September 20, 1919. 2. For some 1- or 1: ears prior to the time of his death, he s"ffered from a paral sis of the left side of his bod 6 that a fe' ears prior to his death his hearin$ became impaired and that he lost the po'er of speech. 3. .e retained the "se of his ri$ht hand and 'as able to 'rite fairl 'ell. -. Thro"$h the medi"m of si$ns he 'as able to indicate his 'ishes to his 'ife and to other members of his famil . :. The testator 'rote o"t on several pieces of paper the disposition of his propert . 6. The same 'as in t"rn delivered to one SeSor @arco 'ho transcribed and p"t them in form. <. The pieces of paper 'ere then delivered to a la' er 'ho read them to the testator as(in$ if the 'ere his dispositions. 0. The testator assented each time 'ith an affirmative movement of his head. 9. The 'ido' of the decedent ,"liana Aa$tas then so"$ht the probate of the p"rported last 'ill and testament of /io2"into. 11. The !F4 of Aataan admitted the same for probate. 11. 4sidoro /a$"io, a son of the decedent b a former marria$e, opposed the probation on the $ro"nd that the testator 'as not n f"ll enBo ment and "se of his mental fac"lties and 'as 'itho"t mental capacit necessar to e#ec"te a valid 'ill. I''-$: &as the 'ill 'as validl e#ec"ted? )$L&: The r"le of la' relatin$ to the pres"mption of mental so"ndness is 'ell-established, and the testator in the case at bar never havin$ been adB"d$ed insane b the co"rt of competent B"risdiction , this pres"mption contin"es, and it is therefore inc"mbent "pon the opponents to overcome this le$al pres"mption b proper evidence. The opponents failed to do this.

The co"rts have repeatedl held that mere 'ea(ness of mind and bod , ind"ced b a$e and disease does not render a person incapable of ma(in$ a 'ill. The la' does not re2"ire that a person shall contin"e in the f"ll enBo ment and "se of his pristine ph sical and mental po'ers in order to e#ec"te a valid 'ill. 4f s"ch 'ere the le$al standard , fe' indeed 'o"ld be the n"mber of 'ills that co"ld meet s"ch e#actin$ re2"irements. The a"thorities, both medical and le$al, are "niversal in the statement that the 2"estion of mental capacit is one of de$ree, and that there are man $radations from the hi$hest de$ree of mental so"ndness to the lo'est conditions of diseased mentalit 'hich are denominated insanit or idioc .

G.R. No. L-2811

/ar#" 14, 1916

:-LIANA +AGTA', plaintiffs-appellee, vs. I'I&R* 8AG-I*, $T AL., defendants-appellants. *alas and @ala+ for appellants. Jose *antiago for appellee. TR$NT, J.= This is an appeal from an order of the !o"rt of First 4nstance of the /rovince of Aataan, admittin$ to probate a doc"ment 'hich 'as offered as the last 'ill and testament of /io2"into /a$"io /i3arro. The 'ill p"rports to have been e#ec"ted in the p"eblo of /ilar, /rovince of Aataan, on the 19th da of April, 1910. The testator died on the 20th of September, 1919, a ear and five months follo'in$ the date of the e#ec"tion of the 'ill. The 'ill 'as propo"nded b the e#ec"tri#, ,"liana Aa$tas, 'ido' of the decedent, and the opponents are a son and several $randchildren b a former marria$e, the latter bein$ the children of a deceased da"$hter. The basis of the opposition to the probation of the 'ill is that the same 'as not e#ec"ted accordin$ to the formalities and re2"irements of the la' to"chin$ 'ills, and f"rther that the testator 'as not in the f"ll of enBo ment and "se of his mental fac"lties and 'as 'itho"t the mental capacit necessar to e#ec"te a valid 'ill.

The record sho's that the testator, /io2"into /a$"io, for some fo"rteen of fifteen ears prior to the time of his death s"ffered from a paral sis of the left side of his bod 6 that a fe' ears prior to his death his hearin$ became impaired and that he lost the po'er of speech. O'in$ to the paral sis of certain m"scles his head fell to one side, and saliva ran from his mo"th. .e retained the "se of his ri$ht hand, ho'ever, and 'as able to 'rite fairl 'ell. Thro"$h the medi"m of si$ns he 'as able to indicate his 'ishes to his 'ife and to other members of his famil . At the time of the e#ec"tion of the 'ill there 'ere present the fo"r testamentar 'itnesses, A$"stin /a$"io, Anacleto /a$"io, and /edro /a$"io, and attorne , SeSor @arco, and one Florentino +amos. Anacleto /a$"io and the attorne have since died, and conse2"entl their testimon 'as not available "pon the trial of the case in the lo'er co"rt. The other three testamentar 'itnesses and the 'itness Florentino +amos testified as to the manner in 'hich the 'ill 'as e#ec"ted. Accordin$ to the "ncontroverted testimon of these 'itnesses the 'ill 'as e#ec"ted in the follo'in$ manner= /io2"into /a$"io, the testator, 'rote o"t on pieces of paper notes and items relatin$ to the disposition of his propert , and these notes 'ere in t"rn delivered to SeSor @arco, 'ho transcribed them and p"t them in form. The 'itnesses testif that the pieces of paper "pon 'hich the notes 'ere 'ritten are delivered to attorne b the testator6 that the attorne read them to the testator as(in$ if the 'ere his testamentar dispositions6 that the testator assented each time 'ith an affirmative movement of his head6 that after the 'ill as a 'hole had been th"s 'ritten b the attorne , it 'as read in a lo"d voice in the presence of the testator and the 'itnesses6 that SeSor @arco $ave the doc"ment to the testator6 that the latter, after loo(in$ over it, si$ned it in the presence of the fo"r s"bscribin$ 'itnesses6 and that the in t"rn si$ned it in the presence of the testator and each other. These are the facts of record 'ith reference to the e#ec"tion of the 'ill and 'e are in perfect accord 'ith the B"d$ment of the lo'er co"rt that the formalities of the !ode of !ivil /roced"re have been f"ll complied 'ith.

This brin$s "s no' to a consideration of appellants9 second assi$nment of error, vi3, the testator9s alle$ed mental incapacit at the time of the e#ec"tion of the 'ill. Epon this point considerable evidence 'as add"ced at the trial. One of the attestin$ 'itnesses testified that at the time of the e#ec"tion of the 'ill the testator 'as in his ri$ht mind, and that altho"$h he 'as serio"sl ill, he indicated b movements of his head 'hat his 'ishes 'ere. Another of the attestin$ 'itnesses stated that he 'as not able to sa 'hether decedent had the f"ll "se of his mental fac"lties or not, beca"se he had been ill for some ears, and that he 7the 'itnesses8 'as not a ph sician. The other s"bscribin$ 'itness, /edro /a$"io, testified in the lo'er co"rt as a 'itness for the opponents. .e 'as "nable to state 'hether or not the 'ill 'as the 'ish of the testator. The onl reasons he $ave for his statement 'ere the infirmit and advanced a$e of the testator and the fact that he 'as "nable to spea(. The 'itness stated that the testator si$ned the 'ill, and he verified his o'n si$nat"re as a s"bscribin$ 'itness. Florentino +amos, altho"$h not an attestin$ 'itness, stated that he 'as present 'hen the 'ill 'as e#ec"ted and his testimon 'as c"m"lative in corroboration of the manner in 'hich the 'ill 'as e#ec"ted and as to the fact that the testator si$ned the 'ill. This 'itness also stated that he had fre2"entl transacted matters of b"siness for the decedent and had 'ritten letters and made inventories of his propert at his re2"est, and that immediatel before and after the e#ec"tion of the 'ill he had performed offices of his character. .e stated that the decedent 'as able to comm"nicate his tho"$hts b 'ritin$. The testimon of this 'itness clearl indicates the presence of mental capacit on the part of the testator. Amon$ other 'itnesses for the opponents 'ere t'o ph sician, 5octor Aasa and 5octor >iado. 5octor Aasa testified that he had attended the testator some fo"r or five ears prior to his death and that the latter had s"ffered from a cerebral con$estion from 'hich the paral sis res"lted. The follo'in$ 2"estion 'as propo"nded to 5octor Aasa= I. +eferrin$ to mental condition in 'hich o" fo"nd him the last time o" attended him, do o" thin( he 'as in his ri$ht mind?

A. 4 can not sa e#actl 'hether he 'as in his ri$ht mind, b"t 4 noted some mental disorder, beca"se 'hen 4 spo(e to him he did not ans'er me. 5octor Aasa testified at more len$th, b"t the s"bstance of his testimon is that the testator had s"ffered a paral sis and that he had noticed some mental disorder. .e does not sa that the testator 'as not in his ri$ht mind at the time of the e#ec"tion of the 'ill, nor does he $ive it at his opinion that he 'as 'itho"t the necessar mental capacit to ma(e a valid 'ill. .e did not state in 'hat 'a this mental disorder had manifested itself other than that he had noticed that the testator did not repl to him on one occasion 'hen he visited him. 5octor >iado, the other ph sician, have never seen the testator, b"t his ans'er 'as in repl to a h pothetical 2"estion as to 'hat be the mental condition of a person 'ho 'as <9 ears old and 'ho had s"ffered from a malad s"ch as the testator 'as s"pposed to have had accordin$ to the testimon of 5octor Aasa, 'hose testimon 5octor >iado had heard. .e replied and disc"ssed at some len$th the s mptoms and conse2"ences of the decease from 'hich the testator had s"ffered6 he read in s"pport of his statements from a 'or( b a Ferman /h sician, 5r. .erman )ichost. 4n ans'er, ho'ever, to a direct 2"estion, he stated that he 'o"ld be "nable to certif to the mental condition of a person 'ho 'as s"fferin$ from s"ch a disease. &e do not thin( that the testimon of these t'o ph sicians in an 'a stren$thens the contention of the appellants. Their testimon onl confirms the fact that the testator had been for a n"mber of ears prior to his death afflicted 'ith paral sis, in conse2"ence of 'hich his ph sician and mental stren$th 'as $reatl impaired. ;either of them attempted to state 'hat 'as the mental condition of the testator at the time he e#ec"ted the 'ill in 2"estion. There can be no do"bt that the testator9s infirmities 'ere of a ver serio"s character, and it is 2"ite evident that his mind 'as not as active as it had been in the earlier ears of his life. .o'ever, 'e can not incl"de from this that he 'antin$ in the necessar mental capacit to dispose of his propert b 'ill.

The co"rts have been called "pon fre2"entl to n"llif 'ills e#ec"ted "nder s"ch circ"mstances, b"t the 'ei$ht of the a"thorit is in s"pport if the principle that it is onl 'hen those see(in$ to overthro' the 'ill have clearl established the char$e of mental incapacit that the co"rts 'ill intervene to set aside a testamentar doc"ment of this character. 4n the case of Bugnao vs. Bbag 71- /hil. +ep., 1638, the 2"estion of testamentar capacit 'as disc"ssed b this co"rt. The n"mero"s citations there $iven from the decisions of the Enited States co"rts are especiall applicable to the case at bar and have o"r approval. 4n this B"risdiction the pres"mption of la' is in favor of the mental capacit of the testator and the b"rden is "pon the contestants of the 'ill to prove the lac( of testamentar capacit . 74n the matter of the 'ill of !abi$tin$, 1- /hil. +ep., -636 in the matter of the 'ill of A"talid, 11 /hil. +ep., 2<6 .ernae3 vs. .ernae3, 1 /hil. +ep., 609.8 The r"le of la' relatin$ to the pres"mption of mental so"ndness is 'ell established, and the testator in the case at bar never havin$ been adB"d$ed insane b a co"rt of competent B"risdiction, this pres"mption contin"es, and it is therefore inc"mbent "pon the opponents to overcome this le$al pres"mption b proper evidence. This 'e thin( the have failed to do. There are man cases and a"thorities 'hich 'e mi$ht cite to sho' that the co"rts have repeatedl held that mere 'ea(ness of mind and bod , ind"ced b a$e and disease do not render a person incapable of ma(in$ a 'ill. The la' does not re2"ire that a person shall contin"e in the f"ll enBo ment and "se of his pristine ph sical and mental po'ers in order to e#ec"te a valid 'ill. 4f s"ch 'ere the le$al standard, fe' indeed 'o"ld be the n"mber of 'ills that co"ld meet s"ch e#actin$ re2"irements. The a"thorities, both medical and le$al, are "niversal in statement that the 2"estion of mental capacit is one of de$ree, and that there are man $radations from the hi$hest de$ree of mental so"ndness to the lo'est conditions of diseased mentalit 'hich are denominated as insanit and idioc . The ri$ht to dispose of propert b testamentar disposition is as sacred as an other ri$ht 'hich a person ma e#ercise and this ri$ht sho"ld not be n"llified "nless mental incapacit is established in a positive and concl"sive manner. 4n disc"ssin$ the 2"estion of testamentar capacit , it is stated in vol"me 20, <1, of the American

and )n$lish )nc clopedia of %a', that C !ontrar to the ver prevalent la impression, perfect so"ndness of mind is not essential to testamentar capacit . A testator ma be afflicted 'ith a variet of mental 'ea(nesses, disorders, or pec"liarities and still be capable in la' of e#ec"tin$ a valid 'ill. 7See the n"mero"s cases there cited in s"pport of this statement.8 The r"le relatin$ to testamentar capacit is stated in A"s'ell on 4nsanit , section 36:, and 2"oted 'ith approval in Ca%pbell vs. Ca%pbell 7131 4ll., -668, as follo's= To constit"te a so"nd and disposin$ mind, it is not necessar that the mind shall be 'holl "nbro(en, "nimpaired, or "nshattered b disease or other'ise, or that the testator sho"ld be in the f"ll possession of his reasonin$ fac"lties. 4n note, 1 ,arman on &ills, 30, the r"le is th"s stated= The 2"estion is not so m"ch, that 'as the de$ree of memor possessed b the testator, as, had he a disposin$ memor ? &as he able to remember the propert he 'as abo"t to be2"eath, the manner of dist"rbin$ it, and the obBects of his bo"nt ? 4n a 'ord, 'ere his mind and memor s"fficientl so"nd to enable him to (no' and "nderstand the b"siness in 'hich he 'as en$a$ed at the time 'hen he e#ec"ted his 'ill. 7See a"thorities there cited.8 4n )ilson vs. Mitc'ell 7111 /enn., -9:8, the follo'in$ facts appeared "pon the trial of the case= The testator died at the a$e of nearl 112 ears. 4n his earl ears he 'as an intelli$ent and 'ell informed man. Abo"t seven ears prior to his death he s"ffered a paral tic stro(e and from that time his mind and memor 'ere m"sh enfeebled. .e became ver d"ll of hearin$ and in conse2"ence of the shrin(in$ of his brain he 'as affected 'ith senile cataract ca"sin$ total blindness. .e became filth and obscene in his habits, altho"$h formerl he 'as observant of the properties of life. The co"rt, in commentin$ "pon the case, said=

;either a$e, nor sic(ness, nor e#treme distress, nor debilit of bod 'ill affect the capacit to ma(e a 'ill, if s"fficient intelli$ence remains. The fail"re of memor is not s"fficient to create the incapacit , "nless it be total, or e#tend to his immediate famil or propert . . . . ### ### ###

5o"$al 7the testator8 had lived over one h"ndred ears before he made the 'ill, and his ph sical and mental 'ea(ness and defective memor 'ere in stri(in$ contrast 'ith their stren$th in the meridian of his life. .e 'as blind6 not deaf, b"t hearin$ impaired6 his mind acted slo'l , he 'as for$etf"l or recent events, especiall of names, and repeated 2"estions in conversation6 and sometimes, 'hen aro"sed for sleep or sl"mber, 'o"ld seem be'ildered. 4t is not sin$"lar that some of those 'ho had (no'n him 'hen he 'as remar(able for vi$or and intelli$ence, are of the opinion that his reason 'as so far $one that he 'as incapable of ma(in$ a 'ill, altho"$h the never heard him "tter an irrational e#pression. 4n the above case the 'ill 'as s"stained. 4n the case at bar 'e mi$ht dra' the same contrast as 'as pict"red b the co"rt in the case B"st 2"oted. The stri(in$ chan$e in the ph sical and mental vi$or of the testator d"rin$ the last ears of his life ma have led some of those 'ho (ne' him in his earlier da s to entertain do"bts as to his mental capacit to ma(e a 'ill, et 'e thin( that the statements of the 'itnesses to the e#ec"tion of the 'ill and statements of the cond"ct of the testator at that time all indicate that he "n2"estionabl had mental capacit and that he e#ercised it on this occasion. At the time of the e#ec"tion of the 'ill it does not appear that his cond"ct 'as irrational in an partic"lar. .e seems to have comprehended clearl 'hat the nat"re of the b"siness 'as in 'hich he 'as en$a$ed. The evidence sho' that the 'ritin$ and e#ec"tion of the 'ill occ"pied a period several ho"rs and that the testator 'as present d"rin$ all this time, ta(in$ an active part in all the proceedin$s. A$ain, the 'ill in the case at bar is perfectl reasonable and its dispositions are those of a rational person.

For the reasons above stated, the order probatin$ the 'ill sho"ld be and the same is hereb affirmed, 'ith costs of this instance a$ainst the appellants. Arellano, C.J., $orres, Mapa, Jo'nson, Carson and Moreland, JJ., conc"r.

G.R. No. L-19146

/ar#" 5, 1967

In t"e atter o! t"e estate o! /ariano (orrales Tan, de#eased. 3LA%IANA 'A/'*N, petitioner-appellee, vs. %I($NT$ (*RRAL$' TAN ,-INTIN, oppositor-appellant. Marcaida, Capili and 7ca%po for appellant. -pi%aco Molina for appellee. *'TRAN&, J.: This is an appeal from an order of the !o"rt of First 4nstance of @anila admittin$ to probate a doc"ment alle$ed to be the last 'ill and testament of the deceased @ariano !orrales Tan. There is no direct evidence as to the interest of the oppositor-appellant in the estate in 2"estion, tho"$h it ma , perhaps, be inferred from the testimon of his 'ife @a#imina On$ that he is the son of the deceased. 4n his ans'er to the petition for probate he alle$es, in s"bstance, that the 'ill is incomplete and fra"d"lent and does not e#press the tr"e intent of the testator6 that the testator acted "nder d"ress and "nder "nd"e infl"ence, and that at the time of the e#ec"tion of the 'ill he 'as not of so"nd and disposin$ mind. &e do not thin( the opponent has s"cceeded in provin$ an of his alle$ations. There is no evidence 'hatever sho'in$ that the testator acted "nder d"ress or "nd"e infl"ence and the onl 2"estion of fact 'hich 'e need consider is 'hether the testator 'as of so"nd and disposin$ mind 'hen the doc"ment in 2"estion 'as e#ec"ted. Epon this point the testimon of 5r. Tee .an Jee, the attendin$ ph sician, as a 'itness for the opposition, is to the effect that the deceased 'as s"fferin$ from diabetes and had been in a comatose condition for several da s prior to his death. .e died abo"t ei$ht or

nine o9cloc( in the evenin$ of 5ecember 26, 1921, and the 'ill is alle$ed to have been e#ec"ted in the forenoon of the same da . !o"nsel for the appellant, in his 'ell-prepared brief, ar$"es abl and vi$oro"sl that co%a implies complete "nconscio"sness, and that the testator, therefore, co"ld not at that time have been in possession of his mental fac"lties and have e#ec"ted a 'ill. There are, ho'ever, var in$ de$rees of coma and in its li$hter forms the patient ma be aro"sed and have l"cid intervals. S"ch seems to have been the case here. 5octor Tee .an Jee, the opponent9s principal 'itness, 'ho visited the deceased in the evenin$ of 5ecember 2:th, sa s he then see%ed to be in a state of co%a and that in the forenoon of 5ecember 26th, 'hen the doctor a$ain visited him, he 'as in *the same state of co%a.* @a#imina On$, the 'ife of the opponent, the onl other 'itness for the opposition, states that on 5ecember 26th the deceased co"ld not tal( and did not reco$ni3e an one. A"t all the 'itnesses presented b the petitioner, five in n"mber, testif that the deceased 'as conscio"s, co"ld hear and "nderstand 'hat 'as said to him and 'as able to indicate his desires. Fo"r of these 'itnesses state that he co"ld spea( distinctl 6 the fifth, >elha$en, sa s that the deceased onl moved his head in ans'er to 2"estions. That the deceased 'as in an e#ceedin$l feeble condition at the time the 'ill 'as e#ec"ted is evident, b"t if the 'itnesses presented in s"pport of the petition told the tr"th there can be no do"bt that he 'as of so"nd mind and capable of ma(in$ his 'ill. And 'e see no reason to discredit an of these 'itnesses6 the discrepancies fo"nd bet'een their respective versions of 'hat too( place at the e#ec"tion of the doc"ment are comparativel "nimportant and so far from 'ea(enin$ their testimon rather lend stren$th to it b indicatin$ the absence of an conspirac amon$ them. As a$ainst their testimon 'e have onl the testimon of @a#imina On$ and 5r. Tee .an Jee. The former is not a disinterested 'itness. As to the testimon of the latter it is s"fficient to sa that mere professional spec"lation cannot prevail over the positive statements of five apparentl credible 'itnesses 'hose testimon does not in itself seem "nreasonable. There is no direct evidence in the record sho'in$ that the

p"blication of the time and place of the hearin$ of the petition for probate has been made as provided for in section 631 of the !ode of !ivil /roced"re and the appellant ar$"es that the co"rt belo' erred in admittin$ the 'ill to probate 'itho"t proof of s"ch p"blication. This 2"estion not havin$ been raised in the co"rt belo' 'ill not be considered here. Section 631 of the !ode of !ivil /roced"re, spea(in$ of hearin$s for the probate of 'ills, also provides that *At the hearin$ all testimon shall be ta(en "nder oath, red"ced to 'ritin$ and si$ned b the 'itnesses* and the appellant maintains that the transcript of the testimon of the 'itness 5r. ;. @. Saleeb , not havin$ been si$ned b the 'itness, the testimon sho"ld have been e#cl"ded. There is no merit in this contention. &hen, as in this case, the testimon is ta(en b the steno$rapher of the co"rt and certified to b him, the provision 2"oted can onl be re$arded as director and a fail"re to observe the provision 'ill not render the testimon inadmissible. 7+eese vs. ;olan, 99 Ala., 213.8 The order appealed from is affirmed, 'ith the costs a$ainst the appellant. So ordered. Araullo, C. J., *treet, Malcol%, Avance4a, Villa%or, Jo'ns, and o%ualdez, JJ., concur.

After the trial of the case, the co"rt fo"nd that the plaintiff 'as reall entitled to one-half 7Z8 of the said propert , adB"dicatin$ the same to her, b"t at the same time ordered said plaintiff to pa to the defendant the s"m of /<2<.<<, pl"s interests, b virt"e of said co"nterclaims. /laintiff Trinidad ;e ra appealed from the said decision, to the !o"rt of Appeals for @anila, alle$in$ several errors, attac(in$ the e#ec"tion and validit of said a$reement6 and on ;ovember 11, 19-2, said appeal 'as dismissed, p"rs"ant to the to an a$reement or compromise entered into b the parties, as sho'n b the correspondin$ doc"ment, dated ;ovember 3, 19-2, 'hich 'as filed in the case the follo'in$ da , ;ovember -, 19-2. 4n the mean'hile, )ncarnacion ;e ra, 'ho had been sic(l for abo"t t'o ears, "ne#pectedl died, on ;ovember -, 19-2 at the a$e of -0, alle$edl from heart attac(, as a conse2"ence of Addison9s disease from 'hich, it 'as claimed, she had been s"fferin$ for sometime. 4n vie' of the decision of the !o"rt of Appeals, dated ;ovember 11, 19-2, dismissin$ the appeal, b virt"e of said a$reement or compromise, Att . %"cio ,avillonar, claimin$ to represent )ncarnacion ;e ra, 'ho had died since ;ovember -, 19-2, and other relatives of hers, filed a petition, dated ;ovember 23, 19-2, as(in$ for the reconsideration of said decision of the !o"rt of Appeals, dismissin$ the appeal, claimin$ that the alle$ed compromise or a$reement, dated ;ovember 3, 19-2, co"ld not have been "nderstood b )ncarnacion ;e ra, as she 'as alread then at the threshold of death, and that as a matter of fact she died the follo'in$ da 6 and that if it had been si$ned at all b said )ncarnacion ;e ra, her th"mbmar( appearin$ on said doc"ment m"st have been affi#ed thereto b Trinidad ;e ra9s attorne , a$ainst )ncarnacion9s 'ill6 and that the co"rt had no more B"risdiction over the case, 'hen the alle$ed a$reement 'as filed on ;ovember -, 19-2, at the instance of Trinidad ;e ra, as )ncarnacion 'as alread dead at the time. The principal 2"estion to be decided, in connection 'ith said petition for reconsideration, is 'hether or not said compromise or

(.A. No. 8175

/ar#" 65, 1942

TRINI&A& N$0RA, plaintiff-appellant, vs. $N(ARNA(I*N N$0RA, defendant-appellee. Ale=andro M. Panis for appellant. Lucio Javillonar for appellee. &$ :*0A, J.: On October 2:, 1939, Trinidad ;e ra filed a complaint a$ainst her sister, )ncarnacion ;e ra, in the !o"rt of First 4nstance of the !it of @anila, for the recover of one-half 7Z8 of the propert mentioned and described therein, 'hich had been left b their deceased father, Severo ;e ra, and 'hich had been previo"sl divided e2"all bet'een the t'o e#traB"diciall , demandin$ at the same time onehalf 7Z8 of the rents collected on the said propert b the defendant )ncarnacion ;e ra. The defendant filed an ans'er admittin$ that the propert mentioned and described therein 'as comm"nit propert , and at the same time set "p co"nterclaims amo"ntin$ to over /1,111, for mone spent, d"rin$ the last illness of their father, and for mone loaned to the plaintiff.

a$reement had been le$all e#ec"ted and si$ned b )ncarnacion ;e ra, on ;ovember 3, 19-2. Trinidad ;e ra maintains the affirmative. The vol"mino"s evidence, testimonial and doc"mentar , add"ced b the parties, in this case, has f"ll established the follo'in$ facts= That Severo ;a ra died intestate in the !it of @anila, on @a 6, 1930, leavin$ certain properties and t'o children, b his first marria$e, named )ncarnacion ;e ra and Trinidad ;e ra, and other children b his second marria$e6 That after the death of Severo ;e ra, the t'o sisters, )ncarnacion ;e ra and Trinidad ;e ra, had serio"s mis"nderstandin$s, in connection 'ith the properties left b their deceased father, and so serio"s 'ere their dissensions that, after @arch 31, 1939, the had t'o liti$ations in the !o"rt of First 4nstance of @anila, concernin$ said properties. 4n the first case, filed in @arch 31, 1939, Trinidad ;e ra and others demanded b )ncarnacion ;e ra and others the ann"lment of the sale of the propert located at ;o. 366 +aon Street, @anila 'hich 'as finall decided in favor of the defendants, in the co"rt of first instance, and in the !o"rt of Appeals, on 5ecember 21, 19-3 7F.+. ;o. 016286 and the second is the instance case. That )ncarnacion ;e ra, 'ho had remained sin$le, and 'ho had no lon$er an ascendants, e#ec"ted a 'ill on September 1-, 1939, mar(ed )#hibit 16, disposin$ of her properties in favor of the *!on$re$acion de +eli$iosas de la >ir$en @aria* and her other relatives, named Teodora ;e ra, /ilar de F"3man and @aria ,acobo >da. de Alanco, ma(in$ no provision 'hatsoever in said 'ill, in favor of her onl sister of the 'hole blood, Trinidad ;e ra, 'ho had become her bitter enem 6 that 'hen the said 'ill 'as bro"$ht to the attention of the a"thorities of said !on$re$ation, after d"e deliberation and consideration, said reli$io"s or$ani3ation declined the bo"nt offered b )ncarnacion ;e ra, and said decision of the !on$re$ation 'as d"l comm"nicated to her6 that in order to overcome the diffic"lties enco"ntered b said reli$io"s or$ani3ation in not acceptin$ the $enerosit of )ncarnacion ;e ra, the latter decided to ma(e a ne' 'ill, and for that p"rpose, abo"t one 'ee( before her death, sent for Att . +icardo Si(at, and $ave him instr"ctions for the preparation of a ne' 'ill6 that Att . Si(at,

instead of preparin$ a ne' 'ill, merel prepared a draft of a codicil, amendin$ said 'ill, dated September 1-, 1939, a$ain namin$ said reli$io"s or$ani3ation, amon$ others as beneficiar , and said draft of a codicil 'as also for'arded to the a"thorities of reli$io"s or$ani3ation, for their consideration and acceptance6 b"t it 'as also reBected. 4n the mean'hile, )ncarnacion ;e ra had become serio"sl ill, s"fferin$ from Addison9s disease, and on October 31, 19-2, she sent for her reli$io"s adviser and confessor, @ons. >icente Fernande3 of the I"iapo !h"rch to ma(e confession, after 'hich she re2"ested that hol mass be celebrated in her ho"se at ;o. 366 +aon Street, !it of @anila, so that she mi$ht ta(e hol comm"nion6 that @ons. Fernande3 ca"sed the necessar arran$ements to be made, and, as a matter of fact, on ;ovember 1, 19-2, hol mass 'as solemni3ed in her ho"se b Father Teodoro Farcia, also of the I"iapo !h"rch, on 'hich occasion, )ncarnacion ;e ra, 'ho remained in bed, too( hol comm"nion6 that after the mass, Father Farcia tal(ed to )ncarnacion ;e ra and advised reconciliation bet'een the t'o sisters, )ncarnacion and Trinidad ;e ra. )ncarnacion accepted said advise and, at abo"t noon of the same da 7;ovember 1, 19-28, sent )"sta2"io @endo3a to fetch her sister Trinidad, 'ho came at abo"t 2=31 that same afternoon6 that the t'o sisters $reeted each other in most affectionate manner, and became reconciled and t'o had a lon$ and cordial conversation, in the co"rse of 'hich the also tal(ed abo"t the properties left b their father and their liti$ations 'hich had reached the !o"rt of Appeals for the !it of @anila, the instant case bein$ the second, and the a$reed to have the latter dismissed, on the condition that the propert involved therein sho"ld be $iven e#cl"sivel to Trinidad ;e ra, that the latter sho"ld 'aive her share in the rents of said propert collected b )ncarnacion, and the Trinidad had no more indebtedness to )ncarnacion. The also a$reed to send for Att . AleBandro @. /anis, to prepare the necessar doc"ment embod in$ the said a$reement, b"t Attorne /anis co"ld come onl in the afternoon of the follo'in$ da , ;ovember 2, 19-2, 'hen )ncarnacion $ave him instr"ctions for the preparation of the doc"ment embod in$ their a$reement, and other instr"ctions for the preparation of her last 'ill and testament6 that Attorne /anis prepared said doc"ment of compromise as 'ell as the ne' 'ill and testament, namin$ Trinidad ;e ra and )"sta2"io @endo3a beneficiaries therein, p"rs"ant to )ncarnacion9s

e#press instr"ctions, and the t'o doc"ments 'ere prepared, in d"plicate, and 'ere read for si$nat"re, since the mornin$ of ;ovember 3, 19-26 that in the afternoon of that da , of compromise and last 'ill and testament to )ncarnacion ;e ra, slo'l and in a lo"d voice, in the presence of Father Teodoro Farcia, 5r. @oises A. Abad, 5r. )ladio Aldecoa, Trinidad ;e ra, and others, after 'hich he as(ed her if their terms 'ere in accordance 'ith her 'ishes, or if she 'anted an chan$e made in said doc"ments6 that )ncarnacion ;e ra did not s"$$est an chan$e, and as(ed for the pad and the t'o doc"ments, and, 'ith the help of a son of Trinidad, placed her th"mbmar( at the foot of each one of the t'o doc"ments, in d"plicate, on her bed in the sala, in the presence of attestin$ 'itnesses, 5r. @oises A. Abad, 5r. )ladio +. Aldecoa and Att . AleBandro @. /anis, after 'hich said 'itnesses si$ned at the foot of the 'ill, in the presence of )ncarnacion ;e ra, and of each other. The a$reement 'as also si$ned b Trinidad ;e ra, as part , and b 5r. @. A. Abad and )"sta2"io @endo3a, a prote$e, as 'itnesses. Father Teodoro Farcia 'as also present at the si$nin$ of the t'o doc"ments, at the re2"est of )ncarnacion ;e ra. The fore$oin$ facts have been established b the 'itnesses presented b Trinidad ;e ra, 'ho are all tr"st'orth men, and 'ho had absol"tel no interest in the final o"tcome of this case. T'o of them are ministers of the Fospel, 'hile three of the attestin$ 'itnesses are professional men of irreproachable character, 'ho had (no'n and seen and act"all tal(ed to the testatri#. /etitioner Teodora ;e ra, half sister of )ncarnacion, and her !oung da"$hter !eferina de la !r"3, and /resentacion Alanco, da"$hter of petitioner @aria ,acobo >da. de Alanco, s"bstantiall corroborated the testimon of the 'itnesses presented b Trinidad ;e ra, 'ith reference to the si$nin$ of doc"ments, in the bedroom of )ncarnacion ;e ra, in the afternoon of ;ovember 3, 19-2. Teodora ;e ra, /resentacion Alanco and !eferina de la !r"3 testified, ho'ever, that 'hen the th"mbmar( of )ncarnacion ;e ra 'as affi#ed to the a$reement in 2"estion, dated ;ovember 3, 19-2, she 'as sleepin$ on her bed in the sala6 and that the attestin$ 'itnesses 'ere not present, as the 'ere in the caida.

A"t !eferina de la !r"3 also stated that the attestin$ 'itnesses si$ned the doc"ments th"mbmar(ed b )ncarnacion ;e ra, in the sala near her bed, th"s contradictin$ herself and Teodora ;e ra and /resentacion Alanco. Stran$e to sa , Teodora ;e ra, /resentacion Alanco and !eferina de la !r"3 also testified that )ncarnacion ;e ra9s, th"mbmar( 'as affi#ed to the 'ill, onl in the mornin$ of ;ovember -, 19-2, b Trinidad ;e ra and one 4ldefonso del Aarrio, 'hen )ncarnacion 'as alread dead. The testimon of 5r. 5ionisio /ar"lan, alle$ed medical e#pert, as to the nat"re of effects of Addison9s disease, is absol"tel "nreliable. .e had never seen or tal(ed to the testatri# )ncarnacion ;e ra. Accordin$ to medical a"thorities, persons s"fferin$ from Addison9s disease often live as lon$ as ten 7118 ears, 'hile others die after a fe' 'ee(s onl , and that as the disease pro$resses, asthenia sets in, and from 01 per cent to 91 per cent of the patients develop t"berc"losis, and complications of the heart also appear. 7!ecil, Te#tboo( of @edicine, 3d ed., 193:, pp. 12:1-12:36 @c!rae, Osler9s @odern @edicine, 3d ed., >ol. >, pp. 2<2-2<9.8 And it has been concl"sivel sho'n that )ncarnacion ;e ra died on ;ovember -, 19-2, d"e to a heart attac(, at the a$e of -0, after an illness of abo"t t'o 728 ears. 4n connection 'ith mental capacit , in several cases, this co"rt has considered the testimon of 'itnesses, 'ho had (no'n and tal(ed to the testators, more tr"st'orth than the testimon of the alle$ed medical e#perts. 4nsomnia, in spite of the testimon of t'o doctors, 'ho testified for the opponents to the probate of a 'ill, to the effect that it tended to destro mental capacit , 'as held not to effect the f"ll possession of mental fac"lties deemed necessar and s"fficient for its e#ec"tion. 7!a$"ioa vs. !alderon, 21 /hil., -11.8 The testatri# 'as held to have been co%pos %entis, in spite of the ph sician9s testimon to the contrar , to the effect that she 'as ver 'ea(, bein$ in the third or last sta$e of t"berc"losis. 7Gap T"a vs. Gap !a J"an and Gap !a %l",

2< /hil., :<9.8 The testimon of the attendin$ ph sician that the deceased 'as s"fferin$ from diabetes and had been in a comatose condition for several da s, prior to his death, 'as held not s"fficient to establish testamentar incapacit , in vie' of the positive statement of several credible 'itnesses that he 'as conscio"s and able to "nderstand 'hat 'as said to him and to comm"nicate his desires. 7Samson vs. !orrales Tan I"intin, -- /hil., :<3.8 &here the mind of the testator is in perfectl so"nd condition, neither old a$e, nor ill health, nor the fact that somebod had to $"ide his hand in order that he mi$ht si$n, is s"fficient to invalidate his 'ill 7Amata and AlmoB"ela vs. Tabli3o, -0 /hil., -0:.8 &here it appears that a fe+ 'ours and also a fe' da s after the e#ec"tion of the 'ill, the testator intelli$entl and intelli$ibl conversed 'ith other persons, altho"$h l in$ do'n and "nable to move or stand "p "nassisted, b"t co"ld still effect the sale of propert belon$in$ to him, these circ"mstances sho' that the testator 'as in a perfectl so"nd mental condition at the time of the e#ec"tion of the 'ill. 7Amata and AlmoB"ela vs. Tabli3o, -0 /hil., -0:.8 /resentacion Alanco, in the co"rse of her cross-e#amination, fran(l admitted that, in the mornin$ and also at abo"t 6 o9cloc( in he afternoon of ;ovember 3, 19-2, )ncarnacion ;e ra tal(ed to her that the "nderstood each other clearl , th"s sho'in$ that the testatri# 'as reall of so"nd mind, at the time of si$nin$ and e#ec"tion of the a$reement and 'ill in 2"estion. 4t ma , therefore, be reasonabl concl"ded that the mental fac"lties of persons s"fferin$ from Addison9s disease, li(e the testatri# in this case, remain "nimpaired, partl d"e to the fact that, on acco"nt of the sleep the enBo , the necessaril receive the benefit of ph sical and mental rest. And that li(e patients s"fferin$ from t"berc"losis, insomnia or diabetes, the preserve their mental fac"lties "ntil the moments of their death. ,"d$in$ b the a"thorities above cited, the lo$ical concl"sion is that )ncarnacion ;e ra 'as of so"nd mind and possessed the necessar testamentar and mental capacit , at the time of the e#ec"tion of the a$reement and 'ill, dated ;ovember 3, 19-2.

The contention that the attestin$ 'itnesses 'ere not present, at the time )ncarnacion ;e ra th"mbmar(ed the a$reement and 'ill in 2"estion, on her bed, in the sala of the ho"se, as the 'ere alle$edl in the caida, is "ntenable. 4t has been f"ll sho'n that said 'itnesses 'ere present, at the time of the si$nin$ and e#ec"tion of the a$reement and 'ill in 2"estion, in the sala, 'here the testatri# 'as l in$ on her bed. The tr"e test is not 'hether the act"all sa' each other at the time of the si$nin$ of the doc"ments, b"t 'hether the mi$ht have seen each other si$n, had the chosen to do so6 and the attestin$ 'itnesses act"all sa' it all in this case. 7,aboneta vs. F"stilo, : /hil., :-1.8 And the th"mbmar( placed b the testatri# on the a$reement and 'ill in 2"estion is e2"ivalent to her si$nat"re. 7Gap T"a vs. Gap !a J"an and Gap !a %l", 2< /hil., :<9.8 Teodora ;e ra and her principal 'itnesses are all interested parties, as the are children of le$atees named in the 'ill, dated September 1-, 1939, b"t eliminated from the 'ill, dated ;ovember 3, 19-2. F"rthermore, the testimon of Teodora ;e ra and her 'itnesses, to the effect that there co"ld have been no reconciliation bet'een the t'o sisters, and that the th"mbmar( of )ncarnacion ;e ra 'as affi#ed to the doc"ments embod in$ the a$reement, 'hile she 'as sleepin$, on ;ovember 3, 19-2, in their presence6 and that her th"mbmar( 'as affi#ed to the 'ill in 2"estion, 'hen she 'as alread dead, in the mornin$ of ;ovember -, 19-2, 'ithin their vie', is absol"tel devoid of an semblance of tr"th. Said testimon is contrar to common sense. 4t violates all sense of proportion. Teodora ;e ra and her 'itnesses co"ld not have told the tr"th6 the have testified to deliberate falsefoods6 and the are, therefore, absol"tel "n'orth of belief. And to the evidence of the petitioners is completel applicable the le$al aphorism C falsus in uno, falsus in o%nibus. 7Fon3ales vs. @a"ricio, :3 /hil., <20, <3:.8 To sho' the alle$ed improbabilit of reconciliation, and the e#ec"tion of the t'o doc"ments, dated ;ovember 3, 19-2, petitioners have erroneo"sl placed $reat emphasis on the fact that, "p to October 31, 19-2, the t'o sisters )ncarnacion and Trinidad ;e ra 'ere bitter enemies. The 'ere ban(in$ evidentl on the common belief that the hatred of relatives is the most violent. Terrible indeed are the fe"ds of relatives and diffic"lt the

reconciliation6 and et not impossible. The had for$otten that )ncarnacion ;e ra 'as a reli$io"s 'oman instr"cted in the ancient virt"es of the !hristian faith, and hope and charit , and that to for$ive is a divine attrib"te. The had also for$otten that there co"ld be no more s"blime love than that embalmed in tears, as in the case of a reconciliation. 4t 'as most nat"ral that there sho"ld have been reconciliation bet'een the t'o sisters, )ncarnacion and Trinidad ;e ra, as the latter is the nearest relative of the former, her onl sister of the 'hole blood. The approach of imminent death m"st have evo(ed in her the tenderest recollections of famil life. And believin$ perhaps that her little tri"mphs had not al'a s bro"$ht her happiness, and that she had al'a s been B"st to her sister, 'ho had been demandin$ insistentl 'hat 'as her d"e, )ncarnacion finall decided "pon reconciliation, as she did not 'ant to $o to her eternal rest, 'ith hatred in her heart or 'rath "pon her head. 4t 'as, therefore, most lo$ical that )ncarnacion sho"ld ma(e Trinidad the benificiar of her $enerosit , "nder her last 'ill and testament, and end all her tro"bles 'ith her, b e#ec"tin$ said a$reement, and th"s depart in perfect peace from the scenes of her earthl labors. 4t havin$ been sho'n that the said compromise or a$reement had been le$all si$ned and e#ec"ted b )ncarnacion ;e ra on ;ovember 3, 19-2, in the presence of credible and tr"st'orth 'itnesses, and that she 'as co%pos %entis and possessed the necessar testamentar and mental capacit of the time6 the petition for the reconsideration filed b Att . %"cio ,avillonar, on ;ovember 23, 19-2, on behalf of a client, )ncarnacion ;e ra, 'ho had been dead since ;ovember -, 19-2, and some of her relatives, 'ho have appeared, in accordance 'ith the provisions of section 1< of +"le 3 of the +"les of !o"rt, is hereb denied6 and the decision of the !o"rt of Appeals for @anila, dated ;ovember 11, 19-2, dismissin$ the appeal, is 'ereb! re0affir%ed, 'itho"t costs. So ordered. 7zaeta, Perfecto, 6ilado, and Bengzon, JJ., conc"r.

(.A. No. 4

/ar#" 61, 1942

In t"e atter o! t"e testate estate o! t"e late $n#arna#ion Ne5ra. TRINI&A& N$0RA, petitioner-appellee, vs. T$*&*RA N$0RA, 8ILAR &$ G-./AN and /ARIA :A(*+* %&A. &$ +LAN(*, oppositors-appellants. T$*&*RA N$0RA, 8ILAR &$ G-./AN and /ARIA :A(*+* %&A. +LAN(*, petitioners-appellants, vs. TRINI&A& N$0RA and $-'TA,-I* /$N&*.A, oppositorsappellees. Lucio Javillonar for oppositors and appellants. Ale=andro M. Panis for applicants and appellees. &$ :*0A, J.: This is an appeal from a decree rendered b the .on. Fervasio 5ia3, ,"d$e of the !o"rt of First 4nstance of the !it of @anila, on 5ecember 3, 19-3, admittin$ to probate a 'ill dated ;ovember 3, 19-2, e#ec"ted b the deceased )ncarnacion ;e ra6 at the same time den in$ the probate of a previo"s 'ill dated September 1-, 1939, alle$ed to have been e#ec"ted b the said testatri#.

Trinidad ;e ra, beneficiar in the 'ill e#ec"ted on ;ovember 3, 19-2, filed, on ;ovember 11, 19-2, a petition in the !o"rt of First 4nstance of @anila, for the probate of said 'ill. On 5ecember 19, 19-2, Teodora ;e ra, /ilar de F"3man, and @aria ,acobo >da. de Alanco, 'ho had not been named as beneficiaries in said 'ill, filed on opposition to the probate of the said 'ill dated ;ovember 3, 19-2, alle$in$ 718 that at the time of the alle$ed e#ec"tion of the said 'ill, the testatri# )ncarnacion ;e ra no lon$er possessed testamentar capacit 6 728 that her th"mb mar(s on said instr"ment had been proc"red b means of fra"d b petitioner Trinidad ;e ra, and that )ncarnacion ;e ra never intended to consider said doc"ment as 'ill6 738 that the alle$ed 'ill, dated ;ovember 3, 19-2, had not been e#ec"ted in the manner and form prescribed b la'6 and7-8 that )ncarnacion ;e ra, since September 1-, 1939, had e#ec"ted a 'ill, namin$ as beneficiaries said oppositors and others, and that said 'ill had never been revo(ed or amended in an manner 'hatsoever. On 5ecember 26, 19-2, petitioner Trinidad ;e ra filed a repl den in$ the alle$ations in the opposition. S"bse2"entl , said oppositors filed a co"nter petition, as(in$ for the probate of the first 'ill e#ec"ted b )ncarnacion ;e ra, on September 1-, 1939, mar(ed as )#hibit 16. On @arch 16, 19-3, the le$atees Trinidad ;e ra and )"sta2"io @endo3a filed their opposition to the probate on said 'ill mar(ed as )#hibit 16, and amended said opposition, on September 1:, 19-3, to 'hich Teodora ;e ra and the others filed a repl , on September 21, 19-3. On the dates set for the hearin$ on the petition filed b Trinidad ;e ra, and the co"nter petition mentioned above, said petitioner as 'ell as the oppositors, presented evidence, testimonial and doc"mentar . The 'itnesses presented b the petitioner Trinidad ;e ra 'ere @ons. >icente Fernande3, +ev. Fr. Teodoro Farcia, Sor. Andrea @onteBo, 5r. @oises A. Abad, 5r. )ladio A. Aldecoa, Att . +icardo Si(at, petitioner Trinidad ;e ra herself, and Att . AleBandro @. /anis, 'ho had acted as scrivener in the preparation of said 'ill dated ;ovember 3, 19-2.

Teodora ;e ra and the other oppositors also presented several 'itnesses, the principal amon$ 'hom 'ere /resentacion Alanco, !aferina de la !r"3, Acislo @an"el, 5r. 5ionisio /ar"lan, an alle$ed medical e#pert, and the oppositors Teodora ;e ra and /ilar de F"3man themselves. After considerin$ the evidence, the lo'er co"rt rendered a decree admittin$ to probate the 'ill dated ;ovember 3, 19-26 at the same time den in$ the probate of the 'ill dated September 1-, 1939. From said decision Teodora ;e ra and the other oppositors appealed to the !o"rt of Appeals for the !it of @anila, assi$nin$ several errors, 'hich ma be red"ced to the follo'in$, to 'it, that the trial co"rt erred 718 in findin$ that )ncarnacion ;e ra 'anted to ma(e a ne' 'ill6 728 in declarin$ that there 'as reconciliation bet'een )ncarnacion ;e ra and her sister Trinidad6 738 in acceptin$ as satisfactor the evidence s"bmitted b the petitioner6 7-8 in i$norin$ the evidence s"bmitted b the oppositors6 and 7:8 in not admittin$ to probate the 'ill dated September 1-, 1939. The evidence, testimonial and doc"mentar , add"ced d"rin$ the trial of the case in the co"rt belo', has satisfactoril and s"fficientl established the follo'in$ facts= That Severo ;e ra died intestate in the !it of @anila, on @a 6, 1930, leavin$ certain properties and t'o children, b his first marria$e, named )ncarnacion ;e ra and Trinidad ;e ra, and several other relatives6 that after the death of Severo ;e ra, the t'o sisters, )ncarnacion ;e ra and Trinidad ;e ra, had serio"s 2"arrels, in connection 'ith the properties left b their deceased father, and so serio"s 'ere their dissensions that, after @arch 31, 1939, the had t'o liti$ations in the !o"rt of First 4nstance of @anila, concernin$ said properties 7)#hibits 0 and 98= 4n the first case, filed on @arch 31, 1939, Trinidad ;e ra and others demanded from )ncarnacion ;e ra et al. the ann"lment of the sale of the propert located at ;o. 366 +aon Street, @anila, and it 'as finall decided in favor of the defendants in the !o"rt of First 4nstance and in the !o"rt of Appeals, on 5ecember 21, 19-3 7F.+. ;o. 0162, )#hibit 98. 4n the second case, filed on October 2:, 1939, Trinidad ;e ra

demanded from )ncarnacion ;e ra, one-half 7Z8 of the propert described therein, and one-half 7Z8 of the rents, and the !o"rt of First 4nstance decided in favor of the plaintiff, b"t at the same time a'arded in favor of the defendant /<2<.<<, "nder her co"nterclaim6 and Trinidad ;e ra a$ain elevated the case to the !o"rt of Appeals for @anila 7F.+. ;o. 01<:8 )#hibit 0, 'hich 'as decided, p"rs"ant to the doc"ment of compromise mar(ed as )#hibit 56 and the petition for reconsideration filed therein still remains "ndecided. That )ncarnacion ;e ra, 'ho had remained sin$le, and 'ho had no lon$er an ascendants, e#ec"ted a 'ill on September 1-, 1939, mar(ed )#hibit 16, disposin$ of her properties in favor of the *!on$re$acion de +eli$iosas de la >ir$en @aria* and her other relatives named Teodora ;e ra, /ilar de F"3man and @aria ,acobo >da. de Alanco, ma(in$ no provision 'hatsoever in said 'ill in favor of her onl sister Trinidad ;e ra, 'ho had become her bitter enem 6 that 'hen the said 'ill 'as bro"$ht to the attention of the a"thorities of said !on$re$ation, after d"e deliberation and consideration, said reli$io"s or$ani3ation declined the bo"nt offered b )ncarnacion ;e ra, and said decision of the !on$re$ation 'as d"l comm"nicated to her6 that in order to overcome the diffic"lties enco"ntered b said reli$io"s or$ani3ation in not acceptin$ the $enerosit of )ncarnacion ;e ra, the latter decided to ma(e a ne' 'ill, and for that p"rpose, abo"t one 'ee( before her death, sent for one +icardo Si(at, an attorne 'or(in$ in the %a' Offices of @essrs. Feria and %aO, and $ave him instr"ctions for the preparation of a ne+ +ill6 that Attorne Si(at, instead of preparin$ a ne' 'ill, in accordance 'ith the e#press instr"ctions $iven b )ncarnacion ;e ra, merel prepared a draft in the form of a codicil, mar(ed as )#hibit @, amendin$ said 'ill, dated September 1-, 1939, a$ain namin$ said reli$io"s or$ani3ation, amon$ others, as beneficiar , and said draft of a codicil 'as also for'arded to the a"thorities of the said reli$io"s or$ani3ation, for their consideration and acceptance. 4n the mean'hile, )ncarnacion ;e ra had become serio"sl ill, s"fferin$ from Addison9s disease, and on October 31, 19-2, she sent for her reli$io"s adviser and confessor, @ons. >icente Fernande3 of the I"iapo !h"rch to ma(e confession, after 'hich she e#pressed her desire to have a mass celebrated in her ho"se at ;o. 366 +aon

Street, !it of @anila, so that she mi$ht ta(e hol comm"nion, in vie' of her condition6 that follo'in$ the re2"est of )ncarnacion ;e ra, @ons. Fernande3 ca"sed the necessar arran$ements to be made for the celebration of hol mass in the ho"se of )ncarnacion ;e ra, and, as a matter of fact, on ;ovember 1, 19-2, hol mass 'as solemni3ed in her ho"se, Fr. Teodoro Farcia, also of the I"iapo !h"rch, officiatin$ in said ceremon , on 'hich occasion, )ncarnacion ;e ra, 'ho remained in bed, too( hol comm"nion6 that after said reli$io"s ceremon had been terminated, Father Farcia tal(ed to )ncarnacion ;e ra and advised reconciliation bet'een the t'o sisters, )ncarnacion ;e ra and Trinidad ;e ra. )ncarnacion ;e ra accepted said advice and at abo"t noon of the same da 7;ovember 1, 19-28, sent )"sta2"io @endo3a to fetch her sister Trinidad ;e ra, 'ho came at abo"t 2=31 that same afternoon6 that on seein$ one another, the t'o $reeted each other in a most affectionate manner, and became reconciled6 that the t'o had a lon$ and cordial conversation, in the co"rse of 'hich the t'o sisters also tal(ed abo"t the properties left b their deceased father and their liti$ations 'hich had reached the !o"rt of Appeals for the !it of @anila, and the a$reed to have the said appeal dismissed, on the condition that the propert involved therein, consistin$ of a small ho"se and lot, sho"ld be $iven e#cl"sivel to Trinidad ;e ra, on the condition that the latter sho"ld 'aive her claim for her share in the rents of said propert , 'hile "nder the administration of )ncarnacion ;e ra, and that the t'o sho"ld reno"nce their m"t"al claims a$ainst one another. 4t 'as also a$reed bet'een the t'o sisters to send for Att . AleBandro @. /anis, to prepare the necessar doc"ment embod in$ the said a$reement, b"t Attorne /anis co"ld come onl in the afternoon of the follo'in$ da , ;ovember 2, 19-2, 'hen )ncarnacion $ave him instr"ctions for the preparation of the doc"ment embod in$ their a$reement, and other instr"ctions relative to the disposition she 'anted to ma(e of her properties in her last 'ill and testament6 that Attorne /anis prepared said doc"ment of compromise or a$reement mar(ed as )#hibit 5, as 'ell as the ne' 'ill and testament mar(ed as )#hibit !, namin$ Trinidad ;e ra and )"sta2"io @endo3a beneficiaries therein, p"rs"ant to the e#press instr"ctions $iven b )ncarnacion ;e ra, and said instr"ments 'ere read for si$nat"re on ;ovember 3, 19-26 that in the afternoon of that da , ;ovember 3, 19-26 Attorne /anis read said 'ill and testament mar(ed as )#hibit 5 to )ncarnacion ;e ra slo'l and in a lo"d voice, in the presence of Fr. Teodoro Farcia, 5r.

@oises A. Abad, 5r. )ladio Aldecoa, herein petitioner Trinidad ;e ra, and others, after 'hich he as(ed her if its terms 'ere in accordance 'ith her 'ishes, if she had an thin$ else to add, or an thin$ to be chan$ed in said 'ill6 and as )ncarnacion ;e ra stated that the terms of said 'ill 'ere in accordance 'ith her 'ishes and e#press instr"ctions, she as(ed for the pad and the 'ill )#hibit ! and, 'ith the help of a son of herein petitioner, placed her th"mb mar( at the foot of said 'ill, in the presence of the three attestin$ 'itnesses, 5r. @oises A. Abad, 5r. )ladio +. Aldecoa, and Att . AleBandro @. /anis, after 'hich the attestin$ 'itnesses si$ned at the foot of the doc"ment, in the presence of the testatri# )ncarnacion ;e ra, and of each and ever one of the other attestin$ 'itnesses. Fr. Teodoro Farcia and petitioner Trinidad ;e ra and several others 'ere also present. On ;ovember -, 19-2, the testatri# )ncarnacion ;e ra, d"e to a heart attac(, "ne#pectedl died. Altho"$h the *!on$re$acion de +eli$iosas de la >ir$en @aria* had a$ain decided not to accept the provision made in its favor b the testatri# )ncarnacion ;e ra in the proposed codicil prepared b Att . +icardo Si(at, said decision co"ld not be comm"nicated to the testatri#, before her death. @ons. >icente Fernande3 and Fr. Teodoro Farcia testified as to the re2"est made on October 31, 19-2, b )ncarnacion ;e ra for the celebration of hol mass in her ho"se, on ;ovember 1, 19-26 that said mass 'as in fact solemni3ed in her ho"se, on that date, in the co"rse of 'hich the testatri# )ncarnacion ;e ra too( hol comm"nion6 that on the same da , after the mass, )ncarnacion held a lon$ conversation 'ith Father Farcia, in the co"rse of 'hich, said priest advised her to have reconciliation 'ith her sister Trinidad6 and that said advise 'as accepted b )ncarnacion. A"t the testimon of Trinidad ;e ra, it has been sho'n that )ncarnacion sent )"sta2"io @endo3a to fetch her, and that in fact she came to the ho"se of )ncarnacion, at abo"t 2=31 o9cloc( in the afternoon that same da , ;ovember 1, 19-2, 'ith said )"sta2"io @endo3a6 that on seein$ one another, )ncarnacion and Trinidad ;e ra $reeted each other most affectionatel , for$ivin$ one

another, after 'hich the tal(ed abo"t the propert left b their deceased father and the liti$ation pendin$ bet'een them6 and the t'o sisters a$reed to settle their case, 'hich had been elevated to the !o"rt of Appeals for the !it of @anila, concernin$ a certain ho"se and lot, on the "nderstandin$ that said propert sho"ld be $iven e#cl"sivel to Trinidad, and that the latter sho"ld reno"nce her claim a$ainst )ncarnacion, for her share in the rents collected on said propert , and, at the same time, )ncarnacion reno"nced her claim for /<2<.<< a$ainst Trinidad6 and that it 'as also a$reed bet'een the t'o sisters that Att . AleBandro @. /anis sho"ld be called to prepare the necessar papers for the settlement of said case. /resentacion Alanco, a 'itness for the oppositors, also testified s"bstantiall to the fore$oin$ facts. A the testimon of Trinidad ;e ra and Att . AleBandro @. /anis, and the other attestin$ 'itnesses, it has also been sho'n that Att . AleBandro @. /anis came in the afternoon of the follo'in$ da , ;ovember 2, 19-2, and received instr"ctions from )ncarnacion ;e ra, not onl for the preparation of said a$reement, b"t also for the preparation of a ne' 'ill, and conse2"entl Attorne /anis prepared said doc"ment of compromise and the 'ill, dated ;ovember 3, 19-2, 'hich 'ere both th"mb mar(ed, in d"plicate, in the afternoon of that da , b )ncarnacion ;e ra, 'ho 'as then of so"nd mind, as sho'n b her appearance and conversation, aided b a son of Trinidad ;e ra, on her bed in the sala, in the presence of the attestin$ 'itnesses, 5r. @oises A. Abad, 5r. )ladio +. Aldecoa, and Att . AleBandro @. /anis, 'ho si$ned in the presence of the testatri# and of each other. Father Teodoro Farcia 'as also present at the si$nin$ of the 'ill, at the re2"est of )ncarnacion ;e ra, and so 'as Trinidad ;e ra. On ;ovember -, 19-2, d"e to a heart attac( as a conse2"ence of Addison9s disease, perhaps, )ncarnacion ;e ra e#pired, at abo"t 3 o9cloc( in the mornin$. Oppositor Teodora ;e ra, her !oung da"$hter !eferina de la !r"3, and /resentacion Alanco, da"$hter of oppositor @aria ,acobo >da. de Alanco, practicall corroborated the testimon of the 'itnesses of the petitioner, 'ith reference to the si$nin$ of doc"ments, in the

bedroom of )ncarnacion ;e ra, on ;ovember 3, 19-2. Teodora ;e ra, /resentacion Alanco and !eferina de la !r"3, 'itnesses for the oppositors, testified, ho'ever, that 'hen the th"mb mar( of )ncarnacion ;e ra 'as affi#ed, as stated above, to the doc"ment of compromise in 2"estion, dated ;ovember 3, 19-2, she 'as sleepin$ on her bed in the sala6 and that the attestin$ 'itnesses 'ere not present, as the 'ere in the caida. A"t !eferina de la !r"3, 'itness for the oppositors, also stated that the attestin$ 'itnesses si$ned the doc"ments th"mb mar(ed b )ncarnacion ;e ra, in the sala near her bed, th"s contradictin$ herself and Teodora ;e ra and /resentacion Alanco. Stran$e to sa , Teodora ;e ra, /resentacion Alanco and !eferina de la !r"3 also testified that )ncarnacion ;e ra9s th"mb mar( 'as affi#ed to the 'ill, onl in the mornin$ of ;ovember -, 19-2, b Trinidad ;e ra and 4ldefonso del Aarrio, 'hen )ncarnacion 'as alread dead. The testimon of 5r. 5ionisio /ar"lan, alle$ed medical e#pert, as to the nat"re and effects of Addison9s disease, is absol"tel "nreliable. .e had never seen or tal(ed to the testatri# )ncarnacion ;e ra. Accordin$ to the medical a"thorities, the ca"se or ca"ses of the sleepin$ sic(ness, (no'n as Addison9s disease, are not et f"ll (no'n= that persons attac(ed b said decease often live as lon$ as ten 7118 ears after the first attac(, 'hile others die after a fe' 'ee(s onl , and that as the disease, pro$resses, asthenia sets in, and from 01 per cent to 91 per cent of the patients develop t"berc"losis, and complications of the heart also appear. 7!ecil, Te#tboo( of @edicine, 3d ed., 193:, pp. 12:1, 12:2, 12:36 @a!rae, Osler9s @odern @edicine, 3d ed., >ol. >. pp. 2<2-2<98. And it has been concl"sivel sho'n in this case that the testatri# )ncarnacion ;e ra, at the a$e of -0, died on ;ovember -, 19-2, d"e to a heart attac(, after an illness of abo"t t'o 728 ears. 4n connection 'ith testamentar capacit , in several cases, this

co"rt has considered the testimon of 'itnesses, 'ho had (no'n and tal(ed to the testators, more tr"st'orth than the testimon of alle$ed medical e#perts. Testamentar capacit is the capacit to comprehend the nat"re of the transaction in 'hich the testator is en$a$ed at the time, to recollect the propert to be disposed of, and the persons 'ho 'o"ld nat"rall be s"pposed to have claims "pon the testator, and to comprehend the manner in 'hich the instr"ment 'ill distrib"te his propert amon$ the obBects of his bo"nt . 7A"$nao vs. Eba$. 1/hil., 163.8 4nsomnia, in spite of the testimon of t'o doctors 'ho testified for the opponents to the probate of a 'ill, 'ho stated that it tended to destro mental capacit , 'as held not to affect the f"ll possession of the mental fac"lties deemed necessar and s"fficient for its e#ec"tion. 7!a$"ioa vs. !alderon, 21 /hil., -11.8 The testatri# 'as held to have been co%pos %entis, in spite of the ph sician9s testimon to the contrar , to the effect that she 'as ver 'ea(, bein$ in the third or last sta$e of t"berc"losis. 7Gap T"a vs. Gap !a J"an and Gap !a %l", 2< /hil., :<9.8 The testimon testimon of the attendin$ ph sician that the deceased 'as s"fferin$ from diabetes and had been in a comatose for several da s, prior to his death, 'as held not s"fficient to establish testamentar incapacit , in vie' of the positive statement of several credible 'itnesses that he 'as conscio"s and able to "nderstand 'hat said to him and to comm"nicate his desires. 7Samson vs. !orrales Tan I"intin, -- /hil., :<3.8 &here the mind of the testator is in perfectl so"nd condition, neither old a$e, nor ill health, nor the fact that somebod had to $"ide his hand in order that he mi$ht si$n, is s"fficient to invalidate his 'ill. 7Amata and AlmoB"ela vs. Tabli3o, -0 /hil., -0:.8 &here it appears that a fe+ 'ours and also a fe' da s after the e#ec"tion of the 'ill, the testator intelli$entl and intelli$ibl conversed 'ith other persons, altho"$h l in$ do'n and "nable to move or stand "p "nassisted, b"t co"ld still effect the sale of propert belon$in$ to him, these circ"mstances sho' that the testator 'as in a perfectl so"nd mental condition at the time of e#ec"tin$ the 'ill. 7Amata and AlmoB"ela vs. Tabli3o, -0 /hil., -0:.8

/resentacion Alanco, in the co"rse of her cross-e#amination, fran(l admitted that, in the mornin$ and also at abo"t 6 o9cloc( in the afternoon of ;ovember 3, 19-2, )ncarnacion ;e ra tal(ed to her and that the "nderstood each other clearl , th"s sho'in$ that the testatri# 'as reall of so"nd mind, at the time of the si$nin$ and e#ec"tion of the a$reement and 'ill in 2"estion. 4t ma , therefore, be reasonabl concl"ded that the mental fac"lties of persons s"fferin$ from Addison9s disease, li(e the testatri# in this case, remain "nimpaired, partl d"e to the fact that, on acco"nt of the sleep the enBo , the necessaril receive the benefit of ph sical and mental rest. And that li(e patients s"fferin$ from t"berc"losis, insomnia or diabetes, the preserve their mental fac"lties "ntil the moments of their death. ,"d$in$ b the a"thorities above cited, the concl"sion made the trial co"rt that the testatri# )ncarnacion ;e ra 'as of so"nd mind and possessed testamentar capacit , at the time of the e#ec"tion of the 'ill, cannot be properl dist"rbed. The oppositors also claim that the attestin$ 'itnesses 'ere not present, at the time that the testatri# th"mbed mar(ed the 'ill in 2"estion, on her bed, in the sala of the ho"se, as the 'ere alle$edl in the caida. A"t it has been f"ll sho'n that the attestin$ 'itnesses 'ere present at the time of the si$nin$ and e#ec"tion of the a$reement and 'ill in 2"estion, in the sala, 'here the testatri# 'as l in$ on her bed. The tr"e test is not 'hether the act"all sa' each other, at the time of the si$nin$ of the 'ill, b"t 'hether the mi$ht have seen each other si$n, had the chosen to do so6 and the attestin$ 'itnesses act"all sa' it in this case. 7,aboneta vs. F"stilo, : /hil., :-1.8 And the th"mbmar( placed b the testatri# on the 'ill is e2"ivalent to her si$nat"re. 7Gap T"a vs. Gap !a J"an and Gap !a %l", 2< /hil., :<9.8 The oppositors as 'ell as their principal 'itnesses are all interested parties, as said oppositors had been named le$atees in the 'ill dated September 1-, 1939, b"t eliminated from the 'ill dated ;ovember 3, 19-2. On the other hand, the 'itnesses for the petitioner are all

tr"st'orth men, 'ho had absol"tel no interest in the final o"tcome of this case. T'o of them are ministers of the Fospel, 'hile the three attestin$ 'itnesses are professional men of irreproachable character, 'ho had (no'n and seen and tal(ed to the testatri#. F"rthermore, the testimon of the oppositors and their 'itnesses, to the effect that there co"ld have been no reconciliation bet'een the t'o sisters, and that the th"mb mar( of )ncarnacion ;e ra 'as affi#ed to the doc"ment embod in$ the a$reement, 'hile she 'as sleepin$, on ;ovember 3, 19-2, in their presence6 and that her th"mb mar( 'as affi#ed to the 'ill in 2"estion, 'hen she 'as alread dead, in the mornin$ of ;ovember -, 19-2, 'ithin their vie' is prepostero"s, to sa the least. Said testimon is contrar to common sense. 4t violates all sense of proportion. The oppositors and their 'itnesses co"ld not have told the tr"th6 the have testified to bra3en falsehoods6 and the are, therefore, absol"tel "n'orth of belief. And to the evidence of the oppositors is completel applicable the r"le falsus in uno, falsus in o%nibus . 7Fon3ales vs. @a"ricio, :3 /hil., <20, <3:.8 4n the brief presented b co"nsel for the oppositors and the appellants, to sho' the alle$ed improbabilit of the reconciliation of the t'o sisters and the e#ec"tion of the 'ill, dated ;ovember 3, 19-2, the have erroneo"sl placed $reat reliance on the facts that, "p to October 31, 19-2, the t'o sisters )ncarnacion and Trinidad ;e ra 'ere bitter enemies. The 'ere ban(in$ evidentl on the common belief that the hatred of relatives is the most violent. 5readf"l indeed are the fe"ds of relatives, and diffic"lt the reconciliation. A"t the had for$otten the fact that )ncarnacion ;e ra 'as a reli$io"s and pio"s 'oman instr"cted in the ancient virt"es of !hristian faith and hope and charit , and that it 'as $odl to for$ive and better still to for$et. 4t 'as most nat"ral that there sho"ld have been reconciliation bet'een the t'o sisters, )ncarnacion and Trinidad ;e ra, as the latter is the nearest relative of the former, her onl sister of the 'hole blood. The approach of imminent death m"st have evo(ed in her the tenderest recollections of childhood. And believin$ perhaps that her little tri"mphs had not al'a s been fair to her sister 'ho in fact, had had s"ccessivel instit"ted t'o s"its a$ainst her, to

recover 'hat 'as her d"e, and for 'hich )ncarnacion believed she m"st atone, she finall decided "pon reconciliation, so that she mi$ht depart in peace. The record sho's that, of the t'o, )ncarnacion lived in $reater op"lence, and that Trinidad had been demandin$ tenacio"sl her share6 and as a !hristian 'oman, )ncarnacion m"st have (no'n that no one has an ri$ht to enrich himself "nB"stl , at the e#pense of another. And it 'as, therefore, nat"ral that )ncarnacion sho"ld desire reconciliation 'ith her sister Trinidad, and provide for her in her last 'ill and testament. As for )"sta2"io @endo3a, 'ho, accordin$ to the evidence, had served )ncarnacion ;e ra for so man ears and so 'ell, it 'as also nat"ral that she sho"ld ma(e some provision for him, as $ratit"de is the noblest sentiment that sprin$s from the h"man heart. The cond"ct of )ncarnacion ;e ra, in ma(in$ alto$ether a ne' 'ill, 'ith ne' beneficiaries named therein, incl"din$ principall her bitterest enem of late, 'hich is completel incompatible 'ith the 'ill, dated September 1-, 1939, ma reall seem stran$e and "n"s"al6 b"t, as it has been tr"l said, above the lo$ic of the head is the feelin$ in the heart, and the heart has reasons of its o'n 'hich the head cannot al'a s "nderstand, as in the case of int"itive (no'led$e of eternal verit . As )ncarnacion ;e ra felt the advent of immortalit , she nat"rall 'anted to follo' *the path of the B"st, 'hich is as the shinin$ li$ht that shineth more and more "nto the perfect da ,* so that her memor ma be blessed. As a !hristian 'oman, she m"st have loved B"stice, merc and tr"th and to follo' the la', for this is the 'hole d"t of man. 4n the present case, the co"rt cannot find an reason or B"stification to alter the concl"sions set forth in the decree appealed from. This co"rt 'ill not reverse an findin$s of fact b the trial co"rt made "pon conflictin$ testimon and dependin$ lar$el "pon the credibilit of 'itnesses, 'ho testified in the presence of the trial B"d$e, "nless the co"rt belo' failed to ta(e into consideration some material facts or circ"mstances, or to 'ei$h acc"ratel all of the

material facts and circ"mstances presented to it for consideration. 7Aalta3ar vs. Alberto, 33 /hil., 3366 @elli3a vs. To'le, 3- /hil., 3-:6 !ara$a vs. Er2"i3a, :3 /hil., <2, <96 Farcia vs. Farcia de Aartolome, 63 /hil., -19.8 After a caref"l consideration of the evidence and the la' of this case, 'e find it le$all impossible to s"stain an of the errors assi$ned b the appellants. The B"d$ment appealed from is, therefore, affirmed, 'ith costs a$ainst the appellants. So ordered. 7zaeta, Perfecto, 6ilado, and Bengzon, JJ., conc"r.

G.R. Nos. L-42471-71 :ul5 71, 1979 3RAN(I'(A AL'-A-+$TT', :*'$8) *. +$TT', :*'$ /A&AR$TA, $'T$+AN 8. RA/IR$., and T)$ R$GI'T$R *3 &$$&' 3*R AL+A0 8R*%IN($, 9etitioners, ;s. (*-RT *3 A88$AL', A/8AR* AL'-A +-$N%IA:$, 3$RNAN&* +-$N%IA:$, 3$RNAN&* AL'-A, re9resented 45 "is guardian,

(L*TIL&$ '. AL'-A and 8A+L* AL'-A, res9ondents. +afael Tri"mfante for petitioners. Sabido-Sabido K Associates and @adrid %a' Office for private respondents.

children, Francisca Als"a-Aetts, /ablo Als"a, Fernando Als"a thr" this B"dicial $"ardian !lotilde Samson, and Amparo Als"a de A"enviaBe, entered into a d"l notari3ed a$reement, )scrit"ra de /articion )#traB"dicial 7)#hibit 08, over the then present and e#istin$ properties of the spo"ses 5on ,es"s and 5oS6a Florentina en"merated in a prepared inventor , )#hibit 0-A, the essential feat"res of 'hich are stated in private respondents9 Arief, pp. 26-29, to 'it= tOS.[\h2'N[

G-$RR$R*, :.: 718 Aasis of the partition= 4nventor 7Anne# A8 of all the properties of the Als"a spo"ses, 'hich inventor consists of 9< pa$es, all of them si$ned b the spo"ses and all the above named heirs in the left mar$in of ever pa$e 7parafo primers8.

This is an appeal b certiorari from the decision of the !o"rt of Appeals in !A-F.+. ;os. :--92-+ and :--93-+ 'hich reversed the decision of the !o"rt of First 4nstance of Alba allo'in$ the probate of the 'in of 5on ,es"s Als"a in Special /roceedin$s ;o. 699 and dismissin$ the complaint in !ivil !ase 3160 after declarin$ the t'o deeds of sale e#ec"ted b 5on ,es"s Als"a le$al and valid. The respondent co"rt 1 denied the probate of the 'ill, declared n"ll and void the t'o sales s"bBect of the complaint and ordered the defendants, petitioners herein, to pa dama$es to the plaintiffs, no' the private respondents, the s"m of Five Tho"sand /esos 7/:,111.118, to render an acco"ntin$ of the properties in their possession and to reimb"rse the latter the net $ain in the proportion that appertains to them in the properties from the date of the firin$ of the complaint "p to complete restoration pl"s Fift Tho"sand /esos 7/:1,111.118 as attorne 9s fees and costs.

728 An ac(no'led$ment of the spo"ses that all the properties described in the inventor 7Anne# A8 are conB"$al properties 'ith the e#ception of five parcels of land 4dentified 'ith the fi$"res of 1 to : and 31 shares of San @i$"el Are'er stoc( 'hich are paraphernal properties of the late 5oS6a Tina 7se$"ndo parafo8.

738 An ac(no'led$ment that d"rin$ their marria$e, the had nine children b"t five of them died minors, "nmarried 7parafo tercero c"atro8.

The antecedent events leadin$ to consolidated actions are the follo'in$.

the

filin$

of

these

t'o 7-8 An ac(no'led$ment that on the basis of Article 11:6 of the !ivil !ode 7old8 to avoid /ossible mis"nderstandin$ amon$ their children concernin$ the inheritance the are entitled to in the event of death of one of them the have decided to effect"ate an e#traB"dicial partition of all the properties described in Anne# *A* thereto "nder the follo'in$ terms and conditions= 7/arafo 2"into8=

On ;ovember 2:, 19-9, 5on ,es"s Als"a and his 'ife, 5oS6a Florentina +ella, both of %i$ao, Alba , to$ether 'ith all their livin$

of cash deposited. To Francisca Als"a, married to ,oseph O. Aetts 'ere allotted or assi$ned all the real properties 'ith the improvements thereon specificall described from pa$es 1-12 of said inventor or, 3parcels of land 'ith a total land area of :,<21,36- s2. meters, 'ith a boo( or appraised val"e of /69,<-1.11.

To /ablo Als"a, married to Teresa %ocsin 'ere allotted or assi$ned all the real properties 'ith the improvements thereon specificall described from pa$es 12-21 of said inventor or, 26 parcels of land 'ith a total land area of :,6<9,262 s2. meters, 'ith a boo( or appraised val"e of /::,9-1.11.

7b8 That all the heirs ac(no'led$e and admit that all the properties assi$ned to them as their hereditar portion represent one-half not onl of the conB"$al properties b"t incl"des the paraphernal properties C 'aivin$ no' and forever an complaint or claim the have or the ma have concernin$ the amo"nt, val"e, e#tension and location of the properties that are allotted to each and ever one. The also 'aive an claim the have or the ma have over the remainin$ portion of the properties, 'hich spo"ses reserved for themselves.

To Fernando Als"a, married to !lotilde Samson 'ere allotted or assi$ned all the real properties 'ith the improvements thereon specificall described from pa$es 21-33 of said inventor or, -< parcels of land 'ith a total land area of 6,639,011 s2. meters, 'ith a boo( or appraised val"e of /09,311.11.

To Amparo Als"a, married to Fernando A"enviaBe 'ere allotted or assi$ned all the real properties 'ith the improvements thereon specificall described from pa$es 33--< of said inventor or, -< parcels of land 'ith a total land area of :,631,<1: s2. meters, 'ith a boo( or appraised val"e of /:0,031.11. tOS.[\h2'N[

7c8 That in case of death of one of the spo"ses, each and ever one of the heirs ac(no'led$e that the properties 'hich are left in the possession of the s"rvivin$ spo"se, incl"din$ an amo"nt in cash, are even less than the one- half that sho"ld correspond in absol"te o'nership as his le$itimate participation in the conB"$al properties. 4n conse2"ence the 'aive an claim that the have or ma have over said portion of said properties or an amo"nt in cash d"rin$ the lifetime of the s"rvivin$ spo"se, incl"din$ an ri$ht or claim the have or the ma have over the paraphernal properties of 5oS6a Tina in the event the s"rvivin$ spo"se is 5on ,es"s.

7a8 )ach and ever one of the heirs named above ac(no'led$e and admit that the totalit of the properties allotted and adB"dicated to the heirs as described in the precedin$ para$raph, constit"te one half of the properties described in Anne# *A*, incl"din$ an amo"nt

7d8 The spo"ses on their part in case of death of an one of them, the s"rvivin$ spo"se 'aives an claim he or she ma have over the properties assi$ned or adB"dicated to the heirs "nder and b virt"e of this deed. The properties 'hich 'ere reserved for them 7the spo"ses8 sho"ld be considered as his or her le$itimate participation in the conB"$al properties and the fair compensation of his or her "s"fr"ct on the properties that the s"rvivin$ spo"se reserved for himself or herself 'hich sha$ be distrib"ted in e2"al shares amon$

the heirs "pon his or her death "nless said properties of some of them have been disposed of d"rin$ the lifetime of the s"rvivin$ spo"se.

divided e2"all amon$ the fo"r children. The holo$raphic 'ill of 5oS6a Tina 'ritten in Spanish reads, as translated= tOS.[\h2'N[

T)STA@);T 7e8 An heir 'ho ma dare 2"estion the validit and le$itimac of the provision contained herein shall be "nder obli$ation to pa to the other heirs, in the concept of dama$es and preB"dice, the s"m of /:,111.11 pl"s attorne 9s fees.

7f8 The provisions of this deed shall bind the s"ccessors of the herein heirs.

7$8 4n the event of death of one of the spo"ses, the properties assi$ned or adB"dicated to each and ever one of the heirs shall be considered as his share or participation in the estate or as his inheritance left b the deceased and each heir shall become the absol"te o'ner of the properties adB"dicated to him "nder this deed.

4, F%O+);T4;A +. 5) A%SEA, 6< ears old, Filipina, married to 5on ,es"s Als"a, resident of and 'ith postal address in the @"nicipalit of %i$ao, /rovince of Alba , /hilippines, bein$ in the f"ll possession of m mental and ph sical fac"lties freel and spontaneo"sl e#ec"te this m last 'ill and testament in m hand'ritin$ and si$ned b me and e#pressed in the Spanish lan$"a$e 'hich 4 spea(, 'rite and "nderstand, this :th da of ,an"ar , 19:: in the @"nicipalit of %i$ao, /rovince of Alba , and in 'hich 4 ordain and provide=

First= That in or abo"t the ear 1916 4 'as married to m h"sband 5on ,es"s Als"a and be$ot nine 798 children 'ith him, fo"r 7-8 of 'hom are still livin$ and the are Francisco Als"a, /ablo Als"a, Fernando Als"a and Amparo Als"a. The other five 7:8 died d"rin$ their minorit , sin$le and 'itho"t children.

On ,an"ar :, 19::, 5on ,es"s and 5oS6a Florentina, also (no'n as 5oS6a Tina separatel e#ec"ted their respective holo$raphic 'ills 7)#hs. 6-A and <-A8, the provisions of 'hich 'ere in conformit and in implementation of the e#traB"dicial partition of ;ovember 2:, 19-9. Their holo$raphic 'ills similarl provided for the instit"tion of the other to his or her share in the conB"$al properties, the other half of the conB"$al assets havin$ been partitioned to constit"te their le$itime amon$ their fo"r livin$ children in the )#traB"dicial /artition of 19-9. The 'i$s also declared that in the event of f"t"re ac2"isitions of other properties b either of them, one-half thereof 'o"ld belon$ to the other spo"se, and the other half shall be

Second= That after m marria$e to m h"sband 5on ,es"s Als"a and d"rin$ o"r conB"$al "nion, and as a res"lt of o"r efforts and ind"str , 'e 'ere able to ac2"ire conB"$al properties consistin$ of abaca 7abales8 and cacao lands and "rban lands re$istered in the office of the +e$istr of /ropert of the /rovince of Alba and in the !it of @anila.

Third= That 4 instit"te as m heirs 'ith ri$ht to inherit the follo'in$m spo"se 5on ,es"s Als"a, one-half 71D28 of m properties, real and personal, and the other half, to m children Francisco Als"a, married to ,oseph O. Aetts, /ablo Als"a, Fernando Als"a, married to !lotilde Samson, and Amparo Als"a, married to Fernando A"enviaBe, in e2"al parts. 4t is to be "nderstood, ho'ever, that the other half that corresponds as le$itime to m above named children have alread been $iven to them, p"rs"ant to a doc"ment dated ;ovember 2:, 19-9 and ratified on the same da , month and ear before ;otar /"blic Se$"ndo F. Flores 7+e$. ;o. :2:6 /a$. 1:6 %ib. 116 Series of 19-98 enBoinin$ each and ever one of them to respect and faithf"ll compl 'ith each and ever cla"se contained in the said doc"ment.

7,oint +ecord on appeal pp. -21--23, !A-F.+. ;o. :--92-+8

As previo"sl stated, 5on ,es"s Als"a e#ec"ted a separate b"t similar holo$raphic 'ill on the same da , ,an. :, 19:: in e#actl the same terms and conditions as the above 'ill of his 'ife.

Fo"rth= That sho"ld 4 ac2"ire ne' properties after the e#ec"tion of this testament, the same shall be partitioned amon$ m spo"se and above named children or the children mentioned in above par. 3 in the same proportion that is, one-half 71 1D28 to m spo"se6 and the other half to m children in e2"al parts.

On @a 21, 19:6, the spo"ses 5on ,es"s and 5oS6a Tina filed before the !o"rt of First 4nstance of Alba their respective petitions for the probate of their respective holo$raphic 'ins 'hich 'ere doc(eted as Special /roceedin$s ;o. -0- 7,es"s Als"a, /etitioner8 and Special /roceedin$s ;o. -0: 75oS6a Florentina +alla de Als"a, /etitioner8.

Fifth= That 4 name as m e#ec"tor m 'itho"t havin$ to post an bond.

h"sband 5on ,es"s Als"a

4; >4+TE) &.)+)OF, 4 hereb si$n in m o'n hand'ritin$ this testament on this :th da of ,an"ar , 19:: in the @"nicipalit of %i$ao, /rovince of Alba , /hilippines. tOS.[\h2'N[

7SF5.8 F%O+);T4;A +. 5) A%SEA

On A"$"st 1-, 19:6, the spo"ses 5on ,es"s and 5oS6a Tina e#ec"ted their m"t"al and reciprocal codicils amendin$ and s"pplementin$ their respective holo$raphic 'ins. A$ain, the codicils similarl ac(no'led$ed and provided that one-half of all the properties of the spo"ses, conB"$al and paraphernal, had been disposed of, conve ed to and partitioned amon$ their le$itimate heirs in the *)scrit"ra de /articion* of ;ovember 2:, 19-9, b"t that the reserved for themselves 7the spo"ses 5on ,es"s and 5oS6a Tina 8 the other half or those not disposed of to the said le$itimate heirs "nder the above a$reement of partition, and that the m"t"all and reciprocall be2"eathed "nto each other their participation therein as 'ell as in all properties 'hich mi$ht be ac2"ired s"bse2"entl . )ach spo"se also declared that sho"ld she or he be the s"rvivin$ spo"se, 'hatever belon$s to him or her or 'o"ld pertain to him or her, 'o"ld be divided e2"all amon$ the fo"r children. 4t 'as also declared in both codicils that "pon the death of either of the spo"ses, the s"rvivin$ spo"se 'as desi$nated m"t"all and reciprocall as the e#ec"tor or administrator of all the

properties reserved for themselves.

amon$ m children as their inheritance from the free portion of m propert .

The codicil e#ec"ted b 5oS6a Tina , 'ritten in Spanish reads, as translated= tOS.[\h2'N[

!O54!4%

4 leave to m spo"se 5on ,es"s Als"a as his le$itime and as &s inheritance the part of the free portion of m propert 'hich have not been allocated in favor of m children in the 5oc"ment of /artition aforecited and that 'hich sho"ld e#ceed 1D2 of the conB"$al propert of $ains that pertains to him as above stated, incl"din$ all those properties 'hich 'e shall ac2"ire after the e#ec"tion of this doc"ment.

This codicil s"pplements and amends the precedin$ testament. That m spo"se and 4 have a$reed to divide the properties 'hich 'e have ac2"ired into 2 parts. The 1D2 that 'o"ld correspond to me covers all the properties that 4 have partitioned amon$ m children in the 5oc"ment of /artition dated ;ovember 2:, 19-9 before ;otar /"blic Se$"ndo F. Flores, ,r. 75oc. ;o. :2:6 /a$. ;o. 1:6 %ib. ;o. 116 Series of 19-98 7and8 even as the properties 'hich b reason of this testament 4 leave to m h"sband as his share and the other half that corresponds to m h"sband constit"tes an the properties that "p to no' have not been disposed of, partic"larl the "rban lands sit"ated in %e$aspi, Alba , %i$ao of the /rovince of Alba and in the !it of @anila, 'ith the e#ception of that portion that 4 be2"eath to m h"sband as his inheritance and his le$itimate.

4n case it sho"ld be Fod9s 'ill that 4 s"rvive m spo"se, 4 hereb declare that it is m 'ill that an and all (inds of propert that pertain to me or 'o"ld pertain to me, 'hich have not been disposed of p"rs"ant to the partition, sho"ld be divided e2"all amon$ m above-mentioned heirs after m death. %i$ao, Alba , /hilippines, A"$"st 1-,19:6. tOS.[\h2'N[

7SF5.8 F%O+);T4;A +A%%A 5) A%SEA

7Boint +ecord on Appeal pp. -23--2:, !A-F.+. ;o. :--92-+8 That 4 instit"te as m heirs 'ith the ri$ht to inherit m h"sband 5on ,es"s Als"a and m children Francisco Als"a, /ablo Als"a, Fernando Als"a and Amparo Als"a. 4 leave to m aforecited children all the properties described in the above mentioned 5oc"ment of /artition dated ;ovember 2:, 19-9 'hich correspond to each one of them and in the profits 7fr"its8 e#pressed in the same, and in the event that the properties $ranted to one or an of m children sho"ld e#ceed in 2"antit or val"e those correspondin$ to another or others, 4 hereb declare that it is m 'ill that the same be divided

And as stated previo"sl , on the same da , A"$"st 1-, 19:6, 5on ,es"s e#ec"ted also a separate b"t similar codicil in e#actl the same terms and conditions as the above codicil of his 'ife. Also on the same da of A"$"st 1-, 19:6, the spo"ses 5on ,es"s and 5oS6a Tina both filed their respective s"pplemental petitions for the probate of their respective codicils in the probate proceedin$s

earlier filed. On Febr"ar 19, 19:<, their respective holo$raphic 'ins and the codicils thereto 'ere d"l admitted to probate.

Epon the death of 5oS6a Tina on October 2, 19:9, 5on ,es"s 'as named e#ec"tor to serve 'itho"t bond in an order iss"ed b the probate co"rt on October 13, 19:9. %etters testamentar havin$ been iss"ed in favor of 5on ,es"s, he too( his oath of office and performed his d"ties as s"ch "ntil ,"l 1, 1961.

5oS6a Tina had been paid, all her heirs incl"din$ 5on ,es"s, s"bmitted to the probate co"rt for approval a deed of partition e#ec"ted on 5ecember 19, 19:9 7)#h. <-I8 and 'hich essentiall confirmed the provisions of the partition of 19-9, the holo$raphic 'ill and codicil of 5oS6a Tina . On ,"l 6, 1961, the co"rt approved the partition of 19:9 and on ,an"ar 6, 1961 declared the termination of the proceedin$s on the estate of 5oS6a Tina .

On @a 6,196-, 5on ,es"s Als"a died. Thereafter in the earl part of ;ovember, 19:9, 5on ,es"s cancelled his holo$raphic 'ill in the presence of his boo((eeper and secretar , )steban /. +amire3, 'hom he instr"cted to ma(e a list of all his remainin$ properties 'ith their correspondin$ descriptions. .is la' er, Att . Fre$orio imperial Sr. 'as then instr"cted to draft a ne' 'ill 'hich 'as d"l si$ned b 5on ,es"s and his attestin$ 'itnesses on ;ovember 1-, 19:9 at @s home in %i$ao, Alba . This notarial 'ill and testament 7)#h. A8 of 5on ,es"s e#ec"ted on ;ovember 1-, 19:9 had three essential feat"res= 7a8 it e#pressl cancelled, revo(ed and ann"lled all the provisions of 5on ,es"s9 holo$raphic 'ill of ,an"ar :, 19:: and his codicil of A"$"st 1-, 19:66 7b8 it provided for the collation of all his properties donated to his fo"r livin$ children b virt"e of the *)scrit"ra de /articion )#tra. B"dicial* of 19-9, and that s"ch properties be ta(en into acco"nt in the partition of his estate amon$ the children6 and 7c8 it instit"ted his children as le$ateesDdevisees of certain specific properties, and as to the rest of the properties and 'hatever ma be s"bse2"entl ac2"ired in the f"t"re, before his death, 'ere to be $iven to Francisca and /ablo, namin$ Francesca as e#ec"tri# to serve 'itho"t a bond.

After all debts, f"neral char$es and other e#penses of the estate of

On @a 21, 196-, petitioner herein Francisca Als"a Aetts, as the e#ec"tri# named in the 'ill of ;ovember 1-, 19:9, filed a petition for the probate of said ne' 'ill of 5on ,es"s Als"a before the !o"rt of First 4nstance of Alba and 'as doc(eted as Special /roceedin$s ;o. 699. Oppositions thereto 'ere filed b /ablo, Amparo and Fernando, thr" his B"dicial $"ardian !lotilde Samson, on the follo'in$ $ro"nds= 7a8 that 5on ,es"s 'as not of so"nd and disposin$ mind at the time of the e#ec"tion of the alle$ed 'ill6 7b8 that the 'ill 'as e#ec"ted "nder d"ress or infl"ence of fear or threats6 or it 'as proc"red b "nd"e and improper press"re and infl"ence on the part of the main beneficiaries and of person or persons in coll"sion 'ith them, or the si$nat"re of the testator 'as sec"red b or thr" fra"d6 7c8 that the 'ill 'as not e#ec"ted accordin$ to the formal re2"irements of the la'6 and 7d8 that the alle$ed 'ill s"bBect of probate contravened the )#traB"dicial /artition of 19-9 a$reed "pon b him, his deceased spo"se, 5oS6a Tina , and all his children, Francisco, /ablo, Amparo and Fernando thr" his B"dicial $"ardian !lotilde Samson, and also contravened 5on ,es"s9 o'n probated holo$raphic 'ill and codicil of 19:: and 19:6, respectivel , essentiall confirmin$ and implementin$ the said partition of 19-9 'hich had alread been partiall e#ec"ted b all the si$natories thereto in the partition of the estate of 5oS6a Tina in 5ecember, 19:9.

5on ,es"s e#ec"ted on ;ovember 1-, 19:9. On the basis of Francisca9s desi$nation as e#ec"tri# in the ne' 'ill dated ;ovember 1-, 19:9, the /robate !o"rt appointed her Administratri# of the estate of her late father, 5on ,es"s Als"a. She then filed 'ith the /robate !o"rt an inventor of the properties of the estate 'hich, accordin$ to the oppositors therein 7the private respondents no'8 did not incl"de some properties appearin$ in the a$reement of ;ovember 2:. 19-9 or in the inventor attached thereto as Anne# *A* and in the *)scrit"ra de /articion* of 5ecember 19, 19:9 as belon$in$ to or sho"ld pertain to 5on ,es"s. Accordin$ to the oppositors, these properties consist of thirt - three 7338 premi"m a$ric"lt"ral lots 'ith a total land area of 1,10<,9<1 s2"are meters, or appro#imatel 119 hectares and 'ith a total assessed val"e of /-0,-11.11 or a probable total mar(et val"e of /230,111.11 at onl /2,111.11 per hectare, and fo"r 7-8 commercial "rban lots 4deall located in the b"siness section of %e$a3pi !it incl"din$ the lot and the b"ildin$ presentl occ"pied b the 'ell(no'n *@a on .otel* 'ith an assessed val"e of appro#imatel /11<,261.11 or a probable mar(et val"e at the time of /-69,1-1.11. 4t appearin$ from the ne' 'ill that these properties 'ere be2"eathed to /ablo Als"a and Francisco Als"a-Aetts, specificall , 3 parcels of the 33 a$ric"lt"ral lands to /ablo and the rest to Francisco, the oppositors also raised in iss"e the non-incl"sion of said properties in the inventor of the estate of their late father. 4n ans'er, Francisco claimed o'nership over the same, alle$in$ that she bo"$ht the properties from their father and presentin$ the t'o 5eeds of Sale no' bein$ assailed, one dated A"$"st 26, 1961 p"rportin$ to sho' the sale of the 33 parcels of a$ric"lt"ral land to Francisco b their father for the price of /<1,111.11 and the other dated ;ovember 26, 1962 evidencin$ the sale of the fo"r "rban lots for the s"m of /01,111.11. !laimin$ fra"d in the sales, the oppositors filed !ivil !ase ;o. 3160, see(in$ the ann"lment of the aforesaid t'o deeds of sale, 'ith dama$es, 'hich "pon a$reement of the parties 'as then Bointl heard and tried 'ith Special /roceedin$s ;o. 699 for probate of the %ast &ill and Testament of

After a Boint hearin$ of the merits of these t'o cases, the !o"rt of First 4nstance of Alba prom"l$ated a decision on ,an"ar 1:, 19<3, the dispositive portion of 'hich states= tOS.[\h2'N[

&.)+)FO+), in vie' of all the fore$oin$, B"d$ment is hereb rendered, to 'it=

1. 4n Special /roceedin$s 699, the !o"rt hereb A//+O>)S and A%%O&S the &ill e#ec"ted b 5on ,es"s Als"a at %i$ao, Alba , on ;ovember 1-, 19:9, 'hich had been mar(ed as )#hibit A, consistin$ of nine 798 pa$es, and orders that the same be made the basis for division and distrib"tion of the estate of said testator6

2. 4n !ivil !ase 3160, the !o"rt hereb dismisses the complaint and holds that the sale on A"$"st 26, 1961 7)#h. E8 and the sale on ;ovember 26, 1962 7)#h. &8, are la'f"l and valid sales and accordin$l conve ed title to the >);5)) thereof. The /laintiffs in !ivil !ase 3160. are ordered Bointl and severall to pa to the defendant, Francisco Als"a Aetts Fift Tho"sand /esos 7/:1,111.118 as dama$es and Fift Tho"sand 7/:1,111.118 /esos for attorne 9s fees or a total of One ."ndred Tho"sand /esos 7/111,111.118 and to pa the costs.

On appeal b herein respondents to the !o"rt of Appeals, the co"rt reversed the appealed decision in a B"d$ment rendered on April -, 19<<, the dispositive portion of 'hich states, as translated, th"s C

tOS.[\h2'N[ 444. The respondent co"rt9s findin$ is $ro"nded entirel on spec"lation, s"rmises or conBect"res res"ltin$ in a $ross misapprehension of facts.

4; >4)& OF T.) FO+)FO4;F, this Trib"nal finds itself constrained to set aside as it hereb sets aside the decision appealed from in the follo'in$ manner= 718 in Special /roceedin$s 699, the probate of the 'ill, )#h. A, is hereb denied6 728 in !ivil !ase ;o. 3160, )#hs. E and & and the titles iss"ed on the basis thereof are hereb declared n"ll and void, orderin$ the appellees Francisco Als"a and ,oseph Aetts to pa to the plaintiffs in the concept of fi#ed dama$es, the s"m of /:,111.11 and to render an acco"ntin$ of properties in their possession and to reimb"rse the plaintiffs the net $ain, in the proportion that appertains to them in the properties s"bBect of liti$ation in !ivil !ase ;o. 3160 from the date of the filin$ of this complaint, "p to the complete restoration of the properties pertainin$ to 7plaintiffs8 p"rs"ant to Article 2210 of the ;e' !ivil !ode, para$raph 11, orderin$ them in addition to pa to the plaintiffs and oppositors the s"m of /:1,111.11 as attorne 9s fees, and the costs.

4>. The respondent co"rt $rossl erred in ann"llin$ the sales of A"$"st 26, 1961 7)#h. E8, and of ;ovember 26, 1962 7)#h. &8.

.ence, the petition at bar assailin$ the respondent co"rt9s decision on fo"r assi$ned errors, to 'it= tOS.[\h2'N[

On the first iss"e of estoppel raised in the assi$nment of errors, &e hold that the same is of no moment. The controvers as to the competenc or incompetenc of 5on ,es"s Als"a to e#ec"te his 'ill cannot be determined b acts of the herein private respondents as oppositors to the 'ill in formall a$reein$ in 'ritin$ Bointl 'ith the petitioner Francisca Als"a de Aetts that their father, 5on ,es"s Als"a, be appointed b the co"rt e#ec"tor of the 'ill of their mother in Special /roceedin$s ;o. -0:, Testate )state of 5oS6a Florentina +alla de Als"a and in s"bse2"entl petitionin$ the co"rt not to re2"ire 5on ,es"s Als"a to file an acco"ntin$ as e#ec"tor in the proceedin$s, 'hich petitioners claim and 'as "pheld b the trial co"rt as constit"tin$ estoppel on the part of the private respondents from 2"estionin$ the competence of 5on ,es"s Als"a.

4. The respondent !o"rt of Appeals erred in not affirmin$ the findin$s of the probate co"rt 7Special /roceedin$s ;o. 6998 that private respondents, oppositors to the probate of the 'ill, are in estoppel to 2"estion the competence of testator 5on ,es"s Als"a.

44. The respondent !o"rt of Appeals $rossl erred in holdin$ that testator 5on ,es"s Als"a cannot revo(e his previo"s 'ill.

The principle of estoppel is not applicable in probate proceedin$s, a r"lin$ laid do'n in the case of Testate )state of the %ate /rocopia Apostol Aenedicta Obispo, et al vs. +emedios Obispo, :1 O.F. 61-, penned b ,"stice ,.A.%. +e es, an eminent and reco$ni3ed a"thorit on !ivil %a' 'hen he 'as still in the !o"rt of Appeals, and &e 2"ote= tOS.[\h2'N[

Finall , probate proceedin$s involve p"blic interest, and the application therein of the rile of estoppel, 'hen it 'in bloc( the ascertainment of the tr"th as to the circ"mstances s"rro"ndin$ the e#ec"tion of a testament, 'o"ld seem inimical to p"blic polic . Over and above the interest of private parties is that of the state to see that testamentar dispositions be carried o"t if, and onl if, e#ec"ted conformabl to la'.

The ne#t iss"e that commands O"r attention is 'hether the respondent co"rt erred in not allo'in$ the probate of the last 'ill and testament of 5on ,es"s Als"a. /etitioners claim that the disallo'ance 'as based on spec"lations, s"rmises or conBect"res, disre$ardin$ the facts as fo"nd b the trial co"rt. The !ivil !o"rt is ver clear and e#plicit in providin$ the cases 'here a 'ill ma be disallo'ed "nder Article 039 'hich provides as follo's= tOS.[\h2'N[

The S"preme !o"rt of ;e' Gor( aptl said in +e !anfield9s &ill, 311 ;.G.S., :12= tOS.[\h2'N[

Art. 039. The 'ill shall be disallo'ed in an of the follo'in$ cases=

9The primar p"rpose of the proceedin$ is not to establish the e#istence of the ri$ht of an livin$ person, b"t to determine 'hether or not the decedent has performed the acts specified b the pertinent stat"tes, 'hich are the essential prere2"isites to personal direction of the mode of devol"tion of his propert on death. There is no le$al b"t merel a moral d"t restin$ "pon a proponent to attempt to validate the 'ishes of the departed, and he ma and fre2"entl does receive no personal benefit from the performance of the act.

718 4f the formalities re2"ired b la' have not been complied 'ith6

728 4f the testator 'as insane, or other'ise mentall ma(in$ a 'ilt at the time of its e#ec"tion6

incapable of

738 4f it 'as e#ec"ted thro"$h force or "nder d"ress, or the infl"ence of fear, or threats6

One of the most f"ndamental conceptions of probate la', is that it is the d"t of the co"rt to effect"ate, in so far as ma be compatible 'ith the p"blic interest, the devol"tionar 'ishes of a deceased person 7@atter of &atson9s &ilt 262 ;.G., 20-, 29-, 106, ;.)., <0<6 @atter of @arriman9s )state, 12- @isc. 321, 32:, 210, ;.G.S., 6<26 Fole , S., affirmed 21< app. 5iv., <33, 216 ;.G.S., 126, .enderson, S., @atter of 5ras(e9s )state, 161 @isc. :0<, :93, 291, ;.G.S., :018. To that end, the co"rt is, in effect, an additional part to ever liti$ation affectin$ the disposal of the assets of the deceased. @atter of >an >al(enb"r$h9s )state, 16- @isc. 29:, 290, ;.G.S., 219.9

7-8 4f it 'as proc"red b "nd"e and improper press"re and infl"ence, on the part of the beneficiar or of some other person6

7:8 4f the si$nat"re of the testator 'as proc"red b fra"d,

768 4f the testator acted b mista(e or did not intend that the instr"ment he si$ned sho"ld be his 'ill at the time of affi#in$ his si$nat"re thereto.

The iss"e "nder consideration appears to Es to have been ans'ered b the respondent co"rt itself 'hen it accepted the findin$s of the trial co"rt on the d"e e#ec"tion of the 2"estioned 'ill and testament of 5on ,es"s, declarin$= tOS.[\h2'N[

... and $oin$ bac( to the previo"s 2"estion, 'hether the 2"estioned 'ill and testament of ;ovember 1-, 19:9, )#h. A, 'as e#ec"ted in accordance 'ith Arts. 01:-019 of the ;e' !ivil !ode, this Trib"nal from the ver be$innin$ accepts the findin$s of the inferior co"rt concernin$ the 2"estion, tOS.[\h2'N[

la' ers that he 'anted to ma(e a ne' 'ill, and accordin$l $ave more detailed instr"ctions as to ho' he 'anted to divide his properties amon$ his fo"r children. .e handed to them a list and on the left he indicated the name of the child to 'hom the listed properties shall pertain. Att . ,or$e 4mperial too( notes of the instr"ctions of 5on ,es"s Als"a. To 5on ,es"s, Spanish is his maBor lan$"a$e, as in fact his conversations 'ith 5on Fre$orio are al'a s in Spanish. A fe' da s before ;ovember 1-, 19:9, Att . ,or$e S. 4mperial sho'ed to 5on ,es"s the semi-final draft of the 'ill and after readin$ it 5on ,es"s said that it 'as as directed b him, and after ma(in$ a fe' minor corrections, he instr"cted Att . ,or$e S. 4mperial to p"t the 'in in final form. .e f"rther told Att , ,or$e 4mperial that the si$nin$ of the 'ill sho"ld be at his home in %i$ao, in the mornin$ of ;ovember 1-, 19:9, and that the 'itnesses sho"ld be @r. +amon Aalana, the then +e$ister of 5eeds of Alba 6 @r. ,ose @adarieta 'ho is a friend of the famil 6 and @r. ,ose Fa a 'ho is a sort of emplo ee of 5on ,es"s.

On October 2, 19:9, 5oS6a Florentina died at %i$ao, Alba . Abo"t 2 'ee(s after said death of his 'ife, 5on ,es"s Als"a decided to ma(e a ne' 'ill, thereb revo(in$ and cancellin$ his previo"s holo$raphic 'ill 'hich he made on ,an"ar :, 19:: and also its codicil dated A"$"st 1-, 19:6. 4n the presence of his boo((eeper and secretar , )steban /. +amire3, he crossed o"t in in( each and ever pa$e of said pa$e he 'rote on each pa$e the 'ord *cancelado*, and affi#ed his si$nat"re thereon 7)#h >-:, >-6, consec"tivel "p to and incl"din$ )#h. >-1-8. .e then instr"cted +amire3 to ma(e a list of all s properties 'ith their correspondin$ descriptions.

@ean'hile, 5on ,es"s Als"a sent for his la' er, 5on Fre$orio 4mperial, Sr. and the latter came accompanied b his son, Att . ,or$e S, 4mperial, 'ho, incidentall , is no' a B"d$e of the !o"rt of First 4nstance of ;a$a !it , !amarines S"r. 5on ,es"s informed his

Th"s in the mornin$ of ;ovember 1-, 19:9, 5on Fre$orio and Att . ,or$e S. 4mperial, ridin$ in a sedan, stopped at the %e$aspi residence of @r. +amon Aalana, and informed the latter that 5on ,es"s 'as re2"estin$ him to be one of the attestin$ 'itnesses to his 'ill. @r. Aalana, havin$ a ver hi$h re$ard for 5on ,es"s, considered it an honor to be so as(ed, and $ladl 'ent 'ith the 4mperials. The arrived at the residence of 5on ,es"s at %i$ao6 Alba , almost ten o9cloc( of that mornin$, and the 'ere "shered in b @r. ,ose Fa a, and the latter re2"ested them to be seated at the "s"al receivin$ room on the $ro"nd floor 'hile he anno"nced their arrival to 5on ,es"s 'ho 'as on the second floor. Soon 5on ,es"s came do'n, carr in$ 'ith him the 'ill to be si$ned placed inside a cartolina folder. .e $reeted 5on Fre$orio, @r. Aalan, and Att . 4mperial and immediatel Boined them in conversation. @r. Fa a called for @r. ,ose @adarieta, 'hose residence is B"st across the road from the ho"se of 5on ,es"s. @r. @adarieta 'as alread informed b 5on

,es"s himself abo"t the fact of si$nin$ the 'ill that mornin$, and so, on bein$ advised b @r. Fa a that the 4mperials had alread arrived, @adarieta proceeded to the residence of 5on ,es"s, 'itho"t m"ch dela . &ith the comin$ of @adarieta and the comin$ bac( of Fa a, there 'ere no' si# people $athered in the livin$ room, namel = 5on ,es"s Als"a, 5on Fre$orio 4mperial Att . ,or$e S. 4mperial @r. +amon Aalana, @r. ,ose @adarieta, and @r. ,ose Fa a. All the 'itnesses 'ho testified for the petitioner declared that 5on ,es"s 'as in bri$ht and livel conversation 'hich ran from problems of farmin$ and the merits of French-made 'ines. At 1 1=11 o9cloc(, 5on Fre$orio made a remar( that it is abo"t time to do 'hat the 'ere there for, and this 'as follo'ed b a more or less statement from ,es"s, 'ho said= tOS.[\h2'N[

9/reisamente es por lo 2"e he .amado a "stedes 2"e esten presentes para ser testi$os de rni "ltimo vol"ntad testamento 2"e ha sido preparado por el abo$ado Sr. Fre$orio 4mperial se$"n mis instr"cciones c" o doc"mento ten$o a2"i conmi$o enc"entro 2"e, desp"es de lo he leido, esta satisfactoriamente hecho se$"n mis instr"cciones, !omo saben "stedes ten$o c"atro 7-8 hiBos todos e$os.9 7pp. -3---, t.s.n., hearin$ of 5ecember <, 196<, Sarte.

the same 'ere passed to @r. ,ose Fa a 'ho also si$ned as the third attestin$ 'itness. On each of the three sets, 5on ,es"s si$ned ten times, C one on the mar$in of each of the nine pa$es, and at the end of the instr"ment proper. )ach of the three attestin$ 'itnesses 7Aalana, @adarieta and Fa a8 si$ned eleven times on each set, C one on the mar$in of each of the nine pa$es, one at the end of the instr"ment proper and one belo' the attestation cla"se. The ori$inal 'ill 'as mar(ed as )#h. A 7or set A86 the d"plicate as )#h. J 7or set J8 and the triplicate of 5on ,es"s, @r. Aalana, @r. @adarieta, and @r. Fa a 'ere 4dentified b @r. Aalana, @r. @adarieta and Att . 7no' ,"d$e8 imperial. 4t 'as also clearl established that 'hen 5on ,es"s si$ned the 'ill @r. Aalana, @r. @adarieta, and @r. Fa a 'ere present and 'itnessed said si$nin$, and that 'hen each of these three 'itnesses 'as si$nin$, 5on ,es"s and the t'o other attestin$ 'itnesses 'ere present and &itnessin$ said Si$nin$. The si$nin$ b the testator and the attestin$ 'itnesses havin$ been completed, Att . ,or$e S. 4mperial as ;otar /"blic 'ith commission for the entire province of Alba , notari3ed the 'ilt and sealed it 'ith his notarial seat 'hich seal he bro"$ht alon$ that mornin$. After all the three sets 'ere notari3ed, the 'ere all $iven bac( to 5on ,es"s 'ho placed them inside the same folder. At that moment, it 'as alread abo"t 12=31 /.@. and 5on ,es"s invited all of them to l"nch, 'hich invitation 'as $ladl accepted b all of then-% 7pp. -<---01, ,oint +ecord on Appeal in !A-F.+. ;o. :--92-+8

On re2"est of 5on ,es"s, all of them moved to the bi$ ro"nd table on another part of the same sala for convenience in si$nin$ beca"se there 'ere chairs all aro"nd this table. The 'ill 'hich consisted of nine pa$es, 'ith a d"plicate, and triplicate 'as laid on the ro"nd table and the si$nin$ be$an, 'ith Att . ,or$e S. 4mperial assistin$ each person si$nin$ b indicatin$ the proper place 'here the si$nat"re shall be 'ritten. 5on ,es"s, as testator, si$ned first. After si$nin$ the ori$inal and the t'o other sets, the three sets 'ere then passed to @r. +amon Aalana 'ho si$ned as attestin$ 'itness. After @r. Aalana, @r. ,ose @adarieta si$ned ne#t as another attestin$ 'itness, and 'hen @r. @adarieta finished si$nin$ all the three sets,

'hich findin$s are s"pported b the evidence, - it is 2"ite diffic"lt to concl"de that the same had not complied 'ith the re2"irements of Arts. 01-- 016 of the ;e' !ivil !ode. ... 7!A 5ecision, pp. 13-16, as translated8.

This cited portion of the appealed decision accepts as a fact that the findin$s of the lo'er co"rt declarin$ the contested 'ill as havin$ been e#ec"ted 'ith all the formal re2"irements of a valid 'ill, are

s"pported b the evidence. This findin$ is concl"sive "pon this Trib"nal and &e cannot alter, revie' or revise the same. .ence, there is no f"rther need for Es to d'ell on the matter as both the lo'er co"rt and the respondent appellate co"rt have declared that these are the facts and s"ch facts are f"ll borne and s"pported b the records. &e find no error in the concl"sion arrived at that the contested 'ill 'as d"l e#ec"ted in accordance 'ith la'. &e r"le that the 2"estioned last 'ill and testament of 5on ,es"s Als"a f"ll complied 'ith the formal re2"irements of the la'.

19:6, and f"rther barrin$ him from e#ec"tin$ his ne' 'ill and testament of ;ovember 1-, 19:9, no' the s"bBect of the probate proceedin$s elevated to this !o"rt.

&e do not a$ree 'ith this r"lin$ of the !o"rt of Appeals. &e hold that the )#traB"dicial /artition of ;ovember 2:, 19-9 is n"ll and void "nder Article 11:6 in relation to Article 12<1 of the old !ivil !ode 'hich are applicable hereto. These Articles provide as follo's= tOS. [\h2'N[

+espondent co"rt, ho'ever, denied probate of the 'ill after ,9notin$ certain details 'hich 'ere a little bit diffic"lt to reconcile 'ith the ordinar co"rse of thin$s and of life.* First 'as the fact that the spo"ses 5on ,es"s and 5oS6a Tina to$ether 'ith their fo"r children Francisco, /ablo, Amparo and Fernando had e#ec"ted the )#traB"dicial /artition of ;ovember 2:, 19-9 7)#h. A8 'hich divided the conB"$al properties of the spo"ses bet'een the spo"ses themselves and the children "nder the terms and conditions and dispositions herein before stated and to implement its provisions, 5on ,es"s and 5oS6a Tina s"bse2"entl e#ec"ted separatel their respective holo$raphic 'i$s both dated ,an"ar :, 19:: and codicils dated A"$"st 1-, 19:6 'ith the same terms and conditions as reprod"ced herein earlier. Aoth holo$raphic 'ills and codicils havin$ been probated thereafter and "pon the death of 5oS6a Tina , 5on ,es"s 'as appointed e#ec"tor of the 'ill and in d"e time the partition of the properties or estate of 5oS6a Tina 'as approved b the probate co"rt on ,"l 6, 1961.

Art. 11:6. 4f the testator sho"ld ma(e a partition of his propert b an act inter vivos, or b 'ill, s"ch partition shall stand in so far as it does not preB"dice the le$itime of the forced heirs. ...

Art. 12<1. All thin$s, even f"t"re ones, 'hich are not e#cl"ded from the commerce of man, ma be the s"bBect-matter of contracts.

;evertheless, no contract ma be entered into 'ith respect to f"t"re inheritances, e#cept those the obBect of 'hich is to ma(e a division inter vivos of an estate, in accordance 'ith Article 11:6.

All services not contrar to la' or to $ood morals ma s"bBect- matter of contract. The respondent co"rt r"led that the )#traB"dicial /artition of ;ovember 2:, 19-9 'as an enforceable contract 'hich 'as bindin$ on 5on ,es"s Als"a as the s"rvivin$ spo"se, barrin$ him from violatin$ said partition a$reement, barrin$ him from revo(in$ his holo$raphic 'ill of ,an"ar :, 19:: and his codicil of A"$"st 1-,

also be the

Article 11:6 specificall "ses the 'ord *testator* from 'hich the clear intent of the la' ma be ded"ced that the privile$e of partitionin$ one9s estate b acts inter vivos is restricted onl to one

'ho has made a prior 'ill or testament. 4n other 'ords, Article 11:6 bein$ an e#ception cannot be $iven a 'ider scope as to incl"de in the e#ception an person 'hether he has made a 'ill or not.

Art. 11:6. 4f the testator sho"ld ma(e a partition of his propert b an act inter vivos, or b 'ill, s"ch partition shall stand in so far as it does not preB"dice the le$itime of the forced heirs.

+espondent co"rt citin$ the same Article concl"ded that "nder both the old and ne' !ivil !ode, a person 'ho e#ec"tes a 'ill is permitted at the same time or a little thereafter or even before as lon$ as he mentions this fact in the 'ill, to partition his properties p"rs"ant to the provisions of Article 11:6 of the old !ivil !ode. The co"rt f"rther added that B"rispr"dence is to the effect that the partition pres"pposes the e#ec"tion of the 'ill that it ratifies or effect"ates, citin$ the case of %e$asto vs. >er3osa, :- /hil. <<6. Finall , respondent co"rt held the opinion that the e#traB"dicial partition of ;ovember 1-, 19-9 'as ratified in the holo$raphic 'ill e#ec"ted b 5on ,es"s on ,an. :, 19:: and in the codicil of A"$"st 1-, 19:6.

The S"preme !o"rt of Spain, in a decision rendered on ,"ne 13, 1913, laid do'n the follo'in$ doctrine=

A$ain, &e do not a$ree 'ith this r"lin$ of the respondent co"rt. 4n %e$asto vs. >er3osa, s"pra, the S"preme !o"rt cate$oricall declared the necessit of a prior 'ill before the testator can partition his properties amon$ his heirs, and &e 2"ote the pertinent portions of the decision= tOS.[\h2'N[

!onsiderin$ that the lan$"a$e of article 11:6 cannot be interpreted to mean that a person ma , b acts inter vivos, partition his propert referred to in the section 'herein said article is fo"nd, 'itho"t the a"thorit of a testament containin$ an e#pression of his last 'ill, or the a"thorit of la', for, other'ise, a partition th"s made 'o"ld be tantamo"nt to ma(in$ a 'ill in a manner not provided for, a"thori3ed, nor incl"ded in the chapter referrin$ to testaments, and especiall , to the forms thereof, 'hich is entirel different from the le$al conse2"ences of a free disposition made b parents d"rin$ their lifetime, 'hereb the $ive to their children the 'hole or a part of their propert 6

The first 2"estion to decide in the instant appeal is 'hether the partition made b Sabina Almadin of her propert amon$ her nieces, the defendants and appellants herein, 'as valid and enforceable.

Article 11:6 of the !ivil !ode provides=

!onsiderin$ that, inasm"ch as the second para$raph of article 12<1 ma(es reference to the aforesaid article, in providin$ that no contracts ma be entered into 'ith respect to f"t"re inheritances e#cept those the obBect of 'hich is to ma(e a division inter vivos of the estate in accordance 'ith article 11:6, it is evident that said difference li(e'ise leads to the concl"sion that a partition th"s made sho"ld be on the basis of a testamentar or le$al s"ccession and sho"ld be made in conformit 'ith the f"ndamental r"les thereof and the order of the heirs entitled to the estate, beca"se neither of the t'o provisions co"ld be $iven a 'ider meanin$ or scope than that the simpl provide for the division of the estate d"rin$ the lifetime of the o'ner, 'hich, other'ise, 'o"ld have to be

done "pon the death of the testator in order to carr into effect the partition of the estate amon$ the persons interested.

@anresa comments on the same article as follo's=

And it co"ld not be other'ise, for 'itho"t a 'ill there can be no testator6 'hen the la', therefore, spea(s of the partition inter vivos made b a testator of his propert , it necessaril refers to that propert 'hich he has devised to his heirs. A person 'ho disposes of his propert $ratis inter vivos is not called a testator, b"t a donor. 4n emplo in$ the 'ord *testator,* the la' evidentl desired to distin$"ish bet'een one 'ho freel donates his propert in life and one 'ho disposes of it b 'ill to ta(e effect after his death.

A distinction m"st be made bet'een the disposition of propert and its division6 and the provision of article 11:6 a"thori3in$ the testator to dispose of his propert b acts inter vivos or b last 'ill, m"st be "nderstood in accordance 'ith this distinction. The 4dea is to divide the estate amon$ the heirs desi$nated b the testator. This desi$nation constit"tes the disposition of the properties to ta(e effect after his death, and said act m"st necessaril appear in the testament beca"se it is the e#pression of the testator9s last 'ill and m"st be s"rro"nded b appropriate formalities. Then comes the second part, to 'it, the division in conformit 'ith that disposition, and the testator ma ma(e this division in the same 'ill or in another 'ill, or b an act inter vivos. &ith these 'ords, the la', in article 11:6 as 'ell as in article 11:<, 'hich 'e shall hereafter e#amine, ma(es all"sion to the forms or manner of ma(in$ the partition and not to the effects thereof, 'hich means that, for p"rposes of partition the formal solemnities 'hich m"st accompan ever testament or last 'ill are not necessar . ;either is it necessar to observe the special for. realities re2"ired in case of donations, beca"se it is not a matter of disposin$ $rat"ito"sl of properties, b"t of dividin$ those 'hich alread have been le$all disposed of.

&e are not in conformit 'ith the holdin$ of the respondent co"rt that the e#traB"dicial partition of ;ovember 2:, 19-9 'hich "nder the old !ivil !ode 'as e#pressl prohibited as a$ainst p"blic polic had been validl ratified b the holo$raphic 'ill of 5on ,es"s e#ec"ted on ,an"ar :, 19:: and his codicil of A"$"st 1-, 19:6. S"ch a holdin$ of the appellate co"rt that a person 'ho e#ec"tes a 'ill is permitted to partition his properties p"rs"ant to the provisions of Article 11:6 of the old !ivil !ode even before e#ec"tin$ his 'ill as lon$ as he mentions this fact in the 'ill, is not 'arranted "nder the r"lin$ of %e$asto vs. >er3osa, s"pra and the commentar of @anresa as 2"oted above. &e r"le, therefore, that the respondent co"rt erred in den in$ probate to the 'ill of 5on ,es"s dated ;ovember 1-, 19:96 it erred in holdin$ that 5on ,es"s bein$ a part to the e#traB"dicial partition of 19-9 'as contract"all bo"nd b the provisions thereof and hence co"ld not revo(e his participation therein b the simple e#pedience of ma(in$ a ne' 'ill 'ith contrar provisions or dispositions. 4t is an error beca"se the so-called e#traB"dicial partition of 19-9 is void and inoperative as a partition6 neither is it a valid or enforceable contract beca"se it involved f"t"re inheritance6 it ma onl be $iven effect as a donation inter vivos of specific properties to the heirs made b the parents.

4t is th"s seen that both the Spanish S"preme !o"rt and the learned and a"thoritative commentator, @anresa, are of opinion that a testator ma , b an act inter vivos, partition his propert , b"t he m"st first ma(e a 'ill 'ith all the formalities provided for b la'.

!onsiderin$ that the doc"ment, the e#traB"dicial partition of ;ovember 2:, 19-9, contained specific desi$nation of properties

allotted to each child, &e r"le that there 'as s"bstantial compliance 'ith the r"les on donations inter vivos "nder the old !ivil !ode 7Article 6338. On the other hand, there co"ld have been no valid donation to the children of the other half reserved as the free portion of 5on ,es"s and 5oS6a Tina 'hich, as stated in the deed, 'as to be divided e2"all amon$ the children for the simple reason that the propert or properties 'ere not specificall described in the p"blic instr"ment, an essential re2"irement "nder Article 633 'hich provides as follo's= tOS.[\h2'N[

one-half of their combined properties 'hich m"st be char$ed a$ainst their le$itime and cannot an more be revo(ed "nless inofficio"s6 the other half remained entirel at the free disposal of the spo"ses 'ith re$ards to their respective shares.

Art. 633. 4n order that a donation or real propert be valid it m"st be made b p"blic instr"ment in 'hich the propert donated m"st be specificall described and in the amo"nt of the enc"mbrances to be ass"med b the donee e#pressed.

Epon the death of 5oS6a Tina on October 2, 19:9, her share in the free portion 'as distrib"ted in accordance 'ith her holo$raphic 'ill dated ,an"ar 2:, 19:: and her codicil dated A"$"st 1-, 19:6. 4t m"st be stressed here that the distrib"tion of her properties 'as s"bBect to her holo$raphic 'in and codicil, independentl of the holo$raphic 'ill and codicil of 5on ,es"s e#ec"ted b him on the same date. This is f"ndamental beca"se other'ise, to consider both 'ills and codicils Bointl 'o"ld be to circ"mvent the prohibition of the !ivil !ode on Boint 'ills 7Art. 0108 and secondl beca"se "pon the death of 5oS6a Tina , onl her estate 'as bein$ settled, and not that of 5on ,es"s.

The acceptance m"st be made in the deed of $ift or in a separate p"blic 'ritin$6 b"t it shall prod"ce no effect if not made d"rin$ the lifetime of the donor.

4f the acceptance is made b separate p"blic instr"ment, a"thentic notice thereof shall be $iven the donor, and this proceedin$ shall be noted in both instr"ments.

&e have caref"ll e#amined the provisions of the holo$raphic 'ill and codicil of 5oS6a Tina and &e find no indication 'hatsoever that 5oS6a Tina e#pressl or impliedl instit"ted both the h"sband and her children as heirs to her free portion of her share in the conB"$al assets. 4n her holo$raphic 'ill, mention of her children as heirs 'as made in the fo"rth cla"se b"t it onl provided that, to 'it= tOS. [\h2'N[

This other half, therefore, remained as the disposable free portion of the spo"ses 'hich ma be disposed of in s"ch manner that either of the spo"ses 'o"ld li(e in re$ards to his or her share in s"ch portion, "nenc"mbered b the provision enBoinin$ the last s"rvivin$ spo"se to $ive e2"all to the children 'hat belon$s or-'o"ld pertain to him or her. The end res"lt, therefore, is that 5on ,es"s and 5oS6a Tina , in the 5eed of 19-9, made to their children valid donations of onl

!"atro. I"e si o ad2"ieriese n"evase propiedades desp"es de otor$ado este mi testamento seran las mismas repartados entre mi esposo o hiBos arriba mencionada en el parrafo tercero s" la misma proporcion o sea= la mitad 71D28 para is esposa6 la otra mitad 71D28 para mis hiBos en partes i$"ales.

For p"rposes of clarit and convenience, this fo"rth cla"se provided that *Sho"ld 4 ac2"ire ne' properties after the e#ec"tion of this testament, the same shall be partitioned amon$ m spo"se and above named children or the children mentioned in above par. 3 in the same proportion, that is, one- half 71D28 to m spo"se6 and the other half to m children in e2"al parts.* From the above-2"oted provision, the children 'o"ld onl inherit to$ether 'ith 5on ,es"s 'hatever ne' properties 5oS6a Tina 'o"ld ac2"ire after the e#ec"tion of her 'ill.

A$ain for p"rposes of clarit states= tOS.[\h2'N[

and convenience, the above portion

4 leave to m spo"se 5on ,es"s Als"a as his le$itime and as his inheritance the part of the free portion of m propert 'hich have not been allocated in favor of m children in the 5oc"ment of /artition aforecited and that 'hich sho"ld e#ceed 1D2 of the conB"$al propert of $ains that pertains to him as above stated, incl"din$ all those properties 'hich 'e shall ac2"ire after the e#ec"tion of this doc"ment.

%i(e'ise, the codicil of 5oS6a Tina instit"ted her h"sband as sole heir to her share in the free portion of the conB"$al assets, and &e 2"ote that part of the codicil= tOS.[\h2'N[

5eBo a mi esposo ,es"s Als"a como s" le$itima como herencia 2"e se sacara de ni c"enta de libre disposicion todos a2"ellos bienes de los 2"e no he disp"esto a"n en favor de mis hiBos en la escrit"ra de reparticion precitada 2"e e#cedieran de la mitad de $ananciales 2"e le corresponds tal como arriba declare, incl" endo todos a2"enos bienes 2"e se ad2"iriesen por nosotros desp"es de otor$ado por mi este testamento.

4n case it sho"ld be Fod9s 'ill that 4 s"rvive m spo"se, 4 hereb declare that it is m 'ill that an and all (inds of propert that pertains to me or 'o"ld pertain to me, 'hich have not been disposed of p"rs"ant to the partition, sho"ld be divided e2"all amon$ m above-mentioned heirs after m death.

The children, therefore, 'o"ld onl receive e2"al shares in the remainin$ estate of 5oS6a Tina in the event that she sho"ld be the s"rvivin$ spo"se. To stress the point, 5oS6a Tina did not obli$e her h"sband to $ive e2"all to the children, "pon his death, all s"ch properties she 'as be2"eathin$ him.

/ara el caso de 2"e 5ios disp"siera 2"e o sobreviviera a mi esposo declaro 2"e es mi vol"ntad 2"e todas las propiedades de todo $enero 2"e me pertenecen me p"dieran pertenecer, no disp"estas a"n en la reparticion, se dividan por i$"al entre mis herederos mencionados desp"es de mi m"erte.

!onsiderin$ no' the efficac of 5on ,es"s9 last 'ill and testament e#ec"ted on ;ovember 1-, 19:9 in vie' of O"r holdin$ that 5oS6a Tina 9s 'i$ and codicil did not stip"late that 5on ,es"s 'ill besto' the properties e2"all to the children, it follo's that all the properties of 5oS6a Tina be2"eathed to 5on ,es"s "nder her holo$raphic 'in and codicil became part of 5on ,es"s9 estate "nb"rdened b an condition obli$ation or proviso.

+espondents insist that 5on ,es"s 'as bo"nd b the e#traB"dicial partition of ;ovember 2:, 19-9 and had in fact conformed to said /artition b ma(in$ a holo$raphic 'ill and codicil 'ith e#actl the same provisions as those of 5oS6a Tina , 'hich respondent co"rt s"stained. &e r"le, ho'ever, that 5on ,es"s 'as not forever bo"nd thereb for his previo"s holo$raphic 'ill and codicil as s"ch, 'o"ld remain revo(able at his discretion. Art. 020 of the ne' !ivil !ode is clear= *A 'in ma be revo(ed b the testator at an time before his death. An 'aiver or restriction of this ri$ht is void.* There can be no restriction that ma be made on his absol"te freedom to revo(e his holo$raphic 'ill and codicil previo"sl made. This 'o"ld still hold tr"e even if s"ch previo"s 'ill had as in the case at bar alread been probated 7/alacios v. /alacios, 116 /hil. <398. For in the first place, probate onl a"thenticates the 'ill and does not pass "pon the efficac of the dispositions therein. And secondl , the ri$hts to the s"ccession are transmitted onl from the moment of the death of the decedent 7Article <<<, ;e' !ivil !ode8. 4n fine, 5on ,es"s retained the libert of disposin$ of his propert before his death to 'homsoever he chose, provided the le$itime of the forced heirs are not preB"diced, 'hich is not herein claimed for it is "ndisp"ted that onl the free portion of the 'hole Als"a estate is bein$ contested.

!o"rt had, on more than one occasion, passed "pon the intrinsic validit of a 'ill even before it had been a"thenticated. Th"s &e declared in ;"$"id v. ;"$"id, 1< S!+A -99= tOS.[\h2'N[

The parties sh"nted aside the 2"estion of 'hether or not the 'ill sho"ld be allo'ed to probate. For them, the meat of the case is the intrinsic validit of the 'ilt ;ormall this comes onl after the co"rt has declared that the 'ill has been d"l a"thenticated. ...

... 4f the case 'ere to be remanded for probate of the 'ilt nothin$ 'ill be $ained. On the contrar , this liti$ation 'in be protracted and for o"$ht that appears in the record, in the event of probate or if the co"rt reBects the 'ill probabilit e#ists that the case 'in come "p once a$ain before "s on the iss"e of the intrinsic validit or n"llit of the 'ilt +es"lt= 'aste of time, effort, e#pense, pl"s added an#iet . These are the practical considerations that ind"ce "s to a behalf that 'e mi$ht as 'ell meet head-on the time of the validit of the provisions of the 'ill in 2"estion. ...

After clearl establishin$ that onl 5on ,es"s 'as named as sole heir instit"ted to the remainin$ estate of 5oS6a Tina in her holo$raphic 'ill and codicil res"ltin$ in all s"ch properties becomin$ the properties of 5on ,es"s alone, and after clearl pointin$ o"t that 5on ,es"s can, in la', revo(e his previo"s holo$raphic 'ill and codicil, b ma(in$ another 'in e#pressl cancellin$ and revo(in$ the former, the ne#t iss"e for the !o"rt9s resol"tion is the validit of the provisions of the contested 'ill. Tho"$h the la' and B"rispr"dence are clear that onl 2"estions abo"t the e#trinsic validit of the 'ill ma be entertained b the probate co"rt, the

The last &ill and Testament of 5on ,es"s e#ec"ted on ;ovember 1-, 19:9 contained an e#press revocation of his holo$raphic 'i$ of ,an"ar :, 19:: and the codicil of A"$"st 1-, 19:66 a statement re2"irin$ that all of his properties donated to his children in the 5eed of 19-9 be collated and ta(en into acco"nt in the partition of his estate6 the instit"tion of all his children as devisees and le$atees to certain specific properties6 a statement be2"eathin$ the rest of his properties and all that ma be ac2"ired in the f"t"re, before his death, to /ablo and Francesca6 and a statement namin$ Francesca as e#ec"tri# 'itho"t bond.

!onsiderin$ these testamentar provisions, a close scr"tin of the properties distrib"ted to the children "nder the 5eed of 19-9 and those distrib"ted "nder the contested 'ill of 5on ,es"s does not sho' that the former had in fact been incl"ded in the latter. This bein$ so, it m"st be pres"med that the intention of 5on ,es"s in his last 'in 'as not to revo(e the donations alread made in the 5eed of 19-9 b"t onl to redistrib"te his remainin$ estate, or that portion of the conB"$al assets totall left to his free disposal and that 'hich he received as his inheritance from 5oS6a Tina . The le$itimes of the forced heirs 'ere left "nimpaired, as in fact, not one of said forced heirs claimed or intimated other'ise. The properties that 'ere disposed of in the contested 'ill belon$ed 'holl to 5on ,es"s Als"a9s free portion and ma be diamond of b him to 'homsoever he ma choose.

determined thro"$h a caref"l readin$ of the 'ill or 'ills, and provided the la' on le$itimes has not been violated, it is be ond the place of B"dicial co$ni3ance to in2"ire into the fairness or "nfairness of an devise or be2"east. The co"rt sho"ld not sit in B"d$ment "pon the motives and sentiments of the testatri#, first, beca"se as alread stated, nothin$ in the la' restrained her from disposin$ of her propert in an manner she desired, and secondl , beca"se there are no ade2"ate means of ascertainin$ the in'ard process of her conscience. She 'as the sole B"d$e of her o'n attit"de to'ard those 'ho e#pected her bo"nt . ...

4f he no' favored Francesca more, as claimed b private respondents, or /ablo as in fact he 'as, &e cannot and ma not sit in B"d$ment "pon the motives and sentiments of 5on ,es"s in doin$ so. &e have clearl laid do'n this r"le in A"stamante v. Arevalo, <3 /hil. 63:, to 'it= tOS.[\h2'N[

... nevertheless it 'o"ld be vent"resome for the co"rt to advance its o'n 4dea of a B"st distrib"tion of the propert in the face of a different mode of disposition so clearl e#pressed b the testatri# in the latter 'ill. ...

+espondent co"rt, in tr in$ to rationali3e the 'ill of 5on ,es"s 'hich alle$edl benefited and favored the petitioner to the preB"dice of the other heirs 'ho 'o"ld have been entitled to an e2"al share "nder the e#traB"dicial partition of 19-9, faced t'o alternatives-one, to consider 5on ,es"s as a man of c"lt"re and honor and 'o"ld not sno' himself to violate the previo"s a$reement, and the other as one 'hose mental fac"lties or his possession of the same had been diminished considerin$ that 'hen the 'ill 'as e#ec"ted, he 'as alread 0- ears of a$e and in vie' of his 'ea(ness and advanced a$e, the act"al administration of his properties had been left to his assistant @adarieta 'ho, for his part received instr"ctions from Francisco and her h"sband, ,oseph Aetts. Accordin$ to the co"rt, the better e#planation is the latter, 'hich is not le$all tenable. Ender Article <99 of the ;e' !ivil !ode 'hich provides as follo's= tOS. [\h2'N[

4t 'o"ld be a dan$ero"s precedent to strain the interpretation of a 'ill in order to effect 'hat the co"rt believes to be an e2"itable division of the estate of a deceased person. The onl f"nctions of the co"rts in these cases is to carr o"t the intention of the deceased as manifested in the 'i$. Once that intention has been

Art. <99. To be of so"nd mind, it is not necessar that the testator be in f"ll possession of all his reasonin$ fac"lties, or that his mind be 'holl "nbro(en, "nimpaired, or "nshattered b disease, inB"r or other ca"se.

4t shall be s"fficient if the testator 'as able at the time of ma(in$ the 'ill to (no' the nat"re of the estate to be disposed of, the proper obBects of his bo"nt , and the character of the testamentar act,

The test of testamentar capacit is at the time of the ma(in$ of the 'in. @ere 'ea(ness of mind or partial imbecilit from disease of bod or from a$e-does not render a person incapable of ma(in$ a 'ill. tOS.[\h2'N[

Aet'een the hi$hest de$ree of so"ndness of mind and memor 'hich "n2"estionabl carries 'ith it f"ll testamentar capacit , and that de$rees of mental aberration $enerall (no'n as insanit or 4dioc , there are n"mberless de$rees of mental capacit or incapacit and 'hile on one hand it has been held that mere 'ea(ness of mind, or partial imbecilit from disease of bod , or from a$e, 'ill not render a person incapable of ma(in$ a 'ill6 a 'ea( or feebleminded person ma ma(e a valid 'ill, provided he has "nderstandin$ and memor s"fficient to enable him to (no' 'hat he is abo"t to do and ho' or to 'hom he is disposin$ of his propert . To constit"te a so"nd and disposin$ mind, it is not necessar that the mind be "nbro(en or "nimpaired or "nshattered b disease or other'ise. 4t has been held that testamentar incapacit does not necessaril re2"ire that a person shall act"all be insane or of "nso"nd mind. 7A"$nao vs. Eba$, 1- /hil. 1638.

findin$s of fact of the trial co"rt on the d"e e#ec"tion of the last 'in and testament of 5on ,es"s has foreclosed an and all claim to the contrar that the 'ill 'as not e#ec"ted in accordance 'ith the re2"irements of the la'. A"t more than that, $leaned from the 2"oted portions of the appealed decision, the described behavior of 5on ,es"s is not that of a mentall incapacitated person nor one s"fferin$ from *senile dementia* as claimed b private respondents. From these accepted facts, &e find that= 7a8 it 'as 5on ,es"s himself 'ho $ave detailed instr"ctions to his la' er as to ho' he 'anted to divide his properties amon$ his children b means of a list of his properties sho"ld pertain6 7b8 the semi-final draft of the contested 'ill prepared b his la' er '-as even corrected b 5on ,es"s6 7c8 on the da of the si$nin$ of the 'ill at his ho"se in %i$ao, *5on ,es"s 'as in bri$ht and livel spirits ..., leadin$ in the conversation 'hich ran from problems of farmin$ and the merits of French-made 'ines*6 7d8 the si$nin$ of the 'ill b 5on ,es"s and his attestin$ 'itnesses 'as made after a statement from 5on ,es"s of the p"rpose of their meetin$ or $atherin$, to 'it= tOS.[\h2'N[

/recisamente es por lo 2"e he 4lamado a "stedes 2"e eaten presentes para ser testi$os de mi "ltima vol"ntad testamento 2"e ha sido preparado por el abo$ado Sr. Fre$orio 4mperial se$"n mis instr"cciones c" o doc"ments ten$o a2"i con mi$o enc"entro 2"e, desp"es de lo he leido, esta satisfactoriamente hecho se$"n mis in$tr"cciones, !omo saben "stedes ten$o c"atro 7-8 hiBos todos ellos.

The !ivil !ode itself provides "nder Article <90 that in order to ma(e a 'ill, it is essential that the testator be of so"nd mind at the time of its e#ec"tion, and "nder Article 011, the la' pres"mes that ever person is of so"nd mind in the absence of proof to the contrar . 4n the case at bar, the acceptance b the respondent co"rt of the

!learl then, 5on ,es"s (ne' e#actl 'hat his actions 'ere and the f"n implications thereof.

4n reBectin$ probate of the 'ilt respondent co"rt f"rther pointed o"t

other details 'hich, in the 'ords of the decision *are a little bit diffic"lt to reconcile 'ith the ordinar co"rse of thin$s and of fife* s"ch as the fact that 5on ,es"s had so"$ht the probate of his 'ill of ,an"ar :, 19:: and his codicil of A"$"st 1-, 19:6 d"rin$ his lifetime b"t insofar as the 'ill of ;ovember 1-, 19:9 is concerned, he had no intention of see(in$ the probate thereof d"rin$ his lifetime, the alle$ed red"ndant and "nnecessar proceedin$s "nderta(en b 5on ,es"s in the properties "nder 2"estion to petitioner Franciso Als"a-Aetts 'hen the same properties had alread been be2"eathed to her in the 'ill of ;ovember 1-, 19:9 and that *nothin$, absol"tel nothin$, co"ld be made the basis for findin$ that 5on ,es"s Als"a had re$arded his other children 'ith less favor, and that he 'as more s mpathetic to Francisca so as to or for$et the former deprivin$ them of benefits alread $iven to them and re'ardin$ the latter 'ith disproportionate advanta$es or benefits, to s"ch an e#treme as to violate his previo"s disposition consecrated in the previo"s e#traB"dicial partition, )#h. 0.*

alread assi$ned the same properties to her in his 'ill. &hile &e can spec"late that 5on ,es"s desired to have possession of the properties transferred to Francisca after the sale instead of 'aitin$ for his death ma be a reasonable e#planation or spec"lation for the act of the testator and et there is no certaint that s"ch 'as act"all the reason. This is as $ood a conBect"re as the respondents ma offer or as diffic"lt to accept 'hich respondent co"rt believes. A conBect"re is al'a s a conBect"re6 it can never be admitted as evidence.

&e a$ree 'ith the petitioner that these details 'hich respondent co"rt fo"nd diffic"lt to reconcile 'ith the ordinar co"rse of thin$s and of life are mere conBect"res, s"rmises or spec"lations 'hich, ho'ever, do not 'arrant or B"stif disallo'ance of the probate of the 'in of 5on ,es"s. The fact that 5on ,es"s did not ca"se his 'ill to be probated d"rin$ his lifetime 'hile his previo"s holo$raphic 'in and codicil 'ere d"l probated 'hen he 'as still alive is a mere spec"lation 'hich depends entirel on the discretion of 5on ,es"s as the testator. The la' does not re2"ire that a 'ill be probated d"rin$ the lifetime of the testator and for not doin$ so there cannot arise an favorable or "nfavorable conse2"ence therefrom. The parties cannot correctl $"ess or s"rmise the motives of the testator and neither can the co"rts. S"ch s"rmise, spec"lation or conBect"re is no valid and le$al $ro"nd to reBect allo'ance or disallo'ance of the 'i$. The same thin$ can be said as to 'hatever reason 5on ,es"s had for sellin$ the properties to his da"$hter Francisca 'hen he had

;o', the ann"lment case. The onl iss"e raised anent the civil case for ann"lment of the t'o 5eeds of Sale e#ec"ted b and bet'een 5on ,es"s and petitioner Francisco is their validit or n"llit . /rivate respondents mainl contend that the sales 'ere fictitio"s or sim"lated, there havin$ been no act"al consideration paid. The f"rther insist that the iss"e raised is a 2"estion of fact and, therefore, not revie'able in a certiorari proceedin$ before the S"preme !o"rt. On the other hand, petitioners herein maintain that it 'as error for the respondent co"rt to set aside on appeal the fact"al findin$s of the trial co"rt that the t'o sales 'ere valid.

4t is tr"e that the B"rispr"dence of this !o"rt in cases bro"$ht to Es from the !o"rt of Appeals is limited to revie'in$ and revisin$ the errors of la' imp"ted to it, its findin$s of fact bein$ concl"sive6 and this same principle applies even if the !o"rt of Appeals 'as in disa$reement 'ith the lo'er co"rt as to the 'ei$ht of evidence 'ith a conse2"ent reversal of its findin$s of fact. A"t 'hat sho"ld not be i$nored b la' ers and liti$ants ali(e is the more basic principle that the *findin$s of fact* described as *final* or *concl"sive* are those borne o"t b the record or those 'hich are based "pon s"bstantial evidence. The $eneral r"le laid do'n b the S"preme !o"rt does not declare the absol"te correctness of all the findin$s of fact made b the !o"rt of Appeals. These are e#ceptions to the

$eneral r"le, 'here &e have revie'ed and revised the findin$s of fact of the !o"rt of Appeals. Amon$ the e#ceptions to the r"le that findin$s of fact b the !o"rt of Appeals cannot be revie'ed on appeals b certiorari are=

4n the case at bar, &e find and so declare that the respondent co"rt9s concl"sion as to the n"llit of the contested sales 'as not s"pported b the evidence on record and add"ced d"rin$ the trial.

1. &hen the concl"sion is a findin$ $ro"nded entirel on spec"lation, s"rmises or conBect"res 7,oa2"in vs. ;avarro, 93 /hil. 2:<86

2. &hen the inference made is manifestl impossible 7%"na vs. %inato(, <- /hil. 1:86

mista(en, abs"rd or

3. &here there is a $rave ab"se of discretion 7A" co vs. /eople, :1 O.F. 292<86

-. &hen the B"d$ment is based on a misapprehension of facts 7!r"3 vs. Sosin$, %--0<:, ;ov. 2<, 19:386

:. &hen the findin$s of fact are conflictin$ 7!asica vs. >illaseca, %9:91, April 31, 19:<86 and

6. &hen the !o"rt of Appeals, in ma(in$ its findin$s, 'ent be ond the iss"es of the case and the same is contrar to the admissions of both appellant and appellee 7)van$elists vs. Alto S"ret K 4ns. !o., %-11139, April 23, 19:06 +amos vs. /epsi !ola, %-22:33, Feb. 9, 196<, 19 S!+A 2098.

)vident from the records are the follo'in$ doc"mentar evidence= 718 )#hibit E, a deed of sale over a$ric"lt"ral lands e#ec"ted on A"$"st 26, 1961 b 5on ,es"s in favor of Francisca for the consideration of Sevent Tho"sand /esos 7/<1,111.118, 'hich doc"ment bears the si$nat"re of 5on ,es"s, not assailed as a for$er , and the si$nat"re of /ablo Als"a as an instr"mental 'itness, a$ain not assailed as a for$er nor alle$ed as done thr" fra"d, force or threat. 728 )#hibit *&*, a deed of sale over "rban lots e#ec"ted on ;ovember 16, 1962 for the consideration of )i$ht Tho"sand /esos 7/01,111.118, 'hich doc"ment also bears the si$nat"re of 5on ,es"s, also admittedl not a for$er . 738 )#hibit *F*, a doc"ment dated A"$"st 26, 1961 and si$ned b 5on ,es"s and /ablo Als"a as 'itness, ac(no'led$in$ receipt of a Aan( of /hilippine 4sland !hec( ;o. 12:2 in the amo"nt of Sevent Tho"sand /esos 7/<1,111.118 for the sale of 33 parcels of a$ric"lt"ral land to Francisco "nder the same date6 a$ain, /ablo did not den the $en"ineness of his si$nat"re. 7-8 )#hibit *H*, a Aan( of the /hilippine 4slands !hec( ;o. 5-69<9 dated ;ovember 26, 1962, in the amo"nt of /32,6--.<1, dra'n and si$ned b Francesca, pa able to 5on ,es"s. 7:8 )#hibit *H-1*, a second Aan( of /hilippine 4slands !hec( 7;o. 5-69018 also dated ;ovember 26, 1962 in the amo"nt of ?-<,3::.29, dra'n b Francisco and pa able to 5on ,es"s. 768 )#hibit *H-3 * and *H-: *, endorsements on the bac( of the last t'o chec(s b 5on ,es"s, a$ain, his si$nat"res thereon 'ere not assailed. 7<8 )#hibit *A* 7in the ann"lment case8, a A"rea" of 4nternal +even"e +eceipt 7;o. 23-<2618 dated ;ovember 29, 1962 'ith a notation ac(no'led$in$ the receipt of A/4 !hec( ;o. 5-6901 in the amo"nt of /-<,3::.29 from 5on ,es"s Als"a in pa ment of

Aalance of Transfer of Ta# Ass. ;o. )A-3:-1:-19 pl"s interest. &e are convinced and satisfied from this arra of doc"mentar evidence that in fact, 5on ,es"s sold the s"bBect properties to his da"$hter, Francisca for the total consideration of /1:1,111.11.

infl"ence. 7Article 13::, ;e' !ivil !ode8. &e do not find the stip"lated price as so inade2"ate to shoc( the co"rt9s conscience, considerin$ that the price paid 'as m"ch hi$her than the assessed val"e of the s"bBect properties and considerin$ that the sales 'ere effected b a father to her da"$hter in 'hich case filial love m"st be ta(en into acco"nt.

The claim of the private respondents that the sales 'ere fictitio"s and void for bein$ 'itho"t ca"se or consideration is as 'ea( and flims as the $ro"nd "pon 'hich the respondent co"rt "pheld said claim on the basis that there 'as no need for f"nds in 5on ,es"s9 old a$e aside from the spec"lation that there 'as nothin$ in the evidence that sho'ed 'hat motivated 5on ,es"s to chan$e his mind as to favor Francesca and discriminate a$ainst the other children. The t'o contracts of same e#ec"ted b 5on ,es"s in favor of Francesca are evidenced b )#hibits *E* and *&*, the $en"ineness of 'hich 'ere not at all assailed at an time d"rin$ this lon$ dra'no"t liti$ation of 1: ears standin$. That the consideration stated in the contracts 'ere paid is also s"fficientl proved as the receipts thereof b 5on ,es"s 'ere even si$ned b one of the private respondents, /ablo Als"a, as a 'itness. The latter cannot no' den the pa ment of the consideration And even of he no' alle$e that in fact no transfer of mone 'as involved, &e find his alle$ation belied b )#hibits *H-3 * and *H-: *, 'hich sho' that the chec(s of Francisco made pa able to 5on ,es"s. 'ere in fact $iven to 5on ,es"s as he endorsed them on the bac( thereof, and most specificall )#hibit *A* in the ann"lment case, 'hich proved that 5on ,es"s act"all "sed )#hibit *H4 * to complete pa ment on the estate and inheritance ta# on the estate of his 'ife to the A"rea" of 4nternal +even"e.

&.)+)FO+), 4; >4)& OF T.) FO+)FO4;F, the decision appealed from is hereb set aside. The decision of the !o"rt of First 4nstance Of Alba in Special /roceedin$s ;o. 699 and !ivil !ase ;o. 3160 is hereb reinstated, 'ith costs a$ainst respondents.

SO O+5)+)5.

Teehan(ee 7!hairman8, conc"r.1]'ph^1.S_t

@a(asiar

and

Fernande3,

,,.,

5e !astro, ,., too( no part.

@elencio .errera, ,., conc"r in the res"lt.

/rivate respondents f"rther insist that the sales 'ere fra"d"lent beca"se of the inade2"ac of the $iven price. 4nade2"ac of consideration does not vitiate a contract "nless it is proven 'hich in the case at bar 'as not, that there 'as fra"d, mista(e or "nd"e

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