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Compiled Cases (Rule 72 to 80)

RULE 72: Subject Matter and Applicability of Rules


Case no. 1 MBTC v. AMC
Case no. 2 Natcher v. CA
Case no. 3 Pacific Banking v. CA
FACTS:

This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of respondent CA.

An open policy was issued to the Paramount Shirt Manufacturing Co. by w/c private
respondent Oriental Assurance Corp. bound itself to indemnify the insured for any loss or
damage, not exceeding P61,000, caused by fire to its property.

Said policy was endorsed to petitioner as mortgagee/trustor.

A fire broke out on the subject premises destroying the goods while the policy was in full
force.

Petitioner sent a letter of demand to private respondent for indemnity due to the loss of
property by fire under the endorsement of said policy.

Private respondent informed counsel for the petitioner that it was not yet ready to accede
to the latter's demand as the former is awaiting the final report of the insurance.

The insured under the policy had not filed any claim w/ it, nor submitted proof of loss w/c
is a clear violation of policy.

ISSUE : W/n the suit filled was prematurely brought because the required claim under the
Insurance law has not been filed.
RULING :
Petitioner prematurely filed the civil case and dismissal thereof was warranted under the
circumstances. While it is cardinal principle of insurance law that the policy or contract of
insurance is to be construed liberally in favor of the insured and strictly as against the insurer
company, the contracts of insurance, like other contracts, are to be construed according to the
sense and meaning of the terms w/c the parties themselves have used. If such terms are clear
and ambiguous, they must be taken asnd understood in their palin, ordinary and popular sense.
Contracts of insurance are of indemnity upon the terms and conditions specified in the
policy. The parties have a right to impose suche reasonable conditions at the time of making of
the contract as they may deem wise and necessary. The agreement has the force of law
between the parties. The terms of the policy constitute the measure of the insurer's liability, and
in order to recover, the insured must show himself w/in those terms. The compliance of the
insured w/ the terms of the policy is a condition precedent to the light of recovery.
It appearing that insured has violated or failed to perform the conditions of the contract,
and such violation or want of performance has not been waived by the insurer, the insured
cannot recover, much less the herein petitioner.

Case no. 4 Republic v. CA


Facts:
Apolinaria Malinao Jomoc, left by his spouse Clemente P. Jomoc for nine years, seeks for
the Declaration of Presumptive Death for the purpose of contracting a valid subsequent
marriage. The trial court granted the petition. However, the Republic, through the Office of the
Solicitor General, sought to appeal the trial courts order by filing a Notice of Appeal.
The trial court disapproved the Notice of Appeal being that the present case is a special
proceeding and that there was no record of appeal that was filed and served pursuant to
Sec.2(a), Rule 41 of the Rules of Civil Procedure and at the same time denied the OSGs Motion
for Reconsideration. The appellate court, likewise, denied the OSGs petition based on procedural
and substantive grounds.
Issues:
1. Whether or not the petition for declaration of the presumptive death of a person is in the
nature of a special proceeding.
2. Whether or not a summary proceeding be instituted for the purpose of contracting a
subsequent marriage and that technical rules should be strictly applied.
Held:
1. The Court finds that the instant petition is in the nature of a special proceeding and not an
ordinary action. The petition merely seeks for a declaration by the trial court of the
presumptive death of absentee spouse. It does not seek the enforcement or protection of
a right or the prevention or redress of a wrong. Neither does it involve a demand of right
or a cause of action that can be enforced against any person. Hence, being in the nature
of a special proceeding, the OSG should have filed, in addition to its Notice of Appeal, a
record on appeal in accordance to the rules.
As provided under the Family Code, the spouses present must institute a summary proceeding
for the declaration of presumptive death of the absentee for the purpose of contracting
subsequent marriage. In this case, Apolinaria Jomoc stated in her petition her desire to contract a
valid subsequent marriage. Ergo, a summary proceeding shall be instituted. Given that this case
should be in a summary proceeding, Art. 238 of the Family Code provides that in all cases
requiring summary court proceedings, it shall be decided in an expeditious manner without
regard to technical rules. What the appellate court should have done was to direct petitioner to
comply with the rule and not deny the petition outright.
Case no. 5 Sheker v. Estate of Alice O. Sheker
Facts:
-The holographic will of Alice O. Sheker was admitted for probate in the RTC of Iligan City.
Thereafter, the RTC issued an order for all the creditors to file their respective claims against the
estate.
- In compliance, petitioner, Allan Sheker filed a contingent claim for agent's commission due him
amounting to approximately P206,250.00 in the event of the sale of certain parcels of land
belonging to the estate of Alice Sheker, and the amount of P275,000.00, as reimbursement for
expenses incurred and/or to be incurred by Allan Sheker in the course of negotiating the sale of
said realties.
-The executrix of the Estate of Alice O. Sheker (respondent) moved for the dismissal of said
money claim against the estate on the grounds that :

(1) the requisite docket fee had not been paid;


(2) petitioner failed to attach a certification against non-forum shopping; and
(3) petitioner failed to attach a written explanation why the money claim was not filed and
served personally.
- RTC issued the assailed Order dismissing without prejudice the money claim based on the
grounds advanced by respondent. Allan Sheker filed a motion for reconsideration but the same
was denied . Hence, the petition for review on certiorari.
-Allan Sheker maintains that the RTC erred in strictly applying to a probate proceeding the rules
requiring a certification of non-forum shopping, a written explanation for non-personal filing, and
the payment of docket fees upon filing of the claim. He insists that Section 2, Rule 72 of the
Rules of Court provides that rules in ordinary actions are applicable to special proceedings only
in a suppletory manner
Issue :
Whether or not Allan Shekers contention that rules in ordinary actions are only supplementary
to rules in special proceedings is entirely correct.
Held: No.
Section 2, Rule 72, Part II of the same Rules of Court provides:
Sec. 2. Applicability of rules of Civil Actions. - In the absence of special
provisions, the rules provided for in ordinary actions shall be, as far as practicable,
applicable in special proceedings.
Stated differently, special provisions under Part II of the Rules of Court govern special
proceedings; but in the absence of special provisions, the rules provided for in Part I of the Rules
governing ordinary civil actions shall be applicable to special proceedings, as far as practicable.
The word practicable is defined as: possible to practice or perform; capable of being put
into practice, done or accomplished.1[4]
This means that in the absence of special provisions, rules in ordinary actions may be
applied in special proceedings as much as possible and where doing so would not pose an
obstacle to said proceedings.
Nowhere in the Rules of Court does it categorically say that rules in ordinary actions are
inapplicable or merely suppletory to special proceedings.
Provisions of the Rules of Court requiring a certification of non-forum shopping for
complaints and initiatory pleadings, a written explanation for non-personal service and filing, and
the payment of filing fees for money claims against an estate would not in any way obstruct
probate proceedings, thus, they are applicable to special proceedings such as the settlement of
the estate of a deceased person as in the present case.
Notes:
Certification of non forum shopping:
The certification of non-forum shopping is required only for complaints and other initiatory
pleadings. The RTC erred in ruling that a contingent money claim against the estate of a
decedent is an initiatory pleading. In the present case, the whole probate proceeding was
initiated upon the filing of the petition for allowance of the decedent's will. Under Sections 1 and
5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court, after granting letters of testamentary or of administration, all
persons having money claims against the decedent are mandated to file or notify the court and
1

the estate administrator of their respective money claims; otherwise, they would be barred,
subject to certain exceptions.
Such being the case, a money claim against an estate is more akin to a motion for creditors'
claims to be recognized and taken into consideration in the proper disposition of the properties
of the estate.
A money claim is only an incidental matter in the main action for the settlement of the
decedent's estate; more so if the claim is contingent since the claimant cannot even institute a
separate action for a mere contingent claim. Hence, herein petitioner's contingent money claim,
not being an initiatory pleading, does not require a certification against non-forum shopping.
Docket fees:
the trial court has jurisdiction to act on a money claim (attorney's fees) against an estate for
services rendered by a lawyer to the administratrix to assist her in fulfilling her duties to the
estate even without payment of separate docket fees because the filing fees shall constitute a
lien on the judgment pursuant to Section 2, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court, or the trial court may
order the payment of such filing fees within a reasonable time. After all, the trial court had
already assumed jurisdiction over the action for settlement of the estate. Clearly, therefore,
non-payment of filing fees for a money claim against the estate is not one of the grounds for
dismissing a money claim against the estate.
Written explanation why the money claim was not filed and served personally:
Section 11, Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, personal service and filing is the
general rule, and resort to other modes of service and filing, the exception. Henceforth,
whenever personal service or filing is practicable, in the light of the circumstances of time, place
and person, personal service or filing is mandatory. Only when personal service or filing is not
practicable may resort to other modes be had, which must then be accompanied by a written
explanation as to why personal service or filing was not practicable to begin with.
In the present case, petitioner holds office in Salcedo Village, Makati City, while counsel for
respondent and the RTC which rendered the assailed orders are both in Iligan City. The lower
court should have taken judicial notice of the great distance between said cities and realized
that it is indeed not practicable to serve and file the money claim personally. Thus, following
Medina v. Court of Appeals,2[12] the failure of petitioner to submit a written explanation why
service has not been done personally, may be considered as superfluous and the RTC should
have exercised its discretion under Section 11, Rule 13, not to dismiss the money claim of
petitioner, in the interest of substantial justice.
Case no. 6 Musa v. Amor
Case no. 7 Tan v. CA
Petitioner Annie Tan, doing business under the name and style "AJ & T Trading," leased a portion
of the ground floor of her building, more specifically described as Stall No. 623, Carvajal Street,
Binondo, Manila, in favor of Bloomberry Export Manufacturing, Inc. The lease was for a period of
five years starting on February 17, 1995 and ending on February 17, 2000, at a monthly rental of
P20,000 for the first three years. For several alleged violations of the lease contract, petitioner
filed against private respondent a complaint for ejectment, docketed as Civil Case No. 148798CV. As its rental payment was refused by petitioner, private respondent instituted on July 13,
1995 a case for consignation, docketed as Civil Case No. 148814-CV.
2

The metropolitan trial court [mtc] of manila dismissed the case for breach of contract, failure to
pay rental on time, encroachment on the adjacent premises without the consent of petitioner
because she failed to substantiate her case with that degree of proof required by law.
On appeal the rtc affirmed the mtc decision. the following are the incidents, as follows:
o

[F]rom the Decision of the [RTC] dated July 18, 1996, [petitioner] filed a Motion for
Reconsideration of the aforesaid decision. The Motion for Reconsideration did not
contain any notice of hearing as required under Section 5, Rule 15 of the Revised
Rule of Court.
On August 23, 1996, [private respondent] filed an ex-parte Motion for Entry of
Judgment upon the ground that said motion for reconsideration is a mere scrap of
paper which should not merit the attention of the [RTC] and in support thereof, cited
the case of Traders Royal Bank vs. Court of Appeals, 208 SCRA 199. [Private
respondent] contends that since the Motion for Reconsideration is a mere scrap of
paper aside from being pro forma, said Motion for Reconsideration did not toll the
period of appeal[;] hence, the Decision dated July 18, 1996, had become final and
executory.

On September 3, 1996, [petitioner] filed a Motion to Set for Hearing the Motion for
Reconsideration which was vehemently opposed by [private respondent] on September
23, 1996.

On October 4, 1996, [the RTC] issued an Order granting the motion to set for hearing
[petitioner's] Motion for Reconsideration and set[ting] the hearing [for] October 21, 1996,
at 8:30 o'clock in the morning. On October 20, 1996, [private respondent] filed a Motion
for Reconsideration of the Order dated October 4, 1996, which was set for hearing on
October 25, 1996.

On November 11, 1996, [the RTC] issued an Order denying [private respondent's] Motion
for Reconsideration. Hence, the Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition. . . .

The ca held that the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion in setting for hearing
petitioners motion for reconsideration, notwithstanding the fact that said motion contained no
notice of hearing.
The issue
Whether . . . the omission [through] inadvertence of a notice of hearing of a motion for
reconsideration filed with the trial court . . . is a fatal defect which did not stop the running of the
period to appeal[,] thus rendering the assailed decision final [and] executory.
Ruling
Petition is devoid of merit
For failing to attach a notice of hearing to the Motion for Reconsideration, petitioner proffers the
following excuses: (1) her former counsel's messenger, due to an honest mistake, inadvertently
omitted the fourth page of the motion containing the crucial Notice of Hearing; and (2) because
of the pressure of work, her former counsel was unable to follow up such motion until the day
said counsel requested the setting of a hearing. 26

We are not in the least convinced. First, it is unfair to place the blame for such omission on the
messenger. The burden of preparing a complete pleading falls on counsel's shoulders, not on the
messenger's. The counsel is ultimately responsible for the acts or omissions of his agents. Hence,
the messenger's conduct can neither justify the counsel's mistake nor warrant a departure from
the mandate of the aforesaid procedural rules.
Second, it is incredible that the fourth page containing the Notice of Hearing was left behind due
to honest mistake. In fact, there was no such page.
The normal practice is to note, at the end of the pleading, that a copy was furnished to the
adverse party. Thus, petitioner's motion ended exactly at the bottom of the third page as
evidenced by the "copy-furnished" notation. It is safe to conclude that there was no accidental or
excusable neglect in not including a fourth page in this case. In other words, petitioner's counsel
simply failed to include a notice of hearing.
Finally, the fact that petitioner's former counsel calendared the motion for hearing for August 23,
1996 28 belies the excuse that an alleged fourth page had been left behind. In the first place, if a
notice of hearing had been included in the Motion for Reconsideration, there would have been no
need for petitioner to file the Motion to set the time and date of hearing. What is clear is that
said counsel filed the latter Motion, only after private respondent had submitted its Motion for
Entry of Judgment 29 with copy furnished petitioner's counsel 30 on the ground that
petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration was a mere scrap of paper that did not stop the period for
appeal.
Petitioner pleads for liberal construction of the rule on notice of hearing,
citing Tamargo, Galvez and Que. In rebuttal, we adopt by reference the CA's excellent
disquisition, cited earlier, on why these cases are inapplicable.
Petitioner further alleges that, first, the nonadmission of her Motion for Reconsideration would
result in a miscarriage of justice, as the main case (ejectment), which was tried under summary
procedure, had been unnecessarily prolonged; and, second, the tenant lessee would be
occupying the premises without paying rentals. She also relies on People v. Leviste, 31 in which
the Court held:
While it is true that any motion that does not comply with the requirements of Rule
15, Rules of Court should not be accepted for filing and, if filed, is not entitled to
judicial cognizance, the Supreme Court has likewise held that where rigid
application of the rule will result in manifest failure or miscarriage of justice,
technicalities may be disregarded in order to resolve the case.
Liberal construction of this rule has been allowed by this Court in the following cases: (1) where a
rigid application will result in a manifest failure or miscarriage of justice, 32 especially if a party
successfully shows that the alleged defect in the questioned final and executory judgment is not
apparent on its face or from the recitals contained therein; 33 (2) where the interest of substantial
justice will be served; 34 (3) where the resolution of the motion is addressed solely to the sound
and judicious discretion of the court; 35 and (4) where the injustice to the adverse party is not
commensurate with the degree of his thoughtlessness in not complying with the procedure
prescribed. 36 Petitioner has failed to demonstrate that the case at bar falls under any of these
exceptions.
Finally, petitioner claims that she will be deprived of property without due process, as private
respondent has accumulated P348,800 in unpaid rentals and accrued interests.
We disagree. Petitioner can obtain proper payment of rentals through a motion for execution in
the case below. The MTC may have dismissed her ejectment case, but it did not exculpate private

respondent from its liabilities. Petitioner is, therefore, not being deprived of her property without
due process.
Indeed, there is no miscarriage of justice to speak of. Having failed to observe very elementary
rules of procedure which are mandatory, petitioner caused her own predicament. To exculpate
her from the compulsory coverage of such rules is to undermine the stability of the judicial
process, as the bench and bar will be confounded by such irritating uncertainties as when to
obey and when to ignore the Rules. We have to draw the line somewhere. 37
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED and the assailed Decision is AFFIRMED. Costs against
the petitioner.
Case
Case
Case
Case

no.
no.
no.
no.

8 Ventura v. Ventura
9 Matute v. CA
10 Bunyi v. Factor
11 Lim v. CA

RULE 73: Venue and Process


Case no. 1 Amelia Garcia Quiazon v. Belen
FACTS: Maria Lourdes Elise Quiazon (Elise), represented by her mother, Ma. Lourdes Belen
(Lourdes), filed a Petition for Letters of Administration before the RTC of Las Pias City. Elise
claims that she is the natural child of Eliseo having been conceived and born at the time when
her parents were both capacitated to marry each other. Elise impugned the validity of Eliseos
marriage to Amelia Quizaon by claiming that it was bigamous for having been contracted during
the subsistence of the latters marriage with one Filipito Sandico. To prove her filiation to the
decedent, Elise attached to the Petition for Letters of Administration her Certificate of Live Birth
signed by Eliseo as her father. It was alleged that Eliseo left real properties worth P2,040,000
and personal properties worth P2,100,000. In order to preserve the estate of Eliseo and to
prevent the dissipation of its value, Elise sought her appointment as administratrix of her late
fathers estate.
Claiming that the venue of the petition was improperly laid, Amelia, with her children, Jenneth
and Jennifer, opposed the issuance of the letters of administration by filing an Opposition/Motion
to Dismiss. The petitioners asserted that as shown by his Death Certificate, Eliseo was a
resident of Capas, Tarlac and not of Las Pias City, at the time of his death. Pursuant to Section
1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court, the petition for settlement of decedents estate should
have been filed in Capas, Tarlac and not in Las Pias City. In addition to their claim of improper
venue, the petitioners averred that there are no factual and legal bases for Elise to be appointed
administratix of Eliseos estate.
The RTC directed the issuance of Letters of Administration to Elise upon posting the necessary

bond. The lower court ruled that the venue of the petition was properly laid in Las Pias City,
thereby discrediting the position taken by the petitioners that Eliseos last residence was in
Capas, Tarlac, as hearsay.
On appeal, the decision of the trial court was affirmed in toto by the CA and held that Elise was
able to prove that Eliseo and Lourdes lived together as husband and wife by establishing a
common residence in Las Pias City, from 1975 up to the time of Eliseos death in 1992. For
purposes of fixing the venue of the settlement of Eliseos estate, CA upheld the conclusion
reached by the RTC that the decedent was a resident of Las Pias City. The petitioners Motion
for Reconsideration was denied by the CA. Hence, this petition.
ISSUES:
I. Whether or not Eliseo Quiazon was a resident of Las Pias and therefore, the petition for
Letter's of Administration was properly filed with the RTC of Las Pias. (YES) ; and
II. Whether or not Elise Quiazon has not shown any interest in the petition for Letters of
Asministration. (NO)
RULING:
We find the petition bereft of merit.
I.) Under Section 1, Rule 73 of the Rules of Court, the petition for letters of administration of the
estate of a decedent should be filed in the RTC of the province where the decedent resides at
the time of his death:
Sec. 1. Where estate of deceased persons settled. If the decedent is an inhabitant of the
Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien, his will shall be proved, or
letters of administration granted, and his estate settled, in the Court of First Instance now
Regional Trial Court in the province in which he resides at the time of his death, and if he is
an inhabitant of a foreign country, the Court of First Instance now Regional Trial Court of any
province in which he had estate. The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the
estate of a decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. The
jurisdiction assumed by a court, so far as it depends on the place of residence of the
decedent, or of the location of his estate, shall not be contested in a suit or proceeding,
except in an appeal from that court, in the original case, or when the want of jurisdiction
appears on the record. (Emphasis supplied).
The term "resides" connotes ex vi termini "actual residence" as distinguished from "legal
residence or domicile." This term "resides," like the terms "residing" and "residence," is elastic
and should be interpreted in the light of the object or purpose of the statute or rule in which it is
employed. In the application of venue statutes and rules Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised
Rules of Court is of such nature residence rather than domicile is the significant factor. Even
where the statute uses word "domicile" still it is construed as meaning residence and not
domicile in the technical sense. Some cases make a distinction between the terms "residence"
and "domicile" but as generally used in statutes fixing venue, the terms are synonymous, and
convey the same meaning as the term "inhabitant." In other words, "resides" should be viewed
or understood in its popular sense, meaning, the personal, actual or physical habitation of a
person, actual residence or place of abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and actual
stay thereat. Venue for ordinary civil actions and that for special proceedings have one and the
same meaning. As thus defined, "residence," in the context of venue provisions, means nothing
more than a persons actual residence or place of abode, provided he resides therein with
continuity and consistency.
The CA cannot be faulted for affirming the ruling of the RTC that the venue for the settlement of
the estate of Eliseo was properly laid in Las Pias City. It is evident from the records that during
his lifetime, Eliseo resided at No. 26 Everlasting Road, Phase 5, Pilar Village, Las Pias City. For

this reason, the venue for the settlement of his estate may be laid in the said city.
II.) Section 6, Rule 78 of the Revised Rules of Court lays down the preferred persons who are
entitled to the issuance of letters of administration, thus:
Sec. 6. When and to whom letters of administration granted. If no executor is named in
the will, or the executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the trust, or fail to give bond,
or a person dies intestate, administration shall be granted:
(a) To the surviving husband or wife, as the case may be, or next of kin, or both, in the
discretion of the court, or to such person as such surviving husband or wife, or next of kin,
requests to have appointed, if competent and willing to serve;
(b) If such surviving husband or wife, as the case may be, or next of kin, or the person
selected by them, be incompetent or unwilling, or if the husband or widow, or next of kin,
neglects for thirty (30) days after the death of the person to apply for administration or to
request that administration be granted to some other person, it may be granted to one or
more of the principal creditors, if competent and willing to serve;
(c) If there is no such creditor competent and willing to serve, it may be granted to such
other person as the court may select.
Upon the other hand, Section 2 of Rule 79 provides that a petition for Letters of Administration
must be filed by an interested person, thus:
Sec. 2. Contents of petition for letters of administration. A petition for letters of
administration must be filed by an interested person and must show, so far as known to the
petitioner:
(a) The jurisdictional facts;
(b) The names, ages, and residences of the heirs, and the names and residences of the
creditors, of the decedent;
(c) The probable value and character of the property of the estate;
(d) The name of the person for whom letters of administration are prayed.
But no defect in the petition shall render void the issuance of letters of administration.
An "interested party," in estate proceedings, is one who would be benefited in the estate, such
as an heir, or one who has a claim against the estate, such as a creditor. Also, in estate
proceedings, the phrase "next of kin" refers to those whose relationship with the decedent Is
such that they are entitled to share in the estate as distributees.
In the instant case, Elise, as a compulsory heir who stands to be benefited by the distribution of
Eliseos estate, is deemed to be an interested party. With the overwhelming evidence on record
produced by Elise to prove her filiation to Eliseo, the petitioners pounding on her lack of interest
in the administration of the decedents estate, is just a desperate attempt to sway this Court to
reverse the findings of the CA. Certainly, the right of Elise to be appointed administratix of the
estate of Eliseo is on good grounds. It is founded on her right as a compulsory heir, who, under
the law, is entitled to her legitimate after the debts of the estate are satisfied. Having a vested
right in the distribution of Eliseos estate as one of his natural children, Elise can rightfully be
considered as an interested party within the purview of the law.
Case no. 2 Heirs of Magdaleno Ypon v. Gaudioso Ponteras Ricaforte
FACTS:
On July 29, 2010, the Ypons filed a complaint for Cancellation of Title and Reconveyance with
Damages (subject complaint) against respondent Gaudioso Ponteras Ricaforte. In their
complaint, they alleged that Magdaleno Ypon (Magdaleno) died intestate and childless on June
28, 1968
Claiming to be the sole heir of Magdaleno, Gaudioso executed an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication

and caused the cancellation of the aforementioned certificates of title, leading to their
subsequent transfer in his name
In his Answer, Gaudioso alleged that he is the lawful son of Magdaleno as evidenced by: (a) his
certificate of Live Birth; (b) two (2) letters from Polytechnic School; and (c) a certified true copy
of his passport. Further, by way of affirmative defense, he claimed that: (a) petitioners have no
cause of action against him; (b) the complaint fails to state a cause of action; and (c) the case is
not prosecuted by the real parties-in-interest, as there is no showing that the petitioners have
been judicially declared as Magdalenos lawful heirs.
DECISION OF LOWER COURTS:
(1) RTC-Toledo: dismissed the case for lack of cause of action.
The Court also denied their motion for reconsideration due to the counsels failure to state the
date on which his Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Certificate of Compliance was issued.
Direct to the Supreme Court (pure questions of law)
ISSUE:
Whether or not the RTCs dismissal of the case on the ground that the subject complaint failed to
state a cause of action was proper
RULING:
Yes, it was proper.
General Rule
The rule is that the determination of a decedents lawful heirs should be made in the
corresponding special proceeding precludes the RTC, in an ordinary action for cancellation of
title and reconveyance, from granting the same. In the case of Heirs of Teofilo Gabatan v. CA, the
Court, citing several other precedents, held that the determination of who are the decedents
lawful heirs must be made in the proper special proceeding for such purpose, and not in an
ordinary suit for recovery of ownership and/or possession, as in this case.
The trial court cannot make a declaration of heirship in the civil action for the reason that such a
declaration can only be made in a special proceeding.
Exception
By way of exception, the need to institute a separate special proceeding for the determination of
heirship may be dispensed with for the sake of practicality, as when the parties in the civil case
had voluntarily submitted the issue to the trial court and already presented their evidence
regarding the issue of heirship, and the RTC had consequently rendered judgment thereon, or
when a special proceeding had been instituted but had been finally closed and terminated, and
hence, cannot be re-opened.
In this case, none of the foregoing exceptions, or those of similar nature, appear to exist.
(Remedial law related):
1. Cause of action is defined as the act or omission by which a party violates a right of another. It
is well-settled that the existence of a cause of action is determined by the allegations in the
complaint. In this relation, a complaint is said to assert a sufficient cause of action if, admitting
what appears solely on its face to be correct, the plaintiff would be entitled to the relief prayed
for. Accordingly, if the allegations furnish sufficient basis by which the complaint can be
maintained, the same should not be dismissed, regardless of the defenses that may be averred
by the defendants.
2. Under Section 3, Rule 1 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court, a civil action is defined as one by
which a party sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or
redress of a wrong while a special proceeding is a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a
status, a right, or a particular fact. It is then decisively clear that the declaration of heirship can
be made only in a special proceeding inasmuch as the petitioners here are seeking the
establishment of a status or right

Case no. 3 Jao v. CA


FACTS: Rodolfo and Perico Jao were the only sons of the spouses Ignacio Jao Tayag and Andrea
V. Jao, who died intestate in 1988 and 1989, respectively. The decedents left real estate, cash,
shares of stock and other personal properties.
On April 17, 1991, Perico instituted a petition for issuance of letters of administration before the
Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 99, over the estate of his parents.
Rodolfo moved to dismiss the petition on the ground of improper venue. He argued that their
parents did not reside in Quezon City either during their lifetime or at the time of their
deaths. Their actual residence was in Angeles City, Pampanga, and moved to Rodolfos
residence at 61 Scout Gandia Street, Quezon City, solely for medical treatment and
hospitalization purposes.
Perico countered that their parents actually resided in Rodolfos house in Quezon City at the time
of their deaths. As a matter of fact, it was conclusively declared in their death certificates that
their last residence before they died was at 61 Scout Gandia Street, Quezon City. Rodolfo himself
even supplied the entry appearing on the death certificate of their mother, Andrea, and affixed
his own signature on the said document.
The RTC denied Rodolfos motion to dismiss. The CA affirmed the RTCs order.

ISSUE: Where should the settlement proceedings be had --- in Pampanga, where the decedents
had their permanent residence, or in Quezon City, where they actually stayed before their
demise?
HELD: Quezon City.
In determining residence at the time of death, the following factors must be considered, namely,
the decedent had:
(a) capacity to choose and freedom of choice;
(b) physical presence at the place chosen; and
(c) intention to stay therein permanently.

There is substantial proof that the decedents have transferred to petitioners Quezon City
residence. Petitioner failed to sufficiently refute respondents assertion that their elderly parents
stayed in his house for some three to four years before they died in the late 1980s.
The decedents respective death certificates state that they were both residents of Quezon City
at the time of their demise. Significantly, it was petitioner himself who filled up his late mothers
death certificate. This unqualifiedly shows that at that time, at least, petitioner recognized his
deceased mothers residence to be Quezon City. Moreover, petitioner failed to contest the entry
in Ignacios death certificate, accomplished a year earlier by respondent.

In Garcia-Fule v. Court of Appeals, the Court clarified that the term resides means the
personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence or place of abode. It
signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat. In this popular sense, the term
means merely residence, that is, personal residence, not legal residence or domicile.
In addition, there is no distinction between venue for ordinary civil actions and that for special
proceedings. They have one and the same meaning. As thus defined, residence, in the
context of venue provisions, means nothing more than a persons actual residence or place of
abode, provided he resides therein with continuity and consistency.
Case no. 4 Ledesma v. Intestate Estate of Cipriano Pedrosa
FACTS:
Petitioner Angelica Ledesma's marriage to Cipriano Pedrosa was declared a nullity by the
RTC of Negros Occidental. The Court ordered that the properties acquired by the parties at
the time they were living together as common-law husband and wife are owned by them
as co-owners. With respect to the properties acquired by them during marriage which was
subsequently annulled by the Court , they will form part of the conjugal partnership of the
spouses, to be dissolved and liquidated in accordance with the provision of the Civil Code.
Pending the order of inventory of the properties, Pedrosa died leaving a last will and
testament. A separate petition for probate of the said will was filed. Nelson Jimena was
named executor in the said proceeding and substituted the deceased in the partition
proceeding with regard to the annulled marriage of the latter.
Respondent Judge Katalbas-Moscardon considered the supplemental action for partition
(after annulment of the marriage) TERMINATED due to the death of one of the spouses
(Pedrosa) and the pendency of intestate proceedings over his estate.
Petitioner argues that respondent judge reneged in the performance of a lawful duty when
she refrained from rendering a decision in the partition case (RE: dissolution and
distribution of conjugal properties) and considered the same closed and terminated, due
to the pendency of intestate proceedings over the deceased husband's estate.
ISSUE:
1. Whether or not it is proper to terminate the partition proceeding on account of the death
of one of the spouses and the pendency of intestate proceeding of the deceased spouses
estate. NO
2. Where will the partition of the properties be made in the civil case where the marriage
was annulled? or in the proceeding for the settlement of estate? Civil Case
RULING:
1. The Court cited the case of Macadangdang vs. Court of Appeals, where a similar issue was
involved the husband also died after the legal separation of the spouses had been
finally decreed but before the actual liquidation of their community of properties.
In the said case, the Court ruled that upon the finality of the decree of legal separation,
the absolute conjugal community property of the spouses shall be dissolved and
liquidated. Upon the liquidation and distribution conformably with the law governing the
effects of the final decree of legal separation, the law on intestate succession should take
over in the disposition of whatever remaining properties have been allocated to petitioner.
This procedure involves details which properly pertain to the lower court.

The Macadangdang decision involved legal separation but the doctrine enunciated therein
should be applied to a marriage annulment which is the situation at bar. The respondent
presiding judge is directed to decide the partition (liquidation) case and determine which
of the properties of the conjugal partnership should be adjudicated to the husband and
the wife. Any properties that may be adjudicated to the deceased husband Pedrosa can
then be distributed in accordance with his last will and testament in the special
proceedings involving his estate.

2. The partition shall be done in the civil case rather than in the settlement proceedings
because the law mandates the dissolution and liquidation of the property regime of the
spouses upon finality of the decree annulling the marriage.
Such dissolution and liquidation are necessary consequences of the final decree of nullity.
The legal effect of the decree of annulment of marriage ipso facto or automatically follows
as an inevitable incident of the judgment decreeing annulment of the marriage for the
purpose of determining the share of each spouse in their assets. A division of the property
in a supplemental decision is a mere incident to the decree of annulment.
The court when acting as testate or intestate court is a court of limited jurisdiction. It
is so limited in the sense that it is only confined in the issue of settlement or division
of the properties of the deceased. It cannot extend to collateral matters which are not
related.
Case no. 5 De Borja v. De Borja
FACTS:
Qunitin, Francisco, Crisanta and Juliana, are legitimate children of Marcelo de Borja.
Marcelo died intestate and Quintin became the administrator of the Intestate
Estate of Marcelo.
Quintin died testate and Crisanto, son of Francisco, was appointed as administrator
of the Estate of Marcelo.
Francisco, on the other hand, became the executor of the will of Quintin.
Francisco was later required by the Court to resign as such executor and was succeeded
by Rogelio, a son-in-law of Quintin; while the Intestate Estate remained under the
administration of Crisanto until the the outbreak of the war.
After the war, the court ordered the reconstitution of the records of the case, requiring the
administrator to submit his report and a copy of the project of partition.
The heirs of Quintin opposed the approval of the statements of accounts rendered by the
administrator of the Intestate Estate of Marcelo
Subsequently, the administrator filed his amended statement of accounts.

The heirs of Quintin again opposed the approval of the statements of accounts on the
ground that certain fruits which should have been accrued to the estate were
unaccounted for.

The administrator filed a reply to said opposition containing a counterclaim for moral
damages against all the heirs of Quintin which was admitted by the court.
I: W/N a claim for moral damages may be entertained in a proceeding for the
settlement of an estate.
H: A counterclaim for moral damages demanded by an administrator against the heirs for
alleged utterances, pleadings and actuations made in the course of a proceeding, is an
extraneous matter in a testate or intestate proceedings. The injection into the action of
incidental questions entirely foreign in probate proceedings should not be encouraged for to do
otherwise would run counter to the clear intention of the law.
Case no. 6 Ledesma v. Intestate Estate of Cipriano Pedrosa
Petitioner Angelica Ledesmas marriage to Cipriano Pedrosa was declared a nullity by the
Regional Trial Court of Negros (Civil Case No. 1446).
The lower court ordered that properties acquired by Pedrosa and Ledesma at the time
they were living as common law husband and wife are owned by them as co-owners and
shall be governed by the Civil Code. Whereas, properties acquired by the parties during
their marriage will form part of the conjugal partnership and upon dissolution of the
marriage to be liquidated in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code.
During the pendency of the order of inventory by the lower court, Cipriano Pedrosa died. A
separate petition for the probate of his last will and testament was filed.
Nelson Jimena was named executor and substituted Pedrosa in the partition proceedings
(Civil Case No. 1446).
Petitioner argues that respondent Judge reneged in the performance of a lawful duty when
she refrained from rendering a decision in the partition case (Civil Case No. 1446) and
considered the same and terminated due to the pendency of intestate proceedings over
the deceased husbands estate.
Issue: Whether or not a judge must decide partition case despite annulment of
marriage and death of one of the spouses.
Ruling:
Yes.
The court citing the case of Macadangdang vs CA, where a similar issue was involved- the
husband having died after the legal separation of the spouses had been finally decreed but
before the actual liquidation of their community properties. Thus, the rules on dissolution and
liquidation of the conjugal partnership in accordance with the Civil Code shall be applied. Upon
the liquidation and distribution conformably with law governing the effects of final decree of
legal separation, the law on intestate succession should take over in the disposition of whatever
remaining properties have been allocated to petitioner. This procedure involves details which
properly pertain to the lower court.

The doctrine enunciated in the Macadangdang case should be applied to a marriage annulment
which is the situation at bar. The respondent judge is directed to decide the partition
(liquidation) case (Civil Case No. 1446) within 30 days from receipt of notice of this decision to
determine which of the properties of the conjugal partnership should be adjudicated to the
husband and the wife. This is but a consequence or incident of its decision rendered in the same
case annulling the marriage.
Case no. 7 Limjoco v. intestate Estate of Fragrante
Facts:

The Public Service Commission rendered its decision in case No. 4572 of Pedro O.
Fragante, as applicant for a certificate of public convenience to install, maintain and
operate an ice plant;
Pedro was a Filipino Citizen at the time of his death; and that his intestate estate is
financially capable of maintaining the proposed service.
The commission overruled the opposition filed in this case.
The commission held that the evidence therein showed that the public interest and
convenience will be promoted in a proper and suitable manner "by authorizing the
operation and maintenance of another ice plant;
Petitioner contends that it was error on the part of the commission to allow the
substitution of the legal representative of the estate of Pedro O. Fragante for the latter as
party applicant in the case, which is said to be in contravention of law.

Issues:

Whether the estate of Fragrante is a person.

Held:
Yes, the estate of the decedent is a person in legal contemplation.
The Supreme Court cited the case of Billings vs. State as decided by the Supreme Court of
Indiana, to wit:
xxx
It said in another work that 'persons are of two kinds: natural and artificial. A
natural person is a human being. Artificial persons include (1) a collection or
succession of natural persons forming a corporation; (2) a collection of
property to which the law attributes the capacity of having rights and duties.
The latter class of artificial persons is recognized only to a limited extent in
our law. "Examples are the estate of a bankrupt or deceased person.
We perceive no difficulty in avoiding such a result; for, to our minds, it seems
reasonable that the estate of a decedent should be regarded as an artificial
person. It is the creation of law for the purpose of enabling a disposition of
the assets to be properly made, and, although natural persons as heirs,
devises, or creditors, have an interest in the property, the artificial creature is
a distinct legal entity.
xxx

In the instant case there would also be a failure of justice unless the estate of Pedro O.
Fragrante is considered a "person", for quashing of the proceedings for no other reason
than his death would entail prejudicial results to his investment.
The heirs were formerly considered as the continuation of the decedent's personality
simply by legal fiction, for they might not have been flesh and blood the reason was
one in the nature of a legal exigency derived from the principle that the heirs succeeded
to the rights and obligations of the decedent. Under the present legal system, such rights
and obligations as survive after death have to be exercised and fulfilled only by the estate
of the deceased. And if the same legal fiction were not indulged, there would be no
juridical basis for the estate, represented by the executor or administrator, to exercise
those rights and to fulfill those obligations of the deceased. The reason and purpose for
indulging the fiction is identical and the same in both cases. This is why according to the
Supreme Court of Indiana in Billings vs. State, supra, citing 2 Rapalje & L. Dictionary, 954,
among the artificial persons recognized by law figures "a collection of property to which
the law attributes the capacity of having rights and duties", as for instance, the estate of a
bankrupt or deceased person.
Conclusion:
Pedro O. Fragrante was a Filipino citizen, and as such, if he had lived, in view of the
evidence of record, he would have obtained from the commission the certificate for which
he was applying. The situation has suffered but one change, and that is, his death. His
estate was that of a Filipino citizen. And its economic ability to appropriately and
adequately operate and maintain the service of an ice plant was the same that it received
from the decedent himself. In the absence of a contrary showing, which does not exist
here, his heirs may be assumed to be also Filipino citizens; and if they are not, there is the
simple expedient of revoking the certificate or enjoining them from inheriting it.
Upon the whole, we are of the opinion that for the purposes of the prosecution of said case No.
4572 of the Public Service Commission to its final conclusion, both the personality and
citizenship of Pedro O. Fragrante must be deemed extended, within the meaning and intent of
the Public Service Act, as amended, in harmony with the constitution: it is so adjudged and
decreed.
Case no. 8 Virginia Garcia Fule v. CA
The two interrelated cases bring to the Supreme Court the question of what the word "resides" in
Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules Of Court, referring to the situs of the settlement of the
estate of deceased persons, means. Additionally, the rule in the appointment of a special
administrator is sought to be reviewed.
Facts:
On April 26, 1973, Amado G. Garcia died intestate, leaving real estate and personal properties in
Calamba, Laguna.
On May 2, 1973, Virginia G. Fule, a creditor of the estate of Amado G. Garcia as well as an
illegitimate sister of the latter, filed with the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Laguna, a petition for
letters of administration. At the same time, she moved ex parte for her appointment as special
administratrix over the estate.
A motion for reconsideration was filed by Preciosa B. Garcia, surviving spouse of the deceased,
on May 8, 1973, contending that the order appointing Virginia G. Fule as special administratrix

was issued without jurisdiction. She prayed that she be appointed special administratrix of the
estate, in lieu of Virginia G. Fule, and as regular administratrix after due hearing.
On July 2, 1973, Judge Malvar issued an order appointing Virginia G. Fule as special
administratrix.
On August 31, 1973, Preciosa B. Garcia moved to dismiss the petition, because (1) jurisdiction
over the petition or over the parties in interest has not been acquired by the court; (2) venue was
improperly laid; and (3) Virginia G. Fule is not a party in interest as she is not entitled to inherit
from the deceased Amado G. Garcia. This was subsequently denied on December 19, 1973.
On July 26, 1974, Preciosa B. Garcia and Agustina B. Garcia commenced a special action for
certiorari and/or prohibition and preliminary injunction before the Court of Appeals, docketed as
CA-G.R. No. 03221-SP. primarily to annul the proceedings before Judge Malvar in Sp. Proc. No. 27C of the Court of First Instance of Laguna.
On January 30, 1975, the Court of Appeals rendered judgment annulling the proceedings before
Judge Severo A. Malvar in Sp. Proc. 27-C of the Court of First Instance of Calamba, Laguna, for
lack of jurisdiction.
Denied of their motion for reconsideration on March 31, 1975, Virginia G. Fule forthwith elevated
the matter to the Supreme Court on appeal by certiorari. The case was docketed as G.R. No. L40502.
However, even before Virginia G. Fule could receive the decision of the Court of Appeals, Preciosa
B. Garcia had already filed on February 1, 1975 a petition for letters of administration before the
Court of First Instance of Rizal, Quezon City Branch. Judge Vicente G. Ericta granted the motion
and appointed Preciosa B. Garcia as special administratrix upon a bond of P30,000.00. Preciosa
B. Garcia qualified and assumed the office.
Issues:
1.) Whether or not the instant petition should be denied for lack of jurisdiction and improper
laying of venue.
2.) Whether or not Preciosas appointment as special administratrix is proper.
Held:
1. Section 1, Rule 73 specifically the clause "so far as it depends on the place of residence of the
decedent, or of the location of the estate," is in reality a matter of venue. It could not have been
intended to define the jurisdiction over the subject matter, because such legal provision is
contained in a law of procedure dealing merely with procedural matters. Procedure is one thing;
jurisdiction over the subject matter is another. The power or authority of the court over the
subject matter "existed and was fixed before procedure in a given cause began." That power or
authority is not altered or changed by procedure, which simply directs the manner in which the
power or authority shall be fully and justly exercised. The appearance of this provision in the
procedural law at once raises a strong presumption that it has nothing to do with the jurisdiction
of the court over the subject matter. In plain words, it is just a matter of method, of convenience
to the parties.
What does the term "resides" mean? We lay down the doctrinal rule that the term "resides"
connotes ex vi termini "actual residence" as distinguished from "legal residence or domicile."
This term "resides," like, the terms "residing" and "residence," is elastic and should be
interpreted in the light of the object or purpose of the statute or rule in which it is employed. In

the application of venue statutes and rules Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court is
of such nature residence rather than domicile is the significant factor. Even where the statute
uses the word "domicile" still it is construed as meaning residence and not domicile in the
technical sense. Some cases make a distinction between the terms "residence" and "domicile"
but as generally used in statutes fixing venue, the terms are synonymous, and convey the same
meaning as the term "inhabitant." In other words, "resides" should be viewed or understood in its
popular sense, meaning, the personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence
or place of abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat. In this popular
sense, the term means merely residence, that is, personal residence, not legal residence or
domicile. Residence simply requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place, while
domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention to make it one's
domicile. No particular length of time of residence is required though; however, the residence
must be more than temporary.
Divergent claims are maintained by Virginia G. Fule and Preciosa B. Garcia on the residence of
the deceased Amado G. Garcia at the time of his death. On this issue, SC rule that the last place
of residence of the deceased Amado G. Garcia was at 11 Carmel Avenue, Carmel Subdivision,
Quezon City, and not at Calamba, Laguna. A death certificate is admissible to prove the
residence of the decedent at the time of his death. As it is, the death certificate of Amado G.
Garcia, which was presented in evidence by Virginia G. Fule herself and also by Preciosa B.
Garcia, shows that his last place of residence was at 11 Carmel Avenue, Carmel Subdivision,
Quezon City. Withal, the conclusion becomes imperative that the venue for Virginia C. Fule's
petition for letters of administration was improperly laid in the Court of First Instance of Calamba,
Laguna.
2. Section 1 of Rule 80 provides that "(w)hen there is delay in granting letters testamentary or of
administration by any cause including an appeal from the allowance or disallowance of a will, the
court may appoint a special administrator to take possession and charge of the estate of the
deceased until the questions causing the delay are decided and executors or administrators
appointed.
The discretion to appoint a special administrator or not lies in the probate court. Exercise of that
discretion must be based on reason, equity, justice and legal principle. There is no reason why
the same fundamental and legal principles governing the choice of a regular administrator
should not be taken into account in the appointment of a special administrator. Nothing is wrong
for the judge to consider the order of preference in the appointment of a regular administrator in
appointing a special administrator. After all, the consideration that overrides all others in this
respect is the beneficial interest of the appointee in the estate of the decedent.
Under the law, the widow would have the right of succession over a portion of the exclusive
property of the decedent, besides her share in the conjugal partnership. For such reason, she
would have as such, if not more, interest in administering the entire estate correctly than any
other next of kin. The good or bad administration of a property may affect rather the fruits than
the naked ownership of a property.
Supreme Court rule that Preciosa B. Garcia is prima facie entitled to the appointment of special
administratrix. It needs be emphasized that in the issuance of such appointment, which is but
temporary and subsists only until a regular administrator is appointed, the appointing court does
not determine who are entitled to share in the estate of the decedent but who is entitled to the
administration.
Case no. 9 Angela Rodriguez v. Hon. Juan De borja
Facts: Petitioners Angela, Maria, Abelardo and Antonio, surnamed Rodriguez, petition this Court
for a writ of certiorari and prohibition to the Court of First Instance of Bulacan, for its refusal to

grant their motion to dismiss its Special Proceeding No. 1331, which said Court is alleged to have
taken cognizance of without jurisdiction.
A motion to dismiss was filed by the petitioners through counsel that the Court has no jurisdiction
to try the above-entitled case in view of the pendency of another action for the settlement of the
estate of the deceased Rev. Fr. Celestino Rodriguez in the Court of First Instance of Rizal, namely,
Sp. Proceedings No. 3907 entitled 'In the matter of the Intestate Estate of the deceased Rev. Fr.
Celestino Rodriguez which was filed ahead of the instant case.
The records show that Fr. Celestino Rodriguez died on February 12, 1963 in the City of Manila;
that on March 4, 1963, Apolonia Pangilinan and Adelaida Jacalan delivered to the Clerk of Court
of Bulacan a purported last will and testament of Fr. Rodriguez; that on March 8, 1963, Maria
Rodriguez and Angela Rodriguez, through counsel filed a petition for leave of court to allow them
to examine the alleged will; that on March 11, 1963 before the Court could act on the petition,
the same was withdrawn; that on March 12, 1963, aforementioned petitioners filed before the
Court of First Instance of Rizal a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of Fr. Rodriguez
alleging, among other things, that Fr. Rodriguez was a resident of Paraaque, Rizal, and died
without leaving a will and praying that Maria Rodriguez be appointed as Special Administratrix of
the estate; and that on March 12, 1963 Apolonia Pangilinan and Adelaida Jacalan filed a petition
in this Court for the probation of the will delivered by them on March 4, 1963. It was stipulated by
the parties that Fr. Rodriguez was born in Paraaque, Rizal; that he was Parish priest of the
Catholic Church of Hagonoy, Bulacan, from the year 1930 up to the time of his death in 1963;
that he was buried in Paraaque, and that he left real properties in Rizal, Cavite, Quezon City and
Bulacan.
The movants contend that since the intestate proceedings in the Court of First Instance of Rizal
was filed at 8:00 A.M. on March 12, 1963 while the petition for probate was filed in the Court of
First Instance of Bulacan at 11:00 A.M. on the same date, the latter Court has no jurisdiction to
entertain the petition for probate, citing as authority in support thereof the case of Ongsingco
Vda. de Borja vs. Tan and De Borja, G.R. No. 7792, July 27, 1955.
The petitioners Pangilinan and Jacalan, on the other hand, take the stand that the Court of First
Instance of Bulacan acquired jurisdiction over the case upon delivery by them of the will to the
Clerk of Court on March 4, 1963, and that the case in this Court therefore has precedence over
the case filed in Rizal on March 12, 1963.
Issue: Whether or not the Court of First Instance of Bulacan has jurisdiction to try the case?
Ruling: YES.
The estate proceedings having been initiated in the Bulacan Court of First Instance ahead of any
other, that court is entitled to assume jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts, even if it
were a case of wrong venue by express provisions of Rule 73 (old Rule 75) of the Rules of Court,
since the same enjoins that:
The Court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent shall
exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. (Sec. 1)
This disposition presupposes that two or more courts have been asked to take cognizance of the
settlement of the estate. Of them only one could be of proper venue, yet the rule grants
precedence to that Court whose jurisdiction is first invoked, without taking venue into account.
As for the petitioners commencing intestate proceedings in Rizal, after they learned of the
delivery of the decedent's will to the Court of Bulacan, was in bad faith, patently done with a
view to divesting the latter court of the precedence awarded it by the Rules. Certainly the order

of priority established in Rule 73 (old Rule 75) was not designed to convert the settlement of
decedent's estates into a race between applicants, with the administration of the properties as
the price for the fleetest.
Therefore, as ruled in Castro, et al. vs. Martinez, 10 Phil. 307, "only after final decision as to the
nullity of testate succession could an intestate succession be instituted in the form of preestablished action". The institution of intestacy proceedings in Rizal may not thus proceed while
the probate of the purported will of Father Rodriguez is pending.
We rule that the Bulacan Court of First Instance was entitled to priority in the settlement of the
estate in question, and that in refusing to dismiss the probate proceedings, said court did not
commit any abuse of discretion. It is the proceedings in the Rizal Court that should be
discontinued.
Wherefore, the writ of certiorari applied for is denied. Costs against petitioners Rodriguez.
Case no. 10 Deogracias Bernardo v. CA
A Court of First Instance (Now RTC) being a probate court in a Special Proceeding has
jurisdiction to determine the Validity of the deed of donation in question and to pass upon the
question of title of ownership of the properties mentioned therein.
Facts:
Eusebio Capili and Hermogena Reyes were husband and wife. The first died on July 27, 1958 and
a testate proceeding for the settlement of his estate was instituted in the Court of the Fist
Instance of Bulacan. His will was admitted to probate on October 9, 1958, disposing of his
properties in favor of his widow; his cousins Armando, Ursula, and Buenaventura, all surnamed
Capili; and Arturo, Deogracias and Eduardo, all surnamed Bernardo. Hermogena Reyes herself
died on April 24, 1959. Upon petition of Deogracias Bernardo, executor of the estate of the
deceased Eusebio Capili, she was substituted by her collateral relatives and intestate heirs,
namely, Marcos, Vicente, Francisco and Dominga, all surnamed Reyes; and Jose, Constancia,
Raymunda and Elena, all surnamed Isidoro.
On June 12, 1959, the executor filed a project of partition in the testate proceeding in
accordance with the terms of the will, adjudicating the estate of Eusebio Capili among the
testamentary heirs with the exception of Hermogena Reyes, whose share was alloted to her
collateral relatives aforementioned. On June 16, 1959 these relatives filed an opposition to the
executor's project of partition and submitted a counter-project of partition of their own, claiming
1/2 of the properties mentioned in the will of the deceased Eusebio Capili on the theory that they
belonged not to the latter alone but to the conjugal partnership of the spouses.
The probate court, in two orders dated June 24, 1959 and February 10, 1960, respectively, set
the two projects of partition for hearing, at which evidence was presented by the parties,
followed by the submission of memoranda discussing certain legal issues. In the memorandum
for the executor and the instituted heirs it was contended: (1) that the properties disposed of in
the will of the deceased Eusebio Capili belonged to him exclusively and not to the conjugal
partnership, because Hermogena Reyes had donated to him her half share of such partnership;
(2) that the collateral heirs of Hermogena Reyes had no lawful standing or grounds to question
the validity of the donation; and (3) that even assuming that they could question the validity of

the donation, the same must be litigated not in the testate proceeding but in a separate civil
action.
Wherefore, the parties respectfully pray that the foregoing stipulation of facts be admitted and
approved by this Honorable Court, without prejudice to the parties adducing other evidence to
prove their case not covered by this stipulation of facts.
The oppositors and heirs of Hermogena Reyes, on their part, argued that the deed of donation
itself was determinative of the original conjugal character to the properties, aside from the legal
presumption laid down in Article 160 of the Civil Code, and that since the donation was null and
void the deceased Eusebio Capili did not become owner of the share of his wife and therefore
could not validly dispose of it in his will.
On September 14, 1960, the probate court, the Honorable M. Mejia presiding, issued an order
declaring the donation void without making any specific finding as to its juridical nature, that is,
whether it was inter vivos or mortis causa, for the reason that, considered under the first
category, it falls under Article 133 of the Civil Code, which prohibits donations between spouses
during the marriage; and considered under the second category, it does not comply with the
formalities of a will as required by Article 728 in relation to Article 805 of the same Code, there
being no attestation clause. In the same order the court disapproved both projects of partition
and directed the executor to file another," dividing the property mentioned in the last will and
testament of the deceased Eusebio Capili and the properties mentioned in the deed of donation,
Exhibit B, between the instituted heirs of the deceased Eusebio Capili and the legal heirs of the
deceased Hermogena Reyes, upon the basis that the said properties were conjugal properties of
the deceased spouses." On September 27, 1960, the executor filed a motion for new trial,
reiterating and emphasizing the contention previously raised in their memorandum that the
probate court had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the claim of the legal heirs of Hermogena
Reyes involving title to the properties mentioned in the will of Eusebio Capili and taking
exception to the court's declaration of the nullity of the donation "without stating facts or
provision of law on which it was based." The motion for new trial was denied in an order dated
October 3, 1960.
On appeal to the Court of Appeals the order appealed from being affirmed, petitioners filed this
present petition for review by certiorari.
The petitioners-appellants contend that the appellate court erred in not declaring that the
probate court, having limited and special jurisdiction, had generally no power to adjudicate title
and erred in applying the exception to the rule.
Issue:
Whether or not a probate court, having limited and special jurisdiction, had generally no power
to adjudicate title.
Ruling:
In a line of decisions, this Court consistently held that as a general rule, question as to title to
property cannot be passed upon on testate or intestate proceedings," except where one of the
parties prays merely for the inclusion or exclusion from the inventory of the property, in which
case the probate court may pass provisionally upon the question without prejudice to its final

determination in a separate action. However, we have also held that when the parties interested
are all heirs of the deceased, it is optional to them to submit to the probate court a question as
to title to property, and when so submitted, said probate court may definitely pass judgment
thereon (Pascual v. Pascual, 73 Phil. 561; Manalac v. Ocampo, et al., 73 Phil. 661); and that with
the consent of the parties, matters affecting property under judicial administration may be taken
cognizance of by the court in the course of intestate proceeding, provided interests of third
persons are not prejudiced (Cunanan v. Amparo, 80 Phil. 229, 232).
In the light of this doctrine, may it be said correctly that the trial court as well as the Court of
Appeals erred in upholding the power of the probate court in this case to adjudicate in the
testate proceedings, the question as to whether the properties herein involved belong to the
conjugal partnership of Eusebio Capili and Hermogena Reyes, or to the deceased husband
exclusively?
At the outset, let it be clarified that the matter at issue is not a question of jurisdiction, in the
sense advanced by appellants that the trial court had completely no authority to pass upon the
title to the lands in dispute, and that its decision on the subject is null and void and does not
bind even those who had invoked its authority and submitted to its decision because, it is
contended, jurisdiction is a creature of law and parties to an action can not vest, extend or
broaden it. If appellants' contention is correct, then there can be no exception to the nojurisdiction theory. But as has been stated in the case of Cunanan v. Amparo (supra) the
Supreme Court speaking through Mr. Justice Pedro Tuason: "Determination of title to property is
within the jurisdiction of Courts of First Instance. The responding Soriano's objection (that the
probate court lacked jurisdiction to order the delivery of the possession of the lots to the estate)
relates exclusively to the procedure, which is distinct from jurisdiction. It affects only personal
rights to a mode of practice (the filing of an independent ordinary action) which may be waived".
Strictly speaking, it is more a question of jurisdiction over the person, not over the subject
matter, for the jurisdiction to try controversies between heirs of a deceased person regarding the
ownership of properties alleged to belong to his estate, has been recognized to be vested in
probate courts. This is so because the purpose of an administration proceeding is the liquidation
of the estate and distribution of the residue among the heirs and legatees. Liquidation means
determination of all the assets of the estate and payment of all the debts and expenses.
Thereafter, distribution is made of the decedent's liquidated estate among the persons entitled
to succeed him. The proceeding is in the nature of an action of partition, in which each party is
required to bring into the mass whatever community property he has in his possession. To this
end, and as a necessary corollary, the interested parties may introduce proofs relative to the
ownership of the properties in dispute. All the heirs who take part in the distribution of the
decedent's estate are before the court, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, in all matters and
incidents necessary to the complete settlement of such estate, so long as no interests of third
parties are affected.
In the case now before us, the matter in controversy is the question of ownership of certain of
the properties involved whether they belong to the conjugal partnership or to the husband
exclusively. This is a matter properly within the jurisdiction of the probate court which
necessarily has to liquidate the conjugal partnership in order to determine the estate of the
decedent which is to be distributed among his heirs who are all parties to the proceedings,
including, of course, the widow, now represented because of her death, by her heirs who have
been substituted upon petition of the executor himself and who have appeared voluntarily. There

are no third parties whose rights may be affected. It is true that the heirs of the deceased widow
are not heirs of the testator-husband, but the widow is, in addition to her own right to the
conjugal property. And it is this right that is being sought to be enforced by her substitutes.
Therefore, the claim that is being asserted is one belonging to an heir to the testator and,
consequently, it complies with the requirement of the exception that the parties interested (the
petitioners and the widow, represented by dents) are all heirs claiming title under the testator.
Petitioners contend additionally that they have never submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of
the probate court, for the purpose of the determination of the question of ownership of the
disputed properties. This is not borne by the admitted facts. On the contrary, it is undisputed
that they were the ones who presented the project of partition claiming the questioned
properties as part of the testator's asset. The respondents, as representatives or substitutes of
the deceased widow opposed the project of partition and submitted another. As the Court of
Appeals said, "In doing so all of them must be deemed to have submitted the issue for resolution
in the same proceeding. Certainly, the petitioners can not be heard to insist, as they do, on the
approval of their project of partition and, thus, have the court take it for granted that their theory
as to the character of the properties is correct, entirely without regard to the opposition of the
respondents". In other words, by presenting their project of partition including therein the
disputed lands (upon the claim that they were donated by the wife to her husband), petitioners
themselves put in issue the question of ownership of the properties which is well within the
competence of the probate court and just because of an opposition thereto, they can not
thereafter withdraw either their appearance or the issue from the jurisdiction of the court.
Certainly, there is here a waiver where the parties who raise the objection are the ones who set
the court in motion. They can not be permitted to complain if the court, after due hearing,
adjudges question against them.
Finally, petitioners-appellants claim that appellees are estopped to raise the question of
ownership of the properties involved because the widow herself, during her lifetime, not only did
not object to the inclusion of these properties in the inventory of the assets of her deceased
husband, but also signed an extra-judicial partition of those inventoried properties. But the very
authorities cited by appellants require that to constitute estoppel, the actor must have
knowledge of the facts and be appraised of his rights at the time he performs the act
constituting estoppel, because silence without knowledge works no estoppel. In the present case,
the deceased widow acted as she did because of the deed of donation she executed in favor of
her husband not knowing that such deed was illegal, if inter-vivos, and ineffectual if mortiscausa, as it has not been executed with the required formalities similar to a will.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals being in accordance with law, the same is
hereby affirmed with costs against appellants. So ordered.
Case no. 11 Eusebio v. Eusebio
On November 16, 1953, when Eugenio Eusebio filed with the Court of First Instance of Rizal, a
petition for his appointment as administrator of the estate of his father, Andres Eusebio, who
died on 1952, residing, in the City of Quezon.
On December 4, 1953, Amanda, Virginia, Juan, Delfin, Vicente and Carlos, all surnamed Eusebio,
objected to said petition, stating that they are illegitimate children of the deceased and that the

latter was domiciled in San Fernando, Pampanga, and praying that the case be dismissed
upon the ground that venue had been improperly filed.
TC: court overruled this objection and granted said petition.
Hence, this appeal. The appeal hinges on the situs of the residence of Andres Eusebio on
November 28, 1952, for Rule 75, section 1, of the Rules of Court, provides:
Where estate of deceased persons settled. If the decedent is an inhabitant of the Philippines
in the CFI in the province in which he resides at the time of his death, and if he is an inhabitant
of a foreign country, the Court of First Instance of any province in which he had estate. The
court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise
jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts.XXX.
Andres Eusebio was, and had always been, domiciled in San Fernando, Pampanga, where he had
his home. Inasmuch as his heart was in bad condition and his son, Dr. Jesus Eusebio, who treated
him, resided at No. 41 P. Florentino St., Quezon City, on October 29, 1952, Andres Eusebio
bought a house and lot at 889-A Espaa Extention(EXHIBIT 2).
As proof of his residence the deed of conveyance and marriage contracts was presented where
he it stated therein that he made Pampanga as his residence.
The lower court, however, rejected said Exhibits 1 and 2, upon being offered in evidence, it
believed that said documents should not be admitted in evidence before appellants had
established their "personality" to intervene in the case, because of their alleged lack of
"personality", but, when tried to establish such "personality", they were barred from doing so on
account of the question of venue raised by him.
In this case the the trial Judge had taken inconsistent positions. While, on the one hand, he
declared that appellants could not be permitted to introduce evidence on the residence of the
decedent, for they contested the jurisdiction of court, on the other hand, he held, in the order
appealed from, that, by cross-examining the appellee, said appellants had submitted themselves
to the authority of the court.
ISSUE:
SUPPOSE, Settlement of estate proceedings were situated in two courts, then the question of
Improper venue was raised. Where shall the motion questioning the venue be filed?
It appears that on November 14, 1953, the Clerk of the CFI of Pampanga received a petition of
appellants herein, dated November 4, 1953, for the settlement of the "Intestate Estate of the late
Don Andres Eusebio". Attached to said petition was petition for the docketing thereof free charge,
pursuant to Rule 3, section 22, of the Rules of Court. The latter petition was granted by an order
dated November 16, 1953, which was received by the cashier of said court on November 17,
1953, on which date the case was docketed as Special Proceedings No. 957.
On December 14, 1953, Jesus, Eugenio, Amando and Alfonso, all surnamed Eusebio (the children
of the decedent by first marriage, including petitioner herein), moved for the dismissal of
said proceedings, owing to the pendency of the present case, before the Court of First
Instance of Rizal, since November 16, 1953 . This motion was granted in an order dated
December 21, 1953, relying upon the above Rule 75, section 1, of the Rules of Court, pursuant to
which "the court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall
exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts."
Although said order is now final, it cannot affect the outcome of the case at bar . Said order did
not pass upon the question of domicile or residence of the decedent. Moreover, in granting the
court first taking cognizance of the case exclusive jurisdiction over the same, said provision of

the Rules of Court evidently refers to cases triable before two or more courts
with concurrent jurisdiction. It could not possibly have intended to deprive a competent court of
the authority vested therein by law, merely because a similar case had been previously filed
before a court to which jurisdiction is denied by law , for the same would then be defeated by the
will of one of the parties. More specially, said provision refers mainly to non-resident decedents
who have properties in several provinces in the Philippines, for the settlement of their respective
estates may undertaken before the court of first instance of either one of said provinces, not only
because said courts then have concurrent jurisdiction and, hence, the one first taking
cognizance of the case shall exclude the other courts but, also, because the statement to this
effect in said section 1 of Rule 75 of the Rules of the Court immediately follows the last part of
the next preceding sentence, which deals with non-resident decedents, whose estate may settled
the court of first instance of any province in which they have properties.lawphil.net
In view, however, of the last sentence of said section, providing that:
. . . The jurisdiction assumed by a court, so far as it depends on the place of residence of the
decedent, or of the location of his estate, shall not be contested in a suit or proceedings, except
in an appeal from that court, in the original case, or when the want of jurisdiction appears on the
record.
if proceedings for the settlement of the estate of a deceased resident are instituted in
two or more courts, and the question of venue is raised before the same, the court in
which the first case was filed shall have exclusive jurisdiction to decide said issue.
Should it be decided, in the proceedings before the said court, that venue had been improperly
laid, the case pending therein should be dismissed and the corresponding proceedings may,
thereafter, be initiated in the proper court.
In conclusion, the court find that the decedent was, at the time of his death, domiciled in San
Fernando, Pampanga; that the Court of First Instance of Rizal had no authority, therefore, to
appoint an administrator of the estate of the deceased, the venue having been laid improperly;
and that it should, accordingly, have sustained appellants' opposition and dismissed appellee's
petition.
Order appealed from is hereby reversed and appellee's petition is dismissed.
Case
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15

Ildefonso Lachenal v. Hon. Emilio V. Salas


Lourdes L. Dorotheo v. CA
San Luis v. San Luis
Roberts v. Leonidasiarte v. CF

Edward M. Grimman American resident of Manila, died at 78 in the Makati Medical Centeron November
27, 1977. Survived by his second wife, Maxine Tate Grimm and two children, Edward(Pete) and Linda, and by
Juanita and Ethel (McFadden), his two children by a first marriage whichended in divorce.He executed on
January 23, 1959,
two willsi n San Francisco, California. One will disposed of hisPhilippine estate which he described as conjugal
property of himself and his second wife. Thesecond will disposed of his estate outside the Philippines.The two
children of the
first marriage
were given their legitimes in the will disposing of the estatesituated in this country. In the will dealing with his
property outside this country, the testator said:
I purposely have made no provision in this will for my daughter, Juanita Grimm Morris, or mydaughter, Elsa
Grimm McFadden (Ethel Grimm Roberts), because I have provided for eachof them in a separate will disposing
of my Philippine property.
The two wills and a codicil were presented for probate by Maxine in Court of Tooele County, Utah.Two weeks
later, Maxine, Linda and Pete, as the first parties, and Ethel, Juanita and their motherJuanita Kegley Grimm as

the second parties, with knowledge of the intestate proceeding in Manila,entered into a compromise agreement
in Utah regarding the estate. It was signed the lawyers of theparties. It was stipulated that Maxine, Pete and
Ethel would be designated as personalrepresentatives (administrators) of Grimm's Philippine estate.On January
9, 1978, Ethel, filed with CFI Instance intestate proceeding for the settlement of hisestate. She was named
special administratrix. On March 11, the second wife, Maxine, filedan opposition and motion to dismiss the
intestate proceeding on the ground of the pendency of Utahof a proceeding for the probate of Grimm's will. She
also moved that she be appointed specialadministratrix, She submitted to the court a copy of Grimm's will
disposing of his Philippine estate.The intestate court in its orders of May 23 and June 2 noted that Maxine,
withdrew that oppositionand motion to dismiss and, at the behest of Maxine, Ethel and Pete, appointed them
jointadministrators. Apparently, this was done pursuant to the aforementioned Utah compromiseagreement.
The court ignored the will already found in the record.The three administrators submitted an inventory. With the
authority and approval of the court, theysold
some of the testators properties.
Acting on the declaration of heirs and project of partitionsigned and filed by lawyers Limqueco and
Macaraeg (not signed by Maxine and her two children),Judge Conrado M. Molina adjudicated to Maxine one-half
(4/8) of the decedent's Philippine estateand one-eighth (1/8) each to his four children or 12.5%. Later, Maxine
and her two children replacedLimqueco with Octavio del Callar as their lawyer.On April 18, 1980 Juanita Grimm
Morris, through Ethel's lawyers, filed a motion for accounting "sothat the Estate properties can be partitioned
among the heirs and the present intestate estate beclosed." Del Callar, Maxine's lawyer was notified of that
motion
On September 8, 1980, Maxine, Pete and Linda, filed in Branch 38 of the lower court a petitionpraying
for the probate of Grimm's two wills (already probated in Utah), that the 1979 partitionapproved by the intestate
court be set aside and the letters of administration revoked, that Maxinebe appointed executrix and that Ethel
and Juanita Morris be ordered to account for the propertiesreceived by them and to return the same to Maxine.
Grimm's second wife and two children allegedthat they were defraud due to the machinations of the Roberts
spouses, that the 1978 Utahcompromise agreement was illegal, that the intestate proceeding is void because
Grimm died testateand that the partition was contrary to the decedent's wills.Ethel filed a motion to
dismiss the petition. Judge Leonidas denied it for lack of merit in his order of October 27, 1980. Ethel
then filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition in this Court, praying thatthe testate proceeding be dismissed,
or alternatively that the two proceedings be consolidated andheard in Branch 20 and that the matter of the
annulment of the Utah compromise agreement beheard prior to the petition for probate.
Issue:
Whether or not a petition for allowance of wills and to annul a partition, approved in anintestate proceeding
byCourt of First Instance, can be entertained by its Branch 38 (after a probatein the Utah district court)
Ruling:
Respondent judge did not commit any grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack of jurisdiction, in
denying Ethel's motion to dismiss. A testate proceeding is proper in this case because Grimm
died with two wills and "no will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is provedand
allowed" (Art. 838, Civil Code; sec. 1, Rule 75, Rules of Court).The probate of the will is mandatory. It is
anomalous that the estate of a person whodied testate should be settled in an intestate proceeding. Therefore,
the intestate case should beconsolidated with the testate proceeding and the judge assigned to the testate
proceeding shouldcontinue hearing the two cases.Ethel may file within twenty days from notice of the finality of
this judgment an opposition and answerto the petition unless she considers her motion to dismiss and other
pleadings sufficient for thepurpose. Juanita G. Morris, who appeared in the intestate case, should be served with
copies oforders, notices and other papers in the testate case.WHEREFORE the petition is dismissed. The
temporary restraining order is dissolved.
Case no. 16 Uriarte v. CFI of Negros Occidental
Facts:

Don Juan Uriarte y Goite died. Vicente Uriarte filed with the CFI of Negros Occidental a petition
for the settlement of the estate of the late Don Juan (Special Proceeding No. 6344) alleging that,
as a natural son of the latter, he was his sole heir, and that, during the lifetime of said decedent,
Vicente had instituted a civil case in the same Court for his compulsory acknowledgment as such
natural son. Higinio Uriarte, nephew of the deceased, filed an opposition to the petition alleging
that Don Juan had executed a Will in Spain. He further questioned Vicente's capacity and interest
to commence the intestate proceeding. Juan Uriarte Zamacona, the other private respondent,
commenced Special Proceeding No. 51396 in the CFI of Manila for the probate of a document
alleged to be the last will of the deceased Juan Uriarte y Goite, and on the same date he filed in
Special Proceeding No. 6344 of the Negros Court a motion to dismiss the same on the following
grounds: (1) that, as the deceased Juan Uriarte y Goite had left a last will, there was no legal
basis to proceed with said intestate proceedings, and (2) that Vicente Uriarte had no legal
personality and interest to initiate said intestate proceedings, he not being an acknowledged
natural son of the decedent. Vicente Uriarte opposed the aforesaid motion to dismiss contending
that, as the Negros Court was first to take cognizance of the settlement of the estate of the
deceased Juan Uriarte y Goite, it had acquired exclusive jurisdiction over same pursuant to Rule
75, Section 1 of the Rules of Court. The Negros Court sustained Juan Uriarte Zamacona's motion
to dismiss and dismissed the Special Proceeding No. 6344 pending before it.
Vicente Uriarte filed an Omnibus Motion in Special Proceeding No. 51396 pending in the Manila
Court, asking for leave to intervene therein; for the dismissal of the petition and the annulment
of the proceedings had in said special proceeding. This motion was denied by said court.
Issues:
1. Whether or not the Negros Court erred in dismissing Special Proceeding No. 6344.
2. Whether the Manila Court erred in not dismissing Special Proceeding No. 51396
notwithstanding prior filing of Special Proceeding No. 6344 in the Negros Court .
Held:
1. NO While the jurisdiction of Courts of First Instance over "all matters of probate" is beyond
question, the matter of venue, or the particular Court of First Instance where the special
proceeding should be commenced, is regulated by Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of
Court, which provides that the estate of a decedent inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of
his death, whether a citizen or an alien, shall be in the court of first instance in the province in
which he resided at the time of his death, and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the
court of first instance of any province in which he had estate. Accordingly, when the estate to be
settled is that of a nonresident alien (like the deceased) the Courts of First Instance in provinces
where the deceased left any property have concurrent jurisdiction to take cognizance of the
proper special proceeding for the settlement of his estate. In the case before Us, these Courts of
First Instance are the Negros and the Manila Courts - province and city where the deceased left
considerable properties. In accordance with settled jurisprudence in this jurisdiction, testate
proceedings, for the settlement of the estate of a deceased person take precedence over
intestate proceedings for the same purpose. Thus it has been held repeatedly that, if in the
course of intestate proceedings pending before a court of first instance it is found it that the
decedent had left a last will, proceedings for the probate of the of the latter should replace the
intestate proceedings even if at that stage an administrator had already been appointed, the
latter being required to render final account and turn over the estate in his possession to the

executor subsequently appointed. This, however, is understood to be without prejudice that


should the alleged last will be rejected or is disapproved, the proceeding shall continue as an
intestacy. As already adverted to, this is a clear indication that proceedings for the probate of a
will enjoy priority over intestate proceedings.
2. NO Wrong venue is merely a waiveable procedural defect, and, in the light of the
circumstances obtaining in the instant case, Vicente Uriarte has waived the right to raise such
objection or is precluded from doing so by laches. Vicente Uriarte knew of the existence of a will
executed by Don Juan since 1961 when Higinio Uriarte filed his opposition to the initial petition
filed in Special Proceeding No. 6344; Vicente Uriarte likewise was servedwith notice of the
existence (presence) of the alleged last will in the Philippines and of the filing of the petition for
its probate with the Manila Court since 1962 when Juan Uriarte Zamacona filed a motion for the
dismissal of Special Proceeding No. 6344. All these notwithstanding, it was only in1963 that he
filed with the Manila Court in Special Proceeding No. 51396 an Omnibus motion asking for leave
to intervene and for the dismissal and annulment of all the proceedings had therein up to that
date. To allow him now to assail the exercise of jurisdiction over the probate of the will by the
Manila Court and the validity of all the proceedings had in Special Proceeding No. 51396 would
put a premium on his negligence. This Court is not inclined to annul proceedings regularly had in
a lower court even if the latter was not the proper venue therefor, if the net result would be to
have the same proceedings repeated in some other court of similar jurisdiction; more so in a
case like the present where the objection against said proceedings is raise too late. Vicente
Uriarte is entitled to prosecute Civil Case No. 6142 until it is finally determined, or intervene in
Special Proceeding No. 51396 of the Manila Court, if it is still open, or to ask for its reopening if it
has already been closed, so as to be able to submit for determination the question of his
acknowledgment as natural child of the deceased testator, said court having, in its capacity as a
probate court, jurisdiction to declare who are the heirs of the deceased testator and whether or
not a particular party is or should be declared his acknowledged natural child.
Case no. 17 Cuenco v. CA
The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a
decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts
FACTS: Senator Mariano Jesus Cuenco died in Manila. He was survived by his
widow and two minor sons, residing in Quezon City, and children of the first marriage, residing in
Cebu. Lourdes, one of the children from the first marriage, filed a Petition for Letters of
Administration with the Court of First Instance (CFI) Cebu, alleging that the senator died
intestate in Manila but a resident of Cebu with properties in Cebu and Quezon City. The petition
still pending with CFI Cebu, Rosa Cayetano Cuenco, the second wife, filed a petition with CFI
Rizal for the probate of the last will and testament, where she was named executrix. Rosa also
filed an opposition and motion to dismiss in CFI Cebu but this court held in abeyance resolution
over the opposition until CFI Quezon shall have acted on the probate proceedings. Lourdes filed
an opposition and motion to dismiss in CFI Quezon, on ground of lack of jurisdiction and/or
improper venue, considering that CFI Cebu already acquired exclusive jurisdiction over the case.
The opposition and motion to dismiss were denied. Upon appeal CA ruled in favor of Lourdes and
issued a writ of prohibition to CFI Quezon.
ISSUEs: Whether or not CA erred in issuing the writ of prohibition.
Whether or not CFI Quezon acted without jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion in taking
cognizance and assuming exclusive jurisdiction over the probate proceedings in pursuance to CFI
Cebu's order expressly consenting in deference to the precedence of probate over intestate
proceedings
HELD:The Supreme Court found that CA erred in law in issuing the writ of prohibition against the
Quezon City court from proceeding with the testate proceedings and annulling and setting aside

all its orders and actions, particularly its admission to probate of the last will and testament of
the deceased and appointing petitioner-widow as executrix thereof without bond pursuant to the
deceased testator's wish. On Venue and Jurisdiction Under Rule 73, the court first taking
cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion
of all other courts. The residence of the decent or the location of his estate is not an element of
jurisdiction over the subject matter but merely of venue. If this were otherwise, it would affect
the prompt administration of justice. The court with whom the petition is first filed must also
first take cognizance of the settlement of the estate in order to exercise jurisdiction over it to the
exclusion of all other courts.
Unlike a civil action which has definite adverse parties, a special proceeding has no definite
adverse party. The definitions of a civil action and a special proceeding, respectively, in the Rules
illustrate this difference. A civil action, in which "a party sues another for the enforcement or
protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong" necessarily has definite adverse
parties, who are either the plaintiff or defendant. On the other hand, a special proceeding, "by
which a party seeks to establish a status, right, or a particular fact," has one definite party, who
petitions or applies for a declaration of a status, right, or particular fact, but no definite adverse
party. In the case at bar, it bears emphasis that the estate of the decedent is not being sued for
any cause of action. As a special proceeding, the purpose of the settlement of the estate of the
decedent is to determine all the assets of the estate, pay its liabilities, and to distribute the
residual to those entitled to the same.
Case no. 18 Alipio v. CA
Case no. 19 Vda. De Rodriguez v. CA
Facts:
This is supposedly a case about collation.
Beatriz Bautista and Jose M. Valero, did not have any child during their marriage. However,
Beatriz adopted Carmen (Carmencita) Bautista. Jose manifested in the adoption proceeding that
he consented to the use by Carmen of his surname Valero.
On September 18, 1964, Jose M. Valero donated to Carmen B. Valero his one-half proindiviso
share (apparently his inchoate share) in two conjugal lots, with the improvements thereon,
located at San Lorenzo Village, Makati, Rizal, with an area of 1,500 square meters. Beatriz,
consented to the donation. However, the deed of donation was not registered.On January 13,
1966, Jose M. Valero, executed his last will and testament. In that will, he did not mention the
donation. He devised to his wife properties sufficient to constitute her legitime and bequeathed
the remainder to his two children, Mrs. Flora Rodriguez and Mrs. Rosie Gutierrez.
On February 15, 1966, the Valero spouses, by means of a deed of absolute sale, conveyed the
San Lorenzo Village lots and the improvements thereon to Carmen B. Valero-Rustia for the sum of
one hundred twenty thousand pesos.
Beatriz B. Valero died intestate on September 12, 1972, survived by her husband and her
adopted child. Her estate is pending settlement in Special Proceeding No. 88896 of the Court of
First Instance of Manila. Mrs. Carmen Valero-Rustia was named administratrix of her adopted
mother's estate.
On October 18, 1972, Jose M. Valero died testate. The two San Lorenzo Village lots were included
as part of the testate estate.
The executor opposed the motion on the ground that the two lots were donated to Mrs. Rustia

and the donation would allegedly involve collation and the donee's title to the lots. The executor
revealed that he was informed by Mrs. Gutierrez and Mrs. Rodriguez (supposed movants) that the
two lots should be included in the inventory. Thus, the issue of collation was prematurely raised.
ISSUE:
WHETHER OR NOT the order of exclusion dated August 9, 1973 (subject to collation) was not
interlocutory but was a final and appealable order valid that the order of December 14, 1973
(excluded from collation) modifying the order of August 3 is void.
RULING OF THE SUPREME COURT:
We hold that the order of exclusion dated August 9, 1973 was not a final order. It was
interlocutory in the sense that it did not settle once and for all the title to the San Lorenzo Village
lots. The probate court in the exclusion incident could not determine the question of title.
The prevailing rule is that for the purpose of determining whether a certain property should or
should not be included in the inventory, the probate court may pass upon the title thereto but
such determination is not conclusive and is subject to the final decision in a separate action
regarding ownership which may be instituted by the parties (3 Moran's Comments on the Rules of
Court, 1970 Edition, pages 448-9 and 473; Lachenal vs. Salas, L-42257, June 14, 1976, 71 SCRA
262, 266).
We hold further that the dictum of the Court of Appeals and the probate court that the two
disputed lots are not subject to collation was a supererogation and was not necessary to the
disposition of the case which merely involved the issue of inclusion in, or exclusion from, the
inventory of the testator's estate. The issue of collation was not yet justifiable at that early stage
of the testate proceeding. It is not necessary to mention in the order of exclusion the
controversial matter of collation.
In this appeal, it is not proper to pass upon the question of collation and to decide whether Mrs.
Rustia's titles to the disputed lots are questionable. The proceedings below have not reached the
stage of partition and distribution when the legitimes of the compulsory heirs have to be
determined.
WHEREFORE, we affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals and the orders of the, lower court
dated August 9 and December 14, 1973, excluding from the inventory of Jose M. Valeros estate
the two San Lorenzo Village lots now registered in the name of Carmen B. Valero-Rustia, but we
delete from that decision and the two orders any ruling regarding collation which is a matter that
may be passed upon by the probate court at the time when it is seasonably raised by the
interested parties, if it is ever raised at all. No costs.
TEEHANKEE, J., dissenting:
There can therefore be no collation here because from the documents of record, respondent
Carmen B. Valero-Rustia is not a compulsory heir who received property by donation or gratuitous
title from the deceased that would be subject to collation. The real question between petitioners
(Children of the deceased vendor) and respondent-vendee (a stranger to the deceased's estate)
is not collation, but a question of title and ownership of the properties.

Case no. 20 Pastor v. CA


Case no. 21 Peralta v. CA
Facts: Andres de Guzman Pereira, an employee of the Philippine Air Lines, passed away without
a will. He was survived by his legitimate spouse of ten months, the herein petitioner Victoria
Bringas Pereira, and his sister Rita Pereira Nagac, the herein private respondent.
private respondent instituted an action before the Regional Trial Court of for the issuance of
letters of administration in her favor pertaining to the estate of the deceased Andres de Guzman
Pereira. In her verified petition, private respondent alleged the following: that she and Victoria
Bringas Pereira are the only surviving heirs of the deceased; that the deceased left no will; that
there are no creditors of the deceased; that the deceased left several properties, namely: death
benefits from the Philippine Air Lines (PAL), the PAL Employees Association (PALEA), the PAL
Employees Savings and Loan Association, Inc. (PESALA) and the Social Security System (SSS), as
well as savings deposits with the Philippine National Bank (PNB) and the Philippine Commercial
and Industrial Bank (PCIB), and a 300 square meter lot located at Barangay Pamplona, Las Pinas,
Rizal and finally, that the spouse of the deceased (herein petitioner) had been working in London
as an auxiliary nurse and as such one-half of her salary forms part of the estate of the deceased.
Petitioner filed her opposition and motion to dismiss the petition of private respondent alleging
that there exists no estate of the deceased for purposes of administration and praying in the
alternative, that if an estate does exist, the letters of administration relating to the said estate be
issued in her favor as the surviving spouse.
The Regional Trial Court, appointed private respondent Rita Pereira Nagac administratrix of the
intestate estate of Andres de Guzman Pereira upon a bond posted by her in the amount of

Pl,000.00. The trial court ordered her to take custody of all the real and personal properties of
the deceased and to file an inventory thereof within three months after receipt of the order.
Not satisfied with the resolution of the lower court, petitioner brought the case to the Court of
Appeals. The appellate court affirmed the appointment of private respondent as administratrix in
its decision dated December 15, 1987.
Isuues: (1) Whether or not judicial administration proceeding is necessary when the
decedent dies intestate without leaving any debts.
(2) Whether or not the probate court may appoint the surviving sister of the deceased
as the administratrix of the estate of the deceased instead of the surviving spouse.
Ruling: (1) No.
The general rule is that when a person dies leaving property, the same should be judicially
administered and the competent court should appoint a qualified administrator, in the order
established in Section 6, Rule 78, in case the deceased left no will, or in case he had left one,
should he fail to name an executor therein. An exception to this rule is established in Section 1 of
Rule 74. Under this exception, when all the heirs are of lawful age and there are no debts due
from the estate, they may agree in writing to partition the property without instituting the judicial
administration or applying for the appointment of an administrator.
Section 1, Rule 74 of the Revised Rules of Court, however, does not preclude the heirs from
instituting administration proceedings, even if the estate has no debts or obligations, if they do
not desire to resort for good reasons to an ordinary action for partition. While Section 1 allows
the heirs to divide the estate among themselves as they may see fit, or to resort to an ordinary
action for partition, the said provision does not compel them to do so if they have good reasons
to take a different course of action. It should be noted that recourse to an administration
proceeding even if the estate has no debts is sanctioned only if the heirs have good reasons for
not resorting to an action for partition. Where partition is possible, either in or out of court, the
estate should not be burdened with an administration proceeding without good and compelling
reasons.
Thus, it has been repeatedly held that when a person dies without leaving pending obligations to
be paid, his heirs, whether of age or not, are not bound to submit the property to a judicial
administration, which is always long and costly, or to apply for the appointment of an
administrator by the Court. It has been uniformly held that in such case the judicial
administration and the appointment of an administrator are superfluous and unnecessary
proceedings.
(2) No.
There are only two surviving heirs, a wife of ten months and a sister, both of age. The parties
admit that there are no debts of the deceased to be paid. What is at once apparent is that these
two heirs are not in good terms. The only conceivable reason why private respondent seeks
appointment as administratrix is for her to obtain possession of the alleged properties of the
deceased for her own purposes, since these properties are presently in the hands of petitioner
who supposedly disposed of them fraudulently. We are of the opinion that this is not a compelling
reason which will necessitate a judicial administration of the estate of the deceased. To subject
the estate of Andres de Guzman Pereira, which does not appear to be substantial especially since
the only real property left has been extrajudicially settled, to an administration proceeding for no
useful purpose would only unnecessarily expose it to the risk of being wasted or squandered. In
most instances of a similar nature, the claims of both parties as to the properties left by the

deceased may be properly ventilated in simple partition proceedings where the creditors, should
there be any, are protected in any event.
We, therefore, hold that the court below before which the administration proceedings are
pending was not justified in issuing letters of administration, there being no good reason for
burdening the estate of the deceased Andres de Guzman Pereira with the costs and expenses of
an administration proceeding.
With the foregoing ruling, it is unnecessary for us to delve into the issue of who, as between the
surviving spouse Victoria Bringas Pereira and the sister Rita Pereira Nagac, should be preferred
to be appointed as administratrix.
Case no. 22 Coca v. Pangilinan
Case no. 23 Trinidad v. CA
Case no. 24 Solivio v. CA
RULE 74: Summary Settlement of Estates
Case no. 1 Vda. De Reyes v. CA
Facts:
Gavino Reyes owned a parcel of land of approximately 70 hectares at Cavite. He sought to
bring said land under the operation of the Torrens System of registration of property.
Unfortunately, he died without the title having been issued to him. The application was
prosecuted by his son, Marcelo Reyes, the administrator.
In 1936, the property was surveyed and subdivided by Gavinos heirs, which was
evidenced by a subdivision plan. In 1941, the original certificate of title for the whole property
(OCT No. 255) was issued and kept by Juan Poblete, son-in-law of Marcelo Reyes. Heirs of Gavino
were not aware of this fact.
Rafael Reyes Sr., one of Gavinos children in which Lot No. 1-A-14 was assigned to, sold the
said parcel of land to Dalmacio Gardiola. The deed of sale, however, did not specifically mention
Lot No. 1-A-14.
In 1967, the heirs of Gavino Reyes executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate
based on the subdivision plan. The lot intended for Rafael Reyes Sr., deceased, was instead
adjudicated to his son Rafael Jr. As a result, OCT No. 255 was cancelled and in lieu thereof,
several transfer certificates of title were issued in the name of respective adjudicatees. One of
them is TCT No. 27257 covering Lot No. 1-A-14 in the name of Rafael Reyes Jr.
In 1983, upon obtaining the Transfer Certificate, the successors-in-interest of Rafael Jr. filed
for recovery of possession or, in the alternative, for indemnification, accounting and damages,
against Gardiola. They allege that upon knowing that they are the rightful owner of the said lot,
they were deprived of their rightful possession and enjoyment of the property.
The respondents deny the averments of the petitioners and assert that they are the
owners of the lot in question, having bought the same from Rafael Reyes Sr.
Issue:
Whether or not Dalmacio Gardiola is the rightful owner of the lot in question considering that
there was a valid sale between him and Rafael Reyes Sr. pursuant to the subdivision plan
executed back in 1936.
Held:
The partition made in 1936, although oral, was valid. The requirement in Article 1358 of
the Civil Code that acts which have for their object the creation, transmission, modification or
extinguishment of real rights over immovable property must appear in public instrument is only
for convenience and not for validity or enforceability as between the parties themselves. Where
no such rights are involved, it is competent for the heirs of an estate to enter into an agreement
for distribution in a manner and upon a plan different from those provided by law.

In the case at bar, the lot sold by Rafael Sr. to private respondent Dalmacio Gardiola is his share
in the estate of his deceased father, Gavino Reyes. The sale made between Rafael Sr. and
Gardiola is valid. Thus, Gardiola is then the rightful owner of the lot.
Case no. 2 Avelino v. CA
Facts:
-Antonio Avelino, Sr. died intestate.
-Then Maria Socorro Avelino filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration of the
estate of his deceased father.
- All the other heirs however opposed the petition and they moved that the petition be converted
into an action for judicial partition of the said estate.
-The trial court granted the oppositions motion and so Socorros petition was converted
accordingly.
-Socorros seek a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied.
-Socorro then filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus alleging grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the trial court in granting the
other heirs motion.
-The Court of Appeals found no reversible error. Socorro elevated the petition to the Supreme
Court. She insists that a partition cannot be had because the extent of the estate is not yet
determined hence an administration proceeding is still needed. She also insists that the Rules of
Court does not provide for a conversion of a petition for administration to an action for partition.
Issue: Whether or not Socorros petition for the issuance of letters of administration may be
converted into an action for judicial partition.
HELD: Yes.
We note that the Court of Appeals found that in this case "the decedent left no debts and the
heirs and legatees are all of age. With this finding, it is courts view that Section 1, Rule 74 of the
Rules of Court should apply.
"SECTION 1. Extrajudicial settlement by agreement between heirs. - If the decedent left no will
and no debts and the heirs are all of age or the minors are represented by their judicial or legal
representatives duly authorized for the purpose, the parties may, without securing letters of
administration, divide the estate among themselves as they see fit by means of a public
instrument filed in the office of the register of deeds, and should they disagree, they may do so
in an ordinary action of partition..
Where the more expeditious remedy of partition is available to the heirs, then the heirs or the
majority of them may not be compelled to submit to administration proceedings. In this case, all
the heirs, with the exception of Socorro, agreed to judicial partition as they see it to be the more
convenient method. There is no merit to the contention of Socorro that a partition cannot be had
because the extent of the estate is not yet determined. The extent of the estate can actually be
determined during the partition proceedings. Therefore, the trial court made no error in
converting Socorros petition to an action for judicial partition.
Case no. 3 Cua v. Vargas

FACTS: A 99-sq.m. residential land located in Catanduanes was left behind by the
late Paulina Vargas. On February 4, 1994, a notarized Extra Judicial Settlement Among Heirs was
executed by and among Paulina Vargas 9 heirs, each getting a share of 11 sq.m. But of the 9
heirs, only 5 signed; the other 4 did not sign.

On November 15, 1994, an Extra Judicial Settlement Among Heirs with Sale was again executed
by and among the same heirs over the same property and also with the same sharings. Once
more, only Ester, Visitacion, Juan, Zenaida and Rosario signed the document and their respective
shares totaling 55 square meters were sold to Joseph Cua.

Gloria Vargas, the widow of Santiago Vargas and one of respondents herein, came to know of the
Extra Judicial Settlement Among Heirs with Sale dated November 16, 1994 only when the
original house built on the lot was being demolished sometime in May 1995. She tried to redeem
the property but failed.

When her redemption offer was refused, Gloria Vargas filed a case for annulment of Extra Judicial
Settlement and Legal Redemption of the lot with the Municipal Trial Court (MTC)
of Virac, Catanduanes against Cua and consigned the amount of P100,000 which is the amount
of the purchase with the Clerk of Court on May 20, 1996.

MTC dismissed the complaint. RTC affirmed the MTC. The CA, however, reversed both MTC and
RTC.
ISSUE: WON heirs are deemed constructively notified and bound, regardless of their failure to
participate therein, by an extrajudicial settlement and partition of estate when the extrajudicial
settlement and partition has been duly published.
HELD: NO.
The procedure outlined in Section 1 of Rule 74 is an ex parte proceeding. The rule plainly states,
however, that persons who do not participate or had no notice of an extrajudicial settlement will
not be bound thereby. It contemplates a notice that has been sent out or issued before any deed
of settlement and/or partition is agreed upon (i.e., a notice calling all interested parties to
participate in the said deed of extrajudicial settlement and partition), and not after such an
agreement has already been executed as what happened in the instant case with the publication
of the first deed of extrajudicial settlement among heirs.
The publication of the settlement does not constitute constructive notice to the heirs who
had no knowledge or did not take part in it because the same was notice after the fact of
execution. The requirement of publication is geared for the protection of creditors and was never
intended to deprive heirs of their lawful participation in the decedents estate. In this connection,
the records of the present case confirm that respondents never signed either of the settlement

documents, having discovered their existence only shortly before the filing of the present
complaint. Following Rule 74, these extrajudicial settlements do not bind respondents, and the
partition made without their knowledge and consent is invalid insofar as they are concerned.
Case no. 4 Pablo g. Utolo v. Leona Pasion vda. De Garcia
Case no. 5 Javier v. Magtibay
Facts:
Rufina Mercado died intestate, survived by her second husband Eulogio Magtibay, her only living
daughter Catalina Javier and the descendants of her two deceased daughters all three
daughters being of the first marriage. Shortly after Rufinas' death, these heirs made an
extrajudicial partition of her properties. Alleging that there were some properties not included in
the partition, one of the heirs, Catalina Javier, petitioned the court for letters of administration
and the appointment of herself as administratrix. The other heirs opposed the petition on the
ground that there was not necessity for subjecting the estate to judicial administration since,
according to them, the decedent left no debts, all her properties had already been partitioned
and the heirs were all of age or represented by guardian.
Issue:
Whether or not the court is justified in issuing letters of administration.
Ruling:
No.
When a person dies without leaving pending obligations to be paid, his heirs, whether of age or
not, are bound to submit the property to judicial administration, which is always long and costly,
or to apply for the appointment of an administrator by the court, "for in such the judicial
administration and the appointment of an administrator are superfluous and unnecessary
proceedings."
Where administration proceeding is unnecessary because the estate has no debts and the more
expeditious remedy by partition is available the heirs or the majority of them may not be
compelled to submit the estate to such proceeding. Since the property of the deceased belongs,
from the moment of his death, to the heirs, "what reason can there be," if there are no debts,
"for the appointment of a judicial administrator to administer the estate for them and to deprive
the real owners of their possession to which they are immediately entitled." Withholding the
inheritance from the heirs by subjecting it to an administration proceeding for no useful purpose,
would only unnecessarily expose it to the risk of being wasted or squandered as not infrequently
happens.
Section 1 of Rule 74 "does not preclude the heirs from instituting administration proceedings,
even if the estate has no debts or obligation, if they do not desire to resort for good reasons an
ordinary action of partition." That statement, it should be noted, sanctions recourse to an
administration proceeding even if the estate has no debt sonly if, as herein expressly stated, the
heirs have good reasons for not resorting to an action for partition, and is thus a re-affirmance
rather than a repudiation of the doctrine being in line with its policy that where partition is

possible, either in or out of court, the estate should not be burdened with an administration
proceeding without good and compelling reasons. There appearing to be no good reason for
burdening of the estate of the deceased Rufina Mercado with the costs and expenses of an
administration proceeding, the trial court was not justified in issuing letters of administration.

Case
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no.
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6
7
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9

Eligio Llaner v. Ana lopos


Ancog v. CA
Arenas v. Roces
Utulo v. Pasion

FACTS: Juan Garcia Sanchez died intestate, and in the proceedings instituted in the CFI of Tarlac
for the administration of his property (special proceedings No. 3475), Leona Pasion Vda. de
Garcia, the surviving spouse and the herein oppositor, was appointed judicial administratrix. The
said deceased left legitimate children, named Juan Garcia, jr., Patrocinio Garcia and Luz Garcia
who, with the widow, are the presumptive forced heirs.
Luz Garcia married the applicant Pablo G. Utulo and during the pendency of the administration
proceedings of the said deceased, she died in the province without any legitimate descendants,
her only forced heirs being her mother and her husband. The latter commenced in the same
court the judicial administration of the property of his deceased wife (special proceedings No.
4188), stating in his petition that her only heirs were he himself and his mother-in-law, the
oppositor, and that the only property left by the deceased consisted in the share due her from
the intestate of her father, Juan Garcia Sanchez, and asking that he be named administrator of
the property of said deceased.
The oppositor objected to the petition, opposing the judicial administration of the property of her
daughter and the appointment of the applicant as administrator. She alleged that inasmuch as
the said deceased left no indebtedness, there was no occasion for the said judicial
administration; but she stated that should the court grant the administration of the property, she
should be appointed the administratrix thereof inasmuch as she had a better right than the
applicant. The trial was had and the court finally issued the appealed order to which the
oppositor excepted and thereafter filed the record on appeal which was certified and approved.
ISSUES:
1) Whether upon the admitted facts the judicial administration of the property left by the
deceased Luz Garcia lies, with the consequent appointment of an administrator. (NO)
RULING:
1.) We have section 642 of the Code of Civil Procedure providing in part that "if no executor is
named in the will, or if a person dies intestate, administration shall be granted" etc. This
provision enunciates the general rule that when a person dies living property in the Philippine
Islands, his property should be judicially administered and the competent court should appoint a
qualified administrator in case the deceased left no will, or in case he had left one should he fail
to name an executor therein.
This rule, however, is subject to the exceptions established by sections 596 and 597 of the same
Code, as finally amended. According to Section 596, when all the heirs are of lawful age and
there are no debts due from the estate, they may agree in writing to partition the property
without instituting the judicial administration or applying for the appointment of an
administrator. According to Section 597, if the property left does not exceed six thousand pesos,
the heirs may apply to the competent court, after the required publications, to proceed with the
summary partition and, after paying all the known obligations, to partition all the property
constituting the inheritance among themselves pursuant to law, without instituting the judicial

administration and the appointment of an administrator.


The Code of Procedure in Civil Actions provides how an estate may be divided by a petition for
partition in case they can not mutually agree in the division. When there are no debts existing
against the estate, there is certainly no occasion for the intervention of an administrator in the
settlement and partition of the estate among the heirs. When the heirs are all of lawful age and
there are no debts, there is no reason why the estate should be burdened with the costs and
expenses of an administrator. The property belonging absolutely to the heirs, in the absence of
existing debts against the estate, the administrator has no right to intervene in any way
whatever in the division of the estate among the heirs. They are co-owners of an undivided
estate and the law offers them a remedy for the division of the same among themselves. There
is nothing in the present case to show that the heirs requested the appointment of the
administrator, or that they intervened in any way whatever in the present actions. If there are
any heirs of the estate who have not received their participation, they have their remedy by
petition for partition of the said estate.
In this jurisdiction and by virtue of the provisions of articles 657, 659 and 661 of the Civil Code,
all of the property, real and personal, of a deceased person who dies intestate, is transmitted
immediately to his heirs. We conceive of no powerful reason which counsels the abandonment of
a doctrine so uniformly applied. There is no weight in the argument adduced by the appellee to
the effect that his appointment as judicial administrator is necessary so that he may have legal
capacity to appear in the intestate of the deceased Juan Garcia Sanchez. As he would appear in
the said intestate by the right of the representation, it would suffice for him to allege in proof of
his interest that he is a usufructuary forced heir of his deceased wife who, in turn, would be a
forced heir and an interested and necessary party if she were living . In order to intervene in said
intestate and to take part in the distribution of the property it is not necessary that the
administration of the property of his deceased wife be instituted an administration which will
take up time and occasion inconvenience and unnecessary expenses.
Facts:

Juan Garcia Sanchez died intestate, Leona Pasion Vda. de Garcia, the surviving spouse and
the herein oppositor, was appointed judicial administratrix.
The said deceased left legitimate children, named Juan Garcia, jr., Patrocinio Garcia and
Luz Garcia who, with the widow, are the presumptive forced heirs.
Luz Garcia married the applicant Pablo G. Utulo and during the pendency of the
administration proceedings of the said deceased, she died in the said province without
any legitimate descendants, her only forced heirs being her mother and her husband.
The latter commenced in the same court the judicial administration of the property of his
deceased wife, stating in his petition that her only heirs were he himself and his motherin-law, the oppositor, and that the only property left by the deceased consisted in the
share due her from the intestate of her father, Juan Garcia Sanchez, and asking that he be
named administrator of the property of said deceased.
The oppositor (mother of the decdent) objected to the petition, opposing the judicial
administration of the property of her daughter and the appointment of the applicant as
administrator. She alleged that inasmuch as the said deceased left no indebtedness, there
was no occasion for the said judicial administration; but she stated that should the court
grant the administration of the property, she should be appointed the administratrix
thereof inasmuch as she had a better right than the applicant.

Issues:
1. Is judicial administration is proper in this case?
2. Who has the better right to be the administrator, the husband or the mother?

Held:
1. As to the first question, we have section 642 of the Code of Civil Procedure providing in part
that "if no executor is named in the will, or if a person dies intestate, administration shall be
granted" etc. This provision enunciates the general rule that when a person dies leaving property
in the Philippine Islands, his property should be judicially administered and the competent court
should appoint a qualified administrator, in the order established in the section, in case the
deceased left no will, or in case he had left one should he fail to name an executor therein. This
rule, however, is subject to the exceptions established by sections 596 and 597 of the same
Code, as finally amended. According to the first, when all the heirs are of lawful age and there
are no debts due from the estate, they may agree in writing to partition the property without
instituting the judicial administration or applying for the appointment of an administrator.
According to the second, if the property left does not exceed six thousand pesos, the heirs may
apply to the competent court, after the required publications, to proceed with the summary
partition and, after paying all the known obligations, to partition all the property constituting the
inheritance among themselves pursuant to law, without instituting the judicial administration and
the appointment of an administrator.
Construing the scope of section 596, this court repeatedly held that when a person dies without
leaving pending obligations to be paid, his heirs, whether of age or not, are not bound to submit
the property to a judicial administration, which is always long and costly, or to apply for the
appointment of an administrator by the court. It has been uniformly held that in such case the
judicial administration and the appointment of an administrator are superfluous and unnecessary
proceedings.
There is no weight in the argument adduced by the appellee to the effect that his appointment
as judicial administrator is necessary so that he may have legal, capacity to appear in the
intestate of the deceased Juan Garcia Sanchez. As he would appear in the said intestate by the
right of representation, it would suffice for him to allege in proof of his interest that he is a
usufructuary forced heir of his deceased wife who, in turn, would be a forced heir and an
interested and necessary party if she were living. In order to intervene in said intestate and to
take part in the distribution of the property it is not necessary that the administration of the
property of his deceased wife be instituted-an administration which will take up time and
occasion inconveniences and unnecessary expenses.
2. Since there is no need for judicial administration, there is no need to determine who has the
better right to administer the estate of the decedent.
Case no. 10 Sampilo v. CA
Case no. 11 Cua v. Vargas
Case no. 12 Spouses Tiro v. Heirs Cuyos
FACTS:

Spouses Evaristo Cuyos and Agatona Arrogante Cuyos were blessed with nine children,
namely: Petitioner Columba, Respondents Salud, Gloria, Patrocenia, Numeriano, and
Enrique as well as Francisco, Victoria, and Lope.
On August 28, 1966, Evaristo died leaving six parcels of land located in Tapilon,
Daanbantayan, Cebu.
Initially, the letters of administration of the estate of the late Evaristo Cuyos and including
the undivided half accruing to his spouse Agatona Arrogante who recently died was issued
in favor of Mrs. Gloria Cuyos Talian. Atty. Taneo was appointed as act Commissioner to
effect the agreement of the parties and to prepare the project of partition for the approval
of the court.

Allegedly, a conference or meeting between the heirs was conducted to arrive at an


agreement. Three out of the nine heirs failed to attend (respondents Gloria, Salud and
Enrique). Those present agreed not to partition the properties of the estate but instead
agreed to first sell it for the sum ofP40,000.00 subject to the condition that should any of
the heirs would be in a position to buy the properties of the estate, the rest of the eight
(8) heirs will just receive only Four Thousand Pesos (P4,000.00) each. Petitioner Columba
informed all those present in the conference of her desire to buy the properties of the
estate, to which everybody present agreed, and considered her the buyer. The
Commissioners report was submitted to the court and the same was approved. The
subject properties were subsequently transferred in the name of Columba.
Respondents filed a petition for the annulment of the order approving the sale of the
subject property to their sister. They alleged that the CFI Order approving the agreement
of the heirs was null and void and of no effect, the same being based on a Commissioner's
Report, which was patently false and irregular; that such report practically deprived them
of due process in claiming their share of their father's estate.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent heirs are bound by the agreement concluded in the conference which
was made in their absence. NO
RULING:
In Cua v. Vargas, the Court held:
The procedure outlined in Section 1 of Rule 74 is an ex parte proceeding. The rule
plainly states, however, that persons who do not participate or had no notice of an
extrajudicial settlement will not be bound thereby. It contemplates a notice that has
been sent out or issued before any deed of settlement and/or partition is agreed upon
(i.e., a notice calling all interested parties to participate in the said deed of
extrajudicial settlement and partition), and not after such an agreement has already
been executed.
The publication of the settlement does not constitute constructive notice to the heirs who had no
knowledge or did not take part in it because the same was notice after the fact of execution.
Applying the above-mentioned case by analogy, what matters is whether the heirs were indeed
notified before the compromise agreement was arrived at, which was not established, and not
whether they were notified of the Commissioner's Report embodying the alleged agreement
afterwards.
We also find nothing in the records that would show that the heirs were called to a hearing to
validate the Report. The CFI adopted and approved the Report despite the absence of the
signatures of all the heirs showing conformity thereto. The CFI adopted the Report despite the
statement therein that only six out of the nine heirs attended the conference, thus, effectively
depriving the other heirs of their chance to be heard. The CFI's action was tantamount to a
violation of the constitutional guarantee that no person shall be deprived of property without due
process of law. We find that the assailed Order , which approved a void Commissioner's Report,
is a void judgment for lack of due process.

Case no. 13 Pedrosa v. CA


FACTS:
Spouses Rodriguez adopted Maria Elena.
Years later, Miguel died intestate.
Private respondents filed an action to annul the adoption of Maria Elena.
The RTC upheld the validity of the adoption.
While the case is pending on appeal in the Court of Appeals, the Rodriguezes entered into
a Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement and Partition with respondent Rosalina for the partition
of the estate of Miguel and of another sister, Pilar.
Rosalina acted as the representative of the heirs of Miguel Rodriguez.
New TCTs under the name of the respondents were subsequently issued.
Maria Elena then sent her daughter to claim their share of the properties from the
Rodriguezes. The latter refused saying that Maria Elena and Loreto were not heirs since
they were not their blood relatives.
Maria Elena filed a complaint to annul the partition.
ISSUE: W/N the action to annul the partition has prescribed.
HELD: No. Section 4, Rule 74 provides for a 2 year prescriptive period
(1) to persons who have participated or taken part or had notice of the extrajudicial partition, and
(2) when the provisions of Section 1 of Rule 74 have been strictly complied with, i.e., that all the
persons or heirs of the decedent have taken part in the extrajudicial settlement or are
represented by themselves or through guardians.
Maria Elena did not participate in the extrajudicial partition.
prescriptive period is not applicable in her case.

Patently then, the 2-year

The applicable prescriptive period is 4 years from discovery since the annulment is based on
fraud (for the lack of notice and consent of 1 of the heirs, Maria Elena). Such discovery is deemed
to have taken place when said instrument was filed with the Register of Deeds and new
certificates of title were issued in the name of respondents exclusively.
Considering that the complaint of the petitioner was filed on January 28, 1987, or 3 years and 10
months after the questioned extrajudicial settlement dated March 11, 1983, was executed, the
court held that her action against the respondents on the basis of fraud has not yet prescribed.
Also, Section 1 of Rule 74 provides that The fact of the extrajudicial settlement or administration
shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the manner provided in the next
succeeding section; but no extrajudicial settlement shall be binding upon any person who has
not participated therein or had no notice thereof.
Lastly, it cannot be argued that Maria Elena was represented by Rosalina in the extrajudicial
settlement because at that time, Maria Elena was no longer a minor. Hence, Rosalina only
represented herself during the settlement.
Case no. 14 Delgado vda de la Rosa v. Heirs of Marciana Rustia vda de Damian

Facts:
This case concerns the settlement of the intestate estates of Guillermo Rustia and Josefa
Delgado. The claimants to the estates of Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado may be divided
into two groups: (1) the alleged heirs of Josefa Delgado, consisting of her half- and full-blood
siblings, nephews and nieces, and grandnephews and grandnieces, and (2) the alleged heirs of
Guillermo Rustia, particularly, his sisters, his nephews and nieces, his illegitimate child, and the
de facto adopted child (ampun-ampunan) of the decedents.
1. According to the alleged heirs of Josefa Delgado, Josefa was the daughter of one Felisa
Delgado by one Lucio Campo. Aside from her, five other children were born to the couple.
Felisa and Lucio were never married. However, before Lucio Campo, Felisa was allegedly
married to one Ramon Osorio with whom she had a son, Luis Delgado.
The question of whether Felisa and Ramon ever got married is crucial to the claimants
because the answer will determine whether their successional rights fall within the ambit of
the rule against reciprocal intestate succession between legitimate and illegitimate relatives.
If the two had been validly married, then their only child Luis Delgado was a legitimate halfblood brother of Josefa Delgado and therefore excluded from the latters intestate estate. He
and his heirs would be barred by the principle of absolute separation between the legitimate
and illegitimate families. Conversely, if the couple were never married, Luis Delgado and his
heirs would be entitled to inherit from Josefa Delgados intestate estate, as they would all be
within the illegitimate line.
The petitioners allege that Ramon Osorio and Felisa Delgado were never married. In support
thereof, they assert that no evidence was ever presented to establish it, not even so much as
an allegation of the date or place of the alleged marriage.
Josefa Delgado died on September 8, 1972 without a will. She was survived by Guillermo
Rustia and some collateral relatives, the petitioners herein. Several months later, on June 15,
1973, Guillermo Rustia executed an affidavit of self-adjudication of the remaining
properties comprising her estate.
2. Sometime in 1917, Guillermo Rustia proposed marriage to Josefa Delgado but whether a
marriage in fact took place is disputed. According to petitioners, the two eventually lived
together as husband and wife but were never married. To prove their assertion, petitioners
point out that no record of the contested marriage existed in the civil registry.
The respondents, on the other hand, insist that the absence of a marriage certificate did not
of necessity mean that no marriage transpired. They maintain that Guillermo Rustia and
Josefa Delgado were married on June 3, 1919 and from then on lived together as husband
and wife until the death of Josefa on September 8, 1972. During this period spanning more

than half a century, they were known among their relatives and friends to have in fact been
married.
3. According to the heirs of Guillermo Rustia, Guillermo and Josefa Delgado never had any
children. With no children of their own, they took into their home the youngsters Guillermina
Rustia and Nanie Rustia. These children were never legally adopted by the couple. During his
life with Josefa, however, Guillermo Rustia did manage to father an illegitimate child, the
intervenor-respondent Guillerma Rustia, with one Amparo Sagarbarria.
Like Josefa Delgado, Guillermo Rustia died without a will. He was survived by his sisters and
by the children of his predeceased brother Roman Rustia Sr.
4. On May 8, 1975, Luisa Delgado vda. de Danao, the daughter of Luis Delgado, filed the original
petition for letters of administration of the intestate estates of the spouses Josefa Delgado
and Guillermo Rustia with the RTC of Manila, Branch 55. This petition was opposed by the
respondents. The opposition was grounded on the theory that Luisa Delgado vda. de Danao
and the other claimants were barred under the law from inheriting from their illegitimate halfblood relative Josefa Delgado.
In November of 1975, Guillerma Rustia filed a motion to intervene in the proceedings,
claiming she was the only surviving descendant in the direct line of Guillermo Rustia. Despite
the objections of the respondents, the motion was granted.
On March 14, 1988, Carlota Delgado substituted for her sister, Luisa Delgado, who had died
on May 18, 1987. On May 11, 1990, the RTC appointed Carlota Delgado as administratrix of
both estates.

On May 20, 1990, respondents filed an appeal, which was initially denied by CA. However, in
the motion for reconsideration, CA reversed itself and gave due course to oppositors appeal
in the interest of substantial justice.
Hence, this recourse.
Issues:
1. Whether there was a valid marriage between Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado;
2. Who the legal heirs of the decedents Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado are;
a. Whether Guillermo Rustia can validly adjudicate Josefas estate all to himself.
3. Who should be issued letters of administration.
Held:
1. Yes.
Petitioners maintain that Josefa Delgado and Guillermo Rustia had simply lived together as
husband and wife without the benefit of marriage. They make much of the absence of a
record of the contested marriage, the testimony of a witness attesting that they were not

married, and a baptismal certificate which referred to Josefa Delgado as Seorita or


unmarried woman. SC was not pesuaded.
Although a marriage contract is considered a primary evidence of marriage, its absence is
not always proof that no marriage in fact took place. Once the presumption of marriage
arises, other evidence may be presented in support thereof. The evidence need not
necessarily or directly establish the marriage but must at least be enough to strengthen
the presumption of marriage. Several public documents, which were more than
adequately support the presumption of marriage, were presented as evidence. No clear
and convincing evidence sufficient to overcome the presumption of the truth of the
recitals therein was presented by petitioners. Petitioners failed to rebut the presumption
of marriage of Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado.
2. The legal heirs of decedents Josefa Delgado and Guillermo Rustia are as follows:
a. The lawful heirs of Josefa Delgado are Guillermo Rustia and Josefas brothers and
sisters who were still alive at the time of her death on September 8, 1972 (the
grandnieces and grandnephews are excluded);
i. It was ruled that the petitioners sufficiently overcame the disputable
presumption of the marriage of Felisa Delgado and Ramon Osoria. Hence, all
the children born to Felisa Delgado out of her relations with Ramon Osorio
and Lucio Campo, namely, Luis and his half-blood siblings Nazario, Edilberta,
Jose, Jacoba, Gorgonio and the decedent Josefa, all surnamed Delgado, were
her natural children.
ii. With respect to Guillermo Rustia, since Josefa Delgado had heirs other than
Guillermo, Guillermo could not have validly adjudicated Josefas estate all to
himself. Rule 74, Section 1 of the Rules of Court is clear. Adjudication by an
heir of the decedents entire estate to himself by means of an affidavit is
allowed only if he is the sole heir to the estate.
b. Guillermo Rustias lawful heirs are his sisters, nieces and nephews.
i. Intervenor co-respondent Guillerma Rustia is excluded because she fails to
prove that Guillermo admitted or recognized her as his illegitimate child.
ii. The de facto adopted child, Guillermina Rustia Rustia is also excluded
because she was never adopted in accordance with law.
3. An administrator is a person appointed by the court to administer the intestate estate of
the decedent. Rule 78, Section 6 of the Rules of Court prescribes an order of preference in
the appointment of an administrator.
In the appointment of an administrator, the principal consideration is the interest in the
estate of the one to be appointed. The order of preference does not rule out the
appointment of co-administrators, specially in cases where justice and equity demand
that opposing parties or factions be represented in the management of the estates, a
situation which obtains here.
It is in this light that the Supreme Court see fit to appoint joint administrators, in the persons of
Carlota Delgado vda. de de la Rosa and a nominee of the nephews and nieces of Guillermo
Rustia. They are the next of kin of the deceased spouses Josefa Delgado and Guillermo Rustia,
respectively.

Facts:
The case concerns the settlement of the intestate estates of Guillermo Rustia and Josefa
Delgado. The main issue in this case is who among the petitioners and respondents are the
lawful heirs of the decedents. It is attended by several collateral issues that complicate its
resolution.
But for our subjects discussion which is special proceedings, we will only dwell on the pertinent
issue.
The RTC ruled that petitioner and her co-claimants are entitled to the estate of the late Josefa
Delgado and declared as the only legal heirs of the said Josefa Delgado. Similarly, the intervenor
Guillerma Rustia is hereby declared as the sole and only surviving heir of the late Dr. Guillermo
Rustia, and thus, entitled to the entire estate of the said decedent, to the exclusion of the
oppositors and the other parties hereto. As the estates of both decedents have not as yet been
settled, a single administrator was appointed in the petitioner Carlota Delgado Vda. de dela
Rosa. LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION were issued to CARLOTA DELGADO VDA. DE DE LA ROSA
upon her filing of the requisite bond in the sum of P500,000.00.
Issue: Who should be issued Letters of Administration.
An administrator is a person appointed by the court to administer the intestate estate of the
decedent. Rule 78, Section 6 of the Rules of Court prescribes an order of preference in the
appointment of an administrator:
Sec. 6. When and to whom letters of administration granted. If no executor is named in the will,
or the executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the trust, or fail to give a bond, or a person
dies intestate, administration shall be granted:
(a) To the surviving husband or wife, as the case may be, or next of kin, or both, in the discretion
of the court, or to such person as such surviving husband or wife, or next of kin, requests to have
appointed, if competent and willing to serve;
(b) If such surviving husband or wife, as the case may be, or next of kin, or the person selected
by them, be incompetent or unwilling, or if the husband or widow or next of kin, neglects for
thirty (30) days after the death of the person to apply for administration or to request that the
administration be granted to some other person, it may be granted to one or more of the
principal creditors, if competent and willing to serve;
(c) If there is no such creditor competent and willing to serve, it may be granted to such other
person as the court may select.
In the appointment of an administrator, the principal consideration is the interest in the estate of
the one to be appointed. The order of preference does not rule out the appointment of coadministrators, specially in cases where justice and equity demand that opposing parties or

factions be represented in the management of the estates, a situation which obtains here.
The SC found it fit to appoint joint administrators, in the persons of Carlota Delgado vda. de de la
Rosa and a nominee of the nephews and nieces of Guillermo Rustia. They are the next of kin of
the deceased spouses Josefa Delgado and Guillermo Rustia, respectively.
Letters of administration over the still unsettled intestate estates of Guillermo Rustia and Josefa
Delgado shall issue to Carlota Delgado vda. de de la Rosa and to a nominee from among the
heirs of Guillermo Rustia, as joint administrators, upon their qualification and filing of the
requisite bond in such amount as may be determined by the trial court.
FOR REFERENCE:
FACTS OF THE CASE:
The deceased Josefa Delgado was the daughter of Felisa Delgado and Lucio Campo, both of
whom were never married. Five other children were born to the couple who are full-blood
siblings of Josefa and natural children of Felisa. Felisa also had another son with another man
(Ramon Osorio) named Luis Delgado. Josefa Delgado died on September 1972 without a will. She
was survived by Guillermo Rustia and some collateral relatives.
Sometime in 1917, Guillermo proposed marriage to Josefa but whether a marriage in fact took
place is disputed. According to petitioners, the two eventually lived together as husband and
wife but were never married. Petitioners point out that no record of the contested marriage
existed in the civil registry. Moreover, a baptismal certificate naming Josefa Delgado as one of
the sponsors referred to her as an unmarried woman. They never had any children but took into
their home Guillermina and Nanie. They were never legally adopted but was known in the local
dialect as ampun-ampunan. Guillermina was alleged to be the illegitimate child of Guillermo with
another woman.
Respondents, on the other hand, insist that the absence of a marriage certificate did not mean
that no marriage transpired and that Guillermina was never duly acknowledged as an illegitimate
child and such right had prescribed upon the death of Guillermo. They maintain that Guillermo
and Josefa were married on June 3, 1919 and from then on lived together as husband and wife
until the death of Josefa. During this period spanning more than half a century, they were known
among their relatives and friends to have in fact been married. To support their proposition, they
presented the following pieces of evidence:
1. Certificate of Identity dated December 1, 1944 issued to Mrs. Guillermo J. Rustia; 2. Philippine
Passport No. 4767 issued to Josefa D. Rustia on June 25, 1947; 3. Veterans Application for
Pension or Compensation filed with the Veterans Administration of the United States of America
by Dr. Guillermo J. Rustia wherein Dr. Guillermo J. Rustia himself swore to his marriage to Josefa
Delgado in Manila on 3 June 1919; 4. Titles to real properties in the name of Guillermo Rustia
indicated that he was married to Josefa Delgado.
Luisa Delgado vda. de Danao, the daughter of Luis Delgado, filed the original petition for letters
of administration of the intestate estates of the "spouses Josefa Delgado and Guillermo Rustia"
with the RTC of Manila. This petition was opposed by the following: (1) the sisters of Guillermo

Rustia; (2) the heirs of Guillermo Rustias late brother, Roman Rustia, Sr., and (3) the ampunampunan Guillermina Rustia. The opposition was grounded on the theory that Luisa Delgado vda.
de Danao and the other claimants were barred under the law from inheriting from their
illegitimate half-blood relative Josefa Delgado. Guillerma Rustia filed a motion to intervene in the
proceedings, claiming she was the only surviving descendant in the direct line of Guillermo
Rustia. Despite the objections of the oppositors, the motion was granted.
The RTC ruled that petitioner and her co-claimants are entitled to the estate of the late Josefa
Delgado and declared as the only legal heirs of the said Josefa Delgado. Similarly, the intervenor
Guillerma Rustia is hereby declared as the sole and only surviving heir of the late Dr. Guillermo
Rustia, and thus, entitled to the entire estate of the said decedent, to the exclusion of the
oppositors and the other parties hereto. As the estates of both decedents have not as yet been
settled, a single administrator was appointed in the petitioner Carlota Delgado Vda. de dela
Rosa. LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION were issued to CARLOTA DELGADO VDA. DE DE LA ROSA
upon her filing of the requisite bond in the sum of P500,000.00.
Case no. 15 Portugal v. Portugal-Beltran
Facts:

Jose Q. Portugal (Portugal) married Paz Lazo. (First Marriage)


Portugal married petitioner Isabel de la Puerta. (Second Marriage)
Petitioner Isabel gave birth to a boy whom she named Jose Douglas Portugal Jr., her herein
co-petitioner.
Paz gave birth to a girl, Aleli, later baptized as Leonila Perpetua Aleli Portugal, herein
respondent.
Portugal and his four (4) siblings executed a Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition and Waiver of
Rights over the estate of their father, Mariano Portugal, who died intestate. Portugals
siblings waived their rights, interests, and participation over the parcel of land.
The Registry of Deeds issued a title in the name of "Jose Q. Portugal, married to Paz C.
Lazo.
Paz died.
Portugal died intestate.
Respondent executed an "Affidavit of Adjudication by Sole Heir of Estate of Deceased
Person" adjudicating to herself the Caloocan parcel of land. A title was issued by the
Registry of Deeds in the name of respondent, "Leonila Portugal-Beltran, married to
Merardo M. Beltran, Jr."
Petitioners filed a complaint against respondent for annulment of the Affidavit of
Adjudication executed by her and the transfer certificate of title issued in her name.
Petitioners alleged that respondent is not related whatsoever to the deceased Portugal
The trial court dismissed the case for lack of cause of action on the ground that
petitioners status and right as putative heirs had not been established before a probate.

Issue:

Held:

Whether petitioners have to institute a special proceeding to determine their status as


heirs before they can pursue the case for annulment of respondents Affidavit of
Adjudication and of the TCT issued in her name.

No, in the present case the only property of the intestate estate of Portugal is the
Caloocan parcel of land, to still subject it, under the circumstances of the case, to a special
proceeding which could be long, hence, not expeditious, just to establish the status of
petitioners as heirs is not only impractical; it is burdensome to the estate with the costs
and expenses of an administration proceeding. And it is superfluous in light of the fact that
the parties to the civil case subject of the present case, could and had already in fact
presented evidence before the trial court which assumed jurisdiction over the case upon
the issues it defined during pre-trial.
In fine, under the circumstances of the present case, there being no compelling reason to
still subject Portugals estate to administration proceedings since a determination of
petitioners status as heirs could be achieved in the civil case filed by petitioners, the trial
court should proceed to evaluate the evidence presented by the parties during the trial
and render a decision thereon upon the issues it defined during pre-trial.
The common doctrine in Litam, Solivio and Guilas in which the adverse parties are putative heirs
to the estate of a decedent or parties to the special proceedings for its settlement is that if the
special proceedings are pending, or if there are no special proceedings filed but there is, under
the circumstances of the case, a need to file one, then the determination of, among other issues,
heirship should be raised and settled in said special proceedings. Where special proceedings had
been instituted but had been finally closed and terminated, however, or if a putative heir has lost
the right to have himself declared in the special proceedings as co-heir and he can no longer ask
for its re-opening, then an ordinary civil action can be filed for his declaration as heir in order to
bring about the annulment of the partition or distribution or adjudication of a property or
properties belonging to the estate of the deceased.
Case no. 16 In the matter of Intestate Estate of Delgado
Case no. 17 Gerona v. De Guzman
Facts:
A complaint was filed in the CFI of Bulacan on September 4, 1958 by the Petitioners (Ignacio,
Maria Concepcion, Francisco and Delfin) Gerona who alleged that they are the legitimate
children of Domingo Gerona and Placida de Guzman; that the latter, who died on August 9, 1941
was a legitimate daughter of Marcelo de Guzman and his first wife, Teodora de la Cruz; that after
the death of his first wife, Marcelo de Guzman married Camila Ramos, who begot him several
children, namely, respondents Carmen, Jose, Clemente, Francisco, Rustica, Pacita and Victoria,
all surnamed De Guzman; that Marcelo de Guzman died on September 11, 1945; that
subsequently, or on May 6, 1948, respondents executed a deed of "extra-judicial settlement of
the estate of the deceased Marcelo de Guzman", fraudulently misrepresenting therein that they
were the only surviving heirs of the deceased Marcelo de Guzman, although they well knew that
petitioners were, also, his forced heirs; that respondents had thereby succeeded fraudulently in
causing the transfer certificates of title to seven (7) parcels of land, issued in the name of said
deceased, to be cancelled and new transfer certificates of title to be issued in their own name, in
the proportion of 1/7th individual interest for each; that such fraud was discovered by the
petitioners only the year before the institution of the case; that petitioners forthwith demanded
from respondents their (petitioners) share in said properties, to the extent of 1/8th interest
thereon.The respondents refused to heed said demand, thereby causing damages to the
petitioners.
In their answer, respondents maintained that petitioners' mother, the deceased Placida de
Guzman, was not entitled to share in the estate of Marcelo de Guzman, she being merely a
spurious child of the latter, and that petitioners' action is barred by the statute of limitations.

After appropriate proceedings, the trial court rendered a decision finding that petitioners' mother
was a legitimate child, by first marriage, of Marcelo de Guzman; that the properties described in
the complaint belonged to the conjugal partnership of Marcelo de Guzman and his second wife,
Camila Ramos; and that petitioners' action has already prescribed, and, accordingly, dismissing
the complaint without costs. On appeal taken by the petitioners, this decision as affirmed by the
Court of Appeals, with costs against them.
Petitioners maintain that since they and respondents are co-heirs of the deceased Marcelo de
Guzman, the present action for partition of the latter's estate is not subject to the statute of
limitations of action; that, if affected by said statute, the period of four (4) years therein
prescribed did not begin to run until actual discovery of the fraud perpetrated by respondents,
which, it is claimed, took place in 1956 or 1957; and that accordingly, said period had not
expired when the present action was commenced on November 4, 1958.
Issue: Whether or not the petitioners contention that the present action for partition of the
Marcelo de Guzman's estate is not subject to the statute of limitations of action?
Ruling: Yes
Petitioners' contention is untenable. Although, as a general rule, an action for partition among
co-heirs does not prescribe, this is true only as long as the defendants do not hold the property
in question under an adverse title (Cordova vs. Cordova, L-9936, January 14, 1948). The statute
of limitations operates as in other cases, from the moment such adverse title is asserted by the
possessor of the property.
When respondents executed the aforementioned deed of extra-judicial settlement stating therein
that they are the sole heirs of the late Marcelo de Guzman, and secured new transfer certificates
of title in their own name, they thereby excluded the petitioners from the estate of the deceased,
and, consequently, set up a title adverse to them. And this is why petitioners have brought this
action for the annulment of said deed upon the ground that the same is tainted with fraud. It is
already settled in this jurisdiction that an action for reconveyance of real property based upon a
constructive or implied trust, resulting from fraud, may be barred by the statute of limitations.
Inasmuch as petitioners seek to annul the aforementioned deed of "extra-judicial settlement"
upon the ground of fraud in the execution thereof, the action therefor may be filed within four (4)
years from the discovery of the fraud (Mauricio v. Villanueva, L-11072, September 24, 1959).
Such discovery is deemed to have taken place, in the case at bar, on June 25, 1948, when said
instrument was filed with the Register of Deeds and new certificates of title were issued in the
name of respondents exclusively, for the registration of the deed of extra-judicial settlement
constitute constructive notice to the whole world
As correctly stated in the decision of the trial court:
In the light of the foregoing it must, therefore, be held that plaintiffs learned at least
constructively, of the alleged fraud committed against them by defendants on 25 June
1948 when the deed of extra-judicial settlement of the estate of the deceased Marcelo de
Guzman was registered in the registry of deeds of Bulacan, Plaintiffs' complaint in this
case was not filed until 4 November 1958, or more than 10 years thereafter. Plaintiff
Ignacio Gerona became of age on 3 March 1948. He is deemed to have discovered
defendants' fraud on 25 June 1948 and had, therefore, only 4 years from the said date
within which to file this action. Plaintiff Maria Concepcion Gerona became of age on 8
December 1949 or after the registration of the deed of extra-judicial settlement. She also
had only the remainder of the period of 4 years from December 1949 within which to
commence her action. Plaintiff Francisco Gerona became of age only on 9 January 1952 so
that he was still a minor when he gained knowledge (even if only constructive) of the deed

of extra-judicial settlement on 25 June 1948. Likewise, plaintiff Delfin Gerona became of


legal age on 5 August 1954, so that he was also still a minor at the time he gained
knowledge (although constructive) of the deed of extra-judicial settlement on 25 June
1948. Francisco Gerona and Delfin Gerona had, therefore, two years after the removal of
their disability within which to commence their action (Section 45, paragraph 3, in relation
to Section 43, Act 190), that is, January 29, 1952, with respect to Francisco, and 5 August
1954, with respect to Delfin.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby affirmed, with costs against
petitioners herein. It is so ordered.
Case no. 18 Amerol v. Bagumbaran
The prescriptive period for an action for reconveyance, in this case, is ten years. The point of
reference is, or the ten-year prescriptive period commences to run from, the date of the
issuance of the certificate of title over the real property.
FACTS:
The land in dispute was Lot No.524, Pls-126 covered by two free patent applications; that of
defendant Liwalug Datomanong (erroneously surnamed Amerol) which he filed on the 4 th day of
September, 1953, and that of Molok Bagumbaran which was filed on December 27,1954. Of the
two free patent application, Molok Bagumbatans was given due course, and was given Original
Certificate of Title No. P-966.
However, Liwalug Datomanong had never known of plaintiffs free patent application on the land
in questionnor was he ever notified or participated in the administrative proceedings relative to
plaintiffs free patent application. In the meantime, since the date he purchased the land from
Mandal Tondo, Datomanong has been and up to the present in continuous occupation and
cultivation of the same. His co-defendants named in the complaint are merely his tenants.
It is also incontrovertible fact that said defendant did not take appropriate action to annul the
patent and title of the plaintiff within one year from issuance thereof and that the first step taken
by him to contest said patent and title was a formal protest dated April 24, 1964, filed before the
Bureau of Lands after the lapse of Nine (9) long years from the issuance of patent in favor of the
plaintiff. The second step he took was his counterclaim contained in his answer to the complaint
in the above entitled case, which answer was filed with this court on December 4, 1964. In said
counterclaim, defendant reiterated his stand that plaintiff secured patent on the land by means
of deceit and fraud, wherefore, defendant prayed that said title be annulled, or, alternatively,
plaintiff be ordered to reconvey the said land to the said defendant Liwalug Datomanong.
Notwithstanding the fact that Bagumbaran should have known about either Tondos or
Datomanongs cultivation and occupation of the land, the Trial Court ruled in favour of
Bagumbaran due to Datomanongs late claim for reconveyance when the period of four years
has already lapsed.hence, this petition.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the prescriptive period for reconveyance in this case was four (4) years or
ten(10) years.

RULING:
Indubitably, the act of respondent in misrepresenting that he was in actual possession and
occupation of the property in question, obtaining a patent and Original Certificate of Title No. P466 in his name, created an implied trust in favor of the actual possessor of the said property.
The Civil Code provides:
ARTICLE 1456. If property is acquired through mistake or fraud, the person obtaining it is by
force of law, considered a trustee of an implied trust for the benefit of the person from whom the
property comes.
In this case, the land in question was patented and titled in respondent's name by and through
his false pretenses. Molok Bagumbaran fraudulently misrepresented that he was the occupant
and actual possessor of the land in question when he was not because it was Liwalug
Datomanong. Bagumbaran falsely pretended that there was no prior applicant for a free patent
over the land but there was Liwalug Datomanong. By such fraudulent acts, Molok Bagumbaran
is deemed to hold the title of the property in trust and for the benefit of petitioner Liwalug
Datomanong. Notwithstanding the irrevocability of the Torrens title already issued in the name of
respondent, he, even being already the registered owner under the Torrens system, may still be
compelled under the law to reconvey the subject property to Liwalug Datomanong. After all, the
Torrens system was not designed to shield and protect one who had committed fraud or
misrepresentation and thus holds title in bad faith. Further, contrary to the erroneous claim of
the respondent, reconveyance does not work to set aside and put under review anew the
findings of facts of the Bureau of Lands. In an action for reconveyance, the decree of registration
is respected as incontrovertible. What is sought instead is the transfer of the property, in this
case the title thereof, which has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in another person's
name, to its rightful and legal owner, or to one with a better right. That is what reconveyance is
all about.
Yet, the right to seek reconveyance based on an implied or constructive trust is not absolute. It is
subject to extinctive prescription. Happily, both parties agree on this point. The seeming
impediment however, is that while the petitioners assert that the action prescribes in ten years,
the respondent avers that it does in only four years.
In support of his submission, the respondent invokes several cases. We have examined the
invocations and find them inapplicable. For instance, the case of Fabian vs. Fabian, relied on by
the respondent, does not square with the present case. In Fabian, the party who prayed for
reconveyance was not in actual possession and occupation of the property. It was instead the
party to whom title over the property had been issued who occupied and possessed it. Further,
the litigated property had been in the adverse possession of the registered owner for well-nigh
over twenty-nine big years, hence, reconveyance had been irretrievably lost.
Miguel vs. Court of Appeals, is, likewise, inapplicable. In Miguel, the actual occupant and
possessor of the controverted parcel of land, after having been enticed by Leonor Reyes, an
ambulatory notary public, with promise of help, engaged and retained the services of the latter
to facilitate the issuance of a patent for the said land in his (Miguel's) favor. Thus, there existed
between the parties a relationship very much akin to that of lawyer-client and which is similarly
fiduciary in character. But Reyes, inspite of his compensation of one-fifth of the yearly produce of
the property, still violated the trust reposed on him and instead worked for the issuance of the

patent in the name of his own wife. So, after the demise of Leonor Reyes, the property was
fraudulently patented and titled in his widow's favor. The reconveyance of the property was
decreed by the Court based on "breach of fiduciary relations and/or fraud." It was shown that the
parties were legally bound to each other by a bond of fiduciary trust, a bond lacking in the case
at bar.
Finally, the case of Ramirez vs. Court of Appeals can not be availed of because the period of
prescription was not there definitely and squarely settled. In fact, Ramirez underscores a
vacillation between the four-year and the ten-year rule. There it was stated that "an action for
relief on the ground of fraud to which class the remedy prayed for by Paguia belong scan
only be brought within four years after accrual of the right of action, or from the discovery of the
fraud." If the decision just stayed pat on that statement, there would be merit in the
respondent's presentation. But Ramirez continues: "(I)ndepedently, however, of the alleged fraud
on the part of Ramirez, the right to demand a reconveyance prescribes after 10 years from
accrual of the cause of action, June 22, 1944, the date of registration of the patent and of the
issuance of OCT No. 282- A in his name."
Significantly, the three cases cited by the respondent to buttress his position and support the
ruling of the trial court have a common denominator, so to speak. The cause of action assailing
the frauds committed and impugning the Torrens titles issued in those cases, all accrued prior to
the effectivity of the present Civil Code. The accrual of the cause of action in Fabian was in 1928,
in Miguel, February, 1950, and in Ramirez, 1944. It must be remembered that before August 30,
1950, the date of the effectivity of the new Civil Code, the old Code of Civil Procedure (Act No.
190) governed prescription. It provided:
SEC. 43. Other civil actions; how limited-Civil actions other than for the recovery of real property
can only be brought within the following periods after the right of action accrues:
xxx xxx xxx
3. Within four years: x x x An action for relief on the ground of fraud, but the right of action in
such case shall not be deemed to have accrued until the discovery of the fraud;
xxx xxx xxx
In contrast, under the present Civil Code, we find that just as an implied or constructive trust is
an offspring of the law (Art. 1456, Civil Code), so is the corresponding obligation to reconvey the
property and the title thereto in favor of the true owner. In this context, and vis-a-vis
prescription, Article 1144 of the Civil Code is applicable.
Article 1144. The following actions must be brought within ten years from the time the right of
action accrues:
(1) Upon a written contract;
(2) Upon an obligation created by law;
(3) Upon a judgment.
xxx xxx xxx

(Emphasis supplied)
An action for reconveyance based on an implied or constructive trust must perforce prescribed in
ten years and not otherwise. A long line of decisions of this Court, and of very recent vintage at
that, illustrates this rule. Undoubtedly, it is now well-settled that an action for reconveyance
based on an implied or constructive trust prescribes in ten years from the issuance of the
Torrens title over the property. The only discordant note, it seems, isBalbin vs. Medalla, which
states that the prescriptive period for a reconveyance action is four years. However, this
variance can be explained by the erroneous reliance on Gerona vs. de Guzman. But in Gerona,
the fraud was discovered on June 25, 1948, hence Section 43(3) of Act No. 190, was applied, the
new Civil Code not coming into effect until August 30, 1950 as mentioned earlier. It must be
stressed, at this juncture, that Article 1144 and Article 1456, are new provisions. They have no
counterparts in the old Civil Code or in the old Code of Civil Procedure, the latter being then
resorted to as legal basis of the four-year prescriptive period for an action for reconveyance of
title of real property acquired under false pretenses.
It is abundantly clear from all the foregoing that the action of petitioner Datomanong for
reconveyance, in the nature of a counterclaim interposed in his Answer, filed on December 4,
1964, to the complaint for recovery of possession instituted by the respondent, has not yet
prescribed. Between August 16, 1955, the date of reference, being the date of the issuance of
the Original Certificate of Title in the name of the respondent, and December 4, 1964, when the
period of prescription was interrupted by the filing of the Answer cum Counterclaim, is less than
ten years.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the Decision dated June 3, 1970 of the then Court of
First Instance of Lanao del Sur in Civil Case No. 1354 is hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE and a
new one entered ORDERING the respondent to RECONVEY Original Certificate of Title No. P-466
in favor of petitioner Liwalug Datomanong, free of any encumbrance. Costs against the
respondent.
SO ORDERED.
Case no. 19 Cano v. CA
FACTs:
on May 14, 1946, Simeon Gallego bought a, situated within the poblacion of Jordan, Sub-Province
of Guimaras with an area of 5,031 square meters and bounded on the North by Jordan River,
Joaquin Galve and Custodia Jalandoni; on the East by Roman Catholic Church and the
Municipality of Jordan; on the South by Graciana Martinez; and on the West by Jordan River.
This land was later on sold by Simeon Gallego to Epifanio Caro in 1948. On May 15, 1962,
Trinidad Castem, Rolando Iranaya and Eriberto Iranaya sold a parcel of land which they inherited
from Custodia Jalandoni, situated in the poblacion of Jordan, Sub-Province of Guimaras,; on the
East by Roman Catholic Archbishop of Jaro; on the South by Rafael Gaylan; and on the West by
Jordan River, to Epifanio Caro.
In the same year, Epifanio Caro bought another parcel of land from the heirs of Rafael Gaylan,
situated in the poblacion of Jordan, Sub-Province of Guimaras, with an area of 1,750 square
meters and bounded on the North and East by the heirs of Custodia Jalandoni; on the South by

Simeon Gallego; and on the West by Jordan River, and declared for taxation purposes under Tax
Declaration No. 3638.
In 1963, Epifanio Caro had those three (3) parcels of land surveyed and were then designated as
Lot No. 54. Epifanio Caro pointed the boundaries of his parcels of land to the survey team.
These parcels of land were relocated in 1968 by the Sirilan Surveying Company and Plan Psu207820 was prepared. The parcels of land of Epifanio Caro were denominated as Lot No. 54 and
the land claimed by the private respondents Serafin V. Ronzales, Jose Ronzales, Jr. and Gemme
Ronzales, as Lot No. 55. Epifanio Caro had the three lots consolidated after the survey into one
lot,. During the cadastral proceeding, Epifanio Caro filed an answer for Lot 54. There is no
showing whether or not a title was issued to him.
On the other hand, the private respondents claim that the questioned land was formerly owned
by Pascuala Lacson. Pascuala Lacson was married to Domingo Ronzales. Long before World War
II, private respondents and their predessors-in-interest had been living on the questioned land.
When Epifanio Caro bought a parcel of land from Simeon Gallego, Jose Ronzales, Sr., his brother
Serafin Ronzales, and sister Gemme Ronzales children of Domingo Ronzales, and Pascuala
Lacson, were already living in a house of semi-strong materials on the questioned land.
ANOTHER survey was conducted. Consequently, Original Certificate of Title No. 0-6836 was
issued in the names of the private respondents,
Epifanio Caro flied a complaint before the Court of First Instance of Iloilo (Civil Case No. 10235)
for cancellation of Certificate of Title No. 0-6836, reconveyance, recovery of possession and
damages on the ground of fraud. During the pendency of the case, Epifanio Caro died, so he was
substituted by his heirs, namely, Eliseo Caro, Carlos Caro, Benito Caro, Carmen Caro Batayola
and Lorenzo Caro.
Petitioners contend that since private respondents do not own the questioned land, they are
mere trustees and this being the case, prescription does not lie in an action for reconveyance.
TC: dismissed the complaint. In this regard, the trial court held An action for reconveyance on the
ground of fraud prescribes in four (4) years from the time of the decree of registration, for the
reason that the registration of the decree constitutes constructive notice to the whole world
CA: affirmed the dismissal. The motion for reconsideration was denied. Hence, the present
petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUES:
1) Whether or not the action in Civil Case No. 10235 has prescribed; YES
2) Whether or not fraud attended the issuance of Original Certificate of Title No. 0-6836; and NO
3) Whether or not the plaintiff in said civil case was in estoppel.YES
We disagree. The case of Liwalug Amerol, et al. v. Molok Bagumbaran, illuminated what used to
be a gray area on the prescriptive period for an action to reconvey the title to real property and,
corollarily, its point of reference:
... It must be remembered that before August 30,1950, the date of the effectivity of the new
Civil Code, the old Code of Civil Procedure (Act No. 190) governed prescription. It provided:
SEC. 43. Other civil actions; how limited.- Civil actions other than for the recovery of
real property can only be brought within the following periods after the right of action accrues:
xxx xxx xxx

3. Within four years: .... An action for relief on the ground of fraud, but the right of action in
such case shall not be deemed to have accrued until the discovery of the fraud;
xxx xxx xxx
In contrast, under the present Civil Code, we find that just as an implied or constructive trust is
an offspring of the law (Art. 1456, Civil Code), so is the corresponding obligation to reconvey
the property and the title thereto in favor of the true owner. In this context, and vis-a-vis
prescription, Article 1144 of the Civil Code is applicable.
Article 1144. The following actions must be brought within ten years from the time
the right of action accrues:
(1) Upon a written contract;
(2) Upon an obligation created by law;
(3) Upon a judgment.
An action for reconveyance based on an implied or constructive trust must perforce prescribe in
ten years and not otherwise. it is now well-settled that an action for reconveyance based on an
implied or constructive trust prescribes in ten years from the issuance of the Torrens title over
the property.
An action for reconveyance Section 53, paragraph 3 of Presidential Decree No. 1529,
which provides:
In all cases of registration procured by fraud, the owner may pursue all his legal and equitable
remedies against the parties to such fraud without prejudice, however, to the rights of any
innocent holder of the decree of registration on the original petition or application, ...
Article 1456 of the Civil Code, which provides:
Article 1456. If property is acquired through mistake or fraud, the person obtaining it is, by
force of law, considered a trustee of an implied trust for the benefit of the person from whom
the property comes.
The law thereby creates the obligation of the trustee to reconvey the property and the title
thereto in favor of the true owner. Correlating Section 53, paragraph 3 of Presidential Decree No.
1529 and Article 1456 of the Civil Code with Article 1144(2) of the Civil Code, supra, the
prescriptive period for the reconveyance of fraudulently registered real property is ten (10) years
reckoned from the date of the issuance of the certificate of title. In the present case, therefore,
inasmuch as Civil Case No. 10235 was filed on June 4, 1975, it was well-within the prescriptive
period of ten (10) years from the date of the issuance of Original Certificate of Title No. 0-6836
on September 17, 1970.
hOwever, We agree with the respondent court and the trial court that the private respondents did
not employ any fraud in securing title to the questioned land. Epifanio Caro was already aware of
the adverse claim of the private respondents in 1948.
In the recent case of Bagtas v. Court of Appeals. We held that considerable delay in asserting
one's right before a court of justice is strongly persuasive of the lack of merit of his claim, since it
is human nature for a person to enforce his right when same is threatened or invaded. Thus, he
is estopped by laches from questioning the ownership of the questioned land. Not only that.
There is also estoppel in pais in this case because Epifanio Caro filed his answer with respect to
Lot No. 54 only while Purificacion Villanueva flied her answer with respect to Lot No. In addition,
the trial court observed The Tax Declaration of the land bought by Epifanio Caro, Exhibit 4, states
that its adjacent owner on the east is Pascual (sic) Lacson who is the grandmother of the
defendants. When said land was declared in the name of Epifanio Caro in 1969, the adjacent

owner on the East is still Pascuala Lacson,. The Tax Declaration of the land bought by Epifanio
Caro from the heirs of Custodia Jalandoni, shows that the land in question is not an adjacent
property. The same is true with the Tax Declaration of the land bought by Epifano Caro from the
heirs of Rafael Gaylan. This clearly shows that Lot No. 55 which originally belonged to Pascuala
Lacson is a different and distinct parcel from the lands bought by Epifanio Caro from Simeon
Gallego, from the heirs of Custodia Jalandoni and from the heirs of Rafael Gaylan (sic).
While We commiserate with the petitioners because of Epifanio Caro's lack of formal education
still, his negligence and belated action were undoubtedly the root cause of the present
controversy:
Petition is hereby DENIED. Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED subject to the MODIFICATION
regarding prescription
Case no. 20 Marquez v. CA
Case no. 21 Heirs of Saludares v. CA

RULE 75: Production of Will. Allowance of Will Necessary


Case no. 1 Que v. CA
Facts:
Respondent Arrieta filed a complaint against the spouses Que and Adela Urian for the
annulment of a quit claim over a lot she inherited from her grandfather. After petitioners
received the complaint together with the summonses, they hired the services of Atty.
Ranot. However, Atty. Ranot failed to file petitioners Answer. Therefore, respondent moved to
declare petitioners in default. Only Urian appeared during the hearing of respondents motion
and he also manifested that Atty. Ranot was still preparing the Answer. Respondent presented
her evidence ex parte, and the case was submitted for judgment. The quit claim was declared
null and void. The petitioners moved for reconsideration or a new trial on the ground that there
was mistake and fraud as they were allegedly under the impression that their lawyer had
prepared and filed the necessary pleading. The trial court dismissed their motion and so did the
Court of Appeals when they appealed.

Issue:
1. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing petitioners petition.
2. Whether or not the probate of a will can be dispensed with
Ruling:
1. The petition has no merit.
Under Section 1, Rule 38 of the Rules of Court, the court may grant relief from judgment
only when a judgment or final order is entered, or any other proceeding is taken against a party
in any court through fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence. Because they were
allegedly under the impression that Atty. Ranot had prepared and filed the necessary pleading,
petitioners, in their petition for relief from judgment in the trial court, alleged that judgment was
entered against them through mistake or fraud. However, that is not the fraud or mistake
contemplated under Section 1, Rule 38 of the Rules of Court. Mistake, under Section 1 of Rule
38, refers to mistake of fact, not of law, which relates to the case. Fraud, on the other hand,
must be extrinsic or collateral, the kind which prevented the aggrieved party from having a trial
or presenting his case to the court. Obviously, petitioners mistaken assumption that Atty. Ranot
had attended to his professional duties is neither mistake nor fraud.
Moreover, under Section 1, negligence must be excusable and generally imputable to
the party because if it is imputable to the counsel, it is binding on the client. To follow a contrary
rule and allow a party to disown his counsels conduct would render proceedings indefinite,
tentative, and subject to reopening by the mere subterfuge of replacing counsel. What the
aggrieved litigant should do is seek administrative sanctions against the erring counsel and not
ask for the reversal of the courts ruling.
In this case, the Court has relaxed the rule on the binding effect of counsels negligence
and allowed a litigant another chance to present his case based on the following instances: (1)
where the reckless or gross negligence of counsel deprives the client of due process of law; (2)
when the application of the rule will result in outright deprivation of the clients liberty or
property; or (3) where the interests of justice so require. However, none of these exceptions are
present in the case at bar.
Therefore, petition must be dismissed for lack of merit.
2. The presentation of a will to the court for probate is mandatory and its allowance is
essential and indispensable to its efficacy.
.
Section 625 states: No will shall pass either the real or personal estate, unless it is proved and
allowed in the Court of First Instance, or by appeal to the Supreme Court; and the allowance by
the court of a will of real and personal estate shall be conclusive as to its due execution. The
presentation of the will under this provision is mandatory (Guevara v. Guevara, 74 Phil. 479
[1943]). Section 625 is substantially reiterated in Section 1, Rule 75 of the Rules of Court.
Case no. 2 Santos v. Santos
Case no. 3 Spouses Benigno Que and Erlinda Que, and Adela Urian vs. CA
Case no. 4 Anita Mang-oy v. CA
Facts:

On September 4, 1937, Old Man Tumpao executed what he called a "last will and testament." The
contents of the document were read to the beneficiaries named therein who at the time were
already occupying the portions respectively allotted to them.
On November 4, 1960, the respondents executed an extrajudicial partition in which they divided
the property of Old Man Tumpao among the three of them only, to the exclusion of the other
persons mentioned in the above-quoted documents. By virtue of this partition, Old Man
Tumpao's title was cancelled and another one was issued in favor of the three respondents.
It is this title that is now being questioned by the petitioners, who are suing for reconveyance.
They had been sustained by the trial court, which, however, was reversed by the Court of
Appeals.
In deciding against them, the Court of Appeals held that the "will" executed by Old Man Tumpao
was null and void because it had not been probated. We find, however, that the document may
be sustained on the basis of Article 1056 of the Civil Code of 1899, which was in force at the time
the said document was executed by Old Man Tumpao in 1937. The said article reads as follows:
Art. 1056. If the testator should make a partition of his properties by an act inter vivos, such
partition shall stand in so far as it does not prejudice the legitime of the forced heirs.
Issue:
Whether or not the will was null and void
Ruling:
Article 1056 of the Civil Code of 1889 authorizes a testator to partition inter vivos his property,
and distribute them among his heirs, and that this partition is not necessarily either a donation
nor a testament, but an instrument of a special character, sui generis, which is revocable at any
time by the causante during his lifetime, and does not operate as a conveyance of title until his
death. It derives its binding force on the heirs from the respect due to the will of the owner of the
property, limited only by his creditors and the intangibility of the legitime of the forced heirs. It
was nevertheless binding on the parties as proof of their conformity to the dispositions made by
Old Man Tumpao in his "last will and testament."
When the persons who were named therein as heirs and beneficiaries voluntarily agreed in
writing to abide by its terms probably to save the expenses of probate. and furthermore, carried
out its terms after the death of the testator until now, then it must be held to be binding between
them.
Case no. 5 Coronado v. CA
Case no. 6 Nittscher v. Nittscher
FACTS:
On January 31, 1990, Dr. Werner Karl Johann Nittscher filed with the RTC of Makati City a petition
for the probate of his holographic will and for the issuance of letters testamentary to herein
respondent Atty. Rogelio P. Nogales. On September 19, 1991, after hearing and with due notice
to the compulsory heirs, the probate court issued an order allowing the said holographic will.
On September 26, 1994, Dr. Nittscher died. Hence, Atty. Nogales filed a petition for letters
testamentary for the administration of the estate of the deceased.

Dr. Nittschers surviving spouse, herein petitioner Cynthia V. Nittscher, moved for the dismissal of
the said petition.
ISSUES:
I.

BOTH THE CA AND THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT DISMISSING OUTRIGHT THE
PETITION FOR LETTERS TESTAMENTARY FILED BY ATTY. NOGALES WHEN, OBVIOUSLY,
IT WAS FILED IN VIOLATION OF REVISED CIRCULAR NO. 28-91 AND ADMINISTRATIVE
CIRCULAR NO. 04-94 OF THIS HONORABLE COURT.

II.

THE CA ERRED IN NOT DECLARING THAT THE LOWER COURT [HAS] NO JURISDICTION
OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE PRESENT SUIT.

III.

THE CA ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT SUMMONS WERE PROPERLY ISSUED TO THE


PARTIES AND ALL PERSONS INTERESTED IN THE PROBATE OF THE HOLOGRAPHIC WILL
OF DR. NITTSCHER.

IV.

THE CA ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT THE PETITIONER WAS NOT DEPRIVED OF DUE
PROCESS OF LAW BY THE LOWER COURT.7

RULING OF THE SUPREME COURT:


We resolve to deny the petition.
As to the first issue, Revised Circular No. 28-91 8 and Administrative Circular No. 04-949 of the
Court require a certification against forum-shopping for all initiatory pleadings filed in court.
However, in this case, the petition for the issuance of letters testamentary is not an initiatory
pleading, but a mere continuation of the original petition for the probate of Dr. Nittschers will.
Anent the second issue, Section 1, Rule 73 of the Rules of Court provides:
SECTION 1. Where estate of deceased persons settled. If the decedent is an
inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien,
his will shall be proved, or letters of administration granted, and his estate settled,
in the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) in the province in which he
resides at the time of his death, and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the
Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of any province in which he had
estate. (Emphasis supplied.)
In this case, the RTC and the Court of Appeals are one in their finding that Dr. Nittscher was a
resident of Las Pias, Metro Manila at the time of his death. Such factual finding, which we find
supported by evidence on record, should no longer be disturbed.
Hence, applying the aforequoted rule, Dr. Nittscher correctly filed in the RTC of Makati City,
which then covered Las Pias, Metro Manila, the petition for the probate of his will and for the
issuance of letters testamentary to respondent.
Regarding the third and fourth issues, we note that Dr. Nittscher asked for the allowance of his
own will. In this connection, Section 4, Rule 76 of the Rules of Court states:
SEC. 4. Heirs, devisees, legatees, and executors to be notified by mail or personally.

If the testator asks for the allowance of his own will, notice shall be sent only to his
compulsory heirs.
In this case, records show that petitioner, with whom Dr. Nittscher had no child, and Dr.
Nittschers children from his previous marriage were all duly notified, by registered mail, of the
probate proceedings. Petitioner even appeared in court to oppose respondents petition for the
issuance of letters testamentary and she also filed a motion to dismiss the said petition.
Therefore, petitioners allegation that she was denied due process in the probate proceedings is
without basis.
As a final word, petitioner should realize that the allowance of her husbands will is conclusive
only as to its due execution.11 The authority of the probate court is limited to ascertaining
whether the testator, being of sound mind, freely executed the will in accordance with the
formalities prescribed by law.12 Thus, petitioners claim of title to the properties forming part of
her husbands estate should be settled in an ordinary action before the regular courts. SO
ORDERED.
Case no. 7 Maninang v. CA
Case no. 8 Aluad v. Aluad
Case no. 9 Ralla v. Judge Untalan
FACTS:

1. In 1959, Rosendo Ralla, a widower, filed a petition for the probate of his own will in the
then CFI of Alba, which was docketed as Special Proceedings No. 564. In his will, he left
his entire estate to his son, Pablo (the petitioner herein who, upon his death during the
pendency of this petition, was substituted by his heirs), leaving nothing to his other son,
Pedro.
2. In the same year, Pedro Ralla filed an action for the partition of the estate of their mother,
Paz Escarella; this was docketed as Civil Case No. 2023.
3. In the probate case, the court declared Pedro and Pablo Ralla the only heirs of Rosendo
Ralla who should share equally upon the division of the latters estate, and thereupon
converted the testate proceedings into one of intestacy.
4. Meanwhile in the partition case, the brothers agreed to compromise on December 18,
1967 and entered into a project of partition whereby 63 parcels of land, apparently
forming the estate of their deceased mother, Paz Escarella, were amicably divided
between the two of them. This project of partition was approved by the court on
December 19, 1967.
5. Eleven years later, in 1978, Joaquin Chancoco, brother-in-law of petitioner Pablo filed a
petition docketed as Special Proceedings No. 1106, for the probate of the same will of
Rosendo Ralla on the ground that the decedent owed him P5,000.00. This petition for
probate was granted and Teodorico Almine, son-in-law of the petitioner, was appointed
special administrator. However, in taking possession of the properties belonging to the
estate of Rosendo Ralla, Teodorico Almine also took possession of the sixty-three parcels
of land covered by the project of partition mentioned earlier. Consequently, the heirs of
Pedro Ralla moved to exclude from the estate of Rosendo Ralla the aforesaid parcels of
land.
6. In an Omnibus Order dated August 3, 1979, respondent Judge Romulo P. Untalan ruled,
inter alia, that the sixty-three parcels of land should be included in the proceedings for the

settlement of the estate of Rosendo Ralla and the said proceedings (SpecPro No. 564 and
SpecPro 1106) should proceed as probate proceedings.
7. About two years later, on June 11, 1981 respondents filed a petition praying that the 67
parcels of land subject of the project of partition be excluded. In his Order of July 16,
1981, Judge Untalan reconsidered his earlier Order and ordered that the 63 parcels should
be excluded from the probate proceedings and likewise from the administration of Special
Administrator Teodorico Almine, Jr.
ISSUES:
1. W/N the extra judicial partition of the 63 parcels made after the filing of the petition for
the probate of the Will, and before said Will was probated, is a NULLITY, considering that
as already decided by this Court, there can be no valid partition among the heirs till after
the Will had been probated.
2. W/N the Order of August 3, 1979 could no longer be validly reversed by the court two
years after it was issued.
HELD:
1. The above argument is obviously flawed and misleading for the simple reason tat the
aforementioned partition was made in the civil case for partition of the estate of Paz
Escarella, which is distinct from, and independent of, the special proceedings for the
probate of the will of Rosendo Ralla. Verily, the rule is that there can be no valid partition
among the heirs till after the will has been probated. This, of course, presupposes that the
properties to be partitioned are the same properties embraced in the will. Thus the rule
invoked is inapplicable in this instance where there are two separate cases, Civil Case
2023 for partition and Special Proceedings 564 originally for the probate of a will each
involving the estate of a different person comprising dissimilar properties.
The properties involved in the present petition were the subject of the project of partition signed
by both the petitioner Pablo Ralla, and Pedro Ralla in Civil Case No. 2023; the lower court
approved the said project of partition on December 19, 1967; subsequently, Pablo and Pedro
Ralla jointly manifested that they had already received the ownership and possession of the
respective parcels of land adjudicated to them in the said project of partition, and upon their
motion, the judge declared the partition case closed and terminated in its Order of Dec. 29,
1967; there was no appeal made from this decision within the reglementary period to do so,
consequently, it attained finality. Where a partition had not only been approved and thus
become a judgment of the court, but distribution of the estate in pursuance of such partition had
fully been carried out, and the heirs had received the property assigned to the, they are
precluded from subsequently attacking its validity or any part of it.
Case no. 10 Fernandez v. Dimaguiba

Case no. 11 Nuguid v. Nuguid


FACTS:

Rosario Nuguid died on Dec. 30,1962, single, w/o descendants, legitimate or illegitimate.
Surviving her were her legitimate parents, Felix and Paz, and 6 brothers and sisters
namely : Alfredo, Federico, Remedios, Conrado, Lourdes and Alberto, all surnamed
Nuguid.

Petitioner Remedios filed in the Court of First Instance of Rizal a holographic will allegedly
executed by Rosario on Nov. 17, 1951, 11 yrs bfore her demise. Petitioner prayed that
said will be admitted to probate and that letters of administration w/ the will annexed be
issued to her.

Felix and Paz concededly the legitimate parents of the deceased entered their opposition
to the probate of her will. Ground therefore is that by the institution of petitioner
Remedios as universal heir of the deceased, oppositors who are compulsary heirs of the
deceased in the direct ascending line were illegally preterited and that in consequence the
institution is void.

Before a hearing was had on the petition for probate and objection, oppositors moved to
dismiss on the ground of absolute preterition.

Petitioner registered her opposition to the motion to dismiss.

The court's order held that the will in question is a complete nullity and will perforce
create intestacy of the estate of the deceased Rosario and dismissed the petition w/o cost.

ISSUE: W/n the will executed by the deceased Rosario is valid?


RULING:
A part of Art.854 of the Civil Code provides that: The preterition or omission of one, some,
or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the
will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir, but the devises and
legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not officious.
The deceased Rosario left no descendants, legitimate or illegijtimate. But she left forced
heirs in the direct ascending line her parents now oppositors Felix and Paz. And the will
completely omits both of them. They received nothing by the testament. They were deprived of
their legitime, neither they were expressly disinherited. This is a clear case of preterition. The
will here institute petitioner as the sole, universal heir. No specific legacies or bequests are
therein provided for. It is in this posture that we say the nullity is complete.

The universal institution of the petitioner to the entire inheritance results in totally
abrogating the will. Nullification of such institution of universal heir, w/o any other testamentary
disposition in the will amounts to a declaration that nothing at all was written.

Case no. 12 Ajero v. CA


Facts:

The herein petitioners instituted a special proceeding for allowance of Annie Sands
holographic will alleging that at the time of its execution, she was of sound and disposing mind,
not acting under duress, fraud or undue influence, and was in every respect capacitated to
dispose of her estate by will.
Clemente Sand, one of the devisees, opposed the petition on the grounds that neither the
testaments body nor the signature therein was in decedents handwriting and wherein it
contained alterations and corrections which were not duly signed by the decendent.
The trial court admitted the decedents holographic will to probate saying that the
requirements of that law that such should be entirely written, dated and signed in the
handwriting of the testatrix has been complied with. However, on appeal, the decision was
reversed and the petition for probate of the decedents will was dismissed. It held that the
holographic will fails to meet the requirements for its validity.
Issue:
Whether or not the decedents holographic will is valid, therefore be allowed.
Held:
What assures authenticity for holographic wills is the requirement that they be totally
autographic or handwritten by the testator himself. Failure to strictly observe other formalities
will not result in the disallowance of a holographic will that is unquestionably handwritten by the
testator.
Ordinarily, when a number of erasures, corrections and interlineations made by the testator in a
holographic will have not been noted under his signature, the will is not thereby invalidated as a
whole, but at most only as respects the particular words erased, corrected or interlined. The lack
of authentication will only result in disallowance of such changes.

RULE 76: Allowance or Disallowance of a Will


Case no. 1 Fran v. Salasjune

FACTS:

Remedios Vda. de Tiosejo died and left a will bequeathing to her collateral relatives (brothers,
sisters, nephews and nieces) all her properties and designating Jesus Fran as executor. Fran file
a petition with CFI of Cebu for probate of the will.
Private (Salas was the judge) respondents (PR) who are sisters of the deceased filed a
Withdrawal of Opposition to the Allowance of Probate of the Will where they manifested that
they have no objection over the allowance of the will and over the issuance of letters
testamentary to Fran.
In 1972, the probate court rendered a decision admitting to probate the will and appointing
Fran as executor. No claim was presented against the estate. In 1973, the court approved the
Project of Partition
.
(NOTE: The following allegations are not crucial to the issue as the relevant issue is WHEN TO
FILE. I included them for recit purposes. Basically, the SC favored Frans contentions but also in
the end simply ruled that the action of PR is time -barred)
In 1979, PR filed an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration of the probate judgment asking the
court to declare the proceedings still open and admit their opposition to the allowance of the will.
They alleged that (a) they were not furnished a copy (b) the will is a forgery (c) they were not
notified of any resolution or order on filing of their opposition nor of the authorization for the
clerk of court to receive the evidence (d) the reception of evidence by the clerk of court was void
(e) the project of partition contains no notice of hearing and they were not notified (f) Fran
signed the partition as administrator and not as executor (g) Fran did not submit any accounting
as required and (h) Fran never istributed the estate (in general, fraud attended the proceedings)
Fran refuted all these protestations (a) PR are in estoppel because they filed the said
Withdrawal; the order directing the Clerk of Court to receive evidence was read in open court; PR
Gandiongco signed the Partition and PR Espina submitted a certification that she received notice
of hearing therefore and has no objection (b) there was an actual distribution of the estate. To
top it all, PRs children mortgaged their respective shares in favor of a bank.
Respondent Judge (RJ) declared the will void finding that the signature of Remedios was a
forgery and reopened the proceedings. This was issued before the restraining order applied by
Fran from the SC was served on RJ.
PR Gandiongco filed an affidavit admitting that she received notice of hearing and her share of
the estate and that she signed the Omnibus Motion without reading it and that she wished to
withdraw her participation in the Omnibus Motion and in the Opposition, only to withdraw such
through a Joint Manifestation with PR Espina.
However, PR Gandiongo again filed a second affidavit confessing that she signed the Joint
Manifestation only upon PR Espinas request.
ISSUE / HELD
W/N private respondents Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration can prosper

NO
RATIO
The following courses of action are open to an aggrieved party to set aside or attack the
validity of a final judgment:

(1)Petition for Relief under Rule 38 if the Rules of Court which must be filed within 60 days after
learning of the decision, but not more than 6 months after such decision is entered;
(2)By direct action, via a special civil action for certiorari ; or by collateral attack, assuming that
the decision is void for want of jurisdiction;
(3)By an independent civil action under Art. 1114 of the CC, assumning that the decision was
obtained through farud and Rule 38 cannot be applied.

PR had lost their right to file a petition for relief from judgment, it appearing that their omnibus
motion for reconsideration was filed exactly 6 years 10 months and 22 days after the rendition of
the decision, and 6 years 1 month and 13 days after the approval of the Project of Partition to
which they voluntarily expressed their conformity through their respective certifications, and
closing the testate proceedings.
PR did not avail of the other 2 modes of attack.
The probate judgment of November 1972, long final and undisturbed by any attempt to
unsettle it, had passed beyond the reach of the court.
The decree of probate is conclusive upon the due execution of the will and it cannot be
impugned on any of the grounds authorized by law, except that of fraud, in any separate or
independent action or proceeding.
Other matters:
The Project of Partition was signed by PR Gandiongco proving it had actual knowledge thereof.
PR were present when the order authorizing the Clerk of Court to receive evidence was read in
court.
The Clerk of Court can receive evidence as laid down by jurisprudence, and it is not necessary
for the Clerk to take an oath.
It is not necessary that the original of the will be attached, as clear from the Rules of Court.
Given this, it is found that a copy of the original will was attached in the petition and it is not
disputed that the original of the will was submitted in evidence.
The availability of the will since 1972 for PRs examination renders completely baseless their
claim of fraud on Frans part. Assuming arguendo that there was fraud, such fraud is not of the
kind which provides a sufficient justification for a Motion for reconsideration or a Petition for
Relief from Judgment. Such fraud must be extrinsic or collateral to the matters involved. Petition
granted
Case no. 2 Rodriguez v. Borja
Case no. 3 Vda. De Perez v. Tolete
Case no. 4 Aranz v. Galing
Facts: On 3 March 1986, private respondent filed with the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Branch
166, a petition for the probate and allowance of the last will and testament of the late Montserrat
R-Infante y G-Pola The petition specified the names and ad- dresses of herein petitioners as
legatees and devisees.
On 12 March 1986, the probate court issued an order selling the petition for hearing on 5 May
1986 at 8:30 o'clock in the morning. Said order was published in the "Nueva Era" A newspaper of
general circulation in Metro Manila once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks. On the date of
the hearing, no oppositor appeared.

Private respondent presented his evidence ex-parte, during the proceedings, private respondent
was appointed executor.
On 14 May 1986, petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the order of 12 May 1986
alleging that, as named legatees, no notices were sent to them as required by Sec. 4, Rule 76 of
the Rules of Court and they prayed that they be given a period of ten (10) days within which to
file their opposition to the probate of the will.
The probate court denied the motion for reconsideration.
Issue:
Whether or not personal notice of probate proceedings to the known legatees and
devisees is a jurisdictional requirement in the probate of the will.
Ruling : Yes.
Ratio:
Sec. 4, Rule 76 of the Rules of Court reads:
SEC. 4. Heirs, devisees, legatees, and executors to be notified by mail or personally.
The court shag also cause copies of the notice of the time and place fixed for
proving the will to be addressed to the designated or other known heirs, legatees,
and devisees of the testator resident in the Philippines at their places of residence,
and deposited in the post office with the postage thereon prepaid at least twenty
(20) days before the hearing, if such places of residence be known. A copy of the
notice must in like manner be mailed to the person named as executor, if he be not,
the petitioner; also, to any person named as co-executor not petitioning, if their
places of residence be known. Personal service of copies of the notice at least ten
(10) days before the day of hearing shall be equivalent to mailing.
It is clear from the aforecited rule that notice of the time and place of the hearing for the
allowance of a will shall be forwarded to the designated or other known heirs, legatees, and
devisees residing in the Philippines at their places of residence, if such places of residence be
known. There is no question that the residences of herein petitioners legatees and devisees were
known to the probate court. The petition for the allowance of the wig itself indicated the names
and addresses of the legatees and devisees of the testator. But despite such knowledge, the
probate court did not cause copies of the notice to be sent to petitioners. The requirement of the
law for the allowance of the will was not satisfied by mere publication of the notice of hearing for
three (3) weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the province.
Case
Case
Case
Case

no.
no.
no.
no.

5
6
7
8

Rodelas v. Aranza (119 SCRA 16)


rodelas v. Aranza (Dec. 7, 1982)
Nuguid v. Nuguid
Balanay v. Martinez

Facts:
Testator Leodegaria Julian (Julian) died at the age of 67. She was survived by her husband and
six children. In her will, she stated that: (a) That she was the owner of the southern half of 9
conjugal lots; (b) That she was the absolute owner of 2 parcels of land which she inherited from
her father; (c) That it was her desire that her properties should not be divided among her heirs
during her husbands lifetime and that their legitimes should be satisfied out of the fruits of her
properties. (d) That after her husbands death, that her paraphernal and all conjugal lands be

divided in the manner set forth in the will.


In effect, Julian disposed of in her will her husbands conjugal assets. Her son, Felix Balanay, Jr.
(Balanay Jr.) filed a petition for probate of the will. This was opposed by his father (Balanay Sr.)
and Avelina Antonio on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, and
preterition. Balanay Sr. later withdrew this opposition through a Conformation of Division and
Renunciation of Hereditary Rights wherein he waived and renounced his hereditary rights in
her estate in favor of their six children.
The probate of the will was further opposed by Atty. Montaa (who purported to be a lawyer of
Balanay Jr.) and two others, saying that the will was void because it effected a compromise on
future legitimes and that no notice to creditors were issued. So, in its order it dismissed the
petition for the probate, converted the testate proceeding into an intestate proceeding, ordered
the issuance of a notice to creditors and set the intestate proceeding for hearing.
Issue:
1. Whether it was correct to pass upon the intrinsic validity of the will before ruling on its
allowance or formal validity.
2. Whether the probate court was correct in declaring that the will was void and in converting
the testate proceeding into an intestate proceeding.
3. Whether it was correct to issue notice to creditors without first appointing an executor or
regular administrator.
Held:
1. YES. The probate court acted correctly in passing upon the wills intrinsic validity even before
its formal validity has been established. The probate of a will might become an idle ceremony if
on its face it appears to be intrinsically void. Where practical considerations demand that the
intrinsic validity of the will be passed upon, even before it is probated, the court should meet the
issue.
2. NO. The will should have been upheld, considering that its alleged defects have been cured by
the husbands conformity. The husbands conformity had the effect of validating the will, without
prejudice to the rights of creditors and legitimes of compulsory heirs. The rule is that the
invalidity of one of several dispositions contained in a will does not result in the invalidity of the
other dispositions if the first invalid disposition had not been made. An interpretation that will
render a testamentary disposition operative takes precedence over a construction that will
nullify a provision of the will. Thus, with respect to provision (a) above, the illegal declaration
does not nullify the will. It may be disregarded. As to provision (c), it would at most be effective
only fromthe date of her death unless there are compelling reasons for terminating the coownership.
3. NO. A notice of creditors is not in order if only a special administrator has been appointed. It is
the executor or regular administrator who is supposed to oppose the claims against the estate
and to pay such claims when duly allowed.
Case no. 9 Nepomuceno v. CA
Facts:
1. Martin Hugo died on 1974 and he left a will wherein he instituted Sofia Nepomuceno as the
sole and only executor. It was also provided therein that he was married to Rufina Gomez with
whom he had 3 children.

2. Petitioner (Sofia) filed for the probate of the will but the legal wife and her children opposed
alleging that the will was procured through improper and undue influence and that there was an
admission of concubinage with the petitioner.
3. The lower court denied the probate on the ground of the testator's admission of cohabitation,
hence making the will invalid on its face. The Court of Appeals reversed and held that the will is
valid except the devise in favor of the petitioner which is null and void in violation of Art. 739
and 1028.
Issue: Whether or not the court can pass on the intrinsic validity of a will
RULING: Yes, as an exception. But the general rule is that the court's area of inquiry is limited to
the an examination and resolution of the extrinsic validity of the will. This general rule is
however not inflexible and absolute. Given exceptional circumstances, the probate court is not
powerless to do what the situation constrains it to do and may pass upon certain provisions of
the will. The will itself admitted on its face the relationship between the testator and the
petitioner.
The will was validly executed in accordance with law but the court didn't find it to serve a
practical purpose to remand the nullified provision in a separate action for that purpose only
since in the probate of a will, the court does not ordinarily look into the intrinsic validity of its
provisions.
The general rule is that the probate court's authority is limited only to the extrinsic validity of the
will, the due execution thereof, the testator's testamentary capacity and the compliance with the
requisites or solemnities prescribed by law. The intrinsic validity of the will normally comes only
after the Court has declared that the will has been duly authenticated. Said court at this stage of
the proceedings is not called upon to rule on the intrinsic validity or efficacy of the provisions of
the will. The rule, however, is not inflexible and absolute. Under exceptional circumstances, the
probate court is not powerless to do what the situation constrains it to do and pass upon certain
provisions of the will. Where circumstances demand that intrinsic validity of testamentary
provisions be passed upon even before the extrinsic validity of the will is resolved, the probate
court should meet the issue.
Case no. 10 Gallanosa v. Arcangel
Case no. 11 Leviste v. CA
FACTS:
Petitioner, a practicing attorney, entered into a written agreement with the private
respondent Rosa del Rosario to appear as her counsel in a petition for probate of the
holographic will of the late Maxima C. Reselva. Under the will, a piece of real property at
Sales Street, Quiapo, Manila, was bequeathed to Del Rosario. It was agreed that
petitioner's contigent fee would be thirty-five per cent (35%) of the property that Rosa
may receive upon the probate of the will.
Petitioner Leviste received a letter from Ms. Del Rosario, informing him that she was
terminating his services as her counsel due to "conflicting interest." (Llanes, the lessee of
the subject property whom respondent intends to eject is the brother-in-law of Petitioner)
He filed a motion to intervene but was declined by the court. Despite the notice of termination of
his service, petitioner continued participating in the litigation. Even after the will was disallowed
by the probate court for failure to observe the formalities required by law, petitioner appealed
the case. He also asked that he be substituted as party-petitioner, in lieu of his former client, Ms.
Del Rosario. The trial judge dismissed the appeal and denied petitioner's motion for substitution.

The petitioner filed in the Court of Appeals a petition for mandamus praying that the trial court
be ordered to give due course to his appeal and to grant his motion for substitution.
ISSUE:
May a person having indirect interest in a will interfere in its probate? NO
RULING:
The dismissal of the petition for mandamus was proper, for while it is true that, as contended by
the petitioner, public policy favors the probate of a will, it does not necessarily follow that every
will that is presented for probate, should be allowed. The law lays down procedures which should
be observed and requisites that should be satisfied before a will may be probated. Those
procedures and requirements were not followed in this case resulting in the disallowance of the
will. There being no valid will, the motion to withdraw the probate petition was inconsequential.
Petitioner was not a party to the probate proceeding in the lower court. He had no direct interest
in the probate of the will. His only interest in the estate is an indirect interest as former counsel
for a prospective heir. In Paras vs. Narciso, 35 Phil. 244, We had occassion to rule that one who is
only indirectly interested in a will may not interfere in its probate. Thus:
... the reason for the rule excluding strangers from contesting the will, is not that
thereby the court maybe prevented from learning facts which would justify or
necessitate a denial of probate, but rather that the courts and the litigants should
not be molested by the intervention in the proceedings of persons with no interest
in the estate which would entitle them to be heard with relation thereto. (Paras vs.
Narciso, 35 Phil. 244, 246.)
Similary, in Morente vs. Firmalino, 40 O.G. 21st Supp. 1, We held:
We are of the opinion that the lower court did not err in holding that notice of an
attorney's lien did not entitle the attorney-appellant to subrogate himself in lieu of
his client. It only gives him the right to collect a certain amount for his services in
case his client is awarded a certain sum by the court.
Case no. 12 Butiong v. the Surigao Consolidated Mining Co., Inc.
FACTS:
Pedro Butiong commenced Special Proceedings No. 737 for the probate of a document
purporting to have been executed by Harris as his last will and testament.
Paragraph IV of said Exhibit G reads:
I hereby make, appoint and constitute Pedro Butiong, who is my adopted son and whom I
have reared and brought up since he was still about 2 years old, as my sole and universal
heir of all my properties located in the Philippines, consisting of shares of stock and
interest in the Mindanao Mother Lode Mining Co., Inc., located at Mabuhay, Surigao,
Surigao, and of shares of stock, interest and 1% per cent royalty in the Surigao
Consolidated Mining Co., Inc., located at Siano, Surigao.
The Surigao Consolidated Mining opposed the probate upon the ground of forgery.
The lower court issued an order admitting the disputed document to probate. Hence, this
appeal by said Company.

Butiong maintains that the lower court erred in entertaining appellants opposition and in
not dismissing its appeal.
ISSUE: W/N the appeal should have been dismissed.
HELD: Yes. It is well-settled that one who has or can have no interest in succeeding a decedent
cannot oppose the probate of his alleged will. Appellant herein does not claim to have such
interest in the succession to Christian Harris. Accordingly, the lower court should not have
considered its opposition to the probate of Exhibit G, much less given due course to the present
appeal.
Case no. 13 Sumilang v. Ramagosa
FACTS
Mariano Sumilang filed a petition for the probate of a document alleged to be the last will and
testament of Hilarion Ramagosa. Said document institutes Mariano as the sole heir of the
testator.
The petition was opposed by two oppositors, who questioned the due execution of the
document, claiming that it was made under duress and was not really intended by the deceased
to be his last will and testament. Saturnino and Santiago Ramagosa also claimed that they,
instead of Mariano, were entitled to inherit the estate of the deceased.
After Mariano presented evidence and rested his case, oppositors moved for the dismissal of the
petition on the ground that decedent revoked his will by implication of law six years before his
death by selling the parcels of land to Mariano Sumilang and his brother Mario so that at the
time of the testator's death, the titles to said lands were no longer in his name.
On the other hand, Mariano moved to strike out oppositors pleadings on the ground that the
oppositors have no interest in the probate of the will as they have no relationship with the
decedent within the fifth degree. The lower court ruled in favor of Mariano stating that the
allegations of the oppositors go to the very intrinsic value of the will and since the oppositors
have no standing to oppose the probate of the will as they are strangers, their pleadings are
ordered stricken out from the record.
ISSUE
(1) Whether the probate court should pass upon the intrinsic validity of the will.
(2) Whether or not the oppositors have the personality to oppose the probate of the will.

HELD
Issue No. 1
The petition being for the probate of a will, the court's area of inquiry is limited to the extrinsic
validity only. The testator's testamentary capacity and the compliance with the formal requisites
or solemnities prescribed by law are the only questions presented for the resolution of the court.
Any inquiry into the intrinsic validity or efficacy of the provisions of the will or the legality of any
devise or legacy is premature (Nuguid vs. Nuguid).
To establish conclusively as against everyone and once for all, the facts that a will was executed
with the formalities required by law and that the testator was in a condition to make a will, is the

only purpose of the proceedings . . . for the probate of a will. The judgment in such proceedings
determines and can determine nothing more. (Alemany, et al. vs. CFI of Manila)
True or not, the alleged sale is no ground for the dismissal of the petition for probate. Probate is
one thing the validity of the testamentary provisions is another. The first decides the execution
of the document and the testamentary capacity of the testator; the second relates to descent
and distribution
The revocation invoked by the oppositors is not an express one, but merely implied from
subsequent acts of the testatrix allegedly evidencing an abandonment of the original intention to
bequeath or devise the properties concerned. As such, the revocation would not affect the will
itself, but merely the particular devise or legacy.
Issue NO. 2
Moreover, oppositors do not take issue with the court a quo's finding that they "have no
relationship whatsoever within the fifth degree as provided by law and therefore . . . are totally
(sic) strangers to the deceased whose will is under probate." They do not attempt to show that
they have some interest in the estate which must be protected. The uncontradicted evidence,
consisting of certified true copies of the parties' baptism and marriage certificates, support the
said court's finding in this respect.
It is a well-settled rule that in order that a person may be allowed to intervene in a probate
proceeding he must have an interest in the estate, or in the will, or in the property to be
affected by it either as executor or as a claimant of the estate (Ngo The Hua vs. Chung
Kiat Hua, et al., L-17091, September 30, 1963); and an interested party has been defined
as one who would be benefited by the estate such as an heir or one who has a claim
against the estate like a creditor. (Teotico vs. Del Val, etc., G.R. No. L- 18753, March 26,
1965.)
The reason for the rule excluding strangers from contesting the will, is not that thereby the court
may be prevented from learning facts which would justify or necessitate a denial of probate, but
rather that the courts and the litigants should not be molested by the intervention in the
proceedings of persons with no interest in the estate which would entitle them to be heard with
relation thereto. (Paras vs. Narciso, 35 Phil. 244.)
Case no. 14 Acain v. CA
Facts:

Petitioner Constantino Acain filed a petition for the probate of the will of the late Nemesio
Acain and for the issuance to the same petitioner of letters testamentary on the premise
that Nemesio Acain died leaving a will in which petitioner and his brothers Antonio, Flores
and Jose and his sisters Anita, Concepcion, Quirina and Laura were instituted as heirs.

The will contained provision:


Xxx. In case my brother Segundo Acain pre-deceased me, all the money properties,
lands, houses there in Bantayan and here in Cebu City which constitute my share
shall be given to me to his children, namely: Anita, Constantino, Concepcion,
Quirina, laura, Flores, Antonio and Jose, all surnamed Acain.

Segundo pre-deceased Nemesio. Thus it is the children of Segundo who are claiming to be
heirs.

The oppositors (respondents herein Virginia A. Fernandez, a legally adopted daughter of


tile deceased and the latter's widow Rosa Diongson Vda. de Acain filed a motion to
dismiss.
After the denial of their subsequent motion for reconsideration in the lower court,
respondents filed with the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari and prohibition with
preliminary injunction.
Respondent Intermediate Appellate Court granted private respondents' petition and
ordered the trial court to dismiss the petition for the probate of the will of Nemesio Acain.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied; petitioner filed this present
petition for the review of respondent Court's decision.

Issue:

Whether Petitioner has interest to allow him to intervene in a probate proceeding.

Held:
No, In order that a person may be allowed to intervene in a probate proceeding he must have an
interest iii the estate, or in the will, or in the property to be affected by it either as executor or as
a claimant of the estate and an interested party is one who would be benefited by the estate
such as an heir or one who has a claim against the estate like a creditor (Sumilang v. Ramagosa,
21 SCRA 1369/1967). Petitioner is not the appointed executor, neither a devisee or a legatee
there being no mention in the testamentary disposition of any gift of an individual item of
personal or real property he is called upon to receive (Article 782, Civil Code). At the outset, he
appears to have an interest in the will as an heir, defined under Article 782 of the Civil Code as a
person called to the succession either by the provision of a will or by operation of law. However,
intestacy having resulted from the preterition of respondent adopted child and the universal
institution of heirs, petitioner is in effect not an heir of the testator. He has no legal standing to
petition for the probate of the will left by the deceased and Special Proceedings No. 591 A-CEB
must be dismissed.
Case no. 15 Cuenco v. CA
Facts:
Senator Mariano Jesus Cuenco died on Febury 25, 1964. He was survived by his widow, the
herein petitioner Rosa Cayetano Cuenco, and their two (2) minor sons, Mariano Jesus, Jr. and
Jesus Salvador, both surnamed Cuenco, all residing at Quezon City, and by his children of the
first marriage, respondents herein, namely, Manuel Cuenco, Lourdes Cuenco, Concepcion Cuenco
Manguera, Carmen Cuenco, Consuelo Cuenco Reyes and Teresita Cuenco Gonzales, all of legal
age and residing in Cebu.
On 5 March 1964, respondent Lourdes Cuenco filed a Petition for Letters of Administration with
the court of first instance (CFI) of Cebu, alleging among other things, that the late senator
died intestate in Manila on 25 February 1964; that he was a resident of Cebu at the time of his
death; and that he left real and personal properties in Cebu and Quezon City.
On 12 March 1964, petitioner Rosa filed a petition with the CFI of Quezon City for the probate of
the deceased's last will and testament and for the issuance of letters testamentary in her favor,
as the surviving widow and executrix in the said last will and testament.
Having learned of the intestate proceeding in the Cebu court, petitioner Rosa filed in said Cebu
court an Opposition and Motion to Dismiss, dated 30 March 1964, as well as an Opposition to
Petition for Appointment of Special Administrator, dated 8 April 1964.

On 10 April 1964, the Cebu court issued an order holding in abeyance its resolution on
petitioner's motion to dismiss "until after the CFI of Quezon City shall have acted on the petition
for probate of that document purporting to be the last will and testament of the deceased Don
Mariano Jesus Cuenco." Such order of the Cebu court was neither excepted to nor sought by
respondents to be reconsidered or set aside by the Cebu court nor did they challenge the same
by certiorari or prohibition proceedings in the appellate courts.
Instead, respondents filed in the Quezon City court an Opposition and Motion to Dismiss,
dated 10 April 1964, opposing probate of the will and assailing the jurisdiction of the said Quezon
City court to entertain petitioner's petition for probate and for appointment as executrix in view
of the alleged exclusive jurisdiction vested by her petition in the Cebu court.
In its order of 11 April 1964, the Quezon City court denied the motion to dismiss, giving as a
principal reason the "precedence of probate proceeding over an intestate proceeding." The said
court further found in said order that the residence of the late senator at the time of his death
was at No. 69 Pi y Margal, Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City.
Respondent Lourdes's motion for reconsideration of the Quezon City court's said order of 11 April
1964 asserting its exclusive jurisdiction over the probate proceeding as deferred to by the Cebu
court was denied on 27 April 1964 and a second motion for reconsideration dated 20 May
1964 was likewise denied.
Instead of appealing from the Quezon City court's order admitting the will to probate and naming
petitioner-widow as executrix thereof, respondents filed a special civil action of certiorari and
prohibition with preliminary injunction with respondent Court of Appeals (CA) to bar the Quezon
City court from proceeding with case No. Q-7898.
On 21 November 1964, the CA rendered a decision in favor of respondents and against the
herein petitioner, holding that: Section 1, Rule 73, which fixes the venue in proceedings for the
settlement of the estate of a deceased person, covers both testate and intestate proceedings.
Sp. Proc. 2433-R of the Cebu CFI having been filed ahead, it is that court whose jurisdiction was
first invoked and which first attached. It also issues writ of prohibition against the Quezon City
court ordering it to refrain perpetually from proceeding with the testate proceedings and
annulling and setting aside all its orders and actions, particularly its admission to probate of the
decedent's last will and testament and appointing petitioner-widow as executrix thereof without
bond in compliance with the testator's express wish in his testament.
Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied in a resolution of respondent CA, dated 8 July
1965; hence the herein petition for review on certiorari.
Issue: Whether the appellate court erred in law in issuing the writ of prohibition against the
Quezon City court.
Held: Yes.
Rationale:
1. Rule 73, section 1 of the Rules of Court lays down the rule of venue, and specifies that "the
court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise
jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. It is equally conceded that the residence of the
deceased or the location of his estate is not an element of jurisdiction over the subject matter
but merely of venue.
It should be noted that the Rule on venue does not state that the court with whom the estate or
intestate petition is first filed acquires exclusive jurisdiction. A fair reading of the Rule since it

deals with venue and comity between courts of equal and co-ordinate jurisdiction indicates
that the court with whom the petition is first filed, must also first take cognizance of the
settlement of the estate in order to exercise jurisdiction over it to the exclusion of all other
courts.
Conversely, such court, may upon learning that a petition for probate of the decedent's last will
has been presented in another court where the decedent obviously had his conjugal domicile and
resided with his surviving widow and their minor children, and that the allegation of
the intestate petition before it stating that the decedent died intestate may be actually false,
may decline to take cognizance of the petition and hold the petition before it in abeyance, and
instead defer to the second court which has before it the petition for probate of the decedent's
alleged last will.
This exactly what the Cebu court did.
Upon petitioner-widow's filing with it a motion to dismiss Lourdes' intestate petition, it issued its
order holding in abeyance its action on the dismissal motion and deferred to the Quezon City
court, awaiting its action on the petition for probate before that court. Implicit in the Cebu court's
order was that if the will was duly admitted to probate, by the Quezon City court, then it would
definitely decline to take cognizance of Lourdes' intestate petition which would thereby be shown
to be false and improper, and leave the exercise of jurisdiction to the Quezon City court, to the
exclusion of all other courts. Likewise by its act of deference, the Cebu court left it to the Quezon
City court to resolve the question between the parties whether the decedent's residence at the
time of his death was in Quezon City where he had his conjugal domicile rather than in Cebu City
as claimed by respondents. The Cebu court thus indicated that it would decline to take
cognizance of the intestate petition before it and instead defer to the Quezon City
court, unless the latter would make a negative finding as to the probate petition and the
residence of the decedent within its territory and venue.
2. The relatively recent case of Uriarte vs. Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental, the Court
upheld the doctrine of precedence of probate proceedings over intestate proceedings in this
wise:
It can not be denied that a special proceeding intended to effect the distribution of the
estate of a deceased person, whether in accordance with the law on intestate succession
or in accordance with his will, is a "probate matter" or a proceeding for the settlement of
his estate. It is equally true, however, that in accordance with settled jurisprudence in this
jurisdiction, testate proceedings for the settlement of the estate of a deceased person
take precedence over intestate proceedings for the same purpose. Thus it has been held
repeatedly that, if in the course of intestate proceedings pending before a court of first
instance it is found that the decedent had left a last will, proceedings for the probate of
the latter should replace the intestate proceedings even if at that state an administrator
had already been appointed, the latter being required to render final account and turn
over the estate in his possession to the executor subsequently appointed. This however, is
understood to be without prejudice that should the alleged last will be rejected or is
disapproved, the proceeding shall continue as an intestacy. As already adverted to, this is
a clear indication that proceedings for the probate of a will enjoy priority over intestate
proceedings.
3. With more reason should the Quezon City proceedings be upheld when it is taken into
consideration that Rule 76, section 2 requires that the petition for allowance of a will must show:
"(a) the jurisdictional facts." Such "jurisdictional facts" in probate proceedings, as held by the
Court in Fernando vs. Crisostomo" are the death of the decedent, his residence at the time of his
death in the province where the probate court is sitting, or if he is an inhabitant of a foreign
country, his having left his estate in such province."

This tallies with the established legal concept as restated by Moran that "(T)he probate of a will is
a proceeding in rem. The notice by publication as a pre-requisite to the allowance of a will, is a
constructive notice to the whole world, and when probate is granted, the judgment of the court
is binding upon everybody, even against the State.The probate of a will by a court having
jurisdiction thereof is conclusive as to its due execution and validity." The Quezon City court
acted regularly within its jurisdiction in admitting the decedent's last will to probate and naming
petitioner-widow as executrix thereof. Hence, the Quezon city court's action should not be set
aside by a writ of prohibition for supposed lack of jurisdiction as per the appellate court's
appealed decision.
Case no. 16 Atilano Mercado v. Santos
Important points:
1. WILLS; CONCLUSIVENESS OF THE DUE EXECUTION OF A PROBATED WILL. Section 625 of the
Code of Civil Procedure is explicit as to the conclusiveness of the due execution of a probated
will. It provides: "No will shall pass either the real or personal estate, unless it is proved and
allowed in the Court of First Instance, or by appeal to the Supreme Court; and the allowance by
the court of a will of real and personal estate shall be conclusive as to its due execution."cralaw
virtua1aw library
2. ID.; ID. The probate of a will by the probate court having jurisdiction thereof is considered
as conclusive as to its due execution and validity, and is also conclusive that the testator was of
sound and disposing mind at the time when he executed the will, and was not acting under
duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence, and that the will is genuine and not a forgery.
3. ID.; ID.; PROCEEDING "IN REM." The probate of a will in this jurisdiction is a proceeding in
rem. The provision of notice by publication as a prerequisite to the allowance of a will is
constructive notice to the whole world, and when probate is granted, the judgment of the court
is binding upon everybody, even against the State.
4. ID.; ID.; CONCLUSIVE PRESUMPTION. Conclusive presumptions are inferences which the law
makes so peremptory that it will not allow them to be overturned by any contrary proof however
strong. The will in question having been probated by a competent court, the law will not admit
any proof to overthrow the legal presumption that it is genuine and not a forgery.
5. ID.; ID.; CRIMINAL ACTION AGAINST FORGER OF A DULY PROBATED WILL. Upon the facts
stated in the opinion of the court, it was held: That in view of the provisions of sections 306, 333
and 625 of the Code of Civil Procedure, criminal action will not lie in this jurisdiction against the
forger of a will which had been duly admitted to probate by a court of competent jurisdiction.
FACTS:
On May 28, 1931, the petitioner herein filed in the Court of First Instance of Pampanga a petition
for the probate of the will of his deceased wife, Ines Basa. Without any opposition, and upon the
testimony of Benigno F. Gabino, one of the attesting witnesses, the probate court, on June 27,
1931, admitted the will to probate.
Almost three years later, on April 11, 1934, the five intervenors herein moved ex parte to reopen
the proceedings, alleging lack of jurisdiction of the court to probate the will and to close the
proceedings. Because filed ex parte, the motion was denied. The same motion was filed a
second time, but with notice to the adverse party. The motion was nevertheless denied by the
probate court on May 24, 1934. On appeal to this court, the order of denial was affirmed on July
26, 1935. (Basa v. Mercado, 33 off. Gaz., 2521.)

It appears that on October 27, 1932, i. e., sixteen months after the probate of the will of Ines
Basa, intervenor Rosario Basa de Leon filed with the justice of the peace court of San Fernando,
Pampanga, a complaint against the petitioner herein, for falsification or forgery of the will
probated as above indicated. The petitioner was arrested. He put up a bond in the sum of P4,000
and engaged the services of an attorney to undertake his defense. Preliminary investigation of
the case was continued twice upon petition of the complainant. The complaint was finally
dismissed, at the instance of the complainant herself, in an order dated December 8, 1932.
Three months later, or on March 2, 1933, the same intervenor charged the petition for the
second time with the same offense, presenting the complaint this time in the justice of the peace
court of Mexico, Pampanga. The petitioner was again arrested, again put up a bond in the sum of
P4,000, and engaged the services of counsel to defend him. This second complaint, after
investigation, was also dismissed, again at the instance of the complainant herself who alleged
that the petitioner was in poor health. That was on April 27, 1933.
Some nine months later, on February 2, 1934, to be exact, the same intervenor accused the
same petitioner for the third time of the same offense. The information was filed by the
provincial fiscal of Pampanga in the justice of the peace court of Mexico. The petitioner was
again arrested, again put up a bond of P4,000, and engaged the services of defense counsel. The
case was dismissed on April 24, 1934, after due investigation, on the ground that the will alleged
to have been falsified had already been probated and there was no evidence that the petitioner
had forged the signature of the testatrix appearing thereon, but that, on the contrary, the
evidence satisfactorily established the authenticity of the signature aforesaid.
Dissatisfied with the result, the provincial fiscal, on May 9, 1934, moved in the Court of First
Instance of Pampanga for reinvestigation of the case. The motion was granted on May 23, 1934,
and, for the fourth time, the petitioner was arrested, filed a bond and engaged the services of
counsel to handle his defense. The reinvestigation dragged on for almost a year until February
18, 1934, when the Court of First Instance ordered that the case be tried on the merits.
The petitioner interposed a demurrer on November 25, 1935, on the ground that the will alleged
to have been forged had already been probated. This demurrer was overruled on December 24,
1935, whereupon an exception was taken and a motion for reconsideration and notice of appeal
were filed. The motion for reconsideration and the proposed appeal were denied on January 14,
1936.
The case proceeded to trial, and forthwith petitioner moved to dismiss the case claiming again
that the will alleged to have been forged had already been probated and, further, that the order
probating the will is conclusive as to the authenticity and due execution thereof.
The motion was overruled and the petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a petition
for certiorari with preliminary injunction to enjoin the trial court from further proceedings in the
matter. The injunction was issued and thereafter, on June 19, 1937, the Court of Appeals denied
the petition for certiorari, and dissolved the writ of preliminary injunction. Three justices
dissented in a separate opinion. The case is now before this court for review on certiorari.
Issue: Whether or not the probate of the will of Petitioners deceased wife is a bar to his criminal
prosecution for the alleged forgery of the said will.
Ruling:
Section 625 of the same Code is more explicit as to the conclusiveness of the due execution of a
probated will. It says: "SEC. 625. Allowance Necessary, and Conclusive as to Execution.
No will shall pass either the real or personal estate, unless it is proved and allowed
in the Court of First Instance, or by appeal to the Supreme Court; and the allowance
by the court of a will of real and personal estate shall be conclusive as to its due

execution." (Emphasis ours.)


In Manahan v. Manahan (58 Phil., 448, 451), we held: ". . . The decree of probate is conclusive
with respect to the due execution thereof and it cannot be impugned on any of the grounds
authorized by law, except that of fraud, in any separate or independent action or proceeding
In 28 R. C. L., p. 377, section 378, it is said:j"The probate of a will by the probate court having
jurisdiction thereof is usually considered as conclusive as to its due execution and validity, and is
also conclusive that the testator was of sound and disposing mind at the time when he executed
the will, and was not acting under duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence, and that the will is
genuine and not a forgery." (Emphasis ours.)
As our law on wills, particularly section 625 of our Code of Civil Procedure aforequoted, was
taken almost bodily from the Statutes of Vermont, the decisions of the Supreme Court of that
State relative to the effect of the probate of a will are of persuasive authority in this jurisdiction.
The probate of a will in this jurisdiction is a proceeding in rem. The provision of notice by
publication as a prerequisite to the allowance of a will is constructive notice to the whole world,
and when probate is granted, the judgment of the court is binding upon everybody, even against
the State. This court held in the case of Manalo v. Paredes and Philippine Food Co. (47 Phil., 938):
"The proceeding for the probate of a will is one in rem (40 Cyc., 1265), and the court acquires
jurisdiction over all the persons interested, through the publication of the notice prescribed by
section 630 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and any order that may be entered therein is binding
against all of them.
"Through the publication of the petition for the probate of the will, the court acquires jurisdiction
over all such persons as are interested in said will; and any judgment that may be rendered after
said proceeding is binding against the world."virtua1aw library
Section 333, paragraph 4, of the Code of Civil Procedure establishes an incontrovertible
presumption in favor of judgments declared by it to be conclusive. library
The will in question having been probated by a competent court, the law will not
admit any proof to overthrow the legal presumption that it is genuine and not a
forgery.
The majority decision of the Court of Appeals cites English decisions to bolster up its conclusion
that "the judgment admitting the will to probate is binding upon the whole world as to the due
execution and genuineness of the will insofar as civil rights and liabilities are concerned, but not
for the purpose of punishment of a crime."
"A judgment admitting a will to probate cannot be attacked collaterally although the will was
forged; and a payment to the executor names therein of a debt due the decedent will discharge
the same, notwithstanding the spurious character of the instrument probated. It has also been
held that, upon an indictment for forging a will, the probate of the paper in question is conclusive
evidence in the defendants favor of its genuine character. But this particular point has lately
been ruled otherwise."cralaw virtua1aw library
The dissenting opinion of the Court of Appeals in the instant case under review makes
a cursory study of the statutes obtaining in England, Massachusetts and Florida, and
comes to the conclusion that the decisions cited in the majority opinion do not appear
to "have been promulgated in the face of statutes similar to ours." The dissenting
opinion cites Whartons Criminal Evidence (11th ed., sec. 831), to show that the
probate of a will in England is only prima facie proof of the validity of the will (Op. Cit.

quoting Marriot v. Marriot, 93 English Reprint, 770); and 21 L. R. A. (pp. 686-689 and
note), to show that in Massachusetts there is no statute making the probate of a will
conclusive, and that in Florida the statute (sec. 1810, Revised Statutes) makes the
probate conclusive evidence as to the validity of the will with regard to personal, and
prima facie as to real estate. The cases decided by the Supreme Court of Florida cited
by the majority opinion, supra, refer to wills of both personal and real estate.
Although in the foregoing case (State v. McGlynn) the information filed by the State was to set
aside the decree of probate on the ground that the will was forged, we see no difference in
principle between that case and the case at bar. A subtle distinction could perhaps be drawn
between setting aside a decree of probate, and declaring a probated will to be a forgery. it is
clear, however, that a duly probated will cannot be declared to be a forgery without disturbing in
a way the decree allowing said will to probate. It is at least anomalous that a will should be
regarded as genuine for one purpose and spurious for another.
The American and English cases show a conflict of authorities on the question as to whether or
not the probate of a will bars criminal prosecution of the alleged forger of the probated will. We
have examined some important cases and have come to the conclusion that no fixed standard
may be adopted or drawn therefrom, in view of the conflict no less than of diversity of statutory
provisions obtaining in different jurisdictions. It behooves us, therefore, as the court of last
resort, to choose that rule most consistent with our statutory law, having in view the needed
stability of property rights and the public interest in general.
To be sure, we have seriously reflected upon the dangers of evasion from punishment of culprits
deserving of the severity of the law in cases where, as here, forgery is discovered after the
probate of the will and the prosecution is had before the prescription of the offense. By and
large, however, the balance seems inclined in favor of the view that we have taken. Not only
does the law surround the execution of the will with the necessary formalities and require
probate to be made after an elaborate judicial proceeding, but section 113, not to speak of
section 513, of our Code of Civil Procedure provides for an adequate remedy to any party who
might have been adversely affected by the probate of a forged will, much in the same way as
other parties against whom a judgment is rendered under the same or similar circumstances.
(Pecson v. Coronel, 43 Phil., 358.)
The aggrieved party may file an application for relief with the proper court within a reasonable
time, but in no case exceeding six months after said court has rendered the judgment of
probate, on the ground of mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect. An appeal lies to
review the action of a court of first instance when that court refuses to grant relief.
After a judgment allowing a will to be probated has become final and unappelable, and after the
period fixed by section 113 of the Code of Civil Procedure has expired, the law as an expression
of the legislative wisdom goes no further and the case ends there.
We hold, therefore, that in view of the provisions of sections 306, 333 and 625 of our
Code of Civil Code Procedure, criminal action will not lie in this jurisdiction against the
forger of a will which had been duly admitted to probate by a court of competent
jurisdiction.
The resolution of the foregoing legal question is sufficient to dispose of the case.
From the view we take of the instant case, the petitioner is entitled to have the criminal
proceedings against him quashed. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is hereby reversed,
without pronouncement regarding costs. So ordered.
Case no. 17 Abut v. Abut

A proceeding for the probate of a will is one in rem, such that with the corresponding
publication of the petition the court's jurisdiction extends to all persons interested in said will or
in the settlement of the estate of the deceased. The fact that the amended petition named
additional heirs not included in the original petition did not require that notice of the amended
petition be published anew. All that Section 4 of Rule 76 provides is that those heirs be notified
of the hearing for the probate of the will, either by mail or personally
Facts:
On August 4, 1965 Generoso Abut, one of the children of the deceased Cipriano Abut by his
second marriage and the person named as executor in a will allegedly executed by the said
deceased, filed a petition before the court a quo praying that after due notice and hearing the
said will be approved and allowed and that letters testamentary issue in his favor. In an
amended order dated September 1, 1965 the court a quo motu proprio set the petition for
hearing and further directed compliance with Sections 3 and 4 of Rule 76 of the Rules of
Court. These procedural steps admittedly took place.
Opposition to the petition was filed by the children of Cipriano Abut by his first marriage, namely,
Felipe Abut, Presentacion de Rodriguez and Absoluto Abut, now appellees here.
During the pendency of the case below but before the court a quo could even start the formal
hearing of the petition, which had been delayed by several postponements, Generoso Abut, the
original petitioner who initiated the probate proceeding, died on January 10, 1966. This
eventuality prompted Gavina Abut, a sister of Generoso Abut and an heir and devisee under the
will of the testator Cipriano Abut, to ask the court a quo to substitute her in lieu of Generoso
Abut and to admit an amended petition wherein she prayed that the probate of the will be
allowed and that letters of administration with the will annexed be issued in her favor. For
reasons stated in its order of July 2, 1966, hereinabove quoted, the court a quo dismissed the
petition originally brought by the deceased Generoso Abut, "without prejudice to the filing of
another petition pursuant to the requirements of the Rules of Court."
ISSUE:
Whether or not the probate court correctly dismissed the petition simply because the original
petitioner who was the executor named in the will sought to be probated died before the
petition could be heard and/or terminated.
Stated otherwise, after the court had acquired jurisdiction over the case involving probate of the
will, did the demise of the original petitioner during the pendency of the proceeding divest the
court of such jurisdiction and preclude the continuation of the case on the theory that the
amended petition filed by herein petitioner, who admittedly was a person having an interest in
the estate, seeking to substitute her in place of the original petitioner, but with a similar prayer
for the allowance of the same will, required a new publication in order to invest the court with
jurisdiction.
RULING:
We find the dismissal of the original petition for probate and the refusal of the probate court to
admit the amended petition without a new publication thereof to be untenable. The jurisdiction

of the court became vested upon the filing of the original petition and upon compliance with
Sections 3 and 4 of Rule 76.
A proceeding for the probate of a will is one in rem, such that with the corresponding publication
of the petition the court's jurisdiction extends to all persons interested in said will or in the
settlement of the estate of the deceased. The fact that the amended petition named additional
heirs not included in the original petition 3 did not require that notice of the amended petition be
published anew. All that Section 4 of Rule 76 provides is that those heirs be notified of the
hearing for the probate of the will, either by mail or personally. In the case of Perez vs. Perez this
Court explained:
Thus it appears that such "no notice" argument has no legal foundation. At any rate the
omission, if any, did not affect the jurisdiction of the court; it constituted a mere
procedural error that may or may not be the basis of reversal (Jocson vs. Nable, 48 O.G.
90). Indeed, this Tribunal has ruled that the court acquires jurisdiction over all persons
interested in the estate through the publication of the petition in the newspapers (In re
Estate of Johnson, 39 Phil. 159; Jocson vs. Nable, supra) which in this case admittedly
took place.
Service of notice on individual heirs or legatees or devisees is a matter of procedural
convenience, not jurisdictional requisite. So much so that even if the names of some legatees or
heirs had been omitted from the petition for allowance of the will and therefore were not
advised the decree allowing the will does not ipso facto become void for want of jurisdiction ...
Jurisdiction of the court once acquired continues until the termination of the case, and remains
unaffected by subsequent events. The court below erred in holding that it was divested of
jurisdiction just because the original petitioner died before the petition could be formally heard.
Parties who could have come in and opposed the original petition, as herein appellees did, could
still come in and oppose the amended petition, having already been notified of the pendency of
the proceeding by the publication of the notice thereof.
The admission of the amended petition, of course, does not mean that Gavina Abut's prayer that
she be appointed administratrix with the will annexed is necessarily meritorious. It simply
recognizes that since the lower court has acquired jurisdiction over the res, such jurisdiction
continues until the termination of the case. The first question that the lower court should hear
and decide is the probate of the will; and the question of whether or not Gavina Abut should be
appointed administratrix must be decided on the basis of the facts to be presented and after the
will is proved and allowed, as provided in Section 6 of Rule 78.
WHEREFORE, the order dated July 2, 1966 is set aside and the case is remanded below, with
direction for the lower court to admit the amended petition and thereafter proceed accordingly.
Costs against oppositors-appellees.
NOTE:
Sections 3 and 4 of Rule 76 read:
"SEC. 3. Court to appoint time for proving will. Notice thereof to be published. When a will is
delivered to, or a petition for the allowance of a will is filed in, the court having jurisdiction, such
court shall fix a time and place for proving the will when all concerned may appear to contest the

allowance thereof, and shall cause notice of such time and place to be published three (3) weeks
successively, previous to the time appointed, in a newspaper of general circulation in the
province.
xxx xxx xxx
SEC. 4. Heirs, devisees, legatees, and executors to be notified by mail or personally. The court
shall also cause copies of the notice of the time and place fixed for proving the will to be
addressed to the designated or other known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator
resident in the Philippines at their place of residence, and deposited in the post office with the
postage thereon prepaid at least twenty (20) days before the hearing, if such places of residence
be known. ... Personal service of copies of the notice at least ten (10) days before the day of
hearing shall be equivalent to mailing.
xxx xxx xxx"
Case no. 18 De Guzman v. Angeles
May a probate court act on and/or grant motions for the appointment of a special administrator,
for the issuance of a writ of possession of alleged properties of the deceased person, and for
assistance to preserve the estate in a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate even
before the court has caused notice to be served upon all interested parties pursuant to section 3,
Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court?
Facts:
On May 5, 1987, private respondent Elaine G. de Guzman filed a petition for the settlement of
the intestate estate of Manolito de Guzman, before the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Metro
Manila. The case was docketed as Special Proceedings .No. M-1436.
On March 22,1987, Manolito de Guzman died in Makati, Metro Manila; at the time of his death,
the decedent was a resident of Makati, Metro Manila; decedent left personal and real properties
as part of his estate, the properties were acquired after the marriage of the petitioner to the
decedent and therefore are included in their conjugal partnership; the estate of -the decedent
has a probable net value which may be provisionally assessed at P4,000,000.00 more or less;
After diligent search and inquiry to ascertain whether the decedent left a last will and testament,
none has been found and according to the best knowledge information and belief of the
petitioner, Manolito de Guzman died intestate; and the petitioner as the survey surviving spouse
of the decedent, is most qualified and entitled to the grant of letters of administration.
On May 22, 1987, the private respondent filed a motion for writ of possession over five (5)
vehicles registered under the name of Manolito de Guzman, alleged to be conjugal properties of
the de Guzman's but which are at present in the possession of the private respondent's father-inlaw, herein petitioner Pedro de Guzman. The motion stated that as co-owner and heir, the private
respondent must have the possession of said vehicles in order to preserve the assets of her late
husband. On May 29, 1987, the petitioner's counsel filed a notice of appearance and an "Urgent
Motion For Extension of Time to File an Opposition and for Resetting of the Hearing." The motion
was granted.
In the meantime, on May 28, 1987, the private respondent filed her "Ex-Parte Motion to Appoint
Petitioner as Special Administratrix of the Estate of Manolito de Guzman." In an order dated

June 5, 1987, the lower court granted the private respondent's motion to be
appointed as special administratrix.
On June 8, 1987, the lower court issued another order, Acting on the Urgent Ex-Parte
Motion for Assistance" filed by Petitioner-Special Administratrix Elaine de Guzman for
appointment of Deputy Sheriffs Honorio Santos and Jose B. Flora together with some
military men and/or policemen to assist her in preserving the estate of Manolito de
Guzman, the motion is granted and the Deputy Sheriffs Honorio Santos and Jose B.
Flora are hereby appointed for that purpose, provided that the subject matter of the
motion for writ of possession pending before this Court shall not be affected.
Trouble ensued when the respondents tried to enforce the above order. The petitioner resisted
when Deputy Sheriffs Jose B. Flora and Honorio Santos tried to take the subject vehicles on the
ground that they were his personal properties. According to the petitioner, this resulted in a
"near shoot-out between members of the Makati Police, who were to maintain peace and order,
and the CAPCOM soldiers who were ostensibly aiding respondent sheriffs and Elaine G. de
Guzman" and that "the timely arrival of Mayor Jejomar Binay of Makati defused the very volatile
situation which resulted in an agreement between the parties that the bulldozer, sought to be
taken, be temporarily placed in the custody of Mayor Binay, while the parties seek clarification of
the order from respondent Judge Zosimo Angeles the next day, June 9, 1981 at 10:30 a.m."
In the conference held before the respondent court attended by the counsels for both parties,
the June 8, 1987 order was clarified to the effect that the order "must be merely to
take and preserve assets admittedly belonging to the estate, but not properties, the
ownership of which is claimed by third persons." The petitioner then filed a manifestation
listing properties which he claimed to be his own.
Thereafter, the instant petition was filed to annul the lower court's orders dated June 5, 1987 and
June 8, 1987.
In a resolution dated June 10, 1987, we issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the
respondent court from enforcing the two questioned orders.
The petitioner contends that the June 5, 1987 order is a patent nullity, the respondent court not
having acquired jurisdiction to appoint a special administratrix because the petition for the
settlement of the estate of Manolito de Guzman was not yet set for hearing and published for
three consecutive weeks, as mandated by the Rules of Court. The petitioner also stresses that
the appointment of a special administratrix constitutes an abuse of discretion for having been
made without giving petitioner and other parties an opportunity to oppose said appointment.
Anent the June 8, 1987 order, the petitioner alleges that the immediate grant of the motion
praying for the court's assistance in the preservation of the estate of the deceased, "without
notice to the petitioner Pedro de Guzman, and its immediate implementation on the very same
day by respondent Elaine G. de Guzman with the assistance of respondents deputy sheriffs, at no
other place but at the home of the petitioner Pedro de Guzman, are eloquent proofs that all the
antecedent events were intended solely to deprive petitioner de Guzman of his property without
due process of law." He also prays that the respondent Judge be disqualified from further
continuing the case.
Issue: Whether or not a probate court may appoint a special administratrix and issue a writ of
possession of alleged properties of a decedent for the preservation of the estate in a petition for
the settlement of the intestate estate of the said deceased person even before the probate court
causes notice to be served upon all interested parties pursuant to section 3, Rule 79 of the
Revised Rules of Court?

Ruling:
As early as March 18, 1937, in the case of Santos v. Castillo (64 Phil. 211) we ruled that before a
court may acquire jurisdiction over the case for the probate of a will and the administration of
the properties left by a deceased person, the application must allege the residence of the
deceased and other indispensable facts or circumstances and that the applicant is the executor
named in the will or is the person who had custody of the will to be probated.
In the instant case, there is no doubt that the respondent court acquired jurisdiction over the
proceedings upon the filing of a petition for the settlement of an intestate estate by the private
respondent since the petition had alleged all the jurisdictional facts, the residence of the
deceased person, the possible heirs and creditors and the probable value of the estate of the
deceased Manolito de Guzman pursuant to Section 2, Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court.
We must, however, differentiate between the jurisdiction of the probate court over the
proceedings for the administration of an estate and its jurisdiction over the persons who are
interested in the settlement of the estate of the deceased person. The court may also have
jurisdiction over the "estate" of the deceased person but the determination of the properties
comprising that estate must follow established rules.
Section 3, Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court provides:
Court to set time for hearing. Notice thereof. When a petition for
letters of administration is filed in the court having jurisdiction, such
court shall fix a time and place for hearing the petition, and shall cause
notice thereof to be given to the known heirs and creditors of the
decedent, and to any other persons believed to have an interest in the
estate, in the manner provided in sections 3 and 4 of Rule 76.
It is very clear from this provision that the probate court must cause notice through publication
of the petition after it receives the same. The purpose of this notice is to bring all the interested
persons within the court's jurisdiction so that the judgment therein becomes binding on all the
world. (Manalo v. Paredes, 47 Phil. 938; Moran, Comment on the Rules of Court Volume 3,1980
Edition) Where no notice as required by Section 3, Rule 79 of the Rules of Court has been given
to persons believed to have an interest in the estate of the deceased person; the proceeding for
the settlement of the estate is void and should be annulled. The requirement as to notice is
essential to the validity of the proceeding in that no person may be deprived of his right to
property without due process of law. (Eusebio v. Valmores, 96 Phil. 163).
Verily, notice through publication of the petition for the settlement of the estate of a deceased
person is jurisdictional, the absence of which makes court orders affecting other persons,
subsequent to the petition void and subject to annulment.
In the instant case, no notice as mandated by section 3, Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court
was caused to be given by the probate court before it acted on the motions of the private
respondent to be appointed as special administratrix, to issue a writ of possession of alleged
properties of the deceased person in the widow's favor, and to grant her motion for assistance to
preserve the estate of Manolito de Guzman.
The "explanation" which we required of the respondent Judge for his apparent haste in issuing
the questioned orders, states:
In issuing the subject Orders, undersigned acted in the honest conviction that it would be to
the best interest of the estate without unduly prejudicing any interested party or third person.

Any delay in issuing the said Orders might have prejudiced the estate for the properties may be
lost, wasted or dissipated in the meantime. (Rollo, p. 86)
This explanation while seemingly plausible does not sufficiently explain the disregard of the Rule.
If indeed, the respondent court had the welfare of both the estate and the person who have
interest in the estate, then it could have caused notice to be given immediately as mandated by
the Revised Rules of Court. All interested persons including herein petitioner who is the biggest
creditor of the estate listed in the Petition (P850,240.80) could have participated in the
proceedings especially so, because the respondent immediately filed a motion to have herself
appointed as administratrix. A special administrator has been defined as the
"representative of decedent appointed by the probate court to care for and preserve
his estate until an executor or general administrator is appointed."
It is not clear from the records exactly what emergency would have ensued if the appointment of
an administrator was deferred at least until the most interested parties were given notice of the
proposed action. No unavoidable delay in the appointment of a regular administrator is apparent
from the records. If emergency situations threatening the dissipation of the assets of an estate
justify a court's immediately taking some kind of temporary action even without the required
notice, no such emergency is shown in this case. The need for the proper notice even for the
appointment of a special administrator is apparent from the circumstances of this case.
The respondent Judge himself explains that the order for the preservation of the estate was
limited to properties not claimed by third parties. If certain properties are already in the
possession of the applicant for special administratrix and are not claimed by other persons, we
see no need to hurry up and take special action to preserve those properties. As it is, the sheriffs
took advantage of the questioned order to seize by force, properties found in the residence of the
petitioner which he vehemently claims are owned by him and not by the estate of the deceased
person.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The questioned orders of the Regional Trial Court,
Branch 58 of Makati are hereby set aside. The case is ordered remanded to the lower court for
the hearing of the petition with previous notice to all interested parties as required by law. In
view of the voluntary inhibition of the respondent Judge, the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial
Court, Makati is directed to re-raffle the case to another branch of the court. The Temporary
Restraining Order dated June 10, 1987 is made permanent. No costs.
SO ORDERED.
FACTS:
On May 5, 1987, private respondent Elaine G. de Guzman filed a petition for the settlement of
the intestate estate of Manolito de Guzman, RTC of Makati. The case was docketed as Special
Proceedings .No. M-1436.
On May 22, 1987, the private respondent filed a motion for writ of possession over five (5)
vehicles registered under the name of Manolito de Guzman, alleged to be conjugal properties of
the de Guzman's but which are at present in the possession of the private respondent's father-inlaw, herein petitioner Pedro de Guzman. The motion stated that as co-owner and heir, the private
respondent must have the possession of said vehicles in order to preserve the assets of her late
husband. On the same day, the lower court issued an order setting for hearing the motion on
May 27, 1987 directing the deputy sheriff to notify petitioner Pedro de Guzman at the expense of
the private respondent.
In an order dated May 28,1987, the aforesaid motion was set for hearing on June 5, 1987. In this
same order, the lower court directed that all parties in the case be notified. However, no notice
of the order was given to the petitioner.

the lower court granted the private respondent's motion to be appointed as special
administratrix, and issued another order that the Administratrix Elaine de Guzman for
appointment of Deputy Sheriffs together with some military men and/or policemen to assist her
in preserving the estate of Manolito de Guzman.
Trouble ensued when the respondents tried to enforce the above order. The petitioner resisted
when Deputy Sheriffs Jose B. Flora and Honorio Santos tried to take the subject vehicles on the
ground that they were his personal properties.
Thereafter, the instant petition was filed to annul the lower court's orders dated June 5, 1987 and
June 8, 1987.
In a resolution dated June 10, 1987, the SC issued a TRO
PETITIONER COTENTS: that the order is a patent nullity, the respondent court not having
acquired jurisdiction to appoint a special administratrix because the petition for the settlement of
the estate of Manolito de Guzman was not yet set for hearing and published for three
consecutive weeks, as mandated by the Rules of Court. The petitioner also stresses that the
appointment of a special administratrix constitutes an abuse of discretion for having been made
without giving petitioner and other parties an opportunity to oppose said appointment.
Anent the June 8, 1987 order, the petitioner alleges that the immediate grant of the motion
praying for the court's assistance in the preservation of the estate of the deceased, "without
notice to the petitioner Pedro de Guzman, and its immediate implementation on the very same
day by respondent Elaine G. de Guzman with the assistance of respondents deputy sheriffs, at no
other place but at the home of the petitioner Pedro de Guzman, are eloquent proofs that all the
antecedent events were intended solely to deprive petitioner de Guzman of his property without
due process of law." He also prays that the respondent Judge be disqualified from further
continuing the case.
ISSUE: whether or not a probate court may appoint a special administratrix and issue a writ of
possession of alleged properties of a decedent for the preservation of the estate in a petition for
the settlement of the intestate estate of the said deceased person even before the probate court
causes notice to be served upon all interested parties pursuant to section 3, Rule 79 of the
Revised Rules of Court.
HELD: As early as March 18, 1937, in the case of Santos v. Castillo (64 Phil. 211) the court held
that before a court may acquire jurisdiction over the case for the probate of a will and the
administration of the properties left by a deceased person, the application must allege the
residence of the deceased and other indispensable facts or circumstances and that the applicant
is the executor named in the will or is the person who had custody of the will to be probated.
In the instant case, there is no doubt that the respondent court acquired jurisdiction over
proceedings upon the filing of a petition for the settlement of an intestate estate by
private respondent since the petition had alleged all the jurisdictional facts, the residence of
deceased person, the possible heirs and creditors and the probable value of the estate of
deceased Manolito de Guzman pursuant to Section 2, Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court.

the
the
the
the

We must, however, differentiate between the jurisdiction of the probate court over the
proceedings for the administration of an estate and its jurisdiction over the persons who are
interested in the settlement of the estate of the deceased person. The court may also have
jurisdiction over the "estate" of the deceased person but the determination of the properties
comprising that estate must follow established rules.

Section 3, Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court provides:


Court to set time for hearing. Notice thereof. When a petition for letters of
administration is filed in the court having jurisdiction, such court shall fix a time and place
for hearing the petition, and shall cause notice thereof to be given to the known heirs and
creditors of the decedent, and to any other persons believed to have an interest in the estate,
in the manner provided in sections 3 and 4 of Rule 76.
It is very clear from this provision that the probate court must cause notice through publication
of the petition after it receives the same. The purpose of this notice is to bring all the interested
persons within the court's jurisdiction so that the judgment therein becomes binding on all the
world. Where no notice as required by Section 3, Rule 79 of the Rules of Court has been given to
persons believed to have an interest in the estate of the deceased person; the proceeding for
the settlement of the estate is void and should be annulled. The requirement as to notice is
essential to the validity of the proceeding in that no person may be deprived of his right to
property without due process of law. Verily, notice through publication of the petition for the
settlement of the estate of a deceased person is jurisdictional, the absence of which makes court
orders affecting other persons, subsequent to the petition void and subject to annulment.
In the instant case, no notice as mandated by section 3, Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court
was caused to be given by the probate court before it acted on the motions of the private
respondent to be appointed as special administratrix, to issue a writ of possession of alleged
properties of the deceased person in the widow's favor, and to grant her motion for assistance to
preserve the estate of Manolito de Guzman.
Petition is GRANTED. The questioned orders of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 58 of Makati are
hereby set aside. The case is ordered remanded to the lower court for the hearing of the petition
with previous notice to all interested parties as required by law.
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23

Azaola v. Singson
Codoy v. Calugay
Francisco Gago v. Mamuyac
Maravilla v. Maravilla
Joaquina R. Infante de Aranz v. Hon. Nicolas Galing

Facts:
Joaquin R-Infante filed with the RTC of Pasig a petition for probate and allowance of the last will
and testament of Monserrat RInfante y G-Pola. The petition specified the names and addresses
of the petitioners as lagatees and devisees. The probate court then issued an order setting the
petition for hearing. This order was published in Nueva Era a newspaper of general circulation
once a week for three consecutive weeks. Joaquin was then allowed to present evidence ex-parte
and was appointed executor. The petitioners filed an MR alleging that as named legatees no
notices were sent to them as required by Section 4 of Rule 76 and they prayed that they be
given time to file their opposition. This
was denied.
Issue:
Whether or not the requirement under Section 4, Rule 76 is mandatory and the omission
constitutes a reversible error for being constitutive of grave abuse of discretion?
Held:
YES. It is clear for the Rule that notice in time and place of the hearing for the allowance of a will
shall be forwarded to the designated, or other known heirs, legatees and devisees residing in the

Philippines at their places of residence, if such place of residence be known. In this case, there is
no question that the places of residence of the petitioners are known to the probate court. The
requirement of the law for the allowance of the will was not satisfied by mere publication of the
notice of hearing for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.
Case no. 24 Cynthia C. Alaban, et al v. CA
Facts:
On 8 November 2000, respondent Francisco Provido (respondent) filed a petition, for the probate
of the Last Will and Testament of the late Soledad Provido Elevencionado, who died on 26
October 2000 in Janiuay, Iloilo. Respondent alleged that he was the heir of the decedent and the
executor of her will. On 30 May 2001, the Regional Trial Court rendered its Decision allowing the
probate of the will.
More than four (4) months later, petitioners filed a motion for the reopening of the probate
proceedings. Likewise, they filed an opposition to the allowance of the will of the decedent, as
well as the issuance of letters testamentary to respondent, claiming that they are the intestate
heirs of the decedent.
The RTC issued an Order denying petitioners motion for being unmeritorious.
Petitioners thereafter filed a petition with the CA, seeking the annulment of the RTCs decision.
They claimed that after the death of the decedent, petitioners, together with respondent, held
several conferences to discuss the matter of dividing the estate of the decedent, with respondent
agreeing to a one-sixth (1/6) portion as his share. Petitioners allegedly drafted a compromise
agreement to implement the division of the estate. Despite receipt of the agreement, respondent
refused to sign and return the same. Petitioners opined that respondent feigned interest in
participating in the compromise agreement so that they would not suspect his intention to
secure the probate of the will. CA dismissed the petition.
Issue:
Whether or not the CA committed grave abuse of discretion when it dismissed their petition for
the alleged failure to show that they have not availed of or resorted to the remedies of new trial,
appeal, petition for relief from judgment or other remedies through no fault of their own
Ruling:
For failure to make use without sufficient justification of the said remedies available to them,
petitioners could no longer resort to a petition for annulment of judgment; otherwise, they would
benefit from their own inaction or negligence.
Even casting aside the procedural requisite, the petition for annulment of judgment must still fail
for failure to comply with the substantive requisites, as the appellate court ruled.
An action for annulment of judgment is a remedy in law independent of the case where the
judgment sought to be annulled was rendered. The purpose of such action is to have the final
and executory judgment set aside so that there will be a renewal of litigation. It is resorted to in
cases where the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief from judgment, or other
appropriate remedies are no longer available through no fault of the petitioner, and is based on
only two grounds: extrinsic fraud, and lack of jurisdiction or denial of due process. A person need
not be a party to the judgment sought to be annulled, and it is only essential that he can prove

his allegation that the judgment was obtained by the use of fraud and collusion and he would be
adversely affected thereby.
An action to annul a final judgment on the ground of fraud lies only if the fraud is extrinsic or
collateral in character. Fraud is regarded as extrinsic where it prevents a party from having a trial
or from presenting his entire case to the court, or where it operates upon matters pertaining not
to the judgment itself but to the manner in which it is procured. The overriding consideration
when extrinsic fraud is alleged is that the fraudulent scheme of the prevailing litigant prevented
a party from having his day in court.
The non-inclusion of petitioners names in the petition and the alleged failure to personally notify
them of the proceedings do not constitute extrinsic fraud. Petitioners were not denied their day
in court, as they were not prevented from participating in the proceedings and presenting their
case before the probate court.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED

RULE 77: Allowance of Will Proved outside of the Philippines and Administration of
Estate Thereunder
Case no. 1 Fluemer v. Hix
Case no. 2 Vda de Perez v. tolete
Case no. 3 PCIB v. Escolin
Case no. 4 Miciano v. Brimo
Case no. 5 Suntay v. Suntay
Case no. 6 Guevarra v. Guevarra
Case no. 7 Ethel Grimm Robert v. Judge Tomas Leonidas
Case no. 8 Alonzo Q. Ancheta v. Candelaria Guersey-Dalaygon
Facts:
Spouses Audrey ONeil and Richard Guersay were American citizens who have resided in
the Philippines for 30 years, with an adopted daughter Kyle Guersay Hill. Audrey died leaving a
will which bequeathed her entire estate to Richard. The will was admitted to probate before the
Orphans Court of Baltimore, Maryland, USA, which named James Phillips as executor and Atty.
Alonzo Ancheta as the ancillary administrator.
In 1981, Richard married Candelaria Guersay-Dalaygon with whom he has two children,
namely Kimberly and Kevin. After a year, Audreys will was also admitted to probate by the CFI
Rizal.
On 1984, Richard died, leaving a will, wherein he bequeathed his entire estate to
Candelaria, save for his rights and interest over the A/G Interiors, Inc. shares, which he left to
Kyle. The said will was admitted to probate before the Orphans Court of Baltimore, Maryland,
USA. In the same way, it was submitted to probate before RTC Makati. Atty. William Quasha was
appointed as ancillary administrator.
Atty. Ancheta filed in special proceeding a motion to declare Richard and Kyle as heirs of
Audrey wherein Richard is being apportioned with of the Makati property while Kyle receives
of which.
Candelaria opposed to the said motion citing that Audrey, in her will, devised her entire
estate to Richard and that under the law of the State of Maryland, a legacy passes to the
legatee the entire interest of the testator in the property subject of the legacy.
Issue:

Whether or not the property in question should be governed by the national laws of the
decedent.
Held:
It is the national law of the decedent that is applicable. The national law of the person who made
the will shall regulate whose succession is in consideration whatever the nature of the property
and regardless of the country where the property maybe found, as provided for under Art. 16 of
the Civil Code.
Case no. 9 Vda. De Perez v. Tolete
FACTS:
Dr. Jose Cunanan and his wife, Dr. Evelyn Perez-Cunanan, who became American citizens and
residents of New York, each executed a will also in New York, containing provisions on
presumption of survivorship (in the event that it is not known which one of the spouses died first,
the husband shall be presumed to have predeceased his wife).
Later, the entire family perished in a fire that gutted their home. Thus, Rafael, who was named
trustee in Joses will, filed for separate probate proceedings of the wills.
Later, Evelyns mother, Salud Perez, filed a petition for reprobate in Bulacan. Rafael opposed,
arguing that Salud was not an heir according to New York law. He contended that since the wills
were executed in New York, New York law should govern. He further argued that, by New York
law, he and his brothers and sisters were Joses heirs and as such entitled to notice of the
reprobate proceedings, which Salud failed to give.
For her part, Salud said she was the sole heir of her daughter, Evelyn, and that the two wills were
in accordance with New York law. But before she could present evidence to prove the law of New
York, the reprobate court already issued an order, disallowing the wills.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the reprobate of the wills should be allowed
HELD:
Extrinsic Validity of Wills of Non-Resident Aliens
The respective wills of the Cunanan spouses, who were American citizens, will only be effective
in this country upon compliance with the following provision of the Civil Code of the Philippines:
Art. 816. The will of an alien who is abroad produces effect in the Philippines if made with the
formalities prescribed by the law of the place in which he resides, or according to the formalities
observed in his country, or in conformity with those which this Code prescribes.
Thus, proof that both wills conform with the formalities prescribed by New York laws or by
Philippine laws is imperative.
Evidence for Reprobate of Wills Probated outside the Philippines
The evidence necessary for the reprobate or allowance of wills which have been probated outside
of the Philippines are as follows: (1) the due execution of the will in accordance with the foreign
laws; (2) the testator has his domicile in the foreign country and not in the Philippines; (3) the
will has been admitted to probate in such country; (4) the fact that the foreign tribunal is a
probate court, and (5) the laws of a foreign country on procedure and allowance of wills
Except for the first and last requirements, the petitioner submitted all the needed evidence.

The necessity of presenting evidence on the foreign laws upon which the probate in the foreign
country is based is impelled by the fact that our courts cannot take judicial notice of them.
On Lack of Notice to Joses Heirs
This petition cannot be completely resolved without touching on a very glaring fact - petitioner
has always considered herself the sole heir of Dr. Evelyn Perez Cunanan and because she does
not consider herself an heir of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan, she noticeably failed to notify his heirs of the
filing of the proceedings. Thus, even in the instant petition, she only impleaded respondent
Judge, forgetting that a judge whose order is being assailed is merely a nominal or formal party
(Calderon v. Solicitor General, 215 SCRA 876 [1992]).
The rule that the court having jurisdiction over the reprobate of a will shall "cause notice thereof
to be given as in case of an original will presented for allowance" (Revised Rules of Court, Rule
27, Section 2) means that with regard to notices, the will probated abroad should be treated as if
it were an "original will" or a will that is presented for probate for the first time. Accordingly,
compliance with Sections 3 and 4 of Rule 76, which require publication and notice by mail or
personally to the "known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator resident in the Philippines"
and to the executor, if he is not the petitioner, are required.
The brothers and sisters of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan, contrary to petitioner's claim, are entitled to
notices of the time and place for proving the wills. Under Section 4 of Rule 76 of the Revised
Rules of Court, the "court shall also cause copies of the notice of the time and place fixed for
proving the will to be addressed to the designated or other known heirs, legatees, and devisees
of the testator, . . . "
WHEREFORE, the questioned Order is SET ASIDE. Respondent Judge shall allow petitioner
reasonable time within which to submit evidence needed for the joint probate of the wills of the
Cunanan spouses and see to it that the brothers and sisters of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan are given all
notices and copies of all pleadings pertinent to the probate proceedings.
RULE 78: Letter Testamentary and of Administration, when and to whom issued
Case no. 1 Gabriel v. CA
Case no. 2 Heirs of Belinda Dahlia-Castillo v. Lacuata-Gabriel
Case no. 3 Uy v. CA
Facts: Ma. Socorro filed before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 78, a petition for
the issuance of letters of administration of the estate of Antonio Avelino, Sr., who died intestate
on April 10, 1989. She asked that she be appointed the administrator of the estate.
Angelina and the siblings filed their opposition by filing a motion to convert the said judicial
proceedings to an action for judicial partition which petitioner duly opposed.
Public respondent judge issued an Order granting the said motion and converted the petition
into a judicial partition of the estate of Antonio Avelino sr.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, but it was denied.
Ma. Socorro filed before the Court of Appeals, a petition for certiorari, prohibition, and
mandamus alleging grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the
part of the trial court, in granting private respondents' motion to convert the judicial proceeding
for the issuance of letters of administration to an action for judicial partition.
Petitioner insists that no partition of the estate is possible in the instant case as no determination
has yet been made of the character and extent of the decedent's estate.

Petitioner also insists that the Rules of Court does not provide for conversion of a motion for the
issuance of letters of administration to an action for judicial partition. The conversion of the
motion was, thus, procedurally inappropriate and should be struck down for lack of legal basis.
Issues:
(1) Whether or not partition is proper under the premises.
(2) Whether or not the CA erred in upholding the decision of lower court in
converting the action for letter of administration into judicial partition.
Ruling:
(1) Yes.
When a person dies intestate, or, if testate, failed to name an executor in his will or the executor
so named is incompetent, or refuses the trust, or fails to furnish the bond required by the Rules
of Court, then the decedent's estate shall be judicially administered and the competent court
shall appoint a qualified administrator in the order established in Section 6 of Rule 78.The
exceptions to this rule are found in Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 74.
The heirs succeed immediately to all of the rights and properties of the deceased at the moment
of the latter's death. Section 1, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court, allows heirs to divide the estate
among themselves without need of delay and risks of being dissipated. When a person dies
without leaving pending obligations, his heirs, are not required to submit the property for judicial
administration, nor apply for the appointment of an administrator by the court.
We note that the Court of Appeals found that in this case "the decedent left no debts and the
heirs and legatees are all of age." With this finding, it is our view that Section 1, Rule 74 of the
Rules of Court should apply.
(2) No. The Court of Appeals committed no reversible error.
We find, however, that a complete inventory of the estate may be done during the partition
proceedings, especially since the estate has no debts. Hence, the Court of Appeals committed no
reversible error when it ruled that the lower court did not err in converting petitioner's action for
letters of administration into an action for judicial partition.
The basis for the trial court's order is Section 1, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court. It provides that in
cases where the heirs disagree as to the partition of the estate and no extrajudicial settlement is
possible, then an ordinary action for partition may be resorted to, as in this case. We have held
that where the more expeditious remedy of partition is available to the heirs, then the heirs or
the majority of them may not be compelled to submit to administration proceedings. The trial
court appropriately converted petitioner's action for letters of administration into a suit for
judicial partition, upon motion of the private respondents. No reversible error may be attributed
to the Court of Appeals when it found the trial court's action procedurally in order.
Case
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5
6
7

In the matter of the Intestate of the Late Juan Locsin v. jose Locsin
Alfredo G. Baluyut v. Hon. Ernani Cruz Pano
Heirs of Belinda Dahlia A. Castillo v. Dolores Lacuata-Gabriel
Wilson S. Uy v. CA

FACTS:
Jose K.C. Uy (Deceased) died intestate and is survived by his spouse, Sy Iok Ing Uy, and his five
children, namely, Lilian Uy, Lilly Uy, Livian Uy-Garcia , Lilen Uy and Wilson Uy (Petitioner). Special

Proceedings No. 97-241 was instituted and Lilia Hofilea was appointed as special administrator
of the estate of the deceased. Petitioner moved to reconsider the order appointing Lilia Hofilea
as special administrator with prayer that letters of administration be issued to him instead. Judge
Ramon B. Posadas revoked Lilia Hofileas appointment as special administrator and denied her
petition to be appointed as regular administrator. Meanwhile, letters of administration were
granted to petitioner, who took his oath of office as administrator .
Johnny K. H. Uy (Private Respondent) filed a motion to intervene that he be appointed as
administrator of the estate in lieu of petitioner. He alleged that he is the brother and a creditor of
the deceased, and has knowledge of the properties that should be included in the estate.
The trial court initially denied private respondents motion to intervene, but it reconsidered its
earlier order and appointed private respondent as co-administrator of the estate. Petitioners
motion for reconsideration was denied.
Petitioner then moved that private respondent bring into the estate properties belonging to the
deceased, which motion was granted by the trial court. Not satisfied with the compliance of
private respondent, petitioner reiterated his motion for removal of the former as coadministrator, but the same was denied.
The trial court found that private respondent substantially complied with the order directing him
to bring into the estate properties owned by or registered in the name of the deceased not
subject of any adverse claim or controversy when he listed the alleged properties suspected to
be concealed, embezzled or conveyed away by the persons named therein. Thus, it found no
cogent reason to remove private respondent as co-administrator.
Thereafter, petitioner appealed to the CA by way of a petition for certiorari which however,
dismissed the petition. CA held that the refusal of the trial court to remove private respondent as
co-administrator of the estate is neither an error of jurisdiction nor a grave abuse of discretion;
that the appointment of private respondent was justified; that the order of preference under
Section 6 of Rule 78 of the Rules of Court does not rule out the appointment of coadministrators; that the institution of a case for annulment of title and reconveyance against
respondent does not justify private respondents removal as co-administrator. Petitioners motion
for reconsideration was denied, hence, this petition.
ISSUES:
(1) Whether the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion in appointing private respondent
as co-administrator to the estate of the deceased. (NO)
RULING:
The petition is without merit.
I.) There is no question that petitioner was appointed as regular administrator of the estate of
the deceased Jose K. C. Uy on June 9, 1998. However, private respondent in his motion to
intervene sought to be appointed as administrator as he is not only the brother of the decedent
but also a creditor who knows the extent of the latters properties. Thus, the trial court, while
retaining petitioner as administrator, appointed private respondent as co-administrator of the
estate.
The main function of a probate court is to settle and liquidate the estates of deceased persons
either summarily or through the process of administration. In the case at bar, the trial court
granted letters of administration to petitioner and thereafter to private respondent as coadministrator. Under Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court, the preference to whom letters of
administration may be granted are as follows:
SEC. 6. When and to whom letters of administration granted. If no executor is named in
the will, or the executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the trust, or fail to give bond,

or a person dies intestate, administration shall be granted:


(a) To the surviving husband or wife, as the case may be, or next of kin, or both, in the
discretion of the court, or to such person as such surviving husband or wife, or next of kin,
requests to have appointed, if competent and willing to serve;
(b) If such surviving husband or wife, as the case may be, or next of kin, or the person
selected by them, be incompetent or unwilling, or if the husband or widow, or next of kin,
neglects for thirty (30) days after the death of the person to apply for administration or to
request that administration be granted to some other person, it may be granted to one or
more of the principal creditors, if competent and willing to serve;
(c) If there is no such creditor competent and willing to serve, it may be granted to such
other person as the court may select.
The order of preference in the appointment of an administrator depends on the attendant facts
and circumstances. In the instant case, the order of preference was not disregarded by the trial
court. Instead of removing petitioner, it appointed private respondent, a creditor, as coadministrator since the estate was sizeable and petitioner was having a difficult time attending
to it alone. In fact, petitioner did not submit any report regarding the estate under his
administration.
A co-administrator performs all the functions and duties and exercises all the powers of a regular
administrator, only that he is not alone in the administration. The practice of appointing coadministrators in estate proceedings is not prohibited. In Gabriel v. Court of Appeals, this Court
reaffirmed that jurisprudence allows the appointment of co-administrators under certain
circumstances, to wit: Under both Philippine and American jurisprudence, the appointment of coadministrators has been upheld for various reasons, viz: (1) to have the benefit of their judgment
and perhaps at all times to have different interests represented; (2) where justice and equity
demand that opposing parties or factions be represented in the management of the estate of the
deceased; (3) where the estate is large or, from any cause, an intricate and perplexing one to
settle; (4) to have all interested persons satisfied and the representatives to work in harmony for
the best interests of the estate; and (5) when a person entitled to the administration of an estate
desires to have another competent person associated with him in the office. (Emphasis supplied)
Thus, petitioners argument that the trial court cannot re-open the issue of the appointment of
an administrator without removing the incumbent administrator is erroneous. In probate
proceedings, considerable latitude is allowed a probate court in modifying or revoking its own
orders as long as the proceedings are pending in the same court and timely applications or
motions for such modifications or revocations are made by the interested parties. In the instant
case, the estate of the deceased has not yet been settled and the case is still within the
jurisdiction of the court.
Case no. 8 Vilma Tan v. Ca
Case no. 9 Lim v. Diasmaillares
FACTS: On February 26, 1954, Cirilo Lim, claiming to be a nephew of the late Jose Millarez who
died intestate on October 22, 1953, filed with the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental a
petition for his appointment as judicial administrator of the estate of the deceased.
Basilisa Diaz-Millarez, claiming to be a widow of the late Jose Millarez, filed an opposition on two
grounds: that the petitioner has an adverse interest in the estate; and that the properties of the
estate are the subject matter of a litigation between her as plaintiff and Cirilo Lim as defendant
in Civil Case No. 2986.

The petition was dismissed. On appeal, the CA certified the appeal to the SC because the case
did not involve any question of fact.
ISSUE: WON Lim is suitable for appointment as administrator to the estate of Jose Millares.
HELD: NO.
The claim which Basilisa has against Cirilo in the civil case supposed to be now again pending in
the trial court, is based on her declared right to one-half of the estate of the deceased. It cannot,
therefore, be denied that Cirilo Lim, as a relative of the deceased, has some interest adverse to
that of Basilisa. Shown to have some liabilities to Basilisa and to the estate as a whole, Cirilo
cannot compatibly perform the duties of an administrator. In this jurisdiction, one is considered to
be unsuitable for appointment as administrator when he has adverse interest of some kind or
hostility to those immediately interested in the estate.
The determination of a person's suitability for the office of judicial administrator rests, to a great
extent, in the sound judgment of the court exercising the power of appointment and said
judgment is not to be interfered with on appeal unless the said court is clearly in error.
Case no. 10 Republic v. Marcos
FACTS:

On January 11, 1996, the RTC of Pasig City Branch 156, acting as a probate court, issued
an Order granting letters testamentary in solidum to respondents Ferdinand R. Marcos II
and Imelda Trinidad Romualdez-Marcos as executors of the last will and testament of the
late Ferdinand E. Marcos.
Upon the filing of a bond in the amount of P50,000.00, letters testamentary shall be issued
in solidum to Imelda Trinidad Romualdez-Marcos AND Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos II,
named executors therein. Pending the filing of said bond and their oath, Commissioner
Liwayway Vinzons-Chato of the BIR is hereby authorized to continue her functions as
Special Administrator of the Estate of Ferdinand Marcos.

Subsequently, the RTC issued Letters of Administration to said BIR Commissioner in


accordance with an earlier Order, appointing her as Special Administratrix of the Marcos
Estate. Respondent Ferdinand Marcos II filed a Motion to Revoke the Letters of
Administration issued by the RTC to BIR Commissioner Vinzons-Chato.

Petitioner, on the other hand, opposed the appointment of Imelda and Ferdinand II as
executors of the will. Petitioner anchored its opposition to the grant of letters testamentary
to respondents, specifically on the following grounds: (1) want of integrity, and (2)
conviction of an offense involving moral turpitude. Petitioner contends that respondents
have been convicted of a number of cases and, hence, should be characterized as one
without integrity, or at the least, with questionable integrity.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondents are incompetent to serve as executors of the will of Ferdinand
Marcos. NO
RULING:
Ozeata v. Pecson is instructive:

The choice of his executor is a precious prerogative of a testator, a necessary concomitant of his
right to dispose of his property in the manner he wishes. It is natural that the testator should
desire to appoint one of his confidence, one who can be trusted to carry out his wishes in the
disposal of the estate. The curtailment of this right may be considered as a curtailment of the
right to dispose. And as the rights granted by will take effect from the time of death (Article 777,
Civil Code of the Philippines), the management of his estate by the administrator of his choice
should be made as soon as practicable, when no reasonable objection to his assumption of the
trust can be interposed any longer. It has been held that when a will has been admitted to
probate, it is the duty of the court to issue letters testamentary to the person named
as executor upon his application.
The case of In re Erlanger's Estate also reiterates the same principle.
The courts have always respected the right to which a testator enjoys to determine who is most
suitable to settle his testamentary affairs, and his solemn selection should not lightly be
disregarded. After the admission of a will to probate, the courts will not name a better
executor for the testator nor disqualify, by a judicial veto, the widow or friend or
other person selected in the will, except upon strict proof of the statutory grounds of
incompetency.
Section 1(c), Rule 78 of the Rules of Court defines who are incompetent to serve as
executors, to wit:
Section 1. Who are incompetent to serve as executors or administrators. No
person is competent to serve as executor or administrator who:
xxxx
(c) Is in the opinion of the court unfit to execute the duties of trust by reason of
drunkenness, improvidence, or want of understanding or integrity, or by reason
of conviction of an offense involving moral turpitude.
With regards to the incompetency alleged by petitioner,
following manner:

RTC disposed of the matter in the

However, except for petitioner Republics allegation of want of integrity on the part of Imelda
Trinidad Romualdez-Marcos and Ferdinand Romualdez Marco II, named executors in the last will
and testament, so as to render them "incompetent" to serve as executors, the Court sees at
this time, no evidence on record, oral or documentary, to substantiate and support
the said allegation. The two cases against respondent Imelda Marcos have already been
reversed. On the other hand, the eight cases filed against respondent Ferdinand II involve four
charges for violation of Section 45 (failure to file income tax returns) and four charges for
violation of Section 50 (non-payment of deficiency taxes) of the National Internal Revenue Code
of 1977 (NIRC), the CA acquitted him on the said charges. The Court held that even if the
conviction of respondent Marcos II is affirmed, the same NOT being a crime involving moral
turpitude cannot serve as a ground for his disqualification
Case no. 11 Angeles v. Maglaya
FACTS:
Francisco died intestate, leaving behind 4 parcels of land and a building, among other
valuable properties.
Respondent filed a petition for letters of administration and her appointment as
administratrix of the intestate estate of Francisco.

Petitioner opposed the petition and prayed that she, instead of respondent, be made the
administratrix of Franciscos estate.
In support of her opposition and plea, petitioner
1. alleged having married Francisco and that Francisco represented in their marriage
contract that he was single at that time
2. also averred that respondent could not be the daughter of Francisco for, although she
was recorded as Franciscos legitimate daughter, the corresponding birth certificate
was not signed by him.
3. further alleged that respondent, despite her claim of being the legitimate child of
Francisco and Genoveva, has not presented the marriage contract between her
supposed parents or produced any acceptable document to prove such union.
4. averred that she and Francisco had, during their marriage, legally adopted Concesa A.
Yamat, et al.
Petitioner thus urged that she, being the surviving spouse of Francisco, be declared as
possessed of the superior right to the administration of his estate.
I: W/N petitioner should be appointed as administratrix of Franciscos estate.

H: Yes. On the matter of appointment of administrator of the estate of the deceased, the
surviving spouse is preferred over the next of kin of the decedent. When the law speaks of "next
of kin", the reference is to those who are entitled, under the statute of distribution, to the
decedents property; one whose relationship is such that he is entitled to share in the estate as
distributed, or, in short, an heir.
In resolving, therefore, the issue of whether an applicant for letters of administration is a next of
kin or an heir of the decedent, the probate court perforce has to determine and pass upon the
issue of filiation. A separate action will only result in a multiplicity of suits. Upon this
consideration, the trial court acted within bounds when it looked into and pass upon the claimed
relationship of respondent to the late Francisco Angeles.
Case no. 12 Tan v. Gedorio
FACTS:
Gerardo Tan (Gerardo) died on 14 October 2000, leaving no will. On 31 October 2001, private
respondents, who are claiming to be the children of Gerardo Tan, filed with the RTC a Petition for
the issuance of letters of administration. Petitioners, claiming to be legitimate heirs of Gerardo
Tan, filed an Opposition to the Petition. Private respondents then moved for the appointment of a
special administrator, asserting the need for a special administrator to take possession and
charge of Gerardos estate until the Petition can be resolved by the RTC or until the appointment
of a regular administrator. They prayed that their attorney-in-fact, Romualdo D. Lim (Romualdo),
be appointed as the special administrator. Petitioners filed an Opposition to private respondents
Motion for Appointment, arguing that none of the private respondents can be appointed as the
special administrator since they are not residing in the country. Petitioners contend further that
Romualdo does not have the same familiarity, experience or competence as that of their copetitioner Vilma C. Tan (Vilma) who was already acting as de facto administratrix of his estate
since his death. On 18 March 2002, Atty. Clinton Nuevo (Nuevo), as court-appointed
commissioner. More than a year later or on 23 May 2003, the RTC, acting on the private
respondents Urgent Ex-parte Motion to resolve pending incident, gave Vilma another 10 days to
comply with the directive of Atty. Nuevo. Again, no compliance has been made. Consequently,

on 12 June 2003, RTC Judge Eric F. Menchavez issued an Order[4] appointing Romualdo as
special administrator of Gerardos Estate. On MFR of the foregoing Order, claiming that petitioner
Vilma should be the one appointed as special administratix as she was allegedly next of kin of
the deceased, however, the MFR was denied. Petitioners instituted with the Court of Appeals a
Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition assailing the 17 July 2003 Order, again insisting on
petitioner Vilmas right to be appointed as special administratix. Petitioners likewise prayed for
the issuance of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order (TRO) to enjoin
Romualdo from entering the estate and acting as special administrator thereof.
Petitioners contend[11] that they should be given priority in the administration of the estate
since they are allegedly the legitimate heirs of the late Gerardo, as opposed to private
respondents, who are purportedly Gerardos illegitimate children. Petitioners rely on the
doctrine that generally, it is the nearest of kin, whose interest is more preponderant, who is
preferred in the choice of administrator of the decedents estate. Petitioners also claim that they
are more competent than private respondents or their attorney-in-fact to administer Gerardos
estate. Petitioners Vilma and Gerardo Jake Tan (Jake) claim to have lived for a long time and
continue to reside on Gerardos estate, while respondents are not even in the Philippines, having
long established residence abroad. Petitioners additionally claim that petitioner Vilma has been
acting as the administratrix of the estate since Gerardos death on 14 October 2000 and is thus
well steeped in the actual management and operation of the estate.
ISSUE: W/N the order of preference in the appointment of a regular administrator as provided
Section 6 Rule 78 of the ROC apply to the selection of a special administrator. NO
RULING: The order of preference petitioners speak of is found in Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules
of Court, which provides:

SEC. 6. When and to whom letters of administration granted.If no executor is named in the will,
or the executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the trust, or fail to give bond, or a person
dies intestate, administration shall be granted:

(a) To the surviving husband or wife, as the case may be, or next of kin, or both, in the discretion
of the court, or to such person as such surviving husband or wife, or next of kin, requests to have
appointed, if competent and willing to serve;
(b) If such surviving husband or wife, as the case may be, or next of kin, or the person selected
by them, be incompetent or unwilling, or if the husband or widow, or next of kin, neglects for
thirty (30) days after the death of the person to apply for administration or to request that
administration be granted to some other person, it may be granted to one or more of the
principal creditors, if competent and willing to serve;
(c) If there is no such creditor competent and willing to serve, it may be granted to such other
person as the court may select.
However, this Court has consistently ruled that the order of preference in the appointment of a
regular administrator as provided in the afore-quoted provision does not apply to the selection of
a special administrator.[13] The preference under Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court for
the next of kin refers to the appointment of a regular administrator, and not of a special
administrator, as the appointment of the latter lies entirely in the discretion of the court, and is
not appealable.[14]
Not being appealable, the only remedy against the appointment of a special administrator is
Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, which was what petitioners filed with the Court of
Appeals. We agree with the Court of Appeals that there was no grave abuse of discretion on the

part of respondent Judge Gedorio in affirming Judge Menchavezs appointment of Romualdo as


special administrator.
If petitioners really desire to avail themselves of the order of preference provided in Section 6,
Rule 78 of the Rules of Court, so that petitioner Vilma as the supposed next of kin of the late
Gerardo may take over administration of Gerardos estate, they should already pursue the
appointment of a regular administrator and put to an end the delay which necessitated the
appointment of a special administrator. The appointment of a special administrator is justified
only when there is delay in granting letters, testamentary (in case the decedent leaves behind a
will) or administrative (in the event that the decedent leaves behind no will, as in the Petition at
bar) occasioned by any cause.[18] In the case at bar, private respondents were constrained to
move for the appointment of a special administrator due to the delay caused by the failure of
petitioner Vilma to comply with the directives of the court-appointed commissioner. It would
certainly be unjust if petitioner Vilma were still appointed special administratix, when the
necessity of appointing one has been brought about by her defiance of the lawful orders of the
RTC or its appointed officials. Petitioners submit the defense that petitioner Vilma was unable to
comply with the directives of the RTC to deposit with the court the income of Gerardos estate
and to provide an accounting thereof because of the fact that Gerardos estate had no income.
This defense is clearly specious and insufficient justification for petitioner Vilmas noncompliance. If the estate truly did not have any income, petitioners should have simply filed a
manifestation to that effect, instead of continuing to disregard the courts orders.

Finally, as we are now resolving the case in favor of private respondents, there is no longer any
need to discuss petitioners arguments regarding the denial by the appellate court of their
prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or TRO.
Case no. 13 Gonzales v. Aguinaldo
Facts:

Special Proceedings No. 021, pending before the court a quo, is an intestate proceeding
involving the estate of the deceased Doa Ramona Gonzales Vda. de Favis. Doa Ramona
is survived by her four (4) children who are her only heirs, namely, Asterio Favis, Beatriz F.
Gonzales, Teresa F. Olbes, and Cecilia Favis-Gomez.
The court a quo appointed petitioner Beatriz F. Gonzales and private respondent Teresa
Olbes as co-administratices of the estate.
Petitioner Beatriz F. Gonzales was in the United States accompanying her ailing husband
who was receiving medical treatment in that country, private respondent Teresa Olbes
filed a motion to remove Beatriz F. Gonzales as co-administratrix, on the ground that she is
incapable or unsuitable to discharge the trust and had committed acts and omissions
detrimental to the interest of the estate and the heirs.
Only Asterio Favis opposed the removal of Beatriz F. Gonzales as co-administratrix, as the
latter was still in the United States attending to her ailing husband.
Respondent Judge cancelled the letters of administration granted to Beatriz F. Gonzales
and retained Teresa Olbes as the administratrix of the estate of the late Ramona Gonzales.
Petitioner moved to reconsider the Order. Her motion was opposed separately by private
respondent Teresa Olbes and another co-heir Cecilia Gomez.
Respondent Judge denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration for lack of merit.
Petitioner contends that respondent Judge's Order should be nullified on the ground of
grave abuse of discretion, as her removal was not shown by respondents to be anchored
on any of the grounds provided under Section 2, Rule 82, Rules of Court.

Issue:

Whether Petitioners removal as administrator is justifiable.

Held:

No, as the appointment of petitioner Beatriz F. Gonzales was valid, and no satisfactory
cause for her removal was shown.
While it is conceded that the court is invested with ample discretion in the removal of an
administrator, it however must have some fact legally before it in order to justify a
removal. There must be evidence of an act or omission on the part of the administrator
not conformable to or in disregard of the rules or the orders of the court, which it deems
sufficient or substantial to warrant the removal of the administrator. In making such a
determination, the court must exercise good judgment, guided by law and precedents.
It is desirable that the administration of the deceased's estate be marked with harmonious
relations between co-administrators. But for mere disagreements between such joint
fiduciaries, without misconduct, one's removal is not favored.
Petitioner Beatriz F. Gonzales is as interested as respondent Olbes and the other heirs in
that the properties of the estate be duly administered and conserved for the benefit of the
heirs; and there is as yet no ground to believe that she has prejudiced or is out to
prejudice said estate to warrant the probate court into removing petitioner as coadministratrix.
Suffice it to state, temporary absence in the state does not disqualify one to be an
administrator of the estate.
Suffice it to state that the removal of an administrator does not lie on the whims, caprices and
dictates of the heirs or beneficiaries of the estate, nor on the belief of the court that it would
result in orderly and efficient administration.

RULE 79: Opposing issuance of Letters Testamentary, Petition and Contest for Letters
of Administration
Case no. 1 Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. v. Dumlao
Facts:
Ricardo M. Gonzalez, District Manager of Shell Philippines, Inc. for Mindanao (Shell for brevity),
filed on 8 January 1973 a petition entitled "In the Matter of the Intestate Estate of the Deceased
Regino Canonoy, Petition for Letters of Administration, Ricardo M. Gonzalez, Petitioner" with the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Agusan del Norte and Butuan City, praying therein that he be
appointed judicial administrator of the estate of the deceased Regino Canonoy.
On March 21, 1973, private respondents opposed the issuance of letters of administration to
Gonzalez alleging, among others, that Gonzalez is a complete stranger to the intestate estate of
Regino Canonoy, and he is an employee of Shell Philippines, Inc., an alleged creditor of the
estate, and so he would not be able to properly and effectively protect the interest of the estate
in case of conflicts. They, however, propose and pray that Bonifacio Canonoy be appointed
administrator to the estate of Regino Canonoy pursuant to Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of
Court.
On 25 July 1973, after due hearing, the trial court appointed Bonifacio Canonoy as administrator
of the intestate estate of Regino Canonoy, having found him competent to act as such. None of
the parties moved to reconsider this order or appealed therefrom. On 23 November 1973, herein
petitioner Shell, filed its claim against the estate of the deceased Regino Canonoy. The duly
appointed administrator, Bonifacio Canonoy, filed on 9 October 1974 a Motion to Dismiss the
claim of Shell which the latter contested by filing an Opposition.
On 18 August 1975, petitioner filed a motion to require the judicial administrator to file an
inventory of the properties of the deceased.
A motion to dismiss was filed on 30 September 1975. It alleges that the court did not acquire
jurisdiction over the subject matter and nature thereof because the petitioner therein, Mr.
Gonzalez, is not the "interested person" contemplated by Section 2, Rule 79 of the Rules of
Court. Shell filed its Opposition to the Motion on 16 October 1975 on the ground that the trial
court had acquired jurisdiction over the case to issue letters of administration as the interest of
Gonzalez in the estate is not a jurisdictional fact that needs to be alleged in the petition. If at all,
Gonzalez' lack of interest in the estate of the deceased only affected his competence to be
appointed administrator.
In an Order dated 8 November 1975, respondent Judge, finding the motion to be well-taken and
meritorious, dismissed the case. The motion for its reconsideration having been denied by the

trial court on 23 January 1976, Shell filed the instant petition which it denominated as a petition
for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
Issues:
1. Whether or not the jurisdictional facts that need to be stated in a petition for letters of
administration under Section 2(a), Rule 79 of the Rules of Court include the specific assertion
that the petitioner therein is an "interested person.
2. Whether or not the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the case.
Held:
1. Yes.
Under the peculiar circumstances of the case, the trial court clearly acted with grave abuse of
discretion when it dismissed SP PROC. No. 343 after having set for pre-trial petitioner's amended
claim against the estate. That said dismissal was predicated solely on the ground that petitioner
therein, Ricardo Gonzalez, is not an "interested person," and that, since such interest is a
jurisdictional requirement, the trial court acquired no jurisdiction over the case, serves only to
compound the error.
Section 2, Rule 79 of the Rules of Court provides for the contents of petition of letters for
administration. One of which is the jurisdictional facts.
The jurisdictional facts alluded to are: the death of the testator, his residence at the time of his
death in the province where the probate court is sitting or, if he is an inhabitant of a foreign
country, his having left his estate in such province. These facts are amply enumerated in the
petition filed by Gonzalez. The fact of death of the intestate and of his residence within the
country are foundation facts upon which all the subsequent proceedings in the administration of
the estate rest, and that if the intestate was not an inhabitant of the state at the time of his
death, and left no assets in the state, and none came into it afterwards, no jurisdiction is
conferred on the court to grant letters of administration in any county. Clearly, the allegation that
a petitioner seeking letters of administration is an interested person, does not fall within the
enumeration of jurisdictional facts. Of course, since the opening sentence of the section requires
that the petition must be filed by an interested person, it goes without saying that a motion to
dismiss may lie not on the basis of lack of jurisdiction on the part of the court, but rather on the
ground of lack of legal capacity to institute the proceedings.
In the case of Saguinsin vs. Lindayag, this Court defined an interested party as one who would be
benefited by the estate, such as an heir, or one who has a claim against the estate, such as a
creditor; this interest must be material and direct, not merely indirect or contingent.
The Saguinsin doctrine is not, however, without exception. An objection to a petition for letters of
administration on that ground may be barred by waiver or estoppel.
2. Yes.
Private respondents herein did not file a motion to dismiss the petition filed by Gonzalez on the
ground of lack of capacity to sue; they instead filed an Opposition which, unfortunately, did not
ask for the dismissal of the petition but merely opposed the issuance of letters of administration
in favor of Gonzalez because, among other reasons, he is a stranger to the estate. The failure to
move for a dismissal amounted to a waiver of the above-mentioned ground. Section 8, Rule 15 of
the Rules of Court provides that: A motion attacking a pleading or a proceeding shall include all
objections then available, and all objections not so included shall be deemed waived.

By proposing that Bonifacio Canonoy be appointed as administrator instead of Mr. Gonzalez,


private respondents have in fact approved or ratified the filing of the petition by the latter.
In Tijam, et al. al. vs. Sibonghanoy, et al., this Court held: It has been held that a party can not
invoke the jurisdiction of a court to secure affirmative relief against his opponent and, after
obtaining or failing to obtain such relief, repudiate or question that same jurisdiction. (Dean vs.
Dean, 136 Or. 694, 86 A.L.R. 79).
Furthermore, it has also been held that after voluntarily submitting a cause and encountering an
adverse decision on the merits, it is too late for the loser to question the jurisdiction or power of
the court (Pease vs. Rathbun-Jones etc). And in Littleton vs. Burgess, 16 Wyo. 58, the Court said
that it is not right for a party who has affirmed and invoked the jurisdiction of a court in a
particular matter to secure an affirmative relief, to afterwards deny that same jurisdiction to
escape a penalty.
The respondent Judge should have lent his ears to Tijam vs. Sibonghanoy instead of peremptorily
granting the motion to dismiss in an Order which does not even care to expound on why the
court found the said motion to be meritorious. He exhibited undue haste in removing the case
from his docket and in abdicating judicial authority and responsibility. Howsoever viewed, he
committed grave abuse of discretion.
Case no. 2 Guzman v. angeles
Case no. 3 Sagunsin v. Lidayag
1. EXECUTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS; APPOINTMENT; WHO MAY BE APPOINTED
ADMINISTRATOR; WHEN SISTER OF DECEDENT MAY NOT BE APPOINTED. Where it is
undisputed that the decedent left a husband and three legally adopted children, a petition for
issuance of letters of administration in favor of the sister of said decedent was properly
dismissed for lack of interest in the estate, she being neither an heir nor a creditor thereof.
2. CONCEPT OF "AN INTERESTED PERSON" IN THE ESTATE OF DECEDENT. An interest party has
been defined in this connection as one who would be benefited by the estate, such as an heir, or
one who has a claim against the estate, such as a creditor (Intestate Estate of Julio Magbanwa 40
Off. Gaz. 1171).And it is well settled in this jurisdiction that in civil actions as well as special
proceedings, the interest required in order that a person may be a party thereto must be
material and direct, and not merely indirect or contingent. (Trillana v. Crisostomo, 89 Phil., 710;
Espinosa v. Barrios, 70 Phil. 311).

FACTS:
On November 10, 1959 Maria V. Lindayag died intestate in Olongapo, Zambales. On May 27,
1960 her sister, Isabel V. Saguinsin, filed with the Court of First Instance of said province a
verified petition for the issuance in her favor of letters of administration over the estate of said
deceased, alleging, among other things, that the latter left real and personal properties situated
in the provinces of Zambales and Bulacan worth approximately P100,000; that the names, ages
and residence of her surviving heirs were: (1) Dionisio Lindayag, 60 years of age, surviving
husband, residing at Olongapo, Zambales, (2) Isabel V. Saguinsin, 54 years of age, sister of the
deceased, residing at Hagonoy, Bulacan, (3) Aurora V. Sacdalan, 46 years of age, sister of the
deceased, and (4) Ines V. Calayag, 70 years of age, sister of the deceased, both residing at
Paombong, Bulacan; and that, as far as petitioner knew, the decedent left no debts at the time of

her death.
On June 21, 1960 Dionisio V. Lindayag, the surviving spouse, in his behalf and in representation
of the minors Jesus, Concepcion, and Catherine, all surnamed Lindayag, filed a motion to dismiss
the petition on the ground of petitioners lack of interest in the estate, she being neither heir nor
a creditor thereof. The motion alleged that the late Maria V. Lindayag was survived by her
husband the movant and legally adopted minor children named Jesus Concepcion, and
Catherine, all surnamed Lindayag, the descendent having left no legitimate, natural or
illegitimate child. A certified true copy of the decision of the Justice of the Peace of Olongapo,
Zambales, dated July 6, 1953 decreeing the adoption of said minors by the descendent and her
husband was attached to the motion.
In opposing the motion to dismiss petitioner argued that only the facts alleged in the petition
should be considered in determining its sufficiency.
On July 28, 1960, after due hearing in the motion aforesaid, the Court dismissed the case as the
petitioner is merely a sister of the deceased, of which the deceased having been survived by her
husband and three adopted children, is not an heir nor has an interest over the estate.
ISSUE:
Whether or not, the sister-petitioner is "an interested person" in the estate of the deceased
Maria V. Lindayag.
RULING:
According to Section 2, Rule 80 of the Rules of Court, a petition for letters of administration must
be filed by an "interested person." An interested party has been defined in this connection as
one who would be benefited by the estate, such as an heir, or one who has a claim against the
estate, such as a creditor (Intestate Estate of Julio Magbanwa 40 O.G. 1171). And it is well settled
in this jurisdiction that in civil actions as well as special proceedings, the interest required in
order that a person may be a party thereto must be material and direct, and not merely indirect
or contingent. (Trillana v. Crisostomo, G.R. No. L-3378, August 22, 1951; Espinosa v. Barrios, 70
Phil. 311)
Petitioners interest in the estate of the deceased Maria V. Lindayag was disputed, through a
motion to dismiss her petition, by the surviving spouse on the ground that said deceased was
survived by him and by three legally adopted children thus excluding petitioner as an heir. In
the course of the hearing held in connection with said motion, evidence was introduced in
support thereof which according to the lower court, established that said deceased was survived
not only by her husband but three legally adopted children named Jesus, Concepcion, and
Catherine, all surnamed Lindayag.
Upon these facts which petitioner does not dispute it is manifest that she is not an heir of
her deceased sister and, therefore, has no material and direct interest in her estate.
IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the order appealed from is affirmed, with costs.
Case no. 4 San Luis v. San Luis
The instant case involves the settlement of the estate of Felicisimo T. San Luis (Felicisimo), who
was the former governor of the Province of Laguna. During his lifetime, Felicisimo contracted

three marriages. Virginia predeceased Felicisimo.Five years later, Felicisimo married Merry Lee
Corwin, Merry Lee, an American citizen, filed a Complaint for Divorce which was later granted.On
1974, Felicisimo married respondent Felicidad San Luis, then surnamed Sagalongos ,in
California. He had no children with respondent but lived with her for 18 years from the time of
their marriage up to his death on December 18, 1992.
Thereafter, respondent sought the dissolution of their conjugal partnership assets and the
settlement of Felicisimos estate before the RTC of Makati city.
Petitioner Rodolfo San Luis, one of the children of Felicisimo by his first marriage, filed a motion
to dismiss 9 on the grounds of improper venue and failure to state a cause of action.
Rodolfo claimed that the petition for letters of administration should have been filed in the
Province of Laguna because this was Felicisimos place of residence prior to his death. He
further claimed that respondent has no legal personality to file the petition because she
was only a mistress of Felicisimo since the latter, at the time of his death, was still legally
married to Merry Lee.
Linda invoked the same grounds and joined her brother Rodolfo in seeking the dismissal 10 of the
petition.
TC: issued an Order denying the two motions to dismiss. .denied the MRF. It ruled that
respondent, as widow of the decedent, possessed the legal standing to file the petition and that
venue was properly laid..
CA : reversed and set aside the orders of the trial court.
Hence, this petition for review on certriorari.
ISSUES:
(1) whether venue was properly laid, and
(2) whether respondent has legal capacity to file the subject petition for letters of administration.
The petition lacks merit.
Under Section 1, Rule 73 of the Rules of Court, the petition for letters of administration of the
estate of Felicisimo should be filed in the Regional Trial Court of the province "in which he resides
at the time of his death."
In the application of venue statutes and rules Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court is
of such nature residence rather than domicile is the significant factor. as generally used in
statutes fixing venue, the terms are synonymous, and convey the same meaning as the term
"inhabitant." In other words, "resides" should be viewed or understood in its popular sense,
meaning, the personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence or place of
abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat. In this popular sense, the
term means merely residence, that is, personal residence, not legal residence or domicile.
Residence simply requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place, while domicile
requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention to make it ones domicile. No
particular length of time of residence is required though; however, the residence must be more
than temporary. 41 (Emphasis supplied)
For purposes of fixing venue under the Rules of Court, the "residence" of a person is his personal,
actual or physical habitation, or actual residence or place of abode, which may not necessarily be
his legal residence or domicile provided he resides therein with continuity and
consistency. 43 Hence, it is possible that a person may have his residence in one place and
domicile in another.

In the instant case, while petitioners established that Felicisimo was domiciled in Sta. Cruz,
Laguna, respondent proved:
- that he also maintained a residence in Alabang, Muntinlupa from 1982 up to the time of his
death.
- evidence of the Deed of Absolute showing that the deceased purchased the aforesaid property.
- billing statements from Hospital for the period August to December 1992 -Respondent also
presented proof of membership of the deceased in the Ayala Alabang Village Association 46 and
Ayala Country Club, Inc.,
From the foregoing, the court find that Felicisimo was a resident of Alabang,
Muntinlupa for purposes of fixing the venue of the settlement of his estate. Hence it
was validly filed in TC Makati city.
(The subject petition was filed on December 17, 1993. At that time, Muntinlupa was still a
municipality and the branches of the Regional Trial Court of the National Capital Judicial Region
which had territorial jurisdiction over Muntinlupa were then seated in Makati City )
LEGAL PERSONALITY (she has legal personality)
With regard to respondents marriage to Felicisimo allegedly solemnized in California, U.S.A., she
submitted photocopies of the Marriage Certificate and the annotated text 72 of the Family Law Act
of California which purportedly show that their marriage was done in accordance with the said
law. As stated in Garcia, however, the Court cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws as they
must be alleged and proved. 73
Therefore, this case should be remanded to the trial court for further reception of evidence on
the divorce decree obtained by Merry Lee and the marriage of respondent and Felicisimo.
Even assuming that Felicisimo was not capacitated to marry respondent in 1974, nevertheless,
the latter may be considered the co-owner of Felicisimo as regards the properties that were
acquired through their joint efforts during their cohabitation.
Section 6, 74 Rule 78 of the Rules of Court states that letters of administration may be granted to
the surviving spouse of the decedent. However, Section 2,
Rule 79 thereof also provides in part: SEC. 2. Contents of petition for letters of
administration. A petition for letters of administration must be filed by an interested
person and must show, as far as known to the petitioner: x x x.
An "interested person" has been defined as one who would be benefited by the estate, such as
an heir, or one who has a claim against the estate, such as a creditor. The interest must be
material and direct, and not merely indirect or contingent.
In view of the foregoing, we find that respondents legal capacity to file the subject petition for
letters of administration may arise from her status as the surviving wife of Felicisimo or as his coowner under Article 144 of the Civil Code or Article 148 of the Family Code.
Petition is DENIED.
Case
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Facts:

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Maloles v. Philips
Uy v. CA
Tayag v. Tayag-Gallor
Silverio v. CA

The instant controversy stemmed from the settlement of estate of the deceased Beatriz Silverio.
After her death, her surviving spouse, Ricardo Silverio, Sr., filed an intestate proceeding for the
settlement of her estate.
On November 16, 2004, during the pendency of the case, Ricardo Silverio, Jr. filed a
petition to remove Ricardo C. Silverio, Sr. as the administrator of the subject estate. On January
3, 2005, the RTC issued an Order granting the petition and removing Ricardo Silverio, Sr. as
administrator of the estate, while appointing Ricardo Silverio, Jr. as the new administrator. On
January 26, 2005, Nelia S. Silverio-Dee filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Order
dated January 3, 2005, as well as all other related orders.
On May 31, 2005, the RTC issued an Omnibus Order ordering Nelia Silverio-Dee to
vacate the premises of the property located at No. 3, Intsia Road, Forbes Park, Makati City. She
received a copy of the said Order on June 8, 2005. Instead of filing a Notice of Appeal and Record
on Appeal, private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration of the Order. This
motion for reconsideration was denied in an Order dated December 12, 2005. This Order was
received by private respondent on December 22, 2005. On January 6, 2006, private respondent
filed her Notice of Appeal while she filed her Record on Appeal on January 23, 2006.
Thus, on April 2, 2007, the RTC issued an Order denying the appeal on the ground that it
was not perfected within the reglementary period. The RTC further issued a writ of execution for
the enforcement of the Order dated May 31, 2005 against private respondent to vacate the
premises. Consequently, private respondent filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition dated
May 2, 2007 with the CA. On May 4, 2007, the CA issued the assailed Resolution granting the
prayer for the issuance of a TRO.
Issue: W/N the Omnibus Order dated May 31, 2005 and the Order dated December 12, 2005 are
Interlocutory Orders which are not subject to appeal under Sec. 1 of Rule 41.
Held: The Orders are interlocutory and thus, cannot be appealed.
The denial of due course by the RTC was based on two (2) grounds: (1) that Nelia SilverioDees appeal was against an order denying a motion for reconsideration which is disallowed
under Sec. 1(a), Rule 41 of the Rules of Court; and (2) that Nelia Silverio-Dees Record on Appeal
was filed beyond the reglementary period to file an appeal provided under Sec. 3 of Rule 41.
Petitioner argues that because private respondent filed a Notice of Appeal from the Order
dated December 12, 2005 which denied her motion for reconsideration of the Omnibus Order
dated May 31, 2005, her appeal is of an order denying a motion for reconsideration. Thus,
petitioner alleges that private respondent employed the wrong remedy in filing a notice of
appeal and should have filed a petition for certiorari with the CA under Rule 65 of the Rules of
Court instead.
A final order is one that disposes of the subject matter in its entirety or terminates a
particular proceeding or action, leaving nothing else to be done but to enforce by execution what
has been determined by the court, while an interlocutory order is one which does not
dispose of the case completely but leaves something to be decided upon.

Additionally, it is only after a judgment has been rendered in the case that the ground for
the appeal of the interlocutory order may be included in the appeal of the judgment itself. The
interlocutory order generally cannot be appealed separately from the judgment. It is only when
such interlocutory order was rendered without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of
discretion that certiorari under Rule 65 may be resorted to.
In the instant case, Nelia Silverio-Dee appealed the May 31, 2005 Order of the RTC on the
ground that it ordered her to vacate the premises of the property located at No. 3 Intsia Road,
Forbes Park, Makati City. On that aspect the order is not a final determination of the case or of
the issue of distribution of the shares of the heirs in the estate or their rights therein. The
purported authority of Nelia Silverio-Dee, which she allegedly secured from Ricardo Silverio, Sr.,
was never approved by the probate court. She, therefore, never had any real interest in the
specific property located at No. 3 Intsia Road,Forbes Park, Makati City. As such, the May 31, 2005
Order of the RTC must be considered as interlocutory and, therefore, not subject to an appeal.
Thus, private respondent employed the wrong mode of appeal by filing a Notice of Appeal with
the RTC. Hence, for employing the improper mode of appeal, the case should have been
dismissed.
The implication of such improper appeal is that the notice of appeal did not toll
the reglementary period for the filing of a petition for certiorari under Rule 65, the proper
remedy in the instant case. This means that private respondent has now lost her remedy of
appeal from the May 31, 2005 Order of the RTC.

RULE 80: Special Administrator


Case no. 1 Heirs of Belinda Dahlia-Castillo v. Lacuata-Gabriel
On January 1989, Crisanta Yanga-Gabriel (Crisanta), wife of Lorenzo B. Almoradie, died in
Malabon City, Metro Manila, leaving behind P1.5M as her estate. After Crisantas death, her
mother, Crisanta Santiago Vda. de Yanga (de Yanga), commenced an intestate proceeding (Case
A) before the RTC of Malabon City. She alleged that her daughter died intestate leaving an estate
which was being managed by her wastrel and incompetent son-in-law, Lorenzo, and by two other
equally incompetent persons. She prayed that letters of administration be issued to her son
Mariano, also the brother of the deceased, and that she be awarded her share of the estate of
her daughter after due hearing. However, the RTC appointed Lorenzo as administrator.
Meantime, the marriage between Crisanta Yanga-Gabriel and Lorenzo Almoradie was declared
void for being bigamous. The RTC then removed Lorenzo as administrator and appointed
Mariano in his stead. On October 1989, Belinda Dahlia Y. Almoradie Castillo (Belinda), claiming to
be the only legitimate child of Lorenzo and Crisanta, filed a motion for intervention in Case A.
Resolution on this motion was held in abeyance pending some incidents in the CA. On November
1989, Roberto Y. Gabriel (Roberto), the legally adopted son of Crisanta, filed before the RTC of
Malabon City a petition for probate of an alleged will and for the issuance of letters testamentary
in his favor (Case B). He alleged that he was instituted as the sole heir in his mothers will, and
was designated as alternate executor for the named executor therein, Francisco S. Yanga, a
brother of Crisanta, who had predeceased the latter. On June 1990, Belinda died. Case A and B
were consolidated. The RTC dismissed the intestate proceedings, and the probate court
appointed Roberto as special administrator of his mothers estate. On May 2001, the heirs of
Belinda filed a Motion praying that they be substituted as party-litigants in lieu of their late
mother. On April 2001, Roberto died. His widow, Dolores L. Gabriel (respondent herein), filed a
Manifestation and Motion where she prayed that she be admitted as substitute in place of her
late husband, and be appointed as administratrix of the estate of Crisanta. The heirs of Belinda
opposed this. They averred that Dolores was not Crisantas next of kin, let alone the lawful wife
of the late Roberto. In addition, Bena Jean (an heir of Belinda) filed a Motion praying that she be
appointed administratrix of the estate of her grandmother Crisanta. Dolores opposed the motion
of Bena Jean, claiming that the latter has neither proven her kinship with Crisanta nor shown any
particular qualification to act as administratrix of the estate. The lower court appointed Dolores
as special administratrix. The court noted the motion for substitution filed by the heirs of
Belinda, stating that they were mere strangers to the case and that their cause could better
be ventilated in a separate proceeding.3A Digestgroup*SpecPro* 2008-2009 The heirs of Belinda
filed an MR. This was denied. Consequently, they filed a petition for certiorari with the CA. This
was also denied by the CA. Thus, the heirs filed the instant petition for review. Petitioners
allegations: They allege that Dolores cannot be appointed as special administratrix because she
does not have the right to inherit from Crisanta. They also say that Roberto was not really
Crisantas adopted son but just a nephew, leaving them as the only compulsory heirs. Thus,
since the principal consideration for the appointment of administrator is the applicants interest
in the estate, it would be unfair if Dolores was named special administratrix.
ISSUES
1. Was Dolores properly appointed as the special administratrix of Crisantas estate?

HELD
YES. The appointment of a special administrator lies in the sound discretion of the probate court.
The discretion, however, must be sound, and not whimsical, or contrary to reason, justice, equity
or legal principle.
RATIO
A special administrator is a representative of a decedent appointed by the probate court to care
for and preserve his estate until an executor or general administrator is appointed. When
appointed, a special administrator is regarded not as a representative of the agent of the parties
suggesting the appointment, but as the administrator in charge of the estate, and, in fact, as an
officer of the court. As such officer, he is subject to the supervision and control of the probate
court and is expected to work for the best interests of the entire estate, especially its smooth
administration and earliest settlement. (in other words, special administrator = temporary
administrator. He acts as such only until a regular or general administrator is appointed.) The
principal object of appointment of temporary administrator is to preserve the estate until it can
pass into the hands of person fully authorized to administer it for the benefit of creditors and
heirs. The reasons for appointment of temporary administrator are:
1. Protacted litigations which expose the estate to waste and losses unless an authorized agent
can manage the same.
2. Other causes which delay regular administration of the estate, such as the proving of the will.
3. (The new rules have added this third reason in Section 1, Rule 80). When there is delay in
granting letters testamentary or administration by any cause, i.e. when the parties cannot agree
among themselves. The basis for appointing a special administrator under the Rules is broad
enough to include any cause or reason for the delay in granting letters testamentary or of
administration. In the instant case, Crisanta left a document purporting to be her will where her
adopted son Roberto, was named as the sole heir of all her properties. However, pending probate
of the will, Roberto died, leaving his widow Dolores as his sole heir. Thus, Dolores has much
stake in Crisantas estate in case the latters will is allowed probate. The court then appointed
Dolores as special administratrix in the exercised of their sound discretion. The court here added
that the distribution of shares is not an issue in a suit involving the appointment of special
administrators. The issue of heirship is one that will be determined in the decree if distribution.
All that the court determines in the appointment of a special administrator is who is entitled to
administer the estate until the appointment of a regular administrator. Section 6, Rule 78 refers
to the appointment of a regular administrator. Section 1, Rule 80, refers to the appointment of a
special administrator. The heirs cannot rely on Rule 78 to uphold their claim against Dolores.
Further, the prayer of the heirs for Bena Jean to be the regular administratrix ofCrisantas estate
should be addressed to the probate court.
Case no. 2 Tan v. Gedorio
Facts:
Upon the death of Gerardo Tan on Oct. 14, 2000, private respondents Rogelo Lim Suga and
Helen Tan Racoma, who were claiming to be the children of the decedent moved for the
appointment of their attorney-in-fact, Romualdo Lim as special administrator. This was opposed
by the petitioner Wilma Tan, Jake Tan and Geraldine Tan, claiming that none of the respondents
can be appointed since they are not residing in the country, that Romualdo does not have the
same competence as Wilma Tan who was already acting as the de facto administratrix of the

estate, and that the nearest of kin, being the legitimate children, is preferred in the choice of
administrator (claiming that the respondent were illegitimate children)
However, Upon failure of Wilma to follow a court directive to account for the income of the
estate, the court granted Romualdos appointment as special administrator. Petitioners appealed
to the Court of Appeals and was denied, hence the petition for review on certiorari.
Issue:
Whether or not the court violated Sec. 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of court in their selection of a
special administrator.
Ruling:
The preference under Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court for the next of kin refers to the
appointment of a regular administrator, and not of a special administrator, as the appointment of
the latter lies entirely in the discretion of the court, and is not appealable. If petitioners really
desire to avail themselves of the order of preference , they should pursue the appointment of a
regular administrator and put to an end the delay which necessitated the appointment of a
special administrator.
Case no. 3 Alipio v. CA
Case no. 4 Natividad I. Vda de Roxas v. Potenciano Pecsong
Case no. 5 Samson v. Samson