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Succession

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. L-36033 November 5, 1982
IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR THE PROBATE OF THE WILL OF DOROTEA
PEREZ, (deceased): APOLONIO TABOADA, petitioner,
vs.
HON. AVELINO S. ROSAL, as Judge of Court of First Instance of Southern Leyte, (Branch
III, Maasin),respondent.
Erasmo M. Diola counsel for petition.
Hon. Avelino S. Rosal in his own behalf.

Dorotea Perez left a will. The will has two pages. On the first page, which contains the entire
testamentary dispositions, were the signatures of the three instrumental witnesses and that of
Dorotea Perez. The signatures of the three instrumental witnesses were on the left margin while
Perez signature was on the bottom. On the second page, which contains the attestation clause
and the acknowledgement, were the signatures of the three attesting witnesses and that of
Dorotea Perez. The attestation clause failed to state the number of pages used in the will.
Taboada petitioned for the admission to probate of the said will. The judge who handled the
petition was Judge Ramon Pamatian. He denied the petition. Taboada filed a motion for
reconsideration but Pamatian was not able to act on it because he was transferred to another
jurisdiction. The case was inherited by Judge Rosal who also denied the MFR on the grounds
that a) that the testator and the instrumental witnesses did not all sign on the left margin of the
page as prescribed by law; that the testator and the witnesses should have placed their
signature in the same place b) that the attestation clause failed to state the number of pages
used in writing the will this, according to Judge Rosal violated the requirement that the
attestation clause shall state the number of pages or sheets upon which the will is written, which
requirement has been held to be mandatory as an effective safeguard against the possibility of
interpolation or omission of some of the pages of the will to the prejudice of the heirs to whom
the property is intended to be bequeathed.

ISSUE: Whether or not the will should be admitted to probate.

HELD: Yes. The law must be interpreted liberally.

Further, there is substantial compliance with the law. It would be absurd that the legislature
intended to place so heavy an import on the space or particular location where the signatures
are to be found as long as this space or particular location wherein the signatures are found is
consistent with good faith.

Taboada vs. Rosal

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Succession
The failure to include in the attestation clause of the number of pages used in writing the will
would have been a fatal defect. But then again, the matter should be approached liberally.
There were only two pages in the will left by Perez. The first page contains the entirety of the
testamentary dispositions and signed by the testatrix at the end or at the bottom while the
instrumental witnesses signed at the left margin. The other page which is marked as Pagina
dos comprises the attestation clause and the acknowledgment. Further, the acknowledgment
itself states that This Last Will and Testament consists of two pages including this page.

Taboada vs. Rosal

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