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Testate Estate of Joseph G. Brimo, JUAN MICIANO, administrator, petitioner-appellee, vs.

BRIMO, opponent-appellant. G.R. No. L-22595 November 1, 1927
The partition of the estate left by the deceased Joseph G. Brimo is in question in this case.
The judicial administrator of this estate filed a scheme of partition. Andre Brimo, one of the brothers of the deceased,
opposed it. The court, however, approved it.
The errors which the oppositor-appellant assigns are:
(1) The approval of said scheme of partition; (2) denial of his participation in the inheritance; (3) the denial of the
motion for reconsideration of the order approving the partition; (4) the approval of the purchase made by the Pietro
Lana of the deceased's business and the deed of transfer of said business; and (5) the declaration that the Turkish laws
are impertinent to this cause, and the failure not to postpone the approval of the scheme of partition and the delivery
of the deceased's business to Pietro Lanza until the receipt of the depositions requested in reference to the Turkish
The appellant's opposition is based on the fact that the partition in question puts into effect the provisions of Joseph G.
Brimo's will which are not in accordance with the laws of his Turkish nationality, for which reason they are void as
being in violation or article 10 of the Civil Code which, among other things, provides the following:
Nevertheless, legal and testamentary successions, in respect to the order of succession as well as to the
amount of the successional rights and the intrinsic validity of their provisions, shall be regulated by the
national law of the person whose succession is in question, whatever may be the nature of the property or the
country in which it may be situated.
But the fact is that the oppositor did not prove that said testimentary dispositions are not in accordance with the
Turkish laws, inasmuch as he did not present any evidence showing what the Turkish laws are on the matter, and in the
absence of evidence on such laws, they are presumed to be the same as those of the Philippines. (Lim and Lim vs.
Collector of Customs, 36 Phil., 472.)
It has not been proved in these proceedings what the Turkish laws are. He, himself, acknowledges it when he desires to
be given an opportunity to present evidence on this point; so much so that he assigns as an error of the court in not
having deferred the approval of the scheme of partition until the receipt of certain testimony requested regarding the
Turkish laws on the matter.
The refusal to give the oppositor another opportunity to prove such laws does not constitute an error. It is discretionary
with the trial court, and, taking into consideration that the oppositor was granted ample opportunity to introduce
competent evidence, we find no abuse of discretion on the part of the court in this particular. There is, therefore, no
evidence in the record that the national law of the testator Joseph G. Brimo was violated in the testamentary
dispositions in question which, not being contrary to our laws in force, must be complied with and
executed. lawphil.net
Therefore, the approval of the scheme of partition in this respect was not erroneous.
In regard to the first assignment of error which deals with the exclusion of the herein appellant as a legatee, inasmuch
as he is one of the persons designated as such in will, it must be taken into consideration that such exclusion is based
on the last part of the second clause of the will, which says:
Second. I like desire to state that although by law, I am a Turkish citizen, this citizenship having been conferred
upon me by conquest and not by free choice, nor by nationality and, on the other hand, having resided for a
considerable length of time in the Philippine Islands where I succeeded in acquiring all of the property that I
now possess, it is my wish that the distribution of my property and everything in connection with this, my will,
be made and disposed of in accordance with the laws in force in the Philippine islands, requesting all of my
relatives to respect this wish, otherwise, I annul and cancel beforehand whatever disposition found in this will
favorable to the person or persons who fail to comply with this request.
The institution of legatees in this will is conditional, and the condition is that the instituted legatees must respect the
testator's will to distribute his property, not in accordance with the laws of his nationality, but in accordance with the
laws of the Philippines.
If this condition as it is expressed were legal and valid, any legatee who fails to comply with it, as the herein oppositor
who, by his attitude in these proceedings has not respected the will of the testator, as expressed, is prevented from
receiving his legacy.
The fact is, however, that the said condition is void, being contrary to law, for article 792 of the civil Code provides the

Impossible conditions and those contrary to law or good morals shall be considered as not imposed and shall
not prejudice the heir or legatee in any manner whatsoever, even should the testator otherwise provide.
And said condition is contrary to law because it expressly ignores the testator's national law when, according to article
10 of the civil Code above quoted, such national law of the testator is the one to govern his testamentary dispositions.
Said condition then, in the light of the legal provisions above cited, is considered unwritten, and the institution of
legatees in said will is unconditional and consequently valid and effective even as to the herein oppositor.
It results from all this that the second clause of the will regarding the law which shall govern it, and to the condition
imposed upon the legatees, is null and void, being contrary to law.
All of the remaining clauses of said will with all their dispositions and requests are perfectly valid and effective it not
appearing that said clauses are contrary to the testator's national law.
Therefore, the orders appealed from are modified and it is directed that the distribution of this estate be made in such
a manner as to include the herein appellant Andre Brimo as one of the legatees, and the scheme of partition submitted
by the judicial administrator is approved in all other respects, without any pronouncement as to costs. So ordered.
LEONOR VILLAFLOR VDA. DE VILLANUEVA, plaintiff-appellant, vs. DELFIN N. JUICO, in his capacity as Judicial
Administrator of the testate estate of FAUSTA NEPOMUCENO, defendant-appellee. G.R. No. L-15737
February 28, 1962
Subject to this direct appeal to us on points of law is the decision of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, in its Civil Case
No. Q-2809, dismissing plaintiff-appellant's complaint for the recovery of certain properties that were originally owned
by the plaintiff's granduncle, Nicolas Villaflor, and which he granted to his widow, Doa Fausta Nepomuceno,
bequeathing to her "su uso y posesion mientras viva y no se case en segundas nupcias".
The following facts appear of record: On October 9, 1908, Don Nicolas Villaflor, a wealthy man of Castillejos, Zambales,
executed a will in Spanish in his own handwriting, devising and bequeathing in favor of his wife, Dona Fausta
Nepomuceno, one-half of all his real and personal properties, giving the other half to his brother Don Fausto Villaflor.
Clause 6th, containing the institution of heirs, reads as follows: .
SEXTO En virtud de las facultades que me conceden las leyes, instituyo per mis unicos y universales
herederos de todos mis derechos y acciones a mi hermano D. Fausto Villaflor y a mi esposa Da. Fausta
Nepomuceno para que partan todos mis bienes que me pertenescan, en iguales partes, para despues de mi
muerte, exceptuando las donaciones y legados que, abajo mi mas expontanea voluntad, lo hago en la forma
siguiente: .
SEPTIMO: Lego para dispues de mi muerte a mi esposa Da. Fausta Nepomuceno, en prueba de mi amor y
carino, los bienes, alhajas y muebles que a continuacion se expresan; .
OCTAVO: Que estos legades disfrutaria mi referida esposa Da. Fausta Nepomuceno su uso y posesion
mientras viva y no se case en segundas nupcias, de la contrario, pasara a ser propiedad estos dichos legados
de mi sobrina nieta Leonor Villaflor.
The 12th clause of the will provided, however, that Clauses 6th and 7th thereof would be deemed annulled from the
moment he bore any child with Doa Fausta Nepomuceno. Said Clause 12th reads as follows: .
DUODECIMO: Quedan anulados las parrafos 6.0 y 7.0 de este testamento que tratan de institucion de
herederos y los legados que se haran despues de mi muerte a favor de mi esposa, en el momento que podre
tener la dicha de contrar con hijo y hijos legitimos o legitimados, pues estos, conforme a ley seran mis
Don Nicolas Villaflor died on March 3, 1922, without begetting any child with his wife Doa Fausta Nepomuceno. The
latter, already a widow, thereupon instituted Special Proceeding No. 203 of the Court of First Instance of Zambales, for
the settlement of her husband's estate and in that proceeding, she was appointed judicial administratrix. In due course
of administration, she submitted a project of partition, now Exhibit "E". In the order of November 24, 1924, now exhibit
"C", the probate court approved the project of partition and declared the proceeding closed. As the project of partition,
Exhibit "E", now shows Doa Fausta Nepomuceno received by virtue thereof the ownership and possession of a
considerable amount of real and personal estate. By virtue also of the said project of partition, she received the use
and possession of all the real and personal properties mentioned and referred to in Clause 7th of the will. The order
approving the project of partition (Exh. "C"), however, expressly provided that approval thereof was "sin perjuicio de lo
dispuesto en la clausula 8.o del testamento de Nicolas Villaflor." .

On May 1, 1956, Doa Fausta Nepomuceno died without having contracted a second marriage, and without having
begotten any child with the deceased Nicolas Villaflor. Her estate is now being settled in Special Proceeding No. Q1563 in the lower court, with the defendant Delfin N. Juico as the duly appointed and qualified judicial administrator.
The plaintiff Leonor Villaflor Vda. de Villanueva is admitted to be the same Leonor Villaflor mentioned by Don Nicolas
Villaflor in his will as his "sobrina nieta Leonor Villaflor".
Plaintiff Leonor Villaflor instituted the present action against the administrator of the estate of the widow Fausta
Nepomuceno, on February 8, 1958, contending that upon the widow's death, said plaintiff became vested with the
ownership of the real and personal properties bequeathed by the late Nicolas Villaflor to clause 7 of his will, pursuant
to its eight (8th) clause. Defendant's position, adopted by the trial court, is that the title to the properties aforesaid
became absolutely vested in the widow upon her death, on account of the fact that she never remarried.
We agree with appellant that the plain desire and intent of the testator, as manifested in clause 8 of his testament,
was to invest his widow with only a usufruct or life tenure in the properties described in the seventh clause, subject to
the further condition (admitted by the appellee) that if the widow remarried, her rights would thereupon cease, even
during her own lifetime. That the widow was meant to have no more than a life interest in those properties, even if she
did not remarry at all, is evident from the expressions used by the deceased " uso y posesion mientras viva" (use and
possession while alive) in which the first half of the phrase "uso y posesion" instead of "dominio" or "propiedad")
reinforces the second ("mientras viva"). The testator plainly did not give his widow the full ownership of these
particular properties, but only the right to their possession and use (or enjoyment) during her lifetime. This is in
contrast with the remainder of the estate in which she was instituted universal heir together with the testator's brother
(clause 6). 1wph1.t
SEXTO: En virtud de las facultades que me conceden las leyes, instituyo por mis unicos y universales
herederos de todos mis derechos y acciones a mi hermano D. Fausto Villaflor y a mi esposa Da. Fausta
Nepomuceno para que parten todos mis bienes que me pertenescan, en iguales partes, para despues de mi
muerte, exceptuando las donaciones y legados que, abajo mi mas expontanea voluntad, lo hago en la forma
The court below, in holding that the appellant Leonor Villaflor, as reversionary legatee, could succeed to the properties
bequeathed by clause 7 of the testament only in the event that the widow remarried, has unwarrantedly discarded the
expression "mientras viva," and considered the words "uso y posesion" as equivalent to "dominio" (ownership). In so
doing, the trial court violated Article 791 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, as well as section 59 of Rule 123 of the
Rules of Court.
ART. 791. The words of a will are to receive an interpretation which will give to every expression some effect,
rather than one which will render any of the expressions inoperative; and of two modes of interpreting a will,
that one is to be preferred which will prevent intestacy." .
SEC. 59. Instrument construed so as to give effect to all provisions. In the construction of an instrument
where there are several provisions or particulars, such a construction is, if possible, to be adopted as will give
effect to all." .
Speculation as to the motives of the testator in imposing the conditions contained in clause 7 of his testament should
not be allowed to obscure the clear and unambiguous meaning of his plain words, which are over the primary source in
ascertaining his intent. It is well to note that if the testator had intended to impose as sole condition the nonremarriage of his widow, the words "uso y posesion mientras viva" would have been unnecessary, since the widow
could only remarry during her own lifetime.
The Civil Code, in Article 790, p. 1 (Article 675 of the Code of 1889), expressly enjoins the following: .
ART. 790. The words of a will are to be taken in their ordinary and grammatical sense, unless a clear intention
to use them in another sense can be gathered, and that other can be ascertained." .
Technical words in a will are to be taken in their technical sense, unless the context clearly indicates a contrary
intention, or unless it satisfactorily appears that the will was drawn solely by the testator, and that he was
unacquainted with such technical sense. (675a)
In consonance with this rule, this Supreme Court has laid the doctrine in In re Estate of Calderon, 26 Phil., 233, that the
intention and wishes of the testator, when clearly expressed in his will, constitute the fixed law of interpretation, and
all questions raised at the trial, relative to its execution and fulfillment, must be settled in accordance therewith,
following the plain and literal meaning of the testator's words, unless it clearly appears that his intention was
otherwise. The same rule is adopted by the Supreme Court of Spain (TS. Sent. 20 Marzo 1918; 28 Mayo 1918; 30 Abril
1913; 16 Enero 1915; 23 Oct. 1925).

La voluntad del testador, clara, precisa y constantemente expresada al ordenar su ultimo voluntad, es ley
unica, imperativa y obligatoria que han de obedecer y cumplir fieldmente albaceas, legatarios y heredera, hoy
sus sucesores, sin que esa voluntad patente, que no ha menester de interpretaciones, pues no ofrece la menor
duda, pueda sustituirse, pues no ofrece la menor duda, pueda sustituirse por ningun otro criterio de alguna de
los interesados, ni tampoco por el judicial. (Tribunal Supremo of Spain, Sent. 20 March 1918) .
The American decisions invoked by appellee in his brief inapplicable, because they involve cases where the only
condition imposed on the legatee was that she should remain a widow. As already shown, the testament of Don Nicolas
Villaflor clearly and unmistakably provided that his widow should have the possession and use of the legacies while
alive and did not remarry. It necessarily follows that by the express provisions of the 8th clause of his will, the legacies
should pass to the testator's "sobrinanieta", appellant herein, upon the widow's death, even if the widow never
remarried in her lifetime. Consequently, the widow had no right to retain or dispose of the aforesaid properties, and
her estate is accountable to the reversionary legatee for their return, unless they had been lost due to fortuitous
event, or for their value should rights of innocent third parties have intervened.
PREMISES CONSIDERED, the decision appealed from is reversed, and the appellant Leonor Villaflor Vda. de
VILLANUEVA is declared entitled to the ownership and fruits of the properties described in clause 7 of the will or
testament, from the date of the death of Doa Fausta Nepomuceno. The records are ordered remanded to the court of
origin for liquidation, accounting and further proceedings conformably to this decision. Costs against the Administratorappellee.
TESTACY OF MAXIMA SANTOS VDA. DE BLAS. ROSALINA SANTOS (Executrix), petitioner and appellee, vs.
FLORA BLAS DE BUENAVENTURA (Legatee), oppositor and appellant. G.R. No. L-22797
22, 1966
This is an appeal from two orders of the Court of First Instance of Rizal in Special Proceedings No. 2524 regarding the
testacy of the deceased Maxima Santos Vda. de Blas.
On October 22, 1956, Rosalina Santos filed a petition with the Court of First Instance of Rizal for the probate of the last
will allegedly executed on September 22, 1956 by the deceased Maxima Santos Vda. de Blas. 1 The nearest of kin of
the deceased were her brothers and a sister, nephews and nieces. Rosalinda Santos, petitioner-appellee herein, is one
of said nieces. Among the legatees or more accurately, devisees mentioned in the will is Flora Blas de
Buenaventura. She is not related by blood to the deceased.
Flora Blas de Buenaventura and Justo Garcia filed on November 28, 1956 an opposition to the probate of said will.
Among the grounds for the opposition of Flora Blas and Justo Garcia were that the will was not executed in accordance
with law; that undue and improper pressure was exerted upon the testatrix Maxima Santos in the execution thereof;
that the signature of Maxima was secured through fraud; and that at the time of the execution of the will Maxima was
mentally incapable of making a will.2
After the probate court had received the evidence for both the petitioner and oppositors, but before the latter could
close their evidence, Flora Blas on November 6, 1957 filed a manifestation that she is withdrawing her opposition to
the probate of the will, quoted as follows:
Oppositor FLORA BLAS BUENAVENTURA, assisted by her counsel, unto this Honorable Court respectfully
1. That she is hereby withdrawing her opposition to the petition for the probate of the will of the deceased
Maxima Santos Vda. de Blas;
2. That being a legatee named in the will, to protect and preserve her rights and interests, she hereby makes
of record that she is joining the proponent of said will for the legalization of the same.
Some circumstances leading to said withdrawal may be noted. Flora had to sell her house for P5,000 to pay for
stenographic notes of this case. Rosalina Santos thereafter gave a party at the Manila Hotel, aimed at settling the case
amicably. And there Atty. Jose T. de los Santos appellee's lawyer took Flora aside and told her that he learned she
had sold her house, that it was a foolish thing to have done, and that for her sake and her children's, she should
withdraw her opposition and receive her legacy, so that from its rent she could start a business.
The proceedings continued however as to the opposition of Justo Garcia.
On December 24, 1957, the court below issued an order allowing the probate of the will. After the order had become
final and executory, Flora Blas on February 27, 1958, filed a petition praying for the delivery to her of a fishpond as a
specific devise in her favor under Item No. 3, Clause No. 6, of the will. To this petition, inspite of apparent
understanding, Rosalina Santos filed an opposition predicated on the ground that said specific devise in favor of Flora
was forfeited in favor of the other residuary heirs, pursuant to a provision of the will that should any of the heirs,

devisees or legatees contest or oppose its probate, the latter shall lose his or her right to receive any inheritance or
benefit under it, which shall be forfeited in favor of the other heirs, devisees and legatees.
The pertinent provisions of the will, translated into English from Tagalog, reads as follows:
Fourteenth.I request all my heirs, devisees and legatees to look after each other, love and help one another
and accept with thanks what I have bequeathed to them, and treasure, love and cherish the same. Any one of
them who contests or opposes the probate of my will or the carrying out of its provisions shall lose any right to
receive any inheritance or benefit under my will, and their inheritance or share shall pertain to the other heirs
who have not opposed.3
This is known in Anglo-American jurisdiction as the "no contest and forfeiture" clause of a will. 1awphl.nt
In its order of April 30, 1958, the court a quo sustained the theory that the "no-contest and forfeiture" clause of the will
was valid and had the effect of depriving Flora of her devise in view of her previous opposition to its probate, which it
held not justified under the circumstances. Accordingly, it denied the motion for delivery of the specific devise,
declaring the same forfeited in favor of the other residuary heirs. Flora's motion for reconsideration, superseded by a
subsequent amended motion to the same effect, was denied by the probate court in its order dated March 7, 1959.
From the foregoing two orders of the trial court, Flora Blas interposed an appeal to the Court of Appeals. Said Court, in
its resolution of March 25, 1964, certified the appeal to Us as calling for determination of questions purely of law.
This appeal raises two issues: (1) Did Flora's actuations, under the facts and circumstances herein, amount to a
violation of the "no-contest and forfeiture" clause of the will; and (2) Is the "no-contest and forfeiture" provision of the
will valid?
Anent the second issue, the parties herein, relying mostly upon Spanish and Anglo-American authorities, advance
conflicting theories. Petitioner-appellee argues that the "no-contest and forfeiture" clause is a valid, legal and
efficacious testamentary condition. Against this position, however, the devisee-appellant maintains that such provision
in a will is null and void because it is contrary to public policy.
It is, however, the first issue that We will now discuss. For this purpose, the point to determine initially is whether or
not appellant's filing of her opposition was justified under the particular circumstances of the case; and then, whether
or not a timely withdrawal of said opposition had precluded violation of the "no contest and forfeiture clause"
The court a quo's conclusion is that "there is no justification for her to oppose or contest the probate of said will"
because "from the evidence given by her and by her witnesses during the pendency of the probate of the will ..., it
appears that Flora Blas was aware of the true facts surrounding the execution of the will and of the mental state of
mind of the said testatrix at the time of the execution of the will in question, and yet she has charge her benefactor,
the late Maxima Santos, as not enjoying sound mind when the latter executed her will on September 22, 1956", and
that "there is no proof to show that the said Flora Blas was in any manner related by blood to Maxima Santos Vda. de
Blas so that her contest of the said will cannot benefit her." 4
We disagree with the above conclusion of the lower court, which is not the inference borne out by the facts and the
evidence both testimonial and documentary adduced in the case.
Appellant knew about the existence of another will executed earlier in 1953 in which she stood to receive more
much more than what is devised to her in the 1956 will. 5 Since 1953 up to the death of the testatrix, appellant did
not fall out of the good graces of the deceased. Their relationship stayed as close as ever. She did not give any cause
to alienate the deceased's affections. Why, then, the supposed change of heart?
She was addressed as Flora Buendia in the will, 6 yet she has been using the name Flora Blas as far as she could
remember, apparently with the knowledge and consent of the deceased. This is supported by her school records from
grade school up to first year pharmacy. Admittedly, it was the deceased who reared and spent for the education of the
appellant, and therefore she must have known that the latter was using the family name Blas. If, indeed, the testatrix
was not agreeable to such an arrangement why did she not take steps to correct the same? We can only conclude that
appellant's use of the family name Blas was with the acquiescence of the testatrix. Why should she change her mind
after all the years and speak of appellant in her will as Flora Buendia instead of Flora Blas?
There was also the coincidence that the three attesting witnesses to the will, all brothers, are likewise the lawyers of
the executrix (who will receive the biggest single share under the will) and compadres of the assistant executrix, while
the notary public is also a compadre of one of the attesting brothers-lawyers.
Furthermore, the nurse who attended to the deceased on September 22, 1956 the date when the will was
supposedly typed and signed by that testatrix in her room at the Manila Doctors Hospital told the appellant that
there was no one inside the testatrix's room when she went to administer medications to the old woman at the precise

time when the attesting witnesses and the notary public testified they were inside the said room. The nurse admitted
this likewise under oath (Tsn., June 10, 1957, p. 23).
But the most important single factor that should engender reasonable doubt as to the physical and mental capacity of
a person to execute a will, was the condition of Maxima Blas as gleaned from the records of the case. She was an old
woman more than 86 years old who suffered from various ailments like rheumatoid arthritis, catarrh of the eyes,
jaundice, cirrhosis of the liver, anemia, edema of the lower legs and fracture in the vertebrae. From August 1, 1956 to
September 23, 1956 she received seven blood transfusions, as follows: one on August 1; two on September 22 (the
alleged date of the execution of the will), with barely three hours intervening; one each on September 24, 25, 26 and
29, 1956. She was also given dextrose vinoclysis on September 22, because she could not take food through the
mouth; and on September 23, 1956 she started to bleed by mouth, compelling her doctor to cancel her trip to the
United States scheduled for September 25, 1956. Several documents executed by her before the alleged date of
execution of the will, were no longer signed but merely thumbmarked by her, 7whereas the will appealed to have been
It is difficult for Us to imagine that one situated and equally faced with the above enumerated facts and circumstances
as the appellant was, should keep her peace. She had her doubts, and to resolve them she had to conduct inquiries
and investigations. Her findings all the more strengthened her belief that there was something untoward about the
execution of the will. Thus, in her desire to know the truth and to protect her rights, she opposed the probate of the
After all, had the contest been continued and the will held invalid on any of the grounds provided by law for the
disallowance of a will,8 she would have contributed in no small measure to the cause of the truth which the courts have
been in a position to apply the proper legal provisions which are for the greater interests of the testatrix since all of
them are ordained to the idea that the truth of her last thoughts may be duly assured and guaranteed.
Above all, the factor that preponderates in favor of appellant is that, after realizing her mistake in contesting the will
a mistake committed in good faith because grounded on strong doubts she withdrew her opposition and joined the
appellee in the latter's petition for the probate of the will. She must not now be penalized for rectifying her error. After
all, the intentions of the testatrix had been fulfilled, her will had been admitted and allowed probate within a
reasonably short period, and the disposition of her property can now be effected.
It should be pointed out that, contrary to the translation accorded to Paragraph Fourteen of the will, the testatrix
enjoins not a mere contest or opposition to its probate, but a contest or opposition to the probate of the will and the
carrying out of its provisions. This is so because the questioned clause speaks of "pagpapatibay at pag-bibigay-bisa"
instead of "pagpapatibay o pag-bibigay-bisa."9 This furnishes a significant index into the intention of the testatrix,
namely, that she was more concerned in insuring the carrying out of her testamentary provisions than in precluding
any contest or opposition to it. By the withdrawal of the contest which appellant brought in good faith, no prejudice
has been done into the intention of the testatrix. The dispositions of her will can now be safely carried out.
The most that can be said, if at all, is that Flora Blas' actuations were also impelled by some desire to gain. But who
among the heirs can assume a posture of innocence and cast the first stone? None of them can safely claim that he is
not thus similarly motivated.
From the foregoing premises it cannot be said that Flora's actuations impaired the true intention of the testatrix in
regard to the "no-contest and forfeiture" clause of the will. Flora's act of withdrawing her opposition before she had
rested her case contributed to the speedy probation of the will. Since the withdrawal came before Flora had rested her
case, it precluded the defeat of the probate upon the strength of Flora's evidence. Through said withdrawal, Flora
conformed to the testatrix's wish that her dispositions of her properties under the will be carried out. It follows that,
taken as a whole, Flora's actuations subserved rather than violated the testatrix's intention.
There is, therefore, no further need to discuss the second issue on the validity of a "no contest and forfeiture" clause in
this jurisdiction, since, at any rate, said clause was not violated in this case.
Wherefore, the appealed orders dated April 30, 1958 and March 7, 1959 are hereby reversed, and this case is
remanded to the court a quo with the instruction that appellant's devise under the will be forthwith delivered to her. No
costs. So ordered.
FACTS: A will of a Turkish testator (Joseph Brimo) provided that his Philippine estate is didsposed of in accordance with
the Philippine Law. The testator further provided that whoever fails to comply with this request would forfeit his
The appellant (Andre Brimo), one of the brothers of the deceased, opposed the appellees (Juan Miciano)
partition scheme of the estate which denies his participation in the inheritance.

ISSUE: Whether the Turkish Law of Philippine Law be the basis on the distribution of Joseph Brims estates. Will Andre
Brimo forfeit his inheritance?
The court held that the provision of a foreigners will that his properties shall be distributed according
to Philippine Law and not his national law is NOT LEGAL because it expressly ignores the testators national law,
according to Article 16 of the Civil Code, such national law of the testator governs his testamentary dispositions.
Testators estate shall be distributed according to his national (Turkish) law. He cannot provide otherwise. The
appellants inheritance will not be forfeited because the provision is not legal.
FACTS: The testator, Nicolas Villaflor, died in 1908 with a will wherein he left most of his properties to his wife, Fausta
Nepomuceno, and his brother Fausto Villafl or. In addition, he also left the use and possession of certain specifi ed
properties to his wife while alive subject to the condition that she does not remarry; otherwise, said properties shall
pass to a grandniece, Leonor Villafl or. The widow, never remarried. She died in 1956.
ISSUE: Who is now entitled to these properties the estate of the widow or Leonor Villafl or?
RULING: The plain intent of the testator was to invest his widow with only a usufruct or life tenure in the properties,
subject to the further condition that if she remarried, her rights would thereupon cease, even during her lifetime. That
the widow was meant to have no more than a life interest in the properties, even if she did not remarry at all, is
evident from the expression used in the will, use and possession while she lives. If the testator had intended to
impose as sole condition the non-remarriage of his widow, the words use and possession while she lives would have
been unnecessary, since the widow could only remarry during her lifetime. It follows, therefore, that the testators
grandniece, Leonor Villaflor, is entitled to these properties upon the widows death, even if the widow never remarried
in her lifetime.