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Nacar vs. Nistal
L-3306, December 8, 1982
FACTS: At various dates since the year 1968, the
defendant Nacar have incurred indebtedness to the
plaintiff Japitana in the total sum of P2,791.00, which said
amount had long been overdue for payment, and which
the defendant up to this date have not been able to pay,
despite repeated demands from the plaintiff. Defendant
Isabelo Nacar died last April, 1970 leaving among other
things personal property consisting seven (7) heads of
carabaos now in the possession of the defendant Nicanor
Nacar. Plaintiff Japitana filed a claim against the estate of
the late Isabelo Nacar to recover the aforementioned sum
of P2,791.99.
ISSUE: Whether or not, the plaintiff has a claim against
the estate of Isabelo Nacar, which is now in the
possession of his stepson, Nicanor Nacar.
HELD: The trial court ruled for the interest of both parties
will not for the meantime Dismiss this case. This court
requires plaintiff Japitana to put up the addtl bond of 1000
after which the latter may be entitled of the custody of the
carabao subject of litigation pending final termination of
this case. Supreme Court held that although respondent
Japitana may have a legal right to recover indebtedness
due him, petitioner Nicanor Nacar has no correlative legal
duty to pay the debt for the simple reason that there is
nothing in the complaint to show that he incurred the debt
or had anything to do with the creation of the liability. As
far as the debt is concerned, there is no allegation or
showing that the petitioner had acted in violation of Mr.
Japitanas rights with consequential injury or damage to
the latter as would create a cause of action against the
former. It is also patent from the complaint that
respondent Japitana filed the case against petitioner
Nacar to recover seven (7) heads of carabaos allegedly
belonging to Isabelo Nacar which Japitana wanted to
recover from the possession of the petitioner to answer
for the outstanding debt of the late Isabelo Nacar. This
matter, however, is only ancillary to the main action. The
ancillary matter does not cure a fatal defect in the
complaint for the main action is for the recovery of an
debt of the late lsabelo Nacar due respondent Japitana, a
cause of action about which petitioner Nacar has nothing
to do.

DOCTRINE: Succession; Filing of money claim

contractu by action against the administrator of
deceased is not allowed. Such claim must be filed in
administration proceedings of the estate of


Anderson v. Perkins
L-15388, January 31, 1961
Rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment
of death
FACTS: Dora Perkin Anderson filed a petition for the
probate of the supposed last will and testament of the late
Eugene Arthur Perkins. On the same date of the filing of
the aforesaid petition, petitioner Dora Perkins Anderson
also filed a urgent petition for the appointment of Alfonso
Ponce Enrile as special administrator of the estate, and
on the same day, the court issued an order appointing
Alfonso Ponce Enrile as such special administrator upon
his posting of a bond. Idonah Slade Perkins, surviving
spouse of the deceased entered an opposition to the
probate of the will presented by petitioner Dora Perkins
Anderson. The special administrator submitted an
inventory of all the assets which have come to his
knowledge as belonging to the deceased Eugene Arthur
Perkins at the time of his death. About two years later,
special administrator submitted to the court a petition
seeking authority to sell, or give away to some charitable
or educational institution or institutions, certain personal
effects left by the deceased, such as clothes, books,
gadgets, electrical appliances, etc., which were allegedly
deteriorating both physically and in value, in order to
avoid their further deterioration and to save whatever
value might be obtained in their disposition. When the
motion was heard, court required the administrator to
submit a specification of the properties sought to be sold,
and in compliance therewith, the special administrator
submitted to the court, in place of a specification, a copy
of the inventory of the personal properties belonging to
the estate with the items sought to be sold marked with a
check in red pencil, with the statement that said items
were too voluminous to enumerate. Idonah Slade Perkins
filed an opposition to the proposed sale reasoning that (1)
most of the properties sought to be sold were conjugal
properties of herself and her deceased husband; and (2)
that unauthorized removal of fine pieces of furniture
belonging to the estate had been made. Lower court
approved the proposed sale, authorizing the Sheriff of
Manila to conduct the same. Idonah Slade Perkins moved
to reconsider this order on the grounds (1) that said order
in effect authorized the special administrator to sell the
entire personal estate of the deceased, contrary to Rule

81, section 2 of Rules of Court;(2) that said order was

issued without a showing that the goods and chattels
sought to be sold were perishable, pursuant to Rule 81,
section 2, Rules of Court; (3) that the personalty sought to
be sold represented the lifetime savings and collections of
oppositor; (4) that there is evidence on record showing
unauthorized withdrawals from the properties of the
estate, and the sale of the inventoried lot would prevent
identification and recovery of the articles removed; and
(5) that there is also evidence showing oppositor's
separate rights to a substantial part of the personal
estate. Lower court denied the MR. Hence, this appeal.
ISSUES: 1.WON the personal properties sought to be
sold not being perishable, the special administrator has
2..WON the opposition of the surviving spouse of the
deceased that she is entitled to a large portion of the
personal properties in question should be entertained
3.WON the oppositor-appellant should have indicated the
alleged "fine furniture" which she did not want sold and
that her refusal to do so is an indication of her
unmeritorious claim.
HELD: The lower court approved the proposed sale.
1. No, Section 2, Rule 81, of the Rules of Court,
specifically provides that the special administrator "may
sell such perishable and other property as the court
orders sold", which shows that the special administrator's
power to sell is not limited to "perishable" property only. It
is true that the function of a special administrator is only
to collect and preserve the property of the deceased until
a regular administrator is appointed. But it is not alone the
specific property of the estate which is to be preserved,
but its value as well, as shown by the legal provision for
the sale by a special administrator of perishable property.
It is in line with this general power of the special
administrator top reserve not only the property of the
estate but also its value, that section 2, Rule 81, also
empowers such administrator to sell "other property as
the court ordered sold" .
2.Yes, Indeed the records show that up to the time the
propose sale was asked for and judicially approved, no
proceeding had as yet been taken, or even started, to
segregate the alleged exclusive property of the oppositorappellant from the mass of the estate supposedly left by
the deceased or to liquidate the conjugal partnership
property of the oppositor-appellant and the deceased.
Until, therefore the issue of the ownership of the

properties sought to be sold is heard and decided, and

the conjugal partnership liquidated; or, at least, an
agreement be reached with a appellant as to which
properties of the conjugal partnership she would not mind
being sold to preserve their value the proposed sale is
clearly premature. After all, most of the items sought to be
sold pieces of furniture, kitchen and dinner ware,
electrical appliances, various gadget and books can
easily be protected and preserved with proper care and
storage measures in either or both of two residential
houses (in Manila and in Baguio City) left by the
deceased, so that no reasons of extreme urgency justify
the proposed sale at this time over the strong opposition
and objection of oppositor-appellant who may later be
adjudged owner of a substantial portion of the personal
estate in question.
3. No. It does not appear that appellant was given a
reasonable opportunity to point out which items in the
inventory she did not want sold. In fact, her opposition to
the proposed sale and later her motion for
reconsideration to the order approving the same were
overruled by the court without so much as stating reasons
why the grounds for her opposition were not wellfounded; the records do not even show that an inquiry
was made as to the validity of the grounds of her
DOCTRINE: The special administrator may be authorized
to sell the personal estate of the decedent even if it is not
perishable property. His authority is not limited to the sale
of perishable property. His function is to preserve not only
the property of the decedent's estate but also its value.
Hence, he may be empowered to sell personal property
which is not perishable.
The sale of the alleged personal estate of the deceased
husband cannot be authorized where his widow claims
that some of the items thereof are conjugal or are her
own personal property. The conjugal partnership must
first be liquidated and the issue of ownership adjudicated.
Maria Vda. De Reyes, et. al. vs. CA,
G.R. 92436, July 26, 1992
FACTS: During his lifetime, one Gavino Reyes owned a
parcel of land of approximately 70 hectares, more or less,
located at Sangayad, Ulong-Tubig, Carmona, Cavite. He
sought to bring said land under the operation of the

Torrens System of registration of property. Unfortunately,

he died in 1921 without the title having been issued to
him. The application was prosecuted by his son, Marcelo
Reyes, who was the administrator of his property.
In 1936 the above property was surveyed and subdivided
by Gavino's heirs (Exh. "6"). In the subdivision plan, each
resultant lot was earmarked, indicated for and assigned to
a specific heir. It appears therein that two lots, one of
which is Lot No. 1A-14 (Exh. "6-A"), were allotted to
Rafael Reyes, Sr., one of Gavino's children. Per
testimony of Juan Poblete, the children thereafter secured
tax declarations for their respective shares.
In 1941, or about twenty (20) years after the death of
Gavino, the original certificate of title for the whole
property-OCT No. 255-was issued. It was, however, kept
by Juan Poblete, son-inlaw of Marcelo Reyes, who was
by then already deceased. The heirs of Gavino were not
aware of this fact.
On 3 December 1943, Rafael Reyes, Sr. sold a parcel of
land with an area of 23,431 square meters, more or less,
to private respondent Dalmacio Gardiola (Exh. "5").
According to the vendee, this parcel corresponds to Lot
No.1-A-14 of the subdivision plan aforestated. The deed
of sale, however, did not specifically mention Lot No. I-A14. The vendee immediately took possession of the
property and started paying the land taxes therein.
In 1967, the surviving heirs gave effect to the subdivision
plan created on 1936. They formally partitioned the
property. Therefore, the heirs received their share of this
land. Including Rafael Reyes, Jr. Son of Rafael Sr. TCTs
were issued to him representing the land which should
have been received by his father.Now, the heirs of Rafael
Jr. sued Gardiola, saying that they are the true owners of
the land, as shown by the torrens title over the land.
Gardiolas defense was that he bought the land from
Rafael Sr. and that Rafael Jr. could not have inherited this
land for it was disposed of by his father way before he
inherited it.

although oral, was valid and binding. There is no law that

requires partition among heirs to be in writing to be valid.
In Hernandez vs. Andal, supra, this Court held that the
requirement that a partition be put in a public document
and registered has for its purpose the protection of
creditors and at the same time the protection of the heirs
themselves against tardy claims. The object of
registration is to serve as constructive notice to others. It
follows then that the intrinsic validity of partition not
executed with the prescribed formalities does not come
into play when there are no creditors or the rights of
creditors are not affected. 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. There is nothing
in said section from which it can be inferred that a writing
or other formality is an essential requisite to the validity of
the partition. Accordingly, an oral partition is valid.
In Barcelona, et al. vs. Barcelona, et al., supra, provides
the reason why oral partition is valid and why it is not
covered by the Statute of Frauds: partition among heirs or
renunciation of an inheritance by some of them is not
exactly a conveyance of real property for the reason that
it does not involve transfer of property from one to the
other, but rather a confirmation or ratification of title or
right of property by the heir renouncing in favor of another
heir accepting and receiving the inheritance.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondent Court of Appeals

committed any reversible error in setting aside the
decision of the trial court.

But even if we are to assume arguendo that the oral

partition executed in 1936 was not valid for some reason
or another, We would still arrive at the same conclusion
for upon the death of Gavino Reyes in 1921, his heirs
automatically became co-owners of his 70-hectare parcel
of land. The rights to the succession are transmitted from
the moment of death of the decedent. The estate of the
decedent would then be held in co-ownership by the
heirs. The co-heir or co-owner may validly dispose of his
share or interest in the property subject to the condition
that the portion disposed of is eventually allotted to him in
the division upon termination of the co-ownership. Article
493 of the Civil Code provides:"Each co-owner shall have
the full ownership of his part and the fruits and benefits
pertaining thereto, and he may even substitute another
person in its enjoyment, except when personal rights are
involved. But the effect of the alienation or the mortgage,
with respect to the co-owners, shall be limited to the
portion which may be allotted to him in the division upon
the termination of the co-ownership."

HELD: NO. The Court of Appeals correctly held that the

partition made by the children of Gavino Reyes in 1936,

In Ramirez vs. Bautista, this Court held that every co-heir

has the absolute ownership of his share in the community

The trial court ruled in favor of Rafael Jr.s heirs. Stating

that there was no evidence that the Gavinos children had
a written partition agreement. CA reversed.

property and may alienate, assign, or mortgage the same,

except as to purely personal rights, but the effect of any
such transfer is limited to the portion which may be
awarded to him upon the partition of the property.
In the case at bar, the lot sold by Rafael Reyes, Sr. to
private respondent Dalmacio Gardiola is his share in the
estate of his deceased father, Gavino Reyes. It is the
same property which was eventually adjudicated to his
son and heir, Rafael Reyes, Jr., represented in turn by his
heirs petitioners herein in the extrajudicial
settlement of 1967.
The instant petition then is without merit.
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered DENYING
the petition with costs against petitioners.
DOCTRINE: The rights to the succession are transmitted
from the moment of death of the decedent. The estate of
the decedent would then be held in co-ownership by the
heirs. In Ramirez vs. Bautista, this Court held that every
co-heir has the absolute ownership of his share in the
community property and may alienate, assign, or
mortgage the same, except as to purely personal rights,
but the effect of any such transfer is limited to the portion
which may be awarded to him upon the partition of the
-There is no law that requires partition among heirs to be
in writing to be valid. Partition among heirs or
renunciation of an inheritance by some of them is not
exactly a conveyance of real property for the reason that
it does not involve transfer of property from one to the
other, but rather a confirmation or ratification of title or
right of property by the heir renouncing in favor of another
heir accepting and receiving the inheritance.
Danilo I. Suarez, et. al. v. CA, et. al.,
G.R. No, 94918, September 2, 1992
FACTS: Herein petitioners are brothers and sisters. Their
father died in 1955 and since then his estate consisting of
several valuable parcels of land in Pasig, Metro Manila
has lot and been liquidated or partitioned.
In 1977, petitioners' widowed mother and Rizal Realty
Corporation lost in the consolidated cases for rescission
of contract and for damages, and were ordered by CFI of
Rizal to pay, jointly and severally, herein respondents
amount of P70,000 as damages.
The judgment against petitioners' mother and Rizal
Realty Corporation having become final and executory,

five (5) valuable parcel of land in Pasig, Metro Manila,

were levied and sold on execution in favor of the private
respondents as the highest bidder for the amount of
P94,170.000. Private respondents were then issued a
certificate of sale which was subsequently registered or
August 1, 1983.
On June 21, 1984 before the expiration of the redemption
period, petitioners filed a reivindicatory action against
private respondents and the Provincial Sheriff of Rizal for
the annulment of the auction sale and the recovery of the
ownership of the levied pieces of property.
Therein, they alleged, among others, that being strangers
to the case decided against their mother, they cannot be
held liable therefor and that the five (5) parcels of land, of
which they are co-owners, can neither be levied nor sold
on execution.
On July 31, 1984, the Provincial Sheriff of Rizal issued to
private respondents a final deed of sale over the
On October 22, 1984, Teofista Suarez joined by herein
petitioners filed with RTC for a MR claiming that the
parcels of land are co-owned by them and further
informing the Court the filing and pendency of an action to
annul the auction sale which motion however, was
A writ of preliminary injunction was issued
enjoining private respondents from transferring to third
parties the levied parcels of land based on the finding that
the auctioned lands are co-owned by petitioners.
Private respondent Valente Raymundo filed a Motion to
Dismiss for failure on the part of the petitioners to
prosecute, however, such motion was later denied by
RTC. Raymundo filed an Ex-Parte Motion to Dismiss
complaint for failure to prosecute. This was granted by
RTC through an Order dated May 29, 1986,
notwithstanding petitioner's pending motion for the
issuance of alias summons to be served upon the other
defendants in the said case. A motion for reconsideration
was filed but was later denied. RTC issued an Order
directing Teofista Suarez and all persons claiming right
under her to vacate the lots subject of the judicial sale; to
desist from removing or alienating improvements thereon;
and to surrender to private respondents the owner's
duplicate copy of the torrens title and other pertinent
Teofista Suarez then filed with the then Court of Appeals
a petition for certiorari to annul the Orders of the RTC.
Petitioners filed a Motion for reconsideration of the Order.

In an Order dated June 10, 1987, RTC lifted its previous

order of dismissal and directed the issuance of alias
summons. On appeal to CA. CA rendered a decision in
favor of the respondents. Hence this petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not, petitioners are barred in any way
from instituting the action to annul the auction sale to
protect their own interest in the 5 valuable parcels of land
in Pasig.
HELD: No. It would be useless to discuss the procedural
issue on the validity of the execution and the manner of
publicly selling en masse the subject properties for
auction. To start with, only one-half of the 5 parcels of
land should have been the subject of the auction sale.
The law in point is Article 777 of the Civil Code, the law
applicable at the time of the institution of the case. The
rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment
of the death of the decedent.
Article 888 further provides: "The legitime of the legitimate
children and descendants consists of one-half of the
hereditary estate of the father and of the mother. The
latter may freely dispose of the remaining half, subject to
the rights of illegitimate children and of the surviving
spouse as hereinafter provided."
Article 892, par. 2 likewise provides: "If there are two or
more legitimate children or descendants, the surviving
spouse shall be entitled to a portion equal to the legitime
of each of the legitimate children or descendants."
Thus, from the foregoing, the legitime of the surviving
spouse is equal to the legitime of each child.The
proprietary interest of petitioners in the levied and
auctioned property is different from and adverse to that of
their mother.
Petitioners became co-owners of the property not
because of their mother but through their own right as
children of their deceased father. Therefore, petitioners
are not barred in any way from instituting the action to
annul the auction sale to protect their own interest.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals dated
July 27, 1990 as well as its Resolution of August 28, 1990
are hereby REVERSED and set aside; and Civil Case No.
51203 is reinstated only to determine that portion which
belongs to petitioners and to annul the sale with regard to
said portion.

DOCTRINE: The legitime of the surviving spouse is equal

to the legitime of each child. The proprietary interest of
petitioners in the levied and auctioned property is
different from and adverse to that of their mother.
Petitioners became co-owners of the property not
because of their mother but through their own right as
children of their deceased father. Therefore, petitioners
are not barred in any way from instituting the action to
annul the auction sale to protect their own interest.
Nelia A. Constantino v. CA, et.al.,
G.R. No. 116018, November 13, 1996, 76 SCAD 47
FACTS: JOSEFA TORRES died intestate leaving a parcel
of land located at Balagtas, Bulacan. Among her heirs are
respondents Aurora S. Roque, Priscilla S. Luna and
Josefina S. Austria. Sometime in 1984, the heirs of Josefa
Torres, as vendors, and petitioner Nelia A. Constantino,
as vendee, entered into a contract to sell a parcel of land.
The heirs authorized petitioner to prepare the necessary
Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate with Sale.
After having the document drafted with several spaces
left blank including the specification as to the metes and
bounds of the land petitioner asked the heirs to affix
their signatures on the document. The heirs signed the
document with the understanding that respondent Aurora
S. Roque, one of the heirs, would be present when the
latter would seek permission from the Bureau of Lands
and have the land surveyed.
However, without the participation of any of the Torres
heirs, the property was subsequently surveyed,
subdivided and then covered by TCT Nos. T-292265 and
T-292266. Petitioner did not furnish the heirs with copies
of the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate with Sale
nor of the subdivision plan and the certificates of title.
Upon securing a copy of the deed from the Registry of
Deeds, the respondents learned that the area of the
property purportedly sold to petitioner was much bigger
than that agreed upon by the parties.
On 2 June 1986, private respondents sent a letter to
petitioner demanding the surrender to them of the deed of
settlement and conveyance, the subdivision plan and the
certificates of title; but to no avail. On 25 June 1986
respondents filed with the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan
an action for annulment of the deed and cancellation of
the certificates of title, with prayer for recovery of
damages, attorney's fees and costs of suit.

Petitioner controverted the allegations of respondents by

presenting the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate
with Sale dated 10 October 1984. In reply, private
respondents reiterated that all the heirs signed the
document before the land was surveyed and subdivided,
hence, there was as yet no definite area to be sold that
could be indicated in the deed at the time of the signing.
They also claimed that they were not notified about the
survey and the subdivision of the lot and therefore they
could not have agreed on the area supposedly sold to
ISSUE: Whether or not
the Deed of Extrajudicial
Settlement of Estate with Sale reflect the true intent of the
HELD: The Supreme Court ruled that the allegation of
respondents that they signed the deed prior to the survey,
or before determination of the area to be sold, worthy of
credit as against the contention of petitioner that they
signed after the survey or on 10 October 1984.
As found by the trial court, such contention was
contradicted by petitioners' own witness who positively
asserted in court that the survey was conducted only on
16 October 1984 or six (6) days after the signing. . Quite
obviously, when respondents affixed their signatures on
the deed, it was still incomplete since petitioner who
caused it to be prepared left several spaces blank, more
particularly as regards the dimensions of the property to
be sold.

ORDER WITH DAMAGES before Branch 21 of the

Regional Trial Court in Imus, Cavite.
The private respondents presented a Motion to Dismiss
on the grounds that the complaint failed to state a cause
of action, that plaintiffs did not have a right of action, that
they have not established their status as heirs.
Petitioners contend that the respondent court acted with
grave abuse of discretion in ruling that the issue of
heirship should first be determined before trial of the case
could proceed. It is petitioners' submission that the
respondent court should have proceeded with the trial
and simultaneously resolved the issue of heirship in the
same case.
ISSUE: Whether or not the issue on heirship be decided
upon in a case of Declaration of Nullity of
TCT/Reconveyance Case.
HELD: The said Motion to Dismiss was granted, holding
that petitioners "have not shown any proof or even a
semblance of it except the allegations that they are the
legal heirs of the above-named Yaptinchays that they
have been declared the legal heirs of the deceased
WHEREFORE, for lack of merit, the Petition under
consideration is hereby DISMISSED.
To begin with, petitioners' Petition for Certiorari before this
Court is an improper recourse. Their proper remedy
should have been an appeal.

Heirs of Yaptinchay vs. Court of Appeals

FACTS: Petitioners claim that they are the legal heirs of
the late Guido and Isabel Yaptinchay, the ownersclaimants of Lot No. 1131 and Lot No. 1132.
On March 17, 1994, petitioners executed an ExtraJudicial Settlement of the estate of the deceased Guido
and Isabel Yaptinchay. On August 26, 1994, petitioners
discovered that a portion of the aforesaid properties were
titled in the name of respondent Golden Bay Realty and
Development Corporation ("Golden Bay") under Transfer
Certificate of Title Nos. ("TCT") 225254 and 225255.
With the discovery of what happened petitioners filed a
complaint for ANNULMENT and/or DECLARATION OF
NULLITY OF TCT NO. 493363, 493364, 493665, 493366,
493367; and its Derivatives; As Alternative Reconveyance

Neither did the respondent court commit grave abuse of

discretion in issuing the questioned Order. 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.
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.
DOCTRINE: The issue of heirship must first be resolved
before proceeding with the civil case.

Other than mere allegations, the claimant must show

proof of his heirship.
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.
Valente Raymundo v. Teofisto Isagon Vda. De Suarez,
G.R. No. 149017, November 28,2008
FACTS: Marcelo and Teofista Isagon Suarez' marriage
was blessed with both material wealth and progeny in
herein respondents (Danilo, Eufrocina, Marcelo Jr.,
Evelyn, and Reggineo - all surnamed Suarez) Governed
by conjugal partnership of gains regime, spouses
acquired numerous properties (which includes land in
Caniogan Pasig; property in Pinagbuhatan Pasig).
Husband Marcelo Sr. died in 1955, thus, Teofista and
herein respondents with Elpidio Suarez, executed an
Extrajudicial Settlement (EJS) of Estate Marcelo Sr.'s
Such EJS mentioned that the surviving spouse, together
with the legitimate children of the deceased are the
Estates legal heirs and noting that a certain Eufrocina
Andres shall be the guardian and legall administrator of
the minors (elpidio, danilo, evelyn,Marcelo jr., &
Also, it was mentioned that there are no known
debts/financial obligations of whatever nature and amount
against the estate of the deceased. Moreover, Teofista
received absolute and exclusive ownership of the
conjugal assets (1/2 of each property on the list and 12k
plus with 2 banks). IN sum, the 7 legal heirs (including the
surviving spouse, shall each and all receive and be
entitled to a share equivalent to one-seventh (1/7) of the
estate of the deceased MARCELO SUAREZ, which
estate is comprised of the many parcel of lands in Pasig
and Rizal plus 12k shares of stock with consolidated
1975: Rizal Realty Corporation (Rizal Realty) and
Teofista, the latter owning ninety percent (90%) of the
former's shares of stock, were sued by petitioner Valente
Raymundo, his wife Violeta, Virginia Banta and Maria
Concepcion Vito (plaintiffs) in consolidated cases for
Rescission of Contract and Damages to which the CFI
rescinded and held them liable for 70k damages
June 24, 1983: When the judgment of the CFI became
final and executory, subject properties were levied and

sold on execution with the plaintiffs being the highest

bidder, they bought such around 95k. Certificate of sale
issued and registered in their favor. Final deed of sale
over properties was also issued by the Prov. Sheriff
June 21, 1984 (before expiration of the redemption
period): respondents filed a revindicatory action against
petitioners for the annulment of the auction sale and
recovery of ownership of the levied properties alleging in
their complaint that they cannot be held liable for the
judgment rendered against their mother, Teofista, not
having been impleaded therein; and consequently, the
subject properties, which they own pro indiviso with their
mother, can neither be levied nor be sold on execution.
But RTC issued an order directing Teofista to vacate the
properties, to place petitioners in peaceful possession
thereof and for respondents to surrender the torrens titles
and other pertinent documents.
MR was filed by respondents explaining that there is a
reinvidicatory action pending but RTC denied such
Thus, petition for certiorari was filed by Teofista before the
CA but the latter dismissed such because certiorari was
not the proper remedy and that Teofista failed to appeal
and the other respondents failed to institute a 3rd party
In other litigation concerning the Reinvidacatory case, the
RTC handling such issued a writ of PI which enjoined the
petitioners herein from transferring the levied properties.
Subsequently the case was dismissed but the RTC lifted
its previous order of dismissal and directed the issuance
of summons.
Because of such, petitioners herein filed a petition for
certiorari with the CA assailing the various orders of the
RTC handling the reinvidicatory action- CA granted their
petition and ordered the reinvidicatory action to be
Respondents appealed to SC (In case Suarez v. CA)- SC
pointed out the ff (w/c reversed and set aside the CAs
previous ruling and reinstated the reinvidicatory action- to
determine that portion which belongs to petitioners and to
annul the sale with regard to said portion):
a.) only one-half of the 5 parcels of land [subject
properties] should have been the subject of the
auction sale on the basis of ART. 777, 888,
b.) The proprietary interest of petitioners [herein
respondents] in the levied and auctioned property is
different from and adverse to that of their mother
[Teofista]. Petitioners [herein respondents] became co-

owners of the property not because of their mother

[Teofista] but through their own right as children of their
deceased father [Marcelo Sr.]. Therefore, petitioners
[herein respondents] are not barred in any way from
instituting the action to annul the auction sale to protect
their own interest
Upon reinstatement of the reinvidicatory case, every
pleading by respondents were hotly opposed by
The reinvidicatory case, was re-raffled and transferred to
different court branches in Pasig for various reasons until
part of records went missing and were lost.
April 12, 1993: Clerk of Court of RTC, Branch 71, to
which Civil Case No. 51203 was remanded, filed a report
on the records of the case, explaining that due to the
demolishing of the building, the records went missing
including the notice of judgement from the CAs Judge
Claravall which dismisses the complaint and the SCs
copy of decision reversing such decision of Claravall
Thus 3 impt. Filings happened:
1.) Motion for leave to file and admit supplemental
complaint by respondents praying that levy and sale at
public auction of the subject properties be annulled and
set aside, as the bid price was unconscionable and
grossly inadequate to the current value of the subject
properties; sought a re-bidding with respect to Teofista's
share in the subject properties; and that TCT in name of
petitioners be cancelled
Manifestation and Motion (to Execute/Enforce
Decision dated September 4, 1992 of the Supreme Court)
by respondents pointing out that the SC itself had noted
the current increased value of the subject properties and
that petitioners unjustly enriched themselves
3.) Urgent Motion [to direct compliance by plaintiffs
(herein respondents) with SC Decision or to consider the
matter submitted without evidence on the part of plaintiffs]
filed by therein defendants, including herein petitioner
Valente, pointing out that plaintiffs (herein respondents)
have yet to comply with the RTC, Order commanding
them to submit (to the RTC) any evidence showing
settlement of the estate of the deceased Marcelo Suarez,
in order for the court to determine the portion in the estate
which belongs to Teofista.
Then the orders came from difft. RTC to apply
respectively with the 3 filings:
1.) March 17, 1995 Judge Lorenzo admitted the
supplemental complaint

2.) January 22, 1996 Judge Santos ordered the

implementation of the decision of the SC dated
September 4, 1992 which mandates that:
". . . and Civil Case No. 51203 (reinvidicatory action) is
reinstated only to determine that portion which belongs to
petitioner and to annul the sale with regard to said
Such annulled the auction sale and the TCT titles in
favour of petitioners; and ordered Teofista to submit any
evidence which shows the settlement of the estate (MR
filed by petitioners with the court but such was denied)
Then an order dated April 8, 1999 by Judge Estrella
ordered counsel of respondents to supply the birth
certificates and other pertinent documents which will
prove affiliation with the deceased. Crossfire again and
position papers were filed by both parties but the ruling
explained that a new ruling (Heirs of Guido Yaptinchay, et
al. vs. Del Rosario) confronts their situation where it held
that- The declaration of heirship must be made in an
administration proceeding, and not in an independent civil
action. 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.
On this basis, the court dismissed the case without
prejudice to the right of the respondents to institute a
special proceeding.
MR filed by respondents but was denied; certiorari filed
again with the CA to which the latter granted on the
ground that the past SC decision became final and
executor. Hence, this certiorari by herein petitioners.
ISSUE: WON Heirs of Yaptinchay v. Del Rosario (which
held that a declaration of heirship must be made in a
special proceeding and not in a civil action) applies in this
*basically, petitioners insists that herein respondents
must first be declared heirs of Marcelo Sr. before they can
file an action to annul the judicial sale of what is,
undisputedly, conjugal property of Teofista and Marcelo
HELD: No, the ruling in
applicable in this case.

Heirs of Yaptinchay is not

Herein respondents' status as legitimate children of

Marcelo Sr. and Teofista and thus, Marcelo Sr.'s heirs
has been firmly established, and confirmed by this
Court in Suarez v. Court of Appeals. True, this Court is not
a trier of facts, but as the final arbiter of disputes, we
found and so ruled that herein respondents are children,

and heirs of their deceased father, Marcelo Sr. This

having been settled, it should no longer have been a
litigated issue when we ordered a remand to the lower
court. In short, petitioner Valente's, Violeta's, Virginia's,
and Maria Concepcion's representation in the RTC that
our ruling in Suarez required herein respondents to
present evidence of their affiliation with the deceased,
Marcelo Sr., is wrong.
SCs directive in the Suarez case ("Civil Case No.
51203/reinvidicatory case is reinstated only to determine
that portion which belongs to [herein respondents] and to
annul the sale with regard to said portion.") has no
intimation in SCs decision for the RTC to have to
determine an already settled issue i.e., herein
respondents' status as heirs of Marcelo Sr.
Petitioner, moreover, cannot assail, directly or indirectly,
the status of herein respondents as legitimate children of
Marcelo Sr. and Teofista, and likewise demand that herein
respondents first prove their filiation to Marcelo Sr. (as
based from the records and the law)
Articles 262, 263, 265 and 266 of the Civil Code, the
applicable law at the time of Marcelo's death, support the
foregoing conclusion, to wit:
Art. 262.The heirs of the husband may impugn the
legitimacy of the child only in the following cases:
(1)If the husband should die before the expiration of the
period fixed for bringing his action;
(2)If the husband should die after the filing of the
complaint, without having desisted from the same;
(3)If the child was born after the death of the husband.
Art. 263.The action to impugn the legitimacy of the child
shall be brought within one year from the recording of
birth in the Civil Register, if the husband should be in the
same place, or in a proper case, any of his heirs.
If he or his heirs are absent, the period shall be eighteen
months if they should reside in the Philippines; and two
years if abroad. If the birth of the child has been
concealed, the term shall be counted from the discovery
of the fraud.
Art. 265.The filiation of legitimate children is proved by
the record of birth appearing in the Civil Register, or by an
authentic document or a final judgment.
Art. 266.In the absence of the titles indicated in the
preceding article, the filiation shall be proved by the
continuous possession of status of a legitimate child.
In Heirs of Yaptinchay, the complaint for annulment and/or
declaration of nullity of certain TCT's was dismissed for
failure of the petitioners to demonstrate "any proof or

even a semblance of it" that they had been declared the

legal heirs of the deceased couple, the spouses
In stark contrast, the records of this case reveal a
document, an Extrajudicial Settlement of Marcelo Sr.'s
estate, which explicitly recognizes herein respondents as
Marcelo Sr.'s legitimate children and heirs. The same
document settles and partitions the estate of Marcelo Sr.
specifying Teofista's paraphernal properties, and
separates the properties she owns in common with her
children, herein respondents. Plainly, there is no need to
re-declare herein respondents as heirs of Marcelo Sr.,
and prolong this case interminably.
Petitioner Valente, along with Violeta, Virginia and Maria
Concepcion, became owners of the subject properties
only by virtue of an execution sale to recover Teofista's
judgment obligation. This judgment obligation is solely
Teofista's, and payment therefor cannot be made through
an execution sale of properties not absolutely owned by
her. These properties were evidently conjugal properties
and were, in fact, even titled in the name of Marcelo, Sr.
married to Teofista. Thus, upon Marcelo Sr.'s death, by
virtue of compulsory succession, Marcelo Sr.'s share in
the conjugal partnership was transmitted by operation of
law to his compulsory heirs.
Compulsory succession is a distinct kind of succession,
albeit not categorized as such in Article 778 of the Civil
Code. It reserves a portion of the net estate of the
decedent in favor of certain heirs, or group of heirs, or
combination of heirs, prevailing over all kinds of
succession. The portion that is so reserved is the
legitime. Article 886 of the Civil Code defines legitime as
"that part of the testator's property which he cannot
dispose of because the law has reserved it for certain
heirs who are, therefore, called compulsory heirs." Herein
respondents are primary compulsory heirs, excluding
secondary compulsory heirs, and preferred over
concurring compulsory heirs in the distribution of the
decedent's estate.
Even without delving into the Extrajudicial Settlement of
Marcelo Sr.'s estate in 1957, it must be stressed that
herein respondents' rights to the succession vested from
the moment of their father's death. Herein respondents'
ownership of the subject properties is no longer inchoate;
it became absolute upon Marcelo's death, although their
respective shares therein remained pro indiviso.
Ineluctably, at the time the subject properties were sold
on execution sale to answer for Teofista's judgment
obligation, the inclusion of herein respondents' share
therein was null and void.

In fine, Teofista's ownership over the subject properties is

not absolute. Significantly, petitioner Valente does not
even attempt to dispute the conjugal nature of the subject
properties. Since Teofista owns only a portion of the
subject properties, only that portion could have been, and
was actually, levied upon and sold on auction by the
provincial sheriff of Rizal. Thus, a separate declaration of
heirship by herein respondents is not necessary to annul
the judicial sale of their share in the subject properties.
THEREFORE, there is no need to dismiss Civil Case No.
51203 and require herein respondents to institute a
separate special proceeding for a declaration of their
heirship. Petition is DENIED.
Development Bank of the Philippines vs. Ella
Garagani, Isagani, Adrian, Natahniel, Nieva, Jonathan,
Dionesio, Florence and Jeremias, all surnamed Asok,
G.R. No. 172248, September 17, 2008
FACTS: Spouses Dionesio and Matea S. Asok owned
several parcels of land September 14, 1973 and February
22, 1982, respectively- THEY DIED & their 11 children
inherited the properties. Inheritance includes a lot
covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. P-4272
(1967), located in Misamis Oriental. (Land as a free
Pursuant to the extrajudicial settlement of the estate with
quitclaim executed by the spouses' children, the subject
property was inherited by Denison Asok hence, OCT
became a TCT under his own name (1987)
August 31, 1989: Denison and wife (ELLA GAGARANI,
respondent) borrowed P100,000 from petitioner
Development Bank of the Philippines, a government
financial institution created and operating under EO 81,
as amended by RA 8523
As a collateral, they mortgaged the lot in Misamis
Oriental. On due date, however, they failed to pay the
loan and the mortgage was extrajudicially foreclosed
pursuant to Act 3135. Petitioner emerged as the highest
bidder with a bid of P163,297.
November 28, 1991: certificate of sale was issued in favor
of petitioner; was registered subsequently and a new TCT
issued also
October 24, 1993: Denison died and succeeded by his
surviving spouse and children (respondents)

May 15, 1998: respondents filed a complaint for

repurchase against petitioner in the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Initao, Misamis Oriental
July 3, 1998: they filed an amended complaint on learning
that TCT No. T-9626 had been cancelled by TCT No. T27172 issued in the name of petitioner. They invoked their
right to repurchase the property under Sec. 119 of CA 141
(Every conveyance of land acquired under the free patent
or homestead provisions, when proper, shall be subject to
repurchase by the applicant, his widow, or legal heirs,
within a period of five years from date of the conveyance)
RTC dismissed the complaint and reconsideration was
also denied. It ruled that the one-year period for
redemption should be reckoned from the date of sale, i.e.,
November 28, 1991. Then the five-year period provided
under Sec. 119 of CA 141 should be counted from the
expiration of the redemption period, i.e., November 28,
1992.Therefore, respondents had until November 28,
1997 to exercise their right to repurchase. However, the
complaint was filed on May 15, 1998 which was beyond
the prescribed period.
Respondents appealed to CA. CA reversed and set aside
the RTC decision. Reconsideration was denied in a
resolution dated March 28, 2006. It held that the period of
redemption started from the date of registration of the
certificate of sale, i.e., December 24, 1992, and not from
the date of sale. Thus, respondents had until December
24, 1998 to repurchase the property and the complaint
was seasonably filed.
Hence this petition by petitioners alleging that:
a.) Petitioner contends that respondents cannot claim the
right under Sec. 119 which covers homesteads and free
patents because the free patent issued to Asok's parents
had already been cancelled and a new TCT had in fact
been issued to him. Thus, the property mortgaged to it
was no longer covered by a free patent but by a TCT
b.) respondents are not the legal heirs of the patentees
because respondents are merely their daughter-in-law
and grandchildren.
c.) even if respondents could be considered as being
entitled to the right under Sec. 119, this had already
prescribed because the period should be counted from
the date of conveyance which means the date of sale and
not the date of registration of the certificate of sale.
ISSUE: 1.) WON the free patent issued to Denison Asok's
parents had already been cancelled by the issuance of
new TCT before the mortgage.


2.) are respondents the "legal heirs" contemplated in the

provision (on patentees)?
3.) WON even right of respondents had already
prescribed (under Sec. 119)
HELD: 1.) The plain intent of Sec. 119 is to give the
homesteader or patentee every chance to preserve and
keep in the family the land that the State has gratuitously
given him as a reward for his labor in cleaning,
developing and cultivating it. Hence, the fact that the land
had been inherited by the patentees' son (and a new title
in his name issued) does not bring it outside the purview
of Sec. 119. In fact, the policy behind the law is fulfilled
because the land remains in the family of the patentee.
Ferrer v. Mangente The applicant for a homestead is to
be given all the inducement that the law offers and is
entitled to its full protection. Its blessings, however, do not
stop with him. This is particularly so in this case as the
appellee is the son of the deceased. There is no question
then as to his status of being a legal heir. The policy of
the law is not difficult to understand. The incentive for a
pioneer to venture into developing virgin land becomes
more attractive if he is assured that his effort will not go
for naught should perchance his life be cut short. This is
merely a recognition of how closely bound parents and
children are in a Filipino family. Logic, the sense of fitness
and of right, as well as pragmatic considerations thus call
for continued adherence to the policy that not the
individual applicant alone but those so closely related to
him as are entitled to legal succession may take full
advantage of the benefits the law confers
2.) Petitioner is wrong.
The rationale behind Sec. 119, we reject a restricted
definition of legal heirs. It is used in a broad sense and
the law makes no distinctions. In Madarcos v. de la
Merced, we held that:
The term "legal heirs" is used in Section 119 in a generic
sense. It is broad enough to cover any person who is
called to the succession either by provision of a will or by
operation of law. Thus, legal heirs include both testate
and intestate heirs depending upon whether succession
is by the will of the testator or by law. Legal heirs are not
necessarily compulsory heirs but they may be so if the
law reserves a legitime for them. EHCcIT
xxx xxx xxx
Verily, petitioners are legal heirs. Having been decreed
under the rules on intestacy as entitled to succeed to the
estate of the Catain spouses due to the absence of
compulsory heirs, they now step into the shoes of the

decedents. They should be considered as among the

legal heirs contemplated by Section 119 as entitled to
redeem the homestead.
The above interpretation of "legal heirs" as contradistinguished from the restrictive construction given it by
the lower court is more in keeping with the salutary
purpose behind the enactment of Section 119 and the
jurisprudence laid down on the matter. Indeed, it is not
far-fetched to arrive at a more liberal conclusion if the
section is analyzed in accordance with its purpose . . .
Respondents inherited the property from Asok, their
husband and father, who in turn inherited it from his
parents. Respondent Ella Gagarani Asok, as daughter-inlaw of the patentees, can be considered as among the
legal heirs who can repurchase the land in accordance
with Salenillas v. CA. In that case, we allowed the
daughter and son-in-law of the patentees to repurchase
the property because this would be "more in keeping with
the spirit of the law. We have time and again said that
between two statutory interpretations, that which better
serves the purpose of the law should prevail".
Furthermore, the law must be liberally construed in order
to carry out its purpose.
3.) Argument lacks merit.
Rural Bank of Davao City, Inc. v. CA: Thus, the rules on
redemption in the case of an extrajudicial foreclosure of
land acquired under free patent or homestead statutes
may be summarized as follows: . . . If the land is
mortgaged to parties other than rural banks, the
mortgagor may redeem the property within one (1) year
from the registration of the certificate of sale pursuant to
Act No. 3135. If he fails to do so, he or his heirs may
repurchase the property within five (5) years from the
expiration of the redemption period also pursuant to
Section 119 of the Public Land Act
There is no dispute that in extrajudicial foreclosures under
Act 3135, the debtor or his or her successors-in-interest
may redeem the property within one year. This
redemption period should be reckoned from the date of
registration of the certificate of sale. The five-year period
fixed in Sec. 119 begins to run from the expiration of the
one-year redemption period. Here, the certificate of sale
was registered on December 24, 1992 and the one-year
redemption period expired on December 24, 1993.
Reckoned from that day, respondents had a five-year
period, or until December 24, 1998, to exercise their right
to repurchase under Sec. 119 of CA 141. Consequently,
the CA was correct in holding that the complaint filed on
May 15, 1998 was on time.


WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED. Petitioner

Development Bank of the Philippines is ordered to
execute a deed of reconveyance in favor of respondents
upon payment by the latter of the redemption price.

ISSUE: W/N the will conformed to the formalities required

by law.

Requisites of a formal will

The issues raised by petitioner were pure questions of

fact which may not be the subject of a petition for review
on certiorari under Rule 45.

Paz Samaniego-Celada v. Lucia D. Abena

G.R. No. 14545, June 30, 2008
FACTS: Petitioner was the first cousin of decedent
Margarita Mayores, while respondent was the decedents
lifelong companion since 1929.
Margarita died single and w/o any ascending nor
descending heirs. She was survived by her 1st cousins.
Before her death, Margarita executed a Last Will and
Testament where she bequeathed of her undivided
share of a real property in Manila to respondent, Norma
Pahingalo and Florentino Abena in equal shares. of her
undivided share of a real property in Makati was
bequeathed to respondent, Isabelo Abena and Amanda
Abena in equal shares. She likewise left ALL of her
personal properties to respondent whom she likewise
designated as sole executor of her will.
Petitioner filed a petition for letters of administration of
Maragaritas estate on Aug. 11, 1987.
On Oct. 27, 1987, respondent file a petition for probate of
Margaritas will before the same court (RTC of MAKATI)
Petitioner argues that Maragaritas will failed to comply
with the formalities required under ART. 805 of NCC.
Because the will was not signed by the testator in the
presence of the instrumental witnesses and in the
presence of one another. The signatures of the testator
on the pages of the will were not similar indicating that
they were not signed on the same day. She further argues
that the will was procured through undue influence and
pressure because at the time of the execution of the will,
Margarita was weak, sickly, jobless and entirely
dependent upon respondent and her nephews for
support. These alleged handicaps affected her freedom
and willpower to decide on her own.
Respondent: the petition for review raises questions of
fact not of law and as a rule, findings of fact of the CA are
final and conclusive and cannot be reviewed on appeal to
the SC.

HELD: YES. We rule in favor of Respondent.

We find no reason to disturb the findings of the RTC.

Since the petitioner and her siblings are NOT compulsory
heirs of the decedent under ART. 887 NCC and as the
decedent validly disposed of her properties in a will duly
executed and probated, petitioner has NO legal right to
claim ANY part of the decedents estate.
DOCTRINE: The testator may be admitted to be
physically weak but it does not necessarily follow that she
was not of sound mind.
While it is true that the attestation clause is not part of the
will, the court, is of the opinion that the error in the
number of pages of the will as stated in the attestation
clause is NOT material to invalidate the subject will.
Manuel L. Lee vs. Atty. Regino B. Tambago
AC No. 5281, February 12, 2008
FACTS: Manuel Lee charged Atty. Tambago with violation
of the Notarial Law and the ethics of the legal profession
for notarizing a spurious last will and testament. He
averred that his father (Vicente Lee, Sr.) never executed
the contested will and that it contained the forged
signatures of purported witnesses to its execution. In the
questioned will, the decedent bequeathed his entire
estate to his wife save for a parcel of land which he
devised to his half-siblings. The will was purportedly
executed and acknowledged before Atty. Tambago on
June 30, 1965. Complainant however pointed out that the
residence certificate of the testator noted in the
acknowledgement of the will was dated Jan. 5, 1962.
Furthermore, the signature of the testator was not the
same as his signature in a deed of donation containing
his genuine signature.
Respondent: complainant was not a legitimate son of
Vicente Lee Sr. and the last will and testament was validly
executed and actually notarized by him per affidavit of
Gloria Nebato, the common law wife of Vicente Lee Sr.
and corroborated by the joint affidavit of his children. The
complaint was filed simply to harass him because of the
criminal case filed against him by complainant before the
Office of the Ombudsman did not prosper.


ISSUE: W/N the will conformed to the formalities required

by law.
HELD: The Court referred the case to the IBP for
investigation, report and recommendation.
The investigating commissioner found Atty. Tambago
GUILTY of violation of the old Notarial Law which
constitutued an infringement of legal ethics.
The investigating commissioner recommended
SUSPENSION of respondent for 3 months.


The IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved the

report of the investigating commissioner and suspended
Atty. Tambago from the practice of law for 1 year and his
notarial commission is revoked. He is also disqualified
from reappointment as Notary Public for 2 years.
We affirm with Modification.
(resolution of the IBP)

same acknowledgement was a clear breach of law. These

omissions by the respondent invalidated the will.
DOCTRINE: The law provides for certain formalities that
must be followed in the execution of wills.
The object of solemnities surrounding the execution of
wills is to close the door on bad faith and fraud, to avoid
substitution of wills and testatments and to guarantee
their truth and authenticity.
Danilo Aluad, Leonora Aluad, Divina Aluad, Prospero
Aluad, and Connie Aluad v. Zenaido Aluad
G.R. No. October 17, 2008
FACTS: Petitioners mother, Maria Aluad (Maria), and
respondent Zenaido Aluad were raised by the childless
spouses Matilde Aluad (Matilde) and Crispin Aluad
Crispin was the owner of six lots identified as Lot Nos.
674, 675, 676, 677, 680, and 682 of the Pilar Cadastre,
Capiz. After Crispin died, his wife Matilde adjudicated the
lots to herself.

The will in question was attested by only 2 witnesses,
Noynay and Grajo. On this circumstance alone, the will
must be considered VOID.
A notarial will, as contested in this case is required by law
to be subrscribed at the end therof by the testator himself.
In addition, it should be attested by three or more credible
witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one

On November 14, 1981, Matilde executed a Deed of

Donation of Real Property Inter Vivos (Deed of Donation)
in favor of petitioners mother Mariacovering all the six
lots which Matilde inherited from her husband
Crispin. The Deed of Donation provided that:
to become effective upon the death of the DONOR,
but in the event that the DONEE should die before the
DONOR, the present donation shall be deemed

The Civil Code likewise requires that a will must be

acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and
the witnesses.

Later on, Matilde sold Lot No. 676 to respondent by a

Deed of Absolute Sale of Real Property.

An acknowledgement is the act of who has executed a

deed in going before some competent officer of court and
declaring it to be his act of deed.

Subsequently, Matilde executed a last will and

testament, devising Lot Nos. 675, 677, 682, and 680 to
Maria, and her remaining properties including Lot
No. 674 to respondent.

The acknowledgement in a notarial will has a two-fold

purpose (1) to safe guard the testators wishes long after
his demise and (2) to
assure that his estate is
administered in the manner that he intends it to be done.
This requirement was not complied with due to
absence of a notation of the residence certificates of
notarial witnesses in the acknowledgement. Similarly
notation of the testators old residence certificate in


Matilde died, while Maria died later on of the same year.

Marias heirs-herein petitioners filed before the RTC a
Complaint, for declaration and recovery of ownership and
possession of Lot Nos. 674 and 676, and damages
against respondent.
The respondent contended that Lot 674 is owned by the
defendant as this lot was adjudicated to him in the Last
Will and Testament of Matilde Aluad while Lot 676 was


purchased by him from Matilde Aluad. These two lots

are in his possession as true owners thereof.
ISSUE: WON the CA erred holding that Deed of Donation
Inter Vivos as in fact a Donation mortis causa.
HELD: RTC held that Matilde could not have transmitted
any right over Lot Nos. 674 and 676 to respondent, she
having previously alienated them to Maria via the Deed of
CA reversed trial courts decision and ruled that the Deed
of Donation was actually a donation mortis causa, not
inter vivos, and such it had to, but did not comply with the
formalities of a will since it was witnessed by only two
witnesses and had no attestation clause as required by
Art. 805 of the CC. It declared respondent as the rightful
DoD as one of mortis causa since:
It conveys no title or ownership to the
transferee before the death of the transferor; or what
amounts to the same thing, that the transferor should
retain the ownership (full or naked) and control of the
property while alive;
That before the death of the transferor, the
transfer should be revocable by the transferor at will, ad
nutum; but revocability may be provided for indirectly by
means of a reserved power in the donor to dispose of the
properties conveyed; and

the right to dispose of a thing without other limitations

than those established by law is an attribute of
As the Court of Appeals observed, x x x [t]hat the
donation is mortis causa is fortified by Matildes acts of
possession as she continued to pay the taxes for the said
properties which remained under her name; appropriated
the produce; and applied for free patents for which OCTs
were issued under her name.
The donation being then mortis causa, the formalities of a
will should have been observed.
Defects found by the Supreme Court:
Witnessed by only two not three or more witnesses as
Witness did not acknowledge the will before the notary
public as required under Art. 806
The requirement that all the pages of the will must be
numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part
of each page was not also followed.
It is void and transmitted no right to petitioners
mother. But even assuming arguendo that the formalities
were observed, since it was not probated, no right to Lot
Nos. 674 and 676 was transmitted to Maria. Matilde thus
validly disposed of Lot No. 674 to respondent by her last
will and testament, subject of course to the qualification
that her (Matildes) will must be probated. With respect to
Lot No. 676, the same had, as mentioned earlier, been
sold by Matilde to respondent on August 26, 1991.

That the transfer should be void if the transferor
underscoring supplied)
It means that Matilde did not intend to transfer the
ownership of the six lots to petitioners mother during her
The statement in the Deed of Donation reading anytime
during the lifetime of the DONOR or anyone of them who
should survive, they could use, encumber or even
dispose of any or even all the parcels of land herein
donated means that Matilde retained ownership of the
lots and reserved in her the right to dispose them. For