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CONDITIONS, MODES, TERMS

TESTATE ESTATE OF JOSEPH G. BRIMO, JUAN MICIANO VS. ANDRE BRIMO


G.R. NO. L-22595
NOVEMBER 1, 1927
DOCTRINE:
If the 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.
FACTS:

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.
One of the errors which Andre Brimo assigned are: 1) The approval of said scheme of partition; 2)
denial of his participation in the inheritance; 3) the declaration that the Turkish laws are

impertinent to this cause


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 1
The will of the testator included this condition, 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. Such portion of the will prompted the
exclusion of Andre Brimo as a legatee because he wants the Turkish Laws to apply.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the condition in the will is valid

1 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

RULING:
NO,

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 Code2
The 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.

JOHNNY S. RABADILLA VS. COURT OF APPEALS AND MARIA MARLENA COSCOLUELLA Y


BELLEZA VILLACARLOS
G.R. NO. 113725

2Impossible 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.

JUNE 29, 2000


DOCTRINE:
In a modal institution, the testator states (1) the object of the institution, (2) the purpose or application of
the property left by the testator, or (3) the charge imposed by the testator upon the heir. A "mode"
imposes an obligation upon the heir or legatee but it does not affect the efficacy of his rights to the
succession. On the other hand, in a conditional testamentary disposition, the condition must happen or be
fulfilled in order for the heir to be entitled to succeed the testator. The condition suspends but does not
obligate; and the mode obligates but does not suspend.To some extent, it is similar to a resolutory
condition.
FACTS:

Aleja Belleza instituted in his will Dr. Jorge Rabadilla as a devisee to a 511, 855 hectare land. A
condition was however imposed to the effect that:
1) The naked ownership shall transfer to Dr. Rabadilla;
2) He shall deliver the fruits of said land to Maria Belleza, sister of Aleja, during the lifetime
of said Maria Belleza;
3) That in case Dr. Rabadilla shall die before Maria Belleza, the near descendants, shall
continue delivering the fruits to Maria Belleza;
4) That the said land may only be encumbered, mortgaged, or sold only to a relative of
Belleza.

In 1983, Dr. Rabadilla died. He was survived by Johnny Rabadilla.

In 1989, Maria Belleza sued Johnny Rabadilla in order to compel Johnny to reconvey the said
land to the estate of Aleja Belleza because it is alleged that Johnny failed to comply with the
terms of the will; that since 1985, Johnny failed to deliver the fruits; and that the the land was
mortgaged to the Philippine National Bank, which is a violation of the will.

In his defense, Johnny avers that the term near descendants in the will of Aleja pertains to the
near descendants of Aleja and not to the near descendants of Dr. Rabadilla, hence, since Aleja

had no near descendants at the time of his death, no can substitute Dr. Rabadilla on the
obligation to deliver the fruits of the devised land.
ISSUE:
Whether or not there was a modal institution
RULING:
YES,

The Court of Appeals erred not in ruling that the institution of Dr. Jorge Rabadilla under subject
Codicil is in the nature of a modal institution and therefore, Article 882 3 of the New Civil Code is

the provision of law in point.


The institution of an heir in the manner prescribed in Article 882 is what is known in the law of
succession as an institucion sub modo or a modal institution. In a modal institution, the testator
states (1) the object of the institution, (2) the purpose or application of the property left by the
testator, or (3) the charge imposed by the testator upon the heir. A "mode" imposes an obligation
upon the heir or legatee but it does not affect the efficacy of his rights to the succession. On the
other hand, in a conditional testamentary disposition, the condition must happen or be fulfilled in
order for the heir to be entitled to succeed the testator. The condition suspends but does not
obligate; and the mode obligates but does not suspend. To some extent, it is similar to a

resolutory condition.
From the provisions of the Codicil litigated upon, it can be gleaned unerringly that the testatrix
intended that subject property be inherited by Dr. Jorge Rabadilla. It is likewise clearly worded
that the testatrix imposed an obligation on the said instituted heir and his successors-in-interest to
deliver one hundred piculs of sugar to the herein private respondent, Marlena Coscolluela
Belleza, during the lifetime of the latter. However, the testatrix did not make Dr. Jorge Rabadilla's
inheritance and the effectivity of his institution as a devisee, dependent on the performance of the
said obligation. It is clear, though, that should the obligation be not complied with, the property
shall be turned over to the testatrix's near descendants. The manner of institution of Dr. Jorge
Rabadilla under subject Codicil is evidently modal in nature because it imposes a charge upon

the instituted heir without, however, affecting the efficacy of such institution.
Then too, since testamentary dispositions are generally acts of liberality, an obligation imposed
upon the heir should not be considered a condition unless it clearly appears from the Will itself
that such was the intention of the testator. In case of doubt, the institution should be considered
as modal and not conditional.

The statement of the object of the institution or the application of the property left by the testator, or the charge
imposed on him, shall not be considered as a condition unless it appears that such was his intention. That which
has been left in this manner may be claimed at once provided that the instituted heir or his heirs give security for
compliance with the wishes of the testator and for the return of anything he or they may receive, together with its
fruits and interests, if he or they should disregard this obligation.