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Case Digest

Special Proceedings

1.) Pacific Banking Corp. Employees Org.

G.R. 109373

Facts

On July 5, 1985, the Pacific Banking Corporation (PaBC) was placed under receivership by the
Central Bank of the Philippines. On May 17, 1991, a new Liquidator, Vitaliano N.
Naagas, 4 President of the (PDIC), was appointed by the Central Bank.

On March 13, 1989 the Pacific Banking Corporation Employees Organization (Union for short),
petitioner in G.R. No. 109373, filed a complaint-in-intervention seeking payment of holiday pay,
13th month pay differential, salary increase differential, Christmas bonus, and cash equivalent
of Sick Leave Benefit due its members as employees of PaBC. In its order dated September 13,
1991, the trial court ordered payment of the principal claims of the Union.

The Liquidator received a copy of the order on September 16, 1991. On October 16, 1991, he
filed a Motion for Reconsideration and Clarification of the order. In his order of December 6,
1991, the judge modified his September 13, 1991 6 but in effect denied the Liquidator's motion
for reconsideration. This order was received by the Liquidator on December 9, 1991. The
following day, December 10, 1991, he filed a Notice of Appeal and a Motion for Additional Time
to Submit Record on Appeal. On December 23, 1991, another Notice of Appeal was filed by the
Office of the Solicitor General in behalf of Naagas.
In his order of February 10, 1992, respondent judge disallowed the Liquidator's Notice of Appeal
on the ground that it was late, i.e., more than 15 days after receipt of the decision.

Ang Keong Lan and E.J. Ang Int'l., private respondents in G.R. No. 112991, likewise filed claims
for the payment of investment

In his order dated September 11, 1992, respondent judge of the RTC directed the Liquidator to
pay private respondents the total amount of their claim as preferred creditors.

The Liquidator received the order on September 16, 1992. On September 30, 1992 he moved
for reconsideration, but his motion was denied by the court on October 2, 1992. He received the
order denying his Motion for Reconsideration on October 5, 1992. On October 14, 1992 he filed
a Notice of Appeal from the orders of September 16, 1992 and October 2, 1992. As in the case
of the Union, however, the judge ordered the Notice of Appeal stricken off the record on the
ground that it had been filed without authority of the Central Bank and beyond 15 days. In his
order of October 28, 1992, the judge directed the execution of his September 11, 1992 order
granting the Stockholders/ Investors' claim.

Issue

Whether the case is a special proceeding where the period to file a notice to file an appeal is 30
days or it is an ordinary proceeding where the period to file a notice to file an appeal is only 15
days.

Held
Considering this distinction, a petition for liquidation of an insolvent corporation should be
classified a special proceeding and not an ordinary action. Such petition does not seek the
enforcement or protection of a right nor the prevention or redress of a wrong against a party. It
does not pray for affirmative relief for injury arising from a party's wrongful act or omission nor
state a cause of action that can be enforced against any person.

What it seeks is merely a declaration by the trial court of the corporation's insolvency so that its
creditors may be able to file their claims in the settlement of the corporation's debts and
obligations. Put in another way, the petition only seeks a declaration of the corporation's debts
and obligations. Put in another way, the petition only seeks a declaration of the corporation's
state of insolvency and the concomitant right of creditors and the order of payment of their
claims in the disposition of the corporation's assets.

Contrary to the rulings of the Fourteenth Division, liquidation proceedings do not resemble
petitions for interpleader. For one, an action for interpleader involves claims on a subject matter
against a person who has no interest therein. 12 This is not the case in a liquidation proceeding
where the Liquidator, as representative of the corporation, takes charge of its assets and
liabilities for the benefit of the creditors. 13 He is thus charged with insuring that the assets of
the corporation are paid only to rightful claimants and in the order of payment provided by law.

Rather, a liquidation proceeding resembles the proceeding for the settlement of state of
deceased persons under Rules 73 to 91 of the Rules of Court. The two have a common
purpose: the determination of all the assets and the payment of all the debts and liabilities of the
insolvent corporation or the estate. The Liquidator and the administrator or executor are both
charged with the assets for the benefit of the claimants. In both instances, the liability of the
corporation and the estate is not disputed. The court's concern is with the declaration of
creditors and their rights and the determination of their order of payment.

2.) Natcher vs CA

G.R. 133000

FACTS:
1. Spouses Graciano del Rosario and Graciana Esguerra were registered owners of a
parcel of land in Manila
2. Upon the death of Graciana in 1951, Graciano, together with his six children entered into
an extrajudicial settlement of Graciana's estate
a. They adjudicated and divided among themselves the real property
b. Under the agreement: Graciano received 8/14 share while each of the six
children received 1/14 share of the said property.
3. The heirs executed and forged an "Agreement of Consolidation-Subdivision of Real
Property with Waiver of Rights"
a. they subdivided among themselves the parcel of land
4. Graciano then donated to his children, share and share alike, a portion of his interest in
the land amounting to 4,849.38 square meters leaving only 447.60 square meters
registered under Graciano's name
a. The land was further subdivided into two separate lots
i. Graciano sold the 1st lot to a third person but retained ownership over the
2nd lot
5. Graciano married petitioner Patricia Natcher
a. He sold the 2nd lot to Natcher, a title was issued under her name.
6. Graciano dies leaving his 6 children and Natcher as heirs
7. A civil case was filed a complaint before the RTC of Manila by the 6 children
a. REASONS
i. Alleging that Natcher through the employment of fraud, misrepresentation
and forgery, acquired the 2nd lot by making it appear that Graciano
executed a Deed of Sale in her favour
ii. Alleging that their legitimes have been impaired
b. ANSWER OF NATCHER: she was legally married to Graciano in 20 March 1980
and thus, under the law, she was likewise considered a compulsory heir of the
latter.
c. RTCs RULING:
i. deed of sale executed by the late Graciano del Rosario in favor of Patricia
Natcher is prohibited by law and thus a complete nullity.
1. no evidence that a separation of property was agreed upon in the
marriage settlements or that there has been decreed a judicial
separation of property between them, the spouses are prohibited
from entering into a contract of sale
2. not a valid donation
3. can be regarded as an extension of advance inheritance of
Patricia Natcher being a compulsory heir of the deceased
8. CAs Ruling:
a. probate court that has exclusive jurisdiction to make a just and legal distribution
of the estate.
b. trying an ordinary action for reconveyance / annulment of title, went beyond its
jurisdiction when it performed the acts proper only in a special proceeding for the
settlement of estate of a deceased person.

ISSUE: May a Regional Trial Court, acting as a court of general jurisdiction in an action for
reconveyance annulment of title with damages, adjudicate matters relating to the settlement of
the estate of a deceased person particularly on questions as to advancement of property made
by the decedent to any of the heirs?

HELD: NO. CA decision AFFIRMED.


1. Civil action vs- Special Proceeding
Civil Action Special Proceedings
a formal demand of one's right in a court of as an application or proceeding to establish the
justice in the manner prescribed by the status or right of a party, or a particular fact.
court or by the law.
method of applying legal remedies no formal pleadings are required unless the
according to definite established rules statute expressly so provides.
the remedy is granted generally upon an
application or motion
2. Special Proceedings defined:
a. American Jurisprudence: proceedings which are not ordinary in this sense, but
is instituted and prosecuted according to some special mode as in the case of
proceedings commenced without summons and prosecuted without regular
pleadings, which are characteristics of ordinary actions.
i. in the nature of a distinct and independent proceeding for particular relief,
such as may be instituted independently of a pending action, by petition
or motion upon notice."
3. CAB:
a. an action for reconveyance and annulment of title with damages is a civil action
b. matters relating to settlement of the estate of a deceased person such as
advancement of property made by the decedent, partake of the nature of a
special proceeding,
i. requires the application of specific rules as provided for in the Rules of
Court.
c. matters which involve settlement and distribution of the estate of the decedent
fall within the exclusive province of the probate court in the exercise of its limited
jurisdiction.
d. Section 2, Rule 90 of the Rules of Court: as to advancement made or alleged
to have been made by the deceased to any heir may be heard and determined
by the court having jurisdiction of the estate proceedings; and the final order
of the court thereon shall be binding on the person raising the questions and on
the heir.
e. RTC is devoid of authority to render an adjudication and resolve the issue of
advancement of the real property in favor of Natcher in the case for reconveyace
and annulment of title with damages
f. the RTC of Manila, Branch 55 was not properly constituted as a probate court so
as to validly pass upon the question of advancement made by the decedent
Graciano Del Rosario to his wife
g. the present issue is a mere question of procedure which may be waived
i. no waiver was done by the 6 children nor did they assail the authority of
the trial court, acting in its general jurisdiction, to rule on this specific
issue of advancement made by the decedent to petitioner.
ii. Generally: a probate court may not decide a question of title or ownership
1. EXCEPTIONS: (effect= probate court is competent to decide the
question of ownership.)
a. if the interested parties are all heirs
b. question is one of collation or advancement
c. parties consent to the assumption of jurisdiction by the
probate court and the rights of third parties are not
impaired,

3.) VIRGINIA GARCIA FULE vs. CA

G.R. No. L-40502 November 29, 1976

FACTS:
1. On April 26, 1973 Amado G. Garcia died, he owned property in Calamba, Laguna.
2. On May 2, 1973, Virginia G. Fule filed with CFI Laguna a petition for letters of
administration and ex parte appointment as special administratix over the estate. Motion
was granted.
a. there was an allegation that the wife was Carolina Carpio
3. Preciosa B. Garcia, wife of deceased, and in behalf of their child: Agustina B. Garcia
opposed, which was denied by CFI.
a. Preciosa alleged that Fule was a creditor of the estate, and as a mere illegitimate
sister of the deceased is not entitled to succeed from him
4. CA reversed and annulled the appointment of Fule.
a. Preciosa became special administratrix upon a bond of P30k.

ISSUES:
a.) Venue v. jurisdiction
b.) What does the word resides in Revised Rules of Court Rule 73 Section 1 Mean?
c.) Who is entitled?

HELD/RATIO:
a.) RULE 73
SECTION 1. if the decedent is an inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death,
whether a citizen or an alien, his will shall be proved, or letters of administration granted,
and his estate settled at the CFI in the province in which he resides at the time of his death,

And if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the CFI of any province in which he had
estate.

The court 1st taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent shall exercise
jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts.
The jurisdiction assumed by a court, so far as it depends on the place of residence of the
decedent, or of the location of his estate, shall not be contested in a suit or proceedings,
except in an appeal from that court, in the original case, or when the want of jurisdiction
appears on the record.

Fules own submitted Death Certificate shows that the deceased resided in QC at the time of his
death, therefore the venue of Laguna was improper.

Venue is subject to waiver (RULE 4 SECTION 4), but Preciosa did not waive it, merely
requested for alternative remedy to assert her rights as surviving spouse.

It could not have been intended to define the jurisdiction over the subject matter,
because such legal provision is contained in a law of procedure dealing merely with procedural
matters. Procedure is one thing; jurisdiction over the subject matter is another. The power or
authority of the court over the subject matter "existed and was fixed before procedure in a given
cause began." That power or authority is not altered or changed by procedure, which simply
directs the manner in which the power or authority shall be fully and justly exercised. There are
cases though that if the power is not exercised conformably with the provisions of the
procedural law, purely, the court attempting to exercise it loses the power to exercise it legally.
However, this does not amount to a loss of jurisdiction over the subject matter. Rather, it means
that the court may thereby lose jurisdiction over the person or that the judgment may thereby be
rendered defective for lack of something essential to sustain it. The appearance of this provision
in the procedural law at once raises a strong presumption that it has nothing to do with the
jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter. In plain words, it is just a matter of method, of
convenience to the parties.

RULE 79
SECTION 2, demands that the petition should show the existence of jurisdiction to make the
appointment sought, and should allege all the necessary facts such as death, name, last
residence, existence, situs of assets, intestacy, right of person who seeks administration as next
of kin, creditor or otherwise to be appointed.
b.) Resides ex vi termini actual residence
- Elastic and should be interpreted in the light of the object or purpose of the statute or
rule in which it is employed.
- Same meaning as inhabitant.
- Popular sense the personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence
or place of abode
- Must be more than temporary

Distinguished from

legal residence or domicile requires bodily presence and an intention to make it ones
domicile.

Section 2 requires residence not legal residence

4.) Reyes-Mesugas v. Reyes

(2010)

Petitioner: Anita Reyes-Mesugas


Respondent: Alejandro Aquino Reyes

DOCTRINE: Extent of jurisdiction of the probate court. Settled is the rule that a probate court is
a tribunal of limited jurisdiction. It acts on matters pertaining to the estate but never on the rights
to property arising from the contract. It approves contracts entered into for and on behalf of the
estate or the heirs to it but this is by fiat of the Rules of Court.

FACTS:
1. Anita and Alejandro are children of Pedro and Lourdes Reyes. Lourdes died intestate,
leaving to her heirs, among others, three parcels of land.

2. Alejandro filed a petition for the settlement of the estate of Lourdes, praying for his
appointment as administrator due to alleged irregularities and fraudulent transactions by the
other heirs.

3. Anita, Pedro and Arturo (another siblng) opposed the petition.

4. A compromise agreement was entered into the parties whereby the estate of Lourdes was
partitioned. RTC approved said partition.

5. Anita filed a motion to cancel lis pendens (parcel of land to be shared by Anita and
Alejandro) in view of the finality of judgment in the settlement of the estate.

6. Alejandro opposed; claiming that there are side agreements yet to be fulfilled between them.
One such agreement is the right of way which Anita refueses to give.

7. RTC denied Anitas motion. MR also denied.

ISSUE: WON RTC as a probate court has jurisdiction over the issue of right of way
RULING + RATIO: NONE

A judgment rendered in accordance with a compromise agreement is immediately executory as


there is no appeal from such judgment. When both parties enter into an agreement to end a
pending litigation and request that a decision be rendered approving said agreement, such
action constitutes an implied waiver of the right to appeal against the said decision

Settled is the rule that a probate court is a tribunal of limited jurisdiction. It acts on matters
pertaining to the estate but never on the rights to property arising from the contract. It approves
contracts entered into for and on behalf of the estate or the heirs to it but this is by fiat of the
Rules of Court. It is apparent therefore that when the RTC approved the compromise
agreement, the settlement of the estate proceeding came to an end.

Moreover, a notice of lis pendens may be cancelled when the annotation is not necessary to
protect the title of the party who caused it to be recorded. The compromise agreement did not
mention the grant of a right of way to respondent. Any agreement other than the judicially
approved compromise agreement between the parties was outside the limited
jurisdiction of the probate court.

More importantly, the order of the probate court approving the compromise had the effect of
directing the delivery of the residue of the estate of Lourdes to the persons entitled thereto
under the compromise agreement. As such, it brought to a close the intestate proceedings and
the probate court lost jurisdiction over the case, except only as regards to the compliance and
the fulfillment by the parties of their respective obligations under the compromise agreement.

Having established that the proceedings for the settlement of the estate of Lourdes came to an
end upon the RTCs promulgation of a decision.

5.) Manalo vs. CA

FACTS:
Troadio Manalo, a resident of 1996 Maria Clara Street, Sampaloc, Manila died intestate on
February 14, 1992. He was survived by his wife, Pilar S. Manalo, and his eleven (11) children,
namely: Purita M. Jayme, Antonio Manalo, Milagros M. Terre, Belen M. Orillano, Isabelita
Manalo, Rosalina M. Acuin, Romeo Manalo, Roberto Manalo, Amalia Manalo, Orlando Manalo
and Imelda Manalo, who are all of legal age. At the time of his death on February 14, 1992,
Troadio Manalo left several real properties located in Manila and in the province of Tarlac
including a business under the name and style Manalo's Machine Shop with offices at No. 19
Calavite Street, La Loma, Quezon City and at NO. 45 General Tinio Street, Arty Subdivision,
Valenzuela, Metro Manila. On November 26, 1992, herein respondents, who are eight (8) of the
surviving children of the late Troadio Manalo, namely; Purita, Milagros, Belen Rocalina, Romeo,
Roberto, Amalia, and Imelda filed a petition with the respondent Regional Trial Court of Manila
of the judicial settlement of the estate of their late father, Troadio Manalo, and for the
appointment of their brother, Romeo Manalo, as administrator thereof.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the respondent Court of Appeals erred in upholding the questioned orders of the
respondent trial court which denied their motion for the outright dismissal of the petition for
judicial settlement of estate despite the failure of the petitioners therein to aver that earnest
efforts toward a compromise involving members of the same family have been made prior to the
filling of the petition but that the same have failed.

HELD:

Herein petitioners claim that the petition in SP. PROC. No. 92-63626 is actually an ordinary civil
action involving members of the same family. It is a fundamental rule that in the determination of
the nature of an action or proceeding, the averments and the character of the relief sought in the
complaint, or petition, as in the case at bar, shall be controlling. A careful srutiny of the Petition
for Issuance of Letters of Administration, Settlement and Distribution of Estate in SP.PROC. No.
92-63626 belies herein petitioners' claim that the same is in the nature of an ordinary civil
action.

The said petition contains sufficient jurisdictional facts required in a petition for the settlement of
estate of a deceased person such as the fat of death of the late Troadio Manalo on February 14,
1992, as well as his residence in the City of Manila at the time of his said death. The fact of
death of the decedent and of his residence within he country are foundation facts upon which all
the subsequent proceedings in the administration of the estate rest. The petition is SP.PROC
No. 92-63626 also contains an enumeration of the names of his legal heirs including a tentative
list of the properties left by the deceased which are sought to be settled in the probate
proceedings. In addition, the relief's prayed for in the said petition leave no room for doubt as
regard the intention of the petitioners therein (private respondents herein) to seek judicial
settlement of the estate of their deceased father, Troadio Manalo. It is our view that herein
petitioners may not be allowed to defeat the purpose of the essentially valid petition for the
settlement of the estate of the late Troadio Manalo by raising matters that as irrelevant and
immaterial to the said petition. It must be emphasized that the trial court, siting as a probate
court, has limited and special jurisdiction and cannot hear and dispose of collateral matters and
issues which may be properly threshed out only in an ordinary civilaction. In addition, the rule
has always been to the effect that the jurisdiction of a court, as well as the concomitant nature of
an action, is determined by the averments in the complaint and not by the defenses contained in
the answer. If it were otherwise, it would not be too difficult to have a case either thrown out of
court or its proceedings unduly delayed by simple strategem.
So it should be in the instant petition for settlement of estate. Herein petitioners argue that even
if the petition in SP. PROC. No.92-63626 were to be considered as a special proceeding for the
settlement of estate of a deceased person, Rule 16, Section 1(j) of the Rules of Court
vis--vis
Article 222 of the Civil Code of the Philippines would nevertheless apply as a ground for the
dismissal of the same by virtue of rule 1, Section 2 of the Rules of Court which provides that the'
rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their object and to assist the parties in
obtaining just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action and proceedings.'
Petitioners contend that the term "proceeding" is so broad that it must necessarily include
special proceedings. The argument is misplaced. Herein petitioners may not validly take refuge
under the provisions of Rule 1, Section 2, of the Rules of Court to justify the invocation of Article
222 of the Civil Code of the Philippines for the dismissal of the petition for settlement of the
estate of the deceased Troadio Manalo inasmuch as the latter provision is clear enough.

Article 222 of the Civil Code of the Philippines is applicable only to ordinary civil actions. This is
clear from the term 'suit' that it refers to an action by one person or persons against another or
other in a court of justice in which the plaintiff pursues the remedy which the law affords him for
the redress of an injury or the enforcement of a right, whether at law or in equity.
the petitioners therein (private respondents herein) merely seek to establish the fat of death of
their father and subsequently to be duly recognized as among the heirs of the said deceased so
that they can validly exercise their right to participate in the settlement and liquidation of the
estate of the decedent consistent with the limited and special jurisdiction of the probate court.
WHEREFORE, the petition in the above-entitled case, is DENIED for lack of merit, Costs
against petitioners.SO ORDERED. decision based on the compromise agreement, Section 4,
Rule 90 of the Rules of Court provides:

Sec. 4. Recording the order of partition of estate. - Certified copies of final orders
and judgments of the court relating to the real estate or the partition thereof shall
be recorded in the registry of deeds of the province where the property is
situated.
In line with the recording of the order for the partition of the estate, paragraph 2, Section 77 of
Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1529[21] provides:

Section 77. Cancellation of Lis Pendens xxx xxx xxx


xxx xxx
At any time after final judgment in favor of the defendant, or other
disposition of the action such as to terminate finally all rights of the
plaintiff in and to the land and/or buildings involved, in any case in which a
memorandum or notice of lis pendens has been registered as provided in the
preceding section, the notice of lis pendens shall be deemed cancelled upon
the registration of a certificate of the clerk of court in which the action or
proceeding was pending stating the manner of disposal thereof.

Thus, when the September 13, 2000 decision was recorded in the Registry of Deeds of Rizal
pursuant to Section 4, Rule 90 of the Rules of Court, the notice of lis pendens inscribed on TCT
No. 24475 was deemed cancelled by virtue of Section 77 of PD No. 1529.

6. Vda. Ramos vs CA

Facts:

The late Eugenia Danila left a will wherein she instituted among others Adelaida Nista as one of
the instituted heirs. Nista petitioned before the court to admit the will to probate. The petition
was opposed by Buenaventura Guerra and Marcelina Guerra. The two oppositors claimed that
they were the legally adopted children of Danila; that the said will sought to be probated by
Nista was obtained through fraud.
The two parties talked and they came up with a compromise agreement which essentially stated
that Nista is admitting the invalidity of the will. The compromise agreement was approved by the
trial court BUT Rosario de Ramos et al the other instituted heirs and devisees intervened.
The trial court allowed the intervention and set aside the compromise agreement. Rosario de
Ramos et al alleged that the Guerras repudiated their shares when they abandoned Danila and
committed acts of ingratitude against her.
Eventually, the probate court admitted the will to probate. The decision was appealed by the
Guerras. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the probate court. The CA ruled that
there was a failure to prove that Danila was in the presence of the instrumental witnesses when
she signed the will this was because two of the instrumental witnesses (Sarmiento and Paz)
testified in court that the will was already signed by Danila when they affixed their signatures.
HOWEVER, Atty. Ricardo Barcenas, the Notary Public before whom the will was executed and
who assisted in the execution, vehemently assailed the testimony of the two witnesses. He
affirmed Danila and the three instrumental witnesses were in each others presence when the
will was signed by them. Another lawyer, who was also present during the execution of the will,
corroborated the testimony of Atty. Barcenas.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals is correct in not allowing the will to probate.
HELD: No. The attestation clause was signed by the instrumental witnesses. This serves as
their admissions of the due execution of the will and thus preventing them from prevaricating
later on by testifying against the wills due execution.
The execution of the same was evidently supervised by Atty. Ricardo Barcenas and before
whom the deeds were also acknowledged. The solemnity surrounding the execution of a will is
attended by some intricacies not usually within the comprehension of an ordinary layman. The
object is to close the door against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of the will and
testament, and to guarantee their truth and authenticity. There is a presumption in the regularity
of the performance of a lawyer with his duty as a notary public. There has been no evidence to
show that Barcenas has been remiss in his duty nor were there any allegations of fraud against
him. In fact, the authenticity of Danilas and the witnesses signature was never questioned.
The attestation clauses, far from being deficient, were properly signed by the attesting
witnesses. Neither is it disputed that these witnesses took turns in signing the will and codicil in
the presence of each other and the testatrix. Both instruments were duly acknowledged before a
Notary Public who was all the time present during the execution.
Subscribing witnesses may forget or exaggerate what they really know, saw, heard or did; they
may be biased and, therefore, tell only half-truths to mislead the court or favor one party to the
prejudice of the others. As a rule, if any or all of the subscribing witnesses testify against the
due execution of the will, or do not remember having attested to it, or are otherwise of doubtful
credibility, the will may, nevertheless, be allowed if the court is satisfied from the testimony of
other witnesses and from all the evidence presented that the will was executed and attested in
the manner required by law.
In weighing the testimony of the attesting witnesses to a will, the statements of a competent
attorney, who has been charged with the responsibility of seeing to the proper execution of the
instrument, is entitled to greater weight than the testimony of a person casually called to
participate in the act, supposing of course that no motive is revealed that should induce the
attorney to prevaricate. The reason is that the mind of the attorney being conversant of the
instrument, is more likely to become fixed on details, and he is more likely than other persons to
retain those incidents in his memory.

7. CYNTHIA C. ALABAN, vs. COURT OF APPEALS


[G.R. No. 156021, September 23, 2005, TINGA, J.:]

FACTS:
1. respondent Francisco Provido filed a petition for the probate of the Last Will and
Testament of the late Soledad Provido Elevencionado
A. ALLEGATION: he was the heir of the decedent and the executor of her will.
B. RTCs RULING: allowed the probate of the will and directed the issuance of
letters testamentary to respondent
2. Petitioners after 4 months filed a motion for the reopening of the probate proceedings
A. CLAIMs:
1) they are the intestate heirs of the decedent.
2) RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over the petition due to non-payment
of the correct docket fees, defective publication, and lack of notice to the
other heirs.
3) will could not have been probated because:
A) the signature of the decedent was forged;
B) the will was not executed in accordance with law, that is, the
witnesses failed to sign below the attestation clause;
C) the decedent lacked testamentary capacity to execute and publish
a will;
D) the will was executed by force and under duress and improper
pressure;
E) the decedent had no intention to make a will at the time of affixing
of her signature; and
F) she did not know the properties to be disposed of, having included
in the will properties which no longer belonged to her.
B. RTCs Ruling: denied motion
1) petitioners were deemed notified of the hearing by publication and that
the deficiency in the payment of docket fees is not a ground for the
outright dismissal of the petition.
2) RTCs Decision was already final and executory even before petitioners
filing of the motion to reopen
3. Petitioners filed a petition to annule RTCs decision
A. CLAIM: there was a compromise agreement between petitioners and
respondents and they learnt the probate proceeding only in July 2001
B. CAs RULING: petition dismissed
1) no showing that petitioners failed to avail of or resort to the ordinary
remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief from judgment, or other
appropriate remedies through no fault of their own

ISSUE: W/N the allowance of the will to probate should be annulled for failure to mention the
petitioners as parties

HELD: No
1. Probate of a will is considered action in rem
a. Under the Rules of Court, any executor, devisee, or legatee named in a will, or
any other person interested in the estate may, at any time after the death of the
testator, petition the court having jurisdiction to have the will allowed.[36] Notice of
the time and place for proving the will must be published for three (3) consecutive
weeks, in a newspaper of general circulation in the province,[37] as well as
furnished to the designated or other known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the
testator
b. Petitioners became parties due to the publication of the notice of hearing
2. The filing of motion to reopen is similar to a motion for new trial
a. The ruling became final and executor because the motion was filed out of time
b. Given that they knew of the decision 4 months after they could have filed a
petition for relief from judgment after the denial of their motion to reopen.
3. petition for annulment of judgment must still fail for failure to comply with the substantive
requisites,
a. An action for annulment of judgment is a remedy in law independent of the case
where the judgment sought to be annulled was rendered
b. PURPOSE: to have the final and executory judgment set aside so that there will
be a renewal of litigation.
c. 2 Grounds: extrinsic fraud, and lack of jurisdiction or denial of due process
d. An action to annul a final judgment on the ground of fraud lies only if the fraud is
extrinsic or collateral in character
i. Extrinsic if it prevents a party from having a trial or from presenting his
entire case to the court, or where it operates upon matters pertaining not
to the judgment itself but to the manner in which it is procured.
4. notice is required to be personally given to known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the
testator
a. the will states that the respondent was instituted as the sole heir of the decedent
thus he has no legal obligation to mention petitioners in the petition for probate or
personally notify them

8.) IN RE: PALAGANAS v. ERNESTO PALAGANAS


G.R. No. 169144, 26 January 2011
Abad, J.:

FACTS

On November 8, 2001 Ruperta C. Palaganas, a Filipino who became a naturalized United


States citizen, died single and childless. In the last will and testament she executed in
California, she designated her brother, Sergio C. Palaganas, as the executor of her will for she
had left properties in the Philippines and in the US.

On May 19, 2003 respondent Ernesto C. Palaganas, another brother of Ruperta, filed with the
Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan, a petition for the probate of Rupertas will and for his
appointment as special administrator of her estate. On October 15, 2003, however, petitioners
Manuel Miguel Palaganas and Benjamin Gregorio Palaganas, nephews of Ruperta, opposed
the petition on the ground that Rupertas will should not be probated in the Philippines but in the
U.S. where she executed it. Manuel and Benjamin added that, assuming Rupertas will could
be probated in the Philippines, it is invalid nonetheless for having been executed under duress
and without the testators full understanding of the consequences of such act. Ernesto, they
claimed, is also not qualified to act as administrator of the estate.

Meantime, since Rupertas foreign-based siblings, Gloria Villaluz and Sergio, were on separate
occasions in the Philippines for a short visit, respondent Ernesto filed a motion with the RTC for
leave to take their deposition, which it granted. On April, 13, 2004 the RTC directed the parties
to submit their memorandum on the issue of whether or not Rupertas U.S. will may be probated
in and allowed by a court in the Philippines.

On June 17, 2004 the RTC issued an order: (a) admitting to probate Rupertas last will; (b)
appointing respondent Ernesto as special administrator at the request of Sergio, the U.S.-based
executor designated in the will; and (c) issuing the Letters of Special Administration to Ernesto.
Aggrieved by the RTCs order, petitioner nephews Manuel and Benjamin appealed to the Court
of Appeals (CA), arguing that an unprobated will executed by an American citizen in the U.S.
cannot be probated for the first time in the Philippines.

On July 29, 2005 the CA rendered a decision, affirming the assailed order of the RTC, holding
that the RTC properly allowed the probate of the will, subject to respondent Ernestos
submission of the authenticated copies of the documents specified in the order and his posting
of required bond. The CA pointed out that Section 2, Rule 76 of the Rules of Court does not
require prior probate and allowance of the will in the country of its execution, before it can be
probated in the Philippines. The present case, said the CA, is different from reprobate, which
refers to a will already probated and allowed abroad. Reprobate is governed by different rules
or procedures. Unsatisfied with the decision, Manuel and Benjamin came to this Court.

ISSUE

Whether or not a will executed by a foreigner abroad may be probated in the Philippines
although it has not been previously probated and allowed in the country where it was executed.

RULING

Yes.

Our laws do not prohibit the probate of wills executed by foreigners abroad although the same
have not as yet been probated and allowed in the countries of their execution. A foreign will can
be given legal effects in our jurisdiction. Article 816 of the Civil Code states that the will of an
alien who is abroad produces effect in the Philippines if made in accordance with the formalities
prescribed by the law of the place where he resides, or according to the formalities observed in
his country.

In insisting that Rupertas will should have been first probated and allowed by the court of
California, petitioners Manuel and Benjamin obviously have in mind the procedure for the
reprobate of will before admitting it here. But, reprobate or re-authentication of a will already
probated and allowed in a foreign country is different from that probate where the will is
presented for the first time before a competent court. Reprobate is specifically governed by
Rule 77 of the Rules of Court. Contrary to petitioners stance, since this latter rule applies only
to reprobate of a will, it cannot be made to apply to the present case. In reprobate, the local
court acknowledges as binding the findings of the foreign probate court provided its jurisdiction
over the matter can be established.

[G.R. No. 183053 : June 15, 2010]


9.) IN THE MATTER OF THE INTESTATE ESTATE OF CRISTINA AGUINALDO-SUNTAY,
VS. ISABEL COJUANGCO-SUNTAY,

DECISION

NACHURA, J.

Doctrine: The law [of intestacy] is founded... on the presumed will of


the deceased... Love, it is said, first descends, then ascends, and, finally,
spreads sideways.

Facts:
1. On June 4, 1990, the decedent, Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay (Cristina), married to Dr. Federico
Suntay (Federico), died intestate.
~ In 1979, their only son, Emilio Aguinaldo Suntay (Emilio I), predeceased both Cristina and
Federico.
~ At the time of her death, Cristina was survived by her husband, Federico, and several
grandchildren, including herein petitioner Emilio A.M. Suntay III (Emilio III) and respondent Isabel
Cojuangco-Suntay
2. Emilio I was married to Isabel Cojuangco, and they begot three children, namely: herein
respondent, Isabel; Margarita; and Emilio II
3. Emilio Is marriage to Isabel Cojuangco was subsequently annulled. Thereafter, Emilio I had
two children out of wedlock, Emilio III and Nenita Suntay Taedo (Nenita), by two different
women, Concepcion Mendoza and Isabel Santos, respectively.
4. Consequently, respondent and her siblings Margarita and Emilio II, lived with their mother on
Balete Drive, Quezon City, separately from their father and paternal grandparents.
5. Parenthetically, after the death of Emilio I, Federico filed a petition for visitation rights over his
grandchildren. It was altogether stopped because of a manifestation filed by
respondent Isabel, articulating her sentiments on the unwanted visits of her grandparents.
6. After her spouses death, Federico, after the death of his spouse, Cristina, or on September
27, 1993, adopted their illegitimate grandchildren, Emilio III and Nenita
7. On October 26, 1995, respondent filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration in
her favor. Federico filed his opposition. Being the surviving spouse of Cristina, he is capable of
administering her estate and he should be the one appointed as its administrator; that as part
owner of the mass of conjugal properties left by Cristina, he must be accorded legal preference
in the administration
8. After a failed attempt by the parties to settle the proceedings amicably, Federico filed a
Manifestation dated March 13, 1999, nominating his adopted son, Emilio III, as administrator of
the decedents estate on his behalf. Subsequently, the trial court granted Emilio IIIs Motion for
Leave
to Intervene considering his interest in the outcome of the case.
9. In the course of the proceedings, on November 13, 2000, Federico died.
10. The trial court rendered a decision on November 9, 2001, appointing herein petitioner, Emilio
III, as administrator of decedent Cristinas intestate estate.What matters most at this time is the
welfare of the estate of the decedent in the light of such unfortunate and bitter estrangement.
The Court honestly believes that to appoint the petitioner would go against the wishes of the
decedent who raised [Emilio III] from infancy in her home in Baguio City as her own child.
Certainly, it would go against the wishes of the surviving spouse x x x who nominated [Emilio III]
for appointment as administrator.
11. Aggrieved, respondent filed an appeal before the CA, which reversed and set aside the
decision of the RTC, revoked the Letters of Administration issued to Emilio III. In marked
contrast, the CA zeroed in on Emilio IIIs status as an illegitimate child of Emilio I and, thus,
barred from representing his deceased father in the estate of the latters legitimate mother, the
decedent. That he cannot be appointed for the ff reasons:
i. The appointment of Emilio III was subject to a suspensive condition, i.e., Federicos
appointment as administrator of the estate
ii. As between the legitimate offspring (respondent) and illegitimate offspring (Emilio III)
of decedents son, Emilio I, respondent is preferred, being the "next of kin" referred to
by Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court
iii. Jurisprudence has consistently held that Article 992 of the Civil Code bars the
illegitimate child from inheriting ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives
of his father or mother.

ISSUE :

A. IN THE APPOINTMENT OF AN ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE UNDER SECTION 6


OF RULE 78 OF THE RULES OF COURT, WHETHER ARTICLE 992 OF THE CIVIL CODE
APPLIES; and

B. UNDER THE UNDISPUTED FACTS WHERE HEREIN PETITIONER WAS REARED BY


THE DECEDENT AND HER SPOUSE SINCE INFANCY, WHETHER ARTICLE 992 OF THE
NEW CIVIL CODE APPLIES SO AS TO BAR HIM FROM BEING APPOINTED
ADMINISTRATOR OF THE DECEDENT'S ESTATE

The pivotal issue:

Who, as between Emilio III and respondent, is better qualified to act as administrator of the
decedent's estate.

Ruling:

The basis for Article 992 of the Civil Code, referred to as the iron curtain bar rule, is quite the
opposite scenario in the facts obtaining herein for the actual relationship between Federico and
Cristina, on one hand, and Emilio III, on the other, was akin to the normal relationship of
legitimate relatives;

In the appointment of an administrator, the principal consideration is the interest in the estate of
the one to be appointed. The order of preference does not rule out the appointment of co-
administrators, especially in cases where justice and equity demand that opposing parties or
factions be represented in the management of the estates, a situation which obtains here.

Similarly, the subject estate in this case calls to the succession other putative heirs, including
another illegitimate grandchild of Cristina and Federico, Nenita Taedo, but who was likewise
adopted by Federico, and the two (2) siblings of respondent Isabel, Margarita and Emilio II. In all,
considering the conflicting claims of the putative heirs, and the unliquidated conjugal partnership
of Cristina and Federico which forms part of their respective estates, we are impelled to move in
only one direction,i.e., joint administration of the subject estate.

One final note. Counsel for petitioner meticulously argues that Article 992 of the Civil Code, the
successional bar between the legitimate and illegitimate relatives of a decedent, does not apply
in this instance where facts indubitably demonstrate the contrary - Emilio III, an illegitimate
grandchild of the decedent, was actually treated by the decedent and her husband as their own
son, reared from infancy, educated and trained in their businesses, and eventually legally
adopted by decedent's husband, the original oppositor to respondent's petition for letters of
administration.

Indeed, the factual antecedents of this case accurately reflect the basis of intestate
succession, i.e., love first descends, for the decedent, Cristina, did not distinguish between her
legitimate and illegitimate grandchildren. Neither did her husband, Federico, who, in fact, legally
raised the status of Emilio III from an illegitimate grandchild to that of a legitimate child. The
peculiar circumstances of this case, painstakingly pointed out by counsel for petitioner, overthrow
the legal presumption in Article 992 of the Civil Code that there exist animosity and antagonism
between legitimate and illegitimate descendants of a deceased.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV
No. 74949 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Letters of Administration over the estate of decedent
Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay shall issue to both petitioner Emilio A.M. Suntay III and respondent
Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay upon payment by each of a bond to be set by the Regional Trial Court,
Branch 78, Malolos, Bulacan, in Special Proceeding Case No. 117-M-95. The Regional Trial
Court, Branch 78, Malolos, Bulacan is likewise directed to make a determination and to declare
the heirs of decedent Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay according to the actual factual milieu as proven
by the parties, and all other persons with legal interest in the subject estate. It is further directed
to settle the estate of decedent Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay with dispatch. No costs.

10.) Lindain vs. Court of Appeals


[August 20, 1992]
Petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals

Facts:

Petition for review on certiorari of the decision dated August 8, 1990 of the Court of Appeals
which dismissed the complaint for annulment of a sale of registered land, thereby reversing the
decision of the Regional Trial Court of San Jose City

When Elena, Oscar, Celia and Teresita (Plaintiffs) were still minors they were already the
registered owners of a parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. NT-63540

November 7, 1966 their mother, Dolores Luluquisin, then already a widow and acting as
guardian of her minor children, sold the land forP2,000 under a Deed of Absolute Sale of
Registered Land to the spouses Apolonia Valiente and Federico Ila (Defendants). The Deed of
Absolute Sale was registered in the office of the Register of Deeds for the Province of Nueva
Ecija. TCT No. NT-66311 was issued to the vendees, Apolonia Valiente and Federico Ila.

The vendee admitted that they knew that the property belonged to the minors.

Plaintiffs contend, however, that the sale of the lot by their mother to the defendants is null and
void because it was made without judicial authority and/or court approval.

The defendants contend that the sale was valid, as the value of the property was less than
P2,000, and, considering the ages of plaintiffs now, the youngest being 31 years old at the time
of the filing of the complaint, their right to rescind the contract which should have been
exercised four(4) years after reaching the age of majority, has already prescribed.

RTC ruled in favor of the of the plaintiffs

Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court. The court cited the case of Ortanez vs.
Dela Cruz which held that a father or mother acting as legal administrator of the property of the
child under parental authority cannot, therefore, dispose of the child's property without judicial
authority if it is worth more than P2, 000.00, notwithstanding the bond that he has filed for the
protection of the child's property.

But when the value of such property is less than P2, 000.00, the permission of the court for its
alienation or disposition may be dispensed with. The father or mother, as the case may be, is
allowed by law to alienate or dispose of the same freely, subject only to the restrictions imposed
by the scruples of conscience

Issue: WON the judicial approval is necessary for the sale of the minors property by
their mother. YES

Ratio:

Art 320 of the new civil code: The father, or in his absence the mother, is the legal administrator
of the property pertaining to the child under parental authority. If the property is worth more
than two thousand pesos, the father or mother shall give a bond subject to the approval of the
Court of First Instance.

The minors' action for reconveyance has not yet prescribed for "real actions over immovables
prescribe after thirty years" (Art. 1141, Civil Code). Since the sale took place in 1966, the action
to recover the property had not yet prescribed when the petitioners sued in 1987.

Under article 320 a parent acts merely as the legal administrator of the property of the minor
children and does not have the power to dispose of or alienate the property of the children,
without judicial approval.

General Powers and Duties of Executors and Administrators are only powers of possession and
management. Her power to sell, mortgage, encumber or otherwise dispose of the property of
her minor children must proceed from the court, as provided in Rule 89 which requires court
authority and approval.

Visaya vs. Suguitan under article 320 the mother as legal administrator had no power to
compromise their claims, for compromise has always deemed equivalent to alienation. The
Court's approval is necessary in compromises entered into by guardians, parents, absentee's
representatives and administrators or executors of decedent's estates.

Badillo vs. Ferrer -


Surviving widow has no authority or has acted beyond her powers in conveying to the vendees
the undivided share of her minor children in the property, as her powers as the natural guardian
covers only matters of administration and cannot include the power of disposition, and she
should have first secured court approval before alienation of the property.

11.) Gabriel vs Bilon

Facts

Nelson Bilon, Angel Brazil and Ernesto Pagaygay were jeepney drivers of jeepneys owned by
Melencio Gabriel. They are paying P400/day for their boundary. Later, the drivers were required
to pay an additional P50.00 to cover police protection, car wash, deposit fee, and garage fees.
The three drivers refused to pay the additional P50.00. On April 30, 1995, when the drivers
reported to work, they were not given any jeepney to drive. Eventually, they were dismissed.
The three drivers sued Gabriel for illegal dismissal.
The Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of the drivers and ordered Gabriel to pay the drivers their
backwages and their separation pay amounting to about a total of P1.03M.
On April 18, 1997, the LA promulgated its decision and on the same day sent a copy thereof to
Gabriel but Flordeliza (wife of Gabriel) refused to receive the copy. Apparently, Gabriel died on
April 4, 1997. The copy was re-sent via registered mail on May 28, 1997. Flordeliza appealed to
the LA on June 5, 1997.
The LA dismissed the appeal; it ruled that the appeal was not on time because the promulgation
was made on April 18, 1997 and that the appeal on June 5, 1997 was already beyond the ten
day period required for appeal.
The National Labor Relations Commission reversed the LA. It ruled that there was no
employee-employer relationship between the drivers and Gabriel. The Court of Appeals
reversed the NLRC but it ruled that the separation pay should not be awarded but rather, the
employees should be reinstated.

ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the appeal before the LA was made on time.
2. Whether or not there was an employer-employee relationship between the drivers and
Gabriel.
3. Whether or not there was a strained relation between Gabriel and the drivers.
HELD:
1. Yes. The appeal was made on time because when the promulgation was made Gabriel is
already dead. The ten day requirement to make an appeal is not applicable in this situation
because Gabriel was not yet properly substituted by the wife. The counting of the period should
be made starting from the date when the copy was sent via registered mail. Therefore, the
appeal filed on June 5 was made on time.
2. Yes. There exists an employer-employee relationship between the drivers and Gabriel. The
fact that the drivers do not receive fixed wages but get only whatever exceeds the so-called
boundary [that] they pay to the owner/operator is not sufficient to withdraw the relationship
between them from that of employer and employee.
3. No. The award of the separation pay is not proper. It was not shown that there was a strained
relationship between Gabriel and the drivers so as to cause animosity if they are reinstated. The
Strained Relations Principle is only applied if it is shown that reinstatement would only cause
antagonism between the employer and the employee; and that the only solution is separation
and the payment of separation pay.

12.) Solivio vs. Court of Appeals, et al.,


G.R. No. 83484
February 12, 1990

Collateral Relatives
FACTS:

This case involves the estate of the late novelist, Esteban Javellana, Jr., who died a bachelor,
without descendants, ascendants, brothers, sisters, nephews or nieces. His only surviving
relatives are: (1) his maternal aunt, petitioner Celedonia Solivio, the spinster half-sister of his
mother, Salustia Solivio; and (2) the private respondent, Concordia Javellana-Villanueva, sister
of his deceased father, Esteban Javellana, Sr. Salustia and her sister, Celedonia brought up
Esteban, Jr.

Salustia brought to her marriage paraphernal properties which she had inherited from her
mother, Gregoria Celo, Engracio Solivio's first wife but no conjugal property was acquired during
her short-lived marriage to Esteban, Sr.

On October 11, 1959, Salustia died, leaving all her properties to her only child, Esteban, Jr.,
including a house and lot in La Paz, Iloilo City, where she, her son, and her sister lived. In due
time, the titles of all these properties were transferred in the name of Esteban, Jr.

During his lifetime, Esteban, Jr. had, more than once, expressed to his aunt Celedonia and
some close friends his plan to place his estate in a foundation to honor his mother and to help
poor but deserving students obtain a college education. Unfortunately, he died of a heart attack
without having set up the foundation.

Two weeks after his funeral, Concordia and Celedonia talked about what to do with Esteban's
properties. Celedonia told Concordia about Esteban's desire to place his estate in a foundation
to be named after his mother, from whom his properties came, for the purpose of helping
indigent students in their schooling. Concordia agreed to carry out the plan of the deceased.
Pursuant to their agreement that Celedonia would take care of the proceedings leading to the
formation of the foundation, Celedonia in good faith and upon the advice of her counsel, filed for
her appointment as special administratrix of the estate of Esteban Javellana, Jr. She was
declared sole heir of the estate of Esteban Javellana, Jr.

Concordia Javellana Villanueva filed a motion for reconsideration of the court's order declaring
Celedonia as "sole heir" of Esteban, Jr., because she too was an heir of the deceased. On
October 27, 1978, her motion was denied by the court for tardiness. Instead of appealing the
denial, Concordia for partition, recovery of possession, ownership and damages.Trial court
rendered judgment in favor of Concordia Javellana-Villanueva.

ISSUE:
Whether the decedent's properties were subject to reserva troncal in favor of Celedonia, his
relative within the third degree on his mother's side from whom he had inherited them.

HELD:

The Court heldthat the property of the deceased, Esteban Javellana, Jr., is not reservable
property, for Esteban, Jr. was not an ascendant, but the descendant of his mother, Salustia
Solivio, from whom he inherited the properties in question. Therefore, he did not hold his
inheritance subject to a reservation in favor of his aunt, Celedonia Solivio, who is his relative
within the third degree on his mothers side. The reserva troncal applies to properties inherited
by an ascendant from a descendant who inherited it from another ascendant or a brother ora
sister. It does not apply to property inherited by a descendant from his ascendant, the reverse of
the situation covered by Art. 891.

13.) VICTORIA BRINGAS PEREIRA, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS [G.R. No.
L-81147 June 20, 1989, GANCAYCO, J.:]

FACTS:
1. Andres de Guzman Pereira, an employee of the Philippine Air Lines, passed away
without a will
a. survived by his legitimate spouse of ten months, the herein petitioner Victoria
Bringas Pereira, and his sister Rita Pereira Nagac, the herein private respondent.
2. Nagac filed before RTC for the issuance of letters of administration in her favor
pertaining to the estate of the deceased Andres de Guzman Pereira.
a. REASONS:
i. he and Victoria Bringas Pereira are the only surviving heirs of the deceased
ii. deceased left no will
iii. there are no creditors of the deceased
iv. deceased left several properties
v. the spouse of the deceased had been working in London as an auxiliary nurse
and as such one-half of her salary forms part of the estate of the deceased.
b. Victoria opposed: there exists no estate of the deceased for purposes of
administration and praying in the alternative, that if an estate does exist, the
letters of administration relating to the said estate be issued in her favor as the
surviving spouse.
c. RULING: appointed Rita Pereira Nagac administratrix of the intestate estate
3. CA: appointed Rita Pereira Nagac administratrix of the intestate estate

ISSUE: Is a judicial administration proceeding necessary when the decedent dies intestate
without leaving any debts?

HELD:
1. GENERAL RULE: when a person dies leaving property, the same should be judicially
administered and the competent court should appoint a qualified administrator
a. EXCEPTION: when all the heirs are of lawful age and there are no debts due
from the estate, they may agree in writing to partition the property without
instituting the judicial administration or applying for the appointment of an
administrator.
2. Where partition is possible, either in or out of court, the estate should not be burdened
with an administration proceeding without good and compelling reasons.
a. It has been uniformly held that in such case the judicial administration and the
appointment of an administrator are superfluous and unnecessary proceedings .
3. what constitutes "good reason" to warrant a judicial administration of the estate of a
deceased when the heirs are all of legal age and there are no creditors will depend on
the circumstances of each case.
a. questions as to what property belonged to the deceased (and therefore to the
heirs) may properly be ventilated in the partition proceedings, especially where
such property is in the hands of one heir.
b. merely to avoid a multiplicity of suits since the heir seeking such appointment
wants to ask for the annulment of certain transfers of property, that same
objective could be achieved in an action for partition and the trial court is not
justified in issuing letters of administration.
c. to have legal capacity to appear in the intestate proceedings

14.) PHILIPPINE ECONOMIC ZONE AUTHORITY (PEZA) V. FERNANDEZ

FACTS:
Lot 4673 was registered in the names of Florentina Rapaya, Victorino Cuizon among others
covered by an OCT. Sometime thereafter, Jorgea Igot-Soro o et al executed an Extra-judicial
Partition claiming to be the only surviving heirs of the registered owners, through which they
were issued a TCT.

Said lot was among the object of an expropriation proceeding before the RTC. Said RTC
approved the compromise Agreement b/w the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) and
Igot-Soroo et al wherein EPZA would pay a certain amount in exchange for the subject
property.

EPZA acquired title to said land by virtue of the RTC decision and was issued a corresponding
TCT.
The Heirs of the Florentina Rapaya and Juan Cuizon filed a complaint to nullify several
documents including the TCT issued to EPZA for they were excluded from the extrajudicial
settlement of the estate.
EPZA filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of prescription and was denied thus elevated the
case to the CA wherein the CA ruled that the heirs of Igot-Soroo defrauded the other heirs by
falsely representing that they were the only heirs enabling them to appropriate the land in favor
of EPZA. This method of acquiring property created a constructive trust in favor of the
defrauded party and grants them the right to vindicate regardless of the lapse of time. Thus, the
case at bar.

ISSUE/S:
1) Whether or not private respondents claim over the expropriated land has prescribed
2) Whether or not reconveyance lies against expropriated property

HELD:
1) YES. As provided in the Rules of Court, persons unduly deprived of their lawful participation
in a settlement may assert their claim only w/in the 2-year period after the settlement and
distribution of the estate. However, this prescriptive period will not apply to those who had not
been notified of the settlement.

The Private respondents are deemed to have been notified of the extrajudicial settlement since
it was registered and annotated on the certificate of title over the lot.
The only exception to this rule is when the title still remains in the hands of the heirs who have
fraudulently caused the partition of the said property. In the case at bar, the title has already
passed to an innocent purchaser for value, the govt through EPZA.

Their remedies of action for reconveyance resulting from fraud, and action for reconveyance
based on an implied constructive trust has already prescribed as well the former having
prescribed 4 years from the discovery and the latter prescribing 10 years from the alleged
fraudulent registration.

2) NO. Reconveyance is a remedy for those whose property has been wrongfully or erroneously
registered in anothers name. However, this cannot be availed once the property has passed to
an innocent purchaser for value. Since the property has already passed to the govt in an
expropriation proceeding, EPZA is entitled to enjoy the security afforded innocent 3rd persons
and their title to the property must be preserved.

However, the private respondents are not w/o remedy. They can sue for damages their co-heirs.

G.R. No. L-10033 August 30, 1917

15.) THE CITY OF MANILA, petitioner-appellant,


vs.
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA and THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE
ESTATE OF MARIA CONCEPCION SARMIENTO, interveners-appellees

Facts

That Ana Sarmiento resided, with her husband, in the city of Manila sometime prior to the 17th
day of November, 1668; that on said date she made a will; that on the 23d day of November,
1668, she added a codicil to said will, that on the 19th day of May, 1669, she made another will
making a part thereof the said codicil of November 23d, 1668; that said will contained provisions
for the establishment of a "Capellania de Misas;" that the first chaplain of said capellania should
be her nephew Pedro del Castillo; that said will contained a provision for the administration of
said property in relation with the said "Capellania de Misas" succeeding administration should
continue perpetually; that said Ana Sarmiento died about the year 1672; that for more than two
hundred years the intervener, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila, through his various
agencies, has administered said property; that the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila has
rightfully and legally succeeded in accordance with the terms and provisions of the will of Ana
Sarmiento.

Issue:

May the property be escheated to the City of Manila

Held:

Section 750 of Act No. 190 provides when property may be declared escheated. It provides,
"when a person dies intestate, seized of real or personal property . . . leaving no heir or person
by law entitled to the same," that then and in that case such property under the procedure
provided for by sections 751 and 752, may de declared escheated.

The proof shows that Ana Sarmiento did not die intestate. She left a will. The will provides for
the administration of said property by her nephew as well as for the subsequent administration
of the same. She did not die without an heir nor without persons entitled to administer her
estate. It further shows that she did not die without leaving a person by law entitled to inherit her
property. In view of the facts, therefore, the property in question cannot be declared escheated
as of the property of Ana Sarmiento. If by any chance the property may be declared escheated,
it must be based upon the fact that persons subsequent to Ana Sarmiento died intestate without
leaving heir or person by law entitled to the same.

The will clearly, definitely and unequivocally defines and designates what disposition shall be
made of the property in question. The heir mentioned in said will evidently accepted its terms
and permitted the property to be administered in accordance therewith. And, so far as the
record shows, it is still being administered in accordance with the terms of said will for the
benefit of the real beneficiary as was intended by the original owner.

The record fully and completely shows that the theory of the plaintiff is without foundation either
in fact or in law.

16.) JAO VS COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. NO. 128314. May 29, 2002.

Facts:
Petitioner (Rodolfo Jao) and Private Respondent (Perico Jao) were the sons of the
deceased Spouses Ignacio and Andrea Jao who died intestate in 1988 and 1989.
Private respondent filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration in the RTC
of Quezon City over the estate of his parents. Pending the appointment of a regular
administrator, private respondent Perico moved that he be appointed as special administrator,
alleging that petitioner Rodolfo was dissipating the assets of the estate. Petitioner moved for the
dismissal of the petition on the ground of improper venue. He alleged that his parents did not
reside in Quezon City during their lifetime but in Angeles City, Pampanga. He submitted
documentary evidence showing that his deceased parents were residents of Angeles City,
Pampanga.
Private respondent Perico countered that his parents resides in Quezon City and in fact,
actually resided in petitioners house as shown in the death certificate presented before the
court. Petitioner argued that his parents stay in Quezon City was merely transitory and that the
death certificates could not be deemed conclusive evidence of the decedents residence.
The trial court ruled in favor of private respondent Perico. The CA affirmed in toto the
trial courts decision. Hence, this petition.

Issue: Whether or not the settlement proceeding was properly laid in Quezon City.

Held:
Yes. The settlement proceeding was properly laid in Quezon City.
As provided for under the Rules of Court, the estate of an inhabitant of the Philippines
shall be settled or letters of administration granted in the proper court located in the province
where the decedent resides at the time of his death.
The Rules of Court refers to residence at the time of death, not to the permanent
residence or domicile. In the case of Garcia-Fule vs CA, it was held that the term resides
connotes ex vi termini actual residence as distinguished from legal residence or domicile. xxx
resides should be viewed or understood in its popular sense, meaning the personal, actual or
physical habitation of a person, actual residence or place of abode. It signifies physical
presence in a place and actual stay thereat. In this popular sense, the term means merely
residence, that is, personal residence, not legal residence or domicile. Residence simply
requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place, while domicile requires bodily
presence and also an intention to make it ones domicile. No particular length of time is
required; however, the residence must me more than temporary.
In the case at bar, it was found that the decedents have been living in Quezon City at
the time of their death and some time prior thereto, and as was also shown in the death
certificate presented by private respondent. Thus, the venue for the settlement of the decedents
intestate was properly laid in the Quezon City.

17.) Gaspay v. CA
238 SCRA 163

Facts:

Flaviano Gaspay died intestate on 10/14/83, then married to Agueda Denoso


(childless). On 7/6/88 priv resp Guadalupe Gaspay Alfaro alleged @ TC (Trial Court) that
shes
Acknowledged (illegitimate child) IC of Flaviano with Claudia Pason, prayed for issuance
of letters of admin of Flavianos estate.

Petitioners are Jr. (adopted son) and Eriberta (next of kin) who filed for an MTD(motion to
dismiss) saying that Guadalupe is a stranger.TC denied the MTD saying that such was
based on indubitable grounds but TCnonetheless dismissed petition saying that
testimonial and documentary evidencefailed to prove status of Guadalupe, failed to show
Guad consenting to theacknowledgement as IC and that such action should have been
filed in the lifetimeof Flaviano.CA reversed TC on 9/30/91 saying that:
Evid is ample to prove filiation as IC
Evid is sufficient to show that Guad consented to the acknowledgement as IC
Action can be instituted after the death of putative father.

Issue:

WON Guadalupe is an IC

Held:

YES.

TC did not discount the testimony of Martin Garin (agent to loggingconcessionaire of


Flaviano for 18 years) who verified handwriting and signature of Flaviano in a letter
addressed to Lupe and Toming (Guad and his husband Bartolome Alfaro) regarding the
hospitalization expenses of Guads daughter. CA said that TC must have assumed that
Flavianos handwriting must have metamorphosed during the years but it could be
possible that handwriting of Flaviano never changed at all. Also when Guadalupe filed
said action, she still usedGaspay affixed to her legal surname as married to Alfaro,
thereby shouting to theworld her consent to the acknowledgment of an IC. As to the
action being instituted after death of putative father, CA said action based on
acknoweldgement may bebrought even after death of putative father. She thereby
proved entitlement to theadmin of estate. Moreover, the petitioners neglected to apply for
a letter admin 30days after the death of Flaviano Gaspay

18.) Vda. De Reyes vs. CA

Facts

Petitioner was the daughter of the deceased by a mother different from that of his aforesaid
three (3) sons, their mother being Pacita Javier who was the niece of the herein respondent
administratrix. The petitioner did not have a share in the aforesaid parcel of land because she
relinquished her right thereto "in lieu of her bigger share in Antipolo, Rizal, real estate property."

On January 29, 1973, the respondent administratrix and the other three distributees filed a
motion to reopen Special Proceedings No. Q-325 for the purpose of correcting an alleged
typographical error in the description of the parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title
No. 42643 since, according to them, the correct land area is 803,781.51 square meters and not
83,781 square meters. 8 The heirs of Beatriz de Zuzuarregui Vda. de Reyes filed their
opposition to said motion.

Held

recourse.

It is well settled that even if a decision has become final, clerical errors or mistakes or omission
plainly due to inadvertence or negligence may be corrected or supplied even after the judgment
has been entered. The correction of a clerical error is an exception to the general rule that no
amendment or correction may be made by the court in its judgment once the latter had become
final. 11 The court may make this amendment ex parte and, for this purpose, it may resort to the
pleadings filed by the parties, the court's findings of facts and its conclusions of law as
expressed in the body of the decision. 12

However, according to the petitioner, there was no such clerical error. While it is not disputed
that the area covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 42643 is 803,781.15 square meters,
the petitioner insists that "the area intended by the heirs of Don Antonio de Zuzuarregui, Sr., in
the Project of Partition as approved by the trial court is the area of 83,781 sq. m. and not
803,781,51 sq. m. 13

She claims that she would not have relinquished her share in said parcel of land if the true area
was not fraudulently concealed from her at the time the project of partition was executed. 14 She
further contends that the fact that the description of the area as 83,781 square meters was
repeated several times is sufficient evidence to show that such was the area intended in the
project of partition. 15
Such contentions are without merit. There is, therefore, no reason to disturb, much less to
reverse, the factual finding of the lower court that a typographical or clerical error was clearly
committed by inadvertence in the project of partition.

That a special proceeding for the settlement of an estate is filed and intended to settle
the entire estate of the deceased is obvious and elementary. It would be absurd for the heirs to
intentionally excluded or leave a parcel of land or a portion thereof undistributed or undivided
because the proceeding is precisely designed to end the community of interests in properties
held by co-partners pro indiviso without designation or segregation of shares.

It is readily apparent from the project of partition that it was meant to be, as in fact it is, a full and
complete adjudication and partition of all properties of the estate, necessarily including the
entire area of the land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 42643. Thus as perceptively
posed by the queries of the respondents, if the intention of the heirs was to make only a partial
adjudication and distribution of the subject parcel of land, why is it that they did not make any
further disposition of the remaining balance of 720,000 square meters? What sound reason
would the heirs have in holding in suspense the distribution of the difference of 720,000 square
meters? 16

Besides, petitioner suggests that she and the male heirs could not see eye to eye because they
did not have a common mother. 17 If so, this supposed antagonism would even be a compelling
reason for the parties to insist on the total partition of all the properties in the first instance,
rather than for them to remain as co-owners for a long time. As hereinbefore indicated, the
project of partition is dated June 17, 1958, 18 while the motion to re-open the proceedings was
filed only on January 29, 1973.

If We were to indulge petitioner in her stand that the area of 803,781 square meters was
typewritten in the document as 83,781 square meters, not because of the typist's error in
omitting the number "0" between the numbers "8" and "3" in the first three digits but because the
latter area of only 83,781 square meters was the one intended for distribution, then the
irresistible question would be how and why the parties arrived at that particular latter figure. It
will be observed that such a portion would constitute only 10.42336% of the total land area
covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 42643. On top of this, the assumed area of 83,781
square meters has still to be divided into fifteen (15) parts to arrive at the aliquot portions of
12/15 and 1/15 of the other heirs in this particular property. Why would the parties deliberately
create such an unlikely mathematical situation which would complicate the actual physical
segregation of the area supposed to be distributed?

It is, therefore, a logical and credible explanation that the omission of the zero between the
figures "8" and "3" converted "803,781" to "83,781", a product purely of clerical oversight.
Petitioner has not offered any plausible contrary explanation. Parenthetically, she had the
assistance of legal counsel in the intestate proceedings and in the preparation of the project of
partition.

19.) Metropolitan Bank vs. Absolute Management Corp. | G.R. No. 170498 | January 9,
2013

Facts: Metrobank deposited the AMC checks to Ayala Lumber and Hardwares account;
because of Chuas control over AMCs operations, Metrobank assumed that the checks payable
to AMC could be deposited to Ayala Lumber and Hardwares account.
Ayala Lumber and Hardware had no right to demand and receive the checks that were
deposited to its account; despite Chuas control over AMC and Ayala Lumber and Hardware,
the two entities are distinct, and checks exclusively and expressly payable to one cannot be
deposited in the account of the other.

In its fourth-party complaint, Metrobank claims that Chuas estate should reimburse it if it
becomes liable on the checks that it deposited to Ayala Lumber and Hardwares account.

Issue: Whether or not Ayala Lumber must return the amount of said checks to Metrobank.
i
Held: Metrobank acted in a manner akin to a mistake when it deposited the AMC checks to
Ayala Lumber and Hardwares account because it assumed that the checks payable to AMC
could be deposited to Ayala Lumber and Hardwares account. This disjunct created an
obligation on the part of Ayala Lumber and Hardware, through its sole proprietor, Chua, to
return the amount of these checks to Metrobank.

This fulfills the requisites of solutio indebiti. Metrobanks fourth-party complaint falls under the
quasi-contracts enunciated in Article 2154 of the Civil Code. Article 2154 embodies the concept
"solutio indebiti" which arises when something is delivered through mistake to a person who has
no right to demand it. It obligates the latter to return what has been received through mistake.
Solutio indebiti, as defined in Article 2154 of the Civil Code, has two indispensable requisites:
first, that something has been unduly delivered through mistake; and second, that something
was received when there was no right to demand it.

20.) Uriarte vs, Court of First Instance


33 SCRA 252
May 29, 1970

Facts of the Case:

Juan Uriarte y Goite died in Spain and he left reasonable properties in the Philippines.
Vicente Uriarte, who is claiming to be the son and sole heir of the deceased, filed a petition for
the intestate settlement of the estate of the deceased in the Court of First Instance of Negros
Occidental. However, said petition was opposed by the nephews of Juan stating that there is a
valid will left by the deceased in Spain, a copy of which is being requested. Then, the nephews
filed a settlement of the estate in the court of Manila, on the basis of the alleged will of the
deceased.

Vicente filed an opposition to the settlement of estate in the court of Manila stating that
the court of Negros Occidental has already acquired original jurisdiction over the case. The
opposition of Vicente was dismissed together with the intestate settlement In the CFI of Negros.

Hence, Vicente filed a petition for certiorari questioning the dismissal of the intestate
settlement in the CFI of Negros.

Issue:

Whether or not the intestate settlement should be dismissed.

Ruling of the Case:


The Supreme Court held that the dismissal of the intestate proceeding is proper. Under
the Rules on the settlement of estate of the deceased person, testate proceedings enjoy priority
over intestate proceedings. Therefore, in case intestate settlement was filed prior to the finding
of the will of the deceased, then the intestate proceedings shall be dismissed to give priority to
the testate proceeding.

21.) OSCAR D. RAMOS and LUZ AGUDO, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ADELAIDA
RAMOS and LAZARO E. MENESES

Facts :
In January 1959, Adelaida Ramos borrowed from her brother, Oscar Ramos, the
amounts P5,000 and 9,000 in connection with her business transaction with Flor Ramiro, Fred
Nabba and Atty. Ruperto Sarandi involving the recovery of parcel of land. The money was used
to finance the trip to Hawaii of Ramiro, Nabba and Sarandi. As security of the loan, Adelaida
Ramos (private respondent) execuded in favor of Oscar and Luz two deeds of conditional sale
dated May 27, 1959 and August 30, 1959, of her rights, shares and interests and participation
respectively over lot no. 4033 covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 5125 registered in the
name of their deceased parents and lot no. 4221 covered by a Certificate of Title No. 10788
registered in the names of Socorro Ramos,Josefina Ramos and Adelaida Ramos, said
properties being of the cadastral survey of Paniqui, Tarlac

When Aidelaida Ramos, as vendor a retro failed to exercise her right of repurchase within the
redemption period, the petitioners filed a petition for consolidation and approval of the
conditional sale of Lot No. 4033 and petition for approval of the pacto de retro sale of lot no.
4221 in the Court of First Instance as a cadastral court. On January 22, 1960, CFI conveyed the
deed of the conditional sale to spouses Oscar and Luz by way of pacto de retro sale whatever
right and interests Adelaida may have in lot no. 4033, approving the Notarial Registry of Notary
Public Jose P. Sibal. The court also ordered the consolidation of ownership and dominion to
spouses Oscar and Luz over the rights, shares and interests of Adelaida in lot no. 4221 which
she sold to the spouses under a pacto de retro sale executed in a public instrument but which
she failed to repurchase within the period specified in said Document.

Private respondents had been and remained in possession of these properties until sometime in
1964 when petitioner took possession thereof.

On February 28, 1968, Adelaida filed a civil case with the CFI for the declaration of
nullity of orders, reformation of instrument, recovery of possession with preliminary injunction
and damages. Adelaida alleged in her complaint that the deeds of conditional sale are mere
mortgages and were vitiated by misrepresentation, fraud and undue influence and that the
orders dated January 22, 1960 and April 18, 1960, issued by the cadastral court were null and
void for lack of jurisdiction. Petitioners, in their answer, specifically denied the allegations of
fraud and misrepresentation and interposed. As defense, the fact that the conditional sales were
voluntarily executed by Adelaida and truly expressed the intention of the parties, that the action
as long prescribed, the orders questioned approving the consolidation of ownership of the lands
where within the jurisdiction of the lower court in its capacity as a probate court and as a
cadastral court; that the land subject of the conditional sales were in custodia legis in connection
with the settlement of the properties of the late Margarita Denoga, the predecessor in interest of
both petitioners and the private respondent.
On May 17, 1971, the CFI declared the loan transaction secured by the Real Estate
Mortgage as equitable mortages. On October 7, 1975, the CA affirmed in all respects the ruling
of the CFI.

Issue :
WON the transaction was deemed to be an equitable mortgage.

Ruling:
Yes. Article 1602 of the Civil Code provides: The contract shall be presumed to be an
equitable mortgage, in any of the following cases:
(1) When the price of a sale with right to repurchase is unusually inadequate;
(2) When the vendor remains in possession as lessee or otherwise;
(3) When upon or after the expiration of the right to repurchase another instrument
extending the period of redemption or granting a new period is executed;
(4) When the purchaser retains for himself a part of the purchase price;
(5) When the vendor binds himself to pay the taxes on the thing sold;
(6) In any other case where it may be fairly inferred that the real intention of the parties is
that the transaction shall secure the payment of a debt or the performance of any other
obligation.

In any of the foregoing cases, any money, fruits or other benefit to be received by the
vendee as rent or otherwise shall be considered as interest which shall be subject to the usury
laws.

The Court of Appeals, in holding that the two (2) deeds purporting to be pacto de retro
sale contracts are equitable mortgages, relied on the following factual findings of the trial court,
to wit:

Several undisputed circumstances persuade this Court (that) the questioned deeds
should be construed as equitable mortgages as contemplated in Article 1602 of the Civil Code,
namely: (1) plaintiff vendor remained in possession until 1964 of the properties she allegedly
sold in 1959 to defendants; (2) the sums representing the alleged purchase price were actually
advanced to plaintiff by way of loans, as expressly admitted by the parties at the hearing of
February 17, 1971, reflected in an Order of the same date: and (3) the properties allegedly
purchased by defendant Oscar Ramos and his wife have never been declared for taxation
purposes in their names.

The SC denied the petition and affirmed the CA ruling. The court ruled that in practically
all of the so called contracts of sale with right of repurchase, the real intention of the parties is
that the pretended purchase price is money loaned, and in order to secure the payment of the
loan, a contract purporting to be sale with pacto de retro is drawn up. The provisions contained
in articles 1859 and 1858 of the civil code which respectively prohibit the creditor from
appropriating the things given in pledge or mortgage and ordering that said things be sold or
alienated when the principal obligation becomes due, are circumvented.
Furthermore, it is well known that the practice in these contracts of sale with pacto de
retro is to draw up another contract purporting to be a lease of the property to the supposed
vendor, who pays in the money, or in rent, and in fact rent is the interest on the money loaned
The interest is usurious, thus the usury law is circumvented. The contract under consideration is
preserved in the civil code, but with adequate safeguards and restrictions.

22.) Romero vs. CA


GR. No. 188921, April 18, 2012

Facts:

On 1974, when Judge Romero died his wife, Aurora was appointed as legal
guardian. During the pendency of Settlement Proceedings of the estate of their
deceased father, Leo and David Romero filed a Complaint for Annulment of Sale,
Nullification of Title, and Conveyance of Title against their mother Aurora C.
Romero and brother Vittorio C. Romero alleging that their brother Vittorio
through fraud, misrepresentation and duress succeeded in registering the several
properties in his name through of Deeds of Sale executed by their mother, Aurora.
The RTC dismissed the complaint. Likewise, the RTC denied their MR, citing
Section 3, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court which bars an heir or a devisee from
maintaining an action to recover the title or possession of lands until such lands
have actually been assigned. The court ruled that plaintiffs must first cause the
termination of settlement proceedings to its logical conclusion before their case
could be entertained by the Court. Leo and David filed Petition for Certiorari
before the CA alleging grave abuse of discretion in the Resolutions issued by the
RTC of Lingayen, Pangasinan. The CA dismissed the petition. Petitioners assert
that the jurisdiction of the RTC sitting as a probate or intestate court relates only to
matters having to do with the settlement of the estate of deceased persons or the
appointment of executors, but does not extend to the determination of questions of
ownership that arise during the proceedings. Hence this appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not a separate civil action for annulment of sale and


reconveyance of title, despite the pendency of the settlement proceedings for the
estate of the late Judge Dante Y. Romero may prosper.

Ruling :

NO. Section 3, Rule 87 bars petitioners from filing the present action.
The said provision states that:
Sec. 3. Heir may not sue until share assigned. When an executor or
administrator is appointed and assumes the trust, no action to recover the title or
possession of lands or for damages done to such lands shall be maintained against
him by an heir or devisee until there is an order of the court assigning such lands to
such heir or devisee or until the time allowed for paying debts has expired.

GR No. 198680, July 8, 2013


23.) HEIRS OF MAGDALENO YPON, NAMELY, ALVARO YPON, ERUDITA Y. BARON,
CICERO YPON, WILSON YPON, VICTOR YPON, AND HINIDINO Y. PEALOSA,
PETITIONERS, vs.
GAUDIOSO PONTERAS RICAFORTE A.K.A. "GAUDIOSO E. YPON," AND THE REGISTER
OF DEEDS OF TOLEDO CITY, RESPONDENTS.

FACTS:
On July 29, 2010, the Ypons filed a complaint for Cancellation of Title and Reconveyance with
Damages (subject complaint) against respondent Gaudioso Ponteras Ricaforte. In their
complaint, they alleged that Magdaleno Ypon (Magdaleno) died intestate and childless on June
28, 1968
Claiming to be the sole heir of Magdaleno, Gaudioso executed an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication
and caused the cancellation of the aforementioned certificates of title, leading to their
subsequent transfer in his name
In his Answer, Gaudioso alleged that he is the lawful son of Magdaleno as evidenced by: (a) his
certificate of Live Birth; (b) two (2) letters from Polytechnic School; and (c) a certified true copy
of his passport. Further, by way of affirmative defense, he claimed that: (a) petitioners have no
cause of action against him; (b) the complaint fails to state a cause of action; and (c) the case is
not prosecuted by the real parties-in-interest, as there is no showing that the petitioners have
been judicially declared as Magdalenos lawful heirs.

DECISION OF LOWER COURTS:


(1) RTC-Toledo: dismissed the case for lack of cause of action.
The Court also denied their motion for reconsideration due to the counsels failure to state the
date on which his Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Certificate of Compliance was issued.
Direct to the Supreme Court (pure questions of law)

ISSUE:
Whether or not the RTCs dismissal of the case on the ground that the subject complaint failed
to state a cause of action was proper

RULING:
Yes, it was proper.

General Rule
The rule is that the determination of a decedents lawful heirs should be made in the
corresponding special proceeding precludes the RTC, in an ordinary action for cancellation of
title and reconveyance, from granting the same. In the case of Heirs of Teofilo Gabatan v. CA,
the Court, citing several other precedents, held that the determination of who are the decedents
lawful heirs must be made in the proper special proceeding for such purpose, and not in an
ordinary suit for recovery of ownership and/or possession, as in this case.
The trial court cannot make a declaration of heirship in the civil action for the reason that such a
declaration can only be made in a special proceeding.

Exception
By way of exception, the need to institute a separate special proceeding for the determination of
heirship may be dispensed with for the sake of practicality, as when the parties in the civil case
had voluntarily submitted the issue to the trial court and already presented their evidence
regarding the issue of heirship, and the RTC had consequently rendered judgment thereon, or
when a special proceeding had been instituted but had been finally closed and terminated, and
hence, cannot be re-opened.
In this case, none of the foregoing exceptions, or those of similar nature, appear to exist.