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On January 26, 1993, Thelma again moved to require Teresita to be examined under oath
January 15, 2014| Bersamin | Petition for review on certiorari | Rule 78 on the inventory, and that she (Thelma) be allowed 30 days within which to file a
comment on the inventory and the supporting documents Teresita had submitted.
PETITIONER: Thelma M. Aranas 8. On February 4, 1993, the RTC issued an order expressing the need for the parties to
RESPONDENT: Teresita V. Mercado, Felimon V. Mercado, Carmencita M. Sutherland, present evidence and for Teresita to be examined to enable the court to resolve the motion
Richard V. Mercado, Ma. Teresita M. Anderson, And Franklin L. Mercado for approval of the inventory.
9. On April 19, 1993, Thelma opposed the approval of the inventory, and asked leave of
SUMMARY: Emigdio inherited several real property. He transferred it to two court to examine Teresita on the inventory.
corporations in exchange of shares of stocks. Teresita included the parcels of land in the 10. RTC: the inventory submitted by Teresita had excluded properties that should be
inventory. Thelma opposed on the ground that these properties were already transferred. included. It ordered Teresita to redo the inventory.

DOCTRINE: The probate court is authorized to determine the issue of ownership of 11. CA: RTC committed GAD for including properties in the inventory notwithstanding their
properties for purposes of their inclusion or exclusion from the inventory to be submitted having been transferred to Mervir Realty by Emigdio during his lifetime, and for
by the administrator, but its determination shall only be provisional unless the interested disregarding the registration of the properties in the name of Mervir Realty, a third party,
parties are all heirs of the decedent, or the question is one of collation or advancement, or by applying the doctrine of piercing the veil of corporate fiction.
the parties consent to the assumption of jurisdiction by the probate court and the rights of
third parties are not impaired. Its jurisdiction extends to matters incidental or collateral to ISSUE #1: Was certiorari the proper recourse to assail the questioned orders of the RTC? Yes.
the settlement and distribution of the estate, such as the determination of the status of
each heir and whether property included in the inventory is the conjugal or exclusive 1. The propriety of the special civil action for certiorari as a remedy depended on whether
property of the deceased spouse. the assailed orders of the RTC were final or interlocutory in nature.
a. A final order disposes of the subject matter in its entirety or terminates a
particular proceeding or action, leaving nothing more to be done except to
enforce by execution what the court has determined, but the interlocutory order
FACTS: does not completely dispose of the case but leaves something else to be decided
1. Emigdio S. Mercado died intestate on January 12, 1991 upon.
a. survived by his second wife, Teresita and their five children: Allan V. Mercado,
b. An interlocutory order deals with preliminary matters and the trial on the
Felimon V. Mercado, Carmencita M. Sutherland, Richard V. Mercado, and
Maria Teresita M. Anderson; merits is yet to be held and the judgment rendered.
b. two children by his first marriage: Franklin and Thelma 2. The order which granted the application for the writ of preliminary injunction, was an
2. Emigdio inherited and acquired real properties during his lifetime. interlocutory order, and should not be the subject of an appeal.
a. corporate shares in Mervir Realty and Cebu Emerson.
b. He assigned his real properties in exchange for corporate stocks of Mervir 3. The remedy against an interlocutory order not subject of an appeal is an appropriate SCA
Realty, and sold his real property in Badian, Cebu to Mervir Realty. under Rule 65
3. On June 3, 1991, Thelma filed in the RTC in Cebu City a petition for the appointment
of Teresita as the administrator of Emigdios estate (Sp 3094CEB). The RTC granted 4. The order denying Teresitas motion for the approval of the inventory were interlocutory.
the petition. This is because the inclusion of the properties in the inventory was not yet a final
As the administrator, Teresita submitted an inventory to the RTC. She indicated in the determination of their ownership.
inventory that at the time of his death, Emigdio had left no real properties but only
personal properties worth P6.6M, consisting of cash; furniture; pieces of jewelry; and 5. In Valero Vda. De Rodriguez v. CA for the purpose of determining whether a certain
44,806 shares of stock of Mervir Realty worth P6,585,585.80; and 30 shares of stock of property should or should not be included in the inventory, the probate court may pass
Cebu Emerson worth P22,708.25. upon the title thereto but such determination is not conclusive and is subject to the
5. Claiming that Emigdio had owned other properties that were excluded from the final decision in a separate action regarding ownership which may be instituted by
inventory, Thelma moved that the RTC direct Teresita to amend the inventory. RTC the parties
granted Thelmas motion.
On Jan 21, 1993, Teresita filed a compliance supporting her inventory with copies of
three certificates of stocks covering the 44,806 Mervir Realty shares of stock; the deed of
Issue #2: Did the RTC commit GAD in directing the inclusion of the properties
assignment executed by Emigdio involving real properties with the market value of
P4,440,651.10 in exchange for 44,407 Mervir Realty shares of stock with total par value in the estate of the decedent?
of P4,440,700.00; and the certificate of stock issued on January 30, 1979 for 300 shares
of stock of Cebu Emerson worth P30,000.00. 1. Rule 83, Sec 1. Inventory and appraisal to be returned within three months. Within
three (3) months after his appointment every executor or administrator shall return to the and/or settlement of the estate of deceased persons, but does not extend to the
court atrue inventory and appraisal of all the real and personal estate of the deceased determination of questions of ownership that arise during the proceedings.
which has come into his possession or knowledge. In the appraisement of such estate,
the court may order one or more of the inheritance tax appraisers to give his or their b. Exceptions as justified by expediency and convenience.
i. probate court may provisionally pass upon in an intestate or a testate
2. The usage of the word all in Sec 1, Rule 83 demands the inclusion of all the real and proceeding the question of inclusion in, or exclusion from, the
personal properties of the decedent in the inventory. However, the word all is qualified by inventory of a piece of property without prejudice to final
the phrase which has come into his possession or knowledge, which signifies that the determination of ownership in a separate action.
properties must be known to the administrator to belong to the decedent or are in
her possession as the administrator. Sec 1 allows no exception, for the phrase true ii. if the interested parties are all heirs to the estate, or the question is
inventory implies that no properties appearing to belong to the decedent can be excluded one of collation or advancement, or the parties consent to the
from the inventory, regardless of their being in the possession of another person or entity. assumption of jurisdiction by the probate court and the rights of third
parties are not impaired, then the probate court is competent to
3. The objective of the Rules of Court in requiring the inventory and appraisal of the estate resolve issues on ownership.
of the decedent is to aid the court in revising the accounts and determining the
liabilities of the executor or the administrator, and in making a final and equitable 6. The determination of which properties should be excluded from or included in the
distribution (partition) of the estate and otherwise to facilitate the administration of the inventory of estate properties was well within the authority and discretion of the RTC as
estate. an intestate court. In making its determination, the RTC acted with circumspection, and
proceeded under the guiding policy that it was best to include all properties in the
4. Hence, the RTC that presides over the administration of an estate is vested with wide possession of the administrator or were known to the administrator to belong to Emigdio
discretion on the question of what properties should be included in the inventory. rather than to exclude properties that could turn out in the end to be actually part of the
estate. As long as the RTC commits no patent GAD, its orders must be respected as part
5. Agtarap v. Agtarap: of the regular performance of its judicial duty.

a. general rule: jurisdiction of the trial court, either as a probate court or an

intestate court, relates only to matters having to do with the probate of the will