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PEDRO BARUT vs. FAUSTINO CABACUNGAN ET AL. G.R. No.

6285, [February 15, 1912], 21 PHIL 461-473 NATIVIDAD CANEDA and ARTURO CANEDA v HON. COURT OF APPEALS and WILLIAM CABRERA, as
Special Administrator of the Estate of Mateo Caballero G.R. No. 103554, [May 28, 1993]
DOCTRINE:
WILLS; SIGNING BY THIRD PERSON AT TESTATOR'S REQUEST. With respect to the validity of a will, it is DOCTRINES:
not important that the person who writes the name of the testator should also sign his own; the CIVIL LAW; SUCCESSION; WILL; DEFINED. A will has been defined as a species of conveyance whereby
important thing is that it should clearly appear that the name of the testator was signed at his express a person is permitted, with the formalities prescribed by law, to control to a certain degree the
direction, in the presence of three witnesses, and in the presence of the testator and of each other. disposition of his estate after his death (Rivera vs. Palmanori, 40 Phil. 116 (1919); Art. 810, Civil Code).

FACTS: 2. ID.; ID.; ID.; KINDS; REQUIREMENTS FOR EACH. Under the Civil Code, there are two kinds of wills
This appeal arises out of an application on the part of Pedro Barut to probate the last will and testament which a testator may execute. The first kind is the ordinary or attested will, the execution of which is
of Maria Salomon, deceased. It is alleged in the petition for probate that Maria Salomon died on the 7th governed by Articles 804 to 809 of the Code. In addition to the requirements under Article 805, the
day of November, 1908, in the pueblo of Sinait, Ilocos Sur, leaving a last will and testament bearing date ordinary will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the attesting witnesses
March 2, 1907. Severo Agayan, Timotea Inoselda, Catalino Ragasa, and A. M. Jimenez are alleged to have (Art. 806, Civil Code), hence it is likewise known as a notarial will. Where the testator is deaf or a deaf-
been witnesses to the execution thereof. By the terms of said will Pedro Barut received the larger part of mute, Article 807 requires that he must personally read the will, if able to do so. Otherwise, he should
decedent's property. designate two persons who will read the will and communicate its contents to him in a practicable
manner. On the other hand, if the testator is blind, the will should be read to him twice; once, by anyone
The original will appears on page 3 of the record and is in the Ilocano dialect. Its translation into Spanish of the witnesses thereto, and then again, by the notary public before whom it is acknowledged (Art. 808,
appears at page 11. After disposing of her property the testatrix revoked all former wills by her made. Civil Code). The other kind of will is the holographic will, which Article 810 defines as one that is entirely
She also stated in said will that being unable to read or write, the same had been read to her by Ciriaco written, dated, and signed by the hand of the testator himself. This kind of will, unlike the ordinary type,
Concepcion and Timotea Inoselda and that she had instructed Severo Agayan to sign her name to it as requires no attestation by witnesses. A common requirement in both kinds of wills is that they should be
testatrix. in writing and must have been executed in a language or dialect known to the testator (Art. 804, Civil
Code).
The probate of the will was contested and opposed by a number of the relatives of the deceased on
various grounds, among them that a later will had been executed by the deceased. The will referred to as 3. ID.; ID.; ID.; ATTESTATION CLAUSE; CONSTRUED. An attestation clause refers to that part of an
being a later will is the one involved in case No. 6284 already referred to. Proceedings for the probate of ordinary will whereby the attesting witnesses certify that the instrument has been executed before them
this later will were pending at the time. The evidence of the proponents and of the opponents was taken and to the manner of the execution of the same (Testate Estate of Paula Toray, 87 Phil. 139 [1950]). It is
by the court in both cases for the purpose of considering them together. a separate memorandum or record of the facts surrounding the conduct of execution and once signed by
the witnesses, it gives affirmation to the fact that compliance with the essential formalities required by
ISSUE: law has been observed. (Vda. de Ramos, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et. al., 81 SCRA 393 [1978]). It is
Whether or not the dissimilarity in handwriting sufficient to deny probate of the will made for the purpose of preserving in a permanent form a record of the facts that attended the
execution of a particular will, so that in case of failure of the memory of the attesting witnesses, or other
HELD: casualty, such facts may still be proved (Leynez vs. Leynez, 68 Phil. 745 [1939]).
NO. The SC found that the mere dissimilarity in writing is sufficient to overcome the uncontradicted
testimony of all the witnesses that the signature of the testatrix was written by Severo Agayan. It is also 4. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ATTESTATION AND SUBSCRIPTION, DIFFERENTIATED. It will be noted that Article
immaterial who writes the name of the testatrix provided it is written at her request and in her presence 805 requires that the witnesses should both attest and subscribe to the will in the presence of the
and in the presence of all the witnesses to the execution of the will. testator and of one another. "Attestation" and "subscription" differ in meaning. Attestation is that act of
the senses, while subscription is the act of the hand. The former is mental, the latter mechanical, and to
Based on Section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure, it is clear that with respect to the validity of the will, attest a will is to know that it was published as such, and to certify the facts required to constitute an
it is unimportant whether the person who writes the name of the testatrix signs his own or not. The actual and legal publication; but to subscribe a paper published as a will is only to write on the same
important thing is that it clearly appears that the name of the testatrix was signed at her express paper the names of the witnesses, for the sole purpose of identification (Hill vs. Davis, 167 P. 465, 466,
direction in the presence of 3 witnesses and that they attested and subscribed it in her presence and in 64 Okl. 253, L.R.A. 1918 B 687).
the presence of each other. It may be wise that the one who signs the testators name signs also his own;
but that is not essential to the validity of the will. 5. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; REQUIREMENTS; PURPOSES THEREOF. Under the third paragraph of Article 805,
such a clause, the complete lack of which would result in the invalidity of the will, should state (1) the
The court also held that the 3 cases cited by the lower court was not applicable. In those cases, the number of pages used upon which the will is written; (2) that the testator signed, or expressly caused
person who signed the will for the testator wrote his own name instead of the testators, so that the another to sign, the will and every page thereof in the presence of the attesting witnesses; and (3) that
testators name nowhere appeared in the will, and were thus wills not duly executed. the attesting witnesses witnessed the signing by the testator of the will and all its pages, and that said
witnesses also signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another.
TEODORO CANEDA, LORENZA CANEDA, TERESA CANEDA, JUAN CABALLERO, AUREA CABALLERO, The purpose of the law in requiring the clause to state the number of pages on which the will is written is
OSCAR LAROSA, HELEN CABALLERO, SANTOS CABALLERO, PABLO CABALLERO, VICTOR RAGA, to safeguard against possible interpolation or omission of one or some of its pages and to prevent any
MAURICIA RAGA, QUIRICA RAGA, RUPERTO ABAPO, represented herein by his Attorney-in-Fact, increase or decrease in the pages; (In the matter of the Estate of Sanguinsin, 41 Phil. 875 [1920]; In re
ARMSTICIA * ABAPO VELANO, and CONSESO CANEDA, represented herein by his heirs, JESUS CANEDA, Will of Andrada, 42 Phil. 180 [1921]) whereas the subscription of the signatures of the testator and the

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attesting witnesses is made for the purpose of authentication and identification, and thus indicates that inferred that the acts not stated in the omitted textual requirements were actually complied with in the
the will is the very same instrument executed by the testator and attested to by the witnesses. (Testate execution of the will. In other words, the defects must be remedied by intrinsic evidence supplied by the
Estate of Paula Toray, 87 Phil. 611 [1938]). Further, by attesting and subscribing to the will, the witnesses will itself. In the case at bar, contrarily, proof of the acts required to have been performed by the
thereby declare the due execution of the will as embodied in the attestation clause. (Gonzales vs. attesting witnesses can be supplied only by extrinsic evidence thereof, since an overall appreciation of
Gonzales de Carungcong, 90 Phil. 444 [1951]). The attestation clause, therefore, provides strong legal the contents of the will yields no basis whatsoever from which such facts may be plausibly deduced.
guaranties for the due execution of a will and to insure the authenticity thereof ( Echevarria vs. What private respondent insists on are the testimonies of his witnesses alleging that they saw the
Sarmiento, 66 Phil. 611 [1938]). As it appertains only to the witnesses and not to the testator, it need be compliance with such requirements by the instrumental witnesses, oblivious of the fact that he is
signed only by them (Abangan vs. Abangan, 40 Phil. 476 [1919]). Where it is left unsigned, it would result thereby resorting to extrinsic evidence to prove the same and would accordingly be doing by indirection
in the invalidation of the will as it would be possible and easy to add the clause on a subsequent occasion what in law he cannot do directly. It may thus be stated that the rule, as it now stands, is that omissions
in the absence of the testator and the witnesses. (Cagro vs. Cagro, 92 Phil. 1032 [1953]). In Taboada vs. which can be supplied by an examination of the will itself, without the need of resorting to extrinsic
Rosal, (118 SCRA 195 [1982]), we clarified that attestation consists in witnessing the testator's execution evidence, will not be fatal and, correspondingly, would not obstruct the allowance to probate of the will
of the will in order to see and take note mentally that those things are done which the statute requires being assailed. However, those omissions which cannot be supplied except by evidence aliunde would
for the execution of a will and that the signature of the testator exists as a fact. On the other hand, result in the invalidation of the attestation clause and ultimately, of the will itself.
subscription is the signing of the witnesses' names upon the same paper for the purpose of identification
of such paper as the will which was executed by the testator. As it involves a mental act, there would be FACTS:
no means, therefore, of ascertaining by a physical examination of the will whether the witnesses had On December 5, 1978, Mateo Caballero, a widower without any children and already in the twilight years
indeed signed in the presence of the testator and of each other unless this is substantially expressed in of his life, executed a last will and testament at his residence before 3 witnesses. He was assisted by his
the attestation. lawyer, Atty. Emilio Lumontad. In the will, it was declared that the testator was leaving by way of
legacies and devises his real and personal properties to several people all of whom do not appear to be
6. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; NOT SATISFIED IN CASE AT BAR. What is fairly apparent upon a careful reading related to the testator.
of the attestation clause herein assailed is the fact that while it recites that the testator indeed signed
the will and all its pages in the presence of the three attesting witnesses and states as well the number 4 months later, Mateo Caballero himself filed a case seeking the probate of his last will and testament,
of pages that were used, the same does not expressly state therein the circumstance that said witnesses but numerous postponements pushed back the initial hearing of the probate court regarding the will.
subscribed their respective signatures to the will in the presence of the testator and of each other. The
phrase "and he has signed the same and every page thereof, on the spaces provided for his signature On May 29, 1980, the testator passed away before his petition could finally be heard by the probate
and on the left hand margin," obviously refers to the testator and not the instrumental witnesses as it is court. Thereafter one of the legatees, Benoni Cabrera, sought his appointment as special administrator
immediately preceded by the words "as his Last Will and Testament." On the other hand, although the of the testators estate.
words "in the presence of the testator and in the presence of each and all of us" may, at first blush,
appear to likewise signify and refer to the witnesses, it must however, be interpreted as referring only to Thereafter, the petitioners, claiming to be nephews and nieces of the testator, instituted a second
the testator signing in the presence of the witnesses since said phrase immediately follows the words petition for intestate proceedings. They also opposed the probate of the testators will and the
"he has signed the same and every page thereof, on the spaces provided for his signature and on the left appointment of a special administrator for his estate.
hand margin." What is then clearly lacking, in the final logical analysis, is the statement that the
witnesses signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. It is Benoni Cabrera died and was replaced by William Cabrera as special administrator and gave an order
our considered view that the absence of that statement required by law is a fatal defect or imperfection that the testate proceedings for the probate of the will had to be heard and resolved first.
which must necessarily result in the disallowance of the will that is here sought to be admitted to
probate. Petitioners are correct in pointing out that the aforestated defect in the attestation clause In the course of the proceedings, petitioners opposed to the allowance of the testators will on the
obviously cannot be characterized as merely involving the form of the will or the language used therein ground that on the alleged date of its execution, the testator was already in poor state of health such
which would warrant the application of the substantial compliance rule, as contemplated in Article 809 that he could not have possibly executed the same. Also the genuineness of the signature of the testator
of the Civil Code. Where the attestation clause totally omits the fact that the attesting witnesses signed is in doubt.
each and every page of the will in the presence of the testator and of each other, the defect is not only in
the form or the language of the attestation clause but the total absence of a specific element required by On the other hand, one of the attesting witnesses and the notary public testified that the testator
Article 805 to be specifically stated in the attestation clause of a will. That is precisely the defect executed the will in question in their presence while he was of sound and disposing mind and that the
complained of in the present case since there is no plausible way by which we can read into the testator was in good health and was not unduly influenced in any way in the execution of his will.
questioned attestation clause any statement, or an implication thereof, that the attesting witnesses did
actually bear witness to the signing by the testator of the will and all its pages and that said instrumental Probate court then rendered a decision declaring the will in question as the last will and testament of the
witnesses also signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. late Mateo Caballero.

7. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; RULE ON SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE UNDER ART. 809 OF THE CIVIL CODE; NOT CA affirmed the probate courts decision stating that it substantially complies with Article 805. Hence
APPLICABLE IN CASE AT BAR. The rule on substantial compliance in Article 809 cannot be invoked or this appeal.
relied on by respondents since it presupposes that the defects in the attestation clause can be cured or
supplied by the text of the will or a consideration of matters apparent therefrom which would provide ISSUE:
the data not expressed in the attestation clause or from which it may necessarily be gleaned or clearly

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Whether or not the attestation clause in the will of the testator is fatally defective or can be cured under THEREOF CANNOT BE GIVEN EFFECT. Under the Civil Code, due execution includes a determination of
the art. 809 whether the testator was of sound and disposing mind at the time of its execution, that he had freely
executed the will and was not acting under duress, fraud, menace or undue influence and that the will is
HELD: genuine and not a forgery, that he was of the proper testamentary age and that he is a person not
NO. It does not comply with the provisions of the law. Ordinary or attested wills are governed by Arts. expressly prohibited by law from making a will. The intrinsic validity is another matter and questions
804 to 809. The will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the attesting regarding the same may still be raised even after the will has been authenticated. Thus, it does not
witnesses. The attestation clause need not be written in a language known to the testator or even to the necessarily follow that an extrinsically valid last will and testament is always intrinsically valid. Even if the
attesting witnesses. will was validly executed, if the testator provides for dispositions that deprives or impairs the lawful heirs
of their legitime or rightful inheritance according to the laws on succession, the unlawful
It is a separate memorandum or record of the facts surrounding the conduct of execution and once provisions/dispositions thereof cannot be given effect. This is specially so when the courts had already
signed by the witnesses it gives affirmation to the fact that compliance with the essential formalities determined in a final and executory decision that the will is intrinsically void. Such determination having
required by law has been observed. attained that character of finality is binding on this Court which will no longer be disturbed. Not that this
Court finds the will to be intrinsically valid, but that a final and executory decision of which the party had
The attestation clause, therefore, provides strong legal guaranties for the due execution of a will and to the opportunity to challenge before the higher tribunals must stand and should no longer be
insure the authenticity thereof. reevaluated. Failure to avail of the remedies provided by law constitutes waiver. And if the party does
not avail of other remedies despite its belief that it was aggrieved by a decision or court action, then it is
It is contended by petitioners that the attestation clause in the will failed to specifically state the fact deemed to have fully agreed and is satisfied with the decision or order.
that the attesting witnesses witnessed the testator sign the will and all its pages in their presence and
that they, the witnesses, likewise signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of the testator 4. CIVIL LAW; SUCCESSION; THE RULES OF INTESTACY SHALL APPLY IN CASES WHERE A WILL IS
and of each other. And the Court agrees. EXTRINSICALLY VALID BUT THE INTRINSIC PROVISIONS THEREOF ARE VOID; CASE AT BAR. It can be
clearly inferred from Article 960 of the Civil Code, on the law of successional rights that testacy is
The attestation clause does not expressly state therein the circumstance that said witnesses subscribed preferred to intestacy. But before there could be testate distribution, the will must pass the scrutinizing
their respective signatures to the will in the presence of the testator and of each other. test and safeguards provided by law considering that the deceased testator is no longer available to
prove the voluntariness of his actions, aside from the fact that the transfer of the estate is usually
The phrase, and he has signed the same and every page thereof, on the space provided for his signature onerous in nature and that no one is presumed to give Nemo praesumitur donare. No intestate
and on the left hand margin, obviously refers to the testator and not the instrumental witnesses as it is distribution of the estate can be done until and unless the will had failed to pass both its extrinsic and
immediately preceded by the words as his last will and testament. intrinsic validity. If the will is extrinsically void, the rules of intestacy apply regardless of the intrinsic
validity thereof. If it is extrinsically valid, the next test is to determine its intrinsic validity that is
Clearly lacking is the statement that the witnesses signed the will and every page thereof in the presence whether the provisions of the will are valid according to the laws of succession. In this case, the court
of the testator and of one another. That the absence of the statement required by law is a fatal defect or had ruled that the will of Alejandro was extrinsically valid but the intrinsic provisions thereof were void.
imperfection which must necessarily result in the disallowance of the will that is here sought to be Thus, the rules of intestacy apply as correctly held by the trial court.
probated.
5. ID.; ID.; TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITIONS OF PROPERTIES NOT BELONGING EXCLUSIVELY TO THE
Also, Art. 809 does not apply to the present case because the attestation clause totally omits the fact TESTATOR OR PROPERTIES WHICH ARE PART OF THE CONJUGAL REGIME CANNOT BE GIVEN EFFECT.
that the attesting witnesses signed each and every page of the will in the presence of the testator and of Alejandro's disposition in his will of the alleged share in the conjugal properties of his late spouse, whom
each other. The defect in this case is not only with respect to the form or the language of the attestation he described as his "only beloved wife," is not a valid reason to reverse a final and executory order.
clause. The defects must be remedied by intrinsic evidence supplied by the will itself which is clearly Testamentary dispositions of properties not belonging exclusively to the testator or properties which are
lacking in this case. part of the conjugal regime cannot be given effect. Matters with respect to who owns the properties that
were disposed of by Alejandro in the void will may still be properly ventilated and determined in the
Therefore, the probate of the will is set aside and the case for the intestate proceedings shall be revived. intestate proceedings for the settlement of his and that of his late spouse's estate.

Article 809 cannot be used to cure the defects of the will when it does not pertain to the form or FACTS:
language of the will. This is because there is not substantial compliance with Article 805. Private respondents were the legitimate children of Alejandro Dorotheo and Aniceta Reyes. The latter
died in 1969 without her estate being settled. Alejandro died thereafter. Sometime in 1977, after
LOURDES L. DOROTHEO v COURT OF APPEALS, NILDA D. QUINTANA, for Herself and as Attorney-in- Alejandro's death, petitioner, who claims to have taken care of Alejandro before he died, filed a special
Fact of VICENTE DOROTHEO and JOSE DOROTHEO G.R. No. 108581, [December 8, 1999], 377 PHIL 851- proceeding for the probate of the latter's last will and testament. In 1981, the court issued an order
862 admitting Alejandro's will to probate. Private respondents did not appeal from said order. In 1983, they
filed a "Motion To Declare The Will Intrinsically Void." The trial court granted the motion and issued an
DOCTRINES: order.
CIVIL LAW; SUCCESSION; EVEN IF A WILL WAS VALIDLY EXECUTED, IF THE TESTATOR PROVIDES FOR
DISPOSITIONS THAT DEPRIVES OR IMPAIRS THE LAWFUL HEIRS OF THEIR LEGITIME OR RIGHTFUL Petitioner moved for reconsideration arguing that she is entitled to some compensation since she took
INHERITANCE ACCORDING TO THE LAWS ON SUCCESSION, THE UNLAWFUL PROVISION/DISPOSITIONS care of Alejandro prior to his death although she admitted that they were not married to each other.

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Upon denial of her motion for reconsideration, petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals, but the not parties thereto such as the alleged illegitimate son of the testator, the same constitutes res judicata
same was dismissed for failure to file appellant's brief within the extended period granted. This dismissal with respect to those who were parties to the probate proceedings. Petitioner cannot again raise those
became final and executory on February 3, 1989 and a corresponding entry of judgment was forthwith matters anew for relitigation otherwise that would amount to forum-shopping. It should be remembered
issued by the Court of Appeals on May 16, 1989. A writ of execution was issued by the lower court to that forum shopping also occurs when the same issue had already been resolved adversely by some
implement the final and executory Order. Consequently, private respondents filed several motions other court. It is clear from the executory order that the estates of Alejandro and his spouse should be
including a motion to compel petitioner to surrender to them the Transfer Certificates of Titles (TCT) distributed according to the laws of intestate succession.
covering the properties of the late Alejandro. When petitioner refused to surrender the TCT's, private
respondents filed a motion for cancellation of said titles and for issuance of new titles in their names. Petitioner posits that the January 30, 1986 Order is merely interlocutory, hence it can still be set aside by
Petitioner opposed the motion. the trial court. In support thereof, petitioner argues that "an order merely declaring who are heirs and
the shares to which set of heirs is entitled cannot be the basis of execution to require delivery of shares
ISSUE: from one person to another particularly when no project of partition has been filed." The trial court
Whether or not may a last will and testament admitted to probate but declared intrinsically void in an declared in the January 30, 1986 Order that petitioner is not the legal wife of Alejandro, whose only heirs
order that has become final and executory still be given effect are his three legitimate children (petitioners herein), and at the same time it nullified the will. But it
should be noted that in the same Order, the trial court also said that the estate of the late spouses be
HELD: distributed according to the laws of intestacy. Accordingly, it has no option but to implement that order
NO. It should be noted that probate proceedings deals generally with the extrinsic validity of the will of intestate distribution and not to reopen and again re-examine the intrinsic provisions of the same will.
sought to be probated, particularly on three aspects:
It can be clearly inferred from Article 960 of the Civil Code, on the law of successional rights that testacy
whether the will submitted is indeed, the decedent's last will and testament; is preferred to intestacy. But before there could be testate distribution, the will must pass the
compliance with the prescribed formalities for the execution of wills; scrutinizing test and safeguards provided by law considering that the deceased testator is no longer
the testamentary capacity of the testator; available to prove the voluntariness of his actions, aside from the fact that the transfer of the estate is
and the due execution of the last will and testament. usually onerous in nature and that no one is presumed to give Nemo praesumitur donare. No
intestate distribution of the estate can be done until and unless the will had failed to pass both its
Under the Civil Code, due execution includes a determination of whether the testator was of sound and extrinsic and intrinsic validity. If the will is extrinsically void, the rules of intestacy apply regardless of the
disposing mind at the time of its execution, that he had freely executed the will and was not acting under intrinsic validity thereof. If it is extrinsically valid, the next test is to determine its intrinsic validity that
duress, fraud, menace or undue influence and that the will is genuine and not a forgery, he was of the is whether the provisions of the will are valid according to the laws of succession. In this case, the court
proper testamentary age and that he is a person not expressly prohibited by law from making a will. had ruled that the will of Alejandro was extrinsically valid but the intrinsic provisions thereof were void.
Thus, the rules of intestacy apply as correctly held by the trial court.
The intrinsic validity is another matter and questions regarding the same may still be raised even after
the will has been authenticated. Thus, it does not necessarily follow that an extrinsically valid last will Furthermore, Alejandro's disposition in his will of the alleged share in the conjugal properties of his late
and testament is always intrinsically valid. Even if the will was validly executed, if the testator provides spouse, whom he described as his "only beloved wife", is not a valid reason to reverse a final and
for dispositions that deprives or impairs the lawful heirs of their legitime or rightful inheritance according executory order. Testamentary dispositions of properties not belonging exclusively to the testator or
to the laws on succession, the unlawful provisions/dispositions thereof cannot be given effect. This is properties which are part of the conjugal regime cannot be given effect. Matters with respect to who
specially so when the courts had already determined in a final and executory decision that the will is owns the properties that were disposed of by Alejandro in the void will may still be properly ventilated
intrinsically void. Such determination having attained that character of finality is binding on this Court and determined in the intestate proceedings for the settlement of his and that of his late spouse's
which will no longer be disturbed. Not that this Court finds the will to be intrinsically valid, but that a estate.
final and executory decision of which the party had the opportunity to challenge before the higher
tribunals must stand and should no longer be reevaluated. Failure to avail of the remedies provided by Petitioner's motion for appointment as administratrix is rendered moot considering that she was not
law constitutes waiver. And if the party does not avail of other remedies despite its belief that it was married to the late Alejandro and, therefore, is not an heir.
aggrieved by a decision or court action, then it is deemed to have fully agreed and is satisfied with the
decision or order. As early as 1918, it has been declared that public policy and sound practice demand
that, at the risk of occasional errors, judgments of courts must at some point of time fixed by law
become final otherwise there will be no end to litigation. Interes rei publicae ut finis sit litium the very
object of which the courts were constituted was to put an end to controversies. To fulfill this purpose
and to do so speedily, certain time limits, more or less arbitrary, have to be set up to spur on the slothful.
The only instance where a party interested in a probate proceeding may have a final liquidation set aside
is when he is left out by reason of circumstances beyond his control or through mistake or inadvertence
not imputable to negligence, which circumstances do not concur herein.

Petitioner was privy to the suit calling for the declaration of the intrinsic invalidity of the will, as she
precisely appealed from an unfavorable order therefrom. Although the final and executory Order of
January 30, 1986 wherein private respondents were declared as the only heirs do not bind those who are