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II. SUNTAY vs.

SUNTAY
I. A.W. FLUEMER vs. HIX.
Statement of Facts: On Jose B. Suntay, a Filipino citizen and
Statement of Facts: The special administrator, A. W. Fleumer, of the resident of the Philippines, died in the city of Amoy, Fookien province,
estate of Edward Randolph Hix filed petition for the probate of the China, leaving real and personal properties in the Philippines and a
purported last will and testament of Edward Randolf Hix, house in Amoy and 9 children by the first marriage had with the late
deceased.Judge Tuason of the Court of First Instance denied the Manuela T. Cruz and a child named Silvino by the second marriage
petitionA. W. Fleumer appeals the said decision. It is alleged that had with Maria Natividad Lim Billian who survived him. Intestate
since the will was executed in West Virginia by a resident therein, proceedings were instituted in the Court of First Instance of Bulacan
West Virginia law should govern. and after hearing letters of administration were issued to Apolonio
Suntay. After the latter's death Federico C. Suntay was appointed
Statement of Issue: Whether or not the will may be probated in the administrator of the estate. On 15 October 1934 the surviving widow
Philippines. filed a petition in the Court of First Instance of Bulacan for the probate
of a last will and testament claimed to have been executed and signed
Ruling of the Court: The courts of the Philippines are not authorized in the Philippines on November 1929 by the late Jose B. Suntay. This
to take judicial notice of the laws of the various States of the petition was denied because of the loss of said will after the filing of
American Union. Such laws must be proved as facts. Here the the petition and before the hearing thereof and of the insufficiency of
requirements of law were not met. There was no showing that the the evidence to establish the loss of the said will. After liberation,
book from which an extract was taken was printed or published under claiming that he had found among the files, records and documents
the authority of the state of West Virginia as provided in the Code of of his late father a will and testament in Chinese characters executed
Civil Procedure; nor was the extract from the law attested by the and signed by the deceased on 4 January 1931 and that the same was
certificate of the officer having charge of the original. In addition, the filed, recorded and probated in the Amoy district court, Province of
due execution of the will was not established. The only evidence Fookien, China, Silvino Suntay filed a petition in the intestate
on this point is to be found in the testimony of the petitioner. Aside proceedings praying for the probate of the will executed in Amoy,
from this, there was nothing to indicate that the will was Fookien, China.
acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two competent
witnesses, of that these witnesses subscribed the will in the presence Statement of Issue: Whether or not the will executed in Amoy, China
of the testator and of each other as the law of West Virginia seems to may be probated in the Philippines.
require. It is to be noted that the application for the probate of the
will in the Philippines was filed on February 20, 1929, while the Ruling of the Court: The will executed in Amoy, China cannot be
proceedings in West Virginia appear to have been initiated on June 8, allowed. Silvino was unable to adduce the necessary proof under the
1929. These facts are strongly indicative of an intention to make Rules of Court in order to probate the will in the Philippines,
the Philippines the principal administration and West Virginia specifically:
the ancillary administration. However this may be, no attempt has
been made to comply with Civil Procedure, for no hearing on the a. The due execution of the will in accordance with the foreign
question of the allowance of a will said to have been proved and laws;
allowed in West Virginia has been requested. There is no showing that b. The testator had his domicile in the foreign country and not in
the deceased left any property at any place other than the Philippine the Philippines;
Islands and no contention that he left any in West Virginia. c. The will has been admitted to probate in such country;
d. The fact that the municipal court of Amoy is a probate court;
e. the procedural law of China regarding probate of wills.
It is manifest from the facts before set out that the funds in
question are outside the jurisdiction of the probate court of Manila.
Having been invested in an annuity in Canada under a contract
IV. LEON AND GHEZZI vs. MANUFACTURERS LIFE INSURANCE CO executed in the country, Canada is the suits of the money. The party
whose appearance the appellant seeks is only a branch or agency of
Statement of Facts: The case involves the estate of Basil Gordon the company which holds the funds in its possession, the agency's
Butler,formerly a resident of the Philippines, died in Brooklyn, New intervention being limited to delivering to the annuitant the checks
York City, in 1945, leaving a will which was duly probated in New York made out and issued from the home office. There is no showing or
County and of which James Ross, Sr., James Madison Ross, Jr. and allegation that the funds have been transferred or removed to the
Ewald E. Selph were named executors. The estate having been settled, Manila Branch.
the proceedings were closed on July 17, 1947. The will contained this
residuary clause bequeathing the remaining estate to Mercedes de
Leon who is to receive an amount sufficient for her current needs.
James Madison Ross was appointed as trustee. Ross bought an I. GUERRERO vs. TERAN
annuity from the Manufacturer's life Insurance Co. at its head office in
Toronto, Canada, paying in advance $17,091.03 as the combined Statement of Facts: CFI of Albay appointed Maria Muñoz as guardian
premiums. The contract stipulates for a monthly payment of $57.60 to for minors Maria Manuela and Maria del Carmen Muñoz; Maria Muñoz
Mercedes Benz during her lifetime. De Leon has been receiving the gave the required bond Maria Muñoz was not a resident of the
stipulated monthly allowance through the Insurance Company's Philippine Islands at the time of her appointment. She was removed as
Manila Office. To get hold of the entire amount, de Leon presented guardian – but still responsible for mismanagement; from the time of
the will for probate in CFI, Manila with Ghezzi as administrator. After her acceptance of appointment up to the time of her removal Doña
having qualified, the administratrix filed the motion to demand Maria Muñoz y Gomez was, as above indicated, removed upon the
accounting from Manulife which Judge Amparo has denied. theory that her appointment was void because she did not reside in
the Philippine Islands.
Statement of Issue:Whether or not De Leon can demand accounting
from Manulife. Ruling of the Court: There is nothing in the law which requires the
courts to appoint residents only as administrators or guardians. (Civil
Ruling of the Court: Section 4 of Rule 78 of the Rules of Court Code took effect August 30, 1950). Notwithstanding that there is no
provides: statutory requirement, the courts should not consent to the
appointment of persons as administrators and guardians who are not
Estate, how administered.-When a will is thus allowed, the court shall personally subject to the jurisdiction of our courts here.
grant letters testamentary, or letters of administration with the will
annexed, and such letters testamentary or of administration, shall Salvador Guerrero, guardian of minors Maria Manuela and Maria
extend to all the estate of the testator in the Philippines. Such estate, del Carmen Sanchez Munoz (plaintiff) v. Leopoldo Teran
after the payment of just debts and expenses of administration, shall (defendant) (March 1909)
be disposed of according to such will, so far as such will may operate
upon it; and the residue, if any, shall be disposed of as is provided by Doctrine:
law in cases of estates in the Philippines belonging to persons who
are inhabitants of another state or country.
Estates; Responsibility of administrators and guardians. The Further, while there are indications in the record that Teran
administrator of an estate belonging to minors is liable for the continued to act as administrator of the estate after appointment of
management of their interests therein from the time of his acceptance Munoz-Gomez, the fact exists that the latter was the actual
of the appointment until his removal or release. If such administrator representative of Maria Manuela and Maria Sanchez Munoz in the
has, in the meantime, permitted other persons to intervene in the administration of their interests in the estate of the said Antonio
management, the responsibility for their acts fall upon him. The Sanchez Munoz. Therefore, Munoz-Gomez, as guardian and
administrator however, may have a right of action against such person administratix of the estate of the said minors, must be held
for any loss occasioned by their negligence or corruption. responsible of the property belonging to the said minors during the
period she was their actual guardian.
Appointment of resident administrators and guardians. There is However, on October 6, 1906, the CFI of Albay removed her as
no law in force which requires courts to appoint residents only as guardian for the reason that Munoz-Gomez was not a resident of the
administrators or guardians. No person, however, should be Philippine Islands at the time of her appointment. The court then
appointed as guardian or administrator who is not subject to the removed her as guardian and appointed Feliz Samson as provisional
jurisdiction of the court making the appointment. guardian with the required bond of P2,000.00.

Facts: Issue[s]:

On March 1908, Salvador Guerrero commenced an action against (1) Whether or not Teran, the former appointed guardian and
Leopoldo Teran to recover the sum of P4,129.56. This amount was administrator of the minors’ estate, is liable for all the debts incurred
claimed by Guerrero to Teran upon the theory that the latter had been of the estate from March 1902 to October 1906 when Munoz-Gomez
the administrator of the estate of Antonio Sanchez Munoz from was appointed as the actual administrator?
September 1901 to October 1906. Guerrero made a part of his
complaint a number of items of Teran’s debt, amounting to a total of (2) Whether or not Maria Munoz’ appointment was void because she
P12,388.72. In his Answer, Teran admitted certain allegations and did not reside in the Philippine islands at the time of her appointment
denied others. as the guardian.
After hearing the evidences adduced during the trial of the
said case, the lower court found that Teran, as administrator of the Court Ruling:
estate of Antonio Sanchez Munoz, owed to Guerrero the sum of
P3,447.46 with interest at 6% until the same should be fully paid. (a) Whether or not Teran, the former appointed guardian and
Teran appealed the decision and alleged that the trial court administrator of the minors’ estate, is liable for the debts incurred of
erred in ruling that he managed and administered the estate of the estate from March 1902 to October 1906 when Munoz-Gomez was
Antonio Sanchez Munoz as judicial administrator and executor. appointed as the actual administrator?
Moreover, he denied being responsible to Guerrero for the loans
made to different persons for different accounts and for credits The Court ruled that Teran is NOT liable. If any loss occurred to herein
against the persons mentioned in the complaint. petitioner from March 1902 to October 1906, the period wherein
Upon examination of records, it was discovered that Teran was Munoz-Gomez was appointed administrator, he has a right of action
in fact appointed administrator of the subject estate. However, on only against Munoz-Gomez as the appointed legal guardian under the
March 1902, the Court of First Instance of Albay appointed Maria law and the administratix of the property of their estate.
Munoz Gomez (Munoz-Gomez) as guardian of Maria Manuela and The administrator of an estate belonging to minors is liable for
Maria Sanchez Munoz and that Munoz-Gomez gave the required bond the management of their interests therein from the time of his
for the faithful performance of her duties as guardian. acceptance of the appointment until his removal or release. If such
administrator has, in the meantime, permitted other persons to spouse to the administration of the estate of the deceased spouse.
intervene in the management, the responsibility for their acts fall But, if the person enjoying such preferential rights is unsuitable, the
upon him. court may appoint another person.

(b) Whether or not Maria Munoz’ appointment was void because she
did not reside in the Philippine islands at the time of her appointment G.R. No. L-20080 March 27, 1923
as the guardian.
Intestate estate of the deceased GERONIMA UY COQUE.
While there is nothing in the law which requires the courts to JUAN NAVAS L. SIOCA, petitioner-appellant,
appoint residents only as administrators or guardians; however, the vs.
courts, charged with the responsibility of protecting the estates of the JOSE GARCIA, administrator-appellee.
deceased persons, wards of the estate, will find much difficulty in
complying with this duty by appointing administrators and guardians Romualdez Bros. and Pedro C. Mendiola for appellant.
who are not personally subject to their jurisdiction. Notwithstanding Ruperto Kapunan for appellee.
the lack of statutory requirement, the courts should not consent to
the appointment of persons as administrators and guardians who are OSTRAND, J.:
not personally subject to the jurisdiction of the court.
This is an appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Samar,
dated November 11, 1922, and appointing Jose Garcia, administrator
of the estate of the deceased Geronima Uy Coque.

The appellant is the surviving spouse of the deceased and maintains


I. NAVAS SIOCA vs. GARCIA that the court erred in not appointing him administrator instead of
Jose Garcia. As the refusal to appoint the appellant appears in an
Statement of Facts: “A probate court cannot arbitrarily disregard the order of the court below dated September 30, 1922, from which no
preferential rights of the surviving spouse to the administration of the appeal has been taken, we might well consider the question raised
estate of a deceased person; but if the person enjoying such upon this appeal res adjudicata. For the satisfaction of counsel, we
preferential rights is unsuitable the court may appoint another shall, however, briefly state another reason why the appeal must fail.
person.” CFI Samar appointed Jose Garcia, administrator of the estate
of the deceased Geronima Uy Coque. Navas Sioca is the surviving It is well settled that a probate court cannot arbitrarily and without
spouse of the deceased and maintains that the court erred in not sufficient reason disregard the preferential rights of the surviving
appointing him administrator instead of Jose Garcia. Lower Court spouse to the administration of the estate of the deceased spouse.
based its ruling on the fact that it appeared from the records that the But, if the person enjoying such preferential rights is unsuitable, the
appellant had adverse interest in the estate of such a character as to court may appoint another person. (Paragraph 2 of sec. 642 of the
render him unsuitable as administrator. Unsuitableness may consist in Code of Civil Procedure.) The determination of a person's suitability
adverse interest of some kind or hostility to those immediately for the office of administrator rests, to a great extent, in the sound
interested in the estate. judgment of the court exercising the power of appointment and such
judgment will not be interfered with on appeal unless it appears
Ruling of the Court: A probate court cannot arbitrarily and without affirmatively that the court below was in error.
sufficient reason disregard the preferential rights of the surviving
In the present case the court based its ruling on the fact that it same was procured thru fraud, with gross inadequacy of price and
appeared from the record in Civil Case No. 1041 of the same court, vitiated by lesion. Still later, another brother of the decedent, Miguel
that the appellant had adverse interest in the estate of such a Duran, filed a petition
character as to render him unsuitable as administrator. Unsuitableness to be joined as co-petitioner of Cipriano. Josefina Duran moved to
may consist in adverse interest of some kind or hostility to those strike out said petition as an improper attempt to intervene in the
immediately interested in the estate. (18 Cyc., 93, 94.) The court below case. She also filed a reply to Cipriano’s opposition to her motion to
therefore stated facts which may constitute sufficient grounds for dismiss. In turn, Miguel filed an opposition to Josefina’s motion to
setting aside the appellant's preferential rights and which, in the strike out
absence of proof to the contrary, must be presumed sufficient. CFI- Dismissed the petition of Cipriano for his lack of interest
Whether they are in fact sufficient, we are not in position to determine Appeal directly to SC on questions of law.
as we have not before us the record in the aforesaid case No. 1041; it ISSUE: Whether or not the deed of assignment executed by Cipriano
being a record of the court below, that court could properly take did not operate to render him a
judicial notice thereof, but we cannot. person without interest in the estate.

The order appealed from is affirmed, with the costs against the HELD: No. The assignment took place when no settlement
appellant. So ordered. proceedings was pending. The properties subject matter of the
assignment were not under the jurisdiction of a settlement court.
Araullo, C.J., Street, Malcolm, Avanceña, Villamor, and Johns, JJ., Allowing that the assignment must be deemed a partition as between
concur. the assignor and assignee, the same does not need court approval to
be effective as between the parties. An extra judicial partition is valid
as between the participants even if the requisites of Sec 1, Rule 74 for
DURAN V DURAN extrajudicial partition are not followed, since said requisites are for
GR NO L-23372 | 14 June 1967 | 20 SCRA 43 purposes of binding creditors and non-participating heirs only
FACTS: Pio Duran died without testament. His alleged heirs are (Hernandez v. Andal, 78 Phil. 196). Should it be contended that said
Josefina Duran, as surviving spouse; several brothers and sisters; partition was attended with fraud, lesion or inadequacy of price, the
nephews and nieces. Subsequent to his death, Cipriano Duran, one of remedy is to rescind or to annul the same in an action for that
the surviving brothers, executed a public instrument assigning and purpose. And in the meanwhile, the assigning heir cannot initiate a
renouncing his hereditary rights to the decedent’s estate in favor of settlement proceeding, for until the deed of assignment is annulled or
Josefina Duran, for the consideration of P2,500.00. A year later rescinded, it is deemed valid and effective against him, so that he is
Cipriano Duran filed in the Court of First Instance of Albay a petition left without that "interest" in the estate required to petition for
for intestate proceedings to settle Pio Duran’s estate, further asking settlement proceedings.
that he be named the administrator. An ex parte motion to be
appointed special administrator was also filed by him. Against said
petition, Josefina Duran filed an opposition, praying for its dismissal PIJUAN V GUERRA
upon the ground that the petitioner is not an "interested person" in GR NO L-21917 | 29 November 1966 | 18 SCRA 898
the estate, in view of the deed of transfer and renunciation afore- FACTS: In 1932, appellant Manuela Ruiz — hereinafter referred to as
stated, attaching a copy of the same; in the alternative, she asked to Mrs. Gurrea — and Carlos Gurrea were married in Spain, where they
be appointed administratrix. Replying to this, Cipriano alleged, in his lived together until 1945, when he abandoned her and came, with
opposition to the motion to dismiss, that Josefina Duran was not the their son Teodoro, to the Philippines. Here he lived maritally with
decedents wife. Anent the deed of assignment, he contended that the Rizalina Perez by whom he had two (2) children.
Having been informed by her son Teodoro, years later, that his
father was residing in Pontevedra, Negros Occidental, Manuela came
to the Philippines, in June, 1960; but, Carlos Gurrea refused to admit
her to his residence in said municipality. Hence, she stayed with their
son, Teodoro, in Bacolod City.
Carlos Gurrea died on March 7, 1962, leaving a document
purporting to be his last will and testament, in which he named
Marcelo Pijuan as executor thereof and disinherited Mrs. Gurrea and
their son, Teodoro. Soon thereafter, or on April 24, 1962, Pijuan
instituted probate of said will.
Thereafter Pijuan was appointed special administrator of the
estate, without bond. Oppositions to the probate of the will were filed
by Mrs. Gurrea, her son, Teodoro, and one Pilar Gurrea, as an alleged
illegitimate daughter of the deceased.
The lower court denied the motion of Mrs. Gurrea for her
appointment as administratrix. Hence, an appeal was made.

ISSUE: WON Mrs. Gurrea, as an administrator, has a preferential right


over Pijuan, as the named executor.

HELD: No, under Section 6 of Rule 78 of the Revised Rules of Court


said preference exists "if no executor is named in the will or the
executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the trust, or fail to
give bond, or a person dies intestate."
None of these conditions obtains, however, in the case at bar. The
deceased Carlos Gurrea has left a document purporting to be his will,
seemingly, is still pending probate. So, it cannot be said, as yet, that
he has died intestate. Again, said document names Marcelo Pijuan as
executor thereof, and it is not claimed that he is incompetent therefor.
What is more, he has not only not refused the trust, but, has, also,
expressly accepted it, by applying for his appointment as executor,
and, upon his appointment as special administrator, has assumed the
duties thereof. The order of preference in the appointment of
regular administrators does not apply to the appointment of a
special administrator. Furthermore, the order appointing the
special administrator lies within the discretion of the probate
court, and is not appealable.