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1. Pacific Banking Corp vs. CA, G.R. No.

109373, March 20, 1995 herein petitioner acquired a new TCT over the remaining land in
the name of Graciano through the employment of fraud,
misrepresentation and forgery by making it appear that the
2. Republic vs. CA, G.R. No. 163604, May 6, 2005 latter executed a Deed of Sale.

After trial, the RTC of Manila rendered a decision, which held


3. Natcher vs. CA, G.R. No. 133000, October 2, 2001 that the deed of sale between Graciano and the petitioner was
prohibited by law and thus a complete nullity. The court,
NATCHER vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS AND THE HEIRS OF however, also ruled that the deed of sale might still be regarded
GRACIANO DEL ROSARIO as an extension of advance inheritance of the petitioner being a
compulsory heir of the deceased.
Facts: Spouses Graciano del Rosario and Graciana Esguerra
were the registered owners of a parcel of land with an area of On appeal, the Court of Appeals ruled that the lower court's
9,322 square meters located in Manila and covered by TCT decision went beyond its jurisdiction when it performed the acts
No. 11889. proper only in a special proceeding for the settlement of estate of
a deceased person.
Upon the death of Graciana in 1951, Graciano, together with his
six children, entered into an extrajudicial settlement of Issue: May a Regional Trial Court, acting as a court of general
Graciana's estate. Accordingly, a new TCT was issued in the name jurisdiction in an action for reconveyance and annulment of title
of Graciano and the six children. Graciano then donated equally with damages, adjudicate matters relating to the settlement of the
to his children a portion of his interest in the land amounting to estate of a deceased person particularly in questions as to
4,849.38 square meters leaving only 447.60 square meters advancement of property made by the decedent to any of the heirs?
registered in his name.
Held: The Supreme Court concurred with the decision of the Court of
Subsequently, the land was further subdivided into two separate Appeals. According to the Court, the Regional Trial Court in the
lots registered under two separate TCTs, where the first lot instant case, acting in its general jurisdiction, was devoid of authority
covered a land area of 80.90 square meters and the second lot to render an adjudication and resolve the issue of advancement of
with a land area of 396.70 square meters. Eventually, Graciano the real property in favor of herein petitioner. In this case, the RTC of
sold the first lot to a third person but retained ownership over Manila was not properly constituted as a probate court so as to
the second lot. validly pass upon the question of advancement made by the decedent
to his wife, herein petitioner. The petition was, therefore, dismissed.
In 1980, Graciano married herein petitioner. During their
marriage, he sold his remaining share of the land to his wife SYLLABUS
where a new TCT was issued in the latter's name.
1. REMEDIAL LAW; CIVIL PROCEDURE; CIVIL ACTION AND
On 07 October 1985, Graciano died leaving petitioner and his SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS; DISTINGUISHED. — Section 3, Rule 1 of the
six children by his first marriage, as heirs. 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure defines civil action and special
proceedings, in this wise: ". . . a) A civil action is one by which a party
Later, herein private respondents filed a complaint before the sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila where they alleged that prevention or redress of a wrong. "A civil action may either be
ordinary or special. Both are governed by the rules for ordinary civil estate of the decedent fall within the exclusive province of the probate
actions, subject to specific rules prescribed for a special civil action.". . . court in the exercise of its limited jurisdiction. Thus, under Section
"c) A special proceeding is a remedy by which a party seeks to 2, Rule 90 of the Rules of Court, questions as to advancement made
establish a status, a right or a particular fact." As could be gleaned or alleged to have been made by the deceased to any heir may be
from the foregoing, there lies a marked distinction between an action heard and determined by the court having jurisdiction of the estate
and a special proceeding. An action is a formal demand of one's right proceedings; and the final order of the court thereon shall be
in a court of justice in the manner prescribed by the court or by the binding on the person raising the questions and on the heir. While
law. It is the method of applying legal remedies according to definite it may be true that the Rules used the word "may", it is
established rules. The term "special proceeding" may be defined as an nevertheless clear that the same provision contemplates a probate
application or proceeding to establish the status orright of a party, or court when it speaks of the "court having jurisdiction of the estate
a particular fact. Usually, in special proceedings, no formal proceedings". Corollarily, the Regional Trial Court in the instant
pleadings are required unless the statute expressly so provides. In case, acting in its general jurisdiction, is devoid of authority to
special proceedings, the remedy is granted generally upon an render an adjudication and resolve the issue of advancement of the
application or motion." Citing American Jurisprudence, a noted real property in favor of herein petitioner Natcher, inasmuch as
authority in Remedial Law expounds further. "It may accordingly Civil Case No. 71075 for reconveyance and annulment of title with
be stated generally that actions include those proceedings which damages is not, to our mind, the proper vehicle to thresh out said
are instituted and prosecuted according to the ordinary rules and question. Moreover, under the present circumstances, the RTC of
provisions relating to actions at law or suits in equity, and that Manila, Branch 55 was not properly constituted as a probate court so
special proceedings include those proceedings which are not as to validly pass upon the question of advancement made by the
ordinary in this sense, but is instituted and prosecuted according decedent Graciano Del Rosario to his wife, herein petitioner Natcher.
to some special mode as in the case of proceedings commenced
without summons and prosecuted without regular pleadings, 3. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; DOES NOT INCLUDE DECISION ON QUESTION OF
which are characteristics of ordinary actions. . . . A special TITLE OR OWNERSHIP; EXCEPTION; REQUIREMENTS THEREOF. —
proceeding must therefore be in the nature of a distinct and Analogously, in the train of decisions, this Court has consistently
independent proceeding for particular relief, such as may be enunciated the long standing principle that although generally, a probate
instituted independently of a pending action, by petition or motion court may not decide a question of title or ownership, yet if the
upon notice." Applying these principles, an action for reconveyance interested parties are all heirs, or the question is one of collation or
and annulment of title with damages is a civil action, whereas advancement or the parties consent to the assumption of jurisdiction by
matters relating to settlement of the estate of a deceased person the probate court and the rights of third parties are not impaired, then
such as advancement of property made by the decedent, partake of the probate court is competent to decide the question of ownership.
the nature of a special proceeding, which concomitantly requires Similarly in Mendoza vs. Teh, we had occasion to hold: "In the present
the application of specific rules as provided for in the Rules of suit, no settlement of estate is involved, but merely an allegation seeking
Court. appointment as estate administratrix which does not necessarily involve
settlement of estate that would have invited the exercise of the limited
jurisdiction of a probate court. Of equal importance is that before any
2. ID.; SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS; SETTLEMENT OF ESTATE OF conclusion about the legal share due to a compulsory heir may be
DECEASED PERSON; JURISDICTION OF PROBATE COURT; INCLUDES reached, it is necessary that a certain steps be taken first. The net estate
QUESTIONS AS TO ADVANCEMENT MADE OR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN of the decedent must be ascertained, by deducing all payable obligations
MADE BY THE DECEASED TO ANY HEIRS; APPLICATION IN CASE AT and charges from the value of the property owned by the deceased at the
BAR. — Matters which involve settlement and distribution of the time of his death; then, all donations subject to collation would be added
to it. With the partible estate thus determined, the legitime of the petitioner’s claim that the same is in the nature of an ordinary
compulsory heir or heirs can be established; and only thereafter can it civil action.
be ascertained whether or not a donation had prejudiced the legitimes.  petition contains sufficient jurisdictional facts required in
a petition for the settlement of estate
 fact of death
 residence at the time of his said death
4. Vda. de Manalo vs. CA, G.R. No. 129242, January 16, 2001  enumeration of the names of his legal heirs
 tentative list of the properties left w/c are sought to be
FACTS: settled in the probate proceedings.
- Troadio Manalo died intestate  survived by wife and 11 children   reliefs prayed for in the said petition leave no room for
left several properties in Manila and Tarlac. doubt as regard the intention to seek judicial settlement
- 8 children (resps)  pet for the judicial settlement of the estate in RTC of the estate of their deceased father.
Manila & appointment of bro Romeo as admin o petition contains certain averments which may be typical of an
- TC  order “declaring the whole world in default, except the ordinary civil action & so petitioners, as oppositors took
government.” advantage of such in an apparent effort to make out a case of an
- order of general default set aside upon motion of pets (wife & ordinary civil action and ultimately seek its dismissal under Rule
remaining 3 children) 16, Section 1(j) of the Rules of Court vis-à-vis, Article 222 of the
- TC order admitting the petition for judicial settlement of estate. Civil Code.
- Pets  pet for certiorari under Rule 65  civil action/suit - action filed in a court of justice, whereby a party
- absence of earnest efforts towards compromise among sues another for the enforcement of a right, or the protection or
members of the same family; and no certification of non redress of a wrong.
forum shopping was attached to the petition. o Art 222 applicable only to ordinary civil actions
- CA denied the petition & MFR  Use of term “suit”
- Pets – petition claiming Pet for issuance of letters of admin, settlement  excerpt from the report of the Code Commission to make it
& distribution of estate is an ordinary civil action thus should be applicable only to civil actions which are essentially
dismissed under Rule 16, Sec 1(j) of the ROC on the ground that a adversarial and involve members of the same family.
condition precedent for filing the claim has not been complied with as  Special proceedings – remedy where petitioner seeks to establish a
there was failure to comply with the requirement in Art 222 CC status, right or particular fact.
o Pet for ILASD of Estate = special proc
ISSUE:
Is the Petition for Issuance of Letters of Administration, Settlement and
Distribution of Estate an ordinary civil action, thus Rule 16, Sec 1(j) Rules
of Court vis-a-vis Article 222 CC apply as a ground for the dismissal of the
petition  NO 5. Vda. de Reyes vs. CA. G.R. No. L-47027, January 27, 1989

HELD: 6. Uriarte vs. CFI, G.R. No. L-21938-39, October 29, 1970
 Rule: In the determination of the nature of an action or proceeding,
the averment and the character of the relief sought in the complaint, G.R. Nos. L-21938-39 May 29, 1970
or petition, shall be controlling.
o scrutiny of the Petition for ILASD of Estate belies herein
VICENTE URIARTE, petitioner, Negros Court sustained Juan Uriarte Zamacona's motion to
vs. dismiss and dismissed the Special Proceeding No. 6344 pending before
THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL (12th it.
Judicial District) THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA,
BRANCH IV, JUAN URIARTE ZAMACONA and HIGINIO Vicente Uriarte filed an Omnibus Motion in Special Proceeding
URIARTE, respondents. No. 51396 pending in the Manila Court, asking for leave to intervene
therein; for the dismissal of the petition and the annulment of the
Facts: proceedings had in said special proceeding. This motion was denied by
Petitioner filed with Negros Court a petition for the settlement of said court in its order of July 1 of the same year.
the estate of the late Don Juan Uriarte y Goite (Special Proceeding No.
6344) alleging that as a natural son of the latter, he was his sole heir and It is admitted that, as alleged in the basic petition filed in Special
that during the lifetime of the said decedent, petitioner had instituted Proceeding No. 6344 of the Negros Court, Vicente Uriarte filed in the
civil case No. 6142 in the same court for his compulsory same court, during the lifetime of Juan Uriarte y Goite, Civil Case No.
acknowledgment as natural son. 6142 to obtain judgment for his compulsory acknowledgment as his
natural child. Clearly inferrable from this is that at the time he filed the
Higinio Uriarte filed an opposition alleging that he was a nephew action, as well as when he commenced the aforesaid special proceeding,
of the deceased who had "executed a Last Will and Testament in Spain, a he had not yet been acknowledged as natural son of Juan Uriarte y Goite.
duly authenticated copy whereof has been requested and which shall be Up to this time, no final judgment to that effect appears to have been
submitted to this Honorable Court upon receipt thereof," and further rendered.
questioning petitioner's capacity and interest to commence the intestate
proceeding. The record further discloses that the special proceeding before the
Negros Court has not gone farther than the appointment of a special
Juan Uriarte Zamacona, the other private respondent, administrator in the person of the Philippine National Bank who, as
commenced Special Proceeding No. 51396 in the Manila Court for the stated heretofore, failed to qualify.
probate of a document alleged to be the last will of the deceased Juan
Uriarte y Goite, and on the same date he filed in Special Proceeding No. It is not disputed that, after proper proceedings were had in
6344 of the Negros Court a motion to dismiss the same on the following Special Proceeding No. 51396, the Manila Court admitted to probate the
grounds: (1) that, as the deceased Juan Uriarte y Goite had left a last will, document submitted to, it as the last will of Juan Uriarte y Goite, the
there was no legal basis to proceed with said intestate proceedings, and petition for probate appearing not to have been contested. It appears
(2) that petitioner Vicente Uriarte had no legal personality and interest further that, as stated heretofore, the order issued by the Manila Court
to initiate said intestate proceedings, he not being an acknowledged on July 1, 1963 denied petitioner. Vicente Uriarte's Omnibus Motion for
natural son of the decedent. A copy of the Petition for Probate and of the Intervention, Dismissal of Petition and Annulment of said proceedings.
alleged Will were attached to the Motion to Dismiss. It is not denied that to the motion to dismiss the special
proceeding pending before the Negros Court filed by Higinio Uriarte
Petitioner opposed the aforesaid motion to dismiss contending were attached a copy of the alleged last will of Juan Uriarte y Goite and of
that, as the Negros Court was first to take cognizance of the settlement of the petition filed with the Manila Court for its probate. It is clear,
the estate of the deceased Juan Uriarte y Goite, it had acquired exclusive therefore, that almost from the start of Special Proceeding No. 6344, the
jurisdiction over same pursuant to Rule 75, Section 1 of the Rules of Negros Court and petitioner Vicente Uriarte knew of the existence of the
Court. aforesaid last will and of the proceedings for its probate.

Issue:
Whether or not the Negros Court erred in dismissing Special Proceeding so by laches. Vicente Uriarte knew of the existence of a will executed by
No. 6344. Don Juan since 1961 when Higinio Uriarte filed his opposition to the
initial petition filed in Special Proceeding No. 6344; Vicente Uriarte
Whether the Manila Court erred in not dismissing Special Proceeding No. likewise was servedwith notice of the existence (presence) of the alleged
51396 notwithstanding prior filing of Special Proceeding No. 6344 in the last will in the Philippines and of the filing of the petition for its probate
Negros Court. with the Manila Court since 1962 when Juan Uriarte Zamacona filed a
motion for the dismissal of Special Proceeding No. 6344. All these
Held: notwithstanding, it was only in1963 that he filed with the Manila Court
in Special Proceeding No. 51396 an Omnibus motion asking for leave to
NO. While the jurisdiction of Courts of First Instance over "all matters of intervene and for the dismissal and annulment of all the proceedings had
probate" is beyond question, the matter of venue, or the particular Court therein up to that date. To allow him now to assail the exercise of
of First Instance where the special proceeding should be commenced, is jurisdiction over the probate of the will by the Manila Court and the
regulated by Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court, which validity of all the proceedings had in Special Proceeding No. 51396
provides that the estate of a decedent inhabitant of the Philippines at the would put a premium on his negligence. This Court is not inclined to
time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien, shall be in the court of annul proceedings regularly had in a lower court even if the latter was
first instance in the province in which he resided at the time of his death, not the proper venue therefor, if the net result would be to have the
and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the court of first instance same proceedings repeated in some other court of similar jurisdiction;
of any province in which he had estate. Accordingly, when the estate to more so in a case like the present where the objection against said
be settled is that of a nonresident alien (like the deceased) the Courts of proceedings is raise too late. Vicente Uriarte is entitled to prosecute Civil
First Instance in provinces where the deceased left any property have Case No. 6142 until it is finally determined, or intervene in Special
concurrent jurisdiction to take cognizance of the proper special Proceeding No. 51396 of the Manila Court, if it is still open, or to ask for
proceeding for the settlement of his estate. In the case before Us, these its reopening if it has already been closed, so as to be able to submit for
Courts of First Instance are the Negros and the Manila Courts - province determination the question of his acknowledgment as natural child of
and city where the deceased left considerable properties. In accordance the deceased testator, said court having, in its capacity as a probate
with settled jurisprudence in this jurisdiction, testate proceedings, for court, jurisdiction to declare who are the heirs of the deceased testator
the settlement of the estate of a deceased person take precedence over and whether or not a particular party is or should be declared his
intestate proceedings for the same purpose. Thus it has been held acknowledged natural child.
repeatedly that, if in the course of intestate proceedings pending before
a court of first instance it is found it that the decedent had left a last will,
proceedings for the probate of the of the latter should replace the
intestate proceedings even if at that stage an administrator had already 7. Intestate Estate of Rosina Marguerite Wolfson, G.R. No. L-28054,
been appointed, the latter being required to render final account and June 15, 1972
turn over the estate in his possession to the executor subsequently
appointed. This, however, is understood to be without prejudice that G.R. No. L-28054 June 15, 1972
should the alleged last will be rejected or is disapproved, the proceeding
shall continue as intestacy. As already adverted to, this is a clear INTESTATE ESTATE OF ROSINA MARGUERITE WOLFSON, deceased,
indication that proceedings for the probate of a will enjoy priority over RICARDO VITO CRUZ, petitioner-appellee.
intestate proceedings.
NO. Wrong venue is merely a waiveable procedural defect, and, in the TESTATE ESTATE of ROSINA MARGUERITE WOLFSON, deceased,
light of the circumstances obtaining in the instant case, Vicente Uriarte MANUEL Y. MACIAS, petitioner-appellant, ARTURO M. DEL ROSARIO,
has waived the right to raise such objection or is precluded from doing oppositor-appellee.
On December 9, 1966, Atty. del Rosario filed an opposition to
FACTS: Atty. Macias’ petition in Special Proceedings No. 67302 on the grounds,
Rosina Marguerite Wolfson died on September 14, 1965 in San among others, that Rosina’s estate is the subject of Special Proceedings
Francisco, California, U.S.A. No. 63866 before Branch VIII previously filed by Atty. Macias himself in
behalf of Ricardo Vito Cruz, and before which Atty. del Rosario filed a
On January 10, 1966, Atty. Manuel Y. Macias filed in behalf of petition for conversion of the said intestate proceedings into one for
Ricardo Vito Cruz a petition for the issuance of letters of administration probate of Rosina’s will and codicils. Special administrator Cruz also
in his favor over the estate in the Philippines of the late Rosina. This was filed a motion to dismiss Atty. Macias’ petition in Spec. Pro. No. 67302.
docketed as Special Proceedings No. 63866, titled “Intestate Estate of
Rosina Marguerite Wolfson, deceased,” and was assigned to Branch VIII On December 17, 1966, the judge of Branch VI postponed the
of the Manila Court of First Instance. Cruz was appointed Special hearing of Spec. Pro. No. 67302 on the ground that the oppositors had
Administrator for Rosina’s estate. Atty. Macias was unaware that the raised a prejudicial question to the effect that another case involving the
deceased had died with a will and testament. very same matter is pending in Branch VIII.

Rosina left a will executed in accordance with the laws of the On December 21, 1966, Atty. Macias filed in both Special
State of New York and through codicils executed in accordance with the Proceedings Nos. 63866 and 67302, a motion for consolidation and joint
laws of the State of California, U.S.A., naming therein the Wells Fargo hearing of both cases as they relate to the same estate of Rosina.
Bank as sole executor and the University of Michigan as the residuary
beneficiary. On December 23, 1966, the judge of Branch VI ordered the
transfer of Spec. Pro. No. 67302 to Branch VIII if “the Presiding Judge
The will and codicils were presented for probate and duly therein has no objection to said transfer.”
probated by the Superior Court of the State of California, U.S.A.
Spec. Pro. No. 67302 was eventually dismissed. A notice of
As the sole executor, Wells Fargo Bank appointed several appeal before the Supreme Court was filed by Atty. Macias.
lawyers residing in Manila as its attorneys-in-fact, with authority among
others to file ancillary administrative proceedings for the estate of ISSUE:
Rosina and to act as administrator or administrators of the estate. Whether or not both probate courts may exercise jurisdiction
over the settlement of the estate of Rosina
On August 13, 1966, one of these attorneys-in-fact, Atty. Arturo
del Rosario filed a petition in Special Proceedings No. 63866 before
Branch VIII of the Manila CFI, praying that the intestate proceedings RULING:
pending therein be converted into a petition for the probate of Rosina’s No, as stated in Section 1 of Rule 73, Rules of Court, the court
will and codicils. first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estates of the deceased,
shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts.
On October 25, 1966, Atty. Macias, in his own behalf and without
informing his client, filed a similar but separate independent petition, Pursuant to this provision, all questions concerning the
which was docketed as Special Proceedings No. 67302 and assigned to settlement of the estate of the deceased Rosina Marguerite Wolfson
Branch VI of the Manila CFI. He alleged that he had a legal interest in the should be filed before Branch VIII of the Manila CFI where Spec. Pro. No.
estate of Rosina and prayed for the probate of Rosina’s will and codicils 63866 for the settlement of the testate estate of the deceased was filed
as well as for his appointment as special administrator. Subsequently, he and is still pending.
was issued letters of special administration.
The purpose of this rule is to prevent confusion and delay. The As mentioned, in January 1978, an intestate proceeding was instituted
Court has stressed that the main function of the probate court is to settle by Ethel. On March 1978, Maxine filed an opposition and motion to
and liquidate the estates of the deceased either summarily or through dismiss the intestate proceeding on the ground of pendency of the Utah
the process of administration; and towards this end the probate court probate proceedings. She submitted to the court a copy of Grimm’s will.
has to determine who the heirs are and their respective shares in the net However, pursuant to the compromise agreement, Maxine withdrew the
assets of the estate. Section 1 of Rule 73 applies equally to both testate opposition and the motion to dismiss. The court ignored the will found
and intestate proceedings. in the record.The estate was partitioned.

The conversion of an intestate proceeding into a testate one is In 1980, Maxine filed a petition praying for the probate of the two wills
entirely a matter of form and lies within the sound discretion of the (already probated in Utah), that the partition approved by the intestate
court. court be set aside and the letters of administration revoked, that Maxine
be appointed executrix and Ethel be ordered to account for the
properties received by them and return the same to Maxine. Maxine
8. Roberts vs. Leonidas, G.R. No. L-55509, April 27, 1984 alleged that they were defrauded due to the machinations of Ethel, that
the compromise agreement was illegal and the intestate proceeding was
G.R. No. L-55509 April 27, 1984 void because Grimm died testate so partition was contrary to the
ETHEL GRIMM ROBERTS, petitioner, vs. JUDGE TOMAS R. LEONIDAS, decedent’s wills.
Branch 38, Court of First Instance of Manila; MAXINE TATE-GRIMM,
EDWARD MILLER GRIMM II and LINDA GRIMM, respondents Ethel filed a motion to dismiss the petition which was denied by Judge
Leonidas for lack of merit.
FACTS:
Grimm, an American resident of Manila, died in 1977. He was survived ISSUE:
by his second wife (Maxine), their two children (Pete and Linda), and by Whether or not an intestate proceeding can be instituted if the decedent
his two children by a first marriage (Juanita and Ethel) which ended by died testate?
divorce.
HELD:
Grimm executed two wills in San Francisco, California on January 23, No. A testate proceeding is proper in this case because Grimm died with
1959. One will disposed of his Philippine estate described as conjugal two wills and “no will shall pass either real or personal property unless
property of himself and his second wife. The second will disposed of his it is proved and allowed” (Art. 838, Civil Code; sec. 1, Rule 75, Rules of
estate outside the Philippines. The two wills and a codicil were Court).
presented for probate in Utah by Maxine on March 1978. Maxine
admitted that she received notice of the intestate petition filed in Manila The probate of the will is mandatory. It is anomalous that the estate of a
by Ethel in January 1978. The Utah Court admitted the two wills and person who died testate should be settled in an intestate proceeding.
codicil to probate on April 1978 and was issued upon consideration of Therefore, the intestate case should be consolidated with the testate
the stipulation between the attorneys for Maxine and Ethel. proceeding and the judge assigned to the testate proceeding should
continue hearing the two cases.3
Also in April 1978, Maxine and Ethel, with knowledge of the intestate
proceeding in Manila, entered into a compromise agreement in Utah
regarding the estate.
9. Lim vs. CA, G.R. No. 124715. January 24, 2000
RUFINA LUY LIM petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, AUTO TRUCK "3. The late Pastor Y. Lim personally owned during his
TBA CORPORATION, SPEED DISTRIBUTING, INC., ACTIVE lifetime the following business entities, to wit: Alliance
DISTRIBUTORS, ALLIANCE MARKETING CORPORATION, ACTION Marketing, Inc; Speed Distributing Inc.; Auto Truck TBA
COMPANY, INC. respondents. Corp.; Active Distributors Inc; and Action Company

DECISION "3.1 Although the above business entities dealt and


engaged in business with the public as corporations, all
BUENA, J.: their capital, assets and equity were however, personally
owned by the late Pastor Y Lim. Hence the alleged
May a corporation, in its universality, be the proper subject of and be stockholders and officers appearing in the respective
included in the inventory of the estate of a deceased person? articles of incorporation of the above business entities
were mere dummies of Pastor Y. Lim, and they were
Petitioner disputes before us through the instant petition for review listed therein only for purposes of registration with the
on certiorari, the decision of the Court of Appeals promulgated on 18 Securities and Exchange Commission.
April 1996, in CA-GR SP No. 38617, which nullified and set aside the 2
orders of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 93, sitting as a “4. Pastor Lim, likewise, had Time, Savings and Current
probate court. Deposits with the following banks: (a) Metrobank, Grace
Park, Caloocan City and Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
Petitioner Rufina Luy Lim is the surviving spouse of the late Pastor Y. Branches and (b) First Intestate Bank (formerly
Lim whose estate is the subject of probate proceedings. Private Producers Bank), Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation
respondents Auto Truck Corporation, Alliance Marketing Corporation, and in other banks whose identities are yet to be
Speed Distributing, Inc., Active Distributing, Inc. and Action Company are determined.
corporations formed, organized and existing under Philippine laws and
which owned real properties covered under the Torrens system. "5. That the following real properties, although
registered in the name of the above entities, were
Pastor Y. Lim died intestate. Herein petitioner, as surviving spouse and actually acquired by Pastor Y. Lim during his marriage
duly represented by her nephew George Luy, filed a joint petition for the with petitioner, to wit: Auto Truck; Alliance Marketing
administration of the estate of Pastor Y. Lim before the Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City. "7. The aforementioned properties and/or real interests
left by the late Pastor Y. Lim, are all conjugal in nature,
Private respondent corporations, whose properties were included in the having been acquired by him during the existence of his
inventory of the estate of Pastor Y. Lim, then filed a motion for the lifting marriage with petitioner.
of lis pendens and motion for exclusion of certain properties from the
estate of the decedent. "8. There are other real and personal properties owned
by Pastor Y. Lim which petitioner could not as yet
the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City sitting as a probate court, identify. Petitioner, however will submit to this
granted the private respondents twin motions, in this wise: Honorable Court the identities thereof and the necessary
documents covering the same as soon as possible."
Subsequently, Rufina Luy Lim filed a verified amended petition[9] which
contained the following averments: The Regional Trial Court set aside the previous order and the Registry of
Deeds of Quezon City is directed to reinstate the annotation of lis
pendens in case said annotation had already been deleted and/or order their respective records of the savings/current
cancelled. accounts/time deposits and other deposits in the names
of Pastor Lim and/or corporations above-mentioned,
Furthermore, said properties covered by virtue of the showing all the transactions made or done concerning
petitioner are included in the instant petition. savings /current accounts from January 1994 up to their
receipt of this court order.
The probate court appointed Rufina Lim as special administrator and
Miguel Lim and Lawyer Donald Lee, as co-special administrators of the The Court of Appeals, finding in favor of herein private respondents,
estate of Pastor Y. Lim, after which letters of administration were rendered the assailed decision and granted the SCA for certiorari. And
accordingly issued. the previous orders are nullified and set aside.

In a subsequent order the probate court denied anew private Appeal portion--- so SC nani:
respondents motion for exclusion, in this wise:
Through the expediency of Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, herein
"The issue precisely raised by the petitioner in her petitioner Rufina Luy Lim now comes before us with a lone assignment
petition is whether the corporations are the mere alter of error:
egos or instrumentalities of Pastor Lim, Otherwise (sic)
stated, the issue involves the piercing of the corporate "The respondent Court of Appeals erred in reversing the
veil, a matter that is clearly within the jurisdiction of this orders of the lower court which merely allowed the
Honorable Court and not the Securities and Exchange preliminary or provisional inclusion of the private
Commission. Thus, in the case of Cease vs. Court of respondents as part of the estate of the late deceased
Appeals, 93 SCRA 483, the crucial issue decided by the (sic) Pastor Y. Lim with the respondent Court of Appeals
regular court was whether the corporation involved arrogating unto itself the power to repeal, to disobey or
therein was the mere extension of the decedent. After to ignore the clear and explicit provisions of Rules
finding in the affirmative, the Court ruled that the assets 81,83,84 and 87 of the Rules of Court and thereby
of the corporation are also assets of the estate. preventing the petitioner, from performing her duty as
special administrator of the estate as expressly provided
A reading of P.D. 902, the law relied upon by oppositors, in the said Rules."
shows that the SECs exclusive (sic) applies only to intra-
corporate controversy. It is simply a suit to settle the ISSUE: WON a corporation, in its universality, be the proper subject of
intestate estate of a deceased person who, during his and be included in the inventory of the estate of a deceased person
lifetime, acquired several properties and put up
corporations as his instrumentalities. Petitioners contentions tread on perilous grounds.

The probate court acting on an ex parte motion filed by petitioner, issued In the instant petition for review, petitioner prays that we affirm the
an order the dispositive portion of which reads: orders issued by the probate court which were subsequently set aside by
the Court of Appeals.
the parties and the following banks concerned herein
under enumerated are hereby ordered to comply with Yet, before we delve into the merits of the case, a review of the rules on
this order and to produce and submit to the special jurisdiction over probate proceedings is indeed in order.
administrators, within (5) five days from receipt of this
The provisions of Republic Act 7691[17], which introduced amendments and subject to a final determination in a separate action brought for the
to Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, are pertinent: purpose of adjudging once and for all the issue of title.

"Section 1. Section 19 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 A perusal of the records would reveal that no strong compelling
evidence was ever presented by petitioner to bolster her bare assertions
Section 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise as to the title of the deceased Pastor Y. Lim over the properties. Even so,
exclusive jurisdiction: P.D. 1529, otherwise known as, " The Property Registration Decree",
proscribes collateral attack on Torrens Title, hence:
(4) In all matters of probate, both testate and intestate, where the gross
value of the estate exceeds One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000) or, Section 48. Certificate not subject to collateral attack.
in probate matters in Metro Manila, where such gross value exceeds Two
Hundred Thousand Pesos (P200,000); Simply put, the determination of - A certificate of title shall not be subject to collateral
which court exercises jurisdiction over matters of probate depends upon attack. It cannot be altered, modified or cancelled except
the gross value of the estate of the decedent. in a direct proceeding in accordance with law."

As to the power and authority of the probate court, petitioner relies In CUIZON vs. RAMOLETE, where similarly as in the case at bar, the
heavily on the principle that a probate court may pass upon title to property subject of the controversy was duly registered under the
certain properties, albeit provisionally, for the purpose of Torrens system, We categorically stated:
determining whether a certain property should or should not be
included in the inventory. "Having been apprised of the fact that the property in
question was in the possession of third parties and more
Substantive Issues explained diri: The Court cited many cases dri na part important, covered by a transfer certificate of title issued
but the point sa tanan cases kay kini lang: PASTOR, JR. vs. COURT OF in the name of such third parties, the respondent court
APPEALS; PEREIRA vs. COURT OF APPEALS should have denied the motion of the respondent
administrator and excluded the property in question
"X X X The function of resolving whether or not a from the inventory of the property of the estate. It had no
certain property should be included in the inventory authority to deprive such third persons of their
or list of properties to be administered by the possession and ownership of the property."
administrator is one clearly within the competence
of the probate court. However, the courts Inasmuch as the real properties included in the inventory of the
determination is only provisional in character, not estate of the late Pastor Y. Lim are in the possession of and
conclusive, and is subject to the final decision in a are registered in the name of private respondent corporations,
separate action which may be instituted by the which under the law possess a personality separate and distinct
parties." from their stockholders, and in the absence of any cogency to shred
the veil of corporate fiction, the presumption of conclusiveness of
Petitioner, in the present case, argues that the parcels of land covered said titles in favor of private respondents should stand
under the Torrens system and registered in the name of private undisturbed.
respondent corporations should be included in the inventory of the
estate of the decedent Pastor Y. Lim, alleging that after all the Notwithstanding that the real properties were duly registered
determination by the probate court of whether these properties should under the Torrens system in the name of private respondents, and
be included or not is merely provisional in nature, thus, not conclusive as such were to be afforded the presumptive conclusiveness of title,
the probate court obviously opted to shut its eyes to this gleamy justified the court to impale the veil of corporate fiction. Truly, the
fact and still proceeded to issue the impugned orders. reliance reposed by petitioner on the affidavits executed by Teresa Lim
and Lani Wenceslao is unavailing considering that the aforementioned
By its denial of the motion for exclusion, the probate court in effect acted documents possess no weighty probative value pursuant to the hearsay
in utter disregard of the presumption of conclusiveness of title in favor rule. Besides it is imperative for us to stress that such affidavits are
of private respondents. inadmissible in evidence inasmuch as the affiants were not at all
presented during the course of the proceedings in the lower court. To
Moreover, petitioner urges that not only the properties of private put it differently, for this Court to uphold the admissibility of said
respondent corporations are properly part of the decedents estate documents would be to relegate from Our duty to apply such basic rule
but also the private respondent corporations themselves. To rivet of evidence in a manner consistent with the law and jurisprudence.
such flimsy contention, petitioner cited that the late Pastor Y. Lim during
his lifetime, organized and wholly-owned the five corporations, which Our pronouncement in PEOPLE BANK AND TRUST COMPANY vs.
are the private respondents in the instant case.[25] Petitioner thus LEONIDAS[35] finds pertinence:
attached as Annexes of the petition for review affidavits executed by
Teresa Lim and Lani Wenceslao which among others, contained "Affidavits are classified as hearsay evidence since they
averments that the incorporators of Uniwide Distributing, Inc. included are not generally prepared by the affiant but by another
on the list had no actual participation in the organization and who uses his own language in writing the affiants
incorporation of the said corporation. The affiants added that the statements, which may thus be either omitted or
persons whose names appeared on the articles of incorporation of misunderstood by the one writing them. Moreover, the
Uniwide Distributing, Inc., as incorporators thereof, are mere dummies adverse party is deprived of the opportunity to cross-
since they have not actually contributed any amount to the capital stock examine the affiants. For this reason, affidavits are
of the corporation and have been merely asked by the late Pastor Y. Lim generally rejected for being hearsay, unless the affiant
to affix their respective signatures thereon. themselves are placed on the witness stand to testify
thereon."
It is settled that a corporation is clothed with personality separate
and distinct from that of the persons composing it. It may not As to the order of the lower court, the Court of Appeals correctly
generally be held liable for that of the persons composing it. It may observed that the Regional Trial Court, Branch 93 acted without
not be held liable for the personal indebtedness of its stockholders jurisdiction in issuing said order; The probate court had no authority to
or those of the entities connected with it. demand the production of bank accounts in the name of the private
respondent corporations.
Nonetheless, the shield is not at all times invincible.

The corporate mask may be lifted and the corporate veil may be pierced 10. Advincula vs. Teodoro, G.R. No. L-9283, May 31, 1956
when a corporation is just but the alter ego of a person or of another [G.R. No. L-9282. May 31, 1956.]
corporation. Where badges of fraud exist, where public convenience is
defeated; where a wrong is sought to be justified thereby, the corporate EMILIO ADVINCULA, Petitioner, vs. HONORABLE JUDGE JOSE
fiction or the notion of legal entity should come to naught. TEODORO, SR., Judge of the Court of First Instance of Negros
Occidental, and ENRIQUE A. LACSON, Respondents.
Granting arguendo that the Regional Trial Court in this case was not
merely acting in a limited capacity as a probate court, petitioner FACTS:
nonetheless failed to adduce competent evidence that would have
Emilio Advincula was appointed special administrator, then later regular Besides, the discovery of a document purporting to be the last will
administrator of his deceased wife’s (Josefa Lacson Advincula) estate. and testament of a deceased, after the appointment of an
After he qualified as administrator, his brothers-in-law submitted a administrator of the estate of the latter, upon the assumption that he
document purporting to be the deceased’s last will and testament. or she had died intestate, does not ipso facto nullify the letters of
administration already issued or even authorize the revocation
Emilio opposed the probate of the will on the ground that the signature thereof, until the alleged will has been “proved and allowed by the
was not his wife’s and even if it was, the same was procured by fraud court.” Rule 83, section 1, of the Rules of Court, is plain and explicit on
and duress, also it lacked the formal requisites of a will. this point.

One of the brothers-in-law, Enrique Lacson, prayed that he (Enrique)


filed a motion praying that he be appointed administrator of said estate, “If after letters of administration have been granted on the estate of a
in lieu of Petitioner herein, for the reason that he is the executor named decedent as if he had died intestate, his will is proved and allowed by the
in the alleged will. court, the letters of administration shall be revoked and all powers
thereunder cease, and the administrator shall forthwith surrender the
During the hearing, it was alleged that “Emilio was incompetent, letters to the court, end render his account within such time as the court
incapable and unsuitable to act as administrator because Emilio is directs. Proceedings for the issuance of letters testamentary or of
foreign to the estate”. administration under the will shall be as hereinbefore provided.”

The court ruled in favor of Enrique’s motion. Emilio filed an MR but the Furthermore, the lower court appears to have followed the argument
same was denied so he instituted the present action for certiorari to of the respondents that Emilio, being foreign to the
annul the lower court’s order. deceased’s estate is incapable of being an administrator.

ISSUE: This argument is untenable because from the viewpoint of logic and
WON THE WRIT OF CERTIORARI FILED BY EMILIO FOR SHOULD BE experience, a stranger may be competent, capable and fit to
GRANTED? be administrator of the estate in the same way that a family member can
be incompetent, incapable and unfit to do so. Besides, Emilio as the
HELD: surviving spouse if a forced heir of the deceased. He is entitled to ½ of all
Yes. property apart from his share of the other half thereof as heir of the
deceased since “all property of the marriage is presumed to belong to
The writ of certiorari prayed for is in order. Lacson’s appointment, in
the conjugal partnership”
lieu of Advincula, as administrator of the estate of Josefa Lacson
Advincula, is predicated upon the fact that the former is named executor
Lastly, Advincula has not been found guilty of any specific act or
in the alleged will of said deceased. The provision therein to this effect
omission constituting one of the legal grounds, enumerated in Rule 83,
cannot be enforced, however, until after said document has been
section 2, of the Rules of Court, for the removal of an executor or
allowed to probate, for section 4 of Rule 79 of the Rules of Court
administrator.
provides:
Hence, it is clear that Respondent Judge exceeded his jurisdiction in
removing Advincula and appointing Lacson as administrator of the
“When a will has been proved and allowed, the court shall issue letters
estate of the deceased Josefa Lacson Advincula.
testamentary thereon to the person named as executor therein, if he is
competent, accepts the trusts, and gives bond as required by these rules.”
On April 11, 1983, the probate court required the parties to show
11. Consolidated Bank vs. IAC, G.R. No. 75017, June 3, 1991 a cause why the case should not be transferred to the Quezon City
Regional Trial Court pursuant to the Administrative Order issued by the
THE CONSOLIDATED BANK AND TRUST CORPORATION Supreme Court, limiting the territorial jurisdiction of the Regional Trial
(SOLIDBANK) vs. IAC Court of Pasay City.
G.R. No. 75017. June 3, 1991
Petitioner filed an omnibus motion praying for the return of the
Facts: case to the court of origin, or the Quezon City RTC, and to strike out the
motion for accounting but such motion was denied.
Don Vicente Madrigal in Quezon City died on June 6, 1972. For
the settlement of his estate, a special proceeding was filed with the CFI, Issue:
now RTC, of Quezon City. Judge Enrique Agana whose place of Whether or not there was a waiver of venue by inaction on the
assignment was in Pasay City was then temporarily detailed in Quezon part of petitioner.
City and such proceeding was assigned to him. After his temporary
detail, he returned to his place of assignment in Pasay City bringing with Ruling: Yes
him the records of the special proceeding.
Petitioner maintains that the probate proceedings should properly have
On April 21, 1982, private respondent, Mrs. Vazquez, filed with been retained by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, pursuant to Rule
the probate court a motion for payment of lien attaching a "First 73, Section 1 of the Revised Rules of Court, as follows:
Supplemental Agreement" executed by and among the heirs of the late
Vicente Madrigal. Petitioner failed to appear at the scheduled hearing on "SECTION 1. Where estate of deceased persons settled. — If the decedent
April 23, 1982. On October 20, 1983, the probate court granted the is an inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a
motion and directed the petitioner to pay Mrs. Vazquez the sum of citizen or an alien, his will shall be proved, or letters of administration
money from the assets of the estate. granted and his estate settled, in the Court of First Instance in the
province in which he resides at the time of his death, and if he is an
Petitioner moved to reconsider the order alleging that order was inhabitant of a foreign country, the Court of First Instance of any
null and void being issued beyond the limited special jurisdiction of the province in which he had estate.
court, it being only a probate court. Petitioner also alleged that the order
was issued in violation of due process. On the first ground, the probate Petitioner argues that their failure to object to the proceedings
court admitted that, although the amount to be paid was not strictly a conducted at Pasay City Regional Trial Court, should not be taken as a
claim against the estate, but the heirs had agreed that such amount will waiver on their part as to venue because they believed that the
be reimbursed by the estate. So, the court ordered the administrator to proceedings were only temporary and that the case would subsequently
pay such amount claimed. As to the second ground, the records reveal be returned to Quezon City for further proceedings.
that the Administrator was furnished a copy of the motion for payment
of lien on April 20, 1982, which motion was set for hearing on April 23, A perusal of the records of the case, however, reveal that
1982. While the counsel of record for the Administrator may have been petitioner never objected when then Judge Enrique Agana brought the
out of town on the date of the hearing, it should have sent another case to Pasay City upon the expiration of his detail in Quezon City. It was
representative or should have requested for its postponement. For actually only after the Honorable Court a quo issued the December 8,
failure to do so, the administrator cannot complain that it was deprived 1983 Order that petitioner vigorously challenged the jurisdiction of the
of its day in Court. Probate Court.
Objection to improper venue should be made in a motion to improper venue, lack of interest of Virginia G. Fule in the
dismiss. Until this is done, venue cannot truly be said to have been estate of Amado G. Garcia, and disqualification of Virginia G
improperly laid. The court noted that petitioner had, in fact, filed an Fule as special administratrix.
Omnibus Motion to dismiss, questioning the venue of the probate  During the hearing of the various incidents of this case (Sp. Proc.
proceedings at Pasay City. This motion was however, filed quite late in 27-C) before Judge Malvar, Virginia G. Fule presented the death
the day, petitioner having already submitted his person to the certificate of Amado G. Garcia showing that his residence at the
jurisdiction of the court. time of his death was Quezon City. On her part, Preciosa B. Garcia
presented the residence certificate of the decedent for 1973
While the court agree with the petitioner that venue in this case showing that three months before his death his residence was in
should have been laid in Quezon City, petitioner’s inaction has worked Quezon City. Virginia G. Fule also testified that Amado G. Garcia
against it. was residing in Calamba, Laguna at the time of his death, and
that he was a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention for
12. Fule vs. CA, G.R. No. L-40503, November 29, 1976 the first district of Laguna.
 The Court of Appeals rendered judgment annulling the
Facts: proceedings before Judge Severo A. Malvar of the Court of First
Instance of Calamba, Laguna, for lack of jurisdiction.
 Virginia G. Fule filed with the Court of First Instance of Laguna, at Issues:
Calamba, presided over by Judge Severo A. Malvar, a petition for
letters of administration alleging, "that on April 26, 1973, Amado 1. The question of what the word “resides” in Section 1, Rule 73 of
G. Garcia, a property owner of Calamba, Laguna, died intestate in the Rules of Court, referring to the situs of the of the estate of
the City of Manila, leaving real estate and personal properties in deceased persons, means.
Calamba, Laguna, and in other places, within the jurisdiction of 2. WON venue was proper.
the Honorable Court." Ruling:
 At the same time, she moved ex parte for her appointment as
special administratrix over the estate. On even date, Judge 1. "resides" connotes ex vi termini "actual residence" as
Malvar granted the motion. distinguished from "legal residence or domicile." Even where the
 Six days after, a motion for reconsideration was filed by Preciosa statute uses the word "domicile" still it is construed as meaning
B. Garcia contending that the order appointing Virginia G. Fule as residence and not domicile in the technical sense. Some cases
special administratrix was issued without jurisdiction, since no make a distinction between the terms "residence" and "domicile"
notice of the petition for letters of administration has been but as generally used in statutes fixing venue, the terms are
served upon all persons interested in the estate; there has been synonymous, and convey the same meaning as the term
no delay or cause for delay in the proceedings for the "inhabitant." 8 In other words, "resides" should be viewed or
appointment of a regular administrator as the surviving spouse understood in its popular sense, meaning, the personal,
of Amado G. Garcia, she should be preferred in the appointment actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence or
of a special administratrix; place of abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and
 On June 6, 1973, Preciosa B. Garcia received a "Supplemental actual stay thereat. In this popular sense, the term means
Petition for the Appointment of Regular Administrator ' filed by merely residence, that is, personal residence, not legal
Virginia G. Fule. This supplemental petition modified the original residence or domicile. 9 Residence simply requires bodily
petition in four aspects. Consequently, Preciosa B. Garcia filed presence as an inhabitant in a given place, while domicile
an opposition to the original and supplemental petitions for requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention to
letters of administration, raising the issues of jurisdiction, make it one's domicile. 10 No particular length of time of
residence is required though; however, the residence must be Quezon City, and that Rodolfo himself even supplied the entry appearing
more than temporary. on the death certificate and affixed his own signature. Rodolfo filed a
2. The aforequoted Section 1, Rule 73 (formerly Rule 75, rejoinder, stating that he gave his residence only as reference,
Section 1), specifically the clause "so far as it depends on the considering that their parents were treated in their late years in
place of residence of the decedent, or of the location of the Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. Their stay in his house was merely
estate," is in reality a matter of venue. In this case, venue was transitory.
improperly laid by the Petitioner in the CFI of Calamba, Laguna,
since the last place of residence of the deceased Amado G. Garcia ISSUE:
was at 11 Carmel Avenue, Carmel Subdivision, Quezon City, and
not at Calamba, Laguna. Proof of which is the presentation of Whether or not, the death certificates could be deemed conclusive
parties of a copy of the death certificate for which the court evidence of the decedents residence in light of the other documents
deems it admissible to confirm the residence of the decedent at showing otherwise.
the time of his death.
HELD:
13. Jao vs. CA, G.R. No. 128314, May 29, 2002
A mere perusal of the death certificates of the spouses issued separately
[G.R. No. 128314. May 29, 2002) in 1988 and 1989, respectively, confirm the fact that Quezon City was
the last place of residence of the decedents. Surprisingly, the entries
RODOLFO V. JAO, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and PERICO V. appearing on the death certificate of Andrea V. Jao were supplied by
JAO, respondents. movant, Rodolfo V. Jao, whose signature appears in said document.
Movant, therefore, cannot disown his own representation by taking an
FACTS: Rodolfo and Perico Jao were the only sons of the spouses Ignacio inconsistent position other than his own admission.
Jao Tayag and Andrea V. Jao, who died intestate in 1988 and 1989,
respectively. The decedents left real estate, cash, shares of stock and 14. In the matter of the Intestate Estate of Ismael B. Reyes, G.R. No.
other personal properties. In 1991, Perico instituted a petition for 139587, November 22, 2000
issuance of letters of administration before the RTC over the estate of his
parents. He moved that he be appointed as special administrator alleging [G.R. No. 139587. November 22, 2000]
that his brother has been dissipating the assets of the estate by receiving IN THE MATTER OF THE INTESTATE ESTATE OF DECEASED ISMAEL
rentals from properties w/o rendering any accounting and forcibly REYES, THE HEIRS OF OSCAR R. REYES, petitioners,
opening vaults belonging to their deceased parents and disposing of the vs. CESAR R. REYES, respondent.
cash and valuables therein.
FACTS: The spouses Ismael and Felisa Reyes owned two parcels of land
Rodolfo moved for the dismissal of the petition on the ground of (Lot A and Lot B) collectively referred to as the Arayat properties located
improper venue arguing that their parents did not reside in Quezon City in Arayat, Cubao, Quezon City.
either during their lifetime or at the time of their deaths but in
Pampanga. And they only stayed in Rodolfo's residence in Quezon City In 1973, Ismael died intestate. He was survived by his wife Felisa, his
solely to obtain medical treatment and hospitalization. children Oscar Reyes, Cesar Reyes, and five other children. Before his
death however, Lot A was forfeited in favor of the government due to his
Perico countered, alleging that it was conclusively declared in their failure to pay the tax.
death certificates that their last residence before they died was at
In 1976, Oscar was able to redeem the said property. In 1982, Lot B was HERNANDEZ, JESUS L. ANG, JR., LORETA L. ANG, BONIFACIO
also forfeited again in favor of the government due to Felisa’s failure to L. ANG, LORENA L. ANG, LANI L. ANG, JEMMUEL L. ANG and
pay taxes. In 1986, Oscar was again able to redeem Lot B. In 1989, Cesar LIZA L. ANG, respondents.
(brother of Oscar) filed a petition to be the administrator of the estate of
Ismael which consists of the 50% of the Arayat properties. Oscar filed his
One liner: The determination of the probate court as to the title or
opposition thereto on the ground that the estate Ismael was no longer
ownership of a property in the estate proceedings is only provisional in
the owner of the said properties and that in fact Oscar became the owner
character and is subject to final decision in a separate action to resolve
because he was the one who redeemed the Arayat properties; that the
the title.
other heirs abandoned their shares; that Cesar’s petition was filed
belatedly because he only filed it 16 years after the death of their father.
Facts:
The probate court however allowed the petition of Cesar and approved
PCIBank filed with the Regional Trial Court, Davao City, Branch 11 a
the inclusion of the Arayat properties into the estate of Ismael.
claim for payment of a loan account.
ISSUE: Whether or not the decision of the probate court is proper.
PCIBank alleged that the decedent, Jesus T. Ang, Sr., executed a surety
agreement and real estate mortgage, respectively, in favor of PCIBanks
HELD: Yes. The jurisdiction of the probate court merely relates to
predecessor-in-interest (Insular Bank of Asia and America) to secure a
matters having to do with the settlement of the estate and the probate of
loan extended by it to JA Enterprises.
wills of deceased persons, and the appointment and removal of
administrators, executors, guardians and trustees. The question of
According to PCIBank, the outstanding obligation of the decedent as of
ownership is as a rule, an extraneous matter which the Probate Court
November 20, 1989, amounted to P5,883,779.74. PCIBank caused the
cannot resolve with finality. Thus, for the purpose of determining
extra-judicial foreclosure of the mortgaged property and its sale at
whether a certain property should or should not be included in the
public auction; however, it failed to recover the full amount of decedents
inventory of estate proceeding, the probate court may pass upon the title
obligation.
thereto, but such determination is provisional, not conclusive, and is
subject to the final decision in a separate action to resolve title.
Blanquita L. Ang, wife of the decedent, filed a motion for leave to
intervene in the proceedings to dispute the claim of PCIBank.
The foregoing rule however provides for an exception, that is: if the
claimant and all other parties having legal interest in the property
Blanquita Ang maintained that she had legal interest in the subject of the
consent, expressly or impliedly, to the submission of the question to the
claims of petitioner bank, being the legal wife of the decedent and
Probate Court for adjudgment, or the interests of third persons are not,
considering that the property involved belonged to the conjugal
thereby prejudiced. In this case, not all parties, not all heirs, gave their
partnership, to which she was entitled to one-half share. She neither
consent to the probate court.
encumbered her conjugal share nor conformed to any encumbrance. She
was not a party to the execution of the agreements entered into between
the decedent and petitioner bank involving conjugal property of the
15. PCIB vs. CA, G.R. No. 103149, November 15, 2000
spouses Ang because, due to her meager educational attainment, she
was neither aware nor apprised of the business transactions entered
[G.R. No. 103149. November 15, 2000]
into by her husband. It was her husband alone who conducted the
PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK, petitioner, vs. management, administration and operations of the business ventures
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, JUDGE NICASIO O. DE LOS REYES, and property.
Presiding Judge,Regional Trial Court, Davao City, Branch 11,
MARIA LETBEE ANG, BLANQUITA ANG, LETICIA L. ANG
The trial court issued an order granting the application for preliminary filed a Motion for Reconsideration alleging that the properties subject of
injunction prayed for by Ang. the Order “were already titled in their names years ago and that titles
may not be collaterally attacked in a motion for collation. denied: it is
Petitioner also contended that the trial court had no jurisdiction to issue within the jurisdiction of the court to determine whether titled
the injunctive writ because it effectively determined the question of properties should be collated,
ownership over the property, which question was beyond the
jurisdiction of the probate court. Section 2, Rule 90 of the Rules of Court which provides that the final
order of the court concerning questions as to advancements made shall
PCIBank appealed to CA, but the CA affirmed the ruling of RTC. Hence, be binding on the person raising the question and on the heir. MR; R
the petition. opposed --The Court has already set for hearing RTC removed petitioner
from her position as administratrix on ground of conflict of interest
Issue: Whether the probate court can effectively determine the question considering her claim that she paid valuable consideration for the
of ownership over the property. subject properties acquired by her from their deceased father and
Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration praying that her
Ruling: Yes, the probate can determine the issue of ownership over the appointment as administratrix be maintained; and that the properties be
property in estate proceedings but is only provisional in character. SC declared and decreed as the exclusive properties of the registered
held that the probate court may pass upon and determine the title or owners mentioned therein and not subject to collation.
ownership of a property which may or may not be included in the estate
proceedings, but such determination is provisional in character and The RTC denied. P (and other heirs) CA a petition for certiorari,
is subject to final decision in a separate action to resolve title. Thus, prohibition and mandamus with prayer for a temporary restraining
the allegations of Blanquita Ang that her signatures on the real estate order and writ of preliminary injunction –denied: ruling that the Order
mortgage documents were forged may be ventilated in a separate dated November 11, 1994 directing the inclusion of the properties
proceeding, requiring the presentation of clear and convincing evidence. therein enumerated in the estate of the deceased Rafael Nicolas had
already become final for failure of petitioners to appeal from the order of
collation.
16. De Leon vs. CA, G.R. No. 128781, August 6, 2002
Facts: Issue:
Petitioner Teresita N. de Leon was appointed administratrix of the estate Whether or not the respondent court, erred in declaring the order of
of Rafael C. Nicolas father of Petitioner and Respondent. collation to the estate of the deceased final.

On September 19, 1994, private respondent Ramon G. Nicolas, an Decision:


oppositor–applicant in the intestate proceedings, filed a “Motion for The Supreme Court held that the questioned order is not a final order
Collation,” claiming that deceased Rafael Nicolas, during his lifetime, had but merely an interlocutory order to include or exclude the subject
given the following real properties to his children by gratuitous title and properties in the inventory of the decedent's estate. But even if we
that administratrix-petitioner Teresita failed to include the same in the consider the assailed order as a final order of collation, it is on its face
inventory of the estate of the decedent:-granted: ordering to submit docs patently null and void. It could never become final because there were
and hearing. no facts or laws cited in support of the assailed order of collation.
Petitioner would have been deprived of due process as they would be
Respondent filed an Amended Motion for Collation specifying the divested of the opportunity of being able to point, out in a motion for
properties to be collated and attaching to said motion, the documents in reconsideration or on appeal, any errors of facts and/or law on which
support thereof. On November 18, 1994, petitioner Teresita N. de Leon the assailed order was based. The Court also held that
the Court of Appeals correctly directed the RTC to give due course to COMMISSION, JOSE C. LEE, CARLOS LEE, ANGEL ONG, CARMENCITA
petitioner's appeal from her removal as administratix of the estate. Y. TAN, BENJAMIN C. LEE, MA. PAZ C. LEE AND ALMA AGGABAO,
Under the foregoing rulings of the Court, any aggrieved party, or a third RESPONDENTS.
person for that matter, may bring an ordinary action for a final
determination of the conflicting claims. FACTS:
Private respondent's reliance on Section 2, Rule 90 of the Rules of Court, On November 7, 1994 petitioners filed before the Securities and
to wit: Exchange Commission for the annulment of transfer of shares of stocks
to private respondents, annulment of sale of corporate properties
"SEC. 2. Questions as to advancement to be determined.
authorized by private respondents who compose the management of the
— Questions as to advancement made, or alleged to
have been made, by the deceased to any heir may be corporation, annulment of subscriptions on increased capital stocks,
heard and determined by the court having accounting and inspection of corporate books and records, and damages.
jurisdiction of the estate proceedings; and the final Petitioners also prayed for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
order of the court thereon shall be binding on the injunction and temporary restraining order against private respondents
person raising the question and on the heir." to enjoin them from exercising their rights as stockholders of
In support of his claim that the assailed Order is a final order and Philinterlife on the ground that their shares of stock were acquired
therefore appealable and that due to petitioners' failure to through illegal and fraudulent schemes.
appeal in due time, they are now bound by said Order, is not
feasible. Petitioners alleged that Philinterlife is a registered corporation founded
What seems to be a conflict between the above-quoted Rule and the in 1954 by the late Dr. Juvencio Ortañez; that at the time of his death in
afore-discussed jurisprudence that the Order in question is an 1980, Dr. Ortañez owned at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the capital
interlocutory and not a final order is more apparent than real. This is stock of the company; that special proceedings were pending with the
because the questioned Order was erroneously referred to as an
Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 85, for the settlement of the
order of collation both by the RTC and the appellate court. For all intents
and purposes, said Order is a mere order including the subject intestate estate of the deceased Dr. Ortañez, where Rafael S. Ortañez and
properties in the inventory of the estate of the decedent. Jose S. Ortañez were jointly appointed as special administrators. That
the shares of stocks of private respondents lawfully belonged to the
|||
estate of Dr. Ortañez and hence, they are not entitled to enjoy and
17. Uy vs. Capulong, A.M. No. RTJ-91-776, April 7, 1993 exercise their rights and privileges as stockholders of the
company. Petitioners also contended that respondent Jose C. Lee
misrepresented himself as president of Philinterlife and sold the parcel
18. Ortanez-Enderez vs. CA, G.R. No. 128525, December 17, 1999 of land owned by the corporation located in Manila to Citiriser
Development Corporation. That private respondents obtained additional
MA. DIVINA ORTAÑEZ-ENDERES, FOR HERSELF AND AS THE
subscriptions without consideration by way of unlawful corporate
JUDICIALLY APPOINTED SPECIAL ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE
PHILINTERLIFE SHARES OF STOCKS OF DR. JUVENCIO P. ORTAÑEZ, machinations and that private respondents had been conveying and
JOSE N. ORTAÑEZ, ROMEO JOVEN N. ORTAÑEZ, ENRICO N. ORTAÑEZ, disbursing corporate properties and funds as well as preventing
CESAR N. ORTAÑEZ AND LIGAYA S. NOVICIO, PETITIONERS, VS. THE petitioners from inspecting the corporate books and records.
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE
unlawful invasion on plaintiff's right, over his protest and remonstrance,
In their answer, private respondents stated that they became the injury being a continuing one.
stockholders of Philinterlife on March 23, 1983 when Jose S. Ortañez, to
whom stocks of the deceased were assignedand the principal We agree with the findings of the SEC as affirmed by the Court of
stockholder at that time, executed a deed of sale of his shares of stock to Appeals that petitioners failed not only to establish a threatened
violation of a right but they also failed to discharge the burden of clearly
the private respondents;
showing the right to be protected. On the mere contention that the
That subsequent sale of land and increase of its capital stock is pursuant shareholdings of private respondents belong to the estate of the late Dr.
to a Board Resolution. Ortañez which is still the subject of settlement before the Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City, petitioners had not established their clear legal
SEC denied petitioners' application for the issuance of a writ of rights to obtain injunctive relief against private respondents. Injunction,
preliminary injunction on the ground that petitioners failed to make a whether preliminary or final, is not designed to protect contingent or
future rights
valid cause to entitle them to the relief applied for, and the pretended
Records show that the estate of Dr. Ortañez nor the Special
rights of the petitioners are still contentious, unsettled and of doubtful
Administratrix Ma. Divina Enderes was a party in the main case before
character. CA affirmed.
the Securities and Exchange Commission and that the estate is not a
ISSUE: Whether the Court of Appeals erred in upholding the SEC when it stockholder of Philinterlife. Not being a party in the proceedings, the
ruled that petitioners had not established clear existing legal rights to Special Administratrix does not have any legal personality to seek a
entitle them to a writ of injunction to enjoin private respondents from review by this court.
exercising their rights as stockholders on record of Philinterlife.
Notwithstanding the proceedings being conducted by the intestate court,
the petitioners' rights or interests over the estate or over the assailed
RULING:
shareholdings in the name of private respondents are still future and
NO. unsettled rights which cannot be protected by the writ of injunction. The
rule is well settled that the jurisdiction of the regional trial court as a
Before an injunction can be issued, it is essential that the following probate or intestate court relates only to matters having to do with the
requisites be present: settlement of the estate and probate of will of deceased persons but does
(1) there must be a right in esse or the existence of a right to be not extend to the determination of questions of ownership that arise
during the proceedings.The intestate court may pass upon the title to a
protected;
certain property for the purpose of determining whether the same
should or should not be included in the inventory but such
(2) the act against which injunction is to be directed is a violation of such determination is not conclusive and is subject to final decision in a
right. separate action regarding ownership which may be constituted by the
Injunction may issue pendente lite only in cases of extreme urgency, parties
where the right to the possession, during the pendency of the main case, Therefore, the possibility of irreparable damage without proof of violation
of the property involved is very clear; where considerations of relative of an actually existing right of petitioners over the shareholdings presently
inconvenience bear strongly in favor of the complainant seeking the in the possession of private respondents is no ground for an injunction
possession of the property pendente lite; where there was willful and being a mere damnum absque injuria.[18]
An actual, clear, and positive right should exist before the mantle of the A complaint was filed before the Court of First Instance (now Regional
powerful writ of injunction can protect its movant who prays for the Trial Court) of Laguna by plaintiff-appellant Nazario Vita, in his capacity
preservation of the status quo pending the hearing of the main case on as judicial administrator of the estate of deceased Edilberto Vita, seeking
the merits. Petitioners, having only contingent and future right as to recover from defendants-appellants Soledad Montanano, Estanislao
alleged heirs of the late Dr. Juvencio Ortañez, are not entitled to a writ of Jovellano and Estebana Jovellano the possession of three (3) parcels of
preliminary injunction land located in Barrio Talangan, Nagcarlan, Laguna and their annual
Further, it is a basic procedural postulate that a preliminary injunction is yield since January, 1962 in the amount of P1, 100.00 a year. When he
not proper where its purpose is to take the property out of control or died on January 23, 1962, defendants-appellants, through stealth and
possession of one party and transfer the same to the hands of another strategy, took possession of the above-stated parcels of land and
who did not have such control at the inception of the case[20] and whose gathered the fruits therefrom. Notwithstanding demands from plaintiff-
title has not been clearly established by law.[ appellant, defendants-appellants refused to surrender the possession of
these parcels of land.

In their answer dated December 1, 1964, defendants-appellants deny


19. Cortes vs. CA, G.R. No. 117417. September 21, 2000 that the three (3) parcels of land belong to the estate of Edilberto Vita.
Instead, they claim that the two parcels of land covered by Tax
Declaration No. 1252 and Tax Declaration No. 1231 belong to Soledad
20. Solivio vs. CA, G.R. No. 83483, February 2, 1990 Montanano as these were conveyed to her by Isidra Montanano (her
aunt and wife of Edilberto Vita) and Edilberto Vita in a document signed
FACTS: Celedonia, maternal aunt of the deceased, was declared as the and executed by them on November 22, 1938 and ratified by one Mr.
sole heir. 4 months later, Concordia, sister of the deceased’s father file a Matienzo, a Notary Public from Nagcarlan, Laguna. However, all copies of
MFR claiming that she too was an heir of the deceased. Instead of said document were lost during the last war. Replying to defendants-
appealing, Concordia sued Celedonia for partition, recovery of appellants' answer, plaintiff-appellant claims that Isidra Montanano and
possession, ownership and damages. The suit was initiated while the Edilberto Vita never executed any document on November 22, 1938 and
probate proceedings were still pending. Branch 26 granted Concordia’s if they had, it was thereafter repudiated, canceled and destroyed, for
prayers. which reason, the three (3) parcels of land remained in the possession of
Isidra Montanano and Edilberto Vita; that upon the death on September
HELD: Branch 26 was incorrect in taking cognizance of the case because 25, 1957 of Isidra Montanano, who left neither descendants nor
it was the probate court that had the exclusive jurisdiction to make a just ascendants, her surviving spouse Edilberto Vita succeeded her and took
and legal distribution of the estate. It is the order of distribution immediate possession of her estate; and that from the time defendants
directing the delivery of the residue of the estate to the persons entitled appellants took possession of these parcels of land, they have
thereto that brings to a close the intestate proceedings. The order continuously gathered the fruits therefrom.
declaring Celedonia as the sole heir of the estate did not toll the end of
the proceedings. In the interest of orderly procedure and to avoid They alleged therein that they acquired ownership of the three (3)
confusing and conflicting dispositions of a decedent’s estate, a court parcels of land mentioned in the complaint, which are in the possession
should not interfere with probate proceedings pending in a co-equal of Soledad Montanano, and the other parcels of land mentioned in their
court. counterclaim, which are in the possession of plaintiff-appellant, by virtue
of a donation mortis causa executed by Isidra Montanano on November
21. Vita vs. Montano, G.R. No. L-50553, February 19, 1991 22, 1938 or by a donation executed by her on December 20, 1940 which
was confirmed by Edilberto Vita.
Facts of the case:
In his reply dated July 4, 1967, plaintiff-appellant denied all the property remained with the donor. Most significant is the absence of
allegations contained in the answer-in-intervention and reiterated that stipulation that the donor could revoke the donations.
there was no such donation executed by Isidra Montanano. If such
donation were really executed, she was forced to do so at a time when Even if he (donor) says it (the donation) is to take effect after his death,
she was not mentally in a position to execute and sign freely said when from the body of the instrument or donation it is to be gathered
document. that the main consideration of the donation is not the death of the donor
but rather services rendered to him by the donee or his affection for the
Issue: latter, then the donation should be considered as inter vivos, and the
1) whether or not the three (3) parcels of land mentioned in the condition that the donation is to take effect only after the death of the
complaint are included in the estate of Edilberto Vita (as regards the donor should be interpreted as meaning that the possession and
appeal of plaintiff-appellant); and enjoyment of the it’s of the property donated should take place only after
donor's death. that as the donor guaranteed the right which she
2) whether or not acceptance is necessary in a donation mortis causa; conferred on the donee by virtue of the deed of gift, wherein, in
and whether the donation dated December 20, 1940 is mortis causa or recompense of the latter's good services to the former, she donates to
inter vivos (with respect to the appeal of defendants-appellants and her the two parcels of land with their improvements, said gift is inter
intervenors-appellants). vivos and irrevocable, and not mortis causa, notwithstanding the fact
that the donor stated in said deed that she did not transfer the
Ruling: We uphold the trial court that notwithstanding the fact that ownership of the two parcels of land donated, save upon her death, for
from the secondary evidence presented, the said deed of donation mortis such a statement can mean nothing else than that she only reserved to
causa of November 22, 1938 seems to have been legally and validly herself the possession and usufruct of said property, and because the
executed, it cannot be given force and effect as the acceptance thereof by donor could not very well guarantee the aforesaid right after her death.
the donees is void and illegal in as much (sic) as they were made at the ACCORDINGLY, the appeal of plaintiff-appellant is hereby DENIED
time of the execution of the document, not after the death of the donor whereas the appeal of defendants-appellants is hereby PARTLY
Isidra Montanano. A donation mortis causa takes effect only after the GRANTED.
death of the donor, consequently it is only after the latter's death that its
acceptance maybe made.

It was obviously the intention of Isidra Montanano to grant a donation


inter vivos to defendants appellants and intervenors-appellants.
However, said expression must be construed together with the rest of
the paragraph, and thus taken, its meaning clearly appears to be that
after the donor's death, the donation will take effect so as to make the
donees the absolute owners of the donated property, free from all liens
and encumbrances; for it must be remembered that the donor reserved
for himself a share of the fruits of the land donated. Such reservation
constituted a charge or encumbrance that would disappear upon the
donor's death, when full title would become vested in the donees. It was
also our observation therein that : The donor only reserved for Himself,
during his lifetime, the owner's share of the fruits or produce . . . a
reservation that would be unnecessary if the ownership of the donated