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PASTOR JR. vs. CA | G.R. No. L-56340| June 24, 1983 | Plana, J.

Petitioner/s: Juan De Dios Carlos


Respondent/s: Felicidad Sandoval and Teofilo Carlos, II.

SUMMARY: Lewellyn Quemada filed a petition for the probabte and allowance of an alleged holographic will of the
deceased, Pastor, Sr, whih contained contained only one testamentary disposition—a legacy in Quemada’s
favor. Quemada, in his capacity as special administrator, filed an action for reconveyance against Pastor, Jr.
and his wife concerning alleged properties of the estate. Tthen, Quemada obtained a writ of execution and
garnishment. Oppositors sought reconsideration on the ground that the Court prematurely resolved the
question of ownership of the royalties after passing upon the intrinsic validity of the will.

Did the probate order of Dec. 5, 1972 resolve with finality the question of ownership? NO.
Held:
In a special proceeding for the probate of a will, the issue by and large is restricted to the extrinsic validity of the will, i.e.,
whether the testator, being of sound mind, freely executed the will in accordance with the formalities
prescribed by law. As a rule, the question of ownership is an extraneous matter which the Probate Court
cannot resolve with finality. Thus, for the purpose of determining whether a certain property should or should
not be included in the inventory of estate properties, the Probate Court may pass upon the title thereto, but
such determination is provisional, not conclusive, and is subject to the final decision in a separate action to
resolve title. Execution of judgment must conform with the dispositive part of the decision. Thus, it was not
possible to determine whether the legacy of Quemada would produce an impairment of the legitime of the
compulsory heirs.

TOPIC: Intestate Succession; Collateral Line

FACTS:
 Alvaro Pastor, Sr. (Pastor, Sr.) was a Spanish subject who died in Cebu in 1996. He was survived by his wife Sofia
Bossio (who died months after him) and their two legitimate children Alvaro Pastor, Jr. (Pastor, Jr.) and Sofia Pastor
de Midgely (Sofia) and an illegitimate child, not natural, by the name of Lewellyn Barlito Quemada (Quemada).
o Pastor, Jr. – Naturalized Filipino
o Sofia – Spanish subject
o Quemada – Filipino by mother’s citizenship
 Quemada filed a petition for the probate and allowance of an alleged holographic will of Pastor, Sr. with CFI Cebu.
It contained only one testamentary disposition—a legacy in Quemada’s favor consisting of 30% of Pastor Sr.’s 42%
share in the operation of Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. (Atlas) of some mining claims in Cebu.
o PC, upon motion of QUEMADA and after an ex parte hearing, appointed him special administrator of
Pastor, Sr.’s entire estate, whether or not covered or affected by the holographic will.
o He assumed office after the filing of a bond of P5k
 Quemada, as special administrator, filed an action for reconveyance vs. Pastor, Jr. and his wife Maria Elena
concerning alleged properties of the estate which included the properties subject of the legacy and which were in
the names of the spouses Pastor Jr.
o However, spouses claimed to be the owners thereof in their own rights, and not by inheritance.
o Pastor, Jr. and Sofia filed their opposition to the petition for probate.
 Dec. 5, 1972: Probate court issued an order (Probate Order) allowing the will to probate.
o Affirmed by the CA on appeal.
o Petition for review to SC dismissed.
 For two years after the remand of the case to the probate court, Quemada filed pleading after pleading asking for
the payment of his legacy and seizure of the properties subject of said legacy.
o Spouses opposed these pleadings on ground of pendency of the reconveyance suit with another branch
of the CFI Cebu.
o Meanwhile, pleadings remained unacted upon by the PC.
 The probate court set the hearing on the intrinsic validity of the will. Pastor, Jr. and Sofia objected so no hearing
was held on the scheduled date.
o Instead, the parties were told to file their respective position papers.
 PC set the hearing on the intrinsic validity of the will for, but upon objection of spouses on the ground of pendency
of the reconveyance suit, no hearing was held on March 25. Instead, the PC required the parties to submit
respective position papers as to extent of inheritance QUEMADA was entitled to receive.
o Spouses submitted their Memorandum of authorities which showed that determination of how much
QUEMADA should receive was still premature
o QUEMADA submitted his Position paper
o ATLAS submitted a sworn statement of royalties paid to the Pastor Group of claimants from June 1966
(when Pastor, Sr. died) to February 1980; it revealed that of the mining claims being operated by ATLAS,
60% pertained to the Pastor Group distributed as follows:
 40.5% = A. Pastor, Jr.
 14.0% = E. Pelaez, Sr.
 4.5% = B. Quemada
 TOTAL = 60% interest
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 August 20, 1980: Pending litigation in the reconveyance suit, the probate court issued the now assailed Order of
Execution and Garnishment.
o Resolved the question of ownership of Atlas royalties.
o Ruled that the legacy in favor of Quemada was not inofficious.
o There was absolutely no statement or claim in the Order that the Probate Order of December 5, 1972 had
previously resolved the issue of ownership of the mining rights of royalties thereon, nor the intrinsic
validity of the holographic will.
o Found that as per the holographic will and a written acknowledgment of Pastor, Jr. dated June 17, 1962,
of the above 60% interest in the mining claims belonging to the Pastor Group, 42% belonged to Pastor,
Sr. and only 33% belonged to Pastor, Jr. 25% belonged to E. Pelaez. (Note: I can’t reconcile the numbers.)
 Probate court directed Atlas to remit directly to Quemada the 42% share.
o 75% of the 42% shall be retained by Quemada;
o 25% of the 42% shall be deposited for the payment of estate taxes and other obligations of the estate.
 Pastor, Jr.’s 33% share was ordered garnished to answer for Quemada’s accumulated legacy.
 Quemada obtained a writ of execution and garnishment.
o Oppositors sought reconsideration on the ground of grave abuse of discretion.
o Court prematurely resolved the question of ownership of the royalties after passing upon the intrinsic
validity of the will.
o Meanwhile, the probate court ordered the suspension of payment of all royalties due Pastor, Jr. until after
resolution of the MR.
 Pastor, Jr. and his wife Ma. Elena filed an R65 petition for certiorari with the CA. Dismissed for being premature.
 Nov. 11, 1980: Probate court issued another order denying the oppositors’ MR.
 Pastor, Jr. and his wife then filed an MR of the CA’s decision citing the denial of their MR by the probate court.
Denied.
 Hence, this petition.

ISSUES + RULING:
 In a special proceeding for the probate of a will, the issue by and large is restricted to the extrinsic validity of the
will, i.e., whether the testator, being of sound mind, freely executed the will in accordance with the formalities
prescribed by law.
 As a rule, the question of ownership is an extraneous matter which the Probate Court cannot resolve with finality.
 Thus, for the purpose of determining whether a certain property should or should not be included in the inventory
of estate properties, the Probate Court may pass upon the title thereto, but such determination is provisional, not
conclusive, and is subject to the final decision in a separate action to resolve title.
 Execution of judgment must conform with the dispositive part of the decision.
 In this case, however, nowhere in the dispositive portion is there a declaration of ownership of specific properties.
On the contrary, it is manifest therein that ownership was not resolved.
 It was, therefore, error for the assailed implementing Orders to conclude that the Probate Order adjudged with
finality the question of ownership of the mining properties and royalties, and that, premised on this conclusion,
the dispositive portion of the said Probate Order directed the special administrator to pay the legacy in dispute.

Did the probate order of Dec. 5, 1972 resolve with finality the question of intrinsic validity? NO.

 When Pastor, Sr. died in 1966, he was survived by his wife and children. The conjugal partnership, however, was
never liquidated.
o Liquidation is needed preparatory to the administration and liquidation of Pastor, Sr.’s estate which will
include, among others, the determination of the extent of the statutory usufructuary right of his wife until
her death.
 So, also, as of the same date, there had been no prior definitive determination of the assets of the estate of Pastor,
Sr. There was an inventory of his properties presumably prepared by the special administrator, but it does not
appear that it was ever the subject of a hearing or that it was judicially approved.
o Reconveyance suit still pending.
 No determination and payment of debts of the decedent and his estate.
 Estate tax had not been paid or at least, provided for on the date the Probate Order was issued.
 The net assets of the estate not having been determined, the legitime of the forced heirs could not be ascertained.
 All the foregoing deficiencies considered, it was not possible to determine whether the legacy of Quemada—a
fixed share in a specific property rather than an aliquot part of the entire net estate of the deceased—would
produce an impairment of the legitime of the compulsory heirs.
 There was also no determination of the intrinsic validity of the will in other respects.
o It was obviously for this reason that as late as March 5, 1980—more than 7 years after the Probate Order
was issued—the Probate Court scheduled on March 25, 1980 a hearing on the intrinsic validity of the will.

Propriety of certiorari as a remedy

 Grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction is much too evident in the actuations of the probate
court to be overlooked or condoned.

DISPOSITION: Reversed. Remanded to RTC.

DISPOSITION:

a) The case is REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court in regard to the action on the status and filiation of
respondent Teofilo Carlos II and the validity or nullity of marriage between respondent Felicidad Sandoval and
the late Teofilo Carlos.
b) If Teofilo Carlos II is proven to be the legitimate, or illegitimate, or legally adopted son of the late Teofilo Carlos,
the RTC is strictly INSTRUCTED to DISMISS the action for nullity of marriage for lack of cause of action;
c) The disposition of the RTC in Nos. 1 to 8 of the fallo of its decision is VACATED AND SET ASIDE.