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SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

RULE 76 x x x

Appointment and Removal of Executor / Administrator In the case at bar, the surviving spouse of the deceased Gregorio Ventura is Juana
Cardona while the next of kin are: Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura and Maria and
Miguel Ventura. The "next of kin" has been defined as those persons who are entitled
TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE GREGORIO VENTURA: MARIA VENTURA, under the statute of distribution to the decedent’s property (Cooper v. Cooper, 43
executrix-appellant, MIGUEL VENTURA and JUANA CARDONA, heirs- Ind. A 620, 88 NE 341). It is generally said that "the nearest of kin, whose interest in
appellants, v. GROGORIA VENTURA and HUSBAND, EXEQUIEL VICTORIO, the estate is more preponderant, is preferred in the choice of administrator.’Among
MERCEDES VENTURA and HER HUSBAND, PEDRO D. CORPUZ, Oppositors- members of a class the strongest ground for preference is the amount or
Appellees. preponderance of interest. As between next of kin, the nearest of kin is to be
preferred.’" (Cabanas, Et. Al. v. Enage, Et Al., 40 Off. Gaz. 12 Suppl. 227; citing 12
Am. Jur. Sec, 77, p. 416, cited in Francisco Vicente J., The Revised Rules of Court in
the Philippines, Vol. V-B, 1970 Ed., p. 23).
The deceased Gregorio Ventura named and appointed as executrix his ILLEGITIMATE
As decided by the lower court and sustained by the Supreme Court, Mercedes and
daughter, Maria Ventura, in his will and was later on appointed as such.
Gregoria Ventura are the legitimate children of Gregorio Ventura and his wife,
Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura, the LEGITIMATE children of the deceased were, the late Paulina Simpliciano. Therefore, as the nearest of kin of Gregorio Ventura they
however, preterited in the same will. are entitled to preference over the illegitimate children of Gregorio Ventura, namely:
Maria and Miguel Ventura. Hence, under the aforestated preference provided in
The lower court, upon motion of the legitimate children, found that MARIA has Section 6 of Rule 78, the person or persons to be appointed administrator are
squandered the funds of the estate, was inefficient and incompetent, has failed to Juana Cardona, as the surviving spouse, or Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura
comply with the orders of the Court in the matter of presenting up-to-date statements as nearest of kin, or Juana Cardona and Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura in
of accounts and neglected to pay the real estate taxes of the estate, and hence, she the discretion of the Court, in order to represent both interests.
was removed as executrix.

The legitimate children later prayed for the annulment of the provisions of the will, as
the effect of preterition, which was granted by the court.
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J., dissenting:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
ISSUE: Whether or not the removal of Maria Ventura as executrix is legally justified

DECISION: YES! Consistent with my "concurrence in the result" in Acain v. IAC, et als., G.R. No.
72706, October 27, 1987, preterition results in total intestacy if it was mistakenly
made or through inadvertence. In this case there was no mistake nor oversight
Under Article 854 of the Civil Code, "the preterition or omission of one, some, or all of
whatsoever. The testator himself sought the probate of his Will during his lifetime
the compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of
wherein he not only excluded his "forced heirs" but even denied
the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; but
paternity.chanrobles.com.ph : virtual law library
the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious," and as a
result, intestacy follows, thereby rendering the previous appointment of
Maria Ventura as executrix moot and academic. This would now necessitate the Under the circumstances, the omission being obviously intentional, the effect is a
appointment of another administrator, under the following provision:chanrob1es defective disinheritance covered by Article 918 of the Civil Code under which the
virtual 1aw library institution of heir is not wholly void but only in so far as it prejudices the legitimes of
the persons disinherited. The nullity is partial unlike in true preterition where the
nullity is total.
Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court:

"When and to whom letters of administration granted. — If no executor is named in This conclusion further finds support in the prevailing spirit in the codal provisions on
the will, or the executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the trust, or fail to give succession, which is to make the intention of the testator prevail (e.g., Articles 783,
bond, or a person dies intestate, administration shall be granted:chanrob1es virtual 790, 848, 852, 861, Civil Code).
1aw library

(a) To the surviving husband or wife, as the case may be or next of kin, or both, in
the discretion of the court, or to such person as such surviving husband or wife, or
next of kin, requests to have appointed, if competent and willing to serve;"
SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

CANDELARIO VILLAMOR, et. al, petitioners vs. COURT OF APPEALS and inventory of Special Proceedings No. 364 which was taken as a part of the inventories
DANIELA CENIZA UROT, in her capacity as administratrix of the estate of Fr. in Special Proceedings 262-C and 343-C.)
Nicanor Cortes, , respondents. (Mahaba to, nakakaaning)
After trial, the court rendered judgment against the petitioners holding that Ireneo
FACTS: and Paula Villamor took advantage of the helplessness of Sixta Ceniza when they had
This petition for review on certiorari seeks to annul and set aside the decision of the the Project of Partition thumbmarked by her; that Ireneo and Paula Villamor resorted
Court of Appeals which affirmed that of the then Court of First Instance of Cebu to false and fraudulent representations in Special Proceedings Nos. 262 and 343 in
declaring null and void: [1] the Project of Partition in Special Proceedings Nos. 262-C that they misrepresented that they were the legitimate children of Rufino Cortes; and
and 343-C, [2] the "Order" which approved said Project of Partition, [3] the "Auto" that Fr. Nicanor Cortes had no knowledge of the fraudulent proceedings as well as the
which closed and terminated the two (2) administration proceedings and which Project of Partition. On appeal, CA affirmed, hence this petition.
authorized the delivery of seven (7) parcels of land to Ireneo Villamor and Paula
Villamor, and [4] the extra-judicial settlement and partition executed by the Petitioners maintain that the Court of Appeals, like the trial court, totally ignored the
petitioners herein letters of Fr. Nicanor Cortes disclaiming ownership and acknowledging the fact that
petitioners and/or their predecessors-in-interest are the owners and possessors of the
Upon the death of Sixta Ceniza, one Cristina Ceniza, sister of one of the private lands in question, which exhibits could have decided outright all the issues that Fr.
respondent Daniela Ceniza Urot instituted Special Proceedings for the administration Cortes had personal knowledge of Special Proceedings Nos. 262-C and 343-C and that
of the estate of Sixta Ceniza. One Escolastico Ceniza, brother of respondent, was the predecessors-in-interest of petitioners did not commit fraud against him.
appointed special administrator. The latter's appointment, however, was revoked Petitioners insist that the helplessness of Sixta Ceniza could not have vitiated the
upon petition of Fr. Nicanor Cortes through his counsel, Atty. Fermin Yap, and in his project of partition for although she had become blind and could not walk by herself
stead, Victorio Perez was appointed the special administrator. In this proceedings, the at the time she affixed her thumbmark on the project of partition, her mental faculty
nephews and nieces of Sixta Ceniza, including herein respondent, prayed that they be was very clear. It is further argued that all the fraud alleged by private respondent
declared the sole and only forced heirs of Sixta Ceniza, although at the time, Fr. were within the line of deliberation of the probate court or intrinsic fraud and could
Nicanor Cortes, the only surviving child of Sixta Ceniza, was still alive. not have been extrinsic or collateral fraud; and therefore the cause of action of
private respondent had long prescribed, considering that from September 1948 or
The court denied the motion of the nephews and nieces of Sixta Ceniza to be declared some 22 years since petitioners' predecessors-in-interest came to possess the lands,
her heirs and declared Fr. Nicanor Cortes as the only and universal heir of Sixta petitioners have been in peaceful, notorious, public, actual and continuous
Ceniza. possession, adversely against the whole world in concepto de dueño until they were
disturbed in June 1970 when they received copies of the complaint in Civil Case No.
Fr. Nicanor Cortes executed a Deed of Conveyance in favor of several persons wherein R-11726.
he conveyed ten parcels of land which included those received by his mother under
the Project of Partition. ISSUE: WON petitioners committed fraud against Fr. Nicanor Cortes

Fr. Nicanor Cortes died in Barcelona, Spain. Special Proceedings for the settlement his HELD: NO. The petition is hereby GRANTED. The judgment appealed from is set
estate was instituted. Appointed administratrix was respondent Daniela Ceniza Urot aside, and another entered dismissing the complaint in Civil Case of the then Court of
who, filed Civil Case against petitioners, successors-in-interest of Ireneo Villamor of First Instance of Cebu. No costs.
the seven parcels of land, and Paula Villamor, for recovery received in the Project of
Partition, accounting and receivership. We cannot sustain the findings of the courts that Fr. Nicanor Cortes had no personal
knowledge of Special Proceedings Nos. 262 and 343 for the evidence on record is
In the complaint, respondent alleged, amongst others, that that Fr. Cortes during his abundant to contradict such findings.
absence from the Philippines to pursue a monastic life was deprived of his inheritance
by fraud, stealth and stratagem perpetrated by Paula and Ireneo Villamor; that under In his testimony, Fr. Diosdado Camomot declared categorically that he informed Fr.
the same false and fraudulent representations without notice to Fr. Cortes or his legal Nicanor Cortes about Special Proceedings No. 343 6 and that he sent him a copy of
representative, Ireneo and Paula Villamor prepared a Project of Partition and the project of partition. In fact, portions of Fr. Cortes' letters and Deed of Conveyance
show beyond any iota of doubt that he was kept posted on the developments in the
adjudicated to themselves the seven parcels of land land whereas the rest was
Philippines. He know that his mother received some lands as "share" and that
apportioned to Sixta Ceniza.
Candelario had acquired lands. He also knew the succession of ownership of the lands
to which he succeeded as sole heir of his mother in Special Proceedings No. 364-P,
(Petitioners filed their answer and alleged as special defenses that aside from the fact From these statements, it would not be unreasonable or far-fetched to draw the

that Special Proceedings No. 343-C was a proceeding in rem and all the requirements conclusion that he knew about Special Proceedings Nos. 262 and 343 as well as the
to obtain jurisdiction over the person of anybody have been complied with, Fr. project of partition which were the root and origin of the "share" of his mother, the
Nicanor Cortes had personal knowledge of Special Proceedings No. 343-C; and that all lands acquired by Candelario, as well as the lands inherited by him
these times, Fr. Nicanor Cortes never complained nor raised any objection to the
SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

The trial court relied heavily on the certification issued by the Clerk of the Court of common-law wife, Rizalina. In due course, said court issued an order granting Mrs.
First Instance of Cebu Esperanza T. Garcia, that: Gurrea a monthly alimony was reduced by the Court of Appeals to P1,000.00.
... there appears to be:
1. No individual notice to one Fr. Nicanor Cortes or his legal Carlos Gurrea died, leaving a document purporting to be his last will and testament,
representative nor any intervention on his part has been in which he named Marcelo Pijuan as executor thereof and disinherited Mrs. Gurrea
recorded; 19 and their son, Teodoro. Soon thereafter Pijuan instituted Special Proceedings in CFI
Negros Occidental, for the probate of said will. Thereafter Pijuan was, upon his ex
But, as observed by counsel for petitioners, no probative value could be assigned to parte motion, appointed special administrator of the estate, without bond. Oppositions
said certification, in view of another certification issued by the same Clerk of Court to the probate of the will were filed by Mrs. Gurrea, her son, Teodoro, and one Pilar
that "the prewar records of Sp. Proc. No. 262-C of the Court of First Instance of Cebu Gurrea, as an alleged illegitimate daughter of the deceased.
were lost and/or destroyed during World War II, and that presently, the records
available in this office on said Special Proceedings only begins with a motion. Mrs. Gurrea filed in said Special Proceedings, a motion alleging that the
aforementioned alimony, pendente lite, of P1,000 a month, had been suspended upon
The loss and/or destruction of the pre-war records in Special Proceedings No. 262-C the death of Carlos Gurrea, and praying that the Special Administrator be
renders the determination of whether or not Fr. Nicanor Cortes was duly notified ordered to continue paying it pending the final determination of the case.
thereof an impossibility. However, the probability of his having been notified cannot This motion having been denied in an order dated Mrs. Gurrea moved for a
be totally discounted. On the other hand, no personal notice was due Fr. Nicanor reconsideration thereof. Moreover, she moved for her appointment as administratrix
Cortes in Special Proceedings No. 343-C, not being the presumptive heir of Rufino of the estate of the deceased.
Cortes. Thus, if it were true that Fr. Nicanor Cortes had no notice of Special
Proceedings Nos. 262 and 343, the failure to give such notice must be attributed to Said motion for reconsideration was denied. The lower court, likewise, denied, for the
whoever instituted Special Proceedings No. 262 wherein Fr. Cortes was a presumptive time being, the motion of Mrs. Gurrea for her appointment as administratrix, in view
heir, and not to Ireneo and Paula Villamor, the petitioners in Special Proceedings No. of the provision of the will of the deceased designating another person as executor
343, wherein Fr. Cortes was not a presumptive heir and where the publication of the thereof. Hence this appeal
petition as required by law was sufficient to give notice to the whole world including
Fr. Cortes. ISSUE: WON the lower court erred in denying her petition for appointment as
Further, We do not consider as "intriguing" the observation of the lower court and
concurred in by the Court of Appeals that in both Special Proceedings in question, the HELD: No. Mrs. Gurrea claims a right of preference under Section 6 of Rule 78 of the
administrators appointed were complete strangers to the decedents. There is nothing Revised Rules of Court. In the language of this provision, said preference exists "if no
repulsive in this nor is this an indicium of fraud and collusion as found by the courts. executor is named in the will or the executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the
Section 642 of the Code of Civil Procedure enumerates the persons who can act as trust, or fail to give bond, or a person dies intestate." None of these conditions
executors and administrators. It provides that in case the persons who have the obtains, however, in the case at bar. The deceased Carlos Gurrea has left a document
preferential right to be appointed are not competent or are unwilling to serve, purporting to be his will, seemingly, is still pending probate. So, it cannot be said, as
administration may be granted to such other person as the court may appoint. yet, that he has died intestate. Again, said document names Marcelo Pijuan as
executor thereof, and it is not claimed that he is incompetent therefor. What is more,
he has not only not refused the trust, but, has, also, expressly accepted it, by
applying for his appointment as executor, and, upon his appointment as special
TESTATE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED CARLOS GURREA Y MONASTERIO. administrator, has assumed the duties thereof. It may not be amiss to note that the
MARCELO PIJUAN, special administrator-appellee, preference accorded by the aforementioned provision of the Rules of Court to the
vs. MANUELA RUIZ VDA. DE GURREA, movant-appellant. surviving spouse refers to the appoint of a regular administrator or administratrix, not
to that of a special administrator, and that the order appointing the latter lies within
the discretion of the probate court, 5and is not appealable.6
Manuela Ruiz (Mrs. Gurrea) Carlos Gurrea were married in Spain, where they lived WHEREFORE, the orders appealed from are hereby modified, in the sense that
together until 1945, when he abandoned her and came, with their son Teodoro, to the Manuela Ruiz Vda. de Gurrea shall receive from the estate of the deceased a monthly
Philippines. Here he lived maritally with Rizalina Perez by whom he had two (2) allowance of P1,000.00, by way of supportand that, in all other respects, said orders
children. Having been informed by her son Teodoro, years later, that his father was are hereby affirmed, without pronouncement as to costs.
residing in Pontevedra, Negros Occidental, Manuela came to the Philippines, but,
Carlos Gurrea refused to admit her to his residence in said municipality. Hence, she
stayed with their son, Teodoro, in Bacolod City.

She instituted, against Carlos Gurrea, Civil Case in CFI Negros Occidental, for support
and the annulment of some alleged donations of conjugal property, in favor of his
SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

LUZON SURETY COMPANY, INC., plaintiff-appellee, vs. The contention of the defendants-appellants that the administrator's bond ceased to
PASTOR T. QUEBRAR and FRANCISCO KILAYKO, defendants-appellants be of legal force and effect with the approval of the project of partition and statement
of accounts on June 6, 1957 is without merit.
Plaintiff-appellee issued two administrator's bond in the amount of P15,000.00 each, The defendant-appellant Pastor T. Quebrar did not cease as administrator after June
in behalf of the defendant-appellant Pastor T. Quebrar, as administrator in Special 6, 1957, for administration is for the purpose of liquidation of the estate and
Proceedings entitled " Re Testate Estate of A. B. Chinsuy," and Re Testate Estate of distribution of the residue among the heirs and legatees. And liquidation means the
Cresenciana Lipa," respectively. determination of all the assets of the estate and payment of all the debts and
expenses (Flores vs. Flores, 48 Phil. 982). It appears that there were still debts and
In consideration of the suretyship, the latter, together with Francisco Kilayko, expenses to be paid after June 6, 1957.And in the case of Montemayor vs.
executed two indemnity agreements, where among other things, they agreed jointly Gutierrez (114 Phil. 95), an estate may be partitioned even before the termination of
and severally to pay the plaintiff-appellee "the sum of Three Hundred Pesos (P300.00) the administration proceedings.
in advance as premium thereof for every 12 months or fraction thereof, this ... or any
renewal or substitution thereof is in effect" and to indemnify plaintiff-appellee against Hence, the approval of the project of partition did not necessarily terminate the
any and all damages, losses, costs, stamps taxes, penalties, charges and expenses, administration proceedings. Notwithstanding the approval of the partition, the Court
whatsoever, including the 15% of the amount involved in any litigation, for attomey's of First Instance of Negros Occidental still had jurisdiction over the administration
fees proceedings of the estate of A.B. Chinsuy and Cresenciana Lipa.

For the first year, from August 9, 1954 to August 9, 1955, the defendants-appellants Section 1 of Rule 81 of the Rules of Court requires the administrator/executor to put
paid P304.50 under each indemnity agreement or a total of P609.00 for premiums up a bond for the purpose of indemnifying the creditors, heirs, legatees and the
and documentary stamps. estate. It is conditioned upon the faithful performance of the administrator's trust
On May 8, 1962, the plaintiff-appellee demanded from the defendants-appellants the (Mendoza vs. Pacheco, 64 Phil. 134).
payment of the premiums and documentary stamps from August 9,1955.
Having in mind the purpose and intent of the law, the surety is then liable under the
On October 17, 1962, the defendants-appellants ordered a motion for cancellation administrator's bond, for as long as the administrator has duties to do as such
and/or reduction of executor's bonds on the ground that "the heirs of these testate administrator/executor. Since the liability of the sureties is co-extensive with that of
estates have already received their respective shares" the administrator and embraces the performance of every duty he is called upon to
perform in the course of administration (Deobold vs. Oppermann, 111 NY 531, 19 NE
The Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental acting on the motions filed by the 94), it follows that the administrator is still duty bound to respect the indemnity
defendants-appellants ordered the bonds cancelled. agreements entered into by him in consideration of the suretyship
It is shown that the defendant-appellant Pastor T. Quebrar, still had something to do
Plaintiff-appellee's demand amounted to P2,436.00 in each case, hence, a total of as an administrator/executor even after the approval of the amended project of
P4,872.00 for the period of August 9, 1955 to October 20, 1962. The defendants- partition and accounts on June 6, 1957.
appellants to pay the said amount of P4,872.00.

On January 8, 1963, the plaintiff-appellee filed the case with the Court of First
Instance of Manila. During the pre-trial the parties presented their documentary Duties and Powers of Executor/Administrator
evidences and agreed on the ultimate issue - "whether or not the administrator's
bonds were in force and effect from and after the year that they were filed and THE ESTATE OF HILARIO M. RUIZ, EDMOND RUIZ, Executor, petitioner, vs. CA
approved by the court up to 1962, when they were cancelled." The defendants- (Mahaba to kasi marami provision)
appellants offered P1,800.00 by way of amicable settlement which the plaintiff-
appellee refused. FACTS:
Hilario M. Ruiz1 executed a holographic will naming as his heirs his only son, Edmond
The lower court allowed the plaintiff to recover from the defendants-appellants Ruiz, his adopted daughter, private respondent Maria Pilar Ruiz Montes, and his three
granddaughters, private respondents Maria Cathryn, Candice Albertine and Maria
Defendants-appellants appealed to the Court of Appeals, who, in a resolution certified Angeline, all children of Edmond Ruiz. The testator bequeathed to his heirs substantial
the herein case to this Court after finding that this case involves only errors or cash, personal and real properties and named Edmond Ruiz executor of his estate.2
questions of law.
Immediately after Hilario Ruiz died, the cash component of his estate was distributed
ISSUE: WON administrator’s bonds were in force and effect after the year that they among Edmond Ruiz and private respondents in accordance with the decedent's will.

were filed and approved up to the time they were cancelled For unbeknown reasons, Edmond, the named executor, did not take any action for the
probate of his father's holographic will.
HELD: Yes. The decision of CFI Manila is hereby affirmed. With costs against
defendants-appellants Four years after the testator's death, it was private respondent Maria Pilar Ruiz
Montes who filed before the RTC, a petition for the probate and approval of Hilario
SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

Ruiz's will and for the issuance of letters testamentary to Edmond Ruiz. Surprisingly, (NO); (2) to order the release of the titles to certain heirs (NO); and (3) to grant
Edmond opposed the petition on the ground that the will was executed under undue possession of all properties of the estate to the executor of the will (NO)
One of the properties of the estate — the house and lot at No. 2 Oliva Street, Valle The decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals affirming the of the
Verde IV, Pasig which the testator bequeathed to Maria Cathryn, Candice Albertine Regional Trial Court are affirmed with the modification that those portions of
and Maria Angeline4 — was leased out by Edmond Ruiz to third persons. The probate the order granting an allowance to the testator's grandchildren and ordering
court ordered Edmond to deposit with the Branch Clerk of Court the rental deposit the release of the titles to the private respondents upon notice to creditors
and payments totalling P540,000.00 representing the one-year lease of the Valle are annulled and set aside.
Verde property.
1) On the matter of allowance, Section 3 of Rule 83 of the Revised Rules of Court
Edmond turned over the amount of P348,583.56, representing the balance of the rent provides:
after deducting P191,416.14 for repair and maintenance expenses on the estate. 5 Sec. 3. Allowance to widow and family. — The widow and minor or incapacitated
children of a deceased person, during the settlement of the estate, shall receive
therefrom under the direction of the court, such allowance as are provided by
Edmond moved for the release of P50,000.00 to pay the real estate taxes on the real law.
properties of the estate. The probate court approved the release of P7,722.00. 6
It is settled that allowances for support under Section 3 of Rule 83 should not be
Edmond withdrew his opposition to the probate of the will. Consequently, the probate limited to the "minor or incapacitated" children of the deceased. Article 188 13 of the
court, on May 18, 1993, admitted the will to probate and ordered the issuance of Civil Code of the Philippines, the substantive law in force at the time of the testator's
letters testamentary to Edmond conditioned upon the filing of a bond in the amount of death, provides that during the liquidation of the conjugal partnership, the deceased's
P50,000.00. legitimate spouse and children, regardless of their age, civil status or gainful
employment, are entitled to provisional support from the funds of the estate. 14 The
Petitioner filed an "Ex-Parte Motion for Release of Funds." It prayed for the release of law is rooted on the fact that the right and duty to support, especially the right to
the rent payments deposited with the Branch Clerk of Court. education, subsist even beyond the age of majority.15
Respondent Montes opposed the motion and concurrently filed a "Motion for Release
of Funds to Certain Heirs" and "Motion for Issuance of Certificate of Allowance of Be that as it may, grandchildren are not entitled to provisional support from the funds
Probate Will." Montes prayed for the release of the said rent payments to Maria of the decedent's estate. The law clearly limits the allowance to "widow and children"
Cathryn, Candice Albertine and Maria Angeline and for the distribution of the and does not extend it to the deceased's grandchildren, regardless of their minority or
testator's properties, specifically the Valle Verde property and the Blue Ridge incapacity.16 It was error, therefore, for the appellate court to sustain the probate
apartments, in accordance with the provisions of the holographic will. court's order granting an allowance to the grandchildren of the testator pending
settlement of his estate.
The probate court denied petitioner's motion for release of funds but granted
respondent Montes' motion in view of petitioner's lack of opposition. It thus ordered
the release of the rent payments to the decedent's three granddaughters. It further 2) Respondent courts also erred when they ordered the release of the titles of the
ordered the delivery of the titles to and possession of the properties bequeathed to bequeathed properties to private respondents six months after the date of first
the three granddaughters and respondent Montes upon the filing of a bond of publication of notice to creditors
An order releasing titles to properties of the estate amounts to an advance
Petitioner, through counsel, manifested that he was withdrawing his motion for distribution of the estate which is allowed only under the following conditions:
release of funds in view of the fact that the lease contract over the Valle Verde Sec. 2. Advance distribution in special proceedings. — Nothwithstanding a
property had been renewed for another year. pending controversy or appeal in proceedings to settle the estate of a decedent,
the court may, in its discretion and upon such terms as it may deem proper and
Despite petitioner's manifestation, the probate court, on December 22, 1993, ordered just, permit that such part of the estate as may not be affected by the
the release of the funds to Edmond but only "such amount as may be necessary to controversy or appeal be distributed among the heirs or legatees, upon
cover the expenses of administration and allowances for support" of the testator's compliance with the conditions set forth in Rule 90 of these Rules. 17
three granddaughters subject to collation and deductible from their share in the
inheritance. The court, however, held in abeyance the release of the titles to And Rule 90 provides that:
respondent Montes and the three granddaughters until the lapse of six months from Sec. 1. When order for distribution of residue made. — When the debts, funeral
the date of first publication of the notice to creditors charges, and expenses of administration the allowance to the widow, and

inheritance tax if any, chargeable to the estate in accordance with law, have
ISSUE: WON the probate court, after admitting the will to probate but before been paid, the court, on the application of the executor or administrator, or of a
payment of the estate's debts and obligations, has the authority: (1) to grant an person interested in the estate, and after hearing upon notice shall assign the
allowance from the funds of the estate for the support of the testator's grandchildren residue of the estate to the persons entitled to the same, naming them and the
SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

proportions or parts, to which each is entitled, and such persons may demand
and recover their respective shares from the executor or administrator, or any ANA LIM KALAW, Petitioner, v. THE HONORABLE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE
other person having the same in his possession. If there is a controversy before COURT, THE HONORABLE RICARDO B. DIAZ and ROSA LIM
the court as to who are the lawful heirs of the deceased person or as to the KALAW, Respondents.
distributive shares to which each person is entitled under the law, the
controversy shall be heard and decided as in ordinary cases.

No distribution shall be allowed until the payment of the obligations above- FACTS:
mentioned has been made or provided for, unless the distributees, or any of
them, give a bond, in a sum to be fixed by the court, conditioned for the Ana Lim Kalaw was appointed judicial administrator by the intestate court.
payment of said obligations within such time as the court directs. 18
However, due to her failure to render an accounting of her administration for more
In settlement of estate proceedings, the distribution of the estate properties can only than 6 years since her appointment (inviolation of Rule 85 Sec 8), herein respondent
be made: (1) after all the debts, funeral charges, expenses of administration, co-heirs filed a motion to remove her as administrator which was subsequently
allowance to the widow, and estate tax have been paid; or (2) before payment of said granted by the said court/
obligations only if the distributees or any of them gives a bond in a sum fixed by the
court conditioned upon the payment of said obligations within such time as the court ISSUE: Whether Ana Lim Kalaw failed on her duties as administrator so as to warrant
directs, or when provision is made to meet those obligations her removal

In the case at bar, Hilario Ruiz allegedly left no debts when he died but the taxes on DECISION: Yes!
his estate had not hitherto been paid, much less ascertained. The estate tax is one of
those obligations that must be paid before distribution of the estate. If not yet paid, Section 8 of Rule 85 of the Revised Rules of Court provides
the rule requires that the distributees post a bond or make such provisions as to meet that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
the said tax obligation in proportion to their respective shares in the
inheritance.20 Notably, at the time the order was issued the properties of the estate "SEC. 8. When executor or administrator to render account. — Every executor or
had not yet been inventoried and appraised. administrator shall render an account of his administration within one (1) year from
the time of receiving letters testamentary or of administration, unless the court
3) The right of an executor or administrator to the possession and management of
otherwise directs because of extensions of time for presenting claims against, or
the real and personal properties of the deceased is not absolute and can only be
exercised "so long as it is necessary for the payment of the debts and expenses of paying the debts of, the estate, or for disposing of the estate; and he shall render
administration,"27 Section 3 of Rule 84 of the Revised Rules of Court explicitly such further accounts as the court may require until the estate is wholly
provides: settled." chanrobles law library

Sec. 3. Executor or administrator to retain whole estate to pay debts, and to The rendering of an accounting by an administrator of his administration within one
administer estate not willed. — An executor or administrator shall have the right year from his appointment is mandatory, as shown by the use of the word "shall" in
to the possession and management of the real as well as the personal estate of said rule. The only exception is when the Court otherwise directs because of
the deceased so long as it is necessary for the payment of the debts and extensions of time for presenting claims against the estate or for paying the debts or
expenses for administration disposing the assets of the estate, which do not exist in the case at bar.

It was relevantly noted by the probate court that petitioner had deposited with it only Furthermore, petitioner’s excuse that the sala where the intestate proceeding was
a portion of the one-year rental income from the Valle Verde property. Petitioner did pending was vacant most of the time deserves scant consideration since petitioner
not deposit its succeeding rents after renewal of the lease. 29 Neither did he render an never attempted to file with said court an accounting report of her administration
accounting of such funds.
despite the fact that at one time or another, Judge Sundiam and Judge Tiongco were
presiding over said sala during their incumbency.
Petitioner must be reminded that his right of ownership over the properties of his
father is merely inchoate as long as the estate has not been fully settled and
partitioned. As executor, he is a mere trustee of his father's estate. The funds of the Likewise, her subsequent compliance in rendering an accounting report did not purge
estate in his hands are trust funds and he is held to the duties and responsibilities of a her of her negligence in not rendering an accounting for more than six years, which
trustee of the highest order. He cannot unilaterally assign to himself and possess all justifies petitioner’s removal as administratrix and the appointment of private
his parents' properties and the fruits thereof without first submitting an inventory and respondent in her place as mandated by Section 2 of Rule 82 of the Rules of Court. 5

appraisal of all real and personal properties of the deceased, rendering a true account
of his administration, the expenses of administration, the amount of the obligations
and estate tax, all of which are subject to a determination by the court as to their
veracity, propriety and justness
SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

JOSEPHINE PAHAMOTANG and ELEANOR PAHAMOTANG- notices to the heirs of the petition for the approval of those contracts by the intestate
BASA, Petitioners, v. THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK (PNB) and the HEIRS court.
OF ARTURO ARGUNA, Respondents.

Contrary to the view of the Court of Appeals, the action which petitioners lodged with
the trial court in Civil Case No. 16,802 is not an action to annul the orders of the
intestate court, which, according to CA, cannot be done collaterally. It is the validity
FACTS: of the contracts of mortgage and sale which is directly attacked in the action.

Melitona Pahamotang died. She was survived by her husband Agustin Pahamotang, And, in the exercise of its jurisdiction, the trial court made a factual finding in its
and their eight (8) children, namely: Ana, Genoveva, Isabelita, Corazon, Susana, decision of August 7, 1998 that petitioners were, in fact, not notified by their father
Concepcion and herein petitioners Josephine and Eleonor, all Agustin of the filing of his petitions for permission to mortgage/sell the estate
surnamed Pahamotang. properties. The trial court made the correct conclusion of law that the challenged
orders of the intestate court granting Agustin's petitions were null and void for lack of
Agustin was appointed administrator of the estate who petitioned the court several compliance with the mandatory requirements of Rule 89 of the Rules of Court,
times for the grant of increase in mortgage executed in favor of PNB and for the particularly Sections 2, 4, 7 thereof, which read:
authority to sell certain properties to one Arguna (both are herein respondents), for
the stability of the business of the estate. "Sec. 2. When court may authorize sale, mortgage, or other encumbrance of realty to
pay debts and legacies through personalty not exhausted. - When the personal estate
As the mortgage was not satisfied, properties of the estate subject of mortgage was of the deceased is not sufficient to pay the debts, expenses of administration, and
foreclosed and as a result of which, herein petitioners, as heirs, filed their complaint legacies, or where the sale of such personal estate may injure the business or other
for Nullification of Mortgage Contracts and Foreclosure Proceedings and interests of those interested in the estate, and where a testator has not otherwise
Damages against the repondents. Trial court found that the heirs lacked made sufficient provision for the payment of such debts, expenses, and legacies, the
notice of the above actions of their father administrator altho the same were court, on the application of the executor or administrator and on written notice to
approved by the court. Hence, declared that the said contracts for mortgage and the heirs, devisees, and legatees residing in the Philippines, may authorize the
deeds of sale were void. executor or administrator to sell, mortgage, or otherwise encumber so much as may
be necessary of the real estate, in lieu of personal estate, for the purpose of paying
such debts, expenses, and legacies, if it clearly appears that such sale, mortgage, or
The CA however reversed the said decision believing that petitioners had availed encumbrance would be beneficial to the persons interested; and if a part cannot be
themselves of the wrong remedy before the trial court- that they are collaterally sold, mortgaged, or otherwise encumbered without injury to those interested in the
attacking the various orders (granting the several petitions of the administrator) of remainder, the authority may be for the sale, mortgage, or other encumbrance of the
the intestate court in an action for the nullification of the subject mortgages, and whole of such real estate, or so much thereof as is necessary or beneficial under the
foreclosure and the deeds of sale instead of initiating a direct action to annul them. circumstances".

ISSUE: whether or not petitioners can obtain relief from the effects of contracts of "Sec. 4. When court may authorize sale of estate as beneficial to interested persons.
sale and mortgage entered into by Agustin without first initiating a direct action Disposal of proceeds. - When it appears that the sale of the whole or a part of the real
against the orders of the intestate court authorizing the challenged contracts or personal estate, will be beneficial to the heirs, devisees, legatees, and other
interested persons, the court may, upon application of the executor or administrator
and on written notice to the heirs, devisees and legatees who are interested in
the estate to be sold, authorize the executor or administrator to sell the whole or a
part of said estate, although not necessary to pay debts, legacies, or expenses of
We answer the question in the affirmative. administration; but such authority shall not be granted if inconsistent with the
provisions of a will. In case of such sale, the proceeds shall be assigned to the
persons entitled to the estate in the proper proportions".
It bears emphasizing that the action filed by the petitioners before the trial court
in Civil Case No. 16,802 is for the annulment of several contracts entered into by
Agustin for and in behalf of the estate of Melitona, namely: (a) contract of mortgage "Sec. 7. Regulations for granting authority to sell, mortgage, or otherwise encumber
in favor of respondent PNB, (b) contract of sale in favor of Arguna involving seven (7) estate. - The court having jurisdiction of the estate of the deceased may authorize the
parcels of land; and (c) contract of sale of a parcel of land in favor of PLEI. executor or administrator to sell personal estate, or to sell, mortgage, or otherwise

encumber real estate; in cases provided by these rules and when it appears necessary
or beneficial, under the following regulations:
The trial court acquired jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case upon the
allegations in the complaint that said contracts were entered into despite lack of
SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

(a) The executor or administrator shall file a written petition setting forth the debts Even if administration proceedings have already been commenced, the heirs may still
due from the deceased, the expenses of administration, the legacies, the value of the bring the suit if an administrator has not yet been appointed. This is the proper
personal estate, the situation of the estate to be sold, mortgaged, or otherwise modality despite the total lack of advertence to the heirs in the rules on party
encumbered, and such other facts as show that the sale, mortgage, or other representation, namely Section 3, Rule 326 and Section 2, Rule 8727 of the Rules of
encumbrance is necessary or beneficial; Court. In fact, in the case of Gochan v. Young,28this Court recognized the legal
standing of the heirs to represent the rights and properties of the decedent under
administration pending the appointment of an administrator. Thus:
(b) The court shall thereupon fix a time and place for hearing such petition,
and cause notice stating the nature of the petition, the reason for the same, and the
time and place of hearing, to be given personally or by mail to the persons interested, The above-quoted rules,29 while permitting an executor or administrator to represent
and may cause such further notice to be given, by publication or otherwise, as it shall or to bring suits on behalf of the deceased, do not prohibit the heirs from representing
deem proper; (Emphasis supplied)". the deceased. These rules are easily applicable to cases in which an
administrator has already been appointed. But no rule categorically
addresses the situation in which special proceedings for the settlement of an
xxx estate have already been instituted, yet no administrator has been
appointed. In such instances, the heirs cannot be expected to wait for the
Settled is the rule in this jurisdiction that when an order authorizing the sale or appointment of an administrator; then wait further to see if the administrator
encumbrance of real property was issued by the testate or intestate court without appointed would care enough to file a suit to protect the rights and the interests of
previous notice to the heirs, devisees and legatees as required by the Rules, it is not the deceased; and in the meantime do nothing while the rights and the properties of
only the contract itself which is null and void but also the order of the court the decedent are violated or dissipated.
authorizing the same.11
Even if there is an appointed administrator, jurisprudence recognizes two
exceptions, viz: (1) if the executor or administrator is unwilling or refuses to bring
suit;30 and (2) when the administrator is alleged to have participated in the act
complained of31 and he is made a party defendant.32 Evidently, the necessity for the
TEODORA A. RIOFERIO, VERONICA O. EVANGELISTA assisted by her husband heirs to seek judicial relief to recover property of the estate is as compelling when
ZALDY EVANGELISTA, ALBERTO ORFINADA, and ROWENA O. UNGOS, assisted there is no appointed administrator, if not more, as where there is an appointed
by her husband BEDA UNGOS, Petitioners, v.COURT OF APPEALS, ESPERANZA administrator but he is either disinclined to bring suit or is one of the guilty parties
ANGELO P. ORFINADA, Respondents.
All told, therefore, the rule that the heirs have no legal standing to sue for the
recovery of property of the estate during the pendency of administration proceedings
FACTS: has three exceptions, the third being when there is no appointed administrator such
as in this case
Petitioners (decedent’s family from a paramour so not legit) executed an Extrajudicial
Settlement of Estate of a Deceased Person with Quitclaim involving the properties of
the estate of the decedent as a result of which, certificate of titles were issued in their
Claims against the Estate

Pending application for Letters of Administration, respondents (the first family) filed a
complaint for the recovery of the properties involved in the said extrajudicial UNION BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. EDMUND SANTIBAÑEZ and
settlement. Petitioners, in their answer, raised the affirmative defense that FLORENCE SANTIBAÑEZ ARIOLA, Respondents.
respondents are not the real parties-in-interest but rather the Estate of Alfonso O.
Orfinada, Jr., the decedent, in view of the pendency of the administration FACTS:
proceedings. Hence, they lack legal standing to presecute.

The deceased Efraim Santibanez entered into two loan agreements with First
ISSUE: Whether the respondents may bring suit to recover property of the estate Countryside Credit Corporation (FCCC) for the payment of Ford Tractors. Efraim and
pending the appointment of an administrator is the issue in this case.

his son Edmund executed a promissory note and a guaranty agreement in
consideration of the above.
SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

Efraim later died leaving a holographic will. Pending testate proceedings his children decedent, instead of presenting them independently to the court as herein provided,
Edmund and Florence S Ariola executed a joint agreement assuming indebtedness of and mutual claims may be set off against each other in such action; and if final
their father (in rel to the tractors) upon possessing the same. However, the same was judgment is rendered in favor of the defendant, the amount so determined shall be
not approved by the court. considered the true balance against the estate, as though the claim had been
presented directly before the court in the administration proceedings. Claims not yet
due, or contingent, may be approved at their present value.
FCCC later assigned its rights to petitioner Union Bank which filed a complaint with
the RTC for recovery of sum of money against Edmund and Florence S Ariola.
The filing of a money claim against the decedent's estate in the probate court is
mandatory.30 As we held in the vintage case of Py Eng Chong v. Herrera:31
Since Edmund cannot be found, Florence was the only one prosecuted. She alleged
that the loan documents did not bind her since she was not a party thereto; that she
was not liable to Union Bank under the joint agreement since the same was null and 'This requirement is for the purpose of protecting the estate of the deceased by
void, not being approved by the court, and that Union Bank should have filed his informing the executor or administrator of the claims against it, thus enabling him to
claim in the probate proceedings. examine each claim and to determine whether it is a proper one which should be
allowed. The plain and obvious design of the rule is the speedy settlement of the
affairs of the deceased and the early delivery of the property to the distributees,
ISSUE: (1) Whether Florence S Ariola is liable as heir to Union Bank. NO! legatees, or heirs. `The law strictly requires the prompt presentation and disposition
of the claims against the decedent's estate in order to settle the affairs of the estate
The question that now comes to fore is whether the heirs' assumption of the as soon as possible, pay off its debts and distribute the residue. 32
indebtedness of the decedent is binding. We rule in the negative. Perusing the joint
agreement, it provides that the heirs as parties thereto "have agreed to divide Perusing the records of the case, nothing therein could hold private respondent
between themselves and take possession and use the above-described chattel and Florence S. Ariola accountable for any liability incurred by her late father. The
each of them to assume the indebtedness corresponding to the chattel taken as documentary evidence presented, particularly the promissory notes and the
herein after stated which is in favor of First Countryside Credit Corp."29 The continuing guaranty agreement, were executed and signed only by the late Efraim
assumption of liability was conditioned upon the happening of an event, that is, that Santibañez and his son Edmund. As the petitioner failed to file its money claim with
each heir shall take possession and use of their respective share under the the probate court, at most, it may only go after Edmund as co-maker of the decedent
agreement. It was made dependent on the validity of the partition, and that they under the said promissory notes and continuing guaranty, of course, subject to any
were to assume the indebtedness corresponding to the chattel that they were each to defenses Edmund may have as against the petitioner. As the court had not acquired
receive. The partition being invalid as earlier discussed, the heirs in effect did not jurisdiction over the person of Edmund, we find it unnecessary to delve into the
receive any such tractor. It follows then that the assumption of liability cannot be matter further.
given any force and effect.

(2) Whether Union Bank should have filed its money claim with the probate
court. YES!
PNB vs. CA

The Court notes that the loan was contracted by the decedent.ςηαñrοblεš FACTS:
νιr†υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ
- Spouses Antonio and Asuncion Chua were the owners of a parcel of
The petitioner, purportedly a creditor of the late Efraim Santibañez, should have land registered in their names
thus filed its money claim with the probate court in accordance with Section 5, Rule - Upon Antonio’s death, the probate court appointed his son, private
86 of the Revised Rules of Court, which provides: respondent Allan M. Chua, special administrator of Antonio’s intestate
- Allan obtained a loan of P450,000.00 from petitioner PNB evidenced by
Section 5. Claims which must be filed under the notice. If not filed barred; exceptions.
- All claims for money against the decedent, arising from contract, express or implied, a promissory note with interest at 18.8 percent per annum and he
whether the same be due, not due, or contingent, all claims for funeral expenses for executed a real estate mortgage on the said land
the last sickness of the decedent, and judgment for money against the decedent, - For failure to pay the loan in full, the bank extrajudicially foreclosed
must be filed within the time limited in the notice; otherwise they are barred forever, the real estate mortgage and conducted a public auction with which

except that they may be set forth as counterclaims in any action that the executor or the PNB is the highest bidder but there is still a balance of
administrator may bring against the claimants. Where an executor or administrator P372,825.83.
commences an action, or prosecutes an action already commenced by the deceased in - PNB instituted an action in the CFI of Balayan, Batangas to recover
his lifetime, the debtor may set forth by answer the claims he has against the such deficiency
SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

- RTC dismissed PNB’s petition. CA affirmed.


Whether or not the CA erred when it ruled that PNB can no longer pursue
by civil action the recovery the recovery of the balance of indebtedness after having ALDAMIZ vs JUDGE OF CFI OF MINDORO
foreclosed the property securing the same

- NO. - Santiago Rementeria y Alcamizcogeascoa, the decedent was a

Spaniard and member of the commercial partnership “Aldamiz y
- The case at bar involves a foreclosure of mortgage arising out of a Rementeria.” Upon his death, a probate proceeding was instituted by
settlement of estate, wherein the administrator mortgaged a property Gavino ALdamiz represented by Atty. Juan L. Luna
belonging to the estate of the decedent, pursuant to an authority given - Ten years after his appointment, Gavino Aldamiz submitted his
by the probate court. As the Court of Appeals correctly stated, the accounts and a project for partition. The Court refused to approve the
Rules of Court on Special Proceedings comes into play decisively. project of partition unless all debts including attorney’s fees should
first be paid

- To begin with, it is clear from the text of Section 7, Rule 89, that once
the deed of real estate mortgage is recorded in the proper Registry of - Atty. Luna showed and presented his records throughout his
employment and services to the decedent and Aldamiz. He presented
Deeds, together with the corresponding court order authorizing the
pieces of evidence and records showing his disinterest in the estate of
administrator to mortgage the property, said deed shall be valid as if it the decedent
has been executed by the deceased himself.
- Sec 7 Rule 86 of the Rules of Court grants to the mortgagee three
distinct, independent and mutually exclusive remedies that can be - The Court ordered payment of attorney’s fees amounting to P28,000,
however the petitioner was only able to pay P5,000 only and upon his
alternatively pursued by the mortgage creditor for the satisfaction of
failure to pay the balance of P23,000 after several demands made
his credit in case the mortgagor dies, among them: upon him by respondent attorney filed an ex-parte motion for
execution which was granted by respondent Court.
- (1) to waive the mortgage and claim the entire debt from the estate of
the mortgagor as an ordinary claim;
- Upon failure to pay, two parcels of land belonging to the partnership
were sold at public auction in favor of respondent attorney
- (2) to foreclose the mortgage judicially and prove any deficiency as an
ordinary claim; and

- (3) to rely on the mortgage exclusively, foreclosing the same at any

time before it is barred by prescriptionwithout right to file a claim for Whether or not the order of the Court as to the amount of
any deficiency.9 attorney’s fees is valid

- PNB has chosen the mortgage-creditor’s option of extrajudicially HELD:

foreclosing the mortgaged property of the Chuas. This choice now bars
any subsequent deficiency claim against the estate of the deceased, - No. The correct procedure for the collection of attorney’s fees is for the
Antonio M. Chua. Petitioner may no longer avail of the complaint for counsel to request the administrator to make payment and file an
the recovery of the balance of indebtedness against said estate, after action against him in his personal capacity and not as an administrator
petitioner foreclosed the property securing the mortgage in its favor. It should he fail to pay.
follows that in this case no further liability remains on the part of - The attorney may also file a petition in the testate or intestate
respondents and the late Antonio M. Chua’s estate.

proceeding asking that the court, after notice to all persons interested,
allow his claim and direct the administrator to pay it as an expense of
SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

- In the instant case, no written petition for the payment of attorney’s that their marriage was clearly void since it was celebrated during the
fees has ever been filed by the respondent attorney and the interested existence of his previous marriage to petitioner
parties had not been previously notified thereof nor of the hearing held
by the court.

- The execution is also null and void because a writ of execution is not Whether or not Blandina Dandan can be considered as heir
the proper procedure allowed by the Rules of Court for the payment of
debts and expenses of administration HELD:

- The proper procedure is for the court to order the sale of personal - NO. When Fe Quita was asked whether she was an American citizen
estate or the sale of mortgaged of real property of the deceased and petitioner answered that she was since 1954. 19 Significantly, the
all debts or expenses of administration should be paid out of the decree of divorce of petitioner and Arturo was obtained in the same
proceeds of the sale or mortgage year. Petitioner however did not bother to file a reply memorandum to
erase the uncertainty about her citizenship at the time of their divorce,
a factual issue requiring hearings to be conducted by the trial court.
- The order for the sale or mortgage should be issued upon motion of - Blandina and Arturo were married while prior marriage of petitioner
the administrator abd with the written notice to all the heirs, legatees and Arturo was subsisting thereby resulting in a bigamous marriage
and devisees residing in the Philippines, according to Rule 89, Section
considered void from the beginning under Arts. 80 and 83 of the Civil
3 and Rule 90, Section 2. And when sale or mortgage of real estate is
to be made, the regulations contained in Rule 90, Section 7, should be Code. Consequently, she is not a surviving spouse that can inherit
complied with. from him as this status presupposes a legitimate relationship.


Distribution and Closure of the Estate
- Miguelita Ching-Pacioles died intestate, leaving real properties with an
estimated value of P10.5 million, stock investments
FACTS: worthP518,783.00, bank deposits amounting to P6.54 million, and
interests in certain businesses. She was survived by her husband,
- Fe Quita and Arturo Padlan were married in the Philippines and were petitioner herein, and their two minor children.
not blessed with children. Along the way, their relationship soured and - Petitioner filed with the RTC a petition for the settlement of Miguelitas
eventually Fe sued Arturo for divorce in San Francisco, California and estate. He prayed that (a) letters of administration be issued in his
submitted, during the divorce proceedings, a private writing name, and (b) that the net residue of the estate be divided among the
evidencing their agreement to live separately from each other and a compulsory heirs.
settlement of their conjugal properties. - Miguela, Miguelita’s mother, filed an opposition on the grounds
- She then obtained final judgment for divorce that (a) petitioner is incompetent and unfit to exercise the duties of an
- Arturo died without a will. Lino Javier Inciong filed a petition for administrator; and (b) the bulk of Miguelitas estate is composed
issuance of letters of administration in favor of Philippine Trust Bank of paraphernal properties. Respondent prayed that the letters of
- Blandina Dandan, claiming to be the surviving spouse of Arturo, with administration be issued to her instead. [5] Afterwards, she also filed a
their 6 children opposed and prayed for the appointment instead of motion for her appointment as special administratrix
Atty. Casaba as administrator - Petitioner opposed and said that Miguela has no interest in the estate.
- Fe Quita moved for the immediate declaration of heirs of the decedent The latter answered that she has direct and material interest in the
and the distribution of his estate estate because she gave half of her inherited properties to Miguelita on
- Trial Court disregarded the divorce between Arturo and petitioner condition that both of them would undertake whatever business
invoking a previous decision that "a foreign divorce between Filipino endeavor they decided to, in the capacity of business partners
citizens sought and decreed after the effectivity of the present Civil - Petitioner and Emmanuel Ching, Miguelita’s brother, were declared

Code (Rep. Act 386) was not entitled to recognition as valid in this joint administrator of the estate. The latter, however, did not file an
jurisdiction," inventory
- Only petitioner and Ruperto were declared the intestate heirs of - Petitioner and their 2 minor children were declared as compulsory
Arturo. Private respondent was not declared as an heir on the ground heirs. He filed a petition for the payment of estate of taxes, partition
SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

and distribution of the estate among the declared heirs; considered the owners of the properties until their title is
and payment of attorneys fees. nullified or modified in an appropriate ordinary action.
- Payment of taxes and attorney’s fees were granted, however
distribution of estate was denied because it is still premature.
- CA affirmed


Whether or not a trial court, acting as an intestate court, hear and pass
upon questions of ownership involving properties claimed to be part of the
decedents estate

RULE 91 Escheats
- The general rule is that the jurisdiction of the trial court either as an
intestate or a probate court relates only to matters having to do with
the settlement of the estate and probate of will of deceased persons PASAY CITY,Petitioner, v. COURT OF APPEALS (SPECIAL FORMER 3RD
but does not extend to the determination of questions of DIVISION) AND AMADA H. SOLANO, assisted by her husband ROMEO
ownership that arise during the proceedings.[15] The patent SOLANO, Respondents.
rationale for this rule is that such court exercises special and limited
jurisdiction FACTS:
- A well-recognized deviation to the rule is the principle that an intestate
or a probate court may hear and pass upon questions of ownership In recognition of Amada Solano’s faithful and dedicated service as her personal
when its purpose is to determine whether or not a property should be domestic helper, the late Ms. Hankins donated two parcels of land to Solano.
included in the inventory. In such situations the adjudication is merely
incidental and provisional. The deeds of donation evidencing the above however were alleged to be missing and
- Respondent could have opposed petitioners inventory and sought the nowhere to be found.
exclusion of the specific properties which she believed or
considered to be hers. Emmanuel Ching, as co-administrator failed The Republic then initiated escheat proceedings concerning the parcels of land in
which Solano filed a motion to intervene. Said motion was denied.
to file his inventory. He could have submitted an inventory,
excluding therefrom those properties which respondent
Since it was established that there were no known heirs and persons entitled to the
considered to be hers. The fact that he did not endeavor to properties of decedent Hankins, the lower court escheated the estate of the
submit one shows that he acquiesced with petitioners decedent in favor of the Republic of the Philippines.
- probate court has no jurisdiction to adjudicate such Seven (7) years after the finality of the escheat proceedings, Solano claimed
contentions, which must be submitted to the court in the that she accidentally found the deeds of donation and, filed a petition before the CA
exercise of its general jurisdiction as a regional trial court for the annulment of the lower court’s decision, alleging, among others, that:

- Hence, respondents recourse is to file a separate action with a court of  Having been donated to her, the properties in dispute did not and
general jurisdiction. The intestate court is not the appropriate forum could not form part of Ms. Hankins estate. Hence, could not be
for the resolution of her adverse claim of ownership over properties validly escheated
ostensibly belonging to Miguelita's estate.
Republic, in its answer, invoked (a) lack of jurisdiction over the nature of the action;
- Even assuming that the intestate court merely intended to make a
and, that (b) the cause of action was barred by the statute of limitations, being filed
provisional or prima facie determination of the issue of ownership, still
beyond the 5-yr limitation provided under Sec. 4 Rule 91 ROC.
respondents claim cannot prosper. It bears stressing that the bulk of

Miguelitas estate, as stated in petitioners inventory, comprises real The CA ruled in favor of Solano ruling that she is not claiming anything from the
estates covered by the Torrens System which are registered either in estate within the purview of Sec 91 Sec 4, but rather she is claiming ownership over
the name of Miguelita alone or with petitioner. As such, they are the disputed properties and reconveyance thereof. As such, her claim was properly
SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

filed within the 10-yr prescriptive period under the Civil Code, not under the ROC. the owner. It is settled that courts decide only after a close scrutiny of every piece of
Hence, this appeal. evidence and analyze each case with deliberate precision and unadulterated
thoroughness, the judgment not being diluted by speculations, conjectures and
ISSUE: (1) Whether Solano is barred by prescription. YES! unsubstantiated assertions.

In this jurisdiction, a claimant to an escheated property must file his claim "within five
(5) years from the date of such judgment, such person shall have possession of and CASTORIO ALVARICO, petitioner, vs AMELITA L. SOLA, respondent
title to the same, or if sold, the municipality or city shall be accountable to him for the
proceeds, after deducting the estate; but a claim not made shall be barred FACTS: Castorio Alvarico is the natural father of respondent Amelita Sola while
forever." The 5-year period is not a device capriciously conjured by the state to Fermina Lopez is petitioner's aunt, and also Amelita's adoptive mother.
defraud any claimant; on the contrary, it is decidedly prescribed to encourage would- The
be claimants to be punctilious in asserting their claims, otherwise they may lose them
forever in a final judgment. xxx Bureau of Lands approved and granted the Miscellaneous Sales Application (MSA) of
Fermina over a Lot at the Waterfront, Cebu City. 1
In the instant petition, the escheat judgment was handed down by the lower court as
early as 27 June 1989 but it was only on 28 January 1997, more or less seven (7) Fermina executed a Deed of Self-Adjudication and Transfer of Rights3 over Lot in favor
years after, when private respondent decided to contest the escheat judgment in the of Amelita, who agreed to assume all the obligations, duties, and conditions imposed
guise of a petition for annulment of judgment before the Court of Appeals. upon Fermina in the MSA.The document of transfer was filed with the Bureau of Land,
Obviously, private respondent’s belated assertion of her right over the escheated who later on issued an order approving the transfer of rights and granting the
properties militates against recovery.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary amendment of the application from Fermina to Amelita. An Original Certificate of Title
(OCT) was issued in favor of Amelita.

Petitioner Alvarico filed Civil Case reconveyance against Amelita claiming that,
(2) Whether Solano is a claimant within Sec 91. YES! Fermina donated the land to him and immediately thereafter, he took possession of
the same. He averred that the donation to him had the effect of withdrawing the
earlier transfer to Amelita.
(case of Municipal Council of San Pedro, Laguna v. Colegio de San Jose, Inc)  Any
person alleging to have a direct right or interest in the property sought to be For her part, Amelita maintained that the donation to petitioner is void because: a)
escheated is likewise an interested party and may appear and oppose the Fermina was no longer the owner of the property when it was allegedly donated to
petition for escheat. petitioner, the property having been transferred earlier to her; and b) there was a
lack of approval from the Bureau of Lands, and that she had validly acquired the land
as Fermina's rightful heir. She also denied that she is a trustee of the land for
(3) Whether the allegedly donated properties may be validly
escheated in favor of the Republic YES! After trial, the RTC rendered a decision in favor of petitioner, On appeal, the Court of
Appeals reversed the RTC. Petitioner sought reconsideration, but it was denied by the
In the mind of this Court the subject properties were owned by the decedent during CA. Hence, the instant petition for certiorari
the time that the escheat proceedings were being conducted and the lower court was
not divested of its jurisdiction to escheat them in favor of Pasay City notwithstanding
To prove she has a better claim, respondent Amelita Sola submitted a copy of OCT
an allegation that they had been previously donated. We recall that a motion for
No. 3439 in her name and her husband's, 19 a Deed of Self-Adjudication and Transfer
intervention was earlier denied by the escheat court for failure to show "valid claim or
of Rights20 over the property dated 1983 executed by Fermina in her favor, and a
right to the properties in question." 9 Where a person comes into an escheat
certification from the municipal treasurer that she had been declaring the land as her
proceeding as a claimant, the burden is on such intervenor to establish his title to the and her husband's property for tax purposes since 1993.21
property and his right to intervene. A fortiori, the certificates of title covering the
subject properties were in the name of the decedent indicating that no transfer of
ownership involving the disputed properties was ever made by the deceased during For his part, petitioner Castorio Alvarico presented a Deed of Donation 22 dated
her lifetime. In the absence therefore of any clear and convincing proof showing that January 4, 1984, showing that the lot was given to him by Fermina and according to
the subject lands had been conveyed by Hankins to private respondent Solano, the him, he immediately took possession in 1985 and continues in possession up to the
same still remained, at least before the escheat, part of the estate of the decedent present.23

and the lower court was right not to assume otherwise. The Court of Appeals
ISSUE: WON Petitioner has a better claim to the land
therefore cannot perfunctorily presuppose that the subject properties were no longer
part of the decedent’s estate at the time the lower court handed down its decision on
the strength of a belated allegation that the same had previously been disposed of by
SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

HELD: NO. (The appealed decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED. The
complaint filed by herein petitioner against respondent is declared properly MELCHOR CARO, petitioner, vs. SUSANA SUCALDITO, respondent.
DISMISSED. Costs against petitioner. FACTS: Gregorio Caro bought a parcel of land known as Assessor’s Lot No. 160 from
Ruperto Gepilano as evidenced by a Deed of Sale2 dated October 21, 1953.
Petitioner principally relies on Articles 744 and 1544 of the New Civil Code, which Thereafter, Gregorio Caro sold a portion of the said lot to his son Melchor Caro,
provide: identified as Lot No. 4512 of the Cadastral survey of Nueva Valencia.
Art. 744. xxx Art. 1544. If the same thing should have been sold to different vendees,
the ownership shall be transferred to the person who may have first taken possession Melchor Caro applied for a free patent before the Bureau of Lands, District Land Office
thereof in good faith, if it should be movable property. No. 6-1, covering the said area of the property which he bought from his father.
Should it be immovable property, the ownership shall belong to the person acquiring (Such application was opposed by De la Cruz) The Regional Director rendered a
it who in good faith first recorded it in the Registry of Property.xxx Decision canceling the said application upon verification of the records disclosed that
Assessor’s Lot No. 160 corresponds to Lot No. 4511 and not Lot No. 4512 claimed by
Petitioner claims that pursuant to the abovementioned rules, he has a better right the protestant. Moreover, Ruperto Cepellano (sic) in his affidavit testified that what he
over the property because he was first in material possession in good faith. However, sold to Gregorio Caro is a land distinct and different from the land in question. Caro
this allegation of bad faith on the part of Amelita Sola in acquiring the title is devoid of filed a notice of appeal before the Regional Land Office in Iloilo City, however, the
evidentiary support. appeal was dismissed on the ground of failure to file an appeal memorandum within
the reglementary period therefor.

1 The execution of public documents, as in the case of Affidavits of Susana R. Sucaldito, as the buyer of Lot No. 4512, filed an Application for a Free
Adjudication, is entitled to the presumption of regularity, hence convincing Patent7covering the said lot, and was issued Free Patent. Consequently, the Register
evidence is required to assail and controvert them; and of Deeds of Iloilo City issued Original Certificate of Title (OCT) in her favor. Sucaldito
2 It is undisputed that OCT No. 3439 was issued in 1989 in the name of then filed a Petition for Writ of Possession 8 before the RTC of Iloilo City, which was
Amelita. It requires more than petitioner's bare allegation to defeat the granted by the said court.
Original Certificate of Title which on its face enjoys the legal presumption of
regularity of issuance. A Torrens title, once registered, serves as notice to Caro filed a Complaint against Sucaldito for "Annulment of Title, Decision, Free Patent
the whole world. All persons must take notice and no one can plead and/or Recovery of Ownership and/or Possession with Damages" before the RTC of
ignorance of its registration.27 Iloilo City. He later filed an amended complaint,11 alleging that: a) he was the owner
of the subject lot, and had been in possession of the same "since 1953 and/or even
Even assuming that respondent Amelita Sola acquired title to the disputed property in prior thereto in the concept of owner, adversely, openly, continuously and
bad faith, only the State can institute reversion proceedings under Sec. 101 of the notoriously."; b) that the said lot had been declared for tax purposes in his name and
Public Land Act. that of his predecessors-in-interest, and that the corresponding land taxes had been
paid therefor; c) that Assessor’s Lot No. 160 had actually been divided into two lots,
(Sec. 101.—All actions for reversion to the Government of lands of the public domain namely, Lot No. 4511 and Lot No. 4512; and d) Sucaldito had actually been claiming
or improvements thereon shall be instituted by the Solicitor General or the officer Lot No. 989 (Lot No. 4512), which was located two kilometers away. He lamented
acting in his stead, in the proper courts, in the name of the Republic of the that despite the overwhelming evidence proving his ownership and possession of the
Philippines.) said property, the Bureau of Lands did not award it to him.

In other words, a private individual may not bring an action for reversion or any Caro further alleged that since the issuance of the free patent over the subject lot in
action which would have the effect of canceling a free patent and the corresponding favor of Sucaldito was wrongful and fraudulent, she had no right whatsoever over the
certificate of title issued on the basis thereof, such that the land covered thereby will subject lot. Hence, as a "trustee of a constructive trust," she was obliged to return the
again form part of the public domain. Only the Solicitor General or the officer acting in same to him as the lawful owner.
his stead may do so.29 Since Amelita Sola's title originated from a grant by the
government, its cancellation is a matter between the grantor and the In her answer with counterclaim, Sucaldito interposed the fact that she intervened in
grantee.30 Clearly then, petitioner has no standing at all to question the validity of the proceedings on Caro’s application for a free patent over Lot No. 4512 before the
Amelita's title. It follows that he cannot "recover" the property because, to begin with, Bureau of Lands having bought the subject land from De la Cruz. Moreover, contrary
he has not shown that he is the rightful owner thereof. to the allegations of the petitioner, Lot No. 989 and Lot No. 4512 were one and the
same lot, as per the findings of the Bureau of Lands.

Anent petitioner's contention that it was the intention of Fermina for Amelita to hold The trial court ruled in favor of the respondent and dismissed the petitioner’s
the property in trust for him, we held that if this was really the intention of Fermina, complaint. the trial court ruled that Caro had no personality to file the action for the

then this should have been clearly stated in the Deed of Self-Adjudication executed in annulment of the free patent issued in favor of Sucaldito, which could only be brought
1983, in the Deed of Donation executed in 1984, or in a subsequent instrument. by the Solicitor General.
Absent any persuasive proof of that intention in any written instrument, we are not
prepared to accept petitioner's bare allegation concerning the donor's state of mind.
SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

The trial court also declared that contrary to Caro’s claims, the evidence clearly and Vincent and claimed in the petition that the minors are residents of
showed that Lot No. 4512, with an area of 70,677 square meters, was not included in Cebu City, Philippines and have an estate consisting of proceeds from their
Assessor’s Lot No. 160 fathers death pension benefits with a probable value of P100,000.00.
- Later on, Bonifacia Vancil was appointed legal and judicial guardian over the
Caro elevated the case to the CA. CA dismissed.
persons and estate of Valerie Vancil and Vincent Vancil Jr.
- However, Helen Belmes followed her opposition with a motion for the
ISSUE: WON petitioner has a personality to file a suit for reconveyance of the subject
property. Removal of Guardian and Appointment of a New One, asserting that she is
the natural mother in actual custody of and exercising parental authority
HELD: NO. Petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The Decision of the Court of Appeals over the subject minors at Maralag, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur where
is AFFIRMED. they are permanently residing; that the petition was filed under an
improper venue; and that at the time the petition was filed Bonifacia Vancil
The petitioner is not the proper party to file an action for reconveyance that would was a resident of 140 Hurliman Court, Canon City, Colorado, U.S.A. being a
result in the reversion of the land to the government. The petitioner has no
naturalized American citizen.
personality to "recover" the property as he has not shown that he is the rightful
- RTC denied Belmes’ petition and instead ordered petitioner Bonifacia Vancil
owner thereof.
to enter the office and perform her duties as such guardian upon the
Under Section 2, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, 31 every action must be prosecuted or posting of a bond of P50,000.00.
defended in the name of the real party-in-interest, or one "who stands to be benefited - CA reversed and held that there is nothing on record of any reason at all
or injured by the judgment in the suit." Corollarily, legal standing has been defined as why Helen Belmes, the biological mother, should be deprived of her legal
a personal and substantial interest in the case, such that the party has sustained or rights as natural guardian of her minor children. To give away such privilege
will sustain direct injury as a result of the challenged act. Interest means a material from Helen would be an abdication and grave violation of the very basic
interest in issue that is affected by the questioned act or instrument, as distinguished
fundamental tenets in civil law and the constitution on family solidarity.
from a mere incidental interest in the question involved. 32
- Hence, this petition
Clearly then, a suit filed by one who is not a party-in-interest must be dismissed. In
this case, the petitioner, not being the owner of the disputed property but a mere ISSUE:
applicant for a free patent, cannot thus be considered as a party-in-interest with
personality to file an action for reconveyance. Whether or not Court of Appeals gravely erred in ruling that the preferential
right of a parent to be appointed guardian over the persons and estate of the minors
In the present dispute, only the State can file a suit for reconveyance of a public land. is absolute
Therefore, not being the owners of the land but mere applicants for sales patents
thereon, respondents have no personality to file the suit. Neither will they be directly HELD:
affected by the judgment in such suit.34
NO. This ruling finds support in Article 211 of the Family Code which provides:
In fact, Section 101 of Commonwealth Act No. 141 states –
Section 101. All actions for the reversion to the government of lands of the public
domain or improvements thereon shall be instituted by the Solicitor General or the Art. 211. The father and the mother shall jointly exercise parental authority over the
officer acting in his stead, in the proper courts, in the name of the Commonwealth persons of their common children. In case of disagreement, the fathers decision shall
[now Republic] of the Philippines. prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary. xxx.

Indeed, being the natural mother of minor Vincent, respondent has the
RULE 92 to 97 – GENERAL GUARDIANS AND GUARDIANSHIP corresponding natural and legal right to his custody.

VANCIL vs BELMES - The law vests on the father and mother joint parental authority over the
persons of their common children. In case of absence or death of either
parent, the parent present shall continue exercising parental authority. Only
- Petitioner, Bonifacia Vancil, is the mother of Reeder C. Vancil, a Navy in case of the parents death, absence or unsuitability may substitute
parental authority be exercised by the surviving grandparent
serviceman of the United States of America who died in the said country
- Petitioner, as the surviving grandparent, can exercise substitute parental

and left his two children, Valerie who was at the time six years old, and
authority only in case of death, absence or unsuitability of
Vincent, two years old, both by his common-law wife, Helen G. Belmes
- Bonifacia Vancil commenced before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City a respondent.Considering that respondent is very much alive and has
exercised continuously parental authority over Vincent, petitioner has to
guardianship proceedings over the persons and properties of minors Valerie
SPEC PRO Apr 25, 2016 Case Digest

prove, in asserting her right to be the minors guardian, respondents ward or where his title thereto has been already judicially decided, may the
unsuitability. Petitioner, however, has not proffered convincing evidence court direct its delivery to the guardian.
showing that respondent is not suited to be the guardian of - In effect, there can only be delivery or return of embezzled, concealed or
Vincent. Petitioner merely insists that respondent is morally unfit as conveyed property of the ward, where the right or title of said ward is clear
guardian of Valerie considering that her (respondents) live-in partner raped and undisputable. However, where title to any property said to be
Valerie several times. But Valerie, being now of major age, is no longer a embezzled, concealed or conveyed is in dispute, as in this case, the
subject of this guardianship proceeding. determination of said title or right whether in favour of the person said to
- Even assuming that respondent is unfit as guardian of minor Vincent, still have embezzled, concealed or conveyed the property must be determined
petitioner cannot qualify as a substitute guardian. It bears stressing that in a separate ordinary action and not in guardianship proceedings.
she is an American citizen and a resident of Colorado. Obviously, she will - Apparently, there is a cloud of doubt as to who has a better right or title to
not be able to perform the responsibilities and obligations required of a the disputed properties.
guardian. In fact, in her petition, she admitted the difficulty of discharging - This, the Court believes, requires the determination of title or ownership of
the duties of a guardian by an expatriate, like her. To be sure, she will the three parcels of land in dispute which is beyond the jurisdiction of the
merely delegate those duties to someone else who may not also qualify as guardianship court and should be threshed out in a separate ordinary action
a guardian. not in a guardianship proceeding.



- The Judge of CFI Quezon, Branch IV, Calauag authorized and approved,
upon motion of Francisco Rodriguez Jr, guardian of Soledad Rodriguez, the
sale to spouses Luis Parco and Virginia Bautista 3 parcels of land to answer
for the medical expenses of the ward Rodriguez.
- Almost a year and five months later, the guardian of Rodriguez filed a
petition in the CFI invoking Sec. 6 Rule 96, praying that an order be issued
requiring the couple Parco and Bautista to appear before the court so that
they can be examined as regards to the 3 lots which are allegedly in danger
of being lost, squandered, concealed, and embezzled and upon failure to do
so or to comply with any order that may be issued in relation therewith. The
guardian alleges that the transaction was in fact a loan to be paid in 3
months but upon the expiration of the period thereof, the couple refused to
sell back such property of the ward.
- CFI judge, exercising limited and special jurisdiction as a guardianship court
under Sec 6 Rule 96 ruled in favor of the of the guardian and ordered the
reconveyance and delivery of the property to the ward.


Whether or not the CFI judge, exercising limited and special jurisdiction as
a guardianship court, had jurisdiction to adjudicate the issue of ownership and order
the reconveyance and delivery of the property to the ward?


- No. Generally, the guardianship court exercising special and limited

jurisdiction cannot actually order the delivery of the property of the ward
found to be embezzled, concealed or conveyed. In categorical language of
this Court, only in extreme cases, where property clearly belongs to the