Succession Santos vs. Manarang 1914

July 8, 2017 | Author: Maria Lorna O Beriones | Category: Will And Testament, Common Law, Politics, Government, Crime & Justice
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Santos vs. Manarang (1914) The Jealous Brother 1 PHIL 689 | G.R. No. L-8235 | 19 March 1914 Prepared by: Richard Troy A. Colmenares, 9 July 2014 Professor: Atty. Elijo Herrera-Bellones University of San Agustin, College of Law AY 2015-2016


FACTS Parties Plaintiff-Appellant




Decedent ●

Don Lucas de Ocampo (+); The Testator

Relationship to Decedent 1. P a. ”

Timeline 1894





12 DEC

10 FEB






Events A. B. C. D. E.

When Juana received Sacraments from Fr. Alba Execution of will; Allegedly, The Testatrix was over 80 Alleged Death of The Testatrix Actual Death of The Testatrix as per evidence Court Decision Dispositive Portion

Upon these grounds we hold that judgment must be for the defendant, declaring the will executed by Doña Juana Espinosa on the 5th of December, 1894, to be valid and efficacious, without special imposition of costs.

The Estate The Story Don Lucas de Ocampo died on November 18, 1906, possessed of certain real and personal property which, by his last will and testament dated July 26, 1906, he left to his three children. The fourth clause of this will reads as follows: I also declare that I have contracted the debts detailed below, and it is my desire that they may be religiously paid by my wife and executors in the form and at the time agreed upon with my creditors. Among the debts, two in favor of the plaintiff, Isidro Santos. In his petition, asking that the committee be reconvened to consider his claims, plaintiff states that his failure to present the said claims to the committee was due to his belief that it was unnecessary to do so because of the fact that the testator, in his will, expressly recognized them and directed that they should be paid. He alleges that the committee on claims should have been reconvened to pass upon his claim against the estate. It is clear that this committee has nothing to do with legacies. It is true that a debt may be left as a legacy, either to the debtor, or to a third person. But this case can only arise when the debt is an asset of the estate. Contention


1. Incapacity of The Testatrix

age >80 years old so ill that she could not speak three days before Event B, she received the sacraments from Fr. Alba (Event A) two days after Event B, she died she stooped gave contradictory orders as a result of senile debility

2. Incapacity of The Notary Public

did not understand the Visayan dialect

3. Incapacity of the Three Witnesses

not having perfect knowledge of the Spanish language

4. Incapacity of The “Interpreter”

he was in fact the amanuensis1 (assistant) of The Notary Public, and the services he rendered is not as interpreter he wrote the will

1 amanuensis (əˌmanyəˈwensəs) - a literary or artistic assistant, in particular one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.

This violates Art. 681(8), [Old] Civil Code 5. Substantial and formal defect of the will

absence of two physicians absence of Interpreter to translate the will

ISSUE(s) 2

1. Could an octogenarian in the pathological condition peculiar to that age possess sufficient mental faculties to permit her to dispose of her property causa mortis?

HELD 1. No. The only fact proven by oral evidence and The Expert Witness was that The Testatrix stooped while she was walking. All the other contentions have been rejected as follows:

Ruling on Contention 1. The Testatrix was not incapacitated.

Court Findings all that was proved was that she stooped while walking that she died on a date different from that alleged (Event D) "The Code might have adopted either one of two systems [with respect to the mental capacity of the testator] - that of establishing as a general rule the presumption of soundness of the mental faculties until the contrary be proven, or that of presuming mental weakness in the absence of proof that the act was performed while the mental faculties were in their normal condition. Under the first presumption a will made should be declared valid in all cases, in the absence of evidence to the contrary. Under the second it would have to be considered as void upon the presumption that it was executed by a person demented, unless the contrary is shown. The Code has adopted the first system as being the most rational, by accepting the principle that mental soundness is always to be presumed with respect to a person who has not been previously incapacitated until the contrary is demonstrated and proven by the proper person and the correctness of this choice is beyond doubt; in the meantime the intervention of the notary and the witnesses constitutes a true guaranty of the capacity of the testator, by reason of their knowledge of the matter.

2 octogenarian (äktəjəˈnerēən) - a person who is from 80 to 89 years old

2. The Notary Public was not Incapacitated.

This is not a ground for annulment of a public instrument, either in Spanish notaries Filipino notaries

3. Three Witnesses were not Incapacitated.

This is not a ground for annulment, nor does it make them incompetent This was not proven They knew the dialect of the Testatrix and understood Spanish which is in accordance with Article 681 (5) of the [Old] Civil Code

4. The Interpreter was not Incapacitated.

The prohibition is not applicable to the the Interpreter. His services were only availed of for the execution, drafting and legalization of the will

5. No substantial and formal defect in the will.

The presence of two physicians is only needed when the testatrix is demented. In this case, she was not. All that was proven was she stooped while walking. The presence of interpreters was unnecessary. This is only a requisite for the execution of a will in a foreign language. Neither Castillian nor Visayan are foreign languages.

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