Wills and Succession Case Digests
Case Digests Wills Succession Civil Law...
CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON
WILLS AND SUCCESSION 1. LAURA ALVAREZ, et al v. IAC G.R. No. L-68053 May 7, 1990 FERNAN, J: FACTS: Aniceto Yanes was survived by his children. Aniceto left his children Lots 773 and 823. Teodora cultivated only three hectares of Lot 823 as she could not attend to the other portions of the two lots which had a total area of around twenty-four hectares. According to Estelita, from the "Japanese time up to peace time", they did not visit the parcels of land in question but "after liberation", when her brother went there to get their share of the sugar produced therein, he was informed that Fortunato Santiago, Fuentebella and Alvarez were in possession of Lot 773. Santiago sold Lots 773-A and 773-B to Monico B. Fuentebella, Jr. in consideration of P7,000.00. Consequently, on February 20, 1956, TCTs were issued in Fuentebella's name. After Fuentebella's death and during the settlement of his estate, the administratrix thereof filed a motion requesting authority to sell Lots 773-A and 773-B. By virtue of a court order granting said motion, on March 24, 1958, Arsenia Vda. de Fuentebella sold said lots for P6,000.00 to Rosendo Alvarez. Teodora Yanes and the children of her brother Rufino, namely, Estelita, Iluminado and Jesus, filed in the CFI of Negros Occidental a complaint for the "return" of the ownership and possession of Lots 773 and 823. ISSUE/S: Is the liability arising from the sale of the Lots made by Rosendo Alvarez to Dr. Siason be the sole liability of the late Rosendo Alvarez or of his estate, after his death? RULING: Such contention is untenable for it overlooks the doctrine obtaining in this jurisdiction on the general transmissibility of the rights and obligations of the deceased to his legitimate children and heirs. As explained by this Court in the case of Estate of Hemady v. Luzon Surety Co., Inc.: The binding effect of contracts upon the heirs of the deceased party is not altered by the provision of our Rules of Court that money debts of a deceased must be liquidated and paid from his estate before the residue is distributed among said heirs (Rule 89). The reason is that whatever payment is thus made from the estate is ultimately a payment by the heirs or distributees, since the amount of the paid claim in fact diminishes or reduces the shares that the heirs would have been entitled to receive. Under our law, therefore. the general rule is that a party's contractual rights and obligations are transmissible to the successors. It must, however, be made clear that petitioners are liable only to the extent of the value of their inheritance. With this clarification and considering petitioners' admission that there are other properties left by the deceased which are sufficient to cover the amount adjudged in favor of private respondents, we see no cogent reason to disturb the findings and conclusions of the Court of Appeals.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 2. GEVERO v. IAC G.R. No. 77029 August 30, 1990 Paras, J. FACTS: Teodorica Babangha and her six children were co-owners of Lot 2476, with ½ share to Teodorica and the other undivided half belonging to the six children pro indiviso. After Teodorica’s death (before World War II), one of her sons, Ricardo, sold his share to Lot 2476 to one Luis Lancero, who in turn sold said share to herein private respondent DelCorp. When Lot 2476 was extra-judicially partitioned by the heirs of Teodorica in 1966, they claim that the 1/2 share of interest of Teodorica (mother of Ricardo) in Lot 2476 was not included in the deed of sale as it was intended to limit solely to Ricardos' proportionate share out of the undivided 1/2 of the area pertaining to the six (6) brothers and sisters listed in the Title and that the Deed did not include the share of Ricardo, as inheritance from Teodorica, because the Deed did not recite that she was deceased at the time it was executed. ISSUE/S: Can an heir sell his share in hereditary property even before its partition? RULING: Yes. The hereditary share in a decedents' estate is transmitted or vested immediately from the moment of the death of the "causante" or predecessor in interest (Civil Code of the Philippines, Art. 777), and there is no legal bar to a successor (with requisite contracting capacity) disposing of his hereditary share immediately after such death, even if the actual extent of such share is not determined until the subsequent liquidation of the estate (De Borja v. Vda. de Borja, 46 SCRA 577 ). Teodorica Babangha died long before World War II, hence, the rights to the succession were transmitted from the moment of her death. It is therefore incorrect to state that it was only in 1966, the date of extrajudicial partition, when Ricardo received his share in the lot as inheritance from his mother Teodorica. Thus, when Ricardo sold his share over lot 2476 that share which he inherited from Teodorica was also included unless expressly excluded in the deed of sale. Petitioners contend that Ricardo's share from Teodorica was excluded in the sale considering that a paragraph of the aforementioned deed refers merely to the shares of Ricardo and Eustaquio. It is well settled that laws and contracts shall be so construed as to harmonize and give effect to the different provisions thereof (Reparations Commission v. Northern Lines, Inc., 34 SCRA 203 ), to ascertain the meaning of the provisions of a contract, its entirety must be taken into account (Ruiz v. Sheriff of Manila, 34 SCRA 83 ). The interpretation insisted upon by the petitioners, by citing only one paragraph of the deed of sale, would not only create contradictions but also, render meaningless and set at naught the entire provisions thereof.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 3. LOCSIN v. CA G.R. No. 89783 February 19, 1992 FACTS: Mariano Locsin and Catalina Jaucian brought in their marriage certain properties which they inherited from their predecessors-in-interest. Mariano executed a Will instituting his wife, Catalina, as the sole and universal heir of all his properties. The will was drawn up wherein the spouses agreed that their properties, after both of them shall have died should revert to their respective sides of the family. Don Mariano died of cancer leaving her wife with all of his estate. 9 years after his death, Doña Catalina began transferring, by sale, donation or assignment, Don Mariano's as well as her own, properties to their respective nephews and nieces. Prior to Doña Catalina’s death she made a will affirming and ratifying the transfers she had made during her lifetime in favor of her husband's, and her own, relatives. However, some of the Jaucian nephews and nieces who had already received their legacies and hereditary shares from her estate, filed action to recover the properties which she had conveyed to the Locsins during her lifetime, alleging that the conveyances were inofficious, without consideration, and intended solely to circumvent the laws on succession. ISSUE/S: Whether or not the nephews and nieces of Doña Catalina are entitled to inherit from the estate? RULING: The nephews and nieces of Doña Catalina are not entitled to inherit the properties which she had already disposed of more than ten (10) years before her death. For those properties did not form part of her hereditary estate, i.e., "the property and transmissible rights and obligations existing at the time of (the decedent's) death and those which have accrued thereto since the opening of the succession." The rights to a person's succession are transmitted from the moment of his death, and do not vest in his heirs until such time. Property which Doña Catalina had transferred or conveyed to other persons during her lifetime no longer formed part of her estate at the time of her death to which her heirs may lay claim. Had she died intestate, only the property that remained in her estate at the time of her death devolved to her legal heirs; and even if those transfers were, one and all, treated as donations, the right arising under certain circumstances to impugn and compel the reduction or revocation of a decedent's gifts inter vivos does not inure to the respondents since neither they nor the donees are compulsory (or forced) heirs. There is thus no basis for assuming an intention on the part of Doña Catalina, in transferring the properties she had received from her late husband to his nephews and nieces, an intent to circumvent the law in violation of the private respondents' rights to her succession. Said respondents are not her compulsory heirs, and it is not pretended that she had any such, hence there were no legitimes that could conceivably be impaired by any transfer of her property during her lifetime. All that the respondents had was an expectancy that in nowise restricted her freedom to dispose of even her entire estate subject to the limitation provided under Art. 750 of the Civil Code.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 4. NATALIA CARPENA OPULENCIA, v. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 125835 July 30, 1998 PANGANIBAN, J. FACTS: Petitioner entered into a Contract to Sell with petitioners for the sale of a lot and received an amount of P300,000 as down payment. Despite demands, petitioner failed to comply with her obligation to deliver the property. Petitioner since the property is part of the estate of her father in which a petition for probate was pending before the RTC at the time the contract was executed, it is void for not being approved by the probate court. ISSUE/S: Whether or not the contract to sell is valid. RULING: YES it is valid. As correctly ruled by the Court of Appeals, Section 7 of Rule 89 of the Rules of Court is not applicable, because petitioner entered into the Contract to Sell in her capacity as an heiress, not as an executrix or administratrix of the estate. In the contract, she represented herself as the lawful owner and seller of the subject parcel of land. She also explained the reason for the sale to be difficulties in her living conditions and consequent need of cash. These representations clearly evince that she was not acting on behalf of the estate under probate when she entered into the Contract to Sell. Accordingly, the jurisprudence cited by petitioner has no application to the instant case. We emphasize that hereditary rights are vested in the heir or heirs from the moment of the decedents death. Petitioner, therefore, became the owner of her hereditary share the moment her father died. Thus, the lack of judicial approval does not invalidate the Contract to Sell, because the petitioner has the substantive right to sell the whole or a part of her share in the estate of her late father.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 5. EMNACE v. COURT OF APPEALS GR No. 126334 November 23, 2001 J. Ynares-Santiago DOCTRINE: The rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent. FACTS: Partners Emnace, Tabanao and Divinagracia decided to dissolve the partnership and executed an agreement of partition and distribution consequent to the latter’s withdrawal. Throughout the existence of the partnership, and even after Vicente Tabanao’s untimely demise in 1994, Emnace failed to provide the heirs of Tabanao any statement of assets and liabilities of the partnership and to render accounting of the partnership’s finances. Emnace reneged on his promise to turn over to Tabanao the 1/3 share in the assets, despite formal demand for payment thereof. Emnace avers the capacity of the estate of Tabanao to sue. Emnace asserts that the surviving spouse of Vicente Tabanao has no legal capacity to sue since she was never appointed as administratrix or executrix of his estate. that The trial court held that the heirs of Tabanao had a right to sue in their own names, in view of the provision of Article 777 of the Civil Code, which states that the rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent. ISSUE/S: Whether the heirs of Tabanao can sue the partnership in their own right RULING: The surviving spouse of Vicente Tabanao does not need to be appointed as executrix or administratrix of the estate before she can file for an action. She and her children are complainants in their own rights as successors. From the very moment of Vicente Tabanaos death, his rights insofar as the partnership was concerned were transmitted to his heirs, for rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent. Whatever claims and rights Vicente Tabanao had against the partnership and petitioner were transmitted to respondents by operation of law, more particularly by succession, which is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the property, rights and obligations to the extent of the value of the inheritance of a person are transmitted. Moreover, respondents became owners of their respective hereditary shares from the moment Vicente Tabanao died. A prior settlement of the estate, or even the appointment of Salvacion Tabanao as executrix or administratrix, is not necessary for any of the heirs to acquire legal capacity to sue. As successors who stepped into the shoes of their decedent upon his death, they can commence any action originally pertaining to the decedent. From the moment of his death, his rights as a partner and to demand fulfillment of petitioners’ obligations as outlined in their dissolution agreement were transmitted to respondents. They, therefore, had the capacity to sue and seek the courts intervention to compel petitioner to fulfill his obligations.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 6. RABADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 113725 June 29, 2000 PURISIMA, J.: FACTS: In a Codicil appended to the Last Will and Testament of Aleja Belleza, Dr. Jorge Rabadilla was instituted as devisee of parcel of land. The codicil provides that that Dr. Jorge Rabadilla is under obligation to deliver 100 piculs of sugar yearly to Marlena Belleza Coscuella. Such obligation is imposed on the instituted heir, Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, his heirs, and their buyer, lessee, or mortgagee should they sell, lease, mortgage or otherwise negotiate the property involved. The Codicil further provides that in the event that the obligation to deliver the sugar is not respected, Marlena Belleza Coscuella shall seize the property and turn it over to the testatrix's near descendants. After the transfer of the said parcel of land to Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, Marlena Belleza Coscuella, filed a complaint for the reconveyance of the parcel of land for failure of Dr. Jorge Rabadilla and his heirs to comply with the condition of the Codicil. ISSUE/S: Is the reconveyance of the parcel of land to proper? RULING: YES. The institution of an heir in the manner prescribed in Article 882 is what is known in the law of succession as an institucion sub modo or a modal institution. In a modal institution, the testator states (1) the object of the institution, (2) the purpose or application of the property left by the testator, or (3) the charge imposed by the testator upon the heir. A "mode" imposes an obligation upon the heir or legatee but it does not affect the efficacy of his rights to the succession. On the other hand, in a conditional testamentary disposition, the condition must happen or be fulfilled in order for the heir to be entitled to succeed the testator. The condition suspends but does not obligate; and the mode obligates but does not suspend. To some extent, it is similar to a resolutory condition. From the provisions of the Codicil litigated upon, it can be gleaned unerringly that the testatrix intended that subject property be inherited by Dr. Jorge Rabadilla. It is likewise clearly worded that the testatrix imposed an obligation on the said instituted heir and his successors-in-interest to deliver one hundred piculs of sugar to the herein private respondent, Marlena Coscolluela Belleza, during the lifetime of the latter. However, the testatrix did not make Dr. Jorge Rabadilla's inheritance and the effectivity of his institution as a devisee, dependent on the performance of the said obligation. It is clear, though, that should the obligation be not complied with, the property shall be turned over to the testatrix's near descendants. The manner of institution of Dr. Jorge Rabadilla under subject Codicil is evidently modal in nature because it imposes a charge upon the instituted heir without, however, affecting the efficacy of such institution. The non-performance of the said obligation is thus with the sanction of seizure of the property and reversion thereof to the testatrix's near descendants. Since the said obligation is clearly imposed by the testatrix, not only on the instituted heir but also on his successors-in-interest, the sanction imposed by the testatrix in case of non-fulfillment of said obligation should equally apply to the instituted heir and his successors-in-interest.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 7. TANEDO v. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 104482. January 22, 1996 FACTS: Lazaro Tañedo executed a notarized deed of absolute sale in favor of his eldest brother, Ricardo Tañedo, and the latter’s wife, Teresita Barera, private respondents herein, whereby he conveyed to the latter his “future inheritance” (Lot 191) from his parents. ISSUE/S: Is the sale of a future inheritance valid? RULING: No. The court categorically ruled that, pursuant to Article 1347 of the Civil Code, “(n)o contract may be entered into upon a future inheritance except in cases expressly authorized by law.” Consequently, said contract made in 1962 is not valid and cannot be the source of any right nor the creator of any obligation between the parties. Hence, the “affidavit of conformity” dated February 28, 1980, insofar as it sought to validate or ratify the 1962 sale, is also useless and, in the words of the respondent Court, “suffers from the same infirmity.” Even private respondents in their memorandum concede this.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 8. SPS. SANTOS v. SPS. LUMBAO G.R. No. 169129 March 28, 2007 FACTS: Spouses Lumbao are the alleged owners and possessors of the 107-square meter lot which they purportedly bought from Rita during her lifetime. The property was part of Maria’s estate of which Rita is an heir as daughter of Maria. They made several verbal demands upon Rita, during her lifetime, and upon heirs of Rita for them to execute the necessary documents to effect the issuance of a separate title in favor of respondents Spouses Lumbao but to no avail. It is alleged that 2 of the petitioner-heirs were witnesses to the “Bilihan ng Lupa”. Spouses Lumbao alleges that the heirs thereafter fraudulently executed Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of the properties of Maria including the 107-square meter lot sold to the Spouses Lumbao. Spouses Lumbao are now praying for the reconveyance of the lot in their favor. ISSUE/S: Are the spouses Lumbao entitled to the reconveyance of the subject property? RULING: YES. At the time of the execution of the documents denominated as "Bilihan ng Lupa," the entire property owned by Maria, the mother of Rita, was not yet divided among her and her co-heirs. Nevertheless, that does not make the contract of sale between Rita and Spouses Lumbao invalid even while an estate remains undivided, co-owners have each full ownership of their respective shares and may therefore alienate them. The co-owner, however, has no right to sell or alienate a specific or determinate part of the thing owned in common, because such right over the thing is represented by an aliquot or ideal portion without any physical division. In any case, the mere fact that the deed purports to transfer a concrete portion does not per se render the sale void. When the estate of Maria had been partitioned by virtue of a Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement, the 107square meter lot sold by to Spouses Lumbao should be deducted from the total lot. The "Bilihan ng Lupa" is valid and enforceable and can be made the basis of the respondents Spouses Lumbao’s action for reconveyance. Heirs are bound by contracts entered into by their predecessors-ininterest.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 9. NHA v. SEGUNDA ALMEIDA, CA
G.R. No. 162784 June 22, 2007 FACTS: The Land Tenure Administration awarded to Margarita Herrera several portions of land in San Pedro, Laguna. She had two children, Francisca and Beatriz (she died before her mom). When Margarita passed away, Francisca executed a deed of self-adjudication claiming that she was the only remaining relative of Margarita. The deed of was based on a 'Sinumpaang Salaysay' allegedly executed by Margarita. The surviving heirs of Beatriz filed a case for annulment of the deed. A decision was rendered and the deed was declared null and void. During the trial, Francisca filed an application with the NHA to purchase the same lots. The NHA granted the application. The PR appealed to the Office of the President. The NHA resolution was affirmed. When Francisca died, her heirs executed an extrajudicial settlement of her estate which they submitted to the NHA. The transfer of rights was approved by the NHA. The heirs of Francisca directed PR to leave the premises that she was occupying. Feeling aggrieved, PR sought the cancellation of the titles issued in favor of the heirs of Francisca. She filed a complaint in the RTC of San Pedro, Laguna. She invoked her 40 year occupation of the property and re-raised the fact that Francisca's declaration is a nullity because the other heirs were disregarded. The RTC dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. The CA reversed the decision and remanded the case for further hearing. The RTC rendered a decision setting aside the resolution of the NHA and the decision of the Office of the President. The Regional Trial Court ruled that the "Sinumpaang Salaysay" was not an assignment of rights but a disposition of property which shall take effect upon death. It then held that the said document must first be submitted to probate before it can transfer property. The NHA and the heirs of Francisca filed their respective motions which were both denied. The CA affirmed the decision of the trial court. ISSUE/S: WON the decision of NHA is arbitrary. RULING: YES. The NHA gave due course to the application made by Francisca Herrera without considering that the initial applicant's death would transfer all her property, rights and obligations to the estate including whatever interest she has or may have had over the disputed properties. To the extent of the interest that the original owner had over the property, the same should go to her estate. Margarita Herrera had an interest in the property and that interest should go to her estate upon her demise so as to be able to properly distribute them later to her heir in accordance with a will or by operation of law. When the original buyer died, the NHA should have considered the estate of the decedent as the next "person" likely to stand in to fulfill the obligation to pay the rest of the purchase price. The opposition of other heirs to the repurchase by Francisca Herrera should have put the NHA on guard as to the award of the lots. Further, the Decision in the said Civil Case No. B-1263 (questioning the Deed of SelfAdjudication) which rendered the deed therein null and void should have alerted the NHA that there are other heirs to the interests and properties of the decedent who may claim the property after a testate or intestate proceeding is concluded. The NHA therefore acted arbitrarily in the award of the lots.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 10. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GLORIA UMALI y AMADO G.R. No. 84450 February 4, 1991 MEDIALDEA, J.: FACTS: Gloria Umali and Suzeth Umali were charged for violation of Section 4, Article 1 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. After trial, the lower court rendered a decision declaring him guilty beyond reasonable. One of the evidence considered by the court was the testimony of Francisco Manalo who himself is convicted for illegal possession of drugs. Umali contends that witness Francisco Manalo is not reputed to be trustworthy and reliable and that his words should not be taken on its face value. Furthermore, he stressed that said witness has several charges in court and because of his desire to have some of his cases dismissed he was likely to tell falsehood. ISSUE/S: Whether or not Manalo’s testimony is admissible RULING: Rule 130, Section 20 of the Revised Rules of Court provides that: Except as provided in the next succeeding section, all persons who can perceive, and perceiving can make known their perception to others may be witnesses. Religious or political belief, interest in the outcome of the case, or conviction of a crime unless otherwise provided by law, shall not be a ground for disqualification. The phrase "conviction of a crime unless otherwise provided by law" takes into account Article 821 of the Civil Code which states that persons convicted of falsification of a document, perjury or false testimony" are disqualified from being witnesses to a will." Since the witness Francisco Manalo is not convicted of any of the above-mentioned crimes to disqualify him as a witness and this case does not involve the probate of a will, We rule that the fact that said witness is facing several criminal charges when he testified did not in any way disqualify him as a witness. The testimony of a witness should be given full faith and credit, in the absence of evidence that he was actuated by improper motive. Hence, in the absence of any evidence that witness Francisco Manalo was actuated by improper motive, his testimony must be accorded full credence.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 11. CONDE v. ABAYA G.R. No. 4275, March 23, 1909 Arellano, C.J. FACTS: A, unmarried, died leaving B, the mother of H’s natural children who died after A, and C, his brother, as the only claimants to his estate. C alleges that he is the closest relative left behind by A and should therefore be declared the sole heir of the estate of A while B claims that she should be declared the sole heir as she should succeed to the hereditary rights of her children with respect to the inheritance of their deceased natural father. B moved for a hearing to have the issue of acknowledging her children as the natural children of A included in the estate proceedings. ISSUE/S: Is an action for acknowledgment by a natural child transmissible as a portion of his inheritance to his ascendants or descendants? RULING: No. As a general rule, the right of action of a child to enforce recognition of its legitimacy lasts during the lifetime of such child, but the right of a natural child to compel acknowledgment of its status continues only during the life of the alleged parents. The right of action for a declaration of legitimacy is transmitted to the heirs of the child only when - the latter dies during minority or while insane, or in case the action has already been instituted. On the other hand an action by a natural child can only be brought against the heirs of the parents in the event of the death of the parents during the minority of the child, or upon the discovery of a document, after the death of the parents, expressly acknowledging such child. This right of action which the law concedes to this natural child is not transmitted to his ascendants or descendants. Therefore, the respective corollary of each of the two above-cited articles is: (1) That the right of action which devolves upon the child to claim his legitimacy under article 118, may be transmitted to his heirs in certain cases designated in the said article; (2) That the right of action for the acknowledgment of natural children to which article 137 refers, can never be transmitted, for the reason that the code makes no mention of it in any case, not even as an exception. It is evident that the right of action to claim his legitimacy is not one of those rights which the legitimate child may transmit by inheritance to his heirs; it forms no part of the component rights of his inheritance. If it were so, there would have been no necessity to establish its transmissibility to heirs as an exception in the terms and conditions of article 118 of the code. So that, in order that it may constitute a portion of the child's inheritance, it is necessary that the conditions and the terms contained in article 118 shall be present, since without them, the right that the child held during his lifetime, being personal and exclusive in principle, and therefore, as a general rule not susceptible of transmission, would and should have been extinguished by his death. Therefore, where no express provision like that of article 118 exists, the right of action for the acknowledgment of a natural child is, in principle and without exception, extinguished by his death, and cannot be transmitted as a portion of the inheritance of the deceased child.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 12. PAMPLONA v. CA G.R. No. L-33187 31 March 1980 Guerrero, J.: FACTS: After the death of his spouse and without dissolving the conjugal partnership properties or partitioning the same with his children and grandchildren (heirs), Flaviano sold to the spouses Pamplona, a 781 sq.m. portion (subject lot) of one of the three parcels of land (totaling 2346 sq.m.) constituting the community property, without opposition of said heirs who lived just nearby. Nine years thereafter and with Flaviano already dead, said heirs sought to nullify the sale to the Pamplonas for having been effected without their authority. On the other hand, the spouses assert the validity of the sale and argue that the heirs are, in fact, obliged to deliver to them title to the subject lot they bought from Flaviano. ISSUE/S: Are the heirs obliged to deliver full ownership of the subject lot to the Pamplonas? RULING: YES. Under Article 776, New Civil Code, the inheritance which the heirs received from their deceased parents and/or predecessors-in-interest included all the property rights and obligations which were not extinguished by their parents' death. Here, Flaviano as co-owner with the heirs to the extent of ½ of the 2346 sq. m. lot was deemed to have validly sold the subject lot to the Pamplonas, as the same did not even exceed the portion (1173 sq.m.) which at the time of the sale was presumably his share in the community property. Accordingly, to the heirs are transmitted the obligation to deliver in full ownership the whole area of 781 sq. meters to the the Pamplonas.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 13. GUERRERO v. BIHIS G.R. No. 174144 April 17, 2007 FACTS: Upon the death of Felisa Tamio, petitioner Bella Guerrero filed a petition for the probate of the will of her mother alleging that she was named as an executrix in the decedent’s will and that she was capacitated to act as such. Respondent Bihis opposes her sister’s petition on the grounds that it failed to comply with the formalities required by law because its attestation clause and acknowledgment did not comply with the law. The court denied the probate by reason of failure to comply with Article 806 of the Civil Code, because Atty. Directo a commissioned notary public for and in Caloocan City notarized the will in Quezon City. ISSUE/S: Whether or not the acknowledgment made by Atty. Directo complied with the requirements of formalities of a will? RULING: NO. One of the formalities required by law in connection with the execution of a notarial will is that it must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses. This formal requirement is one of the indispensable requisites for the validity of a will. In other words, a notarial will that is not acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the instrumental witnesses is void and cannot be accepted for probate. The Notarial law provides: SECTION 240.Territorial jurisdiction. — The jurisdiction of a notary public in a province shall be co-extensive with the province. The jurisdiction of a notary public in the City of Manila shall be co-extensive with said city. No notary shall possess authority to do any notarial act beyond the limits of his jurisdiction. Since Atty. Directo was not a commissioned notary public for and in Quezon City, he lacked the authority to take the acknowledgment of the testratix and the instrumental witnesses. In the same vain, the testratix and the instrumental witnesses could not have validly acknowledged the will before him. Thus, Felisa Tamio de Buenaventura’s last will and testament was, in effect, not acknowledged as required by law.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 14. ESTATE OF THE DECEASED PAULINO DIANCIN. TEOPISTA DOLAR, v. FIDEL DIANCIN, ET AL., G.R. No. L-33365 December 20, 1930 MALCOLM, J.: FACTS: Paulino Diancin allegedly executed a will at Dumangas, Iloilo on November 13, 1927. A thumbmark appears at the end of the will and on the left hand margin of each of its pages in the following manner: "Paulino Diancin, Su Signo, Por Pedro Diamante." The witnesses to the will were the same Pedro Diamante, Inocentes Deocampo, and Juan Dominado. The will is detailed in nature, and disposes of an estate amounting approximately to P50,000. For comparative purposes, a document of sale containing an admittedly genuine thumbmark of Paulino Diancin was presented. Carlos J. Jaena attempted to qualify as an "expert," and thereafter gave as his opinion that the thumbmarks had not been made by the same person. Jose G. Villanueva likewise attempted to qualify the thumbmarks as authentic. The petition of the proponent of the will to permit the will to be sent to Manila to be examined by an expert was denied. The trial judge expressed his personal view as being that great differences existed between the questioned marks and the genuine mark. Therefore, the will was denied probate in CFI Iloilo. ISSUE/S: Whether the thumbmarks appearing on the will were the thumbmarks of the testator. RULING: YES. The requirement of the statute that the will shall be "signed" is satisfied not only by the customary written signature but also by the testator's or testatrix' thumbmark. Expert testimony as to the identity of thumbmarks or fingerprints is admissible. The method of identification of fingerprints is a science requiring close study. The three instrumental witnesses united in testifying concerning the circumstances surrounding the execution of the will. It was stated that in addition to the testator and themselves, one other person, Diosdado Dominado, was present. This latter individual was called as a witness by the oppositors to the will. He was later placed on the witness stand and thereupon declared positively that he was the one who prepared the will for the signature of Paulino Diancin; that the thumbmarks appearing on the will were those of Paulino Diancin, and that he saw Paulino Diancin make these impressions. The testimony of a witness called by both parties is worthy of credit. Thus, the document presented for probate as the last will of the deceased Paulino Diancin was, in truth, his will, and that the thumbmarks appearing thereon were the thumbmarks of the testator.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 15. YAP TUA v. YAP CA KUAN and YAP CA KUAN G.R. No. 6845 September 1, 1914 FACTS: Yap Tua presented a petition in the CFI of Manila, asking the will of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong be admitted to probate. After hearing the judge ordered that the last will and testament be allowed and admitted the will to probate. Yap Ca Kuan and Yap Ca Lu appeared and presented a petition requesting the court to annul the order, and to grant to said minors an opportunity to present new proof relating to the due execution of the will. The petitioners alleged the ff: that the will had not been authorized nor signed by the witnesses as the law prescribes; that the testator was not mentally capacitated to execute the will; that the signature was obtained through fraud and illegal influence; and that the testator executed another will. At the rehearing, the court reached the conclusion that the will was the last will and testament of Tomasa and admitted it to probate. From that order the petitiones appealed to this court, and made the following assignments of error: ISSUE/S: 1. Did the court erred in declaring that the will was executed by the deceased Tomasa Yap Caong, without the intervention of any external influence on the part of other persons. 2. Did the court erred in declaring that the testator had clear knowledge and knew what she was doing at the time of signing the will. 3. Did the court erred in declaring that the signature of the deceased Tomasa Yap Caong in the first will, is identical with that which appears in the second will. 4. Did the court erred in declaring that the will, was executed in accordance with the law. RULING: 1. The lower court found that no undue influence had been exercised over Tomasa. Several witnesses testified that Lorenzo, brother of Tomasa, did not attempt to influence her mind in any way. The lower court having had an opportunity to observe the witnesses during their examination reached the conclusion that no undue influence had been used. We find no reason for reversing his conclusions. 2. Several witnesses testified that at the time the will was presented to her for her signature, she was of sound mind and memory and asked for a pen and ink and kept the will in her possession for ten or fifteen minutes and finally signed it. The lower court found that there evidence sustaining the conclusion that Tomasa was of sound mind and memory and in the possession of her faculties at the time she signed this will. We do not feel justified in reversing this conclusion. 3.There appears to be but little doubt that Tomasa did execute the will of August 6, 1909. As several witnesses testified to that fact. The mere fact, however, that she executed a former will is no proof that she did not execute a later will. She had a perfect right, by will, to dispose of her property, in accordance with the provisions of law, up to the very last of moment her life. She had a perfect right to change, alter, modify or revoke any and all of her former wills and to make a new one. Neither will the fact that the new will fails to expressly revoke all former wills, in any way sustain the charge that she did not make the new will. In the third assignment of error there is involved in the statement that "The signature of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong, in her first will was not identical with that which appears in her second will the inference that she had not signed the second will and all the argument of the appellants relating to said of error is based upon the alleged fact that Tomasa did not sign the will. Several witnesses testified that they saw her write the name "Tomasa." One of the witnesses testified that she had written her full name. We are of the opinion, and we think the law sustains our conclusion, that if Tomasa signed any portion of her name to the will, with the intention to sign the same, that the will amount to a signature. It has been held time and time again that one who makes a will may sign the same by using a mark, the name having been written by others. If writing a mark simply upon a will is sufficient indication of the intention of the person to make and execute a will, then certainly the writing of a portion or all of her name ought to be accepted as a clear indication of her intention to execute the will.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON In the present case we think the proof shows, by a large preponderance, that Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong, if she did not sign her full name, did at least sign her given name "Tomasa," and that is sufficient to satisfy the statute. 4. An effort was made to show that the will was signed by the witnesses in one room and by Tomasa in another. A plan of the room or rooms in which the will was signed was presented as proof and it was shown that there was but one room; that one part of the room was one or two steps below the floor of the other; that the table on which the witnesses signed the will was located upon the lower floor of the room. It was also shown that from the bed in which Tomasa was lying, it was possible for her to see the table on which the witnesses signed the will. While the rule is absolute that one who makes a will must sign the same in the presence of the witnesses and that the witnesses must sign in the presence of each other, as well as in the presence of the one making the will, yet, nevertheless, the actual seeing of the signatures made is not necessary. It is sufficient if the signatures are made where it is possible for each of the necessary parties, if they desire to see, may see the signatures placed upon the will. Great weight must be given by appellate courts who do not see or hear the witnesses, to the conclusions of the trial courts who had that opportunity. Upon a full consideration of the record, we find that a preponderance of the proof shows that Tomasa did execute, freely and voluntarily, while she was in the right use of all her faculties, the will dated August 11, 1909.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 16. EUTIQUIA AVERA v. MARINO GARCIA, and JUAN RODRIGUEZ, as guardian of the minors Cesar Garcia and Jose Garcia G.R. No. 15566, September 14, 1921 STREET, J.: FACTS: Eutiquia Avera filed a petition for the probate of the will of one Esteban Garcia. Marino Garcia and Juan Rodriguez, the latter in the capacity of guardian for the minors Jose Garcia and Cesar Garcia contested the probate. One of the attesting witnesses testified that the will was executed with all necessary external formalities, and that the testator was at the time in full possession of disposing faculties. Upon the latter point the witness was corroborated by the person who wrote the will at the request of the testator. Two of the attesting witnesses were not introduced, nor was their absence accounted for by the proponent of the will. ISSUE/S: Is the will rendered invalid by the fact that the signature of the testator and of the three attesting witnesses are written on the right margin of each page of the will instead of the left margin? RULING: NO.The instrument now before us contains the necessary signatures on every page, and the only point of deviation from the requirement of the statute is that these signatures appear in the right margin instead of the left. By the mode of signing adopted every page and provision of the will is authenticated and guarded from possible alteration in exactly the same degree that it would have been protected by being signed in the left margin; and the resources of casuistry could be exhausted without discovering the slightest difference between the consequences of affixing the signatures in one margin or the other. The controlling considerations on the point now before us were well stated In Re will of Abangan (40 Phil., 476, 479), where the court, speaking through Mr. Justice Avanceña, in a case where the signatures were placed at the bottom of the page and not in the margin, said: The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close the door against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution o will and testaments and to guarantee their truth and authenticity. Therefore the laws on this subject should be interpreted in such a way as to attain these primordial ends. But, on the other hand, also one must not lose sight of the fact that it is not the object of the law to restrain and curtail the exercise of the right to make a will. So when an interpretation already given assures such ends, any other interpretation whatsoever, that adds nothing but demands more requisites entirely unnecessary, useless and frustrative of the testator's last will, must be disregarded. In the case before us, where ingenuity could not suggest any possible prejudice to any person, as attendant upon the actual deviation from the letter of the law, such deviation must be considered too trivial to invalidate the instrument.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 17. NAYVE v. MOJAL G.R. No. L-21755 December 29, 1924 ROMUALDEZ, J.: FACTS: The probate of the will of deceased Antonio Mojal was opposed by Leona Mojal and Luciana Aguilar. The defects attributed to the will are: (a) The fact of not having been signed by the testator and the witnesses on each and every sheet on the left margin; (b) the fact of the sheets of the document not being paged with letters; (c) the fact that the attestation clause does not state the number of sheets or pages actually used of the will; and (d) the fact that the testator does not appear to have signed all the sheets in the presence of the three witnesses, and the latter to have attested and signed all the sheets in the presence of the testator and of each other. ISSUE/S: Whether the will is Valid RULING: As to the signatures on the margin, it is true that the third page used was signed by the testator, not on the left margin, as it was by the witnesses, but about the middle of the page and the end of the will; and that the fourth page was signed by the witnesses, not on the left margin, as it was by the testator, but about the middle of the page and at the end of the attestation clause. The document contained the necessary signatures on each page, whereby each page of the will was authenticated and safeguarded against any possible alteration. Each and every page used of the will bears the signatures of the testator and the witnesses, the fact that said signatures do not all appear on the left margin of each page does not detract from the validity of the will. Turning to the second defect alleged, paging with Arabic numerals and not with letters, as in the case before us, is within the spirit of the law and is just as valid as paging with letters. As to the third defect assigned, it is true that the attestation clause must state the number of sheets or pages composing the will; but when, such fact appears at the end of the will proper, so that no proof aliunde is necessary of the number of the sheets of the will, then there can be no doubt that it complies with the intention of the law. With regard to the last defect pointed out, the fact that the testator and the witnesses signed each and every page of the will is proven by the mere examination of the signatures in the will; the omission to expressly state such evident fact does not invalidate the will nor prevent its probate.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 18. PROBATE OF THE LATE REV. P. ELEUTERIO PILAPIL v. PILAPIL CALIXTO AND OTHERS G.R. No. L-47931, 27 June 1941 FACTS: P. Eleuterio Pilapil, the parish priest of Mualboal of Cebu Province, died on December 6, 1935. No will has been presented after his death, at least until early February 1939. A part of the will states that: “ART. SECOND: I hereby certify that this Last Will and Testament, which confirms, affirms and assures the legitimacy of documents for my buyers granted consists of two items; xxxxxxxx Also at the bottom of the pages (1) and (2) are respectively the notes: "Go to 2. Pages", "go to 3. Pages". ISSUE/S: Is the will NOT valid because the attestation clause does not state the number of pages upon which the will was written? RULING: NO.The will is valid. First translation: The court held that this deficiency was cured by the will itself, which stated that it consisted of three pages and in fact it had three pages. Second translation: The court held that the law has been substantially complied with inasmuch as in the body of the will and on the same page wherein the attestation clause appears written it is expressly stated that will contains three pages each of which was numbered in letters and in figures.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 19. TESTATE ESTAE OF ABADA v. ABAJA G.R. No. 147145 January 31, 2005 CARPIO, J. FACTS: Alipio filed a petition for the probate of the last will and testament of Abada. The same was opposed by Caponong on the ground that the attestation clause did not state that the will was written in a language known to the testator, the will being in Spanish. Caponong also argues that the attestation clause was defective. ISSUES: 1. Is it required that the will state that it is written in a language known to the testator? 2. Does the attestation clause in the will of Abada comply with the requirements of the law? RULING: 1. No. There is no statutory requirement to state in the will itself that the testator knew the language or dialect used in the will. This is a matter that a party may establish by proof aliunde. 2. Yes. However, Caponong-Noble is correct in saying that the attestation clause does not indicate the number of witnesses. We rule to apply the liberal construction in the probate of Abadas will. Abadas will clearly shows four signatures: that of Abada and of three other persons. It is reasonable to conclude that there are three witnesses to the will. The question on the number of the witnesses is answered by an examination of the will itself and without the need for presentation of evidence aliunde. The Court explained the extent and limits of the rule on liberal construction, thus: [T]he so-called liberal rule does not offer any puzzle or difficulty, nor does it open the door to serious consequences. The later decisions do tell us when and where to stop; they draw the dividing line with precision. They do not allow evidence aliunde to fill a void in any part of the document or supply missing details that should appear in the will itself. They only permit a probe into the will, an exploration within its confines, to ascertain its meaning or to determine the existence or absence of the requisite formalities of law. This clear, sharp limitation eliminates uncertainty and ought to banish any fear of dire results.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 20. TEODORO CANEDA, et. al. v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and WILLIAM CABRERA G.R. No. 103554 May 28, 1993 REGALADO, J. FACTS: Mateo Caballero, a widower without any children and already in the twilight years of his life, executed a last will and testament at his residence in Talisay, Cebu before three attesting witnesses. Four months later, Caballero himself filed a petition seeking the probate of his last will and testament but he died before his petition could finally be heard by the probate court. The probate court appointed William Cabrera as special administrator. Petitioners, claiming to be nephews and nieces of the testator, asserted that the will in question is null and void for the reason that its attestation clause is fatally defective since it fails to specifically state that the instrumental witnesses to the will witnessed the testator signing the will in their presence and that they also signed the will and all the pages thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. ISSUE/S: Whether or not the attestation clause contained in the last will and testament of the late Mateo Caballero complies with the requirements of Article 805, in relation to Article 809, of the Civil Code. RULING: NO. Under the third paragraph of Article 805, such a clause, the complete lack of which would result in the invalidity of the will, should state (1) the number of the pages used upon which the will is written; (2) that the testator signed, or expressly caused another to sign, the will and every page thereof in the presence of the attesting witnesses; and (3) that the attesting witnesses witnessed the signing by the testator of the will and all its pages, and that said witnesses also signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. What is fairly apparent upon a careful reading of the attestation clause herein assailed is the fact that while it recites that the testator indeed signed the will and all its pages in the presence of the three attesting witnesses and states as well the number of pages that were used, the same does not expressly state therein the circumstance that said witnesses subscribed their respective signatures to the will in the presence of the testator and of each other. The absence of that statement required by law is a fatal defect or imperfection which must necessarily result in the disallowance of the will that is here sought to be admitted to probate. Petitioners are correct in pointing out that the aforestated defect in the attestation clause obviously cannot be characterized as merely involving the form of the will or the language used therein which would warrant the application of the substantial compliance rule, as contemplated in Article 809 of the Civil Code.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 21. CODOY v. CALUGAY FACTS: The deceased Matilde Seno Vda de Ramonal executed a holographic will on August 30, 1978.Herein respondents Eugenia Calugay, Josephine Salcedo and Eufemia Patigas are devisees and legatees of the holographic will of the deceased. They filed with the RTC of Misamis a petition for probate of the holographic will of Matilde who died on 16 January 1990. Petitioners Eugenia Codoy and Manuel Ramonal filed an opposition to the probate stating that the holographic will was a forgery and the same was illegible. Respondents however contend that the deceased was of sound and disposing mind when she executed the will and that no fraud or undue influence and duress happened and that the will was written voluntarily. They presented six witnesses with various documentary evidence. Petitioners on their part filed a demurrer to evidence claiming that respondents failed to establish to establish sufficient factual and legal basis for the probate of the holographic will of the deceased Matilde Seño Vda. de Ramonal. All the 6 witnesses that respondents presented expressed familiarity with the deceased’s signature. But there was no mention of the fact that there were witnesses at the time Matilde executed the will. The lower court denied the probate. On appeal, respondents again reiterated the testimony of the witnesses Augusto, Generosa, Matilde Binanay,Teresita, Fiscal Waga, and Evangeline. The CA sustained the authenticity of the holographic will and allowed the probate. Hence this petition. ISSUE/S: Whether or not the provisions of Article 811 of the Civil Code are permissive or mandatory RULING: The Court ruled that it is mandatory. The article provides, as a requirement for the probate of acontested holographic will, that at least three witnesses explicitly declare that the signature in the will is the genuine signature of the testator. The word “shall” connotes a mandatory order. We have ruled that “shall” in a statute commonly denotes an imperative obligation and is inconsistent with the idea of discretion and that the presumption is that the word “shall,” when used in a statute is mandatory.” Fiscal Waga one of the witnesses expressed doubts as to the signature of the deceased. Evangeline, on her part, testified that as to why she was familiar with the handwriting of the deceased was because she lived with her since birth. She never declared that she saw the deceased write a note or sign a document. In Matilde’s testimony, she saw pre-prepared receipts and letters of the deceased, which she either mailed or gave to her tenants. She did not declare that she saw the deceased sign a document or write a note. Furthermore, in her testimony it was also evident that Ms. Binanay kept the fact about the will from petitioners, the legally adopted children of the deceased. The will was also not found in the possession of the deceased when she died. Such actions put in issue her motive of keeping the will a secret to petitioners and revealing it only after the death of MatildeSeño Vda. de Ramonal. Comparing the signature in the holographic will dated August 30, 1978, and thesignatures in several documents such as the application letter for pasture permit dated December 30,198, and a letter dated June 16, 1978 the strokes are different. In the letters, there are continuousflows of the strokes, evidencing that there is no hesitation in writing unlike that of the holographic will. We, therefore, cannot be certain that the holographic will was in the handwriting by the deceased
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 22. AZAOLA v. SINGSON G.R. No. L-14003 August 5, 1960 REYES, J.B.L., J.: FACTS: During the probate of Fortunata S. Vda. de Yance’s holographic will, only Francisco Azaola was presented as witness. The probate was denied on the ground that the proponent must present 3 witnesses, the probate was being contested and the lone witness did not prove sufficiently the body of the will was handwritten by the testator. The proponent appealed and argued that Art. 811 of the Civil Code is not mandatory was to the presentation of 3 witnesses. ISSUE/S: Is the presentation of 3 witnesses during the probate of a holographic will mandatory? RULING: NO. It is not mandatory even when the authenticity of the will is contested or otherwise. Where the will is holographic, no witness need be present (Art. 10), and the rule requiring production of three witnesses must be deemed merely permissive if absurd results are to be avoided. We are of the opinion that Article 811 of our present Civil Code cannot be interpreted as to require the compulsory presentation of three witnesses to identify the handwriting of the testator, under penalty of having the probate denied. Since no witness may have been present at the execution of a holographic will, none being required by law (Art. 810, new Civil Code), it becomes obvious that the existence of witness possessing the requisite qualifications is a matter beyond the control of the proponent. For it is not merely a question of finding and producing any three witnesses; they must be witnesses "who know the handwriting and signature of the testator" and who can declare (truthfully, of course, even if the law does not so express) "that the will and the signature are in the handwriting of the testator". There may be no available witness of the testator's hand; or even if so familiarized, the witnesses may be unwilling to give a positive opinion. Compliance with the rule of paragraph 1 of Article 811 may thus become an impossibility. That is evidently the reason why the second paragraph of Article 811 prescribes that — in the absence of any competent witness referred to in the preceding paragraph, and if the court deems it necessary, expert testimony may be resorted to. Under Article 811, the resort to expert evidence is conditioned by the words "if the Court deem it necessary", which reveal that what the law deems essential is that the Court should be convinced of the will's authenticity. Where the prescribed number of witnesses is produced and the court is convinced by their testimony that the ill is genuine, it may consider it unnecessary to call for expert evidence. On the other hand, if no competent witness is available, or none of those produced is convincing, the Court may still, and in fact it should, resort to handwriting experts. The duty of the Court, in fine, is to exhaust all available lines of inquiry, for the state is as much interested as the proponent that the true intention of the testator be carried into effect.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 23. NAZARENO v. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 138842 October 18, 2000 MENDOZA, J. FACTS: After the death of Maximino, Sr., Romeo filed an intestate case. In the course of the intestate proceedings, Romeo discovered that his parents had executed several deeds of sale conveying a number of real properties in favor of his sister, Natividad. On behalf of the estate of Maximino Sr., Romeo filed the present case for annulment of sale with damages against Natividad. ISSUE/S: Should the subject lands be included in the collation? RULING: Yes. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of CA in annulling the sale. SC further ruled that: It appears that it was the practice in the Nazareno family to make simulated transfers of ownership of real properties to their children in order to avoid the payment of inheritance taxes. Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that Maximino, Sr. intended to give the six Quezon City lots to Natividad. As Romeo testified, their parents executed the Deed of Sale in favor of Natividad because the latter was the only female and the only unmarried member of the family. She was thus entrusted with the real properties in behalf of her siblings. There being an implied trust, the lots in question are therefore subject to collation in accordance with Art. 1061 which states: Every compulsory heir, who succeeds with other compulsory heirs, must bring into the mass of the estate any property or right which he may have received from the decedent, during the lifetime of the latter, by way of donation, or any other gratuitous title, in order that it may be computed in the determination of the legitime of each heir, and in the account of the partition.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 24. JOSE RIVERA v. IAC GR No. 75005-06 February 15, 1990 Cruz, J. Topic: Probate of Holographic Wills Doctrine: If a person has no personality to contest the wills, his opposition thereto does not have the legal effect of requiring the three witnesses. FACTS: A prominent and wealthy man named VENANCIO RIVERA, died. JOSE RIVERA, claiming to be the only surviving legitimate son of the deceased, filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration over VENANCIO's estate. The petition was opposed by ADELAIDO RIVER who denied that Jose was the son of the decedent because Venancio was his father and his father did not die intestate but in fact left two holographic wills. ADELAIDO filed a petition for probate of the holographic will and was opposed by JOSE. After joint trial, it was found that JOSE RIVERA was not the son of VENANCIO RIVERA whose estate is in question but a different VENANCIO RIVERA who was married to Maria Vital. The VENANCIO RIVERA whose estate was in question was married to MARIA JOCSON, by whom he had seven children, including ADELAIDO. ISSUE/S: Can Jose validly question the holographic wills? RULING: NO. Jose has no personality to question the wills. From evidence of record, VENANCIO RIVERA who married MARIA JOCSON was not the same person who married Maria Vital. The respondent court considered the holographic wills valid because it found them to have been written, dated, and signed by the testator himself in accordance with Art. 810 of the Civil Code. It also held there was no necessity of presenting the three witnesses required under Art. 811 because the authenticity of the wills had not been questioned. Indeed, JOSE RIVERA questioned the existence and authenticity of the holographic wills. However, as already determined, JOSE RIVERA is not the son of the deceased whose estate is in question. Hence, being a mere stranger, he had no personality to contest the wills and his opposition thereto did not have the legal effect of requiring the three witnesses.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 25. IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO APPROVE THE WILL OF MELECIO LABRADOR. SAGRADO LABRADOR (Deceased), substituted by ROSITA LABRADOR, ENRICA LABRADOR, and CRISTOBAL LABRADOR v. COURT OF APPEALS, GAUDENCIO LABRADOR, and JESUS LABRADOR G.R. Nos. 83843-44, April 5, 1990 PARAS, J. FACTS: On June 10, 1972, Melecio Labrador died leaving behind a parcel of land, and the following heirs, namely: Sagrado, Enrica, Cristobal, Jesus, Gaudencio, Josefina, Juliana, Hilaria and Jovita, all surnamed Labrador, and a holographic will. Petitioners filed in a petition for the probate of the alleged holographic will of the late Melecio Labrador. Respondents filed an opposition to the petition. Respondents claim that the date 17 March 1968 in the will was when the testator and his beneficiaries entered into an agreement among themselves about "the partitioning and assigning the respective assignments of the said fishpond," and was not the date of execution of the holographic will. ISSUE/S: Is the alleged holographic will dated? RULING: Yes. The will has been dated in the hand of the testator himself in perfect compliance with Article 810. The law does not specify a particular location where the date should be placed in the will. The only requirements are that the date be in the will itself and executed in the hand of the testator. These requirements are present in the subject will. As aptly put by petitioner, the will was not an agreement but a unilateral act of Melecio Labrador who plainly knew that what he was executing was a will. The act of partitioning and the declaration that such partitioning as the testator's instruction or decision to be followed reveal that Melecio Labrador was fully aware of the nature of the estate property to be disposed of and of the character of the testamentary act as a means to control the disposition of his estate.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 26. DY YIENG SEANGIO v. HON. AMOR A. REYES, et al GR No. 140371-72, November 27, 2006 AZCUNA FACTS: On Sept. 21, 1988, private respondents filed a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of the late Segundo Seangio and praying for the appointment of Elisa D. Seangio-Santos as special administrator and guardian ad litem of petitioner Dy Yieng Seangio. In view of the purported holographic will, petitioners averred that in the event the decedent is found to have left a will, the intestate proceedings are to be automatically suspended and replaced by the proceedings for the probate of the will. On April 7, 1999, a petition for the probate of the holographic will of Segundo was filed by petitioners before the RTC and reiterated that the probate proceedings should take precedence over the intestate proceedings because testate proceedings take precedence and enjoy priority over intestate proceedings. The holographic will entitled “Kasulatan sa Pag-aalis ng Mana” only removed his eldest son Alfredo Seangio as his heir. ISSUE/S: Can the document executed by Segundo be considered as a holographic will? RULING: Yes. Segundo’s document, although it may initially come across as a mere disinheritance instrument, conforms to the formalities of a holographic will prescribed by law. It is written, dated and signed by the hand of Segundo himself. An intent to dispose mortis causa can be clearly deduced from the terms of the instrument, and while it does not make an affirmative disposition of the latter’s property, the disinheritance of Alfredo, nonetheless, is an act of disposition in itself. In other words, the disinheritance results in the disposition of the property of the testator Segundo in favor of those who would succeed in the absence of Alfredo. Holographic wills, therefore, being usually prepared by one who is not learned in the law, as illustrated in the present case, should be construed more liberally than the ones drawn by an expert, taking into account the circumstances surrounding the execution of the instrument and the intention of the testator. In this regard, the document, even if captioned as Kasulatan ng Pag-Aalis ng Mana, was intended by Segundo to be his last testamentary act and was executed by him in accordance with law in the form of a holographic will. Unless the will is probated, the disinheritance cannot be given effect. The petition for probate of the was granted.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 27. SPOUSES ILUMINADA CAPITLE and ELBAMBUENA and ROSALINDA C. OLAR G.R. No. 169193 November 30, 2006 CARPIO MORALES, J.:
FACTS: A Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) was issued to Cristobal Olar (Olar) covering Lot 1849 (the lot), and situated in Barangay Valle, Talavera, Nueva Ecija on account of which he was issued Transfer Certificate of Title No. CLOA-0-3514. Respondents Fortunata Elbambuena (F ortunata) and Rosalinda Olar (Rosalinda), spouse and daughterin-law, respectively, of Olar, now deceased, claim that Olar relinquished one-half or 0.9072 hectare of the lot to Rosalinda by a "Kasunduan" dated July 17, 1992 the execution of which was witnessed by petitioner Cirilo Capitle; and that the remaining portion of the lot was surrendered to Fortunata by an undated document. Fortunata and Rosalinda, alleged that Sps Capitle’s requested then that they be allowed to occupy the lot to pursue a means of livelihood. Since 1990, however, Sps Capitle did not pay rentals despite demand therefor, and neither did they heed the demand to return the possession of the lot, drawing respondents to file a Petition for Recovery of Possession and Payment of Back Rentals against petitioners before the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) Regional Office. Sps. Capitle claims that they have been in possession of the lot since 1960 and presented a "Waiver of Rights" executed by Olar wherein he renounced in their favor his rights and participation over the lot; a "Sinumpaang Salaysay" wherein Olar acknowledged that he co-possessed the lot with petitioner Capitle since 1960; and a Pinagsamang Patunay Fom the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC) Chairman and barangay chairman of Valle certifying that they (petitioners) are the actual tillers and possessors of the lot. Sps. Capitle further claim that since 1959, respondent Fortunata was already separated from Olar. ISSUE/S: W/N the waiver executed by Olar in favor of the Sps. Capitle transferred the questioned property? RULING: NO. The DARAB correctly found that petitioners-appellants’ possession of the questioned property since 1960 is of dubious legality. No amount of possession under whatever claim (actual tilling and actual possession) can clothe petitioner-appellants with any lawful right over the questioned property. It can be gleaned from the factual antecedents that petitioners-appellants’ stay in Cristobal Olar’s property was, or had been, by mere tolerance of respondents-appellees. Indeed, so much is clear from the averments on page 5 of their petition: "xxx; that Cristobal Olar beginning 1959 up to the time of his death in 1995 lived all alone by himself and his companions in his house are the Spouses Iluminada and Cirilo Capitle xxx." These averments, being in the nature of judicial admissions, are conclusive and binding on petitioners-appellants and can no longer be controverted. This simply meant that no title of ownership as farmer beneficiary was passed unto the Capitles, thereby rendering ineffective the certification issued by the MARO of Talavera, Nueva Ecija. Even the Board Resolution of the Samahang Nayon of Valle, Talavera, Nueva Ecija, naming the Capitles as new allocatees of the landholding, had no binding effect, as the said samahang nayon is not the proper authority under the law with power to pass upon the legal issue as to who rightfully deserves to own Cristobal Olar’s landholding after him. Besides which, there was nothing amiss with the DARAB’s ruling relative to the issuance of the Certificate of Land Ownership Award to Cristobal Olar, as this was done in the regular course of an official function. It simply established the fact that petitioners-appellants’ claim could in no way legally stand against Cristobal Olar, whose title under the CLOA cannot be overthrown or supplanted by some organizational resolution and/or barangay attestations/certifications. On the other hand, Cristobal Olar’s death substantially passed all his rights and interest in and over the subject property to his legal heirs by operation of law. In the case at bench, to herein respondentsSAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW 28
CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON appellees: to Fortunata Elbambuena, being his surviving wife, and to Rosalinda Olar, his son’s surviving spouse, acting for and in behalf of her children with Nemesio Olar. This is as it should, considering that rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent. And since Fortunata Elbambuena and Rosalinda Olar’s relationship with Cristobal Olar was in this case never put in issue, their being legal heirs of the deceased gave them unqualified right to participate in all proceedings affecting the subject property.Petitioners’ argument that "[i]t would be absurd for [Olar] to bequeath his property to his estranged wife not to a relative who had indeed helped him in 15 tilling the property and [took] good care of his needs," is a virtual admission that their possession was not in the concept of owners, they having merely "helped" in tilling the lot, thereby acknowledging that Olar was the actual possessor and tiller. Absent evidence to the contrary, the presumption that the public officers who issued the CLOA to Olar regularly performed their duties, including adhering to the provisions of Section 22 of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL).
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 28. PAZ SAMANIEGO-CELADA v. LUCIA D. ABENA G.R. No. 145545 June 30, 2008 QUISUMBING, J. FACTS: Petitioner was the first cousin of decedent Margarita S. Mayores while respondent was the decedent's lifelong companion. Margarita died single and without any ascending or descending heirs as her parents, grandparents and siblings predeceased her, and she was survived by her first cousins including the petitioner. Margarita executed a will where she bequeathed one-half of her undivided share of real property and left her personal properties to Abena. According to petitioner, Margarita’s will is fatally defective for the reason that its attestation clause states that the will is composed of 3 pages while in truth and in fact, the will consists of 2 pages only because the attestation is not a part of the notarial will. ISSUE/S: Is a will fatally defective because its attestation clause states that the will is composed of 3 pages while in truth and in fact, the will consists of 2 pages only since the attestation is not a part of the notarial will? RULING: NO, a will is not fatally defective just because its attestation clause states that the will is composed of 3 pages while in truth and in fact, the will consists of 2 pages only. While it is true that the attestation clause is not a part of the will, the court, after examining the totality of the will, is of the considered opinion that error in the number of pages of the will as stated in the attestation clause is not material to invalidate the subject will. It must be noted that the subject instrument is consecutively lettered with pages A, B, and C which is a sufficient safeguard from the possibility of an omission of some of the pages. The error must have been brought about by the honest belief that the will is the whole instrument consisting of three (3) pages inclusive of the attestation clause and the acknowledgement. The position of the court is in consonance with the doctrine of liberal interpretation enunciated in Article 809 of the Civil Code which reads: In the absence of bad faith, forgery or fraud, or undue [and] improper pressure and influence, defects and imperfections in the form of attestation or in the language used therein shall not render the will invalid if it is proved that the will was in fact executed and attested in substantial compliance with all the requirements of Article 805.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 29. IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO APPROVE THE WILL OF RICARDO B. BONILLA deceased, MARCELA RODELAS v. AMPARO ARANZA, ET AL. G.R. No. L-58509 December 7, 1982 RELOVA, J.: FACTS: Marcela Rodelas filed a petition with the CFI of Rizal for the probate of the holographic will of Ricardo Bonilla and the issuance of letters testamentary in her favor. It was opposed by the appellees on the ground that the deceased did not leave any will and that the alleged hollographic will itself,and not an alleged copy thereof, must be produced, otherwise it would produce no effect,. The CFI ruled that the the alleged holographic will was executed on January 25, 1962 while Ricardo B. Bonilla died on May 13, 1976. In view of the lapse of more than 14 years from the time of the execution of the will to the death of the decedent, the fact that the original of the will could not be located shows to our mind that the decedent had discarded before his death his allegedly missing Holographic Will. ISSUE/S: Can a holographic will which was lost or cannot be found proved by means of a photostatic copy? RULING: YES. If the holographic will has been lost or destroyed and no other copy is available, the will can not be probated because the best and only evidence is the handwriting of the testator in said will. It is necessary that there be a comparison between sample handwritten statements of the testator and the handwritten will. But, a photostatic copy or xerox copy of the holographic will may be allowed because comparison can be made with the standard writings of the testator. In the case of Gam v. Yap, the Court ruled that "the execution and the contents of a lost or destroyed holographic will may not be proved by the bare testimony of witnesses who have seen and/or read such will. The will itself must be presented; otherwise, it shall produce no effect. The law regards the document itself as material proof of authenticity." But, in Footnote 8 of said decision, it says that "Perhaps it may be proved by a photographic or photostatic copy. Even a mimeographed or carbon copy; or by other similar means, if any, whereby the authenticity of the handwriting of the deceased may be exhibited and tested before the probate court," Evidently, the photostatic or xerox copy of the lost or destroyed holographic will may be admitted because then the authenticity of the handwriting of the deceased can be determined by the probate court.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 30. SPOUSES AJERO v. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 106720; September 15, 1994 PUNO, J FACTS: The holographic will of the deceased was sought to be probated and the RTC ordered its probate. However, on appeal to the CA, it was denied probate because of certain dispositions in the will which were either unsigned and undated, or signed but not dated. It also found that the erasures, alterations and cancellations made thereon had not been authenticated by decedent. ISSUE/S: Are the aforementioned reasons sufficient to deny probate? RULING: No. The grounds for denial under Art. 839 are exclusive; hence no other ground can serve to disallow a will. In the case of holographic wills, what assures authenticity is the requirement that they be totally autographic or handwritten by the testator himself, as provided under Article 810. A person may execute a holographic will which must be entirely written, dated, and signed by the hand of the testator himself. It is subject to no other form, and may be made in or out of the Philippines, and need not be witnessed. Failure to strictly observe other formalities will not result in the disallowance of a holographic will that is unquestionably handwritten by the testator. Article 813 of the New Civil Code shows that its requirement affects the validity of the dispositions contained in the holographic will, but not its probate. If the testator fails to sign and date some of the dispositions, the result is that these dispositions cannot be effectuated. Such failure, however, does not render the whole testament void. Likewise, a holographic will can still be admitted to probate, notwithstanding non-compliance with the provisions of Article 814. Ordinarily, when a number of erasures, corrections, and interlineations made by the testator in a holographic Will have not been noted under his signature, the Will is not thereby invalidated as a whole, but at most only as respects the particular words erased, corrected or interlined. Thus, unless the unauthenticated alterations, cancellations or insertions were made on the date of the holographic will or on testator's signature, their presence does not invalidate the will itself. The lack of authentication will only result in disallowance of such changes. It is also proper to note that the requirements of authentication of changes and signing and dating of dispositions appear in provisions (Articles 813 and 814) separate from that which provides for the necessary conditions for the validity of the holographic will (Article 810).
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 31. SOFIA NEPOMUCENO v. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. L-62952 October 9, 1985 GUTIERREZ, JR., J.: FACTS: Martin Jugo named and appointed herein petitioner Sofia Nepomuceno as sole and only executor of his estate. The will clearly stated that the testator was legally married to a certain Rufina Gomez by whom he had legitimate children, Oscar and Carmelita. He stated that since 1952 he had been estranged from his lawfully wedded wife and had been living with petitioner as husband and wife. The testator and the petitioner herein were married in Victoria, Tarlac before the Justice of the Peace. The testator devised to his forced heirs, namely his legal wife and his children (Oscar & Carmelita) his entire estate. He devised the free portion thereof to herein petitioner. ISSUE/S: Has the respondent court acted in excess of its jurisdiction when after declaring the last Will and Testament of the deceased Martin Jugo validly drawn, it went onto pass upon the intrinsic validity of the testamentary provision in favor of herein petitioner? RULING: NO. The general rule is that in probate proceedings, the court's area of inquiry is limited to an examination and resolution of the extrinsic validity of the Will. The rule, however, is not inflexible and absolute. Given exceptional circumstances, the probate court is not powerless to do what the situation constrains it to do and pass upon certain provisions of the Will. We sustain the respondent court's jurisdiction. As stated in Nuguid v. Nuguid: We pause to reflect. If the case were to be remanded for probate of the will, nothing will be gained. On the contrary, this litigation will be protracted. And for aught that appears in the record, in the record, in the event of probate or if the court rejects the will, probability exists that the case will come up once again before us on the same issue of the intrinsic validity or nullity of the will. Result, waste of time, effort, expense, plus added anxiety. These are the practical considerations that induce us to a belief that we might as well meet head-on the issue of the validity of the provisions of the will in question. (Section 2, Rule 1, Rules of Court. Case, et al. v. Jugo, et al., 77 Phil. 517, 522). After all, there exists a justiciable controversy crying for solution. We see no useful purpose that would be served if we remand the nullified provision to the proper court in a separate action for that purpose simply because, in the probate of a will, the court does not ordinarily look into the intrinsic validity of its provisions. Moreover, the prohibition in Article 739 of the Civil Code is against the making of a donation between persons who are living in adultery or concubinage. It is the donation which becomes void. The giver cannot give even assuming that the recipient may receive. The very wordings of the Will invalidate the legacy because the testator admitted he was disposing the properties to a person with whom he had been living in concubinage.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 32. POLLY CAYETANO v. HON. TOMAS T. LEONIDAS G.R. No. L-54919 May 30, 1984 GUTIERREZ, JR., J.: FACTS: Nenita C. Paguia filed a petition for the reprobate of a will of the deceased, Adoracion Campos, which was allegedly executed in the United States and for her appointment as administratrix of the estate of the deceased testatrix. An opposition to the reprobate of the will was filed by the father of the testatrix, Hermogenes Campos, alleging among other things, that he has every reason to believe that the will in question is a forgery; that the intrinsic provisions of the will are null and void; and that even if pertinent American laws on intrinsic provisions are invoked, the same could not apply inasmuch as they would work injustice and injury to him. Judge Leonidas allowed the probate of the last will and testament after an ex-parte presentation of evidence by herein private respondent but in the course of the proceedings, Hermogenes died and was substituted by his executrix, Polly Cayetano. ISSUES: Did respondent judge act without or in excess of his jurisdiction when he allowed the will to be admitted and be probated here in the Philippines? RULING: No. Although on its face, the will appeared to have preterited the petitioner and thus, the respondent judge should have denied its reprobate outright, the private respondents have sufficiently established that Adoracion was, at the time of her death, an American citizen and a permanent resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Therefore, under Article 16 par. (2) and 1039 of the Civil Code which respectively provide: Art. 16 par. (2). However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. Art. 1039. Capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the decedent. The law which governs Adoracion Campo's will is the law of Pennsylvania, U.S.A., which is the national law of the decedent. It is a settled rule that as regards the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will, as provided for by Article 16(2) and 1039 of the Civil Code, the national law of the decedent must apply. It is therefore evident that whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our system of legitimes, Congress has not intended to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 33. TESTATE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED MARIANO MOLO Y LEGASPI. JUANA JUAN VDA. DE MOLO v. LUZ, GLICERIA and MOLO G.R. No. L-2538 September 21, 1951 BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.: FACTS: Marcos Molo executed 2 wills, one in August 1918 and another in June 1939. The latter will contained a revocation clause which expressly revoked the will in 1918. He died without any forced heirs but he was survived by his wife, herein petitioner Juana. The oppositors to the probate were his nephews and nieces. The widow filed a petition for the probate of the 1939 will which was admitted to probate but subsequently set aside on ground that the petitioner failed to prove its due execution. As a result, the petitioner filed another petition for the probate of the 1918 will this time. Again the oppositors alleged that said will had already been revoked under the 1939 will. They contended that despite the disallowance of the 1939 will, the revocation clause is valid and thus effectively nullified the 1918 will. ISSUE/S: Is the 1918 will valid despite the revocation in the 1939 will? RULING: YES. The court applied the ruling in the case of Samson v. Naval, (41 Phil., 838) which states that a subsequent will, containing a clause revoking a previous will, having been disallowed, for the reason that it was not executed in conformity with the provisions of section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure as to the making of wills, cannot produce the effect of annulling the previous will, inasmuch as said revocatory clause is void.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 34. FRAN v. HON. SALAS GR No. L-53546, June 25, 1992 Davide, JR., J. FACTS: Remedios Vda. de Tiosejo, died on 10 July 1972 in Cebu City with neither descendants nor ascendants; she left real and personal properties located in Cebu City, Ormoc City and Puerto Bello, Leyte. Before she died, she executed a last will and testament where she bequeathed to her collateral relatives all her properties and designated petitioner Jesus Fran as executor to serve without bond. On 15 July 1972, Fran filed a petition for probate of the will. The private respondents, who are sisters of the deceased, filed a manifestation alleging that they needed time to file an opposition to the petition for probate. However, on 18 September 1972, they instead filed a “Withdrawal of Opposition to the Allowance of Probate” wherein they expressly manifested their “full knowledge and consent that they have no objection to the allowance of the will.” On 13 November 1972, the will was admitted to probate, and an Order for the Project of Partition of the estate was given on 10 September 1973. Subsequently, the petitioners and the other legatees and devisees received their shares of the inheritance. Six years later in October 1979, respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the probate judgment and the order of Partition. They allege that the will is a forgery and that the decedent died intestate. The respondent Judge allowed a hearing of the MR and subsequently ruled that the will was void on the ground of forgery. ISSUE/S: Whether or not the original order granting the probate of the will may still be challenged six years after it was given. RULING: No. The Supreme Court held that private respondents had lost their right to file a petition for relief from judgment, it appearing that their omnibus motion for reconsideration was filed six years and ten months after the rendition of the decision and the approval of the Project of Partition, to which they voluntarily expressed their conformity through their respective certifications, and closing the testate proceedings. The probate judgment of 13 November 1972, long final and undisturbed by any attempt to unsettle it, had inevitably passed beyond the reach of the court below to annul or set the same aside, by mere motion, on the ground that the will is a forgery. Settled is the rule that the decree of probate is conclusive with respect to the due execution of the will and it cannot be impugned on any of the grounds authorized by law, except that of fraud, in any separate or independent action or proceeding.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 35. TEODORO CANEDA, et. al. v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and WILLIAM CABRERA G.R. No. 103554 May 28, 1993 REGALADO, J. FACTS: Mateo Caballero, a widower without any children and already in the twilight years of his life, executed a last will and testament at his residence in Talisay, Cebu before three attesting witnesses. Four months later, Caballero himself filed a petition seeking the probate of his last will and testament but he died before his petition could finally be heard by the probate court. The probate court appointed William Cabrera as special administrator. Petitioners, claiming to be nephews and nieces of the testator, asserted that the will in question is null and void for the reason that its attestation clause is fatally defective since it fails to specifically state that the instrumental witnesses to the will witnessed the testator signing the will in their presence and that they also signed the will and all the pages thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. ISSUE/S: Whether or not the attestation clause contained in the last will and testament of the late Mateo Caballero complies with the requirements of Article 805, in relation to Article 809, of the Civil Code. RULING: NO. Under the third paragraph of Article 805, such a clause, the complete lack of which would result in the invalidity of the will, should state (1) the number of the pages used upon which the will is written; (2) that the testator signed, or expressly caused another to sign, the will and every page thereof in the presence of the attesting witnesses; and (3) that the attesting witnesses witnessed the signing by the testator of the will and all its pages, and that said witnesses also signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. What is fairly apparent upon a careful reading of the attestation clause herein assailed is the fact that while it recites that the testator indeed signed the will and all its pages in the presence of the three attesting witnesses and states as well the number of pages that were used, the same does not expressly state therein the circumstance that said witnesses subscribed their respective signatures to the will in the presence of the testator and of each other. The absence of that statement required by law is a fatal defect or imperfection which must necessarily result in the disallowance of the will that is here sought to be admitted to probate. Petitioners are correct in pointing out that the aforestated defect in the attestation clause obviously cannot be characterized as merely involving the form of the will or the language used therein which would warrant the application of the substantial compliance rule, as contemplated in Article 809 of the Civil Code.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 36. AGAPAY v. PALANG GR No. 116668 July 28, 1997 FACTS: Miguel Palang contracted marriage with Carlina in Pangasinan on 1949. He left to work in Hawaii a few months after the wedding. Their only child Herminia was born in May 1950. The trial court found evident that as early as 1957, Miguel attempted to Divorce Carlina in Hawaii. When he returned for good in 1972, he refused to lived with Carlina and stayed alone in a house in Pozzorubio Pangasinan. The 63 year old Miguel contracted a subsequent marriage with 19 year old Erlinda Agapay, herein petitioner. 2 months earlier, they jointly purchased a parcel of agricultural land located at Binalonan Pangasinan. A house and lot in the same place was likewise purchased. On the other hand, Miguel and Carlina executed a Deed of Donation as a form of compromise agreement and agreed to donate their conjugal property consisting of 6 parcels of land to their child Herminia. Miguel and Erlinda’s cohabitation produced a son named Kristopher. In 1979, they were convicted of concubinage upon Carlina’s complaint. 2 years later, Miguel died. Carlina and her daughter instituted this case for recovery of ownership and possession with damages against petitioner. They sought to get back the land and the house and lot located at Binalonan allegedly purchase by Miguel during his cohabitation with petitioner. The lower court dismissed the complaint but CA reversed the decision. ISSUE/S: Whether the agricultural land and the house and lot should be awarded in favor of Erlinda Agapay. RULING: The sale of the riceland on May 17, 1973, was made in favor of Miguel and Erlinda. However, their marriage is void because of the subsisting marriage with Carlina. Only the properties acquired by both parties through their actual joint contribution shall be owned by them in proportion to their respective contributions. It is required that there be an actual contribution. If actual contribution is not proved, there will be no co-ownership and no presumption of equal shares. Erlinda established in her testimony that she was engaged in the business of buy and sell and had a sarisari store. However, she failed to persuade the court that she actually contributed money to but the subjected riceland. When the land was acquired, she was only around 20 years old compared to Miguel who was already 64 years old and a pensioner of the US Government. Considering his youthfulness, its unrealistic how she could have contributed the P3,750 as her share. Thus, the court finds no basis to justify the co-ownership with Miguel over the same. Hence, the Riceland should, as correctly held by CA, revert to the conjugal partnership property of the deceased and Carlina. It is immaterial that Miguel and Carlina previously agreed to donate their conjugal property in favor of Herminia. Separation of property between spouses during the marriage shall not take place except by judicial order or without judicial conferment when there is an express stipulation in the marriage settlements. The judgment resulted from the compromise was not specifically for separation of property and should not be so inferred. With respect to the house and lot, Atty Sagun, notary public who prepared the deed of conveyance for the property revealed the falshood of Erlinda’s claim that she bought such property for P20,000 when she was 22 years old. The lawyer testified that Miguel provided the money for the purchase price and directed Erlinda’s name alone be placed as the vendee. The transaction made by Miguel to Erlinda was properly a donation and which was clearly void and inexistent by express provision of the law because it was made between persons guilty of adultery or concubinage at the time of the donation. Moreover, Article 87 of the Family Code, expressly provides that the prohibition against donation between spouses now applies to donations between persons living together as husband and wife without a valid marriage, for otherwise, the condition of those who incurred guilt would turn out to be better than those in legal union
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 37. FLORENTINO REYES, et al. v. COURT OF APPEALS GR NO. 110207 JULY 11, 1996 ROMERO FACTS: On July 29, 1970, a Deed of Extra Judicial Partition and Settlement was allegedly entered into between petitioner Florentino and his sisters, herein private respondents, Jacinta, Paula, and Petra, the subject of which is a parcel of land in Bangkal, Makati measuring 383 sq. m. covered by a TCT registered in the name of Bernardino Reyes, their father. The Deed allegedly partitioned the land extraudicially among the siblings stated that the respondents waived their rights, interest, and participation therein in favor of petitioner. A TCT with 333 sq. m. was issued in the petitioner’s name and a TCT with 50 sq. m. in Paula’s name. The respondents filed a Complaint for "Annulment of Sale and Damages With Prayer for Preliminary Injunction/Restraining Order" before the Makati RTC. ISSUE/S: Is the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement is authentic? RULING: NO. The allegation made by petitioner that the execution of a public document ratified before a notary public cannot be impugned by the mere denial of the signatory is baseless. It should be noted that there was a finding that the subject Deed was notarized by one Atty. Villena who at that time was not commissioned as a notary in Pasay City. Neither was the alleged Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement recorded in the Record and Notarial Reports of Pasay City as certified by the OIC of such office. This finding was never satisfactorily disputed by petitioner. Petitioners could not have been possessors in good faith of the subject parcel of land considering the finding that at the very inception they forged the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Settlement which they claim to be the basis for their just title. Having forged the Deed and simulated the signatures of private respondents, petitioners, in fact, are in bad faith. The forged Deed containing private respondents' simulated signatures is a nullity and cannot serve as a just title. There can be no acquisitive prescription considering that the parcel of land in dispute is titled property, i.e., titled in the name of the late Bernardino Reyes, the father of both petitioner Florentino and the private respondents. Hence, even if they allege adverse possession that should ripen into ownership due to acquisitive prescription, their title cannot defeat the real rights of private respondents who stepped into the shoes, as it were, of their father as successors-in-interest. As it is, petitioners cannot even claim adverse possession as they admit that the private respondents likewise resided and continue to reside on the subject property.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 38. SANCHEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 108947 September 29, 1997 Panganiban, J. FACTS: Private respondent Rosalia Lugod is the only legitimate child of Juan Sanchez and Maria Villafranca while petitioners are the illegitimate children of Juan Sanchez. After the death of Juan and Maria, Private respondent and petitioners entered into a compromise agreement wherein they extrajudicially distributed the properties of Juan Sanchez among themselves. The Intestate Court however, invalidated the compromise agreement and declared that the properties sold by Juan Sanchez to Rosalia’s children, during his lifetime, are to be collated since the transfers are allegedly simulated and therefore void. ISSUE/S: 1. Can an intestate court declare as void a sale of his property, made by the decedent during his lifetime? 2. Are the properties sold by the decedent, during his lifetime, to his grandchildren subject to collation? RULING: 1. No, the probate or intestate court cannot do so. The said court had jurisdiction to act in the intestate proceedings involved in this case with the caveat that, due to its limited jurisdiction, it could resolve questions of title only provisionally. It is hornbook doctrine that in a special proceeding for the probate of a will, the question of ownership is an extraneous matter which the probate court cannot resolve with finality. This pronouncement no doubt applies with equal force to an intestate proceeding as in the case at bar. In the instant case, the trial court rendered a decision declaring as simulated and fictitious all the deeds of absolute sale which, on July 26, 1963 and June 26, 1967, Juan C. Sanchez and Maria Villafranca executed in favor of their daughter, Rosalia Sanchez Lugod; and grandchildren, namely, Arturo S. Lugod, Evelyn S. Lugod and Roberto S. Lugod. The trial court ruled further that the properties covered by the said sales must be subject to collation. Citing Article 1409 (2) of the Civil Code, the lower court nullified said deeds of sale and determined with finality the ownership of the properties subject thereof. In doing so, it clearly overstepped its jurisdiction as a probate court. 2. No. The deeds of sale did not involve gratuitous transfers of future inheritance; these were contracts of sale perfected by the decedents during their lifetime. Hence, the properties conveyed thereby are not collationable because, essentially, collation mandated under Article 1061 of the Civil Code contemplates properties conveyed inter vivos by the decedent to an heir by way of donation or other gratuitous title.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 39. GANUELAS v. CAWED G.R. No. 123968 April 24, 2003 FACTS: On June 10, 1967, Celestina executed a document denominated as Revocation of Donation purporting to set aside a deed of donation that was made in favor of Ursulina. Celestina died without issue. After Celestina's death, Ursulina had been sharing the produce of the donated properties with private respondent’s nieces of Celestina. 24 years after the execution of the Deed of Donation, Ursulina secured the corresponding tax declarations, in her name, over the donated properties, and since then, she refused to give private respondents any share in the properties. Private respondents filed a complaint against Ursulina alleging that the donation was a disposition mortis causa which failed to comply with the provisions of the Civil Code. The deed of donation provides that the donation shall be effective upon the death of donor, and in the event that the DONEE should predecease the DONOR, the "donation shall be deemed rescinded and of no further force and effect". Petitioners alleged that the donation was inter vivos in favor of Ursulina hence, the deed did not have to comply with the requirements for the execution of a valid will; the Revocation of Donation is null and void as the ground mentioned therein is not among those provided by law. Petitioners contend that the main consideration of said donation was love and affection for the done rather than the donor’s death. ISSUE/S: Whether the donation is intervivos or mortis causa RULING: Donation mortis causa The distinguishing characteristics of a donation mortis causa are the following: 1. It conveys no title or ownership to the transferee before the death of the transferor; or, what amounts to the same thing, that the transferor should retain the ownership (full or naked) and control of the property while alive; 2. That before his death, the transfer should be revocable by the transferor at will, ad nutum; but revocability may be provided for indirectly by means of a reserved power in the donor to dispose of the properties conveyed; 3. That the transfer should be void if the transferor should survive the transferee. In the donation subject of the present case, there is nothing therein which indicates that any right, title or interest in the donated properties was to be transferred to Ursulina prior to the death of Celestina. The phrase "to become effective upon the death of the DONOR" admits of no other interpretation but that Celestina intended to transfer the ownership of the properties to Ursulina on her death, not during her lifetime. More importantly, the provision in the deed stating that if the donee should die before the donor, the donation shall be deemed rescinded and of no further force and effect shows that the donation is a postmortem disposition. To classify the donation as inter vivos simply because it is founded on considerations of love and affection is erroneous. That the donation was prompted by the affection of the donor for the donee and the services rendered by the latter is of no particular significance in determining whether the deed constitutes a transfer inter vivos or not, because a legacy may have an identical motivation. In other words, love and affection may also underline transfers mortis causa.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 40. CAIZA v. CA GR No. 110427 February 24, 1997 CJ. Narvasa DOCTRINE: The right to manage the ward's estate carries with it the right to take possession thereof and recover it from anyone who retains it, and bring and defend such actions as may be needful for this purpose. FACTS: Amparo Evangelista was appointed legal guardian of Carmen Caiza, judicially declared by court to be incompetent due to her advanced age and physical infirmities which included cataracts in both eyes and senile dementia. Evangelista sought to eject spouses Pedro and Leonora Estrada in the house and lot owned by Caiza. The complaint alleged that Caiza, the absolute owner of the property in question, already had urgent need of the house to raise funds to meet expenses for her support on account of her age and failing health. In defense, spouses Estrada claimed that in consideration of their faithful service they had been considered by Caiza as her own family and the latter executed a holographic will, evidenced by a Xerox copy of the same, by which she bequeathed the house and lot to the former. The Metropolitan Trial Court ruled in favor of Caiza but on appeal to the Quezon Regional Trial Court, the latter held that the action should be an accion publiciana, demanding adjudication by such plenary action for recovery of possession cognizable in the first instance by the RTC. The Court of Appeals rendered judgment in favor of Caiza and stated that while the said holographic will, unless and until it is probated by the proper court, could not be the basis of such claim. There must be an indicative of intent and desire on the part of Caiza that the spouses shall remain and are to continue in their occupancy and possession, so much that Caiza’s supervening incompetency cannot be said to have vested in her guardian the right or authority to drive the defendants out. ISSUE/S: Whether the ejection action is proper and as legal guardian, Evangelista had authority to bring such action RULING: Caiza's act of allowing the Estradas to occupy her house, rent-free, did not create a permanent and indefeasible right of possession in the latter's favor. Common sense, and the most rudimentary sense of fairness, clearly require that act of liberality be implicitly, but no less certainly, accompanied by the necessary burden on the Estradas of returning the house to Caiza upon her demand. More than once has this Court adjudged that a person who occupies the land of another at the latter's tolerance or permission without any contract between them is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate upon demand, failing which a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against him. In bringing the action of desahuico, Evangelista was merely discharging the duty to attend to “the comfortable and suitable maintenance of the ward” imposed in her as guardian. In her letters of guardianship, it clearly installed her as the guardian over the person and property of the incompetent with full authority to take possession of the property and to perform all acts necessary for the management. It also became her right and duty to get possession of, and exercise control over, Caiza's property, both real and personal, it being recognized principle that the ward has no right to possession or control of his property during her incompetency. That right to manage the ward's estate carries with it the right to take possession thereof and recover it from anyone who retains it, and bring and defend such actions as may be needful for this purpose.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 41. JOSEPH CUA v. GLORIA A. VARGAS G.R. No. 156536 October 31, 2006 AZCUNA, J.: FACTS: A parcel of residentioal land was left behind by the late Paulina Vargas. A notarized Extra Judicial Settlement Among heirs was executed by the heirs and was published in the a newspaper for three consecutive weeks. However, not all of the heirs signed it including the respondent herein. An Extra Judicial Settlement Among Heirs with Sale was executed and again not all of the heirs signed it. Respondent tried to redeem the said parcel of land but was refused. Thus, she along with her children filed a case for annulment of the Extra Judicial Settlement and Legal Redemption. ISSUE/S: 1. Is the Extra Judicial Settlement valid? 2. May the respondent redeem the said parcel of land? RULING: 1. Yes. The publication of the settlement does not constitute constructive notice to the heirs who had no knowledge or did not take part in it because the same was notice after the fact of execution. The requirement of publication is geared for the protection of creditors and was never intended to deprive heirs of their lawful participation in the decedent's estate. In this connection, the records of the present case confirm that respondents never signed either of the settlement documents, having discovered their existence only shortly before the filing of the present complaint. Following Rule 74, these extrajudicial settlements do not bind respondents, and the partition made without their knowledge and consent is invalid insofar as they are concerned. 2. Yes. The heirs who actually participated in the execution of the extrajudicial settlements, which included the sale to petitioner of their pro indiviso shares in the subject property, are bound by the same. Nevertheless, respondents are given the right to redeem these shares pursuant to Article 1088 of the Civil Code. Based on the provision, there is a need for written notice to start the period of redemption, thus: Should any of the heirs sell his hereditary rights to a stranger before the partition, any or all of the co-heirs may be subrogated to the rights of the purchaser by reimbursing him for the price of the sale, provided they do so within the period of one month from the time they were notified in writing of the sale by the vendor. It bears emphasis that the period of one month shall be reckoned from the time that a co-heir is notified in writing by the vendor of the actual sale. Written notice is indispensable and mandatory, actual knowledge of the sale acquired in some other manner by the redemptioner notwithstanding. It cannot be counted from the time advance notice is given of an impending or contemplated sale. The law gives the co-heir thirty days from the time written notice of the actual sale within which to make up his or her mind and decide to repurchase or effect the redemption. Considering, therefore, that respondents' co-heirs failed to comply with this requirement, there is no legal impediment to allowing respondents to redeem the shares sold to petitioner given the former's obvious willingness and capacity to do so.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 42. RODRIGUEZ v. RODRIGUEZ GR N.o. 175720; 11 September 2007 FACTS: Juanito owned a 5- door apartment. He executed a "Huling habilin at testamento" giving petitioner Cresecia Tubo Rodriguez, his live-inpartner, apartments D and E, and his children Benjamin (deceased husband of respondent), apartment A; respondent Buenaventura, apartment B; and Belen, apartment C. However, after a year, the deceased executed a deed of absolute sale over the property in favor of the petetioner (Cresecia). ISSUE/S: Who is the rightful owner of the subject property? RULING: The lower courts considered the following documentary evidence in arriving at their respective decisions, albeit the RTC decision contradicts that of the MTC and Court of Appeals: 1) Huling Habilin at Testamento executed by Juanito Rodriguez on October 27, 1983; 2) Deed of Sale of the property executed by Juanito Rodriguez and the petitioner on June 14, 1984; 3) TCT No. 150431 in the name of the petitioner; and 4) the August 23, 1990 Partition Agreement executed by both the respondents and the petitioner. Based on the foregoing documentary evidence, we find that there is preponderance of evidence in favor of the petitioner’s claim. Respondents failed to prove their right of possession, as the Huling Habilin at Testamento and the Partition Agreement have no legal effect since the will has not been probated. Before any will can have force or validity it must be probated. This cannot be dispensed with and is a matter of public policy.Article 838 of the Civil Code mandates that “[n]o will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance with the Rules of Court.” As the will was not probated, the Partition Agreement which was executed pursuant thereto can not be given effect. Thus, the fact that petitioner was a party to said agreement becomes immaterial in the determination of the issue of possession. Moreover, at the time the deed of sale was executed in favor of the petitioner, Juanito Rodriguez remained the owner thereof since ownership would only pass to his heirs at the time of his death. Thus, as owner of the property, he had the absolute right to dispose of it during his lifetime. Now, whether or not the disposition was valid is an issue that can be resolved only in Civil Case No. 011641, an action instituted by the respondents for that purpose.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 43. JOHNNY S. RABADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 113725 June 29, 2000 PURISIMA, J.: FACTS: In a Codicil appended to the Last Will and Testament of Aleja Belleza, Dr. Jorge Rabadilla was instituted as devisee of parcel of land. The codicil provides that that Dr. Jorge Rabadilla is under obligation to deliver 100 piculs of sugar yearly to Marlena Belleza Coscuella. Such obligation is imposed on the instituted heir, Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, his heirs, and their buyer, lessee, or mortgagee should they sell, lease, mortgage or otherwise negotiate the property involved. The Codicil further provides that in the event that the obligation to deliver the sugar is not respected, Marlena Belleza Coscuella shall seize the property and turn it over to the testatrix's near descendants. After the transfer of the said parcel of land to Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, Marlena Belleza Coscuella, filed a complaint for the reconveyance of the parcel of land for failure of Dr. Jorge Rabadilla and his heirs to comply with the condition of the Codicil. ISSUE/S: Is the reconveyance of the parcel of land to proper? RULING: Yes. The institution of an heir in the manner prescribed in Article 882 is what is known in the law of succession as an institucion sub modo or a modal institution. In a modal institution, the testator states (1) the object of the institution, (2) the purpose or application of the property left by the testator, or (3) the charge imposed by the testator upon the heir. A "mode" imposes an obligation upon the heir or legatee but it does not affect the efficacy of his rights to the succession. On the other hand, in a conditional testamentary disposition, the condition must happen or be fulfilled in order for the heir to be entitled to succeed the testator. The condition suspends but does not obligate; and the mode obligates but does not suspend. To some extent, it is similar to a resolutory condition. From the provisions of the Codicil litigated upon, it can be gleaned unerringly that the testatrix intended that subject property be inherited by Dr. Jorge Rabadilla. It is likewise clearly worded that the testatrix imposed an obligation on the said instituted heir and his successors-in-interest to deliver one hundred piculs of sugar to the herein private respondent, Marlena Coscolluela Belleza, during the lifetime of the latter. However, the testatrix did not make Dr. Jorge Rabadilla's inheritance and the effectivity of his institution as a devisee, dependent on the performance of the said obligation. It is clear, though, that should the obligation be not complied with, the property shall be turned over to the testatrix's near descendants. The manner of institution of Dr. Jorge Rabadilla under subject Codicil is evidently modal in nature because it imposes a charge upon the instituted heir without, however, affecting the efficacy of such institution. The non-performance of the said obligation is thus with the sanction of seizure of the property and reversion thereof to the testatrix's near descendants. Since the said obligation is clearly imposed by the testatrix, not only on the instituted heir but also on his successors-in-interest, the sanction imposed by the testatrix in case of non-fulfillment of said obligation should equally apply to the instituted heir and his successors-in-interest.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 44. TERESITA P. BORDALBA v. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 112443 January 25, 2002 FACTS: A land known as Lot No. 1242 (Lot No. 799-C) with an area of 1,853 square meters and located at Barrio Looc, Mandaue City, is the subject of the controversy. This lot is part of a parcel of land situated on the corner of Mabini and Plaridel Streets in Mandaue City, and originally owned by the late spouses Carmeno Jayme and Margarita Espina de Jayme.In 1947, an extra-judicial partition: 1)1/3 in favor of -(a) their grandchild Nicanor Jayme, the deceased spouse of private respondent Candida Flores and the father of private respondents Emmanuel, Dina, Evelia and Gesila, all surnamed Jayme; and (b) their grandchild Asuncion Jayme-Baclay, whose heirs are private respondents Angelo Baclay, Elnora Baclay and Carmen Jayme-Daclan; 2)1/3 to their daughter Elena Jayme Vda. de Perez, mother of petitioner Teresita P. Bordalba; and 3)1/3 to an unidentified party Built on the land adjudicated to the heirs of the spouses is Nicanor Jayme’s house, which his family occupied since 1945. Elena Jayme Vda. de Perez alleged that the lot sought to be registered was originally a part of a land owned by her late parents, the spouses Carmeno Jayme and Margarita Espina de Jayme; and that 1/3 of said land was adjudicated to her in an extra-judicial partition.She further stated that a portion of the lot for which title is applied for is occupied by Nicanor Jayme with her permission. Nicanor opposed stating that the land sought to be registered also covers the land adjudicated to him by way of extra judicial partition. Petitioner was successfully granted Free Patent No. (VII-I) 11421 and Original Certificate of Title No. 0-571 (FP) over said lot. Private respondents filed the instant complaint against petitioner Teresita Bordalba, spouses Genaro U. Cabahug, and Rita Capala, Rural Bank of Mandaue and the Director of the Bureau of Lands. Petitioner, on the other hand, averred that Lot No. 1242 (799-C) was acquired by her through purchase from her mother who was in possession since 1947. ISSUE/S: Whether or not the claim of the petitioner is correct. RULING: NO. Likewise untenable is the claim of petitioner that private respondents are not legal heirs of Nicanor Jayme and Asuncion Jayme-Baclay. Other than their bare allegations to dispute their heirship, no hard evidence was presented by them to substantiate their allegations. Besides, in order that an heir may assert his right to the property of a deceased, no previous judicial declaration of heirship is necessary. Considering that Lot No.1242 (799-C) is part of the parcel of land over which private respondents’ predecessors-in-interest is entitled to 1/3 pro-indiviso share, which was disregarded by petitioner when she secured a Free Patent and Original Certificate of Title in her name, to the exclusion of private respondents’ predecessors-in-interest, the trial court and the Court of Appeals, therefore, did not err in upholding the right of private respondents as coowners, and ordering the petitioner to reconvey 1/3 of the lot in question to them.
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45. HEIRS OF IGNACIO CONTI v. CA, et al G.R. No. 118464 December 21, 1998 FACTS: Lourdes Sampayo and Ignacio Conti, married to Rosario Cuado, were the co-owners of the property in litigation consisting of a 539-square meter lot at the corner of Zamora and Abellanosa Streets, Lucena City, covered by TCT No. T-15374, with a house erected thereon. Lourdes died intestate and without issue. The private respondents are all claiming to be collateral relatives of the deceased Lourdes Sampayo, filed an action for partition and damages before RTC-Br. 54, Lucena City. The spouses Ignacio Conti and Rosario Cuario refused the partition on the ground that private respondents failed to produce any document to produce that they were the rightful heirs of Lourdes Sampayo. Ignacio died and he was substituted by his children. At the trial, private respondents presented Lydia Sampayo Reyes and Adelaida Sampayo to prove that they were the collateral heirs of the deceased Lourdes Sampayo and therefore entitled to her rights as co-owner of the subject lot. Bringing with her the original copy of her certificate of live birth showing that her father was Inocentes Reyes and her mother was Josefina Sampayo, Lydia Sampayo Reyes testified that she was one of the nieces of Lourdes Sampayo, being the daughter of Josefina Sampayo, the only living sibling of Lourdes. They also presnted the baptismal certificates of Lourdes’ deceased siblings in order to prove their relations and that only Josefina is alive. Rosario testified that the subject property was coowned in equal shares by her husband Ignacio Conti and Lourdes Sampayo and that her family (Rosario) had been staying in the subject property since 1937. She also said that it was Ignacio who pays the real estate tax and the expenses. Liurdes also left her share to the spouses. no will, either testamentary or holographic, was presented by petitioners to substantiate this claim. On 4 April 1991 the trial court declared private respodents as the rightful heirs of Lourdes Sampayo. It further ordered private respondents and petitioners to submit a project of partition of the residential house and lot for confirmation by the court. Appealed to CA, which in turn affirmed the decision. RULING: A prior and separate judicial declaration of heirship was not necessary and that private respondents became the co-owners of the portion of the property owned and registered in the name of Lourdes Sampayo upon her death and, consequently, entitled to the immediate possession thereof and all other incidents/rights of ownership as provided for by law, including the right to demand partition under Art. 777 of the Civil Code. the property belongs to the heirs at the moment of death of the decedent, as completely as if he had executed and delivered to them a deed for the same before his death. If there are no descendants, ascendants, illegitimate children, or a surviving spuoses, the collateral relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of the decedent. It was established during the trial that Lourdes died intestate and without issues. Private respondents as sister, nephews and nieces now claim to be the collateral relatives of Lourdes.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 46. ALICIA E. GALA v. ELLICE AGRO-INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION, et al G.R. No. 156819. December 11, 2003 YNARES-SANTIAGO, J. FACTS: Spouses Manuel and Alicia Gala, their children Guia Domingo, Ofelia Gala, Raul Gala, and Rita Benson, and their encargados Virgilio Galeon and Julian Jader formed and organized the Ellice AgroIndustrial Corporation. Subsequently, on September 16, 1982, Guia Domingo, Ofelia Gala, Raul Gala, Virgilio Galeon and Julian Jader incorporated the Margo Management and Development Corporation (Margo). Manuel and Alicia on several occasions transferred their holdings in Ellice to Margo. After an election was conducted, Raul Gala became the chairman, president, and general manager of both companies who later on filed a SEC case against petitioner for dissolution of ElliceAgro-Industrial Corporation for alleged mismanagement, diversion of funds, financial losses and the dissipation of assets. Petitioners opposed the case claiming that stockholdings in Ellice which the late Manuel Gala had assigned to them were insufficient to cover their legitimes, since Benson was only given two shares while Domingo received only sixteen shares out of a total number of 35,000 issued shares. ISSUE/S: Whether or not respondent corporations was organized petitioners of their legitime.
for illegal purposes to deprive
RULING: The reliefs sought by petitioners should have been raised in a proceeding for settlement of estate, rather than in the present intra-corporate controversy. If they are genuinely interested in securing that part of their late fathers property which has been reserved for them in their capacity as compulsory heirs, then they should simply exercise their actio ad supplendam legitimam, or their right of completion  of legitime. Such relief must be sought during the distribution and partition stage of a case for the settlement of the estate of Manuel Gala, filed before a court which has taken jurisdiction over the settlement of said estate.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 47. DY YIENG SEANGIO, et al v. HON. AMOR A. REYES, GR No. 140371-72 November 27, 2006 AZCUNA FACTS: On Sept. 21, 1988, private respondents filed a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of the late Segundo Seangio and praying for the appointment of Elisa D. Seangio-Santos as special administrator and guardian ad litem of petitioner Dy Yieng Seangio. In view of the purported holographic will, petitioners averred that in the event the decedent is found to have left a will, the intestate proceedings are to be automatically suspended and replaced by the proceedings for the probate of the will. On April 7, 1999, a petition for the probate of the holographic will of Segundo was filed by petitioners before the RTC and reiterated that the probate proceedings should take precedence over the intestate proceedings because testate proceedings take precedence and enjoy priority over intestate proceedings. The holographic will entitled “Kasulatan sa Pag-aalis ng Mana” only removed his eldest son Alfredo Seangio as his heir. ISSUE/S: Can the document executed by Segundo be considered as a holographic will? RULING: Yes. Segundo’s document, although it may initially come across as a mere disinheritance instrument, conforms to the formalities of a holographic will prescribed by law. It is written, dated and signed by the hand of Segundo himself. An intent to dispose mortis causa can be clearly deduced from the terms of the instrument, and while it does not make an affirmative disposition of the latter’s property, the disinheritance of Alfredo, nonetheless, is an act of disposition in itself. In other words, the disinheritance results in the disposition of the property of the testator Segundo in favor of those who would succeed in the absence of Alfredo. Holographic wills, therefore, being usually prepared by one who is not learned in the law, as illustrated in the present case, should be construed more liberally than the ones drawn by an expert, taking into account the circumstances surrounding the execution of the instrument and the intention of the testator. In this regard, the document, even if captioned as Kasulatan ng Pag-Aalis ng Mana, was intended by Segundo to be his last testamentary act and was executed by him in accordance with law in the form of a holographic will. Unless the will is probated, the disinheritance cannot be given effect. The petition for probate of the was granted.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 48. Bagunu v. Piedad G.R. No. 140975 8 December 2000 Vitug, J.: FACTS: Ofelia Hernando Bagunu is a collateral relative within the fifth degree (son of the first cousin) of Augusto H. Piedad. As such, she seeks to share in the estate of Augusto – who died intestate leaving only collateral relatives – with Pastora Piedad, Augusto’s aunt, to whom the entire estate was awarded. She further invokes Art. 1009 to support her case. ISSUE/S: Is Ofelia entitled to share the Augusto’s estate with Pastora? RULING: NO. The Civil Code provides that in every inheritance, the relative nearest in degree excludes the more distant ones, saving the right of representation when it properly takes place. In the collateral line, the right of representation may only take place in favor of the children of brothers or sisters of the decedent when such children survive with their uncles or aunts. The right of representation does not apply to "other collateral relatives within the fifth civil degree.” Moreover, Article 1009 means only that among the other collateral relatives, no preference or distinction shall be observed "by reason of relationship by the whole blood.” In fine, a maternal aunt can inherit alongside a paternal uncle, and a first cousin of the full blood can inherit equally with a first cousin of the half blood, but an uncle or an aunt, being a third-degree relative, excludes the cousins of the decedent, being in the fourth-degree of relationship; the latter, in turn, would have priority in succession to a fifthdegree relative. Accordingly, Pastora, being a relative within the third civil degree, of the late Augusto excludes Ofelia, a relative of the fifth degree, from succeeding ab intestato to the estate of the decedent.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 49. IN THE MATTER OF THE INTESTATE ESTATES OF THE DECEASED JOSEFA DELGADO AND GUILLERMO DELGADO, HEIRS OF LUIS DELGADO, v. HEIRS OF MARCIANA RUSTIA G.R. No. 155733. January 27, 2006 FACTS: Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado died without a will. The claimants of their estates may be divided into two groups: (1) the alleged heirs of Josefa Delgado, consisting of her half- and full-blood siblings, nephews and nieces, and grandnephews and grandnieces, and (2) the alleged heirs of Guillermo Rustia, particularly, his sisters, his nephews and nieces, his illegitimate child, and the de facto adopted child (ampun-ampunan) of the decedents. The Alleged Heirs of Josefa Delgado The deceased Josefa Delgado was the daughter of Felisa Delgado by one Lucio Campo. Aside from Josefa, five other children were born to the couple, namely, Nazario, Edilberta, Jose, Jacoba, and Gorgonio, all surnamed Delgado. Felisa Delgado was never married to Lucio Campo, hence, Josefa and her full-blood siblings were all natural children of Felisa Delgado. However, Lucio Campo was not the first and only man in Felisa Delgado¶s life. Before him was Ramon Osorio with whom Felisa had a son, Luis Delgado. The Marriage of Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado Guillermo Rustia proposed marriage to Josefa Delgado but whether a marriage in fact took place is disputed. Several circumstances give rise to the presumption that a valid marriage existed between Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado. Their cohabitation of more than 50 years cannot be doubted. The Alleged Heirs of Guillermo Rustia Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado never had any children but they took into their home the youngsters Guillermina Rustia Rustia and Nanie Rustia. These children, never legally adopted by the couple, were what was known in the local dialect as ampun-ampunan. During his life with Josefa, however, Guillermo Rustia did manage to father an illegitimate child, the intervenor-respondent Guillerma Rustia, with one Amparo Sagarbarria. ISSUE/S: 1. Who are the lawful heirs of Josefa Delgado? Whether or not the grandnephews and grandnieces of Josefa Delgado can inherit by right of representation? 2. Who are the lawful heirs of Guillermo Rustia? RULING: 1. The Lawful Heirs of Josefa Delgado It was found out that Felisa Delgado and Ramon Osorio were never married. Hence, all the children born to Felisa Delgado out of her relations with Ramon Osorio and Lucio Campo, namely, Luis and his half-blood siblings Nazario, Edilberta, Jose, Jacoba, Gorgonio and the decedent Josefa, all surnamed Delgado, were her natural children. The abovenamed siblings of Josefa Delgado were related to her by full-blood, except Luis Delgado, her halfbrother. Nonetheless, since they were all illegitimate, they may inherit from each other. Accordingly, all of them are entitled to inherit from Josefa Delgado. However, the petitioners in this case are already the nephews, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces of Josefa Delgado. Under Article 972 of the new Civil Code, the right of representation in the collateral line takes place only in favor of the children of brothers and sisters (nephews and nieces). Consequently, it cannot be exercised by grandnephews and grandnieces. Therefore, the only collateral relatives of Josefa Delgado who are entitled to partake of her intestate estate are her brothers and sisters, or their children who were still alive at the time of her death on September 8, 1972. They have a vested right to participate in the inheritance. The records not being clear on this matter, it is now for the trial court to determine who were the surviving brothers and sisters (or their children) of Josefa Delgado at the time of her death. Together with Guillermo Rustia, they are entitled to inherit from Josefa Delgado in accordance with Article 1001 of the new Civil Code: Should brothers and sisters or their children survive with the widow or widower, the latter shall be entitled to one-half of the inheritance and the brothers and sisters or their children to the other one-half. 2. The Lawful Heirs of Guillermo Rustia Guillerma Rustia is an illegitimate child of Guillermo Rustia. As such, she may be entitled to successional rights only upon proof of an admission or recognition of paternity. She failed to present authentic proof of recognition. Together with Guillermina Rustia Rustia, they were held legal strangers to the deceased spouses and therefore not entitled to inherit from them ab intestato. Under Article 1002 of the new Civil Code, if there are no descendants, ascendants, illegitimate children, or surviving spouse, the collateral relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased. Therefore, the lawful heirs of Guillermo Rustia are the remaining claimants, consisting of his sisters, nieces and nephews. Therefore, the intestate estate of Guillermo SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW 51
CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON Rustia shall inherit half of the intestate estate of Josefa Delgado. The remaining half shall pertain to (a) the full and half-siblings of Josefa Delgado who survived her and (b) the children of any of Josefa Delgados full- or half-siblings who may have predeceased her, also surviving at the time of her death. Josefa Delgados grandnephews and grandnieces are excluded from her estate. The trial court is hereby ordered to determine the identities of the relatives of Josefa Delgado who are entitled to share in her estate. Guillermo Rustias estate (including its one-half share of Josefa Delgados estate) shall be inherited by Marciana Rustia vda. de Damian and Hortencia Rustia Cruz (whose respective shares shall be per capita) and the children of the late Roman Rustia, Sr. (who survived Guillermo Rustia and whose respective shares shall be per stirpes). Considering that Marciana Rustia vda. de Damian and Hortencia Rustia Cruz are now deceased, their respective shares shall pertain to their estates.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 50. OLIVIA and HERMES S. PASCUAL v. ESPERANZA C. PASCUAL-BAUTISTA, et al., respondents G.R. No. 84240; March 25, 1992 PARAS, J.: FACTS: Olivia and Hermes Pascual are the acknowledged natural children of the late Eligio Pascual, the latter being the full blood brother of the decedent Don Andres Pascual. Don Andres died intestate in 1973 without any issue, legitimate, acknowledged natural, adopted or spurious children and was survived by the following: (a) Adela Soldevilla de Pascual, surviving spouse; (b) Children of Wenceslao Pascual, Sr., a brother of the full blood; (c) Children of Pedro-Bautista, brother of the half blood; (d) Acknowledged natural children of Eligio, brother of the full blood; (e) Intestate of Eleuterio T. Pascual, a brother of the half blood. Surviving spouse Adela filed with RTC Rizal a Special Proceeding for administration of the intestate estate of her late husband, and then a Supplemental Petition where she expressly stated that Olivia and Hermes are among the heirs of Don Andres. In 1985, all the heirs entered into a COMPROMISE AGREEMENT, over the vehement objections of Olivia and Hermes. Olivia and Hermes filed their Motion to Reiterate Hereditary Rights. The RTC resolved to deny this motion. On appeal, IAC dismissed. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari. ISSUE/S: Whether Article 992 of the Civil Code can be interpreted to exclude recognized natural children from the inheritance of the deceased. RULING: YES. The petition is devoid of merit. Article 992 of the Civil Code provides a barrier or iron curtain in that it prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said legitimate child. They may have a natural tie of blood, but this is not recognized by law for the purposes of Article 992. Between the legitimate family and illegitimate family, there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked down upon by the legitimate family; the family is in turn hated by the illegitimate child; the latter considers the privileged condition of the former, and the resources of which it is thereby deprived; the former, in turn, sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin, palpable evidence of a blemish broken in life; the law does no more than recognize this truth, by avoiding further grounds of resentment. Eligio Pascual is a legitimate child but Olivia and Hermes are his illegitimate children. Applying the above doctrine to the case at bar, IAC did not err in holding that Olivia and Hermes cannot represent their father Eligio in the succession of the latter to the intestate estate of the decedent Andres. Clearly, the term "illegitimate" refers to both natural and spurious.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 51. BENIGNO MANUEL, et al v. HON. NICODEMO T. FERRER, et al G.R. No. 117246 August 21, 1995 VITUG, J.: FACTS: Petitioners, the legitimate children of spouses Antonio Manuel and Beatriz Guiling, initiatedthis suit. During his marriage with Beatriz, Antonio had an extramarital affair with one Ursula. Fro m this relationship, Juan Manuel was born. Juan owned three parcels of land, all registered in his name. He and his wife, Esperanza Gamba, had no child, so they decided to take Modesta Manuel-Baltazar and raised her as their own daughter. Juan entered into a pacto de retro sale with one Estanislaoa Manuel, one of herein respondents. Later, Juan died intestate followed by his wife two years after. Modesta then executed an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication claiming for herself the three parcels of land. Modesta executed in favor of her co-respondent Estanislaoa Manuel a Deed of Renunciation and Quitclaim over the unredeemed one-half (1/2) portion of the that was sold to the latter by Juan Deed of Sale Con Pacto de Retro Petitioners sought the declaration of nullity of the aforesaid instruments.Petitioners argue that they are the legal heirs over one-half of Juan's intestate estate (while the other half would pertain to Juan's surviving spouse) under the provision of the last paragraph of Article 994 of the Civil Code, providing Respondents, in turn, submit that Article 994 should be read in conjunction with Article 992 of the Civil Code. ISSUE/S: Are petitioners legal heirs of the decedent Juan Manuel hence entitled to inherit? RULING: NO. Article 992, a basic postulate, enunciates what is so commonly referred to in the rules on succession as the "principle of absolute separation between the legitimate family and the illegitimate family." The doctrine rejects succession ab intestato in the collateral line between legitimate relatives, on the one hand, and illegitimate relatives, on other hand, although it does not totally disavow such succession in the direct line. Since the rule is predicated on the presumed will of the decedent, it has no application, however, on testamentary dispositions. It must be noted that under Art. 992 of the Code, there is a barrier dividing members of the illegitimate family from members of the legitimate family. It is clear that by virtue of this barrier, the legitimate brothers and sisters as well as the children, whether legitimate or illegitimate, of such brothers and sisters, cannot inherit from the illegitimate child. Consequently, when the law speaks of"brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces" as legal heirs of an illegitimate child, it refers to illegitimate brothers and sisters as well as to the children, whether legitimate or illegitimate, of such brothers and sisters. In her answer to the complaint, Modesta candidly admitted that she herself is not an intestate heir of Juan Manuel. She is right. A ward (ampon), without the benefit of formal (judicial) adoption, is neither a compulsory nor a legal heir. We hold, nevertheless, that the complaint of petitioners seeking the nullity of the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication executed by Modesta, the 3 TCT's issued to her favor, as well as the Deed of Renunciation and Quitclaim in favor of Estanislaoa Manuel, was properly dismissed by the trial court. Petitioners, not being the real "parties-in-interest" in the case, had neither the standing nor the cause of action to initiate the complaint.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 52. CORAZON DEZOLLER TISON v. CA
G.R. No. 121027 July 31, 1997 FACTS: The petitioners Corazon Tison and Rene Dezoller are niece and nephew of the deceased Tedora Dezoller Guerrero, who appears to be the sister of their father Hermogenes Dezoller. The present action for reconveyance involves a parcel of land with a house and apartment which was originally owned by the spouses Martin Guerrero and Teodora Dezoller Guerrero. It. Teodora Dezoller Guerrero died on March 5, 1983 without any ascendant or descendant, and was survived only by her husband, Martin Guerrero, and herein petitioners. Petitioners' father, Hermogenes, died on October 3, 1973, hence they seek to inherit from Teodora Dezoller Guerrero by right of representation. The records reveal that upon the death of Teodora Dezoller Guerrero, her surviving spouse executed an Affidavit of Extrajudicial Settlement adjudicating unto himself, allegedly as sole heir, the land in dispute. Martin sold the lot to herein private respondent Teodora Domingo and thereafter. Martin Guerrero died. Subsequently, herein petitioners filed an action for reconveyance claiming that they are entitled to inherit one-half of the property in question by right of representation. Tedoro Domingo however, attacks the legitimacy of Hermogenes. ISSUE/S: Whether or not a third person, not the father nor an heir, may attack the legitimacy of Hermogenes RULING: NO. The private respondent is not the proper party to impugn the legitimacy of herein petitioners. There is no presumption of the law more firmly established and founded on sounder morality and more convincing reason than the presumption that children born in wedlock are legitimate. And well settled is the rule that the issue of legitimacy cannot be attacked collaterally. Only the husband can contest the legitimacy of a child born to his wife. He is the one directly confronted with the scandal and ridicule which the infidelity of his wife produces; and he should decidewhether to conceal that infidelity or expose it, in view of the moral and economic interest involved. It is only in exceptional cases that his heir are allowed to contest such legitimacy. Outside of these cases, none — even his heirs — can impugn legitimacy; that would amount to an insult to his memory.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 53. HEIRS OF PASCASIO URIARTE v. CA
GR No. 116775 January 22, 1998 FACTS: Justa acquired the 0.5 hec by inheritance from her parents, Juan Arnaldo and Ursula Tubil, and 2.2 hec by purchase. Estrada, Justa’s nephew, claimed to be the sole surviving heir of Justa on the ground that she died intestate. He further claimed that Pascasio Uriarte who apparently worked the land as Justa’s tenant refused to give him his share of the harvest. Estrada claimed that Uriarte has no right to the entire land but could only claim ½ of the 0.5 hec. Justa inherited from her parents. While the partition case was pending, Pascasio died and was replaced by petitioners-heirs. Allegedly, the petitioners were not mere tenants but Justa’s heirs entitled to her entire land. ISSUE/S: Whether or not Estrada may inherit from Justa. RULING: Estrada, as admitted by petitioners, is Justa’s nephew, his mother, Agatonica, being Justa’s half sister. He is thus Justa’s nearest relative and thus, the only one entitled to her estate. Estrada is a 3rd degree relative of Justa. On the other hand, petitioners are the children of Justa’s cousin. They are thus 5th degree relatives of Justa. Applying the principle that the nearest excludes the farthest, then Estrada is the lawful heir of Justa. The fact that his mother is only a half-sister of Justa is of no moment. A nephew is considered a collateral relative who may inherit if no descendant, ascendant, or spouse survives the decedent. That Estrada is only a half-blood is immaterial. This alone does not disqualify him from being his aunt’s heir. The determination of whether the relationship is of full or half blood is important only to determine the extent of the share of the survivors.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 54. GONZALES et. al. v. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 110335 June 18, 2001 FACTS: Herein petitioners are the successors-in-interest or the children and grandchildren of spouses Marina and Ignacio Gonzales who owned two parcels of land located in Cabanatuan City. On the other hand, private respondents are the farmers and tenants of said spouses who have been cultivating the parcels of land even before World War II either personally or through their predecessors-in-interest. Prior to the partition of said lands, Ignacio Gonzales executed a Deed of Donation on July 12, 1972 conveying his share of the property in favor of his 14 grandchildren. The said donation was not registered. Thus, when Presidential Decree No. 27 (P.D. No. 27) took effect on October 21, 1972, the landholdings of the spouses Gonzales were placed under Operation Land Transfer by virtue of said decree, and private respondents were accordingly issued the corresponding Certificates of Land Transfer and Emancipation Patents. ISSUE/S: Will the property subject of the deed of donation which was not registered when P.D. No. 27 took effect, be excluded from the Operation Land Transfer? RULING: No. It is actually the act of registration that operates to convey registered land or affect title thereto. It is undisputed in this case that the donation executed by Ignacio Gonzales in favor of his grandchildren, although in writing and duly notarized, has not been registered in accordance with law. For this reason, it shall not be binding upon private respondents who did not participate in said deed or had no actual knowledge thereof. Hence, while the deed of donation is valid between the donor and the donees, such deed, however, did not bind the tenants-farmers who were not parties to the donation. As previously enunciated by this Court, non-registration of a deed of donation does not bind other parties ignorant of a previous transaction (Sales v. Court of Appeals, 211 SCRA 858 ). So it is of no moment that the right of the tenants-farmers in this case was created by virtue of a decree or law. They are still considered "third persons" contemplated in our laws on registration, for the fact remains that these tenants-farmers had no actual knowledge of the deed of donation. From the foregoing, the ineluctable conclusion drawn is that the unregistered deed of donation cannot operate to exclude the subject land from the coverage of the Operation Land Transfer of P.D. No. 27, which took effect on October 21, 1972. To rule otherwise would render ineffectual the rights and interests that the tenants-farmers immediately acquired upon the promulgation of P.D. No. 27, especially so because in the case at bar, they have been cultivating the land even before World War II. Accordingly, the Certificates of Land Transfer and the Emancipation Patents respectively issued to private respondents over the land in question cannot be cancelled.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 55. ARNELITO ADLAWAN v. EMETERIO M. ADLAWAN and NARCISA M. ADLAWAN G.R. No. 161916 January 20, 2006 YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: FACTS: The instant ejectment suit stemmed from the parties dispute over Lot 7226 and the house built thereon registered in the name of the late Dominador Adlawan. In his complaint, petitioner claimed that he is an acknowledged illegitimate child of Dominador who died on May 28, 1987 without any other issue. Claiming to be the sole heir of Dominador, he executed an affidavit adjudicating to himself Lot 7226 and the house built thereon. Out of respect and generosity to respondents who are the siblings of his father, he granted their plea to occupy the subject property provided they would vacate the same should his need for the property arise. He verbally requested respondents to vacate the house and lot, but they refused and filed instead an action for quieting of title. Respondents denied that they begged petitioner to allow them to stay on the questioned property and stressed that they have been occupying Lot 7226 and the house standing thereon since birth. ISSUE/S: Can the petitioner validly maintain the instant case for ejectment? RULING: No. Petitioner cannot validly maintain the instant action considering that he does not recognize the co-ownership that necessarily flows from his theory of succession to the property of his father, Dominador. The instant case, however, presents an entirely different backdrop as petitioner vigorously asserted absolute and sole ownership of the questioned lot. There is no merit in petitioners claim that he has the legal personality to file the present unlawful detainer suit because the ejectment of respondents would benefit not only him but also his alleged co-owners. However, petitioner forgets that he filed the instant case to acquire possession of the property and to recover damages. If granted, he alone will gain possession of the lot and benefit from the proceeds of the award of damages to the exclusion of the heirs of Graciana. Hence, petitioner cannot successfully capitalize on the alleged benefit to his co-owners. Incidentally, it should be pointed out that in default of the said heirs of Graciana, whom petitioner labeled as fictitious heirs, the State will inherit her share and will thus be petitioners co-owner entitled to possession and enjoyment of the property.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 56. GUY v. CA G.R. No. 163707 September 15, 2006 Ynares-Santiago, J.: FACTS: Private-respondents Karen and Kamille, represented by their mother Remedios Oanes, alleged that they are the acknowledged illegitimate children of Sima Wei who died intestate and filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration before the RTC of Makati City. Petitioners, on the other hand filed for the dismissal of the petition alleging that his father left no debts hence, his estate may be settled without the issuance of letters administration and further alleged that the claim has been paid and waived by reason of a Release of Claim or waiver stating that in exchange for financial and educational assistance from the petitioner, Remedios and her minor children discharged the estate of the decedent from any and all liabilities. ISSUE/S: Can the mother repudiate her children’s inheritance without judicial approval? RULING: No. ART. 1044. xxx Any inheritance left to minors or incapacitated persons may be accepted by their parents or guardians. Parents or guardians may repudiate the inheritance left to their wards only by judicial authorization. Repudiation amounts to alienation of property and parents and guardians must necessarily obtain judicial approval. Repudiation of inheritance must pass the court's scrutiny in order to protect the best interest of the ward. Not having been authorized by the court, the release or waiver is therefore void. Moreover, the private-respondents could not have waived their supposed right as they have yet to prove their status as illegitimate children of the decedent. It would be inconsistent to rule that they have waived a right which, according to the petitioner, the latter do not have.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 57. NATIVIDAD NAZARENO, MAXIMINO NAZAERO, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ESTATE OF MAXIMINO NAZARENO, SR., ROMEO NAZARENO and ELIZA NAZARENO G.R. No. 138842, October 18, 2000 MENDOZA, J. FACTS: After the death of Maximino, Sr., Romeo filed an intestate case. In the course of the intestate proceedings, Romeo discovered that his parents had executed several deeds of sale conveying a number of real properties in favor of his sister, Natividad. On behalf of the estate of Maximino Sr., Romeo filed the present case for annulment of sale with damages against Natividad. ISSUE/S: Should the subject lands be included in the collation? RULING: Yes. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of CA in annulling the sale. SC further ruled that: It appears that it was the practice in the Nazareno family to make simulated transfers of ownership of real properties to their children in order to avoid the payment of inheritance taxes. Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that Maximino, Sr. intended to give the six Quezon City lots to Natividad. As Romeo testified, their parents executed the Deed of Sale in favor of Natividad because the latter was the only female and the only unmarried member of the family. She was thus entrusted with the real properties in behalf of her siblings. There being an implied trust, the lots in question are therefore subject to collation in accordance with Art. 1061 which states: Every compulsory heir, who succeeds with other compulsory heirs, must bring into the mass of the estate any property or right which he may have received from the decedent, during the lifetime of the latter, by way of donation, or any other gratuitous title, in order that it may be computed in the determination of the legitime of each heir, and in the account of the partition.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 58. SANCHEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 108947 September 29, 1997 Panganiban, J. FACTS: Private respondent Rosalia Lugod is the only legitimate child of Juan Sanchez and Maria Villafranca while petitioners are the illegitimate children of Juan Sanchez. After the death of Juan and Maria, Private respondent and petitioners entered into a compromise agreement wherein they extrajudicially distributed the properties of Juan Sanchez among themselves. The Intestate Court however, invalidated the compromise agreement and declared that the properties sold by Juan Sanchez to Rosalia’s children, during his lifetime, are to be collated since the transfers are allegedly simulated and therefore void. ISSUE/S: 1. Can an intestate court declare as void a sale of his property, made by the decedent during his lifetime? 2. Are the properties sold by the decedent, during his lifetime, to his grandchildren subject to collation? RULING: 1.
No, the probate or intestate court cannot do so. The said court had jurisdiction to act in the intestate proceedings involved in this case with the caveat that, due to its limited jurisdiction, it could resolve questions of title only provisionally. It is hornbook doctrine that in a special proceeding for the probate of a will, the question of ownership is an extraneous matter which the probate court cannot resolve with finality. This pronouncement no doubt applies with equal force to an intestate proceeding as in the case at bar. In the instant case, the trial court rendered a decision declaring as simulated and fictitious all the deeds of absolute sale which, on July 26, 1963 and June 26, 1967, Juan C. Sanchez and Maria Villafranca executed in favor of their daughter, Rosalia Sanchez Lugod; and grandchildren, namely, Arturo S. Lugod, Evelyn S. Lugod and Roberto S. Lugod. The trial court ruled further that the properties covered by the said sales must be subject to collation. Citing Article 1409 (2) of the Civil Code, the lower court nullified said deeds of sale and determined with finality the ownership of the properties subject thereof. In doing so, it clearly overstepped its jurisdiction as a probate court. No. The deeds of sale did not involve gratuitous transfers of future inheritance; these were contracts of sale perfected by the decedents during their lifetime. Hence, the properties conveyed thereby are not collationable because, essentially, collation mandated under Article 1061 of the Civil Code contemplates properties conveyed inter vivos by the decedent to an heir by way of donation or other gratuitous title.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 59. HEIRS OF IGNACIO CONTI v. CA G.R. No. 118464 December 21, 1998 FACTS: Lourdes Sampayo and Ignacio Conti, married to Rosario Cuado, were the co-owners of the property in litigation consisting of a 539-square meter lot at the corner of Zamora and Abellanosa Streets, Lucena City, covered by TCT No. T-15374, with a house erected thereon. Lourdes died intestate and without issue. The private respondents are all claiming to be collateral relatives of the deceased Lourdes Sampayo, filed an action for partition and damages before RTC-Br. 54, Lucena City. The spouses Ignacio Conti and Rosario Cuario refused the partition on the ground that private respondents failed to produce any document to produce that they were the rightful heirs of Lourdes Sampayo. Ignacio died and he was substituted by his children. At the trial, private respondents presented Lydia Sampayo Reyes and Adelaida Sampayo to prove that they were the collateral heirs of the deceased Lourdes Sampayo and therefore entitled to her rights as co-owner of the subject lot. Bringing with her the original copy of her certificate of live birth showing that her father was Inocentes Reyes and her mother was Josefina Sampayo, Lydia Sampayo Reyes testified that she was one of the nieces of Lourdes Sampayo, being the daughter of Josefina Sampayo, the only living sibling of Lourdes. They also presnted the baptismal certificates of Lourdes’ deceased siblings in order to prove their relations and that only Josefina is alive. Rosario testified that the subject property was coowned in equal shares by her husband Ignacio Conti and Lourdes Sampayo and that her family (Rosario) had been staying in the subject property since 1937. She also said that it was Ignacio who pays the real estate tax and the expenses. Liurdes also left her share to the spouses. no will, either testamentary or holographic, was presented by petitioners to substantiate this claim. On 4 April 1991 the trial court declared private respodents as the rightful heirs of Lourdes Sampayo. It further ordered private respondents and petitioners to submit a project of partition of the residential house and lot for confirmation by the court. Appealed to CA, which in turn affirmed the decision. RULING: a prior and separate judicial declaration of heirship was not necessary and that private respondents became the co-owners of the portion of the property owned and registered in the name of Lourdes Sampayo upon her death and, consequently, entitled to the immediate possession thereof and all other incidents/rights of ownership as provided for by law, including the right to demand partition under Art. 777 of the Civil Code. the property belongs to the heirs at the moment of death of the decedent, as completely as if he had executed and delivered to them a deed for the same before his death. If there are no descendants, ascendants, illegitimate children, or a surviving spuoses, the collateral relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of the decedent. It was established during the trial that Lourdes died intestate and without issues. Private respondents as sister, nephews and nieces now claim to be the collateral relatives of Lourdes.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 60. MAURICIA ALEJANDRINO v. CA
G.R. No. 114151 September 17, 1998 FACTS: The late spouses Alejandrino left their six children named Marcelino, Gregorio, Ciriaco, Mauricia, Laurencia and Abundio a lot in Cebu City. Upon the death of the spouses, the property should have been divided among their children, however, the estate of the Alejandrino spouses was not settled in accordance with the procedures. Petitioner Mauricia (one of the children) allegedly purchased portion of the lots from her brothers, Gregorio's, Ciriaco's and Abundio's share. It turned out, however, that a third party named Nique, the private respondent in this case, also purchased portions of the property from Laurencia, Abundio and Marcelino. However, Laurencia (the alleged seller to Nique) later questioned the sale in an action for quieting of title and damages. The trial court (Quieting of title case) ruled in favor of Nique and declared him the owner of the lots. Laurencia appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals but later withdrew the same. Nique filed a motion for the segregation of the portion of the property that had been declared by the trial court (Quieting of title case) as his own by virtue of purchase. The trial court segregated the property on the basis of the Extra-Judicial Settlement between Mauricia and Laurencia. ISSUE/S: Whether or not partition of the lot was validly made RULING: Yes. 1. Although the right of an heir over the property of the decedent is inchoate as long as the estate has not been fully settled and partitioned, the law allows a co-owner to exercise rights of ownership over such inchoate right. Laurencia was within her hereditary rights in selling her pro indiviso share. The legality of Laurencia's alienation of portions of the estate of the Alejandrino spouses was upheld in the Quieting of title case which had become final and executory by Laurencia's withdrawal of her appeal in the CA. When Nique filed a motion for the segregation of the portions of the property that were adjudged in his favor, he was in effect calling for the partition of the property. However, under the law, partition of the estate of a decedent may only be effected by (1) the heirs themselves extrajudicially, (2) by the court in an ordinary action for partition, or in the course of administration proceedings, (3) by the testator himself, and (4) by the third person designated by the testator. 2. Extrajudicial settlement between Mauricia and Laurentia became the basis for the segregation of the property in favor of Nique. However, evidence on the extrajudicial settlement of estate was offered before the trial court and it became the basis for the order for segregation of the property sold to Nique. Mauricia does not deny the fact of the execution of the deed of extrajudicial settlement of the estate. She only questions its validity on account of the absence of notarization of the document and the nonpublication thereof. 3. A partition is valid though not contained in a public instrument. Moreover, the execution of the deed of extrajudicial settlement of the estate reflected the intention of both Laurencia and Mauricia to physically divide the property. Both of them had acquired the shares of their brothers and therefore it was only the two of them that needed to settle the estate. The fact that the document was not notarized is no hindrance to its effectivity as regards the two of them. The partition of inherited property need not be embodied in a public document to be valid between the parties.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON
61. LOPEZ ET. AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS AND SPOUSES LOPEZ ET. AL. G.R. No. 127827 March 5, 2003 PUNO, J FACTS: A suit was instituted to by the private respondents to recover a parcel of land they inherited from their father. Petitioners however opposed the same contending that their right as co-owners to the land was recognized by the private respondents through an Extra-judicial Partition of the real property between their predecessors in interest. Petitioners argue that respondents are precluded from denying the contents of these documents based on the principle of estoppel by deed, as such they are entitled to the partition thereof as co-owners. ISSUE/S: Are petitioners entitled to partition? RULING: No. Estoppel by deed is a bar which precludes one party from asserting as against the other party and his privies any right or title in derogation of the deed, or from denying the truth of any material facts asserted in it. The principle is that when a man has entered into a solemn engagement by deed, he shall not be permitted to deny any matter which he has asserted therein, for a deed is a solemn act to any part of which the law gives effect as the deliberate admission of the maker. A void deed, however, will not work, and may not be the basis of, an estoppel. Covenants do not work an estoppel unless the deed in which they are contained is itself a valid instrument. In the case at bar, the deed and instruments at issue were void. The extra-judicial partition did not have an object certain, which is the subject matter of the deed. The disputed land cannot be their object because petitioners do not have any right or interest over it. They are not its co-owners as it is owned absolutely by the father of private respondents. Well to note, the instrument was executed on the mistaken assumption that private respondent’s father and the latter’s brothers inherited the property from their own father. Estoppel does not operate to confer property rights where there are none. Prescinding from the lack of co-ownership, petitioner’s argument that they are entitled to have the land partition must be rejected. Partition, in general, is the separation, division and assignment of a thing held in common among those to whom it may belong. The purpose of partition is to put an end to coownership. It seeks a severance of the individual interests of each co-owner, vesting in each a sole estate in specific property and giving to each one a right to enjoy his estate without supervision or interference from the other. Not being co-owners of the disputed lot, petitioners cannot demand its partition. They do not have any interest or share in the property upon which they can base their demand to have it divided.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 62. BRAVO-GUERERO v. BRAVO G.R. No. 152658. July 29, 2005 CARPIO, J.: FACTS: Simona executed a General Power of Attorney appointing Mauricio, her husband, as her atty-infact. In the GPA, Simona authorized Mauricio to mortgage or otherwise hypothecate, sell, assign and dispose of any and all of my property, real, personal or mixed, of any kind whatsoever and wheresoever situated, or any interest therein. Mauricio mortgage the properties to PNB and DBP. Subsequently, Mauricio sold the properties to Roland, his son, and to the latter’s 2 children, his grandchildren. The deed of sale was not annotated in the TCT nor presented to PNB and DBP. It continued to be in Mauricios name even after his death. filed an action for the judicial partition of the Properties. Their heirs claimed that they are co-owners of the Properties by succession. Despite this, petitioners refused to share with him the possession and rental income of the Properties. David Jr. filed a complaint-in-intervention impugning the validity of the Deed of Sale and praying for the partition of the Properties among the surviving heirs of Mauricio and Simona. ISSUES: 1. Is the sale valid? 2. Is the grant of partition proper? RULING: 1. YES. Simona expressly authorized Mauricio in the GPA to sell, assign and dispose of any and all of my property, real, personal or mixed, of any kind whatsoever and wheresoever situated, or any interest therein xxx as well as to act as my general representative and agent, with full authority to buy, sell, negotiate and contract for me and in my behalf. Taken together, these provisions constitute a clear and specific mandate to Mauricio to sell the Properties. Even if it is called a general power of attorney, the specific provisions in the GPA are sufficient for the purposes of Article 1878. These provisions in the GPA likewise indicate that Simona consented to the sale of the Properties. 2. YES. Petitioners have consistently claimed that their father is one of the vendees who bought the Properties. Vendees Elizabeth and Ofelia both testified that the Roland A. Bravo in the Deed of Sale is their father, although their brother, Roland Bravo, Jr., made some of the mortgage payments. Petitioners counsel, Atty. Paggao, made the same clarification before the trial court. As Roland Bravo, Sr. is also the father of respondent Edward Bravo, Edward is thus a compulsory heir of Roland Bravo, and entitled to a share, along with his brothers and sisters, in his fathers portion of the Properties. In short, Edward and petitioners are co-owners of the Properties. As such, Edward can rightfully ask for the partition of the Properties. Any co-owner may demand at any time the partition of the common property unless a co-owner has repudiated the coownership. This action for partition does not prescribe and is not subject to laches
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 63. EMILIA FIGURACION-GERILLA v. CAROLINA VDA. DE FIGURACION, et al G.R. No. 154322 August 22, 2006. PUNO, J.: FACTS: Spouses Leandro and respondent Carolina Figuracion had 6 children. Leandro executed a deed of quitclaim over his real properties in favor of his six children. When he died in he left behind two parcels of land: (1) Lot 2299 and (2) Lot 7052. Leandro sold a portion of Lot 1 to Lazaro Adviento. A dispute between 2 of the children, Emilia and Mary Rose, over the eastern half of Lot 707, which belonged to Eulalio Adviento. When Eulalio died his 2 daughters Agripina and Carolina succeeded him. Agripina executed a quitclaim in favor of Emilia over the one-half eastern portion of Lot707. Carolina adjudicated unto herself the entire lot which she later sold. Emilia and her family stayed in the US for 10 years. Upon return she built a house made of strong materials on the eastern half-portion of Lot 707. Emilia sought the extrajudicial partition of all properties held in common by her and respondents. Emilia filed a complaint for partition praying for among others, the nullification of the affidavit of self-adjudication executed by respondent Carolina. Respondents contended that Leandro’s estate should first undergo settlement proceedings beforepartition among the heirs could take place. ISSUE/S: Is the action for partition inappropriate/premature? RULING: Yes. In estate settlement proceedings, there is a proper procedure for the accounting of all expenses for which the estate must answer. There are 2 ways by which partition can take place under Rule 69: by agreement under Section 2 and through commissioners when such agreement cannot be reached, under Sections 3 to 6. Section 8 of Rule 69 provides that there shall be an accounting of the real property’s income (rentals and profits) in the course of an action for partition, there is no provision for the accounting of expenses for which property belonging to the decedents estate may be answerable, such as funeral expenses, inheritance taxes and similar expenses enumerated under Section 1, Rule 90 of the Rules of Court. In a situation where there remains an issue as to the expenses chargeable to the estate, partition is inappropriate. While petitioner points out that the estate is allegedly without any debt and she and respondents are Leandro Figuracion’s only legal heirs, she does not dispute the finding of the CA that certain expenses including those related to her fathers final illness and burial have not been properly settled. Thus, the heirs have to submit their father’s estate to settlement because the determination of these expenses cannot be done in an action for partition.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 64. JOSEPH CUA v. GLORIA A. VARGAS, et al G.R. No. 156536 October 31, 2006 AZCUNA, J.: FACTS: A parcel of residentioal land was left behind by the late Paulina Vargas. A notarized Extra Judicial Settlement Among heirs was executed by the heirs and was published in the a newspaper for three consecutive weeks. However, not all of the heirs signed it including the respondent herein. An Extra Judicial Settlement Among Heirs with Sale was executed and again not all of the heirs signed it. Respondent tried to redeem the said parcel of land but was refused. Thus, she along with her children filed a case for annulment of the Extra Judicial Settlement and Legal Redemption. ISSUE/S: 1. Is the Extra Judicial Settlement valid? 2. May the respondent redeem the said parcel of land? RULING: 1. Yes. The publication of the settlement does not constitute constructive notice to the heirs who had no knowledge or did not take part in it because the same was notice after the fact of execution. The requirement of publication is geared for the protection of creditors and was never intended to deprive heirs of their lawful participation in the decedent's estate. In this connection, the records of the present case confirm that respondents never signed either of the settlement documents, having discovered their existence only shortly before the filing of the present complaint. Following Rule 74, these extrajudicial settlements do not bind respondents, and the partition made without their knowledge and consent is invalid insofar as they are concerned. 2. Yes. The heirs who actually participated in the execution of the extrajudicial settlements, which included the sale to petitioner of their pro indiviso shares in the subject property, are bound by the same. Nevertheless, respondents are given the right to redeem these shares pursuant to Article 1088 of the Civil Code. Based on the provision, there is a need for written notice to start the period of redemption, thus: Should any of the heirs sell his hereditary rights to a stranger before the partition, any or all of the co-heirs may be subrogated to the rights of the purchaser by reimbursing him for the price of the sale, provided they do so within the period of one month from the time they were notified in writing of the sale by the vendor. It bears emphasis that the period of one month shall be reckoned from the time that a co-heir is notified in writing by the vendor of the actual sale. Written notice is indispensable and mandatory, actual knowledge of the sale acquired in some other manner by the redemptioner notwithstanding. It cannot be counted from the time advance notice is given of an impending or contemplated sale. The law gives the co-heir thirty days from the time written notice of the actual sale within which to make up his or her mind and decide to repurchase or effect the redemption. Considering, therefore, that respondents' co-heirs failed to comply with this requirement, there is no legal impediment to allowing respondents to redeem the shares sold to petitioner given the former's obvious willingness and capacity to do so.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 65. TEOFILO BAUTISTA, v. ALEGRIA BAUTISTA, et al G.R. No. 160556, August 3, 2007 CARPIO MORALES, J. FACTS: During her lifetime, Teodora Rosario was the owner of a parcel of land. She died intestate on January 19, 1970, leaving behind her spouse Isidro Bautista and five children, namely: Teofilo, Alegria, Angelica, Pacita and Gil. On April 21, 1981, Isidro and four of his five children Pacita, Gil, Alegria, and Angelica executed a Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition of the property in which Isidro waived his share in favor of his said four children. Teofilo was excluded from the partition. Alegria and Angelica, who, under the Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition, acquired of the property, sold the same to their sibling Pacita and her common-law husband Pedro Tandoc. Pacita, with Pedros conformity, later conveyed via Deed of Absolute Sale the property in favor of Cesar Tamondong, Pedros nephew. On January 24, 1994, petitioner Teofilo, represented by his attorney-in-fact Francisco Muoz, filed a Complaint against respondents for annulment of documents, partition, recovery of ownership, possession and damages. Petitioner claimed that his co-heirs defrauded him of his rightful share of the property and that the deed of sale executed by Pacita in favor of Cesar Tamondong was fictitious as it was impossible for her to have executed the same in Manila, she being already seriously ill at the time. Respondents contended that prescription had set in. ISSUE/S: Is the partition valid? Is Teofilo’s claim barred by prescription? RULING: No. The extra-judicial partition executed by Teofilos co-heirs was invalid. The partition was invalid because it excluded an heir who was entitled to an equal share in the partitioned property. Under the rule, no extra-judicial settlement shall be binding upon any person who has not participated therein or had no notice thereof. As the partition was a total nullity and did not affect the excluded heir, it was not correct to hold that his right to challenge the partition had prescribed. The deed of extra-judicial partition in the case at bar being invalid, the action to have it annulled does not prescribe. Since the deed of extra-judicial partition is invalid, it transmitted no rights to Teofilos co-heirs. Consequently, the subsequent transfer by Angelica and Alegria of of the property to Pacita and her husband Pedro, as well as the transfer of of the property to Cesar Tamondong is invalid, hence, conferring no rights upon the transferees under the principle of nemo dat quod non habet.
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CIVIL LAW REVIEW I VICE DEAN MARCIANO G. DELSON 66. ROGELIA DACLAG v. ELINO MACAHILIG et al G.R. No. 159578 February 18, 2009 AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.: FACTS: Petitioners acquired the land through a deed of sale executed by Maxima. Maxima was not the owner of the land sold to petitioners, and the one-half northern portion of such land was owned by respondents. The land was registered in the name of petitioner Rogelia in 1984, respondents’ complaint for reconveyance was filed in 1991, which was within the 10-year prescriptive period. ISSUE/S: 1. Has the action for reconveyance prescribed? 2. Are petitioners possessors in good faith and therefore entitled to the fruits before the possession is legally interrupted? RULING: 1. No. The prescriptive period is 10 years and not 4 years. Being an absolute nullity, the deed is subject to attack anytime, in accordance with Article 1410 of the Civil Code that an action to declare the inexistence of a void contract does not prescribe. Likewise, we have consistently ruled that when there is a showing of such illegality, the property registered is deemed to be simply held in trust for the real owner by the person in whose name it is registered, and the former then has the right to sue for the reconveyance of the property. An action for reconveyance based on a void contract is imprescriptible. As long as the land wrongfully registered under the Torrens system is still in the name of the person who caused such registration, an action in personam will lie to compel him to reconvey the property to the real owner. In this case, title to the property is in the name of petitioner Rogelia; thus, the trial court correctly ordered the reconveyance of the subject land to respondents. 2. YES. Article 544 of the same Code provides that a possessor in good faith is entitled to the fruits only so long as his possession is not legally interrupted. Records show that petitioners received a summons together with respondents' complaint on August 5, 1991; thus, petitioners' good faith ceased on the day they received the summons. Consequently, petitioners should pay respondents 10 cavans of palay per annum beginning August 5, 1991 instead of 1984.
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