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Case Digest - Succession ACAIN VS IAC GRN 72706 OCTOBER 27, 1987 PARAS, J.

: FACTS: Constantitno filed for probate of the will of his decased brother Nemesio. The spouse and adopted child of the decedent opposed the probate of will because of preterition. RTC dismissed the petition of the wife. CA reversed and the probate thus was dismissed ISSUE: Whether or not there was preterition of compulsory heirs in the direct line thus their omission shall not annul the institution of heirs. RULING: Preterition consists in the omission of the forced heirs because they are not mentioned there in, or trough mentioned they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited. As for the widow there is no preterit ion because she is not in the direct line. However, the same cannot be said for the adopted child whose legal adoption has not been questioned by the petitioner. Adoption gives to the adopted person the same rights and duties as if he where a legitimate child of the adopter and makes the adopted person a legal heir hence, this is a clear case of preterition. The universal institution of petitioner together with his brothers and sisters to the entire inheritance of the testator results in totally abrogating the will because the nullification of such institution of universal heirs without any other testamentary disposition in the will amounts to a declaration that nothing was written. No legacies and devisees having been provided in the will, the whole property of the deceased has been left by universal title to petitioner and his brothers and sisters. CASE DIGEST SUBJECT MATTER: Validity of Foreign Wills/Renvoi Doctrine

BELLIS v. BELLIS 20 SCRA 358

FACTS Mr. Bellis was a citizen and resident of Texas at the time of his death. He had five (5) legitimate children with his first wife, Mary Mallen, whom he divorced. He had three (3) legitimate daughters with his second wife, Violet, who survived him, and another three (3) illegitimate children with another woman. Before he died, he executed two (2) wills, disposing of his Texas properties, the other disposing his Philippine properties. In both wills, he recognized his illegitimate children but they were not given anything. Under Texas law, there are no compulsory heirs or legitime reserved to illegitimate children. Naturally, the illegitimate children, Maria Cristina and Merriam Palma, opposed the wills on the ground that they were deprived of their legitime as illegitimate children. Under Philippine law, they are entitled to inherit even if they are illegitimate children. They claim that Philippine law should be applied. ISSUE What law should be applied, the Philippine law or the Texas law? May the illegitimate daughters inherit?

HELD What applies is the Texas law. Mr. Bellis is a national and domicile of Texas at the time of his death. Hence, both the intrinsic validity of the will (substance or successional rights) and the extrinsic validity (forms of the will) are governed by Texas law. Since under Texas law, the decedent may dispose of his property as he wishes, the Will should be respected. The illegitimate daughters are not entitled to any legitime.

Assuming that Texas law is in conflict of law rule providing that the domiciliary system (law of domicile) should govern, the same should not result in a reference back (renvoi) to the Philippine law since Mr. Bellis was both a national and domicile of Texas at the time of his death. Nonetheless, if Texas law has a conflict rule, renvoi would not arise, since the properties covered by the second will are found in the Philippines. The renvoi doctrine applied in the case of Aznar v. Garcia cannot be applied since said doctrine is pertinent where the decedent is a national of one country and domiciliary of another country. Moreover, it has been pointed out that the decedent executed two (2) wills- one to govern his Texas properties and the other his Philippine estate; the latter being the basis of the argument of illegitimate children that he intended Philippine law to govern. Assuming that such was the intention of the decedent in executing a separate Philippine will, it would not alter the law. As rule in Miciano v. Brimo, a provision of foreigners will to the effect that his properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine law and not with the national law, is illegal and void, for his national law cannot be ignored.

ATUN v. NUEZ GR No.L-8018, October 26, 1955 87 PHIL 762 FACTS: Estefania Atun died without any issue leaving in the possession of the plaintiffs, her neices and nephews, a parcel of land. Such land was delivered by plaintiff Gil Atun to Silvestra Nuez (sister of defendant-appellee Eusebio Nuez) for cultivation, for which Silvestra paid the Atuns a part of the harvest as rental. In 1940, Silvestra turned over the land to defendant Eusebio Nuez, who thereafter refused to recognize plaintiffs' ownership or to deliver their share of the produce. The defendant turn sold the land to his co-defendant Diego Belga, who took the property with the knowledge that it belonged, not to Nuez, but to plaintiffs. There was no prior judicial declaration, however, that the plaintiffs were the legal heirs of the decedent. ISSUE: Has plaintiffs the right to recover the property as a successor of the decedent? HELD: Yes. In the instant case, as the land in question still stands registered in the name of Estefania Atun, now deceased, the present owners thereof would be her legal heirs. It is of record that Estefania Atun died without any issue or ascendants and left as her only surviving heirs the children of her brother Nicolas, plaintiffs herein; and the rule is settled that the legal heirs of a deceased may file an action arising out of a right belonging to their ancestor, without a separate judicial declaration of their status as such, provided there is no pending special proceeding for the settlement of the decedent's estate.

LEDESMA v. MCLACHLIN GR No.L-44837, November 23, 1938 66 PHIL 547 FACTS: Lorenzo Quitco, died in 1930, leaving defendant Mclachlin and her children as heirs. Plaintiff Ana Ledesma, spurious/illegitimate child of Lorenzo Quitco, and her mother, sued to declare her as compulsory heir which the court however denied. Two years later, Lorenzo's father Eusebio died, and because he left some personal and real properties without a will, an intestate proceeding was instituted and a court order declaring his compulsory heirs did not of course include Ana as one. Following such court action, the plaintiff proceeded to collect the sum payable on a promissory note then issued in favor of her by Lorenzo by filing a claim in the intestate proceedings of Eusebio's Estate claiming that the sum be paid out of the properties inherited by the defendants represents that of the successional rights of Lorenzo as a compulsory heir of his father Eusebio. ISSUE: Has plaintiff the right collect the sum promised by her father from her grandfather's estate? HELD: No. The properties inherited by the defendants from their deceased grandfather by representation are not subject to the payment of debts and obligations of their deceased father, who died without leaving any property. While it is true that under the provisions of Articles 924 to 927 of the Civil Code, a child presents his father or mother who died before him in the properties of his grandfather or grandmother, this right of representation does not make the said child answerable for the obligations contracted by his deceased father or mother, because, as may be seen from the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure referring to partition of inheritances, the inheritance is received with the benefit of inventory, that is to say, the heirs only answer with the properties received from their predecessor. The herein defendants, as heirs

of Eusebio Quitco, in representation of their father Lorenzo M. Quitco, are not bound to pay the indebtedness of their father from whom they did not inherit anything.

LIMJOCO v. INTESTATE ESTATE OF PEDRO FRAGRANTE GR No.L-770, April 27, 1948 80 PHIL 776 FACTS: Petitioner opposed the issuance by the Public Service Commission of a certificate of public convenience to install, maintain and operate an ice plant in San Juan to the respondent despite his demise, contending that the Commission erred in allowing the substitution of the legal representative of the estate of Pedro O. Fragante for the latter as party applicant in the case then pending before the commission, and in subsequently granting to said estate the certificate applied for, which is said to be in contravention of law. ISSUE: Is the decision of the Commission correct and with basis? HELD: Yes. If the respondent had not died, there can be no question that he would have had the right to prosecute his application before the commission to its final conclusion. No one would have denied him that right... The aforesaid right of respondent to prosecute said application to its conclusion was one which by its nature did not lapse through his death. Hence, it constitutes a part of the assets of his estate, for which right was a property despite the possibility that in the end the commission might have denied his application, although under the facts of the case, the commission granted the application in view of the financial ability of the estate to maintain and operate the ice plant.

USON v. DEL ROSARIO GR No.L-4963, January 29, 1953 92 PHIL 530 FACTS: Faustino Nebreda died in 1945 leaving as an only heir his estranged wife Maria Uson, the petitioner. The latter sued to recover the ownership and possession of five parcels of land occupied by defendant Maria del Rosario, decedent's common-law-spouse and her children. As a defense, defendant presented a deed of separation agreed upon and signed Faustino and Uson containing among others an statement giving a parcel of land to Uson as an alimony and the latter renouncing her rights to any inheritance from Faustino. The defendant also contends that while it is true that the four minor defendants are illegitimate children of the decedent and under the old Civil Code are not entitled to any successional rights, however, under the new Civil Code they are given the status and rights of natural children and are entitled to the successional rights which the law accords to the latter (article 2264 and article 287, new Civil Code), and because these successional rights were declared for the first time in the new code, they shall be given retroactive effect even though the event which gave rise to them may have occurred under the prior legislation (Article 2253, new Civil Code). ISSUE: Are the contentions of the defendants correct? HELD: No. It is evident that when the decedent died in 1945 the five parcels of land he was seized of at the time passed from the moment of his death to his only heir, his widow Maria Uson (Article 657, old Civil Code). As this Court aptly said, "The property belongs to the heirs at the moment of the death of the ancestor as completely as if the ancestor had executed and delivered to them a deed for the same before his death" (Ilustre vs. Alaras Frondosa, 17 Phil., 321). From that moment, therefore, the rights of inheritance of Maria Uson over the lands in question became vested. The claim of the defendants that Uson had relinquished her right over the lands in question in view of her expressed renunciation to inherit any future property that her husband may acquire and leave upon his death in the deed of separation they had entered into cannot be entertained for the simple reason that future inheritance cannot be the subject of a contract nor can it be renounced. Nor does the contention that the provisions of the New Civil Code shall apply and be given retroactive effect. Article 2253 above referred to provides indeed that rights which are declared for the first time shall have retroactive effect even though the event which gave rise to them may have occurred under the former legislation, but this is so only when the new rights do not prejudice any vested or acquired right of the same origin... As already stated in the early part of this decision, the right of ownership of Maria Uson over the lands in question became vested in 1945 upon the death of her late husband and this is so because of the imperative provision of the law which commands that the rights to succession are transmitted from the moment of death (Article 657, old Civil Code). The new right recognized by the new Civil Code in favor of the illegitimate children of the deceased cannot, therefore, be asserted to the impairment of the vested right of Maria Uson over the lands in dispute.

LITONJUA v. MONTILLA GR No.L-4170, January 31, 1952, 90PHIL757 90 PHIL 757 FACTS: Pedro Litonjua obtained a judgment against Claudio Montilla for the payment of a sum of P4,039. Failing to find or identify a property of Claudio to be levied, petitioner then proceeded to file a claim in the intestate proceeding of the estate of Agustin Montilla Sr, father of the deceased. The estate has not yet been properly probated. ISSUE: Could the petitioner succeed in collecting the debt as against the estate of the debtor's deceased parent? HELD: No. In the case of Ortiga Brothers and Co. vs. Enage and Yap Tico, 18 Phil. 345, it was held that the creditor of the heirs of a deceased person is entitled to collect his claim out of the property which pertains by inheritance to said heirs, only after the debts of the testate or intestate have been paid and when the net assets that are divisible among the heirs are known, because the debts of the deceased must first be paid before his heirs can inherit. It was therein also held that a person who is not a creditor of a deceased, testate or intestate, has no right to intervene either in the proceedings brought in connection with the estate or in the settlement of the succession. The foregoing pronouncements are perfectly applicable to the case at bar, because the appellant is not a creditor of the deceased Agustin Montilla, Sr. and he seeks to collect his claim out of the inheritance of Claudio Montilla, an heir, before the net assets of the intestate estate have been determined.

DE GUZMAN vda. DE CARRILLO v. DE PAZ GR No.L-4133, May 13, 1952 91 PHIL 265 FACTS: A lot had been mortgaged by spouses Severino Salak and Petra Garcia to Pedro Magat; the latter then assigned the mortgage to Honoria Salak. After the death Petra, Severino transferred 1/2 of his rights to the property to Honoria for the sum representing 1/2 of the consideratioin paid by her to the mortgagees Magat. Severino later died leaving the defendants as heirs. Honoria also died, with the plaintiff as heir. Intestate proceedings were instituted for the settlement and distribution of the estate of the deceased Severino and Petra, including the lot in question which was adjudicated, after proper proceedings in favor of the defendants. Plaintiff sued for reconveyance of the 1/2 of the portion of the lot in her favor as heir of Honoria. ISSUE: May the petition prosper? HELD: No. The property now sought to be recovered from the defendants was adjudicated in their favor after all claims, indebtedness and obligations chargeable against the intestate estate of the deceased Severino Salak and Petra Garcia had been all paid and accounted for out of the estate of the deceased; so that, in the eyes of the law, the properties now in the hands of the defendants are presumed to be free from all claims whatsoever. The claim of the plaintiff set up in the complaint should have been interposed during the pendency and progress of Special Proceeding No. 3; but plaintiff not having done so, she cannot now bring this action against the defendants, for it is clear that there exists no privity of contract between plaintiff and defendants upon which plaintiff can predicate her action against the present defendants.

IBARLE v. PO GR No.L-5064, February 27, 1953 92 PHIL 721 FACTS: Leonardo Winstanley died leaving a parcel of land to his surviving spouse Catalina Navarro and some minor children. Catalina sold the entire parcel of land to Maria Canoy who later sold the same land to the plaintiff Bienvenido Ibarle. After some time, after her appointment as guardian of her minor children, Catalina again sold 1/2 of the land in question, which portion now belonged to the children as heirs, to herein defendant Esperanza Po. ISSUE: Which sale was valid, and who has the rightful claim to the property? HELD: The sale to defendant is valid. Article 657 of the old Civil Code provides: "The rights to the succession of a person are transmitted from the moment of his death." in a slightly different language, this article is incorporated in the new Civil Code as article 777.

The above provision and comment make it clear that when Catalina Navarro Vda. de Winstanley sold the entire parcel to the Canoy spouses, one-half of it already belonged to the seller's children. No formal or judicial declaration being needed to confirm the children's title, it follows that the first sale was null and void in so far as it included the children's share. On the other hand, the sale to the defendant having been made by authority of the competent court was undeniably legal and effective. The fact that it has not been recorded is of no consequence. If registration were necessary, still the nonregistration would not avail the plaintiff because it was due to no other cause than his own opposition.

OSORIO v. OSORIO GR No.L-10474, March 29, 1916 41 PHIL 531 FACTS: Francisco Osorio y Garcia filed a written complaint alleging that he is a natural son of one Francisco Osorio y Reyes who died in 1896; and that he had been in continuous possession of the status of natural son of said Osorio y Reyes, as proven by direct acts of the latter and of his family; that the defendant Soledad Osorio, lawful daughter and lawful heir of said Osorio y Reyes, be ordered to recognize the plaintiff as a natural son of said Osorio y Reyes, and is entitled to share in his father's estate; and, furthermore, that said defendant be ordered to furnish subsistence to plaintiff in such amount as the court might deem proper to fix. The evidence offered relating to the fact of filiation of Osorio y Garcia to Osorio Reyes is strong and unimpeachable, so that the court found the legitimacy of claim of Osorio y Garcia to be properly established. ISSUE: Has plaintiff the right to be recognized as co-heir and be entitled to the rights appertaining to his deceased father's estate? HELD: Yes. Recognition of the child as a natural child must be made if he has been in continuous possession of his filiation, proven by the attendance of his father at his baptism, in the certificate in which his name and that of his mother appear, though the document contains errors, and by his father's statement to various friends that the boy was his natural son, and by his father's always having attended to the care, education and support of his son. So that the plaintiff, Francisco Osorio y Garcia, according to the facts proven in this case and the law on the subject, is entitled to have his half sister Soledad Osorio, a legitimate daughter of the father of both of them, recognize him as being the natural, recognized son of Francisco Osorio y Reyes and as entitled to the rights granted him by law in respect to his deceased father's estate, all of which is in possession of the defendant spouses.

RAMIREZ v. BALTAZAR GR No.L-25049, August 30, 1968 22 SCRA 918 FACTS: Victoriana Eguaras, single, mortgaged a real estate to spouses Baltazar, defendants in this case. Upon demise of Victoriana, the mortgagees, as creditors of the deceased, filed a petition for the intestate proceedings of Victoriana's estate, alleging further that plaintiffs Felimon and Monica Ramirez are heirs of the deceased. Felimon was later appointed as adminstrator but did not qualify so that Artemio Diawan was appointed as judicial administrator of the estate. The mortgagees then filed a foreclosure of the property in question and succeeded, after Diawan failed to file an answer against the petition. The foreclosure sale ensued, the property was bought by the mortgagees themselves and the sale was confirmed by the court. Felimon sued for the annulment of the entire foreclosure proceedings, alleging among others the failure of the judicial administrator to protect their interests. Defendants contended that plaintiffs have no legal capacity to sue and hava no cause of action. ISSUE: Have plaintiffs the cause of action against the defendant? HELD: Yes. There is no question that the rights to succession are automatically transmitted to the heirs from the moment of the death of the decedent. While, as a rule, the formal declaration or recognition to such successional rights needs judicial confirmation, this Court has, under special circumstances, protected these rights from encroachments made or attempted before the judicial declaration. In Pascual vs. Pascual, it was ruled that although heirs have no legal standing in court upon the commencement of testate or intestate proceedings, this rule admits of an exception as "when the administrator fails or refuses to act in which event the heirs may act in his place."

DE BORJA v. MENCIAS GR No.L-20609, September 29, 1966 21 SCRA 1133 FACTS: Petitioners Juan De Borja et al. petitioned for the reversal of the order of Judge Mencias, denying their petition cause the sale of the properties levied upon to satisfy the money judgment in a civil case rendered in favor of petitioners against respondent Crisanto de Borja. Petitioners levied aganst the rights, interest and participation which Crisanto de Borja had in certain real properties, as an heir of the decedents Josefa Tangco and Francisco de Borja, whose estates were then pending settlement in Special Proceedings Nos. F-7866 and 1955 of the aforementioned court, respectively. this Court hereby holds that whatever interest, claim or right which Crisanto de Borja may have in the testate estate of Josefa Tangco and in the intestate estate of Francisco de Borja are subject to attachment and execution for the purpose of satisfying the money judgment rendered against the said heir ISSUE: May the sale of the property levied for execution proceed? HELD: The above question must be answered in the affirmative, provided it is understood that the sale shall be only of whatever rights, interest and participation may be adjudicated to said heir as a result of the final settlement of the estates, and that delivery thereof to the judgment creditor or to the purchaser at the public sale thereof shall be made only after the final settlement of the estates and in the manner provided by the legal provision mentioned above.

RODRIGUEZ v. DE BORJA GR No.L-21993, June 21, 1966 17 SCRA 418 FACTS: Private respondents Apolonia Pangilinan and Adelaida Jacalan delivered to the Clerk of Court of Bulacan a purported last will and testament of Fr. Rodriguez, meanwhile the petitioners filed a petition before the court to examine the purported will but which was later withdrawn, and a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of Fr. Rodriguez was subsequently field in a another court in Rizal. The petitioners now sought the dismissal of the special proceeding on the settlement of the decedent's estate based on the purported will, questioning therefore the jurisdiction of CFI Bulacan. ISSUE: Does CFI Bulacan have jurisdiction to proceed with the testate proceedings? HELD: Yes. The jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan became vested upon the delivery thereto of the will of the late Father Rodriguez, even if no petition for its allowance was filed until later, because upon the will being deposited the court could, motu proprio, have taken steps to fix the time and place for proving the will, and issued the corresponding notices conformably to what is prescribed by section 3, Rule 76, of the Revised Rules of Court. Moreover, aside from the rule that the Court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts, intestate succession is only subsidiary or subordinate to the testate, since intestacy only takes place in the absence of a valid operative will.

CHAVEZ v. IAC GR No. L-68282, November 8, 1990 FACTS: Manuela Buenavista assigned her paraphernal property in equal pro-diviso among her 6 children, while possession of such property still remains with her. Three of her children sold each their share to private respondent Concepcion, consolidating 4/6 portion thereof. Deeds of sale were therefor executed with the conformity of Manuela. Despite such transfers, the latter sold the entire property to one of the siblings, herein petitioner Raquel Chavez. Respondent sued for the annulment of the later sale to Raquel which was denied by the trail court but which later decision overturned by the Court of Appeals. On appeal, petitioner also contends that their mother has left a last will and this will supercedes the earlier transfers. ISSUE: Is partition inter-vivos, and sale based on such partition valid? Does a last will supercede that of the partition intervivos? HELD: Yes. When a person makes a partition by will, it is imperative that such partition must be executed in accordance with the provisions of the law on wills; however, when a person makes the partition of his estate by an act inter vivos, such partition may even be oral or written, and need not be in the form of a will, provided that the partition does not prejudice the legitime of compulsory heirs. xxx The Deeds of Sale are not contracts entered into with respect to future inheritance

but a contract perfected and consummated during the lifetime of Manuela Buenavista who signed the same and gave her consent thereto. Such partition inter vivos, executed by the property owner herself, is valid. It would be unjust and inequitable to allow Manuela Buenavista Vda. de Chavez to revoke the sales she herself authorized as well as the sale she herself executed in favor of her son only to execute a simulated sale in favor of her daughter Raquel who had already profited from the sale she made of the property she had received in the partition inter vivos.

NERI v. AKUTIN GR No.L-47799, May 21, 1943 74 PHIL 185 FACTS: This is a case where the testator Agripino Neri in his will left all his property by universal title to the children by his second marriage, the herein respondents, with omission of the children by his first marriage, the herein petitioner. The omission of the heirs in the will was contemplated by the testator with the belief that he had already given each of the children portion of the inheritance, particularly a land he had abandoned was occupied by the respondents over which registration was denied for it turned out to be a public land, and an aggregate amount of money which the respondents were indebted to their father. ISSUE: Should there be cancellation of the will, in view of the omission of heirs? Is there disinheritance in this case? HELD: Yes. The Court annulled the institution of heirs and declared a total intestacy on the ground that testator left all his property by universal title to the children by his second marriage, without expressly disinheriting the children by his first marriage but upon the erroneous belief that he had given them already more shares in his property than those given to the children by his second marriage. Disinheritance made without a statement of the cause, if contested, shall annul the institution of heirs in so far as it is prejudicial to the disinherited person. This is but a case of preterition which annuls the institution of heirs.

BARANDA v. BARANDA GR No.73275 May 20, 1987 FACTS: Paulina Baranda died without issue, but before her demise, two of her supposed heirs, the herein respondents Evangelina and Elisa Baranda, have already taken possession of 6 parcels of land and caused the transfer of such by virtue of questionable sales which the late widow had also sought the reconveyance which did not however materialized. The petitioners, siblings of the decedent, now sought the annulment of the supposed sale or transfers. Respondents question the petitioners legal standing, them being not a party-in-interest in the deed of sale. ISSUE: Can the petitioners impugn the validity of the sales? HELD: This Court has repeatedly held that "the legal heirs of a decedent are the parties in interest to commence ordinary actions arising out of the rights belonging to the deceased, without separate judicial declaration as to their being heirs of said decedent, provided that there is no pending special proceeding for the settlement of the decedent's estate. There being no pending special proceeding for the settlement of Paulina Baranda's estate, the petitioners, as her intestate heirs, had the right to sue for the reconveyance of the disputed properties, not to them, but to the estate itself of the decedent, for distribution later in accordance with law. Otherwise, no one else could question the simulated sales and the subjects thereof would remain in the name of the alleged vendees, who would thus have been permitted to benefit from their deception, In fact, even if it were assumed that those suing through attorneys-in-fact were not properly represented, the remaining petitioners would still have sufficed to impugn the validity of the deeds of sale.

BALAIS v. BALAIS GR No.L-33924, March 18, 1988 159 SCRA 47 FACTS: On an action for recovery of real property filed by the respondents, spurious children of the late Escolastico Balais who died in 1948, against the petitioners, legitimate children of the deceased, the trial court decreed reconveyance of the portion of the property belonging to the legitime and further declaring partition that sent 1/4 portion of the legitime to the respondents. Petitioners come now questioning the partition and seeking the reconveyance of the 1/4 share that went

to the spurious children, relying on the provisions of the old civil code, and thereby questioning the competence and jurisdiction of the trial court, ISSUE: Is the court competent to decree the partition, without it being asked in the complaint? Could the provisions of the new civil code be applied over a case which occurs prior to its effectivity? HELD: 1. Yes. The court acquired jurisdiction by estoppel. It must be noted that, in spite of the broad challenge the appellants present against the jurisdiction of the trial court to order the distribution of the property, they, in reality, question only that part of the decision awarding a one-fourth part of the property to the illegitimate children of the deceased, upon the ground that under the old Civil Code illegitimate children other than natural enjoyed no successionary rights. They do not contest the delivery of the estate to the deceased's widow or to themselves in the proportions decreed by the court. 2. No. The court erred in applying the provisions of the new code. But as stated, the error of the court notwithstanding, the case is a closed chapter, the decision having been rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction, have become final and executory. A decision, no matter how erroneous, becomes the law of the case between the parties upon attaining finality.

CONDE v. ABAYA GR No.L-4275, March 23, 1909 13 PHIL 249 FACTS: Casiano Abaya died unmarried however leaving two unaknowledged children by herein plaintiff-appellee Paula Conde. The latter, as a ascendant heir of her children, sued for the settlement of the intestate estate of Casiano along with the acknowledgment of the two as natural children of the deceased. The trial court, with the opposition of the defendant-appellant Roman Abaya, brother of the deceased, rendered judgment bestowing the estate of Casiano to Conde as legitimate heir of the decedent's natural children. ISSUE: May the mother of a natural child now deceased, bring an action for the acknowledgment of the natural filiation in favor of such child in order to appear in his behalf to receive the inheritance from the deceased natural father. HELD: The right of action that devolves upon the child to claim his legitimacy lasts during his whole life, while the right to claim the acknowledgment of a natural child lasts only during the life of his presumed parents. An action for the acknowledgment of a natural child may, as an exception, be exercised against the heirs of the presumed parents in two cases: first, in the event of the death of the latter during the minority of the child, and second, upon the discovery of some instrument of express acknowledgment of the child, executed by the father or mother, the existence of which was unknown during the life of the latter. But such action for the acknowledgment of a natural child can only be exercised by him. It cannot be transmitted to his descendants, or his ascendants.

REIRA v. PALMAROLI GR No.14851, September 13, 1919 40 PHIL 105 FACTS: Antonia Reira, widow of Juan Pons who was at the time of the latter's death residing at Palma de Mallorca, sought the annulment of the order of the trial court admitting the probate of a purported will of her husband. The purported will was submitted to be admitted to probate by respondent Consul General Palmaroli. The petitioner contends that the probate of the will, in view of her absence, deprived her of her right to contest the original application. ISSUE: Should the probated will yield to the rights of the decedent's heir? HELD: Yes. A will is nothing more than a species of conveyance whereby a person is permitted, with the formalities prescribed by law, to control in a certain degree the disposition of his property after his death. Out of consideration for the important interests involved the execution and proof of wills has been surrounded by numerous safeguards, among which is the provision that after death of the testator his will may be judicially established in court. xxx The probate of a will, while conclusive as to its due execution, in no wise involves the intrinsic validity of its provisions. If, therefore, upon the distribution of the estate of the decedent, it should appear that any provision of his will is contrary to the law applicable to his case, the will must necessarily yield upon that point and the disposition made by law must prevail.

MONTINOLA v. HERBOSA FACTS: Montinola filed an action against the heirs of Dr. Jose Rizal for recovery of possession of personal property (the RIZAL RELICS) allegedly sold to him by Doa Trinidad Rizal. The trial court held that neither party is entitled to the possession of such property, relying principally on the fact that in Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios, there is a line where Rizal bequeathed all his property to the Filipino people. The court argued that the handwritten work of Rizal constitutes a holographic will giving the State all his property. ISSUE: Does Mi Ultimo Adios constitute a last will? HELD: No. An instrument which merely expresses a last wish as a thought or advice but does not contain a disposition of property, and executed without Animus Standi cannot be legally considered a will. Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios is but a literary piece of work, and was so intended. It may be considered a will in a grammatical sense but not in a legal or juridical sense. Moreover, it also lacks the requirements of a holographic will such as a statement of the year month and day of its execution and his signature.

MERZA v. PORRAS GR No.L-4888, May 25, 1953 93 PHIL 142 FACTS: Pilar Montealegre died leaving a will (Exhibit A) and a so-called codicil (Exhibit B), disinheriting her husband Pedro Porras and some of her relatives. The two documents were submitted to probate but were denied by the trial court, upon the grounds such as the defect of the attestation clause on Exh. A and that Exh. cannot be considered a codicil for it was executed by the testator a day before Exhibit A, thus it cannot be included in the probate proceedings. ISSUE: Should a document, expressly disinheriting certain heirs, executed by the testator prior to a supposed last will, be probated? HELD: Yes. The trial court and the CA is correct that Exhibit B having been executed one day before Exhibit A could not be considered as a codicil "because a codicil, as the word implies, is only an addition to, or modification of, the will." The Court of Appeals added that "the contents of Exhibit B are couched in the language ordinarily used in a simple affidavit and as such, may not have the legal effect and force to a testamentary disposition." However, Exhibit B does partake of the nature of a will. A will is defined in article 667 of the Civil code of Spain as "the act by which a person dispose of all his property or a portion of it," and in article 783 of the new Civil Code as "an act whereby a person is permitted, with the formalities prescribed by law, to control to a certain degree the disposition of his estate, to take effect after his death. Exhibit B comes within this definition.

CASTAEDA v. ALEMANY GR No.1439, March 19, 1904 3 PHIL 426 FACTS: Appellant constested the validity of the will of Doa Juana Moreno upon the ground that although the attestation clause in the will states that the testator signed the will in the presence of three witnesses who also each signed in each presence, the will was not actually written by the testator. ISSUE: Is it necessary that a will be written by the testator herself? HELD: No. Section 618 of the Civil Code requires (1) that the will be in writing and (2) either that the testator sign it himself or, if he does not sign it, that it be signed by some one in his presence and by his express direction. Who does the mechanical work of writing the will is a matter of indifference. The fact, therefore, that in this case the will was typewritten in the office of the lawyer for the testratrix is of no consequence.

MICIANO v. BRIMO GR No.L-22595, November 1, 1927 50 PHIL 867

FACTS: Joseph Brimo, a Turkish national, died leaving a will which one of the clauses states that the law of the Philippines shall govern the partition and not the law of his nationality, and that legatees have to respect the will, otherwise the dispositions accruing to them shall be annulled. By virtue of such condition, his brother, Andre Brimo, an instituted heir was thus excluded because, by his action of having opposed the partition scheme, he did not respect the will. Andre sued contending that the conditions are void being contrary to law which provides that the will shall be probated according to the laws of the nationality of the decedent. ISSUE: Is the condition as set by the testator valid? HELD: No. A foreigner's will to the effect that his properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine law and not with his national law, is illegal and void, for his national law cannot be ignored in regard to those matters that Article 10 of the Civil Code states said national law should govern. Said condition then, in the light of the legal provisions above cited, is considered unwritten, and the institution of legatees in said will is unconditional and consequently valid and effective even as to the herein oppositor.

Case Digests

Mendiola Vs Court Of Appeals Et Al 190 Scra 421


MENDIOLA VS. COURT OF APPEALS ET.AL. G.R. NO. 92999; OCTOBER 11, 1990 GRINO-AQUINO; 190 SCRA 421 FACTS: Carlos Mendiola died on December 28, 1984 and was survived by his spouse, Florentina and his children namely, Reynaldo (herein petitioner), Redentor, Ernestina, Edgardo, Manuel, Enrico, Ricardo, and Marilou all surnamed Mendiola (herein private respondents). A petition for probate of the decedents will was filed on March 30, 1987 with the RTC-Pasig. Said court allowed the will and issued letters of testamentary in favor of the petitioner who was declared executor in the will. Later on, private respondents moved for the removal of the executor and subsequently moved for the appointment of Redentor. The motion was granted and petitioner was removed. Redentor was declared as excecutor. A motion for reconsideration was filed by the petitioner but it was denied by the court. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court; hence, petitioner filed this petition for review. The latter averred that his removal was not supported by evidence and he was not given his day in court. ISSUE: Was the removal of the petitioner as executor proper? RULING: Yes. There was sufficient evidence to support his removal namely, his failure to pay the estate tax and to render an accounting of the estate and settle the same according to law, and has involved the other heirs in a suit because of his own deeds. Thus, his removal was in accordance with Section 2, Rule 82 of the Rules of Court which states that [i]f an executor or administrator neglects to render his account and settle the estate according to law, or to perform an order or judgment of the court, or a duty expressly provided by these rules, or absconds, or becomes insane, or otherwise incapable or unsuitable to discharge the trust, the court may remove him, or in its discretion, may permit him to resign. Under this provision, the court which appointed the executor has the discretion to remove the same.
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Maninang Vs Court Of Appeals


MANINANG VS. COURT OF APPEALS G.R.No. L-57848; June 19, 1982 First Division; Melencio-Herrera FACTS: Soledad Maninang filed a petition with the CFI-Quezon City for the probate of the holographic will of Clemencia Aseneta who instituted her and her husband as heirs. Later on, Bernardo Aseneta (herein private respondent), claiming to be the adopted child of the deceased and her sole heir instituted intestate proceedings with the CFI-Rizal. The two cases were consolidated with the latter court. Bernardo filed a motion to dismiss the testate case on the ground that the will was null and void because he, being the only compulsory heir, was preterited; thus, intestacy should ensue. In her opposition, Soledad averred that the courts area of inquiry is limited to an examination of and resolution on the extrinsic validity of the will and that Bernardo was effectively disinherited by the decedent. The motion was granted. The motion for reconsideration by Soledad Maninang was denied for lack of merit. In the same order, the court appointed Bernardo Aseneta as administrator considering he is a forced heir and is not shown to be unfit to perform the trust.

Soledad Maninang filed petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. It was denied. Hence, this petition was filed. ISSUE: Was the dismissal of the court a quo of the testate case proper? RULING: No, it was not proper. Probate of a will is mandatory as required by law and public policy. Ordinarily, the probate of the will does not look into its intrinsic validity; but on the extrinsic validity which includes the capacity of the testator to make a will and the compliance with the requisites or solemnities which the law prescribes for the validity of wills. However, when practical considerations demand, the intrinsic validity of the will may be passed upon like when on its face there is really preterition or invalid disinheritance making the will void. The probate might become an idle ceremony if on its face it appears to be intrinsically void. Such would shorten the proceedings if the issues are decided as early as during the probate proceedings. In the instant case, there is still doubt to the alleged preterition or disinheritance of the private respondent cannot be clearly seen on the face of the will and needs further determination which can only be made if the will is allowed to be probated.
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Manahan V Manahan 50 Phil 448


Facts: Donata Manahan died leaving a will. Engracia Manahan, her niece and the named executor, filed a petition for probate of the will. Proper notice and publication were done. Petition was granted. One and a half years later, Tiburcia, sister of Donata, filed a motion for reconsideration and new trial contending that she is an heir of Donata but she was not notified with the probate proceedings,therefore, the probate proceedings was void. It was denied. Hence this appeal. Issue: Whether or not Tiburcia needs to be notified. Ruling: No. In this case, she is not a compulsory nor a voluntary heir. A non-heir person need not be notified under sec 4, Rule 76 of the Rules of Court.
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Guzman V Limcolioc 67 Phil 404


Facts: Proceso de Guzman married Agatona Santos, with whom he had four children: Nicolasa (herein appellee), Apolinario, Ana and Tomasa. During the marriage the couple acquired properties. After the death of Agatona, Proceso married herein appellant Angela Limcolioc with whom he had no child. After the death of Proceso, Nicolasa was appointed by the court as administrator of the properties. Angela opposed, contending that as the widow, she must be preferred. Issue: Whether or not in all cases the widow must be preferred as administrator. Ruling: Negative. The principal consideration reckoned with in the appointment of the administrator of the estate of a deceased person is the interest in said estate of the one to be appointed as such administrator. This is the same consideration which the law takes into account in establishing the preference of the widow to administer the estate of her husband, upon the latters death, because she is supposed to have an interest therein as a partner in the conjugal partnership. But this preference established by law is not absolute, if there are other reasons justifying the appointment of an administrator other than surviving spouse. If the interest in the estate is what principally determines the preference in the appointment of an administrator of the estate of a deceased person, and if, under the circumstances of each case, it develops that there is another who has more interest therein than the surviving spouse, the preference established in the latters favor becomes untenable.
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In Re Cosme Cosme De Mendoza V Pacheco And Cordero


In re: Cosme. COSME DE MENDOZA v PACHECO and CORDERO GR 43351 | 64 Phil 134 | February 26, 1937 | Laurel, J.: FACTS: Former administrator Soriano filed a P5K bond, with respondent-appellants as sureties. Upon accounting, Soriano was indebted to the estate for P23K and was unable to return it to the estate. New administrator Cosme demanded the execution of Sorianos bond. CFI Laguna ordered such, after notice to the sureties. CFI approved a settlement between former and current administrators, whereby the former ceded some real properties, reducing the debt from P23K to P5K. A year after, new administrator requested the sheriff to levy the properties of the sureties and advertise public sale thereof to collect the remaining unpaid debt of P5K. Sureties filed moved to be discharged from the bond but CFI denied. They filed Motion for Reconsideration (MfR) to CFI and appeal to SC, but were all denied. SC ruled that since they did not file MfR and appeal on the

execution order, their MfR for the levy was too late. Case was remanded to CFI. They challenged, for the first time, that CFI had no jurisdiction to issue execution of bond. ISSUE: Whether or not probate court can order execution of bond. HELD: YES. Probate court has the power to require the filing of the bond, fix the amount thereof, and hold it accountable for any breach of administrators duty. Surety is liable within the bond during accounting in the probate proceedings, not in another separate proceedings.
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E Gaskell Co Inc Vs Tan Sit


FACTS: Gaskell and Dy Poco, deceased husband of Tan Sit, were solidarily liable to a certain bonding company. The bonding company demanded payment from Gaskell, while a bankruptcy proceedings was filed by such creditor against Dy Poco. During such proceedings, Gaskell did not prove the solidary liability of Dy Poco. Before termination of the bankruptcy proceedings, Dy Poco died, but the said proceedings continued. There was a life insurance on the life of Dy Poco, Tan Sit was appointed as administrator of the proceeds of such insurance. While the intestate proceedings was pending, the bankruptcy proceedings was decided releasing Dy Poco from any liability. Subsequently, Gaskell presented the claim as a contingency claim against the estate of Dy Poco in the intestate proceedings. It was disallowed by the commissioners and also by the CFI. Hence, this appeal. Issue: Whether or not the disallowance was proper. RULING: Yes. Gaskell did not proved during the solidary liability of Dy Poco during the bankruptcy proceedings. Furthermore Dy Poco was already released from any liability by virtue of the judgment in the said bankruptcy proceedings.
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Bpi V Concepcion Hijos Inc And Elser 53 Phil 806


Facts: The Concepcions had a parcel of land mortgaged to BPI. Since they could not pay up the loan, they accepted the proposal of Elser to have the latter subrogated to their obligations to BPI, in exchange for getting the land. The bank exhibited neither approval nor disapproval of said agreement, but later moved for the inclusion of Elser as defendant in the foreclosure proceeding. The Concepcions contended that the case should be dismissed as to them. Elser contended that he could not be held liable for the debt because the agreement to subrogate himself in place of the Concepcions was never approved by the bank. BPI contended that both the Concepcions and Elser should be held solidarily liable for the debt. While the case was going on, Elser died. BPI moved for the substitution of Elser with Rosenstock, the administrator of his estate. This was granted by the court. The trial court absolved the Elser estate from any liability for the deficiency between the foreclosure price and the amount of debt, since the deficiency was not presented to the committee which processes claims against the estate. BPI filed a bill of exceptions with the Supreme Court. It contended that since it could not ascertain the deficiency of the proceeds of the mortgage sale and the actual debt before the foreclosure sale, it could not present the claim for deficiency with the committee which processes claims against the Elser estate. Issue: Whether or not it is necessary that the foreclosure proceeding is already terminated for a mortgagee to claim a deficiency judgment against the estate. Ruling: Negative. For a mortgagee to claim a deficiency judgment on the estate, he must file a claim for the deficiency within the period provided, even if the foreclosure proceedings have not yet been terminated. Until the foreclosure sale is made, the demand for the payment of deficiency is a contingent claim. The committee does not then pass upon the validity of the claim but reports it to the court. If the court from the report of the committee or from the proofs exhibited to it is satisfied that the contingent claim is valid, the executor or administrator may be required to retain in his possession sufficient assets to pay the claim when it becomes absolute, or enough to pay the creditor his proportionate share if the assets of the estate are insufficient to pay the debts. The bank could and should have presented its claim to the committee within the time prescribed by the law. But it did not, hence, it could not recover anymore from the estate.
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Bernardo V Ca 7 Scra 367


BERNARDO v CA GR L-18148 | 7 SCRA 367 | February 28, 1963 | BARRERA, J.: FACTS: The properties in the will of testator Eusebio was disposed to his wife Hermogena and his cousins. The wife died and was substituted by her collateral relatives, upon executor Bernardos petition. Petitioner-executor filed his project of partition, but was opposed by collateral relatives claiming that of the properties disposed of in the will are part of the spouses conjugal partnership. Probate court heard evidence. Petitioner contended that it was donated by the wife to the husband so it was not part of CPG and that the oppositors cannot question the validity of the

donation in the probate proceedings. Oppositors rebutted that since it was donated during marriage, it was void; hence, the husband did not own it and cannot dispose it by will. Probate court ordered the donation voided and that executor submit another project of partition. Petitioner filed Motion for New trial (MNT) on the ground that probate court had no jurisdiction, but was denied. Petitioner filed for appeal to CA, but was also denied. Hence, this petition for review by certiorari before the SC. ISSUE: Whether or not a probate court can determine a question of ownership over property during distribution. HELD: YES. Probate court has to liquidate the conjugal partnership to determine the testators estate to be distributed to the heirs who are parties to the proceedings. As a general rule, question as to title to property cannot be passed upon on testate or intestate proceedings, except: a. where a party prays merely for inclusion or exclusion from inventory of the property; and b. when interested parties are all heirs and submit a question as to title to property, provided third persons are not prejudiced.
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Acain V Iac Gr No 72706


Acain v. IAC GR No. 72706, October 27, 1987 Facts: In 1960, Nemesio Acain wrote a will giving all his properties to his brother Segundo, or, in case Segundo predeceases Nemesio, to Segundos children. Segundo died before Nemesio. Petitioner Constantino is one of Segundos children. In 1984, after the death of Nemesio, Constantino petitioned the court to have the will probated. This was opposed by Rosa Diongson, Nemesios wife, and Virginia Fernandez, a legally adopted child of Nemesio and Rosa. The opposition was denied by the trial court, hence Diongson and Fernandez went to the SC, which transferred the case to the CA. The CA ordered the trial court to dismiss the probate petition since Diongson and Fernandez were preterited. Constantino went to the SC on certiorari, contending that the CA could not rule on the intrinsic validity of the will before it is admitted for probate. Diongson and Fernandez opposed, contending that certiorari is not a proper remedy. Issues: Whether or not certiorari is a proper remedy. Whether or not probate courts (the CA in this case) could rule on the intrinsic validity of a will before the will is probated. Whether or not Diongson was preterited. Whether or not Fernandez was preterited. Rulings: Yes, certiorari is a proper remedy. The existence of the remedy of appeal does not preclude certiorari, if appeal would not afford speedy and adequate relief. Yes. For practical considerations [???], the CA should be allowed to rule on the intrinsic validity of a will before the will was probated. If the probate of the will is allowed when on its face the will appears to be intrinsically void would have been an exercise in futility. It would have meant a waste of time, effort, expense, plus added futility. No. Insofar as the widow is concerned, Article 854 of the Civil Code may not apply as she does not ascend or descend from the testator, although she is a compulsory heir. Stated otherwise, even if the surviving spouse is a compulsory heir, there is no preterition even if she is omitted from the inheritance, for she is not in the direct line. Yes. Her legal adoption by the Nemesio has not been questioned by Constantino. Under Article 39 ofP.D. No. 603, known as the Child and Youth Welfare Code, adoption gives to the adopted person the same rights and duties as if he were a legitimate child of the adopter and makes the adopted person a legal heir of the adopter. It cannot be denied that she has totally omitted and preterited in the will of the testator and that both adopted child and the widow were deprived of at least their legitime. Neither can it be denied that they were not expressly disinherited. Hence, this is a clear case of preterition of the legally adopted child.

Villanueva vs. IAC Case Digest


Villanueva vs. IAC 192 SCRA 21 Facts: Spouses Graciano Aranas and Nicolasa Bunsa owned a parcel of land in Capiz. After they died, their surviving children, Modesto and Federico Aranas adjudicated the land to themselves under a deed of extrajudicial partition. Modesto Aranas obtained a Torrens title in his name from the Capiz Registry of Property. Modesto was married to Victoria Comorro but they had no children. After the death of Modesto, his two surviving illegitimate children named

Dorothea and Teodoro borrowed P18,000 from Jesus Bernas. As a security they mortgaged to Bernas their fathers property. In the loan agreement executed between the parties, a relative Raymundo Aranas, signed the agreement as a witness. Dorothea and Teodoro failed to pay their loan. As a result, Bernas caused the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage and acquired the land at the auction sale as the highest bidder. About a month later, Consolacion Villanueva and Raymundo Aranas filed a complaint against spouses Bernas praying that the property entered in the loan agreement be cancelled and they be declared co-owners of the land. They ground their cause of action upon their alleged discovery on two wills executed by Modesto Aranas and his wife Victoria. Victorias will stated that her interests, rights and properties, real and personal as her share from the conjugal partnership be bequeathed to Consolacion and Raymundo and also to Dorothea and Teodoro in equal shares. Modestos will, on the other hand, bequeathed to his two illegitimate children all his interest in his conjugal partnership with Victoria as well as his own capital property brought by him to his marriage.

Issue: Whether or not the property mortgaged be a conjugal property of the spouses Modesto and Victoria. Ruling: Even if it be assumed that the husbands acquisition by succession of the lot in question took place during his marriage, the lot would nonetheless be his exclusive property because it was acquired by him during the marriage by lucrative title. Certain it is that the land itself, which Modesto had inherited from his parents, Graciano and Nicolasa, is his exclusive and private property. The property should be regarded as his own exclusively, as a matter of law.