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RABADILLA vs.

CA
June 29, 2000
FACTS:
In a Codicil appended to the Last Will and Testament of testatrix Aleja Belleza, Dr. Jorge
Rabadilla, predecessor-in-interest of the herein petitioner, Johnny S. Rabadilla, was instituted
as a devisee of parcel of land. The Codicil provides that Jorge Rabadilla shall have the obligation
until he dies, every year to give Maria Marlina Coscolluela y Belleza, (75) (sic) piculs of Export
sugar and (25) piculs of Domestic sugar, until the said Maria Marlina Coscolluela y Belleza
dies.
Dr. Jorge Rabadilla died. Private respondent brought a complaint, to enforce the
provisions of subject Codicil.
ISSUE:
WON the obligations of Jorge Rabadilla under the Codicil are inherited by his heirs.
HELD:
Under Article 776 of the NCC, inheritance includes all the property, rights and
obligations of a person, not extinguished by his death. Conformably, whatever rights Dr. Jorge
Rabadilla had by virtue of subject Codicil were transmitted to his forced heirs, at the time of his
death. And since obligations not extinguished by death also form part of the estate of
the decedent; corollarily, the obligations imposed by the Codicil on the deceased Dr. Jorge
Rabadilla, were likewise transmitted to his compulsory heirs upon his death.
URIARTE V. CFI
Short summary: alleged natural child of the deceased filed petition for settlement of
INTESTATE estate of Don Juan Uriarte y Goite in Negros Occidental Court. PNB was even
appointed as special administrator, but PNB failed to qualified. MTD filed by nephew of Don
Juan, alleging that while he was in Spain, the deceased made a will AND that petitioner had
doubtful interest (proceeding for his recognition as a natural child not yet done). Pending this,
the nephews instituted a petition for probate of the will of Don Juan in Manila. Alleged natural
son opposed, contending that Negros courts already had exclusive jurisdiction of the case.But
Negros court dismissed the special proceeding, and the Manila court proceeded to probate the
will. Petitioner contested it. Court held that since the decedent was a non-resident, both Manila

and Negros courts may be proper venues for the proceedings. But since probate proceedings
enjoy priority over intestate proceedings, action by Manila court proper. Even if the venue was
improper, petitioner considered to have waived the defect by laches. Lastly, the court held that if
ever recognized as the natural child of the decedent, he could opt to intervene in the probate
proceedings, or to have it opened if already finished.
Facts:
-Don Juan Uriarte y Goite died in Spain, left properties both in Manila and Negros
-The alleged natural son of Don Juan, VICENTE URIARTE, filed petition for settlement of
INTESTATE ESTATE of Don Juan before the Negros Occidental court. Note that during that
time, the proceedings for compulsory acknowledgment as the natural son of Don Juan was still
pending
-PNB also was appointed as special administrator of the estate, but PNB failed to qualify
-OPPOSITION TO PETITION by HIGINIO URIARTE (nephew of Don Juan):
Don Juan left a will, executed in Spain, duly authenticated - submitted before Negros court
ViCENTE's capacity and interest are questionable
-JUAN URIARTE ZAMACONA (di ko alam how related) commenced SPECPRO for PROBATE
OF LAST WILL OF DON JUAN before Manila courts + MTD in Negros Courts
Since there's a will, no need for intestate proceedings before Negros Courts
Vicente had no legal personality to sue
>>>OPPOSED by VICENTE: Negros Courts first took cognizance, it had acquired exclusive
jurisdiction over the same
NEGROS COURT: DISMISS proceedings before it
-VICENTE filed OMNIBUS MOTION in Manila Court for leave to intervene + dismissal of
petition for probate + annulment of proceedings - DENIED
-Manila court admitted to probate the last will
WON NEGROS COURT ERRED IN DISMISSING THE INTESTATE PROCEEDINGS
BEFORE IT? NO.
Decedent is an inhabitant of a foreign country (Spain) during the time of his death, so the courts
in the province s where he left property may take cognizance of settlement of his estate
-here, decedent left properties both in Manila and in Negros
Even if Negros court first took cognizance of the case, still has to give way to Manila court
special proceeding intended to effect the distribution of the estate of a deceased person, whether
in accordance with the law on intestate succession or in accordance with his will, is a "probate
matter" or a proceeding for the settlement of his estate.
BUT testate proceedings, for the settlement of the estate of a deceased person take
precedence over intestate proceedings for the same purpose.

So even pending Intestate proceedings, if it is found it hat the decedent had left a
last will, proceedings for the probate of the latter should replace the intestate
proceedings even if at that stage an administrator had already been appointed, the
latter being required to render final account and turn over the estate in his
possession to the executor subsequently appointed.
If will rejected or disproved, proceedings shall continue as intestacy
VICENTE already waived procedural defect of VENUE IMPROPERLY LAID
-He knew that there was a will when a MTD was filed in Negros court, so he should have filed a
MTD in Manila court earlier: Manila court already
*appointed an administrator
*admitted the will to probate more than 5 months earlier
-court would not annul proceedings regularly had in a lower court even if the latter was not
the proper venue therefor, if the net result would be to have the same proceedings repeated in
some other court of similar jurisdiction
As to interest of Vicente in the case
-two alternatives for an acknowledged natural child to prove his status and interest in the estate
of the deceased parent:
(1) to intervene in the probate proceeding if it is still open; and
(2) to ask for its reopening if it has already been closed.
n re: Will and Testament of the deceased REVEREND SANCHO ABADIA. SEVERINA A.
VDA. DE ENRIQUEZ, ET AL. vs. MIGUEL ABADIA, ET AL. G.R. No. L-7188 August 9,
1954 Facts: Andres Enriquez, as one of the legatees in a document purporting to be
the last will and testament of Father Sancho Abadia, which was executed on
September 6, 1923, filed a petition for its probate. Some cousins and nephews of
the deceased, who would inherit his estate if he left no will, filed opposition. The
trial court ruled in favor of Enriquez, stating that even if the said document is a
holographic will, one which is not permitted by law at the time it was executed
and at the time of the testators death,
such form of a will is already allowed at the time of the hearing of the case since the
new Civil Code is already enforced, and that to carry out the intention of the
testator which according to the trial court is the controlling factor and may override
any defect in form. Hence, this petition. Issue: Whether the reckoning period in
deciding the validity of the holographic will of Rev. Sanchio, the time of the hearing
of the case shall be considered and not the time of its execution Held: No. The
validity of a will is to be judged not by the law enforce at the time of the testator's
death or at the time the supposed will is presented in court for probate or when the
petition is decided by the court but at the time the instrument was execute, as
supported by Art. 795 of the new Civil Code. One reason in support of the rule is
that although the will operates upon and after the death of the testator, the wishes
of the testator about the disposition of his estate among his heirs and among the

legatees is given solemn expression at the time the will is executed, and in reality,
the legacy or bequest then becomes a completed act. When one executes a will
which is invalid for failure to observe and follow the legal requirements at the time
of its execution then upon his death he should be regarded and declared as having
died intestate, and his heirs will then inherit by intestate succession, and no
subsequent law with more liberal requirements or which dispenses with such
requirements as to execution should be allowed to validate a defective will and
thereby divest the heirs of their vested rights in the estate by intestate succession.
The general rule is that the Legislature cannot validate void wills
. Hence, the trial courts decision was reversed.

G.R. No. L-23678 (June 6, 1967)


Bellis vs. Bellis

FACTS:
Amos G. Bellis was a citizen of the State of Texas and of the United States. He had five
legitimate children with his first wife (whom he divorced), three legitimate children with his
second wife (who survived him) and, finally, three illegitimate children.
6 years prior Amos Bellis death, he executed two(2) wills, apportioning the remainder of his
estate and properties to his seven surviving children. The appellants filed their oppositions to
the project of partition claiming that they have been deprived of their legitimes to which they
were entitled according to the Philippine law. Appellants argued that the deceased wanted his
Philippine estate to be governed by the Philippine law, thus the creation of two separate wills.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Philippine law be applied in the case in the determination of the illegitimate
childrens successional rights
RULING:
Court ruled that provision in a foreigners 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 view of those matters that Article 10 now Article 16 of
the Civil Code states said national law should govern.
Where the testator was a citizen of Texas and domiciled in Texas, the intrinsic validity of his will
should be governed by his national law. Since Texas law does not require legitimes, then his will,
which deprived his illegitimate children of the legitimes, is valid.

The Supreme Court held that the illegitimate children are not entitled to the legitimes under the
texas law, which is the national law of the deceased.
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Case Digest: Bellis vs. Bellis
Posted on
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Category
Bellis vs. Bellis,
case digest,
G.R. No. L-23678
Le

an Dorn vs Romillo
Van Dorn vs. Romillo
139 SCRA 139

FACTS:
Alice Reyes Van Dorn, a Filipino Citizen and private respondent, Richard Upton, a US
citizen, was married in Hong Kong in 1979. They established their residence in the
Philippines and had 2 children. They were divorced in Nevada, USA in 1982 and
petitioner remarried, this time with Theodore Van Dorn. A suit against petitioner
was filed on June 8, 1983, stating that petitioners business in Ermita Manila, the
Galleon Shop, is a conjugal property with Upton and prayed therein that Alice be
ordered to render an accounting of the business and he be declared as the
administrator of the said property.
ISSUE: Whether or not the foreign divorce between the petitioner and private
respondent in Nevada is binding in the Philippines where petitioner is a Filipino
citizen.
HELD:
Private respondent is no longer the husband of the petitioner. He would have no
standing to sue petitioner to exercise control over conjugal assets. He is estopped
by his own representation before the court from asserting his right over the alleged
conjugal property. Furthermore, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be
recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national
law. Petitioner is not bound to her marital obligations to respondent by virtue of her

nationality laws. She should not be discriminated against her own country if the
end of justice is to be served.

PILAPIL VS IBAY-SOMERA
MARCH 28, 2013 ~ VBDIAZ
PILAPIL

vs.

G.R.

HON

IBAY-SOMERA,
No.

VICTOR

AND

GEILING

et

al

80116

June 30, 1989


FACTS: Petitioner Imelda Pilapil, a Filipino citizen, and private respondent Erich
Geiling, a German national, were married in Germany. After about three and a half
years of marriage, such connubial disharmony eventuated in Geiling initiating a
divorce proceeding against Pilapil in Germany. The Local Court, Federal Republic of
Germany, promulgated a decree of divorce on the ground of failure of marriage of
the spouses.
More than five months after the issuance of the divorce decree, Geiling filed two
complaints for adultery before the City Fiscal of Manila alleging in one that, while
still married to said Geiling, Pilapil had an affair with a certain William Chia. The
Assistant Fiscal, after the corresponding investigation, recommended the dismissal
of the cases on the ground of insufficiency of evidence. However, upon review, the
respondent city fiscal Victor approved a resolution directing the filing of 2 complaint
for adultery against the petitioner. The case entitled PP Philippines vs. Pilapil and
Chia was assigned to the court presided by the respondent judge Ibay-Somera.
A motion to quash was filed in the same case which was denied by the respondent.
Pilapil filed this special civil action for certiorari and prohibition, with a prayer for a
TRO, seeking the annulment of the order of the lower court denying her motion to
quash.

As cogently argued by Pilapil, Article 344 of the RPC thus presupposes that the
marital relationship is still subsisting at the time of the institution of the criminal
action for adultery.
ISSUE: Did Geiling have legal capacity at the time of the filing of the complaint for
adultery, considering that it was done after obtaining a divorce decree?
HELD: WHEREFORE, the questioned order denying petitioners MTQ is SET ASIDE
and another one entered DISMISSING the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The
TRO issued in this case is hereby made permanent.
NO
Under Article 344 of the RPC, the crime of adultery cannot be prosecuted except
upon a sworn written complaint filed by the offended spouse. It has long since been
established, with unwavering consistency, that compliance with this rule is a
jurisdictional, and not merely a formal, requirement.
Corollary to such exclusive grant of power to the offended spouse to institute the
action, it necessarily follows that such initiator must have the status, capacity or
legal representation to do so at the time of the filing of the criminal action. This is a
logical consequence since the raison detre of said provision of law would be absent
where the supposed offended party had ceased to be the spouse of the alleged
offender at the time of the filing of the criminal case.
Stated

differently,

the

inquiry

would

be

whether

it

is

necessary

in

the

commencement of a criminal action for adultery that the marital bonds between the
complainant and the accused be unsevered and existing at the time of the
institution of the action by the former against the latter.
In the present case, the fact that private respondent obtained a valid divorce in his
country, the Federal Republic of Germany, is admitted. Said divorce and its legal
effects may be recognized in the Philippines insofar as private respondent is

concerned in view of the nationality principle in our civil law on the matter of status
of persons Under the same considerations and rationale, private respondent, being
no longer the husband of petitioner, had no legal standing to commence the
adultery case under the imposture that he was the offended spouse at the time he
filed suit.
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FE D. QUITA, petitioner, VS. COURT OF APPEALS and BLANDINA DANDAN,


respondents
December 22, 1998
Facts:
Fe D. Quita and Arturo T. Padlan, both Filipinos, were married in the Philippines on May
18, 1941. No children were born out of their marriage. On July 23, 1954, petitioner obtained a
final judgment of divorce in San Francisco, California, U.S.A. On April 16, 1972, Arturo died
leaving no will. On August 31, 1972, Lino Javier Inciong filed a petition with the RTC for
issuance of letters of administration concerning the estate of Arturo in favor of the Philippine
Trust Company. Respondent Blandina Dandan, claiming to be the surviving spouse of Arturo
Dandan and the surviving children, all surnamed Padlan, opposed the petition. The RTC
expressed that the marriage between Antonio and petitioner subsisted until the death of Arturo
in 1972, that the marriage existed between private respondent and Arturo was clearly void since
it was celebrated during the existence of his previous marriage to petitioner. The Court of
Appeals remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings.
Issues:
1. Should the case be remanded to the lower court?
2. Who between the petitioner and private respondent is the proper heir of the decedent?
Held:

If there is a controversy before the court as to who are the lawful heirs of the deceased person or
as to the distributive shares to which each person is entitled under the law, the
controversy shall be heard and decided as in ordinary cases.
No dispute exists as to the right of the six Padlan children to inherit from the decedent because
there are proofs that they have been duly acknowledged by him and petitioner herself even
recognizes them as heirs of Arturo Padlan, nor as to their respective hereditary shares.
Private respondent is not a surviving spouse that can inherit from him as this status
presupposes a legitimate relationship. Her marriage to Arturo being a bigamous marriage
considered void ab inito under Articles 80 and 83 of the Civil Code renders her not a surviving
spouse.
The decision of the Court of Appeals ordering the remand of the case is affirmed.

Paula Llorente vs Court of Appeals


November 5, 2010 No comments
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345 SCRA 592 Civil Law Application of Laws Foreign Laws Nationality
Principle Effects of Foreign Divorce

Succession Last Will and Testament of an Alien

In 1927, Lorenzo Llorente, then a Filipino, was enlisted in the U.S. Navy. In 1937, he
and Paula Llorente got married in Camarines Sur. In 1943, Lorenzo became an
American citizen.

In 1945, Lorenzo returned to the Philippines for a vacation. He discovered that Paula
was already living illicitly with Ceferino Llorente (brother of Lorenzo). Ceferino and
Paula even had a son.

Lorenzo then refused to live with Paula. He also refused to give her monetary
support. Eventually, Lorenzo and Paula agreed in writing Lorenzo shall not criminally
charge Paula if the latter agrees to waive all monetary support from Lorenzo. Later,
Lorenzo returned to the United States.

In 1951, Lorenzo filed a divorce proceeding against Paula in California. Paula was
represented by an American counsel. The divorce was granted and in 1952, the
divorce became final.

Lorenzo returned to the Philippines. In 1958, Lorenzo married Alicia Fortuno. They
had three children.

In 1981, Lorenzo executed his last will and testament where he left all his estate to
Alicia and their children (nothing for Paula). In 1983, he went to court for the wills
probate and to have Alicia as the administratrix of his property. In 1985, before the
probate proceeding can be terminated, Lorenzo died. Later, Paula filed a petition for
letters of administration over Lorenzos estate.

The trial court ruled that Lorenzos marriage with Alicia is void because the divorce
he obtained abroad is void. The trial court ratiocinated that Lorenzo is a Filipino
hence divorce is not applicable to him. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court.

ISSUES: Whether or not Lorenzos divorce abroad should be recognized.

HELD: Yes. It is undisputed by Paula Llorente that Lorenzo became an American


citizen in 1943. Hence, when he obtained the divorce decree in 1952, he is already
an American citizen. Article 15 of the Civil Code provides:

Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal
capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living
abroad.

Since Lorenzo was no longer a Filipino, Philipine laws relating to family rights,
duties, or status are no longer applicable to him. Therefore, the divorce decree he
obtained abroad must be respected. The rule is: aliens may obtain divorces abroad,
provided they are valid according to their national law.

However, this case was still remanded to the lower court so as for the latter to
determine the effects of the divorce as to the successional rights of Lorenzo and his
heirs.

Anent the issue on Lorenzos last will and testament, it must be respected. He is an
alien and is not covered by our laws on succession. However, since the will was
submitted to our courts for probate, then the case was remanded to the lower court
where the foreign law must be alleged in order to prove the validity of the will.

You are here: Home / 2013 / December / Case Digest: DOROTHEO v. CA


CASE DIGEST: DOROTHEO V. CA
Published by bigboy on December 26, 2013 | Leave a response
Dorotheo
GR No. 108581, December 8, 1999

v.

CA

FACTS:
Aniceta Reyes died in 1969 without her estate being settled. Thereafter, her husband Alejandro also died.
In 1977, Lourdes Dorotheo filed a special proceeding for the probate of Alejandros last will and
testament. The children of spouses filed their opposition. The RTC ruled that Lourdes being not the wife
of Alejandro the will is intrinsically void; the oppositors are the only heir entitled to the estate. Lourdes
filed a Motion for Consideration arguing that she is entitled to some compensation since she took care of
Alejandro prior to his death although they were not legallymarried to each other. This was denied by the
trial court. The CA dismissed her appeal for her failure to wile the same within the extended period.
ISSUE:
May a last will and testament admitted to probate but declared intrinsically void in an order that has
become final and executor still be given effect?

RULING:
No. A final and executor decision or order can no longer be disturbed or reopened no matter how
erroneous it may be.
The Supreme Court ruled that the will of Alejandro was extrinsically valid but
theintrinsic provisions thereof are void. Alejandro gave all the property to the concubine. Such is invalid
because one cannot dispose what he does not own. In this case, the whole property is
the conjugal property of Alejandro and Aniceta. Such has become final and executor. The only instance
where a party interested in probate proceeding may have a final liquidation set aside is when he is left out
by reason of circumstances beyond his control or through mistake or inadvertence not imputable
to negligence with circumstances do not concur herein.

92 SCRA 332

July 30, 1979

Francisca Alsua-Betts, Joseph O. Betts, Jose Madareta, Esteban P. Ramirez, And The Register
Of Deeds For Albay Province, Petitioners
v.
Court Of Appeals, Amparo Alsua Buenviaje, Fernando Buenviaje, Fernando Alsua, Represented
By His Guardian, Clotilde S. Alsua And Pablo Alsua, Respondents

FACTS: A notarized Escritura de Particion Extrajudicial was entered on the properties of


spouses of Don Jesus Alsua, wife Doa Florentina, and all their remaining four (4) living
children, on November 25, 1949. On January 5, 1956, both of the spouses made their
holographic wills with the provisions conforming to the implementation of the extrajudicial
partition. Codicils amending and supplementing the spouses respective holographic wills on
1956 and eventually admitted to probate. Don Jesus became executor on the death of Doa
Florentina and cancelled his previous holographic will, appointed daughter Francisca as
executrix, and collated the properties to be donated to his four children. At the death of their
father, Francisca filed a petition of probate of the 1959 will and was opposed by brother
respondents.

ISSUE: Is the probate of the will acceptable?

HELD: Yes. The 1959 will amended the 1949 settlement and rendered latter as void. "A will
may be revoked by the testator at any time before his death. (Art. 828, Civil Code) When it will
not prejudice any heirs, he is not forced to follow any only one will.

Club fil Inc vs Araullo

Challenged via Petition for Review is the Decision dated February 28, 2005[1] of the Court of Appeals in
CA-GR SP No. 76926, Romeo Araullo v. Club Filipino, Inc.
Romeo Araullo (respondent) was the Maintenance Supervisor of Club Filipino (petitioner). On
September 30, 2000, during a routine inspection of employees who were leaving the premises of
petitioners Club House, two brand new faucets were found inside respondents traveling bag which he
claimed to be his personal property. He was to present two days later OCG Trading Original Sales Invoice
No. 379612 dated September 28, 2000 in the amount of P490 purportedly covering the sale to him of the
faucets.
On the same day, September 30, 2000, Ricardo Sesmar, the security-in-charge, by an Information
[2]

Report, brought to the attention of the management the incident.


Acting on the Report, Salvador Arinto, the Personnel Supervisor of the Club, required respondent to
explain why no disciplinary action should be taken against him. [3]Respondent maintained, however, that
the faucets were his.
An investigation of the incident was thus held on October 18, 2000 during which respondent presented
evidence. Another was scheduled on December 8, 2000 during which respondent was given opportunity
to present additional evidence but respondent failed to appear.
By Report of December 11, 2000, the Investigating Committee recommended respondents
dismissal for loss of trust and confidence. A December 23, 2000 notice of termination was thus served
upon him.[4]
Subsequently or on January 24, 2001, respondent filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. [5] By
Decision of November 15, 2001,[6] the Labor Arbiter, finding that respondent could no longer be trusted by
petitioner, dismissed the complaint for lack of merit.
Respondent filed an appeal to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) which, by
Decision of July 30, 2002,[7] dismissed the same for lack of merit. By Resolution dated March 31, 2003,
[8]

the NLRC denied respondents Motion for Reconsideration.

On respondents petition for certiorari, the Court of Appeals, by Decision of February 28, 2005,
reversed that of the NLRC, disposing as follows:
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The Decisions of the NLRC
and the Labor Arbiter are vacated and set aside. Petitioner Araullos dismissal is hereby
declared illegal. Accordingly, the respondent Club Filipino is hereby ordered to reinstate
Araullo to his former position without loss of seniority rights and to pay petitioner full
back wages, inclusive of allowances, including 13 th month pay, as well as other monetary
benefits, computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him to the time of
his reinstatement. Should reinstatement be no longer possible the respondent Club
Filipino should instead pay Araullo separation pay equivalent to one month a day for
every year of service, with the fraction of at least six (6) months be considered as one
whole year.[9]

Finding that the period of appeal had expired, respondent filed before the appellate court a
Motion for Entry of Judgment.[10] Before the appellate court could resolve the motion, it received a copy
of a Petition for Review filed by petitioner before this Court, drawing the appellate court to deny
respondents motion on May 20, 2005.[11]
In its Petition for Review,[12] petitioner faults the appellate court for:
1.
. . . HOLDING AND TREATING THE ORIGINAL PETITION OF THE
RESPONDENT AS A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI DESPITE THE ABSENCE OF
THE ALLOWABLE LEGAL GROUNDS AS WELL AS THE REQUIRED
FORMALITIES;
2.
. . . DECID[ING] IN A WAY NOT IN ACCORD WITH ARTICLE 282 par.
(A), (C) AND (D) OF THE LABOR CODE AND EXTANT JURISPRUDENCE IN
DECLARING THE DISMISSAL OF HEREIN RESPONDENT TO BE ILLEGAL.
3.
. . . DECIDING THAT THE COPY OF THE RESPONDENTS RECEIPT
BEARING SERIAL NO. 379612 CANNOT BE CONCLUDED AS TAMPERED
DESPITE OF THE FACT THAT THE LABOR ARBITER AND THE NLRC MADE A
CONCLUSIVE FINDINGS OF FACT ESTABLISHING THEREIN THAT THE
RECEIPT IN POSSESSION OF THE RESPONDENT HAS BEEN TAMPERED AND
FORGED.[13]

For his part, respondent in his Comment [14] argues that the Petition, apart from being fatally
defective for lack of certification against forum-shopping, was filed beyond the reglementary period since
it received the February 28, 2005 Decision of the appellate court on March 3, 2005 and, therefore, had up
to March 18, 2005 to file the petition, but it filed the same only on April 27, 2005.

To prove that petitioner received a copy of the Decision on March 3, 2005, respondent attached
a certified photocopy of Registry Return Receipt No. 2706 [15] covering the envelope containing the copy
of said decision sent to petitioners counsel, and a Certification of Proof of Service of registered letter No.
2706 dated April 25, 2005[16] of the San Juan Central Post Office which reads:
xxxx
In connection with your inquiry, I hereby certify that Registered Letter No.
2706 addressed to [petitioners counsel] Atty. Ernesto Tabao, Room 1004,
10th Floor Atlanta Center, 31 Annapolis Street, Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila, was
delivered to and received by MELANIE P. ABEJERO[17] Secretary on MARCH 3, 2005.
x x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)

Respondent also submitted another Certification of Proof of Service dated May 12, 2005, which
was notarized by Notary Public Romualdo C. Delos Santos, reiterating the contents of the
certification[18] earlier filed.
In its Reply [to respondents Comment] with Motion, [19] petitioner moved for the admission of the thereto
attached Verification and Certificate of Non-Forum Shopping and reiterated that a certified copy of the
February 28, 2005 Decision was secured only in the morning of April 14, 2005 when, after receiving a
copy of respondents Motion for Entry of Judgment on April 13, 2005, its counsel sent a member of his
staff to the Court of Appeals to check the status of the case. And it submitted a May 6, 2005[20] Affidavit
of Melanie A. Intia (Melanie). Melanie, acknowledging that her maiden name is Abejero, the family name
of the one who acknowledged receipt on March 3, 2005 of copy of the appellate courts decision addressed
to petitioners counsel, claimed that she had stopped using her maiden name after her marriage in
December 2004 and had since been using the surname of her husband. And she denied having received a
copy of the decision of the Court of Appeals, adding that:
[the signature appearing on Registry Receipt No. 2706] although resembling my former
signature when I was still single, suffers from very basic inconsistencies. In the
first place [t]he M in my former signature is very prominent and enlarged as can be
seen in my signature in my marriage contract (Annex B). Secondly, my B in my
signature is not that prominent as that in the subject return card. More importantly,
the J and the R[] as appeared [sic] on the signature card is different from my former
signature as appeared [sic] on the same marriage contract; [21](Underscoring
supplied)

The present petition must fail.

While the petition contains a verification and a Secretarys Certificate, [22] it lacks a certification
against forum-shopping which is generally not curable by the submission thereof after the filing of the
petition, albeit the rule thereon may be relaxed on grounds of substantial compliance or special
circumstance or compelling reasons.[23]
Even if the rule on certification against forum shopping were to be relaxed, however, the petition would
still fail, the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals having become final and executory.
As earlier stated, Registry Return Card No. 2706 shows that a copy of the appellate courts
decision addressed to petitioners counsel was received on March 3, 2005 by his secretary
Melanie. Genuino Ice Company, Inc. v. Magpantay[24] teaches:
The presumption is that the decision was delivered to a person in his office,
[received by a person] who was duly authorized to receive papers for him, in the absence
of proof to the contrary. It is likewise a fundamental rule that unless the contrary is
proven, official duty is presumed to have been performed regularly and judicial
proceedings regularly conducted, which includes the presumption of regularity of service
of summons and other notices. The registry return of the registered mail as having been
received is prima facie proof of the facts indicated therein. Thus, it was necessary for
respondent (in this case, the petitioner) to rebut that legal presumption with competent
and proper evidence. (Italics in the original, underscoring supplied)

Melanies above-stated affidavit does not suffice to overcome the presumption of regularity of the
performance of the postmasters official duty. The record is replete with documentary proof that, contrary
to Melanies claim, she continued using her maiden name Abejero even after her marriage in December
2004.[25]
Melanies claim that there are very basic inconsistencies between the signature appearing on the
Registry Return Receipt and her signatures before her marriage, thereby implying that the signature
attributed to her in the said receipt was forged, does not persuade.
. . . The volume of work to be done and the numerous documents to be filled up
and signed must likewise be considered. Verily, minor and insignificant variations in
handwriting must be perceived as indicia of genuineness rather than of falsity.
In Go Fay v. Bank of the Philippine Islands, this Court held that carelessness,
spontaneity, unpremeditation, and speed in signing are evidence of genuineness. In U.S.
v. Kosel, it was ruled that dissimilarity in certain letters in a handwriting may be
attributed to the mental and physical condition of the signer and his position when he
signed. Grief, anger, vexation, stimulant, pressure and weather have some influence in
ones writing. Because of these, it is an accepted fact that it is very rare that two (2)

specimens of a persons signature are exactly alike.[26](Italics in the original; Emphasis


and underscoring supplied)

In fine, the presumption of the regularity of the delivery by the postmaster of a copy of the appellate courts
decision to Melanie has not been overcome. Consequently, the decision had become final and executory by
the time the present petition was filed.
The finality of a decision is a jurisdictional event which cannot be made to depend on the convenience of a
party.[27] Once a decision attains finality, it becomes the law of the case irrespective of whether the decision
is erroneous or not.[28]

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The February 28, 2005 Decision of the Court of
Appeals is AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
Apolonio Taboada vs Avelino Rosal
August 7, 2012
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118 SCRA 195 Succession Substantial Compliance


Dorotea Perez left a will. The will has two pages. On the first page, which contains the entire
testamentary dispositions, were the signatures of the three instrumental witnesses and that of
Dorotea Perez. The signatures of the three instrumental witnesses were on the left margin while
Perez signature was on the bottom. On the second page, which contains the attestation clause
and the acknowledgement, were the signatures of the three attesting witnesses and that of
Dorotea Perez. The attestation clause failed to state the number of pages used in the will.
Taboada petitioned for the admission to probate of the said will. The judge who handled the
petition was Judge Ramon Pamatian. He denied the petition. Taboada filed a motion for
reconsideration but Pamatian was not able to act on it because he was transferred to another
jurisdiction. The case was inherited by Judge Rosal who also denied the MFR on the grounds
that a) that the testator and the instrumental witnesses did not all sign on the left margin of the
page as prescribed by law; that the testator and the witnesses should have placed their
signature in the same place b) that the attestation clause failed to state the number of pages
used in writing the will this, according to Judge Rosal violated the requirement that the
attestation clause shall state the number of pages or sheets upon which the will is written, which
requirement has been held to be mandatory as an effective safeguard against the possibility of
interpolation or omission of some of the pages of the will to the prejudice of the heirs to whom
the property is intended to be bequeathed.
ISSUE: Whether or not the will should be admitted to probate.
HELD: Yes. The law must be interpreted liberally.
Further, there is substantial compliance with the law. It would be absurd that the legislature
intended to place so heavy an import on the space or particular location where the signatures
are to be found as long as this space or particular location wherein the signatures are found is
consistent with good faith.
The failure to include in the attestation clause of the number of pages used in writing the will
would have been a fatal defect. But then again, the matter should be approached liberally.
There were only two pages in the will left by Perez. The first page contains the entirety of the
testamentary dispositions and signed by the testatrix at the end or at the bottom while the

instrumental witnesses signed at the left margin. The other page which is marked as Pagina
dos comprises the attestation clause and the acknowledgment. Further, the acknowledgment
itself states that This Last Will and Testament consists of two pages including this page.

In RE Tampoy: Diosdada Alberastine, petitioner

GR L-14322, 25 February 1960 (107 Phil 100)En Banc, Bautista Angelo (p): 10
concurring
Facts:
On 19 November 1939, Petronila Tampoy, a widow and without children, requested
withBonifacio Minoza to read a testament and explain its contents to her in her
house in San Miguel street,municipality of Argao, province of Cebu in 19 November
1939, which he did in the presence of tree

instrumental witnesses, Rosario K. Chan, Mauricio de la Pena, and Simeona Omboy.


After confirmingthe contents of the testament, she requested Bonifacio Minoza to
write her name at the foot of the

testament in the second page, which he did, and after which she stamped her
thumbmark betweenher name and surname in the presence of all three
instrumental witnesses. Bonifacio Minoza alsosigned at the foot of the testament, in
the second page, in the presence of the testator and all threeabovenamed
witnesses. However, the testator, just like Bonifacio Minoza, did not sign on the
leftmargin or any part of the first page of the testament, composed of two pages. All
the threeinstrumental witnesses signed at the foot of the acknowledgment written
in the second page of thetestament, and the left margin of the first and second
page, in the presence of the testator, BonifacioMinoza, Atty. Kintanar, and the
others. The testament was executed freely and spontaneously, withouthaving been
threatened, forced and intimidated, and not having exercised on her (the testator)
undue

influence, being the same in full use of her mental faculties and enjoying good
health. On 22 February1957, the testator died in here house in Argao.On 7 March
1957, or two weeks after, the heir found in the testament, Carman Aberastine

died,leaving her mother, the petitioner Diosdada Alberastine. After trial on the
probate o a documentpurportedly to be the last and testament of Petronila Rampoy,
the trial court denied the petition on

the ground that the left hand margin of the first page of the will does not bear the
thumbmark of thetestatrix. Petitioner appealed from this ruling. The Court of
Appeals certified the case to the Supreme

Court because it involves purely a question of law.


Issue:
Whether the absence of the testators thumbmark in the first page is fatal to render
the willvoid
Held:
Statutes prescribing the formalities to be observed in the execution of wills are very
strictlyconstrued. A will must be executed in accordance with the statutory
requirements; otherwise it isentirely void. In the present case, the contention that
the petition for probate is unopposed, and thatthe three testimonial witnesses
testified and manifested to the court that the document expresses thetrue and
voluntary will of the deceased, cannot be sustained as it runs counter to the
expressprovision of the law. Since the will suffers the fatal defect, as it does not
bear the thumbmark of thetestatrix on its first page even if it bears the signature of
the three instrumental witnesses, the same

fails to comply with the law and therefore cannot be admitted to probate.The
Supreme Court affirmed the appealed order, without pronouncement as to costs.

Tedoro CANEDA, et al.petitioners vs. Hon. COURT OF APPEALS and William


CABRERA, as Special Administrator of the Estate of Mateo Caballero,
respondents.
On December 5, 1978, Mateo Caballero, a widower without any children, already in the twilight
years of his life executed a last will and testament before three attesting witnesses and he was
duly assisted by his lawyer and a notary public. It was declared therein that, among other things
that the testator was leaving by way of legacies and devises his real and personal properties to
specific persons, all of whom do not appear to be related to Mateo. Not long after, he himself

filed a petition before the CFI seeking the probate of his last will and testament but the
scheduled hearings were postponed, until the testator passed away before his petition could
finally be heard by the probate court. Benoni Cabrera, one of the legatees named in the will,
sought his appointment as special administrator of the testators estate but due to his death, he
was succeeded by William Cabrera, who was appointed by RTC which is already the probate
court.
PETITIONERS: The petitioners assail to the allowance of the testators will on the ground that it
was not executed in accordance with all the requisites of law since the testator was already in a
poor state of health such that he could not have possibly executed the same. Petitioners likewise
contend that the will is null and void because 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.
RESPONDENTS: The respondent, on the other hand, argue that Mateo was of sound and
disposing mind and in good health when he executed his will. Further, they also contend that the
witnesses attested and signed the will in the presence of the testator and of each other.
Whether or not the attestation clause in the last will of Mateo Caballero is fatally defective such
that whether or not it affects the validity of the will.
Whether or not the attestation clause complies with the substantial compliance pursuant to
Article 809 of the Civil Code.
An attestation clause refers to that part of an ordinary will whereby the attesting witnesses
certify that the instrument has been executed before them and to the manner of the execution of
the same. It is a separate memorandum or record of the facts surrounding the conduct of
execution and once signed by the witnesses; it gives affirmation to the fact that compliance with
the essential formalities required by law has been observed. Under the 3rd 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 pages used upon which the will is written;

2. That the testator signed, or expressly cause 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 the said witnesses
also signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of
the testator and of one another.
It will be noted that Article 805 requires that the witness should both attest and subscribe to the
will in the presence of the testator and of one another. Attestation and subscription differ in
meaning. Attestation is the act of sense, while subscription is the act of the hand. The
attestation clause herein assailed is 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. What is then clearly lacking is the statement that the witnesses signed the will and
every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another.
The absence of the 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 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:
In the absence of bad faith, forgery, or fraud or undue and improper pressure and influence,
defects and imperfection in the form of attestation or in the language used therein shall not
render the will invalid if it is not proved that the will was in fact executed and attested in
substantial compliance with all the requirements of Article 805.
The defects and imperfection must only be with respect to the form of the attestation or the
language employed therein. Such defects or imperfection would not render a will invalid should it
be proved that the will was really executed and attested in compliance with Article 805. These
considerations do not apply where the attestation clause totally omits the fact that the attesting

witnesses signed each and every page of the will in the presence of the testator and of each
other. In such a situation, the defect is not only in the form or language of the attestation clause
but the total absence of a specific element required by Article 805 to be specifically stated in the
attestation clause of a will. That is precisely the defect complained of in the present case since
there is no plausible way by which it can be read into the questioned attestation clause
statement, or an implication thereof, that the attesting witness did actually bear witness to the
signing by the testator of the will and all of its pages and that said instrumental witnesses also
signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another.
Source: UNIVERSITY OF THE
SUCCESSION, CASE DIGEST`

CORDILLERAS

COLLEGE

Jose Gabucan vs Judge Luis Manta


November 8, 2015
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ADVERTISEMENTS

A notarial will must have a documentary stamp

OF

LAW,

WILLS

AND

Without a documentary stamp, it is not admissible in evidence in a probate


proceeding

At any rate, the documentary stamp may be affixed at the time the
taxable document is presented in evidence, not necessarily at the execution of
the will

95 SCRA 751 Remedial Law Special Proceedings Probate of Will Documentary Stamp
on Notarial Will
In 1977, Judge Luis Manta dismissed a probate proceeding because the notarial will presented
in the said case lacked a documentary stamp. Judge Manta ruled that the lack of of
documentary stamp made the will inadmissible in evidence and as such there is no will and
testament to probate.
Jose Gabucan, a party in the said case, thereafter affixed the required documentary stamp and
then moved for reconsideration but the judge refused to reconsider his ruling. Hence, Gabucan
filed a petition for mandamus to compel the judge to admit the notarial will.
ISSUE: Whether or not a notarial will presented in court which originally has no documentary
stamp may still be admitted after the required documentary stamp was affixed.
HELD: Yes. It is true that the law (the [old] Tax Code now Sec. 201 of R.A. 8424) requires a
notarial will to have a documentary stamp:
SEC. 238. Effect of failure to stamp taxable document. An instrument, document, or paper
which is required by law to be stamped and which has been signed, issued, accepted, or
transferred without being duly stamped, shall not be recorded, nor shall it or any copy thereof or
any record of transfer of the same be admitted or used in evidence in any court until the
requisite stamp or stamps shall have been affixed thereto and cancelled. xxx
Thus, a notarial will without a documentary stamp may not be admitted in evidence. However,
once the said documentary stamp is affixed, then the deficiency is cured and it can now be
admitted in evidence. The documentary stamp may be affixed at the time the taxable document
is presented in evidence.
MAGLASANG vs. CABATINGAN

MAGLASANG vs. CABATINGAN


June 5, 2002
FACTS:
Conchita Cabatingan executed deed of donation over a house and lot in favor of his
brother. Also, she executed 4 other deeds of donation in favor of the petitioners. The deeds
provided that it shall take effect upon the donors death. Conchita died. Respondents filed an
action to annul the 4 deeds on the ground that it is void for failure to comply with the formalities
of a will.
ISSUE: WON the deed is a donation mortis causa.
HELD:
Yes, it is.
The nature of the donations as mortis causa is confirmed by the fact that the donations do
not contain any clear provision that intends to pass proprietary rights to petitioners prior to
Conchitas death.
Donations mortis causa must be executed in accordance with the requisites
on solemnities of wills and testaments.
Though the deeds were acknowledge before a notary public, they were not executed in
the manner provided for under Article 805-806 of the Civil Code, thus it is void

Gonzales v. Court of Appeals (CA) Digest


Gonzales v. CA
G.R.
No.
L-37453
Guerrero, J. (Ponente)

May

25,

1979

Facts:
1. Petitioner Rizalina Gonzales and Lutgarda Santiago (Private respondent) are the nieces of the deceased
Isabel Gabriel who died a widow. A will was thereafter submitted to probate. The said will was
typewritten, in Tagalog and appeared to have been executed in April 1961 or two months prior to the
death of Isabel. It consisted of 5 pages including the attestation and acknowledgment, with the signature
of testatrix on page 4 and the left margin of all the pages.
2. Lutgarda was named as the universal heir and executor. The petitioner opposed the probate.

3. The lower court denied the probate on the ground that the will was not executed and attested in
accordance with law on the issue of the competency and credibility of the witnesses.
Issue: Whether or not the credibility of the subscribing witnesses is material to the validity of a will
RULING: No. The law requires only that witnesses posses the qualifications under Art. 820 (NCC) and
none of the disqualifications of Art. 802. There is no requirement that they are of good standing or
reputation in the community, for trustworthiness, honesty and uprightness in order that his testimony is
believed and accepted in court. For the testimony to be credible, it is not mandatory that evidence be
established on record that the witnesses have good standing in the the community. Competency is
distinguished from credibility, the former being determined by Art. 820 while the latter does not require
evidence of such good standing. Credibility depends on the convincing weight of his testimony in c
Ma. Estela Maglasang vs. Heirs of Corazon Cabatingan (G.R. No. 131953, June 5, 2002,
383 SCRA 6)
FACTS:
On February 17, 1992, Conchita Cabatingan executed in favor of her brother, petitioner Nicolas
Cabatingan, a "Deed of Conditional of Donation (sic) Inter Vivos for House and Lot" covering
one-half () portion of the former's house and lot located at Cot-cot, Liloan, Cebu. Four (4)
other deeds of donation were subsequently executed by Conchita Cabatingan on January 14,
1995, bestowing upon petitioners Nicolas, Merly S. Cabatingan and Estela C. Maglasang for
two parcels of land. One of the provisions in the deeds are as follows:
"That for and in consideration of the love and affection of the DONOR for the DONEE, the
DONOR does hereby, by these presents, transfer, convey, by way of donation, unto the DONEE
the above-described property, together with the buildings and all improvements existing thereon,
to become effective upon the death of the DONOR; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that in the event
that the DONEE should die before the DONOR, the present donation shall be deemed
automatically
rescinded
and
of
no
further
force
and
effect."
When Conchita died in May 9, 1995, and upon learning of the existence of the foregoing
donations, respondents filed an action to annul the said four (4) deeds of donation.
Respondents allege that petitioners, through their sinister machinations and strategies and
taking advantage of Conchita Cabatingan's fragile condition, caused the execution of the deeds
of donation, and, that the documents are void for failing to comply with the provisions of the Civil
Code regarding formalities of wills and testaments, considering that these are donations mortis
causa. Petitioners deny respondents' allegations contending that Conchita Cabatingan freely,
knowingly and voluntarily caused the preparation of the instruments. The lower court ruled in
favor
of
the
respondents,
while
the
ISSUE:
Whether the donations to the petitioners are donations mortis causa or inter vivos.
HELD:
Petitioners insist that the donations are inter vivos donations as these were made by the late
Conchita Cabatingan "in consideration of the love and affection of the donor" for the donee, and

there is nothing in the deeds which indicate that the donations were made in consideration of
Cabatingan's
death.
Petitioners'

arguments

are

bereft

of

merit.

In determining whether a donation is one of mortis causa, the following characteristics must be
taken into account: (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 present case, the nature of the donations as mortis causa is confirmed by the fact that the
donations do not contain any clear provision that intends to pass proprietary rights to petitioners
prior to Cabatingan's death. The phrase "to become effective upon the death of the DONOR"
admits of no other interpretation but that Cabatingan did not intend to transfer the ownership of
the properties to petitioners during her lifetime. Petitioners themselves expressly confirmed the
donations as mortis causa in the Acceptance and Attestation clauses of the Deed of Donation.
That the donations were made "in consideration of the love and affection of the donor" does not
qualify the donations as inter vivos because transfers mortis causa may also be made for the
same
reason.
Petition denied.

ALVARADO vs. GAVIOLA


September 14, 1993
FACTS:
The testator did not read the final draft of the will himself. Instead, private respondent,
as the lawyer who drafted the 8-paged document, read the same aloud in the presence of the
testator, the 3 instrumental witnesses and the notary public. The latter 4 followed the reading
with their own respective copies previously furnished them.
Said will was admitted to probate. Later on, a codicil was executed, and by that time, the
testator was already suffering from glaucoma. But the disinheritance and revocatory clauses
were unchanged. As in the case of the notarial will, the testator did not personally read the final
draft of the codicil. Instead, it was private respondent who read it aloud in his presence and in
the presence of the three instrumental witnesses (same as those of the notarial will) and the
notary public who followed the reading using their own copies.

ISSUE:
Was there substantial compliance to the reading of the will?
HELD:
Article 808 not only applies to blind testators, but also to those who, for one
reason or another, are incapable of reading their wills. Hence, the will should have
been read by the notary public and an instrumental witness. However, the spirit behind the law
was

served

though

the

letter

was

not.

In

this

case,

there

was

substantial

compliance. Substantial compliance is acceptable where the purpose of the law has been
satisfied, the reason being that the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills are intended
to protect the testator from all kinds of fraud and trickery but are never intended to be so rigid
and inflexible as to destroy the testamentary privilege.
In this case, private respondent read the testator's will and codicil aloud in the presence
of the testator, his three instrumental witnesses, and the notary public. Prior and subsequent
thereto, the testator affirmed, upon being asked, that the contents read corresponded with his
instructions. Only then did the signing and acknowledgement take place.
Posted by Lendferndz Biadno at 1:54 AM
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In the Matter of the Petition for Probate of the Will of Dorotea Perez,
Apolonio
TABOADA,
petitioner,
vs.
Hon.
Avelino
S.
ROSAL,
Judge
of
Court
of
First
Instance
of
Southern
Leyte
(Branch
III,
Maasin)
respondent.
FACTS:
In the petition for probate filed with respondent court, Taboada attached the alleged last will
and testament of the late Dorotea Perez which was written in the Cebuano-Visayan dialect and
consisting two pages: the first page contains the entire testamentary dispositions and is signed
at the bottom of the page by the testatrix alone and at the left hand margin by three (3)
instrumental witnesses; and the second page contains the attestation clause and the
acknowledgment is signed at the end of such clause by the said instrumental witnesses and at
the left hand margin by the testatrix. The trial court, through Judge Pamatian, denied the
probate of the will for want of formality in its execution and ordered Taboada to submit the
names of the intestate heirs; however, the latter did not comply with the said order. Instead, he
filed a manifestation and/or motion ex parte praying for a thirty-day period within which to
deliberate on any step to be taken as a result of the disallowance of the will and further, he filed
a motion for reconsideration of the order denying the probate of the will. However, the motions
could not act upon by Judge Pamatian due to his transfer and thus, Judge Rosal assumed the

position. Meanwhile, Taboada filed a motion for the appointment of special administrator.
Subsequently, the three motions filed by the petitioner were denied, hence this present petition.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the law requires that the testatrix and all the three instrumental and attesting
witnesses sign at the end of the will and in the presence of the testatrix and of one another.
RULING:
Article 805. Every will, other than a holographic will, must be
subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself or by the
testators name written by some other person in his presence, and
by his express direction, and attested and subscribed by three or
more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one
another.
The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and
the instrumental witnesses of the will, shall also sign, as aforesaid,
each and every page thereof, except the last, on the left margin,
and all the pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed
on the upper part of each page.
The attestation shall state the number of pages used upon which
the will is written, and the fact that the testator signed the will and
every page thereof, or cause some other person to write his
name, under his express direction, in the presence of the
instrumental witnesses and that the latter witnessed and signed
the will and the pages thereof in the presence of the testator and
of one another.
Insofar as the requirement of subscription is concerned, it is our considered view that the will
in this case was subscribed in a manner which fully satisfies the purpose of identification. The
signatures of the instrumental witnesses on the left margin of the first page of the will attested
not only to the genuineness of the signature of the testatrix but also the due execution of the will
as embodied in the attestation clause.
The objects of attestation and of subscription were fully met and satisfied in the present
case when the instrumental witnesses signed at the left margin of the sole page which contains
all the testamentary dispositions, especially so when the will was properly identified by the
subscribing witnesses. There was no question of fraud or substitution behind the questioned
order.

AZUELA v. COURT OF APPEALS

A will whose attestation clause does not contain the number of pages on which the
will is written is fatally defective. A will whose attestation clause is not signed by
the instrumental witnesses is fatally defective. And perhaps most importantly, a will
which does not contain an acknowledgment, but a mere jurat, is fatally defective.
Any one of these defects is sufficient to deny probate. A notarial will with all three
defects is just aching for judicial rejection.
FACTS:
Felix Azuela filed a petition with the trial court for the probate of a notarial will
purportedly executed by Eugenia E. Igsolo on June 10, 1981 and notarized on the
same day. The will consisted of two (2) pages and was written in Filipino. The
attestation clause did not state the number of pages and it was not signed by the
attesting witnesses at the bottom thereof. The said witnesses affixed their
signatures on the left-hand margin of both pages of the will though. Geralda Castillo
opposed the petition, claiming that the will was a forgery. She also argued that the
will was not executed and attested to in accordance with law. She pointed out that
the decedents signature did not appear on the second page of the will, and the will
was not properly acknowledged.
The trial court held the will to be authentic and to have been executed in
accordance with law and, thus, admitted it to probate, calling to fore the modern
tendency in respect to the formalities in the execution of a willwith the end in view
of giving the testator more freedom in expressing his last wishes. According to the
trial court, the declaration at the end of the will under the sub-title, Patunay Ng
Mga Saksi, comprised the attestation clause and the acknowledgement, and was a
substantial compliance with the requirements of the law. It also held that the
signing by the subscribing witnesses on the left margin of the second page of the
will containing the attestation clause and acknowledgment, instead of at the bottom
thereof, substantially satisfied the purpose of identification and attestation of the
will. The Court of Appeals, however, reversed the trial courts decision and ordered
the dismissal of the petition for probate. It noted that the attestation clause failed to
state the number of pages used in the will, thus rendering the will void and
undeserving of probate.
Azuela argues that the requirement under Article 805 of the Civil Code that the
number of pages used in a notarial will be stated in the attestation clause is merely

directory, rather than mandatory, and thus susceptible to what he termed as the
substantial compliance rule.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the subject will complied with the requirements of the law and,
hence, should be admitted to probate.
HELD:
The

petition

is

DENIED.

A will whose attestation clause does not contain the number of pages on which the
will is written is fatally defective. A will whose attestation clause is not signed by the
instrumental witnesses is fatally defective. And perhaps most importantly, a will
which does not contain an acknowledgment, but a mere jurat, is fatally defective.
Any one of these defects is sufficient to deny probate. A notarial will with all three
defects is just aching for judicial rejection.
Prior to the New Civil Code, the statutory provision governing the formal
requirements of wills was Section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Extant
therefrom is the requirement that the attestation state the number of pages of the
will. The enactment of the New Civil Code put in force a rule of interpretation of the
requirements of wills, at least insofar as the attestation clause is concerned, that
may vary from the philosophy that governed the said Section 618. Article 809 of the
Civil Code, the Code Commission opted to recommend a more liberal construction
through the substantial compliance rule. However, Justice J.B.L. Reyes cautioned
that the rule must be limited to disregarding those defects that can be supplied by
an examination of the will itself: whether all the pages are consecutively numbered;
whether the signatures appear in each and every page; whether the subscribing
witnesses are three or the will was notarizedBut the total number of pages, and
whether all persons required to sign did so in the presence of each other must
substantially appear in the attestation clause, being the only check against perjury
in the probate proceedings. The Court suggested in Caneda v. Court of Appeals
(G.R. No. 103554, May 28, 1993, 222 SCRA 781): the rule, as it now stands, is that
omission which can be supplied by an examination of the will itself, without the
need of resorting to extrinsic evidence, will not be fatal and, correspondingly, would
not obstruct the allowance to probate of the will being assailed.

However, those omissions which cannot be supplied except by evidence aliunde


would result in the invalidation of the attestation clause and ultimately, of the will
itself.
The failure of the attestation clause to state the number of pages on which the will
was written remains a fatal flaw, despite Art. 809. This requirement aims at
safeguarding the will against possible interpolation or omission of one or some of its
pages and thus preventing any increase or decrease in the pages. Following
Caneda, there is substantial compliance with this requirement if the will states
elsewhere in it how many pages it is comprised of, as was the situation in Singson
and Taboada. In this case, however, there could have been no substantial
compliance with the requirements under Art. 805 of the Civil Code since there is no
statement in the attestation clause or anywhere in the will itself as to the number of
pages which comprise the will. There was an incomplete attempt to comply with this
requisite, a space having been allotted for the insertion of the number of pages in
the

attestation

clause.

Yet

the

blank

was

never

filled

in.

The subject will cannot be considered to have been validly attested to by the
instrumental witnesses. While the signatures of the instrumental witnesses appear
on the left-hand margin of the will, they do not appear at the bottom of the
attestation clause. Art. 805 particularly segregates the requirement that the
instrumental witnesses sign each page of the will, from the requisite that the will be
attested and subscribed by them. The signatures on the left-hand corner of every
page signify, among others, that the witnesses are aware that the page they are
signing forms part of the will. On the other hand, the signatures to the attestation
clause establish that the witnesses are referring to the statements contained in the
attestation clause itself. An unsigned attestation clause results in an unattested will.
Even if the instrumental witnesses signed the left-hand margin of the page
containing the unsigned attestation clause, such signatures cannot demonstrate
these witnesses undertakings in the clause, since the signatures that do appear on
the page were directed towards a wholly different avowal.
The notary public who notarized the subject will wrote, Nilagdaan ko at ninotario ko
ngayong 10 ng Hunyo 10 (sic), 1981 dito sa Lungsod ng Maynila. By no manner of
contemplation

can these words be construed as an

acknowledgment. An

acknowledgment is the act of one who has executed a deed in going before some
competent officer or court and declaring it to be his act or deed. It might be possible

to construe the averment as a jurat, even though it does not follow to the usual
language thereof. A jurat is that part of an affidavit where the notary certifies that
before him/her, the document was subscribed and sworn to by the executor.
It may not have been said before, but a notarial will that is not acknowledged before
a notary public by the testator and the witnesses is fatally defective, even if it is
subscribed and sworn to before a notary public. The importance of the requirement
of acknowledgment is highlighted by the fact that it had been segregated from the
other requirements under Art. 805 and entrusted into a separate provision, Art. 806.
The express requirement of Art. 806 is that the will be acknowledged, and not
merely subscribed and sworn to. The acknowledgment coerces the testator and the
instrumental witnesses to declare before an officer of the law that they had
executed and subscribed to the will as their own free act or deed. Such declaration
is under oath and under pain of perjury, thus allowing for the criminal prosecution of
persons who participate in the execution of spurious wills, or those executed without
the free consent of the testator. It also provides a further degree of assurance that
the testator is of certain mindset in making the testamentary dispositions to those
persons he/she had designated in the will.
DEFECTS:
(1)

AC
(2)

(4)

No

did

not

Witnesses

(3)

No

signature

of

state
did

number
not

acknowledgment
the

testator

in

each

of

sign
by
and

the
a
every

pages
AC
notary
page

(5) Pages were not numbered consecutively


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In the Matter of the Intestate Estate of Andres G. De Jesus and


Bibiana Roxas de Jesus, Simeon R. ROXAS and Pedro ROXAS de Jesus, petitioners
vs.
Andres
R.
de
JESUS,
Jr.
FACTS:
After the death of spouses Andres and Bibiana de Jesus, her family found a notebook
containing a holographic will. The letter-will was addressed to her children, entirely written and
signed in her handwriting and dated FEB./61. . A special proceeding was instituted by
Simeon, brother of Bibiana. Simeon was then appointed administrator of the estate and
consequently, he delivered to the lower court a document purporting to be the holographic will of

Bibiana which was then set for a hearing. Luz Henson, one of the compulsory heirs filed an
opposition to probate assailing the purported holographic Will of Bibiana was not executed in
accordance with law. However, the lower court issued an order allowing the probate which was
found to have been duly executed in accordance with law. A motion for reconsideration was then
filed by Luz assailing that the alleged holographic will was not dated as required by Article 810
of the Civil Code and contending that the law requires that the Will should contain the day,
month and year of its execution and that this should be strictly complied with. The court then
reconsidered its earlier order and disallowed the probate of the holographic will on the ground
that the word dated has generally been held to include the month, day, and year.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the date (FEB/61) appearing on the holographic will of the deceased
Bibian Roxas de Jesus is a valid compliance with the Article 810 of the Civil Code.
RULING:
Yes the date FEB./61 appearing on the holographic Will of the deceased Bibiana
Roxas de Jesus complies with the requirement of Article 810 of the Civil Code which states:
ART. 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.
As a general rule, the date in a holographic will should include the day, month and year of
its execution. However, when as in the case at bar, there is no appearance of fraud, bad faith,
undue influence and pressure and the authenticity of the Will is established and the only issue is
whether or not the date FEB/61 appearing on the holographic will is a valid compliance with
Article 810 of the Civil Code, probate of the holographic Will should be allowed under the
principle of substantial compliance.

G.R. No. 106720 September 15, 1994


SPOUSES ROBERTO AND THELMA AJERO, petitioners,
vs.
THE COURT OF APPEALS AND CLEMENTE SAND, respondents.
Facts: The instrument submitted for probate is the holographic will of the late Annie
Sand, who died on November 25, 1982. Petitioners instituted a special proceeding
for
allowance of decedent's holographic will and alleged that at the time of its
execution, she
was of sound and disposing mind, not acting under duress, fraud or undue
influence.

Private respondent opposed the petition on the grounds that the will contained
alterations
and corrections which were not duly signed by decedent. The petition was likewise
opposed by Dr. Jose Ajero. He contested the disposition in the will of a house and lot
located in Cabadbaran, Agusan Del Norte. He claimed that said property could not
be
conveyed by decedent in its entirety, as she was not its sole owner.
The Court of Appeals found that the decedent did not comply with Articles 813 and
814
of the New Civil Code. It alluded to 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.
Issues: 1.
formalities

Whether

or

not

said

will

was

executed

in

accordance

with

prescribed in law.
2. Whether or not the decedent could validly dispose of the house and lot located
in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte, in its entirety.
Ruling: 1. Yes. The will was executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed in
law. 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 of the New Civil Code.
A reading of 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,
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.
Moreover, the list enumerated in Article 839 of the New Civil Code is exclusive; no
other
grounds can serve to disallow a will.
2. No. Decedent herself indubitably stated in her holographic will that the
Cabadbaran
property is in the name of her late father, John H. Sand. Thus, as correctly held by
respondent court, she cannot validly dispose of the whole property, which she
shares with
her father's other heirs

CODOY V. CALUGAY
PETITIONERS: EUGENIA RAMONAL CODOY, and MANUEL RAMONAL
RESPONDENTS: EVANGELINE R. CALUGAY, JOSEPHINE SALCEDO, and
EUFEMIA PATIGAS
312 SCRA 333/ G.R. No. 123486. August 12, 1999
FACTS
On January 16, 1990 Matilde Seo Vda. de Ramonal died, and the devisees and
legitees of his holographic will, namely Evangeline Calugay, Josephine Salcedo and
Eufemia Patigas, executed a petition for probate. In the petition, respondents claimed
that the deceased was of sound and disposing mind when she executed the will on
August 30, 1978, and that there was no fraud, undue influence, or duress employed in
the person of the testator, and the will was written voluntarily. But on June 28, 1990,
petitioners filed an opposition to the petition for probate contesting the wills genuity.
They alleged that the holographic will was a forgery and that the same is even illegible.
Petitioners argued that the repeated dates appearing on the will after every disposition
are out of the ordinary. If the deceased was the one who executed the will, and was not
forced, the dates and the signature should appear at the bottom after the dispositions, as
regularly done and not after every disposition. And assuming that the holographic will is
in the handwriting of the deceased, it was procured by undue and improper pressure
and influence on the part of the beneficiaries, or through fraud and trickery.
Respondents then brought 6 witnesses before the Court to ascertain that the signature
indicated in the will is indeed the handwriting of the deceased. In the end, Codoy
and Ramonals demurrer to evidence was granted by the lower court, but the Court of
Appeals reversed the decision and granted the probate.

ISSUE
1. Is the three witnesses in the provision of Article 811 mandatory?
2. Did the witnesses testimony satisfy the question of authenticity of the deceaseds
holographic will?

HELD
1. Yes. According to paragraph 1 of Article 811, If the will is contested, at least three
of such witnesses shall be required. The word shall is 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.
2. No. None of them were present during the actual signing of the deceased. So, not
one of them can validly declare that the signature belongs to Matilde Seo Vda.
de Ramonal. Whats more suspicious is the fact that the deceaseds signature
contains different strokes when they were compared with the other documents.
The idea that undue influence arises, which the witnesses themselves are
incompetent to answer.
3. In Dy Yieng Seangio, et al. v. Hon. Amor Reyes, et al., G.R. No. 140371-72, November 27,
2006, there was a petition for the probate of an alleged holographic will which was
denominated as Kasulatan sa pag-aalis ng mana. The private respondents moved for the
dismissal of the probate proceedings primarily on the ground that the document purporting to
be the holographic will of Segundo did not contain any disposition of the estate of the
deceased and thus did not meet the definition of a will under Article 783 of the Civil Code.
According to private respondents, the will only showed an alleged act of disinheritance by
the decedent of his eldest son, Alfredo, and nothing else; that all other compulsory heirs
were not named nor instituted as heir, devisee or legatee, hence there was preterition which
would result to intestacy. Such being the case, private respondents maintained that while
procedurally the court is called upon to rule only on the extrinsic validity of the will, it is not
barred from delving into the intrinsic validity of the same, and ordering the dismissal of the
petition for probate when on the face of the will it is clear that it contains no testamentary
disposition of the property of the decedent.
4.
Petitioners filed their opposition to the motion to dismiss contending that: (1)
generally, the authority of the probate court is limited only to a determination of the extrinsic
validity of the will; (2) private respondents question the intrinsic and not the extrinsic validity
of the will; (3) disinheritance constitutes a disposition of the estate of a decedent; and (4) the
rule on preterition did not apply because Segundos will did not constitute a universal heir or
heirs to the exclusion of one or more compulsory heirs.
5.
The RTC issued an order dismissing the petition for probate proceedings, hence, a
petition for certiorari was filed where petitioners argued as follows:
6.
First, respondent judge did not comply with Sections 3 and 4 of the Rule 76 of the
Rules of Court which respectively mandate the court to: (a) fix the time and place for proving

the will when all concerned may appear to contest the allowance thereof, and cause notice
of such time and place to be published three weeks successively previous to the appointed
time in a newspaper of general circulation; and (b) cause the mailing of said notice to the
heirs, legatee and devisees of the testator Segundo;
7.
Second, the holographic will does not contain any institution of an heir, but rather, as
its title clearly states, Kasulatan ng Pag-alis ng Mana, simply contains a disinheritance of a
compulsory heir. Thus, there is no preterition in the decedents will and the holographic will
on its face is not intrinsically void;
8.
Third, the testator intended all his compulsory heirs, petitioners and private
respondents alike, with the sole exception of Alfredo, to inherit his estate. None of the
compulsory heirs in the direct line of Segundo were preterited in the holographic will since
there was no institution of an heir;
9.
Fourth, as it clearly appears from the face of the holographic will that it is both
intrinsically and extrinsically valid, respondent judge was mandated to proceed with the
hearing of the testate case; and,
10.
Lastly, the continuation of the proceedings in the intestate case will work injustice to
petitioners, and will render nugatory the disinheritance of Alfredo.
Now, the critical issue to be determined is whether the document executed by
Segundo can be considered as a holographic will.
12. Held: A holographic will, as provided under Article 810 of the Civil Code, must be entirely
11.

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.
13.
The 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 the testator himself. An intent to dispose mortis
causa(Article 783) can be clearly deduced from the terms of the instrument, and while it does
not make an affirmative disposition of the latters property, the disinheritance of the son
nonetheless, is an act of disposition in itself. In other words, the disinheritance results in the
disposition of the property of the testator in favor of those who would succeed in the absence
of the eldest son.
14.
Moreover, it is a fundamental principle that the intent or the will of the testator,
expressed in the form and within the limits prescribed by law, must be recognized as the
supreme law in succession. All rules of construction are designed to ascertain and give effect
to that intention. It is only when the intention of the testator is contrary to law, morals, or
public policy that it cannot be given effect.
15.
Holographic wills, therefore, being usually prepared by one who is not learned in the
law 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-alis ng Mana,
was intended by the testator 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.

Gonzales v. Court of Appeals (CA)


Digest
Gonzales v. CA
G.R.
No.
Guerrero, J. (Ponente)

L-37453

May

25,

1979

Facts:
1. Petitioner Rizalina Gonzales and Lutgarda Santiago (Private respondent) are the nieces
of the deceased Isabel Gabriel who died a widow. A will was thereafter submitted to
probate. The said will was typewritten, in Tagalog and appeared to have been executed in
April 1961 or two months prior to the death of Isabel. It consisted of 5 pages including
the attestation and acknowledgment, with the signature of testatrix on page 4 and the left
margin of all the pages.
2. Lutgarda was named as the universal heir and executor. The petitioner opposed the
probate.
3. The lower court denied the probate on the ground that the will was not executed and
attested in accordance with law on the issue of the competency and credibility of the
witnesses.
Issue: Whether or not the credibility of the subscribing witnesses is material to the
validity of a will
RULING: No. The law requires only that witnesses posses the qualifications under Art.
820 (NCC) and none of the disqualifications of Art. 802. There is no requirement that
they are of good standing or reputation in the community, for trustworthiness, honesty
and uprightness in order that his testimony is believed and accepted in court. For the
testimony to be credible, it is not mandatory that evidence be established on record that
the witnesses have good standing in the the community. Competency is distinguished
from credibility, the former being determined by Art. 820 while the latter does not require
evidence of such good standing. Credibility depends on the convincing weight of his
testimony in court.