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[No. 1627-R.

July 1, 1948]
Testate estate of the late Bernabe Rodriguez. MARTINA ARANIEGO, petitioner- and appellee, s.
ANTONIO RO!RIG"E# ET A$., oppositors and appellants.
DECISION
%"GO, %.&
Martina Araniego filed on %ul' (), ()*+, a petition in the ,ourt of -irst Instan.e of Bula.an for the probate
of the /ill of Bernabe Rodriguez /ho died on %ul' (*, ()*+, at Me'.a/a'an, Bula.an. Antonio, Trinidad
and !olores, all surna0ed Rodriguez, brother and nie.es, respe.tiel', of the de.eased and the heirs of
-ran.is.o %aier Rodriguez, another brother of the de.eased, filed an opposition to said petition, alleging
that the /ill /as not e1e.uted and /itnessed in a..ordan.e /ith la/2 that the testator had no 0ental
.apa.it' to e1e.ute the /ill2 that it /as obtained b' 0eans of undue pressure and influen.e2 and that the
said /ill /as not the /ill of the testator. After trial the .ourt issued an order ad0itting to probate as the last
/ill and testa0ent of the de.eased Bernabe Rodriguez the do.u0ent 0ar3ed as E1hibit , 4,-(, translation
into English5, and appointing Martina Araniego ad0inistratri1 upon the filing of a bond in the su0 of 6
7,888. -ro0 said order the oppositors appealed.
In the repl'-0e0orandu0 of the oppositors-appellants dated -ebruar' 77, ()*9, the appellants alleged as
an additional ground of opposition that the /ill of the de.eased Bernabe Rodriguez is oid for the reason
that in said /ill, E1hibit ,, the de.eased instituted his /ife, the petitioner Martina Araniego, his uniersal
heir and the latter, on the other hand, in her /ill, E1hibit !, de.lared Bernabe Rodriguez her uniersal heir2
that is, the' /ere re.ipro.al benefi.iaries in the t/o /ills, .iting arti.le ++) of the ,iil ,ode /hi.h sa's&
:T/o or 0ore persons .annot 0a3e a /ill .on;ointl' or in the sa0e instr-i0ent, either for their
re.ipro.al benefit or for the benefit of a third person.:
The <panish te1t of said arti.le is as follo/s&
:ART. ++). No podran testar dos o 0as personas 0an.o0unada0ente, o en un 0is0o
instru0ento, 'a lo hagan en proe.ho re.ipro.o, 'a en benefi.io de un ter.ero.:
It /ill be noted that the la/ prohibits t/o or 0ore persons to 0a3e a /ill .on;ointl' or 0an.o0unada0ente
or in the sa0e instru0ent. The /ills in this .ase are not .on;oint but are different instru0ents2
.onse=uentl', the aboe proisions do not appl' to the0. This is .learl' e1plained b' >. Mu.ius <.aeola
in his ,odigo ,iil, ?ol. (7, pp. (9@-(99, and b' Manresa in ?ol. A, pp. B)*-B)A, Ath edition. No further
re0ar3 is ne.essar' on our part.
On %ul' 7@, ()*7, Bernab> Rodriguez e1e.uted the do.u0ent E1hibit , in Tagalog 4E1hibit ,-(,
translation into English5, a language /hi.h he 3ne/, as his last /ill and testa0ent, .o0posed of onl' one
page, /hi.h /as read before the testator and the /itnesses b' Att'. Teofilo Abe;o, upon the re=uest of the
testator and Martina Araniego, and signed b' the /itnesses in the presen.e of the testator and of ea.h
other. The na0e of the testator /as /ritten in his presen.e and in that of the other /itnesses b' the
/itness Teodulo Iniguez b' the e1press dire.tion of the testator, for the reason that the latter /as blind and
.ould not sign hi0self.
The appellants .ontend that Teodulo Iniguez /rote the na0e of the testator /ithout being re=uested to do
so b' the latter. Testif'ing on this point, Teodulo Iniguez said&
:C. Ta0bien apare.e en el do.u0ento E1hibit , =ue la fir0a =ue se lee fernabe
Rodriguez esta seguida .on otra fir0a de Teodulo Iniguez. Cuede usted de.ir Das
.ir.unstan.ias ba;o las .uales se esta0po esta fir0a de Bernabe Rodri uez6 :R. Eo
esta0pd la fir0a =ue se lee Bernabe Rodriguez, a peti.ion del difunto.
:C. <abia usted la razon por =ue el difunto le pidio a usted =ue usted esta0para su fir0a
en ese do.u0ento6-:R. Cor=ue el difunto no padia er, estaba .iego.: 4Cp. @-9, T. <. N.
Trial of <ept. 7@, ()*+. 5
In the .ross-e1a0ination of Iniguez he said that he did not re0e0ber the .onersation that too3 pla.e or
the /ords that /ere uttered during the signing of the /ill. It is not strange .onsidering that the /ill /as
e1e.uted on %ul' 7@, ()*7 and the /itness testified on O.tober (9, ()*+, or 0ore than four 'ears later. It
does not .ontradi.t his testi0on' to the effe.t that he /as re=uested b' the testator to sign the latterFs
na0e. A 0an 0a' re0e0ber the substan.e of /hat he is told but not the /ords used.
In the .ross-e1a0ination of Rosendo !aez, he stated that there /as no .onersation during the o..asion
of the signing of the do.u0ent, E1hibit ,. The /ord :.onersation: 0eans an e1.hange of /ords or
re0ar3s bet/een t/o or 0ore persons. There /as no ne.essit' for an' .onersation ;ust for the signing of
a /ill. To dire.t a person to do so0ething is not .onersation. GebsterFs !i.tionar' gies the pertinent
0eaning of :.onersation: and :.onerse: as follo/s&
:,onersation-,olo=uial dis.ourse2 oral inter.hange of senti0ents or obserations2 also,
an instan.e of this2 tal32 .ollo=u'2 as <a0uel %ohnsonFs .onersation.
:,onerse-To engage in fa0iliar .ollo=u'2 to inter.hange thoughts and opinions in
spee.h2 to tal3, espe.iall' in an intelligent or sustained 0anner2 to .o00uni.ate.
The appellantFs brief =uotes the follo/ing testi0oi of !aez on .ross-e1a0ination&
:>. Clease refresh 'our 0e0or', fro0 the ti0e this do.u0ent E1hibit , /as read up to
the ti0e the signing /as finished, /as there an' .onersation had bet/een and a0ong
an' of the persons present6-A. There /as none.
:>. -ro0 the ti0e that do.u0ent E1h. , /as read up to the ti0e the signing thereof /as
finished, 'ou 0ean to sa' there /as no .onersation at all a0ong or bet/een an' of the
persons present6A. After I signed I left.
:>. Ees, sir, but before 'ou left and beginning fro0 the ti0e this E1hibit , /as read, did
'ou re0e0ber if there /as an' .onersation bet/een and a0ong the parties present6-A.
There /as none. 4fls. 7(-7B, id.5
:>. Not a /ord /as spo3en bet/een the parties6 A. I hae not heard an'bod'.: 4Cage #,
appellantsF brief.5
It /ould see0 fro0 the last ans/er that no /ord at all /as spo3en b' an'bod'. This is er', unli3el',
be.ause si1 persons .annot 0eet in a pla.e /ithout an'one uttering so0e /ords unless the' /ere all
du0b. Ghat the /itness 0ust hae 0eant is that he d F not hear an' .onersation or e1.hange of re0ar3s.
It, should be noted that the ans/er of the /itness :I hae not heard an'bod': does not .o0e i00ediatel'
after the =uestion :Not a /ord spo3en bet/een the parties6:, a..ording to the original trans.ription of the
stenographi. notes. Bet/een said =uestion and ans/er there /as a great deal of dis.ussion bet/een the
attorne's, and finall' the .ourt ordered the /itness to ans/er. Then the /itness said :I hae not heard
an'bod': /hi.h 0ight hae referred to the .onersation. The original re.ord of the trans.ription is as
follo/s&
:>. Ees, sir, but before 'ou left and beginning fro0 the tine this E1hibit , /as read, did
'ou re0e0ber if there /as an' .onersation bet/een and a0ong the parties present6
<r. Osorio
Nos opone0os a la pregunta por falta de base. Hasta ahora no ha' prueba, ni se ha
leido, si =uien ha leido el testa0ento antes de fir0ar para .ontinuar .on la preguntas
=ue despues de leido el testa0ento .uantos 0inutos ha trans.urrido para otorgar el
testa0ento.
<r. Bustos&
<r. %uez, el testigo di.e =ue ha .o0prendido el .ontenido del do.u0ento por=ue .uando
se le'o 'o lo entendi. !e 0odo =ue ha' prueba de =ue se le'o el do.u0ento. Ahora
desde el 0o0ento =ue se le'o el do.uniento hasta el nionento de fir0ar si ha habido
.onersation entre Das partes presentes es lo =ue =uiero saber.
%uzgado&
,onteste.
:A. There /as none.
:>. Not a /ord /as spo3en bet/een the parties6
<r. Osorio&
Nos opone0os a la pregunta
Mr. Bustos&
I /ithdra/ the =uestion.
Mr. Bustos&
:>. Are 'ou sure of that ans/er of 'ours, Mr. !aez6
<r. Osorio&
$a 0is0a ob;e.ion.
%uzgado&
,onteste.
:A. I hae not heard an'bod'.: 4pp. 77-7B, T <. N., Trial of O.t. (9, ()*+5
It is also .ontended b' the oppositors that it /as Martina Araniego /ho as3ed Iniguez to sign the na0e of
Bernabe Rodriguez on E1hibit , and her na0e on E1hibit !, her /ill. If Martina as3ed Iniguez to sign both
/ills, that does not pre.lude the fa.t that the testator also re=uested Iniguez to sign his /ill.
The appellants allege that undue pressure and influen.e /as e1erted on the testator b' Martina to indu.e
hi0 to 0a3e the /ill. The eiden.e of the . ipositors .onsists in that Bernabe Rodriguez and Martina
Araniego attended to the pur.hasers in their sari-sari store2 that the .lothes of Bernabe /ere er' dirt' and
his hair /as un.ut2 that Bernabe sold the arti.les /hi.h /ere near hi0 at the table of the store the lo.ation
of /hi.h he 3ne/ b' the sense of tou.h 2 that Martina did not allo/ hi0 .hange his .lothes although the'
/ere dirt'2 and that Bernabe attended to the pur.hasers in their store b' selling the arti.les /hi.h /ere
near at hand, but on.e /hen he 0ade a 0ista3e b' selling the /rong 3ind of sugar, lie /as seerel'
s.olded b' Martina and he er' 0ee3l' retired to a .orner, /ithout sa'ing an'thing. !oes this i0pl' undue
pressure and influen.e6 It is rather the .ontrar', be.ause if Martina negle.ted or 0istreated hi0, she
/ould hae had less hope of being the benefi.iar'. If she /anted to e1ert influen.e, she /ould hae treated
hi0 /ell to obtain his good /ill. There 0a' hae been =uarrels bet/een the t/o spouses regarding s0all
0atters in the household /hi.h 0a' hae been oerheard b' people outside, but that does not 0ean that
the spouses /ere on bad ter0s /ith ea.h other. On the other hand, it /as Martina /ho too3 .are of the
testator and none of the relaties see0 to hae ta3en an' interest in hi0, so far as the re.ord dis.loses. It
/as natural, therefore, for hi0 to faor his /ife, /ho /as ta3ing .are of hi0 rather than other people /ho
did not re0e0ber hi0 at all.
There is no spe.ifi. eiden.e that Martina or an'bod' in her behalf had e1erted pressure or influen.e of
an' 3ind on the testator to indu.e hi0 to 0a3e the /ill.
As to the 0ental .apa.it' of the testator, /e hae the testi0on' of !r. Teodulo Iniguez and other
/itnesses that the testator /as suffi.ientl' sound in 0ind to e1e.ute a /ill. !isease or ph'si.al /ea3ness
alone does not effe.t the 0ental .apa.it' of a testator, unless it is of su.h a nature as to render hi0
in.apable of 3no/ing /hat he is doing. This has been held in nu0erous de.isions of the <upre0e ,ourt,
one of the0 being that of Torres et al., s. $opez 4*9 Chil., @@7, @@B5, in /hi.h it /as held that&
:(. I!.2 I!.2 TE<T< O- ,ACA,ITE.--Neither old age, ph'si.al infir0ities feebleness
of 0ind, /ea3ness of the 0e0or', the appoint0ent of a guardian, nor
e..entri.ities are suffi.ient singl' or ;ointl' to sho/ testa0entar' in.apa.it'.
The nature and rationalit' of the /ill is of so0e pra.ti.al utilit' in deter0ining
.apa.it'. Ea.h .ase rests on its o/n fa.ts and 0ust be de.ided b' its o/n
fa.ts.
:*. I!.2 I!.2 E?I!EN,E.-On the issue of testa0entar' .apa.it', the eiden.e
should be per0itted to ta3e a /ide range in order that all fa.ts 0a' be brought
out /hi.h /ill assist in deter0ining the =uestion. The testi0on' of subs.ribing
/itnesses to a /ill .on.erning the testatorFs 0ental .ondition is entitled to great
/eight /here the' are truthful and intelligent. The eiden.e of those present at
the e1e.ution of the /ill and of the attending ph'si.ian is also to be relied upon.
In ie/ of the foregoing, the order appealed fro0 ad0itting to probate the do.u0ent, E1hibit ,, as the last
/ill and testa0ent of the de.eased Bernabe Rordiguez is hereb' affir0ed, /ith .osts against the
appellants. It is so ordered.
!e la Rosa and Caredes, %%., .on.ur.
%udg0ent affir0ed.