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JEREZ v NIETES

30 SCRA 904 FERNANDO; December 27, 1969 JOEY


FACTS
- Oct. 3, 1960: Nicolas Jalandoni died.- Oct. 27, 1960: A special proceeding
for the settlement of his estate was filed before Judge Nietes, where
petitioner Lucrecia Jerez, his widow, was appointed as administratrix.- June
14, 1966: project of partition and final accounting was submitted- June 15,
1966: Judge Nietes gave an order approving the partition.- June 29, 1966:
respondent Lucilo Jalandoni, alleging that he is an acknowledged natural
child of the deceased, and respondent Victoria Jalandoni de Gorriceta,
alleging that she is an illegitimate daughter, sought to be allowed to
intervene on the ground that they were preterited in the project of partition
which they would have respondent Judge reject for being contrary to law. July 8, 1966: Judge gave an order allowing intervention and reopening the
proceedings to permit the movants "to present whatever evidence they
may have to show their right to participate in the estate of the deceased."Sept. 21, 1966: CA sustained CFI order.
ISSUES
WON CA erred in sustaining CFI order
HELD
- It is within the power of respondent Judge to reopen the proceedings and
allow intervention. The question remains, however, whether he did so in
the appropriate manner. It is not the existence of the power but the mode
of its exercise that is open to question.
- CA judges were split. The majority held that the determination of a
prima facie interest in an
estate to justify reopening proceedings for the settlement thereof is
primarily addressed to the sound discretion and judgment of the probate
court; that, while no supporting documents are appended to the motion to
reopen tending to show the personality to intervene, said motion is
nevertheless verified upon oaths of the claimants of interest and the
probate court has authority to require the submission of at least a prima
facie showing of said interest; that the motion to reopen was filed before
the order closing the proceedings had achieved finality and during the
reglementary period within which the court still had jurisdiction over the
case and retained full power to amend and control its process and orders;
that, because the closure order had not yet become final, the requirements
of Rule 38 respecting relief from judgment do not apply and, hence, the
failure of the motion to reopen to allege any of the grounds therein stated
is not fatal; that the better practice in case of the appearance of alleged

preterited heirs is to secure relief by reopening the proceedings by a


proper motion within the reglementary period, it being desirable that all
aspects of a controversy be ventilated in the same proceeding and thus
avoid multiplicity of suits.
- The CA minority held that the better policy is to require the intervenors
first to produce prima facie evidence of the claimed civil status before
opening the door and letting them in. Under Rule 12.2, 'a person may,
before or during a trial, be permitted by the court, in its discretion, to
intervene in an action, if he has legal interest in the matter in litigation.'
The possibility of interlopers getting in for a share in the estate cannot be
totally discounted specially considering that the present intestate
proceedings had been pending for the last 6 years without a motion to
intervene having been filed by the present claimants in spite of the notice
of publication and the in rem character of the intestate proceedings.
On the power to reopen proceedings and allow intervention- Ramos v.
Ortuzar: The only instance that we can think of in which a party interested
in a 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. Even then, the better
practice to secure relief is reopening of the same case by proper motion
within the reglementary period, instead of an independent action the effect
of which, if successful, would be, as in the instant case, for another court or
judge to throw out a decision or order already final and executed and
reshuffle properties long ago distributed and disposed of.
- Rather than require any party who can allege a grievance that his interest
was not recognized in a testate or intestate proceeding to file a separate
and independent action, he may within the reglementary period secure the
relief that is his due by a reopening of the case even after a project of
partition and final accounting had been approved.
On the exercise of the power- The verified motion on the part of private
respondents did not suffice to call into play the power of respondent Judge
to allow intervention. There must be proof beyond allegations in such
motion to show the interest of the private movants. In the absence thereof,
the action taken by respondent Judge could be considered premature.
Dispositive CA resolution MODIFIED in the sense that Judge Nietes, or
whoever may be acting in his place, is directed to require Lucilo Jalandoni
and Victoria Jalandoni de Gorriceta to present evidence to justify their right
to intervene in SP No. 1562 re Intestate Estate of Nicolas H. Jalandoni. In
the event that they could so justify such a right, the lower court on the
basis of such evidence is to proceed conformably to law.

RAMOS V. ORTUZAR
89 PHIL 730 August 21, 1651 CHRIS CAPS

- 1905-1914. Percy Hill cohabited w/ Martina Ramos & had 6 children, incl
Richard & Marvin Hill. The others died in infancy. Percy acquired lands and
started improving them until his death. - 1914. Percy canonically married
Livingstone & had 3 children, now in US. Livingstone died.
- 1924. Percy married Ortuzar & had 1 daughter. - 1937. Proceedings for
settlement of Percys estate started. Ortuzar was administratrix.- 1940.
Distribution of estate was made.- 1947. Ortuzar & her daughter, and
Percys children by Livingstone, sold the land to Bustos.

raised in this present suit were alleged, discussed and adjudicated in the
expediente of Percys intestate.
- Proceeding for probate is one in rem. Court acquires jurisdiction over all
persons interested, thru publication of notice. Any order that may be
entered therein is binding against all of them. A final order of distribution
of estate vests title to the land of estate in distributees. There is no reason
why these shouldnt apply to intestate proceedings.

- Martina Ramos, Richard & Marvin Hill brought this action in CFI Nueva
Ecija to annul partition of estate and the sale.- Court found that Ramos had
not been married to Percy, that Richard & Marvin were acknowledged
natural children, that the sale was null and void. Court allotted estate
st
nd
among Richard & Marvin Hill, and Percys children by 1 and 2 wives.

- The only instance in w/c a party interested in probate proceeding may


have final liquidation set aside is when he is left out by reason of
circumstances beyond his control or thru mistake or inadvertence not
imputable to negligence. Even then, the better practice is reopening of the
same case by proper motion w/in the reglamentary period, not an
independent action w/c might have effect of another judge throwing out a
decision already final and executed.

- Both parties appealed.

PEDROSA v. CA

ISSUES

353 SCRA 620 Quisumbing, J.; March 5, 2001 INA

1. WON Martina Ramos and Percy Hill were legally married2. WON CFI was
correct in giving course to the action to annul the partition

FACTS

HELD
1. NO- No certificate of marriage or entry thereof in Civil registry was
presented, nor has explanation of the absence been offered.- Ramos story:
She and Percy were living together when her husband said he was going to
get a helper. Percy came back with a woman who did not look like a maid
at all. Percy begged her to forgive him. She let the woman stay provided
her husband gives her a house where she can run a store and she
continues to manage the lands in question. Court: This conduct only
confirms that they were not married. And no intelligent man like Percy
would be so unmindful and so reckless to publicly marry twice while first
wife was alive and live with his new wife in plain sight of his former wife &
children.- Also, soon after Ramos and Percy separated, Ramos and Teodoro
Tobias began living together. TCT, mortgage deed, deed of sale, birth
certificates of their children say that Ramos and Tobias are husband and
wife.2. NO- Ramos never entered appearance in Percys intestate
proceedings. She came forward claiming to be Hills wife 6 yrs after
partition & adjudication of estate and after records have disappeared.Percy and Livingstone possessed these properties adversely, exclusively
and publicly and in concept of owners. Whatever right Ramos had has
been lost by prescription. She slept over her alleged right for more than 30
yrs.
- It also appears that in Percys intestate proceedings, Richard & Marvin Hill
intervened or sought to intervene. Hearing was held and testimony was
taken, but the petition to intervene was denied. It appears that all the facts

- Ma. Elena Rodiguez Pedrosa is the adopted child of spouses Rosalina and
Miguel Rodriguez. The spouses had no other children. When Miguel died,
his collateral relatives filed an action in the CFI to annul the adoption of
Ma. Elena. (surprisingly, the adoptive mother was one of the petitioners
there.) The CFI upheld the validity of the adoption. The collaterals and the
widow appealed to the CA; but while the proceedings were ongoing, they
entered into an extrajudicial settlement of the estate of Miguel, without the
participation of Ma.Elena, who was already of majority age at that time.
Eventually, the CA upheld the validity of the adoption. But by this time, the
collaterals and the widow had partitioned the estate. They published in a
newspaper the fact of partition AFTER they
settled the partition. (For perspective, the property in question is some
226k sqm.)-Ma. Elena asked the collaterals and the widow for her share.
They refused to give her because shes not a blood relative. So she filed an
action in the CFI to annul the partition. CFI dismissed for being filed out of
time. The action was filed 3 years 10 months after the extrajudicial
settlement. CA affirmed CFIs dismissal.
ISSUE
WON the period in Rule 74.4 (2 years) applies in this case.
HELD
NO.- The 2-year period in Rule 74.4 applies only for validly executed

extrajudicial settlements wherein the one assailing the same participated.


A valid ej settlement, per Rule 74.1, means that all the persons or heirs of
the decedent have taken part in the extrajudicial settlement or are
represented by themselves or through guardians. - The contention that
Ma.Elena was represented by the adoptive mom doesnt hold because she
wasnt a minor anymore. The fact that the ej settlement was published
after the partition is also of no value because the notice is supposed to be
given BEFORE the ej settlement, to call all the heirs to participate. The
exclusion of heirs in the ej settlement is fraudulent.- Clearly, the 2-yr
period doesnt apply to Ma. Elena. The action to annul a deed of
"extrajudicial settlement" upon the ground of fraud may be filed within 4
years from the discovery of the fraud. Such discovery is deemed to have
taken place when said instrument was filed with the Register of Deeds and
new certificates of title were issued in the name of respondents exclusively.
- Since Ma. Elena is the adopted child, she along with the widow are the
heirs of Miguel Rodriguez, to the exclusion of the latters collateral
relatives. The collaterals, who got around 90% of the estate in the ej
settlement, have no right to the same. However, the properties that were
rd
already transferred to 3 persons must be recovered in a separate case
because there can be no collateral attack on Torrens Titles.- Ma. Elena
wasnt able to prove damages due her so the court awarded nominal
damages of P100k.

HEIRS OF REYES V REYES


AGTARAP V. AGTARAP
CUIZON v RAMOLETE
129 SCRA 495 GUTIERREZ; May 29, 1984 JOJO
- In 1961, Marciano Cuizon applied for the registration of several parcels of
land located at Opao, Mandaue City. The decree of registration and the
OCT was issued in 1976 in the name of Mariano; and in that same year, a
TCT covering the property in question was issued to his child Irene.
- In 1970, he distributed his property between his two children, Rufina and
Irene Cuizon. Part of the property given to Irene consisted largely of salt
beds which eventually became the subject of this controversy.
- In 1971, Irene executed a Deed of Sale with Reservation of Usufruct
involving the said salt beds in favor of the petitioners: Francisco & Rosita
Cuizon(children of Rufina) and Purificacion Cuizon. However, the sale was
not registered because the petitioners felt it was unnecessary due to the
lifetime usufructuary rights of Irene.
- In 1978, Irene died. In the extrajudicial settlement of the estate, her
alleged half sister and sole heir Rufina adjudicated to herself all the
property of the decedent including the property in question. After the

notice of the extrajudicial settlement was duly published in a newspaper of


general circulation, Rufina thereafter, executed a deed of Confirmation of
Sale wherein she confirmed and ratified the deed of sale of 1971 executed
by the late Irene and renounced and waived whatever rights, interest, and
participation she may have in the property in question in favor of the
petitioners. Subsequently, a new TCT was issued in favor of the petitioners.
- Thereafter, a petition for letters of administration was filed before the
Cebu CFI by respondent Domingo Antigua, allegedly selected by the 17
heirs of Irene to act as administrator of the estate of the decedent. The
petition was granted.
- Antigua as administrator filed an inventory of the estate of Irene. He
included in the inventory the property in question which was being
administered by Juan Arche, one of the petitioners. In 1979, the probate
court granted Antiguas motion asking the court for authority to sell the
salt from the property and praying that petitioner Arche be ordered to
deliver the salt to the administrator. Subsequently, on 3 different
occasions, respondent Segundo Zambo with the aid of several men, sought
to enforce the order of the court. Hence this petition.
- The thrust of the petitioners' argument is that the probate court, as a
court handling only the intestate proceedings, had neither the authority to
adjudicate controverted rights nor to divest them of their possession and
ownership of the property in question and hand over the same to the
administrator. Petitioners further contend that the proper remedy of the
respondent administrator is to file a separate civil action to recover the
same.
- On the other hand, the administrator contended that the deed of sale of
1971 lost its efficacy upon the rendition of judgment and issuance of the
decree in favor of Irene Cuizon in 1976.
ISSUE
WON a probate court has jurisdiction over parcels of land already covered
by a TCT issued in favor of owners who are not parties to the intestate
proceedings if the said parcels have been included in the inventory of
properties of the estate prepared by the administrator.
HELD
NO. It is a well-settled rule that a probate court or one in charge of
proceedings whether testate or intestate cannot adjudicate or determine
title to properties claimed to be a part of the estate and which are equally
claimed to belong to outside parties. All that the said court could do as
regards said properties is to determine whether they should or should not
be included in the inventory or list of properties to be administered by the
administrator. If there is no dispute, well and good; but if there is, then the

parties, the administrator, and the opposing parties have to resort to an


ordinary action for a final determination of the conflicting claims of title
because the probate court cannot do so.- For the purpose of determining
whether a certain property should or should not be included in the
inventory, the probate court may pass upon the title thereto but such
determination is not conclusive and is subject to the final decision in a
separate action regarding ownership which may be instituted by the
parties.- As held in Siy Chong Keng v CIR, the mere inclusion in the
inventory submitted by the administrator of the estate of a deceased
person of a given property does not of itself deprive the probate court of
authority to inquire into the property of such inclusion in case an heir or a
third party claims adverse title thereto. To hold otherwise would render
inutile the power of that court to make a prima facie determination of the
issue of ownership recognized in the above quoted precedents. The correct
rule is that the probate court should resolve the issue before it
provisionally, as basis for its inclusion in or exclusion from the inventory. It
does not even matter that the issue is raised after approval of the
inventory because apparently, it is not necessary that the inventory and
appraisal be approved by the Court.
- In the instant case, the property involved is not only claimed by outside
parties but it was sold 7 years before the death of the decedent and is duly
titled in the name of the vendees who are not party to the proceedings.
Having been apprised of the fact that the property in question was in the
possession of third parties and more important, covered by a TCT issued in
the name such third parties, the probate court should have denied the
motion of the administrator and excluded the property in question from the
inventory of the property of the estate. It had no authority to deprive such
third persons their possession and ownership of the property.
- Even assuming the truth of the private respondents' allegations that the
sale of December 1971 was effected under suspicious circumstances and
tainted with fraud and that the right of Rufina as alleged half-sister and
sole heir of Irene remains open to question, these issues may only be
threshed out in a separate civil action filed by the respondent
administrator against the petitioners and not in the intestate proceedings.

LUZON SURETY COMPANY, INC. vs. PASTOR


QUEBRAR, ET AL. MAKASIAR; January 31, 1984 ATHE

T.

FACTS
- Luzon Surety issued two administrator's bond in the amount of
P15,000.00 each, in behalf of the Quebrar, as administrator of estates of
Chinsuy and Lipa. In consideration of the suretyship wherein the Luzon
Surety was bound jointly and severally with the defendant Quebrar, the
latter, together with Kilayko, executed two indemnity agreements.
- Defendants paid P304.50 under each indemnity agreement or a total of
P609.00 for premiums and documentary stamps.- CFI approved the

amended Project of Partition and Accounts of defendant-appellant


- Luzon Surety demanded from the defendants- appellants the payment of
the premiums and documentary stamps from August 9,1955.- The
defendants-appellants ordered a motion for cancellation and/or reduction
of executor's bonds on the ground that "the heirs of these testate estates
have already received their respective shares. The court ordered the bonds
cancelled.
- Plaintiff-appellee's demand amounted to P2,436.00 in each case, hence, a
total of P4,872.00 for the period of August 9, 1955 to October 20, 1962.
The defendants-appellants refused to pay the said amount of P4,872.00
arguing that both the Administrator's Bonds and the Indemnity Agreements
ceased to have any force and effect, the former since June 6, 1957 with the
approval of the project of partition and the latter since August 9, 1955 with
the non- payment of the stated premiums.
ISSUE
WON the administrator's bonds were in force and effect from and after the
year that they were filed and approved by the court up to 1962, when they
were cancelled, therefore, defendants are liable to Luzon Surety
HELDYES. Section 1 of Rule 81 of the Rules of Court requires the
administrator/executor to put up a bond for the purpose of indemnifying
the creditors, heirs, legatees and the estate. It is conditioned upon the
faithful performance of the administrator's trust (Mendoza vs. Pacheco, 64
Phil. 134).Having in mind the purpose and intent of the law, the surety is
then liable under the administrator's bond, for as long as the administrator
has duties to do as such administrator/executor. Since the liability of the
sureties is co-extensive with that of
the administrator and embraces the performance of every duty he is called
upon to perform in the course of administration it follows that the
administrator is still duty bound to respect the indemnity agreements
entered into by him in consideration of the suretyship.
Reasoning:
a. It is shown that the defendant-appellant Pastor T. Quebrar, still had
something to do as an administrator/executor even after the approval of
the amended project of partition and accounts on June 6, 1957.
The contention of the defendants-appellants that the administrator's bond
ceased to be of legal force and effect with the approval of the project of
partition and statement of accounts on June 6, 1957 is without merit. The
defendant-appellant Pastor T. Quebrar did not cease as administrator after
June 6, 1957, for administration is for the purpose of liquidation of the
estate and distribution of the residue among the heirs and legatees. And
liquidation means the determination of all the assets of the estate and

payment of all the debts and expenses (Flores vs. Flores, 48 Phil. 982). It
appears that there were still debts and expenses to be paid after June 6,
1957.
And in the case of Montemayor vs. Gutierrez (114 Phil. 95), an estate may
be partitioned even before the termination of the administration
proceedings. Hence, the approval of the project of partition did not
necessarily terminate the administration proceedings. Notwithstanding the
approval of the partition, the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental
still had jurisdiction over the administration proceedings of the estate of
Chinsuy and Lipa.

sisters, put in a special appearance, contesting that court's authority to


take cognizance of this intestate estate, on the ground that the deceased
Florencia Diez resided in the municipality of San Joaquin, Province of Iloilo,
at the time of her death, as evidenced by the death certificate.
- The North Negros Sugar Co., Inc. filed an intervention in this case, as
creditor of the intestate estate for a mortgage loan granted to the
administrator, with the authorization of the court, maintaining the validity
of these proceedings, and asking for the dismissal of the special
appearance of Tomas Serra et al.
- The court denied the petition of the special appearance.

b. The sureties of an administration bond are liable only as a rule, for


matters occurring during the term covered by the bond. And the term of a
bond does not usually expire until the administration has been closed and
terminated in the manner directed by law Thus, as long as the probate
court retains jurisdiction of the estate, the bond contemplates a continuing
liability notwithstanding the non-renewal of the bond by the defendantsappellants.
The probate court possesses an all-embracing power over the
administrator's bond and over the administration proceedings and it
cannot be devoid of legal authority to execute and make that bond
answerable for the every purpose for
which it was filed. It is the duty of the courts of probate jurisdiction to
guard jealously the estate of the deceased persons by intervening in the
administration thereof in order to remedy or repair any injury that may be
done thereto

DIEZ v. SERRA
51 Phil. 283 VILLAMOR; December 24, 1927 GLAISA
FACTS
- Diez applied to the CFI Occidental Negros for letters of administration of
the estate of the deceased Florencia Diez alleging that he is a brother of
the said Florencia Diez who last resided at Negros; that the deceased at
the time of her death was a widow and left no will; that the deceased left
realty consisting in a share of one- third of lots; that the deceased left
seven children.
- Court granted the application, ordering the appointment of Diez as
administrator, upon his filing a bond in the sum of P5,000. Diez presented
an inventory of the property under his administration.
- The administration functioned for two years until a child of Florencia,
Tomas Serra for himself and as guardian of his six minor brothers and

ISSUE
WON Tomas Serra et al can contest the competency and jurisdiction of CFI
of Occidental Negros to take cognizance of and act in the proceeding for
the settlement of the intestate estate of the deceased Florencia Diez
HELD
- NO. This administration has functioned for two years, and the appellants
after that period have appeared in this case, too late to avail themselves of
the benefits offered by section 113 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and it
would seem that the only remedy left to them is to ask for the reopening of
the proceedings in the lower court that assumed jurisdiction.
- In order to render valid a grant of letters of administration the view is
generally accepted that certain jurisdictional facts must exist. These facts
are that the person on whose estate the letters are being granted is in fact
dead, and that at the time of death he was a resident of the county
wherein letters are being granted, or if not a resident that he left assets in
such county. It has been said that the fact of the death of the intestate and
of his residence within the county are foundation facts upon which all the
subsequent proceedings in the administration of the estate rest, and that if
the intestate was not an inhabitant of the state at the time of his death,
and left no assets in the state, and none came into it afterwards, no
jurisdiction is conferred on the court to grant letters of administration in
any county. A probate court has jurisdiction to grant administration of the
estate of a person who at the time of his decease was an inhabitant or
resident in the county, without proof that he left an estate to be
administered within the county.
- Section 603 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that the jurisdiction
assumed by a Court of First Instance for the settlement of an estate, so far
as it depends on the place of residence of a person, or of the location of his
estate, shall not be contested in a suit or proceeding, except in an appeal
from that court, in the original case, or when the lack of jurisdiction
appears in the record. In the present case the lack of jurisdiction did not
appear in the record at the time when the court a quo that appointed the

administrator found itself competent, and no appeal was taken from the
order decreeing said appointment.

decreeing the residue of the estate to the lawful claimants of the same:
December 19, 1919

BASA V MERCADO

Order to this effect: November 28, 1919Date of Publication: December 4,


11 and 18, 1919 (three weeks successively)

61 PHIL 632 GODDARD; July 26, 1935 OWEN


FACTS
- CFI Pampanga allowed and probated last will and testament of Ines Basa.
Atilano Mercado
(respondent) was appointed the administrator and was declared the only
heir of the deceased under the will. The administration proceedings was
closed. Joaquin Basa (petitioner) filed a motion praying that proceedings be
reopened and alleged that court lacked jurisdiction to act in the matter
because there was a failure to comply with requirements as to the
publication of the notice of hearing and that Ing Katipunan is not a general
circulation in Pampanga as prescribed in the following section of the Code
of Civil Procedure:
SEC. 630. Court to appoint hearing on will. When a will is delivered to a
court having jurisdiction of the same, the court shall appoint a time and
place when all concerned may appear to contest the allowance of the will,
and shall cause public notice thereof to be given by publication in such
newspaper or newspapers as the court directs of general circulation in the
province, three weeks successively, previous to the time appointed, and no
will shall be allowed until such notice has been given. At the hearing all
testimony shall be taken under oath, reduced to writing and signed by the
witnesses."

NOTE: This was 'public notice' to all persons interested of the time
and place of examining and allowing said account and making
decree of distribution, and was sufficient... even though the hearing
on the administrator's final account was set for December 19, only fifteen
days after the date of the first publication.
2. YES- record shows that Ing Katipunan is a newspaper of general
circulation as it is
> published for the dissemination of local news and general information>
has a bona fide subscription list of paying subscribes
> published at regular intervals and> trial court ordered the publication to
be made in Ing Katipunan precisely because it was a "newspaper of
general circulation in the Province of Pampanga."
- no attempt has been made to prove that it was a newspaper devoted to
the interests or published for the entertainment of a particular class,
profession, trade, calling, race or religious denomination
- fact that there is another paper published in Pampanga that has a few
more subscribers (72 to be exact) and that certain Manila dailies also have
a larger circulation in that province is unimportant. No fixed number of
subscribers is necessary to constitute a newspaper of general circulation.

- First publication: June 6, 1931Third: June 20, 1931Hearing: June 27, 1931
NOTE: only 21 days after the date of the FIRST publication instead of
THREE FULL WEEKS BEFORE the day set for the hearing

Disposition TC affirmed

ISSUES

17 SCRA 418 REYES JBL; June 21, 1966 TERRY

1. WON Sec 630 means publication requirement constitutes three full


weeks before the date of hearing2. WON Ing Katipunan is a newspaper of
general circulation in Pampanga

NATURE

HELD

FACTS

1. NORatio First publication of the notice need not be made twenty-one


days before the day appointed for the hearing. Reasoning- HISTORY OF
Section 630 > Code of Civil Procedure of State of Vermont. SC of Vermont
stated in In re Warner's Estate:

- Fr. Rodriguez died in Manila. On March 4, 1963, respondents Pangilinan


and Jacalan delivered to the Clerk of Court of Bulacan a purported last will
and testament of Fr. Rodriguez.On March 8, 1963, Maria Rodriguez and
Angela Rodriguez filed a petition for leave of court to allow them to
examine the alleged will, which was withdrawn- On March 12, 1963, the

Date of examining and allowing final account of administration and for

RODRIGUEZ V BORJA

Petition for Certiorari

Rodriguezes, petitioners herein, filed before CFI of Rizal a petition for the
settlement of the intestate estate of Fr. Rodriguez alleging, among other
things, that Fr. Rodriguez was a resident of Paranaque, Rizal, and died
without leaving a will and praying that Maria Rodriguez be appointed as
Special Administratrix of the estate.- On same day, Pangilinan and Jacalan
filed a petition for the probation of the will delivered by them on March 4,
1963. It was stipulated by the parties that Fr. Rodriguez was born in
Paranaque, Rizal; that he was Parish priest of the Catholic Church of
Hagonoy, Bulacan, from 1930 up to the time of his death in 1963; that he
was buried in Paranaque, and that he left real properties in Rizal, Cavite,
Quezon City and Bulacan.- The Rodriguezes contend that since the
intestate proceedings in the Court of First Instance of Rizal was filed at
8:00 A.M. on March 12, 1963 while the petition for probate was filed in CFI
Bulacan at 11:00 A.M. on the same date, the latter Court has no jurisdiction
to entertain the petition for probate.- Pangilinan and Jacalan, aver that the
CFI of Bulacan acquired jurisdiction over the case upon delivery by them of
the will to the Clerk of Court on March 4, 1963, and that the case in CFI
Bulacan therefore has precedence over the case filed in Rizal on March 12,
1963.

lacked jurisdiction. As ruled in previous decisions, the power to settle


decedents' estates is conferred by law upon all CFIs, and the domicile of
the testator only affects the venue but not the jurisdiction of the Court (In
re Kaw Singco, 74 Phil. 239; Reyes vs. Diaz, 73 Phil. 484; Bernabe vs.
Vergara, 73 Phil. 676). Neither party denies that the late Fr. Rodriguez is
deceased, or that he left personal property in Hagonoy, province of
Bulacan. That is sufficient in this case. Disposition Petition for certiorari is
DENIED.

ISSUE

FACTS

WON CFI Bulacan had jurisdiction over the case

- the CFI Manila allowed the will of Dona Juana Moreno, holding that all the
legal formalities had been required with in the execution of the willappellants (through Alemany, administrator of the properties of minors
Leandro and Paz Gruet, children of Dona Juana) question this ruling,
contending that said will was not written in the presence and under
express direction of the testatrix as required by Code of Civil Procedure.

HELD
YES- The jurisdiction of CFI Bulacan became vested upon the delivery
thereto of the will of the late Fr Rodriguez on March 4, 1963, even if no
petition for its allowance was filed until later, because upon the will being
deposited, the court could, motu proprio, have taken steps to fix the time
and place for proving the will, and issued the corresponding notices as
under Sec 3, Rule 76, of the Revised Rules of Court- The use of the
disjunctive in the words "when a will is delivered to OR a petition for the
allowance of a will is filed" plainly indicates that the court may act upon
the mere deposit therein of a decedent's testament, even if no petition for
its allowance is as yet filed. Where the petition for probate is made after
the deposit of the will, the petition is deemed to relate back to the time
when the will was delivered. Since the testament of Fr. Rodriguez was
submitted and delivered to CFI Bulacan on March 4, while petitioners
initiated intestate proceedings in CFI Rizal only on March 12, 8 days later,
the precedence and exclusive jurisdiction of CFI Bulacan is incontestable.
- But, petitioners object, section 3 of revised Rule 76 speaks of a will being
delivered to "the Court having jurisdiction," and in the case at bar the
Bulacan court did not have it because the decedent was domiciled in Rizal
province. We can not disregard Fr. Rodriguez's 33 years of residence as
parish priest in Hagonoy, Bulacan (1930-1963); but even if we do so, and
consider that he retained throughout some animus revertendi to the place
of his birth in Rizal, that detail would not imply that the Bulacan court

CASTANEDA V ALEMANY
GR 1439 WILLARD; March 14, 1904 MAIA
NATURE
Appeal from judgment of CFI Manila allowing will of Dona Juana Moreno

- on the other hand, appellees contend that the grounds for the
disallowance of a will are limited to those enumerated in the same code
ISSUE
WON the CFI erred in allowing the will
HELD
NORatio the evidence shows that the will of Dona Juana Moreno was duly
signed by herself in the presence of three witnesses, who signed it as
witnesses in the presence of the testatrix and of each other. It was
therefore executed in conformity with the law.Reasoning Section 618 of
the Code of Civil Procedure reads: No will xxx shall be valid to pass any
estate, real of personal, nor charge or effect the same, unless it be in
writing and signed by the testator, or by the testator's 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 each of the other. xxx- all that the quoted
provision requires is (a) that the will be in writing, and (2) either the
testator sign it in himself, or, if he does not sign it, that it be signed by

someone in his presence and under his direction. Who does the
mechanical work of writing the will is a matter of indifference- here, the
will was typewritten in the office of the lawyer, but this fact is of no
consequence (court did not elaborate).- the only purpose of the
proceedings under the code for the probate of a will is to establish
conclusively as against everyone, and once for all, the facts that a will was
executed with the formalities required by law and that the testator was in a
condition to make a will (Sec. 625)- judgment in such proceedings
determines and can determine nothing more. The court has no power to
pass upon the validity of any provisions made in the will. It can not decide,
for example, that a certain legacy is void and another one valid. It could
not in this case make any decision upon the question whether the
testratrix had the power to appoint by will a guardian for the property of
her children by her first husband, or whether the person so appointed was
or was not a suitable person to discharge such trust. All such questions
must be decided in some other proceeding.- grounds on which a will may
be disallowed are stated the section 634 (now sec.9, rule 76). Unless one
of those grounds appears, the will must be allowed. They all have to do
with the personal condition of the testator at the time of its execution and
the formalities connected therewith. It follows that neither this court nor
the court below has any jurisdiction in this proceedings to pass upon
questions raised by appellants relating to the appointment of a guardian
for the children of the deceased.
- It is claimed by appellants that there was no testimony to show that the
will executed was the same will presented to the court and concerning
which this hearing was had. It is true that the evidence does not show that
the document in court was presented to the witnesses and identified by
them, as should have been done. However, it appears that it was assumed
by all the parties during the trial that the will about which the witnesses
were testifying was the document then in court. No suggestion of any kind
was then made by the counsel for appellants that it was not the same
instrument.
Disposition Petition is denied. Decision affirmed

ATILANO G. MERCADO V JUDGE SANTOS


66 PHIL 215LAUREL, J: 1938
NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari
FACTS
On May 28, 1931, the petitioner herein filed in the CFI of Pampanga a
petition for the probate of the will of his deceased wife, Ines Basa. Without
any opposition, and upon the testimony of Benigno F. Gabino, one of the

attesting witnesses, the probate court, on June 27, 1931, admitted the
will to probate. Almost three years later, on April 11, 1934, the five
intervenors herein moved ex parte to reopen the proceedings, alleging lack
of jurisdiction of the court to probate the will and to close the proceedings.
Because filed ex parte, the motion was denied. The same motion was filed
a second time, but with notice to the adverse party. The motion was
nevertheless denied by the probate court on May 24, 1934. On appeal to
this court, the order of denial was affirmed on July 26, 1935.
It appears that on October 27, 1932, i. e., 16 sixteen months after the
probate of the will of Ines Basa, intervenor Rosario Basa de Leon
filed with the justice of the peace
court of San Fernando, Pampanga, a complaint against the
petitioner herein, for falsification or forgery of the will probated
as above indicated.
ISSUE
WON the probate of the will of the deceased wife is a bar to his criminal
prosecution for the alleged forgery of the said will
HELDYES.- Sec. 306 of our Code of Civil Procedure provides as to the
effect of judgment:"SEC. 306. Effect of judgment. The effect of a judgment
or final order in an action or special proceeding before a court or judge of
the Philippine Islands or of the United States, or of any State or Territory of
the United States, having jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment or order,
may be as follows:
"1. In case of a judgment or order against a specific thing, or in respect to
the probate of a will, or the administration of the estate of a
deceased person, or in respect to the personal, political, or legal
condition or relation of a particular person, the judgment or order is
conclusive upon the title of the thing, the will or administration, or
the condition or relation of the person: Provided, That the probate of a
will or granting of letters of administration shall only be prima facie
evidence of the death of the testator or intestate:
Section 625 of the same Code is more explicit as to the conclusiveness of
the due execution of a probated will. It says:
"SEC. 625. Allowance Necessary, and Conclusive as to Execution. No will
shall pass either the real or personal estate, unless it is proved and allowed
in the Court of First Instance, or by appeal to the Supreme Court; and the
allowance by the court of a will of real and personal estate shall be
conclusive as to its due execution."
In Manahan vs. Manahan (58 Phil., 448, 451), we held:
". . . The decree of probate is conclusive with respect to the due execution

thereof and it cannot be impugned on any of the grounds

testament of the deceased.

authorized by law, except that of fraud, in any separate or independent


action or proceeding.

- While the appeal pending submission in this court, the attorney for the
appellant presented an unverified petition asking the court to accept as
part of the evidence the documents attached to the petition. One of these
documents discloses that a paper writing purporting to be the was
presented for probate on June 8, 1929, to the clerk of Randolph Country,
State of West Virginia, in vacation, and was duly proven by the oaths of
Dana Wamsley and Joseph L. MAdden, the subscribing witnesses thereto ,
and ordered to be recorded and filed. It was shown by another document
that, in vacation, on June 8, 1929, the clerk of court of Randolph Country,
West Virginia, appointed Claude W. Maxwell as administrator, cum
testamento annexo, of the estate of Edward Randolph Hix, deceased. In
this connection, it is to be noted that the application for the probate of the
will in the Philippines was filed on February 20, 1929, while the
proceedings in West Virginia appear to have been initiated on June 8, 1929.
These facts are strongly indicative of an intention to make the Philippines
the principal administration and West Virginia the ancillary administration.

In 28 R. C. L., p. 377, section 378, it is said:"The probate of a will by the


probate court having jurisdiction thereof is usually considered as
conclusive as to its due execution and validity, and is also conclusive
that the testator was of sound and disposing mind at the time
when he executed the will, and was not acting under duress,
menace, fraud, or undue influence, and that the will is genuine
and not a forgery."
The probate of a will in this jurisdiction is a proceeding in rem. The
provision of notice by publication as a prerequisite to the allowance of a
will is constructive notice to the whole world, and when probate is granted,
the judgment of the court is binding upon everybody, even against the
State. This court held in the case of Manalo vs. Paredes and Philippine Food
Co. (47 Phil., 938):
"The proceeding for the probate of a will is one in rem (40 Cyc., 1265), and
the court acquires jurisdiction over all the persons interested, through the
publication of the notice prescribed by section 630 of the Code of Civil
Procedure, and any order that may be entered therein is binding against all
of them.
"Through the publication of the petition for the probate of the will, the
court acquires jurisdiction over all such persons as are interested in said
will; and any judgment that may be rendered after said proceeding is
binding against the world."

FLUEMER VS HIX
G.R. No. L-32636 MALCOLM; March 17,1930 MEL
NATURE
Appeal from CFI decision denying the probate of the document alleged to
by the last will and testament of the deceased.
FACTS
- Petitioner alleges that the will was executed in Elkins, West Virginia, on
November 3, 1925, by
Hix who had his residence in that jurisdiction, and that the laws of West
Verginia Code, Annotated, by Hogg, Charles E., vol. 2, 1914, p. 1690, and
as certified to by the Director of the National Library. Judge of First Instance
Tuason denied the probate of the document alleged to by the last will and

ISSUE
WON the will should be allowed
HELD
NORatio: No attempt has been made to comply with Civil Procedure, for
no hearing on the question of the allowance of a will said to have been
proved and allowed in West Virginia has been requested. There is no
showing that the deceased left any property at any place other than the
Philippine Islands and no contention that he left any in West Virginia.
Reasoning As stated by the lower court, the requirements of the law were
not met. There was no was printed or published under the authority of the
State of West Virginia, as provided in section 300 of the Code of Civil
Procedure. Nor was the extract from the law attested by the certificate of
the officer having charge of the
original, under the sale of the State of West Virginia, as provided in section
301 of the Code of Civil Procedure. No evidence was introduced to show
that the extract from the laws of West Virginia was in force at the time the
alleged will was executed.
- In addition, the due execution of the will was not established. The only
evidence on this point is to be found in the testimony of the petitioner.
Aside from this, there was nothing to indicate that the will was
acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two competent witnesses,
of that these witnesses subscribed the will in the presence of the testator
and of each other as the law of West Virginia seems to require. On the
supposition that the witnesses to the will reside without the Philippine
Islands, it would then the duty of the petitioner to prove execution by some
other means (Code of Civil Procedure, sec. 633.)

- It was also necessary for the petitioner to prove that the testator had his
domicile in West Virginia and not establish this fact consisted of the recitals
in the CATHY will and the testimony of the petitioner. Also in beginning
administration proceedings orginally in the Philippine Islands, the petitioner
violated his own theory by attempting to have the principal administration
in the Philippine Islands.

Disposition Affirmed.

DISPOSITION Judgment affirmed

- Cirilo Lim, claiming to be a nephew of the late Jose Millarez who died
intestate filed a petition for his appointment as judicial administrator of the
estate of the deceased.

SIOCA v GARCIA
44 Phil 711Mar 27, 1923; OSTRAND KOOKY
FACTS:
- Juan Navas L. Sioca is the surviving spouse of the deceased
Geronima Uy Coque. The probate court appointed Jose Garcia as
the administrator of the deceaseds estate. Sioca maintains that
the court erred in this respect.
ISSUE:
WON the probate court erred in not appointing the deceaseds
husband, Sioca, as administrator of the estate.(NOTE: The SC first
held that the question raised is res judicata as there was no appeal
taken from the order of the lower court refusing to appoint Sioca as
administrator. But the SC proceeded to state another reason why
this appeal is without merit.)
HELD:NO.- A probate court cannot arbitrarily and without sufficient
reason disregard the preferential rights of the surviving spouse to

LIM V DIAZ-MILLAREZ
18 SCRA 371 October 19, 1966; REGALA

- The petition alleged that the deceased left no relatives such as


descendants, ascendants or surviving spouse, except collaterals.- Basilisa
Diaz-Millarez, claiming to be a widow of the deceased filed an opposition
on two grounds: 1. that the petitioner has an adverse interest in the estate;
and
2. that the properties of the estate are the subject matter of a litigation
between her as plaintiff and Cirilo Lim as defendant- When the case was
called for hearing, both parties manifested the existence of a litigation
between them over the properties of the estate.
- TC dismissed petition.- Failing in his motion for the reconsideration,
petitioner Lim, brought the case to the CA which certified the appeal to SC.
- In the Civil Case: Diaz-Millarez sought to recover from Lim 1/2 of the total
amount of P22,000 allegedly delivered to him by her and the deceased
Millarez on various occasions and to declare her as the owner of 1/2 of the
profits and gains derived therefrom, on the ground that Jose Millarez and
she used to live as husband and wife for about 23 years and as such she is
entitled to 1/2 of the property held in common by them. She asserted
further that since she contributed capital and labor to the tobacco business
in which she and the deceased were engaged and from which they gave
P22,000 in cash to Lim, she would be entitled to 1/2 of the capital and 1/2
of the proceeds and profits derived from such capital.

the administration of the estate of the deceased spouse. But, if the


person enjoying such preferential rights is unsuitable, the court
may appoint another person. The determination of a persons
suitability for the office of administrator rests, to a great extent, in
the sound judgment of the court exercising the power of
appointment and such judgment will not be interfered with on
appeal unless it appears affirmatively that the lower court was in
error.

ISSUE

- the probate court based its ruling on the fact that Sioca had
adverse interests in the estate of such character as to render him
unsuitable as administrator. Unsuitableness may consist in adverse
interest of some kind or hostility to those immediately interested in
the estate.

- It cannot, therefore, be denied that Cirilo Lim, as a relative of the


deceased has some interest adverse to that of Basilisa. Shown to have
some liabilities to Basilisa and to the estate as a whole, Cirilo cannot
compatibly perform the duties of an administrator.

WON Lim may be appointed as administrator of the estate of the deceased.


HELD
- NO. The claim which Basilisa has against Cirilo in the civil case is based
on her declared right to one-half of the estate of the deceased.

- In this jurisdiction, one is considered to be unsuitable for appointment as

administrator when he has adverse interest of some kind or hostility to


those immediately interested in the estate.
- The determination of a person's suitability for the office of judicial
administrator rests, to a great extent, in the sound judgment of the court
exercising the power of appointment and said judgment is not to be
interfered with on appeal unless the said court is clearly in error.
Disposition Order appealed from affirmed.

TORRES vs. JAVIER

35 PHIL 244 CARSON; November 16, 1916


FACTS:
- The trial court denied probate of the will of Mariano Magsino on the
ground that the wil was prepared and signed by the witnesses after his
death.
ISSUES:

34 Phil. 383; Moreland; March 24, 1916

WON the oppositor in the probate of the will had sufficient interest to be
allowed to maintain his opposition

FACTS

HELD: YES

-Two women are claiming to be the legal wife of deceased Tan Po Pic.Marta
Torres objected to the appointment of any except herself.

Ratio The admission to probate of a will may be opposed or contested by,


and only by, persons having some interest in the estate which will be
affected and concluded by the probate of the proposed will. However, the
appellant herein did not make an objection in the trial court as to the
intervention of the oppositor.Reasoning The mere fact that a stranger has
been permitted to oppose or contest the probate of a will is not reversible
error and does not invalidate the proceedings where no objection is
interposed by any of the parties in interest .The judgment of the court in
probate proceedings is not based on the fact that there is or is not
opposition to the probate of the will but upon the production of evidence
which discloses that there are or are not sufficient grounds for the probate
of the will as propounded; and the reason for the rule excluding strangers
from contesting the will, is not that thereby the court may be prevented
from learning facts which would justify or necessitate a denial of probate,
but rather that the courts and the litigants should not be molested by the
intervention in the proceedings of persons with no interest in the estate
which would entitle them to be heard with relation thereto.- In the case at
bar, no objection was made as to the intervention of the oppositor. Further,
it is to be observed that the judgment of the court was based on evidence
submitted by the oppositor. No objection was made on the ground that it
was submitted by a stranger. Having been admitted to record without
objection, and being competent, relevant and material, and conclusive in
support of the judgment of the trial court, it would be absurd for us to hold
that the judgment below erred in basing his judgment thereon, merely on
the ground that on appeal it is made to appear or is admitted that the
contestant had no interest in the estate. Whether the contestant had or
had not any right to intervene, the evidence submitted at the trial without
objection, conclusively sustains the findings of the trial judge on which he
properly based his denial of probate.

Juan Cailles Tan Poo, on behalf of the Chinese woman Yu Teng New,
opposed the appointment of Marta Torres.-The probate court being unable
to determine who, if either, was the lawful wife of the deceased, appointed
a disinterested third person (Juan L. Javier) to act as administrator.
-This appeal is taken by Marta Torres from that order of appointment.
ISSUE
WON the probate court may validly appoint a disinterested third person as
the administrator of the estate
HELDYES, the court had a right in view of the controversy between the
women to name a disinterested third person as administrator and leave
the controversy between them to be settled in the administration
proceedings at the proper time.-The probate court did not find as a fact
that there was a wife in China. The court considered the facts and
circumstances as they were presented in the proceedings and upon the
whole
believed it for the best interest of all concerned to appoint as administrator
a disinterested third person, particularly in view of the fact that there was
likely to be litigation between Marta Torres and the Chinese wife as to
which is in fact his legal wife and entitled to an interest in the estate of the
deceased Tan Po Pic.
Disposition Judgment affirmed.

PARAS V NARCISO

DURAN V DURAN
Bengzon; June 14, 1967 30 SCRA 331

FACTS
-Pio Duran died without testament.-Subsequent to his death, Cipriano
Duran, one of the surviving brothers, executed a public instrument
assigning and renouncing his hereditary rights to the decedent's estate in
favor of Josefina Duran for consideration.-A year later Cipriano Duran filed
a petition for intestate proceedings to settle Pio Duran's estate, further
asking that he be named the administrator. Josefina Duran filed an
opposition, praying for its dismissal upon the ground that the petitioner is
not an "interested person" in the estate, in view of the deed of transfer and
renunciation afore-stated. Replying to this, Cipriano alleged that Josefina
Duran was not the decedents wife. Anent the deed of assignment, he
contended that the same was procured thru fraud, with gross inadequacy
of price and vitiated by lesion.-Another brother of the decedent, Miguel
Duran, filed a petition to be joined as co-petitioner of Cipriano. Josefina
Duran moved to strike out said petition as an improper attempt to
intervene in the case.
-Court of First Instance dismissed the action for lack of interest in the
estate. Said lack of interest was premised on the deed of transfer executed
by Cipriano, regarding which the court declared itself without power to
examine in said proceedings, collaterally, the alleged fraud, inadequacy of
price and lesion that would render it rescissible or voidable.

acquired jurisdiction over the properties of the estate. As a result, any


assignment regarding the same had to be approved by said court. And
since the approval of the court is not deemed final until the estate is
closed, the assigning heir remains an interested person in the proceedings
even after said approval, which can be vacated, is given.
In the present case, however, the assignment took place when no
settlement proceedings was pending. The properties subject matter of the
assignment were not under the jurisdiction of a settlement court. Allowing
that the assignment must be deemed a partition as between the assignor
and assignee, the same does not need court approval to be effective as
between the parties. An extra judicial partition is valid as between the
participants even if the requisites of Sec 1, Rule 74 for extrajudicial
partition are not followed, since said requisites are for purposes of binding
creditors and non-participating heirs only (Hernandez vs. Andal, 78 Phil.
196). Should it be contended that said partition was attended with fraud,
lesion or inadequacy of price, the remedy is to rescind or to annul the
same in an action for that purpose. And in the meanwhile, the assigning
heir cannot initiate a settlement proceedings, for until the deed of
assignment is annulled or rescinded, it is deemed valid and effective
against him, so that he is left without that "interest" in the estate required
to petition for settlement proceedings.

ISSUE

Miguel Durans petition amounted to a petition to intervene in the


settlement proceedings. As aptly ruled by the court a quo since there was
really no settlement proceedings in the first place, the petition to intervene
must be denied.

WON an assignment by one heir of his share in the estate to a co-heir


amounts to a partition needing approval by the settlement court to be
effective and that the assigning heir does not lose his status as a person
interested in the estate, even after said assignment is approved by the
court.

Finally, although Josefina Duran prayed to be appointed administratrix, her


doing so did not admit to ratification of the petition for settlement under
the ruling in Eusebio vs. Valmores, since she did so merely by way of an
alternative prayer, should her motion to dismiss fail. And said motion to
dismiss was properly sustained.

HELD

Disposition Affirmed

-Cipriano appeals relying on In Re Irene Santos.

Yes, but such does not apply to the case at bar. -The situation in the Santos
case involves an assignment between co-heirs pendente lite, during the
course of settlement proceedings, properly and validly commenced. At the
time of said assignment, therefore, the settlement court had already