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G.R. No. L-23638

REYES; October 12, 1967
Petition for a review of the decision of the Court of Appeals
- Ismaela Dimagiba submitted to the CFI a petition for the probate of the purported will of the late Benedicta
de los Reyes. The will instituted the petitioner as the sole heir of the estate of the deceased.
- The petition was set for hearing, and in due time, Dionisio Fernandez, Eusebio Reyes and Luisa Reyes and
one month later, Mariano, Cesar, Leonor and Paciencia, all surnamed Reyes, all claiming to be heirs intestate
of the decedent, filed oppositions to the probate asked. Grounds advanced for the opposition were forgery,
vices of consent of the testatrix, estoppel by laches of the proponent and revocation of the will by two deeds
of conveyance of the major portion of the estate made by the testatrix in favor of the proponent in 1943 and
1944, but which conveyances were finally set aside by this Supreme Court.
- CFI found that the will was genuine and properly executed; but deferred resolution on the questions of
estoppel and revocation.
- Fernandez and Reyes petitioned for reconsideration, and/or new trial, insisting that the issues of estoppel and
revocation be considered and resolved; the Court overruled the claim that proponent was in estoppel to ask for
the probate of the will, but "reserving unto the parties the right to raise the issue of implied revocation at the
opportune time."
- CFI appointed Ricardo Cruz as administrator for the sole purpose of submitting an inventory of the estate.
- TC resolved against the oppositors and held the will of the late Benedicta de los Reyes "unaffected and
unrevoked by the deeds of sale." The oppositors elevated the case to the CA.
- CA held that the decree admitting the will to probate, had become final for lack of opportune appeal; that the
same was appealable independently of the issue of implied revocation; that there had been no legal revocation
by the execution of the 1943 and 1944 deeds of sale.
1. WON the decree of the CFI allowing the will to probate had become final for lack of appeal
2. WON the order of the CFI overruling the estoppel invoked by oppositors-appellants had likewise become
3. WON the 1930 will of Benedicta de los Reyes had been impliedly revoked by her execution of deeds of
conveyance in favor of the proponent .
1. YES. A probate decree finally and definitively settles all questions concerning capacity of the testator and
the proper execution and witnessing of his last will and testament, irrespective of whether its provisions are
valid and enforceable or otherwise.
- There being no controversy that the probate decree of the Court below was not appealed on time, the same
had become final and conclusive. Hence, the appellate courts may no longer revoke said decree nor review the
evidence upon which it is made to rest. Thus, the appeal belatedly lodged against the decree was correctly
2. NO. The presentation and probate of a will are requirements of public policy, being primarily designed to
protect the testator's, expressed wishes, which are entitled to respect as a consequence of the decedent's
ownership and right of disposition within legal limits.
- Evidence of it is the duty imposed on a custodian of a will to deliver the same to the Court, and the fine and
imprisonment prescribed for its violation (Revised Rule 75). It would be a non sequitur to allow public policy
to be evaded on the pretext of estoppel. Whether or not the order overruling the allegation of estoppel is still
appealable or not, the defense is patently unmeritorious and the Court of Appeals correctly so ruled.
3. NO. The existence of any such change or departure from the original intent of the testatrix, expressed in her
1930 testament, is rendered doubtful by the circumstance that the subsequent alienations in 1943 and 1944
were executed in favor of the legatee herself, appellee Dimagiba.

- But even if Art 957 were applicable, the annulment of the conveyances would not necessarily result in the
revocation of the legacies, if we bear in mind that the findings made in the decision decreeing the annulment
of the subsequent 1943 and 1944 deeds of sale were also that it was the moral influence, originating from their
confidential relationship, which was the only cause for the execution
G.R. No. L-14474
REYES; October 31, 1960
Appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila denying appellant's petition
- Benigno Diaz (DIAZ) executed a codicil on September 29, 1944. On November 7, 1944, he died and the
aforesaid codicil, together with the will, was admitted to probate in Special Proceedings No. 894 of the same
Court of First Instance of Manila.
- The proceedings for the administration of the estate of DIAZ were closed in 1950 and the estate was
thereafter put under the administration of BPI, as trustee for the benefit of the legatees.
- Filomena Diaz (FILOMENA) then died in 1954, leaving two legitimate children, MILAGROS, married,
with 7 legitimate children, and ONESIMA, single.
- On March 19, 1958, ONESIMA filed a petition in Special Proceedings No. 9226, contending that the amount
that would have appertained to FILOMENA under the codicil should now be divided equally between herself
and MILAGROS, as the surviving children, to the exclusion of the 7 legitimate children of MILAGROS.
- The court denied this petition. It said that after due consideration of the petition filed by ONESIMA. The
share of FILOMENA from the codicil does not and should not form part of her estate. The aforesaid share of
should be distributed not only between her children but also among her other legitimate descendants which
also includes her grandchildren, etc., and in this connection. it is not amiss to observe that one may be a
descendant and not yet not be an heir, and vice versa, one may be an heir and yet not be a descendant.
- From this order ONESIMA appealed to this Court. She contends that the term "sus descendeintes legitimos,"
as used in the codicil, should be interpreted to mean descendants nearest in the degree to the original legatee
FILOMENA, which are the two daughters.
WON the words "sus descendientes legitimos" refer conjointly to all the living descendant (children and
grandchildren) of the legatee as a class or only to the descendants nearest in degree
- In her argument, FILOMENA invokes Art. 959 of the CC, which says: A distribution made in general terms
in favor of the testator's relatives shall be understood as made in favor of those nearest in degree. However,
the argument fails to note that this article is specifically limited in its application in cases where the
beneficiaries are relatives of the testator, not those of the legatee. In such an event, the law assumes that the
testator intended to refer to the rules of intestacy, in order to benefit the relatives closest to him based on the
ratio legis that among a testator's relative the closest are dearest.
- Obviously, this does not apply where the beneficiaries are relatives of another person (the legatee) and not of
the testator . There is no logical reason in this case to presume that the testator intended to refer to the rules of
intestacy, for he precisely made a testament and provided substitutes for each legatee; nor can it be said that
his affections would prefer the nearest relatives of the legatee to those more distant, since he envisages all of
them in a group, and only as mere substitutes for a preferred beneficiary.
- The result of applying the "nearest relatives" rule of Article 959 is that the inheritance would be limited to
her children excluding the grandchildren altogether. This could hardly be the intention of the testator who in
the same clause 10 of his codicil speaks of his grandchildren indicating clearly that he understood well that
hijos and descendientes are not synonymous terms.
- We conclude that in the absence of other indications of contrary intent, the proper rule to apply in the instant
case is that the testator, by designating a class or group of legatees, intended all members thereof to succeed

per capita. So that the original legacy to FILOMENA should be equally divided among her surviving children
and grandchidren.
Disposition The order appealed from is affirmed, with costs to the appellant.
148 SCRA 69
GANCAYCO; February 27, 1987
Petition for Review of 2 Orders of the CFI of Cebu.
- Petra Rosales died intestate. She was survived by her husband Fortunato and their 2 children Magna and
Antonio. Another child, Carterio, predeceased her, leaving behind a child, Macikequerox, and his widow
Irenea, the petitioner. The estate of the deceased has an estimated gross value of about P30,000.
- In the intestate proceedings, the trial court issued an Order declaring the following individuals the legal heirs
of the deceased and prescribing their respective share of the estate: Fortunato (husband), 1/4; Magna
(daughter), 1/4; Macikequerox (grandson), 1/4; and Antonio (son), 1/4.
- Irenea insisted in getting a share of the estate in her capacity as the surviving spouse of the late Carterio, son
of the deceased, claiming that she is a compulsory heir of her mother-in-law together with her son,
Macikequerox. The trial court denied her plea. Hence, this petition.
1. WON the widow whose husband predeceased his mother can inherit from the latter, her mother-in-law.
1. NO.
Ratio A surviving spouse is not an intestate heir of his/her parent-in-law.
Reasoning Intestate or legal heirs are classified into 2 groups, namely, those who inherit by their own right,
and those who inherit by the right of representation. Restated, an intestate heir can only inherit either by his
own right, as in the order of intestate succession provided for in the CC or by the right of representation
provided for in Art 981 of the same law.
- The relevant provisions of the CC are Arts. 980, 981, 982 and 999. There is no provision which states that a
widow (surviving spouse) is an intestate heir of her mother-in-law. The entire Code is devoid of any provision
which entitles her to inherit from her mother-in-law either by her own right or by the right of representation.
The provisions of the Code which relate to the order of intestate succession (Articles 978 to 1014) enumerate
with meticulous exactitude the intestate heirs of a decedent, with the State as the final intestate heir. If the
legislature intended to make the surviving spouse an intestate heir of the parent-in-law, it would have so
provided in the Code.
- Irenea argues that she is a compulsory heir in accordance with the provisions of Art 887. The provision refers
to the estate of the deceased spouse in which case the surviving spouse (widow or widower) is a compulsory
heir. It does not apply to the estate of a parent-in-law.
- By the same token, the provision of Art 999 does not support Irenea's claim. The estate contemplated in the
article is the estate of the deceased spouse. The subject matter of the intestate estate proceedings in this case is
that of the deceased Petra Rosales, the mother-in-law of Irenea. It is from the estate of Petra that
Macikequerox draws a share of the inheritance by the right of representation as provided by Art 981.
- Art 971 explicitly declares that Macikequerox is called to succession by law because of his blood
relationship. He does not succeed his father, Carterio (the person represented) who predeceased his
grandmother, Petra, but the latter whom his father would have succeeded. Irenea cannot assert the same right
of representation as she has no filiation by blood with her mother-in-law.
- Irenea also contends that at the time of the death of her husband, he had an inchoate or contingent right to
the properties of Petra Rosales as compulsory heir. Be that as it may, said right of her husband was
extinguished by his death that is why it is their son Macikequerox who succeeded from Petra by right of
representation. He did not succeed from his deceased father Carterio.


13 SCRA 406
Appeal from the Manila CFI decision
- Maria Mortera Vda de Aguirre on May 17, 1951 executed a will written in Spanish making many legacies
and devises including Pesos 20,000 to Rene Teotico who was married to testatrixs niece, Josefina Mortera.
Josefina was instituted as the sole and universal heir to all the remainder of the properties not otherwise
disposed of in the will. The testatrix died on July 14, 1955 and a petition for the probate was file before the
Manila CFI on July 17, 1955.
- Ana del Val Chan, claiming to be an adopted daughter of Francisca Mortera, a deceased sister of the testatrix,
and an acknowledged natural child of Jose Mortera, a deceased brother of the same testatrix, filed an
opposition to the probate alleging that the will was not executed as required by law, that the testatrix was
physically and mentally incapable to execute the will at the time of its execution, and that the will was
executed under duress, threat or influence of fear. The lower court allowed Ana del Val Chans opposition
despite a motion to have said opposition dismissed on the ground that Ana had no legal personality to
- Ana amended her opposition by alleging that the will is inoperative with regard the share of Rene Teotico
because he was the physician who took care of the testatrix during her last illness.
- After the parties had presented their evidence, the probate court rendered its decision on November 10, 1960
admitting the will to probate but declaring the disposition made in favor of Dr. Rene Teotico void with the
statement that the portion to be vacated by the annulment should pass to the testatrix's heirs by way of
intestate succession.
- Hence this appeal
1. WON Ana Del Val Chan has the right to intervene
2. WON the will has been duly admitted to probate
3. WON probate court committed an error on passing on the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will
1. No. Under the terms of the will, oppositor has no right to intervene because she has no interest in the estate
either as heir, executor, or administrator, nor does she have any claim to any property affected by the will,
because it nowhere appears therein any provision designating her as heir, legatee or devisee of any portion of
the estate. She has also no interest in the will either as administratrix or executrix. Neither has she any claim
against any portion of the estate because she is not a co-owner thereof, and while she previously had an
interest in the Calvo building located in Escolta., she had already disposed of it long before the execution of
the will.
In the supposition that the will is denied probate, would the oppositor acquire any interest in any portion of the
estate left by the testatrix? She would acquire such right only if she were a legal heir of the deceased, but she
is not under our Civil Code. It is true that oppositor claims to be an acknowledged natural child of Jose
Mortera, a deceased brother of the deceased, and also an adopted daughter of Francisca Mortera, a deceased
sister of the testatrix, but such claim cannot give her any comfort for, even if it be true, the law does not give
her any right to succeed to the estate of the deceased sister of both Jose Mortera and Francisca
Mortera. And this is so because being an illegitimate child she is prohibited by law from succeeding to
the legitimate relatives of her natural father. Thus, Article 992 of our Civil Code provides: "An
illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his
father or mother.
2 The oppositor cannot also derive comfort from the fact that she is an adopted child of Francisca
Mortera because under our law the relationship established by adoption is limited solely to the adopter
and the adopted does not extend to the relatives of the adopting parents or of he adopted child except

only as expressly provided for by law. Hence, no relationship is created between the adopted and the
collaterals of the adopting parents. As a consequence, the adopted is an heir of the adopter but not of
the relatives of the adopter.
2. Yes. The claim of the oppositor that the testatrix was of unsound mind when she executed the will was
belied by the testimonies of the three people who witnessed the signing of the will. The claim that Teotico
exerted improper pressure and undue influence over the testatrix to overpower and subjugate her mind to
destroy her free agency and make her express the will of another rather than her own was not proved.
3. Yes. "Opposition to the intrinsic validity or legality of the provisions of the will cannot be entertained
in Probate proceeding because its only purpose is merely to determine if the will has been executed in
accordance with the requirements of the law."
"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, is the only
purpose of the proceedings under the new code for the probate of a will. (Sec. 625.) The judgment in such
proceedings determines and can determine nothing more. In them 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."
183 SCRA 427
PARAS; February 21, 1990
Second Motion for Reconsideration
It is undisputed 1) that Felisa Pamuti Jardin is a niece of Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero who together with
Felisa's mother Juliana were the only legitimate children of the spouses Felipe Pamuti and Petronila Asuncion;
2) that Juliana married Simon Jardin and out of their union were born Felisa Pamuti and another child who
died during infancy; 3) that Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero is the widow of Pascual Santero and the mother
of Pablo Santero; 4) that Pablo Santero was the only legitimate son of his parents Pascual Santero and Simona
Pamuti Vda. de Santero; 5) that Pascual Santero died in 1970; Pablo Santero in 1973 and Simona Santero in
1976; 6) that Pablo Santero, at the time of his death was survived by his mother Simona Santero and his six
minor natural children to wit: four minor children with Anselma Diaz and two minor children with Felixberta
Who are the legal heirs of Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero ? her niece Felisa Pamuti-Jardin or her
grandchildren (the natural children of Pablo Santero)? Could petitioners as illegitimate children of Pablo
Santero inherit from Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero, by right of representation of their father Pablo Santero
who is a legitimate child of Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero?
Felisa Pamuti-Jardin is the legal heir of Simona.
Ratio The right of representation is not available to illegitimate descendants of legitimate children in the
inheritance of a legitimate grandparent. The determining factor is the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the person
to be represented. If the person to be represented is an illegitimate child, then his descendants, whether
legitimate or illegitimate, may represent him; however, if the person to be represented is legitimate, his
illegitimate descendants cannot represent him because the law provides that only his legitimate descendants
may exercise the right of representation by reason of the barrier imposed Article 992.
a. "The rules laid down in Article 982 that 'grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of
representation and in Article 902 that the rights of illegitimate children ... are transmitted upon their death
to their descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate are subject to the limitation prescribed by Article
992 to the end that an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and

relatives of his father or mother."' (Amicus Curiae's Opinion by former Justice Minister Ricardo C. Puno, p.
12) It may not be amiss to state that Article 982 is the general rule and Article 992 the exception.
b. The law recognizes that between the legitimate family and the illegitimate family there is presumed to be
antagonism and incompatibility.
c. It is clear from Article 992 of the New Civil Code that the phrase legitimate relatives of his father or
mother includes Simona Pamuti as the word relative is broad enough to comprehend all the kindred of
the person spoken of.
GUTIERREZ, JR., J., dissenting:
I agree that a clear and precise amendment is needed if collateral relatives such as illegitimate children and
legitimate uncles, aunts, or cousins or illegitimate siblings and their legitimate half-brothers or half-sisters are
to inherit from one another. But I must stress that the barrier is between the legitimate and illegitimate
families. I see no reason why we should include a grandmother or grandfather among those where a firm wall
of separation should be maintained. She cannot be a separate "family" from her own grandchildren.
The adoption of a harsh and absurd interpretation, pending an amendment of the law, does not impress me
as correct. Precisely, the word "relatives" in Art. 992 calls for reinterpretation because the Code has been
amended. The meaning of relatives must follow the changes in various provisions upon which the word's
effectivity is dependent.
The law should be interpreted to accord with what appears right and just. Unless the opposite is proved, I
will always presume that a grandmother loves her grandchildrenlegitimate or illegitimate. more than the
second cousins of said grandchildren or the parents of said cousins. The grandmother may be angry at the
indiscretions of her son but why should the law include the innocent grandchildren as objects of that anger.
"Relatives" can only refer to collateral relatives, to members of a separate group of kins but not to one's own
85 SCRA 567
AQUINO; October 23, 1978
Appeal from a judgment of the CFI
-Teodoro R. Yangco, the son of Luis Rafael Yangco and Ramona Arguelles (the widow of Tomas Corpus) died
in Manila on April 20, 1939
-Yangco had no forced heirs. At the time of his death, his nearest relatives were (1) his half brother, Luis R.
Yangco, (2) his half sister, Paz Yangco (3) Amalia Corpus, Jose A. V. Corpus, and Ramon L. Corpus, the
children of his half brother, Pablo Corpus, and (4) Juana (Juanita) Corpus, the daughter of his half brother
Jose Corpus. Juanita died in October, 1944 at Palauig, Zambales.
-His will dated August 29, 1934 was probated in the CFI of Manila, and the decree of probate was affirmed by
the SC
-Pursuant to the order of the probate court, a project of partition was submitted by the administrator and the
legatees named in the will
-Said project of partition was approved by the probate court
-Pedro Martinez, Juliana de Castro , Juanita Corpus (deceased) and the estate of Luis R. Yangco appealed to
the SC, but these were dismissed after the legatees and the appellants entered into compromise agreements
-Herein appellant Tomas Corpus signed that compromise settlement as the sole heir of Juanita Corpus.
-On September 20, 1949, the legatees executed an agreement for the settlement and physical partition of the
Yangco estate. The probate court approved that agreement and noted that the 1945 project of partition was pro
tanto modified.
-On October 5, 1951, Tomas Corpus, as the sole heir of Juanita corpus, filed an action in the Court of First
Instance of Manila to recover her supposed share in Yangco intestate estate. He alleged in his complaint that
the dispositions in his Yangcos will imposing perpetual prohibitions upon alienation rendered it void under
article 785 of the old Civil Code and that the 1949 partition is invalid and, therefore, the decedent's estate
should be distributed according to the rules on intestacy.
-The trial court dismissed the action on the grounds of res judicata and laches.

-Tomas Corpus appealed to the Court of Appeals which certified the appeal to this Court because it involves
real property valued at more than fifty thousand pesos
WON Juanita Corpus, the mother of appellant Tomas Corpus, was a legal heir of Yangco, thus giving Tomas
Corpus a cause of action to recover his mother's supposed intestate share in Yangco's estate
-The trial court found that Teodoro R. Yangco was an acknowledged natural child and not a legitimate child
through the statement in the will of his father, Luis Rafael Yangco, dated June 14, 1907, that Teodoro and his
three other children were his acknowledged natural children.
-On the other hand, the children of Ramona Arguelles and Tomas Corpus are presumed to be legitimate.
-Since Teodoro R. Yangco was an acknowledged natural child or was illegitimate and since Juanita Corpus
was the legitimate child of Jose Corpus, himself a legitimate child, we hold that appellant Tomas Corpus has
no cause of action for the recovery of the supposed hereditary share of his mother, Juanita Corpus, as a legal
heir, in Yangco's estate.
- Juanita Corpus was not a legal heir of Yangco because there is no reciprocal succession between legitimate
and illegitimate relatives.
-Article 943 of the old Civil code "prohibits all successory reciprocity mortis causa between legitimate and
illegitimate relatives"
-The rule in article 943 is now found in article 992 of the Civil Code which provides that "an illegitimate child
has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; nor shall
such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child".
-That rule is based on the theory that the illegitimate child is disgracefully looked upon by the legitimate
family while the legitimate family is, in turn, hated by the illegitimate child.
-The law does not recognize the blood tie and seeks to avod further grounds of resentment
-Under articles 944 and 945 of the Spanish Civil Code, "if an acknowledged natural or legitimated child
should die without issue, either legitimate or acknowledged, the father or mother who acknowledged such
child shall succeed to its entire estate; and if both acknowledged it and are alive, they shall inherit from it
share and share alike. In default of natural ascendants, natural and legitimated children shall be succeeded by
their natural brothers and sisters in accordance with the rules established for legitimate brothers and sisters."
-Hence, Teodoro R. Yangco's half brothers on the Corpus side, who were legitimate, had no right to succeed to
his estate under the rules of intestacy.
G.R. No. L-51263
DE CASTRO; February 28, 1983
-Francisca Reyes died intestate. She was survived by 2 daughters, Maria and Silvestra, and a grandson, Sotero
Leonardo (Sotero), the son of her daughter, Pascuala, who predeceased her. Sotero and Silvestra both died.
-Cresenciano Leonardo (Cresenciano), claiming to be the son of the late Sotero Leonardo, filed a complaint
for ownership of properties seeking judgment, among others, to be declared one of the lawful heirs of the
deceased Francisca Reyes, entitled to one-half share in the estate of said deceased jointly with the other
remaining heir Maria
-Maria asserted exclusive ownership saying that Cresenciano is an illegitimate child who CANT succeed by
right of representation. TC ruled in his favor. CA reversed. Hence, this petition.
WON Cresenciano is an heir in the inheritance in question
NO. Other than his bare allegation, Cresenciano did not submit any durable evidence showing that the
'Alfredo Leonardo' mentioned in the birth certificate is no other than he himself. SC safely concluded that
Cresenciano failed to prove his filiation which is a fundamental requisite in this action where he is claiming to

be an heir in the inheritance in question. EVEN IF its true that Cresenciano is the child of Sotero, still he
cannot, by right of representation, claim a share of the estate left by the deceased Francisca Reyes considering
that, as found again by the CA, he was born outside wedlock and what is more, his alleged father's first
marriage was still subsisting. At most, Cresenciano would be an illegitimate child who has no right to
inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father, like the deceased Francisca
Reyes. (Article 992, Civil Code)
G.R. No. L-19281
BENGZON; June 30, 1965
- Nov. 21, 1953: Pedro Santillon died intestate in Tayug, Pangasinan, his residence, leaving one son, Claro,
and his wife, Perfecta Miranda. During his marriage, Pedro acquired several parcels of land located in that
- About 4 years after his death, Claro Santillon filed a petition for letters of administration.
-Perfecta and the spouses Benito U. Miranda and Rosario Corrales opposed on the ff grounds:
(a) that the properties enumerated in the petition were all conjugal, except three parcels which
Perfecta Miranda claimed to be her exclusive properties;
(b) that Perfecta by virtue of 2 documents had conveyed 3/4 of her undivided share in most of the
properties enumerated in the petition to said spouses Benito and Rosario;
(c) that administration of the estate was not necessary, there being a case for partition pending; and
(d) that if administration was necessary at all, Perfecta and not the Claro was better qualified for the
post. It appears that subsequently, Perfecta was appointed administratrix of the estate.
- March 22, 1961, the court appointed commissioners to draft within 60 days, a project of partition and
distribution of all the properties of the deceased Pedro.
- Claro filed a "Motion to Declare Share of Heirs" and to resolve the conflicting claims of the parties with
respect to their respective rights in the estate. Invoking Art. 892 (NCC), Claro claimed 3/4 of Pedro's
inheritance, while Perfecta claimed as per A996.
- CFI ordered that in the intestate succession of the deceased Pedro, Perfecta shall inherit 1/2 share and the
remaining 1/2 share for their only son, Atty. Claro Santillon after deducting the share of the widow as coowner of the conjugal properties.
- Hence, Claros appeal to this Court.
How shall the estate of a person who dies intestate be divided when the only survivors are the spouse and one
legitimate child? /WON A.892 or A.996 applies
Since this is an intestate proceeding, only A. 996 is applicable.
-Claro cannot rely on Art. 892 to support his claim to 3/4 of his father's estate as A892 falls under the chapter
of Testamentary Succession in the NCC. Art 892 merely fixes the legitime of the surviving spouse and Art.
888 thereof, the legitime of children in testate succession. While it may indicate the intent of the law with
respect to the ideal shares that a child and a spouse should get when they concur with each other, it does not
fix the amount of shares that such child and spouse are entitled to when intestacy occurs.
- On A. 996, Justice J.B.L. Reyes: under this article, when the widow survives with only one legitimate child,
they share the estate in equal parts. Sen. Tolentino in his commentaries writes as follows:
One child Surviving. If there is only one legitimate child surviving with the spouse, since they share
equally, one-half of the estate goes to the child and the other half goes to the surviving spouse.
Although the law refers to "children or descendants," the rule in statutory construction that the plural
can be understood to include the singular is applicable in this case. (Tolentino, Civil Code of the
Philippines, Vol. III, p. 436.)

- The theory of those holding otherwise seems to be premised on these propositions: (a) Art. 996 speaks of
"Children," TF it does not apply when there is only one "child"; consequently Art. 892 (and Art. 888) should
be applied, thru a process of judicial construction and analogy; (b) Art. 996 is unjust or unfair because,
whereas in testate succession, the widow is assigned one-fourth only (Art. 892), she would get 1/2 in intestate.
- STATCON MAXIM: words in plural include the singular. So Art. 996 could or should be read (and so
applied) : "If the widow or widower and a legitimate child are left, the surviving spouse has the same share as
that of the child." Indeed, if we refuse to apply the article to this case on the ground that "child" is not
included in "children," the consequences would be tremendous, because "children" will not include "child" in
Arts 887, 888, 886 and 901.
- In testate succession, where there is only one child of the marriage, the child gets one-half, and the widow or
widower one-fourth. But in intestate , if Art. 996 is applied now, the child gets one-half, and the widow or
widower one-half. On this point, it is not correct to assume that in testate succession the widow or widower
"gets only one-fourth." She or he may get one-half - if the testator so wishes. So, the law virtually leaves it to
each of the spouses to decide (by testament, whether his or her only child shall get more than his or her
- A834 of the Spanish Civil Code, from which Art. 996 was taken, contained two paragraphs governing two
contingencies, the first, where the widow or widower survives with legitimate children (general rule), and the
second, where the widow or widower survives with only one child (exception), whereas Art. 996 omitted to
provide for the second situation, thereby indicating the legislator's desire to promulgate just one general rule
applicable to both situations.
80 SCRA 421
GUERRERO; November 29, 1977
Appeal from decision of CFI Manila
SIMEON BAGSIC and SISENANDRA BARCENAS (died) (first marriage)
o Perpetua (died)
Gaudencio Bicomong
Felicidad Bicomong
Salome Bicomong
Gervacio Bicomong
o Igmedia (died)
Dionisio Tolentino
Maria Tolentino
Petra Tolentino
o Ignacio (died)
Francisca Bagsic
SIMEON BAGSIC (died) and SILVESTRA GLORIOSO (died) (second marriage)
o Felipa (died) and Geronimo Almanza
Cristeta Almanza (died) and Engracio Manese
o Maura (died)
- The subject matter is the half undivided share of Maura Bagsic in 5 parcels of land w/c she inherited from
Silvestra Glorioso.
- There are 3 sets of plaintiffs: the Bicomongs. The Tolentinos, and Francisca Bagsic, for their shares in the
properties of Maura Bagsic.
- When Maura Bagsic died, the properties passed on to Cristeta Almanza, who also died without division of
the properties.
- Trial court rendered judgment in favor of plaintiffs.
- Almanzas appealed to CA. It was contended that since Maura died ahead of Felipa, Felipa succeeded to

Mauras estate, to the exclusion of the plaintiffs. They said the relatives nearest in degree excludes the more
distant ones.
- The plaintiffs claim that Felipa died ahead of Maura.
- CA certified case to SC.
WON Maura is succeeded by Felipa to the exclusion of nephews and nieces of half blood
- In the absence of descendants, ascendants, illegitimate children, or surviving spouse, collateral relatives
succeed to the entire estate of deceased.
- Since Maura died intestate and her husband and her ascendants died ahead of her, she is succeded by
surviving collateral relatives, namely the daughter of her sister of full blood and the children of her brother
and sisters of half blood, in accordance with Art 975 of New Civil Code.
- The nephews and nieces are entitled to inherit in their own right. Nephews and nieces alone do not inherit
by right of representation (that is per stirpes) unless concurring with brothers or sisters of the deceased.
- The contention that Maura should be succeeded by Felipa to the exclusion of the nephews and nieces of half
blood is erroneous. As it was shown, Felipa predeceased her sister Maura.
14 SCRA 986
REYES, JBL; August 31, 1965
Appeal from the Decision of the CFI of Cebu
- More than ten years having elapsed since the last time Melodia Ferraris was known to be alive, she was
declared presumptively dead for purposes of opening her succession and distributing her estate among her
- The deceased was survived only by collateral relatives, namely, an aunt, who is the half- sister of decedent's
father, and by her nieces and nephew, who were the children of her only brother of full blood, who predeceased her. These two classes of heirs claim to be the nearest intestate heirs and seek to participate in the
estate of said Melodia Ferraris.
- CFI ruled that the children of the only predeceased brother of the decedent exclude the aunt of the same
decedent, reasoning out that the former are nearer in degree (two degrees) than the latter since nieces and
nephew succeed by right of representation, while petitioner- appellant is three degrees distant from the
decedent, and that other collateral relatives are excluded by brothers or sisters, or children of brothers or
sisters of the decedent in accordance with article 1009 of the New Civil Code.
WON the nephews and nieces of the decedent would exclude the aunt of the decedent from inheriting from
the intestate estate of the deceased
Ratio A decedent's uncles and aunts may not succeed ab intestato so long as nephews and nieces of the
decedent survive and are willing and qualified to succeed.
- As an aunt of the deceased, she is as far distant as the nephews from the decedent (three degrees) since in the
collateral line to which both kinds of relatives belong degrees are counted by first ascending to the common
ancestor and then descending to the heir (Civil Code, Art. 966). Appellant is likewise right in her contention
that nephews and nieces alone do not inherit by right of representation unless concurring with brothers or
sisters of the deceased, as provided expressly by Article 975:

- Nevertheless, the CFI correctly held that, in case of intestacy, nephews and nieces of the de cujus exclude all
other collaterals (aunts and uncles, first cousins, etc.) from the succession. This is readily apparent from
articles 1001, 1004, 1005, and 1009 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.
- Under Art. 1009, the absence of brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces of the decedent is a precondition to the
other collaterals (uncles, cousins, etc.) being called to the succession.
- Appellants quote Tolentino's commentaries as declaring that Article 1009 does not establish a rule of
preference. Which is true as to "other collaterals", since preference among them is according to their
proximity to the decedent, as established by Article 962, paragraph 1. But Tolentino does not state that
nephews and nieces concur with other collaterals of equal degree. On the contrary, Tolentino expressly states:
Other Collaterals. The last of the relatives of the decedent to succeed in intestate succession are the
collaterals other than brothers or sisters or children of brothers or sisters...