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SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

LLB 3 2017-2018
Atty. Maru Ali G. Sanchez
1. General Provisions/Preliminary Matters The respondents thus prayed for the (1) issuance of a TRO to restrain Ramon or
his representatives from disposing or selling any property that belongs to the
RAMON S. CHING AND PO WING PROPERTIES, INC., Petitioners, estate of Antonio; (2) that Ramon be declared as disqualified from inheriting from
vs. HON. JANSEN R. RODRIGUEZ, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of the Antonio Ching; and (3) declaring null the unauthorized transfers made by Ramon.
Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 6, JOSEPH CHENG, JAIME CHENG, The petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss the respondents' Amended Complaint on
MERCEDES IGNE AND LUCINA SANTOS, substituted by her son, EDUARDO the alleged ground of the RTC's lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of
S. BALAJADIA, Respondents. the Complaint. The petitioners argued that since the Amended Complaint sought
the release of the CPPA to the respondents, the latter's declaration as heirs of
Facts: Antonio, and the propriety of Ramon's disinheritance, the suit partakes of the
nature of a special proceeding and not an ordinary action for declaration
Sometime between November 25, 2002 and December 3, 2002, the of nullity. Hence, jurisdiction pertains to a probate or intestate court and not to
respondents filed a Complaint against the petitioners and Stronghold the RTC acting as an ordinary court.
Insurance Company, Global Business Bank, Inc. (formerly PhilBank), Elena Tiu
Del Pilar, Asia Atlantic Resources Ventures, Inc., Registers of Deeds of Manila and Issue: Whether or not the RTC should have granted the Motion to Dismiss as the
Malabon, and all persons claiming rights or titles from Ramon Ching (Ramon) and issues could only be resolved in a special proceeding and not in an ordinary civil
his successors-in-interest. action

The Complaint, captioned as one for "Disinheritance, Declaration of Nullity of Held: NO.
Agreement and Waiver, Affidavit of Extra-Judicial Settlement, Deed of
Absolute Sale, Transfer Certificates of Title with Prayer for [the] An action for reconveyance and annulment of title with damages is a civil
Issuance of [a] Temporary Restraining Order and [a] Writ of Preliminary action, whereas matters relating to settlement of the estate of a deceased person
Injunction,". In the complaint, the respondents alleged six(6) causes of action: such as advancement of property made by the decedent, partake of the nature of
that (1) they are the heirs of Antonio Ching and that Ramon misrepresented a special proceeding, which concomitantly requires the application of specific
himself as Antonios son when he was, in fact, adopted and his birth certificate rules as provided for in the Rules of Court. A special proceeding is a remedy
merely simulated; (2) Antonio was killed with Ramon as the prime suspect and by which a party seeks to establish a status, a right, or a particular
prior to the conclusion of the investigations, Ramon made an inventory of the fact. It is distinguished from an ordinary civil action where a party sues
formers estate and illegally transferred to his name the titles to Antonios another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or
properties; (3) Ramon sweet-talked respondent Mercedes into surrendering to redress of a wrong. To initiate a special proceeding, a petition and not a
him a Certificate of Time Deposit of P4,000,000.00 in the name of Antonio and complaint should be filed.
the TCTs of two condo units registered under Ramon’s name; (4) Ramon illegally
transferred to his own name through a forged document 40,000 shares in Po Under Article 916 of the NCC, disinheritance can be effected only through
Wing Corporation; (5) Ramon executed an Affidavit of Extra-Judicial Settlement a will wherein the legal cause therefor shall be specified. This Court agrees with
of Estate adjudicating solely to himself Antonio's entire estate to the prejudice of the RTC and the CA that while the respondents in their Complaint and Amended
the respondents; and (6) Ramon sold Antonio's two parcels of land in Navotas to Complaint sought the disinheritance of Ramon, no will or any instrument
co-defendant Asia Atlantic Business Ventures, Inc. Another parcel of land, which supposedly effecting the disposition of Antonio's estate was ever
was part of Antonio's estate, was sold by Ramon to co-defendant Elena Tiu Del mentioned. Hence, despite the prayer for Ramon's disinheritance, Civil Case No.
Pilar at an unreasonably low price. 02-105251 does not partake of the nature of a special proceeding and does not
call for the probate court's exercise of its limited jurisdiction.
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Atty. Maru Ali G. Sanchez
respondents' Complaint and Amended Complaint as the issues raised and the
The petitioners also argue that the prayers in the Amended Complaint, prayers indicated therein are matters which need not be threshed out in a special
seeking the release in favor of the respondents of the CPPA under Metrobank's proceeding.
custody and the nullification of the instruments subject of the complaint,
necessarily require the determination of the respondents' status as Antonio's 2. Rule 72- Subject Matter and Applicability of General Rules
heirs.
LUISA KHO MONTAÑER, ALEJANDRO MONTAÑER, JR., LILLIBETH
It bears stressing that what the respondents prayed for was that they be MONTAÑER-BARRIOS, AND RHODORA ELEANOR MONTAÑER-DALUPAN
declared as the rightful owners of the CPPA which was in Mercedes' possession vs. SHARI'A DISTRICT COURT, FOURTH SHARI'A JUDICIAL DISTRICT,
prior to the execution of the Agreement and Waiver. The respondents also prayed MARAWI CITY, LILING DISANGCOPAN, AND ALMAHLEEN LILING S.
for the alternative relief of securing the issuance by the RTC of a hold order MONTAÑER
relative to the CPPA to preserve Antonio's deposits with Metrobank during the
pendency of the case. It can thus be said that the respondents' prayer relative to Facts:
the CPPA was premised on Mercedes' prior possession of and their alleged
collective ownership of the same, and not on the declaration of their status as Private respondents Liling Disangcopan and her daughter, Almahleen Liling S.
Antonio's heirs. Further, it also has to be emphasized that the respondents were Montañer, both Muslims, filed a "Complaint" for the judicial partition of
parties to the execution of the Agreement and Waiver prayed to be nullified. properties before the Shari’a District Court n the said complaint, private
Hence, even without the necessity of being declared as heirs of Antonio, the respondents made the following allegations: (1) in May 1995, Alejandro
respondents have the standing to seek for the nullification of the instruments in Montañer, Sr. died; (2) the late Alejandro Montañer, Sr. is a Muslim; (3)
the light of their claims that there was no consideration for their execution, and petitioners are the first family of the decedent; (4) Liling Disangcopan is the
that Ramon exercised undue influence and committed fraud against them. widow of the decedent; (5) Almahleen Liling S. Montañer is the daughter of the
Consequently, the respondents then claimed that the Affidavit of Extra-Judicial decedent; and (6) the estimated value of and a list of the properties comprising
Settlement of Antonios estate executed by Ramon, and the TCTs issued upon the the estate of the decedent. Private respondents prayed for the Shari’a District
authority of the said affidavit, are null and void as well. Ramon's averment that a Court to order, among others, the following: (1) the partition of the estate of the
resolution of the issues raised shall first require a declaration of the respondents' decedent; and (2) the appointment of an administrator for the estate of the
status as heirs is a mere defense which is not determinative of which court shall decedent.
properly exercise jurisdiction.
The Shari’a District Court dismissed the private respondents’ complaint. The
In sum, this Court agrees with the CA that the nullification of the district court held that Alejandro Montañer, Sr. was not a Muslim, and its
documents subject of Civil Case No. 02-105251 could be achieved in an ordinary jurisdiction extends only to the settlement and distribution of the estate of
civil action, which in this specific case was instituted to protect the respondents deceased Muslims.
from the supposedly fraudulent acts of Ramon.
Private respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration. In its first assailed order
The respondents' resort to an ordinary civil action before the RTC may not dated August 22, 2006, the Shari’a District Court reconsidered its order of
be strategically sound, because a settlement proceeding should thereafter still dismissal dated November 22, 2005. The district court allowed private
follow, if their intent is to recover from Ramon the properties alleged to have respondents to adduce further evidence. In its second assailed order dated
been illegally transferred in his name. Be that as it may, the RTC, in the exercise September 21, 2006, the Shari’a District Court ordered the continuation of
of its general jurisdiction, cannot be restrained from taking cognizance of
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Atty. Maru Ali G. Sanchez
trial, trial on the merits, adducement of further evidence, and pre-trial the Rules illustrate this difference. A civil action, in which "a party sues another
conference. for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a
wrong" necessarily has definite adverse parties, who are either the plaintiff or
Hence, this Petition defendant. On the other hand, a special proceeding, "by which a party seeks to
establish a status, right, or a particular fact," has one definite party, who
Issue: WON the Complaint filed by the respondents before the Shari’a District petitions or applies for a declaration of a status, right, or particular fact, but no
Court is an ordinary civil action definite adverse party. In the case at bar, it bears emphasis that the estate of the
decedent is not being sued for any cause of action. As a special proceeding, the
purpose of the settlement of the estate of the decedent is to determine all the
Held: NO. The complaint filed by the respondents in the Shari’a District Court for
assets of the estate, pay its liabilities, and to distribute the residual to those
the settlement of the estate is a special proceeding.
entitled to the same.
The underlying assumption in petitioners’ second argument, that the proceeding
before the Shari’a District Court is an ordinary civil action against a deceased
person, rests on an erroneous understanding of the proceeding before the court a
quo. Part of the confusion may be attributed to the proceeding before the Shari’a ALAN JOSEPH A. SHEKER, Petitioner, vs. ESTATE OF ALICE O. SHEKER,
District Court, where the parties were designated either as plaintiffs or VICTORIA S. MEDINA-Administratrix, Respondent.
defendants and the case was denominated as a special civil action. We reiterate
that the proceedings before the court a quo are for the issuance of letters of Facts:
administration, settlement, and distribution of the estate of the deceased, which
is a special proceeding. Section 3(c) of the Rules of Court (Rules) defines a The RTC admitted to probate the holographic will of Alice O. Sheker and
special proceeding as "a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a status, a thereafter issued an order for all the creditors to file their respective claims
right, or a particular fact." This Court has applied the Rules, particularly the rules against the estate. In compliance therewith, petitioner filed on October 7, 2002 a
on special proceedings, for the settlement of the estate of a deceased contingent claim for agent's commission due him amounting to
Muslim.31 In a petition for the issuance of letters of administration, settlement, approximately P206,250.00 in the event of the sale of certain parcels of land
and distribution of estate, the applicants seek to establish the fact of death of the belonging to the estate, and the amount of P275,000.00, as reimbursement for
decedent and later to be duly recognized as among the decedent’s heirs, which expenses incurred and/or to be incurred by petitioner in the course of negotiating
would allow them to exercise their right to participate in the settlement and the sale of said realties.
liquidation of the estate of the decedent. Here, the respondents seek to establish
the fact of Alejandro Montañer, Sr.’s death and, subsequently, for private The executrix of the Estate of Alice O. Sheker (respondent) moved for the
respondent Almahleen Liling S. Montañer to be recognized as among his heirs, if dismissal of said money claim against the estate on the grounds that (1) the
such is the case in fact. requisite docket fee, as prescribed in Section 7(a), Rule 141 of the Rules of
Court, had not been paid; (2) petitioner failed to attach a certification against
Petitioners’ argument, that the prohibition against a decedent or his estate from non-forum shopping; and (3) petitioner failed to attach a written explanation why
being a party defendant in a civil action applies to a special proceeding such as the money claim was not filed and served personally.
the settlement of the estate of the deceased, is misplaced. Unlike a civil action
which has definite adverse parties, a special proceeding has no definite adverse
Petitioner maintains that the RTC erred in strictly applying to a probate
party. The definitions of a civil action and a special proceeding, respectively, in
proceeding the rules requiring a certification of non-forum shopping, a written
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Atty. Maru Ali G. Sanchez
explanation for non-personal filing, and the payment of docket fees upon filing of APPEALS, THE HONORABLE AMOR A. REYES, Presiding Judge, Regional
the claim. He insists that Section 2, Rule 72 of the Rules of Court provides Trial Court of Manila, Branch 21 and ADMINISTRATRIX JULITA CAMPOS
that rules in ordinary actions are applicable to special proceedings only BENEDICTO, Respondents.
in a suppletory manner.
Facts:
Issue: WON rules in ordinary actions are only supplementary to rules in special
proceedings is not entirely correct. The well-known sugar magnate Roberto S. Benedicto died intestate on 15 May
2000. He was survived by his wife, private respondent Julita Campos Benedicto
Held: (administratrix Benedicto), and his only daughter, Francisca Benedicto-
Paulino. At the time of his death, there were two pending civil cases against
Section 2, Rule 72, Part II of the same Rules of Court provides: Benedicto involving the petitioners. The first, Civil Case No. 95-9137, was then
pending with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City, Branch 44, with
Sec. 2. Applicability of rules of Civil Actions. - In the absence of special petitioner Alfredo Hilado as one of the plaintiffs therein. The second, Civil Case
provisions, the rules provided for in ordinary actions shall be, as far as No. 11178, was then pending with the RTC of Bacolod City, Branch 44, with
practicable, applicable in special proceedings. petitioners Lopez Sugar Corporation and First Farmers Holding Corporation as
one of the plaintiffs therein.
Stated differently, special provisions under Part II of the Rules of Court govern
special proceedings; but in the absence of special provisions, the rules provided Thereafter, private respondent Julita Campos Benedicto filed with the RTC of
for in Part I of the Rules governing ordinary civil actions shall be applicable to Manila a petition for the issuance of letters of administration in her favor,
special proceedings, as far as practicable. pursuant to Section 6, Rule 78 of the Revised Rules of Court. The Manila RTC
issued an order appointing private respondent as administrator of the estate of
The word "practicable" is defined as: possible to practice or perform; capable of her deceased husband, and issuing letters of administration in her favor. In
being put into practice, done or accomplished.4 This means that in the absence of January 2001, private respondent submitted an Inventory of the Estate, Lists of
special provisions, rules in ordinary actions may be applied in special proceedings Personal and Real Properties, and Liabilities of the Estate of her deceased
as much as possible and where doing so would not pose an obstacle to said husband. In the List of Liabilities attached to the inventory, private respondent
proceedings. Nowhere in the Rules of Court does it categorically say that rules in included as among the liabilities, the above-mentioned two pending claims then
ordinary actions are inapplicable or merely suppletory to special proceedings. being litigated before the Bacolod City courts.

Provisions of the Rules of Court requiring a certification of non-forum Subsequently, petitioners filed with the Manila RTC a Manifestation/Motion Ex
shopping for complaints and initiatory pleadings, a written explanation for Abundanti Cautela, praying that they be furnished with copies of all processes
non-personal service and filing, and the payment of filing fees for money claims and orders pertaining to the intestate proceedings. Private respondent opposed
against an estate would not in any way obstruct probate proceedings, thus, they the manifestation/motion, disputing the personality of petitioners to intervene in
are applicable to special proceedings such as the settlement of the estate of a the intestate proceedings of her husband. Even before the Manila RTC acted on
deceased person as in the present case. the manifestation/motion, petitioners filed an omnibus motion praying that the
Manila RTC set a deadline for the submission by private respondent of the
required inventory of the decedent’s estate. Petitioners also filed other pleadings
ALFREDO HILADO, LOPEZ SUGAR CORPORATION, FIRST FARMERS
or motions with the Manila RTC, alleging lapses on the part of private respondent
HOLDING CORPORATION, Petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF

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Atty. Maru Ali G. Sanchez
in her administration of the estate, and assailing the inventory that had been Issue 2: In the same manner that the Rules on Special Proceedings do not
submitted thus far as unverified, incomplete and inaccurate. provide a creditor or any person interested in the estate, the right to participate
in every aspect of the testate or intestate proceedings, but instead provides for
The Manila RTC denied the manifestation/motion, on the ground that specific instances when such persons may accordingly act in those proceedings,
petitioners are not interested parties within the contemplation of the Rules of we deem that while there is no general right to intervene on the part of the
Court to intervene in the intestate proceedings. The CA likewise dismissed the petitioners, they may be allowed to seek certain prayers or reliefs from the
petition. intestate court not explicitly provided for under the Rules, if the prayer or relief
sought is necessary to protect their interest in the estate, and there is no other
Issue 1: WON the creditors whose credit is based on contingent claim have the modality under the Rules by which such interests can be protected.
right to participate in the settlement proceedings by way of intervention under
Rule 119 of the Rules of Court Allowing creditors, contingent or otherwise, access to the records of the intestate
proceedings is an eminently preferable precedent than mandating the service of
Issue 2: WON the creditors petitioners, as persons interested in the intestate court processes and pleadings upon them. In either case, the interest of the
estate of the deceased person, are entitled to copies of all processes and orders creditor in seeing to it that the assets are being preserved and disposed of in
pertaining to the intestate proceedings accordance with the rules will be duly satisfied. Acknowledging their right to
access the records, rather than entitling them to the service of every court order
or pleading no matter how relevant to their individual claim, will be less
Held:
cumbersome on the intestate court, the administrator and the heirs of the
decedent, while providing a viable means by which the interests of the creditors
Issue 1: Notwithstanding Section 2 of Rule 72, intervention as set forth under in the estate are preserved.1awphi1
Rule 19 does not extend to creditors of a decedent whose credit is based on a
contingent claim. The definition of "intervention" under Rule 19 simply does not
Nonetheless, in the instances that the Rules on Special Proceedings do require
accommodate contingent claims.
notice to any or all "interested parties" the petitioners as "interested parties" will
be entitled to such notice. The instances when notice has to be given to
Section 1 of Rule 19 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure requires that an interested parties are provided in: (1) Sec. 10, Rule 85 in reference to the time
intervenor "has a legal interest in the matter in litigation, or in the success of and place of examining and allowing the account of the executor or
either of the parties, or an interest against both, or is so situated as to be administrator; (2) Sec. 7(b) of Rule 89 concerning the petition to authorize the
adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the custody executor or administrator to sell personal estate, or to sell, mortgage or
of the court x x x" While the language of Section 1, Rule 19 does not literally otherwise encumber real estates; and; (3) Sec. 1, Rule 90 regarding the hearing
preclude petitioners from intervening in the intestate proceedings, case law has for the application for an order for distribution of the estate residue. After all,
consistently held that the legal interest required of an intervenor "must be actual even the administratrix has acknowledged in her submitted inventory, the
and material, direct and immediate, and not simply contingent and expectant." existence of the pending cases filed by the petitioners.

Civil actions for tort or quasi-delict do not fall within the class of claims to be filed
under the notice to creditors required under Rule 86. 20 These actions, being as Heirs of TEOFILO GABATAN, namely: LOLITA GABATAN, POMPEYO
they are civil, survive the death of the decedent and may be commenced against GABATAN, PEREGRINO GABATAN, REYNALDO GABATAN, NILA GABATAN
the administrator pursuant to Section 1, Rule 87. AND JESUS JABINIS, RIORITA GABATAN TUMALA and FREIRA

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GABATAN, Petitioners, owners for more than fifty (50) years and enjoyed the fruits of the improvements
vs. Hon. COURT OF APPEALS and LOURDES EVERO PACANA, Respondents. thereon, to the exclusion of the whole world including respondent. Petitioners
clarified that Jesus Jabinis and Catalino Acantilado have no interest in the subject
land; the former is merely the husband of Teofilo’s daughter while the latter is
just a caretaker. Petitioners added that a similar case was previously filed by
Facts: respondent against Teofilo’s wife, Rita Vda. de Gabatan, on February 21, 1978,
docketed as Civil Case No. 5840 but the case was dismissed on May 3, 1983 for
lack of interest. Finally, petitioners contended that the complaint lacks or states
Case Filed: Recovery of Property and Ownership and Possession commenced by
no cause of action or, if there was any, the same has long prescribed and/or has
respondent Lourdes Evero Pacana against petitioners, heirs of Teofilo Gabatan,
been barred by laches.
Jesus Jabinis and Catalino Acantilado.

Issue: WON the determination of the legal heirs of the deceased person be made
Subject of the present controversy is a 1.1062 hectare parcel of land, identified
in special proceedings
as Lot 3095 C-5 and situated at Calinugan, Balulang, Cagayan de Oro City. This
lot was declared for taxation in the name of Juan Gabatan. In the complaint
before the RTC, respondent alleged that she is the sole owner of Lot 3095 C-5, Held: YES.
having inherited the same from her deceased mother, Hermogena Gabatan Evero
(Hermogena). Respondent further claimed that her mother, Hermogena, is the Jurisprudence dictates that the determination of who are the legal heirs of
only child of Juan Gabatan and his wife, Laureana Clarito. the deceased must be made in the proper special proceedings in court, and not in
an ordinary suit for recovery of ownership and possession of property. This must
Respondent alleged that upon the death of Juan Gabatan, Lot 3095 C-5 was take precedence over the action for recovery of possession and ownership.
entrusted to his brother, Teofilo Gabatan (Teofilo), and Teofilo’s wife, Rita
Gabatan, for administration. It was also claimed that prior to her death The Court has consistently ruled that the trial court cannot make a
Hermogena demanded for the return of the land but to no avail. After declaration of heirship in the civil action for the reason that such a declaration
Hermogena’s death, respondent also did the same but petitioners refused to heed can only be made in a special proceeding. Under Section 3, Rule 1 of the 1997
the numerous demands to surrender the subject property. According to Revised Rules of Court, a civil action is defined as one by which a party sues
respondent, when Teofilo and his wife died, petitioners Jesus Jabinis and Catalino another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress
Acantilado took possession of the disputed land despite respondent’s demands for of a wrong while a special proceeding is a remedy by which a party seeks to
them to vacate the same. establish a status, a right, or a particular fact. It is then decisively clear that the
declaration of heirship can be made only in a special proceeding inasmuch as the
In their answer, petitioners denied that respondent’s mother Hermogena was the petitioners here are seeking the establishment of a status or right.
daughter of Juan Gabatan with Laureana Clarito and that Hermogena or
respondent is the rightful heir of Juan Gabatan. Petitioners maintained that Juan HEIRS OF MAGDALENO YPON, NAMELY, ALVARO YPON, ERUDITA Y.
Gabatan died single in 1934 and without any issue and that Juan was survived by BARON, CICERO YPON, WILSON YPON, VICTOR YPON, AND HINIDINO Y.
one brother and two sisters, namely: Teofilo (petitioners’ predecessor-in- PEÑALOSA, PETITIONERS,
interest), Macaria and Justa. These siblings and/or their heirs, inherited the vs. GAUDIOSO PONTERAS RICAFORTE A.K.A. "GAUDIOSO E. YPON," AND
subject land from Juan Gabatan and have been in actual, physical, open, public, THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF TOLEDO CITY, RESPONDENTS.
adverse, continuous and uninterrupted possession thereof in the concept of
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Facts: In the more recent case of Milagros Joaquino v. Lourdes Reyes, the Court
reiterated its ruling that matters relating to the rights of filiation and
On July 29, 2010, petitioners, together with some of their cousins filed a heirship must be ventilated in the proper probate court in a special
complaint for Cancellation of Title and Reconveyance with Damages proceeding instituted precisely for the purpose of determining such
(subject complaint) against respondent Gaudioso Ponteras Ricaforte a.k.a. rights. Citing the case of Agapay v. Palang, this Court held that the status of an
"Gaudioso E. Ypon" (Gaudioso). illegitimate child who claimed to be an heir to a decedent's estate could not be
adjudicated in an ordinary civil action which, as in this case, was for the recovery
In their complaint, they alleged that Magdaleno Ypon (Magdaleno) died intestate of property.] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied; citations omitted)
and childless on June 28, 1968, leaving behind Lot Nos. 2-AA, 2-C, 2-F, and 2-J By way of exception, the need to institute a separate special proceeding for the
which were then covered by Transfer Certificates of Title (TCT) Nos. T-44 and T- determination of heirship may be dispensed with for the sake of practicality,
77-A. Claiming to be the sole heir of Magdaleno, Gaudioso executed an Affidavit as when the parties in the civil case had voluntarily submitted the issue to the
of Self-Adjudication and caused the cancellation of the aforementioned trial court and already presented their evidence regarding the issue of heirship,
certificates of title, leading to their subsequent transfer in his name under TCT and the RTC had consequently rendered judgment thereonor when a special
Nos. T-2637 and T-2638, to the prejudice of petitioners who are Magdaleno's proceeding had been instituted but had been finally closed and terminated, and
collateral relatives and successors-in-interest. hence, cannot be re-opened.[24]

In his Answer, Gaudioso alleged that he is the lawful son of Magdaleno as In this case, none of the foregoing exceptions, or those of similar nature, appear
evidenced by: (a) his certificate of Live Birth; (b) two (2) letters from Polytechnic to exist. Hence, there lies the need to institute the proper special proceeding in
School; and (c) a certified true copy of his passport.[9] Further, by way of order to determine the heirship of the parties involved, ultimately resulting to the
affirmative defense, he claimed that: (a) petitioners have no cause of action dismissal of Civil Case No. T-2246.
against him; (b) the complaint fails to state a cause of action; and (c) the case is
not prosecuted by the real parties-in-interest, as there is no showing that the Verily, while a court usually focuses on the complaint in determining whether the
petitioners have been judicially declared as Magdaleno's lawful heirs. same fails to state a cause of action, a court cannot disregard decisions material
to the proper appreciation of the questions before it. [25] Thus, concordant with
The RTC ruled for Gaudioso. It held that while the petitioners had established applicable jurisprudence, since a determination of heirship cannot be made in an
their relationship with Magdaleno in a previous special proceeding for the ordinary action for recovery of ownership and/or possession, the dismissal of Civil
issuance of a letter of administration, this did not mean that they could already Case No. T-2246 was altogether proper. In this light, it must be pointed out that
be considered as the decedent’s compulsory heirs. the RTC erred in ruling on Gaudioso's heirship which should, as herein discussed,
be threshed out and determined in the proper special proceeding. As such, the
Issue: WON heirship may be determined in an ordinary suit foregoing pronouncement should therefore be devoid of any legal effect.
__________________________________________________________
Ruling: NO.
JOSE S. MATUTE, petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS (Third Division)
In the early case of Litam, et al. v. Rivera, this Court ruled that the declaration and MATIAS S. MATUTE, respondents.
of heirship must be made in a special proceeding, and not in an
independent civil action. This doctrine was reiterated in Solivio v. Court of Facts:
Appeals x x x:
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August 20, 1965 when Carlos S. Matute, one of the Matute heirs and a full-blood It appears that shortly after the reception of evidence for the movants Carlos
brother of both the petitioner and the herein respondent Matias S. Matute, filed in Matute and the Candelario-Matute heirs, the respondent filed on January 8,
special proceeding 25876 (settlement of the Matute estate) a petition praying 1966a verified objection to the admission in evidence of the movants' exhibits on
for the removal of Matias as co-administrator and his (Carlos') the ground that the same were hearsay, self-serving, irrelevant and/or mere
appointment in such capacity. Carlos alleged that "for a period of more than photostatic copies of supposed originals which were never properly identified nor
two years from the date of his appointment (on May 29, 1963), said Matias S. produced in court. Four days later, or on January 12, 1966, the respondent
Matute has neglected to render a true, just and complete account of his filed with leave of court a "Motion to Dismiss and/or Demurrer to Evidence".
administration," and that he "is not only incompetent but also negligent in his
management of the estate under his charge consisting of five haciendas on Instead of resolving the foregoing motion, the probate judge issued the
account of a criminal charge for murder filed against him which is occupying most controverted order removing the respondent as co-administrator without giving
of his time." him the opportunity to adduce his own evidence despite his explicit reservation
that he be afforded the chance to introduce evidence in his behalf in the event of
The Court removed co-administrator, Matias S. Matute, as such co-administrator denial of his motion to dismiss and/or demurrer to evidence. We are of the view
of the estate and orders him to submit a final accounting of his administration that the above actuation of the probate judge constituted grave abuse of
together with his past administration accounts which have not been approved. discretion which dooms his improvident order as a nullity. In fact, even without
the respondent's reservation, it was the bounden duty of the probate judge to
Issue: WON the removal of Matias S. Matute was proper schedule the presentation and reception of the respondent's evidence before
disposing of the case on the merits because only the movants at that time had
presented their evidence. This duty is projected into bolder relief if we consider,
Ruling: NO. which we must, that the aforesaid motion is in form as well as in substance
a demurrer to evidence allowed by Rule 35, by virtue of which the defendant
The settled rule is that the removal of an administrator under section 2 of Rule does not lose his right to offer evidence in the event that his motion is denied.
82 lies within the discretion of the court appointing him. As aptly expressed in Said Rule states:
one case, 3 "The sufficiency of any ground for removal should thus be determined
by the said court, whose sensibilities are, in the first place, affected by any act or After the plaintiff has completed the presentation of his evidence, the
omission on the part of the administrator not conformable to or in disregard of defendant without waiving his right to offer evidence in the event the motion is
the rules or the orders of the court." Consequently, appellate tribunals are not granted, may move for a dismissal on the ground that upon the facts and law
disinclined to interfere with the action taken by a probate court in the matter of the plaintiff has shown no right to relief. (emphasis supplied)
the removal of an executor or administrator unless positive error or gross abuse
of discretion is shown. 4 The application of the abovecited Rule in special proceedings, like the
case at bar, is authorized by section 2 of Rule 72 which direct that in the
In the case at bar, we are constrained, however to nullify the disputed order of "absence of special provisions, the rules provided for in ordinary civil
removal because it is indubitable that the probate judge ousted the respondent actions shall be, as far as practicable, applicable in special proceedings."
from his trust without affording him the full benefit of a day in court, thus
denying him his cardinal right to due process.

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PACIFIC BANKING CORPORATION EMPLOYEES ORGANIZATION, PAULA S. reconsideration. On March 27, 1992, he granted the Union's Motion for issuance
PAUG, and its officers and members, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE of a writ of Execution.
COURT OF APPEALS and VITALIANO N. NAÑAGAS II, as Liquidator of
Pacific Banking Corporation, respondents._ In his order dated September 11, 1992, respondent judge of the RTC directed the
Liquidator to pay private respondents the total amount of their claim as preferred
Facts: creditors.

On July 5, 1985, the Pacific Banking Corporation (PaBC) was placed under The Liquidator received the order on September 16, 1992. On September 30,
receivership by the Central Bank of the Philippines pursuant to Resolution No. 1992 he moved for reconsideration, but his motion was denied by the court on
699 of its Monetary Board. A few months later, it was placed under October 2, 1992. He received the order denying his Motion for Reconsideration on
liquidation1 and a Liquidator was appointed. October 5, 1992. On October 14, 1992 he filed a Notice of Appeal from the orders
of September 16, 1992 and October 2, 1992. As in the case of the Union,
On April 7, 1986, the Central Bank filed with the Regional Trial Court of Manila however, the judge ordered the Notice of Appeal stricken off the record on the
Branch 31, a petition entitled "Petition for Assistance in the Liquidation of Pacific ground that it had been filed without authority of the Central Bank and beyond
Banking Corporation." 3 The petition was approved, after which creditors filed 15 days. In his order of October 28, 1992, the judge directed the execution of his
their claims with the court. September 11, 1992 order granting the Stockholders/ Investors' claim.

On March 13, 1989 the Pacific Banking Corporation Employees Organization The Liquidator filed separate Petitions for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus in
(Union for short), petitioner in G.R. No. 109373, filed a complaint-in- the Court of Appeals to set aside the orders of the trial court denying his appeal
intervention seeking payment of holiday pay, 13th month pay differential, from the orders granting the claims of Union and of the Stockholders/Investors.
salary increase differential, Christmas bonus, and cash equivalent of Sick Leave The two Divisions of the Court of Appeals, to which the cases were
Benefit due its members as employees of PaBC. separately raffled, rendered conflicting rulings.

The Liquidator received a copy of the order on September 16, 1991. On October In its decision of November 17, 1992 in CA-G.R. SP No. 27751 (now G.R. No.
16, 1991, he filed a Motion for Reconsideration and Clarification of the order. In 09373) the Fifth Division held in the case of the Union that the proceeding
his order of December 6, 1991, the judge modified his September 13, 1991 6 but before the trial court was a special proceeding and, therefore, the period
in effect denied the Liquidator's motion for reconsideration. This order was for appealing from any decision or final order rendered therein is 30
received by the Liquidator on December 9, 1991. The following day, days. Since the notice of appeal of the Liquidator was filed on the 30th day of his
December 10, 1991, he filed a Notice of Appeal and a Motion for Additional receipt of the decision granting the Union's claims, the appeal was brought on
Time to Submit Record on Appeal. On December 23, 1991, another Notice of time. The Fifth Division, therefore, set aside the orders of the lower court and
Appeal was filed by the Office of the Solicitor General in behalf of Nañagas. directed the latter to give due course to the appeal of the Liquidator and set the
Record on Appeal he had filed for hearing.
In his order of February 10, 1992, respondent judge disallowed the
Liquidator's Notice of Appeal on the ground that it was late, i.e., more On the other hand, on December 16, 1993, the Fourteenth Division ruled in CA-
than 15 days after receipt of the decision. The judge declared his September G.R. SP No. 29351 (now G.R. No. 112991) in the case of the
13, 1991 order and subsequent orders to be final and executory and denied Stockholders/Investors that a liquidation proceeding is an ordinary
action. Therefore, the period for appealing from any decision or final

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order rendered therein is 15 days and that since the Liquidator's appeal affirmative relief for injury arising from a party's wrongful act or omission nor
notice was filed on the 23rd day of his receipt of the order appealed from, state a cause of action that can be enforced against any person.
deducting the period during which his motion for reconsideration was pending,
the notice of appeal was filed late. Accordingly, the Fourteenth Division dismissed 3. Rule 73- Subject Estate of Deceased Persons
the Liquidator's petition.
AMELIA GARCIA-QUIAZON, JENNETH QUIAZON and MARIA JENNIFER
Issue: WON liquidation proceeding is an ordinary action or a special proceeding QUIAZON vs. MA. LOURDES BELEN, for and in behalf of MARIA LOURDES
ELISE QUIAZON
Ruling: Special Proceeding
FACTS:
§1. Action defined. — Action means an ordinary suit in a court of justice, by
which the party prosecutes another for the enforcement or protection of a right, Maria Lourdes Elise Quiazon (Elise), represented by her mother, Ma.
or the prevention or redress of a wrong. Lourdes Belen (Lourdes), filed a Petition for Letters of Administration before
the RTC of Las Piñas City. Elise claims that she is the natural child of Eliseo
§2. Special Proceeding Distinguished. — Every other remedy, including one to having been conceived and born at the time when her parents were both
establish the status or right of a party or a particular fact, shall be by special capacitated to marry each other.
proceeding.
Elise impugned the validity of Eliseo’s marriage to Amelia Quizaon by claiming
Elucidating the crucial distinction between an ordinary action and a special that it was bigamous for having been contracted during the subsistence of the
proceeding, Chief Justice Moran states:" 11 latter’s marriage with one Filipito Sandico. To prove her filiation to the
decedent, Elise attached to the Petition for Letters of Administration her
Action is the act by which one sues another in a court of justice for the Certificate of Live Birth signed by Eliseo as her father. It was alleged that Eliseo
enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong left real properties worth P2,040,000 and personal properties worth P2,100,000.
while special proceeding is the act by which one seeks to establish the status or
right of a party, or a particular fact. Hence, action is distinguished from special In order to preserve the estate of Eliseo and to prevent the dissipation of its
proceeding in that the former is a formal demand of a right by one against value, Elise sought her appointment as administratrix of her late father’s estate.
another, while the latter is but a petition for a declaration of a status, right or
fact. Where a party litigant seeks to recover property from another, his remedy is Claiming that the venue of the petition was improperly laid, Amelia, with her
to file an action. Where his purpose is to seek the appointment of a guardian for children, Jenneth and Jennifer, opposed the issuance of the letters of
an insane, his remedy is a special proceeding to establish the fact or status of administration by filing an Opposition/Motion to Dismiss. The petitioners asserted
insanity calling for an appointment of guardianship. that as
shown by his Death Certificate, Eliseo was a resident of Capas, Tarlac and not of
Considering this distinction, a petition for liquidation of an insolvent Las Piñas City, at the time of his death. Pursuant to Section 1, Rule 73 of the
corporation should be classified a special proceeding and not an ordinary Revised Rules of Court, the petition for settlement of decedent’s estate should
action. Such petition does not seek the enforcement or protection of a right nor have been filed in Capas, Tarlac and not in Las Piñas City. In addition to their
the prevention or redress of a wrong against a party. It does not pray for claim of improper venue, the petitioners averred that there are no factual and
legal bases for Elise to be appointed administratix of Eliseo’s estate.

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The RTC directed the issuance of Letters of Administration to Elise upon posting proceedings have one and the same meaning. As thus defined, "residence," in
the necessary bond. The lower court ruled that the venue of the petition was the context of venue provisions, means nothing more than a person’s actual
properly laid in Las Piñas City, thereby discrediting the position taken by the residence or place of abode, provided he resides therein with continuity and
petitioners that Eliseo’s last residence was in Capas, Tarlac, as hearsay. consistency.

On appeal, the decision of the trial court was affirmed in toto by the CA and held It is evident from the records that during his lifetime, Eliseo resided at No. 26
that Elise was able to prove that Eliseo and Lourdes lived together as husband Everlasting Road, Phase 5, Pilar Village, Las Piñas City. For this reason, the venue
and wife by establishing a common residence in Las Piñas City, from 1975 up to for the settlement of his estate may be laid in the said city.
the time of Eliseo’s death in 1992. For purposes of fixing the venue of the
settlement of Eliseo’s estate, CA upheld the conclusion reached by the RTC that
the decedent was a resident of Las Piñas City. The petitioners’ Motion for G.R. No. 95536 March 23, 1992
Reconsideration was denied by the CA. Hence, this petition.
ANICETO G. SALUDO, JR., MARIA SALVACION SALUDO, LEOPOLDO G.
ISSUES: SALUDO and SATURNINO G. SALUDO, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS,
TRANS WORLD AIRLINES, INC., and PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC.
Whether or not Eliseo Quiazon was a resident of Las PiÑas and therefore, the
petition for Letter's of Administration was properly filed with the RTC of Las (no relevance to Rule 73)
PiÑas.
GR No. L-33929 September 02, 1983
RULING: YES We find the petition bereft of merit.
PHILIPPINE SAVINGS BANK v. GREGORIO T. LANTIN
Under Section 1, Rule 73 of the Rules of Court, the petition for letters of
administration of the estate of a decedent should be filed in the RTC of the
(no relevance to Rule 73)
province where the decedent resides at the time of his death.
The term "resides" connotes ex vi termini "actual residence" as distinguished
from "legal residence or domicile." This term "resides," like the terms "residing" G.R. No. L-57848 June 19, 1982
and "residence," is elastic and should be interpreted in the light of the object or
purpose of the statute or rule in which it is employed. In the application of venue RAFAEL E. MANINANG and SOLEDAD L. MANINANG vs. COURT OF
statutes and rules – Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court is of such APPEALS, HON. RICARDO L. PRONOVE, JR., as Judge of the Court of First
nature – residence rather than domicile is the significant factor. Even where the Instance of Rizal and BERNARDO S. ASENETA
statute uses word "domicile" still it is construed as meaning residence and not
domicile in the technical sense. Some cases make a distinction between (no relevance to Rule 73)
the terms "residence" and "domicile" but as generally used in statutes
fixing venue, the terms are synonymous, and convey the same meaning as the FACTS:
term "inhabitant." In other words, "resides" should be viewed or understood in its Clemencia, left a holographic will which provides that all her properties shall be
popular sense, meaning, the personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, inherited by Dra. Maninang with whose family Clemencia has lived continuously
actual residence or place of abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and for the last 30 years. The will also provided that she does not consider Bernardo
actual stay thereat. Venue for ordinary civil actions and that for special
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as his adopted son. Bernardo, as the adopted son, claims to be the sole heir of ANTONIO B. BALTAZAR, SEBASTIAN M. BALTAZAR, ANTONIO L.
decedent Clemencia Aseneta, instituted intestate proceedings. MANGALINDAN, ROSIE M. MATEO, NENITA A. PACHECO, VIRGILIO
REGALA, JR., and RAFAEL TITCO vs. LORENZO LAXA
ISSUE:
Was Bernardo preterited? no relevance to Rule 73, (applies Rules 75, 76)

HELD: FACTS: Paciencia was a 78 y/o spinster when she made her last will and
In the instant case, a crucial issue that calls for resolution is whether under the testament in the Pampango dialect on Sept. 13, 1981. The will, executed in the
terms of the decedent's Will, private respondent had been preterited or house of retired Judge Limpin, was read to Paciencia twice. After which, Paciencia
disinherited, and if the latter, whether it was a valid disinheritance. Preterition expressed in the presence of the instrumental witnesses that the document is her
and disinheritance are two diverse concepts. last will and testament. She thereafter affixed her signature at the end of the
Preterition consists in the omission in the testator's will of the forced heirs or said document on page 3 and then on the left margin of pages 1, 2 and 4
anyone of them, either because they are not mentioned therein, or, though thereof.
mentioned, they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly
disinherited. Disinheritance is a testamentary disposition depriving any Childless and without any brothers or sisters, Paciencia bequeathed all her
compulsory heirs of his share in the legitime for a cause authorized by law. properties to respondent Lorenzo Laxa and his wife Corazon Laza and their
children Luna and Katherine. Lorenzo is Paciencia’s nephew whom she treated as
By virtue of the dismissal of the testate case, the determination of that her own son. Conversely, Lorenzo came to know and treated Paciencia as his own
controversial issue has not been thoroughly considered. The conclusion of the mother.
trial court was that Bernardo has been preterited. The SC is of opinion, however,
that from the face of the will, that conclusion is not indubitable. Such preterition More than 4 years after the death of Paciencia or on Apr. 27, 2000, Lorenzo filed
is still questionable. The Special Proceeding is REMANDED to the lower court. a petition with the RTC of Guagua, Pampanga for the probate of the Will of
Paciencia and for the issuance of Letters of Administration in his favor.
G.R. No. L-3039 December 29, 1949
On Jun 23, 2000 one of petitioners, Antonio Baltazar filed an opposition to
VICTORIA REYNOSO and JUAN REYNOSO Lorenzo’s petition. Antonio averred that the properties subject of Paciencia’s Will
vs. belong to Nicomeda Mangalindan, his predecessor-in-interest; hence, Paciencia
VICENTE SANTIAGO, Judge of the Court of First Instance of Quezon, PIA had no right to bequeath them to Lorenzo. Also, one of the petitioners, Rosie
REYNOSO, AGUSTINA REYNOSO, MELITON PALABRICA, LEONCIO CADIZ, Mateo testified that Paciencia is in the state of being “mangulyan” or forgetful
ET AL. making her unfit for executing a will and that the execution of the will had been
procured by undue and improper pressure and influence.
no relevance to Rule 73 (applies Rules 79, 87)
Petitioners also opposed the issuance of the Letters of Administration in Lorenzo’s
favor arguing that Lorenzo was disqualified to be appointed as such, he being a
G.R. No. 174489 April 11, 2012 citizen and resident of the USA. Petitioners prayed that Letters of Administration
be instead issued in favor of Antonio.

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RTC denies the petition for probate of the will and concluded that when Paciencia
signed the will, she was no longer possessed of the sufficient reason or strength -no relevance to Rule 73 (applies Rule 76)
of mind to have the testamentary capacity. On appeal, CA reversed the decision
of the RTC and granted the probate of the will. The petitioner went up to SC for a FACTS:
petition for review on Certiorari. On September 21, 1988, private respondents filed a petition for the
settlement of the intestate estate of the late Segundo Seangio. Petitioners Dy
ISSUE: Whether the authenticity and due execution of the will was sufficiently Yieng, Barbara and Virginia, all surnamed Seangio, opposed the petition. They
established to warrant its allowance for probate. contended that: 1) Dy Yieng is still very healthy and in full command of her
faculties; 2) the deceased Segundo executed a general power of attorney in favor
RULING: Yes. A careful examination of the face of the Will shows faithful of Virginia giving her the power to manage and exercise control and supervision
compliance with the formalities laid down by law. The signatures of the testatrix, over his business in the Philippines; 3) Virginia is the most competent and
Paciencia, her instrumental witnesses and the notary public, are all present and qualified to serve as the administrator of the estate of Segundo because she is a
evident on the Will. Further, the attestation clause explicitly states the critical certified public accountant; and, 4) Segundo left a holographic will, dated
requirement that the testatrix and her instrumental witnesses attested and September 20, 1995, disinheriting one of the private respondents, Alfredo
subscribed to the Will in the presence of the testator and of one another. In fact, Seangio, for cause. In view of the purported holographic will, petitioners averred
even the petitioners acceded that the signature of Paciencia in the Will may be that in the event the decedent is found to have left a will, the intestate
authentic although they question of her state of mind when she signed the same proceedings are to be automatically suspended and replaced by the proceedings
as well as the voluntary nature of said act. for the probate of the will. On April 7, 1999, a petition for the probate of the
The burden to prove that Paciencia was of unsound mind at the time of the holographic will of Segundo, was filed by petitioners before the RTC.
execution of the will lies on the shoulders of the petitioners. The SC agree with The document that petitioners refer to as Segundo’s holographic will is
the position of the CA that the state of being forgetful does not necessarily make entitled as: “Kasulatan sa pag-aalis ng mana”
a person mentally unsound so as to render him unfit to execute a Will.
Forgetfulness is not equivalent to being of unsound mind. Besides, Art. 799 of the ISSUE:
NCC states: “To be of unsound mind, it is not necessary that the testator be in Whether or not there is preterition in the case at bar
full possession of all his reasoning faculties, or that his mind be wholly unbroken,
unimpaired, or unshattered by disease, injury or other cause. It shall be sufficient RULING:
if the testator was able at the time of making the Will to know the nature of the The Court believes that the compulsory heirs in the direct line were not
estate to be disposed of, the proper objects of his bounty, and the character of preterited in the will. It was, in the Court’s opinion, Segundo’s last expression to
the testamentary act.” bequeath his estate to all his compulsory heirs, with the sole exception of
Alfredo. Also, Segundo did not institute an heir to the exclusion of his other
G.R. Nos. 140371-72 November 27, 2006 compulsory heirs. The mere mention of the name of one of the petitioners,
Virginia, in the document did not operate to institute her as the universal heir.
DY YIENG SEANGIO, BARBARA D. SEANGIO and VIRGINIA D. SEANGIO Her name was included plainly as a witness to the altercation between Segundo
vs.HON. AMOR A. REYES, in her capacity as Presiding Judge, Regional and his son, Alfredo. Considering that the questioned document is Segundo’s
Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region, Branch 21, Manila, ALFREDO holographic will, and that the law favors testacy over intestacy, the probate of
D. SEANGIO, ALBERTO D. SEANGIO, ELISA D. SEANGIO-SANTOS, VICTOR the will cannot be dispensed with. Article 838 of the Civil Code provides that no
D. SEANGIO, ALFONSO D. SEANGIO, SHIRLEY D. SEANGIO-LIM, BETTY D. will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in
SEANGIO-OBAS and JAMES D. SEANGIO
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accordance with the Rules of Court. Thus, unless the will is probated, the right of We rule that the last place of residence of the deceased Amado G. Garcia was at
a person to dispose of his property may be rendered nugatory. 11 Carmel Avenue, Carmel Subdivision, Quezon City, and not at Calamba,
Laguna. A death certificate is admissible to prove the residence of the decedent
G.R. No. L-40502 November 29, 1976 at the time of his death.
VIRGINIA GARCIA FULE, and HONORABLE SEVERO A. MALVAR, Presiding
Judge, Court of First Instance of Laguna, Branch Vl We lay down the doctrinal rule that the term "resides" connotes ex vi
vs. termini "actual residence" as distinguished from "legal residence or domicile."
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, * PRECIOSA B. GARCIA and This term "resides," like, the terms "residing" and "residence," is elastic and
AGUSTINA B. GARCIA should be interpreted in the light of the object or purpose of the statute or rule in
which it is employed. In the application of venue statutes and rules — Section 1,
G.R. No. L-42670 November 29, 1976 Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court is of such nature — residence rather
VIRGINIA GARCIA FULE than domicile is the significant factor. Even where the statute uses the word
vs. "domicile" still it is construed as meaning residence and not domicile in the
HONORABLE ERNANI C. PAÑO, Presiding Judge of Court of First Instance technical sense. Some cases make a distinction between the terms "residence"
of Rizal, Quezon City, Branch XVIII, and PRECIOSA B. GARCIA and "domicile" but as generally used in statutes fixing venue, the terms are
synonymous, and convey the same meaning as the term "inhabitant." In other
FACTS: words, "resides" should be viewed or understood in its popular sense, meaning,
the personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence or place
On May 2, 1973, Virginia G. Fule filed with the Court of First Instance of Laguna, of abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat. In this
at Calamba, presided over by Judge Severo A. Malvar, a petition for letters of popular sense, the term means merely residence, that is, personal residence, not
administration, alleging, inter alia, "that on April 26, 1973, Amado G. Garcia, a legal residence or domicile. Residence simply requires bodily presence as
property owner of Calamba, Laguna, died intestate in the City of Manila, leaving an inhabitant in a given place, while domicile requires bodily presence in that
real estate and personal properties in Calamba, Laguna, and in other places, place and also an intention to make it one's domicile. No particular length of time
within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court." At the same time, she moved of residence is required though; however, the residence must be more than
ex parte for her appointment as special administratrix over the estate. On even temporary.
date, May 2, 1973, Judge Malvar granted the motion.
G.R. No. 128314 May 29, 2002
On July 19, 1973, Preciosa B. Garcia filed an opposition to the original and
supplemental petitions for letters of administration, raising the issues of RODOLFO V. JAO vs. COURT OF APPEALS and PERICO V. JAO
jurisdiction, venue, lack of interest of Virginia G. Fule in the estate of Amado G.
Garcia, and disqualification of Virginia G Fule as special administratrix. FACTS:

ISSUE: Rodolfo and Perico Jao were the only sons of the spouses Ignacio Jao Tayag and
Whether or not the petition was filed in the proper court with jurisdiction Andrea V. Jao, who died intestate in 1988 and 1989, respectively.The decedents
considering the residence of the decedent. left real estate, cash, shares of stock and other personal properties.

RULING: NO. On April 17, 1991, Perico instituted a petition for issuance of letters of
administration before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 99, over
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the estate of his parents. Rodolfo moved to dismiss the petition on the ground of or place of abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay
improper venue. He argued that their parents did not reside in Quezon City either thereat.
during their lifetime or at the time of their deaths. Their actual residence was in In this popular sense, the term means merely residence, that is, personal
Angeles City, Pampanga, and moved to Rodolfo’s residence at 61 Scout Gandia residence, not legal residence or
Street, Quezon City, solely for medical treatment and hospitalization purposes. domicile.” In addition, there is no distinction between venue for ordinary civil
actions and that for special proceedings. They have one and the same meaning.
Perico countered that their parents actually resided in Rodolfo’s house in Quezon As thus defined, “residence”, in the context of venue provisions, means nothing
City at the time of their deaths. As a matter of fact, it was conclusively declared more than a person’s actual residence or place of abode, provided
in their death certificates that their last residence before they died was at 61 he resides therein with continuity and consistency.
Scout Gandia Street, Quezon City. Rodolfo himself even supplied the entry
appearing on the death certificate of their mother, Andrea, and affixed his own G.R. No. L-6379 September 29, 1954
signature on the said document. The RTC denied Rodolfo’s motion to dismiss. The
CA affirmed the RTC’s order. In the matter of the petition of WILFRED UYTENGSU to be admitted a
citizen of the Philippine. WILFRED UYTENGSU vs. REPUBLIC OF THE
ISSUE: PHILIPPINES
Whether or not the proper venue for the settlement proceedings should be held
in Quezon City. no relevance to Rule 73

RULING: YES. FACTS:


In determining residence at the time of death, the following factors must be
considered, namely, the decedent had: Petitioner-appellee was born, of Chinese parents, in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental
(a) capacity to choose and freedom of choice; on October 6, 1927. Early in 1946, he studied, for one semester, in the Mapua
(b) physical presence at the place chosen; and Institute of Technology, in Manila. Soon after, he went to the United States,
(c) intention to stay therein permanently. where, from 1947 to 1950, he was enrolled in the Leland Stanford Junior
University, in California, and was graduated, in 1950, with the degree of Bachelor
There is substantial proof that the decedents have transferred to petitioner’s of Science. In April of the same year he returned to the Philippines for four (4)
Quezon City residence. Petitioner failed to sufficiently refute respondent’s months vacation. Then, to be exact, on July 15, 1950, his present application for
assertion that their elderly parents stayed in his house for some three to four naturalization was filed. Forthwith, he returned to the United States and took a
years before they died in the late 1980s. The decedents’ respective death post-graduate course, in chemical engineering, in another educational institution,
certificates state that they were both residents of Quezon City at the time of their in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He finished this course in July 1951; but did not return to
demise. Significantly, it was petitioner himself who filled up his late mother’s the Philippines until October 13, 1951. Hence, the hearing of the case, originally
death certificate. This unqualifiedly shows that at that time, at least, scheduled to take place on July 12, 1951, had to be postponed on motion of
petitioner recognized his deceased mother’s residence to be Quezon counsel for the petitioner.
City. Moreover, petitioner failed to contest the entry in Ignacio’s death certificate,
accomplished a year earlier by respondent.
ISSUE:
InGarcia-Fule v. Court of Appeals, the Court clarified that the term “resides” Whether or not the application for naturalization may be granted,
means “the personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence notwithstanding the fact that petitioner left the Philippines immediately after the
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filing of his petition and did not return until several months after the first date set Later, Adoracion Valera Bringas, who claims to be an acknowledged natural child
for the hearing thereof. of Francisco Valera, was appointed administratrix. She filed on April 16, 1964 in
the intestate proceeding a petition to require "Celso Valera and family and
RULING: NO. Angelita de Valera and family to pay P100.00" as monthly rental for the one-
Immediately after the filing of his application — and notwithstanding the explicit third pro-indiviso portion of the Valera residence located in Bangued, Abra.
promise therein made by him, under oath, to the effect that he would reside
continuously in the Philippines "from the date of the filing of his petition up to the Celso Valera interposed an opposition to it on the ground that Francisco Valera
time of his admission to Philippine citizenship" — he returned to the United had no interest in the Valera residence, that the property was never leased and
States, where he stayed, continuously, until October 13, 1951. that the remedy of Mrs. Bringas was "in a appropriate remedy and/or procedure"
and not in the intestate proceeding. The lower court subsequently granted the
There is a difference between domicile and residence. "Residence" is used to petition.
indicate the place of abode, whether permanent or temporary; "domicile" denotes
a fixed permanent residence to which, when absent, one has the intention of The said heirs, through Atty. Angel V. Colet, a son-in-law of Mrs. Valera, filed a
returning. A man may have a residence in one place and a domicile in another." motion for the reconsideration of that order. They contended that the Valera
"Residence is not domicile, but domicile is residence coupled with intention to residence "should be excluded from the inventory," because that was their
remain for an unlimited time. A man can have but one domicile for one and the "absolute property of which they have been in complete possession and
same purpose at any time, but he may have numerous places of residence. His occupation". Mrs. Bringas replied that Francisco Valera's estate had "already
place of residence generally is his place of domicile, but is not by any means consolidated" its ownership over that one-third partition "through the submission
necessarily as, since no length of residence without intention of remaining will of the inventory and its approval" by the probate court.
constitute domicile.
In an order dated April 15, 1966, respondent Judge Macario M. Ofilada denied the
motion for reconsideration filed by the heirs of Virgilio Valera and granted the
Petitioner has not complied with the requirements of section 7 of Commonwealth
motion of Mrs. Bringas for execution and for the delivery of certain funds and
Act No. 473, and with the aforementioned promise made by him in his
properties.
application, and, accordingly, is not entitled, in the present proceedings, to a
judgment in his favor. In this present case, petitioners assail the brief, three-sentence order of July 10,
1964 on the following grounds: (a) that it decided the issue of ownership as to
VALERA vs OFILADA, G.R. No. L-27526, Sep. 12, 1974 the one-third pro-indiviso share of Francisco Valera in the Valera residence, an
issue, which according to them, is beyond the court's probate jurisdiction; (b)
FACTS: that it was issued without the benefit of a trial on the merits and without hearing
all the parties involved; (c) that it does not contain findings of fact and law; (d)
Civil Case No. 64, R-1 of the Court of First Instance of Abra is a special
that it is a judgment for a money claim which should have been filed in the
proceeding for the settlement of the intestate estate of Francisco Valera. Virgilio
proceedings for the settlement of the estate of the deceased debtor, Virgilio
Valera was the administrator of the estate, He died on March 21, 1961. He was
Valera, and (e) that the order has no basis in substantive law.
survived by his widow, Angelita Garduque Vda. de Valera and their ten (10)
children, named Amanda, Oscar, Dionisio, Benito, Felixberto, Eva, Lita, Toniette, The petitioners attack Judge Ofilada's order of April 15, 1966 on the following
Vicenta and Teresita, all petitioners herein, except Vicenta and Teresita, who grounds: (a) that, as a probate judge, he had no jurisdiction to require the heirs
were abroad. of Virgilio Valera to account for the fruits of the six parcels of land administered
by him and that a separate action should be filed or the proper claim should be
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made against his estate; (b) that he had no jurisdiction to order the heirs of 1965 belong to the estate of Francisco Valera. The tax declarations for those
Virgilio Valera to deliver to Mrs. Bringas the sum of P4,784.98 as "insurance and properties are in the name of the deceased Virgilio Valera.
war damage monies collected by Virgilio Valera"; (c) that Section 8, Rule 87 of
the Rules of Court contemplates that "double the value of the fruits and monies" Their inclusion in the inventory is not conclusive as to the ownership. "Questions
should be recovered in an "action" and not in an intestate proceeding, and (d) on title to real property cannot be determined in testate or intestate proceedings.
that the order was issued without any trial on the merits and it does not contain It has, however, been held that for the purpose of determining whether a certain
findings of fact and law. 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
ISSUE: Whether the lower court, sitting as a probate court in the subject to the final decision in a separate action to he instituted between the
intestate proceeding for the estate of Francisco Valera, could hold the parties."
heirs of Virgilio Valera answerable for certain supposed monetary
liabilities of the latter to the estate and enforce said liabilities against MACIAS vs UY KIM, G.R. No. L-31174, May 30, 1972
the properties of the deceased Virgilio Valera.
FACTS:
HELD:
Petitioner-appellant Manuel Y. Macias filed on December 2, 1969 a petition for
We hold that the trial court, as a probate court, erred in adjudging in the said review by certiorari against respondents Uy Kim, Andres Co, Nemesio Co, Nicasio
intestate proceeding the monetary liabilities of the late Virgilio Valera to the Co, Manuel Sosantong, Reliable Realty Corporation, and Branch X of the Manila
estate of Francisco Valera and in issuing a writ of execution against his properties Court of First Instance. It appearing from the complaint that there is presently
to enforce the supposed liabilities. pending in Branch VIII of this Court Special Proceeding No. 63866 for the
settlement of the inheritance of the deceased Rosina Marguerite Wolfson. That
There is merit in the petitioners' contention that the probate court generally the plaintiff claims to be a beneficiary by hereditary title of her estate. It being
cannot issue a writ of execution. It is not supposed to issue a writ of execution unquestionable that the authority to distribute the inheritance of a deceased
because its orders usually refer to the adjudication of claims against the estate person and determine the persons entitled thereto belongs exclusively to the
which the executor or administrator may satisfy without the necessity of court or branch thereof taking cognizance of the proceedings for its settlement
resorting to a writ of execution. The probate court, as such, does not render any (Branch VIII) in this case. The orders sought to be annulled and set aside by
judgment enforceable by execution. herein petitioner-appellant in his complaint against private respondents which
was assigned to Branch X of the Manila Court of First Instance presided over by
The circumstance that the Rules of Court expressly specifies that the probate Judge Jose L. Moya, were issued by Judge Barcelona presiding over Branch VIII
court may issue execution (a) to satisfy the contributive shares of devisees, of the same court. The Petitoner filed a separate civil case in Branch X, seeks to
legatees and heirs in possession of the decedent's assets (Sec. 6, Rule 88), (b) to recover his distributive share of the estate of the decedent Rosina.
enforce payment of the expenses of partition (Sec. 3, Rule 90), and (e) to satisfy
the costs when a person is cited for examination in probate proceedings (Sec. 13, ISSUE: Whether or not the Judge of Branch X of the Manila Court of First
Rule 142) may mean, under the rule of inclusion unius est exclusion alterius, that Instance can legally interfere with, or pass upon the validity of said
those are the only instances when it can issue a writ of execution. orders of the Judge of Branch VIII, as the probate court.
The record reveals that there is a dispute between Mrs. Bringas and the heirs of HELD:
Virgilio Valera as to whether one-third of the Valera residence and the six parcels
of land listed in the "Amended Incomplete Inventory, etc." dated August 31,
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No, Branch VIII as the probate court has exclusive jurisdiction over the estate of The Probate Court presided by Judge Adil held that there has been an implied
the decedent, including the validity of the will, the declaration of heirs, the trust created, therefore the fishpond should be restored to the estate of the
disposition of the estate for the payment of its liabilities, and the distribution spouses pursuant to Arts. 1453 and 1455 of the Civil Code
among the heirs of the residue thereof. Under Section 1 of Rule 73, Rules of
Court, "the court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estates of the .Pursuant thereto, he directed the sheriff to enforcere conveyance of the fishpond
deceased, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts." Pursuant to the estate. The fishpond was leased by the Garin Heirs to Fabiana, who
to this provision, therefore all questions concerning the settlement of the estate although willingly surrendered it to the sheriff, later filed a complaint-in-
of the deceased Rosina Marguerite Wolfson should be filed before Branch VIII of intervention. This was dismissed so he instituted a separate action for
the Manila Court of First Instance, then presided over by former Judge, now injunction and damages.
Justice of the Court of Appeals, Manuel Barcelona, where Special Proceedings No.
63866 for the settlement of the testate estate of the deceased Rosina Marguerite Court of Appeals reversed (fishpond to be returned to Garin Heirs and their
Wolfson was filed and is still pending. The reason for this provision of the law is lessee Fabiana) saying that:
obvious. The settlement of the estate of a deceased person in court constitutes
(1) Probate Court had no jurisdiction;
but one proceeding. For the successful administration of that estate it is
necessary that there should be but one responsible entity, one court, which (2) that the Title of the Garin Heirs is a stronger claim that rebuts the
should have exclusive control of every part of such administration. To intrust it to presumption that the estate owns the fishpond; and
two or more courts, each independent of the other, would result in confusion and
delay. The Court cannot ignore the proclivity or tendency of appellant herein to (3) that assuming the Probate Court had competence toresolve ownership, a
file several actions covering the same subject matter or seeking substantially separate action has to be filed.
identical relief, which is unduly burdening the courts.
Issue:
VALERA vs INSERTO, G.R. No. L-56504, May 17, 1987
WON Probate Court had authority to order reconveyance of the fishpond?
FACTS:
Held:
Rafael Valera was granted leasehold rights over an 18hectare fishpond in Iloilo
by the government to last during his lifetime. NO.

He transferred it by “fictitious sale” to his daughter Teresa to support her children Ratio:
with the agreement that when the children finishes schooling, the fishpond will be
The CFI (now RTC), acting as Probate Court, exercises but limited jurisdiction,
returned to him.
and thus has no power to take cognizance of and determine the issue of title to
Valera and his spouse Consolacion Sarosa and their child Teresa died. The heirs property claimed by a third person adversely to the decedent, unless the
of Teresa- her husband Jose Garin and their children bought the fishpond from claimant and all the Other parties having legal interest in the property consent,
the government, acquiring title thereto. expressly or impliedly, to the submission of the question to the Probate Court for
adjudgment, or the interests of third persons are not thereby prejudiced. This is
The administrators of the spouses Rafael Valera and Consolacion Sarrosa claim issue is not a jurisdictional, but procedural, involving a mode of practice which
that the fishpond should be returned to the spouses’ estates. may be waived.

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The facts obtaining in this case, however, do not call for the application of the During the extrajudicial settlement of the estate, Rufina, the mother of Francisco
exception to the rule. It was at all times clear to the Court as well as to the et al., adjudicated to herself all the property of Irene including the salt beds in
parties that if cognizance was being taken of the question of title over the question. She then executed a deed of Confirmation of Sale wherein she
fishpond, it was not for the purpose of settling the issue definitely and confirmed and ratified the 1971 deed of sale and renounced and waived whatever
permanently, and writing "finis" thereto, the question being explicitly left for rights and interests and participation she may have in the property in question in
determination "in an ordinary civil action," but merely to determine whether it favor of the petitioners. The deed was annotated in T.C.T. No. 10477.
should or should not be included in the inventory. This function of resolving Subsequently, T.C.T. No. 12665 was issued in favor of the petitioners.
whether or not property should be included in the estate inventory is, to be sure,
one clearly within the Probate Court's competence, although the Court's In 1978, Domingo Antigua, who allegedly was chosen by the heirs of Irene to act
determination is only provisional in character, not conclusive, and is subject to as administrator, was appointed administrator by the CFI of Cebu. Antigua
the final decision in a separate action that may be instituted by the parties. included the salt bed in the inventory of Irene’s estate and asked the Cebu CFI to
order petitioners to deliver the salt to him. The Cebu CFI granted the same.
Since the determination by the Probate Court of the question of title to the
fishpond was merely provisional, the fishpond cannot be the subject ISSUE: Whether a court handling the intestate proceedings has
of execution, as against its possessor who has set up title in himself (or in jurisdiction over parcels of land already covered by a TCT issued in favor
another) adversely to the decedent, and whose right to possess has not been owners who are not parties to the intestate proceedings if the said
ventilated and adjudicated in an appropriate action. These considerations assume parcels of have been?
greater cogency where, as here, the Torrens title to the property is not in the
decedents' names but in others. HELD:

A separate action must be instituted by the administrator to recover the property. 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
Decision of the CA AFFIRMED. claimed to be a part of the estate and which are equally claimed to belong to
outside parties. All said court could do is to determine whether they should or
CUIZON vs RAMOLETE, G.R. No. L-51291, May 29, 1984 should not be included in the inventory of properties to be administered by the
administrator. If there is dispute, then the administrator and the opposing parties
FACTS: have to resort to an ordinary action for a final determination of the conflicting
claims of title because the probate court cannot do so.
As early as 1961, Marciano Cuizon applied for the registration of several parcels
of land in Mandaue City docketed as L.R. Case No. N-179. In 1970, he distributed In the instant case, the property involved is not only claimed by outside parties
his property between his two daughters, Rufina and Irene, to whom the salt beds but it was sold seven years before the death of the decedent and is duly titled in
subject of the controversy was given. In 1971, Irene executed a Deed of Sale the name of the vendees who are not party to the proceedings.
with Reservation of Usufruct involving the said salt beds in favor of petitioners
Franciso et al. In Bolisay vs. Alcid, the Court held that “if a property covered by Torrens Title is
involved, the presumptive conclusiveness of such title should be given due
Although the decision in L.R. Case No. N-179 was rendered way back in 1972, weight, and in the absence of strong compelling evidence to the contrary, the
the decree of registration and the corresponding O.C.T. was issued only in 1976 holder thereof should be considered as the owner of the property in controversy
in the name of Marciano Cuizon. In that same year, T.C.T No. 10477 covering the until his title is nullified or modified in an appropriate ordinary action.”
property in question was issued to Irene. The latter died in 1978.
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Having been apprised of the fact that the property in question was covered by a will. The court did not therefore deprive the petitioner of any right which she is
TCT issued in the name of third parties, the respondent court should have denied entitled to under the rules of law.
the motion of the respondent administrator and excluded the property in question
from the inventory of the property of the estate. GAAS ET AL vs FORTICH, G.R. No. L-31454, December 28, 1929

Doctrine: Probate court cannot adjudicate or determine title to properties FACTS:


claimed to be part of the estate and equally claimed to belong to outside parties.
On January 23, 1926, Francisco Arquiza, of Cebu, made his last will and
testament in which, subject to certain devises, he bequeathed all of his property
to Pilar Fortich his then wife. Later, upon his death, this will was admitted to
REYES vs YSIP, G.R. No. L-7516, May 12, 1955 probate as his last will and testament. Pending the adminisrration of his estate,
Isidra Gaas filed a petition alleging among others that he was previously married
FACTS: to Federico Arquiza during the year 1908 and as a result of said marriage there
were born to said Federico Arquiza and this petitioner three children namely
This is a petition for a writ to compel the judge of the CFI of Bulcan to permit and Felicisimo Arquiza, Dioscoro Arquiza deceased, and Soledad Arquiza.; That the
allow petitioner to submit evidence of her claim that she is a natural daughter of deceased Francisco Arquiza is survived by his widow, Pilar Fortich but left no
the deceased, Juan Reyes Panlilio. Probate of the last will and testament of legitimate children or descendants nor did the said deceased leave legitimate
decedent was filed in the CFI. Leonor P. Reyes, herein petitioner filed an parents or ascendants; and that the minors, Felicisimo Arquiza and Soledad
opposition. The special administratix, who had presented the will for probate, Arquiza are therefore the legitimate children of the deceased, Federico Arquiza
object to the personality and right of the petitioner herein to contest the will and and the petitioner herein, Isidra Gaas and as such are by representation the duly
asked that the court resolve her right to contest the will before the hearing constituted legal heirs of the deceased Don Francisco Arquiza as provided by the
thereon. The Honorable Judge held that only the probate of the will was at issue Civil Code. Isidra as natural guardian of the minors, Felicisimo Arquiza and
and that the question of the presentation of evidence as to the filiation of the Soledad Arquiza, respectfully prays this honorable court to declare said minors to
oppositor, petitioner herein was out of place. Counsel for petitioner made be the legal heirs of the deceased Francisco Arquiza and for such other and
attempts to have the court reconsider its order but the court refused to do so. further relief to which they may be entitled.
ISSUE: Whether or not the natural child is allowed to intervene in the To which the executrix made a general and specific denial, and alleged the
proceedings for the probate of the will. following special defences:
HELD: 1. That the petitioners Soledad and Felicisimo, surnamed Arquiza, alleged
acknowledged natural children of the deceased Francisco Arquiza,
In distribution proceedings where a will is sought to be admitted to probate, a
represented by their guardian ad litem Isidra Gaas, have no right to
person who can have no interest in the succession cannot be allowed to intervene
succeed in the properties of the herein deceased Francisco Arquiza;
and oppose such probate. A person intervening in the proceedings should be
2. That assuming that there is merit in the petition which is objected to by
required to show interest in the will or the property affected thereby. For such
this pleading, the action to acknowledge the aforesaid minors Soledad and
purpose, it is sufficient that he shows or produces prima facie evidence of his or
Felicisimo, surnamed Arquiza, as natural children, has prescribed.
her relationship to the testator. The court did not amount to a prohibition to take
part in the hearing for the probate of the will and was motivated by desire to The lower court sustained the petition and found that all of the legal rights of
avoid multiplicity of the issues and the limitation thereof to the execution of the Federico Arquiza was vested in the petitioners, who were his legitimate children,
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and that, as such, they were entitled to one-third of the estate left by Francisco The facts found by the trial court and sustained by the evidence bring the
Arquiza. appellees within those provisions.

ISSUE: Whether or not the lower court erred in declaring them entitled In the matter of administration of the estate of Tan Po Pic- TORRES vs
to one-third of the estate left by Francisco Arquiza, and in not dismissing JAVIER, G.R. No. L-10560, March 24, 1916
the petition of the appellees.
FACTS:
HELD:
This is an appeal in proceeding to appoint an administrator of the estate of Tan
As to the fifth assignment of error, the lower court cites and relies upon the case Po Pic, deceased. The trial court refused to appoint Marta Torres who claimed to
of Larena and Larena vs. Rubio (43 Phil., 1017), and says: be the lawful wife of the deceased, and, instead, appointed Juan L. Javier
administrator. The appeal is taken by Marta Torres from that order of
This is not an action to compel the recognition of Federico Arquiza under the appointment.
provisions of the Civil Code. Such an action is barred. This is a proceeding to
obtain a declaration of the rights of the petitioners as the legitimate children of It appears that two women are claiming to be the legal wife of Tan Po Pic,
Federico Arquiza to inherit in representation of their father from their deceased, Marta Torres and a Chinese woman named Yu Teng New. Marta Torres
grandfather. It was not necessary for Federico Arquiza to bring an action for objected to the appointment of any one except herself, while Juan Cailles Tan
recognition because he had acquired the status of a recognized natural child Poo, on behalf of the Chinese woman, opposed the appointment of Marta Torres.
under Law 11 of Toro by the tacit recognition of his father. His vested rights were The probate court being unable to determine who, if either, was the lawful wife of
transmitted to his legitimate children, and they had no need to bring an action the deceased, appointed a disinterested third person to act as administrator.
against Francisco Arquiza or his heirs to compel the recognition of their father,
Federico Arquiza, as the natural son of Francisco Arquiza. ISSUE: Whether or not the decision of the probate court was correct.

If Federico Arquiza were still living, he could intervene in these proceedings for HELD:
the distribution of the estate of his natural father, without the necessity of a
proceeding to compel his recognition, as is required by the Civil Code; and We are of the opinion that the decision of the probate court is so far correct that
Francisco Arquiza having left no legitimate descendants, or ascendants, Federico it must be affirmed. Section 642 of the Code of Civil Procedure requires that
Arquiza, if he had survived his father, would have been entitled to one-third of letters of administration should be granted, first, to the surviving husband or
the latter's estate. wife; second, to other relatives in the order named; third, in case the surviving
wife or next of kin or person selected by them be unsuitable, the administration
Article 842 of the Civil Code provides: may be granted to some other person, such as one of the principal creditors; and
fourth, if there is no such creditor competent and willing to serve, the
If the testator leaves no legitimate ascendants or descendants, the acknowledged administration may go to such person as the court may appoint.
natural children shall be entitled to a third of the estate.
The first error assigned is that the court erred in allowing Tan Y. Soc to appear in
And article 843 provides: the proceeding. It appears that Tan Y. Soc was appointed administrator of the
said Tan Po Pic, deceased, the Court of First Instance of Manila under the
The rights granted natural children by the preceding articles are transmitted on misapprehension that Tan Po Pic was a resident of the city of Manila at the time
their death to their legitimate descendants. of his death. After it had been ascertained that the deceased was a resident of

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the Province of Rizal, the Court of First Instance of Manila transferred the case to Proceedings No. 916-R. Oppositions to the probate of the will were filed. After
the Court of First Instance of Rizal. In that court, as we have already seen, the due trial, the probate court held that the document presented as the will of the
appointment by the Court of First Instance of Manila was disregarded the deceased was a forgery. On appeal to this Court, the decision of the probate
proceedings were begun for the appointment of an administrator by the Court of court disallowing the probate of the will was affirmed. The testate proceedings
First Instance of Rizal. Tan Y. Soc and Juan Cailles Tan Poo appeared in those was converted into an intestate proceedings. Several parties came before the
proceedings, apparently representing the interests of Yu Teng New, the alleged court filing claims or petitions alleging themselves as heirs of the intestate estate
Chinese wife of the deceased. Messrs. Crossfield & O'Brien, attorneys for the of Vito Borromeo. The court also ordered that the assets of the intestate estate of
appellee in this case, appeared for the alleged Chinese wife and acted in Vito Borromeo shall be divided into 4/9 and 5/9 groups and distributed in equal
conjunction with Tan Y. Soc and Juan Cailles Tan Poo in protecting her interests. and equitable shares among the 9 declared intestate heirs.

The second error assigned is that the court erred in taking into consideration the
claim that Tan Po Pic, deceased, had a Chinese wife in China. It must be
remembered that the probate court did not find as a fact that there was a wife in Respondent Fortunato Boromeo, who was originally one of the heirs in the will,
China; nor does his appointment of a third person determine the fact of the filed a motion to be declared as one of the heirs of the deceased, alleging that he
existence of another wife in China. The court considered the facts and is an illegitimate child and that he was omitted in the declared heirs. As an
circumstances as they were presented in the proceedings and upon the whole acknowledged illegitimate child, he asserts that he is entitled to 4/5 of the
believed it for the best interest of all concerned to appoint as administrator a legitime of an acknowledged natural child. The court dismissed the motion. He
disinterested third person, particularly in view of the fact that there was likely to then filed a motion for reconsideration changing the basis for his claims to the
be litigation between Marta Torres and the Chinese wife as to which is in fact his portion on the estate. He asserted and incorporated a Waiver of Hereditary
legal wife and entitled to an interest in the estate of the deceased Tan Po Pic. We Rights. In the waiver, 5 of the 9 heirs relinquished their shares to Fortunato their
do not find the errors assigned sufficient to warrant any action on the part of this shares in the disputed estate. The trial court concluding that the five heirs who
court. signed the waiver agreement assigning their shares to Fortunato Boromeo has
lost the same rights, declared the latter as entitled to 5/9 of the estate of the
The third error assigned is to the effect that the trial court erred in not finding decedent.
that Marta Torres was the lawful wife of the deceased Tan Po Pic. We do not
believe the court erred in this respect. 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 ISSUES:
administration proceedings at the proper time.
1. Whether or not the Waiver of Hereditary Rights executed is valid to entitle
Fortunato to the estate of Vito Borromeo.
BOROMEO-HERERA VS BOROMEO ET. AL.

JULY 23, 1987


2. Whether or not the Trial Court has jurisdiction to pass upon the validity of
FACTS: the waiver.

Vito Boromeo, a widower died without forced heirs. Jose Junquera filed with the
CFI of Cebu a petition for the probate of a one page document as the last will and RULING:
testament left by the said deceased. The case was docketed as Special
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1. Did Maria Fe have a well-founded belief that Jerry was dead in pursuant
with Article 41 of the Family Code?
1. In this case, however, the purported "Waiver of Hereditary Rights" cannot
be considered to be effective. For a waiver to exist, three elements are
essential: (1) the existence of a right; (2) the knowledge of the existence 2. Whether or not certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to question
thereof; and (3) an intention to relinquish such right. (People v. Salvador, the RTC’s order declaring Jerry presumptively dead was proper.
(CA) 53 O.G. No. 22, p. 8116, 8120). The intention to waive a right or
advantage must be shown clearly and convincingly, and when the only HELD:
proof of intention rests in what a party does, his act should be so
manifestly consistent with, and indicative of an intent to, voluntarily
relinquish the particular right or advantage that no other reasonable 1. No. A “well-founded belief” that his or her spouse is dead depends on the
explanation of his conduct is possible. unique circumstance of each case and that there is no set standard or
2. The trial court had jurisdiction to pass upon the validity of the waiver procedure in determining the same. Maria Fe’s alleged “well-founded”
agreement. It must be noted that in Special Proceedings No. 916-R the belief arose when: 1) Jerry’s relatives and friends could not give her any
lower court disallowed the probate of the will and declared it as fake. information on his whereabouts; and 2) she did not find Jerry’s name in
Upon appeal, this Court affirmed the decision of the lower court on March the patient’s directory whenever she went to a hospital. It appears that
30, 1967. Subsequently, several parties came before the lower court filing Maria Fe did not actively look for her husband in hospitals and it may be
claims or petitions alleging themselves as heirs of the intestate estate of sensed that her search was not intentional or planned. Her search for
Vito Borromeo. There is no impediment to the trial court in exercising Jerry was far from diligent. Were it not for the finality of the RTC ruling,
jurisdiction and trying the said claims or petitions. Moreover, the the declaration of presumptive death should have been recalled and set
jurisdiction of the trial court extends to matters incidental and collateral to aside for utter lack of factual basis.
the exercise of its recognized powers in handling the settlement of the
estate.
2. Yes. By express provision of law, the judgment of the court in a summary
proceeding shall be immediately final and executory. As a matter of
course, it follows that no appeal can be had of the trial court's judgment
ina summary proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death of an
Republic v. Cantor absent spouse under Article 41 of the Family Code. It goes without saying,
G.R. No. 184621; December 10, 2013 however, that an aggrieved party may file a petition for certiorari to
question abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Such
FACTS: petition should be filed in the Court of Appeals in accordance with the
Sometime in January 1998, Jerry F. Cantor left his wife Maria Fe Espinosa Cantor Doctrine of Hierarchy of Courts. To be sure, even if the Court's original
after a violent quarrel. After more than four years of not seeing or hearing from jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari is concurrent with the RTCs and the
Jerry, Maria Fe filed a petition for the declaration of presumptive death of her Court of Appeals in certain cases, such concurrence does not sanction an
husband. She alleged that she conducted a diligent search for her husband and unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum
exerted earnest efforts to find him. The RTC granted her petition. Dissatisfied
with the ruling, the OSG filed the present petition for review on certiorari.
Republic of the Philippines vs. Nolasco
ISSUES:
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FACTS: RULING:

No. Nolasco failed to prove that he had complied with the third requirement
under the Article 41 of the Family Code, the existence of a "well-founded belief"
Nolasco, a seaman, first met Janet Monica Parker in a bar in England. After that, that Janet is already dead.
she lived with him on his ship for 6 months. After his seaman's contract has
expired, he brought her to his hometown in San Jose, Antique. They got married
in January 1982.
Under Article 41, the time required for the presumption to arise has been
shortened to 4 years; however, there is a need for judicial declaration of
presumptive death to enable the spouse present to marry. However, Article 41
After the marriage celebration, he got another employment contract and left imposes a stricter standard before declaring presumptive death of one spouse. It
the province. In January 1983, Nolasco received a letter from his mother that requires a "well-founded belief" that the absentee is already dead before a
15 days after Janet gave birth to their son, she left. He cut short his petition for declaration of presumptive death can be granted.
contract to find Janet. He returned home in November 1983.

In the case at bar, the Court found Nolasco's alleged attempt to ascertain about
He did so by securing another contract which England is one of its port calls. He Janet's whereabouts too sketchy to form the basis of a reasonable or well-
wrote several letters to the bar where he and Janet first met, but all were founded belief that she was already dead.
returned to him. He claimed that he inquired from his friends but they too had no
news about Janet. In 1988, Nolasco filed before the RTC of Antique a petition for
the declaration of presumptive death of his wife Janet.
Nolasco, after returning from his employment, instead of seeking help of local
authorities or of the British Embassy, secured another contract to London. Janet's
alleged refusal to give any information about her was too convenient an excuse
RTC granted the petition. The Republic through the Solicitor-General, appealed to to justify his failure to locate her. He did not explain why he took him 9 months
the CA, contending that the trial court erred in declaring Janet presumptively to finally reached San Jose after he asked leave from his captain. He refused to
dead because Nolasco had failed to show that there existed a well-founded belief identify his friends whom he inquired from. When the Court asked Nolasco about
for such declaration. CA affirmed the trial court's decision. the returned letters, he said he had lost them. Moreover, while he was in London,
he did not even dare to solicit help of authorities to find his wife.

The circumstances of Janet's departure and Nolasco's subsequent behavior make


ISSUE: it very difficult to regard the claimed belief that Janet was dead a well-founded
one.
Whether or not Nolasco has a well-founded belief that his wife is already dead.

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On January 8, 2002, the court rendered judgment granting the petition.The OSG
appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals which rendered judgment on
August 4, 2003, affirming the decision of the trial court.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, v. Issue:


THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents.
Whether or not the declaration of presumptive death of the wife is valid
G.R. No. 159614. December 9, 2005.
Ruling:
FACTS:
No. In view of the summary nature of proceedings under Article 41 of the Family
On March 29, 2001, Alan B. Alegro filed a petition in the Regional Trial Court for Code for the declaration of presumptive death of one’s spouse, the degree of
the declaration of presumptive death of his wife, Rosalia “Lea” A. Julaton. due diligence set by the Court in locating the whereabouts of a missing spouse
must be strictly complied with. It is the policy of the State to protect and
At the hearing, Alan adduced evidence that he and Lea were married on January
strengthen the family as a basic social institution. Marriage is the foundation of
20, 1995 in Catbalogan, Samar. He testified that, on February 6, 1995, Lea
the family. Since marriage is an inviolable social institution that the 1987
arrived home late in the evening and he berated her for being always out of their
Constitution seeks to protect from dissolution at the whim of the parties. For
house. He told her that if she enjoyed the life of a single person, it would be
respondent’s failure to prove that he had a well-founded belief that his wife is
better for her to go back to her parents. Lea did not reply. Alan narrated that,
already dead and that he exerted the required amount of diligence in searching
when he reported for work the following day, Lea was still in the house, but when
for his missing wife, the petition for declaration of presumptive death should have
he arrived home later in the day, Lea was nowhere to be found. Alan thought that
been denied by the trial court and the Honorable Court of Appeals. For the
Lea merely went to her parents’ house in Bliss, Sto. Niño, Catbalogan, Samar.
purpose of contracting the subsequent marriage, the spouse present must
However, Lea did not return to their house anymore.
institute a summary proceeding as provided in this Code for the declaration of
Alan further testified that, he inquired Lea’s whereabouts but to no avail. presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice to the effect of
reappearance of the absent spouse. The spouse present is, thus, burdened to
Sometime in June 1995, he decided to go to Manila to look for Lea, but his
prove that his spouse has been absent and that he has a well-founded belief that
mother asked him to leave after the town fiesta of Catbalogan, hoping that Lea
the absent spouse is already dead before the present spouse may contract a
may come home for the fiesta. Alan agreed. However, Lea did not show up. Alan
subsequent marriage. The law does not define what is meant by a well-grounded
then left for Manila on August 27, 1995. He went to a house in Navotas where
belief. Cuello Callon writes that “es menester que su creencia sea firme se funde
Janeth, Lea’s friend, was staying. When asked where Lea was, Janeth told him
en motivos racionales.” The Court finds and so holds that the respondent failed to
that she had not seen her. He failed to find out Lea’s whereabouts despite his
prove that he had a well-founded belief, before he filed his petition in the trial
repeated talks with Janeth. Alan decided to work as a part-time taxi driver. On his
court, that his spouse Rosalia “Lea” Julaton was already dead. The Decision of the
free time, he would look for Lea in the malls but still to no avail. He returned to
Court of Appeals is reversed and set aside.
Catbalogan in 1997 and again looked for his wife but failed.
On June 20, 2001, Alan reported Lea’s disappearance to the local police station.
The police authorities issued an Alarm Notice on July 4, 2001. Alan also reported REPUBLIC V. GRANADA
Lea’s disappearance to the National Bureau of Investigation on July 9, 2001.
G.R. No. 187512, [June 13, 2012]
DOCTRINE:

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Even if the RTC erred in ruling that the respondent was able to prove her “well- 1. Whether the order of the RTC in a summary proceeding for the declaration of
founded belief” that her absent spouse was already dead, such order already final presumptive death is immediately final and executory upon notice to the parties
and can no longer be modified or reversed. Indeed, “[n]nothing is more settled in and, hence, is not subject to ordinary appeal.
law than that when a judgment becomes final and executory, it becomes
2. Whether the CA erred in affirming the RTC’s grant of the petition for
immutable and unalterable. The same may no longer be modified in any respect,
declaration of presumptive death based on evidence that respondent had
even if the modification is meant to correct what is perceived to be an erroneous
presented.
conclusion of fact or law.”
HELD:
FACTS:
Yes, the declaration of presumptive death is fina land immediately executory.
Cyrus and Yolanda Granada, both employees of Sumida Electric Company, got
Even if the RTC erred in granting the petition, such order can no longer be
married in 1993.
assailed.
Sometime in May 1994, when Sumida Electric Philippines closed down, Cyrus
RATIO:
went to Taiwan to seek employment. Yolanda claimed that from that time, she did
not receive any communication from her husband, notwithstanding efforts to 1. A petition for declaration of presumptive death of an absent spouse for the
locate him. Her brother testified that he had asked the relatives of Cyrus purpose of contracting a subsequent marriage under Article 41 of the Family
regarding the latter’s whereabouts, to no avail. After nine (9) years of waiting, Code is a summary proceeding “as provided for” under the Family Code. Taken
Yolanda filed a Petition to have Cyrus declared presumptively dead with the RTC together, Articles 41, 238, 247 and 253 of the Family Code provide that since a
Lipa City. On 7 February 2005, the RTC rendered a Decision declaring Cyrus as petition for declaration of presumptive death is a summary proceeding, the
presumptively dead. On 10 March 2005, petitioner Republic of the Philippines, judgment of the court therein shall be immediately final and executory.
represented by the OSG, filed a Motion for Reconsideration of this Decision.
By express provision of law, the judgment of the court in a summary proceeding
Petitioner argued that Yolanda had failed to exert earnest efforts to locate Cyrus
shall be immediately final and executory. As a matter of course, it follows that no
and thus failed to prove her well-founded belief that he was already dead. The
appeal can be had of the trial court’s judgment in a summary proceeding for the
motion was denied. The OSG then elevated the case on appeal to the Court
declaration of presumptive death of an absent spouse under Article 41 of the
of Appeals. Yolanda filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the CA had no
Family Code. It goes without saying, however, that an aggrieved party may file a
jurisdiction over the appeal. She argued that her Petition for Declaration of
petition for certiorari to question abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
Presumptive Death, based on Article 41 of the Family Code, was
jurisdiction. Such petition should be filed in the Court of Appeals in accordance
a summary judicial proceeding, in which the judgment is immediately final and
with the Doctrine of Hierarchy of Courts. To be sure, even if the Court’s original
executory and, thus, not appealable. The appellate court granted Yolanda’s
jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari is concurrent with the RTCs and the Court
Motion to Dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. Citing Republic v.
of Appeals in certain cases, such concurrence does not sanction an unrestricted
Bermudez-Lorino, the CA ruled that a petition for declaration of presumptive
freedom of choice of court forum. From the decision of the Court of Appeals, the
death under Rule 41 of the Family Code is a summary proceeding. Thus,
losing party may then file a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the
judgment thereon is immediately final and executory upon notice to the
Rules of Court with the Supreme Court. This is because the errors which the court
parties.Petitioner moved for reconsideration, which was denied. Hence, the
may commit in the exercise of jurisdiction are merely errors of judgment which
present petition under Rule 45.
are the proper subject of an appeal.
In sum, under Article 41 of the Family Code, the losing party in
ISSUES:
a summary proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death may file a
petition for certiorari with the CA on the ground that, in rendering judgment
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thereon, the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of husband. While her brother Diosdado Cadacio testified to having inquired about
jurisdiction. From the decision of the CA, the aggrieved party may elevate the the whereabouts of Cyrus from the latter’s relatives, these relatives were not
matter to this Court via a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the presented to corroborate Diosdado’s testimony. In short, respondent was
Rules of Court. allegedly not diligent in her search for her husband. Petitioner argues that if she
were, she would have sought information from the Taiwanese Consular Office or
2. Petitioner also assails the RTC’s grant of the Petition for Declaration of
assistance from other government agencies in Taiwan or the Philippines. She
Presumptive Death of the absent spouse of respondent on the ground that she
could have also utilized mass media for this end, but she did not. Worse, she
had not adduced the evidence required to establish a well-founded belief that her
failed to explain these omissions. The Republic’s arguments are well-taken.
absent spouse was already dead, as expressly required by Article 41 of the
Nevertheless, we are constrained to deny the Petition. The RTC ruling on the
Family Code.
issue of whether respondent was able to prove her “well-founded belief” that her
For the purpose of contracting the subsequent marriage under the preceding absent spouse was already dead prior to her filing of the Petition to declare him
paragraph, the spouse present must institute a summary proceeding as provided presumptively dead is already final and can no longer be modified or reversed.
in this Code for the declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without Indeed, “[n]othing is more settled in law than that when a judgment becomes
prejudice to the effect of reappearance of the absent spouse. final and executory, it becomes immutable and unalterable. The same may no
longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct
The spouse present is, thus, burdened to prove that his spouse has been absent
what is perceived to be an erroneous conclusion of fact or law.
and that he has a well-founded belief that the absent spouse is already dead
before the present spouse may contract a subsequent marriage. The law does not
define what is meant by a well-grounded belief is a state of the mind or condition
prompting the doing of an overt act. It may be proved by direct evidence or ROSE BUSH MALIG and JOE, THOMAS, and JOHN all surnamed BUSH,
circumstantial evidence which may tend, even in a slight degree, to elucidate the represented in this suit by their attorney-in-fact, ROSE BUSH MALIG vs
inquiry or assist to a determination probably founded in truth. Any fact MARIA SANTOS BUSH
or circumstance relating to the character, habits, conditions, attachments,
prosperity and objects of life which usually control the conduct of men, and are May 31, 1969
the motives of their actions, was, so far as it tends to explain or characterize
their disappearance or throw light on their intentions, competence evidence on
the ultimate question of his death. FACTS:
The belief of the present spouse must be the result of proper and honest to
goodness inquiries and efforts to ascertain the whereabouts of the absent spouse On September 19, 1962 the plaintiffs filed the complaint, alleging that they were
and whether the absent spouse is still alive or is already dead. Whether or not the acknowledged natural children and the only heirs in the direct line of the
the spouse present acted on a well-founded belief of death of the absent spouse deceased John T. Bush, having been born of the common-law relationship of their
depends upon the inquiries to be drawn from a great many circumstances father with Apolonia Perez from 1923 up to August, 1941. John T. Bush and
occurring before and after the disappearance of the absent spouse and the nature Apolonia Perez, during the conception of the plaintiffs, were not suffering from
and extent of the inquiries made by present spouse. (Footnotes omitted, any disability to marry each other; that they lived with their alleged father during
underscoring supplied.) his lifetime and were considered and treated by him as his acknowledge natural
children and at the time of his death left several real and personal properties.
Applying the foregoing standards to the present case, petitioner points out that
respondent Yolanda did not initiate a diligent search to locate her absent

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Defendant falsely alleging that she was the legal wife of the deceased was able to
secure her appointment as administratrix of the estate of the deceased in Testate
Proceedings No. 29932 of the Court of First Instance of Manila. She submitted to Ruling:
the court for approval a project of partition, purporting to show that the deceased
left a will whereby he bequeathed his estate to three persons, namely: Maria
Santos Bush, Anita S. Bush and Anna Berger. Defendant then knew that the
1. In dismissing a complaint upon a ground not relied upon by the defendant
plaintiffs were the acknowledged natural children of the deceased; and that they
in the motion to dismiss, the lower court in effect did so motu proprio
discovered the fraud and misrepresentation perpetrated by the defendant only in
without offering the plaintiffs a chance to argue the point, without any
July, 1962.
arguments or evidences on the question. This the court cannot do. The
only instance on which the court may dismiss upon the court’s own motion
an action is when the plaintiff fails to appear at the time of the trial or to
Petitioners prayed that the partition be annulled; submit a complete inventory prosecute his action for an unreasonable length of time or to comply with
and accounting of all the properties left by the deceased and another project of the Rules or any other order of the court.
partition adjudicating to the plaintiffs their legal participation in the said estate
and/or in the event that the defendant had disposed of all or part of the estate,
that she be ordered to pay them the market value thereof. Ratio:

Sec 1, Rule 73 of Rules of Court fixes jurisdiction for purposes of the special
proceeding for the settlement of the estate of a deceased person, "so far as it
The defendant moved to dismiss the case, alleging lack of jurisdiction, res depends on the place of residence of the decedent, or of the location of his
judicata, and statute of limitations. However, said motion was denied by the trial estate." The matter really concerns venue, as the caption of Rule cited indicates,
court. When the case was set foe hearing, defendant then filed another motion to and in order to preclude different courts which may properly assume jurisdiction
dismiss challenging the jurisdiction of court stating that since the action was one from doing so, the Rule specifies that "the court first taking cognizance of the
to annul a project of partition duly approved by the probate court it was that settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion
court alone which could take cognizance of the case, citing Rule 75, Section 1, of of all other courts."
the Rules of Court. On October 31, 1963 the lower court granted the motion and
dismissed the complaint, not on the ground relied upon by the defendant but
because the action had prescribed. The plaintiffs moved to reconsider but were
pec
turned down; hence, this appeal.
RODRIGUEZ vs. BORJA

17 SCRA 41
Issues:

FACTS:
1. Whether or not an action may be dismissed based on the grounds not
alleged in a motion to dismiss.

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In this case, there were 2 proceedings. First was an intestate proceeding FACTS: This is a Petition for certiorari to review the decision of respondent CA in
instituted meaning, a proceeding to settle the estate of a deceased person who CA-G.R. No. 34104-R and its subsequent Resolution denying petitioner's Motion
died without a will. But subsequently, a will was found and again another for Reconsideration.
proceeding was instituted, this time, testate proceeding wherein the estate of the
deceased person is settled if that person has left a will. We are confronted here Senator Mariano Jesus Cuenco died in Manila. He was survived by his widow and
of 2 proceedings, one was instituted ahead of the other. two minor sons, residing in Quezon City, and children of the first marriage,
residing in Cebu. Lourdes, one of the children from the first marriage, filed a
Petition for Letters of Administration with the Court of First Instance (CFI) Cebu,
alleging that the senator died intestate in Manila but a resident of Cebu with
ISSUE:
properties in Cebu and Quezon City. The petition still pending with CFI Cebu,
Which proceeding should be preferred? Rosa Cayetano Cuenco, the second wife, filed a petition with CFI Rizal for the
probate of the last will and testament, where she was named executrix. Rosa also
filed an opposition and motion to dismiss in CFI Cebu but this court held in
abeyance resolution over the opposition until CFI Quezon shall have acted on the
RULING: probate proceedings. Lourdes filed an opposition and motion to dismiss in CFI
Quezon, on ground of lack of jurisdiction and/or improper venue, considering that
As long as there is a will, even if that will is found later and even if the CFI Cebu already acquired exclusive jurisdiction over the case. The opposition
proceeding for the settlement of the estate of a person with a will is filed and motion to dismiss were denied. Upon appeal CA ruled in favor of Lourdes and
later, that should be preferred. The will should be probated. The will should issued a writ of prohibition to CFI Quezon.
be given effect as much as possible in order to give effect to the wishes of the
testator. The wishes of the testator must be given such preference first. Probate ISSUES: (1) Whether or not CA erred in issuing the writ of prohibition;
of the will is needed in order to determine whether or not the will was indeed (2) Whether or not CFI Quezon acted without jurisdiction or grave abuse
valid, whether or not the will was executed in observance with the formalities of discretion in taking cognizance and assuming exclusive jurisdiction over the
required by law and whether or not the testator executed it with a sound mind. probate proceedings in pursuance to CFI Cebu's order expressly consenting in
deference to the precedence of probate over intestate proceedings.

If later on in the probate proceeding, the will is found not to have validly RULING: (1) Yes. The Supreme Court found that the CA erred in law in issuing
executed, then you go to intestate proceeding. But first you go to testate. the writ of prohibition against the Quezon City court from proceeding with the
testate proceedings and annulling and setting aside all its orders and actions,
particularly its admission to probate of the last will and testament of the
deceased and appointing petitioner-widow as executrix thereof without bond
pursuant to the deceased testator's wish for the following considerations:
CUENCO VS. CA G.R. No. L-24742 October 26, 1973
1. The Judiciary Act concededly confers original jurisdiction upon all Courts of
The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, First Instance over "all matter of probate, both of testate and intestate estates."
shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. On the other hand, Rule 73, section of the Rules of Court lays down the rule of
venue, as the very caption of the Rule indicates, and in order to prevent conflict
among the different courts which otherwise may properly assume jurisdiction
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from doing so, the Rule specifies that "the court first taking cognizance of the decedent and must exercise jurisdiction to exclude all other courts, which the
settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion Cebu court declined to do. Furthermore, as is undisputed, said rule only lays
of all other courts." down a rule of venue and the Quezon City court indisputably had at least equal
and coordinate jurisdiction over the estate.
It is equally conceded that the residence of the deceased or the location of his
estate is not an element of jurisdiction over the subject matter but merely 4. The relatively recent case of Uriarte vs. Court of First Instance of Negros
of venue. It should be noted that the Rule on venue does not state that the court Occidental 12 with facts analogous to the present case 13 is authority against
with whom the estate or intestate petition is first filed acquires exclusive respondent appellate court's questioned decision. In said case, the Court upheld
jurisdiction. The Rule precisely and deliberately provides that "the court first the doctrine of precedence of probate proceedings over intestate proceedings.
taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise
jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts." A fair reading of the Rule — since It cannot be denied that a special proceeding intended to effect the
it deals with venue and comity between courts of equal and co-ordinate distribution of the estate of a deceased person, whether in
jurisdiction — indicates that the court with whom the petition is first filed, must accordance with the law on intestate succession or in accordance
also first take cognizance of the settlement of the estate in order to exercise with his will, is a "probate matter" or a proceeding for the
jurisdiction over it to the exclusion of all other courts. settlement of his estate. It is equally true, however, that in
accordance with settled jurisprudence in this jurisdiction, testate
Conversely, such court, may, upon learning that a petition for probate of the proceedings for the settlement of the estate of a deceased person
decedent's last will has been presented in another court where the decedent take precedence over intestate proceedings for the same purpose.
obviously had his conjugal domicile and resided with his surviving widow and Thus it has been held repeatedly that, if in the course of intestate
their minor children, and that the allegation of the intestate petition before it proceedings pending before a court of first instance it is found that
stating that the decedent died intestate may be actually false, may decline to the decedent had left a last will, proceedings for the probate of the
take cognizance of the petition and hold the petition before it in abeyance, and latter should replace the intestate proceedings even if at that state
instead defer to the second court which has before it the petition for probate of an administrator had already been appointed, the latter being
the decedent's alleged last will. required to render final account and turn over the estate in his
possession to the executor subsequently appointed. This however,
2. This exactly what the Cebu court did. Upon petitioner-widow's filing with it a is understood to be without prejudice that should the alleged last
motion to dismiss Lourdes' intestate petition, it issued its order holding in will be rejected or is disapproved, the proceeding shall continue as
abeyance its action on the dismissal motion and deferred to the Quezon City an intestacy. As already adverted to, this is a clear indication that
court, awaiting its action on the petition for probate before that court. the proceedings for the probate of a will enjoy priority over intestate
residence of the decedent within its territory and venue. proceedings.

3. Under these facts, the Cebu court could not be held to have acted without (2) On Venue and Jurisdiction under Rule 73, the court first taking cognizance of
jurisdiction or with grave abuse of jurisdiction in declining to take cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the
the intestate petition and deferring to the Quezon City court. Necessarily, neither exclusion of all other courts. The residence of the decent or the location of his
could the Quezon City court be deemed to have acted without jurisdiction in estate is not an element of jurisdiction over the subject matter but merely of
taking cognizance of and acting on the probate petition since under Rule 73, venue. If this were otherwise, it would affect the prompt administration
section 1, the Cebu court must first take cognizance over the estate of the of justice. The court with whom the petition is first filed must also first take

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cognizance of the settlement of the estate in order to exercise jurisdiction over it ACCORDINGLY, judgment is hereby rendered reversing the appealed decision and
to the exclusion of all other courts. resolution of the Court of Appeals and the petition for certiorari and prohibition
with preliminary injunction originally filed by respondents with the CA ordered
This tallies with the established legal concept as restated by Moran that dismissed.
"(T)he probate of a will is a proceeding in rem. The notice by publication as a
pre-requisite to the allowance of a will, is a constructive notice to the whole DE SANDOVAL VS. SANTIAGO,
world, and when probate is granted, the judgment of the court is binding upon G.R. No. L1723
everybody, even against the State. The probate of a will by a court having May 30, 1949
jurisdiction thereof is conclusive as to its due execution and validity." 19 The
Quezon City court acted regularly within its jurisdiction (even if it were to be FACTS: This is a special civil action of certiorari filed by the petitioner
conceded that Quezon City was not the proper venue notwithstanding the Cebu against the respondent Judge Hon. Vicente Santiago.
court's giving way and deferring to it,) in admitting the decedent's last will to
probate and naming petitioner-widow as executrix thereof. Hence, the Quezon
Petitioner instituted a special proceeding in the CFI of Quezon Province for then
city court's action should not be set aside by a writ of prohibition for supposed
probate of the will and codicil executed by the deceased Daniel Marquez in which
lack of jurisdiction as per the appellate court's appealed decision, and should
she was designated as executrix. The will and codicil were allowed and the
instead be sustained in line with Uriarte, supra, where the Court, in dismissing
petitioner was appointed as executrix in accordance with the will. But before the
the certiorari petition challenging the Manila court's action admitting the
petitioner qualified as executrix, the three heirs instituted in the will made an
decedent's will to probate and distributing the estate in accordance therewith in
extrajudicial partition of all the properties of the deceased on October 5, 1946
the second proceeding, held that "it must be remembered that this Court is not
and entered into the possession of their respective share without the authority
inclined to annul proceedings regularly had in a lower court even if the latter was
and approval of the court. One year after the probate of the will and appointment
not the proper venue therefor, if the net result would be to have the same
of the petitioner as executrix, the respondent judge required the petitioner to
proceedings repeated in some other court of similar jurisdiction."
qualify as such and file a bond of P5,000. In response thereto the petitioner
informed the respondent judge that it was not necessary for her to qualify
Finally, it should be noted that in the Supreme Court's exercise of its supervisory because the heirs had already made an extrajudicial partition in accordance with
authority over all inferior courts, it may properly determine, as it has done in the the will as shown by the copy of the said partition which she submitted to the
case at bar, that venue was properly assumed by and transferred to the Quezon court. In view of the answer of the petitioner the respondent judge ordered the
City court and that it is the interest of justice and in avoidance of needless delay executrix to qualify as such within forty-eight hours and declared the extrajudicial
that the Quezon City court's exercise of jurisdiction over the testate estate of the agreement of partition entered into by the heirs null and void, on the ground that
decedent (with the due deference and consent of the Cebu court) and its the probate proceedings having been commenced judicially it must also be
admission to probate of his last will and testament and appointment of petitioner- terminated judicially. A motion for reconsideration was filed by the petitioner and
widow as administratrix without bond in pursuance of the decedent's express will denied by the court hence, the filing of the present petition for certiorari.
and all its orders and actions taken in the testate proceedings before it be
approved and authorized rather than to annul all such proceedings regularly had
ISSUE: Whether or not the CFI Judge of Quezon Province, wherein the deceased
and to repeat and duplicate the same proceedings before the Cebu court only to
was residing at the time of his death has acquired exclusive jurisdiction to settle
revert once more to the Quezon City court should the Cebu court find that indeed
the estate of the deceased.
and in fact, as already determined by the Quezon City court on the strength of
incontrovertible documentary evidence of record, Quezon City was the conjugal
residence of the decedent.
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RULING: The court ruled that the respondent Judge of Court CFI Quezon in question and to pass upon the question of title or ownership of the properties
Province, wherein the deceased was residing at the time of his death, has mentioned therein.
acquired exclusive jurisdiction to settle the testate estate of the deceased Daniel
Marquez and over the heirs and other person interested in the estate of the Eusebio Capili and Hermogena Reyes were husband and wife. The first died in
deceased from the moment the application for the probate of the decedent's will 1958 and a testate proceeding for the settlement of his estate was instituted in
was filed with the said court and the publication required by law were made; and the CFI of Bulacan. His will was admitted to probate on that same year disposing
the heirs of the deceased Marquez could not divest the CFI of its already acquired of his properties in favor of his widow and his cousins all surnamed Capili and
jurisdiction by the mere fact of dividing extrajudicially the estate of the deceased Bernardo. Hermogena Reyes herself died in 1959. Upon petition of Bernardo,
among themselves. executor of the estate of the deceased Eusebio Capili, she was substituted by her
collateral relatives and intestate heirs all surnamed Reyes and four others all
An extrajudicial partition of the estate of a deceased by the heirs becomes a surnamed Isidoro.
judicial partition after its approval by the court which had previously acquired
jurisdiction of the estate by the filing of an application for the probate of the In 1959, the executor filed a project of partition in the testate proceeding in
decedent's will; but as the testate proceeding is terminated in such case without accordance with the terms of the will, adjudicating the estate of Eusebio Capili
the necessary publication of notices to creditors and other persons interested in among the testamentary heirs with the exception of Hermogena Reyes, whose
the estate required ina required in a regular judicial administration, the effect of share was alloted to her collateral relatives aforementioned. These relatives filed
such judicial partition would be the same as if it had been effected extrajudicially an opposition to the executor's project of partition and submitted a counter-
without the intervention of the court under the provisions of section1,of Rule 74, project of partition of their own, claiming 1/2 of the properties mentioned in the
that is, subject to the claims against the distributees by persons mentioned in will of the deceased Eusebio Capili on the theory that they belonged not to the
sections 4 and 5, of the same rule. latter alone but to the conjugal partnership of the spouses.

Thus, the petition for certiorari is denied with costs against the petitioner, The probate court set the two projects of partition for hearing. In the
because the respondent judge did not exceed his jurisdiction in not giving the memorandum for the executor and the instituted heirs it was contended: (1) that
deed of extrajudicial settlement or partition of the estate of the deceased the the properties disposed of in the will of the deceased Eusebio Capili belonged to
effect of terminating the testate proceeding over which the court has acquired him exclusively and not to the conjugal partnership, because Hermogena Reyes
exclusive jurisdiction since said partition was not submitted to said court for had donated to him her half share of such partnership; (2) that the collateral
approval. heirs of Hermogena Reyes had no lawful standing or grounds to question the
validity of the donation; and (3) that even assuming that they could
BERNARDO, executor of the testate estate of the deceased EUSEBIO question the validity of the donation, the same must be litigated not in
CAPILI; and the instituted heirs, namely: ARMANDO CAPILI and ARTURO the testate proceeding but in a separate civil action.
BERNARDO, ET AL. VS. HON. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. L-18148 February 28, 1963 The oppositors and heirs of Hermogena Reyes, on their part, argued that the
deed of donation itself was determinative of the original conjugal character to the
FACTS: This is a petition by certiorari for the review of the decision of the CA properties and that since the donation was null and void the deceased Eusebio
affirming that of the CFI Bulacan holding that the probate court in Special Capili did not become owner of the share of his wife and therefore could not
Proceeding 1101 had jurisdiction to determine the validity of the deed of donation validly dispose of it in his will.

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The probate court issued an order declaring the donation void without making final determination in a separate action. However, we have also held that when
any specific finding as to its juridical nature, that is, whether it was inter vivos or the parties interested are all heirs of the deceased, it is optional to them to
mortis causa, for the reason that, considered under the first category, it falls submit to the probate court a question as to title to property, and when so
under Article 133 of the Civil Code, which prohibits donations between spouses submitted, said probate court may definitely pass judgment thereon (Pascual v.
during the marriage; and considered under the second category, it does not Pascual, 73 Phil. 561; Manalac v. Ocampo, et al., 73 Phil. 661); and that with the
comply with the formalities of a will as required by Article 728 in relation to consent of the parties, matters affecting property under judicial administration
Article 805 of the same Code, there being no attestation clause. In the same may be taken cognizance of by the court in the course of intestate proceeding,
order the court disapproved both projects of partition and directed the executor provided interests of third persons are not prejudiced (Cunanan v. Amparo, 80
to file another," dividing the property mentioned in the last will and testament of Phil. 229, 232).
the deceased Eusebio Capili and the properties mentioned in the deed of
donation, Exhibit B, between the instituted heirs of the deceased Eusebio Capili (2) As has been stated in the case of Cunanan v. Amparo (supra) the Supreme
and the legal heirs of the deceased Hermogena Reyes, upon the basis that the Court speaking through Mr. Justice Tuason: "Determination of title to property is
said properties were conjugal properties of the deceased spouses." On within the jurisdiction of CFI. The responding Soriano's objection (that the
September 27, 1960, the executor filed a motion for new trial, reiterating and probate court lacked jurisdiction to order the delivery of the possession of the
emphasizing the contention previously raised in their memorandum that the lots to the estate) relates exclusively to the procedure, which is distinct from
probate court had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the claim of the legal heirs jurisdiction. It affects only personal rights to a mode of practice (the filing of an
of Hermogena Reyes involving title to the properties mentioned in the will of independent ordinary action) which may be waived".
Eusebio Capili and taking exception to the court's declaration of the nullity of the
donation "without stating facts or provision of law on which it was based." The In the case now before us, the matter in controversy is the question of ownership
motion for new trial was denied in an order dated October 3, 1960. of certain of the properties involved — whether they belong to the conjugal
partnership or to the husband exclusively. This is a matter properly within the
On appeal to the Court of Appeals the order appealed from being affirmed, jurisdiction of the probate court which necessarily has to liquidate the conjugal
petitioners filed this present petition for review by certiorari. partnership in order to determine the estate of the decedent which is to be
distributed among his heirs who are all parties to the proceedings, including, of
ISSUES: (1) Whether or not the appellate court erred in not declaring that the course, the widow, now represented because of her death, by her heirs who have
probate court, having limited and special jurisdiction, had generally no power to been substituted upon petition of the executor himself and who have appeared
adjudicate title and erred in applying the exception to the rule. voluntarily. There are no third parties whose rights may be affected. It is true
that the heirs of the deceased widow are not heirs of the testator-husband, but
(2) Whether or not the trial court as well as the CA erred in upholding the the widow is, in addition to her own right to the conjugal property. And it is this
power of the probate court in this case to adjudicate in the testate proceedings right that is being sought to be enforced by her substitutes.
the question of title or ownership of the properties mentioned therein.
Petitioners contend additionally that they have never submitted themselves to
RULING: (1) In a line of decisions, this Court consistently held that as a general the jurisdiction of the probate court, for the purpose of the determination of the
rule, question as to title to property cannot be passed upon on testate or question of ownership of the disputed properties. This is not borne by the
intestate proceedings "except where one of the parties prays merely for the admitted facts. On the contrary, it is undisputed that they were the ones who
inclusion or exclusion from the inventory of the property, in which case the presented the project of partition claiming the questioned properties as part of
probate court may pass provisionally upon the question without prejudice to its the testator's asset. The respondents, as representatives or substitutes of the
deceased widow opposed the project of partition and submitted another. As the
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Court of Appeals said, "In doing so all of them must be deemed to have THE HONORABLE VENICIO ESCOLIN, Presiding Judge of the Court of First
submitted the issue for resolution in the same proceeding. Certainly, the Instance of Iloilo, Branch II, and AVELINA A. MAGNO, respondents.
petitioners cannot be heard to insist, as they do, on the approval of their project
of partition and, thus, have the court take it for granted that their theory as to G.R. Nos. L-27936 & L-27937 March 29, 1974
the character of the properties is correct, entirely without regard to the TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE LINNIE JANE HODGES (Sp. Proc. No.
opposition of the respondents". In other words, by presenting their project of 1307). TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE CHARLES NEWTON HODGES (Sp.
partition including therein the disputed lands (upon the claim that they were Proc. No. 1672). PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL
donated by the wife to her husband), petitioners themselves put in issue the BANK, administrator-appellant,
question of ownership of the properties — which is well within the competence of vs.
the probate court — and just because of an opposition thereto, they cannot LORENZO CARLES, JOSE PABLICO, ALFREDO CATEDRAL, SALVADOR
thereafter withdraw either their appearance or the issue from the jurisdiction of GUZMAN, BELCESAR CAUSING, FLORENIA BARRIDO, PURIFICACION
the court. Certainly, there is here a waiver where the parties who raise the CORONADO, GRACIANO LUCERO, ARITEO THOMAS JAMIR, MELQUIADES
objection are the ones who set the court in motion. They cannot be permitted to BATISANAN, PEPITO IYULORES, ESPERIDION PARTISALA, WINIFREDO
complain if the court, after due hearing, adjudges question against them. ESPADA, ROSARIO ALINGASA, ADELFA PREMAYLON, SANTIAGO
PACAONSIS, and AVELINA A. MAGNO, the last as Administratrix in Sp.
Finally, petitioners-appellants claim that appellees are estopped to raise the Proc. No. 1307, appellees, WESTERN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY,
question of ownership of the properties involved because the widow herself, INC., movant-appellee.
during her lifetime, not only did not object to the inclusion of these properties in
the inventory of the assets of her deceased husband, but also signed an extra- SETTLEMENT OF ESTATE OF DECEASED PERSONS
judicial partition of those inventoried properties. But the very authorities cited by
appellants require that to constitute estoppel, the actor must have knowledge of FYI: March 29, 1974; Barredo, J.*This case is lengthy. Court admitted several
the facts and be appraised of his rights at the time he performs the act times that it was clueless as to some facts so it copied into the decision entire
constituting estoppel, because silence without knowledge works no estoppel. In pleadings. Plus, PCIB raised 78 assignment of errors.
the present case, the deceased widow acted as she did because of the deed of
donation she executed in favor of her husband not knowing that such deed was FACTS: Charles Newton Hodges and Linnie Jane Hodges were originally from
illegal, if inter-vivos, and ineffectual if mortis-causa, as it has not been executed Texas, USA. During their marriage, they had acquired and accumulated
with the required formalities similar to a will. considerable assets and properties in the Philippines and in Oklahoma and Texas
in the US. They both lived, worked and were domiciled in Iloilo City for around 50
Thus, the decision of the CA being in accordance with law, the same is hereby years. Before her death, Linnie Jane executed a will leaving her estate, less her
affirmed with costs against appellants. debts and funeral expenses, to her husband Charles. Should Charles die, the will
provided that the remainder of her estate go to her brothers and sisters, share
G.R. Nos. L-27860 and L-27896 March 29, 1974 and share alike. Should any of the brothers and sisters die before the husband,
PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL BANK, Administrator of the Linnie willed that the heirs of the said sibling be substituted in the deceased’s
Testate Estate of Charles Newton Hodges (Sp. Proc. No. 1672 of the sibling’s place. When Linnie died, Charles took the will to probate court, and was
Court of First Instance of Iloilo), petitioner, appointed Executor, then later, Special Administrator. He moved to be allowed to
vs. continue administering the family business, as per Linnie Jane’s wishes, and to
engage in sales, conveyances, leases, mortgages and other necessary
transactions. He also filed the necessary and appurtenant
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administration/accounting records, and income tax returns for the estate. Charles
named seven brothers and sisters of Linnie Jane as his heirs but the order ISSUES: (1) Whether or not the provision in Mrs. Hodges’ will in favor of her
admitting the will to probate unfortunately omitted one of the heirs, Roy Higdon, brothers and sisters constitutes ineffective hereditary substitutions.
so Charles filed a verified motion to have Roy’s name included. As an executor, (2) Whether or not a Special Proceeding for the settlement of Mrs. Hodges
he was bound to file tax returns for the estate he was administering under estate should already be closed, based on the December 1957 Court Order
American law. He did file such as estate tax return in 1958. In Schedule "M" of allegedly adjudicating Mr. Hodges as the sole heir?
such return, he answered "Yes" to the question as to whether he was
contemplating "renouncing the will". On the question as to what property RULING: (1) NO. The court overruled PCIB’S contention that the provision in
interests passed to him as the surviving spouse, he answered “None, except for Mrs. Hodges’ will in favor of her brothers and sisters constitutes ineffective
purposes of administering the Estate, paying debts, taxes and other legal hereditary substitutions. The Court ruled that by said provision, Mrs. Hodges
charges.” It is the intention of the surviving husband of deceased to distribute simultaneously instituted her brothers and sisters as co-heirs with her husband,
the remaining property and interests of the deceased in their Community estate with the condition, however, that the latter would have complete rights of
to the devisees and legatees named in the will when the debts, liabilities, taxes dominion over the whole estate during his lifetime and what would go to the
and expenses of administration are finally determined and paid. former would be only the remainder thereof at the time of Hodge’s death. In
other words, whereas they are not only to inherit only in case of default of
Charles died in Iloilo in December 1962 without having liquidated Linnie’s estate, Hodges, on the other hand, Hodges was not obliged to preserve anything for
which includes her share in the conjugal partnership. A longtime employee of the them. Clearly then, the essential elements of testamentary substitution are
Hodges, Avelina Magno, was appointed Administratrix (for Linnie’s estate) and a absent. The provision in question is a simple case of conditional simultaneous
Special Administratrix (for Charles’). Magno was appointed, but later Davies institution of heirs, whereby the institution of Hodges is subject to a partial
(representative of Charles’ heirs in the US) was designated Co-Special resolutory condition, the operative contingency of which is coincidental with that
Administrator, who was then replaced by one Joe Hodges, Charles’ nephew. One of the suspensive condition of the institution of his brothers and sisters-in-law,
Atty. Mirasol was also appointed as co-administrator, and an order of probate and which manner of institution is not prohibited by law.
letters of administration were issued to Hodges and Mirasol. At this point, the SC
was already very much confused about the gaps in the facts, convinced that the Contrary to Avelina’s view, however, it was not the usufruct alone of Linnie’s
parties representing both estates had cooked up a modus operandi to settle estate, as contemplated in Article 869, that she bequeathed to Charles during his
money matters (a settlement with records the Court never saw which, however, lifetime, but the full ownership thereof, although the same was to last also during
went awry, with more and more heirs from the US flocking to the Iloilo shores, his lifetime only, even as there was no restriction whatsoever against his
and Lawyers filing their respective claims for retainer fees. Later, PCIB became disposing or conveying the whole or any portion thereof to anybody other than
the administrator of Charles’ estate, asserting a claim to all of his estate, himself. The Court saw no legal impediment to this kind of institution, except that
including those properties/assets that passed to him upon Linnie Jane’s death. it cannot apply to the legitime of Charles as the surviving spouse, consisting of
Magno naturally opposed this, as Linnie Jane’s other heirs (the Higdons) would be one-half of the estate, considering that Linnie had no surviving ascendants nor
prejudiced, so she continued acting in her capacity as administrator. For these descendants. (Arts. 872, 900, and 904.) Hodges’ acts of administration and
acts, the PCIB dismissed her as an employee of Charles’ estate, to which she accounting strongly negate PCIB’s claims that he had adjudicated to himself all of
responded by locking up the premises being used by PCIB as offices, which were Linnie’s estate. While he may have used language like ―herein executor (being)
among the estate’s properties. PCIB’s Claims Linnie Jane’s will should be the only devisee or legatee of the deceased, in accordance with the last will and
governed by Philippine Law, with respect to the order of succession, the amount testament already probated… there is no other person interested in the
of successional rights, and the intrinsic validity of its testamentary provisions. Philippines of the time and place of examining herein account to be given notice,
Linnie intended Philippine laws to govern her Will. he would’ve known that doing so would impute bad faith unto him.
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Talisay, Cebu which is about seventy kilometers away from Pinamungajan. In a
(2) NO. No final distribution yet made to all parties concerned to the estate. After supplemental opposition the children of the first marriage contended that the
the residue has been assigned to the parties entitled to it, the Special Proceeding remedy of Benjamina Sebial was an action to rescind the partition. The lower
is deemed ready for Final Closure. court appointed Benjamina Sebial as administratrix. It found that the descedent
a) Order issued for distribution/assignment of estate among those left an estate consisting of lands with an area of twenty-one hectares, valued at
entitled. more than six thousand pesos, and that the alleged partition of the decedent's
b) Debts such as funeral expenses, taxes, widow allowance, etc. should be estate was invalid and ineffective. The oppositors moved for the reconsideration
paid already. of the order appointing Benjamina Sebial as administratrix. They insisted that the
Until the estate is finally settled and adjudicated to the heirs who may be found decedent's estate had been partitioned on August 29, 1945. On April 27, 1961
entitled to it, the administration must continue to cover Linnie's entire conjugal Benjamina Sebial filed an inventory and appraisal of the decedent's estate
share. allegedly consisting of seven unregistered parcels of land. The oppositors
registered their opposition to the inventory on the ground that the seven parcels
INTESTATE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED GELACIO SEBIAL. BENJAMINA of land enumerated in the inventory no longer formed part of the decedent's
SEBIAL VS. ROBERTA SEBIAL, JULIANO SEBIAL and HEIRS OF BALBINA estate. On May 6, 1961, the administratrix filed a motion to require Lorenzo
SEBIAL. Rematado, Demetrio Camillo and the spouses Roberta Sebial and Lazaro Recuelo
G.R. No. L-23419 June 27, 1975 to deliver to her the parcels of land. The lower court required the administratrix
to furnish the court with another inventory. The administratrix reproduced her
earlier inventory but added two houses allegedly received by the children of the
Matters affecting property under the administration may be taken cognizance of first marriage. An opposition was interposed to the said inventory. Oppositors-
by the probate court in the course of the intestate proceedings provided that the appellants appealed from the two orders of the probate court both dated
interest of third persons are not prejudiced. However, the third person to whom December 11, 1961, one approving the amended inventory of the decedent's
the decedent's assets had been fraudulently conveyed may be cited to appear in estate filed by the duly appointed administratrix and the other directing the heirs
court and may be examined under oath as to how they came into the possession or persons in possession of certain properties of the estate to deliver them to the
of the decedent's assets but a separate action is necessary to recover said administratrix. Oppositors- appellants claim, among many points, that the
assets. valuation of the inventoried properties were fake, fictitious and fantastic; that the
inventory is not supported by documentary evidence; and that an ordinary civil
FACTS: Gelacio Sebial died intestate in 1943 in Pinamungajan Cebu. According to action is necessary to recover the lands in possession of third persons.
the appellants, Gelacio Sebial, by his first wife Leoncia Manikis, who allegedly
died in 1919, begot three children named Roberta, Balbina and Juliano. By his ISSUE: Whether an ordinary civil action for recovery of property and not an
second wife, Dolores Enad, whom he allegedly married in 1927, he supposedly administration proceeding is the proper remedy, considering oppositors'
begot six children named Benjamina, Valentina, Ciriaco, Gregoria, Esperanza and allegation that the estate of Gelacio Sebial was partitioned in 1945 and that some
Luciano. Benjamina Sebial filed a petition for settlement and prayed that she be of his heirs had already sold their respective shares
appointed administratrix thereof. Roberta Sebial opposed the petition on the
ground that the estate of Gelacio Sebial had already been partitioned among his RULING: The probate court should ascertain what assets constituted the estate
children and that, if an administration proceeding was necessary, she, Roberta of Gelacio Sebial, what happened to those assets and whether the children of the
Sebial, a resident of Guimbawian, a remote mountain barrio of Pinamungajan, second marriage (the petitioner was a child of the second marriage and the
where the decedent's estate was supposedly located, should be the one principal oppositor was a child of first marriage) could still have a share,
appointed administratrix and not Benjamina Sebial, a housemaid working at howsoever small, in the decedent's estate. The said order is erroneous and

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should be set aside because the probate court failed to receive evidence as to the FACTS: The spouses Juan Pan and Teresa Magtuba died intestate in 1943 and
ownership of the said parcels of land. The general rule is that questions of title to 1948, respectively. They possession a homestead, consisting of two parcels of
property cannot be passed upon in a testate or intestate proceeding. However, land, located at Barrio Bunawan or Mauswagon, Calamba, Misamis Occidental.
when the parties are all heirs of the decedent, it is optional upon them to submit The spouses were survived by the following heirs: (1) Prima Pangilinan, (2)
to the probate court the question of title to property and, when so submitted, the Maria, Eusebio and Apolinar all surnamed Yamuta, the children of Concepcion
probate court may definitely pass judgment thereon. Lorenzo Rematado and Pangilinan Yamuta and (3) Francis, A Benjamin Perla and Francisco, Jr., all
Lazaro Recuelo are not heirs of the decedent. They are third persons. The rule is surnamed Pan the children of Francisco Pangilinan and who was also survived by
that matters affecting property under administration may be taken cognizance of his widow, Guadalupe Pizarras. (It is not clear whether Roseller, Demosthenes
by the probate court in the course of the intestate proceeding provided that the and Eliza, all surnamed Japay, were the children of the deceased Helen
interests of third persons are not prejudiced. However, third persons to whom the Pangilinan, presumably a daughter of Francisco Pangilinan and Teresa Magtuba.
decedent's assets had been fraudulently conveyed may be cited to appear in
court and be examined under oath as to how they came into the possession of A Special Proceeding in CFI of Misamis Occidental was instituted for the
the decedent's assets (Sec. 6, Rule 87, Rules of Court) but a separate action settlement of the estate of the deceased spouses, Juan C. Pangilinan and Teresa
would be necessary to recover the said assets. The probate court should receive Magtuba. The administrator presented a project of partition wherein the
evidence on the discordant contentions of the parties as to the assets of combined areas of Lots Nos. 1112 and 1927 were partitioned. It was also
decedent's estate, the valuations thereof and the rights of the transferees of provided in the project of partition that the alleged debt of the estate to
some of the assets. The probate court should require the parties to present Concepcion Pangilinan should be divided equally among the three sets of heirs
further proofs on the ownership of the seven parcels of land and the materials of and that Prima Pangilinan and the heirs of Francisco Pangilinan should pay that
the two houses enumerated in the amended inventory of November 17, 1961, on amount to the heirs of Concepcion Pangilinan.
the alleged partition effected in 1945 and on the allegations in oppositors'
inventory dated November 7, 1961. Probate court’s order set aside. Case The heirs of Francisco Pangilinan opposed that project of partition. They
remanded for further proceedings. contended that the proposed partition contravened the lower court's order which
recognized the right of the heirs of Francisco Pangilinan to a twelve-hectare
G.R. No. L-27082 January 31, 1978 portion of Lot No. 1112; that Prima Pangilinan, who sold her share to Francisco
Intestate Estate of the Spouses Juan C. Pangilinan and Teresa Magtuba. Pan should be excluded from the partition; that the total share of the heirs of
FILOMENO COCA, Administrator, PRIMA PANGILINAN, and HEIRS OF Francisco Pangilinan in Lot No. 1112 is 12.6720 hectares, while that of the heirs
CONCEPCION PANGILINAN-YAMUTA, namely, MARIA P. YAMUTA DE of Concepcion Pangilinan is 6.3360 hectares, and that the claim of the heirs of
ATAY, EUSEBIO P. YAMUTA, and APOLINAR P. YAMUTA, Concepcion Pangilinan for 115,088.50 had not been properly allowed.
VS.
GUADALUPE PIZARRAS VDA. DE PANGILINAN, HEIRS OF FRANCISCO
The lower court directed the administrator to pay the debt of the estate to the
PANGILINAN, namely, FRANCIS, ALGERIAN, BENJAMIN, PERLA and
heirs of Concepcion Pangilinan. It deferred action on the project of partition until
FRANCISCO, JR., all surnamed PANGILINAN, and CRISPIN BORROMEO
the ownership of the twelve hectares, which were claimed by the heirs of
Francisco Pangilinan and the six hectares, which were claimed by Crispen
G.R. No. L-29545 January 31, 1978
Borromeo is determined in an ordinary action. The lower court reiterated its order
FILOMENO COCA VS. CRISPIN BORROMEO and GUADALUPE PIZARRAS
of October 2, 1965 that the administrator should pay the heirs of Concepcion
VDA. DE PANGILINAN and her Children
Pangilinan the amount to be reimbursed to her estate. The court further directed
the administrator to account for the income of the estate, to recover any amount
due from the special administrator, and to pay the claim of Crispin Borromeo and
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the amount due to the heirs of Concepcion Pangilinan as directed in its order of We hold that the instant case may be treated as an exception to the
August 31, 1966 and in its approval of the accounting of the special general rule that questions of title should be ventilated in a separate
administrator. action.

The appellant contend that the lower court, as a probate court, has no Here, the probate court had already received evidence on the ownership of the
jurisdiction to decide the ownership of the twelve-hectare portion of Lot No. twelve-hectare portion during the hearing of the motion for its exclusion from
1112. On the other hand, the appellees" or the heirs of Francisco Pangilinan title inventory .The only interested parties are the heirs who have all appeared in
counter that the lower court did not decide the ownership of the twelve hectares the intestate proceeding.
when it ordered their exclusion from the project of partition. So, the problem is
how the title to the twelve hectares should be decided, whether in a separate Thus, (1) the lower court's amended order of August 31, 1966, excluding twelve
action or in the intestate. proceeding. It should be clarified that whether a hectares from the partition of the estate of the deceased Pangilinan spouses (L-
particular matter should be resolved by the Court of First Instance in the exercise 27082) and (2) the two orders dated May 11, 1968, regarding the claim of
of its general jurisdiction or of its limited probate jurisdiction is in reality not a Guadalupe.
jurisdictional question.
The case is remanded to the lower court for further proceedings in accordance
ISSUE: Whether or not the ownership of a parcel of land, whether belonging to with the guidelines already set forth.
the deceased spouses or to their heirs, should be decided in the intestate
proceeding or in a separate action.
MORALES VS. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF CAVITE, BR. V, ATTY.
ROLANDO DIAZ, in his capacity as Administrator of the Intestate Estate
RULING: As a general rule, the question as to title to property should not be of SIMONA PAMUTI, ROBERTO MELGAR and FELISA JARDIN
passed upon in the estate or intestate proceeding. That question should be G.R. No. L-47125 December 29, 1986
ventilated in a separate action. (Lachenal vs. Salas, L-42257, June 14, 1976, 71
SCRA 262, 266). That general rule has qualifications or exceptions justified by
As gleaned from the pleadings together with the annexes filed by the parties to
expediency and convenience.
this petition, the property is a salt bed fishpond located at Bacoor, Cavite,
Simona Pamuti mortgaged the property in favor of petitioner Princesita Santero
Thus, the probate court may provisionally pass upon in an intestate or testate Morales in consideration of the sum of P15,000.00. The property, following
proceeding the question of inclusion in, or exclusion from, the inventory of a extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings, was sold at public auction to Princesita.
piece of property without prejudice to its final determination in a separate action
Lachenal vs. Salas, supra).
FACTS: Simona Pamuti was the spouse of Pascual Santero with whom she begot
a son named Pablo Santero. During the lifetime of Pablo, he cohabited and had
Although generally, a probate court may not decide a question of title or children with three women, namely, Adela, Anselma and Feliberta. Pablo had a
ownership, yet if the interested parties are all heirs or the question is one of child with Adela, seven children with Anselma and five with Feliberta. The
collation or advancement, or the parties consent to the assumption of jurisdiction petitioner Princesita Santero Morales is Pablo's eldest natural child with Feliberta.
by the probate court and the rights of 'third parties are not impaired, then the Simona survived both her husband Pascual and son Pablo. Petitions for letters of
probate court is competent to decide the question of ownership. administration of the intestate estate of Pascual and Pablo Santero, Special
Proceedings Nos. N-2061 and N-2062 were filed by Juanito Santero, Pablo's
eldest natural child with Anselma as petitioner. Princesita was an oppositor in
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these proceedings whereas the respondent Clerk of Court, Atty. Rolando Diaz, The petitioners' motion for reconsideration was denied. The respondent Court
was appointed, first, as special administrator and later as regular administrator. reiterated the facts mentioned in its January 13, 1977 Order, and justified its
order for the issuance of the certificate of redemption as within its power "to
During the pendency of the proceedings for the settlement of the intestate inquire regarding the proper implementation" of the previous order of August 4,
estates of Pascual and Pablo, Juanito filed a petition for guardianship over the 1975 requiring the immediate redemption of the property. This Court, sitting as a
properties of Simona Pamuti. ln this guardianship proceeding, the respondent probate court was acting upon a mere incident of redemption that arose in the
Clerk of Court was appointed legal guardian of Simona Pamuti. As such guardian, settlement of the estates under reference and that, as such, this Court did not
he filed a motion to use the funds of the estates of Pascual and Pablo to redeem rule categorically as to which party is the rightful owner of the property in
Simona's property that had been sold at auction to petitioner Princesita.. question as the right of ownership could and should be ruled upon in case of any
Princesita opposed the motion on the ground that the funds that are in the dispute in a separate action before the proper court.
possession of the respondent Clerk of Court in his capacity as administrator are
held by him in trust for the benefit of Pascual's and Pablo's heirs who "have not ISSUE: The instant petition was filed questioning the validity of the Orders of
yet been judicially determined". January 13, 1977, May 17, 1977 and June 16, 1977 on the principal ground that
the issue regarding the validity of the redemption involves a question of
In 1976, Simona Pamuti died intestate. In the special proceeding for the ownership which is outside the jurisdiction of the respondent court as a probate
settlement of the estate of Simona, where one Felisa Pamuti-Jardin who claimed court and that the petitioners may be deprived of possession of the property only
to be Simona's sole surviving heir was the petitioner, the herein petitioner through a separate civil action.
Princesita was allowed to intervene not as heir but as "creditors of the intestate
estate of the late Simona Pamuti, or as co-owners, together with said intestate RULING: The petition is meritorious. As stated in Cuizon vs. Ramolete, 129
estates, of certain properties as the interests of said oppositors may appear". The SCRA 495, 499 - It is a well-settled rule that a probate court or one in charge of
respondent Clerk of Court in his capacity as administrator of the intestate estate proceedings whether testate or intestate cannot adjudicate or determine title to
of Simona Pamuti, filed a "Motion to Order the Provincial Sheriff of Cavite To properties claimed to be a part of the estate and which are equally claimed to
Issue Certificate of Redemption" alleging that before the expiration of the belong to outside parties. All that the said court could do as regards said
redemption period on August 4, 1975, payment of the redemption amount had properties is to determine whether they should or should not be included in the
been tendered and accepted by the Provincial Sheriff of Cavite; that upon request inventory or list of properties to be administered by the administrator. If there is
of the sheriff, another amount was tendered and accepted by the sheriff's deputy no dispute, well and good; but if there is, then the parties, the administrator, and
and that the sheriff, having received the full redemption price, is duty bound to the opposing parties have to resort to an ordinary action for a final determination
issue a certificate of redemption in favor of the estate of Simona. The provincial of the conflicting claims of title because the probate court cannot do so.
sheriff was the only party furnished with a copy of the motion.
Similarly, in Valero Vda. de Rodriguez v. Court of Appeals, (91 SCRA 540) we
In 1977, the petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration on the held that for the purpose of determining whether a certain property should or
grounds that the respondent probate court does not have jurisdiction to should not be included in the inventory, the probate court may pass upon the
resolve the validity of the redemption of the property in question; that title thereto but such determination is not conclusive and is subject to the final
there was no valid redemption and that the motion was resolved without decision in a separate action regarding ownership which may be instituted by the
giving the herein petitioners a chance to be heard. parties.

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In the case at bar, the question regarding the validity of the redemption which MAGLASANG, CONCEPCION CHONA A. MAGLASANG, GLENDA A.
was supposed to have been made by the respondent clerk of court as guardian MAGLASANG-ARNAIZ, LERMA A. MAGLASANG, FELMA A. · MAGLASANG,
and then later as administrator of the estate of Simona Pamuti, is determinative FE DORIS A. MAGLASANG, LEOLINO A. MAGLASANG, MARGIE LEILA A.
of the ownership of the property in question. The Order wherein the validity of MAGLASANG,MA. MILALIE A. MAGLASANG, SALUD A. MAGLASANG, and
the redemption was upheld is effectively a judgment that the property is owned MA. FLASALIE A. MAGLASANG, REPRESENTING THE ESTATES OF THEIR
by the estate of Simona Pamuti. At that time, the petitioners had already AFORE-NAMEDDECEASED PARENTS VS. MANILA BANKING
asserted ownership having executed the affidavit of consolidation on August 8, CORPORATION, now substituted by FIRST SOVEREIGN ASSET
1975, and the administrator of Simona's estate, on the other hand had likewise MANAGEMENT SPV-AMC, INC. FSAMI,
asserted his redemption of the property, having deposited with the sheriff the
check in the amount which was believed to be the proper redemption price. Since DOCTRINE: There are 3 remedies/options by secured creditor under Sec. 7, Rule
the sheriff did not issue a final deed in favor of the petitioners, and neither did he 86: (a) waive the mortgage and claim the entire debt from the estate of the
issue a certificate of redemption in favor of the estate of Simona, there was, mortgagor as an ordinary claim; (b) foreclose the mortgage judicially and prove
then, a clearly existing ownership contest between the parties. the deficiency as an ordinary claim; and (c) rely on the mortgage exclusively, or
other security and foreclose the same before it is barred by prescription, without
According to settled jurisprudence, such controversy is outside the jurisdiction of the right to file a claim for any deficiency. These may be ALTERNATIVELY
the probate court. Parenthetically, it must be mentioned that the respondent adopted for the satisfaction of his indebtedness. However, these
court itself had, at that time, already determined that the petitioners are remedies are distinct, independent and mutually EXCLUSIVE from each
intervenors in the settlement proceedings of Simona's estate not as heirs but as other; the election of one effectively BARS the exercise of the others.
"co-owners" with the intestate estates, and the respondent court in fact would
later state in the January 13, 1977 order that the petitioners have "not been
called to participate in the proceedings." The petitioners, are, therefore, outside
parties claiming title to property included in the inventory of properties under
FACTS: On June 16, 1975, Sps. Flaviano and Salud Maglasang obtained a credit
administration.
line from Manila Banking Corp. for P350,000 which was secured by a real estate
mortgage executed over 7 of their properties in Ormoc City and Kananga, Leyte.
To use the language of Bolisay vs. Alcid, 85 SCRA 213, it does appear strange They availed of their credit line by securing two loans both due and demandable
that the respondent court, after saying that it "did not rule categorically as to within 1 year with interest at 12% per annum and additional 4% penalty charged
which party is the rightful owner of the property in question", proceeded to Order upon default. When Flaviano Maglasang died, his son Edgar was appointed as
thereafter that the possession should be surrendered by the petitioners. Such Atty-in-fact by Flaviano’s heirs. He filed a petition for letters of administration of
latter Order clearly indicated that the respondent court stated the opposite of Flaviano’s intestate estate w/c the probate court granted. Court issued a Notice
what it meant. to Creditors for filing of money claims against the estate. MBC notified the court
of its claim. When the Court terminated the proceedings and executed an extra-
Thus, the questioned Orders are declared VOID for having been issued beyond judicial partition over the properties, the loan obligations owed to MBC remained
the jurisdiction of the probate court. unsatisfied though the court recognized the rights of MBC to foreclose the
mortgage.
G.R. No. 171206 September 23, 2013
HEIRS OF THE LATE SPOUSES FLA VIANO MAGLASANG and SALUD During the pendency of the intestate proceedings, Edgar and Oscar were able to
ADAZA-MAGLASANG, namely, OSCAR A. MAGLASANG, EDGAR A. obtain several loans from Manila Banking Corp, secured by promissory notes
which they signed.
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MBC extrajudicially foreclosed the mortgage; however, after auction sale, a actions may, as far as practicable, apply suppletorily. Among these special
deficiency remained on Maglasangs’ obligation. Thus, it filed a suit to recover the rules, Sec. 7, Rule 86 of ROC provides the rule in dealing with secured claims
deficiency. RTC-former probate court directed the Maglasangs to pay Manila against the estate.
Banking Corp. jointly and severally, P434,742.36 representing the deficiency of
the former’s total loan obligation to the latter after the extra-judicial foreclosure Sec. 7, Rule 86 of ROC: Mortgage debt due from estate. – A creditor holding a
of the REM with interest at the rate of 12% p.a., plus a 4% penalty charge, claim against the deceased secured by a mortgage or other collateral security,
reckoned from Sept. 5, 1984 until fully paid + attys. fees (10% of the may abandon the security and PROSECUTE his claim in the manner provided in
outstanding obligation). this rule, and share in the general distribution of the assets of the estate; OR he
may FORECLOSE his mortgage or realize upon his security, by ACTION in court,
The Maglasangs appealed to CA contending that under Remedies available to making the executor or administrator a party defendant, and if there is a
Manila Banking Corp. under Sec. 7, Rule 86 of ROC are alternative and exclusive, judgment for a deficiency, after the sale of the mortgaged premises, or the
such that the election of one operates as a waiver of the others and since MBC property pledged, in the foreclosure or other proceeding to realize upon the
filed a claim in the probate court, it has abandoned its right to foreclose the security, he may CLAIM HIS DEFICIENCY judgment in the manner provided in the
property and is barred from recovering any deficiency. CA denied the appeal and preceding section; OR he may rely upon his mortgage or other security alone,
contended that Act. 3135 applies w/c allows MBC to extrajudicially foreclose and and FORECLOSE the same at any time within the period of the statute of
recover the deficiency. Maglasang’s MR was subsequently denied; hence, this limitations, and in that event he shall not be admitted as a creditor, and shall
petition for review on certiorari by Heirs of Sps. Maglasang contending that it is receive no share in the distribution of the other assets of the estate; but nothing
not Act No. 3135 but Sec. 7, Rule 86 of ROC which applies in this case. The herein contained shall prohibit the executor or administrator from redeeming the
extra-judicial foreclosure of the subject properties was null and void, not having property mortgaged or pledged, by paying the debt for which it is held as
been conducted in the capital of the Province of Leyte in violation of the security, under the direction of the court, if the court shall adjudged it to be for
stipulations in the real estate mortgage contract. the best interest of the estate that such redemption shall be made.

ISSUES: 1) Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the RTC’s award of the The application of the procedure under Act No. 3135 must be concordant with
deficiency amount in favor of Manila Banking Corporation? (YES) [corollarily, Sec. 7, Rule 86 as the latter is a special rule applicable to claims against the
Whether Sec. 7, Rule 86 of ROC and not Act. 3135 applies in this case? (Both estate. At the same time, since Sec. 7, Rule 86 does not detail the procedure for
apply concordantly)] extra-judicial foreclosures, the formalities governing the manner of availing of the
3rd option – such as the place where the application for extra-judicial foreclosure
2) Whether extrajudicial foreclosure of the subject properties was null and is filed, the requirements of publication and posting and the place of sale – must
void? (NO) be governed by Act No. 3135.

RULING: The petition is partly meritorious. Hence, Extra-judicial foreclosure subject of this case was properly conducted in
accordance with the formalities of Act No. 3135. The same was a valid exercise of
(1) Both Sec. 7, Rule 86 of ROC and Act. 3135 apply complementarily in the case Manila Banking's third option under Section 7, Rule 86. Manila Banking cannot,
at bar. Foreclosure under the 3rd remedy in Sec. 7, Rule 86 of ROC includes however, file any suit to recover any deficiency amount since it effectively waived
extrajudicial foreclosure under Act. 3135. However, upon choosing said remedy, its right thereto when it chose to avail of extra-judicial foreclosure as
creditor waives his right to recover the deficiency. Claims against deceased jurisprudence instructs. DISPOSITIVE: Petition PARTLY GRANTED. The complaint
persons should be filed during the settlement proceedings of their for the recovery of the deficiency amount after extra-judicial foreclosure.
estate. Such proceedings are primarily governed by special rules found
under Rules 73 to 90 of the Rules, although rules governing ordinary
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ROBERTS VS. JUDGE TOMAS R. LEONIDAS, Branch 38, Court of First It was stipulated in paragraph 6 that the decedent's four children "shall share
Instance of Manila; MAXINE TATE-GRIMM, EDWARD MILLER GRIMM II equally in the Net Distributable Estate" and that Ethel and Juanita Morris should
and LINDA GRIMM each receive at least 12-1/2% of the total of the net distributable estate and
G.R. No. L-55509 April 27, 1984 marital share. A supplemental memorandum also dated April 25, 1978 was
executed by the parties.
FACTS: Edward M. Grimm an American resident of Manila, died on November 27,
1977. He was survived by his second wife, Maxine Tate Grimm and their two At this juncture, it should be stated that forty-three days after Grimm's death, his
children, named Pete and Linda and by Juanita and Ethel his two children by a daughter of the first marriage, Ethel, 49, through lawyers filed with Branch 20 of
first marriage which ended in divorce. He executed in 1959 two wills in San the Manila CFI intestate proceeding No. 113024 for the settlement of his estate.
Francisco, California. One will disposed of his Philippine estate which he described She was named special administratrix.
as conjugal property of himself and his second wife. The second will disposed of
his estate outside the Philippines. In both wills, the second wife and two children The second wife, Maxine filed an opposition and motion to dismiss the intestate
were favored. The two children of the first marriage were given their legitimes in proceeding on the ground of the pendency of Utah of a proceeding for the
the will disposing of the estate situated in this country. In the will dealing with his probate of Grimm's will. She also moved that she be appointed special
property outside this country, the testator said: “I purposely have made no administratrix. She submitted to the court a copy of Grimm's will disposing of his
provision in this will for my daughter, Juanita Grimm Morris, or my daughter, Elsa Philippine estate.
Grimm McFadden (Ethel Grimm Roberts), because I have provided for each of
them in a separate will disposing of my Philippine property.” The intestate court noted that Maxine, through a new lawyer, withdrew that
opposition and motion to dismiss and, at the behest of Maxine, Ethel and Pete,
The two wills and a codicil were presented for probate by Maxine Tate Grimm in appointed them joint administrators. Apparently, this was done pursuant to the
Utah. Maxine admitted that she received notice of the intestate petition filed in aforementioned Utah compromise agreement. The court ignored the will already
Manila by Ethel. In its order, the Third Judicial District Court of Utah admitted to found in the record.
probate the two wills and the codicil.
The three administrators submitted an inventory. With the authority and approval
Maxine and her two children as the first parties, and Ethel, Juanita and their of the court, they sold the so-called Palawan Pearl Project, a business owned by
mother as the second parties, with knowledge of the intestate proceeding in the deceased. Also with the court's approval and the consent of Linda and
Manila, entered into a compromise agreement in Utah regarding the estate. It Juanita, they sold 193,267 shares of RFM Corporation.
was signed by the lawyers of the parties, by Pete and Linda and the attorney-in-
fact of Maxine and by the attorney-in-fact of Ethel, Juanita Grimm Morris and Acting on the declaration of heirs and project of partition signed and filed by
Juanita Kegley Grimm. In that agreement, it was stipulated that Maxine, Pete and lawyers Limqueco and Macaraeg (not signed by Maxine and her two children),
Ethel would be designated as personal representatives (administrators) of Judge Molina adjudicated to Maxine onehalf (4/8) of the decedent's Philippine
Grimm's Philippine estate. It was also stipulated that Maxine's one-half conjugal estate and one-eighth (1/8) each to his four children. Six days later, or on August
share in the estate should be reserved for her and that would not be less than 2, Maxine and her two children replaced Limqueco with Octavio del Callar as their
$1,500,000 plus the homes in Utah and Santa Mesa, Manila. The agreement lawyer who moved to defer approval of the project of partition. The court
indicated the computation of the "net distributable estate". It recognized that the considered the motion moot considering that it had already approved the
estate was liable to pay the fees of the Angara law firm. declaration of heirs and project of partition.

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Lawyer Limqueco in a letter to Maxine dated August 2, 1979 alleged that he was hearing the two cases. Hence, the respondent judge did not commit any grave
no longer connected with Makiling Management Co., Inc. when the Palawan Pearl abuse of discretion, amounting to lack of jurisdiction, in denying Ethel's motion to
Project was sold: that it was Maxine's son Pete who negotiated the sale with Rex dismiss.
Roberts and that he (Limqueco) was going to sue Maxine for the lies she imputed
to him (Annex H, p. 78, testate case). Ethel may file within twenty days from notice of the finality of this judgment an
opposition and answer to the petition unless she considers her motion to dismiss
On September 8, 1980, Atty. Vinluan of the Angara law firm in behalf of Maxine, and other pleadings sufficient for the purpose. Juanita G. Morris, who appeared in
Pete and Linda, filed in Branch 38 of the lower court a petition praying for the the intestate case, should be served with copies of orders, notices and other
probate of Grimm's two wills (already probated in Utah), that the 1979 partition papers in the testate case.
approved by the intestate court be set aside and the letters of administration
revoked, that Maxine be appointed executrix and that Ethel and Juanita Morris be WHEREFORE the petition is dismissed. The temporary restraining order is
ordered to account for the properties received by them and to return the same to dissolved. No costs.
Maxine.
SO ORDERED.
Grimm's second wife and two children alleged that they were defraud due to the
machinations of the Roberts spouses, that the 1978 Utah compromise agreement
URIARTE VS. THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL
was illegal, that the intestate proceeding is void because Grimm died testate and
(12th Judicial District) THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA,
that the partition was contrary to the decedent's wills.
BRANCH IV, JUAN URIARTE ZAMACONA and HIGINIO URIARTE,
G.R. Nos. L-21938-39 May 29, 1970
Ethel filed a motion to dismiss the petition. Judge Leonidas denied it for lack of
merit. Ethel then filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition in this Court, FACTS: On November 6, 1961, Vicente Uriarte filed with the CFI Negros a
praying that the testate proceeding be dismissed, or. alternatively that the two petition for the settlement of the estate of the late Don Juan Uriarte alleging
proceedings be consolidated and heard in Branch 20 and that the matter of the therein that as a natural son of the latter, he was the sole heir and that during
annulment of the Utah compromise agreement be heard prior to the petition for the lifetime of said decedent, Vicente had instituted a civil case in CFI Negros for
probate. his compulsory acknowledgment as such natural son CFI Negros appointed the
PNB as special administrator and later set the date for the hearing of the petition
ISSUE: The question in this case is whether a petition for allowance of wills and and ordered that the requisite notices be published in accordance with law. The
to annul a partition, approved in an intestate proceeding by Branch 20 of the record discloses, however, that, for one reason or another, PNB never actually
Manila Court of First Instance, can be entertained by its Branch 38 (after a qualified as special administrator. On December 19, 1961, Higinio Uriarte filed an
probate in the Utah district court). opposition to the petition alleging that he was a nephew of the deceased Juan
Uriarte who had executed a Last Will and Testament in Spain, a duly
RULING: YES. A testate proceeding is proper in this case because Grimm died authenticated copy whereof has been requested and which shall be submitted to
with two wills and "no will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is the court upon receipt and further questioning Vicente’s capacity and interest to
proved and allowed". The probate of the will is mandatory. It is anomalous that commence the intestate proceeding.
the estate of a person who died testate should be settled in an intestate On August 28, 1962, Juan Uriarte Zamacona commenced a special proceeding in
proceeding. Therefore, the intestate case should be consolidated with the testate CFI Manila for the probate of a document alleged to be the last will of the
proceeding and the judge assigned to the testate proceeding should continue

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deceased Juan Uriarte and filed with CFI Negros a Motion to Dismiss on these an inhabitant of a foreign country, the court of first instance of any province in
grounds: which he had estate.
 As a deceased left a last will, there was no basis to proceed with the The deceased Juan Uriarte was a non-resident alien. Therefore, the CFIs in
intestate proceedings provinces where he left any property have concurrent jurisdiction to take
 Vicente Uriarte had no legal personality and interest to initiate the cognizance of the proper special proceedings for the settlement of his estate.
intestate proceedings, he not being an acknowledged natural son of the Vicente argues that when CFI Negros took cognizance, CFI Manila no longer had
decedent. jurisdiction to take cognizance of the special proceeding. It cannot be denied that
Vicente opposed the Motion to Dismiss contending that, as CFI Negros was first a special proceeding intended to effect the distribution of the estate of a
to take cognizance of the settlement of the estate of Juan Uriarte, it had acquired deceased person, whether in accordance with the law on intestate succession or
exclusive jurisdiction over the same. CFI Negros granted Juan Uriarte in accordance with his will, is a "probate matter" or a proceeding for the
Zamacona’s Motion and dismissed the proceeding before it. The Motion for settlement of his estate. It is equally true, however, that in accordance with
Reconsideration was denied. He filed a notice of appeal, appeal bond and record settled jurisprudence in this jurisdiction, testate proceedings, for the settlement
on appeal. The administrator appointed by CFI Manila objected to the approval of of the estate of a deceased person take precedence over intestate proceedings
the record on appeal. While this was pending, Vicente Uriarte filed a petition for for the same purpose. Thus it has been held repeatedly that, if in the course of
certiorari with the Supreme Court. intestate proceedings pending before a court of first instance it is found that the
Therefore, the CFI of Negros disapproved the record on appeal to give way to the decedent had left a last will, proceedings for the probate of the latter should
certiorari. Vicente Uriarte filed an Omnibus Motion in CFI Manila asking for leave replace the intestate proceedings even if at that stage an administrator had
to intervene therein, for the dismissal of the petition and for the annulment of the already been appointed, the latter being required to render final account and turn
proceedings had in the special proceeding therein but the Motion was denied. It over the estate in his possession to the executor subsequently appointed. These
appears from the records that Vicente had filed a civil case in the CFI of Negros facts support the view that Juan Uriarte Zamacona should have submitted the will
during the lifetime of Juan Uriarte to obtain judgment for his compulsory for probate in CFI Negros either in a separate special proceeding or in an
acknowledgement as his natural child. It is likewise clear that at the time he filed appropriate motion in the already pending special proceeding: 1. It is not in
the action, as well as when he commenced the petition for settlement of estate, accord with public policy and the orderly and inexpensive administration of
he had not yet been acknowledged as natural son of Juan Uriarte. The record justice to unnecessarily multiply litigation, especially if several courts would be
further discloses that the special proceeding before CFI Negros has not gone involved. 2. When Higinio Uriarte filed an opposition to Vicente’s petition for the
further than the appointment of PNB as special administrator (who failed to issuance of letters of sdministration, he had already informed the Negros Court
qualify). that the deceased Juan Uriarte had left a will in Spain, of which a copy had been
On the other hand, CFI Manila admitted to probate the document submitted to it, requested for submission to CFI Negros. When Juan Uriarte Zamacona filed his
as the last will of Juan Uriarte, the petition for probate appearing not to have MTD in CFI Negros, he had submitted there a copy of the alleged will of the
been contested. decedent, from which fact it may be inferred that he knew before filing the
petition for probate with the Manila Court that there was already a special
ISSUE: Whether Juan Uriarte Zamacona should have filed the petition for proceeding pending in CFi negros for the settlement of the estate of the same
probate of the last will of Juan Uriarte with CFI Negros or was entitled to deceased person. It is well settled that wrong venue is merely a waivable
commenced the corresponding separate proceedings in CFI Manila. procedural defect, and in the light of the circumstances obtaining in this case,
Vicente has waived the right to raise such objection or is precluded from doing so
RULING: Rule 73, Section: the estate of a decedent inhabitant of the Philippines by laches. He knew of the existence of the will since 1961 when Higinio Urirate
at the time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien, shall be in the court of first opposed the initial petition in CFI Negros. He was also served with notice of the
instance in the province in which he resided at the time of his death, and if he is alleged will and of the filing of petition for its probate when Juan Uriarte
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Zamacona filed an MTD in CFI Negros on 1962. He only filed the omnibus motion collecting rentals from her various tenants of commercial buildings and
in the Manila Court on April 1963. By then, The Manila Court had already the deceased always issued receipts. The niece also testified that
appointed an administrator and had admitted the will to probate. Toa llow him the deceased left a holographic will entirely written, dated and signed by
now to assail the exercise of jurisdiction over the probate of the will by the Manila said deceased.
court and the validity of all the proceedings therein would put a premium on his
negligence. SC is not inclined to annul proceedings regularly had in a lower court The fourth witness was a former lawyer for the deceased in the intestate
even if the latter was not the proper venue therefor, if the net result would be to proceedings of her late husband, who said that the signature on the will was
have the same proceedings repeated in some other court of similar jurisdiction; similar to that of the deceased but that he can not be sure.
more so in a case like the present where the objection against said proceedings is
raised too late. DISPOSITIVE petition dismissed. The fifth was an employee of the DENR who testified that she was familiar with
the signature of the deceased which appeared in the latter’s application for
Codoy v. Calugay pasture permit. The fifth, respondent Evangeline Calugay, claimed that she had
312 SCRA 333 lived with the deceased since birth where she had become familiar with her
signature and that the one appearing on the will was genuine.
FACTS:
Codoy and Ramonal’s demurrer to evidence was granted by the lower court. It
On 6 April 1990, Evangeline Calugay, Josephine Salcedo and Eufemia Patigas, was reversed on appeal with the Court of Appeals which granted the probate.
devisees and legatees of the holographic will of the deceased Matilde Seño Vda.
de Ramonal, filed a petition for probate of the said will. They attested to the ISSUE:
genuineness and due execution of the will on 30 August 1978.
1. W/N Article 811 of the Civil Code, providing that at least three witnesses
Eugenio Ramonal Codoy and Manuel Ramonal filed their opposition claiming that explicitly declare the signature in a contested will as the genuine signature of the
the will was a forgery and that the same is even illegible. They raised doubts as testator, is mandatory or directory.
regards the repeated appearing on the will after every disposition, calling the
same out of the ordinary. If the will was in the handwriting of the deceased, it 2. Whether or not the witnesses sufficiently establish the authenticity and due
was improperly procured. execution of the deceased’s holographic will.

Evangeline Calugay, etc. presented 6 witnesses and various documentary HELD:


evidence.
The first witness was the clerk of court of the probate court who produced and 1. YES. The word “shall” connotes a mandatory order, an imperative obligation
identified the records of the case bearing the signature of the deceased. and is inconsistent with the idea of discretion and that the presumption is that
The second witness was election registrar who was made to produce and identify the word “shall”, when used in a statute, is mandatory.
the voter’s affidavit, but failed to as the same was already destroyed and no
longer available.
In the case at bar, the goal to be achieved by the law, is to give effect to the
wishes of the deceased and the evil to be prevented is the possibility that
The third, the deceased’s niece, claimed that she had acquired familiarity with unscrupulous individuals who for their benefit will employ means to defeat the
the deceased’s signature and handwriting as she used to accompany her in wishes of the testator.
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The paramount consideration in the present petition is to determine the true guaranty their truth and authenticity. Therefore, the laws on this subject should
intent of the deceased. be interpreted in such a way as to attain these primordial ends. But, on the other
hand, also one must not lose sight of the fact that it is not the object of the law
2. NO. We cannot be certain that the holographic will was in the handwriting of to restrain and curtail the exercise the right to make a will.
the deceased.
However, we cannot eliminate the possibility of a false document being adjudged
The clerk of court was not presented to declare explicitly that the signature as the will of the testator, which is why if the holographic will is contested, the
appearing in the holographic will was that of the deceased. law requires three witnesses to declare that the will was in the handwriting of
the deceased.
The election registrar was not able to produce the voter’s affidavit
for verification as it was no longer available. Article 811, paragraph 1. provides: “In the probate of a holographic will, it shall
be necessary that at least one witness who knows the handwriting and signature
The deceased’s niece saw pre-prepared receipts and letters of the deceased and of the testator explicitly declare that the will and the signature are in the
did not declare that she saw the deceased sign a document or write a note. handwriting of the testator. If the will is contested, at least three of such
witnesses shall be required.”
The will was not found in the personal belongings of the deceased but was in the
possession of the said niece, who kept the fact about the will from the children of The word “shall” connotes a mandatory order, an imperative obligation and is
the deceased, putting in issue her motive. inconsistent with the idea of discretion and that the presumption is that the word
“shall”, when used in a statute, is mandatory.
Evangeline Calugay never declared that she saw the decreased write a note or
sign a document. Gerilla v. Carolina vda. de Figuracion, et. al.,

The former lawyer of the deceased expressed doubts as to the authenticity of the G.R. No.154322, August 22, 2006;
signature in the holographic will.

(As it appears in the foregoing, the three-witness requirement was not complied Facts:
with.)
Spouses Leandro and Carolina Figuracion, now both deceased, had six children:
the petitioner and respondents herein. Leandro executed a deed of quitclaim over
A visual examination of the holographic will convinces that the strokes are
his real properties in favor of his six children. When Leandro died, he left behind
different when compared with other documents written by the testator.
two parcels of land, a portion of Lot 2299 and 705 in Urdaneta, both of which he
inherited from his deceased parents. Another parcel of land, Lot 707, was
The records are remanded to allow the oppositors to adduce evidence in support inherited by Carolina and her half-sister Agripina when their father Eulalio
of their opposition. Adviento died. Agripina then executed a quitclaim over the one-half eastern
portion of the lot in favor of petitioner, Emilia, who died single and without any
The object of solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close the door issue. Before her half-sister’s death, however, Carolina adjudicated unto herself,
against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and testaments and to via affidavit under Rule 74 of the Rules of Court the entire Lot 707 which she

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later sold to respondents Felipe and Hilaria. Petitioner and her family went to the
United States where they stayed for ten years. When she returned, she built a
house made of strong materials on the eastern half-portion of Lot 707. Sometime
later, petitioner sought the extrajudicial partition of all properties held in common
by her and respondents. The Regional Trial Court of Urdaneta City, upon a
complaint filed by petitioner, rendered judgment nullifying Carolina’s affidavit of
self-adjudication and deed of absolute sale of Lot 707. The RTC, however,
dismissed the complaint for partition, reconveyance and damages on the ground
that reliefs prayed for cannot be granted without any prior settlement
proceedings. The CA upheld the dismissal of petitioner’s action for partition for
being premature but reversed the decision with respect to the nullification and
the deed of absolute sale. Hence, this present petition.

Issue: Whether or not there needs to be a prior settlement of Leandro’s intestate


estate (that is, an accounting of the income of Lots 2299 and 705, the payment
of expenses and liabilities and taxes, etc.) before the properties can be
partitioned or distributed

Ruling:

Yes. Partition is inappropriate in a situation where there remains an issue as to


the expenses chargeable to the estate. Although petitioner points out that the
estate is allegedly without any debt and respondents are the only legal heirs, she
does not dispute the finding of the CA that certain expenses including those
related to her father’s final illness and burial have not been properly settled.
Thus, with respect to Lot 2299, the heirs have to submit their father’s estate to
settlement because the determination of these expenses cannot be done in an
action for partition. The heirs or distributees, however, may take possession of
the estate even before the settlement of accounts as long as they file a bond
conditioned on the payment of the estate’s obligations.With respect to the
partition of Lot 705, partition was deemed premature since ownershipof the lot is
still in dispute. As regards Lot 707, the Court made no ruling on the validity of
Carolina’s affidavit of self-adjudication and deed of sale since a separate case is
still pending in the same Division of the Court.

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RULE 74 The Court ruled that this case falls under the exception of the rule on separate
intestate proceedings.
G.R. No. 204029 June 4, 2014
The general rule is that the declaration of heirship must be made in a special
proceeding, not in an independent civil action. However, the Court also ruled that
AVELINA ABARIENTOS REBUSQUILLO [substituted by her heirs, except
recourse to administration proceedings to determine who heirs are is sanctioned
Emelinda R. Gualvez] and SALVADOR A. OROSCO, Petitioners,
only if there is a good and compelling reason for such recourse.
vs.
SPS. DOMINGO and EMELINDA REBUSQUILLO GUALVEZ and the CITY
ASSESSOR OF LEGAZPI CITY,Respondents. The Court had allowed exceptions to the rule requiring administration
proceedings as when the parties in the civil case already presented their evidence
regarding the issue of heirship, and the RTC had consequently rendered
FACTS:
judgment upon the issues it defined during the pre-trial.

Petitioner Avelina was one of the children of Eulalio who died intestate. On his
Similar to the case of Portugal v. Portugal-Beltran, in the present case, there
death, Eulalio left behind an untitled parcel of land in Legazpi City.
appears to be only one parcel of land being claimed by the contending parties as
the inheritance from Eulalio.
In 2001, Avelina was supposedly made to sign two documents by her daughter
Emelinda and her son-in-law Domingo, respondents in this case, on the pretext
It would be more practical, as Portugal teaches, to dispense with a separate
that the documents were needed to facilitate the titling of the lot. It was only in
special proceeding for the determination of the status of petitioner Avelina as sole
2003, so petitioners claim, that Avelina realized that what she signed was an
heir of Eulalio, especially in light of the fact that respondents spouses
Affidavit of Self-Adjudication and a Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of respondents.
Gualvez admitted in court that they knew for a fact that petitioner
Avelina was not the sole heir of Eulalio and that petitioner Salvador was
Petitioners filed a complaint for annulment and revocation of an Affidavit of Self- one of the other living heirs with rights over the subject land.
Adjudication and a Deed of Absolute Sale. After trial, RTC held the annulment of
the subject documents. CA reversed RTC’s decision. CA held that the RTC erred in
Accordingly, the court a quo had properly rendered judgment on the validity of
annulling the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication simply on petitioners’ allegation of the
the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication executed by Avelina. As pointed out by the trial
existence of the heirs of Eulalio, considering that issues on heirship must be
court, an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication is only proper when the affiant is the sole
made in administration or intestate proceedings, not in an ordinary civil action.
heir of the decedent.
Further, the appellate court observed that the Deed of Absolute Sale cannot be
nullified as it is a notarized document that has in its favor the presumption of
regularity and is entitled to full faith and credit upon its face. MARIA SOCORRO AVELINO, petitioner,
vs.
ISSUE: Whether or not the issue on heirship in this case must be raised in a COURT OF APPEALS, ANGELINA AVELINO, SHARON AVELINO, ANTONIO
separate administration or intestate proceedings. AVELINO, JR., TRACY AVELINO, PATRICK MICHAEL AVELINO and MARK
ANTHONY AVELINO, respondents.
RULING: No.
FACTS:

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Petitioner Maria Socorro Avelino is a daughter and compulsory heir of the late When a person dies intestate, or, if testate, failed to name an executor in his will
Antonio Avelino, Sr., and his first wife private respondent Angelina Avelino. or the executor so named is incompetent, or refuses the trust, or fails to furnish
the bond required by the Rules of Court, then the decedent's estate shall be
The other private respondents, Sharon, Antonio Jr., Tracy, Patrick and Mark judicially administered and the competent court shall appoint a qualified
Anthony all surnamed Avelino are likewise compulsory heirs of Avelino, Sr. administrator in the order established in Section 6 of Rule 78.5 The exceptions to
Sharon, an American, is the second wife of Avelino Sr. The other private this rule are found in Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 746
respondents are siblings of petitioner Ma. Socorro.
The heirs succeed immediately to all of the rights and properties of the deceased
Ma. Socorro filed before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 78, a at the moment of the latter's death. Section 1, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court,
petition for the issuance of letters of administration of the estate of Antonio allows heirs to divide the estate among themselves without need of delay and
Avelino, Sr., who died intestate on She asked that she be appointed the risks of being dissipated. When a person dies without leaving pending obligations,
administrator of the estate. his heirs, are not required to submit the property for judicial administration, nor
apply for the appointment of an administrator by the court.
On December 3, 1992, Angelina, and the siblings filed their opposition by filing a
motion to convert the said judicial proceedings to an action for judicial partition The basis for the trial court's order is Section 1, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court. It
which petitioner duly opposed. provides that in cases where the heirs disagree as to the partition of the estate
and no extrajudicial settlement is possible, then an ordinary action for partition
Trial Court ruled that the petition is converted into judicial partition of the estate may be resorted to, as in this case. We have held that where the more
of deceased Antonio Avelino, Sr. The parties are directed to submit a complete expeditious remedy of partition is available to the heirs, then the heirs or the
inventory of all the real and personal properties left by the deceased. majority of them may not be compelled to submit to administration proceedings.
The trial court appropriately converted petitioner's action for letters of
administration into a suit for judicial partition, upon motion of the private
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied in an Order dated
respondents. No reversible error may be attributed to the Court of Appeals when
June 16, 1993.
it found the trial court's action procedurally in order.
Ma. Socorro filed before the Court of Appeals, a petition for certiorari, prohibition,
and mandamus alleging grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of G.R. No. 161220 July 30, 2008
jurisdiction on the part of the trial court, in granting private respondents' motion
to convert the judicial proceeding for the issuance of letters of administration to SPOUSES GORGONIO BENATIRO and COLUMBA CUYOS-BENATIRO
an action for judicial partition. substituted by their heirs, namely: Isabelita, Renato, Rosadelia and
Gorgonio, Jr., surnamed Benatiro, and SPOUSES RENATO C. BENATIRO
ISSUE: w/n respondent appellate court committed an error of law and gravely and ROSIE M. BENATIRO, Respondents,
abused its discretion in upholding the trial court's finding that a partition is vs.
proper. HEIRS OF EVARISTO CUYOS, namely: Gloria Cuyos-Talian, Patrocenia
Cuyos-Mijares, Numeriano Cuyos, and Enrique Cuyos, represented by
their attorney-in-fact, Salud Cuyos, Respondents.
RULING:

FACTS:

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Spouses Evaristo Cuyos and Agatona Arrogante Cuyos were blessed with nine ISSUE: whether the heirs were notified before the compromise agreement was
children, namely: Francisco, Victoria, Columba, Lope, Salud, Gloria, Patrocenia, arrived at.
Numeriano, and Enrique. On August 28, 1966, Evaristo died leaving six parcels of
land, all under the name of Agatona Arrogante. Ruling: No

On July 13, 1971, one of the heirs, Gloria Cuyos-Talian represented by Atty. In Cua v. Vargas, in which the issue was whether heirs were deemed
Victor Elliot Lepiten, filed before the CFI a petition4 for Letters of Administration. constructively notified of and bound by an extra-judicial settlement and partition
The petition was opposed by Gloria’s brother, Francisco, who was represented by of the estate, regardless of their failure to participate therein, when the extra-
Atty. Jesus Yray. judicial settlement and partition has been duly published, we held:

In the hearing, both parties together with their respective counsels appeared.
The procedure outlined in Section 1 of Rule 74 is an ex parte proceeding.
Both counsels manifested that the parties had come to an agreement to settle
The rule plainly states, however, that persons who do not participate or
their case. Both counsels suggested that the Clerk of Court, Atty. Andres C.
had no notice of an extrajudicial settlement will not be bound thereby. It
Taneo (Atty. Taneo), be appointed to act as Commissioner to effect the
contemplates a notice that has been sent out or issued before any deed
agreement of the parties and to prepare the project of partition for the approval
of settlement and/or partition is agreed upon (i.e., a notice calling all
of the court. Hence, Atty Taneo was appointed.
interested parties to participate in the said deed of extrajudicial
In Atty Taneo’s Commissioner's Report, he stated that he issued subpoenae settlement and partition), and not after such an agreement has already
supplemented by telegrams to all the heirs to cause their appearance on been executed as what happened in the instant case with the publication
February 28 and 29, 1976 in Tapilon, Daanbantayan, Cebu, where the properties of the first deed of extrajudicial settlement among heirs.
are located, for a conference or meeting to arrive at an agreement; that out of
the nine heirs, only respondents Gloria, Salud and Enrique Cuyos failed to attend; The publication of the settlement does not constitute constructive notice to the
that per return of the service, these three heirs could not be located in their heirs who had no knowledge or did not take part in it because the same was
respective given addresses; that since some of the heirs present resided outside notice after the fact of execution. The requirement of publication is geared for the
the province of Cebu, they decided to go ahead with the scheduled meeting. protection of creditors and was never intended to deprive heirs of their lawful
participation in the decedent's estate. In this connection, the records of the
Quoting the Commissioner’s Report, the CFI issued the assailed Order ruling that present case confirm that respondents never signed either of the settlement
the compromise agreement as embodied in the report of the commissioner is documents, having discovered their existence only shortly before the filing of the
hereby approved. present complaint. Following Rule 74, these extrajudicial settlements do not bind
respondents, and the partition made without their knowledge and consent is
invalid insofar as they are concerned 36 (Emphasis supplied)
Respondents, Salud Cuyos, for herself and in representation16 of the other heirs
of Evaristo Cuyos, filed with the CA a petition for annulment of the Order of the
CFI under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court. They alleged that the CFI Order was null Nothing in the records that would show that the heirs were called to a hearing to
and void and of no effect, the same being based on a Commissioner's Report, validate the Report. The CFI adopted and approved the Report despite the
which was patently false and irregular; that such report practically deprived them absence of the signatures of all the heirs showing conformity thereto. The CFI
of due process in claiming their share of their father's estate. adopted the Report despite the statement therein that only six out of the nine
heirs attended the conference, thus, effectively depriving the other heirs of their
chance to be heard. The CFI's action was tantamount to a violation of the

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constitutional guarantee that no person shall be deprived of property without due immediately to all the property of the deceased. It is at their option if they want
process of law. We find that the assailed Order dated December 16, 1976, which to enter upon the administration of the property or if they want to partition it.
approved a void Commissioner's Report, is a void judgment for lack of due When there are no debts existing against the estate, there is no need for the
process. intervention of an administrator.

Utulo v. Pasion vda. de Garcia, 66 Phil. 303 Delgado vs. Heirs of Damian

Facts:

Facts: On May 8, 1975, Luisa Delgado, the sister of Josefa, filed a Petition on Letters of
Administration of the estate of deceased spouses Josefa Delgado and Guillermo
Juan Sanchez died intestate leaving his widow and 3 children as heirs. His widow, Rustia (died 1972 and 1974 respectively). Such letter was opposed by Marciana
Vda. de Garcia was appointed administratix. One of their children Luz, died Rustia, a sister of Guillermo, claiming that they should be the beneficiaries of the
leaving her spouse Pablo Utulo and her mother as forced heirs. Utulo commenced estate. The trial court then allowed Guillerma Rustia, a legitimate child of
the judicial administration of her properties where Vda. de Garcia opposed Guillermo, to intervene in the case as she claimed that she possessed the status
arguing that there is no need for judicial administration and in case it should be of an acknowledged legitimate natural child, hence, she should be the sole heir of
granted by court that she be appointed administratix. The CFI appointed Utulo as the estate. Later, Luisa Delgado said that the spouses were living together
judicial administrator hence this appeal. without marriage. Luisa Delgado died and was substituted dela Rosa (herein
petitioner) in this case. The RTC appointed dela Rosa as the administrator of the
Issue: W/N there was need of judicial administration
estates of the deceased.
Held: NO
Issue: Whether or not dela Rosa should be the sole administrator of the estate
The general rule as provided for in Sec. 642 of the Code of Civil Procedure is that
that “if no executor is named in the will, or if a person dies intestate, Ruling: No
administration shall be granted”. However this is subject to 2 exceptions provided
by Secs. 596 and 597 of the same Code. Sec. 596 provides that when all the The petitioners are already the nephews, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces
heirs are of lawful age, and there are no debts due from the estate, they may of Josefa Delgado. Under Article 972 of the new Civil Code, the right of
agree in writing to partition the property without instituting the judicial representation in the collateral line takes place only in favor of the children of
administration or applying for the appointment of an administrator. Sec. 597 brothers and sisters (nephews and nieces). Consequently, it cannot be exercised
provides that if the property left does not exceed P6,000, the heirs may apply to by grandnephews and grandnieces.54 Therefore, the only collateral relatives of
the competent court to proceed with the summary partition without instituting Josefa Delgado who are entitled to partake of her intestate estate are her
the judicial administration and the appointment of an administrator. brothers and sisters, or their children who were still alive at the time of her death
on September 8, 1972. They have a vested right to participate in the
When a person dies without leaving pending obligations to be paid, his inheritance.55 The records not being clear on this matter, it is now for the trial
heirs, whether of age or not, are not bound to submit the property to a court to determine who were the surviving brothers and sisters (or their children)
judicial administration, which is always long and costly or to apply for of Josefa Delgado at the time of her death. Together with Guillermo Rustia,56 they
the appointment of an administrator by the court. Rights to the succession are entitled to inherit from Josefa Delgado in accordance with Article 1001 of the
of a person are transmitted from the moment of death hence his heirs succeed new Civil Code.

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Since Josefa Delgado had heirs other than Guillermo Rustia, Guillermo could not FACTS: DE VILLA, SUNGA and ROY, three of the five children of the late Spouses
have validly adjudicated Josefa’s estate all to himself. Rule 74, Section 1 of the GELACIO and VICENTA MUNSAYAC filed for a petition for letters of administration
Rules of Court is clear. Adjudication by an heir of the decedent’s entire estate to nominating DE VILLA as administratrix of the intestate estate of their parents.
himself by means of an affidavit is allowed only if he is the sole heir to the
estate: DE VILLA’s nomination was opposed by the two (2) other children namely
MUNSAYAC, JR. and VISPERAS, who nominated MUNSAYAC, JR. as administrator
SECTION 1. Extrajudicial settlement by agreement between heirs. – If the of the late Munsayac Couple’s intestate estate.
decedent left no will and no debts and the heirs are all of age, or the minors are
represented by their judicial or legal representatives duly authorized for the "MUNSAYAC, JR. was eventually appointed administrator pursuant to respondent
purpose, the parties may, without securing letters of administration, divide the Judge’s Order thus, replacing Atty. Ceasar G. Oracion as special administrator of
estate among themselves as they see fit by means of a public instrument filed in the said intestate estate.
the office of the register of deeds, and should they disagree, they may do so in
an ordinary action of partition. If there is only one heir, he may adjudicate Subsequently, DE VILLA and SUNGA filed for a Request to Inhibit Respondent
to himself the estate by means of an affidavit filed in the office of the Judge. Barely a week after such request and before respondent Judge could act
register of deeds. x x x (emphasis supplied) on it, DE VILLA filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus
questioning respondent Judge’s Order in directing/ordering him (DE VILLA) to
produce certain bank time deposit certificates/documents; and the order of arrest
for failure to produce the said bank certificates/documents.
FERNANDEZ, ET AL V. DIMAGIBA, L-23638, OCTOBER 12, 1967
Pending the resolution, DE VILLA filed an administrative case before the Supreme
FACTS: Ismaela Dimagiba filed a petition for probate of the will of Benedicta de
Court, which prayed for respondent Judge’s suspension and his permanent
los Reyes. Such petition was opposed by Dionisio Fernandez, et al. The court
removal from office on grounds of grave misconduct and serious inefficiency.
ruled in favor of probate. Fernandez et al appealed, but it was beyond the
reglamentary period. They argued that they were entitled to await the other
Acting on the Omnibus Motion which was filed by the administrator of the
grounds for opposition before appealing.
intestate estate, respondent Judge issued the Order to surrender, under pain of
contempt, (a) the amount of the bank investment discovered in the names of the
ISSUE: Whether the probate of the will become final for lack of appeal
late VICENTA, DE VILLA and SUNGA made with the United Coconut Planter’s
Bank, Baguio City (‘UCPB’) worth P13,506,343.33, and which amount was not
HELD: Yes. A probate decree finally and definitively settles all questions
disclosed by the petitioners in the estate return tax, (b) as well as the surrender
concerning capacity of the testator and the proper execution and witnessing of
of all the pieces of jewelry given by the late VICENTA to DE VILLA and SUNGA,
the will. As such, probate order is final and appealable. They do not have to await
subject of the ‘freeze order’ with the China Banking Corporation.
the resolution of its other oppositions since the Rules of Court enumerates six
different instances when appeal may be taken in special proceedings.
For their failure to comply with the Order the petitioners DE VILLA, SUNGA and
ROY were arrested and were likewise ORDERED to surrender in custodia legis
amount of P15,298,835.95 and P3,010,822.02 plus the legal interest.
MUNSAYAC-DE VILLA V. COURT OF APPEALS, 414 SCRA 436
A Petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus filed before the CA. CA
nullified the arrest order only. Hence this petition, arguing that the
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inhibition is still needed as the issue on withdrawal/release of the money court that has jurisdiction over the estate proceedings; and that the final order of
deposited in custodia legis and the lifting of the freeze order on certain jewelry is the court thereon shall be binding on the person raising the questions and on the
pending. heirs.

ISSUE: Whether properties in custodia legis must be released. YES In a train of decisions, this Court has consistently enunciated this settled,
corollary principle: generally, a probate court may not decide a question of title
HELD: The Court ordered the TC to lift the freeze order and cause the return of or ownership, but it may do so if the interested parties are all heirs; or the
property or money still in custodia legis. The inhibition of the respondent judge question is one of collation or advancement; or the parties consent to its
became moot and academic. assumption of jurisdiction and the rights of third parties are not impaired. These
principles, however, have no more application in this case, since the main
It should be clear that the CA Decision terminating Special Proceedings No. 704-R proceedings for the settlement of the intestate estate of the deceased couple
found that the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition executed by all the parties was the have already been decided and terminated. Indeed, every litigation must come to
"final, complete and absolute settlement of their respective shares and claims as an end.
heirs of deceased spouses Gelacio Munsayac, Sr. and Vicenta Munsayac." As
such, any and all incidents relating to the special proceedings should also be To be sure, this Court is not tasked to look into the ownership of the properties
deemed to have been terminated. deposited with or ordered frozen by the lower court during the progress of the
special proceedings. Neither can Judge Reyes do so now. Whether those
When Judge Reyes issued his Orders commanding the bank manager of the China properties should have been adjudicated by the legal heirs of the Munsayac
Bank branch in Baguio City to freeze the safety deposit box of petitioners and to spouses is beside the point at this time. The former have already entered into an
deposit certain amounts in custodia legis, he did so as the presiding judge in the Extrajudicial Partition representing the final, complete and absolute settlement of
probate court that was hearing Special Proceedings No. 704-R. Now that the case their shares as heirs of the latter. What is left to be done is simply the lifting of
has finally been terminated, it follows that neither he nor his court has any more any freeze order and the release of any property originally deposited by
right to hold the properties that were the subject of his Orders in the special petitioners in custodia legis.
proceedings.
In view of the above ruling, we deem it necessary to direct Judge Reyes to
Needless to say, the lifting of any freeze order and the return of any property immediately lift any freeze order still pending and to order the release of any
previously deposited with the court should be effected. The judge had no more property deposited in custodia legis. It is already an accepted rule of procedure
discretion to decide whether the amounts and the property deposited should be for this Court to strive to settle the entire controversy in a single proceeding,
released. Likewise, any standing order on any property in relation to the special leaving no root or branch to bear the seeds of future litigation. To achieve that
proceedings should be lifted. This ruling reiterates the long-standing principle end and to expedite the case in the interest of substantial justice, a directive to
that a tribunal acting as a probate court exercises limited jurisdiction. However, the trial judge to lift the freeze order and release the property deposited with the
the determination of whether a property should be included in the inventory is court becomes indispensable.
within its probate jurisdiction. Such determination is only provisional -- not
conclusive -- in character and subject to the final decision in a separate action
that may be instituted by the parties. FELIX AZUELO V. COURT OF APPEALS, GR NO. 122880, APRIL 12, 2006

Neither are we unmindful of the rule that questions on an advance made or FACTS: Petitioner Felix Azuela sought to admit to probate the notarial will of
allegedly made by the deceased to any heir may be heard and determined by the Eugenia E. Igsolo. However, this was opposed by Geralda Castillo, who was the
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attorney-in-fact of “the 12 legitimate heirs” of the decedent. According to her, compel petitioner to produce the holographic will of his father so that probate
the will was forged, and imbued with several fatal defects. Particularly, the issue proceedings for the allowance thereof could be instituted. Respondent had
relevant in this subject is that the will was not properly acknowledged. The already requested his mother to settle and liquidate the patriarch’s estate and to
notary public, Petronio Y. Bautista, only wrote “Nilagdaan ko at ninotario ko deliver to the legal heirs their respective inheritance, but petitioner refused to do
ngayong 10 ng Hunyo 10 (sic), 1981 dito sa Lungsod ng Maynila.” so without any justifiable reason. Petitioner denied that she was in custody of the
original holographic will and that she knew of its whereabouts. The RTC heard the
ISSUE: Whether or not the will is fatally defective as it was not properly case. After the presentation and formal offer of respondent’s evidence, petitioner
acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses as demurred, contending that her son failed to prove that she had in her custody
required by Article 806 of the Civil Code. the original holographic will. The RTC, at first, denied the demurrer to evidence.
However, it granted the same on petitioner’s motion for reconsideration.
HELD: Yes, the will is fatally defective. By no manner of contemplation can Respondent’s motion for reconsideration of this latter order was denied. Hence,
those words be construed as an acknowledgment. the petition was dismissed. Aggrieved, respondent sought review from the
appellate court. The CA initially denied the appeal for lack of merit. Respondent
An acknowledgement is the act of one who has executed a deed in going before moved for reconsideration. The appellate court granted the motion, set aside its
some competent officer or court and declaring it to be his act or deed. It involves earlier ruling, issued the writ, and ordered the production of the will and the
an extra step undertaken whereby the signore actually declares to the notary payment of attorney’s fees. It ruled this time that respondent was able to show
that the executor of a document has attested to the notary that the same is by testimonial evidence that his mother had in her possession the holographic
his/her own free act and deed. will. Dissatisfied with this turn of events, petitioner filed a motion for
reconsideration. The appellate court denied this motion. Left with no other
It might be possible to construe the averment as a jurat, even though it does not recourse, petitioner brought the matter before this Court, contending in the main
hew to the usual language thereof. A jurat is that part of an affidavit where the that the petition for mandamus is not the proper remedy and that the testimonial
notary certifies that before him/her, the document was subscribed and sworn to evidence used by the appellate court as basis for its ruling is inadmissible.
by the executor.
ISSUE: Whether or not mandamus is the proper remedy of the respondent.
Yet even if we consider what was affixed by the notary public as a jurat, the will
would nonetheless remain invalid, as the express requirement of Article 806 is HELD: The Court cannot sustain the CA’s issuance of the writ.
that the will be “acknowledged,” and not merely subscribed and sworn to. The
will does not present any textual proof, much less one under oath that the Mandamus is a command issuing from a court of law of competent jurisdiction, in
decedent and the instrumental witnesses executed or signed the will as their own the name of the state or the sovereign, directed to some inferior court, tribunal,
free act or deed. The acknowledgment made in a will provides for another all- or board, or to some corporation or person requiring the performance of a
important legal safeguard against spurious wills or those made beyond the free particular duty therein specified, which duty results from the official station of the
consent of the testator. party to whom the writ is directed or from operation of law. This definition
recognizes the public character of the remedy, and clearly excludes the idea that
it may be resorted to for the purpose of enforcing the performance of duties in
ANG V. LEE, GR NO. 176831, JANUARY 5, 2010 which the public has no interest. The writ is a proper recourse for citizens who
seek to enforce a public right and to compel the performance of a public duty,
FACTS: Respondent Nixon Lee filed a petition for mandamus with damages most especially when the public right involved is mandated by the Constitution.
against his mother Uy Kiao Eng, herein petitioner, before the RTC of Manila to As the quoted provision instructs, mandamus will lie if the tribunal, corporation,
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board, officer, or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the
law enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust or station. In the instant case, the Court, without unnecessarily ascertaining whether the
obligation involved here—the production of the original holographic will—is in the
The writ of mandamus, however, will not issue to compel an official to do nature of a public or a private duty, rules that the remedy of mandamus cannot
anything which is not his duty to do or which it is his duty not to do, or to give to be availed of by respondent Lee because there lies another plain, speedy and
the applicant anything to which he is not entitled by law. Nor will mandamus adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Let it be noted that respondent
issue to enforce a right which is in substantial dispute or as to which a substantial has a photocopy of the will and that he seeks the production of the original for
doubt exists, although objection raising a mere technical question will be purposes of probate. The Rules of Court, however, does not prevent him from
disregarded if the right is clear and the case is meritorious. As a rule, mandamus instituting probate proceedings for the allowance of the will whether the same is
will not lie in the absence of any of the following grounds: [a] that the court, in his possession or not.
officer, board, or person against whom the action is taken unlawfully neglected
the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting There being a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law
from office, trust, or station; or [b] that such court, officer, board, or person has for the production of the subject will, the remedy of mandamus cannot be availed
unlawfully excluded petitioner/relator from the use and enjoyment of a right or of. Suffice it to state that respondent Lee lacks a cause of action in his petition.
office to which he is entitled. On the part of the relator, it is essential to the Thus, the Court grants the demurrer.
issuance of a writ of mandamus that he should have a clear legal right to the
thing demanded and it must be the imperative duty of respondent to perform the BALANAY, JR. V. MARTINEZ, ET AL, L- 39247, JUNE 27, 1975
act required.
FACTS: Leodegaria Julian, a native of Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur, died on February
Recognized further in this jurisdiction is the principle that mandamus cannot be 12, 1973 in Davao City at the age of sixty-seven. She was survived by her
used to enforce contractual obligations. Generally, mandamus will not lie to husband, Felix Balanay, Sr., and by their six legitimate childrenincluding herein
enforce purely private contract rights, and will not lie against an individual unless petitioner Felix Balanay Jr. Felix J. Balanay, Jr. filed in the lower court a petition
some obligation in the nature of a public or quasi-public duty is imposed. The writ dated February 27, 1973 for the probate of his mother's notarial will dated
is not appropriate to enforce a private right against an individual.] The writ of September 5, 1970 which is written in English. In that will Leodegaria Julian
mandamus lies to enforce the execution of an act, when, otherwise, justice would declared (a) that she was the owner of the "southern half of nine conjugal lots
be obstructed; and, regularly, issues only in cases relating to the public and to (par. II); (b) that she was the absolute owner of two parcels of land which she
the government; hence, it is called a prerogative writ. To preserve its prerogative inherited from her father (par. III), and (c) that it was her desire that her
character, mandamus is not used for the redress of private wrongs, but only in properties should not be divided among her heirs during her husband's lifetime
matters relating to the public. and that their legitimes should be satisfied out of the fruits of her properties.

Moreover, an important principle followed in the issuance of the writ is that there Although initially opposing, Felix Balanay, Sr. signed a Conformation of Division
should be no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law and Renunciation of Hereditary Rights manifesting that out of respect for his
other than the remedy of mandamus being invoked. In other words, mandamus wife's will he waived and renounced his hereditary rights in her estate in favor of
can be issued only in cases where the usual modes of procedure and forms of their 6 children. In that same instrument he confirmed the agreement, which he
remedy are powerless to afford relief. Although classified as a legal remedy, and his wife had perfected before her death, that their conjugal properties would
mandamus is equitable in its nature and its issuance is generally controlled by be partitioned in the manner indicated in her will.
equitable principles. Indeed, the grant of the writ of mandamus lies in the sound
discretion of the court.
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Avelina B. Antonio, an oppositor, in her rejoinder contended that the affidavit and interfering with the general testamentary scheme, or doing injustice to the
conformation" of Felix Balanay, Sr. were void for illegally claiming the conjugal beneficiaries"
lands while David O. Montaña, Sr., claiming to be the lawyer of Felix Balanay, Jr.,
Beatriz B. Solamo, Carolina B. Manguiob and Emilia B. Pabaonon filed a motion The statement of the testatrix that she owned the "southern half of the conjugal
for leave of court to withdraw probate of the will and requesting authority to lands is contrary to law because, although she was a co-owner thereof, her share
proceed by intestate estate proceeding also referring to the provisions relating to was inchoate and pro indiviso. But That illegal declaration does not nullify the
the conjugal assets as compromising the future legitimes. entire will. It may be disregarded.

The lower Court ruled that the will was void and converted to intestate The provision of the will that the properties of the testatrix should not be divided
proceedings. Felix Balanay, Jr., through a new counsel, Roberto M. Sarenas, among her heirs during her husband's lifetime but should be kept intact and that
asked for the reconsideration of the lower court's order on the ground that Atty. the legitimes should be paid in cash is contrary to article 1080.
Montaña had NO authority to withdraw the petition for the allowance of the will
but the lower court denied and clarified that it declared the will void on the basis Felix Balanay, Sr. could validly renounce his hereditary rights and his one-half
of its own independent assessment of its provisions and not because of Atty. share of the conjugal but insofar as said renunciation partakes of a donation of
Montaña's arguments. his hereditary rights and his one-half share in the conjugal, it should be subject
to the limitations prescribed in articles 750 and 752 of the Civil Code. A portion of
ISSUE: WON the probate court erred in passing upon the intrinsic validity of the the estate should be adjudicated to the widower for his support and maintenance.
will, before ruling on its allowance or formal validity, and in declaring it void. Or at least his legitime should be respected.

HELD: No. The SC are of the opinion that in view of certain unusual provisions of Subject to the foregoing observations and the rules on collation, the will is
the will, which are of dubious legality, and because of the motion to withdraw the intrinsically valid and the partition therein may be given effect if it does not
petition for probate (which the lower court assumed to have been filed with the prejudice the creditors and impair the legitimes. The distribution and partition
petitioner's authorization), the trial court acted correctly in passing upon the would become effective upon the death of Felix Balanay, Sr. In the meantime,
will's intrinsic validity even before its formal validity had been established. But the net income should be equitably divided among the children and the surviving
the probate court erred in declaring, in its order of February 28, 1974 that the spouse.
will was void and in converting the testate proceeding into an intestate
proceeding notwithstanding the fact that in its order of June 18, 1973 , it gave It should be stressed that by reason of the surviving husband's conformity to his
effect to the surviving husband's conformity to the will and to his renunciation of wife's will and his renunciation of his hereditary rights, his one-half conjugal
his hereditary rights which presumably included his one-half share of the share became a part of his deceased wife's estate. His conformity had the effect
conjugal estate. of validating the partition made in paragraph V of the will without prejudice, of
course, to the rights of the creditors and the legitimes of the compulsory heirs.
Ratio: The rule is that "the invalidity of one of several dispositions contained in a
will does not result in the invalidity of the other dispositions, unless it is to be The instant case is different from the Nuguid case, where the testatrix instituted
presumed that the testator would not have made such other dispositions if the as heir her sister and preterited her parents. Her will was intrinsically void
first invalid disposition had not been made". "Where some of the provisions of a because it preterited her compulsory heirs in the direct line. Article 854 of the
will are valid and others invalid, the valid parts will be upheld if they can be Civil Code provides that "the preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the
separated from the invalid without defeating the intention of the testator or compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of
the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir;
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but the devises and legacies, shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious." After the denial, respondents filed with the SC a petition for certiorari and
Since the preterition of the parents annulled the institution of the sister of the prohibition with preliminary injunction which was subsequently referred to the
testatrix and there were no legacies and devises, total intestacy resulted. IAC. The IAC granted the private respondents' petition and ordered the TC to
dismiss the petition for the probate of the will of Nemesio.
In the instant case, the preterited heir was the surviving spouse. His preterition
did not produce intestacy. Moreover, he signified his conformity to his wife's will His MR having been denied, Acain filed this present petition for the review of
and renounced his hereditary rights. IAC’s decision.

It results that the lower court erred in not proceeding with the probate of the will ISSUES:
as contemplated in its uncancelled order of June 18, 1973. Save in an extreme 1. Whether private respondents have been preterited. No for the widow, yes for
case where the will on its face is intrinsically void, it is the probate court's duty to Fernandez.
pass first upon the formal validity of the will. Generally, the probate of the will is 2. Whether Acain has legal standing to intervene in the probate proceedings. No.
mandatory. **3. Whether the probate court went beyond its authority. No.

WHEREFORE, the lower court's orders of February 28, and June 29, 1974 are set HELD:
aside and its order of June 18, 1973, setting for hearing the petition for probate, 1. Preterition consists in the omission in the testator's will of the forced heirs or
is affirmed. The lower court is directed to conduct further proceedings in Special anyone of them either because they are not mentioned therein, or, though
Case No. 1808. mentioned, they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited.
Insofar as the widow is concerned, there is no preterition, for she is not in the
direct line. However, the same cannot be said for Fernandez. It cannot be denied
ACAIN V. IAC, ET AL., GR NO. 72706, OCTOBER 27, 1987 that she was totally omitted and preterited in the will of the testator. Neither can
it be denied that she was not expressly disinherited. Hence, this is a clear case of
FACTS: On May 1984, Constantino Acain (petitioner hereinafter Acain) filed on preterition of the Fernandez. The universal institution of Acain and his siblings to
the RTC of Cebu City, a petition for the probate of the will of the late Nemesio the entire inheritance of the testator results in totally abrogating the will.
Acain and for the issuance to Acain of letters testamentary. When Nemesio died,
he left a will in which Acain and his siblings were instituted as heirs. The will 2. In order that a person may be allowed to intervene in a probate proceeding
allegedly executed by Nemesio was submitted by petitioner without objection he must have an interest in the estate, or in the will, or in the property to be
raised by private respondents. affected by it either as executor or as a claimant of the estate and an interested
party is one who would be benefited by the estate. Acain, at the outset, appears
Segundo, the brother of Nemesio, was initially instituted as the heir, in case to have an interest in the will as an heir, however, intestacy having resulted from
Segundo pre-deceases Nemesio, Segundo’s children would then succeed. the preterition of Fernandez and the universal institution of heirs, Acain is in
effect not an heir of the testator. He has no legal standing to petition for the
After the petition was set for hearing, the respondents (Virginia Fernandez, probate of the will left by the deceased and must then be dismissed.
legally adopted daughter of Nemesio, and the latter's widow, Rosa Acain) filed a
motion to dismiss on the following grounds: for the petitioner has no legal **3. The general rule is that the probate court's authority is limited only to the
capacity to institute these proceedings; he is merely a universal heir and the extrinsic validity of the will, the due execution thereof, the testator's
Rosa and Fernandez have been pretirited. Motion was denied. testamentary capacity and the compliance with the requisites or solemnities
prescribed by law. The intrinsic validity of the will normally comes only after the
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Court has declared that the will has been duly authenticated. The rule, however, the intrinsic validity of the Will and declared the devise in favor of the
is not inflexible and absolute. Under exceptional circumstances, the probate court petitioner null and void. The general rule is that in probate proceedings, the
is not powerless to do what the situation constrains it to do and pass upon court’s area of inquiry is limited to an examination and resolution of the extrinsic
certain provisions of the will. Where circumstances demand that intrinsic validity validity of the Will. The rule, however, is not inflexible and absolute. Given
of testamentary provisions be passed upon even before the extrinsic validity of exceptional circumstances, the probate court is not powerless to do what the
the will is resolved, the probate court should meet the issue. situation constrains it to do and pass upon certain provisions of the Will.

The remedies of certiorari and prohibition were properly availed of by private The probate of a will might become an idle ceremony if on its face it appears to
respondents. The petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. be intrinsically void. Where practical considerations demand that
the intrinsic validity of the will be passed upon, even before it is probated, the
court should meet the issue (Nuguid v. Nuguid)
NEPOMUCENO V. CA, ET AL., GR NO. 62952, OCTOBER 9, 1985
The Will is void under Article 739. The following donations shall be void: (1)
FACTS: Martin Jugo left a duly executed and notarized Last Will and Those made between persons who were guilty of adultery or concubinage at the
Testament before he died. Petitioner was named as sole executor. It is clearly time of the donation; and Article 1028. The prohibitions mentioned in Article 739,
stated in the Will that he was legally married to a certain Rufina Gomez by whom concerning donations inter vivos shall apply to testamentary provisions.
he had two legitimate children, but he had been estranged from his lawful wife.
In fact, the testator Martin Jugo and the petitioner were married despite the There is no question from the records about the fact of a prior existing marriage
subsisting first marriage. The testator devised the free portion of his estate to when Martin Jugo executed his Will. The very wordings of the Will invalidate the
petitioner. On August 21, 1974, the petitioner filed a petition for probate. On May legacy because the testator admitted he was disposing the properties to a person
13, 1975, Rufina Gomez and her children filed an opposition alleging undue and with whom he had been living in concubinage.
improper influence on the part of the petitioner; that at the time of 4. Rule 74 – SUMMARY SETTLEMENT OF ESTATES
the execution of the Will, the testator was already very sick and that petitioner
having admitted her living in concubinage with the testator. MANINANG vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. L-57848, June 19, 1982
The lower court denied the probate of the Will on the ground that as the testator FACTS:
admitted in his Will to cohabiting with the petitioner. Petitioner appealed to CA. Clemencia Aseneta, single, died and left a holographic will. The will states
On June 2, 1982, the respondent court set aside the decision of the Court of First that all her properties shall be inherited by Dra. Maninang and her family whose
Instance of Rizal denying the probate of the will. The respondent court declared family the testatrix has lived with continuously for 30 years. The will further
the Will to be valid except that the devise in favor of the petitioner is null and stated that she is troubled with her nephews and that she did not consider
void. Bernardo as her adopted son for letting her do acts against her will.

ISSUE: W/N the CA acted in excess of its jurisdiction when after declaring Maninag filed a petition for the probate of the holographic will while the
the last Will and Testament of the deceased Martin Jugo validly drawn, it went on adopted son instituted intestate proceedings. Bernardo filed a Motion to Dismiss
to pass upon the intrinsic validity of the testamentary provision. the testate case on the ground that as the only compulsory heir, he was
preterited in the holographic will. The testate proceeding was dismissed by the
HELD: No. The respondent court acted within its jurisdiction when after trial court following the court’s reasoning that the adopted son was preterited and
declaring the Will to be validly drawn, it went on to pass upon intestacy should ensue. Maninag filed a petition for certiorari arguing that the
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court’s findings should be limited to the extrinsic validity of the will and not the Therefore, in ordering the dismissal of the testate case, the trial court has acted
intrinsic validity. in grave abuse of its discretion in excess of its jurisdiction.

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court judge acted in grave abuse of discretion in
dismissing the testate case.

Ruling: YES.

Generally, the probate of the will is mandatory. Unless the will is probated and
notice thereof is given to the whole world, the right of a person to dispose of his
properties by will may be rendered nugatory. Moreover, the probate of the will,
normally, does not look into its intrinsic validity. Opposition to the validity or
legality of the provisions of the will cannot be entertained in a probate
proceeding; its only purpose is merely to determine if the will has been executed
in accordance with the requirements of the law.

However, by way of exception, the intrinsic validity of a will may be passed upon
even before probate because of “practical considerations”. Such considerations
include those enunciated in the cases of Nuguid vs Nuguid and Balanay vs Hon.
Martinez relied upon by Bernardo in his argument which was favored by the trial
court.

The Supreme Court, however, stated that the aforementioned cases provide for
the exception rather than the rule. For instance, in the Nuiguid case, the will was
found to be intrinsically invalid as it completely preterited the testator’s parents.
In the case at hand, the crucial issue to be resolved first is whether under the
terms of the decedent’s will, Bernardo had been preterited or disinherited.

By virtue of the dismissal of the testate case by the trial court judge, the
determination of that controversial issue has not been thoroughly considered.
The Court gathered from the order of the trial court which concluded that
Bernardo had been preterited. As for the Court, such conclusion is not
indubitable.

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DELGADO VS HEIRS OF MARCIANA

480 SCRA 334


Facts:

On May 8, 1975, Luisa Delgado, the sister of Josefa, filed a Petition on


Letters of Administration of the estate of deceased spouses Josefa Delgado and
Guillermo Rustia (died 1972 and 1974 respectively). Such letter was opposed by
Marciana Rustia, a sister of Guillermo, claiming that they should be the
beneficiaries of the estate. The trial court then allowed Guillerma Rustia, a
legitimate child of Guillermo, to intervene in the case as she claimed that she
possessed the status of an acknowledged legitimate natural child, hence, she
should be the sole heir of the estate. Later, Luisa Delgado said that the spouses
were living together without marriage. Luisa Delgado died and was substituted
dela Rosa (herein petitioner) in this case. The RTC appointed dela Rosa as the
administrator of the estates of the deceased.

Issue:

Whether or not Dela Rosa should be the sole administrator of the estate noting
that Josefa and Guillermo did not contract marriage.

Ruling:

The Supreme Court held that through the testimonies of the of the witnesses,
that marriage between Josefa and Guillermo never took place. Although it is
presumed that a man and a woman departing themselves as husband and wife
have entered into a lawful contract of marriage, such testimonies shall prevail.
Since no marriage had occurred between the two, the estate must be settled in
different proceedings. Therefore, dela Rosa cannot be appointed as the sole
administrator of the estate of the deceased.

In this case, the Court also ruled that in the appointment of administrator, the
principal consideration is the interest in the estate of the one to be appointed.
The order of preference does not rule out the appointment of co-adminstrators,
especially in cases where justice and equity demand that opposing parties or
factions be represented in the management of the estates.

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SAMPIO V. CA. settlement or affidavit, especially as no mention of such effect is made, either
103 Phil 71 directly or by implication.
RE: Raising an Objection to an Extrajudicial Partition After the Expiration
of Two (2) Year Prescriptive Period The provisions of Section 4 of Rule 74, barring distributees or heirs from
objecting to an extrajudicial partition after the expiration of two years from such
There are two significant provisions in Sections 1 and 4 of Rule 74. extrajudicial partition, is applicable only (1) to persons who have participated or
taken part or had notice of the extrajudicial partition, and, in addition, (2) when
In Section 1, it is required that if there are two or more heirs, both or all of the provisions of Section 1 of Rule 74 have been strictly complied with, i.e., that
them should take part in the extrajudicial settlement. This requirement is made all the persons or heirs of the decedent have taken part in the extrajudicial
more imperative in the old law (Section 596, Act No. 190) by the addition of the settlement or are represented by themselves or through guardians.
clause "and not otherwise."
There is nothing in Section 4 of Rule 74, or in its source (Section 596 of Act
By the title of Section 4, the "distributees and estate" indicates the persons 190), which shows clearly a statute of limitations and a bar of action against third
to answer for rights violated by the extrajudicial settlement. On the other hand, it persons. It is only a bar against the parties who had taken part in the
is also significant that no mention is made expressly of the effect of the extrajudicial proceedings but not against third persons not parties thereto.
extrajudicial settlement on persons who did not take part therein or had no
notice or knowledge thereof.

There cannot be any doubt that those who took part or had knowledge of
the extrajudicial settlement are bound thereby. As to them the law is clear that if
they claim to have been in any manner deprived of their lawful right or share in
the estate by the extrajudicial settlement, they may demand their rights or
interest within the period of two (2) years, and both the distributes and estate
would be liable to them for such rights or interest. Evidently, they are the
persons in accordance with the provision who may seek to remedy the prejudice
to their rights within the two-year period.

On the other hand, as to those who did not take part in the settlement or
had no notice of the death of the decedent or of the settlement, there is no direct
or express provision that is unreasonable and unjust that they also be required to
assert their claims within the period of two years. To extend the effects of the
settlement to them, to those who did not take part nor had no knowledge
thereof, without any express legal provision to that effect, would be violative of
the fundamental right to due process of law.

The procedure outlined in Section 1 of Rule 74 of extrajudicial settlement,


or by affidavit, is an ex parte proceeding. It cannot by any reason or logic be
contended that such settlement or distribution would affect third persons who
had no knowledge either of the death of the decedent or of the extrajudicial
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5. Rule 75 – PRODUCTION OF WILL; ALLOWANCE OF WILL NECESSARY whether a certain property should or should not be included in the inventory of
estate properties, the probate court may pass upon the title thereto, but such
determination is provisional, not conclusive, and is subject to the final decision in
EMILIO PACIOLES V. MIGUELA CHUATOCO-CHING a separate action to resolve title. The Court of Appeals relied heavily on the
above principle in sustaining the jurisdiction of the intestate court to conduct a
Question of Title of Ownership; YES, for the purpose of inventory, that is hearing on respondent’s claim.
incidental and provisional.
However, the Supreme Court finds that such reliance is misplaced.

Facts: Under the said principle, the key consideration is that the purpose of the intestate
or probate court in hearing and passing upon questions of ownership is merely to
Miguelita died intestate. She was survived by her huband, Emilio Pacioles, herein determine whether or not a property should be included in the inventory. The
petitioner, and two minor children. Emilio filed a verified petition for the facts of this case show that such was not the purpose of the intestate court.
settlement of Miguelita’s estate.
First, the inventory was not disputed. Respondent could have opposed
Miguelita’s mother filed an opposition to the petition for issuance of letters of petitioner’s inventory and sought the exclusion of the specific properties which
administration; contending that the bulk of the estate is composed of paraphernal she believed or considered to be hers. But instead of doing so, she expressly
properties. She also said that she has direct and material interest in the estate adopted the inventory, taking exception only to the low valuation placed on the
because she gave half of her inherited properties to the deceased on condition real estate properties.
that they would undertake a business endeavor as partners. The mother asked
that one Emmanuel be appointed. Second, Emmanuel did not file an inventory. He could have submitted an
inventory, excluding there from those properties which respondent considered to
The trial court, acting as an intestate court appointed Emilio and Emmanuel as be hers. The fact that he did not endeavor to submit one shows that he
joint-administrator. No claims were filed. Thereafter, Emilio filed an inventory; acquiesced with petitioner’s inventory.
meanwhile, Emmanuel failed to file one.
Clearly, the RTC, acting as an intestate court, had overstepped its
The court declared Emilio and his children as the only compulsory heirs of the jurisdiction. Its proper course should have been to maintain a hands-off stance
deceased. Emilio then petitioned the court for the payment of estate tax and the on the matter. It is well- settled in this jurisdiction, sanctioned and reiterated in a
partition and distribution of the estate. The trial court denied the petition as to long line of decisions, that when a question arises as to ownership of property
the partition and distribution; the Court of Appeals affirmed the same. alleged to be a part of the estate of the deceased person, but claimed by some
other person to be his property, not by virtue of any right of inheritance from the
Issue: deceased but by title adverse to that of the deceased and his estate, such
Whether or not a trial court, acting as an intestate court, hear and pass upon question cannot be determined in the course of an intestate or probate
questions of ownership involving properties claimed to be part of the decedent’s proceedings.
estate.
The intestate or probate court has no jurisdiction to adjudicate such
Ruling: NO. contentions, which must be submitted to the court in the exercise of its general
As a rule, the question of ownership is an extrataneous matter which the jurisdiction as a regional trial court.
probate court cannot resolve with finality. Thus, for the purpose of determining

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Jurisprudence states that: probate court or one in charge of proceedings Held: NO.
whether testate or intestate cannot adjudicate or determine title to properties
claimed to be a part of the estate and which are claimed to belong to outside First contention is untenable. The appellant was not entitled to notification
parties. All that the said court could do as regards said properties is to determine of the probate of the will and neither had she the right to expect it, inasmuch as
whether they should or should not be included in the inventory or list of she was not an interested party, not having filed an opposition to the petition for
properties to be administered by the administrator. If there is no dispute, well the probate thereof. Her allegation that she had the status of an heir, being the
and good, but if there is, then the parties, the administrator, and the opposing deceased's sister, did not confer on her the right to be notified on the ground that
parties have to resort to an ordinary action for a final determination of the the testatrix died leaving a will in which the appellant has not been instituted
conflicting claims of title because the probate court cannot do so. heir. Furthermore, not being a forced heir, she did not acquire any successional
right.
Hence, respondent’s recourse is to file a separate action with a court of
general jurisdiction. The intestate court is not the appropriate forum for the Second contention is puerile. There is no essential difference between the
resolution of her adverse claim of ownership over properties ostensibly belonging authentication of the will and the probate thereof.
to Miguelita's estate.
Once the will has been admitted to probate, questions as to its validity can
MANAHAN V. MANAHAN no longer be raised on appeal. The decree of probate is conclusive with respect to
58 Phil. 4448, 45 the due execution thereof and cannot be impugned, except on the ground of
fraud. Moreover, proceedings in a testamentary case are in rem, hence it is
binding upon her.
Facts:
In the phraseology of the procedural law, there is no essential difference
Tiburcia Manahan, the niece of testatrix Donata and her named executrix,
between the authentication of a will and the probate thereof. The words
instituted special proceedings for the probate of the will of the deceased. The will
authentication and probate are synonymous in this case. All the law requires is
was admitted to probate. One year and seven months later, Engracia, the sister
that the competent court declared that in the execution of the will the essential
of Donata, filed a motion for reconsideration and new trial praying that the order
external formalities have been complied with and that, in view thereof, the
to probate be vacated and the will be declared null and void ab initio. Trial Court
document, as a will, is valid and effective in the eyes of the law.
denied the motions. Engracia, under the pretext of appealing the last order,
likewise appealed from the judgement admitting the will to probate. She assigns
The decree admitting a will to probate is conclusive with respect to the due
the following errors:
execution thereof and it cannot be impugned on any of the grounds authorized by
1. That she was an interested party and as such, was entitled to be notified
law, except that of a fraud, in any separate or independent action or proceeding.
of the probate of the will;
The proceedings followed in a testamentary case being in rem, the decree
2. That the court did not really probate but merely authenticated the will;
admitting the will to probate was effective and conclusive against her, in
and
accordance with the provisions of section 306 of the said Code of Civil Procedure.
3. That the will is null and void as the external formalities have not been
complied with.
The appellant could not appeal from the trial court’s order denying the
motion for reconsideration and a new trial in view of the fact that said order was
Issue: Whether or not Engarcia’s contentions are meritorious? interlocutory in character.

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PASTOR V. CA, patent rationale for this rule is that such court exercises special and limited
G.R. No. L-56340, June 24, 1983 (122 SCRA 85) jurisdiction.

Facts: On the other hand, a well-recognized deviation to the rule is the principle
that an intestate or a probate court may hear and pass upon questions of
When PASTOR, SR. died in 1966, he was survived by his wife, his two ownership when its purpose is to determine whether or not a property should be
legitimate children and one illegitimate son. There is therefore a need to liquidate included in the inventory.
the conjugal partnership and set apart the share of PASTOR, SR.'s wife in the
conjugal partnership preparatory to the administration and liquidation of the In a special proceeding for the probate of a will, the issue by and large is
estate of PASTOR, SR. which will include, among others, the determination of the restricted to the extrinsic validity of the will. (Rules of Court, Rule 75, Section 1;
extent of the statutory usufructuary right of his wife until her death. Rule 76, Section 9.)

A Probate Order was issued on December 5, 1972 by the probate court. The said As a rule, the question of ownership is an extraneous matter which the
order held that private respondent is entitled to the payment of his legacy Probate Court cannot resolve with finality. Thus, for the purpose of determining
pursuant to the will of the deceased. whether a certain property should or should not be included in the inventory of
estate properties, the Probate Court may pass upon the title thereto, but such
However, there had been no liquidation of the community properties of PASTOR, determination is provisional, not conclusive, and is subject to the final decision in
SR. and his wife. Hence, there was no prior definitive determination of the assets a separate action to resolve title.
of the estate of PASTOR, SR. Although there was an inventory of his properties
presumably prepared by the special administrator, but it does not appear that it The main consideration is the purpose of the intestate or probate court in
was ever the subject of a hearing or that it was judicially approved. In addition, hearing and passing upon questions of ownership is merely to determine whether
there are properties allegedly owned, but not in the name of PASTOR, SR. The or not a property must be included in the inventory of the estate of the deceased.
reconveyance or recovery of those properties was still being litigated in another
court. There was no appropriate determination, much less payment, of the debts
of the decedent and his estate as well.

Issue:

Whether or not a trial court, acting as an intestate court, hear and pass upon
questions of ownership involving properties claimed to be part of the decedent’s
estate

Ruling:

As a general rule, the jurisdiction of the trial court either as an intestate or


a probate court relates only to matters having to do with the settlement of the
estate and probate of will of deceased persons; it does not extend to the
determination of questions of ownership that arise during the proceedings. The

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IN RE ESTATE OF JOHNSON Ruling: NO.
39 Phil. 156
Facts: The court finds that it was impossible for the testator, to expatriate himself
from the United States and change his political status from a citizen of the United
On February 4, 1916, Emil H. Johnson, a native of Sweden and a States to a citizen of the Philippines because there is no law in force at that time
naturalized citizen of the United States, died in the city of Manila, leaving a will by virtue of which any person of foreign nativity can become a naturalized Filipino
by which he disposed of an estate valued at Php 231,800. citizen.
Although he remained in the Philippines for some time after he came as a
This document is a holographic instrument, being written in the testator's soldier in the United States Army to the Philippine Islands, there was no evidence
own handwriting, and is signed by himself and two witnesses only, instead of adduced showing that at the time he returned to the United States, in the
three witnesses required by Section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. This will, autumn of 1902, he had then abandoned Illinois as the State of his permanent
therefore, was not executed in conformity with the provisions of law generally domicile. This being true, it is to be presumed that he retained his his status as a
applicable to wills executed by inhabitants of the Philippines. citizen of the United States
Thereafter a petition was presented in the Court of First Instance of the City The Supreme Court held that the probate of the will does not affect the
of Manila for the probate of the said will on the ground that Johnson was, at the intrinsic validity of its provisions, the decree of probate being conclusive only as
time of his death, a citizen of the State of Illinois, United States of America; that regards the due execution of the will.
the will was duly executed in accordance with the laws of that State; and hence
could properly be probated here pursuant to Section 636 of the Code of Civil Furthermore, the intrinsic validity of the provisions of this will must be
Procedure. Thereafter the document was declared to be legal and was admitted determined by the law of Illinois and not of the Philippines. In paragraph 2 of
to probate. article 10 of the Civil Code it is declared that "legal and testamentary
successions, with regard to the order of succession, as well as to the amount of
Three months after the will had been probated, the attorneys for Ebba
the successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of their provisions, shall be
Ingeborg Johnson entered an appearance in her behalf and asserted that Ebba is
regulated by the laws of the nation of the person whose succession is in question,
a legitimate heir of the testator. Thus, she cannot be deprived of the legitime to
whatever may be the nature of the property and the country where it may be
which she is entitled under the law governing testamentary successions in the
situate."
Philippines. She, therefore, moved to annul the decree of probate and put the
estate into intestate administration in order for her to claim the estate as the sole
In this case, the petition submitted to the lower court was insufficient to
legitimate heir of her father.
warrant the setting aside of the order, probating the will in question, whether
said petition be considered as an attack on the validity of the decree for error
apparent. Thus, the trial court committed no error in denying the relief sought.
Issue: The order appealed from is accordingly affirmed

W/N the order of the probate can be set aside on the ground that the testator
was not a resident of the State of Illinois and that the will was not made in
conformity with the laws of that State.

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FERNANDEZ V. DIMAGIBA
G.R. No. L-23638, October 12, 1967

Facts:

Ismaela Dimagiba (respondent) submitted petition for probate of purported


will of Benedicta delos Reyes as the sole heir of deceased. Later, heirs Dionisio
Fernandez, et. al. filed opposition to the probate on grounds of forgery, vices of
consent, laches, and revocation of the will on deeds of sale.

The Court of First Instance found will genuine and properly executed but
deferred resolution on estoppel and revocation grounds until intrinsic validity will
be passed upon. Oppositors insisted that estoppel and revocation issues be
considered but CFI overruled claim until opportune time. Later, CFI ruled that
Benedicta’s will was unrevoked by deeds of sale. The court ruled in favor of
probate.

Fernandez et al appealed, but it was beyond the reglamentary period. The


Court of Appeals admitted will to probate and upheld finality for lack of opportune
appeal. Accordingly, it was appealable independently of issue of revocation,
affirmed CFI. They argued that they were entitled to await the other grounds for
opposition before appealing.

Issue: Whether the probate of the will become final for lack of appeal.

Ruling: Yes.

A probate decree finally and definitively settles all questions concerning


capacity of the testator and the proper execution and witnessing of the will. As
such, probate order is final and appealable. They do not have to await the
resolution of its other oppositions since the Rules of Court enumerates six
different instances when appeal may be taken in special proceedings.

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MUNSAYAC DE VILLA V CA proceedings for the settlement of the intestate estate of the deceased couple
G.R. No. 148597, October 24, 2003 have already been decided and terminated. Indeed, every litigation must come to
an end.

Facts: To be sure, this Court is not tasked to look into the ownership of the
properties deposited with or ordered frozen by the lower court during the
Three of the five children of the deceased Spouses Gelacio and Vicenta progress of the special proceedings. Neither can Judge Reyes do so now. Whether
Munsayac filed for a petition for letters of administration nominating De Villa as those properties should have been adjudicated by the legal heirs of the Munsayac
administratrix of the intestate estate of their parents. spouses is beside the point at this time. The former have already entered into an
Extrajudicial Partition representing the final, complete and absolute settlement of
De Villa’s nomination was opposed by the two (2) other children namely their shares as heirs of the latter. What is left to be done is simply the lifting of
Munsayac, Jr. and Visperas, who nominated Munsayac, Jr. as administrator of the any freeze order and the release of any property originally deposited by
late Munsayac Couple’s intestate estate. Munsayac, Jr. was eventually appointed petitioners in custodia legis.
administrator pursuant to respondent Judge’s order.
In view of the above ruling, the Supreme Court directed Judge Reyes to
Acting on the Omnibus Motion which was filed by the administrator of the immediately lift any freeze order still pending and to order the release of any
intestate estate, respondent Judge issued the Order to surrender, under pain of property deposited in custodia legis. It is already an accepted rule of procedure
contempt, (a) the amount of the bank investment discovered in the names of the for this Court to strive to settle the entire controversy in a single proceeding,
late VICENTA, DE VILLA and SUNGA made with the United Coconut Planter’s leaving no root or branch to bear the seeds of future litigation.
Bank, Baguio City (‘UCPB’), and which amount was not disclosed by the
petitioners in the estate return tax, (b) as well as the surrender of all the pieces
of jewelry given by the late VICENTA to DE VILLA and SUNGA, subject of the
‘freeze order’ with the China Banking Corporation.

For their failure to comply with the Order the petitioners De Villa, Sunga
and ROY were arrested and were likewise ordered to surrender in custodia legis
amount of P15,298,835.95 and P3,010,822.02 plus the legal interest.

Issue:

Whether or not a probate court may decide on a question of title or ownership.

Ruling:

In a train of decisions, this Court has consistently enunciated this settled,


corollary principle: generally, a probate court may not decide a question of title
or ownership, but it may do so if the interested parties are all heirs; or the
question is one of collation or advancement; or the parties consent to its
assumption of jurisdiction and the rights of third parties are not impaired. These
principles, however, have no more application in this case, since the main
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PIO BARRETTO REALTY DEVELOPMENT, INC. vs. CA title and ownership over the Drepin lands. A petition for certiorari was filed by
G.R. No. L-62431-33 August 31, 1984 respondent Moslares before the Court of Appeals.

Issues:
Facts:
(1) Can the probate court order the execution of the deed of sale with Pio
Nicolai Drepin died testate on August 23, 1972. He left behind threeparcels Barreto?
of titled land. Since the filing of the petition for probate of the Drepin’s will nine
offers had been made for the purchase of the Drepin lands, among them, that of Ruling: YES.
GM Management Phils through its President Honor P. Moslares.
The actions of the probate court, in the case at bar, do not refer to the
Moslares alleged that on October 9,1970, Despin executed a deed of sale adjudication of rights under the contract entered into by the deceased during his
with mortgage executed by the decedent in hisfavor. He also alleged that on June lifetime. It is to be noted that the dealings of the respondent with the court arose
25, 1971, Drepin and Moslares entered into a "Joint Venture Agreement" where it out of the latter's bid to sell property under its authority to sell, mortgage
was agreed that Drepin shall be the registered "owner" of the lots and or otherwise encumber property of the estate to pay or settle against the estate.
denominated Moslares as "developer" tasked with converting the lands into Thus, by estoppel, respondent bound himself under an agreement with the court
a residential subdivision. separate and distinct from that which he had with the decedent. In rescinding
such contract, the court merely seeks to enforce its right to put an end to an
However before the agreement could be implemented, Drepin died. Upon agreement which had ceased to be a working proposition. Surely, this is well
learning of the existence of Special Proceedings, Moslares informed the within the power of the probate court. We cannot allow an absurd situation to
Judicial Administrator that he is already the owner of the properties made subject arise where the Drepin estate will never be settled and liquidated because even if
matter of the Special Proceedings and proposed that he be permitted to pay the Moslares cannot pay the agreed purchase price of the Drepin lands, still the
balance on the sale with mortgage in accordance with the terms of probate court can no longer sell the lands to other prospective buyers. It is also
his written proposal. to be emphasized that it was not respondent's contract of sale with decedent that
had been invalidated but rather the administrator's authority to sell to
On September 25,1979, with the court’s permission, a Deed respondent. Moreover, the respondent is not without remedy if truly his claim of
of Undertaking was entered into by respondent Moslares and the Administrator ownership is proper and meritorious. Since the probate court has no jurisdiction
to implement the Contract of Sale with Mortgage. Such deed provided for the over the question of title and ownership of the properties, the respondents may
mode of payment which Moslares was to follow. Moslares failed to pay as agreed. bring a separate action if they wish to question the petitioner's titles and
Thus, the administrator reported the matter to the probate court which approved ownership.
the sale of the property to Pio Barretto Realty, Inc.
ONGSINGCO vs. TAN
The deed of sale was duly registered. Mosrales filed a motion for
reconsideration, but the same was not acted by the probate court. Under the Tasiana Ongsingco vs. Hon. Bienvenido Tan and Jose de Borja
theory of Moslares, it is insisted that the probate court has no authority 97 Phil. 330
to cancel his unfulfilled offer to buy, notwithstanding the fact that he failed
miserably to comply with the terms of his own offer to buy. On May 18, 1981, Pio Petitioner Tasiana Ongsingco is the wife and judicial guardian of Francisco de
Barreto Realty filed Civil Case No. 41287 before the CFI of Rizal to determine Borja, who was declared incompetent by the CFI of Rizal in Spec. Pro. No. 1764.
Francisco de Borja is the surviving spouse of Josefa Tangco whose estate is being
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settled in Spec. Pro. No. 7866 in the same court. Respondent Jose de Borja is the
son of Francisco de Borja and administrator of the estate of Josefa Tangco. Based from the foregoing, it thus appears obvious that the CFI of Rizal exceeded
its jurisdiction in acting upon the question of ownership in its capacity as probate
After Francisco was declared incompetent, Tasiana took possession of two parcels court. Such question has been squarely raised in an action pending in the CFI of
of land situated in Santa Rosa, Nueva Ejica and commenced the threshing of the Nueva Ecija. It is of no consequence that what respondent court merely did was
palay crop standing thereon. Jose filed a motion in the estate proceedings of look into the identity of said properties. This question is necessarily imbibed in
Josefa praying that Tasiana be restrained from threshing the palays until the the greater issue of ownership and being interwoven one can hardly draw the line
ownership of the lands has been resolved by the court or by agreement of the of demarcation that would separate one from the other.
parties.
Doctrine: A probate court cannot act on questions of ownership lest it exceeds
Tasiana opposed the motion and stated that the question of ownership can only its jurisdiction.
be threshed out elsewhere and not by the probate court. She then filed an action
in the CFI of Nueva Ecija to prevent Jose from interfering with the harvest. The
CFI of Nueve Ecija granted the preliminary injunction prayed for by Tasiana.

Meanwhile, the CFI of Rizal issued an order restraining Tasiana in the threshing of
the palay harvested in the disputed lands. Tasian filed a motion for
reconsideration but the same was denied. She then filed a petition for certiorari
with prohibition in the Supreme Court.

ISSUE:
Whether the CFI of Rizal has jurisdiction to resolve the ownership dispute
between Tasiana Ongsingco and Jose de Borja?

HELD:
No. In Franco vs. O’Brien, it was held that “the question of ownership is
one which should be determined in an ordinary action and not in probate
proceedings, and this whether or not the property is alleged to belong to the
estate”. In another case it was held that “the general rule is that questions as to
title to property cannot be passed upon in testate or intestate proceedings”[1] or
stating the rule more elaborately, “When questions arise as to the ownership of
property alleged to be a part of the estate of a deceased person but claimed by
some other person to be his property, not by virtue of any right of inheritance
from the deceased, but by title adverse to that of the deceased and his estate,
such questions cannot be determined in the courts of administrative
proceedings”.[2]
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property was owned by his children and this was why it had never been included
in any inventory of the estate

The Court, presided over by Hon. Judge Midpantao Adil, viewed the Garin Heirs'
motion for contempt, as well as Cabado's prayer for the fishpond's return to the
estate, as having given rise to a claim for the recovery of an asset of the estate
within the purview of Section 6, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court. Thereafter, the
Court issued an Order dated September 17, 1980 commanding the Heirs of
Teresa Garin "to reconvey immediately the fishpond in question * * to the
intestate Estate of the Spouses.
POMPILLO VALERA and CABADO vs. HON. JUDGE SANCHO Y. INSERTO
Thereafter, the Court issued an Order dated September 17, 1980 commanding
Nos. L-59867-68 May 7, 1987 the Heirs of Teresa Garin "to reconvey immediately the fishpond in question * *
to the intestate Estate of the Spouses. Judge Adil afterwards granted the
administrators' motion for execution of the order pending appeal, and directed
The fishpond originally belonged to the Government, and had been given in lease the sheriff to enforce the direction for the Garin Heirs to reconvey the fishpond to
to Rafael Valera in his lifetime. Rafael Valera ostensibly sold all his leasehold the estate.
rights in the fishpond to his daughter, Teresa Garin; but the sale was fictitious,
having been resorted to merely so that she might use the property to provide for Later however, Fabiana filed a complaint-in-intervention with the Probate Court
her children's support and education, and was subject to the resolutory term that seeking vindication of his right to the possession of the fishpond, based on a
the fishpond should revert to Rafael Valera upon completion of the schooling of contract of lease between himself, as lessee, and Jose Garin, as lessor
Teresa Garin's Children; and with the income generated by the fishpond, the
property was eventually purchased from the Government by the Heirs of Teresa
Garin, collectively named as such in the Original Certificate of Title issued in their
favor. G.R. No. 56504

In the proceedings for the settlement of the intestate estate of the decedent Fabiana thereupon instituted a separate action for injunction and damages, with
spouses, Rafael Valera and Consolacion Sarrosa 1 — in which Eumelia Cabado application for a preliminary injunction. This was docketed as Civil Case No.
and Pompiro Valera had been appointed administrators 2 — the heirs of a 13742 and assigned to Branch I of the Iloilo CFI, Hon. Sancho Y. Inserto,
deceased daughter of the spouses, Teresa Garin, filed a motion asking that the presiding. The estate administrators filed a motion to dismiss the complaint and
Administratrix, Cabado, be declared in contempt for her failure to render an to dissolve the temporary restraining order, averring that the action was barred
accounting of her administration. Cabado replied that no accounting could be by the Probate Court's prior judgment which had exclusive jurisdiction over the
submitted unless Jose Garin, Teresa's husband and the movant heirs' father, issue of the lease, and that the act sought to be restrained had already been
delivered to the administrator an 18-hectare fishpond in Baras, Barotoc Nuevo, accomplished, Fabiana having voluntarily surrendered possession of the fishpond
Iloilo, belonging to the estate and she in turn moved for the return thereof to the to the sheriff
estate, 4 so that it might be partitioned among the decedents' heirs. Jose Garin
opposed the plea for the fishpond's return to the estate, asserting that the G.R. Nos. 59867-68

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In the meantime, Jose Garin — having filed a motion for reconsideration of the Since the determination by the Probate Court of the question of title to the
above mentioned order of Judge Adil (declaring the estate to be the owner of the fishpond was merely provisional, not binding on the property with any character
fishpond), in which he asserted that the Probate Court, being of limited of authority, definiteness or permanence, having been made only for purposes of
jurisdiction, had no competence to decide the ownership of the fishpond, in. conclusion in the inventory and upon evidence adduced at the hearing of a
motion, it cannot and should not be subject of execution, as against its possessor
These two special civil actions were jointly decided by the Court of Appeals. The who has set up title in himself (or in another) adversely to the decedent, and
Court granted the petitions whose right to possess has not been ventilated and adjudicated in an appropriate
action. These considerations assume greater cogency where, as here, the Torrens
title to the property is not in the decedents' names but in others, a situation on
ISSUE: which this Court has already had occasion to rule Since, too, both the Probate
WON Probate Court had authority to order reconveyance of the Court and the estate administrators are one in the recognition of the proposition
fishpond? that title to the fishpond could in the premises only be appropriately determined
in a separate action, 36 the actual firing of such a separate action should have
been anticipated, and should not therefore have come as a surprise, to the latter.
HELD : And since moreover, implicit in that recognition is also the acknowledge judgment
As regards the first issue, settled is the rule that a Court of First Instance of the superiority of the authority of the court in which the separate action is filed
(now Regional Trial Court), acting as a Probate Court, exercises but limited over the issue of title, the estate administrators may not now be heard to
jurisdiction, 28 and thus has no power to take cognizance of and determine the complain that in such a separate action, the court should have issued orders
issue of title to property claimed by a third person adversely to the decedent, necessarily involved in or flowing from the assumption of that jurisdiction.
unless the claimant and all the Other parties having legal interest in the property
consent, expressly or impliedly, to the submission of the question to the Probate
Court for adjudgment, or the interests of third persons are not thereby prejudiced

The facts obtaining in this case, however, do not call for the application of the
exception to the rule. As already earlier stressed, it was at all times clear to the
Court as well as to the parties that if cognizance was being taken of the question
of title over the fishpond, it was not for the purpose of settling the issue definitely
and permanently, and writing "finis" thereto, the question being explicitly left for
determination "in an ordinary civil action," but merely to determine whether it
should or should not be included in the inventory.Parenthetically, in the light of
the foregoing principles, the Probate Court could have admitted and taken
cognizance of Fabiana's complaint in intervention after obtaining the consent of
all interested parties to its assumption of jurisdiction over the question of title to
the fishpond, or ascertaining the absence of objection thereto. But it did not. It
dismissed the complaint in intervention instead. And all this is now water under
the bridge.

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The Court of Appeals, however, reversed the trial court’s decision and ordered
the dismissal of the petition for probate. It noted that the attestation clause
failed to state the number of pages used in the will, thus rendering the will
void and undeserving of probate.

Azuela argues that the requirement under Article 805 of the Civil Code that
“the number of pages used in a notarial will be stated in the attestation
clause” is merely directory, rather than mandatory, and thus susceptible to
what he termed as “the substantial compliance rule.”

FELIX AZUELA v. COURT OF APPEALS and GERALDA AIDA CASTILLO


ISSUE:
G.R. 122880, 12 April 2006
Whether or not the subject will complied with the requirements of
the law and, hence, should be admitted to probate

Felix Azuela filed a petition with the trial court for the probate of a notarial will
purportedly executed by Eugenia E. Igsolo on June 10, 1981 and notarized on the
HELD:
same day. The will consisted of two (2) pages and was written in Filipino. The
attestation clause did not state the number of pages and it was not signed by the The petition is DENIED.
attesting witnesses at the bottom thereof. The said witnesses affixed their
signatures on the left-hand margin of both pages of the will though. Geralda A will whose attestation clause does not contain the number of pages on
Castillo opposed the petition, claiming that the will was a forgery. She also which the will is written is fatally defective. A will whose attestation clause is not
argued that the will was not executed and attested to in accordance with law. signed by the instrumental witnesses is fatally defective. And perhaps most
She pointed out that the decedent’s signature did not appear on the second page importantly, a will which does not contain an acknowledgment, but a mere jurat,
of the will, and the will was not properly acknowledged. is fatally defective. Any one of these defects is sufficient to deny probate. A
notarial will with all three defects is just aching for judicial rejection.
The trial court held the will to be authentic and to have been executed in
accordance with law and, thus, admitted it to probate, calling to fore “the Prior to the New Civil Code, the statutory provision governing the formal
modern tendency in respect to the formalities in the execution of a will…with requirements of wills was Section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Extant
the end in view of giving the testator more freedom in expressing his last therefrom is the requirement that the attestation state the number of pages of
wishes.” According to the trial court, the declaration at the end of the will the will. The enactment of the New Civil Code put in force a rule of interpretation
under the sub-title, “Patunay Ng Mga Saksi,” comprised the attestation clause of the requirements of wills, at least insofar as the attestation clause is
and the acknowledgement, and was a substantial compliance with the concerned, that may vary from the philosophy that governed the said Section
requirements of the law. It also held that the signing by the subscribing 618. Article 809 of the Civil Code, the Code Commission opted to recommend a
witnesses on the left margin of the second page of the will containing the more liberal construction through the “substantial compliance rule.” However,
attestation clause and acknowledgment, instead of at the bottom thereof, Justice J.B.L. Reyes cautioned that the rule “must be limited to disregarding
substantially satisfied the purpose of identification and attestation of the will. those defects that can be supplied by an examination of the will itself: whether all
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the pages are consecutively numbered; whether the signatures appear in each an unattested will. Even if the instrumental witnesses signed the left-hand margin
and every page; whether the subscribing witnesses are three or the will was of the page containing the unsigned attestation clause, such signatures cannot
notarized...But the total number of pages, and whether all persons required to demonstrate these witnesses’ undertakings in the clause, since the signatures
sign did so in the presence of each other must substantially appear in the that do appear on the page were directed towards a wholly different avowal.
attestation clause, being the only check against perjury in the probate
proceedings.” The Court suggested in Caneda v. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. The notary public who notarized the subject will wrote, “Nilagdaan ko at
103554, May 28, 1993, 222 SCRA 781): “the rule, as it now stands, is that ninotario ko ngayong 10 ng Hunyo 10 (sic), 1981 dito sa Lungsod ng Maynila.”
omission which can be supplied by an examination of the will itself, without the By no manner of contemplation can these words be construed as an
need of resorting to extrinsic evidence, will not be fatal and, correspondingly, acknowledgment. An acknowledgment is the act of one who has executed a deed
would not obstruct the allowance to probate of the will being assailed. However, in going before some competent officer or court and declaring it to be his act or
those omissions which cannot be supplied except by evidence aliunde would deed. It might be possible to construe the averment as a jurat, even though it
result in the invalidation of the attestation clause and ultimately, of the will does not follow to the usual language thereof. A jurat is that part of an affidavit
itself.” where the notary certifies that before him/her, the document was subscribed and
sworn to by the executor.
The failure of the attestation clause to state the number of pages on which
the will was written remains a fatal flaw, despite Art. 809. This requirement aims It may not have been said before, but a notarial will that is not
at safeguarding the will against possible interpolation or omission of one or some acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses is fatally
of its pages and thus preventing any increase or decrease in the pages. Following defective, even if it is subscribed and sworn to before a notary public. The
Caneda, there is substantial compliance with this requirement if the will states importance of the requirement of acknowledgment is highlighted by the fact that
elsewhere in it how many pages it is comprised of, as was the situation in it had been segregated from the other requirements under Art. 805 and
Singson and Taboada. In this case, however, there could have been no entrusted into a separate provision, Art. 806. The express requirement of Art.
substantial compliance with the requirements under Art. 805 of the Civil Code 806 is that the will be “acknowledged”, and not merely subscribed and sworn to.
since there is no statement in the attestation clause or anywhere in the will itself The acknowledgment coerces the testator and the instrumental witnesses to
as to the number of pages which comprise the will. There was an incomplete declare before an officer of the law that they had executed and subscribed to the
attempt to comply with this requisite, a space having been allotted for the will as their own free act or deed. Such declaration is under oath and under pain
insertion of the number of pages in the attestation clause. Yet the blank was of perjury, thus allowing for the criminal prosecution of persons who participate
never filled in. in the execution of spurious wills, or those executed without the free consent of
the testator. It also provides a further degree of assurance that the testator is of
The subject will cannot be considered to have been validly attested to by certain mindset in making the testamentary dispositions to those persons he/she
the instrumental witnesses. While the signatures of the instrumental witnesses had designated in the will.
appear on the left-hand margin of the will, they do not appear at the bottom of
the attestation clause. Art. 805 particularly segregates the requirement that the
instrumental witnesses sign each page of the will, from the requisite that the will
be attested and subscribed by them. The signatures on the left-hand corner of
every page signify, among others, that the witnesses are aware that the page
they are signing forms part of the will. On the other hand, the signatures to the
attestation clause establish that the witnesses are referring to the statements
contained in the attestation clause itself. An unsigned attestation clause results in

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Whether or not mandamus is the proper remedy of the respondent.

HELD:

UY KIAO vs NIXON LEE The Court cannot sustain the CA’s issuance of the writ.
GR NO. 176831 January 15, 2010 Mandamus is a command issuing from a court of law of competent
jurisdiction, in the name of the state or the sovereign, directed to some inferior
court, tribunal, or board, or to some corporation or person requiring the
performance of a particular duty therein specified, which duty results from the
Respondent Nixon Lee filed a petition for mandamus with damages against his
official station of the party to whom the writ is directed or from operation of law.
mother Uy Kiao Eng, herein petitioner, before the RTC of Manila to compel
This definition recognizes the public character of the remedy, and clearly
petitioner to produce the holographic will of his father so that probate
excludes the idea that it may be resorted to for the purpose of enforcing the
proceedings for the allowance thereof could be instituted. Respondent had
performance of duties in which the public has no interest. The writ is a proper
already requested his mother to settle and liquidate the patriarch’s estate and to
recourse for citizens who seek to enforce a public right and to compel the
deliver to the legal heirs their respective inheritance, but petitioner refused to do
performance of a public duty, most especially when the public right involved is
so without any justifiable reason. Petitioner denied that she was in custody of the
mandated by the Constitution. As the quoted provision instructs, mandamus will
original holographic will and that she knew of its whereabouts. The RTC heard the
lie if the tribunal, corporation, board, officer, or person unlawfully neglects the
case. After the presentation and formal offer of respondent’s evidence, petitioner
performance of an act which the law enjoins as a duty resulting from an office,
demurred, contending that her son failed to prove that she had in her custody
trust or station.
the original holographic will. The RTC, at first, denied the demurrer to evidence.
However, it granted the same on petitioner’s motion for reconsideration.
Respondent’s motion for reconsideration of this latter order was denied. Hence, The writ of mandamus, however, will not issue to compel an official to do
the petition was dismissed. Aggrieved, respondent sought review from the anything which is not his duty to do or which it is his duty not to do, or to give to
appellate court. The CA initially denied the appeal for lack of merit. Respondent the applicant anything to which he is not entitled by law. Nor will mandamus
moved for reconsideration. The appellate court granted the motion, set aside its issue to enforce a right which is in substantial dispute or as to which a substantial
earlier ruling, issued the writ, and ordered the production of the will and the doubt exists, although objection raising a mere technical question will be
payment of attorney’s fees. It ruled this time that respondent was able to show disregarded if the right is clear and the case is meritorious. As a rule, mandamus
by testimonial evidence that his mother had in her possession the holographic will not lie in the absence of any of the following grounds: [a] that the court,
will. Dissatisfied with this turn of events, petitioner filed a motion for officer, board, or person against whom the action is taken unlawfully neglected
reconsideration. The appellate court denied this motion. Left with no other the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting
recourse, petitioner brought the matter before this Court, contending in the main from office, trust, or station; or [b] that such court, officer, board, or person has
that the petition for mandamus is not the proper remedy and that the testimonial unlawfully excluded petitioner/relator from the use and enjoyment of a right or
evidence used by the appellate court as basis for its ruling is inadmissible. office to which he is entitled. On the part of the relator, it is essential to the
issuance of a writ of mandamus that he should have a clear legal right to the
ISSUE: thing demanded and it must be the imperative duty of respondent to perform the
act required.

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Recognized further in this jurisdiction is the principle that mandamus
cannot be used to enforce contractual obligations. Generally, mandamus will not
lie to enforce purely private contract rights, and will not lie against an individual
unless some obligation in the nature of a public or quasi-public duty is imposed.
The writ is not appropriate to enforce a private right against an individual.] The
writ of mandamus lies to enforce the execution of an act, when, otherwise,
justice would be obstructed; and, regularly, issues only in cases relating to the
public and to the government; hence, it is called a prerogative writ. To preserve
its prerogative character, mandamus is not used for the redress of private
wrongs, but only in matters relating to the public.

Moreover, an important principle followed in the issuance of the writ is


that there should be no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary
course of law other than the remedy of mandamus being invoked. In other
words, mandamus can be issued only in cases where the usual modes of
procedure and forms of remedy are powerless to afford relief. Although classified
as a legal remedy, mandamus is equitable in its nature and its issuance is
generally controlled by equitable principles. Indeed, the grant of the writ of
mandamus lies in the sound discretion of the court.

In the instant case, the Court, without unnecessarily ascertaining whether


the obligation involved here—the production of the original holographic will—is in
the nature of a public or a private duty, rules that the remedy of mandamus BALUYOT v. PANIO
cannot be availed of by respondent Lee because there lies another plain, speedy (1976)
and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Let it be noted that
respondent has a photocopy of the will and that he seeks the production of the Soltero Baluyut died on January 6, 1975 at the age of 86, leaving an estate
original for purposes of probate. The Rules of Court, however, does not prevent valued at not less than Php2M. A few weeks later, his nephew Alfredo Baluyut
him from instituting probate proceedings for the allowance of the will whether the filed before the CFI of Quezon City a verified petition for the issuance of letters of
same is in his possession or not. administration in his favor, alleging that Encarnacion Lopez Baluyut, Soltero’s
widow, was mentally incapable of acting as administratrix of the decedent’s
There being a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course estate. Believing that Soltero executed a will, Alfredo prayed that he be
of law for the production of the subject will, the remedy of mandamus cannot be appointed as special administrator in the meantime. The CFI granted Alfredo’s
availed of. Suffice it to state that respondent Lee lacks a cause of action in his petition.
petition. Thus, the Court grants the demurrer.
Mrs. Baluyut filed an opposition to the appointment. She claimed that the
allegation as to her mental incapacity was libelous, and that she was unaware
that her husband executed a will. Finding that Mrs. Baluyut was mentally
qualified, the CFI cancelled Alfredo’s appointment. However, upon filing of a

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motion for reconsideration, Alfredo’s appointment was again appointed as special A hearing is necessary in order to determine the suitability of the person to be
administrator, together with Jose Espino, an acknowledged natural child of appointed administrator by giving him the opportunity to prove his qualifications
Soltero. and affording oppositors a chance to contest the petition. Whether Sotero Baluyut
died testate or intestate, it is imperative in the interest of the orderly
Mrs. Baluyut again countered, arguing that Jose effectively rid Alfredo of any administration of justice that a hearing be held to determine Mrs. Baluyut's
interest in the estate of Soltero by exclusion, he being a collateral relative. fitness to act as executrix or administratrix. Persons questioning her capacity
Alfredo naturally opposed, arguing that Jose was not a natural child of the should be given an adequate opportunity to be heard and to present evidence.
decedent, at the same time insisting that Mrs. Baluyut was incapable of becoming
an administratrix, as declared by another court in a separate guardianship 2. Yes.
proceeding. It is necessary to convert the proceeding in the lower court into a testamentary
proceeding. The probate of the will cannot be dispensed with and is a matter of
Based on the testimony of Mrs. Baluyut herself, the probate court terminated the public policy. After the will is probated, the prior letters of administration should
appointment of Jose and Alfredo as adminstrators and ordered that the former be be revoked and proceedings for the issuance of letters testamentary or of
appointed as administratrix, due to her preferential right to be appointed as such. administration under the will should be conducted.
Letters of administration were issued in her favor after posting a Php20,000.00
bond. In appointing Mrs. Baluyut as administratrix, the court proceeded upon the
assumption that as a collateral relative, Alfredo had no interest in the estate of
Soltero.

Aggrieved, Alfredo elevated the matter to the Supreme Court via a special civil
action for certiorari.

During the course of the proceedings, the alleged will of the decedent was
apparently discovered and presented to the court. Although the decision did not
dwell on the contents of the will and the manner through which it was
discovered, the decision did mention that Alfredo was named a legatee therein,
giving him standing to question the qualifications of the administratrix.

ISSUES:
1. W/N the court erred in finding Mrs. Baluyut mentally capable of becoming
an administratrix on the basis of her testimony
2. W/N the proceeding in the lower court must be converted into a
testamentary proceeding after the alleged will has been presented

HELD:
1. Yes.
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citizen and resident of the USA. Petitioners prayed that Letters of Administration
be instead issued in favor of Antonio.
BALTAZAR vs. LAXA
G.R. No. 174489 April 11, 2012
RTC denies the petition for probate of the will and concluded that when Paciencia
Paciencia was a 78 y/o spinster when she made her last will and testament in the signed the will, she was no longer possessed of the sufficient reason or strength
Pampango dialect on Sept. 13, 1981. The will, executed in the house of retired of mind to have the testamentary capacity. On appeal, CA reversed the decision
Judge Limpin, was read to Paciencia twice. After which, Paciencia expressed in of the RTC and granted the probate of the will. The petitioner went up to SC for a
the presence of the instrumental witnesses that the document is her last will and petition for review on Certiorari.
testament. She thereafter affixed her signature at the end of the said document
on page 3 and then on the left margin of pages 1, 2 and 4 thereof.
Childless and without any brothers or sisters, Paciencia bequeathed all her
properties to respondent Lorenzo Laxa and his wife Corazon Laza and their
children Luna and Katherine. Lorenzo is Paciencia’s nephew whom she treated as ISSUE:
her own son. Conversely, Lorenzo came to know and treated Paciencia as his own Whether the authenticity and due execution of the will was sufficiently
mother. established to warrant its allowance for probate.

Six days after the execution of the Will (Sept. 19, 1981), Paciencia left for USA.
There, she resided with Lorenzo and his family until her death on Jan. 4, 1996. In HELD:
the interim, the Will remained in the custody of Judge Limpin. Yes. A careful examination of the face of the Will shows faithful
compliance with the formalities laid down by law. The signatures of the testatrix,
Paciencia, her instrumental witnesses and the notary public, are all present and
More than 4 years after the death of Paciencia or on Apr. 27, 2000, Lorenzo filed
evident on the Will. Further, the attestation clause explicitly states the critical
a petition with the RTC of Guagua, Pampanga for the probate of the Will of
requirement that the testatrix and her instrumental witnesses attested and
Paciencia and for the issuance of Letters of Administration in his favor.
subscribed to the Will in the presence of the testator and of one another. In fact,
even the petitioners acceded that the signature of Paciencia in the Will may be
On Jun 23, 2000 one of petitioners, Antonio Baltazar filed an opposition to authentic although they question of her state of mind when she signed the same
Lorenzo’s petition. Antonio averred that the properties subject of Paciencia’s Will as well as the voluntary nature of said act.
belong to Nicomeda Mangalindan, his predecessor-in-interest; hence, Paciencia
had no right to bequeath them to Lorenzo. Also, one of the petitioners, Rosie
Mateo testified that Paciencia is in the state of being “mangulyan” or forgetful
The burden to prove that Paciencia was of unsound mind at the time of
making her unfit for executing a will and that the execution of the will had been
the execution of the will lies on the shoulders of the petitioners. The SC agree
procured by undue and improper pressure and influence.
with the position of the CA that the state of being forgetful does not necessarily
make a person mentally unsound so as to render him unfit to execute a Will.
Petitioners also opposed the issuance of the Letters of Administration in Lorenzo’s Forgetfulness is not equivalent to being of unsound mind. Besides, Art. 799 of the
favor arguing that Lorenzo was disqualified to be appointed as such, he being a NCC states: “To be of unsound mind, it is not necessary that the testator be in
full possession of all his reasoning faculties, or that his mind be wholly unbroken,
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unimpaired, or unshattered by disease, injury or other cause. It shall be sufficient 3. Francisco (deceased) married to Guadalupe Pizarras has 7 children
if the testator was able at the time of making the Will to know the nature of the named Francis, Algeran, Benjamin, Perla, Francisco Jr. and Helen
estate to be disposed of, the proper objects of his bounty, and the character of (deceased) with children named Roseller, Demosthenes and Eliza
the testamentary act.”
The spouses died intestate in 1943 and 1948, respectively. They possess a
homestead, consisting of two parcels of land, located at Misamis Occidental. 1st
parcel has an area of 3.9791 hectares in the name of Juan Pangilinan, 2nd parcel
has an area of 18.0291 hectares in the name of the Heirs of Juan Pangilinan,
represented by Concepcion P. de Yamuta. According to Guadalupe Pizarras , a
3rd parcel with an area of 8 hectares which was surveyed in the name of
Concepcion P and which adjoins the 1st and 2nd lot
Special Proceeding was instituted in the Court of First Instance of Misamis
Occidental for the settlement of the estate of the deceased spouses, Juan C.
Pangilinan and Teresa Magtuba.

The administrator presented a project of partition for lot 1 and 2.

The heirs of Francisco Pangilinan (Guadalupe Pizarras, et al.) opposed that


project of partition. They contended that the proposed partition contravened the
lower court's order of December 6, 1963 which recognized the right of the heirs
of Francisco Pan to a twelve-hectare portion of Lot No. 1112; that Prima
COCA vs. PANGILINAN Pangilinan, who sold her share to Francisco Pan should be excluded from the
G.R. No. L-27082 January 31, 1978 partition; that the total share of the heirs of Francisco Pangilinan in Lot No. 1112
is 12.6720 hectares, while that of the heirs of Concepcion Pangilinan is 6.3360
These two cases involve the question of whether the ownership of a parcel of hectares, and that the claim of the heirs of Concepcion Pangilinan for 115,088.50
land, whether belonging to the deceased spouses or to their heirs, should be had not been properly allowed.
decided in the intestate proceeding or in a separate action. Also in issue in these
two cases is the liability of the decedents' estate for the litigation expenses CFI ordered - partitioned the properties:
allegedly incurred in a case regarding that same land. 1. Giving atty’s fees to Crispin Borromeo
2. Without taking into consideration ownership of a 12-hec land claimed
Being related cases, their adjudication in a single decision was allowed in this by the heirs of Francisco Pangilinan, of a 6 hec land claimed by Crispin
Court's resolution. Borromeo and
Spouses Juan Pangilinan and Teresa Magtuba had 3 children named: a. ) Debt to Concepcion’s estate
1. Concepcion (deceased) has 3 children Maria, Eusebio and Apolinar all b. ) If Prima sold her share to Francisco WON Prima was excluded as an
surnamed Yamuta heir.
2. Prima
CFI ordered that a separate ordinary action is needed to determine ownership of
theland in dispute. Later on, they approved the project of partition but excluded
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the 12 ha and did not bother to decide how the remainder should be partitioned
and WON Prima had a share in that remainder.

CA sustained CFI.

ISSUE:
EMILIO B. PACIOLES, Jr. et. al. vs. MIGUELA CHUATOCO-CHING
Whether or not separate proceedings should be filed to determine G.R. No. 12790 [DATE] August 9, 2005
ownership.
On 1992, Miguelita died intestate, leaving real properties with an estimated value
HELD: of P10.5M, stock investments worth P518,783.00, bank deposits amounting to
P6.54M, and interests in certain businesses. She was survived by her husband
No, the case is an exception. The probate court may provisionally pass (Petitioner) and their 2 minor children.
upon the question of inclusion in, or exclusion from, the inventory of a piece of
property without prejudice to its finaldetermination in a separate action. Consequently, petitioner filed with the RTC a verified petition for the settlement
of Miguelita’s estate. He prayed that (a) letters of administration be issued in his
The general rule is that Probate Court may not pass upon ownership. name, and (b) that the net residue of the estate be divided among the
Except: If the interested parties are all heirs, (case at bar)-or if the question is compulsory heirs.
one of collation or advancement, or the parties consent to the assumption of
jurisdiction by the probate court, and the rights of 3rd parties are not impaired, Miguelita’s mother, Miguela Chuatoco-Ching (Respondent) filed an opposition,
then the probate court is competent to decide the question of ownership.The specifically to petitioner’s prayer for the issuance of letters of administration on
appellees belong to the poor stratum of society. They should not be forced to the grounds that (a) petitioner is incompetent and unfit to exercise the duties of
incur additional expenses by bringing a separate action to determine ownership an administrator; and (b) the bulk of Miguelita’s estate is composed of
of the 12 hectare portion. “paraphernal properties.” Respondent prayed that the letters of administration be
issued to her instead. Afterwards, she also filed a motion for her appointment as
special administratrix.

Petitioner’s allegations: That the resp. had no direct and material interest in the
estate, she not being a compulsory heir, and that he, being the surviving spouse,
has the preferential right to be appointed as administrator under the law.

Respondent’s contentions: That she has direct and material interest in the estate
because she gave half of her inherited properties to Miguelita on condition that
both of them “would undertake whatever business endeavor they decided to, in
the capacity of business partners.” In her omnibus motion, she nominated her
son Emmanuel to act as special administrator.

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The RTC appointed petitioner and Emmanuel as joint regular administrators of The general rule is that the jurisdiction of the trial court either as an
the estate. Both were issued letters of administration after taking their oath and intestate or a probate court relates only to matters having to do with the
posting the requisite bond. settlement of the estate and probate of will of deceased persons but does not
extend to the determination of questions of ownership that arise during the
No claims were filed against the estate within the period set. Thereafter, proceedings. The patent rationale for this rule is that such court exercises special
petitioner submitted to the intestate court an inventory of Miguelita’s estate. and limited jurisdiction.
Emmanuel did not submit an inventory. A well-recognized deviation to the rule is the principle that an intestate or
a probate court may hear and pass upon questions of ownership when its
The RTC declared petitioner and his 2 minor children as the only compulsory heirs purpose is to determine whether or not a property should be included in the
of Miguelita. inventory. In such situations the adjudication is merely incidental and provisional.
The Court of Appeals relied heavily on the above principle in sustaining
Petitioner filed with the intestate court an omnibus motion praying, among the jurisdiction of the intestate court to conduct a hearing on respondent’s claim.
others, that an Order be issued directing the: 1) payment of estate taxes; 2) Such reliance is misplaced. Under the said principle, the key consideration is that
partition and distribution of the estate among the declared heirs; and 3) payment the purpose of the intestate or probate court in hearing and passing upon
of attorney’s fees. questions of ownership is merely to determine whether or not a property should
be included in the inventory.
The intestate court partially allowed the motion. It denied petitioner’s prayer for The facts of this case show that such was not the purpose of the intestate
partition and distribution of the estate, holding that it is “premature.” The court. Respondent’s purpose here was not to obtain from the intestate court a
intestate court ratiocinated as follows: The Court finds the prayer of petitioner in ruling of what properties should or should not be included in the inventory. She
this regard to be premature. Thus, a hearing is necessary to determine, whether wanted to secure from the intestate court a final determination of her claim of
the properties listed in the amended complaint filed by petitioner are entirely ownership over properties comprising the bulk of Miguelita’s estate.
conjugal or the paraphernal properties of the deceased, or a co-ownership Clearly, the RTC, acting as an intestate court, had overstepped its
between the oppositor and the petitioner in their partnership venture.‟ jurisdiction. Its proper course should have been to maintain a hands-off stance
on the matter. It is well settled in this jurisdiction, sanctioned and reiterated in a
Petitioner filed with the CA a petition for certiorari seeking to annul and set aside long line of decisions, that when a question arises as to ownership of property
the intestate court’s Order and Resolution. (CA dismissed) alleged to be a part of the estate of the deceased person, but claimed by some
other person to be his property, not by virtue of any right of inheritance from the
deceased but by title adverse to that of the deceased and his estate, such
ISSUE: question cannot be determined in the course of an intestate or probate
Whether or not a trial court (acting as an intestate court) can hear and proceedings. The intestate or probate court has no jurisdiction to adjudicate such
pass upon questions of ownership involving properties claimed to be part of the contentions, which must be submitted to the court in the exercise of its general
decedents estate? jurisdiction as a regional trial court. Jurisprudence teaches us 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
HELD: part of the estate and which are claimed to belong to outside parties. All
No, the question of ownership of properties alleged to be part of the that the said court could do as regards said properties is to determine
estate must be submitted to the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its general whether they should or should not be included in the inventory or list of
jurisdiction. (Petition GRANTED. CA Reversed) properties to be administered by the administrator. If there is no dispute,
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well and good, but if there is, then the parties, the administrator, and the This compromise agreement was not approved by the probate court.
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. Issue:

Hence, respondent’s recourse is to file a separate action with a court of


general jurisdiction. The intestate court is not the appropriate forum for the Is the Compromise Agreement partitioning the property of the estate without
resolution of her adverse claim of ownership over properties ostensibly belonging approval of the probate court valid?
to Miguelita’s estate.

Held:
Doctrine: When a question arises as to ownership of property alleged to be a
part of the estate of the deceased person, but claimed by some other person to
be his property, not by virtue of any right of inheritance from the deceased but Yes.
by title adverse to that of the deceased and his estate, such question cannot be
Petitioners contend that, because the compromise agreement was executed
determined in the course of an intestate or probate proceedings.
during the pendency of the probate proceedings, judicial approval is necessary to
shroud it with validity. They stress that the probate court had jurisdiction over
Sanchez vs CA GR No 108947 the properties covered by said agreement. They add that Petitioners Florida
Mierly, Alfredo and Myrna were all minors represented only by their
mother/natural guardian, Laureta Tampus.
Facts:
These contentions lack merit. Article 2028 of the Civil Code defines a
compromise agreement as “a contract whereby the parties, by making reciprocal
“[Herein private respondent] Rosalia S. Lugod is the only child of spouses Juan concessions, avoid a litigation or put an end to one already commenced.” Being
C. Sanchez and Maria Villafranca while [herein private respondents] Arturo S. a consensual contract, it is perfected upon the meeting of the minds of the
Lugod, Evelyn L. Ranises and Roberto S. Lugod are the legitimate children of parties. Judicial approval is not required for its perfection. Petitioners’ argument
[herein private respondent] Rosalia. that the compromise was not valid for lack of judicial approval is not novel; the
same was raised in Mayuga vs. Court of Appeals,] where the Court, through
[Herein petitioners] Rolando, Florida Mierly, Alfredo and Myrna, all surnamed Justice Irene R. Cortes, ruled:
Sanchez, are the illegitimate children of Juan C. Sanchez.
“It is alleged that the lack of judicial approval is fatal to the
On October 30, 1969, however, [herein private respondent] Rosalia and [herein compromise. A compromise is a consensual contract. As such, it is
petitioners] assisted by their respective counsels executed a compromise perfected upon the meeting of the minds of the parties to the contract.
agreement (Annex ‘D’, Petition) wherein they agreed to divide the properties (Hernandez v. Barcelon, 23 Phil. 599 [1912]; see also De los Reyes v. de
enumerated therein of the late Juan C. Sanchez. Ugarte, 75 Phil. 505 [1945].) And from that moment not only does it
become binding upon the parties (De los Reyes v. De Ugarte, supra ), it
also has upon them the effect and authority of res judicata (Civil Code,

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Art. 2037), even if not judicially approved (Meneses v. De la Rosa, 77
Phil. 34 [1946]; Vda. De Guilas v. David, 132 Phil. 241, L-24280, 23
SCRA 762 [May 27, 1968]; Cochingyan v. Cloribel, L-27070-71 [April 22,
1977], 76 SCRA 361).” (Italics found in the original.)
In the case before us, it is ineludible that the parties knowingly and freely
entered into a valid compromise agreement. Adequately assisted by their Heirs of Reyes vs Reyes GR No. 139587 2000
respective counsels, they each negotiated its terms and provisions for four
months; in fact, said agreement was executed only after the fourth draft. As Facts:
noted by the trial court itself, the first and second drafts were prepared
Leoncia Reyes and three out of four children decided to execute a deed
successively in July, 1969; the third draft on September 25, 1969; and the fourth
denominated Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli, where they sold land to the
draft, which was finally signed by the parties on October 30, 1969, followed.
Spouses Benedicto Francia and Monica Ajoco (Spouses Francia) for P500.00,
Since this compromise agreement was the result of a long drawn out process,
subject to the vendors right to repurchase for the same amount sa oras na
with all the parties ably striving to protect their respective interests and to come
sila'y makinabang. Leoncia and her children did not repay the amount of
out with the best they could, there can be no doubt that the parties entered into
P500.00. Alejandro Reyes, one Leoncia’ grandchildren, repaid the P500.00 from
it freely and voluntarily. Accordingly, they should be bound thereby. To be valid,
the Spouses Francia. By virtue of his payment, Alejandro executed a Kasulatan
it is merely required under the law to be based on real claims and actually agreed
ng Pagmeme-ari, wherein he declared that he had acquired all the rights and
upon in good faith by the parties thereto.
interests of the heirs of the Spouses Francia, including the ownership of the
Indeed, compromise is a form of amicable settlement that is not only allowed but property, after the vendors had failed to repurchase within the given period.
also encouraged in civil cases. Article 2029 of the Civil Code mandates that a Nevertheless, Alejandro, Leoncia, and his father Jose, Sr. executed an additional
“court shall endeavor to persuade the litigants in a civil case to agree upon some document Magkakalakip na Salaysay, by which Alejandro acknowledged the right
fair compromise.” of Leoncia, Jose, Jr., and Jose, Sr. to repurchase the property at any time for the
same amount of P500.00.
In opposing the validity and enforcement of the compromise agreement,
petitioners harp on the minority of Florida Mierly, Alfredo and Myrna. Citing After Alejandro’s death, Amanda Reyes, the wife of Alejandro Reyes, asked his
Article 2032 of the Civil Code, they contend that the court’s approval is necessary deceased husband’s cousins to vacate the property because she and her children
in compromises entered into by guardians and parents in behalf of their wards or already needed it. Respondents alleged that their predecessor Alejandro had
children. acquired ownership of the property by virtue of the deed Pagsasa-ayos ng Pag-
aari at Pagsasalin; that on the basis of such deed of assignment, Alejandro had
It is also significant that all the parties, including the then minors, had already
consolidated his ownership of the property via his Kasulatan ng Pagmeme-ari;
consummated and availed themselves of the benefits of their compromise. This
and that under the Magkasanib na Salaysay, Alejandro had granted to Leoncia,
Court has consistently ruled that “a party to a compromise cannot ask for a
his father Jose, Sr., and his uncles, Teofilo and Jose, Jr. the right to repurchase
rescission after it has enjoyed its benefits.”By their acts, the parties are ineludibly
the property, but they had failed to do so.
estopped from questioning the validity of their compromise agreement.
The petitioners averred that the Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli was an
equitable mortgage, not a pacto de retro sale; that the mortgagors had retained
ownership of the property; that the heirs of the Spouses Francia could not have
validly sold the property to Alejandro through the Pagsasaayos ng Pag-aari at

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Pagsasalin; that Alejandros right was only to seek reimbursement of the P500.00
he had paid from the co-owners.
ALABAN VS. CA G.R. NO. 156021, SEPT. 23, 2005
The RTC ruled in favor of the respondents declaring that Alejandro had acquired
ownership of the property in 1965 by operation of law upon the failure of the DOCTRINE:
petitioners predecessors to repurchase the property; that the joint affidavit Extrinsic Fraud. – An action to annul a final judgment on the ground of fraud
executed by Alejandro, Leoncia and Jose, Jr. and Jose, Sr., to extend the period lies only if the fraud is extrinsic or collateral in character. Fraud is regarded as
of redemption was inefficacious, because there was no more period to extend due extrinsic where it prevents a party from having a trial or from presenting his
to the redemption period having long lapsed by the time of its execution. entire case to the court, or where it operates upon matters pertaining no to the
judgment itself but to the manner in which it is procured. The overriding
The CA reversed the finding of the trial court and ruled that that the transaction consideration when extrinsic fraud is alleged is that the fraudulent scheme of the
covered by the Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli was not a pacto de retro sale prevailing litigant prevented a party from having his day in court.
but an equitable mortgage under Article 1602 of the Civil Code; that even after
the deeds execution, Leoncia, Teofilo, Jose, Jr. and their families had remained in FACTS:
possession of the property and continued paying realty taxes for the property; 1. Respondent Francisco Provido (respondent) filed a petition for the probate
that the purported vendees had not declared the property for taxation purposes of the Last Will and Testament of the late Soledad ProvidoElevencionado
under their own names; and that such circumstances proved that the parties (decedent), who died on Oct. 26, 2000 in Janjuay, Iloilo. Respondent that
envisaged an equitable mortgage in the Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli. he was the heir of the decedent and the executor of her will. The RTC
allowed the probate of the will of the decedent and directed the issuance
of letters testamentary to respondent.
Issue: Whether or not the petitioners are now barred from claiming that the
2. More than 4 months later or on Oct. 4, 2001, petitioners filed a motion for
transaction under the Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli was an equitable
reopening of the probate proceedings. Likewise, they filed an opposition to
mortgage by their failure to redeem the property for a long period of time?
the allowance of the will of the decedent. As well as the issuance of letters
testamentary to respondent, claiming that they are the intestate heirs of
the decedent. On Jan. 11, 2002, RTC issued an order denying the
Held: No, considering that sa oras na silay makinabang, the period of petitioners’ motion for being unmeritorious. Moreover, the RTC’s decision
redemption stated in the Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli, signified that no was already final and executory even before petitioner’s filing of the
definite period had been stated, the period to redeem should be ten years from motion to reopen.
the execution of the contract, pursuant to Articles 1142 and 1144 of the Civil
Cod. The acceptance of the payments even beyond the 10-year period of 3. Petitioners thereafter filed a petition with an application for preliminary
redemption estopped the mortgagees heirs from insisting that the period to injunction with the CA, seeking the annulment of the RTC’s Decision and
redeem the property had already expired. Their actions impliedly recognized the Order. They argued that the RTC decision should be annulled and set
continued existence of the equitable mortgage. The conduct of the original aside on the ground of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction on the part
parties as well as of their successors-in-interest manifested that the parties to of the RTC.
the Kasulatan ng Biling Mabibiling Muli really intended their transaction to be an
equitable mortgage, not a pacto de retro sale. 4. CA dismissed the petition. It found that there was no showing that
petitioners failed to avail of or resort to the ordinary remedies of new trial,

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appeal, petition for relief from judgment, or other appropriate remedies In the present case, to sustain their allegation of extrinsic fraud, petitioners
through no fault of their own. Moreover, the CA declared as baseless assert that as a result of respondent’s deliberate omission or concealment of their
petitioners’ claim that the proceedings in the RTC was attended by names, ages and residences as the other heirs of the decedent in his petition for
extrinsic fraud. Neither was there any showing that they availed of this allowance of the will, they were not notified of the proceedings, and thus they
ground in a motion for new trial or petition for relief from judgment in the were denied their day in court. In addition, they claim that respondent’s offer of a
RTC. Petitioner sought reconsideration but the same was denied. false compromise even before the filing of the petition prevented them from
appearing and opposing the petition for probate.
5. Petitioner maintains that they were not made parties to the case in which
the decision sought to be annulled was rendered and, thus could not have The Court is not convinced. According to the Rules, notice is required to be
availed of the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief personally given to known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator. A perusal
from judgment and other appropriate remedies, contrary to the ruling of of the will shows that respondent was instituted as the sole heir of the decedent.
the CA. They aver that respondent’s offer of a false compromise and his Petitioners, as nephews and nieces of the decedent, are neither compulsory nor
failure to notify them of the probate of the will constitute extrinsic fraud testate heirs who are entitled to be notified of the probate proceedings under the
that necessitates the annulment of the RTC’s judgment. Rules. Respondent had no legal obligation to mention petitioners in the petition
for probate, or to personally notify them of the same.
ISSUE: Whether or not the proceedings in the RTC was attended by extrinsic
fraud that necessitates the annulment of the RTC’s judgment. Besides, assuming arguendo that petitioners are entitled to be so notified, the
purported infirmity is cured by the publication of the notice. After all, personal
HELD: Petition is devoid of merit. notice upon the heirs is a matter of procedural convenience and not a
An action for annulment of judgment is a remedy in law independent of the case jurisdictional requisite.
where the judgment sought to be annulled was rendered. The purpose of such
action is to have the final and executory judgment set aside so that there will be The non-inclusion of petitioners’ names in the petition and alleged failure to
a renewal of litigation. It is resorted to in cases where the ordinary remedies of personally notify them of the proceedings do not constitute extrinsic fraud.
new trial, appeal, petition for relief from judgment, or other appropriate remedies Petitioners were not denied their day in court, as they were not prevented from
are no longer available through no fault of the petitioner, and is based only on participating in the proceedings and presenting their case before the probate
two grounds: extrinsic fraud, and lack of jurisdiction or denial of due process. A court.
person need not be a party to the judgment sought to be annulled, and it is only
essential that he can prove his allegation that the judgment was obtained by the
use of fraud and collusion and he would be adversely affected thereby. SUMILANG V. RAMAGOSA 21 SCRA 1369

An action to annul a final judgment on the ground of fraud only lies if the fraud is FACTS
extrinsic or collateral in character. Fraud is regarded as extrinsic where it Mariano Sumilang filed a petition for theprobate of a document alleged to be
prevents a party from having a trial or from presenting his entire case to the thelast will and testament of HilarionRamagosa. Said document institutesMariano
court, or where it operates upon matters pertaining not to the judgment itself but as the sole heir of the testator.The petition was opposed by two
to the manner in which it is procured. The overriding consideration when extrinsic SaturninaRamagosa, et. al, who questioned the dueexecution of the document,
is alleged is that the fraudulent scheme of the prevailing litigant prevented a claiming thatit was made under duress and was notreally intended by the
party from having his day in court. deceased to be hislast will and testament. Saturnino andSantiago Ramagosa also
claimed thatthey, instead of Mariano, were entitled toinherit the estate of the
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deceased.After Mariano presented evidence andrested his case, oppositors moved Guevara v. Guevara Digest 98 Phil 249
for thedismissal of the petition on the ground thatdecedent revoked his will by
implication oflaw six years before his death by selling theparcels of land to Facts:
Mariano Sumilang andhis brother Mario so that at the time of thetestator's death, 1. Victorino Guevara executed a will in 1931 wherein he made various bequests t
the titles to said landswere no longer in his name.On the other hand, Mariano his wife, stepchildren, wife in the 2nd marriage. He has a legitimate son Ernesto
moved tostrike out oppositors pleadings on theground that the oppositors have and a natural daughter Rosario. Therein, he acknowledged Rosario as his natural
no interestin the probate of the will as they have norelationship with the daughter.
decedent within thefifth degree. The lower court ruled in favor of Mariano stating
that the allegations ofthe oppositors go to the very intrinsic valueof the will and 2. In 1933, Victorino died but his last will was never presented for probate nor
since the oppositors have nostanding to oppose the probate of the willas they are was there any settlement proceeding initiated. It appeared that only his son
strangers, their pleadings areordered stricken out from the record. Ernest possessed the land which he adjudicated to himself. While Rosario who
had the will in her custody, did nothing to invoke the acknowledgment, as well as
ISSUE the devise given to her.
Whether the probate court should passupon the intrinsic validity of the will.
3. Subsequently, Rosario filed an action for the recovery of her legitime from
HELD Ernesto, a portion of a large parcel of land invoking the acknowledgment
The petition being for the probate of a will,the court's area of inquiry is limited to contained in the will and based on the assumption that the decedent died
theextrinsic validity only. The testator'stestamentary capacity and thecompliance intestate because his will was not probated. She alleged that the disposition in
with the formal requisites or solemnities prescribed by law are the onlyquestions favor of Ernesto should be disregarded.
presented for the resolution ofthe court. Any inquiry into the intrinsicvalidity or
efficacy of the provisions of thewill or the legality of any devise or legacy 4. The lower court and the Court of Appeals sustained Rosario's theory.
ispremature (Nuguid vs. Nuguid).To establish conclusively as againsteveryone
and once for all, the facts that awill was executed with the formalitiesrequired by Issue: Whether or not the probate of a will can be dispensed with
law and that the testator wasin a condition to make a will, is the onlypurpose of
the proceedings . . . for theprobate of a will. The judgment in suchproceedings RULING: No. Rosario's contention violates procedural law and considered an
determines and candetermine nothing more. (Alemany, et al.vs. CFI of attempt to circumvent the last will and testament of the decedent. The
Manila)True or not, the alleged sale is no groundfor the dismissal of the petition presentation of a will to the court for probate is mandatory and its allowance is
for probate.Probate is one thing the validity of thetestamentary provisions is essential and indispensable to its efficacy.
another. The firstdecides the execution of the documentand the testamentary
capacity of thetestator; the second relates to descentand distributionThe Suppression of the will is contrary to law and public policy for without probate,
revocation invoked by the oppositors isnot an express one, but merely the right of a person to dispose of his property by will may be rendered nugatory.
impliedfrom subsequent acts of the testatrixallegedly evidencing an abandonment
ofthe original intention to bequeath or devisethe properties concerned. As such,
therevocation would not affect the will itself,but merely the particular devise or Cuenco vs. CA G.R. No. L-24742, October 26, 1973
legacy

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FACTS: wish.

Senator Mariano Jesus Cuenco died in Manila. He was survived by his widow and On Venue and Jurisdiction
two minor sons, residing in Quezon City, and children of the first marriage,
residing in Cebu. Lourdes, one of the children from the first marriage, filed a Under Rule 73, the court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of
Petition for Letters of Administration with the Court of First Instance (CFI) Cebu, a decent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts.
alleging that the senator died intestate in Manila but a resident of Cebu with
properties in Cebu and Quezon City. The residence of the decent or the location of his estate is not an element of
jurisdiction over the subject matter but merely of venue. If this were otherwise, it
The petition still pending with CFI Cebu, Rosa Cayetano Cuenco, the second wife, would affect the prompt administration of justice.
filed a petition with CFI Rizal for the probate of the last will and testament, where
she was named executrix. Rosa also filed an opposition and motion to dismiss in The court with whom the petition is first filed must also first take cognizance of
CFI Cebu but this court held in abeyance resolution over the opposition until CFI the settlement of the estate in order to exercise jurisdiction over it to the
Quezon shall have acted on the probate proceedings. exclusion of all other courts.

Lourdes filed an opposition and motion to dismiss in CFI Quezon, on ground of


lack of jurisdiction and/or improper venue, considering that CFI Cebu already SALAZAR vs. CFI OF LAGUNA AND RIVERA, 64 PHIL 78 (1937)
acquired exclusive jurisdiction over the case. The opposition and motion to
dismiss were denied. Upon appeal CA ruled in favor of Lourdes and issued a writ FACTS:
of prohibition to CFI Quezon. Crispin Oben instituted special proceeding and prayed for the probate of
the will allegedly made by his deceased mother on May 13, 1924. The petition
ISSUEs: was opposed by Sabina Rivera and prayed for the probate of the will of the
deceased alleged made on May 11, 1930, copy of which was attached thereto,
 Whether or not CA erred in issuing the writ of prohibition and for the issuance, to that effect, of the order setting the hearing thereof and
 Whether or not CFI Quezon acted without jurisdiction or grave abuse of directing such publications as required by law.
discretion in taking cognizance and assuming exclusive jurisdiction over The court denied the motion for publication and ordered the Rivera to
the probate proceedings in pursuance to CFI Cebu's order expressly institute another proceeding and apply separately for the probate of the alleged
consenting in deference to the precedence of probate over intestate will. The respondent filed a motion for reconsideration and the court, on March
proceedings 31, 19937, issued an order setting aside the former one and directing that the
will presented by the respondent be set for hearing, that the publications
required by law be made and that said will be heard jointly with the will
presented by the petitioner in the same proceeding instituted by the latter.
HELD:
Sometime later, the court ordered that the expenses for the publications made in
the newspapers be defrayed by the respondent.
The Supreme Court found that CA erred in law in issuing the writ of prohibition
The petitioner filed two motions for reconsideration which were denied
against the Quezon City court from proceeding with the testate proceedings and
and, finally, instituted this certiorari proceeding. In order that the hearing and
annulling and setting aside all its orders and actions, particularly its admission to
publications ordered by the court may be carried out, the respondent, on July 20,
probate of the last will and testament of the deceased and appointing petitioner-
widow as executrix thereof without bond pursuant to the deceased testator's
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1937, deposited P24 and filed the original of the will the probate of which had FACTS:
been sought by her. Ruperta C. Palaganas (Ruperta), a Filipino who became a naturalized
United States (U.S.) citizen, died single and childless. In the last will and
ISSUE/S: testament she executed in California, she designated her brother, Sergio C.
Whether the court acquired no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the Palaganas (Sergio), as the executor of her will for she had left properties in the
counter-petition for the probate of the second will, or to set the same for hearing Philippines and in the U.S.
of said will to be held in the same proceeding jointly with the first will, on the
ground that the respondent had not previously filed her pleading nor paid the Respondent Ernesto C. Palaganas (Ernesto), another brother of Ruperta,
fees of the clerk of court. filed with the a petition for the probate of Ruperta’s will and for his appointment
as special administrator of her estate. However, petitioners Manuel Miguel
HELD: Palaganas (Manuel) and Benjamin Gregorio Palaganas (Benjamin), nephews of
YES. Court of First Instance acquires jurisdiction to probate a will when it is Ruperta, opposed the petition on the ground that Ruperta’s will should not be
shown by evidence before it: probated in the Philippines but in the U.S. where she executed it
(1) That a person has died leaving a will;
(2) in the case of a resident of this country, that he died in the province where The RTC issued an order: (a) admitting to probate Ruperta’s last will; (b)
the court exercises territorial jurisdiction; appointing respondent Ernesto as special administrator at the request of Sergio,
(3) in the case of a nonresident, that he has left a estate in the province where the U.S.-based executor designated in the will; and (c) issuing the Letters of
the court is situated, and (4) that the testament or last will of the deceased Special Administration to Ernesto.
has been delivered to the court and is in the possession thereof.
Manuel and Benjamin appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA), arguing that
According to the facts alleged and admitted by the parties, it is evident that
an unprobated will executed by an American citizen in the U.S. cannot be
the court has acquired jurisdiction to probate the second will, in view of the
probated for the first time in the Philippines.
presence of all the jurisdictional facts above-stated. The respondent's counter-
petition should, in this case, be considered as a petition for the probate of the The CA affirmed order of the RTC, holding that the RTC properly allowed
second will, the original of which was filed by her on July 20, 1937. the probate of the will. The CA pointed out that Section 2, Rule 76 of the Rules
The payment of the fees of the clerk of court for all services to be rendered by of Court does not require prior probate and allowance of the will in the country of
him in connection with the probate of the second will and for the successive its execution, before it can be probated in the Philippines. The present case is
proceedings to be conducted and others to be issued is not jurisdiction in the different from reprobate, which refers to a will already probated and allowed
sense that its omission does not deprive the court of its authority to proceed with abroad. Reprobate is governed by different rules or procedures.
the probate of a will
ISSUE:

IN RE: IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO APPROVE THE WILL OF Whether or not a will executed by a foreigner abroad may be probated in the
RUPERTA PALAGANAS WITH PRAYER FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF Philippines although it has not been previously probated and allowed in the
SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR, MANUEL MIGUEL PALAGANAS AND BENJAMIN country where it was executed.
GREGORIO PALAGANAS VS. ERNESTO PALAGANAS
HELD:
G.R. No. 169144, January 26, 2011

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Section 1, Rule 73 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides that if the G.R. No. L-9633 January 29, 1957
decedent is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the RTC of the province where he
has an estate may take cognizance of the settlement of such estate. Sections 1 EMILIO SORIANO, vs. ANTONIO ASI,
and 2 of Rule 76 further state that the executor, devisee, or legatee named in the
will, or any other person interested in the estate, may, at any time after the Facts:
death of the testator, petition the court having jurisdiction to have the will
allowed, whether the same be in his possession or not, or is lost or destroyed. On April 22, 1952, Emilio Soriano filed a petition to vacate the order admitting his
aunt's will to probate, on the ground that, because of the omission of his name as
Our rules require merely that the petition for the allowance of a will must detailed above, and because of his unfamiliarity with Spanish, petitioner had
show, so far as known to the petitioner: (a) the jurisdictional facts; (b) the been deprived of his day in court, and of opportunity to object to the probate;
names, ages, and residences of the heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator and that he learned of the questioned proceedings only on April 4, 1952, through
or decedent; (c) the probable value and character of the property of the estate; a communication from the lawyer of Antonio Asi.
(d) the name of the person for whom letters are prayed; and (e) if the will has
not been delivered to the court, the name of the person having custody of Now appellant first alleges that, notwithstanding the lack of personal notice, the
it. Jurisdictional facts refer to the fact of death of the decedent, his residence at Court of First Instance acquired jurisdiction over the case, by virtue of the
the time of his death in the province where the probate court is sitting, or if he is newspaper publication, probate proceedings being proceedings in rem. The
an inhabitant of a foreign country, the estate he left in such province. The rules objection is improperly raised, because Emilio Soriano does not question the
do not require proof that the foreign will has already been allowed and probated jurisdiction of the probate court; his petition for relief on the ground of fraud
in the country of its execution. precisely assumes that the Court had jurisdiction to issue the order complained
of. Without jurisdiction, said order would be a total nullity, and no petition for
In insisting that Ruperta’s will should have been first probated and allowed relief would be required.
by the court of California, petitioners Manuel and Benjamin obviously have in
mind the procedure for the reprobate of will before admitting it here. But, Because of the facts aforesaid, Judge Edilberto Soriano, then of the Court of First
reprobate or re-authentication of a will already probated and allowed in a foreign Instance of Batangas, overruled the objections of Antonio Asi, and vacated the
country is different from that probate where the will is presented for the first time probate order complained of as obtained through extrinsic fraud to the detriment
before a competent court. Reprobate is specifically governed by Rule 77 of the of Emilio Soriano. It is next averred that the petition for relief was filed out of
Rules of Court. Contrary to petitioners’ stance, since this latter rule applies only time, because the order admitting the will to probate was rendered on October
to reprobate of a will, it cannot be made to apply to the present case. In 10, 1951, while the petition for relief only six (6) months and twelve (12) days
reprobate, the local court acknowledges as binding the findings of the foreign afterward, on April 22, 1952.
probate court provided its jurisdiction over the matter can be established.
Issue: Whether or not the petition filed out of time?
Besides, petitioners’ stand is fraught with impractically. If the instituted
heirs do not have the means to go abroad for the probate of the will, it is as good
as depriving them outright of their inheritance, since our law requires that no will
shall pass either real or personal property unless the will has been proved and Held: No, the petition was not filed out of time.
allowed by the proper court.
The period of six months is incorrectly computed by the appellant from the
rendition of the judgment or order complained of; it should be counted from the
entry of such judgment or order. This is evident from section 3 of Rule 38:
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SEC. 3. When petition filed; contents and verification. — A petition started in Branch 61, then it should be the same court which should hear Pacita’s
provided for in either of the preceding sections of this rule must be motion. Branch 61 however refused to consolidate and referred the case back to
verified, filed within sixty days after the petition learns of the judgment, Branch 65. Branch 65 subsequently consolidated the case per refusal of Branch
order, or other proceeding to be set aside, and not more than six months 61. Eventually, Branch 65 allowed the motion for intervention filed by Octavio.
after such judgment or order was entered, or such proceeding was taken;
ISSUE: Whether or not Octavio Maloles II has the right to intervene in the
and must be accompanied with affidavits showing the fraud, accident,
probate proceeding.
mistake, or excusable negligence relied upon, and the facts constituting
the petitioner's good and substantial cause of action or defense, as the HELD: No. The Supreme Court first clarified that the probate of will filed in
case may be, which he may prove if his petition be granted. Branch 61 has already terminated upon the allowance of the will. Hence when
Pacita filed a motion with Branch 65, the same is already a separate proceeding
Under Rule 35, section 2, a judgment or order is entered by the clerk after and not a continuance of the now concluded probate in Branch 61. There is
expiration of the period for appeal or motion for new trial, i.e., after thirty days therefore no reason for Branch 65 to refer back the case to Branch 61 as it
(Rule 37 and 41). This means that the probate order of October 10, 1951, could initially did. Further even if the probate was terminated, under Rule 73 of the
be entered, at the earliest, on November 9, 1951; wherefore, the petition for Rules of Court concerning the venue of settlement of estates, it is provided that
relief, filed on April 22, 1952, was within the six months allowed by law. when a case is filed in one branch, jurisdiction over the case does not attach to
the branch or judge alone, to the exclusion of the other branches.
Anent the issue of Octavio being an heir, such contention has no merit. He is not
an heir. Arturo died testate. Next of kins may only inherit if a person dies
Maloles II vs. Philips GR No. 129505
intestate. In this case, Arturo left a valid will which expressly provided that ASF is
FACTS: In 1995, Dr. Arturo De Los Santos filed a petition for probate of his the sole legatee and devisee of his estate.
will. He declared that he has no compulsory heirs and that he is naming as sole
devisee and legatee the Arturo de Santos Foundation, Inc. (ASF). The named
executrix is Pacita De Los Reyes Phillips. The petition was filed in RTC Makati Tan vs Gedorio G.R. No. 166520 March 14, 2008
Branch 61. Judge Fernando Gorospe of said court determined that Arturo is of
sound mind and was not acting in duress when he signed his last will and FACTS: Upon the death of Gerardo Tan on Oct. 14, 2000, private respondents
testament and so Branch 61 allowed the last will and testament on February 16, Rogelo Lim Suga and Helen Tan Racoma, who were claiming to be the children of
1996. the decedent moved for the appointment of their attorney-in-fact, Romualdo Lim
as special administrator. This was opposed by the petitioner Vilma Tan, Jake Tan
Ten days from the allowance, Arturo died. Thereafter, Pacita, as executrix, filed a and Geraldine Tan, claiming that none of the respondents can be appointed since
motion for the issuance of letters of testamentary with Branch 61. She however they are not residing in the country, that Romualdo does not have the same
withdrew the motion but later on refilled it with RTC Makati Branch 65. competence as Vilma Tan who was already acting as the de facto administratrix
Meanwhile, a certain Octavio Maloles II filed a motion for intervention with of the estate, and that the nearest of kin, being the legitmate children, is
Branch 61 claiming that as a next of kin (him being the full blooded nephew of preferred in the choice of administrator (claiming that the respondent were
Arturo) he should be appointed as the administrator of the estate and that he is illegitmate children).
an heir.
However, upon failure of Vilma to follow a court directive to account for the
Judge Abad Santos of Branch 65 issued an order transferring the motion filed by income of the estate, the court granted Romualdo's appointment as special
Pacita to Branch 61. Judge Santos ratiocinated that since the probate proceeding administrator.
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Maxima, respondents and their brother Leonardo jointly controlled, managed,
Petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals and was denied, hence the petition and administered the estate of their parents. Under such circumstance, Leonardo
for review on certiorari. had been receiving his share consisting of one-third (1/3) of the total income
generated from the properties of the estate. However, when Leonardo died,
ISSUE: Whether or not the court violated Sec. 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court in respondents took possession, control and management of the properties to the
their selection of a special administrator. exclusion of petitioners. The petition prayed for the settlement of the estate of
Vicente and Maxima and the estate of Leonardo. It, likewise, prayed for the
RULING: The preference under Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court for the appointment of an administrator to apportion, divide, and award the two estates
next of kin refers to the appointment of a regular administrator, and not of a among the lawful heirs of the decedents.
special administrator, as the appointment of the latter lies entirely in the
discretion of the court, and is not appealable. After long side by side filing of motions, petitions and oppositions, Renato and
Erlinda were appointed as special administrators but refused to give an inventory
If petitioners really desire to avail themselves of the order of preference , they of properties as petitioned by herein petitioners until after the court ruled in their
should pursue the appointment of a regular administrator and put to an end the petition for exemption in posting a bond. Meanwhile, petitioners subsequently
delay which necessitated the appointment of a special administrator. learned that respondents has disposed of real properties for P2,700,000.00
saying it was only for P1,500,000.00 then move the court through a petition in
removing the respondents as administrators and proceed to partitioning the
G.R. No. 187879 July 5, 2010
estate. The RTC ruled in the affirmative and appointed Melinda as regular
DALISAY E. OCAMPO, VINCE E. OCAMPO, MELINDA CARLA E. OCAMPO,
administrator conditioned with the posting of P200,000.00 as bond which the
and LEONARDO E. OCAMPO, JR.,
later complied. The respondents appealed in the CA and they received a favorable
vs.
decision reversing and setting aside the decision of the RTC.
RENATO M. OCAMPO and ERLINDA M. OCAMPO,
ISSUE: Whether the court should have acted with grave abuse of discretion
FACTS: Petitioners Dalisay E. Ocampo (Dalisay), Vince E. Ocampo (Vince),
in revoking and terminating the appointment of Renato and Erlinda as joint
Melinda Carla E. Ocampo (Melinda), and Leonardo E. Ocampo, Jr. (Leonardo, Jr.)
special administrators, on account of their failure to comply with its Order,
are the surviving wife and the children of Leonardo Ocampo (Leonardo), who died
particularly the posting of the required bond, and to enter their duties and
on January 23, 2004. Leonardo and his siblings, respondents Renato M. Ocampo
responsibilities as special administrators and in appointing Melinda as regular
(Renato) and Erlinda M. Ocampo (Erlinda) are the legitimate children and only
administratrix, subject to the posting of a bond in the amount of P200,000.00.
heirs of the spouses Vicente and Maxima Ocampo, who died intestate on
December 19, 1972 and February 19, 1996, respectively. Vicente and Maxima
left several properties, mostly situated in Biñan, Laguna. Vicente and Maxima left RULING: The court ruled that the trial court did not act with grave abuse of
no will and no debts. discretion in revoking the appointment of the respondents as special
administrators and otherwise in appointing Melinda as regular administrator
opining and ordering that she should instead be appointed as special
On June 24, 2004, five (5) months after the death of Leonardo, petitioners
administration as according to the rules.
initiated a petition for intestate proceedings, entitled In Re: Intestate Proceedings
of the Estate of Sps. Vicente Ocampo and Maxima Mercado Ocampo, and
Leonardo M. Ocampo, in the RTC, Branch 24, Biñan, Laguna, docketed as Spec. A special administrator is an officer of the court who is subject to its supervision
Proc. No. B-3089. The petition alleged that, upon the death of Vicente and and control, expected to work for the best interest of the entire estate, with a

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view to its smooth administration and speedy settlement. When appointed, he or reposed in, and discharge the obligations incumbent upon, him. Its object and
she is not regarded as an agent or representative of the parties suggesting the purpose is to safeguard the properties of the decedent, and, therefore, the bond
appointment. The principal object of the appointment of a temporary should not be considered as part of the necessary expenses chargeable against
administrator is to preserve the estate until it can pass to the hands of a person the estate, not being included among the acts constituting the care,
fully authorized to administer it for the benefit of creditors and heirs, pursuant to management, and settlement of the estate. Moreover, the ability to post the
Section 2 of Rule 80 of the Rules of Court. bond is in the nature of a qualification for the office of administration.

While the RTC considered that respondents were the nearest of kin to their G.R. No. L-21917 November 29, 1966
deceased parents in their appointment as joint special administrators, this is not TESTATE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED CARLOS GURREA Y MONASTERIO.
a mandatory requirement for the appointment. It has long been settled that the MARCELO PIJUAN, special administrator-appellee,
selection or removal of special administrators is not governed by the rules vs.
regarding the selection or removal of regular administrators. The probate court MANUELA RUIZ VDA. DE GURREA, movant-appellant.
may appoint or remove special administrators based on grounds other than those
enumerated in the Rules at its discretion, such that the need to first pass upon FACTS:
and resolve the issues of fitness or unfitness and the application of the order of Appellant Manuela Ruiz (Mrs. Gurrea) and Carlos Gurrea were married in
preference under Section 6 of Rule 78, as would be proper in the case of a Spain, where they lived together until 1945, when he abandoned her and came,
regular administrator, do not obtain. As long as the discretion is exercised with their son Teodoro, to the Philippines. Here he lived maritally with Rizalina
without grave abuse, and is based on reason, equity, justice, and legal principles, Perez by whom he had two (2) children. Having been informed by her son that
interference by higher courts is unwarranted. The appointment or removal of his father was residing in Pontevedra, Negros Occidental, Manuela came to the
special administrators, being discretionary, is thus interlocutory and may be Philippines but, Carlos Gurrea refused to admit her to his residence.
assailed through a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.
She instituted, against Carlos Gurrea, Civil Case No. 5820 of the CFI of
Pursuant to Section 1 of Rule 81, the bond secures the performance of the duties Negros Occidental, for support and the annulment of some alleged donations of
and obligations of an administrator namely: (1) to administer the estate and pay conjugal property, in favor of his common-law wife. Said court issued an order
the debts; (2) to perform all judicial orders; (3) to account within one (1) year granting Mrs. Gurrea a monthly alimony, pendente lite, of P2,000.00 which was
and at any other time when required by the probate court; and (4) to make an reduced by the Court of Appeals to P1,000.00.
inventory within three (3) months. More specifically, per Section 4 of the same
Rule, the bond is conditioned on the faithful execution of the administration of Carlos Gurrea died leaving a document purporting to be his last will and
the decedents estate requiring the special administrator to (1) make and return a testament, in which he named Marcelo Pijuan as executor thereof and
true inventory of the goods, chattels, rights, credits, and estate of the deceased disinherited Mrs. Gurrea and their son, Teodoro. Pijuan instituted Special
which come to his possession or knowledge; (2) truly account for such as Proceedings No. 6582 , for the probate of said will. Thereafter Pijuan was, upon
received by him when required by the court; and (3) deliver the same to the his ex parte motion, appointed special administrator of the estate, without bond.
person appointed as executor or regular administrator, or to such other person as Oppositions to the probate of the will were filed by Mrs. Gurrea, her son,
may be authorized to receive them. Teodoro.

Verily, the administration bond is for the benefit of the creditors and the heirs, as Mrs. Gurrea filed in said Special Proceedings No. 6582, a motion praying
it compels the administrator, whether regular or special, to perform the trust that the Special Administrator be ordered to continue paying it pending the final
determination of the case. This motion was denied. Mrs. Gurrea moved for a
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reconsideration. She further moved for her appointment as administratrix of the ISSUE: Whether or not the court erred in revoking Alvin Co's appointment as
estate of the deceased. But the same was denied. special co-administrator.

Hence, this appeal. RULING: The trial court did not act with grave abuse of discretion in revoking
Alvin’s appointment as special co-administrator. Settled is the rule that the
ISSUE: W/N the the lower court erred in denying her petition for appointment as selection or removal of special administrators is not governed by the rules
administratrix (for, as widow of the deceased, she claims a right of preference regarding the selection or removal of regular administrators. Courts may appoint
under Section 6 of Rule 78 of the Revised Rules of Court.) or remove special administrators based on grounds other than those enumerated
in the Rules, at their discretion.
RULING: Said preference exists "if no executor is named in the will or
the executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the trust, or fail to The special administrator is an officer of the court who is subject to its
give bond, or a person dies intestate." None of these conditions obtains, supervision and control and who is expected to work for the best interest of the
however, in the case at bar. The deceased Carlos Gurrea has left a document entire estate, especially with respect to its smooth administration and earliest
purporting to be his will, seemingly, is still pending probate. So, it cannot be said, settlement.
as yet, that he has died intestate. Again, said document names Marcelo Pijuan as
executor thereof, and it is not claimed that he is incompetent therefor. What is G.R. No. 193161 August 22, 2011
more, he has not only not refused the trust, but, has, also, expressly accepted it, DIOSDADO S. MANUNGAS, Petitioner,
by applying for his appointment as executor, and, upon his appointment as vs.
special administrator, has assumed the duties thereof. It may not be amiss to MARGARITA AVILA LORETO and FLORENCIA AVILA
note that the preference accorded by the aforementioned provision of the Rules PARREÑO, Respondents.
of Court to the surviving spouse refers to the appoint of a regular administrator
or administratrix, not to that of a special administrator, and that the order FACTS: Engracia Manungas was the wife of Florentino Manungas. They had
appointing the latter lies within the discretion of the probate court, and is not no children. Florentino Manungas died intestate.Thereafter, Engracia Manungas
appealable. filed a Motion for Partition of Estate in the intestate estate proceedings of
Florentino Manungas, of which she was the administratrix. There, she stated that
Co vs Rosario there are no other legal and compulsory heirs of Florentino Manungas except for
G.R. No. 160671, April 30, 2008 herself, and a Ramon Manungas, an acknowledged natural child. Thereafter, a
Decree of Final Distribution was issued distributing the properties to Engracia
FACTS: Petitioner Luis Co and Vicente Yu were appointed by the Regional Trial Manungas and Ramon Manungas, the surviving heirs.
Court of Makati on March 4, 1998, as special co-administrators of the estate of
petitioner's father. However, upon motion of other heirs, petitioner's appointment The RTC Panabo City, appointed Parreño, the niece of Engracia Manungas,
was set aside, whereby petitioner nominated his son, Alvin Co, in his place, which as the Judicial Guardian of the properties and person of her incompetent aunt.
was granted by the court. Engracia Manungas, through Parreño, then instituted Civil Case No. 5196-96
against the spouses Diosdado Manungas for illegal detainer and damages. In
Four years later, however, the RTC, upon motion of one the heirs, revoked the their answer, the spouses Salinas claimed that Diosdado is the illegitimate son of
appointment of Alvin in view of the several criminal cases filed against the latter. Florentino Manungas. However, the answer was filed beyond the reglementary
Petitioner files petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45. period. Thus, the MTC issued a summary judgment in favor of Engracia

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Manungas, ordering the spouses to vacate the premises and to restore It is well settled that the statutory provisions as to the prior or preferred right of
possession to Engracia Manungas. certain persons to the appointment of administrator under Section 1, Rule 81, as
well as the statutory provisions as to causes for removal of an executor or
Thereafter, Diosdado instituted a petition for the issuance of letters of administrator under section 653 of Act No. 190, now Section 2, Rule 83, do not
administration over the Estate of Engracia Manungas in his favor. He alleged that apply to the selection or removal of special administrator. x x x As the law does
he, being an illegitimate son of Florentino Manungas, is an heir of Engracia not say who shall be appointed as special administrator and the qualifications the
Manungas. appointee must have, the judge or court has discretion in the selection of the
person to be appointed, discretion which must be sound, that is, not whimsical or
The petition was opposed by Margarita Avila Loreto (Loreto) and Parreño contrary to reason, justice or equity.
alleging that Diosdado was incompetent as an administrator of the Estate of
Manungas claiming that 1he was not a Manungas, that 2he was not an heir of The role of a special administrator is to preserve the estate until a regular
Engracia Manungas, 3he was not a creditor of Engracia Manungas or her estate administrator is appointed. Given this duty on the part of the special
and that 4he was in fact a debtor of the estate having been found liable to administrator, it would, therefore, be prudent and reasonable to appoint someone
Engracia Manungas by virtue of the illegal detainer case. Thus, RTC issued an interested in preserving the estate for its eventual distribution to the heirs. Such
Order appointing Parreño as the administrator of the Estate of Manungas. choice would ensure that such person would not expose the estate to losses that
would effectively diminish his or her share. There is no logical reason to appoint a
Diosdado filed a Motion for Reconsideration. In his motion, Diosdado person who is a debtor of the estate and otherwise a stranger to the deceased.
argued that Parreño’s appointment as special administrator of the Estate of To do so would be tantamount to grave abuse of discretion.
Manungas was by virtue of her being the judicial guardian of the latter but which
relation ceased upon Engracia Manungas’ death. The RTC issued an Order The trial court erred in revoking the appointment of Florencia Avila
reversing itself and ordering the revocation of its earlier appointment of Parreño Parreño as Special Administrator on the ground that it found merit in Diosdado’s
as the administrator of the Estate of Manungas while appointing Diosdado as the contention that he is the illegitimate child of the late Florentino Manangus. In
Special Administrator. fact, Diosdado is a debtor of the estate and would have no interest in preserving
its value. There is no reason to appoint him as its special administrator.
Parreño and Loreto appealed to the CA. CA: RTC acted with grave abuse
of discretion. Vicente Uriarte vs. CFI Negros Occidental, CFI Manila, Juan
UriarteZamanoca and HiginioUriarte ;May 29, 1970
ISSUE: W/N The Court a Quo committed a grave error when it ruled to annul the
appointment of petitioner, Diosdado Manungas as judicial administrator and SIEFACTS: November 6, 1961 – Vicente filed with CFI Negros a petition for the
reinstating the appointment of Florencia Parreño as special administrator. settlement of the estate of the late Don Juan Uriarte alleging therein that as a
natural son of the latter, he was the sole heir and that during the lifetime of said
RULING: Yes. The fact that Diosdado is an heir to the estate of Florentino decedent, Vicente had instituted a civil case in CFI Negros for his compulsory
Manungas does not mean that he is entitled or even qualified to become the acknowledgment as such natural son
special administrator of the Estate of Manungas.
CFI Negros appointed the PNB as special administrator and later set the date for
Jurisprudence teaches us that the appointment of a special administrator lies the hearing of the petition and ordered that the requisite notices be published in
within the discretion of the court. In Heirs of Belinda Dahlia A. Castillo v. Lacuata- accordance with law.
Gabriel,24 it was stated that:

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The record discloses, however, that, for one reason or another, PNB never the action, as well as when he commenced the petition for settlement of estate,
actually qualified as special administrator. he had not yet been acknowledged as natural son of Juan Uriarte.

December 19, 1961 – HiginioUriarte filed an opposition to the petition alleging The record further discloses that the special proceeding before CFI Negros has
that he was a nephew of the deceased Juan Uriarte who had executed a Last Will not gone further than the appointment of PNB as special administrator (who
and Testament in Spain, a duly authenticated copy whereof has been requested failed to qualify).
and which shall be submitted to the court upon receipt and further questioning
Vicente’s capacity and interest to commence the intestate proceeding. On the other hand, CFI Manila admitted to probate the document submitted to it,
as thelast will of Juan Uriarte, the petition for probate appearing not to have been
August 28, 1962 – Juan UriarteZamacona commenced a special proceeding in CFI contested.
Manila for the probate of a document alleged to be the last will of the deceased
Juan Uriarte and filed with CFI Negros a Motion to Dismiss on these grounds: ISSUE: Whether Juan UriarteZamacona should have filed the petition for probate
of the last will of Juan Uriarte with CFI Negros or was entitled to commenced the
 As a deceased left a last will, there was no basis to proceed with the corresponding separate proceedings in CFI Manila
intestate proceedings
RULING: Rule 73, Section: the estate of a decedent inhabitant of the
 Vicente Uriarte had no legal personality and interest to initiate the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien, shall be in the
intestate proceedings, he not being an acknowledged natural son of the court of first instance in the province in which he resided at the time of his death,
decedent. and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the court of first instance of any
province in which he had estate.
Vicente opposed the MTD contending that, as CFI Negros was first to take
cognizance of the settlement of the estate of Juan Uriarte, it had acquired The deceased Juan Uriarte was a non-resident alien. Therefore, the CFIs in
exclusive jurisdiction over the same. provinces where he left any property have concurrent jurisdiction to take
cognizance of the proper special proceedings for the settlement of his estate.
CFI Negros granted Juan UriarteZamacona’s MTD and dismissed the proceeding
before it. MR denied. He filed a notice of appeal, appeal bond and record on Vicente argues that when CFI Negros took cognizance, CFI Manila no longer had
appeal. The administrator appointed by CFI Manila objected to the approval of jurisdiction to take cognizance of the special proceeding.
the record on appeal. While this was pending, Vicente Uriarte filed a petition for
certiorari with the Supreme Court. Therefore, CFI Negros disapproved the record It cannot be denied that a special proceeding intended to effect the distribution of
on appeal to give way to the certiorari. the estate of a deceased person, whether in accordance with the law on intestate
succession or in accordance with his will, is a "probate matter" or a proceeding
Vicente Uriarte filed an Omnibus Motion in CFI Manila asking for leave to for the settlement of his estate.
intervene therein, for the dismissal of the petition and for the annulment of the
proceedings had in the special proceeding therein. Motion was denied. It is equally true, however, that in accordance with settled jurisprudence in this
jurisdiction, testate proceedings, for the settlement of the estate of a deceased
It appears from the records that Vicente had filed a civil case in CFi Negros person take precedence over intestate proceedings for the same purpose. Thus it
during the lifetime of Juan Uriarte to obtain judgment for his compulsory has been held repeatedly that, if in the course of intestate proceedings pending
acknowledgement as his natural child. It is likewise clear that at the time he filed before a court of first instance it is found that the decedent had left a last will,
proceedings for the probate of the latter should replace the intestate proceedings

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even if at that stage an administrator had already been appointed, the latter Luzon Surety v Quebrar & Kilayko G.R. No. L-40517 January 31, 1984
being required to render final account and turn over the estate in his possession
to the executor subsequently appointed. FACTS:

These facts support the view that Juan UriarteZamacona should have submitted Luzon Surety issued two administrator's bond in behalf of defendant Quebrar as
the will for probate in CFI Negros either in a separate special proceeding or in an administrator of 2 estates (Chinsuy and Lipa). The plaintiff and both Quebrar and
appropriate motion in the already pending special proceeding: Kilayko bound themselves solidarily after executing an indemnity agreement
where both the defendants agreed to pay the premiums every year. In the years
1. It is not in accord with public policy and the orderly and inexpensive 1954-55, the defendants paid the premiums and the documnetary stamps. In
administration of justice to unnecessarily multiply litigation, especially if 1957, the Court approved the project of partition, while in 1962, Luzon Surety
several courts would be involved. demanded payments of premiums from 1955 onwards. It was also in the same
year when the court granted the motion of the defendants to have both bonds
2. When HiginioUriarte filed an opposition to Vicente’s petition for the cancelled. Hence, plaintiff file a case in the CFI. The court (CFI) allowed the
issuance of letters of sdministration, he had already informed the Negros plaintiff to recover since the bonds were in force and effect from the filing until
Court that the deceased Juan Uriarte had left a will in Spain, of which a 1962. The Court of Appeals certified the case to the Supreme Court on questions
copy had been requested for submission to CFI Negros. When Juan of law.
UriarteZamacona filed his MTD in CFI Negros, he had submitted there a
copy of the alleged will of the decedent, from which fact it may be inferred ISSUE: Are the bonds still in force and effect from 1955 to 1962?
that he knew before filing the petition for probate with the Manila Court
that there was already a special proceeding pending in CFinegros for the RULING: YES. Under Rule 81 (Sec.1) of the Rules of COurt, the administrator is
settlement of the estate of the same deceased person. required to put up a bond for the purpose of indemnifying creditors, heirs,
legatees and the estate. It is conditioned uponthe faithful performance of the
It is well settled that wrong venue is merely a waivable procedural defect, and in administrator's trust. Hence, the surety is then liable udner the administrator's
the light of the circumstances obtaining in this case, Vicente has waived the right bond.
to raise such objection or is precluded from doing so by laches. He knew of the
existence of the will since 1961 when HiginioUrirate opposed the initial petition in Even after the approved project of partitio, Quebrar as administrator still had
CFI Negros. He was also served with notice of the alleged will and of the filing of something to do. The administration is for the purpose of liquidation of the estate
petition for its probate when Juan UriarteZamacona filed an MTD in CFI Negros and the distribution of the residue among the heirs and legatees. Liquidation
on 1962. He only filed the omnibus motion in the Manila Court on April 1963. By means the determination of all the assets of the estate and the payment of all
then, The Manila Court had already appointed an administrator and had admitted debts and expenses. it appears that there are still deblts and expenses to be paid
the will to probate. Toa llow him now to assail the exercise of jurisdiction over the after 1957.
probate of the will by the Manila court and the validity of all the proceedings
therein would put a premium on his negligence. Moreover, the bond stipulationdd not provide that it will terminate at the end of
the 1st year if the premium remains unpaid. Hence, it does not necessariy
SC is not inclined to annul proceedings regularly had in a lower court even if the extinguish or terminate the effectivity of the coutner bond in the absence of an
latter was not the proper venue therefor, if the net result would be to have the express stipualtion to this effect. As such, as long as the defendant remains the
same proceedings repeated in some other court of similar jurisdiction; more so in administrator of the estate, the bond will be held liable and the plaintiff's
a case like the present where the objection against said proceedings is raised too liabilities subsist being the co-extensive with the administrator.
late. DISPOITIVE petition dismissed.
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COTIA VS JIMENEZ, 104 PHIL 966 stated that she was the only forced heiress of the late Pilar Leyba. Accepting as
good these allegations, the Honorable Judge Dizon on the same date, July 5,
FACTS: 1945, appointed Magdalena Cobarrubias special administrator on bail of P200.
The petitioner filed a brief alleging that since the Court "has rescinded its order
Elena Cotia was appointed administratrix of the estate of the deceased Mariano dated 5 of said month and year," requested that the Court order the cancellation
Cotia. Failing to submit an account of her administration, she was ordered by the of the bond of P200 and its return to the lawyer of the applicant.
lower court to submit said accounting. During the hearing of the statement of
accounts subsequently presented by Elena Cotia, it was established that she Issue: Whether or not appointed special administrator can be revoked?
spent for family expenses and attorney’s fees the total sum of P64,650 without
prior judicial authority. The oppositors-appellees therefore filed a motion for her Held: Yes.
removal as administratrix not only because she neglected to submit the
accounting required by the Rules and to settle the estate, but because she had Revoking the appointment of the appellant as special administrator and revoking
made unauthorized disbursements. the order authorizing her to withdraw the deposited jewels, the Court does not
abuse its discretion, nor work outside its jurisdiction. The power of the Court of
ISSUE: Whether or not Elena Cotia should be removed as an First Instance to render ineffective the appointment of an administrator, when
administrator of the subject estate? the appointment has been obtained through false or incorrect representations, is
indisputable. When the Court appointed the appellant special administrator with
RULE: Yes, Elena Cotia should be removed as an administrator of the authorization to withdraw from the bank jewels valued at P4,500 under a P200
estate of the deceased Mariano Cotia. bond, it took into account its essential claim that "it was the sole forced heiress
of the deceased." There was no danger of possible embezzlement. They could
Under Section 2, Rule 83, of the Rules of Court, the court may remove an even name it without bail. But upon receiving a report that this allegation was
administrator who neglects to render his account and settle the estate according inaccurate. Which was confirmed by the motion of the same petitioner who
to law. As the administratrix herein not only neglected to submit an accounting of requested the "suspension of publication and postponement of the hearing"
her administration and settle the estate according to law but also had made because he wished to "have time to arrange an extrajudicial partition with his
unauthorized disbursements in violation of Section 3, Rule 84, of the Rules of co-heirs," the court had ample grounds to revoke those orders even without
Court, the lower court did not abuse its discretion in removing her. notification to the administrator: the intestate is not initiated for the benefit of
the administrators but of the heirs. The court should act immediately and not put
in danger. With his indifference, the jewels. If he allowed a few hours to pass,
COBARRUBIAS VS DIZON, 76 PHIL 209 (full text written in Spanish but without taking drastic action, the jewels valued at P4,500 could be withdrawn by
found a digest in English. sorry) the special administrator who was only secured in P200 to the detriment of the
interests of the minors. The zeal shown by the court was well founded. The
position of special administrator is one of trust. As soon as it lost its confidence in
The petitioner Magdalena Cobarrubias filed an urgent motion, alleging that the the integrity of the applicant, the Court was fully justified in revoking its
deceased Pilar Leyba had deposited an amount worth P4,500 in the Bank appointment as special administrator and withdrawing its authorization to remove
of the Philippine Islands; That said bank notified all interested parties that they the jewels from the bank.
withdraw the contents of their section within the shortest possible time, so she
asked to be appointed special administrator and that she was authorized to GARCIA VS. VASQUEZ, 32 SCRA 490
withdraw said jewelry from the bank. In her application Magdalena Cobarrubias

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FACTS: The alleged deed of sale having been executed by Gliceria del Rosario, when she
was already practically blind; and that the consideration of P30,000.00 seems to
Gliceria Avelino del Rosario died unmarried leaving no descendents, ascendants, be unconscionably small for properties with a total assessed value of
brother or sister. Consuelo S. Gonzales Vda. de Precilla, a niece of the deceased, P334,050.00, there was likelihood that a case for annulment might indeed be
petitioned the Court of First Instance of Manila for probate of the alleged last will filed against the estate or heirs of Alfonso Precilla. And the administratrix, being
and testament of Gliceria A. del Rosario and for her appointment as special the widow and heir of the alleged transferee, cannot be expected to sue herself in
administratrix of the latter’s estate pending the appointment of a regular an action to recover property that may turn out to belong to the estate. Not only
administrator thereof. this, but the conduct of the special administratrix in securing new copies of the
owner’s duplicates of TCT Nos. 66201, 66202, and 66204, without the court’s
The petition was opposed separately by several groups of alleged heirs who knowledge or authority, and on the pretext that she needed them in the
invariably charged that the instrument was not intended by the deceased to be preparation of the inventory of the estate, when she must have already known by
her true will. Oppositor Lucio V. Garcia, who also presented for probate the 1956 then that the properties covered therein were already "conveyed" to her husband
will of the deceased registered opposition to the appointment of petitioner by the deceased, being the latter’s successor, and having the contract bind the
Consuelo S. Gonzales Vda. de Precilla as special administratrix, on the ground land through issuance of new titles in her husband’s name cannot but expose her
that the latter possesses interest adverse to the estate. to the charge of unfitness or unsuitableness to discharge the trust, justifying her
removal from the administration of the estate.
The probate court granted petitioner Consuelo’s prayer and appointed her special _____________________________________________________________
administratrix. Said oppositors petitioned the court for the immediate removal of
the special administratrix. It was their claim that the special administratrix and
her deceased husband, Alfonso Precilla, had caused Gliceria A. del Rosario to
execute a simulated and fraudulent deed of absolute sale dated allegedly DE BORJA VS. TAN, 93 PHIL 167
conveying unto said spouses for the paltry sum of P30,000.00 ownership of 3
parcels of land and the improvements. Oppositors contended that since it is the FACTS:
duty of the administrator to protect and conserve the properties of the estate, Petitioner Francisco de Borja filed a petition in the lower court for the probate of
and it may become necessary that, an action for the annulment of the deed of the Last Will and Testament of his deceased wife Josefa Tangco. The will was
sale and for recovery of the aforementioned parcels of land be filed against the probated and named Francisco de Borja as executor thereof. One of the heirs
special administratrix, as wife and heir of Alfonso Precilla, the removal of the said who is now one of the respondents herein Jose de Borja appealed the case to the
administratrix was imperative. Court of Appeals but later his motion for dismissal of the appeal was granted.
Due to Francisco's physical inability to fully administer the estate he being quite
weak and unable to see, the lower court appointed Crisanto de Borja, another
ISSUE: Whether or not the Elena should be removed as special heir, as co-administrator. Crisanto qualified as co-administrator.
administratrix for annulment of the deed of sale and for recovery of the
subject parcels of land? Trial court appointed respondent Jose de Borja as co-administrator. Francisco,
Matilde and Crisanto moved for reconsideration of the appointment of Jose de
Borja. The heirs of Jose, Crisanto, Cayetano and Matilde, all surnamed De Borja,
RULE: Yes, Elena should be removed as special administratrix for annulment of revoked the appointment of Crisanto as co-administrator and directed
the deed of sale and for recovery of the same.
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administrator Jose de Borja to comment on the amended account filed by
Francisco de Borja.
FACTS:
An order appointing a regular administrator is appealable. On the other hand,
according to Rule 105, section 1 (e) an order appointing a special administrator is
not appealable. Respondents contend that a co-administrator is not a regular or
Dr. Maximo Borromeo died without ascendants or descendants, but leaving his
general administrator, and his duties and functions rather partake those of a
widow Johanna Hofer Borromeo, and a will wherein he designated the Borromeo
special administrator; consequently, his appointment is not subject to appeal.
Bros. Estate Inc. as his sole heir, even as he named his brother Canuto O.
ISSUE: Whether or not De Borja is a special administrator, thus, his Borromeo as the executor. The said corporation is owned entirely by the
appointment not appealable? deceased and his brothers and sisters.
RULE: No, Jose De Borja is a co-administrator. A co-administrator performs all
Proceedings having been instituted, the court of first instance of that province
the functions and duties and exercises all the powers of a regular administrator,
only that he is not alone in the administration. Further taking into consideration probated the will in due course, and granted letters testamentary to Canuto O.
Borromeo, who duly qualified as such executor.
the circumstances obtaining in this case, that petitioner Francisco de Borja
though originally designated administrator, is and has for several years been one
only in name due to his physical and mental disability, as a result of which The attorneys for the widow submitted an "Urgent Motion" whereby they prayed
for the removal of the executor on the grounds of negligence in the performance
respondent Jose de Borja is now practically the sole administrator there is no
of his duties and unfitness to continue discharging the powers of the office.
question that for all practical and legal purposes the appointment of Jose de
Borja as co-administrator is equivalent to and has the same effect as a sole
regular or general administrator. Such appointment is appealable. However, taking advantage of the postponement and after a subpoena had been
served on the Bank of the Philippine Islands seeking information on the cash
On the other hand, the powers and functions of a special administrator are quite deposits therein of the deceased Maximo Borromeo, the executor withdrew,
limited. Under Rule 81, section 1, a special administrator is appointed only when without authority from the court, the total amount of P23,930.39 from a joint
there is a delay in granting letters testamentary or of administration occasioned current account, in said Bank, of Canuto Borromeo and Maximo Borromeo, and
by an appeal from allowance or disallowance of a will or from any other cause, then deposited portion of the sum thus withdrawn in the joint account of said
and such special administrator is authorized to collect and take charge of the Canuto Borromeo and his brother Exequiel.
estate until the questions causing the delay are decided and an executor or
administrator thereon appointed. Under Rule 87 section 8, a special administrator In time the petition was heard, and voluminous evidence, oral and documentary,
is also appointed when the regular executor or administrator has a claim against was submitted. The Judge, for several reasons, one of them the above
the estate he represents and said special administrator shall have the same withdrawal of funds, decreed the removal of the executor. On motion for
power and subject to the same liability as a regular executor or administrator. In reconsideration the executor’s attorney prayed that the order be revoked.
other words, a special administrator is appointed only for a limited time and for a
specific purpose. Naturally, because of the temporary and special character of his ISSUE: Whether or not there is sufficient ground to remove Canuto O.
appointment, it was deemed by the law not advisable for any party to appeal Borromeo as the executor?
from said temporary appointment.
_____________________________________________________________ RULE: Yes, there is sufficient ground for the removal of Canuto O. Borromeo as
the executor. An executor or administrator should be removed where his personal
BORROMEO VS BORROMEO, 97 PHIL 549, 551 interests conflict with his official duties, but a mere hostile feeling towards

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persons interested in the estate is not ground for removal unless it prevents the Teresita to be examined under oath on the inventory, and that she (Thelma) be
management of the estate according to the dictates of prudence. allowed 30 days within which to file a formal opposition to or comment on the
inventory and the supporting documents Teresita had submitted. Thelma
He claims, in effect, that the money deposited was his at the time he withdrew it. opposed the approval of the inventory, and asked leave of court to examine
But would the Bank have allowed him to withdraw the whole amount if he were Teresita on the inventory.
not the executor? He got it then as executor, and should have kept it in his
account as executor. Instead, he deposited it in a joint account with his brother RTC ordered finding and holding that the inventory submitted by Teresita had
Exequiel, thereby placing it at the latter’s disposal, and hiding it from the widow. excluded properties that should be included. Teresita sought the reconsideration
of the order on the ground that one of the real properties affected, Lot No. 3353
Another reason is that the executor claimed as his own certain shares of the located in Badian, Cebu, had already been sold to Mervir Realty, and that the
Interisland Gas Service, in the name of Maximo Borromeo. Conflict between the parcels of land covered by the deed of assignment had already come into the
interest of the executor and the interest of the deceased is ground for removal or possession of and registered in the name of Mervir Realty.Thelma opposed the
resignation of the former, who was thereby become unsuitable to discharge the motion.
trust. (Section 2, Rule 83.)
ISSUE: Whether or not the real property sold by the decedent herein to Mervir
An executor will be removed where it appears that he asserts claims against the Realty Corporation be included in the inventory of the estate?
estate of the testator to the extent of two thirds of the value of the estate, and
such claims are disputed by the beneficiary under the will. RULE: Yes, the subject property must be included in the inventory of the estate.

The probate court is authorized to determine the issue of ownership of properties


ARANAS VS MERCADO for purposes of their inclusion or exclusion from the inventory to be submitted by
the administrator, but its determination shall only be provisional unless the
FACTS: interested parties are all heirs of the decedent, or the question is one of collation
Emigdio S. Mercado (Emigdio) died intestate survived by his second wife, or advancement, or the parties consent to the assumption of jurisdiction by the
Teresita V. Mercado (Teresita), and their five children which includes petitioner probate court and the rights of third parties are not impaired. Its jurisdiction
Thelma M. Aranas (Thelma). extends to matters incidental or collateral to the settlement and distribution of
the estate, such as the determination of the status of each heir and whether
Emigdio inherited and acquired real properties during his lifetime. He owned property included in the inventory is the conjugal or exclusive property of the
corporate shares in Mervir Realty Corporation (Mervir Realty) and Cebu Emerson deceased spouse.
Transportation Corporation (Cebu Emerson). He assigned his real properties in
exchange for corporate stocks of Mervir Realty, and sold his real property in to Under Section 6(a), Rule 78 of the Rules of Court, the letters of administration
Mervir Realty. may be granted at the discretion of the court to the surviving spouse, who is
competent and willing to serve when the person dies intestate. Upon issuing the
Thelma filed a petition for the appointment of Teresita as the administrator of letters of administration to the surviving spouse, the RTC becomes duty–bound to
Emigdio’s estate (Special Proceedings No. 3094–CEB) which the RTC granted. As direct the preparation and submission of the inventory of the properties of the
the administrator, Teresita submitted an inventory of the estate of Emigdio and estate, and the surviving spouse, as the administrator, has the duty and
indicated therein the inventory that at the time of his death, Emigdio had “left no responsibility to submit the inventory within three months from the issuance of
real properties but only personal properties”. Thelma again moved to require letters of administration pursuant to Rule 83 of the Rules of Court, viz:
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Section 1. Inventory and appraisal to be returned within three months. – Within Sy Bang died intestate in leaving behind real and personal properties, including
three (3) months after his appointment every executor or administrator shall several businesses.
return to the court a true inventory and appraisal of all the real and personal
Respondent Rolando Sy filed a Complaint for Partition against spouses Jose Sy
estate of the deceased which has come into his possession or knowledge. In the
Bang and Iluminada Tan, spouses Julian Sy and Rosa Tan, Zenaida Sy, Ma.
appraisement of such estate, the court may order one or more of the inheritance
Emma Sy, Oscar Sy, Rosalino Sy, Lucio Sy, Enrique Sy, Rosauro Sy, Bartolome
tax appraisers to give his or their assistance. Sy, Florecita Sy, Lourdes Sy, Julieta Sy, Rosita Ferrera-Sy, and Renato Sy.
Respondents Rolando Sy, Rosalino Sy, Lucio Sy, Enrique Sy, Rosauro Sy,
The usage of the word all in Section 1, supra, demands the inclusion of all the
Bartolome Sy, Julieta Sy, Lourdes Sy, and Florecita Sy are the children of Sy
real and personal properties of the decedent in the inventory. However, the word
Bang by his second marriage to respondent Rosita Ferrera-Sy, while petitioners
all is qualified by the phrase which has come into his possession or knowledge, Jose Sy Bang, Julian Sy and Oscar Sy are the children of Sy Bang from his first
which signifies that the properties must be known to the administrator to belong marriage to Ba Nga, and petitioners Zenaida Tan and Ma. Emma Sy are the
to the decedent or are in her possession as the administrator. Section 1 allows no children of petitioner spouses Jose Sy Bang and Iluminada Tan.
exception, for the phrase true inventory implies that no properties appearing to
belong to the decedent can be excluded from the inventory, regardless of their Herein petitioners and respondents agreed that the income of the three cinema
being in the possession of another person or entity. houses, namely, Long Life, SBS and Sy-Co Theaters, shall exclusively pertain to
respondents for their support and sustenance and the income from the vast parts
The objective of the Rules of Court in requiring the inventory and appraisal of the of the entire estate and other businesses of their common father, to pertain
estate of the decedent is “to aid the court in revising the accounts and exclusively to petitioners. Hence, since the year 1980, private respondents,
determining the liabilities of the executor or the administrator, and in making a through respondent Rosauro Sy, had taken charge of the operation and
final and equitable distribution (partition) of the estate and otherwise to facilitate management of the three cinema houses, with the income derived therefrom
the administration of the estate.”23 Hence, the RTC that presides over the evenly divided among themselves for their support and maintenance.
administration of an estate is vested with wide discretion on the question of what The Judge rendered a First Partial Decision based on the Compromise Agreement.
properties should be included in the inventory. Petitioners filed a Motion to Suspend Proceedings and for Inhibition, alleging,
among others, that the Judge had patently shown partiality in favor of their co-
defendants in the case.
The determination of which properties should be excluded from or included in the
inventory of estate properties was well within the authority and discretion of the Rosita Ferrera-Sy filed a Motion for Payment of Widow’s Allowance. She alleged
RTC as an intestate court. In making its determination, the RTC acted with that her deceased husband, Sy Bang, left an extensive estate. The properties of
circumspection, and proceeded under the guiding policy that it was best to the estate were found by the trial court to be their conjugal properties. From the
include all properties in the possession of the administrator or were known to the time of Sy Bang’s death in 1971 until the filing of the motion, Rosita was not
administrator to belong to Emigdio rather than to exclude properties that could given any widow’s allowance as provided in Section 3, Rule 83 of the Rules of
turn out in the end to be actually part of the estate. Court by the parties in possession and control of her husband’s estate, or her
share in the conjugal partnership.
Petitioners argued that Section 3, Rule 83 of the Rules of Court specifically
provides that the same is granted only "during the settlement of the estate" of
HEIRS OF JOSE SY BANG V. SY the decedent, and this allowance, under Article 188 of the Civil Code (now Article
FACTS: 133 of the Family Code), shall be taken from the "common mass of property"
during the liquidation of the inventoried properties.
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The Court granted the Motion for Payment of Widow’s Allowance and ordered petitioners to pay Rosita Ferrera-Sy her monthly widow’s allowance. Petitioners
petitioners jointly and severally to pay Rosita ₱25,000.00 as the widow’s Iluminada, Zenaida and Ma. Emma have since fought tooth and nail against
allowance to be taken from the estate of Sy Bang. Petitioners informed the Court paying the said allowance, grudgingly complying only upon threat of
that Rosita and co-petitioner Enrique Sy had executed a waiver of past, present incarceration. We remind petitioners again that they are duty-bound to comply
and future claims against petitioners and, thus, should be dropped as parties to with whatever the courts, in relation to the properties under litigation, may order.
the case. The widow’s allowance, as discussed above, is chargeable to Sy Bang’s estate.
That the full extent of Sy Bang’s estate has not yet been determined is no excuse
Petitioners said that the trial court, acting as a Guardianship Court, and limited
from complying with this Court’s order. Properties of the estate have been
jurisdiction, had no authority to enforce payment of widow’s allowance. The
payment of widow’s allowance cannot be implemented at [the] present because identified – i.e., those in the names of petitioners – thus, these properties should
be made to answer for the widow’s allowance of Rosita. In any case, the amount
the estate of Sy Bang – the source from which payment is to be taken – has not
been determined with finality. Rosita receives for support, which exceeds the fruits or rents pertaining to her,
will be deducted from her share of the estate.
ISSUE: Whether or not allowance of the widow Rosita is chargeable to the estate
of the deceased?
RULE: Yes, allowance of the widow Rosita is chargeable to the estate of the ESTATE OF RUIZ VS. CA, 118671, 252 SCRA 541
deceased despite having not determined with finality yet.
FACTS:
Rule 83, Sec. 3, of the Rules of Court states:
Hilario M. Ruiz executed a holographic will naming as his heirs his only son,
SEC. 3. Allowance to widow and family. – The widow and minor or incapacitated Edmond Ruiz, his adopted daughter, private respondent Maria Pilar Ruiz Montes,
children of a deceased person, during the settlement of the estate, shall receive and his three granddaughters, private respondents Maria Cathryn, Candice
therefrom, under the direction of the court, such allowance as are provided by Albertine and Maria Angeline, all children of Edmond Ruiz. The testator
law. bequeathed to his heirs substantial cash, personal and real properties and named
Correlatively, Article 188 of the Civil Code states: Edmond Ruiz executor of his estate.
Art. 188. From the common mass of property support shall be given to the Hilario Ruiz died. Immediately thereafter, the cash component of his estate was
surviving spouse and to the children during the liquidation of the inventoried distributed among Edmond Ruiz and private respondents in accordance with the
property and until what belongs to them is delivered; but from this shall be decedent's will. Edmond moved for the release of P50,000.00 to pay the real
deducted that amount received for support which exceeds the fruits or rents estate taxes on the real properties of the estate. Petitioner Testate Estate of
pertaining to them. Hilario Ruiz, with Edmond Ruiz as executor, filed an "Ex-Parte Motion for Release
of Funds." It prayed for the release of the rent payments deposited with the
Obviously, "the court" referred to in Rule 83, Sec. 3, of the Rules of Court is the Branch Clerk of Court. Respondent Montes opposed the motion and concurrently
court hearing the settlement of the estate. Also crystal clear is the provision of filed a "Motion for Release of Funds to Certain Heirs" and "Motion for Issuance of
the law that the widow’s allowance is to be taken from the common mass of Certificate of Allowance of Probate Will." Montes prayed for the release of the said
property forming part of the estate of the decedent. rent payments to Maria Cathryn, Candice Albertine and Maria Angeline and for
Thus, as evident from the foregoing provisions, it is the court hearing the the distribution of the testator's properties in accordance with the provisions of
settlement of the estate that should effect the payment of widow’s allowance the holographic will.
considering that the properties of the estate are within its jurisdiction, to the The probate court ordered the release of the funds to Edmond but only "such
exclusion of all other courts. It has been 13 years since this Court ordered amount as may be necessary to cover the expenses of administration and
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allowances for support" of the testator's three granddaughters subject to collation partitioned. As executor, he is a mere trustee of his father's estate. The funds of
and deductible from their share in the inheritance. Edmond M. Ruiz is hereby the estate in his hands are trust funds and he is held to the duties and
ordered to submit an accounting of the expenses necessary for administration responsibilities of a trustee of the highest order. He cannot unilaterally assign to
including provisions for the support Of Maria Cathryn Veronique Ruiz, Candice himself and possess all his parents' properties and the fruits thereof without first
Albertine Ruiz and Maria Angeli Ruiz before the amount required can be submitting an inventory and appraisal of all real and personal properties of the
withdrawn. deceased, rendering a true account of his administration, the expenses of
administration, the amount of the obligations and estate tax, all of which are
Edmond assails the order of the CA disallowing him, as executor, to take
possession of all the real and personal properties of the estate. subject to a determination by the court as to their veracity, propriety and
justness.
ISSUE: Whether or not Edmond, as the executor, has the absolute right in the
possession and administration of the real and personal properties of the __________________________________________________________
deceased?
MANANQUIL V. ATTY. VILLEGAS, A.M. No. 2430

RULE: No, the right of an executor or administrator to the possession and FACTS:
management of the real and personal properties of the deceased is not absolute Atty. Villegas was counsel of record of one Felix LEONG, the administrator for the
and can only be exercised "so long as it is necessary for the payment of the debts
testate estate of one Felomina Zerna. LEONG, as administrator of Zerna’s estate,
and expenses of administration," Section 3 of Rule 84 of the Revised Rules of
entered into a lease contract with the partnership of HIJOS DE VILLEGAS over
Court explicitly provides:
several lots included in Zerna’s estate. The said lease contract was renewed
Sec. 3. Executor or administrator to retain whole estate to pay debts, and several times henceforth. It is important to note at this point that VILLEGAS was
to administer estate not willed. — An executor or administrator shall have both counsel of LEONG and a partner in the partnership of HIJOS DE VILLEGAS.
the right to the possession and management of the real as well as the When LEONG died, this disbarment suit was filed by MANANQUIL, the appointed
personal estate of the deceased so long as it is necessary for the payment administrator for LEONG’s estate. MANANQUIL alleged that the lease contracts
of the debts and expenses for administration.28 were made under iniquitous terms and conditions. Also, MANANQUIL alleged that
When petitioner moved for further release of the funds deposited with the clerk of VILLEGAS should have first notified and secured the approval of the probate
court in Zerna’s estate before the contracts were renewed, VILLEGAS being
court, he had been previously granted by the probate court certain amounts for
counsel of that estate’s administrator.
repair and maintenance expenses on the properties of the estate, and payment of
the real estate taxes thereon. But petitioner moved again for the release of
ISSUE: Whether VILLEGAS should have first secured the probate court’s
additional funds for the same reasons he previously cited. It was correct for the approval regarding the lease?
probate court to require him to submit an accounting of the necessary expenses
for administration before releasing any further money in his favor. RULING:
It was relevantly noted by the probate court that petitioner had deposited with it
only a portion of the one-year rental income from the Valle Verde property. NO. Pursuant to Section 3 of Rule 84 of the Revised Rules of Court, a judicial
Petitioner did not deposit its succeeding rents after renewal of the lease. Neither executor or administrator has the right to the possession and management of the
did he render an accounting of such funds. real as well as the personal estate of the deceased so long as it is necessary for
the payment of the debts and the expenses of administration. He may, therefore,
Petitioner must be reminded that his right of ownership over the properties of his
father is merely inchoate as long as the estate has not been fully settled and
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exercise acts of administration without special authority from the court having properties of the estate (a fishpond identified as Lot No. 1617 of the cadastral
jurisdiction of the survey of Kabankaban, Negros Occidental), to Pedro Escanlar, the other
respondent.
estate. For instance, it has long been settled that an administrator has the power
to enter into lease contracts involving the properties of the estate even without The terms of the lease was for three (3) years, with a yearly rental of
prior judicial authority and approval. Thus, considering that administrator Felix P3,000.00 to expire on May 1, 1963, the transaction having been done,
Leong was not required under the law and prevailing jurisprudence to seek prior admittedly, without previous authority or approval of the Court where the
authority from the probate court in order to validly lease real properties of the proceedings was pending.
estate, respondent, as counsel of Felix Leong, cannot be taken to task for failing
to notify the probate court of the various lease contracts involved herein and to On January 17, 1961, Nombre was removed as administrator by Order of
secure its judicial approval thereto. the court and one Sofronio Campillanos was appointed in his stead.

However, the Court sustains the Solicitor General's holding that there is no On March 20, 1961, Campillanos filed a motion asking for authority to
sufficient evidence on record to warrant a finding that respondent allowed the execute a lease contract of the same fishpond, in favor of petitioner herein,
properties of the estate of Filomena Zerna involved herein to be leased to his Moises San Diego, Sr., for 5 years from 1961, at a yearly rental of P5,000.00.
family partnership at very low rental payments. At any rate, it is a matter for the
court presiding over Special Proceedings No. 460 to determine whether or not the Nombre, the deposed administrator, presented a written opposition to the
agreed rental payments made by respondent's family partnership is reasonable motion of Campillanos on April 11, 1964, pointing out that the fishpond had been
compensation for the use and occupancy of the estate properties. leased by him to Escanlar for 3 years, the period of which was going to expire on
May 1, 1963.
Considering thus the nature of the acts of misconduct committed by respondent,
and the facts and circumstances of the case, the Court finds sufficient grounds to
suspend respondent from the practice of law for a period of three (3) months.
ISSUE:
RULE 85 – ACCOUNTABILITY AND COMPENSATION OF EXECUTORS AND
ADMINISTRATORS 1. Whether a judicial administrator can validly lease property of the estate
without prior judicial authority and approval.

2. Whether the provisions of the New Civil Code on Agency should apply
3.
to judicial administrators.
MOISES SAN DIEGO, SR. vs. ADELO NOMBRE and PEDRO ESCANLAR

G.R. No. L-19265, May 29, 1964, PAREDES, J.


RULING:

1. YES. We believe that the Court of Appeals was correct in sustaining the
FACTS: validity of the contract of lease in favor of Escanlar, notwithstanding the lack of
prior authority and approval.
On May 1, 1960, Nombre, in his capacity was judicial administrator of the
intestate estate subject of the Sp. Proc. stated above, leased one of the The Rules of Court provide that —

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An executor or administrator shall have the right to the possession of the Mario died sometime in January, 1957. His surviving wife, Basilia Lahorra
real as well as the personal estate of the deceased so long as it is and his father, Saturnino Benito, were subsequently appointed in Special
necessary for the payment of the debts and the expenses of Proceeding No. 508 of the Court of First Instance of Sorsogon as joint
administration, and shall administer the estate of the deceased not administrators of Mario's estate.
disposed of by his will. (Sec. 3, Rule 85, old Rules).
On August 26, 1959, one of the co-owners, Benjamin Benito, executed a
Lease has been considered an act of administration (Jocson v. Nava; Gamboa v. deed of absolute sale of his one-third undivided portion over said parcels of land
Gamboa; Rodriguez v. Borromeo; Ferraris v. Rodas, supra). in favor of herein petitioner, Luz Caro, for the sum of P10,000.00.
2. NO. While it may be admitted that the duties of a judicial administrator Subsequently, with the consent of Saturnino Benito and Alfredo Benito as
and an agent (petitioner alleges that both act in representative capacity), are in shown in their affidavits both dated September 15, 1960, Exhibits G and F
some respects, identical, the provisions on agency (Art. 1878, C.C.), should not respectively, a subdivision title was issued to petitioner Luz Caro over Lot I-C,
apply to a judicial administrator. under T.C.T. No. T-4978.
A judicial administrator is appointed by the Court. He is not only the Sometime in the month of May, 1966, private respondent Basilia Lahorra
representative of said Court, but also the heirs and creditors of the estate (Chua Vda. de Benito learned from an allegation in a pleading presented by petitioner in
Tan v. Del Rosario, 57 Phil. 411). A judicial administrator before entering into his Special Proceeding No. 508 that the latter acquired by purchase from Benjamin
duties, is required to file a bond. These circumstances are not true in case of Benito the aforesaid one-third undivided share in each of the two parcels of land.
agency. The agent is only answerable to his principal. The protection which the
law gives the principal, in limiting the powers and rights of an agent, stems from Private respondent, thus, filed the present case as an independent one
the fact that control by the principal can only be thru agreements, whereas the and in the trial sought to prove that as a joint administrator of the estate of Mario
acts of a judicial administrator are subject to specific provisions of law and orders Benito, she had not been notified of the sale as required by Article 1620 in
of the appointing court. connection with Article 1623 of the New Civil Code.

4.

LUZ CARO vs. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and BASILIA LAHORRA ISSUE:
VDA. DE BENITO, AS ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE INTESTATE ESTATE OF
MARIO BENITO Whether respondent Basilia Lahorra Vda. de Benito exercise the right of
legal redemption with respect to the lots in question.
G.R. No. L-4600, March 25, 1982, GUERRERO, J.

RULING:
FACTS:
NO. The fact is that as early as 1960, co-ownership of the parcels of land
Alfredo Benito, Mario Benito and Benjamin Benito were the original co- covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. T-609 and T-610 was terminated
owners of two parcels of land covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. T-609 when Alfredo Benito, Luz Caro and the Intestate Estate of Mario Benito,
and T-610 of the Registry of Deeds of Sorsogon. represented by administrators Saturnino Benito, as trustee and representative of
the heirs of Mario Benito, agreed to subdivide the property.
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Even on the assumption that there still is co-ownership here and that
therefore, the right of legal redemption exists, private respondent as
administratrix, has no personality to exercise said right for and in behalf of the FACTS:
intestate estate of Mario Benito. She is on the same footing as co-administrator
Saturnino Benito. Hence, if Saturnino's consent to the sale of the one-third The petition alleged that the estate of Amadeo Matute Olave is the owner
portion to petitioner cannot bind the intestate estate of Mario Benito on the in fee simple of a parcel of land containing an area of 293,578 square meters,
ground that the right of redemption was not within the powers of administration, situated in sitio Tibambam, barrio Tibambam, municipality of Sigaboy (now
in the same manner, private respondent as co-administrator has no power Governor Generoso), province of Davao.
exercise the right of redemption — the very power which the Court of Appeals
In April 1965 herein private respondent Southwest Agricultural Marketing
ruled to be not within the powers of administration.
Corporation (SAMCO), as plaintiff, filed Civil Case No. 4623 with the respondent
While under Sec. 3, Rule 85, Rules of Court, the administrator has the Court of First Instance of Davao against respondents, Carlos V. Matute and
right to the possession of the real and personal estate of the deceased, so Matias S. Matute, as defendants, in their capacities as co-administrators of the
far as needed for the payment of the expenses of administration, and the estate of Amadeo Matute Olave, for the collection of an alleged indebtedness of
administrator may bring and defend action for the recovery or protection P19,952.11 and for attorney's fees of P4,988.02.
of the property or right of the deceased (Sec. 2, Rule 88), such right of
On October 20, 1967, the parties (plaintiff and defendants) in Civil Case
possession and administration do not include the right of legal redemption
No. 4623 of the Court of First Instance of Davao, submitted to the respondent
of the undivided share sold to a stranger by one of the co-owners after
court an Amicable Settlement whereby the property of the estate covered by OCT
the death of another, because in such case, the right of legal redemption
No. 0-27 of Davao was conveyed and ceded to SAMCO as payment of its claim.
only came into existence when the sale to the stranger was perfected and
formed no part of the estate of the deceased co-owner; hence, that right The said Amicable Settlement signed by the herein respondents was not
cannot be transmitted to the heir of the deceased co-owner. (Butte vs. submitted to and approved by the then Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch
Manuel Uy and Sons, Inc., 4 SCRA 526). IV, in Sp. Proc. No. 25876, nor notice thereof made to the beneficiaries and heirs
in said special proceedings.
5.
That on November 10, 1967, respondent court, despite the opposition of
ESTATE OF AMADEO MATUTE OLAVE, as represented by JOSE S. MATUTE, the other parties who sought to intervene in Civil Case No. 4623 and despite the
Judicial Co-Administrator in Sp. Proc. No. 25876, Court of First Instance utter lack of approval of the probate court in Manila, approved the said Amicable
of Manila Settlement and gave the same the enforceability of a court decision which, in
vs. HONORABLE MANASES G. REYES, Presiding Judge of Branch III, Court effect, ceded the property covered by OCT No. 0-27, containing an area of
of First Instance of Davao, Davao City; SOUTHWEST AGRICULTURAL 293,578 square meters and with an assessed value of P31,700.00 to SAMCO in
MARKETING CORPORATION also known as (SAMCO); CARLOS V. MATUTE, payment of its claim for only P19,952.11.
as another Administrator of the Estate of Amadeo Matute Olave, Sp. Proc.
No. 25876 CFI, Manila; and MATIAS S. MATUTE, as former Co- Made to answer, herein respondent SAMCO and respondent judge, among
Administrator of the Estate of Amadeo Matute Olave, Sp. Proc. No. others, contend that the Amicable Settlement need not be approved by the
25876, CFI, Manila probate court, "the same having been entered into in another independent action
and in another court of co-equal rank.
G.R. No. L-29407, July 29, 1983, RELOVA, J.

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exclusive jurisdiction over the estate of Amadeo Matute Olave. It was a mistake
on the part of respondent court to have given due course to Civil Case No. 4623,
ISSUE: much less issue the questioned Order, dated November 10, 1967, approving the
Amicable Settlement.
Whether the administrator can enter into an amicable settlement involving
the estate of the decedent without prior approval of the probate court. Section 1, Rule 73 of the Rules of Court, expressly provides that "the court first
taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise
jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts." (Emphasis supplied). The law is
clear that where the estate of the deceased person is already the subject of a
RULING:
testate or intestate proceeding, the administrator cannot enter into any
NO. Section 1, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court, provides that "no action transaction involving it without prior approval of the probate court.
upon a claim for the recovery of money or debt or interest thereon shall be
commenced against the executor or administrator; ..." The claim of private 6.
respondent SAMCO being one arising from a contract may be pursued only by
filing the same in the administration proceedings in the Court of First Instance of SOCIEDAD DE LIZARRAGA HERMANOS vs. FELICISIMA ABADA, ET AL.
Manila (Sp. Proc. No. 25876) for the settlement of the estate of the deceased
G.R. No. 13910, September 17, 1919, MOIR, J.
Amadeo Matute Olave; and the claim must be filed within the period prescribed,
otherwise, the same shall be deemed "barred forever." (Section 5, Rule 86, Rules
of Court).
FACTS:
The purpose of presentation of claims against decedents of the estate in
the probate court is to protect the estate of deceased persons. That way, the Francisco Caponong died in October, 1906, owing the plaintiffs a sum of
executor or administrator will be able to examine each claim and determine money which was then less than the amount allowed by the commissioners.
whether it is a proper one which should be allowed. Further, the primary object of
the provisions requiring presentation is to apprise the administrator and the His widow, Felicisima Abada, was appointed administratrix of the estate,
probate court of the existence of the claim so that a proper and timely commissioners to appraise the estate and to pass on the claims against the
arrangement may be made for its payment in full or by pro-rata portion in the estate were duly appointed, and plaintiffs presented their claim which was
due course of the administration, inasmuch as upon the death of a person, his allowed by the commissioners in the sum of P12,783.74. The commissioner's
entire estate is burdened with the payment of all of his debts and no creditor report was dated in February, 1909.
shall enjoy any preference or priority; all of them shag share pro-rata in the
liquidation of the estate of the deceased. The administratrix leased the hacienda [farm] known as "Coronacion" to
Hilario Zayco for a term of years, but afterwards she married Vicente Alvarez,
It is clear that the main purpose of private respondent SAMCO in filing one of the defendants, and the lease was transferred to Alvarez by Zayco,
Civil Case No. 4623 in the then Court of First Instance of Davao was to secure a October 2, 1908.
money judgment against the estate which eventually ended in the conveyance to
SAMCO of more than twenty-nine (29) hectares of land belonging to the estate of On the 11th of April, 1913, nearly seven years after the death of
the deceased Amadeo Matute Olave in payment of its claim, without prior Caponong, the plaintiffs herein filed a suit in the Court of First Instance of
authority of the probate court of Manila, in Sp. Proc. No. 25876, which has the Occidental Negros against Felicisima Abada personally and as administratrix of
the estate of Francisco Caponong, alleging that Francisco Caponong owed
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plaintiffs P12,783.74, and that Felicisima Abada in her own name and as The estate owed plaintiffs less than P13,000 when the commissioners
administratrix, had been receiving from the plaintiffs money and effects from passed on their claim. Part of this has been paid, and there was a balance due
1908 to 1912 which money and effects were used by the defendant in "the plaintiffs of P8,555.78 at the time of the trial, plus interest. The plaintiffs, after
expense of cultivation and the exploitation of the Hacienda 'Coronacion,' "and their claim had been presented and allowed by the commissioners, made
that defendant had delivered to plaintiffs the sugar produced until the last crop advances to the administratrix till their claim was more than P68,000.
which she refused to deliver to them.
It is urged that the major part of this debt of P68,000 is administration
On the 25th of August, 1914, the parties, including the guardian of the expenses, and as such is chargeable against the assets of the estate. No reason
minors, presented a motion in court stating that they had made an amicable is given why the expense of administration should be so great, and the evidence
settlement of the litigation, and prayed the court to dismiss the action, which was fails to sustain this position.
done.

The settlement agreed upon was, briefly, that the defendants, including the The administration expense would be the necessary expenses of handling
guardian of the minor children, "recognized that the deceased Francisco the property, of protecting it against destruction or deterioration, and possibly
Caponong's estate was indebted to the plaintiffs, according to a liquidation of the producing a crop, but if plaintiffs, holding a claim originally for less than P13,000
accounts on the 30th of June, 1913, in the sum of P68,611.01, which was to be against the estate, let the administratrix have money and effects till their claim
paid with 10 per cent interest in seven equal annual installments;" and to secure grow to P68,000 they cannot be permitted to charge this amount as expense of
this debt, the defendants agreed to give plaintiffs a first mortgage on all the administration. They might be allowed to charge it against the current revenue
property of Francisco Caponong, except the growing sugar cane, and on all the from the hacienda or the net proceeds of the "exploitation of the hacienda" for
property belonging exclusively to Felicisima Abada, and the defendants agreed to which it was obtained and used, as plaintiffs allege, but it cannot relate back to
secure judicial approval of the settlement. The defendants also agreed to the presenting of their claim to the commissioners, and be a charge against the
mortgage the carabaos then on the hacienda to plaintiffs. inheritance of the heirs, or even a claim to prorate with other creditors' claims
allowed by the commissioners. By expense of administration we understand to be
the reasonable and necessary expense of caring for the property and managing it
till the debts are paid, as provided by law, and of dividing it, if necessary, so as
ISSUE: to partition it and deliver to the heirs.

Whether the court in approving the compromise intended to hold The court could not approve a settlement saddling upon the estate debts it
the defendant estate liable only for the original debt, which was only P12,783.74. never owed, and if it did, its approval would be a nullity.

To give effect to the compromise as written would result in great wrong,


RULING: and destroy every chance the minor children had to participate in the inheritance
of their father.
YES. The law declares that commissioners shall pass upon all claims
against the estate. They had done so in this case. The law fixed the limit of the That the mortgage given at the same time and as a result of the
estate's liability. The court could not charge it with debts that were never owed agreement was without legal warrant is equally clear. No mortgage can be placed
by it. The administratrix could only charge the estate with the reasonable and by an administrator on the estate of a descendant, unless it is specifically
proper expenses of administration. authorized by statute.

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7. 3. Repair of terrace and interior of house — P5,928.00 — P10,399.59

Testate Estate of the Late Felix J. de Guzman. VICTORINO G. DE GUZMAN II. Living expenses of Librada de Guzman while occupying the family home
vs. CRISPINA DE GUZMAN-CARILLO, ARSENIO DE GUZMAN and without paying rent:
HONORATA DE GUZMAN-MENDIOLA
1. For house helper — P1,170.00
G.R. No. L-29276, May 18, 1978, AQUINO, J.
2. Light bills — 227.41

3. Water bills — 150.80


FACTS:
4. Gas oil, floor wax and switch nail — 54.90 — P 1,603.11
The deceased testator was survived by eight children named Victorino,
Librada, Severino, Margarita, Josefina, Honorata, Arsenio and Crispina. His will III. Other expenses:
was duly probated. Letters of administration were issued to his son, Doctor
Victorino G. de Guzman. 1. Lawyer's subsistence — P 19.30

One of the properties left by the dent was a residential house located in the 2. Gratuity pay in lieu
poblacion. In conformity with his last will, that house and the lot on which it
stands were adjudicated to his eight children, each being given a one-
of medical fee — 144.00
eighth proindiviso share in the project of partition dated March 19, 1966, which
was signed by the eight heirs and which was approved in the lower court's order
of April 14, 1967 but without prejudice to the final outcome of the accounting. 3. For stenographic notes — 100.00

The administrator submitted four accounting reports for the period from 4. For food served on decedent's first death anniversary — 166.65
June 16, 1964 to September, 1967. Three heirs Crispina de Guzmans-Carillo
Honorata de Guzman-Mendiola and Arsenio de Guzman interposed objections to 5. Cost of publication of death anniversary of decedent — 102.00
the administrator's disbursements in the total sum of P13,610.48:
6. Representation expenses — 26.25 — P558.20
I. Expense for the improvement and renovation of the decedent's residential
house. IV. Irrigation fee P1.049.58

1. Construction of fence — P3,082.07 TOTAL P13,610.48

2. Renovation of bathroom — P1,389.52

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ISSUE: Obviously, those expenses redounded to the benefit of an the co- owners.
They were necessary for the preservation and use of the family residence. As a
Whether the above-mentioned expenses allowed as items for legitimate result of those expenses, the co-owners, including the three oppositors, would be
expenses of administration. able to use the family home in comfort, convenience and security.

We are of the opinion that those expenses were personal expenses of


Librada de Guzman, inuring only to her benefit. Those expenses, not being
RULING: reasonable administration expenses incurred by the administrator, should not be
charged against the income of the estate.
An executor or administrator is allowed the necessary expenses in the
care, management, and settlement of the estate. He is entitled to possess and Librada de Guzman, as an heir, is entitled to share in the net income of
manage the decedent's real and personal estate as long as it is necessary for the the estate. She occupied the house without paying rent. She should use her
payment of the debts and the expenses of administration. He is accountable for income for her living expenses while occupying the family residence.
the whole decedent's estate which has come into his possession, with all the
interest, profit, and income thereof, and with the proceeds of so much of such Among these expenses is the sum of P100 for stenographic notes which,
estate as is sold by him, at the price at which it was sold (Sec. 3, Rule 84; Secs. as admitted by the administrator on page 24 of his brief, should be disallowed.
1 and 7, Rule 85, Rules of Court). Another item, "representation expenses" in the sum of P26.25 (2nd accounting),
was not explained. It should likewise be disallowed.
One of the Conditions of the administrator's bond is that he should render
a true and just account of his administration to the court. The probate court erred in allowing as expenses of ad. administration the
sum of P268.65 which was incurred during the celebration of the first death
As clarified in the Lizarraga case, administration expenses should be those anniversary of the deceased. Those expenses are disallowed because they have
which are necessary for the management of the estate, for protecting it against no connection with the care, management and settlement of the decedent's
destruction or deterioration, and, possibly, for the production of fruits. They are estate (Nicolas vs. Nicolas 63 Phil 332).
expenses entailed for the preservation and productivity of the estate and its
management for purposes of liquidation, payment of debts, and distribution of The other expenses, namely, P19.30 for the lawyer's subsistence and
the residue among the persons entitled thereto. P144 as the cost of the gift to the physician who attended to the testator during
his last s are allowable expenses.
It should be noted that the family residence was
partitioned proindiviso among the decedent's eight children. Each one of them The explanation is not quite clear but it was not disputed by the
was given a one-eighth share in conformity with the testator's will. Five of the appellants. The fact is that the said sum of P1,049.58 was paid by the
eight co-owners consented to the use of the funds of the estate for repair and administrator to the Penaranda Irrigation System as shown in Official Receipt No.
improvement of the family home. It is obvious that the expenses in question 3596378 dated April 28, 1967. It was included in his accounting as part of the
were incurred to preserve the family home and to maintain the family's social farming expenses. The amount was properly allowed as a legitimate expense of
standing in the community. administration.

8.
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TEODORICO UY TIOCO vs. CARLOS IMPERIAL, Judge of First Instance of The attorney can therefore not hold the estate directly liable for his fees;
Manila, and ALEJANDRO M. PANIS such fees are allowed to the executor or administrator and not to the attorney.

G.R. No. L-29414, July 17, 1928, OSTRAND, J. The liability for the payment rests on the executor or administrator, but if
the fees paid are beneficial to the estate and reasonable, he is entitled to the
reimbursement from the estate. Such payment should be included in his accounts
and the reimbursement therefore settled upon the notice prescribed in section
FACTS: 682 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Respondent Panis was counsel for the administration of said estate and For the reasons stated the respondent judge is hereby prohibited from
that he on October 31, 1927, before the final settlement of accounts, presented a enforcing the payment of the attorney's fees above-mentioned until the appeal
motion in the probate proceedings for the allowance of attorney's fees in the sum taken by Jacinto Yangco, as guardian ad litem for the minor Pedro Uy Tioco, has
of P15,000. been passed upon by this court or dismissed.

On December 5, 1927, the respondent judge, over the objections in 9.


writing presented by the administrator, granted the motion and allowed the fees
claimed by Panis. HUGO P. RODRIGUEZ vs. JOSE YNZA

The administrator, the herein petitioner, did not appeal from the order of 97 Phil 1003, 1955
the court, but on February 8, 1928, Jacinto Yangco, in his capacity as
guardian ad litem of the minors Pedro and Bruno Uy Tioco, the sons and then the (unreported; cannot find a full text of this case online)
only heirs of the deceased, presented a motion for reconsideration under section
113 of the Code of Civil Procedure on the grounds that he was not notified of the
motion for the allowance of fees and had no knowledge thereof or of the order
granting the motion until a few days before the filing of there motion for
FACTS:
reconsideration.

CFI Iloilo authorized the payment for Atty Tirol's legal services.

Ynza opposed and appealed arguing that Atty Tirol's service was rendered
ISSUE:
to a trustee and admin of the estate and NOT the estate itself.
Whether the allowance of attorney’s fees be directly charged to the estate.

ISSUE:
RULING:
Whether the payment for Atty Tirol's services is chargeable to the estate.
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On January 15, 1947, After ten years from the date of his appointment,
Gavino Aldamiz, as administrator, through his attorney, Juan L. Luna, submitted
RULING: his accounts for the years 1944, 1945 and 1946 and also a project of partition
with a view to closing the proceedings. On said date, the court approved the
YES. In this case, Atty Tirol was counsel for the trustee in 8 cases all of accounts by refused to approve the project of partition unless all debts including
which involved estate property. Atty Tirol's success in those 8 cases undoubtedly attorney's fees be first paid.
benefited the estate.
In the project of partition, it was expressly stated that attorney's fees,
debts and incidental expenses would be proportionately paid by the beneficiaries
10.
after the closure of the testate proceedings, but the court refused to sanction this
clause of the project. It is for this reason that right then and there, Attorney
GAVINO ALDAMIZ, as administrator of the estate of the deceased Luna, to comply with the wishes of the court, without previously preparing and
Santiago Rementeria y Aldamizcogeascoa vs. THE JUDGE OF THE COURT filing a written petition to have his professional fees fixed, and without previous
OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MINDORO, THE PROVINCIAL SHERIFF OF notice to all the interested parties, submitted evidence of his services and
MINDORO and JUAN L. LUNA professional standing so that the court might fix the amount of his compensation
and the administrator may make payment thereof. This failure to file a written
G.R. No. L-2360, December 29, 1949, MORAN, C.J. claim and to notify the interested parties thereof was not due to bad faith or
fraudulent purpose but to an honest belief on the part of the respondent attorney
that such requirements were not necessary under the circumstance.

FACTS: At the time respondent's evidence was submitted to the court, the
interested parties who were residing in the Philippines were Gavino Aldamiz and
Santiago Rementeria y Aldamizcogeascoa, the decedent was a Spaniard his brother Jose Aldamiz. The others were then residing in Spain. No written
and member of the commercial partnership "Aldamiz y Rementeria." The other claim had ever been filed for respondent's fees, and the interested parties had
members were the brothers, Gavino and Jose, surnamed Aldamiz. not been notified thereof nor of the hearing, not even Gavino Aldamiz who did
not know when he was called to testify that he would testify in connection with
Santiago Rementeria died in Spain in 1937, and probate proceeding No. respondent's fees.
705 was instituted in the same year in the Court of First Instance of Mindoro by
Gavino Aldamiz represented by Atty. Juan L. Luna. The Court, after considering the whole evidence presented, issued its
order of January 21, 1947, awarding respondent Attorney Luna, in payment of
Gavino Aldamiz was appointed administrator and as such was represented his professional services, an aggregate sum of P28,000.
by respondent Atty. Juan Luna up to January 21, 1947, when the order
complained for was issued. In that order it is said that "said attorney is the one The Court ordered payment of these amounts within thirty days.
who instituted this testate proceeding ten years ago and has from its incipiency
to the present stage of the proceedings actively intervened in the same. Petitioner Gavino Aldamiz received copy of this order on February 21,1948. Out
of the total amount of P28,000, petitioner was able to pay P5,000 only, and upon
his failure to pay the balance of P23,000 after several demands made upon him

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by respondent attorney, the latter on April 17, 1948, filed an ex-parte motion for We also hold that the order of execution issued on April 19,1948, is null
execution which was granted by the respondent Court on April 19,1948. and void, not only because it was intended to implement the order of January 21,
1947, which in itself was null and void, but because a writ of execution is not the
proper procedure allowed by the Rules of the Court for the payment of debts and
expenses of administration.
ISSUE:
The proper procedure is for the court to order the sale of personal estate
Whether the procedure of fixing the amount of respondent attorney’s fees or the sale of mortgaged of real property of the deceased and all debts or
is proper. expenses of administration should be paid out of the proceeds of the sale or
mortgage. The order for the sale or mortgage should be issued upon motion of
the administrator and with the written notice to all the heirs, legatees and
devisees residing in the Philippines, according to Rule 89, section 3, and Rule 90,
section 2. And when sale or mortgage of real estate is to be made, the
RULING: regulations contained in Rule 90, section 7, should be complied with.

NO. We believe and so hold that the order of the respondent court issued Execution may issue only where the devisees, legatees or heirs have
on January 21,1948, fixing the amount of respondent attorney's fees is null and entered into possession of their respective portions in the estate prior to
void. settlement and payment of the debts and expenses of administration and it is
later ascertained that there are such debts and expenses to be paid, in which
The correct procedure for the collection of attorney's fees, is for the case "the court having jurisdiction of the estate may, by order for that purpose,
counsel to request the administrator to make payment and file an action against after hearing, settle the amount of their several liabilities, and order how much
him in his personal capacity and not as an administrator should he fail to pay and in what manner each person shall contribute, and may issue execution if
(Palileo vs. Mendoza, G.R. No. 47106, 40 Off. Gaz. [8th Supp.], 132.) circumstances require" (Rule 89, section 6; see also Rule 74, section 4; Emphasis
ours). And this is not the instant case.
If the judgment is rendered against the administrator and he pays, he
may include the fees so paid in his account to the court. (Uy Tioco vs. Imperial,
11.
53 Phil., 802.) The attorney also may, instead of bringing such an action, file a
[petition in the testate or intestate proceeding "asking that the court, after notice
to all persons interested, allow his claim and direct the administrator to pay it as ALFREDO HILADO, LOPEZ SUGAR CORPORATION, FIRST FARMERS
an expense of administration." (Emphasis ours.) (Escueta vs. Sy Juilliong, 5 Phil., HOLDING CORPORATION vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, THE
405.) HONORABLE AMOR A. REYES, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of
Manila, Branch 21 and ADMINISTRATRIX JULITA CAMPOS BENEDICTO
In the instant case, as above stated, no written petition for the payment
of attorney's fees has ever been filed by the respondent attorney and the G.R. No. 164108, May 8, 2009, TINGA, J.
interested parties had not been previously notified thereof nor of the hearing held
by the court. Consequently, the order issued by the respondent court on January
21, 1947, and all subsequent orders implementing it, are null and void, as having
been issued on excess of jurisdiction. FACTS:
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The well-known sugar magnate Roberto S. Benedicto died intestate on 15 On 2 January 2002, the Manila RTC issued an order denying the
May 2000. He was survived by his wife, private respondent Julita Campos manifestation/motion, on the ground that petitioners are not interested parties
Benedicto (administratrix Benedicto), and his only daughter, Francisca Benedicto- within the contemplation of the Rules of Court to intervene in the intestate
Paulino. proceedings.

At the time of his death, there were two pending civil cases against On 27 February 2004, the Court of Appeals promulgated a
Benedicto involving the petitioners. decision dismissing the petition and declaring that the Manila RTC did not abuse
its discretion in refusing to allow petitioners to intervene in the intestate
The first, Civil Case No. 95-9137, was then pending with the Regional Trial proceedings.
Court (RTC) of Bacolod City, Branch 44, with petitioner Alfredo Hilado as one of
the plaintiffs therein. The second, Civil Case No. 11178, was then pending with The Court of Appeals cited the fact that the claims of petitioners against
the RTC of Bacolod City, Branch 44, with petitioners Lopez Sugar Corporation and the decedent were in fact contingent or expectant, as these were still pending
First Farmers Holding Corporation as one of the plaintiffs therein. litigation in separate proceedings before other courts.

On 25 May 2000, private respondent Julita Campos Benedicto filed with


the RTC of Manila a petition for the issuance of letters of administration in her
favor. ISSUE:

On 2 August 2000, the Manila RTC issued an order appointing private Whether petitioner has the right to intervene in the intestate proceedings
respondent as administrator of the estate of her deceased husband, and issuing of the estate of Roberto Benedicto.
letters of administration in her favor.

In January 2001, private respondent submitted an Inventory of the


Estate, Lists of Personal and Real Properties, and Liabilities of the Estate of her RULING:
deceased husband. In the List of Liabilities attached to the inventory, private
respondent included as among the liabilities, the above-mentioned two pending
Section 1 of Rule 19 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure requires that an
claims then being litigated before the Bacolod City courts. Private respondent
intervenor "has a legal interest in the matter in litigation, or in the success of
stated that the amounts of liability corresponding to the two cases as
either of the parties, or an interest against both, or is so situated as to be
₱136,045,772.50 for Civil Case No. 95-9137 and ₱35,198,697.40 for Civil Case
adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the custody
No. 11178. Thereafter, the Manila RTC required private respondent to submit a
of the court x x x" While the language of Section 1, Rule 19 does not literally
complete and updated inventory and appraisal report pertaining to the estate.
preclude petitioners from intervening in the intestate proceedings, case law has
consistently held that the legal interest required of an intervenor "must be actual
On 24 September 2001, petitioners filed with the Manila RTC a and material, direct and immediate, and not simply contingent and expectant."
Manifestation/Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela,praying that they be furnished with
copies of all processes and orders pertaining to the intestate proceedings.
Nonetheless, it is not immediately evident that intervention under the
Rules of Civil Procedure necessarily comes into operation in special proceedings.
The settlement of estates of deceased persons fall within the rules of special
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proceedings under the Rules of Court,18 not the Rules on Civil Procedure. Section Nonetheless, in the instances that the Rules on Special Proceedings do
2, Rule 72 further provides that "[i]n the absence of special provisions, the rules require notice to any or all "interested parties" the petitioners as "interested
provided for in ordinary actions shall be, as far as practicable, applicable to parties" will be entitled to such notice. The instances when notice has to be given
special proceedings." to interested parties are provided in: (1) Sec. 10, Rule 85 in reference to the
time and place of examining and allowing the account of the executor or
We can readily conclude that notwithstanding Section 2 of Rule 72, administrator; (2) Sec. 7(b) of Rule 89 concerning the petition to authorize the
intervention as set forth under Rule 19 does not extend to creditors of a decedent executor or administrator to sell personal estate, or to sell, mortgage or
whose credit is based on a contingent claim. The definition of "intervention" otherwise encumber real estates; and; (3) Sec. 1, Rule 90 regarding the hearing
under Rule 19 simply does not accommodate contingent claims. for the application for an order for distribution of the estate residue. After all,
even the administratrix has acknowledged in her submitted inventory, the
However, it appears that the claims against Benedicto were based on tort, as existence of the pending cases filed by the petitioners.
they arose from his actions in connection with Philsucom, Nasutra and Traders
Royal Bank. Civil actions for tort or quasi-delict do not fall within the class of Section 1 of Rule 83 requires the administrator to return to the court a
claims to be filed under the notice to creditors required under Rule 86. 20 These true inventory and appraisal of all the real and personal estate of the deceased
actions, being as they are civil, survive the death of the decedent and may be within three (3) months from appointment, while Section 8 of Rule 85 requires
commenced against the administrator pursuant to Section 1, Rule 87. Indeed, the administrator to render an account of his administration within one (1) year
the records indicate that the intestate estate of Benedicto, as represented by its from receipt of the letters testamentary or of administration. We do not doubt
administrator, was successfully impleaded in Civil Case No. 11178, whereas the that there are reliefs available to compel an administrator to perform either duty,
other civil case21 was already pending review before this Court at the time of but a person whose claim against the estate is still contingent is not the party
Benedicto’s death. entitled to do so. Still, even if the administrator did delay in the performance of
these duties in the context of dissipating the assets of the estate, there are
Evidently, the merits of petitioners’ claims against Benedicto are to be protections enforced and available under Rule 88 to protect the interests of those
settled in the civil cases where they were raised, and not in the intestate with contingent claims against the estate.
proceedings.
RULE 86 – CLAIMS AGAINST THE ESTATE
In the same manner that the Rules on Special Proceedings do not provide
a creditor or any person interested in the estate, the right to participate in every 1.
aspect of the testate or intestate proceedings, but instead provides for specific
instances when such persons may accordingly act in those proceedings, we deem SUILIONG & CO., as liquidators of The Yek Tong Lim Fire, Marine, and
that while there is no general right to intervene on the part of the petitioners, Insurance Co., Ltd. vs. SILVINA CHIO-TAYSAN, FRANCISCA JOSE
they may be allowed to seek certain prayers or reliefs from the intestate court
not explicitly provided for under the Rules, if the prayer or relief sought is
G.R. No. L-4777, November 11, 1908, CARSON, J.
necessary to protect their interest in the estate, and there is no other modality
under the Rules by which such interests can be protected. It is under this
standard that we assess the three prayers sought by petitioners.

FACTS:

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Avelina Caballero, deceased, owned during her lifetime a certain tract of Whether the claim of intervenor, Francisca Jose, against the estate
land, which was duly inscribed in her name in the land registry of the city of prosper.
Manila. On March 27, 1903, she borrowed from Francisca Jose, the intervener
and appellant in this action, 1,000 pesos, Mexican currency, and turned over her
title deeds to this tract of land to the lender as security for the loan, but no entry
touching the transaction was noted in the land registry. RULING:

Avelina Caballero died on the 5th day of June, 1903, and thereafter Silvina YES. The prayer of her complaint in intervention, however, is merely for
Chio-Taysan, the defendant in this action, instituted in the Court of First Instance the rescission and annulment of the mortgage contract between the loan
of Manila an action, known, under the system of civil procedure in existence prior company and the defendant and of the inscription in the land registry of the title
to the adoption of the present code, as an "action for the declaration of heirship" of the defendant, and a declaration that as a creditor of the estate she has a
and on the 5th day of August, 1903, the following order declaring her to be the superior right to that of the plaintiff company in the proceeds of any sale of the
only and exclusive heir of Avelina Caballero, deceased. land in question. She does not seek to enforce her claim and recover her debt in
this proceeding, but merely to prevent the plaintiff from securing a judgment in
On the 26th day of May, 1904, the said Silvina Chio-Taysan borrowed the this action which would take out of the estate property which she believes to be
sum of P2,500 from the Fire and Marine Insurance and Loan Co., of which the subject to her claim set up in the administration proceedings. If her contentions
plaintiff is the lawfully appointed liquidator, and mortgaged the land in question are well founded, and if the estate of the deceased is subject to the payment of
as security for the repayment of the loan. the debts of the deceased in such form that the heirs of the deceased could not
alienate this land free of the claims of the creditors of the deceased against the
Thereafter the husband of Silvina Chio-Taysan instituted special land, for the payment of their claims against the deceased, the intervener is
proceedings under the provisions of the present Code of Civil Procedure, for the clearly entitled to at least so much of the relief she seeks in this action as will
administration of the estate of Avelina Caballero, deceased, and on the 16th day have the effect of preventing the sale of this land under the plaintiff's foreclosure
of October, 1905, he was, in accordance with his petition, appointed proceedings, free of the claims of creditors of the deceased, because, if the
administrator; and thereupon, submitted as such administrator, an inventory of plaintiffs in this action were permitted to foreclosure their mortgage and to
the property of the estate, in which was included the land in question. recover their debt from the sale of the land in question, it might well be that
there would not be sufficient property in the estate to pay the amount of the
On the 28th of November, 1905, Francisca Jose, the intervener in this claim of the intervener against the estate.
action, submitted her claim to the commissioner appointed in these proceedings,
for the sum of 1,000 pesos, Mexican currency, loaned the deceased, as above set It appears also from an examination of these provisions that the
out, on the 28th day of March, 1904, which claim was duly approved on the 31st legislature has provided no machinery whereby an absolute right on the part of
of August, 1906. the heir to succeed by the mere fact of death to all the rights and property of the
deceased may be enforced, without previous payment or provision of the
payment of the debts.

ISSUE: It has provided machinery for the enforcement of the debts and other
obligations of the deceased, not as debts or obligations of the heir, but as debt or

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obligations of the deceased, to the payment of which the property of the SILVINA CHIO-TAYSAN
deceased may be subjected wherever it be found.

The new Code of Procedure furnishing no remedy whereby the provisions FACTS: Avelina Caballero, deceased, owned during her lifetime a certain tract of
of article 661 of the of the Civil Code may be enforced, in so far as they impose land, which was duly inscribed in her name in the land registry of the city of
upon the heredero (heir) the duty of assuming as a personal obligation all the Manila. On March 27, 1903, she borrowed from Francisca Jose, the intervener
debts of the deceased, at least to the extent of the value of the property received and appellant in this action, 1,000 pesos, Mexican currency, and turned over her
from the estate; or in so far as they give to the heredero the reciprocal right to title deeds to this tract of land to the lender as security for the loan, but no entry
receive the property of the deceased, without such property being specifically touching the transaction was noted in the land registry.
subjected to the payment of the debts to the deceased by the very fact of his
deceased, these provisions of article 661 may properly be held to have been Avelina Caballero died on the 5th day of June, 1903, and thereafter Silvina Chio-
abrogated; and the new code having provided a remedy whereby the property of Taysan (daughter of deceased), the defendant in this action, instituted in the
the deceased may always be subjected to the payment of his debts in whatever Court of First Instance for the declaration of heirship" and on the 5th day of
hands it may be found, the right of a creditor to a lien upon the property of the August, 1903, the following order declaring her to be the only and exclusive heir
deceased, for the payment of the debts of the deceased, created by the mere fact of Avelina Caballero, deceased, was issued in that proceeding.
of his death, may be said to be recognized and created by the provisions of the
new code. (Pavia vs. De la Rosa, 8 Phil. Rep., 70). On March 9, 1904, the registrar of deeds of the city of Manila by virtue of this
order entered inscription in the land registry whereby Silvina Chio-Taysan is
It is evident that her death created a lien upon her property in favor of the made to appear as the owner of the land in question:
intervener Francisca Jose, for the payment of the debt contracted by her during
her lifetime, and that this lien ought to have and has priority to any lien created On the 26th day of May, 1904, the said Silvina Chio-Taysan borrowed the sum of
upon this property by the heir of the deceased; that the judicial declaration of P2,500 from the Fire and Marine Insurance and Loan Co., of which the plaintiff is
heirship in favor of Silvina Chio-Taysan, could not and did not furnish a basis for the lawfully appointed liquidator, and mortgaged the land in question as security
an entry in the land registry of the name of Silvina Chio-Taysan as the absolute for the repayment of the loan.
owner of the property of Avelina Caballero; that such entry, improperly made,
could not and did not prejudice the lien of the intervener, Francisca Jose, for the
Thereafter the husband of Silvina Chio-Taysan instituted special proceedings
debt due her by the deceased (Mortgage Law, art. 33); and that the mortgage of
under the provisions of the present Code of Civil Procedure, for the
the property of the deceased by her heir, Silvina Chio-Taysan, was subject to the
administration of the estate of Avelina Caballero, deceased, and on the 16th day
prior lien of the intervener, Francisca Jose, for the payment of her debt.
of October, 1905; and on the 28th of November, 1905, Francisca Jose, the
intervener in this action, submitted her claim to the commissioner appointed in
these proceedings, for the sum of 1,000 pesos, Mexican currency, loaned the
deceased, as above set out, on the 28th day of March, 1904, which claim was
duly approved on the 31st of August, 1906.

SUILIONG & CO. On the 10th day of October, 1906, the plaintiff in this action filed its complaint
vs. against the defendant, Silvina Chio-Taysan, praying for judgment for the amount
loaned her as above set out, and the foreclosure of its mortgage upon the land.
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On the 30th of October, 1907, Francisca Jose was permitted to intervene and file merely to prevent the plaintiff from securing a judgment in this action which
her separate "complaint in intervention" wherein she set out the facts touching would take out of the estate property which she believes to be subject to her
the loan made by her to Avelina Caballero, deceased, and prayed that the court claim set up in the administration proceedings. If her contentions are well
declare the mortgage executed by Silvina Chio-Taysan rescinded and of no founded, and if the estate of the deceased is subject to the payment of the debts
effect; and further that it annul the inscription in the land registry of the title of of the deceased in such form that the heirs of the deceased could not alienate
Silvina Chio-Taysan to the land in question; and declare this land subject to her this land free of the claims of the creditors of the deceased against the land, for
claim against the estate of Avelina Caballero, deceased. the payment of their claims against the deceased, the intervener is clearly
entitled to at least so much of the relief she seeks in this action as will have the
The trial court entered judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against both the effect of preventing the sale of this land under the plaintiff's foreclosure
defendant and the intervener in conformity with the prayer of the complaint, and proceedings, free of the claims of creditors of the deceased, because, if the
the intervener brings that judgment before this court for review upon her bill of plaintiffs in this action were permitted to foreclosure their mortgage and to
exceptions duly signed and certified. recover their debt from the sale of the land in question, it might well be that
there would not be sufficient property in the estate to pay the amount of the
claim of the intervener against the estate.

ISSUE: whether or not the relief sought by Jose must be denied

HELD: NO.

We do not think that the judgment of the trial court can be sustained in so far as FRANCISCO QUISUMBING
it wholly denies relief to the intervener, Francisca Jose. The trial judge denied the vs.
relief prayed for by the intervener, on the ground that her intervention in this MARIANO GUISON
action was for the purpose of the written title deeds on the land, and that, since
she admitted that she had admitted her claim against the estate of Avelina
Caballero, deceased, to the committee appointed in the administration
proceedings, she must be taken to have abandoned, whatever lien she may have FACTS: The deceased, Consuelo Syyap, during her life time executed a
held as security therefor, in accordance with the provisions of section 708 of the promissory note dated November 9, 1940 for P3,000 in favor of Leonardo Guison
Code of Civil Procedure. payable sixty (60) days from the date thereof, with interest at the rate of 12 per
cent per annum.
The prayer of her complaint in intervention, however, is merely for the rescission
and annulment of the mortgage contract between the loan company and the The debtor Consuelo Syyap died on November 30, 1940. On December 5 of the
defendant and of the inscription in the land registry of the title of the defendant, same year, intestate proceedings were instituted and notice given to creditors to
and a declaration that as a creditor of the estate she has a superior right to that file their claim within six (6) months, which period for filing claims expired on
of the plaintiff company in the proceeds of any sale of the land in question. She August 31, 1941.
does not seek to enforce her claim and recover her debt in this proceeding, but
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In the inventory filed on April 30, 1941, by the administrator of the estate of the While it is true that under section 5 of Rule 87, "all claims for money against the
deceased, the said obligation of P3,000 was acknowledged as one of the liabilities decedent, arising from contract, express or implied, whether the same be due,
of the decedent. not due, or contingent, ... must be filed within the time limited in the notice," it is
also true that, under section 2 of the same Rule, "at any time before an order of
The creditor Leonardo Guison died on December 31, 1941, and his son Mariano distribution is entered, on application of a creditor, who has failed to file his claim
Guison, who was appointed as administrator of the intestate estate of his within the time previously limited, the court may, for cause shown and on such
deceased father, filed the claim of P3,000 against the estate on March 9, 1943. terms as are equitable, allow such claim to be filed within a time not exceeding
one month.".
The attorney for the claimant, in his reply to the answer of the attorney for the
administrator of the estate of Consuelo Syyap, stated that the claimant believed (1) the claim filed by the appellee may be considered as implying an application
in good faith that he was relieved of the obligation to file a claim with the court, for time within which to file said claim, and the order of the lower court allowing
because said administrator had assured him that he should not worry about it, such claim impliedly granted said appellee an extension of time within which to
since the debt was in the inventory and he would pay it as soon as he was file said claim. It would have been a waste of time on the part of the court and
authorized by the court to do so, and that the same administrator had been the parties in this case, if the court had dismissed the claim and required the
paying the interest due on the note up to January, 1943. appellee to file, first, an application for a period not exceeding one month within
which to file his claim, and then to file his claim within the time granted by the
The lower court taking into consideration that the appellant administrator did not court, when the latter would allow the claim after all. Strict compliance with the
deny in his answer to the claim the existence if the debt, that the latter was said requirement of section 2 of Rule 87 would be necessary if a claim had to be
admitted in the inventory submitted by said administrator to the court, and that presented to and passed upon by the committee on claims according to the old
the appellant had been paying interest on the debt up to January, 1943, allowed law; but now as it is to be filed with and passed upon by the court itself, no harm
the appellees claim and ordered the appellant to pay the claimant the sum of would be caused to the adverse party by such a procedure as was followed in the
P3,000 with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from February 1, 1943. present case.

Moreover, the appellant, in his answer to the claim filed by the appellee, did not
object to it on the ground that the former had not previously applied for an
extension of time not exceeding one month within which to present his claim. It
ISSUE: (1) whether the claim filed by the claimant may be allowed by the court
is to be presumed that both the attorneys for the appellant as well as for the
after hearing both parties, without necessity on the part of the claimant to file a
appellee knew that the claim was being filed under the provisions of section 2,
previous application for, and on the part of the court to grant, an extension of
Rule 87, of the Rules of Court, because the time previously limited had then
time not exceeding one month within which the claim may be filed; and (2)
already expired, and had appellant objected to the claim on the above-mentioned
whether cause was shown by the claimant why he did not file the claim within the
ground and the court considered it necessary for the appellee to do so, the latter
time previously limited..
would have complied literally with the law.

Section 2, Rule 87, of the Rules of Court contains a more liberal provision
regarding the time for the filing of a claim by a creditor who has failed to file his
HELD: claim within the time previously limited, than section 690 of the old Code of Civil
Procedure on which the rulings in the cases quoted by the appellant are based.

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Under said section 690, the court may, on application of a creditor who has failed existence of the debt, but does not deny it in his answer to the claim filed by the
to present his claim, renew the commission and allow further time not exceeding appellee in the court below, and had been paying interest due thereon up to
one month for the committee to examine such claim if the application is filed January, 1943, that is, two months before the filing of the claim. Attorney for
within six months after the time previously limited had expired, or if the appellant, in opposing the claim and appealing to this court from the decision of
committee has failed to give the notice required by law, provided that such the court below, relies only on the technicality that no previous application for
application be presented before the final settlement of the estate. So, although extension of time has been filed by the claimant-appellee.
the estate has not yet been finally settled, if such application is filed after six
months from the expiration of the time previously limited, or if the committee
has not failed to give the notice required by law, the court has no power to renew
the commission and allow further time not exceeding one month for the filing and
examination by the committee of such claim, whatever might be the cause for
such failure to file the claim in time.

While, under section 2 of Rule 87, there is no limitation as to the time within
which a creditor who has failed to file his claim within the time previously limited,
may file an application for extension of time within which to file his claim, and the
court may for cause shown grant such application fixing a period not exceeding
one month for that purpose, provided that the application is presented before an
order of distribution has been entered..

(2) The last sentence of section 2, Rule 87, provides that the court may, for
cause shown and on such terms as are equitable, allow such claim to be filed
within a time not exceeding one month. As it does not state what cause shall be
considered sufficient for the purpose, it is clear that it is left to the discretion of
the court to determine the sufficiency thereof; and when the court allows a claim
to be filed for cause or causes which it considers as sufficient, on appeal this
court can not reverse or set aside the action of the court below unless the latter
has abused its discretion, which has not been shown by the appellant in this
case.

. . . .Whether the period fixed by law for the presentation of claims may be
extended is within the sound discretion of the court, and the decision of the trial
judge in this regard should not be disturbed until it is clearly shown that he
abused such discretion.

That nothing is more equitable than what was done by the lower court in this
case, is evident. Appellant does not only acknowledge in the inventory the

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On October 12, 1954, the Philippine National Bank filed a Motion for Admission of
claim.
VILLANUEVA
vs. The administrator, on November 5, 1954, opposed the alleging that he had no
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the
allegations therein. As special defenses, he interposed —

That the same indebtedness, if it existed, has already been paid;


For the administration of the estate of her deceased husband, Pascual Villanueva,
the widow Mauricia G. Villanueva, on December 19, 1949, petitioned the Court of That the caused action for the recovery of the aforesaid amount of
First Instance of Agusan, for letters of Administration (Sp. Proc. No. 67). The P1,847.45 is barred by the statute of limitations, for more than ten (10)
petition was set for hearing and Notice thereof was published. The name of Atty. Years have elapsed since the cause of action accrued up to present time;
Teodulo R. Ricaforte, suggested as administrator and all the parties agreed. After
the taking the required oath, Atty. Ricaforte entered upon the performance of his That the said claim is barred forever on the ground that notice to creditors
duties. Under date of November 9, 1950 the Clerk of the Agusan CFI, issued a having been published in the MORNING TIMES of Cebu City, a newspaper
Notice to Creditors requiring them to file their claims with the clerk of court of general circulation in on November 16, 23 and 30, 1950, ... the
within six but not beyond twelve months after date of the first publication of this Philippine National Bank failed to file its claim within the time limited in
notice, serving copies of such claims upon administrator, the said Teodulo R. the notice, ....
Ricaforte.
The appellant PNB, on November 14, 1958, more than four (4) Years after the
On July 20, 1953, the defendant-appellant Philippine National Bank filed in the opposition of the claim presented by the administrator, filed a pleading captioned
administration proceedings, Creditor's Claim. "Petition for an Extension of time within which to File the Claim of Philippine
National Bank", alleging, among others, that Sec. 2, Rule 87 of the Rules, allows
Original amount thru Agusan Agency on Dec. 20, 1939 the filing of claims even if the period stated in the notice to creditors elapsed,
........................................................ P600.00 upon cause shown and on such terms as equitable; that its failure to present the
claiming with the period stated in the notice, was its lack of knowledge of
To int. at 10%: on P600.00 fr. 12-20-39 to 6-5-53 administration proceedings, for while said maintains a branch office in Agusan,
...................................................................... 747.45 the employees did not come to know of the proceedings, the notice has been
published in the Morning Times, a newspaper very limited circulation.
Total due as of June 5, 1953 (Daily int. of P0.1644 after June 5, 1953)
.......................... P1,347.45

That the said obligation has been due demandable since Dec. 20, 1940; ISSUE: Whether or not PNB may still be allowed to institute its claim
that the same is true and just claim and that it is still unpaid without any
set-off.

HELD: NO
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The important issue presented is whether or not the in question is already were all crossed, and were all made payable to AMC. They were given to Chua,
barred. Admittedly, the claim was filed outside of the period provided for in the AMCs General Manager, in 1998.
Order of the lower court, within which to present claims against the estate. The
period fixed in the notice lapsed on November 16, 1951 and the claim was filed Chua died in 1999, 8 and a special proceeding for the settlement of his estate was
on July 20, 1953 or about 1 year and 8 months late. This notwithstanding, commenced before the RTC of Pasay City. This proceeding was pending at the
appellant contends that it did not know of such administration proceedings, not time AMC filed its answer with counterclaims and third-party complaint.9
even its employees in the Branch Office in Butuan City, Agusan. It is to be noted
that the petition for Letters of Administration and the Notice to Creditors were SHCI made demands on AMC, after Chuas death, for allegedly undelivered items
duly published in the Manila Daily Bulletin and in the Morning Times, respectively, worth P8,331,700.00. According to AMC, these transactions could not be found in
which was a full compliance with the requirements of the Rules. Moreover, the its records. Upon investigation, AMC discovered that in 1998, Chua received from
supposed lack of knowledge of the proceedings on the part of appellant and its SHCI 18 Metrobank checks worth P31,807,500.00. These were all payable to AMC
employees had been belied by uncontested and eloquent evidence, consisting of and were crossed or "for payees account only."
a deposit of an amount of money by the administrator Of the estate in said Bank
(Agusan Agency). The deposit was made on December 1, 1951, inspite of which
In its answer with counterclaims and third-party complaint, AMC averred that it
the appellant Bank only filed its claim on July 20, 1953. It is quite true that the
had no knowledge of Chuas transactions with SHCI and it did not receive any
Courts can extend the period within Which to present claims against the estate,
money from the latter. AMC also asked the RTC to hold Metrobank liable for the
even after the period limited has elapsed; but such extension should be granted
subject checks in case it is adjudged liable to SHCI.
under special circumstances. The lower did not find any justifiable reason to give
the extension and for one thing, there was no period to extend, the same had
elapsed. In the meantime, Metrobank filed a motion to dismiss14 against AMC on the
ground that the latter engaged in prohibited forum shopping. According to
Metrobank, AMCs claim against it is the same claim that it raised against Chuas
Having reached the above conclusions, We deem it necessary to determine the
estate in Special Proceedings.
question as to whether or not the Moratorium Law had suspended the
prescriptive period for filing of the claim under consideration
In its answer23 dated December 1, 2003, Metrobank admitted that it deposited
the checks in question to the account of Ayala Lumber and Hardware, a sole
METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST COMPANY v. ABSOLUTE MANAGEMENT
proprietorship Chua owned and managed. The deposit was allegedly done with
CORPORATION
the knowledge and consent of AMC. According to Metrobank, Chua then gave the
assurance that the arrangement for the handling of the checks carried AMCs
consent. Chua also submitted documents showing his position and interest in
AMC. These documents, as well as AMCs admission in its answer that it allowed
FACTS: On October 5, 2000, Sherwood Holdings Corporation, Inc. (SHCI) filed a Chua to manage AMC with a relative free hand, show that it knew of Chuas
complaint for sum of money against Absolute Management Corporation (AMC). arrangement with Metrobank. Further, Chuas records show that the proceeds of
the checks were remitted to AMC which cannot therefore now claim that it did not
SHCI alleged in its complaint that it made advance payments to AMC for the receive these proceeds.
purchase of 27,000 pieces of plywood and 16,500 plyboards in the sum
of P12,277,500.00, covered by Metrobank Check Nos. 1407668502, 140768507, Metrobank also raised the defense of estoppel. According to Metrobank, AMC had
140768530, 140768531, 140768532, 140768533 and 140768534. These checks knowledge of its arrangements with Chua for several years. Despite this
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arrangement, AMC did not object to nor did it call the attention of Metrobank Solutio indebiti, as defined in Article 2154 of the Civil Code, has two
about Chuas alleged lack of authority to deposit the checks in Ayala Lumber and indispensable requisites: first, that something has been unduly delivered through
Hardwares account. At this point, AMC is already estopped from questioning mistake; and second, that something was received when there was no right to
Chuas authority to deposit these checks in Ayala Lumber and Hardwares account. demand it.47?r?l1

Lastly, Metrobank asserted that AMC gave Chua unbridled control in managing In its fourth-party complaint, Metrobank claims that Chuas estate should
AMCs affairs. This measure of control amounted to gross negligence that was the reimburse it if it becomes liable on the checks that it deposited to Ayala Lumber
proximate cause of the loss that AMC must now bear. and Hardwares account upon Chuas instructions.

Subsequently, Metrobank filed a motion for leave to admit fourth-party This fulfills the requisites of solutio indebiti. First, Metrobank acted in a manner
complaint24 against Chuas estate. It alleged that Chuas estate should reimburse akin to a mistake when it deposited the AMC checks to Ayala Lumber and
Metrobank in case it would be held liable in the third-party complaint filed against Hardwares account; because of Chuas control over AMCs operations, Metrobank
it by AMC. assumed that the checks payable to AMC could be deposited to Ayala Lumber and
Hardwares account. Second, Ayala Lumber and Hardware had no right to demand
ISSUE: and receive the checks that were deposited to its account; despite Chuas control
over AMC and Ayala Lumber and Hardware, the two entities are distinct, and
are quasi-contracts included in claims that should be filed pursuant to Rule 86, checks exclusively and expressly payable to one cannot be deposited in the
Section 5 of the Rules of Court? Second, if so, is Metrobanks claim against the account of the other. This disjunct created an obligation on the part of Ayala
Estate of Jose Chua based on a quasi-contract? Lumber and Hardware, through its sole proprietor, Chua, to return the amount of
these checks to Metrobank.
HELD: Quasi-contracts are included inbclaims that should be filed under Rule 86,
Section 5 of the Rules of Court The Court notes, however, that its description of Metrobanks fourth-party
complaint as a claimclosely analogous to solutio indebiti is only to determine the
validity of the lower courts orders denying it. It is not an adjudication
Metrobanks fourth-party complaint is based on quasi-contract
determining the liability of Chuas estate against Metrobank. The appropriate trial
court should still determine whether Metrobank has a lawful claim against Chuas
Both the RTC and the CA described Metrobanks claim against Chuas estate as estate based on quasi-contract.
one based on quasi-contract. A quasi-contract involves a juridical relation that
the law creates on the basis of certain voluntary, unilateral and lawful acts of a
Metrobanks fourth-party complaint, as a contingent claim, falls within theclaims
person, to avoid unjust enrichment.42 The Civil Code provides an enumeration of
that should be filed under Section 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court
quasi-contracts,43 but the list is not exhaustive and merely provides
examples.44?r?l1
A distinctive character of Metrobanks fourth-party complaint is its contingent
nature the claim depends on the possibility that Metrobank would be adjudged
According to the CA, Metrobanks fourth-party complaint falls under the quasi-
liable to AMC, a future event that may or may not happen. This characteristic
contracts enunciated in Article 2154 of the Civil Code.45 Article 2154 embodies
unmistakably marks the complaint as a contingent one that must be included in
the concept "solutio indebiti" which arises when something is delivered through
the claims falling under the terms of Section 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of
mistake to a person who has no right to demand it. It obligates the latter to
Court:cralawlibrary
return what has been received through mistake.46?r?l1
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Sec. 5. Claims which must be filed under the notice. If not filed, barred;
exceptions. All claims for money against the decedent, arising from contract,
express or implied, whether the same be due, not due, or contingent, all claims STRONGHOLD INSURANCE COMPANY, INC.,
for funeral expenses and expenses for the last sickness of the decedent, and vs.
judgment for money against the decedent, must be filed within the time limited REPUBLIC-ASAHI GLASS CORPORATION,
in the notice. [italics ours]

Specific provisions of Section 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court prevail over general
provisions of Section 11, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court FACTS: "On May 24, 1989, [respondent] Republic-Asahi Glass Corporation
(Republic-Asahi) entered into a contract with x x x Jose D. Santos, Jr., the
Metrobank argues that Section 11, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court should apply proprietor of JDS Construction (JDS), for the construction of roadways and a
because it impleaded Chuas estate for reimbursement in the same transaction drainage system in Republic-Asahi’s compound in Barrio Pinagbuhatan, Pasig
upon which it has been sued by AMC. On this point, the Court supports the City, where [respondent] was to pay x x x JDS five million three hundred
conclusion of the CA, to wit:cralawlibrary thousand pesos (P5,300,000.00) inclusive of value added tax for said
construction, which was supposed to be completed within a period of two
Notably, a comparison of the respective provisions of Section 11, Rule 6 and hundred forty (240) days beginning May 8, 1989. In order ‘to guarantee the
Section 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court readily shows that Section 11, Rule 6 faithful and satisfactory performance of its undertakings’ x x x JDS, shall post a
applies to ordinary civil actions while Section 5, Rule 86 specifically applies to performance bond of seven hundred ninety five thousand pesos (P795,000.00). x
money claims against the estate. The specific provisions of Section 5, Rule 86 x x x x JDS executed, jointly and severally with [petitioner] Stronghold Insurance
x must therefore prevail over the general provisions of Section 11, Rule 6.48?r?l1 Co., Inc. (SICI) Performance Bond.

We read with approval the CAs use of the statutory construction principle of lex "On May 23, 1989, [respondent] paid to x x x JDS seven hundred ninety five
specialis derogat generali, leading to the conclusion that the specific provisions of thousand pesos (P795,000.00) by way of downpayment.
Section 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court should prevail over the general
provisions of Section 11, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court; the settlement of the "Several times prior to November of 1989, [respondent’s] engineers called the
estate of deceased persons (where claims against the deceased should be filed) is attention of x x x JDS to the alleged alarmingly slow pace of the construction,
primarily governed by the rules on special proceedings, while the rules provided which resulted in the fear that the construction will not be finished within the
for ordinary claims, including Section 11, Rule 6 ofthe Rules of Court, merely stipulated 240-day period. However, said reminders went unheeded by x x x JDS.
apply suppletorily.49?r?l1
"On November 24, 1989, dissatisfied with the progress of the work undertaken
In sum, on all counts in the considerations material to the issues posed, the by x x x JDS, [respondent] Republic-Asahi extrajudicially rescinded the contract
resolution points to the affirmation of the assailed CA decision and resolution. pursuant to Article XIII of said contract, and wrote a letter to x x x JDS informing
Metrobank's claim in its fourth-party complaint against Chua's estate is based on the latter of such rescission. Such rescission, according to Article XV of the
quasi-contract. It is also a contingent claim that depends on another event. Both contract shall not be construed as a waiver of [respondent’s] right to recover
belong to the category of claims against a deceased person that should be filed damages from x x x JDS and the latter’s sureties.
under Section 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Comi and, as such, should have been so
filed in Special Proceedings No. 99-0023.

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"[Respondent] alleged that, as a result of x x x JDS’s failure to comply with the As a general rule, the death of either the creditor or the debtor does not
provisions of the contract, which resulted in the said contract’s rescission, it had extinguish the obligation.8 Obligations are transmissible to the heirs, except when
to hire another contractor to finish the project, for which it incurred an additional the transmission is prevented by the law, the stipulations of the parties, or the
expense of three million two hundred fifty six thousand, eight hundred seventy nature of the obligation.9 Only obligations that are personal 10 or are identified
four pesos (P3,256,874.00). with the persons themselves are extinguished by death.11

"On January 6, 1990, [respondent] sent a letter to [petitioner] SICI filing its Section 5 of Rule 8612 of the Rules of Court expressly allows the prosecution of
claim under the bond for not less than P795,000.00. On March 22, 1991, money claims arising from a contract against the estate of a deceased debtor.
[respondent] again sent another letter reiterating its demand for payment under Evidently, those claims are not actually extinguished.13 What is extinguished is
the aforementioned bond. Both letters allegedly went unheeded. only the obligee’s action or suit filed before the court, which is not then acting as
a probate court.14
"[Respondent] then filed [a] complaint against x x x JDS and SICI. It sought from
x x x JDS payment of P3,256,874.00 representing the additional expenses In the present case, whatever monetary liabilities or obligations Santos had
incurred by [respondent] for the completion of the project using another under his contracts with respondent were not intransmissible by their nature, by
contractor, and from x x x JDS and SICI, jointly and severally, payment stipulation, or by provision of law. Hence, his death did not result in the
of P750,000.00 as damages in accordance with the performance bond; extinguishment of those obligations or liabilities, which merely passed on to his
exemplary damages in the amount of P100,000.00 and attorney’s fees in the estate.15 Death is not a defense that he or his estate can set up to wipe out the
amount of at least P100,000.00. obligations under the performance bond. Consequently, petitioner as surety
cannot use his death to escape its monetary obligation under its performance
"On July 10, 1991, [petitioner] SICI filed its answer, alleging that the bond.
[respondent’s] money claims against [petitioner and JDS] have been
extinguished by the death of Jose D. Santos, Jr. Even if this were not the case, The liability of petitioner is contractual in nature, because it executed a
[petitioner] SICI had been released from its liability under the performance bond performance bond worded as follows:
because there was no liquidation, with the active participation and/or
involvement, pursuant to procedural due process, of herein surety and contractor "KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:
Jose D. Santos, Jr., hence, there was no ascertainment of the corresponding
liabilities of Santos and SICI under the performance bond. "That we, JDS CONSTRUCTION of 208-A San Buena Building, contractor, of Shaw
Blvd., Pasig, MM Philippines, as principal and the STRONGHOLD INSURANCE
COMPANY, INC. a corporation duly organized and existing under and by virtue of
the laws of the Philippines with head office at Makati, as Surety, are held and
ISSUE: Whether or not the obligation is extinguished firmly bound unto the REPUBLIC ASAHI GLASS CORPORATION and to any
individual, firm, partnership, corporation or association supplying the principal
with labor or materials in the penal sum of SEVEN HUNDRED NINETY FIVE
THOUSAND (P795,000.00), Philippine Currency, for the payment of which sum,
HELD: well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors,
administrators, successors and assigns, jointly and severally, firmly by these
presents.

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"The CONDITIONS OF THIS OBLIGATION are as follows; hereinbefore stated, to institute action on the penal bond, pursuant to the
provision of Act No. 3688, is hereby acknowledge and confirmed."16
"WHEREAS the above bounden principal on the ___ day of __________, 19__
entered into a contract with the REPUBLIC ASAHI GLASS CORPORATION
represented by _________________, to fully and faithfully. Comply with the site
preparation works road and drainage system of Philippine Float Plant at
Pinagbuhatan, Pasig, Metro Manila.

"WHEREAS, the liability of the Surety Company under this bond shall in no case
exceed the sum of PESOS SEVEN HUNDRED NINETY FIVE THOUSAND BIENVENIDO P. BUAN
(P795,000.00) Philippine Currency, inclusive of interest, attorney’s fee, and other vs.
damages, and shall not be liable for any advances of the obligee to the principal. SYLVINA C. LAYA, ET AL.

"WHEREAS, said contract requires the said principal to give a good and sufficient
bond in the above-stated sum to secure the full and faithfull performance on its
part of said contract, and the satisfaction of obligations for materials used and
FACTS; On December 15, 1953, petitioners herein filed a contingent claim for
labor employed upon the work;
more than P500,000 against the intestate estate of the deceased spouses
Florencio P. Buan and Rizalina Paras Buan. The contingent claim was based on
"NOW THEREFORE, if the principal shall perform well and truly and fulfill all the the fact that on August 3, 1952, a Philippine Rabbit Bus, owned and operated by
undertakings, covenants, terms, conditions, and agreements of said contract the deceased spouses Buan, collided with a car in which Juan C. Laya, Rodolfo
during the original term of said contract and any extension thereof that may be Escosa, Jose S. Palma, and Juan de Leon, were riding.
granted by the obligee, with notice to the surety and during the life of any
guaranty required under the contract, and shall also perform well and truly and
The heirs of Juan C. Laya, petitioners herein, reserved the civil action for
fulfill all the undertakings, covenants, terms, conditions, and agreements of any
damages, and on October 12, 1953, they filed an independent civil action in the
and all duly authorized modifications of said contract that may hereinafter be
Court of First Instance of Manila against the administrator of the deceased
made, without notice to the surety except when such modifications increase the
spouses Buan. The petition for the admission of a contingent claim was
contract price; and such principal contractor or his or its sub-contractors shall
accompanied with a copy of the complaint filed in the civil case above-mentioned
promptly make payment to any individual, firm, partnership, corporation or
and a sentence in the criminal case filed against Ernesto Triguero, driver of the
association supplying the principal of its sub-contractors with labor and materials
Philippine Rabbit Bus.
in the prosecution of the work provided for in the said contract, then, this
obligation shall be null and void; otherwise it shall remain in full force and effect.
Any extension of the period of time which may be granted by the obligee to the When the administrators learned of the filing of the contingent claim in the Court
contractor shall be considered as given, and any modifications of said contract of First Instance of Tarlac, they filed an opposition thereto on the ground that the
shall be considered as authorized, with the express consent of the Surety. same was not filed before the death of the spouses Florencio Buan and Rizalina
Paras Buan, which took place on January 3, 1953, and that it was also not filed
within the period prescribed by Rule 89, Section 4 of the Rules of Court.
"The right of any individual, firm, partnership, corporation or association
supplying the contractor with labor or materials for the prosecution of the work

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The Court of First Instance of Tarlac admitted the claim in an order dated Whether or not the heirs of the deceased, Juan C. Laya, would succeed in the
December 16, 1953, but denied the prayer that a portion of the estate be set action brought in Manila against the administrators of the estate of the deceased
aside to respond for the amount of the contingent. spouses Florencio Buan and Rizalina P. Buan, is the uncertain event or
contingency upon which the validity of the claim presented in the administration
In the meantime and on January 7, 1954, the Court of First Instance of Tarlac, on proceedings depends. While the said action has not yet been finally decided or
a motion for reconsideration filed by the administrators dated January 2, 1954, determined to the effect that the petitioners herein, heirs of the deceased Juan C.
set aside its previous order of December 16, 1953, admitting the contingent Laya, have no right of action against the estate of the deceased spouses
claim of petitioners. The reason for the admission of the claim, according to the Florencio P. Buan and Rizalina P. Buan, the contingent claim that petitioners have
court, had ceased to exist and even the plaintiffs had filed the amended filed in the Court of First Instance of Tarlac in the proceedings for the
complaint in the Court of First Instance of Manila, the same has not yet been administration of the deceased spouses Florencio P. Buan and Rizalina P. Buan,
acted upon by the said court. A motion to reconsider this order of the Court of may not be dismissed. The order of the court dismissing the claim and declaring
First Instance of Tarlac having been denied, petitioners have prosecuted this that the same may again be entertained if another valid complaint by the
appeal to Us. petitioners herein is filed in the Court of First Instance of Manila, is inconsistent
with the nature and character of a contingent claim. A contingent claim does not
follow the temporary orders of dismissal of an action upon which it is based; it
awaits the final outcome thereof and only said final result can cause its
termination. The rules provide that a contingent claim is to be presented in the
ISSUE: Whether or not the claim should be dismissed.
administration proceedings in the same manner as any ordinary claim, and that
when the contingency arises which converts the contingent claim into a valid
claim, the court should then be informed that the claim had already matured.
(Secs. 5. 9, Rule 87.) The order of the court subject of the appeal should,
HELD: NO. A contingent claim is one which, by its nature, is necessarily therefore, be set aside.
dependent upon an uncertain event for its existence or validity. It may or may
not develop into a valid and enforceable claim, and its validity and enforceability The first order of the court admitted the claim but denied the petition for the
depending upon an uncertain event. setting aside of a certain amount from the estate to respond therefor. The
validity of the contingent claim is apparent; as the driver of the bus belonging to
A 'contingent claim' against an estate within the statute providing for the the deceased spouses, Florencio P. Buan and Rizalina P. Buan, was found guilty
settlement hereof, as one where the absolute liability depends on some future of negligence, as a result of which Juan C. Laya died, the said deceased
event which may never happen, and which therefore renders such liability spouses—the employers of the driver—can be made responsible, as masters of a
uncertain and indeterminable. . . It is where the liability depends on some future servant, for damages for the death of the petitioner's father. A portion of the
event after the debtor's death which may or may not happen, and therefore estate should therefore, be set aside to respond for such damages as petitioners
makes Words and Phrases, p. 113.). herein may subsequently recover in the action they have brought in the Court of
First Instance of Manila. This amount should be fixed in the court below.
A 'contingent claim' against an estate is one in which liability depends on some
future event which may or may not occur, so that duty to pay may never become
absolute.

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THE FIRST NATIONAL CITY BANK OF NEW YORK
vs.
SILVIO CHENG TAN alias SILVIO CHENG PAN HELD:

We have heretofore held in Bank of the Philippine Islands vs. Concepcion e


Hijos, 53 Phil. 806, and Government, etc. vs. Concuya et al., G.R. No. L-45994,
FACTS: On July 2, 1947 the Court of First Instance of Manila rendered judgment promulgated on January 20, 1944, that deficiency judgment is a contingent claim
in an action to foreclose a real estate mortgage — ordering the defendants and must be filed with the probate court where the settlement of the estate of
therein, — Silvio Cheng Tan alias Silvio Cheng Pan amongst them — to pay, the deceased mortgagor is pending, within the period of time fixed for the filing
jointly and severally, The First National City Bank of New York the sum of of claims. On the other hand, Section, 5 Rule 87 of the Rules of Court, provides
P142,000.56, with the stipulated interest on the sum of P129,361.13, plus costs, that, among others, judgments for money against the decedent whose estate is
and providing that in case of default of payment within the period of time therein in the process of judicial settlement must be filed with the private court within
given, the properties mortgaged by said defendants be sold at Public auction to the time limited in the notice given for that purpose, otherwise they will be
satisfy the judgment. After the sale of the mortgaged properties a deficiency deemed barred forever, except that they may be set forth as counterclaim in any
judgment was rendered on March 25, 1950 for P98,256.13. After the issuance of action that the executor or administrator may bring against the judgment
the corresponding writ of execution and the sale of two parcels of land located in creditor.
San Miguel, Bulacan, there remained unsatisfied the sum of P38,090.06, with the
7% stipulated interest thereon from October 3, 1941, until paid. It is true that a judgment rendered in a civil action remaining unsatisfied after 5
years from its date of entry, is reduced to the condition of a mere right of action,
As the other defendants in the case had died or could nowhere be found, and the but this, in our opinion, does not argue against the proposition that it should be
five-year period for the enforcement of the deficiency judgment by mere motion filed with the probate court for corresponding action. To the contrary, reduced, as
had elapsed without the same having been satisfied, on June 26, 1957 The First it has been, to the condition of a mere right of action, it can well be likened to a
National City Bank of New York instituted the present action against Silvio Cheng promissory note. Like the latter, therefore, it should be submitted as a claim to
Tan in the Court of First Instance of Manila to revive the judgment aforesaid. the probate court where the settlement of the estate of the deceased debtor is
pending.
During the pendency of the case Cheng Tan died and was substituted by his legal
representative, Serafin Cheng, who filed a motion to dismiss the action on the Even reasons of expediency militate in favor of our conclusion. Were the present
ground that under Section 21, Rule 3 and Section 5, Rule 87 of the Rules of preceedings allowed to continue, they could end with nothing more than a
Court, plaintiff should file its claim in the intestate estate proceedings for the judgment reviving the one subject matter of the action. Thus revived said
settlement of the estate of said deceased pending in the Court of First Instance of judgment could not be enforced except through the probate court because the
Rizal since February 27, 1958, an administrator having been appointed by said judgment debtor died before execution could be actually levied upon any of his
court on April 7, 1958. properties (Section 7, Rule 39, Rules of Court). There is, therefore, no need to
prosecute the present action the herein plaintiff-appellee having the right to go
directly to the probate court to file his claim based on the deficiency judgment
mentioned heretofore.
ISSUE: Whether or not the claim must be filed against the estate.

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PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ALLAN M. CHUA Private respondents argue that having chosen the remedy of extrajudicial
foreclosure of the mortgaged property of the deceased, petitioner is precluded
from pursuing its deficiency claim against the estate of Antonio M. Chua. This
they say is pursuant to Section 7, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court.
FACTS:
The spouses Antonio M. Chua and Asuncion M. Chua were the owners of a
parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. P-142 and registered in ISSUE: whether or not petitioner may no longer pursue by civil action the
their names. Upon Antonios death, the probate court appointed his son, private recovery of the balance of indebtedness after having foreclosed the property
respondent Allan M. Chua, special administrator of Antonios intestate estate. The securing the same.
court also authorized Allan to obtain a loan accommodation of five hundred fifty
thousand (P550,000.00) pesos from petitioner Philippine National Bank to be
secured by a real estate mortgage over the above-mentioned parcel of land.
On June 29, 1989, Allan obtained a loan of P450,000.00 from petitioner PNB HELD: NO
evidenced by a promissory note, payable on June 29, 1990, with interest at 18.8
percent per annum. To secure the loan, Allan executed a deed of real estate
mortgage on the aforesaid parcel of land.
On December 27, 1990, for failure to pay the loan in full, the bank Section 7, Rule 89, that once the deed of real estate mortgage is recorded in
extrajudicially foreclosed the real estate mortgage, through the Ex-Officio Sheriff, the proper Registry of Deeds, together with the corresponding court order
who conducted a public auction of the mortgaged property pursuant to the authorizing the administrator to mortgage the property, said deed shall be valid
authority provided for in the deed of real estate mortgage. During the auction, as if it has been executed by the deceased himself. Section 7 provides in part:
PNB was the highest bidder with a bid price P306,360.00. Since PNBs total claim
as of the date of the auction sale was P679,185.63, the loan had a payable Sec. 7. Rule 89. Regulations for granting authority to sell, mortgage, or otherwise
balance of P372,825.63. To claim this deficiency, PNB instituted an action with encumber estate The court having jurisdiction of the estate of the deceased may
the RTC, against both Mrs. Asuncion M. Chua and Allan Chua in his capacity as authorize the executor or administrator to sell personal estate, or to sell,
special administrator of his fathers intestate estate. mortgage, or otherwise encumber real estate, in cases provided by these rules
when it appears necessary or beneficial under the following regulations:
Despite summons duly served, private respondents did not answer the
complaint. The trial court declared them in default and received evidence ex xxx
parte.
Petitioner contends that under prevailing jurisprudence, when the proceeds (f) There shall be recorded in the registry of deeds of the province in which the
of the sale are insufficient to pay the debt, the mortgagee has the right to real estate thus sold, mortgaged, or otherwise encumbered is situated, a certified
recover the deficiency from the debtor.[5] It also contends that Act 3135, copy of the order of the court, together with the deed of the executor or
otherwise known as An Act to Regulate the Sale of Property under Special Powers administrator for such real estate, which shall be valid as if the deed had been
Inserted in or Annexed to Real Estate Mortgages, is the law applicable to this executed by the deceased in his lifetime.
case of foreclosure sale and not Section 7 of Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of
Court[6] as held by the Court of Appeals.[7]
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In the present case, it is undisputed that the conditions under the aforecited result of extrajudicial foreclosure is that the creditor waives any further deficiency
rule have been complied with. It follows that we must consider Sec. 7 of Rule 86, claim. The dissent in Pasno, as adopted in Perez, supports this conclusion, thus:
appropriately applicable to the controversy at hand.
When account is further taken of the fact that a creditor who elects to foreclose
Case law now holds that this rule grants to the mortgagee three distinct,
by extrajudicial sale waives all right to recover against the estate of the deceased
independent and mutually exclusive remedies that can be alternatively pursued
debtor for any deficiency remaining unpaid after the sale it will be readily seen
by the mortgage creditor for the satisfaction of his credit in case the mortgagor
that the decision in this case (referring to the majority opinion) will impose a
dies, among them:
burden upon the estates of deceased persons who have mortgaged real property
(1) to waive the mortgage and claim the entire debt from the estate of for the security of debts, without any compensatory advantage.
the mortgagor as an ordinary claim;
Clearly, in our view, petitioner herein has chosen the mortgage-creditors
(2) to foreclose the mortgage judicially and prove any deficiency as an
option of extrajudicially foreclosing the mortgaged property of the Chuas. This
ordinary claim; and
choice now bars any subsequent deficiency claim against the estate of the
(3) to rely on the mortgage exclusively, foreclosing the same at any time deceased, Antonio M. Chua. Petitioner may no longer avail of the complaint for
before it is barred by prescription without right to file a claim for any the recovery of the balance of indebtedness against said estate, after petitioner
deficiency.[9] foreclosed the property securing the mortgage in its favor. It follows that in this
case no further liability remains on the part of respondents and the late Antonio
In Perez v. Philippine National Bank,[10] reversing Pasno vs. Ravina,[11] we M. Chuas estate.
held:

The ruling in Pasno vs. Ravina not having been reiterated in any other case, we
have carefully reexamined the same, and after mature deliberation have reached
the conclusion that the dissenting opinion is more in conformity with reason and
law. Of the three alternative courses that section 7, Rule 87 (now Rule 86), offers
the mortgage creditor, to wit, (1) to waive the mortgage and claim the entire Heirs of Maglasang vs Manila Banking Corp
debt from the estate of the mortgagor as an ordinary claim; (2) foreclose the
mortgage judicially and prove any deficiency as an ordinary claim; and (3) to rely Facts:
on the mortgage exclusively, foreclosing the same at any time before it is barred
by prescription, without right to file a claim for any deficiency, the majority
opinion in Pasno vs. Ravina, in requiring a judicial foreclosure, virtually wipes out
the third alternative conceded by the Rules to the mortgage creditor, and which The spouses Flaviano and Salud Maglasang (Sps.Maglasang) obtained a credit
would precisely include extra-judicial foreclosures by contrast with the second line from respondent in the amount of ₱350,000.00 which was secured by a real
alternative. estate mortgage executed over seven of their properties. They availed of their
credit line by securing loans in the amounts of ₱209,790.50 and ₱139,805.83 on
October 24, 1975 and March 15, 1976, respectively, both of which becoming due
The plain result of adopting the last mode of foreclosure is that the creditor
and demandable within a period of one year.
waives his right to recover any deficiency from the estate.[12] Following
the Perez ruling that the third mode includes extrajudicial foreclosure sales, the

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After Flaviano Maglasang (Flaviano) died intestate, his widow Salud Maglasang when respondent filed its claim against the estate of Flaviano in the
(Salud) and their surviving children, herein petitioners appointed their brother proceedings before the probate court, it effectively abandoned its right to
petitioner Edgar Maglasang (Edgar) as their attorney-in-fact. Edgar filed a foreclose on the mortgage.
verified petition for letters of administration of the intestate estate of Flaviano
before the then Court of First Instance. The CA denied the petitioners’ appeal and affirmed the RTC’s Decision.

Issue: Whether or not, after the respondent foreclosed the mortgage, the
The probate court, issued a Notice to Creditors for the filing of money claims respondent may still file a claim against the estate? (No)
against Flaviano’s estate. Accordingly, as one of the creditors of Flaviano,
respondent notified the probate court of its claim in the amount of ₱382,753.19. Held:

During the pendency of the intestate proceedings, Edgar and Oscar were Claims against deceased persons should be filed during the settlement
able to obtain several loans from respondent, secured by promissory proceedings of their estate. Such proceedings are primarily governed by
notes which they signed. special rules found under Rules 73 to 90 of the Rules, although rules
governing ordinary actions may, as far as practicable, apply suppletorily.
In an order, the probate court terminated the proceedings with the Among these special rules, Section 7, Rule 86 of the Rules (Section 7,
surviving heirs executing an extra-judicial partition of the properties of Rule86) provides the rule in dealing with secured claims against the
Flaviano’s estate. The loan obligations owed by the estate to respondent, estate:
however, remained unsatisfied due to respondent’s certification that
Flaviano’s account was undergoing a restructuring. Nonetheless, the SEC. 7. Mortgage debt due from estate. – A creditor holding a claim
probate court expressly recognized the rights of respondent under the against the deceased secured by a mortgage or other collateral security,
mortgage and promissory notes executed by the Sps. Maglasang, may abandon the security and prosecute his claim in the manner provided
specifically, its "right to foreclose the same within the statutory period." in this rule, and share in the general distribution of the assets of the
estate; or he may foreclose his mortgage or realize upon his security, by
In this light, respondent proceeded to extra-judicially foreclose the action in court, making the executor or administrator a party defendant,
mortgage covering the Sps. Maglasang’s properties and emerged as the and if there is a judgment for a deficiency, after the sale of the mortgaged
highest bidder at the public auction. There, however, remained a premises, or the property pledged, in the foreclosure or other proceeding
deficiency on Sps. Maglasang’s obligation to respondent. Thus respondent to realize upon the security, he may claim his deficiency judgment in the
filed a suit to recover the deficiency amount of ₱250,601.05 as of May 31, manner provided in the preceding section; or he may rely upon his
1981 against the estate of Flaviano. mortgage or other security alone, and foreclose the same at any time
within the period of the statute of limitations, and in that event he shall
not be admitted as a creditor, and shall receive no share in the
The RTC decided in favor of the respondent.
distribution of the other assets of the estate; but nothing herein contained
shall prohibit the executor or administrator from redeeming the property
The petitioners elevated the case to the CA on appeal, contending, inter mortgaged or pledged, by paying the debt for which it is held as security,
alia, that the remedies available to respondent under Section 7, Rule 86 of under the direction of the court, if the court shall adjudged it to be for the
the Rules of Court (Rules) are alternative and exclusive, such that the best interest of the estate that such redemption shall be made.
election of one operates as a waiver or abandonment of the others. Thus,
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As the foregoing generally speaks of "a creditor holding a claim against the amount was intended for the payment of the purchase price of one (1) unit Ford
deceased secured by a mortgage or other collateral security" as above- 6600 Agricultural All-Purpose Diesel Tractor. In view thereof, Efraim and his son,
highlighted, it may be reasonably concluded that the aforementioned section Edmund, executed a promissory note in favor of the FCCC, the principal sum
covers all secured claims, whether by mortgage or any other form of collateral, payable in five equal annual amortizations. In 1980, the FCCC and Efraim entered
which a creditor may enforce against the estate of the deceased debtor. into another loan agreement, this time in the amount of ₱123,156.00. It was
intended to pay the balance of the purchase price of another unit of Ford 6600
Agricultural All-Purpose Diesel Tractor.

In our jurisdiction, the remedies available to the mortgage creditor are deemed
alternative and not cumulative. Notably, an election of one remedy operates as a
waiver of the other. For this purpose, a remedy is deemed chosen upon the filing Again, Efraim and his son, Edmund, executed a promissory note for the said
of the suit for collection or upon the filing of the complaint in an action for amount in favor of the FCCC. Aside from such promissory note, they also signed
foreclosure of mortgage, pursuant to the provision of Rule 68 of the 1997 Rules a Continuing Guaranty Agreement for the loan.
of Civil Procedure. As to extrajudicial foreclosure, such remedy is deemed elected
by the mortgage creditor upon filing of the petition not with any court of justice Sometime in February 1981, Efraim died, leaving a holographic will.
but with the Office of the Sheriff of the province where the sale is to be made, in Subsequently in March 1981, testate proceedings commenced before the
accordance with the provisions of Act No. 3135, as amended by Act No.4118. RTC of Iloilo City. Edmund, as one of the heirs, was appointed as the
special administrator of the estate of the decedent. During the pendency
of the testate proceedings, the surviving heirs, Edmund and his sister
Florence Santibañez Ariola, executed a Joint Agreement dated July 22,
In this case, respondent sought to extra-judicially foreclose the mortgage 1981, wherein they agreed to divide between themselves and take
of the properties previously belonging to Sps. Maglasang (and now, their possession of the three (3) tractors; Each of them was to assume the
estates) and, therefore, availed of the third option. Lest it be indebtedness of their late father to FCCC, corresponding to the tractor
misunderstood, it did not exercise the first option of directly filing a claim respectively taken by them.
against the estate, as petitioners assert, since it merely notified the
probate court of the outstanding amount of its claim against the estate of Demand letters for the settlement of his account were sent by petitioner
Flaviano and that it was currently restructuring the account. Thus, having Union Bank of the Philippines (UBP) to Edmund, but the latter failed to
unequivocally opted to exercise the third option of extra-judicial heed the same and refused to pay. Thus, on February 5, 1988, the
foreclosure under Section 7, Rule 86, respondent is now precluded from petitioner filed a Complaint for sum of money against the heirs of Efraim
filing a suit to recover any deficiency amount as earlier discussed. Santibañez, Edmund and Florence, before the RTC.

Ariola filed her Answer and alleged that the loan documents did not bind
Union Bank of the Philippines vs Ariola her since she was not a party thereto. Considering that the joint
agreement signed by her and her brother Edmund was not approved by
Facts: the probate court, it was null and void; hence, she was not liable to the
petitioner under the joint agreement.
On May 31, 1980, the First Countryside Credit Corporation (FCCC) and Efraim M.
Santibañez entered into a loan agreement in the amount of ₱128,000.00. The

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The trial court found that the claim of the petitioner should have been filed of them to assume the indebtedness corresponding to the chattel
with the probate court as the sum of money being claimed was an taken as herein after stated which is in favor of First Countryside
obligation incurred by the said decedent. Credit Corp." The assumption of liability was conditioned upon the
happening of an event, that is, that each heir shall take possession
Issue: 1st issue: Whether or not the partition in the Agreement executed and use of their respective share under the agreement. It was
by the heirs is valid? (No) made dependent on the validity of the partition, and that they were
to assume the indebtedness corresponding to the chattel that they
2nd Issue: whether the petitioner can hold the heirs liable on the obligation were each to receive. The partition being invalid as earlier
of the deceased (No) discussed, the heirs in effect did not receive any such tractor. It
follows then that the assumption of liability cannot be given any
force and effect.
Held:

The Court notes that the loan was contracted by the decedent. The
1st Issue: In our jurisdiction, the rule is that there can be no valid partition
petitioner, purportedly a creditor of the late Efraim Santibañez,
among the heirs until after the will has been probated:
should have thus filed its money claim with the probate court in
accordance with Section 5, Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court,
In testate succession, there can be no valid partition among the heirs until which provides:
after the will has been probated. The law enjoins the probate of a will and
the public requires it, because unless a will is probated and notice thereof
Section 5. Claims which must be filed under the notice. If not filed
given to the whole world, the right of a person to dispose of his property
barred; exceptions. — All claims for money against the decedent,
by will may be rendered nugatory.
arising from contract, express or implied, whether the same be
due, not due, or contingent, all claims for funeral expenses for the
It must be stressed that the probate proceeding had already acquired last sickness of the decedent, and judgment for money against the
jurisdiction over all the properties of the deceased, including the three (3) decedent, must be filed within the time limited in the notice;
tractors. To dispose of them in any way without the probate court’s otherwise they are barred forever, except that they may be set
approval is tantamount to divesting it with jurisdiction which the Court forth as counterclaims in any action that the executor or
cannot allow.Thus, in executing any joint agreement which appears to be administrator may bring against the claimants. Where an executor
in the nature of an extra-judicial partition, as in the case at bar, court or administrator commences an action, or prosecutes an action
approval is imperative, and the heirs cannot just divest the court of its already commenced by the deceased in his lifetime, the debtor
jurisdiction over that part of the estate. may set forth by answer the claims he has against the decedent,
instead of presenting them independently to the court as herein
2nd Issue: provided, and mutual claims may be set off against each other in
such action; and if final judgment is rendered in favor of the
The question that now comes to fore is whether the heirs’ defendant, the amount so determined shall be considered the true
assumption of the indebtedness of the decedent is binding. We rule balance against the estate, as though the claim had been
in the negative. Perusing the joint agreement, it provides that the presented directly before the court in the administration
heirs as parties thereto "have agreed to divide between themselves proceedings. Claims not yet due, or contingent, may be approved
and take possession and use the above-described chattel and each at their present value.
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The filing of a money claim against the decedent’s estate in the probate Civil Case No. 2570 is an action for quieting of title with damages which is an
court is mandatory. action involving real property. It is an action that survives pursuant to Section 1,
Rule 87 as the claim is not extinguished by the death of a party. And when a
Perusing the records of the case, nothing therein could hold private party dies in an action that survives, Section 17 of Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of
respondent Florence S. Ariola accountable for any liability incurred by her Court provides for the procedure, thus:
late father. The documentary evidence presented, particularly the
promissory notes and the continuing guaranty agreement, were executed Section 17. Death of Party. - After a party dies and the claim is not
and signed only by the late Efraim Santibañez and his son Edmund. As the thereby extinguished, the court shall order, upon proper notice, the
petitioner failed to file its money claim with the probate court, at most, it legal representative of the deceased to appear and to be substituted for
may only go after Edmund as co-maker of the decedent under the said the deceased, within a period of thirty (30) days, or within such time as
promissory notes and continuing guaranty, of course, subject to any may be granted. If the legal representative fails to appear within said
defenses Edmund may have as against the petitioner. time, the court may order the opposing party to procure the appointment
of a legal representative of the deceased within a time to be specified by
the court, and the representative shall immediately appear for and on
behalf of the interest of the deceased. The court charges involved in
procuring such appointment, if defrayed by the opposing party, may be
Saligumba vs Palanog
recovered as costs. The heirs of the deceased may be allowed to be
substituted for the deceased, without requiring the appointment of an
executor or administrator and the court may appoint guardian ad litem for
Facts: the minor heirs. (Emphasis supplied)

Monica Palanog, assisted by her husband Avelino Palanog (spouses Palanogs), Civil Case No. 2570 is an action for quieting of title with damages which is
filed a complaint for Quieting of Title with Damages against defendants, spouses an action involving real property. It is an action that survives pursuant to
Valeria Saligumba and Eliseo Saligumba, Sr. (spouses Saligumbas), before the Section 1, Rule 8716 as the claim is not extinguished by the death of a
Regional Trial Court. party. And when a party dies in an action that survives, Section 17 of Rule
3 of the Revised Rules of Court17 provides for the procedure, thus:
The RTC decided in favor of the spouses Palanogs. Monica Palanog (respondent),
now a widow, filed a Complaint seeking to revive and enforce the Decision.
Section 17. Death of Party. - After a party dies and the claim is not
Petitioner Generoso Saligumba, for himself and in representation of his brother
thereby extinguished, the court shall order, upon proper notice, the
Ernesto who was out of the country, filed an Answer, contending that the spouses
legal representative of the deceased to appear and to be substituted for
Saligumbas died while Civil Case No. 2570 was pending and no order of
the deceased, within a period of thirty (30) days, or within such time as
substitution was issued and hence, the trial was null and void.
may be granted. If the legal representative fails to appear within said
Issue: Whether or not the respondent may file a claim against the petitioners? time, the court may order the opposing party to procure the appointment
(Yes) of a legal representative of the deceased within a time to be specified by
the court, and the representative shall immediately appear for and on
Held: behalf of the interest of the deceased. The court charges involved in
procuring such appointment, if defrayed by the opposing party, may be
recovered as costs. The heirs of the deceased may be allowed to be
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substituted for the deceased, without requiring the appointment of an without a will and with no direct ascendants or descendants.Eleuterio claimed
executor or administrator and the court may appoint guardian ad litem for that he was Rosita’s nephew. Eleuterio submitted to the intestate court a list of
the minor heirs. (Emphasis supplied) the names of the decedent’s other nephews and nieces all of whom expressed
conformity to Eleuterio’s appointment as administrator of her estate.
Under the express terms of Section 17, in case of death of a party, and upon
proper notice, it is the duty of the court to order the legal representative or heir
of the deceased to appear for the deceased. In the instant case, it is true that the
In 1995 the RTC issued letters of administration appointing Eleuterio as Rosita’s
trial court, after receiving an informal notice of death by the mere notation in the
estate administrator.In 1996 he filed in his capacity as administrator a motion
envelopes, failed to order the appearance of the legal representative or heir of
with the court to compel the examination and production of documents relating
the deceased.
to properties believed to be a part of her estate, foremost of which was the Sta.
Teresita General Hospital that respondent Robert Ramirez (Robert) had been
It appears that Eliseo Saligumba, Sr. died on 18 February 1984 while managing.Robert claims, together with Raymond Ramirez (Raymond) and Lydia
Valeria Saligumba died on 2 February 1985. No motion for the substitution Ramirez (Lydia), that they were children of Adolfo by another woman. Robert
of the spouses was filed nor an order issued for the substitution of the opposed the issuance of the subpoena.
deceased spouses Saligumbas in Civil Case No. 2570. Atty. Miralles and
petitioner Eliseo Saligumba, Jr., despite notices sent to them to appear,
never confirmed the death of Eliseo Saligumba, Sr. and Valeria Saligumba.
The record is bereft of any evidence proving the death of the spouses, Subsequently, Robert filed a special civil action of certiorari before the Court of
except the mere notations in the envelopes enclosing the trial court’s Appeals (CA), imputing grave abuse of discretion by the RTC for allowing the
orders which were returned unserved. production and examination of the subject documents and for not inhibiting Atty.
Pacheo from the case. Essentially, the CA ruled that Eleuterio and Rosita’s other
Section 17 is explicit that the duty of the court to order the legal representative collateral relatives were not her heirs since she had an adopted child in Raymond
or heir to appear arises only "upon proper notice." The notation "Party-Deceased" and that, consequently, Eleuterio, et al. had no standing to request production of
on the unserved notices could not be the "proper notice" contemplated by the the hospital’s documents or to institute the petition for the settlement of her
rule. As the trial court could not be expected to know or take judicial notice of the estate.
death of a party without the proper manifestation from counsel, the trial court
was well within its jurisdiction to proceed as it did with the case. Moreover, there
is no showing that the court’s proceedings were tainted with irregularities.
Issue: Whether or not Eleuterio had a legal standing to subpoena the documents
in Robert’s possession? (Yes)

Rivera vs Ramirez
Held:
Facts: The spouses Adolfo Ramirez (Adolfo) and Rosita Rivera (Rosita) owned
the Sta. Teresita General Hospital and other properties. Rosita died in September
1990, followed by her husband Adolfo. In 1995 petitioner Eleuterio P. Rivera As for the right of the administrator of Rosita’s estate to the production
(Eleuterio) filed a petition for issuance of letters of administration with the and examination of the specified documents believed to be in Robert’s
Regional Trial Court (RTC) covering the estate of Rosita, who allegedly died possession, Section 6, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court provides that these

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can be allowed based on the administrator’s belief that the person named estate of the deceased. The procedure is inquisitorial in nature, designed as an
in the request for subpoena has documents in his possession that tend to economical and efficient mode of discovering properties of the estate.
show the decedent’s right to real or personal property. Thus:

Section 6. Proceedings when property concealed, embezzled, or


fraudulently conveyed. – If an executor or administrator, heir, legatee,
creditor, or other individual interested in the estate of the deceased,
complains to the court having jurisdiction of the estate that a person is
suspected of having concealed, embezzled, or conveyed away any of the Lopez vs Olbes
money, goods or chattels of the deceased, or that such person has in his
possession or has knowledge of any deed, conveyance, bond, contract or Facts:
other writing which contains evidence of or tends to disclose the right,
title, interest, or claim of the deceased to real or personal estate, or the On October 13, 1908, Ricardo Lopez et al. brought suit against Adolfo Olbes, the
last will and testament of the deceased, the Court may cite such testamentary executor of the deceased Martina Lopez (the mother of Ricardo and
suspected person to appear before it and may examine him on oath on grandmother of the other plaintiffs), alleging in their complaint that Martina
the matter of such complaint; and if the person so cited refuses to appear, executed a public instrument whereby she donated to plaintiffs a parcel of hemp
or to answer on such examination or such interrogatories as are put to land situated at the place called Ali, in the pueblo of Guinobatan, Albay and that
him, the court may punish him for contempt, and may commit him to the said Olbes, as executor, claimed to have rights of ownership and possession
prison until he submits to the order of the court. The interrogatories put to to the said land adverse to those then held by the plaintiffs, inasmuch as the said
any such person, and his answers thereto, shall be in writing and shall be estate still continued to belong to the deceased Martina Lopez and was then in
filed in the clerk’s office. (Emphasis supplied) charge of a trustee by virtue of an agreement had between the attorneys of the
executor and the plaintiff Ricardo, and of the order issued by the court in the
The production and examination is nothing to be afraid of since the aforesaid probate proceedings. The complaint concluded by asking that judgment
intestate court has no authority to decide who the decedent’s heirs are in be rendered in the latter’s favor and against the defendant for the ownership and
connection with such incident which is confined to the examination of possession of the said land.
documents which may aid the administrator in determining properties
believed to belong to the decedent’s estate. What is more, that court has The defendant filed a demurrer in writing alleging that the plaintiffs, as the heirs
no authority to decide the question of whether certain properties belong to or donees could not maintain any suit against the testamentary executor to
the estate or to the person sought to be examined. recover the title or possession of the land so long as the court had not
adjudicated the estate to them or until the time allowed for paying the debts
In fact, if after the examination the court has good reason to believe that the should have expired, unless they be given possession of the said land by the
person examined is in possession of properties that belong to the deceased, the executor. The trial court sustained the demurrer of the defendant and dismissed
administrator cannot detain the property. He has to file an ordinary action for the case.
recovery of the properties.The purpose of the production and examination of
documents is to elicit information or secure evidence from persons suspected of Issue:
having possession of, or knowledge of properties suspected of belonging to the Whether or not the plaintiffs have the right of ownership and possession over the
parcel of hemp land?

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Held: Apart from the respondents, the demise of the decedent left in mourning
Yes. The action exercised by Ricardo et al is based on the rights which as such his paramour and their children. They are petitioner Teodora Riofero, and
donees had acquired by virtue of the donation inter vivos made by Martina Lopez co-petitioners Veronica, Alberto and Rowena.
during her lifetime on favor of plaintiffs by an instrument the donor, a donation
expressly accepted on the same date by the donees and of which acceptance the Respondents Alfonso James and Lourdes Orfinada discovered that on June
donor was also informed on the same date; wherefore, these requirements of the 29, 1995, petitioner Teodora Rioferio and her children executed an
law having been complied with, it is unquestionable that the dominion over the Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate of a Deceased Person with Quitclaim
land donated was properly transmitted to the donees who in fact and by involving the properties of the estate of the decedent.
operation of law acquired the ownership of the property, as customarily occurs in
all contracts of transfer of dominion. Respondents filed a Complaint for the Annulment/Rescission of Extra
Judicial Settlement of Estate of a Deceased Person with Quitclaim, Real
Property of the testate estate of the deceased Martina Lopez is not here Estate Mortgage with Damages against petitioners.
concerned. During her lifetime she gave away the land mentioned, in the exercise
pertained to her as owner. By virtue of the said donation the sole and true
Petitioners also raised the affirmative defense that respondents are not
owners of the land donated are the plaintiffs, so long as said donation is not
the real parties-in-interest but rather the Estate of Alfonso O. Orfinada, Jr.
proven null, inefficacious, or irregular. All the questions which by reason of the
in view of the pendency of the administration proceedings.The petitioners
same are raised by the interested parties must be heard in a regular trial and
filed a Motion to Set Affirmative Defenses for Hearing.
decided by a final judgment absolutely independent of the probate proceedings
concerning the estate of the deceased, who was the previous owner of the land
concerned; and therefore the complaint of the donees should not have been The lower court denied the motion in its Order dated June 27, 1996, on
dismissed, but the trial should have been proceeded with to final judgment. the ground that respondents, as heirs, are the real parties-in-interest
especially in the absence of an administrator who is yet to be appointed.
Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision affirming the RTC
decision.
Rioferio vs CA

Issue: Whether or not the heirs may bring a suit involving the estate of
the deceased pending the appointment of an administrator? (Yes)
Facts:
Held:

Alfonso P. Orfinada, Jr. died without a will leaving several personal and real Even if administration proceedings have already been commenced, the
properties. He also left a widow, respondent Esperanza P. Orfinada. and with heirs may still bring the suit if an administrator has not yet been
whom he had seven children who are the herein respondents, namely: Lourdes P. appointed. This is the proper modality despite the total lack of advertence
Orfinada, Alfonso "Clyde" P. Orfinada, Nancy P. Orfinada-Happenden, Alfonso to the heirs in the rules on party representation, namely Section 3, Rule 3
James P. Orfinada, Christopher P. Orfinada, Alfonso Mike P. Orfinada (deceased) and Section 2, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court. In fact, in the case of
and Angelo P. Orfinada. Gochan v. Young,28 this Court recognized the legal standing of the heirs to
represent the rights and properties of the decedent under administration
pending the appointment of an administrator. Thus:
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The above-quoted rules,29 while permitting an executor or administrator to
represent or to bring suits on behalf of the deceased, do not prohibit the
heirs from representing the deceased. These rules are easily The complainant Constancia Amar requested assistance relative to Special
applicable to cases in which an administrator has already been Proceedings No. 28, entitled "Intestate Estate of Spouses Dioscoro & Emperatriz
appointed. But no rule categorically addresses the situation in Rubin," assigned to Judge Jose Y. Aguirre.
which special proceedings for the settlement of an estate have
already been instituted, yet no administrator has been appointed. Complainant states that she obtained a favorable decision for wage
In such instances, the heirs cannot be expected to wait for the differentials in a labor case. A writ of execution was issued by the NLRC
appointment of an administrator; then wait further to see if the against the Estate of Spouses Rubin. In relation thereto, in Special
administrator appointed would care enough to file a suit to protect the Proceedings No. 28, respondent judge issued an order directing the
rights and the interests of the deceased; and in the meantime do nothing judicial administrator of the Estate of Spouses Rubin to settle Amar's
while the rights and the properties of the decedent are violated or claim.
dissipated.
Subsequently the complainant filed a motion for the issuance of an order
Even if there is an appointed administrator, jurisprudence recognizes two of contempt against the judicial administrator, Feliciano Rubin, for not
exceptions, viz: (1) if the executor or administrator is unwilling or refuses heeding the court order. Respondent judge failed to resolve the motion for
to bring suit;30 and (2) when the administrator is alleged to have more than three years. Suspecting a possible collusion between
participated in the act complained of31 and he is made a party respondent judge and the judicial administrator, complainant sought the
defendant.32 Evidently, the necessity for the heirs to seek judicial relief to assistance of the Office of the Court Administrator.
recover property of the estate is as compelling when there is no appointed
administrator, if not more, as where there is an appointed administrator Respondent judge, in his letter, explained that the court could not direct
but he is either disinclined to bring suit or is one of the guilty parties the sheriff to sell the property of the estate for being inconsistent with
himself. Section 3, Rule 88, of the Rules of Court.

All told, therefore, the rule that the heirs have no legal standing to sue for The OCA ruled stating that Judge Aguirre is correct when he said that
the recovery of property of the estate during the pendency of Amar's motion to order the sheriff to sell in public auction or to mortgage
administration proceedings has three exceptions, the third being when the properties of the estate is contrary to law. The motion contravenes
there is no appointed administrator such as in this case. Section 3, Rule 88 of the Revised Rules of Court which specifically
provides that it is only the executor or administrator of the estate whom
the court may authorize to dispose of the properties of the estate so that
the proceeds of the sale or mortgage may be applied to its obligations.
REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE RELATIVE TO SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS However, Judge Aguirre still has the duty to resolve the motion within the
NO. 28 PENDING AT REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF HIMAMAYLAN, 90-day reglementary period. What he should have done was simply to
NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, BRANCH 55, PRESIDED BY JUDGE JOSE Y. deny the motion on the ground that it is contrary to law.
AGUIRRE, JR.

Facts:
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Issue: Whether or not the act of Judge Aguirre in failing to resolve the Respondent Philippine National Bank (PNB) and Agustin executed an
motion by virtue of Sec 3, Rule 88 is valid? (No) Amendment of Real and Chattel Mortgages with Assumption of
Obligation. It appears that earlier, or on December 14, 1972, the intestate court
Held: approved the mortgage to PNB of certain assets of the estate to secure an
obligation. Agustin signed the document in behalf of the estate of Melitona.
The motion to cite the judicial administrator for contempt was never
resolved by respondent judge. The explanation that he could not grant the Meanwhile, the obligation secured by mortgages on the subject properties
motion because the judicial administrator was sickly certainly is no of the estate was never satisfied hence mortgagor PNB filed a petition for
excuse. The motion to require the sheriff to sell or mortgage the real the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage.
properties of the estate was also not resolved by respondent judge,
stating that to grant the motion would be contrary to Section 3, Rule 88, The petitioners Josephine and Eleanor, together with their sister Susana,
of the Revised Rules of Court. If respondent judge indeed felt so, then he filed their complaint for Nullification of Mortgage Contracts and
should have forthwith issued an order denying the motion instead of Foreclosure Proceedings and Damages against Agustin and PNB.
allowing the motion to remain unresolved.
It is petitioners’ posture that the mortgage contracts entered into by
WHEREFORE, for his failure to timely resolve the two pending incidents in Agustin with respondent PNB, as well as his subsequent sale of estate
Special Proceedings No. 28, Judge Jose Y. Aguirre of the Regional Trial properties to PLEI and Arguna are void because they [petitioners] never
Court of Himamaylan, Negros Occidental, Branch 55 is meted a FINE consented thereto. They assert that as heirs of their mother Melitona,
they are entitled to notice of Agustin's several petitions in the intestate
court seeking authority to mortgage and sell estate properties. Without
such notice,which the 4 orders that allowed Agustin to mortgage and sell
estate properties, are void on account of Agustin’s non-compliance with
Pahamotang vs PNB
the mandatory requirements of Rule 89 of the Rules of Court.

Facts: Issue: Whether or not petitioners can obtain relief from the effects of
contracts of sale and mortgage entered into by Agustin without first
initiating a direct action against the orders of the intestate court
authorizing the challenged contracts.(Yes)
Melitona Pahamotang died. She was survived by her husband Agustin
Pahamotang, and their eight (8) children.Agustin filed with the then Court of Held:
First Instance of Davao City a petition for issuance of letters administration over
the estate of his deceased wife.In his petition, Agustin identified petitioners
The action filed by the petitioners before the trial court is for the
Josephine and Eleonor as among the heirs of his deceased spouse. It appears
annulment of several contracts entered into by Agustin for and in behalf of
that Agustin was appointed petitioners' judicial guardian.The intestate court
the estate of Melitona, namely: (a) contract of mortgage in favor of
issued an order granting Agustin’s petition.
respondent PNB, (b) contract of sale in favor of Arguna involving seven
(7) parcels of land; and (c) contract of sale of a parcel of land in favor of
PLEI.
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The trial court acquired jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case "Sec. 4. When court may authorize sale of estate as beneficial to
upon the allegations in the complaint that said contracts were entered into interested persons. Disposal of proceeds. - When it appears that
despite lack of notices to the heirs of the petition for the approval of those the sale of the whole or a part of the real or personal estate, will be
contracts by the intestate court. beneficial to the heirs, devisees, legatees, and other interested
persons, the court may, upon application of the executor or
In the exercise of its jurisdiction, the trial court made a factual administrator and on written notice to the heirs, devisees and
finding in its decision that petitioners were, in fact, not notified by legatees who are interested in the estate to be sold, authorize the
their father Agustin of the filing of his petitions for permission to executor or administrator to sell the whole or a part of said estate,
mortgage/sell the estate properties. The trial court made the although not necessary to pay debts, legacies, or expenses of
correct conclusion of law that the challenged orders of the intestate administration; but such authority shall not be granted if
court granting Agustin’s petitions were null and void for lack of inconsistent with the provisions of a will. In case of such sale, the
compliance with the mandatory requirements of Rule 89 of the proceeds shall be assigned to the persons entitled to the estate in
Rules of Court, particularly Sections 2, 4, 7 thereof, which the proper proportions".
respectively read:
"Sec. 7. Regulations for granting authority to sell, mortgage, or
"Sec. 2. When court may authorize sale, mortgage, or other otherwise encumber estate. - The court having jurisdiction of the
encumbrance of realty to pay debts and legacies through estate of the deceased may authorize the executor or administrator
personalty not exhausted. - When the personal estate of the to sell personal estate, or to sell, mortgage, or otherwise encumber
deceased is not sufficient to pay the debts, expenses of real estate; in cases provided by these rules and when it appears
administration, and legacies, or where the sale of such personal necessary or beneficial, under the following regulations:
estate may injure the business or other interests of those
interested in the estate, and where a testator has not otherwise (a) The executor or administrator shall file a written petition setting
made sufficient provision for the payment of such debts, expenses, forth the debts due from the deceased, the expenses of
and legacies, the court, on the application of the executor or administration, the legacies, the value of the personal estate, the
administrator and on written notice to the heirs, devisees, and situation of the estate to be sold, mortgaged, or otherwise
legatees residing in the Philippines, may authorize the executor or encumbered, and such other facts as show that the sale,
administrator to sell, mortgage, or otherwise encumber so much as mortgage, or other encumbrance is necessary or beneficial;
may be necessary of the real estate, in lieu of personal estate, for
the purpose of paying such debts, expenses, and legacies, if it (b) The court shall thereupon fix a time and place for hearing such
clearly appears that such sale, mortgage, or encumbrance would petition, and cause notice stating the nature of the petition, the
be beneficial to the persons interested; and if a part cannot be reason for the same, and the time and place of hearing, to be
sold, mortgaged, or otherwise encumbered without injury to those given personally or by mail to the persons interested, and may
interested in the remainder, the authority may be for the sale, cause such further notice to be given, by publication or otherwise,
mortgage, or other encumbrance of the whole of such real estate, as it shall deem proper; (Emphasis supplied)".
or so much thereof as is necessary or beneficial under the
circumstances". xxx xxx xxx

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Settled is the rule in this jurisdiction that when an order authorizing the Held:
sale or encumbrance of real property was issued by the testate or
intestate court without previous notice to the heirs, devisees and legatees
as required by the Rules, it is not only the contract itself which is null and
void but also the order of the court authorizing the same. The alleged authority given by SILVERIO, SR. for Nelia S. Silverio-Dee to occupy
the property is null and void since the possession of estate property can only be
given to a purported heir by virtue of an Order from this Court (see Sec. 1 Rule
90. In fact, the Executor or Administrator shall have the right to the possession
and management of the real as well as the personal estate of the deceased only
when it is necessary for the payment of the debts and expenses of
administration.
Silverio vs CA and Silverio-Dee
With this in mind, it is without an iota of doubt that the possession by
Nelia S. Silverio-Dee of the property in question has absolutely no legal
basis considering that her occupancy cannot pay the debts and expenses
Facts: