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G.R. NO. 128314. May 29, 2002.

Petitioner (Rodolfo Jao) and Private Respondent (Perico Jao) were the sons of the deceased Spouses Ignacio
and Andrea Jao who died intestate in 1988 and 1989.
Private respondent filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration in the RTC of Quezon City over the
estate of his parents. Pending the appointment of a regular administrator, private respondent Perico moved that he be
appointed as special administrator, alleging that petitioner Rodolfo was dissipating the assets of the estate. Petitioner
moved for the dismissal of the petition on the ground of improper venue. He alleged that his parents did not reside in
Quezon City during their lifetime but in Angeles City, Pampanga. He submitted documentary evidence showing that his
deceased parents were residents of Angeles City, Pampanga.
Private respondent Perico countered that his parents resides in Quezon City and in fact, actually resided in
petitioner’s house as shown in the death certificate presented before the court. Petitioner argued that his parents stay in
Quezon City was merely transitory and that the death certificates could not be deemed conclusive evidence of the
decedents’ residence.
The trial court ruled in favor of private respondent Perico. The CA affirmed in toto the trial court’s decision. Hence,
this petition.

Issue: Whether or not the settlement proceeding was properly laid in Quezon City.

Yes. The settlement proceeding was properly laid in Quezon City.
As provided for under the Rules of Court, the estate of an inhabitant of the Philippines shall be settled or letters of
administration granted in the proper court located in the province where the decedent resides at the time of his death.
The Rules of Court refers to residence at the time of death, not to the permanent residence or domicile. In the
case of Garcia-Fule vs CA, it was held that the term resides connotes ex vi termini “actual residence” as distinguished
from legal residence or domicile. xxx resides should be viewed or understood in its popular sense, meaning the personal,
actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence or place of abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and
actual stay thereat. In this popular sense, the term means merely residence, that is, personal residence, not legal
residence or domicile. Residence simply requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place, while domicile
requires bodily presence and also an intention to make it one’s domicile. No particular length of time is required; however,
the residence must me more than temporary.
In the case at bar, it was found that the decedents’ have been living in Quezon City at the time of their death and
some time prior thereto, and as was also shown in the death certificate presented by private respondent. Thus, the venue
for the settlement of the decedents’ intestate was properly laid in the Quezon City.