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12. CYNTHIA C. ALABAN, et al. Petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and FRANCISCO H. PROVIDO, Respondents. [G.R. No.

156021, September 23, 2005, TINGA, J.:] FACTS: 1. respondent Francisco Provido filed a petition for the probate of the Last Will and Testament of the late Soledad Provido Elevencionado a. ALLEGATION: he was the heir of the decedent and the executor of her will. b. RTCs RULING: allowed the probate of the will and directed the issuance of letters testamentary to respondent 2. Petitioners after 4 months filed a motion for the reopening of the probate proceedings a. CLAIMs: 1) they are the intestate heirs of the decedent. 2) RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over the petition due to non-payment of the correct docket fees, defective publication, and lack of notice to the other heirs. 3) will could not have been probated because: a) the signature of the decedent was forged; b) the will was not executed in accordance with law, that is, the witnesses failed to sign below the attestation clause; c) the decedent lacked testamentary capacity to execute and publish a will; d) the will was executed by force and under duress and improper pressure; e) the decedent had no intention to make a will at the time of affixing of her signature; and f) she did not know the properties to be disposed of, having included in the will properties which no longer belonged to her. b. RTCs Ruling: denied motion 1) petitioners were deemed notified of the hearing by publication and that the deficiency in the payment of docket fees is not a ground for the outright dismissal of the petition. 2) RTCs Decision was already final and executory even before petitioners filing of the motion to reopen 3. Petitioners filed a petition to annule RTCs decision a. CLAIM: there was a compromise agreement between petitioners and respondents and they learnt the probate proceeding only in July 2001 b. CAs RULING: petition dismissed 1) no showing that petitioners failed to avail of or resort to the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief from judgment, or other appropriate remedies through no fault of their own ISSUE: W/N the allowance of the will to probate should be annulled for failure to mention the petitioners as parties HELD: No 1. Probate of a will is considered action in rem a. Under the Rules of Court, any executor, devisee, or legatee named in a will, or any other person interested in the estate may, at any time after the death of the testator, petition the court having jurisdiction to have the will allowed. [36] Notice of the time and place for proving the will must be published for three (3) consecutive weeks, in a newspaper of general circulation in the province, [37] as well as furnished to the designated or other known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator b. Petitioners became parties due to the publication of the notice of hearing 2. The filing of motion to reopen is similar to a motion for new trial a. The ruling became final and executor because the motion was filed out of time b. Given that they knew of the decision 4 months after they could have filed a petition for relief from judgment after the denial of their motion to reopen. 3. petition for annulment of judgment must still fail for failure to comply with the substantive requisites, a. An action for annulment of judgment is a remedy in law independent of the case where the judgment sought to be annulled was rendered b. PURPOSE: to have the final and executory judgment set aside so that there will be a renewal of litigation.

c. 2 Grounds: extrinsic fraud, and lack of jurisdiction or denial of due process d. An action to annul a final judgment on the ground of fraud lies only if the fraud is extrinsic or collateral in character i. Extrinsic if it prevents a party from having a trial or from presenting his entire case to the court, or where it operates upon matters pertaining not to the judgment itself but to the manner in which it is procured. 4. notice is required to be personally given to known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator a. the will states that the respondent was instituted as the sole heir of the decedent thus he has no legal obligation to mention petitioners in the petition for probate or personally notify them