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Conde vs. Abaya 13 Phil 240 FACTS: Casiano Abaya, unmarried, died intestate.

Paula Conde alleged that she is the mother of Jose and Teopista, who are natural children of Casiano and she moved for the settlement of Casianos estate. Roman Abaya on the other hand moved that he be declared as the sole heir of Casiano. Trial court ruled that Roman should recognized Jose and Teopista as being natural children of Casiano, and Paula should succeed as the mother of the deceased natural children. ISSUE: WON Paula may bring an action for acknowledgment of the natural filiation of the children. HELD: No, she cannot. Article 776 of the Civil Code applies. The right of action that devolves upon the child to claim his legitimacy lasts during his whole life, while the right to claim acknowledgment of a natural child lasts only during the life of his presumed parents. The right of action which the law concedes to this natural child is not transmitted to his descendants or ascendants. Since the presumed parents as well as the natural children are already dead, the mother of that natural children can no longer bring an action for acknowledgment. Pamplona vs. Moreto 96 SCRA 775 FACTS: Flaviano Moreto and Monica Maniega were husband and wife with 6 children. During their marriage, they acquired adjacent lots Nos. 1495, 4545, and 1496.Monica Maniega died intestate. More than (6) years after, Flaviano Moreto, without the consent of the heirs of his said deceased wife, and before any liquidation of the conjugal partnership, executed in favor of Geminiano Pamplona, the deed of absolute sale covering lot No.1495 for P900.00.The spouses Geminiano Pamplona and Apolonia Onte constructed their house on the eastern part of lot 1496 as Flaviano Moreto, at the time of the sale, pointed to it as the land which he sold to Geminiano Pamplona. Flaviano Moreto died intestate. In 1961, the plaintiffs demanded on the defendants to vacate the premises on the ground that Flaviano Moreto had no right to sell the lot which he sold to Geminiano Pamplona as the same belongs to the conjugal partnership of Flaviano and his deceased wife. The spouses Pamplona refused to vacate hence, this suit was instituted seeking for the declaration of the nullity of the deed of sale as regards one-half of the property subject matter of said deed. ISSUE: Whether petitioners are entitled to the full ownership of the property in litigation, or only one-half of the same. RULING: The three lots have a total area of 2,346 sq. meters. It is therefore, clear that the three lots constitute one big land. They are not separate properties located indifferent places but they abut each other. And since Flaviano Moreto was entitled to one-half pro-indiviso of the entire land area or 1,173 sq. meters as his share, he had a perfect legal and lawful right to dispose of 781 sq. meters of his share to the Pamplona spouses. Moreover, private respondents, as heirs are duty-bound to comply with the provisions of Articles 1458 and1495, Civil Code, which is the obligation of the vendor of the property of delivering and transferring the ownership of the whole property sold, which is transmitted on his death to his heirs, the herein private respondents. Under Article 776, New Civil Code, the inheritance which private respondents received from their deceased parents and/or predecessors-ininterest included all the property rights and obligations which were not extinguished by their parents' death. People vs. Umali G.R. NO. 84450 FACTS: A case for violation of the Dangerous Drug Act was filed before RTC of Lucena City against Francisco Manalo by the operatives of Tiaong, Quezon Police Department. Aside from said case, accused Francisco Manalo was likewise facing other charges such as concealment of deadly weapon and other crimes against property. Pat. Felino Noguerra went to the Tiaong Municipal Jail, and sought the help of Francisco Manalo and told him the social and pernicious effect of prohibited drugs like marijuana being peddled to minors of Tiaong, Quezon. Manalo although a detention prisoner was touched by the appeal made to him by the policeman and agreed to help in the

identification of the source of the marijuana. In return he asked the policeman to help him in some cases pending against him. He did not negotiate his case for violating the dangerous drug act, as he has entered a plea of guilty to the charged (sic) before the sala of Judge Eriberto Rosario. With the consent of Francisco Manalo, Pfc. Sarmiento, Chief of the Investigation Division gave him four (4) marked P5.00 bills to buy marijuana from sources known to him. The instruction was (sic) for Manalo to bring back the prohibited drug purchased by him to the police headquarters. Few minutes there after ( sic), Manalo returned with two (2) foils of dried marijuana which lie allegedly bought from the accused Gloria Umali. Thereafter, he was asked by the police investigators to give a statement on the manner and circumstances of how he was able to purchase two (2) marijuana foils from accused Gloria Umali. With the affidavit of Francisco Manalo, supported by the two (2) foils of marijuana. the Chief of the Investigation Division petitioned the Court for the issuance of a search warrant as a justification for them to search the house of Gloria Umali located at Rector ( sic) Street. Poblacion, Tiaong, Quezon. After securing the same, the police operatives, went to the house of Gloria Umali and served the search warrant on her. Confiscated from the person of Gloria Umali were the four P5.00 bills with serial numbers BA26943, DT388005, CC582000 and EW69873, respectively as reflected in the police blotter. Likewise, present in the four (4) P5.00 bills were the letters T which were placed by the police investigators to further identify the marked four (4) P5.00 bills. The searched (sic) in the house was made in the presence of Brgy. Capt. Punzalan. The search resulted in the confiscation of a can of milo, containing sixteen (16) foils of dried marijuana leaves which were placed in a tupperware and kept in the kitchen where rice was being stored. Consequently, Gloria Umali was charged for violation of Section 4, Article 1 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, and after trial was found guilty of the said crime. Meanwhile, in the criminal case where Francisco Manalo was charged of having in his possession Indian Hemp on April 5, 1985, in violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, the trial court found him guilty of the crime of illegal possession of marijuana. Umali contends that witness Francisco Manalo is not reputed to be trustworthy and reliable and that his words should not be taken on its face value. Furthermore, he stressed that said witness has several charges in court and because of his desire to have some of his cases dismissed, he was likely to tell falsehood. ISSUE: WON Umalis contention tenable? RULING: No. Rule 130, Section 20 of the Revised Rules of Court provides that: Except as provided in the next succeeding section, all persons who can perceive, and perceiving can make known their perception to others may be witnesses. Religious or political belief, interest in the outcome of the case, or conviction of a crime unless otherwise provided by law, shall not be a ground for disqualification. The phrase "conviction of a crime unless otherwise provided by law" takes into account Article 821 of the Civil Code which states that persons 91 convicted of falsification of a document, perjury or false testimony" are disqualified from being witnesses to a will." Since the witness Francisco Manalo is not convicted of any of the above-mentioned crimes to disqualify him as a witness and this case does not involve the probate of a will, We rule that the fact that said witness is facing several criminal charges when he testified did not in any way disqualify him as a witness. The testimony of a witness should be given full faith and credit, in the absence of evidence that he was actuated by improper motive. Hence, in the absence of any evidence that witness Francisco Manalo was actuated by improper motive, his testimony must be accorded full credence.

Dolar v. Diancin G. R. No. 3365 December 20, 1930 Facts: Deceased Paulino Diancin executed a will on November 13, 1927, wherein he disposed of an estate equivalent to approximately P50,000. His will was denied probate in the CFI (now RTC) of Iloilo on the sole ground that the thumbmarks which appeared thereon were not the thumbmarks of the testator. It was found that the thumb impressions were blurred and the experts opinions on the matter gave varying results. The proponents of the will appealed and presented as evidence a document of sale containing an admittedly genuine thumbmark of the testator. Issue: Whether or not the will of deceased Diancin should be admitted to probate. Ruling: Yes. The Supreme Court ruled that the will of Diancin should be admitted to probate. The requirement of the law that the will should be signed is satisfied not only by customary written signature but also by the testators thumbmark. Expert testimony as to the identity of the thumbmark is also admissible. But when there is difficulty in tracing the features of the thumbmark, other means of approach should also be made. With regard to this, the three instrumental witnesses are unified in testifying concerning the circumstances surrounding the execution of the will. It was found that Diosdado Dominado was present during the execution of the will and declared positively that the same was prepared by him for the testators signature. The Court, having found this testimony as worthy of credit, reversed the lower courts decision and ordered the admission of the will to probate. Yap Tua vs. Yap Ca Kuan G.R. NO. 6845 FACTS: It appears from the record that on the 23d day of August, 1909, one Perfecto Gabriel, representing the petitioner, Yap Tua, presented a petition in the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila, asking that the will of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong be admitted to probate, as the last will and testament of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong, deceased. It appears that the said Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong died in the city of Manila on the 11th day of August, 1909. Accompanying said petition and attached thereto was the alleged will of the deceased. It appears that the will was signed by the deceased, as well as Anselmo Zacarias, Severo Tabora, and Timoteo Paez. After hearing the foregoing witnesses, the Honorable A. S. Crossfield, judge, on the 29th day of September, 1909, ordered that the last will and testament of Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong be allowed and admitted to probate. The will was attached to the record and marked Exhibit A. The court further ordered that one Yap Tua be appointed as executor of the will, upon the giving of a bond, the amount of which was to be fixed later. From the record it appears that no further proceedings were had until the 28th of February, 1910, when Yap Ca Kuan and Yap Ca Llu appeared and presented a petition, alleging that they were interested in the matters of the said will and desired to intervene and asked that a guardian ad litem be appointed to represent them in the cause. On the 1st day of March, 1910, the court appointed Gabriel La O as guardian ad litem of said parties. Gabriel La O accepted said appointment, took the oath of office and entered upon the performance of his duties as guardian ad litem of said parties. On the 2d day of March, 1910, the said Gabriel La O appeared in court and presented a motion in which he alleged, in substance: That the will dated the 11th day of August, 1909, and admitted to probate by order of the court on the 29th day of September, 1909, was null, for the following reason, among others:

(a) Because the same had not been authorized nor signed by the witnesses as the law prescribes. ISSUE: WON the court erred in declaring that the will was executed in accordance with the law? RULING: During the trial of the cause the protestants made a strong effort to show that Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong did not sign her name in the presence of the witnesses and that they did not sign their names in their presence nor in the presence of each other. Upon that question there is considerable conflict of proof. An effort was made to show that the will was signed by the witnesses in one room and by Tomasa in another. A plan of the room or rooms in which the will was signed was presented as proof and it was shown that there was but one room; that one part of the room was one or two steps below the floor of the other; that the table on which the witnesses signed the will was located upon the lower floor of the room. It was also shown that from the bed in which Tomasa was lying, it was possible for her to see the table on which the witnesses signed the will. While the rule is absolute that one who makes a will must sign the same in the presence of the witnesses and that the witnesses must sign in the presence of each other, as well as in the presence of the one making the will, yet, nevertheless, the actual seeing of the signatures made is not necessary. It is sufficient if the signatures are made where it is possible for each of the necessary parties, if they desire to see, may see the signatures placed upon the will. In cases like the present where there is so much conflict in the proof, it is very difficult for the courts to reach conclusions that are absolutely free from doubt. Great weight must be given by appellate courts who do not see or hear the witnesses, to the conclusions of the trial courts who had that opportunity. Upon a full consideration of the record, we find that a preponderance of the proof shows that Tomasa Elizaga Yap Caong did execute, freely and voluntarily, while she was in the right use of all her faculties, the will dated August 11, 1909 (Exhibit A). Therefore the judgment of the lower court admitting said will to probate is hereby affirmed with costs. Avera v. Garcia G. R. No. 15566 September 14, 1921 Facts: Eutiquia Avera instituted the proceedings for the probate of the will of one Esteban Garcia. Contest to the admission of the will to probate was made by Marino Garcia and Juan Rodriguez. During the trial, Avera introduced one of the three witnesses, who testified that the will was executed with the formalities required by law, and that the testator was in full possession of disposing faculties. Two of the witnesses were not produced, nor was their absence accounted for. The will was admitted to probate by the judge, ruling that the testator was of sound mind and that the will had been properly executed. Garcia and Rodriguez interposed their appeal, contending that the will should not be admitted since only one of the three witnesses was presented, as there is an opposition to the probate of the will and that the will is invalid because the signatures were placed on the right margins of each page, instead of the left. Issue: Whether or not the will of Esteban Garcia should be admitted to probate. Ruling: Yes. Ruling on the contention as to the presentation of only one witness instead of all three during the trial, the Supreme Court ruled that despite want of explanation made at the trial as to why all three witnesses were not produced, such issue was contested only on the very day of the trial, April 5, 1919, despite the fact that the case has been pending since December 21, 1917. The court further said that it was probable that the counsel for the proponent, in good faith, believed that the probate would not be contested. Hence, he went to court with only one

of the three attesting witnesses at hand. The reason for not reversing the rule of the lower court was because this issue was not raised in the lower court by the appellant. Ruling on the issue of the signatures being on the right margin of each page instead of left, the Court said that a will otherwise properly executed in accordance with the requirements of existing law is not rendered invalid by the fact that the marginal signatures of the testator and attesting witnesses appear in the right margin instead of left. The court further said that the deviation must be considered trivial to invalidate the instrument. Nayve v. Mojal G. R. No. 21755 December 29, 1924 Facts: The case involves a probate proceeding of the will of the deceased Antonio Mojal, which was instituted by his surviving spouse Filomena Nayve. The probate proceeding was opposed to by Leona Mojal and Luciana Aguilar, sister and niece, respectively, of the deceased. The following defects in the will were raised: (1) the fact that the will was not signed by the testator and the witnesses on each and every sheet of the left margin; (2) the fact of the sheets of the document not having been paged with letters; (3) the fact that the attestation clause does not state the number of sheets or pages actually used of the will; and (4) the fact that the testator does not appear to have signed all the sheets in the presence of the three witnesses and the latter to have attested and signed all the sheets in the presence of the testator and of each other. Issue: Whether or not the will of the deceased Antonio Mojal should be admitted to probate. Ruling: Yes. Ruling on the first defect, the Supreme Court held that the will is valid because the will contains the signature of the testator and the witnesses on each and every page, notwithstanding the fact that said signatures do not appear on the left margin. This defect does not invalidate the will. Ruling on the second defect, the Court ruled that the use of Arabic numerals and not with letter just as valid and within the spirit of the law. Ruling on the third defect, the Court ruled that the number of sheets is stated in the last paragraph of the will. And ruling on the fourth and last defect, the Court ruled that the attestation clause revealed that the testator signed the will in the presence of each of the witnesses and the latter signed in the presence of each other and of the testator. Hence, the fact that the testator and witnesses signed each and every page of the will is proven by the mere examination of the signatures found in the will, the omission to expressly state such evident fact does not invalidate the will nor will it prevent the probate proceedings. Testate Estate of Pilapil v. CA 72 Phil 546 Facts: Father Eleuterio Pilapil is a parish priest of Mualboal, Cebu. His brother Calixto Pilapil moved to be appointed as administrator of his estate and subsequently for the legalization of the priest's last will and testament. However, the said will is contested on the ground that the priest is of old age and hence incompetent to make a will, that it was not proven that he speaks Spanish and that the will has not been prepared, signed and witnessed in accordance with Article 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Issue: Whether or not the will is valid.

Held: The purpose of the law to establish the formalities required authenticity is undoubtedly ensure and guarantee their authenticity against bad faith and fraud, to prevent those who have no right of succession to the testator, and win-win will happen with the legalization of same. It has fulfilled that purpose in the event that there has been talk that, in the same body of the will and in the same page where it appears the attestation clause, or one third, it expresses the will consists of three pages and because each one of the first two takes in hand the note in letters, and in part and second pages of it. These facts clearly excludes all fear, suspicion, or any hint of doubt has been replaced some of its pages to another. Testate Estate of Abada v. Abaja 450 SCRA 264 FACTS: Abada died sometime in May 1940.4 His widow Paula Toray ("Toray") died sometime in September 1943. Both died without legitimate children Alipio C. Abaja ("Alipio") filed with the then Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental (now RTC-Kabankalan) a petition,5 docketed as SP No. 070 (313-8668), for the probate of the last will and testament ("will") of Abada. Abada allegedly named as his testamentary heirs his natural children Eulogio Abaja ("Eulogio") and Rosario Cordova. Alipio is the son of Eulogio. Nicanor Caponong ("Caponong") opposed the petition on the ground that Abada left no will when he died in 1940. Caponong further alleged that the will, if Abada really executed it, should be disallowed for the following reasons: (1) it was not executed and attested as required by law; (2) it was not intended as the last will of the testator; and (3) it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of the beneficiaries. On 13 September 1968, Alipio filed another petition6 before the RTC-Kabankalan, docketed as SP No. 071 (3128669), for the probate of the last will and testament of Toray. Caponong, Joel Abada, et al., and Levi Tronco, et al. opposed the petition on the same grounds they cited in SP No. 070 (313-8668). In an Order dated 14 August 1981, the RTC-Kabankalan admitted to probate the will of Toray. Since the oppositors did not file any motion for reconsideration, the order allowing the probate of Torays will became final and executory.8 In an order dated 23 November 1990, the RTC-Kabankalan designated Belinda Caponong-Noble ("CaponongNoble") Special Administratrix of the estate of Abada and Toray.9 Caponong-Noble moved for the dismissal of the petition for probate of the will of Abada. The RTC-Kabankalan denied the motion in an Order dated 20 August 1991 RTC-Kabankalan rendered a Resolution dated 22 June 1994, as follows: There having been sufficient notice to the heirs as required by law; that there is substantial compliance with the formalities of a Will as the law directs and that the petitioner through his testimony and the deposition of Felix Gallinero was able to establish the regularity of the execution of the said Will and further, there being no evidence of bad faith and fraud, or substitution of the said Will, the Last Will and Testament of Alipio Abada dated June 4, 1932 is admitted and allowed probate. The RTC-Kabankalan ruled on the only issue raised by the oppositors in their motions to dismiss the petition for probate, that is, whether the will of Abada has an attestation clause as required by law. The RTC-Kabankalan further held that the failure of the oppositors to raise any other matter forecloses all other issues. Not satisfied with the Resolution, Caponong-Noble filed a notice of appeal

The appellate court found that the RTC-Kabankalan properly admitted to probate the will of Abada. Hence, the present recourse by Caponong-Noble. ISSUES: 1) What laws apply to the probate of the last will of Abada; 2) Whether the will of Abada has an attestation clause, and if so, whether the attestation clause complies with the requirements of the applicable laws; 3) Whether evidence aliunde may be resorted to in the probate of the will of Abada. HELD: 1) Abada executed his will on 4 June 1932. The laws in force at that time are the Civil Code of 1889 or the Old Civil Code, and Act No. 190 or the Code of Civil Procedure 2) A scrutiny of Abadas will shows that it has an attestation clause Caponong-Noble proceeds to point out several defects in the attestation clause. Caponong-Noble alleges that the attestation clause fails to state the number of pages on which the will is written. The allegation has no merit. The phrase "en el margen izquierdo de todas y cada una de las dos hojas de que esta compuesto el mismo" which means "in the left margin of each and every one of the two pages consisting of the same" shows that the will consists of two pages. The pages are numbered correlatively with the letters "ONE" and "TWO" as can be gleaned from the phrase "las cuales estan paginadas correlativamente con las letras "UNO" y "DOS." Caponong-Noble further alleges that the attestation clause fails to state expressly that the testator signed the will and its every page in the presence of three witnesses. She then faults the Court of Appeals for applying to the present case the rule on substantial compliance found in Article 809 of the New Civil Code.29 The first sentence of the attestation clause reads: "Suscrito y declarado por el testador Alipio Abada como su ultima voluntad y testamento en presencia de nosotros, habiendo tambien el testador firmado en nuestra presencia en el margen izquierdo de todas y cada una de las hojas del mismo." The English translation is: "Subscribed and professed by the testator Alipio Abada as his last will and testament in our presence, the testator having also signed it in our presence on the left margin of each and every one of the pages of the same." The attestation clause clearly states that Abada signed the will and its every page in the presence of the witnesses. However, Caponong-Noble is correct in saying that the attestation clause does not indicate the number of witnesses. On this point, the Court agrees with the appellate court in applying the rule on substantial compliance in determining the number of witnesses. While the attestation clause does not state the number of witnesses, a clo se inspection of the will shows that three witnesses signed it. This Court has applied the rule on substantial compliance even before the effectivity of the New Civil Code. An attestation clause is made for the purpose of preserving, in permanent form, a record of the facts attending the execution of the will, so that in case of failure of the memory of the subscribing witnesses, or other casualty, they may still be proved. (Thompson on Wills, 2d ed., sec. 132.) A will, therefore, should not be rejected where its attestation clause serves the purpose of the law 3) We rule to apply the liberal construction in the probate of Abadas will. Abadas will clearly shows four signatures: that of Abada and of three other persons. It is reasonable to conclude that there are three witnesses to

the will. The question on the number of the witnesses is answered by an examination of the will itself and without the need for presentation of evidence aliunde. [T]he so-called liberal rule does not offer any puzzle or difficulty, nor does it open the door to serious consequences. The later decisions do tell us when and where to stop; they draw the dividing line with precision. They do not allow evidence aliunde to fill a void in any part of the document or supply missing details that should appear in the will itself. They only permit a probe into the will, an exploration within its confines, to ascertain its meaning or to determine the existence or absence of the requisite formalities of law. This clear, sharp limitation eliminates uncertainty and ought to banish any fear of dire results The phrase "en presencia de nosotros" or "in our presence" coupled with the signatures appearing on the will itself and after the attestation clause could only mean that: (1) Abada subscribed to and professed before the three witnesses that the document was his last will, and (2) Abada signed the will and the left margin of each page of the will in the presence of these three witnesses. Finally, Caponong-Noble alleges that the attestation clause does not expressly state the circumstances that the witnesses witnessed and signed the will and all its pages in the presence of the testator and of each other. This Court has ruled: Precision of language in the drafting of an attestation clause is desirable. However, it is not imperative that a parrot-like copy of the words of the statute be made. It is sufficient if from the language employed it can reasonably be deduced that the attestation clause fulfills what the law expects of it.35 The last part of the attestation clause states "en testimonio de ello, cada uno de nosotros lo firmamos en presencia de nosotros y del testador." In English, this means "in its witness, every one of us also signed in our presence and of the testator." This clearly shows that the attesting witnesses witnessed the signing of the will of the testator, and that each witness signed the will in the presence of one another and of the testator. Caneda vs CA 222 SCRA 781 Facts: Mateo Caballero, a widower without any children and already in the twilight years of his life, executed a last will and testament at his residence in Talisay, Cebu before three attesting witnesses, namely, Cipriano Labuca, Gregorio Cabando and Flaviano Toregosa. The said testator was duly assisted by his lawyer, Atty. Emilio Lumontad, and a notary public, Atty. Filoteo Manigos, in the preparation of that last will. It was declared therein, among other things, that the testator was leaving by way of legacies and devises his real and personal properties to Presentacion Gaviola, Angel Abatayo, Rogelio Abatayo, Isabelito Abatayo, Benoni G. Cabrera and Marcosa Alcantara, all of whom do not appear to be related to the testator. Mateo Caballero himself then filed a petition seeking the probate of his last will and testament. the testator passed away before his petition could finally be heard by the probate court. Thereafter, herein petitioners, claiming to be nephews and nieces of the testator, instituted a second petition, entitled "In the Matter of the Intestate Estate of Mateo Caballero, opposing thereat the probate of the Testator's will and the appointment of a special administrator for his estate. Petitioners appeared as oppositors and objected to the allowance of the testator's will on the ground that on the alleged date of its execution, the testator was already in the poor state of health such that he could not have possibly executed the same. Petitioners likewise reiterated the issue as to the genuineness of the signature of the testator therein. the probate court rendered a decision declaring the will in question as the last will and testament of the late Mateo Caballero. On appeal to the ca, petitioners asserted therein that the will in question is null and void for the reason that its attestation clause is fatally defective since it fails to specifically state that the instrumental witnesses to the will witnessed the testator

signing the will in their presence and that they also signed the will and all the pages thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. CA affirmed trial courts decision. Hence, this petition. Issue: whether or not the attestation clause contained in the last will and testament of the late Mateo Caballero complies with the requirements of Article 805, in relation to Article 809, of the Civil Code. Ruling: No. The attestation clause of the will, in contravention of the express requirements of the third paragraph of Article 805 of the Civil Code for attestation clauses, fails to specifically state the fact that the attesting witnesses the testator sign the will and all its pages in their presence and that they, the witnesses, likewise signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of each other. It will be noted that Article 805 requires that the witness should both attest and subscribe to the will in the presence of the testator and of one another. "Attestation" and "subscription" differ in meaning. Attestation is the act of senses, while subscription is the act of the hand. The former is mental, the latter mechanical, and to attest a will is to know that it was published as such, and to certify the facts required to constitute an actual and legal publication; but to subscribe a paper published as a will is only to write on the same paper the names of the witnesses, for the sole purpose of identification. What is fairly apparent upon a careful reading of the attestation clause herein assailed is the fact that while it recites that the testator indeed signed the will and all its pages in the presence of the three attesting witnesses and states as well the number of pages that were used, the same does not expressly state therein the circumstance that said witnesses subscribed their respective signatures to the will in the presence of the testator and of each other. The phrase "and he has signed the same and every page thereof, on the spaces provided for his signature and on the left hand margin," obviously refers to the testator and not the instrumental witnesses as it is immediately preceded by the words "as his Last Will and Testament." On the other hand, although the words "in the presence of the testator and in the presence of each and all of us" may, at first blush, appear to likewise signify and refer to the witnesses, it must, however, be interpreted as referring only to the testator signing in the presence of the witnesses since said phrase immediately follows the words "he has signed the same and every page thereof, on the spaces provided for his signature and on the left hand margin." What is then clearly lacking, in the final logical analysis , is the statement that the witnesses signed the will and every page thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. It is our considered view that the absence of that statement required by law is a fatal defect or imperfection which must necessarily result in the disallowance of the will that is here sought to be admitted to probate. Petitioners are correct in pointing out that the aforestated defect in the attestation clause obviously cannot be characterized as merely involving the form of the will or the language used therein which would warrant the application of the substantial compliance rule, as contemplated in art. 809 of the Civil Code. Note: In the full text case, the supreme court extensively discussed art. 809 with regard to the difference between the defect in the formalities of a will, which does not affect the validity of a will, and the defect in the essential requirements of a will which effectively nullifies the will. Codoy vs. Calugay 312 SCRA 333 Facts: On April 6, 1990, Evangeline Calugay, Josephine Salcedo and Eufemia Patigas, devisees and legatees of the holographic will of the deceased Matilde Seo Vda. de Ramonal, filed with the Regional Trial Court, Misamis Oriental, Branch 18, a petition for probate of the holographic will of the deceased, who died on January 16, 1990. In the petition, respondents claimed that the deceased Matilde Seo Vda. de Ramonal, was of sound and disposing mind when she executed the will. The assessed value of the decedents estate was 400,000.00.

On June 28, 1990, Eugenia Ramonal Codoy and Manuel Ramonal filed an opposition 5 to the petition for probate, alleging that the holographic will was a forgery and that the same is even illegible. Petitioners argued that the repeated dates incorporated or appearing on will after every disposition is out of the ordinary. If the deceased was the one who executed the will, and was not forced, the dates and the signature should appear at the bottom after the dispositions, as regularly done and not after every disposition. And assuming that the holographic will is in the handwriting of the deceased, it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of the beneficiaries, or through fraud and trickery. Respondents presented six (6) witnesses and various documentary evidence. Petitioners instead of presenting their evidence, filed a demurrer6 to evidence, claiming that respondents failed to establish sufficient factual and legal basis for the probate of the holographic will of the deceased Matilde Seo Vda. de Ramonal. On November 26, 1990 the trial court decided for the petitioners, saying there was insufficiency of evidence for the probate of the will. On October 9, 1995, the Court of Appeals, rendered decision ruling that the appeal was meritorious. Issue: WON the requirement of Article 811 in presenting three witnesses is permissive or mandatory? Held: The requirement is mandatory. In the case at bar, the witnesses presented are not handwriting experts and all did not have an opportunity to actually see the decedent execute a note. Calugay and Binanay said that they were familiar with the decedents handwriting because they lived with her for a long time. Even the lawyer, Fiscal Waga, could not properly attest to the signature on the holographic will, saying that it was similar to the signature on the document of partition hed executed. The court emphasized that the rules and formalities in executing wills have the object of closing the doors against fraud, so that the true intention of the testator might be given due course. Hence, the petition was denied and the decision of the trial court was reinstated. Spouses Roberto and Thelma AJERO vs. Court of Appeals and Clemente Sand 236 SCRA 488 FACTS: On January 20, 1983, petitioners Roberto and Thelma Ajero instituted a special proceeding for allowance of decedent Annie Sands holographic will. They alleged that at the time of its execution, she was of sound and disposing mind, not acting under duress, fraud or undue influence, and was in every respect capacitated to dispose of her estate by will. Private respondent Clemente Sand opposed the petition on the grounds that (1) neither the testaments body nor the signature therein was in decedents handwriting; (2) it contained alterations and corrections which were not duly signed by decedent; and (3) the will was procured by petitioners through improper pressure and undue influence. The petition was likewise opposed by Dr. Jose Ajero, contesting the disposition in the will of a house and lot located in Agusan Del Norte that such property cannot be conveyed by decedent in its entirety since she was not the sole owner. The trial court admitted the decedents holographic will to probate, considering that no evidence was presented to show that the will in question is different from the will actually executed by the testatrix; that the holographic will was entire written, dated and signed in the handwriting of the testatrix; and as to the question of the testamentary capacity of the testatrix, private respondent Clemente Sand himself has testified in Court that the testatrix was completely in her sound mind when he visited her during her birthday celebration in 1981, at or around which time the holographic will in question was executed by the testatrix. While it was alleged that the said

will was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of the beneficiary or of some other person, the evidence adduced have not shown any instance where improper pressure or influence was exerted on the testatrix. On appeal, the decision of the trial court was reversed, and the petition for probate of decedents will was dismissed. The Court of Appeals found that, the holographic will failed to meet the requirements for its validity, holding that the decedent did not comply with Articles 813 and 814 of the New Civil Code. ISSUE: Whether or not respondent Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the holographic will of Anne Sand was not executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. RULING: Yes, the decision of respondent Court of Appeals is erroneous. In the case of holographic wills, what assures authenticity is the requirement that they be totally autographic or handwritten by the testator himself. Article 813 of the New Civil Code shows that its requirement affects the validity of the dispositions contained in the holographic will, but not its probate. If the testator fails to sign and date some of its dispositions, the result is that these dispositions cannot be effectuated. Such failure, however, does not render the whole testament void. Likewise, a holographic will can still be admitted to probate notwithstanding non-compliance with the provisions of Article 814. When a number of erasures, corrections, and interlineations made by the testator in a holographic will have not been noted under his signature, the will is not thereby invalidated as a whole, but at most only as respects the particular words erased, corrected or interlined. Thus, unless the unauthenticated alterations, cancellations or insertions were made on the date of the holographic will or on the testators signature, their presence does not invalidate the will itself. The lack of authentication will only result in disallowance of such changes. With respect to Dr. Jose Ajeros contention, the Court affirms the respondent courts decision that testator Annie Sand cannot validly dispose of the whole property, which she shares with her fathers other heirs. Hence, petition is GRANTED. Azaola v. Singson G. R. No. L-14003 August 5, 1960 Facts: Fortunata S. Vda. De Yance died leaving a holographic will. Francisco Azaola (Francisco) submitted the holographic will for probate. Maria Milagros Azaola was instituted as sole heir. Witness Francisco testified that he saw te holographic will one month, more or less, before the death of the testatrix, and that he was able to recognize all the signatures appearing therein as the handwriting of the testatrix. The probate of the testator was opposed on the following grounds: (1) the execution was procured by undue and improper influence; and (2) that the testatrix did not seriously intend the instrument as her last will and that the same was actually written either on the 5th or 6th day of August 1957, and not on November 20, 1956 as appears on the will. The probate was denied on the ground that under Article 811 of the Civil Code, the proponent must present three witnesses who could declare that the will and the signature are in writing of the testatrix, the probate being contested. The lone witness presented by the proponent did not prove sufficiently that the body of the will was written in the handwriting of the testatrix.

Issue: Whether or not the will of the testatrix Fortunata should be admitted to probate despite the fact that only one witness was presented. Ruling: Yes. The Supreme Court ruled that the will should be admitted to probate since the authenticity of the will was not contested. Because of this, the proponent of the will was not required to produce more than one witness. It was further ruled that even if the genuineness of the holographic will were contested, the Supreme Court was of the opinion that Article 811 cannot be interpreted as to require the compulsory presentation of three witnesses to the identity of the handwriting and signature of the testator. Since no witness may have been present at the execution of a holographic will none being required by law, it becomes obvious that the existence of witnesses possessing the requisite qualifications is a matter beyond the control of the proponent. It is not merely a question of finding and producing any three witnesses, they must be witnesses who know the handwriting and signature of the testator and who can declare truthfully, of course even if the law does not so express that the will and the signature are in the handwriting of the testator. There may be no available witness acquainted with the testators hand or even if so familiar, the witness may be unwilling to give a positive opinion. Compliance with the rule in Article 811, first paragraph, may thus become impossible. Nazareno vs. CA 343 SCRA 637 Facts: On 15 March 1985 Natividad Nazareno filed a Complaint for Annulment of Sale and Damages against spouses Romeo and Eliza Nazareno. Natividad avers in her complaint that she is the sole and absolute owner of a parcel of land located in Naic, Cavite, covered by TCT No. 51798 of the Registry of Deeds of Cavite. Sometime in April 1981 Natividad's brother, Romeo, and his wife Eliza convinced Natividad to lend them TCT No. 51798 to be used as collateral to a loan the proceeds of which would be used in the completion of the construction of the Naic Cinema on the subject property. Natividad agreed on the condition that title to her property would be returned within one (1) year from the completion of the construction of the cinema. Accordingly, Natividad executed a Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of spouses Romeo and Eliza over the lot covered by TCT No. 51798. The sale, however, was simulated because Natividad did not receive any consideration therefor. Despite several demands by Natividad, spouses Romeo and Eliza failed and refused to return Natividad's title to the property; instead, they had the property transferred in their name. Consequently, TCT No. T-118276 was issued in their name in lieu of TCT No. 51798. Spouses Romeo and Eliza denied that the property belonged to Natividad. On the contrary, they averred that it originally formed part of the estate of the late Maximino Nazareno, Jr., father of Romeo and Natividad. According to Romeo, the property was his share in their inheritance. As regards the deed of sale, he explained that it was only resorted to for the purpose of carrying out and implementing the transfer of the property forming part of the estate of Maximino Nazareno Jr., the distribution of which was entrusted to Natividad. The trial court ruled for spouses Romeo and Eliza. It treated the Deed of Sale, despite having no consideration, as a conveyance of Romeos share in his fathers estate. However, the Court of Appeals did not sustain the trial court and set aside its Decision. The Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Natividad in favor of the spouses Romeo and Eliza as well as TCT No. 118276 was declared null and void. The Decision of the CA attained finality. Natividad then prayed for the RTC to issue a Writ of Execution and Writ of Possession in her favor. Romeo and Eliza opposed this, as in the proceedings to in the lower court before and in the CA, Natividad never asked to be put in possession of the property. Hence the RTC only issued her a Writ of Execution. On appeal, the CA likewise denied the granting of a Writ of Possession.

Issue: WON a Writ of Possession must issue in favor of Natividad over the Naic Cinema. Held: NO. it is a settled rule that a writ of possession is improper to eject another from possession unless sought in connection with (1) a land registration proceeding; (2) an extrajudicial foreclosure of real property; (3) in a judicial foreclosure of property provided that the mortgagor has possession and no third party has intervened; and (4) in execution sales. It is an undisputed fact that this case is for the annulment of a private sale made by petitioner to private respondent. This action is not land registration case nor a foreclosure of mortgage whether judicially or extrajudicially nor was the subject property sold in execution. Petitioner sought for the issuance of a writ of possession in connection with a decision in civil action for annulment of a private sale and damages. The matter of ownership and possession of the Naic Cinema was never put in issue. Consequently, petitioner cannot ask for a writ of possession to place her in physical occupancy of the Naic Cinema. Being declared owner of subject lot does not also mean that she is automatically entitled to possession of all the improvements therein. Otherwise, the actual possessor would be deprived of his property without due process of law. Finally, petitioner cannot validly claim possession over the Naic Cinema since in her complaint and subsequent pleadings, she has admitted not being the owner thereof. On the contrary, she claims that the Naic Cinema belongs to the estate of her father. On the other hand, respondent spouses have asserted dominion over the Naic Cinema. Plainly, petitioner cannot wrest possession of the moviehouse from respondent spouses through a mere writ of possession as she herself even disclaims being the owner thereof. Ownership over the Naic Cinema must be threshed out in a proper proceeding. A mere prayer for the issuance of a writ of possession will not suffice. Rivera vs IAC 182 SCRA 322 Facts: On May 30, 1975, a prominent and wealthy resident of that town named Venancio Rivera died. Jose Rivera, claiming to be the only surviving legitimate son of the deceased, filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration over Venancio's estate. this petition was opposed by Adelaido J. Rivera, who denied that Jose was the son of the decedent. Adelaido averred that Venancio was his father and did not die intestate but in fact left two holographic wills. the two cases were then consolidated. Adelaido J. Rivera was later appointed special administrator. After joint trial, Judge Eliodoro B. Guinto found that Jose Rivera was not the son of the decedent but of a different Venancio Rivera who was married to Maria Vital. The Venancio Rivera whose estate was in question was married to Maria Jocson, by whom he had seven children, including Adelaido. Jose Rivera had no claim to this estate because the decedent was not his father. The holographic wills were also admitted to probate. Adelaido J. Rivera filed, also with the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City, a petition for the probate of the holographic wills. this petition was in turn opposed by Jose Rivera, who reiterated that he was the sole heir of Venancio's intestate estate. , the decision of the trial court was affirmed by the then Intermediate Appellate Court. Hence, this petition. Particularly, Jose Rivera assails the validity of the holographic wills of Venancio Rivera. Issue: Whether the holographic wills of the late Venancio Rivera are valid. Held: The respondent court considered them valid because it found them to have been written, dated and signed by the testator himself in accordance with Article 810 of the Civil Code. It also held there was no necessity of presenting the three witnesses required under Article 811 because the authenticity of the wills had not been questioned.

The existence and therefore also the authenticity of the holographic wills were questioned by Jose Rivera., he denied the existence of the holographic wills presented by Adelaido Rivera for probate. In both proceedings, Jose Rivera opposed the holographic wills submitted by Adelaido Rivera and claimed that they were spurious. Consequently, it may be argued, the respondent court should have applied Article 811 of the Civil Code, providing as follows: In the probate of a holographic will, it shall be necessary that at least one witness who knows the handwriting and signature of the testator explicitly declare that the will and the signature are in the handwriting of the testator. If the will is contested, at least three of such witnesses shall be required. The flaw in this argument is that, as we have already determined, Jose Rivera is not the son of the deceased Venancio Rivera whose estate is in question. Hence, being a mere stranger, he had no personality to contest the wills and his opposition thereto did not have the legal effect of requiring the three witnesses. The testimony of Zenaida and Venancio Rivera, Jr., who authenticated the wills as having been written and signed by their father, was sufficient. Labrador v. CA 184 SCRA 322 FACTS: The antecedent and relevant facts are as follows: On June 10, 1972, Melecio Labrador died in the Municipality of Iba, province of Zambales, where he was residing, leaving behind a parcel of land designated as Lot No. 1916 under Original Certificate of Title No. P-1652, and the following heirs, namely: Sagrado, Enrica, Cristobal, Jesus, Gaudencio, Josefina, Juliana, Hilaria and Jovita, all surnamed Labrador, and a holographic will. Sagrado Labrador (now deceased but substituted by his heirs), Enrica Labrador and Cristobal Labrador, filed in the court a quo a petition for the probate docketed as Special Proceeding No. 922-I of the alleged holographic will of the late Melecio Labrador. Subsequently, on September 30, 1975, Jesus Labrador (now deceased but substituted by his heirs), and Gaudencio Labrador filed an opposition to the petition on the ground that the will has been extinguished or revoked by implication of law, alleging therein that on September 30, 1971, that is, before Melecio's death, for the consideration of Six Thousand (P6,000) Pesos, testator Melecio executed a Deed of Absolute Sale, selling, transferring and conveying in favor of oppositors Jesus and Gaudencio Lot No. 1916 and that as a matter of fact, O.C.T. No. P-1652 had been cancelled by T.C.T. No. T-21178. Earlier however, in 1973, Jesus Labrador sold said parcel of land to Navat for only Five Thousand (P5,000) Pesos. (Rollo, p. 37) Sagrado thereupon filed, on November 28, 1975, against his brothers, Gaudencio and Jesus, for the annulment of said purported Deed of Absolute Sale over a parcel of land which Sagrado allegedly had already acquired by devise from their father Melecio Labrador under a holographic will executed on March 17, 1968, the complaint for annulment docketed as Civil Case No. 934-I, being premised on the fact that the aforesaid Deed of Absolute Sale is fictitious. After both parties had rested and submitted their respective evidence, the trial court rendered a joint decision dated February 28, 1985, allowing the probate of the holographic will and declaring null and void the Deed of Absolute sale. The court a quo had also directed the respondents (the defendants in Civil Case No. 934-I) to reimburse to the petitioners the sum of P5,000.00 representing the redemption price for the property paid by the plaintiff-petitioner Sagrado with legal interest thereon from December 20, 1976, when it was paid to vendee a retro.

Respondents appealed the joint decision to the Court of Appeals, which on March 10, 1988 modified said joint decision of the court a quo by denying the allowance of the probate of the will for being undated and reversing the order of reimbursement. Petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration of the aforesaid decision was denied by the Court of Appeals, in the resolution of June 13, 1988. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT ALLOWING AND APPROVING THE PROBATE OF THE HOLOGRAPHIC WILL OF THE TESTATOR MELECIO LABRADOR; HELD: The petition, which principally alleges that the holographic will is really dated, although the date is not in its usual place, is impressed with merit. The will has been dated in the hand of the testator himself in perfect compliance with Article 810. It is worthy of note to quote the first paragraph of the second page of the holographic will, viz: And this is the day in which we agreed that we are making the partitioning and assigning the respective assignment of the said fishpond, and this being in the month of March, 17th day, in the year 1968, and this decision and or instruction of mine is the matter to be followed. And the one who made this writing is no other than MELECIO LABRADOR, their father. (emphasis supplied) (p. 46, Rollo) The law does not specify a particular location where the date should be placed in the will. The only requirements are that the date be in the will itself and executed in the hand of the testator. These requirements are present in the subject will. Respondents claim that the date 17 March 1968 in the will was when the testator and his beneficiaries entered into an agreement among themselves about "the partitioning and assigning the respective assignments of the said fishpond," and was not the date of execution of the holographic will; hence, the will is more of an "agreement" between the testator and the beneficiaries thereof to the prejudice of other compulsory heirs like the respondents. This was thus a failure to comply with Article 783 which defines a will as "an act whereby a person is permitted, with the formalities prescribed by law, to control to a certain degree the disposition of his estate, to take effect after his death." Respondents are in error. The intention to show 17 March 1968 as the date of the execution of the will is plain from the tenor of the succeeding words of the paragraph. As aptly put by petitioner, the will was not an agreement but a unilateral act of Melecio Labrador who plainly knew that what he was executing was a will. The act of partitioning and the declaration that such partitioning as the testator's instruction or decision to be followed reveal that Melecio Labrador was fully aware of the nature of the estate property to be disposed of and of the character of the testamentary act as a means to control the disposition of his estate. Anent the second issue of finding the reimbursement of the P5,000 representing the redemption price as erroneous, respondent court's conclusion is incorrect. When private respondents sold the property (fishpond) with right to repurchase to Navat for P5,000, they were actually selling property belonging to another and which they had no authority to sell, rendering such sale null and void. Petitioners, thus "redeemed" the property from Navat for P5,000, to immediately regain possession of the property for its disposition in accordance with the will. Petitioners therefore deserve to be reimbursed the P5,000. PREMISES CONSIDERED, the decision of the Court of Appeals dated March 10, 1988 is hereby REVERSED. The holographic will of Melecio Labrador is APPROVED and ALLOWED probate. The private respondents are directed to REIMBURSE the petitioners the sum of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00). Seangio v. Reyes

508 SCRA 177 Facts: Private respondents filed a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of the late Segundo Seangio, , and praying for the appointment of private respondent Elisa D. SeangioSantos as special administrator and guardian ad litem of petitioner Dy Yieng Seangio. Petitioners Dy Yieng, Barbara and Virginia, all surnamed Seangio, opposed the petition. They contended that: Segundo left a holographic will, dated September 20, 1995, disinheriting one of the private respondents, Alfredo Seangio, for cause. In view of the purported holographic will, petitioners averred that in the event the decedent is found to have left a will, the intestate proceedings are to be automatically suspended and replaced by the proceedings for the probate of the will. A petition for the probate of the holographic will of Segundo , was then filed by petitioners before the RTC. They likewise reiterated that the probate proceedings should take precedence over the special proceedings initiated by the petitioners because testate proceedings take precedence and enjoy priority over intestate proceedings. The holographic will insisted by petitioners, entitled Kasulatan sa pag-aalis ng mana, disinherits the decedents eldest son Alfredo Seangio for being disrespectful and ungrateful. Private respondents moved for the dismissal of the probate proceedings 5 primarily on the ground that the document purporting to be the holographic will of Segundo does not contain any disposition of the estate of the deceased and only shows an alleged act of disinheritance by the decedent of his eldest son, Alfredo, and nothing else; that all other compulsory heirs were not named nor instituted as heir, devisee or legatee, hence, there is preterition which would result to intestacy. The RTC granted the motion to dismiss. Hence this petition. Issue: Whether or not the document left by Segundo Seangio can be considered a holographic will, which would correctly result on a probate proceeding, despite the fact that such will contained only a disinheritance of Alfredo Seangio Held: Yes. A holographic will, as provided under Article 810 of the Civil Code, must be entirely written, dated, and signed by the hand of the testator himself. It is subject to no other form, and may be made in or out of the Philippines, and need not be witnessed. Segundos document, although it may initially com e across as a mere disinheritance instrument, conforms to the formalities of a holographic will prescribed by law. It is written, dated and signed by the hand of Segundo himself. An intent to dispose mortis causa can be clearly deduced from the terms of the instrument, and while it does not make an affirmative disposition of the latters property, the disinheritance of Alfredo, nonetheless, is an act of disposition in itself. In other words, the disinheritance results in the disposition of the property of the testator Segundo in favor of those who would succeed in the absence of Alfredo. Moreover, it is a fundamental principle that the intent or the will of the testator, expressed in the form and within the limits prescribed by law, must be recognized as the supreme law in succession. All rules of construction are designed to ascertain and give effect to that intention. It is only when the intention of the testator is contrary to law, morals, or public policy that it cannot be given effect. Holographic wills, therefore, being usually prepared by one who is not learned in the law, as illustrated in the present case, should be construed more liberally than the ones drawn by an expert, taking into account the circumstances surrounding the execution of the instrument and the intention of the testator. In this regard, the Court is convinced that the document, even if captioned as Kasulatan ng Pag-Aalis ng Mana, was intended by Segundo to be his last testamentary act and was executed by him in accordance with law in the form of a holographic will. Unless the will is probated,13 the disinheritance cannot be given effect

Considering that the questioned document is Segundos holographic will, and that the law favors testacy over intestacy, the probate of the will cannot be dispensed with. Article 838 of the Civil Code provides that no will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance with the Rules of Court. Thus, unless the will is probated, the right of a person to dispose of his property may be rendered nugatory.17 In view of the foregoing, the trial court, therefore, should have allowed the holographic will to be probated. It is settled that testate proceedings for the settlement of the estate of the decedent take precedence over intestate proceedings for the same purpose. Capitle vs. Elbambuena 509 SCRA 444 FACTS: The parcel of agricultural land subject of the present controversy contains 1.8144 hectares, identified as Lot 1849 (the lot), and situated in Barangay Valle, Talavera, Nueva Ecija. A Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) was issued to Cristobal Olar (Olar) covering the lot on account of which he was issued Transfer Certificate of Title No. CLOA-0-3514. Respondents Fortunata Elbambuena (Fortunata) and Rosalinda Olar (Rosalinda), spouse and daughter-in-law, respectively, of Olar, now deceased, claim that Olar relinquished one-half or 0.9072 hectare of the lot to Rosalinda by a "Kasunduan" dated July 17, 1992 the execution of which was witnessed by petitioner Cirilo Capitle; and that the remaining portion of the lot was surrendered to Fortunata by an undated document. Respondents, alleged that on petitioners request, petitioners were allowed to occupy the lot to pursue a means of livelihood. Since 1990, however, petitioners did not pay rentals despite demand therefor, and neither did they heed the demand to return the possession of the lot, drawing respondents to file a Petition for Recovery of Possession and Payment of Back Rentals against petitioners before the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) Regional Office in Talavera, Nueva Ecija. Petitioners, on the other hand, claiming that they have been in possession of the lot since 1960, presented a "Waiver of Rights" executed by Olar wherein he renounced in their favor his rights and participation over the lot; a "Sinumpaang Salaysay" wherein Olar acknowledged that he copossessed the lot with petitioner Capitle since 1960; and a Pinagsamang Patunay from the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC) Chairman and barangay chairman of Valle certifying that they (petitioners) are the actual tillers and possessors of the lot. Petitioners further claim that since 1959, respondent Fortunata was already separated from Olar and she even remarried, thus giving her no right to inherit from Olar. While the DARAB Case was pending, petitioners filed for the cancellation of Olars CLOA with the PARAD, which was granted. They presented Olars Waiver of Right in support of their contentions. Respondents appealed this to the DARAB, which reversed the PARADs decision. On appeal to the CA, the appellate court affirmed. ISSUE: WON the petitioners are better entitled to the lot being transferees of Olar? HELD: NO. Petitioners argument that "[i]t would be absurd for [Olar] to bequeath his property to his estranged wife not to a relative who had indeed helped him in tilling the property and [took] good care of his needs ," is a virtual admission that their possession was not in the concept of owners, they having merely "helped" in tilling the lot, thereby acknowledging that Olar was the actual possessor and tiller. Even if its assumed that petitioners were indeed the actual tillers of the lot, their petition for the cancellation of the CLOA issued in favor of Olar would not bind respondents as they were not impleaded. Although estranged from Olar, respondent Fortunata remained his wife and legal heir, mere estrangement not being a legal ground for the disqualification of a surviving spouse as an heir of the deceased spouse. Rosalinda, on the other hand, is the surviving spouse of Olars son. The two are thus

real parties-in-interest who stand to be injured or benefited by the judgment on the cancellation of the CLOA issued in Olars name. Guerrero v. Bihis 521 SCRA 394 Facts: On February 19, 1994, Felisa Tamio de Buenaventura, mother of petitioner Bella A. Guerrero and respondent Resurreccion A. Bihis, died at the Metropolitan Hospital in Tondo, Manila. On May 24, 1994, petitioner filed a petition for the probate of the last will and testament of the decedent in Branch 95 2 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City where the case was docketed as Sp. Proc. No. Q-94-20661. Respondent opposed her elder sister's petition on the following grounds: the will was not executed and attested as required by law; its attestation clause and acknowledgment did not comply with the requirements of the law; the signature of the testatrix was procured by fraud and petitioner and her children procured the will through undue and improper pressure and influence. In an order dated November 9, 1994, the trial court appointed petitioner as special administratrix of the decedent's estate. Respondent opposed petitioner's appointment but subsequently withdrew her opposition. Petitioner took her oath as temporary special administratrix and letters of special administration were issued to her. On January 17, 2000, after petitioner presented her evidence, respondent filed a demurrer thereto alleging that petitioner's evidence failed to establish that the decedent's will complied with Articles 804 and 805 of the Civil Code. In a resolution dated July 6, 2001, the trial court denied the probate of the will ruling that Article 806 of the Civil Code was not complied with because the will was "acknowledged" by the testatrix and the witnesses at the testatrix's residence at No. 40 Kanlaon Street, Quezon City before Atty. Macario O. Directo who was a commissioned notary public for and in Caloocan City. Petitioner elevated the case to the Court of Appeals but the appellate court dismissed the appeal and affirmed the resolution of the trial court. Issue: Did the will "acknowledged" by the testatrix and the instrumental witnesses before a notary public acting outside the place of his commission satisfy the requirement under Article 806 of the Civil Code? Held: No. One of the formalities required by law in connection with the execution of a notarial will is that it must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses. This formal requirement is one of the indispensable requisites for the validity of a will. In other words, a notarial will that is not acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the instrumental witnesses is void and cannot be accepted for probate. An acknowledgment is the act of one who has executed a deed in going before some competent officer and declaring it to be his act or deed. In the case of a notarial will, that competent officer is the notary public. The acknowledgment of a notarial will coerces the testator and the instrumental witnesses to declare before an officer of the law, the notary public, that they executed and subscribed to the will as their own free act or deed.

Such declaration is under oath and under pain of perjury, thus paving the way for the criminal prosecution of persons who participate 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 a certain mindset in making the testamentary dispositions to the persons instituted as heirs or designated as devisees or legatees in the will. Acknowledgment can only be made before a competent officer, that is, a lawyer duly commissioned as a notary public. A notary public is authorized to perform notarial acts, including the taking of acknowledgments, within that territorial jurisdiction only. Outside the place of his commission, he is bereft of power to perform any notarial act; he is not a notary public. Any notarial act outside the limits of his jurisdiction has no force and effect. Since Atty. Directo was not a commissioned notary public for and in Quezon City, he lacked the authority to take the acknowledgment of the testatrix and the instrumental witnesses. In the same vein, the testatrix and her witnesses could not have validly acknowledged the will before him. Thus, Felisa Tamio de Buenaventura's last will and testament was, in effect, not acknowledged as required by law WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED. Paz Samaniego-Celada vs. Abence 556 SCRA 569 FACTS: Petitioner Paz Samaniego-Celada was the first cousin of decedent Margarita S. Mayores (Margarita) while respondent was the decedents lifelong companion since 1929. On April 27, 1987, Margarita died single and without any ascending nor descending heirs as her parents, grandparents and siblings predeceased her. She was survived by her first cousins Catalina Samaniego-Bombay, Manuelita Samaniego-Sajonia, Feliza Samaniego, and petitioner. Before her death, Margarita executed a Last Will and Testament on February 2, 1987 where she bequeathed one-half of her undivided share of a real property located at Singalong Manila, consisting of 209.8 square meters, and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 1343 to respondent, Norma A. Pahingalo, and Florentino M. Abena in equal shares or one-third portion each. She likewise bequeathed one-half of her undivided share of a real property located at San Antonio Village, Makati, consisting of 225 square meters, and covered by TCT No. 68920 to respondent, Isabelo M. Abena, and Amanda M. Abena in equal shares or one-third portion each. Margarita also left all her personal properties to respondent whom she likewise designated as sole executor of her will.

On August 11, 1987, petitioner filed a petition for letters of administration of the estate of Margarita before the RTC of Makati. On October 27, 1987, respondent filed a petition for probate of the will of Margarita before the RTC of Makati. On March 2, 1993, the RTC rendered a decision declaring the last will and testament of Margarita probated and respondent as the executor of the will. Petitioner appealed the RTC decision to the Court of Appeals. But the Court of Appeals, in a decision dated October 13, 2000, affirmed in toto the RTC ruling. ISSUES: 1.) WON the CA erred in declaring the will valid despite not complying with the formalities set by law? 2.) WON the CA erred in not declaring the will invalid because it was procured through undue influence and pressure?

3.) WON the CA erred in not declaring petitioners and her siblings the legal heirs of Margarita and not issuing letters of administration in her favor. HELD: NO on all counts. With [regard] to the contention of the oppositors [Paz Samaniego-Celada, et al.] that the testator [Margarita Mayores] was not mentally capable of making a will at the time of the execution thereof, the same is without merit. The oppositors failed to establish, by preponderance of evidence, said allegation and contradict the presumption that the testator was of sound mind (See Article 800 of the Civil Code). Not one of the oppositors witnesses has mentioned any instance that they observed act/s of the testator during her lifetime that could be construed as a manifestation of mental incapacity. The testator may be admitted to be physically weak but it does not necessarily follow that she was not of sound mind. [The] testimonies of contestant witnesses are pure aforethought. Anent the contestants submission that the will is fatally defective for the reason that its attestation clause states that the will is composed of three (3) pages while in truth and in fact, the will consists of two (2) pages only because the attestation is not a part of the notarial will, the same is not accurate. While it is true that the attestation clause is not a part of the will, the court, after examining the totality of the will, is of the considered opinion that error in the number of pages of the will as stated in the attestation clause is not material to invalidate the subject will. The court also rejects the contention of the oppositors that the signatures of the testator were affixed on different occasions based on their observation that the signature on the first page is allegedly different in size, texture and appearance as compared with the signatures in the succeeding pages. After examination of the signatures, the court does not share the same observation as the oppositors. There is no evidence to show that the first signature was procured earlier than February 2, 1987. Finally, the court finds that no pressure nor undue influence was exerted on the testator to execute the subject will. In fact, the picture reveals that the testator was in a good mood and smiling with the other witnesses while executing the subject will. In fine, the court finds that the testator was mentally capable of making the will at the time of its execution, that the notarial will presented to the court is the same notarial will that was executed and that all the formal requirements (See Article 805 of the Civil Code) in the execution of a will have been substantially complied with in the subject notarial will.