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Antonio Baltazar et al. vs. Lorenzo Laxa, GR No.

174489, April, 11,2012


Facts:
-Pacencia was a 78 year old spinster when she made he last will and testament entitled
"Tauli Nang Bilin o Testamento Miss Pacencia Regala" (September 30,1981)
-The will was executed in the house of retired Judge Limpin, witnessed by Dra. Maria
Limpin, Francisco Garcia and Faustino Mercado.
- The will was read twice to the testatrix. Her signature was afrixed at the end of the
said document on page 3 and on the left margin of 1,2 and 4 thereof.
-The witnesses affixed their signatures below its attesttion clause and on the left
margins of page 1,2 and 4 thereof in the presence of Pacencia and of Judge Limpin
who acted as notary public.
- All properties were bequeathed to respondent Lorenzo Laxa, and his wife Corazon
Laxa and their children Luna and Katherine
-Lorenzo is Pacencia's nephew whom she treated as her own son.
-Six days after the execution of the will, Pacencia left for the United States , there, she
resided with Lorenzo and his family until her death on January 4, 1996
-On April 27,2000, Lorenzo filed a petition with the RTC of Guagua , Pampanga for
the probate of will of Pacencia and the issuance of the letters of administration in his
favor
-the RTC issued an Order allowing Lorenzo to present evidence on June 22,2000
-Dra. Limpin testified as to the execution of the last will of Pacencia and attested to
the present condition of his father retired Judge Limpin who acted as the notary public
-On June 23,2000, petitioner Antonio filed an oppositioj which was joined by the
other petitioners contending that Pacencia's will was null and void and because
ownership of the properties had not been transferred to Pacencia before her death and
that Lorenzo is disqualifiedto be appointed, he being a citizen and resident of USA.
-On January 29, 2001, the RTC issued an order denying both of their requests
- Proceedings on the petition for the probate of will continued, and Dra Limpin was
called again for cross-examination
-Also, Monico Mercado testified as to his father's(Faustino) condition that his father
can no longer talk and express himself due to brain damage
-On the part of Antonio, he presented Rosie. Rosie testified that Pacencia is in the
state of being "magulyan" or forgetful based on her personal assessment
-Antonio testified that the execution of will was attended with force
-The RTC denied the petition giving weight to the testimony of Rosie that Pacencia is
forgetful, hence she is unfit to execute a will.
-On appeal to the CA, it was reversed.
- The CA ruled that" the state of being magulyan or forgetful does not make aperson
mentally unsound so as to render Pacencia unfit for executing a will.
Issue:
1. Whether or not the will complied with the requirements of law
2. Whether or not the will complied with tequirements set forth in Section 11, Rule 76
of the Rules of Court
Held:
1. YES. Under Section 1, Rule 75:" Allowance necessary. Conclusive as to the
executiom. No will shall be passed either real or personal estate unless it is proved

and allowed in the proper court. Subject to the right of appeal, such allowance of the
will shall be valid as to its execution. " Due executiom of the will or its extrinsic
validity pertains to whether the testator, being of sound mind freely executed the will
in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. Upon examination of the will, it
shows that the formalities laid down by the law is faithfully complied with.
Furthermore, the burden to prove that Pacencia was of unsound mind at the time of
the execution of the will lies on the shoulder of the petitioners. There was no
substantial evidence presented that will show theat Pacencia was of unsound min at
the time of the execution of the will.
2. Yes. Section 11, Rule 76 states that " If the will is contested, all the subscribing
witnesses and the notary public in the case of the wills executed under the Civil Code
of the Philippimes, if present in the Philippines and not insane, must be produced and
examined, and the death, absence, or insanity of any of them must be satisfactorily
shown to the court. " Applying it to the foregoing, the inability of Faustino and Judge
Limpin to appear and testify before the court was satisfactorily explained during the
probate proceedings. Thus, the SC hold that, for all intents and purposes, Lorenzo was
able to satisfactorily account for the incapacity qnd failure of thr said subscribing
witness and of the notary public to testify in court. It is an established rule, that a
testament ,ay not be disallowed just becauae the attesting witnesses declare against its
due execution; neither does it have to be necessarily allowed just because all the
attesting witnesses declare in favor of its legalization.