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Heirs of Maramag v Maramag, GR 181132,5 June 2009

HEIRS OF LORETO C. MARAMAG, represented by surviving spouse


VICENTA
PANGILINAN
MARAMAG,Petitioners,
vs.
EVA VERNA DE GUZMAN MARAMAG, ODESSA DE GUZMAN MARAMAG,
KARL BRIAN DE GUZMAN MARAMAG, TRISHA ANGELIE MARAMAG,
THE INSULAR LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY, LTD., and GREAT PACIFIC
LIFE ASSURANCE CORPORATION, Respondents.
FACTS: This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules,
seeking to reverse and set aside the Resolution 2 dated January 8, 2008 of the
Court of Appeals (CA), dismissing petitioners appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
The case stems from a petition filed against respondents with the Regional
Trial Court, for revocation and/or reduction of insurance proceeds for being
void and/or inofficious, with prayer for a temporary restraining order (TRO)
and a writ of preliminary injunction.
The petition alleged that: (1) petitioners were the legitimate wife and children
of Loreto Maramag (Loreto), while respondents were Loretos illegitimate
family; (2) Eva de Guzman Maramag (Eva) was a concubine of Loreto and a
suspect in the killing of the latter, thus, she is disqualified to receive any
proceeds from his insurance policies from Insular Life Assurance Company,
Ltd. (Insular)4 and Great Pacific Life Assurance Corporation (Grepalife); 5 (3)
the illegitimate children of LoretoOdessa, Karl Brian, and Trisha Angelie
were entitled only to one-half of the legitime of the legitimate children, thus,
the proceeds released to Odessa and those to be released to Karl Brian and
Trisha Angelie were inofficious and should be reduced; and (4) petitioners
could not be deprived of their legitimes, which should be satisfied first.
In support of the prayer for TRO and writ of preliminary injunction, petitioners
alleged, among others, that part of the insurance proceeds had already been
released in favor of Odessa, while the rest of the proceeds are to be released
in favor of Karl Brian and Trisha Angelie, both minors, upon the appointment
of their legal guardian. Petitioners also prayed for the total amount
of P320,000.00 as actual litigation expenses and attorneys fees.
In answer, Insular admitted that Loreto misrepresented Eva as his legitimate
wife and Odessa, Karl Brian, and Trisha Angelie as his legitimate children, and
that they filed their claims for the insurance proceeds of the insurance
policies; that when it ascertained that Eva was not the legal wife of Loreto, it
disqualified her as a beneficiary and divided the proceeds among Odessa,
Karl Brian, and Trisha Angelie, as the remaining designated beneficiaries; and
that it released Odessas share as she was of age, but withheld the release of
the shares of minors Karl Brian and Trisha Angelie pending submission of
letters of guardianship. Insular alleged that the complaint or petition failed to
state a cause of action insofar as it sought to declare as void the designation
of Eva as beneficiary, because Loreto revoked her designation as such in
Policy No. A001544070 and it disqualified her in Policy No. A001693029; and
insofar as it sought to declare as inofficious the shares of Odessa, Karl Brian,

and Trisha Angelie, considering that no settlement of Loretos estate had


been filed nor had the respective shares of the heirs been determined. Insular
further claimed that it was bound to honor the insurance policies designating
the children of Loreto with Eva as beneficiaries pursuant to Section 53 of the
Insurance Code.
In its own answer7 with compulsory counterclaim, Grepalife alleged that Eva
was not designated as an insurance policy beneficiary; that the claims filed
by Odessa, Karl Brian, and Trisha Angelie were denied because Loreto was
ineligible for insurance due to a misrepresentation in his application form that
he was born on December 10, 1936 and, thus, not more than 65 years old
when he signed it in September 2001; that the case was premature, there
being no claim filed by the legitimate family of Loreto; and that the law on
succession does not apply where the designation of insurance beneficiaries is
clear.
ISSUE: WON Eva can claim even though prohibited under the civil code
against donation

HELD: YES. Petition is DENIED.

Any person who is forbidden from receiving any donation under Article

739 cannot be named beneficiary of a life insurance policy of the person


who cannot make any donation to him
If a concubine is made the beneficiary, it is believed that the

insurance contract will still remain valid, but the indemnity must go to the
legal heirs and not to the concubine, for evidently, what is prohibited
under Art. 2012 is the naming of the improper beneficiary.
SECTION 53. The insurance proceeds shall be applied exclusively to the

proper interest of the person in whose name or for whose benefit it is


made unless otherwise specified in the policy.
General Rule: only persons entitled to claim the insurance proceeds are
either the insured, if still alive; or the beneficiary, if the insured is already
deceased, upon the maturation of the policy.
EX: situation where the insurance contract was intended to benefit third
persons who are not parties to the same in the form of favorable stipulations
or indemnity. In such a case, third parties may directly sue and claim from the
insurer

It is only in cases where the insured has not designated any


beneficiary, or when the designated beneficiary is disqualified by law to
receive the proceeds, that the insurance policy proceeds shall redound to
the benefit of the estate of the insured