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Special Proceedings Cases:

Settlement of Estate

Bernardo v. CA, GR No. L-18148,


February 28, 1963
Parties:
1. Deogracias Bernardo. He is the
executor of the Testate Estate of
the deceased Eusebio Capili;
2. Armando Capili, Ursula Capili,
Buenaventura
Capili,
Hermogena
Reyes,
Arturo
Bernardo, Deogracias Bernardo,
Eduardo Bernardo.
The ones
who stand to benefit from the
will of Eusebio Capili.
3. Hermogena Reyes. The widow
of the Eusebio Capili.
4. Collateral
relatives
and
intestate heirs of Hermogena
Reyes.
Facts:
Eusebio Capili and Hermogena Reyes
were married. During their marriage,
Hermogena donated her share to the
conjugal partnership to Eusebio.
Hence, when Eusebio died and a
testate proceeding for the settlement
of his estate was filed before the CFI of
Bulacan, the properties, including
those which were considered part of
the conjugal partnership, were to be
disposed to his testamentary heirs,
including his wife, in accordance with
the terms contained in his will. His
wife, after the will was admitted to
probate, died and was substituted,
through the executors petition, by her
collateral relatives and intestate heirs.

When the Deogracias who was the


executor of the estate of Eusebio
Capili submitted a project partition,
the collateral relatives and intestate
heirs of Hermogena opposed the same
and claimed that of the properties
mentioned in Eusebios will belonged
to the conjugal partnership of the
spouses. They submitted a counterproject of partition of their own.
The probate court set the two projects
of partition for hearing. It was the
argued by the executor and the
instituted heirs that the properties to
be disposed belonged exclusively to
Eusebio since Hermogena, his wife,
donated her share to the conjugal
partnership to him; that the heirs of
Hermogena Reyes had no lawful
standing to question the validity of the
donation; and that should they have
legal standing, the question as regards
the donation cannot be litigated in the
testate proceeding but in a separate
civil action. It was the argument of
Hermogenas heirs that the donation
was null and void thereby not making
Eusebio as the owner of his wifes
share and therefore could not validly
dispose of it in his will.
The probate court ruled that the
donation was void, without making
any specific finding as to whether the
donation was inter vivos or mortis
causa. According to the probate court,
if the donation was donation inter
vivos, it was void due to Article 133 of
the
Civil
Code
which
prohibits
donations between spouses during the
marriage. Should the donation be a
donation mortis causa, it failed to
comply with the formalities of a will as

required by law, Articles 728 and 805


of the Civil Code, there being no
attestation clause.
As to the project of partition, the
probate court disapproved both and
directed the executor to file another
which
divided
the
properties
mentioned in the will and the
properties mentioned in the deed of
donation on the basis that such
properties were conjugal properties.
Deogracias and the instituted heirs
filed a motion for new trial and
reiterated his contention that the
probate court had no jurisdiction to
take cognizance of the claim involving
the title to the properties mentioned in
the will. This motion was denied by
the probate court.
Deogracias, et al appealed to the CA
which affirmed the probate courts
decision. Hence, Deogracias filed a
petition for review by certiorari before
the SC.
It was their contention that the
probate court had limited and special
jurisdiction and hence had no power to
adjudicate title.
Issue:
The issue was whether the probate
court could decide on question of
ownership
of
certain
properties
involved, i.e. whether such properties
belonged to the conjugal partnership
or the Eusebio exclusively.
Ruling:
The Court has held that generally
question as to title to property cannot

be passed upon in testate or intestate


proceedings. There are instances
however when the probate court may
pass upon provisionally upon the
question such as where one of the
parties prays merely for the inclusion
or exclusion from the inventory of the
property; where the parties are all
heirs of the deceased; or where there
is consent of the parties, provided that
third parties are not prejudiced.
The probate court has jurisdiction to
decide on such matter. It is within the
probate court to liquidate the conjugal
partnership in order to determine the
estate of the decedent which is to be
distributed among his heirs who are all
parties to the proceedings.
Moreover, there are no third parties
whose rights are affected. This is so
even though the heirs of the deceased
widow are not heirs of the testator,
Eusebio.
However, as they were
substituted due to her death, they
could no longer be treated as third
parties. Moreover, what they asserted
was the wifes right to the conjugal
property.
The claim that is being
asserted therefore is one belonging to
an
heir
to
the
testator
and
consequently it complied with the
requirement of the exception that the
parties interested are all heirs claiming
title under the testator.
It was likewise argued by petitioners
that they never submitted themselves
to the jurisdiction f the court for the
purpose of determining question of
ownership of the disputed properties.
However, on the contrary, they were
the ones who presented the project of
partition claiming the questioned

properties as part of the testators


assets. By presenting their project of
partition, petitioners themselves put in
issue the question of ownership of the
properties.
Finally,
petitioners
claimed
that
respondents were estopped to raise
the question of ownership because the
widow herself, during her lifetime, did
not object to the inclusion of these
properties in the inventory of the
assets of her deceased husband.
However, since there is knowledge of
the facts and no appraisal of rights at
the time the act was made, as the wife
executed in favor of her husband not
knowing that such deed was illegal or
ineffectual.

Dorotheo v. CA, GR 108581,


December 8, 1999
Parties:
1. Lourdes Legaspi Dorotheo
2. Nilda Quintana, Vicente
Dorotheo and Jose Dorotheo.
They are legitimate children of
Alejandro Dorotheo and Aniceta
Reyes.
Facts:
Lourdes Dorotheo filed a special
proceeding for the probate of the will
of Alejandro Dorotheo, further claiming
that she had taken care of Alejandro
before he died.
The estate of
Alejandros wife, who died ahead of
him, was not settled however prior to
his death. This will was admitted in
1981, with Nilda, Vicente and Jose not
appealing from said order.

However, they filed a motion to


declare the will intrinsically void. The
trial court granted the motion, further
declaring Lourdes Legaspi Dorotheo
not the wife of Alejandro. Likewise,
respondents were declared as the only
heirs of Alejandro and Aniceta. This
was known as the January 30, 1986
decision.
Lourdes however moved for the
decisions reconsideration, arguing
that she was entitled to some
compensation since she took care of
Alejandro prior to his death, although
they were not married to each other.
Her MR was denied however.
She appealed to the CA but it was
dismissed due to her failure to file
appellants brief within the extended
period granted. The dismissal became
final and executory on February 3,
1989 and it was recorded into the
entry of judgment of the CA. A writ of
execution was issued by the lower
court to implement the final and
executory order.
Respondents filed several motions
including
a
motion
to
compel
petitioner to surrender to them the
Transfer Certificates of Titles covering
the properties of Alejandro and even
for the cancellation of the titles and
issuance of new titles when petitioner
refused to do so.
An order was issued at a later date
(November 29, 1990) by Judge Zain
Angas which set aside the final and
executory order dated January 30,
1986 as well as the order directing the
issuance of the writ of execution on
the ground that the order was merely

interlocutory hence not final in


character. This order was challenged
by respondents through a MR which
was denied and a petition before the
CA which eventually nullified the
November 29, 1990 order.
Petitioner instituted a petition for
review with the SC, arguing that Judge
Angas had jurisdiction to hear the case
because
he
was
particularly
designated to hear the same. She
likewise challenged the validity of the
order declaring the intrinsic invalidity
of Alejandros will that was already
admitted into probate.
She likewise moved that she be
reinstated as executrix of the estate of
the late Alejandro and to maintain the
status quo or lease of the premises
thereon to third persons. This was
opposed by respondents on the
ground that Lourdes was not the lawful
wife.
Issue:
The issue is whether a will that was
admitted into probate but declared
intrinsically void in an order that had
become final and executory still be
given effect.
Ruling:
The lower court, through its November
1990 decision, cannot reverse or set
aside decisions or orders of the
superior court. This is in respect to
the hierarchy of courts and the
essence of review.
When a will was admitted into probate
and such order became final and
executory, matters of the wills due

execution and capacity of the testator


acquired res judicata and cannot again
be brought into question. However,
when the will was admitted into
probate, it is made subject to another
test which is concerned with its
intrinsic validity.
Intrinsic validity is another matter and
questions regarding the same may still
be raised even after the will had been
authenticated. Should the party be
aggrieved, he may avail of other legal
remedies. If he does not avail of other
remedies despite its belief that it was
aggrieved by a decision or court
action, then it is deemed to have fully
agreed and satisfied with the decision
or order.
This was so in this case. Petitioner
was privy to the suit calling for the
declaration of the intrinsic invalidity of
the will, as she appealed from an
unfavourable judgment. However, it
should be noted that, after her appeal
before the CA was dismissed, she no
longer moved for its reconsideration.
Instead, a year later, she filed with the
RTC again. In so doing, she committed
forum shopping, which can occur
when the same issue had already
been resolved adversely by some
other court. It was clear from the
executory order that the estates of
Alejandro and his spouse should be
distributed according to the laws of
intestacy.
The January 30, 1986 decision cannot
be considered as interlocutory as it
ordered that the estate of the late
spouses be distributed.

Her motion for appointment as


administratix was rendered moot as
she was not married to Alejandro and
therefore was not an heir.

Pedro and Gorgonio Teves, and as


defendants the Spouses Baylosis and
Cimafranca.
They alleged that the
defendants refused to partition the
said parcels of land and convey to
them their rightful shares.

Heirs of Joaquin Teves v. CA, GR


No. 109963, October 13, 1999

Lot 769-A is the share in the land of


Marcelina
Cimafranca.
It
was
transferred for a consideration of
P425.00 to Asuncion Teves. It was
executed
by
everyone
except
Cresenciano and Maria, who later
signed a later document (Extrajudicial
Settlement
and
Sale)
for
a
consideration of P80.00, through a
Settlement of Estate and Sale. The
two documents were denounced by
plaintiffs as spurious as the signatures
of Maria Teves was a forgery, same
with the signatures of Pedro, Felicia,
and Gorgonio. They also alleged that
when Maria purportedly signed the
document, she was in fact in
Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte
hence was not in Dumaguete City
before the notary public.

Parties:
1. Ricardo Teves, Arcadia Teves,
Tomas Zamora, Felicia Teves, et.
al. They are heirs of Joaquin
Teves. Ricardo is the son of
Cresenciano Teves.
2. Asuncion Teves It-It. A daughter
of Marcelina Cimafranca and
Joaquin Teves.
3.
Facts:
Marcelina Cimafranca and Joaquin
Teves died intestate and without
debts. They were survived by their
eight children, Teotimo, Felicia, Pedro,
Andres,
Asuncion,
Gorgonio,
Cresenciano, Arcadia and Maria. Their
children
executed
extrajudicial
settlements on two separate occasions
1943 and 1953 purporting to
adjudicate
unto
themselves
the
ownership over two parcels of land
and alienate them in favor of
Asuncion.
On May 9, 1984, Ricardo and Arcadia
Teves filed a complaint with the RTC of
Negros Oriental for the partition and
reconveyance of the two parcels of
land (Lots 769-A and 6409) against the
heirs of Asuncion Teves.
The
complaint was amended to include as
plaintiffs the heirs of Teotimo, Felicia,

Lot 6409 was passed to Joaquin Teves


after his two sisters, with whom he coowned the property, died without
issue. The same property was sold to
Asuncion
by
everyone
except
Cresenciano for a consideration of
P100.00.
However, Asuncion took
possession of the land and acquired
title to the property only on March
1972. After her death, her children
extrajudicially settled Teves property
(now It-it) unto themselves said lot.
This lot was sold to the Baylosis
spouses. The plaintiffs claimed that
the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement
and Sale was spurious.

The trial court ruled in favor of


defendants
and
dismissed
the
complaint. As regards Lot 6409, the
Extrajudicial Settlement and Sale
executed by the heirs of Joaquin and
Marcelina
was
duly
executed.
Moreover, if there were indeed
infirmities in the deed, the right to
bring an action for partition and
reconveyance had already prescribed,
as it was filed after 4 years from the
discovery of fraud as in the case for
annulment of partition, or after 10
years from the registration of the deed
or from the issuance of the title as for
action for reconveyance.
The trial
court also held that having been
prepared and acknowledged before a
notary
public,
the
extrajudicial
settlements over the two lots were
vested with public interest and hence
its sanctity should be upheld unless
overwhelmed by clear and convincing
evidence.
The CA affirmed the validity of the
extrajudicial settlements but modified
the RTCs decision ordering the
delivery of the 1/8 portion of Lot 769-A
which correspond to the share of
Cresenciano Teves to his son Ricardo
Teves, after the lots partition. As for
Lot 6409, their claims were already
barred by prescription after the lapse
of 10 years from the issuance of title
in favor of Asuncion, while their claim
over Lot 769-A was barred by laches
since more than 25 years had already
intervened between the date of sale
and the filing of the action. Moreover,
although Cresenciano was not a
signatory thereto, it could not order
the reconveyance of his share in such
land in favor of his heir Ricardo

because Cresenciano predeceased


Joaquin Teves, and he (Ricardo) was
represented by his mother when the
heirs authorized the sale of their
shares.
Issue:
The primary issue in this case is the
validity of the settlements executed
pursuant to Section 1 of Rule 74 of the
Rules of Court.
Ruling:
The extrajudicial settlements executed
by the heirs were legally valid and
binding.
For the partition to be valid, several
requisites must concur.
These are
that: (a) the decedent left no will; (b)
the decedent left no debts or if there
were debts left, all had been paid; (c)
the heirs are all of age, or if they are
minors, the minors are represented by
their judicial guardian or legal
representatives; and (d) the partition
was made by means of a public
instrument or affidavit duly filed with
the Register of Deeds.
Moreover, the Deeds of Extrajudicial
Settlement were public documents
and it is settled in the Court that a
public document executed with all the
legal formalities is entitled to a
presumption of truth as to the recitals
contained therein.
Even though the Deed of Extrajudicial
Settlement and Sale which covered Lot
6409 did not contain the names or
signatures of Pedro and Cresenciano
Teves who predeceased Joaquin Teves,
they or their heirs do not lose the right

to the share in the partition of the


property. This is so due to the right of
representation.

the heirs of Marcelina Cimafranca


since their mother had no creditors at
the time of her death.

Notwithstanding their non-inclusion in


the settlement, the action which Pedro
and Cresenciano to reconvey their
shares in the property had already
prescribed.
An
action
for
reconveyance based upon an implied
trust pursuant to Article 1456 of the
Civil Code prescribes in ten years from
the registration of the deed or from
the issuance of the title. Asuncion
Teves acquired title over Lot 6409 in
1972 but the present case was only
filed by plaintiffs-appellants in 1984,
which is more than 10 years from the
issuance of title.

Finally, except for the portion of Lot


769-A occupied by Ricardo Teves, the
actions filed by plaintiffs had already
been barred by laches as action for Lot
6409 was filed after more than 10
years from issuance of TCT and action
for Lot 769-A was filed after 25 years.

As for Lot 769-A, it has been admitted


by both parties that Ricardo Teves was
in possession of an undetermined
portion of the same lot and the It-its
do not claim ownership over his share
in the land. Moreover, in the said two
extrajudicial settlements, Cresenciano
was not deemed excluded. Hence,
contrary to the ruling of the CA, there
was no basis for an action for
reconveyance as there was no
conveyance in the first place. He was
entitled to the ownership of the 1/8 th
of the Lot 769-A.
Ricardo Teves moreover had no right
to demand partition of said lot
because
the
two
extrajudicial
settlements had already effectively
partitioned such lot.
The
non-registration
of
the
extrajudicial settlements involving Lot
769-A is not fatal as such deeds were
legally effective and binding among

Jimenez v. IAC, GR No. 75773,


April 17, 1990
Parties:
1. Tomas,
Visitacion,
Digno,
Antonio, Amadeo, Modesto and
Virginia (all surnamed Jimenez).
They are the petitioners and the
children of the second marriage
of Lino Jimenez with Genoveva
Caolboy.
2. Leonardo
Jimenez,
Jr.
and
Corazon Jimenez. They are the
private respondents. Leonardo
was the son of Leonardo Sr. who
was the son of the first
marriage
of
Lino
with
Consolacion Ungson.
Facts:
Lino Jimenez had two marriages. The
first wife was Consolacion Ungson,
who later on died, and they had four
children namely Alberto, Leonardo Sr,
Alejandra and Angeles. The second
wife was Genoveva Caolboy, whom
Lino married after Consolacion died,
and they had seven children namely
Tomas, Visitacion, Digno, Antonio,
Amadeo, Modesto and Virginia.

Lino died ahead of Genoveva.


Virginia filed a petition and prayed
that she be appointed as administratix
of the properties of the spouses Lino
and Genoveva. In her petition, the
children of the first marriage were
included as co-heirs.
Leonardo Jr., who was the son of
Leonardo Sr. filed for the exclusion of
his fathers name as well as those of
his aunts and uncle from the petition
because they were the children of the
first marriage and they had already
received their inheritance consisting of
five parcels of land.
Virginia
Jimenez
was
later
on
appointed
administrator
of
the
Intestate Estate of Lino Jimenez and
Genoveva Caolboy. In her inventory,
she included the five parcels of land
which were inherited by the children
of the first marriage.
As a
consequence, Leonardo Jr. moved for
the exclusion of said properties on the
ground that said properties had
already been adjudicated to the
children of the first marriage by their
father, Lino.
The probate court ordered the
exclusion of the five parcels of land
from the inventory on the basis of the
Tax Declaration showing that the
subject properties were acquired
during the conjugal partnership of Lino
Jimenez and Consolacion Ungson, and
a Deed of Sale wherein Genoveva
Caolboy stated that the subject
properties had been adjudicated by
Lino Jimenez to his children by a
previous marriage.

Petitioners filed an MR, which was


denied.
On appeal to the CA by petitioners,
the CA dismissed the petition. Said
dismissal was due to the Genovevas
admission that the subject parcels of
land had been adjudicated to the
children of the previous marriage; that
long before Linos marriage to
Genoveva, the properties were already
titled in the name of Lino; that the
claim of Virginia Jimenez was barred
by prescription as the action was filed
in 1981, more than 10 years from
Genovevas admission in 1964; and
that Virginia was barred by laches.
Two years after, petitioner filed an
amended
complaint
to
recover
possession or ownership of the subject
five parcels of land as part of the
estate of Lino Jimenez and Genoveva.
The trial court resolved to dismiss the
complaint on the ground of res
judicata and said fate was had for
their MR. The CA likewise dismissed
petitioners appeal.
Issue:
The issue is whether in a settlement
proceeding the lower court has
jurisdiction to settle questions of
ownership and whether res judicata
exists as to bar petitioners present
action for the recovery of possession
and ownership of the five parcels of
land.
Ruling:
The Court reversed the CAs decision.
A probate court can only pass upon
questions of title provisionally. As the

probate courts findings are not


conclusive, a separate proceeding is
necessary to establish the ownership
of the five parcels of land. This is so
because of the probate courts limited
jurisdiction and the principle that
questions of title or ownership which
result in inclusion or exclusion from
the inventory of the property can only
be settled in a separate action.
Moreover, the probate court could only
determine as to whether the property
should or should not be included in the
inventory or list of properties to be
administered by the administrator. If
there is a dispute as to the ownership,
then the opposing parties and the
administrator have to resort to an
ordinary
action
for
a
final
determination of the conflicting claims
of title because the probate court
cannot do so.
For res judicata to apply,: (1) there
must be a prior final judgment or
order; (2) the court rendering the
judgment
or
order
must
have
jurisdiction over the subject matter
and over the parties; (3) the judgment
or order must be on the merits; and
(4) there must be between two cases,
the earlier and the instant, identity of
parties, identity of subject matter and
identity of cause of action. In the case
at bar, there is no identity in the
causes of action. Hence, such claim
does not exist.
This is so as one action was for the
settlement of the intestate estate of
Lino Jimenez and Genoveva Caolboy
while the other action was for the
recovery of possession and ownership
of the five parcels of land. Hence, any

pronouncements made by the probate


court as to the title were not
conclusive and could still be attacked
in a separate proceeding.
As to the issue of prescription and
laches, due to the number of the
factual issues raised by petitioners
before the lower court, there should be
the presentation of evidence at a fullblown trial. This is so because the SC
is not a trier of facts.

Lachenal v. Salas, GR No. L-42257,


June 14, 1976
Parties:
1. Ildefonso
Lachenal,
Elias
Lachenal, Irenea Santos, Flora
Sanches
and
Natividad
Lachenal. Children of Victorio
Lachenal.
2. Flaviana Leonio.
She was a
daughter
of
the
testator,
Victorio Lachenal.
3. Hon. Emilio Salas. He was the
presiding judge of the CFI of
Pasig.
Facts:
Ildenfoso Lachenal, son of Victorio
Lachenal, was named executor of his
fathers will.
In his inventory, he
included Lachenal VII, a fishing boat.
The executor filed in the settlement of
the testate estate of Victorio Lachenal
before the CFI of Pasig a motion to
require the spouses Lope Leonio and
Flaviana Lachenal-Leonio to pay the
rentals for the lease of Lachenal VII
and to return the boat to Navotas for
drydocking and repair.

Flaviana
however
opposed
such
motion. She claimed that she was the
owner of the boat because she
purchased it from her father in 1967.
Such argument was contained in her
motion to exclude. Such motion was
opposed by the executor.
A commissioner was designated by
the probate court in order to receive
evidence of the parties relative to the
ownership of the motorboat. Flaviana
finished her presentation while the
executor
did
not
present
his
counteravailing evidence.
Instead, the executor, together with
Victorios other children, filed an
action before the CFI of Caloocan City
for the recovery of the motorboat
Lachenal VII with back rentals and
damages against the spouses Leonio
and three other children of Victorio,
named
Crispula,
Modesto
and
Esperanza.
They alleged that Victorio in 1964
leased the said motorboat to his sonin-law, Lope Leonio, for a monthly
rental of P2,000.00 and that after
Victorios death, the executor of his
estate demanded from Leonio the
return of the boat and the payment of
the back rentals.
Subsequently, the executor and his
group filed in the probate court their
motion to exclude the said motorboat
from the testators estate on the
ground that the probate court had no
jurisdiction to decide the question as
to its ownership because said matter
was to be resolved by the Caloocan
court.

The probate court ruled however that


it had jurisdiction over the issue of
ownership because the heirs had
agreed to present their evidence on
that point before a commissioner.
The executor and his group filed
special civil actions of prohibition and
certiorari against the probate court
before the SC.
Issue:
The issue is whether the probate court
should be allowed to continue the
hearing on the ownership of the
fishing boat or whether that question
should be left to the determination of
the
Caloocan
court
where
the
subsequent separate action, which
was on the pre-trial stage, for the
recovery of the motorboat is pending.
Ruling:
The Court ruled that the title to the
fishing boat should be determined in
the separate action because it
affected the lessee, Leonio, who was a
third person with respect to the estate
of Victorio, although he was the
latters son-in-law.
It has been held that where a party in
a probate proceeding prays for the
inclusion in, or exclusion from, the
inventory of a piece of property, the
court may provisionally pass upon the
question without prejudice to its final
determination in a separate action.
Moreover,
for
the
recovery
or
protection of the property rights of the
decedent,
an
executor
or
administrator may bring or defend in
the right of the decedent, actions for

causes which survive. In the instant


case, the executor filed a separate
action in the Caloocan Court for the
recovery of the fishing boat and back
rentals from the Leonio spouses.
Probate
jurisdiction
includes
all
matters relating to the settlement of
estates and the probate of wills of
persons,
particularly
the
administration of the decedents
estate, the payment of his debts,
questions
as
to
collation
or
advancements to heirs, the liquidation
of the conjugal partnership, and the
partition and distribution of the estate.
It was intimated by the Court that
since the controversy is among
members of the same family, the
Caloocan court should endeavor to
persuade the litigants to agree upon
some compromise.

Maneclang v. Baun and Baun, GR


No. L-27876, April 22, 1992
Parties:
1. Adelaida Maneclang. She is the
administrator of the Intestate
Estate of Margarita Suri Santos.
2. Juan Baun and Amparo Baun
3. City of Dagupan
Facts:
Margarita Suri Santos died intestate.
She was survived by her husband,
Severo Maneclang, and nine children.
She left several parcels of land, among
which was Lot No. 203.
A petition for the settlement of her
estate was filed by Hector, one of her

legitimate children, with the CFI of


Dagupan. At the time of the filing of
the petition in 1947, 2 of the nine
were of legal age already: Hector (21)
and Oscar (19). The rest were minors
and no guardian ad litem was
appointed by court for them.
In 1949, Pedro Feliciano was appointed
administrator of the intestate estate of
Margarita. He filed a petition before
the court seeking for authority to
dispose of so much of the estate
necessary to dispose of so much of the
estate.
Notice was given to the
surviving spouse, Severo, through his
counsel. No notice however was sent
to the heirs of Margarita.
The court issued an order authorizing
the administrator to mortgage or sell
several properties for the purposes of
paying the obligations, despite the
absence of notice to the heirs.
Pursuant
to
this
Order,
Oscar
Maneclang,
who
was
the
new
administrator of the estate and
likewise a son of Margarita, executed a
deed of sale in favor of the City of
Dagupan, represented by its mayor
Angel Fernandez of a portion of Lot No.
203. The deed was executed on 1952
and approved by the court on 1954.
The City of Dagupan immediately took
possession
of
the
land
and
constructed thereon a public market.
Several other parcels of land were
likewise sold pursuant to the order.
In 1965, a new administratix was
appointed.
She
was
Adelaida
Maneclang, also a daughter of
Margarita. She filed with the CFI of

Pangasinan
an
action
for
the
annulment of the sales made by the
previous
administrator,
the
cancellation of titles, recovery of
possession and damages against Juan
Baun and Amparo Baun, and the City
of Dagupan, among others. The cause
of action against the City of Dagupan
was the deed of sale executed by it
with the former administrator Oscar
Maneclang.
It was alleged by plaintiff that Oscar
Maneclang was induced by then
mayor Atty. Angel Fernandez to sell
the property to the City of Dagupan
and that the City had been leasing the
premises to numerous tenants at the
rate of P0.83 per square meter per
month.
The Trial Court ruled that the Deed of
Sale entered between Maneclang and
the City of Dagupan was void ab initio;
hence, it ordered for the Deeds
annulment.
It further ordered the
cancellation of the Certificate of Title
issued in favor of the City of Dagupan,
the issuance of a new Certificate of
Title
in
favor
of
plaintiff
as
administratix, the City of Dagupan to
pay accumulated rentals or reasonable
value of the use of the property in
favor of plaintiff, and the plaintiff to
reimburse the City of Dagupan, which
is to deducted from the amount due
the plaintiff from the defendant.
The trial court based its decision on
the absence of notices of the
application given to the heirs of
Margarita. Moreover, estoppel did not
lie against plaintiff as no estoppel
could be predicated on an illegal act.
Finally, the City of Dagupan was not a

purchaser in good faith and for value


as the former judicial administrator,
Oscar Maneclang, testified that he was
induced to enter into the sale.
The City of Dagupan appealed to the
SC, alleging that the decision was
contrary to law and that the amount
involved exceeded P500,000.00.
Issues:
The issues include the validity of the
sale entered into between the judicial
administrator
and
the
City
of
Dagupan, estoppel on the part of the
plaintiff, and the finding that the City
of Dagupan was not a purchaser in
good faith.
Ruling:
It was argued by the City of Dagupan
that notice of the application for
authority to sell given to Margaritas
surviving spouse, Severo, was deemed
sufficient notice to the minor chidren
being
the
designated
legal
representative pursuant to Article 320
of the Civil Code.
This argument
however did not hold water. This is so
because the petition for authority to
sell was filed prior to the effectivity of
the Civil Code as the petition was filed
on 1949. Hence, the governing law
was Article 159 of the Civil Code of
Spain. Said provisions provide that
the
father
or
mother
is
the
administrator of the childs property.
Despite the provisions so cited, it does
not follow that for purposes of
complying with the requirement of
notice under Rule 89 of the Rules of
Court, notice to the father is notice to
the children. Sections 2, 4 and 7 of

said Rule state explicitly that the


notice, which must be in writing, must
be given to the heirs, devisees and
legatees, and that the court shall fix a
time and place for hearing such
petition and cause to be given to the
interested parties.
The requirement of notice was not
complied with as the notice was given
only to Severo. No notice was given to
Hector and Oscar who were already of
age or to their counsel, and to the
counsel or guardian ad litem of the
remaining seven minor children.
Without the notices, the authority to
sell, the sale itself and the order
approving it would be null and void ab
initio.
This does not apply to Severo
Maneclang as he was duly notified of
the application. Hence, he was bound
by the said order, sale and approval.
However, his only interest is his right
of usufruct which is equal t that
corresponding by way of legitime
pertaining to each of the surviving
children pursuant to Article 834 of the
Civil Code of Spain, the governing law
at that time since Margarita Suri
Santos died before the effectivity of
the Civil Code.
Estoppel was likewise unavailable as
an argument.
Estoppel was not available against the
administratrix
as
it
has
been
recognized by the Court that the
administratix, being the decedents
representative, is not estopped to
question the validity of his own void
deed purporting to convey land.
Moreover, not being the party who

petitioned the court for authority to


sell and who executed the sale, she
cannot be held liable for any act or
omission which could give rise to
estoppel.
Likewise, estoppel was not available
against the children as they did not
participate in such sale and that the
action was filed solely by the
administratrix without the children
being impleaded as parties or
intervenors. However, this does not
extend to Oscar who executed the
deed of sale in his capacity as judicial
administrator.
For having executed
the deed of sale, Oscar was deemed to
have assented to both the motion for
and the actual order granting the
authority to sell. Estoppel operates
solely against him.
Prescription does not lie as well.
Actions to declare the inexistence of
contracts do not prescribe.
Another defense raised by the City of
Dagupan was laches.
Preliminarily,
prescription is different from laches as
the former is the fact of delay while
the latter is concerned with the effect
of delay.
The essential elements of laches are
(1) the conduct on the part of the
defendant or of one under whom he
claims, giving rise to the situation of
which complaint is made and for which
the complaint seeks a remedy; (2)
delay in asserting the complainants
rights, the complainant having been
afforded an opportunity to institute a
suit; (3) lack of knowledge or notice on
the part of the defendant that the
complainant would assert the right on

which he bases his suit; and (4) injury


or prejudice to the defendant in the
event relief is accorded to the
complainant or the suit is not held
barred. In the case at bar, the action
was filed after 12 years, 10 months
and 24 days after the sale was
executed in 1952.
During the execution of the deed of
sale, 4 of the nine children were
already of age, including Oscar who
executed said deed.
Oscar then
cannot be expected to renounce his
own act. With respect to the other 3,
Hector, Cesar and Amanda, they
should have taken immediate steps to
protect their rights. Their failure to do
so for 13 years amounted to such
inaction and delay as to constitute
laches. This cannot apply to the rest
of the children however as they could
not have filed an action to protect
their interests. Hence, neither delay
nor negligence could be attributed to
them as basis for laches. The estate is
entitled to recover 5/9 of the
questioned property.
The issue on good faith on the City of
Dagupans
end
was
likewise
discussed. The trial court in ruling out
good faith took into account the
testimony of Oscar Maneclang to the
effect that it was Mayor Fernandez and
Councilor Teofilo Guadiz, Sr. induced
him to sell the property and that the
execution of the sale was witnessed by
the City Fiscal. The SC did not agree
however.
The order granting the motion for
authority to sell was issued during the
incumbency of administratorship of
Feliciano,
which
was
prior
to

Maneclangs administration.
Hence,
Oscar Maneclang cannot be said to
have been induced to sell the property
as there was already the order
authorizing the sale.
The Court likewise ruled that when it
filed its Answer, the City of Dagupan
became a possessor in bad faith.
Hence, prior to such filing, the City
was a possessor in good faith. Being a
possessor in good faith, it is entitled to
the
fruits
received
before
the
possession was legally interrupted
hence the payment accumulated
rentals from the time it possessed the
property until the filing of the
complaint was not proper.

Intestate Estate of the Deceased


Gelacio Sebial v. Sebial, GR No. L23419, June 27, 1975
Parties:
1. Benjamina Sebial. A petitioner.
She
was
appointed
as
administratrix of the estate of
Gelacio Sebial.
2. Roberta Sebial, Juliano Sebial
and the heirs of Balbina Sebial.
Private respondents. They are
the children of Gelacio in the
first marriage.
Facts:
Gelacio Sebial was married twice.
With his first wife, Leoncia Manikis,
who died in 1919, he had three
children namely Roberta, Balbina and
Juliano. With his second wife, Dolores
Enad, whom he married in 1927, he
had six children namely Benjamina,

Valentina,
Ciriaco,
Esperanza, and Luciano.

Gregoria,

When Gelacio died in 1943, one of his


children with Dolores, Benjamina, filed
in the CFI of Cebu a verified petition
for the settlement of his estate in
1960. Benjamina prayed that she be
appointed administratrix of the estate.
One of the children in the first
marriage,
Roberta,
opposed
the
petition on the ground that the estate
of
Gelacio
had
already
been
partitioned
among
his
children.
Moreover, if indeed an administration
proceeding was necessary, she should
be appointed as administratrix as she
was living in Guimbawian, a remote
mountain barrio of Pinamungajan
where the decedents estate was
supposedly located unlike Benjamina
who was a housemaid working at
Talisay which was 70 kilometers away
from Pinamungajan.
The children of the first marriage
contended
in
a
supplemental
opposition that the remedy of
Benjamina was an action to rescind
the partition.
The trial court appointed Benjamina as
administratrix. It likewise found that
the decedent left an estate consisting
of lands with an area of 21 hectares,
valued at more than P6,000.00 and
that
the
alleged
partition
of
decedents estate was invalid and
ineffective. Correspondingly, letters of
administration
were
issued
to
Benjamina as well as notice to
creditors.
The
oppositors
reconsideration

moved
for
the
of
the
order

appointing
Benjamina
as
administratrix and reiterated their
claim that the estate of Gelacio was
already partitioned and that the action
to rescind the partition had already
prescribed.
This opposition was
denied by the trial court however.
The oppositors filed a motion to
terminate
the
administration
proceeding on the grounds that the
estate was valued at less than
P6,000.00 and that there was no
necessity
for
the
administration
proceeding as the estate was already
partitioned.
Benjamina filed an inventory and
appraisal of the decedents estate.
Correspondingly,
the
oppositors
registered their opposition to the
inventory on the ground that the
seven parcels of land enumerated in
the inventory no longer formed part of
the decedents estate.
The probate court however ordered
the suspension of the action due to
the
possibility
of
an
amicable
settlement. It likewise ordered the
parties to prepare a complete list of
the properties belonging to the
decedent, with a segregation of the
properties belonging to each marriage.
The oppositors who are the children of
the first marriage submitted their own
inventory of the conjugal assets of
Gelacio and Leoncia, consisting of two
parcels of land. They alleged that the
properties were partitioned as follows:
were partitioned in favor of Roberta,
Juliano and Francisco as representative
of estate of Balbina, while was
partitioned to Valentina Sebial as

representative of the six children of


the second marriage.
This was
opposed by the administratrix.

record on appeal said that there was


presentation of evidence by either
party concerning the two parties.

The lower court inexplicably required


the administratrix to submit another
inventory, to which the administratrix
complied with.
The oppositors
opposed the inventory and filed a
motion for revision of partition. The
second inventory submitted by the
administratrix was approved by the
court because there was allegedly a
prima facie evidence to show that the
seven parcels of land and two houses
listed
therein
belonged
to
the
decedents estate.

In her appeal, Roberta appealed that


she was a pauper and in justifying
their circumstances, her husband and
her nephew filed a mimeographed
brief and swore that their families
subsisted on root crops because they
could not afford to buy corn grit or
rice.

The lower court likewise granted the


motion of the administratrix for the
delivery to her of certain parcels of
land and directed the heirs of Gelacio
to
deliver
these
properties
to
administratrix.
It likewise denied
oppositors motion for revision of
partition.
Roberta
Sebial
moved
for
the
reconsideration of the two orders.
Pending resolution however, the
oppositors filed a notice of appeal with
the CA. About during that time, the
trial court denied oppositors MR.
The CA certified the court to the SC
because in its opinion, the appeal
involved only the legal issues of the
construction of Section 2, Rule 74 and
Section 1, Rule 84 (Rule 83) of the
Rules of Court and whether an
ordinary civil action for recovery of
property and not an administration
proceeding is the proper remedy. The
Clerk of Court of the lower court in its
letter transmitting the amended

Issue:
The issue involved the conflicting
claims of Benjamina and Roberta.
Ruling:
One of the arguments of the
oppositors was that the probate court
had no jurisdiction to approve the
inventory because the administratrix
filed it after three months from the
date of her appointment. This was not
well-taken by the SC.
The three-month period prescribed in
Section 1, Rule 84 (Rule 84) was not
mandatory.
After the filing of a
petition for the issuance of letters of
administration and the publication of
the notice of hearing, the proper CFI
acquires jurisdiction over a decedents
estate and retains that jurisdiction
until the proceeding is closed. The
fact that an inventory was filed after
three months would not deprive the
probate court of jurisdiction to
approve it.
The administrators
unexplained delay in filing the
inventory may be a ground for his
removal however.

The second contention of oppositors


was that inasmuch as the value of the
estate was less than P5,000.00 and he
had no debts, the estate could be
settled
summarily
or
that
the
administration proceeding was not
necessary. However, the value of the
estate was not ascertained by the
lower court however.
It would not be useful however to
dismiss the petition and order a new
petition for summary settlement,
according to the Court. It considered
that the probate court could still
proceed summarily and expeditiously
as a regular administration was
already appointed and notice to
creditors issued and with no claims
filed.
The SC intimated that lawyers of
parties should strive to effect an
amicable settlement of the case.
Should it fail, the probate court should
then ascertain what assets constituted
the estate of Gelacio, what happened
to those assets and whether the
children of the second marriage could
still have a share.
The SC furthered that the lower courts
order
approving
the
amended
inventory was not a conclusive
determination of what assets belonged
to the decedent, as well their
valuations. This is so as determination
of probate court is provisional and
without prejudice to a judgment in a
separate action on the issue of title or
ownership.
The lower courts orders requiring
delivery of properties to administratrix
were erroneous as the probate court

failed to receive evidence as to the


ownership of the said parcels of land.
Said orders were set aside by the SC.
In the case of Lorenzo Rematado and
Lazaro Recuelo who are not heirs of
the decedent, they are considered
third persons.
As a rule, matters
affecting
property
under
administration
may
be
taken
cognizance of by the probate court in
the
course
of
the
intestate
proceedings
provided
that
the
interests of third persons are not
prejudiced. However, third persons to
whom the decedents assets had been
fraudulently conveyed may be cited to
appear in court and be examined
under oath as to how they came into
the possession of the decedents
assets but a separate action would be
necessary to recover the said assets.
The Court ruled that the probate court
should require the parties to present
further proof on the ownership of the
seven parcels of land and the
materials
of
the
two
houses
enumerated in the inventory.

The Estate of Hilario Ruiz v. CA,


GR No. 118671, January 29, 1996
Parties:
1. Edmond Ruiz.
He is the
petitioner. He is likewise the
executor of the estate of Hilario
Ruiz.
2. Maria Pilar Ruiz-Montes, Maria
Cathryn Ruiz, Candice Albertine
Ruiz, Maria Angeline Ruiz. They
are the private respondents.

Facts:
In the holographic will of Hilario Ruiz,
he named as his heirs the following:
his son Edmond Ruiz, his adopted
daughter Maria Pilar Ruiz Montes, and
his
three
granddaughters
Maria
Cathryn, Candice Albertine and Maria
Angeline who are children of Edmond
Ruiz. He likewise named Edmond Ruiz
as executor of his estate.
When Hilario Ruiz died in 1988, the
cash component of his estate was
distributed
among
Edmond
and
private respondents.
However, the
executor, Edmond, did not take any
action for the probate of his fathers
holographic will.
Four years after Hilarios death, it was
private respondent Maria Pilar, the
testators adopted daughter, who filed
before the RTC a petition for the
probate and approval of Hilarios will
and for the issuance of letters
testamentary
to
Edmond
Ruiz.
However, Edmond Ruiz opposed the
petition on the ground that the will
was executed under undue influence.
Edmond Ruiz leased out to third
persons the properties of the estate
(Valle Verde properties) which were
bequeathed to the granddaughters.
On such regard, the probate court
ordered Edmond to deposit with the
Branch Clerk of Court the rental
deposit and payments representing
the one-year lease of the Valle Verde
property.
In compliance, Edmond
turned over the balance of the rent,
after deducting the expenses for
repair and maintenance.

Edmond later one withdrew his


opposition to the probate of the will.
Consequently, the probate court
admitted the will to probate and
ordered the issuance of letters
testamentary to Edmond conditioned
upon the filing of the bond in the
amount of P50,000.00. The letters
testamentary were issued.
Petitioner Testate Estate of Hilario Ruiz
with Edmond Ruiz as executor filed an
Ex-Parte Motion for Release of Funds
praying for the release of the rent
payments deposited with the Branch
Clerk of Court. Respondent Montes
opposed the motion and filed a motion
for release of funds to certain heirs
and for issuance of certificate of
allowance of probate will. She prayed
for the release of said rent payments
to Hilarios granddaughters and for the
distribution of the testators properties
(Valle Verde property and Blue Ridge
apartments) in accordance with the
provisions of the holographic will.
The probate court denied petitioners
motion for release of funds. It granted
respondent Montes motion in view of
petitioners lack of opposition and
ordered the release of rent payments
to
the
decedents
three
granddaughters. It likewise ordered
the delivery of the titles and
possession
of
the
properties
bequeathed to the 3 granddaughters
and respondent Montes upon the filing
of a bond of P50,000.00.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration.
He alleged that he actually filed his
opposition to respondent Montes
motion for release of rent payments
which opposition the court failed to

consider. He likewise reiterated his


previous motion for the release of
funds.
Petitioner later on manifested that he
was withdrawing his motion for the
release of funds because the lease
contract over the Valle Verde property
had been renewed for another year.
Despite this, the probate court ordered
the release of funds to Edmond but
only such amount as may be
necessary to cover the expenses of
administration and allowances for
support of the testators three
granddaughters, subject to collation
and deductible from their share in the
inheritance.
It held in abeyance
however the release of the titles to
respondent Montes and the three
granddaughters until the lapse of six
months from the date of first
publication of the notice to creditors.
The court ordered Edmond Ruiz to
submit an accounting of the expenses
necessary for administration including
provisions for the support of the
testators granddaughters.
This order was assailed by petitioner
before the CA, which the CA
dismissed. Hence, petitioner filed a
petition before the SC via a petition for
review on certiorari.
Issues:
The issue for resolution is whether the
probate court, after admitting the will
to probate but before payment of the
estates debts and obligations, has the
authority to grant an allowance from
the funds of the estate for the support
of the testators grandchildren, to

order the release of the titles to


certain heirs, and to grant possession
of all properties of the estate to the
executor of the will.
Ruling:
Edmond Ruiz alleged that Section 3 of
Rule 83 only gives the widow and the
minor or incapacitated children of the
deceased
the
right
to
receive
allowances for support during the
settlement of estate proceedings. He
furthered that the testators three
granddaughters, his own daughters,
do not qualify for an allowance
because they were not incapacitated
and were no longer minors but already
of legal age, married and gainfully
employed.
Moreover, the provision
excludes the latters grandchildren as
said
provision
expressly
states
children.
Although allowances for support
should not be limited to the minor or
incapacitated
children
of
the
deceased, grandchildren are not
entitled to provisional support from
the funds of the decedents estate.
This is so because the law clearly
limits the allowance to widow and
children and does not extend it to the
deceaseds grandchildren, regardless
of their minority or incapacity. Hence,
it was error for the appellate court to
sustain the probate courts order
granting
an
allowance
to
the
grandchildren of the testator pending
settlement of his estate.
The SC also held that the appellate
and probate courts erred when they
ordered the release of the titles of the
bequeathed properties to private

respondents six months after the date


of first publication of notice to
creditors. It has been held that in the
settlement of estate proceedings, the
distribution of the estate properties
can only be made after all the debts,
funeral
charges,
expenses
of
administration, allowance to the
widow, and estate tax have been paid;
or before payment of said obligations
only if the distributes or any of them
gives a bond in a sum fixed by the
court conditioned upon the payment
of said obligations within such time as
the court directs, or when provision is
made to meet those obligations.
In the case at bar, the questioned
order speaks of notice to creditors,
not payment of debts and obligations.
Moreover, the taxes on Hilarios estate
had not been paid nor ascertained.
Finally, at the time the order was
issued, the properties of the estate
had not yet been inventoried and
appraised.
It was too early for the court to issue
said order after admitting the will to
probate.
This is so as questions
regarding the intrinsic validity and
efficacy of the provisions of the will,
the legality of any devise or legacy
may be raised even after the will has
been authenticated.
Such so was
raised by Edmond.
Petitioner assailed the distributive
shares of the devisees and legatees
inasmuch as his fathers will included
the estate of his mother and allegedly
impaired his legitime as an intestate
heir of his mother. However, Edmond
cannot correctly claim that the
assailed order deprived him of his

right to take possession of all the real


and personal properties of the estate.
The
right
to
an
executor
or
administrator to the possession and
management of the real and personal
properties of the deceased is not
absolute and can only be exercised so
long as it is necessary for the payment
of the debts and expenses of
administration.
Yet, Edmond must be reminded that
he has merely inchoate right of
ownership over the properties of his
father as long as the estate has not
been fully settled and partitioned. As
executor, he is a mere trustee of his
fathers estate.
The funds of the
estate in his hands are trust funds and
he is held to the duties and
responsibilities of a trustee of the
highest order. He cannot unilaterally
assign to himself and possess all of his
parents properties and the fruits
thereof without first submitting an
inventory and appraisal of all real and
personal properties of the deceased,
rendering a true account of his
administration,
the
expenses
of
administration, the amount of the
obligations and estate tax.
Except as to orders granting an
allowance to the grandchildren and
release of titles to the private
respondents upon notice to creditors,
the CAs decision was affirmed.

Sociedad de Lizarrage Hermanos


v. Abada, GR No. 13910,
September 17, 1919
Parties:

1. Sociedad
de
Lizarrage
Hermanos.
They are the
petitioners. In their favor does
decedent Francisco Caponong
owed a sum of money.
2. Felicisima Abada. She was the
decedents widow and was
appointed administratrix of the
estate.
3. Januario Granada.
He is the
guardian of the minor children
of Caponong.
Facts:
Decedent, Francisco Caponong, at the
time of his death owed Sociedad de
Lizarraga Hermanos a sum of money,
which was then less than the amount
allowed by the commissioners.
Caponongs widow, Felicisima Abada,
was appointed administratrix of the
estate.
Commissioners to appraise
the estate and to pass on the claims
against
the
estate
were
duly
appointed
and,
before
the
commissioners did petitioner present
their claims amounting to P12,783.74.
Meanwhile, administratrix leased the
hacienda Coronacion to Hilario
Zayco for a term of years. However,
after she married Vicente Alvarez, the
lease was transferred to Alvarez by
Zayco.
Seven years after the death of
Caponong, the petitioners filed a suit
before the CFI of Occidental Negros
against Abada personally and as
administratrix of the estate of
Caponong. They alleged that from the
time she had the hacienda leased up
to 1912, Abada received from them
money and effects which were used in

the expense of cultivation and


exploitation of Coronacion therefore
ballooned the amount to P62,437.15.
Abada recognized as due from the
estate only about P14,000.00 which
however was not paid.
In her answer, Abada admitted she
owed P8,555.78 as administratrix and
that the balance was due by her
personally.
The guardian of the minor children of
Caponong asked permission of the
court to intervene in that suit, which
was granted. The guardian denied
however the claim under oath and
alleged that the estate of Caponong
did not owe petitioner anything.
Later on, the parties, including the
guardian of the minors, presented a
motion in court stating that they had
made an amicable settlement of the
litigation, and prayed the court to
dismiss the action, which was done.
The same was petitioned in the
intestate proceedings of Caponong.
The
settlement
contained
the
defendants
recognition
that
Caponongs estate was indebted to
petitioners in the sum of P68,611.01.
To secure such debt, defendants
agreed to give plaintiffs a first
mortgage on all the property of
Caponong, except the growing sugar
cane, and on all the properties
belonging exclusively to Abada.
The mortgage of the hacienda was
duly executed by Abada for herself
and as administratrix, the guardian of
the children, and Vicente Alvarez. The
carabaos were not mortgaged.

The compromise was approved by the


court as well as the mortgage. Yet,
the mortgage was not recorded in the
registry of property.
Petitioners filed a complaint alleging
that the amount due them with
accrued interest was already at
P90,383.49. One of the reasons of the
institution of the suit was the noninclusion of carabaos, which was one
of the motives and considerations
inducing the plaintiffs to accept the
compromise
agreement
notwithstanding the promise made by
defendants.
The court granted the attachment
order and the provincial sheriff
attached one parcel of land, the
growing crops, certain products of the
soil and various animals.
Yet,
according to petitioners, through
motion, the property mortgaged to
secure the debt was not sufficient.
Moreover,
they
sought
the
appointment of a receiver due to the
negligence of defendants in the
conservation and care of the property.
Due to the appointment of the
receiver and him taking charge of the
property, defendants were ousted
from their house on the premises.
Defendants
alleged
in
their
representative capacities that the
claim of petitioners against the
intestate proceedings of Caponong
had been allowed in the sum of
P12,783.74 by the commissioners and
that the only interest of Abada
personally was her usufructuary
interest in 1/6 of the property.

The trial court sustained defendants


and ordered petitioners to pay
damages, including the damages
suffered by Abada having been put out
of her house when the receiver was
appointed.
The attachment was
dissolved
and
receiver
was
discharged.
Also, judgment was
rendered in favor of plaintiffs to
recover from the administratrix the
sum of P8,555.78 with interest and
Abada in her personal capacity,
together with Alvarez, for P79,970.21.
Finally, the claims against the
guardian
of
the
children
were
dismissed.
Abada appealed personally and as
administratrix.
Issues:
One of the issues included the claim of
the petitioners from the estate of
Caponong.
Ruling:
The claim of the petitioners against
the estate of Caponong had been fixed
by commissioners. The amount so
determined was all the estate owed
petitioners.
The court says in its
decision that in approving the
settlement of action number 969, its
approval was meant to include only
the amount actually due by the estate,
and that the balance of the claim was
intended to be approved as against
Abada personally.
Whether the court in approving the
compromise intended to hold the
defendant estate liable only for the
original debt, and defendant Abada for
the balance, is not material.

The
law
declares
that
the
commissioners shall pass upon all
claims against the estate. They had
done so in this case. The law fixed the
limit of the estates liability. The court
could not charge it with debts that
were never owed by it.
The
administratrix could only charge the
estate with the reasonable and proper
expenses of administration.
The estate owed petitioners less than
P13,000.00 when the commissioners
passed on their claim. After several
payments, the balance due them
during trial was P8,555.78, plus
interest. After their claim had been
presented and allowed
by the
commissioners,
petitioners
made
advances to the administratrix till their
claim was more than P68,000.00.
Petitioners claimed that major part of
this debt was for administration
expenses and hence chargeable
against the assets of the estate.
Administration expense would be
necessary expenses of handling the
property, of protecting it against
destruction or deterioration, and
possibly producing a crop. However, if
petitioners holding a claim originally
for less than P13,000.00 against the
estate, let the administratrix have
money and effects till their claim grow
to
P68,000.00
they cannot
be
permitted to charge this amount as
expense of administration.
They
might be allowed to charge it against
the current revenue from the hacienda
or the net proceeds of the exploitation
of the hacienda for which it was
obtained and used, but it cannot relate
back to the presenting of their claim to

the commissioners and be a charge


against the inheritance of the heirs, or
even a claim to prorate with other
creditors claims allowed by the
commissioners.
The court could not approve a
settlement saddling upon the estate
debts it never wed, and if it did, its
approval would be a nullity. Hence,
the contract was a dead letter and the
approval of the court could not
breathe the breath of life into it.
Likewise, the mortgage was void. This
is so as no mortgage can be placed by
an administrator on the estate of a
descendant unless it is specifically
authorized by statute. There is no
statute in the Philippine Islands
authorizing it.
On the issue of attachment, it was not
proper as the properties were in the
name
and
possession
of
the
administratrix, were in custodia legis
and could not be lawfully attached.
The same was for the receivership.
The court summed up that the claim
should have been wholly denied. It
reduced the claim of P13,262.50 to
P8,262.50.

Villaluz v. Neme and Villafranca,


GR No. L-14676, January 31, 1963
Parties:
1. Candida Villaluz. She was the
daughter of Pedro Villaluz, and
niece of Sinforosa, Patricia and
Maria.

2. Juan Neme
Villafranca.

and

Felicisima

Facts:
Maria
Rocabos
children
were
Sinforosa, Patricia, Maria, Pedro,
Severina, and Gregoria. When Maria
Rocabo died, only three survived:
Sinforosa, Patricia and Maria. Pedros
children
were
Candida,
Emilia,
Clemencia, Roberto and Isidra, all
surnamed Villaluz. Severinas children
were Isabelo and Teodoro Napoles.
Gregorias children were Sinforosa and
Leonor Napoles. Maria Rocabo died
intestate.

The three concurred on the partition to


the
exclusion
and
without
the
knowledge and consent of their
nephews and nieces. The OCT was
cancelled and TCTs were issued in the
names of Sinforosa, Patricia and Maria.
The three declared the land for
taxation purposes in their names.
They sold the land to Ramona Pajarillo,
wife of Adriano Mago and Angela
Pajarillo, wife of Juan Neme.
Candida filed a complaint for partition
of said land and recovery of their
respective shares on the property and
accounting of the fruits thereof.

Before Maria Rocabo died, she


donated the southern portion of the
land to Maria and northern portion to
Patricia in two notarial deeds of
donations. The said donees accepted
the donations and took actual
possession
of
their
respective
portions, but only Maria Villaluz
remained on the entire land because
Patricia left.
Maria cultivated and
improved the land from 1927 to 1938,
the year after Maria Rocabo died.

The lower court dismissed the


complaint. The lower court also ruled
that the defendants were the owners
of land.

The patent was granted and the OCT


was issued in the name of Maria
Rocabo.

The issues are whether the extrajudicial partition only affected the
portions of Sinforosa, Patricia and
Maria, whether the petitioners were
barred, and whether defendants were
indeed
owners,
with
right
of
possession, of said land.

Maria, Patricia and Sinforosa executed


a deed of extra-judicial partition
among themselves as soon as they
had realized that the deeds of
donations were not in accordance with
the formalities required by law,
Sinforosa Villaluz refusal to surrender
the title to the donees unless given a
share, and upon the advice of the
notary public Carlos de Jesus

Petitioners appealed.
They alleged
that the extra-judicial partition only
affected the partition of Sinforosa,
Patricia and Maria on the land in
question, and that their claims were
not barred.
Issue:

Ruling:
The
petitioners
position
is
meritorious.
The land in question
should be divided among the heirs of

the
decedent
namely
Sinforosa,
Patricia, Maria and her grandchildren.
The deed of extra-judicial partition was
fraudulent and vicious as the same
was executed among the 3 sisters
without including their co-heirs, who
had no knowledge of and consent to
the same. The partition did not and
could not prejudice the interest and
participation of the petitioners, and
the sale of the land to the defendants
did not and could not also prejudice
and affect petitioners interest and

participation. The cancellation of the


OCT and the issuance of TCT did not
likewise prejudice the interest and the
participation of the petitioners. The
three sisters could not have sold what
did not belong to them.