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ATUN v.

NUEZ
GR No.L-8018, October 26, 1955
87 PHIL 762
FACTS: Estefania Atun died without any issue leaving in the possession of the
plaintiffs, her neices and nephews, a parcel of land. Such land was delivered
by plaintiff Gil Atun to Silvestra Nuez (sister of defendant-appellee Eusebio
Nuez) for cultivation, for which Silvestra paid the Atuns a part of the harvest
as rental. In 1940, Silvestra turned over the land to defendant Eusebio
Nuez, who thereafter refused to recognize plaintiffs' ownership or to deliver
their share of the produce. The defendant turn sold the land to his codefendant Diego Belga, who took the property with the knowledge that it
belonged, not to Nuez, but to plaintiffs. There was no prior judicial
declaration, however, that the plaintiffs were the legal heirs of the decedent.
ISSUE: Has plaintiffs the right to recover the property as a successor of the
decedent?
HELD: Yes. In the instant case, as the land in question still stands registered
in the name of Estefania Atun, now deceased, the present owners thereof
would be her legal heirs. It is of record that Estefania Atun died without any
issue or ascendants and left as her only surviving heirs the children of her
brother Nicolas, plaintiffs herein; and the rule is settled that the legal heirs of
a deceased may file an action arising out of a right belonging to their
ancestor, without a separate judicial declaration of their status as such,
provided there is no pending special proceeding for the settlement of the
decedent's estate.

LEDESMA v. MCLACHLIN
GR No.L-44837, November 23, 1938
66 PHIL 547
FACTS: Lorenzo Quitco, died in 1930, leaving defendant Mclachlin and her
children as heirs. Plaintiff Ana Ledesma, spurious/illegitimate child of Lorenzo
Quitco, and her mother, sued to declare her as compulsory heir which the
court however denied. Two years later, Lorenzo's father Eusebio died, and
because he left some personal and real properties without a will, an intestate
proceeding was instituted and a court order declaring his compulsory heirs
did not of course include Ana as one. Following such court action, the plaintiff
proceeded to collect the sum payable on a promissory note then issued in
favor of her by Lorenzo by filing a claim in the intestate proceedings of
Eusebio's Estate claiming that the sum be paid out of the properties inherited
by the defendants represents that of the successional rights of Lorenzo as a
compulsory heir of his father Eusebio.
ISSUE: Has plaintiff the right collect the sum promised by her father from her
grandfather's estate?
HELD: No. The properties inherited by the defendants from their deceased
grandfather by representation are not subject to the payment of debts and
obligations of their deceased father, who died without leaving any property.
While it is true that under the provisions of Articles 924 to 927 of the Civil
Code, a child presents his father or mother who died before him in the
properties of his grandfather or grandmother, this right of representation
does not make the said child answerable for the obligations contracted by his
deceased father or mother, because, as may be seen from the provisions of
the Code of Civil Procedure referring to partition of inheritances, the
inheritance is received with the benefit of inventory, that is to say, the heirs
only answer with the properties received from their predecessor. The herein
defendants, as heirs of Eusebio Quitco, in representation of their father
Lorenzo M. Quitco, are not bound to pay the indebtedness of their father
from whom they did not inherit anything.

LIMJOCO v. INTESTATE ESTATE OF PEDRO FRAGRANTE


GR No.L-770, April 27, 1948
80 PHIL 776
FACTS: Petitioner opposed the issuance by the Public Service Commission of
a certificate of public convenience to install, maintain and operate an ice
plant in San Juan to the respondent despite his demise, contending that the
Commission erred in allowing the substitution of the legal representative of
the estate of Pedro O. Fragante for the latter as party applicant in the case
then pending before the commission, and in subsequently granting to said
estate the certificate applied for, which is said to be in contravention of law.
ISSUE: Is the decision of the Commission correct and with basis?
HELD: Yes. If the respondent had not died, there can be no question that he
would have had the right to prosecute his application before the commission
to its final conclusion. No one would have denied him that right... The
aforesaid right of respondent to prosecute said application to its conclusion
was one which by its nature did not lapse through his death. Hence, it
constitutes a part of the assets of his estate, for which right was a property
despite the possibility that in the end the commission might have denied his
application, although under the facts of the case, the commission granted
the application in view of the financial ability of the estate to maintain and
operate the ice plant.

USON v. DEL ROSARIO


GR No.L-4963, January 29, 1953
92 PHIL 530
FACTS: Faustino Nebreda died in 1945 leaving as an only heir his estranged
wife Maria Uson, the petitioner. The latter sued to recover the ownership and
possession of five parcels of land occupied by defendant Maria del Rosario,
decedent's common-law-spouse and her children. As a defense, defendant
presented a deed of separation agreed upon and signed Faustino and Uson
containing among others an statement giving a parcel of land to Uson as an
alimony and the latter renouncing her rights to any inheritance from
Faustino.
The defendant also contends that while it is true that the four minor
defendants are illegitimate children of the decedent and under the old Civil
Code are not entitled to any successional rights, however, under the new
Civil Code they are given the status and rights of natural children and are
entitled to the successional rights which the law accords to the latter (article
2264 and article 287, new Civil Code), and because these successional rights
were declared for the first time in the new code, they shall be given
retroactive effect even though the event which gave rise to them may have
occurred under the prior legislation (Article 2253, new Civil Code).
ISSUE: Are the contentions of the defendants correct?
HELD: No. It is evident that when the decedent died in 1945 the five parcels
of land he was seized of at the time passed from the moment of his death to
his only heir, his widow Maria Uson (Article 657, old Civil Code). As this Court
aptly said, "The property belongs to the heirs at the moment of the death of
the ancestor as completely as if the ancestor had executed and delivered to
them a deed for the same before his death" (Ilustre vs. Alaras Frondosa, 17
Phil., 321). From that moment, therefore, the rights of inheritance of Maria
Uson over the lands in question became vested.
The claim of the defendants that Uson had relinquished her right over the
lands in question in view of her expressed renunciation to inherit any future
property that her husband may acquire and leave upon his death in the deed
of separation they had entered into cannot be entertained for the simple
reason that future inheritance cannot be the subject of a contract nor can it
be renounced.
Nor does the contention that the provisions of the New Civil Code shall
apply and be given retroactive effect. Article 2253 above referred to provides
indeed that rights which are declared for the first time shall have retroactive
effect even though the event which gave rise to them may have occurred
under the former legislation, but this is so only when the new rights do not

prejudice any vested or acquired right of the same origin... As already stated
in the early part of this decision, the right of ownership of Maria Uson over
the lands in question became vested in 1945 upon the death of her late
husband and this is so because of the imperative provision of the law which
commands that the rights to succession are transmitted from the moment of
death (Article 657, old Civil Code). The new right recognized by the new Civil
Code in favor of the illegitimate children of the deceased cannot, therefore,
be asserted to the impairment of the vested right of Maria Uson over the
lands in dispute.
CHAVEZ v. IAC
GR No. L-68282, November 8, 1990
FACTS: Manuela Buenavista assigned her paraphernal property in equal prodiviso among her 6 children, while possession of such property still remains
with her. Three of her children sold each their share to private respondent
Concepcion, consolidating 4/6 portion thereof. Deeds of sale were therefor
executed with the conformity of Manuela. Despite such transfers, the latter
sold the entire property to one of the siblings, herein petitioner Raquel
Chavez. Respondent sued for the annulment of the later sale to Raquel which
was denied by the trail court but which later decision overturned by the
Court of Appeals. On appeal, petitioner also contends that their mother has
left a last will and this will supercedes the earlier transfers.
ISSUE: Is partition inter-vivos, and sale based on such partition valid? Does a
last will supercede that of the partition inter-vivos?
HELD: Yes. When a person makes a partition by will, it is imperative that such
partition must be executed in accordance with the provisions of the law on
wills; however, when a person makes the partition of his estate by an act
inter vivos, such partition may even be oral or written, and need not be in
the form of a will, provided that the partition does not prejudice the legitime
of compulsory heirs. xxx The Deeds of Sale are not contracts entered into
with respect to future inheritance but a contract perfected and consummated
during the lifetime of Manuela Buenavista who signed the same and gave her
consent thereto. Such partition inter vivos, executed by the property owner
herself, is valid.
It would be unjust and inequitable to allow Manuela Buenavista Vda. de
Chavez to revoke the sales she herself authorized as well as the sale she
herself executed in favor of her son only to execute a simulated sale in favor
of her daughter Raquel who had already profited from the sale she made of
the property she had received in the partition inter vivos.

Spouses Sicad vs Court of Appeals


294 SCRA 183 Succession Donation Mortis Causa vs Donation Inter Vivos
In 1979, Aurora Montinola executed a deed entitled Deed of Donation Inter
Vivos in favor of her three grandchildren Catalino Valderrama, Judy
Valderrama, and Jesus Valderrama. The deed however provided that that the
donation shall be effective only 10 years after Montinolas death. In 1980,
the original title of the parcel of land subject of the donation was cancelled
and a new title was given to the Valderramas. Montinola however retained
the original title and she continued to perform acts of ownership over the
parcel of land.
In 1987, Montinola revoked the donation because of acts of ingratitude
committed against her by the Valderramas; that the Valderramas defamed
her; that she overheard the Valderramas plotting against her life. In 1990,
she petitioned to have her title be reinstated and her grandchildrens title be
cancelled. She said that the donation is actually a donation mortis causa and
that the same is void because the formalities of a will were not complied
with. In the same year, she sold her property to spouses Ernesto and Evelyn
Sicad.
The Valderramas opposed the petition. In 1993, while the case was still
pending, Montinola died. The petition was continued by the spouses Sicad.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Deed of Donation Inter Vivos is actually a
donation mortis causa.

HELD: Yes, the deed is a donation mortis causa. Montinola not only reserved
for herself all the fruits of the property allegedly conveyed, but what is even
more important, specially provided that without the knowledge and consent
of the Montinola, the donated properties could not be disposed of in any way,
thereby denying to the transferees the most essential attribute of ownership,
the power to dispose of the properties. A donation which purports to be one
inter vivos but withholds from the done (in this case the Valderramas) the
right to dispose of the donated property during the donors lifetime is in truth
one mortis causa. In a donation mortis causa the right of disposition is not
transferred to the donee while the donor is still alive. The donation is
therefore void because the formalities of a will, which is essentially a
donation mortis causa, were not complied wit

LITONJUA v. MONTILLA
GR No.L-4170, January 31, 1952, 90PHIL757
90 PHIL 757
FACTS: Pedro Litonjua obtained a judgment against Claudio Montilla for the
payment of a sum of P4,039. Failing to find or identify a property of Claudio
to be levied, petitioner then proceeded to file a claim in the intestate
proceeding of the estate of Agustin Montilla Sr, father of the deceased. The
estate has not yet been properly probated.
ISSUE: Could the petitioner succeed in collecting the debt as against the
estate of the debtor's deceased parent?
HELD: No. In the case of Ortiga Brothers and Co. vs. Enage and Yap Tico, 18
Phil. 345, it was held that the creditor of the heirs of a deceased person is
entitled to collect his claim out of the property which pertains by inheritance
to said heirs, only after the debts of the testate or intestate have been paid
and when the net assets that are divisible among the heirs are known,
because the debts of the deceased must first be paid before his heirs can
inherit. It was therein also held that a person who is not a creditor of a
deceased, testate or intestate, has no right to intervene either in the
proceedings brought in connection with the estate or in the settlement of the
succession. The foregoing pronouncements are perfectly applicable to the
case at bar, because the appellant is not a creditor of the deceased Agustin

Montilla, Sr. and he seeks to collect his claim out of the inheritance of Claudio
Montilla, an heir, before the net assets of the intestate estate have been
determined.

DE GUZMAN vda. DE CARRILLO v. DE PAZ


GR No.L-4133, May 13, 1952
91 PHIL 265
FACTS: A lot had been mortgaged by spouses Severino Salak and Petra
Garcia to Pedro Magat; the latter then assigned the mortgage to Honoria
Salak. After the death Petra, Severino transferred 1/2 of his rights to the
property to Honoria for the sum representing 1/2 of the consideratioin paid
by her to the mortgagees Magat. Severino later died leaving the defendants
as heirs. Honoria also died, with the plaintiff as heir. Intestate proceedings
were instituted for the settlement and distribution of the estate of the
deceased Severino and Petra, including the lot in question which was
adjudicated, after proper proceedings in favor of the defendants. Plaintiff
sued for reconveyance of the 1/2 of the portion of the lot in her favor as heir
of Honoria.
ISSUE: May the petition prosper?
HELD: No. The property now sought to be recovered from the defendants was
adjudicated in their favor after all claims, indebtedness and obligations
chargeable against the intestate estate of the deceased Severino Salak and
Petra Garcia had been all paid and accounted for out of the estate of the
deceased; so that, in the eyes of the law, the properties now in the hands of
the defendants are presumed to be free from all claims whatsoever. The

claim of the plaintiff set up in the complaint should have been interposed
during the pendency and progress of Special Proceeding No. 3; but plaintiff
not having done so, she cannot now bring this action against the defendants,
for it is clear that there exists no privity of contract between plaintiff and
defendants upon which plaintiff can predicate her action against the present
defendants.

IBARLE v. PO
GR No.L-5064, February 27, 1953
92 PHIL 721
FACTS: Leonardo Winstanley died leaving a parcel of land to his surviving
spouse Catalina Navarro and some minor children. Catalina sold the entire
parcel of land to Maria Canoy who later sold the same land to the plaintiff
Bienvenido Ibarle. After some time, after her appointment as guardian of her
minor children, Catalina again sold 1/2 of the land in question, which portion
now belonged to the children as heirs, to herein defendant Esperanza Po.
ISSUE: Which sale was valid, and who has the rightful claim to the property?
HELD: The sale to defendant is valid. Article 657 of the old Civil Code
provides: "The rights to the succession of a person are transmitted from the
moment of his death." in a slightly different language, this article is
incorporated in the new Civil Code as article 777.
The above provision and comment make it clear that when Catalina Navarro
Vda. de Winstanley sold the entire parcel to the Canoy spouses, one-half of it
already belonged to the seller's children. No formal or judicial declaration
being needed to confirm the children's title, it follows that the first sale was
null and void in so far as it included the children's share.

On the other hand, the sale to the defendant having been made by
authority of the competent court was undeniably legal and effective. The fact
that it has not been recorded is of no consequence. If registration were
necessary, still the non-registration would not avail the plaintiff because it
was due to no other cause than his own opposition.

OSORIO v. OSORIO
GR No.L-10474, March 29, 1916
41 PHIL 531
FACTS: Francisco Osorio y Garcia filed a written complaint alleging that he is
a natural son of one Francisco Osorio y Reyes who died in 1896; and that he
had been in continuous possession of the status of natural son of said Osorio
y Reyes, as proven by direct acts of the latter and of his family; that the
defendant Soledad Osorio, lawful daughter and lawful heir of said Osorio y
Reyes, be ordered to recognize the plaintiff as a natural son of said Osorio y
Reyes, and is entitled to share in his father's estate; and, furthermore, that
said defendant be ordered to furnish subsistence to plaintiff in such amount
as the court might deem proper to fix. The evidence offered relating to the
fact of filiation of Osorio y Garcia to Osorio Reyes is strong and
unimpeachable, so that the court found the legitimacy of claim of Osorio y
Garcia to be properly established.
ISSUE: Has the plaintiff the right to be recognized as co-heir and be entitled
to the rights appertaining to his deceased father's estate?
HELD: Yes. Recognition of the child as a natural child must be made if he has
been in continuous possession of his filiation, proven by the attendance of

his father at his baptism, in the certificate in which his name and that of his
mother appear, though the document contains errors, and by his father's
statement to various friends that the boy was his natural son, and by his
father's always having attended to the care, education and support of his
son.
So that the plaintiff, Francisco Osorio y Garcia, according to the facts proven
in this case and the law on the subject, is entitled to have his half sister
Soledad Osorio, a legitimate daughter of the father of both of them,
recognize him as being the natural, recognized son of Francisco Osorio y
Reyes and as entitled to the rights granted him by law in respect to his
deceased father's estate, all of which is in possession of the defendant
spouses.

RAMIREZ v. BALTAZAR
GR No.L-25049, August 30, 1968
22 SCRA 918
FACTS: Victoriana Eguaras, single, mortgaged a real estate to spouses
Baltazar, defendants in this case. Upon demise of Victoriana, the
mortgagees, as creditors of the deceased, filed a petition for the intestate
proceedings of Victoriana's estate, alleging further that plaintiffs Felimon and
Monica Ramirez are heirs of the deceased. Felimon was later appointed as
adminstrator but did not qualify so that Artemio Diawan was appointed as
judicial administrator of the estate. The mortgagees then filed a foreclosure
of the property in question and succeeded, after Diawan failed to file an
answer against the petition. The foreclosure sale ensued, the property was
bought by the mortgagees themselves and the sale was confirmed by the
court. Felimon sued for the annulment of the entire foreclosure proceedings,
alleging among others the failure of the judicial administrator to protect their
interests. Defendants contended that plaintiffs have no legal capacity to sue
and hava no cause of action.
ISSUE: Have the plaintiffs the cause of action against the defendant?

HELD: Yes. There is no question that the rights to succession are


automatically transmitted to the heirs from the moment of the death of the
decedent. While, as a rule, the formal declaration or recognition to such
successional rights needs judicial confirmation, this Court has, under special
circumstances, protected these rights from encroachments made or
attempted before the judicial declaration. In Pascual vs. Pascual, it was ruled
that although heirs have no legal standing in court upon the commencement
of testate or intestate proceedings, this rule admits of an exception as "when
the administrator fails or refuses to act in which event the heirs may act in
his place."

DE BORJA v. MENCIAS
GR No.L-20609, September 29, 1966
21 SCRA 1133
FACTS: Petitioners Juan De Borja et al. petitioned for the reversal of the order
of Judge Mencias, denying their petition cause the sale of the properties
levied upon to satisfy the money judgment in a civil case rendered in favor of
petitioners against respondent Crisanto de Borja. Petitioners levied aganst
the rights, interest and participation which Crisanto de Borja had in certain
real properties, as an heir of the decedents Josefa Tangco and Francisco de
Borja, whose estates were then pending settlement in Special Proceedings
Nos. F-7866 and 1955 of the aforementioned court, respectively.
this Court hereby holds that whatever interest, claim or right which Crisanto
de Borja may have in the testate estate of Josefa Tangco and in the intestate
estate of Francisco de Borja are subject to attachment and execution for the
purpose of satisfying the money judgment rendered against the said heir
ISSUE: May the sale of the property levied for execution proceed?

HELD: The above question must be answered in the affirmative, provided it is


understood that the sale shall be only of whatever rights, interest and
participation may be adjudicated to said heir as a result of the final
settlement of the estates, and that delivery thereof to the judgment creditor
or to the purchaser at the public sale thereof shall be made only after the
final settlement of the estates and in the manner provided by the legal
provision mentioned above.

RODRIGUEZ v. DE BORJA
GR No.L-21993, June 21, 1966
17 SCRA 418
FACTS: Private respondents Apolonia Pangilinan and Adelaida Jacalan
delivered to the Clerk of Court of Bulacan a purported last will and testament
of Fr. Rodriguez, meanwhile the petitioners filed a petition before the court to
examine the purported will but which was later withdrawn, and a petition for
the settlement of the intestate estate of Fr. Rodriguez was subsequently field
in a another court in Rizal. The petitioners now sought the dismissal of the
special proceeding on the settlement of the decedent's estate based on the
purported will, questioning therefore the jurisdiction of CFI Bulacan.
ISSUE: Does CFI Bulacan have jurisdiction to proceed with the testate
proceedings?
HELD: Yes. The jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan became
vested upon the delivery thereto of the will of the late Father Rodriguez,
even if no petition for its allowance was filed until later, because upon the

will being deposited the court could, motu proprio, have taken steps to fix
the time and place for proving the will, and issued the corresponding notices
conformably to what is prescribed by section 3, Rule 76, of the Revised Rules
of Court. Moreover, aside from the rule that the Court first taking cognizance
of the settlement of the estate of a decedent shall exercise jurisdiction to the
exclusion of all other courts, intestate succession is only subsidiary or
subordinate to the testate, since intestacy only takes place in the absence of
a valid operative will.

CHAVEZ v. IAC
GR No. L-68282, November 8, 1990
FACTS: Manuela Buenavista assigned her paraphernal property in equal prodiviso among her 6 children, while possession of such property still remains
with her. Three of her children sold each their share to private respondent
Concepcion, consolidating 4/6 portion thereof. Deeds of sale were therefor
executed with the conformity of Manuela. Despite such transfers, the latter
sold the entire property to one of the siblings, herein petitioner Raquel
Chavez. Respondent sued for the annulment of the later sale to Raquel which
was denied by the trail court but which later decision overturned by the
Court of Appeals. On appeal, petitioner also contends that their mother has
left a last will and this will supercedes the earlier transfers.
ISSUE: Is partition inter-vivos, and sale based on such partition valid? Does a
last will supercede that of the partition inter-vivos?

HELD: Yes. When a person makes a partition by will, it is imperative that such
partition must be executed in accordance with the provisions of the law on
wills; however, when a person makes the partition of his estate by an act
inter vivos, such partition may even be oral or written, and need not be in
the form of a will, provided that the partition does not prejudice the legitime
of compulsory heirs. xxx The Deeds of Sale are not contracts entered into
with respect to future inheritance but a contract perfected and consummated
during the lifetime of Manuela Buenavista who signed the same and gave her
consent thereto. Such partition inter vivos, executed by the property owner
herself, is valid.
It would be unjust and inequitable to allow Manuela Buenavista Vda. de
Chavez to revoke the sales she herself authorized as well as the sale she
herself executed in favor of her son only to execute a simulated sale in favor
of her daughter Raquel who had already profited from the sale she made of
the property she had received in the partition inter vivos.

NERI v. AKUTIN
GR No.L-47799, May 21, 1943
74 PHIL 185
FACTS: This is a case where the testator Agripino Neri in his will left all his
property by universal title to the children by his second marriage, the herein
respondents, with omission of the children by his first marriage, the herein
petitioner. The omission of the heirs in the will was contemplated by the
testator with the belief that he had already given each of the children portion
of the inheritance, particularly a land he had abandoned was occupied by the
respondents over which registration was denied for it turned out to be a
public land, and an aggregate amount of money which the respondents were
indebted to their father.
ISSUE: Should there be cancellation of the will, in view of the omission of
heirs? Is there disinheritance in this case?

HELD: Yes. The Court annulled the institution of heirs and declared a total
intestacy on the ground that testator left all his property by universal title to
the children by his second marriage, without expressly disinheriting the
children by his first marriage but upon the erroneous belief that he had given
them already more shares in his property than those given to the children by
his second marriage. Disinheritance made without a statement of the cause,
if contested, shall annul the institution of heirs in so far as it is prejudicial to
the disinherited person. This is but a case of preterition which annuls the
institution of heirs.

BARANDA v. BARANDA
GR No.73275 May 20, 1987
FACTS: Paulina Baranda died without issue, but before her demise, two of her
supposed heirs, the herein respondents Evangelina and Elisa Baranda, have
already taken possession of 6 parcels of land and caused the transfer of such
by virtue of questionable sales which the late widow had also sought the
reconveyance which did not however materialized. The petitioners, siblings
of the decedent, now sought the annulment of the supposed sale or
transfers. Respondents question the petitioners legal standing, them being
not a party-in-interest in the deed of sale.
ISSUE: Can the petitioners impugn the validity of the sales?

HELD: This Court has repeatedly held that "the legal heirs of a decedent are
the parties in interest to commence ordinary actions arising out of the rights
belonging to the deceased, without separate judicial declaration as to their
being heirs of said decedent, provided that there is no pending special
proceeding for the settlement of the decedent's estate.
There being no pending special proceeding for the settlement of Paulina
Baranda's estate, the petitioners, as her intestate heirs, had the right to sue
for the reconveyance of the disputed properties, not to them, but to the
estate itself of the decedent, for distribution later in accordance with law.
Otherwise, no one else could question the simulated sales and the subjects
thereof would remain in the name of the alleged vendees, who would thus
have been permitted to benefit from their deception, In fact, even if it were
assumed that those suing through attorneys-in-fact were not properly
represented, the remaining petitioners would still have sufficed to impugn
the validity of the deeds of sale.

BALAIS v. BALAIS
GR No.L-33924, March 18, 1988
159 SCRA 47
FACTS: On an action for recovery of real property filed by the respondents,
spurious children of the late Escolastico Balais who died in 1948, against the
petitioners, legitimate children of the deceased, the trial court decreed
reconveyance of the portion of the property belonging to the legitime and
further declaring partition that sent 1/4 portion of the legitime to the
respondents. Petitioners come now questioning the partition and seeking the
reconveyance of the 1/4 share that went to the spurious children, relying on
the provisions of the old civil code, and thereby questioning the competence
and jurisdiction of the trial court,

ISSUE: Is the court competent to decree the partition, without it being asked
in the complaint? Could the provisions of the new civil code be applied over a
case which occurs prior to its effectivity?
HELD: 1. Yes. The court acquired jurisdiction by estoppel. It must be noted
that, in spite of the broad challenge the appellants present against the
jurisdiction of the trial court to order the distribution of the property, they, in
reality, question only that part of the decision awarding a one-fourth part of
the property to the illegitimate children of the deceased, upon the ground
that under the old Civil Code illegitimate children other than natural enjoyed
no successionary rights. They do not contest the delivery of the estate to the
deceased's widow or to themselves in the proportions decreed by the court.
2. No. The court erred in applying the provisions of the new code. But as
stated, the error of the court notwithstanding, the case is a closed chapter,
the decision having been rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction, have
become final and executory. A decision, no matter how erroneous, becomes
the law of the case between the parties upon attaining finality.

CONDE v. ABAYA
GR No.L-4275, March 23, 1909
13 PHIL 249
FACTS: Casiano Abaya died unmarried however leaving two unaknowledged
children by herein plaintiff-appellee Paula Conde. The latter, as a ascendant
heir of her children, sued for the settlement of the intestate estate of
Casiano along with the acknowledgment of the two as natural children of the
deceased. The trial court, with the opposition of the defendant-appellant
Roman Abaya, brother of the deceased, rendered judgment bestowing the
estate of Casiano to Conde as legitimate heir of the decedent's natural
children.

ISSUE: May the mother of a natural child now deceased, bring an action for
the acknowledgment of the natural filiation in favor of such child in order to
appear in his behalf to receive the inheritance from the deceased natural
father.
HELD: The right of action that devolves upon the child to claim his legitimacy
lasts during his whole life, while the right to claim the acknowledgment of a
natural child lasts only during the life of his presumed parents. An action for
the acknowledgment of a natural child may, as an exception, be exercised
against the heirs of the presumed parents in two cases: first, in the event of
the death of the latter during the minority of the child, and second, upon the
discovery of some instrument of express acknowledgment of the child,
executed by the father or mother, the existence of which was unknown
during the life of the latter.
But such action for the acknowledgment of a natural child can only be
exercised by him. It cannot be transmitted to his descendants, or his
ascendants.

REIRA v. PALMAROLI
GR No.14851, September 13, 1919
40 PHIL 105
FACTS: Antonia Reira, widow of Juan Pons who was at the time of the latter's
death residing at Palma de Mallorca, sought the annulment of the order of
the trial court admitting the probate of a purported will of her husband. The
purported will was submitted to be admitted to probate by respondent
Consul General Palmaroli. The petitioner contends that the probate of the

will, in view of her absence, deprived her of her right to contest the original
application.
ISSUE: Should the probated will yield to the rights of the decedent's heir?
HELD: Yes. A will is nothing more than a species of conveyance whereby a
person is permitted, with the formalities prescribed by law, to control in a
certain degree the disposition of his property after his death. Out of
consideration for the important interests involved the execution and proof of
wills has been surrounded by numerous safeguards, among which is the
provision that after death of the testator his will may be judicially established
in court. xxx The probate of a will, while conclusive as to its due execution, in
no wise involves the intrinsic validity of its provisions. If, therefore, upon the
distribution of the estate of the decedent, it should appear that any provision
of his will is contrary to the law applicable to his case, the will must
necessarily yield upon that point and the disposition made by law must
prevail.

MONTINOLA v. HERBOSA
FACTS: Montinola filed an action against the heirs of Dr. Jose Rizal for
recovery of possession of personal property (the RIZAL RELICS) allegedly sold
to him by Doa Trinidad Rizal. The trial court held that neither party is
entitled to the possession of such property, relying principally on the fact

that in Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios, there is a line where Rizal bequeathed all his
property to the Filipino people. The court argued that the handwritten work
of Rizal constitutes a holographic will giving the State all his property.
ISSUE: Does Mi Ultimo Adios constitute a last will?
HELD: No. An instrument which merely expresses a last wish as a thought or
advice but does not contain a disposition of property, and executed without
Animus Standi cannot be legally considered a will. Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios is
but a literary piece of work, and was so intended. It may be considered a will
in a grammatical sense but not in a legal or juridical sense. Moreover, it also
lacks the requirements of a holographic will such as a statement of the year
month and day of its execution and his signature.

MERZA v. PORRAS
GR No.L-4888, May 25, 1953
93 PHIL 142
FACTS: Pilar Montealegre died leaving a will (Exhibit A) and a so-called codicil
(Exhibit B), disinheriting her husband Pedro Porras and some of her relatives.
The two documents were submitted to probate but were denied by the trial

court, upon the grounds such as the defect of the attestation clause on Exh.
A and that Exh. cannot be considered a codicil for it was executed by the
testator a day before Exhibit A, thus it cannot be included in the probate
proceedings.
ISSUE: Should a document, expressly disinheriting certain heirs, executed by
the testator prior to a supposed last will, be probated?
HELD: Yes. The trial court and the CA is correct that Exhibit B having been
executed one day before Exhibit A could not be considered as a codicil
"because a codicil, as the word implies, is only an addition to, or modification
of, the will." The Court of Appeals added that "the contents of Exhibit B are
couched in the language ordinarily used in a simple affidavit and as such,
may not have the legal effect and force to a testamentary disposition."
However, Exhibit B does partake of the nature of a will. A will is defined in
article 667 of the Civil code of Spain as "the act by which a person dispose of
all his property or a portion of it," and in article 783 of the new Civil Code 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. Exhibit B comes within this definition.

CASTAEDA v. ALEMANY
GR No.1439, March 19, 1904
3 PHIL 426
FACTS: Appellant constested the validity of the will of Doa Juana Moreno
upon the ground that although the attestation clause in the will states that

the testator signed the will in the presence of three witnesses who also each
signed in each presence, the will was not actually written by the testator.
ISSUE: Is it necessary that a will be written by the testator herself?
HELD: No. Section 618 of the Civil Code requires (1) that the will be in writing
and (2) either that the testator sign it himself or, if he does not sign it, that it
be signed by some one in his presence and by his express direction. Who
does the mechanical work of writing the will is a matter of indifference. The
fact, therefore, that in this case the will was typewritten in the office of the
lawyer for the testratrix is of no consequence.

MICIANO v. BRIMO
GR No.L-22595, November 1, 1927
50 PHIL 867
FACTS: Joseph Brimo, a Turkish national, died leaving a will which one of the
clauses states that the law of the Philippines shall govern the partition and
not the law of his nationality, and that legatees have to respect the will,
otherwise the dispositions accruing to them shall be annulled. By virtue of

such condition, his brother, Andre Brimo, an instituted heir was thus
excluded because, by his action of having opposed the partition scheme, he
did not respect the will. Andre sued contending that the conditions are void
being contrary to law which provides that the will shall be probated
according to the laws of the nationality of the decedent.
ISSUE: Is the condition as set by the testator valid?
HELD: No. A foreigner's will to the effect that his properties shall be
distributed in accordance with Philippine law and not with his national law, is
illegal and void, for his national law cannot be ignored in regard to those
matters that Article 10 of the Civil Code states said national law should
govern. Said condition then, in the light of the legal provisions above cited, is
considered unwritten, and the institution of legatees in said will is
unconditional and consequently valid and effective even as to the herein
oppositor.

BELLIS v. BELLIS
GR No.L-23678, June 6, 1967
20 SCRA 358
FACTS: Amos G. Bellis, a native of Texas and US national, executed a will in
the Philippines that specifies legacies for his first wife and three illegitimate
children, and the residue estate be divided among his legitimate children.
When he died, the executor administered the will but his illegitimate children

opposed the partition claiming that aside from the legacies, they should still
have a share from the legitime as complusory heirs of the decedent. Texas
law, however, does not provide for the legitime.
ISSUE: Are the decedent's illegitimate children entitled to such portion of the
legitime? What law shall govern the decendent's will?
HELD: No. The parties admit that the decedent was a citizen of the State of
Texas, U.S.A., and that under the laws of Texas, there are no forced heirs or
legitimes. Accordingly, since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will
and the amount of successional rights are to be determined under Texas law,
the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of Amos G.
Bellis. Hence, the illegitimate children of the decedent has no claim to the
inheritance aside from those expressly provided legacies.

Icasiano vs. Icasiano


IN THE MATTER OF THE TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE JOSEFA
VILLACORTE.
CELSO ICASIANO, petitioner-appellee,
vs.
NATIVIDAD ICASIANO and ENRIQUE ICASIANO, oppositors-appellants.
Definition of duplicate copy

The two classifications are: (1) copies produced for information purposes only
and which may be destroyed after use, and (2) copies that
have administrative, fiscal, legal, or historical value.
Definition of duplicate original
A copy that has all the essential aspects of the original, including signatures.
Notes
A duplicate original of a letter may be created and sent by different routes to
increase the likelihood that at least one original copy arrives to the
addressee.
FACTS:
1. JosefaVillacorta executed her last will and testament in duplicate on June
2, 1956 and she died on Sept. 12, 1958. The will was:
* attested by three instrumental witnesses- Justo Torres Jr., Jose
Natividad and VinicioDy
* acknowledged by the testatrix and the three instrumental witnesses
on the same date before Atty. Ong, Notary Public
* the will was actually prepared by Atty. Samson who was present
during the execution and signing of the decedents last will and testament.
* pages of the original and duplicate were duly numbered
* the attestation clause contains all the facts required by law to be
recited therein and signed by the attesting witnesses
* will is written in the language known to and spoken by the testatrix
(Tagalog)
* will was executed in one single occasion in duplicate copies
* both original and duplicate copies were duly acknowledged before
the Notary Public on the same date.
2. The will consisted of five pages and while signed at the end and in every
page, it does not contain the signature of one of the attesting witnesses,
Atty. Jose Natividad on page 3 thereof; but the duplicate copy attached was
signed by the testatrix and the three attesting witnesses in each and every
page.
ISSUE: Does the failure of one of the attesting witnesses to sign on one page
of the original invalidate the will, and hence, denial of the probate?
HELD: NO.
1. The inadvertent failure of one of the witnesses to affix his signature to
one page of a testament, due to the simultaneous lifting of two pages in the
course of signing, is not per se sufficient to justify the denial of the probate.
The impossibility of substituting this page is cured since the testatrix and two
other witnesses signed the defective page, and that the document bears the
imprint of the seal of the notary public before whom the testament was
ratified by the testatrix and all three witnesses.
2. The law should not be strictly and literally interpreted as to penalize the
testatrix on account of the inadvertence of a single witness over whose
conduct she has no control, where the purpose of the law to guarantee the
identity of the testament and its component pages is sufficiently attained, no

intentional or deliberate deviation existence, and the evidence on record


attests to the full observance of the statutory requisites.
3. Despite the literal tenor of the law, the Court has held that in other cases
that;
a. a testament with the only page signed at its foot by the testator and
witnesses but not in the left margin could be probated(Abangan vs. Abangan)
b. despite the requirement of correlative lettering of the pages of a will, the
failure to make the first page either by letters or numbers is not a fatal
defect (Lopez vs. Liboro).
These precedents exemplify the Courts policy to require satisfaction of the
legal requirements in order to guard against fraud and bad faith, but without
undue or unnecessary curtailment of the testamentary privilege.
4. The appellants also argued that since the original of the will is in
existence and available, the duplicate is not entitled to probate. Since they
opposed the probate of the original because of the lacking signature on page
3, it is easily discerned that the oppositors-appellants run into a dilemma. If
the original is defective and invalid, then in the law, there is no other will but
the duly signed carbon duplicate, and the same is probatable. If the original
is valid and can be probated, then the objection to the signed duplicate need
not be considered, being superfluous and irrelevant. At any rate, said
duplicate, serves to prove that the omission of one signature in the third
page of the original testament was inadvertent and not intentional.

Cruz vs. Villasor


AGAPITA N. CRUZ, petitioner,
vs.
HON. JUDGE GUILLERMO P. VILLASOR, Presiding Judge of Branch I,
Court of First Instance of Cebu, and MANUEL B. LUGAY, respondents.
Civil Code Provisions:
Art. 805. Every will, other than a holographic will, must be
subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself or by the
testator's name written by some other person in his presence, and
by his express direction, and attested and subscribed by three or
more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one
another.
The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and
the instrumental witnesses of the will, shall also sign, as aforesaid,
each and every page thereof, except the last, on the left margin,
and all the pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed
on the upper part of each page.
The attestation shall state the number of pages used upon which
the will is written, and the fact that the testator signed the will and
every page thereof, or caused some other person to write his name,
under his express direction, in the presence of the instrumental
witnesses, and that the latter witnessed and signed the will and all
the pages thereof in the presence of the testator and of one
another.
If the attestation clause is in a language not known to the
witnesses, it shall be interpreted to them. (n)
Art. 806. Every will must be acknowledged before a notary public by
the testator and the witnesses. The notary public shall not be
required to retain a copy of the will, or file another with the Office of
the Clerk of Court
FACTS:
1. The only question presented for determination, on which the decision of
this case hinges, is whether the supposed Last Will and Testament of Valente
Z. Cruz (Cruz) was executed in accordance with:
Art. 805- which states at at least three credible witnesses must attest
and subscribe to the will and
Art. 806- requiring the testator and the witnesses to acknowledge the
will before a notary public.
2. Of the three instrumental witnesses on the supposed Last Will and
Testament of Cruz, one of them, Atty. Angel Teves (Teves), acted also as the
notary public before whom the will was supposed to have been
acknowledged. The petitioner argues that as a result thereof, the will has
only two witnesses who appeared before the notary public to acknowledge
the will.

3. The respondent, Lugay, who is supposed to execute the will, stated that
there was substantial compliance with the legal requirement of three
attesting witnesses, even if one of them acted as a notary public based on
American jurisprudence.
ISSUE: Can the notary public be considered as the third attesting witness?
HELD: No. The probate of the Last will and Testament of Cruz is declared not
valid and set aside.
The notary public cannot acknowledge before himself his having signed the
will. If the third witness is the notary public himself, he would have to avow,
assent or admit as his having signed the will in front of himself. This cannot
be done because he cannot split his personality into two so that one will
appear before the other to acknowledge his participation in the making of
the will.
The function of a notary public is to guard against any illegal or immoral
arrangements. That would be defeated if he was also the attesting witness.
He would be interested in sustaining the validity of the will, as it directly
involves himself and the validity of his own act. It would place him in an
inconsistent position and the very purpose of the acknowledgment, which is
to minimize fraud.
American jurisprudence cannot be used here for we are in Philippine
jurisdiction. In the U.S., the notary public and witnesses referred to in
several jurisprudence merely acted as instrumental, subscribing or attesting
witnesses and not as acknowledging witnesses. Here, the notary public
acted not only as attesting witness but also as acknowledging witness.
In allowing the notary public to act as third witness, or one of the attesting
and acknowledging witness, would have the effect of only two attesting
witnesses to the will which is violative of Art. 805 requiring at least 3
witnesses and Art. 806 which requires the testator and the required number
of witnesses to appear before the notary public to acknowledge the will.

Roberts v. Leonidas
ETHEL GRIMM ROBERTS V. HON. LEONIDAS, MAXINE TATE-GRIMM ET
AL, 129 SCRA 33 (1984)
FACTS: Edward Grimm was an American residing in Manila until his death in
1977. He was survived by his 2nd wife (Maxine), their two children (Pete and
Linda), and by his two children from a 1st marriage (Juanita and Ethel) which
ended in divorce
Grimm executed two wills in San Francisco, CA in January 1959. One will
disposed of his Philippine estate described as conjugal property of himself
and his 2nd wife. The second will disposed of his estate outside the
Philippines.
The two wills and a codicil were presented for probate in Utah by Maxine in
March 1978. Maxine admitted that she received notice of the intestate
petition filed in Manila by Ethel in January 1978. Subsequently, the Utah
court admitted the two wills and a codicil for probate in April 1978, and was
issued upon consideration of the stipulation between the lawyers fro Maxine
and Ethel
In April 1978, Maxine and Ethel, with knowledge of the intestate proceeding
in Manila, entered into an agreement in Utah regarding the estate. The
agreement provided that Maxine, Pete and Ethel would be designated as
personal representatives (administrators) of Grimms Philippine estate and
that Maxines conjugal share in the estate should be reserved for her
which would not be less than $1.5 million plus the homes in Utah and Sta.
Mesa.
Manila Intestate Proceedings: Maxine filed an opposition and motion to
dismiss the intestate proceeding in Manila on the ground of pendency of the
Utah probate proceedings. However, pursuant to the compromise
agreement, Maxine withdrew the opposition and motion to dismiss. The court
ignored the will found in the record. The estate was partitioned.
In 1980, Maxine filed a petition praying for the probate of the two wills
(which was already probated in Utah), that the partition approved by the
intestate court be set aside, and that Maxine be named executrix, and Ethel
be ordered to account for the properties received by them and return the
same to Maxine. Maxine alleged that they were defrauded due to the

machinations of the Ethel, that the compromise agreement was illegal and
the intestate proceeding was void because Grimm died testate so the
partition was contrary to the decedents wills.
Ethel filed a motion to dismiss the petition which was denied by respondent
Judge for lack of merit
ISSUE: WON respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion in
denying Ethels motion to dismiss
HELD: No. A testate proceeding is proper in this case because Grimm died
with two wills and no will shall pass either real or personal property unless it
is proved and allowed.
The probate of the will is mandatory. It is anomalous that the estate of a
person who died testate should be settled through an intestate proceeding.
Therefore, the intestate case should be consolidated with the testate
proceeding and the judge assigned to the testate proceeding should continue
hearing the two cases.
Nepomuceno v. CA
NEPOMUCENO V. CA, 139 SCRA 206 (1985)
DOCTRINE: While the general rule is that the probate court's area of inquiry
is limited to the extrinsic validity of the will, practical considerations may
compel the probate court to pass upon matters of intrinsic validity. In
particular, where a testamentary provision is void on its face, a probate
court, in accordance with the ruling in Nuguid v Nuguid, pass upon such
provision for the purpose of declaring its nullity
FACTS: In the last will and testament of Martin Jugo, he named and
appointed the petitioner Sofia Nepomuceno as his sole and only executor of
his estate.
It is clearly stated in the Will that the testator was legally
married to a certain Rufina Gomez by whom he had two legitimate children,
Oscar and Carmelita, but since 1952, he had been estranged from his
lawfully wedded wife and had been living with petitioner as husband and
wife. In fact, on December 5, 1952, the testator Martin Jugo and the
petitioner herein, Sofia J. Nepomuceno were married in Victoria, Tarlac before
the Justice of the Peace. The testator devised to his forced heirs, namely, his
legal wife Rufina Gomez and his children Oscar and Carmelita his entire
estate and the free portion thereof to herein petitioner.
The petitioner filed a petition for the probate of the Will, but the legal wife
and children filed an opposition.
The lower court denied the probate of the will on the ground that the testator
admitted to cohabiting with Nepomuceno. The wills admission to probate
was deemed an idle exercise since based on the face of the will, the
invalidity of the instrinsic provisions is evident.

The appellate court, however, declared the will to be valid except that the
devise in favour of the petitioner is null and void. Petitioner filed a motion for
reconsideration, but such was denied.
ISSUES:
WON the respondent court acted in excess of its jurisdiction when after
declaring the last will and testament of the testator validly drawn, it went on
to pass upon the intrinsic validity of the testamentary provision in favor of
herein petitioner.
Is the disposition in favor of the petitioner valid?
HELD:
FIRST ISSUE: The court acted within its jurisdiction
The general rule is that in probate proceedings, the courts area of inquiry is
limited to an examination and resolution of the extrinsic validity of the will.
The rule, however, is not inflexible and absolute. Given the exceptional
circumstances, the probate court is not powerless to do what the situation
constrains it to do and pass upon certain provisions of the Will.
The trial court acted correctly in passing upon the wills intrinsic validity even
before its formal validity has been established. The probate of a will might
become an idle ceremony if on its face, it appears to be intrinsically void.
Where practical considerations demand that the intrinsic validity of the will
be passed upon, even before it is probated, the court should meet the issue.
SECOND ISSUE: Validity of the disposition to the petitioner:
Article 739 of the Civil Code provides:
The following donations shall be void:
Those made between persons who were guilty of adultery or concubinage at
the time of the donation;
Those made between persons found guilty of the same criminal offense, in
consideration thereof;
Those made to a public officer or his wife, descendants and ascendants, by
reason of his office.
In the case referred to in No. 1, the action for declaration of nullity may be
brought by the spouse of the donor or donee; and the guilt of the donor and
donee may be proved by preponderance of evidence in the same action.
Article 1028 of the Civil Code provides:
The prohibitions mentioned in Article 739, concerning
donations inter vivos shall apply to testamentary provisions.
The records of the case do not sustain a finding of innocence or good faith on
the part of Nepomuceno:
The last will and testament itself expressly admits its indubitably on its face
the meretricious relationship between the testator and petitioner, the
devisee

Petitioner herself, initiated the presentation of evidence on her alleged


ignorance of the true civil status of the testator, which led private
respondents to present contrary evidence. In short, the parties themselves
duelled on the intrinsic validity of the legacy given in the will to petitioner by
the testator at the start of the proceedings.
Whether or not petitioner knew that the testator, Jugo, the man she had lived
with as a husband, was already married was important . When the court
ruled that Jugo and the petitioner were guilty of adultery and concubinage, it
was a finding that the petitioner was not the innocent woman she pretended
to be.
The prohibition in Art. 739 is against the making a donation between persons
who are living in adultery or concubinage. It is the donation which becomes
void. The giver cannot given even assuming that the recipient may receive.
The very wordings of the Will invalidate the legacy because the testator
admitted he was disposing the properties to a person with whom he had
been living in concubinage.
DISPOSITION: WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. The
decision of the Court of Appeals, now Intermediate Appellate Court, is
AFFIRMED. No costs.

Pascual v. De La Cruz
PASCUAL V. DELA CRUZ, 28 SCRA 421 (1969)
DOCTRINE: Undue and improper pressure and influence as well as fraud are
grounds to disallow a will. These twin grounds were invoked in this case. While
the Court considered only the issue of improper influence and pressure, and
summarized the rulings thereon, it is equally important to consider the effect
of alleging undue influence and pressure simultaneously with fraud.
FACTS: On 2 January 1960, Catalina de la Cruz, single and without any
surviving descendant or ascendant, died at the age of 89 in her residence at
San Roque, Navotas, Rizal. On 14 January 1960, a petition for the probate of
her alleged will was filed in the Court of First Instance of Rizal by Andres
Pascual, who was named in the said will as executor and sole heir of the
decedent.
Pedro de la Cruz and 26 other nephews and nieces of the late Catalina de la
Cruz contested the validity of the will on the grounds that the formalities
required by law were not complied with; that the testatrix was mentally
incapable of disposing of her properties by will at the time of its execution; that

the will was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence on the
part of the petitioner; and that the signature of the testatrix was obtained
through fraud.
ISSUE: WON under the circumstances, undue and improper pressure and
influence as well as fraud are grounds to disallow a will.
HELD: No.
Petitioner, Andres Pascual, although not related by blood to the deceased
Catalina de la Cruz, was definitely not a stranger to the latter for she
considered him as her own son. As a matter of fact it was not only Catalina de
la Cruz who loved and cared for Andres Pascual but also her sisters held him
with affection so much so that Catalina's sister, Florentina Cruz, made him
also her sole heir to her property in her will without any objection from
Catalina and Valentina Cruz.
The basic principles of undue pressure and influence as laid down by the
jurisprudence on this Court: that to be sufficient to avoid a will, the influence
exerted must be of a kind that so overpowers and subjugates the mind of the
testator as to destroy his free agency and make him express the will of another
rather than his own (Coso v Fernandez Deza, 42 Phil 596); Icasiano v Icasiano,
L-18979, 30 June 1964.
The circumstances marshaled by the contestants certainly fail to establish
actual undue influence and improper pressure exercised on the testatrix by the
proponent. Their main reliance is on the assertion of the latter, in the course of
his testimony, that the deceased "did not like to sign anything unless I knew
it," which does not amount to proof that she would sign anything that
proponent desired. On the contrary, the evidence of contestants-appellants,
that proponent purchased a building in Manila for the testatrix, placed the title
in his name, but caused the name "Catalina de la Cruz" to be painted therein in
bold letters to mislead the deceased, even if true, demonstrates that
proponent's influence was not such as to overpower and destroy the free will of
the testatrix. Because if the mind of the latter were really subjugated by him to
the extent pictured by the contestants, then proponent had no need to
recourse to the deception averred.
Nor is the fact that it was proponent, and not the testatrix who asked Dr.
Sanchez to be one of the instrumental witnesses evidence of such undue
influence, for the reason that the rheumatism of the testatrix made it difficult
for her to look for all the witnesses. That she did not resort to relative or friend
is, likewise, explainable: it would have meant the disclosure of the terms of her
will to those interested in her succession but who were not favored by her,
thereby exposing her to unpleasant importunity and recrimination that an aged

person would naturally seek to avoid. The natural desire to keep the making of
a will secret can, likewise, account for the failure to probate the testament
during her lifetime.
Pedro de la cruz and 26 other nephews and nieces of the late catalina de la
cruzfell short of establishing actual exercise of improper pressure or influence.
Considering that the testatrix considered proponent as her own son, to the
extent that she expressed no objection to his being made sole heir of her
sister, Florentina Cruz, in derogation of her own rights, we find nothing
abnormal in her instituting proponent also as her own beneficiary.
The probate of the will was allowed.

Dizon-Rivera v. Dizon
MARINA DIZON-RIVERA, executrix-appellee,
vs.
ESTELA DIZON, TOMAS V. DIZON, BERNARDITA DIZON, JOSEFINA
DIZON, ANGELINA DIZON and LILIA DIZON, oppositors-appellants.
33 SCRA 554 (1970)

The words of a will are to receive an interpretation which will give to every
expression some effect, rather than one which will render any of the
expressions inoperative. Of the two projects of partition submitted by the
contending parties, that project which will give the greatest effect to the
testamentary disposition should be adopted. Thus, where the testatrix
enumerated the specific properties to be given to each compulsory heir and
the testatrix repeatedly used the words "I bequeath" was interpreted to mean
a partition of the estate by an act mortis causa, rather than as an attempt on
her part to give such properties as devises to the designated beneficiaries.
Accordingly, the specific properties assigned to each compulsory heir were
deemed to be in full or partial payment of legitime, rather than a distribution in
the nature of devises.
The tenor of the decision notwithstanding, it is important to note the provision
of Article 886 which reads: "Legitime is that part of the testator's property
which he cannot dispose of because the law has reserved it for certain heirs
who are, therefore, called compulsory heirs." Article 886 is couched upon a
negative prohibition "cannot dispose of". In the will under consideration, the
testatrix disposed of practically her entire estate by designating a beneficiary
for each property. Necessarily, the testamentary dispositions included that
portion of the estate called "legitime." It is thus imperative to reconcile the
tenor of Article 1080 (which is the basis of the following decision) with Article
886.
FACTS: In 1961, Agripina Valdez (widow) died and was survived by seven
compulsory heirs: 6 legitimate children and 1 legitimate granddaughter. Marina
is the appellee while the others were the appellants
Valdez left a w ill executed in February 1960 and written in Pampango. The
beneficiaries were the 7 compulsory heirs and six grandchildren
In her will, Valdez distributed and disposed of her properties (assessed at P1.8
million) which included real and personal properties and shares of stocks at
Pampanga Sugar Central Devt Co
During the probate proceedings, Marina (appellee) was name the executor of
the deceaseds estate
In her will, Valdez commanded that her property be divided in accordance with
her testamentary disposition where she devised and bequeathed specific real
properties comprising almost her entire estate among her heirs. Based on the
partition, Marina and Tomas were to receive more than the other heirs
Subsequently, Marina filed her project of partition adjudicating the estate as
follows:
the legitime computed for each compulsory heir was P129,254.96, which was
comprised of cash and/or properties specifically given to them based on the
will
Marina and Tomas were adjudicated the properties that they received in the
will less the cash/properties to complete their respective legitime

The other heirs opposed the partition and proposed a counter-partition on the
estate where Marina and Tomas were to receive considerably less
The lower court approved the executors project of partition citing that Art 906
and 907 NCC specifically provide that when the legitime is impaired or
prejudiced, the same shall be completed. The court cited that if the proposition
of the oppositors was upheld, it will substantially result in a distribution of
intestacy which is a violation of Art 791 NCC
ISSUE: WON the last will of the deceased is to be considered controlling in this
case
HELD: Yes. Art 788 and 791 NCC provide that "If a testamentary disposition
admits of different interpretations, in case of doubt, that interpretation by
which the disposition is to be operative shall be preferred" and "The words of a
will are to receive an interpretation which will give to every expression some
effect, rather than one which will render any of the expressions inoperative;
and of two modes of interpreting a will, that is to be preferred which will
prevent intestacy." In Villanueva v. Juico, the SC held that "the intentions and
wishes of the testator, when clearly expressed in his will, constitute
the fixed law of interpretation, and all questions raised at the trial,
relative to its execution and fulfillment, must be settled in
accordance therewith, following the plain and literal meaning of the
testator's words, unless it clearly appears that his intention was
otherwise."
The testator's wishes and intention constitute the first and principal law in the
matter of testaments, and to paraphrase an early decision of the Supreme
Court of Spain, when expressed clearly and precisely in his last will, amount to
the only law whose mandate must imperatively be faithfully obeyed and
complied with by his executors, heirs and devisees and legatees, and neither
these interested parties nor the courts may substitute their own criterion for
the testator's will. Thus, the oppositors proposition for partition cannot be
given effect.
ON PARTITION: The testamentary disposition of the decedent was in the
nature of a partition. In her will, the decedent noted that after commanding
that upon her death all her obligations as well as the expenses of her last
illness and funeral and the expenses for the probate of her last will and for the
administration of her property in accordance with law, be paid, she expressly
provided that "it is my wish and I command that my property be
divided" in accordance with the dispositions immediately thereafter
following, whereby she specified each real property in her estate and
designated the particular heir among her seven compulsory heirs and
seven other grandchildren to whom she bequeathed the same. This
was a valid partition of her estate, as contemplated and authorized in
the first paragraph of Art 1080 NCC, providing that "Should a person

make a partition of his estate by an act inter vivos or by will, such


partition shall be respected, insofar as it does not prejudice the
legitime of the compulsory heirs."
CAB: This was properly complied with in the executors project of partition as
the oppositors were adjudicated the properties respectively distributed and
assigned to them by the decedent in her will and the differential to complete
their legitimes were taken from the cash and/or properties of Marina and
Tomas, who were obviously favored by the decedent in her will.
Aside from the provisions of Art 906 and 907, other codal provisions support
the executrix-appellee's project of partition as approved by the lower court
rather than the counter-project of partition proposed by oppositors-appellants
whereby they would reduce the testamentary disposition or partition made by
the testatrix to one-half and limit the same, which they would consider as mere
devises and legacies, to one-half of the estate as the disposable free portion,
and apply the other half of the estate to payment of the legitimes of the seven
compulsory heirs. Oppositors' proposal would amount substantially to a
distribution by intestacy and pro tanto nullify the testatrix's will, contrary to Art
791 NCC.
EFFECT OF PARTITION: 'A partition legally made confers upon each heir the
exclusive ownership of the property adjudicated to him", from the death of her
ancestors, subject to rights and obligations of the latter, and, she cannot be
deprived of her rights thereto except by the methods provided for by law
DEVISES: The adjudication and assignments in the testatrix's will of specific
properties to specific heirs cannot be considered all devises, for it clearly
appears from the whole context of the will and the dispositions by the testatrix
of her whole estate (save for some small properties of little value already
noted at the beginning of this opinion) that her clear intention was to partition
her whole estate through her will. Furthermore, the testatrix's intent that her
testamentary dispositions were by way of adjudications to the beneficiaries as
heirs and not as mere devisees, and that said dispositions were therefore on
account of the respective legitimes of the compulsory heirs is expressly borne
out in the fourth paragraph of her will, immediately following her testamentary
adjudications in the third paragraph in this wise: "FOURTH: I likewise command
that in case any of those I named as my heirs in this testament any of them
shall die before I do, his forced heirs under the law enforced at the time of my
death shall inherit the properties I bequeath to said deceased."
COLLATION: Collation is not applicable in this case because here, distribution
and partition of the entire estate was made by the testatrix, without her having
made any previous donations during her lifetime which would require collation
to determine the legitime of each heir nor having left merely some properties

by will which would call for the application of Art 1061 to 1063 of the Civil Code
on collation.
CAN THE OPPOSITORS DEMAND MORE THAN THEIR LEGITIME? No. Their right
was merely to demand completion of their legitime under Article 906 of the
Civil Code and this has been complied with in the approved project of partition,
and they can no longer demand a further share from the remaining portion of
the estate, as bequeathed and partitioned by the testatrix principally to the
executrix-appellee.

De Roma v. CA
G.R. No. L-46903
July 23, 1987
BUHAY DE ROMA, petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and FELICIDAD CARINGAL, as
Guardian of Rosalinda de Roma,respondents.
FACTS:
1. Candelaria de Roma had two legally adopted daughters, Buhay de Roma
and Rosalinda de Roma. She died intestate on April 30, 1971, and
administration proceedings were instituted in the Court of First Instance of
Laguna by the private respondent as guardian of Rosalinda. Buhay was
appointed administratrix and in due time filed an inventory of the estate.
This was opposed by Rosalinda on the ground that certain properties earlier
donated by Candelaria to Buhay, and the fruits thereof, had not been
included.1
2. The properties in question consisted of seven parcels of coconut land
worth P10,297.50.2 There is no dispute regarding their evaluation; what the
parties cannot agree upon is whether these lands are subject to collation.
The private respondent rigorously argues that it is, conformably to Article
1061 of the Civil Code. Buhay, for her part, citing Article 1062, claims she
has no obligation to collate because the decedent prohibited such collation
and the donation was not officious.
The two articles provide as follows:
Article 1061. Every compulsory heir, who succeeds with other compulsory
heirs, must bring into the mass of the estate any property or right which he
may have received from the decedent during the lifetime of the latter, by
way of donation, or any other gratuitous title, in order that it may be
computed in the determination of the legitime of each heir, and in the
account of the partition.
Article 1062. Collation shall not take place among compulsory heirs if the
donor should have so expressly provided, or if the donor should repudiate
the inheritance, unless the donation should be reduced as inofficious.
3. The trial court resolved the issue in favor of the petitioner. The donation
did not impair the legitimes of the two adopted daughters and such donation

was imputed to the free portion of Candelarias estate. The CA reversed the
decision holding that the deed of donation contained no express prohibition
to collate as an exception to Art. 1962. It ordered the collation and the equal
division of the net estate of the decedent, including the donated property
between Buhay and Rosalinda.
4. The deed of donation stated:
ipinagkakaloob at inililipat sa nabanggit na BUHAY DE ROMA, sa
kanyang mga kahalili at tagapagmana, sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay na di
na mababawing muli, ang lahat ng mga lagay ng lupa na sinasabi sa itaas,
sa ilalim ng kasunduan na ngayon pa ay siya na ang nagmamay-aring tunay
ng mga lupang ito at kanya nang maaring ipalipat ang mga hoja declaratoria
ng mga lupang ito sa kanyang pangalan, datapwa't samantalang ako ay
nabubuhay, ay ako rin ang makikinabang sa mga mapuputi at
mamomosesion sa mga nasabing lupa;
IKATLO. Na pinagtibay ko na ako ay marami pang ibang mga pag-aari sa
sapat pang aking ikabuhay at sa pagbibigay kong ito ay hindi masisira ang
legitimate ng mga tao na dapat magmana sa akin, sapagkat ang mga lupang
sinasabi sa itaas ay bahagui ng aking kabuhayan na ako ay may layang
ipamigay kahit na kaninong tao na kung tawagin ay Libre Disposicion.
ISSUE: WON there was an express prohibition to collate
HELD: No express prohibition to collate.
1. The intention to exempt from collation should be expressed plainly and
equivocally as an exception to the general rule announced in Art. 1962.
Anything less than such express prohibition will not suffice under the clear
language of Art. 1062. The suggestion that there was an implied prohibition
because the properties donated were imputable to the free portion of the
decedents estate merits little consideration. Imputation is not the question
here, nor is it claimed that the disputed donation is officious.
2. The fact that a donation is irrevocable does not necessarily exempt the
subject thereof from the collation required under Art. 1061. We surmise that
We agree with the respondent court that there is nothing in the above
provisions expressly prohibiting the collation of the donated properties. As
the said court correctly observed, the phrase "sa pamamagitan ng
pagbibigay na di na mababawing muli" merely described the donation as
"irrevocable" and should not be construed as an express prohibition against
collation.6 The fact that a donation is irrevocable does not necessarily
exempt the subject thereof from the collation required under Article 1061.
3. We surmise from the use of such terms as "legitime" and "free portion" in
the deed of donation that it was prepared by a lawyer, and we may also
presume he understood the legal consequences of the donation being made.
It is reasonable to suppose, given the precise language of the document, that
he would have included therein an express prohibition to collate if that had
been the donor's intention.
4. The intention to exempt from collation should be expressed plainly and
unequivocally as an exception to the general rule announced in Article 1062.

Absent such a clear indication of that intention, we apply not the exception
but the rule, which is categorical enough.
Dispositive: WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is AFFIRMED in toto, with
costs against the petitioner. It is so ordered.

Aznar v. Duncan
IN THE MATTER OF THE INTESTATE ESTATE OF EDWARD
CHRISTENSEN, ADOLFO AZNAR (EXECUTOR) V. LUCY DUNCAN AND
HELEN CHRISTENSEN, 17 SCRA 590 (1966)
DOCTRINE: The concept of total omission from the hereditary estate is further
explained in this case. While the traditional concept of omission, based on
Roman Law, means that the compulsory heir was not instituted as an heir, the
same was abandoned so that if a compulsory heir were given a legacy by the
testator in the will (without instituting him or her as an heir), the said
compulsory heir can no longer claim the benefit of Article 854.
One point deserves some consideration. Admittedly, the testator was a
citizen of the State of California. Under the present Civil Code, "testate and
intestate succession, both with respect to the order of succession and to the
amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary
provisions shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose
succession is under consideration." (Article 16, Civil Code) In the foregoing
case, the estate of the testator was distributed in accordance with Philippine
law, taking into account the fact that Article 854 was made to apply. This point
needs clarification.
FACTS: Edward Christensen was a citizen of California and was domiciled in
the Philippines. When he died he left a will which alleged that he had only
one child (Lucy Duncan), and that he was giving a devise of P3,600 to Helen
Christensen (whom he alleged was not related to him).

In the probate proceedings, the court ruled that Helen was a natural child of
the deceased and that the properties of the decedent are to be divided
equally between Helen and Lucy pursuant to the project of partition
submitted by the administrator.
Lucy argued that this is not a case of preterition, but is governed by Art 906
NCC which states that: Any compulsory heir to whom the testator has left by
any title less than the legitime belonging to him may demand that the same
may be fully satisfied. Moreover, considering the provisions of the will
whereby the testator expressly denied his relationship with Helen, but left
her to a legacy although less than the amount of her legitime, she was in
effect defectively disinherited within the meaning of Art 918 NCC. Thus,
under Arts 906 and 918, Helen is only entitled to her legitime, and not to a
share equal to that of Lucy
ISSUE: Whether the estate should be divided equally among the two
children (Art 854) OR whether Lucys share should just be reduced to meet
the legitime of Helen (Art 906)
HELD: Helen should only be given her legitime since there was no
preterition. Manresa defines preterition as the omission of the heir of the will,
either by not naming him at all, or while mentioning him as father, son, etc., by
not instituting him as heir without disinheriting him expressly, not assigning to
him some part of the properties.
The decision in Neri v. Akutin is not applicable, because it referred to a will
where "the testator left all his property by universal title to the children by his
second marriage, and (that) without expressly disinheriting the children by his
first marriage, he left nothing to them, or at least, some of them." In the case
at bar the testator did not entirely omit oppositor-appellee Helen Garcia, but
left her a legacy of P3,600.00.
Nuguid v. Nuguid
NUGUID V. NUGUID, 17 SCRA 449 (1966)
DOCTRINE: As a general rule, the area of inquiry of a probate court is limited
to the testamentary capacity of the testator and the due execution of the will.
However, if it should appear on the face of the will that the sole disposition is
intrinsically invalidity, and that nothing is gained from an inquiry into extrinsic
validity, then a probe into the testamentary disposition, and the consequential
invalidation thereof is justified for practical considerations. While Article 854
annuls merely the institution of heir, the court is justified in declaring the entire
will void if the only testamentary disposition in the questioned will is the
institution of the universal heir. In such a case, the effect of the nullification of
the testamentary disposition would be the same as the nullification of the will
itself.

FACTS: Rosario Nuguid died on December 30, 1962, single, without


descendants, legitime or illegitimate. Surviving her were her legitimate
parents, Felix Nuguid and Paz SalongaNuguid, and six (6) brothers and sisters,
namely: Alfredo, Federico, Remedios, Conrado, Lourdes and Alberto, all
surnamed Nuguid.
On May 18, 1963, petitioner RemediosNuguid filed in the Court of First Instance
of Rizal a holographic will allegedly executed by Rosario Nuguidsome 11 years
before her demise. Petitioner prayed that said will be admitted to probate and
that letters of administration with the will annexed be issued to her.
On June 25, 1963, Felix Nuguid and Paz SalongaNuguid, concededly the
legitimate father and mother of the deceased Rosario Nuguid, entered their
opposition to the probate of her will. Ground therefor, inter alia, is that by the
institution of petitioner RemediosNuguid as universal heir of the deceased,
oppositors - who are compulsory heirs of the deceased in the direct ascending
line - were illegally preterited and that in consequence the institution is void.
On August, 29, 1963, before a hearing was had on the petition for probate and
objection thereto, oppositors moved to dismiss on the ground of absolute
preterition.
On September 6, 1963, petitioner registered her opposition to the motion to
dismiss.
The court's order of November 8, 1963, held that "the will in question is a
complete nullity and will perforce create intestacy of the estate of the
deceased Rosario Nuguid" and dismissed the petition without cost.
ISSUE: WON the will is a complete nullity.
HELD: Yes.
Reproduced hereunder is the will:
Nov. 17, 1951
I, ROSARIO NUGUID, being of sound and disposing mind and
memory, having amassed a certain amount of property, do hereby give, devise
and bequeath all of the property which I may have when I die to my beloved
sister RemediosNuguid, age 34, residing with me at 38-B Iriga, Q.C. In witness
whereof, I have signed my name this seventeenth day of November, nineteen
hundred and fifty-one.
Sgd. (Illegible)
T/ ROSARIO NUGUID

The statute we are called upon to apply is Article 854 of the Civil Code which,
in part, provides:
ART. 854. The preterition or omission of one, some or all of the
compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution
of the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of
heirs, but the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not
inofficious. x xx
ANNUL. To reduce to nothing; annihilate; obliterate; to make void or of
no effect; to nullify; to abolish; to do away with. (Citations omitted.)
And now, back to the facts and the law. The deceased Rosario Nuguid left no
descendants, legitimate or illegitimate. But she left forced heirs in the direct
ascending line - her parents, now oppositors Felix Nuguid and Paz
SalongaNuguid. And, the will completely omits both of them. They thus
received nothing by the testament; tacitly, they were deprived of their
legitime; neither were they expressly disinherited. This is a clear case of
preterition. Such preterition in the words of Manresa "anularasiempre la
institucion de heredero, dandocaracterabsoluto a esteordenamiento," referring
to the mandate of Article 814, now 854 of the Civil Code. The one-sentence will
here institutes petitioner as the sole, universal heir - nothing more. No specific
legacies or bequests are therein provided for. It is in this posture that the court
says that the nullity is complete. Perforce, Rosario Nuguid died intestate. Says
Manresa:
The statement in Article 854 that, annulment notwithstanding, 'the devices
and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious." Legacies and
devices merit consideration only when they are so expressly given as such in a
will.
As aforesaid, there is no other provision in the will before us except the
institution of petitioner as universal heir. That institution, by itself, is null and
void. And, intestate succession ensues.
The will here does not explicitly disinherit the testatrix's parents, the forced
heirs. It simply omits their names altogether. Said will rather than be labeled
ineffective disinheritance is clearly one in which the said forced heirs suffer
from preterition
The disputed order declares the will in question "a complete nullity." Article 854
of the Civil Code in turn merely nullifies "the institution of heir." Considering,
however, that the will provides for the institution of petitioner as universal heir,
and nothing more, the result is the same. The entire will is null.

Reyes v. Barreto-Datu
REYES V. BARRETTO-DATU, 19 SCRA 85 (1967)
DOCTRINE: Preterition is the omission of one, some or all compulsory heirs
in the direct line, whether living at the time of the death of the testator, or
born subsequent thereto. Among other things, Reyes holds that omission
from the inheritance, as an element of preterition, must be a total omission,

such that if a compulsory heir in the direct line received something from the
testator under the terms of the will, such heir cannot be considered
preterited
FACTS: Bibiano Barretto was married to Maria Gerardo. During their lifetime
they acquired a vast estate, consisting of real properties in Manila,
Pampanga, and Bulacan.
When BibianoBarretto died on February 18, 1936, in the City of Manila, he
left his share of these properties in a will to SaludBarretto (Salud), mother of
plaintiff's wards, and Lucia Milagros Barretto (Milagros) and a small portion as
legacies to his two sisters Rosa Barretto and FelisaBarretto and his nephew
and nieces. The usufruct of the fishpond situated in barrio San Roque,
Hagonoy, Bulacan, above-mentioned, however, was reserved for his widow,
Maria Gerard. In the meantime, Maria Gerardo was appointed
administratrix. By virtue thereof, she prepared a project of partition, which
was signed by her in her own behalf and as guardian of the minor Milagros
Barretto. Said project of partition was approved by the Court of First Instance
of Manila. The distribution of the estate and the delivery of the shares of the
heirs followed. As a consequence, SaludBarretto took immediate possession
of her share and secured the cancellation of the original certificates of title
and the issuance of new titles in her own name.
Maria Gerardo died and upon her death, it was discovered that she executed
two will. In the first will, she instituted Salud and Milagros as her heirs. In
the second will, she revoked the same and left all her properties in favour of
Milagros alone. The later will was allowed and the first rejected.
In rejecting the first will presented by Tirso Reyes, husband of the
deceasedSalud, as guardian of the children, it was determined by the lower
court that Salud was not a child of Maria Gerardo and her husband, Bibiano.
This ruling was appealed to the Supreme Court, which affirmed the same.
Having thus lost this fight for a share in the estate of Maria Gerardo as a
legitimate heir of Maria Gerardo, plaintiff now falls back upon the remnant of
the estate of the deceased BibianoBarretto, which was given in usufruct to
his widow Maria Gerardo (fishpond property). Hence, this action for the
recovery of one-half portion, thereof.
Milagros then moved to declare the project of partition submitted in the
proceedings for the settlement of the estate of Bibiano to be null and void ab
initio because the Distributee, SaludBarretto, was not a daughter of the Sps.
The nullity of the project was based on Art. 1081 of the Civil Code of 1889
which provided that :
A partition in which a person was believed to be an heir, without being so,
has been been included, shall be null and void.
The Court ordered the plaintiff to return the properties received under the
project
of partition.
ISSUE: WON the partition from which Salud acquired the fishpond is void ab
initio and that Salud did not acquire title thereto

HELD: NO
SaludBarretto admittedly had been instituted as an heir in the late
BibianoBarretto's last will and testament together with defendant Milagros;
hence, the partition had between them could not be one such had with a
party who was believed to be an heir without really being one, and was not
null and void under said article. The legal precept (Article 1081) does not
speak of children, or descendants, but of heirs (without distinction between
forced, voluntary or intestate ones), and the fact that Salud happened not to
be a daughter of the testator does not preclude her being one of the heirs
expressly named in his testament; for BibianoBarretto was at liberty to
assign the free portion of his estate to whomsoever he chose. While the
share () assigned to Salud impinged on the legitime of Milagros, Salud did
not for that reason cease to be a testamentary heir of BibianoBarretto.
Where the testator allotted in his will to his legitimate daughter a share less
than her legitime, such circumstance would not invalidate the institution of a
stranger as an heir, since there was no preterition or total omission of the
forced heir.
Where a partition was made between two persons instituted as heirs in the
will, and one of them was found out later not to be the testators daughter,
while the other was really his daughter, it cannot be said that the partition
was a void compromise on the civil status of the person who was not the
testators daughter. At the time of the partition, the civil status of that
person was not being questioned. There can be no compromise on a matter
that was not an issue. While the law outlaws a compromise over civil status,
it does not forbid a settlement by the parties regarding the share that should
correspond to the claimant to the hereditary estate.
A project of partition is merely a proposal for the distribution of the
hereditary estate, which the court may accept or reject. It is the court alone
that makes the distribution of the estate and determines the persons entitled
thereto. It is the final judicial decree of distribution that vests title in the
distributees. If the decree was erroneous, it should have been corrected by
an opportune appeal; but once it had become final, its binding effect is like
that of any other judgment in rem, unless properly set aside for lack of
jurisdiction or fraud. Where the court has validly issued a decree of
distribution and the same has become final, the validity or invalidity of the
project of partition becomes irrelevant.
A distribution in the decedents will, made according to his will should be
respected. The fact that one of the distributees was a minor (Milagros) at
the time the court issued the decree of distribution does not imply that the
court had no jurisdiction to enter the decree of distribution. The proceeding
for the settlement of a decedents estate is a proceeding in rem. It is binding
on the distributee who was represented by her mother as guardian.
Where in a partition between two instituted heirs, one of them did not know
that she was not really the child of the testator, it cannot be said that she
defrauded the other heir who was the testators daughter. At any rate, relief

on the ground of fraud must be obtained within 4 years from its discovery.
When Milagros was 16 years old in 1939, when the fraud was allegedly
perpetrated and she became of age in 1944, and became award of the fraud
in 1946, her action in 1956 to set aside the partition was clearly barred.
Balanay v. Martinez
BALANAY, JR. V. MARTINEZ, 64 SCRA 454 (1975)
DOCTRINE: Balanay stresses the jurisdiction of the probate court. Unless the
nullity of the will is patent on its face, the probate court should first pass
upon the extrinsic validity of the will before passing upon its substantive
validity. Hence, the distinction between this case and Nuguid
Upon the other hand, while the court correctly modified the husband's
right to waive his hereditary right with respect to the estate of the deceased
spouse, and his right to waive his half share in the conjugal estate, pursuant to
the provisions of Articles 750 and 752 of the Civil Code, the court was silent on
the validity of the husband's conformity to the distribution of the conjugal
estate in accordance with the terms of the will of the wife. Obviously, the court
assumed the validity of the renunciation of the husband of his share in the
conjugal estate. Such waiver, however, may fall into one of two possible
categories, i.e., inter vivos or mortis causa. If it was a waiver effective inter
vivos, then it would have amounted to a donation to inter vivos to the wife.
That would have been illegal under existing laws. On the other hand, if it was a
waiver mortis causa, then the formalities of a will should have been observed,
failing which, the waiver would be void. Furthermore, the waiver mortis causa
would have required the wife to survive the husband. In either case, the
alleged waiver by the husband of his half share in the conjugal estate resulted
in a transmission of property to the wife. And consequently, a characterization
of such waiver along the parameters mentioned above is necessary and
inescapable. The fundamental question, therefore, that demands an answer is
whether or not a husband or wife could waive his or her share in the conjugal
estate in favor of the other by an act inter vivos. We exclude, however, a
waiver resulting from a successful petition for separation of property, and the
liquidation of the conjugal partnership (or for that matter, the absolute
community of property) resulting from the issuance of a decree of annulment
or a decree of nullity.
It may be surmised that the validity of the waiver had to be assumed,
properly or improperly, otherwise the case will fall under the provision of
Article 784 which categorically states that the making of a will is strictly a
personal act, and that the exercise of testamentary discretion cannot be
delegated by a person to another. In any case, Balanay leaves many questions
unanswered. Let alone the fact that the decision did not discuss why the
husband was not preterited within the meaning of Article 854.

FACTS: Felix Balanay Jr. Appelaed the order of the CFI, declaring illegal and
void the will of his mother, Leodegaria Julian, converting the testate
proceeding into an intestate proceeding and ordering the issuance of the
corresponding notice to creditors
Leodegaria Julian, a native of Sta Maria, Ilocos Sur, died on February 12, 1973
in Davao City at the age of sixty-seven. She was survived by her husband, Felix
Balanay, Sr., and by their six legitimate children, namely, Felix Balanay, Jr.,
Avelina B. Antonio, Beatriz B. Solamo, Carolina B. Manguiob, Delia B. Lanaban
and Emilia B. Pabaonon.
Felix J. Balanay, Jr. filed in the lower court a petition.for the probate of his
mother's notarial will.
In paragraph V of the will she stated that after her husband's death (he was
eighty-two years old in 1973) her paraphernal lands and all the conjugal lands
(which she described as "my properties") should be divided and distributed in
the manner set forth in that part of her will. She devised and partitioned the
conjugal lands as if they were all owned by her. She disposed of in the will her
husband's one-half share of the conjugal assets.
Felix Balanay, Sr. and Avelina B. Antonio opposed the probate of the will on the
grounds of lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, preterition of the
husband and alleged improper partition of the conjugal estate.
Felix Balanay, Jr. attached an affidavit of Felix Balanay, Sr. dated April 18, 1973
wherein he withdrew his opposition to the probate of the will and affirmed that
he was interested in its probate. On the same date Felix Balanay, Sr. signed an
instrument captioned "Conformation (sic) of Division and Renunciation of
Hereditary Rights" wherein he manifested that out of respect for his wife's will
he "waived and renounced" his hereditary rights in her estate in favor of their
six children.
Avelina B. Antonio, an oppositor, in her rejoinder contended that the affidavit
and "conformation" of Felix Balanay, Sr. were void. The lower court in its order
of June 18, 1973 "denied" the opposition and reset for hearing the probate of
the will. It gave effect to the affidavit and conformity of Felix Balanay, Sr.
Another lawyer appeared in the case, Atty. David O. Montana, claiming to be
the lawyer of petitioner Felix Balanay, Jr. filed a motion dated September 25,
1973 for "leave of court to withdraw probate of alleged will of Leodegaria Julian
and requesting authority to proceed by intestate estate proceeding." Avelina B.
Antonio and Delia B. Lanaban, thorugh Atty. Jose B. Guyo, manifested their
conformity with the motion for the issuance of a notice to the creditor.
The lower court, acting on the motions of Atty. Montana and Atty. Guyo
assumed that the issuance of a notice to creditors was in order. It adopted the
view of Attys. Montana and Guyo that the will was void. It dismissed the
petition for probate and converted the testate proceeding into an intestate
proceeding.
Felix Balanay, Jr., through a new counsel, Roberto M. Sarenas, in a verified
motion dated April 15, 1974, asked for the reconsideration of the lower court's
order of February 28, 1974 on the ground that Atty. Montana had no authority
to withdraw the petition for the allowance of the will.

ISSUE: WON the probate court erred in passing upon the intrinsic validity of
the will, before ruling on its allowance or formal validity, and in declaring the
will void.
HELD:
The trial court acted correctly in passing upon the will's intrinsic validity even
before its formal validity had been established. The probate of a will might
become an idle ceremony if on its face it appears to be intrinsically void.
Where practical considerations demand that the intrinsic validity of the will be
passed upon, even before it is probated, the court should meet the issue.
But the probate court erred in declaring in its order of February 28, 1974 that
the will was void and in converting the testate proceeding into an intestate
proceeding notwithstanding the fact that in its order of June 18, 1973 it gave
effect to the surviving husband's conformity to the will and to his renunciation
of his hereditary rights which presumably included his one-half share of the
conjugal estate.
The rule is that "the invalidity of one of several dispositions contained in a will
does not result in the invalidity of the other dispositions, unless it is to be
presumed that the testator would not have made such other dispositions if the
first invalid disposition had not been made" (Art. 792, Civil Code). "Where
some of the provisions of a will are valid and others invalid, the valid parts will
be upheld if they can be separated from the invalid without defeating the
intention of the testator or interfering with the general testamentary scheme,
or doing injustice to the beneficiaries"
The statement of the testatrix that she owned the "southern half" of the
conjugal lands is contrary to law because, although she was a co-owner
thereof, her share was inchoate and pro indiviso (Art. 143, Civil Code). But that
illegal declaration does not nullify the entire will.
Felix Balanay, Sr. could validly renounce his hereditary rights and his one-half
share of the conjugal partnership (Art. 179(1) and 1041, Civil Code), but insofar
as said renunciation partakes of a donation of his hereditary rights and his onehalf share in the conjugal estate (Art. 1050(1), Civil Code), it should be subject
to the limitations prescribed in articles 750 and 752 of the Civil Code. A portion
of the estate should be adjudicated to the widower for his support and
maintenance. Or at least his legitime should be respected.
The will is intrinsically valid and the partition therein may be given effect if it
does not prejudice the creditors and impair the legitimes. The distribution and
partition would become effective upon the death of Felix Balanay, Sr. In the
meantime, the net income should be equitably divided among the children and
the surviving spouse.

It should be stressed that by reason of the surviving husband's conformity to


his wife's will and his renunciation of his hereditary rights, his one-half conjugal
share became a part of his deceased wife's estate. His conformity had the
effect of validating the partition made in paragraph V of the will without
prejudice, of course, to the rights of the creditors and the legitimes of the
compulsory heirs.
Article 793 of the Civil Code provides that "property acquired after the making
of the will shall only pass thereby, as if the testator had possessed it at the
time of making the will, should it expressly appear by the will that such was his
intention." Under article 930 of the Civil Code, "the legacy of devise of a thing
belonging to another person is void, if the testator erroneously believed that
the thing pertained to him. But if the thing bequeathed, though not belonging
to the testator when he made the will, afterwards becomes his by whatever
title, the disposition shall take effect."
In the instant case there is no doubt that the testatrix and her husband
intended to partition the conjugal estate in the manner set forth in paragraph
V of her will. It is true that she could dispose of by will her half of the conjugal
estate (Art. 170, Civil Code) but since the husband, after the dissolution of the
conjugal partnership, had assented to her testamentary partition of the
conjugal estate, such partition has become valid, assuming that the will may
be probated. In the instant case, the preterited heir was the surviving spouse.
His preterition did not produce intestacy. Moreover, he signified his conformity
to his wife's will and renounced his hereditary rights.
It results that the lower court erred in not proceeding with the probate of the
will as contemplated in its uncancelled order of June 18, 1973.
Testacy is favored. Doubts are resolved in favor of testacy especially where the
will evinces an intention on the part of the testator to dispose of practically his
whole estate. So compelling is the principle that intestacy should be avoided
and that the wishes of the testator should prevail that sometimes the language
of the will can be varied for the purpose of giving it effect.

Acain v. CA
CONSTANTINO ACAIN V. IAC, VIRGINIA FERNANDEZ AND ROSA
DIONGSON, 155 SCRA 100 (1983)
DOCTRINE: Acain resolved once and for all the issue as to whether or not a
surviving spouse could be preterited. This issue was not definitively answered
in Balanay. In addition, Acain resolved that an adopted child may be preterited.
This issue was not resolved in Maninang. The foregoing notwithstanding, the
Court did not explain the reason why an adopted child (while given the same
rights and obligations as a legitimate child under the provisions of P.D. 603)
could be preterited. It must be noted that given the said provisions, the
adopted child is not entitled to the right of representation, which is available to
a legitimate child. It would seem, however, that with the provisions of the
Family Code, specifically on the status of an adopted child, the preterition of an
adopted child finds greater support.
FACTS: In May 1984, petitioner Acain filed with RTC Cebu a petition for the
probate of the will of the late Nemesio Acain based on the premise that the
decedent Nemesio left a will in which petitioner and his siblings were
instituted as heirs.
The will was allegedly executed by Nemesio in February 1960 which was
written in Bisaya and was not opposed by private respondents

In the will, Nemesio bequeathed all his properties to his brother Segundo on
the condition that if Segundo predeceases Nemesio, said properties will be
given to Segundos children (herein petitioner)
Segundo predeceased before Nemesio. Thus, it is the children of Segundo
who are claiming to be heirs, with Constantino as petitioner
Private respondents, Virigina (legally adopted daughter of the decedent) and
Rosa (decedents spouse) filed a motion to dismiss on the following grounds:
The petitioner had no legal capacity to institute said proceedings
Petitioner is merely a universal heir
The widow and the adopted daughter have been preterited
Said motion was denied by the trial judge.
On appeal, IAC granted private respondents petition and ordered the trial
court to dismiss the petition for probate of the will of Nemesio
Petitioner argues that:
The authority of the probate court is limited only to inquiring into the intrinsic
validity of the will sought to be probated, and it cannot pass upon the
intrinsic validity therof before it is admitted to probate
The preterition mentioned in Art 854 NCC refers to preterition of compulsory
heirs in the direct line and does not apply to private respondents who are
not compulsory heirs in the direct line. Thus, their omission shall not annul
the institution of heirs
ISSUE: WON private respondents have been preterited
HELD: Yes. Preterition consists in the omission in the testator's will of the
forced heirs or anyone of them either because they are not mentioned therein,
or though mentioned, they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly
disinherited Insofar as the widow is concerned, Art 854 NCC may not apply as
she does not ascend or descend from the testator although she is a
compulsory heir. Stated otherwise, even if the surviving spouse is a
compulsory heir there is no preterition even if she is omitted from the
inheritance for she is not in the direct line. However, the same thing
cannot be said of the other respondent Virginia Fernandez, whose
legal adoption by the testator has not been questioned by petitioner.
Under Art 39 of P.D. No. 603 (Child and Youth Welfare Code), adoption
gives to the adopted person the same rights and duties as if he were
a legitimate child of the adopted and makes the adopted person a
legal heir of the adopter. It cannot be denied that she was totally
omitted and preterited in the will of the testator and that both
adopted child and the widow were deprived of at least their legitime.
Neither can it be denied that they were not expressly disinherited. Hence, this
is a clear case of preterition of the legally adopted child.
Preterition annuls the institution of an heir and annulment throws open to
intestate succession the entire inheritance including "la porcion libre (que) no

hubiese dispuesto en virtual de legado, mejora o donacion" The only provisions


which do not result in intestacy are the legacies and devises made in the will
for they should stand valid and respected, except insofar as the legitimes are
concerned.
The universal institution of petitioner together with his brothers and sisters to
the entire inheritance of the testator results in totally abrogating the will
because the nullification of such institution of universal heirs - without any
other testamentary disposition in the will - amounts to a declaration that
nothing at all was written. Carefully worded and in clear terms, Article 854 of
the Civil Code offers no leeway for inferential interpretation. No legacies nor
devises having been provided in the will the whole property of the deceased
has been left by universal title to petitioner and his brothers and sisters. The
effect of annulling the institution of heirs will be, necessarily, the opening of a
total intestacy except that proper legacies and devises must, as already stated
above, be respected.
ON THE JURISDICTION OF THE PROBATE COURT
The general rule is that the probate court's authority is limited only to the
extrinsic validity of the will, the due execution thereof, the testator's
testamentary capacity and the compliance with the requisites or solemnities
prescribed by law. The intrinsic validity of the will normally comes only after
the Court has declared that the will has been duly authenticated. Said court at
this state of the proceedings is not called upon to rule on the intrinsic validity
or efficacy of the provisions of the will. Under exceptional circumstances, the
probate court is not powerless to do what the situation constrains it to do and
pass upon certain provisions of the will. For private respondents to have
tolerated the probate of the will and allowed the case to progress when on its
face the will appears to be intrinsically void as petitioner and his brothers and
sisters were instituted as universal heirs coupled with the obvious fact that one
of the private respondents had been preterited would have been an exercise in
futility. It would have meant a waste of time, effort, expense, plus added
anxiety. The trial court have denied its probate outright or could have passed
upon the intrinsic validity of the testamentary provisions before the extrinsic
validity of the will was resolved

Edroso v. Sabalan
EDROSO VS. SABLAN (1913)
Marcelina Edroso, petitioner-appellant,
vs.
Pablo and Basilio Sablan, opponents-appellees
DOCTRINE: A reservor's right to the reservable property is not just
usufructuary in nature. The reservor, having inherited the reservable property
from the prepositus, acquires ownership thereof, subject to a resolutory
condition. Thus, a reservor has a registrable title to the property, and may
institute land registration proceedings in the appropriate case.
It must be noted, however, that during the registration proceedings, the
reservees should intervene solely for the purpose of ensuring that the

reservable nature of the property is properly inscribed in the title. Otherwise, a


clean title issued pursuant to a decree of registration, may in the proper case
extinguish the reserva.
Mariano
Victoriano

Ma. Rita
Marcelina

Pedro
FACTS: Spouses Marcelina Edroso and Victoriano Sablan had a son
named, Pedro who inherited two parcels of land upon the death of his
father.
Subsequently, Pedro died,unmarried and without issue, the two parcels of
land passed through inheritance toh i s m o t h e r. H e n c e t h e h e re d i t a r y
t i t l e w h e re u p o n i s b a s e d t h e a p p l i c a t i o n f o r registration of her
ownership.
The two uncles of Pedro, Pablo and Basilio Sablan (legitimate brothers
of Victoriano) opposed the registration claiming that either the registration
be denied or if granted to her, the right reserved by law to them be
recorded in the registration of each parcel.
The Court of Land Registration denied the registration holding that the
land in question partake of the nature of property required by law to be
reserved and that in such a case application could only be presented
jointly in the names of the mother and the said two uncles. Hence,
this appeal.
ISSUE: W h e t h e r o r n o t t h e p ro p e r t y i n q u e s t i o n i s i n t h e n a t u re
o f a re s e r v a b l e property.
HELD:
A very definite conclusion of law is that the hereditary title is one without a
valuable consideration (gratuitous title), and it is so characterized in article 968
of the Civil Code, for he who acquires by inheritance gives nothing in return for
what he receives; and a very definite conclusion of law also is that the uncles
are within the third degree of blood relationship.
Marcelina Edroso, ascendant of Pedro Sablan, inherited from him these two
parcels of land which he had acquired without a valuable consideration - that
is, by inheritance from another ascendant, his father Victoriano. Having
acquired them by operation of law, she is obligated to reserve them intact for

the claimants, who are uncles or relatives within the third degree and belong to
the line of Mariano Sablan and Maria Rita Fernandez, whence the lands
proceeded. The trial court's ruling that they partake of the nature of property
required by law to be reserved is therefore in accordance with the law.
The person required by article 811 to reserve the right, has, beyond any doubt
at all, the rights of use and usufruct. He has, moreover, for the reasons set
forth, the legal title and dominion, although under a condition subsequent.
Clearly, he has, under an express provision of the law, the right to dispose of
the property reserved, and to dispose of is to alienate, although under a
condition. He has the right to recover it, because he is the one who possesses
or should possess it and have title to it, although a limited and recoverable
one. In a word, the legal title and dominion, even though under a condition
reside in him while he lives. After the right required by law to be reserved has
been assured, he can do anything that a genuine owner can do.
On the other hadnt, the relatives within the third degree in whose favor of
the rightis reserved cannot dispose of the property, first because it is no way,
either actuallyor constructively or formally, in their possession; and
moreover, because they haveno title of ownership or of the fee simple which
they can transmit to another, on thehypothesis that only when the person
who must reserve the right should die beforethem will they acquire it.
The SC reverse the judgment appealed from, and in lieu thereof decide and
declare that the applicant is entitled to register in her own name the two
parcels of land which are the subject matter of the application, recording in the
registration the right required by article 811 to be reserved to either or both of
the opponents, Pablo Sablan and Basilio Sablan, should they survive her.

Seines v. Esparcia
CONSTANCIO SIENES, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellants,
vs.
FIDEL ESPARCIA, ET AL., defendants-appellee
Doctrine:

The reserva creates a double resolutory condition: (1) the death of the
reservor, and (2) the survival of the reservee at the time of the death of the
reservor. While the decision refers to the first as a resolutory condition, it
would seem more likely that the same is a term. In any event, the case
confirms that either the reservor or any of the reservees may alienate the
reservable property, and the final outcome of the sales will be determined by
the timeliness or untimeliness of the death of the seller. It is important to
distinguish the sales referred to herein from the concept of a double sale
which is regulated in Article 1544 of the Civil Code.
The subject matter of the two sales referred to herein must be clarified.
It would seem fairly clear that the reservor sold the reservable land in
question, since at the time of the said sale, she was the registered owner of
the property and in fact in possession thereof. The sale executed by the
reservees may be viewed from a different perspective. Since the reservor
was still alive at the time of the said sale, it would seem that the reservees
could not have validly sold the same parcel of land, which obviously was not
theirs. If the said sale were to refer to the parcel of land, then the sale should
properly be construed as a conditional sale - the condition being the survival
of the seller-reservees upon the death of the reservor. Upon the other hand,
it is also possible to construed this sale of the reservees as a sale of their
inchoate right to acquire the property. Hence the subject matter of the sale
would not be the reservable land, but the rights of the reservees thereto,
which is conditional.
Teresa

Sps. Esparcia

Saturnino
Agaton
Fernando
Paulina
Cipriana

Andrea

Sps. Sienes

Francisco

FACTS:
1. Lot 3368 originally belonged to SaturninoYaeso (origin). With his first
wife, Teresa Reales, he had 4 children, named Agaton, Fernando, Paulina and
Cipriana.
2. With his second wife, Andrea Gutang, he had an only son named
Francisco (propositus).
3. Upon Yaesos death, said lot was left to Francisco and title was issued in
his name. Because Francisco was then a minor, his mother administered the
property for him and declared it in her name for taxation purposes.
4. When Francisco died, single and without any descendant, his mother,
Andrea Gutang (reservista) as sole heir, executed an extrajudicial settlement

and sale of the property in favor of the Sps. ConstancioSienes and


GenovevaSilay (Sps. Sienes).
5. Thereafter, the Sps. Sienes demanded from Paulina Yaeso and her
husband, Jose Esparcia, the surrender of the original certificate of title (which
was in their possession). The latter refused.
6. Cipriana and Paulina Yaeso (reservatorios), the surviving half-sisters of
Francisco as such, declared the property in their name and subsequently
executed a deed of sale in favor of the Sps. Fidel Esparcia and Paulina Sienes
(Sps. Esparcia), who in turn, declared it in their name for tax purposes and
thereafter secured title in their name.
7. ConstancioSienes then filed an action asking for the nullification of the
sale executed by Paulina and Cipriana, the reconveyance of the lot and
damages and cost of suit.
8. Fidel Esparcia countered that they did not know any information regarding
the sale by Andrea Gutang in favor of the Sps. Sienes, and that if such sale
was made, the same was void since Andrea had no right to dispose of the
property.
9. The trial court declared that the sale of Andrea Gutang to Sps. Sienes was
void and that the sale by Paulina and CiprianaYaeso to the Sps. Esparcia was
also void. The land in question was reservable property and therefore, the
reservista Andrea Gutang, was under obligation to reserve it for the benefit
of relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which said
property came, if any, survived her.
10. The records show that the lone reserve surviving was CiprianaYaeso.
ISSUE:
WON the lot in question is reservable property and if so, whether the
reservoir or the reserve can alienate the same
HELD: Yes, the lot is reservable property.
1. On Franciscos death, unmarried and without descendants, the property
was inherited by his mother, Andrea Gutang, who was under obligation to
reserve it for the benefit of relatives within the third degree belonging to the
line from which said property came, if any, survived her.
2. Being reservable property, the reserve creates two resolutory conditions:
a.
the death of the ascendant obliged to reserve and
b.
the survival, at the time of his death, of relatives within the third
degree belonging to the line from which the property came.
In connection with this, the court has held that the reservista (reservor) has
the legal title and dominion to the reservable property but subject to a
resolutory condition. Hence, he may alienate the same but subject to
reservation, said alienation transmitting only the revocable and conditional
ownership of the reservista, the right acquired by the transferee being
revoked or resolved by the survival of reservatorios (reserves) at the time of
the death of the reservista .
3. In the present case, inasmuch as when the reservista, Andrea Gutang
died, CiprianaYaeso was still alive, the conclusion becomes inescapable that
the previous sale made by the former in favor of appellants became of no

legal effect and the reservable property passed in exclusive ownership to


Cipriana.
4. On the other hand, the sale executed by the sisters, Paulina and
CiprianaYaeso, in favor of the Sps. Esparcia was subject to a similar
resolutory condition. While it may be true that the sale was made by
Cipriana and her sister prior to the death of Andrea, it became effective
because of the occurrence of the resolutory condition.

Case # 69 Florentino v. Florentino


ENCARNACION FLORENTINO, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellants,
vs.
MERCEDES FLORENTINO, ET AL., defendants-appellees.
FLORENTINO v FLORENTINO G.R. No. L-14856
November 15,
1919
Doctrine:
Florentino settles a number of issues. First, with respect to the right of
representation accorded the reservee, the same may be exercised only by
such person seeking to represent if he himself is a relative within the third
degree of the prepositus. Second, Florentino rejected the theory that if the
reservable property does not fall into the hands of strangers, then the
reserva is not applicable. Thus, whether or not the reservable property was
devised or willed by the reservor to a relative of the prepositus coming from
the same line as the origin, the reservable nature of the property is not lost.
From this principle arises an inference that the reservable property is not
part of the estate of the reservor upon his demise. Third, there is an
affirmation that the title of the reservor to the reservable property is not in
the nature of full dominion, by reason of the reservation provided by law.
However, there is serious doubt as to the validity of this proposition in the
light of the more recent pronouncements of the Court. That the reservor is a
mere usufructuary (as intimated in Florentino), is contradicted by later
decisions characterizing the title of the reservor to the reservable property as
absolute but possessed with a resolutory condition.
Notice, however, that the court, in the dispositive portion of this
decision, committed an error in the distribution of the reservable property.
Antonia
Apolonio II
Severina

+Jose
Ramon
Miguel
Victorino
Antonio
Rosario

Mercedes
Apolonio III

Juan
+Maria
Encarnacion
+Isabel
+Espirita
Emilia
Jesus
Lourdes
Caridad
Dolores
Gabriel
+Pedro
Jose
Asunsion
Magdalena

FACTS:
1. ApolonioIsabeloFlorentino II married Antonia Faz, with whom he had 9
children. When his wife died, Apolonio married Severina, with whom he had
2 children- Mercedes and Apolonio III.
2. Apolonio II died and was survived by his second wife and the ten children,
Apolonio III, being born after Apolonio II died.
3. He was able to execute a will instituting as universal heirs his 10 children,
the posthumous Apolonio III and his widow, Severina, and declaring that all
of his property should be divided among all of his children in both marriages.
4. In the partition of his estate, Apolonio III was given 6 parcels of land and
some personal property of Apolonio II.
5. Apolonio III later died and his mother, Severina, succeeded to all these
properties. She subsequently died, leaving a will instituting as her universal
heiress her only living daughter, Mercedes.
6. As such heir, Mercedes took possession of all the property left at the
death of her mother, including the property inherited by Severina from
Apolonio III, which is said to be reservable property. Accordingly, Mercedes
had been gathering the fruits of the parcels of land.
7. The children of Apolonio II by his first wife, as well as his grandchildren by
the first marriage, instituted an action for recovery of their share of the
reservable property. The defendants contend that no property can be

reserved for the plaintiffs inasmuch as there is a forced heiress and the
obligation to reserve is secondary to the duty to respect the legitime.
8. Also, the danger that the property coming from the same line might fall
into the hands of strangers has been avoided.
ISSUE:
WON the property is subject to reserve troncal or not
HELD: Yes, it is subject to reserve troncal
1. Even if Severina left in her will said property to her only daughter and
forced heiress, nevertheless, this property has not lost its reservable nature.
The posthumous son, Apolonio III, acquired the property by lucrative title or
by inheritance from his legitimate father.
2. Although such property was inherited by Severina, nevertheless, she was
duty bound to reserve the property thus acquired for the benefit of the
relatives within the third degree of the line from which such property came.
Ascendants do not inherit the reservable property, but its enjoyment , use
and trust merely for the reason that the law imposes the obligation to
reserve and preserve the same for certain designated persons, who on the
death of said ascendants- reservoir, acquire the ownership of said property in
fact and operation of law in the same manner as forced heirs.
3. There are then 7 reservees entitled to the reservable property left at the
death of Apolonio III, to wit:
a.
Apolonio IIs 3 children from his first marriage
b.
The children of Apolonio IIs deceased children, 12 in all
c.
Mercedes, Apolonio IIIs sister.
All of the plaintiffs are relatives of the posthumous son within the third
degree (four as half-siblings and
12 as his nephews and nieces). As the
first four are his relatives within the third degree in their own right and the
others by right of representation, all are entitled as reservees.
4. The properties in question came from the common ancestor, Apolonio II,
and when, on the death of Apolonio III without issue, the same passed by
operation of law into the hands of his legitimate mother, Severina; it became
reservable property with the object that the same should not fall into the
possession of persons other than those comprehended within the order of
succession traced by the law from Apolonio II, the origin of the property.
5. Severina could have disposed in her will all her own property in favor of
her only living daughter, Mercedes, as forced heir. But the provision
concerning the reservable property reducing the rights of the other reserves
is null and void inasmuch as said property is not her own and she has only
the right of usufruct or of fiduciary, with the right to deliver the same to the
reserves.
6. Reservable property neither comes nor falls under the absolute dominion
of the ascendant who inherits and receives the same from his descendant,
therefore, it does not form part of his property nor become the legitimeof his
forced heirs. It becomes his own property only in case all the relatives of his
descendant died, in which case, the said reservable property loses such
character.

Case # 70 Padura v. Baldovino


PADURA vs. BALDOVINO
No. L-11960
December 27, 1958
DOCTRINE: The division of the reservable property among the reservees is
the subject matter of the following decision. The court rejected the theory of
reserva integral espoused by Spanish commentators such as Scaevola, and
categorically adopted the theory of delayed intestacy. The reason for rejecting
the first theory is clearly discussed below.
Gervacia

Agustin
Manuel
Dionisia
Felisa
Flora
Cornelio
Francisco
Juana
Severino

Fortunato

Benita
Candelaria
Cristeta
Melania
Anicia
Pablo

FACTS: The lower court rendered judgment declaring all the reservees
(without distinction) co-owners, pro-indiviso, in equal shares of the parcel of
land subject matter of the suit.
ISSUE: In a case of reserve troncal where the only reservatorios (reserves)
surviving the reservista and belonging to the line of origin, are nephews of
the half blood and the others are nephews of the whole blood, should the
reserved properties be apportioned among them equally or should the

nephews of the whole blood take a share twice as large as that of the
nephews of the half blood?
HELD: The restrictive interpretation is the more imperative in view of the
New Civil Codes hostility to successional reservas and reversions, as
exemplified by the suppression of the reserve vindal and the reversion
legalof the Code of 1889 (Arts. 812 and 968-980).
There is a third point that deserves consideration. Even during the
reservistas lifetime, the reservatarios, who are ultimate acquirers of the
property, can already assert the right to prevent thereservista from doing
anything that might frustrate their reversionary right; and for this purpose
they can compel the annotation of their right in the Registry of Property even
while the reservista is alive (Ley Hipotecaria de Ultamar, Arts. 168, 199:
Edroso vs. Sablan, 25 Phil. 295). This right is incompatible with the mere
expectancy that corresponds to the natural heirs of the reservista. It is
likewise clear that the reservable property is no part of the estate of the
reservista, who may not dispose of them by will, so long as there are
reservatarios existing (Arroyo vs. Gerona, 58 Phil. 237). The latter, therefore,
do not inherit from the reservista but from the descendant prepositus, of
whom the reservatarios are the heirs mortis causa, subject of the condition
that they must survive the reservista (Sanchez Roman, Vol. Tomo 2, p. 286:
Manresa, Commentaries, Vol. 6, 6th Ed., pp274, 310). Had the nephews of
whole and half blood succeeded the prepositus directly, those of full- blood
would undoubtedly receive a double share compared to those of half blood
(Arts. 1008 and 1006, jam cit.), why then should the latter receive equal
shares simply because the transmission of the property was delayed by
interregnum of the reserve? The decedent (causante), the heirs and their
relationship being the same, there is no cogent reason why the hereditary
portions should vary.
It should be stated, in justice to the trial court, that its opinion is supported
by distinguished commentators of the Civil Code of 1889, among them
Sanchez Roman (Estudios, Vol. 6, Tomo 2, p.1008) and MuciusScaevola
(Codigo Civil, Vol. 14, p.342). The reason given by these authors is that the
reservatarios are called by law to take the reservable property because they
belong to the line of origin; and not because of their relationship. But the
argument, if logically pursued, would lead to the conclusion that the property
should pass to any and all reservatarios, as a class and in equal shares,
regardless of line and degrees. In truth, such as the theory of reserve
integral (14 Scaevola, Cod. Civ., p. 332 et seq.). But as we have seen, the
Supreme Court of Spain and of the Philippines have rejected that view, and
consider that the reservable property should be succeeded to by the
reservatario who is nearest in degree, according to the basic rules of
intestacy.

Case # 71 Chua v. CFI


Ignacio Frias Chua, Dominador Chua and Remedios Chua, petitioners,
vs.
The Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental, Branch V and
Susana De La Torre, in her capacity as Administratrix of the Intestate
Estate of Consolacion de la Torre
DOCTRINE:
The gratuitous acquisition of the reservable property by the
prepositus from the origin of the reservable property was interpreted in this
case. Even if the prepositus had to pay a certain amount to a third party for
the purpose of acquiring the reservable property, if such payment obligation
was not imposed by the origin, the acquisition by the latter is still gratuitous in
nature.
Patricia

Jose
Ignacio
Lorenzo
Manuel

Juanito

Consolacion

FACTS: Chua with Patricia S. Militar alias Sy Quio sired three children,
namely: Ignacio, Lorenzo and Manuel. When Patricia died, Jose Frias
Chua contracted a second marriage with Consolacion de la Torre with whom
he had a child by the name of Juanita Frias Chua.
Manuel died without leaving any issue.
Then in 1929, Jose died intestate leaving his widow Consolacion and his son
Juanito of the second marriage and sons Ignacio and Lorenzo of his first
marriage.
In the Intestate Proceeding, the lower court issued an order
adjudicating, among others, the one-half portion of Lot No. 399 and the
sum of P8,000.00 in favor of Jose's widow, Consolacion, the other half of
Lot No. 399 in favor of Juanito; P3,000.00 in favor of Lorenzo; and
P1,550.00 in favor of Ignacio. By virtue of said adjudication, a TCT was issued
by the Register of Deeds in the names of Consolacion and Juanito.
On Feb.27, 1952, Juanito died intestate without any issue. After his death, his
mother Consolacion succeeded to his pro-indivisio share of Lot No.
399. In a week's time, Consolacion executed a declaration of
heirship adjudicating in her favor the pro- indiviso share of her son
Juanito as a result of which a TCT covering the whole lot was issued in her
name. Then on March 5, 1966, Consolacion died intestate leaving no
direct heir either in the descending or ascending line except her brother and
sisters.
In the "Intestate Estate of Consolacion de la Torre", the petitioners herein,
Ignacio, of the fi rst marriage and Dominador and Remedios Chua, the
supposed legitimate children of the deceased Lorenzo Chua, also of the
first marriage filed the complaint before the respondent CFI of Negros
Occidental, praying that the one-half portion of Lot No. 399 which formerly
belonged to Juanito but which passed to Consolacion upon the latter's death,
be declared as a reservable property for the reason that the lot in question
was subject to reserval troncal pursuant to Article 981 of the NCC.
The respondent Court rendered a decision dismissing the complaint of
petitioner.
ISSUE: Whether the property in question as acquired by Juanito Frias Chua
from his father, Jose Frias Chua, gratuitously or not, in relation to first
requisite of reserve troncal
HELD: Yes
The transmission is gratuitous or by gratuitous title when the recipient
does not give anything in return." It matters not whether the
property transmitted be or be not subject to any prior charges; what
is essential is that the transmission be made gratuitously, or by an
act of mere liberality of theperson making it, without imposing any
obligation on the part of the recipient; and that the person receiving
the property gives or does nothing in return; or, as ably put by an eminent

Filipino commentator, "the essential thing is that the person who


transmits it does so gratuitously, from pure generosity, without
requiring from the transferee any prestation." It is evident from the record
that the transmission of the property in question to Juanito Frias Chua upon
the death of his father Jose Frias Chua was by means of a hereditary
succession and therefore gratuitous.
In order that a property may be impressed with a reservable character the
following requisites must exist, to wit: (1) that the property was acquired by a
descendant from an ascendant or from a brother or sister by gratuitous title;
(2) that said descendant died without an issue; (3) that the property is
inherited by another ascendant by operation of law; and (4) that there are
relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which said property
came.
In the case at bar, all of the requisites are present: Juanito Frias Chua of the
second marriage died intestate in 1952; he died without leaving any issue; his
pro-indiviso of 1/2 share of Lot No. 399 was acquired by his mother,
Consolacion de la Torre, by operation of law. When Consolacion de la Torre
died, Juanito Frias Chua who died intestate had relatives within the third
degree. These relatives are Ignacio Frias Chua and Dominador Chua and
Remedios Chua, the supposed legitimate children of the deceased Lorenzo
Frias Chua, who are the petitioners herein.
It matters not whether the property transmitted be or be not subject to any
prior charges; what is essential is that the transmission be made gratuitously,
or by an act of mere liberality of the person making it, without imposing any
obligation on the part of the recipient; and that the person receiving the
property gives or does nothing in return; or, as ably put by an eminent Filipino
commentator, "the essential thing is that the person who transmits it does so
gratuitously, from pure generosity, without requiring from the transferee any
prestation." It is evident from the record that the transmission of the property
in question to Juanito Frias Chua of the second marriage upon the death of his
father Jose Frias Chua was by means of a hereditary succession and therefore
gratuitous
The obligation of paying the Standard is imposed upon Consolacion and
Juanito not personally by the deceased Jose in his last will and testament but
by an order of the court. As long as the transmission of the property to the
heirs is free from any condition imposed by the deceased himself and the
property is given out of pure generosity, it is gratuitous. The order of the
court does not change the gratuitous nature of the transmission of the
property to him. As far as the deceased Jose is concerned the transmission of
the property to his heirs is gratuitous. This being the case the lot in question
is subject to reserva troncal under Art. 891.
Case # 72 Gonzales vs. CFI

BEATRIZ GONZALES V. CFI MANILA, 104 SCRA 481 (1981)


DOCTRINE: Gonzales gives an extended discussion on the nature and effects
of reserva troncal. Among other things, it stresses that the reservable
property does not form part of the estate of the reservor, if upon his or her
death he or she is survived by qualified reservees. As such, the reservor
cannot will or bequeath the reservable property in his or her will, nor can the
reservor choose who or discriminate among the reservees should get the
property. The reservees inherit the reservable property not from the reservor,
but from the prepositus. Thus, Gonzales affirms the ruling in Padura v
Baldovino and follows the theory of delayed intestacy in the matter of
distributing the reservable property among the reservees. It should be noted
that the Court relied heavily on the ruling in Florentino and quotes
substantially from the text of the said decision. However, there is a failure to
note the oversight committed by the Court when it failed to distinguish
between full-blood brothers from half-blood brothers. The opportunity to rectify
an error was lost.
Benito Legarda Tuason
Consuelo
Rita
+Benito Legarda de la Paz

Filomena Roces

Beatriz
Rosario
Teresa
+Filomena
Benito
Carmen Legarda y Fernandez
Alejandro Ramon Legarda y Hernandez
Jose
Filomena Legarda y Lobregat
Jaime Legarda y Lobregat
Celso Legarda y Lobregat
Alejandro Legarda y Lobregat
Ma. Teresa Legarda y Lobregat
Ma. Antonia Legarda y Lobregat
Jose Legarda y Lobregat
Rosario Legarda y Lobregat
Benito Legarda y Lobregat
Eduardo Legarda y Lobregat
Trinidad Legarda

FACTS: Benito Legarda y dela Paz (Benito II), son of Benito Legarda y Tuazon
(Benito I), died and was survived by his widow, Filomena and their 7 children.
The real properties left by his deceased father, Benito I, were partitioned in 3
equal parts by Benito IIs sisters and his heirs pro-indiviso. One of his
daughters, Filomena, died without issue and her sole heiress was her mother,
Filomena vda de Legarda
Mrs. Legarda executed an affidavit adjudicating to herself the properties she
inherited from her daughter as a result of which she succeeded her deceased
owner as co-owner of the properties held pro-indiviso by her other 6 children.
Later, Mrs. Legarda executed 2 handwritten documents disposing of the
properties which she inherited from her daughter in favor of her 16
grandchildren (the children of her sons). Eventually, Mrs. Legarda and her 6
surviving children partitioned the co-owned property
Mrs. Legarda died and in the testate proceeding of her estate, Beatriz
Gonzales, one of her daughters, filed a motion to exclude in the inventory of
the properties inherited from Filomena, the deceased daughter, on the
ground that said properties were reservable and should be inherited by
Filomenas 3 sisters and 3 brothers, not by the 16 grandchildren of Mrs.
Legarda, or Filomenas nephews and nieces. She also filed an action securing
a declaration that the properties are reservable which Mrs. Legarda could not
bequeath in her holographic will to her grandchildren to the exclusion of her
6 chidlren
It is contended here than the properties in question are not reservable
properties because only relatives within the third paternal line have survived
and that when Mrs. Legarda willed the properties to her grandchildren, who
are third degree relatives of Filomena and who belong to the paternal line,
the reason for the reserva troncal has been satisfied: to prevent persons
outside a family from securing, by some special accident of life, property that
should otherwise have remained therein.
ISSUE: WON the properties could be conveyed by will to the 16
grandchildren (reservees within the third degree) to the exclusion of the 6
children (reservees within the second degree)
HELD: No. Mrs. Legarda could not convey in her holographic will to her 16
grandchildren the reservable properties she inherited from her daughter
because the reservable properties did not form part of her estate. The
reservoir cannot make a disposition mortis causa of the reservable properties
as long as the reservees survived the reservoir.
Art 891 clearly indicates that the reservable properties should be inherited
by all the nearest within the third degree from prepositus who in this case
are the 6 children of Mrs. Legarda. She could not select the reservees to
whom to the reservable properties should be given and deprive the other
reservees of their shares therein. To allow the reservoir to make a
testamentary disposition of the reservable properties in favor the reservees

in the third degree and, consequently, to ignore the reservees in the second
degree would be a glaring violation of Art 891, this cannot be allowed.
Mrs. Legarda could not dispose of the properties in question in her will even
if the disposition is in favor of relatives within the third degree from
Filomena. The said properties, by operation of Art 891, should go to Mrs.
Legardas 6 children as reservees within the second degree from Filomena.
Reservees do not inherit from the reservor but from the prepositus, of whom
the reservees are the heirs mortis causa subject to the condition that they
must survive the reservor.
The reservation could be extinguished only by the absence of reservees at
the time of Mrs. Legardas death. Since at the time of her death, there were
reservees belonging to the second and third degrees, the disputed properties
did not lose their reservable character. The disposition of the properties
should be made in accordance with Art 891 and in accordance with the
reservors holographic will.
Case # 73 De Papa v. Camacho
DE PAPA v CAMACHO
No. L-28032, 24 September 1986
144 SCRA 281
DOCTRINE: Between two groups of reservatarios: (a) uncles and aunts of the
prepositus, and (b) a niece of the prepositus, the latter is preferred to the
exclusion of the former in the distribution of the reversionary estate. This is
pursuant to the application of the ordinary rules of intestate succession which
govern the distribution of the reversionary estate. Please note that brothers,
sisters, nephews and nieces rank fourth in the order of intestate succession to
a legitimate person. Upon the other hand, the uncles and aunts (collectively
referred to as collateral relatives within the fifth civil degree) rank fifth in the
order of intestate succession to a legitimate person. Thus, following the order
of preference, those who rank fourth will exclude all those relatives who rank
fifth. Again, this is a reaffirmation of the theory of delayed intestacy first
initiated in Padura.
Marciana
Francisca
Manuel
Nicolas
Toribia

Eustacio
Faustino

Trinidad

Balbino . . . . . Romana

Dalisay
Narvasa, J.:
This case, which involves the application of Article 891 of the Civil Code
on reserva troncal, was submitted for judgment in the lower court by all the
parties on the following "Stipulation of Facts and Partial Compromise:"
FACTS:
1.
The defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho and the plaintiffs Francisca
Tioco de Papa, Manuel Tioco and Nicolas Tioco are legitimate relatives,
plaintiffs being said defendant's grandaunt and granduncles.
2.
Plaintiffs and defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho have as a common
ancestor the late Balbino Tioco (who had a sister by the name of Romana
Tioco), father of plaintiffs and great grandfather of defendant. The family
relationship of the parties is shown in the chart attached hereto as Annex "A"
and made an integral part of this stipulation.
3.
Romana Tioco during her lifetime gratuitously donated four(4) parcels of
land to her niece Toribia Tioco (legitimate sister of plaintiffs), which parcels of
land are presently covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. A-64165, 64166
and 64167 of the Registry of Deeds of Manila, copies of which are attached to
this stipulation as Annexes "B", "B-1", and "B-2."
4.
Toribia Tioco died intestate in 1915, survived by her husband, Eustacio
Dizon, and their two legitimate children, Faustino Dizon and Trinidad Dizon
(mother of defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho) and leaving the
aforementioned four (4) parcels of land as the inheritance of her said two
children in equal pro-indiviso shares.
5.
In 1928, Balbino Tioco died intestate, survived by his legitimate children
and by his wife Marciana Felix (among them plaintiffs) and legitimate
grandchildren Faustino Dizon and Trinidad Dizon. In the partition of his estate,
three (3) parcels of land now covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos.
16545 and 16554 of the Registry of Deeds of Manila, copies of which are
attached hereto as Annexes "C' and "C-1" were adjudicated as the inheritance
of the late Toribia Tioco, but as she had predeceased her father, Balbino Tioco,
the said three (3) parcels of land devolved upon her two legitimate children
Faustino Dizon and Trinidad Dizon in equal pro-indiviso shares.

6.
In 1937, Faustino Dizon died intestate, single and without issue, leaving
his one-half (1/2) pro-indiviso share in the seven (7) parcels of land
abovementioned to his father, Eustacio Dizon, as his sole intestate heir, who
received the said property subject to a reserva troncal which was subsequently
annotated on the Transfer Certificates of Title Annexes "B", "B-1", "C" and "C1."
7.
In 1939 Trinidad Dizon-Tongko died intestate, and her rights and interests
in the parcels of land above-mentioned were inherited by her only legitimate
child, defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho, subject to the usufructuary right
of her surviving husband, defendant Primo Tongko.
8.
On June 14, 1965, Eustacio Dizon died intestate, survived by his only
legitimate descendant, defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho.
9.
The parties agree that defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho now owns
one-half (1/2) of all the seven (7) parcels of land abovementioned as her
inheritance from her mother, Trinidad Dizon-Tongko.
10. Defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho also claims, upon legal advice,
the other half of the said seven parcels of land abovementioned by virtue of
the reserva troncal imposed thereon upon the death of Faustino Dizon and
under the law on intestate succession; but the plaintiffs, also upon legal
advice, oppose her said claim because they claim three-fourths (3/4) of the
one-half pro-indiviso interest in said parcel of land, which interest was inherited
by Eustacio Dizon from Faustino Dizon, or three-eights (3/8) of the said parcels
ofland, by virtue of their being also third degree relatives of Faustino Dizon.
11. The parties hereby agree to submit for judicial determination in this case
the legal issue of whether defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho is entitled to
the whole of the seven (7) parcels of land in question, or whether the plaintiffs,
as third degree relatives of Faustino Dizon are reservatarios (together with said
defendant) of the one-half pro-indiviso share therein which was inherited by
Eustacio Dizon from his son Faustino Dizon, and entitled to three-fourths (3/4)
of said one-half pro-indiviso share, or three-eights (3/8) of said seven (7)
parcels of land, and, therefore, to three-eights (3/8) of the rentals collected and
to be collected by defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho from the tenants of
said parcels of land, minus the expenses and/or real estate taxes
corresponding to plaintiffs' share in the rentals.
12. In view of the fact that the parties are close blood relatives and have
acted upon legal advice in pursuing their respective claims, and in order to
restore and preserve harmony in their family relations, they hereby waive all
their claims against each other for damages (other than legal interest on
plaintiffs' share in the rentals which this Honorable Court may deem proper to

award), attorney's fees and expenses of litigation which shall be borne by the
respective parties.
ISSUE:
The issue raised is whether, as contended by the plaintiffs-appellees and ruled
by the lower court, all relatives of the prepositus within the third degree in the
appropriate line succeed without distinction to the reservable property upon
the death of the reservista.
HELD:
Following the order prescribed by law in legitimate succession, when there are
relatives of the descendant within the third degree, the right of the nearest
relative, called reservatario, over the property which the reservista (person
holding it subject to reservation) should return to him, excludes that of the
one more remote. The right of representation cannot be alleged when the one
claiming same as a reservatario of the reservable property is not among the
relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which such
property came, inasmuch as the right granted by the Civil Code in Article 811
is in the highest degree personal and for the exclusive benefit of designated
persons who are within the third degree of the person from whom the
reservable property came. Therefore, relatives of the fourth and succeeding
degrees can never be considered as reservatarios, since the law does not
recognize them as such.
In spite of what has been said relative to the right of representation on the
part of one alleging his rights as reservatario who is not within the third
degree of relationship, nevertheless there is right of representation on the part
of reservatarios who are within the third degree mentioned by law, as in the
case of nephews of the deceased person from whom the reservable property
came. x x x
Proximity of degree and right of representation are basic principles of ordinary
intestate succession; so is the rule that whole blood brothers and nephews are
entitled to a share double that of brothers and nephews of half blood. If in
determining the rights of the reservatarios inter se, proximity of degree and
the right of representation of nephews are made to apply, the rule of double
share for immediate collaterals of the whole blood should likewise be
operative.
In other words, the reserva troncal merely determines the group of relatives
(reservatarios) to whom the property should be returned; but within that
group, the individual right to the property should be decided by the applicable

rules of ordinary intestate succession, since Art. 891 does not specify
otherwise. x x x
Reversion of the reservable property being governed by the rules on intestate
succession, the plaintiffs-appellees must be held without any right thereto
because, as aunts and uncles, respectively, of Faustino Dizon (the prepositus),
they are excluded from the succession by his niece, the defendant-appellant,
although they are related to him within the same degree as the latter.
x
x
x
Upon the stipulated facts, and by virtue of the rulings already cited, the
defendant-appellant Dalisay Tongko-Camacho is entitled to the entirety of the
reversionary property to the exclusion of the plaintiffs-appellees.
WHEREFORE, the appealed judgment of the lower court is reversed and
set aside, and the complaint is dismissed with costs against plaintiffsappellees.

Case # 76 Austria v. Reyes


AUSTRIA V. REYES, 31 SCRA 754 (1970)
DOCTRINE: The statement of a false cause in the institution of heirs shall be
disregarded, unless it is proved that the testator would not have made such
institution had he been properly appraised of the truth. Aside from the fact that
the false cause must be stated in the will, the opponents of the will are likewise
mandated to prove by substantial evidence that the testator would not have
made such a disposition had he known the true state of affairs. Therefore,
inferences and conjectures are not sufficient to invalidate a provision which is
challenged as one made on the basis of a false cause.

Please note that the false cause which led the testator to make a
particular testamentary disposition is treated in the same way as a mistake,
which in contract law, vitiates consent.
FACTS: On July 7, Basilia Austria vda. de Cruz filed with the CFI of Rizal a
petition for probate, ante mortem, of her last will and testament. The probate
was opposed by the petitioners, Ruben Austria, Consuelo Austria-Benta and
Lauro Austria Mozo and still others who, like petitioner are nephew and nieces
of Basilia. The opposition was dismissed and the probate of the will allowed
after due hearing.
The bulk of the estate of Basilia, was destined under the will to pass on to
respondents Perfecto Cruz, Benita Cruz-Meez, Isagani Cruz, Alberto Cruz, and
Luz Cruz Salonga, all of whom had been assumed and declared by Basilia as
her own legally adopted children.
April 23, 1959 two years after the probate was allowed Basilia died. Perfecto
Cruz was appointed as executor without bond in accordance with the
provisions of the decedents will.
November 5, 1959 Petitioner filed in the same proceedings a petition in
intervention for partition alleging in substance that they are the nearest of kin
of Basilia, and that the five respondents, Perfecto Cruz, et.al, had not fact been
adopted by the decedent in accordance with law. The court then allowed the
said intervention by petitioners which the court delimited to the properties of
the deceased which were not disposed of in the will and disregarded the
matter of the genuineness of adoption.
Upon denial of two motions for reconsiderations, the petitioners filed before
the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari praying for the annulment of the
lower courts orders restricting their intervention.
ISSUE: WON the institution of heirs would retain efficacy in the event there
exists proof that the adoption of the same heirs by the decedent is false.
HELD: No
Article 850 of the Civil Code provides:
The statement of a false cause for the institution of an heir shall be considered
as not written, unless it appears from the will that the testator would not have
made such institution if he had known the falsity of such cause.
Before the institution of heirs may be annulled under article 850 of the Civil
Code, the following requisites:
The cause for the institution of heirs must be stated in the will
The cause must be shown to be false
It must appear from the face of the will that the testator would not have made
such institution if he had known the falsity of the cause
Even if Basilia have used the terms sapilitang mana and sapilitang
tagapagmana there is no indication that had she known that the respondents

were not her adopted disposition of the free portion was largely at Basilias
discretion and she had given a large part to the respondents while giving a
relatively small legacy in favor of the petitioners. The decedents will does not
state in a specific or unequivocal manner the cause for such institution of
heirs. The Court cannot annul the same on the basis of guesswork or uncertain
implications.
Article 850 of the Civil Code is positive injunction to ignore whatever false
cause the testator may have written in his will for the institution of heirs. Such
institution may be annulled only when one is satisfied, after an examination of
the will, that the testator clearly would not have made the institution of he had
known the cause for it to be false.
Testacy is favored and doubts are resolved on its side, especially where the
will evinces an intention on the part of the testator to dispose of practically
his whole estate. Moreover, so compelling is the principle that intestacy
should be avoided and the wishes of the testator allowed to prevail, that we
could even vary the language of the will for the purpose of giving it effect.
The legality of the adoption of the respondents by the testatrix can be
assailed only in a separate action brought for that purpose and cannot be the
subject of a collateral attack.

Case # 78 Palacios v. Ramirez


TESTATE ESTATE OF JOSE EUGENIO RAMIREZ, MARIA LUISA
PALACIOS, Administratrix, petitioner-appellee,
vs.
MARCELLE D. VDA. DE RAMIREZ, ET AL., oppositors, JORGE and
ROBERTO RAMIREZ, legatees, oppositors- appellants.

DOCTRINE: Some commentators of the Civil Code have expressed the


opinion that a fideicommissary substitution is in fact a disguised case of
successive institutions. This is because both the first and the second heirs
inherit from the testator and not from one another. The beneficial use and
possession of the inheritance are first given to the first heir for a lifetime at
most, and thereafter transferred to the second heir. The law requires that the
first and second heirs must be one degree apart from each other. This
limitation became the objective of two divergent views. One view holds that
the one degree apart rule refers to one transfer. Ramirez settled the
controversy by holding the more restrictive view.
In an obiter, the Court opined that the constitutional prohibition against
alien ownership of land does not permit an alien to acquire the same by
testamentary succession. Would such a ruling apply to a case where the
foreign beneficiary is both a testamentary and a compulsory heir?
FACTS: Jose Eugenio Ramirez, a Filipino national, died in Spain on December
11, 1964, with only a widow as compulsory heir. His will was admitted to
probate by the CFI of Manila
The widow Marcelle is a French who lives in Paris, while the companion
Wanda is an Austrian who lives in Spain
The administratrix submitted a project of partition as follows: the property of
the deceased is to be divided into two parts. One part shall go to the widow
en pleno dominio in satisfaction of her legitimee; the other part or free
portion shall go to Jorge and Roberto Ramirez en nuda propriedad.
Furthermore, 1/3 of the free portion is charged with the widows usufruct and
the remaining 2/3 with a usufruct in favor of Wanda.
Jorge and Roberto opposed the project of partition on the ground that the
fideicommissary substitutions are invalid because the first heirs are not
related to the second heirs or substitutes within the first degree, as provided
in Art. 863 of the Civil Code.
ISSUE: WON the fideicommissary substitutions are invalid.
HELD: Yes, the appellants are correct in their claim that it is void.
The substitutes (Juan Pablo Jankowski and Horace V. Ramirez) are not related
to Wanda, the heir originally instituted. Art. 863 of the Civil Code validates a
fideicommissary substitution provided such substitution does not go beyond
one degree from the heir originally instituted.
The word degree was construed as generation and this interpretation has
been followed in the present Code, by providing that the substitution shall
not go beyond one degree from the heir originally instituted. The Code this
clearly indicates that the second heir must be related to and be one
generation from the first heir. It follows that the fideicommissary can only be

either a child or a parent of the first heir. These are the only relatives who
are one generation or degree from the fiduciary.
There is no absolute duty imposed on Wanda to transmit the usufruct to the
substitutes as required by Arts. 865 and 867 of the Civil Code. In fact, the
appellee admits that the testator contradicts the establishment of a
fideicommissary substitution when he permits the properties of the subject
of the usufruct to be sold upon mutual agreement of the usufructuaries and
the naked owners.
The Court ordered to distribute the estate of Jose Eugenio Ramirez as follows:
thereof to his widow as her legitime;
thereof which is the free portion to Roberto and Jorge Ramirez in naked
ownership and the usufruct to Wanda de Wrobleski with a simple substitution
in favor of Juan Pablo Jankowski and Horace V. Ramirez.

Case # 77 Crisologo vs. Singson


CONSOLACION FLORENTINO DE CRISOLOGO V. MANUEL SINGSON, 4
SCRA 491 (1962)
DOCTRINE:
Crisologo stresses that the essence of a fideicommissary
substitution is the imposition of an obligation on the part of the first heir to
preserve and to transmit the property to the second heir upon the former's
death or upon the happening of a particular event. The obligation to preserve
and transmit must be done in an expressed manner either by calling the
substitution fideicommissary, or by imposing upon the first heir the absolute
obligation to preserve and deliver the inheritance to the second heir. In the
absence of either, the substitution would at best be considered simple or
vulgar.
Two points raised in the decision should be noted. First, it inferred that if
Consolacion were instituted subject to a fideicommissary substitution, her
rights would be limited to that of a usufructuary. This is error, because the first
heir in a fideicommissary substitution acquires title to the property, subject
merely to the resolutory term of the substitution. Second, while the court ruled
that the substitution is simple, it stated in the penultimate paragraph that the
substitution shall take place whether the death of Consolacion takes place
before or after the death of the testatrix. There seems to be something wrong
with the statement. Substitution was premised precisely upon the death of
Consolacion, and for no other cause. Therefore, if Consolacion survives the
testatrix, as in fact she did survive, then the substitution becomes academic.
To allow the substitution even if Consolacion were to survive the testatrix
would be to give effect to a fideicommissary substitution, which the same court
overturned. The resulting conclusion would be in contradiction with the finding
that no fideicommissary substitution was intended by the testatrix.
FACTS: Dona Leona Singson died testate, leaving a property in Ilocos Sur to
her brothers (Evaristo, Manuel and Dionisio Crisologo) and her niece,
petitioner Consolacion Florentino.
Petitioners filed an action for partition against respondent Manuel Singson
in connection with a property located in Ilocos Sur. They alleged that the
subject property was co-owned in share by both parties (Consolacion and
Manuel) by virtue of the probated will of the testator Dona Leona Singson.
Singson, on the other hand, contended that Consolacion was a mere
usufructuary and not a co-owner of the property, and hence, was not entitled
to demand partition

ISSUE: WON the testamentary disposition in the testators will provided for
sustitucion vulgar (vulgar substitution) or for a sustitucion fideicomisaria
(fideicommissary substitution)
HELD: The last will of the decedent established a mere vulgar substitution,
the substitution Consolacion Florentino by the brothers of the testatrix to be
effective upon the death of Consolacion, whether it happens before or after
that of the testatrix.
A careful perusal of the testamentary clause shows that the substitution is
not expressly made of the fideicommissary kind, nor does not contain a clear
statement that Consolacion, during her lifetime, shall only enjoy usufructuary
rights over the property bequeathed to her, since naked ownership was
vested to the brothers of the testatrix. The provision in question merely
provides that upon Consolacions death, whether this happens before or after
that of the testatrix, her share shall belong to the brothers of the testatrix.
DISTINCTION BETWEEN VULGAR SUBSTITUTION AND FIDEICOMMISSARY
SUBSTITUTION
If the clause in the will created a vulgar substitution, the result would be that
Consolacion, upon the death of the testatrix, becomes the owner of the
undivided of the property. But if the clause provided for a fideicommissary
substitution, Consolacion acquires only usufructuary rights over the proindiviso share.
In fideicommissary substitution, the fiduciary does not acquire full ownership
of the property bequeathed by the will, but mere usufructuary rights thereon
until the time came for him to deliver said property to the fideicommissary; it
is obvious that the nude ownership is passed to another person other than
the fideicommissary.
To constitute fideicommissary substitution, there must be an obligation
imposed on the first heir (fiduciary heir) to preserve and transmit to another
(fideicommissary heir) the whole or part of the estate bequeathed to him,
upon his death or upon the happening of a particular event. For this reason,
Art 785 Old Civil Code provides that a fideicommissary substitution shall
have no effect unless it is made expressly either by giving it such name, or
by imposing upon the first heir the absolute obligation to deliver the
inheritance to a substitute or second heir.

Case # 83 De Los Santos v. De La Cruz


DELOS SANTOS V. DELA CRUZ, 37 SCRA 555(1971)
DOCTRINE: De los Santos illustrates the rule of proximity; i.e., the nearer
relatives exclude the more remote ones, except if the right of representation
is applicable. Thus, in intestate succession, the nephews and nieces shall
exclude the grandniece, who in the specific instance, is barred from
exercising the right of representation.
FACTS: Gertrude de los Santos for specific performance against Maximino de
la Cruz, alleging that she and several co-heirs, including defendant, executed
an extrajudicial partition agreement over a portion of land and that the
parties agreed to adjudicate 3 lots to the defendant in addition to his share,
on the condition that the defendant would undertake the development of the
estate, all expenses shall be defrayed from the proceeds of the sale of the 3
lots.
Defendant asserts that plaintiff had no cause of action against him because
the agreement was void with respect to her, since the plaintiff was not an
heir of Pelagia de la Cruz, deceased owner of the property, and was included
in the extrajudicial partition agreement by mistake.
Defendants counterclaim alleged that since the plaintiff had sold her share
in the estate and that extrajudicial partition agreement being void as to the
latter, he is entitled to of the proceeds as his share by way of reversion.
The court held that the defendant, being a party to the extrajudicial partition
agreement, was stopped from raising in issue the right of the plaintiff to
inherit from the decedent Pelagia de la Cruz; hence he must abide by the
terms of the agreement.

The parties admit that the owner of the subject matter of the extrajudicial
agreement was Pelagia de la Cruz, who died instestate on October 16, 1962;
that defendant is a nephew of the said decedent; that plaintiff is a
grandniece of Pelagia de la Cruz, her mother, Marciana de la Cruz, being
niece of the decedent. Plaintiffs mother died on September 22, 1935, thus
predeceasing the decedent; and that the purpose of the extrajudicial
partition agreement was to divide and distribute the estate among the heirs
of Pelagia de la Cruz.
ISSUE: WON plaintiff-apellee Gertrude de los Santos is a heir of the
decedent.
HELD: No, plaintiff-appellee being a mere grandniece of Pelagia de
la Cruz, she could not inherit from the latter by right of
representation, much less could plaintiff-appellee inherit in her own
right.
Applying Art. 972 and Art. 962 of the Civil Code, the Court in Linarty y Pavia
vs. Ugarte y Itturalde said:
In and intestate succession a grandniece of the deceased and cannot
participate with a niece in the inheritance, because the latter being a nearer
relative, the more distant grandniece is excluded. In the collateral line the
right of representation does not obtain beyond sons and daughters of the
brothers and sisters.
In the case at bar, the relatives nearest in degree to Pelagia de la
Cruz are her nephews and nieces, one of whom is the defendantappellant. Necessarily, plaintiff-appellee, a grandniece is excluded
by law from the inheritance.
The legal effect of plaintiff-appellee inclusion and participation in
the extrajudicial partition agreement insofar as her right to bring
the present action did not confer upon her the right to institute this
action. The express purpose of the extrajudicial partition agreement, as
admitted by the parties in the stipulation of facts, was to divide the estate
among the heirs of Pelagia de la Cruz and in the said agreement itself states
that plaintiff-appellee was participating in representation of her deceased
mother.
It is apparent therefore that the parties were laboring under the erroneous
belief that plaintiff-appellee was one of the legal heirs of Pelagia de la Cruz.
Plaintiff-appellee not being such heir, the partition is void with respect to her,
pursuant to Article 1105 of the Civil Code.
Partition of property affected between a person entitled to inherit from the
deceased owner and another person who thought he was an heir, when he
was not really and lawfully such, to the prejudice of the rights of the true heir
designated by law to succeed the deceased, is null and void. A fortiori,
plaintiff-appelee could hardly derive from the agreement the right to have its
terms enforced.

The extrajudicial partition agreement being void with respect to plaintiffappellee, she may not be heard to assert estoppels against defendantappellant. Estoppels cannot be predicated on a void contract, or on acts
which are prohibited by law or are against public policy.

Case # 85 Diaz v. IAC


DIAZ V. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, 150 SCRA 645 (1987)
DOCTRINE: This case illustrates the harsh effects of Article 992. As will be
noted, the legitimate collateral relative of the intestate was preferred over the
illegitimate descendants. There was no showing that between the
grandmother and her illegitimate grandchildren, there was animosity. It must
likewise be noted that the deceased grandmother did not have any other
descendants other than the illegitimate children who were excluded from her
inheritance.
FACTS: The case is a review of the decision declaring Felisa Pamuti-Jardin to
be the sole legitimate heir to the intestate estate of the late Simona Pamuti
Vda. de Santero. The present controversy is confined solely to the intestate
estate of Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero.
Felisa Pamuti Jardin is a niece of Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero who
together with Felisa's mother Juliana were the only legitimate children of the
spouses Felipe Pamuti and Petronila Asuncion.
Juliana married Simon Jardin and out of their union were born Felisa Pamuti
and another child who died during infancy
Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero is the widow of Pascual Santero and the
mother of Pablo Santero
Pablo Santero was the only legitimate son of his parents Pascual Santero and
Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero
Pascual Santero died in 1970; Pablo Santero in 1973 and Simona Santero in
1976
Pablo Santero, at the time of his death was survived by his mother Simona
Santero and his six minor natural children to wit: four minor children with
Anselma Diaz and two minor children with Felixberta Pacursa.
ISSUE: Whether petitioners as illegitimate children of Pablo Santero could
inherit from Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero, by right of representation of

their father Pablo Santero who is a legitimate child of Simona Pamuti Vda. de
Santero.
HELD: No
The right of representation is not available to illegitimate descendants
of legitimate children in the inheritance of a legitimate grandparent.
Articles 902, 989, and 990 clearly speak of successional rights
of illegitimate children, which rights are transmitted to their descendants
upon their death. The descendants (of these illegitimate children) who may
inherit by virtue of the right of representation may be legitimate or
illegitimate. In whatever manner, one should not overlook the fact that the
persons to be represented are themselves illegitimate.
The rules laid down in Article 982 that 'grandchildren and other descendants
shall inherit by right of representation and in Article 902 that the rights of
illegitimate children ... are transmitted upon their death to their descendants,
whether legitimate or illegitimate are subject to the limitation prescribed by
Article 992 to the end that an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab
intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother."
"Article 992 of the New Civil Code provides a barrier or iron curtain in that it
prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child
and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said
illegitimate child. They may have a natural tie of blood, but this is not
recognized by law for the purpose of Article 992. Between the legitimate
family and the illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening
antagonism and incompatibility. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked
down upon by the legitimate family; and the family is in turn, hated by the
illegitimate child; the latter considers the privileged condition of the former,
and the resources of which it is thereby deprived; the former, in turn, sees in
the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin, palpable evidence of a
blemish broken in life; the law does no more than recognize this truth, by
avoiding further ground of resentment."
While the New Civil Code may have granted successional rights to
illegitimate children, those articles, however, in conjunction with Article 992,
prohibit the right of representation from being exercised where the person to
be represented is a legitimate child. Needless to say, the determining factor
is the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the person to be represented. If the person
to be represented is an illegitimate child, then his descendants, whether
legitimate or illegitimate, may represent him; however, if the person to be
represented is legitimate, his illegitimate descendants cannot represent him
because the law provides that only his legitimate descendants may exercise
the right of representation by reason of the barrier imposed Article 992.

It is therefore clear from Article 992 of the New Civil Code that the phrase
"legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother" includes Simona
Pamuti Vda. de Santero as the word "relative" is broad enough to
comprehend all the kindred of the person spoken of. In the case at bar, the
only parties who claimed to be the legitimate heirs of the late Simona Pamuti
Vda. de Santero are Felisa Pamuti Jardin and the six minor natural or
illegitimate children of Pablo Santero. Since petitioners herein are barred by
the provisions of Article 992, the respondent Intermediate Appellate Court
did not commit any error in holding Felisa Pamuti Jardin to be the sole
legitimate heir to the intestate estate of the late Simona Pamuti Vda. de
Santero.
The Court view that the word "relatives" should be construed in its general
acceptation. According to Prof. Balane, to interpret the term relatives in
Article 992 in a more restrictive sense than it is used and intended is not
warranted by any rule of interpretation. Besides, he further states that when
the law intends to use the term in a more restrictive sense, it qualifies the
term with the word collateral, as in Articles 1003 and 1009 of the New Civil
Code. Thus, the word "relatives" is a general term and when used in a
statute it embraces not only collateral relatives but also all the kindred of the
person spoken of, unless the context indicates that it was used in a more
restrictive or limited sense.

Case # 86 & 92 Abellana-Bocayo v. Ferraris-Borromeo


ABELLANA-BACAYO V. FERRARIS-BORROMEO, 14 SCRA 986 (1965)
DOCTRINE: As an exception to the general rule that the right of
representation is available only in the descending line, Art. 975 of the Civil
Code permits representation in the collateral line (but only in intestate
succession) insofar as nephews and nieces of the decedent are concerned.
When such nephews and nieces inherit by representation, they succeed to that
portion which their predeceased or incapacitated father or mother would have
otherwise been entitled to inherit. By right of representation, these nephews
and nieces shall be deemed to be two degrees remote from the decedent.
However, the prerequisite for the exercise of the right of representation is that
the nephews and nieces must concur with at least one uncle or aunt.
Otherwise, nephews and nieces will inherit in their own right as third degree
relatives of the decedent.

It must also be noted that even when they inherit in their own right as
third degree relatives, nephews and nieces are preferred over the uncles and
aunts of the decedent (who are likewise relatives within the third degree of the
decedent). This is because of the order of intestate succession which ranks
brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces fourth in the order of succession,
whereas other collateral relatives, including uncles and aunts of the deceased,
are ranked fifth. Finally, the exercise of the right of representation is subject to
the barrier between the legitimate and illegitimate families under Article 992.
In the more recent case of Delgado vda. de la Rosa v Heirs of Marciana
Rustia vda. de Damian [G.R. No. 155733, 27 January 2006 (480 SCRA 334)],
the Supreme Court through Justice Corona ruled that (u)nder Article 972 of
the New Civil Code, the right of representation in the collateral line takes place
only in favor of children of brothers and sisters (nephews and nieces),
Consequently, it cannot be exercised by grandnephews and grandnieces.
Likewise, in the case of Bagugu v Piedad, Justice Vitug clarified that the
right of representation is generally available only in the descending line,
never in the ascending. In the collateral line, the right is limited to children of
brothers and sisters who concur with uncles and/or aunts. No other collateral
relative can benefit from the right of representation.
FACTS: Melodia Ferraris was a resident of Cebu City until 1937 when she
transferred to Intramuros, Manila. She was known to have resided there
continuously until 1944. Thereafter, up to the filing on December 22, 1960 of
the petition for the summary settlement of her estate, she has not been
heard of and her whereabouts are still unknown. More than ten (10) years
having elapsed since the last time she was known to be alive, she was
declared presumptively dead for purposes of opening her succession and
distributing her estate among her heirs.
The deceased Melodia Feraris was survived only by collateral relatives,
namely Filomena Abellana de Bacayo, an aunt and half-sister of decedents
father, Anacleto Ferraris; and by Gaudencia, Catalina,Conchita, and Juanito,
all surname Ferraris, her nieces and nephew, who were the children of
Melodias only brother of full blood, Arturo Ferraris, who predeceased the
decedent.
The trial court ruled that the children of the only predeceased brother of the
decedent, exclude the aunt of the same decedent for the reason that the
former are nearer in degree (2 degrees) than the latter since nieces and
nephews succeed by right of representation, while the aunt is 3 degrees
distant from the decedent, and that other collateral relatives are excluded by
brothers or sisters or children of brothers or sisters of the decedent in
accordance with article 1009 of the New Civil Code.
Petitioner-appellant contends that she is of equal degree of relationship as
the oppositors (3 degrees removed from the decedent) and that under 975 of
the New Civil Code, no right of representation could take place when the
nieces and nephew of the decedent do not concur with an uncle or aunt, but
rather the former succeed in their own right.

ISSUE: Who should inherit the intestate estate of a deceased person when
he or she is survived only by collateral relatives, to wit an aunt and the
children of a brother who predeceased him or her?
HELD: The Court held that as an aunt of the deceased she is as far distant
as the nephews from the decedent (3 degrees) since in the collateral line to
which both kinds of relatives belong degrees are counted by first ascending
to the common ancestor and hen descending to the heir (Civil Code, Art.
966). Also, nephews and nieces alone do not inherit by right of
representation (i.e.. per stirpes) unless concurring with brothers or sisters of
the deceased, as provided by Art. 975.
The Court held that in case of intestacy, nephews and nieces of the de cujus
exclude all other collaterals (aunt and uncles, first cousins, etc.) from the
succession. Under Art. 1009, the absence of brothers, sisters, nephews and
nieces of the decedent is a precondition to the other collaterals (uncles,
cousins, etc.) being called to the succession.
Tolentino expressly states:
Other collaterals. The last of the relatives of the decedent to succeed in
intestate succession are the collaterals other than brothers or sisters or
children of brothers or sisters. They are, however, limited to relatives within
the fifth degree. Beyond this, we can safely say there is hardly any affection
to merit the succession of collaterals. Under the law, therefore, relatives
beyond the fifth degree are no longer considered as relatives, for
successional purposes.
Article 1009 does not state any order of preference. However, this article
should be understood in connection with the general rule that the nearest
relatives exclude the farther. Collaterals of the same degree inherit in equal
parts, there being no right of representation. They succeed without
distinction of lines or preference among them on account of the whole blood
relationship. (Emphasis supplied)
The Court ruled that under the laws of succession, a decedents uncles and
aunts may not succeed ab intestate so long as nephews and nieces of the
decedent survive and are willing and qualified to succeed.

Case # 87-88 Corpus v. Corpus


TOMAS CORPUS V. ADMINISTRATOR/EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF
TEODORO YANGCO, 85 SCRA 567 (1978)
DOCTRINE: Corpus illustrates an instance where a legitimate child is excluded
from the inheritance of an illegitimate relative.
FACTS: Teodoro Yangco died with a will. He left no forced heirs. At the time
of his death, his nearest relatives were: (a) his half-brother Luis Yangco; (b)
half-sister Paz Yangco and wife of Miguel Osorio; (c) children of his half-

brother Ramon Corpus; and (d) Juanita Corpus; daughter of his half-brother
Jose Corpus
Teodoro was the son of Luis Rafael Yangco and Ramona Arguelles (widow of
Tomas Corpus). Before her marriage with Luis Rafael, Ramona had 5 children
with Tomas, 2 of which were Pablo and Jose.
Pursuant to the order of the probate court, a project of partition was
submitted but this was opposed.
From that order, Pedro Martinez, Juliana de Castro, Juanita Corpus and the
estate of Luis R. Yangco appealed. A compromise agreement was entered
into thereafter
Based on the compromise agreement, Tomas Corpus signed a receipt
acknowledging that he received from the Yangco estate P2,000.
Tomas, as the sole heir of Juanita Corpus, filed an action to recover the
supposed share in Yangcos intestate estate. He alleged that the dispositions
in Yangcos will imposing perpetual prohibitions upon alienation rendered it
void under Art 785 Old Civil Code and that the 1949 partition is invalid and
as such, the estate should be distributed according to the rules of intestacy
ISSUE: WON Juanita Corpus, mother of Tomas, was a legal heir of Yangco
HELD: No.To determine Juanitas right to inherit, it is necessary to ascertain
Yangcos filiation. Luis Rafaels will states that Teodoro was an acknowledged
natural child and not a legitimate child. On the other hand, the children of
Ramona Arguelles and Tomas Corpus are presumed to be legitimate following
the principle of simper preasumitur pro matrimonio, that a man and a
woman deporting themselves as husband and wife are presumed to have
entered into a lawful marriage.
Since Teodoro was an acknowledged natural child (illegitimate) and Juanita
was the legitimate child of Ramona Arguelles and Tomas Corpus, petitionerappellant Tomas has no cause of action for the recovery of the supposed
hereditary share of his mother in Yangcos estate. Juanita was not a legal heir
of Yangco because there is no reciprocal succession between legitimate and
illegitimate relatives.
Art 992 NCC provides that an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab
intestate from the legitimate children or relatives of his father or mother; nor
shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the
illegitimate child. This rule is based on the theory that the illegitimate child
is disgracefully looked upon by the legitimate family while the legitimate
family is, in turn, hated by the illegitimate child. The law does not recognize
the blood tie and seeks to avoid further grounds of resentment.
Following the rule in Art 992, it was held that:
Legitimate relatives of the mother cannot succeed her illegitimate child
The natural child cannot represent his natural father in the succession to the
estate of the legitimate grandfather
The natural daughter cannot succeed to the estate of her deceased uncle, a
legitimate brother of her natural mother.

Case # 89 Leonardo v. CA
CRESENCIANO LEONARDO V. COURT OF APPEALS AND MARIA
CAILLES, 120 SCRA 890 (1983)
DOCTRINE: The filiation of a person may be looked into for the purpose of
determining his qualification to inherit from a deceased person. In Leonardo,
the Court found after looking into the birth certificate of the petitioner, that he
is an illegitimate child and hence barred by Article 992 to claim a share in the
inheritance of his great grandmother.
FACTS: Francisca Reyes died intestate in 1963. She was survived by 2
daughters, Maria and Silvestra Cailles, and a grandson, Sotero Leonardo, the
son of her daughter Pascuala who predeceased her. Sotero died in 1944
while Silvestra died in 1949.

Petitioner Cresenciano Leonardo, claiming to be the son of Sotero, filed a


complaint seeking to:
Be declared one of the lawful heirs of deceased Francisca, entitled to share
in the estate of the deceased jointly with defendant Maria
Have the estate of Francisca partitioned between him and Maria
Respondent Maria Cailles asserted exclusive ownership over the subject
properties and alleged that petitioner is an illegitimate child who cannot
succeed by right of representation
The trial court held in favor of petitioner. On appeal, CA reversed the trial
court decision and dismissed the complaint
ISSUE: WON petitioner has legal right to inherit by representation to
Franciscas estate
HELD: No.
To determine petitioners successional rights to the decedents estate, his
filiation must first be ascertained. Petitioner failed to prove his filiation; the
name of the child described in the birth certificate presented as evidence, is
not that of the plaintiff but a certain Alfredo Leonardo who was born on
September 13, 1938 to Sotero Leonardo and Soccoro Timbol. Other than his
bare allegations, plaintiff did not submit any durable evidence showing that
Alfredo Leonardo mentioned in the birth certificate is no other than he
himself.
Even if it is true that petitioner is a child of Sotero, he still cannot, by right of
representation, claim a share of the estate left by the deceased Francisca
considering that he was born outside of wedlock as shown by the fact that
when he was born, his alleged putative father and mother were not yet
married; and his alleged fathers first marriage was still subsisting. As such,
petitioner would be an illegitimate child who has no right to inherit ab
intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father, like the
deceased Francisca.
Case # 90 Santillon v. Mirandan
IN THE MATTER OF THE INTESTATE ESTATE OF PEDRO SANTILLON V.
PERFECTA MIRANDA, 14 SCRA 563 (1965)
DOCTRINE: Santillon resolved the dispute regarding the intestate shares of a
surviving spouse concurring with one legitimate child. In addition to the
arguments clearly stated in the text of the decision, it may be stressed at this
point that commentators who insist on a 3/4 - 1/4 sharing in favor of the
legitimate child adhere to the theory of preference. In short, there the order of
intestate succession listed the legitimate children as having first priority in the
intestate estate of the deceased parent, and the spouse as fourth, then the law
must be interpreted as having given a preference to the legitimate child or
children with respect to the hereditary estate, after the legitime of all other
compulsory heirs shall have been paid. Obviously, Santillon rejected the
theory of preference and adopted the theory of concurrence. Accordingly, heirs
who do not mutually exclude each other shall ratably share the inheritance.

Since preference is not inferred from the order of intestate succession, then
the free disposal (after payment of legitime to the compulsory heirs) must be
distributed in a manner that would result in the least disproportion between or
among the respective shares of the concurring intestate heirs.
Two other theories in relation to the disposition of the free disposal might
be mentioned. Under the theory of equality, the free disposal is divided
equally among the concurring intestate heirs, regardless of the order of
intestate succession. Another theory advanced by other commentators is that
the free disposal must be proportionately distributed among the concurring
intestate heirs based on their respective legitime.
FACTS: Pedro Santillon died intestate, leaving one son, Claro and his wife,
Perfecta Miranda. During his marriage, pedro acquired several parcels of land
After his death, Claro Santillon filed petition for letters of administration. His
mother, Perfecta and spouses Benito Miranda opposed the petition on the
following grounds:
Properties enumerated in the petition were all conjugal, except for 3 parcels
which Perfecta claims to be her exclusive property
Perfecta conveyed of her undivided share in most of the properties to
spouses Miranda
Perfecta should be appointed administrator over her spouses estate
Thereafter, Claro filed a motion to declare shares of heirs and resolve the
conflicting claims of the parties with respect to their rights in the estate.
Invoking Art 892, Claro insisted that after deducting Perfectas share from
the conjugal property, the remaining property shall be divided as: for
Perfecta and for him
On the other hand, Perfecta claimed that she was entitled under Art 996 to
another of the remaining half
The trial court held in favor of Perfecta, declaring that the surviving spouse
Perfecta is entitled to of Pedros estate and the remaining is given to
Claro
ISSUE: How shall the estate of a person who dies intestate be divided when
the only survivors are the spouse and one legitimate child?
HELD: Half and half pursuant to Art 996 NCC.
Art 892 NCC falls under the chapter on Testamentary Succession, whereas
Art 996 comes under the chapter on Legal or Intestate Succession. Such
being the case, it is obvious that Claro cannot rely on Art 892 to support his
claim to of his fathers share. Art 892 merely fixes the legitime of the
surviving spouse and Art 888 thereof, the legitime of children in
testate succession. While it may indicate the intent of the law with
respect to the ideal shares that a child and a spouse should get
when they concur with each other, it does not fix the amount of
shares that such child and spouse are entitled to when intestacy
occurs. As such, the pertinent provision on intestate succession
shally apply, i.e. Art 996.

In his commentary, JBL Reyes, noted that: if there is only one legitimate
child surviving with the spouse, since they share equally, of the
estate goes to the child and the other half goes to the surviving
spouse. Although the law refers to children or descendants, the
rule in statutory construction that the plural can be understood to
include the singular in this case.
The theory of commentators sharing Claros position are premised on the
following arguments:
Art 996 speaks of children therefore it does not apply when there is only
one child and as such Art 892 should be applied through a process of
judicial construction and analogy
Art 996 is unfair because in intestate succession, the widow gets only
while in testacy, she would get shares
It is a maxim of statutory construction that words in plural include the
singular. As such, children in Art 996 also refers to a child.
The equal shares theory seems to be a logical inference from the
circumstance whereas Art 834 Spanish Civil Code, from which Art 996 was
taken, contained 2 paragraphs governing two contingencies: (a) where the
widow or widower survives with legitimate children; and (b) where the widow
or widower survives with only one child. Since Art 996 NCC omitted to
provide for the second situation, it can be deemed that the
legislators intent was to promulgate only one general rule
applicable to both situations.