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ALVARADO v.

GAVIOLA
1. On 5 November 1977, 79-year old Brigido Alvarado executed a notarial will entitled Huling
Habilin wherein he disinherited an illegitimate son, petitioner Cesar Alvarado, and expressly
revoked a previously executed holographic will at the time awaiting probate before the RTC of
Laguna.
2. According to Bayani Rino, private respondent, he was present when the said notarial will was
executed, together with three instrumental witnesses and the notary public, where the
testator did not read the will himself, suffering as he did from glaucoma.
3. Rino, a lawyer, drafted the eight-page document and read the same aloud before the testator,
the three instrumental witnesses and the notary public, as they were following the reading
with their own respective copies previously furnished them.
4. Thereafter, a codicil entitled Kasulatan ng Pagbabago ng Ilang Pagpapasiya na Nasasaad sa
Huling Habilin na May Petsa Nobiembre 5, 1977 ni Brigido Alvarado was executed changing
some dispositions in the notarial will to generate cash for the testators eye operation.
5. Said codicil was likewise not read by Brigido Alvarado and was read in the same manner as
with the previously executed will.
6. When the notarial will was submitted to the court for probate, Cesar Alvarado filed
his opposition as he said that the will was not executed and attested as required by law; that
the testator was insane or mentally incapacitated due to senility and old age; that the will
was executed under duress, or influence of fear or threats; that it was procured by undue
pressure and influence on the part of the beneficiary; and that the signature of the testator
was procured by fraud or trick.

ISSUE: WON notarial will of Alvarado should be admitted to probate despite allegations of
defects in the execution and attestation thereof as testator was allegedly blind at the time of
execution and the double-reading requirement under Art. 808 of the NCC was not complied with?
HELD: YES.

RATIO:
1. The spirit behind the law was served though the letter was not.
2. Although there should be strict compliance with the substantial requirements of law in order
to insure the authenticity of the will, the formal imperfections should be brushed aside when
they do not affect its purpose and which, when taken into account, may only defeat the
testators will.
3. Cesar Alvardo was correct in asserting that his father was not totally blind (of counting fingers
at 3 feet) when the will and codicil were executed, but he can be so considered for purposes
of Art. 808. That Art. 808 was not followed strictly is beyond cavil.
4. However, in the case at bar, there was substantial compliance where the purpose of the law
has been satisfied: that of making the provisions known to the testator who is blind
or incapable of reading the will himself (as when he is illiterate) and enabling him to object if
they do not accord with his wishes.
5. Rino read the testators will and codicil aloud in the presence of the testator, his three
instrumental witnesses, and the notary public.
6. Prior and subsequent thereto, the testator affirmed, upon being asked, that the contents read
corresponded with his instructions. Only then did the signing and acknowledgment take place.
7. There is no evidence that the contents of the will and the codicil were not sufficiently made
known and communicated to the testator.
8. With four persons, mostly known to the testator, following the reading word for word with
their own copies, it can be safely concluded that the testator was reasonably assured that
what was read to him were the terms actually appearing on the typewritten documents.
9. The rationale behind the requirement of reading the will to the testator if he is blind
or incapable of reading the will to himself (as when he is illiterate), is to make the provisions
thereof known to him, so that he may be able to object if they are not in accordance with his
wishes.
10.Although there should be strict compliance with the substantial requirements of law in order
to insure the authenticity of the will, the formal imperfections should be brushed aside when
they do not affect its purpose and which, when taken into account, may only defeat the
testators will.